"Dead Men Don't Fear The Reaper" - A Project: Demonhunter Side Story

Author's Notes:

- I don't own what I don't own (but I do own Project: Demonhunter, it's associated characters, concepts of mythological figures, and settings), and I don't actively look for other stories and plots, so if you see something familiar… just remember that by this day and age, everything's been done to death. This is just my take on a span of time with the events therein, and it's really for the development of my characters. It's just easier for me if they go play in worlds that are already established.

- The Hell Council is made up of leaders of the Underworld from around the planet and cover the majority of major belief systems. I mean no harm in any which way if anyone is offended, but I would appreciate if some research was done before flames are passed out.

If you would like to see any illustrations done to go with these stories, or images of the characters from Project: Demonhunter, please visit the links on my user page.

Deep in the Underworld, there stands a place that not many people talk about… largely because they don't know it exists. This is the headquarters of Supernatural Control, lead by the Hell Council. It's members have long since stopped the war between Heaven and Hell, and have come into some semblance of a decent working environment. Gone are the days of epic temptations and salvations, pious heroes and sinful villains… that is not to say that these things do not still exist, but it is now on the shoulders of Supernatural Control to guide the balance between darkness and light.

The following is one of the many exploits that the employees of this organization have embarked on...

[Friendship, Maine – November 1995

Kat Harvey stared off into space, watching the first snowflakes of the season drift past her window as she pondered a particularly hard math equation from the seat by her bedroom window.

She was brought back to earth by a black sedan that pulled up outside the gates of the manor, idling for a few moments as a curly haired blond woman in dark clothes emerged, looked up at the house, and stuck her head back into the vehicle to speak to the driver.

The car drove off as the woman headed up the walk to the manor, adjusting her hairband so the wind wouldn't take it off her head. Kat watched the woman for a few moments, realizing she was staring when the woman suddenly made eye contact and smiled at the dark haired girl.

Kat blinked and disappeared from the window, emerging from her room and heading downstairs to her father's study.

"Dad, are you expecting someone?" Kat called out as she descended the stairs.

"Not to my knowledge… why?" Dr. Harvey emerged from his study.

"There's some woman walking up to the house." Kat motioned to the door.

"It's probably some paranormal enthusiast… or a 'psychic'." Dr. Harvey made air quotes at the last word as he approached the door. "I'll handle it."

Just as the woman raised her hand to knock on the door, Dr. Harvey opened it. "Sorry, this is a private residence."

"Oh… I'm sorry… I thought the McFadden family lived here." The woman seemed honestly shocked that a living person opened the door.

"They've been dead for years…" Dr. Harvey raised an eyebrow.

"I know." The woman smiled. "I'm their caseworker."

"Excuse me?" Dr. Harvey tilted his head.

"I'm the McFadden family's afterlife caseworker." The woman continued. "I have an appointment with them today. May I come in?"

"O…kay. Sure." The therapist opened the door and let the woman in.

"My name is Gwen, by the way." The blonde extended her hand to Dr. Harvey.

The man shook it as he closed the door behind them. "James Harvey."

"You're that afterlife therapist, right?" Gwen smiled.

"Yep… I take it you've heard of me?" Dr. Harvey grinned.

"Your wife told me about you." Gwen turned to address the inside of the house. "Boys! I'm here!"

"Wait… how do you know my wife?" James stepped in front of the woman.

"Her name's Amelia, right? Wavy brown hair, loves the color red…?" Gwen tilted her head slightly.

"Yes…" James slowly nodded.

"I processed her soul." Gwen answered nonchalantly, leaning around Dr. Harvey.

"NOW, boys! I haven't got all day!"

Kat looked up at the blonde. "Wait…you what?"

"Processed her soul." Gwen repeated, as the ghostly trio and Casper came floating down from the ceiling rather quickly. "I'm a reaper. We do that."

"Hey, Gwenny-bunny!" Stretch attempted to hug the woman, but Dr. Harvey blocked him.

"You killed my wife?" The therapist came within inches of the reaper.

"No." Gwen placed a hand on James' chest. "I merely escorted her to the gateway for processing. She was dead when I got there."

"Um, dad…" Kat motioned to the reaper's touch, making Dr. Harvey jump back.

