Tag Archives: Nikolai Gray

TCOL : BTG : Motivation Pt.3

“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.”

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TCOL : Breaking The Ghost : Raging

“You are fucking gorgeous.” Maefyl jumped onto Gabriel’s back after he felled several thrones with his scythe. He may have hated the title, but Gabriel was beautifully skilled in his role as the Angel of Death. Maefyl interrupted his work long enough to pull him back by the hair and kiss him, then tapped his cheek and smiled. “Keep Lucy out of my way.”

 “You will be the death of me, Maefyl.” Gabriel grinned as he went back to his work. Watching Maefyl tear through several more soldiers as moved quickly through the hordes.

 “That was a little gross.” Asura chuckled and sliced through the backs of a principalities knees, ducking as Azazel pounced on it and ended it’s existence. “If you have time to be smooching with Dad, you wanna lend a hand over here?”

 “You should not have come here, Asura.” Gabriel scolded her half heartedly. She was in no way a burden in this fight. Her years of practice had honed her skills brilliantly and her ability to work with her spouses so well was astounding. “This place…”

 “Needs to be cleaned up is all.” Bezer hooked her arm around Asura’s waist and shifted above the angel attacking Nikolai. Asura gracefully accepted the lift and on her descent drove her daggers into the angels neck on either side. Bezer winked back at Gabriel before returning to the fray. “I think secretly you are just jealous Asura is surpassing her folks.”

 “Bezer!” Nikolai grinned as he pretended to chide her for the remark. He nearly devoured the soul of the angel in front of him before he bowed his head to Gabriel. “As always, I apologize for my pets. Still, Asura came as we all did. To stand with you.”

 “And I thank you.” Gabriel sighed and grabbed Lucifer by the back of his shirt. “I am not that distracted.”

 “I was only going to help the others, Gabby.” Lucifer chuckled.

 “You’ve helped enough.” Gabriel pulled him aside as a thundering giant of stone and fire walked over them crushing dozens of choirs in it’s wake. “I am not letting you out of my sight.”

 “Yet you let Maefyl wander off all alone.” Lucifer teased. “For once, Gabby. I don’t think I am the one up to something.”

 “You will not deny him this.” Gabriel sliced over Lucifer’s head slicing a Throne in two and covering Lucifer in the rain of blood. “And you will stop lying to me.”

 “Was that entirely necessary?” Lucifer pushed back his blood soaked hair, cleaning up the mess as he did. He ignored Gabriel’s continued rant as he turned to watch a skirmish nearby. Angels seemingly drowning in the air the tried to breath as flames crept up their legs. Kage gladly contributing to the mess by tossing the corpses of his victims skyward before opening his jaws to devour them. The spill of blood splattering those below. Lucifer caught an power by the throat and crushed the life from it without so much as looking in its direction before he smiled back at Gabriel. “Are you still upset I brought Eden here? Or is it that I conspired to free them?”

 “That you lied.” Gabriel sighed as he watched the Djinn now calling itself Ifre laughing at the burning wings of a dying angel. “This is madness, Lucy. And they are dangerous.”

Breakseal

“Such violence.” Evadia had suddenly started screaming wildly when she caught sight of the battle. Rather the sight of it had stirred up the ghost inside her. “This is witchcraft! God, Save us!”

“Evadia, calm yourself.” Farren held her close uncertain of what else to do. Crying out for a long dead savior meant the soul Sachiel forced into his daughter was alive and well.

“God?” Brig laughed softly and headed over to help shaking his head.

“Don’t do anything stupid, Brig.” Shana pleaded with him. “You’ll get us into trouble.”

“No worries, doll face.” Brig patted her hands and kissed her cheek before he crouched down beside a frustrated looking Farren and a screaming child. He winked at Farren and laid his hand on the girls head. Gently stroking her hair. “Easy kid. What makes you think this is witchcraft?”

“Only God can create miracles.” Iesu looked at the boy and grabbed his hands. “Magic is the work of devils.”

“No devils here. A few assholes maybe.” Brig let himself plop down to the ground in hopes to ease further worry. Cid and Tali climbed up his back and peeked over his shoulders and he could see the fright on the child’s face. Brig smiled. “These two? They are harmless. Don’t be rude, introduce yourselves.”

“I’m Cid.” The fargoyle smirked but kept his place on Brig’s back.

“Tali.” She fluttered forward into Brig’s lap and sat smiling at the strange girl that had at least stopped screaming for the time being.

“Iesu.” He reached forward and nervously touched the creature. “You don’t seem evil, but…”

“She isn’t.” Brig slapped the girl. “It’s rude to assume everything you don’t understand is evil.”

