A/N: Welcome all to my new story. I'm very excited about this one as it delves into the supernatural world and I'm a bit of a supernatural h00r. There will be mature themes and mild angst sprinkled throughout and I'll post warnings for any chapters that may contain a trigger for some of you. The exploration and twisting of some religious soft spots take place in this fic, please read with an open mind. My end goal is for you to enjoy this story, so please feel free to PM me with any concerns you may have going forward. I won't give away plot points but I will be happy try to ease your worries.
This story is being pre-written. I plan to update every Sunday night as life allows.
I'm pleased to introduce my team; SazzleDazzled has joined Mullet86 as prereaders and Edwardsfirstkiss has taken on beta duty. The gorgeous banner was made by 2brown-eyes. They've all been an invaluable help to me and I'm forever grateful for their generosity in donating their time and talents to this cause.
Disclaimer: Stephenie Meyers owns all character and original plot for Twilight. With her permission I've borrowed from her original and have written my own story. Please don't steal from me and we'll all get along.
The Devil's Plan
Amongst the screams and moans of the eternally damned, there sat a creature on a throne. The throne was quite ordinary and not at all what most people would associate with this specific monster. It wasn't made of gold or silver. There weren't precious jewels scattered about nor was the chair made from bones of the unfortunate that resided in this place as was depicted in most illustrations found in books, scrolls and other scripture like tomes around the world.
In fact, the only thing that made this chair special was the individual sitting upon it.
He's known by many names, but the most recognizable is, The Devil.
The Devil was not in a good mood. The truth is, he was almost never in a good mood. And today was no exception. The Devil, Satan, to his friends and Lucifer to his estranged father and winged brothers and sisters, was in the midst of a dilemma. He was unhappy with being the ruler of Hell and was currently working on a plan that would allow him to finally prove to his father and siblings what he'd always believed, humans were inferior souls and didn't deserve one iota of the love that his family bestowed upon them. If his plan worked, Satan would also bring about the end of days, filling his well of souls to near bursting would just be a bonus.
"Astarte!" He bellowed for his henchwoman. Her name had barely left his lips before she was standing before him.
It was good to be the king.
"You called my king?" Astarte asked, her blond head bowed in obedience.
"Yes. What progress have you and your brethren made?"
Astarte took a deep breath, collecting her thoughts before speaking her next words. Satan was a fickle ruler and she'd had the flesh peeled from her body more times than she could count. It would serve no one if she spoke in haste and created a misunderstanding.
"We are close my liege."
"Close? You've been close for far too long. I grow impatient." Astarte shivered at his words, knowing full well the torment that awaited those who tried his patience.
"Surely you wouldn't have us reveal a plan that wasn't well researched?" The words had barely left her mouth before she felt the sharp sting of his clawed hand contact her cheek. His movements had been so quick; she'd had no time to brace for his assault.
"You would do well to tamp down your impertinence slave!" She shivered as his hot, foul, sulfur smelling breath roared across her face. Astarte collected herself as Satan once again returned to his throne.
"My apologies sire. I meant no disrespect." Satan snorted at her begging and motioned for her to proceed with her explanation. "Ba'al has found a prophecy that tells of a child born of a human woman that will lead to the destruction of humankind…" Her explanation was interrupted by Satan's bellowing voice.
"Prophecy?! There are hundreds of prophecies that foretell that very thing. None of them reveals how to accomplish the task. You bring me another 'story' to add to the others." Satan snorted angrily as fire burned from his eyes as his fingers clicked impatiently on the arms of his chair.
