So when the last and dreadful hour
This crumbling pageant shall devour,
The trumpet shall be heard on high,
The dead shall live, the living die,
And Music shall untune the sky!
— John Dryden
Afternoon, May 14, 2017
Gulf of Mexico
Blue sky and fair winds, like every day in the eye of a hurricane. Multicolored symbols circled and sparkled round. Invisible celestial machinery kept up its steady pulse.
Uriel turned his gaze east. In Cuba, a farmer’s only goat had just had a kid. Uriel’s threat-assessment algorithm placed him at 2.9% risk of boiling the kid in its mother’s milk within the next week. Years ago, he would have smitten the farmer, just in case, and never worried about it again. Sohu had put an end to that. Now he tweaked the parameters of his algorithm, told it to alert him if the probability increased further, and moved along.
He turned his gaze north. In New Jersey there was a red wheelbarrow glazed with rainwater beside some white chickens. For some reason if anyone touched or moved it then the whole Southern Hemisphere crashed. He had spent aeons of subjective time trying to figure out the problem and finally given up. Now he just monitored the wheelbarrow carefully, ready to smite anyone who came too close. His monitoring program told him that the nearest human was a child at play, thirty meters away, just outside the perimeter of the danger zone. Something was gnawing at the corner of the archangel’s mind, trying to grab his attention, but there was too much work to let himself get distracted. He confirmed the child’s trajectory and moved along.
He turned his gaze west. In Los Angeles, the angel Gadiriel had finished removing the overgrown vines and tribal masks from her palace and replaced them with whiskey bottles and steer heads. She looked in the mirror as she tried on a vintage cowboy hat. “Lookin good, pardner,” she told herself in a perfect Texas accent. Diagnostics confirmed that the machinery continued to limit her power at the same rate as all the other angelic and semi-angelic beings. He confirmed that the laws of physics remained mostly intact in her presence, and moved along.
Before he could turn his gaze south, he felt it. Something was happening. A pulse from Gevurah. Harshness. Destruction. A pulse from Yesod. Mechanism. Nature. Balance.
Uriel reached out and felt the Tree, teased the sephirot back into balance. He was among them and he was of them, he partook of them and he maintained them. They were his children, and they would be safe in his care.
He opened his eyes. A missile pierced the cloud-wall of the hurricane.
“A MESSAGE,” he said, intrigued. “SOMEBODY WANTS TO TALK TO ME. I HOPE IT IS FROM A FRIEND.”
He caught it in his outstretched hand. The message was very small. He held it right up to his eyes so he could see it clearly.
The message was: Sorry.
Then there was fire, and hurricane and archangel and machinery alike disintegrated into nothingness before the awesome power of the Wrathful Name of God.