Bringer of Darkness (Part Three: Confrontation)
Age Rating: 18 +
((This is dedicated to Debra Rose and Richard Reed Jr becuase they are both awesome ^_^ Enjoy!))
There is something about the solitude and silence of darkness that makes it the most comfortable thing that a being can experience. This solitude and darkness of night is something so too many angels look down upon, condemning it because they fear the power that may lie within its dark folds. They cannot understand why one would want to be away from the Glory and Light of God, “Why exclude yourself from the glories of God?” they would ask, sheer ignorance present in their words. Why would I want to exclude myself from such a divine presence? Because His light would never be as brilliant, nor as awe inspiring, as the Light that lit my darkness. That was something that the true followers of God would never understand, my entrancement with the Darkness, with the Dark Light. They always questioned my love of the darkness, my habit of often standing on the balcony to stare at the dark sky above me in wonder. I was never truly able to experience real darkness; the closest I ever got was when I wrapped my ebony wings about me, in times when I needed to think. That is why I loved the darkness, the ability to be alone, away from everything. To be in silence.
Many may ask what the point is to silence; it represents nothingness, a state of no longer existing and, in the end, it represents Death. Perhaps that is why so many in Heav’n feared it and questioned my love of it. It represents everything Heav’n isn’t, the opposite of what they all knew and were. All but one. One shared my love of the darkness, and as irony would have it, he was my Light. The True Light of God, the only angel that could break the silence of death, and give me something that was better. Something that made me want to live more than the darkness did, but now, I have only darkness. Now I can spend my time enveloped in the darkness of the Abyss, and there is no one to question my love of it. No one to raise their eyebrows or look down on me in disgust. And yet, there is also no one for me to share it with. Still, this is Paradise, the Paradise the Heav’n lacked. Here I am at peace, I no longer have to fulfill the duties that were thrust upon me, nor obey the laws of a God who gives no reason for his laws and fight against the only light that I allowed in my darkness. Here, I can be nothing.
Here, I can be Death
“Cast me out shall he? Throw me to the depths of the Abyss? Is this supposed to be punishment for my discretion?”
Lucifer stopped his pacing and looked about, absorbing his surroundings. The land about him was rocky and barren, a hot dry wind swept across the plain pulling at Lucifer’s already tangled mass of silver hair. Flecks of grey and black could be seen on the snow white angel, like moths clinging to a light.
“This place will be greater than Heav’n, and I will be the ruler. This place shall be a place where no man shall ever be equal or above a first born. The insolence of man shall not be tolerated, and the glories of the first born will be exulted. This shall be Paradise!”
Lucifer held out his arms and spun around, his silver hair pooling around him like a halo, and his white robes, still clinging to their illustrious purity, circled about him like a cloud. His silver eyes were wide with wonder and power, the black slowly taking more of his metallic orbs. With his refusal of God, Lucifer was given a new power, something that put him even higher above the other first born; the Power of Choice. He now had control over himself and his power, and could unleash the full power of being the Light of Heav’n, as well as the darker, and far more ancient powers of Chaos. God held now held no power over him, Lucifer was now his own, a Bringer of Light that would bring darkness.
Lucifer laughed, a hollow sound that echoed across the barren plain, as he thought of the Bringer of Light becoming the Bringer of Darkness, the master of Chaos.
“This will be the pinnacle of glory and power for us, the Fallen of Heav’n. I will build a city so great that man will wish that he could be a part of Hell, but is instead chained to God in his Heav’n. Forced to serve under the rules of an oppressive being. This, I will make this perfect.”
Lucifer closed his eyes and muttered in the tongue of Creation, the language that only he and God knew. It was the first thing he ever heard, it was the language which he was created from, it was a part of him, and he was its second master. With his words, Lucifer started to weave a new creation.
