Angelic Duties (9)

Today, I’m a little more confident than last time, but I’m still very curious what you think of this new chapter of our serialized novel.

Enjoy!


Previously on Angelic Duties:
In the first chapter, we met Profound Distress, watched her attempt suicide, be sent away by Abbot Glistening tears, and saying goodbye to one of her former lovers.
In the second chapter, we watched Profound Distress say her goodbyes to Blue Rose and drive off to Iustik, met a Gendarm called Kimbal with whom we first saved a lady in arguable distress and then watched how Lady Sorrow deals with people breaking Angelic Law.
In the third chapter, Profound Distress first has a rather unenjoyable encounter with Glonn Teneract, then with an Avatar of Lady Sorrow, and finally with a bottle.
In the fourth chapter, Cerya has a bad awakening with Glonn, a bad reunion with Kimbal who guides her to her cottage and then leaves her – on bad terms.
In the fifth chapter, Kimbal leaves, and Profound Distress somehow makes do without him. Kimbal’s wife convinces him to invite Profound Distress for dinner to regain her good will, and she accepts.
In the sixth chapter, Glonn happens upon Kimbal while visiting his mother, and Cerya becomes friends with a puddle of black goo.
In the seventh chapter, we remember times of better relations between Cerya and Kimbal, while in the present, he meets a butcher and explains to his children that a very important old friend is coming to visit.
In the eighth chapter, Glonn meets the Nuntia, and Profound Distress is caught by Duncan.

Today on Angelic Duties:
“Where are you taking me?”

“To your brother.”

“Are you – you know, forcing me? I mean, what, if I try to leave, will you bodily restrain me and drag me to him?”

“Yes. And I will hurt you in the process, if necessary, because that is my purpose here, as you might remember.”

“You realize I’m not seven-year-old Cerya anymore, do you?” She forced a laugh, and it came out too shrill and too loud. “I’m a Cleric and –“

“And you realize everyone hates Clerics, they just cower from the threat of the Angel always hovering behind you, and Angels cannot hover here right now, so in your place, I’d not try throwing my weight around, because your whole weight has stayed out there when you entered, and all you’ve taken with you is the resentment people feel towards a bully they usually have to be afraid of.”

“But – but you realize that I will feel that same resentment towards you when we’re out there again, and my weight is back, and yours is gone in the same moment?”

“If”, was his only answer.

She had always been afraid of Duncan. Of course, not in a ‘He might do something to me’-way, she was a Teneract after all, and he served the House, but in the way she’d been afraid of those she considered good people all her life, because she wanted to be worthy in their eyes, and knew she was not, and she’d always seen the disappointment when he looked at her.

She started to wonder if it was time to fear him in another way.

“You – you wouldn’t kill me, would you?” The same forced shrill laugh again. She really ought to stop doing that.

“You know me,” he said.

And she did. But she still could not bring herself to fear him this way, he’d always seemed so honorable to her.

In fact, she could not bring herself to be afraid at all. This was her home, or as much of a home as she ever had. The feeling that her life might be in danger simply was not there.

They stopped before the door to the room where she got her first kiss from that blond servant boy she never saw again afterwards.

“Wait.”

Duncan gently held her back at her shoulder while leaning against the heavy carved wooden door – that was new – and pressing an ear to it.

She could hear voices inside – one Glonn’s, annoyed and barely patient – another female – haughty and mocking – but could not make out words.

“Shouldn’t take long,” he muttered. “I gave it to her almost half a glass ago.”

A high-pitched chinking sound came from within, like breaking glass.

Duncan nodded slowly.

“There you go.”

She started forward, but his hand against her shoulder still held her back.

“What are you waiting for?” she whispered, feeling silly for whispering but still doing it.

He held up his other hand, five fingers extended.

He folded his little finger.

She heard Glonn’s voice from the other side of the door.

Ring finger.

Still Glonn’s voice.

Middle finger.

Pause. But no answer.

Index finger.

Glonn’s voice again. He still sounded angry, but less frustrated now, self-satisfied in that very loathsome manner he had.

Duncan folded his thumb into the loose fist he’d made and opened the door.

Within, Glonn knelt on the floor before a black-skinned woman in expensive foppish clothes lying on her belly, stretching one arm out towards a small beaker standing in front of his right foot, trying feebly to crawl towards him with no discernible success. Her mouth was wide open and her eyes bulged.

