An Encounter in the Desert

A lone figure stood in an empty desert field. Behind him, some several hundred yards away was a frail human, more skeleton than man, who was sitting on a rock. The figure in the desert was an impressive sight. The very weight of his form sunk his feet several inches into the sand. He was covered head to toe in gilded armor, and a shining white cloak was draped over the mail and flapped in the dry breeze that tossed the sand about. 

Suddenly an impressive wind appeared out of nowhere, and what could only be described as a lion with wings descended from the air. It’s roar shook the earth and blasted a wave of sand away where it landed. A blinding light shone forth from the dusty cloud it had whipped up. When it subsided there was no mythical beast, but a man in a pure white toga with olive branches wrapped around his head. He slowly approached the armored figure. 

“Michael...It’s good to see you.” The man’s mouth curved into a snakelike grin. 

“Satan. He will see you now.” Michael spoke with a military bluntness.
“What? No hugs? Smiles? I know we’ve had our differences in the past but that doesn’t mean we can’t catch up. Last I heard you did a number on Persia.” 

“Shouldn’t have gotten in His way.” Michael retorted flatly. 

“Yes...yes...always His way. Have you ever thought about your way, Michael?” 

Satan was answered with an icy glare from the archangel. “You know, this better not be just another prophet. I’m getting really tired of these false alarms. How do I know it’s Him?” 
“The prophets were sinners. Don’t you think in thirty years on Earth you’d have a case against this one by now?” 

The Devil paused. His face calm as could be, but a chilling realization shook his blackened soul.

“There’s a first time for everything.” 

The archangel simply grunted and turned to lead Satan across the field and to the Man.

“Always the most faithful lackey.” 

“There is one on this Earth more faithful than me.” 

Satan’s hungry eyes glared at Michael, “Gabriel said the same about another Woman in the beginning. They’ll be mine all the same.” 

Michael looked incredulously at Satan as they walked together, the first time since the Fall. “Does it bother you? Knowing that there’s one you’ll never get to touch?” 

“So,” Satan flipped topics, “Is this really it? Is this the time? You know what I’m gonna do to Him?” Lucifer asked, his voice breathy and raspy. 

“That is for you to determine, Accuser.” 

“You know I was checking out some of his followers. Nice kids for humans. Got a couple in my pocket you know. Peter’s pretty weak. Why don’t you let me go talk to Him and you go smite that loose rock like you did Egypt.” 

Michael responded in nothing but silence. 

“Oh come on, Michael! You can’t give me anything? I knew he had a chain around your neck but I didn’t think your tongue too!” 

“It is not my will bu-” 

“Oh yes, yes, yes. I said that once too you know, before I saw the truth. You realize what He wants to do, right? What He tried to do? If it weren’t for me he would have set these hairless apes above all of us. Us!?! His very sons! I didn’t care what it would take, I put a stop to that before it got too far. And I’ll do it time and time again.” 

The archangel sighed in exasperation, “Must you fill all your walks with talk? What are you afraid you’ll find in the silence?” 

The cherubim ignored his companion and continued all the same, “He almost tricked me with that baptizer guy. What an ugly man, more of a beast than anything. What is it about His servants that make them so odd?” 
Lucifer’s eyes fell on the silhouette of the Man as each step brought them closer and closer. Michaels flat demeanor slowly changed. Instead of the quiet annoyance that had originally hung on his brow, fear haunted his eyes as he stared forward at the Man. Lucifer seemed oblivious to all this, or perhaps just didn’t care. 

“Aren’t you going to ask me to come back? Beg me to undo all that I’ve wrought. That the Most High will take me back the minute I would ask it?” Lucifer stopped walking, seemingly disappointed with Michael. 
“We both know it’s far beyond that, nor would you do it even if I asked.” Michael’s trance was broken by Lucifer’s drama. “We musn’t waste time.” 

Lucifer seemed angered that Michael wouldn’t fall for his game. “We have all the time in the world. He’s been here for what, forty days now? Can’t He give us a little time to have our reunion.” 

“Our reunion has its own appointed time.” Michael cryptically responded. 

“So you do know something.” The snakelike grin returned to the Cherub’s face, “What has He told you? Is He more generous with information on the Plan since I left? You can thank me for that by the way. Maybe when He had to change it it made Him more open.” 

Michael laughed dryly. 

“What’s so funny?”

“To think someone so small could change His plan.”

“You mean He willed all this?” 

“Ask Him.” Michael commented as they arrived at the Man. 

The Man looked to Michael. His eyes had a heaviness to them and they bore through Michael, who gave a deep and reverent bow to the emaciated figure. Bright white wings appeared out of Michael’s back and in one flap he was gone. The Man’s gaze turned and fell on Lucifer, and what a wrathful gaze it was. 

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