The Flight of the Guardian (Fiction, Part One)
It is not our custom to reveal our names to humans.
To do so distracts them and often robs worship from the Lord we serve. Only the Fallen reveal their names, entertaining their deluded followers with scraps of forbidden knowledge to both delight and damn them. However, trusting that those who hear will stay focused on the message within, I will reveal the names of those involved in my tale.
My name is Aram. I am an angel in the service of the Most High, the Lord of Hosts, He Whose Name is above all names. I am also what humans call a Guardian angel. As such, I have two duties: to defend the chosen ones of God, and to do battle with the Fallen.
Of the two, I prefer the latter.
The Command came down from the Throne as I flew over the Celestial City. Without hesitation, I arced in midair and reversed direction in a flash of lightning toward the base of the Throne. There Michael, the archangel and one of the most powerful creations of God, sat with his great wings folded behind him, carefully forging an unbreakable chain laid across the lap of his sea-green robe.
With the echo of thunder rolling throughout heaven, I landed in front of him, powerful wings whispering into each other behind me, as the mighty archangel before me purposefully squeezed yet another link into that chain with his bare hands.
I hesitated at the cold anger in Michael’s face with every link, the deadly intent in his burning eyes. Few in Heaven or Hell would dare interrupt the captain of the Lord’s armies while he worked on the bindings of the Dragon.
Michael passed his hand over the unfinished link and with a tiny burst of light, sealed it into the chain. Unless the Lord God spoke it, nothing would ever separate that link again. He set the chain aside and turned his attention to me.
I nodded in respect. “My captain.”
Michael rose to his feet and gestured to me. Silently, I fell into step alongside of him.
“The Lord has a special task for you to accomplish, Aram,” he said, his voice low and powerful.
My spirit stirred excitedly, showing in a nervous flutter of my wings. In the spiritual realm, we have no physical substance to mask our reactions, as humans do. Every emotion is represented in some physical mannerism.
Michael continued. “The Almighty has chosen to reveal to his servant Daniel what shall befall the children of Israel in the latter days. Because Jacob’s seed has been placed in my charge, the Lord allowed me to choose whom I would send to deliver His words. I have chosen you, Aram.”
Nothing could have shocked me more. My spirit reeled and I nearly fell off of the path at the magnitude of what had just been said.
Messengers were the highest order of God’s angels, their purpose so holy that not even the devils of the Abyss would interfere with their missions.
“Captain, I am no Messenger. I am not fit to…”
Michael held up a hand and I fell silent, wrestling within myself. “The Lord has stated His will in this, Aram. The Lord has decided to test Daniel’s faith with the greatest test of all—time. Therefore, you will be sent to fight your way through in place of a Messenger.”
My thoughts churned my mind into a confusing storm. To be the one to actually carry the living Word of God to His children! Such an honor leaped beyond my wildest imaginings. Only the mightiest and highest of the Heavenly Host were entrusted with such a task, and now I, the lowliest of God’s warriors, I would be counted among them!
Michael smiled again, enjoying my excitement, but said, “Be cautious, Aram. Only you and I of the angelic host know of your mission. You will be alone against the Fallen that control the kingdom of Persia.”
I barely heard him, swept up in the glory of it all. The Fallen were just that, fallen. No mere demon could stand in the path of the Holy Word of God.
But my euphoria evaporated at the next words to fall from Michael’s lips.
I entered the mortal plane a day’s journey outside of Shushan, the winter palace of the Persian kings. Upon arrival, I disguised myself as a leper to avoid human contact and began walking along the side of the road that led to the city. I could not fly directly to my destination, in part due to the demonic army stationed above the city, but mostly because of who led them.
When Michael spoke his name, my mission lost its savor and took on a deadly seriousness. Zeal was one of the Dragon’s most cunning servants, a ruthless fallen angel who knew no limit to his cruelty and ambition. These qualities caused him to rise in the Adversary’s hierarchy until Zeal controlled the kingdom of Persia as the right hand of the Devil.
He was also my brother-in-arms before he fell.
As I walked down that long road, the memories of that time swirled around my mind like the dust clouds from passing chariots. Zeal and I were fresh and alive, clad in the beryl robes of the Almighty’s warriors and armed with His flashing swords. Elated by the newness of our creation, there was nothing the two of us could not accomplish.
Then came the Sundering, the ill-fated Rebellion, and the Fall. The Dragon and his lies poisoned one-third of Heaven, and we purged the treacherous from our ranks in a single night of lightning and flame.
Since that day, lines were drawn in the sand, and angels that once stood together as brothers fought one another with venomous hatred.
The day wore on as I walked toward the city, alone.