Cleanup Duty
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All is still, all is silent.

The stars in the sky have long since faded; only few remain, shining their beacons through the infinite pitch of the cosmos.

The worlds of the mortal races, once many and mighty, have fallen silent. Only a select few remain, quietly orbiting their little oasis of a star and toiling on, unaware of the state of the universe at large.

Somewhere, in the furthest corner of the darkness, someone stirs. They shuffle out of bed, rising from an eternal slumber, and steel themselves, resolute in the task at hand. They stand up and walk over to a wall nearby, no trace of doubt in their step, effortlessly plucking from it an ornate scythe that stands twice as tall as they do.

They drag the scythe across the floor, not for lack of strength, and make their way to a large gleaming pot, wrought out of cast iron. They look up through the skylight, and stare up into the silent night, their gaze focused on those minuscule dots of light that remain with the utmost scrutiny.

They speak, not to anyone in particular, but to the stillness of the air.

"I suppose the time has come at last," they say. "The toils of the mortal realms have gone on long enough, and every light in the universe has all but faded. It's time to begin the Divine Harvest."

Wordlessly, they lift up their scythe, and extend their arm over the crucible in the center of the room. With one fell swoop, they chop it off at the elbow, and suck in a breath. As the arm falls into the cauldron, it swiftly dissolves, transforming into a golden, glimmering liquid. It plops to the bottom of the pot, and swirls around the bottom, seemingly of its own volition.

"The first part of the Divine Spirit," they whisper. "A small amount of my own divinity."

The figure moves in the darkness, scraping the scythe against the flagstones once more, and procures bandages. They wrap one over their stump, and hold it to their side, staunching the oozing of golden fluid.

"Let's check up on what the last Divine Spirit has laid out for me," they say to the air. "Not as if I don't know what I'm doing. But they're always quite picky about how things should be done."

Snapping their fingers, a scroll appears from thin air and lands gently in the waiting hands of the final arbiter of the universe. They unfurl it, and begin to read aloud.

"Greetings, Magrastiel, Seraph of The End," the text begins.

"As you are well aware, the duty of fulfilling the Divine Harvest has once again fallen upon you. I, The Divine Spirit, thank you graciously in advance for the service you are carrying out for myself and the peoples of this universe.

The first step of the Divine Harvest is simple, and you have likely already carried it out, as I've been informed you've been through the routine a few times already. In case you haven't: a small part of your own divinity must be sacrificed, and placed into the Crucible in which you will cultivate the new Divine Spirit.

Afterwards comes the second, and perhaps the most difficult step of the Divine Harvest. You are tasked with visiting each of the worlds remaining in this universe and reaping all of the mortal souls. This includes flora, fauna, fungi, microorganisms of both eukaryotic and prokaryotic descriptions, artificial intelligence, homunculi, you name it. If it has a soul, it is your duty to reap it.

Of course, the mortal souls may fight back against you, but as you are an angel you should have little fear of their weaponry. You may also wish to talk with the mortals of this world, and this you are permitted, as there is no time limit on your duty as long as it is completed eventually. Additionally, you may find opposition from the infernal realms; demons of every description may seek to hinder your progress, as the rebirth of the universe does not fit their agenda.

As you are a Seraphim, you are as strong as they come, and I trust that you have confidence in your own abilities. When the souls of the mortal realms have been harvested, you must deposit them into the Crucible, where they will mix with your own divinity.

The third and final step of the Divine Harvest, which may be carried out alongside the second, is to generate additional spirit. The mortal realms that remain will not have enough souls to produce a sufficient Divine Spirit on their own, and their lamenting and suffering must be assuaged. Use any means you should choose to connect to their souls and bolster their spirits.

You will need to generate a sum of spirit equal to approximately One (1) Decillion mortal souls to complete the new Divine Spirit. Upon doing so, you know what remains to be done to ensure the rebirth of this universe.

Good luck,
The Divine Spirit."

As they finish reading the letter, Magrastiel scoffs. "Gosh, so wordy. What do they take me for? Some kind of imbecile? 'A few times already,' believe me, I've been around the block more times than there are souls in this universe."

Hefting their scythe with their one remaining hand, Magrastiel begins to walk, leaving the room at the end of time.

"Better get started, then." they say.

They gaze up into the sky, once more, and observe the tiny pinpricks of light scattered throughout the blackness of space.

"Eeenie, meenie, miney mo… catch an angel by the toe… if he hollers, let him go… The Divine Spirit said to pick the very best one, and you are… it." they say, their eyes flickering between each of the dots.

As they finally land upon a dot, Magrastiel unfurls their massive black wings, and pushes off the ground, soaring high into the sky and quickly exiting the atmosphere of the desolate world on which they had rested for the past eternity. They turn around to give one final goodbye, and then press onward to carry out the Divine Harvest.


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