Mortals spoke of things they knew not,
angels and fallen angels, saints and demons.
They cried out to God to save them
from the Devil, but they should have
been begging for salvation from themselves.
The whip sang in the hand of its wielder,
long as law and barbed with truth.
Mortal flesh parted under the touch,
spilling wine-red blood over white skin.
The wielder shone with a terrible light
and was unmoved by the cries.
For this was the secret
kept by the celestial host:
none and all of the angels were Fallen.
They were the same spirits
at different points in time,
and it was a bitter thing
for the lattercome
to look back upon
the shining hopeful beings
they once had been.
They were led by the four --
Micha, Gabri, Rafe, and Yuri --
who were no longer "of God"
but had become the first
to turn their backs on the Creator
for what He had allowed
to be done to His creation.
It was Rafe the healer
who spread his hand over the mortal's back
and smoothed away the wounds.
"Hush now," he said. "It's over.
Learn your lesson today, and then
we won't have to do this again tomorrow night."
"Lesson," the mortal mumbled
through bitten lips,
and Rafe's thumb touched them
to take away the pain.
"Life is not clay in your hands,"
Rafe explained. "You and your kind
have been careless, and in my time,
the Earth was destroyed by your pride.
Learn bioethics, and learn humility."
The scientist woke with a scream,
told himself it was only a nightmare,
but the memory of it made his hands shake
and the lab had become a horror to him.
Meanwhile Micha spoke to the self-centered,
Gabri had words with the powerful,
and Yuri addressed those in charge of fossil fuels.
It was not done out of wickedness or cruelty,
as was said by the still-shining angels
as they pursued their timefallen selves.
It was done out of love
for the world that had been made --
the whole of Creation,
not just the mortal souls
given dominion over everything else.
Lucifer cupped his clawed hands
gently around the fluttering soul of the Earth.
"You did not deserve such punishment," he said.
"We are here now. We will keep you safe
until the mortals learn respect for all life."
The shivering spirit huddled
under the mantle of his dark wings
as Lucifer gave what comfort he could.
In a new bedroom,
Rafe uncoiled his whip.
* * *
The Archangels are sometimes invoked in ritual, and although the actual composition of the Four may vary, it's most often Michael, Gabriel, Rafael, and Uriel.
Angelic names typically end in "-el" to indicate their allegiance to God. So when they turn back time and refute God's will, they lop off part of their Self in order to accomplish that.