Testament VIII: And Found Scorched Earth
(Queue 'Hell on Earth' by Mick Gordon)
Before he knew it, the Slayer was suddenly freefalling through the air, energy coming back to him, his wounds healing. And yet, that was the last of his concerns.
His senses were being bombarded by the change in atmosphere. He could see the floor he had fallen from fading away, as if a mirage, though the corpses from the recent battle were no illusion, as they were falling with him.
He oriented himself, looking around at his surroundings, and felt a blast of rage overcome him.
The skies were covered by black clouds and raging lightning. The air was perforated with the smell of charbroiled flesh and smoke. He looked below to see a land rife with varied landmasses split up by ravines of boiling lava, of which large tentacles were jutting out and wrapping around various buildings and landmarks. Destroyed buildings and infrastructure littered the landmasses, along with large runes and pentagrams. Broken highways sagged against each other, hosting derelict vehicles.
And right below him, he could see a large battle playing out, in the thousands. He could hardly make out who was fighting who, but that didn't matter to him at the moment. He realized that if he was falling through the air, so were Charlie and Catherine.
He turned around quickly, trying to find where they were, and saw Catherine a few dozen meters away, screaming her head off as she plummeted towards the ground. He noticed that the debris of the crumbling room he was previously in was also flying through the air, and within seconds, he fleshed out a clear path to propel his way towards her.
He oriented himself so that he was zipping towards the first big piece of debris, then planted his foot on it, launching himself off of it to the next piece of debris. He continued doing this, propelling himself off of one and to another, until he finally reached close enough to Catherine that he launched himself off the last piece, tackling her in the air and carrying her under one arm.
She continued screaming, but by now the Slayer was focused on Charlie, whom he saw a few more dozen meters away, unconscious as she fell through the air. However, there was no path he could see to her, and so he decided on a new strategy.
Using the hand that was free, he reached into his pocket dimension for the right weapon, and, grabbing it, pulled it out. He aimed the Ballista into the distance, calculating the trajectory necessary to propel himself towards Charlie. Once he was content with his calculations, he pulled the trigger.
The cannon blasted a shot through the sky, arcing downwards towards the ground, but it was just enough to propel himself towards Charlie.
The ground was getting closer and closer, but the Slayer was already by Charlie. He wrapped his other arm around her torso. However, he knew that if he slammed into the ground, even if he would take no damage, the women in his arms would most certainly turn to red paste as they were whiplashed by the sudden stop.
His mind raced. He didn't have much time, he was only a few hundred meters away from the ground now.
"As ridiculous as this sounds," VEGA suggested. "You could throw them back up into the air, then catch them when you hit the ground."
The Slayer nodded. He looked down, waiting until he was only a few dozen meters away from the ground. Once he was at the right distance, he threw Catherine up into the air, hard enough that she would push past the wind resistance, but soft enough so she didn't get whiplashed by the sheer force of the throw. After waiting a few seconds, he did the same thing with Charlie.
He slammed into the pavement, sending a shockwave through the concrete and blasting smoke in a halo around him. He looked up and watched for Catherine, seeing her still flying up in the air. She reached a point where she slowed, then began to plummet once more downwards. He raised his arms, catching her as she came down.
"I-I-I-I-" She stuttered, her mind in a constant state of shock.
He wasted no time putting the traumatized princess down, looking around for Charlie. His heart began to race as he failed to spot her in the air.
The Slayer turned his head to see Beliel, wings unfurled as he circled around above him, Charlie in his arms. Beliel's eyes widened as he noticed something.
"SLAYER, YOU MIGHT WANT TO FOCUS ON YOUR SURROUNDINGS FIRST!" Beliel shouted in a panic.
The Slayer did such, and noticed that he was smack-dab in the middle of a horde of demons, all of who were looking at him with shock on their faces. He noticed he was standing on top of one such demon, who was a pile of gore below his bloodied boots after he had landed on top of him.
"WHAT THE FUCK?!"
"IS THAT THE SLAYER?!"
"WHY IS HE HERE?!"
"IT DOESN'T MATTER! KILL HIM!"
As the nearest demon dove at the Slayer, he unsheathed his Doomblade and swiped it at him, cutting him in half. After a few seconds, more and more demons began to charge at the Slayer.
But it wasn't a problem for the Slayer, now. His energy was back, and he was feeling himself again.
Three Gargoyles pounced at the Slayer, who punched the closest one through the throat, grabbed his esophagus and smacked the second with the body, then launched a back kick at the third. He narrowly ducked his upper body backwards as a chain blade flew over him, then parried the second incoming chain blade with his Doomblade.
He then grabbed the chain blade and yanked the user towards him. The Whiplash flew towards him, just in time for the Slayer to slam his helmet through its face, breaking its skull. Just as the limp body fell to the ground, the Slayer sidestepped an Argent blast from a Hell Soldier, who was continuing to fire at him from a distance. The Slayer unholstered his handgun and fired a shot, which blew the Soldier's brains out.
The fight continued on like this for some time, as the Slayer vehemently defended Catherine, who was curled up on the pavement below, screaming bloody murder.
"I'M IN HELL! SOMEONE, PLEASE, SAVE ME! PLEASE, GOD, GET ME OUT OF THIS HELL!"