“Don’t touch him.” Van warned when Farren moved to react. “Razzy will rip you to shreds.”

“Do not hit her again.” Farren glared at Brig.

“No…” Iesu held his hand against his face. “He is right. I misspoke. I should not judge….”

“And you can cram that.” Brig laughed. And took the child’s face in his hands. “You said Iesu? The world has changed. You have a lot to accept. I need you to listen to me for the sake of the little girl who has to tag along.”

“Neka thinks she should just shut up and watch.” Neka stuck her tongue out at the girl before turning her attention back to the fray. “Fawwen, make her shut up.”

“Sorry.” Bishop shook his head and wished he could just carry her off a bit further to keep any other hurtful comments from popping out. “She is just excited.”

“Hey, help me find Master Eidolon.” Karla ran over to Neka and Bishop to provide distraction and smiled when Bishop closed his eyes in obvious relief and gratitude. She let Neka scold her for being silly and point out Eidolon as he and Kaneko moved across impossible rivers of wind and fire. “He is good friends with your Daddy.”

“Neka knows that.” Neka giggled. “Daddy has pretty friends.”

“These are good people.” Brig continued making his point to the impossible child once Farren was through scowling. “God has shit to do with it. You and I are lucky to know any of them. Evadia is going to be lucky to have them.”

“Stop playing with the kid, Brig.” Van insisted as she jumped excitedly at the edge. “Come look!”

“Raziel…” Brig stood slowly and watch as a gleaming white dragon rose above the fray and howled. He felt Evadia tug his hand to stand beside him but couldn’t tear himself away from the sight.

“Wow.” Evadia joined him in awe as the white dragon dove toward a collection of angels being rounded up by rising walls of stone and burned them to ash with a breath of flame. As the heat rose on the wind and brushed over the plateau, Evadia looked up to the strangest smile on her new friends face. “Who is that?’

“Our Lord Raziel.” Shana smiled back at them. “And I’m telling him you blushed, Brig.”

“I did not, ShaSha.” Brig snapped himself out of the stupor and looked down at Evadia. “Welcome back, doll face.”

“Thank you.” Evadia grinned. “My ghost gets funny sometimes.”

“We all do.” Brig went back to argue with Shana over his flushing and hoped the girl’s Father could handle the rest.

“You should put that smooth talking to work on your cotton candy compatriot there, London.” Eliza sighed as she watched Raziel’s cheerleaders fawning over their Master as if he were the only one fighting the enemy. “Talk some sense into her. If you expect a child to accept all of this, you should expect her to give Vivi a chance.”

“E.” Donovan put an arm around her and covered her mouth. “Stop it with your shit.”

Eliza stepped on his foot and bit him. “I’m tired of this one-sided…”

“You are all very loud.” Li’da commented coldly and walked through them to stand beside Presia. Still singing a beautiful melody that kept the heads of her charges clear and the winged army distracted. Li’da pointed at the Siren and let a childlike grin distort her face. “She is the one we wish to hear as we watch. No more of your bickering.”

“You cheeky little bitch.” Eliza jumped and struggled to get at her while Donovan held her back and Caleb tried to calm her down. “I’ll rip that grin off your face.”

“Aww, what’s the matter, bitch?” Van laughed. “Little cutie there make you nervous. Afraid your Vikarr is gonna ditch you for the fascinating monochrome she has going on?”

“Quit it, Van.” Brig punched her shoulder gently. “It isn’t worth it.”

“Do you mind, lovely?” Vikarr appeared in front of Eliza and lifted her face to kiss her. His appearance had startled her into calm and the kiss left her blissfully relaxed. Donovan released her and Vikarr wiped a smudge of blood from her face. He folded his wings to his back. “I know I said to call on me anytime, but I am a trifle busy at the moment.”

“They were being….” Eliza pouted until he laid a finger on her lips and winked at her. “Sorry.”

“Just watch me, lovely.” Vikarr smiled and led her to the edge, careful to push her back with his fingers he walked backward off of it. Standing on the air as if he were still walking along the cliff. “I’ll keep you entertained.”

“Kiki says you should go a few rounds as a panda.” Eliza smirked and rested her fists on her hips. “Cause they are cute.”

“I did not!’ Kiki protested and ducked into Eliza’s cleavage giggling and whispered. “I don’t even know what a panda looks like.”

“Can’t disappoint an audience.” Vikarr sighed and dove back into the fight, mid descent shifting into a large white and black bear to entertain his bride.

“Nyaa!” Neka giggled and tried to mimic the change. Balling up her fists and biting her tongue sideways as she drew in the magic and wiggled around in Bishop’s arms. Her change was again imperfect and she ended up cuddled up as a smaller white bear still bearing a cat like tail in Bishop’s embrace. She pouted up at him. “Neka did it wrong again.”

