A New Slayer, A Renewed Purpose
Fortress of Doom
It was a calm day aboard the Fortress of Doom. No demons were invading Earth, and the ARC had recently finished eliminating any UAC personnel that remained in the newly discovered Cultist base. And not too long ago, they also permanently sealed off all portals. Well, any gateway that would lead to Hell as the Doom Slayer would, on occasion, head to Exultia, Argent D'Nur, Sentinel Prime, Taras Nabad.
Speaking of which...
'All systems nominal. All ARC sites report no demon sightings, energy spikes, or portals in any region.' Vega announced over the speakers. Typically, Vega would use the Slayer's helmet speakers to tell him anything he needed to know to continue his crusade. However, since they were aboard the Fortress of Doom, he felt no need to do so.
Nodding, the Doom Slayer got up from his seat, walked over to the nearby wall, and picked up his guitar that resembled the Crucible. Ever since defeating the Khan Maykr, The Icon of Sin, and Davoth, the Slayer had a lot of spare time on his hands. So much so that he quickly grew bored at had to find other ways to pass the time aside from killing demons in the Ripatorium. In fact, the last time the Slayer remembered he had this much free time was when he was only a marine. And that was a life he could hardly recall. A life where he had everything a living person could hope for in life. Unfortunately, the demons took everything from him.
"Reminiscing about your past life, Slayer?" Hayden asked.
After defeating Davoth, the Slayer fell unconscious as a part of him was taken away. And as soon as his body hit the ground, two Mayker drones tried to trap him in a sarcophagus to keep him contained until the demons rose again. Unfortunately for them, that plan did not last long, and he broke out of the coffin minutes later. However, they left before he could coat the ground with their blood. Pissed, the Slayer was about to hunt them down, but his long-time friend Valen stopped him and reminded him that there were more important things that needed handling. The Slayer nodded as, despite most demons being wiped out, some remained, and the UAC still had to be destroyed. Moreover, the Maykr drones were not his enemies, and he wanted to restore the Night Sentinels and their homes to their former condition.
However, the Slayer also agreed to this to take his mind off the fact that he had lost another friend. While he would not admit it aloud, the Slayer grew accustomed to having Vega around and considered him one of the few friends he ever had since becoming the Doom Slayer. And no, he did not consider Hayden a friend and saw him as the annoying neighbor that wouldn't leave. Yet, to everyone's surprise, after about a half year since renovations began, the ARC arrived to help them. For a moment, the Slayer thought the intern had located him and convinced the ARC to send help and supplies. But he quickly remembered that the intern died a few months after he defeated Davoth. An unfortunate run-in with a roaming Hell Knight.
Taking out his combat shotgun, the Slayer dashed towards the ships thinking they belonged to the UAC and were filled with UAC personnel, cultists, or fanatics. Yet, to his utter shock, it was not the UAC but ARC personnel being led by Samuel Hayden and Vega. This revelation stunned the Slayer as he was not expecting that. But as Vega explained, after the Slayer defeated the Dark Lord, he took Samur Maykr back to Urdak to discuss what they should do next. Ultimately, they agreed that Urdak no longer needed guidance from them. Urdak was in ruins, and no Maykers remained aside from the near-static drones that guarded the vaults. And should any demons or threats arise, they knew that the Slayer and Night Sentinels would eliminate the danger. With this agreed upon, Samur and the Father began looking for ways to return to Earth as Vega and Samuel. After much trouble, they eventually found a way to do so and quickly regained their positions as the heads of the UAC. However, all this happened over a year ago, and now they were all aboard the Fortress of Doom.
'Would you prefer to have a song to play along to or find your own rhythm?'
Shaking his head, the Slayer sat down and began playing one of the melodies he remembered playing to Daisy. While he could never play that well, and being called rusty was an understatement at this point, the Slayer did recall a few simple songs. Plugging the wire into the amplifier, the Slayer began playing while imagining Daisy sitting on his lap. Memories began flooding the Slayer's mind as he played. And while most of them were blurry and not many details could be made out, he could discern Daisy and him enjoying life. Yet, those memories soon turned sour when memories of the demons invading entered his mind. And as each memory surfaced, he felt his blood boil.
'Is everything alright, Slayer?'
Nodding, the Slayer unplugged his guitar before getting up, heading over to the wall and storing his guitar. Placing his hand on his visor, he wondered what he should do next. As stated previously, ever since he defeated the Dark Lord and nearly all the demons were gone, he had an overabundance of time now. And now, he was almost constantly looking for new ways to pass the time. He could go down to Earth and check up on the clean-up personally. But that would attract unnecessary attention from the citizens, which he did not want. Plus, he did not want to risk running into Dr. Elena Richardson again as she tested his patience. There was the option of heading to Argent D'Nur to see how the progress was going, but that was also pointless as he trusted Valen to handle the restoration. Muttering an audible grunt, the Slayer returned to his chair and pondered what he could do to pass the time.
"Perhaps you could try cooking again?" Hayden suggested.
