Chapter Eleven - Of Battles and Boxes

Fifteen minutes earlier.......

Belial had a multitudinous destinations; retribution, anger, justice, murder and slaughter.  All moments anteceding his exit from the netherworlds and leaving his love and his daughter behind him up to this point were boiling within him.  Belial never struck anyone as the paternal type, nor as the type to enjoy the clinch of closeness.  But he had, and he had lost it all, and a lot of it was down to Zeus and Hades.

Emotion should never come into these things, but Zeus and Hades were not allowed to escape the confines of the fortress in which they had forced his daughter to flee in panic from.  As far as imprisoning Persephone went, he cared little, she was the root cause in his past misery.  If it was not for the fact that she was Hermione's mother, and vitally necessary in locating pandora's box, he would have quite happy slit her throat and thus faced the wrath of all the Centaurs in the dominion of Hades.  Irony as it were would have him stand next to the Centaurs and playing nicey nicey with the harlot with whom he once had lain.

He didn't run toward the master suite in which Zeus and Hades would undoubtedly have made themselves at home discussing the manner in which they would dispose of Persephone when she was discovered.  It also had struck him that if the Olympians were in league with Gabriel and Jehovah then he would have also been on the 'must dice' list.  Belial strode determinedly and masterfully encountering a handful of soldiers on the way.  Luckily for these soldiers they had assumed that Belial would be fighting against the Centuars and they did not avenge or challenge him in anyway.

The suites were set high in the castle on the northern side, a strange oval plaza of red plush carpet and miniature conifers acted as an unmanned lobby to the luxury in which all the regal guests and dignitaries of other worlds would all be housed.  Luxury it definitely was, and pretentious it all seemed.  The master suite was draped in gold and purple, all the wealth in Olympus seemed to have vomited all over this room, leaving nothing but gawdy ornate furniture and the stench of lavender curling in purple wispy smoke from a ridiculously overly-creative designed incense burner.

All that was lying behind the mauve door the Belial was five large strides away from.  He considered knocking as if a polite servant of the castle bringing water and tidings to the stand in masters.  Considered it, and ignored it.  His falchion was drawn and a small metal shield as large as a bicycle wheel with no emblem or pattern on it.  Belial was never one for subtlties, the direct approach had always suited him best, no messing, just direct action, just a swift kick to the door to throw it from it's frame and bowl Hades over.

It was almost as he had expected, Zeus stunned but swiftly gaining his arrogance and posture, Hades wasn't scrabbling on the floor in his plan but that was no problem.  Hera's presence was the problem. 

Hera was a tall ebony haired Olympian.  Her chalk white face framed two exotic cat-like jade eyes.  She was stunning in a filthy and dangerous way.  Eluding appeal from every pore in her body, yet had the face of a panther ready to strike.  Hera was also deadly, with brothers like Zeus and Hades she had to be able to handle herself to compete for regality and power.  Her long black hair swung around like a fan in a looping trajectory.

Belial took seconds to rethink his manouevres and stance considering he now would be fighting an extra warrior.  A quick scan showed him that Hades was finding his feet but that Belial was planted between him and the rack of weapons which evidentally contained the trio's swords and shields.  Fortune had shown Belial some favour after all, he was the only armed warrior in the room.

'Ah Belial, I guess then that you know a little something of the pathetic debacle that is knocking on my door.'  Hera spoke first her burning eyes sought to pierce the very heart of the intrusive demon before her.

'Why are you here Hera?'  Belial would ordinarily have spat some well crafted sarcasm, but on this occasion the presence of Hera had wrong footed even his mechanically calculating mind.  He could hear the steady rhythmic thudding of a large group of Centaurs trying to force the door down below them, and he could feel the wind on his face, yet he could not get Hera out of his focus.

'Staking my claim to the kingdom.  It's amazing what seducing an Archangel can gain you?  I am a kind of emissary, well I will be once Hades and Zeus have taken the power from Persephone and the apple of your ignorant eye.'  Her face was almost radiant with the sweet smile that she adorned.  Her lyrical voice delivered the words slowly and deliberately.

'You sold your soul and your virtue for a tenuous portion of power?'  Belial laughed scornfully. 'Bedding down with the filth of Babylon so that you can bring messages to and from one world to the next.  You're nothing but a hooker with a free bus pass.  When will you understand?  The angels have absolutely no intention of giving you a portion larger than an allotment for growing cabbages.  Jehovah does not share power, he takes and drains all the resources before moving obn, and as for Gabriel, well he's nothing more than a lacky with a prophecy.  He has nothing to offer you but the orders of Jehovah.'

'I find that a little insulting my old friend.'  The voice behind him was unmistakably that of Belials nemesis.  The blonde angel sauntered nonchalantly in the room flanking Belial to his right.  'By the Zeus your little brother is sprinting down the corridor away from all the trouble.  He never struck me as a coward, but never mind.  I think that you two should do the same, the centaurs are heavy in numbers and they will eventually get in the castle whether you like it or not.  Belial me and you can conduct our business alone can we not?'

Belial summarized everything quickly, the time it had taken to get her was enough time for them to be completely surrounded by Centaurs by now, Hermione would have schooled the Centaurs on all the exits.  Even if Zeus and Hera left this room they would still be trapped within the building.  He studied the face of his bitter adversary, he noted the confident furrow and mocking smile.  Belial saw in Gabriels eyes that he was not alone in his trip to the Netherworld.  Seeing sense in ensuring the numbers were kept to a minimum Belial stood aside for the two Olympians to leave.

Gabriel paced to the window and looked down the pulsing squirm of the Centaurs main attack.  He caught a glimpse of three humanoid figures scaling the walls a little below him in the next tower and shrugged off all significance it may have.  He sighed and spun around nocking an arrow and looked down the shaft at Belials chest.

'What are you doing Belial?  Did you not think I would be hunting you?  Leaving such meagre and pitiful clues behind as to what you were attempting too.  I think the years have driven you to the point of insanity, how foolish it is of you to leave me a window open.  The prophecy shall be fulfilled, but what good would it be without an audience.'  Gabriel let out a shrill whistle and in walked four other angels, all dripping in blood with an angry shadow of adrenaline glimmering beind their eyes.

The End

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