Lucifer has been released from his cage. I knew it was coming, God had written a book about it after all, but I had believed that it would take longer, but then again, angels didn't usually work along side the demons to release the devil. It was a possibility that I had underestimated, but didn't surprise me. This Michael was desperate, desperate to be the son that he desired his Father to see him as, devoted and willing to do anything to follow his Father's plan, not leaving a single 't' uncrossed or an 'i' undotted. He was using God's book as a how-to manual to guide him through the darkest waters I had ever seen.
If I was being honest, I was disappointed with Michael. God had made him a protector, the eldest of the angels and archangels and yet when it came down to the end of God's book he was failing to be the protector that he had once been. He was so focused on his Father's vision that he had lost sight of what it was truly going to cost him. He had already lost his Father, banished his brother to hell to suffer, lost another brother to the wreckage of the first two losses yet remained strong that his Father would lead him and the other angels into paradise through His word, a paradise that would come at the cost of the lives of several of his younger brothers and sisters as well as the brother that he had once been so close with. It pained me to see the being that Michael had become for the desire to please his absent Father.
I could never imagine doing the same to the reapers under my command, they were my brothers and sisters. Though to me they were like the seraphs to Michael I still grieved at the loss of one of them, I couldn't bare if father had given me an equal to love the way that Michael had loved Lucifer. To lose them or be faced with the task of killing them would have been more than I could bare.
Lucifer wasn't any better. As soon as he had been sprung from his cage he had began calculating the steps needed to get him into his vessel and bring the world to it's knees. He was using his demons to wreck havoc and collect ingredients while he set to work. Lucifer had plans, plans that included raising my father and his brothers. As much as I desired raising my father from his coffin, I wasn't so keen on releasing my uncles. War, Famine and Pestilence are little like my father, their tactics more about chaos and making death so much more messy than it needed to be.
I had long known what Lucifer was up to before he sent a messenger. The sniveling, pathetic excuse of a demon had slinked into my kingdom and stood before me with a false bravado that wouldn't have fooled a human child.
"Why are you in the Veil?" I demanded of the demon. The pathetic thing huddled into himself at my glare, before seeming to gather his courage and stood tall.
"Your highness, Queen Thana. I carry a message from my father, Lucifer." The demon defended. I balked at the use of the title. I had never used the roles of a monarchy in my realm, I left that foolishness to the humans and demons.
"I am well aware of your message. You'd do well not to test my patience." The demon swallowed hard.
"He wants you to know of his plan to raise your father. This shall happen within the month in the city of Carthage." I hummed and gestured for the demon to leave. The insolent fool failed to heed my command and continued to speak.
"My father wishes to see you when he begins the ritual in Carthage." The demon continued, his chin raised high like he was a messenger of importance and not a nuisance to be dealt with. I raised a brow to the moronic creature.
"I am well aware of Lucifer's intentions and his desire for my presence. I suggest you tell your father..." I sneered.
"that next time he can forgo the messenger. The next time he sends one into my home, the messenger will return in a far different state than he arrived." The threat hit home as the demon once again swallowed hard.
"Now I suggest that you heed my warning and leave...quickly." I stressed, the demon all but disappeared in his rush to exit before I could change my mind.
"Sister? Do you wish for me to… shoot the messenger?" Ivo asked and I shook my head.
"I will keep to my word, that fool shall live, but the next shall be executed on sight." Ivo smiled darkly and nodded before leaving to spread the word. The time in the cage must have done something to Lucifer's memory, he knew as well as his brothers that I was all knowing just like my father, his need for formality was not something that I wished to begin within my own realm. He should have known better, known that I already knew what he was up to and that I would never miss the rising of my father.
As Lucifer began his campaign in Carthage, a large gathering of my brothers and sister assembled. The city was already feeling the impact of Lucifer's presence before he even arrived. Upon his orders every able bodied man was possessed with a demon. The reaping began as every woman, child, and unsuitable man was murdered with brutality and blood lust by the demons that had been unleashed on the city. The more souls needing to be reaped the bigger the gathering became. I stood at the top of the city's tallest building, from here I could see the streets filled with my brothers and sisters, the only human bodies remaining in the city were the possessed and I could already feel the closeness of my father.
