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I attended the Devil’s War Council

I attended the devils war council


Estimated reading time — 25 minutes

Read Part One here

It would be fair to say that I had a problem with authority during my mortal existence. I guess that’s why I got assigned the punishment I did once I arrived in Hell. As you can imagine, rebellious behaviour isn’t exactly encouraged here in the underworld. The Devil and his cohorts do not tolerate dissent from the damned, and it’s definitely not advisable to end up on Satan’s wrong side.

I wasn’t a good guy when I was alive. I guess that goes without saying, but its worth repeating. However, I’m not the worst man to ever be condemned to the underworld and I often wonder whether I deserve my fate. I did some bad shit for sure, but I was never a psychopath or serial killer.

In a way it’s a shame I’m not pure evil, because those types tend to do well down here. If you were a murderous dictator or war criminal on Earth, then your skills are going to be very much in demand in this joint. That’s as long as you know your place and don’t dare to challenge the boss.

As for myself, I suppose you could call me one of the lucky ones. That is to say, I wasn’t subjected to the eternal torment dished out to millions of damned souls trapped within the nine circles, nor was I conscripted into the zombie hordes pulled from the streets of Dis and thrown into the meat-grinder, becoming cannon fodder in Satan’s endless wars of conquest across multiple dimensions.

No, this wasn’t to be my fate. Instead, either by luck or design, I got picked out from the rabble and assigned to work as a servant in Lucifer’s palace – a grand castle of ice located in the very lowest circle of Hell. Some might think this job a cushy number when you consider the alternatives. I would beg to differ however.

Can you imagine serving as a slave under the most evil and sadistic being in existence, surrounded by twisted demons and the ghosts of some of the most ruthless and bloodthirsty mass murderers in human history? If I ever put a single step out of line I face horrendous torture at my master’s hand, and therefore I must live in constant fear, unable to speak my mind or express my disgust at the savagery I’m forced to witness.

But this story isn’t about me. By an act of divine intervention, I’ve been given the opportunity to recount my sorry tale, but more importantly I’m here to share my experiences as an observer of Hell’s war upon the mortal plane. I can only hope and pray that my words reach those who will listen and that I can make some small difference in this screwed-up universe.

It is often believed that Lucifer is trapped within the deepest and most severe circle of Hell – level nine, Treachery…a vast frozen ocean without warmth, life or hope. Well, this is partly true. The Devil is confined to the ninth circle, for now at least. But alas, he is not frozen, helpless and impotent under the thick ice. Instead, he dwells within a vast palace built from that same icy material, its ugly towers and high walls dominating the ninth circle and acting as a lasting monument to his terrible power.

Lucifer rules over Hell with an iron fist, either directly or through his cadre of demonic lieutenants and subordinates. However, Satan’s influence wanes the higher one ascends through the circles, and his control of Limbo – the first circle – is only nominal. But Hell is not enough for Lucifer – it never has been. His ultimate goal is to conquer the Earth; to destroy our world and take ownership of the bodies and souls of every human being. This is what he’s been working towards for millennia, and there’s nothing he won’t do to achieve this victory.

And how do I know this? Because I’ve witnessed his invasion first hand. But, even with his vast armies, his many fifth columnists, and his world-ending weaponry, Satan is not unopposed in these wars, and I know the forces of good are still up for this fight.

But let me take you back to the day when Lucifer launched his latest blood-soaked invasion. Me and my fellow slaves were on duty inside of the war room buried deep within the icy chambers beneath Lucifer’s fortified palace. How can I describe the war room? Well, my descriptive skills are likely not up to the task, but I see the room as a cross between a futuristic military command centre and a medieval great hall.

The walls were carved from the ice many thousands of years ago, and (as you would imagine) the interior is bitterly cold, at least for us damned souls who are dressed in little more than sparse, filthy rags. We shiver through our duties, knowing all too well the harsh penalty for making any complaint.

In the centre of the chamber sits a huge round table made from the finest marble. The fact that the table is circular might suggest that all who sit around it are equal in status, but I can assure you that this isn’t the case. Lucifer sits upon a mighty throne of twisted iron which towers above the wooden chairs of the other attendees. There is no doubt who is in charge inside of that room, and all others are in fearful awe of Satan’s immense power.
The military operations are managed through a three-dimensional projection of our globe which appears above the centre of the vast round table, although whether this visual representation is created by advanced technology or black magic, I cannot say.

