ROOSTVILLE: THE SERIES

Ep. 4: Revenge of Apocalypse Part 4: Return of the Spawn from Hell

(Premiered January 9th, 2005 by Emperor Violenjiger and taking place in 2017)

RECAP

In our last episode, the Blue Devil, the treacherous and perverse leader of a group of renegade Cenobites, was unleashed by Mathias of the Dark Sages and tried desperately to gain the upper hand in a brutal war being fought at Mt. Rodan. The battle for life itself had led the military and RBI forces of Roostville into a suicide mission where many lost their lives in the struggle for control of planet Earth.

The Blue Devil freed Lord Jimifulss from his possession by Mathias but made sure that he was not going to enjoy it. Meanwhile, James Webster (aka Earth Baragon) and other Mods risked their lives to capture a notorious criminal! The manhunt for Zax was too late, for the King of Darkness had already been transformed into a Cenobite. Through their treachery, Zax and the Blue Devil managed to turn James into one of their slaves.

The tide of battle, seemingly hopeless, may have changed for the better now that Afiag has arrived as we begin our fourth episode of THE REVENGE OF APOCALYPSE.



Darkside Reject was jarred back to consciousness by the vibrations coursing through the cold steel sheet metal of the helicopter's floor. As he opened his eyes, he noted a number of holes that had penetrated the fragile material, no doubt made by bullets fired upward at the craft.

"Misplaced. That's me..." he mumbled to himself.

"What's that?" Jet asked, trying his best to keep them airborne.

"I just realized there's a war going on down there."

"Yep. Afraid so," Raptor agreed, focusing a pair of binoculars on all that remained of the Kaiju Nations' combined military ground forces. They had been surrounded by a horde of Cenobites which had been attacked from above by some unknown force. "It looks like the Siege at the Alamo down there but this time, reinforcements are on the way. Here." She tossed Darkside a big A-9 automatic and went to put fresh belts in the machine guns mounted on each side of the chopper's forward under belly.

"Shoot anything that isn't on our side. We have to get those folks out of there. If this thing isn't able to fly them out, at least we can give them additional firepower until Melkor can get to us." Jet knew the beat up craft would never be able to take off again as he approached the garrison but he wasn't going to give his human companions any additional concerns to worry about - at least for the moment.

*****
Mount Rodan had never looked so desolate as Rodan2000 and Yuri Manda descended through the thin cloud cover and into the black, oily and cordite-tinged smoke of battle. Bodies lay everywhere - Roostafarian, Maser City, Monsterzeroville, JSDF and local militia alike. The Kaiju Nations' military might was now so much scrap metal, left wrecked and burning on the plain below and up the side of the mountain.

Amid the devastation, the last of the valiant fighters manned a small fortress they had made with the remnants of their tanks and other vehicles, as if circling the wagons. Around this camp were thousands of demons and Cenobites they had repulsed, not wanting to die, especially at the hands of these fiends and what they represented. They lived to fight another day and Yuri quickly realized that her fellow Guardian, Ubergeek, was there among them, as well as Jet Jaguar and Raptor.

"The Blue Devil has returned," Ubergeek informed the shocked fliers when they alighted. "This is what Afiag was trying to tell us with all those warnings to prepare. As well, Mathias is also here." Yuri gasped at this news, even if she had felt in her very soul that the greatest battle which had raged throughout the age of Man would once again have to be taken up. The Council of Death would never give up its quest to enslave the entire world.

Ubergeek was sure that whatever Mathias could throw against them, he and his fellow Guardian and townsfolk would fight to the bitter end. He believed in himself, his friends and the great Kaiju Nations. The Council of Death did not believe in goodness, only misery and chaos.

He felt a lingering pang of regret over what had befallen Lord Jimifulss. Instead, he quickly thought of how Project Pimp had cruised the area where he had lain, high on the mountain, hoping to spot the notorious Zax and personally take him out. When he got back to Roostville, Uber would have a grand celebration for ALL the Kaiju Nations to honor the heroes of this latest battle against evil.

"Jimi will like that," he said out loud. R2K and Yuri looked at him oddly but didn't say anything. Jet Jaguar figured Uber was still in shock from his battle on the mountain and added that Miyako would be there to help with the arrangements. The Mayor of Roostville quickly snapped out of his strange trance and shook his disheveled head.

"Uh, that will have to wait. Yuri, I think it is best we go see what is going on with the Blue Devil or whatever," he muttered.

Sporadic gunfire continued as the little band of warriors picked off anything inhuman that moved on the gruesome battlefield all around them.

"The countdown to Apocalypse has begun and no doubt Hellspawn and Apocalypse will also be making their appearance. Like I promised Jimi, Jet and Raptor, I'm ending this war before any more of our friends have to die!" Uber's eyes had a fierce golden glow as he stepped back to assume his full-sized Guardian form to go after Afiag. With a blast of his plasma jets, he shot straight upward. Yuri gave R2K a quick kiss on his beak and promised to return as quickly as possible. Spreading her wings, she leapt into the air and flew after the Tortoise Guardian.

*****
A new force of evil energy began to emerge from the Desu Hill area. Another old foe was on the verge of being resurrected, returning for another shot at destroying Roostville and conquering the known world. That entity was Hozay Garcia Nissen. Deep within the vault between Desu Mansion and his own, the crypt which sealed Hellspawn and Mephistophelian together was now opened and Hellspawn had risen from his slumber. The last three years he had spent protecting the tomb of Mephistophelian but now he was in control of his own body and ready for battle after taking a good, long and undisturbed rest.

"For a time, I considered sparing this wretched little realm, Earth," Hellspawn said as he stood up. "But now, you shall witness... its dismemberment!"

The devil's wings spread open and thrust far apart as his freakish eyes began to glow a blood red. Evil and its core components were pumping through Hellspawn's veins like fear as his muscles grew larger and his power began to strengthen. His sharp claws stretched outwards, growing longer and ever sharper, able to cut through the strongest materials on Earth. His complexion was a lighter blue than before Mephistophelian had taken over his body. Condolence and tender hearted feelings of compassion were not present within his mind the same as they had been before.

Hellspawn was still the predominant warrior he had always proved himself to be, prevailing over most of his foes. He was feeding off of a new power source: virtue. It made him potent and able-bodied, vigorous and dominating, forceful and effective. Hellspawn was the next ascendant to join the demons already infesting the Earth realm. He felt good and ready for action and to dominate over the many people he considered his nemesis.

The anti-hero kelpie raised himself up from the lower depths of the crypt he called a dungeon and entered the basement level of Desutoroia's mansion. The monstrosity crept silently upstairs and hid in the shadows until he could join the demonic forces he had sensed were battling at Mount Rodan. He found Desutoroia, unconscious on the floor. The scent of a familiar enemy was on his old friend. Instead of killing Desutoroia, Hellspawn placed him on his bed and left him for Jennifer to find when she returned.

Hellspawn then treaded his way outside and flew into the sky to join the other demons. There was something about him that made other people chicken-hearted and cowardly when they looked into his eyes for too long. It had happened to the previous Sheriff, Varan, during the night of the Black Mass ceremony and it also happened to Melkor on the same occasion.

To Hellspawn, it did not seem like much time had passed since then and he almost felt like it should still be the end of 2014, not 2017. He had been away for long enough as it was and now blazed with the keenness and heat of an enthusiastic flame, leaving a trail of vapor as he raced toward Mt. Rodan. Hellspawn had escaped his own demise before, managing to cheat mortality through the arts of the satanic witchcraft he had followed before. Now, the deathless warrior of Hell would eclipse the world and embrace it in a storm of blackness and obscurity, darkened like the opaque and murky occult he had once served. He planned to unleash the manifestations of evil across the globe and fill it with scorn and pity! The age of the shadow was about to begin and no revolt would stop Hellspawn this time!

The malignant demon had received enough time to study and master the same dark arts of magic that Melkor, his true arch nemesis, had used to counter and defeat him in the past. Soon he would be paralyzed into a deadened state for all eternity with no one to help save him from his fate! Cheerless and disheartening it was but Hellspawn had grown to hate Melkor and loathe the man over the years he spent as a ghost, bounded by invisible shackles to protect the tomb of Mephistophelian. Dastardly Melkor would soon get a taste of his own medicine and breathless would be his condition!

"At last," Hellspawn gloated to himself. "I shall not be denied my destiny on this day, Melkor!"

*****
The ominous threat of Hellspawn was not made clear yet to the Roostville operatives presently occupying Mt. Rodan. As far as they were concerned, things could not get any worse, what with Zax, the Emperor of Darkness and the Blue Devil united in destroying life as they knew it. No one had forgotten about the fiendish Hellspawn but they would not have expected his return either. Melkor, the Dark Lords, Desutoroia, the Mods and everyone else had mistaken the demon for dead but unnatural monstrosities of the night never die so easily and the scornful Hellspawn was back to release a reign of terror upon Roostville that was unlike his past performances. His return was going to be a wondrous celebration!

The morbid demon had truthfully only wanted one thing and that was to be reunited with his lover, Mallory. That was the reason for his evil deeds done in the name of his two masters, Kronos and Mathias. To be together with her forever and ever, like they were going to be before Zax, the Maser City mobster, took her away from him. Hellspawn had developed a hatred for Zax that was equal with that which he had for Melkor. Perhaps they shall both pay, he thought. The two of them had turned Hozay Garcia Nissen cold-hearted like no other person could even attempt to try.

Mallory was blonde and beautiful and died tragically at the hands of Zax in a dark alleyway one cold and lonesome night. It was the event that triggered the sadness and evil inside him, the one thing that would change his life and the person he was forever, with no way to go back to how things were before. Hellspawn could not have a second chance. It was impossible, ever since he struck a deal with Kronos and Mathias. He was going to work hard to get her back and kill anyone who got in his way. She was pretty and he missed her smile. It was almost enough to bring a tear to his eye but demons don't cry... they kill and get even!

Disastrous was the word that best suited the unfeeling Hellspawn who was insensitive to how other people felt or what they were going through. Years of fighting and losing had driven him to be obsessed with bringing back Mallory. In his heart, she would always be undying but that wasn't enough and it wasn't the same as him having her again. He could not bear the world, alone and without her! It was true because it was without her that he found himself in his present situation, cold and uncaring, flying to Mt. Rodan to kill as many people as possible, just to have her be brought back to life. The coldness of his heart began to pour forth like an ominous mist rolling in.

The heartless fiend could feel the immense virtue of some magnificent power rising inside the mountain. A mysterious force of Good, preparing to halt the destiny that he was denied in the past, to stop the forces of evil that had crept into the Earth Realm. But Hellspawn knew that with confidence would come his victory! He had grown in strength and there was not a force on Earth that could stop him now, not Melkor, not Morgoth, not anyone, not even Afiag.

"The face of death awaits you," Hellspawn said aloud, speaking to his enemies. "And you shall not cheat it!"

There was a time when only Desutoroia would remember when Hellspawn was Hozay G. Nissen and a different man entirely. Someone you could talk to, who you could trust and be open with when you had a problem. A good friend who was there as best as he could when you needed him. Someone that Desutoroia had relied on many times in the past before they came to Roostville. Hozay Nissen was a trustworthy person and noble to those he called his friends. They were like family to him and Desutoroia his brother. Now though, Hellspawn was pure, satanic evil, shining in its darkest form, sucking off the fear that spread throughout the world.

Hozay had almost died, in a sense, that same night that Mallory was killed. Hellspawn, however, was a monster who was strong enough to break the bravest heart! He had the strength, the firepower and the devilry to do so. Even without his accursed book, Necromancer, he still possessed enough magic and power to exact evil deeds upon the Earth that would strip it of the ripeness that kept it clean and beautiful. And that was something that Hellspawn was looking forward to doing, destroying the precious Earth realm so that he and Mallory would finally have a chance to live in a true paradise. That was all he ever wanted for the two of them.

Hellspawn began to think back to a time when he lost his sanity, trying to destroy the world so that Kronos and Mathias would bring her back. After escaping from jail, he had returned to his secret lair which had taken him years to construct. He remembered it all too well. It was where he kept Desutoroia's wife a prisoner against her will and raped her. He did it to Princess of Space, trying to get the same feeling back until the day Mallory would return but it never worked. It was the one secret she had kept from Desutoroia after he was resurrected and before she sacrificed herself to stop Apocalypse.

Hozay Garcia Nissen would have felt remorse and regret over what he had done to Princess, maybe even hate himself for it but Hellspawn, no. It was a cold and brutish act but he did not care about Princess. That's how much witnessing Mallory's murder had shocked him, disturbing his mind forever to the point of killing his own friend and raping his wife. It was a heartless and selfish thing to do but he loved Mallory that much and wanted to see her pretty face again so bad it was killing him.

Few people knew the secret but no one could see how much of an effect it had on his mentality. Most thought he was just evil but they failed to see or realize how tragic a character Hellspawn really was and how much he loved Mallory. He had gone as far as to try and murder Desutoroia's wife not long after killing him. He had truly needed help and his desperate acts were signs that he was crying out for emotional and psychological help which he never got and it drove him further over the edge. Now he would do anything at all to have Mallory alive and that would mean the ultimate risk for the ultimate prize - destroying everything and everyone in existence until only he and the Council of Death were left to start over in the new world. That's how far Hellspawn would go to have her back in his arms again, holding him tightly. It was the dream and he always called out to her in his dreams. He wanted it to be real but he couldn't make it happen on his own...

Hellspawn could see Mallory's beautiful image in his thoughts and dreams. She was wearing the rings of her past lives. She was so fragile, yet so devious at the same time. Hellspawn watched her in his daydream as she continued to see hands that pressed against her temples and across his chest. Soon, it would be the night that she came home forever. Mallory's absence was the only thing that made Hellspawn sad. She was everything and more to him, the solemn hypnotic. To him, she was home.

It had to be now or never. He would destroy Roostville and the Council of Death would fulfill their end of the bargain and bring her home forever! And then the sad reality came striking down onto this head that she wasn't real anymore and he couldn't make her real. He tried to dream of her again and see her. All the torment and pain he had built up was leaking through and covering him. Hellspawn repeated to himself he'd do anything to have her. He was madly in love with her then and still was. She was everything to him, the unrequited dream, a song that no one sang and mostly, the unattainable. She was a myth that he had to believe in and all he needed to make it real was one more reason. It was her loss that was tearing him to pieces.

"I never wanted anybody more than I wanted you, Mallory," Hellspawn said to himself with an angry tone. "Don't go! You just can't! I shall have revenge against those who took you from me and those who kept me from you!" He was desperately eager to rejoin his one true love and that undying love seemed to be the only positive feeling that was showing within the dark and twisted Hellspawn, proving that even the most evil of men and machines could love. Love was a capability within everyone, even someone like Zax, or possibly the Blue Devil. Hellspawn was proof of that. The unfortunate part was that most people did not embrace it the way he did, instead devoting their time to constant pain and destroying things continuously, always taking instead of giving. Hellspawn did a little of both, taking from others so he could give to Mallory. It was wrong but at least the intention was good.

The demon stopped thinking about Mallory as he came closer to Mt. Rodan and his thoughts drifted towards the hate and vengeance he was always fretting about. Hellspawn was reaching the end of Gamera Fields which ran up to the foot hills of the mountain. He could see it had shrunken since he was last there three years ago. The war being fought had decimated the entire area. It was a pleasant sight to see after being away for such a long time with no action to partake in.

Then from the corner of his eye, Hellspawn spotted something moving towards Mt. Rodan at a rather rapid pace. He discovered that it was a small patrol team or squadron, most likely hoping to aid the humans that were fighting for good and justice. Hellspawn couldn't help but be intrigued by them, for even in the inevitable face of death, they continued to put up with the pain and fight for the lives of their children and those yet to come, similar to how Hellspawn would viciously kill without thought so that he could see his beloved Mallory again. The struggle the humans were putting up made Hellspawn want to puke.

