So just this night I borrowed a book from the library called Halo, that follows pretty much the same description as this WIP. Except, I was very disappointed in it. It had HUGE potential for character growth on all sides, and some epic battles in morals and against evil villains. The first 20 pages were great, well written, and were going in a good direction... And then in the next 20 nose dived into barely concealed religious propaganda and petty high school drama and romance, with no actual villains, just saying that people are the actual evil (i guess i never saw evidence in it of anything else), and as I skipped through the chapters, realized it never really pulled up. At least in my opinion, to each their own ect.
So this is what I would have liked it to be. (probably I haven't written really in years skbnsdkbnskfnb)
My skin tingled and felt on fire, my mind numb from the roller coaster that just dumped flat on my back. I tried opening my eyes but was blinded by searing light. It made no sense. Heaven was made from light, that was our whole schtick, how was this so different and painful? I forced my eyes open, tears running down my face and a large hand covered them.
"Don't look right into the sun Honey, human eyes can't handle that much light like an angel, it can make you go blind, especially when we're so close to the equator." Hearth said, and keeping one hand on my face, helped my into a sitting position.
"Why is it so... hot? Why would anyone want to live here?" I asked, carefully opening my eyes onto a field of dead grass and barely alive weeds.
"I have no idea, but humans do. So, we're here to protect them." He replied, and stood hauling me up with him.
"Hold on give me a second jeez..." I muttered, clinging to him as I forced my legs to hold me up.
In Heaven everything was made light, empty, but there, within sight and consciousness but not. Things like physics, and pain, and so on didn't exist up there. Hearth and Arst had manifested on Earth many times already, and were used to having a physical body. I however, was barey more than an infant in angel terms, and this was my first visit to Earth.
"Alright, I'm ready," I said a little too loudly, trying to force my body to move as confidantly as I wanted. I still held onto Hearth's bicep as we made our way across the field, heat radiating around us, conscious of every step I took.
The sun, a literal ball of nuclear fire, beat down disaprovingly at my lack of grace as we approached a long but squat house. It was built like a Spanish Adobe house, made of sturdier materials, but the same reds and oranges, deep squared windows with a roof built out to protect them from the sun on each, if a bit modernized to daily life.
We stepped up onto a raised wooden porch big enough to host a small party, a wide, raised clay fireplace that was completely clean and looked as if it had never been used dominated the left side of, the door on the right. Arst had arrived before us, to make sure the house was ready, and was sitting in a rocking chair infront of the deep blue door, staring at a newspaper.
"I don't understand how we're going to change anything. There's not one actually important thing on this newspaper. It's all brutish misery and death, terrible jokes, or pure stupidity," she scowled without looking up at us.
Before Hearth could say anything, I blurted out, "Maybe it's not important to YOU becaure you aren't human," before I could check myself. Arst was THE best healer in all of Heaven, and arguing with the wisest woman in all of existence was proabably not a good move on Day One.
"I-, that doesn't matter! We created them, healed them when they needed it the most, and this is what they devolved to?!" She growled at my, daring me to look away from her eyes and say something else dumb.
"Arst leave her alone, don't take your anger out on her. We both know you're more made it took the old coot so long to even begin to intervene." Hearth interjected calmly, easily putting Arst's flames out.
She stood up and put the paper on the chair behind her and suffocated me suddenly with a hug, "Yes you're right I'm so sorry Honey! You didn't deserve such mean words, let's go inside and I'll show you around," and then was jsut as quickly opening the door and dragging me inside.
It was mercifully cool and fresh inside, a lazy ceiling fan pushing down cool air from events high in the walls of the large living room we walked into. That was the issue with Angels, they were so hot and cold and took offense to the slightest problem. The slightest mote of dust the distracted from their greater path. From my research preparing to come down here I knew that would lead us nowhere. Humans were about as illogical as can be, acting on instincts that Angels had never truly experienced.
The living room was large, and I could see on the far end glass sliding doors that I assumed lead to a backyard. There was a flat screeen TV, plump couches that looked easy to fall asleep in, and rugs to cushion against the hard, though decorative, stone floors. To the left was a spacious kitchen any cook would dream of and a dining room with cabinets of dishes and mediocre decorations and knick knacks. In the center was a large rectangular table made of a healthy looking wood that could easly seat ten. To the right was a bathroom again that spared no expense, including a large tub even Hearth could soak in who towered over everyone. Past that was 4 bedrooms, one unoccupied, and a.. game room? There was a smaller round table in one corner, and in each other corner was a computer. In the center of the back wall a larger flat screeen TV was dominant, a glass entertainment center with shelves underneath it had every recent console, and their most popular games stacked neatly around them. In the center of the room facing the TV was another couch, though this one seemd a bit sturdier with more support that could easily fit all three of them.
"And that room on the end is going to be your room," Arst babbled on, still trying to make up for what she thought was a terrible abuse to me.
It was just as spacious as the rest of the house, a large queen bed with plush pillows and a heavy comforter in earthy tones adorned it. There was a walk in closet filled with clothes that I could only imagine were wthin the teen 'genre', I hated all of them except for one that had a Family Guy reference on it. The rest was blank walls and empty floor space.
