"Ahem," said Mike, tactfully but audibly. "He didn't hear you," Gabe muttered. Mike sighed. "Yes, he did. He's just ignoring me." The one they spoke to turned, with a smile. "Okay, boys. What's up? I'm not ignoring you. I'm just kind of busy." He waved an arm at the surrounding scene. "Pretty, isn't it?" "Beautiful," Mike agreed. "Dazzling," said Gabe. "That's what we wanted to talk to you about?" "Oh?" Mike looked at the ground, where baby blades of fresh, green grass sprang. "Sir, how about quitting, like now? You can't improve on this." Earnestly, Gabe said, "Think about that mess on Rigel Four, or Ariadne 12, sir. Please don't do that again." A weary sigh, tinged with sadness, was their answer. "I keep hoping," he said. "But sir, every time you add top-level sentient beings with free will to a beautiful new planet, you know what happens," said Mike. "War. Hunger. Slavery. Slaughter. Pollution. Extinction of species..." A saber-toothed tiger padded softly out of the lush greenery. It glanced at the three, then moved close enough to rub its face against Gabe. Gabe scratched the huge creature's ear, and the great cat moved off toward the bushes. Rustlings in the greenery hinted at other life forms. Mike noticed flying creatures streak overhead, and crystal-clear waters lapped near the sand at their feet. The air was gentle, fresh and pure. The Creator put a gentle hand on each angel's shoulder. "Okay, I'm going to listen to you guys this time. Free will is going to work some day, I keep hoping. But you're right. This place is so beautiful. I have to admit, it's one of my best. Let's be selfish, and keep it just the way it is - for ourselves and our crew." The two angels smiled broadly. Michael said, "Heaven is, well, heavenly, but I'd sure like to take my vacations right here. How about you, Gabe?" "I don't even want to go home," said Gabriel, breathing in the cool air so fresh it seemed to have a sparkle to it. "Come on, guys," said their boss. "We've got work to do back at the shop. But we can always come back here, to this beautiful place. I'll leave it just as it is, and let it develop in its own way. I've been working on it six days, anyway. Well, almost six and a half - that ought to do it for this Planet Earth."
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