“Lucifer, have you been keeping track of what’s been happening recently?”
Lucifer glanced toward his sister, looking entirely uninterested in whatever it was she had to say. “I don’t watch over every little thing that humanity does, unlike you.”
Jophiel caught him in her gaze and narrowed her eyes. “Well perhaps you should start. We’re in this mess because of you, after all. You should take some responsibility for once.”
His eyes darkened and he clenched his hand into a fist. Power burned beneath the muscles of his physical form and it was all he could do to keep from releasing it. “And just what are you referring to that I should be made aware of?”
“There is a man who’s been making a bit of commotion recently,” Jophiel said, a dark gleam showing in her eye. “I have a feeling he’ll be more bothersome as time goes on.”
“Since when have we ever bothered with humanity?” Lucifer asked, raising an eyebrow. “It’s just one man, right? What threat would he pose to us?”
“You really haven’t been paying attention.” Jophiel rolled her eyes and stepped closer to Lucifer, leaning forward to whisper in his ear. “This man claims that he is the son of God.”
Lucifer stared at her for a long moment before breathing out, “Really?”
“Where have you been for the past twenty years?” Haniel said from their perch in a treetop. “It was kind of a big deal.”
Lucifer shot them a glare and huffed. “Get to your point, Jo. I’m losing patience.”
Jophiel stepped away from him and crossed her arms, tapping her fingers as she studied him. “I’m not entirely sure what He is planning, though I have heard some things. I believe we should take advantage of the situation.”
Lucifer raised an eyebrow at her. “Oh, and just how do you propose to do that?”
She reached out and grabbed him by the shoulder, breathing in. A moment later they were on a mountain top overlooking a vast desert. She pointed out a man who was walking along the rocky path and narrowed her eyes.
“He has come out here alone to fast. This is our chance to see what we can do.”
Lucifer turned to her with a frown. “What, and kill him?”
“Oh no, nothing like that. That would be far too simple.” A glimmer in her eye betrayed the fact that she knew even if they were to try they would most likely be stopped. “I think we should try a different approach.”
“Such as what, exactly?” Lucifer leaned back with a sigh, looking entirely disinterested.
“What do you think?” Jophiel said. Her lips slowly curled into a smile and she breathed out, “Son of God or not, he’s a human. Humans are flawed, imperfect beings. They’re weak. If you hold something in front of their face and tell them they can’t have it, they’re all the more determined to take it. Don’t you remember the first time that happened?”
Lucifer raised an eyebrow at her. “You really think such a thing would work now?”
“Why not? He’ll be here for well over a month with no sustenance. In these harsh wilds he’ll grow weak in body and mind. Easy to manipulate.”
“You would know about that, wouldn’t you?” Lucifer muttered somewhat harshly. Jophiel smiled far too sweetly in response.
Haniel came up behind them and peered out at the man, tilting their head to the side curiously. “How do you know an approach like that would work, though?” They glanced up at Jophiel. “Don’t you remember the last time you tried something like this? It didn’t exactly work out in our favor.”
Jophiel’s smile turned cruel and she gripped Haniel by the back of the neck, pulling them back to hiss in their ear. “That was different, and it was a long time ago.” She shoved them back and turned away, crossing her arms over her chest once more.
“Who’s to say your plan would work?” Lucifer said, gazing at Jophiel with a look of doubt in his eyes. “You’ve rarely succeeded when going after humans that He favors.”
“Oh, really? So tell me, Lucifer, just when was it that you gave up and make your existence entirely meaningless?”
Thunder began rolling in the distance and the sky darkened. Lucifer stepped in front of Jophiel and reached his hand out, curling his fingers around her throat. Power sparked through his skin while his physical body fought to contain his fury. “I have not given up.”
“It seems to me as if you have,” she murmured, not even flinching under his grip. “One failure and you’ve spent centuries brooding without any progress to show for it. This is a chance to actually do something.”
He glared at her for a long moment then shoved her away, cracking his knuckles as he let go of her. “Do what you will, I don’t care.”
“Am I to assume you don’t wish to help, then?” Jophiel asked.
“I’m sure you can do just fine on your own. It’s not as if you’ve ever needed help in breaking someone’s mind before, have you?”
She smirked a little and murmured, “No, I haven’t. I must admit, though, I rather long to see you in your element again.” She brushed past him and slid her hand over his chest and neck, breathing against his ear, “It would be such a sight.”
Lucifer narrowed his eyes at her and stepped away out of her reach. “So it would.” He inhaled deeply and disappeared just as another roll of thunder sounded, this one far louder and more intimidating. The sky looked as if it had filled with black smoke as lightning flashed from above the clouds.
Jophiel rubbed a hand over her neck, still feeling the spark from her brother’s touch. She let out a breath and turned her attention back to the man wandering the desert. “So it shall begin. Let’s see what good your precious humans do you now, Father.”