*Dante and Virgil stand just outside the seventh circle of Hell, clutching their chests and breathing heavily.
Dante: Is he gone?? Fer real this time??
Virgil: As far as I can tell. He's not chasing us anymore.
Dante: Keep an eye out fer him. I don't want him sneakin' up on us again.
Virgil: Assuming he doesn't, now is as good of time as any to introduce you to the next ring of Hell.
Dante: Sonuvabitch! We still ain' reached the bottom yet?? That had ta have counted fer at leas' six or seven rings of Hell!
Virgil: I only wish. But we're closer than you think. Now gaze upon the river Phlegethon. Those who laid violent hands on another shall forever boil in the blood they have shed.
*Virgil gestures towards a vast, raging, river of boiling blood cascading like a waterfall. Various sinners are sumberged in the river at varying depths. Some up to their hips, others up to their eyebrows, as the they trash about. The rocks and ceilings themselves look as though they've been drenched in blood themselves, as more scalding blood oozes and gushes out of various cracks and crevices. Dante picks up a couple drops with his fingers and sees screaming, howling faces screaming bubbling within it. Presumably from whoever the blood was shed from.
Alexander the Great: *up to his waist* Oh, come on! I can't have killed THIS many! Drama queens!
Atilla the Hun: *up to his eyebrows* What! is this all the blood I shed? I thought there'd be more. Boy, was I slacking off.
Guy de Montfort: *up to his shoulders* Well, I say hit the sweet spot. Not too deep, not too shallow. Just right. I'm fine with this.
Sparkman.exe: *up to his knees* So what?? We're in Hell now?!
Nathan Bernhard: *up to his knees as well* Looks like.
Sparkman.exe: Well, that's bullshit. Guess our season finale didn't go our way. Do you remember what was happening?
Nathan Bernhard: I dunno, the WWW was brainwashing the Officials. Fuck if I remember. It was riveting at the time.
Sparkman.exe: Damn. Hey, where the fuck is Shademan? If that bloodsucking prick made it to the Pearly Gates, I'm gonna be really pissed.
Nathan Bernhard: Speak for yourself. I was going to have a backstory and everything. How the hell do you think I feel?
Sparkman.exe: Whatever. I'm not standing for this shit. I'm going out and finishing what we've started.
*Sparkman.exe tries climbing out of the pit, but gets shot with an arrow. A centaur in bloody armor, armed with a bow and arrow, gallops forth from behind a bloody stalagmite.
Centaur: Fugitive apprehended. Next target: Alexander the Great.
Alexander the Great: *with one foot on the shore* Sheesh. Bomb one major American city, and the world goes nuts on you.
Dante: Seriously?? Another damn nastyass river we gotta cross? How many are we up to now?! Is this the poin' when Hell's architects jus' threw up their arms 'n said 'Fuck it!'?
Virgil: Yeah, but c'mon! It's boiling blood! That has to count for something, right?
Virgil: Alright, fine. Let's just get over this damn thing.
*Virgil lights his staff and a female centaur gallops over towards him.
Nessus: Hey, Virgil. You need me to star in Bestiality Babes again?
Virgil: No, we don't start shooting that until tomorrow. My friend and I are looking for passage across the Phlegethon.
Nessus: Which friend is that? You mean that one?
*Nessus points to Dante, who's busy hacking up various damned boiling in the bloody river. He then ties their mutilated corpses together to form a raft and simply canoes across the river, using his scythe as an oar.
Virgil: ...Sigh...I guess we've already got it covered. What disturbs me most is that I'm not even phased by this anymore.
Nessus: Well, he's still got to make it past the other centaurs.
*Dante simply pulls out his cross cannon and blasts all the centaurs along the riverbank. Including Nessus. As soon Dante reaches the shore, Virgil materializes by him, shaking his head.
Virgil: Was that even necessary??
Dante: Well, I'm sorry! I don' trust any o' the boatmen ya conjured up so far! They were all assholes.
Virgil: Dante, I don't know many more times I can apologize about Phlegyas. But Charon was entirely your fault.
Dante: The hell it was! I can remember it like it was five minutes ago!
*A couple hours ago, just as Dante was first entering Hell.
Dante: Please! Let me pass so that I can reach my beloved Beatrice! I give you my life, nay, my soul for her safe return! For it was wanted where the power lies!
Charon: Such passion and tenderness. ..How could I possibly refuse...?
Virgil: LEEEROY JENKINS!!!
