by M.D Buchanan
This is the prologue to the book I have been working on for a very long time.
| The hardest lesson to teach the young is to grow up when they are still too young to understand the concept. To learn the power they possess and how to harness it. Even harder still, is to show them just how dangerous the Universe is.|
War and death have plagued the human race its entire existence. Yet somehow, they continue to evolve and adapt. Out of all the species that inhabit the stars, however, hardship and life changing catastrophes seem to hit them just as they begin to recover.
Humans have an uncanny ability to bounce back from even those most devastating of calamities. Except for one. The final trial, which threatened to tear the very existence of the Universe. The Universe was not always there. Before its creation, ancient deities controlled the expanse of nothingness, filling it with scores of more beings.
Time and Space were the first. Before Life, Death and the Void, nothing existed. Until Time built the basis of everything: Life and Death, brothers to build an existence out of nothing. Eventually, Space gave a name to the nothingness; the Void.
Together, these three deities began to open new possibilities. As the brothers first act, they gave form to Creation. Unintentionally, the birth of Creation also gave way to Love and Compassion. Soon, the Void began to shrink. Slowly, over many eons, the Void began to fail as its nothingness was consumed by Creation.
Before the Void was filled completely, it too gave form to its own genius. From the Void, Darkness was born. This, however, would only quicken the Void's demise. And Death, who had been left to the wayside for so long, collected his first victim. With the power he consumed, Death created the Dark Spire, a manifestation of the Void's remaining power.
Creation could not monitor everything she had built. And so she called upon her brothers and father to create an overseer. Thus, Hale was born. And everyone called him God. And in turn, Hale created archangels to assist in his charge. Under Hale, all creation flourished. But Time, who had been silent since his children's' birth, stepped in. Any creation from hence forth will not live forever. This included Hale and all his archangels.
When Death heard the news, he could barely contain his excitement. His power grew with each life that snuffed out. Unconsciously, Death gave birth to Greed. Darkness spread, filling the gaps Creation left. But Greed preyed on Darkness, whispering to him. Darkness grew resentful of his brethren. And from it, Corruption was born.
Hale began to fade as age took its toll. His power began to transfer into his successor, Cyrus. Cyrus was the second archangel Hale created. The first was Braekus. Hale, along with all the other of Braekus' kin had believed he was to be the next God. When he found out Cyrus was the successor, rage and betrayal blinded him. Braekus went into exile. He was not present when Death claimed Hale.
Cyrus rapidly expanded on what Hale left behind. It was under his guidance that the Realm of Angels was created, with Angel City at its center. Braekus was taken in by Darkness, who had been driven insane by eons of torment by Corruption and Greed. Fueled by rage, it was all too easy to turn him against his brethren. He became the first Fallen Angel.
Braekus appealed to Creation, bringing to her attention that now that he was not one of the Archangels, he deserved Godhood of his own kind. He spoke with such conviction and sincerity, Creation granted his request. Little did she know that this would alter the course of the future forever.
With the powers of a God, Braekus created legion upon legion of creatures too horrific to describe. He called them Demons. They called him "Father." Death realized a chance to seize more power. From the hatred of Braekus, Death bred War, second of the Four Horsemen. The stage was set. With War pulling the strings, the First Divine War shook the foundations of all creation.
Cyrus' Archangels were caught off- guard, slaughtered by an unknown attacker at the borders of the Realm of Angels. Further investigation led to the disappearance of two more archangels. Soon after, the Demons invaded in full. The archangels were not prepared for battle, whereas these creatures were bred for it. They hit hard and fast at the Realm's defenders, driving them back.
Creation realized the folly of her mistake. In her pity, she had created a God of Darkness. In retaliation, she gave Cyrus and his archangels a new order: Defend all creation from the Darkness. With this new directive, the archangels and Cyrus called upon unfound powers that changed the fabric Space itself.
The archangels were too few however. Scores of Demons flooded into the borders of the realm, killing archangels and other creatures of creation in their wake, leaving barren wastelands behind them. Cyrus reduced the radius of his deployed forces.
A millennium passed and the war still raged. During this time, Cyrus had birthed a son known as Ivan. He was the first archangel born since the war began. Because his father was off fighting the war, Ivan spent most of his years alone in Angel City. The war had taken its toll on the archangels. Only a handful still lived.
It was at this moment, Braekus finally showed himself. When word reached Cyrus of the betrayal, pain and sadness enveloped him. Once brothers and best of friends, they now had their goals set against one another. Cyrus saw no other option but to confront his former friend himself.
Braekus was on the edge of victory. His Demon armies were endless, pouring out from the Realm of Demons. Only twenty archangels stood between him and final victory. He pushed his minions onto the steps of Angel City. Cyrus and his archangels had retreated behind the walls, defending the final interior of their home. It was their last stand. The final battle.
Ivan sat in his home watching the battle. Suddenly, his eyes turned silver. A strange white energy began to envelope him. It pulsed outwards in great streams of energy, illuminating the city. Braekus finally broke through the walls, engaging in battle with Cyrus. The two danced gracefully, dodging and sidestepping from each attack.