From the barren landscape, a great thundering started. The plain started to shift and crack, steam rising up from the depths of Nothingness, the very essence of what the Abyss was. Lucifer’s words wrapped themselves around the essence of everything and nothing, and molded them to their whims; shaping, shifting and weaving a new kind of creation. Almost a creation of destruction, the building of a place so great, all it could herald was despair.
As Lucifer continued to chant, forms started to emerge from the mass of the Abyss, bringing to life Lucifer’s dark Heav’n. Houses, walls, roadways and a great palace came into being, shaped by the mere voice and will of Lucifer, Bringer of Light.
The wind increased it howling, pulling Lucifer’s hair and wings about and scattered white feathers about the dark plain. Wherever the feathers touched, silver metal coated the buildings and walls, sparkling gems and riches covering the once dark and bare stone. Soon, the newly created city was gleaming, reflecting light that didn’t exist and emitting a power that would make even the most holy of angels tremble in fear and awe.
This was the power of the Bringer of Darkness, the power to create a beauty that could kill, to create something that would house all that would destroy. To create Hell.
As Lucifer opened his eyes, he knew that everything had changed. The eyes that looked outwards were no longer liquid silver, but the colour of nothingness, the deepest black that is possible. The pure white wings that were once the envy of all those in Heav’n were tattered and black, like the power that they now possessed. Silver hair played across the pale face of the new creator of Hell, obsidian eyes gleaming with power and determination. The Light Bearer was gone, and in his stead was Satanael, High Prince of Hell.
A twisted smile snaked its way onto the pale face, cold eyes dancing with a dark joy at the sight that lay before them.
“Rise, my followers. Come see the glory of Pandemonium.”
“Michael! You cannot seriously blame yourself for this! Michael, answer me! In the name of Grace, just open the door…”
Raphael banged on the door for what felt like the millionth time in the last three hours. He was outside of Michael’s room, one of the glories of Heav’n in its magnificence. Marble walls veined with gold, detailed ivory sculptures lined the walls and there was a full, grand wall dedicated solely to the display of the Warriors armor. Upon it hung the golden armor of Michael, gleaming in the reflected light from the crystal chandelier that cast dancing images on the rest of the walls. Yet of all the things in the room, the real masterpiece was the ceiling. It was painted in all the colours conceived and depicted images that, for Raphael, made no sense but seemed to be a story, and a very important story, for Michael. And it was in this magnificent room that Michael had barred himself in, refusing to come out for anyone.
Raphael was close enough to Michael to know that the emerald-eyed Warrior was in shock over the Marking of Gabriel, and probably blamed himself for being unable to stop it. Being known as the protector and Warrior of Heav’n, and having your younger brother Marked did not bode well for the already frail state of Michael’s sanity. Raphael was the only one that knew how being so close to God affected Michael.
Sometimes Raphael wondered if that may have aided in Lucifer’s refusal and sudden revolt, being so close to Everything could have devastating effects on a being, even when the being was created of the same essence or as strong as Michael.
“Michael, please. I beg you, open the door. Locking yourself away is not going to help Gabriel nor is it going to help the rest of Heav’n. Michael, please…”
Perhaps it was the desperate and pleading tone in Raphael’s voice, but Michael finally relented.
Raphael gave a sigh of relief, lifting his head off the door where he had placed it, when he heard the locks on the other side slowly being opened.
It had taken him over three hours, but Raphael had finally gotten through to Michael. He had been sent by Uriel, who had tried earlier, to see if he could talk some sense into the Warrior, or, as Uriel had put it “get him to work again”. It was at times such as these that Raphael wondered how it was Uriel became such a high ranking Seraph, he had little concept of feeling or emotion, just duty. Raphael rolled his violet eyes a bit, then again, being a mindless drone to duty seemed to be a good thing.
The great doors creaked slightly as a crack appeared between the two enormous slates of marble. Raphael pushed the doors open and let himself into the room
He cast his violet eyes about and was mildly shocked to see the great white drapes pulled and tied together and what appeared to be a white sheet was cast across the shining armor. The crystal chandelier hung above his head like pieces of ice, casting no dancing images, only making Raphael shiver slightly as he passed beneath them.
