Spawn : DEPTHS OF HELL
Part 2 : Purgatory.
In the Valley of Judgement, souls bare witness to a great event. A soul of a dead man, and a Symbiote from Hell, bond togheter, and are ready to claim their destiny. Joseph stands there, jaw dropped, eyes widened, as Spawn emerges from the blood red aura sorrounding him. His costume weakened, most of his powers gone, he is ready to venture in the depth of Hell.
Spawn : ....
Joseph : M-My Devil! You...
Spawn : Allow me to pass. I won't be judged. I know where my place is.
Joseph : A-Ah! R-Right.
Without hesitation, Spawn advances foward. He walks past the long trail of souls waiting to be judged, their eyes fixed on him with curiosity and fear. They've never seen anybody like him before. His cape morphing around, trying to maintain a form. His costume is incomplete. And he'll need to fix that. Spawn reaches a wall. He seeis the gate that leads to the judgement hall. But next to it is a cave entrance with 2 guards keeping watch.
Guard 1 : *looks at Spawn* A Hellspawn?
Spawn : *stops infront of them* Allow me to pass.
Guard 2 : What are you doing here?
Spawn : *narrows eyes* Please do not make me repeat myself...
Guard 1 : Look, pal. Hellspawn or not, we can't just let you go through here. Do you know what lies within?
Spawn : ...
??? : Acheron River.
Spawn : *turns around* !? C-Cog!?
Cog : Hello, lad. You didn't think I'll just leave you alone yet, did you?
Guard 1 : Count Cogliostro! *both of them bow down*
Cog : Allow this young Hellspawn to pass. He is to be tested in order to be welcomed in our ranks.
Guard 2 : Yes, sir! *both of them step away from the entrance* Forgive our rudeness. You may proceed.
Spawn : Cog...
Cog : Listen to me. Beyond this entrance, you will reach a river. There, await for the Acheron River's ferryman, Charon. He will take you to the other side of it. Once there, you will begin your test. Travel through the 9 circles of Hell. Good luck.
Spawn : *nods* Thanks, old man. I'll see you in 5 months. *walks through the entrance*
Cog : I hope, my boy... I hope...
It's raining in New York City. It's been raining all morning. Elisabeth sits in her appartment, on the couch. The TV is turned off. Nothing is turned on. She just stares out the window. She feels as if the rain responds to her. She's worried for her loved one.
Elisabeth : ...
Luna : *sleeping next to her*
Elisabeth : *hugs her knees*... I know... I know that what you're going through now is important... I know that... But please... Just promise me this one thing... Please... Just come back to me...
Spawn arrives at the Acheron River. He gazes in the distance only to stare into mist. Thick, thick mist. He awaits the ferryman patiently.
Spawn : *thinking : So this is it, huh? The Otherworld. Underworld to be more precise... Hell... I'm finally here...**looks at himself**thinking : My costume looks weird. It feels empty. My powers have been taken, as Cog and Clown have told me... My cape... It's going crazy back there, trying to keep a stable form... Don't worry, baby. We'll be complete again.*.... Hm?
Spawn seeis a boat approach his side of the shore. Someone seems to be rowing im the back. A dark shadow. The boat approaches. Spawn looks at the dark shadow closely. It is an old man with a long silver beard, wearing a black cloak, with a hood covering his head. But the most interesting aspect of him are his blank, black eyes. Emptiness. A dark void. He is Charon. Acheron River's ferryman.
Spawn : ...
Charon : ... *leans hand towards him, as if waiting to recieve something*
Spawn : *narrows eyes**thinking : The ferryman, Charon. I've read about him in different books about Hell. He has 2 rules... First come, first served... And payment for the ride... Since I'm the only one, I don't have to worry about the first rule. As for the second rule... I hope my suit is up for it.**moves his right arm and clenches his fist*... *leans it above Charon's hand and opens his hand, 4 golden coins falling on Charon's hand.
Charon : *clenches his fist and pulls his hand back**nods*
Spawn : *nods**gets in and sits down*
Charon : *starts rowing*
The ride takes hours. Hours of silence in an empty valley with a large empty river. Spawn uses this time to think. To wonder curiously. To remember. To remember why he's doing this. To remember why he mustn't fail. Why he must go back.
Spawn : ... Elisa... *looks up* I won't be late... I promise... Wait for me, alright?...
Soon, the boat stops. They've arrived at the shore. Spawn gets off the boat and Charon rows back, dissapearing into the mist. Spawn walks foward. It doesn't take long for him to reach a gate. There, a demon comes out. A serpent. He had humanoid muscled arms and a torso, a lizard hear with horns coming out, and from the waist down, his body was nothing more but a serpent's tail, with a black belt with skulls on it.
Lausty : I am Lausssty... Guardian of the Purgatory.
