Eyes are upon me. Eyes are continuously upon me. My reactions are relentlessly weighed and judged. I must counter with an appropriate response for all others will react as I. I am thankful I am within my own study and there are only two beings here to witness my features.
It is an effort but I manage a smile and I nod affably, dismissing Arch Raphael.
My assistant stands tight in the corner of the room, gripping a clipboard as if it is life support. Immense, cumbersome Lumpas wings curl over his shoulders in an effort to console. Had I known what information Raphael was going to divulge I would have dismissed him. I had not been prepared.
Incapable of dealing with my own personal grief I rise from my wooden chair, the wheels spinning as it rolls against the marble floor. My own wings, long and thin, drag along the ground. They are a rare form given the name Pylon. I usually end up stepping on them more so than not. I have come to resent their existence and tend to do without them most of the time.
“Fulton.” I call to him, coaxing him from self-induced shock. I fold my brown robes, clasping my hands, and stand before him.
Leisurely, his brown eyes make their way up to me. The fear is undeniably tangible. I must quell the rising doubts before he leaves this office.
Fulton is a new assistant and though I trust him truly, news of this caliber is likely to slip from his lips without much fault of his own. I myself need someone to talk too but when you are the Chancellor of Heaven, Second only to God Himself, who is it that I confide in? I must relish in this tragedy alone and for the first time, I do find myself completely alone.
God is dying.
It is a fact that I am no longer able to overlook. God has never been sick, injured, or upset in all the time I’ve been beside Him. Though there were times when He would disappear to the Earth world, I always knew He would come back and never feared.
Now there will be a time when God will be no more.
How will I go on? How will I wake knowing that God will not be there? How will I set foot in this office knowing I will not have to set up God’s daily schedule? How will I think, work, sleep, move, without God there to support me?
This is daft reflection, moments that as the Supreme Chancellor, I am not allowed to have.
“Fulton.” I call to his awareness once over. “God will never die.”
Tears spark in his eyes and his lips shudder as he stammers in retort, “But Arch Raphael said--”
“You misinterpreted. Those words were not for you to hear and are far above your understanding. God will never die. Trust in me and trust in God.”
Fulton stabilizes instantaneously. I do not lie to him. I simply alter his perception. The concept of God will forever live on even if the being ceases to exist.
“Of course, your grace.” He bows, “Forgive me.”
I pat his shoulder, “Of course not. You did nothing. Did you have news for me? Before Arch Raphael interrupted, you brought something from the Merci?”
As easy as that, he displaces his misery. I wish I could fool myself so guilelessly. Unfortunately, I comprehend the implications of death more severely but on a more personal level.
For twelve thousand years, God has been my companion. He and I are frequently speaking, if not arguing, about random issues. I am of human material and thus have a temper, a heartbeat, and an ego. Whom will I debate with now, when the last creature in all three universes that can still make me red in aggravation, dies?
I twist around to return to my seat as Fulton clears his throat, addressing the issue brought up by the Merci. “The Merci regrettably informs you that two of the seven Sins made their way to the Earth plain.”
I unsurely raise a gray brow. I am a skeptic when the Merci reports such precarious news. They receive second-hand information from resources that are not entirely trust-worthy. I would never say such a thing to their face however. This judicial board of Heaven Patron Angels think themselves too majestic to ever be lied to by Earth Angel commoners.
Fulton places down a paper before my desk and I grip its edges, reading it fleetingly, marking the names of their resources. I keep any form of alertness from my response. I do not wish to arouse any distress but this is not pleasant news.
“It seems they were after Erelim Elder Fallen Tymician.”
I snap up in attention, “Did he escape?”
Fulton stutters at my sudden desperation. “T. The Merci does not believe so. A significant drop of Light vanished from Earth along with the Sins’ departure. The Grigori reports no sightings in Sheol. The Elders struggle in the decision to declare his passing.”
I cover my mouth, resting my elbow upon the wooden armrest of the chair.
