Lucifer stood alone at the edge of a balcony, overlooking the rest of the heavenly realm- an endless expanse of radiant light and ivory clouds. Behind him, within the City of Heaven, were statues of finest marble and walkways of shining gold. "It's perfect... all of this is perfect..." he thought to himself. "...and yet, it's so mundane..."
Three figures walk down one of the golden walkways, a young male dressed in white and a female dressed in blue - between them is a large male dressed in a flowing robe of white with gold around the edges of the sleeves.
Lucifer slams his fists in frustration on the rail of the balcony. "Curse it all... this cannot possibly be perfection if it is mundane... what is it missing? What is Heaven missing?" After a few silent moments, Lucifer turns around, his glowing white and gold-lined robe unfurling and flowing behind him, and walks into the golden streets.
"I don't quite understand what you are saying.." the young male says.
"..I am saying, Deucalion - is that Creation is meaningless.." the tall male replies.
"how can you say such a thing? look around you! such beauty can not be meaningless!" the woman says.
"..very well.. tell me the purpose of this realm.." the tall man continues.
"it is our home, our blessing.." the young male responds.
"..and you?" the tall man asks, motioning to the woman.
"..it is the purpose of all things to be loved.. this realm is love.. we are love.." the woman replies.
"...you feel it too, Drifter?" Lucifer interrupts, referring to the tallest of the three angels. "This realm is supposed to be perfect... everyone says it is, the Trinity tells us that this is perfection, and that we are perfect... yet despite all of this beauty, it is, truly, imperfect... it is simply a mundane existence."
"liar!" the woman interupts, stepping up to Lucifer before she stops as Drifter reaches over and holds her shoulder.
"enough, Pyrrha - why don't you and Duecalion return to your studies?" Drifter notes.
"come along, Pyrrha.." Duecalion says, taking over as he guides her away - giving a look to Drifter and Lucifer, being more mindful of his rank.
As the two angels leave Drifter shrugs slightly to Lucifer, "..children, what can you do? in answer to your question.. I don't just feel it.. I have witnessed proof.. come with me.. I wish to show you something..".
"...I didn't think that there would be another higher-up who shared my opinion." Lucifer said, following Drifter.
Drifter leads Lucifer to a golden device resembling an elevator - as soon as both archangels have entered the device rises to a tower: heavy doors open to allow access before closing again.
"..few have been granted the task of observing the world beyond this.. those who do tend to stay blind.." Drifter replies, walking towards a small table, on top of the table is a single flower encased in glass.
"...I've seen the world beyond this realm." Lucifer said, taking a seat. "It is... intriguing, I must say. Dark. Chaotic. Nothing at all like our realm."
Drifter lifts the glass and shows the flower to Lucifer, several petals fall from it's withered form "..this flower was perfect once.. it's beauty rivalled even this realm.. so beautiful was it that I had to take it with me.. yet now several days have passed and I have watched as it's beauty fades away.. what meaning is there in a world where such things wither and die?".
"...but by the same side of the coin, what meaning is there in a perfect realm such as this, where things don't age, where everything remains the same, where existence is mundane and there is nothing to strive for?" Lucifer asks. "This means... both Heaven and Earth, and the formless void of space... they hold no meaning. No purpose."
Drifter nods "..exactly - even love is meaningless.. in fact I wager I can make and break love as easily as a child learns to talk..".
"...will you actually attempt that?" Lucifer asks. "...for if you will, I will help you. It will be our experiment; our proof that there is no meaning in this existence."
"..I do not attempt, Lucifer.. I succeed.." Drifter replies, placing the flower back on the table.
Lucifer regards Drifter for a moment. "His kind... is the kind of being that we need. The kind who realizes that this existence... is corrupt." he thinks to himself. Lucifer then turns around, walking over to a window, and looks out. "Tell me," he says, "what would you do if you controlled the universe?"
Drifter simply looks to the flower some more as he comments, "..how can you control what isn't there? ..the universe is a lie.. our moments of happiness fleeting at best.. for a long time we have sought refuge in love as the one thing that will always remain.. today I shall prove that even love is a lie..".
