"There Are Worse Things Than Death"
By Kingdom of Deke
Disclaimer: So as to eliminate confusion, Eidos owns Hana Tsu-Vachel, Royce Glas, Rain Qin and the mighty Jakob 'Deke' Decourt, along with the rest of the Fear Effect universe. I don't. Lucky bastards.
Summary: Deke is made to suffer the consequences of the choices he made in life.
The guard lay on the plush carpet of the hall of the brothel, clutching the ruined stump which had once been his left hand. He looked up at the portly man who now stood over him with a smile on his face and a shot-pistol in his hand, which was pointed directly at his face.
"Sorry mate,", the man said in a cheerful Australian accent, "it's nothing personal you understand. Just doing me job."
And with that, he pulled the trigger.
Deke watched as the man's face was obliterated by the heavy round, feeling a slight sense of pride and a stronger sense of satisfaction as the body slumped to the ground. He had surprised the guard ten seconds earlier and immediately taken the initiative, blowing his gun hand off before he could even think of raising it. After that, it only took another round to make him Deke's twelfth victim since entering the brothel.
This Wee Ming gig is turning out to be a lot more fun than I thought it would be, Deke thought to himself. Especially now.
As he reloaded the shot-pistol, Deke realized that he had practically forgotten about Lam's kid, the reason he was still here and not out of Hong Kong. He wasn't particularly keen on risking his neck for the girl now that the ninety million dollar ransom money was now a non-runner, but Hana had insisted on finding her, saying that she knew what happened to young girls here. Deke didn't care what happened to Wee Ming either way, but he knew that Hana wouldn't leave without her and it was more than likely that Glas wouldn't either. In the end, he stuck around for his friends' sake and the small hope that some kind of ransom money could be wheedled out of Lam should they reach her first.
Still, he was glad he did hang around. The various gun battles he had been involved in had been brilliant fun, not to mention providing him with the unmatchable high that only winning against massive odds can provide. Hana, Glas and Rain had always been slightly disturbed by Deke's love of killing, although they never said as much. He couldn't see why though; to him, the mercenary business was a game. Shoot first, you win. Hesitate, you lose big time.
As he finished loading the pistol, Deke fished in his coat pocket and produced a small silver key with a tag reading 'Madam's Room'. The large red double doors in front of him had been the only ones he hadn't opened so chances were this was the room he was looking for. The bastard who had been holding it had put up quite a fight, indicating that something important was behind those doors, something like the daughter of a powerful Triad leader, perhaps?
The key slid into the lock and turned easily, accompanied by a loud click. Drawing both shot-pistols, Deke cautiously pushed the doors open. Apart from a few couches and a balcony, it seemed deserted. Deke walked into the room, telling himself that if Wee Ming wasn't here he was leaving, with or without Hana and Glas.
He never had the chance.
As he reached the center of the room, he heard what sounded like a woman's laugh behind him. He spun around, aimed his shot-pistols…..
…..and came face-to-face with a six-foot green monstrosity, vaguely human in appearance, but with pulsating skin and long blades where her hands should have been.
Deke stood frozen for a moment, barely able to take in what was in front of him and paid dearly for it. The creature, still laughing, lunged at him and smashed one of her blade hands into his chest. The razor-sharp blade smashed through his rib cage, though his heart and out the other side. Deke barely had enough time to scream out in pain before an overpowering darkness descended on him.
When Deke finally managed to fight his way to consciousness he was surprised to hear an amused male voice talking to him.
"So, you're finally awake."
He looked up and saw the speaker ten feet away from him perched on a throne. To his right was a mirror, the reflective side turned away from Deke.
He took a moment to take in the appearance of the speaker. He was dressed in a long flowing red robe with a gold stripe down the middle. His skin was unnaturally white, not unlike snow, and was highlighted by his long, jet black hair, which was beneath an oddly shaped hat. For some reason he couldn't fathom, this man intimidated Deke greatly.
"Who the fuck are you?", Deke asked, trying to figure out what was going on.
"Me? I go by many names, but you can refer to me as Yim Lau Wong.", the man replied, the amused tone still present in his voice.
