The Past, The Present and The Future
“The Seven Houses were then created in the hopes of providing better guidance and support to humanity” Elder Caesar concluded as he ended his introductory spiel.
The months had flown by and the first years once again found themselves in the War room. Elder Caesar thought it would be useful to start with his own presentation highlighting how humanity tied into the creation of the College. He also made an effort to emphasise why it was so important that the young Nephilim approached their studies with the upmost respect. It was unlike him to address them in such matters as he felt you couldn’t force students to learn. He preferred his best students to have been motivated by their own drive and determination. However, once that graduated they would each be in charge of a helping humans with their control of a certain sin. He would be doing them a disservice if he didn’t remind them just how much of necessity it was to be diligent in their custodianship of humanity.
“All angels created before the Fall have silver eyes. As these were the only eye colour angels possessed before the creation of the Celestial Houses. Contrary to common belief our hair did not just turn silver to match, a lot of us just have silver hair because we are old. Or should I say of a mature brand of angelic stock.” Caesar continued trying to lighten up the mood. The expression on Elder Dina’s face showed that like the other Principal Masters, she was rather amused be her colleague’s comedic efforts. Even though only she and Caesar shared the tell-tale silver strands that hinted at their lengthy existence. Compared to him she felt that though she had lived her life so far to the fullest, she had sacrificed many other things in the name of her duty.
A seed of emptiness had sprouted in her heart hundreds of years ago at the thought of never finding true love. Caesar’s joke had reminded her that it had now blossomed into a well-formed harbinger ofsadness, with each petal acting as a reminder of how she would never have a soul-mate to call her own. She had her friends and her students but there was no one who could sense that despair she felt, since they all bought into her happy exterior. However Dina was the angel of learning and she had used all this time to learn everything she could about herself. She had seen so many angels come and go, the College acted as an amazing representation of her life’s work. Besides she had never felt that spark of attraction for any of the males she had met in her long life. Which meant God hadn’t put her in the path of the right being yet, it was not like she had let love pass her by. If she ever did find the right life companion she would let nothing get in her way, for she understood just how important such a connection was. She would keep putting everything into her work and put all other matters in God’s hands.
“Alright Caesar that’s enough of the theatrics.” Dina announced.
It was time for the presentations.
“Who would like to go first? Be quick about it, we haven’t got all day” The thunderous voice of Elder Tabbris echoed around the room. He received no response and quickly decided to speed up matters. Though well prepared the students were still not completely sure of the proceedings after the presentation in terms of questioning, so they were all reluctant to act as the initial sacrificial lambs.
“I won’t ask again.” He said sternly. On his many walks around campus he had seen each of the students preparing for the presentations so he knew that they were all ready. So, if he had to pick a group at random he wouldn’t feel too bad. They would thank him later because the silence was absolutely torturous.
“We’ll go first Elder Tabbris” Imra confidently responded. Her other six group members looking anything but confident quickly agreed. There saw no chance of any other group volunteering and the quicker they presented the quicker it would be over.
The Elders then left that stage and integrated themselves amongst the students in the audience. This was very unorthodox and the students didn’t know quite what to make of it. Though the two young angels that had Elder Tabbris squashed between them looked more than happy. They were just focusing on remembering how to breathe. Their friends were going to want all the details concerning what it was like to be that close to him later on.
It seemed the day was going to be full of surprises. Though the seamless and professional presentation of Imra’s group was expected. Everyone in the War Room had also expected Imra to take the lead and talk for practically all the time the group had been given. Instead she simply introduced the group and provided a conclusion of the main points at the end. Throughout their talk she offered encouraging smiles to her teammates dulling their nerves and increasing the confidence. They finished and accepted the applause as a group. They then looked out at the crowd expectantly.
“What an excellent start. My question concerns how you decided to work as a group?” Dina queried. It seemed that the Elders would provide a round of questioning following each presentation, so the other students started to mentally prepare for any questions that they too could be asked.
The group was silent and Imra internally sighed, it seemed the others had expected her to lead if they were questioned after their presentation.
“Elder Dina I have to say that I left the others very little choice. As soon as the announcement was made I recalled the best students in the Understanding Humanity classes. By best students, I mean the ones who seemed to easily grasp the principles of humanity as well as possessing a keen sense of balance and understanding in regards to their strengths and weaknesses. It made more sense to bring people together who could not only teach me a great deal but could benefit greatly from each other’s company.” Imra replied and though her characteristic bluntness permeated every word she had gained a newfound respect from everyone in the room. She had been honest in showing her respect both for the Elder she was addressing and more importantly her teammates.
“Thank you very much” Dina said suggesting she had finished her line of questioning, which was confirmed when she nodded at Tabbris to continue.
Elder Tabbris was perhaps the only being in the room not bewildered by Imra’s immense display of character. He found that they both spoke the same language of bluntness which had led to some very interesting conversations whenever he met the young angel on his daily rounds. He liked to think of her as the daughter he never had. Feeling there were no apparent issues he could pick at he too nodded to Caesar to continue.
“Now I would like to open up the presentations key ideas for discussion” Caesar suggested. The young angels were now getting a better understanding of what this assessment entailed. It was not necessarily the presentation that was important but the ideas behind it. It was not a competition but an evaluation of all that they had learnt so far. There would be no criticism as such just prodding by the Elders to encourage angels to delve into and explain their ideas further. This would then help them understand their purpose better. It was a situation in which Imra excelled even more than usual, she encouraged her peers to question their own thoughts and ideas whilst showing no disregard for their opinions.