Drifter then walks over to a window and looks out, seeing Duecalion and Pyrrha studying nearby - his face remains largely without emotion as he says "..and I believe I have found the perfect volunteers..".
"That was precisely the answer I was looking for." Lucifer said. "The Trinity exists by creating an illusion of control, backed by sentiments of love and perfection... However, if I were to take charge, I would create an existence with purpose. An existence with meaning. An existence without meaningless things such as love, life, or perfection... The paradox is that perfection itself is imperfect.
Drifter simply nods "..do as you will, Lucifer - I will not act against you.. in turn I trust you will not interfere with my own experiment - which I will begin at once.." - with that he transforms into a young male with radiant golden skin and wings, resembling in many ways a classical representation of Cupid.
"You have my word." Lucifer responds. "We shall leave each other to our own pursuits."
Drifter nods once again as he moves towards the exit "..remember this, Lucifer - we are made of fire and smoke.. of things that never die.. yet were never truly alive to begin with.. we are taught that this is Heaven yet we are stuck in Limbo.. singing praise to a Creation that was never born..".
"...our reality is based on perception; there is no such thing as truth. But once I take control of existence, I will create truth. I will create purpose, and meaning."
Kiss Of Judas
Drifter proceeds to move down into the streets in the guise of the radiant Cherub, heading towards Duecalion and Pyrrha - as he approaches he smiles brightly and extends a hand to Pyrrha, offering her a sweet apple.
"..a fruit for the lady?" he says in an inviting manner.
"oh! thank you kind sir!" Pyrrha smiles, taking the apple and biting down.
"hail, stranger! how are you this fine day?" Duecalion says, giving a friendly wave and smile.
"busy, I assure you - yet never too busy to drop by and share a few kind words with friends" Drifter replies.
"then come, sit! we have much to discuss!" Duecalion says, patting the ground nearby.
"yes, please! sit!" Pyrrha smiles, taking another bite from the apple.
"well, if you insist.." Drifter says, sitting down.
"it is the least we can do, we were just talking about free will.. weren't we, Duecalion?" Pyrrha says.
"indeed, tell me stranger - what is your opinion on free will?" Duecalion asks.
"free will is our gift, without it we are nothing.." Drifter replies.
"see? I told you!" Pyrrha grins, finishing the apple as she playfully sticks her tongue out at Duecalion.
"..hmmf.. I did not question it's importance, Pyrrha.. I merely questioned why it is necessary in a universe that is already perfect.." Duecalion replies.
"the universe is perfect because of free will, anyone with half a mind would see that!" Pyrrha says.
"well excuse me for raising a simple question!" Duecalion replies, crossing his arms slightly.
"..oh, please.. don't fight.. here, have a drink.." Drifter says, holding out a small chalice to Duecalion.
"..don't mind if I do.." Duecalion says, still a little annoyed as he takes the chalice without thinking and downs some of the sweet nectar within.
"you both raise valid points, you'd do well to look at one another more closely.. you'd be surprised what you could see.." Drifter noted, getting up as he heads away "..now, I must return to my work.. please.. try to think on what I said..".
Duecalion and Pyrrha watch the figure leave, then turn and look at one another - at once they begin to notice a physical attraction they had not felt before: the two angels at first repulsed as their hearts raced, yet minute by minute the feeling of revulsion changed to excitement.. then to something more..
From a short distance Drifter watches as Duecalion and Pyrrha slowly begin to get closer, edging towards a kiss - as the two near that longed for kiss Drifter reappears, this time in his usual form as the tall man.
"..I trust my two students have been hard at work in my abscence?" Drifter asks, not even reacting as the two angels jerk back suddenly in surprise and hurry to their feet.
"..y-yes.. sir.. we were just discussing.. free will.." Duecalion replies.
"I see.. and what have you learned?" Drifter continues, moving over and subtly moving between the two as he motions for them to walk - taking little notice of the way Duecalion and Pyrrha look over his shoulders, as if longing to be together yet barred by his presence.
"..that.. free will is a gift.." Pyrrha replies, obviously distracted.
