Her body hung limply in his arms like a rubbery ragdoll, far too heavy for a child her size. Her dull, vacant eyes locked forever skyward; blue lips parted, never to smile again. The angel held her tightly, drawing a delicate feathered wing above her to shield her drowned remains from the sun. He wept silently, the only sound the chopping of the waves against the rocky peak of Mount Ararat, echoing the haunting loneliness that enveloped the angel's soul. He looked up disdainfully at the rainbow overhead. What a farce.
He glanced back at the sound of soft footfalls behind him, a second angel appeared, gazing mournfully at the pitiful sight before him.
"What troubles you, brother?" the newcomer asked sympathetically.
"How can you ask that, Michael?" The first angel replied bitterly. "Look around you!"
"Our place is not to question. It was His will."
"'His will.'" The first angel sneered. "What kind of malevolent soul wills for this destruction?"
"There was evil in the world," Michael said grimly, "it had to be cleansed."
"Evil? Cleansed?" the angel's eyes came alight with a burning rage. "Where is evil? Show me the evil in this child!"
Michael looked away, burdened with regret. "She was not born into innocence. In time, she too would become as they were."
"Whatever sin she was born with, He gave her. He made her according to His plan, knowing full well what she would become."
The angel broke into tears again, looking up from the drowned toddler to the widespread devastation all around, where broken debris and shattered possessions floated amongst inundated corpses that had yet to submerge.
"Is He truly so infallible? Does He not hold some sort of vague responsibility over the life He created? Is He truly so free to create and destroy, casting life after life into the abyss like a discarded plaything?"
"He is not without mercy." Michael said defensively. "Surely you know of –"
"Yes." The angel's eyes grew dark and burdened. "One single man amongst the hundreds of thousands he made. He who bowed the lowest and bent his spine the greatest, he was spared. And damnation to the rest of them…"
Rising to his feet, the angel carried the sodden babe to the water's edge. Kneeling again, he held her in the water, the crests of the shifting waves lapping gently at her skin.
"May whatever lies beyond be more fair to you." He said, a fat, pendulous tear falling from his cheek to hers.
The waves reached up to embrace her as he released. As the orange light of the dying sun sparkled on the surface, he watched as she faded into the nebulous blue, staring all the while into her cold, mournful eyes. Michael stepped forward to place a comforting hand on his brother's shoulder.
"None of us like it, Lucifer, but what can we do?"