Spawn : I am John Wilson. Hellspawn of the 9th Circle. I am here for my tests.
Lausty : You wish to take the tesssts of worthynesss... Very well. You may enter.
Spawn : ! Excuse me, but I was expecting I would need to fight you to get through.
Lausty : No. The purgatory isss free for anybody to enter. *narrows eyes* Because not many get out...
Spawn : I see...
Lausty : Are you ready, Hellsssspawn?
Spawn : Of course.
Lausty : *opens the gate* Go. All you have to do issss walk foward. That'sss it.
Spawn : That's the test, huh? I assume it's much harder than it sounds.
Lausty : You will sssee.
Spawn : Alright then.
Spawn moves foward and enters through the gates. As Lausty closes them, all Hell breaks loose.
Nothing. That's what he seeis. That's what he hears. That's what he feels. In his days he used to wonder what is it like not to exist. Now he understands. This is what it means to be thrown away from existence.
C-Can't see... Can't hear... Even... My own thoughts... Am I talking right now? Am I talking mentally? I'm trying to move my arm. I don't feel it moving. I don't feel it at all. It's overwhelming! This is all overwhelming!!
Ok... Alright... I mustn't despair. If I don't get out of here I'll be trapped here forever. I must walk foward. I don't know if I'm walking, but I think it. I think it and hope that my body can still respond to my thoughts. I'm willing my body to go foward and don't stop. I'm ordering it to start running. To break into a sprint. And if it doesn't, then I hope Elithia can help me. Otherwise, I will spend all eternety here... In nothingness...
It's early morning in New York City. Johnny's mother, Maria, invited Elisabeth over to have breakfast togheter. Luna was welcomed too.
Maria : *opens the door* Good morning, Elisa!
Elisabeth : *holding Luna in her arms* Morning, miss Maria!
Maria : *pets Luna* Aww she's so adorable! Come in, come in.
First thing Luna did once in the house was starting to explore it. She has never set paw in this place before. But she soon realises that this is her "daddy"'s house. Because she had found his old room. And it still has a little bit of his scent. She misses her "daddy". The poor animal doesn't understand where he's gone or why didn't he come back. Luna jumps on Johnny's old bed and lays there. In her mind, she thinks that if she waits in his old room, he'll come back and play with her. Meanwhile, downstairs, the 2 girls are having breakfast.
Maria : He left, didn't he?
Elisabeth : Yes. It's already been 4 days. I don't even know if I should be worried or not. I mean, he's going there to claim his... Destiny, I guess? I don't think he'll be in pain.
Maria : Hell's tests to determine the worthy ones might not infloct physical pain on one's body. But it might inflict pain on one's soul. I don't want to imagine what he's going through. I can only hope he's going to pull through.
Elisabeth : Yeah... *looks out the window*... He's not going to be the same man when he comes back, will he?
Maria : That depends all on him. *smiles* And on you.
Elisabeth : ?
Maria : He knows you're waiting for him. He knows you'll expect that once he comes back everything will be back to normal and soon these 5 months will be just a memory that doesn't count. So for you, even if everything inside of him has changed, he'll still be the same man he always was.
Elisabeth : I... I see... *smiles*
Maria : How about you? You ok?
Elisabeth : Yeah. I know he'll come back so I have no reason to be sad. But I can't help but worry, you know...
Maria : If you ever feel lonely up in that appartment, you can always just come here and stay with me until Johnny comes back. Or you can go with your parents.
Elisabeth : Thank you, but it's ok. I have Luna to keep me company. *looks down and puts a hand on her own chest* Besides... When night falls down, I turn off all the lights... Because... Ever since he became a Hellspawn... *smiles* I feel very confortable in the dark.
Maria : ?
Elisabeth : Since he's become this creature of the night that hides in the shadows all the time... Because of that, when I'm alone in the dark, I feel as if he's right behind me, wrapping his arms around me... And so I feel safe, and warm.
Maria : ... *smiles* Yeah... You're right... When darkness comes... It feels like he's right there with you.
How long has it been?... Hours?... Days?... Am I even moving?... I don't know if I'll ever get out of here... I stop. I start wondering. Is this it? Am I so pathetic that I can't get past the first damn circle of Hell?!... Elisa... No!! I can't let it be this way!! I must get out of here! I must!! I will return to her! I promised!
This place cannot and will not hold me! I am Spawn! I am a creature of the night! Darkness is my power!! And I have plenty of it here!
Spawn spreads his arms and screams. It is a scream of agony and of despair. But it is also a roar. A roar of power. And even the Purgatory itself, trembles at the sound of it. He was reborn a creature of the night. And he is here in the blackest void of them all, to prove it! Spawn feels the darkness of the purgatory enter his body. He feeds off of it. As much as he can take. Before even realising it, he regains a degree of control over his senses. He feels his body moving, he feels the darkness making him stronger... And he hears... He hears the thousands of shadows screaming in despair. Shadows of people who have been sent here to dissapear. Anybody would lose all control and scream in fear at his sound. But he bears it all. Because this is Hell. And this is his home.
