|Hell is a waiting room full of paperwork...|
As you enter the building you are instantly asaulted with offensive waiting room music. The kind that makes you wonder if it wasn't created specificly for the purpose of sucking out one's will to live. An appropriate thing for a place like this. There are no signs describing what the room is a waiting room for. The receptionist is always busy, and the only door that's not the exit seems to be locked at all times. Occasionaly someone will come in from outside and walk through that door letting out a disturbing red light and a destinct uncomfortable presence. Along the walls of this room are several long benches with some horrible magazines stacked atop them. Articles about what color socks are popular in cuba and things you can cook with salt seem to make up the headlines. There are always people randomly scattered about here, some reading magazines, some looking blankly into space. None of them will speak to you. Infact, most will 'shhh' you if you start making too much noise. There's a purpose for this room, right?
Every moment of every day is written down, all the interesting details, in a neat stack under this man's seat. Beside him is a suitcase covered in what looks like dried blood, as if he fought of a gang of thugs. Then, if he's here, he probably didn't win. His suit is tattered and torn, dusty on the pantlegs, bloody all over the front. He doesn't have a single visible mark on him. His bright orange hair sticks out reasonably well in this place, even if the only broken light in the Waiting Room is directly above him. He looks amazingly handsome in his Human appearance, if you ignore the psychotic first impression.
This is John. John has been here for hundreds of years, and he isn't human. He's the farthest one can get from it, a species that carries a certain resemblance to the gigantic worm-like 'gods' of demonic lore. They are not famous. They are not inherently evil. But when they get evil, they get /really/ evil. For example, he's clutching a black melted cross in one of his hands that he got from burning down a church, and doing various horrible things to the ones inside. His favorite souvenir.
Unfortunetly such details are sometimes overlooked when someone comes around with pressing buisness. This one in paricular is in a rather foul mood too. The doors to the waiting room are shoved open and a very heavy fog comes rolling in. It's not just the fog from outside alone, this is almost smoke. Stomping into the room, scythe in hand, is the persona of the Grim Reaper. The skeletal figure seems to float across the room in his tatered robes and in seconds he's beating on the glass of the receptionist booth.
Grim says, "What'cha mean I have ta apply ta do my duties here!?!? I'm da Grim Reaper! I'm on vacation!! Ya can't do this ta me!" BANG BANG BANG "Ya hear me in dere?! I DEMAND ta speak ta someone in charge! Dis is an outrage!!!"
After a moment the glass slides open for perhaps the first time in centuries. A woman in a nurse's uniform and a face that seems to be pulled around itself obsucring her features drops a clipboard on the counter and somehow hisses at the skeleton. "Fill thessssse out.... We'll c-c-c-call ya when we're ready." Chattering and hissing without a visible mouth. Creepy.
Grim looks down at the paperwork and screams, "APPLICATION TA BE REINSTATED!?!? I don't wanna be da reaper of Twisted! Girl, I'm da reaper of Endsville!! Who's your boss!?!?"
The nurse-thing hisses again, "Take a sssssseat."
Grim steps back as the window is slamed closed in his face. After a moment he looks around, sighs, and takes a seat beside John to stare at the form he was given again. "No respect, I tell ya..."
John slowly turns his head toward the opened door, and watches the Reaper's big spectacle. And is highly unnerved by this, as he doesn't remember that door being there. When the Reaper sat next to him, all he did was stare blankly at the personification of Death. No sound, not a single quick movement.
Grim turns the paperwork upside down as he tries to make sense of it. Taking the pen hanging off the clip board he starts to write. Stops. Starts again. Stops. His black eye sockets shift over as if they where eyes to stare at John from the corner of his vision. After a moment he turns his head. His skull shifts in it's shape to so that his mouth drops down to a thin frown. "Hey, mon? Ya gotta starin' problem? Do I got somethin' in me teeth?"
"No," is all John says, at first, in a very tired voice. He watches the Reaper for a moment or so. Slowly he begins to smile, something oddly unhappy about this smile gives the impression he's up to something, but is too amused to do it. "You're the first Reaper I have ever seen," he comments, with instead an amused voice. This orange-haired man turns his attention to the receptionist booth.