The squad hadn't seen him coming and when they realized what was happening, it was already too late to save their souls. In all his rage and fury, Hellspawn unleashed a blaze of infernal flames upon the patrol and personally swooped down and destroyed their transport vehicles as if they were mere Dinkies or some child's plaything. With flames everywhere, he grabbed each of the Mods and crucified them one at a time, making sure they bled to death. Such acts allowed other demons to sense his presence, to know that he was close by.

*****
Zax, Emperor of Darkness and the Blue Devil were now aware that another demon besides themselves was present in the Earth Realm. The Blue Devil knew who it was from the moment he felt the presence and decided to ignore it so he could attend to other perversions and deal with Morgoth and Saruman. Zax, on the other hand, had to search through his thoughts and seek out the answer to find out who or what this new presence he felt was. The Emperor of Darkness could sense something familiar about this new demon, something dark and twisted he was sure he had felt before. And then it came to him.

"Nissen," Zax whispered to himself with a cold tone as his eyes began to flash blood red. "Hozay Garcia Nissen... Hellspawn... So, you're still dwelling on Mallory. Well, then, allow me to ease the pain for you!" Hellspawn and Zax both had grudges from their past experiences with each other. Hellspawn had never been able to forgive the mobster criminal for taking away his one true love and Zax felt strongly that Hellspawn still owed him something from the incident in 2014 when Hellspawn used as much of Zax's resources as he could to unleash a series of terrorist attacks on the the other Kaiju Nations. One of those attacks had caused the complete destruction of Maser City, leaving very little standing in the town. It was the money and men that Zax had lost then and now it was time to get even.

Hellspawn was not aware of Zax's presence at Mt. Rodan but he also was hoping he could get even. The Emperor of Darkness was thrilled to know that Hozay Garcia Nissen was still alive and well and planned to make the apocalyptic warrior's life even more of a living nightmare than when he had murdered Mallory. With his newfound powers and gifts he possessed now that the Blue Devil had reconstructed him into a Cenobite, he could make any creature's life a hellbound misery. He could not wait a single second more for Hellspawn to arrive so he could perform his deadly acts of torture and perversion. As a Cenobite, he could get inside Hellspawn's soul and learn things about him, things he would not have been able to find out as a human.

Zax had to find more amusing sport to entertain him until Hellspawn arrived so he masked himself in a cloak made up of pure shadows and took pleasure in observing Afiag as he ripped apart Cenobites piece by piece. Fortunately, Cenobites are immortal and could never truly die. Afiag was psychotic and did not care so he continued ripping them apart, limb from mismatched limb and eating away at their flesh like a vampire, just as they had done to the humans. It was a disgusting sight to watch as he went on a killing spree to put the Cenobites in their place, ripping off their heads and clawing their bodies to pieces.

It was a grizzly and horrific sight, the massacre of people and demons alike that had gone on in the Nether Realms, the lowest region of the mountain. And World War II veterans thought they had seen it all! If any of them would have been here to witness the slaughter that went on, it might of driven them mad or scared them shitless. Afiag sure wasn't helping things. Instead, he made the brutal massacre of the Cenobites even more terrifying.

Zax watched from a cliff above with delight. He was always under constant pain but that which the other Cenobites were undergoing seemed to be more delightful. He wanted to feel what they were feeling, misery at its highest peak.

The true Angel of Darkness swept through the sky and unleashed a mighty rain of acid and fire onto the mountain, hoping to decimate the last of the Cenobites forever, not knowing that they were immortal and as old as time itself. He used his sawed off shotgun of skulls to blow them sky high and their pieces would come crumbling down in a downward spiral. Once he had run out of rounds for his gun, he pulled out his sword which had a handle shaped like a slithering snake and used it to slice the others into thousands of tiny bits. And with every Cenobite killed, more gateways to Hell would open up and more swarms of them would rise up.

Afiag fought without question or hesitation against the servants of the Blue Devil. He had the strength to keep on fighting for days to come. It would be weeks before he would start to slowly lose his strength and have to retreat and rest. The battle would not last that long and he knew it but he also knew that he would be fighting non-stop for as long as it took to kill every single Cenobite and end the Blue Devil's wasted time on Earth again. The spiteful god of perversion was going to fall at the hands of Afiag as that was the only way he would have it. If anyone interfered in his fight, Afiag would kill them.

Zax could see this in Afiag and took delight in knowing such a fact.

*****
Gamyaris, through Battrarules, came down onto the surface of the mountain and stepped towards Afiag. He stretched out his hand to shake as a thank you for aiding in warding off the Cenobites. Afiag gave the man a look of hatred, grabbed his hand but instead of shaking, he twisted it around and threw Gamyaris to the ground. He landed face first into the rocks and pebbles that littered the area. Afiag stepped on his head, pressing his face even deeper into the dirt as he started to kick him.

"Stay away, mortal," Afiag warned him in a cold manner. "Go burn somewhere else. This is where I belong! You can die elsewhere on this Devil's Day. Now stay out of my way!" He took his foot off Gamyaris' head and started to step away from him. He then disappeared as Gamyaris got up and tried to recall what had just happened. His vision was still a little blurry when Afiag appeared behind him and grabbed him by the forehead and tossed him aside. Afiag had a vile look of hatred and abhorrence across his face as it wrinkled in a mean look. He walked over to Gamyaris and kicked him across the ground another couple of feet. He was angry now and wasn't going to let anything get in his way. As Gamyaris tried to stand up, Afiag came over and punched him in the gut, knocking him out cold. Afiag turned away and wiped the dust off his shoulders as he left Gamyaris laying there in a state of dormancy.

The Angel of Darkness scanned the battlefield and the broken pieces of thousands of Cenobites laid across the ground, torn and ripped to shreds. The bloodstained rocks seemed so natural to Afiag that he hadn't even noticed it at all. Zax, the Emperor of Darkness, had secretly postponed the arrival of more troops from Hell so he could duel Afiag personally when all of a sudden, the Neo-Crucifer came down from the sky. He had recovered from the state Zax had left him to die in. Zax was angry now and wasn't going to allow Afiag to sense him until he was the only other combatant on the field. Neo-Crucifer came down and scanned the area as well, paying close attention to Afiag.

"I am Afiag, Angel of Darkness," he said like he was ready to kill. "You wish to die, for I can make that come true. This mountain is my land!"

"Afiag, allow me to introduce myself," Neo-Crucifer said. "I am the Neo-Crucifer and I made a promise to a god that I would kill you for his sake!" It was no secret. Surely enough, the arrival of the Neo-Crucifer would only complicate matters for Afiag, making them even worse than they had already gotten to be.

*****
The Blue Devil was aware of everything that was going on at the mountain as he stepped inside Melkor's helicarrier, the Leviathan, which shared the name with the true Lord of Hell. Melkor's craft was like a mockery of the Hell Lord's but the Blue Devil did not care as he was exiled from the realms of Hell ages ago. He only wanted universal domination now and Hell did not exist through the same planes as the Earth and the Nightmare Realm, therefore it was not a part of the universe at all. Hell was an afterlife separated from the universe by many doors and realms, a state of the mind after death.

Melkor was operating the controls of the Leviathan, leaving Morgoth and Saruman alone with each other. The Blue Devil crept through to face the two wise men of Roostville, a modern day version of Kronos and Mathias, only on opposite sides of the war. And just like Kronos and Mathias, they were in command of their own ministry cabinet which could be considered a Council. The Blue Devil had plans for these two - big plans of exploiting them and ruining both of them, especially Morgoth. Morgoth was a master in the arts of dark sorcery and necromancy and was able to teach Melkor the many ways used to defeat the forces of darkness in the past. The Blue Devil was going to have fun toying with their minds.

"Morgoth," Saruman asked. "Do you sense that awful presence?"

"I can, Saruman," he replied. "I can feel it, too... a sick sensation of evil overcomes..." A nasty odor was in the air as the lights dimmed and faded to darkness. The room where Morgoth and Saruman were sitting became blackened by the evil force of someone vulgar and perverse as the Blue Devil stepped forth, bearing the form of a demon wearing the armor of a Samurai warrior. Morgoth and Saruman became frozen on the spot as terrifying images of beautiful girls being stripped and brutally tortured or beaten were being forced into their minds. They were now witnessing crimes of the Blue Devil's past as they could see sweating monsters with faces like pigs torturing luscious women who were tied down by shackles and chains, unwillingly giving in to the sick pleasures that made the demons happy.

It was too powerful an image for them to handle, just watching what sick things the Blue Devil and his kind liked to do with the women. Some of the bodies were dead, some old and barely alive while others were young and not mature enough to handle what was being done to them. It was sickening and made both Saruman and Morgoth throw up in disgust. They tried to reject the images, to look away but the Blue Devil forced them to watch the horrific images like a movie. It was paradise to him, a little something called heaven.

The illusion suddenly became real as it was no longer an image in their minds. Morgoth and Saruman were stripped and being whipped with a ball and chain. The demons were forcing them to do something they did not want to indulge in. The Blue Devil was forcing the two Dark Lords to commit perverse crimes of torture towards the unwilling women that served as nothing more than slaves to him. It was wicked and evil, something they would not be able to forgive themselves for if they even thought of doing it but there was no other choice. The Blue Devil made them do it!

With the blink of an eye, it was over and the two Dark Lords found themselves back aboard the Leviathan. For a minute, they thought it was just a nasty dream they had shared but it turned out to be more than just an illusion. The Blue Devil, still in the form of a demonic Samurai warrior, was still present and staring into their souls like a monstrous devil, taunting and teasing them like the tiny rats they truly were. The sickening sensation he was providing them with was enough to make them mad and suicidal but they tried to fight it. They could feel their minds ripping apart, being grabbed and torn into thousands of particles. The Blue Devil was smashing through the boundaries, ripping into their sanity with ghastly images of Sauron, the Comedy and Tragedy Killer, decomposing into a rotting skeleton but leaving his grave and coming for them. Sauron was going to kill them! The Comedy and Tragedy Killer was waiting for them in the corners of their minds, stalking their souls and reaping them! It was a wonderful sight to the Blue Devil who snickered. Suddenly, another presence came stumbling through.

"What is this?" Melkor questioned as he came in and gasped. "....The Blue Devil..." Without saying a word or making even the slightest sound, the Blue Devil used his magic to tear a hole through the side of the living helicarrier right behind him. Melkor turned to see the massive gash and then back to confront the Blue Devil but it was too late. He had disappeared from reality and planted himself inside of Melkor's head, twisting his dreams and smashing his thoughts.

Melkor felt helpless against the rage of the Blue Devil. The imagery the monster created was too sickening and perverse for him to handle. Melkor was then hit from behind and severely beaten. The Blue Devil was about to throw him out of the helicarrier when he realized something...

'Oh, Melkor holds within himself a secret of a darkened past,' the Blue Devil began to think to himself. 'I see, Melkor! You were not always a Mod who served as apprentice to the Dark Lord Morgoth but once you and this Leviathan were the rivals of Roostville... Just another day in the past of Roostville. Morgoth was the one to finally turn you to the weaker side of the line...

I also see you had fallen in love with Desutoroia's wife, the Princess of Space... You bear with you much hate. It was through me... Apocalypse... that she was forced to die. Perhaps I shall let you live, Melkor, for I sense evil is within you, O Great One.'

The Blue Devil decided to depart from the Leviathan and disappeared from sight, just as quickly as he had appeared. However, before leaving, he made sure that Morgoth and Saruman knew he was still out there and wanted their souls added to his collection. No matter what happened, he would always be waiting for the day that they died so could claim their souls as his own.

Morgoth and Saruman were still trying to overcome the shock of the disturbing images the Blue Devil had placed in their minds earlier. It was a difficult transition for them to make.

*****
The Blue Devil had other preparations to make for this glorious battle. Ever since the day he was merged with Hellspawn and their minds melded together as one and became Apocalypse, he had known the truth about Hellspawn and the secret of Mallory. He also knew how loyal he was to the Council of Death and realized that if he was going to use the warrior to his advantage this time around, he would have to trick him into working with him. After the events of their last encounter, the Blue Devil figured that Hellspawn might not wish to become Apocalypse.

He would promise to bring Mallory back sooner if he did... Of course, he had no real intention of doing so. As long as Hellspawn was used, it didn't matter. The Blue Devil knew his plan would work because he knew just how to tempt him...

*****
Raptor and Jet Jaguar were afraid. Terrified was more like it. Before them, many allies had fallen before an army from Hell. The once mighty forces of the Kaiju Nations lay in pieces at their feet. Raptor hoped just to get out of this alive. She then heard a voice call to them from behind, an old familiar voice... But it couldn't be him! She looked around to see Super Jet Jaguar coming forth, grinning like a mad man, just like always. Behind him she spotted two others... Both of them were Afiag! No, they were visions.

"Please, no questions. We will answer all later. Grab on," spoke Afiag the Hero, spreading out his wings.

"Yeah! It's about to get dangerous out here... Far too dangerous for you guys!" quipped SVAMP.

"Just grab on and don't let go. For your sake," finished the Demon Huntsman.

"JJ... Do you see what I see?" Raptor asked, not knowing if she was fully awake anymore.

"If you see two Afiags... and Super Jet Jaguar, then yes..." he answered slowly. Raptor grabbed on to SJJ and they flew into the morning sky.

*****

Afiag, the Angel of Darkness, circled Neo-Crucifer, his sword drawn. This battle would be long but he did not care as he roared in animalistic fury and surged forward, bringing his blade down hard against the Warrior of the Cross' Cross Blade.

*****

Hellspawn could sense that a battle was raging fiercely between the Warrior of the Cross and Afiag, although Afiag was the only presence he recognized. The Neo-Crucifer's presence was a complete and total mystery to him. He did not care about it, though, for he knew that the identity of the other assailant would be revealed to him upon his arrival to the Nether Realms. He was already at Mt. Rodan and decided to walk there, hoping to make something out of his entrance and create a big surprise for everyone when he first appeared.

*****
The Emperor of Darkness knew that Hellspawn was making his way to the Nether Realms on foot and that it would take the fiend much longer to reach him since the demon had decided to walk instead of fly. Zax had to sit back and enjoy the show as his former assassin, William D. Fix and Afiag stared each other down before unleashing their weapons of mass destruction upon each other. But Zax's patience was wearing thin and he looked forward to seeing Hellspawn again. The two of them had many issues and unpaid debts that needed to be discussed. The Emperor of Darkness remained hidden in the shadows as his mind became filled with anticipation.

The two of them hated each other deeply and with a passion. Hellspawn had always dreamed of killing Zax, ever since that moment when the bastard murdered his fiance in cold blood without any remorse at all. He never did, knowing that he might need Zax's help later on in life, and he did. Hellspawn wasn't sure why he hadn't decided to murder him after he escaped from prison in 2014, before his temporary death or why he decided against killing him while the Blue Devil and him were merged as Apocalypse. If Hellspawn could go back, he thought, he could kill Zax so that none of this would happen. He didn't care about being evil or being a demon. Hellspawn didn't mind that part of his life, he embraced it. It was the sorrow he felt without Mallory that made him want to kill Zax, even more with each passing second.

He wasn't even sure if he would ever get another chance to see Zax again as he was not aware of the mobster's recent ascension into the Emperor of Darkness or aware that Zax had been turned from cold-hearted to absolute heartlessness. The term heartless, for Zax, was no longer just a metaphor. And even with his confidence, there was always the possibility he would die before fulfilling his task to the Council of Death.

Hellspawn began to think of other things that concerned him. He tried to dwell on something else for a change, something that would take him away from the sadness he had been feeling for most of his life, even if it was only temporary.

Desutoroia was the luckier of the two of them. Even with the death of his first true wife, he still managed to find love again and he never had anything major to suffer from working with the Maser City Mafia. They had both come to Maser City, hoping to start life over in 2006. Hellspawn remembered it all too well, how the first person to great them was an important fellow in Zax's organization who was later murdered. He asked the two of them to come see Zax near the docks. The mob boss and drug lord promised them a fortune and power. It was the following year that brought about Mallory's end and it was all Hellspawn's fault! He constantly blamed himself for that night.

