The first three chapters can be read HERE. Chapters 4, 5, and 6 can be read HERE. Chapters 7, 8, and 9 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).
Shadow is not comfortable with enlisting the aid of other demons, and instead recruits humans as helpers. The story of one human is recounted, and we are introduced to one of the sentient swords. Shadow wants to enlist the swords, to bring them back into the realm of men, to bond with humans as they once did, and help his recruits stave off the angels.
The story picks up with Shadow conversing with Sable Slayer.
The Fall of Angels (Chapters 10-12)
By E. J. D’Alise (Disperser)
Copyright December 2012, January 2013
Chapter Ten – The Sentient Sword
Sable reached out, sense and awareness seeking to confront the intruder . . . and quickly scaled back the conduit. So much power; she was tempted to accept whatever the conflict. She wanted to feel that conviction fueling her, running through her core, cutting a swath through the enemy’s lines.
No! She knew not what enemy, nor who would wield her. And yet . . . something familiar in the presence . . .
“You are part human.”
“I don’t know what I am. It may be a trace of what I once was remains . . . if so, it is but a shadow among shadows.” Shadow’s replied conveyed much more than he intended. Sable wondered if he understood her relationship to things, and humans in particular.
“Some shadows are troubling. I cannot fathom intent, and see little of their nature. I see human and demon, both clearly . . . the rest would have been called an abomination in different times and ancient places.” Sable cautiously took measure of the being. Much of what she saw burned with honor, integrity, focus, and other qualities which would make this . . . Shadow, a worthy wielder of her own will. But, the large part she could not see . . . that gave her pause.
“Perhaps I am an abomination . . . but to humans, so are demons. So are Angels. And to some humans, humans I’ve gathered for this battle, so are gods.” As Shadow spoke, he let his thoughts spread in this nospace, reaching other swords who were tuning in on the interaction between he and Sable.
“These humans could use the help of you and your sisters. I aim to protect the humans, but I will be spread far and wide, and they could use weapons to shield them from the light of Angels.” His words had barely finished echoing in their consciousness when a wave of anger swept through the now assembled swords. Shadow could sense thousands . . . as many as would be needed.
“Angels!” Sable voiced the disdain. “The corruptors! They altered human history, kept them from their greatness . . . we would welcome the chance to fight alongside humans, to help them once more travel the paths of honor. But . . . ”
Shadow finished for her. “. . . but you cannot be sure if they are worthy.” As he spoke, Shadow spread his awareness, making available his memories of the his recruitment efforts. Thousand of humans, spread through the continents, each prepared to face possible death with no promised reward other than a chance to be free, to regain control of their destiny. “I can tell you this . . . they will meet the Angels with or without you. With you,“ he continued, now addressing the assembled sentiences, “they stand a chance.”
Sable spoke for many. “I do not question the motivation and worthiness of the humans you recruited. I aim to understand your motivation. What is your goal with taking on the Angels?”
Shadow paused. “The Angels are but a stepping stone to what lays beyond.” His reply was clear . . .
“God.” If Sable would have been capable of speech, the word would have been a whisper.
“God.” Shadow was capable of speech, but in nospace words were not voiced. Instead, the word appeared in the consciousness of the swords as chilling nothingness.
Chapter Eleven – The Bonding
Back home, Joe looked at the sword standing on point in the middle of his den. When it had first appeared, the sword stood nearly as tall as he did. Now it was barely the length of his arm. Much thinner, too. It made it easier to conceal, but not much.
When he had first touched it, a link had formed. A link to someone . . . something named Lion Claw.
“You can call me Lena, if you prefer.”
“What?!” Joe jumped at the words forming in his mind. Unnerving it was, watching an immobile object, and having it read his thoughts.
“You’ve seen angels and demons, and a sentient sword startles you?”
Joe stared at the sword. “To be fair, the angels and demons startle me as well.” He could have ‘thought’ the reply, but it felt more comfortable to speak. “I’m just trying to figure out how I’m going to carry you.”
“I could carry myself, but that might be a bit conspicuous.”
“Point taken.” Joe thought for a moment. “How do you move about? For that matter, how do you hover like that?”
“I use The Force, Joe. A rock is no different than a spaceship. All are affected by The Force. It binds us all!”
“Ah, so we reached a limit of belief. Sentient swords, angels, and demons . . . yes. The Force . . . no. Good choice. That’s all . . . how do you say . . . bullcrap, you know. If there were such a thing, none of the Jedi would need to leave their sofa. They could just will stuff all over the universe.”
