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Son of perdition, p.7
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       Son of Perdition, p.7

           Wendy Alec

  Gabriel shook his head confused.

  ‘He would create a clone, Gabriel. His clone. We have not much time. The Fallen ride even as we speak.’

  Jether studied Gabriel’s face, then sighed, his expression softening.

  ‘Tell Michael, I will meet with him on the Pearl Sands. At dusk.’

  He embraced Gabriel on both cheeks, then mounted his white winged charger. His eyes flashed with intensity.

  ‘I go to summon the High Councils of Yehovah.’

  * * *

  Six hundred and sixty-six of Lucifer’s Dark Cabal Wizards ascended from the blazing acid-green infernos of the labyrinths deep within the lowest Crypts of Nagor. Their sparse white hair was pulled back from their sunken foreheads and their feathered seraph wings thrashed the air as they rode the arc of the North Wind, astride their monstrous hybrid genetic creations.

  A depraved ghoulish horde led by the two-headed Twin Wizards of Malfecium.

  The super-scientists of the damned would reach the Ice Citadel of Gehenna by dawn.

  Chapter Nine

  The Vial of Sacred Progeny

  Lucifer sat majestically on his enormous carved horn throne, his headrest one enormous ruby. He smoothed his glistening white robes of state, embroidered with diamonds and molten gold.

  Four of his bearers appeared and deftly plaited his raven hair with ice-diamonds and amethyst lightnings, then slunk away. Balbeith placed the satanic crown of state on Lucifer’s head and bowed.

  Charsoc moved towards the throne.

  ‘Your Majesty, the Darkened Councils have been summoned from under the earth. The Warlocks of the West gather as we speak.’

  Lucifer caressed the coarse white fur of the six-headed ice-wulf at his feet. A gift from the Twins of Malfecium. He bit into the flesh of a large golden fruit, then held it out idly in his palm to the ice-wulf who wagged his serpent tail, then devoured it ferociously, his dark blue fangs visible.

  Lucifer smiled in approval, then studied Charsoc through narrowed eyes.

  ‘Long have I awaited this day,’ he murmured. ‘From the time I ruled through Nebuchadnezzar, I waited.’

  He sipped delicately from his goblet.

  ‘During my reign through Antiochus the Fourth of Syria and Mesopotamia. I waited.’

  He raised his head and stared up at sixty-six golden seraphim and carved Gorgons above him. His gaze dropped to the magnificent frescos beneath the arches of the inner dome depicting Nimrod, Alexander and Antiochus’s kingdoms.

  ‘Antiochus failed me,’ he hissed. ‘Alexander the Great, Charlemagne, Stalin, Adolf Hitler . . . ’ He scowled. ‘All incompetent mewling parasites!’

  He swung around to Charsoc, his eyes dark. ‘I will tolerate no more error.’

  Lucifer raised his sceptre in the direction of the mammoth black ice doors to the throne room.

  At once they turned to vapour, revealing 333 cowled Magi led by Marduk, head of the Darkened Councils.

  Marduk led the way down the Western stairs to the West Portal of the Last Judgement. A magnificent ivory carving of Lucifer triumphant and the Race of Men burning in the lake of fire towered overhead. The Darkened Councils each took their carved horn thrones, two levels below Lucifer’s own.

  A discordant droning filled the atmosphere of the throne room as a thousand hunched black murmurers entered through the gates, their black seraph wings concealed underneath their semi-transparent grey muslin cloaks.

  They formed a sinister dark line, skulking up the 666 steps to the circular Whispering Gallery directly beneath the open dome. Their cowls blew under the swirling ice tempests.

  The bells of Limbo pealed. The throne room instantly filled with a green sulphurous gas. The Dark Cabal Wizards swooped down through the vast open dome on their biogenetically engineered monsters until all 666 were gathered in the aisle of the North Wind. As one, they bowed low before Lucifer.

  Lucifer raised his sceptre.

  ‘I summon the Twins of Malfecium – the Grand Wizard Phaegos and the Grand Wizard Maelageor.’

  The Twins stepped forward. Their physical features were almost identical. Each had two shrunken rotating heads, their long, pointed chins resting on their chests. They stared up at Lucifer from bulbous, straw-coloured eyes that glittered malevolently. Their flesh had a cadaverous green pallor and their sparse white hair fell to their waists. Under their muslin cloaks each had three hunchbacks and, on either side, grew six immense feathered seraph wings.