Astarte remained quiet until the only sounds echoing in the large room were the cries of the imprisoned souls. Once revered as a goddess, she was not accustomed to hearing such misery. Her ears were once attuned to the cries of worship from her people, not the anguish of the damned. As a demigod, her role had been one of relative ease. Astarte took her job as goddess of war, sexuality and fertility very seriously and took every opportunity to incite lust in her followers. It wasn't out of the norm for orgies to occur in her temples on a daily basis. It was also not out of the norm for Astarte to join in with one, two or even three partners. Astarte's life was good and her people prospered. As happened to most beings who allowed pride and ego to override their true position in the world, Astarte ignored the rules she was bound to and wielded her power over her followers with impunity. Her jealousy over the other gods were legendary, yet it wasn't until she purposely brought war upon a Hebrew tribe when they referred to her as a demon of lust and refused to worship in her temples, did higher powers step in casting her into Hell for eternity.
To say that Astarte enjoyed her position in Satan's court would be horribly inaccurate. Like the poor souls that were imprisoned in the underworld, prison Astarte did as she was told hoping to someday find a way out.
And like the other prisoners, every day was a disappointment.
Her last hope was that Ba'al, her partner by necessity, would be able to correctly decipher this latest prophecy. While it was beyond her captor's power to restore Astarte to her former goddess stature, he was capable of giving her a mortal life. Normally, Astarte would never consider living as a weak-willed mortal. However, given the choice to live out a small, insignificant life on earth or remain as a dethroned goddess of war and fertility in Hell, she'd take the human life.
At least then she'd once again be able to enjoy her favorite form of worship, sex.
"Astarte, do you enjoy your existence here?" She looked him in the eye and calmly shook her head. Satan chuckled at her honesty." Then you have a choice. You can either remain as my guest in the comfort that you've grown accustomed to." He didn't even try to hide the sneer in his voice. "Or you can scuttle back to your quarters and help Ba'al find a solution to my problem." Astarte leaned back on her bare heels as Satan moved to stand directly in front of her. She closed her eyes immediately, having learned the hard way how much more difficult life in Hell could be with burned corneas.
"My impatience with the both of you has reached its zenith. If I don't have the answers I seek within a fortnight, I will see to it that you and your brethren spend the rest of your miserable existence nailed to my wall on display for all to see. Now, go and do as I command." With her eyes closed, Astarte was completely unprepared for the pain of her master's nail scratching down her cheek."
Astarte let out the breath she was holding and turned quickly from the throne room.
Ignoring the pleas and cries of the damned, she hurried through the corridors to the rooms she shared with Ba'al.
The heavy door slammed against the wall, marking Astarte's entrance. "Brother, tell me you have news, for I will not be the one who ventures into that lair again without a sound plan." She landed heavily on the hard, cold bed that sat next to the stone desk where the fallen demigod, Ba'al was hunched over several stone tablets.
"Fear not sister, I may have the answers our host is searching for."
"Do not toy with me Ba'al, he plans to flay the skin from our bodies and mount us to his walls."
Ba'al shivered at her statement, hating that he feared the punishment she described. He had once been a fearless demigod of crops, animals and weather, revered and adored by his Cannanite followers. Unlike his symbolic sister, who preferred to remain in her temple and be worshipped, he had worked side by side with his people helping to cultivate the lands and manage the herds in order for them to prosper in their desert home. His deeds were legendary and his people flourished throughout the lands. However, he too fell into the same trap that caught Astarte. After yet another bountiful harvest, his people began to consider him the one true god. Their prayers and sacrifices were to him only, bolstering his sense of importance and worth, thus angering God. When Ba'al didn't correct their thinking, he was punished.
He was now reduced to a miserable existence doing the bidding of a creature that was so vile, and decrepit, that it had been expelled from heaven. He felt his was a punishment without justification. Unlike Astarte, he had not proclaimed himself above God. He had done as he was bid. It was no fault of his own that the people turned to him as their sole deity. Especially when God would remain quiet for long periods, leaving them to think that he had forsaken them.
Ba'al blamed God for what had happened and he vowed that one day he would have his due.
If serving the dark lord would further his cause, then that's what he would do.
"I do not toy." He huffed at her insolence.
"Don't get all mighty with me. You may have once been considered a god on earth, but in this realm you are no better than any of the other wretched souls residing within these walls."
