Fate of an Old Fool
Part Two: Regret
A.N: Yeah, tried to keep this a oneshot and failed miserably. My bad.
Before any of this, very little drew me away from my library or the Well of Souls, one such case being that concerning the Abomination Vault that held the weapons forged from the corpses of the long-extinct Ravaiim. I had been summoned to the outpost near what remained of Eden by Abaddon some time before Belisatra's constructs attacked, and it was easy to understand why my brother would need me at his side. Abbadon and I have balanced the other out for millenia, and I was often consulted for advice on many occasions during his campaigns, even though my brother's stubborness would never allow him to admit such a thing.
Perhaps that balance we shared was what stayed my tongue when Abaddon persuaded me to break the seals. He knew well the consequences, but despite my attempts to sway him, his resolve would not falter. With Ulthane to reforge the seals, there would be no proof for the Charred Council to use as reason to summon the Horsemen to punish us. I wanted so much to believe that this would end the uneasy truce and the bloody war between Heaven and Hell once and for all, damn the consequences!
...But I doubt that anything could have prepared any of us for what came to pass.
I had retreated to my library to observe the battle on Earth not long after the Hellguard began their attack. Just when it seemed that the scales of fortune were tipped in Heaven's favour, things took a turn for the worst at that moment when the great stone fist of the demon Straga crushed Abaddon in his grip and dragged him down into the pit of magma below. A thousand cries echoed throughout the White City and all its outposts in mourning all at once.
Believing our cause lost, I went to the Well to meet him there, but what I saw shocked me silent. Abaddon stood before me, wounded, yes- but very much alive.
"I was a fool, Azrael," He told me. "Even if the Hellguard will withstand, I wish there was more I could have done."
I only knew of one last hope of salvation at the time, and against my judgement and by utter foolishness- I brought Abaddon to Eden.
At the time, the situation was desperate. The Hellguard could only last for so long, and no angel was allowed to leave the Earth until the Destroyer was dead, and it was starting to look like this would never be. We had to act quickly. The Tree of Knowlege would give us an answer, or so I hoped, a way to tilt the odds back in Heaven's favour. Abaddon went alone to the Tree, and I remained behind in an anxious state of waiting that seemed to last an eternity before he returned...
...but the Abaddon who returned was not the brother I once knew. Even now I cannot guess what his gift may have been, but when I realised my words would not compel him to speak, it was far too late.
I could only describe Abaddon's actions as madness. He seemed to be arguing with himself, his tone varying from hushed, frantic whispers and murmurs to great and terrible roars of anger. I only tried one final time to break through to him.
"What has become of you, my brother?" I asked him, but I was cast aside quite harshly, and quite literally. The rest is a blur to me, I fear. I remember Straga attacking us, hwo I fought as best I could to defend myself and the Garden, only to be defeated. I reached for Abaddon one final time, begged him like a starving child for his help...and he did nothing.
The first half of the long century that followed, I knew not what to feel. Oh, yes, I knew the stabbing pain of betrayal that has long since dulled, but I could not decide whether it was fury or sorrow that plagued my heart for the first twenty years until I became bitter for the next thirty.
Eventually, after years of interrogation and torture, I soon became resigned to the judgement that awaited me. I would be cast down, just as Hadrimon and Raciel had been, and banished into oblivion. At times there was sorrow, guilt, and the odd flare of bitter fury I felt towards the one I once called "brother". I began to fear the worst when I sensed that Abaddon- nay, the Destroyer- was using the Well of Souls to fuel his conquest of Earth and the realms beyond. Not only had I failed in my duty as Gatekeeper, but I had failed our Father, my Brothers and Sisters and all of Creation. At that point, I would have gladly accepted death- the waiting had made me quite anxious.
Oh, yes, there were times when I would have visitors, but never the desirable sort. If it wasn't Abaddon, it was Lillith, and if wasn't the vile Demon Mother, then it was usually Straga or his demon soldiers come to 'entertain' themselves by using me as target practice or tying me up and beating me like some wretched canid, and many a time I would wonder why they hadn't just ended me. This, combined with the knowlege of what the Well of Souls was being used for now did nothing to ease my anxieties, or, dare I say it, fear.
I suppose, now that I am waiting for War to slay my brother, that there will be no escape from the fate I have carved for myself, nor will Abaddon be able to escape his own, for we are the masters of our own fate, and to whatever end we may reach, the means of which we attained it will surely be justified in the end.