Finding It-666: the Beast
Raphael Wrath, Archangel Raphael, aka Wrath
Wrath is a character which tells you how it is in his standards and will force you to them by any mean, without almost any regards for who you are. Raphael has a physical presence that can make you quiver and he knows it. He plays with it shamelessly like a cat on a mouse chase. He can make it as sweet or cruel for you depending on his plans, schemes and temper. Wrath is renown to have a very short temper, trying him is definitely a bad idea. He comes with strings attached. He is full of them. Worse, he is the leader of them: anyone he pulls can spell your doom or your blessing momentarily. Raphael as a puppet master could be all good if his mind would not switch in a nanosecond to an entire other direction. Raphael is frighteningly so impulsive yet it is also his main skill, quick thinking, acting fast, he kills anything in the bud before it can fester away.
In the first book of the saga, we encounter Raphael Wrath still in his human incarnated heyday. Wrath is full of himself, ready to blow away anyone out of his path yet he is asked to consider who could be his worst enemy’s life. His fiery reaction is to impose a meeting with the Beast. However their encounter leads to their fighting together partnership more than anything else. The Archangelic leader can count on a new recruit in his army with specific needs he has to cater for. He has the angelic force to do so and the right angel for any task. Beside he can turn a Beast into an Angel anytime, just let him introduce her to his missions and fights upon earth.
Raphael Wrath throughout the saga is a handful of a character. Leader of the pack, he directs all to follow his way, right or wrong, if it turns wrong, he will direct it back to the right direction. He is questioned throughout by Walter and his dreaded sidekick, Azryel, the Angel of Death, who is serving as his henchman.
Big time mobster of an Angel, loaded to the brim with a questionable wealth, he is the one who took the lead of the Angelic Army with credentials proved by his missions and battles. Highly regarded, he rules over the Beings in the world. His decisions are followed to the letter like his orders.
Raphael is that unashamed controversial individual that would lead a crowd to their freedom. He does express his wrath rightly. A warrior, he has survived many fights, he is there to stay, whatever happens: he has a fair chance for he has put his hands and meddled with everything. Playing poker, he will always have a winning hand. You can bet safely on his side. You might just stay alive for another day or eternity.
Like a double edge sword, his decisions can bring a battle to a winning end but also to a lot of blood. He is an incarnated Archangel who can spell it for you backward and forward if you ask him to. In that I mean that he has the scope to take drastic actions. When none would do so, Wrath will bring justice down to earth, and use whatever way to achieve it.
Wrath’s ways are not for the faint hearted however they preserve humanity by protecting it.
His character demands a lot of the other characters especially prompt exactitude. He doesn’t suffer fools lightly nor does he tolerate any trying to fool him. His exigence are truth and honesty for all who wants to be in his society. He watches over a large society which encompasses the safety of other incarnated Beings that walk the Earth in secrecy and also making sure that they respect humans. If they do not, he applies his laws and intervenes to rectify the situation. Punishment for misconduct may be handed to be delivered by his right arm, Azryel, then the result on the guilty party might end in a lethal way. But if he applies it, himself, as he is also one of the established Punishers upon Earth, the consequences might still be costly for a life or many, as he has a hot headed tendency to be heavy handed. His nickname given by all, ‘Wrath’, means it all, but as his surname it is implying that he represents the Wrath of God.
On the other hand, almost like a king, he will reward, lavishly, loyalty and good hard work. Raphael takes pride in his Army and his soldiers. Where he lives, they will live. That may means his large labyrinth like penthouse flats he has in his various properties all over the world, or sleeping rough with his men on any ground, on any mission. This character, who is quick to express his displeasure, sometimes physically, has difficulties to express how satisfied he is with anyone in words, so he will do so in gestures, more often than not in a materialistic way. He also expresses his loving care to someone that way. When he spoils one, it indicates not only the recognition he has for that individual but also the affection he has for them.
Speaking of affection, Raphael is a family man without a direct family of his own. Patriarch, godfather, he will look after you in ways sometimes totally unnoticed or unknown. He will never be ashame to pull strings to protect who he calls his own, from humans, Beings or Angels. Provider and protector, if one of his run at his doorsteps, he or she will find him, maybe frighteningly interrogating, yet, afterwards ready to respond to the request in a most informed, appropriate manner. He may not disclose to you how he will deal with it, but he will.
