Seven Archangels: Annihilation, chapter 8 is up over at MindFlights.
This chapter is pivotal to Raphael. He’s one of my favorite characters, and I love writing him, but he definitely goes through a wringer in this book.
My favorite moment in the chapter is this one:
“You need a break,” Jesus said.
Raphael said, “I’m not fine, but he needs me, and I’ll cope as long as I’m helping him.”
“That’s more accurate, but not entirely.”
Raphael is an E-type personality, or an extravert, and he’s been isolated from pretty much everyone since chapter three. His companions have been an unconscious, dying Gabriel and Uriel, who’s as introverted as they come. Both Raphael and Uriel are exhausted and see nothing improving no matter what they’ve done, and it’s wearing them out.
Raphael spends the chapter outside, away from Gabriel, and Jesus uses childbirth as a metaphor for something that will happen later, and the chapter ends with a terrifying object lesson. I find the whole segment very intense, and I have to admit, I feel bad for Raphael by the time it’s done.
But this isn’t the worst he’s going to go through. It’s only the lead-up.