Finding It-666: the Beast
Azryel Mortimer, the Angel of Death
If Wrath was daunting enough, his henchman is even more unsettling. What can I say to bring justice to Azryel’s character? I absolutely adore writing him.
Azryel Mortimer is a character which grew a life from my pages and into my own heart. If there was a fan T shirt, black with a big red heart in the middle saying: ‘I love Az’, I would wear it proudly with no shame at all. It is odd for an author to say that they are the first ‘groupie’ of their created characters but I can only admit that I am for this one.
Azryel is the Death Angel, a born torturer, the ultimate Punisher of all worlds and all beings. Often coming unannounced into a room, he will observe you for a while before startling you. He enjoys that. His presence instills fear to anyone. Even Archangel Raphael hates being startled by his henchman’s presence which he always fails to spot until the last minute. The fact that Azryel is the Ultimate Judge doesn’t help the fear factor. Getting your acts right and together before him is a must. Being caught in the act by him is a terrifying prospect.
Servant of Wrath, Azryel Mortimer has a lot of duties, in fact he is always almost inundated by them. First and foremost, if Raphael is the leader of all Angels, Azryel is the general of the Angelic Army. His devotion to the Army and all of his soldiers is undeniable. He trains his soldiers in a harsh fashion and in the hope that they will never do a costly mistake on the battlefield. He abhors the thought of losing a soldier, even if it is just one. He doesn’t want the death of a single one of them. Trainer and tough teacher, he has a strong protective instinct that will overwork his troupe until its soldiers know one move down to right perfection, so no one will falter and die in that dreaded eventuality. He is reverently feared by the Angels who are scared to disappoint, cross or worse fail him. Any making a mistake which if picked up by Azryel dreads the consequences of it, the punitive lesson that would inevitably come, teaching them the hard way to never do it again.
This is nothing yet compare to a poor criminal sod, demon or Being caught before their hour of death by the Death Angel. Depending on their life of crimes, the one to one, Death gives, is pure torture. In the saga there are a few instances when this occurs, is mentioned or we only see the result of it, if there is a result left to consider. No one dares asking Death to speak about the punishments he inflicted to the souls he had to deal with, apart for Wrath who as one Judge, himself, has the right to do so and can even step in during a punitive session. However it might not mean that he will make it stop, it can continue with the cooling control of his presence. Never forget that it is Archangel Raphael himself who gives the hard core criminals to Azryel to be dealt with.
The two Judges together have a frighteningly strong relationship. They have shared together many moments of almost an eternal history. The darker character out of the two, Death has many times saved Archangel Raphael, and one extreme instance, in order to do so, he used black magic which changed the eternal fate of all Angels in one stroke. For them to remain eternal, they had to incarnate in human shell again and again and again. However the fragility of their human shapes means that if killed within one it is a proper death with no returns. Whatever Azryel did that day, was followed by a terrible fight with fallen Archangel Eremiel. The atrociously wounded Wrath witnessed it all. It was a clash of the titans between Eremiel and Azryel, a fight where both would have ended dead but for a trick of Azryel which finished the fight. The fooled Eremiel left thinking his opponent dead. But the extremely damaged Death Angel went to Raphael, and processed to heal him as much as he could with whatever energy he had left to would let him do so. The saved Raphael, only witness of the fight, knew that Death partly damned himself during it and prior to it. He has seen what Azryel was capable of. If Eremiel was pure evil, Death could be a matching one. Bringing his Saviour back to his castle in the Kingdom of the Dead, the Archangel knew he was not allowed to tend to Death for he had condemned himself and his soul before his own eyes. Faced with Azryel asking him to cull him to prevent him to complete his damnation, in the fear that he would turned like another Eremiel, Wrath refused point blank. If Azryel wanted his own death, he could take it himself, if he wanted to retrieve the soul, he had been losing so fast within hours then, and only then, he would help him and give him a hand. The Death Angel sent him on his way, laughing at what he thought was pure insanity of a younger Judge than his experienced self: He was too far gone to be retrieved. However the leaving Archangel departed with his offer left open on the table, for consideration, and to come to him for a helping firm hand.
