Chapter Four (Part One - Before the Banishment)

At the round marble table in the chamber sat two silent figures.  Satan sat facing the door, a look of deep concentration on his strong face.  Apart from the absent minded drumming of his long thick fingers on his glass he remained motionless, barely even registering Belial's entrance let alone to motion for him to sit down.  Belial sat anyway, he marvelled at how the years had given Satan a more chiselled appearance.

It was still obvious to all, that this was a demon with immense prowess.  His muscled arms still prominent under his long black shirt.  Even with his pink tie, this was one intimidating demon to face.  Belial was never intimidated however, he remembered Satan as the skinny scholar type he used to be.  Long before the war.

Beelzebub was a different matter entirely, his hair was long in comparison to his seated companions short mop.  A more gaunt appearnce played across Beelzebubs face, and his thick brown eyebrows met in the middle of his forehead giving him a devious, cunning look.  But Beelzebub was never cunning, this was the cleverest of all of the fallen.  The tactician, the politician, the hand inside the puppet, he was the wasp amongst the butterflies.

A third person was in the room, standing in the gloom away from the table looking upon the demonic painting of Belial himself.  A picture portraying him with wings and the sinister head of a goat standing over a sleeping lady.  Belial had no fondness for this demon, a lesser demon, a century or so after the fallen had inhabited Hell this cretin had arrived.  This was Balthazar.

Balthazar was a gangled looking man, bandy and greasy in appearance.  As always Balthazar was grinning in his sly sloping manner, a look of irony upon his face.  Dressed completely in the black robes of the demons counsel with it's crimson gash, he stood in a camp mock-menacing manner, one bony arm against his waist.

At Belial's entrance Balthazar crossed over the wide hall to the table and took a seat.  The disgusting face of the head of the Demons counsel was illuminated by the candles on the table.  This cast long shadows across the stone floor, and flickered sharp silhouettes up the walls and over all the seven paintings of the fallen.

This room had not changed, the large mahogany bookcase containing many of the recovered volumes of Titivillus, and of course the party piece.  Titivillus written version of Kains Prophecy sat on it's own in the midst of the book case occupying it's own shelf.

Belial walked across the room smelling the burning candle mixing itself subtly with the pungeant incense stick on the table, sending out a burnt pine smell wisping into the air.  Breathing deeply he sat down on his old wooden chair.

"Long time Belial, I hope that your little vacation was worth the trouble."  Satan glowered at him across the table, his blue eyes piercing the smoke and glow of the candle between them.

"Long time, and no trouble at all."  Belial glared back.  The leader of the fallen never worried him, he never succumbed to Satans disapproval.

"Belial what did Moebius say to you?  Where is Michael Attacking?"  Beelzebub rasped, his tongue slithering through his teeth momentarily.

"I will wait for Lucifer and Abaddon to arrive if you don't mind.  I also think that Blathazar is currently surplus to requirement."  Belial turned his head slowly and deliberately in the direction of Balthazar, returning is smile with an ironic grin of his own.

"As head of the Demon COunsel I am never..."

"You are not one of the fallen, and you are no more than an amoebe passing judgment on things you could never comprehend.  I have never held much stock in the Counsels deliberations, and I certainly find no stock in your existence, so if you don't mind snake you will leave whilst I discuss these matters with those it concerns."  Belial lost the smile and his old hatred for Balthazar came rushing through his throat and out of his mouth.

"Balthazar stays.  But yes we will wait for Abaddon and Lucifer."  Satan sat back wearily against his chair, but his menacing glower remained level with Belial.

"YOu haven't changed Belial, still as arrogant as you ever were, still as quick to aggression.  It has been too long for you to understand what has been happening here, but the war has not stopped in your absence."  Balthazar had gained a smug confidence at Satan allowing him to stay.

"Yet in the years I have been away you have never needed me back until now.  What has happened to need my attention now, did they leave you in charge of something Balthazar?"

"Now now children."  Beelzebub sniggered "I think you two just jump in bed together and get it over with."

"As appropriate as ever Beelzebub."  Belial shook his head grimly.  He took a few moment to let his eyes wander around the room again.  So long ago it was that they laid the foundations to this room, yet Belial could still taste the thick dust from the stones.

The door behind them opened and Abaddon and Lucifer walked in without a word and seated themselves either side of Belial.

"Now we are all together we can begin, what have you to tell us Belial?"  Balthazar asked in a forced mild tone.

"Lots of things Balthazar, most of which I doubt you'd ever understand."  Belial spat.

"Just let us know what Moebius said B."  Lucifer did not try to disguise his anxiety, there was a tremor to his voice which was pitched a little higher than normal.

"MIchael is taking a dozen Seraphim to 'Matter' tonight at midnight.  Accompanying these are another dozen fledglings, a little initiation to the order fight."  Belial breathed, a little concern of his own playing across his usual poker face.

"And what is the purpose of this attack?" Satan asked.

"To wind us up?  To get a little blood for the Seraphim?  To test out their fledglings?  Your guess is as good as mine."

"And Moebius told you the time and place, how many we have to face?  What did that cost her, how much blood did she pay you for that?"  Beelzebub smiled.

"That's the thing that is troubling me the most, she just told me, no fight, no price not even a malicious word from her mouth was uttered.  There is something not right."

"Could it be the prophecy?"  Lucifer asked again.

"No it is but it isn't.  That's all I could glean from her.  Tonight no prophecy would be fulfilled, but it would lead up to all of them being concluded.  Something is going to happen tonight that is going to change this war for better or for worse."  Belial looked puzzled, his brow wrinkled and smoothed repeatedly.

"The master of lies is keeping something from us all lord.  He has more information than he is giving."  Balthazar sneered.

"Get rid of this toad, we need to plan tonights defence, but first I must talk with just the fallen.  There is more to tell, Moebius stressed that none other than us should know."


The End

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