Just from the ‘job title’ comes the fact that a great deal of physical effort has to be given when an angel makes the final choice to become the protector of the team. Whereas their partner will spend a majority of their time garnering wisdom and learning as much as possible about the ‘ins-and-outs’ of the human mind and human emotions, both sides of the team have to ready themselves for a world they can’t possibly understand until they’re stuck directly in the middle of it.
Although the angel half of the equation may seem more difficult, Matt’s job was just as hard in a very different way. You see, a warrior is not all about brute strength. Yes, the training with Gabe includes many weapons, which readers will see when Matt returns home to train with his teacher and beg for guidance. The room he spends time in with his mentor has walls lined with every type of weapon imaginable - from sword to scythe. The warrior must spend 50% of his time learning how to handle each and every one of these weapons, seeing as that he never knows where he will be sent. He needs to understand the weight, the force needed to wield the weapon, the cause and the effect of what will happen if he strikes his foe - every nuance of battle. He must be able to sustain his power and strength in order to fight a war that could last decades, not just a few rounds in the ring.
However, the object during training is not to win or even outdo his teacher; the object is to make sure his body and mind can work together to defend and protect - but only when he absolutely must. The intensity of the battle is increased when Matt must face his foes within the ‘pit,’ which is a place that’s located in the floor of Gabe’s classroom. The ‘pit’ is not supernatural, there are no demons or mechanical men to go after, the ‘pit’ simply intensifies the battle with heat that comes from the flames kept inside, as well as the temperature of the warrior’s anger.
The ‘pit’ is a lesson to be learned; it teaches the warrior patience. If Matt’s anger becomes as overheated as the ‘pit,’ he cannot do his job well. If he heats up to the breaking point down below, then he’s letting his emotions run him, and the warrior can not afford to do that. If his emotions take hold he can make mistakes, fail, or injure an innocent. Battle, Matt must learn, is the last resort.
The other 50% of the warrior’s time is spent with his angel. Warriors do not get a ‘free pass’ from learning. They must go into their lives with knowledge about the beings they will deal with, and what a human’s feelings can accomplish…or destroy. Even though the angel can get involved with the humans and try to help them and guide them, the warrior must make sure to read every situation correctly. He needs to be able to sense the fact that an emotion is taking hold before it causes pain. But if he allows his feelings of love, jealousy, or anger to take over - then he has the power to make a frightening decision that can perhaps end someone’s life.
In the end, a warrior’s true power is in his mind. Mastering the weaponry and the fighting skills he needs is one thing, but mastering the heart is far more difficult. Matt is a great warrior; he excels at his job. But he’s a ‘fresh’ warrior - a new soul - who has never run face-first into the dreams and nightmares that humans can create. Most of all, he was not expecting love to become the ultimate weapon.
Until Next Time, Everybody.