Father mentioned something about being some sort of conspiracy against him, and in Hell, there is always a conspiracy for a power grab. Coups are performed on an almost constant basis, alliances are always formed and agreements made. Everyone down here works for someone, with the exception of my father. He is a sort of free agent, and now that I think of it, that makes him more of a threat than anyone. Someone down here has conspired to remove Grim permanently from his position and used a human to see it through. The question is who? There are millions of demons and most of them work for the Beast. Furthermore, they do not act unless told and I doubt that the Beast has any real interest in destroying Grim considering the fact that he has a war to plan and Grim’s purpose is more beneficial to his cause than not. So that must mean it had to be one or some of Grim’s own soldiers who were responsible.

First things first: find the human. I could terrorize the entire realm and would still find myself unsuccessful. And then I have an idea. Using the Scythe, I send out a telepathic call to every last one of my father’s soldiers to my presence. Instinctively I knew that the one or ones responsible would not make an appearance. They would be somewhere in the earth realm hiding until the time came for the seal to be broken, when my father would meet his end. The caverns vibrated a deep rumbling, creating deep splinters in its wake. Sounds of souls being tormented escalated to a deafening level; cries begging for the Almighty to come and set them free of their eternal torture. Within seconds the first few hundred of my father’s soldiers, now fully under my command are standing in front of me. Some of them sported the black winged/dark angel appearance, while others resembled gargoyles with their clawed hands and feet, stony expressions and grey scaly skin and wings like that of a bat instead of a bird. In just a few minutes I had almost an entire legion standing before me, ready for my command.

All of them stared at me in surprise, and as I mentally counted present heads, I noticed that a good fifty or so were absent-and those that were absent had been my father’s best men. As a matter of fact, those that were missing had accompanied me on several recon missions…just as I thought. They stared at me with curiosity, desperate for answers. As I surveyed these entities, I sensed the vibration of jealousy coming from a few of them, and I knew that if I did not establish myself now as the Angel of Death, I would have to deal with a possible mutiny, and Grim was no longer available for me to run to for obedience issues. I take a deep cleansing breath before speaking.

“As you all may know, Grim has been temporarily removed from his position,” I begin slowly, making eye contact with every one of the warriors that stood in front of me. “For now I will resume as the Angel of Death, fulfilling my father’s duties which is why I felt the need to call this impromptu meeting.” I wait for a response, and when there is none I continue. “Someone or, someones have stolen the Seal of the Apocalypse and somehow my father is being held responsible. When I discover just who the culprits are,” I say, my eyes blazing with rage so dark my unnaturally emerald green eyes turned completely black. “…not only will I skin them alive personally, they will die a second death. Most of you know that I survived the Abaddon Pits, and inside those pits lay a creature that has yet to be unleased onto the earth for a reason. His name is the Devourer and not only does he eat your physical body…he eats your soul. And one more thing,” I add staring beyond the legions and into the deeper pits that made Hell what it was. “I know that this may come as a shock to a lot of you. Some of you even feel that I am not qualified to assume such a prestigious position considering that I am or was half mortal. And I know that some of you feel slighted by Grim after eons of unquestionable allegiance…yet here I stand being given all of the powers of darkness at my disposal… Here is what I present to you: either you stand with me as you had my father or you stand against me and betray my father. You could try to form an alliance with the Unnamed One, but we all know how that goes…betray my father and you die, plain and simple. Have I made myself clear?”

One by one each of Grim’s warriors dropped to their knees and bowed their heads in allegiance. I nodded my approval once the last entity fell to his knee and bowed in submission. I sent them on their way shortly after and prepared to make my way to the earth realm. Dying humans were calling out to me and to quote dear old dad, time was of essence. With a wave of my hand I find myself in the middle of a hospital room, standing behind a weeping mother whose son had been fatally wounded in gun fight. I am careful not to touch her, as I observe the heartbreaking scene. Her thick mane of greying hair is pulled into a messy bun, and through her thick rimmed glasses I see tear stained and puffy eyes gazing hopelessly at her only son. She wore a nurses uniform, her brown skin ashen from grief and horror and I wish that there was something that I could do. Her son is a handsome devil, looking exactly like her with his high cheek bones and full lips and curly hair cut to a fade. 21 years old and already is having to face me. Pity. He lies in the hospital bed hooked up to monitors and a respirator, but his soul is ready to leave the body. His body is no longer habitable for his spirit and so I lean over him and his eyes open instantly. His mother begins shouting for joy believing that he will live to continue his life, but no…he has awoken because he can see me and he knows it’s time. His brown eyes fill with tears as his mother places kisses all over his face and I allow him to have this moment. I exhale deeply. Unfortunately his decisions has not only led him to a premature death but a place in the most undesirable of realms because there is no angel waiting for him by his bedside. There is only me.