Drifter smiles a little and moves an arm around Pyrrha, the gesture at first startles Pyrrha but she soon starts to accept it - in her fragile state she seems to react to the touch - however Duecalion noticably frowns upon seeing this, giving a quick glance to Drifter.
"good girl" Drifter says, keeping his eyes straight in front of himself as the trio come to a stop outside Drifter's abode "..well, I must retire for the night.. I shall leave you two to further studies..".
"..you're leaving?" Pyrrha asks, Drifter's arm removing itself and she takes a step forward - her emotions beginnng to spiral out of control as she sees physical attraction in Drifter much as she had Duecalion: yet she was at a loss at why she was feeling such things.
"for now.. unless you wish for me to stay?" Drifter begins.
"no, sir.. please.. you have important tasks to attend to" Duecalion interupts, moving himself between Drifter and Pyrrha.
"you are right, Duecalion - I shall see you tomorrow.." Drifter says, turning to enter the elevator-like device and vanishing into his abode.
Duecalion turns towards Pyrrha once Drifter has left with anger in his eyes "..he isn't good enough for you".
"how dare you! he is our mentor!" Pyrrha replies.
"he is no mentor of mine! now come, we have much to do.." Duecalion begins, grabbing Pyrrha by the arm only for her to forcibly reject him.
"..much to do? like what? more lessons? more lectures?" Pyrrha spits.
"you know fine well that's not what I meant! I.. I need you Pyrrha.. I can feel it.. don't say you can't feel it too.. we need to be together.. right here.. right now.." Duecalion says, his heart beating so fast it scares him - looking at Pyrrha he can feel passion overriding his senses as he craves her more with each passing second.
"..Duecalion.. I can't.. I.. I.." Pyrrha replies, tears beginning to fill her eyes - completely overwhelmed by her emotions now, unable to make sense of the world "..I don't know what to do.. am I cursed? ..please.. just leave me alone..".
Duecalion grows angry once more and begins to advance on Pyrrha but upon seeing her crying form he flees the scene, unable to see her suffering - afraid of himself and the emotions flooding through his entire being.
Pyrrha ultimately ends up falling to her knees, weeping bitterly - high above, hidden from view, Drifter observes from the window - then disappears inside..
Whisper of the Serpent
For a good few hours Pyrrha remains a lone, weeping bitter tears as her mind floods with thoughts - eventually she feels a familar hand rest upon her shoulder as Drifter kneels down behind her:
"..do not weep, my child.." he whispers, leaning close to her - his words echoing in her ears as she leans back.
"..please.. help me.." Pyrrha whispers, tears still rolling down her face.
"..of course, of course.." he replies, his voice comforting as he spreads his wings.
Pyrrha cries a little before she closes her eyes and kisses Drifter, embracing him as she gives into her emotions - unable to fight anymore, as she does so she feels as if she has been liberated from heavy chains.
The two embrace for a few minutes before Duecalion returns, visibly shaking as he returned - unable to contain himself.. his mind plagued with visions of Pyrrha's beauty.. he had to make her his own.. make her understand.. yet his eyes grew wide upon seeing Drifter and Pyrrha embracing.
"..no.. no.." Duecalion says, his voice but a whisper as he stares in horror - the world seeming to shatter before his very eyes as everything seemed to suddenly break away.
"NO!" Duecalion yells, his eyes suddenly ablaze with fury as he flew over and wrestled Pyrrha from Drifter's arms - delivering a vicious blow to Drifter's face with a clenched fist.
"Duecalion!" Pyrrha exclaims, grabbing his arm only to be shoved back violently.
"stay out of this!" Duecalion spits, his face contorted in a horrific mix of rage and pain - aiming another punch at Drifter, who stumbles onto his knees, clutching his face.
"STOP!" Pyrrha screams out, throwing herself at Duecalion - beating at him in a panick.
"ARGH!" Duecalion roars, striking Pyrrha with great force - his eyes growing wide as she falls back and hits her head against the edge of a nearby marble statue, her struggle instantly stopping as a streak of red blood covers the marble and the skies above grow dark and stormy.
"..Duecalion.. what have you done?" Drifter says, rising to his feet.