In any case, Lucifer and his generals are able to zoom in to observe the many battlefields around the globe, projecting images of extreme violence for the viewing pleasure of the sadistic audience as they watch their bloodthirsty invasion play out.

One thing you need to understand about Hell is that time moves at a different rate than on our world. It seems that Lucifer can bend time and space to his own will. In any event, an invasion which may last weeks, months or even years on the mortal plane can pass in mere hours or minutes inside Hell’s war room.

As for the role of me and my fellow slaves – well, our job is to cater to every whim of Lucifer and his demonic generals. We will bring them fresh meat (whose origins I dare not imagine), alcohol, narcotics, and sexual partners of their preference, although Lucifer forbids such activities during wartime as being unnecessary distractions.

And sometimes our only function is to act as punchbags for their verbal and physical abuse. We’re dealing with a cruel and sadistic crowd after all, and we slaves have no rights. We can only stand there, take their abuse in good humour, and hope the demons don’t subject us to more severe tortures.

What’s important however is that we are present, and even though our masters insist we remain silent and invisible, we witness all that occurs in that horrifying room, and I saw it all on that extraordinary day in the pits of Hell.

Let me begin by introducing the cast of this horrid tale. Well, there’s the main man of course – Lucifer, Satan, the Devil, Lord of the Flies. He is probably the second most powerful entity in existence and boy, he’s pissed at not being number one!

Satan has been bitter and enraged ever since his failed rebellion and banishment from God’s kingdom. For millennia he has dwelt in hellish exile and plotted his revenge, a twisted obsession which has entirely consumed him.

The Devil holds all the power in his realm and is not afraid to demonstrate this fact. I have personally witnessed the Devil ripping his victims limb from limb with his bare hands, only to summon a dark magic to stitch them back together again. He then repeats the process, driving his victims mad in the process. The only limit in the Devil’s realm is his own twisted imagination.

Satan can also take many physical forms – a horned minotaur, a black dog with burning red eyes, and a crimson dragon which spits white fire. But, when he’s inside the war room, the Devil takes on a human form – that of a slick and handsome politician dressed in a finely tailored designer suit.

Or perhaps this is just how he appears to me. I guess it makes no odds in the end. I’m sure of one thing however – no-one who’s ever laid eyes upon the Devil on his home turf could ever mistake him. I don’t know whether its his piercing, predatory eyes, or his booming, God-like voice, but Lucifer has a dark aura around him which forces all to submit to his will out of sheer terror.

Despite the vast size of the subterranean chamber, the Devil likes to keep his war council small, and on the day I witnessed the events I will recount, only a half-dozen were present around the table.

So, let me introduce you to Satan’s unholy six. Three of their number are demons – fallen angels who’ve been with the Devil ever since his failed rebellion in Heaven. There are many thousands of demons within the ranks of Hell’s army, but these three are at the top of the pile – Lucifer’s most trusted lieutenants and advisors, dedicated to implementing his horrific plans and fully prepared to inflict mass casualties in their pursuit of total victory.

They also take the appearance of human beings whilst sitting around the war table, but I’ve seen their true, monstrous forms – like the sixty-foot tall minotaurs wielding flaming swords, their horrifying roars filling the air as they storm into battle. That’s a sight you’ll never forgot, believe me.

First and foremost is Ashtaroth – the Great Duke of Hell and Satan’s right-hand man. Highly intelligent, devious and totally ruthless, Ashtaroth is notorious for his Machiavellian political skills and aptitude for extreme violence. When this demon meets your eye, you’ll feel a cold chill running up your spine as you imagine the horrors he’s calculating inside of his twisted mind. He is definitely to be avoided if at all possible.

Next in line is Minos, Judge of the Dead and gatekeeper of the second circle. All who enter Hell must pass through Minos and face his judgement, and he will decide your fate and assign you to one of the torturous nine circles. In addition to his gatekeeper role, Minos is also responsible for recruitment into Hell’s army.

Millions of lost souls make up the rank-and-file of Satan’s combat divisions. They’re cannon fodder of course, entirely expendable and ready to be thrown into the meat-grinder at a moment’s notice. These soldiers are press-ganged into service but most are grateful to escape the endless torment of the circles.

Minos is known to take the form of a bearded giant with a snake-like tail which wraps around his muscular body. But, in the war room, he looks quite normal – handsome even…although with a well-concealed malice behind his dark eyes. On the surface, Minos is a loyal lieutenant serving under Lucifer, although I always sensed an underlying tension between the two.