“Here,” Glonn taunted, “Come on, just a few fingers, I’m sure you can reach it, come on, here’s your antidote, if you really want to, you can still make it, you certainly have a few seconds left, don’t give up!”

Only now the woman on the floor seemed to notice the open door, looking first at Duncan, then at Profound Distress.

“Help – me!” she croaked. “Please…”

Profound Distress took a step forward, but Duncan extended his left arm, barring her way through the door.

“Come on!” Glonn continued his teasing. “You’ve almost got it!”

He nudged the beaker a bit forward with the tip of his foot until she could almost touch it.

With a sound somewhere between a whimper and a groan she shoved herself forward, finally reaching the thing – and tipping it over with her clumsy fingers trying to pick it up. A desperate sob escaped her as she continued trying to crawl towards the stain on the floor, sticking out her tongue in her eagerness to get to it.

Profound Distress could not watch this any longer and tried to bow below Duncan’s arm, but he anticipated her movement and held her back with the other hand.

“Only a few moments left,” he murmured. “We shall have to bear it.”

The woman gave a last shudder and a twitch of her extended hand, then stilled, and stopped breathing.

“There,” Duncan breathed.

He lowered his arms, trundled over towards her and looked down upon her with his usual unreadable expression.

“Told you I’m a thug,” he murmured.

“It wasn’t really the antidote,” Glonn explained towards Profound Distress, as if this would make it all understandable and just fine. “Duncan took it before drinking from the same bottle.” Then, turning towards him:  “Now what are you standing there staring?”

“It’s sad, if you think about it.”

“What’s sad? That the stuck-up bitch got what she had coming? That’s sad to you?”

“Great talent, years and years of relentless training, exceptional skill, not to mention a human being, one of the many lights illuminating the world, extinguished forever for nothing more than childish pride.”

Glonn considered this for a few heartbeats before responding: “’Nothing more’, you say. But what else is there, what else is life?”

Duncan looked at him, his gaze as calm and unreadable as ever.

“What?” Glonn asked. “Come on, that was a good one, admit it.”

Duncan nodded, knelt besides the dead woman and gently picked up first the beaker, then her body on both arms to carry her outside the room.

Looking at Profound Distress, spreading his arms wide, Glonn asked: “Not like her exceptional skill was any good to her in the end, was it?”

She just looked at the shards of the beaker the woman had held still lying on the flagstone floor.

“Who was she?”

He sighed. “Just trust me, she had it coming.”

“Glonn, I’m not used to this any more. Could you please spare me the show next time?”

He shrugged. “I just saved your life, little sister. The least you could do is be a little grateful. Or a lot, if you know what I mean …”

“Don’t even think about it.”

He shrugged once more. “Pity. But still, we need to talk. A little bird told me you’ve been sneaking around the cellars here, which means you might have found our little something below your cottage, which means we might have a tiny problem here. A drink?”

“You’re joking, right?”

He smiled, and for a moment, he looked almost like a decent person.

“Not what she had, or what I had, for that matter. I could order fresh tea brewed for you. This will take some time, after all, and the air is quite dry down here.”

She looked at him, calculating the chances of her own brother poisoning her. He wouldn’t have let her witness the black woman’s death if he’d intended to do the same to her, would he?

“Will you drink the tea with me?”

He nodded. “Sure.”

Alright. Profound Distress knew House Teneract’s poison of choice, and it was quite uncomfortable even with the antidote. Glonn would not inflict that on himself if he could just as well have Duncan snap her neck. Besides, her throat felt parched, and she could really use some tea right now, and might even have accepted … no. Better not start thinking in that direction.

****************************

“Surely, my lady jests.”

“No, Kimbal, I see what you’re getting at, but we can hardly just … We can’t have a Cleric as a dinner guest and just pour her water without even offering -”

“Yes, we can, and it’s exactly what we will do.”

“But … Shouldn’t we at least offer her some wine? She could always refuse, if she -”

“You really don’t understand, do you?”

“I do! But don’t you see how it is completely impossible to have a Cleric in our house and give her nothing but -”

“Look, Katra, this is not complicated at all. In fact, it’s so simple even I can see it clearly at one glance. There are two possibilities. Either she prefers not to be offered alcohol, in which case it’s better not to do it, or she prefers to be, in which case it’s much better not to do it. You do not want a drunk Cleric in your house who still fancies your husband and also has an extensive track record for being impulsive and irresponsible in these matters. You don’t.”

