Vermillion, the human devil!

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Verm
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Vermillion, the human devil!

Postby Verm » Sat Sep 22, 2012 3:03 pm

Prologue



San Fransisco, 1998...



Owen Flynn sat in his room. His dark one-room apartment in downtown San Fransisco. The lightbulb in his lamp had run out of juice not one half-hour ago, and he had spent this past thirty minutes in complete and utter darkness. Though, it was day out, he refused to open the shades. Owen stood up, crossing his messy room to the bottle of whiskey on his dresser, picking it up and taking a swig of the poisoned water.

This was it. He was done. He was tired. He was sick.

He was done.

He swallowed another bit of his drink, crossing over to his bedside table, opening the drawer and picking up its contents. A bottle of his mother's medication, he didn't know what it did. He put the pills used for healing into his mouth, swallowing them all at once with the whiskey. Then came a knock on the door.

"Flynn! Open up! Your rent was due two days ago! I ain't waiting any longer!!"

First the bullying, then the parents divorce, then the parents death, then losing his job and woman, and now this idiot of a landlord.

No.

He pulled the trigger, one last drink of whiskey. He felt lightheaded for a moment, and then realized that he was falling down a pit. Spikes ripped at his flesh, ripping into his clothing as he fell deeper and deeper. It was getting hotter.

"This is what death is like..." Was all he could say as he first fell into Hell...

------------

1



There was fire in every direction. Stone bridges hung over cages of black metal everywhere. He continued to fall, now naked, his clothing turning to ash and flying off of him. He fell onwards through all of these demonic catwalks. Figures scampered across them carrying pitchforks. Demons. Then Owen saw it, the palace of Hell. It was far away, but he could make out its tall spires and immense kilometer-high gate.

Owen then hit the ground, black rock. He got upon his hands and knees, and spat out blood onto the ground before him. Three demons surrounded him.

"Suicide." One said.

"The center Ring of the Seventh Circle is where this one belongs." The demons picked him up, their scaly red paws like ice on his bare flesh. They dragged him across the hot coals and down roads. He saw multitudes of others, prisoners in their own selfish hate. Was he having a hallucination from the medication? They brought him into a vast black forest of thorny dark trees. They passed men and women crucified against the evil trees, moaning and weeping with their own self-hate. The ground here was covered in wet red. They picked up the wounded and confused man and, with chain, bound him to the tree. He felt thick black thorns tear into his body. Soon after the demons had left, he heard the howls. A woman, ugly by his standards, flew down and bit into his flesh, ripping out a chunk. He gasped.



For years, these beasts ate at him. His skin turned a ghastly pale. Scars formed all over his body. His eyes grew old and tired. His hair turned pure white from experiencing so much pain. And yet, the monsters continued to devour him, and he continued to bleed out onto the forest floor, where men ran from wolves. Why did this place exist? Was his life any different? Would they not give him a chance to turn his life around?



* * *



Time passed. He did not know, he did not grow old, there were no clocks. No time here, just suffering. He heard explosions. Picking up his weak head, he spotted demon fighting demon upon the causeway leading to this damned forest. Then he heard a voice, the first voice heard in eons.

"Illinos." The sound penetrated his ears and due to instinct he looked to his right and saw a man, nude, with short black hair and beard. "I am setting you free, friend, while the monsters fight. They have been like this for two years. I have counted." Owen was not sure what to say. Or how to say it. Had he forgotten how to speak? Illinos undid the chain binding him to the thorny tree and pulled the half-corpse from the thorns of the tree. As the natural claws released him, Owen let out a howl of pain, and fell to the blood-slick floor. Illinos grabbed him by the ankle and dragged him onto the branch he was perched upon. "No, friend..." As Owen's vision cleared, he saw large black wolves waiting silently at the base of the tree.

"How do we get out?"

"We wait. Then, we run."
Last edited by Verm on Sat Sep 22, 2012 3:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Verm
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Re: Vermillion, the human devil!

Postby Verm » Sat Sep 22, 2012 3:05 pm

Days passed, and the wolves left. The goblin-like demons continued to fight one another. Illinos led Owen across the wastelandish fields full of pollution. "This is where I have been hiding," he said, "They have a portal..." He continued, climbing atop a bed of rotting tires. "I know not where it leads, but I have been here since the dawn of man, and I only wish to feel a woman, eat food, you know. I want to turn my life around." Owen nodded silently.

"Want to leave with me?" Owen could not smile, so he just nodded again. "Excellent. LOOK LOOK!" he jumped up and rummaged through crates of crap. He pulled out a red glowing amulet. "This is the key! The key to the portal! We leave tonight!"