Last of the demons is Leviathan, Grand Admiral and commander of Satan’s naval forces. Pale-skinned, robed, and hairless, Leviathan takes the form of a warlock whilst attending the council, and he is indeed very powerful. He alone has the ability to summon and command the gigantic kraken, ancient sea monsters which slumber in the darkest depths of the oceans, waiting to rise the surface and wreak havoc upon our shipping lanes and ports.

These kraken are vast in size and one is easily capable of grasping hold of an aircraft carrier or oil tanker with its mighty tentacles before dragging the boat down into the icy depths. And Leviathan doesn’t have just one sea monster under his control, he has dozens. Satan’s admiral says little during these war councils but there’s no doubt that he plays a crucial role in the Devil’s devious plans.

The other three council members are not demons but rather damned souls. These are Satan’s generals, hand picked to co-ordinate his invasion and command his vast armies. All were famous (or infamous) military leaders who I suspect you might have heard of.

First, there’s Erwin Rommel or the ‘Desert Fox’ as he was known on the mortal plane. The German general became famous due to his stunning performance as a tank commander during World Ward 2, serving in France, North Africa and France again before his death in October 1944.

As he sat in the war room, Rommel looked near identical to the photographs I recall seeing in the history books, right down to his chiselled Aryan looks and spotless Wehrmacht officer’s uniform. The German may have been deceased, but he remains a true professional committed to winning, even if the cause isn’t his own. He is considered the best of Satan’s generals and has a position of authority over the others.

Next around the table is Belisarius, military commander of the Byzantine Empire during the 6th century and instrumental in reconquering most of the Mediterranean during a series of battles and wars spanning several decades.

Sometimes called ‘The Last of the Romans’, Belisarius is remembered on our world as a great strategist and brave general who fought side-by-side with his troops. But ultimately Belisarius was betrayed by Emperor Justinian who ordered his general’s eyes put out, leaving him as a blind beggar on the streets of Rome for the remainder of his life.

In death he remains blind, but his other senses are sharpened and his strategic skills are as good as they were during his glory days. With his eyes removed and his hair and beard white and dishevelled, Belisarius doesn’t look like much at first glance, but he’s been fighting Lucifer’s wars for centuries and should not be underestimated.

Last but not least on Satan’s council is Boudica, queen of the ancient Iceni tribe who led an uprising against the Roman occupiers in 1st century Britain. Clad in red robes and with long, flowing hair, Boudica is known for her beauty but also her skill and strength in battle. Her name comes from the Celtic word for victory and, despite her eventual defeat and death, Boudica is remembered as a heroine in Britain and beyond.

This raises the question of how these military leaders ended up in Hell leading Lucifer’s vile legions. They are hardly the evilest villains from history after all. Nevertheless, Rommel was Hitler’s general, Belisarius slaughtered civilians during the Nika riots, and Boudica’s army put 80,000 Romans to the sword during her bloody rebellion. The truth is, few escape from war without committing mortal sins.

And, you’re probably wondering why the worst monsters and mass killers from history don’t have a seat at the table. Where are Genghis Khan, Hitler, Stalin and Mao, you might ask? Well, don’t worry…they’re all here in Hell. The trouble is, such megalomaniacs don’t take well to being number two, and Satan never full trusts these dictators as he fears they’ll stage a revolt against his rule.

For those reasons, these human monsters are regulated to the very lowest level of Hell, a little-known torture chamber located beneath the frozen sea of the ninth circle. Down in the icy depths, they are subjected to unimaginable and endless torture. You can sometimes hear their desperate, mad screaming through the ice – a chilling reminder of the fate of those who would dare challenge Satan in his own kingdom.

So, on that fateful day, the huge ice chamber which served as the Devil’s war room was the place of work for me and two other damned souls. I don’t know their names or what they did in life to end up down here. One learns pretty quickly that Hell isn’t a place for making friends.

The two young men who served alongside me were anonymous and largely silent, but I could see the pure terror in their eyes and knew they were as scared and horrified as I was. But that didn’t make us allies. Desperate souls have a habit of stabbing you in the back. It’s every man (or woman) for themselves in Hell. I learnt this lesson the hard way.

