Michael: Prologue Part One
This is not Hell. I am not my Brother, Lucifer.
I am Michael.
…before you turn away, I realize whatever he has spoken of me, however little, must mean you’d hardly wish to hear much from our side. I ask of you for otherwise. His thoughts and profanities are his own. Yours, however, are not. At least not yet.
Let me begin by saying I do understand your position as much as I do his: You want to love him, adore him. Hang on his every word; die a little each time his eyes misses yours. At one point a third of Paradise acted as you do now.
So I give you this warning not as the enemy he sees me as, or as the one he may have persuaded you to see me as, but as the brother who loved him more than my life itself, only to watch him attempt to destroy that life on an unholy whim: this is but a game, and you are his pawn. It’s his pleasure to keep you ensnared by his black charm. Until it is not, and you became just another soul fallen by his plague.
You must also know that although we are sworn enemies, I do not hate him. I may say I loved him, implying I no longer do, but a small part of me still…still!...adores him. So whatever I do say comes from a place broken love, as does my Father. He will always treasure him as his Chosen Son of Heaven, even when he makes the decision to end him.
When your Lucifer wasn’t the fallen Prince of Darkness who craves to torture your soul for eternity, he was our Prince. Our first… Prince of Heaven.
Before anything in Creation, and long before Creation itself, Father made a creature so majestic, so unbelievably powerful, that he burned the Heavens as the Morning Star. This brilliant being of light stood beside our Father, not behind or before, but as an equal. He was truly the first Beloved of God.
His twelve set of wings reached to the infinite, and blazed with the Fire of Truth I would one day wield as my sword. His musculature was chiseled to beyond peak perfection. His hair was a black so glossy, the night sky paled. His eyes were our Father’s, and his voice was the Holy Song in every word. Father could see no other but him.
But as Lucifer grew into his power, He wondered if He had gone too far in bequeathing the whole of the Almighty spirit to another, especially one such as Lucifer. He was as intense and unpredictable as his name suggested. He drank in Our Father’s love, wanting nothing more than all of it. Such a demand taxed Father, so he chose to create His other angelic sons and daughters.
The Eight Lower Orders were born. Then, in the literal shadow of my Brother, I blossomed. I was every bit the Prince of Heaven as the Morning Star, but also the golden opposite. Most importantly, I was content to stand behind Father, and not as an equal. Though I had the power to do so, I chose humility instead. Ten more Archangels appeared in order behind me, to form the twelve Hosts of Heaven.
At first, this Brotherhood was unbreakable. Lucifer loved us. It became apparent, however, if only eons later,that he loved us for the wrong reasons. He thought Father had created us for him, to feed his desire for endless devotion. When he realized this was hardly the case, Lucifer became increasingly reckless in his pursuit for our Father’s adoration.
At this point, Our Heavens were yet fifteen spheres of varied beauty and landscape.
Of these spheres, the highest was (and remains) the most glorious. Song and story are resplendent with its peaceful beauty. It’s a lush paradise, where the days are of sunny summery bliss and the nights are rich velvety skies and a moon as brilliant and nascent as a pearl. Its cities float on the clouds. Waterfalls of jawdropping heights plunged, and rainbows arched. Angels of all orders traveled freely on through.
These brothers and sisters filled the heavens with a beauty that no aesthetically pleasing landscape ever could.
I am Archangel. With my brothers, we are above all others, and just below our Father. We are unmatched, the Chosen. Our power flows directly from the Almighty, our wings beat with Holy Spirit.
My brothers, in their order of creation, are Gabriel, Raphael, Uriel, Sariel, Ramiel, and Raguiel. The five we would lose were Azrael, Jeremiel, Samael, Ariel, and Kushiel.
Gabriel is the right hand of our Father. He is the Messenger, tasked with delivering the Divine word, or the most potent of our Father’s missives. He is never far from his trumpet nor me. He is my favorite brother, and I love him dearly.
Raphael is the only onyx haired brother left. He is driven but patient; our Healer. He is equally adept at using his cunning to save as he is to destroy with his precisely wielded blade.
Uriel is the core of our group. His wisdom and knowledge is boundless and continuously proves crucial.
Sariel is our spiritualist. His faith in and for our Father is unshakable. As his name means ‘God’s Commander’, myself, Raphael, Gabriel and he form the Four Towers: a force beyond all else that no one, not even Lucifer, can match. Though he dared to try…
Ramiel is very much the mischievous one. His youthful energy abounds, and he enjoys taking to the physical world to guide and protect the wayward souls he finds there.
