More than Just Duty (Part 7)

”I can live with that.” I say but it appears that my body does not agree. I find myself in a very long line among the clouds. Asking around reveals that I am in Celestia. It turns out that many of my people have fallen. I should be here for some time. An angel approaches. “Ah, you’re here.” she says, “I need you to come with me. You’re relevant to another case so I thought that it would be better if I assessed you together.” She leads me by the arm to the front of the line where I come face to face with a rather angry-looking Sangwaan. “Well,” says the angel, “we’ve already done most of what we need to here, however, when I realized that you had arrived, I decided to do the next part with you as you are involved. I am a bureaucratic deva. I will be assessing both your cases to determine whether or not you belong in the Lawful Good afterlife…or…somewhere else.” Sangwaan gives me a dirty look.
“Well one of us doesn’t belong here.” she says.
“That’s for me to decide.” says the deva. “However, perhaps it would be a good idea to assess Miko first. Miko, you have spent your life devoted to justice, always eager to serve your gods of which the head of the pantheon is Lawful Good.” I smile. “You where recruited to be a paladin and took your vows seriously. You attempted to cleanse the world of evil and injustice.” I am going where I belong.
“Oh, she did lots of cleansing alright.” says Sangwaan.
“I believe that your ex is referring to the fact that you tended to use violence as your first resort rather than your last. This has become more prevalent since the two of you split up. Also you used violence against those whom were merely chaotic and not evil at all.”
“I did what I had to, to remove the stain of evil.” I say.
“But Miko,” begins the deva, “it’s not killing evil people that defines “good”. Even evil people kill other evil people. To be good is to work for the benefit of others even if it costs you. We fight evil individuals because they will harm others if it will benefit them and when we can defeat evil without killing, then we have truly achieved our goal.”
“But of course you’d never understand that would you?” says Sangwaan.
“Hold on there Sangwaan.” says the deva, “I wouldn’t say that. Miko has always desired a world where all work together in peace and happiness to serve the gods. That is not such a bad goal if a little badly implemented. However we do not punish stupidity or foolishness.”
“How about treason?” asks Sangwaan.
“Ah,” begins the deva, “about that. Yes Miko, you killed your rightful ruler who was a good man even if he used questionable methods. He was certainly not someone whom deserved execution. Of course you lost your paladinhood for that transgression. Also, there’s the matter of your dealings with the Order of the Stick.”
“The foul servants of Xykon.” I say.
“And once again Miko demonstrates that in her world, she does all the judging.” says Sangwaan.
“I believe that Sangwaan is attempting to inform you that The Order of the Stick were not agents of Xykon.” says the deva.
“They lied about destroying him. They used trickery to escape the justice of their trial for destroying a gate. They’re corrupt, evil thieves obsessed with gold and material comforts.” I say.
“They were ignorant of their failure to destroy him.” says the deva, “If ignorance was a sin then you’d be in a lot more trouble than you are. They were not aware of the trickery involved in the trial at the time and if they had a fair trial they should have won anyway. They were never out to harm reality by destroying the gate, in fact they’ve been trying to protect it. Finally, while they may not posses your asceticism, they are not evil (with the exception of one of them). In fact, I let one of them in here earlier.”
“Impossible!” I cry, “It must be one of their tricks! They are evil!”
“Miko!” says the deva dangerously, “Do you really want to suggest that I am incompetent in my work?” She is right. I’ve been making hasty decisions without determining whether or not they make sense. “I apologize.” I say, “I believe you.”
“Good,” says the deva, “then we can move on. You’ve certainly always tried to help pave the way to a world of law and good and that is what matters to us.” She’s letting me in.
“What about disobedience?” says Sangwaan, “That’s not very lawful.”
“Indeed.” says the deva, “There are other issues to deal with. Miko, whilst you believed that killing the necrocarnate was necessary, which was certainly understandable in your situation, you must learn that your actions have important consequences that are not always immediately obvious. That is why it was important for you to exercise temperance and listen to your superior. You’ve only become worse with these over the years. Look at how you handled The Order of the Stick.” Suddenly I’m angry again. I turn to Sangwaan.
“You could have told me that they were not our enemies. That they were fighting an evil lich. You are the one who got me into this.”
“While Miko can’t blame her actions on you,” says the deva, “she does have a point. One that I need to deal with for your evaluation.”
“I…” begins Sangwaan, “believed that my prophesies didn’t matter anymore. What’s the point of knowing the future if people don’t listen to you. Not even those you care about most.” A tear drips down her face. “How could you do that to me? Why should I make prophesies if I’m ignored? You took away the purpose of my life!”
“Now that’s a little on the overdramatic side.” says the deva, “You took an instance of someone disobeying you in a situation where it was understandable and used it to justify your self-pity. Since then you’ve been neglecting your duties. Even if you were right and no one listened to your prophecies, your duty to give them would still be present. Miko, on the other hand, chose to become someone who smites first and then decides if there’s a point in asking questions. When you to broke up, you both turned away from your path. However, we understand what love can do to people very well. You have both been accepted into Celestia.” We’ve been let in! I hug them both, then let go with embarrassment. My cheeks grow warm. “I guess that I never tried to see things from your perspective.” says Sangwaan, “I’m sorry. Could you forgive me?”
“Of course.” I say, “And could you forgive me?”
“Yes.” she smiles, “And it looks like we’ve got all eternity to spend making up to each other.” I may not be able to live with that, but I’ll certainly enjoy it.

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