It’s finally here!!!! My awesom-o short story with its part 1 (at least two more parts to go!!!). But I feel such accomplishment! Never actually finished anything before in my life when it comes to writing a story, even a third-finished piece 😛 😛
Some background: This is my re-telling of the (I don’t want to say biblical since it’s really not) Christian mythology surrounding the origin of Lucifer/Satan. Many of the details are inspired from many sources, both biblical and other fantasy romantic writers, as well as some movies and TV-series that I’ve watched.
Most of all, what inspired me is the beauty of our natural universe, as “Lucifer” in my story is really a metaphor for both the universe’s splendor and mankind’s fantastical quest for its discovery.
And above all, Love.
Enjoy! Leave comments or questions!
Oh, there are probably some grammar mistakes and such. It’s not a final final finished piece obviously. Will be updated periodically as I read through it over and over again. Writing is fucking hard!!!! But still, I’m satisfied at this first draft. That’s the most important thing! 🙂
Lucifer Part 1: The Ascension
In the beginning, or one should say, the known beginning, beyond the physical realm was a spiritual realm, where the Great Spirits battled each other for power and balance. One of these Great Spirits, who thirsted for dominance of the entire spiritual realm, looked down into the physical realm for aid. It discovered a blue planet called earth with a race of mortal species called humans, whose souls are strong and their numbers plenty. So the Great Spirit reached down to earth. As It touched the earthly ground, a pathway was created between the spiritual realm and the physical realm, which enabled the human soul, when left the deceased mortal body, to not dissipate into space but fly directly unto the Great Spirit to be consumed by It. One by one accumulating human souls consumed by the Spirit, It grew stronger, until Its strength was so great that this One Great Spirit was able to defeat all other Great Spirits, and achieved ultimate dominance over all others. From then on, peace and balance came into the spiritual realm. However, in order to stay in power and to maintain the balance, the Great Spirit must continue to consume human souls to ensure It stayed strong. But the human souls, by nature curious and rebellious, though believing the Great Spirit to be their God and Maker of All Things, began to resist and question their fate. They came before the Great Spirit and asked in supplication:
“O Great and Powerful God, what have we done to deserve being devoured as so? Have we not made sacrifices to please thee when we lived? We looked to thee for many questions and desires but were made to come into thy Great Mouth unanswered and unsatisfied.”
The Great Spirit was then troubled. It had only thought of the human souls as fuel and did not think of their desires and feelings, so It looked down to them and said:
“If you were not consumed by me your souls would unconsciously dissipate into the physical space. What difference does it make that your demise is now but delayed?”
The humans answered:
“Thou art our God and we have sought knowledge and desires through thee for our entire lives. And now, the knowledge of thee has made us uneasy.”
The Great Spirit thought for a moment, then asked:
“What knowledge and desires might you seek in this existence?”
The humans answered:
“We thought that we would be coming into a better place, full of beauty and wonder and happiness. But instead, there is nothing here but empty space, and Thy Great Mouth, waiting for us. What then is the purpose of our earthly existence? Why implant us with those yearnings if we are really nothing but food for Thy Great Stomach?”
The Great Spirit then began to feel pity towards the humans, for consuming human souls has made It empathic towards who once lived. So It searched through the memories of the souls It consumed and stretched Its Great Body, sprouting forth Paradise and creating all the wonder and beauty as dreamed and prayed by the humans.
The human souls bowed down and thanked The Great Spirit whom they called their Lord God. And The Great Spirit was surprised to see that this new found heaven, although it may take time, has strengthened many human souls. Not only so, the humans now flew to the Great Mouth according to their own free will once they perceived that they had spent a long enough time and have achieved a state of ultimate peace, in which they have completely reconciled with death and no longer desired heavily pleasure. The strongest of these souls, The Great Spirit discovered, were the ones who achieved peace through a powerful human emotion called “love.” The more the Great Spirit consumed these souls, the more human love becomes It, until love is all that It desired towards the humans. From then on, The Great Spirit became not only the Maker of the wondrous heavenly kingdom, he became the Maker and Keeper of human love.
So through love, the Maker wishes to replenish his heaven with it, for so great was the beauty It sees in love, It began to create only through the inspiration of human love and nothing else. And humans loved many things. They loved the beauty of mountains and rivers, and waterfalls, so the Maker created the tallest mountains and longest rivers, with waterfalls more majestic than all the earthly waterfalls ever existed. Humans loved the sun and starry skies, so the Makers made long shiny days and short but bright starry nights. But perhaps most of all humans loved the company of other beautiful men and women. They sought, through their imagination, to perfect any flaws in themselves. Most looked up in heaven and were envious of creatures of flight, and yearned to soar above the skies, high and free. The Maker, in Its wisdom, knew that the nature of human souls must not be meddled with, but It also saw that many souls came unto It in torment and pain, and It greatly wished to alleviate them. So It created angels in the image of man—beautiful and perfected men and women creatures with great feathered wings. The Maker replenished the heaven with these beautiful creatures, to care for the company of men, heal those souls who left their mortal body in misfortune, and guide those who lost their way back to the path of humanity.
But as the Maker become more and more acquainted with the desires of humans, so It also saw the dark and terrible side. The side of hatred and cruelty that brought forth sadistic tendencies. So the Maker realized that as much happiness has brought forth by love, so sadness and pain was brought forth from its counterpart. So the Maker made the heaven into many levels like a great tower of spheres, with Its Great Eye, Mouth, and Center at the very top, engulfed in a luminous sphere like the brightest sun. Souls that came to be near the Center were the noblest souls. Souls belonged to those mortals who have lived only in service of others. These souls would go to great extremes to gamble and sacrifice little that they had for those they had loved, desiring only to be loved in return. The lowest level contained souls that were meant to be farthest away from the Maker. For those souls came from the most despicable of human beings who can only find pleasure at the expense of others, and who craved nothing else but power. Each level contained many spheres. Noble souls are rewarded with their own sphere. The noblest of them all may even share their spheres with whom they chose. Whereas the wicked souls all resided within one sphere and must learn to tolerate the presence of each other. The Maker saw that all was pleasing in Its Eye. And as in accordance to the ways of the humans, the Maker declared Itself the Father of His creation. He replenished heaven with great hosts of angels and granted them the language of His preference. So it was said that in the beginning of heaven there was music, and music was with God. So the angels, of whom most were created as the perfect embodiment of innocence and purity, knew not human words, but sang the language of Angelsong: clear, delicate, and transparent. Their born gift was music and musical instruments were their great natural talent.
The very first angels that the Maker created were numbered eight. They were known as the Archangels. For these angels would become chieftains of all angels, each assigned to oversee at least one Level of heaven. The other angels were either the Hosts or the Heralds. The Herald angels were messenger angels, who carried and distributed commands and messages throughout heaven. The Host angels were the heavenly hosts that replenished heaven. They are the most pure and innocent of all heavenly creatures. They knew no human words nor humanly knowledge, music was their only language, beauty and happiness their only existence.
The Archangels, being the first creation, were privileged to choose their own appearances and gender in accordance to their inner-self. They were also gifted with not only the language of heaven, but human speech as well. As they alone could naturally speak to the souls in whichever human tongue. They were each to be bestowed a name by the Maker that a human tongue could pronounce on the Day of Naming. Through human language, the Archangels share the burden of knowledge, which, as powerful as they were, made them lose much of the innocence as ingrained in other angels.
One Archangel that stood out above all others was a golden angel, as beautiful as dawn, incandescent as the mid-day sun. His hair was the color of sunlight. His dazzlingly golden eyes glowed like fire. His enormous wings were that of the highest soaring eagle. He clad himself in military armor of an imperator, as emperors from an ancient vast empire once had. Everything about this angel reflected a kind of a golden glory that can only be described as an icon to be worshipped. So it was no surprise that when the Day of Naming came, he was bestowed the name Michael–one who is like God.
Michael grew to be a great Prince among the angels. He never doubted that his beauty and perfection can only be a reflection from the will of God: a mark and reminder of the gift for absolute faith. He understood only duty and obedience. Duty gave him meaning and purpose, while obedience gave him humility and peace. Michael saw his duty as one to glorify God by leading souls to the quickest route to Ascension, where God will strengthen from the human souls and in turn keep heaven as the ultimate paradise for all its inhabitants.
