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Infernal Contact
by John Gomes


He was locked in a dream that he couldnít wake from. A man, clothed in shadow, was fighting Le Roof De Rykros and the mysterious entity called Gabriel. They fell before red flames, trailing scents of brimstone and sulfur, the forest around him burning, searing his skin by unnatural heat. The shadow laughed, its hauntingly evil sound echoing around Zio. Le Roof and Gabriel, now wreathed in hellfire, lied on the floor, motionless, lifeless. Zio couldnít move, his magic would not come to his aid; the normally green glow of the Psycho Wand was mute, dark. His magic would not come to him, and he stood paralyzed. The shadow turned to him, its eyes radiating hatred and menace. It walked towards Zio, its maddening laugh piercing down to Zioís soul, making him feel dirty and violated. Its shadow-hand reached for Zio, and a voice echoed in his mind, saying "Now, you are MINE!!"

"ZIO! AWAKEN THYSELF!"

Zio woke up in a cold sweat. His hand gripped the Psycho Wand tightly. The green, pulsating glow was a comfort, as was the feeling of his magic in his being, that in the dream was empty and forlorn. He had shed his leather tunic and pants for a flowing robe of silk, with the Frade Mantle draped across his shoulder. His long black hair flowed down his back. His eyes, an auburn color that was once feared across Motavia, were clouded with leftover fear from his nightmare. He looked around the small grass clearing in the forest just outside of Piata.

Gabriel and Le Roof De Rykros were gone.

"Had a bad dream?" A harmonic voice called out.

Zio started and turned around. He saw a man sitting in the grass, a grass stalk in his mouth. He was of medium build and average height. His skin was tanned and smooth, his hair a hazel color. He had handsome features, a clean shaven jaw, small nose and generous lips. A very handsome man. He had the hands of an artist, long and tapered. His clothing was very odd, a thin woolen shirt and blue pants of a fabric he had never seen before. There was small ring on his middle finger of his right hand, a gold bracelet on the other. His eyes were mesmerizing. They were red, a lighter shade than Zioís own, and they had a mischievous glint to them, as if he was laughing at some private joke. He twirled what appeared to be a coin on his knuckles.

"Who are you?" Zio asked the stranger.

"Hmmm... good question, although totally irrelevant. Iíve had so many names in my life. Lucifer, Satan, Beelzebub, blah blah blah. Just call me Al. Itís as good a name as any." The man replied.

"Al? Quite an odd name for the face of evil." Zio replied, his defenses immediately up. The Arch Angel Gabriel had told him of Satan, the fallen angel and sworn enemy of the original God.

"I donít know, All the other names kinda make people expect me to appear with demonís slobbering at my feet and me holding a contract for you to sign in blood. So pedestrian, so... un-inventive. Iím actually pretty normal, other than being the Ď face of evil Ď." The fallen angel replied, a laugh seemingly ready to come out of his mouth.

"Where are Le Roof and Gabriel?"

"Gone, for now. Iím sure youíll meet again, as soon as they find a way out of Hell. I put them there so you and me could have a one-on-one chat. Oh yeah, the pants are called jeans, since you seemed so interested in them."

"Hell! If you hurt them Iíll..." Zio began, gathering his power.

"Easy there, buddy. They arenít hurt. They donít belong in Hell, so nothing will harm them . Theyíll just relax in one of the rooms of my place there until they can leave. Gabriel has escaped a few times when I put him there, so theyíll find a way out. Trust me, the last time Gabriel was in there, he almost destroyed the place, so no one will do anything to him."

Strangely, Zio found himself believing him.

"Anyways, you and I need to talk. I need to explain a few things to you. Namely, this whole re-awakening of the Great Light? Not happening. Zio, and I can call you Zio right? You wake her up and you and me are going to have a little problem. Sheís sleeping for a reason. Do you know what that reason is?"

"What?" Zio asked, wary of the manís statement."

"Basically itís like this. The Goddess is not supposed to exist. Neither is the Profound Darkness. People always thought I was the Evil one, but the truth of the matter is God asked me to test all sentient life. To see if they were ready to live under Godís light. When Judgment Day came, and I gave God my judgment of all the tests, the temptations, life wasnít ready to go into Paradise. Itís unfortunate, but only a precious few were worthy of living with God in Utopia. I was undercover. Even my former friends, the Angels, turned on me, for NO ONE could know what my true purpose was because it would screw the celestial plan."

"What does this have to do with reviving the Great Light."

