Eva took a deep breath once she stood outside the tall ivory building. The Meeting was taking place in Rafael’s city. He was a neutral force and it was a city Eva could actually enter as Rafael did not have the same rules applied to his city as other Archangel’s did. She was dressed in a pair of black dress pants, heeled boots, a crimson dress shirt and a black jacket. Looking down at herself, she sighed heavily as she realized she looked like she worked in an office. Shaking her head, she squared her shoulders and stepped into the building.
The moment she entered, Eva knew everything was wrong. The entire building was full. There was one table set upon the floor in the middle of the circular room. A bright light shone down on it but all around the walls were seats, benches and they were filled. A high dais was set before the table, the Angel standing there ensuring they were higher than the person who sat at the table. This was not a Meeting environment, this was a Trial. Her boots echoed slightly as the girl walked toward the desk, knowing that was her spot, as it was the only place unoccupied. Looking around discreetly as she walked, she noticed her Mother seated high above her with Sil at her side and the rest of the Maidens behind them. Eva had been told they could not attend. How strange.
Phanuel, a tall black haired Angel stared down at her from the dais as he approached. “Oh so the arrogant one finally decides to arrive. Seat yourself so we may begin.” There was some shuffling and whispering at his rude words and Eva smirked at him.
“Actually, as I am very sure you are aware, I am not late. I am actually about ten minutes early. Also, as you no doubt know, you do not start the Meeting. It was called by myself and I am the one who begins it. I am certain that in your exuberance to see things done correctly, you simply forgot.” There was a snort of laughter at her words and Eva fought her grin. Flayuer was not one to suffer fools gladly and her respect for this Angel in particular was already very low.
He was silent for a long moment before finally nodding. “Go ahead Devil spawn. Speak your words.”
Eva tsked softly but did not call him on it. “I am Eva Gabriel Sparda, daughter of Uriel. Twinned to Azrael.” The girl had hoped he would keep his word and sit at her table but alas, he was nowhere to be seen. She tamped down the pain of that into her stomach and cleared her throat to continue. “I asked for this meeting to share some information that I have. I should have come forward sooner but I had to wrangle with my own acceptance of events.”
Once more the whispers were heard but now there was a decidedly curious sound. Uriel’s face was utterly impassive, as though carved from stone. The Maidens, save Flayuer, looked nervous. Sil squeezed Uriel’s hand lightly and though her eyes were covered, and she was blind, the woman nodded to Eva to continue as though she saw the hesitation.
“I was present during Michael’s demise and I am here to tell the tale.”
Her words caused instant pandemonium. Phanuel called for order and then spoke. “Arrest her for the murder of-”
“It is a meeting, not a trial, Phanuel, and you can not make such an order until after the Meeting is over. That means, my words are spoken and the questions asked and answered. So until that time, please, do shut up.” Eva said, politely, respectfully and calmly. Then, as the Angel gasped in shock at her words, she raised her hand and summoned forth that flighty essence that she had learned about. Twilight. Using her innate power, available only to her in this realm, she formed it into images. They started as drawings before being fleshed out, colour filling them. Soon they looked as real as everyone else in the room. Before them all stood Eva and a taller male figure with burning red eyes.
“My beloved Crow and I were on a mission to a realm called the Wither. Together we faced many dangerous and deadly enemies but saved the people who had called us for aid.” The scene unfolded slowly, almost like a movie. Eva could hear the awe with which the Angels murmured amongst themselves. “We had to split, Crow was called to another battle and I to the other side of the realm.” The images did not kiss, Crow was not one for PDA after all and it made Eva smile to see now, a bittersweet smile as she thought of the man. Emotion sounded in her voice for a moment as she continued. “However, Crow was betrayed.” The image changed now to a group of Nightshade Elves stalked him for a moment before attacking him.
“He fought valiantly but alas, he was felled.” The explosion that she had heard from where she had been sounded throughout the room, the vaulted ceilings adding to the acoustics. “They dragged my lover to a cave-”
“How could you know this?” Phanuel demanded, anger in his voice and Eva noticed that he was echoed by a few Angels.
