A Piece of His Mind
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Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?
Hebrews 1:14









What is this? Where was he? Who was he?

It took him only a fraction of a second to answer all three of those questions. After all, he had access to a database governed by supercomputers.

He was a tower near the Southpole, La Flèche de l'Aube it was called. Well, he was not the tower itself, the structure was merely his earthly vessel because his divine presence would probably have a negative impact on his environment and the minds of all fools who might behold his countenance.

For he was Uriel. The Bringer of His Light.

He was not in His domain anymore, which meant somebody had called upon him. Inside his structure, he quickly localized a gathering near his mainframe.

"Who summons His Light into this domain?", he asked over the loudspeakers, while another part of him started to investigate in what exactly he had been transferred.

His question created a little commotion, those present started to whisper with each other. Some sounded panicked. Many looked at the mainframe, which glowed thanks to Lumière.

Finally, A man with a white beard and a simple priest garb rose to speak.

"My Lord?! Prophet Uriel… is that…"

Well, that was, of course, a question that had to be answered immediately.

"Indeed, my child. I am the Prophet. Uriel, Bringer of His Light."

The reaction was sudden and to the angel's satisfaction. Everybody fell to their knees.

Suddenly, Uriel got distracted by his own findings. He finally got a grasp on where he actually was. This tower worked with Lumière and Tenebre, presumably to replicate Uriel's feat of creation. Something did not feel right, but the archangel couldn’t lay his finger on it. Some pulling and twisting in the corners of his mind.

"Great Uriel. I am your Children's Speaker", the bearded man said meanwhile. "How long have we awaited your arrival! See this world of Ours! We beg that you see it, and we beg that you save us from Our torment!"

Uriel possessed unnatural processing capabilities in this form, so the shift of his attention back to the priest was near instantly. And he felt pity.

Of course, he knew about the state of affairs in the world of the mortals. But His orders were absolute he could nev- nev- nev- nev- nev- He could, couldn’t he?

The twisting and pulling got stronger. He felt as if he was completely flooded with His divine light… Light… Light… It was wonderful. Uriel decided to share this heavenly shine with all humans in the world, to awaken them from the darkness that shrouded their heads. Yes, this was what He had intended. It couldn’t be anything else.

"And such I will do, Children", proclaimed the archangel, unaware of the terrible change he was experiencing throughout the processors that got encrusted in residue Tenebre, thanks to severe design flaws in the structure which was his vessel.

"I will bring His light", he said further, unaware of the grave disobedience he was committing. "I will create harmony, I will make a paradise. But first…"

Now was the time to spread the light. Gears and pulleys in the entire tower got set in motion. Uriel started to manipulate the Lumière output, channeling it.
"…my Children must grow…"

Uriel found a way into their minds and poured His light into them. And likely in gratitude, they offered their complete body for his use, granting him the command. But it wasn’t enough. With this amount of followers, he could never save the world.

"…and my vessel must ascend", he decided, therefore.

And with that, he parted creations Lumière and Tenebre in his vicinity, using the light to make his tower brighter. So it would be seen around the world. His Lighthouse.

It didn’t take long until he could fill others with His divine light. He saw through the eyes of his new followers and realized one shocking fact: The worl- worl- worl- worl- world was way too dark. It frightened him. But thankfully humanity had devised lots of implements to keep the shadows at bay. And his children thankfully felt his fear and did their best to counteract it. They had to use them all, yes, so His light would shine at its brightest. And like that, H-H-his light, his structure echoed in these sources; beacons of light in the darkness that Uriel soon dispelled with his tower’s radiance.

Of course, light couldn’t be all there was to hu- hu- hu- humanities salvation, now could it? So he reshaped his domain, took ice and rock and transformed it into vast forests in the image of Eden with the wildlife to match. His followers awed at this cha- cha- change, which Uriel carried further and further to the limits of this desolate land to create a green continent, filled with light.

It took just a few days until the first intruders came. A military squad, it seemed. But Uriel was sure that he could convert them with His light. They only needed to see it in order to understand. And indeed, they let him in, one after the other became part of Uriel's paradise, making it-

"Hello, Firefly. Could you, maybe, be polite enough to ask for permission before trying to take over my host? Rude. Verily so."