I allow his mother to place one last kiss on his forehead before I reach out and gently touch him on the forehead. He exhales a final breath as I watch his soul, a mirror of his physical image, step away from his now deceased body. His mother screams for help, and we both look on with melancholy as nurses and doctors rush in to assess the situation. A kind elderly nurse escorts his mother out and into the hallway while the intelligent physician examines him. The kid looks at me with pleading eyes. “I am sorry kid,” I say grimly. “But your time has expired. Come with me.” I extend my hand for him to accept and he does so, reluctantly. He takes one last look back at his mother, then at his body and the life that he lived before, and then we are gone.

I leave him in the care of my men to escort him the rest of his journey before having to appear once more to another dying human.

This time, it’s a car accident, caused by none other than the Beast’s minions. They flee the instant that I appear, and unfortunately, the human is irreparable. Her spirit was sitting on the side of the wrecked Honda Accord, staring off at the scene. A drunk driver had side swiped her, forcing her off the road and into a fire hydrant. The airbag failed her and she ended up slamming her face into the steering wheel and she died from the impact. She glanced at me, her eyes widened in fear upon recognition. Her blue eyes filled with sadness until a white light appeared next to her. The angel did not take form, but he surely did not hesitate to send me on my way like I am some bothersome pest before taking the young woman into the heavens.

Well at least that was one soul I did not have to contend with.

I remain close by the accident scene, not even a block away, observing the rescue workers attempt to revive the already dead woman. Several witnesses were being interviewed by television personnel, while the fire department rushed to the scene to cut off the overflow of water spewing from the hydrant. Being that I did not touch her I knew next to nothing about her, and for once, I am glad I did not. It is time to go…

By the end of the day I have collected over one million souls; most of them having gone peacefully without more than a simple debate as to why I should give them a second chance (which isn’t exactly of my control), and then there were the hundred or so souls who actually attempted to escape; and one that had actually slipped out of my grasp and back into the earth realm. Mind you he happened to be a serial killer whom had finally met his doom courtesy of a little human disease called AIDS and just refused to accept the fact that his time had come. I had sent a few of my reapers after the bastard because frankly, the last thing I needed was a bunch of warrior angels pissed off at me because the ghost of a serial killer was haunting humans when I still had yet to find the seal.

I see why daddy o was grumpy all the damn time.

A few of my men returned to me with no insight on the human or the missing soldiers. One million souls from all over the globe and still no sign of the seal. I am not sure if I would be able to identify it if I came across it…father never mentioned it until it was time for me to look for it. I release a frustrated sigh while running my fingers through my locks.

Time to go topside. The human is out there somewhere, and maybe I should spend a little time learning about the Seal’s history before retracing its steps upon abduction; and there is someone there that could help me. Just as I summon the Scythe back into my possession Hell literally breaks out once more. The Harpies were at it again but this time with some scavenger demons. I am so not in the mood for this bullshit, but they are under my charge and so in a flash I materialize to the upper level where all of the commotion is taking place, and send out a black electrical charge from the Scythe and into the bloodied fight taking place. Several harpies (which are bird like creatures with feathers and everything, with human faces) were wounded after being attacked by several of the scavenger demons. I blasted both parties with my Scythe, startling the scavengers and infuriating the Harpies. “I don’t have time for this shit!” I holler at them as the scavengers scamper away into the darkness; their three legs moving with great difficulty, while the Harpies flew down into the deeper pits.

I need to free my dad ASAP.

Hopefully as I prepare to depart this time, there are no more…disturbances. At least not until I return.

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