I had a dream.
It was a bright sunny day in the city. I saw a cafe - a nice one with umbrellas and good food. A mouse skittered by inside, just visible for a moment, carrying some crumb of food in its mouth.
A man came to the hostess out front. The man was tall, powerful, and blonde. It was Magnificent Man, from my very first dream. In the same white suit even. Mike was led to a table by the blushing, smiling hostess and he sat down, opening his menu.
Not long after, another man, in the same black suit, came and stood before the waitress. Though he was handsome, even beautiful, the waitress shivered and led him quickly to the same table as Mike.
"Hello, Mike," Lucifer said.
"Hello, Lou," Michael said.
Lucifer sat down and opened his menu. They both eventually ordered, and sat in silence, enjoying the nice day. Their food came a few minutes later, and they ate in silence. It was tense, though they seemed perfectly relaxed. Mike paid the bill, and their table was cleared.
Finally, he looked up at Lucifer and met him, shining blue to burning yellow eyes.
"Well?" Mike said.
Lucifer looked aside casually and coughed, covering his mouth as he said, "You may have a point."
Mike leaned slightly forward. "Indeed?"
Lucifer leaned forward to meet him. "But that doesn't mean they'll actually reach this lofty goal you've set before them. They have much to accomplish yet. And my agent yet walks the earth."
Mike laughed. "Yes, with the wrath of heaven behind him in the form of a tiny, white mouse."
"You know he won't catch him. He will know that soon as well."
"The point is he ran," Mike said. Lucifer didn't like this, and his handsome face frowned a bit. "Also, I set no goal before them."
"What?" Lucifer sounded genuinely surprised.
"This was not my idea," Mike said.
Lucifer was astonished. "You mean.... You... No!"
Mike nodded, enjoying the Devil's shock. "Yes. Our Father offered it. They accepted. I thought you went to speak to Him. Wasn't that where you were off to last time I saw you?"
Lucifer was indeed frowning now. Glaring, in fact. People around them at the cafe suddenly found reasons to be somewhere else and left. Mike met Lucifer's stare with ease.
"You tricked me," Lucifer said.
"You never asked," Mike said. "You assumed."
"They won't win," Lucifer said. "I've whittled them down so far - they have no fighting force, and only one ancient, beaten down mouse as a playing piece. A pawn."
"He was a pawn," Mike said. "But he got to the end of the board. Now he is anything he wishes to be. A bishop, a king, a knight, perhaps all the above. And other playing pieces will step onto the board. Many more powerful than you give them credit for. It was your downfall to underestimate them."
Lucifer was definitely unhappy now.
"So the game continues," he spat. "No matter. I am enjoying it."
"Not for much longer," Mike said. His face was dead serious.
Lucifer, instead of answering the direct challenge, smiled a smarmy grin and showed his teeth.
"You're running short on time, brother," Lucifer said. "Humanity knows about your mice. I've seen to it. You do not have enough playing pieces."
"God only needs one," Mike said. "One is all He ever needed."
"I have hurt your precious mice," Lucifer said, still grinning. "They suffered terribly at my hands."
"Yes, our Father let you test them," Mike said, looking sad. "And now your time is over. You have no more power here. They have passed their tribulation."
Lucifer held his tongue, checkmated in the battle of words. He had no reply worth making, but he would not give Michael the last word. "Most regrettable," he smiled.
"Yes," Mike stood up. "All of it has been." He left a generous tip on the table and both of them looked out to the horizon. "Our time to walk the earth in human form is done here. It's time to go home."
"Good riddance," Lucifer said.
"One last thing," Mike said. "About that old, beaten down mouse..."
Lucifer was turning back toward Mike, teeth flashing in pride, when Mike's fist smashed into his face, breaking his nose, knocking several teeth out, and sending him to the floor twelve feet away, out cold.
"That's for him," Mike finished.
The stunned customers gaped in awe as he calmly turned and left the establishment.
But before he was gone from my view and the dream ended, I saw him turn and wink at me.