Welcome to Hell
Chapter One of Who Would Win: All of Hell, or One Bitey Boy?
It was a lovely day in Oregon when my story began. The sky was blue and sunny, the air was crisp and clean, and everything was just...beautiful. There was a nice breeze and life felt a little less scary, there.
I wasn't in Oregon though. Dear reader, it is imperative to me that I stress to you, and I cannot do so enough, that I was plummeting from the sky at hundreds of miles per hour. A few seconds earlier I'd opened the door to my house, called for my cat Beatrice, and stepped inside. But where my home's floor should have been, there was nothing. My foot lurched through it and it felt like some vacuum below me was pulling me into itself. I grabbed for the door but it was too late. I fell into a gaping abyss. And I fell. I fell. By god, I fell. The panic that had overtaken me subsided because, frankly, after a while I figured I'd reached a point where nothing I landed on could possibly NOT kill me. Eventually, though, it started to actually HURT. Wind tore at me, it howled in my ears, fire enveloped my body. I couldn't see and I couldn't hear. I felt myself accelerating, then…
My back struck the ground. I heard an explosion around me from the force of impact. Things were hurled aside, the ground rumbled violently.
But I was alive. I wasn't injured. I wasn't even in pain. What the hell? HOW the hell?
I got up and realized I looked...nothing like how I normally did. My skin had become pale. I was taller. My arms and legs were longer. My hair was short, fluffy, spiky, and had become a vibrant black. A ponytail of the stuff, even spikier than the rest, fell from the back of my head to the base of my neck. My clothes had been replaced by a form fitting coat with a high collar and a pair of fancy pants. A cape fluttered from my back and...wait…
The coat had a cleavage window, but...I didn't have any tits anymore! Yes!
I thrust my arms towards the sky with my hands balled tight into fists. I cheered.
"Yes!" I shouted. "YES!" This was the best thing that had ever happened to me! Well...maybe it was. Potentially it was. There were days that I didn't feel all that much dysphoria from my chest and thus hadn't minded them, especially recently, but I was still delighted by this development.
"Hey! What the fuck err you doing here!?" I heard someone yelling at me. I lowered my face to point it at the speaker and was greeted by the sight of several ne'er do wells with pale skin, who were all wearing gray masks and holding knives. Their limbs were mildly disproportionate, and they had long necks. Behind them, backed against a wall, was a scared-looking girl with hot pink hair and eyes of the same color. Mine locked with hers. I felt a sudden, strong impulse to make sure she was okay.
And like that, I was bats. I had no idea what I'd done or how I'd done it, but suddenly I was a swarm of bats flying past them. They (as in the bats), or rather perhaps I should say I, scattered a bit on the way but nevertheless condensed back into me, kneeling in front of her and looking up to show I meant her no harm. Sources would come to say my eyes were a tad bigger and softer-looking at the time than was my usual.
"Are you harmed, lady?"
"N-no. Not yet. But please do help." Welp. I was a stranger in a strange land, but such a request was hardly something I could refuse. I rose to my feet and turned to face them with a confident smile. I just fell out of orbit, fucking exploded on contact with the ground, and immediately returned to my feet. A couple thugs with knives felt like chump change. I grinned, admittedly feeling a little drunk on power. My tongue flicked out over my teeth on its own, and in running over the shape of them it let me know I had also grown fangs.
"Well, I don't really know what's going on here but the girl's scared, so scram." All of them, and now I saw there were four, bristled and brandished their weapons. I could only assume that the eyes beneath their masks were glaring at me.
"Oi! Fuck off!" One of them growled. "She owes us a small fortune! This is none of yer bloody business!"
The girl whimpered. "Please, sir, I was scavenging and broke some equipment by accident, I didn't mean to! I almost fell off a cliff and there was an arm that looked-"
I raised a hand, signalling to her that whatever she was telling me, she needn't. I scowled at the four figures standing before me. I spoke, my voice hot and venomous but full of confidence.
"I don't give a shit if this is my business, dear boys." I flipped my ponytail and I both heard and felt my cape flare up behind me like a pair of big menacing wings. I could get used to that. "Begone, or I'll destroy you!" They loitered and looked between themselves. A moment later, one of them lunged at me. I caught their attack by the wrist. What appeared to be a big neon purple light that behaved vaguely like fire enveloped me. The other three all figuratively froze in place. My attacker, though...his body crackled. Ice encased his wrist. I let go and it dropped like a rock.