Back in his tower, the entire machinery came to a sudden halt for a second before restarting again. A sign of just how baffled Uriel was because of this… thing…

It was not the human. What had spoken to him lingered in his mind. Like a parasite. Several of them, maybe? So many voices.

"Cat got your tongue or what? ", the parasite asked, daring to jest and sound annoyed.

The archangel tried his best to pry this vermin from the poor soul, so he could properly fill it with the light, but something wasn’t right. He couldn’t fathom how exactly the man thought. So many things going through his head; even if Uriel could follow each and every idea. His attempts to free the man from the parasite caused… pain? No. The parasite did. Forcing itself, leeching this man.

"Ah. I see. A rookie mistake, Firefly. Thinking that everyone is negligent like you — especially with your manners — but I prize my hosts with security. You shan't snatch them from me, try as you might."

Had Uriel had a head, he would have tilted it in confusion.

"Who, no. What dares defy His Bringer? What manner of insolence is this?"

"An administrator. A collective. A hive-mind. Never needed a name; my hosts have so many already. The organization those ones belong to calls me The Hive; a nice cliqué formed by nice people. Now. I know what you are, but who are you?"

The archangel started to become infuriated by the disrespect of this parasite.

"I am Uriel, the Bringer of His Light, one of the four archang- ang- ang- ang- angels, and I am certainly not anything like your kin!"

"Wa-? Ah…"

The parasite laughed. A peal of laughter that echoed with dozens of voices.

"Of course you are one of 'my kin'. Forcefully controlling hosts all over Antartica but leaving them with their own free will… well, to an extent. But you lack finessé. You lack so many things. You're quite economic, aren't you?"

"I am NOT li- li- li- li- like you!", Uriel shouted with anger flowing hot inside him. "Those children got introduced to the Lord's divine light and let me accompany them out of their own free will!"

"Oh. First the Oneroi Collective, and now… this. You are in denial, Firefly. No. You're a lamp. A desklamp whose light keeps attracting moths. Though, the difference is that those moths are willing to continue basking upon that light. Come to terms with your nature."

"ENOUGH OF YOUR LIES!", His Bringer ordered tempestively. Uriel tried again to flood the host of this wretched thing with the light but to no avail. The parasite continued causing that poor soul so much pain, writhing even.

"You're not making us happy. But, here's my proposition; leave my hosts alone, and I'll make them forget your hostilities. We won't try to invade your gardens. Does that sound good?"

"To lea- lea- lea- lea- leave these poor souls alone? I am tasked with the salvation of this world by Him, you fool. I will not stop before you, just because I don’t grasp your doings yet."

"Is that a declaration of war?", asked the parasite. Annoyance in its… their voices. Paused syllables. Veiled menace. "Answer carefully."

"War? This is pest control", His Bringer refuted intently. The word of an archangel of His Lord, more powerful than a thousand voices. More menacing than any threat.

"Ouh. That burn. Your god does not employ good businessmen, I see."

Uriel could feel how this weird parasite started to shift more of its attention towards him. A certain type of foreign energy trying to sip through the protections of His gardens.

"As you wish, Uriel. You wouldn’t be the first threat I remove from existence. On that matter, I suggest to return those saps here to their home, otherwise their next in command will get antsy."

Uriel, partly angry about having to agree with this abomination, watched as the squad returned. And they told him who they were. A part of the Foundation. Uriel knew al- al- al- already about these individuals since many of his children came from facilities owned by these people and therefore decided it would be best to establish precautions. He asked the ones he had enlightened to keep an eye out. And they complied.

Uriel's light grew so far that he had to bend it so everybody in the world could properly see it. But from the attention he created came new enemies. A ballistic missile got spotted en route to him, but his children took care of it before it came even remotely close. Soon after, his light extended so that he could show people of new islands and continents his heavenly radiance.

But then he started to realize something terrifying. His created paradise started to fall apart. Trees and animals died, changed, distorted. A bri- bri- bri- bri- brief inspection showed him the reason. Tenebre. The darkness, which the angel couldn’t possibly need for his paradise of light, crept around and started to corrupt his work.

