Below the surface, a pillar of light looms over a stone domed chamber with large stone throne-like chairs, seven in total, sit around the pillar of light. One by one, figures dressed in long white robes took their seats. As the last one took their seat, the pillar of light began to radiate a glow that brightened the whole room and a voice rang out throughout the chamber.
“Thank you for meeting me, my angels,” said the voice. “Michael, Raphael, Gabriel, Jophiel, Ariel, Azrael, and Chamuel, I have urgent need of you all.”
In unison, the angels responded, “Of course, Mother Gaia.” The angels stood up, attentive to their mother of what she could possibly need from all of them.
“My children,” she said. “There is a great concern for life on the surface above. As you all may be aware, and if not, I need you to be aware of the dire distress the surface is in.”
Gaia’s voice began to waver slightly as she carried on.
“My body, the surface, is facing a disastrous shift that threatens the lives of all who dwell on it,” Gaia said. “And I need all of you to quell it.”
Michael, the leader, was the first to respond to her plea. “Surely mother, this disaster is not unlike the natural occurrences that already happen on the surface. What could it be,” he asked?
“There is nothing natural about this,” said Gaia.
On the surface, thick black poisonous clouds covered cities where people carried out their daily lives. The temperatures all over the planet keep increasing slowly which caused storms to become more and more violent. Once luscious forests dried up, burned down, and now all that stands are bare charred trees and ash fields. Death ravaged the planet due to war and uprisings caused by power-hungry and intolerant people. In a world that lives and thrives with order and chaos, the order is lost, and chaos reigns unhinged.
“With destruction ruling on the surface,” said Gaia, “I am afraid to tell you all that I am dying and will die if nothing is done to stop it all.”
The angels were in shock and horror of the fact that their mother is dying. They could not understand how humans could have possibly done so much to harm their mother, the very planet that they live on and call their home. The angels looked around at one another looking at each other’s reactions and grasping at what to say, all except for Michael.
“So,” asked Michael. “It’s time for us to intervene and deal with humans?”
“Yes,” she answered solemnly.
Outraged, Gabriel spoke out against this intervention with the humans declaring: “We swore long ago that we would never interfere with the choices that humanity makes.”
“So, what,” shouted Michael! “We just let humans do what they will and let them destroy our mother?”
“No,” rebutted Gabriel timidly, guilty and drawn back by her reckless outburst. “But mother, you asked us to never get involved with the humans under no circumstances.”
“I know my child,” said Gaia. She explained that with any and all life that dwells on her surface, she sees millions of paths and outcomes of said life. Many are good outcomes, and many are bad. As time goes on and that life cycles in and out, many of those outcomes begin to decrease into a more solitary finale. Some never decrease but increase due to the encounters and interactions between the other life living on the surface causing an ecological change.
“So, in the human’s case, their outcomes have been decreasing at an alarming rate, and I fear that there will be no recovery for humanity as long as they stay on their current path. “
“Alright,” said Michael. “What must we do to guarantee the survival of life on the surface?”
“As with the humans who have free-will and paths that they may take,” said Gaia, “so do you all. You must do the same. For I cannot tell you what you must do, you must discuss amongst yourselves the fate of humanity. You each are a vessel for a single power that I granted to you from my collection to do what I can when I cannot. I trust you and believe in each one of you.”
Her words faded and her light subsided, leaving the angels to wonder what to do next. They never used their power to this extent, but only when Mother asked them to do a specific task. Michael is the vessel of light and has Mother’s power of life. Raphael is the vessel of water and has Mother’s power of controlling the seas. Ariel is the vessel of air and has Mother’s power over the sky. Jophiel is the vessel of earth and has Mother’s power over the land. Gabriel is the vessel of wood and has Mother’s power over the forests. Azrael is the vessel of darkness and has Mother’s power over death. And Chamuel is the vessel of fire and has Mother’s power over the flames.
Nothing like this has ever happened so they had no clue as to what should be done and how to do it. Michael, being the leader of the angels suggested that they should discuss, as their mother told them, a plan as to how they deal with the threat humanity placed on Gaia.
“Listen up, said Michael getting everyone’s attention. “This is up to us to find a way to deal with humans and stop their threat on mother. So, first I think we need to come up with options as to how we should proceed.”
