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The fall of lucifer, p.11
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       The Fall of Lucifer, p.11

           Wendy Alec
 
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  An uncharacteristic malice played on Charsoc’s face as he stared down at Jether, who would not look up from his prayers.

  Lucifer cast his eye slowly over the assembly. A full third of the angelic host was standing. He smiled in triumph.

  The treason was complete.

  Michael, still kneeling, stared up at him, his hand on his sword. Fierce.

  ‘You’ll never succeed, Lucifer.’

  Lucifer laughed derisively. ‘Ah, but you see, my dear naïve Michael . . . ’ He swept his sword across the scene. ‘I already have. One-third of heaven’s armies are at my command, dear brother.’ Lucifer smiled calculatingly at Gabriel. ‘And with Gabriel by my side, we will rule them all.’

  Lucifer grasped Gabriel’s shoulder and pressed his mouth to his ear. ‘For over a million aeons I have followed blindly. For over a million aeons I suspended my own judgments and trusted His without question. For over a million aeons I have subjugated my own reason to His.’ The fervid fire in Lucifer’s eyes burned brighter. ‘And now I must protect Him from His own creation. Heed your dreams, Gabriel! Save your soul – and save Yehovah. We were fools! Gullible, self-deluded, blind minions. But no longer!’

  Gabriel stared in turmoil from Michael to Lucifer.

  Lucifer turned to the standing angelic host and raised the gleaming broadsword high above his head. ‘I declare war in the heavenlies!’

  With a deft movement, he thrust his gleaming broadsword savagely at Michael. Michael, still kneeling, deflected his thrust and nimbly rose to his feet. They circled each other, alert, vigilant – supreme masters of swordsmanship, equally matched in strength and warriorship.

  Belzoc, one of Lucifer’s generals, grasped Michael’s throat from behind in a stranglehold. Lucifer laughed dryly and aimed his broadsword directly at Michael’s chest.

  Michael twisted Belzoc’s arm and struggled free, kicking Lucifer with the full force of his immense strength, elevating him a full twenty feet into the air. Lucifer smashed face down onto the solid crystal floor. He rose, dazed, blood running from his mouth, irate now. He was immediately surrounded by ten of Michael’s élite warriors.

  A distant shofar sounded. In response, a bloodthirsty roar erupted from Lucifer’s third of the angelic host. Thousands of armoured warriors on horseback, armed with iron crossbows, surged down from the southern cliffs of the mount upon the angelic host, descending with ferocity on Yehovah’s angelic battalions, leaving a bloody tide of hatred and malevolence in their wake.

  Jether looked up from his prayers, his hand covering his mouth in consternation.

  Lucifer raised his broadsword high in his left hand, simultaneously drawing the Sword of State from its sheath with his right. He lunged viciously at Michael, who thrust back with the glinting Sword of Justice. The violent clash of steel against steel was drowned by the savage roaring of Lucifer’s battalions. The two brothers fought, thrust for thrust, steel clanging against steel, their violent skirmish unrelenting.

  Then, like lightning, Lucifer thrust towards Michael’s heart with the Sword of State. Simultaneously he brought the flat of the broadsword down violently on Michael’s chest, winding him.

  Michael staggered to his knees. He raised his face to see Lucifer over him, triumphant and cruel, his wings hovering two feet off the ground.

  Lucifer lifted his broadsword, his eyes glinting fiendishly.

  Gabriel stood on the far side of the chamber, paralysed by the bloody fighting all around him. He stared in horror at Lucifer.

  ‘Brothers for eternity!’ screamed Lucifer, as sweat poured off him. ‘Brothers!’ An evil smile played on his lips as he lifted the razor sharp broadsword straight above Michael’s neck.

  An immense thunder roared from the direction of the throne – light upon light, sound upon sound. Suddenly Lucifer was lifted thirty feet off the ground by an invisible force and hurled like a stone onto the glass floor of the mount, a full league down the nave.

  Waves of blinding radiance pulsated from the great white throne, illuminating the entire chamber, bathing the wounded angels. Within moments they recovered, rising to their feet, their heads bowed.

  Lucifer struggled to his knees. He was now before the throne of the Most High. The four living creatures stood at the throne, their blazing swords held ready. Lucifer surveyed the throne room as if disoriented. A deathly hush descended.

