Yahweh, the God of Creation
and Chaos, smoothed the soft, cotton-white robe hugging his lofty frame and smiled down on his greatest masterpiece, mortal
man, as the gleaming sunlight peeked over the plush treetops. Much to his delight, the newly formed earths population had
flourished and grown by leaps and bounds. However, a lengthy list of Godly duties beckoned for his attention and he simply
couldn’t look after his swelling creation night and day.
After days of
thoughtful planning Yahweh decided to dispatch an elite assembly of angels to watch over the people. These angels of the most
high were also his beloved sons and became known as Watchers. They educated mankind in the art of weaponry, sorcery,
cosmetics, mirrors and other techniques intended to be discovered over the centuries. The sons of Yahweh saw that the daughters
of mortal men were very beautiful and, lusting after them heart and soul, chose for themselves many wives.
produced by the couplings were savage giants called Nephilim. They were heroes of old, men of renown who took great pleasure
in pillage and endangering humanity. The malice had an upward, domino effect and spread through the Heavens. A vicious war
ensued with prideful sons turning from the Gods who’d generated them in pursuit of their own glorious kingdoms.
the outcome of the battle and the loss of a favored son of light, Yahweh took a good hard look at his creation and saw mans’
wickedness had evolved in much the same way as his prideful offspring. He searched high and low, but sadly, failed to find
even a struggling seed of desire in the hearts of people to conceive anything but evil.
Indeed, he deeply
regretted his rebellious creation.
forth a meeting of the Divine Council to discuss the newly defective breed and what should be done with them. “The
giants born of the union of spirit and flesh shall be called evil spirits upon the earth because their dwelling shall be upon
the earth and inside the earth. The dwelling of the spiritual beings of heaven is heaven; but the dwelling of the spirits
of the earth, which are born upon the earth, is in the earth.”
Gabriel, one of
several privileged archangels who’d helped fight and win the war and rid the heavens of the fallen angels; convinced
Yahweh there was still good to be found upon the earth and its inhabitants. Yahweh observed Noah, proclaimed the last of the
virtuous men, for several days before setting the loyal archangel to helping the human prepare for the doom that was about
to befall the world. “With a great and dreadful flood I shall cleanse the earth and grant mankind a second chance
through this righteous man and his family.”
most beautiful, glorious and once highly-favored son of light, dared petition his father at this time, “I would ask
one favor before I go.”
forward, his face reflecting the loathing in his heart. “You would dare be bold enough to ask anything after your betrayal?”
He receded to the shadows when Yahweh waved his hand through the floral-scented air.
lacking emotion, Yahweh leveled his gaze and asked, “What is this favor you seek?” He knew the answer but wanted
to hear his renegade son voice the words, thus verbally declaring the creed to be scribed in the books.
and head outstretched with great pride, Lucifer’s piercing crystal-like eyes reeked mischief. “I would ask that
men be gifted free-will. That they might have the right to choose their own destinies and not forced to follow the
‘righteous’ path of the Gods.”
done.” With a heavy heart Yahweh flicked his wrist and cast his once-beloved son down from the Heavens for all eternity.
Yet, permitting mortal men free-will could not be free of consequences. Each individual would have to account for their life
choices when the earth ceased its finite spinning and the masses were lined up to atone in a final Judgment of days and works.
ten demons—or, fallen angels—to remain behind to balance the equation between good and evil, right and wrong,
permitting man to choose his own destiny. The demons stormed the lands, tainting the world and tempting mankind from the path
of righteousness with Lucifer leading the pack.
rebellion had opened doors and ideas of grandeur for other angels and lesser Gods. One such rebel God known as Hades followed
on Lucifer’s arrogant heels and together they forged a vastly growing Kingdom for the Damned; giving birth to Hell.
And while there were many fallen angels to help oversee the unruly multitudes feeding the fiery furnace of the Underworld,
order was needed to keep the vengeful souls from returning to earth and to sort out the various levels of sin. Not every sin
warranted eternal physical pain and torture, but each offense would have its own suitable punishment to match the crime.
was no question amongst the dark emperors of the Underworld as to who should govern the nine-kingdoms of hell. Bred
from the loins of Gods and the daughter of kings, Lucifer’s sons were by far the most powerful, the most aggressive,
of demon-spawns and any one of them could easily rise to the challenge of managing all nine levels without assistance. And
each son owned his particular vice. With them concentrating on one or two areas of punishment for the ill-fated, they’d
have ample time to scan the earth and collect the most resistive of souls.
assigned his eager offspring the highest stations of authority. Only Hades and Lucifer himself beheld higher command. Each
son was appointed a level of the Underworld mirroring his personality and shared reign over more than one soul-wrenching kingdom.
