"Hello, Detective," sighed an accented voice. "If you've come to have a shot at me, now's the time."
The nightclub owner bowed his head for a moment before downing a whole glass of alcohol. He didn't appear to be drunk, just in shock. How could that be? Chloe could smell it across the room as he spoke;
"Everyone's doing it."
The stillness his resolve left in the air leeched deeply into Chloe. It was sad to see her partner like this. She might as well talk his mood down.
"Yeah, your scuffle with the preacher made the local news."
There was a cold glimpse in his eyes before Lucifer laughed humorlessly.
"Oh, that... That was about five disasters ago."
The pause in their conversation allowed Chloe to finally take in Lux - what remained of it, at least. There was a remarkable amount of damage in that one room. How could you even break through a whole wall without being mutilated? Her eyes finally stopped on Lucifer. As he looked toward her, Chloe noticed the bruises and injuries that covered his tan, even skin. There was a certain tiredness in his eyes that made her partner look like he was carrying the weight of the world.
"God, your face," she started.
"Yeah, well, what can I say? You should've seen the other chap."
A guiltiness snuck into his voice and Lucifer's eyes fell upon two nasty looking daggers on the edge of the bar.
"What happened?" Chloe pressed.
She moved towards her friend, intending to comfort him. Once Chloe's soft but determined footsteps got halfway across the room, a surge of energy filled Lucifer. He rapidly stood up from the bar stool, aggressively gesturing. His strong arms sent the glass in his hand careening onto the floor and shattering to pieces.
"Well where do I begin? With the grandest fall in the history of time? Or perhaps the far more agonizing punishment that followed? To be blamed for every morsel of evil humanity's endured, every atrocity committed in my name? Trying to impress you..." he trailed, then picked up his train of thought with a disgusted "As though I wanted people to suffer."
"All I ever wanted was to be my own man here.
To be judged for my own doing.
And for that? I've been shown how truly powerless I am." Lucifer spat,
"That even the people I trusted the one person, you, Chloe... You could be used to hurt me..."
At this, his voice broke and the proud man's shoulders dropped in defeat. The detective, who had been carefully circling the perimeter of rage emanating from Morningstar, had paused. Her mouth dropped. A shudder ran through Chloe's small frame.
"Yes?" he inquired, annoyed, " What?"
Shakily, a gun was pulled on Lucifer.
"Put your hands up and move away from the bar."
Peering over the bar, he saw it. Well, him. There lay that nasty preacher that had confronted him earlier - with a bullet wound through the forehead.
"Detective, there's an explanation."
Chloe started to panic as he stepped closer, eyes filled with fear and determination.
"Stop! Don't say another word. Put your hands up. Or you'll leave me no choice... Lucifer Morningstar, you're under arrest."
Incredulous, Lucifer continued to gesture wildly, further reducing his expensive apartment to smithereens.
"Come on, Detective," the words practically boomed from his mouth, "You can't seriously believe I killed that pathetic malcontent!"
The man standing in front of her had lost his mind. Chloe could tell by the way he carried himself. Lucifer wasn't in control. His muscles were tensed and his burning eyes resembled those of a wolf trapped in a corner.
"It doesn't matter what I believe."
Chloe knew when a situation was going south, and this was definitely one of those times. For a moment, her plea seemed to work, and Lucifer replied with a calm,
"That's all that matters, Detective."
Chloe really wanted to believe him, she really did, but the evidence was irrefutable. Fellow officers working on the Palmetto case had already driven her self-confidence into the ground.
The unspoken response from Chloe was answer enough for Morningstar. The detective could hardly contain her shriek as the handsome and once-gentle man seemed to grow more and more monstrous as he realized that his friend didn't believe him and wasn't going to support him.
This was too much for Chloe. She never believed in the supernatural bullshit on tv and in movies. Her mother, Penelope Decker, never cared for religion except for the occasional holiday. There was no logic in what was happening. Men don't morph into demons and emotions can't control the environment.
"Put your hands in the air and surrender yourself!"
Lucifer's only response was to laugh. Cruel, sinister cacklings filled the air. Their sharp, unnatural tones sent all mortals within a block into a heightened state of fear and anxiety.
"This isn't funny, Lucifer." Chloe insisted, voice shaking.
Sure, she sounded tough in front of this, but it was hard to keep up the charade, considering everything she believed to be reality started to crumble beneath her feet.
Another surge of energy from Lucifer caused the dim lighting of LUX to flash and the remaining glass to break. The smell of ash permeated the air and Chloe's breathing became laboured.
"I think this is the grandest joke that I've heard in all my time... The best part is it's on me!"
Gun now cocked, the detective tried to take control of the situation once more.
"Come peacefu-" Chloe started, "What are you doing!?"
Consumed in anger, Lucifer had literally ripped his shirt off, expensive jacket and all. Sweat had drenched his undershirt, which followed its partners to the ground in shreds. Her partner's chest was heaving with every breath. The perfect model of human anatomy in such deep was an unnatural sight for the detective. Steam rose from Lucifer's burning skin as he looked into Chloe's eyes once more.
