Monday, September 17, 2012

A Reading from the Sacred Text of a Lost Universe

Aael, the All Knowing, Ever Present. The One that is All, the Cosmic Omnisoul, Source of all Power and Majesty.  

Azel, the Malevolent, the burrowing Undersoul, Source of all Temptation and Ruin.

The Celestia, Children of Aael, Bringers of Wisdom, Arbiters of Divine Justice.

Among the people will come Saints, the Hands of Aael, sacred Instruments of the Divine.

From the people will be chosen Prophets, speaking with the Voice of Aael, blessed Messengers of Divine Truth.

At the last will come the Messiah, to save
the World from the Greatest Evil


Praise Aael, it is said, from Her Love is born Creation.  Fear Aael, it is said, for in His Wrath is found Destruction.

Defy Azel, the Wise admonish, for the Dark One brings only ruin and death.

Heed the Celestia, we are told, as They come from above to be Teachers among the people, so all might know and be wise.

Lend always your ear to the Prophets, and at their feet be shown the future.

Offer your hand to the Saints, they will lead you in service to the One.

Look toward the Coming of the Messiah, when all shall be granted Salvation.


Before the Beginning, in the Nul-Time, when all was naught but semi-real waveforms of collapsing probabilities, several waveforms collapsed into each other, creating Energy, from which came Aael, Mother of Time, Father of Space.  From Aael came the Universe, and from the Universe came the World, with the World giving rise to the people.

From Aael came forth the Celestia, the Divine Offspring.  The Star Children sent down to the people with Knowledge and Wisdom.  For a time, only those deemed Wise by the Celestia were granted Knowledge.  And so for that time, life was good.  Knowledge was tempered with Wisdom, and the people lived in Peace, content to follow the Wise, in service to Aael’s Plan.  

But, Azel the Vile, Azel the Contemptuous, Azel the Unholy, stole the secret Knowledge from the Celestia, giving it to all the people, Wise and fool alike.  Knowledge without Wisdom brought chaos to the lands of the people.  The Celestia hunted Aael’s Shadow for eons, at last imprisoning the Dark One on a broken copy of the World in a broken copy of the Universe.

Aael sent the Celestia among the Wise, empowering some as Saints, enlightening others as Prophets.  And they in turn were sent out among the people, in the hope they might spread Wisdom that would once again temper Knowledge.

Many of the people saw them as threats, come to take away the fruits of their Knowledge, while others saw them as Gods in their own right, and began to worship them.  Few among the people actually accepted the Wisdom they’d been offered, most preferring the comforts of Faith and Fear.  After a time, some among the Saints and Prophets spoke less of service to Aael, and more of service to themselves, forgetting their oaths and allegiances in favor of their pride.  As worshippers flocked to them, great cities and nations rose in their name, and these would-be Gods became Kings and Queens among the people.  Those Saints and Prophets who held true to their oaths were killed, their own followers martyred, the first to fall in the Wars of the Divine Kingdoms.

Great armies of the people clashed in bloody service to the God Kings, whole cities destroyed by the order of Divine Queens, and so great was the horror, so terrible the chaos engulfing the World, Aael sent the Celestia against them, to strip them of their prophetic visions and miraculous powers.  But the power of the Divine Royals was too great, the devotion of their followers too strong.  The Celestia were struck down, their bodies desecrated so the Divine Royals could strip more power from their corpses.

And so, with a Wrath that shook the very firmament of Creation, Aael cast Judgement upon those who had defiled their Divine Gifts.  The World split asunder, fire rained down upon the land, and all were swept before a great burning flood.


For one hundred times one hundred generations, the World lay desolate and lifeless, until at last the Fury of Aael cooled, and life began again upon the World.  Soon, the people rose up from the beasts once more.  This time, there were no Celestia sent among them with Knowledge and Wisdom, no Saints and Prophets to guide them.  Aael wanted no part of the people this time, removing them entirely from the Plan, and so they were left to find what knowledge they could on their own.  

