Tag Archives: Raziel

TCOL : BTG : All Over A Child

Asura slumped into her chair at the table feeling more exhausted than he could ever recall. The strain of seeing so many suffer had been overwhelming and she could still se the toll it had taken on the faces around the table. Her anxiety was only growing with the deafening silence, but she was given a sense of calm when she felt Nikolai’s soft fingers on hers and he rescued them all from the miserable quiet that filled the space between them.

“I’m not usually one to start proceedings…” Nikolai held Asura’s hand gently as he spoke. It was for her that he found the courage to live up to his role here. “I see little point however in prolonging this. What has been done, needed to done. There is no question the goal we were meant to achieve has been accomplished. The only matter left unresolved, that is, the only matter I imagine is pressing enough to keep us detained her is the girl.”

“And her father.” Vikarr nodded in agreement. He was not certain Lucifer’s decision to make this decision now was a wise one. Certain individuals at the table were still biting their tongues over the last decision made and Vikarr would have been far happier with a long recess before making another. “What’s to become of them?”

“Not one of you wants to discuss what Lucifer just unleashed?” Samael slammed his hand against the table as he stood. “Just destroy the traitorous angel and his whelp. We have other concerns.”

“Sit the fuck down, Sammy.” Maefyl butted a cigarette against the table as he exhaled. The last bit of smoke danced across the table into a scene of Maefyl slaying a dragon before it faded away in front of Samael. “We aren’t killing a kid and you seem to be the only one with an urgent need to hunt down Lucy’s new friends.”

“You will leave them alone, Samael.” Lucifer added calmly. “You all will. If they do no harm they have every right to their freedom.”

“And they…” Maefyl pointed to Farren and Evadia. “Have every right to live.”

“Quite a change of heart.” Kage hissed. “You were more eager than most to end his life.”

“So Farren gets a pass.” Lillith saw Maefyl’s smirk and interrupted what was sure to be a childish argument between the two of them to move on to bigger concerns of her own. “The girl however…”

“Is what?” Maefyl laughed but he was getting agitated with the situation already. “Dangerous? She’s a child.”

“Children grow.” Eidolon had wanted to avoid any part of theses discussions but forever found himself needing to be the voice of reason. “It is not so much the girl but the soul within her that is the problem. Iesu in name alone carries weight in Heaven. You have seen the damage…”

“Fuck you, Eidolon.” Maefyl scoffed. “The kid is just stuck with a crazy ghost. She can manage.”

“This isn’t about the girl, Maefyl.” Eidolon lowered his eyes and sighed when he realized there was no way to make it sound any better. “Don’t misunderstand me. If there was another way I would gladly hear it, I don’t wish harm on any child, but I will not stand by and watch another rebellion take hold on the hope that she holds a new god inside her.”

“No one outside this room even knows that, Uncle Eidolon.” Asura hoped to argue her father’s side. She had seen enough senseless death for one day. “Why does anyone ever have to know? Just keep her secret and let her live like a normal kid.”

“How long until you think she is discovered?” Eidolon countered quickly and felt terrible for sadness he saw in Asura and his own brides. “I am sorry, but Iesu has already displayed a tendency to surface in times of stress and turmoil.”

“She’ll be here though.” Asura groaned and pleaded her logic. “Since Farren is stuck with Bishop anyway. It’s not like she won’t have people watching her. What harm would there be?’

“Absolutely not!” Kage shouted. “I’ll not have that traitors child spoiled in this estate.”

“Arrogant bastard.” Maefyl sneered at Kage. “Why?”

“I don’t want her here either.” Lilith snapped coldly before Kage had a chance to answer. “End of discussion.”

“But you’ll make Farren stay?” Asura pouted as she looked aside toward Farren. It felt strange to pity the villain, but seeing him as a father about to lose his child she could no longer see the man they hunted. All she saw was vulnerability and pain as he smiled warmly at his daughter and gave her comfort and encouragement. “That’s not fair.”

“These people don’t do fair.” Bishop muttered to himself and went back to trying to ignore things he couldn’t help but hear.

“If Evadia is alive and well I can accept the pain of separation.” Farren answered humbly. He knew it was a risk to speak at all but there was no point in fighting their decisions, and he had been talking with Evadia to help her understand. “I entrusted my life to this Councils mercy for her benefit. I just ask that she is safe and cared for.”

“Why don’t one of you just adopt her?” Caleb giggled to himself forgetting that his playful whispers would be heard.

“Sorry.” Myrt quickly covered Caleb’s mouth and embraced him. “He’s talkative.”

“All suggestions are welcome.” Raziel made the decision to join the conversation and was amused that his cold response chilled Caleb even though he had meant to comfort him. “While I doubt anyone at this table is gracious enough to take the suggestion, it is not an altogether ill conceived idea. We have colleagues more than adequate for caring for a child until she can be left on her own.”