Ah... I see how it is now. Quite laughable. I might have been running all this time. But it was all in vain, huh? Let's get out of here.
A light. A crimson red light. Something that has never before appeared in this forsaken realm. Spawn regains some of his power from feeding off the darkness. And as his hand is sorrounded by the crimson red fire, he stretches his hand foward, and commands this realm to let him out. And in the blink of an eye, a door appears right infront of him. He makes no hesitation and walks right through it, the door closing after him. But what he finds, is unexpected.
Spawn stands on a cliff, having just exited the Purgatory. He stands there, gazing at what appears to be a metropolian city. The entire realm around him looks like one enormous cave, and the lights in the city infront of him are very dim. This is the first Circle of Hell. Limbo. And he has arrived in its residential area. A place where souls who have not been damned, but are not permitted to enter Heaven, are allowed to live their afterlife peacefully for all eternety. Just like in the real world. They have jobs, they fall inlove, they marry, they have children. But they live for thousands of years.
Spawn : This... Is quite awsome.
Spawn walks the streets of this metropolian city. Its residents greeting him as they pass by him. Naturally, this is Hell, and seeing a Hellspawn here is no big deal.
Spawn : This place is really nice. But walking around like this won't get me anywhere. I need a guide... *looks up* And a vantage point!
Spawn leaps up on the buildings and stands up straight, spreading his arms. He welcomes this feeling of control over his sorroundings. On a rooftop he feels most confortable. Spawn breaks into a sprint and starts leaping from one building to another. He has no idea what he has to do. Who he has to meet. Which way is the exit. There has to be someone watching him right now, right? As he lands on a taller building, he takes a moment to think everything through.
Spawn : Alright... This is a city. And every city has a mayor. And a City Hall. My best chances of finding some answers must be riiiight... *looks around* ! There! *seeis a building that looks like a City Hall* Alrighty then. *leaps away towards it**lands infront of it, on the streets, and gazes up at it* Woah...
The City Hall. Where the head of the Metropolian City is. Spawn gazes in amazement at the beautiful building. Beautiful in his eyes. It was a gothic style building that looked like in the old Roman Empire days. A tall, ashen, structure. He proceeds and walks on the steps of the tall and wide staircase that leads to the entrance, once at the top he gazes at the 4 huge pillars holding the building's front up. But he doesn't get to make too many steps, and he is greeted by someone.
Spawn : *stops* Hm?
Raven Spawn : *comes out from behind a pillar*
The Raven Spawn. A Hellspawn of the First Circle. His attires consist of an iron helmet with an opening that shows his desfigured, undead face, a Roman Empire knight-like armor donned in the black colors of a Hellspawn, with the white markings on its torso, a skull's face emblem on his waist, which chains come out of, similar to Spawn's, red armor around his forearms and below his knees, and his red cape which unlike Spawn's has no high collar or spiky shoulders, but instead is leaned down like a raven's wings.
Raven Spawn : Greetings, young brother.
Spawn : You are a Hellspawn as well. *bows his head down in sign of respect* I'm grateful and happy to meet a superior. *raises his head back up*
Raven Spawn : The pleasure is mine, young one. I have been informed of you. *walks closer to him* He who has joined the Hellspawn ranks even though he was alive. And now, you are here to claim your destiny. And you seek guidance from your superiors.
Spawn : Indeed. Are you here to guide me, my older brother?
Raven Spawn : I am. Since you've come this far so quickly, the Purgatory must've been a child's play for you.
Spawn : At first it did overwhelm me. But I pushed through.
Raven Spawn : Good. Very good. Come, to the training field. It is time for your first lesson.
The two Hellspawns start walking towards their destination. During that time, Raven Spawn takes his time to teach Spawn a bit about Hell. There are 2 sides of Hell that are found in every circle. The residentual area, such as this one, where those who have been loyal to Hell, or have simply done nothing wrong yet were deemed unworthy of entering Heaven, are allowed to spend their afterlife here. And then, the damnation area. The prisons if you will. Where souls are punished for their sins. The sins that one gets punished for are of murdering ranks. There are the 7 deadly sins : Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Envy, Pride. Those who simply posses these sins are not damned. Every human has a bit of ever sin in him. But those who succumb to these sins and commit acts of murder because of them, are punished for all eternety. Tormented forever. Damned.
Spawn : So that's what it's all about then. Damnation and destiny.
Raven Spawn : Indeed. I've looked into your past, young Spawn. You've had your share of unfairness from destiny, have you not?