The three of us stood silently at the back of the chamber beside a table of both raw and cooked meat, countless bottles of alcohol, and drugs of every description. We would obediently serve the demonic attendees whatever they wanted, although I knew from past experience that Lucifer didn’t want hedonistic distractions during his invasions, and so we were likely to remain as silent observers throughout the events to come.

Now, this wasn’t the first time I’d witnessed this sequence of events, but I am always awestruck when the Devil summons a three-dimensional globe the size of a football pitch above the war table – an incredibly detailed and live holographic image of the planet Earth.
When he did so I looked upon the green continents and blue oceans of my home world and felt a terrible sickness deep in the pit of my stomach, because I knew what was coming next and felt for the billions of people who were about to suffer a horrific fate.

And then Lucifer spoke to open the proceedings; his booming, God-like voice filling the huge chamber with ease.

“Ah, our battlefield. Earth 217, ripe for the picking. I trust our preparations have been completed?”

Ashtaroth, Lucifer’s second-in-command, responded without missing a beat, his voice low and raspy but full of malice.

“Yes indeed, my lord. The four horsemen have been busy doing what they do best – spreading fear, misery and hatred throughout the globe. May I?”

Lucifer gave his subordinate a curt nod and the demon used his black magic to take control of the holographic globe, zooming in on each continent as he provided his quick-fire briefing.

“In Africa we have multiple wars, famines and pestilence. The conflict between NATO and Russia is heating up in Eastern Europe. The Middle East is in bloody chaos. The Chinese are preparing for their seaborne invasion of Taiwan. North Korea will soon attack their neighbours to the south. The United States is sleepwalking into civil war. The global economy has all but collapsed. The environment is rapidly deteriorating. People are scared, angry and increasingly desperate.”

“Good. Very good.” the Devil replied with a sadistic glee, “And what of our forces?”

It was Minos who answered this time, delivering his summary in a business-like tone like he was a high-up bureaucrat.

“All is progressing on schedule, my lord. Twenty million lost souls harvested from the nine circles; their energy converted into balls of flame. Half are ready to fire against their assigned targets while the other half will be held in reserve. Fifty million undead pulled from the slums of Dis are standing by to advance in the first wave.

One hundred thousand demons have been mobilised into our elite legions and deployed to the Hell Mouths. Five hundred thousand harpies will descend from the skies, and a quarter of a million wolfmen have already entered the mortal realm to prepare the way for our invasion.”

“Good.” Lucifer replied, although not as enthusiastically as before.

His invasion plans relied upon Minos’ efficiency and his ability to mobilise vast armies from the nine circles. Nevertheless, I got the distinct impression that the Devil didn’t fully trust Minos and regarded him as a potential rival.

“Last but certainly not least, what of our naval force?” the Devil enquired.

Leviathan answered in a soft voice which somehow still managed to carry across the chamber to my ears.

“All is as it should be, my lord. The krakens are awakening from their slumber and shall soon rise from the depths to take control of the five oceans. Likewise, our serpent hordes stand ready to attack ports on every coastline.”

“Fine, fine.” said Lucifer, “Well, I see no reason to delay. Let us begin the first phase.”

Next came the moment I’d been dreading so badly, as the Lord of Hell unleashed death and destruction upon the world with a mere click of his fingers.

My companions and I could only watch on in abject horror as many ‘natural’ disasters occurred across the globe – earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, forest fires, tsunamis, floods, hurricanes and tornados…all happening simultaneously and on every continent.

The purpose of these disasters was to disrupt communications and destroy infrastructure, making it much more difficult for the world’s governments and militaries to co-ordinate an effective defence. Lucifer zoomed in on individual regions and nations so he could examine the devastation in closer detail.

We bore witness to cities destroyed, forests burning, and endless columns of refugees fleeing from disaster zones. On Earth, days or even weeks had passed, but in Satan’s war room it seemed like this had all happened in mere minutes.

When Lucifer was satisfied, he moved onto the next phase of the invasion. All of a sudden, we witnessed the Earth’s crust opening up as vast bore holes appeared on each and every continent – a thousand deep and black cavities which linked the mortal world with the dreaded nine circles of the underworld.

These were the Hell Mouths, the means by which Lucifer’s armies would launch their devastating assaults upon the peoples of Earth.

And so, the groundwork had been laid. The demons had sown the seeds and mobilised the army, and Satan had opened the gateways between the worlds. Now, the responsibility fell to the three generals who would co-ordinate the military operation.