Hellspawn did not hate Desutoroia but it was not fair that out of the two of them who were just like brothers, he had to get kicked when he was down. Hellspawn and Desutoroia were the same before the great tragedy struck. Why did one have to live a more miserable life than the other? Why couldn't they both live happy lives with the ones they loved? Was that too much to ask for, just to live an ordinary life at home, a life without the endless bloodshed and torment? Hellspawn had already made the mistakes that had led him here so it was too late for him to worry about going back. He never had the chance then and never in the future would that chance come again. Zax did more than try to take it all away from Hozay Nissen, he did take it. And while Hellspawn was suffering, Desutoroia was the one scoring all the ladies. Oh, how it hurt Hellspawn to see how pathetic he allowed his own life to become!

Poor Hellspawn just continued to march forward with a mean look of evil on his face as a voice within called out and said, There is freedom within, Jason "Hozay" Nissen, there is freedom without... There's a battle ahead. Many battles are lost but you'll never see the end of the road while you're traveling with me! Hey, now! I know it feels hopeless but please, Hellspawn. Don't dream it's over! When the world comes in, they come to build a wall between us and we know they won't win!

Was it Mallory's voice that was speaking to him, he wondered? He could not remember what her voice sounded like anymore. It had been such a long time since she was last with him. And even if it was her voice, he paid no attention to it. How could he be told to not dream that it's over? His whole life was over ever since the day Zax took Mallory from him. It was time to kill and get even with the sorry bastard, once and for all!

Hellspawn started to remember olden days, of Mallory and him and all the time they would spend together. The long, cold winter nights when Hellspawn used to tuck her into bed to protect her and keep her from sin until the sandman would come. She was always sound asleep but Hellspawn could never sleep. He always slept with one eye open, for he was afraid to dream. He had seen something in his dreams those many years ago and the noises he would hear... Monsters that roamed in his closet and in his head. The images of his dreams reminded him of Roostville but he had those dreams before ever coming to the place. He couldn't even remember the dreams anymore, just the fact that they had scared him on countless nights. Dreams of wars, liars and dragon's fire... dreaming of demons that bite!

Those were Hellspawn's depressing memories. The evil demon never tried to remember the good times he had spent with his good friend, Desutoroia, and his lover, Mallory. He never once decided to sit down and try to remember the nights of hot, fiery passion shared between Mallory and him many times. The feelings they had felt with each other and how much they loved one another. Hellspawn only cared about killing now. Perhaps if he'd try to remember the good times when his friend was there for him, when he was there for his friend... And mostly, the times when Mallory was in his life. Perhaps if he'd only try to dwell on the good times instead of the bad, he might not feel so ugly in his rather disturbing and morbid life.

*****

Zax, Emperor of Darkness, could still sense the awesome and immense presence of the powerful Hellspawn and knew that he was drawing nearer to the Nether Realms. What Zax didn't know was how close Hellspawn really was. From the depths of Hell itself entered Jason "Hozay" Garcia Nissen onto the battlefield. Infernal flames and intense fire came blazing violently behind him to add to his dramatic entrance as he walked rather slowly to drive anyone who had been waiting for him insane. He looked around with his dreadfully serious and menacing face and scanned the combatants at Mt. Rodan. His ego and confidence had pumped him into believing he could overcome any and all obstacles that crossed his treacherous and deadly path.

*****
Ubergeek decided to look back down at the Earth as he flew along and glare into the mystical scene of Mt. Rodan. In the far off distance, his Guardian powers picked up a tiny speck that had not been there before. He peered closer and became horrified at what he saw... An old enemy! A foe from his past, someone who killed with delight like it was some mere sport. He looked upon Mt. Rodan with horror and realized there was only one thing he could do.

"Hellspawn is back and now I must stop him!" Ubergeek said aloud. He had every intention of keeping him from returning and doing more damage to Roostville than he had already done, if Zax didn't get to the fiendish demon first. Hellspawn left a deadly legacy behind after the first time he had appeared to die which seemed to literally destroy lives.

He remembered how Hellspawn's legacy was one of the contributors to Sheriff Varan's untimely demise. Ubergeek did not want to kill him because he hated him or felt the need for vengeance, he just wanted to protect his homeland. He tried to make sure things didn't get too personal between him and those he would try to kill so Uber had no feelings towards Hellspawn except that he was an obstacle that needed to be eliminated.

*****
Afiag, presently engaged in a battle with the Neo-Crucifer, turned his head for a moment to witness the grand entrance of Hellspawn who was staring back at him with a look of over confidence and brutality. He had not changed a single bit since the days when Afiag was Super Jet Jaguar but Afiag, on the other hand, had gone through rather dramatic changes in both appearance and personality. Hellspawn looked the same as he always did while Afiag appeared more threatening. He looked at the Neo-Crucifer for a moment, then back at Hellspawn and considered attacking the spawn from Hell when someone else stole that notion away from him.

"No!" Zax, the Emperor of Darkness yelled into the depths of the Nether Realms. "He's MINE!" Zax stepped forward with his long and beat-up looking cape hanging over his entire body as the Neo-Crucifer and Afiag continued to engage in their futile combat. Hellspawn did not recognize Zax with all the mutilations done to his face and the additions to his appearance. He looked a lot like Desutoroia did when the Leviathan had mutilated him into a Cenobite the night that Apocalypse was born. Had Hellspawn known who it was right away, Zax wouldn't be standing in front of him, staring him down the way Hellspawn used to do to others that came into contact with him. Zax smiled gracefully while Hellspawn just kept his serious look of dread and anguish.

"Hello, Nissen," the Emperor greeted him. "It's been a while, hasn't it?"

"Hello... Zax," Hellspawn responded with a pissed off tone as he realized who he was talking to. "Not long enough. I see we're both more than human now... more evenly matched than before." Zax had a psychotic look on his face and Hellspawn knew that the two of them were thinking the same thing. They both wanted to fight. Hellspawn hadn't expected this at all, expecting to find Zax still in Maser City as a human operating his criminal syndicate from his top secret headquarters. Never in a million years of absence from the Earth realm would he expect to find Zax totally morphed into a Cenobite. It was almost... shocking. Now, Hellspawn had something to fear for once, the fear that maybe his next victim would be more powerful than he was. But he always used his imagination and had the confidence in himself to overcome whatever challenges were placed before him, the very reason he did not end up dead after Mallory was murdered.

"Let's dance," Zax screeched. "To the dance floor, to the dance floor!"

"Ever dance with the Devil, Zax?" Hellspawn asked. "In the pale moonlight?" The two titans took a few steps backwards, then raced at each other faster than a speeding vehicle and clashed like mighty gods or wild beasts.

It was a fight that was not being fought for humanity's sake that was being waged throughout the dark reaches of Mt. Rodan. Neither of them cared for humanity. They both were working on the same side to corrupt the innocent and destroy the world. This war was being fought for the greed and feelings of vengeance that were inside of them. Hellspawn was angry at Zax for killing his wife, Zax was disappointed in Hellspawn for showing signs of being weak through his compassion. The two had a great dislike for each other. Hellspawn's abhorrence of Zax was greater, though. Hellspawn had wanted Zax dead for much longer than Zax wanted to pay Hellspawn back.

Hellspawn stretched his wings which seemed to spread out for miles as he flung himself at Zax with his fists thrashing back and forth in an effort to hit him and make him bleed but the Emperor of Darkness had enough agility to avoid being struck. Hellspawn kept trying and Zax caught both of his fists in his own and squeezed tight enough to break every bone in Hellspawn's hands. Zax smiled with his psychotic expression as he floated in mid-air and levitated. Hellspawn looked up at him as the Emperor thrust his foot forward, kicking Hellspawn straight in the jaw and knocking him forward. Hellspawn leapt upwards and came crashing into Zax with a downward spiral and drove the Cenobite into the ground. The Emperor emerged from the hole Hellspawn had planted him in with a look of anguish on his face.

Black colored blood began to pour forth from the many wounds inflicted to Zax's body. It was gooey and sticky, like ooze or sludge and poured out like slime. Zax stood tall and proud as he kept his eyes hidden and stared at the ground. Smoke and mist began to swirl around him, almost swallowing him up as darkness came forth and lightning struck near his body. The sunny sky suddenly turned as black as night, maybe even blacker as a greenish light began to glow from Zax. The demon crept forward like a ghost, moving silently through the mist and the madness. Zax was no longer smiling and no longer bearing his psychotic look. Hellspawn had angered the Emperor of Darkness and now he was going to pay for his sins with divine pleasure, followed by agonizing pain worse than the death of Mallory.

Zax laughed. "Do you think that is the best I have, Nissen?" he asked his foe. "Did you really think that was the best I could do? Prepare, Nissen, for I am about to show you what a REAL demi-god of Darkness can do when he puts his mind to it!" Zax had a plan up his sneaky sleeves. Hellspawn was unsure of what it was exactly but he knew that he would be able to take it on. And soon, the war between them would rage onward.

*****
The Tortoise Guardian, Ubergeek, had landed a few miles from the battlefield but still managed to thrust himself onto the mountain itself. He looked about and scanned the area he was at, higher up from where the fighting was taking place. He would have to make his way downwards to reach Hellspawn and anyone else still alive down there. Uber also knew that he could not handle this task by himself like he tried to with Matthias. Without assistance from his fellow Guardians, he almost got to meet his maker. He would not take on Hellspawn and the Blue Devil alone!

In the distance, the Phoenix Guardian was following him, hoping to join up with Ubergeek so that they might take on their old foes, Hellspawn and the Blue Devil, just as they had done before. Uber pulled from his pocket a mystical stone that was oval shaped and glowing a golden color. He placed it on the ground and gathered a bunch of tiny rocks and placed them around it to make the symbol of the Guardians. The purpose was to draw the others to him so that he wouldn't have to face his enemies alone. It was no secret that Apocalypse would rise from his ashes once again to terrorize the world with his presence of gloom and doom.

Yuri landed a few feet behind Ubergeek who took no notice of her. She looked at him as he knelt with his hands together before the symbol he had made on the ground. Uber was praying for his fellow Guardians to arrive, praying for a miracle to happen. The Blue Devil's magic was strong and it would take everything they had to overcome the demonic influence of the Blue Devil and Hellspawn, more than before when Apocalypse was born, for both opponents of the Guardians had grown tremendously in their powers and strength. Hellspawn and the Blue Devil were more prepared this time to fight those who protected Roostville and watched over the world as they learned from the mistakes they made the last time.

No one knew just why exactly that Hellspawn fought for the side of evil. No one could understand his methods except for a select few who consisted of Yuri Manda, Desutoroia and Melkor. Ubergeek had no understanding of the love that Hellspawn was actually trying to obtain through his sinful acts of evil. Desutoroia and Melkor could see that he was once a man in love and that the death of Mallory had really changed him and perhaps was what drove him to killing. Yuri knew for sure that he fought to be with his her again. A tragic life? Hellspawn wouldn't agree but those who knew looked at his life as tragic and felt pity for him. Hellspawn despised pity, which is why he kept the truth secret, misleading others into thinking he was just an evil person which led them to hating him.

The Blue Devil, through his merging with Hellspawn in the past, had allowed their minds to meld into one and they both had the ability to get inside of each other's head while they were a part of Apocalypse. The Blue Devil had learned much from Hellspawn's mind, including what drove him to fight. He knew that he had a dark past that was tainted with remorse for the loss of a loved one. It was delicious how similar he was to the Blue Devil's nemesis, Afiag, who also had lost a lover in the past. He could see that this knowledge of both his foe, Afiag, and ally, Hellspawn, could prove to be very useful in the heat of battle. He would be able to play with their minds if necessary. And the Blue Devil always got what he wanted...

Elizabeth and Mallory were the names of the women from the pasts of Afiag and Hellspawn. Both were luscious and beautiful in appearance. There was a seductive charm they possessed which the Blue Devil found very erotic and enticing in a rather disturbing and twisted manner. The two, although dead at the moment, would make excellent fodder against the two vigilantes. He planned to use them well in his plan to take down Roostville and control the world. He could manipulate Hellspawn and Afiag into believing anything he wanted them to believe and all he needed was for them to fall under a delusion of his. The Blue Devil's plan would more than likely help his cause and it was unfortunate for the Guardians that only one of them knew this information. Yuri did not know the evil of the Blue Devil or how to counter his thinking. If Ubergeek had known about Hellspawn's past with Mallory, he might have anticipated that the Blue Devil would try something freaky. It was also unfortunate for Uber that he did not care about Hellspawn in any way. He failed to see that the Blue Devil was already winning and it was his fault.

*****
Noticing that Yuri Manda was standing behind him, Ubergeek stood up and looked back at her with a rather vague smile that indicated his feelings on this war and what its outcome were most likely to be in the end.

"The other Guardians," he explained. "They will be here soon... even the Black Fire Rodan and soon, we will overcome the Blue Devil and Hellspawn before Apocalypse gets another chance to be reborn."

*****
Afiag brought his Hell Blade down hard on Neo-Crucifer's Cross Blade, forcing him down to struggle under the sheer strength and force. Neo couldn't let up for a moment, otherwise he would have been cleaved in two. He maneuvered his blade so that he could jump backwards, leaping away from Afiag as his blade came crashing into the ground. Neo-Crucifer sent a blast of pure energy, throwing Afiag backwards and sending him into the ground. Energy surged through his eyes as Afiag burst forth, looking pissed. He slammed his fist down into Neo-Crucifer, only to hit an energy shield. He launched a barrage of punches and kicks but could not make Neo-Crucifer budge nor damage him.

Neo attacked through his shield, it opening where he wanted as he slashed Afiag, cutting him open. More powerful blows struck his defense but it did not matter. Afiag was one of Evil and could never get past this barrier. He launched pure white energy bolts at Afiag, blasting him, then flying forward and punching him in the gut. The Warrior of the Cross landed blow after blow, punching and kicking, slashing and blasting Afiag who could do nothing.

Afiag's anger grew with each punch. All rational thought left him as he sent forth a barrage of brutal attacks, slamming his fist into the shield and sending energy shock waves into Neo-Crucifer as he strained to keep the shield up. Blow after blow sent more bolts shooting into his body, shocking him as he desperately tried to hold onto the shield. He had to hold on! He knew he would fall if the shield failed. He slashed feverishly, trying to make Afiag back away. He charged up and then blasted a powerful bolt of Holy Energy into Afiag, only to have the Angel of Darkness rip through it with his claws. Afiag charged forward, Hellfire encasing his talons as he slammed into the shield.

"Uhhh..." Neo-Crucifer cried out as he felt burning claws rip through his stomach and into his flesh as his blood poured from the fist sized wound. He started coughing up blood as Afiag brought his fist down, rocketing him backwards into the mountain and as he fell, he felt a powerful blow to his back, accelerating his decent as he slammed HARD into the ground. He struggled to get back to his feet, only to have the Hell Blade slam into his back, making him cry out in agony. This was quickly and effectively followed by a forceful kick to the face, blasting him back into the ground. Afiag slammed his fist into Neo-Crucifer, over and over again, forcing him deeper and deeper into the ground. He rose up into the sky as he brought Hell Fire down, blasting Neo and burning his flesh from the bone. When the smoke cleared, nothing could be seen of Neo-Crucifer.

Meanwhile, back with Rado and Angillis...

"We are lost," complained Rado as he drove over the rocky terrain in his All Terrain Battle Drone Ground Mode.

"We are NOT lost!" Angillis snapped and as he was about to go on, he noticed something coming at them... fast.

"Rado! Be on the alert! We're being followed."

"What do you think it is?" asked Rado.

