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When Cassie's twin sister, Lissa, commits suicide, Cassie discovers she can travel to Hell to retrieve her sister's soul. Cassie thought she knew all about the Hell of legend, but finds Hell has evolved over the millennia into a bustling city full of the damned with looming skyscrapers, crowded streets, systemized evil, and atrocity as the status quo. Welcome to the Mephistopolis Hell is a city. It stretches, literally, without end-a labyrinth of smoke and waking nightmare. Just as endlessly, sewer grates belch flame from the sulphur fires that have raged beneath the streets for millennia. Clock towers spire in every district, by public law, but their faces have no hands; time is not measured here in seconds or hours but in atrocity and despair. In the center of this morass of stone and smoke and butchery and horror stands the 666-floor Mephisto Building, where Gargoyles prowl the wind-blown ledges and from whose highest garrets the innocent are hung from gibbets and left to rot for eons. The lone occupant of the very top floor looks down upon his dominion and smiles a smile that is brighter than a thousand suns. Here, yes, everyone is dead yet everyone lives forever. Welcome to the Mephistopolis. Welcome to the city of Hell. Welcome.
then the TC spots me so he cranks around his co-ax and starts spraying bullets at me. I slap an RDX charge on his back deck, see, and start runnin’ back. Then the charge goes off, and the whole tank blows up, ’cos, see, it’s a dumbass Russian-built tank and they got the fuel cells exposed, and—” Risking being rude, Cassie cut him off. “Look, I don’t know anything about tanks or slap-charges. Just tell me about Blackwell Hall.” “Well I’se gettin’ to that, hon. Lemme tell the story. I blow up an
she shouted. The great blade’s first swipe blurred a silver line across the air. Cassie had never even imagined a handheld weapon so large; it was wide as the pendulum blade in the Poe story, shining like lightning at its sharpened edge. Swooosh! The blade cut crosswise through the air, so fast it could scarcely be seen. Xeke ducked beneath it, then sprang back up and somehow managed to grab the hewer at mid-shaft. A vicious kick to the demon’s groin stunned it—then Xeke twisted the hewer out
Lissa’s red face turned. The gun pointed at Cassie’s face. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry!” Cassie sobbed. “My own sister....” Lissa’s voice could’ve been a death rattle, and the eyes that looked down already seemed dead. “How could you do this to me?” Lissa put the pistol to her own temple. “No!” Cassie screamed and lunged. She wrapped her arms around Lissa’s shoulders, tried to grab for the gun, when— BAM ! Lissa collapsed, dead, as Cassie staggered backward, her face and breasts splattered with
are several Spheres, but nobody knows much about them. It’s a secret that only the most powerful Fallen Angels know. According to the legend, Ezoriel won this Sphere from Lucifer on a bet. There’s another rumor that the Nether-Spheres exist on the same line as the Sphere of the Seven Stars. That’s where Heaven is—supposedly, at least.” “Strange,” Cassie remarked. “Sure, but who cares?” Via lazily rowed her feet in the perfumed water. “You can’t beat this place for a well-needed change. I could
Dad.” He turned around, sweating already in the heat. A ludicrous fisherman’s hat looked jammed down on his head. “I’m going down to the creek,” he called back, brandishing his collapsible fishing rod. “Rednecks probably pee in that creek,” she jested. “Naw, from what I can see they just pee in the street. I’ll be bringing back a bunch of catfish.” He paused, scratched his head. “Do you know how to cook catfish?” “Sure. I’ll cook ‘em, but you have to gut ’em.” “No problem. It’ll make me feel