"And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch
over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and they
were terrified. But the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid. I bring you
good news of great joy that will be for all the people.'"
The buzz of rumour and speculation ran around the halls of the Seraphim Council. The Archangels and most of the older angels knew what was happening and what it would mean. The rest only knew that something big was about to be announced. The whispers were silenced as a column of fire appeared in the centre of the hall. The flames died down to reveal Gabriel, Archangel of Fire and herald of heaven.
Gabriel: It is done. The Son of God has been born and the people have been told.
Jordi: I want it noted that sheep were among the first to receive the message ...
Uriel: Did you see the child? Such purity! The wonder of the whole Symphony in human form.
Dominic: This is highly irregular. That was not a vessel and it goes far beyond the Game's attunements. He was born as an actual human being. That leaves him vulnerable to all the failings and temptations of humanity.
Uriel: You worry too much, my friend. The man may be tempted but the Son of God will know no sin.
Eli: It sounds like a brilliant plan to me. What better way to understand the humans - thier pains and needs - than by spending time living in their corner of creation.
Jordi: ... and innocent animals gave up their stable when your humans refused.
Michael: I thought the Messiah was meant to lead us into victory. I have forces ready to move at a moments notice. I don't see how taking the form of a human child will help us.
Raphael: His birth has fulfilled many words of Isaiah and the prophets. In time he will fulfil many more. But not all at once, not yet.
Novalis: Besides, Mike, one of his titles will be 'Prince of Peace' you know.
Janus: Don't know about that. But if I understand things, he's really going to shake up the establishment down there. The Pharisees need a good kick up the backsides. They've stifled people in laws and bureaucracy for too long.
Dominic: Laws delivered by God.
Janus: Maybe so. But if I have my way we can use this chance to take our Words beyond the Jews to all nations and races.
Novalis: What is that lovely smell?
Janus: Oh, ah .. this? It's called 'Frankincense, pour homme'. Some of my Servitors picked it up while they were in Bethlehem. Ahem.
David: He will need companions if this work is to be done. I will begin a search for suitable men. Strong men. Hard, honest workers.
Jordi: I'll search for a suitable donkey. Should he need transport.
Yves sat quietly and smiled. If this was how the other Archangels reacted to the birth, he couldn't wait to see how they would react to the Son of God's death.
Meanwhile in Hell the assembled Demon Princes sat quietly. The echo of doors slammed by Lucifer could still be heard. The force of his anger could still be felt, though minutes had passed since he had informed them of recent events.
Kobal: Well, he seemed a little upset, wouldn't you say?
The other Princes turned to stare at the Prince of Dark Humour.
Kobal: Still, at least we know why the Son of God wasn't born closer to the heart of Uriel's precious Roman Empire.
The stares grew colder, if possible, though a few were replaced by confused frowns.
Kobal: I mean have you tried finding a virgin and three wise men in Italy these days?
Asmodeus: Such blatent divine interferance with humanity contravenes all rules of the Game. This is intolerable.
Andrealphus: A virgin birth? A virgin birth! Talk about making a Demon Prince feel redundant.
Malphas: There is little to worry about. Our wise colleague of Death has suggested a plan which my Servitors shall propose to the local human ruler.
Asmodeus: Saminga has suggested ...? I can hardly wait to hear.
Saminga: Kill all the babies!!!
Asmodeus: Sheer brilliance. Any other suggestions.
Malphas: I shall place Servitors throughout Israel and follow this Messiah. For every human that receives Heaven's message, another shall ignore it and two more shall propose alternative teachings.
Baal: Slightly more promising I suppose. If Michael starts to throw his weight around we will make sure our followers are in a position to respond with force. Uriel isn't the only Superior will influence over the Romans.
Asmodeus: It is a start. It has been a long time since the Lightbringer was so concerned with the War. We must observe this carefully.
As the Princes filed out, Mammon picked up his copy of the report and reread the briefing. Gold, frankincense and myrrh. The Son of God had come to men and their first reaction was to spend a substantial amount of their income on over-priced presents that the recipient could not possibly expect to use. If this event was to go down in history perhaps he could find a way to put his own spin on things.
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