The pulses of energy grew increasingly in power and frequency. The archangels seemed to be unaffected. The Demons, however, disintegrated with each pulse.Suddenly, a pulse, stronger than all the rest, hit Braekus, momentarily staggering him. Cyrus used the opening and slashed him across the chest with his spear. Braekus fell to one knee. In the celestial language of the angels, Cyrus commanded Braekus to submit. Braekus refused.
Cyrus rose his hand, aiming his palm at Braekus. It began to shimmer with silver energy. Suddenly, an archangel cried out as his life ended. Only five were left. Cyrus glanced over for only a moment. But it was all Braekus needed. He jumped up, landing his palm onto Cyrus’ chest. Cracks began to appear across his body. Cyrus looked at his friend’s eyes one last time. He saw nothing but rage and a cruel smile.
Dark energy poured out of the cracks, and Cyrus exploded into thousands of fragments. Ivan watched his father's death. The waves of energy stopped abruptly. Ivan began to shine with an unknown energy. His eyes were pure white as he stared down at Braekus. And suddenly, Braekus was afraid. He began to retreat with his army. They fled out of the city rapidly. They managed a few miles before they heard a voice, the voice of Ivan.
“First, there was Darkness. Then there was Light.” a blinding flash of energy exploded from Ivan. Even at the distance Braekus and his army had cover, the blast found them. Every Demon present was destroyed and Braekus’ body was shattered and scattered into fragments of the most miniscule size.
As the blast faded, a new era began. The era of Ivan, the third God. Ivan created the universe, combining Space, Light and Creation’s powers. So many archangels had died in the war, Ivan had expended so much energy already. He could no longer produce more archangels. Reluctantly, he decided that the five remaining would be the last of the archangels. All angels he created after were lesser and not as powerful. However, Ivan created these angels with the singular purpose of destroying evil and darkness. And they did their job well. All Demon uprisings were stamped out within months of them forming.
Leaderless, the Demons retreated to their realm and waited. Billions of years passed. Ivan had created a utopia of galaxies, stars and planets. But there was one planet that he always returned to. It was his first planet that he created to sustain life. He named it Earth. At first, all the planet was was fire and rock, so he flooded it with water.
It took many centuries before he finally shaped it to his liking. And when he finally finished, he and his angels marveled at the spectacle. The angels assumed the new planet would be their home. But Ivan had other plans. He began to plant life across the world, first into the oceans, then onto the land. He came up with many ideas: bugs, sea creatures, dinosaurs. But he scraped them, allowing his favorite creation, mammals, to thrive.
Lucifer, leader of the remaining archangels watched as Ivan became overly fascinated with this world of lesser beings. He began to resent Earth and what it was doing to Ivan. When he voiced this to his brother, Michael, he was dismissed, told he was imagining things.
Until Ivan created humans. He gave them free will, a soul, and used the same mold he used to create angels. At first, he gave them lives lasting as long as angels, but soon realized his error, shortening their lives to the span of a thousand years. Yet even then, they were too long. He continued to tinker with his creation for thousands of years.
Lucifer had seen enough. The humans were a direct insult to him, and yet again, the seeds of corruption were sewed, in no small part due to Death’s need to have more power. He gathered other angels who agreed with him and moved to confront Ivan. Shortly before, Michael pleaded with him to stop this madness. But Lucifer cast away his hand and turned his back to his brother.
“If you can sit by as Ivan creates these filth in our image, you are no better than Ivan, brother.” Lucifer told him. They were the last words he ever spoke to Michael as his brother.
Raphael and Gabriel, the other two archangels learned of Lucifer’s plan. They warned Ivan. But Ivan had already known. When Lucifer confronted him, Ivan tried talking him down. But when Lucifer drew his blade, Ivan banished him from Angel City to the farthest corner of the Universe. Lucifer was locked in a cage deep in the heart of The Realm of Demons.
The other angels that had followed Lucifer stood down and asked for forgiveness. Ivan forgave and sent them all away. Death shook his head in disappointment. However he had other ideas. He could feel the wellspring of power he could gain from these humans. Disease and Famine were born, thus completing the Four Horsemen.
Humans evolved and adapted to everything Ivan threw at them. Both him and his angels were impressed with their resilience. As time passed, the humans explored their world, expanding on it. Yet there was conflict. The humans were easily swayed by War, sending millions of humans to the clutches of Death. Ivan watched as his creation grew and fell. They even dedicated a religion to him. Multiple religions. And for a time Ivan used this to regain some of his former strength.
It was Gabriel’s idea to create a haven for humans that have done good their entire lives. A reward for the people that were kinder in a hostile world. Ivan liked the idea. He charged the angels to build around Angel City. Once they completed their task, Ivan renamed Angel City the Atrium, surrounded by walls of gold and white. And around it, the City of Light, a vast metropolis resembling the cities on Earth. As technology advanced on Earth, the city reflected it.
One fateful day, however, something happened on Earth. A phenomena that Ivan could never have predicted. A small boy was born. His birth would signal the end of one age, and the beginning of a tyrannical rule that would once again, tear the very fabric of existence.