The first three chapters can be read HERE. Chapters 4, 5, and 6 can be read HERE. Normally, I would do a recap of what was written in those chapters. But, because of the feedback I received, I will, instead, present a synopsis of the plot so far.
At the creation of things and men, the Angels saw (and took) the opportunity to make a power play, and cast Demons as the bad guys (tricking humans into naming The First, a demon, as disobeying HE That Was (God’s) edict about staying away from The Garden and Humans).
Demons and humans were both exiled. Demons were cursed to only feed on the (souls, entities, memories, etc) of corrupt men, making it seem as if demons corrupted men to feed on them. In actuality, it was the stories weaved by Angels which corrupt men. They do so by using guilt induced by religious beliefs. Angels were too successful with that; religion partially corrupts the pious as well. The feeding itself, for both Angels and Demons, is not to much stealing, but as absorbing people’s memories/thoughts/emotions.
There are unbelievers, and their unbelief removes them as candidates for feeding. The Angels are waging war on the unbelievers, both by direct and indirect action. The man who is Shadow (named after he became so) is an unbeliever who lost his family to an Angel. The First is summoned to the unbeliever as the man grieves the loss of his wife and kids. The man’s anger feeds the energy/power to such a level the First sees an opportunity to perhaps have a powerful ally to challenge the Angels.
The First undertakes the process of “creating” a being which is both the essence/mind of the man, and a part of himself. In some ways, it parallels the idea of Christ being the same as god, and also the son of god. Peripherally, I justify the parallel using the interpretation that Iesous (greek for Jesus) was an archangel elevated above other angels (some readings of the bible can be interpreted as such).
The story picks up with The First pondering Shadow’s choice to enlist the help of men, and eschew the involvement of other demons.
The Fall of Angels (Chapters 7-9)
By E. J. D’Alise (Disperser)
Copyright December 2012, January 2013
Chapter Seven – Men Over Demons
The First stood alone. Shadow’s words echoed in his mind; “I must see to my men.” When the decision to challenge the Angels had evolved into a plan, The First had proposed calling the aid of demons and creatures of Smoke and Fire. Shadow had refused.
His reasons were peculiar to his nature. At heart, he was, after all, an unbeliever. He did not understand demons, even for being part one himself. Shadow did not voice the distrust, but The First understood; the motivation of demons, their commitment to the cause, would not match Shadow’s own.
No; his choice had been Humans. Humans he understood; their motivation, their fears, their weaknesses, their immense untapped strength when properly motivated.
“They are mortal! Angels will slay them on the spot!” The First strongly voiced his opposition. Not out of concern for humans, but out of concern for the success of the endeavor.
“No . . . they are merely helping. They will not challenge the Angels themselves. That is my task.”
The First again was confronted with the need to expand his grasp of Shadow’s power. To take on all Angels encounters required much more than even he, The First, could bring to bear for all but the briefest of time. Manipulating multiple threads of time and space was in the realm of gods . . . gods who ultimately were banished by the angels themselves.
The First wanted to believe, and indeed he caught glimpses of such power . . . but still feared. He feared both for the success of the endeavor, and for the aftermath.
Chapter Eight – The Men
Joe made his way up the poorly-lit street. There was a time when he might have worried about being out late at night; a time when fear of losing what was most dear to him fueled that fear, and made him cautious. Now . . . now not much mattered. His wife and unborn child had died in a freak accident. A buffalo. A buffalo on the way to slaughter managed to break free of the pen, and ran onto the two-lane road. The cement-truck driver reacted by instinct, swerving to avoid the animal . . . the truck flipped right atop the car driven by Joe’s wife. She died on the way to the hospital, taking her precious cargo with her.
There were few minutes of each day Joe did not re-live the fateful day.
Nearly home, he spied a figure standing at the entrance of his townhouse. Even in the light of the security light, he had a difficult time making out the person. He slowed, looking around. There were always more; there was no such thing as a lone gang member. Still, he could not see where others might have hidden.
The man’s voice was familiar . . . “Ed?” Joe struggled to see the features, but yes . . . it was.