Three days past with the advent of Eremiel gathering forces among the Angels themselves, corrupting as many as he could, bringing fear to the rest. Now, not scared to be challenged, Eremiel was preparing to take control of everything. Archangel Raphael, losing hope on the situation, saw Azryel, still badly damaged, coming to him, and offering to him all he had and have left, kneeling and accepting the helping hand to retrieve the rest of his soul. From a King, Azryel became a servant, paying handsomely Wrath for the cost of the trouble of just attempting to gather back his soul.
The extremely feared Death Angel was a solitary Being or almost. He was imposed to train Raphael to be a Judge. Wrath was reluctant too to work with Azryel who he found far from pleasant, with a demeaning arrogance, silent or not. The put downs, he received at a mere mistake would have made him resent the character until he witnessed time and time again the way Azryel was collecting the souls of the innocents he had to pick up to take to his Kingdom, the ones who did not make it for one reason or another. He saw the tender side of Azryel, the heart of an Angel he always thought had absolutely none. From his training days, the Archangel grew respect for the older entity that Death was, slowly but surely. He came to realise that when Death took on particular hard cases from him, it was not to insult him as incompetent, it was to spare him from the toll it would cause on his shoulders. When Raphael was about to draw his last breath in the deadly trap from Eremiel, he saw an Angel in Azryel that cared beyond beliefs, ready to damn himself to save the life of another Angel. There was no way he would not try to help that Angel out of his damnation path. After all he owed his life to him.
From the moment, Azryel humbled himself in an extraordinary way to Wrath, (Death is the stronger one out of the two), their true partnership starts. It has complicity written all other it. Both know much much more than they let out, they are acquainted to the dark and the dirty, they appoint themselves the true opponents of evil. When none will come forward to fight it, the two will raise together as one to face it. They are demons diggers and fighters. They impose their laws across the world, giving a good hard run to Eremiel, to hide his evilness somewhere.
From his fight with Eremiel, Azryel learnt his techniques, his moves. Cunning, he kept the fight as long as he could to know all about his opponent. He offered that extreme knowledge to Raphael in the same time as asking him for his judging hand to kill him. He thought this would help Wrath’s Army in their future fight. But as much as Azryel doesn’t want to lose an Angel, and will do whatever it cost to save one, Raphael is the same. He refused Az’s death wish. Whatever Wrath proposed brought him back an Angel who knew that his own death would bring the loss of the hard fought knowledge about Eremiel he had acquired confronting him to all Angels fighting evil. Wrath appointed Azryel as general and trainer of his Army, in the same time as taking him on as his servant.
Azryel is a larger than life character and he makes the hell of being a servant. Former King, knowing the entire scope of the powers he bestows in his entire body and else, with so much wealth of knowledge stored in his brain cells that it hurts them, he is to say the least very hard to deal with. Yet Wrath and him are like an old couple that will bare the other and bring the house on fire doing so. However they are completely devoted to one another. One would give his life for the other.
Throughout the saga, their exchanges go very deep as both have an extreme reliance on the other. They sound just like an old couple who had settled for one another for lack of choice, but come battles or just one facing a hard time and you will see the other right there, surrounding their alter ego with their entire support. I just love their strong seen it all eternal bond. It is a fighter’s one born and bred in the battles they fought side by side. Az and Wrath are Angelic blood brothers.
Together they make a fearsome unity against evil. Both well seasoned warriors and tough Angels, at the start of the saga, that will not take crap from anyone, especially from a ‘spawn’ of evil Eremiel. The young Beast has literally no chance at all. If Walter offers her the chance of a future, Wrath and Az put a clear condition to it: be good or be dead.
However the young It they encounter, that suicidal Being that does not know any better, compels them to take her on board, in the mist of their Army, where they can watch her closer. Given the task of the close monitoring of the Beast, her ‘babysitting’ or rather teenage-sitting: Azryel is reluctant and more than fuming. He’d rather be with his soldiers doing battles.
