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The Three Gifts


Living_Hellfire
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Continued From 'Perdition', circa 2008 Earth Time.

The Lord of Hell descended from his throne.

 

"I'm so glad that you're willing to hear my offer, nephew."

 

Fergus said nothing as Lucifer slowly sauntered around him, seeming to enjoy every moment for some reason.

 

"I'm going to let you go. You're going to return to the Ground Floor and rejoin your mortal friends. What do you think of that?"

 

Fergus stared, his face impassive, not really understanding what his uncle was saying but the lesson learned in The Pits was clear; Show no weakness and no fear. He remained silent as Lucifer bloviated.

 

"It would seem that you're not welcome Upstairs, as you are keenly aware. It would also be the case that we cannot break you down here either... " He leaned in conspiratorially "which, between you and I was largely the point, if you recall what I told you on our last meeting." He grinned and winked, a habit that Fergus would pick up, though he would never admit it. "Anyway, you can't go Home and you can't stay here, in fact given that you're not welcome in either place I have no choice but to send you back to the Ground Floor. I therefore present to you your first gift, are you ready?"

 

"Get on with it."

 

His uncle smiled slowly as he backed away. He clapped his hands and spread his arms wide "You! Cannot! Die! At least not once this conversation is over! Oh... make no mistake, you will die, over and over again, but you've nowhere to go. You can't go Upstairs and you're sure as shit not welcome Down here anymore, so... guess what? Every time it happens, every time some asshole shoots you or you end up crushed by falling debris or some dickhead crushes your skull or however it is it happens, you'll just be reborn moments later! Isn't that exciting?!" His smile fades to one of smug satisfaction. "You can't die, Fergus. You will never die, not permanently. No matter what you do, no matter what anyone else does to you, you will be reborn within seconds, or at most minutes."

 

Lucifer smacked his lips "You will watch everyone you love age and die. You will witness the end of humanity, and even the end of the very planet that you call home when the sun swallows it billions of years from now. You will be alone. Forever, until the end of time, forsaken and unwanted with no family, no one to call home and nothing to show for it. In fact, you might even outlive me." He chortled to himself as he ascended the dais once more to drape himself across his throne. "You might even outlive Father." The Lord of Hell shrugged.

 

The silence was deafening as Lucifer savoured his vengeance.

 

"Would you like to hear your second gift? It's a doozy..." Fergus glances to his left, seeing the same demon that had dragged him to his cell all that time ago. Snakes for hair, six arms, bristling with scimitars, from the pelvis down a serpent's tail. The Merilith smirked and shimmied, almost seductively.

 

"Go on, then." He replied, returning his gaze to the Fallen Angel on The Throne.

 

"You're gonna love this... Because of your time Downstairs you will now be a conduit on the Ground Floor! Isn't that exciting? You will channel the very essence of Hell with your very touch. You will burn every single thing with which you come into close contact. You will never hold a glass in your hand again, turn a doorknob, eat a sandwich, shake a hand, give a hug... " Lucifer leaned forward "You will never make love ever again. You will destroy every single thing you touch, quite literally." He chuckles to himself "It's enough to make even the likes of Midas jealous, which is frankly my favourite sin, if I'm being honest." Another shit-eating grin.

 

He doesn't show it, but Fergus' heart sinks as he begins to realize his fate.

 

"Finally..." Lucifer motions and the giant, ornate doors rumble open. Fergus turns to see a two and a half foot tall, blood red demonling being shoved into the room. The creature's wings beat rapidly, like a heartbeat as it realized where it was. It turned to seek escape but the doors had already rumbled closed. It screeched its outrage as it pounded its little fists against the ornate doors. "This..." says The Lord of Hell, bringing Fergus' attention back around "... is Screwtape and he is your third and final gift."

The demonling turned and following the most basic rules of Hell attacks what he believes to be the weakest target; The human. Taking to the air on little wings he launched himself at Fergus, clearly unaware that he was attacking a Champion of The Pits. Fergus' well-time backhand knocks him out of the air, sending him to the ground sliding towards an ornate plinth where he comes to rest with a groan. The man who would become The Legendary Living Hellfire immediately bends in half, vomiting the entirety of his nearly empty stomach, his soul stretched and thinned, like dough beneath a rolling pin. In his peripheral vision Fergus notices the demonling doing the same, the stench of bile and half-digested stomach contents permeates the air.

 

"And so it is done." Grins Lucifer "You are now soul-bound. Your third and final gift, nephew!" He stands again, descending the dais to get a closer view of his victory. It seems clear that he has cherished this moment, nurtured it, even orchestrated it. "He will be with you for as long as your first gift allows, Fergus. Oh..." he continues "You might kill him, destroy him, snap his neck, burn him to ash, stab him, dismember him... whatever... but he now suffers the same fate as you. He cannot die, he will always reappear, he will always be at your back, slashing at your tendons, hampering your movements and making your life miserable, the way you made mine miserable. Didn't you?!" The braziers flash with Enraged Angel's fury. The Demonling whimpers. Lucifer masters his temper.