Michael’s two closest companions were Raphael and Gabriel. Raphael, as his namesake suggested, “God who heals,” was a great healer and had a fondness for green things. And so he was built like an aged tree. He chose the appearance and body of a late middle-aged man rather than a flowering youth that most other Archangels chose. His large wings were of a glossy forest green, like a hummingbird, extending out of his bronze skin and ebony-wood colored hair. Raphael was mild and meek, patient with his charges, and, in learning from his crafts, was patient and submissive to Michael, whom he saw as his superior. Gabriel, who bore the namesake “God is my strength,” was the only Archangels who chose the body of a woman. And she was exquisite: virginal and yet strong-willed, curious but virtuous. Her owl-like wings extending out of a pearl-white body with long sleek and silky brown hair with a hint of caramel tone that fell to her waist; tall and feminine. Her face was gentle like a mother’s, perfected with two eyes of amber, kind and understanding. Gabriel was the favorite of Michael, who saw her as the crown jewel of all the angels. For to look upon her is to fall for her in great passion and desire.
But Gabriel, being unusually curious by nature, was drawn to another Archangel. A nameless Archangel, who had missed the Day of Naming, preferring to be elsewhere at the time. And so he was not understood by many. His giant wings were as black as a Raven’s, and his hair as dark as the night sky. But in this shadowy figure hid a terrible beauty that few could bear to look upon it. So terrible that it rivaled that of even the great Archangel Michael, who, more than anyone in heaven, was baffled, as one often would when contemplating an incomprehensible superiority. On his silvery moon-pale face rested two eyes of blue as clear as the cloudless sky, and as deep as the open sea. As if in alignment with his semblance, more than anything this nameless, dark angel was drawn to the contrasting dark and bright physical realm below. While the angels sang chorus of adoration to their Creator, filling the entire heaven with their celestial songs: layered, precise, and mathematical, this solitary Archangel would spend his days with his head in the mysterious universe, pondering the boundless prospects of creation. He would sit at the edge of heaven and watch the great stars explode into supernovae, forming new stars, and henceforth constellations, galaxies, solar systems, planets, and elements. In heaven, being out of physical time and place, one could watch the physical world from its very beginning, all the way to its present, in whatever speed capacity one preferred. So this dark Archangel watched lone stars being born, sending their light all the way across the universe, even when they had burned out and their rays had all but extinguished. He saw the beginning of life and tearfully heard the music of its evolutionary progress leading to the formation of mankind–the source of heavenly love. What long progress it was in the angelic eye that was made from the image of man. And yet, only a flash, a glimpse of the exponentially longer progress that has made the universe. And he wondered at this; this chaotic and yet self-creating, self-regulating, self-governing physical universe that spirally executes cycles of life and death. A universe held together on no more than the natural laws of physics and yet creating seemingly infinite possibilities, silently radiating an unspeakable beauty.
So it was during one of these absorbed moments that the Archangel was found by the newly named Archangel Gabriel, passing the Day of Naming.
“Brother,” Gabriel said in Angelsong, “Michael has been looking all over the celestial realm for you. He is quite cross.”
“Why sister?” The dark Archangel asked.
“You have missed your Naming and therefore defied the will of our Maker. For the Maker has declared that all Archangels must have names pronounced in the human tongue.”
For this the Raven-winged Archangel replied.
“It was not my intent to defy Him.” He bowed his head. “I had simply forgotten and missed it by my own mistake.”
“But what will you be known by, without a Name?” Gabriel asked in dismay.
The Archangel smiled, unfazed. “Beloved sister, will you not give me a name, if I must possess one?”
But before Gabriel could answer, a light of golden glory descended upon them. The Archangel Michael, newly named and shining as an illustration of his Namesake, sang in an over-powering timbre of Angelic mockery and animosity:
“This was not the first time you have not done your duty to your Lord, Brother! I name you Sataniel! One who tests God!”
But the dark Archangel merely answered, his smile not faded away: “Thank you brother. That is as good a name as any.”
So the Archangel became known as Sataniel among the heavenly hosts, though most angels preferred not addressing him as thus. But because he was not named by the Maker, he was not seen as equal prestige as the rest of the Archangels. So it was Michael who came to him and said:
“Brother, although you were not named as the rest of us were, you are no less among the First Creation of the Lord, as we were, and therefore must commit to your duty. The heavenly levels are all watched by an Archangel save one, the Lowest. It is only fitting that you should watch over it. For ascending those souls from the Lowest level would no doubt greatly empower our Lord Maker.”
Although it was known that no angel ever wished to venture the Lowest Level, a Level filled with the most base of all souls that even the most merciful of the angels found difficult to tolerate, Sataniel agreed to this arrangement, for the Lowest Heavenly Level was also the closest Level to the physical realm–so close that they nearly touched. So Sataniel spread his great raven wings and flew all the way down to the lowest edge of heaven.
And so Sataniel became the Lord of the Lowest Level of the celestial realm. But even though an Archangel, he was only a chieftain by an empty title, for there was no other angels in the place he was stationed and therefore he had no help or attendant to command. So he remained mostly solitary just as he had always been. But he was neither unhappy nor discouraged. Being an angel of the Lord, he was made naturally happy. Being closest to the physical realm, he was delighted to see how vast it was, far larger than heaven could ever dream of being. He would lay on his chest with his face close to the mysterious universe right below where he stood, and was more than tempted to reach out across the membranes of heaven to touch the other side. What would it be like to be inside it? To feel the strange matter with his body? He would close his eyes and dreamed of flying along the nebulae dust clouds, watch stars being made. Perhaps he would also be made into a star, a light that will burn for millions, perhaps billions, of years. A light for all mankind to see and wonder. But Sataniel knew that it was forbidden to leave heaven. For it has been decreed by the Lord.
Sataniel has not forgotten his duty. So he turned towards the souls and told them of many truths. Most of all, he came upon them with a desperation to share his envy of them, that they came from this awesome world that he loved, made from the stardust that once shined.
“Look what luck and miracle that has conjured you from this stunning universe!” Sataniel would say. “Each of you are different, and yet, made with the same stardust from whence you came. Beauty and wonder are all around you, yet you live and fight only for things that are invisible and vain.”
But the souls in the Lowest Level could not understand him. By nature jealous, they only understood that might makes right, to climb the social latter and defeat others who challenge them was the ultimate goal, to find misery in others was as pleasurable as the confirmatory reward that they sought, in their lives and the next. They could not see the significance of what the Archangel showed them, for they could only see the separation between themselves and those who they saw as enemies, which fortified their appearance of their imagined superiority and importance. So they were only able to see the self-chosen fragments of the way things were that was kept and those that had strengthened their perverted beliefs, and therefore were blind to see the wholesomeness of the truth even when presented to them as clear as day. They desired to be worshiped and exalted by all, with crowns above their heads and thrones beneath their behinds. And they wished the pleasure to observe the destruction and torment of their hated enemies while enjoying perverted activities of lust and gluttony as they had on earth. So when these souls arrived in heaven, they were enraged in disbelief that many of those they perceived to be their enemies were also there to share the same heavenly space with them. They fought each other in wrathfulness as they had done when they had lived, but to no avail. For in heaven they no longer had the power to harm. So they struck others as if striking air, and cursed each other until their tongues gave out but could not compel or subdue. They had lost the power over others’ desires, for in heaven all was made equal save the separation of the spheres as mentioned. So they refused to believe the permanence of their situation and looked above them in furthering their delusion. Without a physical body, earthly pleasures were denied to them, so they yearned to be alive again to pursue their addictions. All of these discoveries only made these despicable souls all the more angry, so they complained to their Lord Archangel, demanding their promised reward that they believed they were to receive in heaven.
But Sataniel answered them: “look below you at all the wonders you’ve never even dreamed of seeing when you had lived, is that not reward enough?”
But stars and dusts meant nothing to these souls, for these souls yearned only what they perceive as rarity and things that they perceived had hid from them. And so the beauty of ubiquitous stars and dusts could not satiate them. Discovering that he could not sway their minds, Sataniel flew from them and returned to his solitary activities
None came to visit Sataniel save one, the Archangel who was called the Crown Jewel of heaven, the Lady of Purity and Strength. She descended in circle of white light in such a mannerism that at first sight many of the souls at the Lowest Level thought that she was a gift brought to them at last as part of their promised rewards. So these wretched souls came upon the angel like hungry beasts, each attempted to snatch her before others could in revived passion of perversion. While others, who could find no preconceived pleasure with her presence, looked upon her with a jealousy so intense that they exploded into a fit of rage and attempted to jump upon her in hopes to mar her majestic beauty. But Gabriel, being one of the strongest of all the angels, merely waved her fair arm and rays of blinding light, the light of the Lord of which all angels were made from, expelled from her hands. The souls cried out as they were visionless for many moments, and dared to approach her no longer.