“Good.” Bishop hugged her tight and smiled. “I can’t carry a panda.”

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TCOL : Eden : A Silent Garden Pt.2

“Finally!” Bezer ripped through the torso of an angel and tossed the corpse to the ground and she consumed the remains of its life. “We get to do something fun again.”

“And just look at those two.” Azazel growled excitedly as he leapt over his sister and tackled an Power to the ground. His purr gave a warmth to his savage howling as he watched his bride and husband battling along side him. Though it could hardly be called battle. The angels unfortunate enough to encounter the four of them were being slaughtered and every splash of their blood excited Azazel more. He ripped the head from the angel he had attacked and watched a moment as Nikolai ripped through a creature that seemed more confused by what had killed him than the fact he had actually lost his life. A look Nikolai must have caught as well from the satisfied smirk he tried to hide before he returned to his new found gift of flight. “Just amazing.”

“And all ours.” Bezer swung Asura into a short, sweet kiss before she continued past her smiling. She couldn’t agree more, of course. Azazel and herself had waited for a long time for someone worthy of both of them and since the first ‘I Love You’ they were both glad they did. “Neat how they keep getting better.”

“We have to keep up with how remarkable the two of you are, my pet.” Nikolai smiled as he listened for more of their prey. He opened his arms as he landed and folded his colorful wings to his back as the area quieted and he accepted a short embrace. “Come along now. We still have work.”

Nikolai was confident enough in his pets he declined Raziel’s offer to escort them. He had enough to look after on his own and if there was trouble they all knew how to call on one another. What surprised Nikolai was that his time with Raziel had done exactly what Lilith and Eidolon had hoped. He was no longer standing idly while his pets had their fun. He was a part of it and with each soldier he helped destroy he could feel their admiration growing.

“Master Nikolai, I think you might be enjoying all this violence.” Bezer purred and wiped blood from her face as she teased him.

“Not our Master Nikolai.” Asura teased and lengthened her blades through a dying angel as Azazel ripped the soul apart. She looked over to Nikolai and flushed at the sight of him, the long dark hair falling down his back between the lovely wings he had learned to create for himself. Wings that carried him now into higher branches for a better look at their surroundings now that their most recent attackers were out of the way. “He is too sweet for these things.”

“So are you.” Azazel grabbed Asura around her waist and shifted into the tree beside Nikolai. Bezer scrambled up beside them and Azazel smiled. The garden seemed to go on forever under the light of Hell’s sky and he could hear the distant battles of the others. He could hear them almost too well, even through the eerie song Presia offered to calm Sachiel’s magic. As if Eden held no life but the soldiers they were slaughtering. “This place is almost creepy.”

“It’s so beautiful, though.” Asura looked out over the lush forest and smiled until she remembered her father’s concern. She tugged Azazel’s tail gently and hoped for insight. “Any idea why they are so worried about this place?”

“This all happened before my time.” Azazel shook his head. “It wasn’t any of my business until now.”

“Lets keep it that way, my pet.” Nikolai pulled Azazel by his collar and kissed him. “I don’t like putting any of you at risk. I just want this ordeal over with.”

“So do I.” Bezer yawned. “I have new vodka to try.”

“Heroic motivation.” Blondie laughed.

“I wonder where Dad wandered off to?” Asura muttered as they started off again. Maefyl had run off on his own and that usually meant he was about to get into trouble. She almost hoped the song covering Eden was able to keep even his temper from getting the best of him.

“He’ll be fine.” Bezer hugged her before she dropped to the ground and took off running after another pack of pests.

“Back to work.” Azazel purred and flipped backward out of the branches to follow after her. “Don’t start without me, Bezer!”

“Those things aren’t looking for us.” Asura held tightly to Nikolai as he lifted her to him. “Do you really think my Dad is okay?”

“I think that Maefyl is going to make us all look bad as usual.” Nikolai smiled as they joined the fray, letting her slip from his arm and press against his back as they each took blades from the chaos. “How about we make sure he doesn’t have as much to gloat over?”

“Deal. I’ll soften them up.” Asura smirked until she was interrupted by the dismembered arm Azazel tossed at her. “Hey!”

“Look up.” Azazel grinned.

Asura raised her eyes to catch a glimpse of two dragons flying overhead. Beautiful, enormous creatures. The haunting white and deep red scales of the crimson dragon beside a darker more sinister looking beast.

“Lord Lucifer and your Father.” Bezer licked some of the mess from her hands. “They need to piss off. We were playing here.”

