The Handsome Archangel looked around himself at the grim sight.
All Around, smoke filled the air from the carnage of war.
What had once been a lush, bright green landscape of rolling hills was now a charred battlefield. Bodies of the dead in his garrison as well as Raphael's and Gabriel's littered the battle ravaged ground.
Michael had known it wasn't going to be easy to defeat his former colleague and friend but so far his adversary had proven himself to be an even more formidable opponent than even he had thought.
All because Lucifer had become greedy and given in to his vanity. He had forgotten his place, wanting to take the Chosen One's seat at the Creator's right hand and rule as the Messiah. Michael had warned him against it. Instead of heeding his advice and letting it go, Lucifer had marched straight into the Contemplation Chamber and confronted the Creator Himself head-on. He had been so self righteous. So arrogant.
The pompous fool had only succeeded in causing God to lose his patience with him. The archangel had already caused problems by insulting the Lord and telling Him that His newest creation was nothing short of a mistake-that they would turn from Him. And the Creator is not mocked. But this was the final insult. The result was Y'h W'h physically throwing him out of the Contemplation Chamber.
Not only that but there were actually others that agreed with the rogue archangel. Michael wondered briefly what he had promised them to gain their loyalty. Whatever it was, God Himself could have given it to them. Now, Heaven was defiled as a result of this war and Lucifer's treachery.
He could see an army advancing on the horizon, some marching, some flying. They held spears, swords and shields. Gabriel approached him, saying, "He's coming Michael, we must not let him reach the city. Father is admiring the newest souls He created today."
Michael considered this.
"He will not get that far," he said with grim determination.
"So, what is the plan?"
"We will capture him alive. He has much to answer for."
Gabriel looked at him somberly and said, "I think this race the Father has created may even surprise us. Some may fall, true, but there will be some that remain loyal no matter the cost."
"I agree," Michael nodded, "Y'h W'h seems very proud of this race he has decided to call Man, so they must hold a special place in His heart."
The hordes of Lucifer's army topped the hill, breaking their conversation.
"Look lively lads!" commanded Michael as he drew his sword.
Both sides wore shiny golden armor, made dirty and tarnished with the soot of battle raging between them.
As the Morning Star's army advanced, Michael observed Lucifer, his three pronged trident in hand, leading the attack, a look of contempt on his face. He still could not believe he was doing this. To lead a rebellion against his own maker was insane. It was inconceivable to Michael.
"Charge!" the valiant archangel yelled.
The armies came toward each other, the clang of metal filling the air as their weapons slammed into shields as they clashed in a fury. Michael looked into the face of the cocky Lucifer as their trident and sword locked. Around them, the battle raged on viciously as angel fought angel in bitter combat.
"Out of my way Michael!" exclaimed Lucifer angrily.
"No way, you are not getting into the city, nor are you dethroning the Creator!"
"Watch me!" laughed the rebellious archangel.
Pulling his weapon away, he slashed upward, attempting to strike Michael's shoulder but was blocked by the other's swift technique and quick thinking.
He retaliated with a slash of his own, the glittering golden blade only inches from his enemy's long dark red hair.
"Why are you doing this?" Michael asked between metallic clangs of their clashing weapons, "you were his most trusted, his most glorious!"
"I deserve to sit on the Mercy Seat!" Lucifer spat as he slashed at him, "aren't I his son as well?"
"You've already been told that no one can serve two masters. What part was unclear to you?" asked Michael as he soared over his enemy's head.
Their weapons slammed together with an explosion of light and sparks cascading off the surfaces as Lucifer blocked his attack. He slammed a fist into Michael's face, snapping his head back, smashing his lips. He was stunned by the action and left slightly disoriented by its force. Anger filled him now and the archangel flew into a rage, renewing his attack and launched into a series of stab and slash moves with his sword.
Around them, the war continued as the others fought but they were oblivious to it, their focus entirely on one another. It was now personal. Finally trying to reason with his friend one last time, Michael shouted, "Stop this insanity Lucifer before it's too late for you to be forgiven!"
