La Resistance

Submitted by Mapache on Sat, 2001-03-03 00:00

The archway said to abandon all hope. It was wrong…

All his life, Father Lazaro Ignacio Gutierrez thought he had been doing a good job. He'd fought evil at every turn, seeking out unbelievers and other damned, bringing to the light those he could, and destroying the rest, lest they besmirch God's creation. For his valiant and persistent efforts, he was rewarded with a slow rise through the ranks of the Inquisition, but his true reward was in knowing that he was carrying out God's will. Thus, when that chest pain turned out to be a heart attack, he was quite confounded to find himself waiting in line to get into Hell.

At first, he simply couldn't believe it. He thought it was a mistake. He tried arguing, but no one listened. They just shipped him off with the damned, to rot in a cell under Hades. With time, he grew angry, angry at a God that would let him lead his whole life in his name, and never give him a sign that he was not carrying out the divine will, angry that a lifetime of mistakes would cost an eternity of torment. As more time passed, he calmed, and became sad, realizing all the signs of suffering which he should have seen, thinking of all the innocents whom he tortured in the name of the Lord. But then, unlike most souls in that dank hole of misery, he didn't resign himself to his fate. He vowed to find a way out, to fight, and not curl up and feel sorry for himself. And he did.

Over the years of torture, he came to a new understanding of his self, of how he was made of Forces and how they could be stripped away and put back. In the brief snatches of time when no one was looking, he shaped a blade from his own bones. Slowly sharpening and lengthening, it took form, his determination made solid. Then, one day, after careful planning and observation, he ambushed the imp assigned to torture him that day. With medical precision, he sliced, silenced, and skinned. Discarding the pathetic thing's spirit, he secreted away its flesh in a hidden cache and waited. Three times he repeated this, and then out of their stolen skin he sewed himself a suit. With this costume, he donned the flesh of a demon and made his escape, moving among the crowds of Hell, dodging suspicion and avoiding responsibility, eventually finding the relative safety of Shal-Mari.

From there, he set about finding others who had been misguided and who he felt could still achieve redemption. Reconaissance and ambushes grew his band to seven demon-skinned commandoes seething at their oppression. With cunning, stealth, and a little violence, they made their out again, eventually slipping past Beleth's tower and into the Marches, finding an abandoned dream-realm and setting themselves up. Then, they did the unthinkable. They went back. There were more people that needed his special brand of salvation.

Father Gutierrez operates the most daring underground railroad ever. He and his associates routinely sneak from their base in the Marches back into Hell wearing the skins of demons to locate and extract souls he feels are worthy. They've been operating long enough to have a few hundred people out, and eventually someone is going to notice. The Game will likely twig on to the accounting errors the missing souls represent eventually, but some other demon could stumble across them first. It could even be a renegade, either one looking to get back at Hell or one looking to escape. Either way, both sides could have useful skills to offer the other, or they could find themselves with the prospect selling each other out. Alternately, an angel could find out, and either want to help or be horrified that people who were destined for Hell are escaping. Or, given their base in the Marches, Ethereals could discover the operation and either sign on or demand tribute in payment for keeping quiet.