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The fall of lucifer, p.4
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       The Fall of Lucifer, p.4

           Wendy Alec
 
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  Michael’s eyes were aflame with wonder.

  Jether’s words trailed off as he slowly turned his gaze upward then, to the point directly above the position where the throne of Yehovah would descend.

  Michael followed his gaze to where Lucifer sat, high above all the proceedings, resplendent in the heavy robes of purple velvet, crowned with translucent rays of light, radiant in his beauty. The intense sapphire eyes were fierce with passionate adoration. He stood silent on the ornate carved ivory and marble pulpit that hung from the high place in the centre of the crystal dome, staring ahead into the enormous chamber, poised to lead the myriads of heaven in their worship to the God of hosts. He was holding the golden sceptre with which he would conduct the hosts of heaven – choirmaster of the great symphony of angelic worshippers.

  Michael shook his head in admiration. ‘My brother – most adored of heaven.’

  ‘Full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.’ So low was Jether’s whisper that Michael could barely hear his words. ‘Lucifer, the shining one.’

  Jether lowered his gaze from the vision of the resplendent Lucifer. ‘And now I shall spend my days in council.’ He clapped his hands. ‘And in supplications.’ He looked around for Obadiah, who was deep in conversation with five other younglings immersed in archery marksmanship, aiming at a pearl from fifty paces. ‘Younglings! Never here when they are truly required!’ Jether gathered up the long satin train in his arms. ‘Now, let me away to the young prince Gabriel – it seems to me that he is in need of some moral support.’

  Michael stared after the fast-disappearing Jether. Obadiah scurried after him, almost slipping on the gleaming marble floors in his haste to grab Jether’s train back from his master.

  ‘Gabriel!’ Michael exclaimed. He strode hurriedly after Jether.

  * * *

  Lucifer stood in the high place, his arms raised in abandoned worship to Yehovah, his face bathed in the blinding, shimmering light.

  He turned to the millions of the prostrate angelic host and lifted his sceptre, his purple velvet robes billowing. A great oration came forth from his lips, and the sound was as the sound of celestial pipes and of flutes and of clarinets and of every pipe ever heard in the universe. In response a great song of adoration and worship burst forth from the heavenly host.

  Lucifer lifted his sceptre. ‘All hail Yehovah!’ Lucifer’s voice rose above those of the angelic host.

  The entire assembly rose, their heads bowed, their arms outstretched. Immediately, the entire chamber reverberated with the sound of angelic voices. ‘All hail Yehovah!’

  A great rumble of thunder issued from the throne, through the mist – the roar of a thousand waters.

  All at once it was as if aeon upon aeon of galaxies descended through the open dome as Yehovah’s feet descended. And with the descent, a great and terrible roaring filled the chamber. It was as though the suns and the moons and stars from millions upon millions of galaxies were woven as a living, pulsating tapestry of the cosmos that cloaked His being. From each moon and planet and from the millions of stars that radiated from the translucent cloak of His radiance resounded light waves that oscillated through universe after universe – a tsunami of sound.

  The Ancient of Days descended into the chamber amid the thunder and lightning, and as He did, the blazing white light of the chamber was replaced with a dazzling amethyst light, which turned to emerald and then sapphire – the spectra of light reflected in Yehovah’s mantle. As He descended a rainbow descended also, which seemed to stretch throughout the universe, surrounding His presence. Millions of angels circled at His feet singing praises and hymns of adoration.

  Before His feet the seven blazing torches burned as seven columns of white fire, and in the midst of each torch were the flaming coals of the Spirit of Yehovah. The throne of His glory descended with Him. As it lowered, the floor of the throne room became as mercury, then morphed from the fluid metal into a sea that was as living, breathing sapphire. It was transparent, and there was no flaw within it.

  Earsplitting peals of thunder seemed to shake the chamber so that the very atoms of the walls pulsated. And as the thunder subsided, blue lightning bolts, shot through with white fire, coursed through the Ancient of Days’ cloak, lighting up the universe in their wake. Its circumference resembled the orbs of a thousand brilliant suns.

  When the throne and the One who sat on it had descended, the lofty, translucent pearl gates of the Crystal Palace began to open. As they did, an angelic herald blew the shofar.

