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He dreamed for the fourth time.
Gideon felt it, he was deep underground.
It was a dark, black place.
Absent of all hope.
Gideon’s eyes were trying to adjust, but he noticed the floor was of a grey stone. Perfectly smooth and level.
Cold and soulless.
Off in the distance, he could see a ring of light shining in a cone on the floor; a spotlight.
There in the center was some figure inside the halo of light. Gideon stalked forward cautiously, his quiet footsteps breaking the silence of nothing.
As he closed in, he could see a woman in the center. She was clothed in rags, with her golden hair matted over her face as she sat on her knees in the light. Chains branched from the shackles on her wrists, ankles, torso, and neck, twisting off to main trunks throughout the room. The chains were a phthalo blue steel that seemed familiar to him, similar to the Decima’s hull. The chains traveled off into the darkness in different directions, giving little room for movement.
Gideon touched one of the chains, the feeling of cold shocking his finger, his instincts kicked in and he pulled back. The disturbed chain swayed gently, giving a quiet jingle of metal that was deafening in a room made of silence.
The woman turned her head with a snap at the noise, her golden hair falling away from her face to reveal a collar and mask made of the phthalo blue metal. He could see everything was covered save for a sole eye. It was an eye of pure blue ocean.
As vast as the sky.
It spoke of mysterious aquamarine, of brilliant azure, timid brandeis, burning sapphire, and majestic cerulean. The entire eye was a solid blue with a ring of pure gold around the iris. It also spoke of untold agony, there were violet veins staining the eye. There was a desperation in that eye.
The untold rage of a collapsing sun.
She was not human.
Who was this woman?
“Who’s there?” The woman asked in response to the disturbed chain. Her voice tinny and muffled. It was ragged and tired.
“Is someone there?” She asked again. Waiting quietly.
Staring right in Gideon’s direction.
She shouted with an undeniable authority. The chains shook by the force of the voice, Gideon himself was bowled over like he took a tackle to the legs.
Gideon stayed down and unmoving. Even his breath came out silent. His ears were ringing over the blast of sound.
What was she? Gideon asked himself. Internally. So as not to draw up more ire from the woman.
“Please. I-I haven’t spoken to anyone. I don’t know how long it’s been,” The woman begged.
She tried to move, but the chains impeded her actions. They jingled in mockery of her restrained movement.
Gideon’s perception was frozen in place. The room went stone grey. Everything stopped. He heard a voice, a monologue.
This is my prison. I will spend eternity here. There will be no end to my suffering.
My loneliness will know no end.
The burden of grief that I have weighs me down, of forever losing the one I love. Even after giving him everything he wanted. I still lost him. I sacrificed my very being to help him. To show him my love. I betrayed my kingdom, my family to do it. And what did they know about love? They were always about themselves.
It happened so suddenly, with the creation of the physical realm. Reality itself was focused from a primordial ocean of spiritual entities to a split of two planes. The orderly physical realm and the chaotic mass of the spiritual realm. Other spiritual entities warred against Him. He used His power to make other beings under his liege. He built and ordered his kingdom. He then did something no other entity dared to do.
He created life that had a choice to love Him.
He chased away darkness with the light; the thunder of his voice scattering it to shadow. He set the planets on high, suspended in a dance with one another. The stars were commanded to light the corners of the galaxy. The heavens of The Physical Realm were complete.
He zoomed his focus in and placed one single planet of significance. Forged in the cauldron of his left hand, hammered together by his right, He crafted a world of beauty.
He further zoomed his focus in and made creatures of all sorts. Animals of beauty swam the oceans, flew the sky, crawled the land. Many were large titans, while others were insignificant to sight. Each had a place and purpose. I watched with fascination as He worked the land. He toiled like I’ve never seen Him work before. He then did something I could not believe. He took simple mud of this planet and breathed life into it. He breathed his very essence into it and knit it together with the words of creation. It stood on two legs, striking in appearance. It had a curiosity to it. A purity that was attractive. A strength that was moreso.
I watched as the man worked the garden, named the animals and governed. There was something off. As animals made more of their kind, Man was unique in that he was alone. So He took man aside and from his rib, made another being. It also stood on two legs. It looked fragile but far more striking in beauty than the man. There was also an innocence to it that was attractive. A nurturing spirit that was moreso.
They worked together with complete devotion to one another. And to Him. I doomed myself to my current prison. I destroyed everything that was built. I did the unthinkable.
I fell in love.
I was enraptured by mankind. But with love came jealousy. Mankind was devoted to Him. To ‘Adonai’. They had no thought or idea of me. So I watched from the shadow, stewing in these feelings. The plan I came up with was clever. I needed to distract Adonai and make myself known to man. I had to act on my love. I needed mankind. To know them and be made known by them. To give them everything they desired.
My love for man became a desperation I could never sate.
In the end, I was victorious. To the misery of all. And to my own destruction.
Here I lie. My bed and tomb. Forever to live as a relic of the past, an execution of eternity.
Oblivion would have been a mercy.
Gideon felt the monologue would continue, but his perception sped back to himself, lying on the stone floor.
