AMONG THE DEAD AND DEATHLESS
“Please, step this way for processing.”
“Another Day, Another Dead Man”
ENTER: [MAIN CHARACTER CHAN]
(FUCK I DON’T HAVE ANY NAMES YET)
Introduce [MC-CHAN], and her direct boss [SUPERVISOR-KUN], use them for some exposition as they walk through the office to where THE NEW SOUL is being held, as well as explain the job/pay system (more/better work you do, the more you regain some appearance/identity/individuality/rank/authority/power). Keep hidden the meaning behind why the job is important, and why she gets it, and why THE NEW SOUL is special. MC CHAN has only just recently expressed her first sentiment of desire/will (the will for a job, every “slime’s” first desire), and this is only her third job since (she’s only since
Introduce THE ANGEL GABRIEL ONE OF THE FOUR GREAT IMMACULATE ONES and TYPHON ONE OF THE FOUR PRINCES OF THE INFERNO, run into them having a heated dispute over a powerful diplomat’s soul. They almost come to blows, each beginning to pool their power and draw their weapons, when (ENTER, LA MUERTA) LA MUERTA steps in, reminding them both to step off while in the neutral zone. They back down (to the relief of all the lower-deaths in a hundred meter radius), and go their separate ways, deciding to reconvene after they’ve cooled off. Either side goes off to their respective lounges with their handlers (who are usually enough to handle them respectively, but not at the same time).
MC CHAN and her supervisor continue on, relieved to have not been obliterated, to the central levels. MC CHAN asks SUPERVISOR KUN why the soul is in the central levels, where all the tougher cases are disputed, and further in, where all the higher-up death gods reside. SUPERVISOR KUN doesn’t give a reason, but instead leaves MC CHAN to advance on her own, and wishes her good luck.
CONSIDER (WORLD): The “slimes” in the office are actually the souls of the killed dead, the primordial state which souls return to after they both lose their physical bodies and are vanquished on the spiritual plane (what happens to dead souls?). ONLY DEATH ITSELF KNOWS THIS, along with the FOUR CEOs, though the older deities are beginning to suspect it, as they see mooks resembling their dead kin shuffle around the office. Now, the dead, human denizens of Heaven and Hell joined in the wars as well, so they make up the vast majority of the mooks in the office, effectively camouflaging the dead deities.
STATE: Souls had never been “killed” until after God left, after which all bets were off (use God not killing Satan as an example, even he only casts out demons, death for the dead just didn’t happen).
WORLD: Infernal motivation for collecting souls = experimentation on human souls in order to create new demons, stronger soldiers in order to restart the Afterlife Wars again.
WORLD: Immaculate motivation for collecting souls = to protect humans and weaken the demons, as well as find their fated “Compass” (a human prophet forsaw the birth and death of a soul unfettered by the cosmos who could find God).
WORLD: THE CEO’s personal reasons for wanting THE NEW SOUL = they saw it survive in the Passageway after getting lost for an unprecedented amount of time. As such, they believe he might be able to withstand the trip to THE GRIM ONE, who, being indestructible, fled for rest into the Passageway.
CONSIDER (NARRATIVE): Switch perspectives from chapter to chapter? Maybe…let’s just chart events for now.
WORLD: The Passageway is the corrosive passageway between the Living World and the Afterlife. Some believe it to be the stomach of Leviathan, but whatever it is assimilates whatever stays in it for too long. Deities have the ability to skip this passage way and head directly to the World of the Living, as well as their own home-planes and Death’s Realm.
“No Negotiating With Angels”
ILLYA has no memories of his life in the world of the living, and is confused as to what’s going on exactly. He’s in a room, and is bound gently to a chair in the center of the room, in front of a table. To contrast the room with the rest of the complex that’s been described already, the room is made entirely of metal, with a single electric light overhead, along with an electric fan. There are five other chairs at the table, along with a single pen. ILLYA does his best to try and figure out what’s going on, as he’s awoken to the sounds of GABRIEL, LA MUERTA, AND TYPHON fighting and is chained to a chair (though he has the ability to stand up and move around the room, the chain clearly isn’t long enough to let him get out of the room. If it’s not meant to restrain him, then what is it there for, he wonders?)
MC CHAN comes into the room, slightly confused but professional. She’s cloaked from head to toe and wearing her hood, as she’s only on her third job, so she’s only got her most of her innards, a torso, and her new arms, along with eyes (no mouth just yet). She introduces herself to “HUMAN” (he has no name just yet) and asks what his name is, as his file actually has quite a lot of blanks. ILLYA states that he can’t remember anything, and therefore can’t introduce himself. IDA decides that not being able to efficiently refer to him will impede proceedings, and asks if he minds being called “ILLYA.” He doesn’t, be he does ask why she chose that name, and IDA says that it was the name Aiakos considered giving her before he settled on “IDA”. He asks who Aiakos is and IDA explains, getting kind of sentimental and in describing him draws a lot of parallels between Aiakos and a father-figure. ILLYA hesitantly asks who she is, and she gives her name and says that she’s a “Temporary worker, a ‘Shade’ a basic existence who is allowed, by doing work for the Cthonic Faction, are granted human features and traits, so I’m not fully human yet, but I will be.” ILLYA is skeptical of this, so to convince him IDA pulls up her skirt to reveal here amorphous, gaseous lower half. A little more believing at this point, ILLYA asks her if he’s dead, to which she states he must be, or else he wouldn’t be here. He asks to know how he dies, and when IDA opens his files she realizes that a lot of sections are left blank or are even redacted, not only giving his age. From what she can piece together, he had no living relatives, parents in Purgatory (thus, wandering around outside the [complex], waiting their admission to Heaven (for one to get into Purgatory, the Immaculate agent has to win the case, which gives them the right to then decide internally where you end up, Heaven, or Purgatory, it’s more like winning keeps you out of the hands of the Infernals. When an Infernal agent wins a case, they get to decide internally where in the Inferno you get sent first), he had a dog that he was very kind to but he was kind of a dick to his last girlfriend (other stuff will be decided later).