The last group that presented were by far the best. Though Imra’s group had a perfect delivery you could tell it was born of practice. This last group had an easy harmony that none of the students were surprised by. It was of course made up of Daniel, Archon, Ramiel, Sablo, Michael, Nathaniel and Micah. Their presentation seemed effortless and their delivery earnest, within the allotted time they all managed speak and put across the points that mattered most to them. Unlike most of the other groups who had 2 or 3 designated speakers in order to avoid going over the time limit.
The Elders were deeply impressed but they didn’t show it openly. The cohesiveness of the group was admirable and it was clear that they were all bound by their love and respect for one another as brothers. A silent look was shared amongst the Elders scattered across the room, they would test the group and see how they reacted. They had to make sure that their closeness was not the only reason for the groups success, perhaps there would come a day where they would part ways. They had to be just as brilliant individually as they were together.
“Obviously you are all close friends. Why did not use this project as an opportunity to collaborate with other students? Were you simply looking for the easy way out?” Dina proclaimed adding unnecessary edge to her voice.
All eyes rested on the seven young angels standing on the stage, no one was enjoying it more than Imra. She felt the Headmistress had asked a fair question and she too was ready to see if the group could keep up their perfect graces when tested. Between the seven of them they knew Archon was best suited to start answering the question as he could put a positive spin on anything. Someone else would then conclude and tie up any lose ends.
“With all due respect Elder Dina, I feel I can speak for the others when I say it is not a question of us excluding ourselves or seeing our other classmates as inadequate. When we are in our classes we all find it very beneficial to mix with every kind of student so they can enhance our world view. In our free time every student in here knows they are welcome to join us either in the campus gardens or in our dorm and many do. This opportunity was therefore not necessary in the sense of allowing us to get to know our peers better. As you know we all live together and that has allowed us to develop a closeness to one another that is greater than most human siblings. Since we know each other so well it was actually in some ways more difficult to work on a project together. It required us to not be afraid of each other’s feelings in order to provide a desirable end product.” Archon politely said.
“In a week we will also all go through the Changing and it is very unlikely we will all fall in the same House. However, our friendship will grow and continue even if we are separated throughout the day because we are not just friends but each other’s counsel. In supporting each other we feel that we have bettered each and every one of our own individual characteristics. Which will bode us well for next year and beyond.” Michael concluded
“Well you have certainly told me” Dina retorted her voice now decorated with respect and pleasant surprise.
“Caesar, Tabbris, Eve, Evangeline. Anything to add?” The Headmistress continued.
With the way the two young angels had handled themselves even Imra expected that to be it. However, the room was sorely mistaken. Each Elder asked a difficult question of their own as the heads of the students moved back and forth as if they were watching a human tennis match between the stage and the crowd. The other group members eased themselves into the conversation when necessary. They were a formidable unit.
“I have to say that I personally don’t think that Demons are the issue. If I believed that then I would find it very hard to see sense in anything we do. Though my time with Daniel and all the others has taught me that there is a time for kindness and there is a time for strength. Kindness cannot be the only thing that governs your actions. Especially when facing a Demon on Earth as you can’t force any being, Demon or not to show you kindness in return. It is Lucifer who must change the way he chooses his hell keepers, by picking the worst of the worst he thinks it prevents them being weak. However, it is the redeemed spirits who are accepting their punishments that should be chosen. For they understand just how heinous acts of hate are, which gives them even more of a drive to help other spirits to do the same. This is however not the reality and in real life combat you don’t have time to contemplate what could have been. You act in the protection of yourself and most importantly humanity”. Nathaniel’s response to the last question had left the room in utter awe. Elder Eve had asked the group what they believed to be the solution to the issue of Demons. Having heard him previously speak on the subject the others knew this was Nathaniel’s moment to shine and shine he did.
The silence was broken by deafening clapping from only one pair of hands. They belonged to those of Elder Tabbris and showed just how much Nathaniel’s words had really touched him. He had such a tough persona because he knew the evil Demon’s possessed within their hearts. He had watched many of his students struggle with the idea they were once human too and that would get them killed if they were not careful. Nathaniel had been the same but he had experienced a great change in his mentality earlier in the year. Now he could see why and Tabbris was sure that his words would help other students like him by allowing them to see Warfare from the necessary perspective.
“Right, Dina do you want to wrap this up. I am ready to bring an end to all this” Tabbris grunted now a little embarrassed he had let the room see under past his armour to the big heart he wore underneath it.
Sensing his embarrassment even though she thought it was rather adorable. Elder Dina dismissed all the students. They sat patiently waiting for the Elders to leave first. The female angel sat on Tabbris’s right nearest to the steps to the entrance silently prayed for him to lose balance as he quickly escaped the room consequently falling right into her lap. Unfortunately for her that didn’t happen and he managed to make his hasty exit whilst remaining very firmly on his feet.
Once the Elders had left the room the angels erupted into celebratory jubilations and congratulations. Patting each other on the back as they knew they had all passed, some not with flying colours but they had passed nonetheless.
Without realising it they had explored the past, the present and the future of not just humanity by all of creation. Each angel now understood that they were the glue that held the harmonious existence of God’s creatures together. The gifts that were revealed to them in the Changing wouldn’t change that but enhance this mindset. Even though the ceremony was only seven days away they were all just a little less nervous when considering what was to come.