Michael started out as yellow star fire being drawn into the Creator's hand and set in the 8th layer of Heaven amongst the other archangels, also in the forms of star fire of different colors. From the moment Michael drew his first breath, the desire to defend others was immediately apparent. The Creator stood over them all in his massive form, exhaling the last of the vital Breath of Life that gave the angels their bodies from the intense fires of the stars. Barely aware of his own existence, the toddler archangel startled at the sight of his own father. He became aware of the other life forms next to him quickly, Gabriel at his right and Lucifer at his left. He saw how they too startled, but on their backs and unable to move more than just a few kicks and flailing of the arms just yet, they were just as helpless as he was. Michael was the first of his brothers to make any noise, yelling in defiance at whatever that thing was scaring these other creatures that he assumed were similar to him.
The fear was quickly put to rest once God reassured them that they were not in any danger. From there, the archangels quickly learned about the world around them and how to walk and talk. It took only one earth year for them to be on their feet, running, and saying fairly complex sentences. They pretty much skipped infancy stage entirely and started out at the human equivalent of a 5 year old. Once they had mastered moving around and working together, God decided that they could go to Earth and experience the harsher sides of reality. He taught them first how to use tools from rocks and sticks, starting the archangel's "stone age".
The archangels were aware of the other choirs by then, though they preferred to stick with their own "species" for the time being. Once they arrived at Earth, they were taken aback by the heat, the humidity and the thickness of atmosphere. The Earth was an intimidating, alien world that they weren't sure they were prepared for.
Michael ventured out first with his 7 brothers in tow. The first time they came into contact with a dinosaur, it was luckily an herbivore, but the archangels had never seen anything like it before. Michael was always out in front and ready to defend his family if the need arose, but for the first month or so, their visit to Earth had gone smoothly. Their reactive evolution process was already hard at work, and the longer they stayed on Earth the less the temperatures and the dense atmosphere bothered them. It wasn't until they started getting hungry that things became more complicated.
Having eaten manna before leaving Heaven, they didn't realize that they would need food soon and had done little to prepare for it. Michael had called the Creator down and asked if they could go home to eat, but the Creator refused. Their job was to learn how to survive on their own, though God did remind them that they knew how to make tools and to put that knowledge to good use.
They were too afraid of the dinosaurs at first to approach them, so they tried to eat the same things that the herbivores were eating. The bland leaves and twiggy vines of prehistoric trees were both unpleasant to swallow and ultimately unsatisfying. Their hunger gnawed away at them until Michael decided that they needed to figure something else out.
It was Michael that suggested they try hunting smaller dinosaurs, lizards and snakes first. At first they failed, often, but as they relentlessly chased their prey on foot (their wings were covered in a gray fluffy down and the feathers had no signs of coming in just yet), their reactive evolution processes kicked into overdrive and eventually made them faster than their prey. They also learned cooperation, coordination and planning amongst each other and started to form very close bonds.
Lucifer had proved to be extraordinarily useful, almost like he had another sense of where the animals were going to be, how they were going to react, and the best way to capture them. Michael acknowledged and used his "gut feelings" whenever they went out hunting. The flesh of other animals appealed to their predatory bodies so much that they developed a taste for blood over plant matter almost instantly. The fast protein and fat tissue from other animals helped to keep their reactive evolution process going, as it the slow-release calories from the manna was running almost on empty.
Michael and his brothers' bodies changed to allow them to run faster, see better, and hit harder until the small dinosaurs were no longer a challenge to catch and kill, even without the use of their tools. They also noticed that their skin was becoming more and more resistant to the bites and scratches they received from their prey items until the animals could no longer cut through their skin.
This emboldened the young arcs into pursuing larger and more challenging prey for fun the next time they were sent to Earth. They spent their time in Heaven studying and learning about the universe, different planets, and just about everything that a human child would learn in schools today. They would spend about half of their awake time learning while in Heaven, but Earth was more or less their backyard.
As time went on, they started hunting bigger and more dangerous animals for fun, even making a game out of it. Michael was the one who insisted on using his bare hands to subdue even the most dangerous of animals, as his ego inflated with every game he won against his brothers, which was quite a few. This made him evolve his physical strength and bodily sturdiness faster than his brothers, and to this day he remains far stronger than all of them and is able to "take it on the chin" better too.
By the age of 11 (angel years of course), Michael could wrestle down even the biggest of dinosaurs with little difficulty and had quickly become bored with the hunting games. The only things he couldn't catch were the flying creatures while they stayed out of his jumping range and reach. He could throw things just fine, but Uriel had become the master in that skill and always beat the others in any kind of accuracy competition. By this age Michael hardly even noticed the temperature changes and could even walk through fire without being harmed. His wings were still covered in mostly fluffy down, but the very beginnings of pins could be felt where his primary feathers were beginning to grow in.
The other archangels were bored with hunting animals too, as not a single one of them ever posed any kind of real threat or challenge anymore. For awhile, the archangels tried to come up with something better to do and had started to craft new tools and other things out of metal, leaving their sticks and stones behind.
