Matt stood on the edge of the crater, looking down on Firo. Firo was looking back up at him with a wild grin.
Firo: Hey there pal. Ahaha.
Firo: Oh, I know! You must be welling up with emotion right now. Hardly able to contain your joy from seeing your best bud, right?
Ultiman: ... what did you do to yourself?
Firo: What? You mean this little cosmetic trouble I'm having? It's nothing too major. All I did was finish what I started...
Ultiman: I still don't understand how it came to this.
Firo: Is that so? Well, you will very soon. I guarantee it.
As he said this, Firo disappeared from where he stood and reappeared right behind Matt.
Ultiman: I friggin hate it when you do that...
Firo turned around with a strong kick. Matt managed blocked it with his arm just in time but he skidded back several yards. Firo put his leg down and grinned at Matt again. From under his collar, a red and black visor came up and covered the bottom half of Firo's face. Matt silently took a fighting stance. Firo slowly took a couple of steps and then sped toward Matt. When he reached Matt he took a swing but Matt blocked. However, Firo kept speeding past. Matt turned around just int time to see Firo speed back toward him again. He leaned back and narrowly avoided a direct hit. Firo skidded to a stop a short way away from Matt. His voice was slightly warped from the visor.
Firo: Ahaha, alrighty then, how about...
Firo clenched his fists for a seconds and when he opened them dark, beast-like nails had formed on his fingertips. He then slowly bent over and took a runner's stance, diggin his fingers into the ground. Matt had a puzzled look on his face. Firo paused for a moment and then took off at incredible speed right at Matt. Matt dodged again. But this time, he had four small scratch marks on his forearm. He looked at it for a moment is shock. Firo sped past like before, but this time, drifted across the ground with his sharp nails. He proceeded to barrage Matt with countless similar attacks. Afterimages of Firo could be seen all around the area. Matt was dodging and blocking countless times but he was still hit on his side, his leg, and shoulder. However, as Firo came in for another attack. He managed to grab his arm. Matt raised his other arm to punch Firo, but Firo caught the attack. The two grappled for a moment. Matt then managed to grab Firo by his collar and tried to throw him. However, Firo grabbed onto Matt's cape flipped around and threw Matt into the air. Matt spun through the air for a moment and then caught himself in flight. He hovered in the air for a moment. Firo motioned for Matt to come at him.
Ultiman: Tch! Rotten bastard...
Matt flew up a bit higher and then took a hard dive at Firo. Firo took a horse stance and waited for Matt to hit him. They collided and dust flew up everywhere. They were evenly matched for a second. However, Matt started to push Firo back little by little. Firo's body started to glow and he was pushing back once more.
Ultiman: Not this time dammit!!!
Matt started to glow even brighter and Firo's legs completely gave out. Matt pushed Firo back for miles each second, leaving a large trail in the ground as they went. They came to a cliff and plowed directly into it. On impact, it cracked all the way up to it's peak and then collapsed on top of them. The two lie in the rubble silently for a short time. Then they both got up.
Ultiman: Firo, you have to stop with this. Fighting like this is pointless.
Firo: Pointless? No, we're testing the limits of our strength. Two gods of destruction, letting our power collide and enjoying the show. What could have more meaning? Ahaha!
Ultiman: That's crap. What the hell are you really after? What have you been chasing down this dark path of yours all this time?
Firo: Simple, power.
Ultiman: TELL ME YOU BASTARD!!!
Firo: It's true. That's all I want. Raw, unassailable power.
Ultiman: If that's true, then you really have changed. Since when did you have such a simple minded goal?
Firo: Since I figured out that it's the only thing that matters in this disgusting world. Without it, your will is meaningless and your actions are futile. Without power, your worthless.
Ultiman: It's true that weak people can't do much. But that's no reason to act like a monster.
Firo: You still don't get it, do you. *Sigh* I guess I can't blame you. You were handed unyielding power on a silver platter. Truly a miracle if there ever was one. Even as a child, you were blessed with strength. You haven't a clue of what it's like to live below that barrier. To be forced to either claw your way up, or fall and die like trash. If you'd lived in hell like I have all my life, you'd see my point.
Ultiman: Lived in hell all your life? What do you...
Firo: Ahahaha! Yes, it wasn't just my imprisonment that showed me this. It only served to bring it to clear any doubts I had about it and release me from the constraints holding me back from obtaining this power.
