January 13, 2029, Hades, Center Earth
As she readies herself for transferring power of the Underworld to Abaddon and meeting with Almighty to receive her reign of Earth, Lucie takes one last look around the private chambers she is leaving behind. She has purposely been a minimalist here. The rooms were never decorated. She despised her existence here and refused herself anything that would allow this place to simulate a home. Doing so would have meant accepting her fate.
She picks up the one item she keeps on the top step of her stair unit: a spherical token made of the purest gold of heaven. It was originally in the shape of an apple, but because she has a habit of rolling it under her hand when she is planning her next move, time has worn away the stem and molded the object into a perfectly-rounded ball of gold.
She hates the golden apple and everything it represents, but its ability to conjure up her deepest anger when she rolls it beneath her fingers has earned it a place in her daily routine. Almighty gave it to her after she deceived Eve and led her to eat from the forbidden tree in the Garden of Eden.
That one act introduced sin into mankind. Almighty meant the golden apple to be a reminder of his ultimate power, should she dare to challenge him again. She, however, regarded it as a token of mockery of his power over her. Rolling it between her hands enrages her and gives her clarity to keep winning on Earth through Almighty’s Achilles heel.
Yes, Almighty has a weak spot. It’s not a physical defect evolved in error. Rather, it is a spiritual defect—created on purpose. This predicament is creation’s greatest irony; Almighty extended freewill so man could choose a life with him rather than having it imposed upon him. The irony is half of people use their freewill to reach away for their independence. The other half holds tight to their Creator. Although the numbers change by the second, Almighty holds a slight lead. Lucie has the next seven years to overtake him. The winner receives a bonus—one million angels created to serve them.
Lucifer is certain she will win. She has found a formula that works well. She ensnares men by creating the illusion of freedom. It’s already working on the ambassadors of the United Nations.