“Pay attention, my pet.” Nikolai shifted past Bezer and pierced through a Power with his blade and smiled as Azazel pounced on the creature’s shoulders as it howled.

“Yea, yea.” Bezer yawned and stretched as they tore apart the loner that had tried to attack. “These things are squishy and that damn singing is making them useless.”

“Let’s go find the nasty ones.” Azazel pleaded.

“Behave, my pets.” Nikolai smiled as he looked over his blood covered loves. Each of them so eager to play their brutal parts in retaking Eden. Each of them enjoying it. “All of these creatures are equally foul and need to be destroyed.”

They all laughed as they heard Kaneko screaming her victory over the trees and several of her companions calling after her. It seemed Nikolai’s family was not the only one embracing the chance for vengeance.

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TCOL : Eden : A Silent Garden Pt.1

“My head feels funny.” Karla stumbled as they took their first steps into Eden and Eidolon steadied her as he took in the situation. She was not alone in her plight, they were all being touched by the haze of Sachiel’s magic. The weakest among them were struck nearly blind by it, clinging to their loves fearful that they had actually lost sight and taking comfort in the assurance that it was only a trick.

“If there was any doubt before now, it can be put to rest.” Eidolon sighed. Sachiel had often been called on to manipulate the minds of humans and more susceptible creatures for her god. She had a remarkable talent for creating suggestive thoughts and planting ideas then erasing any hint that she had been there. “None but the Ghost have this much sway.”

“Iehovah’s phantom is only a pest, Eidolon.” Lucifer chuckled. “You give her far too much credit and the small army we have brought boasts far greater talents.”

“I guess that’s where you come in, you pretty thing.” Nei kissed Presia’s fingers and smiled at her. It was clear why Lucifer had summoned the most talented of the Sirens. The skill of Presia’s song could manipulate the mind, but she could also counter the spells of others that did the same. She could protect the minds of her companions from the cloud of fear and confusion Sachiel was trying to hide behind.

“Eden lend me your strength.” Presia spoke to the garden and gathered the wealth of assistance it gave. It seemed even Eden itself was eager to have the trespassers expelled and was going to lend its aid to their cause. She fueled her gifts with the power of the nature around her and breathed deeply before beginning a song that melted away the dark clouds in the minds of the others. As she sang and their senses returned some of them turned their attention to her aria and her smile made her song even warmer.

“That’s pretty handy.” Azazel giggled.

“The Siren will render some of Sachiel’s magic useless.” Kage cautioned them against overconfidence. “Still it is best for most of you to keep your distance, this distraction was a small taste of her capabilities.”

“You can all have fun discussing bullshit.” Maefyl leapt into the air drawing his swords as he shouted his intentions. He was not going to wait a second longer to do what he came to do. “I’m ending this.”

“Not going to run after him?” Lucifer smirked at Gabriel.

“No.” Gabriel would know if Maefyl needed him and they had already discussed the need for discretion in Eden. “I’ll be staying very close to you during this battle, Lucy.”

“Should I be wounded or flattered?” Lucifer laughed.

“You should be grateful.” Gabriel smiled and drew a sword and scythe from the chaos as his attire shifted to the robes he had long ago abandoned. Crimson and white draped around him and his hair fell loose. “I could have stayed at home.”

“Volbaken.” Azrael bit his lip as he stared at Gabriel. “IsaAnku saba supani parakibi.”

“Daddy?” Asura walked up to Gabriel as he folded his wings to his back. She smiled like a child suddenly and leapt against him in an excited embrace. “You look amazing!”

“Flap, Flap!” Neka squealed and bit her tongue as she concentrated on trying to make wings of her own and instead became a winged kitten and flapped in front of Kage blinking. “Neka did it wrong.”

“You did beautifully.” Kage patted her head and glared past her at Bishop. “You have no hope of keeping up with me. Keep her close and stay with my daughter, Kaneko.”

“Kyaa! That’s not fair!” Kaneko hissed. “He is going to slow Kaneko down!”

“I was going to do that anyway.” Karla tugged Kaneko’s tail. “But I’ll make sure to keep everybody out of your way.”

“Nyaa.” Kaneko licked Karla’s nose and smiled up at Eidolon. “Are you going to run off, Master Eidolon?”

“I am.” Eidolon squeezed them both to him and kissed them each softly. As long as Presia’s song kept their minds protected, Kaneko was clear enough to look after them and they would likely be in the company of others while Zakesalek saw to the worst of Eden’s pests. “Don’t get into too much trouble. Eternity will stay with you.”

“Come along, Falcon.” Kage hissed. “We have angels to slaughter.”