And leave they did, making their way through the Circles slowly. The violent, the heretics, smuggling themselves across Styx, the wrathful, the hoarders, the gluttens, the lustful. They made their way through purgatory and across the black river where agnostics moaned from their jars encrusted into a field of dirt. They were then in a forest, and from the edge of this wood, they saw the Palace of Hell, and the portal, left on. Demons were distracting battling each other, all caught up in their rebellion. Owen made a run for it. "No, man, no!" Illinos charged after him. Two demons grabbed the ancient man, "MAN, HERE!" Owen turned to see Illinos captured, and the amulet flying at him. Owen tried to catch it, but the amulet hit his chest, and became lodged into the chest, entering his skin and sinking underneath. Immediately a storm boomed overhead and a great wind surrounded Owen, sucking him through the portal. That was the last he could see of that damned place.


* * *

He awoke in a desert on his back. Stars glinted overhead. Was this still Hell? He slowly stood to his feet, and through his white hair, he saw a brilliantly-lit city. "New Inferno", it was called. Below the sign it read "A home for Sinners!" Owen looked around, he was far from any roads, but he needed to find something to wear. He entered the city.

In the next few hours he learned; it was the year 2012, he had no money, the New Inferno police were kind enough to give him clothing. He spent the next few days in a jail cell before one nice cop allowed him to go, and gave him forty dollars for a meal at a diner he recommended.

The diner food was good, some pasta with a water and a salad. Just what he needed after so much horror. He felt energy fill his body. Under these new clothes, his body was still pale, and still covered in scars. His hair was still white as a ghost to boot. He guessed after some time everything would heal. He pinched his wrist. Pain.Though, the food tasted good.

He was alive after all...

Verm
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Re: Vermillion, the human devil!

Postby Verm » Sat Sep 22, 2012 3:08 pm

2


Owen placed his hands in the pockets of the coat the cops gave to him. Walking past the town clock, he noticed it was 2:50 AM. He hadn't stayed up this late in years. He wandered past casinos, theaters, hotels, motels, diners, restaurants, gyms. Why had he come up here? He came across a alley where a man was being mugged. Not mugged, beat up, with a baseball bat. The perpetrator was a thug, and the man was just a homeless. A woman stood by, crying.

Owen walked down the narrow alleyway and tapped the man on the shoulder. "What's going on?" He asked, his first real sentence in what seemed like centuries to him. The thug turned away from the bloodied bearded man, of Asian descent.

"My woman gave him some money."

"Really?" Owen said, looking over at the woman, who was bawling continuously. The man on the ground was convulsing. "How much? He looks homeless."

"Twenty."

"Twenty?" Owen fished a ten out of his pocket and tossed it at the injured man, "That doesn't seem like much." This infuriated the thug, who rose his bat. As he swung, Owen raised his arm to block it. It would break his arm.

It didn't. The wooden club splintered against him. Owen pulled up the sleeve to find a chitinous bracer of some sort, and a gauntlet began to grow around his hand. He felt it covering his entire body under his clothes. It wrapped around his face, warping into the face of a demon. A red visor shimmered in the neon lights of the city across his eyes. The thug dropped the handle of the broken bat, taking a step backward. Owen reached down to pick up the bat, and something happened to it as well. It took the appearance of a long, warped obsidian sword with a dark-red blade and no guard. He swung it several times around, and looked to the thug. "I said that nearly wasn't enough money."

The thug tossed his wallet at the fallen man. "Look, I... What are you, apart of the show? Town's mascot?"

"Yes. I'm Devil-man." He grinned beneath the helmet.

"That's dumb. Sword ain't even real." Owen swung the blade, and the man's shirt fell into tatters. "

"Well shit son."

"Your pants are nice, I think they'd look better on him." The thug nodded, taking off his pants, folding them up and placing them on the wounded hobo.

"Run, never come to this part of town again, less you want to feel Satan's wrath." The thug nodded, terrified, and tripped backward, running away. Owen felt vibrations as the armor slid back, as did the sword. He dropped the bat handle and fell to his knees, feeling weakened. "What was that?" The woman walked over slowly.

"You okay mister?" She asked politely, tears in her eyes, still.

"Yes... I'm fine. I have no idea what that was... Huh..."

"Why'd you do that?"

"Because I don't know, I just said."

"I meant save us... Him..." The man groaned.

"Because I've been tormented my whole life, I know what pain looks like, and I feel the need to help." He nodded slowly, coming to his feet.

"How old are you, mister?"

"Twenty-five." He stood slowly.

"You could use some hair color, that doesn't look healthy."

"I'm not a very healthy man..." Though, he thought to himself, he could be now, that he got this wonderful second chance.

