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Printed from https://www.Writing.Com/view/1117106
by Virgo
Rated: 13+ · Campfire Creative · Fiction · Fantasy · #1117106
Long ago, they were hidden when the heavens fell and hell collapsed, who bears them now...
[Introduction] 1200 years ago an epic battle between the Heaven realms and the Hell realms reined, demon against angel and their leaders, Jehovah and Memnoch the Devil. Three hundred years the battle was fought, until Michael, the General of Angels, and Bashomhet, General of the Demons, clashed, nearly destroying one another. A group of demons and angels came to their aid; and in worry for their comrades, forgot their quarrel and helped one another. Jehovah and Memnoch saw the group working with one another and banished them to Earth, where their souls were embedded in the timeline.

Jehovah and Memnoch fought on for three hundred years, destroying each other and the Heaven and Hell realm, leaving a ‘Limbo’ where the realms once were. In this ‘Limbo’ the souls of the dead, some malignant, others not, became lodged, breaking the course of the afterlife, and forcing the mid-realm to expand. As this world expanded, the timeline fractured and the past and present began to bleed into one another, swirling the world of Earth into shattered bits of the past, present, and future pieces called Time Swirls. However, the souls of the banished Angels and Demons were released; imbuing themselves in the bellies of just-pregnant mothers and became, for a time, human.

These children, born at the same time, on the same day, have been marked, the demons with a crescent moon pointing down and the angels with a crescent moon pointing up. Unaware of what they are, they go about their lives until their eighteenth birthday, there they begin to change. Wings sprout forth, slowly, like growing a new tooth, and their bodies changed, becoming taller, slimmer and paler than normal humans. Their birthmarks begin calling out to their fellows, searching for the others banished to this world.

{Moderator’s Note} The angels change differently than the demons and vice versa, but the demons usually have more drastic changes.

Demonic changes: Taller, paler, hair colour changes to a darker colour(black, red, brown) canines grow sharper, fingernails become claws, bat-like wings, eyes change colour (red, black, dark purple, green, amber)

Note: there are different types of demons, animalistic demons are permitted, like wolf, cat, dog, panther, hyena, etc. etc. but keep in mind that their bodies must change to reflect that.

Angelic changes: Taller, paler, hair changes to lighter colour (blonde, light brown, silver) face becomes softer, feathered wings (any colour), jewellery usually comes up, appearing on nightstands, dressers, vanities, and keeps popping up until it is worn, eyes change colour (silver, gold, light purple, blue, green).

It is up to these people to rebuild the Hell realm and Heaven realm with the help of an ancient book, the pages of which scattered through the world, destroyed when the realms fell. However, one piece of the puzzle is very close to being theirs, a demon living on Earth since the worlds fell, has the first page of the book and the way to the next one.

Seek them, your brothers and sisters, to fix the timeline, recreate the realms and stop another war from erupting forth.

Bio Blocks-
Name:
Demon or Angel:
Personality:
Looks Before Change:
Looks After Change:
Abilities:
Demon/Angel Mark Place:
Jewellery:
Weapons:
What Time Swirl you live in (If past, what Era?):
Brief History:
{Note: Their collective birthdays is on June 7, since the years are all whacky there is no set year.}


Name: Topaz Cainswing

Demon or Angel: Angel

Personality: Easy to get along with, but shy when you first meet him, he’s naturally gentle and soft. Topaz has a natural curiosity and loves to explore, but often by himself, leading to many things that he only knows about the area he lives in. He likes the outdoors, climbing trees, and relaxing, though few people think he actually does something worthwhile. However, he has a temper, but a very long fuse; he’s friendly, but only if you are civil to him; shy until his openness his been trampled. He hate’s quitters and despises those who show no respect for those that try, and in doing so, he has a powerful protective instinct in him. His temper is explosive but his fuse is long and can often be lit into existence, burn for a few days, and will let out in a short, but dangerous burst, often escalating into the physical.

Looks Before Change: Straight brown hair, and softer features, a bit on the short side and skinny. He looked a great deal like his mother with his grey-green eyes and straight nose; his skin tanned easy and he always looked friendly.

Looks After Change: Much taller, nearly a foot’s worth of gain, and his features sharpened, becoming more defined and intense looking. His hair grew as well, reaching well past his waist and changed into a brilliant silver colour, offsetting the passionate blue his eyes became. His wings began to grow in; first a soft, baby-pink colour and as they grew, the colour became darker, into a dark, powerful red.

Abilities: He has healing powers and the ability to conjure up massive amounts of power and convert it into something that he needs, like armour or a weapon or whatever. But he has a great deal of trouble with doing little things, like fixing a scrape, he gives too much energy and it makes the person hyper for hours, while tiring him more than if he used the huge amount of energy to make someone fly.

Angel Mark Place: Under his right eye, pointing up.

Jewellery: Two, brand new and shiny silver rings, one in the shape of wings and the other a plain silver band with and upward pointing crescent in the middle. He also received a choker with the same symbol, and a circlet, again the symbol, but with a carved topaz as the crescent.

Weapons: His feathers, a pair of broadswords, tied with leather sheaths to his back in an ‘X’ shape, and a staff that, when the right button is pushed, two blades come out of either end.

What Time Swirl you live in: Feudal Japan in the area where Arizona used to reside.

Brief History: He was raised in a typical American home, but in the area of Feudal Japan, where he learned to use his weapons and was gifted with them as he mastered them, by the village’s blacksmith. He was loved and he knew it, even slightly spoiled. He moved out when he was seventeen, but close to home, so he could still sneak cookies that his mother made.

~*~*~

Topaz flinched as the itch on his shoulder blades began again and he clawed at his back, hissing as he cut through flesh with his sharp nails. Perhaps he should go to a healer? He shook his head, it was just an itch, what would it do?

“Top?” His father was at the door and he went to it, sliding aside the paper screen.

“Yes sir?” He asked, leaning against the doorway.

His father looked at him, “You are greying early.” He said, staring at his hair.

Topaz paled, “I am not!” He said, and ran to a mirror, blinking owlishly at his reflection, “Oh gods I am.” His hair had bright streaks of silver through the dark brown and he pouted, “Damn it.”

“Have you gotten taller too?” Topaz started and spun, he hadn’t seen his father come up.

“Have I?” Topaz couldn’t really tell, he was too concerned with the streaks of silver.

“I must be losing my mind.” His father murmured, patting his back.

Topaz winced as the itch began again, “Shit.” He plastered himself against the wall and began rubbing against it, “Not again.”

“What’s wrong?” His father stepped over, eyeing Topaz.

“N… Nothing… just an… itch…” He huffed in frustration.

“Here, let me look. Get off that wall.” His father yanked him up and spun him around, pressing his face against the wall as he tugged his shirt up.

“Father!” Topaz jumped as he felt a cold hand run over his shoulder blades.

“Dear gods… what is this?” His father murmured, rubbing them again.

“Someone is going to see and think this is inappropriate.” Topaz muttered, standing up, “What is what?” He turned his head around.

“You have… something… something growing from your shoulders. With feathers.” His father held up a fluffy, inch long feather, pink in colour.

“Feathers? Dear gods what’s happening to me?” Topaz sat down.

“I… I don’t know.” His father stood and bowed, excusing himself and left suddenly.

Topaz stood and shut the screen behind him, frowning, what was happening to him?

~*~*~

It was three days later until he was able to drag himself out of his bed from the itching subsiding. He quickly found out why when he turned to look in the mirror. About a foot long, projecting from his shoulder blades, bloody, ragged, and flapping weakly, were a pair of pale pink wings. He turned and stared in horror at his reflection, “Oh shit!” He exclaimed. His hair was completely silver now and he was taller, by a great deal, and his eyes… his eyes were blue! Not just soft blue, but shocking and electric blue. “What’s happened to me?” He cried, climbing up onto the bathroom counter and touching his reflection, “Oh gods…” He dropped his shirt, as it was hanging off his elbows already and grabbed his staff, flicking the blades out and placing one against the joint of the wings… “One… two…”

“Topaz?” A voice called to him.

“Fuck!” He bellowed, dropping the staff, “Now… now really isn’t a good time!” He called to the voice and hissed as his birthmark throbbed from around his eye.

“Topaz, you don’t know me…”

“Then don’t fucking come in! What the hell do you want anyway if you don’t know me?” Topaz snarled.

“I never said I didn’t know you, I said you didn’t know me.” The voice said patiently.

Topaz stopped, what did this person mean? “What do you…? What do you want?!” He finally called.

“I want to see you now that you’re growing your wings.”

“You… What?!” He barrelled out to the door and flung open the screen, yanking the person in and slamming it shut again, “How do you know that?” He snarled, grabbing the cloaked person’s throat and slamming them up against the wall, only to gasp and pull away as the hood fell off their face.

The speaker was a woman, but no woman looked like that as far as he knew. She was as tall as he was now and had long, wicked-looking fangs and a pair of inch long horns curling up from her forehead. Her hair was black and curly and her eyes red as blood, “Like what you see?” She asked, pulling the cloak off her shoulders and hanging the cloak on his coat rack. He stared again, this time at the bat-like wings she spread for him to see and the red claws at the end of each finger. He yelped and fell over as he felt something curl around his ankle and he looked down to see a spaded, scaly tail, twining around his leg like a snake, “Look honey,” She said, “Are you going to offer me tea, or did these century bleeders not teach you any manners?”

Topaz scrambled to his feet and set about making some tea, “What… what are you?” he asked, glancing at her.

She looked at him and laughed; baring those pointy fangs at him “I am a demon, just as you are an angel.”

“An… an angel?” He stuttered, gaping at her, “No way.”

“Yes way, and if you don’t move your hair, it’s going to catch fire.” She pointed.

He started and pulled his hair back, a more trying task than he’d originally thought, his hair wasn’t this long before…

“Hey, Topaz, lookie here.” Her voice snapped him away from running his fingers through the soft silver locks, “You are an angel, and looking to be… why, damn my soul, you’ve become Michael.” She stared at him, “You’ve been graced with some heavenly goodness… and now have to fix it.” She muttered the last part, like he wasn’t supposed to hear.

“Michael?” He ignored the last part for the moment, “What do you…?”

“Sit, I’ll explain, after you take the kettle off.” She seated herself at the table, folding her hands on the table and her wings behind her.

He did as he was told and made them both a cup of tea, setting one cup in front of her and sitting across from the self-proclaimed demon, “So, explain.”

And she did.

~*~*~

“So let me get this straight.” Topaz said, “You are the demon Lillith, Memnoch’s wife who hid herself away when the War of the Wings broke out between the leader of the light and the leader of the dark, which ended up destroying the Hell realm and the Heaven realm as well as one another, and somehow the souls of an untold amount of demons and angels got caught, stuck, and lodged in the timeline, never to see the light or dark of day again and because the realms collapsed another realm was created most calling it ‘Limbo’ or the ‘In Between’ for souls to go when they die and because of the crowdedness in the ‘In Between’ it expanded, breaking the timeline and bleeding the times into one another, releasing the demons and angels to be born on the same day at the same time.”

“So far, yes.” Lillith said, nodding.

“Now these demons and angels are the only ones with the power to recreate the Heaven and Hell realms and restore the timeline, to release the Time Swirls, and essentially save the world, all against an untold amount of ‘Limbo Devons’ the creatures created through the meshing of malignant souls, bent on destroying the world and taking everything down with them as they fall.” Topaz blinked, “Is that right? I and a few others have to save the world, is that what you’re telling me?” He stared at the woman disbelievingly.

“Yes. And I have the first piece of the puzzle for you to do it with.” She grinned, reaching for her corset top.

Topaz reacted violently, “What are you doing? Are you…” She pulled out a rolled up piece of paper from between her breasts, “Oh… Um… Is it safe to keep that there?” He glanced at her bemused face.

“It is perfectly safe, the pages are old, but they are made from both demonic and angelic energies, so they won’t crumble and fall to bits.” She said, “Now, we’re going to have to train you and the others, so I’ll be coming with you on this quest, mostly to see if the demons coming are what I remember them as. And to make sure my home is properly restored without any of the angel’s pansy-assed flowery crap.” She grinned at him, spreading the piece of paper, “Now, see this diagram?”

Topaz glared at her, “I am not blind.” He said fiddling with his hair, it had gotten longer in the past hour, he noticed and now reached to his mid-back by now.

“And there are inscriptions, see?” She pointed to the words.

“Stupid,” He muttered, flipping the piece of paper around, “It’s a table of contents, and notes scribbled in the margins, not a diagram.”

Lillith blinked, “Oh… I… couldn’t see that.” She frowned, her brow furrowing as she read over the paper, “I wasn’t supposed to. This inscription here,” She pointed to it, “It’s a concealing spell, ‘For only the eyes of the Crescents to see.’” She murmured, “They knew… they knew what was going to happen.” Her eyes widened, “That’s why they sent you guys away, to have someone to fix the mistake they knew they were going to make!”

“Great, wonderful, we get to clean up a gods mess. Perfect.” Topaz muttered, and hissed as he got a smack upside his head.

“Respect the dead, damn you.” She snarled, glaring venomously at him with her crimson eyes and he quailed before the anger in her face.

“Sorry.” He murmured.

“You should be.” And she returned to the page, “Well, for now, we should look for the others, pack what you need. Now.” It was an order, not a request.

He stood and fled, complying to her demands, packing a few pairs of pants, frowning as he grabbed a couple shirts and a heavy jacket, wondering if he should even bother. Crossing the straps of his sword harness across his back and made sure they were both in place and easy to reach and grabbed his staff, walking out into his living room.

Lillith raised an eyebrow, “Can you even wield those swords?” She asked, looking at them.

“I’d surprise you.” He said, reaching behind him and growling in pain as something cut him, he pulled his hand in front of him and saw the clean cut across his wrist, the blood spattering over the floor, “Dammit.” He snarled, grabbing a towel and placing it over the wound.

“Looks like your primary feathers are growing in, those are the ones used in flight.” She said.

“Are they always this sharp?” He growled.

She stared at him in shock, “They were Michael’s best weapon, he used them frequently.” She replied, grabbing his wrist and dragging her tongue over the wound, leaving him staring after her in shock.

“Wait, why did you…?”

“Shut up, follow where your mark is telling you to go.” Lillith said sharply, “Follow your feelings, that’s the only way we’re going to find the others.”

“Dammit.” He murmured, letting his eyes slip closed and touching the birthmark on his face, “That way.” He pointed, “We go that way.”

“Lead the way, little Michael.” She said.
Name: Matilda Thompson

Demon or Angel: Demon

Personality: She's a good little girl who's always been faithful and honest. She does not believe in cursing or sinning in any way. At least when she's in a good mood. Her temper flairs out of control very occasionally but when it does all morals are out the window. She does NOT like what she's becoming and she'll do anything to change it.

Looks Before Change: Very properly groomed with elegant blonde hair and blue eyes. She stands at an average height for her age.

Looks After Change: Her hair turned jet black and grew tremedously. Her eyes turned a dark forest green and her bat wings stretch out far with sharp metallic claws coming from the points in her wings. She became six and a half feet tall. Her temper also seemed to be getting worse.

