The Archangel of New Dam: Episode 4

The Archangel of New Dam: Episode 4

The Archangel of New Dam: Episode 4

Laila

Josiah: Have to cancel tonight. I’ll try to make it up to you tomorrow.

Laila looked at the message and sighed. Being an NDCC player, she knew that Josiah was incredibly busy during NDCC preparations, but it proved to be somewhat frustrating for her so far. He trained almost non-stop and had a lot of publicity engagements.

She was supportive, of course. But if Josiah didn’t feel so obligated to make promises he couldn’t keep that made him feel guilty, the whole thing would be less… tiring.

Laila: Don’t worry, we’ll talk tomorrow. Good luck.

She put her phone away and looked into the laboratory. Dana caught her eye and did a silly dance which made Laila laugh before her attention was pulled to the landline that kept flashing ‘reception’.

Laila answered. “Yes?”

“The Archangel is here to speak with you. Shall I send him to your office?” She could practically hear the smile through Naeve’s voice. 

Her damned heart skipped a beat. “Yeah, sure. Send him over.”

She glanced around the room and quickly scooped away her leftover lunch in the bin underneath her desk. 

The Archangel of New Dam city stepped into the office, and the space seemed to shrink immediately. “Good afternoon,” he said to her, with that same dazzling smile he usually wore on his perfectly curved lips. 

Sinful lips, her mind corrected, and she tried not to cringe at herself.

“Hello,” she just replied and shot him a careful smile back.

Dominic sat down in the chair before her desk and lounged back casually—wings tucked in tight, resting behind him. “Aren’t scientists supposed to be in the lab 24/7?” he asked and smiled close-lipped.

Laila studied him but found that he was sincere. She shook her head. “A large part of the job is registering and analyzing data. But I do that a lot, too—working in the lab,” she clarified.

He nodded and looked around the office before his gaze landed back on her again. “So, I’ve read your research, and I’ve written down a plan I think would fit it perfectly.”

Blandly, she stared at him. “You’ve read my research?”

That’s what interests you from what I’ve just said?” He cocked an eyebrow.

She shook her head wildly. “No, no, of course not. It’s just that it’s a large paper.” 

The Archangel shrugged and continued his talk. “Do you want to hear the plan I’ve come up with?”

“Yes, please,” Laila quickly said. 

She was positively impressed. Even Josiah hadn’t read the whole thing. She doubted that most people had read past the summary at all. 

Dominic

She had seemed genuinely surprised that he had read her research, Dominic realized. It made him somewhat irritated.

True, he hadn’t understood half of what had the research paper had been about, but he had hired a scientist to clarify any question he had. He wanted to impress Laila Cuprum, yes, but he had an obligation to the city as well.

“I thought that—as the data and conclusions make clear that most magic sickness cases happen with the fae, demon, and angel populations—we should start a campaign with those groups.

“Regarding the social climate, I recognize that based on this fact, there’s a lot of unrest within these groups. Fae, demons, and angels have a larger life span, thus an increased chance of being affected by magic sickness. Where halves can have the same potential life span and even powers but don’t seem to get affected by the disease, they seem to have become a target of scrutiny.” 

Laila looked at him intently, waiting for him to continue. 

Dominic did: “I’ve known about the hostility, but no campaign ever seemed to work to close the gap between these groups. But I think that a magic sickness breakthrough—like the one you have provided—could have a great societal impact as well as health-wise.”

She nodded to herself and bit her lip.

“Of course,” Dominic said. “I don’t want to put you into a situation, or position you’re not comfortable in or don’t want to be put in at all. I also don’t want to assume that you’re the one to solve this problem, especially when—”

“I’ll do it,” Laila quickly interjected.

He looked at her in surprise. Dominic hadn’t thought it would have been this easy. “You really want to?”

“I do,” she said again. “I actually love the idea of my research bringing about a domino effect. Wouldn’t it be ironic if the solution to the problem came from someone they tried to blame?”

Slowly, a sly smile started to form on Dom’s face. “It would be.”

Laila

Laila knew that not all wholes shared the discriminating opinion that halves were the problem. Like Dana, most of them didn’t. A few loud and extremely annoying wholes made problems out of thin air—whenever it suited their imperfections.

“A campaign with the fae, angels, and demons?” she asked him again. “What kind of campaign did you have in mind?”

The Archangel sat up straighter and seemed genuinely excited by his own idea, which was cute.

He was cute, her mind interjected again.

Shut up, she thought.

“Well, most importantly: you can give several talks in every region, providing them with practical information and action steps—so people can learn to detect it at an earlier stage, where the regular medicine still works enough to slow it down. And you will have enough time to develop your follow-up research into more advanced drugs,” he said.

More time. Laila nodded eagerly.

“But then I also would like to give the physicians and medical professionals in each region an opportunity to ask you questions and get to know your work and who you are—so they feel comfortable with you. I want them to see you as the expert to go to with their inquiries on magic sickness so that they can improve their patient’s care.”

She loved it. She absolutely did, and she hadn’t expected that.

“Wow,” she said breathlessly. “That’s—that’s amazing.”

He beamed. 

“Thank you, my—” she cut herself off and looked at him hopefully. “Dominic?”

The Archangel barked a laugh. “Your Dominic it is.”

Laila felt her cheeks burn. “I didn’t mean to—I mean, I—” she stumbled.

Dominic smiled at her and cocked his head. “I understand. We’ll be seeing a lot of each other. Dominic is just fine, or Dom—whatever you prefer.”

She inhaled. “Dom,” she said pensively, tasting the word. “I like that.”

The Archangel had surprised her more than once this evening, and even that still came as a surprise.

Dom took his phone from his suit jacket and started typing. “I’ve sent you the plan in more detail, so you can look it over before you commit yourself to anything,” he said. “I want you to be one hundred percent sure you want this because once you’ve committed, I won’t let you walk away anymore.”

The Archangel smiled like he made a joke, but Laila’s hammering heart suggested something else. Her screen bleeped as she received the plan, and she looked away. “Alright, I’ll do that. Thank you again—so much.”He stood suddenly and stretched his wings elaborately. Then Dom looked at her, his eyes scanning her face, once before he nodded and walked away.

Copyright 2021 © Britt van den Elzen

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Britt van den Elzen

Hi! I’m Britt, a 20-something creative entrepreneur from the Netherlands. I’m passionate about all things magic and can often be found dreaming about fictional worlds. The greatest love of my life is storytelling and I’ve been reading and watching stories ever since I can remember. ✨

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