Spawn : *narrows eyes* I used to obey the bastard from up above. I used to follow his will. But then I woke up and realised he was doing nothing more than mock me and the entire human race. And then he brought me to my knees. Took my first girlfriend away from me, put me in a coma and have my father killed. *looks at his hand and clenches his fist* But then Hell has had enough of His blasphemy over me and has sent me the means to fight back! And so I must fight on not to be destroyed. The one that lives in me keeps me safe from all the lies. And His wrath tried to claim my soul time and time again. To humiliate me, desecrate me!
Raven Spawn : As he did with his only son. With his only direct descendant.
Spawn : Exactly. But I am not as weak as that so called "savior". Whatever He throws at me, I'll just break it and throw it back.
Raven Spawn : Good. I like your fire, young one. Tell me, what is it that keeps you fighting? What goal do you have in your mind?
Spawn : *looks up**has Elisa in his mind*... Let's just say I want to make the world a safer place for someone.
Raven Spawn : I see.
The two Hellspawns arrive at a place that looks like some sort of Colosseum. Nobody is inside but them. They move on towards their training ground in the center of the Colosseum.
Raven Spawn : Here it is. In here we shall train.
Spawn : Alright.
Raven Spawn : *forms 2 large hooks and holds them in his hands**the hooks are connected to eachother through a very long chain* in the Purgatory, you've learnt to make the darkness sorrounding you to obey your will. Let us see if you can now use all that darkness you've absorbed and made part of you.
Spawn : *battle pose* Very well.
Raven Spawn : Allow me to give you an example of what you can do with this darkness. Come. Try and hit me. I will not hit back.
Spawn : ?? Um... Ok. *dashes at him**swings a kick at him*
Raven Spawn : *becomes a pitch black mist and the kick goes right through it*
Spawn : Huh?!
Raven Spawn : *manifests back* This would be one way of using the darkness.
Spawn : How did you do that?
Raven Spawn : Your costume, Hellspawn. Now that it has absorbed the darkness, the darkness of the Purgatory for that matter, it can do anything it wants. You just have to will it. Use your imagination. That's your only means of limitation. Go wild.
Spawn : Ok. I understand.
Raven Spawn : We shall see! *swings a hook at him*
Spawn : !! *tries to become mist but can't concentrate**gets hit, the hook getting stabbed in the back of his shoulder* AAAAARGH!!!
Raven Spawn : *pulls back and kicks him away* You're not concentrating! In the battlefield, you must learn to remain calm and focus no matter how fast everything happens around you.
Spawn : *stands up**shoulder heals* Ungh...
Raven Spawn : Empty your thoughts, young Spawn. Let it be just you and your Symbiote and fight as one! *runs at him*
Spawn : Just me... And Elithia... *closes his eyes* Fight... As one... Elithia... Can you hear me...?
Elithia : *talking to him mentally* Yes, I can. I'm ready. Are you?
Spawn : Yes. I am!
Raven Spawn : *swings a hook hard at him*
Spawn : *becomes a shadow and the hook goes rig through him**shadow dashes around and appears at a distance from Raven Spawn* Woah!
Raven Spawn : Very good! Let's try this again. Try something else now. *thrusts his left hand and throws one of the hookblades at him*
Spawn : *narrows eyes**raises his hands and dissapears into hundreds of bats that fly away from the hookblade*
Raven Spawn : Oooh. Very, very good, young one. But two can play that game. *dissapears into hundreds of ravens*
Both hundreds of animals fly around eachother covering the whole inside of the Colosseum in darkness. Some of the animals manage to scratch the others, some managed to bite the others. After a few seconds, both Hellspawns return to their original forms.
Raven Spawn : *reverts to normal* Heh.
Spawn : *reverts to normal* Ugh... Wow.
Raven Spawn : Good. *his blades dissapear* As humans say nowadays, class dismissed. You've done well, young one. You may now proceed to the next circle.
Spawn : Thank you. How do I get there?
Raven Spawn : *grabs his shoulder and teleports*
Spawn : *both of them reach a cliff outside of the city**the cliff has a door at the end of it* Huh!?
Raven Spawn : This is the door out from the first circle. Once you pass this door, you will be transported to the next Circle.
Spawn : I see.
Raven Spawn : The Second Circle. Ruled over by Asmodeus. The sin of the Second Circle is Lust.
Spawn : Asmodeus... Lust...
Raven Spawn : Are you prepared for this? Once you leave here, your sins will be tested in every circle. I cannot tell what you will experience. It is different for each soul.
Spawn : I understand. I'm ready.
Raven Spawn : Then I wish you luck, my brother.
Spawn : *nods*
Raven Spawn proceeds to open the exit gate. As Spawn stares at the slowly opening gates, he takes a deep breath and clenches his fists. Without hesitation he runs through the gates. He has passed the first test succesfully. But what will lie ahead?
Chapter 10 - The End.