Raphael turned towards the eastern side of the room, a cry of surprise and anguish drowned out the rest of Raphael’s sentence.
Michael was sitting, almost hunched, in the middle of the tousled sheets of his pristine white bed. It would almost look like he had just woken up if not for the dead look that haunted his normally vibrant emerald eyes and sad aura that swirled around his figure.
Raphael, in all his existence, had never seen Michael look so near the point of breaking than he did now. He looked like a lost child that, in his wandering, had stumbled across something so horrible that it slowly ate away at what was once his sanity. His empty emerald eyes made Raphael shudder with their lack of life, and it worried him when he felt a feather brush past his feet on the current created from the door.
“Michael, you are molting.” He picked up a gold feather, looking at it briefly. “You are going to lose yourself if you don’t snap out of it soon.”
Raphael’s violet eyes surveyed Michael’s reaction to his words. When Michael acted as if he had not heard him, he slowly made his way towards the bed. He was cautious, not really knowing what to expect from Michael in such a state. He had been told by God that it was possible even for an angle to reach a point where Reason and Hope abandoned them. Raphael never expected the first being he would see to reach near this state was Michael.
“I knew it was going to happen, I saw it happen before Lucifer even set eyes upon that wretched thing three days ago.”
Raphael stopped a few feet away from Michael, questions forming as he processed what Michael was saying.
“What do you mean? You-…”
“I mean exactly what I said Raphael. I knew Lucifer was going to Fall. I knew Lucifer was going to come for Gabriel, I knew that all of this was going to happen, and I couldn’t stop it!”
Michael raised his voice, something he rarely did, sorrow etching his words into Raphael. His heart twisted to see his friend in this much pain, and him not truly being able to do anything to ease it. Michael raised his face, his dead emerald eyes meeting Raphaels concerned violet ones. Raphael was shocked to see tears streaming down Michaels face silently. As they reached his chin, they crystallized forming little diamonds, scattered on Michaels lap.
Raphael took a few more steps forward and sat himself on the edge of the bed, he stretched his arm out, catching the next tear before it hit the soft white surface below.
“Michael, no matter what you saw, there is nothing you can accomplish by locking yourself away in here. There is nothing that can be done for what is past, and you know this. You have to walk forward now and find a way to save Gabriel. You have to protect Man, you may even-…”
“Do not even say it Raphael. There is something here that you obviously do not understand. I cannot save Gabriel; I could not even save him when I knew what was coming. I saw the Fall of Lucifer, I saw it Raphael. Everything that was going to happen from the refusal to bow to the creation of Pandemonium, I knew about it. From the moment of my creation I have been burdened with the knowledge that my brother and the Light had two paths, one they would become the greatest powers in Heav’n, another, they would Fall from perfection.”
Raphael’s brows furrowed in confusion at the mention of Pandemonium and he watched as Michael stopped for a second, closing his eyes and breathing deeply. His great golden wings were shuddering as waves of emotion passed through him. Raphael held his hand out to consol Michael, but was refused as it was knocked away, the Warrior still not opening his eyes. Raphael’s violet eyes widened, Michael was not one to be openly aggressive in anyway, it was normally reserved for those deemed dangerous.
“I don’t want your pity Raphael,” Michael raised his emerald eyes, a glimmer of an emotion that Raphael couldn’t quite place found deep within them, “ all I want-…”
Michael was cut off abruptly when the great marble doors swung open. Raphael jumped back where as Michael just turned one cold green eye towards Chamuel and Uriel as they entered. It seemed like the copper-winged Chamuel was trying his hardest to keep his younger brother under some kind of control but was failing miserably.
Uriel stopped, looking from the tousled and dead looking Michael to Raphael, who was standing next to him, arms behind his back, violet wings folded and a mildly contemptuous look on his face.
“Did I interrupt Raphael?”
