Consider Grunts

By Moe Lane


I am so tired of people asking me why my life is so screwed up. I can't keep a real job for more than a week, my last three girlfriends were convinced that I was cheating on them, my mother doesn't understand why I never visit anymore... in short, I come across as a complete failure.

That's how it goes.

It's not easy serving them, you know. Angels, that is. Even the smartest and most experienced of them act as if there's a thin, clear piece of plastic between them and the world ... that didn't come out right. It's like they're never quite in tune with everybody else ... no, that's not what I meant, either. What do I mean?

OK. Got it. They're aliens. Not the big eyed grey ones or that old ET movie: more like ... androids or robots or something. I laughed my ass off whenever I saw Data from Star Trek: he reminded me so much of a Seraph I once knew. Pedantic, never used contractions, always metaphorically humming the tune just a shade off-key - if Data had just had the habit of occasionally screaming in Urdu right before lopping off a demon's head, he'd been a dead ringer.

Anyway, that's what angels are like: Data with an usually-limited emotional repetoire. They can sort of have a clue, depending: a Mercurian can fool you for days on end that he or she's just like a human being. But every so often, the mask will slip, and you'll realize that he or she ... isn't. None of them are, really.

That's what can make it hard. They know that we - humans, that is - have our limitations and prejudices, but they don't really know it, if you catch my drift? (touches chest) They don't know it in here. To them, it's easy to stand fast, easy to be unafraid of death, easy to sacrifice themselves or others to a cause. If they're not careful, they forget that none of that is easy for us.

That's not to say that they can't be good people to know. It will depend: some of them look at our actions and disdain, some will pity and others will be impressed. The weird thing is, they'll all be looking at the same action. Angels tend to be good, after all. Not always nice, but good.

Still, why do I do this?

Maybe it's because I want to make sure that I get to Heaven. Maybe it's because I got sucked into this War without notice or choice, and I'm making the best of it. Maybe I'd like to make a difference, in the only way that I can. Maybe it's even that I just really like propping a shotgun barrel underneath a demon's chin and pulling the trigger. Maybe it's a half dozen reasons at once.

Maybe I don't have a reason at all. It isn't important, anyway.

What's important is that I am here, and in the War that is apparently raging to decide the future of my species. As I understand it, my mere presence is a potent argument against Hell's ideology.

Fine by me. I always enjoyed being a troublemaker.

Hmm. Maybe that's the reason...


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