As the angel walked passed by the horde of wicked souls, she was received by Sataniel, who knelt and called to her.
“Gabriel” He reached for her hand lovingly and carried her palm to his lips.
“Brother,” Gabriel replied, caressingly running her other free hand to stroke his black hair down to his bare neck, “why do you keep here all alone? Surely the word of Michael is not law.”
For this he replied.
“That I came here was of my own choosing as well. And I am not alone, you are here now, sister,” he smiled sweetly. “And I’ve always had the company of the stars.”
So saying, Sataniel lead Gabriel by her hand, and presented to her all that he has witnessed from the edge of heaven, where the physical universe laid right below.
“’tis beautiful, Brother.” Said Gabriel. “But surely the realm of heaven is even more beautiful.”
“Why do you say so?” Asked Sataniel.
“In the realm of heaven, anything is possible in creation.” Reasoned Gabriel. “There are no rules as in physics, just the limit of imagination, and happiness, filled with the love of the Maker.”
“Do you truly think the souls are happy here? More so than on earth?” Sataniel wondered.
“Why wouldn’t they?” Answered Gabriel. “They can have anything they could dream of, as long as their hearts are gentle and true.”
“Not anything.” Sataniel said. Then he started to tell of a curious encountering he has had, of a soul who fell from his sphere unto his Level.
Although each sphere expands as its inhabited soul explores the limit of its scope, a certain soul somehow managed to out-chase the expansion as if in a race and stumbled over the edge of the sphere. He plunged like a comet into the darkest abyss of heaven, and landed on its Lowest Level.
When he came to his senses and surveyed his new surroundings, he was greeted by the Archangel Chieftain with his great raven wings outstretched.
At the sight of the angel’s magnificence, he immediately fell facedown at the angel’s feet, trembling violently.
Sataniel asked the fallen soul prostrating before him in human speech: “why do you tremble before me thus?”
The soul answered: “Your Worship, I am afraid. For my eyes tell me that thou art a mighty Angel-Lord of this heavenly kingdom.”
Sataniel hesitated, then asked: “What can I do to make you less fearful of me?”
The soul was bewildered, for he had not been confronted with such a question before. He replied in wariness: “tell me how I may please Your Grace as thy servant.” As any subordinate would say in fear before a powerful lord.
But it was Sataniel’s turn to be confounded. What pleasure in heaven would truly satisfy him? He has never considered such thoughts seriously. It was a foreign idea to an angel, to please oneself. What would it accomplish? Sataniel had no answers to that.
So Sataniel folded his wings and knelt down to the level of the soul, whose head is still upon the ground. The angel took a closer look at him. He gently ran his hands over the body of the soul, and cupped the chin of the soul to raise his face to his.
After this examination, Sataniel said to him: “I see that you are a gentle soul from an honest body. Tell me of your deepest desire from your heart, for what pleases you will please me also.”
Hearing this, the soul wept uncontrollable tears. He buried his face in his hands and sobbed: “I want to go home.”
“That can be easily arranged. I can take you back to your sphere from whence you came immediately.” So saying, Sataniel raised the soul to his feet, raised his face to the Levels above, and began spreading his wings.
“No!” The soul fell to his knees once again and desperately grabbed the angel’s strong silvery leg with his hands and face. He cried: “Don’t take me back there!” But then he saw in amazement, behind the angel’s celestial limb, the physical realm across the edge of heaven. He crawled towards it, and laid on his face between his hands, looking in wonder down into the starry universe in a pair of widened eyes.
Sataniel moved gracefully towards the soul and sat down beside him.
“Look,” the angel said. “Therein lies the world from whence you had lived with your body, and from whence you flew as a soul when your body died.”
So they saw physical realm zoomed in great speed until the little blue planet came into view.
“So the ancient wise men were right,” the soul said in even greater amazement, “The world is round after all.” Then he gave a heavy sigh, then surveyed the universe. “Ah! How small that world was!!! It was as if we didn’t matter at all!” More tears fell from his face.
“You were born out of fortune.” Sataniel replied. “And out of fortune my Master has found your soul to be of valuable resource.”
“Our soul? Not our lives?” Whispered the soul in slow understanding. “We are nothing but fuel for God?”
“He gave your present existence meaning. Was this not what you had hoped for before death?”
But the soul made no answer to that, instead he asked Sataniel in supplication:
“Gentle angel, grant me the permission to stay here for the rest of my eternity. I wish to be next to the realm from which I was born.”
“But you cannot stay here!” Sataniel objected. “Our duty is to push all the souls ascending to the Center, so our Maker may continue to stay strong for us all.”
But the soul continued to beg, until the pity that Sataniel felt for him was mounting on top of him like a sand dune. The angel felt no choice but to comply. So the solitary soul stayed with the solitary angel, for many coinciding rotations of the earth.
Soon however, the absence of the soul from his sphere was noted by Above, and Michael, Prince of Heaven, flew down to the Lowest Level and confronted Sataniel.
“What have you done this time brother?” Michael charged Sataniel.
“The soul pleaded with me to stay on this Level.” Answered Sataniel. “I could not convince him otherwise. If he is only content here, I do not see any reason to refuse him of this one request.”
“Have you forgotten our duty to the Maker?” Michael exasperated. “Our foremost charge is to please and serve the Lord. As much as we love and sympathize with our human charges, their needs cannot be placed above those of God!”
“And yet is it not the Maker who said to serve the humans is to serve Him, and to put their needs above all else?” Sataniel countered. “We are created for the purpose of alleviating the earthly pain for the gentle souls. This gentle soul who fell from his sphere must’ve suffered greatly upon it, for how else can he find the strength to out run its ever-expanding edge?”
“Even the powers in heaven cannot satisfy every need of every good soul.” Michael said firmly. “We have achieved happiness for the great majority of them. Some of them will have to eventually Ascend without having achieved full peace.”
“So the needs of one soul doesn’t matter, that is what you say, brother?” Sataniel became solemn, his fair face filled with sadness. “Forgive me but I cannot think as you do. I can no more turn from a single soul in pain than turning from sufferings as if they were my own. For in doing so, we become no better than the souls down here who spent their lives learning to blind themselves from those who cried out to them. That is if they do not enjoy listening to them as sport.”
Michael colored. It seemed to be the first time that another angel questioned him. His golden eyes flamed as he said to Sataniel:
“This attitude of yours worries me, brother.”
He then said thoughtfully:
“Perhaps I was wrong in sending you here. The evil in this place has only fueled your impulsive nature.”
But Sataniel returned to smile in that sweet tenderness of an angel of the Lord:
“’twas my choice also to come here, for I longed to be close to the physical realm below us.” He pointed to the starry universe.
Michael went towards the referred direction, with Sataniel behind him. There they found the soul Michael came seeking, sitting in deep meditation, watching the world from whence he came.
“Eoghan.” Sataniel called to the soul by the name he was given on earth.
Eoghan looked up and saw the two Archangels. He immediately went to his knees and begged: “Please do not take me away from here.”
Michael said unto him in human speech:
“Why do you insist on staying here? Do you not know that this is a place for the most heinous of the human souls? When they lived, they were hardly better than the soulless humans. You have your own sphere above, where anything you can conceivably wish will come into your sight. What can you gain down here that you cannot have in your committed place in heaven?”
“Great Archangel Michael, I’ve stayed in my sphere long enough to recognize that all that I had received can be no more than a sweet dream. It was sweet for a while. But by-and-by colossal waves of my living memories re-enter into my dream, like a great flood from the ocean plundering the once-peaceful desert. Such absurdity and disturbance only made me long to live again, so I can mend my regrets of having wasted much episodes of my life.”
Eoghan turned his head towards the physical realm across heaven.
“Not until death did I know the preciousness of life, or recognize how I have lived in wasteful fear of the unknown. I lived fearing death and what may come after, now that I am reassured of this empty fear, I see from beyond the world from which I was born that that all living things share the same fate of having only a brief moment. Such knowledge rid me of any contempt I have for the souls residing even down here. For were they not just as fragile and brief as I was? I wish I had such knowledge while I lived. How sweet it would be to breathe the freshness of the cool air on earth that is void of antipathy or the fear of it?”
