Chapter 36 – Live and Learn
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 So, the Pearly Gates, with Saint Peter in front of them, judging you before letting you into Heaven?

Yeah imagine something closer to the gate of a gated community, as tall as the Eiffel Tower, with Saint Peter sitting on a little stool in a guard shack. Saint Peter himself? Mall cop outfit. For whatever reason, the moment his eyes fell on Katka, he covered his arms to the best of his ability. I wasn’t sure if it was worth it to ask Katka what all that was about, but she just shot Saint Peter a look. A look that was like a cat looking at her prey that she has all intentions of annihilating.

I was fully expecting us to walk through those massive gates, to see them open and see the majesty of Heaven, since all I could see around us was the gate, the wall that stretched on for who knows how long, and an empty void behind us. Heavens Above was an accurate phrase, considering it looked like space out here. Instead of the gates opening though, Gabrielle walked to a part of the wall that was on the other side of Saint Pete’s shed, and pushed, revealing a more appropriate… staff entrance, I guess you could call it.

Oh, and whatever imagine of Heaven you’ve expected, be it the Garden of Eden or a bunch of clouds? Yeah toss that out of your mind. The closest thing to a Garden of Eden were the small parks you could see dotted around the landscape. The sight before us was that of a modern metropolis, full of skyscrapers, made of glass and concrete, hard geometric shapes. Sterile and perfect. The place itself domed down from the wall, forming a bowl, with the largest tower in the center, the top of which was effectively like that of a lighthouse. The entire place looked like it was constantly noon. I heard Katka hum a tune I didn’t quite recognize, but one which clearly annoyed Gabrielle. “Yes, it looks like a dystopian futurescape. No, I did not help in the design. I much preferred it back when we had castles. Those had dungeons you could go into to get a break from Their light.” Gabrielle sighed and rubbed her eyes. “Those skyscrapers don’t allow that though. Is this blasphemous of me? Maybe, but everyone deserves a break from constant surveillance.” She snapped her fingers, a piece of glass manifesting in her hand, which she used to summon us a ride.

It was a riot truck. “Alright, get it, walking across to the Tower is gonna take too long.” Gabrielle sat down in the driver’s seat, and the rest of us piled in, the chairs awkward for many of us. Especially Katka, who refused to unsummon her wings, making the small plastic seat not work for her.

There was no feeling of motion. The truck buzzed, and I could see us quickly approaching the tower. Or well, I saw that for all of two seconds before the motion sickness kicked in and I had to turn away. Gabrielle must have had a steel stomach to… oh right her skin looks like damascus and her hair is copper wires, she probably literally has a steel stomach to handle these situations. We stopped at the base of the tower, and as we all got out of the car, it struck me just how massive it was. 

“It feels hypocritical of them to have this here when the Tower of Babel made them mad.” I said, staring up for just a second before I realised the fucker was Heaven’s literal constant never ending source of light. Like living on the surface of the Sun.

“In all my raids on this place I never approached this place. So, gonna check that off my bucket list.” Katka added, as we approached the door. The inside of the tower was… bland. Boring. It was purely structural. A bunch of beams holding it up, with an elevator in the middle. And it was also illuminated with simple fluorescent lights. The only place to be so, I imagined. Darkest under the candle. There was a basket with sunglasses near the elevator.

“They’re the type you wear for welding or eclipses. Only way to not go blind.” Gabrielle put on a pair and handed us all one each. With a shrug I put them on, and we all got in the elevator, shooting up for the confrontation. But, honestly? After facing the last 4channer alive, my dad, and Khazmiel, facing God seemed like a cakewalk.  Facing the glowing entity that started up this run of the universe seemed like a cakewalk compared to facing three transphobes. What a fucking comedy my life had become.

