The Trials of Michael: Day 1

By Alex Liddell (


Michael stood on the peak of Gabriel's Volcano overlooking the perfection of Heaven. He unstrapped his axe from his back and gazed at his own reflection in its blade.

"Perfect, honed and ready." The axe echoed the words back to him. "It will be a shame to put you down in this fight, but I set the rules, anyone, anywhere, anyhow." Michael let his axe fall to his side and then to the ground. The lava sizzled as it grasped at the metal.

Michael looked out once again to see if he could spot his first assailant. The steam from the caldera clouded his vision for a brief second and the heat almost forced him to turn away. Fighting through the temptation to turn he spotted a shape in the vapour. The steam whirled and spun around a circular shape that grew out the volcano itself. Michael stood back to give the new arrival some room, he checked that this was no ambush and waited for Gabriel to make the first move. Gabriel spun on the spot for a second before assuming her humanoid form and touching down lightly on the harsh rocks of her home.

"Old Warrior. Old Prophet. Standing on the top of Heavens outcast home. The fires of your passion burn hot, but you find yourself in unknown territory, facing an unstable opponent. Is it possible that you can be prepared?"

Michael allowed himself a smirk. "Firstly Gabriel, to admit that you are unstable shows that you have the sactity of mind to be cognitive and rational - while the proposition of facing a mad opponent may turn some, it shall not be the case with me. Secondly, the terrain makes the battle, but I am not adverse to changing the parameters of a fight, just as a real combatant would not hesitate to move if he felt he couldn't win at one point. That however is unnecessary, I don't need to move to beat you Gabriel. By your own admission, you have already beaten yourself."

Gabriel tilted her head to one side and looked as though she was straining to her a mouse whisper to an ant. She closed her eyes and squinted them shut. Ever ready, the ancient Seraph prepared for an attack. But it never came. As though Gabriel was kicked from behind she burst forward at Michael, Michael, expecting her to attack brought his hands up in a defensive pose. Gabriel slammed into Michael and began to slide down his perfect body. Michael reached down and stopped her from falling to far.

Gabriel shuddered in Michael's arms and managed to get out the aforementioned whisper. "The Fire that drives you is not the fire of Heaven but the fire of self. God isn't watching you this time."

Michael contemplated the words as he flew from the Volcano to his next challenger. Gabriel watched him go before plunging into the celestial magma.



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