The Gates of Hell
"I shall cast off my old identity and affiliations. As of this moment, I consider myself freelance"!
Born Memnan Chrysamere, Memnan never knew his parents, being raised by his elder sister Shiris. They lived in a ramshackle hovel on the outskirts of Sanfran making their living as street urchins, doing what they needed to get by. At the age of five,Memnan was a scruffy young scrapper, often getting into fights with the other homeless children it didn’t matter who Memnan fought, just as long as he and his sister could eat for another day. As time went by, Memnan became curious about his and Shiris’ parents. When he asked she struck him across the face, with tears in her eyes, she said to never ask her about them again. She quickly calmed the startled Memnan with his favorite story, The legend of the vampire hunter Van Helsing.
Three years later, both Memnan and Shiris found work at a local tavern. One night near closing, a small contingency of soldiers barged in. one soldier in particular, named Leo Carden took quite a liking to Shiris, she quickly turned down his advances but he was not going to take no for an answer. Leo then began boasting on how his group had just killed some rabid wolves outside of town and demanded that Shiris go with him.
Memnan lost it, he leaped at the man on to his back,and started clawing and biting at the man, determined to drive the man out he bit down hard on the man’s ear. Leo got up and had Memnan thrown off of him. The soldier then grabbed him by the throat and began shouting at him that if it weren’t for guys like him the town wouldn’t exist. Memnan than spit a bloody chunk at him. the soldier then threw Memnan down to feel at his face, he stopped when he felt that about 1/3 of his right ear was missing. Memnan grinned behind bloody teeth when he saw a faint flicker of fear cross the hardened soldier’s face. He lunged yet again only to be struck across the face with a large mug. He blacked out, the last image he saw was his sister kneeling over him screaming his name.
Memnan awoke several days later in unfamiliar surroundings, a man clad in black robes was sitting at a desk in the corner. “So you’re awake, Don’t move yet” the man in black said
“Where am I” Memnan asked
“You’re in the Church, well my quarters actually”
“And you are?” Memnan asked
“Father Ricardo Vaton, the head of the congregation here”
“That’s what I wanted to know, what do you remember?”
“Little, mostly my name.”
“Which is…?” the priest asked
“Memnan, My name is Memnan”
“Do you remember your last name?”
“No, I can’t remember”
“That’s fine, for what it’s it worth you can use mine”
It was that from that day on that Memnan the vagrant became the devout Memnan Vaton
Seven years had passed, Memnan was living a peaceful life within the walls of the church, save for a few fights usually over the small protrusions from his head. Entering the room that he’d slept in on that night many years ago, Memnan saw Father Vaton and another man he’d never seen before.
“You sent for me, Father?” Memnan asked
“Yes, I did.”
“Is this about my aggression, because I’ve already finished the chores you punished me with.”
“No, there is someone I wanted you to meet,this is Alec Baldwin he is the commanding officer of the church’s subdivision.”
“Which one?”Memnan asked
“The Hunters? the elite sect used for eliminating all evil? those Hunters?”
“Yes, Alec is here because I want you to go with him and train.”
“I can’t just leave! Not like this! I will not leave you on your own!
“If I may cut in Memnan, Though it is protocol to prevent any contact with the outside world while training, I will permit you to receive letters from Father Vaton, but you must read them in private and then you must burn the letters you get”.
A flicker of relief crossed Memnan’s face
“Though I go against my own wishes I will become a Hunter”.
Memnan glanced towards Father Vaton
“And you better be ready for when I return, old man! When do we leave?”
Becoming a Hunter
Two years later
Memnan had excelled in learning combat and harnessing Divine magic, but he was eagerly waiting for the day three years in the future when he would graduate and become a full-fledged Hunter. Today just happened to be the day when the new batch of recruits arrived, and every current trainee was up for examination and demonstration for the new blood. Alec strode out of the barracks in full battle garb, and he began to clear his throat.
“Recruits”! he shouted “What is our mission”?
The entire battalion stood at attention and collectively said
“In the name of God, impure souls of the living dead shall be cast into eternal damnation, Amen”.
“At ease, To you new recruits, there are things that go bump in the night, and we are the ones who bump back, so to speak. If any of you wish to remain ignorant, please leave, we have no room for doubt here”.
after this was said a few recruits left right away some stayed but left after a few moments.
“To those of you still remaining, Congratulations you’ve passed the first test”. Alec said with a sly smile
“Now, your senior officers will demonstrate their skills. Will second year Memnan and fourth year Skarin step forward. You both know the rules: disarm or incapacitate ONLY.
That message was mainly aimed at Skarin who was far too built to be a cleric.
He stood at around six and a half feet tall and wielded a greatsword
“Ready? FIGHT”! Alec shouted
Drawing their weapons both combatants began sizing each other up waiting for their opponent’s first move.
Memnan knew that he would not be able to overpower this brute, but maybe he could use the terrain to his advantage.