"Can't be sure..." Angillis was cut off when something hit his ATBD hard, sending his drone rolling backwards with sparks flying. He looked around frantically, only to get a series of blows to the back, side and front of his vehicle. "DAMNIT!" he yelled, finally locking onto the target. "Take this!" He let loose all four of his guns, blasting into the flesh of the creature. When the dust settled, a horrid Cenobite stood unharmed.

"Oh, ****..." was all Rado could say before a snake-like limb slashed into his drone.

"Rado! Retreat! I'll hold him off. Go get the others!" Angillis yelled as he sent a volley of missiles into the Cenobite, effectively annoying him and not much else. Chains slammed into the front panels of his drone with more sparks flying. "Computer, damage report!" he commanded and in front of him on the view screen came a 3-D version of the ATBD. Several areas were flashing red, mainly the left arm and left front panel. "Damnit!"

Angillis charged the thrusters, going full blast and slamming into the Cenobite as Rado retreated to get the others. Using his frontal thrusters for high speed backtracking, he rocketed away from the demon. The Cenobite looked pissed. Angillis blasted it with his Gatling guns, only to have one ripped off by a chain. Shocks went through the control panel, hitting him as he fired missiles into the creature. Its snakelike limb was poised to cut through the hull and into Angillis' skull but before it could strike, it was cut in two.

Afiag the Hero had summoned his mystical sword and stopped the Cenobite before his ally and friend was killed. He would fight on with bravery.

"Angillis, leave now! This is my fight." His voice was steady and clear.

"No way! I ain't leaving 'til this thing is dead!" With that, he started blasting all of his remaining weapons. His ammo was running low but it didn't matter. Afiag charged the beast, knowing that Angillis wouldn't aim for him as he sent a wave of energy into the Cenobite, blasting it backwards. He looked on in shock as a chain went right past him and into the core of the ATBD, sending electric charges throughout the entire unit until it exploded.

"NO!!" Afiag roared as he charged the Cenobite, slashing it ineffectively until he noticed something in the flames. Angillis was mutating.

"Nononononononononono! Not again not again not again not again! Fight it! FIGHT IT!" Angillis roared in an animalistic bellow, still retaining his mind and sanity. The process of transforming into Nightmare Angillis stopped halfway through, a Pre-Nightmare Angillis. He stood seven foot two. One foot spikes came off of his arms and out of his back and shoulders. His hands turned into claws as did his feet. His face became more feral but not a lot and his skin turned more armor like than before. But it was not a complete transformation. He looked more human than animal.

"Angillis?"

"Afiag... It's me. I have control!" Angillis half roared. His eyes narrowed as he saw the remains of his Drone. He spent MONTHS working on that! No... mustn't get out of control! He'd much rather take his rage out on the Cenobite anyway. His claws started to glow blue as he leapt and slashed off the Cenobite's left arm and leg, making it howl in pain. His eyes glowed blue as he sent a blast of energy about the size of his fist blasting a hole in his chest. Afiag joined Pre-Nightmare Angillis in the utter obliteration of the poor Cenobite. PN Angillis charged forward and slashed the thing in half, allowing Afiag to blast its remains to oblivion.

A voice spoke to Pre-Nightmare Angillis, telling him to continue onwards to the Nether Realms.

"Thanks for the help, Afiag," Angillis rumbled.

"Think nothing of it. Now, let us be off to Roostville."

"Can't... Have to wait for Rado to let him know I'm alright." Afiag nodded and flew off towards Roostville. Angillis did not wait. He didn't know why but he found himself bounding off to the area where Zax and Hellspawn were. That was until mental pains racked his body. It felt like someone had stuck an ice pick in his head. He let out a roar, trying to fight it but eventually the transformation completed itself. His two-foot spikes grew to four feet long, his fangs elongated, his face became more wolf-like as his claws grew bigger and his body as well. His tail sprouted five three-foot spikes and on his forehead, a crown of horns as his jaws grew longer. He grew to 8 feet tall but slumped over and took off with the speed of the very wind itself. He smelled blood and he craved prey.

*****
The symbol Ubergeek had formed on the heights of Mt. Rodan became a golden column of light, thrusting towards the heavens as a beacon. To those who were ordained to be aware of its significance, they would either see the signal or sense its meaning within their very soul.

Melkor struggled to overcome the dread images the Blue Devil had left him with, as well as the physical pounding he had taken. He weakly called out to Morgoth and Saruman to assist him back to his command post as the LEVIATHAN tried to repair itself. His fellow Dark Lords were shocked at what had befallen him but Mel had more pressing concerns.

"I must join Ubergeek up on the mountain. We need to summon the Guardians..."

*****

The Black Fire Rodan rose from his chamber deep beneath Mt. Rodan and flew upwards along a volcanic vent, his massive form causing the narrow shaft to rip apart and rupture. The top of the great mountain began to collapse, causing rock slides on all faces. The skyline would never be the same as a result of what had been wrought by the forces of evil.

*****

The Dragon of Morgoth sensed the call to arms and lifted off from his Iron Fortress of Angband, great pinions flapping ever faster as he gained speed and altitude toward Mt. Rodan, yet appearing graceful and leisure in flight due to his great size. Seeing the signal before him, Ancalagon the Black called out to every dragon both near and far.

*****
Kedzuel was at her gallery in the Fan Nest, proudly showing off her works when she heard Ancalagon's call. Leaving her many admiring tourists and students in the charge of an assistant, she headed straight for MechaGodzilla AI's underground bunker.

"Greetings!" the great mech boomed, coming online with her mere presence. "You look to be deeply concerned." Indeed she was as she made her way up to his control center, directing that he set their course for Mt. Rodan.

*****

Catbert was sunning his fuzzy self back in Roostville, completely oblivious to what might be going on in the Nether Realms. With a start, he awoke, fully aware of the dire situation at hand. With a thunderous roar, he took on his King Seesar form and leapt into nothingness.

*****

Gamera, the true Tortoise Guardian, also saw the gleaming golden pillar of light shining heavenward as he patrolled the universe in deep space. With a flare of his jets, he rocketed toward the blue planet Earth.

*****
The Emperor of Darkness hovered above Hellspawn, looking down on the puny and pathetic demon's soul. The look upon the face of the enchanted Zax was a grim and fatal one. It was rotting with serious dread and the stench of malcontent nightmares. There was something in his eyes that made even Hellspawn cringe with fear. Zax stared down and in a moment's hesitation, glanced over at the Neo-Crucifer and Angel of Darkness. The Emperor of Darkness began to study their moves and focus all his attention to them for the time being.

"Pay them no mind," Hellspawn roared at his opponent, then changing his tone to a more sarcastic one. "We have a duel to finish. Weren't you going to show me what a real demi-god could do?"

"You're right..." the Emperor muttered with cold satisfaction. Zax had his entire body covered by his massive cape but whirled around and from the palms of his mutilated hands emerged the deadly snake limbs of the Leviathan as they hardened in mid-air and flung themselves towards Hellspawn. The satanic demon barely dodged the offshoot, for it was less than an inch away from piercing straight through his head.

It was now Hellspawn's turn to make a move and take down Zax once and for all. The Emperor of Darkness was going to fall in the end and he was never going to stop stalking him until it was done. He fired himself into the air, racing towards him and when he was in close proximity, smashed his fist into Zax's misshapen face. The Emperor of Darkness seemed unphased and unaffected by the attacks. He disappeared from Hellspawn's sight and then reappeared behind him and used all of his strength to launch a surprise attack. He leapt into the air and kicked Hellspawn in the back, right on his spine, making his foe spit out gallons of blood as he flew to the ground. Hellspawn's body smashed onto the surface of the mountain like a fallen star and more blood splattered everywhere. The Emperor was pleased and delighted in what he had done. It was very pleasureful for him to witness.

"Is that the best you got?" Hellspawn asked as he slowly pulled himself together and looked up at Zax. "I was expecting much better from someone of your position, who gloated constantly about being so much of a hot shot." Zax let out a vicious roar and scream that seemed to drift through the boundaries of time and space, throwing Hellspawn off balance and knocking him to his knees again. It was a screech that sounded like an amplified version of nails on a chalkboard that just went on forever like the explosion from the Big Bang. Zax's pupils disappeared as he bowed down on his knees and held his chest. He began to breathe heavily and his eyes grew a crimson shade of red. Lightning struck from the clouds above as ice came and hell began to freeze over. Zax had opened up two portals in the ground, one to his left side and the other to his right.

"This, my dear Nissen," he said. "Is only the beginning of a battle that will never end as long as time never ceases or until the day that all are misled away from the comforts of their home and the happiness of their lives to the tortures of Hell." And from the dark and dangerous depths of the portals, two monstrous figures began to emerge into the human world. They came crawling from the lowest depths of Hell, far beyond the Leviathan's Pit. Both were disfigured monsters and familiar to Hellspawn. He had met both of them before, in his past.

One of them was James Webster, who was one of the Mods that showed up to stop him the night of the Black Mass, now transformed into a Cenobite. The other misshapen mongrel was Belial, who Hellspawn could sense was Lord Jimifulss, whose own life was ruined, no thanks to Hellspawn, not that he cared anyway. Both had their bodies blown to pieces by Afiag before Hellspawn showed up but demons are immortal and Zax had brought them back from Hell.

"Now the real show begins," Zax screeched like a loud fog horn. "And no one can save your miserable excuse for a hide, Nissen!" Zax was pulling all the strings, manipulating the very minds and souls of the beast-like Belial and the sinister James Webster. Pitted against each other, they would be the deadliest of enemies. Unfortunately, they were now nothing more than mere slaves of the power Zax possessed as the Cenobite Emperor of Darkness, pawns in his deadly plan to pay back Hozay Garcia Nissen, once and for all. It seemed to be the only thing Zax ever dreamed about anymore, besides total rule over everything that was present within the known universe. Taking the soul of Nissen and grinding it up into itty, bitty pieces to be stepped on, Zax would enjoy.

"Welcome to eternity, my dear Nissen," the Emperor of Darkness greeted his foe with sincere joy. "For the torture you will endure after this day will make the tortures of today seem like a memory of heaven! And when you find yourself looking back, remember, those who dwell on the past have no future, just endless lament"

The anger and hatred had been building up inside Hellspawn and he let it all tear loose and lunged forward, plunging straight for the Emperor of Darkness. Belial and James stood between Hellspawn and Zax but the devil spawn charged through them with all his might as he went flying across the ground like a magnum bullet. Zax was overly confident, as was Hellspawn, and did not feel the least bit threatened. Hellspawn was merely a recreational exercise of sorts that Zax took pleasure in enjoying. The fight of a lifetime was being fought as Belial and James moved in to keep their Emperor safe and protect him. Zax was like a womb and they would keep him as pure as evil could be.

"LAMENT THIS!" Hellspawn screamed as he pulled out a dagger and stabbed Zax in the area where a human's heart would be located. The dagger was stuck inside of Zax and Hellspawn did not have the immense strength needed to pull it out. He left it in the demon's heart, hoping it would have some sort of effect on him. Zax just smiled as he always did and pulled it out, throwing the blood covered weapon to the ground. The Emperor of Darkness was staring straight into Hellspawn's soul as he pointed towards a large hole that magically appeared in the central area of his chest, revealing horrifying mechanics and mutilations done to his inner organs. It also revealed that something was missing.

"No heart, Nissen, no heart," Zax said, trying very hard not to laugh. "Cold blooded serpents don't have a heart, Nissen. It's been missing since the Blue Devil performed this delicate operation on me. The lack a heart keeps me cold and emotionless. I couldn't ask to live a better way!" Hellspawn's claws grew to a much larger size as he pounced forward again and tried to claw Zax's eyes out, the skin right off his mortifying face of sin and delight. The savage Belial leapt at him like a wild beast or dog and crawled all over him like one, biting and barking in his face. Hellspawn was thrust onto the ground as a hideous face continued to make itself known. Belial was acting vicious and irrationally as he tried to tear him to pieces like a wolf would its prey. Hellspawn merely took his powerful claws and sliced at Belial's side, then pounding the dog-like servant of Zax square in the face.

Belial cried out as Hellspawn did a somersault through the air and landed over by James, who was just standing there. Just before his last meeting with Zax as a human, he was a cold man that did not feel anything who tried to seek out ways to bring back the same feelings of pleasure and life he used to know. After being unsuccessful, James thought he would never feel again but the transfiguration done to him by the Blue Devil made him a whole new entity. James could 'feel' now but no one would believe what it was.

"We're both bitter, we're both vile, Nissen," Zax muttered, sounding as if he had something caught in his throat. "Once you give in willingly and we end this battle, you may submit to your torture forever more." Belial lashed at Hellspawn, his claws were equally as large and just as sharp. The slave of Zax began to slice and dice at him, trying to literally cut him to pieces. Hellspawn had confidence and patience and most of all, the ability to think rationally. Belial, on the other hand, was like a wild beast and when Hellspawn outwitted him, he would go crazy and insane trying to kill everything in sight. Nothing human that was within his reach was safe. Hellspawn laughed at Belial who had become a mockery of demons. He was the product of the damage Matthias had done to Lord Jimifulss over the past three years and therefore imperfect, unlike the Cenobites, the creations of Leviathan and the Engineer.

"Ha, your fiendish lackey is weak, Zax," Hellspawn laughed as he pointed towards his own head. "He seems to have a mild failure in reality processing. Or maybe he just can't think straight." Zax was looking rather frustrated and angry and feeling incompetent, but no matter. He knew he had the power to back up his frightful words and in the end, he would. There was a time that Hellspawn was fearful of him, a time when the thought of Zax made him shake with fear and shed tears for Mallory. Zax, the Emperor of Darkness, was not looking down. Hellspawn was looking up at him. That was how things used to be and the Emperor had no plans of letting that element of fear of him in the lives of others disappear. He was the most feared human on Earth when he was controlling his worldwide criminal syndicate from his humble abode at Maser City. Even his employees and lackeys were fearful of him! Zax had risen to power because of the fear others had of him... It was that fear that made him so powerful a dictator.

Zax flew upwards and spread his left arm out as magic dust poured from his cape and a mystical spell spilled forth that enchanted Belial. The muscles, strength and power that Belial possessed remained the same but the fat began to disappear as his appearance changed from a beast to a more man-like creature. Belial let out a ghastly scream as Zax began to cure the defective demon of his imperfections that made him a pathetic opponent for Hellspawn. Belial was now more intelligent, more man-like than beast, someone who would be able to fight better with Hellspawn and provide more sport.

Hellspawn was pleased with Zax's powers, for Belial was incompetent at first but now the demon was a worthy combatant who deserved a good fight. Hellspawn smiled with glee as the demon placed his massive fists together and threw them like a large hammer striking down upon a nail. Fortunately, Hellspawn was able to thrust himself to the side to avoid being struck, but barely. Belial then pulled a fast one with his swiftness, moving from side to side and then appearing from behind and kicking Hellspawn in the back of the head. He could feel a horrible sensation of pain running through him as his body became temporarily paralyzed on the spot... His feeling for the physical was fading for a short period as he was swung backwards. Blood poured from his mouth and flew everywhere. Belial came at him and almost crushed his body just before Hellspawn regained his ability to move and feel and flung himself once again to the side. He stood up and as he bled like mad and ignored his pain, he launched a green fire ball from his hand at Belial which sent his enemy to the ground. Zax and James both watched and were eager for a fight they could participate in.

Just as Hellspawn clapped his hands over his defeat of Belial, James Webster crept forward. Hellspawn turned and just managed to grab one of the chains James sent flying at him before the hook on its end could tear into his flesh. Another followed and he grabbed it as well. More chains came out of nowhere and Hellspawn managed to fly about and kick one of them away while he was still in the air. Two more he kicked away when he was on the ground. He took the ones he was holding and threw them back at James but they have no affect on the Cenobite that is using them.

Unnoticed by Hellspawn was that Belial had risen up behind him. It was too late when he grabbed him from behind and held him so that James or Zax could take free shots. Zax was rather pleased with the fight and floated downwards to stand by Hellspawn and witness his former assassin's personal demise first hand and up close.

