Let Your Justice Be Swift

This tale includes blood and minor gore. Reader discretion is advised.

"Shut up." Davriel echoed yet again. The black shadows surrounded him as he barely put up with his sword's endless chatter. He continued through the endless hall.

"And Then She Bled!" Aklavos cackled into his head. The voice was almost reptilian, slightly high-pitched, and extremely piercing.

"I was there. Shut up." Davriel said again. He was going to have a bloody fit if Aklavos didn't stop dragging back memories of his victims.

"Yes, Yes, But It Felt So Great!" Aklavos said malevolently, knowing full well what he was doing. Davriel pulled the blade from its sheath, stopping.

"If you don't stop, I'm dropping you," Davriel said, done with the sword. His voice had become monotone in the past couple of days, dry from lack of water.

"If You Drop Me, You're Going To Die." The sword replied, and once again Davriel was reminded that he was stuck with the damned thing.

"I might prefer death over your company," Davriel replied, annoyed. As he took a second to think about what his future held at the moment, he was seriously considering it.

"Oh, Don't Be So Dour. We're Doing Some Good! He Will Probably Kill Everyone In The Backrooms Anyway." Aklavos stated lightheartedly, and Davriel knew the sword was leading him away from the point. Regardless, he was curious.

"And who is He?" Davriel asked. Perhaps this time he'd get an answer.

"If You Knew, He Would Kill You." Aklavos replied. Once again, baiting him onto nowhere.

"Helpful." He sighed. The blade kept on feeding him bits and pieces, then refusing to explain further. So far, he had put together that the blade used to be someone powerful, got killed for its bloodthirst, and was now a sword. He also got tidbits of an apocalyptic future.

"You're Going The Wrong Way." The sword said. After waiting a few seconds, Davriel realized that's all he was going to say.

"Then tell me the right way."

"Not That Way." Aklavos answered, about as helpful as a pack of rocks.

"Goddamnit, sword, if that's the wrong way then tell me the right one!" Davriel yelled, out loud. He was done with this thing's bullshit. He just needed a few minutes without the damned blade.

"I Don't Know."

"Of course you don't!" He sighed in exasperation, turning around and walking the opposite way. It was a long hallway, and they had turned maybe ten minutes ago on a crossway. "Why don't we hunt at Level 11? It's filled with people."

"Because It's Filled With People." Aklavos said cryptically.

"So helpful," Davriel replied, his voice thick with sarcasm.

"He Will Find Us Quicker." Aklavlos added.

"Is this the same 'He'?" Davriel asked.

"No."

"Am I allowed to ask about this 'He'?" Davriel continued.

"No."

"Will you ever be useful in the least?" Davriel asked, rhetorically.

"Yes!" Aklavos yelled emphatically.

"Liar."

"I Cannot Lie." Aklavos stated.

"You told me you couldn't talk." Davriel countered.

"I Couldn't." Aklavos replied.

"Yet you speak."

"Now I Can."

Davriel rolled his eyes and continued onward. He could see the turning point in the distance.

"When are you telling me where we're going?"

"When We Get There."

Davriel looked at the Tachi with the utmost annoyance, not deeming him worthy of a response. Aklavos seemed okay with that, and they continued in silence.

Eventually, Davriel reached the crossing and turned. In the distance, a young man stood, maybe eighty feet away. Two doors stood on either side of him, one of them with the number fifty-one etched upon it.

"Rend Him." Aklavos commanded.

Davriel continued onward, taking his mask from his waist and attaching it to his face. It had come in handy if only to desensitize him to the murder. The boy turned. The telltale look of fear was upon his face. Shaking hands, cold sweat, and wide irises. Davriel felt the bloodthirst of both his mask and Aklavos pulling his hand as he stalked towards the boy.

"Gods, no! Please, I, I didn't kill them, I promise I didn't k-kill them!" He started, eyes upon Davriel. Davriel pulled his blade back, preparing a strike, before hearing a sickening crunch.

Then the boy exploded.

Perhaps exploded wasn't the best word. The young man's outsides had twisted into themselves, imploding, and the body rapidly blasted outward, covering Davriel and the nearby wall and floor in blood.

"Run! He Found Us, You Must Run!" Aklavos screamed into his head. Davriel felt a migraine coming on, then an overwhelming sense of dread. He pulled back Aklavos, his mask telling him to continue.

"We Can't Win This!" The sword warned. The door ahead burst off its hinges onto the opposite wall.

"Forty-eight dead." Came the voice of a man, who walked through the door. He had a trench coat on, covering old tactical gear. In his hand was a small Flintlock.

