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War raged in Heaven. Armies of angels clashed with the fury of pure thought, unencumbered by physical limitations. The most beautiful and most beloved child of the Creator had chosen to rebel, and many had joined the rebellion. Others fought to defend the Creator's reign with a loyalty as fierce as the revolutionary zeal of their opponents.
In the ocean of battle a solitary island of neutrality remained. A single angel found it impossible to side with either faction. How could one choose between the Creator and one's dearest sibling? The burden of decision was too painful to bear.
The war ended as suddenly as it had begun. The loyalists, with the vast power of the Creator to aid them, defeated the rebels easily. The Creator cast the enemy forces out of Heaven and sent them hurtling to the very bottom of infinity, into a newly created Hell. Now, at the moment of victory, there was a more perplexing problem to deal with. Only one angel had neither attacked nor defended the Creator. Such lack of conviction could not be tolerated.
The sin of indecision, unique among the angels, required a unique punishment. Since such a being was fit for neither Heaven nor Hell, another place would need to be created. It was here that the angel would be condemned to dwell, among creatures neither heavenly nor hellish, until such time as the Creator saw fit. With a thought, the Universe was born, and the angel fell into it.
(An angel fell, and a British astronomer dreamt of the origin of the cosmos.)
The distance between Heaven and Earth (the one planet, among trillions, which had been selected as a prison) was exactly half the distance between Heaven and Hell; but since half of infinity was itself infinite, this in no way diminished it. The angel plummeted to Earth. Unbound by the restrictions governing the behavior of matter, the angel's speed exceeded that of light. Although the distance to Earth remained infinite, the passage of time seemed infinitely slow; hence, the length of the fall seemed finite. The Creator delighted in such paradoxes.
(An angel fell, and a German physicist dreamt of the speed of light.)
During the fall, the surface of the planet changed. Living creatures emerged from its waters, and developed into thinking beings. Generations were born and died as they conquered their world and reshaped it. These were to be the companions of the angel's imprisonment.
(An angel fell, and a Russian biologist dreamt of living cells born from heat and lightning.)
The angel's speed slowed until it was below that of light. The being who had always been blissfully ethereal was now a physical object, a thing of waves and particles. The fall from the spiritual realm to the material realm was far more humiliating than the fall from Heaven to Earth.
(An angel fell, and a Greek philosopher dreamt of atoms.)
Earth grew until it blocked out the rest of the Universe. The Creator decreed that the blur of matter which had once been a being of pure spirit should take the form of the animal that dominated the planet. Arbitrarily it was shaped into the likeness of a young eggbearer, with physical characteristics typical of those who dwelt in one area of the planet's largest land mass.
(An angel fell, and a Chinese healer dreamt of the mysteries of the human body.)
The angel fell into the harsh embrace of the Earth's atmosphere. The transition from the frozen vacuum of space to the burning friction of gaseous molecules was excruciating. For any other creature of flesh it would have been instantly fatal; but the Creator did not permit the luxury of death. The angel left a glowing trail behind an agonized but unconsumed body.
(An angel fell, and millions of children made wishes on a falling star.)
RossK- great start. I love the asides that occur during the fall: the German physicist dreamt of the speed of light. Fantastic stuff.
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Raymond Coulombe, Michael Gallant, Timothy O. Goyette
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