The Final Battle

By Anthony Damiani


They stood there arrayed acros the marches, two vast armies each numbering as the stars. The horsemen rode, the beast was loosed, and The End had been decreed. Seas of blood, third of the earth burned up and all that. The time had come for the final battle.

Baal stared out across the expanse at Michael, and pointed his sword at him -- a promise that before the day was done, the seraph would be no more. Saminga was gibbering and making a long-winded proclamation about the death that was to ensue. Good. Soon he would finally be able to unleash him against the enemy -- after having to suffer the fool's pratteling for so very, very long. Beleth looked cool, unnaturally so -- as this moment held no terrors for her, so too it held no excitement. He suppressed a shudder. Asmodeus and Kronos had decided to wage the battle on another level, and was off... somewhere else, a feint around the edges of reality. Valefor, likewise was absent, on a 'secret mission behind enemy lines'. Baal still wasn't sure if that meant that he was stealing Heaven's munitions, or he'd been Wind all along -- but by the end of the day, it wouldn't matter either way. Vapula seemed to be tinkering with some device he didn't entirely understand, but it was really big, and a sickly green light poured out from its rivited seams, so it couldn't be all bad. Haagenti chomped impatiently -- he hadn't eaten for hours, in preparation of the gorging that awaited. Nybbas was personally filming events for posterity. He would be useless in the battle ahead, but had been a valuable, if reluctant, source of essence for the final push And above all, it was hot, the air filled with hellfire, and flaming swords, ofanim and servitors of both Fires, the heat was everywhere and it was unbearable. Lucifer... had deigned fit not to show himself yet. But that was too be expected -- the Darkest of Dark Lords had always played his cards close to his vest.

War glanced across his lines at the forces that had assembled, and somewhere on the other side, the archangel sneered and beckoned him, mouthing two words: bring it. Turning to adressess his forces. "I will not waste your time with long speaches. We all know why we are here. Today we storm the gates of heaven. Today we kill an unjust God and rape his corpse!"

The latter was more a concession to Andre than anything.

He gave the order, and his lines advanced in a mad and frantic rush, screaming blasphemies such as had never been heard before or since. He prepared to join them, when he realized something was wrong -- where was Malphas? He was there but a moment ago -- he wasn't supposed to be part of the initial assault. Baal whirled around, to see Kobal standing behind him, looking like the cat who swallowed the canary.

"What are you looking for, impudite?"

There was a great cry of 'Deus le volt!' and 'Ad majoram gloriam Dei!,' and then a crunch and the sounds of chaos and battle.

And Kobal's smile spread, distending from ear to ear. There was true malice in that smile, as there always was..

This was, of course, a bad omen, and Baal grabbed Dark Humor by the throat -- partly in rage, partly in terror -- and liffed him from the floor of the marches, with a look that demanded explanation.

"Settle a bet for me, War..." the Clown Prince's smirk was intolerable, and though Baal squeezed his throat, he proved unable to rid himself of it. Kobal choked out a laugh and pointed behind the balseraph. "What part of 'I'm an Angel' " he made little quote motions with his hands "did you not understand?"

War whirled around and saw with a sinking horror that his forces, breaking from the defection into a confused melee, had failed even to reach the ranks of Heaven. He watched as Fleurity rained chemical death down upon the assembled hordes, and as another score of broken-elohim lashed gleefully at a wounded, bellowing Mammon. Lawrence's armies stood stunned for only a moment before advancing on the ranks of The Enemy, aided by an ally they had never imagined, and never would have acknowledged.

Snapping Kobal's neck like a fortune-cookie, Baal dropped the prince's corpse at his feet and spun madly, trying to find some way to salvage the situation -- Vapula. He had to find Vapula before....

A sickly green glow washed across across the battlefield, and when it was over, Punishment had been meted out.


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