James Webster had no true expression on his face like most Cenobites when they kill their prey and just crept in and began to summon up chains from Hell to dig themselves into Hellspawn's flesh and tear him apart. Hellspawn was fidgeting around like crazy, trying to escape the clutches of Belial as time began to slow down and he stared at the chains that were aiming straight for him.

The anger... the hatred, the loathing... the abhorrence. The anguish had built itself up inside of Hellspawn and now he was ready to explode and release his true powers onto his enemies, unleashing all his true potential he was hiding for most of the battle. His eyes flashed from normal to yellow and back again as a mystical fire appeared around his body and blew Belial away. He then jumped into the air and landed, hunched over, with all of the chains in his hand and threw them at Belial. They caught in his flesh. There was no choice now and it had to be done. James twisted his head and simultaneously, the chains that ripped into Belial's flesh tore apart the body that once belonged to Lord Jimifulss.

"He was a great asset," Zax told Hellspawn with anger. "Even greater than you once were, Nissen!" It was soon to be an apocalyptic end for Hellspawn. The Emperor of Darkness was going to make sure of it. He promised himself that when he was in absolute control over the universe alongside the Blue Devil, Hellspawn would not be around to witness the ferocious tyrant's takeover or the beginning of a new world. An eternity of evil and corruption... Dominance over sentient life... Rule over ALL life... Hellspawn was promised to live in the era with his beloved Mallory by the Council of Death but Zax was going to make sure that Hellspawn could rot in the world of the dead with his love instead... That would have been an equally wonderful fate, or so Zax thought it to be.

"Thou dreams every night that one day... the finest day of all when the darkest hour of one's own life is over, he can live with his lady until the day he dies," Zax said to Hellspawn with a snicker of evil. "And I promise you, Nissen, you will get a chance to be reunited with your lady love... Oh, yes you will! And I vow to you that the both of you can live together with each other for the rest of eternity. Forever and ever, without fear of dying, without ever fearing that the two of you will be apart. Once I kill you and reap your soul for a thousand years or more, you and Mallory will have the rest of time itself to rot in Hell together, side by side, suffering excruciating pain beyond the comprehension of your puny brains!"

Forever was a long time coming and to some, it seemed shorter than they thought. Hellspawn truthfully wanted to spend the rest of his days with his love. It was all he ever dreamed about. The day she would return and they could live as one until the day they died but Zax's twisted version of how the fairy tale would end was frightful to him. It was the first time in a long time, if not ever, that Hellspawn experienced fear. On the inside, he was hurt and felt like crying but on the outside he appeared to be the exact opposite, cold and arrogant as ever. The Emperor of Darkness could see right through the disguise that Hellspawn put on and he knew the truth of his adversary.

"At least I have a dream, Zax, one that keeps me strong and well, a dream that motivates me, day after day." Hellspawn batted back a tiny tear within his right eye. "A powerful dream, a vision! You... you kill thousands every day for money and power and that is not justifiable. I kill hundreds out of virtue in my heart... At least when I kill, Zax, I have a reason... a meaning for it. What you have is selfish greed. I do not obtain power and money from my killings, just a chance at happiness!" Both of them felt their killings had justice served. What they failed to see was the hypocrisy in their thinking. They were blind to the fact that their personal vendettas towards the world and each other were both immoral and unjust. It was sad, almost shameful, to see the things they had done over the years, for whatever reasons. One man killing for love, the other for greed. If only they could see there were other ways to solve their issues... Perhaps there was hope for Hellspawn but there was no hope for Zax learning the lessons of morality he should have been taught. No matter what, the Emperor of Darkness would always remain as the bearer of that title.

*****
RadoGoji sped back to headquarters as fast as he could and as accurate as possible, considering he had no idea where he was, all the while hoping that Angillis knew what he was doing.

"HQ, this is Rado," he said into the radio. "Angillis and I were ambushed and he's caught in some sort of skirmish. Please respond."

"Roger, Rado," came Ryuujin's voice. "State your current position."

"I can't. Angillis forgot to put GPS units in the ATBDs during the final construction. Can you get a lock on my signal?"

"Yeah," replied Ryuujin. "We're sending directions back to HQ to your on board CPU. Is Angillis OK?"

"He told me to head back and get you while he held them off," Rado advised. "As for his current status, I'm not sure. His radio went out some time ago and I have no idea what jumped us."

"Never mind the directions to the base," Ryuujin said. "We'll be right there with the Garuda .5 and we'll head back to Angillis' last known position."

"Sounds good to me, I guess," he figured. "Although we can't forget what happened to us last time Angillis got separated from us sometime before our little adventure with Dracula. We should proceed with caution. I don't know what these guys are capable of and Angillis may have gone Nightmare."

"Roger. We're putting Boo in charge of the base and heading to your position." Ryuujin signed off as Rado stopped the ATBD and looked in the direction he had just come from.

*****

"What the hell is going on now?" Nightmare Angillis snarled as he found the creature that was to be his prey. He crouched down, running purely on animal instinct which told him that most humans would run as fast as they could if they caught sight of him so he hid and stalked closer, above his target.

Afiag sensed something of real power stalking him. Whoever it was would meet his end on the Angel of Darkness' blade. His eyes narrowed as he awaited the pounce. This creature had a lot of power but he was anxious for a fight.

Nightmare Angillis tensed. His feet dug into the rocky earth underneath him as he leapt to strike down his prey in one, brutal blow. His claws started to glow as he jumped high into the air. Afiag had to move quickly or else he would have been carved wide open. He barely dodged out of the way when the shock wave hit him, hard. He was blasted backwards, out of control. He slammed his claws into the earth, slowing and eventually stopping his momentum. The creature was primitive. It hardly had enough sense to know what to fear or what to hunt. He unstrapped his sword from his back and let it fall to the ground. He would fight this creature as an equal, claw to claw. It was time to show this beast of wrath who was truly superior - who was the hunter and who was the prey.

Angillis was confused. That should have cut open the prey, or at lest scared him off if he had seen him coming. But it just undid something. He didn't know what it was that fell to the ground and was just laying there. Nightmare shock his head, his main flowing. Thinking of anything beyond hunting and mating made his head hurt. He let out a roar and charged, bounding forward. He didn't even notice his prey running toward him.

Afiag ran toward the beast, not sure what to expect. He remembered feeling a similar energy when he first returned to this plain. Well, the Fallen One did, though it was covered by a larger one. That was an eventful day for whoever had that much energy because he could sense a hidden world created by mankind. Within that world, he felt almost god-like entities but each of their energies disappeared one after another until the world's life force was destroyed as well. He thought the creature dead because its energy slipped away. Now he knew he was wrong. All of this reached Afiag but it only made him charge faster.

Nightmare Angillis brought his claws up and swung down with great power behind them, enough to crush any normal mortal man. Afiag brought his claw up to meet them and was surprised and impressed by the sheer brute force of this animal. His hand tightened onto the creature's as he pushed back. He had caught the other before it could cut his juggler. They were equal in strength. The ground cracked and broke underneath them as they struggled to get the upper hand but neither could break the stalemate. Nightmare Angillis, although towering over Afiag, struggled to keep his prey from pushing him back. Afiag was having similar difficulties. His wings were useless since as soon as he tried to fly, he could be cut down. He didn't want to resort to Hell Fire, either. He wasn't even sure it would affect the beast.

Nightmare began snapping at his prey, trying to bite him and finally bit into the Angel of Darkness' shoulder. Afiag grimaced in pain and cringed as the beast deepened its hold. He would not let up, even though his blood started running on to the already soaked ground, joining that of the fallen. He would not join them! He pushed all the harder against the beast. Nightmare Angillis knew his prey should have fallen but it didn't. His eyes started to glow blue as he let loose his Nightmare Blast, which knocked Afiag into the mountainside, causing a landslide to cover him. Angillis would have to rely only on his sight as the blood of the fallen covered his prey's scent.

Afiag burst out of the rubble, looking pissed. He took to the air, dodging a blow from Nightmare Angillis and sent down Hell Fire to consume the beast. As he thought, it didn't even harm the creature's hardened skin. Angillis looked up at this airborne foe he had stopped thinking of as food and let loose his Twister Roar, sending out a powerful tornado to bring down the Angel of Darkness. Afiag was caught by surprise by this attack but stayed in the air by beating back the energy with his own wings. He mustn't underestimate this primitive animal again...

Nightmare Angillis leapt up, fifty feet into the air, grabbing Afiag who struggled to remain airborne. Afiag slashed at him with no effect as Nightmare bit his injured shoulder. Afiag quit trying to stay airborne and let himself free fall. Both of them crashed to the rocky earth below, the resulting shock wave destroying some of the landscape. Both Afiag and Nightmare Angillis leapt from the thirty-foot deep crater they had made, staring each other down before lashing out once again.

Afiag leapt up and with a powerful roundhouse kick, knocked Nightmare Angillis back and followed up with a bone crushing punch, slamming into the creature's chest. It stumbled back and then flipped backwards into Afiag As he started to fall, Afiag took to the air and sent a blast of Hell Fire at Nightmare Angillis' eyes who howled in pain as the flames blinded him. He clawed at his eyes, trying to clear away the fire as Afiag brought his fist down into the creature and then brought up his leg in a powerful kick as he unleashed a combo of punches and kicks, dodging the creature's swinging claws. He did not notice blue energy crackling in the flames...

Nightmare Angillis let loose a smaller form of his Nightmare Blast. This time, the blue-green energy beam was only as big as Afiag himself who blasted away the flames but it hit him hard, knocking him away. Afiag landed in the destroyed area, pain wracking his body. His Hell-Blade was within reach... Afiag's claws gripped the ground, crushing the earth beneath him as he rose quickly but he did not use the Hell-Blade as he started to charge again. This was a last ditch effort as he let loose a powerful Hell Fire blast.

Nightmare Angillis was getting tired. Not even the Hated One (Sauron) put up this kind of a fight. He bounded forward and let loose one last uber-powerful Nightmare Blast. This time, it was the size of a bowling ball. Afiag, with both claws reaching outward, stopped the blast as did Nightmare Angillis. Afiag could not rip through as it started to affect his body, cutting his skin with the energy waves coming off of it. Nightmare Angillis was having basically the same problems as the hellish flames burned his skin as he struggled to keep back the blast.

These two warriors, one an ancient one of hatred, rage and power, the other a Nightmare Beast with the power to defeat the Titans, were fatigued as they struggled against the attacks. Even the Beast knew that this would be the final blow. Only one question remained: who would be left standing?

Afiag charged with the last of his remaining strength and let one arm drop. His left arm was the only thing keeping the blast away from him but was being ripped into by the energy, his flesh being torn from the bone as he brought up his right arm and slammed his fist through the Nightmare Blast into Angillis. The Hell Fire and the Nightmare Blast mixed, which resulted in a devastating explosion, consuming both rage-driven warriors and obliterating what was left of the terrain. One figure fell into the rubble as the other let out an animalistic roar. His clawed hand reached forward as he pulled himself along and the fearsome image of Nightmare Angillis stumbled out of the war zone and quickly snapped his head back. Afiag was rising slowly, pulling himself up as he staggered after the Beast.

The two beings of ultimate power stared at one another until something that happened shocked Afiag. Nightmare Angillis started to shrink, his claws reverting back into fingernails and hands and feet. His fangs changed back into teeth and pupils returned to his eyes as Angillis reverted. He looked around, scared. Where was he, what just happened?! He looked at the nearly destroyed mountainside and spotted Hellspawn and some other demon fighting. He backed up some and saw the being known as Afiag, the Angel of Darkness, approach. Afiag picked up his Hell-Blade, consumed in Hellish flames.

*****
Someone had appeared before Ubergeek without his knowing who it was.

"You might want to save your friend, Ubergeek, Spawn of Kenny," spoke the Blue Devil. Uber went into automatic defense mode, almost jumping into the air as he turned around. He transformed into his Gamera form and let loose several blasts of Plasma Fire Balls, blasting the Blue Devil directly. The flames blew away as the Blue Devil rose up without a scratch on him from the usually devastating attack.

"Ignorant. If I wanted to kill you, I would have done so when you were weak. Now, you need to save your friend before Afiag strikes him down. Or you could try and fight me and lose horribly."

"Why do you care about Angillis?!" Ubergeek asked angrily.

"Simple. I always take care of those who will help me. Which is why I didn't kill you, my friend," he replied. "Now, be off. Afiag will strike Angillis down in but a moment."

Ubergeek cursed to himself as he snatched up Angillis before Afiag could slaughter him. He headed back to where the Blue Devil was supposed to be but found no one. He then waited on the other Guardians to appear.

"Ubergeek...what's going on?" came the terrified voice of Angillis.

"I wish I knew..."

*****

Afiag roared in outrage. His prey had been stolen from him! But it didn't matter. He had won the fight. All that mattered was finding the Blue Devil and finally ending this. He took to the air. The only thing driving him to ignore the fact that his left arm was basically useless was the thought of finally ending this war. He searched the mountainside, destroying random peaks trying to find his hated nemesis.

*****
The Blue Devil's voice boomed in Zax's brain as he ordered him to come forth to him. Zax left off fighting Hellspawn as he went off to his lord's location. He landed in front of him, one knee on the ground, the other bent, his left fist on the ground and the other across his chest as he bowed before his master.

"What is it, milord, that you bother me during a fight with the Spawn of Hell?" he asked.

"Zax... I want you to tell me something. What is the difference between us? Besides power, what is the big difference?" asked the former Phantom Lord.

"Well... I do not know, milord. We are the same in so many ways. I cannot think of a way we could be different," spoke Zax, slowly choosing his words.

"I will tell you then, Zax. You are... limited in your thinking. You do not view good and evil, you view power and how many men you've got as to who will win a fight. You never think ahead, truly ahead. Whatever project you have taken on, you stick to that project while I am not limited. I view all possibilities, the good and the evil and I have noted over the course of this Universe, Good always wins. No matter what odds are stacked against it, Good will win. Which is why you will not win, Zax. You will fail like all beings such as you. You are evil, Zax, and you are a tyrant. Both of which will lead to your death."

"If I am evil, surely you are evil as well?!" Zax questioned him, enraged at what he had heard.

"Now here is the part that will confuse you. I am, in point of fact, not evil. I am a force of power, no different than a tornado, or a black hole. I am one who takes part in evil things but I myself am not evil. My right hand holds the power of Oblivion while my left, the power of Absolution. My body is that of Destruction while I have the face of Death. All of these things are not evil, my comrade, they are timeless. A timeless force of power. Oblivion does not take sides, it takes all in its path. All who have felt its power seek absolution. Destruction is something that happens to everything and Death takes all, leaving nothing in its wake.

"No, I am not evil but I have done many evil things. So thus, Zax, this is why you will die. You claim to be the Emperor of Darkness while you are unworthy of its great power. You claim there is no evil and yet you are evil. No, there is good and evil and while good may falter every now and then, it will beat evil. It's a classic case of the Devil versus God. No matter how powerful the Devil may be, God is always greater. Thus, I sought to escape these titles of good and evil and made myself a new body, unrestricted by these boundaries," the Blue Devil finished.

"I think that you are unworthy to rule, Blue Devil! You have not yet even shown me any of this so called ‘power'. You have yet to show you are any better than me, any of us! Why is it, master, you haven't even fought Afiag yet? Are you afraid?" Zax asked, mockingly. The Blue Devil grabbed him by the neck, hoisting him up five feet off of the ground, cutting off his air supply as he spoke very harshly.

"YOU have no idea what power truly is, do you?! Just because one does not fight does not make him a weakling. Just because one stands by and watches DOES NOT MAKE HIM WEAK. I am power! I have the power to destroy the heavens themselves BUT I bide my time, waiting, planning, plotting for the final showdown! You will not live past this day, Zax, because you are evil and because you are a FOOL!" the Blue Devil roared as he tossed him into a cliff, making it crumble. Zax felt actual pain. No pleasure was found in it, ether. It was the kind of pain he would feel when he was still human...

