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Judgement of Angels

Even Angels fall...

Lightning burned through the heavens above, a furious display of power punctuated at random moments by deafening cracks of thunder. The cold fire set the night sky alight.

A storm in Heaven. 

As flash after flash ripped across the electrified skyline Alenna stared on in silent awe. It was a lightning storm without rain or wind, only those terrifying bolts of pure energy searing across the landscape of Heaven; testimony to the depths of the anger that His angels had aroused. No other sound dared to intrude upon the fury of the Eternal.

The Tower of Judgement, from whence His fury flowed, pierced the heavens like a spear of silver light stretching up and on forever; long past the point where even angelic eyes could follow it. Yet within its immense and endless halls worked the Eternal and His closest - those who kept order in place and ensured that His Will be carried out across the many worlds. It was the centre of His Eternal presence, situated here - in the World Of All Worlds that bridged the rivers between each of the known realms. Each one of His creation, each one ruled by His will.

And each one held under His judgement.

*

"We don't have long left; He must know what has happened down here by now. The chaos is growing - the people are calling to Him for help. It won't be long before He orders us back to account for all of this."

Alenna reached out with a shaking hand, wrapping her fingers about his own. She glanced at him a moment before letting her gaze follow his to the heavens above. Already dark clouds were rolling in, a damp breeze hastening them across the daytime skies. The light of the sun faded in and out under their oppressive presence. Eventually they would obscure its light completely; darkness to herald the judgement of the Light.

"Rahiel..." She shook her head softly. "Why will He judge you? You have done nothing that He did not order you to. You are innocent of the crimes of your brothers; surely He will see that!"

Rahiel's laugh was stripped of warmth, cold and bitter like the chilling wind that blew in from the seas surrounding their island home. He pulled his hand away from hers.

"He doesn't have a particularly merciful reputation when it comes to judging those of His Host. I came here of my own free will, as did the others. I might have had little to do with Samyaza's rebellious desires but I still came in defiance of His wishes. He will hold me to Judgement as harshly as the rest."

"But you walked away! You did nothing to cause the destruction wrought by your brothers and their issue. Surely that must count for something?"

Rahiel’s expression was sour, his eyes dark and forbidding. "If history is anything to go by - it counts for nothing."

*

Another bolt of lightning was thrown into the atmosphere with a crack like a thousand snapping whips. Alenna shivered, whether from the terror of the storm around them or the cold, she was unsure.

How much longer now could they be?

Kneeling on the marble floor, she turned her head to her left. The tall and regal figure at her side never flinched, even as the storm raged about them. He stood as he had for the past few hours; motionless, his eyes fixed outwards across the vast expanse of nothing that lay between them and the Tower on the horizon. A cloak of shimmering gold fell from his regal shoulders, dark hair cascading down in shining waves to settle between the two magnificent wings that spread forth from his strong shoulders.

With a shaking hand she dared to reach out and let her fingertips brush lightly across the beautiful feathers that tapered down to his feet.

Angel...

Despite the severity of their situation she couldn't help but smile to herself. She had been gifted a rare thing; she had seen the true beauty of the unearthly men who walked amongst them for so short a time. Despite the bloodshed and the horror that their brief stay had wrought there was still something beautiful and good about their natures.

As far as she was concerned the true evil was in the restraint of these majestic and powerful beings. That He would keep such strength and beauty away from His beloved children of the earth was a sin itself, yet there was one even greater, acknowledged only in silence and fear; that humanity could be allowed to murder itself, whilst those with the power to halt all of the evil in their world simply sat by and watched. It was far greater than the sin of a Watcher who tried to help a fledgling race walk from the darkness in which it was shrouded.

A strong yet gentle hand brushed against her wrist, startling her from her reverie. She turned her gaze up towards the face of her guard, eyes bordering on hostile and brimming with defiance. The angel met her glare with only sorrow, his voice soft as he spoke.

"Come. It is our time."

As the angel lifted her effortlessly to her feet the second of her guards moved in beside her. She felt the weight of his guiding hand fall on her shoulder. A sudden flash of light blinded her eyes and the world dropped away below.

*

Alenna stretched out her hand, fingertips brushing empty air as she stared across the chasm that separated the fateful pair. On the ledge at the far side sat a blood spattered angel, his wings bent crooked, the feathers torn askew. Kneeling in silence on the stony floor he stared into the darkness below, expression dark and fearful.

Rahiel...

The angel lifted his head. With dull and lifeless eyes he stared across the space between them. Chains rattled and clanked against the cold stone floor as he slowly raised himself to his feet.

"Why did you come here?" He asked, his voice a broken murmur that barely reached her ears.

A single tear coursed down from her eyes as she stared across the abyss at his ravaged form. Her arms shook as she reached out over the gap; it was an impossible thing yet Alenna imagined that she felt the brush of his fingertips against hers.