However meeting her, training her, he finds a Being with similar powers to his, with similar struggles. He can offer her his eternal experience for her to cope with her feelings of being just a monster. He can offer her the same hand that Wrath gave him, the one that tells you to grab it: that he will pull you through and you will never be the monster you are fearing to be.
If training the Beast to be a soldier grabbed all his attention, babysitting her as she is raised by Walt and Gab, brings his entire involvement. He becomes her confident, her best friend. Watching that young Being grow and fight by him, brings him more pleasure than his entire life can count. She makes his fighting day much better for she is a right warrior after being trained and when she set herself to not be her pacific self.
The discovery of the Beast was a true event for him. Here, he is, a dutiful Being asked to do the worst job in the universes, which he would not give to anyone else for their sakes for he know the toll it takes on one’s soul, the Ultimate Punisher, a lawful killer. He meets a younger Being, which has the tender guts, suicidal ones, yet the courage to say no to her own life if her life means hurting all and an end to humanity. He understands the plight of It-666 more than anyone else. Even more so the Beast wears her heart on her sleeve. She is honest to him like he had never seen anyone else do so before to that extent. She knows she can get killed by the result of any of her confessions, yet she does them. He becomes a mentor to that Being, giving his all to the mission of Wrath and Walt’s dream of adverting the apocalypse.
Azryel is very far from being a born babysitter as you can very well imagine. His interactions with It-666 are ones to watch, sometimes deeply amusing, sometimes deeply heart warming, sometimes deeply distressing, as he gets to pick up her soldiering self back from many horrendous situations.
Like Walter, he will give to the Beast her very physical last chance to her last minute. If there is one Angel that can control It-666 if something goes wrong, it is him, and the good hearted Being lets herself be, live because of that. She lays her trust on the Angels, especially on Azryel: he will never let her go wrong. This is the only condition that makes her accept a future and a life. It is a win-win: Angels and It have a clear cut understanding.
The fact that she is the offspring of Eremiel doesn’t stand the claim that the human Workmaster takes on adopting the lost It. All Angels will fight for that claim, right or wrong with their own lives for it offers hope for all, especially humanity.
Azryel had the closest encounters with Eremiel, like Wrath. They should hate all of his children yet they know better than hate for they are Angels. Taking on It gives them a right journey of the heart. All characters learn to love like it is their last day because of It. All are making up with one another, some are letting themselves love for the first time…
The Angel of Death takes on that incredible journey of the heart, and it is moving to see it book after book, one step at a time, from befriending to allowing himself to properly love.
In the first book of the saga, we meet Azryel Mortimer, the most terrible henchman there is to meet. He is a walking plight of a Being himself that gets to take all others away at some point dutifully. It is a burden which he loves to hate but also hates to love…
The character is atrociously interesting, with depth which goes down to deep darkness and brings you back up to the surface for a breath, which you hope with all your guts is not the last because you are enjoying it. I loved writing every minute of Azryel from his bespoke bling-bling: the cigarillos, the immaculate brown Richelieu shoes, the silver zippo and flask marked with his angelic symbol; to all his heartfelt sarcasms.
Death is caustic and sarcastic all the way through, he would pick a nit from your hair that you didn’t know was there and destroy it with his fingers and words, bringing utter shame on you. However Azryel is a absolutely dark character, if he will prevent you to walk his path with all his might for you to remain good, he will go his way and disappear, come back eventually and you will not know where he went. The fact that he is back to help you should be good enough for you, like it is for Archangel Raphael.
It is a regular complaint of Wrath not knowing where his Death Angel has disappeared: ‘Where’s my Az?’. For one thing, it expresses his reliance on Azryel from his advice, pertinent comments to the bodyguard aspect of the Angel. After all Azryel is the only one that stands a chance to defeat Eremiel single handedly. More often than not Death would have been dealing with his deadly duty or a meeting with his Army of Soul-Takers. Those briefings deal and speak about the newly departed souls, usually they are full of heartbreaking sadness. Coming out of them, a deeply affected Azryel would stroll for a while, only coming back to the full of life Wrath when he is ready to face plain fight again. There’s no time to mop by the Archangel. This suits the Death Angel.
