A few eons after the birth of the universe as we know it, on a planet far from prying eyes:
“You can’t be serious!”
“Do you have a better plan?”
There was a moment of silence as the two angels stared at each other unable to come up with something, anything that would not end in exile.
“No,” he sighed.
“It is the only way,” the second repeated, his own voice showing how much he disliked the idea. At least that was one thing they agreed on.
“When are they supposed to come for us?” the first asked sitting heavily on a nearby chair, absently playing with the gold band that circled the third finger on his right hand. The exact same band that his brother wore.
“Soon,” the second answered as he paced, one hand on his hip the other rubbing his chin thoughtfully. “No matter what they do to us, we must keep our silence or we will never find her.”
“There is only one way this will end and he will never believe we did not betray him,” the second reminded grimly.
“It is not him I am worried about,” the first confessed quietly, finally stopping his pacing to look his brother in the eyes.
There did not have to be words spoken between them to know what the other was thinking. If they did this, the one woman they had been guarding with their lives since the beginning of their existence, that held far more than their hearts, along with her mate might be lost forever to them.
“If we do this and the Unspoken One finds her first,” the second frowned, “we will not be there to defend her.”
“Or he may not be able to find her. More times than not it is us he comes for knowing our hands will be tied as to what we can do to protect her. We are not only her strength but her weakness. If we do this, become Fallen, we can come at him without worry of consequence.”
The second stood, his anger and fear mixing into one emotion. “But is it worth the cost? The entire universe could unravel and then chaos will reign, which is exactly what he wants.” The angel hesitated, imploring his brother to see reason. Then he spoke what he knew they both feared the most, his eyes filled with anguish. “I can’t lose the part of her I do have. Can you?”
The first stared at his brother, his own fear filling his eyes.
“No, but if we are to find her, save her in time, it is our only choice.”
* * *
Six cycles of our earth around its sun later:
Blood covered the once white walls and floors. An angel hung limp from his chains in the middle of the room. Another hung against the wall his eyes on his brother, worried. They had done so much more to him to get them to talk, and he was afraid it had been too much. Yet they stayed quiet. Even though their tormentors had left, they both knew the walls had ears and they stayed quiet.
A low chuckle filled the air, instantly cooling it. The angel in the middle of the room stirred at the sound, his swollen eyes opening slowly. That voice. How is he here? the angel thought.
“Do you really think you can save her this way?” the voice hissed through the air.
Both angels looked towards the sound. A darkness began to grow, filling the blood soaked wall until it spanned from floor to ceiling, well over twelve feet tall. Then the last being they ever thought to see in the heavens stepped into the light. Another would recoil at the sight before them, but they had had too many dealings with this…creature to be afraid. Even in their weakened state.
“You do not belong here,” the angel chained to the wall snarled.
“I belong where I chose, and lucky you I chose here,” the creature smiled. The straight white teeth, shoulder length black hair, designer clothes that fit his well-defined body and GQ features, did not match the ugliness and hatred that surrounded him or the evil in his black eyes. “I will say, though, I did not think the two of you had it in you. To give up that which is everything in order to try and save her. Such…idiocy,” he finished in disgust.
The creature stopped in front of the angel hanging in the middle of the room.
“You will never win,” the angel rasped his eyes blazing with hatred.
“But I already have,” the creature smiled sweetly. “And you two have made it so easy. You who are her strength, her heart, her weakness. Without you she will be vulnerable and when I find her, she will once again be mine. However, just to make sure you do not interfere again.”
Reaching up he took a hold of the right wrist of the angel in front of him. With the other hand he slowly reached towards the finger that held the simple gold band. The angel struggled to get free, but he was bound and weak and no match for the creature in front of him. Without much effort at all, the creature pulled the ring off, the blood making the skin slick.
“That is not yours to take!” the angel against the wall snarled, his chains rattling as he strained against them.
