Kate and Daniel are reunited, but they have to return to their duties in traveling the afterlife. There are stolen souls suffering without cause in Hell, and only they can help. Kate is back in her corporeal body, but keeping memories of her time as pure soul energy, recently touched by the divine. Daniel carries the magic of an old god and the sword of a death goddess, as well a grudge against the deity who tricked him into losing nearly everything. As they search for the missing souls, Kate and Daniel have to come to terms with themselves and see if their friendship - not to mention the cosmos - can handle everything they've been through thus far.
I’d had no concept of time or self when I was a soul. I remember casting about, watching the Divine punish world leaders (which is what Daniel and Kazuko had told me He’d done). When I lost form but was touched by the Divine, I was stitched back together enough to comprehend my surroundings, if not my own identity.
We sat, the three of us, in the study of the Divine. I could no longer give It a name as I fully remembered Its touch. It was beyond Man, beyond Woman. The face It wore was a mask so most souls could comprehend what they wanted to see. But there was no comprehending the truth. Such power It had, such wisdom. It embodied the qualities of every god and goddess I had encountered and It got me wondering: was It a mixture of all gods, or was It the spring from which all the other gods were born?
Theological arguments aside, we had a mission. Why the font of such power required us to undertake this quest was beyond me, but trying to understand Its will was like trying to drink from a waterfall. I could only drink in a little at a time.
Daniel handed me a backpack. I took it wordlessly and strapped it on. Kazuko rose from her solemn kneeling position. She pointed behind us.
“That is the way out,” she said.
A door stood where there hadn’t been one before, in the middle of the wall. A Greek symbol was etched on the door, and it took me a moment to recognize Omega.
Daniel led the way, with Kazuko following and myself bringing up the rear. The door opened to a dark corridor. “Great,” mumbled Daniel.
I closed the door behind us and left us in the pitch blackness.
“What did you do that for?” Daniel snapped. He’d been distant since his initial outburst. I think my inability to remember much upset him, as if he took it personally.
“I don’t know,” I said. “Habit, I guess. Don’t leave doors open. Grandma Nancy would always say flies would get in. Dogs would get out. Air conditioning would get wasted.” I rummaged around in my backpack until I felt something flashlight-shaped.
I turned it on and slipped past the two of them in the corridor. “Let’s go.”
We walked for some time. My head still buzzed with my experiences, and for a brief moment I regretted not taking the hawk’s form. The hawk would unlikely be worrying about the cold silence behind me.
“So when are you going to tell me what happened to your eye?” I asked.
Daniel made a small noise.
“Never mind,” I said.
“No. It’s okay.” His voice had lost the edge it had gained. “After you… had your… encounter with that angel demon thing… some stuff happened.”
“That’s not telling me much.” I didn’t look around but kept walking down the corridor, which had shifted from a hallway to a stone tunnel.
Kazuko’s soft, matter-of-fact voice floated up from the back. “After the altercation with the entity who attacked you, we were blown apart, God put Daniel back together: complete with his eye, but missing the wisdom of Odin. It turns out that God would need the All-Father’s wisdom to restore you. Daniel then found a way to regain what he needed. He got the wisdom back, gave an eye in exchange, and you know the rest.”
I stopped and shone the light in her face. She didn’t wince at the sudden glare. “I’m sorry. Can you go over that again?”