*Virgil drives his staff through Charon's eye sockets.
Dante: Virgil! What was that for?? He was already going to let us board!
Virgil: Becuz I am teh awesomezz!
*Virgil drives his staff through Charon's skull, causing him to go out of control and crash into the Hall of Kings.
Virgil: Yes! I am soooo l337! But I'm a douche, so I'm gonna spend the next eight circles of Hell bitching about it and blaming you for this! Suck it, fagggot! Haahaha!!
Virgil: I'd say you're doing this to be an asshole. But I think you really believe that's how it happened. But I am l337.
*Dante and Virgil wander away from the boiling river of blood and eventually come to a forest with a thick, choking canopy, filled with black, gnarly, thorny trees. Human shapes can be seen growing out of the trees.
Dante: Alright! Are we already in the next circle? That was fast!
Virgil: Not quite. This circle is divided into the three rounds. Phlegethon was merely the first of these.
Dante: Aww, c'mon! Now yer draggin' this out on purpose!!
Virgil: Don't flatter yourself, Dante. I'm not enjoying our time together half as much as you think I am. And didn't you say a minute ago you wanted to see something in Hell besides nastyass rivers?
Dante: Whatever yer gonna ramble 'bout this shithole, jus' spit it out!
Virgil: Sigh, might as well. These are the Woods of Suicide. This is the home of those who lay violent hands on themselves.
Dante: Suicide's a sin?
Virgil: Look at it this way, those who commit suicide are giving up their own bodies and rejecting God's greatest gift to them. If I were God, I'd take offense to that.
Dante: Yeah, but ya can' tell me they did it fer fun. Their lives musta sucked sumthin' fierce to make 'em wanna throw it all away.
Virgil: So are you going to keep the willful destruction here to a minimum?
Dante: Can' screw 'em over anymore than they already have been. So why bother?
*Dante pricks himself a on a thorn as he moves past a tree.
Dante: Ahhh!! Sonuva-!! Yer gonna pay for that!!
*Dante cuts down suicide trees left and right as he swings his scythe wildly like a maniac. Again.
Virgil: ...Should've seen this coming...
Tree: Yes!! Please!! Kill us again!! Free us from this torment!!
Dante: What?? No!! I ain't doin' this fer ya!
Tree: It doesn't matter! Now we can finally rest in peace...
Dante: Ah, c'mon! Now yer just suckin' the fun outta this!!
*Dante angrily keeps hacking down trees, but none of them seem to mind.
Tree: At last! We are free this hellish torment! Thank you noble crusader!!
Dante: Aggghhh! I really can' screw any of these guys over!! This place sucks!!
Harpy: Hey!! These sinners are our food!! Stop cutting them down you-
Harpy: ...Stay out of this!!
*Dante keeps hacking down trees. But since nothing he can do can make their existence even worse, Dante drops to his knees, finding himself at the end of his rope.
Dante: ...No...A place where I can't screw anybody over...This...This place really is Hell...*looks around* And there's no way out....There's...There's no way out...
*Dante holds up his scythe, close to his neck.
Dante: ...What...What's the point o' livin' if I can't be a dick to anyone...?
Virgil: *thinking* ...Should I be stopping this? I mean, I know by now he's got no shot at redemption. Maybe things would be better if-
????: Is that all it takes to make you want to kill yourself?? Honestly, I thought I raised you tougher than this.
Dante: ...I know that voice...
Virgil: *thinking* Oh. Damn. He snapped out of it. Should've struck while the iron was hot.
*Dante runs to where the voice was coming from, and finds...
Bella: Hello, son...
*At the center of the forest is Bella, her body growing out of twisted, thorny, misshapen tree, oozing with blood.
Dante: Dante: ...They turned ya into tha Lorax ?! What will those crazy assholes think of next?! No wait a sec, this ain' right! Ya died o' fever! Why the hell are ya here?!
Bella: Son, when does Hell ever make clerical errors?
*Twenty-two years ago, young Dante finds his mom dead in the kitchen.
Dante: ...What's wrong with mommy?
Alighiero: Uh, Mommy had a...whatchacallit...*checks the writing on his hand* fever! Yeah. It was a fever.
Dante: What kind of fever would make her want to put a rope around her neck, jump off a chair, and leave a note that says 'You'll never lay another finger on me, you greedy fat bastard!'?
Alighiero: The kind little kids get when they ask too many questions and break into their Dad's weed stash.
Dante: *stands up straight* Yessir.
