the seventh seal
Bill Lonero f. Rob Lundgren
Bill Lonero and Andrew Watters
Strings and Keyboards by
Story and Concept by
1. Space Marine
I’ve been on Mars for one year of my two year tour of duty pulling security for the Union Aerospace Corporation. I never thought that I, a U.S. government employee, would be called on to guard private interests, but this is the 23rd century, so who knows. Anyway, it’s been sheer boredom for most of my time here. Despite the boredom, the administrator of this facility is a hardass who drills us constantly, so my only downtime is at night.
One day, an alert! In the bowels of the UAC’s facility, there are a set of science labs called, unsurprisingly, “Science Labs.” I’ve never been there because all the work is classified secret. The alert is in the form of a panic button that one of the scientists pressed. So this will be my first time seeing the labs. I join up with my partner and make my way down to the labs, which are about 1,000 feet below the surface of Mars.
3. Science Labs
I pass through various darkened corridors and notice something strange: the place is deserted except for me and my partner. We do see the occasional civilian employee running away from the place we are going. Some of them appear to have gone crazy, because they ignore us and run right past, shouting such phrases as “they’re here!” and “get it out of me!” while contorting their hands and arms in weird positions.
4. The Anomaly
We reach the labs, which are behind heavy blast doors. The doors are ajar. As we approach, I see the strangest thing I’ve ever seen: what looks like a room full of floating heads with horns coming out of them, which are each trailing fire. At one side of the room is what looks like a portal to another dimension, because the floating heads are flying out of it. Several dead scientists are lying in front of the portal, apparently trying to reach the emergency shut-off switch next to the portal. I decide to go through to the other side, and I ask my partner to stay behind and shut off the portal once I’m through. I go in alone.
I see Mars in the sky above me, and that’s when I realize I’m on Phobos, one of Mars’s moons. UAC has a satellite facility here. Although this isn’t another dimension, I see numerous terrifying creatures scurrying around in front of me. I’ve apparently teleported into the middle of some type of ritual and surprised them. I waste no time in blasting them all back to Hell with my extensive weaponry. There are limitless legions of Hell spawn around me, so I make my way toward what looks like a UAC facility.
2. Human Casualties
I am not the first marine to fight the undead. There was a complement of twenty marines on Mars, and it looks like most of them made their way to Phobos. Bodies lie around me, some in various states of dismemberment or pre-death torture.
I find the first major, difficult-to-kill Hell spawn inside the UAC facility on Phobos. I’ll call this one the Baron of Hell, which is basically a Centaur but with a goat’s head instead of a human head. It breathes toxic fumes at me, which I have to dodge. It takes a lot of shots from my rotary cannon, but eventually I kill it.
4. River of Blood
Following the Baron of Hell, there is a literal river of blood pouring out of the UAC facility. I can’t tell whether this is human or enemy blood, but I guess it doesn’t really matter. Inside the facility I find more dead marines as well as dead Hell spawn. One of the marines is taking his last breaths. I walk up to him and ask what happened. He says “Deimos” and points to the UAC shuttle, then he dies. I understand I am supposed to fly to Deimos, which is Mars’s other moon. So I do.
1. Demons of Deimos
When I fly to Deimos, it’s obvious where I’m supposed to go. There is some type of UAC facility in front of a mountain range. I head to the facility. As I land, I’m surrounded by Hell spawn, which I slay with impunity. I enter the facility and make my way toward the center.
2. Rip and Tear
I see a floating helmet in front of me that is spouting fire. I take a chance and put it on. Immediately I feel the power coursing through my veins as I go full-on berserk. I run through the various corridors at full speed, punching and tearing at everything that moves with my bare hands. I am a killing machine! It wears off after a few minutes and I’m back to my normal self– also a killing machine.
3. Dome of Rock
Inside the center of the facility on Deimos is a giant enclosed concrete space with no apparent entrance, but with vents on all sides through which spirits are rapidly escaping. Some of them attack me, and I kill them all until there are none left outside the enclosure. I blast a hole in one of the vents and walk through.
4. The Portal
I see another portal, this one much larger than the portal on Mars. It’s in the middle of a large void with a dome over it. Surrounding the portal are various glyphs and runes that are alien to me. I see spirits coming out of the portal, but there is no off switch. So I charge up my weapons and step through it.
1. Hell’s Gate
The portal drops me just outside the entrance to Hell. It is a cross between a castle gate and the Great Wall of China, because it extends to the horizon in both directions. The landscape is desolate. As I walk toward the gate, I see spirits forming beside me and joining me in entering Hell. Statues of gargoyles guard the entrance.
2. Slough of Despair
I see a river of lava with screaming swimmers in it. Their screams are unrecognizable as human due to the torment. As souls enter Hell, they fall into the river of lava first, and there are hundreds of souls entering Hell every second. I jump across the river using my powered armor.
3. House of Pain
Past the lava, I see fallen angels in the shape of the Minotaur whipping people with red-hot cats-o-nine-tails. The blood shoots out of the bodies, which are strapped down onto breaking wheels and other medieval torture devices. The fallen angels pay me no heed, as they are focused on their tasks at hand. The tormented sinners scream out in unison with each stroke of the lash.
4. Unholy Cathedral
I find myself walking toward a large church/abbey. It’s black, with glowing red windows. Inside I find a typical church except that instead of statues of Jesus and Mary, and crosses, there are statues of Satan. Satan/Lucifer looks like a handsome human man with long black hair and black wings protruding from his back. He carries a trident and a scroll, apparently of spells. The church is empty.
5. Mt. Erebus
In the distance I see what looks like a dormant volcano. It’s the only mountain in my line of sight, so I assume this is the prophesied home of the Devil. I make my way toward it, fighting off the occasional Hell spawn. On the mountains slopes, I see what looks like an entrance with a walkway. I enter it.
6. Lake of Ice
Inside the volcano, I don’t find lava. I find a giant cavern that’s frozen over. Across the lake of ice, I see a giant seal over a huge set of double doors made of rock. The seal is marked “666.” I make my way across the lake. As I walk across, I see hundreds of bodies frozen in the ice below my feet.
7. The Seventh Seal
I reach the doors and shoot out the seal. The doors open by themselves. A massive demon leaps out from behind the doors. I do battle with it using my “big fucking gun,” which shoots giant bolts of lightning. I get wounded, but I learn to step behind various rock formations in the cavern that absorb the plasma that the demon shoots at me.
8. The Seventh Angel
I am utterly spent. The giant demon lies dead at my feet. Beyond it I see an empty hallway with a blue orb suspended in the air over a circular platform. I walk up to it. It looks like there are hand holds, so I put my hands onto the hand holds. I hear a rumbling that gets louder and louder until reaching a crescendo. Large horns erupt from the rock floor of the hall, followed by a form of lava in the shape of a bull’s head, with fire instead of eyes and mouth. Lucifer, I presume.
9. Icon of Sin
Lucifer breathes fire at me. I raise the orb above my head and I cast it into Lucifer’s fiery mouth. Nothing happens for a moment, then the fire from Lucifer’s mouth starts getting cooler. Eventually I see just the red embers inside Lucifer’s mouth, which then turn black. Lucifer stops glowing and starts moving more slowly. It looks like he is cooling to the point of turning to stone. He turns to stone.
The lake of ice melts, releasing all of the trapped bodies, who are re-animated as a result. They swim to the edges of the lake and stumble out of it. There are thousands of them, and they walk toward the entrance to Mt. Erebus. I join them; my work is over. I guess it was ordained.