  The Twins were Lucifer’s super-scientists. The Grand Architects of his depraved schemes. Their days and nights were spent huddled in laboratories a thousand miles below the scalding ice rings of Mellenzia in the barren wastelands of the Underworld in the Crypts of Nagor.

  It was here that they performed the most vile of their iniquitous procedures. Biogenetic engineering; poisonings; amputations; limb and head grafts; lobotomies. Agonized screams of torment resounded day and night from the Labyrinths of Angor as the harpies of Gilmagoth, under their tutelage, violated each rule of decency and contravened every tenet of Eternal Law with their cloning of the bestial and the Angelic.

  The Twins were purists. They maimed, tortured and disembowelled banshees, trolls, demon-vampires, and experimented on all that roamed the underworld unaware. They spawned an army of misshapen new species – grotesque deformed monsters.

  Winged Vampire-Behemoths, sixty-six-eyed Cyclops, Scaled Brobdingnagians – the foot soldiers of Gehenna. These monsters of the Army of the Fallen were prepared to be unleashed at the last great battle fought against the Nazarene – Armageddon.

  But the Twins’ greatest conception – their consummate work of genius – lay beyond the eight Great Vaults of Vagen in the Sarcophagus of the Furies.

  The vial that contained a single genome.

  The Seed of the Serpent.

  Lucifer’s genome.

  Lucifer’s angelic DNA, recently biogenetically re-engineered by the Twins of Malfecium to correspond precisely with the growth cycle of human DNA.

  The Vial of Sacred Progeny.

  It had lain for millennia beneath Mellenzia. Awaiting the day when technology in the Race of Men would be advanced enough to complete the sacred task.

  Lucifer sensed that the Twins’ journey this day was connected to the genome.

  He gestured them nearer.

  ‘Maelageor,’ he said softly to the Twin at his left. ‘You requested audience.’

  The Grand Wizard of Maelageor stared out at Lucifer with hooded eyes.

  ‘Your Excellency.’ His voice slithered, his tongue distended and mottled. ‘It concerns the Vial of Sacred Progeny.’

  Lucifer stared at him intently. Waiting.

  ‘Sire. We have found one in the Race of Men of skill beyond any other. His proficiency in the field of biogenetic engineering leads us to believe he could be suited to the sacred task.’

  Phaegos stepped forward and bowed deeply.

  ‘Your Excellency. He is the Race of Men’s leading expert in genetic manipulation and gene splicing.’

  Lucifer rose. He paced restlessly before the throne, deep in contemplation.

  Abruptly he turned to Maelageor.

  ‘You are sure? I will tolerate no more error. Hitler failed me,’ he hissed. ‘The Nazi eugenics programme, their manipulation of human DNA . . . ’ He spun around to stare at the fresco of the Nuremberg rally above him. ‘Mengele, Clauberg, Brandt . . . We gave them every blueprint crucial to the task of cloning. All led to failure!’

  Maelageor raised his head.

  ‘Your Excellency. The Race of Men’s technological progress in the area of genetics has greatly accelerated. The year 1981 finds it still primitive, but this man is a fervent scholar.’

  ‘He is a genius?’

  Charsoc leaned over to Lucifer. He held a sheaf of documents in his hand. ‘He is a genius among the Race of Men, sire. I have studied the texts. It is as the Twins’ relay.’

  Lucifer seized the documents from Charsoc’s grasp and st
rode down the nave, scanning the papers, Charsoc at his side.

  ‘He is sympathetic to our cause?’

  Charsoc nodded. ‘He was the scientist in charge of the Los Alamos cloning programme, sire. Black operations. He serves our dark slaves in the Race of Men with devotion.’

  ‘His silence will be ensured?’

  Charsoc stroked his beard pensively as he walked.

  ‘He is an ambitious man, Your Majesty, but not curious. He cares not whom his masters are. He has no god. His only god is that of science.’

  Lucifer swung around. ‘I seek a family of the Race of Men. Search the Lower Libraries of Iniquities. Seek out a hundred dynasties of the Race of Men. Those I have endowed with riches. Those I reward with power. Devoted servants of the Fallen.’

  Lucifer paced back up the nave, deep in contemplation.

  ‘I think I shall give him brothers. A stubborn Michael. A tender Gabriel. They shall be three, even as we three angelic brothers. Three brothers of the Race of Men.’

  An insane fire lit his gaze. ‘And like his father before him.’ He raised his arms towards the vast dome. ‘My son shall be an insurrectionist. A renegade!’

