“Enough of this.” Lucifer grinned as his voice carried over Eden and he curled his fingers slowly into fists as he manipulated the chaos he had spread through the angelic soldiers trapping those that remained in painful bindings. As they screamed he laughed and decided to prolong their pain to make his point clear as he drew Sachiel out. “Ria!”
“My pleasure.” Ria coalesced beside him and smiled. The angels screams were silenced but they writhed in the clutches of the chaos that held them.
“What have you done to them?” Gabriel looked in disgust at the misused creatures twisted in pain.
“I was asked to make their last moments painful.” Ria smirked. “I have taken control of the air within them.”
“Stop this.” Gabriel insisted. “Just end their lives.”
“We’re not here to torture the pawns.” Eidolon agreed as he and Kaneko joined them. He laid his hand on Gabriel’s shoulder and squeezed gently. “You’ve given Ria and the others a chance to show off. They are impressive. Now let’s finish this.”
“I’ll decide how long they suffer.” Lucifer glared aside at them and gave no order for Ria to end the pain of Sachiel’s remaining forces. Agitated with the challenge to his decision he called Lilith and Kage to calm himself. Once his loves were beside him, Lucifer let his voice fill Eden. “Time to stop hiding, Sachiel. Your pathetic army was little more than a nuisance. You picked a poor refuge. There is no part of Eden that does not belong to me.”
“Soon there will be nothing in your command.” Sachiel’s voice echoed as dozens of visions of herself appeared. Scattered through the closed off corner of Eden, concealing herself while she looked for her chance to turn the tide. “I have raised a proper Heir to the Throne. A new God!”
“God?” Samael mocked her and took a place behind Lucifer with Azrael and Shiroi. “This is laughable display.”
“The stolen talents of the Ghost.” Eidolon agreed with a nod.
“Do not mock me, traitors.” Sachiel spoke through several of her ghosts. “My talents were given to me….”
“By Iejovah.” Vikarr interrupted giggling. “Yes, we got that part.”
“Given?” Raziel cocked his head as he stroked Galik’s back. “You mean taught. He merely told you of Lucifer’s skill and you tried to replicate it.”
“Poorly.” Kage ripped through one of the visions. It barely had enough substance to satisfy his urge to destroy it. “These are failures. Illusions. Worthless.”
“You have exhausted yourself.” Gabriel added hopelessly. He felt Maefyl’s rage as if it were his own and knew it would not be quelled without the satisfaction of Sachiel’s blood on his hands. “Don’t prolong this any further, you have lost.”
“You surprise me most of all.” Sachiel snapped at him. “Your betrayal was a poison that corrupted all of Heaven, but once you see his son on the Throne…”
“His son?” Maefyl laughed cruelly as he arrived. He gave Lucifer an agitated glance for his rush into a finale. “You mean Farren’s daughter? That poor girl that now has to carry the pain of someone else’s life because you want power? The only thing that poisoned Heaven was you.”
“Maefyl…” Gabriel stepped close to him but could only look at the ground sadly. He had found a very old truth. Without knowing Sachiel had survived it had seemed irrelevant, but it was just another secret between them that Gabriel shouldered the guilt for. “I should have told you.”
“It would not have mattered.” Lucifer interrupted coldly. He crushed the remaining angels under Sachiel’s control in an instant and made ghosts of his own. Hundreds of them smiling menacingly at Sachiel’s pathetic recreations. “And it does not matter now. You were nothing but a part time whore to a would-be god, Sachiel. A filthy secret. The damage you have done in the past is enough to warrant your destruction, but you could have lived out your pitiful existence. Instead you sought power you don’t deserve.”
“As if you deserve it?” Sachiel laughed in a dozen voices. “Not one of you are worthy.”
“We’ll see how long you can spout such nonsense when you have nothing left to hide behind.” Lucifer shrugged. Several of his ghosts laughing maniacally as others glared into the fear stricken faces of Sachiel’s illusions.
The spells protecting all of them had been closing in tighter and the small corner of Eden they were left with gave their prey no where to hide. The few remaining soldiers were screaming silently, choking on the air as they struggled in pain. Maefyl listened to Sachiel’s empty threats and his father’s laughter as he answered the challenge with an unnecessary display of power. In an instant the suffering angel’s were crushed sending a spray of what they once were into the air and splattering the others.
