His leathery wings sailed him across the expanse of space as if he were borne on invisible winds. His cat-like luminous yellow eyes peered down upon earth with a look of disdain and with just a hint of pleasure lurking behind them. A look not unlike a slave-master has after having just kicked his servant senseless…
Azrael licked his cruel lips with much satisfaction as he espied the misery he and his brothers had brought over the centuries to mankind.
Plagues, disasters, calamities. diseases, new and wondrous in their ability to kill in frightening and disgusting ways.
The slaughter, the carnage! It was maddeningly delightful! His heart raced as he thought of the mass destruction caused…
And ah, yes, abortion.
He laughed out loud.
"It's every woman's choice," he chuckled.
"It's not a human being, it's simply an impersonal mass of tissue. It's---" here he paused for breath, he laughed so vigorously---"It's nothing more than a 'growth', a tumor!" he guffawed.
He hung suspended in the atmosphere above earth chuckling. He rarely quoted the Bible, because the Master hated it so. It suffocated him. Azrael himself found it choking, but words came to mind that were so appropriate that he could not resist.
"Don't you realize what you're doing! " He shouted down at the tortured planet with glee.
"You spend billions fighting our diseases, trying to treat the suffering millions. You spend billions more in research trying to find out everything from the cure, to the origin!"
"But you---" here he began to giggle devilishly," but you kill in the womb the very one's that HE has sent to earth with the answers!!!" Here he roared with laughter while below him, fallen angels and demonic spirits criss-crossed the globe carrying death and destruction. Here, a rape in progress. There, a murder played out before the eyes of the victim’s family. Over further, near the western horizon, perverse scenes between two men, and near there, two women pursue the same, in both cases carelessly unaware the small children they've adopted for each of their 'families' watch, confused and strangely frightened…
"You have destroyed your Pastuer's, your Einstein's, your future doctors with the cure for cancer and aids! Heart disease and drug addiction! Fools!!! You destroy the very thing you seek!!!"
"As it is written, 'Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools…"
Here he choked on the verse for a moment, gagged, then recovered. The momentary discomfort was worth it, he thought, because the verse was so apropos…
Again, he roared with malicious laughter and glee. From the earth demons and evil spirits of all kinds glanced up briefly at him and smiled, for a moment enjoying the mirth and the irony of a people crying out for salvation and answers for their race, and destroying those answers by the millions everyday. Then, they were busily back to the work at hand…
He sighed, still smiling. He knew many down there who were at work personally. Like Ssen, down there to the left, in the place called Chicago, Ill. U.S.A. Yes, it had been he who had possessed 'Speck' and killed the nurses. Even now he was pressuring another one to even greater murders---"Voices", they would say, " I heard voices in my head telling me to do it..."
Others he knew only by name, but all knew him by reputation. He was feared and avoided by all of the lower ranking spirits and tolerated with grudging respect by those his equal in rank.
He stretched his body in the darkness of space, muscles bulging to their maximum, his powerful body, his pride. He wore tight fitting breeks and jerkin. He swept around to his left to judge the sun.
They, like God's Holy Angels were outside of time and were un-bothered by it, but did use it to plan strategies and wicked activities.
"By Lucifer's horns!" The sun was low in the west. He was late! Satan would have his hide for this! He must think of something. Blame one of the lower spirits? Or those pesky "God-said-it-I-believe-it-that-settles-it" Christians, say they hindered him with their restrictive prayers and commands in ‘The Name’. He'd believe that. They were more active now than ever before. In fact, that's what this meeting was about that Satan, uh, "Lucifer" had called…
He had to remember to use the master's original name, because he hated being called by his fallen name. It had been nearly a millennia, but still he had to remind himself not to call the master by his fallen name. Even though he was one of Lucifer's Captains , as the two solid gold tabs shaped like claws on his shoulders could attest---here he shivered, and pulled his dark cape about him---the master punished any infraction or disrespect among his officers in unspeakable ways. Perhaps fearing the same type of insurrection that he himself had brought against Him…
"But we are lords here", he thought glancing over the earth one last time.
"We have reigned for thousands of years and will for many years to come.
"We are lords! Lords of sickness! Lord's of disease!" He shouted in defiance up at the heavens. Pride suddenly like liquid fire coursed through his veins. For a moment, he forgot the meeting again. He forgot Lucifer and fear of punishment. He turned his back to the earth and stared upward and outward into the starry heavens. Hands on his hips, chest thrust forward, head held high and a maddened gleam in his eye, he felt a surge suddenly of defiance flood through him like that he'd felt the first day…the first day of their rebellion. He knew instinctively that on the earth somewhere someone was praying…to him. For he was the Fallen Angel in charge of the covens of the earth…All the satanic covens and witches covens. Their ceremonies and sacrifices, animal and…yes, human too…Someone was praying to him, reciting the Lord's prayer backwards. He closed his eyes to savor the feeling, the rush, the surge of pride, perversion, rebellion and power.