 

Not for the first time Fergus notices the key swinging on the chain around his uncle's neck, like a pendant. He had seen it on his first visit but didn't realize its significance until he had reached The Pits and heard tell of it. He had listened in as his fellow gladiators had spoken in hushed tones about a Key. They had called it The Key to the Room of Many Doors and it allowed Lucifer to teleport to any place. Fergus glanced left again, noting the Merilith, then right where stood a mighty, armoured Glabrezu.

 

A plan began to form.

 

Reaching through his newly formed bond with the disgusting little creature he relayed his intent. Screwtape was less than impressed, but agreed given the lack of other options. Screwtape slowly climbed to his feet, whimpering and holding himself cross-armed. 

 

"I reject yer offer, Uncle. I'd jes' as soon stay here, tae be honest."

 

"My boy... it's not yours to reject or otherwise, the deal is done. You had no choice in any of this. You never did." The joviality and feigned familial affection fades from the face of the Lord of Hell as he approached, standing toe-to-toe with Fergus "You are not welcome, Angziel. You are an abomination. You are Nephilim!" The final word shaking the room with the rage of the the Forsaken Son's words.

 

Angziel, born to Molly McRae and son of Kadziel, Opener of Ways stood impassive in the face of his uncle's rage. "I thought ye'd say that." His right hand gripped the chain around his uncle's neck, hauling downwards. Fergus extended his left hand towards the Merilith unleashing a blazing bolt of concentrated Hellfire, slicing her in two at the waist and destroying a burning brazier which spilled onto the floor igniting various detritus, the start of what would later be called "The Ignition" amongst Locals, a tale told of how one mortal started a rebellion. The stream of Hellfire continued its arc burning most of the way through a support column holding up the roof of the chamber as the blast went by. The chamber rumbled. Pressing inwards into the new bond he shared with Screwtape, he gave the signal for the little demon to drive into the lower tendons of the Glabrezu standing guard to the right

 

Screwtape's charge would also be a tale told in the quiet recesses of Hell for some time. 

 

The demonling, pressed by an influence he had never experienced beat his wings once, twice, thrice and took to the air while his new Nephilim master grappled with The Devil. Coursing around an ornate column he latched onto the calve of the Glabrezu guard, tearing into muscle and tendon with claw and tooth. The Tanar'ri roared, distracted from his purpose of guarding his master and swung around but to no avail. Screwtape scrambled up the demon's leg to the buttocks taking a sizeable chunk before the Glabrezu got wise and tried smashing himself backwards into a pillar. Screwtape was having none of it, circling inside the larger demon's thigh he took the Glabrezu's entire genital package in his fanged mouth and bit down. The demon roared in agony, slamming all four fists down at his attacker only to mash an already twisted and perforated area for Screwtape was no longer there.

 

Lucifer grabbed his nephew by the throat and gasped in agony as he drew his hand back, realizing his mistake. His second gift was already in effect, any physical contact would result in immolation. A prisoner of his own jewelry and unable to defend himself physically he staggered back and forth as his nephew dragged him to and fro. Fergus' grip slowly burning through the chain that held The Key to The Room of Many Doors. With a final twist of his hips Angziel, son of Kadziel flung his uncle into yet another support column.

 

Holding onto the still disintegrating chain around his uncle's neck Fergus paused a moment, holding him close. He watched, pitilessly as his second gift seemed to melt his father's brother, flesh sliding off his face, bones and muscle mass expanding and cooking with the proximity  "How much time do I have tae decide, Uncle? Are ye certain this is the deal ye'd like tae strike?" They both turned their heads to watch as Screwtape scurried out from the torch-light of a nearby plinth, his six inch claws scrabbling along the stone as he charged his foe, clawing his way up the Glabrezu's right leg, along its back to stand on its shoulder. Four inch talons dragged their way across the face of the minor Demon Lord, blinding it with sickening twin popping sounds. The Glabrezu roared its outrage.

 

Without answering The Lord of Hell ripped the key from the chain and drove it into his nephew's chest. The Celestial key tore open Angziel's flesh and bone, settling itself into just behind where his sternum might be, assuming it hadn't been shattered by the blow. Fergus staggered back, breathless. He coughed, the blood spattering on the marble floor. Like a statue toppled, the Nephilim fell over onto his back and breathed his last.

 

There is a splat as Screwtape's corpse hits the marbled floor and rolls into the centre of the room, as thrown by the maimed and whimpering larger demon. The glabrezu leaned against the column, his shuddering gasps of pain rivaling the sharp inhalation of his master as The Lord of Hell slowly straightens and turns back towards his throne. This had not been a good day, and it was about to get worse. The corpse of his nephew began to burn.

 

It was subtle at first, as the King of Hell ascended his throne. The edges of his nephew's corpse ignited slowly, tiny flames dancing their way around the edges. Embers formed. Embers became cinders that danced in the torchlight. Flesh became ash while Lucifer watched in horror, finally understanding the curse he had laid upon himself in his wickedness. Angziel's first Gift made itself apparent as he rose from the ashes, whole and unharmed, floating above the marble floor.

 

"Thank ye, Uncle, I'll remember this gift all the days o'me life." He grinned and winked and acessing the Key to the Room of Many Doors now buried in his chest, Fergus dashed towards an open flame and the tiny demonling followed.

Edited by Living_Hellfire
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-The Legendary Living Hellfire

"The newest person in the room is always the most important person in the room"

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