It didn't take long at all for them to become bored of that as well once they got the technique down to make serious hunting weapons and then a few other trinket type things purely for artistic purposes. They found themselves not needing to eat as often anymore, as their reactive evolution process was not being used enough to burn a ton of calories.
At some point, Michael decided it might be fun to start wrestling with the others, as pre-teen boys tended to do. It started out with everyone being unarmed and one on one... which of course Michael won over and over and over again. Tired of being pinned in no time flat, the others argued they should use non-lethal weapons of some kind when sparring with Michael. The cocky young archangel agreed... only to start losing almost as often as he won.
This was the start of many games being invented by the 8 archangels, a sports of sorts. More often than not, Michael ended up on a "team" by himself, which only proved to make him stronger at an accelerated rate. That being said, strength and the art and mechanics of actual fighting was where Michael's superiorities stopped. Gabriel proved to be more nimble and moved a little faster. Uriel tended to stay out of range of Michael's reach and pelt him with various things to the point of annoyance. Raphael tended to prefer to stay out of the games where the goal was to pin Michael, and instead was beginning to discover the healing properties of plants on the injured animals he found and cared for. Azriel had taken an interest in plants as well, but the poisonous kind. Chamuel and Sealtiel were the twin archangels, and the both of them were more interested in studying than doing any physical activity like the "jocks".
Lucifer was the one that surprised them all, however. One day he challenged Michael to a hand to hand spar with an almost obnoxious confidence. Michael agreed, skeptical that Lucifer had any genius strategy up his sleeve that Michael hadn't already thought of himself. That was the day that they discovered Lucifer had learned how to physically change his shape into other living things.
In a mix of shock and confusion, Michael swing his hands and missed more times than he cared to remember, as Lucifer's body rapidly changed to smaller or more flexible targets to avoid being hit. He would experiment from time to time and change into larger creatures, whether to make a loud, ear-piercing noise to throw off Michael's focus or to try and whack him with a clubbed tail.
In the end, Lucifer discovered that his animal forms were no stronger than the actual animal he took the form of, and so did Michael. The two brothers were the most competitive and grew close over the years.
It was at the age of 13 that Michael started to notice that angels from older choirs looked shocked when they saw him walk by. Most choirs stayed separate, doing their own form of work, but every once in awhile they would cross paths. Michael had noticed that he had grown a fair amount taller than his brothers, but as they spent a lot of their time together, it wasn't a change that had happened so suddenly that they were surprised by it.
The stares he got from the other angels made him uncomfortable enough to ask one of them, a massive angel from the Cherubim choir, what the big deal was. It was then that Michael was informed that for someone who was only 13 years old, he was very solidly built with muscles larger than most angels his age. Michael had always kept himself covered in a white robe or similar, so he decided to compare himself to his archangel brothers one day and told them to take off their shirts.
The difference was... freakish. Michael now realized what the older choirs were seeing, and his brothers now realized it too. The others were barely putting on weight and getting thicker, but Michael already had defined pectoral muscles and large biceps. He also stood about a foot taller than even Uriel, whom had always been the tallest of the 8.
Lucifer was the first to call him a freak, but mostly out of jealousy rather than actual name-calling to insult. At that time, all of the archangels had wings full of feathers with the exception of the primary and secondary flight feathers still half way in their pin stage. At this time, God encouraged them to start flapping their wings around to strengthen those muscles as well, and he cautioned Michael against jumping too early.
At the age of 14, Michael and his brothers were sporting a full plumage of brilliant white flight feathers. They had noticed they could easily glide from one place to another, but none of them had gathered the courage to jump from extremely high cliffs. God ended up gathering them all and standing them atop a ledge on the highest mountain in existence at the time.
Everyone expected Michael to be the first to jump and master flight, including himself. In the end, the high-powered winds intimidated him too much and it was actually Gabriel that jumped first and began to fly. He spent several hours in the air before Lucifer finally jumped and started to get the hang of it. One "ha ha" look from Lucifer was enough to literally send Michael over the edge with the other 4 in hot pursuit.
Gabriel turned out to be the best and fastest flier out of all of them, easily predicting the wind currents before the others and taking advantage of them. Even to this day, Michael is sometimes envious of his brother's aerial prowess.
The sky was a whole new unexplored territory for the archangels, and new games emerged that only continued to strengthen their flight muscles. The competition with each other pushed them to fly at speeds never before seen from any other living thing on Earth. Gabriel was the first of them to fly fast enough to break the sound barrier, and it remained that way right up until a literal split in the universe appeared in the sky just above the Earth shortly after Michael turned 15.
This was the beginning of the first war that the angels would ever experience.
The gaping hole in the universe took on the visage of a speckled swirling mass. It wasn't a black hole, because otherwise the Earth would have been sucked up inside of it and decimated already. It was simply a Door, like the ones that God would open for them whenever they needed to get from Earth to Heaven quickly. Even the dinosaurs had raised their heads to watch it. Some were afraid, others were curious, but all were confused.
