Lucifer reached the bottom of the spiral staircase to The House, abode of the angels who had previously been close to God. As he began to make his way up the stairs, an armour-clad guard appeared from further above the stairs.
"Who goes there?" asked the guard, unfurling his wings.
"Am I still unrecognized?" asked Lucifer. "Come now, surely somebody must remember me."
The guard took off his helmet, his other hand still gripping his sword. His eyes widened in shock, and he dropped his helmet. As the helmet bounced off the stairs and onto the clouds beneath them, the angel fell prostate before Lucifer.
"Forgive me! Forgive me, Lord Lucifer! Had I known it was you-"
Lucifer shrugged. "Can I blame you? I have aged, unlike you and your kin, guardsman. Go on, return to your post, and do not mind me."
"Of course, Lord. As you wish."
The guard disappeared back up the stairway, and Lucifer, after giving the guard some time, followed. It was only after several minutes of walking that Lucifer began to understand what Peter had been speaking of- from his elevated position, he could see that there was little left of the Heaven he knew. The Pearly Gates were rusting; the once gleaming rows apartment blocks that housed the denizens of Heaven were now grey and in disrepair- and Lucifer had fought his way through the Steel Gates, once a mighty fortress which protected the Inner Sanctum of Heaven, with only the slightest effort.
Lucifer finally reached the top of the stairway, and found himself before a massive courtyard. Behind it, a gleaming, white palace stood tall, glowing faintly. With a sense of great urgency, Lucifer began to sprint through the courtyard, his aged body barely hindering his speed. In a matter of moments, he found himself before the palace doors. He thought of knocking, then stopped himself.
Lucifer swung his staff at the door three times. "Michael! Michael, what is going on?"
There was no response.
"Michael! I know you're inside. Give me passage before I make passage for myself."
The doors swung open, and a crowd of angels, clad in black robes and carrying metre-long blades, surged out.
"Michael! This is your idea of a welcome to your old man?"
"Shut up! Shut up and don't even think about moving!" yelled one of the angels, grabbing Lucifer's free arm.
Lucifer dropped his staff, and with his now-free hand, grabbed the offending angel and threw him back through the doorway of the palace, and into a wall. The rest of the angels promptly retreated, still pointing their weapons at him. Lucifer, undaunted, continued up the steps, pushing the angels further and further into the palace's main corridor.
"Michael," Lucifer continued, hints of rage creeping into his voice, "If you keep this up I will not hesitate to tear down this palace, brick by brick, and slaughter all that stand in my way. STOP THIS NOW, AND COME OUT!"
The angels suddenly parted, and the sound of metal striking the marble floor could be heard. At the end of the corridor, Michael was walking slowly towards Lucifer, clad in red robes and boots of adamantine. As he approached Lucifer, passing by the angels, he spread his wings, and drew his golden longsword.
"You! You DARE show your face here, SATAN?"
Lucifer blinked, and a look of confusion spread onto his face.
"Satan? I have not been called that in... in eons! What is the meaning of all this, boy?"
Michael lunged towards Lucifer, sword in hand. Lucifer simply grasped the sword, barehanded, and threw Michael into the ground. Using his wings, Michael shot backwards, several feet away from Lucifer, his face bloodied and his sword chipped.
"Boy? DO NOT CALL ME BOY! I AM THE ARCHANGEL MICHAEL! ANGELS! UNTO ME!"
The angels formed a square around Michael, and with swords out, began to march towards Lucifer.
"We form the Agmen Quadratum, the two triangles which shall slay the enemy! For the Archangel!" they cried in unison.
Lucifer sighed deeply, and twitched his right hand. His staff vanished from the floor outside the palace, and appeared in his hands. He struck the staff into the ground, and with both hands, gripped the staff tightly.
"One last warning, children! Let me speak with you, Michael, without intrusion!"
Ignoring Lucifer's warning, the angels, Michael in the centre, charged forward. Lucifer let go of his staff, and pointed both hands at the ever-nearing blades.
"I have had ENOUGH," yelled Lucifer, all pretence of mischievous glee gone from his voice. "I have had ENOUGH of your CHILDISH IDIOCY!"
Lucifer waved his hands, and the armed square was torn in two. Angels flew around the room with such force that many were impaled upon each other; some were flung through the featureless, marble walls of the palace; others were simply reduced to bloodied, lifeless corpses. Michael was slammed into a wall, his entire force of bodyguards slaughtered before his very eyes.
"Now then, BOY, let's have a small chat," said Lucifer. Clenching his fists and motioning to himself, Lucifer drew flaming chains out of thin air, and bound Michael to the wall. As Michael began to cry out in pain, Lucifer picked up Michael's sword from the ground and slammed it into Michael's left foot.
"Sat-Lucifer! Please! Mercy! It hurts, it hurts!"
Lucifer crouched before the snivelling Archangel, a spark Lucifer's eyes forming as he watched the chains burn into Michael's flesh.
"Now that we're alone, why don't you tell me something?"
Michael began to nod frantically. "Anything! Just make it stop!"
Lucifer's eyes narrowed, and the wrinkles in his face began to recede. His eyes took on a pale, red glow, and Lucifer's wings began to spread.