Michael and Gabriel stood in the hall of the St John’s maternity ward delivery room.

“Is this it then, the last of Father’s favourites?”

“Yes Gabriel, this is the last human soul to be born.” Michael leaned against the wall. His left leg bent with his foot against the wall, his right extended in front, and foot firmly on the floor.

“Then we are moments from the beginning.” Gabriel sat on one of three vacant chairs outside the delivery room.

“Hush!” Michael turned towards the door. He listened closely as the umbilical cord was severed. From the room came the first cries of a new born baby.

Gabriel rose from his seat. From his throat issued forth a high-pitched shriek that pierced through the sky in glowing brilliance.  Had there been anyone around to witness it they would have seen Gabriel yawn. But to Michael and others like him they heard a clear message.

“It has begun. We are at war.”

In that instant the world changed.  The air was filled with mixed smells: the aroma of frankincense and the stench of sulphur. Beams of light burst into existence all over the place but was balanced by pockets of thick black smoke in others.  In the maternity ward of St. Johns hospital stood two luminous beings their wings outstretched. One held a sword which appeared to be pure light while the other wielded a golden spear.

“What now Michael”? Gabriel relaxed his wings, his golden form naked and free of human disguise.

“Now we wait brother, it is only a matter of time before Lucifer shows his face and the battle begins in earnest.”

“Speak of the Devil, literally”. Gabriel gestured to the figure that appeared behind Michael who turned to face the newcomer, his sword at the ready.

A figure, very similar to the two outside the delivery room, approached from down the corridor. The newcomer was brighter  than the other two but crowning his head was a mane of jet black which matched his expansive wings. “Now, now brothers, there is no need for violence”.

Gabriel flared his wings in readiness to charge but he was halted by Michael.

“What are you up to Lucifer? I remind you, your lies and deceptions may work on humans but we see the truth.”

“Exactly brother. You know that I am being sincere. I am not here to fight with you. This war has set me free but not to challenge the Father but to bow before him as before and reclaim my place among my brothers, to fight by your side.”

Between the angels a black sludge appeared and boiled into a massive, foul smelling demon. Its body arched over like an ape, its talons dragging on the ground which melted away as if touched by acid. The demon moved towards Michael and opened its mouth. A ball of flame rolled limply out the demons mouth before it keeled over and died boiling back into non-existence. Lucifer retrieved his trident from the bubbling mass and held it forward in peace.

“An entertaining display Beelzebub, nice of you to sacrifice one of your pathetic hell-spawns for our benefit. Answer this though, if you speak the truth Satan, then what is there to fight against”?

“Gabriel, you are still so blind to the things around you. I was banished to hell and reined as part of my punishment but there are others who resided within my kingdom who were part of it, evil that has grown strong within the fires and who obeyed me begrudgingly.  The Father spoke through you as he always had Gabriel. He opened the gates that separate the realities. Heaven, Earth and Hell are now mere pieces on this massive chessboard.  I come to you as a brother behind me stands a king and his bitch that oppose the Father. I come to you as a brother to aid your fight in Our Father’s Name”.

“I do not sense deceit in you Lucifer but you didn’t earn the name Prince of lies for nothing. You may not rule over Hell any longer, you may have given up your rebellion against The Father but that just leaves you alone. Your fight is your own, but get in our way and you will once again meet my blade”.

“Fine brothers if that is the will of our Father I shall obey”.  Lucifer bowed his head to the archangels before him.”

“We must go, may the Father hear your prayers brother. Gabriel…” with that Michael withdrew into a ball of light and was gone.

“I give you nothing,” spat Gabriel, “but I will leave you with this, The Father is all merciful and all forgiving. It was not the Father that banished you. You were favoured, even before Michael you were closest to him”. Gabriel leaned in and whispered into Lucifer’s ear, “You were banished to Hell not by the Father but by those you call brothers.  So go back Devil and take your throne of darkness, give me a reason to end you.” Like Michael, Gabriel was gone.

“Father, Gabriel speaks the truth, I have always known this.” The Devil took to his knees and clasping his hands looked to the Heavens. “Father for so long I have waited to enter your house again for so long have I fought to bow at your feet.  Father I seek only your grace. For long have I suffered separation from you Father, please end my service. May I come home, Lord, Almighty God, The Father, My Father, and My Light.”

For a brief moment the universe went silent, even the air stood still.  A brilliant, illuminated beam shot through the heavens and penetrated the maternity ward of St. Johns hospital. Lucifer dropped his head back his arms becoming slack at his sides and tears escaped his angelic eyes as the light engulfed him and he disappeared. A feint whisper rushed through the universe, a simple statement, “Come home son.”