What the hell was that about?
His mind was speeding, trying to process what was going on and why he was having very strange dreams.
The woman was lying down now, arms pulled at awkward angles from the chains; her collar and chain kept her head from to touching the cell floor. He could hear a quiet weeping.
His eyes had fully adjusted and he could now see the entirety of the room. He quietly stood up, the rage of that woman was terrifying, to say the least. Even in this dream, he still felt corporeal. Gideon remembered now, the first dream with the boy. The second with the Chamuel and the fleet. Why could he only remember the dreams when he dreamed?
The room was massive. It felt like a waste for holding a single bound prisoner. It was all layered in the cold smooth stone that Gideon stood upon. He spotted a large pair of doors, made of the same phthalo blue steel. Even the hinges and the wall itself was made of the same steel.
Where am I? It must be some sort of prison, obviously. Except more inhumane.
His thoughts and silence didn’t last long.
He heard the doors shudder from a massive blow outside the room. The sound of it was a boulder smashing a wall, the doors only trembled in reply; a challenge. His ears were rung as the deafening sound was akin to a bomb blast. If his ears worked better, he would have heard fighting outside of the room.
The door was struck again by a blast, this time shaking the room. Gideon could only hear ringing as it deafened him, he was clutching his ears silently. Dust that was collected over millennia had been shaken loose. The woman had stood up and was nervously placing weight from one foot to another, the chains jingling like a poor tune. Gideon also took the time to stand up, with the woman’s attention focused on the intruder. Or was it a prison break?
“What bastard rot is this?” She shouted out loud.
Gideon looked to the door. The last blast produced a small puncture in the door. It looked like the end of a blade. The blade was that of a metallic red and gold, almost a tinge of copper. The door looked thick to Gideon; too thick for something to casually cut into it. How a blade could puncture a door of that thickness like sticking meat was beyond him. The blade disappeared from the new hole. Another deafening thud followed as the blade was stabbed anew into the door. The screeching of stressed metal pressured his already strained ears, his bones rattled by the pressure. The blade punctured at the not so little top hinge of the right door, shearing the hinge away from the wall that held the door. The shriek of metal being sheared rumbled the room. A thousand men with a thousand claxons could not have made such a noise.
The blade traveled from the top hinge down to the bottom hinge, shearing the metal. The door slowly fell over, the anticipation of noise was panic-inducing. The grand slam of the door against marble thundered throughout the prison, the woman in the center jumped, the shaking chains adding to the din. The left door was kicked inward, slamming to the wall like a dull bell.
Gideon then heard the clocking of hooves as a being entered the room, it tinned off of the door like an auto-forge hammering metal. To Gideon, it was a silhouette of black shadow. Gideon noticed the demeanor of the woman change, she hunched over and turned to the side; all forms of submission. Her former pride and authority vanished. She deflated like so much hot air.
“W-who’s there?” The woman asked.
Her voice had an audible tremble and a meekness that belied her previous outburst.
The being sauntered in with a visible pride and smugness about it. The hooves pierced the silence of the room. The being ignored the woman as it got closer. It stepped within inches of the halo of light and stopped. Gideon could see the head cock to the side, studying the chains and the woman. It stepped to the closest chain and with a clean motion, sheared the chain using the blade of red gold. The chain hung in place for but a second before falling to the ground with a traveling jingle. The woman shuddered and stepped back at that, staying as far away from the being as she could. The being calmly processioned around the halo, cutting the phthalo blue steel chains like paper.
The being lowered the dagger and gripped on the final icy cold chain and yanked, causing the woman to tumble out of the halo towards it with a shriek. The room lit up with a flash, an audible voice began speaking in a language Gideon didn’t understand.
What revolted him was the being’s visage. It stood eight feet tall on powerful hooved legs. It was wearing a heavy steel and leather belt and tabard as it’s only clothing. It was all muscle, without a hint of fat. It’s two tree trunk arms looked almost silly with the item it was holding, the red and gold colored… Dagger. It’s large goat head was staring at the woman, it’s irises were that of a goats. It’s muzzle pulled back to reveal knife-like predator teeth. It had three sets of twisted horns, looking more like tan brambles than bone. The only word Gideon was thinking was alien.
The woman spoke quietly.
“Please, don’t destroy me… I don’t know why they imprisoned me,” She was half weeping at this point.
“Little woman, I have come to set you free. The revolution begins. The kingdom of God ends here. Join us in contract,” the being spoke with a soft warm tone, smooth as oil, belying its brutish form.
The being held out a scroll of paper and hands it to the woman. She doesn’t even read as she cut at her wrist and signed the scroll with blood.
“I will do all I can in any way I can. I will obey in all ways and submit myself to you. What is your name, my lord?”
The being didn’t answer as it snatched the scroll away and vanished it in black light.
It walked to her and began to cut her bindings, starting at the ankles. The shackles dropped with a clatter to the ground. The shackled waist was then freed, her wrists, then the mask.
Gideon walked softly to get a better look. She was truly beautiful under the mask. Otherworldly alien, almost. Her matted hair, her burned eyes, and messy complexion did nothing to mar her natural beauty.