Michael and Lucifer had been in the middle of a game when they first noticed it. After only a few moments of staring into the blackness on the other side, both of the brothers came to the conclusion that something very bad was about to happen, though how they knew they still don't know. Michael told Lucifer to find the others, as Raphael and Azriel were no doubt tinkering with the plants they found. Uriel was probably out shooting targets with his new weapon, a bow and arrow. Gabriel had probably already seen the gaping mouth of the Door that looked like it lead to nowhere, as he was often in the air flying around as swiftly as he could in an attempt to make himself even faster.
With Lucifer dashing off to find the others and warn any of the angels from the 9th choir to go back home if they safely could, Michael flew to the top of a cliff nearest the location of the Door and waited. As the hours ticked by, the Door's insides had slowly changed from pitch black to a sinister dark red. Michael's sixth sense was warning him to leave, but he remained.
God Himself actually appeared next to him that day, coming to Earth for the first time in many millennia. Plants and fungi exploded to life in all directions from where God stood all of the way around the globe, though the further away the seeds and spores were, the slower they grew. It was for that reason that the Creator tried to avoid physically being on Earth in His true form, but this was a state of emergency. He would just have to make all of the herbivores and predators more fertile for awhile to balance out the ecosystem once again.
Michael received a warning from his father that chilled him to his bones. He was not yet ready for this confrontation, but he and his brothers were going to have to fight anyway and soon. God took all of his sons to Heaven at that moment, teleporting them rather than using a Door, though they would need a moment to recover from the "particle travel" as that's basically what it was.
All of the choirs except the three lowest ones, 7th, 8th and 9th, had already seen battle and prepared accordingly. The last three choirs had to be taught, and God gave them the crash course of their lives teaching them how to fight with the most efficiency, including commanding entire armies, battle strategies on a mass scale in all different kinds of terrain, and even down to the very basic principles of psychology during war.
It was also at that time that God revealed the most powerful metal He'd ever created: Impervium. When it was first mined from the rocks and mountains of Heaven, it was the most brilliant, flashy metal that Michael had ever seen in his life. However, within moments that the metal came into contact with oxygen, it lost it's luster and became as dull as iron.
God explained that impervium was a metal that no angel would ever be able to resist damage from, but it is also very hard and can protect them from damage from other powerful, supernatural beings. He had already melted down and crafted weapons and armor for all of them, though impervium was also very heavy so only a little bit was usable to the host of Heaven at the time. It lined the edges of every blade and tipped the point of every arrow. Small, thin amounts of it was used as the first scale mail for those that proved they could handle the weight. Those who couldn't were crafted armor out of the toughest hides of the toughest animals that roamed the highest layers of Heaven.
Michael was the only one that could handle a full suit of scale mail right away, with Lucifer being a close second able to wear a beast's hide with impervium scales placed further apart than Michael's so there was less of them and more even weight distribution.
The hole in the universe had turned a pale pink as light from an unfamiliar sun was shining through it. It had almost completely opened by the time Michael and the whole population of Heaven's army was sent to Earth. To him it had felt like only the course of a day in Heaven to get ready for what was about to come through the Door, when in Earth time it had been about a week.
Michael, Lucifer, Uriel, Gabriel and Azriel had been given command of 1/5th of Heaven's entire military force each. Raphael had been studying the healing effects of plants for so long that he had learned how to mimic them on a molecular level, and had been told to stay out of the fighting and remain on standby for healing injured soldiers. Chamuel and Sealtiel stayed behind as well to replace any one of the archangel generals that may fall.
All life on Earth was then transported temporarily within Heaven's gates, leaving only a vast and unending stretch of dry, cracked ground where not even a drop of the oceans still remained. Earth had become a desolate wasteland and a battleground.
As soon as the Door had finally opened all of the way, all hell broke loose. The battle started immediately as the Egyptian gods and their soldiers came out first. The Norse gods and their soldiers followed only to be supported by the gods of Olympus and their warriors. Although the angels' numbers were vast, more than trillions upon trillions, they found themselves outnumbered.
The Sons of Heaven clashed with the jackal-headed servants of Anubis, the hawk-headed servants of Ra, the demons of Set, the powerful sons and mythical creations of Poseidon, Hades and Zeus, and even clashed with Loki, Thor, Odin and the servants below them.
God, the Seraphim and the Cherubim confronted the more powerful gods like Odin, Zeus, Poseidon, Hades, Ra and Set directly with weapons in hand and armor unlike anything else in existence while the others were left to the myriads of angels to deal with.
Michael barely remembers the details of his first experience commanding Heaven's military, as everything was just one heart racing blur of burning rage and icy fear. What he does remember is that Uriel commanded the long ranged units and managed to put several arrows into the officers for each battalion, causing confusion and disorganization within the ranks of the enemy that helped Michael greatly in the long run.
Gabriel personally took care of the fastest opponents, leading the bulk of the Angelus accipiter
species to help catch swift enemies as well as cripple the slower ones so that other soldiers would have an easier time bringing them down. The lone Angelus falco
proved to be an amazing fighter, and was quickly feared by many. He too was under Gabriel's command.
