How could the purest and most unlikely of loves beget Armageddon? How could the creator and overseer of the universe have let it happen? It is unfathomable; an abyss of reasoning that reveals no light. And yet, it has occurred.
I am sorry, I ramble.
My name is Michael and I have served at the helm of the Adelphi since the first fall. We, the Adelphi, are warrior angels. When Lucifer first challenged His authority, it was we who stared him down. We were the ones that fought him and his band of rebels to the edge of Celestia and threw them off the cliffs of Tiali into the pit of Hades. Ironic then, that it would be one of us that eventually undid the order we had fought so hard to establish and maintain.
He said it was love, the fool. Angels do not fall in love. They fall from grace and into the Pit of Disinheritance as everlasting penance. But it seems the two falls are one and the same. His name was Jardia, a being of valour, and he was the most senior guard on this side of the Eternity gate. You see, the eternity gate was the only pathway through which Lucifer could enter Celestia on those rare occasions when he was summoned to give account of himself. His cunning is limitless and as such, he was always subjected to a rigorous search.
It was on one such visit that he came with her; the demon-whore that stole Jardia’s loyalty. He claimed that they never spoke, that it must have been some sort of divine conspiracy; the mad love that overtook both of them the instant they laid eyes upon each other.
They hid in the caves of Tiali to lay with each other and somehow managed to return undetected. The implosion of Guaitar’s third moon was the only physical manifestation of their forbidden act. I know He saw it, yet kept silent, as He was wont to whenever events of cataclysmic proportions played out. Eventually, Jardia was summoned. When queried, he confessed and even professed his undying love for the whore.
I ordered the Adelphi to cast out their fallen brother but He stayed their hands. He told Jardia that the demon, Krtja was with child. He informed Jardia that Lucifer, fearing for his Kingdom, had decided to destroy Krtja and her unborn spawn by absorbing their essence. Jardia demanded to have his Love delivered from the hands of Morningstar. Demanded! from the Lord of hosts, creator of all that is seen and imagined. His faculty had obviously taken leave of him but the Lord looked past his impudence and simply said the words I would never forget: “I will not save her, but you may try. Go to the eternity gate and attempt her salvation. But know this. Once you cross it, the Kingdom of heaven shall be closed to you for eternity” I listened in shock and horror, itching to slay Jardia where he stood and let Lucifer do the same to Krtja and their hell spawn. I was restrained only by a lack of directive from the Throne.
Jardia agreed to this and crossed the Eternity gate to save his love and her unborn. He was greeted by an army of demons at the gates of hell. We watched from on high, expecting him to be shredded to pieces within moments, but he was possessed by love and fought like one of the Seraphim. I had not seen another fight so powerfully and passionately since the war preceding the fall of Lucifer.
His wings never ceased moving as he went about in a blur, slaying all who stood in his way. His white form was soon buried underneath the fragments of demon souls as rage overtook him. I wondered silently at the power this love seemed to give him. Perhaps this emotion could have been channelled to further the ends of Heaven.He persisted in slaying hell’s army, cutting a path to the centre where Lucifer sat on his throne, Krtja beneath his feet. After what seemed like an eternity of tireless, endless slaughter, Jardia stood before Lucifer in silent challenge. Lucifer offered Jardia “a more excellent” way; fight him for Krtja and the throne of hell. Jardia accepted. It was madness. I knew not why Lucifer made such a proclamation, for there was evidently no trickery in it, but I guessed it was just to drive Jardia to the edge of his rage and do something foolish. Jardia engaged Lucifer and lost his left arm instantly.
Lucifer never fought fair. This I had learned the hard way at the battle of Tiali; the lightening scar on my left wing stands as eternal testament. But Jardia learned faster than I did, he had to. With his pain dulled by love, Jardia set upon the Morning Star in a ferocious attack. His strength of purpose of evident by the fervour with which he joined battle with the Morning star. The scales were suddenly tipped in Jardia’s favour when the pregnant and captive krtja broke free of her binds in a violent rage and joined the fray. Lucifer would have destroyed any two celestial creatures in fair duel, but these two were fuelled by a passion that had never been witnessed in Celestia and a rage that the fires of hell could not contend with. After a drawn out display of savagery and bravery from warring parties, Lucifer succumbed eventually to Jardia’s flaming blade. He was vaporized in a display of fire, blood and light as the Angels observed in shock.
When the time was fulfilled, we bore witness from Celestia as they birthed their abomination. I sensed its power and knew I had to destroy it before maturity set upon it. Yet, my hand was stayed. Jardia and Krtja named their seed Asifer and spoke boastfully of how he would become more powerful than the Almighty. I could take no more, this latest insolence finally clouded my senses and I disobeyed Him. I called six of my most trusted Adelphi Seraphim and snuck through the eternity gate into Sheoul.
Through the network of demon sentries and tormented souls, we went undetected, until we reached the subterranean chamber where the demon-child slumbered.
Before we could begin the procedure of slaying it, its mother happened upon us. Muriel was the youngest of us and the most impulsive, when the demon set upon us recklessly, he slew her without thinking. Her death-cry roused the attention of an elite advance guard and the child was spared as we had to flee.
I spent time awaiting reprisal from Jardia or admonition from the Lord but neither came and eventually, I began to forget the matter. Then came the time when I was roused from a meditation by Muriel, now my second-in-command in the Adelphi reporting a disturbance at the Eternity gate. My interest was piqued instantly, for it had been long since anything of note happened there. It had even been sealed on order from the Almighty. Jardia had not stepped foot into heaven all this while, and his realm was all but forgotten.
Fifty of us arrived at the gate to the sight of the slain gate-keepers. The gate to Celestia lay in a wreck, but that what was not drew our attention. Standing in front of the destroyed portal was Jardia, and beside him was the most beautiful and glorious creation I had ever seen.