I watched as Rommel, Belisarius and Boudica came to life, assuming the role of all-powerful war machines activated to manage a vast global conflict with clinical and brutal efficiency. Their eyes were closed, with the exception of Belisarius who no longer had eyes.

One would think that they were running the war blind, but the deceased generals all had strategic brains capable of seeing the battlefields in their mind’s eye and co-ordinating offensives on multiple fronts simultaneously. Lucifer had granted them all this immense power, but it came at a heavy price.

The military leaders knew that they had to deliver results. The Devil would accept nothing less than total victory and, if his generals failed to deliver…well, there were always spare cells in the torture chambers below the ice. Its fair to say these generals were operating under intense pressure, but they showed no outward signs of anxiety or stress as their conversation was emotionless and all-business.

“Status reports.” Rommel ordered. The German was the senior of the three, and so the others reported to him.

“Our targets in the Western Europe theatre are more dispersed than our reconnaissance indicated.” said Boudica, “We will require a 10% increase in fireball munitions to eliminate all NATO bases.”

“Authorised.” Rommel replied after only a moment’s hesitation, time he no doubt used to analyse the potential impact of the request upon the overall war effort.

Belisarius spoke next, saying – “Our zombie hordes are taking significant losses on the North American continent. Request advance deployment of one legion from the demon corps.”

“Negative.” Rommel replied soon after, “A full legion will deplete our reserves beyond the acceptable margin of error. Five cohorts will have to suffice.”

Belisarius accepted the decision without argument, his powerful brain focussed upon resolving the problem.

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A tense silence ensued before Boudica spoke again, reporting – “Pakistan has unilaterally deployed nuclear weapons earlier than our projections predicted. They have launched multiple missiles towards the Kashmir Hell Mouth.”

Rommel thought for a brief moment before delivering his next orders.

“Eliminate what’s left of the Pakistani nuclear arsenal. Redeploy the remainder of our forces in the region through the Ganges and Persian Hell Mouths.”

“Done.” Boudica replied confidently.

I tuned out from the conversation, instead focussing upon the terrible images appearing before me, as the Devil and his demon subordinates zoomed in on the holographical globe to observe their bloodthirsty invasion in close quarters.

The horrifying scenes included a pack of savage werewolves tearing through what looked like an army barracks, ripping unprepared soldiers to shreds as they emerged from their cots. Next, I saw an airbase being assaulted by dozens of flaming fireballs. The control tower was already ablaze as jet fighters were blown apart by precision strikes before they could even take off.

Next came images of zombie hordes on the streets of Paris tearing into civilians and soldiers alike in a sickening bloodbath, sixty-foot tall demons stomping across corn fields and smashing armoured vehicles and tanks to pieces with their flaming swords, winged harpies descending from blood red skies to slaughter a line of terrified refugees, a mighty kraken pulling a destroyer down to the icy depths with its mighty tentacles, and a horde of sea serpents slithering along a concrete dock and swallowing whole any who stood in their way.
And so it went on. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the first time I’d seen this genocide play out. Lucifer and his legions had already launched this assault upon multiple dimensions, conquering alternate versions of the Earth and slaughtering countless millions in the process. This invasion plan was tried and tested. Each time I witnessed the bloodbath, I secretly hoped that things would turn out differently, but they never did. Surely the conclusion was inevitable.

The three generals were facing challenges but nothing they couldn’t handle. Satan’s forces had an overwhelming advantage over the scattered and divided armies of humanity whose leadership would have been largely wiped out in the first attacks.

Lucifer seemed pleased, but his short temper was notorious, as one of my fellow servants would soon learn in the most brutal fashion. The Devil was clearly enjoying the sight of humanity being slaughtered in their millions. He always did. But Lucifer enjoyed sustenance and refreshment whilst he watched cities burn.

“You, slave!” he suddenly cried out, “Bring me meat and mead.”

Thankfully, the order wasn’t directed towards me but rather the servant who stood to my left; an emaciated young man with bloodshot eyes who looked like he was about to have a heart attack. I felt sympathy as I watched the kid pile up slices of cut meat upon a silver platter and filling a fine goblet with golden ale.

I could see his hands shaking almost uncontrollably as he carried the food and drink across the ice-covered floor of the chamber. I’m afraid what happened next was all too predictable. The kid tripped over his own feet whilst still about six feet away from the war table, falling heavily to the floor while dropping the meat and spilling the drink on the ice.

