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The Underworld : Becoming (Part II)

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The obscene menagerie of flesh gradually faded away behind as the marines continued their march. If anything, the grim sights of that tribute to human suffering had bolstered their determination, silently urging them upon a mission of vengeance on behalf of all those who had perished in such a horrific fashion. Torn skin and rippling flesh eventually gave way to the grey, hewn stone walls that currently surrounded them, the last length of intestine-like flooring having thinned out to reveal rusted iron panelling upon which they now walked. McMillan, Kalliope and Hendry spoke not a word; they uttered identical yet silent messages of anger each time their eyes met.
A few feet further down the hallway, the almost comfortable confines of the corridor opened up into a high-ceilinged room; the same iron floors, the same bland, gray stone walls lit sporadically by particularly ornate torches fashioned from bronze. The centrepiece of the room, however, was the primitive elevator that lay at its center - a thick wooden platform, suspended by heavy chains that was kept in place by a silvery marble post at each corner. Just off to one side, a crank wrapped in chains that led up towards the ceiling - and the lift shaft - begged to be operated.
"Do they get points for intelligence?" Hendry muttered.
"I doubt they built it", Kalliope growled in reply, absently scratching at her matted black hair. "they don't have the intelligence. More likely it was the humans that were..." - she shuddered in spite of herself - "... killed back there. As soon as they had completed this contraption for the beasts, they murdered them."
"Sounds about right", McMillan spoke up as he stepped towards the wooden platform and gazed up at the vertical corridor above. "There's light up there though, and sky. Red sky, but it's a good sign. We're a lot better off than we were before we came crawling down here to lick our wounds." He motioned to his comrades. "Step on board."
Both the Corporal and Private did just that, Kalliope releasing the safety on her shotgun. "Shall I do the honours, Sir?"
The Private learned fast.
"In your own time, marine", he grinned in reply.
The single shell smashed the wooden crank apart and, with a sudden lurch, the platform shot skywards, slamming to a halt several seconds later as it reached the surface. Hendry blinked dust particles away as he took in the new surroundings - though they were a little familiar...
"The coast..." he almost laughed. "We're on the other side of the goddamned coast. Those tunnels must have taken us right..."
The air was suddenly filled with an awful howling, animal-like snarls of rage that echoed around the cliffs that now lay behind them. The same sea that they'd encountered earlier on lay on their left, the same stinking sands of excrement lay beneath their feet... only this time the cliffs dropped in height some two-hundred feet away to accomodate a vast keep of green stone that towered over them. A fortress begging to be stormed - with guards rushing to its defence. Four hulking Hell Knights, their sickly grey skin glistening with droplets of blood that had sprayed in from the sea, were charging in to attack, their clawed fists glowing a ghastly green as they called down their Hell Magicks. Just behind them, five or six tall, skeletal figures strode from the keep's main entrance to provide support.
"Stand your ground," McMillan ordered. "Those minotaurs shouldn't be much of a problem, but I can guarantee the skeletons behind them will give us trouble."
Recieving nods from both Kalliope and Hendry, the Colonel gave the charge readout of his rifle one last cursory glance before bracing himself against the stinking ground.
"Let 'em rip!"


Wilson opened his eyes to see, yet saw nothing. Heard nothing. No, wait, he corrected himself. I can hear that. Laughing. The humoured sound was joined by another, then another, the voices building in number and pitch until the stifling air was filled with a cacophony so loud and maddening that Wilson reflexively tried to cover his ears. Instead, his wrists slammed against iron shackles; his arms were spread out, secured against something. Likewise, his ankles were bound, his legs held straight against a rough, wooden surface. Fingers and toes spread out, trying to make contact with another surface ; he suddenly realised he was being held upright.
His digits hit nothing but empty air, and as a slight breeze cooled his skin he realised he was swaying gently. He was suspended in midair.
"Welcome, Peter."
All further thoughts hung unspoken as the growling voice echoed around his mind with such volume that he found himself squeezing his eyes shut in a vain attempt to repel it. A moment later, he collected his thoughts enough to reply.
"Who are you?", he stuttered, barely hearing his own calls amid the evil laughter.
"I am everything", the voice replied before Wilson's last word was spoken. "Everything you have ever known. Everything you ever will know".
"Who are you?" he repeated, becoming more frustrated by the second in his bondage.
"I am life, I am death. The keeper of souls. The essence of chaos."
Wilson's rage burst forth as he thrashed against his shackles. "Who are you?!" he screamed once more.
The laughing suddenly stopped. Torches flared to life, one by one in a line, illuminating walkways that lay some fifty feet away on both sides. Brown, spined creatures and pink, ape-like beasts sat crouched at the walkway edges, chittering and hissing at their prisoner. As the chamber gradually lit up, Wilson, glanced down to see a massive marble walkway lying many meters below. He was naked, he now realised, chained to a crucifix - The Irony!, he thought - that was suspended from a ceiling, invisible amid the darkness above.
"Who are you?" he asked for the fourth time, his words coming out as a sob. In response, two more torches burst into flames, illuminating the area immediatly in front of the imprisoned Private.
Wilson screamed.
Mere feet away, a wall of green marble gave way to a mass of machinery - steel girders, pumping equipment, pneumatic tubes and shoddily-wired circuitry that wound into into The Machine. And in the centre of that construct lay the most horrendous visage Wilson had ever encounted. The face was skeletal, gaunt - only the liquid being pumped into its skull provided any visible movement as the thin skin that stretched from its goat-like snout to the shattered cranium rippled in response to the efforts of the vast bank of technology that seemed to be supporting it. Enourmous horns sprouted from either side of its grotesque head, each one supported by threaded braces that served to hold the Beast in place. With a sound like the flapping wings of a thousand bats, the eyelids of the creature fluttered open, revealing beneath them a pair of milky white orbs, devoid of iris or pupil. Nothing to make eye contact with. No soul contained within.
And as the Private built up the courage to ask the question one last time, the creature gave a final, absolute response.
"I am Baphomet".

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I am....

The Icon of Sin.

Great work mate, keep it up.

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Spanking you kindly.

Trying to *vaguely* follow game maps while writing a story that stays interesting, not repetetive, is a lot harder than i thought. Breaking it down into these bite-sized chunks certainly helps.

Anyway, cheeeeers for reading.

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Spike said:

Trying to *vaguely* follow game maps while writing a story that stays interesting, not repetetive, is a lot harder than i thought.

I know exactly what you mean. When I did my antology stories for Wildman's Doom Antology page, I figured out just how damn hard it was to come up with an interesting story, while descriping the maps.

I quickly screwed the idea of keeping the base areas in Evil Unleashed 100% true to the game, so I just made them remotely resemble the game's maps.

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Indeed; i've had to change a lot of details of the Underworld maps for this story, but they're just about recognisable. The sacrifices are certainly worth it, though.

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uh-oh, Wilson's in trouble, hehehe, i so liked, i am sorry to say this and i have just said it to you but i am kinda getting bored with the other three now, i wanna hear whats happening to Wilson, the other three are just roaming blindly as far as i can tell, can't wait till they meet Baphomet as well :-)

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