Out of breath, he ducked into a corner, but not quite out of sight.   Anyone who walked by would see him, and that just could not happen.    Directly across from him was the doorway he had worked so hard to get to.   Before he could open it, he had to cross the hallway where several guards were stationed not more than fifty feet from his present position.   The door was only feet away, but it might as well have been a mile with those guards standing so close.   He looked at the sign on the door, "RESTRICTED" and realized that once he entered that door the stakes would suddenly get higher.   He was already in great danger.   It was a miracle that he had gotten this far without capture, but the mission was of the utmost importance.   The future of the Remnant depended upon it.   It was warm in the hall, and he had relaxed his guard for a moment to catch his breath. He felt a chill go up his back as a draft from a vent below his feet sent a burst of cold air up inside the cloak that covered his youthful looking face.  

He heard footsteps, and then voices.   They were coming his way.   There was no way he could go back the way he had come, not after... His thoughts were interrupted as the voices suddenly got louder.   They must have rounded a corner and joined the guards down the hall.   Now they were coming toward him!

Just months ago he would have panicked, but not now.   He was a Disciple of the Redeemer, a Member of the Order of the Ancient. He knew who was ultimately in charge here.   Besides, he'd had so many close calls in just the past forty minutes he knew that if the Master had allowed him to get this far, He would certainly deliver him again.   The question was not 'if' but only 'how'.

His Mentor was always saying to 'look up'.   While this was usually meant figuratively, he looked up and offered another intercession.   Then he saw it.   Recessed into the ceiling, across the hallway between him and the guards was a blast door.   If it could be lowered it would block off the guards and hide him as he crossed over into the room that waited beyond the restricted door.

He bowed his head, closed his eyes, and extended his arm up toward the blast door.   With his palm outstretched and his fingers slightly curled, he concentrated. He had to summon enough Faith.   He interceded for the power in the way of his Mentor.   He had never moved anything this large before, but if a mustard seed could move a mountain, he only needed a few molecules of faith.   He took a deep breath, and interceded for the strength he needed.   He could feel his spirit buoyed by the many that were interceding for him at that very moment.   But nothing happened.

The voices got louder.   A drop of sweat formed on his forehead.   Was that doubt creeping up?   Or fear?   He could not allow his spirit to be distracted.   He focused harder, but the blast door would not move.   Then, in his mind he saw a number, 2911.   What was that?   He tried to ignore it and focus on the blast door.   But it would not go away.    Was it a reference to the Book of Books?   He had only seconds before he would be discovered.   But the number burned on the inside of his eyelids.   He opened his eyes and saw the unmoving blast door.   He knew that sometimes the Counselor chose to say 'no'. After all, the Power belongs to the Sovereign, not His followers.   He could only connect to it, not command it.   He was wondering what use he would be to the Sovereign if he was captured, when he noticed a keypad on the wall right next to him.   Time seemed to stop as he lowered his hand to the keyboard.   Out of the corner of his eyes he could see the guards appearing before him.   They were looking at each other as his fingers typed 2911 into the keypad instinctively.   The guards' heads started to turn toward him as the blast door suddenly came surging down and sealed into the floor with a loud sucking sound and deep thud.   Josiah rushed across the hall and using the key card he had been given by Jeremiah, he entered the Restricted Archive room.   It was dark.   He reached over to the wall and passed his hand over where the infrared light sensor should be and instantly the room was flooded with light. He was startled by the light, but as his eyes adjusted, his heart suddenly sank.   In the middle of the room stood a cylinder pedestal with an enclosed glass case.   Inside the glass, levitating and rotating slowly was the object of his mission!   But throughout the room, in every conceivable place stood an armed guard pointing his weapon at him.   A tall gaunt man with a wickedly evil smile stood in the back of the room with an obvious satisfaction.   It was a trap and he had taken the bait.


Site design and book art by Timbuktoons