Book 1, Chapter 4: Mark of Cain
‘We renounce our position in Heaven,’ growled one from amongst a group of little ones. It was Cain, the first born of the humans. Before any archangel could even open their mouth, they were taken aback by his presence here. How long he had been here, no one knew. He certainly did not exist this morning. Now here he was, amongst the brethren of angels. And they all knew who he was.
He was the first martyr, awarded a position with the angels owing to the tragedy done to him thousands of years ago; which was somehow sometime that afternoon.
He stepped forward, apparently declaring himself the leader of the group, ‘We renounce our place, our fate and our invitation. We want no part of this. We do not want to share our power, our souls. We shall take back what is rightfully ours.’
‘But it is because of your kind that the Soul was fragmented so much,’ Uriel faced him, ‘you are a product of the phenomenon, you did not exist before it. Therefore, you did not lose any part of your soul; rather we lost ours to you!’
‘Silence!’ shouted Cain, ‘Do not try to trick us, Keeper of Light! We know better than to trust your words.’
‘He does not understand’ Raphael observed, ‘he has lived among us too long, at least in his mind, so he believes he is also experiencing the Creation of humans at the same time as us.
‘It’s the paradox of a time traveler. He has lost his identity. Step back Uriel, they have already given up their light, they will fall from grace, it is inevitable. There is nothing we can do now.’ He looked at Michael for correction, who provided none, for he was right.
Zachariel jumped out from a group at the rear. ‘No, brother’ he said, ‘we cannot let him go. Did you not hear what he said? He wishes to take it all back. He would upset the balance. He would destroy the humans and their world. Is it not our responsibility in Father’s absence to be the keepers of the realm? Humans fall under our protection now. I shall not let Cain have his way.’
With that, his golden spear flew, aimed at Cain’s throat. Time seemed to slow down as a breeze caressed Cain’s face and blew away the tuft of hair covering his forehead, revealing his gift, the curse of murderers.
‘The Mark!’ hushed many voices. Zachariel had breathed his last. As soon as he saw it, his eyes too widened in horror. The loss of his soul had clouded his wisdom. He had had an oversight and forgotten about the Mark!
The Mark curses the murderer of its bearer to the true death. Even Azrael’s promise wasn’t powerful enough to bypass that curse. But it was too late. The suicidal spear had flown.
Both Cain and Zachariel were going to die. Or so they thought.
The spear slowed down to a halt a few feet from Cain’s throat, as if the air had thickened to stop it in its flight. The invisible force field protected Cain, saving him from the killing blow.
But the curse held. Zachariel disappeared, wiped from existence. His memory erased from everyone’s minds like he had never even existed! One moment was the angels were angry enough to rip Cain with bare hands, and the other, they did not even know who Zachariel was or what had just transpired there.
They all looked about, bewildered, wondering what had just happened. Cain’s tantrum had gone on just too long.
Michael stepped in.
He had been too quiet for too long, watching and brooding. He faced Cain and asked, ‘Cain Adamsson, do you wish to leave the Garden of Eden? You shall be cast out, and would never return to it. Even if you wished to, you would not be able to find the way.’
‘I do,’ replied Cain, ‘You people are pathetic; driven by your essence. Do you even know that by showing me kindness, you have caused the death of one of your own? I remember. I remember them all. The Curse doesn’t affect me.’
‘I do not know what you speak of’ Michael shot back, although uncertain, ‘I am charged with overseeing the Palace in absence of the All-Father. And I shall not have any violence in the Garden. You will now leave, with your horde, never to return; for you are now outsiders to us, and any approach will be seen as an act of aggression against the All-Father.
‘Leave now, but know that the doors of the human world are closed to you. You have met your passing and cannot enter there. The angels who stand with you aren’t old enough to know how to bypass this restriction.
‘However, I shall guide you because of the vision I had. Go to Lucifer. Find him. He shall be your salvation. First born of humans and first born of angels, you shall complete each other’s destiny; this I prophesize.’
‘Hah!’ laughed Cain, ‘you are a fool Michael, the greatest fool of them all. But alas, Lucifer just might be our only hope, for he is now also the first of banished ones. We shall go to him. But know that his will would not stop us; we would wreak havoc on the humans. We will find a way. We would consume those fragments and replenish our souls. He may be our savior, but not our salvation!’
With that, he left. His band of fallen angels followed. The remaining ones cried while they left for their chambers to mourn the loss of their brothers. This had been the worst day in their long lives.
Gabriel approached Michael, ‘My Liege, what…’
‘Follow him’, Michael cut him short, ‘absent Uriel. Hide in the shadows and tail him. We do not know where Lucifer has gone. He cannot stay within this realm. But Cain will find him. It is his destiny to serve Lucifer.
‘They are bound by their legacy. He is the first-born of the woman who committed the Original Sin. It is fitting that he serves the Avenger. Cain will lead us to him. We must find our brother. We make sure he’s okay and we must find out why he rebelled, and more importantly, how.’
With a quick nod, Gabriel left. Michael was thankful that he understood the urgency of the situation. Uriel took his leave as well along with the host of angels. That left just him and Azrael standing there.
As Azrael stirred to leave the Garden, he paused beside Michael just long enough to whisper, ‘Not the wisest decision, dearest brother. Gabriel is bound by his essence to hunt for the right answer, but we both know how easily justice can be manipulated.’