Fan Fiction

Splatterhouse 2
by Koen Phoenix

Stage 1: Loss in Blood

The eclipse had ended, the shadow of the moon still in the sky as it eased away from the sun, within hours, it would be out of sight completely. It was evening and the sun's light shone red over a mansion on a cliff-top. The surrounding grounds were soaked with blood. A cemetery, various buildings including a chapel, a mausoleum. Beyond the grounds of the graves and structures was a large open space. Corpses littered the ground and blood was oozing slowly down the steps of a jet black, marble altar.

What looked like a massive, still beating heart lay close by the altar, spewing out blood by the gallons. Not far off was a transparent purple mass of tentacles out of the ground, they waved around, almost like they were feeling for something.

In front of the altar, a young blond haired woman was in the arms of a masked brute, grizzled muscle across every inch of its body. Clearly male, it looked like it could tear the woman in half using only his little fingers. Looking remarkably human, he wore shredded shorts with a simple brown belt around his waste. They had holes around the ends of the legs. He stood easily at 10 feet tall or more with green lined sneakers. Some of the blood on the ground was slowly sucking up the brutes body and into the bone mask over his face, his eyes glowed yellow.

The woman looked at this behemoth with kind eyes. “You saved me, Rick.” Clearly this was the name of the muscle-bound creature gently embracing her.

She seems okay to me,” Rick thought to himself. “Granted, I've never heard her call me “Darling” before.” He looked at the girl, Jennifer, with kind eyes, his gentle expression obscured by the bone mask, which seemed to have lined edges that had sunken into his skull.

Leonora?” A man lay on the steps, his right arm had been ripped clean off and lay next to him on the steps below the altar. The stump of his arm was still issuing blood that continued to pool on the ground, only to slowly move up the steps and up Rick's body. The man, Dr. Henry West, had short gray hair, his body mangled. He could only open one eye, his other was obviously too bruised to move, and his good eye had popped blood vessels in it. The stains over his lab coat and tie seemed like older bloodstains. “Leonora?” He pushed himself up with his arm and looked with a desperate look in his eye.

The Corrupted are gone West. You lose.” Rick said sharply, he sounded surprisingly normal for having such a strange appearance. He sounded like a normal young man, probably in his early to mid-twenties.

Rick turned away from Jennifer and put his massive hands over the rim of the mask, they seemed more like gorilla's hands with large palms and shorter fingers. “Let go, she's fine.”

Sure about that Ricky?” It was a deep voice that issued from Rick, like an older male. He had a certain playful tone to his voice, but it still sent a chill down ones spine. It was the mask, the mask was alive.

Rick? Are you okay?” Jennifer looked concerned and put a hand over Rick's face.

All that effort, wasted. Rick.. why couldn't you have just DIED?!” West scowled at the behemoth as he lay on the steps, grabbing his bleeding stump and pushing himself forwards with his legs, only to slip on the blood he was leaking onto the ground. “My beloved Leonora...” He let himself collapse onto the stone steps, looking at the ground with a desperate expression.

Rick glanced at the Doctor and then back to Jennifer. “LOOK OUT!” The mask shouted before Rick even finished turning his head. He felt himself lifted off his feet as a blade sank through his gut and barely poked out through his back. Jennifer was lifting him. Her right arm mutated to a strange blade, soaked with blood and flesh stretched over the bone-like weapon. With inhuman strength, she tossed him back several meters, Rick hit the blood soaked ground and got to his feet.

Jennifer hunched over as her body mutated, bones crunching loudly, flesh tearing and stretching across the blade on her right arm. She screamed out loud as her legs lengthened, her shoes tearing apart as her feet changed to talons. Her left arm became larger with her hands becoming claws, which extended to five feet in length, only to retract into her fingers. Her flesh turned brown and her head lengthened, becoming a long snout with jagged teeth. She let out a howl of agony, various patches of flesh were wrapped tightly around her body so some points literally had no skin, only revealing the bloody muscle underneath, which had grown.

Rick took a step back. “What the fuck is this?”

Does it matter? Just fucking kill it.” The mask shouted, a hint of blood lust in its tone.

So where is the real Jen?” Rick began to race towards Jennifer, he rolled to the side as it snapped at him with its jaws.

This IS the real Jen. She's just not in control of her body right now.” The mask let out a short laugh. “Didn't think it was gonna be this strong though. All the same, should be a piece of cake after The Corrupted.”

Rick jumped backwards as the blade swung down and hit the base of the steps, he ran up the bone, Jen started to wobble from the weight, despite being easily twice his size now. He grabbed the shoulder and swung around, grabbing the neck and putting his foot on her back for balance. His free hand glowed orange and he swung his fist into the head, a bit of bone crunching inwards and blood spraying out from the force of the blow. Jennifer toppled over and onto her face. West managed to get to his feet while still holding his bleeding stump and began limping away, trying to get to safety while muttering under his breath.

But if I kill this thing, Jen will be dead.” Rick was crouched on Jennifer's back, poised and hesitating to strike as she let out a growl.

And if you don't kill her, she will kill you. Now KILL HER!” The mask shouted, Rick felt his fist swing involuntarily downwards, punching her skull into the ground, blood starting to cover his fingers. “Now focus! Fucking focus!”

Jen's clawed hand pointed at him, the claws extended and punctured his chest, shoulder and arms all the way through, the claws then pulled backwards and Jen began to stand up. Rick jumped off her as she got to her feet. His rib cage burst open, the bones curving inwards and his body shifted in an instant, his muscles bulging and bone jutting from his skin, the right half of his body seemed to be missing certain patches of skin and the mask seemed to gain horns on the right side. Rick screamed in agony as blood siphoned from Jennifer to him. The mask groaned softly. “Ooohh yeeessss.” Jennifer stiffened up and twitched as she lost blood through the open wounds in her body. Rick seemed to revert to normal as quickly as he had changed, but all his wounds were gone. He seemed just like he did before he had been hurt, there wasn't even a scar.

Jennifer still twitching, he jumped and put both fists together and slammed them on her chest, she was knocked backwards and swung her right arm at him, he grabbed the blade and slid sideways a couple feet. He tightened his grip on the blade as he saw the clawed hand point at him. He grunted and lifted up Jennifer and span her 360 degrees to gain momentum and used the force to slam her head first into the ground, her skull dented inwards and one of her extended claws snapped clean off. Rick released her as she slowly wobbled to her feet. Rick ran past Jennifer and rolled, grabbing onto the broken claw as he did, when he landed on his feet, he held the bone like a spear.

Jennifer groaned and shrank, her skin reforming and the woman's battered body reverting to normal before his eyes as the body snapped and shrunk loudly and the flesh turning back to its normal complexion. She looked at Rick, her clothes shredded, her naked body exposed and already bloody. “Rick, why? Why would you do this to me?” She looked desperate and broken, reaching out to Rick, who stepped forwards to reach out to her.

It's a trick, don't fall for it kid!” The mask spoke with Rick's mouth this time.

Jennifer's expression turned hateful, her body seemed to change in just under two seconds, in a shower of blood, the beast was back. It's wounds still fresh. Rick moved forwards and tossed the claw into the air, with both his fists clenched and glowing, he made a right hook into Jennifer's stomach, a circle of energy seemed to be released from the impact and Jennifer stumbled backwards. He caught the claw with the right and and moved forwards again. He swung his left fist into her gut, the same circle of energy being released upon contact. Her rib cage crunched inwards from the blow.

The beast fell backwards and Rick jumped forwards and onto her chest, he raised the claw over her head and hesitated. “Dammit, do I have to do everything myself?!” The mask shouted in frustration.

Rick slammed the claw downwards, looking away as he did so. It jammed into the skull and Jennifer lay motionless with a final cry. Rick jumped off of Jennifer's body as it shrunk back to its normal state. He gently lifted her head and pulling the bone out of her skull. Jennifer looked at Rick with dead eyes. “Jen.... I'm..” Rick's voice shuddered. “I failed.”

Rick, there's nothing that could have been done.” The mask said in a softer voice. It seemed genuinely sympathetic.

A green transparent thing flew out of Jennifer's corpse, it looked a lot like a jellyfish. Wrapped in its tentacles was a pure white light. “What is that thing?” Rick managed to say, though his voice was choked slightly.

That is our perpetrator. Looks like he's grabbing your girl's soul while he's at it too.” The mask muttered, though Rick could hear him quite clearly.

He's what?!” Rick stood up, setting down Jennifer's body and watched as the green entity flew into the portal it came from, the purple mass of tentacles. The portal was surrounded by bloodied corpses. Rick ran towards the the portal, he stomped over the bodies, bones crushing under the weight of the muscle. He dived for the portal, only for it to vanish in the blink of an eye. He landed on his chest, sliding slightly. “Fuck! Fuck! FUCK!” Rick pounded the ground with his massive fists, the muscles seemed to flex and loosen was he did so. “No.... she's fucking gone.”

Listen, Rick, even if we get her soul back, there's still the problem of the body.” Rick felt his head turn involuntarily towards Jennifer's corpse. He felt his heart sink. He couldn't believe he had failed. Not only that, he had been her executioner.

This... this is all your fault.” Rick said coldly.

The mask let out a short laugh. “Well, technically Ricky, it's your fault. YOU killed ten-thousand plus sacrifices. It just slipped my mind to mention it to you.”

You fucking liar! You kept me in the dark on purpose!” Rick punched the ground again, his fists leaving small craters in the ground, he got to his feet and gripped the edges of the mask, trying to pull it off. “Let go!” The mask stretched outwards, its edges stretching away from Rick's face, yet still holding on.

NO!” The mask responded sharply and snapped back into place. “You're still mine Rick. Now let's get moving.”

Rick let out a short, choked laugh. “What?! Why would I do anything more to help you?”

Because we're bringing your girl back. A deal's still a deal.” The mask controlled Rick's body and crossed his arms, looking at Jennifer's body and walking towards it. “Let me do all the talking when we corner West.”

Rick stopped, confused, uncrossing his arms. “What good can West do? He never managed to bring his wife back.”

The mask sighed, moving Rick forwards, this time forcing Rick's legs to walk a little faster. “He can restore the body and preserve it. He'll cooperate with that.”

Rick tried to stop moving, but failed, still walking towards Jen, he stopped in front of her and gently picked her up. “How do you know he will?”

Because he wants his wife back, still. Even if he doesn't, if he wants to keep his legs, he'll still help.” The mask casually used Rick to toss Jennifer over their shoulder. “Now let's find West. After he agrees to work on the body, we'll need to spill a lot of blood to open a new portal. The door just closed for a little while. It won't lock for a few hours, just enough time to spill ten thousand sacrifices worth of blood... again.”

Jen's soul is in the Abyss? How will we get out again?” Rick started running towards the trail of blood West had left, he grabbed West's dismembered arm while he passed by. As ran, the remaining blood rushed up his body, sinking into the mask.

Well, we could wait a few centuries for the stars to align again, see if we can get someone to prepare the ritual on this end. Or we can cheat and port through time and slip through at a moment where the door is unlocked. Should take quite a bit of cannon fodder to open that portal, though.”

Rick kept moving, it didn't take more than a minute to catch up with West, who had opened a tomb. He turned around at the sound of Rick's foot steps. Henry ran into the tomb, his arm still leaking blood, though not as profusely. He grabbed a switch on the inside of the tomb and pulled it downwards. The coffin inside moved to the left and West try to run down the stairs, they were quite narrow, there was no way Rick would be able to fit down them, nonetheless through the door of the tomb. Rick moved forwards and reached inside, grabbing West by his jacket and pulling him out of the tomb. Rick tossed him upwards slightly and caught him by the scruff of the neck.

Henry cringed slightly as Rick looked at him, he expected to be hit. Rick lifted the doctor up to face level. “Alright Doc, we have a job for you. And you're going to do it unless you want to lose another limb.” The mask said calmly, through Rick.

We?” West paused, his eyes widening. “The Terror Mask is alive?”

Terror Mask? Is that what you're called?” Rick asked, genuinely interested.

Not now kid.” The mask turned its attention back to West. “We need you to fix the girl's body. Repair the damage we did and preserve it like brand new. Can you do that for us Doc?”

Why would I do that?” Henry looked indignant and even spiteful. “You destroyed everything that was important to me.”

Because if you don't, we will crush you. Also, Rick's girl looks a lot like your wife, don't she? You know, if you fixed the body, that may bring back a chance for bringing back Leonora.” The mask had a sly tone to its voice.

Henry hesitated, weighing his options. He quickly picked the obvious one, though reluctantly. “Alright, fine. Now put me down and give me back my arm.” Henry said coldly, as he was set gently to the ground. Rick tossed him his arm and he caught it and turned around, towards the cemetery and spoke in an ancient language. A pair of large beasts, a couple feet shorter than Rick came out from behind one of the tombs. The pair had thick teeth and their right arms were oversized bludgeons. Black skin with at least 4 eyes.

Those are the same things that killed me.” Rick thought to himself. He reluctantly handed over Jennifer's body to one of them and West walked after them, as one of them held Jennifer around the middle and dragged her. West muttered something and the creature lifted Jennifer over its shoulder.

Great, now think, what can we kill to open a new portal? If we can kill something big, really big, we won't need to kill so many chumps to make a new portal.” The mask muttered only half to itself and half to Rick.

Rick stretched his arms, leaning one way as he thought. “Hmmm..” An image flashed in his mind. A creature in a tank, its eyes glowing as it pounded with a clawed hand on the glass. It easily was the size of a two story house, maybe bigger. A massive fanged leviathan as it looked with its many eyes at him.

Good thinking kid, that'll probably do just fine, along with whatever else we can kill along the way.” Rick started running towards the mansion, jumping over graves and moving with surprising speed for one so large. He ran past West, actually knocking over the beast not carrying Jennifer. It growled at him in annoyance and got back to its feet. Rick passed through the chapel and down the pathways. He eventually got around the Mausoleum and headed towards the gates of the mansion. He ended up breaking through one of the windows. He landed in a roll and looked around.

