Welcome to the age of science. An age where religion is used more as an effective publicity stunt for actors and an efficient excuse for invading another country rather than a viable personal belief. People are enjoying the freedom of choosing the elements they like from any religions and fashioning their own system to live by. Lucifer is aware of this and so has taken steps. Lucifer has set in motion a plot filled with red herrings and subterfuge to re-awaken true belief, not to mention destroy the Kingdom of Heaven and maybe, just maybe kill God... And it looks like he may actually succeed.
In the near future, Mankind has been at peace for thirty years. The first ten years saw war and feuding stop; murder became a thing of the past. Then came "The Great Religious Surge" - Unified, peaceful religious activity centred around a single man. But no-one saw it for what it was... The quiet before the storm.
A young man appeared and many people believed him to be the Son of God. Some people saw him as nothing more than a magician, a trickster. Others couldn't explain him; and there was a stigma about the fact he was Black. Because of the peace on Earth, God delivered his son to Mankind believing that Man was ready for true peace. Little did God know that the peace was made by Lucifer as bait and Lucifer had other plans...
While travelling, learning about a world he had not been a part of for over two thousand years, the Son of God is assassinated by MI:5 Agent Williams in London, England. Williams is a man trapped in the vice-like grip of Elizabeth, one of Lucifer's Acolytes. Agent Williams was not the only puppet being controlled by Lucifer. Andrè, the Swiss Ambassador assigned to the Genéve Convention Centre. He was also the one who set Elizabeth up with Agent Williams for the assassination of the Son of God - it was part of a debt he owed Lucifer from years ago. The rest of the debt was paid when he assassinated the French Ambassador at the Convention Centre and pinned it on the German Ambassador.
With the death of the Son of God once again by Man's hands, Heaven enters The Great Wake. Gabriel is sent to Earth with a legion of Angels to prepare for any violent uprising. There is a bitter feud between Loki and God; Loki is not simple God's wrath but the emotional receiver for all God's emotions.
Loki wants revenge for the death but God will not let him exact it. So, in a desperate bid to release the rage within him, Loki goes to Lucifer with a proposition. With the knowledge of the fading religious "power-base", Lucifer decided that it was better to suffer the void of nothingness rather than become a useless memory; nothing more than an "ordinary person". This is the reason why when Loki comes the Luficer, Luficer agrees to the plan.
Loki offers to leave the Gates of Heaven open for Lucifer if he, Lucifer, can keep God blind to Loki's actions. Loki believes that he is setting Lucifer up for the greatest fall, he believes that God will never be beaten by Lucifer, particularly in his own Kingdom. Lucifer has other ideas however...
Lucifer keeps God distracted as Loki revenges himself against England, but at the very moment of destruction Lucifer flees. God finally becomes aware of Lucifer's plan. He sees that it was Lucifer who caused the death of the Son of God, he sees Loki's betrayal. God betrayed himself; Loki made the deal with Lucifer, but he was acting on God's emotions.
Knowing this, God suffers, for the first time, full emotion. He feels the loss of his son, he feels the rage at Man, the rage at Lucifer. He feels the agony of his own betrayal and he feels the pain and torment of knowing that he killed millions of people. God suffers emotional overload and his mind shuts down... God goes AWOL.
"Paperchaser" begins with the destruction of most of England, London being ground zero. There is one survivor, Bob; a man who's eyes have been burnt out, suffering from amnesia and is plagued by images of people and places. Bob was a member of MI:5. He was part of the team that was in control of security for the Son of God and he failed to see the plot to assassinate the Son of God - this is why he was chosen by God - by way of redemption.
Bob soon stumbles across Lucifer who takes great interest in him. Lucifer cannot touch Bob without suffering sever burns which, Lucifer believes, means that Bob has been touched by God. Curious to learn more about Bob, along with the tempting notion that he could use Bob in his plans, Lucifer decides to help Bob find out who he is.
Following them across the world is Vaugn, an agent of InterPol. He is drawn into the investigation following the brutal murder of an entire French Squadron at the Channel Tunnel and then another murder at a McDonalds outside Dijon, his only clue is sketchy details about a black and silver Ford Mustang heading to Switzerland.
Vaugn slowly pieces together clues and rumours about the assailants as he blindly follows the path of death. Until the day his path crosses with that of The Four, Loki and The Secret Wish where he is thrust into the incredible world these creatures inhabit and an unlikely teaming with The Secret Wish.
Over the next three months, Bob and Lucifer travel through Europe, China, Russia and Siberia. They are chasing the visions in Bob's head. They become friends and continually defend and aid each other. Before they even reach Genéve, Lucifer kills a Warlock named Grey when he tries to kill Bob.
During this time, the Earth is nearly ripping itself apart. War threatens on every front. A young French soldier named Leonidas witnesses the French Army round up British refugees. The same refugees who fled England now wandering the land looking for a new home. But they are treated like lepers, welcomed no-where, helped no-where. Leonidas, along with a small group of her platoon help to evacuate as many of them as possible. They are directed through Germany and up into Syberia. Many of them do not make it however as the assassination of the French Ambassador seemingly by a German acts as the straw that broke the donkey's back. France invades Germany.
Then of course there's Loki, disgraced and ashamed; he wanders the world looking for salvation and a way to repay his grosse mistake. His path continually crosses with Bob and Lucifer; sometimes they are after the same thing, other times, he is fighting against them. Loki and Lucifer begin to see a connection, the though grows in their heads, could Bob be God?