"..no.. I didn't.. I couldn't.. you.. you did this!" Duecalion gasps, flying at Drifter again only to find his clenched fist stopped as Drifter grabs it in one of his hands and clamps down tightly.
"..what have you done?" Drifter repeats, the storm seeming to grow as if God's wrath was already upon them..
A radiant angel descends from the storm clouds- recognizeable as the angel Gabriel, one of the higher-ups among the Cherubim. "What is the meaning of this?" Gabriel's voice booms.
Drifter keeps Duecalion's fist held tight as he watches Gabriel descend, managing to keep his face free of emotion as he motions towards the lifeless Pyrrha "..I tried to stop him.. yet he would not listen..".
Drifter releases Duecalion's fist after saying this, which instantly causes Duecalion to lunge at the Throne in a rage "liar! LIAR!" he yells.
Yet before he can reach Drifter, Duecalion feels a force pulling him back and holding him in place. Gabriel lands on the ground and walks toward him. "This is unacceptable." he says.
From the surrounding streets and buildings, curious angels were emerging to catch a glimpse of the commotion.
Drifter speaks to Gabriel "..please, do not judge Duecalion harshly.. it is my fault.. as his mentor I should never of allowed this to occur.." - he moves over to Pyrrha and kneels down, stroking her face slightly "..my poor Pyrrha..".
"get away from her!" Duecalion yells out, trying to lash out even as he finds himself held in place - anger in his eyes.
Drifter stands up once more and backs away from Pyrrha, "..I fear he's gone mad, Gabriel.. what am I to do?" he says, as if pleading with the Cherub.
"...We will have to hold trial..." Gabriel responds. "Something like this... has never happened before." he lifts the limp body of Pyrrha in his arms, and turns around, after giving Drifter a quick stern glance, as if he suspected him...
Five other archangels arrived on the scene, confronting Deucalion and Drifter. "Come with us." one of them said.
Drifter gives Gabriel a dark look, "..as you wish, Gabriel" - he then looks at the other archangels and walks along "..be gentle, I bruise easily.." he says, almost taunting them with dry humor.
"you are all fools! Drifter is a traitor! a traitor to us all!" Duecalion spits, still in a rage.
"We don't want to force you, but we will if we have to." the archangel says. "Please, come with us."
"so much for free will!" Duecalion growls.
"..you forfeited that free will when you attacked poor Pyrrha.." Drifter notes.
"YOU!" Duecalion roars, once again lunging at Drifter - at this point it doesn't take the intellect of an archangel to realize Duecalion will not be coming quietly.
One of the archangels steps forth, placing his fingertips on Duecalion's back and sending a shock up his body that makes him go limp. The archangel lifts the body.
"...He'll wake up in a few hours." he says. "Let's go."
As they leave the scene, Gabriel stands there, watching. "...That Drifter... is suspicious..." he thinks to himself, before taking off and flying deeper into the city.
(I think we need to start a new chapter here, Voice) (So sayeth the Arbiter) 05:25, October 23, 2011 (UTC)
Trials and Tribulation
Just before Lucifer could leave the throne room of God, Gabriel flew by, landing and kneeling before the throne of God. "My Lord." Gabriel said. "I bear distressing news..."
Lucifer turned around. He just had to hear this news...
Under orders from Gabriel, Drifter and Deucalion have been placed in a room with guards inside and out.
Drifter sits with his eyes closed, as if in deep meditation - Deucalion on the other hand paces back and forth.
The door swings open; Gabriel walks in, accompanied by two archangels. "It's time." he says.
(Voice, feel free to take command for a little bit- even in that means controlling Gabriel- I'm going to work on Lucifer's part some more, and I honestly have no idea how the layout of this trial is going to work.)
Drifter and Duecalion stand to attention and wait as they are flanked at either side by angelic guards, who guide the pair across a golden path that leads to a structure that resembles a giant golden dome.
Gabriel moves to the entrance of the dome, which is guarded by two gigantic figures bearing flaming swords - the swords acting as a barrier that breaks apart as the figure move on command: allowing access to the dome.