"Can I just lay down? Unless there's something we need to do now," I called down the hallway, and was told the next few weeks would be dedicated to simply adjusting to life as a human.
I closed the door for privacy from the old people, though neither looked older than 25, and stripped off the white robes I was wearing and laid down ontop of the comforter below the pillows. I tried to relax, but it was hard. My body was still hot and sweaty from being outside, and then the cool air circulating the house was giving me goose bumps at the same time. The ceiling was a bland popcorn ceiling, and the vague light from a curtained window made odd shadows that I tried to focus on. Heaven didn't have shadows, there was nothing to create them, so it was fun to study them here without fear of some evil lurking around the corner making them.
My body cooled to a comfortable temperature as I tried to makeup logical shapes in the ceiling, half of a cat's face to the right, an ugly toe to the bottom left of my vision, and a blob in the center I was too lazy to name. Staring at the ceiling I drifted off into sleep as my mind calmed down and what adrenline that was left in my body soured, leaving me exhausted.
"So what are you thinking for dinner, smash burgers maybe?" I asked as Leo drove, watching mirages rise from the hot asphalt on the road.
"Yeaah, those are really tasty, and some baked macaroni and cheese?" He replied, glancing over throwing puppy dog eyes.
"Yes, but only because I want to," I giggled, and stopped when my eyes dragged across a large adobe house on the right side of the road.
It pulled me in, an instinct stronger than any other I had ever experienced.
"Hey baby, pull over." I whispered in a half gone voice. I opened the truck door before it had fully stopped. I vaguely heard Leo asking what I was doing as I walked along a sidewalk between a dead field and the house up to its front door.
I don't rememer stepping up onto the porch or crossing it, just knocking on the door. Flaking blue paint filled my vision as panic rose in me, and I realized what I was doing.
"Hello, how can I help you?" Asked a giant of a man as he opened the door. He was over 6 feet tall, with a naturally wide and built body, created through hard work, not the senseless body building that usually lead to such a stature. He was blond with shaggy loose curls barely reaching his ears, and pale grey-blue eyes. He was scary and sexy as hell in a loose white shirt and dark denim jeans.
And then... what was happening? Something made me close my eyes and use my third eye. His aura... it was pure and unchanging, searing to the 'touch'.
"Y-you can't be human," I struggled to say the next words," Are-... you and angel or something?" I looked at him in terror, expecting a laugh and a bad joke to try to make me leave.
No one was that perfect. Even animals had complexities and needs I could sense, even if they didn't have a sense of fairness, or right and wrong.
He grabbed me in a flash, dragging me into the door and slamming it behind us.
"Arst!" He yelled into the house as he pinned me roughly onto the ground.
A graceful, but strong woman ran in from the right of the living room and stopped short as the man began yelling. " How did you find us so quickly?! She-devil, I will not fall for your innocent tricks!" He stared into my eyes with such offended ferocity there was no question. This crazy man straddling me was an angel, and he believed I was some force of evil here to attack them.
"No, no really" I croaked, fighting down terror as Leo began pounding on the door yelling that he woud avenge me." I'm a human, I don't know how I found you. We were just driving home from shopping, and I was pulled towards the house! I barely remember walking up to the door, it's like someone else did it for me! I swear I don't want to hurt you!" I was barely holding back sobs when Arst reached down to touch my forehead lightly with cool fingertips.
Long dark hair filled my vision as grey-blue eyes stared into mine, a soft but angular face filling in the rest. Her gaze pierced into me like lightning, and I felt as if my entire existence was being sifted through.
It was over in an instant and Arst sat back, a look of surprise on her face." She isn't lying, she is able to sense the neutral powers and they helped her to find us."
"What the hell is going on in there?! Leave me out here long enough, and this door is coming down!" Leo yelled from the outside, and after a pause something larger slammed into the door, causing the wood to splinter around the lock.
The larger man jumped off of me and whipped the door open, Leo flying inside as he was in the middle of throwing his whole body into it.
"Calm down, she's fine. I'd like to avoid dealing with the police." He said as Leo staggered to his feet, ready to throw down.
"It is fine, just a misunderstanding," I coughed and sat up, unsure of what Arst just did to me," You know all that nature stuff I do you try to ignore?"
"I swear if you say-"
"We're angels," The man said, pulling his shirt over his head and turning to reveal thin, faintly glowing feathers that traced down from his shoulders to his hips.
"What the fu-uh Tracy, are you sure you want to get involved with this?" Leo asked, denial in his eyes.
"Yes", I lied. Simply living was exhausting. Depression, hormones, and being a housewife already took all the energy I had. But also, sexy angels? How could I say no?
"Well Arst, you deal with this, I'm going to go lay down, I'm too dizzy to stand around," The man said and started to walk away. On instinct I blurted out, "Dizzy? When was the last time you ate?" He turned back around thoughtfully and replied," Well, not since last night I guess."
My jaw dropped. I was a housewife by choice, I enjoyed taking care of people happy. Did these Angels really not know how to take care of their physical forms?