“You want to just drop some half-crazed demon kid in someone’s lap for a year or so?” Maefyl slid down into his chair and covered his face with his hands. It was absurd, but it was probably the best idea they were going to come up with. “Who the fuck do you suggest?”

“Opportunity knocks.” Raziel gestured to the doors as the tapping came from behind them.

Lucifer just laughed as he willed open the doors and a potential foster father stepped inside smiling sheepishly as he dropped several of the parchments he was carrying and GiGi started to help him collect them as her friend nervously blushed with the sudden feeling he was the center of attention.

“Fuck.” Maefyl sighed. “If he agrees, whatever.”

“Geoffrey.” Gabriel stood somberly and closed his eyes after receiving nods of approval or looks of complete disinterest from the Council. “How do you feel about children?”

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TCOL : BTG : The Problem With Promises

“What bargain did you make, Lucy?” Gabriel had been concerned about involving these ‘friends’ to begin with but with Sachiel now disposed it seemed his concerns were once again well founded. The barriers over Eden were still in place, meaning Lucifer was still protecting his realm from potential danger. Moreover he had closed them in tighter and now Gabriel wondered if it was just for the sake of cornering Sachiel.

“Freedom.” Ifre explained plainly. “We help you and he opens the door.”

“Free roam of Tsuriai.” Li’da added. “We have now done our part.”

“Hak! Hak! Hak!” Azrael shook his head and grabbed Samael by his wrist. “Danbol kabak besek na baknit, kosha.”

“I don’t wish to be the one to start another war.” Samael chuckled as he laid his fingers over Azrael’s in comfort. “But have you gone entirely mad Lucifer? The destruction any one of them are capable of…”

“My bargain was with Lucifer.” Ria smiled as he interrupted the smug protest of the Wyrms and stepped closer to the Dark Lord of Tsuriai. “Not his Council. I would not want this to become unfriendly.”

“Ria.” Eidolon entered the conversation carefully. He had wished to avoid it entirely, but if the scales were going to tip he preferred they tip in a reasonably harmless way. “I doubt any one of us would ever deny you freedom; we simply wish to protect what is dear to us.”

Yet with no remorse you locked us away for how long?” Ifre sneered back at him. “Fuck what is dear to you.”

“Settle down, Ifre.” Twaer sadly approached and tried to be the voice of reason for their side. Like Eidolon she preferred a more peaceful approach. If they were going to leave Eden she would rather do so without having to spend the rest of eternity staring over their shoulders. She looked to Eidolon and gave a clearer answer. “What he means is that you’ve all had the chance to find things that are dear to you. We want that chance.”

“Out of the question.” Samael clenched his teeth as he spoke. “You are dangerous. All of you. You care for nothing. Bow to no one.”

“Coming from you that’s beyond ridiculous.” Asura shook her head at him. “You can’t just lock someone away for fear of what they might do. They deserve a chance.”

“It’s no longer a matter of what we deserve, child.” Ria interrupted sternly. “We were made a promise.”

“I have every intention of rewarding you all you have done.” Lucifer smiled at Ria unblinking. “I told you from the beginning that there would be resistance to your request. I have not yet denied it. I just have other promises to consider. Promises I’ve made to each of them.”

“What you should consider is their fragile nature.” Ifre scoffed and walked off quickly creating a path of flames behind him that started to create separation in the group.

“Don’t threaten me.” Lucifer laughed. “I may forget whose side I am on.”

“There should be no side to choose.” Li’da listened to the whimpers of panic as the weakest among Lucifer’s companions clutched to those close to them. “Honor your word.”

“What have you done?” Eidolon held Karla to him as she shook. Had she not been so in need of his comfort his fury would have pushed him to a more violent course.

“We deprived them of light.” Li’da’s child like voices nearly singing together as she waved a hand over the others weeping. “Taken their sight. For a start.”

“They are not in any pain as of yet.” Ria assured their angered hosts as he continued smiling at Lucifer. “Deny us much longer and they will be.”

“You dare threaten what is ours and ask freedom?” Eidolon stroked Karla’s hair and held Kaneko tightly around her waist. He watched as Nikolai extended leashes from the cubs collars to keep them close as they stood defensively beside their Master and Asura. Raziel stood expressionless with his pets quietly suffering at his feet; Galik dutifully checking each of them to ensure they were okay. Each ‘family’ was dealing with it. Even the usually hotheaded and quick to provocation were treading carefully. For that Eidolon was grateful. “It is this abuse of your strengths that makes us hesitant, Ria.”

“None of you have ever abused your power to get what you wanted?” Ifre scoffed. “Be thankful I didn’t just set your pretty friends ablaze.”