She considered this for a few heartbeats before finally admitting that he had a point.

“But don’t you think we should have something besides water? Some sort of juice maybe, or … small beer?“

“Forget it. Juice is fine, though. But I won’t go out and get it. This whole thing is your project anyway. Just remember because this is important and no matter if you really understand it, please just accept it from me: She cannot drink Alcohol, or indulge in any other drugs. Her self-control is fragile enough as it is. We cannot trust her with that stuff.”

“Got it. Juice, water. Tea?”

“Tea should be fine, too. Just don’t brew it too strong.”

***********************

“… so I said: Don’t even get me started!”

Profound Distress laughed so hard she almost spilled her tea. She never realized Glonn could be that funny. She slapped her thighs and threw her head back and –

Wait.

With a gigantic effort of will, she calmed herself and looked at the cup in her hands. It did seem kind of blurry, come to think of it. She blinked, but it didn’t help.

“Did you …” She shook her head violently. “Did you put – There’s something in my tea, right?”

“Well …”

He tilted his head, grinning broadly, and held his hand up, thumb and index finger a tiny distance apart.

“I might have added a little something to spice it up for you, to get you into a slightly better mood, you know, since you seemed a little highly strung.“

“You bastard! Wha- What time is it?”

She tried to get up, but found it more difficult than expected and sank back into her chair.

Glonn laughed.

“You know, sister, that looked awfully stupid, what you just did.”

“You disgusting, vile, horrible piece of crud!”

“Oh come on, you know how you always enjoyed our little treatment sessions? I was just trying to rekindle old memories!”

He came towards her and bent over her, speaking lowly and directly into her ear: “You know, I also enjoyed those sessions a lot. What do you think-“

He jolted upright and stepped away from her when the door opened and Duncan walked back in.

“Oh, there you are back! I trust everything went alright with the Nuntia?”

Duncan nodded, looked at Profound Distress, and without any discernible change in his facial features, managed to show his feelings.

“It’s not the way it looks!” she yelled at him, pointing a finger at her brother. “He – he –he poisoned me, the fucking bastard poisoned me, I didn’t do anything!”

Duncan just nodded, while Glonn laughed, and winked at him.

“Duncan, could you help me out of here? I need to leave, I have a disappointment. I mean, I – what did I just say?”

“It sounded like you want to be somewhere else. I certainly understand, but I cannot allow it, much as I may regret it.”

Glonn chuckled, and the chuckle turned into a loud, cackling laugh as she awkwardly freed herself from the chair and tottered towards him.

“Sister, I always just loved it when you’re a little stewed! It’s so funny to watch your-“

“You know what?” she drawled, stopping only when she was directly in front of him. “You may laugh now, but I’ll tell you something: You will grow old. Sooner than you imagine now, you will weaken, and lose your hair, and your joints will ache, and your bladder will betray you, but I will always be like this, and I will watch you wither and decline until you don’t even recognize yourself in the mirror anymore and need help scratching your own ass, and I will be young and beautiful, and I will visit you just to laugh at you, and taunt you, and I will enjoy it, and you will know that I have what you never can, that this will never happen to me.”

He looked at her, he swallowed, looked at Duncan, and he said: “Let her leave. Take her away. Now. Before I do something which might please our mother. She’ll come back anyway, but get her out of my sight for now.”

***********************

Kimbal walked into the dining room, carrying five of their eight expensive porcelain dishes, looked at the table – and immediately dropped them, stumbling back until his left shoulder painfully hit the doorframe.

The precious plates fell onto the carpet and might even have survived, had they not been knocked against another by the fall, and thus shattered with a sound at once painful and reassuring, because it served to tie him to reality, which seemed to have been suspended otherwise.

On the backrest of one of their dining chairs perched a naked Avatar of Lady Sorrow, the same murderous beast he had recently seen mortally punish dozens of good people for the unforgiveable sin of approaching some old building, and – years ago but unforgotten – slaughter his parents without any apparent reason at all.

“What – why – am – are – what are you doing here?“

“You will admit Profound Distress.”

“I will … what? Yes, of course I will. I invited her. Or … What exactly are you talking about?”

The Angel lowered Her feet from the chair’s backrest in a strange motion where She spread Her wings slightly, stepped from the strip of wood and deliberately stretched Her legs out without the rest of Her body showing any inclination to do what gravity ought to have commanded, until Her taloned feet rested on the floor.