  ‘I herald the holy Council of the Ancient Ones,’ he proclaimed. ‘Stewards of Yehovah’s sacred mysteries.’

  Slowly the blinding white mists cleared, revealing the twenty-four Ancient Ones, the twenty-four ancient kings of heaven, Yehovah’s elders, clothed in brilliant white with crowns of gold upon their heads. They walked majestically through the pearl gates and up the nave. They stopped before the twenty-four golden thrones behind the enormous carved golden altar.

  Leading them was Jether, chief elder of the Ancient Ones. He held his gold sceptre high in front of the angelic host, and they bowed in accord. Jether sat on the centre throne, the twenty-three remaining kings following his lead.

  Once again the herald blew the shofar. ‘Gabriel, the revelator, prince of archangels,’ he proclaimed. ‘Long may you reign with wisdom and justice.’

  The angelic host’s refrain reverberated through the chamber as Gabriel, grave and resolute, followed the kings through the gates and into the palace atrium, Michael at his side, regal in his crimson imperial robe, carrying the Sword of State.

  ‘Michael, the valiant,’ the herald announced, ‘chief prince of archangels.’

  ‘Long may you reign with justice and valour,’ the angelic host proclaimed.

  Together Michael and Gabriel walked up the nave of the dome towards the Seat of Kings, the throne in front of the immense onyx altar. Their knights-in-arms fell into step behind them, solemnly bearing the banners of the Royal House of Yehovah.

  As the brothers reached the Seat of Kings, the entire chamber fell silent.

  ‘Lucifer, the light-bearer, chief prince of archangels.’

  ‘Long may you reign, anointed cherub who covers,’ the angelic chorus echoed throughout the chambers as Lucifer walked ceremoniously from his high throne down to the altar to join his brothers.

  As one, the three archangels bowed low and knelt in the burning mist that poured from the carved ice throne before the altar.

  Lucifer fell prostrate, facing the throne of Yehovah. His face shone so bright it seemed to burn. ‘Behold, O God our defender, and look upon the face of Thy chief princes, for one day in Thy courts is better than a thousand elsewhere.’

  He was silent, his face down, for a long moment. Then, slowly rising, he turned to the angelic host, which stood solemnly in the chamber. ‘My angelic brothers, I here present to you Gabriel, bondservant of the Most High, anointed prince of the Royal House of Yehovah!’

  Lucifer turned to Gabriel, his sapphire gaze fervent. ‘Do you, Gabriel, pledge to do your just homage or service and to assign yourself to these, your angelic host, from this day forth?’

  Gabriel’s gaze was steady. ‘I do.’

  ‘Will you, to the extent of your power, cause law and justice, in mercy, to be executed in all your judgments?’

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

  Michael stepped forward. ‘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?’

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

  Michael gravely handed Gabriel the Sword of Revelation.

  A great thunder issued from the throne and through the mist – the roar of a thousand waters. ‘This is Gabriel, Our beloved. We name him Revelator.’

  Zadkiel
, prince of the Holy Watchers and Lucifer’s chief attendant, stepped out from the throne. His powerful presence was gentle but imposing. His features were almost as beautiful as Lucifer’s, and he exuded almost as much light as Lucifer himself. ‘On behalf of the Ancient of Days,’ Zadkiel pronounced, ‘and as stewards of His sacred person, we the Holy Watchers receive your homage. We receive your pledge.’

  Jether stood up from his throne and walked towards the altar. A knight placed a heavy gold ampulla into Jether’s hands, the bottle reflecting the glory from the throne. Four knights-in-arms held a pall of heavy, fine gold over Gabriel’s head. ‘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 oil from the ampulla into a gold spoon and anointed Gabriel on the palms of both hands. ‘Be thy hands anointed with holy oil.’ He poured the oil on Gabriel’s bare chest. ‘Be thy breast anointed with oil.’ He poured the remaining oil over the crown of Gabriel’s bare head, then lifted both arms. ‘By His holy anointing, 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 one-third of Yehovah’s heavenly host, committed to your charge this day.’

  Michael and Lucifer each walked to the head of his third of the angelic host: Michael’s on the right, Lucifer’s in the centre. Gabriel walked to the last third on the left-hand side of the chamber.