Think of a hammer that strikes a nail in, it symbolises a lot of Raphael’s ways however the character, although leader of a group and imposing laws to the entire world, listens and does so carefully. He enquires, digs in the dirt, not afraid of what he will find out, or of what he will have to sort out. He rather knows about all the hurts and pains of everyone but also crimes for that gives him all his clues on how to bring a situation to a close.
Raphael can be seen as a harsh character. But if you put yourself into the warrior shoes of an Archangel that has been constantly relied upon to make the decisions and the toughest ones for an eternity, you will appreciate where he comes from better.
For the juicy bits, Wrath is a leonine character with the most charismatic gift to be extremely handsome. He knows it and plays upon it without shame. His unusual beauty draws people to him, and he is not afraid to use his beguiling charm to influence anyone to do his will or bidding. In any of his incarnated shape his physical strength and good look follows through with minute changes. At the start of the saga, we meet him age 76 looking like a thirty year old man. His fitness makes you wonder how that is possible for any human of that age. But he is an Angel given a human body for a while and he will stretch its limit to the maximum until he decides to switch to another one. This is a big task for Angels for they choose their human parents with a silently watching scrutiny for they will have to look after the most vulnerable part of the life of an incarnated Angel. Incarnation means a possible human death and losing their eternity for Angels yet Wrath and Azryel keep on top of things to prevent it happening to their soldiers.
When his vert-de gris eyes set on someone, that person has absolutely no choice but to be true to him and reveal any thing he knows to the Archangel. Wrath will find out the truth anyway and then the consequences will be a thousand times harsher than saying so in the first place.
Speaking of the look of a lion, Wrath bears a right mane of dreadlocks, salt and pepper, as long as his waist line. It is like his very independent signature mark: he dares to be awesomely different from the rest. He has also a mixed complexion which also speaks of sheer unity, a symbol of his strength and ability to deal with Beings, gods, demons, Angels and humans alike.
However Wrath is a controversial character, so abrasive that he can strain his relationship with others very easily. His dominant solar personality clashes regularly with the more reserved yet independent one of Gabriel.
Their misunderstandings of one another cause them to keep their distance but despite that Big Gab knows that he can count on Raphael to always run to his help. Wrath tries to repair their differences in odd ways, like making the younger Archangel incarnating in the mist of his family as his nephew. This still had mix success even when Raphael took charge of Gabriel and his sister at the death of their human parents. Wrath simply fails to understand the desire of Gabriel for complete solitude. It is alien to his own nature who enjoys being surrounded. Compounded to that Raphael fears that the younger Archangel sinks slowly but surely in a procrastinating loneliness where the heavy weight of his past mistakes would make Gabriel lose his wings rather than keeping them. Wrath can not accept seeing an Angel which he considers one of his becoming dangerously close to a complete fall. He will attempt in every way, back, left and centre to bring back, push back Gabriel in the mist of the other Angels who can provide his nephew moral support and a way of dealing with his issues. Somehow, out of nowhere, well actually a shit hole under a pentagram, comes the Beast, the young It, which will help him to do just that, preventing the fall of a major Archangel. Raphael watches the developing affection and devotion of It to his nephew with no aversion.
He is actually also kin to promote it. A big dollop of love might be the solution for Gabriel and a way to secure It, big time, on the Angelic side for all eternity. His matchmaking intentions and schemes are spotted by Walter Workmaster who has at first a certain aversion to them (for many reasons, Wendy’s fate being one of them) however he warms to them and becomes irresistibly the accomplice of Wrath in the matter.
Strangely enough, Walter and Wrath have that love and hate relationship going on with each other. Their bickering is sometimes almost constant. But one thing the Archangel is unwilling to do is to impose silence on the impudent human. He may fantasise to strangle Walter in his dreams however in reality the man utterly entertains him by being one, the only one with his Death Angel, capable and daring enough to challenge him. This fact alone gives him a lot of consideration for Workmaster. Moreover Raphael listens attentively to the man’s arguments, he ponders upon them and may also acts differently because of them. Throughout the saga, they become unlikely strongly united in an understanding friendship yet a very teasing one. Each others taunts are a delight to write, starting from their great divide of fortune, one being filthy rich while the other is always on the brink of straight poverty, to the one of being a successful leader of an Archangel compared to Wreck-Man, a human who has lost almost everything from wife to child passing by his job as a human rights lawyer, passing by the way they look with Raphael taking so much pride on his appearance to Walt, that doesn’t even start to care of his hunting tramp look. They are two characters worlds apart of each other but they have a few things in common, their strong love to put things right being one of them. Both have that urge and impulsion to act fast. What is cementing their coalition, strong friendship, is the welfare of the young Beast. Both feels the duty to make sure she is alright, given a future and a fair chance, and both share the dream that given that love always provides, all will escape a fateful apocalypse. It makes them allies and more than that. Wrath considered Walter Workmaster as ‘his’ human from the start when he stepped into his eternal life, offending him by having stolen the heart of ‘his’ surrogate daughter in his mind, his human niece.