“It’s simple,” said Azrael.
“Oh really,” retorted Michael. “Please do tell us then.”
“The problem is the humans,” Azrael responded. “So, get rid of the problem. Get rid of the humans.
“Seriously,” said Michael shocked at the sudden but serious suggestion Azrael put forth. “Your plan just does away with all humans and be done?”
“Yes. They deserve no less,” said Azrael.
“He does have a point,” said Jophiel.
“I agree,” added Gabriel. “We can always start over.”
“Me too,” said Chamuel.
“No,” shouted Michael as he rose from his seat, angry that his brothers and sisters seek destruction on life that their mother created. “Mother would not want this.”
“She told us that it was up to us to decide what would happen to humans.” Said Azrael.
“Then what about the innocents, huh,” demanded Michael? “Are we just going to kill them too?”
“Yes Azrael, do you believe Mother would love seeing innocent humans be killed along with the guilty ones,” said Ariel jumping to defend Michael.
“Those innocents have the same capabilities and potential of destroying the surface just as much as any of them,” said Azrael.
“But if we can show them the error of their ways then they may still have a chance of not destroying themselves,” said Ariel looking out at all her brothers and sisters, almost pleading with them. “In the past, we have not been involved in humanities development, but maybe it’s time that we start. We can change their lifestyles and make them see that they are hurting mother and themselves.”
“So, we force them to change to our will and deprive them of their free will,” asked Gabriel?
“Humans have lived on the surface for millions of years,” said Jophiel. “Maybe it’s time to realize that they are a failure and wipe them out and start over as Gabriel suggested?”
“No!” shouted Michael as he began to lunge forward before Ariel stepped in front of him holding him back.
“Look,” said Ariel glaring at the others. “We cannot just kill every innocent OR guilty human without thought for the repercussions. Why can’t we save the innocents that have not had any negative effects on the surface?”
“And who would that be,” asked Azrael?
“Babies,” responded Ariel.
“Babies,” asked Azrael?
“Yes,” said Ariel. “They have not developed any positive or negative footprints towards human society or their future. If babies are saved then we can nurture, teach, and show them how to live off mother without hurting and/or killing her.”
The room fell quiet as if everyone was pondering the proposal Ariel set forth.
“You have been very quiet over there Raphael,” said Chamuel. “Anything you would like to contribute to this conversation?”
Raphael picked his head up, looked around the room seeing the anger, the hatred, and discourse that this task is causing his fellow angels. Seeing the effects of what their mother’s task has presented them with. They never fought, never quarreled with one another before today.
“Look, I understand that mother us a task and left it up to us to accomplish any way we see fit, but are we going to let these humans divide us like this,” asked Raphael. “Does it really matter what becomes of the humans?”
“What,” said Michael turning toward Raphael. “Are you siding with them on wiping out every humanity instead of trying to fix it?”
“No brother,” responded Raphael concernedly. “But what difference is it when not but millions of years ago we wiped out the creatures that inhabited the surface then?”
“You know full well that we only did that to usher in humanities age, as we were asked to do by mother,” said Michael.
“But,” said Raphael. “What if this is to usher in new life to live on the surface?”
“Then don’t you think that mother would have just come out and said so like she had in the past, Raphael?” said Michael angrily. “I have had enough of this pointless bickering, we will do as I, the first created, says.”
“Yes brother,” said Raphael. “I am sorry.”
“I have taken what everyone has said into consideration,” said Michael standing tall looking down on the others as they remain seated. “And here is my plan: I will revert the child and adult humans back into infants; we will gather them up, and then we will create new land for them. There, we will teach them the proper way to live in a way that does not put any harm on Mother and then scatter them across the surface. But if they stray from that path, we will be there to punish them and correct their behavior.”
The room stood quiet, either revering Michael or being terrified. They all respected Michael as their leader, but also feared him at times. No one in the room wanted to directly go against him or his plan well, all except one.
“I refuse,” said Azrael angrily.
“What!” shouted Michael.
“I am sick and tired of you demanding us to what you want and you controlling us with your whole, “I am the first created therefore I am the leader,” nonsense,” snarled Azrael in a deep growling tone. “I am done with you and I am done following your orders blindly. I will save Mother the way that I see fit. And if you want to stop me, then so be it. You will not control me any longer, brother.”