The Slayer thought it over for a moment before shrugging. While he no longer needed to eat due to the Divinity Machine, he could still eat and drink. Which, honestly, was a good thing as there was rarely safe water to drink in Hell, and forget about food. And he would rather listen to Hayden's lecture than eat demon flesh. Getting up, the Slayer went over to his desk and began looking up some simple recipes he could use to learn the basics of cooking. Typically, he would have chosen the first recipes that he spotted or piqued his interest. However, the last time he tried cooking an advanced dish, he inadvertently caused an explosion that took days for him to clean up. And the Fortress of Doom ended up smelling like burnt brussels sprouts for the following three weeks. Thankfully his helmet had air filters to filter out the bad smell.
"Try not to burn the place down." Hayden mocked when the Slayer found the recipes he wanted to try. Rolling his eyes, the Slayer let out a growl as he headed toward the exit while making a mental note to find a way to hurt computer programs and make them feel pain. However, as soon as the Slayer reached the doors, the alarms went off.
"Vega, what is happening?"
'Unknown Dr. Hayden. But every ARC complex detected a sudden surge of both Sentinel and Argent energy.'
"Have they located where it is coming from or where it's strongest?"
'That's the thing, Dr. Hayden. There is no strongest point or place of origin. The levels are spiking all over the world.'
*Grunt* The Doom Slayer grunted as he took out his Super Shotgun and loaded two fresh shells into the chambers.
'No. The Complexes we placed in Argent D'Nur, Sentinel Prime, Taras Nabad, and Exultia have not picked up any spikes. Whatever is happening, they are unaffected.'
"Hmmm. This is troubling. We need to determine where the energy spikes are coming from or are at their strongest. And we can proceed from there."
'What do you suggest, Dr. Hayden?'
"We head to the ARC Headquarters with the Celestial Locator. From there, we can reconfigure it to trace Sentinel and Argent energy and pinpoint their origins."
Nodding, the Slayer ran out of his personal quarters and headed toward the bridge. Turning on the portal, the Slayer grabbed the Celestial Locator while Vega input the coordinates. Hayden, meanwhile, sent a message to the ARC headquarters and Valen to inform them of the current situation. Once everything was set, the Slayer stood behind the pathway and readied his Super Shotgun. However, before he could run into the portal, it started to surge with Argent energy. Not liking what was happening, the Slayer ran over to the consoles and hit the emergency shut-off button.
"That's a first." Hayden said, surprised and slightly worried. The only time the Fortress of Doom ever became overloaded with enough energy that caused equipment to fail was when the Kahn Mayker attempted to trap the Doom Slayer in it. Fortunately, only the portal was affected and not the entire Fortress.
'One moment. Rerouting power. The portal should be operational in a few moments.'
Shaking his head, the Slayer went over to a nearby chair. Yet, as soon as he sat down, all the lights began flickering on and off. The monitors soon deactivated, with the portal collapsing back into storage mode. Getting up, he began scanning his surroundings for any signs of demons or Maykrs. Hearing some cackling, the Doom Slayer turned toward the terminal where he placed the demonic Crucible to power the Fortress of Doom.
'Warning. A portal is opening up near the center terminal.'
"Can you trace where it is coming from?"
'I am unable to, Dr. Hayden. It does not appear to come from any previously explored location.' Vega answered as a large green portal opened up.
Stepping closer to the portal, the Slayer examined it in hopes of finding some clue as to where it could take him should he enter it. Yet, what caught his immediate attention were the runes glowing all over the portal. Usually, he ignored nearly all runes he came across as they offered little help aside from a location's name. However, these runes were dark green, unlike any rune found in Hell. But what made the Slayer confused was the fact that the runes matched the symbol the demons gave him a long time ago.
"Vega. Run a scan on these runes and see what comes up. Perhaps our Doom Slayer isn't the first Slayer. Or maybe, his symbol means something else entirely."
'Right aw- Dr. Hayden. I'm detecting a life signature of unknown origin coming from the portal.'
Curious, the Slayer neared the portal while keeping his Shotgun ready. But as soon as he got close, he was sent back about twenty feet when something hit him in the face. Typically, it takes a charging Pinky or Baron of Hell to knock him back a few feet. Yet, whatever hit him managed to send him skidding back even further. Looking back to the portal, the Slayer saw a fist wearing a gauntlet that appeared to have been made from a Cacodemon. The Doom Slayer glared at the fist and aimed his Shotgun at it. However, before he could pull the trigger, the figure finally emerged from the portal. And what he saw froze him to his core. From the portal stepped a figure clad in armor almost identical to his. The only distinction was that the armor was red and brown instead of green and brown. Looking toward the helmet, the Slayer saw that it was identical to his, and the figure even had his symbol in the same spot. But like with the armor's color, the symbol was green instead of red. Nevertheless, those were only minor distinctions when compared to the main difference.
"A female Slayer." Hayden said, amazed as the figure's gaze settled on the Doom Slayer. She then raised her fists and got into a fighting stance. Her gauntlets emitted an eerie glow with the 'mouthparts' glowing, similar to how a Cacodemon's mouth does when it's about to shoot at him. not one to back down; the Slayer aimed his Super Shotgun at this ' new Slayer.' "This will be fun to watch."