Grim hmm's as he looks the man over. "Well, dat's because Twisted ain't got no Reaper. I don' know how dey do tings here but when I tried ta go home dey made me come here." He follows John's glance as he screams at the receptionist through the frosted glass, "YA CAN'T DO DIS TA ME!! DERE ARE RULES!!!" After a moment's lack of response he looks back down at the paperwork and sighs. "I almost wish I'd have left with da brats instead of askin' ta stay anothah month..."
John listens to what Grim says, still retaining that smile amazingly well. "Would you have enjoyed being with the children? I do not peg you as the kind that would," he says to the Reaper. "If they can make you Reaper in Twisted, they can assign a new one to Endsville."
Grim takes a moment to ponder that. Various emotions play on his animated skull. Anger, frustration, happiness, fear. He seems to sigh instead of deciding which one to stick with. "At least where I come from I know who's pullin' me strings, mon..." Glancing around the room, he begins to realise what kind of waiting room this is for probably the first time. Somehow this seems to worry him. "Hey... if ya don't mind me askin'. How long ya been waitin' here for?"
"I was here before the fall of the Roman Empire," John hints, keeping his smile. Perhaps he's happy that he gets to talk to someone for the first time in a very long time. "They simply won't let me out. So, from time to time, I make my own doors out of here. For fresh air and some entertainment. At least until someone kills me again."
Grim's slowly widen at the realisation of John's words. "The.... the Roman Empire...?" His jaw hangs open so far that after a minute of his blank shocked expression it falls completly off and lands in his lap. It still takes him a minute or two to realise this and put it back. Reunited with the bottom half of his jaw, he still seems ready to loose it once it dangles open again. "Da Roman Empire... I can't wait dat long!!"
Shrugging, John says in a matter-of-fact way, "You're not going to. You are a Reaper, not a soul, and as such you can actually talk to that adorable little woman at the receptionist desk. Might want to talk to her boss, they live in Hell, over there." He points to the appropriate door with his forefinger, taking his sweet time raising his hand to do this.
Grim turns his head towards each place a John points them out. Maybe he really didn't pay much attention when he came in here after all. He stares at the 'hell' door and stands, walking towards it. Instantly the door swings open letting out that horrible red light which lurks behind it. Grim swallows hard. "Well, mon? Ya wanna come wit me?" Funny how no one else in the room seems to react to the statement.
John takes a more pleasant smile toward Grim, which is unsettling in itself. It's as if he doesn't get any practice looking nice. He stands up jerkily, bones popping, while grabbing his suitcase. He turns and begins to walk toward Grim, leaving his notes under the chair for someone else to have a dim hope... Such a torturous thing to do. The light he was sitting under flickers on. "I do."
Grim seems to reguard things as if nothing was out of the ordinary. Infact, he smiles. "Great!! It'll be like a field trip! I never like goin' inta places like that alone, me self... demons are creepy enough wit'out bein' in someone else's world." He guestures towards the portal behind the open door to let John go first. After all if Grim goes first the door will instantly close behind him.
Walking forward, John smirks at the demon part of what Grim said. His eyes stay on the red light, these eyes taking a strange glow when the light hits them, as does his curly orange hair. Nothing too strange in a place like Twisted.
The True Hells - Endless Wastes and Fissures(#3154R)
Standing here amongst the wastes you are in the middle of nowhere, the central hub of travelling between the damned and more damned regions; though it's paradise to the truly evil and despicable.
The surface of this plane shifts with each step you take in a different direction, but each is just as horrible as the next. There are no pleasant places on this plane- just different degrees of disturbing, desolate and dangerous.
You stare upwards and what seems to be thousands of miles above is a solid surface- literally skies of blackened glistening staglamites in the billions upon billions, creating the impression of razor-sharp droplets gathering in black skies above. This however is not the truth, it is another surface trapping you both physically as well as the myriad of other methods denied to you.
Thousands of plump demonic cherubs with bat wings, who are used as low-level servants as well as just food, fly ahead for miles above. They can turn air and indeed anything (they can eat anything) into body mass. They're the only food around... better like eating demonic cherub meat.
There are gates in the distance, structures of jutting black molten-like rock mixed with veins of red and marble in a mish-mash of spiked horror. These lead to other dimensions on the same level equally as horrible.
