Angel in the Attic
Fusedtwilight: Thanks to my beta lisa and all the readers. Who is excited for the new X-Men movie?
Last chapter Michael's trials were interrupted by Abreal, now the two clash once more and Abreal's history is revealed.
"You gave an ultra advanced base made from stolen alien technology to a group of teens!" Warren yelled.
"It wasn't stolen. It was mere leftovers from when the earth was invaded numerous times by several species. I mean didn't you people help defend the earth from a kree or skrull invasion? Hell, didn't the shi'ar give you some of their technology for your danger room?" Adonai asked.
"You gave it to children! What is wrong with you?!" Betsy shouted.
"It's been over a month and they haven't screwed anything up. Seriously, I will never understand this modern age and its view on age. I knew how to use a sword when I was five, had my first woman by ten, and became a king at twenty."
"This isn't the dark ages. Once again you prove that despite your age and power, you have the mentality of an impudent child!" Emma snarled at him.
Scott was speaking with the Champions.
"I am severely disappointed in all of you. Especially you, Rickard. You are the eldest member of your team. How could you have let this happen?" Scott asked.
"Scott, when we joined, the X-Men were no longer together. You got the team back together just after we decided to be our own team."
"Then you should have relinquished control. I should have realized it was you bunch back in Devil's Keyhole. I assume it was also you who sent us that info about this Abreal?" Scott asked.
They all nodded.
"This guy is crazy, Scott. I know you have experience with crazy but all this guy wants to do is kill. Humans. Mutants. If it is alive he wants it to die. Men, women, children, it doesn't matter to him. He thinks life is a joke and he is being merciful in committing genocide. That's all he wants to do, wipe out all life. He creates a black mist that sucks the life right out of you," Rickard said.
"And it hurts like hell," Wayne muttered, remembering the time the stuff touched him.
"He can also use the mist to use dead bodies like zombies. He is scary as hell!" Devin said.
"We fought him in Devil's Keyhole. He sacrificed hundreds of people just to summon some demon monster. There is nothing he won't do. He's the one who wiped out the Cheyarafim, his own people," Jacob said.
"Obviously he didn't do a good job," Logan said looking at Franziska.
Hank walked over to them.
"There are news reports of a large dark cloud appearing over Manhattan. Michael is fighting a black-winged mutant."
"That's Abreal," Angie said.
"We need to get over there and help Michael," Rickard said.
"No. None of you can withstand Abreal's mist. Only those with the angel fire are immune to it. It's time I made my son into what he is. It is only right that I be the one to finish him off," Adonai said.
He vanished then.
"Anybody else get the feeling shit is about to hit the fan?" Wayne asked.
"Die, damn you!" Michael screamed.
"Not until my work is done!" Abreal roared.
They fought with their weapons - Michael with his spear and Abreal with his sword.
"Work? You call this work? All this pain!"
"Had you let me finish there would be no one to feel pain!" Abreal said.
"I am what life made of me!"
I raised my sword and deflected the first blow.
I dodged the second attacker and kneed the third in the gut.
I was so tired. Sweat fell from my face. I have been training for hours.
Father did not relent. He never did.
He'll train me well into the night. Until I am so tired I won't be able to pick up my weapon.
I doubled back as a fist it me in the face. I felt my nose break and I fell on my back.
"Stand up, boy. Fight like a man!" Father barked.
I slowly stood up.
"Father, please let me have a break. I need to eat. I need to rest. I must regain my strength," I pleaded.
"You want rest? You want food? Then take the life from these three."
The solders looked at Father in fear. They knew what I could do. Everyone knew.
"They are deserters. They fled from battle like cowards while their brothers gave their lives for the cause."
"But...but...they're Cheyarafim," I repeated.
I had never used my power on my own people. To heal them by sharing with the life-force I took from enemies, yes, but never to kill them.
"Do as I say, boy!" Father snapped.
"Lord, please, have mercy!" one of them said.
"If you want to live you're going to have to kill him first," Father said.
"Get him!" one of them yelled.
They all rushed at me, I knew they would see me dead. So I summoned mist, and the second it touched them I felt their life drain and enter me.
I felt regenerated. Less tired. As if I had taken a long nap and rested myself. My nose fixed itself.
Within seconds they fell to the floor. Dead.
Father walked over to me, glancing at them as he stepped around their corpses.
"How do you feel?" he asked.
"Good," I answered.
"I mean, how do you feel?" he repeated.
"I...I feel...I do not like killing my own people," I said.
"That is good. We should not enjoy killing our own kin. But sadly these things cannot be avoided. Sometimes the gardener must pluck what is rotten from his garden to keep it perfect. They were cowards. At least we allowed their deaths to serve a purpose. Tell me, boy. Do they...taste different from those heathens?"