Firo was lead by the guards into the dungeon and released. The gate shut behind him and he was alone. The corridor was lit by barely burning torches. He could barely see. He walked over to a nearby wall and made his way down a long corridor. I wasn't long before he saw some shadows up ahead. They looked like people but he could barely tell. They then all of the stepped out into the dim light. There were both men and women with dirty sunken faces walking toward him with small bladed weapons.
Prisoner: Welcome to hell!
Firo: I... I don't want any trouble.
Prisoner: Aww, you hear that? He doesn't want trouble. Listen kid, you had trouble the second you were unlucky enough to get thrown down here.
Firo took a couple of steps back but then sprinted toward them. Just before reaching them, he jumped up, kicked off the wall and flew over the crowd. He landed behind them and kept running. They chased him but he lost them shortly after. He soon found himself coming to a dim torch-lit courtyard.
He sidled against the wall and peered out to find no one in sight. Firo slowly stepped out from cover only to hear a noise from up above. He stepped back just in time as a dagger came plummeting toward him. Suddenly, several hooded figures dropped down from the unlit ceiling one after another. Firo backed up slightly but then felt a sharp pain in his lower back. He looked behind him to find another hooded figure standing right behind him with a dagger in hand. The assailant then kicked Firo forward onto the ground out in the open. One of the figures approached him. Firo looked up to find the person wearing a hand carved skull mask.
Phantom #1: You have two options outsider. I will give you a 1 day head start. You will run down that tunnel behind me into this dungeon's labrinth. In 24 hours, we will hunt you. We will kill you. Or you can choose to die in that very spot.
Firo: Who are you?
Phantom #2: We have long abandoned such things as names down here. We are simply hunters. Nothing more.
Firo: But why hunt each other? What could you possibly gain from that?
Phantom #1: If we stayed static for all of our depressing lives in this place, we would die after a short time. We must keep the tradition of the strong hunting the weak.
Firo: I still don't...
Phantom #3: The water that seeps down after the rain is murky and causes illness to normal humans. But we have been down here for so long, that it is no issue to us. We are the strong that were chosen to live. However, we must also devour our prey in order to survive. In here, we've been reduced to animals. This is why only the strongest of us can live.
Firo: You'd eat another human being just to live out your wretched lives??? ...your... Your all monsters!!!
Phantom 2: We've talked enough outsider. Make your choice.
Firo looked at the ground for a moment in disbelief, wondering if this was reality. He then slowly got up, holding his side. He looked around for a moment at the hooded figures who stood as still and silent as stone statues, staring at him through their skull masks. Firo carefully walked through the horde, down the dark tunnel behind them. He paused and looked back into the clearing only to find all the phantoms vanished without a trace. He turned back around and disappeared into the darkness.
Firo woke up. He was propped up against a pile of loose stones in a small dark corner of the labrinth. He felt his side to find that his wound had almost completely healed up. He was looking down in amazement when he heard a noise from nearby. He jolted upright and looked around quickly. He grabbed a baseball sized rock from the floor and held it at the ready.
Firo: Who's there?!
Prisoner: Hey, so you the new arrival I heard about?
Firo: Huh? Who are you?
Prisoner: I'm their prey, just like you.
A middle aged man in raggety burlap clothing stepped out of the shadows. His face was a bit sunken and he had large bags under his eyes.
Firo: Damn. This is so messed up. There has to be a way out of this place.
Prisoner: Believe me, many of us have tried but not a single one of us has ever made it out of here alive. And with those devil running around killing us, just staying alive each day is hard enough. Some of us are the Federation's political prisoners and others are just scrapped test subjects. Those are usually the ones who go nuts first. But we have a hidden camp down here that those hooded bastards can't find. We farm edible fungi and purify drip down water.
Firo: ... so why? Why do you work so hard to stay alive when your chances of making it out of here are so slim.
Prisoner: Well, we believe that some way, some how, we can make it out of here alive. That one day, we'll see the sun again. There are many that choose not to believe in this and succumb to that kill or be killed madness that those freaks are spewing. But... I choose to believe in this dream.
The prisoner looked at Firo and managed a surprising smile. Firo looked at him in astonishment for a moment and then smiled back.
Prisoner: What's your name young man?
Firo: I'm Firo. It's nice to meet you.
Prisoner: Likewise. My name is...
As he said this, a dagger flew out of the shadows and hit the prisoner in his eye. He howled in pain and fell to the ground rolling around.
Phantom: Foolish old man. We told you. Names don't exist in this place. Only strength. You have none, so your nothing.
