“No,” I said firmly.
“Why not?” Lilly asked, “I–I think it would work. I wouldn’t need to control everyone directly; just the ones in charge. If–if they believe it, they’ll tell everyone else, and–”
“No.” I took a deep breath. “Lilly, this isn’t like you. Or–it’s not the good part of you, anyway. I know your power is tempting, but you need to resist it.”
“First you were telling me I had to use my power, and now you’re saying I can’t use it?”
“It’s–it’s not that you shouldn’t use it, it’s just… you need to use it carefully.” I sighed. “You have no idea how strong your power really is.”
“I know. I–I might not be able to pull it off now, but you said my power would grow–”
“That’s not what I meant.” Pause. “Your power is growing. And that’s the issue. As your power increases, the temptation to abuse it will increase, as well. If you let that temptation control you…”
“You said I should use my power for good. Wouldn’t this count as good? We’d be bringing peace and–”
“Destroying free will. Forcing people to act–and think–the way you want them to.”
“I’d be telling them to think for themselves. To stop relying on the Church to–”
“And what then?” I demanded. “You’re just going to let them loose? Tell them to do what they want and watch as they follow their hearts by slaughtering those they’ve been brought up to hate? You think they’ll suddenly become moral when they no longer listen to authority?”
“I–” She looked down. “I just thought… I thought I could…”
“I know.” I sighed. Stroked her wings. “You want to make the world a better place. So do I. But change takes time. If we try to rush it, we’ll just create more problems. We need to keep the disturbances to a minimum.”
“I guess you’re right.” She looked up. “I–I’ve been meaning to ask, though… how powerful am I going to become? You make it sound like… like I could cause some real damage.”
I froze. Should I tell her the truth? That’s she a god? Could she handle that?
“We’re a lot more than reborn spirits, aren’t we?” She guessed. “I–I want to know the truth, Alex. I’m tired of all the secrets.”
I took a good look at her. Most angels would never have believed the things I’d told her. But she did. She’d proven that she can accept that the world doesn’t work the way she was brought up to believe. So maybe… maybe she’d be okay.
“Okay.” I took a deep breath. “You’re right. We’re not just spirits; we’re gods.”