Abilities: Two blades can come out of either palm. Her rage can send her into frenzy at any given time or until she controls it and directs it in the way she wishes to use it. She also has control over electricity which is the power source to her rage and her blades.

Demon/Angel Mark Place: Underneath her hair on the back of her neck.

Jewelery: A heart shaped locket with a picture of her father and mother inside.

Weapons: Blades, Rage, and Electricity in general.

What Time Swirl you live in: During WW1

Brief History: Matilda's mother died at Matilda's birth. She lived with her father for a long time traveling over seas to exotic lands not many other girls her age would ever have a chance to see. Her father was a sergeant and was called out to battle when the war came. He left her at a boarding school. He is currently missing in action.

~*~

Matilda was crying hysterically as she reached for the scissors and chopped off the length of her black hair. She stood in the mirror watching the horrific event unraveling before her. First it was her eyes, which was easy enough to hide.

"My eyes, Ms. Miller?" she'd told her teacher. "Of course they've always been green!" But from blonde to black? Someone was going to notice.

Matilda took the freshly sharpened scissors and cut it's length to about her shoulder length. It was summer and it shouldn't be difficult to hide her changes beneath a stylish hat with all the girls back at their parents' homes. She suddenly grimaced with pain as her shoulder blades began to throbe with excrutiating pain. Matilda fell to the floor and rolled her back against the wooden planks.

"Ah!" she hissed as quietly as possible hoping that no one would burst through the door and discover her changes. Her eyes squeezed shut and her lips pressed together. She pounded her fist on the floor before she was suddenly relieved with an impossbly loud crack. Matilda stopped. There was a calm over everything. She turned her head to look outside and saw the clouds from a predicted storm coming together for some summer rain. She breathed heavily from her spot on the floor. The thunder crashed and soon after there was lightning.

The zig zags of electricity somewhat calmed her. It let her know that she was still in power. Everything would be fine. The echos of the thunder faded down the cobblestone streets below her window. Then she heard her dress rip. Matilda's attention was brought back to reality as she let loose a blood curdling scream.

What was she becoming?
A Non-Existent User
Name: Sherri Carpenter

Demon or Angel: Angel

Personality: She is very outgoing and loves to participate in extracuricular activites at UC Berkley. She does have a very short temper and is in constant control of her feeling.

Looks Before Change: Her hair was dyed a deep Auburn and her eyes were a basic brown. She was about 5'6 before the change. She isn't skinny but she is fat either. She is in the middle.

Looks After Change: Her hair turned a light brown and her eyes turned a shamrock green. She lost about fifty pounds and grew about five inchs. Her wings as blood red.

Abilities: Sherri is able to fortell the furture and move things with her mind. Her foresight is hard to control at times because she is unable to tell the exact time her visions take place in. It is very nerve racking.

Demon/Angel Mark Place: In the middle of her lower back.

Jewellery: A amethyest stone set in gold, on a thin gold chain. She also keeps find a gold braclette with a four leaf clover carved into it. The braclette is about two inchs wide.

Weapons: Bow and arrows that she can make appear out of thin air. She also weilds a sword on her hip and a dagger always kept strapped to her leg.

What Time Swirl you live in (If past, what Era?): Ireland 1190

Brief History: Sherri's parents live in New York now that she is in college. She is the only child. In Ireland, she was a mother and a wife before being executed for not giving her husbands position away to the British. Her husband was the leader of a Celtic army that was extremely successful in holding back the enemy from destroying their way of life.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Sherri stared at her self in the steaming bathroom. Her hair was longer suddenly and her eyes glowed.

She couldn't believe what she was seeing. Who was the person staring back at her?

She no longer had a double chin or an ounce of fat on her. It seems that maybe the diet she had put herself on worked. A little to good she thought.

Suddenly her back stared to itch painfully. She tried to reach it but was unsuccessful. Heading back to the shower she reached for the loofa she used to clean her back.

No matter what she did she couldn't get the itching to stop. She scrubbed harder until she felt blood run down her back.

Frightened she brought the loofa to her face and saw the dark red feathers.

"What the bloody hell?" She whispered.
A Non-Existent User
Name: Ala Clinst

Demon or Angel:Demon

Personality: Ala is mainly a stoic. She shows no emotions except when she is threatened. Then, she becomes almost a monster. She fights like no other, and she has the scars to prove it. The only other time she will ever show emotion is when she's with someone she loves, mainly her older brother. Her humor (when she chooses to be humorous) is extremely dry, and unless you see her smile or know her very well you won't catch most of her jokes. She's not shy, but she rarely talks unless what she's saying is something she thinks needs to be heard.

Looks Before Change: Ala was very short around 5' and kind of stocky, and she had amazing light blue eyes that offset her short strawberry blonde hair. She was always tan no matter how much sun she had.

Looks After Change: she grew almost a foot ending up at about 5'10" and she started filling out into a full woman (meaning she actually had breasts and a behind), and her eyes change to a deep purple. Her hair darkened to an unnaturally dark red also growing down past her waist, and her features filled themselves out so that every part of her face shouted beauty. Her skin became extremely pale. Her batlike wingspan grew to an amazingly long length, and her wings were a jet black with dark red veins running throw them.

Abilities: Ala can shape-shift and become invisible. She can become random objects and also random animals (which means she can hide her wings if she so wishes), but it takes a great deal of energy shifting back to her normal form. She can also see in the dark.

Demon/Angel Mark Place: in the inside of her wrist on her left hand.

Jewellery: Ala has just one black plain band around her thumb on her left hand (she's left-handed), and a bright red choker with a cresent moon pointing down in the center of it.

Weapons: she has many daggers strategically placed on her body. She also has a short sword strapped to her back. But she mostly fights with her fists and feet, more of a kick-boxer than anything.

What Time Swirl you live in (If past, what Era?):Ancient Rome

Brief History: Though she was a woman, Ala became a bodyguard for a wealthy and politically important man's daughter. She had seen many fights, and had been forced to fight in the arena as a woman gladiator where she gained her freedom. She now lives a semi- comfortable life as a guard, but she has to watch out for many men who view her as a threat. Her brother died protecting her in the arena.

~.~

After checking that was safely asleep, Ala ran to her cot. She had been asked many times if she was chemically changing her hair color and length. She though they were teasing her until a wealthy woman actually approached Ala as if she were a normal woman and asked her for the formula.

Making her way through the dark maze of cots in the servants quarters, Ala noticed that she could see clearly. It was still dark but she was able to make out everthing; colors, shapes, and details. Amazed with the new ability Ala ran to her cot, taking out a seldom used mirror.

She gasped quietly at the sight she witnessed. Her face looked completely different and her hair was long and dark. Fingering it to make sure it was real, she looked down at her body and almost shouted. She had breasts! She stood up and almost hit her head on the cot above her. And she had GROWN!

Gasping as a sharp pain blazed one her back, Ala turned swiftly thinking she had been stabbed. Not seeing anyone she fell back onto her cot trying to scratch at her back. As the pain grew, she had to bite her pillow to keep from screaming out as one last sharp pain shot through her body.

After the wave of pain desolved, Ala reached behind her slowly and gasped as she felt two thin wings protruding from her back.

'Great, how am I suppose to explain this!'


Name: Desdemona Anin

Demon or Angel: Angel

Personality: Though her name contains the word "Demon", Desdemona is not a demon in any way, although loves thrills and causing trouble a bit. However, she is also naive and somewhat insecure, but her naivete is not to be mistaken for stupidity. Though it is this naivete that endears her to others.

Looks Before Change: Waist-length black hair, almond-shaped brown eyes, about 5'5. She, unlike Ala, was always dead pale no matter how much sun she got. She has an air of gracefullness and graciousness about her.

Looks After Change: She grew about three inches and her hair turned airy blonde overnight. Desdemona's eyes went into a brilliant sapphire and she grew wings that glittered behind her like the essence of the night sky.

Abilities: Telekinesis/levitation, teleportation, and some measure of empathic and healing abilities; also able to project a "soul self"

Angel Mark Place: On her right palm.

Jewellery: she is always seen with a silver chain around her neck, on which hangs a tear-shaped sapphire.

Weapons: Desdemona is a karate black belt, as result of her mother insisting at a young age "girls need to know how to protect themselves". She prefers hand-to-hand contact, but she carries around a ruby sword, which is cut and polished with great skill and much time, making the fiery ruby blade is as deadly as it wa beautiful.

What Time Swirl you live in: Ancient China.

Brief History: She was born as the daughter of the Emporer's best friend, but hates having money. As a matter of fact, whenever she got money, she donated it all. She mastered several languages, and when she met a scholar who was passing through the city, she persuaded him to let her go with him.

* * *
The wind was breezing true through Desdemona's long hair, and the sun was setting. Soon the time would come, for as the sun goes to sleep, the moon would take her place in the sky, to illuminate the hearts of good ones, and to show their path through life. Already the process had started. Once outside she took a deep breath of the sane night air, so cool and so fresh, yet so dangerous to those who did not beware, for there were wolves, wild cats and vipers, masked by the darkness. But Desdemona did not care. She smiled lightly as the wind and darkness carressed her. Suddenly, a stab of pain shot through her back. She fell to her knees beside a stream, gasping for breath. Had the night at last betrayed her? But as suddenly as the pain had come, it ebbed. Desdemona crawled over to the stream and peered into the water to see if any permanant damage had been done.

She froze at the reflection staring back at her; she looked strange... VERY strange. "Wonderful," she groaned. "How shall I tell Master Feng?"
"So... Where are we going?" Topaz asked, walking solemnly next to Lillith, his torso bare, save his swords.

"To the others, of course." She said matter-of-factly, "Your mark calls to them, and theirs calls to you." She tucked a lock of black hair from her eyes.

"The others." He said, straightening the leather straps across his chest as they passed through Medival England, making the peasants stop and stare at his slowly darkening wings. They were four feet long each and were still growing, and had changed from the soft, pastel pink, to a magenta colour that stood out against his silver hair and pale skin. He sighed, "Can I put on a shirt?" He asked, glancing at her, swaddled up in her cloak and hiding.

"No. You should be proud of who you are and what you have become." She said.

He narrowed his eyes, "And that gives you every right to stay swathed in that damned cloak in this heat?"

"It wouldn't do to be seen with you." She replied, "Someone might think that something's up."

He rolled his eyes as they left the Medival era and moved into America. They heard the crash of thunder and a flash of lightning lit them from behind, "Dear gods." Topaz grimaced, "There's someone here." He said, bringing a hand to his eye.

"Then seek them, Michael." Lillith said, pushing him forward.

"My name is Topaz. I'm not Michael anymore." He groused, spreading his wings and flapping them lightly before folding them over his head to keep dry.

"Whatever, whatever." Lillith growled as the rain began to pour around them.

Topaz rolled his eyes again and trotted up the streets, "There aren't many men around." He speculated, "Just women."

"We're in the World War One era." Lillith replied, hiding under her cloak.

"Oh..." He moved quickly, stepping beneath an awning and shaking the water from his feathers, "They're here, in this one." He said, looking up, and knocking on the door, "Hello! We need to talk to you!" He pulled a shirt and cloak from his bag, he was going to catch cold in this weather.

"Now's not a good time!" Came the panicked female voice.

"It's never going to be a good time!" Lillith bellowed, "Open the damn door, girlie-girl!" She pounded on the door, "We're going to freeze on your doorstep and it'll be up to you to explain to the authorities why you have a frozen demon and angel on your doorstep!"

There was silence before the door opened slowly and a single green eye became visible, "Demon and... angel?" She asked hesitantly.

Topaz glared at Lillith and shoved her to the side, "Don't mind her, she's... a demon. Look, can you let us in, we'll explain everything, your changes, what's going on, all that stuff." He smiled softly.

She looked at the two of them and reluctantly let them in the door, "Just don't track water all over the house." She said.

Topaz came into the warm home gratefully, Lillith coming in behind him, and set his things down. "Thanks." He sighed, wringing out his very long, and very wet hair, "Do you have any towels?"

The girl nodded and backed out of the room, vanishing in a flash.

"She's demon." Lillith said, taking her cloak off, dry as could be, her hair still curled perfectly.

"Is that so?" He asked removing his own cloak and letting his feathers cut through his shirt so he could let his wings fold daintily behind him.

"Yes, it is." She scratched one of her horns.

The girl reappeared, gasping at the sight of Lillith and dropping the towels, "D... Dem... Demon!" She stuttered.

Lillith raised an eyebrow, "And you are the same." She replied, chuckling lightly as the poor girl paled.

Topaz glared at Lillith, "You are the rudest..." He picked up a towel, drying the magenta feathers before setting to work on his hair, "I am an angel." He directed the statement at the girl.

"You... you are?" She asked, wide-eyed.

"Let me explain." He took off his boots and set them by the door, prodding Lillith to do the same.

"Yes, let the boy explain that which he hardly understands himself." She mumbled mutinously, "You have the mark?" She asked.

"M... Mark?"

Topaz glared at Lillith, "What's your name?"

"Matilda." She replied.

"Well then, Matilda, the mark looks something like mine?" He pointed to his eye.

"Except it points down instead of up." Lillith inserted.

"You mean this?" She turned around, pulling up the jet black hair and opening her wings, about as long as his were, to reveal the crescent shape curled around the base of her neck.

"That would be it." Lillith said, "Hopefully the others are moving this way as well."

"Maybe." Topaz wasn't so sure, "My name is Topaz, this is Lillith."

Matilda lowered her hair, "So explain." She demanded suddenly, "Why is this happening to me?"
She waited for them to speak looking wildly from one to the other.

"Wait. Demon?" she interrupted before Topaz could open his mouth. Matilda's hand tightened around her long brown coat. Her hair was completely black now and she had grown immensely in the past day. The entire day, the storm had not left. She laughed unbelieveably and pointed to herself. "I am no demon. I'm not a demon. I have been nothing but kind and polite my whole life. I am not evil." Lillith smiled.

"This is not about evil," she said calmly.

"That is what a demon is, isn't it? It's a creature of evil. I am not evil," Matilda said frantically. Topaz held up his hands defensively.

"Just relax for a second and we'll explain everything," said the angel. Lillith scoffed.

"She hasn't even gotten her wings yet," Lillith said to Topaz. Matilda stood straight up.

"Wings? I'm not going to have any wings," Matilda said stubbornly. "Not if I have anything to say about it."

"Oh, do quit your bitching. It's going to happen whether you like it or not," said the demon. Matilda's eyes narrowed and her fists clenched by her side.

"NOW THAT'S ENOUGH!" Matilda roared. Thunder clashed loudly outside as if to agree with her. Matilda jumped out of surprise and covered her mouth. "Oh, I'm sorry. I don't know what came over me." Topaz gave Lillith a look of concern. Lillith just smiled.

After about an hour of trying to explain Matilda was still very confused. "Heaven Realm and Hell Realm? Why would we want to restore the Hell Realm?" Lillith's face fell into a frown immediately.

"Because it is my home. It is your home."

"My home is here," Matilda said calmly.

"Listen to me, you twat! You. Are. A. Demon!" Lillith clarified bluntly. Matilda's jaw dropped and her hand went over her chest.