The figure started walking over toward the prisoner. Firo ran at the Phantom with the rock in his hand but he ducked and came back up with a roundhouse kick to Firo's face. He flew a few feet and landed on the floor. The phantom walked over to the man and grabbed him by his hair, lifting him up from the ground. The dagger fell out of his eye socket and blood gushed down his face. Firo was struggling to get to his feet.
Phantom: You have no strength. So your nothing. Your life will now serve the lives of the strong.
From under his cloak, the figure brandished a large machete with dried blood all over it. He pulled his arm back to ready for a slash.
Prisoner: ... my... name... is...
The phantom swung and cut the prisoner's head clean off. His body plopped to the floor and bled out heavily from the neck. The phantom held the head in his hand for a moment and then tossed it aside. He crouched down and put the body over his shoulder. Firo looked down in silence for a moment. He then clenched him hands and gritted his teeth incredibly hard. He grabbed the rock and ran at the phantom again, yelling loudly but he just jumped back and disappeared in the shadows once more.
Phantom: It's not your time to die yet. You still have time before we come to take your life. Tic... toc...
The phantom's voice was gone and Firo was alone.
Firo: Damn them...
Firo was slowly walking the labrinth aimlessly.
Firo: * I've been walking for 2 days... I'm not hungry yet... I haven't slept since then.... My wound is gone..... What the hell is going on...*
There was a sound coming from behind him. However, Firo kept walking like nothing happened. All of the sudden a prisoner lept out at him. Firo leaned to the side as if he was falling over for a moment. The prisoner pulled out a shiv. Firo looked back at him with an apathetic expression.
Firo: ... another one...
Prisoner: Mmm, looks like I'm eatin good tonight!
Firo: You know, it's people like you... who made this place the way it is. You've created your own hell... and I pity you...
The prisoner looked as if he heard nothing and then ran at Firo again. Firo dodged his wild swings and then grabbed the man's hand, forcing him to let go of the weapon. The man stumbled back for a second and then ran at Firo again with a growling noise but Firo hit him square in the face with the back of his fist. The prisoner fell down, got back up, and then scurried off into the darkness. Firo started walking again only to stop seeing a cloaked figure in the distance.
Phantom: Your time is up. We've found you, and now you'll die.
3 phantoms stepped out into the dim torch light. Firo readied himself to fight. They all came ran at him with great speed and coordination. Firo swung at one but he dodged. The other two took out their daggers and stabbed at him. Firo jumped back but the first one lunged at him and stabbed him in the stomach. He fell to the ground with the blade in him. The other two leapt over the first one and plunged their daggers into his chest.
Phantom: It is as we said. The weak yield to the strong and get devoured.
Firo looked up at the dark ceiling. Their words echoed in his head over and over and over again. He thought about the prisoner that they killed. He thought about Matt being physically superior to him. He thought back to the childhood bullies who took his pocketwatch. Their words kept echoing until...
Firo: You know what? Yeah. Your right. The strong do stand above the weak. Your absolutely right... I guess that's why... I'll have to show you how far above you I am..
Firo gritted his teeth and started to sit up with the phantoms still pressing their daggers into him. They pushed back but he kept rising until he was standing up. They let go of the daggers and backed up. They pulled out their machetes and swung at him but he caught their blades with his fingertips and broke them. Before they could do anything he hit them all square in the face and they hit the ground. Their masks broke to reveal almost sub human faces with horribly discolored skin. He looked down on them with hatred.
Phantom: Good... now... become one of us... and become strength...
Firo: Shut your mouth!!!
Firo raised his foot and stomped on his face over and over again in rage until he was dead. Countless other phantoms rushed in with weapons at the ready. Firo's head was spinning after realizing what he had just done. There were countless thoughts, memories, and voices flooding his mind. A large group of phantoms swarmed on him. Silence.
Firo: ... maybe just a couple more... that'd be ok... right?
A new prisoner walked out into the courtyard. He froze solid at what he saw. There was a mountain of dead phantom and prisoner bodies piled up on the floor. On top, was a single person sitting on the pile like a thrown. Firo jumped down from the top. He was covered in slash and stab wounds but didn't seem to feel them. From the bottom of the pile, he pulled a robe off of a phantom, tore off a piece, and wrapped his hand with it. He then walked toward the prisoner. He was too afraid to move. He tried to run back the way he came but tripped and fell. Firo approached and walked right past him down the tunnel and into the darkness.
Matt stood petrified listening to the story.
Ultiman: Firo... you... I...
