Chapter 0

Once upon a time, in a world with neither morning nor night, in a universe that had been created from the breath of a Master Maker, there fell an angel.

Its fall defined the up and down, the sky and earth. It had always carried light in its heart, fire in its wings; but as it descended into the newly described depths, as it flew through air that rapidly clouded with the smoke of its hatred, as it traveled farther and farther from its General, so too did that angel lose its name.

Light Bringer was now the Prince of Darkness. Morningstar was now a speck of dust that crawled through holes fashioned of his own rage, tunneled by his own fury.

And with him fell his army, his fellow rebels who had gazed upon their Master Maker’s plan, who had found that they would no longer be alone in His heart, who had discovered that they were to share their universe with a species of creature that had none of their perfection. They fumed in their fury, crumbled in their rage as they beheld the extent of their General’s love.

And then they were shown the vision of their General’s Son, who would be born of a human woman. She would be crowned and enthroned the Queen of Heaven and Earth.

A human. Of ashes. Of dust. Of senses limited and language so low beneath those whose vision encompassed all of space and time.

And yet not all the angels were so enraged. Not all of them were so debased. Many rejoiced, despite the many who sneered and brewed their anger hot beneath their wings. Many looked forward to the day when Man would walk the earth, despite the many who plotted the destruction of all things that were neither Perfection nor Heaven. Many were prepared to bow to their Queen, despite the many who vowed that they would search her out and destroy her.

The war that followed set angel upon angel, brother upon brother, Michael the Humble against Lucifer the Bright.

Lucifer lost, in those days indescribable by human language, uncountable by human imagination. Lucifer lost, and his army ripped the sky with the ice of their hatred. They fell like lightning; they fell like stars; they fell by the Legions in a punishment of their own making.

They who once were of purest fire no longer praised their God with song. They mocked his creation, cackled as humans destroyed each other, smiled with their thousand teeth as humans destroyed themselves.

They who once were of wings resplendent no longer attended to God. They mocked those closest to him, giggled as humans pretended to love the General but committed sins innumerable, grinned with their forked tongues twisting as humans destroyed themselves.

They who once were the highest warriors, the chariots of the heavens, no longer longed for their place in the stars. They played with the minds of the hopeless, hollered as humans despaired, sneered with their slavering mouths as humans destroyed themselves.

They who once governed as the angelic lords no longer had any order to oversee. They delighted in chaos, howled as humans bent and broke and blasted rules, snickered with their yellowed fangs as humans destroyed themselves.

They who once carried miracles and signs no longer brought any such goodness on behalf of their creator. They peddled lies and false enlightenment, chirped as humans fed into their convoluted philosophies, sniveled with their gray lips as humans destroyed themselves.

They who once could restrain evil now burst forth from their own holds. They preached freedoms that were no more than reckless wounds on the soul, chittered as humans fought against good things in the name of their own personal gain, smirked with their bloodied gums as humans destroyed themselves.

They who once were the soldiers of the heavenly hosts no longer fought for any general. They found glee in any war waged for the sake of power, chattered as humans turned on each other when once they were friends, laughed with their icy throats as humans destroyed themselves.

And they who once were tasked to guard humans now played with human hearts, read human faces with the wisdom of their old selves, gave to some humans their gifts for seeing the future and discovering hidden things – but only on the penalty, much later, of enslavement. And they loved how humans lost themselves, killed themselves, truly, utterly, destroyed themselves.

For centuries, the Fallen continued to build the hell of their own making, where no one ruled, no one followed – but everyone lusted.

For there are no ranks in hell. There is no order in hell. There the damned lie in wait for a salvation that will never come. There the damned hate all those who will be saved.

But in heaven, there remain the Seraphs with their fire and song, the Cherubs with their wings and servitude, the Thrones with their wheels and weapons, the Dominions with their governance, the Virtues with their miracles, the Powers with their restraints, the Angels and the Archangels.

And every time one Fallen is driven back by words as old as the Son of the General, the armies return to the battle. Brother against brother, angel against angel, light against darkness.

The wars are invisible.

But not to all.

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