Skarin charged with a roar, looking to end the fight with one blow,he swung with an overhead strike, Memnan dodged with a swift sidestep, he then in response swung at Skarin’s open back, which he blocked with the flat of his blade.
The fight continued like that for a good forty-five minutes, both fighters were feeling the strain, Memnan knew he could put his plan into motion.
Skarin wiped the sweat from his brow and said “You should just give in, you had no chance from the start, there’s a reason why I’m fourth year and your just second”.
“If I give in now I’ll never get to see your face when I win”! Memnan taunted
“It’s your funeral”! Skarin shouted
Memnan knew that this was the end of the fight, but he had to time it just right. He backed up a few feet until his foot hit what he was looking for, a root in the ground he’d tripped on the other day.
Skarin was gaining on Memnan and was swinging his sword in from the side when he began to fall.
Memnan ducked under his blade and struck sharply him on the wrist with the butt of his scythe. Skarin lost his grip, his sword flew about five feet to his right and he was now face down in the dirt, rolling on to his back coughing, he saw Memnan standing over him, things went black as Memnan knocked him out with the butt of his scythe.
Cheers and applause exploded from the crowd as Memnan walked over to the bench to have a rest. A girl gasped when Skarin got up and charged Memnan.
“Bastard”! Skarin roared as he grabbed Memnan by the throat. Memnan could feel himself slipping into unconsciousness, when the iron grip on his throat lessened when he snapped back to reality he saw Alec and a few other officers restraining Skarin.
“We have no need for such betrayal here Skarin, you are hereby expelled from the Hunters”. Alec said with a tinge of vengeance in his voice “Take him away”!
Kneeling down to Memnan “You okay? Those boys from Asgard can be a handful”.
Rubbing his throat, Memnan said hoarsely “You’d think he heard of honor in defeat”.
“Well pride does go before a fall” Alec chuckled
The day progressed and the other Hunters went though their demonstrations without a hitch a fair majority of the fight were not as exciting as Memnan’s
as the day came to a close Memnan was approached by a girl who appeared to be at least a year younger than him.
“Excuse me”. The girl chimed in
“You need something”? Memnan saked
“You’re different…Than the others I mean, I can see it in the way they look at you”.
“You could say that, they all seem to keep their distance from me you’d think I’m some kind of demon or something”.
They both had a good laugh about this
“I never got your name”.
“You can call me Glory”. she said with a smile “I think we’re going to be good friends”.
The Other Side of the Coin
Two Years Later
Memnan had taken Glory under his wing and the two rarely spent time apart, he taught her points about combat and she taught him about healing. Memnan had rarely been happy in his life but since meeting Glory he seemed to be more cheerful towards everyone even to the point where some of the other Hunters could approach him without fear, and today he was even happier because today was the day he received his letter from Father Vaton.
Memnan entered Alec’s office and checked the drawer here Alec put Memnan’s letters, there was one in there which he tucked into the sleeve of his robe he the walked to his secret spot where he could read in peace.
The letter read:
I hope all is well in your training, but I regret to inform you that this
may be my last letter I write because in the past month I have fallen very ill,
and in my old age the doctor has said that I may not last the month. Do not let
this dwell on your mind too heavily for I have lived a full life and have done
much, and even though I have no children to carry on my legacy always know that
you were like a son to me and I will always remember that night when I found you
near death. Do not grieve for me Memnan, as you should be focused on you training.
Once you finish your training you can live for the both of us.
Signed Father Ricardo Vaton
P.S. Look in my office under the loose floorboard.
Memnan could feel himself crying when he finished he screamed his lament to the sky. when he finished venting his anguish, he entered Alec’s office.
“Ah, Memnan. Need something”?
“Did you know”? Memnan muttered
“Did you know”? Memnan said louder
“Know what”? Alec said
“That Father Vaton is dying”! Memnan shouted
“Did you know”! He shouted
Glancing down he said at length “Yes I knew. I hate to tell you this but that was last month’s letter, he died last week”.
Memnan stood in shock “Why didn’t you tell me”! he shouted
“Because as a member of the Hunters you must cut off all emotional ties, the only reason I allowed you to receive the letters was because you had no other family. and I recommend that you not get too close to Glory either I can see pain in your future Memnan”.
“You don’t know what it’s like to lose someone”! Memnan screamed as he slammed the door
Memnan stormed out of the office trying his best to disguise his pain when Glory came up to him.
“Are you all right, Memnan”? I heard shouting
“Get away from me, please”. Memnan said quietly
“If there’s something wrong, tell me I can help you”.
“You cannot help me, not now”. Memnan said turning away
“At least tell me it’s not good to hold it inside”.
Memnan slapped her with the back of his hand and the ran away. He kept running, he didn’t care where as long as it was away form his pain. He ran until it got dark and passed out from exertion.
When he woke, he was not outside, he was not anywhere he’d been before. He got up and began to walk around.
