Azrael sat down on his bed, in his own room. The doctors had let him go that morning, thanks to the concoction that Asmodeus had given him. They’d said it was a miracle.
He took Morslammae out of the box. At his touch, the engraved flames and dragons glowed blue. The titanium was unnaturally cold. He ran his had along the flat of the blade. He put the sword back in the box just as Asmodeus appeared.
“She’s pregnant,” he said quickly. “Chelsea’s pregnant.”
“What?” Azrael asked, confused.
“Chelsea. Is. Pregnant! I haven’t touched her in that way, so it’s you or some mysterious third party.”
“How do you know she’s pregnant?”
Asmodeus paused. “That’s not important right now. I want to know how she’s pregnant. The two of you have never...”
Azrael paused. “Angels have... evolved. We now have the ability to impregnate a woman simply by spending time with them. We can’t control it.”
“Survival of the species now that there’s no one to create more.”
“Precisely. We didn’t choose it and we can’t control it. Nobody likes it, especially not our women. Did you tell Chelsea about your discovery?”
“No, that’s your job.”
“Aren’t you kind.”
“It’s my middle name,” said Asmodeus, smiling.
“Oh, I thought it was ‘evil’.”
“Somewhere in between, I think.”
“That sounds right.”
Asmodeus chuckled. “I’ll see you and Chelsea later. We’ll need to test each other’s strengths and weaknesses.”
“Why does Chelsea need to be there?” Azrael asked.
“If you want to leave her on her own, be my guest.”
“Hm, I see your point. Okay, I’ll pick her up from school and we’ll come to you.”
“Will you be alright to fly?”
Azrael smiled. “Even before I took time out to live here, I’ve owned a human mode of transport.”
Asmodeus nodded and vanished. Azrael looked at his arm. The skin would seem normal to a human, but to him it was fake. Angels had tattoos, they were created with them. The tattoos reflected who you were, what you were like. Prowess in battle, cowardice, and musical talent, anything that distinguished you from others made more marks on your skin. Azrael was covered in tattoos, from head to toe. They were his true self; they were what made him the person he was.
He stood in front of the mirror and revealed the tattoos. The most prominent being the face of a snarling wolf on his right cheek. On the other cheek was a spitting snake. That had caused uproar during and after the incident in Eden with the Tree. Some had accused him of meddling in black magic; some had even said he was a demon.
Down his arms were all the weapons he’d ever used. The detail was delicate and perfect. On his back, around the golden marks of his wings, were turrets of flame. On his torso was a cheetah and a dragon locked in combat. Above them, as if circling the skies was a hawk, raven and a crow.
On one leg was a swarm of bees, perching on and surrounding some lilies. On the other leg was a jaguar, lynx and mountain lion watching an eagle. Where there wasn’t an animal, or a plant, or a weapon, there was writing. The writing spoke of a protector, a warrior and a healer, and they were all the same person. It was written in the Old Tongue, a language closest to Hebrew than any other more modern language.
All the tattoos meant something, but most symbolised strength. Azrael sighed and hid them again. Suddenly he realised something. Chelsea’s baby was going to be Nephilim, her and the baby would both be slaughtered.
“My God,” he said.