Disclaimers: Valtiel and Pyramid Head / Pyramid Thing / Triangle Thing / Red Pyramid belong to Konami and Team Silent.
There's simply not enough stuff with general interaction between Valtiel and Pyramid Head, so that's why I wrote this. Could be considered a character study, but you can be the judge of that. There are some references to the events in Silent Hill 2, but nothing to amount as spoiler-worthy. Hopefully this will offer something a little different to all you Silent Hill fans.
FOR HER SAKE
It is hard to explain the nature of the Otherworld, as it changes to suit each of those who look upon it. Most would concur however, on the notion that it is dominated by darkness and impregnable shadow. Where light does chance to touch, only rusted metal can be seen. Those within strive for the completion of the eternal Paradise, unsoiled by Sin and Despair. Though its appearance gives it the very sheen of Hell itself.
Light in and of itself is not a common item in this place. For this inter-dimensional court of Hades, light is a commodity, not a need. All that dwell here can do well enough without. Because of this however, light is also like a drug. When seen it attracts the folk in droves, whereupon they pile over one another to be as close to the source as possible, though it would mean that they would eventually become blind from staring at it for so long. With it too, they would see themselves, a rare event. For some, the figures of their comrades and themselves are so entrancing that they can do nothing to look away. To those who have already defined 'beauty', these things would be termed with utmost disgust as 'hideous', 'monstrous' and 'horrifying'. But these words possess no meaning to these people. For what purpose is there to describe appearance, when by normal means there is nothing to see? The darkness, then, is to them a blessing. In the shadows they are a collective, their effectiveness unmarred by dislikes and prejudice.
It is within this darkness also, that the servants of The God rest, where they wait for Her rebirth and for Paradise to be rebuilt by Her hands. Then too, the darkness would be banished, and replaced with the lovely light that they all worship so.
With the element of light being such an attractive item in the dark, it is conserved whenever the chance comes, stored until it is needed for real use. Storing the light extinguishes it. For the people of the Otherworld this is best. Lights, no matter how pretty they may be, pose a terrible threat to their delicate existence. Light simply does not exist naturally in the Otherworld, hence it must come from somewhere else. This 'somewhere else' is the ulterior, dirty realm, the Human, Waking World. Inhabitants of the dark, entranced by the presence of the light, will follow it back to whence it had come, and be sorely beaten unto death by those that built it. The Humans.
For all their destructiveness the Humans are why the Otherworld even exists. Humans, in their pain and despair at the very beginning of time, created The God to save and nurture them. She freed them from the coils of timelessness and gave them happiness. But they had demanded too much of Her, and She died. But The God had given the Human race a promise, a promise that She would return to build them their Paradise, where there would be no more suffering, no more pain, no more sadness. Only jubilance and rapture. When She fell from the bind of life, Her closest followers fell with Her as well, for they could not bare to leave their beloved God behind. In the darkness they have tended to Her broken body, doing all within their power to uphold the laws of obedience She had decreed millennia ago to keep the race of Man from falling to eternal damnation.
One of those followers that had fallen, was the valet and messenger, Valtiel.
Some say that he is closest to The God, that he hears Her voice clearest. They also say that it is he that holds the most pity for Humankind, where others like him in power, hate them for what they did to their God.
The valet walks along the hidden passages of the Otherworld to speak with one such colleague. He does not enjoy visiting his oldest friend, but at the same time cannot bear to let him wallow and rot in oppression and revulsion with nothing to ease his continual suffering. Valtiel has in his hands a tool, that will aide him in his endeavour to entreat the other's help in once again purging the populace of Humanity from Sin. It is like a ball of circular and unshaped glass held within a lattice cage of metal, with a strong chain that trails from its top for easy transportation. What is held within, is known only to the robed messenger.
The halls here are especially dark, the shadows thickened by the internal conflicts of his very powerful partner. This, is a prison; built to hold this one being.
The God would not approve, for chains and captivity sadden Her. The Otherworld is a place of freedom. Valtiel feels the same way, but it was for the protection of his friend. So weighted with anger and bitterness and self-imposed pain, that without constraints he is a threat to everything that they had built in Her name. His rage is the Wrath of God.
Valtiel winds through the innumerable corridors without pause. The maze that surrounds the single cage, the Labyrinth, is there to confuse any who would try to approach the creature kept within, and drive them to insanity well before they reached their goal. Also, that which was chained within the belly of this prison, would never find their way out on their own.
But the valet knows his way just fine. He had built it himself, after all.