Satan’s reaction to this mishap was instant and furious.
“You damn fool!” he spat angrily, turning his attention from the war for long enough to punish the transgression.

In an instant, the terrified kid had been lifted off the ground by an unseen force, his body briefly hovering in mid-air before he was flung across the chamber at a tremendous speed. I could only look on as the kid’s helpless body was pinned against the icy wall of the chamber.

He screamed in absolute terror, but a moment later I heard a sickening crack as Satan snapped his victim’s spine like it was a twig before allowing his paralysed body to collapse to the ground. The crippled servant looked up at us with pain and shock in his eyes, trying to mouth a plea for help, although he was no longer able to speak or move.

The kid’s body was broken but he wouldn’t die. No-one could in Hell. But he could still feel pain of course. Lucifer had punished his slave and perhaps he’d restore the kid’s body later, if he was feeling generous. In the meantime, there was still a job to be done.

“Clean up this mess and bring me what I desire!” Lucifer demanded.

He hadn’t directed his orders to anyone specifically, but there were only two of us left now, and my companion was frozen in fear, seemingly unable to move from the spot. I knew it was up to me, otherwise we would all suffer an even worse fate.

Working quickly, I scampered across the ice and collected the dropped items in my shaking hands before retreating back to the food table, piling up fresh meat and refilling the goblet. I don’t know how but I summoned the strength to serve the Devil his meal. As I carefully set the plate and goblet down on the table, Satan cast me a brief glance, glaring through me with his hateful eyes before dismissing me with utter contempt.

I bowed my head in submission before retreating from the war table, relieved that I hadn’t been crippled or subjected to some sort of perverse torture for the Devil’s amusement. Meanwhile, the destruction of Earth continued as the war drew towards what seemed like an inevitable conclusion.

“My lord,” Rommel announced, “The world’s surviving political and military leaders are discussing their final strategy…”

Ashtaroth interrupted at this point, speaking for the first time since the beginning of the briefing.

“Our agents have been working hard, whispering our message in the ears of desperate politicians and generals. I am confident that they will decide to deploy the nuclear option.”

“Excellent.” the Devil replied with a twisted grin on his lips.

You might find it crazy that Lucifer and his minions would actually want the human race to use nuclear weapons and effectively destroy the planet in the process. But in fact, this is all part of the plan. The Devil doesn’t care if his armies are disintegrated in atomic fires. He can always replace his foot soldiers. There’s no shortage of damned souls in the nine circles, after all.

Nuclear apocalypse will do nothing to stop his invasion, but it will hasten the extinction of humanity, which is the ultimate goal. Believe me when I say, Satan is quite happy to burn the whole world down just so he can rule over the ashes.

I had tears in my eyes and a sickness in the pit of my stomach as I watched the missile launch sites light up across the globe, both from ICBM silos and nuclear submarines at sea. Soon, thousands of missiles rose into orbit before beginning their descent towards their targets. I lowered my head in grief, feeling sure that I was about to witness the death of yet another world. But what happened next was something I never could have anticipated.

I saw flashes of white light and looked up at the globe, astonished as the missiles were plucked from the air one-by-one, taken out by an unidentified force before they could hit their targets and detonate. It seemed like this development took everyone by surprise as the tension inside of the chamber nearly reached breaking point.

A length pause ensued as we all watched the nuclear apocalypse being diverted, and then Lucifer reacted with predictable fury.

“What the fuck is this? What have you morons done?”

His tirade was aimed towards his three generals, their former confidence now gone as their war plan fell apart in front of their very eyes.

The normally unflappable Rommel was suddenly lost for words, his jaw dropping and eyes widening in raw panic. Instead, it was left to Boudica to blurt out a response.

“My lord, we have followed the protocols to the letter. There is no way we could have predicted this development…”

“Unacceptable!” the Devil screamed, “I will not tolerate failure!”

In an instant, Lucifer rose from his throne and raised his claw-like hands, summoning fire from thin air and shooting a stream of napalm-like flames towards the trio of hapless generals. The three didn’t even have time to flee before the unholy fire engulfed them all, burning their undead bodies in a horrific inferno as their blood-curdling screams echoed off the chamber walls.