"Okay... What now?"

"We take this man to the hospital..." He looked over her, "You as well. Let's go."

Verm
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Re: Vermillion, the human devil!

Postby Verm » Sat Sep 22, 2012 3:31 pm

* * *

As it turned out, that man was Japanese, and oddly enough, was into witchcraft and demonology. Fate, Owen thought, as he walked into the hospital for the second time that week. It had not been the first time Ben Yoshida had been brought into their care, it also turns out he wasn't homeless. Ben owned an estate across town, and was something like a vigilante. There were quite a few cults in New Inferno, and Ben didn't like that.

As Owen walked into the room, Ben was clutching a cross around his neck. The red-haired nurse smiled up at him. "Welcome back, Owen!" Owen nodded.

"Hello to you as well, ma'am..." He replied quietly. "How's he doing?" The nurse looked at Ben, whose wounds were mostly closed up.

"He's healed, looking a lot better. He'll be ready to be taken home tonight." Owen nodded again, glad to hear. "He'll need some antibiotics, and we had to give him some stitches. But, he'll be fine. This is the second time this month."

"I'll be sure to keep him out of harms way." Owen said.

"Are you his grandson?" She asked, "Out of curiosity?"

"Oh, no, no I'm just the guy who rescued him, I'd like to speak to him."

"Righto, I'll give you some space." She left the tiny room, closing the door behind her. Ben's eyes shot open and he began muttering some strange chant. Owen's heart began to beat faster and faster. It felt as though he were having bad palpitations. Then the old man stopped, and so did the pain. Ben looked over.

"So, it is true." He said.

"What is, man?"

"You're possessed. I have no idea what you want with me, dark creature, but I want you to crawl back into your evil womb from whence you were spawned!!"

"No... No, I'm just Owen, I'm not possessed. I need your help look..." He leaned in close, "I've uh... I've seen the fire." Ben raised an eyebrow, interested.

"You've been to Hell? The pit?"

"Y-yes. Yes I have. I'll tell you about i-"

"Get me out of here at once!! Please! NURSE!!"

"NO!" Owen snatched the alarm before Ben could grab it, "No, sir. Please. I think that we can greatly help one another..." He said, setting the alarm on the table and taking a seat in the only chair in the room. "I heard you're into witchcraft and demonology and that stuff... Know anything about an amulet?" Ben's eyes went wide. Then the nurse and doctor entered. Ben's doctor was a balding man, around age 50, with tired eyes. Owen could tell he used some sort of drug to remain sane here.

"Sorry, kiddo, you've got to leave." Owen nodded. "I understand..." He left the room.

"You can talk to him at his house. We're bringing him home in an ambulance tonight."

"Right... I'll do that." Ben shouted something as Owen walked down the corridor, but they closed the door before he could actually listen.

* * *

Owen had been staying with the woman, Berta Monet. She was out of work for the time being, but was kind enough to give Owen a place to stay after they had brought Ben to the hospital. She had known Ben for some time. The man who Owen scared off was her boss. He was an idiot. A horrible, horrible idiot. He ran a drug cartel, a prostitution ring, and was actually a member of the local cult.

Horrible, horrible people, Owen thought to himself as he lie in his sleeping back on the spare mattress just after they had finished dinner, staring out the sunroof into the starry night sky. Why was he here? Was he undead? A zombie? A ghost? No, people could see him. He looked over into the bathroom mirror down the hall. His reflection shimmered back at him. Not a vampire. What had happened with the amulet? He was giddy.

He had to speak to Ben.

Verm
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Re: Vermillion, the human devil!

Postby Verm » Wed Sep 26, 2012 1:32 pm

3

The next morning was cold. The sun was not fully up yet, and the desert city was still wrapped in the crisp blanket that the stars had left for it. Berta pulled her car up to the sidewalk, and Owen stepped out, shutting the door behind him. He wore a light leather coat, under which he wore a white t-shirt and some green pants with some sneakers, all belonging to one of Berta's few exes. Thankfully, they fit perfectly. He used some coloring in his hair, making it brown again, though he didn't think he could make it permanent. He thought that it'd be a good idea to bleach it later on today. "Can we meet for dinner?" Berta asked. Owen looked back at her. "I'll pay, you know, since you're unemployed... I still owe you."

"You've repaid everything, Berta. Don't worry about it. Your house is great, your cooking is better than anything out in the Nevada. I'll swing by tonight sometime. I need to speak to this guy here."

"This is his home? I thought he was a broken hobo." Berta smirked. Owen looked back at the mansion. It was huge. It was situated on a dusty hill just outside of downtown. Great skyscrapers rose around it.