Grim waits until John steps into the portal to bein to follow. The thing seems to almost be alive as it hungrily reaches beyond the frame of the door to grab them both and yank them away. Filled with a sensation of falling the two abruptly find themselves standing ... well? Nowhere. Grim looks around in confusion and sighs realising, "...great. Figures it'd put us somewhere dumb. Sometimes I wonder why everything has ta be so dramatic? Would it have killed dem ta put us somewhere with air conditionin'?" Ignoring the beasts flying above, the reaper uses his scythe like a divining rod and begins to walk off in a seemingly random direction. "We'd better git goin', mon. Dere's bound ta be somethin' hungry waitin' for people ta get lost 'round here." After a step or two he pauses to glance back. "Hey, what'd ya say yer name was again?"
"John Green," the man tells Grim, the name having a weird tingle to it as if he said something else entirely but it came out as English. As he walks, he takes a delightful step through this place, enjoying his freedom away from the Waiting Room and into a more interesting place. He does indeed walk behind the Reaper, more to the side.
Grim nods his head as he walks off again. "Dey call me da GRIM REAPER!!" There's those theatrics again. "Most people call me Grim." For some reason those buildings in the distance never seem to come closer. It only takes a few minutes before he sighs and shakes his head. "Dis isn't workin'. Must mean we're goin' da right way..."
"A pleasure to meet you, Grim," John says, bowing at the bony one without missing a single step. He continues his walk, a certain awe placed on the distant buildings. They must be quite far away...
Grim stops dead in his tracks and ponders. "Likewise, mon." His face shifts into a heavy frown as he realises the only way to get anywhere is going to be to make some noise. "Well, dis may be da dumbest ting I've evah done. Or one of the best." He turns his scythe towards his face and adresses it directly. "Well, scythe. Ya know what ta do. Take us ta someone in charge, girl." Twirling it briefly he cuts a swipe out of the air opening up another portal, a green one this time. "Hopefully we don't end up somewhere worse..."
John wanders up to the portal once it's open, strangely not being whisked away anywhere when he gets close. He turns his head toward Grim, with that blank kind of face, and turns back to the portal. Without further ado, he continues onward through this green 'doorway.'
Council of Hell- Convening Chambers(#3169R)
Now where are you now? This place is unlike anywhere else in the abyss...
Blackness stretches out almost infinitely surrounding you, broken by the light of hundreds of glowing blood-red runes etched into pillars dotting the expanse. The pillars provide the only light but hardly do that. Overall, the lighting is exceedingly dim.
In the center of the expanse, a massive ancient slab forms a table with many ornate thrones for all of hell's leaders to sit. It is a remenant of some ancient artifact beyond imagining, something that resided perhaps within the original hell. For now, however, the blasphemous and ignorant use it to rest their feet upon as it radiates unimaginable power.
As the chambers reside partially within the plane of nightmares, sometimes things creep beyond in the shadows. Eyes sometimes appear. It makes a comfortable ambiance for the evil beings that dwell here.
If one were to run beyond this place, they would run infinitely into the black as the plane stretches forever. There are, however, doors that lead to other places surrounding the table. Each etched with individual runes again.
As the green portal opens within the chambers, a cracked lantern suddenly appears, then disintergrates as lone man steps out of the portal behind John and Grim, his eyes studying them for a moment. His left hand unconciously clenches and starts to lift, before he lowers it, sighing softly. "You rang?" Hal starts to grin as he moves his hands into the pockets of his jeans, walking further into the chambers and sitting down in one of the thrones, planting both feet atop the massive table, almost as if he were being cocky in the face of the Grim Reaper.
Grim blinks at the strange man in green and shakes his head. "Only on Twisted..." Letting out a brief sigh he then begins his rant. "Yes, mon. If yer da guy in charge of dings around here den yes! I rang! First ya lock off me portal home, ya make me go to dat bloody waiting room and they throw paperwork at me! I'm da Grim Reaper, not a forgien exchange student! Ya can't just MAKE me be da reaper for Twisted! I have responsibilities in Endsville! Dere are things I gotta be doin'." He goes from angry to sobbing. Some frightening monster he is. "I was on vacation! Can't a guy get a brake?!?"
Staring at the green man, John is only blank faced and quiet for a while. The room has put a frighteningly suspenceful air around him. His eyes travel through the darkness, and he takes a step toward it, the smile stretching over his face, slowly he begins to laugh...