For the first time, he noticed that She had not just one knee, but an extra joint that enabled Her legs to fold up in different ways than a human, and now She stood surprisingly tall. Her head would have broken through the ceiling if She straightened up completely.

She stalked towards him, the porcelain shards crunching beneath Her feet but, of course, doing no discernible harm.

The Angel leaned forward and down, studying his face so very closely while he tried not to look at those silver orbs that served as Her eyes and not to shrink back from Her, gritting his teeth, doing his best not to think about the dreadful possibility She might touch him.

Beneath Her waxy translucent skin, he noticed something pulsing, something that reminded him of human veins, but was also clearly different in that it seemed to move and coil in on itself, and it was of a deep blue you’d certainly not see in human beings while they were still alive.

She made a low throaty sound while inspecting him, somewhere between a hiss and a rattle, and droned:

“You have no fear of us.”

He swallowed and refused to retreat from her scrutiny.

“I do,” he answered. “Lots of fear. You are monsters. But I refuse to bow to your tyranny.”

“Refuse,” the Angel echoed, slowly, but unconcerned, as if trying the word for size. After a pause, She repeated: “You have no fear of us.”

Kimbal opened his mouth, considering whether to object again, but before he could make up his mind, the Angel added:
“Know that it is not only you who will suffer if you disobey.”

“Are you … threatening my family?”

“We do not threaten.”

His fists clenched and unclenched at his sides as he bit his tongue and finally blurted:

“Why did you kill them? They hadn’t done anything to you!”

When he finally couldn’t stand the Angel’s detached empty gaze any longer, he repeated:

“Why did you kill them? What had they done? You know who I’m talking about, don’t you?” The last in the sudden realization that the Angel probably killed thousands of people each year and might really have no idea, if She wasn’t reading his thoughts, as She probably could.

Whichever it was, he still received no answer, and his nails dug into his palms as he tried to control his rage at this cold, uncaring, utterly invulnerable being in front of him. His hatred was somehow multiplied by its object’s sheer indifference, and for a moment, he felt he’d choke on his rage if he did not raise his useless fists and attack this monster in spite of the gesture’s ridiculous pointlessness. Only the thought that he would deprive his children of their father and his wife of her husband just to satisfy his own juvenile anger held him back.

“You do not feel anything about us, do you?” he pressed through gritted teeth. “You do not care at all.”

The Angel held its silence for a while, but finally answered: “We are Avatars of Heaven. It speaks through our mouths, and it bites with our teeth.”

“Why did you kill them?” he repeated a third time.

The Angel made that disturbing hissing-rattling sound again and leaned forward, impossibly balancing without any visible counterweight, until Its mouth was directly besides his right ear.

He dared not even breathe. But he denied his urge to flinch, to recoil before Her. He would not give Her that. ‘Heaven’s teeth can bite my –‘

“You will admit Profound Distress,” She repeated, and vanished with a jump clear through the ceiling, without seeming to touch its material.

He looked after Her, his mouth open, trying to work out what had just happened.

“I was going to do that anyway,” he muttered under his breath.

Reading group questions

  1. About the Nuntia: Do you regret she’s already gone?
  2. Do you think Profound Distress should have reacted with more shock at her demise?
  3. Do you think Duncan would have killed her?
  4. Do you see the Angels als monsters? Why or why not?
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40 Responses to Angelic Duties (9)

  1. 1. Yes, I do. I liked her and she was interesting. But sometimes it makes for a better story when interesting people die.

    2. No, since it wasn’t that unexpected or unusual.

    3. No idea. He’s too unpredictable.

    4. Not really. They are too alien for that. I don’t see Lovecraft’s gods as monsters either. I see them either as animals (and I can’t say a wolf is a monster for killing a lamb) or as forces of natures (which are outside of any ethical judgement).
    But just as an earthquake can have terrible and even monstrous effects so an Angel can have monstrous effects.

  2. Muriel sagt:

    @ars libertatis: 4 That’s interesting. I think one might argue that being alien is exactly what makes a monster a monster. What would you consider a monster?

  3. Muriel sagt:

    Oh, and also: Why an animal?

  4. @Muriel:
    4: I don’t know how idiosyncratic my use of the word is, but for me monsters are quite manlike. Sure, there’s always something alien about them, but not a lot.