I shook my head. "Life is life."
"Does it feel good? Draining them?"
"Good. Focus on that feeling. You are a warrior. Enjoy the blood lust. Let it drive you. And one more thing."
He brought his hand up and slapped me in the face, breaking my nose again.
"Next time I tell you to do something I expect you to do it."
"Yes, Father," I said bowing my head, my nose already began to fix itself.
He turned back and ordered more fighters to be brought in.
"Since you are filled with their lives you can continue training."
"What the hell?" Michael asked.
Abreal elbowed Michael in the face.
"Why are you distracted, little king?" Abreal asked.
Michael swiped at him with his spear, Abreal easily dodged it. Despite his size he was surprisingly agile.
Michael realized he had seen a memory of Abreal's. Thanks to his telepathy, Abreal's mind was as open to him as anyone else.
"I don't get it. You used to have more respect for life then this! I saw it!" Michael said.
"Like I said, life happened," Abreal said.
He charged at Michael swinging down his sword. Michael blocked it and they continued to fight.
"Father trained me to be a killer; my brothers betrayed me and left me to die! All because I refused to allow them to disobey Father."
The council had gathered for a meeting.
I was not one of them, but I was still a member of the royal guard.
Those were chosen by Father for their skill and power to serve directly under him.
We answer only to the king and when we speak it is with his authority.
But Father is not here anymore.
The bastard Neyaphem King Azazel cast a dark spell on him that placed him in a thousand-year slumber.
That was several years ago.
Despite losing him we continued the war. We used our own magic to banish Azazel and man of his people to a hell dimension.
The remnants we hunted down and wiped out.
The war was over, we won.
But the war had severely weakened us. We lost many of our kin. Our numbers were gravelydepleted. Our resources were spent. And we had almost no treasure left.
The council was to discuss what was to be done about the kingdom's situation. Thetatron was present, writing down everything that was spoken for the records.
"The Holy Father will not wake for several more centuries. When he awakens he must see that not only are we victorious over the Neyaphem scum, but that we have once again thrived."
Shem was Father's heir and now that he was slumbering Shem was the acting king.
"The war was long and we lost many. But still we stand, but barely. We must regain our strength. We are weak enough where those we once saw as insignificant could pose a threat to us. We have earned our victory, but we are left severely weakened. We must figure out how to quickly regain our strength. Suggestions?"
"I say we use the humans. Many of them think we are angels. I say we use that. Make them worship us and surrender their riches to us," one of the councilmen said.
"I agree. It would be easy to infiltrate the Vatican. With our powers it would be easy to perform the miracles they so desperately need," another said.
"We could also use this as a way to take control of the humans. It may take a few generations, but once they grow dependent on us the humans will gladly welcome us as their lords and masters."
They all nodded in agreement.
"No," I said.
The room went silent. They all turned to look at me with looks of surprise. And of course indignation.
I was just a guard; I had no right to speak on these matters.
"We will not interfere with the humans," I said.
"And what right do you have to make such a command?" Shem asked. "Last time I checked, I was king."
"Acting king. Until he ceases to live, the Holy Father Yahweh is king. And it is with his authority I speak."
"What are you talking about? Speak sense or speak not at all!" one of them snapped.
"Holy Mother Asherah never wanted us to interfere with humanity. She feared that we would see ourselves as gods and try and control the humans. Pride is the deadliest sin; she feared what such hubris would do to us. Father honored this wish even with her passing."
"Bless the Holy Mother, may she rest in peace. But we do not have the luxury to let such a useful resource pass us by. Assuming we do not get involved in another war, it would take decades to reclaim our forgoer glory before the war. But with the humans we could do it in no time at all."
"This is a mandate from the Holy Ones. It's a commandment that must never be broken."
"So what, sometimes we must break the rules to-"
I raised my hand. "No one breaks the rules."
My mist shot out and hit the speaker. He let out a shout of horror that quickly ended. He was dead when he fell forward on the table.
The room was filled with horrified shouts, and soon several spears were pointed at my face.
"Have you gone mad!" Shem yelled.
"I am obeying my king," I said calmly.
"I am your king!" Shem roared.
"No, as I said, you are only acting king. Should Father die before he awakes, then you will be king. Until then I will enforce the laws. And I will kill anyone who dares try to break them."
I leveled Shem with an icy glare. "Even if it is you, Shem."
I turned to look at the rest of the council.
"That goes for the rest of you too. Leave the humans alone."
"I can feel you poking around, Michael," Abreal said.
"My name is Seraph to you!" Michael snarled.
"Doesn't matter, you're still going to die!"
