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Lifting the Veil: Fallen

Lifting the Veil: Fallen

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Lifting the Veil: Fallen

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331 pagine
7 ore
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Pubblicato:
Jan 12, 2018
ISBN:
9781370592258
Formato:
Libro

Descrizione

Humanity is plunging down a slippery slope of morality. Righteous attitudes abound with malice, hatred, and discontent prevailing in the currents riding through humankind. In the spiritual planes, battles between the light and darkness are being fought over souls and for their very existence.

Assailed on all sides, heaven is left with no choice but to open the seven seals. The horsemen are summoned and ride forth. Conquest, the drums of war, hunger, and death are felt by all. Humanity is left standing on the brink where the slightest tremor will send it plunging into the abyss.

Will humankind survive the tribulation placed upon them? Or will they vanish into oblivion?

Editore:
Pubblicato:
Jan 12, 2018
ISBN:
9781370592258
Formato:
Libro

Informazioni sull'autore

John O'Brien has illustrated over 60 books for children, most recently I Know a Shy Fellow Who Swallowed a Cello by Barbara S. Garriel and The Beach Patrol, which he wrote with Max Bilkins. He lives in Delron, New Jersey, and Miami, Florida.

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Lifting the Veil - John O'Brien

LIFTING THE VEIL: FALLEN

Book I of Lifting the Veil

A Novel by John O’Brien

Published by John O’Brien at Smashwords

Copyright © 2018 John O’Brien

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form, except for the inclusion of brief quotations in review, without permission in writing from the author. You may contact the author at John@John-OBrien.com

Smashwords Edition, License Notes

This eBook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This eBook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to Smashwords.com and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

Other books by John O’Brien

A New World Series

A New World: Chaos

A New World: Return

A New World: Sanctuary

A New World: Taken

A New World: Awakening

A New World: Dissension

A New World: Takedown

A New World: Conspiracy

A New World: Reckoning

A New World: Storm

Companion Books

A New World: Untold Stories

A New World: Untold Stories II

THE THIRD WAVE: EIDOLON

ARES VIRUS

Ares Virus: Arctic Storm

Ares Virus: White Horse

Ares Virus: Phoenix Rising

RED TEAM

Red Team: Strigoi

A SHROUDED WORLD

A Shrouded World: Whistlers

A Shrouded World: Atlantis

A Shrouded World: Convergence

Author Notes

First, thank you for taking the chance with this book. For those of you who have read my earlier series and books, I want to say that this one is very different than those others. So, I’ll mention from the very get-go not to expect the same kind of writing and style that you found in those.

As this is a different story than the one I’m used to writing, I have a few disclaimers that I want to put out right off the bat. Although this is a story references to portions of the book of Revelation, it is in no way meant as a religious text or ideology. I don’t mean or want this to be taken literally or for the reader to think this is an establishment of belief. The same goes with regards to any politics that might be within. This started off as, and is completely, a story. I ask that you take it that way and don’t read anything else into it.

In the same regard, this also isn’t a scientific or deep reading into the Book of Revelation. It is a very simplified version with some of the chapters and verses used for the story. In places, I have altered some of the aspects. For instance, Revelation has the seven seals placed upon a single scroll. In the book I have changed that to seven scrolls, each with their own seal.

Now, there are several nations mentioned and their actions are only for story progression, nothing more. Again, this is not a book about ideology, either religious or political. I joked to my mother when I gave her the manuscript that I have stayed away from both of those in all of the previous books, yet here I have included both in great quantities, as if I had saved them for this very purpose. So, again, read this without thinking there was a deeper meaning portrayed. And, I apologize in advance if anyone from those nations is offended. I meant no disrespect.

As you read, the story isn’t exactly linear and there are parts where the time line jumps forward and back to a degree. And, as time is measured differently in the spiritual realms as opposed to that on Earth, there may be some events that don’t appear in sequence. Some of the story is based on a higher level look at world events, with glimpses of personal experiences. The news articles within are pulled from current events and ones that we are experiencing in real life. I’ve included them in detail, some being repetitious, just to present real-time references. Please excuse them if they come across as tedious.

There are parts that may seem repetitious, but I offered them in the story from the contextual point of view of the character in the story. And as such, the descriptions may appear to be the same as ones mentioned in previous sections.

