Chapter LV

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Holok's enraged growl rumbled through space, frightening every Grigori within the billowy Archangel's domain. "You have all failed me! Were it not for my need of your services, I would dispatch you all myself, you worthless fools! How could a handful of demons..."

A Grigori suddenly flew into the throne room. "Lord Holok! We are under attack!"

"Attack?" the bloated Archangel rumbled. "Those Original Souls?"

"No, Lord Holok...from Heaven. Human souls lead by a Watcher calling himself Semyaza. They are pouring out of Heaven's gate by the thousands and are on their way here!" the bowing Grigori commander replied.

"So, the Watcher is making his move...finally!"

"My lord, what do you wish us to do?"

"I want you to recall half of all Grigori from Earth and ready them for battle. You are now in command and I want you to subjugate and destroy these human souls. We will make that pathetic Watcher's army of untrained spirits nothing more than a fruitless waste of human experiences. Destroy them, Punishment of Heaven, and you may have anything you wish. I will prepare an assault on Heaven with myself in command. With your defeat of Semyaza's army, Commander Attila, all of Heaven and all of humanity will be mine...forever!" Holok's laughter echoed across the cosmos to reach the ears of one very annoyed Semyaza.

"Go ahead and laugh you bulbous addict, I will wipe that smile from your golden jowls in due course. Once you are destroyed, I will control your Grigori army and crush Michael and his foolish Original Souls."

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Danny bared his teeth and growled at Dante. He spun his axes around, threatening the Watcher. "Come on!"

With a flash, Dante was on Danny, landing behind the Grigori, grabbing him in what the humans would call a "Full Nelson".

Danny's axes fell helplessly to the ground and vanished into the desert sand. The Grigori screeched, struggling against his captor's hold.

"Let's go," the Watcher said, glancing over at Gabriel. "Now! Because, I don't know how long I can maintain my grasp!"

Gabriel nodded in acknowledgment and they disappeared.

FLASH!

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"Micheal, we need Father's Chariot. I believe that would be the most expeditious way to get to Holok's center. We would also minimize the damage to the human souls," Azazel said.

"I agree," the Archangel replied. "How do you suppose we accomplish this feat?"

"We steal it," the former-Watcher replied.

"How? Michael asked.

Azazel narrowed his eyes at Michael. "Semyaza cannot be in two places at once. I imagine since Heaven's Gate is still open, battle is already underway and apparently he did not use it."

"Then what are we waiting on?" Dustyn asked. "Let's go!"

"Yeah, let's kick some ass!" Carter added.

"You cannot, Original Souls. Not in your current form," Azazel replied. "You will lose your current powers and return to orbs, falling under Semyaza's control."

"Are you sure, brother?" Michael asked. "They were attached to you when your wings were returned to you and Dustyn contains the full power of Samael."

Azazel rubbed his chin in contemplation. "Those are valid points, Brother. Nevertheless, we cannot be sure of what may happen when the Original Souls appear in space. And they do not have wings for mobility."

"What of me?" Jason asked. "I wish to join in this battle."

Michael smiled at the teenage shaman. "Your time to cross over is not today, Jason. You are very much needed here on Earth along with the Cherubum. When this is all over, there will still be pockets of Grigori to contend with. We will also need someone like you that can see both planes of existence and help guide the people of the Earth, both living and deceased, to a new understanding of the afterlife. Give them hope that they have a real future without fear. Let them know that if they do what is right by way of their fellow man, if they love their neighbor, they can live forever. Between you and the Cherubum, you can return life on Earth to what it was always intended to be: one full of experiences, wonder, and discovery...and peace."

"Hello, guys."

The assembly of ethereal beings all rotated their heads in unison at the sound of Gadreel's voice.

Dustyn produced his swords and stepped forward. "Asshole! How could you?"

Gadreel fell to his knees, head lowered. "I'm sorry, everybody. I, uh, I was very wrong..."

The former King David loomed over the Watcher.

"Wait, Dustyn!" Azazel shouted. "It should be his brethren that decide his fate, don't you think?

The angry young man lowered his weapons and nodded. "Yes." In a huff, Dustyn backed away from Gadreel and returned to Angel, his demon rage once again nearing the boiling point. The female angelic demon seemed to be the only thing keeping Dustyn's venomous anger in check...and it wanted out, badly. He was sick and tired of everyone and everything in this shitty afterlife trying to hurt him and his friends.

Gadreel rolled his eyes up at Azazel. "You have your wings once again, Brother? I'm happy for you."

Azazel dipped his head in affirmation.

"Do you wish to dispatch me yourself, Brother? If you do, I understand," the Watcher said raising his chin.

"Rise, Brother Gadreel. We have been expecting you."

"Huh?"

"I said stand, Gadreel. No one is going to harm you," Azazel replied. "There has been enough strife and division within the Family of Heaven for far too long. Michael and I believe it's time to begin once more with a...um, how do the humans say it? Clean slate for everyone if they so choose."


Michael stepped forward with the Book of the Fallen in his hand. "Brother Gadreel, rise to your feet and stand before us. You have been judged, however your fate has yet to be decided, because we feel it is you who should decide the outcome."

The Watcher stood and glanced around at his Brothers. Gadreel's face left no traces of doubt regarding his confused state of mind.

Michael held out the Book of the Fallen in front of him. "You choose, Brother Gadreel: Earth or Heaven? There is no wrong answer."

Gadreel stared at his brothers in confusion and then looked over at the human demons standing next to them.

"Brother?" Michael asked.

"I...uh, I want to stay here on Earth with my humans! That's all I've ever wanted," Gadreel said with a nervous smile. "I love my existence here."

Michael dipped his head reverently. "I hoped you would say that."

"Why?"

Azazel stepped forward. "You and Penemue are true Watchers. You care for humanity as if they were your own and they you. What we are set to propose may seem a little unexpected, but something you may want to hear..."

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