Keros clears his throat.
This isn't a great story, so don't give me that kind of look if you walk away disappointed.
See, I was holed up with this nice Lilim chick up in my apartment, and I'd figured, after Erlithan had become the big kahuna and all that, I'd just lie low and let it all blow over. But dammit, Erlithan had to go and be responsible and dig me out of my hole, that old prick, and drag me in. And he says, "Daimonique is gone for good." He sounded sad. I wasn't sad, she was a bitch, but you know, he has this soft spot for her. So I said, "Okay." He tells me, "Kanah is the Mediator now." I say "Okay". He says, "And you've been promoted and if you're very good I'll give you a Heart again." And I say, "Fuck yeah!" So it was a good day after all.
So then we have to get down to business. No more pleasantries. Erlithan asks me if I still have contacts in Stygia. I'm like, yeah, well, maybe, people die alot around here. And he asks me if I'd considered going over there, and I said, no, not really. He said maybe I should reconsider. And I say, I think I've reconsidered. He says, "Good. I like it when you finally remember how to think." You know, he's been alot less fun since he talked to Lucifer.
Next thing I know, I'm on the Train, and going to Stygia with actual honest to God real papers in my pocket, thinking about what I'm going to say and why we need to start talking to Factions and Theft again, because of everything going on.
We're going through Gehenna, and it breaks down. Right in the middle of the flats, with bombs going off around us, and we're stranded. Everyone gets off in the middle of nowhere, because it was either that or sit in the hot cab. People are wandering around, bitching, wanting their money back, demanding this and that. You can smell the smoke and the gun fire and hell if I want to be in a war zone. So instead of waiting, I start walking.
So I'm walking across the flats, swearing, wondering why I couldn't be back in my apartment with my chick and all that, and I get approached by these three creepy guys in black cloaks. Out of nowhere, ya know? They were like the specters of death, and there went shivers down my spine.
So they're tall and nasty and weird and they remind me of those Jehovah Witnesses who stop you at bus stations and ask you if you've found God, and I have to answer that yeah, I found him, and then I fucked him. But they're worse. I've never seen anything like this before. They ask me about Corruption. Have I found the Truth? Do I know I can bend it to my own will? I tell 'em all I know is that I'm as Funny as hell and that I have a chick in Shal-Mari, and what the fuck do I care if I found Corruption or not? So they grab me and tell me I need to learn the way of the Master. It took me long enough to figure out the big K, I didn't need to figure out someone who wanted to be called Master.
Obviously being Funny was the wrong answer. Next thing I know, I've got this hood over my head, and I'm being dragged across the flats with my heels smacking into little stones and bones and stuff, and some wacked out Balseraph is whispering into my ear about how I'll learn and that all I have to do is learn the Way. I tell this guy, through the hood mind you, that I know who corrupts, and it's me, and will you get this thing offa me? But they don't take it off. They drag me into this big smelly building where people chant and mutter and they toss me into some room. And there I sit, thinking, gee, this is lame.
So I waited and waited and waited and planned a myriad of really good Pranks and some not so good Pranks and some bad Pranks and I start to wonder if my girlfriend has the clap because I'm itching all wrong. I paced back and forth and back and forth. I figured out the dimensions of my cell to a millimeter. I climbed up on the bench and watched some shit blow up from far away through the cell window. But then they finally opened the door to come talk to me. Maybe they wanted to really get into my head and convinced me that this Corruption bag was cool. I disagree. I Pranked them as hard as I could and bolted.
Next thing I know, I'm invisible, cursing Erlithan, and wandering through this building, looking around. The place was seriously creepy. I'm walking past these weird courtrooms and torture chambers and big plazas where they were guillitining people. I can hear all these screams and I'm thinking man, you don't need to beat up souls to get their essence, just send 'em over to good old Shal-Mari, and we'll charge 'em double. I found this swiss army knife in a drawer in a room, I think it's was artifact but if it isn't it has a nice corkscrew for opening bottles. I found floorplans for the place somewhere else, a security office I think. I was making my way out of there, come hell or high water. These people were scaring the piss out of me.
And then I spotted that goofy Impudite. And the rest, as they say, is history. I will add that I didn't really make the connection as to who he was until we got to Perdition, I was too busy trying to think how I was going to explain why I never even made it to Stygia. I thought I was just doin' the kid a favor. I mean, it was clear he was a newly Fallen and he didn't have a clue. Those freaks were gonna get to him. I figured he was better off having my kind of freak get to him instead. Freaks are freaks, but at least the mission wouldn't have been a bust, and he would have been better off then as a second rate cultist in the service of a third rate Superior.
But I'll tell ya, I'm not going back there, not back to that Cathedral. I'll go back to Stygia, I'll go back to Tartarus, I'll walk across Gehenna again before I go back there. That place was filled with weird and bad. They say that having a new big Prince down here is bad, and I'm sort of tending to agree. Granted, I found it amusing that Belial went hog wild and started attacking the _Game_, getting them off our backs for a while, but hey. Hell is hell. You can never predicti who is gonna get stabbed next, so always look over your shoulder. Always. Want a beer?