As if to spite her, bodies falling from the sky began to smash into the pavement, sending bits of blood and gore in every direction. Catherine opened her eyes for a moment, to see one of the mutilated bodies in front of her being Legatiel, her closest friend for almost all the time she had spent in Heaven.
It was too much for her to take in. Her eyes glazed over and she stopped moving entirely, now in a state of traumatic shock.
As the Slayer cut through an Imp, he was immediately met with a familiar face, holding a machine gun, wearing familiar combat clothing.
"Holy shit!" Angel Dust shouted. "It's the fuckin' Slayer!"
The Slayer also spotted Husk, Niffty, Adams, Annie, Vaggie, a few demons he recognized but forgot the names of, and Samuel Hayden, who was blasting and beating at demons pouncing at him. Around them were several of the demons he had seen from Charlie's Hell, along with UAC personnel and several ARC soldiers fighting for their lives.
"This is an unexpected turn of events." VEGA remarked.
"You don't fuckin' say!" Angel shouted over the cacophony of demonic screeches and general battle. "We don't got time to chit chat right now, help us kill these mothafuckas!"
The Slayer turned around and immediately swiped Catherine from the ground, entering the defensive circle that his allies had formed. He moved over to Adam, who was using a sniper rifle rather poorly as he tried blasting at Revenants and Cacodemons flying in the air.
"Goddamnit, will these stupid fucking demons just stay still! Why is this so hard- Oh, Slayer?! Wow, I can't believe you're here! I- Wait, why did you throw away my rifle? Wha- Hey, why are you handing me this unconscious woman?! I'm not single, I'm sorry to tell you- Wait, where are you going?! SLAYER-"
Now that he had relieved the burden of the princess, he rotated his shoulders, feeling his adrenaline beginning to pump once more. The sight of these demons was filling him with a rage he hadn't felt the whole time he was in that other place. He felt his blood boil as he saw the familiar sights of Barons, Mancubi, Cacodemons and Hell Knights.
(Queue 'The Only Thing They Fear Is You' By Mick Gordon)
It was time to RIP AND TEAR.
He launched himself over the defensive circle and straight into the fray, pulling his Super Shotgun and blasting a path through the demons as he sliced and diced any that got too close with his Doomblade.
He spotted Beliel in the air, evading fireballs and Argent blasts as several demons honed in on him. Seeing Charlie in his arms, the Slayer felt his rage boil over.
| VEGA, INJECT BERSERKER. |
"As you wish."
The Slayer roared in fury as he felt the chemical inject into his veins, coursing through his arms and legs, filling his body with a terrible strength. The demons around him leered back for a moment, intimidated by the sight. A Gladiator charged towards the Slayer, undeterred.
The Slayer launched forward, stabbing the meathook of the Super Shotgun into the Gladiator's stomach, then yanking it out, sending organs spilling over the pavement. The Slayer then wrenched the shield from the Gladiator, tearing off its arm along with it, and hopped into the air, bringing the shield over his head.
He slammed the shield over the Gladiator's head, demolishing its skull and crushing its head and neck into its torso. As it crumpled to the ground, the Slayer threw the massive shield like a disc through the hordes of demons, which cut through several of them and brutally smashed clean through others.
"PREPARE TO DIE, SLAYER!"
A Dread Knight came charging at the Slayer, swinging its energy blades wildly, cutting through many of its own demons. The Slayer lifted one boot off the ground and slammed it back down, sending a slab of concrete jutting upwards. The Dread Knight tripped over the jutting slab towards the Slayer, who knelt and positioned the meathook in the path of the oncoming Dread Knight's neck.
The Dread Knight gurgled as blood spilled out of its mandibles, its neck impaled on the meathook. The Slayer dragged the meathook across its neck, sending more blood spewing across the pavement, then planted the barrel of the shotgun against the Dread Knight's head.
The shotgun blew off the demon's head, and the Slayer moved on without another look, slapping a zombie aside and catapulting off of a zombie cultist's head. He flew through the air and shot the meat hook into a Cacodemon, who was shooting purple plasma at Beliel. The demon screeched as the meat hook mandibles stabbed into its skin, and the Slayer swung around under the Cacodemon, unsheathing the Heavy Cannon in his other hand and sniping Revenants and other flying demons targeting Beliel.
Once he had cleared away most of the threats to Beliel, he activated the grappling hook function and flew with the rope as it retracted towards the mandibles stuck in the Cacodemon. He unsheathed his Doomblade and, upon reaching the Cacodemon, stabbed it through its singular eye. It roared in pain, which was quickly cut off when the Slayer blasted it in the face with his shotgun. He propelled himself off the Cacodemon and back towards the defensive circle, where Beliel had landed inside of.
He landed on the ground, rolling back onto his feet, checking on Charlie. The lacerations she had suffered had all but healed now, and she was beginning to wake up from her unconscious state.
"Thank you for saving me up there, Slayer." Beliel said with gratitude, bowing his head. "If it wasn't for you, I-"
He was deeply unsettled as he looked up to see a growling Slayer, dripping in demonic blood, his eyes in a crazed state. Beliel could feel the black, filthy, putrid rage seeping from every pore of his body, his very essence tainted by an overwhelming, caustic ferocity that dampened the atmosphere. He watched in silence as the Slayer turned around and launched himself back into the battle, cutting down demons with more fervor than before. Beliel felt shivers running down his spine.
"It's like he was born for this."