Chapter 3

Fiery Netherealm, Hades

Arena of Tainted Souls

Johnny looked at the chaos and devastation Mephisto's demons were wreaking upon the humans. He suddenly felt the sting of the bone whip his torturer was using, he was order to strike at him every time he looked away. His back was a bloody mess and his whole body was in pain. Inside him Zarathos wailed in agony trying to come out and and avenge those who have fallen, but the shackles kept the demon from giving Johnny its powers while causing him unimaginable pain.

Johnny scoffed he couldn't remember a time where his body never hurt from one thing or another, after spending decades in Mephisto's tender care had made pain his best friend. After all no matter the years that had gone by the deepest pain was that of his heart and the bitch who carved it. Against his will memories surge about that day and all he lost.

It had been a long intense battle that lasted three nights in the Nevada desert, Mephisto had send a trio of demons to hunt him down and they have left a trail of bodies and devastation in their wake. During the final battle with the las demon Johnny was thrown into a news van in the middle of Vegas, reporters were running everywhere screaming.

Johnny send a blast of hell fire at the demon finally killing him, but the battle had cost him a lot of energy and right there in the middle of the crowd he transform back into his human form. Dazed he looked around and he saw that one of the vans was from Channel 12 and the lead reporter was there, his wife Roxanne looked at him with horror in her eyes and without saying another word she turned around and ran away from him.

He should have followed her but at the time he thought she needed some time to collect herself and so he gave it to her. That same night when he stepped into their apartment he was jumped by two of Mephisto's demons as soon as he open the door, within a few seconds he was thrown on the floor bleeding and they had put the shackles around his wrist and ankles. He tried to summon the powers of the Rider but as soon as he tried he felt the first of many searing pains as the shackles made from obsidian iron burned him stopping his transformation.

Out of the shadows of the apartment the goat face asshole himself appear wearing the guise of an elderly priest behind him Roxanne was looking at him with hatred in her eyes, eyes that before held nothing but love for him.

"Zarathos my good friend its been awhile. Thank you so much miss Roxanne the Vatican appreciates your support in the capture of this dangerous fiend."

"You don't have to thank me father, I just can't believe he lied to me all these years. How could I been so foolish, all these years and that thing..." She shivered and rub her arms as if she were rubbing some filth only she could see.

Mephisto smile warmly at her and caress her back. "Don't worry my dear it's not your fault. Demons like him they lie and cheat. Most likely the boy you knew as Johnny died years ago and Zarathos has been taking his shape. Its a common ploy among demons but thanks to you the Church will banish this demon from earth."

Johnny was devastated he needed to get out and save them both but every time that he tried to transform his wrist and ankles burned terribly and the Rider didn't come out. He looked at Roxanne.

"Roxy please get out of here, this people are dangerous. I'll find you, its me Johnny you know me. Who was the one who save you from that vicious poodle when we were six, who took a beating from your dad because we sneak out to the movies. Baby please you know me, you trust me."

Roxanne had tears falling from her eyes. But Mephisto grinned at seen him so defeated. "Those are all lies my dear, demons like him are all full of deceit."

She walked over to Johnny and backed handed him so hard she split his lip with the wedding ring he gaved her. "How could you lie to me all these years, you sick bastard. I let you into my house, I slept with make my skin crawled"

Defeated and heart broken Johnny hung his head there was nothing worse that the sting of her rejection. Mephisto apparently couldn't hold it anymore and started laughing and soon change into the form he prefer of a red skin devil with a tail and horns. Roxanne looked at him with horror and started screaming. Mephisto smiled and with calm movements he used his cane to pierced Roxanne heart killing her on the spot.

Not done with that as soon as her body felled two small wisp of white light came out of her body and Mephisto ate them with relish. Someone was screaming in the room, a roar of pure agony and rage. It took a couple of seconds for Johnny to realize it was him, he trashed and fought but the demons beat him down, bleeding and in pain he laid on the floor until Mephisto pulled his head up by his hair and smile.

"Ohh Johnny you don't know the plans I have in store for you my dear friend. And after such a meal I'll need the exercise. You don't know how good the souls of the innocent taste and those of the unborn...yum even better...ohh you didn't know that she was pregnant? Guess that was going to be a surprise."

Laughing Mephisto teleported them to the Arena where Johnny's true hell would begin. He pulled back from the memories as he saw Earth's heroes fight valiantly against the demons but they were been pulled back little by little. He then focus on the trio of female heroes fighting Mephista and wished them the best of luck.

Central Park, New York City

Ritual Site

Carol felt has if she were hit by a cannon ball launch by the Hulk. The little red demon packed one hell of a punch and was fast as well it was taking all three of them to fight her off and just barely. Janet shot her with her bio beams and Jess shot her with her venom blast but the demon evaded flying up right into Carol's glowing fist but before she could connect a hit the demon vanished and kicked Carol in the back smashing her into the ground.