"Don't worry, sweetie. I can't remove a soul unless that person's name is on the list… and your father's isn't." Gwen chuckled. "…If you like, I can explain."

The group moved in to Dr. Harvey's office, and Gwen leaned against the desk. "For years the media has been wrong about soul reapers, but we can't come out in the open and correct them. I'd like to… I mean, I haven't worn Gregorian robes in… well, I never have, come to think of it."

"Anyway… we've long since organized ourselves into ranks and every group deals with a different level of the cycle of life." Gwen continued, stopping as she noticed Dr. Harvey taking notes.

"…You don't mind if I jot some things down for my research, do you?" James looked up when he realized the reaper had gone silent.

"Just don't let it slip that you interviewed a reaper." Gwen raised an eyebrow. "You'd get in a lot more trouble than I would… and I doubt your peers would believe you."

"Gotcha." Dr. Harvey nodded.

The blonde reaper smiled and continued. "…So, I'm what's called a sector leader. I govern the other reapers on the Eastern seaboard of the American continent. And by that I mean from the North Pole to the tip of Argentina. I make sure that people are getting the right information at the right time in the correct locations. Unfortunately, that's also why I'm here."

Gwen shifted her weight, crossing her arms loosely. "Before Dr. McFadden died, I told him that I would make sure he and Casper could cross over together. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to make it to his beside on time. Dr. McFadden died… and instead of staying with his son, he went downstairs to work on the Lazarus. I saw him pass through the main hall, and ran to grab him, but he'd disappeared by the time I got to the machine."

"So, you're just here to check up on Casper then?" Kat asked, looking at the ghost sitting beside her.

"His uncles, actually." Gwen smiled at the trio, who went through various gushing motions. "They're on a contractual release from the Underworld to look after Casper until I can find Dr. McFadden."

"Contractual release…?" Dr. Harvey looked up at the reaper.

"I assume you've been here long enough to conclude that they're obviously not the shining paragons of humility and goodwill that they'd like you to believe…" Gwen shot a sideways glance at the ghosts.

"No kidding." Kat interjected, half under her breath.

"…Therefore, in exchange for working off their sins and debt to the Underworld by watching out for Casper, I've promised that the whole kit and caboodle can end up somewhere decent in the Underworld." Gwen finished.

"Wait… it isn't March yet, is it?" Stinkie started.

"Nope." Gwen crossed her arms. "It's November, my dear… but a couple of souls that came down from here very recently had some interesting things to say about you three."

"…Oops." Stinkie smiled sheepishly.

"So, wait… you mean they're not supposed to be treating Casper like a maid?" Kat queried.

"Nope." Gwen shook her head. "They're supposed to be supporting each other, you know… like a nice, normal family?"

"But we're not really normal." Fatso started. "…You know that."

"Yes, but you could at least try." Gwen pushed off the desk. "Come on, fellas. This is it. If I have to visit you one more time between now and our next actual scheduled date, I'm revoking your contract."

"Oh, come on, Gwen!" Stretch started up. "…We've just been under a little stress is all. That woman was trying to get us destroyed! We had no choice but to act in self-defense. …There's no need to get all 'Fear the Reaper' on us."

"You want me to give you something to fear?" Gwen stared the lanky ghost down, poking him in the chest. "Every time I have to come and deal with you is time I could be doing research to find Dr. McFadden. Every time I stop working, the information changes. Souls don't have good memories, you know that. Every time I have to come up here to tell you to be nice to your nephew is time I could be looking for his father so you guys can get out of here, and it's time that you are wasting."

Stretch started to mouth a comeback, but couldn't find anything that couldn't be thrown back in his face, so the ghost opted to set his jaw and remain silent.

"I will be back in three days." Gwen started towards the door. "If you are not back up to snuff by then, I will be forced to take you downstairs."

"Downstairs?" Dr. Harvey queried.

"They're going to be placed in Tartarus." Gwen walked out of the room, disappearing into the shadows. "They can finish absolving the choices they made in life the old-fashioned way."

Question: I've seen various 'fleshie' names for the trio bandied about, as well as the first name of Dr. McFadden. Can anyone tell me what's canon (and if not... what I should go with)?