Small Worlds Book 1: Weird Theology is now available for preorder. More information here.
I really should have expected this, Moloch thought with a snarl as he reached out to grip reality and twist it to his whims.
Angels were able to manipulate the fabric of reality with an ease no god could match. That lead lesser gods to believe that angels were unbeatable. The problem was, they were thinking in terms of raw power.
Moloch had plenty of raw power, but never ascribed to the believe it was the most important part of things. Not even back in the old days.
The world stopped besides Uriel and Moloch.
The problem with angels was that they were billions of years old. And that meant that if you studied them long enough, they became predictable. Uriel always opened by accelerating her temporal reference frame. If you weren’t prepared for it, you’d be diced to ribbons before you could react. It was how she had killed the first born of Egypt in a single night. If you did the same thing at the same time, it just meant you had an uninterrupted fight.
Moloch grinned as Uriel’s eyes widened, their swords meeting mid air. “Impossible,” the angel whispered.
“Obviously not.” Moloch whirled under Uriel’s blade and thrust his sword towards her chest. With a flap of her immense wings, Uriel launched herself away from him. The angel was glancing around. Moloch decided to take advantage of that uncertainty. Three bolts of dark green lightning raced from his fingers. Uriel’s sword sung through the air. She moved so fast she was able to catch two of the bolts, but the third struck home.
Moloch applied pressure onto those surges of power now racing from his fingertip to Uriel. “You angels think you’re so much better than us,” he hissed. “So holy, so righteous. You’re a bunch of hypocrites. Where were you when they burned, Uriel? Where were you?”
Uriel screamed in pain.
Around them, the battle was still mostly frozen, everything moving like it was swimming through amber. A lightning bolt was starting to form above Moloch at a glacial pace, a twist of reality from that upstart Eschaton. Beside him, his sister’s form started to blur again. An Eschaton and a Protean. What are the odds? He could see Dianmu, raising a glaive to meet a lunging draconic head. Anansi and Athena were hidden by the chaos of the melee.
Worst of all, Crystal was nowhere to be seen.
“You speak of your creator,” Moloch spat at Uriel. “You speak of his plan. You preach his Glory. Your creator is gone, Uriel. Your creator has abandoned us! The only gods that matter are us. The only truth that matters is ours. The only world that matters is the one I’m going to see burn in the sun.”
Then Uriel flapped her wings, breaking herself free of the green lightning.
“Electricity made of mortal souls,” she gasped, her form smouldering. “You play in forces beyond you, godling.”
Moloch lashed out again. “Nothing is beyond me!” he screamed.
This time, Uriel was prepared for the bolts of lighting. She dodged all three with a deft sweep of her wings that carried her above the battlefield. With a quick flick, her ascent turned into a dive straight for Moloch, her sword elongating to a hooked halberd. She swung the weapon below herself as she passed over Moloch.
Moloch parried the blow, but Uriel was now a whirlwind, rising and diving too quickly for Moloch to do anything but defend himself. No. Not after everything I lost. Not after everything that’s happened. I will not be beaten by an angel!
Uriel’s blade slipped past Moloch’s defenses, biting into his shoulder. His sword arm fell limp by his side. “Little god!” she said, her eyes burning with divine wrath, “you twist the powers of creation, the fabric of reality. “ She swooped down again, and Moloch had to duck this attack. He was already moving as fast as time would allow, he couldn’t heal. “Your powers are limited but your Hungers. I have no Hungers.” Uriel’s next strike sliced a line in Moloch’s thigh. “You manipulate laws, but those laws were put in place by my Creator.” Another dive, and Moloch screamed in pain as the fingers on his left hand were severed. “You forget that I. Am. Those. Laws.” Uriel landed and ran Moloch through.
Moloch slumped forward on the halberd. Oh. You are, aren’t you? Uriel was panting from the effort.
She dropped the halberd as Moloch started laughing, sliding forward on the weapon that was impaled through his chest. “You…you’re laughing. You’re going to die, Moloch. You’ve lost. What on Earth is possibly fun-uphg.”
Moloch’s hand shot up to cover her face. “Because, Uriel. You are made of the Laws.” Uriel started to struggle against the grasp, but Moloch was already twisting reality as he did. “You are woven into the fabric of reality as firmly as gravity. As firmly as light. And as I am their master…so I am able to master you.”
Moloch removed his hand.Time’s normal flow resumed. Ryan’s lightning bolt struck the ground where Moloch had been standing, and Isabel melted into the form of a wolf. A quick twist to reality allowed Moloch’s wounds to heal.
Uriel stood there, staring at her hands, backing away from him and gasping. Repeatly. “What did…you do to me.”
Moloch smiled. “Welcome to mortality, Uriel. You’re a living, breathing creature now. And do you know that means you can do?” Moloch gestured, forming the air into spikes of titanium he shot to punch holes in Uriel’s thighs, arms, and wings. “Bleed.”
Uriel went down. Moloch wondered if she’d ever experienced pain before, or if this was an entirely new sensation. I should finish her off now. End this all for good.
Moloch shook his head. Crystal wasn’t here. He’d waited for so very, very long for this moment. Don’t rush it. Savor every moment. Let Uriel witness.
It’s almost over.
Moloch turned towards Isabel and Ryan. “I do love killing siblings,” he said, grinning on the pair. “The way you scream when one dies gives me chill. So…who do I get to hear scream today?”