Save the Virgins

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As we enter an industrial-sized kitchen, I'm taken aback by an overweight woman with two-heads chopping carrots. The head with a tight salt and pepper bun appears to be the original owner of the body, while the one with blond hair and rosy cheeks attached at the right shoulder sometime later. Both appear around sixty, but if they're immortal, there's no telling their true age.

The women size me up, the one with the pun more critical in her frown.

Oh shit, Boss says. It's Ulla and Inez.

Who are they? I ask him.

Necromancers and Demon Whisperers, and they despise me.

"In a convent?" I remember how Father Timothy didn't want me here. How is it they get a pass?

The priest snaps his head to me, his expression drawn and sober. "Did you say something?

I shake my head.

Father Timothy places the wooden box on the counter and turns to the ladies. "He needs the antidote for a soul contract, and he's possessed, so he'll need to regain control of his body as well.

"Hello." I force a grin.

The blond lady makes an effort to smile, but the other grunts and turns away to take them into the walk-in refrigerator. She slams the door behind them.

What did you do to them? I ask.

They exorcized me from my last body, but I escaped before they could put me in one of their keepsake jars and use me in one of their potions. Let's just say the fight resulted in a scar under their housecoat that traumatized me more than them.

Knowing Boss, I quiver at the thought.

We gather around a table in a dark corner. Trisha and I take the only two chairs, while the priest starts to pace. "Pete," he says, "considering what just happened, I've changed my mind about you helping us. Are you still willing?"

I swallow hard and hesitate to answer, the shock of Azael's assault haunting my thoughts.

"He'll support us," Trisha says. "If he doesn't, I'll chop off his head."

Do it, Boss says to Trisha. Going back to Hell is sounding better by the minute.

"Muzzle your demon." Trisha's eyes tighten and stare into mine.

Go fuck yourself, he says.

"All the threats and banter between you and Boss are getting old," I pull away.

"Boss, is that your name?" Trisha says. "I'm still ready to yank you out and chop you into little pieces."

"Pete's right. This arguing is a waste of our time." Father Timothy turns to me. "Either you're going to help us or not. Either way, we have a fallen angel to put back in his cell, and five defenseless nuns to bring back home. So, what's it going to be?"

"Before I decide, can I get a little honesty about what's going on here. Like why did Azael take the five nuns? My demon said they were drawn in because they're ready and willing to be impregnated by him."

Father Timothy pacing slows and he hesitates to answer. "I'm afraid he prefers to procreate with holy women, and now that he has what he wants, forcing him back into his cell will be more difficult."

Trisha adds, "Basically we must rescue the nuns before Azael creates a litter of Nephilim. If he's able to impregnate all the sisters he's kidnapped, they'll come to term in a few hours. Each of his offspring will make him stronger and harder to corner."

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