Michael began to glow and before he could blast Abreal, he vanished in a cloud of smoke.
"Stand still and fight, damn you!" Michael yelled.
Abreal reappeared on top of a bus.
"So, did you pass all the trials? Are you the heir to a dead people now? How does that feel?"
"Not as good as it is going to feel when I shove this spear into the spot in your chest where your heart should be!" Michael snarled.
"I had a heart once. But it was stolen from me a long time ago."
"Mommy, I'm scared!" I said.
"Shh, everything will be okay, Abreal," Mother cooed soothingly to me.
She turned to one of the warriors.
"How in the hells did they get past the barrier?"
"Unknown, Holy Mother. Reports are coming in that Apollyon is the one leading the charge!"
"Apollyon? That pit spawn?"
"We need to get you and the little prince to safety."
"What about the people? Are they being led to safety?" she asked.
"Yes, we have teams out looking for any survivors. We are keeping the Neyaphem at bay, but it is only a matter of time before they break through our defenses. We must get you to safety!"
"I should be out there helping my people!"
"Please don't go ma ma; I don't want you to go!" I said.
She picked me up in her arms.
"Let's go," she said to the guard.
We walked down the hall. I was so afraid; one moment we were in the gardens playing, and the next there was screaming and war cries.
"Don't be afraid, little one. Your father is on his way, and when he gets here he will turn them all to ash," she said.
"Daddy is strong!" I said.
"The strongest in all the world. Remember what I told you?"
"That he flies through the heavens faster than light, that he can break the foundations of the earth and no one can beat him?"
I didn't really know my father. I had only seen him a few times. Mother said the war took up much of his time but he did love me.
He just had to win the war so we could all be safe.
Just then there was an explosion above us. I screamed and held onto her tightly.
There were the sounds of war cries from above.
"Protect the Holy Mother!"
I could hear the sounds of metal striking metal.
The Neyaphem had found us. I had never seen them in the flesh. I had heard stories and seen pictures. They were even scarier in real life than on paper.
The ground shook as if something large had fallen to the earth.
"Kill them all!" A voice roared.
"Apollyon!" mother hissed.
He was monstrous. He towered over everyone, even his own warriors. His skin was scarlet, a pair of horns grew from his head, his hair was black and curly, and fell past his shoulders. His nail was black claws and a pair of bat-like wings grew from his back. His tail moved back and forth like a serpent, and the tip looked like the end of a spear.
There were tattoos on his body. They glowed with a yellow light and looked like cracks in glass. His eyes burned with the same yellow light as his marks.
I clutched Mother, a pitiful whimper escaped my lips.
The beast smiled and I saw his teeth were all pointy.
"If it isn't the whore of Yahweh. I have been looking for you!" he thundered.
"And you found me. Much to you misfortune. How dare you attack my city!" Mother shouted.
"Oh, but imagine how your king will feel when he returns and finds his precious city reduced to rubble!"
"How did you get in?" she asked.
"Did you think we would never find a way in? You forget we have magic of our own!"
He raised his weapon. It was a black khopesh with a silver edge. Sigils were carved on the blade.
"Today you die, woman; the city and its queen will fall by my hand!"
Mother sat me on the ground. "Hide, Abreal!"
I quickly hid behind the nearest pillar. Fear filled me. I prayed Father would return soon.
Mother summoned her sword. She glared at Apollyon, and her eyes glowed with light.
"The day may come when I fall, monster, but it will not be by your hand. I will send your head to Azazel in a box!"
Apollyon charged at her, raising his khopesh. She summoned her sword and just as he brought his sword down she vanished in a flash of light.
A streak of white light flew by him. He let out a cry as a deep laceration appeared on his side.
There were several more streaks, and soon the floor was wet with his blood.
"Hold still, Cheyarafim bitch!" he roared.
She grinned. "I much prefer cutting you to pieces!"
"At least you are putting up a better fight then your warriors," he said with a sick smirk.
The Cheyarafim who had been fighting were all dead now. They had not been able to withstand their sheer numbers.
Mother realized this. Her lips formed into a snarl and she got this dark look in her eyes. For the first time in my life, I felt fear of her.
The rage in her eyes was scary.
"Damn you all to hell!" she yelled.
She charged at the warriors.
I let out a gasp. Surely she did not mean to fight them all by herself?
I should not have doubted her.
They say Father has only one equal, and that's Mother.
At first it seemed she was trying to fight them all, using her power to glide on the floor, faster than the eye could follow.
But I soon realized she was forcing them to form a single group. Whenever one tried to break away she quickly appeared to slash at them with her sword.
Once they were all grouped together she slammed her sword point first into the ground.