Asifer, his son.
He was a being of pure light. Nine wings surrounded his great form…and his face…his face was like…like…His face.
It was obvious this wasn’t a courtesy visit, for in Asifer’s hand was a sword that had been bloodied by contact with the gate-keepers. The Adelphi not given to negotiation and as such, we instantly made ready for battle as we went into formation. From behind Asifer came a torrent of Hell’s soldiers, the elite…and battle was joined. Muriel, unthinkingly went straight for Asifer even while I considered the measure of his power, and was cut down with a speed and violence which I can hither to not fathom. His beheaded body was flung in my direction, a sign of contempt.
Our hands were full with the slaying of Hell’s elite warriors, while Asifer and father Jardia flew ostensibly in the direction of the Throne-room. I thought to myself “surely He will strike them down himself for their insolence”. My attention was again drawn to my adversaries, for more soldiers kept joining the battle on both sides, for Alchemel the crier had sounded his gold trumpet. This was War.
The memory of that battle brings dread upon me for it turned out more furious than the battle after Lucifer’s fall. Finally, when we had slain enough of the enemy to give ourselves chance to head towards the Throne-room, we did so in urgency. Wonderment was our lot.
The Throne Room was covered in darkness. This had never been so since I became a transient being. The Almighty was not upon his throne; Asifer was, while Jardia stood beside him with a defiant smile.
For the first time since my creation, I knew fear. The unfathomable had occurred: He was not on his throne and I did not feel His presence. I shouted orders to the valiant Orieni to take half the forces and defend the entrance while I and the rest of the Adelphi elite stayed to do battle with Asifer and his father.
We proceeded, swords aflame, to form a semi-circle and gradually approach the throne, the usurper, Asifer, our target. He remained seated, his father by his side, until we had him at the centre of our advance and then he rose with a great authority and engaged us. His ease of movement and sheer strength was astounding. The battle was most furious. The child was surely a greater adversary than Lucifer had ever been and if we were any fewer in number or less practised in our formation; he would surely have slain us all. Thinking back now, I realized it was not his intention to bring us to our end, for it was within his power. After all, he had dethroned…Him
The speed and power with which he fought was unlike any other in Celestia and more intense than I had seen Jardia wield against Lucifer. It was the manner in which I imagined the Great one himself would engage an enemy. After what seemed to be an age of struggling to hold our ground and keep our lives, defending ourselves from the onslaught, Jardia moved for the first time since the engagement, raising his hand and shouting
Asifer paused mid-swing, launched into the air in a flurry and returned to the throne. I simmered within myself, wishing that He would return and put this insolent demon-spawn in his place. I knew I could not do it on my own and deep within me I feared He was truly gone, fallen at the hands of this thing.
And then Jardia spoke the words that established the peace as it is now “You know all is lost, Michael, you know as I know that my vengeance is complete”. Muriel, who slew my queen, has been seen to and He has been destroyed. Now, I have all of creation in my authority but I do not want it. I shall yield to you Michael. Take this throne and keep your Celestia. I no longer call it home. I shall return home to Sheoul with my son and reign there. Do not interfere in our matters, we administer as we see fit. The old order shall continue as best it can, for I see no reasonable alternative. The damned shall continue to be punished, as the just are rewarded. We shall continue eternity as it was set in motion to be”
My mind circled around something he said
”…He has been destroyed.” How was that even possible? He was the Beginning and the End
As the words took leave of Jardia’s mouth, I ruminated on them and knew in that instant that he spoke the truth and his words seemed to be the only path of reason in this inextricably convoluted maze of madness that we had found ourselves. I looked at the child, Asifer, still seated on HIS throne as I spoke the words.
“Let us make truce…”
And that is how I came to sit uneasily on this throne, overseeing the affairs of Celestia while Jardia sits comfortably on a throne of his own, overseeing the underworld with his son by his side, as I once stood beside the Lord. Every moment of time available to me is spent trying to understand the sequence of events that led to this state of affairs and often, I think back to the words Jardia first uttered when He was summoned to give account of himself after his tryst with the demon-whore.
“It must have been a divine conspiracy”
The image of Michael upon the throne faded as He gestured with his hand. Satisfaction settled upon his features. A new order shall begin here, in this darkness that is Oblivion. Chaos shall reign once again, and from it, order shall manifest. But first, they must draw conclusions about this latest adventure, they must draw conclusion, even for the seventh time.
“A good show you put up during your Fall, Lucifer. If I didn’t know better, I would have believed you really wanted to oust me from that Heaven”.
“Ah, well you did not exactly create idiots. My strength of purpose could not risk being doubted by the Adelphi. It was a close one there at the end too. Jardia wouldn’t cease talk of a divine conspiracy. Good thing that Michael is completely loyal”
“Yes,” said the first “it would have been quite awkward, after six Universes, to have a creation suddenly divine the Truth”
“So what is next?”
“Well. We still have all eternity brother. We ARE eternity.”
“Perhaps we could have a universe where I actually win? Being a rebel is tiring you know, having to give all those rebellious speeches in that weird language”, he sighed, “so any exciting new variable this time around?”
“Oh yes, I’ve been wanting to see how making the angels reproduce with the humans would play out. It will be essentially the same universe as before, but the humans will become more “in the picture”. I predict this shall be exciting to observe”
“ah, once more order shall be made manifest from the Chaos that is at the beginning of all things”, he stared at his brother, ”Let us get to it”
…And He said, Let there be light.
This story was born of an idea I had after reading the graphic novel ‘Preacher’. I co-wrote it with @Ekwem who is also a fan of the graphic novel. It was originally posted on his blog earlier this year. Some would say it is blasphemous. I beg to differ. It is fiction and should be enjoyed thus.