“That’s enough, all of you.” Twaer had stood by watching the companions of Zakesalek suffer patiently and couldn’t take it anymore. She shouted for an end to it. “Li’da, this is cruel. They are children.”

“We have not affected the children.” Li’da gestured toward Neka and Evadia as she giggled over the technicality. “Though our patience wears thin.”

“If you harm my child, freedom will be of no concern.” Kage hissed and shifted closer to Neka. She looked up at him sadly from Bishop’s lap where she had been wiping the tears from his sightless eyes.

“Bishop is broken, Daddy.” Neka sniffled and tugged on the shirt of her surprisingly patient pet. “Fix him for Neka.”

“Your toy will be fine.” Kage pet her hair and looked back at Lucifer. “If this is to be a Council vote, I suggest you release them. They can do no more harm than any of us ever have. I would prefer them as allies.”

“As would I.” Gabriel sighed. “There is no reason Tsuriai can not welcome all of you, but as we live by its laws…”

“Cram your laws.” Ifre laughed. “We aren’t looking to upset any kind of balance.”

“We don’t hold any grudge against Zakesalek.” Twaer added. “We just want to be free.”

“Does your release from Eden ensure freedom?” Raziel stepped away from his frightened puppets to confront the Djinn. “It was my understanding you were created to serve.”

“That worked out well.” Samael scoffed and pulled Azrael into his arms as he pouted over the sudden change of heart the Council seemed to be having. “They have no respect for the power that brought them to life.”

“Because they were not created to serve that power.” Presia answered softly as she looked after her wounded Master but her words found every ear and they turned to hear her explanation. She smiled up at Lucifer. “This is why you requested our attendance, is it not? To show them their path?”

“What more beautiful example could there be?” Lucifer grinned. “How is he?”

“Alive.” Presia rested her hand over Nei’s heart. “Thanks to Ifre.”

“She is like us.” Li’da looked to Ria for guidance and let her spell fall away from the young vampires. “But not like us.”

“Yes.” Ria smirked. “With a similar curse.”

“Nonsense.” Lucifer laughed. “Presia is entirely unique and not one of you was cursed. She and each of you were given a gift, a choice.”

“Choice?” Twaer crouched and looked at the relief of the Council’s treasures as they regained their sight.

“We were created to serve a master of our choosing.” Presia smiled as she explained their gift. “Without that bond we are forever incomplete.”

“You sneaky fuck!” Ifre shouted at Lucifer. “That’s why we only reach our potential paired with you.”

“It is also what makes our long years in Eden all the more cruel.” RIa dropped his eyes sadly. “We were wronged more than I realized.”

“Not entirely my decision.” Lucifer looked at his nails as if completely disinterested in the newly discovered pain of his Djinn. “I have also not left you entirely alone. Lets not be melodramatic, Ria. It is not as if any of you were in a cell. You had all of Eden. I visited frequently.”

“We’re supposed to what?” Ifre howled at him. “Start bowing out of gratitude? You promised us we could leave Eden and live as we pleased. Now we’re supposed to pick one of your friends to serve?”

“Have I once suggested you swear loyalty to anyone here?” Lucifer answered angrily and Eden shook beneath their feet. “My delay in your release has nothing to do with you. I have other troubled minds to consider and I won’t lift this veil until I am certain there will be no war over this.”

“So you do intend to put this to a vote?” Eidolon cringed at the thought. He feared the divide it could cause. “Lucifer, this bargain was yours, just honor it. Delaying this further is cruel, and Maefyl and Sanguine are still absent.”

“We also still have to discuss what’s to become of the girl.” Gabriel whispered to Lucifer. “I may regret this, but just give them their freedom.”

“It was your intention, my Lord.” Lilith quietly agreed as she squeezed close to Lucifer. “We can deal with the Wyrms discontent later.”

“So much for your Council.” Samael sneered at Lucifer. “When it should matter most, you will always just assume authority.”

“When it matters you are often no where to be found.” Maefyl seemed distracted as he arrived, but was well enough informed of the conversations to join them without hesitation. He paced through the gathering with an awkward confidence and gave Samael a wink before he continued. “But despite the hypocrisy, Samael has a point.”

“You suggest I risk them?” Lucifer pulled Maefyl by his shirt and gestured to their fragile loved ones. “Don’t be foolish, boy.”

“Don’t be modest, Dad.” Maefyl laughed and glanced fiercely back at Ria as he pulled away. “I’m merely suggesting we make it clear that we are on more equal footing than they seem to think.”

“You?” Ifre burst into a fit of laughter before breaking into several small fires and spreading at Ria’s feet. There was a crackle of laughter in the voice of the flames as they mocked him. “Zakesalek couldn’t control us, what can you do?”

