Michael often wonders where the house of cards fell under a butterfly wing flap, what joint of the celestial body was the weak link. Was it Lucifer’s desire to suck the marrow out of the bones of the abyss? Was it Asmodeus’ lust for the daughters of men? Was it Beelzebub’s martial ambitions to rival Michael’s own? Once, he would say, these brothers of his were as close as the pulse of his heart. But Lucifer became Samael, and fire turned to ash, and he is left with a third of his sisters and brothers damned for all time on blood money, as the song goes, only they were the prototypes of Judas, selling the ineffable name of God out to the humans in the form of a shiny poison apple.
Evil roots. Evil is a lindworm gnawing at the tap root of the Sephiroth. And then there is death of Da’ath, and then there is the Qliphoth, and then there is the madness of the prophets bridging the Tree of Life and Tree of Death. So evil roots into the hearts of man, Samael’s seed blossoming in witchfire, and the questions of what Hayah Havah means is echoed in the barracks of a million mortal armies. Why do we bleed out for dictators and crackpots, dying on the streets of gang warfare and drug wars and turf wars and falling like flies to school shooters? Lucifer turned the entirety of the universe into a battlefield, and not even the babes are safe from the evil that he planted, that dry grape vine of the vintage most vengeful. Sometimes, the plants of filth and zuhama climb up the Sephiroth and root in Michael’s rose garden in Machon. He takes his flaming sword and swiftly cuts down the defiant black blooms. Rotting alive, thirsting after Heaven even after the rebellion. Samael likes to remind Michael that he is watching. All he really would have to do would be to call, send a messenger, but Samael likes to be flagrant in disregard for protocol, sauntering to the Gates of Heaven, which he cannot enter (or can he?) and throw paper planes with profanities over Saint Peter, enchanted to reach Michael as he is trying to relax. Sam was always annoying like that.
Where did they go wrong? Their bridge failed miserably. She died in the first war, of cherubim swiftest wing, Herald of Hell, Watchman of God, Heaven’s original covert mission and spy with sympathies towards Hell. Jophiel to Michael, or Zophael as she preferred to call herself, was always flighty, and without Samael to keep her in check, she grew wild, mad with grief, for to lose the one who gave her wings (Michael gave her her breath and heart, well, her first one at least. Samael would claim even that in time) made Jophiel erratic. She saved Michael’s life, yes, but at what cost? Dissension between the twins. A bridge burned. She was created out of beauty, yes, but she brought pain to the garden, and she was the first of martyrs, Lucifer be damned.
Now the bridge is broken, and Taninver rides the Shekinah, and this world is not right. This world is broken and cruel, and she is gone, out of reach, so in love with the idea of martyrdom she has made herself a sacrificial soul. Michael has offered her Assumption twice now but she chose Samael, she always chooses him, over salvation, for she says, if her brothers and sisters who art in Hell, who Zo grew to close to when faking allegiance to the Prince of Darkness, only to blaze onto the battlefield in the glory of betrayal as Michael’s standard bearer, this guilt Zo feels at double-timing, at being an angel in hell, at leaving that third behind to rot, it makes her mad and bad and dangerous to know. She thinks the mem can be cleansed, when really, nothing can separate wheat from chaff but the fiery lake, and that is where he belongs, at least, Michael thinks. Otherwise he would not have asked her to abandon Earth on Easter and Good Friday for Heaven and endless Paradise. Your penance is done, this self-imposed exile of the Watchtower Girl, he was trying to say, but it came out in parables and scraps of starlight, and Michael grows weary of trying to save her, of trying to convince her Samael is not worth saving, so instead he just makes love to her and heals her wounds the best he can, the wounds his brother inflicts, that first spear through the heart and that last rape of the soul, all but for knowledge, all but for Samael to declare his own Hayah Havah, on Chavah no less, when he is but Yah the snake. Snakes are slippery things, egotistical at that, but Zo is a dragon and general mother of Heaven’s battlefield, and she has not forgotten her loyalties.
Her very core belongs to Michael, and for Samael to give her his heart, means his damned brother is also under God’s love and sway. The cardiophore chooses who is redeemed in the end, anyway, if Sa’el is left standing or if the pale rider turns into oblivion.
All hell would follow after him, were she to figure out this puzzle.
Michael does not have faith he deserves redemption.
Michael does not think she can.
Michael is weary, and Michael