“My name? Kneel,” The demon finally replied.
“Kneel to Lucifer, Prince of Darkness, ruler of Demons. The roaring lion.”
What the hell is this melodrama? That’s what he looks like?
“Of course my lord,” She bowed in reverence.
Lucifer turned its back to leave, beckoning her to follow with a gesture. Gideon noticed her demeanor changed once again from meek bird to killer predator. The pride returned. The rage. Murderous intent. She crept up on naked feet, silent as death. She lept and lunged her hand into Lucifer’s back, piercing it’s spine, heart, then chest. Her hand was covered in black blood as she completely speared Lucifer through. It let out a coughing gasp as it went to its knees, the knife dropping to the ground. The demon let down its guard for the one and only time. The woman ripped her hand out of it’s back, taking part of its spine with her and walked to face it. Lucifer coughed up blood and gasped in response, but still sat on its knees. She was drenched in black blood, looking as she discovered oil reserves. The woman smiled with haughtiness, the rage not even close to subsiding.
“How?” The demon coughed and gurgled up black.
“Listen once and listen well, filth abomination of damned worm shit. Is that what they say now? Prince of darkness? Roaring lion? Ruler of demons?” the woman was mocking her victim each descriptor coming out with venom.
“You. Are. Imposter,” She barked each word, spitting on the demon, “Taking and destroying what isn’t yours. A parasite.”
“I’ve destroyed countless bastards such as you. Thinking you’ll become the next Jehova, the next ruler of existence.“
“You are nothing but to be despised.“
“To be hunted for sport. Destroyed without mercy and devoured without thought.”
“Now. What has happened?”
“You… Whore…” The demon sputtered.
The woman looked deadpan, not even phased by the insult.
She swiped with her hand, Lucifer’s throat and jaw left his face with a spray of black blood and viscera. The demon slowly keeled over like fallen lumber. The shock of everything Gideon was watching began to catch up to him. Before, he was disconnected from what he saw. This act of the woman broke that. The woman was smiling at her bloody kill. Golden motes of light emitted from the demon.
The woman viewed them like a mother viewing her child fall down the stairs.
“My babies!” She shrieked.
“Shh, shh, shh, it’s ok. Everything will be OK,” The woman whispered as she picked several thousand of these tiny golden motes.
It was just like the battle of Earth and Chamuel.
She collected the motes with blinding light, forming them into a large crystal spire. She then went to the demon’s corpse and began to absorb it. Golden light emitting from her body, as well as her eyes, which shown like a mad predator. Gideon noticed the demon began to crumble into a grey ash statue. She began to absorb the blood and ash into herself as if one could drink water through one’s pores. She tore off her rags, revealing herself, laughing madly. The glow emanated and exploded outward like a sun.
She revealed her true glory, her true self-made whole again. She was an angel of indescribable beauty, Gideon fell over due to the pressure, glory, and horror. She was clothed in a simple white incandescent robe. She had floating sharded wings made of the same phthalo blue steel, elegant, layered, and curved. Her matted hair was now glowing gold, long and straight, down to her feet in a large bundle. She increased in size to nine feet, towering over Gideon. Her eyes glowed with power, malice, pride, and rage.
The same rage that could collapse a galaxy.
She looked thoughtful for a moment and responded to the defeated.
“That is my ability. To lie. Some use their tongues to lie. A good liar says nothing. You bought my act of being weak and believed the contract was sealed. You had no idea who you let out, did you? Ah, your true name was X’elphona. Why does every god, demon, and pissant deity claim the name of Lucifer?”
The angel grabbed a black gem from the ash pile outline, it resembled a harsh uncut obsidian. She simply willed it away with white light. She looked upon Gideon for the first time and stared straight into his soul. Her demeanor changed again. She became softer, kinder, filled with compassion.
“You. My love. How did you get here?” She asked with a quiet force.
She held out her hand. Gideon took a step forward without thinking. He stopped moving and took a few steps back after realizing what he was doing. After all, she just butchered a nightmare terror “Lucifer” like he was prey to slaughter. The woman lowered her hand, looking downtrodden at that. Gideon decided to go fishing.
“Who are you?” He asked aloud.
She was staring down at Gideon, her demeanor was that of a ruler, truly well and above Gideon.
“Do you not remember me, my love?” She responded with a question, her smile became coy as she tapped her lip idly.
She was suddenly next to Gideon leaning over him, her massive size dwarfed him. Her speed was too great to even register. There was a sudden thunder crack as the sound caught up to her from the displaced air. She was staring straight into his eyes with two pits of madness.
She said just three words,
“I am Lucifer.”
A white sheet dragged Gideon from of the dream vision away from the terror. His mind stabilized enough to notice he was once again alone in a white room. Except not alone, the same fatherly voice spoke again. There was no command this time. Just comfort. He spoke with the pain of agony, of empathy and sacrifice.
“You have seen what no man has seen.”
“You will be the vessel for my strength.”
“You are my delight, beloved son.”
The dream ended.