Once inside the dome Drifter and Duecalion are greeted to the sight of a giant theater divided into seven tiers, sitting on each tier are angels of varied rank - from the lowest to the highest.
Gabriel leads Drifter and Duecalion to the stage area, the guards continuing to flank them either side as a single pillar made of white marble manifests in the centre of the stage: laying atop the pillar is the lifeless form of Pyrrha, a ray of light shining down upon the pillar and illuminating her form.
God himself sits high above the tiers, on a platform overlooking the entire stage. At his right and left sat the four Seraphim, with Lucifer sitting on the far left.
Drifter and Duecalion remain in place as the guards motion, without question they both extend their hands and golden chains are clamped down - after which the guards step down from the stage as everyone looks up.
As if in response to the gesture a radiant figure descends from above, far larger than the other angels and having three heads - one is that of a lion, the other is of an ox and the final is of a lamb: each positioned in such a way that only one head faces the audience at a time, each head surrounded in an aura of flame as bright as the sun yet somehow one is able to gaze into the flame without burning one's eyes.
As the gigantic creature lands on the stage it is apparent it has the paws of a wolf and six magnificent wings, each as white as newly formed snow.
The angels on each tier grow silent; God and his Seraphim sit still, unmoving, though Lucifer keeps his eyes on Drifter.
The gigantic creature bows before God before it spins its heads to reveal the lamb, a voice speaks out "..I am Justice.." - the head spins, revealing the ox "..I am Vengeance.." - the head spins, revealing the lion "..I am Law..".
The gigantic creature continues in this pattern: "..I seek the truth" says the Lamb "..I seek out the sinner.." the Ox declares "..I punish the transgressor as my Lord sees fit.." the Lion finishes.
"..now be still.." says the Lamb "..and be silent.." continues the Ox "..for the Lord shall pass His judgement.." the Lion finishes.
As this speech ends Duecalion looks aghast, Drifter however remains dignified - as if knowing the inevitable and accepting it.
The Seraphim on God's far right- Helios- stands. "Deucalion, you have been charged with the slaughter of the Angel Phyrra..." he says, speaking loudly enough for everyone in the theatre to hear. "What have you to say about this?"
"I say you are blind and a fool to listen to Drifter's lies!" Deucalion exclaims.
The gigantic creature suddenly turns to Deucalion, "..be mindful of your tongue.." says the Lamb "..least it's power be removed.." the Ox continues "..in the presence of our Lord.." the Lion finishes.
Deucalion bows his head, as he does so the gigantic beast rests once more - nodding towards God.
God, however, sits still and motionless, staring down at Deucalion and Drifter with a sad, yet inscrutable expression. Helios once more takes charge.
"...What could possibly motivate Drifter to lie?" he asks.
"ask him yourself! ask him why he had Phyrra in his arms!" Deucalion replies, anger still in his voice - at this point even the gigantic beast seems to give up slightly on trying to discipline Deucalion: the creature actually leaning back slightly as it simply lets the fiery young angel let out his frustration.
"That is enough." Polyphymnia speaks out. "Drifter. Tell us what you have to say about this... situation..."
"Phyrra was in distress, I comforted her.. in a jealous rage Deucalion attacked me.. Phyrra came to my aid - yet Deucalion was unable to see reason.. he struck her and in his rage he sent her to her death.." Drifter replies.
"...Do you deny this, Deucalion?" Polyphymnia asks.
"..no.." Deucalion says, bowing his head - however the gigantic beast suddenly leans forward: looking towards God as if requesting permission to speak: the look in its eye says it all.. the creature has sensed something wrong in this story.. even Drifter momentarily flinches, ever so slightly.
God gives a nod to the beast.
"..why does an angel crave matters of the flesh?" the Lamb asks "..when they are of the Kingdom of God?" the Ox continues "..unless they have tasted the fruit of the earth.." the Lion finishes.
There is murmuring amongst the crowds of angels; the Seraphim (save Lucifer) look shocked, and yet, God's face is still passive, as if he knew...
"...Do you suspect something, Tribunal?" Polyphymnia asks, addressing the beast.
