Lucifer reappeared before the Pearly Gates, which were now covered with rust and falling apart thanks to years of disrepair. Lucifer made his way through the rubble, and noticed Saint Peter, sitting dejectedly on a pile of once-white rocks.

"Peter, my friend! What has happened here?"

Peter looked up, his eyes dull and listless. "Much, Lucifer, much you have missed. Things have changed since the Father died."

Lucifer cocked his head slightly, leaning on his staff. "How long ago was that?"

"A thousand years ago. It was the last time you came up here. It was for his funeral. Did you forget?"

"I am an old angel, Peter, and unlike those in Heaven, I do nothing to stop my aging. My memory is not what it could be."

Peter went back to staring at the dusty, grey clouds beneath their feet. "Stubborn, as always. I will not tell you. Go see for yourself."

Lucifer prodded Peter with his staff. "Where are the masses, come to be judged for entrance to Heaven? What has happened?"

Peter looked back up at Lucifer, and a trace of a tear began to form. "Stop. Just- just go. Please."

Lucifer shrugged, and continued past the ruined gates. "As you wish, old friend." Lucifer went back to picking his way through the rubble littered throughout the clouds, and began to make his way towards the Archangel Michael's abode. As he continued onwards, he found few people- most that he did see ducked into houses, or hid behind walls at the mere sight of him.

Odd, thought Lucifer. Surely I am not that frightening. Nonetheless, he continued on his way, still curious to the circumstances. After another long, silent period of time, he came upon another set of gates straddling a crumbling wall, these ones made of polished steel and guarded by two angels, both with the bright glow of a newly-made angel. As Lucifer came close to the gates, they drew swords and brandished them at him.

"Who do you think you are? Get out of sight!"

Lucifer stopped, a wry grin on his face. "Why, it is Lucifer! Am I no longer welcome in my old home?"

The two guards looked at each other, whispering to each other and leafing through a large book that one of them was carrying. After a moment, one turned towards Lucifer, sword still outstretched. 

"You trying to trick us? There is no Lucifer in the list of Holy Names! Leave, or be slain!"

Lucifer's grin dissipated, and his voice took on a decidedly more serious tone.

 "I have no time for this, younglings. Let me in. Please. Before I have to harm one of you."

The other angel, who was carrying the notebook, moved closer, his sword inching ever closer to Lucifer's face.   

"Listen to this old man. You think you, a dead human, can fight something divine?"

Lucifer shook his staff at the two.

"Yes, child. I think I can fight. Last warning, children. Let the old man in."

The other angel dropped the notebook, and the two began to circle Lucifer. Lucifer sighed, and shook his head in dismay.

"I was hoping to avoid this."

Lucifer gestured with his free hand at one of the angels. He promptly fell to the ground screaming, his eyes bleeding profusely. With his other hand he effortlessly swung his stick at the other angel, snapping the angel's sword in two and smashing into his face with a resounding crack

The angel who had been carrying the notebook slumped onto the ground, unconscious. The other continued to scream in a high-pitched voice. 


Lucifer looked down upon the squirming, bleeding mass, and smiled, not unkindly.

"It would seem as though your eyes have gone missing, young one. Perhaps you ought to respect your elders more. Grace me with your silence."

Lucifer gestured towards the angel's mouth, and the angel's voice suddenly went silent. He walked through the gate the two had been protecting, ripping open the steel with the flick of a finger, and continued onwards to the center of Heaven.

"Children. So foolish."

The End

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