The Dark One: ProloguebyDivineDestiny©
Hello all! When I first submitted this, it had been written on my iPhone's notepad, and was fraught with errors. Since then it has been edited, and I do believe all those pesky typos and autocorrect blunders are now nonexistent. Please let me know if you find anything though.
I'd love feedback as well. Compliments are great, but I am most interested in getting honest feedback, for the truth shall set ye free, and make me a better writer in the process!
As a warning, there's no sex... Yet. Next chapter there definitely will be, so please hang with me!
Plenty of thanks to GrandTeton for the amazing editing job!
"Please," the broken being whimpered, barely registering the grotesque, mutilated face reflected by the blade as her own. "You know me. I didn't want to hurt anyone, I didn't mean to hurt him," she sobbed, trying to reason with her attacker -- no, her executioner.
Tierran gritted his teeth at the pitiful abomination's words. "I know no traitor," he dutifully recited, unfeeling jade eyes meeting the Fallen angel's tearful gaze. "No brethren of battle nor blood commits such treason. No Seraph is so sinful. I do not know you, nor shall the world ever have to acknowledge a creature even lower than a demon. I do know Death," he paused artfully. His voice was softly melodic, but dangerous, voice laced with venom. He almost enjoyed the Fallen's pleas, heard but ignored by him. Raising his sword, glittering black like obsidian, he readies it for the killing blow. Giving a small, cruel smile, he finished the ritual's words, eyes glinting with malice, "For I am he."
Tierran wordlessly dragged the beaten, battered corpse through the city's streets. Her face was still contorted by horror, a scream that never sounded rested on her lips. Terror gleamed in her dead, light brown eyes, as if at any moment she would once more beg for forgiveness, her fingertips bloody and nails chipped from trying to crawl away and resist the cold caress of the metal blade.
The denizens of the cobblestone road gave him a wide berth, not because of the dead woman that so many recognized, but because of him. The infamous Harbinger of Sorrow, The Dark One. The Angel of Death.
Tierran cared for none of those epitaphs, though all were accurate. They meant as much to him as those who uttered them in hushed tones: Nothing. All that mattered was his job, his next target.
After some time, of weaving through the twisted streets, he finally reached the heart of Heaven, the marketplace, where the body would be displayed, a reminder as to why no Seraph should dare cross an Archangel.
He was not the first Dark One, but he was the most ominous and terrifying anyone, even the Archangels themselves, could remember. He was born for this, marked with black down upon his wings, the Sigil of Death over his heart. The last one had met an unfortunate demise of sorts nearly a thousand years before Tierran was even born.
Meaning he always had work to do, still behind after two millennia.
He silently prepared the body of Sarah, his most recent prize. Archangel Michael had demanded she be found and slain, after the seemingly trustworthy handmaiden had attempted to assassinate him in his sleep. It had taken a week of searching Purgatory, the land of the wayward and lost, to find her. She had made the mistake of seeking a guide, who would be willing to take her to Earth, home to the human race. Unfortunately for her, word of a freshly Fallen angel spread like wildfire amongst the demons and creatures who wandered Purgatory, each one selling their wares for a price. Not that Tierran ever had to pay for information, the threat of his presence alone was enough to make the weaklings tell every secret they had ever kept.
"Never was able to get her in bed," a familiar voice said wistfully behind Tierran, who decided to ignore it.
"Maybe the rumors are true," Jaeson added suggestively, knowing he could bait Tierran into a conversation.
Turning to look at his friend, Tierran sighed at the ancient cherub, his chocolate mane disheveled, and blue eyes mischievous. Judging by his appearance, he looked as though he had spent the night in another's bed. Nothing unusual, at any rate. Tierran would never understand why the humans pictured the cherubs as chubby, winged babies. They were anything but innocent, and were often breathtakingly beautiful. Then again, most angels were, from a human perspective.
"Pray tell? What ridiculous rumors are bouncing around the Noble Court now?" Tierran questioned moodily.
Jaeson smirked, knowing the next words out of his mouth would greatly displease the Harbinger. "Everyone says she was fucking Michael, which would explain why she didn't fall for me. Then again, Michael? Damn. He has--"
"Stop talking Jaeson."
"You don't want to know more about your boss?" Jaeson asked, head tilted sideways like a curious puppy, almost appearing innocent if not for his eyes twinkling with an impish light.
Glaring venomously at the bubbly cherub, Tierran returned to his nearly completed work. His magic was of a strange sort, both causing death, and stopping it - or, rather decomposition, and other such things one would expect a cadaver to do after some time. Once, when he was young, the charms were difficult, spells tedious and time-consuming, but now they were second nature, done with little thought or effort. This particular preservation method was his favorite.