"I am not a twat! What the devil is a twat?" Matilda asked looking from demon to angel. She sighed. "When this is all over may I please go back to my life? My father will be coming back soon and I can't have him seeing me like this. She shamefully took off her coat. All she was wearing beneath it was a strapless corset. Half grown wings potruded from her milkly white skin. They were tan colored and turning darker. The leather in between the bones was thin, but growing thicker. The blades from her joints only had the tips out. "I can't have anyone see me like this."

"All the more reason for you to come with us," Lillith said. She stood up and sighed impatiently. "Come now. We've wasted enough time." Lillith turned to get the door. Matilda eyes met Topaz's.

"Couldn't I at least be an angel?" she asked.

"No," Lillith said. "Come on. We have more to find."
A Non-Existent User
"Mother are you alright in there?" A small voice called from the otherside of the door.

"Um, yes , everything is fine. Is your father home yet?" She asked, trying not to sound as worried as she felt.

"No. Mother are you sure that your alright." The boy asked in earnest.

"Yes Roarke. Now go set the table for dinner." She heard her son leave the small outhouse's door. Sherri looked around at the large room that her husband had built for her three summers ago.

Carefully, she walked to the polished steel that was the mirror and looked at herslef. Her hair lightned itself and her skin complextion had paled.

Bright green eyes now stared back at the frightened woman.

Carefully, she reached behind her to feel the feathered wings that were pretruding from her back.

"Pray to the gods, what have I become?" She whispered as a sharp pain once again ran through her back.
A Non-Existent User
Ala finished packing her meager materials, and, throwing the small pack over her shoulder, quietly left the quarters. The cresent moon, almost identical to the one on her left wrist, gave little light, but Ala didn't need it anymore.

Running through alley ways, dodging thieves and other unsavory characters, Ala made it out of the city before sun-up. She walked a little ways in the country side thinking of all the things that had happened in the last 3 years. She'd lost her brother, became a famous female gladiator, and then turned into some kind of monster, which forced her to run away from a employer that didn't need her expertise, just her fame.

She was quickly thrown from her thoughts when a voice called from directly behind her. Cursing her unattentiveness, she drew a dagger and turned slowly.

A very tall man and two very tall women walked up to her. His hair was extremely long and silver. One woman was scowling and the other's face was blank. Ala backed up in surprise when she realized they all had wings, like her.

"I know you're confused, but listen..." Topaz said, quickly relaying the information.

Matilda rolled her eyes," Look she gets it can we go now!"

"Shut up," Lillith growled.

Ala sat staring at Topaz like he were..well, and angel. How could she become a demon? Looking back at the city far away, Ala nodded.

"I guess if it's my destiny then I have no choice," she said rubbing her cresent birthmark.

"Finally some sense," Lillith said lightly.

Name: Micahangelo D'Artentio

Demon or Angel: Demon

Personality: very laid back and too charming for his own good. Has an easy grace and way of making everyone -male or female- take an instant liking to him. Very straightforward and blunt to the point of rudeness...which is quickly forgiven when he flashes his irresistible smile

Looks before change: Tall and broad shouldered, slim hips and strong legs. Black hair worn long and unkempt. Very pretty features. Dark, chocolate eyes with a hint of gold.

Looks after change: Hair to his waist in flowing, thick waves as red as blood. Taller than he was, lithe with coiled muscles, His olive complexion blanched, going a creamy white, and his eyes changed to a deep violet.

Leathery black wings sprouted two sets of them. The first set sporting claws at the end, which he can wrap around himself like a cloak. (Much like a gargoyle) the second set sporting wicked scythe like talons that can be retracted.

Abilities: Swift as the wind and has a knack for manipulation - with people and animals

Demon mark is on the left side of his neck

Jewellery: a black leather cuff bracelet on his right wrist that is engraved with the Ying Yang sign and a simple silver thumb ring on his left hand

Weapons: his secondary wings and double daggers he wears at his waist

What time swirl: Venice, late 1700s

Brief History: Born into nobility, Micah was the black sheep of the family. Renowned for his debauchery and gambling and drinking, and complete disregard to politics, he counted
Giacomo Girolamo Casanova as one of his dearest friends. (Yes...the legendary Casanova!)
Together they wreaked havoc on every wine shop and brothel in Venice. Micah's parents allowed him his "boyhood fancies" knowing when he came of majority (18) the leash would be tightened and his betrothal announced.

Micah was having none of it. And Casanova was reluctant to lose such a fine friend.
They planned and conspired. Having coaxed some very powerful women into their graces, they were wont for money or means. Of any kind.
They planned to set sail for Paris June 7th.

_____________________________________________

Micah groaned and rolled over, causing the young lady sleeping beside him to humph as his weight settled over her.

"My lord!" she whispered, shoving at him. "Please! I must go! It grows late! I have chores to attend to."

Micah opened one eye and peered insolently at her. "Late? But it's early!" he smiled, a tempting dimple winking in his left cheek. He nodded towards the half shuttered window, he said, "See! The sun is just now rising. And besides, wouldn't you rather attend to my...chores?"

The woman, a maid in a prominent counselor's house, giggled despite herself. "Ah, my lord! You are almost as wicked as Casanova himself!"

Micah reached for her, grinning, "You do know I taught him everything he knows!"

At that remark, the man in question snorted. "Ah. Sweet lies from sweet lips." Casanova's head popped up from the other pallet in the room. A lovely red haired girl was sound asleep beside him. "Come, my friend. We have a ship to catch!"

Micah grinned, remembering the weeks of planning and secresy. Once the girls had been sent away, Micah and Casanova gathered their things.
They were laughing in the easy way they had, reminiscing about past revelries and conquests, and musing about the girls in Paris, when a sharp pain ripped through Micah.

Casanova raised an elegant brow, "Told you to beg off that last bottle, my friend."

Micah gasped, teeth clenched and wave after wave of agony shot through him.

Casanova's expression changed to one of worry.
"I'll fetch a doctor!" moving towards the door.

"NO!" Micah got out, through clenched teeth. Blood welled from his lip, where his teeth had bitten through. "The boat! Paris!"

Casanova hesitated, "Micah..."

Micah reached for him, "Casy, please. If you love me, if you are my dearest friend...please! Paris! I cannot be married to that cold, unmoving, bitch! Please..." the last please trailed off into a moan.

And so, Casanova struggled out the room and down into the street, half dragging half carrying his only true friend.

Micah's groans had receded into whimpers. Once a hackney was hailed, and the boys were on their way to the docks, Casanova studied his friend, with a frown. He reached forward, grabbing a handful of Micah's hair, "Red? Micah! Your beautiful hair! What have you done?" Micah's eyes slitted open, causing Casanova to slide from his seat and kneel in front of him, pearing intently at his eyes. Violet? Micah, something isn't right..." Casanova trailed off, flinching and reaching for Micah when he suddenly threw back his head and screamed, his whole body convulsing.

Micah reached for Casanova, leaning over him.
"My back!" he gasped, "It's on fire!"

Casanova's courtesan hands ran gently up Micah's back. "How odd...there seems to be something there..."

They arrived at the docks then. Casanova, as clever and discreet as possible, smiled and worked the charm as he propositioned a couple sailors to help with Micah.

Once in his cabin, alone, Micah looked in the mirrow to see for himself what was happening.
And with a final wrenching his wings slipped out.
Micah, panting and dizzy, stared at his reflection.

Casanova walked in. Took one look at Micah and said "Oh! Now! This will surely effect your conquesting, my friend." But then he titled his eyed, eyeing Micah with interest and amusement, "Then again...it might increase it."

Micah, bewildered and scared, could only laugh at his friend's obvious attempts to help, wondering what to do now.
Desdemona watched as pale yellow light enveloped the cup sitting before her and the cup rose into the air, and smash as a sharp knock sounded at the door. She gasped. How would she eplain this to Master Feng?

"Desdemona, open the door this instant! If you do not, I will be forced to break it down!"

Desdemona sighed. Well, what was the pount in hiding it any longer? Master Feng would find out sooner or later, anyway. She opened the door and closed her eys, waiting for his reaction.

None came. At least, none in the verbal or physical category. Master Feng simply examined her closely, his eyes looking her over from head to toe. Finally, he spoke. "An angel?" he asked.

Desdemona was taken aback. "W-what?" she asked shakily.

"You are an angel." Master Feng said slowly. "Yes, I suspected it from the moment I saw that mark on your palm..."

"You mean this?" Desdemona lifted her hand up and stared at the mark.

Master Feng muttered something and looked Desdemona in the eye."I sense your brothers and sisters fast approaching. Go. Go and meet them. Rebuild the Heaven-and Hell-Realm. And one more thing..."

That was as far as he got before red smoke began curling around his limbs. His eyes widened. "Lillith!" he muttered, his voice hoarse with fear. Before he was consumed entirely by red fog, he yelled to Desdemona, "Stay away from the desert!" And he was gone.
Name: Hayden Coreal

Demon or Angel: Angel

Personality: He's a bad boy. A total rocker who likes to drink and charm the girls. He's the lead singer and has the personality of a showman. He'll scream and moon the press. That's just the kind of guy he is.

Looks Before Change: Shirtless with rockstar abs. He wore goth make up and jeans. He was pretty tall to begin with, with black hair and dirt brown eyes.

Looks After Change: Absolutely angelic. His hair is blonde and his eyes turn gold. His hair grew out to his back. His wings are golden, they absolutely shine. He grew nearly a foot and now he's pushing seven feet.

Abilities: Absolute speed and grace. He's a natural flyer. His body is an amazing weapon in itself. His speed and strength outweigh the rest, despite the fact he has no natural weapons. He feels more comfortable without them anyway.

Demon/Angel Mark Place: His angelic symbol is below his belly button. He outlined it as a rocker with a tattoo and wears it proudly with his low rise jeans and shirtless performances.

Jewelery: A ruby pendant.

Weapons: His body.

What Time Swirl you live in: Late nineties

Brief History: His family basically consisted of a drunk father who is the root of every angst ridden song he's ever written. He made his big break in high school and then dropped out. He's top of the label currently.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hayden awoke from his drunken induced sleep and looked around his dressing room. He looked down at this chest all the way down to his birthmark/tattoo. He sat up and groaned as he lifted his arm to scratch his head. His eyes widened. There was too much hair. That wasn't possible. He chopped it all off yesterday. He pulled back his hand and saw the black dye he'd been using had turned to grease and fell off every strand of hair...Again. This was the second night in a row.

Hayden bolted up and ran to the vanity mirror that had been placed in his room. The moment he looked down, two things happened. His brown contacts fell out revealing his new gold colored eyes. Hayden cursed out loud.

"No. No!" he cried as he fumbled to put them back in.

"You're on in five," came a voice and a knock at the door.

"Yeah! Hold on!" Hayden barked back. He took his contact and tilted his head back trying to force it in. Again the brown lense fell out. It seemed as though his eyeball himself denied him the luxury of covering up his changes. His eyes went to the mirror, that had mysteriously gotten shorter. He saw the impossibly large wings unfold and spread wide. Sharp golden feathers radiated brilliance in the light. His skin was so tan, it was gold. His wings, his hair, his eyes. All gold. The only other color on him was the black of his jeans and the tattoo of his birthmark.

On the surface of his vanity mirror there was an intriguing ruby pendant. Hayden's eyes widened. He'd been sure to get rid of that very same pendant yesterday. He threw it into the crowd where crazed fans ripped it to shreds. He saw it himself.

"It's back," he hissed. But this time he saw something different. It was so stupid. Such a pointless piece of jewelry. But he was a goth rocker. He couldn't go out where something that looked like it belonged to a warlock. Maybe if it were the seventies he could pull it off. Certainly not now.

There was another knock at the door.

"I said one fucking second!" Hayden exploded. He frantically searched around his room searching for a way to disguise himself. He couldn't let his fans see him like this.
Name: Obsidian D'Rose

Demon or Angel: Demon

Personality: Obsidian is an artist, with an artist’s mind. He is a passionate scholar who prefers the solitude of his music---and his dancing, his painting, and writing---to human contact. However, when he must have human contact he gets along well enough with other people, although his views of the world are sometimes so different than those of other people (he sees tragic beauty everywhere, for instance) that he often comes off as eccentric. He is remarkably sensitive and caring, especially considering his lifestyle (see “Brief History”) and although there is a definite, unmistakable dark side to him, he is nevertheless an eternal optimist. He is usually a very gentle person, but can be fierce when threatened or when someone or something he cares about it threatened… even if that something is no more than an ideal.

Looks Before Change: Absolutely beautiful, and he knew it. His hair fell to the middle of his back in a silky, jet-black cascade. His skin was already incredibly pale and his eyes were a bright, brilliant blue. He stood approximately 5’8 feet tall, and was lean, strong, and elegant.

Looks After Change: His eyes darkened to a crimson so dark it was nearly black. His skin lightened to an unearthly alabaster and for the first time in his life he became a tall man, standing at almost 6.5 feet. Only his hair remained the same, mostly, except it acquired a glossiness like polished obsidian. Like the other demons, he is of course fanged and possesses bat-like wings (which are of a deep, dark red).

Abilities: Obsidian can sense the lifeforce of any creature, whether it be human, plant, animal, angel, or demon. The ability to sense this lifeforce also lends Obsidian the ability to manipulate it at will… to heal, to harm, to kill.

Angel Mark Place: In the middle of his forehead.

Jewelry: Nothing but a simple silver torque about his neck, which marks him as a member of the House of Roses.

Weapons: Obsidian usually doesn’t bother resorting to melee combat, but if he must, he uses teeth, claws, wings, hands, feet, and---if circumstances are dire---a simple black dagger that he carries at his waist.

What Time Swirl you live in: America, 2091.

Brief History: Obsidian was genetically engineered to be as beautiful as he is, and was raised in an expensive, elite brothel known as the House of Roses. Because in his time prostitution is not only legal, but actually a somewhat respectable profession, his training for the House required him to not only be highly educated, but also be trained in the more “courtly” arts, such as music, poetry, painting, and dance. Unlike many other apprentices of the House of Roses, he actually excels at these things. Like all House youths under the age of 18, he was not old enough to enter sexual service for the House. Unlike the other apprentices, he excels at the “courtly arts”---especially music---and has entertained patrons in an innocent way for years. His 18th birthday made him old enough to officially enter service, but it was interrupted by his change, and has made his future with the House... uncertain.

~*~*~

“Sidian…”

Only a groan issued forth from the other side of the door, and Obsidian’s 21-year-old brother smiled slightly, and then spoke louder. “Obsidian, wake up. You’re to meet your first client at noon, and it’s already nine in the morning! You must be presentable for the Countess. Her good word will help win you many more clients in the future.”

The rose-engraved door did not open, and after a moment another groan, louder this time, rolled under the door, followed by a weak, strained, “Sebastian?”

Sebastian frowned at the pain he heard in his younger brother’s voice. “Sidian, are you well?” Not waiting for an answer, he grasped the ornate bronze handle of the door and let himself inside.