"A break? What about having everyone you know and love destroyed by one of the most prominent figures of your world's Rogue's Gallery.... And having the power to bring them back, but being told no, and then put on trial for attempting it?" Hal climbs to his feet and narrows his eyes at Grim. "You should be thankful you're just being made errand boy, Grim Reaper. You should have figured out the rules of Twisted by now..." His face turns into a cocky grin as he moves to sit back down at the table. "Once you're here, you're here to stay. There is no returning. Only if your world is absorbed... And hey! Just think... Your hell will be apart of this hell in due time."
Hal says, "So really, we're just speeding up the inevitable."
Flames dance in the sockets of his eyes as the Grim Reaper smashes his fist upon the edge of the table. "WHAT?!?!? YA CAN'T CONNECT DA HELLS!!! That's a beurocratic nightmare!! Don'tcha know tings are they way dey are for a reason? Ya muck tings up like that and all HELLS gonna brake loose!!"
As if in response to that, in comes Senor Diablo arriving as living shadows which dance around the floor until they form into his more traditional appearence. He's already sitting beside Hal with his fingers lightly tapping as he leans on the other side of the table from Grim. "A common misconception, Mister Reaper. We're only assisting in the natural order of things. It's people like Twisted's Council corrupting people's ideas of how things are going to be. All we're doing is collecting those with the greatest strengths and placing them where they can do the most good." For some reason the word 'good' comes off his lips like a sour note. "You know we believe in balance here. We shouldn't have to explain ourselves to someone as low on the food chain as you..."
Behind Grim, John has gone into irregular giggling, and singing some...odd little song in a language that's not easily understood, ancient and hard on the ears. It sounds alot like a nursery rhyme. He wanders around, staying relatively close to the group. After all, the topic is not his business, why should he interject?
To Senor Diablo, however, it's rather easily understood... It's a nursery rhyme for mass murderers, at it's most serene.
As if in response to John, three chains suddenly fly out and form a slight barrier infront of him. From the shadows steps a mutilated mess of what was once a man, looking down directly upon the man.
Hal holds up a hand, and shakes his head to the mutilated being. "You can't have that one. Now, back on track here... Mister Reaper, I'm going to humor you. You're in a new plane of existence, with the eventuality of your Hell becoming apart of this Hell. It is inevitable, it will happen. Unifacation of Hell is merely part of what you've just been told. The rest, will remain a secret until the time we decide to let it be known. Now..." Hal pulls his right hand out of his pocket, and slides it into his jacket, reaching around until he pulls out a silver ink pen, which he slides across the table as a single parchment of paper appears before the Reaper. "Right now, you have the chance to do what you truly were meant to. You get to cast the wicked and truly deserving into a hell most deserving for them. You get to be the Grim Reaper once again, instead of a pile of bones that wanders around aimlessly..."
Grim ignores the cenobite summoned by John's song as he focuses on the conversation at hand. "But.... but.... I don't wander about aimlessly! I have duties in Endsville! Da portal I made is still dere, but yer bloody servents won't git outta me way! Don'tcha know I have something far darker and more evil dan anythin' in Hell ta deal wit if I don't get back ta me home an' me duties??"
A smile crosses Senor Diablo's face as he listens, but it's hard to tell if he's smiling at the song or at Grim. "While your right about that, we've seen to it that Mandy has been delt with for the time being." The demon leans forwards, his smile seeming to widen. "We DO understand things here, Grim Reaper. Thats why we want you working for us. We can even find a position for your friend Mr Green if he would prefer becoming an assistant to us as opposed to waiting for his final punishment in that damned Waiting Room."
John stares at the abomination standing before him... He slowly begins to smile, that wide grin showing an ecstatic anticipation. Then Hal calls off the creature. And John tilts his head, which makes his neck crack quite audibly. He turns his head, finally, toward Senor Diablo, listening to the conversation now. "Ah... Assistant. I dislike that word," he notes, turning his attention around the room for a few more moment. His form shudders, having difficulties holding up in this place. The true form of his soul, or the vague sembelence of what should be a soul, shows for a moment, a red eyed creature with metal spikes going down it's back, jutting out as if they are stabbed into him. It's tall, it's lanky... This hardly a stable form but for these details, the 'skin' swirling but still at the same time.