“My lover was perhaps more machine than man and his memory drive was intact when I found him. I will be entering it into evidence.” Or rather a copy. She was never giving that up. As Phanuel had no words for that, she carried on. “I was alerted to his danger by a friend of his who had taken a comlink. She had heard the battle and sought me as I know where he was. Together, we rushed to aid him. I had a way to track him and we soon found ourselves in a cave.”
She paused now and dropped her gaze to the floor. This was the harder part. Much harder. “We entered and Rey, his friend, was attacked by shadow Demons. Now, we all know that I have no power of Shadow Demons, it has never been one of my skills. However, I know who did. He had sent them to infiltrate my home with Tarsid in Hell.” Another murmur and Eva noticed Sil grasp Uriel’s arm harder now and the woman stilled. “Rey fell to the Demons and Michael himself stood over my lover who was now confined to a table before him.”
The room erupted. Shouts of “Traitor”, “Liar”, “Devil Spawn,” were easily heard but strangely they were outweighed by a feminine voice and Eva looked up to see a beautiful Angel standing in her seat so high above.
“You suggest that Michael had kidnapped your lover and summoned the Shadow Demons?” She asked calmly.
“Aye, I do.” Eva said and the whispered returned. THe Angel nodded and gestured for the girl to continue. The girl said nothing for a moment as the images she had crafted acted the scene.
Eva stood at the entrance and shifted her gaze from her lover and searched for Michael. She did not have to look far. The Archangel stood just to the right of Crow, his hands empty and those dark blue eyes reminiscent of a storm cloud as he stared her down. For a moment neither said anything but finally the Angel broke the silence.
“Took you long enough.” He said coldly. While his demeanor with Crow had been angry, it was nothing like it was now. The hatred and disgust he felt for the Girl before him was coming from him in waves of revulsion and even the images conveyed it, this was a strong power of Eva’s. One to make illusions real. “Now that you are here, I shall make this short and sweet. I have your lover at my whim. But, because it is you that I want and not this beast.” He gestured, his lip curling in a look of the deepest loathing drawing Eva’s gaze back to Crow and she grinned slightly. She knew that face, knew that it meant he was in no way defeated. Slowly she looked back at Michael and chuckled.
“What do you want for him?” She asked coldly, stepping further into the room.
Michael watched her for a moment, his eyes flicking to Crow before shifting back to Eva’s. The room was silent now, completely captured by the scene unfurling before them. “Your life for his. You give yourself to me and I will release him. You die but he lives.” He smiled slightly. “Everyone gets what they want.” Michael pressed his hands together and smiled before slowly walking around the contraption that held Crow. He even gave Eva his back but that was simply to keep her from watching his lips so she would not know what he was doing. He knew the girl would never attack him from behind. “What say you?” He asked after completing a full circle of Crow and moving to stand before her.
Eva watched him as he moved, wondering what the fuck he was up to now. Nothing Michael did was ever for no reason. Once he was standing before her, she chuckled softly and shook her head. “You see, I would love to. But Crow… He would kill me a hundred times over if I just handed myself to you. If I just swapped my life for his, he would never forgive me. And I won’t have that on my soul. So, that is a no. How about a counter offer?” She said as she shifted her stance a little and studied his face. It killed her inside to say no to that offer but she was not stupid enough to trust Michael would release Crow after she was dead. She knew him better than that. “You release him and I do not fill in the Court of what you have been doing.”
At those words, the room erupted into whispers and gasps of surprise but quieted quickly, no one wanting to miss a word of what was being spoken.