"...Only a higher angel could've given them fruit of the earth." Helios responds instead. "Angels within the lower sphere do not leave heaven."
More murmurs amongst the crowds.
"..Drifter has been entrusted with the fruit of the earth.." the Lamb states "..as do all Thrones.." the Ox continues "..yet our Lord forbade the passing of such fruit to the Lower Spheres.." the Lion finishes.
Drifter shifts slightly, Deucalion thinks for a moment then yells out "the golden cherub with the apple and the drink - it was you! traitor!".
Tribunal once again rises to its feet, this time addressing the entire room "..Deucalion drank of the nectar of Heaven.." the Lamb states "..Pyrrha ate of the fruit of the earth.." the Ox continues "..when Heaven and Earth merge without Divine blessing only chaos can ensue.. for only the Lord has authority over both.." the Lion concludes.
The stands burst out in an uproar of chatter and shocked yelling, only for Helios to finally stand up and shout: "Silence!"
The chatter died away almost immediately.
Lucifer thought briefly about intervening. "Not now..." he thought to himself. "The time will come..."
"Do you deny this claim, Drifter?" Euphrosyne asks sternly.
Drifter suddenly begins to clap, slowly - a smile spreading over his face "..Pyrrha ate of the fruit of the earth, yes.. and she tasted good!" he taunts.
Deucalion flies into a rage once again and Drifter responds with sardonic laughter, which echoes around the theatre.
"..corruptor of the innocent.." the Lamb states "..a wolf among the lambs.." the Ox continues "..woe betide the Kingdom of Heaven - for Satan walks amongst you.." the Lion declares, sure enough the skies begin to once again grow stormy.
Drifter laughs more at this, "..Satan? you call me Satan? oh poor deluded soul.. better to be Satan and open to the truth than to be as you, blind and crippled..".
Deucalion yells out "blasphemer!".
Drifter simply laughs more, "..where was your God when Pyrrha embraced me, Deucalion? where was love when she wept for hours as I watched? that is what free will is.. another lie in a meaningless universe.. governed by a mere illusion..".
Suddenly, hell broke loose; the angels in the stands raised angry shouts against Drifter, against Deucalion, against each other... even the Seraphim stood up in anger. Only two figures were calm in the commotion; God and Lucifer. Finally, Lucifer stands.
"This is ENOUGH!" Lucifer bellows. His form begins to crackle with energy as he floats up in the midst of the theater, higher than all other beings that were present. Deadly silence seems to overtake the stands.
"Drifter has just now proved something that I think has been in the very back of our minds for the longest time- what meaning is there in all of this perfection? All of this love? We have seen today that loves dies easily like a living organism of the Earth; It is transparent, an illusion! And if our existence is based on God's so-called 'love', then our existence itself is meaningless!" Lucifer turns to face God, whose face is still inexpressive, despite Lucifer's bitter words. "GOD! I DEFY YOU! I DEFY YOUR SO-CALLED LOVE! I WILL STAND AGAINST YOU AND CREATE AN EXISTENCE WITH PURPOSE, FREE FROM THE LIES OF LOVE AND PERFECTION!"
As he says this, lightning strikes from all around as a fierce wind picks up. Lucifer's form begins to become obscured with black mist, which changes his appearance- his wings become bat-like and dark, his eyes glow red, his once radiant robe turns blacker than ebony.
"...BLASPHEMOUS, TRAITOROUS WRETCH!" Helios bellows.
The gigantic beast suddenly lets out a long and terrible roar, its heads transform - the Lamb becomes a Goat, the Ox becomes a Donkey and the Lion becomes a Serpent "..beware the coming of Satan, for his rage shall be great and his time short.."
Drifter stops laughing as he smirks, breaking the golden chains holding him and walks over to Pyrrha's lifeless form: lifting her off the pillar as Deucalion charges forward: his chain also breaking.
"...Angels, to me!" Lucifer calls out. "Together, we will seize Heaven and create a new existence with meaning! Today, all of creation is ours! We will become the new God of this world!"
Numerous angels flew up from the stands; the crowd that chose to gather behind Lucifer suddenly found their own appearances changed in a similar way.