Michael also remembered that at one point the enemy lines drew closer than he would have liked, though their ranks had been thinned out quite well by the time they reached the "meat" of Heaven's troops. He ordered the charge forward and charged into battle alongside his men, leaving Lucifer to command from behind.
Many of the adversaries they faced didn't know how to react to Azriel's ability to simply touch skin and cause his opponents to drop dead to the ground. He was likely feared the most. Michael remembered cutting through many bodies with surprising ease. Whether it was because he was wielding powerful impervium or because he'd grown so strong, he didn't know. Perhaps it was combination of both.
The Sons of Heaven fought well enough to push the invading armies back and towards the Door that still hung open. Michael didn't know how long it took, how many he'd killed by then, or how many times he narrowly dodged certain death or permanent maiming, but eventually the gods started calling for retreat one by one.
They and many of their surviving servants ran back through the door with angels in hot pursuit. Just when about half of the remaining soldiers of the invading armies were still trying to make their way through the door, Lucifer finally ordered his soldiers forward.
Lucifer's army swiftly moved in and dropped down in between the retreating forces and the Door, blocking their escape. They were forced together into a tighter and tighter circle until many of them even dropped to their knees in surrender. Lucifer never gave the order to halt, so the soldiers surrendering were cut down mercilessly.
Once the remaining soldiers were pressed so tightly together they could no longer draw their weapons to fight back, Lucifer himself charged in and gave the order for his soldiers to slaughter each and every enemy without hesitation. The circle of angels enclosed around the invaders so quickly that the ground became slick with blood in a matter of moments. Their lives had ended and their bodies were trampled in the most brutal display of Heaven's ferocity seen yet.
As soon as the last invading warrior exhaled his last, the Door suddenly blipped out of existence as if nothing had ever happened. Heaven had won it's first battle, but the war had just begun. The bodies of the enemy invaders turned to sand in an instant, and in a flash the Earth's life forms were back where they had been before the battle.
Heaven suffered some casualties, but not nearly as many as the armies of all of the other god's combined. Michael remembered the thunderous cheering and yelling, but he did not participate in the celebration. He never thought it would be possible to feel so overwhelmed that one just went numb, but it happened to him, and it was the oddest thing he'd experienced in his life. Lucifer too, remained silent and as stone-faced as he'd ever seen him.
Many more battles came and went, and in between battles Michael studied battle strategies and trained himself with merciless resolve. He and Lucifer had never worked so closely together before or agreed on things more than when they planned strategies on how to win.
In a few battles they even fought side by side, which with Lucifer's ability to shapeshift into whatever companion Michael needed or distraction the enemy didn't need at the time combined with Michael's uncanny talent for violence and warfare, their names quickly became known amongst the Olympians, the Asgardians, and the Egyptian forces. It was Ra that finally conceded defeat first and ordered all of the other Egyptian gods and their forces to return to their own realm. He left with nothing but compliments for the Creator, his army, and specifically Michael and Lucifer for their skill and ferocity in battle.
No more than four battles later, the Asgardians conceded defeat and retreated back to their home. Michael couldn't be sure, but he believed that he and Thor had some unspoken respect for one another by the end of their clashes, and Loki and Lucifer shared a wry half-smile and a nod more than once.
But Zeus... stubborn, proud Zeus would not just walk away. The war continued between the Sons of Heaven and the Olympians for another whole angel year. There was a meeting about half way through it where the Olympians attempted to negotiate some kind of agreement where the Creator gave them at least some of the empty space within His universe, and in exchange they would leave immediately. Obviously God refused. Zeus had nothing but foul, insulting things to say, and Lucifer was the first to step forward and hurl the head and wings of a Pegasus directly at the thunder god's face. He had quite a few nasty insults prepared for Zeus, a whole speech even, that angered even his own father. It was at that moment that Michael began to realize that Lucifer's ego had inflated far passed his own and was out of control. God called Lucifer back and warned him to hold his tongue. Lucifer obeyed, but the grin on his face never disappeared.
The war finally came to an end once Michael turned 17, but the lesser gods, even Ra, had a hand in helping shape the first dragon creature into existence and shoved it into the universe that God was in charge of. The dragon bit Lucifer on accident, meaning to bite Michael, and injected him with a very powerful venom that left Lucifer unconscious for several hours.
Michael didn't know it yet, but his brother had just been changed forever... Darkness had entered him, and Lucifer had subconsciously embraced it and sealed his fate for eternity. He was destined to fight against God and Michael on the lesser gods' behalf forever. It was the final insult Zeus could throw at the Sons of Heaven and their Creator before he retreated deep inside his own realm and Olympus. Michael utterly shattered every bone in the dragon's skull with his fists until it was nothing but a bloody, pulpy, fragmented mess upon the ground. The first Olympian/Norse/Egyptian dragon had been the last.
Three angel years of peace went by, and during that time Michael took advantage of the peace. He molted his feathers at 18 and got his adult plumage, which was slightly shorter than his juvenile plumage, but this time the feathers had come in with a silver tint to it if viewed in the right light. His brothers too shed their juvenile feathers for adult plumes, and even Lucifer's looked slightly golden under bright light. This was the first and last time that the archangels' feathers would molt, as their reactive evolution process was intelligent enough to only replace the feathers that were damaged or broken off from there on after to conserve vital energy, nutrients and calories for the body.