With his tool in hand he reaches the massive cell that rests within the Labyrinth's very centre. Great sheets of iron and steel, feet in thickness and stained with age, stand before him. The walls loom high into the darkness that is the sky, fading to nothing in the blackness. A single door serves as the only way in or out, decorated with seven locks, each of which must be undone to allow entry. No others stand guard here, for they would have been driven mad by the horrible curses and yowls that would come from within the cage.
He releases each of the seven locks that keep the prison secure, and with a heave opens the door just enough to allow himself inside.
Though he doesn't possess any eyes to 'see' with, the shadows behind the door nearly blind him. Their thickness is most unhealthy. The light sound of slow breathing is all he has to affirm to himself that his old friend is indeed there, and he steps inside. Barely visible to what would be termed 'sight' several lengths of chain drop from the unseen ceiling to collect and sink into the ground. The floor appears solid, but this is far from true. Valtiel's foot sinks into the grime that has pooled upon the metal for ages, making him cringe in disgust. The sludge, a putrid blackish material, reeks of decay and squirms like flesh. It bubbles every so often. The chains from above are encased within the stuff, there to serve only as a deterrent to keep the cage's only occupant from hurting himself or getting free.
Valtiel's presence has not gone unnoticed. In the suffocating dark a lone figure twists in the grime to see who has come, though he already knows who it is.
The valet has no desire to speak first, but he knows that if he doesn't the other will share no words with him. "My friend…" he says softly. "The shadows are thinner… I trust you are feeling happier today?" This statement is a lie. The darkness is not any thinner than the last time he came here. But anything to ease the tension is welcome. He hopes it works.
The prisoner sees through his visitor's flimsy fib, and it does nothing for his already poor disposition. The rattling of metal links sounds as he fights into a sitting position. He gives up and just lays in the muck he has created for God knows how long. 'You are a liar…' he tells Valtiel.
The string of words aren't so much made by a voice but by a hiss, or even a wind. The angry figure doesn't have a voice, as he had torn it out of his own throat millennia ago. The only sounds he can make now are animalistic growls.
'…You know I can never feel happy.'
The God's valet comes a little closer. "You can't mean that," he argues. "It isn't beyond your capability to for--"
'Shut up. What do you want already? You never come here unless you want something from me.'
The words hurt. "That's not true." He earns a derisive snort in response. "Please, Judge. Be reasonable."
'Reasonable?' The visitor can just see the outline of the other's massive head as he angles it peer at him incredulously from the floor. 'I have no reason to be reasonable. As far as I'm concerned, reason has no place in the world.'
"There is always place for reason! You merely refuse to accept it!" he shouts.
The figure in the dark literally flies into a standing position. In a half-second the face of Valtiel's old partner is inches from his own, the vicious hard point quivering as the rest of the body strains against the chains. He doesn't move.
Judge pulls against the links with nothing but resentment coursing through his veins. 'You bastard… You dare to speak to me of reason? Reason is dead! Dead! Dead like The God! Killed by the scum of the earth!'
"You don't have the right to condemn Humankind," seethes Valtiel. The massive geometric basin of metal sitting on the other's muscled shoulders sways from side to side. "You don't, and you never did."
'Don't I?' he challenges. A low growl escapes the stained pyramid. 'Correct me if I'm wrong, Val,' he mocks, 'but I was made judge and jury of Man by decree of The God for my loyalty to Her and to Humankind.'
"Maybe, but you've lost your sense of justice."
'Have I, Valtiel?' he questions softly.
The messenger can't quite tell if his friend, the feared Pyramid Head, is asking him an earnest question. His confinement and rage has made him unstable and unpredictable.
'Look at you, you poor sap,' Judge spits. 'You think that everything will be fine, all hunky-dory… News flash, Val! Mankind is going nowhere! Look at them! Nothing but abhorrent slime, the whole lot of them! They don't have it within themselves to be pure! They will all die and wander in Purgatory for all eternity for their crime against The God.'
"You forget they built Her!" he counters. "If it wasn't for them, She would have never been born! Humans may not learn as quickly from their mistakes as we would like, but that is why we are here! To guide them! To help them! To help them bring Her back!"
Judge collapses in fits of horrible laughter distorted from his lack of having a true voice. 'Ha! You honestly think they will prove to be of any use? Please! The only useful thing Mankind has made since their original birth is porn and all-hour telephone sex! Ha!' The force of his wheezes nearly sends him rolling back to the centre of the cage.
"Stop that!" Valtiel admonishes, sorely tempted to stomp his foot, not that it will do any good. "Such obscenities should never be spoken within the house of The God. You of all people should know that!"
