A beautiful, ambitious angel stands on a mountaintop, surveying the world and its little inhabitants below. He smiles because soon, the last of humanity who survived the great flood will meet its end, too. And he should know. He’s going to play a big part in it. Our angel usually doesn’t get to do field work, and if he does well, he’s certain he’ll be get a big promotion.
And now it’s time . . .
The angel reaches into his pocket for the instrument of humanity’s doom. Must be in the other pocket. Then he frantically begins to pat himself down. Dejected, he realizes he has lost the object. Looking over the Earth at all that could have been, the majestic angel utters a single word.
A thief named Coop-a specialist in purloining magic objects-steals and delivers a small box to the mysterious client who engaged his services. Coop doesn’t know that his latest job could be the end of him-and the rest of the world. Suddenly he finds himself in the company of the Department of Peculiar Science, a fearsome enforcement agency that polices the odd and strange. The box isn’t just a supernatural heirloom with quaint powers, they tell him.
It’s a doomsday device. They think. . .
And suddenly, everyone is out to get it.
First Chapter, First Paragraph
THE ANGEL, MAJESTIC IN GOSSAMER ROBES, STOOD ON a mountaintop, taking it all in. The sky was clear and a few minutes earlier he’d been poking the car- cass of a dead whale with a stick. The way he understood things, whales didn’t nor- mally spend a lot of time five thousand feet up the side of a mountain, which was probably why this one was so dead. It was the angel’s first trip to Earth and every- thing was so exciting and new. Especially the destruction. A whole planet drowned. A damned clever way to clean up the whole “humanity mess.” Of course, the flood made a different kind of mess, what with cities, people, and animals smashed willy- nilly across the land. And now that the rains had stopped, it was all getting a bit, well, ripe. But none of that was his problem. God got things rolling, and now he’d take care of the rest.
Richard Kadrey has written some of my favorite stories: Sandman Slim, Another Coop Heist, and Lucifer Comics. Both include antiheroes, acerbic wit, fantastic plots, and great imagery. If you are looking for a bit of an asshole protagonist check out these series.