They had met years ago at a Skeptics convention, and had formed a loose friendship based on other occasional meetings at conventions. Those trips had stopped when Joe lost his wife.
“Yes, it’s me. I have a few things to discuss with you.”
Once inside, they spoke at length . . . and like the others, Joe took some convincing. There was little argument to Shadow transforming, but despite the demonstration, there was resistance to believing Angels were responsible for his wife’s death, and even more resistance to joining in a conflict to wipe them out.
They sat opposite each other, still and quiet.
“It begins tonight.” Ed’s words were spoken as he rose. “I know you doubt, and I don’t want to ask for more than you are capable of, but I know you to be a strong person, and I know you have a stake in this.” Ed walked over to the counter, and picked up the pen and paper sitting there.
“If you change your mind, be at the parking lot of this address by nine.” Ed put the pen and paper down, and then dissolved into a few wisps of smoke, which themselves lingered but a few seconds before disappearing.
“Damn!” was all Joe could think to say. He looked at the clock. Eight o’clock. Joe stared at the clock, his mind working all sorts of angles and possibilities.
“Screw it!” He grabbed his coat, and headed for the door.
An hour later he stood in the shadowed corner of a parking lot with Ed and a few others, wondering what was about to happen. He watched the man he would later learn to be named Bill as he made his way to the car. Ed pointed out the semi-luminous form of the angel observing the man. Joe saw the motion the angel made when Bill went to start the car, and watched Bill open the hood. The next few seconds were a blur, and only later, when his mind parsed it all, did he realized what he saw.
Ed made a motion at the same time as the Angel’s own, and tendrils of smoke reached up from around Bill’s feet, and formed a barrier between Bill and the battery acid. Another tendril enveloped the engine compartment, and just as quickly disappeared. Even as Ed walked toward the Angel, Joe and the others rushed to Bill’s aid. Joe stopped, and looked back to see Ed now a dark shape holding the Angel’s arm.
And then, obscured from his view, something happened, and the Angel was no more. Bill had already left, and the others were walking back toward Ed. He joined them, his mind made up. They stood, waiting for Ed to instruct them.
“So it begins.” Ed’s tone contrasted with his current form.
“What can we do?” One of the two women in the group voiced the question in the mind of all. There was determination, but also fear in the woman’s voice.
“Your task is to delay Angels from doing more harm. Once you confirm the presence of an Angel, I will deal with it.”
Joe was about to ask the all important “How?” when swords appeared in front of each of them.
Chapter Nine – Sable Slayer
She drifted between time, in nospace. Her mind ran from the obsidian end-cap, accenting the pommel, down the luminescent black diamond grip, and stopped at the cross-guard. The two bones forming the cross-guard fused around the rain guard and the double-fuller blade. The bones were from the first god she had killed. True, it had been a minor god, but it cemented her legend both in the minds of men, and in that of her peers. She continued along the strong of the blade, the fuller giving way to the riser . . . there, at the transition . . . a flaw on the edge, before continuing to the point.
A thousand years she had fought alongside humans, even as she watched their corruption take form in their minds. Fewer and fewer were worthy to carry her and her sisters. Some of her kin no longer trusted men, and began only allowing human women to wield them in battle. Legendary, were the few women warriors who dotted human history.
Her last battle pitted Sable Slayer against another who would be god. The hand that wielded her faltered, lacking the determination and fearlessness to counteract the brute force of the attacker’s sword. A common sword at that, lacking a will, devoid of honor . . . but swung with the greed for power.
At the moment of impact, the man wielding Sable Slayer let go of her, leaving her momentarily weakened. The other blade chipped her edge, leaving a reminder humans were no longer worthy, no longer to be trusted.
One of the last to do so, she left time, and joined her many sisters in nospace. Each lived on the memories of ages past, when their glory counted for something.
She was about to relive one of the more epic battles when something reached out to her.
“I am Shadow. Will you join me in a battle?”
~ ~To be continued~ ~
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. . . my FP ward . . . chieken shit.