Once the elevator door opened, the room we found ourselves in was vast. Easily the size of a stadium. Floating above was God. Even with the shades it was hard to look at them for long. Their entity kept shifting, ever changing, I tasted bass guitar and heard purple and saw last week’s breakfast and held love in my hand and all those sensations were at the same time and they kept shifting, tasting colors, hearing images, seeing taste, feeling concepts, it might have overwhelmed me were it not for the sound of a snap. My gaze shot to the source of the sound. A figure, their skin looking like dried wood, and their head set aflame, hovered underneath the literal mindfuck. They had kind eyes, but their expression was like a poker face. The rest of their body was obscured by a cloak.

“Apologies for that, everyone, they are not good at restraining themself. I am Metatron. You might know me from fiction as The Voice of God. That is not completely accurate. I am more of a sign language interpreter, so to speak. Please, sit.” They didn’t move a muscle, but I noticed a fine mist on the floor, as if we were standing on clouds. Oh, that’s where that idea came from, I understood now. From the mist rose four seats, and with a shrug we all sat down, looking at Metatron. “Meassael and Lily Sadie Dawncat. Your presence has been requested by The Trinity… to apologise.” Unexpected, God isn’t supposed to make mistakes. “They stood back instead of stepping in when the Principalities began fearing you, Meassael. Fearing you as one of the First. They misjudged your intentions with making such a large family, and it suffered for it.” They really weren’t moving much. Metatron was just floating there, their mouth moved, their eyes looked between May and Myself when they had said our name, but otherwise they just ominously hovered in space. “They never wished you or your family harm, and They feel sorry for what transpired.”

May chuckled. She laughed. Her laughter turned hysterical. I was definitely concerned for her well being in that moment, as I stood up and walked over to her, holding her shoulders. “They feel sorry? They. Feel. Sorry.” May stood up, shaking my hands off her shoulders. “They set this whole system up. They got a trial apocalypse. Their behavior made us First leave. Their inaction made us build Hell. And once it was built? They decided to use us for labor, to punish sinners. It was left up to us to decide what counted as a sin in reality and what was just Them not liking a person.” She was slowly walking towards Metatron, staring them down. “If They hadn’t made a bunch of shitty Angels and Archangels and Principalities that were afraid of everything outside this sphere, I wouldn’t be here, with my granddaughter, with her friends, hearing Them say through you that They’re sorry.” Her voice was level, but you could hear the restrained anger. “I wouldn’t have lost my daughters to one of Their rabid dogs. I wouldn’t have been left heartbroken and traumatised. Lily wouldn’t have had to deal with Khazmiel. And Leonard wouldn’t have gotten misgendered more than he was in the past few years, in the span of an hour.”

 She was inches from Metatron now, her wings deployed, flying right in their face. “They can shove their sorry up the infinite and one assholes they have.” May spit on the floor after growling that, right before hovering down. She walked over to me and grabbed my hand, looking towards Katka. Who nodded and summoned a portal. I was surprised she had the ability to do so here. Then again, it was one to leave through, not to enter through. May turned to face Metatron once more. “They need to apologise with actions, not words. Get your fucking house in order. Lucifer has to take care of trans people because y’all won’t fucking do it without threat of violence from Gabby there I imagine. Now, if you would excuse me, my granddaughter saw me presumably die in front of her today, and her friend has been tortured for an hour. I am going to be there for my family, both those I have by blood and by choice.” She grabbed Leonard’s hand as well as she passed by him, and we walked through Katka’s portal into my apartment.

I turned to look through it, and saw something I should have been fully expecting. Katka flipping off God while walking backwards towards her portal. Once through, it closed and she turned at us. “Well I didn’t quite walk backwards into Hell, but supposedly Hell is other people.”

I flicked her on the forehead. Sighed. And went to call Olivia to bring us a lunch order. With all that taken care of, the only stressful thing left in my life was school. And I was sure I’d ace it. As I looked between May, Leonard and Katka, I sighed contently. After everything that happened, they really felt like the family I had been missing. I pulled them all into a group hug.

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