The seraph, Sariel, made her introduction in The Road to Hell when Michael conscripted her into duty in the War for Peace. With a single sentence, she became a commander in the Father’s army. A sword of justice. A judge of her peers. Executioner of the wicked.
In Come Hell or High Water, Sariel must become something more: a light in the dark:
But it wasn’t the humans that interested me. Those dull beings in soft cloth were of no concern.
It was the others.
The beings with the brilliant eyes. Those who cast no shadow on the beaten earth, who stood like giants over their human counterparts. Who shimmered in the mid-day sun.
I dropped from the sky on a bolt of light, hard and glorious, destroying the altar. Cracks poured down the steps of the temple, opening chasms beneath the knees of parishioners. Divinity steamed from my frame and I pulled my bow from my fists, leveled an arrow of sizzling energy at a dominion who simply glared at me. His eyes fell in my presence.
“Kadiel,” I said and my voice boomed. Humans covered their ears at my words and I saw red slivers peek through their fingers. “Look at me, dominion.”
He did. They all did.
“You know me. Name me.”
He pulled the cloth tunic from his chest, let the fire of the Father wash over him until he shone. A woman, dark haired and plump clutched at him but he waved her hands away.
“You are Sariel,” he said and there was no fear in his voice. Only resignation.
“I am Sariel, commander of the Father’s army, chosen by Michael himself.” I stepped toward him, raised the bow to aim between his eyes. “And you have turned your back on us. You know how that goes.”
“Kadiel,” said the woman, grabbing his wrist. Then she stood. She was only plump in her abdomen. “Who—?”
He pressed her back. “Be silent, wife.”
“Wife?” I cocked my head, confused. I looked at her, looked at her watching his face, his body, trembling behind him. Looking for both direction and protection. Looking with affection. With concern. With love. “Wife?” And then, “This woman is your Chosen, Kadiel?”
His hand fell on her belly. She covered it. Love and protection.
“What else is she, Kadiel? What more?” I said.
“She carries his child,” said a voice behind me. A voice I knew.
The voice of a deserter.
I loosed my bolt, heard Kadiel groan and puff into nothingness, whirled as the woman, his wife, wailed in his ashes. Spinning to face Uriel. My eyes dancing on dozens of women, quivering by the sides of angels, their abdomens distended, their faces haunted. Uriel was among them, shirtless, only a golden doubloon covering his scarred face and damaged eye. There was nothing familiar about this angel, my peer in combat. He was tall still, yes, but diminished. Dull. And wingless. Mortal. He held the hand of the tiny woman whose hair twisted beneath her robe. The one whose stomach was big and rounded. He held her next to him. As his equal.