“We need your help, Haniel, we need it badly.”
We sat under the cover of the bar-b-que area as the rain poured around us watching the dull, wet day surround us. I gave her a worried look, “How can I help you? I’m not an Archangel.”
“I know that. But you know where to find one.”
Frowning, I sat back, offended she dared ask me to search for... “No! He nearly killed me the last time we battled. And besides, people were injured and he laughed at them – at their fragility – while I healed some of them.”
“You can track him. We need him to make new Angels while Father isn’t there.” I stood and walked to the edge of the shelter, watching the rain, not wanting anything to do with what she was proposing, “Please, there’s not that many of us left; not after the Demonic War.”
“Have you tried finding Father?”
“Yes. He’s not in Heaven or on Earth.”
“You haven’t tried hard enough. Try somewhere else because I’m not helping you. All of the other Archangels are dead, and I’m not approaching Lucifer or Michael; besides, they hate each other.”
“I told you, this wouldn’t be easy.”
I turned, “And I told you I wouldn’t be able to do anything about Heaven.”
She stood, walked around the table and sighed, “Look, I took a great risk coming and talking to you, mainly because you’re still looked down upon.” I rolled my eyes, “But! You know there’s areas of Earth Lucifer would hide.”
I was losing patience with her, “Let me give it to you straight: Lucifer doesn’t care! He doesn’t have the patience of Father, never did and never will. You don’t understand it that he will destroy everything if he’s let loose in Heaven...”
“But we need new Angels to...”
“To the detriment of Earth, I don’t think so.”
I heard her sigh again and sit down on the seat behind me as I turned I my back on her and stared at the lessening rain around us, “Haniel, you have seen so much here on Earth. But I think you’ve been around them too much – for too long – and it’s been not good for you.”
“That’s not it.” I regarded her and her complete misunderstanding of what was going on, “Earth is under attack by the very inhabitants Father placed here to look after her. Lucifer isn’t where he’s supposed to be and he thinks he can go around turning Father’s children against each other – and so he’s having fun. And where’s Father in all of this?”
She shrugged, “We don’t know.”
“Well, I think you better find out. It’s time he came home and cleaned up his mess.”
“But you know Earth better than we do.”
I sighed, “I’m not asking you to clean up Earth, I’m asking you to find Father...”
“And he’ll make us do it. But he won’t get his hands dirty anymore.” She whispered.
I was at a loss at what to do next.
The rain had stopped and left behind that sweet after-rain scent a lot of Humans love; which was something I was beginning to appreciate as well. I didn’t know what to say to her, an Angel who was normally no one to stay an Earth-Walker.
“I know.... need my help.” Rubbing my forehead with the tips of my fingers of my right hand, I felt the numbing headache Humans felt from stress lessen. I looked up at her, “Okay, what do you need me to do? And no, I’m not looking for Lucifer.”
“Well, we need an Angel which can make new Angels.”
I sat next to her as the rain started up again.
We were there for a moment before I looked at her, “A Grigori. They taught the Humans first of their duties.”
“I’m not sure if they’re still walking the Earth, but it’s worth a try.” She shrugged as she took flight, vanishing in a flurry of wings and wind.
I’m left there wondering if my idea was worth the ground work. Would a Grigori cooperate with us after all this time? Are there any left walking the Earth?
Months pass by and I find myself in the Time-Keeper’s Court. I haven’t been here in a long time. There’s a lot of people waiting to be seen through to the waiting Osiris; and then there’s the hall of the massive church within. I look up at the crystalline windows above me and find it was raining. It always looks different here than it does on Earth – it’s more beautiful I found.
“Haniel, any news?” she asked me from the door of the church.
My thoughts are broken as I walked through the door and into the near-silence of the church, and I lower my voice, “I’m afraid not. Either they know I’m looking for them, or they’ve disappeared.”
“They are – were – one of Father’s first creations. They can’t vanish from Earth.” She was close to tears.
“Or they’ve been corrupted and are working through different ways.” I said, “I often get myself in trouble if I try ask too many questions on Earth.”
Her tears dried up quickly, as she snapped me a glare, “Well, I encourage you ask those questions.”
I leaned down close to her, “And get myself arrested, shot or killed? Then what will you do? Who will you send to get killed next?”
Slowly she looked up at me, “I’m sorry Haniel. It’s not a good time here. We really need Angels.”
I stood and turned from her, “I’m doing my best.” I left her in the church, walked through the Time-Keeper’s Quarters and out the door where I was greeted by a Soul-Keeper. These people normally kept themselves closer to The Great Library, “Can I help you?”
“Haniel? I have the right Angel?” he asked, adjusting his horn-rimmed glasses, “I’m Briggs. I’m a...”
“Soul-Keeper. I know, I read you straight away.” I walked towards the gates of Heaven, but he stopped me, “What do you need?”
“I need you to see something at The Great Library. That Angel you were speaking to... she’s not telling the whole story.”
The Great Library was one of Father’s greatest achievements. Everything he ever wrote was stored here from the beginning of time to every single story every written by Humans and other creations he made before them. It’s a fascinating place to venture through. Soul-Keepers keep an account of Angel’s souls in Heaven for when they’re needed in vessels.
“Now, we keep account of who is here and who isn’t. I also keep a running number of who is in our prison – there’s not many there; only two, but they can be a handful.” He chuckled as he pulled out a large, aged book, “Here is the Book of Angels from the time Father created us.” He opened it to the very page of today.
“What am I looking at?”
“A ledger of how many Angels we actually have in Heaven, in the Guff and on Earth.” Briggs said, “And really, we only have about ten Angels on Earth, the rest are here. See...” he pointed out the numbers to me, and Heaven had plenty of Angels. Then the lights dimmed and flickered then restored again, “I’m not sure why it is that we are having problems when we have so many Angels here to run the place.”
“I’ll find Father. He has to know about this problem here at home.” I said.
Ironically, I found Father on Earth. He was sipping Mai Tai’s in Vanuatu’s best resort. Security followed me across the foyer of the hotel and through to the pool where I could feel his power coming. And there he was sitting there reading a book and enjoying the tropical heat.
A hand landed heavily on my shoulder. I turned, “Let go of me.”
“You know, Serg, I would if I was you.” Father said, “Haniel here isn’t in the mood to be stuffed around.”
I walked up to him, as he sipped the drink, “Would you like one, it’s a Mai Tai. It’s delicious; and the best thing is that you and I can’t get drunk on them.”
I sat on the sun bed next to his, “Sheppard, please. All of Heaven is searching for you, and they claim it’s because they need more Angels.”
“Yes. I know.” He smiled, “I believe Briggs brought you up to speed?”
“Then why am I being given the run around?
He looked at me, “I need Lucifer.”
“He hates me. He tried to kill me.”
“I’m on holidays. He can run the place.”
“Why is the place low on power?”
Father snapped a stunned look at me as he almost dropped his drink, “What?”
“Yes, Heaven can’t wait for you to take a holiday in every tropical island around Earth. So, are you in or out about Heaven?” I stood, “And as for Lucifer, if you want him, you go and find him, I’m not going to die because you can’t control his temper tantrums.”
“Fair enough. If you’re going to be this way, you stay here on Earth.” He stood and smiled, “You don’t deserve to be in Heaven, Haniel. You will become an Earth-Walker on a very permanent basis.” He turned away as the waiter brought over Sheppard’s drink.
“Fine, I don’t like the politics up there anyway.” I said.
He smiled at me, “You don’t get it. You still have to find Lucifer – but this time, you have to kill him to get your passage back into Heaven. So, for you, Heaven can wait.”