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The fall of lucifer, p.10
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       The Fall of Lucifer, p.10

           Wendy Alec
 
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  Lucifer recoiled from him. ‘We were not enough for Him!’ His face contorted in a vicious mask. ‘You were not enough for Him, Michael!’

  Michael’s thoughts raced. He fought for control of his emotions.

  ‘You fool!’ Lucifer raved. ‘Once He has this man He will tire of you!’ He strode over to the edge of the cliff and stared out at the blinding radiance of the Holy Mountain. ‘He has abandoned us,’ he whimpered.

  As Michael watched, the darkness over Lucifer’s features shifted, and he became suddenly lucid. He looked up at Michael desperately. ‘Michael . . . help me!’ He clutched Michael’s face in his strong, fine hands, then crumpled like a child into his brother’s arms.

  Michael clasped his brother tightly to his chest. His fingers gently stroked the matted blue-black locks. He eased Jether’s ring from a pouch and placed it gently in Lucifer’s palm, closing the jewelled fingers over it. ‘Jether bids you meet him in his private chamber at twelve bells.’

  Lucifer muttered to himself, rocking from side to side inconsolably. Then slowly he caressed the ring. ‘Jether?’ he murmured.

  Michael stared over Lucifer’s shoulder and froze in disbelief at what he saw – as Lucifer’s shadow fell across the glowing blue celestial lupins behind him, each one rotted and fell to the ground, dead.

  ‘Yes,’ Lucifer said, ‘I will go to Jether.’

  Chapter Fifteen

  Tower of Winds

  You were perfect in your ways

  From the day you were created,

  Till iniquity was found in you.

  Lucifer stood at the turret window of Jether’s monastic cloister, a tall and imperious figure watching the gales blow the twelve pale moons across the midnight sky.

  ‘You have my deep appreciation, Jether.’ He turned from the window, his long raven hair framing the beautiful alabaster face.

  The old man was slumped across the carved wooden table. Dark purple blood ran from a wound on Jether’s head.

  ‘You were as a father to me . . . ’ Carefully Lucifer wiped his diamond-studded dagger on his mantle and replaced it in its sheath. He smiled down at Jether with his blazing sapphire gaze.

  Jether stared through glazed, pained eyes. ‘You will lose, Lucifer,’ he whispered hoarsely. ‘You cannot hope to prevail.’

  ‘Never! You were like the rest of them . . . you never realized my full potential. I am the prince regent, born to rule.’ Lucifer looked at Jether with malice. ‘You more than any knew my genius. You, my mentor. So, you more than any betrayed me.’

  He flung open the lofty turret windows, and the violent swirling winds blew his hair and cloak. ‘I will ascend into heaven. I will exalt my throne above the throne of Yehovah.’ A strange, evil fire burned in the blazing steel-blue eyes. ‘I will sit upon the mount of the congregation. They will worship me.’ He stared at the inert Jether with insane glee. ‘He will worship me.’

  Jether struggled to raise himself. ‘For the sake of all that once was Lucifer, I implore you, repent . . . while you still have free will . . . ’ He slumped down.

  ‘Jether, Yehovah’s holy steward – the only one who knew my full intentions . . . ’ Lucifer bent down and placed his cold, alabaster face directly next to Jether, skin on skin. Jether shivered, and Lucifer smiled. ‘No one knows the intricate and complex workings of my mind like you do, old man,’ he hissed. ‘I know you speak to no one. Who would you have me believe knows of my designs? The malleable, tender Gabriel? He suffers from a malady of soul – he shall join me!’

  He turned dramatically and lifted both of his arms towards heaven. ‘All the hosts of heaven shall be there to watch my finest moment. From every part of heaven they shall gather . . . the greatest gathering throughout all aeons.’

  A great and terrible knowing grew inside Jether. ‘You would not . . . ’

  ‘I knew that you would comprehend the genius of it, Jether.’ Lucifer struck his hands together in triumph. ‘The great declaration! My Father’s declaration to the congregation in the sides of the north of His intention to create mankind. Every angel, every spirit known in heaven, shall be gathered to hear of our Father’s great new innovation. Man!’ he spat. ‘And so I shall strike.’

  Then Lucifer grasped the long silver hair and pulled Jether’s head back with sheer brute force. ‘I shall strike at the gathering,’ he hissed. ‘At the great assembly in the Mount of the North. You shall watch and glory in having such a fervent scholar. It shall be all glorious.’

