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A Minor Man (Part IV)

Part IV: The Conclusion

---------Continued from "A Minor Man", "A Minor Man (Part II)", and "A Minor Man (Part III)"------------

Max is dead now, Karen is using the pendulum over the map that Max had, and Simon gets up to go to Max's room. The door closes, Simon grabs the doorknob to open it but the door won't budge. Karen feels a headache coming but she's wondering something: How did Max know when to tell her to run?

"Karen, is the map lighting up?" Asked Simon.

"No! I don't know what this is supposed to do," replied Karen.

The map gets a little light but her headache is becoming increasingly stronger, Simon goes to Max's dad's room. He grabs a lighter, the invisible force pushes him against the wall. Karen is close to succumbing to her headache but she's managing to hold the pendulum over the map.

Max wakes up in a plane of existence, he isn't in heaven or hell but he is in limbo. The best way to describe for him is like being in Silent Hill, he's heard about it but this is the first time he's been there. An angel walks in to talk to him, it's Michael. They're old friends but they do have a bit of a rivalry.

"Max, you never fail to amaze me with your company," says Michael as he approaches him.

Max raises his arms, happy to see a familiar face, "Michael, you don't look a day over 1,674. When was the last time I saw you?" Asked Max.

"I believe when I had you at the end of my sword and you came out stronger somehow," replied Michael with a hint of shade thrown at Max.

"Well, you know better than to try and kill the world especially when I live in it," snarked Max.

"What're you doing here, anyway?" Asked Michael.

"I'm trying to find out what's going after Karen," replied Max.

"Oh, yeah, I know exactly who's going after her," said Michael.

"Who? It's a who?" Asked Max.

"It's almost always a who," replied Michael.

"Well, let's hurry because Karen doesn't have a lot of time and Simon is nowhere near my level," said Max.

Back at the house, Karen is hunched over but she's still managing to hold the pendulum over the map. Simon gets Max's lighter before breaking down the door to Max's room, he runs to get to Karen but the force throws him to the wall and pins him on it.

"Karen, ask it if Max is nearby!" yelled Simon.

Karen wearily sits up and asks, "Is... Is Max... Is Max nearby?"

The pendulum moves toward the top left at "rephrase," Karen is annoyed but she understands what's going on now. She grabs the map carefully while holding the pendulum and sets the map on the floor near her, "Is Max coming back here?" asks Karen.

It stops swinging at the center and it moves to 'yes', Simon sees that he's coming back.

"Hurry back, you bastard!" yelled Simon.

Simon's neck snaps.

"Hurry up, Max!" yells Karen.

Max and Michael come to a small entrance that leads to where Karen is. A feather on the ground is noticed by Max, he picks it up and it's white but it has some black in it as well. Max knows exactly who he's dealing with.

"Gabriel," said Max.

"Think you'll need my help?" asked Michael.

"I'll let you know when things get dirtier than expected," replied Max.

He goes to the entrance but Michael stops him, "Wait! Before you go, you need some armor."

"Thanks, Mike but I don't need your stuff, man," said Max.

"Not from me," said Michael as he hands Max a black trench coat but it's nothing like the one he's already wearing.

"Dad's trench coat," said Max as he takes it. He takes off his trench coat and puts on his Dad's coat, it flips its collar up.

"Damn, you really do look like your dad," said Michael.

Max runs into the entrance and he comes back to life, his body on the ground disappears. Karen looks at Max, he smiles at her.

"Did you miss me?" Asked Max.

"Just shut up and figure out what's going on," replied Karen with a smirk.

Max marks a sigil on himself by cutting his thumb and drawing it on his arm to be invisible, the pendulum moves itself and it scratches something on the map. Karen notices what it's saying and she's surprised at where it came from.

"Come on, Gabriel! I know it's you!" yelled Max.

Karen looks around, her headache isn't much of a bother anymore but she knows something is there and it's going to put up a fight. It's near her now, Max goes to Karen and it tries to grab her. Max stops it but he's not strong enough, his sigil is wiped off and he appears again. Gabriel comes out and grabs him by the neck, he lifts Max like he weighs nothing to pin him against the wall.

"Max, Max, Max," said Gabriel. "You are a thorn in my side, you know that?"

"Well, if you were a woman, my good looks would be the only reason you like seeing me," said Max.

Karen can't believe that she's really seeing an angel but she also can't believe that Gabriel tried to kill her.

"I thought it was something else trying to kill me instead of an angel," said Karen. "I thought you were supposed to protect us."

Gabriel looks to her, "I am but I've grown tired of protecting humanity, you always make the same mistake that He tells you not to do."

"So what? You want to restart the world?" asked Max.

"You have to break eggs if you want to make an omelet, remember?" replied Gabriel.

Simon wakes up. He sees what's going on so he stays still on the floor but he slowly moves his left hand, where the lighter is, above his head. Max sees Simon moving a little.

"Last time I checked, I'm pretty sure it's the big guy's decision to do that," said Max.

"Spare me the heroics, Max. You and I both know that you're nowhere near pure," said Gabriel. "Your father even knows that."

"I may not be pure but I know I'm not blind to the things around me," said Max as he extends his arm.

The lighter in Simon's hand open, the flame ignites into a bigger flame. It burns Gabriel's wings, he releases Max in pain.

Max runs to Karen, Simon gets up, Gabriel grabs Max. He flies to the ceiling so he drops Max but Max summons a magic circle a few feet above the ground. He hits the circle, he quickly rolls from it. Gabriel swoops down to get Karen but Max forgot how fast the angel was since their last encounter.

"No!" yelled Max.

He summons another magic circle and throws it at Gabriel who barely touches Karen when the circle gets between her and Gabriel. Simon tosses the lighter to Max, Max catches it.