"I'm accepting my role in all of this." He replied firmly.
Chloe's scream was finally released as Lucifer's crimson irises jumped to two small blades on the bar counter. Strong and sure, his arms reached behind him, carrying the hellish knives with them. The pair of curved daggers penetrated into the dual lines of scar tissue on Lucifer's upper back. Dark, glimmering blood ran down the tense muscles of Lucifer's tanned body. A blood-curdling scream from the man began his transformation.
Feathers as black as night sprouted from Lucifer's back. They extended into fully-formed wings, taking up much of the now cramped club room. Molten blood practically boiled under thick veins, revealing the sinewy composition of his muscles. It looked as if Lucifer was ready to erupt. With his hair out of place and eyes wild, Lucifer smiled, amused at Chloe's horrified face.
"All of humanity's sins are the Devil's fault, right? I mean, I thought you knew different, but I was wrong. You're just like all the others!"
Three shots rang through the thunder and chaos. Chloe's hands covered her mouth as she realized she had shot at Lucifer, again - purposefully. Expecting to see the shredded remains of Lucifer Morningstar's head, the detective peaked through her hands, blood pumping in her ears. What she saw confirmed that this wasn't just a nightmare.
Standing frozen with an outstretched arm, Lucifer looked like a Greek statue. His posture conveyed power and control. Not even a master sculptor could have recreated the majesty of Morningstar at that very moment. The bullets floated in front of his eyes momentarily, only to be disintegrated with a flash of red emanating from Lucifer's body.
"Trying to off the root of all evil, eh detective?"
Lucifer's eyes narrowed and his rage consumed what was left of the being hovering before Chloe. Fires ran rampant and burned the club to its skeleton.
"I tried to show you that I am NOT YOUR ENEMY! I have sacrificed so much for this damned mortal world for NOTHING. You selfish creatures have only blamed ME for your problems. Not ONCE have I received a proper thank you!"
Crashing through the entrance to the balcony, the fallen angel extended his wings to their full span. A handful of powerful flaps of the wings brought Lucifer into the sky above a panicked Chloe, who had followed him outside.
Booming Latin incantations filled the detective's ears. A huge, swirling vortex of fire opened, ripping through dimensions. The sinister flames silhouetted Lucifer's true form to cowering humans below. The sharp contrast of light and dark blinded anyone who looked upon the ethereal portal for too long. The smell of brimstone leaked from the entrance to Hell. A short drop positioned the angel to an opportune place to enter. His ex lover's voice shouted from below.
"I... I am trying to do what's right, Lucifer!" Chloe pleaded.
Disgusted with such a pitiful excuse, the man spoke once more, putting all of his remaining emotion into a final outburst.
"WELL, ISN'T IT LUCKY FOR ME THAT YOU'RE SUCH A WORTHY SOUL? I WON'T HAVE TO SEE YOUR TRAITOROUS FACE IN HELL FOR THE REST OF ETERNITY."
With a final glance back to the City of Angels, the Devil's gothic wings propelled him into the fiery void. The portal sealed behind him with a final explosion above the remains of LUX.
The Detective fell to her knees, her ears ringing from the blast.
What had just happened?
What had she done?
Lucifer was her partner! Her friend!
How could she have been so blind to what the world around her really was... what it really contained...
Sirens and lights had engulfed the building that night. 911 calls came flooding in from residents over three and a half miles away from the zone of impact.
They had screamed into the phone that the world was ending - that the sky dripped fire.
Bomb squads and S.W.A.T. teams were on the scene within minutes. Their heavy boots shook the skyscraper as they ascended up, up, up to the penthouse. The elegant door leading into LUX fell to their might in under a minute. Hearts pounded as these civilian soldiers burst into the club. The scene they found wasn't pretty. In fact, it was as if all Hell had broken loose.
The breach team found detective Chloe Decker gripping to the railings of the balcony. Running their flashlight beams along the outdoor space, they saw Two metallic objects were shiny with dark blood. The woman's head snapped up.
"Miss, we're here to help," the gentle-voiced officer said, "It's time to go now."
For a moment, the man was relieved at the odd expression on Chloe's face. It was for the better that she was listening to him. The officer stretched his arms out to pull her away from the crime scene. That was when all hell broke loose.
The once-composed detective started to scream and writhe. Her eyes were wild and desperate as she clawed at her captors.
It couldn't be real...
None of this could be real...
A heavy body yanked her body away from the edge of the building, but that wasn't where her heart was. Chloe reached her one free arm to the sky where the rift had been. The portal that ripped away her sanity. The gateway that stole her love. She screeched into the night.
"Lucifer! No! You CAN'T go!"
Another officer piled on.
She heard people shouting behind her, but continued to yell.
The needle of sedative went into her neck smoothly. Its unnatural bite expelled the medicine in and she started to lose consciousness. The last thing Chloe Decker saw that night were the charred remains of a dark feather float down from the ashen sky. She watched this parting goodbye disintegrate just as it came to rest on her nose.
"My angel..." She whispered lightly.
Then, a soul-sucking blackness crept into the edges of her vision. All was dark.