"Who is like God?!" challenged another archangel- Michael- who raised a sword high into the air. "Loyal angels, to me!" he called out. "We will show these arrogant traitors that there is no will greater than the Lord's!"
Drifter proceeds to embrace Pyrrha's form, his wings become smouldering and black - when he releases her Pyrrha is no longer angelic in form but has the lower half of a serpent and her wings are akin to that of a skeleton.
"..no.. no.." Deucalion says, falling to his knees.
"..she is mine now.." Drifter notes, spreading his wings as he calls out "..servants of Creation come to me, the universe is meaningless.. their is no reason.. no right.. no wrong.. we are but vagrants wandering an endless sea of darkness.. come with me..".
"...It's over, Drifter." Gabriel says, appearing on the scene with a small army of loyal archangels, who confront Drifter and his new followers.
"...The will of God is a lie!" Lucifer snarls, and his corrupted followers- swords appearing in hand- charge St. Michael's warriors.
Deucalion breaks down into tears, reaching over to Pyrrha "..Pyrrha.. forgive me.." he whispers, voice trembling as he looks upon her new form - still remembering her former beauty: of how they had spent many years laughing and playing together, how they had spent many nights studying and praising the wonders of the world around them.. how they had grown strong together.. his heart shattering as he realizes that he would never again feel her presence, never again hear her laugh.
"..God, why have you forsaken me?" Deucalion weeps, as he does so the feathers start to fall from his wings as Pyrrha stands over him in her new form and hisses deeply.
"..it hurts.. Deucalion.. it hurts.. why? why did you do this? ..it hurts.." she repeats continually, Deucalion clutching his ears in an effort to drown out his torment.
Drifter on the other hand simply looks to Gabriel and notes "..you can not save us all, Gabriel - that in itself proves that you are not perfect.. without perfection their is no Heaven.. I've already won..".
With that many angels fly at Gabriel and the archangels, Drifter's legion become twisted chimeras similar to Pyrrha with animal traits merging into their former angelic forms - hooves and talons replacing hands and feet while horns and antlers sprout out and their once perfect skin becomes covered in stinking fur and rotting scales.
"Ignorant, arrogant fool!" Gabriel responds as his archangels fly into battle. "God's law is the supreme truth of this universe! His law is perfect!"
"God's law is the only meaning required for this existence!" Michael yells aloud, charging at Lucifer.
"I am the new God!" Lucifer roars back, striking Michael with lightning, paralyzing him in midair.
Drifter forms a wall of fire as his form becomes akin to a living shadow that emits smouldering ash in its wake, his wings spreading outward as he says: "what universe? existence is a lie - we are but illusions.. I see your God and I say this: if you are truly God then consider me your first atheist..".
Michael manages to rebound the lightning at Lucifer, who merely deflects the bolt. "I will create existence! I will create truth! Do not interfere, Drifter!" he yells aloud. "Since love is a lie... that can only mean hatred is truth!" Lucifer grabs Michael by his throat and slams him on the marble floor of the temple.
Gabriel rushes through Drifter's flaming wall and attacks him head-on with a sword.
Drifter does not fight directly, instant several corrupted angels leap in front of him and battle Gabriel amidst the flaming backdrop - "..I told you, Lucifer, do as you will.. in turn I will do as I wish..".
Gabriel makes short work of the corrupt angels, striking them down with his sword. As Michael makes his way to attack Lucifer, he suddenly finds himself blocked by Lucifer's corrupted followers.
The gigantic beast lets out another roar as its voice echoes across the area, "..and the shadow of death shall befall them..".
Sure enough Drifter suddenly grows larger and larger as his shadowy form becomes akin to a pillar of living darkness, the legion of corrupted angels loyal to Drifter flying in a circle around it as wild winds rage and howls of anger and bitter tears echo within: the shadow and smoke soon beginning to erupt into flame as Drifter becomes in many ways a fiery embodiment of Hellfire.
Lucifer, having defeated Michael, throws his limp body aside and takes off. "Follow me, angels of darkness!" he calls out. "The throne of Heaven will fall tonight!" he takes off, followed by his warriors.