  In agony, with one last feeble effort, Jether raised his upper body so he was face-to-face with Lucifer. His voice was hardly above a whisper. ‘Thou wert the anointed cherub . . . filled with wisdom and perfect in beauty.’ He gazed straight into Lucifer’s eyes, his own clear and blazing with a fierce, righteous fury. Through sheer effort of will, he completed his sentence. ‘ . . . until iniquity was found in you.’

  Lucifer deliberately dropped Jether’s head to the floor.

  Yet even as it smashed down onto the hard marble and the blood dribbled from his mouth, Jether prayed.

  Chapter Sixteen

  War in Heaven

  How you are fallen from heaven,

  O Lucifer, son of the morning!

  For you have said in your heart:

  ‘I will ascend into heaven,

  I will exalt my throne above the stars of God;

  I will also sit on the mount of the congregation

  On the farthest sides of the north;

  I will ascend above the heights of the clouds,

  I will be like the Most High.’

  Ten thousand times ten thousand of heaven’s great angelic company gathered in formation on the vast onyx plains of the Mount of the Congregation on the farthest sides of the north of the First Heaven. The eastern horizon was almost completely filled by the company of heralds – countless thousands of Yehovah’s shimmering holy white eagles hovering over the steep onyx foundations, under the heights of the clouds.

  Michael, Gabriel, and Lucifer stood at attention at the entrance to the Holy of Holies. The enormous thunder of the angelic hosts was deafening as a hundred million angelic warriors stood assembled in seven orders before the three great chief princes of heaven, their voices raised in unison in worship and adulation to the Ancient of Days.

  A full seven leagues away, high on the flaming mount, a vast, stormy whirlwind blew, and out of the whirlwind burned a great, blazing cloud. A fire and great flashes of lightning and rumblings of thunder emanated from the epicentre. The great white throne of incandescent light had already descended amid the cherubim. Encircling Yehovah’s throne was the vast, flaming halo of His rainbow, which shimmered like an emerald.

  Seated on the throne was the One before whom all the galaxies and the universes shrank back in awe. The One before whom the twenty-four ancient monarchs of heaven lay prostrate, their crowns flung down on the crystal glass, where the four living creatures – the mighty cherubim of Yehovah – worshipped.

  The unspeakable brilliance of His being shone as the blinding radiance of a million, million suns, with the intense crystalline brightness of jasper and fiery sardius. The Ancient of Days, Yehovah.

  All at once, the great roaring from the throne stilled. An awesome hush fell over the angelic assembly as the Ancient Ones took their golden and glorious thrones . . . led by Jether.

  * * *

  Immediately after Lucifer’s departure, weak and near fainting, Jether had trod the nameless secret passageway from his chamber through the twisting labyrinths of the seven spires, beneath the sacred vaults, to the throne room, where the Ancient of Days held audience within the hallowed walls of the secret place.

  No living soul would ever know what took place between Yehovah and His faithful elder, steward of His holy mysteries, save that when Jether finally appeared outside the rubied door of the jacinth tower as the twelve pale blue moons rose from the west, there was no sign of a wound on his temple. And his countenance shone like flame.

  Jether sat h
eavily on the gold velvet bolster of the majestic central throne, his ancient blue eyes scrutinizing the angelic assembly and resting upon Lucifer.

  Michael stood to attention, his flaxen hair falling past his shoulders onto the deep blue cloak. His handsome features were grim. He looked fleetingly at Gabriel, who stood at his right hand arrayed in his ceremonial regalia of platinum and diamonds. Gabriel stared straight ahead, his eyes earnest.

  Next to Gabriel stood Lucifer, an imperial figure resplendent in his ceremonial dress. He stood with his head held high, his golden mantle embedded with every precious stone, the sardius, jasper, sapphire, diamonds, rubies, and emeralds glistening. The gleaming raven hair was immaculate. The Sword of State hung in its rubied sheath at his side. The shining one, seraph, his glory breathtaking.

  Jether beheld the three brothers with a deep and terrible anguish. Then he noted Lucifer’s gaze and followed it.

  Lucifer’s attention was riveted not on the throne but a full league beyond, on the altar, where a vast incandescent light hovered. From the centre of the pulsating light thousands of swirling mists rose and fell. In the centre of the mists lay the faint outline of the prototype of the new race, which the brothers had seen in the central portal.

