The Fate of an Old Fool
Part One: Reflection

For eons, my brothers and I have served our Father without question, but it was never without the occasional squabble. Sometimes it was over the smallest of trifles, and other times, arguments that lasted for days over whether or not it was right to carry out His Will. We often agreed- had it truly been honourable for Michael, our eldest brother, to battle the once-beloved Morning Star he had once adored? Was it truly Gabriel's duty to decide when the End War would begin, when he felt such compassion for the Kingdom of Man, despite their ignorance and violent ways? And was it truly justice, I once asked myself, when I had taken the life of every first-born child in the land of Egypt?

Sometimes these arguments would last for days on end, perhaps years. I have all too often heard my brothers and sisters argue over things that occurred centuries ago when tension has hung heavy in the air.

When Lucifer fell from grace (and Samael shortly after), we bore witness to our Father's sorrow, the creation of the Charred Council, the destruction of the Nephilim at the hands of the dreaded Horsemen, and the long millenia it took until both Heaven and Hell came to respect the Council and its laws.

It is no pleasant memory to recall.

Raphael found himself seeing enough wounds from among our ranks to last him for his lifetime, and it forever dimmed his cheerful disposition. Ariel's patience on the battlefield was pushed to its limits, Jeremiel's calm and composed mask of indifference irrevokably stained by anger and the fury of battle, and Michael's noble soul still remains scarred with the memory of the pain frozen upon the faces of the many soldiers we lost under his command.

When the pact was forged, it was not only Abbadon who was enraged over it. Metatron was disgusted that he ever had to record its creation, Sandalphon even more so. Others among us were on edge when they had heard the news, tension hanging heavily upon the White City. Michael fell silent for many days, worrying us all. Ariel eventually coaxed the truth from him- he agreed with Abbadon's initial outburst: "What we have lost should be paid in blood." But as much as we all agreed with our brother, the law was clear, and the punishment unto anyone foolish enough to break it, dire.

It is now, with some dark sense of amusement, consider myself as such. What else could we have done, I once asked myself when I remained for a century as Straga's prisoner, and now I realise that there was nothing we could have done to heal this ailing universe or mitigate its destruction.

"Azrael," The Horseman, War, turns to me."At any time you could have left me to my fate- dead in the tower, lost among the ashes of Eden- why do you help me now? When this is over, the Council will see that justice is done. I will kill Abbadon…and all who schemed with him."

I understand this quite well. Both Ulthane and I knew what would become of us if Abbadon's plan were to fail. But the question as to why the Red Rider was summoned when the seventh seal was not broken remained. What was the Council's role in this? Regardless, my fate remains unchanged.

"We all must answer for our sins, Horseman. When the hour of my judgement comes, I will embrace it- whatever the light decides."

But now is not the time for that. The Armageddon Blade must be made whole once more if there is any hope of stopping Abbadon.

"Now, go, waste no more time on me. And tell Ulthane…" The soft chuckle I give is in bitter rememberance of the Old One's words, of how right he truly was that day as I add, "He is the last hope of an Old Fool."