The Bleeding Heart Of Man - Prologue
- 1 -
First there was God. Alone in the Universe.
He passed eons reveling in tides of plasma and delighting in the blue brilliance of child galaxies flaring into existence, marking to himself the launch of a trillion trillion stars on their expansion into space. Indeed, what began in tumult, bright and hot, soon became relatively dark and cold - for void did fill a growing emptiness made by the separation of the celestial argosies and their cargoes of proto-stars.
God marvelled at the universe and pondered those lifeless lightless tracts of space. He suddenly knew what it meant to be alone and this understanding He felt to the deep heart’s core. It demanded an answer: a catalyst second only to the Big Bang in creative force for God spoke to the vast insouciance: “You are not alone.”
Therefore, from His own Being, He husbanded Intelligence and moulded it until He had created the twenty-one Archangels and also a myriad of lesser Angels. The empty space was suddenly a maelstrom of personality, volition and newborn curiosity. The universe continued to expand, the void became more than ever before but it mattered not for God would never be alone again.
Now, the greatest and most powerful of the Archangels was called Lucifer. His voice on its own, it was said, outmatched the entire choir of lesser angels.
But in their Bliss, God spoke of the Future and very soon Lucifer, sapient and self-regarding, saw himself Usurped in Heaven and again on the as yet unborn Earth. Pride he had learned already; for how could he not heed his greater stature? But this had became Jealousy which spawned Hate and so Lucifer burst forth in open Rebellion. Many of the Seraphim and an army of cherubim joined him and there was great conflict.
Finally, God rose from his Throne and set loose an almighty Cataclysm against the heavenly internecine.
Thus the Fall of Lucifer. He was sentenced - because of Mercy - to Exile not Extinction, though it was to be a banishment lasting a Million Years.
Satan did wake in Pandaemonium with his newborn Demon Hordes. He knew instinctively what must be done. He was doomed to be Satan and Hell was his Prison. It was also his Salvation.
Heaven, meanwhile, forgot the Fallen and knew Peace and Bliss among its host. All awaited the Coming of Man.
Time came to be and God presently fulfilled the Future. He made the World and brought Man and Woman into the Garden of Eden. Satan played his role: corrupting with virgin language, coaxing Woman into Original Sin.
Satan understood then, despite his victory, that God had finally made manifest His Greatest Gift: Free Will. This had been expressed by Woman and was presently shared by Man. “Eden or Eve?” was the Choice imposed by God’s Archangel emissaries. Adam did choose Eve and so Love was revealed though Paradise was Lost forever.
Mortal Men and Women were driven out of Eden and unto the first Diaspora. Many continents became populated as Man went forth and multiplied. In the blink of a cosmic eye, Race, Colour and Creed came to be and Man was sundered from Man.
Ever close at hand Satan remained, well mindful of the conditions of Exile. He followed these Early Wanderings and wove himself into the fabric of Humanity. His influence twisted Man’s evolution in the World, culture from the start defined by Fear and Nightmare as much as Hope and Imagination. History had begun.
All this was to Divine Plan and God rested, content, for a while.
- 2 -
Now know this: Creation has rules. The most important rule concerns the Judgment of all living Souls after bodily death. It became a well known dichotomy: Heaven for the good, Hell for the evil. Lucifer had caused his Fall and the Rebellion had provided peace in Heaven and a ruler for Hell. Bliss or Damnation awaited all, therefore.
Millennia passed and Lucifer learned what a piece of work was Man. He came to understand Free Will and know Love intimately, all the while diligently spreading Despair and Conflict. Countless experiences of the strange short-lived inheritors of the Earth could not fail to affect his Heart though let none think Satan did not perform his duty to the end…
When Lucifer finally left his Hellish realm, a million years in exile served and forgiveness vouchsafed from the Creator, the patient expression of perfect beauty and veiled power showed not a day older than on the day of the Fall, though this event had happened a thousand times a thousand years before Man first daubed devils on the walls of caves. What is a million years to a starborn Archangel?
No angelsong graced his lips, though, as he rose free of Pandemonium. He had certainly expected a sense of rapture from such long awaited elevation. It did not come. He knew instantly and undeniably the reasons why…
And so the greatest of all the Archangels came at length to the gates of the Kingdom of Heaven. The Archangels Gabriel and Michael stepped forth as if guards of honour. Lucifer hesitated, however, and looked upon Creation with implacable, unblinking but not unfeeling eyes.
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The infinite horizon was painted all the colours of glory and the assembled seraphim choir was in full voice exalting the Return. Lucifer at once perceived Bliss beyond imagining, an illumination of emotions scintillating as foreknowledge, emanating like a radiant sunrise from the Throne and truly this vision captivated for a time; for there Lucifer knew he would look at last upon the face of God. Archangel though he was, he was momentarily overwhelmed by a palpable yearning to dwell where he had been created: to reside ever after in the glory of His Maker’s thought, eschewing such ephemera as Hunger and Want and Desire and Sadness. All in heaven knew that to be in the Presence entirely was to be reborn daily in eternal sublimation.
Why then did Lucifer hesitate?
For each of the million years since his Fall, Lucifer had felt the pain of having foregone close communion with God. He had continued to hold precious the certainty that eventually the Return would come and this loss would finally become healed.
But Lucifer, called by his brethren the Song of the Morning, greatest of the Archangels, most beloved of God’s creations save only the Son, gazed on the Throne. He knew full well the splendour that beggars parallel and felt God’s will summoning attendance, drawing spacetime into the singularity of His Presence.
Slowly Lucifer shook his head and stopped his momentum entirely. The music of the choir, sensing a discontinuity, fell suddenly silent. There was a momentary flutter above the Throne as its benign brilliance became fretted with vermilion. Did this signify surprise in the mind of the Supreme Being?
Lucifer understood the magnitude of what he was decided to do. The Fall, the Return: these were preordained. In sight of the Throne of God, bathed in the fulgence of the Origin, Lucifer was about to defy the Creator. None before him had denied the Plan, let alone refused a summons to the very nexus of the Power and Glory. No Angel nor even Archangel had ever dared Free Will that might challenge Revelation itself.
But Lucifer no longer felt young and brash and attached to the strings of fate. His hesitation was brief and in the lifting of his eyes, the pride and courage kindling his spirit was wholly Archangel. And transcended it somehow, too.
With a voice that resonated throughout the kingdom of heaven but sounded loudest at the Divine Throne itself, Lucifer said: “No.”