There was an explosion of light and a pillar of fire shot forward, engulfing the Neyaphem.
When the holy fire died down nothing remained of our attackers.
Mother turned to face Apollyon.
"You're next, beast. No more playing around. You come into my home and shed the blood of my people, my children! I will kill you this day!"
She made several slashing motions with her sword and ivory crescent blades shot forward.
Apllyon managed to block them all with the kopesh.
It seemed to glow with a dark light and I knew this blade was not normal. Even steel could not resist the holy flame.
"See this? This was forged in the lowest level of hell! A place so dark it knows no fire, nor warmth. Your holy flame cannot burn it!" Apollyn proclaimed.
Mother charged her sword. She charged at him and they battled with their swords.
"You fight well, woman! Glad to see not all of your kind are a bunch of weaklings!" Apollyn sneered.
"Too bad your comrades couldn't say the same thing before I roasted them like the pigs they were!" she spat.
"That gives me an idea!" he said with a terrible smile.
His tail shot forward. For a moment I thought it was going to impale Mother.
Instead it was heading right for me.
I closed my eyes and screamed.
There was a terrible shriek, too high-pitched to be mine.
Something warm and wet hit my face.
I did not feel any pain, but I heard a strange sound.
I opened my eyes and saw Mother, she must have used her power to get to me before the monsters tail did.
His stinger was sticking out of her chest. The strange sound was coming from the stinger. Mother's blood was burning it. Cheyarafim blood burns Neyaphem.
Her sword fell from her grip and landed on the ground with a clang.
She was lifted off her feet, whimpering in pain.
The monster began to chuckle.
"A mother's love. It makes a woman act irrationally. You were so desperate to save your brat, you didn't even bother thinking about merely deflecting my stinger or cutting off my tail. Foolish bitch."
He brought Mother close to his face.
"Now we just have to see what kills you first - the blood loss or my venom."
There was a scream; I would realize later it was me. I can't really remember what happened next, it was all a blur.
I just remember a red haze filling the edge of my vision and a terrible burning in my chest.
I grabbed Mother's sword and charged forward.
"Oh look, little boy wants to save his mommy. What do you think you're going to do, you little-"
I plunged the sword at the point between his groin and his belly.
He let out a cry of pain and dropped Mother and stumbled back.
Mother fell to the floor, blood was running down the corner of her mouth.
I sat next to her.
"Come on Mommy, we have to go!" I said urgently.
"Abreal...run...find your...father...he'll keep you...safe."She coughed, spitting up more blood.
"No Mommy, I won't leave you. Get up!" I said.
She just smiled.
"My little boy...my little..."
She took one last shuddering breath and closed her eyes.
I shook her a little and her head rolled to the side.
A new emotion swept over me, washing away the rage which had burned in me.
I began to cry. Never in my life had I wept so hard, nor would I ever weep so fiercely again. My whole life she was there, every second of every day.
Now she was gone, and even at such a young age I knew the finality of death.
"Damned brat, stop that screaming!"
Apollyon pulled Mother's blade out and let it fall to the floor.
"I'll send you off to join your mother in the afterlife. Then I'll mount your heads on a pike and leave them in the throne room for your father!"
I stood up and glared at him.
"You leave her alone!"
He let out a chuckle.
"Stupid brat. The bitch is already dead."
"Don't call her bitch, you ugly pig fuck!"
He roared with laughter.
"Little boy finally found his courage. You're a tough brat. Now let's get on with this. Lord Azazel will reward me greatly for killing her."
Apollyon began to walk over to me.
I was afraid, but I refused to let him desecrate Mother's body.
He stopped ten feet from me, a frown on his ugly face.
"What in the hells are you doing?"
I looked at my hands. There was a dark mist seeping from my skin like smoke rising from a flame.
"I don't know what power you possess boy, but if summoning smoke is the best you got, then I'll do Yahweh a favor by killing you!"
I raised my hand up.
"Be gone, demon!"
The smoke suddenly shot forward. Apollyon let out a yell and swiped at it with his sword.
But the second it touched him he let out a cry. The second the dark mist touched him I felt something flow into me. Some invisible force filled me up, made me feel stronger.
Apollyon raised his sword but he lost his grip and it fell to the ground.
He fell back and was still.
The mist returned into me. I stared at my hands in wonder. I killed him? I took a life?
I should be happy, I avenged her death; I killed her killer.
So why do I feel so terrible?
I laid down next to mother, tucking myself under her arm.
"Mommy, please come back," I whimpered.
The sun finally set, casting the world in darkness.
I tried to pretend it was just like any other night. Like I was getting ready for bed, sleeping with Mother in her bed. We would wake in the morning and everything would be okay.
The one good thing about being a child is you can almost imagine anything.