At least three dozen small boney creatures looked at him, they had rather long claws and were a sickly gray color, with red tinted stomachs. They looked humanoid, their mouths full of flesh. The house walls were lined with red flesh, which was clearly decomposing. This same flesh was wrapped around the furniture around the edge of the room. From the ceiling hung lines of torn flesh, which was consistently leaking blood onto the ground. The creatures having their fill of it as blood was pooled on the ground up to Rick's ankles. The creatures all dashed towards Rick, whose fists glowed orange, he raised them and paused for only half a second and slammed them down as one of the creatures aimed a blow for his chest, only to be crushed to pulp from the force of the blow, four others were cut in half from the aftershock. He grabbed one of them by the ankles and it squealed loudly onto to be used as a bludgeon to crush another creature, crunching loudly from impact and adding to the blood on the ground, which was sucking up Rick's body.

Oh more! Yes! More!” The mask let out a malevolent laugh as it sucked the blood up and into itself.

Rick punted one of the creatures upwards, grabbing it with both hands, one hand on its shoulders and the other over its pelvis, he ripped it in half, blood spraying out and the intestines falling to the ground. He knelt forwards and rammed through them, crushing the creatures as he passed and splashing through the blood, which continued to crawl up his body, absorbing into his skin and into the mask. “Fuck yeah, weaklings!” The mask cheered in delight at the carnage, clearly calling him sadistic would have been a massive understatement.

Rick turned around only to watch the last creature rush at him. He crouched down to its level and caught its face in his palm and clenching his fist, crushing its skull. He stood up and shrugged. “Ricky, you're pretty pissed about that whole using you to have revenge on the Corrupted, aren't you?”

Yes, I'm fucking pissed.” Rick turned around and looked at the double doors, kicking them open.

It was nothing personal kid. I just needed someone to team up with. Now that we've gotten what I want, we can focus entirely on you.” His tone changed to mock Rick. “Feel better now?”

Fuck you.” Rick started running down the hallway and he racked his mind for a response. “You're mother was worn by a porn star!”

The mask let out a short laugh. “So my mother was worn by your mother?”

Up yours.” Rick sighed as he ran down the hallway. “Any clue which way to that thing?”

The mask hesitated for a second as he thought to himself. “Yeah, follow my lead kid. I'll get us there in no time.”

Stage 2: Into the Abyss

How many fucking monsters are still in this place?” Rick looked around, at least 2 horned monsters were standing in the back of the room, a battered computer in the center. There were decomposing corpses that littered the room, battered limbs laying around and fleshy tubes hanging from the ceiling with puddles of blood all over the ground. At Rick's feet was a dead pink creature, it's eye had been ripped out. It appeared to be some kind of oversized octopus with some strange crown of bone on its head. There were open numbered containers around the rim of the room, all empty. They could clearly sink into the floor.

Just cause the Corrupted are gone from this world, doesn't mean the monsters all keel over.” The Terror Mask said calmly. “Which is just great, cause we need to kill em' all. Now GIVE ME MORE BLOOD!”

Rick paused for a second and smirked. He opened his mouth to say something, but the mask cut him off. “That's not a joke Rick-O. Jokes are funny.”

Rick remained silent and charged at the two horned demons. Their right arms were a sort of short, spiked whip that dragged behind them as they walked. Their skin pitch black and their left arms were simple clawed hands. They moved slowly towards Rick. There was a round door behind them, a loud crunching sound emanated from behind it. The metal dented outwards two times.

Sounds like something wants to play with us.” The mask sounded interested.

They heard the sound of creaking metal and the door flew open and slid on the ground, coming to a halt between the two monsters. A mass of flesh started to ooze out of the door. The swollen head of a woman screamed at the two. She pulled herself through the door with surprising speed, considering how large she was, using only her thick, deformed arms.

Maria, I used to date her in high school.” Rick groaned and put his massive hand over his face, his head was surprisingly small in proportion to the rest of his body. “The hell did West DO to her?”

Who knows? You'd be doing her a favor if you killed her though.”

This obese monstrosity didn't seem to have legs, it looked a bit like a slug with a vaguely human torso. As it pulled itself just behind the two monsters, which were both on their guard of this creature were stepping back. She lifted her head and vomited up a massive amount of liquid like a jet. She sprayed it back and forth and doused the two beasts, which quickly fell to their knees as their faces and flesh dissolved. Clearly she could spew acid.

I'm not sure if that's really disgusting, or really cool.” Rick paused and stepped back. “Uuugh, what a stench. That's even worse than the warehouse.”

The creature started dragging itself towards Rick, moving around the computer terminal. “Time to run Ricky.”

Rick bolted away from the creature. The room was circular and the thing seemed like it would have a hard time turning around. It pulled itself towards him just a little slower than he could dash. He ran around the computer and towards the way the creature had entered. He grabbed the door on the ground and span around with it as the creature moved towards him. He let go and it went flying into the beasts head. It was pushed backwards slightly from the force and its mouth hung open, it puked up some acid onto the ground, only to lay limp, blood falling down its body, its eyes still open. It breathed heavily but it wasn't trying to get at him any more.

Rick ran up the set of stairs to the opening. He stepped down into the room and looked forwards, there was a tank with a large creature swimming around in it. The tank was massive, the hallway was wrapped around it. “Well, I guess we find a way to drain the tank and kill it.”

Around the hallway's walls was several machines and x-ray images. Papers even littered the floor. He walked past and looked through the glass of the tank. The beast seemed to spot him and moved in close, it started pounding against the glass. It was large enough to swallow Rick whole. It's mouth hung open so its long pointed tongue swished around in the water. It had a crab-like claw for its right limb and a claws for its left, strange tentacles were coming out of its head that made it seem like hair. The lower half of its body was not visible from Rick's perspective, concealed by the point the floor and glass met.

Uhh.. Rick? That fat fucker from before... she's right behind us.” Rick turned around only to be face to face with the creature from before.

She lifted her head and screamed. She vomited acid in a jet, Rick rolling to the side so the acid hit he glass. “How on earth did she sneak up on us so quietly? She's fucking huge.” Rick ran down the ramp that wrapped around the tank.

And she smells like shit. You're getting careless college boy.” The mask laughed a bit.

The monster pulled herself towards Rick with the same surprising speed, acid pouring from her mouth as she went, splashing all over the glass and floor.

Rick passed by some crushed remains of some machines, clearly when she had been through here, she had broken whatever these were. There was another scream ahead of them. As Rick turned the corner, he saw another slug-like creature. Whatever had been done to Maria, had clearly been done to this one too. Rick ran forwards and jumped as the thing sprayed acid forwards, he grabbed the head and held tight to the throat, the chest swelled slightly and burst open in a spray of blood and acid, which sprayed into the first creatures face. She didn't seem too affected by the acid, but she moved her short, thick arms up to her face and wiped off the blood and acid.

The monstrosity Rick was on top of was still alive. It tried to grab him, but Rick ran backwards, onto its back. He ran to the end and hopped off. He turned around and his body mutated in a second, bone jutting out of his flesh and the mask shifting again. He raised his clawed hands and clenched them, slamming them down. Thick, round bones jumped out of the ground and put a crater in the ground, as it tore through the two creatures and blood and acid started flowing down the ramp, rushing over the two corpses. The bones sank back into the floor. Rick's body shifted back in the blink of an eye, he looked at the glass, it cracked, worn down by the acid, the damage he had done with his last move was causing it to give.

Oh fuck me...” Rick paused as the acid began to eat at his shoes. “Oh FUCK ME!” He jumped on top of one of the crushed machines, he lifted his foot and looked at the melted rubber on the bottom. “Here I thought I'd be able to keep the shoes.”

The monster in the tank moved over to where Rick was. It looked at the cracked glass and pounded on it. The glass dented inwards, the cracks spreading outwards and finally, it broke open. A blast of water hitting next to Rick. “Go up, NOW!” The mask sounded slightly panicked.

Rick jumped off the machine and moved by the hole in the glass as it continued to give, the acid from the corpses eating through the rubber in his sneakers. He hopped over the first body. The hole burst open further, water was rushing down the ramp. The beast started pounding around the hole, cracking the glass around it. Rick jumped on top of the head of the second corpse and ran down the body, the bottoms of his shoes falling clean off. He ran up the ramp, turned left and stopped in front of the door. He bent down and tore off what remained of his sneakers and socks. The glass could be heard breaking open and water was starting to rise. “Okay, here's the plan Rick, we take the-” The mask stopped as the glass nearby burst open. “Never mind,”

Rick laughed softly. “Some strategist you are.”

I happen to... not care enough to argue with you... fuck it.”

The glass was continuing to crack and break, the creature swam in front of Rick, it pulled its fist back and punched through the damaged glass, grabbing Rick's whole body. It pulled him into the tank and Rick struggled, pushing against the creature as it attempted to crush him alive.

I'll take care of this.” The mask said confidently. Rick felt the mask over his face grow hot, his flesh tearing under his skin and bursting, bone spikes pushing out of his arms and leg, spikes bursting out of his back with several pints of blood. The mask changing shape. He looked like a monster himself, judging from the way Rick had squirmed during the transformation, it was easy to guess that it was extremely painful. The mask in full control of Rick's body, he pushed the creatures hand open. He sank his claws into its hand and pulled himself forwards. The bone on his arm extended, forming a blade. He swung it forwards and sliced into the arm of the creature, blood washing over him as the water continued to suck out the holes in the glass. The mask let go of the hand and was pulled out the hole, he fell onto the floor, landing on his back and rolling onto his feet. Rick coughed as the mask stood up, looking at the creature. “Come on you fucker, come at us again. Do it!” He sounded excited, he clenched his clawed hands with a sort of gleeful anticipation.

Shit, give me a chance to” Rick paused and coughed up some water, which leaked out of the sides of the mask. “catch my breath.” He gasped for air only for the mask to move forwards, clearly ignoring Rick's need for oxygen.

The creature in the tank reached through the holes in the glass, the room already covering Rick's toes in water. The mask grabbed it's hand and wrenched backwards, it pulled the Leviathan against the glass and pulled with all his might. The glass began to crack further.

The glass burst open completely, a wave of water engulfing the entire room. The mask kept a firm grip on the creature as he was pushed out the round exit, the water flowed into the room with the busted computer. The arm of the creature slowed the flow of the water as it pushed out into the room. The computer behind Rick sparked as water started to pool around it.

Looks like I'm gonna have to speed this up.” The mask used the clawed toes on Rick's exposed feet to gain footing and pulled the arm back further. The creature could be heard screaming on the other side and the muscles began to tear, blood spraying out and with a final crunching sound the arm was ripped off the monster, the mask dropped the arm. The beast pulled back and the water pouring into the room, mixed with the gallons of blood from the monster. Rick's body shrank back to normal size and the bones sank back into his skin. “I'm loving this as much as you love blowing your girl while she-”

Yes, while she and I are in the shower with Lamb of God playing, can we not talk about that right now?”

Well, I was talking about when-”

BLAH! BLAH! BLAAAH!” Rick looked at the sparking computer tower in the center of the room. “Shit, I've never been electrocuted before.”

You should probably broaden your horizons.” The mask sounded like he was holding back a laugh.

Rick sighed and ran at the water pouring in. He paused and took in a breath of air and jumped in. He pulled himself forwards while the water pressure pushed on him. He watched the creature swimming around the tank, the trail of blood that was sucking out the exit was massive. The creature was flailing around as it swam. It spotted Rick and swam over, reaching with its claw and grabbing him. “He didn't learn his lesson the first time, did he?” The mask commented in an amused tone.

Rick was pulled into the tank, the water was pouring out of it so rapidly that the water levels of the tank was lowered significantly. He pushed against the strength of the crab-like claw. He slowly pried them open and pressed his feet against them. He pushed himself up and out of the creatures grip. He swam straight up and broke the surface of the water. He gasped for air and swam to a ladder on the edge of the tank. He tried to grab at it, but his fingers were too large to even wrap around the bars, he ended up pressing them against the wall, bending the metal further. “Fuck,”

Yeah, like that thing would really have let you leave the tank. Good one, Ricky boy.”

Oh, shut up,” He reached at a, indentation in the wall and grabbed it, pulling himself up only for the cement to start to give crack and give as he pulled his own weight out of the water. “Fuck,”

He felt movement in the water below him and inhaled loudly, diving back down. The creature was trying to ram him. He tried swimming to the side, only to get pinned against the wall, exhaling from the pressure. The creature moved around snapped its jaws around him. Rick grabbed the teeth on the roof of its mouth and put his feet on the bottom of its mouth. He moved one hand off of the teeth and grabbed the tongue, he pulled on it and wrapped the tongue around his arm to get a better grip, he pulled again and the flesh tore, he pulled out the tongue, the creature opened its jaws and Rick pushed himself out as the creature writhed in the water. Rick swam up to the surface again and took another breath of air.

No more water battles after this. Let's get a boat or something next time.” Rick said out loud.

The mask let out a short “Ha!” at Rick's comment. Clearly something about what Rick had said was funny. “Killin' me,” He muttered.

Is there something funny about what I just said?” Rick asked, clearly frustrated.

No, it's just that...” The mask was clearly trying not to laugh. “You know what? Never mind, just kill it.” The mask started laughing and clearly was fighting it.

The creature dove up from under them. Pushing Rick into the air. Rick flailed in midair and fell downwards, he landed on the creatures face. He held his breath as the creature dived underwater. Rick had a grip on one of the tentacles coming out of its head and began pounding at its eyes. As he struck it, the creature moved irregularly around the tank. It crashed into the side of the tank and Rick managed to grab hold of one of its eyes, sinking his fingers into it so the creature seemed to scream and spin wildly. Rick ripped out of the the eyes and jammed his fist into the socket and gripped the bones, he kicked at the bone around the eye and the claw of the creature snapped at him, it gripped his arm and squeezed, tearing through the flesh and dismembering his arm, he exhaled and air bubbles issued from his mouth. Rick let go of the head of the creature as it swam around. Rick swam up, leaving a trail of blood behind him. He swam slowly and managed to make it half way to the surface only for the creature to ram into him as he moved, slamming him against the wall, he would have exhaled again if he had any air left in him. He swam up again, still moving slowly, feeling his lungs already starting to burst.