*Alighiero crouches down and puts his hand on Dante's shoulder, smiling.
Alighiero: That's my boy! Now could you leave me alone with mommy for about...oh, say...five minutes...?
Dante: ...Ugh...That's what I get fer believin' Dad.
Bella: I'm just surprised I was only condemned for this and not for the billions I stole from your father and funneled to the RPD.
Dante: What was that?
Bella: Uh, I mean, don't weep for me, son...After all, I'm the one who abandoned you to your father's cruelty and vice. That's why I belong here...
Dante: That's bull dukey, Ma. There ain't nuthin' ya coulda done. I ain't gonna leave ya like this.
*Dante pulls out his cross cannon and holds it up in front of Bella.
Dante: By tha Power of Christ and the love of almighty God, I absolve ya of yer sins!
Dante: ...I said I absolve ya!
Dante: Ummmm...Klaatu, verata, niktu...?
Bella: What are you doing...?
Dante: Uh, hold on..I'm kinda new at this absolvin' stuff. Never had to do it until now. Hold on, I'll get it.
*Dante starts fumbling around with the cross.
Dante: Lessee...It's got power...It's got all the software updates...Does it need a restart...? No....Oh come on! It's gotta be something!
*Dante keeps fiddling around with cross gun until the it accidentally goes off in his hand, blowing Bella's head right off. Dante simply looks around nervously before running off.
Virgil: Smooth, Dante. Real smooth.
*The duo make their way out of the choking forest and find themselves in a scorching, barren desert with fire raining down from the dark vermilion sky. Crumbling, scorched ruins half swallowed-up by the sands dot the landscape as far as the eye can see.
Dante: Let me guess, Round Three?
Virgil: Indeed. These are the Abominable Sands, where those who have down violence against God reside. Note the symbolism between this and the destruction of Sodom-You know what? Fuck it. You don't care. It's full of heathens. Do whatever attrocious thing you're going to do. I just don't care.
????: Finally! Ve vere beginning to think hyu veren't going to show!
Dante: Alright. Whoever's out there just get in a line, so I can whoop yer ass!
*Suddenly, several mummified crusaders, still donning their armor rise up from the sand, their hollow, empty eyes fixed on Dante.
Dante: What the fuck?? What are crusaders doing here??
Crusader: I don't know!! Maybe it's becauste murder done in God'st name ist vone of the vorst zingst hyu can do?
Crusader: Or did you really think that fraud of priest gave us a free pass?
Crusader: Because if you got one and you didn't, then we got the shaft!
Virgil: Guys, guys. First off, easy on the accents. Dante's barely coherent as it is. Second, whatever point you're trying to make, you can't just beat around the bush like this.
Crusader: I think we're being very direct here!
Virgil: No, you're not. Trust me. You're really not.
????: Fine! I'll do it!
*Francesco bursts out of the sand in front of Dante. His body is severely deformed, his limbs resembling the texture of mutilated, bloody tree bark. His face is gnarly and twisted, with several branch-like growths growing out from his head.
Francesco: Happy to see me again?!
Dante: Goddamnit! Is there anyone I know who ain' in Hell?! What'd ya do ta get yerself tossed down here? ya!
Francesco: Don't play dumb with me Dante! I knew this was all your insidious plot to trap us in hell! You've been in league with Lucifer the whole time!! What's he paying you?? I'll double it!!
Virgil: Trust me, he really has no clue what he did to damn you down here.
Francesco: Silence your forked tongue, Lucifer! Your lies and deceit won't work on me!
Virgil: What?? I'm not Lucifer.
Francesco: Really? A floating, incorporeal spirit that whispers malice and discontent into the ears of the virtuous in order to steer them astray. How many of those do you see floating around right now, hmmm??
Virgil: ...But you just said a minute ago that Dante did this to you.
Francesco: You're not getting into my head that easily!
Crusader: Francesco, ve know full vell zat Dante is responsible fer vhat happendt to us.
Crusader: Yeah, his whole expository flashback kind of gave it away.
Virgil: No, the last one was about his mother. We didn't have the one you're thinking of yet.
Crusader: Vhat?? How come??
Virgil: Honestly, they were a waste of time. He wasn't getting a damn thing out of them.
Crusader: Well, he's going to get something out of this one!
Virgil: Alright Dante, you know the drill. You're still awake, right?
Dante: Okay, yer gonna hafta narrow it down. I can think o' at least a thousand that sound like whatever yer yammerin' on 'bout. Is this it?