“You pose no threat.” Li’da added as auras of white and black spread around her. She cast a glance at Ria and he became the wind and they resumed their vicious threats. The young vampires started to gasp for air and Li’da smiled cruelly at Maefyl. “You can not catch the wind, or hold a raging fire in your hands. You could never contain Twaer’s tides…”

“No! Stop this!” Twaer ran to Vikarr and Eliza and wept over the girl trembling in his arms. “I won’t be a part of this.”

“Maefyl…” Gabriel was relieved Asura had been spared the pain the others were in, but she was nearly in shock from the horror of it. Each of them under the spells of the Djinn convulsing, their skin dry and red as if they were burning from inside. They had been careful not to assault the direct family of Zakesalek, but these were still their friends. Still their loved ones. “I know you have a point to make, but at what cost? Enough of this.”

“Agreed.” Maefyl grinned and suddenly slammed his fist into the ground at his feet breaking through it until he could feel his fingers around the frightened throat. Threa screamed as he pulled her into proper form and he held her in front of him. “I can most definitely crush a stone. Care to test that?”

“Threa!” Ria released the others and hastily took form in front of Maefyl. He dropped to his knees and reached for Threa’s fingers. “Please. Give her to me.”

“You threaten my family again and I will destroy yours.” Maefyl tossed the trembling Djinn into Ria’s embrace before casually lighting a cigarette and returning to Gabriel for an embrace of his own.

“Understood.” Ria watched Maefyl in awe as he gentle comforted Threa. “We managed to over estimate our position.”

“Just remember that.” Lucifer sighed. Maefyl’s interference had not been at all planned, but it could not have been more effective. “You will need to settle eventually and inform the Council of where. In the meantime, have a look around and follow the rules.”

“You’re letting us go?” Ifre was certain their plans were finished when they stumbled upon a champion that could exploit their weaknesses. “Just like that?”

“That’s how he does everything.” Samael grumbled. “I want it known that I am opposed to this.”

“Noted.” Lucifer smiled wickedly before dropping the veil and permanently making Eden a part of his own realm. He walked to Ria and pulled him down by the hair for a final word. “One more thing before you go…”

“As you requested.” Ria answered softly. “Safely protected as always in the womb of Eden.”

“Enjoy Tsuriai.” Lucifer turned to the others and sighed as the Djinn left Eden. “I don’t imagine any of you are up for a picnic so I’ll see you in the Council hall.”

“I am taking my Lord Frost home to recover.” Presia wasted no time on unnecessary partings. They had played their part and she wanted to return to Drifa with Nei.

The others just waited quietly. Some still trying to take in the full scale of events that happened so quickly, others agitated by another of Lucifer’s quick Exits, some just relieved to be unscathed and with the ones the loved after a journey they had embarked on with no real certainty of either fact.One however had a sense of dread that deeply stained his relief and he could not stop his tears as he held Evadia in his arms for what he was certain would be the last time.

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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 Warm Welcome

The moment Eden burst to life torrents of winds went swept over it to protect Zakesalek and their families and Lucifer grinned at the panicked reaction as Sachiel called for hundreds more of her pathetic choirs to fight on her behalf. While the coward exhausted herself he waited quietly beside Gabriel for the others to be brought to the cliff overlooking the estate where the once feared ghost hid away.

“Admit it, Gabby.” Lucifer spoke softly. “You’ve missed this place.”

“I have.” Eidolon interrupted and gave a quick nod to the silent shadowy wisp that had led them through the maze of assaulting winds. He watched it disappear before he smiled at Lucifer and listened to the others heave sighs of relief to be through with at least part of their journey. “I enjoyed it more without the obstacles.”

“We took care of what obstacles we could before the elements decided to lend a hand.” Mala grinned and bowed slightly to Gabriel. “They could have given a warmer welcome.”

“Have you seen the others?” Gabriel questioned him sadly.

We are leading them all to you Jakyl.” The wind assured him as some of it coiled in front of him and coalesced into a tall slender form dressed in a well-tailored suit and smiled at him. “Only one of your followers has fallen, and he was struck before our release. He is being cared for. You have no need for worry.”

“You’ve taken forms.” Eidolon moved beside Gabriel astonished by the sight of the element mimicking their demonic perfection. With long white hair that ran down his back until it was nearly clear at his waist and eyes that shifted in pale blues and greens, but surrounding the iris was as black as the entirety of Lucifer’s eyes.

“And names.” Lucifer added as he continued to watch the estate below for Sachiel. “This one likes to be called Ria.”

“You said you were released.” Gabriel asked with instant regret. Knowing release meant blood had been spilled. “Which of us gave you this new freedom, Ria?”

“I was surprised as I am sure you will be that it was not one of you that broke the last of your damnable spell.” Ria smiled at him and started to fade into a breeze again so he could continue his task of gathering the others. “It was the blood of the one called Maefyl.”

