Rumors Of War
War In Heaven
The momentum gained by the demise of Lucifel was tremendous. The angels did not immediately flock to Lumial and Belial's shared banner, but they took little convincing to do so. At first they wondered why Michael wasn't leading the people. Hadn't he been in the throne room with his sons? Did he die in the explosions that ripped hell apart?
Alan was more than happy to give Michael the credit for destroying the ship, and sacrificing himself in the process. Very few angels knew the truth, that I had been smuggled away as soon as we reached the Adam, placed in a medical pod on the Abel to begin my transformation back to my own skin. Only Lumial, Belial, and several of Hell's soldiers had been there for that revelation, and all had been sworn to secrecy. Other than that, only Verina and her brother, the young doctor who accompanied the Abel on its way back to Earth, knew the truth of my identity.
Of course, that doctor was far too involved in his potential new lover, Alan, to make much use of the knowledge. I remember smiling wide as I exited the pod, and saw them already exploring their mutual interest, thinking they were alone in the laboratory. I left them alone, and continued up to where the others awaited me, hoping that someone in particular would be there to greet me.
Marc embraced me instantly, but the kiss he gave me then lasted even longer. It was full of longing and passion, but it was somehow not a sensual kiss. It was an expression of devotion and relief, a release that both of us needed now that the ordeal was over. As our lips parted I met his eyes, noting the twinkle in them that I had not seen in a long time. He was back to his old self, and so was I.
I wish I could say that our exchange had settled all of my fears, but one look at Verina told me that I wouldn't be able to put it all behind me. Her eyes were red as could be, as if she had been crying the whole time. It wasn't that hard for me to figure out why. I patted Marc's shoulder lightly a couple of times and then went over to her, pulling her into an embrace, trying my hardest to show her my support and extend her the comfort that she needed. What she needed was Keith, but that was no longer an option.
Lumial had done the best work that he could, and Vallum had assisted him the entire time, but the damage the druid had taken was too great to be healed by even the angels' level of expertise. In the end, they had been unable to revive him. There hadn't been a dry eye in the room, but I knew that Verina's had not been dry since. I couldn't blame her. Every time I thought of my friend, who had done so much for me and the race he had sworn to serve, my cheeks were wet, and my mouth became dry.
My lover caught me off guard as he joined the embrace with Verina, a woman that he had always despised. But he had sensed her need, or perhaps my need, that she be comforted. She cried into both of us, and we held her until she let go. She thanked us, but then excused herself saying that she needed to rest.
Kai'Fallon had watched the entire exchange, but had not said a word, though he looked at us with a mixture of shame and respect. He said a lot of things to us on that day. Apologies to Marc for how he had always treated his younger brother. Promises that Marc's name and reputation would be restored and the Keith Morgan would be remembered among demonkind as a hero. He told us that he was glad that we were happy, but more importantly that he supported our union. He assured us not to worry about the King, and that he would come around eventually. Even if Kai'Fallon had to go to great lengths to fulfill his promises, he would do so.
And so we returned home on Lumial's ship, leaving the twins behind. We arrived at the estate, to return the demons to their homes, and found a warmer welcome then I had been expecting. The king still failed to recognize his younger son, but they did not bar us from entering the mansion either. We were allowed to make ourselves at home, and since we had nowhere else to go we prepared to stay there for some time.
Time passed slowly at first, but quickly gained speed. I became lost in the life of exploring the mansion and eventually the surrounding countryside. I continued to train my abilities, and when Verina finally gave birth to Keith's child, she made me promise that I would become his tutor, should he show signs of the abilities I had shared with his father. I agreed instantly, hoping that it would keep me close to my mentor somehow. The three of us became great friends, over time, and despite her angelic features, Verina became an accepted guest of the demons before even Marc and I did. It took almost a year for the King to finally change his mind on that issue, but when he did Marc didn't hold a grudge like I had expected him to. It appeared that my lover had grown up more than I had thought.
Alan and Vallum continued their relationship, and they were happy together. Vallum buried himself in Lumial's medical notes that he had left behind at the mansion, and scoured the data stored in Abel's computer systems. Alan scoured the data with him, but he focused himself on the many inventions scattered around the lab. They were equally dedicated to continuing the angel's research, each in their own field, and I was more than happy for them.
It was quite some time before we heard from Lumial and Belial, but when we finally did it was in the form of an official invitation. They asked for the presence of the demon royal family, including Marc and me, with the additional presence of Alan, Verina, and Vallum requested. A separate invitation had been sent to the druids, meaning that this was more than a reunion. The meeting place was set for Avalon, and though memories of the island were less than pleasant, I knew that this time we would not be meeting there for war, but rather for peace. This would be the official end of the war.
After a formal ceremony speaking about the changes that had occurred in Heaven, and the changes that would be continuing to occur, Lumial and Belial vowed that they would never lead the forces of Heaven against Earth again. They promised that their goal over the next few decades was disclosure to the humans, and that they wished more than anything to usher in a new era of peace.
Though there were some suspicious looks from both demon and druid alike, there was overwhelming support for moving forward, and it was soon settled. The meeting adjourned for a fabulous feast that had been prepared by the angels, hoping to bring everyone together across the dinner table.
They had one last announcement, before it all ended. They asked for an ambassador, one who could accurately represent both demonkind and humankind. While the druids deliberated for a moment, I was surprised when Kai'Fallon stood at my side and announced that the Son of Merlin was his candidate. With wide eyes I turned to him, holding my arms up defensively, trying to ward away the thought, but suddenly I heard another voice seconding the nomination. Soon a third and fourth joined them, and Lumial and Belial shared a look that said that they knew it all along.
Soon, I was forced to the front of the group, loud applause following me the entire way. Lumial looked at me with pride in his eyes as he announced, "Damien, Son of Merlin. We gladly endorse your appointment to ambassador to Heaven. We look forward to working with you. After all, prophecy is prophecy, and with this appointment, the war is officially over."
The crowd laughed in response, and even the suspicious ones couldn't deny the logic of the claim. The applause resumed, and this time there was a standing ovation. I didn't like the attention I was getting, but I didn't hide from it either. Instead I smiled, a grin I had learned from a mentor and friend who had taught me almost everything I knew about how to handle life and death. Perhaps I wasn't facing my demise, but my old life was about to end. I was going to go out smiling. What better way was there?
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