"I have the power, Zax, to end all. Mortal, immortal, god, human, it does not matter. Immortality is nothing. Mortals quake in fear. Gods and goddesses fall and humans die. No one can stand before me, Zax, NO ONE. The Olden Gods faced me once upon a time and all fell before me. Athena, Mars, the God and Goddess of War and Wisdom fell before my absolute power. Zeus, the Sun God, Neptune all failed to stop me. Not even the Guardian of the Light could stand before my power. You. Are. Nothing," he finished and to make his point, he snapped Zax's arm. Zax screamed out in pain, real human pain and then it was over. He felt no more human pain, only the sickening Cenobite kind that brought him so much pleasure.

"Now be gone. I have other matters to attend to." Zax slunk out, back to the fight with Hellspawn. He figured he would take out his anger on him. As the Emperor of Darkness returned to the battlefield, he found that his Cenobite lackey, James Webster, had been thrashed by Nissen, literally torn to pieces at the hands of a mercenary. There was a time such a sight would have been delightful and divine to the eyes of Zax but not on this day, not after everything that just occurred between him and his master. He was raging with anguish inside and it was time to let those feelings out and show his master he was a worthy apprentice.

"A soldier 'til I fall," Zax whispered into the dead of the night. He was exploding now with conflicting emotions in his blackened heart. Zax had never felt this kind of emotion before, never in his entire lifetime. It was a new experience for him. The Blue Devil was a force of absolute destruction that he admired and worshipped as if he were a god. He was an idol, someone he could look up to. Now he felt betrayed by his master and there was only one thing he could do and that was show his worthiness.

Zax was not aware of the true and sick intentions that the Blue Devil had in mind. Had he known, Nissen would not have been his first target for termination. Zax was going to destroy Hellspawn completely, wiping him from the face of the Earth just so he could prove himself to the Blue Devil who was planning on manipulating Nissen into merging with him again. The first time Apocalypse was born, Hellspawn had more control over the body and mind. The Blue Devil was making preparations because this time when Apocalypse was born, HE would be the one calling all the shots behind the mask of the twisted entity.

'Not even the Guardian of the Light could stand before my power,' the Blue Devil had said. 'You. Are. Nothing.' Those were the words that upset the balance between the two and it was all that Zax could think about anymore. He was not foolish enough to engage in a power struggle against the Blue Devil. What he was seeking was respect and acceptance from his master. Zax was ready to blow the universe into nothingness if that's what it took to gain his master's utter respect. Concentrating mostly on that, Zax forgot about some important facts: That the Blue Devil IS evil, despite his claims.

"There shall be only one, Nissen," Zax had roared to his nemesis. "And you're not going to be it!" Zax was soon overwhelmed by a strange daydream of being strapped down in the electric chair and sentenced to death at the hands of a corrupt justice system. He had no idea why he was dreaming of such events at a time like this as he gained a sense of the suggestive will and perverse urges of the tainted sins the criminals who end up in the chair usually commit over the course of their lives. A wicked and yet divine feeling, something joyful and yet immoral.

Blood was spilling and Zax could taste the stain on his fingertips. There was death in the air as he prepared to make the ultimate demise, something he had committed a thousand times in the past, maybe even more. It was something he had always done and would continue to do until the day he died. Taking away the lives of others for his personal benefit always made him feel good and positive inside. To him, it was merely like a drug or caffeine addiction. Had Zax been a normal man at the moment and in the hands of Project Pimp, he felt sure they would have him put to death by now for his lustful sins. Zax had taken away so many lives in his life time, they would have surely taken his so that he would never be able to sin or kill again or have the chance to hurt or ruin another life. He was crazy, someone who needed to be put behind bars and locked away. He knew if he were a mortal man still, he would never win.

Zax was seeing visions now of his body being burnt to ash and buried beneath the ground, six feet under. It was just a dream. Such a thing could never happen. His soul would be trapped outside of his body if they even tried to do such a thing to him in his present state. Zax could easily escape that rotting shell and enter into the pit of eternal punishment to look for a light in his darkest hours.

"I can never die," Zax declared. "I escaped through death! Through confronting it, I was given REAL life!" The Emperor of Darkness was Hell's personal arch angel of death and destruction. The Devil's own tormentor of the unforgiven sins... the same sins that would always remain unforgotten and never redeemed. There was a murderous rage inside of Zax that would never be truly satisfied. He was addicted, always craving more. Each time he killed, it had to be more gruesome than the last. It was through the cry of death and facing it himself that he found a light. Zax was boundless, forever. No longer was he liable to die for the Blue Devil's gift to him was the title of KING OF THE DEAD.

"Interesting words," Hellspawn noted. "Give life to this!" He grabbed the remnants of James Webster and threw him at Zax who was not prepared for such a childish maneuver from his nemesis. All Zax could think about was the disrespectful things the Blue Devil had said to him and that was distracting him as well. Shocked and surprised, not knowing what to do, he was literally left standing there, bewildered in the middle of a fight that just begun. Hellspawn took the opportunity to punch his foe square in the face. The distractions had made Zax fail to function and the impact from the collision with Hellspawn's fist sent him flying backwards.

"Mallory and I will be together to live while this world dies unbearably," Hellspawn declared as he looked down upon Zax and spat on him. "And there's nothing you can ever say or ever do to prevent that from happening!" It was impossible for Zax to operate anymore. He couldn't fight in combat. Or to even better explain it, he wouldn't. He was letting every negative and treacherous thing that his master said and did to him ruin his life in these final moments. Anxiety and paranoia engulfed his mind and destroyed all sense of alertness and awareness but he was a Cenobite, after all, so the pain being inflicted into his mental wounds was pleasurable. His mind was becoming a disfigured wretch buried by mental scars left permanently from the affects of the Blue Devil. One punch and Zax had let himself be defeated. He had been conquered by Hellspawn, all because of something silly and stupid the Blue Devil said to him.

"NO! NO! NO! NO," Zax began to scream in a fit of rage like a young child in unbearable pain. He was crying, "THIS CAN'T BE HAPPENING! NO! I AM PERPETUAL! I AM INFINITE! NO, THIS CAN'T BE REAL! NEVER!" Zax was not dead, nor would he die this day. One thing was promised and that was that Hellspawn would defeat him in their struggle. Zax was now forced to battle his own mind and confront himself. It was necessary for him to face the one thing inside himself he despised, the thing that should not be. It was something he had to do but whether or not he would do it was another story.

Hellspawn did not care either. His ego was satisfied enough with defeating Zax and his minions alone. He smiled at Zax who was laying on the ground, twitching in a fit of epilepsy. Now the real battle was ready to begin...

*****
RadoGoji was in the burning city once again. The fighting, the carnage, the genocide was all reoccurring.

"I thought this stopped a year ago," he said to himself. "Why is it starting again?" The scene then began to white out. Apparently, Irenicus and the Slayer visions did not return. Rather, the city faded out and he found himself in the ATBD , rolling over the side of a hill and about to flip over. He turned hard and sped up to the top of the hill and stopped. He had no idea where he was. The dream had taken up his senses and he was lost again. He exited the ATBD and looked out into the distance. He had another brief glimpse of the dream again and shook his head quickly to snap back to reality.

"Is there a reason that this dream is returning?" he wondered. "Could this be a... prophecy or something? Is this a premonition of things to come?"

*****
The Blue Devil saw Hellspawn approach him. He had won his battle against Zax, which was good. If he had failed, then the Blue Devil would have had to kill Zax himself. Waste of time and space but he proved useful and got him what he needed, James. Hellspawn thinks he beat James but he is wrong. As Hellspawn approached the Blue Devil, James was repairing himself.

"Friend Hozay!" the Blue Devil called out cheerfully. "How have you been? Well, I would hope."

Hellspawn was cautious, not wholly trusting his ally. "My name is Hellspawn! Hozay died, remember?"

"Ah, yes... My mistake then, Hellspawn. I would like to make a proposition," the Blue Devil continued.

"If it concerns us forming to make Apocalypse, forget it! I swore I would never become Apocalypse again!" Hellspawn retorted angrily.

"Oh, now, Spawn of Hell, Apocalypse will never see the light of day again. I just want you to be happy. Now if there was anything you could get back or have, what would it be?"

"Mallory..." he whispered. "If I could have anything, I would have back my Mallory." The Blue Devil got up off of his recently built ‘throne' and looked down upon his ally.

"This I can grant you. But... would Mallory want you back if you look as you do now?" he asked.

"Well... I... I d-don't know..." came his indecisive reply.

"What would you say if I told you I could give you BOTH? Your human side AND your Mallory. What would you do?"

"Anything you asked... Please, give me back my Mallory!" Hellspawn pleaded.

"I will do my best, my ally." With that, the Blue Devil raised his left hand and from it came a blue light... a soul. It started to take on a human form, the form of Mallory. Then, a bright light enveloped Hellspawn and he felt different. When he looked down, he found himself be be human again! He ran to the form that was Mallory and saw that she was frightened.

"Hozay! What is going on!?" she asked.

"Nothing, my dear... nothing. Just come here and allow me to feel your touch again," he answered, soothingly as tears started to stream from his eyes. He finally had his Mallory! Never again would he make a deal with any of the devils! Never again! "Never again..." he said softly as he went to hug her but he passed right through her as she started to disappear.

"Hozay, what is going on?! HOZAY! HOZAY! HOZAY! HOZAY! HOZAY!!!!! HOZAY!"

"NO! NO! NO!" he cried out, clawing at the ground where Mallory had stood. "WHAT HAPPENED?! WHAT DID YOU DO?!" Hozay asked, angrily charging the Blue Devil who stopped him before speaking.

"I am sorry, my friend. I do not have enough power to fully revive her. Afiag has taken away my power and will kill me if he finds me again. Face it, Hozay. The Council will never revive Mallory. They will just keep on telling you to do and do and do until you finally die and they find a new solider." Hozay fell to his knees. He knew this to be true.

"Damn..." he muttered. "What will it take to give you the power?!" Hozay asked.

"For you to do one thing, my ally. Kill Afiag. Then I will set you free of the Council and you can live your life with Mallory as you see fit. When I gain enough power, I will revive her and make sure you two are reunited in the world of the living. What you do after that is up to you. What do you say?" The Blue Devil put out his hand, which the claw of Hellspawn grabbed.

"I will kill Afiag. This I promise!" he vowed. Hellspawn unfurled his bat-like wings and took off after the Angel of Darkness.

*****
After the Cenobites had been wiped out by Afiag, most of the fighters had departed. All that remained on the battlefield now were the Blue Devil, Zax, who lay in a crumpled heap after his disgraceful display; James, who was lifting himself from the ground and finally, Hellspawn, who was leaving to seek out and destroy Afiag. The battle had come to a stopping point as the Blue Devil surveyed the scene, the broken landscape of the mountainside having been reduced to a flattened crater. He laughed pitilessly.

Meanwhile, away from the area, Rodan2000 had finally come to a halt. When the battle had gotten to the point that it was a near death sentence for a mortal such as himself to be there, he had flown away but only after he had seen Yuri do so as well. Seeing the retreat of other fighters, he had taken the opportunity to fly away. Now out of peril, he had landed by a brook, near where Jimifulss had been when he was finally taken by Mathias.

Rodan began to worry about his wife. She had left the battle when Afiag showed up with the shotgun-like weapon but now he had no idea where she was. Lifting himself to the skies again, he scanned the immediate area for her. At first he didn't see anything but soon he felt her presence, in his mind and in his heart. He closed his eyes and began to fly blindly toward where he felt her. He flew for what seemed to be an eternity, each wing beat bringing him closer to collapsing until he suddenly felt warm all over. Opening his eyes, he looked down and saw her perched on a tree, her feathers slicked back over her winged body. She was in phoenix form when she looked up and saw him. He alighted next to her, glad to have the rest.

"You got my message," she said, dropping to the ground. He followed her to the grass and they sat in their bird-like forms. She soon reverted back to human form and they began to converse.

"What's gonna happen to us?" asked Rodan, sighing under the stress of the recent horrific battle. All seemed dark and gloomy as he eyed the dark, foreboding clouds that hovered over Mt. Rodan. The battle was still raging on but at this point, it was out of the control of anyone other than the strongest of the strong, those fighters possibly even stronger than the Guardians themselves.

"It's been a long time since I've tasted the bitter taste of war. Even though I grew up with it in the ancient times, I finally hid in the Himalayas where I was able to escape from it all. Roostville has been chaotic but never a true war of this magnitude. Few times have close friends died, other than Princess. Now, we're in a true, full blooded war. One with casualties galore. And even after what I have seen in my childhood, I'm still as nervous and depressed as ever. I just hope that it ends quickly but I have a strong feeling that it wont."

"Cheer up, we're alive." Yuri was a source of comfort. "And though we don't know who has died yet, we at least know it wasn't any of the guys at the Club because they never left it. We're fine and our close friends are fine. What more do we need?"

"Peace. What we need is peace."

"Don't worry. We'll get through this. It will eventually end. It wont last forever, I promise you. C'mon, let's head back to the club. We'll find some much needed rest there, if only for the moment."

"Good, we certainly need some rest." He took a quick glance back at the mountain and watched the swirling pattern in the clouds. Every once in a while, would see something like a small flicker of a terrifying beam weapon. It was true; the war was still going on but he took comfort in Yuri's words, even at this present time. It wouldn't last forever.

As Yuri and her mate flew back towards Roostville, she was happy for their safety and growing distance from the battlefield but she knew she would have to return when the other Guardians arrived. She sensed Ubergeek would be safe back at Mt. Rodan for she had seen Melkor's massive LEVIATHAN crest the horizon. Still, even the Dark Lords could not prevail without the other Guardians.

For now, she would wait for the time to strike and allay her mate's concerns for her safety by luring him away from the danger she was ordained to face. Even in retreat, she could feel strong in the great love they shared for each other. When the time came, she hoped he could draw on her strength as she did on his and remain hopeful, even in these darkest of times.

*****
Through the empty voids of the Nightmare Realm poured forth legions of fog rolling through the anchors of time and space as the Council of Death's floating Tower of Terror drifted endlessly in a dark and chaotic nebula. The surreality of the Nightmare Realm became personified by the echoing cry of warriors dying that could be heard from within the darkest regions of the vast blackness. And deep within its depths was where the Tower had perched itself, settling in among a vicious storm as if this were the ordinary and mundane. The frightful imagery created was immense and demonic, like nothing ever seen in Hollywood motion pictures. In the Nightmare Realm, the imagination had no boundaries and knew no limits to the power it could provide.

Thunderbolts and lighting struck as the Tower of Terror settled into the central core of the clouds, directly in the eye of the storm. A strange aura of fog and mist seemed to seep through like the distinct odor of death. The clouds became darker and darker as they turned from the grayest tint to the blackest color anyone had ever seen. Tornadoes and whirlpools of air came crashing forth as the demonic cry of wolves emerged from the surroundings. Long tentacles, rocky spikes and bug legs appeared from within the clouds and attached themselves to the Tower as if to hold in it place. There was a living creature within the nebula that no one had ever seen...

The Tower of Terror itself appeared in its most demonic form. The structure of the Council's massive fortress was a vast configuration beyond the complexity of any Earth or alien stronghold known. Natural elements such as stone, as well as artificial metals, were a part of this nightmarish and horrific design. It was at least one hundred times the size of any building on Earth. It seemed to be a homage to many ancient structures like castles, palaces, pyramids and even mountains. Around the outside was a ginormous non-living snake that seemed to have wrapped around the entire fortress. The main gateway was surrounded by a large skull and the drawbridge was made completely out of human and animal bones. Faces of demonic creatures were carved all over the outside of the overpowering edifice. Lava was bursting forth all around the outside of this freakish lair where the Council of Death resided. It was a place very few people would willingly travel to.