"Stay out of my head!" Abreal yelled.
He swiped at Michael with his sword and Michael jumped back.
"Sorry, still new to this telepathy thing," Michael said. "But it seems like your mind is screaming at me."
"My mind is a cave filled with darkness and cold. You'll find nothing but death there."
"Death this, death that. You're so fond of death? Then die!"
Michael threw a ball of angel fire at Abreal, but he vanished and reappeared behind Michael. He brought his sword down but Michael sensed him and dodged the attack.
"Not until my work is completed. Until every life on this world is wiped out!"
"You have no right to do that! Just because your life is so miserable doesn't mean you have the right to decide who gets to live and die!" Michael yelled.
"I do not decide who lives, only who dies."
Three police cars zoomed down the road and stopped several feet from the two of them.
Six policemen got out, aiming their guns at the pair.
"Get on the ground!"
"Drop your weapons!"
"Put your hands on your head!"
They ordered them, all of them shouting at the same time.
"Get out of here!" Michael yelled at them.
"Stop or we'll fire!" one of them said.
Abreal raised his hand and his mist shot forward.
Michael let out a shout as the policemen fell to the ground.
"Damn you!" Michael yelled.
"They should know better than to get between two fighting monsters. But they can be useful."
Just then a gun went off and Michael felt the bullet hit his armor. He turned to see the policemen were still standing, aiming their guns at Michael.
He heard no thoughts coming from their minds. They were still dead, but Michael remembered Abreal could reanimate the dead as his puppets.
Just then he heard the mental screams of fear.
Images filled his head. All the people who died in Abreal's attack were getting up.
And they were attacking the people who loved them.
"Stop it!" Michael screamed at him.
"You can continue to fight me or you can try and save them, Michael. Fight me, and those people will die by the hands of their loved ones. Save them and I will get away, and I promise next time I attack a city, you won't be there to stop me."
"Actually, I have another option. I call for help." Michael activated the Champion's communicator. "Champions, I need some backup."
Anna was trying to untie herself.
He may be a genocidal nutbag, but Abreal is damn good at tying a person up.
Something came flying through the window and she let out a scream, fearing it was Abreal.
"Anna, it's me!"
"Wayne?" she asked.
"Hi," he said waving at her.
"Wow, Michael said you looked different," she said.
"You get used to it. It's great for scaring the crap out of people. Made my sister piss herself when I went home to visit."
He walked over to her and using his nails he cut her free.
"Is Michael okay?" she asked.
"Yeah, he is fighting Abreal. He called us for help. The sicko is using his power to control the bodies of the people he killed. The others are taking care of the zombies while Michael deals with him. Oh, and the X-Men know about us so we're going to be in a bit of trouble when we get back."
"I hope Michael kills that bastard! He deserves to die!" Anna spat.
"We'll take care of him, don't worry. Right now I need to get you someplace safe."
"And where am I supposed to be safe with someone like Abreal running around?"
Wayne was quiet for a few seconds. "Got any ideas?"
Angie threw several zombies up in the air.
She stopped spinning and landed on the ground.
"This is Devil's Keyhole all over again," she said as the zombies got back up.
Devin ran around them, punching them all.
He ran over to Angie.
"I got the civilians to safety," he said. "It wasn't easy. They think they're...still alive."
Angie winced. While she distracted Abreal's puppets, Devin had helped take the civilians to safety. Many of them didn't want to leave. They didn't think their loved ones were dead.
"Killing them was one thing. But bringing them back to kill the people they knew? How can someone be so cruel?" she asked.
"At least Michael stopped him before he could kill the whole city. Now we need to keep these things away from people," Devin said.
"I hope Michael turns that bastard to dust," Angie said.
"Me too," Devin said, his face hard as stone.
Michael and Abreal continued to fight.
Michael stabbed at Abreal with his spear, hitting him in the stomach, while Abreal hit him in the left shoulder with his sword.
Michael could feel the sword trying to leech away his life. Just as his spear channeled his angel fire, Abreal's sword channeled his death mist.
Most would be dead from a blow from it, but Michael was immune to its dark power, though the longer it was in him the weaker he felt.
They both backed away and Michael cried out as the sword was removed from his shoulder, though Abreal did not so much as flinch.
"You have a low pain threshold, boy," he said.
The wound to his gut healed and Michael's shoulder healed just as quickly.
"Shut up," Michael said.
"This is pointless, all you have to do is unleash your angel fire and incinerate me."
Michael would have loved to do as he suggested. But his eyes wandered to the sidelines where people could be seen hiding behind cars or peering out through windows.
Abreal noticed this.
