In the beginning, the goddes were assholes. Male and female they made us, Samael and I, out of the dust of Kingu’s remains. Tiamat and Kingu had attempted to quell Marduk’s rise to the upper Echelons of power but were overcome and sent to the underworld, to Irkalla. Marduk assumed his new role as the god of gods, reintegrating Tiamat’s followers into the fold. But as they left, a gap was created in their wake. Goddelike beings were required to tend to the two Trees on Earth, the Trees that would produce worship and ambrosia for the goddes. The system was well thought out.
There was just one problem: me.
I was born on the ship that circled the Earth over 200,000 years ago. He and me, the hermaphroditic seed of Kingu’s dust. All goddes were of entwined sexes, most often what’s referred to as the limited ideas of male and female. Whether you refer to it as hermaphroditism, intersex, or sexless doesn’t matter much to me. Of all the things I’ve ever been called, multisexed or sexually variant makes up but a fraction. I am simply myself; and though I answer to she it makes me no less male or other or nothing.
In any event, the goddes often wore one sex or another for several eras, switching at will. The Faeries they manifested to do their work, however, were often given a specific sex or none at all. The ones called Nephilim – of the sacred obsidian darkness and the unknown of the Dao – came in a set of distinct male forms. Seraphim – of the transparent light and the known of the Dao – came in a sexless or androgynous form. Cherubim – of the interaction and the chemistry of the Dao – came in the oddest of forms, more resembling tools and objects than any notable biological form. The demons, those rebels, came in many races and the most powerful earned the title daemons. These were the god-killers, a most difficult and impossible task, even for other goddes. Most times, goddes simply succeeded in shredding other goddes into lesser forms, which could then be killed, but whose spirits would forever wander the realms only goddes could access.
This last, daemonhood, was my own nature. There is always an equal and opposite (though contextually distorted) reaction for the total destruction of a godde. It was the creation of new life, of a new daemon, and a sub-atomizing poison within them. When Marduk formed me into a mini-godde – what you may know to be human – he stripped me from Samael, who became a demonic Nephilim in order to fully hold the godde-killing poison. In order to contain Samael’s desrcutve urges, the UnNamed God had made special binding of black cloth, which wrapped in winding loops the length of Samael’s arms. Like the other Nephilim assigned to Earth, he was given reign over the planet and its magnetosphere. The cherubim ran errands and resources from the godde’s ships to the Earth. The Seraphim kept stock of the Garden, where all Trees began.
The Garden was our nursery, we first few humans. It served as such for each new rational species throughout the universe. While it contained a gateway onto our chosen planets to allow us to acclimate before settling, it itself was a wholly different planet. Planet X, some humans would call it. the X began another name for the planet, but it had been forgotten for many eras. It wasn’t until the Saturnians granted it to several children of their royal courts that its name was finally recovered and remembered.
And then it was destroyed.
Oh, those endless power struggles. I, the one who simply desired to enjoy life, was of a very few. And though I pledged my loyalty to Marduk, I had no patience for games. If I could free myself of the Echelon, I would. I wandered the Garden with the Seraphim named Vitas – the Fire Angel of Life. The Nephilim and Seraphim were both highly fascinated by the goddes’ humanoid mini-godde creations, and that cycle would only repeat on Earth. It amused me to no end yet I’d managed to find true companionship with Vitas. They kept me company while Marduk finished creating Adam from the excess dust. We’d spend time strolling through the Garden. At times, I was able to convince them to fly me to the Valley of Dragons.
Vitas would often leave me to my devices, returning to the Garden to confer with their fellow Seraphim. They were presently in training to earn golden wings. Currently, they’d levelled over to white wings. They had described the lower Echelon to me as follows: newly created Faeries often had no wings to speak of. After completing three special tasks for their Creator Godde, they earned their first set of wings. They were marked with unique designs, symbols representing their given names. That’s as far as the majority of angels got.
For those with some degree of ambition, there was the option to ascend through the Upper Echelon. These were the archangels, the highest-ranked servants of the goddes. The least powerful of these sported silver wings. The next level over was white wings. Most Seraphim had white wings. After that came gold wings, followed by black wings. Gold wings separated combatants from non-combatants. Only those ranked gold or past it were equipped and qualified for war. These were the military classes, with the black wings belonging to officers. Many mischievous Nephilim had earned their black wings.
And then there were the highest-ranking angels, who were so rare that their very existence was heavily debated – the neutrinos of the Echelon. Those with diamond wings, some so clear they were virtually invisible. Any angel could be demoted and stripped of their rank. The worst transgressions were punishable by Felling, where the offending party was stripped of their wings. Wings weren’t a mere privilege: the presence and color of one’s wings determined which and how many levels of reality one was able to access. The wings served as keys to the doors of particular groupings of realms.
Keeping in mind the fact that Vitas would have much less time to spend with me if they were promoted, I had taken to getting to know the Dragons. They were as varied and diverse as the angels, though I had yet to learn more about them and their races. I had managed to gain the favor of one of the largest and oldest, a giant red and pink draco occidentalis magnus by the name of Archimedes. Most of the dragons kept to themselves, simply hunting the one-horned creatures we later came to call unicrons admist their philosophical congress. Archimedes found my singing voice pleasant, which is likely why he’d bothered with me at all. I was itching for the opportunity to fly on his back. Yet I couldn’t ask for a while; I didn’t know much about dragon etiquette and didn’t want to show any sign of disrespect.
It was a simple life for a while. There was a small ache inside me for the other half of my being, Samael, but it was bearable. And then there was my god. Marduk, the current god of gods. He had never been able to find a suitable mate to procreate with. His temperament was such that many goddes wouldn’t even bother. Those who could stand him were incompatible for producing offspring. Goddes of war were always troublesome. They often had difficulty finding suitable partners. That may in part have been because many other goddes were relatively lazy, choosing to party, to create or become mortal, or play pranks rather than engage in more serious campaigns.
Oddly enough, it was that seriousness and discipline I most admired in Marduk. of all the goddes in existence, he was the only one I could actually bear serving. I had confided in Vitas that I wouldn’t have minded being made a goddess rather than a human. I didn’t really fancy having a cooked-up partner that I was required to mate with. However, I also knew that it was the closest thing Marduk could offer me to a free choice. If he had no care at all for me, he’d have simply mechanically impregnated and cloned me and Adam. Vitas had simply remained blank-faced when I joked that perhaps since he couldn’t copulate with me himself, maybe he wanted to simply watch Adam and I copulate instead.