Sarah's nude body was suspended overhead, levitating eerily over the square. Her body would remain in the very spot, preserved as she was, bloody and bruised, until it she was burned to make room for another corpse. The body was splayed, wings fanned out, the once white feathers singed and covered in blood. Black feathers. A curse only Tierran carried, one bestowed upon the Fallen that evaded his blade long enough. Black feathers were treacherous, dangerous and hideous.
Behind him, Jaeson still rambled on about Michael's physical superiority and handsomeness. If he didn't know better, Tierran would've thought that Jaeson was a mere fledgling, not the oldest cherub in existence. Unlike everyone else, Jaeson didn't fear Tierran. In fact, he constantly attempted to infuriate him. So far, he'd only elicited aggravation and irritation from the Dark One.
"Jaeson," Tierran started, his voice cool and suave, though tinged with a condescending lilt, "You and I both know that the Archangels are celibate. The only whore in the Court is you."
Giving a mock gasp of shock, Jaeson wiped away a nonexistent tear. "I-I don't know what to say. Do you really mean it? That's the nicest thing you've ever said to me!"
"How old are you again?" Tierran questioned, rolling his eyes, once more likening his friend to a child. He looked back once more at his handiwork, pleased with the display, before striding down one of the city's winding streets, Jaeson close behind.
"Old as love and lust," the angel replied with a wink. "Speaking of which, how old are you now? Five hundred, six hundred?"
"Try two thousand, three hundred and eight," Tierran spat. He was always irritated by people questioning his age. Though he wasn't old, he wasn't young either. As they walked towards the Court, the massive palace shining in the distance, he knew what Jaeson's next jab would be.
"And you're still a virgin."
"Is that really your concern?" Tierran instantly regretted his comment, angry at himself for letting his temper best him instead of ignoring the quip.
"It is, actually. Tierran, you've been alive for quite some time now. You've never loved, never felt attachment or affection for anyone or anything," Jaeson said, voice uncharacteristically serious, stopping in the middle of the alleyway, before grabbing Tierran's arm so he'd do the same.
"So?" Tierran snarled, spinning around to face the inquisitive angel, breaking Jaeson's loose grip on his arm.
"You're empty, devoid of anything. As dead as the Fallen you slay. Do you not want to know love? Have you never lusted for any man or woman? It's unnatural, Tierran to be so... Cold," Jaeson said softly but firmly, his concerned blue eyes meeting Tierran's green glare.
"Thanks for your concern," Tierran snapped before unfurling his massive black wings and launching himself into the sky.
Why was love so important? All it did was cripple one's judgement. Tierran had always accepted that he was different. The Seraphim burned brightly, passionate and fiery, while he was the opposite, a freezing wasteland of emptiness.
He shook his head, trying to chase the thoughts away. Instead, he revelled in the sensation of flight, the peace it brought to his soul, and would've been content to ride the wind for hours if he'd had the time. No, he wasn't finished with this job, not yet. Changing course, he returned to the path he had originally been traveling, heading towards the Court.
The palace, though beautiful on foot and at a distance, was nothing short of spectacular when viewed from above, just below the cloud line in the light of the setting sun, washing its many spires in colors of orange and pinks.
He flew around the structure several times, like a buzzard circling a dead animal, before landing in the lush courtyard. It was full of exotic plants and flowers, their scent intoxicating to most, though they held no charm for the dark Seraph. Lovers dotted the garden, whispering in one another's ears and shyly tittering at their promiscuous promises. Tierran's lip curled in disgust at a couple groping each other in the far corner of the yard, believing themselves to be hidden in the shadows. Such activities ought to be done in their chambers, not here to be seen by any wandering eyes.
If he didn't have business to attend to, Tierran would have given the pair a piece of his mind. He mumbled under his breath about crude public displays, which would've struck anyone who overheard him as rather ironic. After all, part of his job was to create horrifying sights to remind the citizens of the repercussions of rebellion.
Striding quietly and quickly down the manicured path, lined with blooms of every hue, Tierran reached the palace's entrance. Nodding respectfully as he strode wordlessly by, the guards opened the large, wooden doors, revealing the most sacred part of the Court: the throne room.
Three large, elegant and plush thrones stood proudly against the far wall, the middle, golden throne standing higher than the others, adorned with sapphires, the fabric the same shade as the precious gemstones. It was the throne of Archangel Michael, ruler of the Seraph. To the right, Gabriel's silver throne was empty, though even from afar the rubies that decorated it glittered in the muted light, as did the emeralds on the leftmost, bronze throne of Raphael, though he was also absent.
A long red ribbon ran straight through the room, splitting off into three separate paths to each throne. The ribbon's ruddy hue complimenting the polished, white marble floor, tiny veins of what looked like precious metals ran through the marble. Large pedestals where fires softly flickered and snapped lit the elegant room. Though the room itself wasn't large, it emanated power, as did the lone occupant of the central chair.