If the character of Raphael has issues in showing his love with affectionate gesture or words, it doesn’t mean that he is devoid of love. He demonstrates it differently than others by his generous protection.
The arrival of the Beast on the scene causes him right concerns in an apocalyptic point of view and for humanity’s sake, but he is astute enough to accept that Walter Workmaster’s way to deal with It-666 might be the right one and to give it a good go, himself. Beside It seems to respond well to the all encompassing loving acceptance of the human. He can lift his eyebrows with circumspection at the man adopting the Beast yet this also springs an all array of ideas, schemes and plans in his head, from trying the same method and acquiring an extremely powerful Being in his Angelic Army to keeping your enemy very close is a clever thing to do, passing by lets attempt to transform the Beast to an Angel.
Wrath put It to the test and missions, observes her, from afar or closely. He knows her real father, Eremiel, his arch-enemy, for having nearly lost his life at his hands, but for the extreme intervention of Azryel who saved him. It would be an easy thing for him to come over and annihilate the daughter of his enemy, one that is meant to be an evil conception. But meeting the Beast, asked to consider sparing her by Walter, the leader of the Archangel seizes the opportunity, the magnanimous one, the merciful one, the scheming one to give that chance to the Being in front of him.
Unlike Eremiel, she has something he likes and appreciates most of all, a deep down honesty. He gives the supervision of her Being to the one of his unforgiving but most trusted Angel, Death. Azryel can dispatch any rats swiftly without them squeaking or causing any mayhem in the big world house, they are looking after. The little Beast will need her honesty to stay alive by his Death Angel. Through the saga, It-666 wins her colours in Archangel Raphael’s eyes. His appreciation of her grows, book after book. So much so that he is willing to take her Being within the heart of his own family, partly to protect her, partly to protect the world: a win-win situation on his doorstep.
As much as the youngster offers to him her loyalty, powers and bravery, he provides her with his fearless protection, and ultimate accolade: Angelic wings. If Walter is the adoptive father of the Beast, Wrath becomes her godfather giving her something she would never have been able to conceive or imagine in the downtrodden state where he meets her.
But with a good helping of his strong scoldings, he gets that lost Being back to some sort of soldiering shape which can only draw respect from all.
The love that Raphael represents maybe tough love but it is love nonetheless and gets somewhere.
For the trivia, writing about Wrath, although hard, sometimes I disagree with his character strongly like Walter can do, is like going onto a roller coaster ride: Highs and lows, frightening, memorable, awesome, dipping into the deep end and back again to the top of an about to break ocean’s wave. Would I go through a rough ride again following his footsteps, missions and endless schemes? Hands up, shouting, screaming from the top of my voice, with a massive grin etched on my face, I would write again for that character: again and again, listening to ‘Little Green Bag’, George Baker Selection, and the rest of ‘Reservoir Dogs’s’ soundtrack. Yes, one must admit that the creation of Wrath was influenced by a love for Tarantino’s movies and especially that one.
Like Walter I hate him but love him all the same, and would miss all the fun that Wrath provides with all his endless battles to save the Earth or just the life of one single human.
Let’s meet the character in quotes and passages:
At the entrance of the alcove, she froze, taking in the view of Uncle Raphael, upon a large black leather cushion, in a lotus position, eyes closed, hands resting upon his knees with fingers lifted and folded in awkward ways. He looked so young, so healthy, so in tune with his body and spirit, and yet so frightening all at once, like a living human mystery. Who could believe the man was seventy-six years old, when he could stretch his body into unbelievably hard yoga postures, when his face showed hardly any wrinkles, when his full set of bright white teeth could give you his gloriously wicked smile at any time? Dressed in loose black linen trousers, and a burgundy red cotton T-shirt, with his feet bare, his toned muscles, his salt and pepper hair tidied in dread locks that reached his waist, and most of all his rare complexion, he was still very much a looker for any woman alive. His vert-de-gris eyes opened all of a sudden and he asked,
-Is it a dare to stare or stare to dare, that you are uncomfortably enjoying, my child? I will not have you making miles to remain boringly silent at my sight and sides. Speak.