Raphael rolled his violet eyes, silently cursing the over zealous and incredibly dense Seraph.
“No Uriel. Not that it matters now anyway.”
He walked towards them, golden feathers swirling about his feet as he exchanged an exasperated look with Chamuel. His violet eyes let the younger seraph know that he did not blame him for not being able to control Uriel.
“Oh, well, I have some news for you Michael. It seems that Lucifer has started to spread his lies in Heav’n. He is trying to recruit angles to join him in some place called Pan, pandinim…”
Uriel looked up, startled at the devoid tone that Michael used. Raphael shook his head at the seraph and his obviousness to the situation.
“Yes. Pandemonium, that is the place that he has called his Empire. He claims that it will rival Heav’n in power and glory. And he is seeking angles, thrones, powers, dominions and arch angels alike to come and join him. He says,…”
Uriel paused for a second, as if deciding whether or not he should continue with the rest of his sentence. He looked from Michael to Raphael and Raphael began to worry about the effect his words may have on the distraught Warrior.
“He says that they should follow the example of Gabriel and allow themselves to be Marked willingly” Uriel paused, his voice dropping a bit “like Gabriel did.”
Uriel stepped back a bit, but it was too late. Michael was on his feet, golden wings unfurled and his emerald eyes glowing with a fire that even made Raphael take a step back in fear. A feeling of pure power swirled through the room, kicking up the fallen feathers and tugging at the sheet that covered Michael’s armor. Raphael looked at Michael and was in awe of the power that he possessed.
A fiery glow encircled him and it was obvious to the three seraphs there why Michael was the Warrior of God; he was frightening.
“Gabriel was not willingly marked, Lucifer gave him no choice. And Gabriel has not Fallen, nor has he chosen Lucifer.”
He towered over Uriel, who looked like he had just discovered that he was about to get his wings ripped out.
“That’s…that’s not all. God … God wants you to declare who’s side you are on, his or Gabriel’s.”
Uriel shrank back, the feeling of power intensifying in the room.
“Get out. Now. And tell God the choice of the Warrior should be clear to Him. He created the Beginning and he alone knows the end.”
Michael flicked his hand causing both marble doors to swing open and a tornado of feather to pick up, pulling the curtains apart and showering the room in sunlight.
Chamuel dragged his younger brother out, knowing better than to mess with Michael when he was in such a state. He nodded his head briefly to Raphael and left the room.
Raphael turned around towards Michael, opening his mouth but was stopped by Michael’s finger to his lips.
“Not now Raphael. What I really need right now is some silence.”
Raphael nodded, closing his mouth. He inclined his head to Michael and headed out of the room. He stopped at the doors, turning back to Michael who was making his way back to the bed.
“Michael, it is a difficult choice, choosing between love and duty. Just make sure you follow what you know to be true, and that you are not the only one making this choice right now.”
Michael looked at him, emerald eyes wide. Raphael just nodded, leaving the room and closing the marble doors behind him.
He leaned against the doors and slid down them, his violet eyes shut. He clutched his hand close to him and lowered his head.
“Please God, do not make him have to suffer anymore.”
He opened his eyes and looked down to his now open palm, tears forming in the corner of his eyes as he looked down at the small, glittering crystal in his hand.
An angel’s tear.
“I am still rather shocked at this whole turn of events. I never believed Lucifer to be the one to go against God. If anything, I would have thought Gabriel to be the rebel. He was always alone, and he seemed to be wrapped up in something that only he and he alone understood. Always so dark…”
Zadikeil looked up from his book and glared at the angel that was passing. It had barely been four days since the Fall of Lucifer and already the lower levels of angels were buzzing with talk and rumors. The angel, whom Zadikeil believed to be a third class angel names Arioch, shrank back from the steely glare that Zadikeil sent his way and quickly walked away, head lowered. Zadikeil shook his head and muttered to himself.
“Stupid children. They think that they know those of the Inner Circle by name and rank alone. If only they really knew us, maybe then they would not aspire to be us.”