  ‘Let him pass.’ Yehovah’s voice was as the roar of a thousand waters.

  Immediately the cherubim with the flaming swords moved aside.

  Lucifer rose to his feet, recovering rapidly. He walked straight past the cherubim, his eyes glinting with rebellion and arrogance, and strode towards the throne. Ten thousand of his generals and guards arrived and followed closely behind, their heads held high in defiance.

  A second wave of intense, shimmering radiance cascaded down towards the mutinous angelic force. Lucifer sheltered his face from the searing light with his forearm as he doggedly continued his stride through the radiating prisms of white fire towards the throne. His fist tightened around the Sword of State.

  A third wave broke over Lucifer’s battalion. The Luciferean Guard stood transfixed. Halfway to the throne, Moloch, another of Lucifer’s generals, uttered a strangled cry. He grasped his throat, suffocating in the white fire. Bloodcurdling screams echoed across the entire assembly as the bodies of thousands of dread warriors collapsed to the floor like ninepins. The hundred thousand warriors close behind Lucifer’s generals gasped desperately for breath, their weapons strewn over the chamber, literally burning alive in the white inferno.

  Jether stared across to Charsoc, aghast. The treacherous elder’s face was contorted with an agony so dire that his screams were noiseless as he tried desperately to hide his face from the searing light.

  Michael and Gabriel approached, followed by their angelic legions, then lay prostrate on the floor.

  ‘Bow, Lucifer!’ Michael shouted. ‘Don’t be a stubborn fool. Just bow!’

  Lucifer swayed unsteadily as the rasping screams reverberated all across the chamber.

  Zadkiel stood behind Lucifer, horrified as the pulsating conflagration engulfed him. Shaking uncontrollably, he reeled to the floor like a stone.

  Lucifer, gasping for air, filled with terror and rage, put one foot feebly in front of the other. He was immediately flung back with staggering force onto the hard sapphire floor, immobilized. The white, scorching inferno settled, shimmering, in the centre of the throne room, directly over where Lucifer lay paralysed.

  Slowly Michael lifted his head, surveying the carnage in the throne room. He turned to Gabriel, who knelt beside him, trembling. A tear ran down Gabriel’s cheek. Michael placed his hand on Gabriel’s shoulder to steady him, then took a deep breath and rose to his feet, his hand on the hilt of his broadsword.

  He raised his face to where the Ancient Ones – twenty-four minus Charsoc – sat enthroned, praying. Jether and Michael exchanged a long look, then Jether nodded almost imperceptibly. Michael closed his eyes and bowed his head, his breathing laboured.

  He motioned to his fellow archangels, Raphael and Uriel. Raphael walked to the stunned Lucifer and forced him to his feet. Uriel, his eyes cast to the floor, locked heavy silver irons around Lucifer’s ankles.

  His senses reeling, Michael slowly walked over to where Lucifer stood. His brother was ashen-faced, his hands hanging before him in the heavy silver shackles. Trembling, Lucifer turned his face away from Michael’s gaze, his tormented blue eyes staring at the glistening sapphire floor. Michael knelt to pick up Lucifer’s Sword of State, which was lying discarded on the chamber floor.

  Michael clasped Lucifer’s right arm.

  ‘Michael . . . ’ Lucifer whispered.

  Marshalling every vestige of his training, desperately attempting to still the indescribable agony that seared through the core of his being, Michael forced Lucifer down the nave towards the great white throne.

  As Lucifer neared the throne, his expression changed from
rebellion and rage to anguish and foreboding, and then from foreboding to terror. Desperately he tried to shield his eyes from the force and purity of the light, but his arms were manacled. Finally, he arrived in front of the throne, his head bowed, his sapphire eyes closed.

  Michael bowed his head in distress, unable to watch. There was complete silence.

  Ever so slowly, Lucifer lifted his head, his eyes filled with rage and sorrow. ‘Holy Father,’ he uttered in a hoarse whisper.

  The light pulsated, and there was an immense thunder. Then a glorious imperial figure, almost indefinable in the immense light radiating from Him, walked majestically through the white fires, out of Yehovah. The mists started to fade as the breathtaking form became visible.

  Lucifer gasped. ‘Christos!’

  The King spoke in a voice filled with unimaginable empathy. ‘We grieve for you.’