"Weak pathetic mortal creatures, you disgust me. You have to learned that the only place for your species is under my heel like the insects that you are, ready to be squashed whenever we feel like it."

Janet shot her with her bio beams not wasting time talking with a lunatic who had murdered thousands of people but Jess didn't share Janet's restraint. As Mephista move to block the bio beams with a blast of her own. Jess flew behind her and kicked Mephista in the face sending crashing against a tree.

"Sorry darling, but the proper term is arachnid not insect, now and be a dear and stay down."

Mephista growled like an enrage animal as blood started dripping from her nose. "You wretched creature how dare you touch my beautiful face."

Hellfire shot from her burning eyes directly a Jess thankfully for her Carol got in the way absorbing the energy and sending back hitting the demon squared in the chest making her crash into several trees. The weary heroes gathered together to catch their breaths, their suits were rip and shredded in several places.

"Anyone knows whats going on with him?" Janet said pointing at the man in the circle chanting in a strange language. His voice was growing louder with intensity and the whole circle of blood was glowing a vibrant green color and suddenly the circle burst into purple flames and a giant red hand was coming out of the circle.

Carol didn't like the look of that at all. "Well whatever his doing we got to stop him." Her fist glowed with yellow energy she pulled her hair into a ponytail and with Jessica and Janet they flew at Blackheart all three shooting their beams but before they could connect with the demon Mephista teleported and counter their blast with one of her own creating an explosion when the cloud of dust settle all four women were on the floor.

Carol and Jess were the first to stand up battered and bruise they help Janet to her feet. "Where the hell did she come from?" Jess asked getting really tired of the demon bitch.

Mephista was standing up with hellfire in her eyes and fired two beams of it towards Janet and Jess knocking them back down, Carol looked at her friends sprawled on the floor and when she looked up she saw Mephista who had manifested a sword flying a top speed aiming straight at Carol's heart. Weary and tired from fighting all day Carol didn't have the energy to move out the way fast enough but she didn't need to. A red and blue blur shot past her faster than she could knocking Mephista back towards Blackheart like bullet creating a cloud of dust. Carol could vaguely make the shape of man in the cloud but couldn't see exactly who it is.

Blackheart's pulse sped as soon as he saw the arm of the first Hazaareth come out of the portal, out of the corner of his eye he could see his sister fighting the trio of heroes but he had bigger plans in stored, while his sister was focused on the fight he switched the chant so that he could take control of the Hazaareth. Explosions were surging all over him and as soon as he finished taking control of the first demon, he move to the second one but out of the corner of his eye he saw his sister been hit by a red and blue blur and both of them were coming his way.

New York City Near Central Park.

The devastation around was off the scale, Clint looked around as the demons keep pushing them back. He was back to back with Bobbi as he fired arrow after arrow using mostly his explosive arrows to take down most of the demons. Out of the corner of his eye he could see his fiance smashing demons faces with her Bo staff, looking around he saw Cap and Widow tag teaming a demon.

Cap hit him with his shield in the stomach while Natasha jumped on top of the demon shoulders and double punch him with her stingers. Stark was busy shooting repulsor blasts left and right, even thought he made fun of his armor he had never seen Tony in armor so damage the thing would get him kill.

His arms and fingers were burning from the strain of pulling his bow so many times in a row. He kept shooting one arrow after another when a thought cross his mind and he started laughing, behind him Bobbi turn for a second to look at him before jumping doing a somersault and smashing another demon in the face.

"Babe are you feeling okay?" She asked hesitantly as if she were afraid he might have lost his marbles...again.

He grabbed another exploding boxing glove arrow and fired it at demon who was aiming for Cap. "Feeling fine dear, but just had a thought."

Bobbi smirked dancing away from a demon axe swing and jabbing her staff between its beady eyes. "I told you those were bad for you."

He grinned before running towards a demon grabbed an arrow that was sticking out of a demons eye and fire it at another one who was about to sucker punch Natasha. "Here we are secret agents, an honest to god veteran from WWII, the worlds best engineer who has the most powerful prosthetic ever made, beings with alien powers fighting demons and all I have is a bow and arrow."

Bobbi laughed before clobbering another demon in the face. "Don't worry babe you look hot doing it." She was distracted for one moment and a demon was about to hit her with a club but Clint ran towards the demon kicking him in the face shooting an arrow down its throat. Before he could recover another demon came out of nowhere and grabbed his right arm breaking his bow, the demon made a sharp movement and Clint felt the bones in his arm break with an audible crack. He screamed in pain as the demon launch him agaisnt a car.