“Ugh.” Sanguine protested and wiped herself off on the shoulder of Maefyl’s coat. “What a mess.”
“I could have used more time.” Maefyl stepped in front of his father hoping to prolong the game and continue his search.
“You managed to secure the forgotten child.” Lucifer grinned at him coldly. “I was tired of waiting.”
“Fuck you, Lucy.” Maefyl shoved him backward into Kage winning a hiss of disapproval. “She is mine.”
“Settle yourself, Half-breed.” Kage warned him sternly.
“We still have the advantage.” Raziel wrapped his arm around Galik’s blood covered waist and offered his usual detached tone. “These forms of hers lack any real part of herself. Without the thoughts of hundreds of soldiers to hide behind…”
“Find her.” Lucifer grabbed Maefyl by his shirt and laughed. “And you can do whatever you want.”
“Bring the others here.” Raziel caught a hint of malice in the wind. Not enough to mention to the others and cause further worry, but it was concerning. Something that told him Sachiel would not be the last foe they faced in Eden. “We came to face this as one. We should be together.”
While Maefyl closed his eyes and focused, Lucifer did as Raziel suggested and brought them all together. A swell of confusion and relief swept over them as companions reunited. Maefyl could feel strange worries and tensions lying beneath each tender reunion. It was Gabriel’s arm around him and the warmth of him against his back that made him set it all aside and clear his mind enough to listen.
“You are outmatched, Sachiel.” Lucifer taunted her. He had been disgusted enough with the suffering she had caused, now she displayed nothing but cowardice. “Any one of my treasures here could easily best you.”
“You dare mock me, demon?!” Sachiel cried out in a dozen voices. “When Iesu takes the throne he will crush the likes of you.”
“You mean your delightful trump card?” Lucifer looked back at Evadia. The girl was sitting back against Farren, anxiety had shaken them both but they were content just to be together. Lucifer grinned as he answered Sachiel’s empty threat. “We seem to have removed that from your hand.”
As Sachiel screamed Maefyl caught the glimpse of her mind he needed; her outrage caused a momentary lapse in her spells and he saw everything. In an instant Maefyl was enveloped in a torrent of chaos and blinding light that knocked Gabriel away from him and he vanished. It was effortless. In the moment he could find her thoughts he could find her. The effort came in trying to quell his anger long enough to return to the others without ending the life of the screaming wretch in his clutches. Still covered in a mist of power that had the others looking on in various states of emotional turmoil, Maefyl had brought their prey to them on her knees. She screamed profanities as he held her still by her hair.
“That was disappointingly quick.” Azazel pouted and leaned against Nikolai. “Now what?”
“Yes, Maefyl.” Lucifer recalled his ghosts and stepped up to Maefyl. He crossed his arms and gave him a satisfied grin. “Now what? You were eager for the chance to destroy this wretch.”
“Farren!” Sachiel howled when she saw him holding Evadia. “You traitor! Bring her to me!”
“Never.” Farren held Evadia close in a protective embrace as he stood. “I was a fool to trust you. I won’t let her suffer for it.”
“Evadia.” Sachiel oozed a sweetness tainted by her panic as she called to the girl. “Come to me, girl.”
“No.” Evadia answered without hesitation. “I didn’t need anyone to tell me that you were bad, Mother. These strangers may be a whole new kind of trouble, but I choose them over you.”
“Weak.” Sachiel turned her rage on Farren. “It was a mistake to use you.”
“That’s enough.” Maefyl yanked back on Sachiel’s hair disrupting her balance and scraping her hands and knees on the ground as he looked past the others to make a request. “Kage, no one needs to see what I’m about to do.”
With a nod of approval from Lucifer, Kage did as he was asked and returned solemnly to a gathering that had a new sense of foreboding. Ria, Twaer, Ifre, and Li’da were standing stonefaced between those who had fought and some of those they had protected during the fray.
“Should we wait?” Asura asked purely out of a need to break the silence.
“We have waited long enough.” Ria smiled with a sense of cruel confidence. “We had a bargain, Lucifer.”