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When You're Evil and Dead
By: Sforzie

Chapter 10: The Underlayers of Hell, part 1

"Any idea what this is about?" Kuja wondered as the trio plodded down Wretched Souls Blvd.

"Not a clue," Sephiroth said.

"....." Kefka didn't say anything. He was distracted by a large pillar of flames that seethed in a nearby lava pit.

"Kefka?"

"....uwee hee...fire!"

Kuja sweatdropped. "Keffy, quit being a pyro and pay attention to the situation at hand."

Kefka blinked, forcing his attention away from the fire. "Nyah?"

"Situation. At hand."

"Where?" Kefka looked at his hands cluelessly. Kuja and Sephiroth sighed.

"Nevermind."

"Okee!" Kefka turned back to watching the fire.

The trio had been summoned by some demon or another to fufill a task. That was a much as the courier would say, before running away screaming from the table.

"Demons and Co.," Sephiroth said, looking up at a sign on a tall office building.

"Wow, you read that whole sign by yourself?" Kuja asked sarcastically. "I'm impressed."

"Hey, I once read a whole library just to find out the truth of my existence!"

"And then you went crazy," Kefka said, his attention shifting back to the group.

"....."

"Were there pictures in the books, Seph?" Kuja looked at him with a smirk. He flushed.

"Some of them."

"I'm just naturally crazy!" Kefka giggled, twirling around a few times.

"I thought it was the experiment that they did on you that made you go nuts."

He paused in mid-twirl. "That too, uwee hee."

"We all go crazy for different reasons," Kuja said, craning her head to look up at the building.

"What's your excuse?"

"I found out that I was going to die, right when I reached the peak of my powers," she said, making a face.

"Aw, poor baby."

Kuja cleared her throat. "Anyhow, enough with the pitiful remeniscence on our lives. Let's go see what this Mr. Kurshplat wants."

 

The inside of the Demons and Co. office building looked like any other office building. Except for the flames coming out of the fountain in the lobby.

"Ooooh, pretty!" Kefka squealed, again distracted by the fire.

"We need to put blinders on him," Sephiroth grumbled, dragging Kefka behind them.

They went to the main desk at the lobby.

"May I help you?" a man in a black cloak said, sounding bored. Kuja looked at him and giggled.

"Garland?" she said, covering her mouth as she laughed. "You work here?"

"The lady demon that... owns me... makes me work the front desk while she works," Garland sighed. He looked at Kuja, stroking his beard thoughtfully. "You look different somehow..."

"Khee heh heh...."

"Of course, the last time I saw you, you were tranced..." Garland squinted, and then shrugged. "Anyhow, what do you miscreants want?"

"We were summoned by a Mr. Kurshplat," Sephiroth said.

"Ah, yes.... he's expecting you." Garland heaved a sigh and pointed at the elevator. "Go to the fifth floor. His is office number 12."

"Thank you, sir," Kuja said, still giggling at her creator's fate.

"Who was that?" Kefka wondered as they went to the elevator.

"That was the guy who created me," Kuja sighed, hitting the up button.

"Oooh, we should go back and thank him!" Kefka giggled. Kuja rolled her eyes.

 

"Go right ahead, Mr. Kurshplat is waiting for you," the demonesse secretary on floor 5 told them upon arrival.

Kurshplat was a tall, ugly black and red demon. He looked like a mix between a goat and a bunny rabbit, along with big black bat wings and bloodshot eyes.

"Sit." He snapped, pointing to the floor in front of his desk.

They sat.

"I'm sure you're wondering why I called you," Kurshplat said, fluffy red bunny tail wiggling absently behind him.

"Uh, yeah."

"Well, you see... I lost something. And I need someone to go get it back for me."

"What'd you lose?" Kuja wondered.

"You'll find out when you get to where it is."

They blinked cluelessly.

"What I lost was last seen in the ninth underlayer of hell," Kurshplat said. "If it's still there, it shouldn't be too hard to find."

"The ninth underlayer?" Kefka tilted his head. "But normal damned souls can't get to the underlayers."

