I stood up and helped Mara to her feet.  We emerged from smoky rubble, and I realized we stood where once the Citadel had towered.  Hazy sunlight outlined the bricks of that toppled building, and sparkled off the glassy ground.  It seemed as if the explosion had generated enough heat to fuse the dirt ground.  A surprising distance away, you could see the burned remains of some of the other buildings.  Everything was still smoking, and ash was everywhere.

            At the edge of the glassy circle stood tall figures in white robes.  Most of them had wings and were playing harps, as if celebrating our triumphant return.  They were singing, and though I could not identify the language, it was the sweetest song I ever heard this side of Heaven.

            In the centre of this group stood two figures, one was recognizably Raphael.  We hobbled towards them, leaning upon one another, scratched and dirty.  When we reached them, Raphael embraced his daughter.  The other figure was so radiant that it made Him hard to look at directly.  He wore armour like that which had protected me in Hell, and carried a sword like mine.  Somehow, I knew that He had been protecting me all along. 

            “Welcome back, daughter.” Raphael was sobbing, clutching Mara tightly.  She was crying too, hugging him back just as hard.

            I turned to our Saviour, and saw Him smile kindly at me.

            “What about the others?”

            “I will go to them, cousin,” He said.  “To see if they can ever accept my love.  Real love means always having faith, always hoping.  I will not give up on them.”

            I nodded, not knowing what else to say.  I felt like there should be more than this, some denouement, an explanation for it all perhaps.  He saw this (He sees everything) and smiled again.

            “You shall know the truth, and it shall make you free,” He said, and again I was blinded.

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