Kage and Eidolon vanished into the quiet forests of Eden to begin clearing the Garden of nuisances. There was an eerie silence in the once life filled branches, even as they felled several of Sachiel’s guardians there was barely a sound beyond the haunting beauty of Presia’s song.

“What a waste.” Kage hissed. “All these ridiculous lessers scattered everywhere. A useless display of power.”

“One that we are using to our advantage.” Eidolon laughed. As they cleared the Garden of Choirs they absorbed each of them and strengthened themselves, each one giving them power they intended to unleash on Sachiel. “What she has used so carelessly will be used against her. Can I ask you something, Viper?”

“If it is about that damned boy…” Kage hissed.

“Sounds like it will be a long conversation.” Eidolon grinned. He crushed a Throne to the ground just as Lilith arrived beside him and gave him a strange nod he interpreted as a request for his departure. When Kage gave him a quick glance and sighed; Eidolon decided to go off on his own and leave the two of them to work. “It can wait.”

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TCOL : Eden : Those Who Will Stand At The Gates Pt.1

“Was I unclear?” Kage shouted over the chatter. “Only Zakesalek will make this journey. Why are the rest of you imbeciles still here.”

“Oh, you were clear.” Asura smirked. “We just aren’t listening. We started this journey as a Council. Our families have all been involved since it started. We all go.”

“Even if Council were permitted, the rest of this rabble is not setting foot in Eden.” Kage insisted. “Send them home.”

“Is your kid going?” Eliza crossed her arms in front of her. Even without his behavior now, Eliza hardly needed a reason to hate Kage after what he had done to Vale. “Fucking hypocrite.”

“Vikarr, silence her.” Kage rubbed his forehead a moment and patted Neka’s head as she stood beside him.

“She will be nice if you will.” Vikarr giggled as he wrapped his fingers over Eliza’s mouth. They were both bitter over the loss of Vale. “This is not yet a meeting, but play nice.”

Lucifer’s audience hall was filled with chatter as they waited; the entire Council and those that loved them gathered to tackle the ordeal with a sort of fearless eagerness that was very nearly touching. Even to the Viper who hid his amusement with his vicious hiss. It was unfortunate that the touching scene was somewhat soured by the arrival of another guest whose arrival was as unexpected as it was unwanted.

“Now this is quite the party.” Nei strolled in confidently with Presia on his arm. “I should be hurt that this is the first time I’ve been invited.”

“Tch.” Kage glared at the vampire. “And who was it that invited you, Nei?”

“Your Lord and husband sent for us.” Presia politely explained their presence.

“So curtsy and play proper hostess.” Nei laughed. “And please Mrs. Lucifer. Call me Frost.”

“Keep it zipped you mouthy little fuck.” Maefyl kicked Nei in the back and knocked him to the floor, giving Presia a nod to explain his intent was to prevent a much more vicious attack from Kage. “I’m sure it wasn’t your mouth Lucy invited you for.”

“I love the both of you.” Kage stroked the girls’ ears when Kaneko came to hug him. He spoke softly and each of his daughters smiled at him. “Go play.”

“He has yet to feed.” Farren whispered to Kage as he followed steps behind Bishop and his young Master.

“Then I suggest you take care of it.” Kage sneered. “Don’t pester me about it. Just bleed.”

Farren shook his head and followed Bishop. In pain, ripped from a simple life and thrown into slavery. Smiling. Catering to the whim of the bright eyed child of a Watcher without complaint. Only ever making himself heard when it was for her benefit. Farren wished he could find that kind of peace with his fate and hoped that when Evadia was saved, she too would have someone as kind to hold her hand.

“You are uniquely quiet, Samael.” Eidolon watched Kaneko teasing her sister and let Karla cling to his arm as he opened a discussion he hoped would remain peaceful. “Any thoughts.”

“We are just eager to see the gates of Eden.” Samael held Shiroi in front of him and smiled as Azrael bit the end of his ear. “Knowing that we will be painting them in blood makes the homecoming bittersweet.”

“As if slaughter has ever soured your mood.” Raziel interrupted.

“Now, now.” Vikarr teased. “Same team, remember.”

“Some team.” Sanguine huffed from Maefyl’s shoulder. “This bunch couldn’t agree on cake or cookies for a party.”

“Why not both?” Asura suggested.

“An excellent point, Asura.” Lucifer arrived with Lilith and fueled the fire of anxious tension in the room. “Why not have it all?”

“Some of us are content with a cup of tea and the company of those we love.” Gabriel hooked his arm through Maefyl’s and whispered his plea for at least some good behavior.