  Maelageor moved nearer.

  ‘There is a family, sire.’ He held out a large black Codex. Lucifer recognized it instantly as one of the thirteen Codices of Diabolos.

  ‘A most suitable family.’ He stared up at Lucifer, his cruel bulbous eyes glittering. Lucifer studied him intently, then took hold of the Codex.

  ‘One of the thirteen families of the Grand Druid Council,’ Maelageor wheedled. ‘Those who reign in the world of the Race of Men as Warlock High Priests.’

  ‘The grandfather is familiar to me,’ Lucifer murmured, studying the Codex. ‘He bears the “Warlock’s Mark”. He is a devoted servant of the Fallen.’ He smiled slowly in approval. ‘Pray continue, Maelageor.’

  ‘The host is with child, sire. Her second child. Eight weeks in the womb. A son. The infant will be exchanged at birth with your own clone.’

  Six Dark Cabal Wizards entered through the ice doors, bearing a black sarcophagus on their shoulders. They set it down on the altar before the throne.

  Lucifer nodded. Slowly, Maelageor opened the casket. In the very centre lay a single vial of. Lucifer circled the casket, staring at the vial.

  ‘There is no time to lose, Your Excellency,’ Maelageor continued. ‘In anticipation of your sanction of the chosen family, we have re-engineered the DNA of your genome to correspond precisely with the projected birth date of the human infant. The DNA reconstructor has already been activated. The genome must be transported to the world of the Race of Men by one you trust. Without delay.’

  ‘You have excelled yourself as always, Maelageor.’

  Lucifer raised his sceptre.

  ‘Charsoc. You will deliver the genome to earth. Instruct the occultic time sorcerers to prepare for the unleashing of the time whirlwinds of the Eastern Vortex!’ he commanded.

  The Grand Wizard of Phaegos stepped forward, trembling.

  ‘Your Majesty.’ He bowed, his two chins scraping the floor. ‘One hundred moons waxing and waning must pass before the whirlwinds of the Eastern Vortex are unleashed. And another three full moons before the Time Gates of the Eastern Vortex pass by the Second Heaven and open into the World of the Race of Men. Time is against us. The genome must be delivered in the dimension of matter now.’

  He took two steps backwards.

  ‘And by one of our own in human form.’

  ‘Human form? Impossible, Phaegos!’ Charsoc exclaimed. ‘Golgotha changed the conditions of our sojourning in the Race of Men. His Majesty alone, as Archangel, retains the ability to reside in human form and then only through the Time Gates. We – the Fallen – are forbidden!’

  ‘The genome is set to the human growth cycle, Charsoc. It must be delivered in the dimension of matter by one of our own in matter. In human form. There is no other way.’

  Lucifer stepped towards Phaegos.

  ‘Find a way, Phaegos.’

  ‘But the Time Gates . . . it is impossible, sire.’

  Maelageor grasped Phaegos’s trembling arm. Phaegos winced in agony.

  ‘What my brother means – ’ He raised his sunken features to Phaegos and gave him a dark glare. ‘ – is that there is another way, for us to enter the Race of Men in human form. One moon from now.’

  ‘What means, Maelageor?’ Lucifer hissed.

  A smile flickered on Maelageor’s thin black lips. ‘We enter by the Ascending Stairs.’

  A horrified silence fell throughout the throne room.

  Lucifer stared at Maelageor, a strange wonder on his features.

  ‘The Portals of the Fallen . . . ’ he uttered. ‘They are force fields.Each has its own inter-dimensional threshold . . . ’

  Maelageor nodded. ‘The force fields are DNA reconstructors. They are our only way of entering the Race of Men in human form.’

  Marduk, Lucifer’s chief-of-staff, approached them, his eyes yellow. He bowed and kissed Lucifer’s black onyx ring.

  ‘My Liege Lord.The traversing of the Portals by the Fallen into the land of the Race of Men is not only forbidden, it is impossible. All eight Portals of the Fallen were permanently sealed after the defeat at Golgotha. There is no way in from the Second Heaven to the earth’s atmosphere.’

  ‘There is one.’ Charsoc exchanged a glance with Maelageor. ‘One Portal that is more vulnerable, its force field between the Land of Men and the Second Heaven ruptured. Torn.’

  Lucifer sat on his throne, stroking the ice-wulf’s coarse white fur. ‘The Angelic Portal that was torn in the Tower of Babel-Nephilim fiasco,’ he murmured. A faint smile flickered on his lips. ‘The Portal of Shinar.’