For Azryel has a thrill seeking nature. The constantly scheming Wrath launches mission after mission, adventures after adventures with a bountiful energy. Being his sidekick allows Azryel to make sure Raphael doesn’t burn his wings and stays alive but also gives him an eternal life far from boring.
That character loves what pick his curiosity, the unusual. He has lived for so long, that he enjoys when something sparks out of the blue which shows him that he has not seen it all yet. He loves watching and speaking to individuals who differ from the norm. The Beast fit his thrill bill with all her powers and her use of them. As for the annoying Wreck-Man Walt, Azryel relishes on his constant challenges and retorts, so much so that he likes the society of the human but also taunting him shamelessly. If they do argue the man and the Angel establish a strong friendship. In the second book of the saga there is an amusing scene where both are watching the ‘Exorcist’ and showing it to the Beast asking her to replicate some tricks, only to be stepped upon by a furiously scolding Gabriel. Az will have no remorse in calling the Archangel the Great Killjoy.
He has that wicked twist in his character that will make him thirsty for a thrill and grab it when the opportunity occurs. It can range from taking the piss out of someone shamelessly or going for a kill (there must be one demon to hunt lurking in the dark which he has not been found yet). He taunts because he can: A. He can take on anybody if anything turns into a fight, which he knows he will win. B. It gives him great enjoyment for a minute or more. None escapes from his constant sarcasms or teases, not even Wrath, who has more of his respect than anyone. At least when he plays fights with Raphael, he will fake losing to boost the confidence of the Archangel. This, he will never admit to, to protect the pride of Wrath.
Despite his wickedness, Azryel possess that tremendous care for others. Partly damned, he will give up the will of killing himself to make sure he teaches to others how to fight evil properly. Az take ‘Care’ as a duty of his heart. He doesn’t know any better.
As a character, Azryel does have an exceptional sensitivity, sometimes hidden, sometimes not, every single act means to him, even the tiniest one. Hated by everyone, feared, the helping hand proposed by the younger Judge he trained is unexpected. Surely all should wish him dead and dusted. The fact that one doesn’t, is enough for him to carry on, and devote his entire fighting loyalty to him. A simple offer of friendship by a human touches him deep down. He is that terrifying Being that is rarely the recipient of a little care, friendship or love, so when he receives some, like a wild stray, he will bark at who dared to stroke his rough fur, but hours later he will come back to that person, lick their hand and offer to be their protective guard dog, his most dutiful care.
Talking about Azryel would not be complete if I did not touch upon a human that was bold enough to declare her love to the Death Angel: Liz Arczy. Without knowing it, the red head turned his eternal life upside down.
Returning to the dog analogy, just a tad, like the Beast likes nature and animals so does Azryel. For him it has to do that he prefers their company more than the one of Angels or humans. They are more likely to be purely innocent compared to the others. As a little Angel going to his deadly meeting with his Soul-Takers in the deep darkness of the forest, he was accompanied by a pack of wolves, licking his frozen fingers warm. When no humans nor Angels would get close to him, animals did. Even if the Death Angel would say casually that if he had any spare time, he would take on a hobby like other people do, then mentioning in a questionable list ‘butchery’ as one he contemplates, even if we do not know if he is in earnest or just teasing, give that Angel a dog or a puppy and see what happens. Having to look after the Great Dane of Walter Workmaster, Bud, just for a few hours pleases Death more than he can say. Animals soothe him, looking after them, seeing them, walking with them. The observant Wrath picks up on that, and like with everyone he will try to work out ways to keep any coping happily with their lot by bestowing upon them a bespoke gift…
Like Wrath, Azryel is a childless Angel, even more so for he has not got any relation at all, nor nephew or nieces to lavish upon. Instead his devotion to Raphael makes him regards the Archangel’s family, a tad like his own. Although both can be highly critical of Gabriel, Walter and Caroline, they love them from the bottom of their hearts. They would protect them with teeth and claws if needs be. Concerning little Micky, or It for that matter, Az is absolutely fond of the younger generation of Workmaster’s. He enjoys child sitting their Being’s youth. A trip to a pet shop to let them chose respective pet hamsters makes his day, takes him away from the dead and dread back to the world of the living. It’s a pure simple pleasure.