Though it was late morning the sky remained dark, clouded to block most of the light from the sun. My interest was peaked when I felt the presence of four humans and an angel entering the city, two of which were the Winchesters if I wasn't mistaken. If there weren't such grand plans for those two men they would have been dead long ago. I had yet to decide if the group was brave or foolish as I moved to watch them. The sight of their weapons brought a smile to face. They were foolish, I decided then. The angel knew those weapons would do nothing to the demons and least of all to Lucifer, yet he came with them. Castiel was a loyal being, I admired that about him, but I hated to see his loyalty bring his demise as it had not even a year ago. It had brought comfort to me to know that even as much as God tried to hide and distance himself, he was still paying attention and was still writing the stories that we had worked so hard to create.
I could feel Castiel's distress as he saw all of my brothers and sisters gathered in the streets. His eyes roved about them before they flashed up to look at me from where I stood perched on the top of the building near by. He went pale as he recognized me, I smiled at the angel. He was terrified, just like every other creature that knew who I was. The only beings that never feared me were God and the archangels. They all thought themselves safe as the people that loved them most were the only ones with the means to kill them. The archangels holding archangel blades, loving each other too much to use it on one another and God, their Father. The archangels were under the misunderstanding that I could only reap a soul after the body was killed, little did they know that I could reap a soul without the need of damage being done to the being. Just like every other being in existence there was a notebook with their ending written inside. For some there are more than one, the ending to their story depending on the decisions they were yet to make.
After a long moment Castiel looked away, his eyes moving to where Ivo was standing watch from across the street. Ivo was the only one not waiting and watching for our father. Father had created him with the task of watching over me, while the archangels had been created as equals and as a system of checks and balances, my father knew that giving me his gift would serve the same purpose, but he still gave me someone to act as a companion, a friend besides a brother. Ivo acted as my sounding board, just because I knew the answer didn't always mean that it made sense, Ivo was created with a different view point that aided with understanding as well as a person to watch out for me while I watched out for everyone else.
Castiel flew after Ivo, curious as to his presence since he wasn't acting like the rest of my brothers and sisters. Little did Castiel know, but Lucifer was already inside, watching and waiting. Castiel only knew that Lucifer was in town, but not exactly where, given that Lucifer's presence could be felt for miles around. Lucifer was expecting me, but I knew he would be intrigued by the appearance of Castiel. I gave it a few moments before moving inside as well, melting into the shadows to observe before revealing myself to the beings distracted by each others presence.
"Loyalty. Such a nice quality to see in this day and age. Castiel, right? Castiel. I'm told you came here in an automobile." Lucifer seemed perplexed at the idea.
"What was that like?" Castiel was confused and distrusting of Lucifer's curiosity, but he was also observing the small room. I could see him eyeing the piping in the room, searching for a possible method of escape from the ring of holy oil that confined him.
"Um. Slow. Confining."
"What a peculiar thing you are." Lucifer stepped closer and I was able to completely see his vessel, it was disintegrating. His powers where too much for the vessel and it would continue to basically boil from the inside out till Lucifer took the vessel he was intended for.
"What's wrong with your vessel?" Castiel asked.
"Yes. Um. Nick is wearing a bit thin, I'm afraid. He can't contain me forever, so -" Castiel's temper flared and I decided that then would be a good moment to make myself known.
"I'm pleasantly surprised Lucifer. You know the name of your vessel, I would have thought that beneath you." I hummed as I walked closer to the two. Castiel looked terrified and backed away as far as the circle of fire would allow him while Lucifer smiled and stepped closer.
"Thana, what a pleasure to see you. I was starting to think that you were going to ignore my invitation."
"I trust that you messenger passed along my message?" I asked as I looked around at the decrepit building that was all but falling down around us. Lucifer gave a cackle.
"Yes, my messenger was eager to report that he had passed along my message and brought one in turn, though he was very nervous that your message would upset me." I hummed, looking to Lucifer bored.
"Lucifer, I trust all that time in the cage did nothing to distort your memory. I do not care for your insincere formalities, you know of my abilities just as much as your brothers and sisters. Test my patience like that again and it will not be just the messenger feeling my irritation, but you as well." I level Lucifer with a hard stare, he didn't recoil, but he lost his smile and kept any snarky remark he might have had to himself. I turned to Castiel and smiled, this only served to frighten him more. I could see as his wings twitched to fly away while always fighting to stay away from the flame that entrapped him. He was like a frightened little bird.
