by Eric J. Marschall © 2003

"They're coming." Gabriel pushed his cheek against the boards, looking through the gap. A face slammed against the glass and he jumped back, watching the entering light turn red with spit and blood.

"Okay, they're here," he said.

Chamuel looked at him, hammer in hand at his right. "Are you helping?"

Gabriel walked to the center of the sunroom. "When was it that someone was crushed against a window in Heaven last?"

Raphael ran from boarded window to boarded window. "They're here. They're Here! Utopia means 'no place.' How could we miss that?"

"You mean again?" asked Gabriel.

Chamuel put the last nail in the last board over the windows of the Celestial Palace and walked to Raphael. "Relax, Brother," said Chamuel, placing a calming spell on him as he spoke. "He has a plan."

Raphael sat, indian-style, on the marble floor. "Hope his plan is 'Operation Get the Heck Out of Here.'"

"Apeshit," said Gabriel. "How long can you sustain a population of souls in a state of bliss?"

"It's Heaven," said Raphael.

Chamuel walked towards Raphael. "Exactly." Gabriel ignored the thumping on the windows and looked at the two near the center of the room.

"It may not be Earth, but people expect something. Stasis sucks, regardless the species."

Raphael's eyes rolled up and down. "But it's Heaven."

The pounding on the glass became louder.

Gabriel stepped up to Raphael and ran his fingers through his hair.

"But, as I've been telling Him since we ascended, it's a nice promise, but there's no Bigger Picture."

Chamuel swung, hitting Gabriel square in the jaw. "The bigger picture is His vision."

Gabriel shook it off, but raised his right arm. "Stagnant is not an answer!"

One of the windows shattered. All three stared at the hands grasping through the gaps in the boards.

The spell began to wear off.

"What're we going to do?" asked Raphael.

"Follow Me," said God.

They looked down the hall for a second and walked towards the voice.

"What're we to do?" said Gabriel.

"We ascend," said God, stepping onto a green panel none of the others recognized. "We push."

The rest stepped onto the panel. "But what if--"

"What nothing," said God as they rose and became transparent.

"Heaven becomes another stop. We have the advantage of surprise."

They disappeared into the domed ceiling. "Let them destroy the Palace. Let them multiply. Let them write another Book."

x x x

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