"Leave her alone!" yelled Max. He summons another fire but he holds it in his hand.

"Or what?" asked Gabriel.

"You'll be a flightless angel," replied Max.

The room lights up and Michael comes in, "You need my help?" asked Michael.

"Long enough to get Karen away plus I have an idea and she won't like it," replied Max.

Gabriel dashes to Max so Max tosses the fire at Gabriel as a distraction and jumps out of the way, Michael fights Gabriel.

"Max, what the hell is going on?" asked Karen as Max approaches her.

"Two angels are fighting over you and I'm the best chance you have, let's go!" replied Max.

Max, Karen, and Simon get out of the house to get to Simon's car but Max hesitates. Gabriel tries to grab Karen again, Michael intervenes by grabbing him and holding him on the ground. The angels writhe around on the ground, Max looks at Michael before leaving to Simon's car.

"GO! Thank me later!" yelled Michael as he struggles with his brother.

Max runs to the car where Simon and Karen are waiting in the car, Max hops in. Michael gets thrown out of the window, Simon starts the car and puts it in reverse. Gabriel sees this, he jumps to the car and Max summons magic circles to protect Karen and Simon. He leans out of the window to fight with Gabriel, Michael gets up and he flies to Gabriel. He manages to pull him from the car but Max gets dragged out with them.

"MAX!" yelled Karen as Simon stops the car when he turns it around to go forward.

Max knows that Gabriel isn't going to stop so now, he knows what he has to do. It's time for his idea to go into full effect.

"Karen, come on!" yelled Max.

She gets out of the car so she runs to Max, Gabriel gets up and tries to get her again but Max throws a hellfire at him by igniting his lighter. Gabriel is thrown in the opposite direction, Max meets her halfway by running to her as well. Michael goes to them, "Is it time to go?" asked Michael.

"Yeah. Let's go," replied Max.

"Where are we going?" asked Karen.

"Do you trust me?" asked Max.

"No." replied Karen.

"Well, then, I guess we have to change that," replied Max.

Max opens a path to Hell, "We have to run. Gabriel will chase us no matter what," added Max.

"Good luck, Max," said Michael.

"Hey, I owe you, for sure, Mike," said Max.

Max and Karen run onto the path and Gabriel flies after them, he's gaining on them but he's not as fast as he is back on Earth. The fiery place is new to Karen, she can't breathe too well since it's hard to catch her breath because she's breathing sulfur. Demons notice Max is running toward the entrance so they all roar, Karen collapses but Max helps her up.

"Come on, doll face. Don't quit now," said Max.

They continue to run while Gabriel is closing the space between him and getting Karen.

"You're only delaying the inevitable, Max! I'm restarting the world and I don't care who I have to kill in order to get her!" yelled Gabriel.

"Yeah, last time the world restarted, a lot of people became dumber over the years!" said Max.

"That's why we do this! It's a constant trial and error with you guys and you're beyond the error line!" said Gabriel.

Karen is falling in and out of consciousness at this point, she can't go on anymore so she falls. Max kneels and rests her head on his lap. Gabriel approaches them, Max has an idea to get them out.

"I guess you're right then, people are already stupid and the world keeps going to shit. So if you want to bring Hell on earth in order to restart it, I won't get in your way," said Max.

Gabriel smirks at the seemingly defeated Max, "I knew you'd come to your senses. Give her to me and I can give you more than a new world, you'll be given eternal life," said Gabriel.

"Ahhhh, eternal life in a new world. There's one problem with your promise though," said Max.

"And what's that?" asked Gabriel.

"I'm fine with the shitty world I live in now," replied Max.

Max opens the entrance of Hell and opens a path back to Earth in the ground, the demons storm from the gate towards Max and Gabriel but he holds on to Karen and quickly rolls into the path he opened back to Earth. Gabriel tries to get away but he's not fast enough so he fights his way out, he's unlucky in his efforts since he gets quickly overwhelmed and they rip him apart.

Max and Karen end up back on Earth, Max takes off his coat and rolls it into a pillow. He sets her head on the coat, "Simon!" yelled Max.

Simon gets out of the car, he runs to Max and they carry her back to the car. They put Karen in the back, Max goes back to grab his coat. Simon gets in the driver's seat and Max sits in the passenger's seat. Simon drives off.

In the morning, Karen wakes up and sees that Max is asleep while Simon is driving. They're arriving in New Orleans and it's a lot of open roads, Karen attacks Max. He wakes up to Karen punching him, he grabs her hands.

"What the hell is wrong with you?!" asked Max.

"Did you really take me to Hell with you?! I almost died because of you!" snapped Karen.

"Well, it worked! Gabriel isn't after us anymore," said Max.

Karen realizes this and she yanks her hands back, she's happy that everything is over. "So I can go home now, right?" asked Karen.

Max gives a short laugh since he knows what her reaction will be but he hits her with it anyway, "No." replied Max.

"What?! What do you mean 'no'?" asked Karen.

"Your life changed the day your friend died but it also changed for the better when you met me. Also, you're part of something bigger now," replied Max.

Karen looks out into the open road, she knows that nothing will be the same anymore. Max opens the glove compartment, he grabs a plastic bag that's holding something and unwraps it. It's an old bracelet that was given to him, Karen notices what's in his hand.

"Your sister wanted me to tell you that she doesn't blame you," said Karen.

Max looks at her, "What do you mean?" asked Max.

"I met your sister for a bit. She wanted me to let you know that her death wasn't your fault," replied Karen.

Max looks forward at the open road, Simon looks at him for a second and puts his hand on his shoulder. A tear wells up in Max's eye, he grabs a cigarette from the glove compartment and gets his lighter from his coat, he lights it. A smile wipes across his face after he takes a puff.

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