Arakiel stood upon the precipice of the fifth Heaven, looking out over the vast expanse of the Earth below him. He sighed. Lately all of his days would drag on like this, making him feel like a slave to his new job. This boring humdrum job he and his fellows had been given – to endlessly watch, to keep an eye out. For what, he did not know, but he was sure he would know it when he saw it. His co-workers, the other Watchers, were spread out upon various precipices surrounding the recently inhabited planet below. They also looked equally bored.
Being picked for this job didn’t come about as a big surprise. Arakiel been chosen personally by God to join the newly gathered team of Watchers to keep an eye on the Earth while the humans struggled to find their place in it. Throughout the years, before the humans were created, he’d spent many idle hours roaming the Earth and taking in all the knowledge he could about it. Everything about the planet absolutely fascinated him. It was so predictable, yet so chaotic – the ebb and flow of the tides, the spinning of the planet causing day and night, the four revolving seasons… just fantastic! And then you had the chaos. The volcanoes and earthquakes, whole mountains rising from the sea, things he could not possibly predict no matter how much time he spent studying the planet. Because of this Earthen knowledge he had accumulated, God had thought of him as a worthy angel to join the rest of the Watchers. But his co-workers… some of them just didn’t fit the job description and Arakiel had no idea why they were even there. Azazel, for instance, sat upon his precipice looking pissed off as always. He’d spent years smithing swords and creating beautiful pieces of armour. Many of the angels in the higher Heavens praised his masterwork, even Michael himself possessed an Azazel sword. But here he stood, gazing out over the world, no longer churning out the metal pieces that adorned the Heavens. This struck Arakiel as odd, but who was he to question God’s choices? Remarks like that would lead to him being reprimanded.
He turned his thoughts back towards the Earth. The humans now “owned” it and he would no longer be able to spend his free time pondering along its shorelines. Only certain high-ranking angels were allowed to walk the Earth now, and only to deliver holy messages from God to specific humans. Ever since the humans came, no fun was allowed anymore. Only work. This did not bother Arakiel too much, after all the humans were new and just getting their footing. The angels had been around for millennia and it was expected that they watch over the new beings and keep them on track. That was how he saw it anyhow. There were rumours floating around that a few of the other Watchers saw things a bit differently, whispering among themselves that God only loved the humans now and that angels would soon be nothing but mindless servants. It all seemed silly to him, but oh how he missed the Earth. Heaven was beautiful, but it was an elegant beauty. Earth had a primal beauty that called to every fiber of his being.
He stood there for a while longer, lost in his own ponderings. After a few moments, he was pulled back to reality by Armaros, who had landed next to him with a huge grin on his face. “Hello, my friend!”
Arakiel jumped, a bit surprised by the sudden intrusion on his precipice. “Ah, Armaros! …what are you doing here?” He turned his attention to the angel beside him. Armaros himself was similar in appearance to Arakiel – they both had messy white hair, shining golden eyes, and a sense of humour that seemed absent in most other angels in the fifth Heaven. It was this last trait that drew them together as friends. “We’re supposed to be working you know.”
Armaros’s smile grew wider, and he gestured up at the skies behind them. “You’ve been stuck in your head for far too long! Our watch is up. Look, the second shift guys are already here, it’s their problem now. At least, until it’s our problem again. Ha!”
Sure enough, Arakiel saw Soriel, his relief, flying in his direction. “Twelve hours already? It feels like it’s only been two… you know I should get stuck in my head more often.”
The two angels took to the skies, heading away from the Watchers’ posts on the outer edges of the Heaven, towards the hustle and bustle of the central areas. As they flew, Arakiel couldn’t help but notice the enthusiasm that emanated from his friend. He was still grinning, and his eyes danced with excitement.
Arakiel rolled his eyes and asked, “Okay, okay, what’s got you in such high spirits today?”
“Well, do you know Azazel?”
“If you mean the former metalsmith with the perpetually angry look about him, yes.”
“Well,” Armaros’s voice lowered until he was practically whispering, “apparently him and Samyaza have this idea they’re working on. They say it is something all the Watchers will enjoy. Perhaps a way for us to relieve our boredom, yes?”
“I wouldn’t be surprised. All he does is stand there looking pissed and bored, so I can only imagine he spends a lot of time thinking up things to do. But how does this affect us?”
“Today they are meeting at Samyaza’s home to discuss their idea. They’ve invited all of us. I’m heading over there now, if only out of curiosity! You should come along. Yes?” Armaros winked and nudged his friend in the side.
Arakiel looked off into the distance. They had come upon the central areas that comprised the city of the fifth Heaven, home of the Watchers and the other angels that kept the Watcher program running smoothly. He thought about Samyaza. Samyaza was a decent enough fellow, albeit a bit bone-headed and vain at times. He didn’t know much else about him other than the fact that he was also a Watcher. His talents and former jobs were unknown to him, and he thought it would indeed be a good time waster, if only out of curiosity and if only to make a possible new friend in Samyaza. His home was only a short distance from their location, about a minute’s flight left from the city proper.
“All right, it’s not like I have much else to do at the moment,” Arakiel said, “so let’s go.”
The two friends shifted to the left and took off towards Samyaza’s dwelling.