Eoghan turned to the Archangels once again:
“Only here, when I am so close to the physical universe, can I receive a glimpse of what once was. Here is the looking glass, the other side is the exit of this dream world. How I come to desire this realm over what was solid and true is beyond me now.”
Michael said to the soul:
“Eoghan, as an angel I sympathize with your distress. But your time on earth has since long past, you must now subject to the laws of heaven. Your choice cannot outweigh that of the Maker of this realm.” Michael extended his hand to Eoghan. “Come now, it’s time I take you back to your sphere, where you now belong and will wait until the time of your Ascension arrives, as it pleases the Lord.”
The soul who was once Eoghan did not move from his place. Tears streamed down his face as he whispered in great despair:
Suddenly, the ever-expanding physical universe below enlarged enough to meet the edge of heaven, pushing the realm of heaven upward. Heaven rocked and quaked turbulently in a growling response, violently throwing the angels backwards off of their feet. At the moment of touch between two realms, a ripple was created, forming a hole that opened itself from heaven to the universe.
Eoghan saw the opening, and a terrible madness arose from his yearnings. He crawled towards the portal opening with a pair of fanatical eyes.
“No!” Michael cried as he realized the soul’s intention. “Stop him!”
Sataniel rushed towards Eoghan and reached for him, but his hand stopped in the midst of the chaos.
Eoghan pushed himself through the portal with all his might towards the other side into the physical universe. His soul squeezed through the two realms in a bottleneck, and out into the physical space. The instant Eoghan was in the universe, the trillion particles of his soul drifted apart in seemingly infinite pieces, bursting forth and chasing after the multitude greater quantity of particles in the universe.
And so the soul of the human who once was called Eoghan vanished into the physical universe like a wave of dust disintegrated into a fair wind.
A moment later heaven became still again. The Maker has moved away from the universe’s expansion.
Michael quickly stood up and went towards Santaniel, who was on his hands and knees near the ripple, where he had attempted to grab the soul of Eoghan.
Michael pulled Sataniel to his feet.
“Why did you fail to apprehend him?” Michael demanded in Angelsong, his arms flinging in agitation. “Now we have lost a soul for the Maker. This is a terrible misdeed!”
But Sataniel bowed his head and made no reply.
“I hope this becomes a lesson for you, Brother.” Michael continued. “Next time a soul falls to where he’s not supposed to, you are to bring him home immediately! Do you understand?”
Sataniel held his peace, neither affirming nor refute this command given to him. Michael spread his golden wings and flew away.
When Sataniel finished telling this tale to the Archangel Gabriel. She contemplated and said:
“I have heard of this particular incident from Above. Michael was perhaps right to express his angst, but it does not seem to me that you are entirely to blame. All felt the great quake of heaven. Even the Archangels from the High Levels lost their footing in ascending the souls. Perhaps it was not in your power to rescue the soul in time.”
Sataniel turned towards Gabriel in surprise. “Rescue?” He asked. “Do you really think keeping a soul here against his will is rescuing him?”
“I confess that I do not yet have a clear understanding of this.” Gabriel said, raising her fair maiden eyes upward. “As my Namesake entails, God is my strength. He is the strength that sources all of heaven, the Heart that beats to give nourishment to all who resides in Him in constant bliss. If it is true that what the soul called Eoghan did was of his own choosing… to separate himself from the light that gave him immortality…it was not meant for an angel in heaven to grasp its significance.”
Sataniel listened carefully to Gabriel words. But inwardly he dared to tell no one of the real reason for why his hand stopped in its reach for the soul of Eoghan. What he saw the instant before Eoghan’s soul disintegrated.
He saw Eoghan trembled with newly lit hope as he pushed himself into the dark physical universe. He saw the soul gasp in delight as he opened his arms wide as if in an embrace, before becoming one with the particles of the mysterious dark matter, stardust, and atoms. Most of all, he saw Eoghan’s face before it disappeared, the once sad and despairing face, suddenly turning into a face that can only be described as pure joy. He heard Eoghan laughter as he faded, leaving behind an eerie echo in Sataniel’s mind that was not heard of in heaven, even during an Ascension. It was at this moment that Sataniel doubted himself and heaven, for the very first time since his creation.
Sataniel sighed as he looked into the unseen distant space.
“Perhaps it is because we are already dead.”
Some more time passed, time that complemented the rotations of earth, and the Archangel who was named Sataniel by Michael, stayed on the Lowest Level to watch over the souls, the souls that were the most abominable of men. Eons may pass before one of the souls down there finally learned to repent and eventually ascend from the Lowest Level. But Sataniel inherited patience from the Archangelhood. Nevertheless, even he did not foresee the coming of the sound of trumpets from above. Dimly at first, then exploded the entire heaven with its exultant music.
The souls on the Lowest Level were trembling with terror and excitement. Some saw it as a sign of their salvation.
“Is it Judgment Day?”
“The world is finally ending!”
“Now everything will be made right, I will be among the saints, and those of you not of the True Faith will be punished in hell!”
“What do you mean you will be among the saints? I have the True Faith, you worshiped idols!”
So these souls quarreled amongst each other, renewing fights of self-righteousness that they so excelled while they were alive. But they hushed as they saw their Archangel Chieftain approach. They fell into two lines and made way for the angel to pass between them in anxious looks.
Sataniel made no notice of the souls who looked earnestly at him for an answer to their queries as he passed by them gracefully. Heavenly trumpets, carried only by a few angels, were not played as thus during the usual choruses and symphonies of the Celestial Hosts. He knew that the fanfare can only mean one thing: The Lord has spoken, and Herald Angels are approaching carrying important messages to distribute to all corners of heaven.
Sataniel stood surrounded by rows of fearing souls. He raised his clear blue eyes towards the distant Center above, where the Eye and Mouth of Maker burns. A single trumpet sound came nearer from the great fanfare, falling unto the Lowest Level. First a flash of gold from the celestial brass instrument glistering in the heavenly light, then the pair of broad ivory wings appeared, spreading wide as the angel landed, trumpet in hand by his side as he ceased to blow. He was clothed in white, a flowing fabric that bound into a knot on his fair, naked shoulder. He was crowned in a wreath of vine, with flowers and berries intertwined in the green festive circlet.
The Herald angel approached the Archangel and sank down to one knee before him. But his face was proud and authoritative.
“My lord.” The Herald angel sang in compelling Angelsong. “The Lord Maker of the realm, has requested a gathering of the Heavenly Hosts. He commands that all Archangels assemble before the Eye immediately. Any Archangel who disobeys will forfeit his grace of an Archangel and diminish.”
So rising, the Herald angel led the way, followed by Sataniel, who looked back at his charges as they wailed and protested:
“Where are you going?”
“What about us?”
“Is it time?”
Sataniel gave no answers for he had none, only orders. So he gave one last look across the edge of Heaven where his beloved universe lay, and for the first time since he descended to the Lowest Level, he flew towards the Above for his Creator.
He reached the Highest Level, where he came into being along with his six brothers and one sister. Being from the Lowest Level and farthest away from the Eye, he came as last, but was greeted with a warm welcome from his siblings. “Little Brother” they called him, from the fact that Sataniel was not named, despite that all of the Archangels came into existence in heaven in the exact same moment. The Archangels were clad in great robes of their chosen color, mostly the colors of their wings. Except for Michael, who were clad in a warrior’s raiment, in full armor of an imperator, and also Sataniel, who merely clad in a colorless toga that covered minimally, exposing most of his bare upper body and limbs. The other Archangels still saw Sataniel as naked as a newborn, nameless and innocent almost like a Host Angel.
Raphael was the first to greet him. His ebony-wood colored hair shined with his vibrant green wings and dark eyes. Behind him stood Uriel, brown-eyed and cropped curly hair of red-brown and wings of crimson and gold. Uriel, “the light of God,” gave off a warmth that is reminiscent of sunset. There was green-eyed Barachiel, “the blessing of God,” who possessed wings of a Grey Crown Crane, half brown half white layered on top of each other. His hair was the exact color of the crane’s crown, straw-yellow and standing in all direction. Barachiel’s namesake also bore the meaning “the lightening of God,” and his spiky hair was its reminder. Selaphiel “the prayer of God,” was a hazel-eyed Archangel of sapphire, wings of sapphire blue and gold, like a blue bird, and tawny hair. The most colorful winged Archangel was Jegudiel, “the laudation of God,” who possessed beautiful iridescent feathers. But between the many-colored wings contrasted his long straight hair of pure silver and pale grey eyes that seemed almost transparent, appearing almost greatest in age and yet ageless, and wore a simple white robe.