“Maefyl is not hurt.” Gabriel caught Lucifer by his arm when he turned with rage evident in his expression. Despite his tendency to be cruel on his own, the thought of his son in jeopardy agitated Lucifer like little else could and Gabriel knew well enough to end the worry. “At least not badly enough to be concerned over. Whoever has fallen; it is not Maefyl. Do you think I would be standing here watching you gloat if he were in any danger?”

“This is an odd gamble.” Eidolon thrust a blade into the ground in front of him and tapped his fingers around it’s hilt. “Even with the numbers the ghost is calling, do you expect a hoard of angels to stand against us? I don’t mean to deny any soul it’s freedom, but you are releasing an unpredictable element into a world we have yet to stabilize after so many changes.”

“Doubt is unattractive, Falcon.” Kage hissed softly as he arrived and stood beside Eidolon watching the raging angels as Sachiel rallied them with her magic. He smirked when he heard Lilith cooing over her attention from Lucifer and decided to leave her to enjoy the reunion while he focused on the matters at hand. “When did you start questioning our Lord?”

“I was merely making conversation, Viper.” Eidolon smiled . Neither of them gave each other a glance as they spoke. They just exchanged odd pleasantries as they watched and listened. Myrt and Mala quietly gave words of comfort and confidence to their husbands while Lucifer fawned over his blood covered bride and taunted Gabriel with the cleverness of his plans. Ria had guarded them and Eden, Lucifer had Eden surrounded in a barrier of his own to protect his own realm from the battle to come and caught between the film of chaos and the violent winds angels screamed a harmony of violent intentions conducted by an angry ghost. Still they stood smiling at an army that would be on them soon, friends after all they had been through and realizing as they listened the cruel genius of their Lord.

He brought them together. All of them.

“Thanks.” Brig kneeled and stroked the pebbles that rolled softly in front of him as they finally made their way to others. He pouted a bit when he realized he was the first from Vex to make it. “I don’t suppose you could tell me if ShaSha is okay?”

The pebbles rolled against his fingers and warmed. He was too relieved to even notice Eidolon had walked over to him and fell over startled from the tap on his shoulder sending Cid and Tali into fits of laughter.

“I apologize.” Eidolon leaned and offered his hand. Kaneko clinging to his back with a wide smile on her face and Karla clinging to his arm giggling. “They tell me you looked out for them. You have my thanks.”

“I think they were the ones looking out for me.” Brig blushed and pulled himself up with Eidolon’s hand. He had taken it in greeting before, but this gesture seemed warmer. When he was on his feet Eidolon sat another hand over his. “I didn’t…”

“You stood up for us.” Karla smiled.

“Kaneko doesn’t give her praise lightly.” Eidolon squeezed Brig’s hand before releasing it. He turned his attention to the Wyrms and sneered. “Nor just she leave out details. I am inclined to thank you for sparing them any harm, Samael.”

“I have no interest in your brides, Eidolon. Save your breath.” Samael scoffed and walked past him, dragging Shiroi along with him by her wrist until he was stopped a few feet short of Lucifer by Kage. Samael clenched his teeth in his grin when he met Kage’s chilling glare. “De naze na seldak hala sekni kevas.”

“Then I suggest you calm yourself.” Kage’s nails lengthened and his fangs fell into his smile. “You won’t be going near him when I can smell death in your intent.”

“If there is death in my intent it has far easier targets.” Samael smiled past Kage. “It merely occurred to me that our guides through this battleground were so very convenient. I wanted ask our dear Lord who we should thank for the sudden cooperation.”

“ShaSha!” Brig ran to his family interrupting the tension for a moment with their reunion. As they kissed Brig felt Raziel’s fingers in his hair and smiled. He held Shana’s face as he whispered. “I’m glad you’re all okay.”

“And we found the lost kitten.” Van beamed proudly as she hung on Galik and pointed to their traveling companions. Neka was cuddled up on Bishop’s back as he walked quietly beside Farren. Behind them Nikolai and his pets lovingly congratulated each other on their progress.

“Daddy!” Neka giggled and swung her feet at Bishop’s sides as he walked closer to take her where she wanted to go. Her excitement was enough to soften the air between Kage and Samael and they both smiled to greet her. “Daddy, the air talks here!”

“Sweet girl.” Samael patted her as she slid to her feet. “The air speaks everywhere if you are listening. What you heard was something far more irritating.”

“And Bishop was so bwave.” Neka grabbed the leg of Kage’s pants, ignoring Samael’s lesson to tell her Father about her adventures. “So was Fawwen.”

“You were to stay with Kaneko.” Kage glared at Bishop as he picked up his daughter and stroked her hair.

“Everyone was upsetting her.” Bishop hung his head. “I made a mistake and put her at risk. That damn vampire got hurt trying to keep us safe. I’m sorry.”