RICK! We are going to DIE if you don't get moving!” The mask shouted in his head.

He paused as he swam and started to sink as the familiar sensation of his bones beginning to reform. The bones of his missing limb grew back completely and while it did, the muscle and skin of his arm grew behind it, replacing his missing limb with a perfect copy of the original. He swam up to the surface and gasped for air. “Shit, that thing is missing an arm and it's still going after us.”

Then carve out its heart!” The mask ordered.

Right,” Rick breathed heavily a few times, he paused, pain shooting up his body. He screamed and splashed as the water sparked with electricity. The water had obviously reached the computer terminal. He sank under the water as he twitched, squirmed and writhed in the water, his body feeling like it was being blown up like a balloon and every nerve in his body was screaming.

RICK!” The mask shouted. “Get it together! SWIM!”

Rick tried to focus and pushed himself up, the water ceased sparking and he made it to the surface, he kicked his legs enough to keep himself up, dazed.

You okay, kid?”

Rick responded with a moan as he tried to piece together what had happened.

That's not the response I wanted.”

Rick was pushed upwards and fell to his side as the corpse of the creature bobbed to the surface. Rick lay on top of the creature, he rolled onto his stomach and breathed heavily.

Rick, how many monsters were in this tank?” Obviously the mask was asking him because he couldn't hold any fingers in front of him.

Three?” Rick asked weakly.

Close... and completely fucking wrong. Now get up and focus. Jenny, remember?”

Rick pushed himself up slowly and stumbled to his feet, holding his head. “Yeah, what happened?”

Well, I'm not entirely sure, I think you were electrocuted though.” The mask spoke in a sarcastic tone. “Which is odd, because I was under the impression you weren't a complete fucking pussy.”

The water's surface was completely red. Rick was still a little dazed. “Take it slow Princess Peach.” The mask said in an annoyed tone.

Do you want to trade places? Do you want to be electrocuted while I sit on your face and do nothing?” Rick snapped.

Rick, I'm hurt.” The mask didn't sound in any way sincere. “You seem to have forgotten that I'm the one who gives you all this power. But to answer your question, I'd love to trade places. Blood and carnage are my breakfast, lunch and dinner.”

Rick paused. “Speaking of breakfast, I haven't been hungry since we started.” He stretched his muscles as he regained his senses. “Probably gonna be starving when this is all through.”

Nah, you're just gonna be shitting and pissing blood for a week afterwards. Don't worry though, that's normal.” The mask laughed quietly.

Rick paused, shaking his head. He didn't want to know. Over the corpse of the creature a purple light formed and transparent tentacles waved around in a circle. Rick walked towards the portal and paused. A diseased looking hand, large enough to fit around a car reached out of the portal. The flesh on it seemed to be melting. It reached around, feeling outside the portal. It grabbed Rick around the middle and pulled him into the portal.

Hey, I know that hand.” The mask said excitedly. “I think I know who this is attached too.”

The portal was a long tunnel, the hand let go and retracted out of sight. Rick found himself being tossed around in midair, down the portal, what looked like purple and blue light forming the lining of the portal with some kind of electricity pulsing through it. It opened up at the other end onto a patch of solid ground, which Rick crashed onto. It was pulsating, for a second the dirt below him became transparent, it looked like veins were underneath. “Welcome to the Abyss Ricky boy. The origin of all humanities woes.”

The portal overhead closed. Rick didn't even get a chance to take in the sights before the same diseased hand burst out of the ground, dirt flying everywhere. Rick rolled to the side as it slammed where he was. It gripped the ground and pulled. A head and torso was pulled out of the ground. A mutated humanoid creature. It was massive, as usual. The skin on the creatures visible body seemed to be melting off its muscles. It's beady eyes looked at Rick. It snarled at them. “What the fuck is that?!”

Buzz off Hell Chaos! I kicked your ass in 1988 and I can do it again!” The mask shouted through Rick.

The creature's eyes widened and it growled at them, it sank back into the ground, what sounded like laughter echoed in the air around them.

Stage 3: The Bloodstained Road

Fuck, I did not think I'd be coming back here.” The mask sounded a little unnerved.

Rick looked around. The Abyss was by no means a pretty sight. The sky didn't even really seem to be a sky but growling waves of blackness, something red was shooting up and down path ways in the blackness. It looked vaguely like a sheets that moved and thundered around one another. The dirt beneath his feet occasionally became transparent to reveal bloody veins under the earth.

In front of him was a seemingly endless plain. There were silver structures that stood out of the ground, like spiky mirrors. Rick walked up to one of them, seeing his reflection in it. He admired the muscles over his body, he may have been blushing under the mask. He flexed his left arm just to watch the muscles tighten. He obviously liked the power. The structure glowed red and Rick stepped backwards as the surrounding structures glowed the same color till they all glowed the same.

That's Sekurium for you.” The mask laughed softly.

Sekurium?” Rick looked at the thing, stepping back a few steps and raising his guard.

It's a special substance.” The mask didn't sound interested. “The Evil One made these structures here to help him get a good look at his enemies if they were dumb enough to challenge him. It informs him if anything other than cannon fodder enters these lands.”

The who?” Rick felt unnerved

The Evil One.... He used to be pretty tight with The Corrupted, I heard that when they both got locked up here, they blamed each other for the prison. They went to war with one another. Lot of blood got spilt, lot of lives lost. Naturally, I was still a slave for The Corrupted at the time.” The mask turned Rick's head away from the structure and towards the distance, there were mountains cast in shadows. “I actually made my escape from the Abyss during the war.” He sighed and Rick felt something, shivers running down his spine. He felt like the world around him was crying out in rage.

Rick looked around at the glowing red structures. “So what's the plan then? How do we find Jenny in here? Do you even recognize this place?”

Hmmm...” The mask remained silent for a few seconds.

Hear that? That's you being quiet..... Weird.”

The mask chuckled a bit. “That was actually kind of funny.” He paused again. “Jennifer's soul was likely stolen so it could be eaten or absorbed. It was something convenient to take since it couldn't enter our world without being pummeled.” He sighed. “But human souls are valuable. There's so much you can do with em'. They can be used as power sources, stabilizers, used as shells.” He thought to himself. “I'd love to say that this was going to be as straight forward as pouring blood on the yellow brick road, but it's just not that simple.”

So we can't just kill everything in sight until we reach Jen?” Rick sounded interested. “I have a word to talk to you about called Diplomacy. It's going to come in handy.”

What?!” The mask laughed coldly. “You're kidding right? This is the Abyss kiddo. Everything here is going to want to tear out our spine and eat our lungs. Quite frankly, I'm surprised we haven't been attacked by more than just Hell Chaos.”

The ground rumbled and Rick lost his balance as the earth cracked, blood oozing out of the earth. He fell forwards onto all fours and tried to stand up. The ground shaking violently, he couldn't keep to his feet. “Speak of the Devil... literally!” The mask said excitedly.

The blood splashed out of the ground in gallons, which began to inflate, forming bubbles of blood. They popped and under each bubble was a new monster.

Why is this how everyone seems to greet us?” Rick asked in an exasperated tone.

Welcome to Hell, Ricky boy. Where the way locals greet you is by trying to take a chunk out of your face.” The mask whistled. “Good times, man. Good fucking times.”

Well then..” Rick got to his feet and cracked his knuckles. “I guess that means we have to return the greeting?”

The creatures that appeared were much larger than what he was used too. Each was about three times his size. There were four total. Two were identical. They were sleek black lizards with red markings across their scales. They had long whip-like tails and they stood on short, stubby legs with spiked right arms. Three horns over their heads. One above the two holes on the sides of their heads that were obviously tiny ears and one on the front of their forehead. They had short snouts with jagged, serrated teeth.

Exactly!” The mask sounded approving and then started to sound like it was sobbing. “They grow up so fast.” It immediately stopped and spoke with its usual blood lust. “NOW KILL EM ALL!”

One of them he was used to looking at. A Beast, an amphibian-like monster with a voracious appetite. Rick had seen them eat other enemies on more than one occasion. Their behinds were red and extremely tender. They typically charged in a blind rage. The last one was also a new creature. It was bright blue and looked more insect-like. It jumped into the air and flapped its fleshy, bat-like wings. They were coated with armor and flapped at an amazing speed. The creatures many limbs were muscular, armored and bore sharp, long claws with a total of 6 limbs, not including the wings. Its face was the most insect-like with a proboscis that was oozing some black liquid that hissed when it hit the bloody ground.

Rick moved low as the Beast charged at him, knocking its insect-like ally out of the air. It wobbled as it landed and jumped back into the air. Rick braced himself and grabbed hold of the Beast's face, he was pushed back several inches as he pushed back and jammed his knee up, into the jaw of the monster and tossed it to the side. It tried to gain its senses only for him to jump over it and slam his fists over its face, it was dazed.

He was about to hit it again when one of the lizards tackled him to the ground. He grabbed the mouth as it snapped at him. He pressed the mouth closed and held it tight. He began kicking the throat with one foot and put his other foot on the shoulder of the creature. It's eyes widened and it began to struggle as Rick beat at the flesh of its neck. After several strikes the flesh was already starting to wear down and Rick put both feet on its shoulders and began to pull. The lizard began dragging Rick backwards as he tightened his grip on its snout and the creature started to scream only for it to be cut off as Rick ripped the head messily off the shoulders, blood spraying across his body and soaking him as the body flailed for a few seconds and then lay limp on the ground, spraying blood onto the ground. Rick got to his feet and grabbed the head by the bit of the spinal cord that was sticking out of the head.

The amphibious Beast roared, drooling as it shook its head in rage. It charged on all fours at Rick, who rolled out of the way, the creature crashed into one of the structures. It shattered and shards of the reflective material flew everywhere and bits lodged into the Beast's face. It groaned and stayed still, clearly recovering from the charge. Rick ran at the insect-like monster with the dismembered head in his right hand. He jumped and swung the head, hitting the flying monster with it and slamming it into the ground, it made a soft crunching sound on impact and blood splattered everywhere.

Hey look, I have the worlds ugliest fly swatter.” Rick said in a joking tone while looking at the head.

Rick, you made a joke in the heat of battle.” The mask said approvingly.

Well, you know..” Rick laughed a little bit as he turned his attention to the second lizard, which was actually running away. “Hey! Get back here you gutless fuck!”

He's not gutless yet Rick. You have to remove the guts for him to be gutless.” The mask sounded cheerful.

Rick heard the roar of the Beast and stood his ground as it charged at him. He swung the head with all his might and the bones crunched loudly as the skulls collided. Rick dropped the head after knocking the Beast over.

Go! Get him!” The mask shouted as the Beast hunched over and panted.

Rick jumped forwards and grabbed onto its jaw, slamming it down to the ground and as it bounced up he pounded it down to the ground once more. He jumped over the top of the creature and slid down its back.

I love this part!” The mask said excitedly as Rick slid off its backside and turned around, shoving his fist into the creatures butt and pulling back once and pushing his fist into the opening again. The creature screamed out loud as Rick pushed his arm further in and pulled, blood spurting out as he did so and clasped in his clenched fist was the sphincter of the monster, which cried out and collapsed, motionless on the ground.

I don't think I can ever get tired of doing that, but I recommend picking another hole if we run across a female.” The mask laughed in a dark tone.

Oh gross....” Rick said as he dropped the sphincter. He looked around and didn't see the monster that ran away. “First time a monster has run away.”

They're fucking pussies Rick.” The mask said calmly. “But you're really a natural at this now. You're not just liking it either. You're clearly loving it.” His tone changed, he sounded darker and focused.

Yeah.... I guess I am.” Rick paused, looking at the glowing red structures. He started running away from them, he figured it was going to take a while to reach much of anything.

Told you, you were a killer Rick.” The mask almost seemed to coo softly as he spoke.

Whatever,” Clearly he didn't want to talk about it, all the blood that had been spilled onto him had absorbed into his skin and even his tattered pants were sucked dry of blood. He stopped where he was as the ground shook and cracked, blood pooling out of the cracks.

A growling echoed through the air and a bright light shone from one of the structures, a figure walked out of it and the light died down and faded. The figure had blue markings across its skin and was humanoid. It stood easily taller than Rick by several feet and was nearly pitch black, save for the glowing blue markings.

Rick.... run.” The mask sounded like it was on guard. “We don't need two armies after us.”

Rick looked at this humanoid that looked at Rick with bright blue eyes that were teemed with interest. It clearly seemed to be debating exactly what to do. It stepped forwards towards Rick and looked him over, crossing its arms.

Rick, stop standing there and get us out of here!” The mask shouted, this time with a genuine amount of force.

Rick turned and ran. “What is that thing?”

That's the Evil One. He must have noticed the portal and decided to investigate when two of his slaves were killed.”

The Evil One tilted his head to the side and put a hand over his right eye. He sunk his fingers into the eye socket and with a crunching of bone and flesh he pulled out his own eye, clean out, blood oozing down his face and fingers. He held it in his palm and the eye wiggled around and looked towards Rick and the mask. It shot after them, leaving a trail of blood droplets behind it.

We still have to find Jen, where do we go?” Rick didn't notice the eye following them.

The blue marked humanoid merely shrugged as he watched Rick run away. “The Terror Mask appears to have run across some good luck.” He noted calmly. “And so have I. The last human soul I need is in my domain.” The light shone in the structure again, he walked into it. His last words audible. “I'm glad I decided to personally investigate after two of my servants were killed.”

Oh fuck,” The mask said out loud.

What is it?”

Your girl.... the Evil One most likely has her.” He muttered. “Fuck..... that means that thing we saw is one of the Evil One's groupies.”

What? How do you know?” Rick slid to a stop and turned around, running back towards the Evil One and then stopping as he saw that the being had left. The eye quickly zipped low into a puddle of blood as Rick turned around.