Judge stands on his messy knees. 'What's the matter, Val?… Jealous? That I have no reservations against giving those pukes what they deserve? That I can make them all scream and squeal like the animals they are? That I can take from them their pathetic sense of pride and honour? That I can reduce them to mere objects? That I haven't banged you senseless against a counter?'
Valtiel is appalled. "You're disgusting!"
The Pyramid Head starts laughing all over again.
Valtiel was afraid of this. He watches his age old friend convulse on the grime in unhealthy mirth.
Judge eventually falls over back into the pool of muck, still laughing. His arms are bound behind him, his hands rendered useless to keep him as harmless as possible in confinement. He can crush a skull and tear ligaments in twine with but a tweak of the wrist and a twitch of the finger. His strength is born from the purification of sin. With each defeat of moral ineptitude he gains all the more power to be bent to his wishes. Though with his ever increasing store of prowess has come also a corruption that is now something that the executioner is best known by. No longer seen as a being of pure judgement and justice, he has become a thing of carnality and fleshly spoils. Judge revels in the act of ill-begotten intimacy whenever the chance presents itself. Countless have lost their virginity and lives to him for the sake of this insatiable hunger, making the once-noble creature an obscene representative of everything reviled and filthy. Neither humans nor Otherworldians are safe from him. The only things he has not defiled are Valtiel and The God Herself.
None touch The God. The God touches them. She is everywhere, a benevolent presence that exists in everything. Her beauty is all things' beauty. Her form is defined only by the psyche of those who wish to see Her.
The valet watches his friend roll and rile for a while longer, amazed, saddened, and sickened that he has fallen so far. How it pains him to see him this way. Whatever happened to cause this? To degrade him to the level of a mere animal? The answer is a simple one, and one that Judge has told him many times over. He merely refuses to listen. The answer he always receives is not one he likes to hear. "Stop it," he tells the other.
The Pyramid Head stops instantly, pinning his visitor with an unseen glare heated enough to fry a guilty soul on the spot. 'Why?' he demands. 'Why should I, Val? For what reason could there possibly be that I should cease my merry-making and listen to you?'
"This is not 'merry-making', it's the defilement of this holy ground! You aught to be ashamed of yourself! You pollute the very air of The God's temple with your obscenities!"
Judge spits at his feet. 'Really? With the high walls you've so lovingly built around me, I didn't think that anyone other than myself would ever hear my own words. If it is so bad, then get yourself a bloody air freshener.'
"Don't you dare mock me, Judge."
'Mock you? Ha! The very act of living under these conditions is a mockery!' He flips on the ground like some kind of mudpuppy. 'Why don't you do me a favour for once, Val? Put my mind at true ease, and let me throttle myself to happy oblivion.'
Valtiel just shakes his head.
'What's the matter? Too great a burden for you, Val?' hisses the Pyramid Head, standing again. The muck coats much of his heavily built body. 'So you can cage me. You can leave me here to rot to protect, so you claim, the others. But you can't give me the one thing I desire, when it is so much easier to comply to.'
"I will not allow you to destroy yourself."
'I am already destroyed!'
"You are still needed!"
'By who? You' He shrinks back slightly, his body bent. 'Have I become nothing more than some sick form of entertainment for you, Val? An animal?'
The valet tries to comfort the other. "No, Judge. Never. You are my friend, and I have never wished pain upon you."
Judge sinks to his knees. 'I can barely hear Her. I almost never see you. My world has been reduced to this pathetic cage with nothing but my hatred to keep me company. Have I fallen so far, Valtiel?'
Whether the larger figure is speaking more to himself than to his visitor the jail-keep can't tell. "You can heal, Judge," he offers. The other doesn't immediately respond. "Like The God. She is healing also. If she can regain her strength and faith, so can you."
Judge shakes his helmet of a head slowly, rejecting the valet's claim. 'I don't have such strength, Valtiel. I lost what I did possess when She died. I fell with Her, in hopes that She would come back. But also, in hopes that I too would regain what had been so ruthlessly taken away from me. But I fell too far.' He rocks in place. 'Let me die, Valtiel.'
The valet wishes such a question didn't exist in his friend's vocabulary. "No."
The sound that escapes the Pyramid Head is terrifying. It is like a shriek, but as if released by tormented metal, and not a being of flesh and bone. He falls and writhes on the floor, making the grime splash and fly about thickly. 'Why?!' he demands.
"The God needs you."
'She does not speak to me!' he screams. 'The silence drives me to the brink!' He tries desperately to manipulate the remaining chains in attempts to wrap them about his neck to finish what his self-imposed madness has started.