"You fear hurting the humans?" He shook his head. "To think you will be Father's heir. He would never hesitate to end his enemy. He wasn't worried about casualties."
Michael snarled, "I'm not Adonai!"
"Obviously. I'd be dead by now."
"I may value life more than he does. But I have something neither he nor you have."
"And what's that?"
"Friends." Michael smirked.
Before he could ask what he meant, Abreal was telekinetically lifted into the air.
Franziska smiled at him. "Hallo, Arschloch," she greeted.
Before he could throw his mist at her the world around him turned silent. Then his whole body began to vibrate, and blood began to pour from his ear and eyes.
Franziska let him fall to the ground where he coughed up more blood.
"Nice work, Rickard," Franziska said.
Abreal stood up. "It's going to take more than that," he said spitting out more blood.
Just then a bus landed on top of him.
"That enough?!" Jacob yelled in the distance.
Death mist exploded out from the bus.
"Guess not!" Jacob said as he ran away.
Abreal flew out from the bus, his mist rolled off him in waves.
"Enough of this! I am going to suck the life from all of you and leave nothing but a withered husk!" he roared.
"That's what she said!" Devin said running into view.
Abreal raised his hand and shot a blast of death mist at him.
"Oh shit!" he said yelled running away.
Abreal flew higher and higher into the air. His death mist began to spread.
"I am going to kill every living thing in this city and there is not a damn thing any of you can do to stop me!"
The Champions all gathered around Michael. Wayne flew down, having left Anna on the roof of a building far away from the fighting.
"Alright guys, this will be the most difficult battle of our lives. But I know we can take him down."
They all shared a look with one another and nodded.
"Don't hesitate to take him down. But make sure his mist doesn't touch you. This guy is all alone, but I know if we work together we can bring him down once and for all!"
Just then Adonai appeared behind Abreal. He placed his hands on Abreal's head and shocked him with angel fire. White light shined from Abreal's eyes and sparks flew from his body.
When Adonai was done his whole body was smoking and he left him to fall to the ground.
"Well...that happened," Devin said.
"My middle name is Deus Ex Machina," Adonai said wiping his hands.
They all gathered around Abreal.
"Is he dead?" Angie asked sounding hopeful.
"No, I hear his heart is beating," Wayne said.
"We should finish him off. I am sure he is already healing," Rickard said.
Michael could hear Abreal's thoughts. He was having a hard time thinking, what with his brain mostly being like a fried potato right now.
But he was thinking that this was the moment he would die. He was sure the Champions would finish him off right then and there.
He was thinking about how all the major events happened in the dark.
The first was when his mother died.
The second was when his people tried to kill him.
We tossed the bodies of the Neyaphem into the pit.
We had been hunting this group for weeks and finally found them.
It was long work weeding out the remains of Azazel's empire. But by the time we finished, the earth would be purified of this filth.
"That's all of them," I said.
"You did good work, Abreal," Shem said walking up to me.
"I do my duty," I said simply.
"You have been a great help to our people. Without you none of this would be possible."
There was a flash of light and a sword made from angel fire buried itself in my chest.
"But your services are no longer required."
He formed a dagger and cut off my arms and legs. The heat of the blade sealed my wounds preventing them from bleeding or healing.
Keeping me up using the sword still stuck in my chest, he carried me over to the pit.
"After your little outburst we had a secret meeting. It was decided that you are a little to loyal to Holy Father, and thus in order for us to thrive you must die."
None of the others tried to so much to raise a hand to help me. They merely watched.
"You were a weapon, Abreal. A weapon forged by Yahweh for war. But the war is over and like all weapons you must be cast aside. Let's face it, a creature like you has no place in a peaceful world. All you bring is death. What future could you bring?"
"At least give me a quick death!" I gasped in pain.
"Normally I would. But the thing is...I don't like you."
He threw me into the pit.
As I fell into the darkness he fire blasted at the walls, sealing the pit.
I don't know how long it took for my limbs to finally grow back.
Between the burns on my stumps and the sword in my chest it took a lot to heal it all.
But as soon as I felt my fingers I managed to pull the sword from my chest.
My hand was burned from touching the blade but it would heal.
I could not see in the dark, but I could use my death mist. I sent it out, searching for a way out. There were cracks but they were too small for me to go through.
Normally it would be about a week for a person to die of starvation. But the life-force I absorbed would keep me alive, and prolong my suffering.
And so I stayed in the pit, alone in the dark with nothing but the dead for company.
I don't know how long I was in there, but eventually I was so crazed with hunger I resorted to eating the bodies of the Neyaphem.
I must have been in there for weeks because the bodies soon rotted and filled the pit with a horrific smell.
Alone in the dark, betrayed by my people who I protected for so long, starving and surrounded by death, I reflected on my life.