"If you guys are in human forms, you need to eat every 4 to 6 hours, otherwise you'll be sick and weak." I said, and both angels looked surprised. "If you want, I can make dinner for all of us, I have groceries in the car."
"Yeah that would be nice, neither of us really know how to cook," Arst said and then realization dawned on her face," Hearth, have you seen Honey since she went and laid down?" In answer he turned and jogged down the hallway to the right of the large living room.
"Hey babe, can you go and bring in the cold stuff, and the stuff to make what we already talked about?" I asked Leo, and he sighed but turned to go outside.
After that Honey came out, a young and thin teenager who seemed barely able to control her own legs. She was sluggish and dehydrated, and according to Hearth, hadn't eaten at all since she arrived yesterday morning, instead sleeping up until now. Calmly I gave her watered down juice (pure water can actually shock a person's system if they are dehydrated enough, so it was better safe than sorry). Then I explained to all three of them general human diets and metabolisms, as well as basic hygiene. No kidding, these shmucks had no idea how to care for themselves.
The older two had been to Earth before, but only for a few hours at a time, figthing crazy battles and then going straight to Heaven again. This time though they were in it for the long haul. Their job was to blend in with the community, and then track down any agents from Hell purposely stirring things up.
"Arst is a healer, THE best healer, and I'm one of the best warriors. Honey iss.." Hearth trailed off, looking at the teenager as if he was trying to avoid saying something rude.
"I'm here because I have spent more time than anyone researching humans and trying to understand them," she finished, looking at him reproachfully." I'm not useless because I'm vulnerable or can't fight. That's not the main reason why we're here," she said her words forcefully, like she was fighting for her own value in his eyes.
I felt like I was watching parents argue with their child, so I broke the tension by bringing over the burgers, and baked macaroni and cheese." She is right Hearth, we aren't here to fight the same way we have in the past. This is a different angle than we're used to, and that's okay. As we've learned in the past, when it comes to violence, nothing short of absolute domination will bring people to spirituality. That won't work anymore, you saw the mistakes that came from the last time we were ordered to do that," Arst said in a soothing tone, and I had to fight to keep my mouth from dropping open.
Were they... responsible for past genocides that were to spread religion? The nonesense about pagan beliefs and... I was spiralling quickly so I tried to get more information." So... uhhh who does give the orders? If I'm allowed to ask that."
"Well he doesn't really have a name per say, but we refer to him as God, or the Creator," Hearth replied before trying a smash burger tentatively, then going in for a second bite when he realized it appealed to his tastes.
"So, is it like what humans call Catholicism?" I asked, my voice higher pitched than normal.
"Pretty much, it's a bit warped in today's translations but its the same gist."
Leo saw my face and after thinking for a moment he came ot the same realization as I had. These angels were responsible for helping in genocides of people and their entire cultures. All to push belief in... God. And that belief in God was pushed on people to warp the way they lived and treated other people, usually for worse in history... What the fuck.
"You do realize that religion has played a role in multiple genocides and war, as causes and as ways to trick people into one side or another right? It was used against Native Americans, saying they were heathens with no way of life, when in reality immigrants just wanted their land. The Spanish used it as an excuse to decimate Mayan and Aztec populations because they wanted gold they didn't have. I know you're here to find and defeat agents of evil, sure Satan is bad I guess, but what else are you here to do?" I asked, ranting on even when one after the other, angels dropped their food and stared at me in horror, not sure whether to be surprised or offended. Leo sat completely still, hoping not to attract any attention to himself.
"I- well frankly we're here to bring people back to Catholicism and other religions that worship God, to get people involved more with their local churches and that sort of thing. And don't you dare talk about that again, you don't know what you're saying." Arst said quietly, but I could see out of the corner of my eye that Honey was thinking something else.
"What about Allah? HaShem? Odin? Brahma? Ganesha? Sedna?" I glared at Arst, totally unafraid of the fact that I was arguing with Angels about their literal existence.
"There is only one Creator. No matter what the name, even if they aren't recognized because they are using the wrong ones," Hearth said, cutting off Arst who seemed ready to jump down my throat.
"Well, let me give you some advice. Start recognizing those other religions. People are never going to follow one true religion like that. And toxically pushing one religion on people KILLS them, I wouldn't be surprised if half of hell was created just by your mistakes. You might be able to raise spirituality if you support varied groups, and make them more accepting of others. But pushing hardcore for only one form of religion will never work. People need to feel safe, and people feel safe in groups sure, but not that big. The bigger you get the more complicated and confusing it gets, and the more likely violence will start." I stood up and dumped the food i hadn't eaten into the garbage. "Leo, let's go. I might come back after a few days, Honey, heres my information," I said in a low, barely controlled tone as I wrote my number and address on the back of an evelope that had already been opened and left on a counter.
After that, I grabbed the baking dish with the rest of the baked Mac and Cheese, Leo collected the stuff we had stored in their fridge, and then we left.
We were quiet all the way home, and before Leo could say anything I explained that I was in no mood to talk about what had happened in any way, and just wanted to unwind playing games and then go to sleep.