A wise frog once said 'It's not easy being green'.
Was he talking on that as a color, or race? Never mind, who am I to ask the famous Kermit the Frog on trivial matters such as that?
I once thought I was someone special...then I grew into someone who was part of the norm. I hated that, and I soon went AWOL (please don't let me get into details), got into a group, got booted off, and then went on my own path.
I can't do that anymore...in a few months, I'm getting married. But in a few hours, I found out the truth.
And it's not easy being green...or maybe better, it's not easy being a being from Hell.
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A Change of Face
by Green Phantom Queen
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Chapter 14-From the Gates of the Abyss, He Arrives
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Randy/Phylegyas stared at John with interest. Although it was hard to tell since his eyes had rolled to the back of his head. He parted his lips, as if he was going to say something, but those lips were shut. John stared in shock, words caught in his throat, eyes widened in fear. This demon, possessing his best friend...this couldn't be real.
The demon took one look into John's eyes and asked, "And who are you supposed to be?"
"John Felix Anthony Cena, Jr." John replied, inching near the pillow at his side. "Who are you? And what have you done to Randy?"
"I am the former Phylegyas of the Fifth Circle." answered Randy/Phylegyas, the voice sounding more hollow and laced with a tone of seriousness unlike the Legend Killer. "I watched over the souls corrupted with Sloth and carry off their sin by the river Styx. However, one day while keeping an eye on the souls, I did not suspect Sloth himself to appear. He pushed me into the river, and because I had been in contact with a being so full of sin, the river reacted and swallowed me whole. I drowned in my own river while Sloth looked on."
The hell keeper let out a sigh before continuing. "I became reincarnated as the man you see before you. But when that man was nothing but an innocent child, he manifested me as his imaginary friend. We were happy together, and were inseparable until that fateful day."
"What happened?" asked John weakly.
"...he was attacked by two bullies, and I purified them of sin." said Randy/Phylegyas. "They died of shock, but it was never reported on who 'killed' them. Randy was taken to a hospital and was healed of his wounds, but when he discovered the truth, he made him forget all about me in the attempt to never forget that incident. However, when he found you burned by that evil man I sprung into action."
"So you're possessing him, aren't you?" John exclaimed. "Well?"
"I am not possessing Randall Keith Orion, I am Randall Keith Orion" Those white eyes glared at Cena with some anger. "Please try and keep your facts straight before blurting them out."
"Sorry...but in this day and age, demonic possession is still something of a confusing thing."
"I see..." said the demon. "So...you're probably wondering why I chose not to reveal myself until now, right?"
John nodded his head in reply.
"It's because I wasn't needed...a Hell Keeper only appears when darkness and sin have reached a point that they must purify it. When you were being burned by those black flames, the darkness within them would've devoured your soul, and therefore made you unable to become reincarnated in the future. You maybe a little sore in the shoulders, but if we go to your vampire friends, they should cure your rusty joints."
"Your vampire friends." Randy/Phylegyas repeated. "If I recall, they were going to meet up with us today. We should go meet them?"
"But..." John trailed. "Don't vampires burn up in the sun?"
"Not these vampires." said the demon.
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Morning broke as Gangrel lead the group to the hotel. Thorn explained to the three divas that their kind was a very rare race, able to withstand exposure to sunlight for a couple of hours at a time. But even then, Ariel was sporting a black umbrella to cover her and her boyfriend while Brian and Paul had hooded jackets. There was some looks as everyone stared at the group...but no one made any comments about it.
"Those beds were super comfy." said Brian. "Haven't slept like that in years!"
"If you substitute 'beds' for 'coffins' then yeah..." Ashley shuddered, recalling sleeping in a coffin with a red pillow and blanket keeping her warm. "I was shivering for most of the night because of what Matt did to poor John."
"Imagine what he could to do innocent people like Chris Benoit or even Shawn Michaels if things took a turn for the worst." said Paul. "Shawn wouldn't take it likely...he'd probably go Van Helsing on Matt."
"Shawn was one who would get a little too 'crazy' when it came to it." Gangrel muttered under his breath. "However, I do respect him for going past a human's own limitations. Although I somehow feel that something's wrong with him..."
