The start of a new year on the mortal realm. The year I was marked to descend their world and become one of them. Learn from them but also fulfill my duty. Duty...

The strange one. Very strange, yes. I am not sure how I feel about it at all. If it is done in the name of Him, it should fill me with everything I strive for. It would be His work.

I cannot help but wonder if there is a trace of Lucifer in what I am to do. I can feel it very barely; briefly, like shallow breath. The others laugh at my ideas, but I laugh at them for not completely thinking for themselves.

I suppose I can't blame them. Us angels aren't supposed to be free-thinkers.

He was going over the briefing, in the throne room of Beloved. The vast stone room stood empty, besides Michael and I, and The Fountain of Eternity which always was animated with golden coursing water. Colorful koi swam around the bottom, swimming in quick bursts of speed whenever the fountain's 'fall splashed.

"You know what you are to do?" Michael had finally asked me, after a silence had taken over us after he uttered the last words of the plan.

I kept my eyes off Michael's probing violet eyes - Michael knew of my wayward disposition. Why he bothered to ask, I'd never know.

"Look into it, will you?" Again, he asked.

I felt a warm sensation, almost like I was about to fall asleep. The feeling bordering submission. He got me to look at him. His eyes lowered back to the Fountain before us, which sparkled with golden liquid. The liquid of the Gods. The Angels. The Afterlife.

"Do you see her? Do you know?"

My mouth - I felt it - a thin line, I felt my jaw tighten. Michael didn't miss a beat. He tilted his head inquisitively.

"I know," I told him.

"You cannot come back until your mission is done."

"Yes," I bowed my head. "I know."

"A higher rank awaits you. Come back, soon."

"Yes, Michael." I bowed my head again, letting Michael kiss me on the head. A kiss from an angel, so pure, blinding, and bursting with blessing, even when it was for another angel.

There was no way I could fail now.

"Good luck, Gabriel."