Raguiel is our youngest, the last created, and as such, he’s our quiet one. Thoughtful and cautious, he prefers to let his bigger brothers voice their opinions before voicing his. No word is wasted by him, no action left half done. He is the anchor of our line, steady in his compassion for all.
The other eight orders are as follows:
Seraphim, the highest of angels. They are luxuriously winged leaders who enjoy great power and privilege. I myself command their order. Their loyalty, zeal, and love are unmatched.
The cherubs, though the smallest, are no less than voracious patrons of the arts and sciences. One will often see them rushing to and fro with scrolls under arm on some scholastic venture.
The Thrones, gifted purveyors of God’s law, make up our courts of decision. They answered directly to the Seraphim.
The Dominions are the first of a lesser order overall from the first three. Their wings are on off-white, and they favor black and gold trimmed robes. Their duties lie in keeping the order of Heaven in check, and to serve as messenger to the higher Three.
The Virtues are our lovely patrons of music and art. They enjoy a very free spirited existence, influencing the physical worlds with well-placed miracles or two when needed. Predominately female in form, their angelic beauty is unsurpassed as much as their excellent voices. Their flowing dresses of gossamer, and sparkling wings of every pastel imaginable make them unmistakable. Indeed I am honored to call them some of the finest daughters of God.
The Powers are our premier warrior class, though the skills of the Seraphim and, of course, Archangel, make that look paltry. Not to be fooled around with, however, as every single Power had been trained by myself.
The Principalities are the Guardians of the physical worlds, protecting those who cannot protect themselves, as well as those institutions closed to our Father’s will: temples of worship, and places of learning. The Cherubs work closely with them in preserving scholarly advances. They are also in command of our lowest order.
These are the angels of Earth.
And this is where Lucifer did his one good deed, if it can be called that, on his path of damnation.
Our Father, satisfied with the full beauty and breadth of Heaven, turned to his grandest design yet: Creation. However, Time does not pass in Heaven as it does on Earth, so the progress towards the dawn of man was not the billions of your years, but a matter of years for us.
Lucifer watched with baited excitement. I look back now…seeing in hindsight how increasingly withdrawn he’d become … I should have known: He wanted it all. More than our Father’s love, more than our love. He was no longer satisfied with ephemeral: he wanted to grasp the straws of real power.
He was already gathering his flocks, reminding them the free will Father gifted all was, by definition, ours to use as we wished. Not as a ball and chain to our Father’s guidance and devotion. If He gave us the will to do so, why shouldn’t we use it to be happy for ourselves? Deeply conflicted by our brother’s rebellious warmongering, we decided to take our concerns to Him.
He was quietly devastated. Our Father, though to become a tumultuous and vengeful God, was not yet one to strike down a Son. That precedent hadn’t been set. He needed to see the spectacle of rebellion for itself first. He watched for several of our weeks, as Lucifer built his following. And then He acted, only bringing the remaining eleven of us into the fold.
He turned his Eye towards young Earth, and poured a sliver of our Paradise into a carefully selected area of land. He filled this Garden with his Love. Any one of us would have been overjoyed to dwell within, but He created something more precious than any one of Us. This was his quiet rebuff to Lucifer; a bold reminder that He Himself had the power and grace to command and create life. Not an upstart, not the son He’d loved more than Himself.
You know them as Adam and Eve.
We thought them to be the one ray of hope against Lucifer; that they would be untouchable on Earth, in a Paradise that mirrored our own. They would be the beginning of an immortal line of God’s own, whose goodness and free will to do as they pleased would never be tainted as ours had been.
The first of many betrayals struck. Five of our brothers, Azrael, Jeremiel, Samael, Ariel, and Kushiel were secretly Lucifer’s to command. They revealed Father’s act of creation, and the precise location of our two very special souls. Lucifer in turn brought a show of force to our Father’s Throne. His numbers amassed were startlingly disheartening. What was happening here? Surely he couldn’t turn Heaven away from its Lord…?
Thankfully a great deal of Elohim remained loyal, and we created a shield before our Father. I saw our Five Fallen Archangel brethren standing tall beside Lucifer, and my heart broke. What a tragedy we had allowed to occur: our homefront permanently marred from within. Such was Lucifer’s light: it blinded even us.
As the Second Prince of Heaven, now the First, because Lucifer obviously had forsaken that, it was my duty to stand as leader and commander of God’s forces. Suddenly it was Lucifer versus me; two brothers who had loved and done so much together…and now he stared at me with a hatred I didn’t realized I deserved.