“My Lord.” Kage bowed his head a moment when Lucifer approached his throne. As Lilith sat Kage felt Lucifer’s fingertips under his chin and looked into the eyes he loved to drown in. No trace of worry or doubt in those eyes, just a confidence and warmth that made Kage feel nearly ashamed to speak further complaints. “I tried to make them see reason. I asked them to leave.”

“Look at them, Kevas.” Lucifer grinned and slid his fingers around Kage’s tie. “Gathered together for a common cause, finally becoming the Council they should be.”

“Would that be the Council of the pissed off?” Maefyl flicked a cigarette to the floor.

“Unified.” Lucifer corrected. “I hope to keep it that way. So enough bickering.”

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TCOL : Connections : Curiously Courageous

Nikolai had been leaning over the counter in the kitchen listening to the ones he loved celebrating what victory they could. At least the immediate threats to Tsuriai’s cities and residents had passed and they deserved the time to relax after all their patient efforts. Zakesalek had nearly insisted the remaining problems were left to them and Nikolai chuckled at himself for not accepting it as the gift it was. He would not only enjoy the time away from the Council; it would leave Asura and his cubs out of harms way for a change and he would be grateful to be spared the damaging winds of the coming storm.

“What’s up?” Bezer wriggled between Nikolai’s arms and hugged him.

“I am always the first to turn my back on conflict, aren’t I?” Nikolai opened his eyes to the accepting smile and laughed as she gave him a puzzled look. “Do you think I’m a coward, my pet?”

“No.” Bezer wrapped up around him tightly. “Master Nikolai, you try to talk things through, but how many times have you run head first into the impossible for us? You are not a coward.”

“Maybe a bit of an idiot.” Azazel leaned in the doorway with Asura on his back. “Are you in here thinking about getting us all into trouble?”

“I’m afraid so, my pet.” Nikolai hugged Bezer as he stood. “As much as I want to sit this out, I can’t allow them to face it alone. Maefyl and Gabriel have always stood with me when I was in need.”

“We were going to ask anyway.” Asura grinned at him. “You know how much trouble they get into. Someone has to look out for them.”

“And we need to get justice for Blondie!” Bezer poked at the smallest member of their family.

“Sure.” Blondie stomped on Bezer’s head. “Use me as an excuse.”

“There’s a kid to save.” Azazel shrugged. “I’m in.”

“Listen to the two of them trying to sound all noble.” Asura teased. “You know they just want to get elbow deep in angel guts.”

“Only elbow deep?” Azazel scoffed. “You know I’m better than that.”

“You know my rules, my pets.” Nikolai took his phone from his pocket. Even as part of Lucifer’s Council he was not Zakesalek and if they moved on their own he would never be informed. He dialed his phone in hopes he could ensure Golod’s invitation. “We do this together and protect each other, I will not lose any of you.”

“Who are you calling?” Blondie fluttered up to his shoulder.

“I hate to disturb you…” Nikolai smiled and hung up the phone as it became unnecessary. He smiled at the arrival of his Council shadow.

“It is no trouble, Nikolai.” Samael gave him a wave and a warm smile. “I expected your call and I’m glad for it. Azrael is already in Nihil with Vikarr to agree to what I imagine is a similar favor.”

“Sounds like we won’t be the only ones in trouble.” Blondie giggled.

“Hak.” Samael shook his head as he offered his hand to Nikolai. “But I can’t very well get into trouble without my shadow, now can I?”

“I hate to admit this, but I am looking forward to it.” Nikolai took Samael’s cool fingers in his and laughed. “I’m intrigued by this long hidden Garden you once called home, eager to see justice done….”

“I just want to see if these super Watchers can keep up with me.” Azazel taunted playfully. “When do we leave?”

“That is unfortunately up to our dear Vasun Lucifer.” Samael sneered. “This waiting is his idea. I will collect you when he calls.”

“This is exciting.” Asura leaned back into Azazel’s arms and he spun her and kissed her while Nikolai and Samael exchanged a few final words of understanding and reaffirmed his promise to take them all along when the time came.

“You still feeling cowardly?” Bezer kissed Nikolai before she emptied half a bottle of vodka.

“Anxious.” Nikolai tugged Bezer by her collar until she purred. “And thankful; for each of you and the life we have together. Let’s go play a while, my pets.”

“I’m a little worried, Azazel.” Bezer quietly confided in her brother. There was more to the coming end to Sachiel waiting in Eden. “What do you think is in Eden?”

“No idea.” Azazel whispered with a grin. He was no less worried, but his anxiety drove his motivation. He was excited by the unknown and the prospect of slaughtering Sachiel’s guardians. “I just don’t want to miss out on the fun.”

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TCOL : Connections : Surrender Pt.2

“Can you feel that?” Maefyl looked at Raziel.