The hotel door opened, as John and Randy were seen sitting on a couch, not looking at each other. It was then the group noticed the Legend Killer's attire...a deep black cloak with a high collar that was covered with chains.
"Uh..." said Mickie, noticing the attire. "What's going on?"
"I should be asking that." John answered, standing up. "Vampires? I'm supposed to believe that two guys that I used to work with on Smackdown! are vampires?"
"Well don't blame us, blame our ancestors long ago." Brian replied. "And uh...sorry about the blood thing, I get hungry very easily."
"We know." The three divas remarked.
Thorn took a good look at the Legend Killer's outfit.
"Hello Phylegyas. How are you?" He asked.
"What's it to you, vampire?" asked Randy/Phylegyas. "I cannot stay much longer."
"What business do you have returning?" asked Ariel. "And what shall you do now that you have awakened?"
"Randy Orion—the name I am now going by—must meet up with the current Phylegyas to regain his memories and abilities. Then, I want you to keep a close eye on him...people who were once demons become insane very quickly.
"And for my background, you can talk to my...'mate'. He shall tell all."
The demon closed his eyes, the cloak disappearing in a shroud of shadows along with the reptilian appendages. The Legend Killer felt dizzy and he collapsed onto John's lap, looking tired.
"Is he going to be okay?" asked John.
"He will once we get back to your hotel room." said Thorn. "And as for you, Cena...you have some explaining to do for all of us."
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"And that's it." said John, spending at least ten minutes explaining what happened this morning. "Apparently Phylegyas drowned in the river Styx because Sloth contaminated him and then became reincarnated into Randy Orion When Randy became five, Phylegyas manifested himself as an imaginary friend and killed two bullies later on. In fact...Randy became so traumatized, he forced himself to forget him."
"And when you were burned by those flames, Phylegyas took over." said Maria. "Now it all makes sense."
"But poor Randy." said Mickie, noticing the sleeping Legend Killer. "He's so confused; I would be too if I found out that I was best friends with a demon."
"He's also very vital to our mission." Gangrel stated. "He might be able to save us from the darkness...unfortunately Hell Keepers—even ones reborn as humans—have two fatal weaknesses."
"And I'm guessing it's not holy water and crosses, right?" said Paul.
"Correct." said the elder vampire in reply. "First, Hell Keepers cannot stay on Earth for far too long and use of their powers to purify sin exhaust them. If they go through too much, they can either fall in comas or die.
"The second weakness is that they can't stand angelic powers. If they are near the presence of angels or an angel is using their powers on them...let's just say that it isn't a pretty site."
"Okay, so in other words exhaustion and heavenly forces." said Ashley, trying to place the explanation into simpler terms. "Got it."
Suddenly, there was a scream. Everyone turned to see Randy bolt up, panting for breath, and a hand on his heart. Sweat was pouring down his face and his eyes wide with terror.
"Oh my god..." He whispered. "That place...and those voices..."
"It's all right, Orion" said Maria. "You're safe."
"What did you see, Randall?" asked Gangrel. "Don't keep this bottled up."
"I saw...people walking and moaning amongst this murky swamp." Randy explained. "There were people submerged in water and being pushed inside...and then I saw myself being pushed into the river and I could only hear people crying out and screaming while I was drowning in that water. Oh god..."
"Partial memory gain." Ariel murmured. "It's time for the real Phylegyas to arrive, however."
"How does one contact a Hell Keeper?" asked Ashley.
"Only two types of people can contact a Hell Keeper," Thorn explained. "First, only a reincarnated Hell Keeper can contact one, or they would had to be a living human who was cleansed of sin by a real Hell Keeper. All they would have to do is cry out the name of the demon they wish to see."
"Oh, so it's sort of like Beetlejuice!" said Mickie, a light-bulb going off in her head.
"Are you guys insane?" John exclaimed. "This is a demon! Not some sort of movie poltergeist! A DEMON!"
"Hell Keepers are different than Demons, a sub-race you can say." corrected Gangrel. "And I suggest you have a little more respect for them, John Cena. Had it not been for one of them, you would've been dead and no one would've believed Matthew Moore Hardy killed you."