I heard him, say the last human soul he needs in is his domain. I'm guessing that's Jen.”

Rick put his hand over his face. “Dammit, why is everyone interested in using my girlfriend to do SOMETHING?!”

The mask paused as Rick spoke and then sighed in an annoyed tone. “Rick... that's happened ONCE so far.” It paused for a few seconds more. “And since we're going to the Evil One's place, step on that eye in the puddle. I don't want him spying on us.”

Rick looked at the puddle, its blood was sucking up his foot and leg and absorbing into his body and the mask. “I cannot believe I've managed to get used to that.” Rick walked over to the puddle and the eye zipped out as soon as he lifted his foot to stomp on the eye. It zipped away and shot into the air, looking at them.

What is that?”

The Evil One's eye. He can pull it out of his skull and use it to spy on anyone he needs to keep a constant eye on.”

Rick put his foot down and he got goosebumps as he felt his muscles expand slightly, tightening as the blood absorbed into him. He was substantially more muscular than when he had first started in the mansion. His memories turned to when he had first put it on. Dying in a pool of his own blood as the mask called to him, trying to get Rick to put it on. “All you got left is your soul.. and that belongs to ME.” Rick's eyes widened as he looked at the bone mask, he thought he was losing it. His blurred vision focusing on this artifact. “Who am I? Let's just say I'm God... your god. Least the only god that's listening right now.” Rick started pulling himself forwards, towards the mask at this, he could feel already what the mask was getting at and as it continued to coax him into putting it on, he barely managed to make it as the life literally spilled out of his gut. When he put it on.

Shiver went down Rick's spine as he remembered how agonizing the original transformation had been, his clothes were shredded from it and as he screamed, his flesh mutating and expanding. His leg had even been broken when he stood up from the weight of the increased muscle. When it was done, he was so confused and even scared. Instead of answering his questions the Terror Mask just transformed his body further, bones jutting out of his skin and he lost control of his body completely as the Terror Mask took over. After a quick dance of death with a bunch of monsters that had come to feed on Rick's corpse, he couldn't take the transformation anymore. It made his body scream in agony, it was too intense.

The mask was “nice” enough to revert him back to a simple muscle bound freak. It always seemed to dodge one question he asked though. Changing the subject or laughing, sometimes just lying and they both knew it was a lie.

So.....” Rick paused.

Ricky boy's still wondering what I am?” The mask laughed and turned their head towards shadow in the distance, past all the reflective structures. “I'm just your partner in this deal Rick. Blood and revenge for power and your girl.”

Come on, at least tell me something about yourself.” He sighed and started moving towards the structure in the distance.

You know, you humans are adorable when you're clueless.” The mask said.

Rick sighed. “So, which way to the Evil One?”

He could feel the mask leaning towards the shadow in the distance, past all the glowing structures. “That way,” He said.

Rick started running towards it.

Looks like it may be as simple as pouring blood on the yellow brick road.”

So, why did you freak out when the Evil One approached us? Is he tough or something?”

The mask remained silent for a few seconds.

Hello?” Rick waited a few more seconds. “HELLO?” He raised his voice.

No need to yell Rick-o. I'm inside your head, I can hear everything you say... and think. Just let ME think.” The mask quieted down and Rick could almost feel the cogs turning in its mind. “The Evil One almost killed me, I'm still a little nervous around it, I guess.” He suddenly let out a short, dark laughed. “Guess I can get payback on it too.”

How'd he almost kill you?” Rick was trying to figure how a mask could even be killed in the first place.

He ripped me off my teammate and beat the fuck out of me, how do you think he did it?” The mask scoffed at Rick. “I owe the Evil One an ass kicking as much as I owed The Corrupted.” His voice turned to a light-hearted tone. “Until very recently of course.”

Rick rolled his eyes and continued running. The eye was following him, zipping through the air around him. “Well, at least we know where Jen is.” He looked down at the ground as he ran. This was clearly going to be less fun than dealing with West.

Stage 4: The Shifting Beast

The gates of a castle were coated with thick, black flesh that stunk of rot. This fortress had thick stone underneath. There were double doors that were sealed shut by tentacles wrapped tightly together, holding the door shut. There was something growing out of the side of the building. It looked like the torso of some kind of headless entity. It waved an arm around blindly, the right arm was a long tentacle that had grown into the flesh of the building. It released a grumbling sound.

The earth the fortress was on had the same black flesh, muscles stretched over the ground and growing out dozens of meters out from the fortress. From the placement of the windows, it likely had at least 4 floors. It seemed archaic, some of the stone crumbled on the exterior roof of the building, underneath was a large moving bubble that inflated outwards with the extra room it had been given.

Rick stood at the front gates and stepped back and jumped forwards, landing on one of the tentacles. He grabbed on a tentacle above the one he was standing on, it strained against him in vain, tearing and blood spraying onto the ground. He jumped and grabbed onto another one and gripped the fleshy walls with one hand, the flesh started to give from his weight. He pulled on the tentacle and wrenched it with a loud squelching sound the flesh tore and he dropped the tentacle to the ground. The flesh he was holding onto gave and Rick fell to the ground.

Fuck!” He shouted, landing on his back, he got to his feet. The eye hovered next to Rick and rotated around. It shot up in front of the gates and shone blue for a second. The tentacles folded back and the massive double doors opened.

Looks like the Evil One is inviting us in. Be careful, he's probably gonna lead us into a trap if he can.” The masks voice wavered and Rick nodded.

Rick ran into the fortress walls. He found himself in a courtyard. Strange statues of beasts were carved in the walls. The flesh wrapped around them, they almost seemed like they were trying to get out of the walls, most of them were monsters fused to the walls at the torso. One was obviously supposed to be screaming, its leg was visibly trying to pull out of the stone. The ground was seeped with blood that sucked up Rick's legs and into his body. The eye hovered next to them, it was within Rick's reach. He reached out with surprising speed and clenched his fist around the eye, crushing it, blood sucked up his arm as he dropped the crushed eye.

Bout time that thing got close enough to us that we could destroy it.” The mask said.

The courtyard seemed to be decorated with this black flesh and corpses. The front gates looked surprisingly like a stone Door Guardian. A stone mouth was closed, Rick walked past a fountain with some solid back sludge pumping out of it, whatever it was, it reeked. Rick walked up to the closed mouth and gripped the openings of the mouth and pried the mouth open, the stones heaved and bits of rock fell onto his shoulders, he dusted it off and entered the fortress.

Out of one hell and into another, huh?” Rick said in a saddened tone. “Well, this should be easier than dealing with The Corrupted.”

What? Nah, this'll be interesting. The Corrupted and his groupies are stronger. The Evil One's minions are weaker physically, but they're also faster and smarter.” The mask turned their head around the room.

The main hall was interesting to say the least. The walls were made of patches of stone and patches of what Rick was semi-certain was sekurium. It glowed red, and where the blotches of sekurium were, there was not an ounce of black flesh. Ancient carvings and runes were carved into the mirrored substance. The ground of the hallway was littered with bodies. Several corpses were growing into the black flesh that coated the stone surfaces.

I must get the number of his decorator.” The mask noted.

Rick walked down the hall, crushing the bodies as he walked. There was a growl that emanated from the walls. The sekurium patches glowed blue. Rick looked at the blotch nearest to him and raised his arms to guard himself. The glassy surface seemed to ripple and a shadow formed in it. The shadow burst from the material in complete silence. The shadow's skin formed tight and Rick grabbed it around the head, he was pushed against the wall as some kind of worm-like monster slammed him into the ground. He let go as it pulled back and its features became more clear to Rick as he got to his feet, crushing a skull with his foot.

This worm was mostly black in color, it's teeth bared, it was at least 3 feet thick in diameter. It had what looked like ridges along its body. The rest of its body pulled out of the sekurium, which continued to glow blue and seemed completely undamaged by a beast flying through it. It had no eyes, but it faced Rick and growled, baring a mouth full of razor sharp teeth.

It moved forwards, leaving a thick amount of mucus on the ground as it crushed bodies to get closer to Rick. This gray mucus seemed to fall out from between its ridges in buckets as it moved.

Rick stepped backwards as the creature moved its head back and then thrust itself at Rick. He jumped forwards and slammed the monsters mouth shut, it continued forwards, smashing him into the ground, crushing bones and flesh. Rick begin jamming his knee into the creatures jaw and it lifted him up. It was shaking its head back and forth, mucus coating the walls as it shook violently. Rick continued to jam his knees into the creatures jaw, the bones started to crunch inward from the force of his blows. The creature desperately tried to open its jaw, only for Rick to increase the pressure on the monster, its jaw continuing to give and the flesh began to squelch over the cracking bones.

It collapsed as mucus flew everywhere, its jaw began to bleed, Rick got his footing and opened the beasts jaw, he set his foot inside the mouth and lifted the upper part of the jaw.

This asshole's breath stinks.” The mask commented.

Rick wrenched upwards, bones cracking loudly and tendons ripping apart in a shower of blood as he ripped the mouth apart. He pulled his foot out of the base of the monsters mouth and shook off the saliva. He turned around and looked down the hallway, starting to run. The sekurium patches flashed brightly with blue, Rick paused and raised his guard, ready for another monster.

To his surprise, 5 of the patches burst open at once, releasing five worm-like creatures quite similar to the first one. They faced Rick as they pulled out of their blotches of sekurium. The worm closes to him snarled at him. “Dibs! I call dibs!” The mask said cheerfully as Rick felt the mask take over. His body coursing with energy and bones jutting out of his flesh, blood pouring from his arms and back as spikes burst from his back.

The mask rushed forwards and slammed his fists to the ground, bones shooting up from the ground, tossing the bodies into the air and causing the worms to scream as the bones tore through them. Mucus and blood splattered over the walls. One of the worms dived at him and the mask stepped to the side, letting the monster slide past him. He ran up to the creature and the bones sticking out of his forearms extended, forming blades. He sliced downwards and decapitated the creature. He grabbed the head and tossed it into the air as though it were an oversized baseball, catching it. “Heeeey batter, batter, batter! SWING!” He pitched the skull as he said “swing” at one of the worms and the pressure slammed it into the wall. It's skull crushed inwards, it collapsed, oozing mucus in gallons as blood dripped down its head. “Batter!”

The remaining 3 worms moved forwards, their stomachs were shedding blood along with the mucus, which was already pooling at Rick's feet. Two of them lunged at the mask from opposite sides.

You're gonna like this.” The mask said as he clenched his fists and slammed them along the wall. Bones shot out of the wall and stopped just short of the warms lung and an enormous blade of bone shot out from the side of the wall and sank back into the wall after slicing through the necks of both creatures, which collapsed. The mask walked forwards, cracking their knuckles as it approached the final worm, which hissed at Rick. It pulled back as if to lunge, only for the mask to raise their left arm, the blade extending, it slide vertically, the stomach of the monster, which burst open, a shower of guts fell out of the hole and the creature fell back, its moaned and breathed its last breath.

The mask swiped its hands past one another and the bones pulled back into Rick's body, he shrank down to his normal size. “Well, that was fun,” The mask said.

Rick ran past the new corpses and back down the hall. At the end was a set of double doors. He kicked them open and revealed an open, round room. The room had 3 beasts in it. They looked a bit like wolves. Each the size of a human, they lay on the ground. The room had little to no bodies in it, in fact the room was quite clean with minimal flesh growing out of the walls. One of the creatures lifted its head. It stood up and stretched. Its mane was spiked and it growled at a teammate. The other creature rolled over, clearly not interested. The third one yawned and nodded towards Rick, then lowered its head. The first one that was on its feet almost seemed to roll its eyes. It trotted in front of Rick and stopped several meters short of him. It growled at him, baring its claws and teeth.

Rick stomped a foot forwards and cracked his knuckles. “Fuck you!” He said out loud.

The wolf-like beast tilted its head to the side and shook its head in an exasperated sort of way. It dashed forwards and swiped past Rick, knocking him over. It skidded to a halt and growled, facing Rick. Rick ignored his wound, he was actually missing a chunk of flesh from his side, his broken rib cage was showing and some of his organs were poking out of the wound. Rick charged at the creature, it's eyes widened and the force of the ram slammed it into a wall. It cried out as it landed on the ground, blood dripping down its body from the force of the ram. It growled and jumped at Rick's face. He grabbed its throat as it snapped at him. He slammed it down to the ground and jumped on top of it, its rib cage broke inwards. It howled in agony and tried to snap at Rick's ankles. He jumped again, this time crushing its skull with one foot and its leg with the other.

The other two creatures got to their feet as their comrade was killed. They growled and charged at Rick. He crouched low and raised his arms, as they swiped by, Rick dived to the left, grabbing one of the monsters around the middle. He landed in a roll and pinned the monster to the ground. He put one foot on the beasts stomach and sank his fingers into the flesh of its stomach and grabbed onto one half of its rib cage with each hand. The creature screamed as Rick ripped apart his rib cage, its guts flying everywhere. Rick was about to turn around when the final monster dived onto his back. It sank its claws into his back. He fell backwards, onto it. The beast sank its teeth into his shoulder, ripping off a chunk of flesh. He punched the beast in the head. He rolled over, onto his stomach and grabbed the head of the monster. He lifted it and slammed it to the ground, once, twice and finally a third time in which he completely crushed the skull, reducing it to a messy paste on the ground.

Rick got to his feet and looked around the room. There were three doors, he walked up to one of them, it looked like only a normal human could possibly fit through. The doorknob was a small round turning knob. Rick crossed his arms. “Fuck, what on earth would use this door?”

What in the ABYSS, kid.” The mask corrected. “The answer is pussies.”

Rick looked at the other doors, the one in the middle was much larger, obviously meant for beings his size and then the last door looked pretty plain, a fragile wooden door that he was fairly certain he could squeeze through. “Which way do we go?”