ENTER: RIVAL CHAN (Death Lawyer, on guide duty) and the ANGEL JERAMEHEEL, who she’s handling, the Immaculate’s representative for Illya’s case. They state that they got lost on the way there, and that Illya’s file is missing some, presumably because of his prolonged contact with the Passageway. RIVAL CHAN states that she’s confident it’ll be an easy win for the Immaculates, since the slated Infernal Representative is supposed to be a lightweight.
ENTER: SEKER (Death lawyer, on guide duty) and THE DEMON EARL BIFRONS (Leader of 60 legions of demons and monsters), who wasn’t registered to be the Infernal Representative on this case. He states that he overheard some of the members of the Psychopomp Squad talking about a soul that stayed in the Passageway for hours on end before being detected and pulled out, and so he “relieved” the Infernal Rep. on duty for this case of the job. He states that since the Rep. was his subordinate, it’s well within his rights to do so (this frightens CHARUN, as he’s not sure he’ll be able to handle BIFRON, and it also frightens everyone else in the room, BIFRON is a scary motherfucker).
BIFRON goes on to explain that he snuck into the Observation hall to see what was going on, where he saw ILLYA being carted in initially. He tries to tell ILLYA what the big deal is, but JERAMEHEEL butts in, and things get heated. Once things settle down, BIFRON gets back down to business (after some exposition about The Passageway), and tells ILLYA that he’d been in there for hours on end, and had survived at the cost of his soul vibrancy (or something) and his memories. At this point BIFRON offers ILLYA position in Hell, provided that he allow the Infernals to run some shady experiments on him (take samples of his soul fibers, for example, among other things). In return, he’l have authority over other humans, power, standing, respect, and liberty to move and operate in the Land of the Living, allowing him to find out who he really was before he became “ILLYA.” JERAMEHEEL gives a counter offer, and although it’s not convincing, ILLYA chooses to go with the Celestials. However, BIFRON resorts to violence, petrifying JERAMEHEEL from along the underside of the table as he wraps ILLYA’s chains around his wrist into a manacle. SEKER attempts to claw out BIFRON’s eyes but BIFRON blocks him and grabs his chest petrifying him as he attempts to take a humanoid form. At this point MEREDITH reaches BIFRON and attempts to strike him, but he grabs her arm and swings her into the wall, causing her arm to rip off in the process (notes his amazement at just how fragile these shades are, shoddily assembled and not really built to last). MEREDITH goes down, and ILLYA actually attacks BIFRON himself, who simply holds him by the throat, not wanting to “damage the specimen.” BIFRON scoffs at IDA’s inability to help, and prepares to walk out with ILLYA, when SEKER cries out for OSIRIS’ help as in myth, “Se-K-ry,” alerting OSIRIS about what’s happened, as the petrification spreads across his body. JERAHEMEEL has already been petrified fully, but SEKER still has some function, and he uses it to alert OSIRIS. BIFRON considers running and getting a solid headstart, but opts instead to cave in SEKER’s chest.
STORY NOTE:BIFRON EVENTUALLY, EITHER THIS CHAPTER OR THE NEXT ONE, SNAPS AND KILLS JERAMEHEEL. RIVAL CHAN AND CHARUN ATTACK HIM AND ATTEMPT TO TAKE HIM DOWN. BIFRON TAKES ONE OF RIVAL CHAN’S ARMS AND THEN MUTILATES CHARUN, TAKING RIVAL CHAN’S OTHER ARM WHEN SHE ATTEMPTS TO GET BACK AT HIM. HE STARTS TO TORTURE RIVAL CHAN TO INTIMIDATE MC CHAN, BEFORE A GENERAL SHOWS UP AND MURDERS BIFRON, STATING THAT MC CHAN IS TO TAKE ILLYA AND RUN.
WORLD: It’s decided, for future reference, that one of the Great Infernals will be KING PAIMON, leader of two-hundred legions of demons.
WORLD: IDA IS THE DEAD-RESURRECTED FORM OF PERSEPHONE, GONNA HAVE TO WORK HADES INTO THE STORY MORE PROMINENTLY (DEMETER KILLS HERSELF WHEN PERSEPHONE DIES, SO AS NOT TO DOOM THE EARTH TO ETERNAL WINTER IN HER UNCONTROLLABLE GRIEF, LEAVING NATURE UP TO THE OTHER GODS. OR ELSE, IDA IS ERESHKIGAL, WIFE OF NERGAL…WHICH WOULD MAKE MEREDITH HER SISTER, ISHTAR/INNANA, (WHO ALSO KILLED HERSELF FOR THE SAME REASON DEMETER WOULD HAVE SHOULD IDA BE PERSEPHONE…) WHICH WOULD EXPLAIN THEIR ENMITY AND ALSO MAKE IT SIMPLER SINCE NERGAL IS SUPPOSED TO SHOW UP AND KILL BIFRON ANYWAYS, ASK SOME PEOPLE FOR INPUT ABOUT THIS…