Disclaimer: I do not own Halo...

Prologue

Wings as black as death stretched out behind her as she gazed into the abyss of fiery torment. Blood-curdling screams escaped Hell's deepest depths and bound their tendrils into her mind. She laughed lightly, the motion ruffling the feathers of her wings. She thoroughly enjoyed every moment that she was here. The scalding heat and dark torture reminded her of the power that she possessed. The forsaken land was seeping into her pulse and into every essence of her being. It was a natural high, something that she would always be addicted to. In the midst of her nostalgia, she heard quiet, padding footsteps behind her.

She spun slowly, looking into the twisted face of the demons that were creeping up on her. They were the ugliest creatures that she had ever laid eyes on. Formerly beautiful angels, they were now short, humanoid beings with black, charcoaled skin and haunting black eyes that seemed to peer into your very soul. Their wings had long dissolved into dust and crooked horns replaced their angel's aura. Pain, anger, and frustration radiated off the bodies and she laughed again.

"Get out of here, Fallen. Unless you intend to join us." One of the demons rasped, pausing to cough up a horrifying mixture of pure black essence and blood. The Fallen laughed once more, however her eyes sharpened and showed no sign of amusement.

"Hardly a chance of that." The Fallen replied slyly. The demons could not understand how someone so similar to them could hate them with such a intense passion.

"God does not love you." The demon forced out as black blood trickled down its chin, "You were cast down just like us. Join us. Give us the keys to Hell! Together with Satan we will rule!" The Fallen's eyes flashed a brilliant violet that would put even the most beautiful spectrum of colors to shame.

"Is that what he told you?" The Fallen asked, slowly walking over to where the demons stood. She was very aware of the nearly invisible gate that stood between them. The Keys beneath her skin began to pull her towards the gate with such a force that they almost ripped themselves from her body. She continued to smile though, not showing any sign of pitiful weakness. The Keys beneath her skin finally calmed and abandoned their tugging. The Fallen reached out and lightly traced the demon's jawbone through the gate. She was the only one who could willing go through the gate and the demons knew it. The demon flinched.

"He lied sweetie. Just like he did at the beginning. He promised you everything and look at where you are now." The Fallen addressed the demon, gesturing around her, "In a literal hellhole." Her voice was possessed by a sickly, sweet melody. Every syllable was alluring and more tempting than any offer in the world.

"Let me end it for you." She whispered, "I can make the pain disappear, but you have to help me first." One of the demon's willpower began to crumble. It would soon shatter, and the Fallen was fully aware of it. Hell was an blood-curdling and disturbing place and even the most dedicated of Satan's followers could be swayed into leaving if presented the opportunity.

"What do you need?" The demon rasped out, his dark eyes displaying a silver glimmer of hope. The Fallen's lips lifted into a deceiving smile.

"Do you know of the angel who broke the rules? The one who fell in love with the human?" The Fallen asked. The hope faded out of the demon's eyes. The angel Bethany was the MOST forbidden topic in both Heaven and Hell. Talking about her could result in death and the demon knew it.

"You don't need to worry about punishment because I'm going to make all this pain disappear. I'm going to take you away from all of this torment. You just have to tell me everything you know about Bethany. Ok darling?" The Fallen coaxed the demon, gazing at the creature with a look of total reassurance.

"She lives in Venus Cove, Georgia. That's all I know. Anyone with information on her was destroyed and burned after the Jake Thorn incident." The demon blabbed out quickly. The Fallen's eyes narrowed.

"I thought I disposed of Jake years ago." She growled, fury flickering in her eyes. The demon became frightened as he took note of the Fallen's sudden change in expression.

"You did, but he's the boss man's favorite. Every effort possible was made to bring him back." The demon replied, panic creeping into his voice. The Fallen's face returned to its sweet appearance and she turned back to the demon.

"You have no idea how much I appreciate your assistance." The Fallen lied in a voice like honey, touching the demon's face much like she had the first demon, "I'm going to end all your pain now for you. You're going to feel much better." The demon's eyes lit up as he prepared to end his sorrowful torment. He took a deep breath in and closed his eyes. At least the creature didn't have to see what happened next. The Fallen swung her arms around and swung a massive scythe through the demon's neck. His head went flying off and his body fell back onto the small group of demons behind him. Black blood and ash burst into the air in a flurry of chaos and confusion.

"You see? Better already!" The Fallen cried, insanity creeping into her voice. She laughed hysterically. She turned her back to the demons and spoke to him.

"You're next Gabriel." She informed him, and the world burst into terrifying black flames.

That's when Gabriel awoke, his breathing labored and sweat pouring off his body. He knew her too well. He knew she'd keep her word.