The mask turned their head towards the largest door. “This way,”

Rick started moving again, he and the mask found themselves tearing through opponents as they went through room after room. Hallways lined with paintings featuring gruesome depictions of tortured monsters and other things. Finally they reached a hallway that extended outwards to a single door that was large enough to fit the most massive of beasts through. Over the door was a bridge and on this bridge was the familiar blue marked entity. Rick dashed forwards and skidded to a halt to look at the Evil One, who had regrown his lost eye.

Terror Mask, tell me the nature of this life form you inhabit!” The Evil One ordered.

I'm a human, asshole!” Rick shouted. “My name's Rick Taylor.”

The Evil One looked taken aback and leaned onto the railing of the bridge. “Ah yes, a human... the cannon fodder of the multiverse.” He let out a short laugh. “But why do you two seek me?”

Rick kept his guard raised. “I'm here for Jen, your jellyfish-thing took her from my world and brought her here, didn't he?”

The Evil One paused, looking up. He had very difficult features to distinguish. He seemed half glowing with that blue light and half engulfed by the natural shadows of his body. However it was easy to tell that he was quite muscular. “I believe I know what soul you speak of.” He snapped his fingers and the same green transparent creature floated out of the nearest wall and zipped next to the Evil One, it had in its tentacles a fragile looking white light.

Rick paused as a smell reached him Beyond the smell of decay and rot that he had so far grown used too, a new scent. It was her. “I smell her.... soul?” Rick asked himself aloud.

Damn kid, she smells good even without a body.” The mask said.

The Evil One gripped the light with his hands and Rick stepped forwards as the Evil One held it in front of himself, looking at it. “It seems unremarkable. A simple untainted soul.” The Evil One looked at Rick. “Human.. Rick Taylor... why do you seek this soul?” He waved it carelessly from side to side. “What is so special about it?”

She's my girl you dick! Now hand her over and I swear I'll only rip off ONE of your legs.” Rick cracked his knuckles and looked around as he debated how he could manage to get up. He was too high to jump too.

The Evil One paused and thought for a few seconds. Something seemed to finally click for him. “Oh! I see, you're a headstrong Alpha Male. This is your marked female.” He started laughing and it grew louder, finally starting to echo through the halls. He slowed down his laughter and finally stopped. “For a minute there, I thought this was something important. It's just an Alpha Male after his mate?” He started laughing again. “You humans are so adorable, only ever thinking with their hormones.”

He paused and looked at Rick carefully, considering him. “So the Terror Mask is likely after me and the Alpha Male is after his female.” He turned around and put his foot on the railing. He swung his hand forwards and the door flung open. He jumped forwards, an inhuman leap to the middle of a room the size of a football stadium. He turned around, the soul still in his hands. Rick started running after him, moving as fast as he could. As soon as he reached him, he had full intent to tear the Evil One limb from limb.

The blue marked humanoid merely looked at Rick as he charged. He leaped again, landing in the stands. This was clearly a stadium, Rick skidded to a halt as he reached the middle. It was massive, the door behind him slammed shut and glowed with a blue light. The stands were made of a white stone and the ground beneath his feet was soft and fleshy, it was actually red instead of the usual black. While the walls behind the stands were lined with the usual black.

Rick clenched his fists and paused as he noticed something. There was a lot of dried blood on the walls of the stands, they rose up at least thirty feet. The Evil One sat in a throne that appeared to be made of some silky material. It seemed to be a massive bean bag. He leaned comfortably in his seat and raised his hand, keeping Jennifer's soul clutched tightly in his other hand. A door in front of him opened and a cat-like humanoid walked through, it had red fur. It was easily a little smaller than Rick by a few feet.

Aiden! Kill the mask.”

This beast growled and cracked its knuckles in response.

But leave the Alpha Male alive, I want to deal with him myself.”

The creature got onto all fours and its fur stood on end. Its muscular body began to twist and mutate. The sound of bones cracking, flesh tearing, sounds Rick was all too familiar with. It howled in agony as it increased in size, reaching 4 stories easily.

Rick rolled his eyes. “What a fucking crybaby.”

Damn straight,” The mask concurred.

This creature was forced onto all fours as horns ripped out of its skull and flesh stretched out of its back, the skin wearing thin so Rick could see bones forming underneath and growing wings out of the back. They were bat-like and the tail grew thick, fluffy, only for the fur to straighten and become spikes. The creature growled at him with a massive lower jaw that pushed out to reveal large lower teeth. Its howled as its transformation completed to reveal a hulking mass of muscle.

He's got our number Rick, his transformation is much cooler.” The mask conceded.

Bigger doesn't mean better.” Rick said coldly.


Aiden dashed forwards, it jumped in the air and Rick ran to the side, rolling out of the way just in time as the creature rolled forwards. It managed to push itself in the air with its wings and landed square on its feet. It swiped at Rick with a its claws bared. Rick tried to move out of the way only to be grabbed by its massive paw. Rick pushed outwards and pressed with his legs. He grabbed the claw of its thumb and pulled, ripping out the bone of the claw. The oversized cat dropped him and Rick kept the claw in his hand, gripping the base of the bone.

Heere kitty kitty kitty.” The mask said. “Nice kitty.... I just want to take off your head.”

Aiden took several steps back as it bled onto the ground. It growled and span around, spikes flying off of its tail at Rick. He ducked as a spike flew over his head and rolled backwards as another spike landed where he was. He looked at the spike as Aiden growled at him, it bared its teeth and held itself low to the ground. Rick pulled the spike out of the fleshy ground with his right hand and chucked it at Aiden. It hit the creature in the nose, it recoiled and snarled, feeling at its nose with its paws, trying to get the spike out.

Good going sport, aim for the eyes.” The mask said.

Rick pulled out another spike, there was about 10 left, not including the one in his hand. He threw it again, it hit the creature in the cheek, it jumped again and growled at Rick.

Your aim sucks!”

He ignored the masks jeers and grabbed a third spike from the ground. Aiden clearly had gotten tired of this, he dashed in close and slammed his paw down at Rick, who flung the spike upwards, into the cats paw. It recoiled and snapped his jaws around Rick's body. Rick held the jaws open and strained against the pressure.

A little help would be great right now.” Rick said in a strained voice.

Oh, I thought you'd never ask.” The mask grew hot on his face and he felt it take over him. Bones pushing out of his skin in a shower of blood. His body grew in size as spikes pushed out of his back and the mask mutated on his face. It pushed open Aiden's mouth and jumped out of its mouth. The mask grabbed onto the massive lower jaw and pulled himself up to the nose. He got to his feet as Aiden's eyes crossed to look at its opponent. The mask held its arms to the side and the blades grew out from his arms, he swung them forwards like scissors, the bones retracting in an instant to their normal size. Aiden screamed in agony as blood showered down from its face. The mask fell off as it swung its head from side to side.

Aiden howled with rage and swung his paw down at the mask, despite the blood pouring down his face. The mask gripped the paw and forced Aiden down to the ground. The mask ran forwards and sliced its stomach with the retracting blade on its left arm. It dived into the wound and Aiden stumbled to his feet. His eyes widened and he cried out, a blade sliced out of its chest, blood pouring down its body as the blade pulled back into its body. Another blade pushed out of its chest and quickly zipped back in. Aiden screamed and fell onto its knees and out of its mouth showered blood. He howled only for his voice to stop in mid-scream and it breathed out in a raspy attempt. It fell limp and its throat widened and a blade of blood-stained bone sliced open the throat and the mask pulled itself out of the wound in Aiden's neck. Covered completely in blood, he slipped as soon as he set a foot to the ground and fell over.

I meant to do that.” The mask said as he pushed himself to his feet. “Have a nice life Aiden.. Oh wait, you can't.... you're dead.”

The body shrank down and the bones zipped back under the skin. Rick stepped forwards and slid immediately on the massive pool of blood on the ground, landing in the puddle on his ass.

The Evil One stood up, marveling at the damage Rick had done in such a short amount of time. “That is very impressive.” He said. “I am very pleased.”

Rick looked at the Evil One and tried to get to his feet, only to fall as soon as he got to his feet, landing on his face. He was so covered in blood that he couldn't get any traction, especially on such a fleshy surface.

The Evil One set down Jennifer's soul and clapped his hands together. “It seems, Alpha Male, that you may be more useful than I originally intended.” He stood up and walked forwards. “Who knew that the Terror Mask would end up creating something so practical?”

Rick pushed himself up and stood with his arms held up, he was clearly attempting to get out of the puddle without falling over. He took 3 careful steps forward, only to slip again and fall backwards.

Well aside from all the ridiculous slipping and sliding of course.” The Evil One let out a short laugh of amusement as Rick attempted to get back to his feet.

Will you absorb this already?” Rick said in an aggravated tone.

I'm drinking as fast as I can!” The mask said and his work was noticeable, as Rick's skin had a few dry patches, he simply kept slipping on the blood and kept coating the dry patches with more blood. “I'm gonna be bloated by the end of this.”

Rick got to his feet and carefully walked to the edge of the puddle and managed to step out of the edge of it without falling. He heaved a sigh of relief and looked up at the Evil One. “What the fuck are you blabbering about?”

The Evil One looked slightly insulted, though his expression was difficult to make out. “I am blabbering out the Tainted Soul in my midst. That would be YOU Alpha Male; Rick Taylor.”

Rick paused, looking to the side. “What exactly is he talking about?” Rick sounded like he was expecting the answer to anger him and he was. The mask remained silent.

The Evil One crossed his arms. “I mean that the Terror Mask has contaminated you and made you into a Tainted Soul.” He smirked. “Very useful. I can't wait to harvest it.” He uncrossed his arms and rubbed the back of his neck. Then leaned next to his seat and grabbed onto the soul he had set down. “But in the mean time, I shall be preparing some last minute details.” A purple light appeared around him and transparent tentacles waved around him, he sank into the portal and vanished.

What is he talking about?” Rick snapped.

I'm not explaining this, it's a waste of time.” The mask said coldly.

Yes, you are explaining this! What did you do to me?”

The mask sounded extremely annoyed as it spoke. “Relax Rick, it happens to anyone who wears me.”

Rick put his hand over his face. “I am not going to relax! What does it mean that I'm a Tainted Soul?!”

He could feel the masks annoyance running through him. “It means you've been in contact with a lot of Necro Energy, so you toughened up. It's nothing serious. You're not damned to Hell for all eternity or anything like that.” Rick felt slightly relieved and yet he was unsurprised when he clearly heard the mask mutter. “Fucking pussy,”

Rick looked at the gate Aiden came from and his eyes widened as he saw stairs. “Necro Energy is the name of that power you use to transform, right?”

Yeah, pretty much. It'll toughen up souls that get bathed in it like you. When that happens, they become more valuable because they gain more inherent power. It amplifies any sixth sense they may have and makes them stronger.”

Rick sighed, his heart rate slowing down to a more normal pace. He ran to the gate and up the stairs, bracing himself for whatever would be on the second floor.

Stage 5: The Bloody Highway

Rick and the Terror Mask had been beating their way through enemies for about a half hour. Rick leaned against a wall, his body dripping with sweat. As he stood still, the heat of body rose and it felt like he was standing in a furnace. “Shit, I'm burning up.” Rick slid a massive hand over his soaking chest, which was wet mostly with sweat, but also a minor mixture of blood.

Rick, look over there.” The mask said.

Rick turned towards a door at the corner of the hallway. The walls were decorated with paintings depicting torture and suffering. One had an inhuman skeleton stabbing a screaming creature in the side while it clutched what was clearly its child. Another was of a monster being slowly torn in half by some kind of torture device, the terror in its beady eyes looked quite real.

Who's been painting all this shit?” Rick asked as he walked towards the door. His feet squelching softly on what he was fairly certain was piles of skin, lined up against the walls of the hallway. He hardly seemed to mind the gore splattered across the walls. He kicked the door open and walked into the room.

Hmmm.... needs more blood.” The mask said.

There were books and stone tablets all over the floor. Many of the books looked old and tattered, they were in messy piles, neatly stacked piles and many were just half open. The room had numerous desks along the wall, and on each wall was numerous scratches. They looked a bit like... “Is that writing?” Rick walked up to the nearest table and ran his fingers along the indentations in the stone. It vaguely resembled a fusion between Chinese and Korean.

Yeah, this is one of the languages of the Abyss.” The mask said. “Says something about...” He paused, clearly looking over it. “No way..”

What?” Rick glanced around the room and his head was forcibly turned back to the wall, he tried to move but the mask was keeping him firmly locked in place.

Rick, quit squimin'” The mask said sharply.

He held still, staring at the wall. “So... anything interesting?”

I'm gonna steer for a few minutes. These are talking about some kind of.... ritual.”

Rick felt the mask grow warm on his face and his body moved of its own accord. Clearly the mask was interested in whatever the writing was talking about. He was forced across the room and the mask looked at some pictures carved into the wall with notes all over them. “Looks like the Evil One is designing his own ritual. Using some artifact that was banished to this world. He calls it the Dark Stone. Through trial and error he found out it can... manipulate the fabric of reality.”

The mask turned Rick a few steps to the right to look more at what Rick could only interpret as gibberish. “He found out to power it... it needs Untainted Souls. But it's fragile. It starts to break if it has too many souls pumping through it. He started using objects as buffers to take off the pressure. But he can't find anything that could last long enough to pump the number he wanted into the stone.”

The mask stepped back and looked at walls, glancing here and there. “He's gonna use a million souls to power to stone and turn the Abyss into a highway between dimensions. Regardless of the alignment of the stars. Regardless of rituals. He'd release everything in the Abyss, the rest of the Corrupted in this world would be free and so would he.” The mask looked down on the ground and Rick felt the mask cool off and he regained control of his body.

Rick felt a plummeting sensation in his stomach. “So we're going from the destruction of the earth to the destruction of the entire multiverse?”

Bad day to be a universe, that's for sure.” The mask said as he turned Rick's head towards another wall that had ice blue carvings in it. “Looks like your girl is the last soul... all he needs is a buffer and it looks like he knows what to use.”

Rick shook his head. “You've got to be kidding me. Then why hasn't he done the ritual yet?”

I'm hammering this down to the nuts and bolts Rick.”