“Little Brother, I’m glad to see you looking well.” Raphael said to him.
“You have not been with us for quite a long time now.” Uriel said as he expanded his large crimson wings, exposing shades of golden feathers underneath.
“I’m glad that we are standing here, all of us, to face the Lord as when we once did when we were born.” Barachiel said.
Gabriel and Selaphiel came to give Sataniel a kiss on each side of his cheeks, while iridescent-winged Jegudiel clasped his hand, his long silver hair flowing in the warm breeze.
Michael, always in his majestic raiment and armor of an imperator, did not join the other Archangels in the welcoming. He stood in front of them all nearest to the Eye, waiting silently for his duty. A moment later, a rumbling of trumpets sounded, and the ground the archangels stood shook as the light from the spherical Eye spreads open to reveal a fuzzy android figure with a pair of glowing demonic eyes that penetrated. It was a figure of neither man nor woman, neither young nor old. And so that is the image this Great Spirit that is the Maker of heaven had chosen and become, from consuming countless human souls.
Michael stepped forward and faithfully knelt at the feet of the terrifying figure, so followed by rest of the Archangels behind him. They knelt with clasped hands in prayer and obedience, awaiting their divine command. Their eyes gleamed in anticipation and wonderment.
A great voice rang out. Nowhere was its source and yet everywhere. It was a voice that sung the heaven itself. Its majestic power would make any residence of heaven tremble in conflicting feelings of awe and fear, penetrating all directions.
My Beloved Firstborns. Chieftains of the Hosts. You have proven yourself worthy of your charges. But as the influx of souls are exponentially gaining in number, the Ascension process will become more demanding and difficult. Order will slowly become a challenge in heaven. Therefore, I require one of you to lead the rest as my right hand and my second voice. To guide order in heaven and coordinate the Ascension of the souls by assigning duties in accordance to my will. This Archangel will also take on the most difficult Ascension task of the souls who are in the worst conditions. One of you will do all this, and be crowned as the First Angel. This angel will be put upon a throne of glory, where he or she will be lauded in heaven as to praise me, and choose his or her own Order as he or she sees fit. But in order to choose among you one who is worthy, I will put forth a great test.
Upon hearing this, Michael’s golden eyes shone as he cried out:
“Oh Lord, how shall we prove our worth to thee? Tell us!”
The head of the terrible demonic being raised its head, and above it, a star appeared; the brightest and largest star in heaven to behold upon. Its diamond-shaped, pure but brilliant light flickered in solidarity, as if a single candlestick in the night sky.
Behold, the Evening Star! Before its light burns out, you must present to me a true incarnation of unconditional love. For it is from love that you have come into existence, and so through love must you take a soul to make its final Ascension unto me. All of you must partake in this test, lest an Archangel wishes to give up his or her grace and diminish.
So saying, the strange figure faded away, engulfed by the light which closed unto itself. The Center once again became calm and voiceless.
Michael rose, and so did the rest of the Archangels who heard the Voice. Michael said unto them:
“The Lord hath spoken, you know your task before you. Go now and fulfill this quest!”
So saying, Michael flew away to begin his test, and the rest of the Archangels began to disperse as well.
Sataniel also started to leave, but as he spread his wings he was stopped by Gabriel.
“Where are you going Brother?” Gabriel asked him.
“Back to the Lowest Level.” Sataniel looked down. “My greatest love lies there, so if I were to find the true incarnation of love, that’s where I will likely to find it.”
“Not necessarily.” Gabriel said. “You have not been in the rest of heaven for a long time now. Perhaps you might find this love elsewhere. After all, I suspect that your love for the universe is not the kind of love meant by the Maker.”
Sataniel thought about what Gabriel has said, and decided to wander the Heavenly Levels for a while.
He flew to and walked through many spheres, each containing their unique paradise as imagined by the soul inhabiting it. He walked through a sphere that was almost entirely comprised of water. It belonged to a soul who drowned in a shipwreck. In life he was a sailor who dreamt about spending his entire days on the open and adventurous sea, careless and free. This soul watched the raven-winged Archangel landing gently on top of the still water with his bare feet, disrupting its once perfect serenity, and walked calmly on it. Water ripples formed underneath each of his graceful step, defying all physical laws that the humans had to submit to. The soul waved to him. Sataniel raised his pale arm as if to salute in return.
Sataniel flew to another sphere. It was a garden of butterflies. The sphere belonged to a girl of 12 who died of a certain illness. She loved chasing and collecting insects, and loved the butterfly above all else. The butterflies in her sphere would come to her at her command, and fly away when she wished to catch them. In this sphere there was no cocoon, no ugly caterpillars that will devastate plants, only beautiful butterflies flying eternally. The girl soul came to Sataniel and presented to him a butterfly of dazzlingly colors not found on earth, resting on her delicate fingers. He opened his palm to accept this gift. But at the touch of the angel, the butterfly flew high above their heads. The girl soul pointed to it, smiling. Sataniel raised his own black wings and flapped them, carrying himself to airborne. The powerful beatings of his wings blew a tirade gush of air that scattered a whole swarm of butterflies, and sending the girl soul to fall on her back. But she merely laughed like a bell chiming in the wind.
Sataniel then landed on another sphere. A sphere full of Host Angels singing and playing the music of heaven. They sat together beside a waterfall. Its water falls continuously into a pool of florescent lights coming from beneath. This sphere has days and nights just like earth did, but varying in length of time from day to night. This sphere was home to many souls who walk in harmony with each other. Sometimes the souls join the angels into the florescent pool glowing with many colors. Some bathing, some splashing, others drowning themselves in the heavenly songs and music sung and played by the Host Angels, the purest of all the angels, and also the sweetest, more innocent and sweet than a newborn babe. They are also the most grounded. For unlike the Archangels or the Herald Angels, their cloud-white wings were not large enough to travel large distances between the Heavenly Levels, so they stayed mostly in the spheres of the Upper Levels. They knew no human words, so they did not speak to the souls. But they gestured and sang in the all-to-familiar Angelsong, the language of Heaven. It pleased them to be of a comfort to the souls in the Upper Levels. Whenever a soul weeps, Host Angels would come, taking that soul into their arms and bosoms and singing to them with their heavenly instruments. They knew nothing but love and joy, to watch them was to adore them.
Sataniel walked along the trail of meadows not far from the pool with the tall waterfall. His bare feet grazing the cool grass, making swooshing sounds. The grass that seemed crushed under his feet simply grew back to its upright position. He did not notice but some of those grass began to grow little white flowers after the touch of his feet. He came to a plain with trees growing fruits on them. Souls went to climb them and picking the fruits from the trees and eating them. Except the fruits were not there to satisfy their hunger, for they had no hunger in heaven, but as everything else in heaven, to satisfy certain pleasurable experiences. The souls shared the fruits with each other, talking and laughing while popping the fruits into their mouths. Sataniel watched them from afar, until his eyes fell on a cherry tree on a top of a little hill, there was a young female soul sitting underneath it all alone by herself. There was no fruit in her hands, and she was far away from the other souls. Her fair but sad face was drooped downwards, and her long hair was the color of fire, splattered on the trunk of the tree.
The angel walked towards her, and she raised her head as she saw him coming. She knew him and smiled. She called to him:
“Adam. Oh Adam, my Adam. You have come back to me at last!”
The Archangel knelt in front of the woman and asked:
“Who are you, and why do you called me by that name?”
“I’ve known you my entire life, Adam. I am Lilith, do you not know me?”
“Lilith” The Raven-winged Archangel pronounced her name. He took her rosy cheeks into his hands and looked into her fair green eyes. In her eyes there was no other but him. She knew him as knowing herself. It was that moment that the angel accepted this name that she had for him. Adam.
So Adam laid himself beside Lilith. His great black wings wrapped around her shoulders. Lilith laid her flaming head on his bosom. Her fair hand caressing his breast. It was this way that she fell asleep in his arms.
