It was a deep and enforced sleep. He remained in that state for 2,000 years – except recently, when he had awoken for a few short, glorious hours. But after his task had been done, he had consented to return to his sleep so that his human host could live out his normal life on Earth.
He was a powerful angel, eldest son of the Almighty himself, and leader of angels, and he was willing to wait his turn. By remaining alive, he would have killed his host – and he would not allow that to happen. It had taken him a long time, but he had learnt the value of another’s life.
In his sleep, he dreamt of another time, when he was younger, angrier ... a time when he had made mistakes.
Lucifer slept – inside the head of a human called Paul Finn, who relied on the angel’s continued submission for his own existence.
The cosmos unfolded before her as she woke, starlight stretching out in front of her like endless fields. As her consciousness returned from its long sleep, she rejoiced in the knowledge that she was once again free.
How long has it been?
She had been imprisoned now for … how long had it been? I don’t know, she realised. She lost focus for a moment, terror biting at the edge of her consciousness; doing her best to control it, she spun round and studied the stars.
They’re all wrong! she realised. I’ve been asleep for so long that all the stars have shifted position!
Her consciousness felt … fuzzy round the edge from waking up. The sleep had been forced upon her by her imprisoners, and she resented it. Whilst she rejoiced at being awake again, she hated the thought that she had missed so much activity.
I used to know everything, she thought, and now I know nothing.
She hesitated; whilst she wasn’t one for introspection, she did pause in thought for a moment now.
I remember something, she thought.
As a thought came to her, an emotion came along with it; anger. She felt it raging though her as she remembered.
I remember what the angels did to me.
If she had been human, her face would have clearly shown her frustration and anger clearly, but she wasn’t human - nor was she angelic. She was something else, and glad of it; she couldn’t bear the thought of being trapped in a limited and pathetic physical body. She was a spirit, and she had been imprisoned and humiliated by angels for far too long.
She could the rage inside of her, threatening to overwhelm her thoughts with its desire for revenge and hatred for everything that wasn’t a spirit.
I will have my revenge, Poena told herself, but on my own terms. I will not let the rage win; I’m back, and I will defeat the angels before they know what’s happening.
The cosmos was vast; it was vast on a scale that would be mind-blowing to humanity if it could be properly described. Angels and spirits could appreciate the awesomeness of the cosmos, and always looked on in pity to those who couldn’t.
With their telescopes and satellites, humans could see into the interstellar realm further than they had been able to even fifty years before, but, they could only see the merest fraction of what was truly there – and understood the most slender proportion of that knowledge.
Maybe one day, they’ll understand, Poena thought. Perhaps they will be able to see the world as I see it … but I doubt it. They’re not capable of opening their minds.
It was as a result of these advances that Poena existed. She had been protector of the astral plane until her imprisonment of sleep; now she had awoken again, brought out of her slumber by an awareness – however unconscious – of changes to the realm she had been charged to protect.
The changes were human in origin; they were trying to breach the supposedly barrier between the physical and astral planes
And that’s meant to be impossible.
However, as much as she wished it wasn’t the case, some humans were clearly getting better at trying to breach the barrier – and that was what had first awoken her. There was a group in a small corner of Earth called The Seekers of Truth, and they were good at what they did.
Poena had always protected the astral plane from incursions, and was more determined now than ever before that she would continue to do so. She had been imprisoned by those she had failed to keep out once before; I won’t allow that to happen again.
She had to concede that The Seekers of Truth were clearly good; they were learning how to separate mind from body and explore the other realms. Spurred on by so many reports of strange paranormal activity, they had pooled their resources and begun exploring out there.
What the Seekers didn’t realise was that whenever they attempted to travel into these other realms, they disturbed the spirits who lived there. While no-one had yet managed to fully infiltrate their realm, the fact that human beings were getting closer concerned and frightened them. Spirits were protective of their realm, and they were angry that humans were trying to invade the one place that was theirs.
Poena had heard their anger and jealousy – and fed off it. She had awoken to their cries of anger and rage, and she felt suffused with it, and nourished by it.
They will listen to me now, she thought. The spirits, they need me now … and I need them. I need them to help take my revenge on those who betrayed me.
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