Chapter One

There have always been several groups often overlooked by people when looking at the hierarchy of Angelic Hosts. One of them being the messenger angels.

In the days of long since passed, messenger angels were used to carry, well, messages.

Either to earth-bound angels in regards to the miracles they were due to perform that century, to the humans who had gained God's favor, or to other Archangels if they were in another part of Heaven. Of course, in the day and age of modern technology, Heaven had updated considerably. And with the arrival of new technology, the old ways often get shunted to the background.

The messenger angels were put off earth duty and had basically become secretaries, following their assigned Principalities and Archangels around, carrying their paperwork for them, fetching things they needed, and basically playing the biggest game of Telephone ever played. But when the planned Armageddon didn't go quite as planned, and the Ineffable Plan was put on temporary hold (no matter what anyone else said, thank you very much), Heaven was thrown in a variable state of disarray.

The system crashing was the biggest that Heaven had seen in a few millennia.

All those who had dropped their work in preparation for the End suddenly had to return to the monotonous tasks they had left, something that anyone can attest to not liking, regardless. Grumbling could be heard from all the desks on all levels, but smartly, no one voiced their disappointment any louder.

But no one was more disappointed, or furious, than the Archangels.

The Archangel Gabriel paced angrily in his 'penthouse' office, muttering curses to the stupid Principality Aziraphale and the idiotic demon Crawly. Now, he was forced to deal with angels who were all geared up for a fight and nowhere to go. It had been a pain in the ass to get countless angels, each armed and pumped up on battle energy to get them to go back to paperwork. Gabriel was one under-the-breath-grumbling from punching the nearest angel. Of course, most of those grumbling under their breaths were smart enough to do it when his back was turned and not do it his face.

He abruptly stopped his pacing and stalked back to his all white desk, snatching up a piece of parchment. With a swish of a pure white quill, he wrote a brief message to his fellow Archangel, Uriel, who had gone back to her own little section of the world. When he was finished, Gabriel signed his name on the bottom with a frustrated flourish before shouting at the top of his lungs, "MESSENGER!"

Now, let's take a moment here to discuss something.

For many people who believe in the Hebrew or Christian faith, there is a certain image one tends to have when they think of angels.

Muscled men and lithe women of otherworldly beauty, with tidy blonde or white blonde hair, in pure white robes and with pure white wings.

Now, most angels, or those who on occasion travel down to earth, do prefer the fit corporations. Like Gabriel of course.

On the other hand, there are those who don't.

For one, the messenger angel to the Archangel Gabriel and Sandalphon was one of these examples. She had obsidian hair that was wild and a little unruly, as opposed to the golden blonde or milk chocolate brown of the others that was well-groomed, and was quite plump, but she wore it well underneath her pale cream robes. Her wings were spotted brown, much like a hawk's. The messenger's eyes were a glittering olive green, shining with laughter and joy, though right now that light was dim as she entered the temperamental Archangel's presence.

"Yes sir?" she said. Short. Sweet. To the point. Her head was bowed slightly and her eyes were lowered to the floor.

You never do or say anything else when in the presence of a being that was closer to God than you.

"I need you to take this to Uriel." Gabriel ordered, rolling up the parchment, placing a wax seal on it and tying it off with a ribbon before handing it to the messenger. "Be quick."

The messenger nodded, placing the scroll in her messenger bag before turning and walking out of door. She walked quickly towards what the other messenger angels unironically call the Owlery. Her thick black hair blew gently in the breeze as she stepped out on the open-aired part of the Heaven. Below her, Earth stretched out, vast and incomprehensible while in the area around her, her fellow messenger angels came and went.

"Hello, Hope."

The messenger in question turned, smiling at a fellow messenger. "Hello, friend. How are you this fine morning?"

"Busy. Though busy is good." the lither angel said as she walked away from the ledge she had just landed on, her pure white wings relaxing against her back. She jerked her head towards her satchel. "Where are you off to?"

"I am on my way to the Archangel Uriel, on behalf of Archangel Gabriel, of course."

The other angel nodded. "Of course. Well, just be careful out there. Demons are everywhere, and they're really angry."

Hope smirked, a huffed laugh escaping her lips. "When are demons not angry? Do not worry though. I will be careful."

She stretched her speckled wings out to their full length, and after a running start, launched herself into the air. Hope flapped her wings, catching an air current and riding it as long as she could. On occasion, she would shift her body so she could run her hands through the fluffy clouds, laughing at the tingling cold feeling that followed. While the distance from Heaven's Main Office and the Offices of the other Archangels was thousands of miles, Hope had arrived at Uriel's base in only half an hour.

It was important for the messengers to get their assigned messages to the places that they were supposed to be, whether they were just updated reports, or miracles needed to be done, or important information on the movements of important demons, so messengers had to have the ability to travel from Point A to Point B relatively quickly.

Hope landed, blinded a bit by the overload of gold coloring everything. While it was known that Heaven was a place of a blinding white color, it was also well known that the Archangels had something of a color scheme going on. Gabriel had a light purple thing, while Michael had a dark cream, and Sandalphon a brown.

Uriel had a gold theme. Most of the items in her headquarters was inlaid with gold.

It was all about theming with the Archangels.

