He was a nameless Infernal Spirit. Not important enough for a name, nor
even a distinction between Imp, Gremlin nor the countless other Spirits that
spontaneously appeared in Hell, He was merely a collection of forces.
Though while he had no status in Hell, he did have a job, he was a
messenger. His kind were used to deliver messages to Heaven, on the rare
occasions that it was required, inevitably resulting in their death.
The message had been delivered to Hell concerning Michael's challenge, and it has caused a stir, even the nameless pile of critters to which He belonged was abuzz with speculation. Everybody knew, that Baal was desperately trying to devise a way in which to enter Heaven, or issue a challenge to Michael that would allow him to participate. The little spirit had upon occasion seen each of the Demon Princes, as they came to inpect his fellow nameless ones. Each of them impressed him in some manner, Kronos' quiet authority and power, Andrelaphus' pure attractiveness, Nybass' dynamic excitability. However, none had impressed Him as much as Baal, his pride, his power, everything about Baal intrigued him, desperately he wanted to serve Baal. Usually, He never wished to be picked to deliver the message, but to die for Baal would be an honour, for He could never amount to anything, He could never serve Baal as a true servitor.
Finally, His chance came, Baal had a plan for his challenge of Michael, he stalked upto the edge of the pit, glaring into the depths, examining all the demonlings, searching for a fast and active spirit. Our nameless spirit tried his hardest to look strong and sure, Baal's gaze wavered over Him a moment, before his huge and powerful hand quick as lightning snatched a spirit near the top of the pit. Imediately the spirit began to wail, a terrible sound. Baal's disgust was obvious, immediately the pitiful creature was flung away, "Can any of you do anything right? You snivelling wretches?" his voice boomed around the walls.
His chance was now "Please sir, I would be honoured to serve you" He piped, His voice small and quiet compared to Baal's greatness. "You will suffice" snapped Baal impatiently, he was very angry about the challenges, his pride really was his weakness.
He was briefed, "You will be transported to the Marches, from here you must enter Blandine's side, you will no doubt then be met with one of her guards, as they patrol its entirity. You must then explain that you bring a message from Master Baal. You will be interogated before being allowed into Heaven with the protection of an Archangel, the Light of God will not rip you apart...immediately" the Demon explaining the operation ot him seemed to take pleasure in saying this. Baal strode in, "Upon your admitance to Heaven, you are to sing this song, do not make a mistake, only to an Archangel may you sing it, to no one else. My message will then be delivered, and the protection from the Light of Heaven will withdraw, we cannot allow anything to fall into our enemies' hands.", as Baal spoke, He could feel himself learning the song. At about this time, the Demonling realised that He didn't want to die, not even for Baal, especially not if Baal would forget Him within a few minutes of his departure. "Do you understand?" Baal demanded. "Y-yes S-ir," He stammered "but first, I r-r-request, would you n-n-name me before, I...I go?" "I must depart to prepare, now be off" Baal snapped, pretending not to hear.
Disheartened, He was taken to the Marches, he travelled his way to Blandine's side, ensuring He travelled with all the speed he could muster, although He would dearly have liked to explore, Blandine's Marches, were completely unlike anything He had ever seen before, bright colours, happy scenes, no longer was He scared, unlike He had been in Beleth's black terrifying abode. The terror of his mission departed as the dreamscapes comforted Him. He couldn't help himself and stopped to examine an especially attractive dreamscape, a boy and his puppy were playing, wide-eyed He began to approach. "What are you doing, Demonspawn?" a voice demended, a black figure appeared before Him, the silver chains of oathes, bound around it. A Malakite! Full of awe, the demonling only stared, "This is what they are like, they are terrible..yet so...wonderful!" He thought to himself. "You are trespasing in our Lady's Marches, you will answer now, or be terminated immediately!" "I-I bring a message from Baal, for Micheal" He dropped his head dismayed, He didn't want such a beautiful being hating him, as obviously this Malakite did. "Come" the Malakite commanded.
After interrogation by a number of Seraphim, and a quick viewing by Blandine, He was escorted to the Room of Challenge by a Reliever, where He was to await the entrance of Micheal, and the Archangels and other Angels of note. The appearence and musical voice of the Reliever ashamed him, compared to His gross visage, and a voice like gravel in a gearbox.
Time passed, the Reliever asked question about Hell, and Himself, when it asked His name, He was silent, before becoming enthralled in Janus and Micheal's combat. The Reliever soon lost interest in Him, which He regretted, but His lack of name, had become a source of shame in the last few hours. From this distance He thought that it was Baal and an Ofanite in combat, but He quickly dismissed the thought, it wasn't possible.
Finally, after what seemed an eternity, made no easier by the torture of His inadequicies and the surround perfection, a mental and emotion torture he loathed to endure. Angel's began to populate the room. Glories surrounded Him , the beauty of the Celestial form of the Heavenly amazed him. He was admiring everyone around Him, when Micheal and Laurence appeared.
He could not decide which was more amazing, the *perfection* of the smaller Malakite, or the greatness of the Large Seraph, his power, his strength, his pride, his righteousness. He immdediately saw that Baal as a lesser imitation of Micheal, Micheal had all of Baal's strength's but moreso, and seemingly none of his weakness'. It came as quite a suprise that Baal, was attempting to mirror Micheal in every respect, their celestial forms , were the same colour, the same size and almost the same shape. But where Baal was dark and menacing, Micheal was great and good, he radiated kindness and compassion (compared to Baal at least)...as well as great strength and glory, but most of all no jealousy (a quality he recognised in retrospect that was present in Baal, and He knew of who now), something the Demonling had become an expert upon in His stay in Heaven.