But in the rage and fury of the War, all had forgotten Azel.  When the Wrath of Aael had fallen upon the World, the very walls of the Dark One’s otherworldly prison shook hard enough to crack.  As the Wrath cooled, and all lay bare, Azel crawled out of the dying Universe and into the World.  Azel was waiting when life returned again, hidden even from Aael, the All-Seeing.  And when the World gave rise to the people once more, Azel was there to greet them.  It was then, in their infancy, when the people were still little more than beasts, that they were granted the fullness of the Knowledge Azel had stolen. Savagery met Knowledge bereft of Wisdom, and all was engulfed by War.  The people very nearly broke the World before killing themselves to extinction, and it was many hundreds of centuries before the World would give rise to the people again.


It was in this time between time that Aael directly confronted Azel, igniting a War that set fire to the very Universe itself.  It was a War that lasted the lifetime of a star, and one that ended with Azel the Malevolent chained to the heart of a spiral galaxy, far out at the edges of Entropy.


At the third rising of the people from the World, a new breed of Celestia were sent to guide them, dispensing Wisdom and Knowledge to all who could learn.  As the people grew, and their civilization flourished, Saints and Prophets were once again sent among them, but these were made to pay for the sins of their forebears.  Among the people, it is forbidden for any to worship a Saint or a Prophet as they would Aael.  Among the Wise, it is forbidden for any Saint or Prophet to accept such worship, under pain of death.  Further, no Saint or Prophet may serve as ruler of a city or nation, acquire wealth, or even own property, lest they find themselves powerless.  Saints and Prophets exist solely on the charity of the faithful, the price paid for the power they wield.

But even these commandments were not enough to curb the pride and ambition of some. Saint Moragh of North Telladd and the blind Prophet Riya’el, raised an army of the dispossessed and laid siege to the holy city of Beraat, for forty days and nights.  As it was not forbidden for Saints and Prophets to lead armies, and since neither owned property, nor received worship, they were spared the Doom of Aael.  But doom came to them at last, after a summer of bloody war and conquest, when their Beggars Army turned on itself, the ragged soldiers tearing each other to shreds before turning at last on their commanders.

It was then that Seraphel, First among the Celestia, Chosen of the One, Hand of Aael, descended among the people, delivering Aael’s new edict, prohibiting the taking of arms or raising of armies by the Wise.  From those remaining Saints and Prophets, Seraphel withdrew the Divine Gifts, announcing to all the people that Aael would bestow each Gift only once more, and never again upon the Wise.  Two from among the people were chosen, and from them would come the Last Prophecy and the Final Miracle.


It was many generations of the people before those Two came among them.  Some had begun to doubt Aael would grant Her Gifts again, while others proclaimed He had never existed at all.  The Wise had long fallen into corruption and vice, while Knowledge festered, Superstition growing from its rot.

In the distant province of Sheaal, a merchant awoke to the knowledge of what was yet to come.  He spoke of the Coming of the Messiah, born of Aael through a man and woman of the people, destined to save all from the Greatest Evil.  In the holy city itself, the Crown Princess of Beraat raised her beloved mother, the legendary Warrior Queen, from the dead.  The merchant was called mad by the people, and blasphemer, and was felled by a rain of stones.  The resurrected Queen was called abomination by the people, and her daughter branded a witch, and so both were burned alive in the center of town.  

And when the Messiah came, born of man and woman blessed by Aael, she came possessed of strength greater than that of a hundred strong men, with Knowledge long denied even the most venerable of the Wise, and a purity to rival that of the Celestia themselves.  She came among the people, speaking Prophecy and working Miracles, preparing the World for the coming of the Greatest Evil, when all the armies of the people would rise up behind her, to drive Evil from the World forever, and to restore order to the Plan of Aael.

But, from deep within the heart of a lonely spiral galaxy, far out at the edges of the universe, Azel plotted and planned.  Though bound, the Malevolent One was not powerless, and the dark spirit of Azel descended upon the cities of the people, slithering and oozing among the corrupt and debased, possessing those without the will to resist its temptations.  And so did the minions of Azel spread lies and half-truths about the Messiah, turning the people against their savior, stoking the flames of Superstition, dimming the light of Knowledge, so that the people knew not what was best and what was right, instead giving over their lives to indulgence and base lecheries.  The armies of the people disbanded, and the Messiah was left alone in the face of the Greatest Evil.