"You have made quite the mistake, Davriel. Quite the mistake. I am Argos. I am Justice." Davriel felt a thousand eyes upon him, as Argos continued. "Curious, that I haven't met you yet. I normally would feel sin as vilesome as your own. With that blade, you have taken nigh fifty lives. Your soul only claims ten, but I have seen it. Repent now, so you may die in honor. I understand it to be a part of your culture."

"You would dare… I'm not going to be performing seppuku quite yet. And whoever the hell you are, I have killed entities far stronger." Davriel threatened. He quickly regretted it. Even Aklavos seemed afraid.

"Trust me, you've never seen anything quite like me. You wear a Volto mask. Curious. You feel more like a vile Sock, or perhaps Oni." Argos stated. He practically glowed with power.

Despite that, Davriel slashed down, his aim perfect. Argos grabbed the blade with his bare hand and grinned. Pin-pricks of blood ran down the blade.

"Devour!" Aklavos screamed, fear converted to rage as the sword felt the energy behind this being.

"Wait.. could that be? Singu-" Argos started.

He stopped as the other door broke open. Two people rushed in, a scarred woman with short hair and a ginger man with what looked to be a military-grade rocket launcher. Davriel's eyes widened as he scrambled away. The man stayed, aiming the launcher.

Argos grimaced and took a dashing step, grabbing the launcher in his hand. The man tried to pull the trigger, and the rocket blasted forth straight at Argos, who pulled their hand up faster than Davriel could see. In Argos's hand was the rocket launcher, still thrusting forward by a flame. He grabbed it and crushed it. The resulting blast launched the woman away and the man went through the wall.

The woman unhooked two wicked-looking daggers and shook off the blast, before rushing at Argos. He fell into the floor, then returned behind her. The ginger pulled out an old smartphone, crawling through the hole in the wall. He played an audio recording, dropped the phone, and then scampered back from the hall.

"Exterminate." Echoed the voice of an old woman. Argos narrowed his eyes. He looked upon the young woman and sighed. Davriel slowly edged back through the hall, noting Aklavos's silence.

"Your soul is overwhelmingly guilty. You must be grateful that I keep my promises." Said Argos, who started walking in the opposite direction.

The woman's eyes flew into a blind rage, and Argos looked at Davriel. Davriel felt blood on his hands and heard the screams of each person he had killed. Argos fell through the floor, noclipping away.

Davriel sighed, looking back at the woman. Apparently, the fight wasn't over. The woman's face was rabid. The thought of running never entered his mind as he pulled his blade back into a defensive stance and waited. He examined her as she yelled at the floor where Argos had just gone.

She wielded two blades, and her face was ridden with scars. Short hair seemed to imply a militaristic life, and the bloodthirst in her eyes seemed to be greater than even his own. He backed away slowly, and she looked around the room, eyes locking on him.

She leaped, twin blades whirring as they clashed against his own. The daggers chipped and seemed almost to glow as they moved. Davriel concluded they must have been made of a weaker metal, perhaps copper or iron. Aklavos seemed to be chipping at a similar pace, which confused Davriel. Aklavos had cut through a steel bullet without a scratch.

As they dueled, Aklavos made sounds of struggle, as if he was exerting himself. Once again, Davriel was confused. After quite the heavy hit, Davriel cut into the side of her shirt, hitting against… rusted metal. Beneath her shirt lay iron plates, and whenever Davriel did get a lucky hit in, Aklavos seemed to bounce off instead of cutting through.

Davriel came in for a slash to the head, then feinted toward the legs. She expected it, leaping over the blade and landing, back to him as she twirled upon one foot, knife slashing through his arm. He screamed in pain and stepped back, dropping the sword to his right hand. No longer wielding it with both hands as he was trained, it was off balance. He leaned back, trying to use his weight and momentum to make up for it. His reach was fair, but her speed seemed to outmatch it.

The fight seemed to go on and on, and eventually, Davriel faded out of consciousness, waking up to see three or four more bloody wounds on his own body and metal chunks taken from her clothes. He barely registered that his hand was moving on its own, that Aklavos was fighting for him. He looked at her again, body sore and tired, and fell unconscious once more.

Four and a half hours later, Davriel sat on the wall, eye shuttering open. The woman lay upon the floor, unconscious. Davriel was covered in cuts and scars, and he slowly rose from the floor, looking at her. She hadn't taken a single hit to the flesh except the hilt to the head that had taken her out. He sighed again and rose.

Where Argos had fallen through lied a mask. He picked it up, recognizing the horn and fangs as an Oni, a part of his religion before he was brought here. He took the Volto mask from upon his face and threw it aside. He no longer needed it. Finally, the doors opened, and three men walked through, armed with assault rifles. Davriel raised his hands, dropping Aklavos and sighing. He didn't have the energy for another fight.

