Crowley was hissing angrily to himself when he entered his office, gripping the thermos of holy water and his plant mister tightly. Once at his desk he slammed both down and got to work unscrewing the lids after putting on heavy PVC gloves. He was still fuming and attempted to take the care and time that was involved when handling such a substance, but couldn’t stop from thinking over what had him in such a terrible mood.
Of course he was all in favor of Armageddon in general terms. If anyone had asked him why he’d been spending centuries tinkering in the affairs of mankind he’d have said, “Oh, in order to bring about Armageddon and the triumph of Hell.” But it was one thing to work to bring it about, and quite another for it to actually happen.
So he tried to talk Aziraphale into going to Alpha Centauri, it was with the hope he wouldn’t have to do what the rest of Hell would once the war was in motion. But did he listen to him? No, his angel brushed off his attempts at keeping him safe. Wouldn’t even entertain the idea, and it was maddening.
As if Aziraphale could really stop the war by calling the Almighty, she was the one who chose for it to happen after all. Even if he did somehow stop it, Hell would still find a way to start a war with Heaven. So of course he did the stupidest thing in that moment and said he wouldn't even think of him as he went off into the stars.
For Go- Sa- Someone’s sake, he was panicking over what was going to happen afterwards, because of course Hell was going to win! Couldn’t Aziraphale see that? Couldn’t he understand how dire this situation was, how bad this would be for the side that lost?
A crash from downstairs that sounded like the front door to his flat being kicked in startled him out of his thoughts. Beyond annoyed at this point Crowley grit his teeth, even more unhappy with the infernal authorities than he was moments ago when he hung up on them.
They forget their place sometimes, perhaps he would remind them once the war was over.
A pounding on the stairs below him, and a muffled scream let him know what happened to the little old lady on the floor below. He did rather like her, but shrugged and rolled his eyes at the obvious display of strength that the demon sent to collect him exerted. At least she beat the traffic to the afterlife and would be settled in before too long.
A crash from his outer hallway as he pulled off the PVC gloves, and picked up the plant mister, let him know they were just about to break in.
“Crawlee . . . ?” called a guttural voice as he settled himself behind his desk.
“He’s through there,” hissed another voice. “I can feel the slimy little creep.” Ah, so they sent Hastur and Ligur to collect him, he mused leaning back on his chair and drummed his fingers against it. Then as an afterthought Crowley moved the plant mister so it would be closer to him on the table, while putting on a relaxed and casual face.
Well he can see why they were sent, the two were some of the more capable demons their lot had. It was still grating that they made such a commotion, but what did he expect? At least this part of the plan was going somewhat correctly.
"In here, people." Crowley called out waiting for Ligur and Hastur to walk into the room. In another reality Crowley may have poured the holy water into a bucket and home-aloned the two demons breaking in. In this reality, that's not the case as he only filled the plant mister at his side instead. The two were in fact Dukes and as such hard to replace when you compared them to the lower ranks, and recognized their loyalty to Lucifer himself.
Now, he may have been annoyed with the fact they had been sent after him, but that didn't mean he wanted to off them before the war started. Both were valuable assets after all, enough that the counsel had unanimously appointed both to their positions.
“We want a word with you,” said Ligur in a tone of voice intended to imply that “word” was synonymous with “horrifically painful eternity”. As the squat demon pushed open the office door, Crowley rose the green plastic plant mister, and sloshed it around threateningly.
"Do you know what this is?" Crowley asked bored, as the two demons blinked in confusion. Sighing at their silence, Crowley crossed his legs and leaned against his free hand.
"This is a plant mister, cheapest and most efficient on the market today. It can squirt a fine spray of water into the air." Pausing to gauge their reactions, and for dramatic effect. He wasn't called a flash bastard for nothing after all.
"It’s filled with holy water." At that admission both demons froze, tensing slightly, looking skeptical.
“Have you gone mad?” Hastur questioned while Ligur pinched the bridge of his nose.
"You’re bluffing, Crowley! Anyone can see you are just buying time for some scheme like always. If you come with us now, perhaps one less punishment will be tacked on for your war crimes." Ligur snapped in annoyance, Hastur was suppose to be in Megiddo while he finished up his preparations. But no, they had to come after this Earth agent instead of doing more important things.
“Nope. Don’t you understand? This was a test. The Lords of Hell had to know that you were trustworthy before we gave you command of the Legions of the Damned, in the War ahead.”
“Crowley, you are lying, or you are insane, or possibly you are both,” said Hastur, but his certainty was shaken that Crowley was bluffing after all.
Looking at the pair of demons in the eyes, Crowley pulled out his mobile phone and hit a button. It starts to dial a number as he smiles like a lighthouse burning or perhaps like a TV quizmaster.
“S’okay, Dukes Hastur and Ligur. I wouldn’t expect you to believe it from me,” he admitted. "But why don’t we talk to the Dark Council? I am sure that they can convince you.”
"You’re calling the Dark Council?" Hastur looked at Ligur in a sort of paranoid horror, which caused Ligur to growl and decide to rush towards Crowley before he can pull some sort of escape off. As the number Crowley had dialed clicked and started to ring, Ligur grabbed Crowley's wrist. When he made contact with Crowley, the plant mister was pressed right up against Ligur’s forearm in the same moment and Crowley pressed the trigger.
It was only a small amount of holy water that was released, but it worked as intended. Hastur could only stare in horror as Ligur's wrist peeled and flared like a lump of burning sodium. Ligur’s eyes were wide in shock as well, only able to stare as oily brown smoke oozed from his injury, then finally he screamed.
The next moment he was folding in on himself while dropping to his knees to try and protect what's left of his arm. What was left of the appendage was glistening, burnt, and blackened. Crowley, looked much too relaxed staring down at Ligur compared to Hastur who was looking at him in horror.
"Holy water. I can’t believe even a, a demon would...Holy water! He hadn’t done nothing to you!" Hastur screamed in a shrill voice, shaking almost to the point of convulsions as he attempted to help move Ligur away. They both stared in fear as Crowley puts his hand against the phone to muffle it while leaning towards them.
"Yet." Crowley narrows his eyes before standing back up straight and smirking as he puts the mobile on loud speaker.
"Crowley, we were just about to call. The plan worked flawlessly, the first battalion has been taken by surprise!"
The mass of bodies surged across the battlefield as they claimed victory with each downed Angel. The stench of Ichor and death driving them further into a willing fury; pushing, shoving, and screeching at anything in their path as they became an agitated, enraged swarm of bodies.
The woods became a bloodbath of ichor as the Demons were lost to a berserker rage, sacrificing finesse for a dark rage. Small clusters of fights merged into large scuffles of weapons clashing in a ferocious mass.
Blood sprayed the ground and misted the air as the minutes ticked by. The stink of sweat and gore mixed with searing heat, the dead and clumps of viscera a terrible mixture of both extinct beings and empty corporation shells.
Ichor drenched the battlefield in a sea of gold and black that refused to mix together.