I am Malakim. I and my siblings are the instruments of Heaven’s wrath. We are the warriors at the tip of the spear. We are the steadfast. We are the Virtues. When the gates of Hell are finally thrown down, it will be to the sound of our boots marching in step with the Divine Symphony.
I am Cassiel, Vassal of War, in service to Lord Michael. I remember little of my existence before a few centuries past. Few do. Perhaps this limitation keeps us focused on the here and now. There is certainly plenty to be done. I have some memories of when the Malakim were young and few, as was the War, as were the Fallen. Now, we are not as few as we were, but neither are the Fallen. And the War is still raging…
I am not alone. Among the multitudes of the Heavenly Host, I have found kindred spirits even among those who follow other Words. Not all of us serve in the same way, but we do, after all, serve the same ultimate purpose. I count among my friends, servitors of the oldest of Archangels. I’ve discovered an affinity for them and their Words, within myself. Stone, Fire and Wind are ancient and primal. They speak to me in ways that re-inforce my dedication to War. They are with me still.
ASPECT: ALLIED WITH STONE, WIND, AND FIRE
I am Douglas Ridgway. That is my Role, here in the realm of humans. For the last 37 years I have dwelled amongst mighty choruses of humanity, shared the songs of their joy and of their sorrow. Few know my true nature. I am instructed to remain in deep cover, to observe, to develop my Role, and to serve the word of War quietly until called upon. I have been called upon few times during these brief decades, and my cover has held.
As Douglas, I was born in the normal fashion and grew up in NYC. After high school I enlisted with the United States Army and attained the rank of staff sergeant. I served in both Afghanistan and Iraq and saw much action. After several years it was time to transition back to the home front. The next few years would be difficult, but necessary to develop my Role amongst another set of warriors and position myself in the crossroads of the world.
To this end, Douglas was badly wounded and eventually discharged. Transition to civilian life was difficult, and PTSD took its toll. Like so many humans before him, Douglas hit rock bottom and found himself on the street. The Silver Star medal he still carried, awarded in Iraq, was the only item of value he had left.
Humanity is a wonderful and confusing thing. There are those who would challenge Demons for selfish cruelty. But there are others who challenge Angels for selflessness. Sometimes, they exceed us, for they have free will (something I am only beginning to understand). There were those who lent Douglas a hand when he appeared to need it most. Councilors, volunteers (in wounded warrior charities and others) gave Douglas the help he needed to drag himself from the gutter and rebuild his “life”.
He did so. Bit by bit, Douglas defeated the “demons” of PTSD, of alcohol, of despair, of the failure of will that afflicts far too much of humanity. He got clean. He got a job (as a security guard). He got a life. He is now a ‘success story’, a beacon of hope that if he can do it, so can anyone. And he is giving back. He volunteers his time to some of the very organizations that helped him. He shows other wounded warriors that they do not have to go quietly into the night. They can fight back, and win. He has touched many lives and made many friends. His social graces are sadly few, but he has that precious gem of experience that earns their trust and respect. They listen to him, more than to any suave college educated psychologist. Because he’s been there. He’s one of them.
This may seem like Mercurian’s work to you. In a way it is, but it’s not without purpose. It serves the word of War in subtle but powerful ways, and will one day pay big dividends. For there is still spirit in these seemingly broken folk of the street, still fight in their hearts. Those who triumph in this* school of hard knocks*, are warriors indeed. For, in the end, it will be the warriors of humanity who will turn the tide in the ultimate War of all. When Gabriel blows her trumpet, we will not stand alone!
I have friends in many places now. From the streets of the homeless, to the soup kitchens, to the organizations trying to give back. From the people trying to rise up, to those who have already made it. From gangers to beat cops, from street walkers to councilors. And yes, I am known in certain circles of the military, from those in Veteran’s Affairs, to my old comrades (some of whom still serve). Few of these folk are warriors in the traditional sense, but only a fool believes that wars are fought with axes alone. The ground is prepared. When Baal comes calling we will be ready.
ASPECT: SCHOOL OF HARD KNOCKS
BAD WEEK FOR A CALABITE
GUEST STARRING: Terri Foster & Paul Swanson
A friend of mine contacted me recently. Max is a cab driver and member of the local chapter of the Guardian Angels (gang/neighborhood watch). That’s just his day job though. His angelic name is Calisto. He is a Celestial (Ofanite) in service to Stone. He’s gone through the whole “free will” thing recently too.
One of his Soldiers has gone missing and he needed my help to find her. If you are confused, a “Soldier” in this context is a human who can hear the Symphony. They can control their own essence and can grow to be quite powerful. They usually pick a side in the War. In Rachael’s case, she’s a Soldier of God, and currently works for Calisto. She’s tough, and she’s street smart. But she’s been gone for a week with no news, which is not like her at all.
I spoke with people across the city to track her down, eventually enlisting the aid of an angel of Wind. It turns out Rachael had been abducted by a gang of toughs led by a demon (Calabite) in service to Saminga (Demon Prince of Death). Saminga isn’t known for being the brightest bulb in the box. Apparently, neither are his lackeys. Before she was taken down, Rachael disposed of three of them, including the demon. He recovered from trauma just in time to meet me…
The tip off came from (via an intermediary) a Soldier of Hell, in service to Malphas. Personally, I loathe the Demon Prince of Factions, but apparently he loathes Saminga more, and his soldier was more than happy to rat on him to the other side.
The only thing you can trust in a demon is that they will always follow their own self-interest. Malphas’ lackey was as good as his “word”. My friends and I had the pleasure of sending the Calabite back to trauma yet again and wiping out what remained of his little gang. Rachael was in good shape, all things considered. “Spitting mad” would describe her, which was all to the good. I don’t entirely approve of her allowing herself to be taken prisoner, but I must remind myself that she is only human. She will grow from this. As the servitors of Stone always say “what does not kill me, makes me stronger”.
ASPECT: FRIENDS AND ENEMIES EVERYWHERE
THE STORY: MISSING PERSON
STARRING: Janice Sanderson
GUEST STARRING: Khan Noonien Singh
I assisted a certain Janice Sanderson in rescuing one of her patients from the Fomor. Met an odd human by the name of Noonien Singh in the process.
ASPECT: I CAN READ PEOPLE LIKE A BOOK
THE STORY: It’S ALWAYS SUMMER IN CENTRAL PARK
STARRING: Terri Foster
GUEST STARRING: Khan Noonien Singh
An old friend of mine, Terry Foster requested my help in an unusual (and potentially dangerous) dispute. Apparently the Fae of Spring were trying to wrest control of Summer’s section of the Zoo in Central Park. Given the concentration of powers in Central Park, this could have easily spiraled out of control. I’m not on the best of terms with the servitors of Animals, but they (Jordi’s followers) do maintain a Divine Tether in the Zoo. I was able to convince them that Summer may be crazy, but Spring is that special sort of bat-shit crazy that you don’t want in a neighbor. In the end, they agreed.
ASPECT: INTERMEDIARY TO SUMMER
GUEST STAR, REDUX