I knew I could well be next and so I instinctively dived for cover behind the food table. The Devil missed me, but my companion wasn’t so lucky. He tried to run but didn’t get far. Lucifer must have seen him out of the corner of his eye and he fired a ball of white flame which hit the servant as he ran, burning his skin and flesh in a sickening display.

I remained in hiding as Satan remonstrated with his demon lieutenants.
“How in hell did this happen?” he asked angrily, “I demand an explanation!”

Ashtaroth struggled to come up with an answer, his usually cool demeanour beginning to crack.

“My lord, this is an unexpected setback to be sure, but there is no need for despair…We can regroup our forces and…”

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Suddenly, Minos interrupted, much to his fellow demon’s annoyance.

“My lord, perhaps this is the scenario we previously discussed. It appears to me that heaven’s forces have intervened to disrupt our invasion.”

Lucifer turned on his subordinate, a renewed fury in his dark eyes as he spat – “Lies! He would not dare to challenge me!”

Either by chance or design, the response to the Devil’s defiant words was instantaneous, as a thunderous roar filled the chamber and the ice-covered ceiling above us was broken, a vast hole appearing as a bolt of lightning tore through, striking the centre of the marble war table and smashing it into a million pieces.

The Devil roared as he stepped up from his throne and prepared for battle, but a moment later and a second thunderous bolt struck, lighting up the dark chamber and hitting Lucifer directly, throwing him off his feet and down to the ice. I was astonished by this sudden turn of events, but the battle had only just begun.

I looked up as a trio of figures engulfed in white light soared through the newly created hole in the ceiling and descended into the chamber.

Three angelic warriors – each one winged, twelve foot in height, and ferocious looking. They landed in the centre of chamber and emitted furious war cries as they drew their weapons and threw themselves into battle. At their head was a woman with long, flowing blonde hair and a sword of white flames. Behind her were two male angels with stern faces and wielding long war pikes with sharpened tips that lit up the darkness.

The Devil remained on the floor after the lightning strike. I hoped he was dead but knew this was likely impossible, but he was unable to fight in that moment, so it was left to his demonic lieutenants to defend his inner sanctum.

Ashtaroth and Leviathan soon rose from their seats and began to transform into horrifying monsters. Ashtaroth rapidly grew in size as horns emerged from his head and his teeth turned into razor-sharp fangs. A flaming sword of red fire appeared in his claw-like hands as he screamed and charged into the fight, meeting the female angel in the centre of the chamber as their magical blades clashed.

Meanwhile, Leviathan’s arms transformed into long tentacles adorned with suckers and hooks, while his mouth became a hideous squid-like beak. He reached out with his left tentacle, taking one of the male angels by surprise as he wrapped his appendage around the angel’s vulnerable body, squeezing with immense strength and crushing his screaming victim without mercy.

Leviathan attempted to repeat the trick with the third angel, but winged warrior was too quick, dodging the attack before thrusting his spear straight through the monster’s beak. The spear penetrated deep into the demon’s throat, forcing the beast to squeal in pain as he collapsed onto the ice.

Minos was the last of the three demons, and his response to the violence was telling. He chose not to stand and fight against the angelic assault, instead fleeing to the heavy iron doors and exiting the chamber, slamming the door shut behind him. I don’t know whether Minos fled due to cowardice or a lack of loyalty, but his hasty retreat from the battleground placed Hell’s forces in a precarious position.

Ashtaroth and the female angel fought a fierce sword battle across the chamber floor, but the ancient demon had not fought hand-to-hand for a long time, and so his opponent eventually got the better of him. The demon swung his sword and missed, burying his blade in the cold ice. As he struggled to recover, the angel cut through him with her sword, slicing through his torso and causing the beast to cry out in agony as his dark blood was spilled.
Both demons were now down. They were hurt badly but could not die, at least not here in Hell. Their broken bodies would eventually heal and regenerate, but for now they were wounded and helpless, leaving the remaining two angels to control the war chamber.

But their advantage was short-lived, as Satan suddenly recovered consciousness and leapt to his feet, surveying his enemies with the hungry eyes of a predator as he unleashed the full extent of his powers. With a single sweep of his arm, the Devil broke the surviving male angel’s spear in half and flung him across the chamber, snapping his body in two and leaving his victim squirming on the floor.

This left the female angel alone to face the Devil’s wrath. She was strong and fierce but no match for Lucifer’s dark powers. The Devil’s eyes lit up with a sadistic glee as he summoned all the energy in the room and fired a stream of deadly fire towards the angel.