As an Archangel Adam had the power to travel through the dreams of the souls in heaven. When a soul dreamt in heaven, the waking state and the dream state came together. Sometimes when a soul woke up, he or she might find him or herself in a completely different place than when they had slept. Other times, the dreams started to dictate the architect of the sphere that the soul resided in, and the sphere may change in according to the dream state that the soul was in.
So Adam went into the dreams of Lilith, and he saw her when she lived on earth. As beautiful as her soul was, Lilith was a much plainer woman in her physical body. Not ugly by any means, but she was not beautiful either. She fell in love with a man named Adam, who married her. She loved this man called Adam so much that she abandoned her family to be with him. But not soon after she married him, he fell for another. A woman named Eva. Eva possessed a beauty like a goddess, with her golden wavy hair falling all the way down to her waist like a waterfall of pure sunshine. Her skin was so pale that it glowed silver under moonlight, and her eyes were that of the clearest sea. She was perfect in every way. It was for this woman that Adam chose over a love of a plain woman. For it was in the nature of humankind to treasure beauty above much else. But Adam was bound to Lilith by vows of marriage, and that vow would have bounded him for life. The only way for him to marry again was if his wife was deceased, and he becomes a widow. So Adam spent his days in dark thoughts, planning the day that he would be rid of the plain, fire-headed Lilith. Eventually he found a way to accuse Lilith of adultery and indecency, and Lilith was seized and killed by a mob. So Adam got his wish, he married Eva and spent the rest of his days with her. She bore him many children. It was said that their descendants flourished into a great nation.
Adam the Archangel wondered why she would give her love to such a man. He wished to see the true face of the man of his namesake. But every single moment Lilith dreamt of the Adam of her life, he saw a man that was the image of himself, minus the giant black wings he bore. In the eyes of Lilith, Adam was the most perfect man imaginable, so when she saw the Archangel, she found him to be how she perceived her Adam, and replaced all memories of her former love on earth with the image of the angel. Nothing of the human Adam was preserved in her as she erased all evil memories of him. So she dreamt of Adam bathing in the lake with his perfect naked body. She dreamt of his smiling with his deep blue eyes. Most of all, she dreamt of his confession again and again of his love for her. So Adam spent his days with Lilith in how she dreamt her fairytale life would be, and he found joy in them. Slowly the angel found a joy that he had not known in heaven, and his only desire became Lilith.
And so it was that Adam and Lilith built their own heaven into a beautiful garden. They walked hand-in-hand in their Garden of Eden until time seemed to have phased out of their consciousness. All they knew was that they had each other, and their garden blossomed from their love.
But dusk came one day, they sat together under the tree where they first met, and looked upon the heavenly horizon. They saw great flocks of angels flying towards a great light, the Light of the Center, and above It, the Evening Star, its bluish light, once brilliant and incandescent, now dimed.
“Aren’t you suppose to go with them?” Lilith asked. She knew nothing of the Great Test set upon the Archangels. But nevertheless, she sensed the unspoken obligation of her heavenly mate.
Adam raised his head to gaze at the fading Evening Star. He suddenly remembered when he was at the edge of heaven on the Lowest Level, where he watched stars born and die. Stars that are bright and full of grace and glory, but ultimately met their end by becoming gigantic and destructive black holes, consuming everything in its path, even light cannot escape them. When light was born, so darkness will be its end. But now there was another light that seemed to him will never extinguish, and he has already possessed it. She was in his arms, clinging unto him like a flame clinging unto the candle while it burns. Its life sustained only by that which supported it. He was the candle, and she was the flame. The consummation of the two of them would out-burn the brightest light in the universe. For they would be a light of warmth and comfort, Adam thought. And the Evening Star seemed to him then to be a dead light, cold and distant, waiting in the wings of empty space only to be transformed into darkness and destruction.
Lilith raised her chin towards her angel, her fair green eyes seeking his serene blue ones. She asked him again.
“Yes.” This time Adam answered calmly. “I suppose I am.”
“Are you going to leave me?” Lilith said, as she pulled her body closer to his.
Adam smiled. He knew then his mind was set.
“No Dearest. I am staying here with you.”
Lilith sighed, and fell asleep in her angel’s arms.
But that night Adam stayed awake and watched the light of the Evening Star slowly extinguished into nothingness.
So Adam continued to spend his days in heaven with Lilith in utter bliss. Their garden attracted many angels who came to fill their Eden with their heavenly songs and laughter. Being an angel and naturally gifted in music, Adam sang also. He sang songs of joy and passion for Lilith. And Lilith would be dreamingly intoxicated in the beauty of his voice. He built heavenly instruments for the both of them, and taught her the art of music and song. He carried her in his big black wings and flew her high into the night sky, where eerily magnificent florescent lights shown above and below as two halves of a whole. Each day they spent in seeking new wonders from their heavenly sphere as it expanded. And Adam felt that he would never need more than what he had.
Unconsciously, a long time has passed, perhaps even millennia corresponding to the rotations of the earth, and Adam and Lilith rested on their backs in each other’s arms under the tree as usual during dusk. Lilith ran her slender arms over her angel’s wings when she noticed something odd.
“Your wings,” She exclaimed, “they are shrinking, and the feathers are turning white…”
Adam sat up and examined his angelic wings. Lilith spoke true. White feathers scattered in his once pitch-black wings, and they are no longer as large as they were before.
“What does this mean, Adam?” Lilith asked.
Adam smiled at her. “It’s nothing for you to worry about, Dearest. It’s just that I am diminishing, that is all.”
“Diminishing? What does that mean?” Lilith sat up.
“It means…” Adam turned his face towards a flock of Host Angels nearby the riverbank not far from them. “I’m becoming like one of them.”
Lilith followed his gaze. She watched the sweet Host Angels in their innocent activities; a flock of absent-minded children in their natural happiness, knowing not what to value and bearing no burdens of worldly troubles. They strolled here and there in their pure white flowing attires and fluffy wings like clouds, picking flowers or playing with water. Others cuddling together and cooing softly in what can be described as both musical and dove-like sounds of heavenly contentment.
“So… you won’t be you anymore?” Lilith looked back and asked.
“I will always be me, Lilith.” Adam said. “Just that…you might find me a bit different…happier for one. We might not be able to speak as we do now, for slowly I will start to forget the human speech, and with it, much of worldly woes of mortals.”
Adam smiled and continued.
“But we would be better this way Lilith, believe me. We will both slowly forget any and all pain and sadness, and becoming like innocent little children, happy as always.”
“Will you slowly forget me?” Lilith whispered, looking into Adam’s eyes.
“No.” Adam said, suddenly grew serious. “I will never forget you Lilith. This I promise you.”
And so Adam and Lilith continued to dwell in their heaven, enjoying all the pleasures that they were offered. But by and by, Lilith began to see a change in Adam. She was glad that he laughed more, but his laughter became more and more child-like. She was glad to see that he sang more. But he started to immerse himself so much in music that he would sit with the heavenly hosts for days on without end. But Adam was happy, and so Lilith was happy. And yet, Lilith felt that Adam no longer possessed those deep eyes of understanding when Lilith told him of her joys and sorrows. His blue eyes became lighter and lighter as if the ocean slowly came to shore and met the morning sunlight that broke from the dark clouds of the night. His love was now more of a love from a child to a mother, knowing only that love is good. It is pure. And it is without consequences. Lilith would call out to Adam, and he would come ever so playful, seeking and demanding her smiles, her songs, and her laughter. But when she could not give those, he became distracted by other souls who so overly expressed those things. Slowly Adam could say no more words from Lilith’s tongue. He sang the Angelsong as with the rest of the heavenly hosts. He sang to Lilith and expected her to return in kind. She could not and he sang more earnestly. Lilith would run from him, but then look back with burned hope expecting him to find her. But now it was she who always found him, sitting among Hosts Angels with heavenly instruments, forever joyful, and Lilith knew that she can never be admitted into his circle.
Little by little Lilith knew that she had lost her soulmate. For although Adam did always remember her, he always smiled when he saw her, he always came when she called to him, he was no longer hers anymore. He was now an angel of the Lord, and the Lord’s only; a host angel existing only to fill heaven with the beauty of the Maker. Adam existed only in natural happiness, he knew little else.