So, now that I have the disclaimers out of the way, let’s talk about the book. This whole story began during one of my sleepless nights and envisioned and angel on earth fighting in a realm we aren’t able to witness. I pictured a figure holding a blazing sword with eyes of silver glowing fiercely. The story took off from that and I was up the rest of the night composing the book you’re about to read in my head. The next three nights were sleepless ones as well as I narrowed it down. Then, I hit the keyboard and it was writing non-stop for days on end as the tale unfolded onto the monitor. I had one scene I wrote right off the bat that was supposed to be at the start or middle. As the story unfolded, it ended up at the very end and a second book in the series needed to tell the entire tale. I just hope I have enough story for another one…haha.

This is a tale told on two levels; the one in heaven as light fights the growing darkness, and the one on earth where souls live through the results of decisions made. It was both and exhilarating story to write, and a frustrating one. In some parts, I could let the tale unfold as it wanted to and flow without guide posts set into place. In others, the story had to be carefully sculpted in order to fit within precise guidelines and may come across as a quasi-documentary. And the research required was seemingly endless. For every hour I wrote, I spend at least that much time or more researching. I have to admit that I almost set this project aside as it became far too complicated. But, I stuck with it day by day and it eventually straightened itself out.

I really hope you enjoy the story on the pages inside, and again, don’t read too deeply into it. Thank you all for the tremendous support you have given me over the years. I am often humbled by how much I have been given and I thank you! Drop back over and leave a review when you finish as I’d enjoy seeing how you liked this book. Again, to all of you, thank you!

John

Table of Contents

Prologue

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Causation

Chapter Ten

About the Author

Connect with me Online

Prologue

Elohim stood atop the thick wall, the white surface marbled in gold. On both sides were ten elders with furled wings, holding their scepters. Silver eyes blazed, their gaze searching beyond the heavens. With light and music without source filling the air, the elders turned their attention to focus on Elohim.

Elohim stared beyond the borders of the realm to the creation of life they were all responsible for. Fashioned from the tree in the garden, a sacred place guarded by the Cherubim, souls were created and grown in order to join with the light once they had proven capable. Elohim turned his gaze to the elders, taking note of how few remained after the fall. The darkness had been dispelled long ago, but had escaped its prison and began assailing the Earth. Souls became corrupted, the darkness growing within them and allowing it to gain strength. Since then, the battle had been unrelenting.

Holding his staff in a firm grip, Elohim returned his concerned gaze toward Earth. The population centers of humankind dotted the surface, cutting into the beauty of nature from which they had been carved. Darkness hovered over the cities, making each look cancerous and bruised, and threatened to engulf the entirety of light’s creation. But, in the midst of the spiritual gloom covering the Earth, bright spots of light shone. The battle for souls had been a long one, and the light had found itself on the losing end. Lucifer and the others who had fallen were subtle and patient, their power growing with the passage of time. It was time to stem the tide before everything was lost.

Elohim banged the heel of his staff on the marbled wall and a gong rang outward, echoing across the heavens. Trumpets blared, the air vibrating from their blasts. Angels that had gathered in the air overhead flew forth, their gleaming armor catching the light and their readied swords with blazing white fire radiating from the edges held in their hands. Leading the contingents were the remaining seven archangels, their faces grim with determination. The armies of heaven streamed out, ready to battle the demons of the dark and drive them back.

Saddened that events had come to this point, Elohim thought about how humankind had brought this upon themselves. They had forgotten who they were, forgotten their purpose, and had delved into selfish endeavors. The tree of life gave them free choice in order to grow, their decisions allowing the soul to either prosper or diminish. Darkness was at fault. It had twisted that same free will into choices that that now strengthened the enemy. Time and time again, this had happened throughout the course of creation, forcing his hand.

This time, however, the darkness was too strong and his only choices were to fight or to forever banish the life he had created. And even if they prevailed, it might not be enough; the darkness had grown so strong that it might be able to break the doors of heaven.

Even if the creation were destroyed, that wouldn’t end the fight. The souls captured by darkness were still tied to the tree of life, and Lucifer and his minions were torturing them in order to foul the roots of the tree. However, if he could deny the dark more souls, he felt he could contain the damage and preserve the light. That meant the light would never grow, but it also meant it couldn’t be destroyed.

The echoing horns faded and the armies descended into the spiritual plain as the demons readied themselves in defense.

