Monday, November 06, 2006

The Seventh Level of Hell

Private Hudson was abducted by the minions of Hell and taken into the depths of the Underworld. Jon the Intergalactic Gladiator chases after them to get the marine back. Aided in his journey by Virgil the poet from ancient Rome, Jon deftly negotiated the first Six levels of Hell and is now about to visit the Seventh.
The Violent by Vellutello
I looked down the path leading to the gates of the Seventh Circle. There were boulders littering the trail and near the entrance itself, I saw a towering bull-like figure standing like a man.

“A minotaur?” I asked Virgil.

“The Minotaur,” the poet answered. “He guards the entrance to this level. This is the level of violence, something that this creature revels in. Although by your antics on the previous Circle, perhaps you would feel quite welcome here as well.”

“Very funny. A poet and comedian, you’re a true renaissance man,” I retorted. “So how do I get past Mr. Bova there?”

“Wait, who is that there?” Virgil looked across the distance. “I fear this is worse than I thought. Medusa has joined the Minotaur!”

“Medusa? You mean turn-you-to-stone-if-you-look-at-me snake lady?”

“That is her, it is true,” Virgil affirmed. “She normally resides in the Fifth Circle; perhaps she is visiting this one today.”

“Visiting? Like this is supposed to be a vacation or something?” I peered in the direction to try to see for myself. Virgil quickly slapped his hands across my face.

“No!” he shouted. “Do not gaze upon her ghastly visage, for if you do you would instantly become like a statue!”

“OK OK, jeez.” I pulled his hand from off my face. He slapped his other hand in front of my eyes for my trouble.

“I cannot allow you to look,” he announced. “You are mortal and your fate would easily be sealed.”

“Alright, alright already.” I pulled his hand away, but again he covered my face. “What is this, the 3 Stooges? I won’t look, OK?”

Virgil finally relented with his slapstick assault when I put my back to the evil gorgon.

“OK, what else is on this level?” I asked. “I have to get past the Minotaur, Medusa, what else am I going to run into?”

“There are also centaurs, harpies, a wild pack of dogs and Phlegethon.”

“Who’s Phlegethon?” I asked.

“Phlegethon, my friend, is the river of fire,” the poet answered. “Hot blood of the violent flows freely here.”

“Flaming blood, huh? What a wonderful place this is. Don’t think I want to live here, though,” I added acerbically. “That’s OK, though, ‘cuz I’ve got an idea.”
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The Minotaur stood among the rocks and boulders, guarding the Level he was charged to guard. Medusa stood nearby. During their banishment to Hell, Medusa and he had struck a bit of a friendship. Though whilst alive, the half bull could never look at her, in Hell he could. Though their friendship was no more than that, sometimes the Minotaur longed for more. Surely Medusa had similar feelings, why else would she come calling to his Level if she did not?

The Minotaur grunted and kicked the ground a bit. He threw his heavy axe over his shoulder. Maybe he could just ask her to –

Something caught his eye and he turned to see a centaur charging towards him. Before he could react, the fusion of man and horse leaped over him and his serpentine companion. The Minotaur fell to the ground, rolled over, and looked to see the centaur kicking up clouds of dust while retreating into the distance.

The Centaur ran and ran. He ran over rocks, across the river of fiery blood and past others of his kind. He ran past startled harpies and snapping dogs. He reached the end of the Seventh Circle and skidded to a halt. He then looked at the man holding tight on his back.

“You could have asked nicely and I would have taken you all the same,” the centaur growled.

I holstered my pistol and dismounted. “Well, thank you for the ride anyway,” I said. “You’re a good man, er, you know, ah –”
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“Centaur,” he replied. “I am a centaur.”

“I know that,” I answered. “I just don’t know your name is all.”

“You can call me Nessus.”

“Well, like I said thank you, Nessus. I appreciate the lift.”

Nessus snorted and trotted away. I looked towards the Eighth Circle.


Lt. Cmdr Oneida said...

So what part of a Centaur would you hold onto? I could imagine that grabbing the wrong place might lead to an awkward moment.

Anonymous said...

I had to fight the Minataur during my time in Hades

He really can be tough

Kristi said...

Now that's what I call a sticky situation.

Darth Nepharia said...

I bet you could have also avoided the Minotaur and Medusa by making formal might have even paid for your match making services.

Jean-Luc Picard said...

It sounded like Larry, Moe & Curly are there!

Professor Xavier said...

What, the Minitaur is going to ask the Medusa to the prom? The Tasty Freeze? Somehow I don't see that working out.

Jon the Intergalactic Gladiator said...

Making formal introductions may have been a good plan, but I wanted to avoid Medusa, you know, with the whole turn-you-to-stone bit she's got going on. Somehow I doubt that a relationship between the two would really work out.

Captain Berk said...

The Eight circle is akin to the Motorway services on the M4 near Bracknell.

I landed a shuttle there once by accident.

My Double Whopper took 30 Earth minutes to arrive and it was cold.

The horror