Impervium was mined often and shaped to fit each angel that would participate in the fighting should the lesser gods try to invade again, but it was often set aside and rarely used even while the angels practiced sparring to keep their skills sharp. Uriel spent so much of his time around volcanoes melting down the impervium that he had actually managed to set himself ablaze without being harmed. He perfected his new talent quickly and was able to heat and melt the impervium faster than setting it directly into the magma. The Forges were created when Michael literally punched holes into a mountain and turned it into the caverns that exist today. It was crafted to look prettier by other angels, but whenever they needed the angel equivalent of dynamite, they called Michael to punch the mountain side out of the way.
It wasn't too long after that Michael was looking for some other kind of work to do, and he sought Lucifer out to see if he needed help with anything. Lucifer's job was to keep the ecosystem of Earth in check, culling animals if need be or protecting those that became endangered.
They worked together for about a month when Michael noticed Lucifer was more irritable than normal, and had been for weeks. While he understood they were adults and a lot of their childhood innocence had been ripped away by two years of warfare, Michael tried to play a game with him, like the ones they played before the war. It went well for a few minutes, but as usual, Michael easily got the advantage and pinned Lucifer for a few seconds.
Michael got up, and only jokingly, bragged about his strength to try and goad Lucifer into being even more competitive. It worked, but not in the way he hoped. Lucifer was on his feet in an instant and landed a hard punch to Michael's face, hard enough to stagger the unsuspecting archangel back a few steps.
Lucifer's temper had flared, and Michael's followed suit. Before either of them could say anything to each other, Lucifer struck out at Michael's ribs and stomach in an attempt to double him over, no longer following the rules of the game and waiting until his opponent said "ready".
Michael tried to push him away and just leave, but Lucifer insisted on continuing, yelling about how Michael always thought he was "such a badass" that they needed to continue in a more serious manner. Michael's blood was boiling at that point and he started talking down to his brother and insulted him with words that he didn't mean at the time. Already enraged and frustrated, Lucifer launched himself at Michael and the two rolled around on the ground exchange serious blows that left the both of their bodies bruised and their faces bloody.
Michael got the advantage after a moment and threw Lucifer off of him and onto his back, where Michael quickly straddled him and hammered his fists over and over and over again without stopping. Uriel and Gabriel happened to be passing by in the sky at that moment, and rushed in to stop the fight. Michael could have thrown them both off of him, but he relented and stormed off, his balled fists bleeding profusely from his knuckles where Lucifer had bit into him trying to protect his face.
Neither of them spoke to each other for about a week. Once they did speak to each other again, they just didn't talk about the incident and buried it away like nothing happened. Michael never tried to play games with Lucifer ever again, afraid to start another fight.
History continues in "Other" Section
As time went on, Michael and Lucifer would get along most days but scuffles would sometimes happen. At the very least it gave Raphael the practice he needed for healing, but the tension between the brothers that had once been so close only seemed to be growing.
The peace continued until Michael was 20. A fight broke out between him and Lucifer that wasn't as long as the first real fight they had, but it's intensity was enough to make them both limp out of it with bloody lips and noses. Raphael once again healed them up, and as it was about to be dark, he ordered them off to bed to cool their heads.
Michael woke from a sound sleep with a start that night, because his sixth sense alerted him to spurts of fear that were suddenly cut off over and over again. Assuming that the lesser gods or their servants had somehow broken into Heaven, Michael ran straight for the Forges, kicking and punching doors along the way to alert as many other angels as possible to the disturbances.
When he arrived at the Forges with a great number of angels following suit, he saw that Lucifer was already there... completely armored with a sword in his hand. He had many others armored up and ready as well, but none of them had moved to investigate the disturbances.
Michael tried to run passed them to get to his weapons and armor, only to have Lucifer block his way. That was when Lucifer revealed that it was his own soldiers going around Heaven and either knocking out or killing any who refused to join him in his rebellion to take the throne from God Himself. Michael couldn't wrap his brain around the situation, and even thought Lucifer was just screwing around. His brother made his intentions very clear when he brought the blade of his weapon to Michael's throat and warned him that if he moved again, he would kill him. He only hadn't yet because Lucifer was hoping he'd help him fight. None of the other angels moved, still too shocked by the news to think of how to react.
Michael wasn't sure either, unarmed and with only basic white cotton clothes to protect him from the impervium blade, he wasn't sure he could win against Lucifer this time.
"We had a fight man... it happens!"
Michael would never forget feeling so afraid of his own kind. His chest was heaving for breath as his sixth sense screamed at him to flee and his heart raced. Lucifer only growled at him and explained that this take over had nothing to do with their "spats" as he called them, and that he had been planning the rebellion for a little over a year. He also told Michael that if he didn't join, he was too much of a threat to simply spare or to trust that he'd stay on the sidelines and choose no side.
