54 Atrium

January 13, 2029, Holy Atrium, Heaven

 

Archangel Gabriel keeps his back to Lucie as he steps through the Dimension Portal. Lucie knows he’s purposely ignoring her, so she decides to provoke him. “You know, Gabriel, there’s still a place for you on my team if you care to change your mind. I’ll pay handsomely for any recruits you bring with you.”

“I will not be entangled with you, Lucifer. You’re about to bring more harm to man, proving evil still runs through your veins. Your only goal seems to be self-glorification. To me, you will always be Lucifer—the ‘Accuser’ and the ‘Hater of Mankind.”

“Ha! Do I sense an attempt at an insult in there? Transparency is not your strong point. Maybe, you should show me some respect, Gabriel. After all, I am a derivative of Almighty Himself.”

“Yes, a derivative He regrets creating. You were expected to offer man a choice. Instead, you became nothing more than a poor imitation of all that is Almighty. You’ve mimicked His movements, His decisions, and even His method of sending a savior to man. You are nothing but a fallen angel, and I believe that makes you lower than a parasite.”

Lucie’s eyes begin to turn yellow with anger at Gabriel’s insult. After centuries of having the demons under her thumb, she is not accustomed to receiving criticism. She searches for an answer that will put her back in control. “Almighty should take it as a compliment I piggyback on His strategies from time to time. I still offer man an alternative path—I just find it easier to use Almighty’s tactics than to invent new ones. As they say on Earth, ‘Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.’”

“It’s not flattery when you are imitating good to disguise evil. Lucifer, there was a time when you and I were great friends. That friendship ended the day you led the revolt. Your decision put us on opposing teams—teams separated by dimensions. This cannot be reversed. I don’t see a need for another conversation between us ever.”

“My, my, someone is angry. I must say, anger looks good on you, Gabriel. Your pecs and biceps are hot and bulging.” Lucie giggles sarcastically as she flips her waist-length hair behind her back. She picks up one strand of her blonde locks and starts twisting it around her fingers. She lifts her tail and places it on the floor six inches from her feet and makes small wave-like movements with the tip. It’s her fail-proof move to capture a man’s attention.

Sliding effortlessly into her seductive feminine wiles, Lucie calls after Gabriel as he walks away. “If you change your mind, you know where I’ll be for the next seven years—on my throne in Jerusalem.” Gabriel is tempted back into the conversation. He returns to where Lucie stands and locks eyes with her for the first time in centuries.

“Yes, I know where you’ll be. I also know where you’ll be for the thousand years that follow. After your seven years of self-serving terrorism have ended and all the people of Earth are either dead or painfully aware you have nothing more to offer them, you will be deserted by every man and demon in the universe. You’ll head to your well-deserved confinement in the lowest part of Hades and be chained in isolation for a thousand years. The level of pain—both physical and emotional—you will experience will be so intense you cannot even imagine it. The laws of confinement stipulate you cannot entertain visitors or have contact with the outside world in any way. So, you see Lucifer, if I follow you, I will be out of work in seven years.”

Lucie is outraged. A hatred of Gabriel burns through her body. She has an overwhelming desire to strike him, but is reminded of her goal. By this time tomorrow, all of Earth will be under her control. Her focus today is instrumental to the success of the transition. She will see Gabriel pays for his accusations—but not today.

She unclenches her fists and takes a big step forward to position herself one inch from his face. “Leave my presence. You are nothing more than a gullible angel, and I believe that makes you lower than a man.”

Gabriel smiles and turns to walk away. “Touché, Lucifer. Touché!” Once outside, Gabriel seals the door so it cannot be opened again. Lucifer is trapped inside the Holy Atrium—just as Almighty instructed.

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Triple Digit TOC by K.M. Sheridan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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