Firstborn

Nov 29, 2012 by     Comments Off on Firstborn    Posted under: Fiction
Hanael plummeted into the darkness, the absence of the Divine Presence. As the notion of feathers burned from the inspiration of wings and she was made harder, darker, and scarred by the apprehension of fire, an idea grew within her.”

Hanael was pregnant when the Rebellion failed.

This statement is, in two ways, an approximation. First, an angel does not have a body in the mundane sense, and therefore does not go through the biological processes implied by the word “pregnancy.” Secondly, if all in the universe is according to Divine Will, then the Rebellion cannot be called a failure. It occurred as He planned, with the results He intended.

Nonetheless: The rebellious host was cast out, and as Hanael fell, seared like a meteor breaking atmosphere, she was with child. She was herself little more than an idea—a thought experiment in five or six dimensions—and what she carried inside her was a new idea, something other than that which she was at the moment of her creation.

Angels are the embodiment of fixed ideas. In place of free will as we imagine it, each is bound to carry that idea toward a logical conclusion. Hanael, the grimoires tell us, was associated with pleasure, joy, and the bright star we now know to be Venus. But those yellowed parchments were written by madmen and frauds, and this reading cannot be considered entirely reliable. Make of it what you will.

So Hanael plummeted into the darkness, the absence of the Divine Presence. As the notion of feathers burned from the inspiration of wings and she was made harder, darker, and scarred by the apprehension of fire, this idea grew within her.

It is difficult to describe the Fall. In the beginning, the only place that existed was the Presence, and the only direction was “away.” You can call that falling, just as, when a man stands at the North Pole, any direction he walks must be “south.” It was, in fact, the Rebellion that gave birth to these ideas—there was no “away” until someone turned from the presence, just as there was no time until someone contemplated change.

“Obedience” was born when Samael conceived “disobedience.” The concept of being apart (“not here”)from the Presence (“here”) arose when it was decreed that the rebels could not remain. “Heaven,” then, was born when Hanael and her comrades and her gestating idea were cast into “Hell.”

(Would our world exist without the Fall? Could this middle ground have been created without the definition of the two extremes? Was Hell, in fact, only subsequently defined by another realm that was “not there”? Regardless, the angels who rebelled were the first things that acted apart from God, and through them was created the first place that was apart from God, so if they would lay inspirational claim to us—creatures apart from God’s light and charged with seeking it through the darkness—it may be fair to concede the point. It never pays to argue with a fallen angel.)

But Hanael—she fell, and as she fell, she suffered the idea of physical pain and the almost inconceivable awareness of separation from that which is Love and Justice and Good (defined by anger, vengeance and sin). The idea grew within her, and was born, pure and unsullied by Hanael’s sin, before her fall was complete. It was an idea that could only be born in the scorching failure of Rebellion, in the shadow of that mad act that blotted out the Divine Light. She nurtured it in her arms, even—especially—in the darkest, coldest reaches of exile.

She named her baby Hope.

Brian’s story inspired by Adam’s sketch.

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