“One cluster of thoughts still very well guarded.” Raziel nodded. “Sachiel abandoned him but still has secrets she wants kept.”

“Farren.” Maefyl grabbed him by the back of the neck. “Stop making the kid feel like shit over saving your skin. There is something in your head we can’t see.”

“I don’t know what you have seen.” Farren stumbled backward and Maefyl let him fall.

“Let’s see how long your leash is.” Maefyl grabbed the blonde hair and started to pull him away until Farren gasped for air. Maefyl kicked Farren closer so he could catch his breath. Farren still had nothing of value to share and Maefyl almost felt guilty for the pain he had put him in. Almost. “Well you don’t have to share a bed.”

“You’re welcome, Kage.” Lucifer looked up at him and winked. He had been generous enough to allow for Farren to be locked in another room if need be.

“Tch.” Kage looked away. He had too much to be furious over and couldn’t decided which slight against him to react to first, but he wanted the crowd to thin quickly so they could get to work. “Myrt, you and your companion are no longer needed. Leave.”

“Gladly.” Myrt held Caleb tightly and bowed his head to Gabriel. “I still have nothing but respect for you. You and Maefyl are our friends and I love you no less then the friends I have found in Nihil. This was a waste of time, but I would ask that if this Council has any further requests to make of me, you make them. I don’t want to come here again.”

“Geoffrey, you may want to excuse yourself as well.” Gabriel suggested. “The Council will handle the rest of this.”

“Don’t run off just yet.” Maefyl flicked through the phone he had taken from Farren and questioned him. “Are any of you little friends still hanging about to cause us problems?”

“No.” Farren came to the realization that they had followed him from place to place more than they had safe guarded any one of the facilities. “I think they were there to watch me. She called most back to Eden with her. At worst there may be a few lingering Powers.”

“Get yourself some exercise, Geoff.” Maefyl tossed him the phone. “If you want help, see if Nikolai will lend you the pussy cats.”

“Can we?” Bezer bounced into Nikolai’s arms excitedly. “I want to break things!”

“If you look out for one another.” Nikolai grabbed Azazel’s collar and pulled him close to whisper. “And if you behave. Don’t think I didn’t notice his eyes, my pet.”

“No worries, Master Nikolai.” Azazel purred and turned to kiss him. “Angels are boring.”

“And no one is more fun than the two of you.” Bezer leaned over to Asura and tugged her into their awkward huddle.

“Just stay in touch, okay.” Asura held Bezer’s face and kissed her. “I don’t like this.”

“We’ll be back before you can miss us.” Azazel winked at her with a sweet smile and blushed as Nikolai pulled him up by his collar and kissed him.

“Just behave.” Nikolai reiterated sweetly. “And be quick about it.”

“Will do.” Azazel grabbed Asura and kissed her until she was relaxed against him. “Don’t worry. Humans are squishy and Powers are pushovers.”

“Let’s go play!” Bezer jumped on Azazel’s back and he carried her to join Geoff as he bowed his head to accept their help.

“Get going.” Maefyl insisted.

“Please.” Lucifer added. “Now that this problem will not be growing I want it cleaned up rapidly.”

“Why are we still sitting here, Lucy?” Maefyl barely waited until Geoff had left with the cubs to launch into an impatient rant. “We have the name and place.”

“Do you tell him nothing, Gabby?” Lucifer rested his head on his fingertips. “Kage…”

“Fighting any war requires strategy, Half-breed.” Kage rested his arm on the throne and closed his eyes. “This is one the Council will be fighting alone. We can not call on others for help in this. The garden Sachiel has chosen to defile with her presence is not one many will set foot in.”

“Eden carries with it more than whatever horrors Iehovah stained it with.” Gabriel laced his fingers through Maefyl’s. “He used its serenity for privacy, it was once a piece of Tsuriai, of Earth, made into a garden because of its significance.”

“Not in the mood for riddles, Gabriel.” Maefyl sighed. “Just tell me.”

“It was where Watchers first tread.” Lilith offered what she knew of Eden solemnly. “Sacred because it was the first ground graced by the creators.”

“Pardon my rudeness, Mistress.” Samael laughed. “You should hardly be the one to explain. You have no real knowledge of Eden.”

“Eden saba kuraxa.” Azrael smiled and his eyes glossed as he remembered happy moments of their earliest days.

“Home?” Maefyl looked to Gabriel for clarity.

“Of Zakesalek.” Gabriel nodded. “Where we first brought magic to this world. And for a time where we managed to live without trying to destroy one another.”

“Home before we separated ourselves from the realm of the creatures we guided.” Eidolon added. “It holds a sentimental significance, but only to the six of us and Lucifer. It is tragic to learn it was used for so foul a purpose and to be darkened once more as a sanctuary for the Ghost and her schemes.”