With that, Azrael walked out. Michael was stunned, speechless at his brother’s outrage, but what surprised him, even more, was that Chamuel, Jophiel, and Gabriel followed Azrael out the room.
“What are you going to do Azrael,” asked Michael.
“I am going to wipe out all life, so Mother can begin again,” said Azrael. “If you try and stop me, don’t dare try and stop me.”
“Don’t you see,” said Michael. “You are going to turn into what you view the humans to be, monsters.”
“if we are viewed as monsters, then I don’t care what you or anyone else thinks of us, as long as it means Mother is safe,” declared Azrael.
Michael just stood there, watching his brothers and sisters walk away from him. Feeling betrayed and helpless, he knew that the only thing he could do was to save as many lives as he could and start over away from their destructive influence. He turned to his remaining siblings, Raphael and Ariel, and asked them to join him in saving humanity.
“Please,” said Michael. “I don’t want to see humanity gone from this world. Will you stand with me?”
“Yes,” said Raphael.
“Of course,” said Ariel. “All of humanity does not deserve this fate.”
“Then let’s go,” said Michael. “There is a continent of people to the southeast of all the other continents. That will be our Eden, our new beginning.”
Meanwhile, Azrael, Chamuel, Jophiel, and Gabriel split up and went to specified areas so that they can complete their tasks.
Chamuel traveled to the left continent of the center ocean finding a large population of people to the north-east. As the clouds cleared, the people in the streets were in shock to see a figure in the sky with fluttering angelic wings. News crews, camera phones all capturing this figure in the sky calling it an angel from above. Many were cheering, smiling and praising the angel for appearing before them and blessing them with his holiness unaware of the angels’ true intentions. Chamuel, the angel, looking down on the unsuspecting people was far from blessing them of any sort. He was there for one thing and one thing alone: to start the destruction of humanity and save his mother from the humans’ destructive hands.
Just as he had enough of the cheering of praise, he stopped his wings. He began to fall faster and faster towards the ground until he crashed into the ground creating a small crater. The humans ran over to see the angel in the crater with their own eyes and look upon its holiness. There they saw the angel, knelt on one knee and hands clenched in front of him on the ground. The sound of constant pictures going off and the chatter of the reporters as they tried to comprehend what was in front of them. Chamuel could no longer hold his tongue while the humans barked and barked about him.
“Enough,” yelled Chamuel. “You humans have no idea for what is to come of you.”
Silence fell over the people. Not but a pen dropping can be heard among the crowd.
“For too long you have squandered what Mother has given you, yet you just take and take for your own without thought of what the consequences are. Today is the day of your reckoning. Today is the day you all perish.”
Chamuel stood up, hands still clenched. Waves of heat began to rise; temperatures around him rose and the crater began rising rapidly. The humans around the crater started to have a bad feeling and were backing up slowly, nervous as to what is about to happen.
Then with his arms stretched out and his wings stretched apart, he roared a thunderous scream sending fire straight out of his mouth into the sky above signaling the start of the reckoning. Over his shoulder in the distance pillars of fire and lava erupted from the ground all over the city. The sky turned black as smoke filled the air around the city, the buildings throughout the large city burned, screams could be heard all over. Those that tried to run away in terror didn’t make it far before the fire burned them to ashes. Lava filled the streets, like a pool of water, and roared throughout the city, like a rushing river.
Silence filled the streets. Chamuel’s part has been started. The next city awaits him.
Jophiel went to the largest landmass on the planet, the eastern continent. Her targeted area was not individual areas but the center-most area, where most of the fault lines converge. There she could cause the most destruction and devastation that could reduce humanity’s trace to rubble all over the continent.
“The structures that you pride yourselves over will crumble to dust under my power,” said Jophiel.
Jophiel was ready to do her part. She got into position, bending down on one knee, twisting her upper body, raising her right arm into the air clenching her fist, and slammed her fist into the ground creating a massive crater that created wide crevasses traveling thousands of miles in every direction. As the dust was settling in the crater, Jophiel rose out of the crater looking at the cracks and crevasses in the earth expanding from the crater.