Micheal was smiling, as the reliever spoke to him, explaining the Infernal Spirit and his presence. The great Archangel turned to Him, and asked, still smiling, and not unkindly"You have a challenge?" then he commanded "Deliver it".
Baal's song was forgotten, all admiration of Baal dissappeared, a love of Micheal's greatness emerged, and with it came a plan, a chance. More nervous than ever before, words came from His mouth, though He was not ready to utter them "I challenge you, great Archangel".
The gasps were loud, and went on for some time, before everyone in the room began to speak at once, some laughed, other astounded and some enraged. Micheal's face was serious, and after Micheal gave the signal, Laurence demanded silence. "You are but a Demonling, even though I would be trying no to destroy you, my power is far greater than yours, your death would be swift, yet accidental."
"I challenge you, to restrict your power, restrict your strength to no greater than mine, in any respect, for the duration of this challenge. As if you too had only 3 forces." He hoped against hope that His ploy would work. "I see no problem in the challenge" Laurence declared "What do you offer? Dejected, he could only answer "I have nothing to offer, that you would have any use for, but I try, I offer anything I can grant, just as Micheal does", Micheal smiled a wide grin "I agree, Little One."
It was then that everything became unravelled, "But didn't you bring a message from Hell?" the Reliever chimed in, its perfect voice jarring His mind and His will "...yes" and he sang his Song.. and as the Song ran its course, Baal's voice and message booming in the chamber, He felt the protection from the Symphony withdraw, He felt the Symphony, the true Symphony, and it hurt, it burnt, but what hurt most was not a physical pain, but the regret that He would not ever see Micheal, nor Heaven again, He would never be as good, as glorious as those around Him. He was going to cease to exist, as his body wracked with pain, and in His heart, He felt the greater sorrow, everything seemed to slow down, and He looked around regretfully, He saw David, seemingly hewn of Onyx, a truely a Malakite, and truely of Stone. Then He saw the Cherub, she looked at Him, and smiled, as she did so, she stepped forward and changed into a beautiful woman, dressed in a Hawaiin shirt. Novalis picked him up, and He felt the pain reside, "You haven't fought your challenge yet" she said soothingly "We did not wish to withdraw or protection, but Baal's song blinds us from your presence and I could not protect you, I am sorry"
The day of the challenge arrived much faster than He would have liked, His recouperation was pleasent, He could have stayed locked in the Infirmary for eternity and been content. The Reliever came to visit Him occasionly and ensure He was alright, its name was Hathiniel. But no longer could He dwell on what had passed in His stay in Heaven, His challenge was at hand, and then after Michae defeated Him, He would either be destroyed by Heaven, or be sent back to Hell, where Baal would no doubt destroy Him as he had tried before. The rules of the challenge was simple, it was straight unarmed combat, the first restrict the other's movement for ten seconds was the victor, Michae could only act as if he had three forces. And so the competion began.
It was Micheal that struck first, charging forward, in the form of a Reliever, he grabbed Him around the waist bearing Hm to the ground. As Micheal pinned Hm down, H thrilled at his touch, but realised that H didn' have the luxury to enjoy the sensation. Though Micheal was experienced in battle, He was not experienced in fighting with one of equal strength, this and the Demonlings greater experience at being weak, forced Micheal to lose his hold. The He slipped out, and grabbed one of Micheal's legs as He went, Micheal tumbled to the ground. Micheal was no longer taking this lightly, this would be a great challenge, he would need all of his skill, his might was useless in this situation. And so they fought, for quite some time, Micheal skill in battle counterpointed by the Infernal Spirits experience in fighting His own kind, living in a pit of Demonlings was not without conflict.
Though the Demonling had the greater experience at this level of combat, Micheal's technique was flawless, there was no doubt that Micheal would win eventually. It was by complete coincedence, that as Micheal launched himself towards Him, that the Demonling tripped, falling backwards, as Michael sailed over His head. As Micheal landed, the Demonling heard a snap, Micheal had broken his arm. As shock and dismay went through the Demonling's mind, the most wonderful being in existance had been hurt, and He was responsible, it occured to Him, that this might allow him to win, and stay in Heaven, but He could not bring Himself to act against Michael anymore than He had done. As He slumped to the ground, Micheal hauled himself up, before restraining Him easily for the count of ten.
After the contest, Micheal was restored to his Archangelic form, he removed the songs that bound him, and repaired his leg, before approaching the Demonling, who was sitting alone away from the crowd, sobbing. "Why do you cry?" "I hurt you...a..a..and now, I must leave Heaven, either through Destruction or Returning to Hell..." Micheal's hearty laugh boomed "You think that I would surrender my prize so easily? I fought hard to win what you offered, and I claim you as my servitor, I ask that as my boon."
Elated, the demonling began to Glow, a pure light came from Hs body, His very wish had been granted, He felt Love, and Admiration, and all the feelings that the Selfish life of the Infernal denied. As a most outstanding thing He Redeemed *Himself*, His newfound love for Heaven and all its inhabitants replacing the small yet dark theme that was until recently his existance. He had as much love as any Cherub, for all that surrounded Him, and was for the time in his many years of existence truely happy. Best of all Micheal gave Him a name, a name to be proud of, to make great, a name that could become Glorious. From then on He was Zotiel (Little One Of God), the name of Little One, beginning from Michael's Acceptance of His challenge, had become His name, and He would have loved no name more than this.
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