  Raw pain contorted Lucifer’s features. ‘But why man?’ he uttered almost inaudibly. A racking sob escaped him. ‘Were we not enough?’ He stared at Christos helplessly, haggard, wretched with grief. ‘Was I not enough for Him?’ A solitary tear ran down his cheek.

  Christos looked upon him with infinite tenderness, infinite pity. He brushed the tear away gently from Lucifer’s cheek. His touch lingered. ‘We would that you would repent.’

  Lucifer stared, trembling, his gaze locked fiercely on the sorrowful eyes of the King. ‘Tell Him . . . ’ His voice shook with emotion. ‘Tell Him . . . I cannot.’

  The Christ drew a sharp breath as though He were in intense pain . . . intense suffering. His eyelids slowly closed. Heaven waited. Then His voice merged with that of Yehovah. One but three. Three but one. A sublime voice like the voice of thousands of thundering waters – magnetic, saturated with compassion and intense sorrow.

  ‘LUCIFER!’

  Christos stepped back and nodded almost imperceptibly to Raphael. Raphael raised his sword and with one swift movement of the sharp blade swept Lucifer’s military medals and insignia to the floor.

  With tears streaming down his face, Michael unclasped the seal of the Royal House of Yehovah from Lucifer’s breast. Lucifer’s mouth moved soundlessly in agony.

  Then Christos spoke. ‘Oh, how thou art fallen, Lucifer, son of the morning!’

  Lucifer began to weep wretchedly.

  Instantly Christos’ glorious form vanished, consumed once more into the centre of the iridescent white throne.

  Jether, chief of the ancient elders, moved in front of Lucifer, his countenance filled with a dreadful sorrow. He raised his sceptre above Lucifer’s gleaming raven hair. ‘Lucifer, seraph, chief prince, holy angelic regent of the Royal House of Yehovah, light-bearer – you are banished from Yehovah’s presence and exiled to outer darkness, through all eternity of eternities, to await the judgment and the lake of fire.’

  Instantly the throne room and all of Yehovah’s angelic host disappeared. Lucifer and the fallen angels were left in the empty chamber, engulfed by total blackness and silence. A distant rumbling started, then rose to an immense thunder. The tempest built with the force of a cyclone, and a torrid inferno rose out of the blackness, illuminating the entire panorama.

  Lucifer lifted his forearm from his face, his mouth opening and closing mindlessly in terror as an all-consuming apocalyptic sheet of flame descended onto his angels, the scorching, incinerating flames engulfing them. ‘The consuming fire!’ he shrieked.

  All across the chamber, spine-chilling screams resounded as the renegade angelic host were consumed by the blistering fireball.

  ‘I’ll take man with me! I won’t burn alone!’

  His deranged screaming resounded through the darkness as the searing tongues of fire started to engulf Lucifer. He looked down incredulously at his hands. As he watched, they blistered. His broad, manicured nails twisted into talons and yellowed with age. The chiselled alabaster features became pockmarked. The jet-black eyebrows grew together. The beautiful aquiline nose became misshapen. The passionate crimson mouth grew thin and cruel.

  Frantic, Lucifer put his hands to his cheeks, feeling his mangled, misshapen features. The magnificent thick ebony tresses fell from his scalp in smoldering clumps. His gold and ruby ring burned deep into his flesh.

  ‘Hear me, Christos!’ he screamed. ‘I, Lucifer, light-bearer, chief prince, holy angelic regent of the Royal House of Yehovah, do now become Your sworn enemy, and treachery and iniquity will I bear unto You throughout eternity of eternities!’

  A gale-force wind blew through the chamber. The angels with Lucifer – themselves hideously transformed – clung desperately to balustrades, marble columns, and overturned marble tables as they were sucked away from the throne room. They screamed frenziedly as the lightning raged.

  Then, propelled by some unseen gargantuan magnetic force, they and everything in their wake were sucked towards the swirling black vortex beyond the chamber entrance.

  [[GABRIEL IMAGE]]

  The shadows had fallen . . .

  Chapter Seventeen

  East of Eden

  Lucifer stood on the new planet. Earth.

  He was outside the eastern entrance to the Garden of Eden, watching the pale turquoise waves lap onto the pearlescent white sand.

  He looked up into the azure heavens at Earth’s lone moon, then moved his palm across the sky. Thousands of light-years above the garden the enormous pearl gates of the First Heaven became visible. He could see the cherubim and seraphim guarding the vast open portal that stretched from the First Heaven down to the northern gates of the garden. Thousands of angels descended and ascended between Earth and the First Heaven.