His brother’s room was in a shambles. The House servants would need to be called in soon to put in back in order before Obsidian received the Countess. A glass of red wine had been set on Obsidian’s rosewood floor next to a half-finished drawing of what appeared to be a young woman reclining dramatically on an ottoman with one slit wrist dangling gracefully over the edge; Obsidian had a flair for the dark and dramatic. Pastels were scattered all over the floor.

On the far side of the room Obsidian’s great bed---with a gilded bronze frame and crimson sheets---cradled the curled up form of Sebastian’s little brother.

Sebastian’s shivering, sweating, whimpering little brother.

“Obsidian, what’s wrong?” the older man asked, crossing the room quickly in increasingly panicked strides.

Obsidian’s eyes, when they looked up at his brother, were pain-filled and seemed far darker than normal. “I don’t feel well, brother,” the black-haired youth whispered.

“You don’t look well, Sidian. I’ve never seen you this pale!” He didn’t like the alabaster cast to his brother’s complexion. Obsidian’s skin was so pale it almost looked ashen. “How unfair, that you should be ill on your birthday! But don’t worry, little brother; I shall fetch the physician, and I’m sure he will put you to rights!”

Sebastian turned to leave, but just then Obsidian hissed, then screamed. The sound was so frightened and pain-filled that Sebastian turned around and grabbed his little brother’s shoulders.

“Sidian, what’s wrong?” he asked desperately.

“Don’t... get... the physician,” Obsidian said through clenched teeth. “Can’t... let anyone... see! Please!”

“See what?” Sebastian asked.

“Look,” Obsidian muttered, rolling over so that his back was to his brother.

“What the…”

“It started… in the night.”

Sebastian stepped forward, and hesitantly lay his hand on the small, bloody… things that extended from his brother’s shoulder blades and rested, limp and glistening, on the bloodstained sheets. They looked like...

“Wings,” Sebastian whispered. “But... that’s impossible!”

Obsidian’s laugh was short and bitter. “Impossible... but unmistakably a part... of my reality, now. And look…” He rolled over again, and grinned fiercely.

His older brother started visibly at the sight of the slightly elongated, incisors in Obsidian’s mouth. His blue eyes---as bright at Obsidians once had been, although they were framed by hair so blond it was nearly white---widened. “Obsidian, I don’t know what to do… Illness I can understand, but this?”

“Please,” his little brother said, curling back into a ball. Was it Sebastian’s imagination, or was the youth taller now? “Please, Sebastian, don’t let the Countess see me today. Tell her I am ill. That I have a headache. No, something contagious... the influenza. Just don’t let her see me. Don’t let anyone see me.”

Obsidian was in tears now, and Sebastian was finding it hard not to cry with him. Why had this strange and horrible affliction come upon his little brother? And why now, of all times?

“I won’t let anyone in. I shall stand guard at your door myself, Sidian.”
Lillith's laugh echoed as the the little old man appeared in the middle of the red fog that she had conjured, "Well, well, looks like I caught me a little fighter man." She smirked, "Feng, what are you doing here?"

"Lillith, you..." The little man struggled in her grasp.

"I what? Have I been naughty?" She pouted.

Topaz glared at her, elbowing her sharply in the ribs, "Let him go."

She frowned at him, rubbing her side, "Fine." She sighed, relenting and dropping him.

"You will be good to her, will you not?" Feng said, straightening.

"He will, can't guarantee me." Lillith replied, pointing at Topaz.

Topaz flapped his wings angrily, now fully grown, or what he assumed them to be, they were longer than all the others' however, it may attest to the fact that they were women. He hummed in irritation as Lillith and Feng bickered back and forth, leaving them in favour of trapsizing up to where he felt his mark dragging him. Topaz paused, looking back, "Are you coming?" He asked the others.

The two girls glanced between him and Lillith and quickly followed him.

Topaz growled as another feather nicked him, staining it dark crimson. Most of the others were like that too, especially the ones closest to his body, his blood apparently dyeing them. He huffed, pounding on the door, "Hey!" He bellowed, "Hey! We're here! We're here to drag you on a journey..." He trailed off, thinking absently that this must sound very odd to new ears.

"I'll be out in a sec!" Came the reply.

"All right, whenever you're ready." He sighed, rubbing his temple, leaning against the far wall, but falling through the thin paper as his feathers cut through it. "Dammit." He snarled, struggling to right himself while Ala and the maladjusted demon girl, Matilda, watched, smiles in their eyes, "You two are much help." He growled, finally setting himself up as the door was flung open and another angel emerged... "Another girl." He grimaced, "So many women." And an excess of estrogen... He thought, assuming they wouldn't like hearing aloud.

"Don't sound so disappointed." Ala said, flipping her hair over her shoulder.

"How troublesome." Topaz murmured, flapping his wings to be rid of the excess paper caught in his feathers.

"So where are we going?" Ala asked, glancing at Topaz.

"Back to Lillith, then once we retrieve her, to the next... companion?" He shrugged, "This whole thing is very... troublesome." That was quickly becoming his favourite word to describe the situation.

"All right then, my name's Desdemona, by the way." The new angel said, leaning over to Topaz, "And I heard that estrogen comment."

He bristled, "Stay out of my head, if you would." He said, glaring at her, "I prefer my sanctuary."

"Sorry." She flushed, "I... I didn't..."

"Lillith." Topaz said, glancing around, the little man was gone, "Are we going?"

She looked the new arrival up and down, a soft sigh escaping her, "We need more demons." She commented absently, "Come on. To the next one." She glanced at Topaz, "And you're bleeding, did you know?"

He placed a hand over the cut on his arm, staring at the blood, "I did."

"Well your wings are maturing nicely." Lillith said with a smile, "Your primaries are nice and big, we should all be able to fly now..."

"No!" Matilda spoke finally, "I... I don't want to..."

Lillith huffed, "Girlie, you're going to have to eventually and you will have to accept that you are no angel."

Matilda glared heatedly at Lillith, who returned it with equal fervor until Topaz stepped between them, "Enough, let's go. The closest one is that way." He pointed north.

"How can you tell so easy?" Ala asked, rubbing her wrist.

"I don't know." He glanced down, a sparkle catching his eye, "Lillith, what's that?"

"This?" She held up a necklace-looking thing, "I keep finding it next to your sleeping bag." She handed it to him, "It's Michaels old 'crown' so to speak."

"What is it?" Topaz asked, taking it.

"It's called a circlet. It sits on your head and the little moon hangs... here." She set the thin chain on his head, the blue crescent moon sitting in the middle of his forehead as the chain tightened to fit his head, so as not to slip.

He went cross-eyed to try and see it, "Isn't it a bit... girly?" He asked.

Lillith giggled, "Michael was girly, hun." She raised an eyebrow, daring him to guess her meaning.

He flushed, "I'm..."

"All right!" Matilda stepped between them, "Enough."

Lillith nodded, saluting, "Yes ma'am."

Desdemona rolled her eyes, "Shall we go?" She asked, "Is that all right with everyone?"

Topaz nodded, "Yeah, I think that's a good idea."

~*~*~

"Ooooh, futurific." Lillith said, stepping into the next era.

"Where are we?" Des (as he'd taken to calling her) asked.

"Sometime in the near future, just before the time started to go wonky." Lillith replied, "I believe... hn, 2091?"

"Interesting." Topaz glanced around, "This way." He moved forward, their cloaks tight over their shoulders to hide their wings, but they still stood out brightly against the dark background of the city, or at least he did. His silver hair made people turn and stare at him and Des's blonde seemed... inhuman here.

The demons of the group blended in fine, as many people sported horns and fangs in this place, "Quickly, boy and girls." Lillith spoke frigidly, her facial features tightly controlled.

"Coming Lillith." Topaz murmured, pulling his crimson-stained wings tighter to his body, but winding up with more cuts in the process, "There." He poked Lillith in the side, "That place."

Lillith hesitated, "Are you sure?" She hissed, worry in her features, "Are you absolutely positive?"

Topaz nodded vigorously, "That's the place."

"We can't go in." Lillith shook her head, "You're on your own kid." She pushed Topaz forward, yanking Des and Matilda back, "That," She pointed to the building, "Is the prestigious House of Roses. A prostitution house. Made to accomidate males mostly, but I refuse to let these women in and I won't go in there." She turned her nose up, "You retrieve him."

Topaz glared at her, "You're no help at all." He muttered mutinously, throwing his silver mane over his shoulders, a great feat for it now reached to his waist. He adjusted the cloak around him, panicking when he heard it tear, swearing in Japanese, "That is the third one this week." He growled, throwing it off in disgust and adjusting his wings so they fell about him instead of the cloth as he entered, "Excuse me..." He looked up at the woman manning the counter, "I'd like to see someone..."

She gave him a lavacious grin, "And who are you wanting to see, handsome?" She strung her fingers through his hair.

He swallowed heavily, silently cursing Lillith for giving him this job, he really wasn't cut for this, "Um... why... why don't we walk around and I'll tell you who, yeah?" He raised his eyebrows in a hopefully endearing way and smiled in his best 'I'm cute' look.

She smiled, "All right honey, but just for you, and that nice feather cloak." She held out her hand and dragged him off.

They wandered the place, looking at several pretty boys and even lovelier girls, but he turned away each and every one of them. "Wait..." He paused at the door with a man guarding it, "Um..."

The man glared at him, "Obsidian is sick today."

"It's his eighteenth today isn't it?" Topaz said gaugingly.

The man looked at him suspiciously, "How did you...?"

Topaz held up a finger and smiled winningly at the man, turning to the young lady that had showed him around, "Miss, how's about you go back to attending the desk, I think I can handle myself from here."

She pouted, "But he's sick and his brother doesn't..."

Topaz smiled again, "Don't worry, if anything happens, I'll find you and leave."

"Well... if you're sure..." She hesitated.

"I am." He nodded and as she disappeared the smile slipped of his face, "Your brother is the one in there, yes?"

The man nodded, "But I told you..."

"I know he's not sick, however, I do know what's happening to him." Topaz spread his wings, "These are my gift, will you allow me to allay some of your brother's worries?" His face became deadly serious as he wrapped himself in his feathers once more.

The man seemed slightly shell shocked, but he stepped aside and allowed Topaz within.

"Sebastian? What are you... You're not Sebastain. Didn't I tell you I wanted no one to..."

"Obsidian was it?" Topaz interrupted the other boy's tirade, "I'm Topaz, but I'm not here to be a customer."

Crimson eyes flashed beneath distorted sheets, "Then what are you here for?" The voice was suspicious, angry, and very wary.

Topaz looked down, shuffling his feet, "I... I'm here to explain what happened to you." He said, suddenly very unsure of himself. He'd always had Lillith in these situations.

"How do you presume to know what's happening?" The voice was cold.

"Because it happened to me." He replied, opening his wings, "Your mark, the crescent moon, you can see it clearly on my face, just as it is marked on you. They call to each other." His blue eyes flashed, "You can feel it too, can you not?"

A lightly clawed hand poked out and pulled the covers back, revealing the face, "I can."

Topaz was stunned. He had never seen someone so... pretty, much less a man. He instantly became shy again, "So..." His eyes darted up to the birthmark on the demon's forehead, where his circlet rested, "Let me... let me explain the situation..."

~*~*~*~

An hour and a half later, a very winded Topaz now sat on Obsidian's floor, breathing heavily through the various long-winded explinations that Lillith had given him, he supposed he could thank the angelness in him that gave him the near-perfect recollection of what she had said.

"So we have to save the world?" Obsidian said, his brother Sabastian also slack-jawed.

"*Hai." Topaz said nodding, "And apparently we're going to have to visit the 'In Between' and face countless demons... but only after we collect everyone and find all the pieces of that damned book."

Obsidian pinched the bridge of his nose, "And you expect me to drop everything and just... go along on this half-witted journey?"

Topaz fell silent, the only sound was the ticking of the clock on Obsidian's wall and the faint rustling of the pair's wings, "Well... yes. You're one of the few who can help. I was hoping that you would be willing to comply... but..." He sighed, "Troublesome."

"What is? Me?" Obisdian became defensive.

"No. This whole situation. Just plain troublesome. I can't believe Lillith left this to me." Topaz rose to his feet, "Are you coming, because I can guarantee that whomever runs this place, will either take extreme advantage of your... situation, or will throw you out where they will do it for free. If you come with us, at least we can give you a chance to stretch you... wings."

"What about my brother?" Obsidian was being stubborn.

"He'll be fine, once we bring the world back to rights, you'll probably see him again." Topaz really hadn't thought about that, what were they going to do when the world was no longer in danger of its own Limbo? He sighed, they'd attend to it when it came up, "You'll come with us?"

Obsidian sighed, glancing at Topaz and then at his brother, "Yes. I suppose I have no choice in the matter, now do I?"

Topaz grinned in relief, "Finally, someone who isn't a woman." He murmured.
Matilda sat down in a huff. She was embarrassed that the only clothes that fit her anymore was a corset. She was enbarrassed that she was out in public like this, especially right across the street from a prostitution house. Lillith seemed to be soaking up her misery. Matilda didn't want to admit it, she'd never felt like this toward anyone in her life. She hated Lillith.

Maybe that is my sin, she thought. She sighed loudly at the prostitution house.

"Why can't we go in?" Matilda blurted. Lillith rolled her eyes.

"Because, Demon," Lillith said enhancing the last word. Matilda swallowed down an outburst that was forming in her throat. "It is a prostitution house. A male prostitution house."

Matilda nodded.

"Why is that a problem?" Matilda asked. She smiled when she saw a vein in Lillith's forehead throb. She shouldn't take such pleasure in another person's irritation, but with her it was just so fun.

"Just stay put," she growled.

"Fine," Matilda said. Ala sat down beside her. "I agree with Topaz though. We do need to find more men."

"Do you have an 'off' switch?" Lillith suddenly asked. Matilda challenged her with a grin.

"Not that I know of, sorry," Matilda said. Finally Topaz came out with another man behind him. Ala was the first to greet him.

"Good. I don't think its such a good idea leaving that demon with Lillith," she said. Desdemona met with Obsidian shaking his hand.

"This is Lillith, Matilda, Ala, and Desdemona," Topaz introduced. Obsidian gave a shy smile.

"Where to next, kiddies?" Lillith said clapping her hands together a single time.

"That way," Topaz, Matilda, Ala, and Desdemona said at once and pointing down the street toward another Time Swirl. Lillith gave a relieved sigh.

"Oh good. I love Ireland."
A Non-Existent User
Sherri was unaware that she had passed out in the privy until a sharp pounding sounded from the door.

Quickly she ran to the hole in the ground that held the steel tub. She looked around at her surroundings for something to cover herself with.

"Excuse me. Can we come in?" A male voice called out from the other side.

The British have come, Sherri thought.

She gathered up her strength and went to the door. She was going ot make sure they focus on her while Roarke has time to run. She would sacrafice herself for her son. A mothers love.
Micah stood at the railing, staring out at the dark waters, his now blood red hair rippling in the wind. His wings were draped around him, and his violet eyes glittered in the faint moonlight.
The ship was a week out. They would be Paris in another couple weeks. But it wasn't were Micah wanted to go anymore. Rubbing the mark on his neck, he gazed Northward...towards the general direction of Ireland from where the ship was.
The past week, through much trial and error, as well as much laughter on Casanova's part, Micah tried his best to adjust to his new form.
The wings had been tricky. Especially the second set. Though the gouges on his person had quickly healed, there was still ripped up bedding and trashed cabin. But he had managed it. It was taking him longer getting used to his new appearance.

