Chapter 19:

Archangel's Enemy

The Legend of the Pervy Archangel

Grissom was a small island off the coast of Long Beach near Shoreline Village Drive, a harbor that contained personal yachts and fishing boats. Built as a factory several years ago, the small island was a mess work of metal structures and interconnecting pipes that wove and tangled themselves into an intricate spider’s web of glinting steel. Michael often spied the island from a distance, though he'd never asked about it. He hadn't been interested at the time.Bookmark here

Now he was.Bookmark here

Large cylindrical objects containing substances unknown to Michael loomed over him as he walked along the abandoned island. He passed by a number of tiny tubes that thrummed with life and energy, his ears prickling as the loud humming emitted from them caused his sensitive eardrums to buzz. Several abandoned vehicles sat around the island, from large semi-trucks with giant tanks of fuel on their backs to yellow CAT forklifts and everything in between.Bookmark here

He soon spotted the largest building there, hidden behind a series of large cylinders. The structure, a warehouse made of steel that gleamed in the sun with the dullness of rusted metal, possessed a large entrance that stood open in an almost welcoming gesture.Bookmark here

Michael didn't feel very welcome, but he entered nevertheless.Bookmark here

He stepped into the warehouse. As dirt shifted into concrete, Michael surveyed his surroundings. Like most warehouses, this one only had a single room. Large and spacious, with a high ceiling that rose nearly one-hundred feet overhead, the entire place gave him a strange sense of foreboding.Bookmark here

A mass of pipes and lines and grids ran along the ceiling. Several large lamps hung from the ceiling, shining down on the nearly empty cement floor. In the center of the floor was Dustin, standing there, his back turned, arms crossed. And behind Dustin was...Bookmark here

“Alice?!”Bookmark here

She hung against the wall, arms spread out, pinned by a pair of prongs that had been pierced into the steel wall behind her. Her body was limp and unmoving, her head slumped forward, hair falling in front of her face.Bookmark here

Michael took a step forward, just seconds away from rushing to her side and getting her down from there.Bookmark here

A chuckle stopped him.Bookmark here

Dustin turned around, his lips peeled back in a wide grin that showed off astonishingly sharp teeth.Bookmark here

“I'm glad you could make it, Michael.”Bookmark here

Michael snarled. “Why did you kidnap Alice?”Bookmark here

“Oh, dear.” Dustin sighed in a very un-Dustinly manner. “I seem to have made you angry. You know, it's almost odd,” he continued, red irises staring right into Michael's burnished steel ones. “In all the time that I've known you, I have never once seen you get angry. And yet, now that I've kidnapped some lowly human, here you are, raging and vengeful beyond all belief.”Bookmark here

Michael would have frowned at the strange comment if he wasn't so angry. “Let her go now!”
Dustin just smiled. “I think not. Why don't you take her from me instead?”Bookmark here

The invitation was laid out, and Michael took it without hesitation. He rushed toward Dustin, intent on laying the same beat down on the boy that he had several weeks ago. No. This would be far more intense than the love tap he'd given this foolish child back then. Michael was going to make this boy regret ever laying a hand on Alice.
He never got the chance.Bookmark here

Michael didn't know what happened. One second he was just about to give Dustin a serious beating. The next he was lying on his back, staring at the ceiling, wondering what hit him. He could feel his skull pounding, as if someone had bashed him over the head with a warhammer, and his ears were ringing. His vision dimmed and blurred as the pain behind his eyes throbbed before snapping back into focus.Bookmark here

With a groan, Michael forced himself into a sitting position. Something coppery filled his mouth, and it took him a moment to realize it was blood. His blood.Bookmark here

“It seems you're losing your touch, Michael.” The former Archangel of Heaven looked up. Amused red eyes stared down at him. “Had this been two-hundred years ago, that attack would have never hit you. You've gotten soft.”Bookmark here

“Two-hundred years?” Michael muttered, his eyes narrowing. “Who are you?”Bookmark here