    Examples: Zombies, Bigfoot, Tolkien’s Goblins, etc.

  5. Why an animal? Well, what are the other possibilities? The other biological kingdoms don’t really suit, do they?

  6. Muriel sagt:

    @ars libertatis: I see. Thanks for explaining.

    The other biological kingdoms don’t really suit, do they?

    But ‚animal‘ does?
    Well.
    They’re probably more animal than plants or funghi, I’ll give you that.

  7. They’re probably more animal than plants or funghi

    And that’s enough.

  8. Muriel sagt:

    But then, either you mean ‚animal‘ in a biological sense, which includes humans, or you mean in a colloquial sense, but then I’d say the Angels are more human than dog or bear, because they at least appear to be self-aware.

  9. I meant it in the lazy colloquial sense. Yes, they are more human than a bear but they are also more alien than a bear. I think I understand bears better than your Angels.

  10. Muriel sagt:

    I certainly hope so. But then, wouldn’t that make them something other than animals after all? I personally have a hell of a hard time understanding fungi.

  11. But they look like animals, they move like animals and they make sounds like animals.

  12. Muriel sagt:

    No they don’t. They just mold around and creep over decaying stuff.

  13. OK. I like that, too.

  14. Günther sagt:

    1. Yes, I actually do. I’m wondering what her purpose in this story is, given that she’s killed this fast.

    2. No, that seems fine. After all, she grew up in that house with those people.

    3. In case she had fled, you mean? I can’t really imagine him killing her, but then he would probably have two or three ways to stop her without killing her.

    4. The system they’re imposing on the world seems pretty tyrannic to me, yes. But I can’t really think of them as monsters, because they just seem to be strictly following a certain set of rules, almost like machines, without really making any decisions. In that case, the real monster would be whoever „built“ these machines.

    5. PD really had it coming with that „poisoned“ tea. That was pretty naive.

  15. Muriel sagt:

    @Günther: Whoa, what are you doing here all of a sudden? I was afraid we might have lost you.
    1. I hope you’ll find out.7
    3. I meant more in case he was ordered to.
    4. Interesting.
    5. You’re absolutely right. I was already doubtful about this and might still change it in the final version.

  16. Günther sagt:

    Well I didn’t get to read the story right away, and didn’t feel like commenting on older parts of it. And then I have to admit I was a bit eingeschnappt about Yours to Keep a.k.a. Gebunden. But I quite like Angelic Duties, so here I am.

  17. Muriel sagt:

    @Günther: Oh you really were? I’m sorry about that, I truly am. I meant no offense, and I actually considered if my comments might have been too harsh, but then I thought: Oh, what the heck, better err on the side of imprudence, as I very often do.
    Bottom line, I wasn’t trying to be mean, it was all supposed to be good fun, I really regret my callousness, and thank you for returning. I missed your comments.

  18. Günther sagt:

    Thanks. Never mind.

  19. madove sagt:

    1. Yes, a bit indeed, I found her to be an interesting and …promising character.
    2. No. She was disturbed, and whe tried to help, but she’s grown up around Glonn and has probably seen worse…?
    3. I would not exclude the possibility. Unfortunately.
    4. Hm. I realized from your dialogue from ars libertatis that i don’t even know how I would define a ‚monster‘ – yes, alien and scary, but also somehow evil or cruel. And perhaps I don’t have the impression that the Angels are evil or cruel, they behave more like humans towards animals. Hm. But perhaps I consider this montruous, too? I’m confused. Good question!
    5. In the part with Duncan, Glonn and PD, I sometimes had problems to instantly understand WHO is talking, like at

    Duncan just nodded, while Glonn laughed, and winked at him.
    “Duncan, could you help me out of here? I need to leave, I have a disappointment. I mean, I – what did I just say?”

  20. Muriel sagt:

    @madove: 2. Probably. (This scene was one of the reasons why I chose to include the nursery rhyme earlier on.)
    4. To me, a monster is dangerous and alien supernatural being. It does not need to be malevolent. But that’s just my definition. (My lsj-tutor commented after the scene with the cultists that this is „the mythology of monsters made political“, if I remember correctly. I’m not sure I agree, but it seemed nicely put.
    5. You’re right, I should have made it more clear.

