I Rise: Chapter 1 - Get Off of My Cloud
There was a time not too long ago when to question the rule of God was to question the very existence of existence itself. There was good and there was evil. Right and wrong. Angels and Demons. God and Lucifer. But then one day YHWH himself... itself disappeared. He left all of us for reasons that are still unknown to myself and the rest of The Order. We were never prepared to make decisions for ourselves. We were made to abide and enforce the rule of God and that was just about it. He left without warning. Without orders. Without preparation. And as a result total anarchy broke out in heaven. After a few hundred years, members of The Order began to feel confident that YHWH was not going to return and was gone for good and that they... we were free to do what we want to whom we want without repercussions. The Archangels were the first to make a move. They slaughtered the cherubs and seraphims and just about every other lower ranking angel inside The Order, or what you humans would call the Angelic Hierarchy. They felt it was their right to take control of the steering wheel now that god was absent in heaven and that anyone beneath them were no longer needed nor wanted. The lower rankings of The Order fought long and hard but to no avail. Most of them died, but some fell to earth... born again as humans, doomed to live forever in a world of pain and suffering. I fell that fateful day along with a small handful of other angels. The only difference between them and myself, was that I too was an archangel. I was the only one out of my siblings that questioned Michael's orders and for that I payed heavily. God wouldn't have wanted this for us. He created all of us to protect and guide man into the direction of divinity, not to enslave them or destroy them. Not to make deals with the Dark Angel of Light, Lucifer himself in order to prevent a war that we were created to fight. We were beings of light and purity. Dominance and grace. Courage and love. Now we are nothing more than glorified demons and forgotten fairy tales. That is why I am here. That is why I must not move from this spot.
Old Woman: That's a very nice story young man, but all I need you to do for me is scoot a little bit to the side, so I can get off.
Gav: It's not a story. What I tell you is the truth.
Old Woman: Alrighty then. This is my stop. Have a nice day.
The old woman pinches Gav's cheeks with joy before standing up and walking off the cramped, dirty bus. Just before she steps off the bus she turns one last time to face Gav.
Old Woman: God Bless!
She winks to Gav as he sighs in frustration. The bus stops one final time as the rest of the occupants exit the vehicle.The only occupants left inside are Gav, the bus driver and a fair blonde woman seated directly in front of Gav.
Dina: Hello Gavreel.
Dina: I was worried about you. After the fall, I assumed you didn't make it.
Gav: Michael is to thank for that. He personally made sure I fell further than the rest. After all, I was an archangel and that does deserve some special recognition.
Dina turns curiously to face Gav. Her eyes fill with curiosity and worry as she searches his.
Gav: That's right. Hell.
Dina slowly turns away from Gav as she shakes her head in disbelief and resentment.
Dina: So how do you want to do this?
Gav: If only there was another way. I didn't want it to come to this, but whats done is done. Dina, i'm sorry--
Dian: I asked you a question.
Gav sighs as he studies the back of Dina's curly golden locks. He lowers his eyes as he calmly answers her.
Gav: Next stop we get off. Two miles from there in Scotsdale is a large cornfield. No unnecessary casualties or distractions. Short, sweet and simple.
Dina: You always did know how to make a girl feel special.
Gav angrily rises from his seat to kneel beside Dina.
Gav: You can't possibly understand. How could you?
Dina: I understand perfectly Gavreel. You made a deal with Lucifer to kill the remaining Fallen in order to escape Hell.
Dina: I get the what. But what I don't understand is the why? You're strong and determined. You're an archangel for heaven's sake.. Hell couldn't have been bad enough for you to make such an demeaning deal. No.. it's something more.
Gav: Revenge. Justice. Clarity. While I was down there suffering every second of every day with every fiber of my being, the rest of you were up here hiding and living amongst the humans. I would have thought at the very least that you Dina would have at least tried to restore The Order. Fight them. Challenge them. Something, anything.
Dina: What can I say? People change.
Gav: You're an angel. There's no room for change.
Dina: That's where you're wrong.
Dina shuffles through her knitted purse to retrieve a small golden heart-shaped locket. She opens up the locket to reveal a picture of a small, young boy. He is smiling with joy while opening a large Christmas present in front of largely decorated Christmas tree.
Dina: He'll be eight this Fall.
Gav stares at the photo with his mouth dropped and his eyes wide. He can't believe what he's seeing. Dina gently smiles as she places the locket back in her purse.
Gav: I don't understand.
Dina: I wouldn't expect you to. Not yet anyways. Soon you will see that they...
Dina strays her attention to the bus driver.
Dina: Are something more than just primitive animals that need our protecting. They can be so full of hate and impulsion at times, but after a while....
Dina nods her head in solace as Gav curiously watches her words leave her mouth.
Dina: They reveal themselves to be so beautiful. They care for one another. They love one another. They would even die for one another if given the opportunity. Since my creation I always wondered why YHWH cared for them so much. But now I see it... and soon so will you.
The bus makes a sudden stop as Dina rises from her seat. She looks down at Gav as she places the palm of her hand on his shoulder.
Dina: I'm not going with you to any abandoned cornfield in Scotsdale. I have dinner to make and a house to clean. If you want to kill me I suggest you do it now.
Gav stares at her stunned at what has unfolded. His lip quivers as he turns his direction away from her and outside the bus window.
Dina: Well it was nice seeing you again, Gavreel. My only advice is that you lose the trench coat. We're in the middle of July in Alma, Texas. You stand out like a sore thumb.
As she begins to walk away from Gav, he quickly grabs her wrist, still staring outside of the large, plastic window.
Gav: So you birthed a half human son?
Dina angrily turns to Gav.
