Tuesday, July 26, 2016

A confrontation in Hell

[Corv previously appeared here.  This is a superhero setting.  Corv is a demon, Yorth is a superpowered human, and they were on the same team before Yorth betrayed it.]

"I knew that I would find you here."

It seemed liked forever since she'd heard a voice, but how long had it been really?  Surely in this place an hour could last an eternity.  Could it be that her mind had finally broken, or was this really Corv?

Yorth looked up, and she saw Corv clear enough.

"This place is for oath breakers; betrayers," Corv said.  She walked closer to Yorth, but not really towards her.  Instead Corv's steps curved around Yorth.  Yorth, was forced to turn just to keep looking at Corv.  When Corv stopped she said, "Thus I knew that I would find you here."

"Did you come to gloat?" Yorth asked.

"You know, " Corv said, "I found it quite enjoyable to have another on the team with a name considered at least as strange as my own."

"Good to know that I served some purpose in your eyes," Yorth said.

"In this place," Corv said, "one can usually not avoid the sounds of screaming.  The volume of the cries of the suffering is nearly legendary in its intensity.  As it is, the stories have still traveled quite widely.

"Those who rule here are quite unlike those who raised me in the Outland Reach.  Those here delight in the pain of others and have devoted thousands of years to the study of how they might best extract it from whomever they can claim."

"That's nice," Yorth said and started walking away.  There was nothing here but the flat sand beneath her feet, so it really didn't matter which way she went, and right now 'away from Corv' seemed very inviting.

She never lifted her eyes from the ground.  Her eyes ability to see in the darkness ended about three point two meters from where she stood, to look straight ahead was to loose oneself in darkness.

She heard Corv start to follow her.

"Therefore I find it interesting that you have been given space to yourself," Corv said.  "There are many here that would give anything to escape the touch of their tormentors and the sound of their fellow captives.  They will never be afforded that luxury, yet here I find you free from both."

"Yeah, it's really great here," Yorth said.  "You should invite the whole team."

"The situation makes me wonder if perhaps what you fear most," Corv said, "is being alone."

Yorth had stopped.  She hadn't meant to.  Damn her legs for stopping without her permission.  She'd given Corv, the person who killed her, a victory.  Corv one --two if killing Yorth had earned a point-- Yorth zero.

Yorth turned back to Corv and said, "I should have known.  I'm in Hell; you're a demon.  You've come to make me suffer.  Some small part of me thought maybe you felt bad about killing me."

"I do not," Corv said.  At least that was honest.  "I have no regret about what I did because you are not dead."

Yup, Yorth's mind had broken.  She asked, "Then why am I here?"

"You did die," Corv said, "and you remained dead for quite some time.  Your heart beats again, however, and your brain has escaped damage."

Corv took a breath, Yorth just wanted her to go away.

"It is quite difficult to keep a brain cold enough that it will not soon succumb to the lack of oxygen inherent in being dead," Corv said.  "That we were within the geothermal tunnel multiplied the difficulty."

"I don't care," Yorth said and resumed walking away.  "You killed me, I died, I'm in Hell.  Fuck off."

"Your body currently in the hospital," Corv said.  Yorth heard Corv start following her.  "Do you recall the small hospital we saved from destruction some months ago?"  Flashes of memory, her eyes began to water.  "Those there remembered you, and they were honored that we would entrust them with your well being."

"Go Away!" Yorth shouted.

"I cannot do that," Corv said.  "At the moment your body is ready to resume its life," Yorth felt Corv's hand on her shoulder, "if it is simply given a soul."

Yorth spun quickly, "Leave me alone!"

"You can have your life back," Corv said.

"I don't believe you!" Yorth shouted.  She sniffed a bit --Corv had made her cry-- and turned away again.

"You were probably happy when I died," she said softy.

"Of course I--" Corv abruptly broke off and swore in the strange language she reverted to in times of great emotion.  "I didn't know how-- it was the only way to--"

"You really can't finish a sentence unless you pass it through committee, can you?" Yorth asked.

"I did not know if those ... abominations inside of you could continue to control your body if you were unconscious," Corv said quickly, "and I was not exactly burdened with an overabundance of time."

Yorth said, "You knew about the--"

"They screamed of wrongness," Corv said.  "They have all been removed."

"Those were what allowed me to control my power!"

She didn't know why she was upset.  She'd never be using her power or her body again.

"You were not the one in control," Corv said.

Yorth said, "You don't know--"

Corv interrupted with, "I know that you were the one who suggested that I kill--"

"So now you killing me is somehow my fault?" Yorth asked.  "That's rich.  Did it ever occur to you that that might have been bluster?"

"If you had not broached the topic," Corv said, "I would have hesitated and we both would have lost a friend."

"But instead I died," Yorth said, "and now everyone is happy."

"I will not be happy until you allow me to reunite your soul with your body," Corv said.  "I brought up the previous topic because I owe you thanks.  Because you introduced the topic, you both can live if you simply come with me."

"If you can resurrect the dead," Yorth asked, "why is this the first I've heard of it?"

"You will be my first," Corv said.  "The opportunity seldom arises."

Something about that made Yorth take this seriously for the first time.

"Has anyone ever broken out of Hell before?" Yorth asked.

"Many," Corv said, "but I do not know how they accomplished such a feat."

"So..." Yorth asked herself if she was really taking this seriously and found she didn't know.  "What, exactly, is your plan?"

"With my help you will be able to leave this private room," Corv gestured to the emptiness around them, "and then we have but half the population of Hell between us and your body."

Yorth laughed.

"When we have returned to earth, and your body," Corv said, "it will be a trivial matter to reconnect body and soul."

"That doesn't sound like the best thought out plan," Yorth said.

"Perhaps you think you are not up to the challenge," Corv said.

Yorth recognized that.  Corv was being playful in a way she only ever would be if she thought they were already on the same side.  Was she?

Yorth thought for a long time.

"Is there a worse Hell they stick me in if they catch us?" she asked.

Corv nodded.  "Many, each with suffering so great that your language lacks words to describe it."

"Well," Yorth said, "let's get going."  She was rewarded with a smile from Corv.

* *

Corv was created as an original character whose name gave homage to her loose inspiration: Raven of Teen Titans fame.

I've bumped into things about Terra from the same show on multiple occasions.  Again today.

Terra was an insecure girl who ended up trusting the wrong person (he preyed on her insecurities) leading her to betray the team and work against against them afterwards.  When she finally turned on evil-ass, she discovered that the assistance he had offered her (to help her control her powers) gave him the power to remote pilot her body.

And redemption equals death petrification.

Or something like that.

Her story was, loosely, used to inform Yorth, hence the name.  Yorth → Jorth → Jörð → "Earth" which is "Terra" in the Latin.


  1. It's good.

    (...adding "Corvi" to list of potential baby/pet names...)

  2. Here's a little thing that many writers don't get and you do: voices. I can pick a random speech out of that exchange, and I'm never in any doubt who's saying it, even if it's not procedural stuff. You could strip off the "said X" and it would still be clear. Great stuff!

    (This page ad: youtube. Youtube needs to advertise? I mean, all owned by Google, I'm sure it's cheap, but...)