The day Tymician stepped into Heaven plays in my memories. Over ten thousand years ago, he was so thin and frail with his small dentai wings curved around him. His green eyes wandered over everything, interested in it all but he spoke not a word, too afraid of his own voice. His only life on Earth had been a difficult one and it left him fearful. Yet everyday he spent in the Light of God, he became more confident. When he smiled, others fastened to him hypnotized. He loved to listen, to make others feel important, and to rebuild broken hearts. He grew into a good man standing proudly beside Lucius--
“Your majesty?” Fulton inquires. “Isn’t this a good thing? Wasn’t he a bad man?”
I straighten, clearing my throat of any emotion. “No. Fallen are not bad people, Fulton. They simply have different beliefs than us.”
I do not go on. I could have explained how Tymician saved the Earth on many occasions. How he saved millions of Souls from the Darkness. I could explain how well he loved God and God’s three beautiful children. I could say, I loved him fiercely as my son. That I felt his bold character sprung from me. Somehow I figured it would fall on deaf ears.
Recently, in the past few centuries, Angels believe they are the better breed. Nothing I say now will alter the water they drink. Too many decades of poison soak in their Souls.
I send Fulton on his way and when the door shuts, I am motionless in the silence. I know there are plenty of things I could be doing and I should be doing but I only sit and stare.
I have lost so many Angels and Fallen that at times like this I can’t help but recall their names and their lives. So many yet I can go through the list with accurate haste. Each one stings as much as the one before it. There are those that didn’t make it past childhood and those that managed to fulfill all the goals I could ever hope for.
To lose Tymician, it is a shock to my senses. I know grief well but tears have rarely come to me for so many years. With the looming news of God dying, I find them readily building in my eyes.
I’ve no time, I tell myself, sitting up and adjusting the papers on my desk.
The Merci informed me kindly that Lucius builds himself an army. They instruct I prepare the Earth for its inevitable war.
The most important document given to me lies to the right of me. I’ve ignored it but now, I hold it in my aged hands.
It is the list of human Prophets. I read the names rapidly with absentminded care. Lexie Pulse, London. Melissa Gomez, Mexico. Inoue Toshi, Japan. Joshua Randle, US. Etsay Tsheke, Africa. Sable Hunters, US.
Only six. Out of billions of humans: There are only six that can handle a gift from God.
I slap the paper down, exasperated.
The Merci must realize what kind of man Lucius is by now. He does foolish things. He speaks of revolution and uprising on a daily basis. It is the only thing that entertains him. He wants attention so instead of feeding into a war, shower him with love, give him gifts and presents, show him that the world has not forgotten his existence and he will cease his despair. He will return to hunting Alu and mistreating the Voids.
To give acknowledgment to his irrationality is to show fear. Lucius craves fear because he craves weakness.
I cannot force the Angel population to understand a man they have never met. They see him as a despot, as a powerful creature with the blood of God, who has hundreds of thousands at his command.
I raised Lucius. He may be powerful and he may have thousands in his control but he is still a good man. He needs love just as much as anyone else does. God can’t love him in Sheol, He can’t reach into the depths of Hell. Tymician realized that, it is the reason he Fell, following his best friend, putting Lucius first despite how much he himself would lose. Now if Tymician is dead, who will love my nephew?
I lean back in my chair.
I am in a negative mood today. It is very unlike me. I am typically full of laughter and jokes with never a bad thought springing from my lips. I do not like it one bit.
I flick my gaze up to find Arch Michael in my doorway. Being the youngest of the Arch family, his Soul flickers with anxiety and a child’s excitement. The body its in is a twenty year old with a fresh young face, soft, dark skin which contrasts with the brightness of his blue eyes. He nervously gazes at me, holding the hilt of his sword as he waits for permission to enter.
Michael wears specially designed armor, gold plates wrapped around his midsection kept in place by black stripes over his thick shoulders. A metal, gold-plated skirt hangs down to the middle of his wide thighs and upon his feet are black sandals with straps, which coil all the way up to his knee. The body is a man, no doubt there. But he is a child at his core and children do not belong in warrior clothing.