“You’ll have to annunciate, Neka.” Kage grinned at his daughter. “You were telling me about your pet…”

“Bishop kept Neka safe.” Neka hugged Kage tight and rambled on about Bishop and his bravery. “Neka was brave, too.”

Until Kage was certain Bishop had finished wiping away unnecessary tears he held Neka and let her inform him on every detail of their adventure. The fact she insisted on including Samael kept another issue from arising between themselves. As everyone reunited and took time to recover and strengthen themselves. Even as the army around them grew wilder, their faith in each other and their confidence swelled.

“What has you smiling suddenly?” Lucifer watched Gabriel’s somber, contemplative expression melt into a sense of peace. “I assume that my son is finally going to join us. Nothing else seems to distract you so completely.”

“Kosha!” Azrael ran at Samael and leapt into his arms. He grabbed Shiroi and pulled her into the embrace as he bit Samael’s ear and mumbled his exciting news. “Se seta Maefyl, kosha. Ken blekasa.”

“De supas.” Samael held Azrael close and stroked his hair as he watched Maefyl’s quiet arrival.

Samael’s were not the only eyes on him as he carried Evadia into the midst of strangers. All of the Council watched anxiously as Maefyl sat the girl to her feet and took her hand. Gabriel met him and took his hand as he walked toward Farren.

Farren fell to his knees as they approached and nervously spread his fingers in the grass as he watched his daughter blush and start to smile. He wanted grab hold of her and never let go, but he had made a bargain for her safety. His life for hers. He just smiled at her and hoped she could understand. “Hello, Evadia.”

“Daddy!” Evadia leapt forward and embraced him. “I knew you would come.”

“Thank you, Maefyl.” Farren wept as he held his daughter.

“Let him look after her while we put an end to this.” Maefyl patted Kage on his arm. He could already see the aggravation building over another complicated guest and it was unnecessary. Lucifer wasn’t going to allow her to stay. They should at least have this time. “It is time to end this; right, Lucy?”

“Sachiel!” Lucifer’s voice rose over Eden. “Face me!”

Presia’s song began again as she was escorted into the field of Watcher’s by a dark haired young man with eyes like fire who gently carried Nei as he walked beside her. She sang sadly as the winds calmed to reveal a gathering army and her escort laid her Master in her lap for safe keeping. He took her hand and laid it over Nei’s heart. “Sing for him, miss.”

“Is that flirting?” A giggling current of water that had guided them took form beside Presia’s rescuer and pinched him. Her ringlet curls bouncing as she playfully scolded him. Presia’s song was brightening and the skies of Eden were clearer with every note. “Make friends later, Ifre.”

“I want to make sure we actually have friends here, T’waer.” Ifre righted himself as he put his arm around her. “Ria and Lucifer made this agreement, but I remember a few of these angry faces.”

“Don’t be bitter.” Ria scolded as he took form. He let his barriers of wind begin to wane; a gesture that silenced Ifre’s doubt. “For Eden.”

“For Eden.” Ifre nodded.

Angels that were scattered across Eden now converged on the estate were Sachiel hid herself away. Forming threatening ranks and screaming songs of war to combat Presia’s melody.

Fruitlessly. Presia’s song was being amplified by Eden itself and by the magic of those who never left it.

“Ifre.” Lucifer grinned. “Burn that eyesore to the ground.”

“Boring.” Ifre yawned as screamed erupted from the rapidly crumbling estate. Twaer and Ifre laughed as Sachiel shouted curses and hid amongst dust and her army of angels. “Nice work, Threa.”

“Thank you.” Barely a whisper came from behind Ria as a girl barely more than half his height peeked around him.

“Shall we begin?” Ria smiled at Lucifer.

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TCOL : Eden : Children In Eden Pt.2

Raziel guided his puppets through the sudden storm, following the unnerving laughter of a trickling stream that had appeared suddenly and sweetly demanded they follow. In the surrounding winds the howls of a growing army of choirs could be heard and Raziel’s own worry for Brig was echoed in the minds of the loves still at his side.

“Come, quickly.” The stream that hurried in front of them demanded. It’s flow disappearing behind them making it appear more like a snake than a body of water. “Hurry, hurry.”

“Raziel, I’m scared.” Shana shuddered as she spoke. The others seemed so calm to her, but it was taking everything she had to focus on keeping pace with them instead of bursting into tears. “Where is Brig?”

“You’ll all be together soon.” The water answered sweetly. “Don’t be frightened. We are here to help.”

“Help?” Raziel answered coldly. ”Time has changed you.”

“What happened!?” Shana ran ahead when she saw another path converging with theirs and Presia carrying Nei in her arms. “Is he going to be okay?”

“His heart was pierced.” Presia answered quietly as she continued to follow a flame that flickered wildly in front of them. “He is weak, but I am hopeful. My Lord Frost is not one to give up easily.”