Firo: Aahahaha!!! Yeah, pretty harsh right?
Ultiman: I... I didn't know a place like that even existed.
Firo: Well, it used to. I went back after my... treatment... and pushed the door wide open. The federation dumps their trash in a hole and lets it fester. But what really disgusts me is the sewer rats that hoard together and get high and mighty over drinking some s**t water and eating a few unlucky bastards. I couldn't rest knowing there was a place where people so ignorant of true power were.
Ultiman: True power?
Firo: The power to break any ceiling holding you down or any wall blocking your path, all on your own. I showed them just that. And now I'm gonna show you, cuz your one of those walls for me.
Firo sped over to Matt's side.
Firo: Shhh, listen...
Firo grabbed Matt by the face and took off from the rubble. He ran for miles, dragging Matt along with him.
Firo: Going back to what I said about my whole life being hell, if I was the damned, my friends and family would be the demons. My father was one for constantly reminding me of what I could never be ever since I was a kid, EVERY... SINGLE... DAY! You were one for trying to stop me from obtaining strength at any cost. You'll understand you actions soon enough. And I was one for allowing you to and for stupidly believing that just being righteous was enough.
Firo ran for hundreds of miles before coming to a federation mining facility. He charged through the outermost gate and slammed Matt into the power generator. There was an enormous explosion. The workers left their posts and took off immediately. One worker was late coming out of the facility. Firo had gotten up out of the fire nearby the worker. He looked at Firo in disbelief. Firo noticed him.
Firo: Hmm? Die.
Firo's eyes glowed and an instant later, everything in his sight violently exploded.
However, when the smoke cleared Matt was standing in front of the man. Matt looked behind him and gave the guy a thumbs up. Matt reached out, touched his shoulder and teleported him onto an out bound vehicle.
Ultiman: What the hell man? That guy didn't even do anything!
Firo: After we finish this fight, he would have died anyway. I was just getting him out of the way.
Ultiman: You really are nothing more than a murderer now.
Firo: No, I'm a realist.
Ultiman: I think it's time we get serious. I'm tired of this madness.
Firo: Whatever you say Ulti-chan.
Ultiman: You know, I think I'll have to kick your ass just a bit harder for that.
Matt reached up and twisted his first seal. A great deal of energy poured out from him. Earthquakes also shook the region. Firo powered up as well but his energy was outshone by Matt's. In a flash, Matt was right in front of Firo. He was slightly caught off guard. Matt swung at Firo as if he was going to punch him in the face. Firo raised his claws to cover his face. However, in an instant, Matt's fist hit him in the gut. The shockwave tore up the land behind them forming a small canyon. Firo bent over slightly allowing Matt to grab him by the head and slam his knee into his face. After this hit, all of the clouds in the area scattered and the canyon widened. Firo finally managed to gain composure only to find Matt gone. He looked around to see something in the far distance. Matt stood several miles away from Firo who blankly looked at him. Before he could see, Matt crossed the distance again and collided with Firo with an arrow kick to the chest. All the air was knocked out of Firo before he flew through the air for over a thousand miles. He traveled so fast that the ground below him was torn up. Firo flew through a plateau before coming to a stop at an active volcano. He crashed through the side and magma came spilling out.
Ultiman: Hey! Get the hell up! I thought you were Mr. True strength.
Firo: Nice moves guy. I think I actually felt something that time. You've definitely gotten tougher. But... as fun as this was... this fight is over now. From this point on, you won't land a single hit on me.
Ultiman: Tough talk from someone who just got hit so hard it changed the weather.
Firo rose from the magma. His body as well as his suit were unharmed. But his whole body was covered in violet colored fire.
Ultiman: Cool trick. But we're done here!
Matt sped over to Firo. Firo didn't move an inch. Matt punched but his hand couldn't pass the fire. He stopped for a moment and then gave a barrage of punches, none of which connected. At Matt punched and the part of the suit covering his arm disintegrated. He stopped and looked at his hand for a moment.
Firo: AHAHAHAHA!!!! Dumbass! You're really surprised, aren't you?
Ultiman: What is this?
Firo: Simply put, it's my very own dimension. However, I physically manifest it in this dimension and bend it around myself like armor. Within these flames, I control everything. Time, space, physics, matter, all of it. So if I say that your armor can't exist in here, then it won't. So to summarize, you're screwed.
Ultiman: What the hell kind of...
Firo: Oh, don't get scared now. You haven't even seen me at full steam yet, AHAHAHA!