It suddenly went eerily quiet in heaven.
“Uh oh” one of the angels said. “He’s going to be reaallly pissed when He learns about this one” he said, nodding towards the inner chamber entrance that only the Archs were allowed to go into.
“He probably already knows,” another one whispered. She was pale pink, and her wings were fluttery with fear. “All hell’s going to break loose any moment now.”
“He doesn’t. Not yet”, a commanding voice cut in. The angels spun around to see Gabriel standing on the door frame, looking sternly at them and quickly scurried into their seats, holding their breaths. They were just interns, and rarely ever spoke directly to the Archs, let alone the Chief of them, Gabriel. He was looking from one nervous cherub to the other, till he got to Novael, who had not looked up once. “What have you done?” Gabriel asked him.
“I..I’m sorry..” Novael stuttered. “I tried to raise the water supply a teeeeny little bit, it had been so hot lately, they needed it.”
“That was NOT a teeny little bit”, Gabriel replied cooly.
“Yea, I missed a decimal when I entered it, and put too much.” Novael was trembling and kept his gaze fixed firmly to his feet.
Gabriel rolled his eyes. “You’re lucky He’s occupied on a new project or he’d already know about this. Step away from that terminal, you’re on fairy duty from now on. I’ll see what you’ve done and let Him know.”
A few minutes later, Gabriel gently stepped into the inner chamber and shut the entrance behind him. He stood a little distance from the Grace room and bowed. He spread his wings to their full 24 foot span, 12 on each side and then draped them on the floor in obeisance. They were his most striking feature, powerful, and a blinding white, except for their pure gold tips. It was an offering of humility. He remained in that position, with his face down until El turned his throne around to face him. He waited another minute for the brightness of El’s face to dim a little, before he could look up at the Master. He could never get used to the beauty. Few people ever got to behold such perfection, and he Gabriel, was allowed to come and go at will. It was the greatest honor.
“I am sorry to have intruded.”
El looked over his shoulder at the galaxy he had been shaping before his favorite messenger came in. It was crackling in place, absorbing the code that would enable it evolve correctly in time. Then he shrugged. “Don’t worry about it. What’s up?”
“There’s been an issue with Earth. One of the new cherubs put a decimal in the wrong place, when he was supplying water and…” El put a hand up, and Gabriel went silent. Then El turned to his Omniview and switched it to Earth. Where there had been a planet, there was now a ball of water, sloshing through space. For a tense second, there was a silence so all-consuming the entire cosmos could feel it. Finally, El turned back to him and spoke in a still, small voice, barely above a whisper. “Who drowned my planet?”
“Novael, my Lord.” Gabriel answered, looking down. “I have stationed him to manage the fairies and..”
El cut him off with another gesture. “No. Everything is lost, yes?”
El sighed and closed his eyes for a minute. Then he opened them and cracked a smile, startling Gabriel.
“You’re not angry?”
“I was, but I’m over it,” El said. “Now we get to have a little fun.” He waved Gabriel forward. “Come here, I’ll let you drive this one.”
Gabriel came up to the master control terminal next to El’s throne. He could see a series of tiny buttons, stretching in each direction. He had no idea what most of them did. “Don’t touch any of those,” El warned, reading his thoughts. “The ones over to your left should look more familiar.”
Gabriel looked over to the left, and he could see the buttons there were the same ones he used in training. The higher level Archs were supposed to know a few things about God’s role so El could delegate some tasks to them every now and then. “They do, my Lord.”
“For my sake, Gabriel, quit with the ‘Lord, Lord’!” El blurted. “I know who I am, just..drop it.”
“Okay, my Lor.,” Gabriel began, then quickly stopped himself. “Okay.”
“Better. Now can you push the time leap button, then send it back to the last working file?”
Gabriel pushed a few buttons and Earth time jumped back to the moments before Novael dumped half of the water supply on the planet. It looked normal again. Gabriel could see men and women cavorting as usual. “Is that all?”
“You know better than that, Gabe. If it’s been done, then it can’t be wiped. We’ll just have to get just a few major components saved, before that water hits.”
“Okay, but how?” Gabriel asked.
“I’m figuring it out.” El said, closing his eyes for a second. Then his eyelids flew open, and he laughed out loud. “I know just the thing!”
Gabriel raised his eyebrow. Whenever the Master laughed like that, he was up to something. “What is it?”
“You know how the earthlings are, pretty stubborn bunch. It’s going to take something dramatic to really get them to do anything, and that would take way too much rewrite. But, here’s what we’re going to do. Watch.”
El pushed a button and the earth spun further back in time. Then he zoomed in on a man called Lamech and his wife. She’s pregnant. Gabriel suddenly has an idea where this is going. “You can’t pull the Immanuel protocol yet, that’s for the grand finale!”
El shook his head. “Stop getting ahead of yourself, Gabriel, this is much less intrusive. Fetch Novael.”
A second later, the cherub Novael was whisked into El’s presence. He was shaking, and kept his eyes closed the whole time, bowed down. Gabriel didn’t blame him. Even some Archs couldn’t stand being in the Grace room. It was too intense.
El looked down at Novael. He was pale, almost ivory complexioned, but his hair was a fiery red and his eyes were golden. A beautiful cherub. Not the most intelligent, but that was not his gift. His gift was tinkering, but he was about to learn a new role altogether. “Novael, listen to me.”
“I am listening, my Lord.”
“I’m sending you to Earth. You will be born as a man. You will remember nothing of this moment, of course, but in due time you will get a message from Gabriel and you must obey it. It’s the only way to fix what you’ve done. Are we clear?”
“Your will be done, my Lord.”
“Good.” El turned to Gabriel. “Put him in Lamech’s wife.”
Gabriel pushed one button and Novael dissolved into a mist, and then was sucked into the portal. Back in earth, Lamech’s wife felt a kick in her belly.
El turned to Gabriel. “When he is born, his name will be called Noah. When he is old enough, five years or so before the water hits, send him a message with instructions to build a ship with the right specs, take with him his family and a pair of all the animals on earth and lock themselves behind it.”
“What about the others?” Gabriel asked.
“They’re not going to listen. And with Noah, we’ll have everything we need to replace what he destroyed.”
“But there still has to be an explanation for the whole event.”
“You’re a worthy lieutenant, Gabe. Tell them I’m punishing them for their sins. Make the messages appropriately wrathful and everything. They won’t listen anyway but Noah will remember and pass it on to his progeny.”
“You can leave now.” El said, as he turned back to check the new galaxy.
“Yes my Lord.” Gabriel gathered his wings and made to leave when El gestured for him to hold on.
“Yea, on a second thought, tell Noah to leave out the dinosaurs and dragons. Those things were there for the scare factor, and they’re kind of boring me now. They gotta go.”
Gabriel smiled and bowed. “As you will, Lord.”
Nova: latin for “new”. Also sounded a bit like Noah.
“I have begotten a strange son, diverse from and unlike man, and resembling the sons of the God of heaven; his eyes are as the rays of the sun, and his countenance is glorious.” -Lamech, on the birth of his son, Noah. (Book of Enoch, Chapter 150)
Thanks for reading 🙂