"Ah. Still moping, my friend?" Casanova asked, coming up from below deck.

Micah glanced at him, a rueful smile on his lips. He shrugged, his wings moving with the gesture, "Wouldn't you be?" He gestured, the move taking in his new locks and eyes, his complexion and height, and the wings. "I do not think I will ever get used to this."

Casanova grinned, eyeing his friend. "I think it quite suites you actually. Very unusual and exotic." Casy came to stand beside Micah, his glance taking in the new cuff bracelet. "I thought you got rid of that ugly thing."

Micah sighed, "I did! The dreadful thing was right back on my wrist the following morning." He held up his left hand, "Though I do like the ring."

Casy nodded. "A lot of girl's fancy a man that can wear jewelry well."

Micah snorted, "Do you think many of them fancy wings?" he asked, spreading the leathery protrusions.

Casy shrugged, his well known devastatingly handsome smile lighting up his face, "You know as well as I there is a woman for every appetite and oddity." The two stood a moment in silence. When Casy caught Micah rubbing his mark again, he threw his arm around his friend's waist. "Come! Let us see if we cannot coax something other than that piss wine the cook has been serving us. I do remember seeing a fine bottle of scotch in the captain's quarters. Shall we dice him for it?"

Micah cast a last look towards the unseen and far off shores of Ireland. Sighing and giving his mark a last scratch, he smiled, "The poor man! I do hope it wasn't a very expensive bottle he is about to lose."

Laughing, the two friends headed below decks to relieve the captain of his scotch. And the whole time, Micah wondered how approach Casy about the need to go to Ireland. A need that clashed with his desire for Paris.

The door opened slowly and several winged people came in. “We can explain what’s happening to you,” Topaz said, while thinking, Another girl. Great. An even larger excess of—He stopped when he saw Desdemona glaring at him.

“Then please do.” Sherri said, still tense; after all, they could easily be the British, in very realistic costumes.

“Well, it stared more than a thousand years ago…”


* * *

By the end of ten minutes, Sherri was in shock. “You mean…you man to tell me…that Heaven has fallen?”

“And Hell.” Lillith inserted.

“And if we rebuild these two realms, the world will right itself again?”

“Yeah, something like that.” Topaz nodded.

“Then let’s go.”

“W…what?” Topaz seemed shocked.

“Let’s GO!!” Sherri yelled.

After exchanging perplexed glances, the group set off after her.
* * *

“According to what I’ve heard people saying about this guy, he likes girls. Pretty girls.” Said Lillith, standing outside the cabin.

“So?” asked Matilda.

“So,” said Lillith with exaggerated patience, “You four will go and convince this angel that he needs to go with us.”

“How?” asked Sherri.

“Oh, just use your charm, your good looks, blah blah blah.”

“I’m not good at that sort of thing.” Matilda answered instantly, delighting in seeing Lillith’s face take on a slightly red tinge. Desdemona and Ala looked uncomfortable, and Sherri was shaking her head.

“Just do it!” Lillith snarled.

* * *

Micah stared gloomily out the window. What am I to do? He wondered, feeling torn in half. His desire to go to Paris was being overpowered, bit by bit, by his wish to go to Ireland. Yet, he couldn’t bring himself to tell Casy.

Closing his eyes and resting his head against a pillow, he drifted into an uneasy sleep, where the question continued to torment him…

His predicament was quickly solved, however, when loud knocking awoke him. “Can we come in?” a female voice floated in. Without waiting for an answer, four girls—though the word girls would hardly do the winged individuals justice—came in.

Micah stared at them. All were extraordinarily tall and slim, with wings, like himself. “Listen, we can explain what’s happening to you—“ the blonde started.

“You had better.” Micah interrupted, pointing a knife at her. “And you had better stop it as well.”

“Oh, please.” The knife flew out of his hands and landed in Sherri’s. “Look, we aren’t going to hurt you. You just need to come with us and—”

“Explain.” Micah interrupted again.

Matilda rolled her eyes and began the explanation, ending with a little lie that Micah could go back when it was all over, and the changes that had been happening on him would fade, which made him agree.

* * *

Lillith pounded on the door, hard. “Open up!” she roared. “Open this darn door right now!”

“I thought I said one fucking second!” came a panicked voice from inside. “Go to Hell!”

“I would, if it weren’t crushed by now, which is why you need to get out here STAT.”

“But—but—“

The voice was cut off as Lillith, reaching the end of her rope, wrenched the door from its hinges and tossed it aside like it were a used tissue. Noticing the stunned expressions of the others, she shrugged, “It pays to be the wife of a demon general.”

She strode into the room and unceremoniously grabbed the gold/black-haired person staring at her up by the collar. “You’ve had your ‘one fucking second.’” She said.

“How…” his voice trailed off when he caught sight of Lillith’s bared fangs.

“Now, will you come with us, or will I have to force you?”

“You won’t scare me like that.” Hayden retorted, though he had a strange feeling she wouldn’t hesitate to take unpleasant actions if he refused to go with her.

“Oh, so you want us to let your fans see you as a marauding warlock, do you?” The answer came by Hayden’s meekly slinking out of the room. “A wise choice.” Said Lillith approvingly, dragging him over to the window, where several other winged figures were waiting, tall and pale, just like him. He relaxed slightly, though normally a group of giant people, all with unnaturally long hair and large wings would have succeeded in doing nothing but unnerving him. “Let’s go.” She repeated, and pushed him out the window, banging his head against the frame as she did so.

* * *

“Where are we going now?” asked Topaz, beating his wings to keep up with the others.

"This way and that," Said Lillith. "We need to collect pieces of the book for directions. We need to go to Tibet, Greece, and later maybe Canada."

"Okay." the group took a quick turn and started winging their way throught the night.

* * *

The first few hours they had travelled were fairly uneventful (besides two arguements between Lillith and Matilda), but five hours later, the weather took a turn for the worse.

The wind, which had been blowing gently against them while they had traveled throughout the time swirls, now became large glaes. The angels and demons dropped low and soared high, but the wind was everywhere. They found it difficult to keep going. Clouds towered like mountains ahead of them. Thunder rolled, and lightning flashes lit the sky.

"We're swerving off course!" yelled Obsidian. "The wind is driving us south."

"You think we can help it?" Lillith yelled back. She braced herself against the invisible enemy with all her might, but the wind carried them away, howling in their ears and forcing them down toward the foamy waves.

"I think we're being blown toward the coast of Egypt!" Desdemona said with terror in her voice. "There's a desert there! We-we can't go there!"

"We have to, Des," yelled Topaz. "A coast, and never mind which coast, sounds better than being blown into the briny down there. If you're scared of vipers or whatever, don't worry, we're safe together."

"But-" So despite Feng's warnings, they flew towards the desert...

* * *

“Are you sure this is correct, Lillith?” Desdemona squinted up at the sun and then looked despairingly at the empty horizon before her.

They had landed in the desert and were walking around the desert aimlessly and were by now somewhere in the middle of the Sahara Desert.

“That’s what the map says!” the demon answered testily, jabbing at the parchment in her hands.

“Yes, but this is the Sahara Desert,” Desdemona argued. “No explorer, however brave, has ever managed to get through this place alive, much less have the time and ability to chart a map. How accurate could a map of a place like this be?”

“Your pointless worrying is driving me nuts, so shut your trap, you little 王八蛋—” (a very insulting word in Chinese) Lillith snarled. “I’ve passed through here before. Last century, with a caravan. I know what I’m doing.”

“I certainly hope so. I don’t want to be stuck here when the sun goes—” Matilda trailed off, and the group of angels and demons stared. They had almost walked straight into a city wall, which had come upon them so suddenly that Topaz could’ve sworn it had materialized in front of them.

“Well, that certainly is odd. There shouldn’t be any cities out here,” Desdemona said, studying the map, demonstrating her naivety for the fifth time since meeting her companions.

“Obviously.” Muttered Obsidian, snatching away the parchment and studying the map sketched onto it.

“There are tons of little obscure cities hidden in the desert.” Lillith retorted. “That, and the fact that they build fast. Let’s go in; it’s our best bet for shelter tonight.”
Reluctantly, the group of winged beings followed the demon into the eerily quiet city. The walls were crumbling, but looked too sturdy to be merely ruins. Besides, flitting through the streets were smiling citizens clad in desert garb.

“They look friendly enough,” Topaz began slowly as a little boy hurried by, smiling broadly and waving.

“Too friendly,” Ala whispered back. “Look, each and every one of them are smiling, even though they’re just doing errands.”

“Um…maybe they really, really like living here?”

“HELLO!” The group jumped as a loud voice rang out behind them. An old woman with a mile-wide grin waved at them. “FIRST TIME HERE? GREAT FUN, GREAT FUN! ENJOY YOUR STAY!” she shouted happily, before hurrying off.

* * *

Like some horrible celestial eye squinting through the scurrying flock of clouds scattered over the horizon, the desert sun leered down at the group as they dallied, demanding to know why these foreigners came to be in its domain. Pale of skin and soft of limb, these were not the lithe, golden creatures that dwelt within its plains of sweltering sands. The sun was the desert's feared tyrant, who carried plagues of drought and famine to be dispersed at whim to those unlucky villagers who had nowhere else to go. The sun would not tolerate such an intrusion.

The sun beat down.

"Lillith," Topaz rasped, as a spiteful breeze stirred from the dunes and began spitting sand into his eyes, his nostrils, his tongue. "I wouldn't give a damn if this was Satan’s personal vacation suite. Right now we have a choice between weird," With a mighty whuff, the angel managed to momentarily clear his nasal passages of the desert grit. "And dead."

The demon’s essential reply was choked off by another cloud of sand hurled by the dune winds. She sighed, wanting to emphasize the fact that if this trip went terribly, terribly wrong, the blame would rest entirely on Topaz's shoulders.

The sigh was reply enough for Topaz. Without another moment's hesitation, he hauled his companions off towards the rickety Inn sign posted over one of the doors.

* * *

The group of winged being squeezed through the door, one by one, all having to bend their heads and fold their wings tightly against them to fit through the door. I hope I stop growing soon, thought Desdemona nervously. Three inches a night is really too much for me. I’m already more than six feet… They made their way over to the ancient desk. No one was there.

“Ring the bell,” suggested Sherri.

Lillith rolled her eyes and slammed her fist, hard, onto the bell. A faint tinkling sound was heard, and the next instant, a stooped old man came with weird eyes out from behind a curtain, a broad smile plastered to his face.

“Do you have rooms?” Topaz asked.

“Yes, up the stairs and to the right.” He handed Topaz a bunch of keys. “Enjoy your stay.”

* * *

"Try some of the cake, Sherri," Micah urged from his seat across the table, his grin smeared with crimson frosting.

Sherri looked down, bewildered, to find a king's banquet spread before her. Heaps of roasted nuts were mounded within wicker baskets, and a ring of apples, dates and figs lined the table before her empty dish, ripe for the picking. As the table's centerpiece there perched an enormous stuffed turkey, its skin seared bronze by the sun.

Playful as a cat, the sneaking desert wind snatched at her limbs, coating them with yet more sand. The angel drew them back to wipe them clean against the tablecloth, but though she rubbed her hands desperately against one another, the grit clung to them like newfound skin. Her mind settling itself into the early stages of panic, Sherri brushed her hands tentatively against her cheeks.

Only sheer, dumb shock prevented her from crying out. The sand was not a layer covering her skin.
The sand WAS her skin.

Glancing up, Micah's perfect mouth was tugged back into an eerie smile. In the sunset glow radiating from the dunes that surrounded them, his cheeks shone with grease. "IT'S DIVINE."

* * *

With a start, Sherri was jolted into the waking world.

Groggy though she was at first, the scratchy fabric of the sheets below nudged her rudely back into the waking world. Reaching down to throw away the unbearable covers (which appeared to be fashioned from burlap), the angel reached within her mind for the dream that had startled her so. But as dreams do, the story had fled to hover just out of reach.

"Desdemona?" she called for her roommate into the darkness, made deeper by the lack of the desert sun's unforgiving blaze.

“What is it?” the lump in the next bed moved and Desdemona sat up sleepily, brushing her blonde hair out of her eyes.

“Do you know where Micah is?”

Desdemona was silent for a moment. “I think he went off when we were retiring to our rooms—he was saying something about finding decent food. Why do you ask?”

Sherri was pondering on how to answer the question when, without warning, the room door issued a squeal that made her muscles jump about three feet to the left. The light of the desert sun peering over the dunes cast over her a temporary blindness as it burst in through the opening door. Silhouetted in the doorway was the tall, slender frame of one decidedly un-desert demon.

"Micah!" Sherri whispered with relief—and an immense amount of surprise, now knowing why he was coming into their room without knocking—hoping not to awaken the zombie-like innkeeper from his sleep, as he slept in the room across from them (she preferred it when those blank, oddly glittery eyes remained closed. It gave off the illusion that they were within the skull of a coma patient, where they belonged). She raised herself up on her elbows. "How was the food?"

Her companion stepped forward, out of the sun-cast shadows. Pictured within the blank panels of what should have been his eyes were her own terrified reflection. Nothing else. Nothing to suggest that within this shell of a body dwelled the friend—or at least companion she had called Micah.

“Micah?” Desdemona was fully awake now, and stared hard at the demon, her hands sparking slightly with gold light. “What are you—” she was cut off by a deep, rumbling voice.

"IT WAS DIVINE..."
Hayden was dreaming peacefully as all hell was breaking loose. He had fans cheering his name and throwing their undergarments. It was more of a flashback than a dream. But his memories were becoming more and more distant as if they were only that. Just dreams. Then the voices started to become clearer. He heard a deep growl of a voice and shot up in bed.

"What in the hell?" he wondered aloud jumping from his top bunk to the floor. This was followed by a strange sound he wasn't familiar with. Something was very, very wrong.

"Get up," Hayden ordered the others and standing beside Des. He saw him now. Micah looked strange. The demon stared blankly at the room as they all awoke one by one. As soon as Lillith was awake, she gasped.

"Oh shit..." she said.

"What do you mean 'oh shit'?" Topaz dared to ask.

Hayden was immediately knocked aside by the demon through a wall and into the night sky. Hayden caught the wind and managed to shrug him off.

"What's your problem?" Hayden demanded. Micah didn't answer. He rushed at Hayden full on. With suprising grace, the golden angel spun out of the way. He hesitated briefly in shock of his own abilities.
Four angels and four demons were enough to restrain one of their raging brethren, but only just. Micahangelo was frighteningly swift and fought like a rabid animal with clawed hands, taloned wings, and fangs. But the others had their abilities as well, and though they loathed the necessity of having to wield them against one of their own, they did so with minimal regret; it was clear that in this fight, it was either them or Micahangelo.