  He passed his hand over the sky once more and saw a solitary figure within the gate, standing at attention. ‘Michael,’ he hissed.

  Lucifer raised his gnarled hand and brought ridged, yellowed nails to his blistered cheek. Though his mangled features had been hidden by a hooded grey robe, he disrobed swiftly and Sachiel took his outer garment.

  ‘Wait here, Sachiel.’

  Lucifer moved towards the entrance of the eastern gate. Silently he watched the angelic sentinels, the keepers of the gate. They did not see him. The atoms in his angelic frame began to radiate at the speed of light, and his skin metamorphosed into scales. Within seconds, he passed through the undergrowth undetected by the guards – a serpent.

  He slithered through the mangroves and rain forest towards the centre of the garden. There the two trees – the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil – stood shrouded by the white fire in the corner of the garden. He lay hidden in the lush undergrowth, waiting.

  The white fire arced towards him like a magnet, engulfing his scaled body with incandescent tongues of flame. Slowly he took on human form. His ravaged features shed like a second skin. His face morphed back into the beautiful chiselled features of old: the wide, marble-smooth forehead; the full, sensuous mouth; the bronzed, perfect skin; the blazing clear sapphire eyes. Gleaming raven hair fell over his shoulders onto the shining white robe. A golden girdle circled his waist, and his feet were clad in gold. His head was crowned with a crown of translucent light. His presence was kingly, majestic . . . noble.

  Lucifer put his hand to his face, feeling his features. He moaned in ecstasy. He moved deeper into the garden, breathing deeply, drinking in the fragrance of myrtle. He stopped on a bank underneath a stand of cedars.

  In the farthest part of the garden, bathing in the golden nectar of the warm pools, was the female prototype Lucifer had seen in his chambers being cloned from the prototype man. Except this was not a hologram. ‘Man!’ he whispered.

  He stared, mesmerized, as the woman dived, clean-limbed and slender, down a waterfall into the hot springs and swam with the cavorting dolphins. He watched, enthralled, as the graceful figure walked out of the waves onto the white sand, her long golden hair falling to her knees.

  He walked out from the undergrowth over the sand until he stood in front of her. His face shone like a burning flame.

&nbs
p; She bowed low. ‘My lord.’ She raised her fair face to his and looked him in the eyes. Her body was covered in an infinitesimal layer of the incandescent white fire.

  Lucifer reached out and caressed her face gently. ‘Matter,’ he murmured in wonder.

  She smiled, radiant and guileless.

  He stared at her, entranced. ‘You are very beautiful.’ His tones were silken.

  ‘Thank you, my lord.’ She spoke plainly. ‘But you yourself are indeed glorious. Why, Prince Michael I know, and Prince Gabriel I know – but you . . . ’ She gave a playful laugh.

  Lucifer contemplated. She was pure, undefiled, completely without artifice. He gave her a dazzling smile. ‘I am a king.’ He gestured to the garden. ‘You enjoy Eden?’

  Her eyes grew wide with wonder. ‘Your Majesty, it is truly a paradise. Why, you have provided us with everything we could desire.’

  ‘You are partial to the fountains?’ He leaned against the cedar tree.

  She frowned. ‘Oh, yes! But I love to swim with the porpoises in the Pool of Serenity, my lord.’

  Lucifer smiled. ‘And the scents of the forests?’

  Her eyes sparkled. ‘The perfume of the frangipani at twilight is utterly delectable!’ She ran to a frangipani tree and plucked off a flower, which immediately grew back. She ran over to Lucifer and placed it near his nose. ‘Is it not, Your Majesty?’ Again she bowed low.

  Lucifer shook his head. She was captivating.

  The woman looked up at Lucifer disarmingly. ‘We are content to obey your every edict, my lord. Yehovah and yourself know what is best for us. We do not have the wisdom or discernment of our lords. This we understand. That is why we gladly would submit to yourselves, who are so much wiser and more discerning than ourselves. I am glad it is so.’

  Lucifer beckoned her closer. ‘Surely it would be more expedient for you to discern accurately, without having at every turn to be guided by Yehovah. His time is surely far too valuable to be caught up in your minor quandaries.’

 
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