His demand was succinct: he wanted to command Earth as his own. There were plenty of other planets and galaxies for us to maintain, but Earth? And those two… simple… naïve souls just waiting for his guiding hand…? They were his.
My Father laughed and commanded Lucifer to disband immediately. Lucifer flared his wings and brought his blade to bare, cleaving a canyon between us and them.
“The line to cross!” He yelled. “Defy me and I’ll bring your ruin! Heaven and Earth will be mine!”
The clarion call. His declaration of war.
Lucifer’s ugliness and treachery knew no bounds. It flowed like a poison across Heaven, absolutely corrupting the lower nine spheres. The fallen masses were blackened and soulless. Lakes of fire grew to endlessly consume and regenerate the damned. The Morning Star imploded and spiraled all into an endless pit of wretched darkness. For the first time, we knew death and despair. Many of us lost the sheen of God’s love: our immortality. We all became soldiers, nose deep in the dirty bloodlust of brother versus brother, sister versus sister…
I can’t tell you how many I killed, but I can recount precisely for you how many he killed. I kept track. So I would know how many times to curse his name…
The Lower Orders held the seven remaining levels of Heaven. We Archangels held the Throne of Heaven. Lucifer’s progress stalled on what had been the ninth sphere. I knew the time had come for me to take the stand we’d been clawing at and dying for. It had to be. There was no other way for this to end…
I wanted to kill him. We initially fought with to-the-death in mind. Though Fallen and no longer endowed with the Almighty, Lucifer’s strength stemmed from another, more vibrant source: his own evil. His hatred for us…for what we had been…for what he had been…
He was a Beast; no longer Elohim, no longer brother.
I was losing. He was going to kill me. And I was content to let him…because I believed it was my fault for letting it go on for as long as it had. For giving Lucifer the space for corruption to take root. I created him. I should die for that.
But then I heard my Brother Gabriel’s horn, and Raphael’s yell, and Sariel’s sword clashing on his shield. A shield of the Four Towers….
It could never be just me against this world of Lucifer’s. We had to stand together. Seven wasn’t Twelve, but it was enough.
Their strength and righteousness became mine. Their power and faith rejuvenated me. My Father’s voice broke across the field of battle. He endowed me with the Almighty Spirit Lucifer had abandoned. I was the First Prince of Heaven in more than name only, now. I felt His Faith more acutely than my brothers’ behind me. I knew I could win…only I wouldn’t kill. I would show him the mercy of God that he so laughed at. I would banish him forever; lock him away in the diseased desolation with the rest of his kind, never to step foot again in Paradise.
My sword flamed with the Light of Truth, my armor shone as the Morning Star once had. I screamed the command of eternal banishment in God’s name, and struck a mighty blow. An epic storm engulfed all of Heaven. When the lightening and terrible winds cleared, the remaining spheres were cleansed. A maelstrom of swirling blackness, punctuated by swaths of fire and pitiful agony of the damned, lingered on what had been the lower nine spheres: this was Hell. The kingdom Lucifer always wanted…
We thought we’d won. The taste of victory alighted Heaven in a way we hadn’t seen since before the War.
But then…something black tore our protected spheres: our Father’s rage.
As he tumbled from Paradise, Lucifer’s essence reached Earth and into our Garden, piercing the Heart and Mind of our Eve with its lying silver tongue.
Father discovered Adam and Eve were no longer His.
They were the Fallen: imperfect and guilty. In his wrath, he cast out the two from Paradise. His anger and hurt wasn’t really meant for them. It was for Lucifer, always Lucifer, driving his stake into all our hearts.
We surrounded our Father, gave him all our love and faith. We could live on, love on, and faithfully protect the little innocence left. We had no idea that any of the bloodline God had created on Earth would survive or even amount to anything remotely good. All was forsaken.
Until…after that line had propagated…and some of those offspring began to die.
Their souls, born from souls that had once been of God, reappeared in our spheres as angels. We suddenly had a whole new order of being. These souls would linger here until Father would command their return to Earth to be reborn. Their free will was intact, they could do as they wished. As long as they remained on the path of good and right, they would return to us in death to continue the cycle. But if in a reincarnated state and they strayed, Lucifer would bring them under his black net.
Throughout all of this, when we thought our existence had been irreversibly shattered, we still somehow managed to achieve balance. For every ounce of good, there is an equal ounce of evil.
I know Lucifer heard me laughing at him, and I’m glad for it.
Only he threatens our existence once more. Your existence…the universe itself.
And we will do what we must. Whether you believe or disbelieve. Heaven will come to Earth.