If you were faced with Him in all His glory

What would you ask if you had just one question?

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[with] who stand before the throne
In the beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth. A few epochs later the hairless apes pranced onto the scene to the tune of a painfully slow evolutionary two-step, and one-two-three the first angel tripped and fell face-first into an alternate realm of his own design. They said the physical fall itself was over a year long, and that his landing opened holes in the earth that swallowed entire villages.

Such were the days of yore, when sacrifices paid with blood and there was a God in Heaven. Today the halls of the seven Heavens shone a little brighter, the radiance of Creation and Grace burning just a little hotter; the Heavenly equivalent of a sunny day. Somewhere higher than the stars, in the lofty reaches of the Seventh Heaven where only the three Seraphim and their Lord walked, the door to the throne room was shut tight. Nobody entered the seventh heaven much anymore. Once it had been the sometimes playground of the archangels, where even the lesser angels dared to peek on occasion, but three Graces didn't fill the vast halls quite well enough, and it lay empty more often than not. They crowded the other six, leaving the throne room's beautiful antechamber deserted.

A presence stirred in its deeps, blinding light pouring from behind the golden door, and something too enormous for words and too perfect to look at moved through the impossible halls. The light flared out like trumpets and transubstantiation; after long moments the arcing beams started to fall inwards, coalescing in what looked like the figure of a man. It was action like He hadn't taken in a very long time.

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Gabriel wouldn't- couldn't- accept that. With a rustle of wings, he entered the chamber himself, uncaring of the lack of courtesy, of the fact that Michael would likely be offended by his audacity, but audacity was what he was good at. He stood in the middle, staring up at the endlessness of it all. Like most things in Heaven, it could be whatever was most comfortable, but it was without its God, so it was cold, empty, like a tomb.

"Father!" Gabriel shouted, repeating the word over and over again, at first tearfully desperate like a child and then furious. "If you won't talk to anyone else, talk to me. What messages am I supposed to send to our family? What will we do?"

Michael's words weren't good enough. He hadn't gotten answers from God in a long time, so only answers from the Old Man, himself, would suffice.

my icons are failing me ;_;

Raphael was a fundamentally introverted creature. Deprived of the close bonds enjoyed by the three other archangels, she learned first to suppress emotion and second to enforce brutal order in her younger siblings by either discipline or bullying. She didn't know how to express feeling as freely as did Lucifer or Gabriel, and although she envied them their liberty it was necessary to maintain control to avoid the Morningstar's reprehensible fate.

For the first time in all her long and lofty existence, Raphael's strong jaw trembled. The enormity of the Loss swept over her at once and in a rush hot tears welled in her eyes. Raphael was numb to Gabriel's flight, staring at her big brother's tensely pained face- expecting something to change. Please, please, tell me it's not true. Tell me what to do. But Michael was lost in his own pain. Any other creature wouldn't have noticed, but Raphael knew her brother well enough to spot the thread of tension and weight of despair dragging him down. It stood out enough that she backed off a step, tearfully frightened, her normally impassive face contorting into desperate pain. "No. He's not coming back, brother. God doesn't go back on His decisions."

The throne room. Raphael stumbled uncharacteristically, almost falling to her knees. When had she come here? Had she even spread her wings, slowly taking flight? Had she taken leave of their brother? She couldn't remember. But Gabriel was there, was shouting at the golden throne (already tarnishing to bronze in its emptiness) like something from her worst nightmare.

"Gabriel," she said too harshly, seizing her little brother by the shoulders. The pain on his face and tears in his eyes drove something sharp and white-hot into a part of her too vulnerable to accept. Their family was falling apart in her icy hands. Once he was facing her, caught in her iron grip, she faltered. A hundred cruel reproaches died on her lips as she met his stricken gaze. They had lost so much. "...Brother."

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