Rick nodded. “Then we have to hurry. Before the he kills Jennifer and all those other souls.” He started running. “This will be twice now.”

The mask let out a short laugh. “Man, everyone seems to just love the idea of sacrificing your girl.” It paused as Rick broke open another door. “Remember the last hand job she gave you? In the bathroom of the movie theater after you watched that horror flick? You two almost got caught once you managed to get her pants off.”

Okay, stop it.” Rick snapped.

She had a condoms in her purse and you two started fucking while standing on the seat.”

Shut up...”

Then while you were squeezing her-”

ENOUGH!” Rick clenched his fist and punched himself in the forehead, his knuckles bashing against the mask.

Hey!” The mask sounded annoyed. “I wasn't finished.”

I don't need you to tell me about my sex life!” Rick shouted, under the mask, his face was as red as a beet.

You humans think of some really kinky shit, you know that?” The mask said aloud.

Oh, leave me alone!” Rick groaned. “I don't want to talk about this.”

And then humans invented the dildo.”

And then Rick ditched the talking mask for a less annoying partner.” Rick muttered.

Hey, you wanna take these monsters on yourself?”

Rick paused as two sleek looking lizards with manes of spikes that extended down their spines crawled on the walls towards him. He sighed and spoke with a reluctant tone. “Continue”

That's what I thought.”

Rick charged at them as they jumped to the ground, ramming them both to the side. “Crush them!” The mask shouted.

He turned around and grabbed both their skulls, one in each hand. He started bashing the two together repeatedly and finally he held his arms apart and slammed them together, crushing their skulls simultaneously. “Oh, I love it as much as you love cheesecake... more than you love cheesecake.”

Hmmm... cheesecake.” Rick said to himself.

The two quickly pummeled and crushed their way through opponents, the mask openly reveled in the gore. Rick even enjoyed it, though even after all he had been through, there was still that slight pang of denial. The power was intoxicating and seductive, he probably had enough strength to send a tank flying with relative ease. He had a hard believing that only a day ago he was sitting in class, taking careful notes for his next test. He had been so mild mannered, hardly ever getting into trouble and now in the space of no more than 9 hours he had more blood on his hands than a serial killer.

He shook his head as he reached a new room. The mask almost seemed to send a spike of excitement up his spine, like it was feeding on more than just the blood they spilt. “Come on Rick, you just need to embrace this. You can't bury your real self forever.” Clearly it had been eavesdropping on what was going on in his mind.

Shut up,” Rick said coldly.

See, that's the problem. Any time you start realizing who you are, you just tell it to be quiet and shove it in a corner. Eventually it's gonna bite off your hand and you're going to lose control of the situation.” He let out a dark laugh. “And if I'm lucky, I'll be there to tell you I told you so.”

Rick looked around the room. “You know, I think you'd look great at the bottom of the ocean. All I'd need would be someone willing to drive me out there. Wouldn't even cost that much. I could put you in a bag, drop you in the middle of the Pacific and you couldn't do anything to stop me.”

The mask considered this for a moment, but before he could respond the room shook. It was a “C” shaped room with a large face carved into the wall. It's face took up the entire curve of the room. The stone moved and cracked, the stone breaking off of the gruff, wrinkled features. The face was fairly human, it had large, bulbous eyes, facing forward with a bulbous nose. Underneath was glowing blue skin and the mouth opened to reveal a mouth full of sharp teeth and a tongue that stretched out and moved like a snake.

Rick looked as the stone fell off the face, it shook it its place to get the rubble off it. “What the fuck is that?!”

It's like a Guardian... on steroids.” The mask said in the tone Rick was so familiar with. “They're much more fun, you see, they bleed and I'm starving.”

You just ate.”

I have a fast metabolism. Now kill it! I like to hear my dessert scream before I enjoy it.”

You have a very one track mind, don't you?” Rick rushed forwards the tongue swiped sideways an Rick jumped over it. He jumped up onto the nose and grabbed hold with his left hand. He started punching at the nose, feeling it slowly snap and give under the pressure.

Do I tell you that you think about sex too much? No!? Then shut the fuck up, kill something!” The tongue lifted up and wrapped around his waist, he grabbed onto the nose with both hands and felt as the tongue attempted to pry him off its face. His grip slipped and the creature pulled him towards its mouth. Rick kicked at the tongue and it pulled back. It grabbed his right arm and yanked him further down. He kept his feet on its upper lip and his left hand firmly gripped some skin of the nose. Rick's arm was pulled into the mouth and it chomped down, he grunted and his arm was dismembered. He fell off the creatures face and got to his feet, he hunched over as blood poured out of his shoulder. He ran as the Guardian chewed on his arm and swallowed. Rick couldn't run terribly fast with the wound. He felt that strange jolt through his body that caused him to jerk violently forward, it signaled the arm was regrowing. The bone forming first and his flesh and skin forming along the bone immediately afterwards.

He dashed back towards the Guardian and jumped up, grabbing onto the wrinkles in the bright blue skin and pulling himself up, hanging next to the eye. He kicked at the base of the bone around the eye. The monster growled angrily. Rick swung back as he saw the tongue coming and then jumped forwards, landing on top of the creatures nose as the tongue swiped at where he was. He swung his fist back, which glowed orange and he slammed it on the bridge of the nose, released a small wave of energy upon impact and crunching inwards slightly. The creature screamed out loud. He jumped up and grabbed onto the eyebrow with both hands and began stomping just above the eyes of the guardian. The tongue swiped at Rick, it slashed across his back and he swung around, hanging from the eyebrow with only his left hand.

The tongue slashed at him again. He grabbed onto it with his right hand. He tightened his grip with his left hand as the Guardian tried to pull its tongue out of his grip. He smirked as he felt the flesh in his left hand begin to give and tear. He planted his feet on the eyebrow and pressed downward. The flesh slowly started to tear open, blood oozing out. The Guardian's tongue was still trying to pull out of his grip. He heaved again, pulling with his legs and with the force of the tongue also pulling, he ripped out a chunk of flesh from the Guardian's eyebrow. “YES!” The mask shouted as the Guardian screamed out loud and panted heavily as Rick lost grip of the Guardian's tongue and fell to the ground on his back. He rolled to his stomach and watched as the Guardian fumed and snapped its teeth. It clearly wasn't happy about what Rick had done as blood dripped down its left eye.

The Guardian's eyes looked at him, it growled an opened its mouth wide, a thick fog shot out of its mouth, engulfing the whole room in an instant. “Hey!” Rick shouted.

The Guardian's growls were still distinguishable in the fog. He kept his guard up, he couldn't see anything farther than a foot from his face. “Shit, when did these things start using strateg-” He was cut off in mid-sentence as the tongue of the guardian grabbed him around the leg and lifted him in the air. He kicked at it with his other leg only for the fog to dissipate. As it cleared he saw that the Guardian was inhaling it. The creature growled as it held Rick about 2 yards away from its face. It's eyes began to glow.

Shit, you don't think he's still sore about that whole “ripped off a chunk of his eyebrow” thing... do you?” The mask asked.

Rick braced himself for what he thought was going to be some kind of laser shooting from the eyes. He closed his eyes and paused as the eyes flashed and suddenly his muscles seized. He felt a buzzing in his brain and his heart started beating at an incredible pace. To his surprise, it didn't hurt. He looked around, he felt odd, but still fine. “Wow, that was kind of weird.”

In an instant he heard screaming, violent screaming in his head, the eyes of the monster flashed and something connected between the eyes and his body, like an energy that crackled in the air. Rick felt his muscles jerk and twitch involuntary as the mask cried out in agony. He felt a burning in his chest as the pain of the mask seemed to seep into his body. It felt like he was on fire. He writhed and struggled, it felt like this thing was sucking the life out of him. He didn't scream but he clenched his teeth as the mask screamed inside his head, who was obviously feeling much worse. The light of the eyes died down as whatever it was doing ended, the red energy connecting them seeped into the eyes of the Guardian.

Rick felt drained and his muscles still twitched as the mask stopped screaming, but it clearly was in pain, he felt slight pangs of it all over his body, like something had been agonizingly ripped out of his body. The Guardian seemed to laugh and tossed Rick into a hole in the ground next to it. Rick yelled as they fell, crashing into wooden beams and bouncing off the walls as he fell into darkness.

Stage 6: A Savage History

Rick crash landed in the lower parts of the fortress, between two rocks. Rick's body formed a small crater in the ground on impact. He twitched slightly as he pushed himself slowly to his feet. He felt his mind buzzing, his shoulders jerked and he leaned against a rock. “Are you alright?” Rick's voice shook slightly as he spoke. He felt mostly fine, but he could feel the mask, whatever was wrong with it was causing him to jerk and twitch and made it difficult to speak clearly.

The mask only answered after a few seconds. “He... ripped the Necro out of me by force. He drained my blood. I need more.” His voice broke for split seconds as he spoke, making it somewhat difficult for Rick to hear him. “I need you to kill something. I can't stand it.” Rick could feel the mask's desperation. He spotted a fat red worm on the ground next to him There was at least twelve of them sitting in the dark. He grabbed it in his hand and it screamed as he crushed it.

The corpse was drained completely dry in a matter of seconds as every last drop of fluid sucked up his arm and directly into the mask. “Oh, that's better.” The mask moaned.

Rick felt the twitching stop immediately and the buzzing in his brain went down significantly.

You better now?” Rick was worried, if the mask was out of commission, so was he.

I'm not starved to the bones now. But I need more blood if I wanna get back in tip top shape to kill the Evil One.” The mask noted, but as he spoke, Rick's right hand twitched and he felt the mask trying to reach for the other boreworms. He didn't have enough strength to move their arm on his own.

Hmmm....” Rick paused, he looked up. “Are we gonna be safe down here?”

For a while... now please kill the worms. I'm still so hungry.” The mask almost seemed to be begging and Rick's hand nudged slightly towards the worms.

No...” Rick said, pulling his hand back, he felt the mask fighting against him, but it was too weak to do much of anything to stop him.

What?!” The mask paused. “You can't be serious Rick... NOW?!”

Rick smirked. “We're safe and the Evil One still needs to do prep work for the ritual. So that means you're going to tell me a story.”

I'm gonna slice your fucking-” The mask cut itself off, trying to calm itself down. “Listen, Rick, this is serious. We can do this later.”

Rick crossed his arms. “Tell me what you are. If you do that, I'll kill for you.” He felt the mask increase in temperature a few degrees on his face. His body tensed up a bit and the mask cooled off. It tried, unsuccessfully, to take over his body.

The mask seemed to start losing it. It was starving and Rick knew it was starving. It wanted blood and a source of blood was just an arms reach away. “Rick, please kill something!” It begged.

My hands are tied.” Rick said calmly and looked at the dirt under his massive fingernails, clearly feigning disinterest in the masks desperation.

I NEED blood!” It shouted.

Then you need to tell me what you are.” Rick said.

He could feel the cogs in its mind turning, it was so hungry, he could feel it in the pit of his stomach. It paused and growled in frustration before finally giving in.“Fine....” It said. “You kill and I'll tell you a story.”

Rick stood up and began stepping on the worms, blood sucking up his body in an instant. They squealed in pain as he crushed them.

I was created in another world on a mound of corpses.” The mask said, pausing as it sucked up the blood and clearly savoring it. Rick quickly crushed them all and the mask sighed. “It was a ritual that granted an ordinary mask unnatural abilities, it was carved from the bones of the victims of the ritual and infused with Necrotic Energy. An unexpected side effect was that this death created a new life. My life.”

Rick started walking down the narrow passageway of stone, looking around for anything he could kill. He found another worm and stepped on it.

I was created as a weapon to destroy and slaughter, powered by blood and the Necro Energy that brought me to life. Some asshole who performed the ritual didn't know what hit him when I first merged with him. I didn't either, to be fair. It was all instinct.”

Rick paused as he noticed something in the shadows, it was a skinny looking monster that was running at him. It jumped on the walls and the bony creature, with spikes across its body, leaped at him. Rick ducked low and swung his fist upwards, the creature flew upwards and hit a rock, falling down. Rick grabbed it around the middle and slammed it down the ground and stomped on its skull. He paused as the blood of the creature sucked up his body.

He wanted power... I didn't know what I wanted.. I just knew I didn't want to be used as a tool for the rest of my life. I talked to him, pulled on his deepest desires and tugged at his most fragile memories. I drove him insane and he became a violent killer. He was a perfect puppet by the time I was done with him. He didn't even know how to distinguish my thoughts from his at times. He tried to fight it, but he didn't stand a chance, even when he realized what I was doing, I didn't let up and he couldn't remove me.” The mask spoke as if these memories were ones he was rather fond of. Rick felt a shiver go down his spine, he didn't like the idea that the mask was capable of doing that to someone. “It's too easy to manipulate someone when you know everything that's going on in their head.”

Rick's heart skipped a beat as he remembered what the mask had been saying to him. He wondered if the mask was just doing the same thing to him. He shook his head, it didn't matter. He jumped up the wall of rock and began to climb. The cavern he was in was small and narrow. He could probably climb back up without a problem.

Since I had a perfect host, I asked myself what I wanted. It's only natural and though I may have only been getting the hang of my powers, I still could do a decent amount of damage.” He laughed coldly as he remembered what he had done. “I decided ruling sounded like a fun idea. So we used force to take over an entire city, we killed at whim as a Dictator. We started expanding my Kingdom and the people were afraid.” Rick could feel the pleasure of the mask in his chest, a warm swelling sensation. He continued to jump from rock to rock. This was going to take a while.

Unfortunately, I got cocky. I let my guard down and the people managed to lure us into an area and performed a spell that banished us to the Prison of Eternity, the Abyss.” His tone got cold. “I and my host crash landed in the middle of an old fashioned beat down. We started killing, not really caring who we killed. It turned out we landed in the middle of the Corrupted's domain, who had been there for an Eternity already. The Corrupted killed my host, but it kept me, tortured me, and enslaved me.” His voice changed to a growl. “I couldn't stand it.”