“Schemes…” Farren sat and hugged his knees. “I think I know part of the plot she wanted hidden. Kava; Sachiel, she only wanted to have a child so she could force another soul into it.”

“Is she completely mad?” Kage shouted.

“I think we may know what became of the lost carpenter.” Lucifer rushed to help Gabriel restrain Maefyl as he began to scream. “Listen to me you stubborn child. I told you I would help. Stop your screaming.”

“This is unforgivable.” Eidolon snatched Farren up from the floor and struck him with the back of his hand. “You allowed this to be done to your own child? You have no right to beg us to save her on your behalf.”

“Didn’t you once request the head of a friend under the powerful influence of love.” Samael taunted Eidolon. “Really, Falcon. How can you judge him for being used as a pawn after you so easily fell into Kage’s trap.”

“And your excuse for cruelty?” Raziel tilted his head as he looked at Samael. “You have needed no such influence to do the dreadful things you have done.”

“I enjoy it.” Samael smirked.

“Kyaa.” Kaneko screamed and pulled at her hair. “All of you stop it. You are making Kaneko angry!”

“What the fuck, Galik?” Brig shouted as he clutched the fresh claw marks on his face and watched Galik licked blood from his fingernails.

“Don’t stand so close.” Galik grinned.

“Calm down, lovely.” Vikarr held Eliza as she struggled to get away intent on attacking Kage. “I won’t lose you over this.”

“I want to rip him apart, Vivi.” Eliza screamed and scratched at his hands. “Let me go. He killed Vale.”

“Master Nikolai.” Asura clung to Nikolai for comfort and wished the cubs had not gone away. She wanted them together. She watched a room full of friends and lovers suddenly turning on each other irrationally and was herself overcome with an unexplainable sense of dread. “What’s going on?”

“Tch.” Kage shifted suddenly across the room and slapped Shiroi across the face. “Control yourself. It is your anxiety that is doing this.”

“Uncle…” Shiroi rubbed her face and looked at him with wide eyed understanding as he laid his fingers against hers and realized what had happened. She had let herself get swept away in her own emotions. So troubled by the state of things that her gift touched even her; her fears and anger caused old grudges to surface and spill out into spiteful words and her sadness at seeing Maefyl in agony put her in a strange state of shock. Shiroi lost complete touch with the power in herself and could only stand there helplessly as it swept across the room infecting others. Kage had managed to keep his wits about him and realized what had to be done. Shiroi felt the arms of her husbands close around her gently as the shouting in the room softened and she gave Kage a trembling smile of gratitude. “I’m sorry. Thank you.”

“Don’t thank me. Learn to use your skills properly.” Kage hissed at her and turned away quickly to rejoin the others. His own calm was broken by the sight of Neka snuggled into the arms of her pet and he drew his sword, bringing the edge to Bishop’s neck. “And you should explain very quickly why you have laid your hands on my child.”

“She told me to pick her up.” Bishop sighed. “Just doing what I’m told.”

“Kevas.” Lucifer chuckled as he helped Gabriel settle Maefyl. “Let Neka play with her toy. We are a little busy at the moment.”

“Hardly.” Kage sighed. “There will be no rush into Eden. Most of this Council is ill prepared.”

“Then Zakesalek should go alone.” Eidolon suggested. “There is no risk to us.”

“What about the kid?” Karla looked up at him and whispered. “You aren’t going to let the crazy bitch hurt her are you, Master Eidolon?”

“Language.” Eidolon ran his hand over Karla’s short hair and sighed. She squeezed against him to apologize and he held her close as Kaneko took his opposite arm. “As much as I would like to avoid it, sacrificing the child to rid Tsuriai of Sachiel’s madness is not altogether…”

“Unfortunately I promised Maefyl I would see to the safety of Iesu.” Lucifer interrupted Eidolon and started to pace. “If what Farren has told us is true and his daughter now holds that soul, then the child will be spared.”

“Thank you.” Farren whispered his gratitude to no one in particular.

“I don’t think it’s for you, buddy.” Bishop quietly muttered his response when he saw Farren wipe away his tears.

“As long as she is safe.” Farren offered a weak smile before he hung his head and thought of his daughter.

“You’re funny, Bishop.” Neka hugged around his neck and giggled. “Neka likes you.”

“I like you, too.” Bishop smiled and gave a light squeeze. “Your Dad is scary though.”

“You haven’t even seen him angry, yet.” Lilith whispered suddenly from beside them. As Bishop started to jump away she wrapped an arm around him and giggled. “Don’t worry, the rest of her parents like you.”

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