Evil incarnate, the blood-lusting sons of sin were baptized by fire and deemed the Demon Knights…the Seven Princes
The dark princes
reeled in their titles and dared not let their father down. They took as much pleasure in the tormenting of thousands of souls
entering their domain on a daily basis as they did stalking the earth for corrupt individuals to cushion their kingdoms.
Soon the earth wasn’t enough to satisfy the bad-boys’ ravenous appetite for fresh meat. As far as they were concerned,
earth and its evil inhabitants were nothing more than a waiting room for Hell. Their work, it seemed, was finished for there
was truly more vice than virtue left in the modern world.
for a challenge, the ominous knights grew bolder still and began to solicit the purest of angels from afar, tempting them
off their lofty pedestals so they fell with a jarring thud from the Heavens and straight into the burning bowels of Hell.
Not even the Gods’
chosen archangels were spared from temptation.
It was only when
hell’s flickering flame licked at the feast of the most high that the angels took notice. When Asmodius, the Demon of
Lust, deliberately and ever so boldly wandered into Raphael’s celestial province and claimed the souls of his wife and
daughters, the archangel decided to petition Yahweh for divine intervention.
before the great throne. “Something must be done before we are all that is left to occupy the Heavens.”
Yahweh scribbled something in the massive tome hovering in the air before him. When he was finished, he dropped the fluffy
goose-quill onto the parchment and both vanished into the air. “It is time.”
blinked, fearing he’d just brought on the apocalypse, and not quite sure he even cared anymore. Trepidation leapt into
his throat. What was happening to him that he would turn away from the innocent? Of course he cared…didn’t he?
matter in the end. He trusted Yahweh, for the God never did anything without knowing the outcome. And if he said it was time,
then it was time. Not that he’d share what it was time for with anyone…
A short while
later, Raphael had gathered fellow archangels in order to convey their mission, and Yahweh’s terms, as far as disciplining
the devil spirits. He wasn’t sure how they would respond for they’d all been victimized by the malice-loving brotherhood.
The most solemn
of all the angels, he stood before the round table, hands pressed flat against the cool smoothness of the white marble. “The
demons are to be ensnared and detained amidst their own playground, using their own twisted set of rules.”
The legs of the
chair Michael, the youngest of the archangels, was leaning back in slapped the floor with a hard thud. He scoffed and threw
out his hands in resignation. “They’re demons…they have no rules, Raph!”
cringed and straightened at the shortening of his name. “True.” He nodded in agreement, trying to remember Michael
was older than dirt, literally, but had long ago adopted and maintained the attitude of a mortal teenager. “What I meant
to say was that we shall turn Lucifer’s final request back on his vile offspring.” All eyes were on Raphael as
he explained the gist of Yahweh’s instructions. “We are to offer each demon a deal in the guise of a curse. With
a heaping taste of the vice they so recklessly spread over mankind, each demon will battle his polar opposite for his ultimate
freedom. In fact, their callous souls' very immortality depends on their reactions and what they do with their free-will in
the end. If they choose to turn away from their evil ways, indeed, perhaps there is hope for the world after all.” He
paused, thinking out loud as he often did, “We might even use the dark brotherhood to detour the souls of the would-be
Gabriel, the logical
one of the hierarchy, piped up, “And if they refuse to see things our way?”
Raphael had just
opened his mouth to speak when Uriel interrupted, “Apocalypse.”
quiet gripped the room. Several lengthy moments passed before Michael stated, “Yahweh has long grown tired of mankind
and its evils. I don’t believe he thinks the devils will see reason anymore than we do.”
feeling spread over Raphael’s chest. He’d hoped to see a miracle potent enough to heal the world. But not even
the coming and going of the Holy One had changed things for long. Indeed, man had turned the goodness and purity of the true
beloved son into a business. A business that was shriveling like the virtue it professed to uphold. No one cared for the message
Yeshua brought and left behind in hopes of saving man from himself and the destructive devils that would see them burn amidst
an eternal flame.
envy, gluttony, wrath, sloth and pride were the only missives getting through the closed minds of mankind these
days. “I believe you are right, brother.” Raphael added, “Yahweh said, ‘It is time’…so
whatever he has planned shall indeed come to pass.”
closed his eyes. “I have to agree, and believe our Father will protect us no matter what happens. Now, let us get to
it and save what’s left of our kind.”
here,” Michael chimed in. “Pardon the pun, but to hell with the world, for a sec," he amended, feeling
the stab of angry stares aimed at him. "We can’t waste another minute with these rebel renegades on the loose.
