Beacon City

Ellie Welkin survives the Final Battle at Normandy. After a fairly lengthy recovery period, she tries to continue with school as normal, preparing for college. It doesn't work for long, though; there are several things she can't get out of her mind. Everything that went before caused her to challenge her faith, her understanding of the world, and her course in life. She begins one of the most painfully retarded courtships ever by dating Devo Devony's brother Kirwin, and keeps trying to make sense of everything. She's only able to distract herself for so long, and finds herself wandering at night looking for the Fallen who still has Narcoriel's soul. She had only a brief glimpse of him months earlier, but with the Peace Accord, she knows he may have decided to take his own soul back. She convinces herself that he's local and tells no one where she's going until Devo catches on one evening during one of her walks, and the two have some truly odd conversations in the ensuing months and whack the occasional leftover zombie.

Kobal finally finds her and makes her an offer: she can have Narcoriel back if she can convince him of her faith. He makes an experiment of her as a last ditch effort to amuse himself at the expense of an angelic. He doesn't realize how much more is at stake; he needs the answer, needs to know that faith can last despite so much turmoil and what both he and Ellie see as evidence to the contrary. She bests him and wins Narcoriel back - then proceeds to wear him around her own neck, uncertain of what to do with him. She's convinced, somewhere in the back of her mind and among 5,000 years worth of memories, that she's let him down somehow, beginning with the near destruction of the very tower she had been sworn to protect.

As she watches the first children of the new peaceful era be born, she considers her own place on the Council of Sarim and finally agrees to settle down. She and Kirwin marry in 2004, near the end of her first four years of school, and after several strange conversation with Kirwin, Demi and Devo, releases Narcoriel's soul to go where it will. Luckily it comes back to her, and she and Kirwin dub their first child Nicholas. She carries him around nearly everywhere she goes, including to class, and he is bizarrely quiet and behaves as if he is listening carefully to everything that goes on around him. Two years later, while Ellie is in graduate school working on her double doctorate in astrophysics and meteorology, Caitlin Devony is born transcended and turns out to be the Angel of Departures. Both grandmothers jump in to help and life is not nearly as stressful as it sounds. Ellie and Kirwin are devoted parents but never pass up the chance to stroll somewhere alone hand-in-hand. While Ellie keeps her angelic side very low key and rarely shows it, Nick can only stand being surrounded by angels at home and school so much by the time he's four and begins school at St. Thomass. He coughs up his key at age four and is a much noisier and happier angel after that, and only occasionally brings up odd memories from his only other incarnation.

Kieran Devony is born several years later, and the fact that he is mortal both enchants and terrifies his parents. He is the image of Kieran and only slowly begins to realize that in this world, he's the one who's different, not his siblings. As first generation of House Sahaqiel, he is often closely shadowed by his older siblings and by his aunt Devo for fear that the Nephilim will attempt to subvert him in some way.

more to come...