"Clint!" Bobbi scream before running at full speed and whacking the demon across the jaw then jabbing the staff into the demons nuts. The demon fell to the floor yelping in pain but not long before Bobbi kept smashing her staff into the demons skull until it was a pile of goo. Then she ran towards Clint and craddle his head as demons kept coming.

"Clint! God your arm." Clint looked at his arm bend backwards with a bone sticking out of it, the pain was too much. All he wanted was to lie down and sleep but there was a job to do and they needed to do it. He grabbed a piece of fabric that was lying around and improvise a sling.

"You're not fighting in that condition Clint." Bobbi looked at him worried as the demons kept on going she saw Tony jump onto a bus his chest glowing with white light. Clint smiled and gave her a scorching kiss that made her toes curl.

"Babe the world is literally ending we all have to pitch in to help and make these bastards pay for what they did to us." He grabbed a sword from a fallen demon in his left hand and gave it a couple of practice to swings to get the feel of it. Grimacing at the odd balance he was about to dive back into the fight when Bobbi tackle him saving his neck literally as a demon would have hacked it off with an axe. The demon was bulky and huge soon Clint realize that Natasha and Cap had been push back next to them, both of them were bloody and bruise and one of Natasha's stingers seem to be broken sending random sparks everywhere. There was no time to say anything as the demons rushed in to finish the weary heroes. Out of nowhere a huge beam of white light burned the demons to ashes killing all the demons that had surrounded them.

The heroes looked to where the beam had come from and saw Iron Man standing proud, his chest piece was smoking after firing his Unibeam. "Damn it Legolas can't you ever fight with a weapon from this century?"

Steve notice how broken his friend's voice sounded and then Iron Man eyes went black and the suit power down as Tony fell on the roof of the bus.

"Iron Man!" Steve rushed to Tony's side with Natasha, Clint and Bobby right behind him but out of the dust cloud created by the blast from the unibeam came the largest demon they have seen. This thing was easily 30 feet tall and carrying an axe made of fire and covered in armored made of human skin. He picked up Tony who didn't move a muscle and started ripping armor pieces off him.

Soon the demon had stripped Iron Man of his whole armor and Steve could see that his friend was bleeding and unconscious. His armor in pieces there was no way for Tony to fight back, the demon move rip Tony's head off. Steve didn't think he just attacked sending his shield flying hoping to hit the demon in the hand to make him drop Tony but for the first time in a long time Captain America missed. Maybe it was because of weariness of the fight or the blood that was dripping from a cut in his left eyebrow but the shield went wide missing the demon.

The demon smile and continue to kill Iron Man but stopped just inches short of Tony's face. The demon bellowed in pain a huge scream and out of his stomach six metal claws appeared from the inside making the demon dropped Tony, Steve was fast enough to catch his friend. Then he and the other heroes turned to see the demon grabbed his stomach for a moment and then out of the stomach Steve saw a familiar man claw his way out.

James 'Logan' Howlett one of the men he commanded during WWII, but known to the world as The Wolverine and member of the X-Men. Logan looked bloody and his whole suit was burned and shredded by stomach acid. He cut the whole upper part of his uniform and threw it on the ground, Steve could see patches of skin already healing thanks to Logan's mutant ability. Logan jumped back cutting the demon's head.

Logan turned towards the weary heroes and smirk at Steve. "Captain, whats up with Stark?"

"The demon you just came out of ripped his armor to pieces, he wasn't woken up. How did you get eaten?"

Logan growled not wanting to get into that particular story, his nose was clogged with demon guts and it would take him at least a dozen showers to get the stink off. "Had a really bad day, whats that?"

Steve looked at where Logan was pointing and out of the sky they could something coming their way and fast. "Out of the way!" Natasha screamed as the thing whatever it was crashed a few feet from them. It was a metal pod painted a familiar red and gold.

"Good Afternoon Captain would you put Mr. Stark inside the pod. His heart is going into cardiac arrest."

Steve recognize the voice as that of JARVIS Tony's AI butler. The pod open and put his friend inside the pod, which immediately close and he could hear machines moving inside followed by a loud cursing. The pod open again and Tony stepped wearing an armor Steve had never seen before. The armor was black and gold instead of red and white, sleek and had that brand new shine but what was interesting about this armor was that the eyes, chest piece and repulsers were bright red instead of white.

"Damn, that was a close one." Tony lifted his face plate and grinned at his friends. His chest felt a lot lighter and the electroshock Jarvis gave him to kick start his heart was the thing the doctor order. He did a little spin. "Meet the MK XX latest and newest armor with the best and latest tech Stark Industries could provide."

Natasha grinned and whisle along with Bobbi. "Looking good Stark." Steve move and punch his friend in the shoulder while Clint and Logan rolled their eyes. "Stark next time wear the new model to battle and no the damage one."