"Sorry mate, but it doesn't exactly ring a bell.", Deke said, getting slightly impatient.
"Well then,", the man smiled, revealing a row of jagged yellow teeth, "allow me to tell you my full title."
As he said this he got to his feet and then proclaimed:
"I am Yim Lau Wong, The King of Hell."
The mention of hell brought back the memory of the thing Deke had found in the Madam's Room. He peered down at his chest and spotted the gaping hole where his heart would have been.
"Oh Christ….", he breathed.
"That's right,", Yim Lau Wong said, his smile growing even wider. "You, my dear Mr. Decourt, are dead. On this plane of exsistance we have a special treatment in store for people like you."
"Treatment?", Deke repeated, dazed by the revelation that he was dead.
Yim Lau Wong snapped his fingers in response and immediately two bat-like creatures descended out of nowhere and flew to the mirror. Taking a side each, the creatures turned the reflective side towards Deke.
"Normally the mirror would be the one to show the evil within you,", Yim Lau Wong explained. "But with events back in the Earth Realm taking shape as they are, it would be far more interesting to see how my protégé's powers will affect you here."
The mirror suddenly glowed a bight white, which quickly faded to reveal a picture. It was of the creature which attacked him….
….and his lifeless body standing next to her.
The creature was talking to someone, although Deke couldn't make out what she was saying or to who. Suddenly, the creature turned to Deke's corpse, lifted it over her head and flung it over the balcony.
Deke watched as his body dropped into the lobby – which contained amongst various bodyguards and cowering prostitutes Wee Ming and her father – and landed head first on a jagged sculpture. The spike smashed through the right side of Deke's face, completely destroying it and spraying blood everywhere. Most of it landed on Wee Ming, whose eyes suddenly turned completely black as soon as the blood made contact with her. She suddenly started screaming as ribbons of red light streamed out of her, touching everyone save her father who had bolted out of the room when Deke's body had fallen in.
Deke watched in stunned amazement as the light immediately transformed everyone into twisted monstrosities, demonic parodies of what they once were….
…. and then watched as the light hit his corpse.
Almost immediately the pain hit him, a pain unlike any he had ever felt before. His clothes ripped apart as his flesh expanded far beyond their previous limits. His bones shattered and were re-set into horrific new positions. His fingers burst apart and were replaced by the same type of blades that he had been killed with. Worst of all, the entire right side of his head exploded, leaving behind a few ragged tendrils of flesh hanging off what was left of his head.
And Deke felt all of it.
Pain beyond pain.
Horrifically, that wasn't the end of it.
Thousands of screaming souls suddenly appeared and entered Deke's new body. As soon as they entered, Deke recognized them as the people he had killed, for one reason or another, during his twenty year career as a hit man. Now they were giving him a large dose of the pain he had inflicted on them, adding to the pain his transformation had already caused him, and would continue to cause him from now until the end of time.
As Deke screamed again, Yim Lau Wong laughed.
Deke sat in the clear water of the cavern Yim Lau Wong had sent him to, trying to think. He had no idea where in Hell he was or how long he had been there and, quite frankly, he couldn't give a shit. All that occupied his mind was revenge.
He blamed them both for his predicament. It had been Hana who had brought the deal to their attention four years ago, but it was Glas who had persuaded him to stick with it as the years had rolled by.
"Look,", Glas had said, "we're talking about ninety million dollars here for a simple extortion job. It's bound to be worth it."
Deke's almost liquid body shook with rage as the pain reached a crescendo, cursing himself for not following his instincts and getting out when he could and ending up as he did.
I'll make them pay for this, he promised himself. One way or the other.
Just then, the water in front of Deke rippled and formed itself into a picture. Peering at the picture with his remaining eye, Deke could see a tall, muscular man walking through a corridor somewhere in Hell. He was dressed in brown trousers, a blue shirt and a green vest and had a wary expression on his face. He seemed to be in a great deal of pain and it was easy to see why; his left arm had been sliced off below the elbow, the stump having been tightly bandaged. The man's remaining arm held a small Beretta pistol.
There was no mistaking the man.
Deke smiled and in a throaty whisper that could be heard throughout Hell, uttered a single word.