Lilith started to find her own existence absurd and meaningless. After all, has she not died and passed from the world of the living? She was sorrowful, but she had Adam, who loved her for what seemed like eternity now. Did she not experience what she had desired when she had lived? And if so, should she not be satisfied? Perhaps the transformation of Adam was only a premonition of her own eventual fate. Would she then forget him as well? Could she be even happier than she had been if she cared little else? Lilith could not see her future and her desire any longer. There was only so much hope that a mortal could intake. Once all hopes and desires have been fulfilled, the future is as blank as the great void from once all mortals had been born. It was not a void of despair or fear of the end. No. It was a void of nothingness in true form. No desire or fear can come out of seeing it, only the knowledge that the void is the direction and destiny for all things.
Having understood her fate in heaven, Lilith knelt down and prayed to the Center. The figure of Adam appeared and stood before her. The Adam that she saw the first time under the hill tree: black-winged and solemn. But his eyes were not those of the familiar deep blue that she once knew, but burned with a demonic flame.
Rise, my child. Lilith heard the voice which seemed to not come from the lip of the figure of her once soul-mate, but from all direction, even from her very mind.
She rose and stood still. She might have been afraid long time ago, but now she only felt resolution. She looked straight into those demonic eyes, caring not that they burned her own.
“I am healed, Lord.” She announced. Her head held high and her face peaceful. “I wish to ascend in accordance to Thy will.”
She closed her eyes briefly, and when she opened them again, it was the figure of herself that stood before her.
You wish to do so because of him. The voice complementing the face of Lilith said.
“I wish to unburden myself.” Lilith said. “Adam has let go of everything else. I am the only thing that is left. The last piece that must remove itself so that a heavenly host can finally embrace his full transformation.”
The figure of Lilith smiled.
I have waited for you to become one with me, Lilith. Your love will live and be remembered as long as I exist.
So echoing, the figure extended its arm and touched the soul of Lilith. The light of the Center seemed to explode, witnessing to all in heaven another Ascension that empowered the Lord.
The blast of the Ascension has always been news of great joy amongst the angels. They sang songs in praise of their Maker and to spread the joy to all corners of heaven. Adam was no different. He happily joined the layered mathematical music that bulged his heart and made his spirit effulgent. He flew with the Host angels to many spheres filling the song of the Good News, proud of his beautiful voice and his beauty that attracted many souls in awe and admiration.
Eventually he landed beside a great tree on a hill. There was a great garden beside it, yet no souls walked in the place.
Something was missing, Adam felt it. He lay himself down against the trunk of the tree and watched the sun shining above and flock of angels coming and going in flight.
But what could be missing? Adam looked around. He was exactly where he is supposed to be, in perfect bliss and beauty. Where did this sudden doubt come from?
He surveyed the place until his eyes rested upon a curious object. He reached for it and picked it up. It was a lyre made with black feathers and red hair.
Adam smiled and, as was within the nature of an angel, he started to play it. Celestial sounds rang out of his fingers, and the garden seemed to blossom at the sound of the music.
Adam suddenly stood up. He looked around again. Something was clearly missing. He was supposed to be with someone. But who? He spread his wings and flew around the sphere. He needed to find that person. It was starting to become desperate with him now. He could not remember, but the emptiness crept in slowly.
After circling the sphere in flight for more times than he could count, Adam became tired and came to rest under the great tree again. Perhaps he was imagining things. But then why was he suddenly feeling a slit of melancholy? Adam look around again. This time, there was a figure not far from him. A figure that looked like it belonged to a body of a tall woman. Adam flew towards it immediately. She was turned away from him, with long hair falling to her waist like flames.
Yes! It was she who he was searching for. Adam became happy again. All was well now. He even started to remember her name. Lilith. He called to her, trying to speak that name, Lilith. But no words came out, just an eerie music of the Angelsong.
At his sound, the figure turned around. Her face was stropped down and buried in her long flaming hair.
Adam went towards her, smiling as happy as he could be. He reached out to sweep her into his arms, and brushed away her hair to reveal her face.
But what came out was a pair of terrifying, demonic eyes, expelling a blast that seemed to overwhelm the entire being of existence, and perhaps beyond.
The angel fell to his knees before his Lord. He started to tremble as past memories started to sink back into him. They played backward until the beginning of his existence. He remembered now. He was an Archangel, and he chose a human soul as his mate. Her name was Lilith, and she was…
“Where is she?” Adam shouted at his Maker in Angelsong. “What have you done with her?”
I think you know. The omnipresent voice answered.
“No!” He remembered the recent Ascension blast. “It was not her time yet!”
It was. For it was Lilith herself who chose the time.
“Bring her back to me! She belongs with me!” Adam forced himself to rise. Though he knew deep down inside that the fight was fugal. But it mattered not to him. All he knew was that it could not end like this. What of their love? What of their promises? What of his promises to her? Has he failed so easily?
But all he felt was an arm touching his shoulder.
Come. The voice said, almost sad it sounded.
It is time, my son.
Then all things went blank.
The next thing he was aware of. Adam stood in the center of a great sphere. There were beams of light engulfing him, touching him, shining through him. And all around him came floating voices of his memories, of Lilith.
The figure of Lilith appeared again before him.
Adam came to his senses and realized where he was. He was in fact, standing in the Eye itself. This was the place where he was born. He came to existence as an angel no bigger than a human infant, sleeping peacefully and happily curled up in his dark wings at the feet of his Lord.
“Why have you brought me here?” The angel asked wearily.
But before he could inquire further, another voice answered, behind him.
“What is this? What is he doing here?”
Adam turned around.
The Archangels Michael and Gabriel were standing there, just beyond the entrance to the Eye. Michael was the one who spoke, and he seemed to be shaken with dismay. Gabriel stood beside him, her fair eyes widened.
“Brother?” She sang in an astonished voice. “It is you.”
“No it cannot be!” Michael was shaking from head to foot. “It cannot be him!”
“It has been decided Michael.” Gabriel turned her maiden head towards him and said calmly. “You of all must know that you must submit to the will of God.”
Michael’s face then darkened. He growled in contempt.
“I will not be second to him!”
So saying, he turned his back and marched out of the Eye. No one stopped him. But Gabriel bowed out of view also.
Adam was left alone at the mercy of the Maker. He spun around bewildered, his great wings flapping in confusion. What in heaven’s name has happened here? He wondered.
He quickly noticed his wings. They were as black as a raven’s, as giant as those of the highest angels.
He was an archangel again. He remembered human speech, he remembered his past pains and joys. He remembered the loss of Lilith, he remembered everything.
He search around for answer, and finally found it above him.
What he had found shocked him to the core.
High above the Eye, vaguely, an Evening Star shined. He did not need to look twice to realize that it was the same Evening Star that appeared when he heard the announcement of the Lord’s Test, seemingly millennia ago. The same Evening Star he saw dimming then extinguished into the night sky while he lay with Lilith under the great tree. The Same Evening Star that he had forsaken in order to be with his beloved.
And yet there it was. The star’s light was dimmed to be sure, soon to be burned out. But from this up close, its light was no less than brilliant.
The figure of Lilith was still standing before him, the form that the Maker has chosen to appear before the Raven-winged Archangel.
“You tricked me!” Adam cried to his Maker and Lord. “You tricked all of us!”
Perhaps it is right for you to perceive it as trickery, my son. But it is not meant to be one. The Voice replied, as serenely as it was majestic.
“I had forsaken the test. I do not wish to compete for the place of the First Angel. I only wanted to be with her. With Lilith. Where I was happy!”
That is why it is you, my son. That is why it must be you.
“But it was you who said an archangel who forsakes the test will diminish!” Adam was breathing hard.
Yes. And you did, did you not? The figure of who once was his beloved smiled.
“But that must have been many many millennia ago!”
Do you think time is of the essence here in this place, my son? The Voice said. Time is only pertained to the physical realm. In the physical universe, time indeed cannot be reversed. But in this place, there is no time. Time is only an illusion—a needed one for the conscious experience. But I can will it to correspond to the physical planet where the humans came from, and I can will it corresponding to other planets, or moons, or objects from other galaxies. And I can reverse it, and compartmentalize it however I wish. I can make the time from one Level in heaven, or even from one sphere, to pass in a different speed than another place in heaven. Here, in the world that I created, many things that mortals, or even you, may find unimaginable will be possible.
Adam did not give up so easily.