  Michael’s fist tightened on the Sword of Justice.

  Slowly Jether lifted the heavy gold sceptre high above his ancient white head. Obadiah and Matton scurried to hold up his arms. The fire opals embedded in the sceptre blazed red-hot and emitted a white mist. ‘Behold,’ Jether said, gesturing to the distant altar, ‘he that is made in Yehovah’s image!’

  The swirling mists rose a full hundred feet above the prototype, and there in the centre, now fully visible, dormant and inert but with features and limbs perfectly formed, lay Yehovah’s new creation – the first of the new race.

  ‘Man,’ Michael whispered in awe. ‘He sleeps.’

  ‘Dust cannot sleep.’ Lucifer’s hiss could barely be heard. ‘It has not been imbued with the breath of life. It is but a shell.’

  Michael turned to Lucifer. His green eyes were resolute. ‘He shall live, Lucifer.’

  Jether held up the sceptre a second time. The fires from the cherubim blazed. ‘The breath of breaths,’ he intoned. ‘The breath of life.’

  Jether and the twenty-four ancient monarchs bowed so low that their beards swept the crystal floor.

  And suddenly, in the swirling mists of the mighty whirlwind, the dazzling radiance of Yehovah manifested above the clay form. In the roar of a thousand waters, Yehovah spoke: ‘Behold Our eternal companion.’

  The angelic assembly watched in awe as Yehovah’s blinding, iridescent form bowed down over the inert form and laid His nostrils against the lifeless clay ones. Yehovah breathed into the prototype. All at once heaven was rent with the sound of great roaring. And again Yehovah breathed.

  The shofar blew. ‘The breath of nefesh,’ the herald sounded.

  ‘The life of the soul of Yehovah,’ Xacheriel whispered.

  Immediately the matter prototype became a living, pulsating form as the blood began to circulate and the heart began to beat. The eyes and sockets materialized. The skin became ruddy.

  Gabriel turned to Michael in ecstasy. ‘The breath of ruach.’

  ‘The life of the Spirit of Yehovah,’ Xacheriel whispered exultantly.

  The roaring grew to a crescendo, and the Mount of the North began to shake. It seemed that the very crystal under the angelic hosts’ feet would explode into a million shards.

  The man opened his eyes, suddenly conscious. He slowly rose to his feet and raised his hands in reverence to the blazing light of Yehovah’s presence.

  And then it happened. As the whole of heaven gazed in silent awe, Yehovah clasped the man to his breast.

  The moment seemed to span almost an eternity. And in that moment, it seemed that Yehovah was weeping. Again came His voice, ten thousand times ten thousand waters of infinite joy, infinite tenderness. ‘Adam.’

  Lucifer stared, his countenance like stone.

  The blazing light of Yehovah’s presence disappeared from Adam and reappeared seven leagues back, in the epicentre of the iridescent white throne.

  Through the enormous pearl gates eight Holy Watchers in ceremonial dress walked majestically up the nave, holding on their shoulders a carved golden casket with golden cherubim – the ark of the race of men.

  ‘The title deeds to the new galaxy,’ Michael murmured under his breath.

  Jether held up the sceptre. ‘Behold, we the Ancient Ones – on behalf of Yehovah, the Ancient of Days – do bequeath to man the title deeds of the Ark of the Race of Men, given now to the first-born. This is Yehovah’s covenant, bound by eternal law.’

  The Holy Watchers stopped in front of Adam and laid down the casket.

  ‘Yehovah bequeaths to the race of men the title deeds to the newly created galaxy,’ Jether proclaimed, ‘including Earth and its solar system.’

  Jether nodded, and a Watcher walked forward with a large golden key resting on a velvet cushion. Jether picked it up and slowly opened the casket. Twelve golden codices occupied the ark, the covers of the large books embedded with jacinth, diamonds, sapphires, chrysolite, and multitudes of other precious stones.

  ‘The title deeds to Earth and its solar system, the Second Heaven above Earth,’ Jether said, ‘hereby bequeathed by Yehovah this day to the race of men through eternity of eternities.’

  He turned to Adam, who stood silently in front of the casket. ‘Will you, as the first-born of the race of men, to the extent of your power, cause law and justice, in mercy, to be executed in all your judgments?’