  21. madove sagt:

    4. Following your definition, they absolutely are monsters to me; all three adjectives fit. I think I get confused with the use of ‚monster‘ as an insult to humans, when they behave in an evil way? Or perhaps mainly when they show no empathy, which would fit better to the ‚alien‘ aspect? The angels fit into it in any case though.

    5. Re-reading the sentence I chose as an example, now I am not even sure who is winking 😉

  22. Muriel sagt:

    @madove: 4. The problem with calling people or anything evil has been a topic here several times, so you know my position on that one. I think the lack of empathy is something that is commonly perceived as alien and thus monstrous, yes, and some people just categorize others as monsters if they do stuff they don’t understand and consider evil, and while I leave to each single person to define what they mean by „monster“, I at least object to its use for dehumanizing people.
    Uhm.
    Did I just write that you obviously already know my position and then explain it anyway? There you go. That’s me.
    5. It’s easy: Cerya nods, Glonn laugs, Duncan winks, and the broken beaker on the floor asks for Duncan’s help. Obvious once you think about it, right?

  23. madove sagt:

    4. Yes, I know and theoretically share your position (and I think every occasion to re-explain it is a good occasion). But strangely the dehumanizing-people-use of the word was nevertheless in my mind when pondering the question. Thanks for making me notice.
    5. Yeah, silly me, why can’t I pay attention when reading…

  24. Muriel sagt:

    @madove: 4. Not so strange, since it is often used.
    5, You do seem a tad distracted recently. Tell me you’re not reading other authors behind my back.

  25. madove sagt:

    5. I would never do such a hideous thing!! *hastily closes browser tabs*

  26. Muriel sagt:

    @madove: So then … this „huge green member“ thing, you wrote that yourself?

  27. madove sagt:

    *coughs* No. I myself am not writing anything, I am really not able to invent a minimum of plot, unfortunately, not even plot of this kind. I’m just reading and not contributing anything. Unfortunately.

  28. Muriel sagt:

    It’s hard for me to imagine that you really are unable, but what can I say but if you ever do invent something, I’d be overjoyed to read it, especially if it doesn’t involve Spocksex.

  29. madove sagt:

    Yeah, it’s really weird. I can roleplay, so I can make my characters REACT to something, and I could perhaps make them autobiographically sit in a corner and brood, but that’s all. Nothing else will ever happen in my head *sigh*
    But should I ever, I will let you know (if it’s no slash, ok).

  30. Muriel sagt:

    I said especially. I’d read your slash.

  31. madove sagt:

    (I’m deeply honored, seriously. And terrified.)

  32. Muriel sagt:

    You could make it even easier by remembering that Tasha Yar / T’Pol thing …

  33. madove sagt:

    Oh, I do remember that, never fear.
    If I was not so incredibly convinced that I can NOT write at all, I would now feel seriously challenged. (But I’d have to do a lot of research – I don’t even know T’Pol, so I would have to watch the series, aaaannd then I would have to seriously expand my knowledge about what to do with all these women in my slash – hm. well, THAT even sounds like fun, but a long road from where I am. Ask me again in two or three years. 😉 )

  34. whynotveroni sagt:

    1. Yes. Really a pity. Seemed like an interesting character.
    2./3. Umm… no I guess. I didn’t find anything wrong…
    4. Could you state that question more precisely? The term monster isn’t clearly defined, so I can’t answer that question. They aren’t evil, they aren’t ugly, they aren’t „deformed“. They are just a different species with their own ideas about morale. Would a fly see us as monsters? 🙂

  35. Muriel sagt:

    @whynotveroni: 4, It obviously wouldn’t because it lacks the mental capacity to conceive of such a concept.
    I expected readers to just insert their own usage of the term. Totally worth it, as you can see above.

  36. Guinan sagt:

    1. Yes. But I’m not sure she’s gone forever.
    2. No, she’s used to Glonns behavior and to the way some things were handled in House Tenerakt.
    3. No, she is already member of his house, he will try to protekt her.
    4. I’ve read so many books about aliens, I can’t see the angels as monsters. They are just another interesting species.

  37. Muriel sagt:

    @Guinan: 1. Doubt is always a good thing.
    3. Interesting. You think he would not accept an order by Glonn to that effect?

  38. Guinan sagt:

    @Muriel: Yes, think so. He would find a way to avoid obedience.

  39. Muriel sagt:

    @Guinan: This conviction of yours is soon going to be put to a test. Well, kind of.

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