“No, I suppose not, but without this you will not be able to see her even though she stands before you,” the creature mused as he studied the gold band. Such a simple trinket that held so much power. Power over the angel it was given to. His eyes moved to the angel in front of him who hung frozen in his chains, eyes blazing with hatred. “There will be a time when you will lose all hope and you will call me. Then you too shall be mine and you will bring her to me.”
“Never!” the angel growled.
“Never say never, my friend. It is a long time, and time has a way of eroding what was once grand and noble into dust.” Slipping the ring onto his own finger, the gold tarnishing at the touch of his skin, the creature turned to the angel on the wall. “You are much more of a concern,” he frowned walking slowly towards him. “You, who have never wavered, not even in thought. Who has done what others refuse to do in order to keep her from me. I think something a bit more drastic is needed for you. And I also think you will both need to be separated,” he finished looking back at the angel behind him. “I cannot have you pooling your resources to find them before I do and change the destiny I have planned. I still have some sway in what the punishments will be given to our kind. I think a little talk with my sister will be in order. Until we meet again.”
With a flourished bow the creature disappeared, leaving the two angels with a cold dread that would last many eons to come.
* * *
“Your punishment will be as written,” the ageless woman with piercing blue eyes announced into the quiet room. There were only the two traitors, her and one other present for the sentencing. Her brother had wanted as few as possible to know what transpired in this room so to keep it secret. As much as she despised doing as he asked, they were in this together and this was the only way.
Turning to the one hanging on the wall, she said, “You will remain in the heavens, demoted into the rank soldier while labeled a traitor. You will also have any memory of your life with our God and Goddess erased, in which case you will not be needing her favor any longer,” she finished, a slight hint of disgust in her voice. With a wave of her hand, the gold band around the angel’s finger disappeared as did the glow of his magnificent white wings.
“You cannot do this,” he hissed slumping against the wall, suddenly weaker. Empty inside.
“It is already done,” she responded dispassionately before turning to the one hanging in the middle of the room. “You, as with your brothers who have disgraced themselves, will become Fallen. Forever at the mercy of those you chose to protect. There will be no help from any of the realms. Unless you have decided against your silence.”
When there was nothing from either angel the woman stepped back with a sigh. “Very well. What is done is done.”
“She will not stand for this,” the angel in the middle warned.
“She is not here to say otherwise, is she,” the woman snapped, her eyes flashing with power. Once again gathering her calm around her, she continued. “You will have your memories, and search if you must, but you will never find her. Not without your brother and certainly not in the bowels of the hell realm.” She looked at the other angel. “When will you realize that they have forsaken us all and are forever lost?”
When the silence once again filled the room as the two angels glared at her, she shook her head. Looking at the one that came to carry out the sentence she ordered wearily, “Michel, you know what needs to be done.”
“Yes, mistress,” he bowed.
With one last look at the condemned she walked from the room.
Michel moved into her place. “I do not do this with a light heart, but I cannot disobey her.” He moved closer to the Fallen and whispered so the walls could not hear. “There is more here than what you see. Remember, you are not alone.”
The only show of shock the fallen gave was the slight widening of his eyes.
Putting his hand on the Fallen’s chest, over his heart, Michel closed his eyes, bowed his head and concentrated. The darkness that filled the room only a short while ago began to spread out from Michel’s hand and over the Fallen’s skin. Gritting his teeth, the Fallen raised his face to the heavens in an attempt to keep the blackness of evil from encompassing him completely. In the end he could not keep the pain inside any longer. A scream of anguish and torment shredded his throat the darkness completely enveloped him. In a flash of brilliant white light that the remaining angels had to turn their faces from, the Fallen was left unconscious, his once sandy blonde hair now black. His once glorious white wings now black as night.
Then Michel walked over to the other.
“You do not have to do this, Michel.”
“If we are to win, this must play out or all will be lost,” Michel said sadly.
“No matter what you do, I will never forget her,” the angel vowed vehemently.
“I pray not, for all our sakes,” his voice barely above a whisper.
Then everything went blank.
Explanation Chapter 1
Copyright © 2017 Heidi Barnes