For the trivia, I was inspired by Samuel L Jackson as ‘Jules’ in Pulp Fiction while writing about Azryel, however the character blended to the near physicality of the singer ‘Maxi Jazz’ in my mind whenever I saw him. (especially in Faithless’s track video: Insomnia). ‘Insomnia’ would be the desperate tune of Azryel Mortimer, his favourite one, for he can not get sleep either.
Always awake, always fighting, always walking from one problem to another, with for only respite his well earned smoking breaks, Azryel fares through his eternity. Blame him if you will for his casual smoke or sip, or take his job instead, although he will never let you do so, fobbing you off quickly from his dispatching patch before you can get hurt like him.
Let’s meet him, do not be afraid, he is the Ultimate Soul Taker, one with an Army of Angels, but also one with an Army of Soul-Takers… Just make sure your heart is good when you meet him, just make sure you respected god’s first commandment and did not kill anyone, otherwise you will meet a thousand virgin flames licking you, red and raw.
Quotes & passages:
Raphael pointed to his unconscious niece and almost shouted, full of growing wrath towards the unknown new powerful player who dared to warn him, Archangel Raphael. What was the warning about? He will have to find out and the answer was with Gabriel, he was sure of it.
-Kind! Do you call that kind?
Azryel shrugged his shoulders and held Caroline’s hand within his. His long fingers glowed with sparks of blue electricity that he sent to her body waking her up doing so, slowly but surely, he replied,
-I call that kind. Instead of Sleeping Beauty, Raphael, you could have a cadaver, right now upon your sofa. It has the power to kill all yet it doesn’t. I have the same power, and I unkindly obey my orders, without exceptions, all in ‘good’ time…
(verse 21: Tell me all about It?)
She saw Raphael trying to order the Great Dane of Walter about to no avail. When ordered to sit the dog would lay on the ground, and if laid upon the ground already he would stand up right away. Azryel Mortimer, seated upon the leather cream sofa nonchalantly, couldn't contain his ironical laugh at Raphael's fruitless attempts. However as soon as he spotted Caroline, his smile disappeared, his face becoming deadly serious, he stood up politely and warned Raphael of her presence within the room.
Her uncle turned to her with a sigh full of desperation,
-Walter's dog is a beautiful one, but also the most useless and stupid, I must say. How long will I have to look after it? It needs complete retraining! But I can afford it.
The Great Dane rushed to Caroline, wagging his tail to her. She put her hand upon his head and made him follow her without any struggle. As she stood before her uncle, she corrected him by a simple demonstration. As she snapped her fingers together, the dog sat by her, in an almost statuesque position, and explained,
-The dog is fully trained. But Bud was trained by Walter. Which means he will only answer to him, as the traditional orders do no apply to him in the usual fashion. You have a month to work those out uncle Raphael, but I would be very disappointed if a spell in your dominion means that our Bud becomes an ordinary dog.
Azryel asked all of a sudden, kneeling by the dog, his wicked smile back upon his face,
-Frustrating Workmaster, as always! Which training method did he employ?
Caroline answered him, worried by his picked interest,
-Purely and simply Pavlovian.
Azryel tried a few words, falsely at random, watching carefully the effects upon the Great Dane, and stated
-Classical conditioning, Raphael. Good old Walter just messed up with the words and substituted the real orders he wants by gestures. If you let me keep that dog overnight, I will know his control pattern and reflexes and we will know how to order him about the Workmaster's way. I would not spoil his amusing frustrating work upon his dog, I respect it. I haven't laugh as much since a while.
