The humans occasionally manage to reach heights of insight that astound even
me. One of them once wrote that if one places a cat inside a box with
material that will, if released, kill it, that there is no way of telling
whether the cat is alive or dead without opening the box. Until the box is
opened, he went on to say, the cat exists in a state both alive and not
alive. So long as the box remains shut, the life and non-life of the cat
balances upon a razor's edge.
Another once wrote that understanding is a three-edged sword. "Your side, my side, and the truth," is how he put it. I prefer to think of the three sides in a different way. To me, they are "helping Heaven, helping Hell, and helping neither." But there is a fourth side the human writer did not consider, and that would be "hindering neither." Or to place it in terms of the scientist's cat, a state of helping both Heaven and Hell.
Flowers, noble though her goals may be, often finds herself in this fourth position in her approach toward the Fallen. But I can see that her goal is to help Heaven, and she helps Heaven almost infinitely more than she helps Hell, and so despite my admitted impatience, I bear her no malice.
Eli, however, helps neither Heaven nor Hell in his dereliction of his duties as Archangel. Angels are much like swords, when you think about it. Each of us has a proper place and function. We are each meant to wield or be wielded, but Creation refuses to do either. Until such time as he acknowledges his place once more, that is something I neither can nor will forgive.
Not all blades are swords, of course. Where Flowers is the blade of shears, harvesting flowers from Hell where she can, Judgment is the scalpel that excises the diseased elements of our number, who takes those who would turn upon their wielders, and blunts them.
War, fond of axes though he may be, is the finest of blades to use against the enemy, a claymore against which no opponent nor shield may stand. But his vision when personally involved is too narrow. While he wields others with excellently, when he himself steps upon the field, he needs to be wielded by another of proper skill. And while I acknowledge his greater skill in single combat, he acknowledges mine in keeping the whole of the battle in view when I take the field myself.
Trade is like unto the stiletto that found its way between the ribs of many a corrupt merchant prince during the human Renaissance. Even so do I use him in such a capacity against the modern merchant princes sworn to Hell's service.
And myself? I am both the hand that wields the various blades of Heaven, and the blade wielded by the hand of God himself. Could one ask for more honor than that?
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