Michael instantly straightened his posture as Tierran entered. Michael looked regal and kingly, though he was garbed in a simple white silk shirt and plain black slacks. The sight of him would make any mortal woman -- or man, for that matter -- swoon. He was muscular and tall, his blond locks forming soft waves that reached his shoulders, though they didn't obscure his piercing sapphire eyes. His large wings were unfurled, in sunlight, they were such a pristine white that they were nearly impossible to look at. In the soft, warm glow of the fire's light they were shimmered with a golden glint. Power seemed to hum in the air, and it set even Tierran's teeth on edge.
Bowing deeply, and not daring meet Michael's eyes until addressed, Tierran awaited the inevitable question.
"Did you find her?" Michael asked, sounding weary and tired. His voice was deep, and commanding, but also entrancing. The voice of a warlord, of a king.
"Yes," Tierran answered simply, his wings aching from pinning them so tightly against his back. It was considered impolite to unfurl one's wings in the Archangels' presence.
"Good. I am glad you took care of that particular issue before I had to do this," Michael said, voice echoing through the empty room.
"Sire?" Tierran questioned nervously, not liking the possible implications of Michael's words, nor the ominous tone with which he had spoken them with.
"Are you familiar with the story of Abaddon?" Michael paused a moment, looking down at the Harbinger below who clenched his jaw at the name. "He was the last Dark One," he continued, not waiting for an answer to his previous question. "And he turned his back against all angelkind for Lilith, creation of Lucifer himself. He never felt anything until he met her, and he fell madly in love with the demoness. When you feel nothing, a sensation as strong as love can destroy you, as it did Abaddon. He is Fallen, and the successor to my snake of a brother, Lucifer." Michael spoke his younger brother's name with such terrible malice, hate flashing in his eyes. "On day, Lucifer will fall, and I fear that an even greater evil shall claim Hell as his own. Abaddon is a monster, corrupted by the hellfire that envelops him."
A few moments of harsh silence settled. Tierran swallowed nervously, a question on the tip of his tongue, though he was only able to stutter out a response. "I don't... I don't understand what this has to do with me. I'm not like that--"
"Oh, but you are," Michael interjected. "Why do you think Jaeson befriended you when you were a fledgling? He did so under my command, though he grew fonder of you than I expected. He said you're even colder and emptier than Abaddon was, heart as barren as the tundra. All it will take is one moment, one kiss, to melt your frigid soul and ruin everything. You were born like this for a reason; to serve me, unwaveringly, for eternity. I have finally realized what I must do to ensure this. Tierran, Dark One, you must experience true love... and destroy it."
Three hundred years. Had it really been that long, since that day? Since he had been banished to Earth, to experience love, and then defeat it? Three hundred years since he had any contact with his home, completely disconnected. What had happened while he was gone? Why had Jaeson not attempted to talk to him? He was on Earth frequently, as all who chose the career path of the cherubim were, spreading love and lust through the humans' society. Perhaps he was not truly a friend, after all. Just another one of Michael's puppets.
Michael. Tierran's gut wrenched at the thought of not completing the Archangel's task. He was born to serve, to obey commands. He had never failed, not once. And he'd be damned if he was going to fail now.
Tierran had travelled the world so many times, seen so many faces, yet none of them was the one. Perhaps a Seraph could not find true love with a mortal. Michael hadn't wanted to sacrifice any Seraphim to Tierran's blade, and had decided since he had met nearly every Noble that would've been a worthy lover, that Earth was the next best place.
Earth. How much it had changed in three hundred years; wars fought, empires fallen. The human race was dull and foolish, refusing to learn from their past follies.
Abruptly jerked from his musing by the barista who handed him his drink with a giggle, he gave a sigh of irritation when he saw that she had not only misspelled his name but had also written down her phone number. He didn't even have a phone. Why did people insist on doing that? What exactly was so special about a series of digits? If one wanted to talk so desperately, it should be done in person, not over a cellular device.
Glancing up, he saw the woman give him a flirtatious smile, which he attempted to return, though he failed miserably. He had never been able to fake emotion, and the best he could manage was a pained grimace.
By human standards, she was attractive, slim and blonde, though Tierran found her much too thin, her curves too insubstantial for him. He didn't understand why mortal women wanted to be size 'zero'. In his mind, it made them resemble a starving jackals, unless they were naturally that small.
Taking a small sip of his black coffee, and scalding his tongue in the process, he returned to his mind, content to struggle with his mental demons.
Suddenly, a sound reached his ears, musical laughter, as magical as a Seraphim ballad. The light, sweet scent of a woman reached his nose, tantalizing.
Turning his head quickly to locate the source of wonder that plagued his senses, he saw her.
She was the one.