"Do not fear, Castiel. I am not here to harm you. In fact I am fond of you. You are proof that my dear friend has not been as distant as we all have been led to believe. Your Father remains the white king on the chess board, always dictating from behind the scenes, just as we once did together so many years ago." I sighed at the fond memory and turned to Lucifer.
"I'm sure you remember all the times that your Father and I would sit together and outline the lives of all his creations. I distinctly remember these four fledgling impatiently waiting for us to take a break so that your Father would join the four of you in your games or walk with you through the garden. Oh how innocent those times had seemed." I knew Lucifer wasn't as fond of the trip down memory lane as I was, but he knew better than to interrupt.
"Was there something else you wished to speak about Lucifer? I can sense your irritation with my choice of conversation." Lucifer quickly schooled his expression. Even though Lucifer was just like his brothers in his assumption that I couldn't kill him, he wasn't naive enough to believe that I couldn't hurt him should he displease me enough.
"Yes Thana, I was hoping to speak to you about the kind gesture I am doing in hopes of a little amnesty." I chuckled at Lucifer's terminology. With a flick of my hand two chairs appeared and I gently sank into one before speaking.
"By kind gesture you're referring to the rising of my father and uncles from their long rests and by amnesty you mean that you want me to turn my head away as you destroy the hard work your Father and I put into creating the likes of the human population and possibly even aiding you in your crusade against your brother and heaven?" Lucifer knew as well as I did that I knew exactly what he meant, but with his constant need for formality I thought I would be fun to pull it out of him bit by bit with the very formality he was so fond of. Lucifer grit his teeth.
"Yes." He said shortly and I raised a brow at his terse tone. Lucifer quickly took a breath before speaking again.
"Yes. I would like the task of raising your father to serve as payment for help in hell winning the apocalypse." I gave Lucifer a sardonic smile.
"Dear Lucifer, you seem to be forgetting something very important." Lucifer grew further irritated.
"And that would be?" He asked.
"You see Lucifer, it wasn't long after your fall that your Father abandoned Heaven and Earth. He hasn't held an active role in this realm in a very long time." I stated and Lucifer was failing to see my point.
"And beyond the little history lesson?"
"Don't you see? Without your Father around, who else is strong enough to keep me from achieving what I want, no matter the cost? Who was there to prevent me from raising my father on my own?" I smiled as Lucifer began to come to my conclusion
"There was no one Lucifer. If I had wanted to, I could have raised my father centuries ago while you were rotting away in that cage your Father created for you. And I wouldn't have had to raise my uncles along with him, I have no desire to see those vile old men. Without your Father around to fight me I could have taken over everything, shaped this realm into my image."
"Then why didn't you?" Lucifer challenged and I chuckled.
"I already control my own realm, a realm without the issues present in this one. And if your not forgetting, this realm has a script, a book that your Father wrote. As it is I like this realm as is, it serves as my entertainment. I enjoy watching the interactions of your Father's chess pieces, watching as his story unravels before my very eyes. What reader doesn't want to see the story leap from the pages?" I asked coyly as I folded my hands in my lap. I observed Lucifer for a moment as he fumed and glanced to Castiel as his eyes bounced between the two of us like a ping pong match.
"I'll tell you what I will do though. Because you are giving my father back to me, I will turn head to your plans, allow you and your brother to continue with your Father's script, allow you to see the result what what you are both working so hard to achieve. But because of the inconvenience of you raising my uncles to do your bidding, I will not tip the scales in your favor, I will not aid in your crusade. I will remain non-partial to heaven or hell, just as I have for centuries." I smiled at Lucifer though I knew he was far from pleased with terms I had laid before him. I made sure Lucifer held my gaze as I spoke again.
"You should know Lucifer, that I couldn't care less how this apocalypse turns out. Heaven wins, humanity dies. Hell wins, humanity dies. The only difference between the two is which brother dies. Neither outcome leads to a different result for me. Either way I reap humanity and one archangel." Lucifer was truly displeased with how this conversation had turned out. No matter what I would always remain in my position of holding the balance. I look of realization came to Lucifer's face, a realization that seemed to enrage him more.
"You were always going to make this decision!" I smiled wider, he was finally catching up.