"Guys…" the one in the far back muttered in awe, "I think he's one of them!"
"Fuck!" Cried another, "Look at his eyes! He HAS to be!"
My...eyes? I absently raised a hand to my face. I don't know why, it's not like I was holding a mirror. All four ran away in horror. Huh. I turned to her and smiled.
"Well, that was fun. Do you need help finding home?"
"Oh, I'm...I'm homeless," she blushed. I noticed she seemed to be wearing makeup. It looked nice on her. She had short hair, very spiky, with two dangly masses hanging from each side of her scalp that formed a sort of heart-shaped pair of prongs.
"Ah! Well, that's-"
She hurled herself forward and threw her arms around my shoulders. Her breasts squished against me. Come to think of it, I kinda missed the feeling of hugging someone against my chest, even if-
"H-hey, you didn't have boobs before, I thought." I looked down, confused, and sure enough I had a modest pair of tight breasts pushing back against hers. They were a lot smaller and less obtrusive than the ones I woke up with. They didn't give me dysphoria at the moment, but-"That doesn't matter, sorry!" She squeezed tight. Sounded scared again. "Don't go! Please!" I felt something trying to invade my mind. It was soft, weak, and I had a weird feeling it was trying to attack something it couldn't find. It felt...pink. I didn't know why I felt that way.
"Alright, alright. It's not like I could just save a cute girl from being waylaid by jackasses with knives and then leave her high and dry, could I?" She let go and stared up at me with bright starry eyes. They were pure and they shined with a kind of naive joy. I realized I was quite fond of her. "But, uhh...where are we?"
"Oh, you're not sure? Well, ahem!" She ran out of the corner she'd been backed into. Despite the heels I could now pay enough attention to see she was wearing, she moved quickly. Her legs were very long and moved with a fluid agility, but so were mine and I easily kept up. She ran past some old buildings to a cliff, where she stopped. I came skidding to a halt. Beyond the cliff was an endless void just like the one that had swallowed me earlier. A short distance away was what looked like a huge building built on a floating mass of rock, but in between was naught but a bottomless yawning abyss.
"Not there you fool, THERE!" She pointed off to the distance, and up, with great enthusiasm. It took a while to figure out just where I was intended to look. When I did, though, my attention was suddenly seized as though by a physical force. Off, some unfathomable ways away and above, was a tower that stretched up almost infinitely. Its dark blue material protruded straight up into the sky, farther up than you could see. A massive circular rainbow of concentric, brightly colored circles radiated from the distant spire but unlike an actual rainbow this seemed to be a solid object closer to the rings of Saturn. The sky around them was a dark moody red.
"That...what is that?"
"The tower," she put her fists on her hips and adorned her face with a flashy smile of smug confidence, "Of Babel." She shimmied a little bit with her hips and straightened her arms diagonally downward, palms open and facing towards me. "Welcome to Hell!"
I was, needless to say, taken aback.
"I'm...excuse me? I'm...I'm in HELL?"
"Yep!" She had a bit of a giggle. I'd be more pissed off if it hadn't suddenly hit me how gorgeous she was. She had a slim figure, a flat stomach, and not much in the way of fat or muscle anywhere but her legs, which had just a little of each in the thighs. She wore high heeled sandals, a cute pair of black panties with pink heart motifs, and what appeared to a coat modeled after a babydoll lingerie top. There were some cute scrunchie looking things around her wrists but that was it. Her soft skin, soft face, plush lips with just a little thickness to the bottom one only, all made her look pretty and delicate and gentle. "Now, if we're asking questions…" she paused to think about things for a second or two. "You...uh, okay. How did you die?"
"I didn't. I opened my front door, fell through a hole that wasn't there, and landed here looking like this." I gestured at my body.
"I see!" Her eyes sparkled with something a bit more complicated than naive excitement. This girl wanted something. "That means you're one of Them!"
"That's not important right now. What matters is you're a living jackpot! An absolute legend! A slightly less than twice a millenia blessing sent to me by God himself! Possibly! Or it could be the will of Hell itself! Nobody knows! It's not terribly clear!" Now, I had a healthy bit of self-respect, but I knew my ego was being falated when I saw it. Plus, I could feel that sensation trying to barge into my brain again. It still couldn't find anything to take hold of though, so it just kind of floundered around like a confused dog.
"So I'm special somehow and you want to use me." I took pains to ensure my tone conveyed that I was neither upset nor taking her bait. It must have worked because she froze.
