The second and last chapter. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The stench coming from the streets made her stomach turn; it was the stench of debauchery and decadence. The people had forgotten the Presence and now the demons ran free. Of course, the humans could not see them, but their presence was felt in more subtle ways. A mother strangled an unwanted baby in an alley; a son killed his father for money. And the whores walked the streets, having no short supply of costumers. Miyaji hated it with all her soul. “Something should be done with that display of human filth!” she growled to her commander, a grim veteran warrior called LeTreue, “Why does the Presence allow this?” LeTreue turned his scarred face towards his young student. “It is not for us to know, little wing, but I know that he has a plan for them.” Miyaji snarled. “Of course he has! He always has a plan, but tell me why he allows the demons to run free in both of the cities when he could destroy them with just a word!” The old angel stared at his pupil; this was not a discussion he liked, never the less he answered. “Because only the Presence knows what the Presence thinks, we enforce his rule, we do not rule ourselves.” Not satisfied with the answer, Miyaji stretched out her wing to their full two meters and drew her sword. “We should just eradicate them right now! Save him the trouble!” she shouted. Violently, LeTreue pulled her down on the ground and held her there while he whispered. “No, we will not. And you better stop your posturing and shouting lest you want Greed and Lust knowing we are here, have you ever stared into the eyes of them? You never even seen a pure bred demon, much lest one of the great ones.” “And now they rule supreme over Sodom and Gomorrah.” Miyaji hissed back, “what better way to see them, and kill them.” Sure that they had not been spotted, LeTreue let go and rose to his feet. “I said no, when the Presence wills it, the cities shall be cleansed, not before. Go home now little wing, and do not seek further down on this path.” With a last growl Miyaji sheeted her sword and took flight. With a sigh LeTreue watched the last traces of light as she flew off, she growled at people often these days. Not that it was uncommon for angels to growl occasionally, especially those who had seen battle took to the simple form of communication that the presence had given the animals, it was quick and a very subtle way to communicate. However, when they talked in naught but growls and hisses, it became a problem. For just as the Presence didn’t notice the snake slithering its way into Eden, many did not see how it slithered into their hearts. Miyaji was furious as she walked the halls of the Glass City, her wings flapped hard in silent tantrums and her fist clenched her sword handle until her knuckles hurt. The cities would not leave her mind, she hated the prospect that Lust and Greed laughed in their halls and still the Presence did nothing! She knew her thoughts were dangerously close to those of the Morning Star, but in her heart, she couldn’t seem to care. She tried to drown her thoughts in battle, sparring with one of her sisters. They had to hold her back from decapitating the poor thing. She tried kneeling in front of the eternal fire, but she found no comforting word or guidance. She even tried screeching from the highest tower in all of Paradise, but it just ended with an itching throat. With a sudden clarity she knew what she must do, she went to talk to her master. They tried to stop her from meeting him, of course. You don’t bother the Presence for a small matter such as hers. But they shunned when she looked at them with her cold, blue eyes. She gained entrance to the throne and bowed before laying her anger and fear and despise for Sodom and Gomorrah. All the while, the Presence listened, and when she was done, he turned her away without a word. She tried to sleep once she got to her chambers, but the fact that she had been ignored made her toss and turn until she finally rose from her bed and donned her armor. “If the Presence will not heed me, I’ll do it myself!” she whispered, fully embracing the thought that she would be damned, but as long as the demons followed her to the grave, she would be glad. As she flew off into the night she threw one last look at her home and then veered off to the cities. She landed on the town square of Sodom, tough it was late, the humans were still up to a little midnight drinking and whoring, and with them the demons, she drew her sword silently as she spotted the first one, a lesser demon. Not quite pure breed either, this one was made up of a human sinner’s soul. With a roar she fell on the thing and sliced it in half, and then the human it had been feeding upon. Pandemonium erupted, demons snarling and humans screaming and running. And wherever the humans fled, she was there to end their lives with her blade, and the demons came, she welcomed them with cold steel. Left, right, up and down, her whirling blade touched flesh with every stroke. It turned demons to cadavers and humans into ash, her wings where coated in blood and she tasted it as it trickled down her face, the sweet tang gave her even more urge to kill the foul beings, she eviscerated a giant bull-demon and cut the head of a fleeing woman in the same stroke, wherever her wings stroked, building crumbled, so terrible was the warrior angel in her wrath. She wasn’t sure when her perfect teeth turned into sharp fangs but it mattered not, the only thing it did was to add another weapon to her arsenal, and she laughed and shouted to the heavens as she demolished the city gates. “SEE THIS FATHER! ALL THIS FOR YOU! SO PERISH ALL SINNERS!” Suddenly it all stopped, and she turned to see her handiwork, hundred upon hundreds of bodies lay before her in the ruins of Sodom, demons and humans alike. Her wings thick with blood, she started walking towards Gomorrah. “By the Almighty Presence!” LeTreue breathed, “What has she done?” He stood by his window in the Glass City, and looked down on his once-pupil, nearly overcome with grief for his little sister. “Why Miyaji?” he whispered as he cried, “didn’t you trust in the Presence? How could something like this come to pass?” But he had not uttered the last word before he felt the light of the Presence behind him and he suddenly knew. He turned and kneeled. “Oh Almighty, I understand your plan for the sinful cities now, but I wish that you did not test her so.” With a calming touch, the Presence withdrew. It was morning when she reached the city gates, late enough for the people of Gomorrah to see what had happened to her sister city, they fled before her but she hunted them down, and it all began anew. The scream rang loud and clear in the morning, the fires raged and the buildings crumbled. The demons of Gomorrah were a different breed, warriors instead