His face nearly splitting in half, Dustin spread his arms wide in an all-encompassing gesture. “You mean you haven't realized it yet? Can you truly not figure it out? Or have you forgotten all about me and the good times we've had together?”Bookmark here

Michael frowned. Studying the young man before him, the former-Archangel of Heaven could find nothing out of place. Just those strange red eyes. His frown deepened. Didn't Dustin have brown eyes?Bookmark here

As he continued scrutinizing the quarterback, something happened. A shadow, the silhouette of a man-shaped figure, one with sharp and jagged looking wings, appeared behind him, its form wraith-like and ethereal.Bookmark here

Michael's eyes widened.Bookmark here

“Lucifer!”Bookmark here

“It took you long enough,” Lucifer said with Dustin's voice. “You must be getting slow if it took you that long to realize who I am. Living on Earth really has made you stupid.”Bookmark here

Lucifer. The original Archangel. The first angel that God had ever made. Supposedly, he was also the most powerful.Bookmark here

Many thousands of years before, it had been Lucifer who lead Heaven’s armies. Michael had been his second in command back then. They had fought side by side against Satan and his legions. However, when God created man, Lucifer became jealous and tried to destroy God’s new creation. He was banished from Heaven as a result and became one of Satan’s minions.
Michael stood to his feet, wincing. He stumbled, his balance precarious as a sense of vertigo nearly overcame him. He sucked in a harsh breath, then blew it out to calm his raging mind and rebelling body, before standing up straight.Bookmark here

He glared at Lucifer. “What are you doing here? And why are you possessing that boy?”Bookmark here

“You don't know how long I've waited for this day, Michael,” Lucifer said, his smile joyfully sickening. “For so long I've been forced to watch as you replaced me, becoming God's new favorite. I was forced to endure as you grew more and more powerful with each passing day, while I was banished to hell. But now―” Lucifer shuddered in ecstasy “―now, you are powerless, and I will finally be able to destroy you.” He looked at Michael and grinned. “And after you've been dealt with, I think I'll make Alice my new plaything.” He licked his lips. “I'm sure I'll be able to find some enjoyment out of her before giving her soulless body to my legion of Devils to enjoy.”Bookmark here

That did it. With a shout of rage, Michael surged forward. He closed the distance between them. Pulling his fist back, Michael prepared to throw a punch―Bookmark here

―Only for Lucifer to smash a glowing red orb into his chest, causing him to yell out in agony as he flew backwards.Bookmark here

His body hit the ground with a harsh thud. He tumbled backwards, his head cracking against the ground, his limbs jolting and jarring as they impacted on hard concrete. Several dozen feet he rolled along the floor of the warehouse, coming to a stop after the back of his head smashed into the cement hard enough to crack it one last time.Bookmark here

He hurt. By all that was holy, he hurt. His chest seared with the pain of having been burned by Lucifer's power. His body wouldn't move. His legs refused to do what he demanded of them. His arms felt heavier than a four-hundred pound anvil. Everything hurt.Bookmark here

“Hahahaha!” Lucifer laughed as Michael lay there. The sound of footsteps let the Archangel know of his nemesis’ approach. “I remember a time when you were every bit my equal. Our clashes used to shake Earth, Heaven, and Hell.” Lucifer, still wearing Dustin's body like an old sock, swam into his vision, blurry and unfocused. “Now look at you. Look at how pathetic you've become. How weak.” His red eyes grew cold. He raised a hand, an orb of dark red energy coalescing against his palm. “The weak have no right to live. So I guess that means you’re going to die.”Bookmark here

Michael gritted his teeth, struggling to get up. This couldn't be the end. He couldn't let himself be killed here. He had to save Alice!Bookmark here

But it was hopeless. He couldn't move. His body was no longer responding to his will. All he could do was watch, helpless, as the red energy hovering over the palm of Lucifer's hand crackled with dark sparks of arcane and vile power.Bookmark here

Lucifer's cold glare contrasted with the smile on his face.Bookmark here

“Goodbye, Michael.”Bookmark here

The red orb of energy descended towards Michael's face.Bookmark here

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