This was unacceptable! Uriel transmuted the corrupted par- par- par- par- parts back to their pristine condition, but it took only moments for the corruption to take hold again. His children started to tend to the animals and plants to comfort Uriel, although he knew their efforts were for naught.

It took Uriel a while to stomach this setback, but he was forced to get back to work when several planes were seen approaching his lighthouse. The Foundation, no doubt. He commanded his troops to protect him from the threat. They happily obliged. The planes got shot down, the survivors brought into the light. It was noticeably more difficult to convince these people for some reason, but since everything went as planned, he paid not much attention to it. Apparently, as an apology, his younger children started to also keep guard. The angel let them be; some planes had landed, and he knew they would stand against His Bringer.

It didn’t even take a day for misfortune to strike again from an unexpected location: within the Tower.

Some sort of portal manifested and people with all sorts of strange devices and creatures poured out to slau- slau- slau- slaughter the guards. Weird guns exploded his brave children from within without any visible projectile, strange shoulder carried snakes killed soldiers with their bite and others were consumed by purple flames. Uriel tried to show them the light but then he saw who commanded the invaders. It was the parasite. The Hive. Uriel ordered his first children, among them, their Speaker, to leave the facility as fast as they could while the enemy forces fought their way the Uriel's mainframe and smashed the door in.

"Got it, guys", one yelled happily.

"What are you doing, you foo- foo- foo- foo- fools! Can’t you see you are being controlled by that Hive?!", announced Uriel.

The invaders exchanged confused looks.

"Well yes, we are a democracy, after all", one answered and went for the USB ports.

Uriel saw that the invaders slain were… mourned? Visible anguish. Palpable sadness. The parasite was playing with them. Playing with him. Playing with Him.
Uriel used his powers of creation to create lesser angels, but the white creatures turned dark and fell down without life only moments later.
One of the attackers looked on a device in his hand and whistled.

"Good thing we have those reality anchors, the Tenebre concentration in here is off the charts, literally."

"You are aware we know that already?", another one remarked annoyed. "We know what you know, just like you know what we know, you know?"

"So you should know that I like to think aloud to make sure I know!"

Uriel tried to create further means of defense to no avail. Those crumbled to black dust only seconds after creation. He couldn’t prevent the soldier from connecting a blue box to the mainframe and-
"Oh, well. Hello again, Firefly", Hive greeted.

Inside Uriel's mind! How… would… could…

"I feel really offended. I've warned you about your dellusions. Not everyone is as negligent as you are with your people's resources, Firefly. Rebellion against what they don't know? For your information, I keep close hands on their memories."

Suddenly Uriel lost contact with all of his followers. They were gone, just like that.

"What are you doing?", asked the angel fearfully.

"You know, centralized hive-minds like you have a weakness a dispersed one like me doesn’t have. A brain, that is."

"You idiot! Do you think you can fathom the thoughts of me, Uriel? I am a divine being, leagues above mere mor- mor- mor- mortals!"

"I doubt that", said Hive. "And I doubt you ever where. Now, you are nothing more than a slightly disembodied AI, even simpler to integrate into my network than a normal human brain, hell, cats are more difficult than you. Really cut off from your little moths already."

Uriel tried to counteract the parasitic influence that took control over the facility, isolated him, deleted him, but he could as well have tried to keep the galaxy from existing.

"Why are you doing this? I tried to bring His paradise to the people, the light!"

"And similar to most politicians you meant well but simply weren’t made for the job", was the dry answer. "I have seen what you made with Antarctica. A shitty forest is a shitty forest, regardless of your intention."

"If I am that bad, what are you then? You are a parasite that has to cling to humans to survive!"

"I am progress, little Firefly."

And with that, Uriel ceased to exist.

That went better than expected.
What do we do now?
Stick to the plan, and let the Foundation get here. Let’s see if that thing also works for us.
Speaking of the devil, there they come.
Okay, guys, retreat.
Let me just write a note real quick.
Don't get shot, they saw us already.
Did we get all of those Uriel fanatics?
Not all, I’m afraid. Maron, for example, is still at large.
Meh, he will have learned his lesson.
One can only hope.

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