  ‘And now, I adjure you,’ Jether cried to the assembly, ‘let us lift our voices as one as we repeat the pledge of allegiance and devotion to His Excellency, Gabriel.’

  Gabriel knelt before the angelic hosts of heaven as Lucifer held the Sword of State over his head.

  ‘We, the hosts of heaven,’ Lucifer declared, ‘do become your liege servants of life and limb, and faith and truth we will bear unto you throughout eternity of eternities. So help us, Yehovah.’

  Gabriel, still kneeling, raised his head to the angelic host, then rose and took his throne to the left of the twenty-four Ancient Ones.

  Lucifer turned to the angelic legions. ‘Long reign Gabriel!’ he proclaimed.

  ‘Long reign Gabriel!’ Their cry resounded through the palace chambers.

  ‘All hail Yehovah!’

  The entire angelic assembly rose to their feet.

  The thunderous, stentorian unison of hundreds of ten thousand times ten thousand angelic warriors rose to a crescendo. ‘All hail Yehovah!’

  ‘All hail Yehovah!’

  * * *

  The sounds of the jubilation oratios from the Mount of Assembly echoed over the Crystal Sea across to the magnificent marble-columned gazebo on the pearl sands.

  Michael dismounted and walked up the gilded gazebo steps. He caught sight of Gabriel leaning against one of the immense white marbled columns, entranced by the magnificent lightning and thunderbolt displays over the sea. They stood together in silence, watching the rainbow-coloured dolphins as they cavorted in the silver waves of the Sea of Zamar.

  ‘Well, Gabriel,’ Michael said, ‘now you’re really one of us!’ He slapped Gabriel hard on the back.

  ‘Respect, Michael! My liege man of life and limb, if you recall!’

  ‘Hear, hear!’ echoed Lucifer.

  He stood in the gazebo entrance, an imposing presence, surveying his brothers, with his panther Ebony sitting at his side. Gabriel turned, his face flushed with the exhilaration of the day’s events. Sachiel, Lucifer’s attendant, bowed and removed Lucifer’s heavy velvet imperial robe. Lucifer walked over to Gabriel and kissed him affectionately on both cheeks. Ebony walked through the lush, hanging tropical gardens and stopped, purring, next to Lucifer.

  Lucifer stroked the great panther tenderly, taking a sweetmeat from a golden platter. ‘Ebony, my sweet.’ He held it out in his palm to the sleek feline, who devoured it voraciously and licked Lucifer’s fingers affectionately with his coarse tongue. Then Lucifer strode over to where the balmy turquoise and gold pools shimmered under the pale blue moons, loosening his mantle as he walked. Michael turned to his royal angelic courtier. ‘A’albiel, I would celebrate with my brothers!’

  A’albiel poured a thick gold elixir from a silver flagon into three garnet-studded goblets on a marble table. A’albiel passed a goblet of the elixir to Michael and then to Gabriel.

  Michael nodded graciously. ‘Thank you, A’albiel. You may leave us.’ A’albiel bowed low and departed.

  ‘You disappeared, Lucifer!’ Gabriel chided. ‘Michael and I were waiting in the dining hall for you the whole of the celebration party.’

  ‘Forgive me,’ Lucifer said, his tone subdued. ‘I have been preoccupied. I was walking to and fro on Tertus.’ He sat pensively, bathing his muscular legs in the tepid springs.

  Gabriel frowned. ‘You are not yourself tonight, Lucifer.’

  ‘He thinks!’ Michael walked over to him to offer him the goblet of elixir. ‘He always thinks!’ Michael’s green eyes were dancing with mischief. ‘But what he thinks he does not tell. Perhaps – ’

  His voice broke off as he caught sight of a strange crimson stain on Lucifer’s right palm as Lucifer reached for the elixir. Michael looked at Lucifer quizzically. Lucifer closed his palm swiftly around the goblet, then sipped long and hard, staring back enigmatically at Michael.

  Gabriel turned to Lucifer, enthralled. ‘Tell us, Lucifer, is Tertus as beautiful as they say? Surely it cannot compare with the First Heaven.’

  Lucifer closed his eyes in awe. ‘It is magnificent, Gabriel. It is our Father’s finest handiwork.’