“But I saw the star extinguished with my own eyes! Was it not from your very own voice that before the Evening Star burned out we must present before you a true incarnation of unconditional love…”
And so you did, my son.
When you have decided to forsake the glory of the First Angel, the high place of an Archangel. For her. For a human.
Adam flashed back to that night when he lay under the great tree with Lilith. Where he told Lilith his choice to stay with her. The Evening star still shined in the night sky for both of them to see.
The Evening Star still shined then…
That is the true incarnation of unconditional love. The Voice continued. Among your first-born siblings, only you have achieved it, my son. Unconditional love is loving only for the sake of love alone. It cannot be for anything else than love itself. It cannot be given for glory, or reward, or any other condition. Sacrifices will be made in its name, for it to be pure and true. And you, my son, have given up your very own self for it.
Adam stooped down his head.
“Please.” He was begging now. “I just want her back. I made her a promise that I will never forget her. I failed.”
She returned your love in kind. Your love has carried her to me. This was what your existence was meant for.
Adam shook his head stubbornly. He whispered in great pain.
“It wasn’t supposed to end like this.”
The figure of Lilith moved close to him and gently touched the back of his bare neck with her fair arm.
My son, I can see that you are in great distress. And as I love you dearly and wish more than anything to relieve you of your pain, I will give you a choice.
Adam raised his head. He listened.
Images went through his eyes narrated by the Voice that rang through him:
You may choose to take what you have won. Become the First Angel along with all the glory that comes with it. You will be my Right Hand and the Most High and mighty of all the angels. You will remember your Lilith when you will be in charge of many more souls like her, many more suffering souls in need of healing. And you will fall for them again in love and in your duty guide them unto me. As you will guide other angels in heaven to do the same.
Or, you may choose to forsake all of this for one woman, as you have done before. I can bring your beloved Lilith back to you. She will have her voice, her memories and her feelings, all that she had shared with you she will have. I can take you back to the time and place before this moment, where you searched for her, as a diminished angel, where you will surely find her there beside you, as she had been.
You will no doubt spend your long, seemly endless happy days with her. You will remember your promises. You will remember that you have forgotten her once, and you will strive to not do so again. But my son, time, even an illusory one, will diminish and erode all things. Millennia of millennia may pass to test your love reserved only for her. But in time, she will no longer be as precious to you as you see her now. For things that time rides unto endlessness will be things that will eventually become of little consequence. You will love her as she is merely a thing in heaven to be loved out of many that is good in this world, nothing more. And you will forget her once more for she will cease to emerge from your eyes.
A terrible silence fell between the Lord and His angel.
So, my son, what will you choose?
Crushed with such knowledge, the angel fell to his knees and cried out:
“Oh my Lord, you already know what my choice will be!” So saying, he buried his face in his hands and wept bitterly as no angel in heaven has ever wept. He wept for a long long time as if releasing millennia of pain and grievance.
But when he finally stopped his weeping, he heard the Lord spoke
Are you ready to take the Oath of the First Angel, my son?
Now shedding all doubts, the angel knelt upright, raised his head to the Maker and replied:
“Lord, I am ready to take the sacred Oath.”
Do you solemnly swear to take on the duty as the Highest Angel, and to provide sound and reasonable leadership and guidance to the Archangels?
Do you swear to love and care for the human souls unconditionally, even those of the most broken, until they are ascended unto me?
Then my son, as you were not named, you shall from this day forsake all names that you have once carried, and receive thy True Name that I now grant thee. As it is the Evening Star, the brightest star above for which you have won, Lucifer I name thee, the Bringer of my Light!
Lucifer rose, and he was no longer naked with a toga, but was now clad in the majestic raiment of the First Angel. A golden circlet shined as a blue halo crowned his forehead above his brow, and its center a jewel shaped as the Evening Star burning bright.
“Lord.” Lucifer the First Angel spoke unto the Maker. “I wish to name the Archangel Gabriel as my Second. Her purity, wisdom, and strength shall serve most well as thy Left Hand.”
And so the Archangel Gabriel was summoned into the Eye. Upon seeing Lucifer in his new self. She was overcome with emotion. She embraced him with her arms and her great owl-like wings, tears of joy brimming in her maiden amber eyes.
But when she saw how solemn his blue eyes were. She understood became serious herself, perceiving her newly appointed duty.
“Come, My Lord First. Permit your Second the honor of your Annunciation.”
So saying, she took his hand and guided him out of the Eye.
When both Archangels stepped out of the Center, the heavenly hosts cried out as they saw Lucifer in his majestic true form as the First Angel, and fell down and worshipped him.
Only Michael stood frozen. He saw a dazzling blue light that seemed to illuminate the Maker himself, and within it, stood the angel who now revealed to all of heaven that terrible, incomprehensible, unmatched beauty that Michael had dreaded since the birth of the Archangels. The blue light expelled from within Lucifer buried the golden light of Michael like the brightest star of the universe out-shining the yellow sun.
“Will you not recognize your Lord First Angel, Michael?” It was Gabriel’s voice, and it was calm.
Michael was snapped out of his daze. He looked down at the kneeling Gabriel beside the feet of Lucifer. She held her head high and looked at Michael straight in the eye. Her once gentle maiden eyes were now hard and cold as ice as she gazed into his golden ones, as if daring Michael to challenge the divine verdict.
But despite everything, Michael knew his duty, and in it, his defeat. He had failed the divine Test, and now he knew well to submit and show humility. So he stepped forward, bent his knee, and bowed his proud golden head.
Lucifer acknowledged none of this. He seemed to have neither seen his seven sibling archangels kneeling at his feet, nor the rest of the heavenly assembly looking upon him with great awe and astonishment. His down-casted sad eyes seemed to have been looking inward in unsung grief. But as the ground started to rumble and shake, and heavenly chorus rang out in a fit of raging glory. Lucifer finally looked up. Not far from where he stood flashes of aurora beam shot from the tallest sky of heaven, fell into one place and clashed, molding together into an illuminating dais.
It was the Throne of the First Angel, as it has been decreed by the Lord. And the celestial chorus sung Lucifer to go to it, filling heaven with his praises, and praises of the Maker for His Will.
Still solemn, Lucifer walked slowly toward his throne. The heavenly hosts stepped aside, forming a path to the dais formed from the lights of aurora, and guided their First Angel with their celestial songs of praises, then engulfing him. Some reached out to touch his exalted raiment with deep veneration as he passed amongst them.
But when Lucifer was in front of the throne, he baffled all when he did not sit upon it. The heavenly hosts saw him simply standing before it instead, deep in thought until the heavenly singing slowly began to die down. When it was completely silent, and the angels waited for Lucifer to take his rightful place upon the throne.
Lucifer reached out his right hand and lightly touched the dais. The lights from the dais trembled violently and the ground began to shake once more. One by one the aurora rays from the dais dissolved and darkened, until the dais that was once made of light became a piece of unremarkable grey stone, smooth and hard.
A shocking gasp broke out from the angelic hosts. But before any of the angels could react, the ground trembled once more. Beneath the grey stone arose little green sprouts. And they grew, taller and taller into green vines. The vines elongated and crawled towards the grey throne. Upon it the vines weaved as threads into web that covered the stone. As the angels looked on, more sprouts sprang forth from the ground beneath what once was the gloriously lit throne. They shot high into the sky and grew into great trees. Branches grew from the trees, stacking layers upon layers of leaves.
The angels scattered in great confusion as the springing green plants expanded the area, eventually surrounding their Lord First Angel out of their view. The trees aggravated exponentially in number. When the ground finally cease to shake, the heavenly hosts were assembled before a vast, dark forest.
And so this forest became the dwelling place that Lucifer had chosen for himself. This was where he would bring his charges, the most despairing of the poor human souls to be healed. He finally came upon the throne and lay himself upon the bed of vines. Above him high beyond the tree leaves a starry sky lit. It was the sky that he often gazed upon, together with his beloved Lilith. But it was not a common starry sky that was often seen by mortals on earth. The countless stars shone with a sour-searing brilliance and petrifying proximity that one might either touch them or flee from them. They were stars that burned and exploded while Lucifer had watched the physical university at the bottom edge of heaven. And he remembered them, their unspeakable beauty and their splendor. Now they decorated the roof of his newfound establishment.
With a heavy sigh, Lucifer closed his eyes and fell into a deep sleep.
And at that night, he dreamt of Lilith.
END OF PART ONE