Michael stared at her, incredulous before shifting his gaze to Crow. “It seems we both underestimated her. She said no. Well, then I suppose I will have to settle for just killing you.” He said with a shrug. As he spoke, shadows detached themselves from the walls and stepped forward. Eva frowned as she realized he had somehow brought Shadow Demons here. Her eyes flicked back to his face and he laughed at her. “You brought a friend, it is only fair. Do not fear.” He gestured and one moved closer to Crow, holding the bowl in his hands, the other four moved to separate Eva from them. In their hands were massive long swords, heavy and seemingly crafted of shadows. “Now,” Michael continued, his voice quite excited now as he drew his own sword. While Eva’s blade was large, his was massive and she knew just how good he was with it. “Shall we?”
Eva nodded and raised her blade. Slowly, they circled each other as though testing each other’s nerve. Finally, Michael broke and launched the first attack, his sword moving with a burst of surprising speed toward her heart. Eva’s blade came up just as fast, as though she knew that would be his first attack. With a laugh, she threw his sword wide and thrust herself forward, her shoulder slamming into his chest and throwing him back. Her sword thrust for his stomach as he stumbled back. His sword was brought down, deflecting it easily. But Eva pushed the advantage. Sparring with Crow had made her a little more confident in her own skills. She vanished, appearing behind Michael, her sword digging for his back but he knew her fighting style, had seen it many times and shifted before the thrust could reach. He moved to her right and a dagger appeared in his hand which was shoved for her shoulder.
Eva laughed as the blade hit the Twilight Aura she wore and shook her head. “No small dagger is going to win you anything this time.” She raised a hand and formed a construct. Raising her hand to lips, she blew it toward him though it was certainly not needed. It worked by her will, not her breath. As he had no idea what the hell it was, he would rather it not strike and moved again, throwing up Archangel fire in its path. He was shocked when it exploded and threw him to the side. Realizing that Crow may have spoken truth, the Archangel reconsidered this course. He back stepped closer to Crow and raised one hand.
“Wait.” Michael cried suddenly and the room gasped once more. “This will take us forever. You can not best me, you already know that. If you do not yield, I will kill you and then your Mother will be tried. You have attacked me, she will face the Court for your actions.” He spoke truth with half truths mixed in.
There were more murmurs now but these were angry sounds. Eva saw Sil squeeze her mother’s arm once more as Uriel struggled to keep her face impassive.
Eva paused, frowning slightly as her eyes flicked to Crow and then Rey before finding their way back to Michael. “I can not.”
“You’ve both already fucked up. Michael for being a snake, and Eva for letting that snake run his cock-holster! Kill him already!” Crow shouted in a strange symphony of voices.
Eva looked at Michael and shrugged. “Sorry, the man has spoken, who am I to let him down?” She stretched a little and stalked a little closer. “Now come and face me like the warrior you claim to be.”
As soon as the Symphony of Crow spoke, Michael knew there was no chance of altering her mind and he spat at her. “Now you grow a backbone. For all the other men, you would have handed over your life and that would be it. But no. I killed Kadmos to get you away from that city. Then I invaded your damn home after you married a fucking demon and I had to kill him too. Because you just can not just die. Instead, you make me kill everyone else around you. Maelstrom, well someone got to him first. I just made sure he stayed dead.” He looked into the bowl and summoned a hint of the angelic fire to his hands, warming it and melting the sticks inside. His eyes rose and pinned Eva once more. “The Master was supposed to kill you but no. He failed in that too. You have a habit of not dying when I wanted you to. And that curse your father put on you, if my blade kills you, there is no coming back. You know that don’t you? Your mother would have warned you.” Michael laughed and shook his head. “But the best part is, the Master did one thing right.” His eyes narrowed as the sticks in the bowl melted fully. “He killed the bastard child you were carrying. An Abomination mating with a Fallen. Disgusting and vulgar. But we put an end to that as well. He told me you cried for a month over that. That was what allowed him finally to crack your mind. Two years he worked on you. Oh! that is right. You only remember one.” He tsked softly. His intention was to push her toward the edge and he succeeded.