*Dante flashes back to his battle in St. Petersburg.
Alighiero: What you did was nothing short of a miracle.
Dante: Really? Like how I saved all those people on the Aleksandra Bridge?
Dante: Heheheh, I didn't save no one on the Aleksandra. I blew 'em up with the bridge! *pounds fists together* BLAMMO!
Francesco: You're not serious...
Dante: The hell I'm not. I killed 'em, 'n I ain't the least bit sorry. *reaches hand out* Hi, I'm Dante! I'm a coldblooded murderer. Who are you?
Crusader: ...No, not zat vun.
Virgil: And always with the damn bridges...
Dante: Oh. Is it this one?
*Dante flashes back to one of his most notable battles during the crusades...
Napalmman: Suck napalm bomb, cheesedick!! *shoots a napalm bomb*
Dante: *detonates it with a missile* Oh yeah?? I've been waitin' a long time fer this! *fires more dive missiles*
Napalmman: Why?? It's not like we have any previous history with each other!
Teacher: Do you have to do this in here?? This is a kindergarten, you mechanical psychopaths!
*Dante and Napalmman both blast the teacher.
Dante & Napalmman: YES!
Dante: Besides, serves ya right fer not evacuatin' when ya heard killer robots were in the area!
Kindergartener: WAAAAAHHH!! Ms. Evans! Get up!
Napalmman: *blasts the kids* Shaddap! Be glad I'm not carving her up and forcing you to eat her! Believe me, I've done it before!
Dante: *throws the kid's burning carcass at Napalmman* Hey! Nobody picks on helpless kids but me!
*Napalmman chucks another burning kid back at Diveman. Before long, the fight devolves into them throwing burning corpses at each other.
Virgil: Appalling all the same, but no.
Dante: Oh, come on! Is it this one??
*Dante flashes back to the time he was in Limbo, driving Charon's corpse like a madman through Limbo.
Virgil: Dante, pull over! No, don’t swerve into them!!
Dante: Who cares!! They’re heathens!! That’s why they’re in Hell!
Virgil: These are different, Dante! These are the virtuous pagans! They only reason why they’re not in Heaven is that they didn’t have the faith required to enter! They’re not actually being punished for anything! You can’t just-You can’t just do exactly what you’re doing right now!
*Dante runs over more virtuous pagans, and swerves towards a bunch of infants frolicking in the meadow grasses!
Virgil: No, not that the unbaptised babies! Dante, you maniac!!
Unbaptised Baby: WAAAHHHH!!!
Virgil: Dante, we were there for that! It couldn't have happened more than two hours ago! Why are you bringing that one up?
Dante: Well, I thought it was funny!
Crusader: Aggh!! This is pointless!! Let's just crack his skull open have it be done!
Dante: Hang on, hang on. Was it this one?
*Dante flashes back to the moment he started attacking the prisoners.
Dante: Good fer nothin', self-centered, prissy, buzzkillin', pussies!! I oughta knock the fillin' outta every last one o' ya!!
Prisoner A: Aggghhh!!! No!! Stop it, man!!
Francesco: Dante! No!! Get a hold of yourself!
*Dante takes out his sword and starts hacking up the prisoners!
Dante: Fuck this shit! Jus' kill 'em! Every last one o' 'em!! Kill 'em all!!
Crusader: Vorks fer me!
Crusader: It's about damn time! It's not like they even have a soul!!
Francesco: Stop it!! You guys are out of control!! It's almost as if you guys were under the effects of some kind of rage-inducing sound frequency-Yes! Of course! That must be what's going on! It all adds up!!
Dante: Yeah! 'N it's comin' from one o' these guys! Help us find it!
Francesco: *jumps into the fray* You won't turn me against my own allies so easily!
Stoner Prisoner: Aggghhh!!! You frickin' psychos!!
Silent Prisoner: ...This sucks.
*Before long, Dante, Francesco are standing on top of a pile of corpses that used to be helpless prisoners, the walls and floors drenched in blood.
Dante: ....Really?? THAT'S the sin that's supposed to be weighin' me down? Honestly, that's just a typical Wednesday afternoon, fer me! Fer cryin' out loud! That one didn' even crack my top ten!
Crusader: Well it certainly cracked ours!
Francesco: But at least we now have the insidious mastermind who was broadcasting that hate signal into our brains at that very moment!
Virgil: ...Is he still referring to me...?