Chapter One

Apocalypse—(Ancient Greek: ἀποκάλυψις apokálypsis, from ἀπό and καλύπτω, meaning lifting of the veil)

With a host of angels following, Michael swept toward the gathering darkness. The demons of hell had prepared and were ready for them. Clutching his spear, he looked to the sides, where his brothers were leading other hosts. The upcoming battle wasn’t one in which he could flank or use subterfuge. This was a pure frontal clash between old enemies with the goal to push back the minions of darkness. He held three hosts back in order to reinforce or flow through any gaps they managed to create, but for the most part, this was to be a battle of strength versus strength.

The hosts of hell were arranged behind greater demons. Michael felt the presence of the three brothers who had chosen to follow Lucifer, but couldn’t see them in the gathered mass. Further to the rear, he felt the presence of the thirteen elders who had fallen.

Flaring his wings, beating them in great sweeps, he halted and hovered above the amassed horde. Those behind gathered and readied themselves. Glancing over his shoulder, the light of the heavens shone from each angel, their silver eyes bursting with light. There wasn’t a flicker of fear or despair, their faces stoic and determined. Each knew what they faced; each was ready. To the sides were Raphael, Gabriel, and Uriel, each with their own host and holding bright swords sheathed in light. Behind were Selaphiel, Azriel, and Chamuel, all recently risen to replace those who had fallen.

Below, the demons waited in endless columns and rows, each enshrouded in flickering red flames and smoke. Red surrounded black eyes as they gazed in anger at the gathered armies of light. Michael raised his spear and sent a bright streak of light upward where it erupted in a massive explosion of righteous thunder. Below, the demons answered with a monstrous roar that shook the foundations of the universe.

Hovering, with great gusts of wind billowing from his wings, Michael’s eyes blazed. Some on Earth equated angels with mercy, kindness, and benevolence. Not on this day. Today they carried vengeance and ruthlessness. Angels could be terrifying if roused to anger, their sense of justice not the same as those who walked the surface of the earth. Not a soul of humankind could withstand the gazes now directed toward the armies of darkness.

Never one to make speeches of glory, Michael folded his wings and dove at the waiting masses. His bellows in a language never heard by human ears rang across the universe, the force of his words alone driving some of the demons clear of the field in fear. Behind him, the angels of light followed with song on their lips and bright swords held firm.

Balls of fire streaked toward the descending horde only to splash against opaque blue shields cast by the four streaking archangels. His phrases drawing energy from the cosmos, Michael released his shield and thrust his spear forward. A bolt of light raced downward with a clap of thunder. It slammed into the leading ranks and tore a wide swath through their midst. Other streams of light from his brothers and sisters to either side tore through the demon ranks. Bluish-white light mixed with flame and black smoke, the echoing howls of those slain fading as if from a great distance.

Additional balls and streaks of fire rose, slamming into hastily raised shields. Each forceful impact created cracks in the raised angelic shields, the subsequent hits widening those already formed. Behind the leading archangels, voices rose that filled the heavens with music. The chanting songs that sprang forth were nothing like those heard within heaven’s walls, but were instead deeply foreboding and filled with malice. The skies thrummed with the voices of a million angels singing as they carried their swords to battle. Light rose from the ranks and streamed toward the demon horde. More demons turned and ran rather than face the terrible swords of light.

The shields weakened and cracked, exploding asunder from the assault launched below. Fireballs rose and crashed into the descending angels, but still they dove. Michael rolled and turned from an approaching streak of fire. Swinging his spear, he sliced at the furnace-hot flames. Connecting, an explosion of white and red threw him to the side. Recovering, he resumed his dive.

As the distance between the armies closed, the greater demons leapt upward to meet the oncoming mass. The two forces collided in an explosion of light and sound. The fading enraged wails of demons being sent back to their prison reverberated across the battlefield. Angels were returned to nothingness in great flashes of light.

Dismissing his favorite weapon, Michael summoned a sword of light. He parried the sweeping arc of a demon’s flaming sword, reversing his swing to cut through the thick neck of the reeking beast. The smell of sulfur surrounded him, red flames shooting from the parted neck. The head flew into the air, the red around the orbs and flames from within the blackness fading before being snuffed out. The body of the vanquished foe collapsed into dense black smoke, the demon’s scream of fear, knowing the pain it would face upon its return to prison, pierced the air and quickly faded.