His short, dentai wings flicker in his anxiousness as I stare. His gaze constantly drops to the floor, unsure of what to do next.
“Michael.” I greet happily and point to a chair. I have long ago lost any reverence for Archs. They are beautiful and herculean creatures no doubt and if I were ever young and Newborn, they would surely bring inspiration. As it is, I was present for each of their entries to Heaven and I helped condition them to their reign. They are as close to my own children as any will be.
He sits awkwardly. The sword clipped at his waist bangs against the chair’s armrest, gaining my quick attention. He tampers with it many times in an effort to make it fit properly before finally unhooking it and setting it on his lap, tapping his fingers and forcing a thin smile.
The Arch family, and along with my own opinion believe he should have never been granted the status of Arch. The Merci however, saw otherwise. Michael, in his last human life upon the Earth, was a man named Alexander the third or better known as Alexander the Great. This human had been an amazing tactician, general, and warrior capable of training an army. The Merci was searching for such a man. There were plenty of other battle-experienced Angels. They were older and wiser, yet, the Angels in Heaven were so enthralled by his presence at the time they readily voted for him.
Michael is obviously not the same man he had been when he was human. Being granted Angel position changes many. The Soul’s brain broadens; every memory from every life filters and digresses. Each mistake and all victories are set in perspective and you learn within minutes of entering Heaven’s doors the true essence of life. It transforms you.
Along with personality alterations, the Soul takes on the form of its first human shell. He had lived four different lives before finally arriving in Heaven. Michael felt, as some tend to feel unworthy. Each life he had been a soldier, killing people, enslaving races, and living as a selfish man instead of a pious one. Regret buries much of his confidence.
I pretend having not noticed his clumsy actions. “What brings you here, Michael?”
He clears his throat, straightening in the chair. “I received orders from the Merci, your majesty, to intensify core training and increase recruitment. Rumor spreads like wildfire, sire that Lucius means to attack the Earth.” He speaks as excited as a child does at Christmas time.
I carelessly thwart a hand, “As opposed to any other time? How many false rumors have we chased after, Michael?”
Angels love to gossip. It is the only thing that helps pass time. I wonder how long it will be until rumor begins about God.
Unsurely, he continues, “I feel it, sire. That this one is true.”
The Arch Family are well in tune to the Light, just as I am. They feel the tiniest \upset. They will feel it when God dies.
How will it feel? Will it be painful? Do I remember pain? Will my heart skip a beat? Does it beat now?
I nod, in spite of my own doubt. “The Merci tends to believe that there is cause for alarm. Your instincts might prove to be correct, Michael.”
He grins proud of himself, even with the dire news, leaving me room to chastise him,
“You are happy humans will die then?”
His smile vanishes and he bows his head, apologizing silently.
“No, I think not. If,” I stretch the word, “this is the battle we think it might be, the human race will suffer great losses. Let us pray Lucius changes his mind.”
He bows his head for a moment, taking my words literal. Though he has much room to grow, he has a good heart. Michael’s blue gaze lifts, “I will prepare the army.”
I nod, if only to please him. We have never used an Angel army. The chances of that changing are slim. Angels do not fight wars. They stay safe in Heaven. It is how it’s been done since God created this world. It is the Fallen that battle for us, the Fallen that save our lives while we remain in our safe haven.
“Go on now. Do not tell the others as of yet. There may be no cause for alarm.” He kisses my hand, unnecessarily and leaves me.
I wish nothing more than to go to God and expose all my worries and perhaps a few of my tears. I wish for Him simply to smile at me, as He always tends to do and rid all of my doubts with such a modest act.
I do not move. I stare at the list of human prophets, contemplating the necessity.
If I begin recruiting, it will mean I have accepted God is dying and that Lucius plans to end the world.
Somehow, I find myself unable to rise from my chair.