Gabriel continued, his voice still sounding like three people blended together.
‘Now, you might think there is nothing unusual with humans having babies, they do it all the time. Some more than others. But suppose I came up to…’ Gabriel scanned the hall with his gleaming green eyes. ‘You!’
He jabbed a finger at Ararnia, who quite liked being singled out and grinned from ear to ear. Gabriel glanced at the headmaster.
‘Oh! Her name is er… Miss… er, oh! You know… Miss…’ the head was suddenly lost for words.
‘Ararnia Mist,’ Mr Quintius put in helpfully.
‘Thank you. Now then, Miss Ararnia,’ said Gabriel, his voice booming, ‘suppose I came up to you and told you that you were going to have a baby?’
Ararnia’s eyes nearly popped.
‘You see she wasn’t much older than you, bit of a shock isn’t it? Plus she knew that there was an ancient prophesy about a young girl having a baby. And that baby was going to change the planet. So all those thoughts crashed around in her head. Could she have been the girl in the prophecy? If so that meant her baby was going to be on a huge rescue mission.’ Gabriel stared at Ararnia for another silent moment. Then he smiled. ‘But don’t panic, I don’t always come to tell people they’re going to have babies. You’re safe.’
Ararnia blinked and giggled.
Gabriel sighed and shook his head a little.
‘You know, telling people about babies and bringing messages might not sound too exciting really. My boss Michael, he goes into battles all the time. He’s always fighting to hold back the darkness. If he were here now he could tell you about rescuing people and embarking on daring adventures. I ask him from time to time if I can tag along, but he just tells me top concentrate on doing what I do best, and then he sends me off to tell another human about some piece of important news. I’m sure you’ll all have plenty of adventures involving human beings. I guess none of you have seen any yet, but believe me, they are real. It may seem strange and weird, but there is a whole other world out there, called planet earth, and it’s full of seven billion human beings who often need our help. So I guess the best thing I can tell you is – you’re really important, you can make that world a better place for those human beings. But it’s not easy. It takes ingenuity, imagination and courage to do what we do. Any many of the folks down there make jokes about us. But don’t be put off, it’s worth all the difficulties and challenges.’
Gabriel nodded towards the headmaster and took a step back.
‘Well,’ said the head, ‘that was most inspiring. Now anyone got any questions?’