He swayed as if to an inaudible rhythm. Yes, it was a heady wine, this feeling of the adoration of the humans, this feeling of power drawn from the most potent thing given by humans in this universe--their worship!
He threw his head back and roared in laughter at the universe, and at the foolishness of humans. Even those that worshiped him and Satan---here he paused and his look soured, but only briefly, as he realized that Satan wanted all the worship from humans, and that he, Azrael, was only supposed to be a "conduit" of that worship…
"Bah! Lucifer---Satan, was not omnipresent like The Holy One Himself. He would never know!" He then flung back his cape and spread wide his arms and drank in the perverted and misguided worship like a drug.
"I receive this as mine!" He shouted and then stared defiantly at the Heavens.
"See God!! They worship ME !!! I and Lucifer hold sway over this planet, not You!! The worship which they should direct toward You, comes to me! And willingly! Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha! "
He was intoxicated with the power of the perversions of the earth. Somewhere, a sacrificial knife plunged into a beating heart and he felt the electric chills of it run up his spine…
"Ahhh! Yes, more! More my children of sin! Feed me with your obedience, I and my brothers! And we will reward you…with tortures in Hell like none you have ever imagined!! Fools!! Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!!" He laughed at the twisted mirth of this inside joke….
"See God! " He spat out the name of the Creator with such hate, it could be felt like the punch of a fist.
He speared a finger at the heavens.
"You said that you would be back, Jesus! Where is the sign of your coming? All things continue on as before! We eat the souls of men! We drink the blood of the unborn! We marry our ideas to the apostate church, and are given in marriage in strange and deviant unions made legal by countries and states around the world!
"We are the rulers in the earth! We are the lawmakers in the earth. We battle your Believing Church on all fronts every day! We have infiltrated your schools!
"We are the power in the earth. We are the receivers of the drunken worship of the world! We are the planners of disasters and calamities killing thousands in the world!!
"We are---! " He started to shout and paused.
A star, far out in space had begun to shine, noticeably brighter and then, it began to move. Growing steadily brighter and larger, sparkling, dazzling, coming closer and closer, traveling at what Azrael knew must be close to…the speed of Light!!??
"We are---!" He began again, but the shout died in a throat gone dry. He squinted. There were other stars now, falling in behind the first. Thousands---no, millions! He heard what sounded like the distant hoof beats of millions of horses bearing White Robed Riders.
"No! It couldn't be, not after all these years, all these centuries!"
He saw the lead rider, dressed in brilliant white flowing robe. A solid gold band encircled His waist. Closer now, there were on His head many golden crowns. His face, glowing, radiant! There, to the right, Michael! To the left, Gabriel, preparing to place that fearful horn to his lips!
Azrael turned to flee, glancing over his shoulder.
Millions of Angels flowed behind the KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS, and with them, millions of Saints!
"We are ruling here!" He shouted, fleeing down to the earth as fast as his wings would carry him.
"We are the masters of this planet and its people..." He whimpered.
"We are not to be trifled with! " He whined.
At a signal from The LORD, Gabriel blew his horn, and the earth shook as the Host of Heaven descended, The Lord Jesus Christ leading the massive Heavenly spear of Angels and Saints to the earth…
Azrael urged his wings to greater flight, falling like a streak of lightening to the earth. He saw panic all around him as other evil spirits, demons and fallen angels alike now too saw the horrendous array of Heavenly fire power bearing down on the earth—and them. He saw fear in the eyes of his comrades, first fear, then, terror. He must flee to the safety of Hell, he thought, and tell the Master.
But wait! There! There he was! Below, on the earth, staring toward heaven. Did he see me? Azrael wondered. Does he wonder what I'm doing here rather than surrounding him like the other Captains who were present for the meeting?
What must I say if he questions me, maybe--
It was Satan, er, Lucifer, calling his name. He had seen him. His voice came booming up to him from the surface at the fleeing evil spirit like a cannon shot, just as he crossed into the ionosphere nearly 100 miles above earth--now, with an unfamiliar but "persistent" Archangel in hot pursuit behind him.