"Yup, it seems it..." Without another word, he began to make his way up the steps. The door creaked open and the man walked in. "Ello?" He asked, "Home?"

"What is it, dead guy?" Ben asked, sitting in traditional Japanese room complete with nightingale floor, drinking some tea. He wore a kimono, a wooden sword beside him. Owen seemed a bit surprised.

"What were you doing?" Owen asked, raising an eyebrow.

"Out for a jog..." Ben replied, picking up his teacup and sipping from it calmly.

"Or fighting the cultists?"

"That too." He smiled, standing to his feet. "Come, my friend." He led him down one hallway. "This mansion was given to me by my grandfather, Aki Yoshida. He fought in World War II, on the side of the Americans, mind you. He was a damn good man, although he was a bit of what some could call nutty..."

"Nutty? But this is a world where superhumans bloody exist. Where are they here?" Owen replied, confused.

"No, not here. This is New Inferno. In the middle of the bloody desert." Ben opened a door, revealing a large library. He led the young Owen through the library toward the back. "This is Hell. Literally. Aki discovered a portal to Hell just beneath the city. That's why so many cults have appeared here. I wouldn't be surprised if you or I were the only ones who didn't actually result to devil-worship within city-limits!" He chuckled, pulling out a book. One entire bookcase slid down under the floor and they made their way down into a cold and wet underground chamber. "I come down here in the summer. It feels nicer then."

Owen yawned as they reached a few ragtag computer security systems. "No car?" He asked, "Or anything?"

"I am an old man. No, I have my knowledge." He pointed up the stairs to the library. "I've also got this..." He pulled a case from a locker, and undid the locks. Within was a katana sheathed in a red saya. "This was Aki's. He used it during World War II, did not disappoint... Well, it did disappoint a few German-folk." He frowned.

"Why's it in here?" He asked. Ben picked up the saya and motioned for Owen to follow him back up into the library. The sun was in the sky now, shimmering through the windows and covering them in its warm glow. Owen threw his jacket onto the nearby couch, something that Ben did not take too kindly to. Ben returned with an old book.

"I have not read this in years, my frie-"

"Owen."

"Owen, right. I apologize." Owen nodded at the old man.

"It's fine. Ahem, continue..."

"Ahem..." Ben started over, "I have not opened this tome in years, Owen. It's the bible of the Hell Knights." He opened it, flipping through the dusted yellow pages. "The Hell Knights are given their power by six amulets, which are embedded into their chests and wrap around their hearts during initiation. Sometimes they are lost souls throughout the universe, humans included. Sometimes, they are demons. Alas, there are only six in all." Owen crossed his arms.

"I've got one of them, obviously."

"As I remember correctly, hai."

"Hai?"

"Yes."

"Yes. Okay."

"Anyways..." He cleared his throat, "Read aloud hurts, for some reason. I will just explain what I know and let you do your homework." He handed him the ancient tome, and Owen set it down. "The sword, however, unlike the armor, can transform from anything you hold in your grip... Even a person."

"A person? So that's what happened with the bat?"

"Yes, Owen." He handed him the sword. "If you wish to be superhuman vigilante with me, you will use this blade, and nothing else, as your weapon of choice. Take the sword." Owen gripped the hilt tightly and pulled free the silver steel blade. Within the side, the symbols '朱色' were etched.

"What's that mean?" He asked.

"This blade was originally forged hundreds of years ago, during the Meiji restoration period of Japanese history, which I will have to teach you about... Those symbols are katakana, in English it translates to "Vermillion", the color of bloodshed."

"Vermillion? I like that name." Owen grinned, holding the blade up above his head with both hands.

"If you try anything in this room, I will break both of your knees."

"I'm... Sorry..." He sheathed the blade, and took a seat on the couch. Ben sat beside him.

"Tell me, my son. Tell me your story. You said you were in the fires. I wish to know everything before that. And how did you arrive there?"

"I was born in 1973. My whole life's been crap. Was raised on a bad diet of soda and mom's cigarette smoke. Dad left as soon as he heard I was born, never knew why. Mom left. And I moved in with my girlfriend at age 16. At age 18, I heard word of her death... My girlfriend dumped me outside of San Fransisco when I turned 20. Five years later, I had lost my job, was in debt up to my eyeballs, and I..." His voice trailed off.

"That is alright... Your room is upstairs. Tonight we go on our first patrol." He stood.

"I thought you wanted to hear about the fires?" Owen asked, confused once more.

"Take the sword. Take the book. Study. Be careful, that thing's quite old. Go to your room, study, meditate, and rest. As I said, we leave into the shadow tonight, Vermillion." The man stood, and left. Owen looked at these new items of his, sighed, and got to work.


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