Monday, December 13, 2010
ALEXIUS TELLS HIS STORY
I am pleased and honored to finally be able to snag an interview with a most secretive character...the angel Alexius, father of Rose and companion to Psyche. I hope you find this look into the mind of a unique celestial to be a fascinating experience.
DANI: Welcome, Alexius.
(Alexius nods brusquely.)
DANI: I understand that you had a very distinct title in Paradise. What was that?
ALEXIUS: I was a warrior, second only to the Seraph Michael and his angelic Chief, Midael, who was my high commander. I was created specifically for the duty of protecting, upholding Universal laws, and obeying what was commanded of me. All angels must obey and conform to the duties that they were created for. It is humans who are given free will.
DANI: Why were you banished from Paradise?
ALEXIUS: Because I chose free will--I disobeyed. It is that simple. It was my duty as a top warrior in the Holy Army to uphold the laws of Creation and, ultimately, to obey. During a terrible violent period in human history, when I looked down and witnessed the slaughter of so many innocents in the name of the Creator, my emotions began to shift to something more...human. A huge mistake for an angel. I stepped in to save two lives that were meant to be taken, throwing the natural order of things out of balance...and Paradise made me pay the price. My fellow angelic warriors held me down and cut my wings from my back...I still remember the agony, the sound of meat ripping as my nerves were laid bare...I still bear the scars that marked me as shameful. Of course, now, those scars mean nothing; the past means nothing. I am not the same angel, the same being, that I was before.
DANI: You were offered the opportunity to earn your wings back, but you gave them up a second time. Why?
ALEXIUS (briefly averting his eyes, sighing heavily): Yes, that is true. I was sent to stop...someone...from creating a terrible masterpiece. A masterpiece that would help unlock the door to my brother Lucifer's cage--the very brother I helped to cast out in the Beginning. I was so very ready to return home, to fly back up the Ladder. And then...I saw her. I bore witness to this tiny fragile creature creating, and something in me gave way. All of a sudden she became my world. (His voice cracks and he looks away.)
DANI: A romance between human and angel is generally forbidden. What was it about Psyche that drew you to her, made you fall in love with her?
ALEXIUS: At first it was her ability to create. When I finally met her face to face--I remember she had seen me watching, and so bravely chased me down--her intelligence and humor did me in. I was as helpless as a babe, meltingly captivated. She was so fragile, yet so strong... I will never forget the first time she took me to her bed--I found my true home that night. When my fallen brother, Sammael, took her, I could think of nothing more than having her back in my arms.
DANI: Psyche was pregnant when Sammael kidnapped her, correct?
ALEXIUS (his eyes hardening): Yes. He almost killed her, and in killing her he would have also killed our daughter. He left a part of Psyche maimed for life. I showed him no mercy.
DANI: What did you do to him?
ALEXIUS: It is as I said--I showed no mercy. That is all I will say on the subject.
DANI: Fair enough. Tell us about the night your daughter, Rose, was born. That must have been incredible for a being like you.
ALEXIUS (wistfully): It was terrible. And beautiful. My fellows would have seen human birth as gruesome and filthy. But I knew that night that I was to bear witness to another form of creation and saw it only that way. Psyche was in agony, struggling ...she was so small and fragile, and I was certain at one point, watching her blood flow, that I had killed her with my Nephil child. But she fought, and she survived. I held Rose not long after she was born. She was so tiny, so perfect...I swore to her, to myself, that I would never let the world and all of its horrors come close enough to touch her. I could feel the power in her...but in my eyes, she was still fragile, easy to harm.
DANI: I think all fathers feel that way about their daughters.
ALEXIUS: Yes. It has become my ultimate weakness. My fellow angels laugh at me from afar--their wingless brother and his half human daughter--but they will never understand.
DANI: What is your relationship like with your daughter now that she is a grown woman?
ALEXIUS (his jaw flexing): It is...complicated. She would certainly say the same thing. When she was very young, after her mother was killed, Rose clung to me. She was afraid to be alone, and I was afraid for her. It nearly paralyzed me, that fear. I kept her in the Mother's house, as I did Psyche once, and when she came to the cusp of womanhood, she began to resent me for that. I taught her to fight, but forbid her to seek vengeance on her own. I could not bear the thought of something happening to her. She ran away at sixteen, and I could not find her for five years. I nearly went insane during that time. When she finally returned, she was the soldier that I always knew she could become. Since then I have tried to watch over her, but she is...stubborn. Sometimes she uses the gifts I gave to her to hide from me. I curse myself endlessly on those days, those nights. Ultimately she is the dearest love of my eternal existence...other than her mother, I have cherished nothing more. That will not change, no matter how headstrong she is, no matter how she fights me.
DANI: Rose tells us you are her "Guardian". What does this mean?
ALEXIUS (fiercely): All souls are assigned a Guardian. Being half human, Rose needed one at birth. Lailah, my Sister and the angel in charge of midwifing new souls, was going to assign another angel to Guard my daughter. This I would not allow. (He thumps his chest with one fist.) No angel other than me is worthy of Guarding Rose. This angers her, makes her feel that I "hover" over her too much. That is something that we argue bitterly over. But I stand strong by my right to be my Nephil's protector. That will never change.
DANI: We have to ask-- how do you feel about Rose's half-demon boyfriend, Skriker?
ALEXIUS (grunting): Not a subject I wish to discuss.
DANI: Come on, angel man. You tried to kill the poor guy, even though he adores your daughter. I know Rose's happiness is paramount to you...
ALEXIUS: Of course. There is no argument there--to argue that would be insanity. But that Halfling punk is bred from the same slime that killed my Psyche, the same demons that those of my rank are meant to destroy--that is a betrayal in my eyes. I could snuff Skriker from the world as one blows a candle out in a darkened room. When I first discovered him violating my daughter, I was ready to. But Rose begged me to let him live. I love my daughter; she is still my weakness, no matter how we might argue over so much. It is because I love her that Skriker has not come under my blade. So long as he is good to Rose, I will let him live. But that does not mean that I approve of this...relationship. I will not embrace it or bless it.
DANI: What can we expect for you in the future?
ALEXIUS: Discovering who killed my companion and scarred my daughter. I will not rest until that goal is reached.
DANI: Once your vengence is had, what then?
ALEXIUS (pensively): I do not know. For now, there is no future other than that revenge. I am immortal; I have lived for an eternity and more. Time means less than dust to me. All that matters is the task at hand.
DANI: We will be rooting for you. And for Rose.
ALEXIUS (nodding): I am grateful. The Universe, the Creator, hears and sees all. Your wishes travel to Him to bless our fight, and I thank you for that. Farewell.
(Note: This character interview was originally posted on the blog of professional book reviewer Laurie J.)