"You really have to believe us on this one." said Brian. "You have no other choice. Randy may be our only hope at this point in saving the WWE...and even the world from darkness."
"Just go to a mirror...and chant the demon's name three times." said Randy, slowly nodding his head. "All right."
"Wait, you're going to through with this?" said John, seeing Orion slowly leaving the bed and heading toward the bathroom. "This isn't your imaginary friend from when you were a kid...this is a demon, a demon with the power to possibly kill you."
"But he saved your life, while I couldn't do anything." Randy retorted. "And if I don't talk to this demon, there's a chance you won't survive the next time Matt tries to kill you. Neither of us wants the other to die...especially since we're so close to our wedding..."
"Wait..." said Paul, interrupting them. "You're getting married? I so knew it! Bri, you owe me first dibs of our meal tonight."
"Shoot." Brian muttered under his breath.
"All right, then." said Maria, closing the bathroom door. "There's no turning back...Randy, call for Phylegyas three times in the mirror."
Randy nodded his head as he stepped into the bathroom, a hand firmly pressed against the mirror. He stared into the eyes of his reflection...those eyes that carried the air of someone knowing something deep and secretive...something that was kept from himself.
He grasped onto the bathroom counter, taking a deep breath, he whispered one word.
There was nothing, except his own reflection copying that same word.
"Phylegyas..." Randy repeated a bit louder, some fear laced in the tone. Once again, there was no reply. Then, he tried it once more.
"Phylegyas!" screamed the Legend Killer. "How many more times do I have to say it? Phylegyas! Phylegyas! PHYLEGYAS!"
As the last syllable left his mouth, Randy slowly turned around, seeing a dark figure rising from beneath the ground, milky white eyes staring at him with interest. The figure...looked somewhat like him, but had more reptilian features and his whole face being covered with black-green reptilian scales. The figure, swathed in a black cloak with silver lining had a frown on his face as he stared at the Legend Killer.
"Uh..." said Randy, staring at the demon. "Are you...the one..."
"Who did you think I was?" the demon retorted. "Santa Claus?"
"No...I just thought, that this whole thing...was a joke."
"Like your stupid mortal games of 'Bloody Mary'? Or that superstition of putting a candle in front of a mirror to see the face of your soul mate? What a load of garbage..."
"I didn't ask for your opinion." Randy snapped back. "I called you here to talk about my...past."
"I noticed." Phylegyas commented. "But what is your reason for interrupting a very excruciating treatment for one of my souls?"
"...There's this man named Matt Hardy who...uh...has been corrupted by darkness. He's gone crazy, burning a friend with black flames, and constantly raping his brother Jeff. I think he's hurt some of my other friends too. And last night, I was told that I was talking about sin, Sloth, Styx...and something about an imaginary friend."
"I see..." the demon replied coolly. "Now can you describe to me this 'darkness' that your friend has."
"Uh...I think I remember seeing some sort of black rose necklace." Randy replied, trying to remember what happened the night before. "But aside from that, I don't know anything. My friends know more about this trouble...they're just beyond the door."
"All right. But before I talk to them, I must do something for you."
Phylegyas placed a cold, slimy hand onto Randy's own forehead. The Legend Killer shuddered at the touch as he noticed the demon's eyes glowing with an evil fire.
"Memories of old, lost inside the rebirth of this soul." The demon chanted. "I command you to rise again, and bring down all of the darkness and sin in this world."
Randy soon gasped, his whole body being consumed by black wisps of fire. It was burning him, his skin was being devoured by this raging inferno. He let out a scream as he tried to snuff the flames...but his body was rigid and paralyzed...thoughts raced his mind.
He was going to die, wasn't he?
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"I hope this works out." said Ashley, staring at the closed bathroom door. "I mean..."
Before she could finish her statement, they heard it. A scream. John was the first to stand.
"Oh my god..." He gasped out before he bolted toward the bathroom door. "Randy are you..."
He pulled the door open, his eyes widening in surprise at what he was seeing. Randy, his body covered in a blaze of darkness, its searing heat radiating off of the Legend Killer as he was curled in a ball, screaming for the pain to stop. John immediately clasped his hand onto his lover's, but was pushed back by a clawed hand. Cena looked up in shock, seeing the Hell Keeper glare at him with anger.