I was happy once, wasn't I? So long ago.
Was I not a loving son? Was I not a loyal soldier?
Was this how I would die? In a stinking pit?
Was there anyone in the city who would mourn me? How many knew this would happen?
Would Father ever know? Would he care?
He has never held me in his arms, never hugged me, never given me a pat on the back. But I have seen him do this with Shem, his precious heir.
I obeyed his laws and I was the one punished for it. How was this right? How was this fair?
Eventually the delirium set in.
I began to hallucinate.
I saw the other Cheyarafim. I heard them whispering about me.
"Good riddance, I say."
"He was always an odd one."
"We're better off, he was too unstable."
"Seeing Holy Mother die did something to him. He wasn't right in the head."
"He scared me."
I never had any friends, no comrades. People knew what I could do. They feared me for it. The first time Father used me in a battle I was twelve.
A large army of Neyaphem had gathered and he had me kill every last one of them. People hailed Father for the victory; they had questioned him in sending me in the field at such a young age. But we had won without raising so much as a finger.
No one congratulated me, no one appreciated my work. In fact, seeing what I did terrified them. Made them fear me.
Apollyn visited me.
"Look at you, the slayer of Apollyn, the Cheyarafim of death, the last son of Yahweh and Asherah, alone and cast out by his people. What a joke! You should have been a Neyaphem, boy! We appreciate our people! You would have been like a king to us. Hell, Azazel would have shown you more love and affection then your father ever did."
Love? Affection? It had been so long since I had either. Since Mother died my whole life had been nothing but a pit of darkness and loneliness.
"You shame me, boy." Father looked down at me with disappointment. "I trained you to be the most deadly weapon in the world and you allowed your own people to get the drop on you. Now you're stuck in this pit slowly going mad."
"Go away!" I hissed, clutching at my head.
"Did you really think you would have a happy ending? Foolish boy."
"Shut up!" I yelled at him.
Father was gone, replaced by Mother.
She knelt down next to me, touching my face.
"Oh my poor baby, look what has happened to you."
"Mother...I'm so sorry," I wept.
"Sorry for what?" she asked.
"That I didn't save you."
"Silly boy, you were a child."
"I killed him, I avenged you!"
"I know, and you were amazing."
"If only I knew...if only I was able to tap into my power sooner," I cried.
"I would never have asked you to take a life at such a young age. Listen to me Abreal, you can't let it end like this. You have to escape."
"I can't, I tried looking but there is no other way out."
"You are death personified, Abreal. Nothing can stop death. Draining life, stealing memories, raising the dead, do you really think that is all you can do?"
"I don't understand."
"Focus, Abreal. Your story does not end here. Your father taught you to fight, to never give up, to keep going until you are dead. So fight, reach deep inside to that dark power inside you. You still have work to do."
"You are death, Abreal. Why do you think I wouldn't let our people conquer the humans? They think they could build some great empire. But they would be nothing more than benevolent tyrants. You must stop them. Stop all of them!"
"I will, I promise Mother."
"And you must stop your father. His arrogance and blood lust won't be stopped now that I am gone."
"Yes, I will kill him too!"
"That's my boy."
She kissed me on the head.
I closed my eyes and focused.
I concentrated harder and harder. With the last of my strength and will, I wished to leave this place, to ascend from this pit.
My death mist began to surround my body. Then I felt like I was falling.
There was a sudden burst of fresh air, free from the stink of decay.
I landed on sand. I was in the desert. It was nighttime and the moon shined high.
I stood up on shaky legs and looked around in amazement.
"I'm alive...I'm alive...I'M ALIVE!" I screamed.
"He's alive!" Angie screamed.
The Champions all stepped back as Abreal rose up. Only Michael and Adonai remained close to him.
"What are you waiting for?" he asked. "End it!"
Neither one spoke.
"What's wrong? Why won't you do it? Come on. We all know this has to happen."
He turned to look at Michael. His eyes still hadn't grown back yet but he seemed to know Michael was there.
"I am a murderer, Michael. I killed all those people in that town. I unleashed the Anaye, I killed all those people in this city and would have wiped out the population, including your precious Anna, had you not stopped me."
He then turned his gaze to Adonai.
"What about you, Father? I killed our people; I wiped our city off the face of the map. I would have killed you too had they not hidden you. Go on, finish me."
Neither Michael nor Adonai moved.
Michael could sense Abreal was starting to unwind.
He always possessed an icy calm aura and barely showed any emotions.
But now Michael could sense a mixture of emotions leaking from him. He activated his soul-sight and saw his aura was a mixture of colors showing resentment, bitterness, self-loathing, denial, rage. They were like some acid boiling inside of him.