"When are you going to learn Lucifer? Death always holds all the cards. Death is unavoidable. The only thing that changes is the who, what, where, when and how." Lucifer opened his mouth, but paused as something occurred to him, then his anger melted into a large smile as he stalked closer to me.
"You know exactly how this is all going to turn out. Michael is using Father's book to guide him when it's truly you who holds the answers." I continued to smile while shaking my head. I rose from my chair and walked closer to Lucifer.
"Still a step behind Lucifer." I taunted as walked past him and toward the window behind him.
"I do not see the future set in stone. There are still decisions to be made, still players to be moved. I don't see the future Lucifer, just the possibilities." Lucifer followed me with his eyes as I moved away from him, stopping in front of the window to look out into the streets where my brothers and sisters remained standing at attention waiting with anticipation for our father to once again rise from his coffin and return to us, to lead us like he was supposed to.
"But you know exactly which decisions get me what I want." Lucifer states happily as he walked closer, moving to stand on the other side of the window and looking at me with high hopes. I let my smile drop as the outcomes flinted through my mind and stepped closer to lay my hand on Lucifer's cheek as I looked to him with pity.
"No Lucifer. No matter what outcome comes to pass, I can promise you this. It will never be what you want. You will never be happy with what comes." Lucifer was startled, he had never anticipated not being happy if he won. Lucifer looked crestfallen as I stepped away and looked back out into the street.
"Besides, your decisions have already been made. No matter what you or Michael decide changes the outcomes. There are other players on the board and I guarantee they'll surprise you." I smiled at Lucifer once more before turning to Castiel. I could tell that the angel was disturbed by the conversation he had just witnessed.
"Ever the pleasure to meet you, Castiel. Maybe next time we meet we'll get to chat?" I gave the angel a wink before blinking away and leaving Lucifer and Castiel to finish what they had started.
I could already feel the effect of my conversation. Lucifer was angrier than ever before, the power he had felt had been stripped away from him, but Castiel's hope had grown. My decision had always been set, I would never side with heaven or hell, but I would choose the side that would lead to a world that had never been chosen before, a world where neither heaven nor hell would win, but humanity would.
Night had fallen and Lucifer was doing the final task before the ritual could be complete. He stood filling in a hole that held the remainder of the slaughtered people. I stood off to the side, out of the way, Lucifer refused to acknowledge my presence, still upset with our earlier conversation. Lucifer was much like a child, easily ruled by his emotions. I could feel the presence of the Winchester brothers as they moved closer, those boys were persistent, I would give them that. Lucifer let Samuel walk up behind him and make the first move.
"Hey!" Samuel yelled and aimed a shotgun at Lucifer. Lucifer turned, dropping the shovel he had been using.
"You wanted to see me?" Samuel asked and I smiled at the gumption of this human. Very few humans are brave enough to face the devil, let alone face him with the intention of denying him what he wants.
"Oh, Sam, you don't need that gun here. You know I'd never hurt you. Not really."
"Yeah? Well, I'd hurt you." Lucifer turns as the other Winchester comes out of the bushes brandishing the colt. As Lucifer faces him fully Dean pulls the trigger and embeds the bullet into Lucifer's skull. Lucifer dropped like a ton of bricks. I rolled my eyes at his dramatics.
"So suck it." Dean says as he stares at Lucifer laying on the ground. Both Winchesters seem to share a moment of celebration before Lucifer breaks the moments with a moan and begins pulling himself up from the ground.
"Owww… Where did you get that?" Lucifer asks before punching Dean and sending him flying into a nearby tree. Samuel watched horrified as his brother crashed to the ground unconscious.
"Now, where were we?' Lucifer asked as he looks back to Samuel.
"Oh that's right, hurting people." Lucifer nods to himself as he ambles toward the hole and the abandoned shovel.
"Don't feel too bad, Sam. There's only five things in all of creation that that gun can't kill and I just happen to be one of them. But if you give me a minute, I'm almost done." Lucifer went back to filling in the hole while Samuel scrambled over to his brother to check that he was still alive.
"You know, I don't suppose you'd just say yes here and now?" Lucifer pondered and Samuel stands up, assured that his brother is still breathing and only knocked out.
"End this whole tiresome discussion? That's crazy, right?" Lucifer's game was starting to grate on my nerves.
"It's never gonna happen!" Samuel yells and I once again admire the young man's resolve.