Raphael looked at Caroline with desperation, commenting,
-Right, your Walter, even not present has managed to make me look like a fool in my own home for a good half an hour. You couldn't marry someone normal, could you? Azryel, as long as you understand twisted in human behaviours and animals one, I will gladly let you in charge of that bloody dog. By the way, I do like that breed, and if you do fancy training unusual guard dogs that look the part, Azryel, I would welcome about five to eight puppies of those, either blue, grey or glistening black.
Azryel stood up raising his eyebrows deeply amused,
-Yeah, right, half an hour of Raphael with a damn dog and I end up with the tall order of eight puppies to raise into guard dogs. I put that into the account of the Workmaster's hearts laundry, cleaning who he can reach in mysterious ways, like a single Bud, making softies as he goes along without knowing.
Uncle Raphael gave a side glance and a wink at Asha, enjoined his niece to a lovely carefully laid table in the middle of the room, and replied to his henchman,
-Well, something is sprouting in your chest, most definitely, Azryel. I did not order. I proposed to your own will. And from seeing Walter's dog, you, as well, are ready to raise eight guard dogs out of a possible minimum of five...your own choice went for the highest number of puppies...mmm...As long as I do not end up with hell dogs at the end of your training, I would love to see this. Dinner is there. Let's eat.
(verse 22: Eat It All.)
Raphael smiled and advised,
-Interesting point. I can see that Azryel managed to get under your tits, Babe. He has that effect somehow with everyone. But I'd rather you made sure that your words are good enough and useful to us. As unfortunately, my henchman can show you how a rat can fall further down, by removing any rags it holds onto. He can show any rats a bad time with great pleasure, from a gutter trip to a river drowning trip, to a stripping rags, flesh and muscles strip. Palatable to none but his taste! Do you really want to cater for his taste-buds tonight?
Caroline looked with dismay at her uncle, struck by his clear warning. If she was not so starving, and not shitting herself with fear, she would have stood up and thrown the massive soup container upon Azryel's laps or face, whichever would hurt more. But she tried to remain as impassive as she could and dipped the bread into her soup with shaky fingers, as she finally answered,
-I intend to remain in one piece for my son and Walt, thank you very much, uncle. I will talk. Do not worry about that, without any pin cushion torture or drowning one, for that matter. I just wonder how both of you can sleep at night?
Raphael grinned wickedly and replied amused,
-I don't. I sleep during the day.
Caroline gave him her most irresistible yet unwilling smile and shook her head in disapproval. Her querying eyes remained transfixed by the deep seriousness of the henchman's dark gaze, as he broke a crab claw within one of his hand, making a chilling noise doing so, as he dared to smile back to her with his answer,
-I can never sleep. Done far too much to ever be allowed to do so.
An unnerved Caroline ate a chunk out of her dipped bread, then with her mouth full in a very impolite manner, commented,
-That's very disturbing. You do realise that do you, Mortimer? No human can survive without sleep, for very long without going insane. That would explain a lot.
Azryel ate the crab meat straight from the claw, with his hands, licking his long fingers regularly, in an unconcerned and annoying fashion, his intense gaze maintaining the one of Caroline,
-That I am inhuman and insane. Those are facts, and not to dwell on. Friendly warning, number two.
Caroline pestered across the table, and handed her crab claw to him,
-Blast! Stop licking your fucking fingers! Get some meat out of my food, so I can stop looking at you with ravenous eyes, mad henchman. I beg you, please. And just for the record, I am well past beyond warnings. I already love a mad man. And I truly hope you lot can help my rat of a husband, my Walt, and my big Bro.
The three men laughed out loud, and Azryel took the claw, broke it in one go within his palm and spread carefully the meat upon a little white plate which he handed back to Caroline. He told in a soft encouraging fashion,
-Well. At least we just had a few truthful words from you, Mademoiselle. Carry on, please, we are most eager to know about It-666.
