Disclaimer: Hellboy, Liz Sherman and Rasputin are owned by Mike Mignola and Dark Horse for the comics, and by Guillermo del Toro and Revolution Studios and Universal Studios for the feature films. I own nothing but my story.

The chamber of the Ogdru Jahad monolith

Rasputin's mausoleum

Moscow, Russia


Grigori Rasputin, sorcerer acolyte of underworld gods, regarded his captive, the demon Child who had escaped him a full sixty years earlier. So well grown was he now, into the near perfect instrument, but bearing the serious defects of attachment and devotion to the world of man, and to its human race. He had severed him from his one fatherly love. To satisfy his Master's demand, the Child would be reformed, his mind, volition, will and desires reshaped, and reborn here by Rasputin's hand. The moment of culmination was so near! The entity Hellboy must be erased from his body.

In a demeaning kindly tone, he told him of the horrors of the apocalypse to come to this world, the destruction of mankind, to be brought to fruition by Hellboy's own great stone hand. The sorcerer ground into him an ultimatum to force his compliance, and to drive home his inexorable intent, he cruelly stripped the soul from the body of Hellboy's woman, before his eyes. He saw with malicious satisfaction, the eruption of his captive's seething spirit as he thrashed and wrenched against his binding chains and raged his anguish.

With an unseemly weakness, he agreed to give up his free will, all of himself, for the currency of nothing more than the soul of a female, now lost to this earth. Was love the pitiful price of his surrender? Let this Hellboy try to retrieve her from the Other Side! Gleefully disdainful of his new grief, Rasputin shouted into his face his exigent demands at full cry. No symbol of comfort must touch the Child. He ripped from his wrist, a rosary which he threw aside. And as a tear of loss streaked through the sheen of blood below his eye, Hellboy submitted. The sorcerer roared out his command and the demon name, that he brokenly repeated to Rasputin.

And the engulfing pain in his heart merged with the invading power, traded for his iron chains. Bound more irretrievably now, his structure burgeoned, his captor noted, into more height and muscle, sharply angular facial bones, and a cruelly arrogant jaw. The noble fiery crown awaited the emergence of the demon horns, and they grew from his brow before the sorcerer's elated eyes, curving back and high, finishing in sharp points.

The Ogdru Jahad awaited their long-denied freedom.

In this, his theatre of doom, Rasputin could not have quivered more ecstatically with self-congratulation as he watched his plan unfold. Hellboy was no more. Anung un Rama lived!

Anung un Rama

Was it this inferior being, this pontificating puppet, who had dared to apply ignoble force to his body? To have him chained on his knees with arms locked, to keep his power contained? The being had greatly annoyed him, bellowing to command him with bristling fury. And he had placed a condescending hand upon him. Ah, the puppet must fear him, as he should. As he surely would. Anung un Rama would not forgive this vermin's familiarity.

And this he knew with utter and all-encompassing hubris – he was by his own, and every and all measures, a male of the highest order. As he felt the transformation into his full demonic form and psyche, visceral self-awareness filled his body. Nothing could restrain him now. His crown of fire burned eternally between his towering, regal horns. He knew the beguilement of his own unstoppable strength, coursing within his mounds of muscle, of the stone appendage glowing with tracks of fire, that marked him above all others of his kind. With complete consciousness of his prowess and royal blood, he raised himself from the subservient position, so incongruous with his majesty. And these rags that constricted his mass – soon he would tear them away. At his full stature, he dwarfed the being who so triumphantly beheld him. As yet, there was little outside of himself to which the demon would deign to react.

A hollow resonance sounded within his mind. He lifted his head, his eyes golden, though flat with imperious cold. Azzael, demon prince, intoned, "When you come to me, Favourite Son, every promise will have been fulfilled in you with the release of the Ogdru Jahad. Your bride awaits. When you take your place at my right hand, every promise of your destiny will be realized."

The puppet was too near, again exhorting him to do his bidding. He cared nothing for the squeaks of this impotent vermin, and dismissed all.

Anung un Rama breathed out a cloud of brimstone and gave silent, defiant answer, "I will come to you...and you will wish I had not."

Bold and sinister, he made unhurried, sure strides to the white monolith. His head turned briefly with eyes vacant and austere, to a female body on a stone altar. Reaching the upright, he raised his fire-carved right hand and drove it far into a precisely-shaped opening cut into the stone. He turned the lock with a satisfied snarl, and threw back his horned head in macabre celebration as clouds of brimstone breath dissipated around him. A column of white force exploded from the top of the fire-streaked monolith and shot with singular purpose to spear the prison of the Seven Gods of Chaos.

"Rrrr.." The son of Azzael withdrew his hand and his stone fingers reached into the second lock. The vermin shouting excitedly at his back was in grave danger, should he dare to speak so again. But there was another...beneath his notice, but insistently urging. The demon chose to turn his great head to study him, should he need to die on the instant. The vermin screamed at him with frantic hysteria, but no matter. A small object was flung toward him. His left hand closed around it in mid-air. And he felt a sharp pain on the flesh of his palm – that anything so insignificant should hurt him – the shock and sight of a crucifix branded into his hand diverted Anung un Rama long enough for the vermin to shout panicked demands to him, forceful reasonings.

"By my mercy does this one still live" – the demon's thought was interrupted by a dawning clarity.

With firm decision, he took strong grip on both his horns and wrenched down. At his snarl of exertion, they broke off raggedly, spewing dying flames. The vermin was spitting incoherent rage at him as the white force and the monolith were as suddenly put to dark death.

Now, this was Hellboy, who was sick with hatred. Without turning, he stabbed back hard with one horn, fatally piercing Rasputin's gut. No better time to kill the one who had ordered the murder of his human father. The horns clattered as he threw them to the stone floor.

He recognized John Myers again, but – Liz. He went to the stone altar block where she lay so still, and leaned down to try feeling her breath on his face. Rasputin was still yapping. Why wouldn't he die? Maybe he'd better make sure. He lifted Liz with her only covering of a tapestry and began to head away to the door with Myers. Rasputin was down, but still spouting his crap about Hellboy never knowing his true power. Short tentacles waved out of a widening wound in Rasputin's gut, and Hellboy was going to leave him to it. But he heard, "You have brought forth a god." So what. He and Myers jogged out of that cursed room as fast as they could go.

A/N: Here's where I end this, since I don't want to repeat myself. My short piece of prose titled 'UnSouled', carries on from after Hellboy fights the Behemoth, and is basically a celebration of the Fire Kiss. .