“He was defending me.” Bishop looked away ashamed as he carried Neka. “Those damn things came after Neka.”

“Have you seen Brig?” Shana interrupted. “He went looking for Neka.”

“Neka is sorry.” She turned to Shana with sad eyes and quivering lip unsure of how to deal with feeling of guilt and remorse. She stiffened up and bunched her fingers into fists in Bishops shirt. “Neka will ask Daddy to make it better.”

“She is just a kid.” Bishop fumbled over the apology. “She, I didn’t mean for this to happen… I got lost… We would have…”

“We haven’t seen him.” Farren laid his hand on the nervous vampire’s head and simplified the answer for Bishop. “She ran off and he followed. I’m sorry it led to the rest of you getting separated.”

“Where are these weird things taking us?” Van demanded impatiently.

“To Lucifer.” Raziel eyed the flame and the water that now moved serenely below it. “Though, I’m curious as to why.”

“Well, detour for me and the pretty lady.” The flame danced aside opening clearing where the residents of Golod had just stopped a moment to rest. “You can handle these stragglers.”

“Hey.” Asura sighed and approached the edge of a large glassy pond where strange critters frolicked. “The rock just said we could rest.”

“Where did that thing go?” Bezer looked around for their quiet guide. “Did you kick it Azazel?”

“No.” Azazel laughed and snatched Asura up before she could lean over and stroke one of the critters. “Come on. Break time is over.”

“It’s best not to pet the Vicern.” The water warned. “Tricky little cuties.”

 Nikolai took one last look at the creatures. Like white otters with the black spines of porcupines. He could not begin to imagine what horrible poison tipped those quills and the thought of Asura so nearly finding out first hand made him feel ill. He took Bezer’s hand to quietly comfort himself and followed after the others, stopping a moment to give a nod of compassion to Presia as she stayed behind with her flickering guide.

They’ll be okay.” The water spoke again once they were on their way. “I just know it.

“These guides…” Nikolai looked to Raziel for answers. “Angels? Demons?”

“Neither.” Raziel was uneasy explaining the nature of their host while their current situation relied so heavily on them, but there was no harm in a few simple truths. “We gave them no real name. They could be called manipulators, elementals, djinn.”

“Ooo, Djinn.” The water laughed. “I like that one. Sounds fancy.”

“Use it.” Raziel responded emotionlessly to acknowledge her remark before he continued. “They are, to my understanding, the most powerful magic locked away in Eden.”

“A puddle and a rock?” Azazel laughed until he was suddenly hit by a wall of water that knocked Asura from his arms and held him against the wall of wind where he struggled not to inhale the force of the torrent.

“Enough.” Nikolai helped Asura to her feet and attempted to keep his temper. “Humor is Azazel’s way. He meant nothing by it.”

“Gotcha.” Bezer caught her brother as the wave subsided and let him choke out the attack over her shoulder. As she stroked his back she winked over to Asura to let her know he was okay. “Just be glad we weren’t still with the rock, stupid.”

“Fuck off, Bezer.” Azazel pushed away and shook his hair dry. ”Let’s just keep going.”

“What about Brig?” Shana took Raziel’s hand. “Aren’t you worried?”

“I am, puppet.” Raziel squeezed her fingers. “I think we are all being led to the same destination. We will see him soon.”

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TCOL : Eden : A Silent Garden Pt.3

“Kyaa!” Kaneko ripped her blades through a Principalities back, tearing through it’s wings as she pulled them up and kicked it to the ground before turning to open the throat of another attacker. “Ridiculous angels should know better than to fuck with Kaneko!”

“Nyaa!” Neka wiggled about happily as she clung to Bishop. “Neka wants to play, too!”

“I’m supposed to keep you safe.” Bishop hugged her tightly. Watching the vicious and chipper sister of the girl in his arm slaughter creatures so carelessly was unnerving enough on its own, but seeing how Neka admired her for it was frightening. The violence he wanted to protect her from seemed to run in her veins. He could feel her heart racing as she watched. Bishop forced himself to ignore the fact he could smell the blood in her as well as the blood Kaneko had splattered them all with and he smiled at Neka sweetly. “I can’t let you help this time. Maybe when you get a little taller.”

“Thrones.” Raziel warned and pushed his more vulnerable puppets into a protective barrier with the others he let Galik unleash his fiercer form. As Galik moved with bewildering speed through the trees and caught one of the powerful creatures by the neck with his tail Raziel sliced through it with thousands of strands of chaos.

“Go, Galik! Go, Razzy!” Van cheered them on excitedly as she swung Frikk and Frakk by their feet. She glanced over at Shana cringing as Raziel tore the wings from another angel. “Aren’t they amazing?”