Finally, that question is answered. One night, while Bob is asleep, something happens that leaves no doubt in Lucifer's mind that Bob is God. With this knowledge, Lucifer is stuck with a difficult choice... Kill him now? ...Don't tell him and use God for his own ends? ... Tell him?
Having lived with Bob for so long, Lucifer decides that telling Bob he is God would be the most advantageous move... Lucifer is right. Bob responds exactly as Lucifer suspected, he shrank further from the truth. Bob demands they keep searching. All the while Loki has also found out that Bob is God and so he confronts Bob once more.
During this time, all peaceful communication stops between the world nations. World War Three is declared. Leonidas is moved to the front-lines where she is quickly promoted to Sergeant and is responsible for some very successful missions into Germany. But she is given a near-impossible task of securing Berlin, where entrenched German forces are willing to sacrifice it all to ensure that France does not claim their capital.
When Loki tells Bob that he is God, Bob gets angry, which means that Loki gets angry and they continually feed off each others anger until they fight. The fight is brutal but neither is seriously injured. While Loki and Bob fight, Lucifer return to Hell where he marshals his Demon forces and leads them through the "Celetial Planes" to the Gates of Heaven.
With the shifting moods of religion and more people choosing to create their own ideas of Heaven and Hell, the Celestial Planes become the birthplace of the New After-life. More and more people go there after death and essentually become trapped by their own conscience - they judge themselves and create their own personal After-life; some make Hell, some Heaven. Lucifer's forces suffer great losses as members of It's Legion are lost on the Plains but finally they make it through and continue on to the Gates of Heaven.
Meanwhile, Bob and Loki have agreed to separate and fight. Loki is charged with the defense of Heaven, while Bob will petition the world leaders to stop the imminent holocaust. The reason why God can't just make everything better is because of the now non-existant religious "power-base".
Both fail in their tasks. After a bloody and brutal battle, Lucifer defeats the forces of Heaven; Loki is given no choice but to send the surviving Angels to join Gabriel's forces on Earth. Plan B is released... The Secret Wish AKA: Hope.
Hope is the most powerful, and dangerous force in all creation. All fear it and since the inception of Mankind, God has had Hope imprisoned because it was playing for both sides, Good and Evil. Loki releases Hope to fight for Good. It is the only weapon against The Four and the many, many years it has been kept in total isolation have not been kind. Hope has gone "a little crazy".
The Secret Wish, along with Vaugn end up traveling into the very substance of the universe, Energy, where their only chance of defeating The Four rests.
Bob fails to stop the war as it explodes with utter disregard for innocence all over the globe. With the advent of the Third World War come The Four; Famine, Death, Pestilance and the Anti-christ who has some very complicated issues of nature Vs nurture when his father arrives. The Earth becomes not only the host for Man's war, but also for the war between Angels and Demons.
There is also a third party fighting Man... The Risen Dead.
When Lucifer razes Heaven to the ground, the dead have no way of being judged and therefore can't enter Heaven nor be condemned to Hell. So they return to Earth as The Risen Dead. Under the guidance of Loki and Gabriel, The Risen Dead congregate at the Earth front-lines and begin to fight both sides.
Loki returns to Bob's side in New York, but they are re-united for only moments because Lucifer is closing in and Loki is captured by The Four.
After a week of torture by The Four, Loki is finally killed and with it comes "The Day The Earth Stood Still". The very core of reality quakes... God suffers full emotion.
The events that happen in the following days near-literally rip North American in two; the God-fearing verses the Non-believers. The second American Civil War begins.
Things go from bad to worse as The President of The United States sacrifices her life for God and her country. The Civil War soon ends after The President's death, but the Third World War escalates. The Four wreck havoc across the globe as Hope and Vaugn hatch their plan to bring them down and Washington DC will never be the same again after the carnage of The Four. After their mission in The Energy is accomplished, Hope remains, but Vaugn returns to reality an altered man.
In the meantime, Lucifer hunts God down for the final battle. Gabriel and The Risen Dead hold the worlds fighting at bay. Their primary issue is the continual fighting in occupied Germany. Sergeant Leonidas has grown and become a Colonel Kurtz-style officer and, for the greater good, must silenced. This mission falls to Gabriel and a small group of willing Angels and Risen Dead.
God finally conpletes It's plan and sets up for the final battle. The location is the Genéve Convention Centre. The prize? If Lucifer wins, God dies, the world ends, everyone suffers the void of nothingness; if God wins, Lucifer and he must lay down their remaining powers and allow Man to be completely in control of their lives. When they start the fight, it is in their true omnipotent forms, but as they tire and it becomes more personal and emotional, they slowly change into Human form and it becomes the dirtiest fight ever.
Finally the truth is revealed. God and Lucifer are nothing more than hollow shells, they have no real power any more. Man has become master of it's own destiny. God and Lucifer are of the lost age of Faith and now are capable of nothing but light shows and parlour tricks. They command pointless armies of Angels and Demons and it is only because of the briefly-lived "Great Religious Surge" that they are given any power; most of which is used up with the destruction of England. After all, the Great Religious Surge was based on attrition; they had faith, not based on love of God, but on the fear of Lucifer and Hell.
The Path ends with God and Lucifer continuing their friendship, but as Men, not Gods. God believes that their time may come again. To this Lucifer replies with the final words of "Paperchaser"...
Ever the brightest light casts a shadow, That is where my soul shall dwell. You will always be able to find me for I do not change... Only my methods.