I am a Watcher.
For millennia I have watched you fall and redeem, live and die, rock and roll. I have seen so much, yet I can tell you so little. The bounds on my ability to teach you frustrate me as much as they leave you dangerously ignorant, but I cannot help you. I am a Watcher. My name is Brian, and it is my role in the Symphony to watch and record the War for posterity. There are few of us left, but I am neither the first nor the last. Some feel my kind are obsolete; do more harm than good. You’re allowed to have your opinions; I have no influence over them. The point is that I am here, and I am watching. But this isn’t a story about me. It never is. It’s about her.
She is young and innocent, brought forth into a Symphony she can hear and understand, but in ways totally foreign to her being. Earth is a noisy, cacophonous place compared to Heaven, and like most of her kind, she’s been tossed into a Cold War she knows very little about, nor the dangers it poses to both herself and humanity as a whole. She has a mission, her Word, as guidance, but little else. She serves the Word of Judgment, and while she is my enemy by default as a result, there is no better Heavenly safety net than the Word of Judgment. Her Archangel, Dominic, visits her regularly, as he does all his Servitors. I’m sure his infinite vision can see me lurking in the shadows, yet he allows me to exist. I don’t know why, and I don’t question it.
Dinah is a Mercurian, an Intercessionist in the language of her Judgment collaborators. Of all her celestial companions she is, unsurprisingly, the most human. She lives and works as one; she goes out to lunch; she pays taxes; she has a driver’s license. In this way she is a bit of a paradox as Judges go. Always working, always on duty, other Judges had a hard time reconciling a coffee break. But Dinah takes a different angle; she needs to fit in, disappear, and infiltrate humanity.
She does this through her Role as Assistant District Attorney for Brown County. She took the last name of Archer to help fill in the gaps. She spends a significant amount of time in court, but she also handles various legal questions emerging from the Municipal Ordinance Office. The unfortunate resulting acronym leads to many references to cattle from the District Attorney’s Office in regards to the inner workings and competencies of MOO. Dinah’s dealings with MOO usually involve questions of land use and permits. The two offices, plus a dozen other City Departments, shared a 15-storey building downtown that had been built with the sterile architecture of the 1960s. Ironically, it was her liaising with MOO that kept her thumb to the pulse of Celestial activity within Brown County.
Brown County Courthouse was the other side of her profession. This place also happened to be the power center of Judgment within the local area, for the courthouse was a Tether. Circuit court judges have always held a tremendous amount of power locally, for good or for ill. In many jurisdictions, they are the law, with few resources for those wanting to appeal their idiosyncratic judgments. Fortunately, Brown County Courthouse has been blessed for the last 37 years by the Honorable Benjamin R. Kingsley. Judge Kingsley was the first African American appointed to the bench in Brown County. A cantankerous Southern Baptist who is as deeply familiar with the Constitution as he is the Bible, he has never found them to be in conflict, and has never, in 37 years, made an unjust decision (though some of those who have tried, and failed, to influence him might disagree). With an even-handed mix of uncompromising judgment and compassion, and some occasional unorthodox rulings, he has managed to push hundreds, possibly thousands of people coming through his courtroom toward their Destinies, and away from their Fates. Dominic noticed Judge Kingsley in 1980, and appointed a Cherub to watch over him. Ten years ago his foresight was rewarded when the Cherub called the Archangel of Judgment to consecrate a new Tether.
The Cherub, Hurtriel, became the Seneschal of the new Tether, where he typically appears as the stoic court bailiff Howard Jackson. If the Courthouse is the command center for Judgment in Brown County, Hurtriel is its commander. Hurtriel also fills the role of being Dinah’s current direct supervisor. Her close professional proximity keep the two well-informed on the mundane goings-on in the County, while Dinah, with her mobility, is charged with obtaining and sharing information regarding all known local Celestial activity.
Hurtiel, as are most Cherubim Judges, is a bit of a paradox. He is entirely devoted to his Word, his Tether, and his attuned. His is a loving soul, but he doesn’t show it much at all. He is not attuned to Dinah, his devotion to the Tether and Judge Kingsley take higher priority, but he serves as her guide through the Symphony, and is always willing to offer advice and listen, as long as she comes to him to ask for it. He literally loves her, a commonality for associates of Cherubim, but he rarely shows it, and isn’t hesitant to use the “tough love” human parents often give their delinquent adolescent children when he judges it best.
A fellow Cherub to Hurtriel, Yrian is a Servitor of the Sword currently on a vague, long term mission for Laurence within Brown County. Hurtriel thought it prudent to introduce Dinah to him due to the fact that Yrian was an able and willing protector of the less combative Angels within the City. Yrian is a bit of a simpleton, but a devoted and loving protector, and a good Catholic. His primary contact with mundanes is with children as a volunteer Sunday School Teacher. His simple ways, stocky stature, and his storytelling abilities make him a hit with children. He concentrates his teachings on selfless duty and loyalty, and the somewhat more controversial actual stamping out of selfish or corruptive activity. In practice, this has led to Dinah pulling some strings in the DA’s Office to keep him from getting into too much trouble under Corporeal law. Thus, their relationship is symbiotic one. It isn’t for certain known but likely that Yrian has attuned himself to Dinah.
As with most Judges, Dinah is also assigned to a Triad. Hers is a typical Local Triad, assigned to an area covering roughly a dozen counties, including Brown. Her associates are also typical: a Seraph, Sophereth (Sophie for short), and a Cherub, Clement. Both are relatively young angels assigned to other areas outside Brown County. Sophie is intelligent and extremely well-balanced. Others usually perceive this as being cold, but really that she carries little prejudgment in her mind, and if she does, she doesn’t show it. She is professional and merciful, a surgeon removing the cancers in Angels that might fall.
Clement is much more active emotionally, and becomes embittered when other angels show attitude towards the Triad, especially if they are being questioned, and even more so if they are Servitors of War. He is quite able to be the “Bad Cop” in interrogations in which Dinah or Sophie play the “Good Cop.” He is also the only member of the Triad with much combat capability, so he serves as the Triad’s muscle as well, although in Celestial combat Sophie becomes a much more potent weapon.