So the Messiah became wrathful, and went again among the people, and was known as the
Flame of Aael.  All who succumbed to the charms of Azel were cut down, and only the Righteous were spared, to be taken up to the Celestial realms in Salvation.  In the end, none remained.  The World was cleansed of the people, the Greatest Evil destroyed.  And Azel, the Deceiver, the Malevolent, wailed at the center of that lonely spiral galaxy, dying at last in the face of Aael’s Plan, finally come to fruition.

And in the death throes of Azel, that spiral galaxy imploded, pulling in the rest of the universe, so that all Creation collapsed into the Nul-Time, and all became naught but semi-real waveforms of collapsing probabilities.

And several waveforms collapsed into one another, creating Energy.

On Duty

Michael sat in the chair, feet up on the table, scrolling through a book on his phone.  He sipped his coffee and thumbed over to pause the song he was listening to.  He pulled out the earbuds and left them on the table with the phone as he rose from the chair.  Picking up a long cane, he moved to bar the narrow hall.

“You know you can’t, Gabriel,” he said.

“I will inspect all corners of Creation, Michael,” the primly-dressed angel said, tapping at a handheld device. He raised
his hand and said, "hold on," then pressed a finger to his ear.  “Hello? Yes, I’m in the southern wing, near the edge.  No, I haven’t.  I was just about to-- no, I just need to-- but you said-- yes, but you-- no, I-- no, sir.  No.  Okay, sir.  Yes, sir.  Thank you, sir.  I will, sir.”  He pressed his ear again, then tucked the handheld into his jacket.  “He said to tell you hello.”

Michael nodded.

Gabriel cleared his throat, looking around.  He took the handheld back out and tapped at it some more.  Then, “So, no issues or concerns to report?”

“Nope.  Everything’s fine.  Tell him thanks for the coffee and the phone.”

“Of course.”  A lengthy pause, then more tapping at the handheld.  “Well, I should be moving along, then.”


“Right.  Yes.  Well, keep up the good, um... hrm.”  Gabriel stared awkwardly at Michael a moment, then abruptly turned on his heel and walked away.

Michael stood a little longer.  He heard a soft tapping of footsteps in the hall behind him.  They stopped a few feet
from the entryway.

“You’re out of your room,” the archangel said, not turning around.

“Oh, stop it,” the devil replied, leaning against the wall.  “You enjoy these little visits.”

“I really don’t.”

“So send me to my room.”

Michael grinned and returned to his seat.  The devil remained where he was.  Michael removed the earbuds from his phone and plugged it into a slot in the table.  He tapped the screen and soft music began to play.  

“So I can stay?”

“It’s either let you hang around a while or call a few seraphim.”  Michael waved his hand dismissively, “and Gabriel is seraphim enough for one day.”  He took another sip of his coffee.

The devil sat on the floor of the hallway and leaned back against the wall.  He pulled a flask from his jacket and drank, then tucked it away.  “Gabriel really wants in here.  No one volunteers for Creation Census THAT many times.”

“That’s only because he doesn’t know what’s in there.”

“You don’t know all that’s in here, either.”

“I know enough.”

“I suppose.”

But, since you bring it up, how are things inside?” Michael asked.


“Need anything?”

“Plenty.  But that’s kind of the point, isn’t it?”

Michael smiled.  “I guess it is.”

“Still,” the devil said, “thanks for asking.”

Michael nodded.  The devil took another pull from his flask.  As he put it away, he cleared his throat.

“Urm, I don’t know if I should say anything, but... well...”

“That pack of beezlebubs?”

“Yeah.  And they’ve got a few of the azazel with them.  They’re looking to break out.”

Michael grunted and tapped at his phone.  “Why tell me?” he asked.

“Because if they break out, I’ll have to break out,” the devil said.  “And if I break out, I’ll have to make another try for the throne.”

“And you don’t want to?”

“Heck no,” the devil said.  “You only have to get your ass kicked by God once.  But,” he sighed, “if it gets around that I’m afraid of God, then I lose control of Hell and I’m just another demon.  Or worse, I keep control of Hell but spend millennia fighting some wretched war against rebellious demon factions.  No,” he shook his head, “better they think I’d invade again in a second, if only you didn’t have the only way out sealed up tight.”  He shared a quick smile with his jailer, then stood.  “Well,” he said, “it’s time I turn in. Thanks for the conversation.  Next time he simpers by, tell Gabriel I said hi.”

“Of course.  Good night, Lucifer.”

“Good night, Michael.”