"Oh, I don't know, Sam. I think it will. I think it'll happen soon. Within six months. And I think it'll happen happen in Detroit."
"Listen to me, you son of a bitch. I'm gonna kill you myself, you understand me? I'm gonna rip your heart out!" Sam yelled.
"That's good, Sam. You keep fanning that fire in your belly. All that pent up rage. I'm gonna need it." Sam's anger deflates quicker than it came.
"What did you do? What did you do to this town?" Sam asks as he looks at the possessed men standing on the other side of the clearing doing nothing.
"Oh, I was very generous with this town. One demon for every able bodied man."
"And the rest of them?" Sam demands.
"In here." Lucifer points to the hole he'd been filling.
"I know, it's awful, but these horsemen are so demanding. So it was women and children first. I know what you must think of me, Sam. But I have to do this. You of all people should understand." Lucifer is laying the pleading for empathy on thick, wanting to Sam to take his side and in doing so making Sam easier to manipulate to his desires.
"What's that supposed to mean?" Sam asks Lucifer angrily and instead of allowing Lucifer to continue with this drawn out game I spoke up.
"What he means Samuel is that there is a reason that you and your brother were chosen to be the vessels for Michael and Lucifer. Dean's life has been meant to represent Michael's while yours has been meant to mirror Lucifer's. You and Lucifer were both the younger brother, idolizing your older brothers till your fathers gave them orders to hurt you. The very construction of your lives on a cosmic level was supposed to prepare you for right now, for the end of it all." Sam looked horrified at the comparison.
"And who are you?" Sam asked and I gave him a soft smile.
"I am Thana. You can ask Castiel who I am, but at the moment I believe there is something a little more important to be conducted than my introduction." I turned to Lucifer who was glaring at me and I returned his glare with a demeaning smile.
"Lucifer, dear, I do believe it is midnight." Lucifer shot me one last glare before turning to the task ahead of him. With Lucifer's back turned to him, Sam goes back to his brother. Lucifer chants the ancient language that will lead to rising of the horsemen before turning to his demons.
"Now repeat after me. We offer up our lives, blood, souls-" The demons begin to chorus the words as Dean begins to come back to consciousness. Both brothers stare in horror as the demons one by one begin to flash gold and collapse. Lucifer glances back at the brothers as the ground begins to rumble.
"What? They're just demons." He says cheekily as he looks down at the mass grave he had filled in. The shaking of the ground is getting worse when Castiel appears beside the Winchesters and whisks them away, only pausing long enough to look to me. I merely smiled and waved before the three disappeared from the clearing. Lucifer glances back one last time as the ground begins to split and a flash of rage crosses his face when he sees that the Winchesters have fled. The ground beings to emit a blinding light and I smiled wide as I catch the first glimpse of my father.
"Oh, hello, Death." Lucifer says as my father and his brothers appears before him. My father ignores Lucifer and walks past him to me. He raises his arms and holds my face in his hands.
"My dear Thana. How I have missed you." I smiled brightly and wrapped my arms around him.
"I have missed you so much father. I am so happy that you are here where you belong." I felt immense happiness as my father wrapped his arms around me in return and kissed the top of my head.
"As am I child." He whispered. A throat cleared behind us, but father and I ignored it.
"As heart warming as this is there is something that we need to discuss." Lucifer said. Father lifted his head and turned to look at Lucifer over his shoulder.
"I am aware what you wish to discuss Lucifer and my answer is the same as my daughter's."
"No, is not an answer." Lucifer said heatedly while father looked away from him again.
"It is an answer you will have to accept." Father said, but Lucifer was grumbling something under his breath. I didn't catch what he was saying until he began to chant louder.
"Te nunc invoco, mortem. Te in mea potestate defixi. Nunc et in aeternum!" Lucifer chanted.
"No!" I yelled, lashing out at Lucifer. Lucifer flew through the air and out of sight. I moved to go after him, but was stopped by father.
"No child. Let him go. The binding is not strong. You know as I do the likely outcome. Do not fret." I looked to my father without understanding.
"He breaks one binding, just to place another! I will not let this stand." I plead, but father shook his head.
"He will lose in the end. This is just a mild inconvenience. Do not waste your energy on such an undeserving being." My father took hold of my arm and a vision passed between us and I understood.
"I see father." He smiled and hooked his arm with mine.
"Come, you must show me what you have created."