(verse 22: Eat It All.)
She giggled pitifully and tears pricked in her eyes. Azryel stood up, started clearing the table, and told in an appeasing and reassuring fashion,
-I will not touch your body in a torturing way even if ordered to, Mademoiselle Caroline. I can hear Workmaster through you. You made your point and your case, vividly clear and it is a valid one. However, and my only correction, is this, your uncle was right about It-666 affecting you through the dog. You are right and said the truth, and I quote you to show your own limitation, 'As you lived at your door'. I know what he said to be so for having assessing you and the dog. But we also do know the fact is certain for the Beast, herself admitted to it to Gabriel, over the phone, she wanted to give you a nice rest after all your hard work, with no true harm in mind. If the dog had to be told to wake up, in order to make Gabriel's plan work, for you, it was much gentler, by sun rise tomorrow after a good night sleep, you would have woken up by yourself. It was very safely done, with your welfare in mind.
Caroline looked upon him with slight confusion. Maybe the henchman had kindness after all, she dared to think. His comments were picked up by Raphael, who closed his hand into a fist and hammered the table once and soundly, and demanded,
-Azryel, I order and you obey without discussion. How good would you be otherwise?
The henchman carrying on taking the empty dishes, shrugged his shoulders and replied with a huge grin upon his face,
-I think it would make me very good, very good indeed, to all, but probably not to you.
Asha couldn't help smiling back and told with utter disbelief,
-What did got into you, Az? You are a born torturer.
Azryel filled the glass of all with more red wine before confessing,
-All I know is someone was born to kill and doesn't. All I know is that Gabriel has a civilised Beast under his roof, who has gently put someone to sleep soundly just to ask us to kill her. All I know is that I will be asked to do the task if it has to be, like any torturing around this house, or any punitive killing. And all I want to do is if I am a born torturer, is to try the ways of the Beast, and see if they truly work, to experiment them upon me the harshest one there is around, if I can be...
Raphael sighed deeply, and finished his sentence,
-With a heart. You will end up with the same conscious turmoil, begging for your own death.
Asha stood up all of a sudden, stating, while dishing out the dessert to everyone,
-There is the order. And Death has to be. Azryel, willing or not you have to cut it, otherwise we as a whole, will have to do it.
(verse 22: Eat It All.)
-I feared you, all, from almost the start. Are angels to be feared? As for you, Asha, strong and peaceful Asha, your own kind, fears you. I gathered you were a killer and a torturer, so how can you be an angel?
Azryel turned back to face her and considered her as she fidgeted, fright growing irresistibly within her, as she was concerned to have dared a little too much by her questions. He remained impassive, took a silver box from the pocket of his jacket, one embossed with the skull and cross bones, opened it and asked politely,
-Do you mind me smoking, Mademoiselle?
She blinked at him a few times, cradling her folded legs against her and answered, bemused,
-I don't know why do you ask for my permission. I fear deep down that you can crush me at any point in time without my consideration. Am I right or wrong?
Azryel lit up a long and slim Havana cigarillo, gave her his wicked smile and replied coolly as he leaned back against the railing of the balcony, gazing at her with intensity,
-You would be right. However, all come in good time. So am I to take your fear of me as granting me your full permission to be uncaring in your presence human?
Caroline gasped at him, and considered him as he smoked his cigarillo, pursed his lips in a 'O' and blew out a perfect 'O' of smoke towards her, in a mocking fashion. She couldn't help smiling and coughing in the same time, offended,
-Bloody hell! You are enjoying scaring the living shit out of people do you? This should not be allowed!
Azryel came to her, tapped gently upon her back and told,
-Calm down and breathe, little woman. I am sorry. Freaking humans a tad is one of my rare pleasures.
Caroline starred at him as he left her sides to lean against the railing and smoked away from her, most peacefully. With his help, she had managed to catch her breath again. Frustratingly he knew exactly how to make someone feel bad and how to make them feel well, and it was frightening. She commented with no hidden irony,
-A tad, is an understatement. You didn't answer my questions. Am I allowed to ask them? Surely, being the niece of Raphael should make me off limit to you?
