Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Crux: Revelation 9

Gantruel had never met an Infernal before nor was he expected to until the upcoming hostilities on the grounds of Armageddon. Despite identifying the individual now determinedly walking towards him with a spear in his hand, he had no idea how to approach him. Stories were told of the fierce wardens, especially among Michael’s troops, but nothing could indeed prepare any regular angel for such an encounter. Fact which actually led Gantruel to a gruesome, painful death, after a quick battle and a humiliating defeat. In mere seconds, diving at Akaba in a heroic feat, the angel ended up as a spearhead ornament. Turns out the Infernal was right: his chest armour shattered on impact like an egg shell and, despite the attempt to blind his adversary by shining his spread wings, all he achieved was making the monster squint and arch an eyebrow in puzzlement.
Akaba drew back his spear, angelic soldier still attached, and thrust it forward with such a force that the corpse spraying liquid sunlight blood was propelled into one of his comrades, sending them both smashing into the valley’s wall.
“I came here to find demons and bring them back” the Infernal spoke with obvious satisfaction. “But you three… You’re just a bonus! What luck, eh? Considering you are not supposed to be here either, you can’t call for daddy now, can you?”
The third plate clad angel gulped or so it appeared to Maar who stood and stared in fascinated horror at the entity that was not only beating celestials, but was pulverizing them with little effort. Akaba jerked his head, making the long dreadlocks fly back over his shoulder and grinned sinisterly at his enemy. The angel stood up right and folded his wings, gesturing him to approach. He removed the shredded black cloak bearing the symbols of Michael’s legions and spun his short war scythe backwards.
“Oh, yes!” said the Infernal. “You look a little more challenging. Let’s see what you can do!”
He rushed forward, spun around and drew a large arc with the spear, but just as he was about to slash the angel in half, he leapt into an impossible somersault, rolling over the blade and kicking Akaba in the side. To his surprise, the Infernal barely moved, although the force of an angel’s kick could move a house ten feet away. He roared his frustration and charged immediately, taking advantage of the short distance between them and slashing wildly in a combination of martial moves that turned him into a blur. Finally he managed to graze his enemy, the blade of the scythe severing the tip of one of Akaba’s locks and then coming down toward his head in a finishing move. At the last second, the Infernal brought his spear up horizontally, blocking the blade but crashing to his knees from the force of the impact.
It took Maar only a moment to react, taking off like a rocket towards the two combatants when the other angel decided to commit to the battle and leap from behind, in not such an honourable act, scythe aimed at Akaba’s back. The Nephalem’s speed amazed even the angel, for he proved a lot faster than him. With a blue blur of energy behind him, Maar cut through the distance in the blink of an eye, crossing his daggers into an X and blocking the strike. Akaba noticed him in the corner of his eye and grinned.
“How nice of you to lend a hand!” he grumbled in his hellish voice, his molten eyes churning gold.
“We’re even” the Nephalem replied evenly, pushed the scythe aside with one dagger and plunged the other one in the angel’s heart. The revelation of being defeated by a lesser being truly stunned the divine soldier, glaring icy blue at his adversary as his life hastily drained away.
The Infernal pushed the scythe up and managed to get a foot on the ground. He focused his strength and jumped throwing the surviving angel back a few feet.
“Enough of this!” he ordered, spun his weapon blade down and thrust it at his adversary with all his power. Like a deer in the headlights of a speeding car, he stood in a daze, with not enough time to react. The shot’s force boosted him several yards away, ultimately slamming him into the hill’s side, with the dark weapon impaling his chest, just a couple of inches below the neck.
Akaba gestured vaguely and the spear turned to smoke and reappeared in his hand, leaving Maar to believe that if he wanted, he could have killed those three a lot faster. There was one thing certain about the Infernal: he lived for his job. Brandishing his daggers in a defensive stance, the Nephalem stared him down, his lightning wings still throwing bolts of furious energy at the ground.
“I don’t know what you are” he said coldly. “But I you will not take the Nilithar. Wake away!”
Akaba snorted in a vulgar manner, a sort of short arrogant laugh, and met the warrior with a smouldering fleeting look.
“You’re brave, son of Balittian, but a monumental fool. If I wanted to kill you or the human, you wouldn’t have made it out of the desert…” he replied annoyed.
“You know who I am” Maar said, lowering his weapons.
“I do. I came to help you in fact…” the Infernal mused. “Funny, no?”
He didn’t reply. What could be funny about death? He supposed that if, under the conditions of Babel, he would or could find destruction humorous. For now it was just a need, burning in the deeps of his soul.
“Oh, don’t look so glum. This is great news! I’m not going to cleave and devour your spirit!” Akaba bellowed.
“Doubtful” Maar answered, still reluctant about putting his daggers away.
“Are you guys going to measure your… egos all day or what?” Kara shouted from the ridge.
“Good news, mortal!” the Infernal shouted back. “I’m not going to kill you after all!”
“Oh, I’m so happy about that! For a moment there I was so worried – with you being the only one on this fucking planet who was after me!” came the inevitable sarcasm.
“See? She’s grateful” Akaba addressed Maar who immediately sheathed his daggers. “Ah, there, you can trust me.”
“No, I can’t” he said with a grin. “But anyone lacking this badly a sense of irony must be either stupid or genuinely sincere.”
The Infernal growled silently and clenched a fist, but relaxed when the Nephalem added: “And I don’t think you’re stupid.”

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