Gabriel traveled to the southwest part of the planet where the largest rainforest, and the focal point of where all plant life lives. As much as it pains her to do this, she must destroy the rainforest and return it to its primordial state. In the middle of the largest rainforest on the planet, she laid her hands upon a nearby tree and instantly it began to decay and rot like a disease. Soon the surrounding trees, plants, and everything began to decay and rot. For miles and miles in every direction, this disease spreads. Of course, Gabriel knew that this forest was the heart of all other forests all over the world, and soon after all around the world, the other forests began to decay just like the first one. Without the forests, the trees, and the plant-life, life itself began to decay.
As she looked upon the lifelessness of the forests, she was heartbroken. She never thought that she would ever destroy the things that she loved, but what the humans have done to them throughout history was far worse. All she thought was the future she had hoped for her loves and protection that she will provide.
“I promise, my children,” said Gabriel tearing up at the sight of the decaying trees and plants. “You will grow and thrive and never come to harm. You will be reborn, and I will protect you.”
“Humans will never hurt them again, I swear to you,” said a voice coming from behind Gabriel. As she turned and looked, she saw Azrael standing next to a decayed tree.
“Azrael,” said Gabriel saddened and depressed.
“I’m sorry for what I had you do,” said Azrael. “But…”
“I know,” said Gabriel cutting him off.
“I do have one more thing for you to do for me,” said Azrael. “If you’re up to it.”
“What is it,” asked Gabriel. Azrael quietly whispered in her ear her next task. She nodded and smiled.
Suddenly, the two of them feel a familiar presence around them. High in the sky, Michael was looking down on them staring at them shocked and angered.
Azrael turned to Gabriel and finished up his conversation with her. “Once this task is done,” said Azrael, “proceed with the next.”
As the plant life decayed and Azrael flew off to meet the awaiting Michael. Gabriel’s job was nearly done. She walked through the decaying forests all the while watching Azrael and Michael in the distance but also heading to complete her next task.
Azrael met face to face with Michael, who still looked shocked and angered.
“Now what could you possibly want with me,” said Azrael sarcastically. “Don’t you have more important business to take care of, like rounding up all your precious humans before the rest of us kill them.”
Michael stared at Azrael, who had a smug expression on his face, and gave a great big breath before he spoke.
“Brother,” said Michael, “I beg you to show some compassion and stop the killing of humanity. We can change them to better understand. You showed them the wrath that follows if they continue their harmful ways. Please stop!”
“You waste your pleas,” said Azrael. “I will finish what I have started. A new world will rise from the destruction of the old.”
“Azrael,” said Michael with a sympathetic voice.
“Enough,” said Azrael silencing Michael from continuing his pathetic plea.
“You best hurry now Michael,” said Azrael. “or your precious humans will die along with the rest of the world. Once I’m done, the chaos of the past will be silent.”
“Dammit Azrael, allow me to see my plan through before you kill everyone!” shouted Michael demandingly.
“I have kept the other’s destruction away from the last remaining area,” said Azrael. “I will keep my black dust away from your precious area for one hour. This is the last time I will ever do anything for you.”
Not even waiting for Michael’s response, Azrael flew off to prepare for the final role in all this destruction. Michael stunned and shocked at what he sees as a betrayal from Azrael and his other siblings could no longer hold back his anger.
“We may not be able to harm one another but I swear to you now, look to your demise in the future Azrael. I will not let you get away with this forever,” said Michael watching as Azrael flew away with his back turned against Michael and everything, he believes is right.
Azrael’s role was the direct destruction of humanity itself. He flew high above the clouds at the centermost point of the planet and basked in the peace and quiet of the fact that humanity had not destroyed what that they could not reach. He knew that given time though, humanity’s hands would taint it and that peace would turn into blood and ruin. Humanity had failed, and now he must correct that failure and bring peace to the planet once again.
As his head sulked into his chest and his hands clenched at his side, he began to flap his wings in a long wide motion. With each flap, black dust began to pour out into the atmosphere. This dust spread far and wide covering the entire planet. As humans all over the world tried to breathe, they inhaled the black dust and began to rot from the inside out. One by one the humans began to fall. All around the world, silence befell all who were touched by the black dust.