She made her way through the main lobby, finding her way to the Archangel's office. With three swift knocks, and a moment of silence, Hope was allowed entrance.

Much like Gabriel, Uriel was at her desk, furiously scribbling on parchment. There was an entire stack of documents that towered well over her, probably complaints from the those who were underneath her. Hope respectfully cleared her throat and the Archangel's eyes snapped up, and the messenger had to restrain herself from wilting away from the pure anger shining in Uriel's eyes.

"What?" The Archangel snapped.

Remembering protocol, Hope adverted her eyes to the ground, ruffling through her bag and pulling out the scroll. "I bring a letter on behalf of the Archangel Gabriel."

The golden-flecked Archangel snatched the scroll angrily and opened it. Her dark eyes scanned the letter, the angry look on her face relaxing a bit to the point where she was only scowling, not growling. Hope kept her eyes lowered. She watched the Archangel's shoes disappeared out of her vision as she went back to her desk to scribble out a reply.

"Take this to Michael immediately. Tell her that this plan must be put into action as soon as possible. And here's the reply to Gabriel's message." Uriel ordered, handing Hope two rolled parchments, both of them gold-leaf paper, sealed with golden wax.

"As you wish."

Once again, Hope was flying through the air, her wings stretched to their full length as she soared through the sky. First, she stopped by Michael's 'office', handing off the message given to her by Uriel. She made sure to relay the verbal message again, though she didn't ask what the golden Archangel what it meant. After that, Hope found herself back in front of Gabriel, who was reading the note given to her by Uriel, his eyebrows raised and his lips annoyingly pursed.

"Thank you, messenger. You're free to do…. whatever you guys do right now. I'll call you when I need you."

Hope nodded before turning. She made her way to where messenger angels went when no one needed them (which wasn't that often). It was known as the Roost that acted like an owlery but for the messengers. The room was circular with little bed-like perches jutting out from the walls. The Archangels designed it that way, almost as a demeaning joke but the messengers couldn't say anything. Most liked it, as it was a comfortably nice place for them to hang out and relax in between transporting messages.

And with them being used in a more traditional way now, it made sense that they would be a lot of messengers wanting to escape for just a little bit.

Hope sighed as she crawled into her little perch, reclining a bit as she listened to the soft hum of activity around her. Most were talking about how excited to be back doing traditional messenger work, not following the Archangels and Principalities around like dogs. Some were even talking about their daily activities, gesturing excitedly and emphatically. She smiled softly. It had been far too long since the Roost had been this filled with angels this happy.

She listened, but not really participating in conversations. Instead, she gazed out the window, watching as the sun set over the planet of earth, blanketing a portion in darkness while bringing light to another part of the world.

"Hey Hope?"

The messenger turned her head, blinking owlishly when she saw one of her many acquaintances leaning over the edge of her roost to stare at her.

"Yes?"

"Did you hear about the Principality who stopped the Apocalypse?" The more-angelic looking angel stated, whispering as though there were Archangels lingering about. Gossip about the Great Plan was strictly forbidden in any other part of Heaven but in the Roost, a place where the Archangels didn't really venture into very often, it was free game.

Though considering how horribly angry the Archangels were about the Not-Armageddon, it wouldn't surprise Hope if her fellow messenger got smote if caught, even in the Roost.

But being in their most comfortable place, Hope allowed her tongue to be loosened just a little bit.

"Indeed, I did." She racked her brain for any information she gleaned from the other high-ranking angels. "It seems that he was working with another being, a demon if I heard correctly."

Her friend nodded, her golden braid slinking down her shoulder. "Talk about scandal!" her friend muttered with a chuckle. "You would think that a Principality would be smarter than to hang out with a demon of all things. And you know what I overheard from the front desk?"

Hope leaned forward, despite herself feeling a little disgusted by the fact that she found herself drawn in by the gossip.

"I overheard that they have been hanging around each other for centuries!" the angel whispered. "They did each other jobs, something called the Arrangement. Can you believe the implications?! An angel, a Principality of all beings, doing demonic miracles while a demon did Holy ones."

Hope's brow furrowed. "How did they go undetected for so long?"

The other angel shrugged. "Don't know. I mean, the Archangels are far too busy to notice anything as long as the right paperwork gets filled out."

"That sounds just about right."

The two sat there in silence for a moment before starting another bout of conversation. This round was far different from the gossip that surrounded them, often veering off into different topics rather quickly. It wasn't until a slightly-higher ranking angel, dubbed the 'Roost Mother' (though definitely not to his face) walked in did the entire Roost go silent.

"I am looking for the messenger HP-138."

Hope tensed before standing. "I'm HP-138."

"The Archangel Michael has a special job for you." The angel said. Hope nodded, her eyes glancing over at her friend. She wasn't giving her a hopeful expression, fear shining in her sky-blue eyes as Hope stood shakily and launched herself to land in front of the angel. Without any other preamble, he shoved a messenger sack into her hand and she nearly pitched forward at the unexpected weight.

"Michael needs you to take these items to this location." The angel said, handing her scrap of paper with an address written on it. When she didn't move, instead just staring dumbstruck at the location, the angel, getting impatient, shouted, "NOW!"

That spurred her into action. Bringing her wings out into view, she scrambled over to the landing, launching herself into the suddenly cold air.