Within was the mechanical monstrosity of society's own rejects, a fright zone of sorts that was the most devilish place in existence that could be compared to Hell. Smoke and pollution dominated the inside. It was truly a horrific and yet magnificent sight to see. Cages and dungeons filled the place and dead trees were everywhere. Monsters would attack newcomers by jumping out from mysterious holes and cracks in the wall that seemed to lead into the lower, deeper chambers of the fortress. Mechanical tentacles and towers stretched from inside the deepest chambers of the Tower of Terror to the outside. There were thousands of long corridors, some that defied physics and went on for eternity. Anyone who dared to travel them would find themselves in a place where all hope seemed lost.

There also were halls everywhere, and elevators around every corner that could take any member of Death's Council to where they wanted to go within the vast stronghold. In the main corridor of the Tower of Terror, there was a large wall built in the shape of a hideously deformed and demonic skull. By walking through its mouth, the visitor would wind up on the other side in a large throne room. Hieroglyphics were everywhere but it was black and darker than anything ever seen by human eyes. Some objects appeared to be constructed from metals, some from stone and others from natural elements such as plants. The stench of death could be smelled everywhere.

Surrounding the throne was a large cobra-like entity carved into the wall. It looked so real most were frightened of it. And lastly was the throne itself, a strange configuration built from the bones of many bizarre creatures. There was no way to describe how frightening it was. Below it was the round table where the Council of Death discussed their devious plans of seizing control over the Earth realm once and for all. Each member of the Council was sitting at the table, patiently awaiting the arrival of the most powerful warrior among them. And as usual, it was very dark and there was no light. All the members could see was the glow of each other's eyes, shining like flashlights. There was a cold mist in the air and everyone eagerly anticipated the arrival of Kronos. They were smiling with delight and could sense the smell of success embracing their dark and twisted spirits.

Their wait was a short one. Soon enough, the throne made of bones was sucked beneath the floor and then rose up again with Kronos sitting upon it. His cloak was masked by the cobras that engulfed his body and swarmed him. With the snap of his fingers, the serpents removed themselves and slithered downwards to become a part of his physical form. Kronos was a serpentine demon in origin and the glow of his pulsating eyes seemed to remind each of the Council members of the seductive powers attributed to the snake. He could see nothing more than their glowing eyes as he looked down from high above on his skeletal throne.

"As we predicted, the Roostafarians are suffering costly deaths at the hands of the Blue Devil and his many legions," Kronos of the Wises declared. "The one called Ubergeek has sent for help. He calls upon his Guardian allies. They underestimate our power and it is fortunate they are so foolhardy. And let us hope that in fact their foolhardiness is not courage. Ubergeek carries with him a strong heart and Melkor plays a vital role in the elite Guardians of Utopia... Desutoroia also unknowingly plays a key part in our struggle. If we could destroy them, the entire Roostafarian population would plunge into chaos and despair! The Earth warriors would threaten us no more. For the moment, they believe they have won. A pity we shall not witness the horror on their faces as they die..."

The rest of the Council of Death began to discuss his remarks amongst themselves for a moment as they always did. It was routine for them to talk about the issues or speeches presented by Kronos and whether or not he was right. And like most times, they individually agreed with him. Perhaps it was the reason why the cold serpentine was the one calling the shots from the throne above them. His powerful way with words were his real weapons, not his magic powers. Every Council member who had doubted the abilities of Hellspawn or even the success of the Blue Devil in fulfilling their wishes had no more worries as of this moment. Kronos was able to promise his followers something that no one else could since the demise of the original Reaper of Souls, the title that now belonged to him.

"On this day," he continued. "The unholy is unleashed for within these walls the true extent of our power is born!" Matthias of the Dark Sages stood up to bring up other issues and concerns of importance to the Council. Kronos, however, had no time to hear him out and the elevator shaft beneath his throne carried him into the lower levels of the Tower of Terror, away from the throne room. The cloaked serpentine got up from his throne and walked through a small labyrinth that was designed in similar fashion to the Egyptian pyramids. As he was adjourning to his secret chamber, he came upon a wall with the 'legend of the Soul Reaper' written on it. Kronos thought back to the past of the Council of Death, when Matthias and himself had first managed to take control over it from its rightful master and founder.

"Orestes," Kronos of the Wises laughed. "Today is the beginning of a new generation. A new era under the rule of I, Kronos, the Reaper of Souls. Maybe you'll get your chance someday, Orestes, but not while I'm alive!" The wall bearing the legend was actually a door that Kronos and Matthias had locked and thrown away the keys to thousands and thousands of centuries ago. It led to the Universal Chamber, the central core of the Tower of Terror; the fuel for the fortress' immense power. As he walked away, a mysterious black ooze like oil seeped through the cracks as a voice whispered Kronos' name over and over again. Screams could be heard from behind the door, as well as loud noises as if something was banging against the walls... Something was trapped inside the Universal Chamber, something that should not be. It was a great source of power and evil energy, something too powerful for even Kronos himself to handle which was why he kept it locked away.

Kronos entered his personal chamber which was a small hidden room deep within the Tower. It supposedly was the quarters of the original Reaper of Souls many millennia ago. The room was black and dark but glowed a strange aura of gold when Kronos entered. He removed his hood from his face and now that he was alone, his true form could be seen. Kronos was a massive and monstrous creature with scales all over his body since it was made up of snakes. His hands were far from human looking and had the unique ability to magically transform into snake faces themselves whenever he pleased.

The ruler of the Council of Death stepped forward to what looked like a torture bed and picked up his Havoc Staff. There was a mirror on the other side of the room in which a strange entity had taken shape and form. From the corner of his eye, Kronos caught a quick glimpse of what appeared to be a hooded skeleton. He was prepared to destroy it but the creature was quickly gone from sight. Was it a dream? Kronos was not too sure, nor did he care about it. He had a hunch about what it might have been and knew that if he was correct, there was no way for it to hurt him.

"Now," Kronos said as he stared into the crystal ball on his staff. "Let us see what is going on in the Earth Realm." He could indeed spy on the world and through his enchanted staff, he saw the beautiful grass plains of the Gamera Fields. As his ball moved to Mount Rodan, it showed the devastation taking place there. On the mountain, Ubergeek was waiting for his companions to join him so they could unite their forces against the messengers of darkness. Ubergeek was strong willed and had a heart of steel. He would never fall to his knees before the Council of Death or the Blue Devil, not so long as he had courage and believed in himself.

Yuri Manda and Melkor soon came forth as a light on the horizon to join the battle against evil, an eternal struggle that would never be over as long as there was a universe to protect. Ancalagon the Black, and Kedzuel arrived next, followed by Catbert. The Guardians had assembled together again after a long absence as protectors of the Earth. Now was the time to rise up and vanquish the evil that had invaded their land.

Obake Yamato also joined his allies at Mount Rodan. The Seatopian High Priest, Baracylton, accompanied him to face what was going to be their biggest struggle yet. He had brought the Utopian Testament with him and read from the great book as he walked up the mountainside to join his allies. The Black Fire Rodans, Adora and her male companion, who had last been seen during the confrontation with Mephistophelian, began to ascend to the mountain top. As they flew to meet up with the other Guardians, they swirled around each other and became the Dark God Rodan once again. No one knew the Dark God Rodan was going to show up until Ubergeek spotted a few Cenobites marching towards their position. They were mysteriously catapulted from the ground and moments later, the sharp beak of the mighty pterodon was piercing through them. Baracylton quickly ran up to his friends.

"Dear Guardians! It is I, Baracylton, High Priest of Utopia," he greeted them. "I bring word from the Emperor, Antonio. He swears his arch nemesis, Kronos of the Wises, has prepared this war to begin an assault on Utopia. He is sure that once the Blue Devil and Hellspawn end their havoc here, Kronos will send his troops to invade the precious golden land. We cannot allow Kronos to gain access to Utopia or the entire universe could be in great danger."

"Emperor Antonio is correct, Baracylton. We have everything to be fearful of," Ubergeek spoke for those around him. "Kronos of the Wises is the one behind all of this and I can assure you, he does plan on possessing the secrets of Utopia when this is all over! I have already confronted his bastard partner, Matthias of the Dark Sages. My own friend, Lord Jimifulss, was lost today because of that fiend, Matthias!"

The Utopian High Priest seemed rather distressed to hear the name of Matthias and to find that he had been here on Earth also disturbed him. Baracylton tried to preserve as much of his ancient culture as he could but both Matthias and Kronos were names he no longer wanted to associate with Utopian history. They had played their role in the past but why did they have to keep returning in the present era of Man to reclaim what they felt was theirs? Hellspawn and the Blue Devil's presence on Earth also made things more difficult. The situation was becoming grimmer with every passing second. There was nowhere to run now and the Guardians had to make their final stand here and now!

"Armageddon is here," Ubergeek said. "Like it has been said in the past. This is no ordinary war we fight today. These are the Holy Wars and our punishment is due if we do not prevail."

*****
Kronos was finished spying on the Guardians. He had seen enough to know their plans and how to handle them. He was looking forward to the day when the seal that kept him banished from the Earth Realm was broken so that he could personally lead his troops into Utopia and most of all, crush their nefarious ruler, Emperor Antonio.

Kronos used to his magic crystal ball to find his loyal subordinate, Hellspawn, and see what the wicked fiend was preparing. to do. He had landed behind a small cliff and was readying himself for the fight with Afiag. The sky around him soon turned into a dark reddish color as the clouds faded and it began to look more like molten lava. Instead of the sun, Hellspawn saw what looked liked like a black hole or mouth in the sky and many of the rocks and pebbles around him were being sucked into it. He was mesmerized as he saw the face of Kronos take form within the black hole.

"The Angel of Life is dead and the Angel of Darkness does not greet warmly," Kronos said to Hellspawn as he disappeared from sight. "The Arch Angel of Death shows no mercy."

What did he mean? Hellspawn wondered. A warning? He was not too sure of what message his master was trying to bring to him and decided to be on the alert for he had heard those phrases used by his master before. All of them were terms people used to describe Afiag, the one Hellspawn was hunting down to kill for the Blue Devil. Was Afiag near? There was no sign of the wicked angel in the area. Hellspawn stayed behind the cliff where he was hiding and cautiously peaked out to see if he could spot anyone in the distance. Sure enough, Afiag, the Angel of Darkness was heading in his direction.

"Zax is no demi-god, I am!" Hellspawn roared. "And I will show this Afiag what a real arch angel of death and destruction is capable of doing!" He spread his demonic wings and jerked himself forward, soon soaring through the air like a beautiful angel in a rather dark and murky way. All he could think about was killing Afiag so that he would be with Mallory again. Once this deed was over, Mallory and he would live together with each other forever. It was the unrequited dream of Hellspawn to be with his love forever and ever until his dying day. Her smile crept its way inside of Hellspawn's head and for a moment, it distracted him from the task at hand of eliminating Afiag from the picture all together.

"You are the one called Afiag," Hellspawn said with an overconfident and undefiled look on his face. "The Angel of Darkness."

"Hellspawn..." Afiag muttered under his breath in a cold and vengeful tone.

The two arch angels stared into each other's hearts and souls. One was cold and emotionless and only cared about killing. To that angel of evil, life meant nothing. The other was wickedly evil and yet killing for a cause he believed in - love. Both were deathless deities of destruction that killed thousands every day for their twisted personal goals or just for sport and amusement. Afiag had a serious look of hatred on his face as he stared at Hellspawn who was smiling with a look of ego-driven stupidity.

"We have not fought before, Afiag," Hellspawn said with that sick smile on his face as his voice echoed with laughter. "But I do recall we had our own little encounter in the past. On this very mountain, Ubergeek and you almost helped me take control of the Black Fire Rodan."

There was a feeling of tension between the two. They had known each other briefly and managed to hate each other as an arch nemesis. Hellspawn moved around, his claws sharpening as he got ready for the fight that was brewing. Afiag, aware of his planned maneuver, was willing to let the demon make the first move because he knew he could take Hellspawn easily. At least he thought he could.

"Today is a great day to die," Hellspawn laughed. "For you, Afiag!" The demon whose shadow was identical to the stereotyped image of the Devil took his arm and swung it forth at Afiag, who had predicted such an attack. What he had failed to anticipate was Hellspawn's speed. There were now four large claw marks across his stomach, bleeding everywhere as Hellspawn began his usual gloating about being victorious. Little did he know that such a move would not permanently put Afiag down. The Angel of Darkness flew up and dug his claws into Hellspawn's skull, who grabbed him by his wings and threw him, smashing into the ground.

"I SHALL NOT BE DENIED MY DESTINY!" Hellspawn roared with an insane expression covering his face like a mask as the marks left by Afiag bled down his face. The two behemoths continued to clash like titans in the sky, a colossal battle raging on the battlefield of the Holy Wars. Afiag, with his sword in hand, stabbed it deep into Hellspawn's heart and twisted it around, hoping it would do some damage to the demon. Hellspawn pulled it out and destroyed the blade.

"Unlike Zax, I do have a heart," Hellspawn said with his usual look of confidence. "But it is not a vital organ!" They continued their clash for absolute control over the Earth Realm and the land of Utopia, exchanging blows in a process that seemed to go on forever. They were both bleeding and looked to be beaten up brutally but it was showing how evenly matched they were. Hellspawn felt this fight was a test to show his stamina, endurance and strength and he planned to win it. Afiag saw it as a pathetic competition and wanted Hellspawn dead faster than he could say the name but the war raged on.

"Zax and his wretched excuse for minions fell before my wrath! I crushed them with my bare hands," Hellspawn gloated. "And now I shall do the same to thee. My destiny will not be usurped by a mere insect such as yourself, Afiag. Never, because I shalln't allow that to happen!" His words meant nothing to Afiag. Nothing had any meaning to him who was just randomly placed in a world where he could kill anyone he wanted or do anything he pleased. Afiag felt the world revolved around him and that it was his place to kill. Hellspawn was nothing more than some hot shot who thought he was so much, trying to show off when actually, he had no place to talk. The world belonged to Afiag and it was his place whether they acknowledged him as leader or not, he did not care. To him, they were just inferior life forms who were also show-offs. He could easily kill whatever he wanted to and have no regrets. The world was his!

"May your deeds match your words, Hellspawn," Afiag replied. "Which they won't." He removed from within his mind the Twin Blades of Aszhmer, two swords that were very identical to each other and possessed great power. The only difference between the two is that one contained a diamond within the blade. Both had been given to him by a warrior from Faxanadu who raised him as if he were his true son. Afiag grew up appreciating and respecting that man more than anyone he knew. It was sad to know this was the same man he recently killed in cold blood, out of ego to show off his power and the fact that he cared for no one anymore.

Using his two blades, he began to slice at Hellspawn so he could crush him entirely and prove to the world his superiority over everything in existence. Afiag was driven mad a long time ago by the insane urges to fight and kill he obtained from his association with the Blue Devil in the past as well as the loss of a close one. Each day, he grew more insane and more likely to kill any random person over the stupidest of things. Hellspawn could see the madness and the insanity within Afiag's eyes. Afiag was dedicated to how he was going to kill Hellspawn and making it one painful deed.

Hellspawn was thinking about ways he could use Afiag's insanity to his advantage in the struggle but soon realized that his madness was impossible to control. He couldn't manipulate Afiag. There was no way he could even get him to listen to him. Afiag was too caught up in his own personal dilemma to prove himself the best of the best to listen to anything anyone said anymore. He continuously swung his twin blades with a crazy look in his eyes as his mouth foamed. Afiag would not stop until Hellspawn was dead nor would Hellspawn stop until Afiag was dead. The battle was not nearly as long as his struggle with Zax but more intense than before.

"None may challenge the might of Afiag," the Angel of Darkness roared at Hellspawn in his rage of madness. "This I command!"