The crazed demon’s initial attack on Hayden only gave him the benefit of surprise for an instant. As he snapped his leathery black wings open wide and dove after the elusive angel, he was intercepted by none other than Lillith, who launched out the window into the midst of the fight.

The female demon was not as fast as Micah or Hayden, but she was frighteningly strong As Micahangelo swooped low in an attempt to knock the retreating Hayden from the sky, Lillith intercepted him with a wicked punch.

Her fist caught him in the jaw, but the powerful blow did little to interrupt his blind rage. Instead, it seemed to anger him further; he snarled at Lillith and kicked viciously at her. The blow barely connected---and seemed to faze Lillith not at all---for at that moment Hayden, who at this point was flanking Micahangelo, used that opportunity to try to knock the faster but weaker demon from the air.

The two connected with a harsh THUD and before the demon could recover, the golden-eyed angel wrapped his arms, legs, and faintly glowing golden wings about the demon, crushing Micahangelo’s own two sets of leathery black, clawed wings uselessly against his body. The two fell like birds felled by a hunter’s arrow, and landed with a loud THUMP.

Obsidian winced from his place at the window. The two had not fallen from a great height, but Hayden had landed on top of Micahangelo, and the demon was not moving.

Obsidian and the others climbed swiftly out of the hole in the wall. As he neared, he saw that both Hayden and Micahangelo were awake, and mostly unharmed. The angel was pinning the demon to the ground with one elegant hand pressing firmly down on the demon’s windpipe. His tawny eyes were fierce as he looked into Micahangelo’s violet gaze.

“Are you yourself again, Micahangelo?” the angel asked quietly but firmly. “If you are, I will let you up.”

Micahangelo only smiled---his fangs glinting sharply in the sunlight---before slamming his knee into the Hayden’s groin.

The angelic transformation had stripped some human features from Hayden, but certain… others… remained intact. The angel screamed in agony and immediately released his hold on Micahangelo in favor of those parts of his own anatomy which suddenly demanded his entire attention.

If any of them had hoped that Micahangelo---having been released by his angelic adversary---would now stop attacking, they were sorely mistaken. Almost as soon as Hayden’s grasp disappeared, the irate demon rolled free of one opponent an immediately chose another. That other was Ala, who had made the mistake of coming too close and was now the first person---other than the writhing Hayden---that Micahangelo spotted.

As the large male demon charged his smaller female counterpart, Ala’s deep purple eyes grew wide. A moment later she disappeared completely, and Micahangelo’s wildly grasping arms fell on empty air. However, a taloned wing must have managed to slash the young woman anyway; everyone heard Ala hiss in pain and Obsidian thought he might have seen her flicker briefly back into view before disappearing once again. Had she been clutching a slightly-scratched arm?

Obsidian didn’t have long to wonder about that, for a moment later Micahangelo---having run right past the now-invisible Ala---launched himself at the next available target. That target, unfortunately, was Obsidian.

As Micahangelo’s greater strength and weight bore him to the ground, Obsidian gasped. In his rage Micahangelo had dug his claws into the smaller demon’s shoulder and back, and for a moment the pain---slight as it was---was enough to shock him into inaction. Then the crazed demon buried his fangs deep in the flesh between Obsidian’s collarbone and neck, and as Desdemona’s voice called out, “Micah, no, that’s a friend!” Obsidian instinctively grasped for his power.

Immediately the world became a web of intertwining bands of colored light. The demons were a brilliant violet---even now Matilda was gathering some of her light into her hands, where it began to condense into blinding white energy---and the angels were all composed of spun threads of sapphire radiance.

Obsidian Felt for Micahangelo’s being, and then in a rage born of pain and fear, began ripping threads asunder.

He had managed to snap twenty of the perhaps one billion, and fray a good handful of others, before he felt Micahangelo’s weight fall off of him.

He blinked his eyes, and the world of spun light faded away, to be replaced by normal daylight. Micahangelo had been pulled away from him by Sherri, and Hayden reached down to give him a hand up. Obsidian rose unsteadily, clutching the wound in his neck and glancing around for the renegade demon.

“Micahangelo, stop!” came the scream from behind them. Hayden and Obsidian both turned around just in time to see the demon sink his teeth into Sherri’s arm. With a howl, she released him, then lifted her hand and called a vase from the inn to her. The object caught Micahangelo in the jaw precisely where Lillith’s earlier one had landed, and the demon collapsed to one knee, blood streaming from the place where bits of broken glass had cut him. His face was purpling alarmingly under the extremely fair skin, and Obsidian thought he looked a trifle pale, even for a demon. He hoped Micahangelo would have the sense to stop attacking them, because he wasn’t sure how much more the demon could take; he looked about ready to fall over.

Micahangelo, however, was like an injured animal. Feeling death closing in on him, he fought all the harder, snarling at Lillith and trying to leap from his crouch upon her. But the others were ready now, and a grimfaced Matilda reached out with both hands and released the energy Obsidian had seen her gathering earlier. Micahangelo fell back, convulsing as the electricity coursed through his body, then lay still for a moment.

Topaz came to stand before the fallen demon, blade in hand. Having lacked the time to get a weapon, the angel had apparently forged one out of pure energy. The determination in his fierce blue eyes showed he was ready to use it, too.

“Topaz, no,” Desdemona said, reaching a staying hand out to stop the other angel. “I think he’s---”

Micahangelo sat up, and started to lunge after Desdemona, who abruptly teleported behind Topaz. The angel lifted his sword. Lillith brought her fist down on the back of Micahangelo’s neck before the blade had a chance to fall, and.the demon collapsed like a deck of cards and lay still.

“We don’t’ want to kill him,” Lillith admonished Topaz gently.

“Well, you might not,” Obsidian murmured, his hand clutching the wound on his neck.

They all watched Micahangelo for a moment, still in combative stances. Obsidian switched his vision to the world of light, and then back again. “He’s unconscious,” he confirmed, “and will be long enough to tie him up… or something.”

Lillith nodded, looking extremely troubled. “Let’s do that. And then let’s get out of here. Something is definitely not right about this place. Perhaps leaving will bring him back to his right mind.”
Topaz growled in frustration, when had things flown so out of hand? One the other though... He glanced at the weapon in his hands, the sword, made of a dark crimson that glowed dully in his hands, like a muted ruby, he speculated, hefting it as he watched Lillith tie Micah up. He disapproved of the way things were being handled, but Micah... he didn't like this desert, he finally concluded, it was the town, or the heat, or something, but whatever it was, it was his call. There was a madness in this town, not just the man that had greeted them, or the woman that looked out with her blank smile, or the lack of children screaming in the streets, but this whole place held the air of an asylum.

"Topaz, I told you..." Lillith began, but was startled to a halt at the cold look Topaz gave her.

"I know, 'you told me so', but I wasn't of the mind to have this group and myself found hundreds of untold years later in some twisted time warp by some sand-maddened scientists and have them claim that some sort of strange human-like monsters once roamed this place before the times became all fucked up." Topaz snapped at the demon woman and the red blade crackled in his hand.

Lillith backed down and sat in the grass as Topaz himself took to the air, "Boy he's moody." She muttered to Des.

"He's male... and I think he's a little bit gay." She mumbled.

"Huh... I told him Michael was girly." Lillith speculated, "This place though... I remember a place like this in hell. Called the Madness Pool. The souls of those completely mad from the effects of our realm were cast into this place and were driven to a state of lucidity, much like the way these people are." She glanced around, "What is the name of this place?"

"The Loops Sendam Inn." Obsidian murmured coming up on Lillith's other side, "We should leave as soon as we can. This place..."

"I know." Lillith replied, sitting next to the limp form of Micah.

Ala came over, "For now we are safe, should we finish the night?"

"No." Topaz had come from his brief flight, his crimson wings and silver hair settling about him and the circlet on his head giving of a faint yellow glow. "There is an oasis not far from here, we will not drink anything, we will not eat anything, I don't want anything from this place to come with us, even if it is in our bellies." He huffed.

Hayden stood, wincing greatly from the pain radiating from his centre, "We should go..." He hissed out, apparently not trusting his voice, "This place was not meant for either of our kind." He flapped his golden wings feebly, but gained air easily as Lillith followed and many of the others, some of the stronger bearing Micah upwards, even a reluctant Matilda joined them, but Topaz remained on the ground, the crimson wings folded docilely as he looked up, the others waiting for him to follow.

Topaz sighed, waving them to go on without him, he felt the day approaching and he had something he wanted to look into here in this mad village, "Now where..." He circled around the little place for the something his magic had felt when he summoned the blade, and he stumbled upon it in the centre of the town square. A statue of... something stood in the middle of the flagstones, like many people had been mashed together and fried. An awkward leg stuck out here and a hand and some eyes watched the people with their eerie smiles pass by. An ear and several fingers pointed Topaz's way and he moved forward, disturbed by the... thing, it wasn't natural, that was for sure.

He heard the rush of wings, but only a few and the soft 'pat' sound of feet touching the ground, "What is it?" Sherri's voice made him turn.

He turned away from the other angel, "I don't know."

"It looks like... a bunch of human bits got put together in a pot and melted together." Obsidian was the other who had come.

"It's more than that." Topaz murmured, "Don't you feel it?" He moved towards it.

Obsidian grabbed his shoulder, "There... It's..."

"Alive." Sherri murmured, "It's alive."

Topaz glanced at them, "It is." He placed another foot forward as the eyes that watched the smiling villagers turned to him. Topaz froze as he saw the features of the mass... all of them, shift his way until a semblance of a face peered at the silver-haired angel. He was scared, this thing was not right, whatever it was, but he slid another foot in front of him. The movement was unexpected, to say the least, one moment it was still, the next the thing began to ooze towards him. He yelped and danced away as a mouth began moving.

"You would approach me, Angel Michael?" It rasped, the thing came closer and Topaz remained rooting to the spot, "You would approach me, you worthless angel!" An arm lashed out at Topaz and he finally was able to move and he stumbled back, falling into Obsidian, which allowed him to move and grab Sherri.

"To the air!" Topaz shouted, pumping his razored wings and slicing into the monster as it grabbed at the sharp feathers. The flesh came off of it like butter, spreading over his wings and making them change into a dull grey colour as they absorbed the pigment of the creature.

"You would approach me as if you knew nothing!" It roared, entangling the quickly greying feathers.

"Help me!" Topaz called out, pushing Sherri into the air as he tried to get airborne himself, but the glop made his feathers stick together so he could not unfold them.

Obsidian snagged Topaz' arm and yanked, pulling him up, "Help me, Sherri! He's heavier than he looks!"

Sherri rushed over and grabbed Topaz's other arm and carried him to the air as the monster roared at them from below, "Are you all right?" Sherri asked after they were out of the city, carefully avoiding the sludge that was slowly beginning to harden on the angel's wings.

"I'll live, I just need this gunk off me, don't touch it, I don't know what it does yet." He let his wings fall limp to his sides and helped Sherri and Obsidian all he could, but right now he was rather useless in the air and could do nothing until he was free.

The oasis came closer and soon they were upon it, Obsidian and Sherri let him down lightly as Lillith stormed up, her eyes fierce, "And where did you go off to, you idiot?" She demanded, smacking Topaz upside the head, "And why did you two stay with him?" She glared at Obsidian and Sherri.

"I was curious about something that I felt." Topaz replied, "My wings..." He trailed off, glancing at the slate-grey feathers, now stuck together by what looked like stone.

"What the hell did you do?" She stared, aghast at the damage to his wings.

"I tangled with... something." Topaz said, "It felt alive, and I wanted to see what it was, then it began to move and it was angry and it did this to me."

"Idiot!" She smacked him upside the head, "*Baka! To put it into your native tongue."

“Shut up Lillith, I know.” Topaz growled, scraping at his feathers, “What is this stuff?”

Lillith pushed his hands away and examined the stuff, “It would appear that you have run across your enemies in our situation.” She said absently.

“Enemies?” The rest of the group had come over, it was Hayden who spoke, apparently recovered from the night before, “We have enemies?”

“Yes, called Limbo Devons.” Lillith said, gesturing for them all to gather around, it was lecture time, “They are souls, evil souls who have been able to… bind themselves to one another and pass through the gate that separates Earth from Limbo. They don’t want the world to return to peace, they want this chaos to remain, because as each ‘year’ passes, then they get stronger as Limbo expands more and more.” Lillith explained, “Some bind, some do not, it would appear that Topaz ran into a fairly low-level Devon, one without shape or form, rather amorphous. Like… peanut butter, all oozy with bits and bobs poking out all over. Others can take a form, those are much more dangerous. We’re going to start running into a great deal of them fairly soon, they know where all the pieces of the book are and are guarding them.”

“Why haven’t they destroyed them?” Ala asked, stretching out near the water.

“Because they can’t. Only demons and angels can touch them, Devons are neither of these, so they can’t so much as touch them.” She explained.

“So we have to retrieve them. Then what?” Sherri pulled her knees to her chest and rested her chin on them.

“Within these pages holds the keys of restoring the Heaven and Hell realms and helping the mortal plane recover and remove the inconsistencies in time.” Lillith waved her hand and an image appeared, “They knew. Jehovah and Memnoch knew what would occur and sent you to undo their mistakes, praying that history would not repeat itself and Hell and Heaven would never again cause enmity enough to destroy this new world.” The images of the two Lords battling for dominance danced across the transparent screen and their final clash brought a flash of light and the screen went dark. “They knew that they hated one another too much to stop their war and thus it passes to you. Make peace with one another, for hatred will destroy you and the world will fall, not to hell, not to heaven, but to chaos worse than anything us demons could create.”

“But what about our families? Will we be able to return to them?” Sherri seemed deeply concerned about this fact.

Lillith shook her head, “I’m afraid not. The differences between you and mortals now are so clear that they would have nothing to do with you even if you wanted to return. They would not know you and would look upon you with fear or hatred or anger or they would worship you. You cannot return because the heaven realm would need you to help rebuild and restore the monarchy and help create new angels and demons.”

“But… my children…” Sherri’s eyes welled up with tears.

“I’m sorry.” Lillith looked away.

A groan brought them all out of their contemplations. Micah was awakening and he struggled against the ropes that bound him, “What the hell is going on?” He murmured, “Un… untie me… I’m not gonna… do that again.”

Topaz stood and walked over to him, pushing him upright and undoing the ropes, “Are you okay?” He asked.

“Just dizzy.” Micah returned, pressing his palms into his eyes.

“He seems fine now.” Ala said, sitting down in front of him.

“What happened?” Lillith demanded, “You ate the food, didn’t you?”

“Yeah, I thought we were supposed to…” Micah looked up at Lillith, glancing at Hayden who was keeping his distance.

Lillith shook her head, “That was the earthly manifestation of the Madness Pool.”

“Really?” Des had come over and laid a hand on Micah’s head, as a soft glow encompassed them both, making Micah’s eyes clear.

“Yes, and you.” She turned to Topaz, “Provoked the Devon that guarded the place, serves you right.” She pushed him towards the water, “Go clean yourself of its tainted energies.” She huffed, picking at the hard grey matter on his wings. “Obsidian, go help him, he won’t be able to reach all that on his own.” She huffed, “We’ll stay here for awhile, get some sleep, all of you.”