Logan's heighten senses were picking up something and he looked towards the street and faster than he could blink a red and blue blur pass by the heroes. Whats strange was that the blur was yelling. "AHHHHHHHH!"

Tony put his face plate back on. "What was that?" Logan had a pretty good idea and was trying to hide a grin. "I don't know Stark but lets find out and put that fancy suit to the test."

Xavier School for Gifted Youngsters

San Francisco, California

In a era where mutants are targeted by the common people for their difference their is only one safe place for them and that is Professor Charles Xavier school for mutants. Born out of a dream where mutant and humans could live together in peace, the professor build the school and gather a team of mutant known to the world as the X-Men to defend and teach young mutants to control their abilities.

Normally the school was teaming with energy but not on this day, this day all the students were watching the news about the demon attacked on New York City. The faculty were all in the professors office watching the news as the saw Iron Man been lifted by a demon and Captain America throwing his shield.

"Professor isn't there something we can do? I mean we are the X-Men, I feel so helpless just sitting her and watching." Kitty Pride a young woman in her mid-twenties with long brown hair pulled into a pony tail, one of the mutant professors who had the ability to pass through any solid object asked a man in his mid age man sitting in a power wheel chair completely bald and with kind eyes he smiled at her.

"Kitty I wish there was something we could do, but not even the black bird would be able to get there fast enough. All that is left for us to do is pray and hope for the best."

"Don't worry Sugah you know that Wolverine is there somewhere, so he is slicing and dicing some demon creep for us."

Anne Marie otherwise known as Rogue was a woman of Kitty's age with dark brown hair with a long stripe of white in it. He gave Kitty's shoulder a small squeeze through her gloves. Rogue had the ability to steal the life force and powers of other mutants just by touching them so she always had to wear gloves. She tried to sound confident but inside she was worried about Logan, the man was the next thing to a father she had.

"I just can't believe he slashed the roof of my car again." A man in his mid thirties wearing red sunglasses had a huge bruise on a side of his face and an ice bag on his head. Scott Summers also known as Cyclops leader of the X-Men and the mutant with the ability to fire concussive beams from his eyes looked at the scene of destruction in New York and even though he didn't get a long with Logan he was still an X-Men and his responsibility. "Why did he have to stay in New York anyways?"

"He said he wanted time to collect himself, you went out of line calling out like that Scott." Scott looked in shock to the stunning red head sitting next to him Jean Grey one of the most powerful if not the most powerful mutant on the planet with strong telepathic and telekinetic powers among other abilities. She was also Scott's girlfriend.

"Come on Jean he didn't have to punch those MRD agents so hard or get into a battle with Sabertooth, or worse punch me."

Jean was hugging herself worried about Logan, after that night in the Danger Room her feelings were all mess up and she kept replaying in her head over and over again. She felt like she betrayed Scott but he had been really distant as of late. Ever since the new teacher and former enemy Emma Frost join the school in an attempt at redemption.

"Scott you know that Logan never started the fight with Sabertooth, yeah he did pummel the guy into a bloody pulp but the guy deserve it." Rogue shot back glaring at Scott. Before Scott could replay Jean looked at something on the screen.

"Oh my god" Every X-Men and student watched as news reporter recorded the moment where Wolverine clawed his way out of the demon's stomach, he looked like a feral beast with blood and guts falling from his body and then he cut his uniform and slashed the demon's head off.

The students cheered and were in awe watching their professor fight while the teachers just shook their heads and rolled their at Logan been well Logan. Professor Xavier just shook his head and rub his temple as his most difficult case ever.

"How the hell did he get in there in the first place." Asked Scott watching Wolverine just tear the demon apart. No one answer him and he didn't notice the look of relief on Jean's face at seen Logan well, and she was glad no one could hear how fast her heart was beating. Logan better survive because she was going to give him a piece of her mind when he got back.

Then they saw a red and blue blur pass across the screen that got the Professor curious. "Wait play it back at the blur and freeze it." Kitty move to comply with the professor's demands and froze it at the blur. "Can you enhance it Kitty."

Kitty enhance and clear the page and reveal the image. When everyone looked at the new image Rogue and Kitty busted out laughing while Jean hid a grinned. Scott and the Professor frown. "Better question is Scott what happened to him"

Hello Guys Harlequin K here with yet another chapter for EMH:A. I do apologize for the delay but my computer broke and it has been a crazy couple of months but now I'm back and with my creative juices flowing. I hope you enjoy this chapter as much as I did writing it. Some questions that were ask in the reviews are answer in this chapter.

To answer a question some of you ask that where would go from here now that they face the demons from the Marvel Universe well... I wont say much because that would spoiling it but I have many many situations for the Avengers and specially Carol and Peter. So keep your eyes peeled for the next chapter that Ill be dropping two huge hints.

As always read and review any questions are welcome and Ill be more than happy to answer them.

Harlequin K