Without slowing, Michael plunged into the mass. His sword parried and struck, flames and smoke marking his victims. Red and white sparks flared from weapons connecting. Beneath his winged helmet of gold, Michael’s eyes blazed with fury. Demons were struck down from behind as they tried to flee the sweeping light of his sword, the mass pushing forward to battle preventing the escape of those fleeing his wrath.

White arcs of light traced the passage of his sword as he struck deep into the horde. Angels fell to either weapons or blasts from larger demons. But those who survived followed in Michael’s path, carving a wider one. With demons encroaching on all sides, Michael swept up over the battlefield. Angels sang and demons roared. Bluish-white light mixed with red. The demon lines were thick, those in front struck down from the onslaught. But greater demons rallied those behind and stemmed the crushing assault of angels.

Michael spotted one greater demon, flames belching from wide nostrils and viscous black smoke rising from its body, as it tore into a flock. It flung blasts of acid fire, flashes of light marking where angels were struck down. Summoning his spear, Michael hurled it toward the demon. Trailing a stream of light, the spear raced across the battlefield and slammed into the demon with an explosion of light.

With dense smoke flowing from a grievous wound, the demon roared and turned, searching the skies for the one who dared assail it. For a brief moment, Michael and the demon locked eyes, both staring with intense hatred. With a snarl, the demon moved away from its assault and launched toward the archangel. Recalling his spear, Michael again hurled it toward the oncoming demon. The monstrous creature held out a taloned hand, sending red fire and smoke toward the incoming streak of light. The two met in a shower of sparks, both spear and fireball deflected. Banishing the spear, a sword of light was summoned into Michael’s hand. Folding his wings, he hurled himself toward the encroaching demon.

Balls of fire and streaks of light were thrown, each impacting with gigantic blasts. The streak of light that was Michael and the line of fire of the demon closed the distance and met, showering sparks of red and white shooting outward from the meeting of weapons. The two passed, smoke leaking from the demon’s earlier wound. Michael turned and dove forward without hesitation, beating the demon’s own turn.

Without slowing, Michael swung his sword in a great arc, the blade cutting through the demon’s armor and slicing deeply. They passed again as dark sulfuric smoke rolled outward from the fresh wound. Michael heard the beast snarl as the archangel flung his wings wide and stopped in midair. Rolling over his back headfirst, he stabbed over his head, the sword slicing through the demon’s shoulder. The blade extended from the demon’s chest, flames and smoke from the demon running along the protruding length of Michael’s sword. The demon made a backward cut as Michael pulled the blade free, slicing along Michael’s wing. With a howl that reverberated across the battlefield, the demon vanished in a cloud of smoke.

Ignoring the pain, Michael held his sword, the weapon surrounded by flickering bluish-white flames. Touching his sword to his wound, Michael gritted his teeth as the cut closed in a flash of light. Each use of light’s power weakened him, but he was an archangel, a symbol of heaven’s might, and that power ran deep.

Looking over the battlefield, he saw his brothers and sisters cut deep into the masses, their white lights beacons within the enclosed darkness. Angels and demons swirled, light and flame flaring. Yet the horde was immense and many had yet to join the fray. Michael turned back to the fight, light from his bolts tearing ragged alleys through the enemy. Bodies were thrown from the impacts of each bolt, launching into others along the sides or into the air. He hurled himself into their midst, gathering his power with loud chants. Demons looked up at the approaching streak of light, the uttered words striking fear. Those in his path tried to scatter, but for many, it was too late.

Michael landed among them, the words from the last line of chant rising in volume. Holding his sword in both hands, he raised it high, light streaming from the mighty blade. With a final shouted utterance, he swiftly brought his sword down. A wave of light exploded outward with a mighty clap of thunder. Demons, both greater and lesser, were flung out in a wide circle, those closer vanishing in clouds of smoke. The wave of light rolled further, overcoming the retreating demons who disappeared with screams as the light bowled through them.

With a mighty sweep of his wings, Michael launched upward to survey the battlefield. Gabriel, Raphael, and Uriel were assaulted by waves of demons. They each held within a great circle, their swords carving deeply into those who attacked. The angels with them were being slowly overcome, swamped by endless waves. More demons fell than angels, but they were far more numerous and could better afford the losses.