“Hello”? “Is anyone there”? He called out to the darkness, He was greeted by two glowing yellow eyes
“There’s me”. the voice called back
“And who exactly are you”? Memnan asked
“You should ask yourself that”. The voice calmly said
“You’re…me? You can’t be me because I’m me”! Memnan said
“Ooh, you’re a smart one, but in truth, I am part of you, and for the sake of ending confusion, you and call me Shadow, because that’s what I am: Your darkness”.
Shadow walked over to Memnan, so he could see him, He was the same as Memnan, save for the two horns that grew from his brow, and a pointed tail that seemed to move on it’s own.
Walking around Memnan he continued
“You see, I am the amalgamation of all of your negative feelings: Your anger, your pain, your sadness, your lust”. He let that last word hand in the air. “You have been brought here by my will, because I wanted you to be aware of my presence”.
“What do want”? Memnan asked
“What I want? Hm, tough question I guess it would have to be freedom, you know how long I’ve been here nineteen years! So far I’ve only been able to control your body a bit, but I want out, to what I want when I want. That is my one desire”.
“It was you, you were the one who made me slap Glory”! Memnan shouted
“Guilty”. Shadow said with a grin
His laughter was cut short as Memnan shot a Sacred Flame through his chest. Shadow dissolved into the darkness and said
“When your ambition crumbles and all seems lost, I will be there, ready to take control just you wait”! The room was filled with his laughter
Memnan was still in the room but Shadow had become silent, there was a door to his right he had not seen during his conversation with Shadow, He reached for the handle but recoiled when he grabbed it
“It’s cold”. he thought to himself. He covered his hand with the sleeve of his robe and then turned the handle. the door swung open and he was instantly bathed in blinding light. Before him was a slender woman with long dark hair she glanced at him for a moment and said
“You, child of darkness have stumbled into the Raven Queen’s domain, state your business here or be destroyed”!
Memnan knew there was no way he could fool a god, let alone one who’s business was death so he did the only thing he could do, tell the truth.
Memnan told his story and emphasized that he did not know how to get back
“I have seen your destiny young one, and I shall send you back, but only if you pledge your total servitude to me”.
She produced out of thin air a scroll of parchment and a feather quill but no ink, Memnan knew that this contract had to be signed in blood. after he finished his signature the scroll vanished.
“It is done”. the Raven Queen stated and a door appeared behind Memnan.
“May I be so bold as to ask a small question”?
“Why do people die”?
“It is a way to renew the spirits within karma’s cycle, In the near future you will meet others influenced by the cycle, and you will almost feel drawn to them, now go”.
Memnan felt pushed into the doorway, he then awoke where he fell but in his hand was a raven’s feather and he heard a voice in his head “Remember your oath”. He ran back to the compound to tell Alec of what had transpired.
Hunter in Full
Six months had passed since the encounter with the Raven Queen, and Memnan had began to become impatient in his training, but the day was drawing near. Memnan tried to patch his shattered friendship with Glory but she was still a bit wary of him.
Memnan shouted as he caught a glimpse of her while he was on his way to see Alec, but as soon as she saw Memnan she ducked inside one of the barracks.
“Damn”! Memnan hissed “What am I gonna have to do to earn back her trust”? “Save her life”? He asked himself as he was nearing Alec’s office
He opened the door and saw several men exiting Alec’s office Memnan stared them down as they passed but otherwise ignored them
“Who were those guys”? Memnan asked
“My…Superiors”. Alec said at length
“What did the want”?
“My retirement papers. They had the nerve to try and get me to quit or relocate to a church a few towns over”.
“Oh really”? Memnan said sarcastically
“Yes to Pikachu”.
“That backwater town”!? Memnan exclaimed
“But that is not why I’ve called you here, Out of all of your battalion you are the most advanced. And that is why I, as your commanding officer present you with this The Hunter’s Cross.”!
Alec said with a wide smile
Memnan had no words to say
“You need not say anything, Memnan”. “You are now free, but not from your duties.” “You are currently assigned to the defense of San Fran but that will change with time, as you choose to accept missions but for now you are able to leave the compound”. Alec continued
Memnan could only grin as he put on his new status symbol as he exited Alec’s office and left through the main gates. Looking back, he thought to himself
“Now my life begins anew”.
The next morning Memnan awoke to unfamiliar surroundings but then he remembered where he was He rummaged through his personal effects to make sure he had everything when he came across Father Vaton’s final letter. He lingered on the words and read the final bit at the bottom of the letter “P.S. Look under the loose floorboard in my office”.
He composed himself as he drew ever nearer to his former home, He climbed up the first step, and another. He entered the now vacant building, He walked through the halls, steps echoing as he drew close to Father Vaton’s office. The door creaked open, Nothing had changed since his absence save for the amount of dust. crouching down, Memnan felt around for the loose floorboard. Prying it up he pulled up a large parcel labeled “Memnan’s Graduation Present”. fingers trembling he tentatively began to unwrap it, It was a brand-new scythe there was a quote inscribed on the blade it read ” Gods in his heaven, all is right with the world”.
Memnan could only cry his anguish as he kneeled in his former home, he lay down in what was once his bed and lay there for the rest of the day