“You pulled that from my memory . . . the discussion with my friends at the comics convention.” Joe thought for a moment. “Are you aping my argument, or is that your own opinion?”
“Aping. Such a derogatory assumption, and insulting visual, as well.”
“Er . . . I didn’t . . . I mean, I wasn’t . . . “
“Relax, I’m just having some fun. But, there is one thing I pulled from that mess that might be of practical value. You might have noticed I am smaller. I can put most of me back into nospace, and leave only the hilt here until you need me. Then I can come back. Lightsaber, I believe you call it. I could work like that.”
For the first time in many months, Joe’s face beamed. “Really?!? That would be so . . . “ he caught himself before gushing out some idiotic, and probably arcane, expression. Instead he finished with “. . . convenient.”
Joe thoughts drifted to something that had been nagging at him. He was about to ask, when Lena answered.
“Angels have no sway on me. As long as you don’t panic, and trust in me, trust in our bond, I can shield you from their light. Depending on the levels of your conviction, courage, and confidence, we could even do some damage. We have no hope of destroying one; I can shield light, and can even bend some of it, but only Shadow can destroy it. But we can certainly keep one busy, and keep it from messing with others.”
“Why are you doing this?” This time Joe’s words came out before he could think of them.
“We were forged a long time ago, or perhaps a time hence, with one purpose.”
“A purpose?” Joe interrupted without meaning to. Joe had never believed in having a purpose beyond caring for the welfare of those he loved.
“Yes, a purpose . . . to bound to other beings, to no longer be alone.”
Joe sat silent. He thought of his life, the many ups and downs, the moments of incredible joy, and the moments of unbearable pain. All but the last unbearable pain had been shared with someone, and having lost that someone had left him lost. Lost to the world, and lost to himself.
The thought came unbidden to his mind . . . it is good to no longer be alone.
“Thank you . . . for understanding. Now, how about some basic sword fighting lessons?”
Chapter Twelve – Michael
Shadow had felt the call as he had been speaking to The First. Lion Claw . . . Lena and Joe, facing Michael. His awareness shifted to the location, and as his form solidified into that of a man, and he surveyed the scene before him.
A girl, early teens, probably a runaway, sat in a small alcove of the underpass. Joe, Lena shining brightly in his double-handed grip, faced the shimmering form of Michael. Michael wielding the double-edged sword of Truth and Justice. Or so it was named. Shadow knew otherwise.
While Shadow was still forming, Michael flew above and around Joe, and lunged at the girl. Lena met Michael’s sword, and forced it back. At the moment of impact some of Lena’s shine enveloped both Joe and the girl, and the counter blow was expertly delivered to deflect Michael’s sword away from the prone girl.
“Yo, Mike!” Even as he spoke, Shadow grew, and tendrils raced to form a barrier between Michael and the humans.
Michael’s form turned toward Shadow, and shone a bit brighter. “Ah . . . the man himself! Just as I had hoped.”
Lights appeared all around the group . . . thirty, maybe forty angels, each wielding a sword.
“Mickey, how unsporting of you.” Shadow settled in front of Joe and Lena, who were in turn in front of the girl. As for the girl, she was now as far back into the alcove as she could, her eyes wide open, but unseeing. She was in shock.
“But, I appreciate you bringing so many . . . it saves me the effort of hunting them down one at a time. It’s been difficult finding them since they keep between time.” As he spoke, Shadow quickly surveyed the small army that would tackle him into submission. He was not among them. Shadow did not know his name, but if he saw him, he would recognize the angel who took all from him, and did so laughing.
“When we are done with you, we will make short work of the humans and their puny Sword Maiden. You should not send someone so young out on their own.” Michael’s form grew to match shadow’s, and the other angels drew closer. Lena’s shine brightened at the words, and Joe’s features darkened. It made for quite a contrast.
“I have half a mind to let them at you,” Shadow split into multiple swirling figures that spread to face the angels,”but I promised someone else I would give her a chance to face you again. You, and your vulgar sword.” As he spoke, one of Shadow’s tendrils formed into the semblance of an arm and hand, and as the hand closed into a fist, Sable Slayer appeared within it. She was as dark as shadow, except for a bright glow dancing along her double edges.
At the sight, Michael’s form retreated. “Get them!” Michael’s yell was like thunder in the confines of the underpass, and as he yelled, he began to dissipate.
~ ~To be continued~ ~
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. . . my FP ward . . . chieken shit.