"They brought me," turning her face away she swallowed her stuttering tears and strengthened her will. "I wanted the chance to say good bye. I don't think I could face it if they... I…” She dropped to her knees at the mouth of the great abyss and lowered her forehead to the floor. "Ohhh God! What happened to His mercy?” her wail tore through the empty darkness as she rocked back and forth on the cold floor. “You are innocent! What kind of God condemns an innocent soul to such a fate?"

"I warned you to stay away. I warned you what His judgement would be.” Rahiel sank into a low crouch at the edge of his prison, “I made my choice; what would you have me do? Run? I would rather live a million years in darkness than spend a minute more of life knowing that I turned my back on Him."

"What about you? He has turned his back on you - is that not the same thing?" lifting her tear stained face to him she struggled to swallow her sobs.

"Oh, my love; would that you could ever understand!"

Her roar of desperate rage echoed through the chamber as she forced herself to her feet. "Understand what? Your love of a God who casts you out for one simple indiscretion! How can I understand that?” she raged, “What about me? What about the love that I hold for you? Or is the love of a simple mortal not good enough for an angel?"

Rahiel moved back from the edge of the precipice with a rattle of chains, melding into the darkness.

"You should never have come. I tried to save you from this pain. I knew what would come of this the moment I chose to follow the others, and I knew what would happen the moment I lay with you. It is forbidden for us to be with your kind. I might be innocent of the devastation caused by my brethren but I came to you knowing full well the consequences of my actions. That is the sin for which I now pay.” He pulled himself backwards across the stony floor and into the darkness. “Leave me."

Alenna ignored him, instead lowering herself back to the ground and stretching out on the cold, hard floor. She felt the bare stone press against her cheek and, as she stared into the consuming darkness, let her tears flow.

*

Right up until that final moment he had thought himself prepared. He had believed himself ready for this eventuality; from the instant he had taken the first step down that path he had known how it would end. He had been there when the First of All Angels had fallen from grace, and he had seen so many of his brothers and sisters cast down from their thrones since then. He thought he had known what to expect and had been so certain that he could do it; that the briefest of moments down on earth would be worth it in the end.

Now though, standing on the edge of the precipice as the sun rose above the distant horizon, the whole Host of the Heaven gathered around him, he realised how mistaken he had been.

Alenna... 

His arms were wrenched behind his back, cold manacles bound about his wrists. The slender chains that looped down to his ankles rattled with every minute movement. They would be the only reminder of the glory of Heaven to follow him in his descent.

I am sorry.

With a golden guardian on each side he stepped towards the chasm and stared down into the never-ending darkness. Somewhere, a distance further than the mind could see, the rift tunnelled down through the heavenly realm to the open void of the pit - the holding place of angels who dared to defy the word of the Eternal. Forever held apart from His presence, to wait until the end of all time when they would be judged alongside mankind.

A shiver of apprehension vibrated through him as he turned to face the watching Host. Beside him his guardians read out the charges and the appointed sentence. He did not listen to their droning words; what would happen now as a foregone conclusion. Instead he scoured the crowd for her face.

Beside him one of his golden haired guards gave a small shake of his head. She had not come. Or they had not brought her - a small mercy for them both.

The endless droning ceased and the scroll rolled up. One of his guards nudged his shoulder. He turned his face towards them and dropped to his knees without a word. From his left the scroll-reader drew a pair of jagged knives and passed them to the waiting guardian.

Rahiel spread his wings out wide with a snap and lifted his head to the heavens. Away in the distance flashed the terrifying Tower of Judgement, the Eternal undoubtedly watching from His lofty chambers. Savouring the last moments of the Divine Presence he barely felt the knives fall until the beautiful silvery wings lay torn from his shoulders. Then, of an instant, the pain arced through the severed nerves, setting his back aflame. A wordless cry ripped forth from his lips and the golden clad guardians grabbed his shoulders and threw him from the precipice into the void below.

The glory of Heaven faded in a rush of wind and noise as he fell from her lofty halls into the darkness of the void.

 *

Alenna stood atop the great cliffs that encircled what had once been a place of happiness and contentment, her peaceful island home. Staring out at the furious sea she stood with arms outstretched. The rain poured down around her, soaking through her simple dress and plastering her dark hair to her pale skin. She threw her head back, and spinning around in a circle like a madwoman she laughed.

She had lost count of the time that had passed since they had brought her back to earth, dragging her away from Rahiel's prison chamber. That they wished to carry out their barbaric judgement free of her unwanted presence came as no surprise. No angel wanted living mortals within their realm; even the souls of the dead held their own place separate from the Angelic Host - they couldn't possibly understand why the fallen ones had chosen to join hers.

And so they would execute and imprison any who crossed those boundaries that they themselves feared to cross. Annihilate what one fears.

Perhaps they were more human than they realised.

The Judgement of Angels... Not so different from the judgement of men.

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