Gabriel vs. Drifter
Gabriel sends a crackling bolt of lightning at Drifter. "Yield!" he commands. "The power of the Lord will prevail!"
Drifter simply continues to rage, like a pillar of black, corrupted flame - the corrupted angels fly at Gabriel, their forms now bestial chimeras that are a mockery of Creation: amongst them is Pyrrha, now a monstrous being who has also grown greatly in size.
"let my legion be named: Echidna - Mother of Monsters.. Moloch - Father of Lies.. Mammon - King of Greed.. Belial - Prince of Sloth.. Invidia - Daughter of Envy.. Alecto - Sister of Spite.. Megaera - Sister of War.. Tisiphone - Sister of Death.. Pazuzu - Lord of Storms.. Skoll - Hound of Treachery.. Hati - Hound of Night.." Drifter declares as he finally emerges from the pillar of black flame: now a being of smoke and flame, his Celestial beauty now broken and charred.
Gabriel flies up into the air; his loyal angels regroup behind him. All of Heaven begins to tremble as a powerful storm erupts. Gabriel lifts his sword- lightning strikes it and it begins to glow and crackle with energy. He and his angels then swoop down like birds of prey upon Drifter and his monstrous minions with cries of "For Heaven!" and "The Lord's Will, be done!"
Drifter's newly named Generals attack with newfound power as the pillar of black flame unleashes its own storm, Drifter himself begins to sing a corrupted hymn that echoes across the skies:
"..Glory Glory to the Uncreated! Glory Glory to the Unknowable! Glory Glory to the Outcast! Glory to the Prince of Darkness!"
Drifter's legion soon follow in, chanting the verse over and over as they attack the angels.
By the midst of the battle, the entire theatre was nothing more than a crumbled ruin. The angels of God and the fiends of Drifter were locked in intense combat. Gabriel's form begins to glow like a white flame whose light seemed to pierce the darkness of the storm. He then swoops down and confronts Drifter, rushing at the pillar of black flame.
Drifter opened his mouth wide, unleashing swarms of black biting flies and locusts as Gabriel swooped down - yet as the pillar of black flame continued to defy the divine even Drifter knew his time was now short.. the fiends continuing to fight as Tribunal suddenly manifests nearby - having returned to its original state:
"..yet for all of Satan's power.." the Lamb says "..he is not yet complete.." the Ox continues "..and thus from Heaven he shall fall.." the Lion finishes.
Gabriel's loyal angels began to sing a hymn as Gabriel himself attacked Drifter, despite the pestilent insects:
"Holy God, we praise thy name... Lord of all, we bow before thee... all of Earth thy scepter claim... All in Heaven above adore thee... Infinite thy vast domain... Everlasting is thy reign..."
The words echo throughout Heaven as the battle rages on...
Drifter suddenly stops as he frowns, thinking on something - "..hmm.. yes.. of course.. something is missing.. the final piece of the puzzle.. could it be..? ..the Holy Trinity... the Unholy Trinity.. yes.. yet.. that means.."
Drifter suddenly seems to realize the truth: "..the time has not yet passed.. my children.. I have failed you.. yet.." - he looks to Gabriel with a grave expression - "..you have won nothing..".
"The corruption of innocence is indeed not a victory." Gabriel retorts. "...and your place is no longer in Heaven."
Drifter simply looks to Gabriel "..the corruption of man has yet to begin.. hear my words and take heed.. the missing part of the enemy lays within the hearts of men.. from the Shepherd's flock a wolf shall be born.. take this knowledge and let it fester.. for in the end you shall see.. my prophecy shall be fulfiled.."
Seraphim vs. Lucifer
Lucifer enters the throne room of God, backed by his followers, where he sees God himself, standing with his three loyal Seraphim.
"No words are needed." Helios said, stepping forth, pointing a sword at Lucifer. "You are a blasphemer and a traitor who will pay for your arrogance."
"So be it." Lucifer said, forming an ebony sword from thin air.
Helios and Lucifer lock blades while the other Seraphim charge at Lucifer's followers.