They’ve crossed the line—they’ve crossed every line, and the worst part is…they don‘t
care. Hades is running a ‘buy one get two’ free special on occupancies and if another war should break out,”
he paused, head shaking. “I fear we would be outnumbered one hundred to one and fall prey to their hedonistic torture
as they ravage the heavens and earth in hellfire.”
definitely be outnumbered this time around. The wicked breed like rabbits.” Uriel came to his feet. “Alright Raphael,
what must be done to start the clock?”
smile was melancholy. He never thought he’d see this day come. Fear and loss had seen him—seen all of them—welcome
the end of days. But oddly enough, he wasn’t filled with joy. No, the strange tickle in his gullet was undeniably dread,
yet mingled with what could only be described as…hope. “We must locate and entrap the demons when they set out
to hunt, or feed.”
Uriel sucked in
a startled gasp. “When they set out to feed? Why must we permit innocent blood shed when—”
Urie. You’re perfectly safe. Demons do not feed off innocents,” Michael corrected with a taunting grin. “They
prey on innocent souls, yes, but they never feed from their bodies until they’ve actually turned.”
it matters,” Raphael reminded them. “At the end of the month we will most likely be sitting in judgment upon the
souls of the righteous and the wicked. But first, we must capture our predators; convey the terms of the curse to them,
and Hades, so they all know exactly what’s at risk and then seal them in their prisons.”
his brow in query. “How will the demons feed if confined for an entire month? As much as I find they way in which
the devils take in nourishment daunting, I don't believe Yahweh would want to weaken them by denial. Wouldn't be a fair fight.”
not Yahweh's intent. In order to have a 'fair' chance to win their freedom and reclaim their souls—and feed—the
demon knights will be allotted specific incriminates of time to walk free upon the earth.”
Uriel snorted. “I
don’t see much difference in what they’re doing now except it will permit rest breaks over the next month between
Raphael held the
gaze of each archangel in his brotherhood. “Not entirely true, they will need to focus their energies on besting their
nemesis in the form of a feminine virtue.”
Head shaking, Michael
laughed. “The womanizing devils will eat those poor women alive, that’s what they do.” He broke off at the
gimlet glare Gabriel threw at him.
Yahweh isn’t going to hand them the earth and the heavens on a feminine platter.” Raphael’s smile broadened
as he withdrew a large gold ring bejeweled with rubies, diamonds and sapphires from the pocket of his velvet robe. “We will
have possession of Solomon’s ring should things get too out of hand.”
face visibly paled. “I don’t like it. They’ll be looking for it to break free of their prisons and won't
hesitate to lash out at Yahweh himself in order to get it.”
All expression left Raphael's
face. “It’s the only way to capture them, you know that. With this ring we can control everything they do. They
won't be able to run renegade while under the spell."
took the ring from Raphael’s hand to inspect it. “But if the demons get their hands on this righteous bling, they
can free themselves from the curse." He snorted. “I’m sorry, bro, but ‘hit the deck’ just isn’t
going to save us from the wrath we’d have unleashed upon the Universe.”
Raphael snatched the
ring back. “They won’t have the opportunity to get their hands on it. Their temptations will be as strong—stronger,
than those they dish out upon the innocent. On top of that, they must persuade their feminine foe to fall in love with them
in their true form by the end of their confinement, else resolve to the grueling punishments they’re so fond of shelling
out and relinquish all powers to Hades.”
way, the cycle will no doubt bring about the end of mankind,” Gabriel whispered. “As we can all attest, good no
longer triumphs over evil at every turn.”
just have to wait and see and, as always, trust Yahweh.”
do this.” Michael blew out a hot breath and rose from his seat to start hopping from one foot to the other in full-on
boxer mode. He reached into the air and made a ding noise and said, “Round one…from which corner of the earth
shall we find our deadly contenders…?”
Gabriel rolled his eyes. “We can leave no sinful stone unturned…gambling halls, strip clubs,
drug parties, etc.”
his head. “Better yet, I hear they’re fond of music and each has their own theme song, or songs, that plays overhead
during the thrill of their hunt…we’ll just turn the station to Sin 107.7 and—what?”
He shrugged beneath the prickle of the dagger-like glares.
Raphael was anything
but amused. “Michael, we don’t have time for games. Uriel and I will go and find the dark princes. The key
of Solomon will lead us right to them. You and Gabriel stay here in case an innocent should need one of us.”
could voice his protest, they were gone...