Rick could feel the fluctuating emotions of the mask, the unmatchable rage it felt, which then eased slightly as it obviously recalled its vengeance. “I was forced to inhabit its weaker servants, who used my power. The Corrupted would always drain me of blood and Necro after each fight, to keep me from being able to control my host, so I'd only be a weapon. We destroyed whole civilizations as the Corrupted hopped around from world to world when the stars were in the correct alignment. But when they went out of whack, the Corrupted and myself were kept here.”

Rick jumped up to a particularly slippery rock and his grip slid, he grabbed onto a stone below it and sighed as he continued upwards.

During the imprisonment, there was always war. Specifically with the Evil One. He hopped around too, but he didn't hop around as much as the Corrupted. The Evil One always seemed to be.... patient. Like he was waiting for something. I think we just found out what it was. It takes more than just a few centuries to find souls that meet the proper criteria for a sacrifice like that.” It sighed. “Finally, the wars got hectic and I convinced my host to go toe to toe with the Evil One. Boy was that a dumb move on my part. I had managed to get a lot of blood and I thought if I could kill the Evil One, I'd have enough blood to take over my host long enough to kill the Corrupted's Overlord.” The mask paused. “He's the big pile of bodies we killed just between saving Jen and killing her.”

Rick felt a pang of annoyance that the mask would mention this, but kept moving. He felt like he was getting very close. “I didn't need to hear that.”

The mask ignored him. “I ended up being dead wrong... my partner was killed and the Evil One ripped me off him and attempted to smash me into a million pieces.” The mask seemed to shiver on Rick's face. “That was a close one, thankfully the Evil One fucked up and ended up dropping me off a cliff. At the bottom of that cliff was the tiniest crack in the Abyss. I managed to get through and I ended up in your world, well over a thousand years ago.”

Rick managed to grab onto a wooden plank and pulled himself up. He was obviously on the bottom floor of the Fortress again. He looked around at the room. He had an idea to get back up to the second floor.

I ended up landing with a bunch of Mayan's-”

Aztec's” Rick corrected.

Whatever,” The mask snapped. “Didn't take em long to figure out that I wasn't an ordinary mask. They locked me up in a tomb, they thought I was a monster that would bring about doom for their entire civilization.” He paused. “They weren't wrong...”

Rick quickly found himself dancing in combat against several beasts that had broken through a door. He was going to have to tangle with these creatures before he could start moving up again.

But luck of the draw, one of them broke in and put me on. He was just a kid, a stupid kid.” The mask laughed as Rick grabbed a 2x4 from the wooden ground and slammed one of the creatures into a wall.

Manipulating him was easy too.” The mask growled in a pleased way. “He was intoxicated by the amount of power I gave him and he wanted to use it. He was just BEGGING to be used.” The mask let out a yell of approval as Rick successfully twisted off the head of one of his enemies.

But then the Corrupted's influence got to me. The minions of the Corrupted managed to get us and killed the kid, he didn't have a knack for killing like you do. Locked us in a sarcophagus on an island where reality itself was caving against the influence of the Corrupted.” It sighed as Rick finished off the last beast and began to implement his plan to getting up to the second floor, he ran and jumped on the wall and when he planted his feet on the wall, he jumped against it in an instant, grabbing onto a chandelier overhead and swinging upwards, grabbing onto some stone on the ceiling, the chandelier crashed to the ground and he pulled himself up.

West found the sarcophagus, he was already being manipulated by the Corrupted at the time and I just stayed quiet. He mistook me for a regular old mask and put me on display in the main hall... and that's where we met.” The mask said coolly as Rick climbed up to the second floor, out of the crack he had fallen down. The Guardian's eyes widened as it looked at them. It snarled at them, baring its teeth.

Round 2!” The mask shouted as it grew hot on Rick's face and took him over, bones jutting out of his skin, blood splattering everywhere. He ran forwards as the tongue swung at him. He grabbed it and pulled the tongue outwards. He dug Rick's clawed toes into the ground and ripped out the tongue, he tossed aside the tongue, he ran up and jumped up onto the nose of the monster, he held both arms out as the creatures eyes widened in fear.

THIS” The blades extended from their arms after he spoke. “Is for FUCKING WITH ME!” He jumped up and sliced his blades downwards, slicing off the Guardian's nose. It fell to the ground as the creature screamed in agony, blood spewing from the hole in its face. The mask landed on the ground next to the bloody piece of flesh, his blades s retracting back to their normal size. He extended his blades again and began to mercilessly cut at the creature, leaving gashes across its mouth. He eventually stopped after the lips had become messy shreds of flesh. The creature howled in agony and its eyes seemed to swell as it screamed.

This is a Guardian!” The mask said in a matter-of-fact tone.

The eyes burst open, releasing a massive wave of blood that splashed down on Rick's mutated body and releasing a visible amount of red crackling energy that sucked back into the mask.

This is a Guardian with its eyes blown up.” The mask crossed Rick's arms and shrank back to its normal size and appearance. “Any questions?”

Yeah, is this open mic night? Your jokes are getting lamer.” Rick said coolly.

FUCK YOU... RICK!” The mask shouted.

The mouth of the beast hung open and Rick could see stairs. He casually walked through, whistling to himself as he went.

Stage 7: The Ritual of the Dark Stone

The air was thick with the sounds of screams, bones crunching and blood splattered across every inch of wall. Rick Taylor rammed head on through a large crowd of particularly small beasts. Most of them were small, lanky, horned beasts on four legs that came up to Rick's waist. He bent low in a charge. He grabbed one of them as he skidded to the end of the hallway and held them up, he put his leg up to them and punted them into the crowd behind him, the force of the blow crushing about 5 others. Rick ran forwards and grabbed on by the feet and slid it in a circle around himself, knocking over others and finally slammed down the creature, the force of which ended up breaking it apart, tearing it in half. Rick looked at the stunned remains of his enemies, he was covered in blood from head to his bare toes. He stretched the muscles of his arms and twisted to one side and then the other as he did so.

Fuck, there's a shit ton of these things.” Rick smirked as he heard the cry of a beast behind a double door that was at the end of the bloody hallway he was in. His feet tapped quietly on the stone floor and he looked at a blotch of sekurium on the wall next to him. He saw a shadow forming in it and he slammed his fist into it, cracking the metal. The shadow engulfed the sekurium and through the cracks, blood spurted out as if something had ran headfirst into it from the other side.

I can't believe it's that easy to stop them.” Rick said coolly as blood dripped down the wall, he ignored the groan he heard from the other side of the metal and kicked open the door, which was lined with black flesh that seemed to grow everywhere in the building. He cracked his knuckles as he walked into a round room with a set of stairs that led to a door on the ceiling, as if to an attic or roof.

We're on the fourth floor now, right?” Rick asked.

Yup, that's the roof.” The mask said.

The ground was made of earth. It seemed more like sand. The stones formed the edges of the ground and flesh grew across the walls. Rick moved forwards as the ground moved and parted. He smelt the familiar waft of rotting flesh. The room was fairly large and mostly long like a rectangle. Rick could probably could stack two of himself in the room and reach the ceiling. The sand parted and a massive hand pulled out of it. The skin melting off the creatures body, revealing muscle and tendons. The head poked out of the ground with tiny, beady red eyes with the same melted appearance.

Hell Chaos! Buddy!” The mask sounded cheerful. “Kill this prick like we did in the 80's!” The mask paused. “On second thought, don't do that. Kill him like we kill shit now.”

Rick shrugged and ran at the head, he jumped and landed in a slide, colliding with Hell Chaos's head with surprising force. His head tilted back from the force and he growled loudly, sinking back into the ground.

I said like we kill shit NOW!” The mask said.

I don't even know what you're talking about.” Rick said in response, he honestly didn't care what the mask was babbling about.

Yeah, course you don't.” The mask sounded disappointed.

Rick got to his feet, he watched the ground rumble and a hand rose out of the ground. Rick rolled to the side as it slammed where he was. It pulled back into the ground and Rick looked around, only to notice a shadow on the ground from behind him. His eyes widened as he realized what it was. “Oh fuck,” He felt Hell Chaos's hand slam down on top of him and force him to the ground. It grabbed his leg and threw him into the wall, he crashed to the ground and shook his head.

Try not to get us killed Rick. Thanks!” The mask said condescendingly.

Rick stumbled to his feet and saw that Hell Chaos's head had surfaced. Rick ran up to it, his fists glowing with an orange power. He jumped and slammed his fists on its head, releasing a circle of energy and denting the skull inwards somewhat. The monster cried out, its beady eyes widening. It sank into the ground and Rick saw the shadow behind him. He rolled forwards as the hand slammed down where he was. He looked to his right to see another hand pushing out of the earth. He rolled to the side and got his feet as the hand slammed down. He dived onto the rotting flesh and gripped the finger. He planted his feet on the ground as the hand pulled away to retract into the earth. He began punching the hand with his right hand and gripping the finger with his left, he feel the flesh starting to break and tear as he reached his fourth or fifth punch. His right leg was grabbed and he was lifted off his feet.

Whoa!” Rick yelled in surprise.

The hand he had a grip on was trying to pull away while the hand gripping his leg was also pulling on him. He gripped the hand that was trying to escape more firmly and continued to punch it with his right hand. His eyes widened as he felt the flesh of his leg tear and the bones break. He braced himself for the pain as his leg was ripped messily off. The hand retracted into the ground, gripping his leg. He still punched the knuckles of the hand, which were starting to bleed and he could hear the bones crunching. He lost his grip as it finally pulled into the ground. He crawled forwards on the ground, unable to stand with his missing leg. The sand in front of him parted and Hell Chaos's head surfaced in front of him.

Rick smirked under the mask and he gripped the bridge of Hell Chaos's nose. He increased the pressure and lifted himself up, he started pulling and the cartilage began to snap. “Got your nose.” Rick said as he ripped off Hell Chaos's nose and tossed it to the side. “Ah, you beat me to it.” The mask said playfully as blood sprayed on their face.

The creature screamed with a combination of pain and indignation, sinking back into the ground. Rick looked to the ground next to him. He pushed himself into a sitting position as the rotting hand lifted from the ground. Rick's body transformed in an instant, his leg growing back in this same instant. The blades extending from his arms, he swung them forwards like scissors, slicing horizontal gashes into Hell Chaos's wrist. The hand clenched as blood dripped down and pulled back into the ground.

Rick got to his feet as he heard Hell Chaos scream. At one end of the room, farthest away from the door and the stairs, which were across from one another, the ground rumbled and parted. Hell Chaos's head rose out of the ground, his two hands tore out of the earth, spreading sand everywhere. They slammed to the ground and pulled Hell Chaos's torso into view. The same melted flesh covered the somewhat athletic looking torso. He growled at Rick and swiped his right hand across the ground. He couldn't pull himself up any further, that much was obvious, his head was ducked low from the roof and his hunched form took up nearly a third of the room. With his hands being easily larger than Rick, after all, he could fit his arm around a finger. His large hands could easily fit around his entire face and his fingers could likely reach over the top of his head, which was roughly Rick's size.

Time to kick it up a notch.” Rick raced towards Hell Chaos, who's beady eyes were locked on him. Hell Chaos growled, his wounds very noticeable as he dripped blood onto the sand, which quickly began to move their way over to Rick, sucking up his body and into his skin. The monster slammed his right hand to the side, hitting Rick and slamming him into the stone wall. As the hand pulled away, Rick stumbled upon landing on his feet. He swayed back and forth and fell over.

How could you not know to dodge that? You SAW THAT COMING!” The mask shouted angrily.

Rick shook his head and pushed himself to his feet. He watched as Hell Chaos considered him. He reached a massive hand forward and as he did so, the Terror Mask burned on his face.

You're incompetent and it's my turn!” Rick's muscles bulged and bones burst from his flesh, his arms, his right leg and his back, skin tearing across the right half of his chest to reveal messy patches of red muscle. The mask shifted its form and clenched their fists together and slammed them down to the ground, a wave of bones burst from the ground and Hell Chaos screamed as they collided with his chest and tore a gaping hole in it. His rib cage was showing. The bones sank back into the ground, vanishing. The mask ran forwards and grabbed the exposed rib cage. Hell Chaos yelled out loud in pain as the mask sank their clawed toes into the ground and began to walk backwards. Hell Chaos gripped the walls as it cried out, as if begging for mercy as it was slowly pulled out of the sandy ground. The mask positioned itself more below Hell Chaos and gripped the rib cage over its shoulder. It began to run and ripped Hell Chaos clear out of the ground, revealing only a flailing spine wrapped in bits of red flesh. The mask continued to run to the other side of the room and threw Hell Chaos over it. The force of the throw slammed the screaming creature through the stone wall and into the air, he crashed to the ground below. The monster landed with a deafening thud and flailed on the earth, its spinal chord waving around wildly, blood pouring from its wounded body and most prominently from its chest. Hell Chaos screamed its last scream and lay limp on the ground, dead.

Told you I could kick your ass again.” The mask reverted Rick back to his normal hulking self. “Punk!”

Rick shouted out loud, clearly feeling an incredible rush from their victory. “Hell YES!” He turned towards the stairs and ran up them, pushing the final door open. He stepped out onto the stone roof. He looked around. The Evil One stood there, his back turned to Rick. In front of him was a massive circular stone. It was a surprise this thing hadn't been visible from the ground. It had hundreds of thousands of lights in it. Round indentations with these beautiful little orbs in them. It clicked in Rick's mind. They weren't lights, they were souls. Jen must be among them. He gulped, if this was the case, there was at least a million of them. It would take a very long time to figure out which one was which. He paused, noticing there was a small indentation that was empty. He looked at the Evil One, who was looking at a soul in his hand.

Hand over Jennifer!” Rick shouted. He walked forwards. The stone rim around the roof had numerous statues, each seemed to be screaming in agony, facing inwards. The roof was laced with bits of black flesh that coated mainly the outer rim of the roof and wrapped around the statues.

The Evil One turned around, looking at Rick. He crossed his arms, not responding. There was something about his posture, he seemed confident, almost triumphant. “Alpha Male... Rick Taylor. You are an impressive specimen amongst humans, you know that?”