*Baka-a form of 'stupid' or 'moron' in Japanese, Topaz's home Time Swirl
Topaz waded stiffly into the pool, flexing and unflexing his flight muscles to keep the swiftly drying Devon-sludge from further restricting his movements.

Obsidian trailed behind him into the water, watching the angel with concern. A strong feeling of wrongness radiated off of Topaz, even as the angel knelt to submerge his wings in the water and the sludge began to easily flow away. Obsidian could not tell what precisely it was, but he knew it had something to do with the amorphous matter caking the angel’s wings. Although the thick slime did not feel alive, it nevertheless felt similar to life. But how could that be? How could something that was not alive so closely mirror the activities of an organism?

Worried, the demon tried to call up the strange vision of colored lights that he’d instinctively summoned earlier during his fight with Micahangelo. For two heartbeats, nothing changed. Then the other world snapped into place.

Obsidian frowned, trying to make sense of what he was seeing. Topaz was an angel, and as such radiated a brilliant blue. Yet where the angel’s wings should be, there was only creeping, malignant darkness, like death. It was advancing rapidly, swallowing the angel’s wings in shadow.

Obsidian’s heart thudded in his chest. Were Topaz’s wings dying?

He reached out with a single thread of his own and gently touched that advancing darkness. A breath later, what he felt disturbed him so greatly that he recoiled completely, losing not only his connection to Topaz, but also his Vision of the world of light.

“What’s wrong?” Topaz asked, looking at the demon strangely from where he stood, slowly moving his wings underwater to wash away any lingering sludge. It would avail him not; the danger was no longer upon him, but inside him.

“Cancer,” Obsidian gasped, so shocked by his discovery that it didn’t even occur to him to make his announcement gently. “You have cancer!”

Topaz’s eyes widened and he stood rapidly. “What?” he demanded, snapping his wings away from his body to shake some of the water off of them.

“A virus. The Devon was almost completely a viral composition, or something akin to one. The virus infected the cells on your wings and changed your DNA so that it would quadruple the rate of cell division within your body. One in four cells burst, releasing more viruses to infect the other normal cells in your body, thus advancing the disease and spreading the virus at once. By this evening, your wings will be so filled with tumors that you will not be able to fly, and by tomorrow morning, the growth that even now is forming in your brain will kill you.”

Topaz’s face drained completely of blood and he sank into the water. Obsidian rushed forward to catch the angel before he drowned, but by the time he reached him Topaz had recovered.

“You were able to sense it,” Topaz said flatly, his blue eyes boring into Obsidian’s own. “Can you fix it?”

Obsidian swallowed. “I don’t know. I… I can try.”

“Please,” Topaz said, not quite pleading but certainly hopeful.

Obsidian swallowed, summoning up the Vision again. This time when he extended a thread of his own light, he did not recoil from what he sensed. The darkness could not affect him this way, although he would need to be careful, for the virus was now in the water of the pool and could potentially infect Obsidian and other organisms if they had small cuts on their bodies. The demon made a point of keeping the wounds on his neck, back, and shoulders well away from the water. He didn’t want to risk infection, especially when he wasn’t sure he could cure it.

Immediately he zoned in on a single virus. Now, how to destroy it? Obsidian wrapped his thread about it, and then tried to squeeze it. The virus’s protein coat disintegrated, and then Obsidian ripped the RNA contained within into a thousand disparate fragments.

Immediately, the thread with which Obsidian had found and destroyed the virus unraveled and then disappeared. It was only one of five billion, but there nearly one billion viruses within Topaz, and that number was steadily increasing.

For a moment, Obsidian watched the space within his own being where the thread had been. At first, he saw nothing; the thread was completely gone. But then a tiny spark arose from the blackness where the thread had been, and the demon saw the faintest glimmerings of violet light begin to weave tiny strands of light. The threads could be replaced, then, but it would take time.

Groaning slightly with the knowledge of what this was going to require, the demon reached out once again toward the darkness spreading from the angel’s wings, but this time he did so with a billion threads at once. Topaz actually jumped slightly when the threads made contact, and looked deeply into Obsidian’s eyes. But the demon’s eyes were dilated alarmingly, and he clearly did not notice the angel’s glance.

This time it was even easier to locate viruses and wrap them in violet light. Practice makes perfect, Obsidian reminded himself, before destroying all of the viruses at once.

Topaz knew immediately that Obsidian had been successful, for all at once he felt as if a great weariness had lifted from him, and a slight ache that had been growing in his wings suddenly disappeared.

Obsidian shook himself slightly, then met Topaz’s grateful gaze. “It’s done,” the demon said.

“Thank you,” Topaz whispered, lifting his wings to the sun to dry them.

Obsidian smiled slightly, and then his eyes rolled back and he pitched face first into the pool.
A Non-Existent User
Sherri sat on a fallen tree thinking of what Lillith had said. She can't go back to her children. She won't be able to see here son grow up and marry. Or see her husband succeed in gaining Ireland their freedom.

Tears slowly rolled down the angels face as she thought of Roakes first step, his first word.

Sherri's arm was throbbing from Micah's bite but she just dutifully ignored it.

"It's Divine!"

The words seered through Sherri's mind, causing her to fall off of her log. Her breath was haggered as the dream from the night before came back to her.

How had she known what Micah was going to go crazy? And what was up with her skin?
Lying down on her bedroll, Desdemona gazed towards the pale golden sun, making its slow journey through the dim sky before trading places with the moon.

Resting her hands behind her head, she decided that she had time for a short nap—it would at least take her mind off the desert’s climate and her thoughts of Micah's sudden madness. She doubted anything could attack them out there. After all, Lillith was on watch.

With that in mind, she let her eyelids block out the sunlight as her friends’ peaceful breathing filled the air and allowed her tired body to release itself to slumber.

***

"Obsidian...Obsidian, are you okay?" Desdemona was roused by Topaz's cries.

"Obsidian..." Desdemona stared at the demon. His crimson eyes were swiftly being covered with a glassy veil. She closed her eyes, concentrated, and slipped into Obsidian's mind.

Something pulsed inside him. She felt Obsidian's strength of mind drain and his physical strength grow rapidly. She started as a voice boomed inside Obsidian's head.

“KILL THEM.”

Desdemona shrieked as a wave of pain shot through her brain and fell out of Obsidian's mind.

She blinked a few times and saw Obsidian, his face and movements as hollow as those of a marionette.

"What the—" she uttered as a hand touched a shoulder and she whirled around to see a little old man.

"Desdemona," said Feng irately. "I thought I told you and your friends to stay away from the desert."
Micah watched these newest events unfold with a surly glint in his violet eyes. He had had enough. Enough of this damnable desert and enough of everyone watching him warily.
Standing, he settled his wings about him and strolled up to Lillith, tapping her on the shoulder. She spun, annoyed. "What?" she demanded. And frowned at the heat in his eyes.
His gaze moved insolenty over her form.
"My, but you are a lovely creature, aren't you?" his voice slid over her, as tough as she was she couldn't suppress a shudder at the blatant sexuality in it.
Micah smiled then. And she sighed, though annoyance shown through. Topaz, amusement warring with wariness, came over. "What's going on?"
Micah turned his gaze on him. "I think it is time we left this dreadful place, don't you?"
Topaz blinked, wondering at the strange pull he felt as Micahangelo's gaze settled fully on him and then the demon smiled. Topaz nodded as if Micah had just suggested something brilliant.
In short order, everyone was rounded up.
Not taking any chances, Obsidian was quickly bound hand and foot.
Desdemona and Feng stood off to one side of the group, talking quietly.
Feng looked relieved the group was leaving the desert.
"Where to now?" Matilda asked, eyeing Micah, who grinned impishly at her. And though she rolled her eyes at him, a faint blush stole into her cheeks.
All eyes turned to Topaz. Who, for once, looked a bit unsure.
Lillith frowned. "It seems this strange place is interferring with our marks."
Micah cleared his throat and smiled that irresistable smile of his. "I have an idea, if no one else does." He paused, making eye contact with everyone there, subtly flexing his powers of manipulation. "Paris, anyone?"
And with no other course set, it was decided. And Micah thrilled at it. At the chance of Paris. At finding his dear friend, Giacomo.
Though for sure, he would be hard pressed to catch up to the infamous Casanova.
And so the band of angels and demons hastily and happily departed the strange desert, on a course for Paris.
Once landing and securing accomodations, Lillith announced their stay very temporary. Till they could regroup and figure out where to next.
With everyone's attention then turning to Obsidian, Micah slipped out and away.
He found Casy easy enough, having only to visit the most irresputable brothel. And the two rejoiced at their homecoming.
Micah wasted no time. By the time Topaz and Hayden found him, each having drawn the short straws for the task, Micah was well and truly drunk. A girl on either side of him, one in his lap, none of them fully clothed. A few others lounged around the half dressed form of Casanova. Smoke and laughter and the scent of sex and wine hung heavy in the air.
Hayden grinned. "All right! Fuck I have missed this!" and grabbing a girl for himself and a the nearest bottle of whatever, settled down to enjoy himself.
Micah and Casy welcomed him readily. Topaz sighed, loudly. "We have to go! Now!" he ordered. And watched as Micah unwound himself from the girls. ANd swallowed, hard, when Micah then sauntered up to him. Drawing a finger down his bare chest, he murmured, "I promise I don't bite, Michael." and threw a grin at Casy when he snorted with laughter. "Join us. One drink." Topaz fought and lost with himself. Gazing, wonderingly at Micah's shining smile, he allowed himself to be pushed into a chair. Micah handed him a cup full to the rim of wine. "Drink. Relax. It wont do no harm to relax for a bit."
Topaz muttered about Lillith and the others and their quest. But drank nonetheless.
Micah caressed Topaz's wealth of silver hair. "So lovely." he murmured. His hand, tangled in the gleaming strands, jerked, causing Topaz to wince, when the door suddenly flew open.
Admiting a very pissed off Lillit. The others trickling in behind her.
Micah simply smiled his most beguiling and irresistable smile. "Come to join us?" he asked, his gaze heating as he looked her over.
A Non-Existent User
Ala had given up hope that these demons and angels could see reason. She had been content to sit back and watch the mistakes unfurl. But when Micah used his powers to manipulate those around him, including herself, a spark was lit in her.

When they found not only Micah but Hayden and Topaz relaxing and abusing their beauty, Ala snapped. Walking up to Micah, she struck him across the face. She neither wondered nor cared if she had broken a rule.

Glaring Ala declared, "You are a disgrace. You sit here and lounge in pleasure, while the world and all Time is being distorted for evil. How can you live with yourself?"

There was a snort of agreement behind her, but Ala didn't turn to see her ally, but faced Micah full in the face. Instead of the anger she expected, Micah grinned.

"Would you like to know?," he said advancing on her. She stood her ground, but he continued until he was close enough for her to smell the affects of the bottle.

Leaning close to her ear he wispered, "I choose not to think of anything else but this moment."

Hissing, Ala bared her fangs. "You disgust me!"

"fiesty isn't she, friend?" Casey exclaimed.

"Enough," blazed Lillith. "We have no time for this! Ala is right. This is not what Demons or Angels should be doing! Fighting with one another isn't the answer either Ala."

Staring into Micah eyes with pity, Ala backed away. Muttering a quick apology to Lillith but not looking away from Micah, she faded into the background letting others block her view from the disgrace.

Living in Rome and fighting as a women Gladiator gave her insight to the horrors of the world, but never had she met a person who chose not to do their duty, who would rather have a little fun for a moment than save the world forever. The scariest part was, Ala almost wanted to join. She didn't want to sacrifice her life of leisure, but she knew she must, that was the difference.
Topaz unwound his hair from the demon's grasp, pushing away the rest of the wine, his mind felt clear once more, rather than the heaviness that Micah had imposed upon it. He stood, dusting off his pants and readjusting the circlet on his head, wincing at the hypersensitivity of his skin, Micah had rattled him more deeply than he cared to admit. "So..." He glared at the demon, snagging away the bottle of alcohol on his limp hands, apparently he was choosing not to care about that at the moment either.

Lillith stomped forward, "Not even decent alcohol." She mumbled, snagging the bottle away from Casanova and taking a hearty swig, much to Ala's dismay as they heard her shocked cry.

"Sure you don't want to..."

"Micah, enough of your mind tricks." Lillith said tiredly, "I found the location of the next page of the book, we're headed to Japan."

Topaz perked at this fact, someplace he understood, and perhaps he could visit...

"Don't you remember what Lillith said, Topaz? We cannot see our families again." Des had snuck behind him and whispered in his ear.

His gaze lowered, "Yeah, I... I forgot." He turned away, picking his cup up again and taking another drink, swirling the rest around.

Hayden snorted, "You're acting pathetic." He said to the silver-haired angel.

"I know." Topaz replied blithely, "I can have my miserable moment, Sherri had hers, Micah had his, this is mine. Let me be, where's Obsidian, by the way, is he feeling any better?"

"Yeah, now that we're out of the desert, he's been yelling at us for tying him up and glares at everyone." Des said, taking his cup of wine from his and pushing away several girls from Hayden, Micah, and Casanova, even though he was not technically a part of their crew.

"Oh, where is he?" Topaz hopped off the chair and looked at Lillith who pointed outside.

"Be careful, he's angry." She warned, setting about making Micah, Casanova, and Hayden sobre again, much of her method rather violent as it involved a great ruckus that Topaz didn't bother listening to as he walked outside.

"Obsidian?" He stepped into the cool Paris air.

"What do you want?" The sullen demon glared half-heartedly at Topaz.

"I came to see how you were faring. I didn't," He blushed, "I didn't exactly do a good job in there..."

"What happened?" Obsidian cocked his head, dropping into a sitting position.

"Micah. He... um..." He didn't think 'seduced' was a good word for the situation, "Fiddled with my head and offered me a drink... and..." He blushed, "Sex... with women, that is..." Topaz turned away from Obsidian's red gaze, using his gray/crimson wings to hide behind. His wings, he deduced, absorb pigment from anything they cut into, that's why he was affected by the Devon as quickly as he was. They were still gray, but the razored edges cut into his skin daily and they were slowly regaining the dark crimson colour of his blood.

"So he screwed with your head and you were... for lack of a better word, seduced into playing with the 'big boys'?" Obsidian raised an eyebrow.

Topaz flushed heatedly, "Well, yes, I suppose... You make it sound so... dirty."

Obsidian grinned, "It was my job, if you recall, to make things sound dirty."

"What are you doing to Topaz, Obsidian?" Lillith said as she emerged into the the breaking dawn, dragging a very sobre Casanova, Hayden, and Micah behind her.

Obsidian smiled, "Nothing." He said innocently, righting himself and brushing off the patches of dirt from his pants.

She raised an eyebrow, "Uh-huh. Well, anyways, we're off to Japan, a piece of the book is there, so, to the air, you worthless younglings, to the air, we have a lot of ground to cover if we're gonna make it by tonight."

"We're going that fast?" Sherri seemed skeptical, but took Matilda's offered arm to the air, pumping her wings.