"I don't want His forgiveness. Aren't you tired of being his slave?"
He was awestruck.
"I've never viewed myself as a slave. I'm happy with my lot in life, thank you."
"You would be. Aren't you tired of being a servant with no freewill? Your whole existence to wait on Him hand and foot?"
Michael gazed at him in angry disbelief.
"It's what we were created for!"
"Not me. Not anymore. No more servitude."
"Do you realize what you're saying?"
"Yes. And I'm not alone. Others feel the same as I do," he said ominously.
"So they followed you because . . . " his voice trailed off.
"They agree with me. Not you. And not Him!"
"Traitor!" Michael roared angrily as he slashed at Lucifer with a wide, desperate swing. The archangel jumped back then thrust his three pronged trident forward. Michael sidestepped the mis-executed move, hitting his former friend hard in the face with an extremely powerful backhand. The blow sent Lucifer sprawling, to land in a crumpled heap many feet away.
Panting, he looked up to see the remains of Lucifer's army either dead on the field or fleeing while Gabriel and Raphael's battalion's pursued them. He strode over to his nemesis and leaned down, putting golden binders on his wrists.
The Great Hall was one of the largest structures in Heaven's domain. Its walls, floors, and ceilings all looked to be made of a while and gray swirl of marble trimmed with gold supported by bright white columns. The hall was not so much a hall as it was a massive, circular multi-level building that served as Y'h W'h's place where laws were made and judgement was merited out on those that broke them. This was the first time it had been used since its creation.
And it was buzzing with activity. Millions, both angel and human had gathered for the trial and sentencing of Lucifer and his followers. A sea of people stood above, leaning over the gold railing, looking down at the other souls crowding the floor below.
In the center of the circular room sat a gigantic solid white throne. The roar of voices filled the large chamber as angels and humans alike conversed among themselves about what may happen.
Michael entered the room, leading an angry and dour looking Lucifer in shackles. He was followed by the rest of his rebellious peers, each chained to the other and guarded closely. They were led to the center of the room where they stood before the throne, their leader in the front.
"Let's get this over with," the archangel said venomously.
Michael looked at him without sympathy.
"Do not worry, you will receive just what you deserve," he replied solemnly.
Far above, trumpeters announced the arrival of the great being responsible for the creation of them all. As every figure watched, a bright, glowing white light faded into existence above the throne, taking the form of an extremely tall man. He wore bronzed sandals and elegant robes, His long hair and flowing beard made like lamb's wool due to His inconceivable power. His eyes glowed as fire, two red orbs that barely contained His anger at the haughty archangel's insolence and disrespect.
Lucifer stood before his creator scowling arrogantly then gazed around him at the other angels and the new human souls.
The Great Hall had become silent as God raised His large hand.
"Lucifer, you stand here before the White Throne of Judgement for crimes against Heaven, leading your brothers and sisters astray and causing a rebellion. What do you have to say for yourself?"
The angel remained silent as the voice of Y'h W'h shook the building to its foundations.
"There's still time to repair this rift between us Lucifer, before it is too late."
The archangel stood there, his jaw clenched tightly.
"Have you nothing to say?" the great entity asked again.
"I do," the angel replied contemptuously.
"Speak," God told him.
"I only wanted to sit at your right hand. You denied me. I begged. You denied me again. Am I not your son as well?"
The chamber remained silent as he continued his rant.
"I only wanted to rule with you, to please you Father but you would rather have that weak, puny, pathetic excuse you call a son to sit at your right hand. And then to deepen my insult you treat me and my kin like we are nothing but slaves to do you're bidding, to be at your beck and call! Well, I'm through! No more, do you hear me? No more!" he whined in anger.
God was silent a moment then spoke.
"Lucifer, you know that is not true. We've been over all this before. You were created to guard the Mercy Seat, not sit on it. For one, you have no mercy. Second, you were never a slave. You had freewill. I gave you more power and beauty above all my other angels. And third, I loved you. All of you. I created everyone of you, so you are all my children."