"AZRAEL!!! YOU HELLIAN COWARD! FIGHT! TURN AND FIGHT!!! WE ARE THE RULERS HERE! THIS IS OUR HOME! FIGHT, FOR YOUR HELLIAN RIGHT TO KILL THE UNBORN! TO SLAUGHTER THE HELPLESS, TO DECEIVE THE UNWARY! AND TO DEFILE THE INNOCENT!!! WHAT I SPEAK TO YOU ONE, I SPEAK TO YOU ALL!! IF YOU FAIL, DAMNATION AWAITS!!!
“SO FIGHT DEMONS AND ANGELS FROM HELL!!! FIGHT FOR YOUR VERY LIVES! FOR THE JUDGEMENT I FACE IS NOT MY FATE ALONE!
"BUT ALL WHO STAND WITH ME, I PROMISE YOU POWER AND GLORY!!! FEEL THE HATE MY HELL--SPAWNED CHILDREN! FEEL THE DEFIANCE!! LET IT SURGE THROUGH YOUR BEINGS AGAIN! FEEL THE SWEET REBELLION FROM THE BEGINNING FLOOD THROUGH YOU AGAIN!!"
"I AM THE DRAGON!"
"I WILL LEAD YOU! AND WE WILL RULE, NOT JUST THE EARTH MY BROTHERS, BUT FOLLOW ME, AND WE WILL FEED UPON THE BODIES OF THE RIGHTEOUS, AND CRUSH THE HEADS OF ANGELS BENEATH OUR FEET!!! FOLLOW ME! OBEY ME! AND WE WILL RULE HEAVEN AND HAVE ITS' TREASURES----AND ITS' GOD AT OUR FEET!!!"
Such a horrendous roar went up from the earth, it seemed the world itself shook like a hollow tin can. Demons of every kind gathered around and behind their leader---evil beings of every size and shape imaginable. Demons of murder and perversion, disaster and calamity, of plagues and of poverty, of addiction and greed, of disease and of filth, of lying and of patricide and of things most offensive and vile. And then, there were the Fallen Angels...
Their wits about them now, their courage momentarily returned. They quickly flew to the side of their master who issued quick and terse orders, his powerful frame standing head and shoulders above his massive captains and lieutenants. He was dressed in black with a grand and sweeping red cape that danced and twisted in the wind like a tortured soul in Hells' flames …
Even from this distance Azrael could clearly make out the evil features. The coal black and burning eyes with their fiery red pupils that left eerie feelings in the pit of the stomach when one was the object of their stare.
He watched their forces gathering below---ranks and ranks of pure evil.
Then Satan thrust a fist and stiff muscular arm toward heaven and sweeps of fallen angels and black hearted demons rose with hate twisted faces and murder filled hearts by the millions to do combat with the forces of Heaven. And finally, Satan himself rose, ascending to what would be the most spectacular battle the world had ever known. And here was he, Azrael, in the middle of it all…
Satan stared at him malevolently. And Azrael made a sweeping turn to face the Angel that was pursuing him. Behind him Azrael heard the war shouts of his brothers. Their cries and shouts of malicious evil were enough to chill the bones of the dead. He felt new courage as he turned, though weaponless, to face his enemy. Ssen, his old friend, tossed him a sword as he streaked by to engage with a powerful Angel under Michaels' direct command.
The ring of clashing steel in the heavenlies was deafening. Yet, the Lord Jesus Christ sat amazingly calm astride the most beautiful white charger Azrael had ever seen. Saints and demons, Angels and evils spirits battled all around.
On the earth he noticed between thrusts and slashes and parries of his own sword, Armageddon was beginning. It was nearly always thus. Earth's battles reflecting heaven’s own…
He looked into the eyes of his adversary. There was no hate there as in the eyes of his own companions. No malice, no vindictiveness---it was an emotionless stare of certainty. Certainty of the out come. Certainty of his fate. Azrael caught a glimpse of something else in those eyes that made him look away briefly. He disengaged and moved back several feet, his wings stroking the air, hovering. He looked at the Lord Jesus Christ and found himself squinting and using his arm to shield his eyes from the Glory. He could feel it as His eyes swept him calmly taking in the colossal frenzied contest.
The Lord, impassive and majestic, sat astride the gleaming White Stallion which pawed the empty air as if it stood on solid ground, watching the massive battle array raging in conflict around Him.
How could He be so calm? Satan had amassed millions of evil spirits in minutes and galvanized them within seconds to terrific fury. And look! Satan himself was battling through the array to reach the Lord, to meet Him face to face, but still He stayed impassive, calm as a mountain pond in the spring.
Suddenly Azrael wished that he could know such peace. Was it indeed so long ago that he and the others had fallen? He wished he had never listened to Lucifer, to Satan those millennia ago…
Satan broke through the first rank of Angels and shouted in triumph and made for the Lord in a burst of dark energy flying at top speed with several thousand of his evil angels behind him, swords drawn.