They dragged a burlap sack over his head and put his sword into a case. The woman was carefully moved back, and his mask was removed. They dragged him, and he had to rely on only his hearing. His arms were bound.

They dragged him across a flight of stairs, through a door, and noclipped through something, rendering Davriel nauseous. Eventually, they stopped, and started talking. Davriel could barely make out the words.

"Mer..ry..eader..los…o this idio…"

Mercury Leader lost to this idiot? Davriel was unfamiliar with the terms. English wasn't his first language, and it wasn't helpful that they were whispering.

"Perh.. we can…ing…him to. Sol?"

"No. Jo..n.. wa…nts to see… im"

Bring him to Sol, Jones wants to see him. Great. More dragging.

Then Davriel felt the rough floor as he was dragged back through, more doors and stairs and nauseating Noclipping until he was sure that he would throw up. Eventually, it stopped as the floor changed from stone and plated concrete to carpet.

"You awake in there?"

Davriel stayed silent.

"Stubborn bloke, eh?"

The man pulled Davriel up standing. He took the hood off and frowned. He had a curly mess of oily black hair and was armed with a gun. It looked to be an older model, a ten-round revolver.

"Trust me, mate, no one sleeps through that many noclips." He laughed, pushing him through the doors. "This is where we check if you've anything to do with the divine. You'll drink this, and if you die, you're a god! And if you don't, we call medical support and you're free to go."

He held up a glass vial of the curious glowing metal. Davriel figured out by now that this was either an extremely strange form of solid mercury or iron. The man put it to his mouth, and Davriel had no choice but to drink. It reminded him of burnt cow liver.

After he finished, the man looked at him and frowned.
"Aye, you kept alive that long against her, and ain't a god? Are you an entity or demon, mate? Not like there's a difference…"

"I practiced with the sword. She fought like an indignant child with a pair of knives and a point to prove."

"Oh ho ho, don't let her be hearing that. Well, if you're done dissing on Mercury, which is completely understandable, we'll be giving you a few things, telling ya a few things, and sending you off to Level 11."

"Where is my blade?"

"Your katana?"

"Tachi, and yes, what else would I be speaking of?"

"Give it time, mate. Follow ginger over there."

Davriel turned and took a second to look around. It appeared to be a chapel, with white walls and wooden pillars. The room was small, with a medical stand and IV bags in the corner, and the bag that was previously over his head lay on a bed near him.

He looked ahead, at the far end where a door stood open. Inside stood a woman with red hair waiting expectantly.
He walked to her and opened his mouth as if to ask something, but she put her hand up.

"Wait till we get to the office."

So he followed her through a messy corridor that branched left and right, with various parts descending into a sterile hospital, and finally stopped at a door. She opened it and led him in.

"Welcome to the Iron Fist." Came a voice. A man stood a few feet away. He sounded barely human, his words reminiscent of Aklavos. "You are in my domain now, and I expect you to adhere to the rules for the duration of your stay. Do not touch anything. Do not speak unless spoken to. And do not move unless told to."

Davriel raised his eyebrows, hand moving to his sheath, which he was reminded wasn't there.

"Oh, and no unnecessary violence. We wouldn't want you getting hurt."

Davriel grimaced. The figure was mostly cloaked by the dark room, but Davriel could see a white cloak and red eyes.

"What do you want?"

"First of all, have you heard of the Pantheon, or it's gods?"

"No."

"A group of false deities making use of powers they don't deserve. Any other deities you've heard of?"

"Besides the obvious ones, such as Jerry and that cat, no."

"Mmmm. Have you noticed how all of them are malevolent? They all abuse their powers."

"I don't suppose the cat much does, but sure."

"That is beside the point. You bear a tattoo on your neck."

"How did you see that?"

"A symbol of a Yakuza Assassin, yes? A mercenary who worked for a family to dispose of those who didn't deserve what they had."

"You've watched too much anime, I see."

"Do not mock me, boy. Your services and power would be appreciated on our side. You would be sent to hunt and kill gods and other similar beings. Instead of killing without any such goal, as your M.E.G. file has written."

"They already have a file on me?"

"In their archives. One of them got away. Captured by an entity on negative two and escaped."

"It's not negative two anymore."

"Besides the point. But you kill, be it for pleasure, need, or dementia. We offer you something good to do with that. Besides the useless slaughter you already perform."

He stood up, and Davriel could see a cut-up face with a light beard and albino eyes. Not red, as he first thought.

"Join us, and we offer you a goal, food and water, lodging and companionship, and any other things necessary for your life in the backrooms. And all you'll have to do is kill a few gods."
Davriel thought for a moment. What were the downsides? And if they wanted to kill him, they would've done it by now.

"My sword?"

"Waiting in the hall."

"You've got yourself a deal."

rating: +2+x
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