It was the sixth month when Gabriel got his first taste of human ineptitude.
His first experience with humanity came with the delivery of a rather awkward message.
It wasn't all that impressive looking back, not in his option anyway; Mary was a rather boring human and her husband mightily confused. In the end though, it all worked out splendidly. He had an easy ride and his Father was finally able to begin repairs on Heaven after the war.
Earth was new, angels were still in their early days, and with Jesus out amongst the humans, they had no commanding officer home; and so, to coincide with the coming of The Son, the party began upon high.
Michael ruled the roost. Gabriel raised and played with the younger angels. Uriel road the sun rays between worlds. And Raphael did… actually no one really knows what Raphael did. Something boring probably.
Gabriel loved looking after the younger angels. Sparring with them. Teaching them to fly. He even enjoyed their daily hymns come evening time but over time he became exhausted by the routine of it all.
So instead, he took interest in the Son he had prophesied amongst humans, his Father’s greatest creation, and the reason they were in this mess to begin with; Jesus.
In Gabriel's opinion, Jesus was just his Father's way of showing off. He had created the most beautiful beings and after that, all he really wanted was to create one of His own perfect son who could part seas, multiply fish, and spread His word. Like most of us, He wanted to be loved, and His Son, along with His many followers, created countless believers to fill the Heavenly void in His Almighty heart.
Through His son He could explore His world, patch in new small rays of beauty and hope, and thwart the vengeful nature of the villain, Lucifer; His brightest and most twisted creation.
He had no plan, had put no real thought into it, and wanted no more than to experience the world He had created through his Son and earn the love of His precious humans.
Really when you think about it, God, with His endless power, ending wars and creating worlds, had decided that for His final decisive act he would do little more than show off. It was pointless; stupid.
But for some reason, He didn't think so. He loved humans; much to the annoyance and downright confusion of many angels. Not that they would outwardly admit that to Him.
Some time ago, Gabriel had been given the task to protect the first Humans; to oversee Adam and Eve in their early days and to protect against his brother and any plans he might have for malice against them. He oversaw the Gate of Paradise and watched as humans took their inevitable taste of sin and fell to their current state.
Following this and the War, Gabriel was discreetly disposed of his responsibilities and began to wonder what method, if any, lay at the heart of his Father's madness. In particular, why He might allow humans the choice to spoil themselves when they could rise to the strength of Gods, why He would allow Lucifer the chance to tempt them at all, and why, after having betrayed Him, He would continue to bestow His ceaseless love upon them.
Why would he favour such sinful, messy creatures over his angelic purity? An angel would never betray him the way Eve would, so why?
In all honesty, he didn't understand it. To him, it seemed downright stupid. Yet for some reason, his all-supreme being of a Father seemed to actually enjoy indoctrinating overgrown apes to worship Him and His prowess. Why not raise them to the majesty of angels and His Heaven?
Gabriel struggled but longed to gain even an inkling of His Almighty thought process.
In pursuit of this knowledge, Gabriel ventured to Earth and stayed around for a time, watching the humans grow and develop. Sometime around the third decade, he even came to care for them, despite his prior irritations towards their being.
Their ability to grow, to empathise, and to fall; their fatality was tragic, their capacity for love boundless and beautiful, and their struggles so small when compared with that of angels or fallen, yet so massive and all-consuming to them.
In them, Gabriel saw all shades of character relating to both sides of Heaven; the mighty and the fallen.
If intentional or not, his Father had created beings of both love and malice, kindness and mischievousness, beauty and trickery. Their existence offered a second chance to the characteristics held by the fallen and their bright leader, yet, with each human it became more and more obvious that within them a subtle love and morality took precedence above all else.
Gabriel remained with them for a time. He studied their being and used his power to transform his appearance so that the might continue his travels among them and explore minds unmolded by his Father’s all-seeing eye. Within them, Gabriel discovered a beauty unseen in Heaven.
Every mind was so beautifully different and rebellious in its own way. It did not take long for him to revel in their company.
How could an angel ever compare to the heart of Martin Luther King Jr.? A man so full of compassion and with a rebellious streak so perfect it could never be rivalled.
An angel would never write like William Shakespeare, paint like Michaelangelo, or innovate like Henry Ford. Not a single human would ever be matched by an angel. Their complexities alone. They were breathtaking.
With each visit, Gabriel came to love them more and more.
He almost enjoyed his time amongst them as much as his Father did; His creations were, although he would not admit this to Him, unparalleled by all of creation. Over this time with them, he saw their incredible capability for beauty and emotional depth which far exceeded anything any angel could achieve or even possibly comprehend.
Yet he came to decide it was their matching capacity for mischievousness that held his attention. Not only that, it changed him. Never before in Heaven had he seen so much joy achieved between minds. Never had he experienced jokes and pranks made to make others smile. It intrigued him; it likely intrigued his brother Lucifer too but following their conflict he would never admit it.
Contrarily, Their Father, and likewise, His favourite Son, were blissfully unaware of their darker side and sung praises of man amongst His angels.
Nevertheless, come crucifixion, the message was very much received.
When you think about it, it was the just desserts His Father deserved; if you create beings in your image, it should be in your interest not to be a sardonic asshole.
So, Gabriel chuckled, watched the sunset, and finished a glass of wine before finally heading home.
God - 0: Humanity - 1.