"Iím getting to that. Now, The Great Light is sleeping. So is the Profound Darkness. The Great Split happened because God knew that he had to destroy the universe and start from scratch. But God loved life so much that he couldnít do it. It created a paradox. God was perfect, but the inability to decide on this matter of the divine plan created an imperfection in he who had always existed. Thus he split, destroying the universe in the process. However, since no one knew of my part in the plan, I was still vilified in the Great Lightís re-creation of the universe as we know it. Sheís sleeping because it isnít time to wake her up, but it is actually time for the re-combining of the pieces of God."

"What? Are you telling me that Le Roof is wrong? The incarnation of Fate is wrong?" Zio replied, clearly skeptical.

"Not wrong, simply misguided. Heís in love with the Great Light. He believes she is the right way. All the incarnations have their own independent will, and heís trying to change fate. The universe itself is trying to revert back to the way it was supposed to be with the divine plan in effect. The Great Light and the Profound Darkness know this. They are fighting it. However, it must come to pass. All the different powers of God, now separated are so worried about themselves that they canít see the fact that the universe they are so striving to protect is dying. Realize something. Alone, they can only delay the inevitable. But if they recombined into God, the universe would live on as the ultimate creator would make it so. But they fear they will lose their individuality. Together, they are more powerful than when they are separate, but they are too narrow-minded." Al said, his tone pitying.

"Why should I believe you ? From what I have been told, you are the lord of lies. For all I know you are simply trying to divert me from awakening the being who could challenge you."

"Good question. You donít have to believe me. I donít ask you to. But think. Youíve never even heard of me until what, yesterday? And already, all youíve heard is Iím this and that, Iím evil, yadda yadda yadda. Now, tell you what. Reach out with your mind. With the Psycho Wand, aptly named if I do say so myself given the circumstances in which it came into being, feel for magic outside of Algo. Magic is the building material that the universe is made of. If Iím lying you should feel an abundance of it."

Zio looked at him, not trusting him but at the same time curious to find out if heís lying or not. Thus, Zio concentrated his mental force, his inner being, and projected it outwards. In Algo the energy of magic was everywhere, glowing brightly and warm. To Zioís dismay, as he stretched his sixth sense farther, the magic of the universe itself seemed to dim, to darken and eventually, although billions of light years away from Algo, it ceased to exist. It reminded him of his centuries long prison in limbo, this sensation of non-existence. His sense retreated back to Algo. But he could feel the places where magic was dwindling, feel planets and stars dying. Their cries echoed across the dying cosmos. Zio had never felt so horrified. Al, or Satan, was right. The universe was dying. But if it was, everything he had been lead to believe about the Great Lightís eternal power was a lie. The knowledge was catastrophic to Zioís carefully built beliefs.

"Hard to swallow, I know. It was, for me too. Even though I was supposed to hate life because it took the meaning away from an angelís life, I actually loved life as much as God did. I was the muse of the ages, aiding humans in music, science. I tried to help them, but sadly, they werenít ready for God to accept them. They called me Devil, but none loved them as much as I did. Ironic isnít it? I who loved them was in turn hated by them. God sometimes felt the same way." The so-called Devil said, sadness in his voice.

"This cannot come to pass! How can we avoid this from happening?" Zio asked horrified at what he had found out.

"You hold the key in your hand. The Psycho Wand actually is a piece of the combined power of the original God. It will also be the instrument of recombining the original God. You have to collect the power of all the incarnations, and place them in the Psycho Wand. It will be hard. For you to be able to identify them, you need to link fully with the wand. It will sense their presences, and take you to them. Then, when you find them, the Wand will absorb them, instead of taking them apart as it does to all magic. Chaz was lucky. One of the powers, the power of Creation, is in the Eclipse Torch, which is also the resting place of the Great Light. If he had touched the Eclipse Torch with the Psycho Wand, it would have absorbed the relic, thus ending his quest in disaster. Quite a fluke."

"What of Le Roof and Gabriel ? If they find me? I doubt they would understand what I know now."

"Youíll need Le Roof for the recombination process, but both he and Gabriel will try to stop you. Just as Le Roof trusted you to awaken the Great Light, I believe I can trust you with the existence of the Universe. If it died, Iíd be lonely, so I really think this is the right thing to do, no? If they try to stop you, Iím afraid you might have to fight back. Not a problem though, for with the Psycho Wand, you should easily be able to defeat them."

"Anyways, time for me to go. You have what you need. Iíll be watching you. If things get to hairy, Iíll lend you a hand, no worries. Please, even if you donít trust me, Iíve given you a head start. Do what you know is right. Chop-chop." The devil said, with a wave and disappearing in a flash of light.

Zio merged with the Psycho Wand to determine the location of the first piece of the God.

"Dezoris..."

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