"I know. That's why I've hired you a guide."

"Why us, sir?"

Kurshplat shrugged. "Randomly chosen by the computer. I've sent several dozen teams looking for it, but none have come back."

"Right..."

"Yes. Now, I'll just get you your guide, and you'll be on your way."

"Do we get anything for doing this?" Sephiroth wondered.

"No."

"Then why should we?!"

"Because I said so!" Kurshplat roared. "I'm a high ranking demon, and you three are just piddling middle-class damned souls! You have to do what I tell you to!!"

The trio sweatdropped. "Sounds like a good reason to me."

"Yes, I thought so too." Kurshplat smirked. He turned to a door. "Ms. Flaure! Get your pathetic butt in here!"

"Comin' sir!"

A blonde woman came out through the door. She was wearing a black halter top and black cargo pants, and had long curly blonde hair pulled back into a pony tail.

And she was cute too, Kuja noted with a measure of distaste.

"Oooh, a girl!" Kefka crowed. He and Sephiroth looked at the woman with interest. Kuja glowered.

"Mr. Kefka, Mr. Sephiroth, Ms. Kuja, this is Ms. Flaure," Kurshplat said. "She'll be your guide."

"Hello there!" Flaure said brightly. She offered her hand, which the men eagerly shook.

"Hi there lady," Kefka said, staring... down.

Flaure giggled. Kuja gritted her teeth. "Ain't ya'll a cute bunch!"

"Very cute," Kuja said through her teeth. Flaure ignored her.

"All right, ya'll, let's get a move on!"

"Yes! Move on!" Kefka giggled. Sephiroth nodded in agreement.

"Someone shoot me now," Kuja sighed as the followed them out the door.

 

Flaure used a passcard to take the group to the first underlayer of hell. It looked a lot like the main layer, except for the fact that the rocks there seemed to be bleeding.

"This is the first underlayer, where general bad stuff is kept," Flaure said cheerfully. Kefka and Sephiroth were following her doggedly, while Kuja trailed behind by several yards. She grumbled occasionally.

"We're supposed to be going to the ninth underlayer," Kefka said.

"I know, but we've got to cross each layer to get to the gate to the next," Flaure shrugged.

The second layer was a bit darker than the first. The rocks here weren't bleeding, but most of the demons and souls that milled about looked like they were.

"What a sinister looking bunch," Sephiroth commented as they neared the gate to the next level. The path to the gate was blocked by a mob of what looked like male human teenagers.

"They're quite terrible," Flaure said. The group stopped, and Kuja eventually caught up.

"What are they?" Kuja wondered, her eye twitching.

"Boy bands," Flaure said evenly. "To get to the third layer, a soul must be brave enough to get past the swarms of boy bands that plague the second underlayer."

The mass of boys were singing, all in a cheesily romantic manner. A few of them were dancing.

Kuja held her ears. "How awful."

"Who would come up with such a dreadful thing?" Kefka asked.

"They came from a planet known as Earth," Flaure said.

"Baby, baby, gotta have your love toniiiiiight," the boy bands crooned.

"What the heck is wrong with the people on that planet?" Sephiroth shuddered. Flaure shrugged.

"Ya gots me. But don't worry. Just ignore them, and you should be able to get to the gate just fine."

"Right, right..."

The group made their way through the sea of boy bands. Sephiroth had to knock a few aside with his sword to clear a path through the swarm. Eventually though, they made it through to the third gate.

"All right, just let me get it open," Flaure said. Kefka and Sephiroth looked over their shoulders wearily at the boy bands.

"Don't tell me you don't want meeee....." they continued to sing.

"Please make it quick," Kefka said, paling even more than normal.

"Hey, where's my sword?" Sephiroth wondered after a moment. "I just had it a minute ago..."

"I dunno," Kefka shrugged. "Maybe you dropped it?"

"Why would I drop it?" Sephiroth looked around. He stopped as Flaure returned. "Better question."

"What's that?"

"Where's Kuja?"

----

end chapter 10