At her home in Asgard Marietta owned an old pendulum clock. It sat on her wall and swung back and forth by the second. Unlike Asgard it was imperfect, but it wanted to keep time. It wanted to preserve order. There was nothing wrong with that, she thought. As long as it tried, she thought, she would keep it. She would keep it until it could no longer swing, even if it could no longer accurately display the time. What mattered most, she believed, was that it continued to swing despite its blemishes. It desired order. She could not blame it for that.

She understood her realm's need for perfection. She understood what her realm desired of its citizens. She sought to serve Asgard. She believed that if she could fulfill her duty as an official of the realm, she would be content. If she fulfilled the purpose her realm had laid out for her, then she would need nothing else. She desired naught. She desired only for her land. As an archangel, she believed herself to be the embodiment of Asgard, whose rule was to be extended to all other worlds. Asgard was the epitome of perfection. Its word was justice itself. When the gods died, when the Magi died, when she died, Asgard would remain standing. All was subject to Asgard. Asgard was all.

But like the imperfect pendulum clock, whose swings never matched the time kept by Asgard's far superior technology, she realized her own faults as well. She felt them throbbing at the back of her head, telling her that all was not right. The throbs told her that she did not seek justice. They told her that she wanted something that Asgard could not give her.

But Asgard could give her all. Asgard fulfilled her. She could not understand what the throbs told her. They contradicted her every belief. They made her question, and it pained her to question. If she thought unwanted thoughts, then she betrayed Asgard. More than anything else, she could not bear to betray her realm.

Yet she could not ignore the throbbing and the questioning. It brought her physical pain—headaches. She could not understand what she could be repressing within her mind. There was nothing to repress; she was one with Asgard, and Asgard was all. What could be left but her lingering sense of imperfection? She was aware of her flaws, as compared to the sublimity of her realm, but even when she acknowledged that, the pain would not cease. It only struggled and screamed. The more she attempted to ignore the feeling, the stronger the feeling grew. A dark and evil emotion festered in the depths of her heart, twisting and winding its way around her thoughts.

She was corrupted by her very sense of self, and she hated it.

She did not want a "self." She did not understand the concept of "self"; she did not acknowledge the self, and neither did Asgard. She understood her purpose as an extension of Asgard and a means through which Asgard could achieve an end. She did not know what to do with her self. What was a self, but a collective set of thoughts and emotions hindering the fulfillment of the wishes of the realm? She wanted naught. She desired naught. She wanted only what Asgard wanted. She wished for only what Asgard wished. She wanted nothing but for Asgard to fulfill its own ends, its own desires, its own wishes. She had none. She had nothing. She was not a "self." She was not an individual. She was only what Asgard wanted her to be.

She was Asgard and Asgard was all, individuality be damned. That was why human realms rose and fell. That was why chaos reigned in the Underworld. That was why chaos existed at all—because the imperfect beings below them, below Asgard, sought after their own selfish desires and believed in their own selfish beliefs and wanted only for themselves and no one else. That was why Asgard was still standing while humans and demons struggled in the worlds below. That was why chaos was taking over the universe, and only Asgard remained as a bastion of peace and justice, and hope in the future, where there would be no conflict, only tranquility and order. Only Asgard was right. Only Asgard was just. Only Asgard was true, while the rest of the universe floundered in its own faults and failures, never attempting to live up to what the Rule asked for them, never attempting to follow the Rule, never immersing their whole heart and soul into doing what the Rule had outlined for them to give them a better life. Asgard only wanted what was best for the world. Asgard was the beginning and the end, and only Asgard.

Marietta did not understand her sense of self. She did not want to understand her sense of self. It was only evil and impure. It would only lead to chaos and conflict and differences and hatred, and bigotry and war and death. If she acknowledged her differences, then she would only be leading herself into sin. She already realized she was weak. She did not need to become any weaker by attempting to understand why this conflict arose. She only needed to quell it. She only needed to kill it. She only needed the power to overcome her weaknesses and bring the Rule to all the worlds. She would not need to give a second thought to herself; she only needed the power to spread Asgard's justice and end world suffering.

Marietta only needed power. Marietta only needed the strength to overcome her hardships. She needed nothing else. She only needed power. She did not need to acknowledge her flaws. She only needed to overcome them. She would not think about her self. She would not think about why she had a self. She would not think about why Asgard needed individuals. She did not need to know. She only needed power.

She only needed to know that was she was thinking was right.

She only needed to know that she was right.

She could not bear the thought of being wrong.

She could not bear the thought of Asgard being wrong.

She could not believe that Asgard was flawed.

She could not believe that she could not serve Asgard because she was flawed.

She did not want to know the truth. She only wanted to believe in herself.


...pretty much sums up what I was thinking while I was writing this. This is totally unedited, so if you spot typos, now you know why.