“Zadikeil! I am so glad that you are starting to see things my way now…”
Zadikeil jumped up from his seat and spun around, only to face the last person he thought that he would find in Heav’n Garden at this time.
Zadikeil looked at what once was the Light of Heav’n, the snow clad angel. His silver wings were tarnished with black, his once liquid silver eyes the colour of Nothing and his once brilliant white robes dotted with flecks of grit and ash. The only thing that remained was his silver hair that hung about his face like tendrils. Satanael grinned at Zadikeil, obviously enjoying the shock the younger seraph displayed.
“Lucifer is such a heav’nly name. You may call me Satanael, High Prince of Hell.”
His obsidian eyes flashed with something that Zadikeil could not quite place, but it frightened him deeply. There was more power about Satanael now, far more than when he was just the Light. Zadikeil tilted his head, his black hair obscuring his vision slightly, he could feel his wings twitching slightly, quivering with the strange feeling that came from the figure before him.
“Satanael … The Adversary.”
Zadikeil tried the name, and being the scholar and seraph of the mind, he knew what the name meant. Thought he did not know the Truths like Michael, or possess the Fates of Choice like Gabriel, he knew enough to see that Lucifer was destined to be the Adversary, just as Michael was destined to be the Warrior.
Satanael laughed, chilling Zadikeil.
“I see you know what my name means, how very scholarly of you dear Zadikeil. You wouldn’t happen to know what I am doing here now would you?”
Satanael jumped over the seat in which Zadikeil was sitting previously and made himself comfortable, tarnished wings splayed out across the back, reflecting sunlight all about the now strangely abandoned garden. He kept his black eyes on Zadikeil the whole time, the wind occasionally obscuring his view with tendrils of his silver hair, but his gaze never wavered. Zadikeil could tell that Satanael was after something, and he found himself quickly being taken in by the powerful and commanding gaze of the prince before him.
He knew that Satanael was tempting the Fates by showing up in Heav’n, and in the Garden for that matter, after he was exiled by God. The Garden was in the middle of Heav’n, encircling the House of God and it was always full of angels from simple fourth class angels up to the Great Eight, now six, Seraphim.
“Are you trying to prove something by showing up here? I should alert Michael immediately about your presence.”
Satanael tilted his head in a rather snake-like manner, a grin slowly spreading across his pale features. He opened his arms and gestured about, as if welcoming other to join them.
“You should tell Michael, but if you were going to, do you not think that you would have already? And do you think that I would appear to you if I knew you would?”
Zadikeil grimaced slightly and cast a glance over his shoulder at the eerily quite Garden.
“I still have power here ‘Keil. The Light will always have power in Heav’n, no matter how far it falls. But my powers here as an angel are pale in comparison to what Hell has to offer. It is a true Paradise, with to rules to restrain you from your true potential.”
“Is that why you are here? To tempt me to fall ‘willingly’ as you so hope? To join you in your “New Heav’n? To seduce me with your lies?”
Zadikeil looked down at the smirking Satanael. True, he had always looked up to Lucifer, he was powerful, caring, obedient, beautiful and charming, everything Zadikeil whished that he could be. Even now, Satanael still embodied all that Zadikeil admired, but there was something more to him, a quality that, even though Zadikeil could not name it, both entranced and disgusted him.
“Why of course, I came to offer you the position of Third Reigning Prince of Hell, a glorious and powerful position.”
Satanael stared at Zadikeil, his black eyes burning with some dark secret. He then sat himself atop the bench, his silver hair being tugged lightly by the breeze. He still looked like the Light of Heav’n in every respect. He possessed the beauty, poise and command that only he could possess and for a brief second, Zadikeil truly wished to be him.
Satanael opened his arms and wings out as if welcoming someone, if only his face was not twisted with contempt and malice.
Zadikeil looked over his shoulder to see the brilliant gold wings of Michael flash along with the fiery Sword of Truth.
