Article: 288591 of talk.bizarre From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Dave Hemming) Newsgroups: talk.bizarre Subject: Culling Angels Date: Sun, 01 Dec 1996 13:56:43 GMT Organization: Spamhunters Lines: 68 Message-ID: <email@example.com> "But I'm already dead." "That doesn't make any difference, these days. You can still be damned by your actions." "That's not what I learnt in Sunday School." "Shut up and kill another angel." Bob moved away from Mike, quickly catching up with the fleeing angel while he puzzled over the conversation. Drawing his club, he expertly staved in the angel's head as it cowered away from him. Ignoring it's whispered forgiveness with a casualness born of habit, he took a deep lungful of the fresh, pure air of Heaven. "Tell me again why we're doing this, Mike." He called as Mike cornered a Principality against the West Gate. "It's all about free will. You remember that, surely?" Deftly, Mike slit the angel's throat as he talked over his shoulder. "Vaguely. There was some sort of argument between that and predestination, wasn't there?" Out of the corner of his eye he spotted a Virtue sidling towards the Gate. "Exactly. Were you still alive when the Pope announced that God wasn't perfect?" Bob edged towards the gate. "I remember that. It was in all the papers." "Well, the way it works is that God set everything in motion, then crafted the angels to ensure it ran the way he had planned. But then a bunch broke away and set up in opposition." "The Devil, right?" The Virtue appeared to be tensing for a sprint. Bob judged the distance, and shuffled slightly to the left. "That's the one. Seems he discovered the concept of free will and decided to share." Mike cleaned his knife with long, slow sweeps of his cloth. The Virtue seemed unable to make up its mind whether or not to risk the run. "So what's that have to do with culling angels?" Bob was prepared to wait it out. "Well, free will is good, right? Right. We had it for five thousand years, give or take. Then along comes Armageddon, God wins, and 'poof' - virtually no more demons, and hence no more free will." "Oh. So we're trying to even the balance, yeah?" Bob readied his club as the Virtue seemed to reach a decision. "That's the idea. Look, just kill it, alright? Don't torment the poor thing. That's what started this whole conversation." Dave -- "Do you know what it is to be damned? It has nothing to do with fire. To be damned is only not to love."