How easily he had burst through the first rank of angels…perhaps too easily? He opened his mouth to shout a warning to Satan, but, too late. Using his hate as a personal beacon, Satan headed straight for the Lord and His Charger. Neither moved. It was then that the huge War Angel, Michael, and hundreds of thousands of his Angels appeared from nowhere and trapped and surrounded Satan, with more than 2800 Legions of Michael's most elite Warriors. Suddenly, out of the Lord's mouth, ushered the sharpest sword that Azrael could ever recall seeing in his 2 million year existence, and like a scythe reaping shocks of wheat---no, chaff, as he watched, the sword slice through whole companies of evil spirits and sent them tumbling to the earth below wounded, dazed and spent.
Satan, wounded in pride and body, began to transform himself, changing from form to form trying to find a stronger one to fight from. First a false angel of Light, then a giant Serpent, then a Lion, and finally a huge venom-dripping Dragon, but all to no avail.
"And there was war in Heaven, Michael and his Angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels and prevailed not; neither was their place found anymore in Heaven.
"And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent called the Devil and Satan which, deceiveth the world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him…"
Azrael gagged, choking, then recovered. Satan would have hated him had he known he stood here in the middle of a battle for their lives quoting scripture, but again, so apropos…
His opponent had stood watching him and listening as he took in all the events, now he moved toward Azrael asking,
"DO YOU YIELD?"
He knew, that Azrael knew, that all was lost. Around them, demons and Satan's angels fell like dark rain to the earth far below, and as they went, so would go the tide of Armageddon. He knew the Anti-Christ wouldn't stand a chance, and that they would all be cast into Gehenna, the Lake of Fire…forever. He recalled the look in his opponent's eyes. He glanced at him quickly.
Yes, it was still there.
Unlike he and his evil brethren, it was not hate in this Angels' eyes, he wished it had been, but no, this was something different he saw there. It was far worse.
It was judgement…
Then, a fury seized him, born of hate and grand disappointment, of malice and of deep self-pity. Self-hatred for what he had become, what he had allowed Lucifer to deceive him into believing. Passionate fury like a volcano welled up inside of him and burst forth as he realized that if he had not been so foolish and naïve those eons of centuries ago that it could have been he that stood clothed in white among the Vanguard of Honor in Heaven, he could've been standing in the shoes of his opponent now, rather than facing an eternity in HELL!!!
"ARGHH!! NO, LACKEY FROM HEAVEN, I DON'T YIELD AND IF I AM TO SUFFER SO MUST YOU! I SHALL SKEWER YOUR RIGHTEOUS HIDE AND LEAVE YOU TOO BROKE-FEATHERED AND BLEEDING FOR EVEN YOUR LORD TO FIX!" he shouted in a voice dripping with hate and mockery.
The Angel, still expressionless, charged. He knew what the out come must be. Even if he were to forfeit his life, it would change nothing. The kingdoms of this World would become the Kingdoms of the Lord and of His Christ…
Their swords struck sparks, clashing hard enough to draw stares for a brief instant from the combatants around them.
Uriel, for so he was known, thrust his sword hard through the defenses of Azrael. Azrael responded with a furious slash of his own. A powerful downward blow from Uriel however numbed his arm so, that he was barely successful in blocking it.
Behind him the giant two-edged sword swung closer and closer like the implement of a giant reaper, reaping punishment on evil far and wide…
This Angel was much stronger than he'd supposed.
Below him, Azrael noted sadly, that thousands of his foul companions lay broken and in disarray, moaning. Those still fighting, shouted their defiance, refusing to yield…
"..We are the rulers here! We will rule Heaven and earth! " they shouted, and suffered the consequences by the hundreds and by the thousands.
Then, suddenly, there was an ear-shattering scream of pain and agony, of disappointment and woe!
He turned to see Lucifer…Satan…his master, his leader, fall like crippled lightening to the earth, gravely wounded by the Lord's Two-edged Sword. As he turned to watch his mentors' fall, Uriel struck hard and deep, severing bone and muscle and wing. And like a bird arrowed by a skilled hunter, Azrael too tumbled to the earth, not a second behind his vanquished and wounded master…
As they fell, he heard Satan whispering to himself, in obvious pain, but in even more obvious fury,
"I will make the weaklings of earth pay for this…I will take out my rage upon them!. We are still the masters here! We are still powerful", he babbled.
"We are lords of Death and destruction! " He drooled deliriously.
"We are--", he began again, looking to Azrael for support and agreement,
"We are---", he stammered.
"We are doomed…" said Azrael with a note of finality as they crashed to the earth in broken heaps…