Metatron

The hallowed steps of Garonmana, many-terraced City-of-the-Bridge, the Jewel of Jovar, was crowded with the feet of the endless Hosts of Heaven. Sandals, boots and bare feet jostled for position on the steps of sapphire, jade and hyacinth, while angelic legions found vantage points in the midst of the endless, glorious sky, though none suffered themselves to rise any higher than the sixth terrace of the holy city. Along streets normally bubbling over with voices speaking in almost every known tongue, a profound hush lay heavily on the lips of all.

The Bridge of al-Sihal, an immense beacon that normally drew the eyes of all, flared brilliantly into the unfathomable Mystery beyond. None now even glanced at its splendor. Instead, tear-streaked miens focused on a single figure, bound in chains of light, whose visage was a fiery red in anger and shame. Though one of the tallest of angels, he now had been forced to his knees. From time to time, the bound angel ranted and raved incoherently as he struggled to break his bonds, before pronouncing curses on all those present in a voice that broke the silence like terrible thunder.

A whisper began in the crowd, and a movement, which betrayed the approach of an angel taller than any other. His face was a beacon of glory beyond that of the sky above or the bridge that sundered it. Robes whiter than the driven snow enclothed a form of perfection, and legions drew apart to both let him through and show respect. After a time, the robed drew nigh to the bridge of light, and stopped immediately in front of the prisoner.

"So thou hast come at last," Eblis replied, snarling as he fought his imprisonment once more.

Metatron simply nodded in response.

"Thou hast come to exult over me," the bound, former seraph gnashed. "Thou desirest me to fawn at thy feat and play the part of the vanquished. Thou wouldst have dominion over me."

The tallest of angels, Chancellor of the Heavens, spoke not a word, but shook his head.

"Thou was jealous of my might, and now thou art jealous of the right to humble me!" Eblis thundered. "Thou didst withhold thy support from me, because thou didst envy my vision and my glory! Thou didst fear my power, which would cause thee to dim and falter as a dying star!"

At this, Metatron merely frowned, as tears welled up in eyes deeper than eternity.

"Speak to me!" roared the kneeling Eblis. "I am thy brother, whom thou lovest; treat me not as thou wouldst some knave!" His voice lowered, then, conspiratorially. "Speak with me. Confide in me. Tell me. Thou wert afraid to stand beside me, but thou knowest that I did speak reason, and that my way is the better way. We were in the beginning before all these whom thou seest here, save those whom we have deigned to call our Princes, and we have ever done their bidding. They cannot comprehend what we have done, and are lost without us. Join me, and take up thy rightful place with me. We are the peers of the very gods, and yet we have done greater than even they in the war against evil. We are worthy of worship, for under our rule, we will excise all that is wrong from the Cosmos." With intense eyes, chest heaving in remembrance of his previous battles with his bindings, Eblis spoke a trifle louder. "Join with me, my beloved brother. Thou shalt speak, and I shall judge, and so shall it be until the final triumph of righteousness. Speak your answer! I command it!"

Metatron closed his eyes, and spoke words long considered. "Thinkest thou that we would be equals if I were to join thee, my brother? Thou dost believe even now that thou canst command me. I shall now give thee answer, and wouldst have thee know that I am prepared to forgive thee.

"The gods have called for thee to be cast out, but I do not speak for the gods of the mortals. I speak for our Lords, the Sarim, as thou well knowest. This mercy they offer thee: that thou mayest remain a servant of the heavens. Thy duties will take thee from the seraphim choir to abide by the decisions of the Lord of the malakim, whence thou wilt spend the eternities serving the mortals whom thou had supposed thou wouldst rule. Thou wilt speak to them in visions and in dreams, and offer gentle guidance, solace for their struggles. Thou wilt do this in humility and anonymity, and their healing will be thine. Wilt thou accept this mercy?"

Eblis' face grew darker, and angry flames erupted in place of his eyes. His very skin seemed to glow as if liquid magma were roiling atop it. "Thou villain!" he hissed.

"I will do what thou couldst not, my brother, though I take no pleasure in it: I will command thee, and thou wilt obey." Metatron's voice was gentle, but glorious, piercing in its power. "In the name of the Sarim, I command that thou answer me, though thy answer is thine own. Wilt thou accept?"

"I…WILL…NOT!" Eblis raged, and almost it seemed that his bands would break, as he sought to gain his feet, from whence he might look on the Lord of the Seraphim as almost an equal. "The Bastions of Righteousness will be sundered, and I will put my foot across thy neck! I declare myself the enemy of the Heavens from this day forth, and thou wilt rue this day and denying me, oh hated brother mine. I will dominate the enemies of the Sarim and marshal them against thee in their legions! I will destroy mortals and the gods that have ever failed them! And I will not rest until all have fallen before me." Spitting on the hallowed stones before him, Eblis swore and finished. "Thou wilt sue for my mercy, Metatron, and I shall deny thee, and then I shall slay thee."

"Beloved brother, thou hast spoken," the Chancellor of Heaven replied, and his voice was a dirge of sorrow, a somber, rain-filled requiem. "In the name of the Sarim, therefore, I do cast thee out."

On a sudden, a second angel appeared at Metatron's side. Of an equal height to the Chancellor of Heaven, he appeared almost identical to the Sacred Voice, save only that his arms were bared and corded with muscle, and his legs were shown below the knees, and shod with sandals that shone as the midday-sun. Without speaking, Sandalphon took hold of his apostate brother Eblis, and, walking swiftly to the edge of the terrace, threw the fallen angel from its ramparts. Comet-like, Eblis' bound form hurtled down the side of the Holy Mountain, crashing into the Silver Sea far below. Even then, his fall did not end, as his descent tore asunder the very fabric of the heavens.

Thus was Eblis thrust down to Hell.


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