Hellspawn's only weapon besides his magic were his vicious claws which he used as blades to fight back against the powerful twin swords. As their weapons clashed and they pushed their bodies to the limit of endurance, they both broke out in a cold sweat as their pores leaked out drops of crimson blood. Sweating and bleeding and pushing their muscles to the limit, both arch angels would not give up. Both wanted to win more than anything. Afiag opened up his left palm, dropping one of his swords and released a blast of Hellfire at Hellspawn, knocking the demon out of the air but his madness was far from satisfied. The sight of Hellspawn smashing to the ground beneath him was not enough to fulfill his rage. As Hellspawn tried to move and stand up, Afiag charged up the palms of his hands which became engulfed by fire balls he threw at Hellspawn. The spot where his body was lay was decimated. Afiag started to breathe heavy now as he needed more violence to satisfy his rage. He actually lamented killing Hellspawn.

"Weaklings, all weaklings," Afiag began to mutter. "They can't stop me, no one can. Hellspawn was a foolish demon to think he could challenge my might! Doesn't he know that I am the strongest in all the universe and it's mine to rule forever?! No one can stop me, no one! No one at all! My power is absolutely everything to me! My own defeat would be absurd!" His eyes bloodshot, his heart racing twice as fast, Afiag began to drift one step further into the realm of insanity. He had eliminated Hellspawn, or so he assumed, and needed more people to die before his rages could be satisfied. Each time Afiag killed, he had to kill at least one person more than before or else he would be driven into a deeper state of insanity. More people deserved to die in his opinion. Who was next, he wondered? Rodan2000? Desutoroia? Ubergeek? Raptor? Jet Jaguar? Morgoth? It did not matter whether they were friend or foe because Afiag had no friends and being the immortal he was, he treated everyone else as cattle he could slay at any time.

Then from the corner of his eye, Afiag spotted a small number of the remaining Maser City troops who were hiding from Cenobites behind a massive rock. There were his cattle, more fodder for him to kill... He was drooling from the mouth at the chance to kill them. It was always fun to slay the innocent who didn't deserve to die, or so the Blue Devil had taught him ages ago in the distant past. It had been so long since the Blue Devil or Afiag had felt the urges to kill the way they wanted to now, not since the birth of Christianity when they were running around, causing the most trouble. Afiag hated the Blue Devil but missed the days of constant manslaughter.

"Ack!" he howled as he felt overpowered. "Who dares defile me? Me of all deities?!" A massive blue-toned arm of immense power wrapped itself around his neck and began to choke the arrogant Angel of Darkness. It was Hellspawn, alive and well and seeking revenge upon him. He had the pathetic Angel caught within his evil grip and now he was going to finish what he started, killing Afiag so he could have Mallory back with him forever. A life needed to be sacrificed for her return and if that sacrifice couldn't be the Princess of Space, then Afiag was going to have to do.

"Your arrogance, Afiag, is your one downfall..." Hellspawn said. "The fact you think of yourself as indestructible and unbeatable!"

"Arrogance? Arrogance?!" Afiag roared with hatred. "How dare you mock me like that, you inferior she-devil! Arrogance?! No one is more arrogant than yourself, Hellspawn! I kill people and show them my power. You do not! Therefore, you cannot claim yourself to be powerful. I can!" Hellspawn was sick of his incoherent rambling and claims of being the most powerful individual in the entire Universe. Not even he would make such claims as he knew there were demons out there such as the Council of Death or Leviathan who had more power than he could possibly imagine. To Hellspawn, Afiag seemed to be a close-minded lunatic who almost seemed as if he was not fully aware of what was going on around him. This Afiag was different than the one he knew as Super Jet Jaguar and different from the hero that had fought Apocalypse before. Besides the physical features, it seemed to be a totally different person all together, a more confused and full of himself Afiag who had no place in the world. And as hard as it was to deal with at times, Hellspawn enjoyed this personality more than the one who fought Apocalypse.

Unfortunately, the spawn from Hell suffered from the same form of arrogance that Afiag had and underestimated his prey. Afiag had more power than he was willing to show which in turn made him a deadly weapon to whoever was able to ally themselves with him. Afiag took his foot and kicked Hellspawn in a vital area and the grip of his arms around Afiag's neck loosened as the demon took a step backwards. Hellspawn could feel the pain now as Afiag flew at him with all his might and delivered a blow to his gut. Afiag continued to bash him endlessly. Blood was spilling like mad, spreading wildly and there was nothing anyone could do about it. Afiag was ready to rip Hellspawn apart, limb by limb!

*****
Riding on the back of the Dark God Rodan, Ubergeek, Baracylton, Obake Yamato and the other Guardians gathered to witness the utter thrashing of Hellspawn at the hands of Hell's personal arch angel of death and destruction. Ubergeek and the others watched with horror as Hellspawn was overpowered by Afiag. Under normal circumstances, it would be delightful to see their nemesis thrashed and beaten to a pulp but watching the cruel things being done to him by Afiag made them all feel sorrow for the demon. None of them were aware of the tragic elements in his life that was the cause of his evil. Had they known, their sorrow and pity for him might have been greater.

The Dark God Rodan landed on a peak where Hellspawn's beaten and torn body had been thrown by Afiag. Blood covered the left side of his face and the demon couldn't see out of that eye. For the strangest reasons, unknown even to himself, Ubergeek came over to aid him. Something just didn't seem right and for that one moment, all of his hatred for Hellspawn had disappeared. He held him in his arms like a dying friend. Hellspawn was temporarily blinded and could not see, only hear the voices of the Guardians surrounding him. Ubergeek tried to speak to him but the arrogant fool would not respond to his enemy. All the while, Kronos was watching them with annoyance.

"How could you do this to him?!" Ubergeek questioned Afiag in a cold tone of voice. "I have had my fair share of dreams of getting even with Hellspawn but look what you've done to him... That is just cruel, Afiag!"

"Silence, you miserable Earth scum!" Afiag shouted as he grabbed Ubergeek's throat and began to choke him. "You have no say over what I do! No one does! You do not have the authority or the right to speak to me in that tone of voice. Afiag can do as he pleases... Afiag can do what he wishes. I am immortal!" Ubergeek was thrown to the ground on top of Hellspawn's body. Gasping for air and trying to breathe, Uber was having a hard time trying to get up. Hellspawn, slowly regaining his vision, shoved Ubergeek aside and began to crawl towards Afiag. Reaching up, the spawn from Hell clung to Afiag's leg and began to drag himself up his body like a zombified carcass in a Hollywood movie.

"He is coming," Hellspawn whispered into Afiag's soul. "The Blue Devil is coming for you!"

This was the end now. Melkor helped Ubergeek up as the Guardians gathered around each other and watched closely as Afiag's entire personality slowly converted itself from arrogant angel of darkness to a disgusted and angry one. His insanity was changing from a craving for killing to a detestable hate he shared for the Blue Devil. It was now or never. The Blue Devil was coming and his reign would last forever. Afiag clinched his fist and made an angry face as he stared off into space with his mind only concentrating on the Blue Devil. Oh, how he waited for the moment to slay the bastard and end his life! Afiag wanted nothing more than to claim the Blue Devil's soul and power for himself.

And then the sounds of lightning and thunder clashing like gods at war among the heavens struck the Earth, nearly wiping out Afiag in one shot. The Angel of Darkness looked down at the grizzly spot next to his feet where the bolt had struck and turned his attention to the sky. It had turned blacker than the night as the shadows and silhouettes of demons whirling around into a massive tornado of souls took form, swirling around with the clouds themselves. The imagery was like that of Hell itself, minus the Leviathan floating above. Afiag looked around impatiently, full of hate. He knew this was a sign of the Blue Devil making an entrance.

The ground beneath Afiag's feet suddenly came alive. Eyes were opening up in the rocks as tentacles and other arms appeared and attacked him. The evil eyes were staring him down and trying to crack his soul, break his spirit and his heart. The shadows of thousands of demons he had killed in the past manifested ts and engulfed him like a tornado. Evil was making its presence known to all who stood tall and proud on Mount Rodan. Darkness had eclipsed the light. Afiag was showing no fear and had been preparing for this moment in his life since the day he was born.

The sun's rays began to crack through holes among the clouds and slowly, all the darkness that had eclipsed the entire mountainside was gone. The darkened tint of the sky changed to a more grayer look as the sun began to shine upon all below. It was then that everyone noticed the undying stench of the dead, the rotting smell of a thousand corpses drifting through the air and serving as a dreadful poison. Afiag looked straight ahead and was the first to notice a monstrous creature standing before him. The monster was covered in armor made of both steel and flesh. There were horns on his helmet and armor from head to toe. Spikes pierced out of the demon's body. The eyes were as red as blood. The Blue Devil finally decided it was the right time to make himself known to everyone.

"Afiag, the Angel of Darkness, my dear friend," the Blue Devil greeted him. "You hath brought forth uninvited guests to this lofty celebration. Dost you remember what occasion it is today that we honor the memory of? The untimely demise of Elizabeth... She was yours, Afiag, everything to you. I often recall the touch of her flesh against mine... How lustful it was to do those disgusting things we did to her... when she was our slave, before being our own ally." The Blue Devil's words were harsh but Afiag had the strength to put that aside.

"O' great one," Hellspawn said as he tried to pull himself together. "Help me!" The Blue Devil was not in a mood to hear Hellspawn's pathetic rambling but he needed him to play a vital role in his twisted plan to conquer the Earth Realm and the rest of the universe. He needed Hellspawn more than anyone, which was why he had the patience to deal with the arrogant swine's cries for help. The Blue Devil motioned to Hellspawn that the time was not right and he needed to finish up his little quarrel with Afiag that had been raging between them for centuries now. He and Afiag were face to face with each other at long last. The moment almost seemed disappointing... both combatants imagined more blood.

"'Tis a great day to be alive," the Blue Devil said aloud and directed at everyone. "'Tis also a good day to die! Bow to me now, before it's too late. When this battle is over, your souls shall belong to me. I will remain master of your destiny for the remainder of your miserable little lives. Afiag and Elizabeth can have their moment as well, together in Hell for all eternity!"

"In memory of the truth," Afiag called out. "Leave Elizabeth out of this! She's been dead for centuries! Let her go and face me!"

"Dead for centuries? Elizabeth?" the Blue Devil laughed. "Is she really?!" He lifted his arm towards the sky and sucked up thousands of dead spirits and bolts of energy from the lightning into the palm of his hand and summoned his power into one blast. A tattoo of a pyramid appeared on the palm of the Blue Devil's hand as a real eye pierced through the skin and shot a beam of light into the ground. Vines from trees came forth as they revealed a large egg made up of flesh and blood. The Blue Devil cut it open and out fell a woman who he grabbed by the hair and forced Afiag to look at her.

"Elizabeth, dead?" the Blue Devil asked as he gave Afiag a sick look. "No Afiag, she is right here, a slave of my power. She has none of her memories of the days she spent with you. She cannot hear you, nor does she love you anymore! She is your only weakness and I have resurrected her soul to taunt you forever!"

The face of Elizabeth was so pretty and beautiful, yet lost and confused at the same time. Afiag was once in love with her and now he found himself trying to suppress and destroy all of his feelings deep inside. All he wanted to feel was hate for the Blue Devil. All he wanted to do was kill him but seeing Elizabeth again made him feel strange... weird and different inside. The memories were overpowering and if Afiag wasn't a cold being, he might have let a tear fall from his eye... All this time, the Blue Devil continued to stare into his soul with that wretched look of perversion and madness on his face.

"She is my prisoner, Afiag, my slave," he whispered. "As long as I exist on this plain of existence, she will always be mine and never yours!" Afiag's anguish took full control over him but he had no idea where to go from here. He could fight and risk Elizabeth's life, something he wouldn't really be concerned with under normal circumstances. He could also stand there and do nothing which was exactly what the Blue Devil wanted. To sit back and do nothing but enjoy the misery as he crept across the land, destroying everything. The Blue Devil was the messenger of fear and he wanted to spread his hateful message of desolation and destruction across the world.There was a time he was the most feared tyrant in the entire universe. It was only shortly after its creation, long before the birth of Afiag, when the Blue Devil was a universal tyrant. From the depths of Hell, in the Leviathan's Pit, the same spawning grounds of the Universal Dominator, came forth the Blue Devil. The universe was young and very few races had begun to develop when the Blue Devil was thrown out of Hell and claimed the universe as his own. His mission was to consume it... He was the Bringer of Chaos and the Destroyer!

Ubergeek and the Guardians were focusing on Afiag more than they were the Blue Devil, studying his every move, which wasn't much as he just seemed to stare endlessly at Elizabeth who was caught within the evil grip of the Blue Devil. There was nothing he could do and they knew it. Only if Afiag was willing to work together with the Guardians, maybe the threat of the Blue Devil would be eliminated. United, the universe stood a chance but if Afiag's arrogance was going to keep them separated, there would be no chance at peace again.

"Blue Devil," Hellspawn called as he reached his arm out. "Help me!"

"As you wish," the Blue Devil finally replied. He then directed his next speech to Afiag and the Guardians. "And as you all die, so shall Apocalypse be reborn!" He took Elizabeth and threw her aside to the ground. Afiag raced to her aid but the Blue Devil came between them and continued to stare into Afiag's heart and soul with that devilish smirk on his face. He knew he was going to win the Holy Wars, by any means and at any cost. He laughed maliciously in Afiag's face, furthering the rage inside the Angel of Darkness. The Blue Devil grabbed Afiag and dug monstrous claws deep into Afiag's hide, creating many open wounds all over his body. A mysterious staff of black magic appeared from out of nowhere and the Blue Devil used its dark powers to throw Afiag into the midst of the Guardians. As the Blue Devil began to twirl his staff, dark clouds circled around him and he chanted a powerful spell. His body lifted itself into the air and he began to fly about in circles. Dropping the staff, he opened his arms wide and sucked up negative energy from all around him. Beams of energy were pouring from the Blue Devil's palms as they came forth and grabbed Hellspawn, sucking him inside of his body.

The Blue Devil's body fell to the ground, striking it hard. It was strange as he seemed lifeless... dead. The Blue Devil was no more or so it seemed. The husk was just laying there, helplessly and without motion. For a moment, the sun came out and everything was looking bright for the future. Afiag, however, was not dealing too well with things as he wanted to be the one to kill the Blue Devil and began to scream in a fit of rage. He was ready to kill anyone who breathed and the first person he saw looking at him was Ubergeek. Afiag took out his Twin Blades and flew at the Guardian, about to cut his head off!

Suddenly, the ground opened up and the Blue Devil's body became surrounded by a strange yellow glow with no source of origin. Tentacles of light began to swarm around the lifeless form and wrap themselves around it. The light and tentacles were slowly absorbed into it, which soon rose from the ground was now floating in mid-air in an upright position. The Blue Devil let out various gasps and moans as he began to undergo a strange mutation... The tone and color of his armor became a darker tint of blue as spikes and horns disappeared from it and reappeared in new places. Blades with a golden aura pierced from his arms and legs. The face of the demon began to shift between the Blue Devil's and Hellspawn's as they melded into one.

A new warrior now stood before Afiag and the Guardians. Apocalypse was reborn.

"Welcome to reality," said the voice of Apocalypse, the sound of a thousand dead spirits speaking as one. "It's worse than any Hell you have ever feared!" Apocalypse then summoned all the energy he could. He began to drain both positive and negative from all around him, just gathering it up, collecting as much of it as he could from all the planets and lifeforms within the solar system. Electricity and fireballs were forming around his fist as he prepared to unleash something deadly upon the entire human race. He had collected enough energy to form the most deadly and powerful sphere in the universe and as his ploy against the defenders of the Earth Realm, he was going to release it to destroy every living thing on the face of the planet. The madness was evident in his eyes!

"Mark this moment well, for when Apocalypse eliminates the Guardians, he takes the first step towards his own destruction as well," Kronos gloated. "And soon... very soon now, Utopia will be ours!"


TO BE CONTINUED...


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