“Bless me Father, for I have sinned,” I said, “It’s been…” I thought back. “A month since my last confession.”
I took a deep breath. “I… I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I just…” I sighed. “I’ve killed people. In cold blood. And–and I… I enjoyed it. What–what does that say about me? That–that I could ever… take pleasure in that.”
“Who did you kill?” came the reply from the other side of the confession booth. Jack‘s voice.
“Jack! What the heck are you doing here?”
“Taking confessions. Figured I’d lend the priests a hand.” He paused. “The real question is what are you doing here? You’re a prophet, so you can just confess to God directly. You don’t need an intermediary.”
“Oh. Right.” I blushed. “Old habits, I guess.”
“Well, since you’re here… killing isn’t a sin. Not on its own, at least. Angels were originally created to be warriors. Killers. Answering prayers, spreading the Word of God… that’s all secondary. Tasks created to keep us busy when there was nobody to kill.”
I shook my head. “That’s wrong. We’re not meant to be killers. We’re meant to keep order in the world, to–”
“And we keep order by striking down the wicked. By showing people the power of God, so that they may bow down in worship.”
“We’re not ‘striking down the wicked’; we’re committing genocide, trying to wipe out an entire species! If anyone is wicked, it’s us. What have the ‘cubi done to deserve death? Why would God ever want us to kill them?”
Jack sighed. “We’re soldiers. We’re not meant to question orders. Just to obey. God has His reasons.”
“And that’s enough? We’re meant to wipe out an entire species on pure faith? How–how do we even know it’s really God telling us this? And not the Devil?”
A long pause.
A quick glance at Jack’s mind told me that he had his doubts, too.
Finally, he spoke. “Someone tried to stop the execution yesterday. Took control of people’s minds, made them drop their weapons. But God intervened. He cast out the intruder in an instant. That’s how we know that God is with us: because God won’t let us fail.”
“So what we’re doing is right, as long as we’re winning?”
“That’s… one way of looking at it.”
We both sighed.