Valtiel can't allow Judge to destroy himself. Without him they won't have the lesser Pyramid Heads to serve The God in the Human World in Judge's stead. He is their creator. Only he alone can build them.
Knowing Judge will no longer hear him in this state of madness the valet brings out his tool to silence him. The caged ball of wavering glass is held up before The God's servant, and immediately a swathe of light blares into existence. The sudden change from black to white is nearly blinding. Instantly the Pyramid Head freezes, chest heaving, sight glued to the tool. The only sound is his laboured breath. He shifts uncertainly on the muck that covers his prison floor, inching on his knees ever closer to the source of the hypnotic light, all notions of suicide forgotten.
Valtiel feels absolutely wretched that he has to resort to such a thing to get his friend and partner in arms to calm himself. Before, he could gain the Pyramid Head's attention and trust without even half of the chaos he had just endured. What had happened? How had be become so incompetent? "This is what She promises, Judge. You know that, don't you?" The creature just stares. "We will all have the light we desire once She has been reborn." The light is beautiful to the eyes of the Otherworldians, as a glimmering diamond to the promised wed. "But we need to help Her, Judge," he continues, speaking as if to a child. "She needs us. She needs you, to help Her."
'…What… what does She demand of me?' The Pyramid Head's adoration for The God is more than apparent, just like the day he first became Her faultless servant.
The presence of light is Her gift to the world. Those of the Otherworld revere its glow more than any material possession. Even Valtiel loses himself in its splendour sometimes. It is hard for him to resist merely gawking at the tool as his friend is now. He fights to keep himself composed. "She needs servants of Justice, to purge Humankind of Sin once more. A man is weighted with guilt, and only Her influence my free him."
Judge doesn't move. 'Who?… Tell me their name…'
Valtiel's chest feels light. His friend was agreeing to help him, for the sake of The God. Every ounce counts. "James Sunderland."
The Executioner makes a terrible groaning noise, rocking on his knees, his head swaying from side to side. The valet holds his breath. The Pyramid Head always does this, like some sort of bizarre ritual, when given a target for punishment. Judge has many abilities that Valtiel himself has no idea of, or how they work. Perhaps he is searching the mental void for this man, to learn who he is? His weakness? His sin? Judge snaps his head upwards, squirming against the chains. 'I see him… He will pay… Release me.' The demand is forceful. Judge's voice rings with a clarity that the other hasn't heard since they he first submitted himself as The God's jury, devoid of his madness. It startles Valtiel. 'Let me free, so that I may shape this man's worst nightmare.'
The valet can see with silenced jubilation that his old partner's mind is completely clear for the first time in countless years. He sets the tool upon the ground, and moves to undo the chains that keep the Pyramid Head in darkness. He works swiftly, his hands shaking. The aging links fall away, and the massive being stands to his full height, stretching his arms into the hidden sky.
"You will craft them?" questions the valet, retrieving the tool of light.
'For Her sake… For Her happiness… I will create whatever She desires,' he answers.
Judge drops to his knees once more, delving his hands into the grime he has somehow created since his confinement. He pulls the material from the depths, his arms and hands coated, and he begins his work.
Valtiel steps back and merely watches. The light of the tool has dimmed, and will soon go out. But it will last long enough for the Master Pyramid Head to do his work.
His hands and fingers fly like those of a master potter, the grime steadily taking a new form. A torso emerges, gaining arms, clothing, a presence. Soon, a single figure, a near carbon copy of the massive grime-worker, stands between the Executioner and the valet. A second is crafted soon afterwards. But neither of them move, frozen in place like the ancient warriors of terracotta. Valtiel peers at them in slight confusion. "Why two?" he questions the maker.
Judge scrutinises his work. 'This man will sin again before his Judgement… He will be hounded by both until he finally breaks.'
He is almost done. The still figures are so life-like, the valet is sure they will come to life at any moment. But they won't, because they can't. A vital piece is missing. Judge reaches upwards, his right hand disappearing into the shadow beneath his industrial helmet. There is a wet, sickening snapping sound, and his fingers come away wrapped about two tiny oval forms, one a bloody red, another the colour of rust. These are what will bring his creations life, by giving them a piece of himself they will walk and do The God's bidding.
In a mere second after receiving the gifts of their shaper, the figures jolt in place, the grime cracking and falling away like a dead shell to reveal flesh and cloth beneath it. They stagger for only a moment, finding their legs before kneeling at Judge's feet.