(verse 20: Uncle Raphael: Who’s the Daddy?)
Raphael tapped his fingers in an annoyed fashion upon the table, and told in a commanding tone,
-My dear child, it is well past your bedtime. Eat your pudding and no more talking. Then off to bed. I will not have you spreading the seeds of Workmaster’s sedition at my table, in the presence of my most useful men.
Caroline gazed alternatively at Asha and Azryel. One was totally impassive while the other looked intensely and smiled kindly at her. She picked up her dessert spoon and dived it into the banana split ice cream. She shook her head and whispered as if for herself, but to her uncle,
-You do know how to make someone feel like a wayward child. I guess I am definitely not fitting into our world anymore. Anyhow I feel like it. I went astray, and will remain so.
Raphael grinned and replied harshly,
-That is what you get for going with a Stray.
(verse 22: Eat It All.)
The Archangel Raphael nodded, a serious look upon his face as he demanded,
-Az, we do like being straightforward, open and honest upon our actions rather than crafty and subtle. Now which factors do we have to consider? You seemed to describe the challenge as one coin, with two different possible sides, changing our luck, and game. Somehow, head or tail, and what it could entail worries me deeply. You appear to have gathered enough information to envisage both aspects. Please, go through those in details.
(verse 23: The Angelic Anonymous Apostasy)
As soon as the ambulance doors were closed, the Death Angel opened the body bag under the worried gaze of Caroline and Raphael. He explained quickly,
-The man is in a coma. But he has been badly messed up with by Gabriel. Somehow Gabriel tried to imitate the Beast and her powers. He failed. The only given safety net he got was from the young Beast. I need all my skills to bring him back fully and healthy with us. Walt is in danger at the present.
Raphael put his hands upon the chest of Workmaster and told in tongue,
-Death, use me to annihilate any effects of them both upon him. Save my nephew, my so much nephew in law.
His eyes glowing of pure gold, Archangel Raphael was ready to channel all his strength in order to give a better chance to Walter Workmaster. The Death Angel grabbed his Archangelic hand and teased in tongue,
-Isn’t that man so peacefully quiet and asleep right now? We should embrace a minute of silence for the miracle it is… peace at last.
Raphael grinned knowingly but confided,
-I love his cacophony. It keeps me upon my lawful toes.
Azryel channelled the Archangelic power to recall Walter totally from his dangerous coma. A blue light surrounded the human for a few seconds before the eyes of the wondering and worried Caroline which held Bud. When the Death Angel had finished, he sat back with Raphael and told reassuringly,
-Workmaster will come around now. Give him a few minutes. He will be okay.
When Walter stirred and finally opened his eyes, Raphael’s concerned look vanished to be replaced by a wicked smile as he could not help welcoming the man,
-Here he comes, Trouble is awake.
(verse 25: COMA, just a stroke not a Final Point.)
As soon as the ambulance pulled in the car park of Dr Purallee's Clinic, Azryel was on the lookout for his men and sent them the telepathic order to show themselves. Ten black suited incarnated Angels stepped out from waiting cars and approached the emergency entrance where the ambulance stopped.
Asha opened the back of the ambulance, Azryel and Raphael pulled the trolley out carrying the large body bag and rushed into the emergency room, followed by the ten henchmen.
There Gabriel Purallee welcomed them. The tall Doctor gave an unfathomable look to Raphael before presenting him his hand to shake. Raphael refused the hand, his eyes incandescent and told,
-Honesty is what I ask from everyone. Asking for my help and lying about the subject puts you in the worst of terms with myself and my heavy cavalry right now. Not only that, the human in you care has been messed up badly by 'your' intervention. Death and I had to intervene to not make his one untimely. Workmaster is mine as much as yours, I will not tolerate him and his health being played with by incompetent hands. The powers of the Beast and Death were not given to all for good reasons. Do not play the apprentice sorcerer, Gabriel and raise without order. The Powers will destroy you before you know it. And I would be given the supervision of the task. All my given tasks come to completion. Did I make myself clear, soldier?
(verse 26: Raphael’s heavy Cavalry.)
The Archangel Raphael smiled with a little cruelty to the man stating,
-Do you want your son back safe and sound Walter, or in little pieces? Your quote Super Being, our young Antichrist has found the perfect Puppet Master in the Death Angel. She fears being used for Evil, We will use her for Justice and Good. If she strays with Us, we acknowledged her want and desire for death and we will grant it.
(verse 28: About embracing Death. TrUsT.)