"Take him away from the recovery process and you'll kill him." The demon hissed.
"If I don't take him away from the fire, he'll die!" John screamed. "Don't you understand that?"
"John!" Gangrel barked at the WWE Champion. "Still your tongue; we are talking to one of the Keepers of Hell."
"Keeper of Hell my ass!" John snapped back. "How can we even tell if these demons want to help us! They can be siding with Matt for all I care!"
"John, it's not like we don't have a choice!" Mickie exclaimed. "Kurai, or Sin as he's calling himself, has corrupted Matt to the point that he's actually going to kill people. Phylegyas may be our only hope in stopping this madness."
"What did you say?" Phylegyas asked, eyes widening. "Did you utter the name of the Father of Vices?"
"She did!" said Brian. "And if we don't stop him, we're all in trouble..."
"This is an important case." said Phylegyas. "Sin prays on a person's deepest desires and then magnifies their own vice, twisting their once innocent thoughts into vile ideas."
"That must mean that Sin twisted Matt's love of Jeff into obsession, possession and lust!" said Paul. "Oh man..."
"Is there anything we can do to stop this threat?" asked Thorn. "Even with all of us working together, it's still not enough as he has the means of literally hurting people. And what's more, his brother constantly keeps sacrificing himself to save us."
"I'm afraid that there is no cure to stop your friend." Phylegyas answered. "All you can do is stop the corruption from spreading until we can find a suitable punishment for your friend."
"Do NOTHING?" Maria exclaimed. "I want to do something—anything—to save Matt. But do nothing? No! I can't!"
Phylegyas pinched the bridge of his 'nose', waving a hand over Randy's hunched figure that snuffed the black flames. The Legend Killer stopped screaming, but was now shivering and whispering under his breath.
"You humans always want to go into action, even though you are going to fail in your endeavors." The demon muttered sarcastically. "But Matt's darkness is growing at an exponential rate. You must let it rise...and then it shall fall.
"However, because you are so insistent in saving your friend, I shall suggest that you gather allies. Powerful allies...ones that will be able to protect your friend from the darkness. That is all I can say right now."
"All right, we'll take that advice to heart." said Ariel.
"And one final word of advice." said Phylegyas, the demon slowly becoming enshrouded with mist. "Matt might not be the only one shrouded in darkness...be on your guard."
"But..." said John, only to be met with a glare by the demon.
"No buts. This is advice, and I advise you to take it. Ignorance has caused many tragedies to befall mankind, I hope this won't be one of those cases."
That was the last the Hell Keeper said, before disappearing in the mist. At the same time, Randy was slowly getting up, hand on his forehead and taking in some deep breaths.
"Are you...alright?" asked Ashley. "Does it hurt?"
"I'm...fine." Randy replied. "Just...a bit dizzy. I'm seeing visions...from my past life. A murky swamp...people walking and moaning amongst the stone ground...lifeless bodies drowning in a river...ugh, I need to lie down."
"It's probably for the best." said Brian. "But still...this whole thing is going to get out of control sooner or later. We have to be on our guard."
"There's someone else who has powers like Matt...but who?" said Maria, rubbing her chin in thought. "We don't even know what the person looks like or where they are...this is so frustrating."
"What's even more frustrating is who our allies are." Gangrel snarled. "I know who that demon was talking about."
"Who was he talking about?" asked Paul.
Gangrel didn't say anything, but rather, ran a thumb down his neck, as if to signify the execution of a criminal.
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As if to make things even WORSE, that night at the Smackdown! House Show, there was a knock on the door. Kane snarled, hating that someone was interrupting his 'meditations'-if one includes the fact that it was him concentrating on how to make the Miz's life a living hell.
"What is it?" growled the Big Red Machine.
There was no voice, but a sheet of paper was slipped underneath the door. Kane picked the item up and inspected it. It was a letter written in black ink in fancy calligraphy. He read the letter before crumbling it in his hand.
"Taker." He said to his brother. "We have the return of a slight problem."