Taking the cigarillo of his lips, shaking the ashes from it, and extinguishing the incandescent ones fallen upon the ground with his brown leather Richelieu shoe, Azryel stated as an answer,
-No one is off limit from me, Caroline. I am the Death Angel. I bring all lives to an end at their requested times. And you should relax with me a little, because you are not due yet to be picked up. I deal with my own kind just as well and this is why Asha and all the others, even your own uncle, fear me. However among angels, we form strong allegiance, bonds, and partnerships. I bowed to Raphael, submitted to him my powers, and only accept his orders and advice.
(verse 23: The Angelic Anonymous Apostasy.)
Raphael cocking his brows with deep interest, demanded,
-Explanations are in order, Death. Did you gather more information?
Azryel went by him and knelt, bowing his head down, folding his black wings neatly upon his back, he smiled while tentatively looking up to the Archangel,
-The little bird has been very forthcoming.
Raphael shifted uncomfortably and quizzed most worried about the happy smile upon his Death Angel,
-And no torture was involved, wasn't it? Your smile always worries me about the humans you have dealt with, and we are talking about my niece...
Azryel blinked innocently his eyes to him, and answered sardonically,
-The very one, you have frightened all night long about me doing just that. Concerned, now, are you? In fact for all I did, for the first time in my eternal life, I have been offered terms of friendship by a human. If that is worth anything, it nonetheless touched me a tad.
All the angels stared upon him as one, some daring to have the ghost of a smile upon their lips. They looked upon each others as if something incredible had just been said or happened. Raphael laid his hand upon the forehead of Death and asked further smiling blissfully,
-Oh, a miracle, indeed, at your doorsteps! Did you accept the human offer of friendship?
The angels looked up upon the Death Angel with their expectations and heart rising sky high, thinking at once that there was hope for everyone. However, Azryel shook his head negatively very slowly, making eye contact with the twelve of them in turn, and watched the hopes written upon their faces sinking gradually into despair. His voice lowered and took a bitter purposeful tone,
-I declined. But I realised I had no offer of friendships during my eternal life, not even from my own kind, the one I fight by. It makes you humble, and the human proposal was said to remain open for a couple of days, for my consideration. So I will consider the human proposal, as no other kindness has ever been made to me, apart the one taking me into servitude.
(verse 23: The Angelic Anonymous Apostasy.)
No one checked this room up and I have been wearing gloves in here and staid in the wardrobe most of the time, following Gab's order almost to the letter.
Azryel looked damn serious, nodding his head in slight disapproval, making a series of signs with his hands, he ordered Asha to sweep the room clean from any tell-tale traces of the presence of the human. Then he asked the human in a silently scolding telepathic query,
-Almost? You do know Walter, that I do not like the sound of that. Either you follow orders, either you don't. What did you do, in there which we need to clear-up?
Workmaster gave him an hilarious grin, batting his eyelashes to him, and answered within his mind,
-Nothing that the toilet flush couldn't clear for you. Come, I am only human. I can follow orders up to a certain point. Basic needs, my dear Angel, basic needs.
Azryel hissed between his teeth in a low voice, looking at his silver Rolex and showing it to the man,
-What are you, a bloody toddler? Nine till twelve thirty. When we say, you don't move from one spot that is what you will do, and you will wait until the relief come.
Walter shrugged his shoulders and teased in a whispering pestering tone,
-Right, if that please you better, next time I will let you find me with my arse dipped into its own shit.
The Angel smiled wryly, replying by telepathy,
-That would not be the first time, Workmaster. You have quite a reputation among Us as a shit maker and stirrer, the ace of it. But with me stepping in, my dear human, the order of the day is going to have no laxity whatsoever. Whatever you want to do, you will have to hold it until it is right by me.
(verse 25: COMA, just a stroke not a Final Point.)