  Adam nodded. ‘I solemnly promise to do so.’

  ‘And will you pledge to serve and honour and glorify Yehovah the Almighty God, Creator, Preserver, the Ancient of Days, to execute His will forever only, to serve and venerate forever His person only, throughout eternity of eternities?’

  Adam lifted his head towards Yehovah’s throne, his face shining. ‘I solemnly pledge this to Yehovah.’

  A great thundering issued from the throne. ‘This is man, Our beloved. We find no iniquity in him.’

  Jether left his throne and walked to the altar. He stood over Adam, who knelt. ‘On behalf of the Ancient of Days, as His elders and stewards of His holy mysteries, we, the Council of the Ancient Ones, receive your homage. We receive your pledge.’

  Jether poured the holy anointing oil from the ampulla over the crown of Adam’s bare head. The heavy, fragrant oil ran down Adam’s forehead and over his neck and his cheeks. ‘Be thy head anointed with oil.’

  Jether turned to the throne of Yehovah. The other twenty-three Ancient Ones stood to their feet. Zadkiel turned to the throne of Yehovah, and two hundred Holy Watchers rose.

  ‘By His holy anointing,’ Jether proclaimed, ‘pour down upon your head and heart the blessing of the Ancient of Days, that by the assistance of His heavenly grace, you may govern and preserve the race of men and the new galaxy, committed to your charge this day.’ Jether turned to the heavenly host and lifted both arms. ‘And now, I adjure you, let us lift our voices as one as we repeat the pledge of allegiance and devotion to the race of men.’

  Adam knelt before the angelic hosts of heaven.

  Michael held the Sword of Justice over his head, saying, ‘We, the hosts of heaven, do become liege servants of life and limb to the race of men, and in faith and truth we will bear unto you throughout eternity of eternities. So help us Yehovah.’

  Adam, still kneeling, raised his head to the angelic host.

  Jether clasped Adam’s head to his breast, then drew gently from him and looked deeply into his eyes. ‘May wisdom and knowledge be the stability of your rule and the fear of the Lord your treasure.’ He kissed him tenderly on both cheeks. ‘We bow before Almighty Yehovah in awe at the work of Thy hands.’

  The first order of hundreds of thousands of the angelic host stepped forward as one. They fell to their knees in reverence.

  Michael led the se
cond order immediately forward. He surveyed the room as one by one the angelic host knelt in veneration before Yehovah’s throne and His man.

  Jether’s mouth moved in supplication as slowly he lifted his head, surveying the vast assembly. The entire angelic company was kneeling, their heads bowed.

  With one exception.

  Lucifer stood upright in front of the altar. Rigid. Silent.

  Jether watched, trembling and grief-stricken, as Lucifer lifted his harrowed face to man and then straight to Yehovah’s throne, his eyes glittering black and hard – haughty, rebellious, filled with loathing.

  Gasps of surprise and horror rippled throughout the chamber. Michael stared in horror at the defiant Lucifer. But it was as he surveyed the chamber that his blood ran cold.

  One by one, silently and deliberately, thousands of Lucifer’s generals, warrior angels from all across the chamber, rose from their knees and stood, their arms crossed, their heads held high in defiance, following their renegade king.

  Then thousands of the Luciferean Guard rose to their feet from all across the chamber. Then tens of thousands. Until a full third of the angelic host was standing.

  Michael turned to Zadkiel, who was kneeling just behind Lucifer. His head was bowed, but his breathing was shallow.

  Slowly he lifted his gaze to meet Michael’s. ‘Damned for eternity,’ he said in a hoarse voice. Tears coursed down his cheeks.

  Michael stared with unbelief into Zadkiel’s eyes.

  Zadkiel quickly turned his face away, burning with shame. ‘I have sworn my allegiance. I cannot break my vow.’ He tore the seal of the Holy Watchers, his princely insignia, from his bodice with shaking hands and rose to his feet. A full third of the Holy Watchers rose after him.

  Lucifer met Michael’s gaze and smiled vindictively.

  Gabriel beheld the scene in horror. Michael laid his hand on his arm and looked towards the Ancient Ones. Jether had fallen prostrate, praying. The other Ancient Ones lay likewise before their thrones – with the exception of Charsoc. He exchanged a long, meaningful glance with Lucifer, then stood. Gasps of horror rippled throughout the chamber.

 
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