"Well? Will no one do what needs to be done?"
He raised his hands and blew a stream of death mist at the two of them. It didn't affect them, they both knew he was trying to provoke them.
"Do something, damn you!"
Abreal's eyes landed on the Champions.
"What about you? Surely one of you can do what these two will not!"
"Leave them out of this, Abreal," Michael said.
"Oh, now you speak!" he spat.
"Be thankful he hasn't killed you yet, boy," Adonai said.
"Stay out of this, you old fool!" Abreal yelled. He took a step towards his father. "All those years I obeyed every order. I served you even when you were asleep; while the others were more than willing to break your laws, only I kept them in check and what did I get? Tossed into a damn pit to die a slow agonizing death!"
Abreal pulled at his hair.
"This is all your fault! You think you are so damned perfect! I never wanted to be this! I hated my power! I hated killing!"
The memories were flowing from him now like a torrent.
Adonai forcing him to practice using his power. Months after Asherah's death Adonai forced Abreal to use his power. At first Abreal could not, he had been filled with fear and rage the first time, and it was not a monster he practiced on, it was animals.
When Abreal refused, Adonai would punish him. He would be sent to his room for a day and night, all alone in the dark with no food.
If he cried as he drained the life from them he was punished.
If he showed remorse he was punished.
If he hesitated he was punished.
If he questioned an order he was punished.
If he showed doubt he was punished.
If he acted anything remotely human he was punished.
Abreal had the power of death, but once he had been full of life. He had inherited more than his mother's beautiful eyes. He had her heart.
But seeing her die, and his own father beating the humanity out of him, twisted him into this dark creature.
Michael saw all of this, thanks to his soul-sight and his telepathy.
All the centuries of betrayal and resentment were breaking through the icy calm.
"But you had to push me! You had to make me into a weapon! You had to have your revenge! 'Avenge your mother, boy! It is too bad you could not have saved her. Maybe if you had been braver she would have lived.' Remember those words, Father? Remember how you used to hammer them into my head EVERY DAMN DAY!"
"I did what I had to do for our people," Adonai said.
"Bullshit! You wanted revenge! You didn't care what it did to me! I was just a pawn to you! Well let me ask you Father, where were you when we needed you? Why weren't you there to protect her? Why were you so stupid enough to let Azazel curse you?"
Abreal summoned his sword.
"All I ever wanted was to make you proud. All I ever wanted was to be the son you wanted me to be! But you didn't want a son; you already had hundreds of them before. You wanted a weapon, and that is what you made me! A weapon to kill and kill and kill until nothing was left to kill!"
He raised his sword.
"Now it ends!"
Michael tensed, holding up his spear. But to everyone's shock, Abreal impaled himself in the chest with his sword.
Everyone stared in shock.
"What the hell do you think you're doing!" Adonai roared.
Abreal fell to his knees.
"Well, no one else was going to," he coughed up some blood, "so I decided to take the initiative myself." Adonai made a motion to go to him but Abreal laughed. "What? Do you actually feel worried for me, Father? Do you feel regret? Do you feel sorrow? Funny...the same things you...beat out of me."
Abreal closed his eyes and fell back. He vanished in a cloud of smoke.
The Champions walked up to the Michael and Adonai.
"Is he dead?" Angie asked.
"I don't know. I did a lot of damage to him, but I don't know how much life-force he had left."
Adonai walked over to where Abreal vanished. He bent down and touched the blood on the ground. He looked at his fingers smeared with Abreal's blood.
"I can't believe he did that. Why would he do that?" he asked.
"Can you blame him?" Michael asked. "I saw his memories, Adonai. How could you do that to him? He was your son!"
"I lost my wife! We fought the Neyaphem for more than a century! I saw an opportunity to make a warrior who could end the war!" Adonai argued.
"But at the price of his humanity? You were cruel to him! You should have taught him to be a man! Not a monster!"
"Don't speak of things you don't understand, boy!" Adonai snarled.
"I know I want nothing to do with you! You're just as much of a monster as he was, Adonai. Because he was what you made him!"
Michael turned his back to Adonai.
"Where do you think you are going?"
"Home. And don't bother trying to contact me. I am done with you."
"You still have to finish the trials!"
"To hell with the trials, and to hell with you! Why would I want to inherit anything from you? God, if that was what you were willing to do to your son who did you hurt to make your company? You may be the most powerful being in the world, but you lack a heart. Anything you make is doomed to fail!"
They left, leaving him alone there.
He looked at the blood on his hand.
"You're wrong," he said.
Fusedtwilight: Michael has cut ties with Adonai, and now he must deal with the X-Men. Will he be able to keep the Ark?