Michael bolted. Some of the others followed, but some dropped to their knees in surrender and begged Lucifer to spare them. Arrows hissed passed Michael and the others as they fled, desperately trying to escape. All of them that had followed Michael were shot down, though only took a few grazing blows from the arrows himself. He had far too much battle experience by now to be taken down so easily, and he hid himself in the wilds of Heaven for a time.
The Forges were being blocked by Lucifer and many armed guards while other soldiers went out and killed all who may defy Lucifer's orders. Michael decided he needed to gather up the other archangels fast before Lucifer's soldiers got ahold of them in their unarmed state. He ran through the woods, careful to step only on rocks and large roots to avoid leaving a trail until he was close enough to the gray cliffs to fly straight up as fast as possible. To his surprise, he wasn't pursued, and made it to the Healer's Circle first.
He woke Raphael and explained to him what was going on. The Charge Healer followed after him with his best healers behind him. The rest were ordered to hide. They made their way quickly to the Courier's Head Quarters and woke Gabriel, whom dashed away to gather up his fastest fliers and promised to be back in time to help Michael get Lucifer away from the Forges. No one had any idea where Uriel was, and Michael feared that he had already been dispatched. There was no way that proud bird was going to betray Heaven for anything, not even his own life.
Michael wasn't sure if he was happy that he couldn't find Azriel either, as the archangel had always been almost impossible to find when he didn't wish to be found. Michael warned Chamuel and Sealtiel, whom quickly flew to the higher layers of Heaven to get stronger backup.
Michael alerted as many angels as he could until Gabriel, Raphael and a horde of other angels met up with them. They were all confused and scared, but willing to fight if Michael was willing to lead. He couldn't believe how much responsibility now sat upon his shoulders, and he prayed that Chamuel and Sealtiel could bring the Powers choir and stronger to their aid, and soon. There was still no hide or hair of Uriel, and Michael's stomach was in his throat at the thought of what might have happened to him.
Putting on the bravest face he could muster, Michael lead his army of angels towards the Forges. If they couldn't get any weapons in their hands or armor on their bodies, they weren't going to win anyway, so at any cost they needed to get into the Forges. Once they arrived, Gabriel zoomed in first, hoping to take some of the warriors by surprise. It worked, and he swiftly dropped three guards using only his fists. He took their weapons away immediately and threw one sword to Michael. It wasn't made for him and felt too small, but he wasn't about to be picky. Gabriel kept a sword for himself and threw an axe to the next available angel that entered the Forges.
They were surprised to see that Lucifer was no longer there, but there were more guards present than before. Michael rushed towards them and the Battle of the Forges began. Under Michael's leadership, the unarmed forces fared surprisingly well. It was most likely that the guards feared Michael enough that they had their thoughts focused more on escaping than actually fighting. About half of them fled, not confident in the use of impervium weapons after having been at peace for three years.
Before the last of guards were vanquished, Uriel suddenly came into view, aiming an arrow at Michael's unarmored body. Michael did something he never had before: He froze. Uriel released two arrows in rapid succession, both of which passed by Michael's head, only to bounce off of the walls within the Forges in a way that they curved back around and ended the lives of two guards to the left and right of him. Uriel was on Heaven's side, thankfully.
Once the guards had been dispatched, there was no time to mourn. Uriel explained that he told Lucifer he would help him in his rebellion so that when others came for their weapons, Uriel already had access to his and could assist in reclaiming the Forges. Michael and his army armed themselves quickly and left the Forges.
At this point in time, Heaven was all one layer like Earth. An orange blaze against the night sky in the distance drew the angels' attention. The castle and the center of Heaven was ablaze. Michael and his army flew towards it as fast as they could, armed and fully covered in armor and ready to put a stop to this rebellion.
Lucifer himself had amassed quite a few followers, and they swarmed around the castle throwing fire from the Forges onto it and around it. They were already doing battle with a smaller army as well, lead by the twin archangel brothers and assisted by the Powers choir.
Michael's army clashed with the rebels, and sheer chaos ruled the night. Angels on both sides rained from the skies and littered the ground with their lifeless bodies. Michael didn't know how long the battle raged on or how many of his brothers he had to cut down all because of Lucifer's vanity and pride.
Angels screamed, died and burned. A massive Door suddenly opened below the entire battlefield that swallowed even the flames. It was a Door to Earth, and the dinosaurs could be seen witnessing what they believed to be a meteor shower, but were actually watching the beginning of the end of their reign on the Earth.
Michael finally set his eyes on Lucifer. He was standing on one of the balconies on the towers of the castle surrounded by flames. The burning red and orange light all around and below him was still not bright enough to drown out the piercing blue glaciers that were his eyes as he set them on Michael.
They charged. They clashed. No one dared get between the two "titans" of the Sons of Heaven, and Uriel was too preoccupied with the waves of soldiers hell bent on forcing him into close quarter combat where he was weakest. With every successful blow Michael dealt to his brother, he felt his own heart break a little more. With every lash of stinging pain that he felt from a fresh wound, he was reassured that he must continue, lest Heaven fall.