The Image of Eva changed. Her eyes bled to red fire and her silver hair began to darken. Michael’s eyes widened slightly and he moved quickly, pouring that gel like substance on Crow’s chest and spread it around using the bowl. “Now, I will take the last lover you will ever have. Watch him die Eva and know that you could have saved him.” As the Gel would do what it was supposed to, Michael cried something and more shadows detached from the walls/ “Now you can die just like Crow.”
There was an outcry now, screams of horror and shock. Michael had just confessed to many crimes, all the things that Eva had claimed he had done, that Michael had denied with every last breath. If it was true and the girl had a memory drive to back this up, from someone other than her…
The two voices of Crow cackled as one when Michael spoke of Eva finally growing a backbone. “PLEASE, please….AHhAHAhhahAHAHAHAHaAA! You’ve lived AGES longer than her. Eva is a WHELP compared to you and I…but she’s STILL shown more of a backbone than you’ve ever had in all your years of living! Between the three of us she’s the one with the biggest cajones! ‘Course, you’re not exactly a competitor either, DICKLESS!” The two of them howled in demonic laughter, hearing all the rest of what Michael had to say, but they were too far down the rabbit hole to give a damn about the pigshit that poured from Michael’s mouth. It wasn’t until Michael began to spread the gel that he suddenly shut up, and lolled his tongue out of his mouth. Crow croaked a few times as though he were dying, and the effects were happening immediately. His head flopped back onto the table…
…And for a second or two, he’d convince Michael the drug had taken effect. Until Crow suddenly lurched forward with supernatural speed, the Burden’s maw tearing into what Crow conceived to be Michael’s sword-arm, based off what hand he used most during his speech. A Burden’s maw was lined with stubby teeth shaped like a zipper, but their looks were deceiving. They did well to crunch clear through most kinds of armor, tear through muscle, sinew, flesh, and if they can get a solid grip…possibly crush the bone beneath everything else. Michael should thank his lucky stars that, due to the gel, Crow didn’t actually manage to get his entire mouth over the archangel’s arm. If he did, he would have likely snapped half of it right up due to the biteforce being far more powerful than a shark’s.
Crow gets a bite in on Michael’s arm, the one he’d use the most in combat, by crunching through any armor he wore on that arm. The bits of metal, if he was wearing armor, would manage to work against Michael by adding to the damage of the bite. They acted like shrapnel digging into his arm, the Burden’s zipper-teeth easily tearing into that oh-so perfect and delicious archangel flesh. The blood that spurted from the ugly wound splashed the Burden’s eyes, covering its maw, and running thickly down the side of its angular jawline. The gel took effect straight afterwards before the Burden could frenzy from the bloodlust…after all, the Burden and Crow both specialized in eliminating demons and angels alike. It had been….far too long since they’ve had a taste of Archangel.
His bite suddenly loosened as Crow fell back onto the table as he began to lose consciousness fast the Burden became a recluse. The bones of his facial structure began to return to normal. Crow’s skin crept over his facial structure after the bones returned back to normal, and then began to pale as his heart rate plummeted. His teeth gritted in pain as he fought against the gel, but in mere seconds it overpowered his systems. The augments began to fail, the Apex sym powerless against it due to the binding ritual, and moments later his entire body became pale as though he had been in a morgue for years.
Crow was dead.
Eva watched, stunned, as Michael poured something over Crow and an instant too late, she realized that it was not going to end well. She lunged but was far too slow, though once the Burden had nearly torn Michael’s arm off, it was a close thing, she paused. Michael, on the other hand, shrieked in rage and pain, trying to tear his arm free. The armor he wore was crafted of the finest celestial bronze and enchanted which is perhaps all that saved his arm from the one trying to eat through it. He slammed his other fist into Crow’s face, trying to distract him from taking the whole arm. Both he and Eva watched in stunned surprise as Crow’s grip slowly loosened and he fell back. Eva shook her head.
Silence reigned in the hall now, shock filling most of those gathered at Michael’s actions and the actions of Eva’s lover. They had never seen such power against one of their own.