She blocked the flames with her sword, but the attack was so powerful that she was thrown off her feet. Satan’s cruel grin widened as he closed in for the kill. The angelic warrior was weakened but not beaten yet. She raised her sword into the air and cried out, appealing to a higher power.

“My Lord! I am your vessel! Let your strength and power flow through me!”

The response from heaven was instantaneous, as a second later a fresh bolt of lightning – the most powerful yet – tore through the hole in the ceiling, using the angel’s sword as a conductor. Her blade burned fiercely as she absorbed and made use of God’s immense energy.

Aiming the sword, she fired a stream of blue fire, but it was not directed at Lucifer’s body but rather the ground he stood upon. The ice under his feet shattered and Lucifer screamed as he fell into the freezing waters below. His body disappeared under the surface and, in an instant, the ice was reformed, trapping him underneath.

The twelve-foot angel pulled herself up from the floor, sheathing her sword and surveying the carnage around her. I hoped she wouldn’t notice me cowering behind the food table but of course she saw me, shouting out to me in a commanding, booming voice.

“Come now child, the danger has passed. Emerge from your hiding place and come speak with me.”

I did so, nervously walking over to the mighty winged warrior on shaking feet. I felt sure that I would face divine punishment for my role in these events, but when I looked up into her deep blue eyes, I saw compassion and empathy, emotions I’d nearly forgotten during my time in the depths of Hell.

“My name is Ariel.” she explained, “and I have been placed in command of God’s forces in the battle to save Earth from Satan’s legions.”

I was still confused and had so many unanswered questions.

“I don’t understand,” I whimpered, “this invasion has already played out so many times across the dimensions. I’ve seen it happen on world after world, and this is the first time you people have intervened.”

“It is true that we’ve joined this battle late.” Ariel answered honestly, “Humanity has brought much of this suffering upon themselves through their sinful actions. Still, my Lord will not abandon mankind in their hour of need. We have taken the fight to Lucifer’s home turf and given him a bloody nose. The war will continue of course, but the tide is turning. Look.”

She pointed towards the holographic globe, now restored above the shattered and empty war table. Ariel was able to zoom in to show live scenes of the battlefields across the Earth. I saw many images which cheered my aching spirit – hordes of zombies suddenly dropping dead on city streets, fire balls exploding harmlessly in mid-air, sea serpents retreating back into the waves, and once-mighty demons fleeing in terror, stomping across ravaged lands before descending back into the Hell Mouths.

The surviving human defenders seemed astonished by this extraordinary turn of events, but soldiers and civilians soon began passionate celebrations at their unexpected victory. Few on Earth 217 would ever know how close they’d come to total annihilation.

The tears I shed this time were those of joy, but there was still one important question on my mind. Ariel looked upon me with sympathy in her eyes, as if she anticipated what I was going to ask.

“What will happen to me?” I whimpered, “Will you take me out of here?”

Deep down, I think I knew the answer I was going to receive, but I guess it was worth a shot. However, I swore I could hear regret in Ariel’s voice as she replied.

“Alas my child, this is beyond my power. You are a sinner and there is still a price to be paid. But perhaps you can take solace in knowing that the fight back against Lucifer’s evil is at hand, and nowhere is safe for him now, not even here.”

It did warm my heart to know that there was at least a glimmer of hope, and suddenly I knew what I had to do. My selfishness and lack of compassion for others had brought me to this place, but now I realised I was part of something much bigger than myself.

“I want to help.” I said confidently whilst looking up into the mighty angel’s blue eyes, “I want to play my part in this war, no matter how small it is.”

Ariel smiled before replying. “Very well child, you have an important story to tell and a vital message to deliver to the mortal plane. I will permit you to do so, in the hope that this will assist our righteous cause.”

And so here it is, my story – for what it’s worth. Many will refuse to believe my account and will not heed my warning, but I think some will realise what is coming and will make the necessary preparations, both practical and spiritual. This war is far from over and – in the end – every Earth in the multiverse will have to face the threat of Hell’s invasion. But humanity is not alone in this fight, and with Heaven’s help, we can prevail.

My own fate is unclear. It is highly likely that the Devil will punish me for my transgressions, but he will never break my renewed spirit. And, if your sinful past brings you to Hell’s nine circles, please know that you’ll have at least one ally amongst the millions of lost souls. God speed, my friends.

Credit: Woundlicker

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