  Gabriel and Michael bowed their heads. ‘He is worthy,’ they echoed.

  Asmodeus walked through the door, bowing deeply before Lucifer.

  Lucifer nodded and smiled. ‘Asmodeus.’ He noted that Asmodeus carried another missive sealed with Yehovah’s golden seal. He immediately held out his hand for it.

  Asmodeus bowed to Lucifer. ‘Your Majesty, the missive is for His Excellency, Chief Prince Michael.’

  Lucifer frowned, studying Michael and Gabriel. Then he nodded graciously. Asmodeus walked swiftly towards Michael and bowed, handing him the missive.

  Lucifer rose from the pool and walked over to the grand hanging candelabras in the centre of the chamber. He moved his palm almost imperceptibly, and two hundred golden wicks burst into blazing copper flames. ‘Ah, frankincense!’ Lucifer inhaled deeply, appearing not to watch Michael at all.

  Michael tore open the missive with his golden cinquedea and studied the contents.

  Lucifer turned to Gabriel. ‘Let us walk.’ He clasped his arm through Gabriel’s, and they moved through the vast, sweeping corridors of the gazebo’s grand halls, Ebony padding at Lucifer’s side. They continued through the vast atrium and into a huge crystal observatory on the roof of the gazebo.

  Solar systems and galaxies of manifold universes became visible through the enormous crystal dome of the observatory. Lucifer lifted his hand, and at once the crystal dome receded, leaving him and Gabriel standing almost in the centre of heaven’s vast panorama.

  Lucifer pointed to a magenta planet surrounded by rings of ice and a myriad of suns and moons. ‘Behold the beauty of Tertus, Gabriel – three hundred suns, thirty moons . . . hues beyond imagination . . . forty thousand light-years away.’ A blue arc leaped from his palm. Instantaneously, the planet magnified a hundred times. The brothers stared in awe at the cosmos.

  Lucifer bowed his head in reverence, his voice a whisper. ‘He is incomparable. The great King of the universe.’ They bowed their heads in unison, and there was a moment’s silence.

  ‘His discernments are holy and unfathomable,’ Michael interjected, leaning in the doorway . . . watching them indulgently. He held up the missive in his right hand, exhilarated.

  As he walked over to join them he moved his palm across the heavens. A mass without form or void appeared, with only one sun and moon. ‘Our Father’s new galaxy. From matter.’

&n
bsp; Lucifer stared up at the galaxy contemptuously. ‘A futile mass of mud and vapour and gases. I stopped briefly to view it on my way back from Tertus.’ He smiled dismissively, caressing a blue grape in his fingers. ‘It is the most base and insignificant sliver of our Father’s cosmos.’ Slowly and deliberately he looked up at the planet Earth and covered it with the grape until it was excluded from his view. He placed the grape in his mouth and swallowed. ‘I quite fail to see its purpose.’ He stared dispassionately ahead.

  Michael stared back unrelentingly. ‘But Yehovah always has a purpose, Lucifer.’ He held out the missive to Lucifer. ‘He would have us visit the new galaxy – you and I together; He has named us.’

  Lucifer glared at him in irritation, purposely ignoring the missive, instead stroking Ebony’s silky neck. The panther purred loudly.

  Michael stared at his brother, perplexed. ‘It is His express will.’

  Gabriel lay sprawled across a golden throne, his hands behind his head, staring up at the formless mass. ‘We are spirit beings, Lucifer. We cannot comprehend all that our Father creates. This universe will be matter.’ He shrugged. ‘We were born for this dimension.’

  He sprang to his feet, picked up Lucifer’s sword, and deftly cut the tops of a cluster of silver and blue rose-like flowers. Immediately they sprang back into perfection. ‘We are celestial spirits,’ he said. ‘Silicone-based. We eat astral food; we bleed astral blood.’ Gabriel looked out across the galaxies in wonder. ‘Why, I have heard across the zephyrs, my dearest Luce, that our Father’s new race is not of an angelic or celestial nature at all, but will be in His very likeness. It is said that He longs for fellowship,’ he mused recklessly.

  He took a large bite out of a juicy silver pomegranate; immediately it sprang back into its original perfection.

 
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