Monday, October 30, 2006

The Fifth Level of Hell

Private Hudson was abducted by the minions of Hell and Jon the Intergalactic Gladiator is determined to rescue the shanghaied marine. Join him now as he travels to the Fifth Circle of Hell.

I stepped out onto the level and looked at my surroundings. Before me there was a great, swampy river. Many souls in the river were angrily attacking each other, though as I peered into the waters, there were more souls sitting quietly in the water.
Wrathful and Sullen by Vellutello
“The wrathful and the sullen are punished here,” the ancient poet Virgil spoke up as he appeared next to me. “Those who cannot control their anger must forever thrash about in the River Styx. Those who turn their anger inward must forever sit at the bottom.”

“Stewing in their own anger, huh?” I said to him. “How do we get across?”

“I have a friend who will aid us here,” Virgil answered. “There he is.”

A boat appeared out of the mist, a man stood in the back of it with a pole pushing it towards us.

“Phlegyas, this is Jon the Intergalactic Gladiator, Jon the Intergalactic Gladiator, this is Phlegyas,” Virgil introduced us. “He can ferry us across the Styx.”

“No, I don’t think so,” Phlegyas announced irritably. “I don’t want to take him across. What am I some taxi service for any living guy you bring around here, huh?”

“Oh don’t be so snippy,” Virgil snapped back. “This is only the second that I’ve brought here in what, 700 years or so? You should be grateful that I even bring you company.”
Phlegyas by Suloni Robertson
“Well look at him,” Phlegyas sniffed. “He looks ridiculous… I don’t want him riding in my boat.”

“Just give us a ride, I swear…” Virgil pleaded.

“Would it help if I sang?” I asked.

“What?” Phlegyas looked at me.

“You know, I could entertain you with a song in exchange for a ride:

“Lady, when you’re with me I’m smiling
Give me all your love
Your hands build me up when I’m sinking
Touch me and my troubles all fade.
Lady from the moment I saw you
Standing all alone
You gave all the love that I needed
So shy like a child who had grown.”

“Stop it, stop it,” Phlegyas grabbed his ears. “I don’t want to hear that song again.”

“Well, how about this?” I started to do the robot as I sang.

“You're wondering who I am (Secret secret, I've got a secret)
Machine or mannequin (Secret secret, I've got a secret)
With parts made in Japan (Secret secret, I've got a secret)
I am the modern man

I've got a secret I've been hiding under my skin
My heart is human, my blood is boiling, my brain IBM
So if you see me acting strangely, don't be surprised
I'm just a man who needed someone and somewhere to hide
To keep me alive, just keep me alive
Somewhere to hide to keep me alive!”

“Argh, stop it,” he screamed. “Why must everyone sing these damnable songs to me when they come here? It was funny once, I get it. You are definitely, definitely not riding on my boat if you keep this up.”

“He is a little sensitive to the Styx joke,” Virgil whispered to me. “Plus, I think the Simpsons did this already, didn’t they?”

“Well, if I’m going to rip off someone’s joke, might as well be them,” I answered. “Are we going to be here a while? I’m getting kind of hungry.”

I pulled a Snickers bar out of my cargo pocket and tore open the wrapper.

“Say, what is that?” Phlegyas interrupted my bite, pointing to the candy bar.

“What this? It’s just a candy bar,” I shrugged. “You know, chocolate, peanuts, creamy nougat.”

“We don’t get those things around here,” Phlegyas leered at the chocolate bar. “May I have a bite?”

“Well… I don’t know…”

“Come on, just a teeny, tiny little bite.” Phlegyas pinched his fingers together, squinted and smiled at me in an emulation of a tiny bite.

“Alright,” I sighed. “I’ll tell you what. You ferry us across and you can have the whole thing.”

“Done and done!” Phlegyas greedily gobbled up his sweet prize as Virgil and I boarded the boat.

The boatman steered us across the swampy waters as those who dwelled in the water angrily thrashed about. As we approached the other side, I saw figures moving about high in the cliffs. They began to take shape as they swooped down upon us.
Suloni Robertson Fallen Angels
“The Fallen!” Virgil yelled. “They will surely keep us from getting to the other side!”

“Not if I stop them first!” I exclaimed as action hero-ey as I could.

I quickly drew my pistols and fired them at the flying imps. One by one, blaster bolts struck the creatures and they tumbled out of the sky. Still others flew in, and I shot them as well. Eventually things quieted down enough and we reached the far side of the Styx.

“I thought that you said these would do me no good here,” I hefted my pistols in front of Virgil. “They definitely worked against the Cerebrus and these creatures.”

“Eh, so I was wrong,” he answered. “What do I know of your modern weapons of war?”

The boat hit the shore and I leaped out onto the ground. I looked up and saw a great, gated wall in front of me. It certainly didn’t look like the previous doors.

“I must warn you that the remaining levels are the most dangerous of all,” Virgil cautioned. “Beyond these walls is the city of Dis, and it is brimming with violence and evil.”

“Great, I go through Dis,” I answered. “Welcome to the next Circle, same as the last Circle.”

I hauled open the door and leapt inside.


Summer Dawn O'Ciardha said...

*Clap Clap Clap*

Not my preferred choice of doing things, but good enough for me."

Professor Xavier said...

I don't know, wouldn't the chocolate in the Snicker's bar be all melted down in hell? Sounds messy.

Vegeta said...

Snickers satisfies demons

Darth Nepharia said...

I was just about to say something like that.

Wedge Antillies said...

Ohhhh, do you know anything by Van Halen? I have Halloween candy to replace your candy bar for a rendition of "Panama".

SQT said...

I knew chocolate was the solution to everything!

Gyrobo said...

Styx wrote Mr. Roboto?! I've been misattributing it to Queen for years. Wow.

Now I've gotta go buy another CD... curse you, economy!

Jean-Luc Picard said...

Singing was the right thing to do in a tough situation like this.