Dina: That's right. He's a great kid, i'm sure you would like him. He wakes up early every morning with his father just to make me breakfast in bed. Every afternoon while his father tends the fields we picnic on top of the highest hill in all of Alma. In the evening we feed our horses and chickens and little piglets. I love them both very, very much. I would give my life for them.
Dina sheds a tear as Gav studies her intensely.
Gav: For what it's worth it was a demon.
Dina: Excuse me?
Gav: You had previously assumed that I made a deal with Lucifer to escape perdition. I would never do that. I made a deal with a demon which actually has nothing to do with why I came looking for you. I'm here on my own behalf. What we have Dina is bad blood.
Dina uneasily looks at him as she studies his grasp on her.
Gav: Please, don't make me do this here. It wouldn't be fair.
Dina smiles at Gav as she wipes the tears from her eyes and chuckles gently.
Dina: Now, now, now. I have changed a lot since my time in heaven as you can see.....
Dina decreases her smile as she lowers herself to Gav's level.
Dina: ... but when have you ever known me to do things fairly?
At that instant she grabs a hold of Gav's arms and lifts him up into the air, smashing him angrily against the sides of the bus. The driver pushes down on the brakes as she throws Gav against the roof, causing the entire bus to flip from the force. As the vehicle tumbles into a chaotic frenzy, Gav grasps the sides of Dina and dives through the front windows of the bus as it flips into uncertainty. As he flies into the sky, large giant grey wings break free through Gav's trench coat. They fly into the sky before Gav aggressively tosses her into the cold hard ground far below him. As she plants heavily against the ground, the large Brownhound Bus explodes in the background, lighting up the empty, deserted highway. As Dina recovers from the concrete crater, Gavreel gingerly lands next to her.
Gav: That man's death is now on your hands. You say you love and care for them, but when it comes to saving yourself you would sacrifice them in an instant. I may not love them, but I respect my father's word enough not to harm them. Especially an innocent bus driver who lived for his family. That man now leaves behind three kids. Three kids who now have no mother or father. I fought beside you and the rest of the resistance because I felt like my brothers and sisters were acting out like snot nosed children who just found there father's liquor cabinet unguarded. You're just like them. All of you are just like them. And that is why I have risen. I am here to restore heaven. Restore order. I am here to make a difference or die trying. Either I kill you here and now Dina, or you give me your word that when the time comes you will fight along side me once more and hopefully redeem yourself.
Dina crawls to Gav's feet in shambles. Her dress is tattered and her scalp is bleeding from the ordeal. She weeps as she holds onto his feet.
Dina: You're right, Gavreel. About everything. About me.. about the rest of them; us. I'm so happy you're here now. I'm happy because I know that you will make a real difference. Things are bad down here. So bad that sometimes I wish I were dead. I find comfort in knowing that you are now here, but I can't fight alongside you. I refuse to. This isn't my war. Not anymore.
Gavreel frowns as stares down at the fallen angel before him.
Gav: So be it...
Gavreel gently places his hands on Dina's back. He angrily shreds the fabric into two as he raises his hands from her. She cries as her wings slowly spout from inside of her flesh. In an instant they break free from her skin and reveal to be alarmingly large and white. Gavreel gently grasps the wings and pulls them out in a quick pluck. She screams in agony and defeat as small feathers trickle down to her face.
Gav: I don't want to see or hear from you again. Do I make myself clear?
Confused, Dina raises her face to question Gavreel.
Dina: You're not going to kill me?
Gav: Do I make myself clear?!
Gavreel shouts as he drops the bloody, mangled wings to the floor.
Without a second look, Gavreel shoots up into the sky as Dina watches solemnly from below.
(Lewisville, Idaho) 20 minutes later.
Gavreel is roosted patiently at a table in a local diner as he shamelessly watches a small family uncomfortably eat their food. As he studies them in silence, an older man with a cowboy hat and dusty old clothes walks in. Him and Gavreel exchange a look of notice as the man continues towards Gavreel and sits directly across from him.
Dalton: You know... they don't like it when you do that. Staring is a big no no down here. Or up here, whichever one you prefer.
Gav: "Down here" is fine.
Dalton: So. How did things go with your old friend?
Gav: Dina didn't accept my offer. But I promise you there will be others who are willing to--
Dalton: Dammit Gavreel!
Dalton shouts with anger as he covers his face with his hands.
Dalton: I stuck my neck out for you because you said you could gather the remaining Fallen. Do you have any idea what they do to demons who go AWOL? It's not pretty, i'll tell you that much.
Gav: I appreciate everything you have done for me demon.
Gav: ...Dalton. But I do not work for you, nor do I want or care for any of your criticism. I said I would gather the others and I will.
Dalton: I'll stick you back down in that fiery hole, faster than you can say "Huelo el pollo frito".
Gav: I'm not afraid of you demon.
Gav: ...Dalton. It took three archangels to drag me to hell. One of which dropped Lucifer himself. I would love to see you attempt such lunacy. I can rip your evil head off the top of your shoulders before you can blink. There are literally a million ways I can kill you, and I promise you none of them are even remotely "pretty".
Dalton: You're angry. I'm going to leave before you say something that hurts my feelings.
Gav: Are you attempting to be humorous?
Dalton: Don't be a b*tch. Look... I understand things aren't exactly in your favor, but you have to realize that right now we need to get our sh*t together. This is not just about you or me, this is about the fate of the world and all who reside in it. We need to stick together if we want to even scratch the surface of what needs to be done in order to save the earth. As we speak, Michael and Lucifer are planning to carve up the planet and divide it amongst themselves. I need to know that you can pull your weight in this relationship before I go any further.
Gav: I understand your concern and I will try harder next time. But if we work together and you end up double crossing me demon...
Gav: ...Dalton. I will hunt you down and make you wish you never pulled me out of the brimstone. Do I make myself clear?