"We could go faster, but you have yet to learn those techniques." Lillith said, "We should meet up with an old friend of mine soon, an angel..." Lillith sighed, her eyes sad, before snapping back into her 'general mode' "All right, come on, and no fucking off." She glared at Topaz for effect.

Topaz glared right back and pushed off from the ground, gliding up behind the group, he needed some time to think about going home and his own susceptibility to his curiosity and mind-games.
Obsidian pummelled uncontrollably toward the ground.

Screaming, he snapped his wings open, and after a few moments felt his freefall caught, and stopped. Grinning, he backwinged, and glanced upwards over his shoulder, where the rest of the group circled lazily, watching. They were tiny specks in the sky.

Matilda descended in a leisurely spiral to meet him as he was once again gaining altitude. "Why did you do that?"

Obsidian shrugged. "I wanted to feel alive. And to see if I could catch myself before I died a very messy death. And... boredom."

The green-eyed demon scrutinized him like one would study a mouse that had suddenly sprouted wings. "Well," she said finally as they rejoined the group. "I suppose that's one way to find out."
Matilda wheeled near an angel. She hadn't complained for a while and Lillith seemed to be grateful for it. Still, she had this deep malice for the fellow demon. She wondered what would happen if she attacked Lillith and pretended to be enchanted as her companion had been before. Then she would be gone and Matilda would be free of the charges if she acted really sorry.

Matilda shook her head. "What am I thinking?" she asked herself.

"Inner demons?" asked Sherri as she flew up beside her. The angel had a grin on her face. "Get it. You are a...demon. Never mind. That was bad. You just looked like you needed cheering up."

"These people," Matilda said with a sigh. "These people expect us to just leave everything we've ever known. I could take advantage of these...powers or whatever they are. I can find my father. He's missing in action in a war against Germany." Sherri looked at her with all the sympathy she had. Her own thoughts drifted to her family.

"What is your story?" Matilda asked.

"All too similar to yours," Sherri said. "My husband though..." Matilda drifted along the soaring wind beside her.

"I'm sorry," Matilda said. Sherri shrugged.

"Fate intervenes," she said. Matilda raised her eyebrows with an idea.

"Yes," she said. "But maybe we can get fate to work in our favor." Matilda and Sherri exchanged looks. They slowed down their speed to bring up the rear of the group in flight.

"What did you have in mind?" Sherri said.
Micah sulked. And flew. And sulked somemore.
The surly glint in his violet eyes kept the others at bay. As his great black wings beat the night air, he quietly stewed and thought.
He hadn't even gotten to say good-bye to Casy. Again. This was the second time he was dragged off. Granted, when the group of lovely creatures had shown up on the ship, Micah was more than happy to go off with them. More than happy to make his mark stop stinging. To be among others who understood what had happened to him.
And of course he understood the importance of going to Japan. The importance of this mission they were on.
But it DID NOT mean he had to like it. Or follow obediently along. Or follow along the whole time.
He had watched the others. Some of them weren't as accepting as others about these changes. At first, neither was he. But Casy had been right...and he had had no problems working his irresitable charm on the ladies. Until Lillith and the others had stormed in. Sobered him up right quick...in fact, he was still achey over the not so gentle means the fiesty demoness used to do that. "Quite fiesty, really. And oh! how I love a fiesty, beautiful woman." Micah mused, his thoughts straying.
As did his gaze. It settled and sharpened with interest on the close flying pair a bit behind the rest. Sherri and Matilda were up to some mischief. Micah could tell. He was master of mischief. And manipulation.
If they were planning something...all he had to do was watch and wait. Perhaps lend a little hand. A sort of you look this way while I slip away that way. Grinning now, Micah's violet gaze alight with purpose-mischievous purpose but purpose all the same-he banked left and swept up and over the two. Tucking his wings he dropped, throwing them out at the last second to glide down between them. Throwing his arms about them he flashed them his most charming smile, tempting dimples biting into his pale cheek. "Hello, lovelies. And to what mischief and mayhem may I be a part of? I live to serve." He winked then, his charm bright. "Specially if it means serving two such delectibles as you."
And serves me as well, Micah thought.


Topaz himself was gliding above the others, half keeping an eye below and half, in front at the territory they were crossing with rapid speed. The water flowed beneath them, seemingly endless, and the sun glittered on the waves, various colours flashing as whorls of time swirled across the crisp blue water. A flash of some large creature leapt from one Swirl into another with effortless grace, a spray of water jetting up and wetting those flying lower to the water. He grinned lightly as the air carried some of the water up to him and sprayed him lightly as the others spluttered and rode the currents up higher, spitting water.

"I was sneezed on, by a dinosaur, gross." Lillith grimaced, wiping the water from her pants.

"That's what you get for flying so low." Topaz replied, banking and drifting lower, catching a glimpse of Micah, Matilda, and Sherri all talking, but leaving them be.

"What do you mean that's what I get?" Lillith growled, "I'll have you know..."

"What Lillith? Other than the fact that you got sneezed on by a giant whale?" Hayden had come up on her other side.

"I... well, I..." She trailed off, "Nothing." She mumbled in a huff.

Topaz laughed softly, letting the shift in currents push him upwards and into the clouds, making him shiver at the condensation that gathered on his feathers when he broke through. "Wow." He murmured, looking at the play of colours on the tops of the clouds, the sun shining brightly and reflecting off all of the small water droplets, making a rainbow of colours dance beneath the angel.

"Hey! Topaz, get your butt down here! We're gonna be landing soon!" Micah's voice snapped him out of his wonder and he dropped through the clouds ounce more, spotting his home just beneath them.

Topaz spiralled above as the others dove downwards to land, this was his home, but... He fell lower a look of disappointment crossing his face; it was a different time than his medival period, his family was probably already long gone from this Japan. He circled lower, the busy streets of Tokyo coming into his vision, but the others had not landed there, they had landed a bit to the West, outside of the city and on the green lawn of some big-wig's home, the enormous garden providing very little shelter for the larger-than-life angels and demons that had landed in front of the over-weight man.

The obese gentleman was speaking rapid-fire Japanese and was yelling and hollering up a storm, swearing and cussing, but still moving backwards in fear.

Lillith was doing her best to allay the man's yelling, but to no avail, her Japanese was shaky at best and he was speaking to fast for her to get a word in edge-wise, "Topaz! I could really use your help down here!" She called up to him.

Topaz raised an eyebrow and allowed himself to land, causing the man to swear even louder as Topaz looked at him, "Tojikomeru(1)!" Topaz bellowed and the man fell silent.

"(2)O-namae wa nan desu ka?" He demanded, glaring angrliy at them.

"(3)Topaz desu." Topaz replied, bowing.

"(4)O-mokuteki wa nan desu ka?" He stepped forward, straightening out his jacket.

"(5)Sumimasen, demo..." Topaz hesitated, "O-namae wa nan desu ka?"

The man gave Topaz an icy glare, "(6)Zenbu desu." He said coldly, "O-mokuteki wa nan desu ka?" He repeated.

"(7)Seken nozoite tegakeru." Topaz replied.

The man laughed out loud at that, "(8)Seken nozoite tegakeru ka?" He snorted again.

"(9)Hai, Zenbu-san." Topaz bowed.

"What the hell are you saying?" Hayden cut in angrily.

Topaz turned, half listening to the rest of what the man was saying, "We were introducing one another and he asked what our purpose was, and I replied that we were going to save the world, and now he's saying something to the effect of, 'I haven't had such a good laugh in a while, you may stay here for as long as you need to help you... save the world.'" Topaz said smoothly, "We found our base of operations for now." He flapped his wings, "But we are not allowed to touch any of his women, that's what the maids are for. In other words, don't touch his harem." Topaz ran his hand through his silver hair, "Come on, he's going to show us to our rooms."

~*~*~
Translation notes: I don't know how accurate these are, but they're close enough to suit our purposes. ^^

1. Shut up!
2. What is your name?
3. I'm Topaz
4. What is your purpose
5. Excuse me, but... What is your name?
6. I'm Zenbu, what is your purpose?
7. We're going to save the world.
8. You're going to save the world?
9. Yes Mr. Zenbu.
Lillith awoke them the next day and immeadiately dragged them off into a prak.

"Where are we going?" asked Matilda. "To see an old...friend of mine." said Lillith, the sadness once again in her eyes. "I think this is it..."

Desdemona looked at the house.

They had stopped in front of a wooden longhouse, the roof sagging from the structure's long years of standing. Beaded wind chimes adorned with feathers fluttered by the door. Lillith entered the house without so much as a knock. “Cinnamomelene," she called, "It's Lillith. I have friends who would like to see you."

The opened door revealed a wide, bare room. Lillith's voice echoed off the walls. Only a few candles of varying hues flickered in the dim house. From this room led a short hallway, which ended at a curtain fashioned out of an ancient, threadbare tapestry, depicting the faded image of a lone wolf howling at the moon.

Only silence answered Lillith's greeting. For a moment, Desdemona thought that perhaps Lillith’s friend wasn't at home.

Finally: "Come inside."

They did, padding down the hall together. Lillith approached the tapestry first, and lifted it with a hesitant hand. Behind it was revealed a small alcove of a room, lined with old silken cushions and foreign-looking rugs. Strands of glass beads dangled from the ceiling, which was draped with loosely hung lengths of colored cloth. Amidst all this finery was a huddled shape of an angel, mystery accenting every highlight in her silvery hair. Her pale violet eyes roved over the group of people. A velvety hood hung over her face, and her cloak enshrouded her small body. Snowy white wings quivered slightly behind her. Jewelry of all kinds ornamented her wrists, ankles, neck, and ears. She smiled faintly.

"Lilli," she said, "Sit down. And I bid your friends to make themselves comfortable as well."

They each found a cushion and settled ourselves down. "Cinna, these are my companions, Topaz, Matilda, Sherri, Ala, Desdemona, Micahangelo, Hayden and Obsidian." She pointed at each of them in turn in order to show her who was who. "And this is my sister, Cinnamonelene."

Desdemona was surprised. This angel was Lillith’s sister? She could not have imagined two people less alike. Lillith was dark, grouchy, liked to swear, was blunt, and gave off the impression of mass ferocity crammed tightly into a body, like a fist attached to a tightly coiled spring that might give any moment. But this angel—Cinnamonelene—radiated serenity and mysteriousness, like a spiderweb beaded with a thousand drops of dew.

Desdemona tried to smile at her new acquaintance in a friendly manner, but the bizarre atmosphere made it awkward to do this sincerely.

"You've come for me to help you restore peace to the realms, Lilli." Lillith’s sister said. "That much is obvious. But…“ She sighed. “I’ve sworn to bind myself away from the immortals.”

“Listen, Cinna!” Lillith snarled. “I’ve had enough with your shitting. The Incident was centuries ago, why don’t you just forget it?”

“And what about you, Lillith?” asked Cinnamonelene calmly. “Have you forgotten about it?”

“I—“ Lillith stopped.

“I know that the strands of destiny have their hold on everyone alive. But you…Lilli, and your companions—the ropes ensnare you. You have all become prisoners of fate. That is why I refuse to help. I tried to help, years ago, with disastrous results. You, of all people, should remember." She paused. “I can give you one piece of advice, and this advice will be enough.”

She handed a piece of paper with words written in ornate script to Lillith. Tl yzxo gl bkfl skhg’h skpv… Desdemona could read over the demon’s shoulder.

“Now, leave.” Lillith barely had time to protest before the angel shooed them all away from the premises.
They stood a moment just outside Cinnamonelene's home.

"Now what?" Topaz asked. Everyone looked at Lillith, who scowled back.

"How the hell should I know?" she demanded.

Topaz scowled right back, "This is your mission, Lillith. Most of us are simply being dragged along. Not a one of us asked for this or is enjoying it!"

"Uhhh...actually...I'm kinda getting used it and don't mind so much anymore." Ala said.

The others stared at her. "What? Would it be better if we all went into hysterics and bitched and moaned about it?"

"Huh. Good point." Hayden muttered.

"What?!?" Matilda yelled, "Have you all lost your friggen minds? This sucks! I miss my family! I don't want this!"

Micah eased back away from the others, sensing a good row on the way and wanting to take advantage of it.

He managed to slip around the side of the house, but then stopped. He had never been to Japan...in any time frame.

Sighing, he was about to go back to the group when he spotted a lovely young girl across the way. She smiled and beckoned to him.

Never one to pass on such a tempting opportunity, he grinned and started towards her.

He hadn't taken more than a few steps when he was roughly dragged back.

"I don't think so, lover boy. You are not sneaking off again!" Lillith growled, dragging him back to the group.

Micah twisted in her grasp, till his sparkling mischief filled violet eyes could gaze into her angry red eyes.

He reached up and tugged a black curl.
"If you'd just admit you want me all to your self, Tiger Lilly, I wouldn't have to look elsewhere."

Lillith promptly let him go and stepped away. Anger and something else she refused to admit put a flush to her cheeks and lovely spark in her eyes. "I'm married."

Micah raised an insolent eyebrow, "Last I heard, you were widowed." He moved towards her, in a move so sensual it was catlike.

His voice dropped to husky silky whisper that coiled around her, raising goosebumps.

"How long has it been since you had a man, Tiger Lilly? Had hands loving you, exploring you, cherishing you?" He reached out and caressed her cheek. She stared at him, and for a moment he saw a flash of desire..there and gone.

And she was slapping his hand away, snapping her strength and leadership and attitude around her once again.

"Stop touching me. And stop calling me Tiger Lilly, you insolent, self absorbed jackass!"
And with that she stalked off, all too aware of Micah's heated gaze on her backside.

Chuckling, Micah turned and came face to face with Obsidian.

Micah smiled and stroked a finger down his cheek, and then wrapped a lock of Obsidian's hair around his finger.

"So lovely." he murmured, shifting a hand through the black locks. "True black hair...there's nothing lovelier. Only true black hair has these lovely midnight blue shimmers."

Obsidian remained still, used to the attention.
"Why do you antaganize her so?" he asked, turning slightly into Micah's touch.

Micah gave a little tug on Obsidian's hair, "It amuses me. She's a real hellcat, that one. I'd give anything to have her..." he trailed off as Sherri and Matilda appeared, beckoning with a glance. He winked at them and grinned at Obsidian, leaning in and planting a big kiss on the demon's lips. Then he patted his cheek and strolled off, flinging his arms around either girl. "Hello, darlings. Walk with me, yes?"

He threw a glance back at Obsidian, who was watching with a slight frown. Micah grinned, dimples winking, and blew him a kiss, earning him a reluctant smile from Obsidian.

"So, my little lovelies, come up with anything yet?" Micah asked, as the trio moved away from the rest of the group.

Before either girl could answer, Topaz appeared.
"It's time to go." And without waiting for an answer, launced up into the sky.

Micah sighed and watched as the others took of after him.

After a moment, he too joined them, vowing to find a way to slip off the next time they landed for a spell.

© Copyright 2006 Virgo, Ariana the Sequel, xx-xx, Chee the Fabulous, Fall, Halloween, A Glitch in the System, Andante, (known as GROUP).
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