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Three Angels Walk into a Pub...


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Skaw, Unst, The Ice Maiden
December 30, 3:00 PM

With nowhere to go for the holidays Phaedra visited with Cathy and her family in the Shetlands.  The visit wasn't unpleasant, time spent with Cathy was never unpleasant for the young half-angel, but it did leave her questioning her place in the world.  Now she was sitting by herself in a pub halfway around the world, gazing down into her untouched drink and hoping her uncle--of sorts--got her message.  


And until--or if--he showed up Ms. Morningstar was left alone with her thoughts, in the dead of winter, halfway around the world she doesn't belong in.



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"-while many worshipers of the Creator dwell in your nation," came a familiar, ever-patient voice from outside, "it is not particularly aligned with His word - indeed, avoiding this was a deliberate effort on the part of your nation's founders. The alignment between certain religious organizations and patriotic sentiment in your nation-state dates from the first great war of the industrial era, in which religious reactionaries sought to answer charges of unpatriotic sentiment by vigorously asserting their belief in your nation's divinely-chosen-" There were oaths, mostly scatalogical and sexual ones, from whoever Heyzel was speaking to outside - and a moment later, the Angel of Freedom stepped into the pub with an expression of faint disappointment. He brightened quickly at the sight of Phaedra, though, soon striding across the room and past the tourists there to embrace his niece with great warmth. "Phaedra! What a delight to see you here, in this place so close to His works. Thank you for calling me." 

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Ray had trailed behind to exchange rude words with the slightly inebriated man that Heyzel had attempted to enlighten. Ray wasn't in the habit in general of proselytizing: he left that for the younger crowd, but he was absolutely willing to give some tipsy jerk a piece of his mind. "Now there's the post-Christmas spirit for you," he commented dryly as he finally caught up to Heyzel, in the tone of one picking up an older conversational thread. Ray had been cooling his heels on Earth since before Phae had been born. The man was tall, blonde and handsome, though some of his many tattoos were visible above the collar of his turtleneck and along the backs of his hands and knuckles. 


"Hey, kiddo, nice to meet you finally," he commented once Heyzel had stepped back from his hug. "We were doing the soup kitchen rounds when he got your call. Hope you don't mind a tag a long."

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For a moment Ray left Phaedra speechless and while she knew it was considered rude to stare she couldn't help it.  Subconsciously she licked her lips, suddenly realized what she did and then coughed slightly while her cheeks reddened to match her hair.  "Um, um, no that's fine," the young half-breed said feeling uncharacteristically self-conscious.


"That is if you can stand being near me," she continued, a little strength finding its way back into her voice.  "I know what I am and I have little desire to taint those that associate with me."  She sighed, gave Heyzel a faint smile and gestured at the seats at the table.


"Please, sit."

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Heyzel did so, folding his wings to nothingness behind him with smooth practice. "I have been concerned about your relationship with your, ah, lover," he admitted to his young charge. "Your sin is a common one in these times - but no less a sin for that." Phaedra's particular sexual vice would earn her no more than a stern talking-to upon passing into Heaven's embrace, but it was still worth nipping in the bud now.  "Nevertheless, I can reassure you that I am here to help. You and Cathy are both of age to be married in several Earthly churches, all of whom would be happy to bind two young superbeings together in holy matrimony. I could even perform the service myself if you are uncomfortable with siding with a particular denomination. I understand there are several of your friends in such a situation - and you can reassure them I would be happy to accommodate them as well." 

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"That's not how it works, really. My immortal soul is as safe as its ever been and you're not real likely to cause any additional hiccups." Ray's smirk softened into a genuine if lopsided half-smile and he gave Phaedra a little pat on the shoulder as he went to lean against the bar. Gesturing for the on tap with one fingertip, he let his leather clad elbow rest on the bar before giving Heyzel a bemused smile at that, "That's a terrible idea, kiddo," he offered, giving Heyzel the same avuncular nickname as he'd used on Phaedra. It didn't have a ring of mockery, but rather the affection of someone who viewed the angel in a similar juvenile vein. "Sixteen is pretty young for marriage these days."


He turned his gaze towards Phae then with a shrug, "It's also pretty young to have any confidence in what you are. I am reasonably confident that no one gets through their time on earth without making a few mistakes. What's the S.O.S about? Concerned about conjugal antics or something else?"

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  • 3 weeks later...

Phaedra's cheeks flushed


"That's not..." she started to say before she paused and her eyes narrowed.  "Wait, are you spying on me?" she accused Heyzel, some red starting to leech into her eyes as she regarded the angel.  It was the sensation of wood shavings under he fingernails, though they could almost be called claws at this point, that startled the redhead into calming down.


"Sorry," she said.  "Of course you would be.  Knowing what I am who wouldn't?"


"What I need is.. advice," Phase continued, answering Ray's question.  "Do you think it's possible for me to remain here on Prime?  I.. do not wish to leave Cathy."

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"Your path is no more sinful than your peers," said Heyzel reflectively, "and like them you have done much good. I see no reason why you cannot stay on Prime as long as you wish." As he spoke, Heyzel reached down the length of the bar and pulled over a bowl of peanuts - the vegetarian angel bypassing the bowl of Scotch eggs. He offered the peanuts to his fellows, then popped a handful into his mouth. "Your blood is a trial but trials of many sorts are faced across the Realms. Why do you think you don't belong on Prime?" he asked her, remembering lessons in speaking and soothing given by sages long past. 

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"Cathy's a mortal right?" Ray pointed out, his tone more pragmatic than Heyzel's although he offered the angel a nod of thanks and accepted the peanuts that were offered. "Kiddo, the near-earths are where people go when they don't want to be where they're from. I bet I could toss this handful of peanuts and peg someone who doesn't technically belong here - present company excluded."


He, thankfully, did not throw the peanuts anywhere but into his mouth. Ray paused to chew and swallow entirely, reaching for his drink to wash it down before continuing. "But she is mortal. Not something to worry about in your teen years, really, but something to consider before permanently relocating." Absently, Ray ran his thumb over the tattoos across his knuckles, "It isn't always an easy path, leaving home."

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  • 1 month later...

"I assume she is mortal," Phae stressed, "But she is different from the others that live in this Realm and in part this is what drew me to her."  She blushed and looked a little embarrassed.  "She makes me happy.  But that is part of the problem."


The redhead spread her hands, "You know what I am, what blood--whose blood--runs through my veins.  Eventually they will discover that I am no longer on Throne, and they will find me here.  She is in danger because of me, but I do not wish to leave her."


"I am being selfish."

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