This is my first Good Omens fic. I've had this idea for forever, ever since I read the book, but I was never sure how to write it. Sorry, those of you who follow my other stories, I'll be getting back to those soon as well, but this was getting in the way.
I asked questions.
I don't mean that asking questions is inherently evil…but it is.
Knowledge was an apple you weren't supposed to taste.
I asked questions. Nobody really got it. Nobody understood how I could ask questions in the middle of all of that. There were better things to do. Like…like singing or something.
Heaven's music is rubbish.
Nobody really got it. Well, I never really got them.
I bet they weren't satisfied either. I was just the only one with guts enough to say anything.
Conflict didn't really exist in those days. Don't forget, the great and holy split hadn't happened yet. So no one really knew what to do when I came up and said:
"Have you ever noticed how we seem to go for days without seeing HIM, but the passage of night doesn't seem to occur? It never goes dark, but it does down there. Don't you think that's weird?"
And they didn't get what I was driving at. I wasn't driving at anything, really. I wasn't trying to make a fuss. I just genuinely didn't get it.
I might as well mention that reputations didn't exist in those days either, so it's not as if I got a bad name for what I was doing. I was instantly and automatically Forgiven, and existence moved along like so.
That should have been my first clue when we started talking.
It never bothered me much anyway. That was the stupid part. All those questions, all those problems I could think of, and none of it really bothered me. It was more amusing than anything. I almost instantly forgot about it, just like the rest of them. I was almost normal.
Until he came along.
That's pathetic, really, blaming him. I'm grateful to him, kind of. And I don't think he was actually bad. Or at least, he didn't get that way until the hype went to his head.
And I went to him more than he came looking for me. Or maybe he lined things up just right. Or maybe it was just a matter of time.
I Asked, and he Answered. Well, he Speculated. He wasn't all knowing, never has been, never was. But we got talking, and for the first time, one of my strange, eclectic questions actually developed into a conversation, which developed into an idea, and stuck with me. All the difference, in what I estimate to be a five minute conversation, was made.
And he said, "You're an odd one, you know that? I mean that in the best way. They are noticing."
That's what should have tipped me off. Those three words. "They are noticing." Because no, actually, they weren't. Angels forgave and forgot. You only remembered significant moments, and a significant moment to an angel would be one that had gone unforgiven.
He hadn't forgiven me for asking. So he remembered.
I have acutely accurate hindsight. I get it now, what he was doing. At the time, I invented a new feeling: paranoia. When I began to idly open my mouth to speculate to whoever was nearby, I stopped. I checked their eyes for signs of suspicion. I slunk in the corners, hunted and guilty. They started to notice that, because guilt was nearly unheard of, because angels were always going around forgiving each other for everything, which was easy because nobody sinned in those days, so there were no hard feelings. And then they were asking the questions, which made it worse, and that was when he sought me out and decided to make me feel better.
He introduced me to a few others. They looked a bit like me, nervous all the time. Sometimes they got into Speculations, they way he had with me, and I began to wonder if I had ever spoken to any of them. I must have. Maybe they had asked me something strange, and I had shrugged it off. Or I had asked them, and they had pretended to not be curious. It was nice, talking to other people who agreed.
I hate them all now. It's funny, isn't it? We stopped Speculating and started Debating. But that's another story.
He liked us to meet in the same place, every time we felt like meeting up. At first he said it was because he liked the continuity of it. Then the reason became that he felt the other host members didn't approve.
"They don't understand, but that's alright," He'd say. "This had to get bigger eventually. But we'll start small. Just us."
I bet you thought your race invented gang wars.
We came up with ways to distinguish each other in crowds. Nothing as crude as colors or hats or funny tattoos; it was just a physical distinguishment of walking, of tilting your head and moving your eyebrow. There's a reason the quizzical-single-eye-brow look is so damn sexy, and it's because I invented it.
Things grew, like he said they would, and you got two types of members: the loud, angry types that got into the progressive debates, and the other kind, who didn't mind just sitting back and speculating peacefully. I was speculating very peacefully indeed when the others decided that they'd had it. Or maybe he decided. I wasn't paying attention. But I told him what I thought of it.
"We're leaving the rest of the host behind by picking a fight," said I to what was to be the great Under lord. "This isn't going to encourage them to think. It's going to frighten them into staying with HIM. They'll think we have overcomplicated things. Some are just simple like that. We should wait until everyone's on the same page."
But he shook his head. "That's the problem with this place. Agreement does not encourage progress; argument does. Do you remember when you were just a part of the crowd, worried about your differences, never speaking to anyone about it, keeping quiet?"
I did. Or at least, I remembered the part after he had told me that I was being noticed. I didn't remember the part where no one had thought anything of it.
"When there is a feeling of unity amongst a group, there is a fear of change. We have grown in our movement because we're doing something different. There must be at least two sides to an argument for it to be an argument, like we discussed, remember?" His face shone when he got talking like that. His lip was beginning to curl in a way that wasn't unpleasant. "HE doesn't want that to happen. He wants dumb creatures like the ones he put down there. But HE gave us this gift; why shouldn't we put it to use so we can make things better? HE can't see his own flaws."
He liked to assure us, all of his followers, that we were making things better. He never said who we were making it better for. It just sort of went unsaid that knowledge in general was Better, so we were doing the right thing. Maybe I was the only one who didn't think so. Maybe I wasn't. But no one was brave enough to stand out of the group. We were afraid of changing the status quo that had been established in the new faction.
I sit back and speculate sometimes if that was ever his intention. I wonder if he realized that the new group, filled with people who supposedly all agreed, would have outliers like me and, I assume, others, who didn't speak up, none of us brave enough to provide one half of a new argument. After all the lies he's told, I wouldn't be surprised. But then I get to speculating if he intended to lie, or if he just ended up having to change his meaning to suit the times.
And then I wonder if he was waiting for me or someone else to make the move, to bring up another faction in the conflict. An argument needs at least two sides to it to be an argument, he said. Maybe he thought someone else would come up with the third party. I don't think he really understood how much he was the indisputable leader at that point. I wonder if he figured he'd start things and let them roll, or if he intended to be the lead man all along.
I speculate. But I never decide.
Well, you know this part of the story. Holy split, gratuitous amounts of epically proportioned history that a large faction of the human race believes is fictional. I won't bore you with the exciting, action-packed details.
And then it stopped, and we were kicked out, and apparently we were going to go out and make things better.
Starting with me.
I have no idea why he picked me. Maybe it was because I was the outlier. Maybe he was trying to get me back on track with the cause. Maybe he still thought a third party could be created. Maybe he knew I'd get the joke.
Because HIS creation wouldn't have worked without us. Without us, they never would have gotten the apple, and they never would have been smart enough to argue with each other, and they never would have gotten past naming animals and loving each other. I hated how much they loved each other. Love doesn't help anything. It certainly didn't help them.
After that, I was on the backburner. I clocked in my hours, no real complaints of any significance. If I ever had a chance at bigger leagues, they slipped by. Because I don't pay attention, I guess. Because I don't like arguing. If he ever wanted to come by for a good Speculation, I would be all for it. But somehow I don't think he listens to the smaller peons anymore. He certainly didn't listen to me then.
I really don't think he's that bad. That's all. And sometimes I'm glad that he got it all started, for the sake of progress, and for my sake as well. Sometimes I'm mad because he lost focus. Sometimes I'm mad because I don't understand what his focus was.
I don't pay enough attention. I just ask questions.
I'm not much for answers.