When I grow up, I want to be a Malakite.
Even in Heaven, there is much to grieve over. An angel's Heart should be a thing of beauty, joy - to see the angel wrapped around it Traumatised, or worse to see the Heart cracked, or even shattered, will pain the most jaded. Amidst the laughter and joy of humans re-united in Heaven, there is occasionally the screech of outrage: as it becomes clear that a hated foe is deemed worthy of salvation. And then, later, the horrified faces as the Blessed realise that people they spent their entire lives fighting, hating, despising were God's loved children all along; that the vicious acts were not 'good' or 'holy', but evil acts for which they have been forgiven.
And the relievers who will become Malakim see all of this, and ponder it.
Malakim aren't heaven's deadliest combatants - the Ofanim hold that title, too swift to catch or flee from, too fast to hit. They aren't the surest guards - the Cherubim are. The Malakim are Heaven's most reliable warriors. A Malakite's resonance won't help him kill an opponent*; it exists to make sure that he doesn't kill an innocent by mistake, as so often happens in war.
The defining attribute of a Malakite is that he knows what can go wrong. They'll chew out an Ofanite for hasty actions, screaming about what can go wrong, and then seethe while the Ofanite laughs and heads off for his next adventure; the Ofanite thinks that the Malakite doesn't understand his need to MOVE! But the Malakite does understand; the image of a Traumatised Ofanite, clutching his Heart for centuries, unmoving, is one that the Malakite will never forget. Not that he'll let the Ofanite off any easier if the Wheel kills someone who didn't deserve it!
A reliever who plans to become a Malakite is likely to be serious and thoughtful; not as interested in pure thought as those who will become Elohim, instead concerned with practical problems. The decision to be become a Malakite is the decision to stand between Heaven and Hell, to take the damage which can destroy other angels. And it's a scary decision. A Malakite can't Fall; to be consider that (when the reliever has probably never had dissonance) requires looking unpleasant facts in the eye - that angels do Fall, that dissonance is a threat.
And an immunity to Falling isn't enough. The reliever who has thought of this knows that he can still Trip, and will have to consider that chilling possibility; of being cut off from Heaven, from friends, from his Superior; of being warped by Discord. Immunity to Trauma isn't enough; he can still be Soul-killed, or made Discordant by Ethereal combat. Worse, if a combat isn't fatal, he could be captured - the bleakest fate of all. Before becoming a Malakite, the reliever will have thought of all of this - even if it was necessary for existing Malakim to hammer these unpleasant truths home.
This thoughtfulness is exploited/rewarded by most Superiors. Blandine, Christopher, Janus, Jean, Laurence & Marc all base their Malakite Attunements on Ethereal Forces; Eli on Precision. Only Michael and Novalis expect high Corporeal Forces in their Malakim - and for the same reason. They expect their Malakim to follow the party line on whether violence is acceptable, rather than making their own decisions.
This thoughtfulness is needed for each Malakite must choose and understand his oaths. Understanding the implications of his compulsory oaths is especially important.
Consider: "Never suffer an evil to live if it is my choice".
"Suffer" has two separate meanings, both of which come from the original Latin - to allow something and to be hurt by it. The oath reminds the Malakite that the existence of evil harms all; The oath also repeats the concept of choice, implying Free Will (which if nothing else means that a Malakite will insist that Falling is not predestined). Finally, the oath accepts that the Malakite isn't responsible for everything - a common flaw among people with this sort of personality. The Malakite is forced by his oath to accept that some things are beyond his control. He is also forced to accept that he has superiors whose decisions he must abide by - this oath is also an oath to obey.
Also: "Never surrender or allow myself to be captured by the armies of Lucifer."
The refusal to surrender is part of the Malakite's ongoing commitment to Heaven. It's worth noting that while a Malakite will accept his Superior's orders to let an evil live, he will not obey an order to surrender. His oath to never be captured is interesting - it allows for no exceptions. It is a commitment to win. Better to be soul-killed than let Hell prevail. But it also implies that heaven must win; to swear this oath requires the new Malakite to be sure that God's victory is inevitable. But is the Malakite's? There is one, last, breath-takingly horrible reason for the Malakim to swear this oath - because it tempts Hell into capturing them. If it is a choice between a Malakite being captured, and any other angel, the Malakim want themselves to be captured. They know what capture by Hell means - torture, being drugged to the eyeballs, wracked with Discord, whether from forcible addictions or having their Mind Hits ripped away. Eventually, for a Malakite, it means Soul-death. But for every other angel, it's worse. Injecting huge amounts of LSD into an unconscious angel before slitting his throat will permanently rip away his Will. Painful as this is, a Malakite knows that he won't spend eternity in Trauma, the way any other angel would. Better him than them. If captured and driven dissonant, the Malakite will get Discord - but better him than another angel, who would Fall and return to fight against Heaven. This compulsory oath defends weaker angels - at a terrible price.
But that's why the reliever choose to become a Malakite - he was prepared to pay any price, to ensure that his fellows need not.
*Well, not directly. There are two important exceptions: one - a Malakite's resonance can detect THREE different bands of demons. Firstly, Balseraphs with a CD of 6. Secondly, a Shedite's need to continuously corrupt it's host means that the three most dishonourable things a long term host will have done will have occurred over the last 3 days. Thirdly, the Malakite can resonate on an Impudite who attempts to charm him; even if the Impudite is doing this via live media the knowledge of what the Impudite has been up to will assist in catching him.
Two - the ability to swear new oaths makes a Malakite an ideal candidate for Rites and Attunements from lesser Word-Bound. Swearing an oath to only use these gifts to the benefit of the Word will make them easier to acquire. A good generic oath for a Malakite is to swear to put the wellbeing of Divine Words above his own.
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