by Simon Hailes (hailes @ senet.com.au)
The Council Spires gleamed as always with serene light that drizzled not rained down upon it from above, the towers sitting peacefully and mighty, like a meditating Sears Tower, and in them the Archangel Dominic did his rounds.
Dominic floated just a few inches above the pristine surface of the Spire floor, polished to perfection by scores of relievers and minor servitors over countless millennia. But these were unimportant details to Dominic who had far more on his mind then the state of his Cathedral floors.
He came to a door, and like an obedient servant it opened in to a quiet, cool chamber which Dominic summarily flitted in to, only to stop dead still at the sight that affronted him.
And right that he did so, because it is not everyday that a member of the Host encounters the Fallen Archangel of Light in Heaven.
The Lightbringer sat on a brass stool, his hands folded neatly in his lap, he held a perfect posture that would have impressed the harshest Boarding School Tyrant Teacher, his hair was neatly combed, and held back in an immaculate pony tail, in fact, Dominic's orbs could not find a single floor in Lucifer's visage, he was as beautiful as anything in Heaven, but he was not of Heaven.
"What are you doing here?" Dominic demanded sternly; he was visibly shaken, wondering how the Shining One could have penetrated this far.
"I took the Heavenly Tours package for my vacation," Lucifer replied smugly.
"This isn't your domain, I don't know how you got in here but I would suggest you leave before the wrath of God is brought directly upon you!"
"No," Lucifer answered "You don't know how I got in here, that is one of my secrets that I intend to keep, just as I'm sure you have plenty of secrets that you'll never tell,"
"You think you can bargain with me?" Dominic shouted in outrage.
"Nay, I'm not here to bargain, but you were wrong, this is my Domain, I dwelt here once and I continue to leave a Tether here, why do you think Yves is always hanging around my former Cathedral?"
Lucifer finished this with a chilling grin that penetrated past Dominic's titanium core and in to his heart to squeeze and constrict, Dominic was flabbergasted, unable to speak.
"I have come to tell you that there will be a Final Judgment, but it will be my Judgment, when the Throne of God finally belongs to me I will Judge everyone and everything, and I will begin with you, the great Heavenly Judge Himself,"
"Hah," Dominic chortled, his composure now regained "Not even in my darkest hours do I seriously entertain the thought that you could win this war-"
"And for that you will be judged as well," Lucifer snapped "All your faults, and all your flaws, and the mistakes of your servitors, and the failure of those you believed in, the successes of all you didn't believe in, all we be recorded in your hearing, all will be brought against you!"
And now an image, unbidden, entered Dominic's mind, of an impassive Lucifer sitting on a great vaulted throne, looking down upon Dominic in a shattered Heaven, where he was surrounded by hordes of Princes, Dukes, Counts, the Upper Echelons of hell all gathered around and jeering, screaming for Dominic's blood, crying for Justice.
And with that the Son of the Morning was gone, just gone without a trace, and Dominic was shaking, it had been all so real.
"Come now," Dominic said to himself as he slowly left the chamber.
"The First Fallen is a Balseraph is he not, he is a notorious liar, whatever he said was a lie to get at me."
But didn't Balseraphs also tell the truth? Dominic reasoned as he started down a flight of steps, especially when the truth would be more brutal then any lie? oh forget it, he told himself.
There was a trial going on at the moment, a Celestial who had types of Discord, and had just recently amassed three notes of Dissonance, now normally this would not concern Dominic, but said Celestial was a word bound Malakite of Blandine, thus making it quite serious.
Blandine was almost assuredly there already with her big boys, all trying to save their unfortunate friend, they would argue that in the end if the Malakite could be reformed and purged he will continue to contribute well to the War, they would also argue that removing him would weaken the Host at a most dangerous time in the conflict. The opponents would use the obvious retort, the need of Heaven to keep the Malakim incorruptible.
Dominic already had a good idea which way he was ruling, but he would not make any decisions without knowing he was doing the right thing, beyond a reasonable doubt, Dominic smiled, that was something Lucifer should have learnt, that if he wanted to convince someone of something, especially a Seraph, he would need to do so beyond a reasonable doubt.
Dominic then stopped just moments after that thought ended and looked up, on the wall next to him was an inscription, painted in what closely resembled blood, it had the number 666 followed by 'Repent Dominic' with an inauspicious L beneath it all. Dominic floated there, looking at the inscription for a very long time.
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