“I guess I forget sometimes what we married.” Shana nodded. It wasn’t so much the gore that made her wince, but the ease with which they killed. Each death was brutal and unforgiving, intentionally cruel. And then forgotten as if they had just shooed away a fly. Raziel had no remorse for a single soul he absorbed and Galik seemed to enjoy it.

“I don’t.” Brig kissed Shana on her cheek and patted the heads of the fargoyles she cradled in her arms. He never forgot what demons were capable of. What Raziel was capable of. He had just found his way past needing to dwell on it. “And it’s who, not what. Don’t make him mad, ShaSha.”

“Weird family.” Karla muttered as she wiped Kaneko’s face. “It’s like they are scared of him.”

“Kaneko thinks they are just confused because he always looks like this.” Kaneko straightened her face until Karla laughed. She hugged her tight and ran off through Raziel’s protection and pounced on another of the soldiers trying to break through it. “Kyaa! Kaneko was busy!”

“And you think that we are weird?” Brig smirked.

“Ugh.” Van sneered. “Just ignore them. I don’t get why we got stuck babysitting anyway.”

“Your Lord Raziel offered to look after Neka.” Farren sighed as he watched the battle restlessly. He wanted to lend his aid, but having to stay so close to Bishop limited his options.

“Kaneko behind you!” Karla screamed and tears of relief fell as Kaneko kicked her feet behind her and knocked her would be attacker away. Her relief quickly turned to shock when Farren stepped past her through the barrier and wrapped his fingers around the angels neck. The winged soldier convulsed and its skin started to crack and bleed. “What are you doing to it?”

“I can’t stray far from the boy.” Farren shrugged as he stole life from the rotting angel. He hoped he could at least offer enough defense to let Raziel work to his full potential. “But I can destroy anything that gets close. No harm will come to the Falcon’s brides or the Viper’s children. You would be of more use elsewhere, Keeper.”

“I am content keeping pace with Eidolon’s brides.” Raziel dismissed the offer. Farren had genuine intentions but if they were overwhelmed it would be Raziel and his puppets held accountable. “I don’t doubt your intentions, Farren. I can see them well enough. But you are traveling with treasures that need protecting. We remain together.”

“Neka wants to walk.” Neka slid to her feet and giggled when Bishop grabbed her hand and tugged her close. Neka shuffled her feet through the remains of fallen angels and swung her tail as she looked up at Raziel. She smirked as she looked into his emotionless eyes. “And Neka doesn’t need the Keeper.”

“She doesn’t mean anything by that.” Bishop laid his hand on her soft hair and managed to smile at Raziel. “Neka just wants her Father to be proud.”

“Well, she certainly has his nasty side.” Van sneered down at the girl as she stepped in front of her. She rested her hands on her hips and grinned wickedly as Frikk and Frakk crawled through her arms. “You should be glad Razzy is looking out for you.”

“Kyaa!” Kaneko hissed and pounced over Van, turning in midair and landing in front of her to issue her warning. “Kaneko doesn’t like the way you talk to Neka. Watch your mouth, you pastel tart.”

“I don’t like the fact the kitten is pulling my little buddy there around like a puppy.” Van poked Kaneko in the shoulder. “Back off, bitch.”

“With me, puppet.” Raziel pulled Van aside as Kaneko clawed through the air where she had been.

“The singing stopped.” Brig interrupted halting any further scolding or attacks. The air had become silent and it was just as much the taint of hatred Sachiel had left in the garden as it was personal grudges that was making them lose their focus. He held Shana’s trembling hand in his and smirked at Raziel. “Even Galik noticed.”

“So he did.” Raziel knelt beside Galik and put his arms around him. In his thoughts he could see the struggle of his most precious creation trying to keep himself composed and make his Master proud and the shame of being unable to act. “Keep close puppet. The dark hold on this place is weakening, The Siren’s song will be unnecessary soon.”

“And I didn’t mean to snap at the kid.” Van sighed. “I just feel bad for Bishop.”

“Kaneko is sorry, too. You apologize too, Neka….” She grinned and started to turn and her eyes searched franticly for her younger sister and her strange toys. “Neka…Where….KYAA!”

“Master Eidolon is going to be so mad at us.” Karla whimpered.

“It’s not like she’s alone.” Shana offered. “We’ll find her.”

“She’s with a dumb kid and a traitor.” Brig shook his head and watched Raziel for some idea of what needed to be done. His emotionless Master focused on where the child had been silently as he held Galik in one arm and rubbed Van’s fingers softly in his. Brig walked closer with Shana and crouched to whisper. “You take Shana and go find out who turned off the music, cupcake. I’ll help these two find the lost kitten. They couldn’t have gone far.”

“You do not give the orders, puppet.” Raziel stood and pulled Brig to his feet, feeling a moment of fear in his puppets before he pushed his lips to Brig’s. He left a smile and a flush on Brig’s face as he pulled away and gestured toward Eidolon’s brides. “Go.”

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