Ba'al took a cleansing breath before addressing her. As much as it pained him to admit she was right, until he found a release from this place, he was no better than her or any of the other pitied and broken souls whose moans echoed off of the cold, stone walls.
"Let us stop this petty bickering. I believe I have found the answer to our worries. And our dear host will need our help to see his plan to fruition." Ba'al turned to smile at the clearly scared, Astarte. Her once bright blue eyes and glowing mane of blond hair were dull from centuries of drudgery and the horrors she had been subjected too in this pit of damnation. However, if this prophecy proved to deliver what it promised, she would be returned to her previous physical glory.
As would he.
"Then end the suspense dear brother and tell me of the plan that will take us from this place."
Ba'al grinned and motioned her closer as the words he was about to say, would be for her ears only until they had a plan that would ensure a win-win for themselves.
"Listen well my sister, The Swan prophecy foretells…"
"This is bullshit!"
"Emmett Michael Cullen, you watch your mouth."
Edward hung his head as he watched his older brother visibly struggle to keep his anger in check over his father's announcement that the family would be leaving Seattle for a tiny dot on the map called, Forks.
"That little shit fucks up and I lose everything I've worked for? You guys can go wherever you want, but I'm not leaving." The force of Emmett's chair hitting the wall as he stormed from the table and out of the room shook the walls of the substantial house.
"That went well." Esme Cullen glared at her husband before reaching for her ever present wine glass.
"Es, don't start." Her husband warned.
"Don't start what? You couldn't have found a better way to break the news to him other than, 'pack your bags we leave in a week'? Jesus, Carlisle…"
"God damn it! I said don't start!" Carlisle's fist hit the table, punctuating his statement. Edward's mother blanched briefly at her husband's outburst, before gathering her own fire and opened her mouth to speak again.
Edward lifted his eyes to see his parents glaring at each other. "Please don't fight."
Both of his parent's turned to him as if just realizing he was there. "This is all my fault. Please don't yell at each other."
Edward felt his father's glare as his mother moved from her seat to put a comforting hand on her youngest son's back.
Carlisle opened his mouth to reiterate that indeed their current predicament was Edward's fault, but thought better of it when he looked into the regretful eyes of his son and the lines of worry and sadness on his wife's beautiful face.
"Yes, well, this family needs to move forward. Forks will give us all a fresh start. I need to go to the hospital and start preparing my patients' files for transfer." Carlisle grabbed his keys from the side table and followed in the wake of his older son's prior departure.
From the dining room window, Esme watched her husband's black Mercedes dart out of their circular drive, past the half dozen rose bushes that she'd been cultivating since they moved in fifteen years ago. She wondered briefly if she'd be able to find the hybrid Angel Face roses she favored in Forks.
"Yes, sweetheart?" Though her heart was heavy and sad, her tone was gentle and kind. There was no reason to add to the pain her boy was already feeling.
"I'm so sorry about everything…"
"I know you're sorry."
"I've ruined everything. Emmett hates me, dad hates me and…"
Esme took her son's face in her hands, marveling at how much younger he looked than his seventeen years. "No one hates you." She tried to reassure him.
Edward shook off her hands, hunching his shoulders and leaned forward to lay his head on the table.
"Yes they do. And I deserve it." He paused for a moment to run his fingers through his unruly hair. The action was inherited from his father, as was his brilliant mind and stubbornness. Esme laid claim to his copper colored locks and his gentle nature.
"No. Mom, why don't you just send me away? Send me to grandma in Chicago or military school? Why disrupt the whole family? I was the one who fucked up. I should be the one to leave."
Esme tamped down the need to reproach him for his language as she looked into the sad green eyes of her baby, the son she'd failed.