Above hovered Selaphiel, Azriel, and Chamuel with their waiting armies. Michael considered holding them back, but then called them forth to relieve the pressure on the flocks in peril. Chanting again, seeing the singing angels descend into the fray, Michael dove toward the front lines. With a shout, his sword descended in a flash, again creating a large open area free of demons. Angels filled the void and quickly cleared those stunned. Together, they began to carve a wide path through the ranks of darkness.

The three armies of light that had been waiting in the wings fell upon the hordes with vengeance, tearing large gaps. Noting the tide had changed, Michael gathered the other six archangels.

Brothers and sisters, we have withstood their counterattacks. Now we push them back. Together, we will carve holes through which the warriors of light will follow.

Gabriel, with several red slashes showing on her wings, wearily nodded. Raphael and Uriel were also breathing heavily, their wings char-streaked. The other three had just entered the fray and were little marked. However tired, their eyes blazed silver with resolve; knowing their losses, they were eager to finish the fight.

Spread at equal distances to each side, the archangels overflew the battling angels and demons. Hovering overheard, Michael raised his sword. Each of the archangels’ chants carried across the battlefield, the ominous nature of their words bringing hope or dread depending upon which side of the line the listener stood. Sword and spear momentarily halted, many in mid swing, as the chants of seven archangels flowed as one. Light gathered around the seven, bright stars shining with brilliance.

Angels again found their voices and added their songs, the words promising pain and retribution. Demons, large and small, shielded their eyes from the radiance shining from the heavens. They saw only blinding radiances with shards of light that beamed outward. Those bright stars soon began streaking toward them.

Michael lowered his sword, its tip pointed at the demonic horde. Seven archangels folded their wings and raced downward. Their eyes blazed fiercely from inside helmed heads; gleaming armor reflecting the light, glowing swords pointed at the waiting horde. The demons, blinded by the light, turned and ran in whatever direction they felt was away. Balls of fire rose from demons who stood their ground, only to meet and flow in streaks of flame around summoned shields. The seven flew through the resultant explosions, appearing unaffected as their gathered power held.

Bolts of light flashed downward, carving lines of death. Each landed in an explosion of light, the combined thunder deafening. With waves of light rolling outward, the trance caused by the chanting archangels was broken. Swords that had stopped in mid-swing started anew. The skies were filled with clashes, sparks and lights flaring. Michael’s sword flashed out, breaking through the armor of the demons to find purchase in their thick skin. The reek of sulfur filled the air, the screams of the dying a continual cacophony. Demons were sent back to their prison by the thousands, by the tens of thousands. The light had broken through the defenses and the demons scattered, their fading screams echoing across the battlefield.

Michael stood on the battlefield, exhausted. Beside him, Gabriel panted, her charred wings hanging. Michael looked into the silver glow of his sister’s eyes, seeing the same fatigue he felt. Above, the angels sang in glory. The field was theirs, having been cleared of the demon horde.

If we never have to do that again, my friend, I’ll consider myself fortunate, Gabriel commented, looking upward to the remnants of the armies they brought with them.

I’m going to sleep for a hundred Earth years, or lie in the garden and eat grapes until I explode, Michael replied.

Good luck eating that much with the Cherubim watching. Now, if you wanted to distract them, I could— Gabriel responded, interrupted by a sound.

Clap…Clap…Clap

Michael tensed as he felt the presences appear.

Well done…well done. Such magnificence…such majesty. I’m impressed. And I had a ringside seat to it all. What luck! You’ve grown stronger, Michael. Been going to the gym? Or perhaps it’s from running endless errands and being a sycophant, a cultured voice called out.

Michael and Gabriel’s heads simultaneously snapped toward the voice, spear and sword appearing in their hands.

Lucifer! You traitor…you’re next, Michael called, taking a step toward the figure.

Now, now. Such hostility. That’s rather unbecoming of you, Lucifer said, shaking his head.

The figure standing at a distance was clad in black armor, dark locks hanging from a bared head. His eyes blazed red, smoldering, with dark smoke drifting about him like an aura. In his hand, he held a long sword, the length emitting ethereal smoke that flowed upward and trailed off. Folded at his back were wings the color of a raven. Behind him stood twelve others in similar armor, viscous smoke rising from each one.

"I’m not kidding. I’ll

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