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III. Earthbound

 Now, I know a cherub who knows an angel who knows a guardian angel who protects a guy who might know some things. Like, this dude might know some things, right?”
	Raphael wondered if they should bring some items with them. Some heavenly garb won’t look appropriate to humans, they thought. Holy water? Ultimately they decided against bringing anything but their holy rosary to keep them safe, as well as an easy key back to heaven in case of anything. 
	“Ok, ready when you are.”
	“Oh, archangel I’m sorry but I won’t be coming with you.”
	Raphael looked at Daniel, dumbfounded.
	“I uh, gotta stay here and continue my duties.”
	Raphael nodded. “Right. Just warp me down there then.”
	“Sure thing! Come archangel.”
	They began walking out Raphael’s house and down the main walkway of heaven. To the end of the walkway was the Lord’s house, the biggest building in heaven. Surrounding that was the Archangel’s houses where each of the archangels went to rest, though archangels don’t usually rest and they’re usually around God’s house anyways. There was only seven of them after all, the oldest being Michael, followed by Gabriel, then Raphael, then Uriel, Selaphiel, Raguel (sometimes goes by Jegudiel) and finally Barachiel, though since Barachiel is so young he doesn’t quite have a house yet. Following are the Saint’s houses, holy humans that created a special relationship to the Lord. Then are the Guardian Angel’s housing. Since there are so many humans in the earth, heaven compensate with having community housing for the guardian angels. Attached to each building is their supervisors offices where they file and report the humans daily lives.
	“Hey Daniel? Why don’t we stop by the GA offices to see if anyone has record on this human you know?”
	“Ah, uh, no Raphael, they, uh wouldn’t have record on this guy.” Daniel said pushing Raphael to walk quickly past the offices.
	“Oh, wait, why not?” Raphael resisted a bit, trying to slow Daniel’s trajectory.
	“Because, archangel, uh, you need to watch your step.” Suddenly, the floor below them fell, and Raphael, off-guard fell out of heaven and descended slowly towards earth.

	Raphael landed in a clearing similar in appearance to the one where they met Lucifer the first time. They stood there, a little lost to what to do now.
	“Hey, Lucifer?” They called out in the clearing. “Luuuuucifer…” They kicked a rock absentmindedly while calling him. Then, louder, the called. “Hey Lucifer!” Some birds flew from the trees nearby, and then they heard shuffling behind them.
	“I’m telling you someone’s there!”
	“There’s no one there Jake, I didn’t hear anything!”
	“Listen to me, there’s—Oh! Look!”
	Raphael turned around to see two humans approach them. These humans looked smaller than they expected, one with scruffy dark hair and the other with long, copper hair.
	“Jake what do you think it is?”
	“I dunno…” The one called Jake with the scruffy hair reached out to Raphael, nearly touching them when they moved slightly away. “Woah look it won’t let me touch it.”
	“Jake, is this a good idea?”
	“Calm down Carmen, it’s nothin’.” Jake moved back, putting his hand on his chin, stroking his small hairs. “Say, why’d’a think it was calling out ‘Lucifer’?”
	“What if it’s a demon?” Carmen with the long hair said, more frightened than before.
	“Wooaahhh, RAD!” Jake suddenly exclaimed, opening his arms to Raphael. “I didn’t know demons had like 10 limbs and thousands of eyes!”
	“And five wings…”
	Raphael wanted to speak, both to avoid being mistaken for a demon and to stop this oggling, but words failed to reach them. Jake then took out a small rectangle, and shouted some more. 
	“Yoooo Carmen, look! It don’t even show in the little camera view thingy! What the fu—”
	Enough. Raphael finally found the words, and they spoke in their benediction voice. I am not a demon, rather, I am Raphael the Archangel.
	“Woah.” Jake and Carmen whispered in unison.
	Jake and Carmen, I seek information on the Satan Lucifer. Do you happen to know his whereabouts?
	Jake shook his head, still looking in awe at Raphael. “But I know where the Satanists headquarters are.”
	Raphael decided to stop their booming voice. “Oh that might help, thanks.”
	“No prob, dude. Hey why’d you stop that big voice?”

	They walked through the forest where Raphael first saw Lucifer, approaching the nearby road that lead to town. Raphael was deep in thought but they noticed how Carmen kept looking at them, scared almost, and made them worry about how the other humans would react to their image. Maybe this way isn’t the best idea, thought Raphael, maybe…
	“Help!” cried a voice from a nearby path. “Please someone help, she’s drowning!”
	Jake and Carmen looked over to where the yells came from, looked at each other, and ran towards the voice. Raphael followed, but a little behind, staying hidden. Once they reached the voice, it was at the shore of a raging river. A boy about Jake’s age ran over to them.
	“Help! Call 911! She doesn’t know how to swim!”
	Jake took out his rectangle and let out an exasperated noise. “I got no service in this part of the woods!”
	Carmen took out hers, yelling “I do!” and putting it to her face. “Hello? There’s someone drowning in Oak River!”
	Raphael watched all of this happen but couldn’t see where the drowning person was. The river was heavy, coursing quickly down its path. Raphael closed their eyes, crouched into the ground and listened to the earth, using all their senses. There! They spotted the person, the body drifting down the river, unconscious. Rushed, they took flight up, then quickly dove into the river where they felt the body. 
	In the rage of the river waters, as well as the pollution in the water, it was near impossible to see anything. They moved through the water, slow and majestic, searching for the human in the grime and debris under the water when they finally found the human. They reached out, cradled the body, and started to fly out of the river and onto the shore where the other humans were. 
	Suddenly, they felt something gross grab their heavenly garb.
	This hand that reached out of nowhere held on to the back of their top felt hot, but in a painful way. “She’s mine, fucker” a voice said intimately into their ear.
	Quickly, they pushed the human out of the water and onto the shore as the hand that grabbed them pulled them through the bottom of the river. 

Chapter 2