“Humanity will fade into endless darkness,” Azrael muttered.
As Michael flew towards the area that he chose to start humanity over, he began to see Azrael’s black dust spread closer and closer. He flew as fast as he could until he was able to meet up with Raphael and Ariel.
“Raphael, Ariel!” shouted Michael. “We must hurry and separate ourselves from the planet as soon as possible. Azrael has begun.”
Raphael and Ariel turned quickly around to see Michael behind them in a great panic and behind him, Azrael’s black dust.
“Oh, no,” said Ariel covering her mouth with both her hand in horror.
“Don’t worry Michael,” said Raphael, “we gathered up as many as we could, and their minds have been blanked. We have enough to begin anew, but we need you to revert them into their infantile form.”
“Thank you both so much,” said Michael.
The three of them flew closer to the ground, but not so close as to touch it so that they remained able to be looked up upon by all the humans on the ground below. Michael stretched out his arms over the humans, who were staring up at the three of them in awe and amazement, and specks of light began to come forth from his hands. As the specks of light touched each of the humans, they began to grow smaller and smaller aging backward until they all were in their infantile forms.
“There, done,” said Michael. “Now please, Raphael would you use your power and erect a water barrier around this continent so that Azrael’s dust can be staved off until we get it to a safe place?”
“Yes, of course,” said Raphael worryingly building the dome-like barrier around the continent.
“And, Ariel,” said Michael. “Would you use your wind and lift the continent high into the air away from the destruction that Azrael and the others have caused.”
“Yes, Michael,” said Ariel. “Are you sure that you are fine with the idea of separating ourselves from Mother like this?”
“No,” responded Michael. “But we cannot live peacefully on the surface of Mother with all the death and destruction that they have caused. That is not the world I want humanity to start anew on.”
“I understand,” said Ariel.
Ariel used her all her might and power to sever the continent from its shackle on the surface and began to lift it higher and higher into the sky. As the continent rose, the water that Raphael conjured began to retreat in the surrounding sea below.
As the continent rose high in the sky, Azrael, Gabriel, Jophiel, and Chamuel could see the continent even as they were scattered all over the planet. Even the four of them were somewhat amazed by the sight. Gabriel, Jophiel, and Chamuel hurried their way to join up with Azrael for their missions were finished.
Michael, Raphael, and Ariel stood close to the edge of the continent and watch the world below them became distant.
“It’s funny, though,” said Michael giving a sarcastic chuckle. “In the end, Azrael was sort of right.”
“How do you mean?” asked Ariel.
“The humans and humanity will be no more,” said Michael. “If we want humanity to live differently, then they will have to be different. They will be better. They will be like us, albeit the powers granted to us by Mother.”
“What do you mean?” asked Ariel.
“When I reversed their age,” said Michael. “I also added our angelic makeup into their makeup. So, as they grow their appearance will begin to resemble us. Humans may be dead, but the next step in their evolution has begun.”
The world Michael, Raphael, and Ariel once called home grew further from their reach as they disappeared into the clouds. Though Mother would not be with them anymore, they would always carry her with them as they build their new world on the land that they raised from her surface. And as they were disappearing into the clouds Michael uttered his final words at Azrael:
“Enjoy the world you destroyed, have fun in your own Hell.”
Meanwhile, Gabriel, Jophiel, and Chamuel reached Azrael just in time to see the unscathed continent disappear from their sight high above the clouds. Azrael looked up at the disappearing continent, and uttered his last words to Michael:
“Have fun in your own little paradise,” remarked Azrael. “Enjoy your Heaven.”
They all looked around them noticing that darkness was starting to surround the land. The light of the sun began to dim as the clouds turn grey, caused by the smoke of the fire raging across the surface. Along with the clouds, the waters turned black, the mountains crumbled in the distance, and the fire caused by their destruction became their only source of light. But one more thing started to turn black, their wings were becoming stained in the black dust of Azrael’s powers. Azrael smiled as a single tear ran down his cheek and gave a sigh of relief before uttering just a single word:
“I hoped for you, my children, to end the cycle of pain… to end it all, but it begins again.”
This is a story that I have been working on for a while, and it’s my first completed short story. Hope you like it.
Thanks for reading.