The onyx haired seraph soon felt himself being pushed behind Michael’s golden wings and into Raphael. The look in Raphael’s violet eyes let him know that it was best to just stay quiet at this point.
“Get out Lucifer.”
Satanael laughed, and Zadikeil felt Raphael shiver, whether it was in fear or just from the powerful sensation Satanael gave off, Zadikeil didn’t know.
“Tisk, tisk Michael, you never gave me a chance to introduce myself. I am no longer Lucifer, but Satanael, High Prince of Hell.”
Michael’s emerald eyes flashed as the silver haired prince spoke, the grip on his flaming sword tightening unconsciously.
“What are you doing here Satanael; you have been cast out of this place. You are not able to return, especially not by sneaking in.”
Satanael laughed again, still sitting casually atop the bench, silver hair and wings rustling in the breeze.
“My dear Michael, I am here to collect my Third Reigning Prince of Hell of course. I do believe that is good enough reason to be here.”
Satanael smirked as he motioned towards Zadikeil who was still being held by Raphael somewhat protectively.
“I never said anything to you!”
Zadikeil looked to Michael, trying to assure the Warrior that he had truly not agreed to anything. Even if that was only because Michael had interrupted.
“It seems, Satanael, that you are mistaken, you are not wanted here. Now get out!”
Michael advanced on Satanael, who merely leapt up and behind the bench back into the trees that he had emerged from and laughed. A condescending look appeared in his obsidian eyes as he looked at Michael, not a bit of fear in him.
“You should come too Michael, you could have unlimited power and rule yourself as you see fit.”
Michael growled low, something that neither Zadikeil nor Raphael had heard before. It was becoming clearer as to why he was the Warrior of God, he had a powerful and terrifying presence, and yet it seemed to not affect Satanael at all.
“I will never fall for your lies Satanael, and I will never leave Heav’n.”
Satanael sighed, as if he was merely bored with Michael’s presence. He fixed his dark eyes on Zadikeil and Raphael, a smirk tugging at the corner of his mouth.
“Well, that is too bad, I mean, Gabriel fell for me. I figured being his brother you would do the same.” He paused, letting his words sink in, then he added with venom, “ I forgot how little you cared for him. Pity really.”
Satanael gave a malicious grin at the effect his words had on Michael. The golden winged seraph froze momentarily, as if stunned, and then lunged at Satanael. He missed as Satanael took flight, laughing coldly as he hovered just above the three seraphim. Raphael reached out and put his hand on Michael’s shoulder, both restraining and comforting him.
“Not now Michael, it is not the time.”
He shot a glance at Satanael, who was still grinning coldly above them, but was relieved when Michael held back, dropping his sword to his side.
“Leave now Satanael, or face the fury of Heav’n”
Satanael gave Michael a cold look, enough to make Raphael take a step back; knocking into the emerald winged seraph behind him, but Michael was unfazed.
“Fury Michael? What fury? Heav’n hath no fury, remember? I left.”
Satanael gave one last look to Zadikeil, who was standing behind Raphael, before he disappeared in a flash of light. Michael sat down on the bench and placed his head in his hands, his sword hitting the grass softly.
“Michael, I told you, it is not your fault, there is nothing you could have done.”
Michael glanced up at Raphael, his face blank. He nodded slightly, now devoid of any emotion or life and picked up his sword gently. Zadikeil could see the burden that Michael was shouldering, even if he did not know exactly what it was. He watched as Raphael helped Michael walk back, giving silent support to the tortured seraph.
Zadikeil sat back down on the bench, reaching down to pick up his book that he had dropped. He ran a hand through his onyx hair, thinking of the offer that Satanael had proposed.
A light breeze blew a tarnished silver feather into Zadikeil’s lap. He picked it up, examining it, wondering how in Grace’s name something so perfect fell so far. He stood, stretching his emerald wings and placed the feather in the book. As he walked away, he silently wondered if he was on the right side.