"We," the archangel indicated his followers, "want to be equal to you, equal to your newest creation, Man, in your eyes or we are no longer your servants."
Y'h W'h rubbed his hand down his face in disbelief.
"First, you mock my newest creation, now you want to be like them? Then you lead your brothers and sisters in a rebellious civil war and you just mocked your brother, my son and you think you should be given equal rights?"
"It's not going to happen."
"Then we have nothing further to discuss," Lucifer said acidly before he spat at God's feet. A collective gasp went through the mass of figures gathered around them and above. It was eerily silent in the chamber.
"Do the rest of you feel this way?" the Lord asked.
The group of rogue angels all nodded in agreement.
"Then so be it. For your traitorous actions you are sentenced to death."
Another collective gasp went through the crowd.
Lucifer and his band of angels looked shellshocked by what they were hearing.
"You are no longer welcome in the Kingdom of Heaven. Your name will be synonymous with evil, for you will rule over it until Armageddon when you and all your followers shall perish."
He turned to Michael and said, "Remove this creature from my presence."
Michael bowed and replied, "It shall be done."
Grabbing the golden shackles by the chains, Michael turned to lead his condemned brother out of the Great Hall when the corrupt angel spoke.
"This isn't over, Father. I will overthrow You, I swear it and I will take as many of your precious human souls as I can with me when I die."
"Very well," Y'h W'h replied, "each will have a choice; to follow you or me, of their own free will."
He was dragged away as he rant and raved.
Michael, Gabriel and Raphael backed up by their respective garrisons led Lucifer to the scorched battlefield, his comrades in tow. He removed the shackles then stepped away as the red headed angel rubbed his wrists.
"Come with me, Michael," he pleaded, "I could use you. Together, we could be unstoppable and overthrow God."
Michael shook his head.
"Sorry, Lucifer. You're on your own."
The archangel's face twisted in fury.
"I'll remember that on the day I destroy you," he said furiously.
He watched as Michael tossed his trident at his feet and stepped away followed by the other angels. A deep rumbling started, as the ground beneath their feet began to crumble and his followers sank up to their knees. Then their hips, chest and shoulders. They began to scream as panic set in. It was cut short as they were pulled down. Lucifer felt himself being sucked down into the ground as he and his army was swallowed up.
Without warning they were falling into the black nothingness of space, the cries of his comrades turning from rage and fear to inhuman shrieks. He realized that flapping his wings would not stop his free fall. As they continued their fall toward the volcanic form of lava spewing Earth, he saw to his horror their beautiful wings burst into flames. Pain wracked their bodies as they howled in agony. Bat-like leathery appendages had replaced their glorious feathered wings.
Pain overcame him as enormous horns grew from either side of his skull, curling up and forward. He looked down in horror to see his perfect feet were painfully transforming into cloven hooves.
All around him, his companions were engulfed in flames, screaming in agony as they, too, transformed into hideous creatures. Their smoking bodies slammed into the unformed, barren terrain of Earth with a tremendous force.
Silence. They lay still for what seemed like an eternity. A metallic sound greeted his ears and he raised his head to see his trident had landed beside him, its three points embedded deeply in the ground. Thick tendrils of smoke curled and rose from his trusty weapon in the acrid air. He stood up and strode over to it. He reached for it and was horrified. His arm had become black, scaly and tipped with talons. Grabbing his weapon he ran for a newly formed reflective pool and gazed at his hideous visage. He roared in demonic rage and hate. His beauty, both physical and ethereal, were gone completely.
"This is hell! What have you to me!" he shrieked.
Tears of anger filled his red demonic eyes.
"What have you done?" he repeated.
His comrades had begun to gather around him, noticing their own horrific changes. "Curse you, Father! I'll rule the perfect kingdom, for it will be better to rule in Hell than to serve You in Heaven!" The newly made demons surrounding him cheered in agreement.