The tool is fading swiftly. Valtiel must lead the new Pyramid Heads from the cage before it dies away. The absence of the light will drown Judge's clarity of mind back inside his vortex of suffering, and he will destroy what he has made. He cannot risk that. With Judge watching, the valet holds up the tool, and directs the Executioner's copies to stand outside. They obey, and exit in utter silence. As they leave he advances on the exhausted figure, and binds him in chain yet again. Not a moment too soon. The light dies, and Judge instantly spirals into madness, shrieking terrible sounds and throwing his weight against the links. He curses at Valtiel with more fierceness than a snake being eaten alive by hungry flames.
His ears nearly bleeding, the valet bids a hasty exit, leaving the dead tool upon the grime where it will sink to the cell's bottom. He rushes out, and shuts the cage behind him. The lesser Pyramid Heads merely watch as he fastens the seven locks that keep Judge where he can do no harm.
Panting heavily he turns and rests his back against the metal, the door reverberating from the sheer force of Judge's angry immaterial voice. He gazes at the twin figures with a mixture of pity and despair as they stare at him through their metal hoods in an uncomprehending manner.
At long last he pushes himself away from the cell, and leads them out of the Labyrinth to be armed and sent to the Human World to do their job. They follow him like lemmings, bereft of any free will or thought. It is almost sad.
Well away from the shouts and cries of the Master Executioner, the valet gives the Pyramid Heads their weapons. One takes a single Lightweight Spear crafted from stained wood. The other claims a Great Knife forged from the fiercest of metals. The Knife-bearer turns on its heel and dredges itself to the nearest rift that will take it to the Human World, and vanishes within the shadows. The other remains standing where it is, unmoving. The valet wonders at this. Is it broken? He wishes to question it, but he knows it will give him no answer. It cannot speak. He stays with it, watching.
It is not until many hours later that the second Pyramid Head moves. An eerie death-cry tears through the Otherworld's atmosphere, making Vatiel search the shadows. Without even the tiniest of sounds, the miniature judge fetches a second Spear, and leaves the same way its twin took. The valet watches.
- - -
Valtiel stands alone in the hotel, looking down upon the broken bodies of the Pyramid Heads. They are dead, destroyed by their own weapons of choice. Their bodies are stiff, without life, as they had been before Judge bestowed upon them that one piece of himself.
The valet walks away. He has seen this so many times. It used to wrench him unbearably, to see his friend's work so unceremoniously vandalised by those they try so desperately to save from eternal darkness. So many lose their lives for this single goal… It does not twist him as much as it used to, but it still pains him unbearably. He wonders if maybe he is becoming numb to the suffering of his fellow Otherworldians.
He reaches the doors through which the man that worked such atrocity has escaped, and places a hand over the two tiny oval orbs that reside within like keys. Without a sound he pops them from the divots, the blood red and rust coloured gifts Judge had bestowed upon his creations with so much care. He imprisons them in his hand, grief coursing through his veins.
Judge is his dearest friend, a fellow fighter for the building of Eternal Paradise. The fact that these tiny stones are all that are left of who he was sheers him. Why must the noble suffer so? The sounds of gunfire sound from high above, as the man, James, seals his fate against his solidified madness of the heart. The shadows of the Otherworld tremble and recede, the spell broken, the connection lost. The black tint of the surreal realm surrounds Valtiel, and takes him back to the dark hall of the quiet Otherworld.
He stands still for a while, before turning away to walk towards his place of rest. He still carries with him the tiny fragments of his old friend's very soul, cold and dead, spent.
Valtiel's private space isn't very large, as he doesn't require much to please himself. There is a bed to lay on, a chair to offer guests, a table to contemplate events, and a dresser that holds no purposes other than to simply stand. Upon it is a tiny box, coated in grime and rust, covered in pock holes where fabricated jewels might have sat. He walks up to the box, and lifts the lid with utmost care. Inside are countless stones, dull and oval like the ones he carries now. He places the two inside and shuts it.
Spent in more ways than one, the valet retreats to his cot and sits on its edge. Hands clasped he merely thinks. He considers where fate will take them now, after all their diligence and faith. When will She awaken? When will they all gain the light and peace they all pray for with such fervour? Will it be soon? Or is it a millennia away? The darkness offers him no solutions to his queries, and that is just as well. He is unsure if he truly wants the answers he seeks.
The noises of the Otherworldians rise from behind the walls and fade back to nothing as they wander aimlessly in the dark, praying for the coming of Paradise.
Keeping in present tense is not easy. Cripes. Judge 'switches' between personalities because he's unstable, just to clear up any possible confusion there. Anywho, please read and review, comments and crit is more than welcome. Flame if you want, they'll be reused to power my vacuumcleaner.