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In The Painfields

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Duma first loved Samael in the Silver City. The Morningstar. The Lightbringer. Glorious and bold and beautiful, inspiring awe second only to The Presence.

And Duma? Duma was only the Angel of Silence.

But where is silence more perfect, more absolute than in the vast reaches of space? And as he watched God's lamplighter wake the stars, Duma perceived what others did not. But he loved Samael for his boldness, his brashness, the intensity with which he burned. And he loved him in spite of it, too.

Duma loved Samael even after he rejected his overture of rebellion. He knew it would fail, but still he loved the sheer unquiet of spirit it took to even conceive of such a thing. And when the cacophony of battle shook the pillars of heaven and Duma joined Michael in taking up arms against Samael and his followers, love burnt as brightly as ever in his breast.

And when Samael fell and became Lucifer and brooded, bitter and angry, and while the darkest pits of Hell accreted around him, Duma loved him still.

Duma loved Lucifer when he walked out, shutting the Gates of Hell behind him.

And when God called upon him and Remiel to take the Key to Hell, Duma silently accepted while Remiel wept.

He is fallen.

(Yet still serves.)

He is no longer the Angel of Silence.

He is the co-regent of Hell.

Lucifer stands before him now, diminished, but Duma knows this is a temporary thing. Those piercing amber eyes are as unquiet as ever, still burning, and Duma perceives that he is one of a very few for whom Lucifer has any measure of respect. Curious, that. For Duma has ever served and endured in silence the very things that Lucifer has so noisily striven to escape. And yet, the former Lord of Hell does not pity or mock him.

And, despite his brother's vastly fallen state and the troubles he has endured, troubles he has brought upon himself, Duma loves him still.

For it is a strange integrity his brother has. He will not cease in his rebellion, his struggles to throw off the yoke of Heaven. Indeed, Lucifer's recent attempt to escape God's law by escaping God's creation was admirable in the extreme, after a fashion. Despite everything that has happened, Lucifer chooses to continue.

Just as Duma chooses to endure.

That's the crux of the matter.

Lucifer stands before him, and Duma knows that between them shall never be pity, nor sorrow ... nor love. Never love between them. The love here moves in one direction only.

Duma knows this.

Has always known this.

And chooses still to love.