Humans. Since the Lord had seen fit to create them, there had been Angels charged with watching over them. They were never to interfere, most never even considered such a thing, and were to act as simply observers than anything else. On the odd occasion when God was feeling fruitful he would listen to the Angels discuss the going on down on Earth, even listen to recommendations about who could get helped though if one were to plead to passionately about a human, that Angel would no longer be kept close to the human realm. For James Barnes it had been his task for as long as he could remember. Keep watch over the humans, make sure nothing too serious happened. Yet for the Angel, the longer he watched the harder it became to keep quiet.
He watched with curiosity rather than impartial orders. The amount of sin down on Earth was to be expected but it wasn’t that aspect which had intrigued the Angel, it was the relationships they built with one another. Strangers meeting each other by chance and then becoming the most important thing in the others life, the things they would do together and then die happy. Looking back at his own existence there was no such thing, no chance to meet someone like that and feel those things. Angels were not created to feel anything. Thus when the order came that humanity had become too reckless and God was done with them, the sensations James experienced at the thought of those people becoming nothing, took him by surprise. A lot of plans had to be made and slowly James began to question why.
Why was everyone to die, why were the good and the righteous not being spared, why the good people that he watched suffer for decades were not being spared or even granted life after death. His questions were met with silence, the louder he protested the worse things got. Plans had to be laid to make the wipe out as effective and as fast as possible, plans James did not agree on and thus voiced angrily how it did not feel right. There was one other Angel, one that had resented James position of power for a long time and when James began to voice his concerns, that very Angel was the one that reported James to be corrupted with sin.
After that James was all but silenced and sent for re-calibration. Any Angel even suspected of being corrupted was put through re-calibration, things that often made James wonder how any of them could think humanity was cruel when up in heaven there were things much worse. It was something that stuck with James through all the pain and the questions. The more they hurt him, the more James insisted that there was goodness down on Earth, that it was not sin that had corrupted him just doing his job that showed him there was still goodness down there.
After that he didn’t stand a chance. With the apocalypse looming, James was deemed unfit and cast out of heaven, the last thing he remembered before his world went black was the coldness as they stripped him of his grace.
When he woke, the first thing he became aware of was the pain. An Angel could certainly withstand a lot more pain than a human, but without his grace to keep the agony at bay or begin the healing it was hot pain that surged through James from all directions. The ground beneath him was wet and cold, his wings shredded and blackened hanging limp from bloodied shoulders. With a croaky groan as he came too, he felt bones shift and his stomach roll with bile; all sensations he was unfamiliar with and it was a harsh shock to the system. With his body all but broken, hid now graceless mind unable to understand how life clung to such a broke form James vaguely realised he had been cast down to Earth to die, and here he would fade along with the rest of humanity.