  ‘Your Excellency, with all due veneration and respect,’ Marduk whined, wringing his lizard-like fingers. ‘It is forbidden.’

  ‘It is forbidden, Marduk, but it is possible.Nimrod and the Nephilim, incited by our demonic hordes, were well advanced in their plans to traverse the Shinar force field from the Land of Men into the Second Heaven.’ Lucifer’s expression darkened. ‘Then Gabriel and his Revelators sent word to the High Council. Yehovah confused their languages by day. By night Michael and his armies overthrew our battalions, took control of Shinar and sealed the Portal.’

  He flinched at the memory of his defeat. ‘The inter-dimensional force field was permanently ruptured in the battle. If we could control the Portal we could reverse the restructuring process and enter through the fissure in the force field.’

  ‘It has been sealed fast by Michael’s warriors in the Second Heaven these twenty millennia since Babel,’ said Charsoc, pacing the nave. An evil fire flickered in his irisless eyes. ‘Mulabalah, to what extent is it protected all these millennia later?’

  Mulabalah, ruler of the Black Murmurers, Charsoc’s spies, rose to his feet, a sinister dark figure in the centre of the Whispering Gallery.The incessant mumbling of the Murmurers fell to a hushed drone.

  ‘Sire. In our traversing of the time corridors, the Vulture Shaman Scouts have frequented the time lock between the Portal of Shinar and Gehenna. From the time of the uprising of the Nephilim and the Race of Men at Babel, it was defended unremittingly with a thousand of the First Heaven’s strongest battalions.’ Mulabalah hesitated. ‘And the White Winged Lions,’ he said, ominously.

  A ripple of horror ran through the Whispering Gallery.

  ‘These past millennia, however, Prince Michael reassigned the armies from Babylonia to Jerusalem, sire.’ He hesitated, trembling. ‘In 1947–’

  ‘Nineteen forty-seven!’ Lucifer hissed. ‘Jerusalem. Ashdod was defeated by Michael.’

  ‘But today only Zalialiel and a battalion of two hundred guard the gates,’ Mulabalah reported.

  ‘You are certain of this?’

  ‘It is corroborated by Darsoc and by the Vulture Shaman Scouts, sire. I am certain.’

  Marduk rubbed his pock-marked chin in agitation.

  ‘Your M
ajesty. It is my solemn duty as Chief of Staff and Legal Counsel to bring to your attention that the Tenets of Eternal Law as pertaining to the Portal of Shinar carry dire consequences to us, the Fallen, if they are broken.’ Marduk lifted his hood, his sallow features clearly visible. ‘Dire consequences.’

  ‘I am well versed in Eternal Law, Marduk. The penalty is not expressly spelt out in the tenets,’ Charsoc hissed. ‘It is nebulous at best.’

  Marduk stared coldly at Charsoc. ‘I warn you, Charsoc, do not be deluded. My sources reveal that an addendum has been added, by decree of Yehovah to Jether of the High Council, in order to protect the Race of Men from the Fallen. The rumours are that the severest of penalties will befall those of the Fallen who violate the tenets.’

  ‘Jether and his rumours!’ Charsoc hissed.

  Maelageor shook his two shrunken heads. ‘The genome,’ he said. ‘We run out of time, Your Excellency.’

  Lucifer strode up the steps towards the Whispering Gallery. The Black Murmurers fell prostrate.

  ‘The Portal of Shinar is our only means of getting the genome into the Race of Men in time. The plan must be activated without delay! We must get the Portal back under our control long enough to get Charsoc and the Vial of Sacred Progeny through.’

  Lucifer stared down a hundred feet towards Marduk and Charsoc.

  ‘Charsoc, you will leave at once for the Portal of Shinar. I have entered their world in past aeons as a priest of high standing. You, Charsoc, shall arrive in the world of the Race of Men as my emissary. In human form. You will convey to the Council of Thirteen my choice of the family. Ensure that every part of our strategy is executed with ultimate precision. We can afford no human error. When the plan is set, at the appointed time of my son’s exchange, I myself shall enter the World of Men through the Time Gates. Astaroth! Escort Charsoc without delay.’

  He raised his sceptre.

  ‘Instruct Sargon the Terrible – the great Prince of Babylonia – and his hordes to meet you at the Portal and to hold it until Charsoc is through. By the time my brother Michael realizes our diabolical strategy it will be too late. Zalialiel and his guard will be overrun.’

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