Rick paused, raising his guard and ready for a fight.

No beast that ever wore the Terror Mask has ever done as much damage as you have done.” The Evil One gripped tightly the soul in his hand and he began to walk towards Rick. “No human has ever been as strong as you are now. No human has ever survived being as heavily contaminated by Necro Energy as you have.” He stopped. “Perhaps this is coincidence. Perhaps this is a sign of the Terror Masks power. Perhaps this is a sign of your power. Perhaps the Fates have gathered together to give me what I need. But I never expected a human and a slave to kill nearly all of my beasts and all of my most powerful servants.” The Evil One jumped backwards and landed on the circle, standing sideways and defying gravity to insert Jennifer's soul carefully into the slot it belonged too. “But you know what is most surprising?” The Evil One had an mischievous tone to his voice.

Rick walked forwards and stood in front of the circle. “What?”

That you, Rick Taylor, Alpha Male....” He smirked. “Are the final key to my homemade ritual.”

Rick's eyes widened and the ground below him began to glow as a symbol appeared on the ground. A small black crystal on a stand stood between his legs. It was so small, he had overlooked it. “What the fuck?!”

The crystal began to glow and Rick felt something inside of himself burn. He held his chest as he felt a pain grow more and more intense inside of him. He shivered and fell to his knee's, he grunted. “What's happening?” He managed to gasp.

I know what you know about my ritual, Alpha Male.” The Evil One said coolly. “But what you don't now is that the Dark Stone needs to absorb a Tainted Soul if it is to be activated and channel energy. And a living body as strong as yours is the perfect buffer. And the Dark Stone is in between your legs, right now. All the pieces are in place. The mask is about to lose its host and you are about to lose your very soul.”

Rick shivered as he felt like he was being torn apart, he grunted and as his body burned, he screamed out loud. “Rick!” The mask shouted.

Rick staggered to the edge of the rune on the ground. He leaned forwards to fall, only to hit the wall of a barrier that the rune was forming around. “I...” Rick couldn't move, he fell to his knee's and looked at the crystal. His vision was starting to blur. “I can't... Jenny.” He muttered.

Rick!” The mask shouted again. “Listen to me, kid. You have to cooperate with me, okay?”

I... can't move.” Rick could feel his consciousness fading as pain overwhelmed him, he was too weak to even scream and he couldn't really feel his arms, which were starting to shake and give, he collapsed in a heap.

Oh fuck it!” The mask shouted, it grew hot on Rick's face and bones jutted from his skin. The mask stood up and blades extended from its arms, they cut through the barrier with ease and the mask walked out of the range of the rune an Rick suddenly felt revitalized. “Whoa!” He said.

Yeah, being slowly ripped out of your body can hurt. But you're still a fucking pussy.” The mask said calmly. “Now, Evil One! I believe I owe you an ass kicking, especially after you tried to steal MY human's soul!”

Wow, that sounds surprisingly nice of you to care.” Rick sounded somewhat dumbstruck.

Shut the fuck up, Rick.”

There we go,”

This is not going as I planned. Hell Chaos was supposed to relieve you of your Necro Energy!” The Evil One shouted.

I have a backup supply I always keep handy, just in case!” The mask said through Rick as their body shrank back to normal size and appearance.

The Evil One sighed and looked away. “Ah yes, the backup plan. Luckily I have one too.” He jumped off of the circle and landed in front of Rick and raised his fists.

Rick smirked and moved in close, his fist glowing as he swung a right hook to his opponents' jaw, releasing a wave of energy on impact that formed small cuts across his neck and chest. The Evil One staggered backwards and rubbed the blood dripping from his shadowy cheek. He moved in quick and delivered two quick punches to Rick's stomach, he felt himself lifted slightly off his feet from both and the Evil One swung around to deliver a roundhouse kick to Rick, hitting his shoulder and knocking him to he ground, he slid slightly on impact.

Okay,” He pushed himself up to his hands and knees. “New plan,”

The Evil One walked over to him and gripped the back of Rick's head, kneeling and forcing him down, slamming his head to the ground two times. “I will ensure both of you suffer greatly before you die.” He slammed Rick's head to the ground again and released him, standing up.

Rick rolled onto his stomach and the Evil One grabbed his leg and casually swung him around, flinging him into one of the statues. The impact shattered the statue and rubble scattered on the ground. Rick slowly got to his feet. “You know, I can't help but notice that you are getting your ass handed to you by this skinny black and blue FUCK!” The mask shouted.

Rick paused and looked at the rubble as the Evil One calmly walked towards him. He swung his right arm and the rubble hit his opponent in the eye. He stepped back and held his eye. “What on earth?”

Rick grabbed another stone and chucked it. His opponent caught it with his free hand and Rick quickly grabbed the head of the statue and swung with all his might, the statue hit square between the legs and the Evil One collapsed on the spot. “Oh FUCK, that was cheap!”

Hey, Rick, you got the Evil One to swear, I've never heard him do that before.” The mask laughed as Rick ran up to him and grabbed the Evil One by the throat and slammed him over his head and into the ground. He grabbed the Evil One by the leg and flung him to the ground on his other side and once again over his shoulder to the first side. He swung his opponent around, spinning to gain momentum and released, slamming the Evil One into another statue, crushing it.

Hell yeah!” Rick ran forwards and shifted to a ram, slamming the Evil One further into the rubble of the statue.

Don't let up, Rick! Keep pounding at him!” Rick grabbed the Evil One and slammed his head into the rubble, blood started splattering about. The Evil One seemed to gain his senses in an instant and reached up to Rick and grabbed his head, slamming it to the ground. He pulled out of the rubble, his face bloodied. He swung his leg forwards and kicked Rick in the side, sending him about a foot off the ground and rolling to his stomach. Rick got to his feet as the Evil One approached and he swung a powerful right hook to the his opponents face. The Evil One staggered back, blood splattering against the wall. He moved in close and made two powerful uppercuts to Rick's stomach, each pushing him off his feet. Rick stood, dazed and his opponent grabbed his head and headbutted Rick.

Rick staggered back himself, his rib cage burst open, the bones curving inwards and his body transformed, the mask changing in a split second as bones pushed out of his skin. Rick screamed as blood sucked from the Evil One to Rick, who's body reverted back to normal after a couple seconds of blood sucking from one body to another. Rick's wounds were completely healed. He moved in as the Evil One tried to regain his senses and Rick grabbed him by the throat with his left hand and his right glowed with an orange light. He slammed his fist into his opponents face and pulled back as the wave of energy was released. His opponent was getting pretty bloody, most of it was sucking up Rick's arm. His fist glowed again and he tossed up the Evil One, as he fell, Rick's right hook hit him in the face again, he was pushed backwards. The Evil One landed in a roll and got to his feet again, he still had fight left in him.

I've got enough, I'm gonna kill him myself!” The mask shouted as it grew hot on Rick's face, it took him over, the usual changes were made to him and the Mask ran forwards, the blades extending from his arms. He swung them forwards and the Evil One held his arms out, catching a blade in each hand. He lifted up the mask by the blades, span him around in a circle and slammed him to the ground. The blades retracted and the Terror Mask pushed himself up, he charged at the Evil One, who charged back. He jumped and landed in a slide, the mask was knocked off his feet in mid-charge, he ended up rolling to his feet and standing up. “That cheap bastard stole your move!”

What are you talking about?” Rick asked.

The mask sighed. “Never-fucking-mind,”

The Evil One moved in and the mask swung an extended blade at him. The Evil One was knocked off guard, the gash in his chest bleeding profusely and the mask grabbed the Evil One's skull and pressed inwards,. The Evil One struggled and tried to pry apart the hands, he yelled out loud and the mask crushed his opponents skull in his palms, reducing the skull to a bloody mess. The mask watched at the Evil One's corpse collapsed in a heap. It reverted Rick to his normal form. Rick looked at the body and heaved a sigh of relief. He looked up at the circle that held the souls and jumped upwards, he grabbed onto the side of the structure and climbed up, he leaned sideways and reached in, he remembered exactly where Jennifer had been put. He grabbed her soul and dropped down.

He glanced at the tiny crystal and walked over to it. He bent down and grabbed it, looking at it. He pocketed it and walked back in front of the circle. “Where's the portal?”

Gimme a second Ricky boy.” The lights on the circle suddenly started to vanish, one by one and as they did so, a sort of scream emanated from them. Rick's eyebrows raised. And after fraction of them had vanished a portal opened next to him.

You just killed them to make this portal, didn't you?”

Kinda, yeah.”

Rick put a hand against the structure and pushed. It toppled over and crumbled. The lights zipped out in mass, into the sheets that seemed to make up the sky. “Well, at least no one will be using them anymore.” Rick turned towards the portal and stood in it, he sank down and the portal vanished behind him.

Rick Taylor sat in his room, he looked completely different. He no longer had the mask covering his face to reveal a normal looking young adult with black framed glasses. He had dark brown hair and a trimmed goatee. He was sitting on his bed, his build was fairly athletic. His room was rather unremarkable, posters on the walls, one was labeled “Zombie Survival Poster” and had numerous tips on how to survive a zombie outbreak. He had posters featuring metal bands, including Goat Whore. The comforter he was one was dark blue and there was a lamp on a drawer next to his bed. He was watching the ending of “House of a Thousand Corpses”. Next to the lamp was a bottle of liquor that was half empty. Jennifer walked out of the bathroom, dressed in a simple white t-shirt and jeans with a black jacket. Unlike Rick, who was wearing a pair of sweatpants and nothing else. She had her purse over her shoulder and she smiled at Rick.

So, you're sure your okay with me going out with my friends alone?” Jennifer asked, she leaned to one side as she spoke.

Yeah, I'm fine, the worst that can happen has already happened. Besides, you need to relax and calm down with your friends.” Rick said in a slightly off-level tone. He was obviously drunk.

She smiled and walked up to Rick, leaned over the bed and kissed him on the lips. Rick reached his hand casually up her shirt and felt the line of her bra and then slid his hand on her lower back, clearly resisting temptation at the moment. She didn't like to make out with him much when he was drunk.

Bye bye fiance.” She giggled and pulled away, walking out the door of the room and shutting it behind her.

He waited till he heard the soft click of the door to their apartment being locked. “Okay, Rick, she's gone now! Get me the FUCK out of this DRAWER!”

Rick paused, noting the voice he heard quite clearly in his mind. He opened the drawer next to his bed and pulled up a false bottom, revealing a pure white bone mask. He grabbed it by the eyes and put it next to him on the bed. “Damn, I hate that drawer. It's so fucking dark.”

Yeah,” Rick reached over the mask and grabbed the bottle, taking another swig from it.

You know, you're pretty hammered, maybe you should lay off the booze.”

Rick glared at the mask with an annoyed expression on his face. “I'm sorry, did JESUS save the world and then immediately after, the entire MULTIVERSE from certain doom? No!? Then shut the fuck up, I deserve to drink as much as I want.”

The mask just lay there but the tone Rick could hear in his mind was clear. “Sheesh Rick, you don't have to get so snippy.”

Rick watched the ending credits of the movie. “Well, since you're planning on passing out in a puddle of your own drool, do you mind putting on the remake of Nightmare on Elm Street? I overheard you saying you got it yesterday and your girl is gonna be out all night.”

My fiance,” Rick corrected. “And sure,”


Rick got off the bed and stumbled as he stood, making his way over to the television and pulled out a DVD case from over the player. He pulled out the disc and grabbed another case beside the TV and popped the disc in. He stumbled back over to the bed and sat on it, positioning himself next to the mask and grabbing the remote to the DVD player.

So, how's Jen doing?” The mask was clearly bored and didn't actually care about the answer.

Good, a little shaken up, but good.”

How's West?”

No clue, he disappeared after we brought Jen back and rumor has it he quit the day after we returned from the Abyss. Said something about a nephew”

Stopped pissing blood yet?”

Nope,” Rick wasn't completely paying attention, but unfortunately it was difficult to ignore someone who wasn't talking to you out loud as much as they were in your head. He pressed play when it got to the menu.

What about Arkham?”

In a panic, lot of people got hurt when the meteorites rained from the sky and all those earthquakes happened.” He didn't sound very thrilled when he spoke. “Destroyed some houses and nobody knows how to explain it.”

Been interviewed by any police?”

Nope, Jen and I are still trying to decide if it's a good idea to try to tell anyone about what West did. Nobody would believe us and anyone who broke into the mansion would be killed.”

The mask waited as it watched the opening to the movie, watching scenes mostly involving children or children's toys. “I still can't believe you kept the Dark Stone.”

Rick looked at the mask. “What was I supposed to do? I couldn't just leave it in the Abyss, it could get everyone free.”

You hid it in your CLOSET in a box labeled 'Boring shit, do not open.'”

Who's actually going to look in there?” Rick said defensively.

I will,”

Rick shrugged, looking at the screen. “You don't have a host and you're not leaving my apartment.”

If Jen finds me, she's gonna be pissed.”

I don't think she even understands that you're alive.”

So much for dropping me in the ocean.”

Rick sighed, grabbing the 2 liter container of water next to the liquor and drinking, it was also half empty. “I can't drop you in the ocean, you're a dangerous artifact that can destroy everything.” He looked at the mask. “So for the safety of this world, I'm keeping you.”

Real fucking noble Rick. I've gone 3 weeks without any blood and you're still pissing it.”

Rick looked away from the mask. “I don't even want to consider that.”

Hey! I don't care where it comes from. Blood is blood.”

Rick smirked and looked at the mask. “Well, it hardly matters, you're not going anywhere.”

The mask remained silent as it watched the screen for a few seconds and then turned its attention back to Rick. “Whatever.... I suppose I'll have to settle for TV violence for now.”

Rick set the water down on the table and turned off the light. “Yup, good night asshole.”

Sleep tight, pussy.”

Rick lay down on the bed, not bothering to move under the covers. “Yeah? Well fuck you.” He muttered.

No Rick... fuck you.”


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