Memories of their childhood together flashed through Michael's head whenever there was a break in the fighting, but it never lasted long and didn't happen often. They ran together, hunted together, wrestled, learned to fly, and even challenged the gods and won... and now it had all come down to this? For what? Because Lucifer felt that he deserved the Throne of Light? Michael's eyes watered and blurred his vision. The two warring brothers came together with a crash of metal on metal and pressed their blades against the other for only a moment.
At that moment, Michael blinked the wetness out of his eyes and down his cheeks. At that moment... so did Lucifer. They were both hurting, burning, dying
inside. In a final push and a shower of red sparks, they separated from each other again. They didn't charge again, but instead both wheeled around one another in the air for a moment to catch their breath. The heat from the flames created air thermals strong enough to keep them aloft, so they adjusted their wings in a way that would keep them almost stationary against the wind. The two of them floated there on their bellies for a moment.
Lucifer spoke first and asked Michael why, after everything they had been through, does he choose to not help him now? Michael explained that although he loved his brother and always would, he could not betray Heaven or the Creator. He then asked Lucifer why he needed the throne and why he couldn't just be happy with how things were now. His brother simply said that he felt he deserved better after the years of excellent servitude he'd given to the Creator. He also explained that originally he only wanted to be his father's equal, not actually take the throne form him. In the end, only one God of Light could rule, so Lucifer decided that it ought to be him.
Appalled and pained by Lucifer's arrogance, Michael couldn't find any words to respond with. He simply shook his head and at that moment accepted that his brother was gone. Despite the many wounds both archangels suffered and the blood that trickled off of their armor to the fires below, they resumed their fighting.
The heat of the flames forced them to climb higher and higher into the sky until they were fighting above the castle itself. At that time, Gabriel flew by at a speed that was new even to him in an attempt to blow the fires out of existence with the wind in his wake. The towers of hot air currents suddenly crumbled and threw both of the brothers off balance. Lucifer dropped a little lower than Michael, and Michael saw his chance. Now armed with the appropriate sword from earlier, Michael wielded the flamberge in both hands and aimed straight for the open gap in Lucifer's armor in front of the neck and over the chest.
The tip of the blade missed Lucifer's neck entirely, though Michael had done that on purpose, and pierced through his flesh on the right side of his chest. Lucifer gasped for breath in shock and pain. The cutting of his ribs and the piercing of a lung was too much for his mind to handle and he lost consciousness. Lucifer fell through the Door.
As soon as he hit the Earth, as he was the last of his army to finally fall, the Door slammed shut and showed only the grounds of Heaven once more. All of the angels that supported Lucifer had been cast out.
Michael allowed himself to fall as soon as the Door had closed. Gabriel and Uriel flew quickly to catch him, thinking he had passed out, but they lowered him to the ground and realized that he had curled part-way into a ball. His shoulders shuddered and he kept gasping as tears ran hot down his cheeks. Michael folded his wings in around him to hide himself from their stares. He'd never wanted to appear weak in front of anyone, but the memory of the way it felt to shove the tip of his weapon into his brother's chest proved to be too much.
Michael didn't remember anything that Gabriel or Uriel tried to tell him that day, but he did remember that there was absolutely no celebrating in Heaven despite their victory. All of Heaven was in mourning. Many were shocked and angry and all of them were flabbergasted that such a thing could happen within the walls of their Paradise and home.
It was shortly afterward that God informed Michael that there would be more angels created in the wake of this tragedy, because there were no longer enough in Heaven for it to function properly. The down side was that the 2nd generation would be a lot like the ones that had fallen, which only caused unease among the survivors of the first battle. It was up to the older angels to guide the younger ones in an attempt to prevent such an occurrence from happening again.
Many more angel years went on and so did the war. Lucifer had received the medical attention that he needed in time, so that he hadn't died. Michael remembered how scared everyone looked by the news, and was burdened by even more guilt inside his chest. He knew that Lucifer was not going to die when he drove the blade into him. He had missed the vital heart on purpose and left the left lung in tact. Michael couldn't kill Lucifer, because what if this was all just a big nasty event that wouldn't mean anything in a few years and Lucifer came back?
Michael acknowledges now that that had been a foolish, na�ve way to think, but it was already done. The war raged on and Lucifer didn't appear to be giving in at all. The prideful arc would rather run himself into the tip of a spear than surrender, and he was going to force all of the others that had supported him to do the same.
Michael and the others have kept a close watch on the younger angels as they grew, and Michael had learned to love them from afar.
When humans came into the situation, he didn't know how much worse things were about to get. Once Lucifer had found out about them, he took an opportunity to hurt the Creator through them. More time passed, and angels were sent to Earth to aid the humans in their survival, for they were so much slower and weaker than the other animals.
Shortly after that, angels found out that humans could carry their offspring. A lot of them were amazed and curious about the new discovery, while plenty of others were disgusted and appalled. Uriel and many others in Heaven were sickened enough by the giant hybrid offspring (all suffered from gigantism) that they formed The Nimbus Sanctifiers, a nephilim eradication group that ended up killing quite a few humans as well.