of leeches. She cared not, her sword sang with bloodlust as she cut, sliced, parried and gutted her way through the streets. For twelve hours she waged a one angel war on the city. When the last demon fell, she howled to the red sky. Suddenly she heard applauds, and she turned. There stood Lust, in her terrible beauty, dressed only in as much clothing so you barely could tell the difference between naked and dressed. And beside her was Greed, a short, disgusting man with a sickly tone on his skin and a calculating smile on his thin lips. “Well done, sister.” Lust moaned, “I bow to you.” Her first impulse was to growl, but then she remembered that she could talk. “I’m not your sister! You are traitors to the Presence, and you will face justification!” Greed smiled. “Oh? And pray tell, dear sister, what are you?” Confused, Miyaji couldn’t understand the demon until Lust showed her a beautiful hand-mirror and her own visage. Miyaji could not believe it, looking back on her trough the mirror was a demon of terrible visage, long horns protruded from her forehead, sharp fangs in her mouth and her blood stained wings where leathery and bat-like. Her eyes, still blue and cold, had a red spark in them that rang with hate. “War” she whispered and her sword fell from her clawed hand as she fell to her knees. Lust shot a glance over her shoulder at Greed. “Well, you were right brother, no demon turns out better than the ones that once were angels, they are the ones destined to be the generals of our armies.” Greed chuckled. “Aye, and to think we didn’t have to lift a finger to corrupt this one, It was almost…” His words were cut short by a primal shriek rising from Miyaji’s throat. She grabbed her blade and sprang towards them. With a sound like wet mud it sank into Greed’s throat. “But…you can’t do that…” were his last wheezed words before he returned to damnation. Lust looked at her with shock in her beautiful face. Miyaji smiled sadly. “No, an angel can only destroy demons when they are called…but a demon…we are above that are we not?” she sliced with her sword again and lopped of an arm accompanied by the agonized cries of Lust, “we are better, free to do whatever we want!” She severed another arm and pinned Lust to a wall with her sword through her chest. “Suppose I want to make you suffer for a very, very long time…then I’m free to do so…no orders…no rules!” she snarled trough clenched teeth. “You…would not.” Lust stammered, even dying, she sounded like she was teeming with pleasure. “But I would…” Miyaji said as she pulled out her sword and began shopping away at the demon. It was 3 years later that the messengers of the Presence found her, still cutting away tiny pieces of the demon, and Lust still screaming. “Hold Demon!” they shouted at her and so Miyaji turned. “What? Come to slay me? I was hoping for LeTreue” The messenger shook his head. “You who once were Miyaji of the Pax Dei! The Presence calls you to surrender and face judgment before the Tribune!” Miyaji looked at the pitiful head of the agonized demon, with a final trust she split its skull and sent it back to where it came, after 3 years of torture, it was free. She left her sword there, and was dragged in chains to the Glass City, and finally locked away in a cell. A couple of hundred years passed by and without nourishment from the sun, she withered, and her wings lost their shape and hung around her like a beggar’s cloak. Her once strong body turned to that of a cripple before the door to her cell finally opened. But it was not for her sentence, she was purged. Her horns were ripped out under the most painful circumstances and what was left of her wings was taken from her in the same manner. For a thousand years she felt a whip to her back in the same three places and she knew. One scar for every year she tortured Lust. The most agonizing moment for her was when they pulled her teeth out, or it could’ve been when her clawed fingers got crushed and taken. Everything was a blur until that day she knew she was dying; she lay on a bench, cuffed tough it was hardly necessary, she couldn’t move anymore. She awaited death. But then she remembered seeing LeTreue standing beside her with a look of pity in his eyes. “Well, Beast…the time has come to…” he paused, “I beg that the Presence forgives me, I can’t do it. Miya, please. Tell me without lies in your heart that you regret your actions…I beg of you, demon, to let my sister come back.” If she had had the strength to answer she would’ve said “Yes, I do regret it, but it does not matter, I go now to limbo…to meet my death.” But it did not come, instead she opened her eyes to bright sunlight and the smell of fresh air, she was resting in her bed and at her side stood LeTreue. She sat up and noticed that she could and almost fainted from happiness. “Why am I alive?” she asked in a confused voice, slowly prodding her new teeth with her tongue, they were intact. “Would you prefer otherwise?” the grizzled angel said with a small smile. “No, of course not, but after what I did, shouldn’t I be…” “You did not do anything wrong these last couple of years,” LeTreue broke in, “you were away on a secret mission for the Presence and unfortunately couldn’t stop the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.” he lowered his voice, “that is what will be the explanation to why you are not dead, tough everyone knows what has transpired…who are they to question a statement from the Presence?” He smiled, “But you have been given a great gift Miyaji of the Pax Dei, you received forgiveness only because you regretted you actions with all your heart.” When he told her how the Presence hand laid his hand upon the broken body of a demon and turned it back to his angel, Miyaji nearly bursted to tears. “So I’m still a warrior of Pax Dei?” she asked in a tight voice LeTreue nodded. “Yes, but you will not be able to be stationed here in the holy land anymore, to many of the others know what happened and they would never trust you, although the word of the Presence should be good enough for them!” he added heat to the last words. “So what will happen to me? Where will I be stationed?” “In a land across the puddle…err…ocean I mean…The Presence say very interesting things are going to happen over there.” Miyaji bowed and felt the strain on her back; she put a hand there and felt the three long scars. “So I can remember.” She thought. “Oh, another thing I almost forgot...” LeTreue went to a table and picked up a sword from it and handed it to Miyaji, “since your sword has been destroyed, the Presence wanted to give you this one instead, it’s called Fimbriae Machaera.” “The Blade on the Edge” Miyaji translated to her self, “fit’s me exactly…” She rose from the bed and bowed deep to LeTreue. “I thank you for your help.” The older angel smiled. “It is good to have you back, little wing.” THE END FOR ALL TIME.