"You do Mister Reaper. Don't you think we already don't know how many times you've sat in the Usual Resturant, drinking, griping about how you're all powerful and should be out reaping?" Hal leans forward, resting both of his arms on the table as his attention turns over to John. "Mister Green, don't think of it like that... Think of it as being given unrestricted access to your abilities, and not having to sit in the waiting room to face your final punishment."
Grim stares thoughtfully as he takes this all in. His anger not getting him anywhere. Maybe he should be thinking things over for a moment. Being away from Billy and Mandy would certainly be a perk in and of itself. "...no Billy, no Mandy, no Billy's Dad or Irwin, no Erith or Del Gatto.. no General Scarr, no Nergal... hmmm..." A smile forms upon his face finally. "Okay. Sign me up."
Diablo sits back and smiles at Grim's words. "Excelent." He then turns his full attention to John as Grim begins to sign his new contract. "Yes, well.. an assistant in the means of assisting us. We could use someone with your talents. Use you to go after those with broken contracts. Those that won't be brought to us by normal means. Some people who won't die deserve to be dead and I hardly think our dear Grim Reaper can really take all those people down on his own."
John's face stays rather blank as he considers that... "My...talents... I hope you don't mind if I keep the corpses?" he asks, giving a slight smile to Senor Diablo. He didn't say yes, but that definitely sounds like an agreement.
"So long as they don't stink up the place, sure." Hal grins as he reaches into his jacket once again, and pulls a light green ink pen, which is slid across the table towards John, as a parchment once again appears beneath it. "Please feel free to keep the pens. I've got plenty more tucked away." The cocky grin casually starts to creep onto his face once more, as he leans back into the throne, watching as the Cenobite retracts its chains, and slips back into the shadows.
As Grim hands his paper over to Senor Diablo, the devil smiles. "Well now, this has turned out to be a productive day after all." He guestures towards Grim's Scythe, "May I?" Taking the scythe in his grasp, Diablo unleashes a brilliant display of light and energy never before seen from such a tool. Once he finishes smoke actually flows from the scythe as he hands it back to Grim. "A little reprograming and she's as good as new. Possibly better infact."
Grim stares at it suspiciouly. "As long as it's not Scythe 2.0 we should be fine, mon."
Reaching down, John gives his considering eyes free reign over the sight of the parchment. His left hand grips the pen awkwardly. He stares still at the parchment. Eventually, he begins to write down, which is all swift and swirly and fancy... The signature says Johnathan Green in wide, highly practiced cursive.
"And, now that the paperwork is out of the way... I've got a favor to ask of you both... I'm looking for something." The cocky grin starts to fade from Hal's face as he contemplates over this. "A lantern. Now, I wouldn't be asking for any old lantern... But this one is special.. It's an old coal miners lantern, that gives off a faint green glow. If you come across it, bring it to me. We'll discuss a reward or payment at that time.."
Grim stares at Hal wondering just why the statement causes the demon beside Hal to laugh. "If ya've lost somethin' it's usualy up Billy's nose..." Wait, he's serious isn't he?
John grins at Hal. "A lantern, hmm? Anything I would have to worry about? Curses, things that would put me back in the Waiting Room?" After that question, he decides to test something... He puts out his hand, and a long razorsharp blade extends from his palm with a soft musical, metallic hum. It retracts slooowly, with a pop of bone in the process.
"Nope. It's just a lantern." Hal glances at Diablo for a moment, before nodding towards John. "Right now, you're exempt. You're free. Go out and do what you're best at. Just, if you find the lantern, bring it to me."
Grim twirls his updated scythe and smiles as he goes to test it. Diablo stands and approaches Grim, "Come. Let me show you where you'll be getting your instructions from while they chat about their lanterns and torches." Grim gives him a disaproving look. "We have icecream." Grim smiles, "Ooooooh, lead da way, mon!"
With a swirling of shadows and darkness the two vanish from the chambers.
"Ooooh, I get to go and play... Hehehehe..." John bows to Hal, giving him a nod of the head as well. He turns around and holds out his arms at his sides... Five humongous highly reflective blades replace his fingers, and gouge massive holes in the air with a soft velvety sound. He swings them forward. forming a darkness more bleak than shadows in front of him. Far more raw, unrefined compared to how Senor Diablo does it. The orange-haired man turns his head, "I'm John, and you have picked an excellent..." He pauses as if searching for the word. "Ally." And then all the shadows converge, and he disappears, as does the strange formation of something a bit more raw than shadow.