Michael knew he had to stop them, for they were nothing more than a terrorist organization that had gone against the wishes of the White Court. He never imagined that he'd be making new enemies at the age of 57, but he'd grown so used to battle that he'd learned to just do as he was ordered, regardless of how unpleasant.
He gathered up the top 1,000 of his finest elite warriors to go after Uriel and his new organization. The archer had no returned to Heaven in at least 50 Earth years, so Michael had decided to go after him rather than wait for him to come back. Michael's elite mostly crushed and scattered the Nimbus Sanctifiers, but as soon as Uriel came into the picture, they lost a lot of their nerve. Michael dismissed them, saying that he would do better against Uriel alone.
The elites retreated, relieved, and Michael stood in the middle of a town that had been burnt to the ground. Even charred skeletons of humans and nephilim alike littered the ash floor. At first Michael tried to reason with Uriel and convince him to peacefully return to Heaven for trial. Fearing he would get the death penalty before his work was done (destroying all of the humans at this point), Uriel refused and readied himself to battle against Michael once it was clear that the general was not going to go back home without Uriel in bindings.
Michael was suited up in full plate impervium to protect himself from most of the throwing and piercing weapons Uriel had at his disposal. As he expected, Uriel pelted him with a barrage of throwing knives, shurikens, razor discs and of course, arrows. Pain struck Michael more than he expected it to when the weapons found their way around curves and into the weak spots in his armor.
Uriel had become skilled at keeping his enemies away from him and subduing them from a distance, but Uriel had underestimated Michael's toughness and determination. His determination to not let another of his brothers be taken from him by darkness...
It was a lot like watching a bullfight. Michael had shafts of arrows and other weapons sticking out of him in every chink in his armor, making him resemble the bulls that had their backs and shoulders impaled over and over and over until they died of blood loss and exhaustion. Just like a bull, Michael kept going, determined to bring down his foe with one blow.
Blood mixed with the saliva that ran down chin as his breathing became more and more labored. His lungs were filling up with blood, and he knew it, but still Michael refused to retreat. No matter how many times an arrow would take him to the ground, Michael got back to his feet. Even though he appeared to be winning, Uriel had never seen anyone accomplish such a feat and it had him literally shaking in his boots.
"Dammit Michael, just stop! It's over! Go home and get healed or I will kill you!"
Uriel yelled, drawing yet another arrow from his quiver and aiming it at an exhausted Michael's head. The general dropped to his knees and Uriel hesitated, believing that Michael was going to surrender then and there and ask to be let go.
Michael reached for four arrows that were embedded into the base of his left wing and gripped them tightly. Uriel was where he wanted him, with no cover to get behind quickly. Michael ripped them out of his own flesh and threw them towards his adversary. Uriel fired the arrow towards one of the incoming ones to knock it away.
Distracted by the other three, he had no time to react once Michael got to his feet and charged him. By the time the last arrow was knocked off course, Michael had already tackled Uriel to the ground and pinned him. Even as badly injured and out of breath as he was, Michael held Uriel in place without much effort. A few moments passed as Michael choked up blood, some even landed on his opponent, before he finally stood up and yanked Uriel upward with him. The taller archer was yanked off of his feet and up above Michael's head. The last thing he saw was an oncoming boulder directly for his face.
Michael had suplexed Uriel and knocked the master archer out cold, splitting the boulder and leaving a crater where his head had impacted the ground. Shortly after, Michael flew towards the Door leading to Heaven with Uriel in his arms. He approached the Door and was met by several other angels including Gabriel. They helped him through and made sure he had his feet solidly under him. The Door had lead them to the front of the White Court.
Michael handed Uriel to Gabriel and told him to not let them kill him. Then Michael lost consciousness and fell to the floor. Raphael and his healers managed to save him, though it was the closest call they ever had to losing Michael. This infuriated all of Heaven.
When Michael entered the room where Uriel's hearing was being held, even he was stunned at the ruthlessness of the angels that had come to attend. Uriel stood in the center of the room, cuffed and hobbled, with four elite soldiers around him and Gabriel in the equivalent of the defending lawyer's position.
All around them were angels screaming for Uriel's immediate execution. Michael tried to search the angry faces for one that might not be in agreement with the crowd. There was not even one. Even Gabriel seemed cold and distant despite pleading for Uriel's case. Michael knew he only did it because he had asked him to.
The general took over the stand and allowed Gabriel to go sit down. To everyone's astonishment, Michael defended Uriel with even more conviction than when he fought him. Even Uriel stared with his mouth agape. Michael returned it with a smile and a wink once the Court had decided to release Uriel from all charges under the condition that he could never go to Earth again without an escort.
Now Michael continued to fight against Hell and watch over the warrior trainees, though he is hesitant to let any of them graduate and see any real battle. War was horrible, and he didn't want them to have their innocence torn away from them like his was. Still, only time will tell if they are ever needed for the front lines or not. The one thing Michael is sure of as that they're all ready, in their own way, and that Heaven had little to fear with them around to defend Her.