"Edward, we're a family and together we'll get through this. Your brother will get on the football team at Forks High School and your dad will settle in at the hospital and…"
Edward pushed away from his mother to stand by the window. His eyes took in the yard of his childhood. The tire swing that his father had put up for him and Emmett when they were seven and eight years old was long since gone, but the memories of the carefree afternoons spent swinging under the canopy of the tree were still vivid. His mother's prize winning roses moved gently in the breeze. How many hours had he spent helping his mother care for them? His eyes focused on the oil spot in the driveway, remembering how proud Emmett had been when he'd successfully completed the first oil change on his sixteenth birthday present, an old truck. A small chuckle escaped as he also recalled how his father's pride in his son's accomplishment turned to anger when he'd seen Em had spilled the oil all down the driveway, leaving the now very visible spot.
His mother's arms came around to gently pull him into her embrace. Her recognizable scent calmed him.
"Baby, everything will be fine. We'll put this behind us. You'll see." Edward nodded at her assurances, but in his head, he was already planning the garden he would help her grow, the extra chores he would do to make things up to his brother and then, well, he didn't know how to fix things with his father, but he'd keep trying.
"Salted nut rolls!"
Charlie chuckled quietly at his daughter's attempt at swearing while watching her grab her back pack only to have the contents spill out onto the floor because she'd once again forgotten to zip it up. "Need help?"
Bella blew a lock of mahogany hair from her forehead as she bent to pick up the books, papers and assorted writing tools that were scattered on the ground.
"I got it. Don't think I didn't catch you laughing." She accused him.
"Sweetheart, I'm your father. I'll love you no matter what, but I'm also human. You can't blame me for laughing when I see something funny."
"Watching your kid fail miserably at walking a straight line is funny?"
Charlie leaned forward, handing her the pen that had rolled under their small kitchen table.
"First, you don't fail miserably at anything and secondly, what can I say? I'm a simple man. I laugh at guys getting hit in the crotch and water skiing squirrels. "
"Okay. I forgive you. This time." Bella chuckled, before ducking out the back door and away from her father's attempt to playfully ruffle her hair. It was all she could do to keep the mess on top of her head tamed on a good day; she didn't need him making it worse on purpose.
Bella had made the drive to Fork's High School so many times in her seventeen years; she barely needed to be conscious to get it accomplished. Her old maroon Honda Civic made the turn into the lot and headed for the same parking spot she'd been occupying for nearly a year. The spot was in the last row of the lot, the furthest from shelter from the rain, mist, snow…and whatever else the weather gods threw at the people of Forks.
"Forget about East, forget about West, go where the weather suits you best…" As Bella sang along to her new Keith Harkin album, her trusty car made a right and then the quick left around the circle to slide into her unofficial/official parking spot only to find some newbie had broken protocol.
"Fruit baskets!" The sound of screeching brakes echoed off the cement barriers as Bella slammed on the brakes, narrowly avoiding the shiny silver Volvo parked in her spot.
After circling the lot to find another spot, a grumpy Bella emerged from her car to find the small and unassuming figure of her best friend Alice Brandon.
Like Bella, Alice had spent the last three years at Forks High School as an invisible cog in a very small wheel.
The fact that there were only 452 students in the entire school should have ensured the two girls a fairly high spot in their class hierarchy. However, their shyness and quiet natures cloaked them in what was a fairly bland existence.
Bella got out of her car and grabbed her book bag. Not bothering to lock the car door. Knowing that if anyone wanted in her old car badly enough, a locked door wasn't going to stop them. Besides, they were more than welcome to the 'This is the 90's' cassette tape and half bottle of water sitting in the console.
"So, another year at good ole' Forks High?"
Bella regarded her best friend and nodded. "Yep. Only one more and then we can get out of here and see the real world." The girls smiled widely at each other, their hopes for a good school year evident on their faces.
With linked arms they walked side by side into the school; behind their classmates to start what they were sure was another boring and forgettable year.
They had no idea that the evil coming their way would prove them wrong.
~~Woe to the children of God, should the Dark One complete his objective~~
Until next time,