"W-well! I...I guess, strictly speaking, yeah. But you can't just leave a pretty lil lady all alone in HELL can you?" I chuckled. She was right about that.
"Alright," I said with a playful smile. Instinct told me to stare into her eyes so I did. I felt something reaching out of me into her. A purple ring appeared in the edges of her eyes. Her posture went lax. She was...extra pretty this way.
"O-ohhh…" she moaned under her breath. "Picking...up...fast…"
"Picking what up?" I asked. I felt whatever power I was exerting do its magic. She complied quickly.
"People here...and demons...can influence each other…" she practically sighed. "Eyes...magic. Coded to...sin. Whichever you...have the most of. Wrath red, sloth blue, an...and so on...yours are violet, for pride…"
I decided to see if I could retract the influence I was putting out. She shivered and shook her head. The purple was gone from her eyes.
"Damn," I muttered.
"Damn…" she seemed to agree like she'd forgotten I wasn't partially mind controlling her anymore. She snapped out of it a second later. "Holy crap, your eyes are PURPLE!"
"Huh?" I was confused. "What, is pride rare? Are purple eyes a commodity?"
"No, no, what I mean is they're SOOOO PURPLE!" Suddenly she was standing against me. Her eyes, beautiful and soft, were inches from mine. "Those are the purest eyes I've ever seen! Are you a king or something?"
"Well, no." I laughed. As if tyrants had anything to be proud of. "Nothing of the sort. And pride isn't intrinsically evil, I'll have you know! Or, wait, are the conventions of morality, like, switched down here because we're in Hell? Is it culturally beloved to do evil deeds?"
"Not...really, no." She wiggled her nose a little. "Well, anyway! You're the catch of the century and I'll never let go, ah...um. I don't know your name. Well, okay, first question, are you a boy or a girl? You didn't have any tits when you crashlanded but you do now, and you don't have any facial hair, but you don't really look or talk like a woman…"
"Well!" I grinned playfully. My right hand rose on its own and swished about dismissively while I shook my head. "I actually have a bit of a messy relationship to gender. Last label that felt accurate was bigender I believe, but know that while I prefer to be addressed as he, him, sir and the like, I am not solely a man and I'm not entirely not a woman! Trying to explain it in any greater specifics would be more trouble than it's worth, in my opinion."
"Oh...okay." She nodded. I got the idea she wasn't expecting or prepared for that kind of answer. "Noted. So what should I call you?"
"I just said," I smirked and lowered my head a little, in a condescending fashion, "I prefer he, although she is also acceptable on occ-"
"No, not your pronouns! I'm asking for your NAME!"
"Ah! I'm sorry, I didn't expect Hell to be this...casually cooperative." Maybe the news people my grampa listened to were right about one thing, he thought to himself with a heavy tinge of sarcasm, but in that particular way of theirs where the imagined dystopia they thought they lived in was actually much better than reality. As for acceptance of non-cis people being of the devil, it's not like it wasn't already kind of easy to arrive at a reading of the Bible where Satan was a much less antagonistic figure overall than God. "My name...hmmm...you know, I kinda feel like taking a new name to go with this sweet new demon body." I pondered for a moment. Dante, from the Alleghiri series? No, that was too obvious. Adam? Nah. Lillith? No, too feminibe. Ah hah! "Victor!"
"So I should call you Victor?"
I made one hand a fist and gently brought it down on the other palm. I was grinning ear to ear, mouth wide open. "Yes! Call me Victor! Not for the first pro-lifer, but for my assured triumph over ALL who get in my way?"
"Yes!" I drew my cape around one hand, raised it to cover my front, then threw that arm out to the side and opened my hand. Again, my cape flared out to assist in my little drama. "I WILL return to my Beatrice, and not even the direct opposition of God is going to stop me! I will ascend the Tower of Babel and force him to take physical form SO THAT I CAN KICK! HIS! ASS!"
"So, uh, funny you should say that." I let my arm and cape fall. I was annoyed she'd sandbagged me, but not hurt. "So, every six hundred years seven people...like you...fall from the sky. They fight and kill their way to the Tower, and every time so far the one who gets there never returns. We assume they either return to life or are utterly annihilated by God. Again, not terribly clear. There's a rumor that returning to life this way bars God from sending you back here when you bite the dust again, but we can't really prove whether that's true."
"Well, that settles it. I'm off to the Tower." I turned towards it and-
Could I fly?
"You're gonna need a guide." She said sheepishly behind me. "Hell is complicated."