Ascendants of Ancients Sovereign - By Phillip Jones


THE FLAMES ENGULFING AN eternal prison encompassed a vast area that stretched beyond the horizon. The shoreline of the lake, caked with brimstone and ash, cracked beneath streams of lava as they added yet another layer to its banks. The sky, filled with crimson anger, offered no comfort, and the clouds expressed their fury as the angel flew beneath them.

This was the hell he had chosen to enter. Every being as far as his eyes could see had been condemned. They had failed in life—but he had not. He had asked to be sent here. He had even begged for the right, and he was willing to sacrifice everything for the privilege of enduring the sounds of gnashing teeth, cries of regret, moans of anguish and wails of despair.

Beneath the angel’s feet, the lake boiled as rancid waves rolled toward the shore—waves that had been created by the tears of the damned—those who had chosen the wrong path. As he hovered above its surface, the smell of tormented flesh punished his nostrils, and the arms of the doomed were extended toward him in hope. They desperately wanted to be pulled free of their misery, but the pain of these dejected souls was not the reason he had come. He was here for only one—one he believed did not deserve an existence so vile.

Lightning arced across the blood-red sky and struck the top of the angel’s wings. The pain consumed his countenance as he turned to address his brethren who were rapidly approaching. “He’s angry with us, brothers!” he shouted, ensuring he could be heard over the sounds of the suffering. “Once we enter, we join the condemned!” He pointed down at the faces of the damned as both of his brothers stopped to hover beside him. “To find the door, we must first share in their suffering.”

The second angel cringed at the thought. “I’m with you, brother. But are you sure you want to do this? Are you sure the door will be there?”

“Of course, he is!” the third angel responded as he crossed his powerful arms. “That much was promised to us!”

The lead angel reached out and placed a hand on each of his brothers’ shoulders. Their golden armor reflected the ominous glow of the liquid bastille beneath them as they rose to a height that would allow for more intimate conversation, yet they still had to speak amidst intermittent thunder and bolts of lightning. “If you’re going to change your minds, you must do it now. But if you stay, your sacrifice won’t be forgotten.”

The second angel frowned. “You waste your breath.” He waited for a clap of thunder to subside and then continued. “I’ve never turned my back on you, and I won’t start now.”

“Nor will I!” the third angel concurred.

The brothers embraced, and then the third angel questioned, “I don’t understand your mind! Do you really believe she’s worth the torment we’re about to endure? She betrayed you!”

The lead angel’s eyes squinted as a bolt of lightning passed between them. He spoke once the rumbling stopped. “Her trespasses weren’t her fault!”

“I don’t believe that,” the second angel argued as he shook his head. “She made her choice, and it wasn’t you!”

“But my heart won’t let me abandon her,” the lead angel countered. “What would you have me do?”

The third angel uncrossed his arms and then reached out to grasp his brother’s bracers. “If we’re to suffer, I won’t save only her! I’ll want subjects to rule since I’ll no longer be restricted by his laws.”

“Agreed,” the second angel asserted. “We should save them all. They’ll serve us eagerly once they’ve been spared.”

The lead angel nodded despite his distaste for their proposal. “Very well then ... everyone it is. The moment has come.” He spread his scorched wings to their fullest extent, and with a mighty thrust, he ascended higher into the fractured sky. “Follow me, brothers!” he shouted.

When the trio was high enough to see the vastness of the misery that stretched even beyond the lake, they shared only a glance before they folded their wings and descended. They punched through the clouds as they rocketed toward the impetuous sea and impaled its surface.

Tidal waves, hundreds of feet tall and filled with the cries of the flailing, erupted in every direction as the angels plummeted into the bowels of the inferno. Instantly, they were engulfed by translucent forms and figures of every shape and size. Some were apparitions of what they once were while others were clearly