Crusader: ...I zink hyu came to ze vrong conclusion, captain...
Crusader: Whatever. Francesco can do whatever he wants. I still want to kick Dante's teeth in.
*The Crusaders all rush Dante as Francesco charges Virgil, swinging his sword madly.
Francesco: You won't escape justice this time, Lucifer! I'll have my revenge and save all our souls all at once!
Virgil: *dodging*...Honestly! We just met! What did I ever do to you??
Francesco: You're the prince of all darkness and source of all evil! I don't have to explain anything to you!!
Virgil: Ahhh!! Dante! Little help here?
Dante: *fighting Crusaders* Little busy here, Virg!
Crusader: Beg all you want, nobody's going to save you!
Virgil: Sigh, alright fine! You and Beatrice get to be in one of my pornos! I'll even throw in a threesome and a girl-on-girl scene! Just get your psycho of a brother-in-law off of me!
Francesco: Ha!! Dante's mind is too strong for you, serpent! He would be bought off so easily-
*A surge of strength courses through Dante as he decapitates the crusaders in one wide, mighty swing. He then charges Francesco, landing a powerful blow that sends him flying back.
Virgil: You were saying?
Francesco: Dante!! You really have betrayed me!! What sort of spell does Lucifer have you under??!
Dante: I ain' under any spell, 'n that ain't Lucifer, ya crackpot!!
Francesco: Or maybe this is all a fear gas-based hallucination brought about by the Scarecrow!! Yes, this has his dirty work written all over it. He of all know people would know about my fear of Lucifer, and you betraying me.
Dante: What 'bout yer fear of girl scouts?
Francesco: No, he knows I'd be expecting that. Enough!! Luckily for me, you're all a figment of my imagination!! Except for you! *points at Virgil* You're festering evil incarnate.
Virgil: ...Is there any particular reason why he hates me more than you?
Dante: Prolly not. Ya shoulda seen him last Halloween.
Trick-or-Treaters: Trick or treat!
Francesco: How do you know my language??
Trick-or-Treater: ...Because we speak English...?
Francesco: And why would trick-or-treaters go to a house knowing that this house has no candy? Clearly, you didn't much thought into your cover story.
Trick-or-Treater: ...Can you just give us some M&Ms, or some Hershey bars so we can go? Preferably to a house that doesn't make us feel uncomfortable...?
Francesco: Why on earth would I let you go? So you can report to your Nebulan overlords. No. At long last, I have you right where I want you. And now I'm going to make you all talk.
Trick-or-Treater: ...Have us where you want us...? You didn't even know we were coming!
Francesco: Aha! So you admit that you were coming for me!! At last, the truth comes out!!!
*Francesco grabs a trick-or-treater and revs his drills.
Francesco: It's only a matter of time before the rest of the secrets come out!!
Beatrice: For God's sake Francesco, just give them a Kit-Kat and let them go!
Francesco: They haven't told us everything yet!
Beatrice: Uh...Dante and I already interrogated them. Yes... They alreeady told us everything they know. If we kill them, their Hyrdra overlords will know we're onto them. Just give them some kit-kats before you blow our cover!
*Francesco grudgingly hands the kids some kit kats.
Francesco: ...I've got my eye on you kids. Assuming you really are kids under those costumes....
*Francesco closes the door and the trick-or-treaters run like hell away from the house.
Virgil: Did you really interrogate those kids...?
Dante: ...Ended up having to later, when Francesco wanted to see the tapes of the interrogations. I tell ya, life with him ain't always easy.
Francesco: Enough of your lies!!
*As Dante is still focused on the flashback, Francesco knocks Dante's weapons out of his hand and pushes him to the ground. He stands over Dante, holding his drills to his throat.
Virgil: Oh, for the love of-Really?? Who in the right mind has a flashback in the middle of a battle! It wasn't even relevant! Come on!!
Dante: Hey, man! Ya asked!!
Francesco: I told you your lies and deceit were no match for me, Lucifer! Once I dispel this illusion posing as my trusted brother-in-arms, I'll make short of you and free him from your curses! And I will have my brother back once and-
*Suddenly Minos comes out of nowhere and falls directly on top of Francesco, squashing him like a bug!
Virgil: What the-?! Where the hell did she come from?! This doesn't even make any physical sense!! There's no way you could've gotten down here before she did!
Dante: How many times do I have to explain this to ya? God willed, it baby! I've been absolved, so God's not ever gonna quit me, even when I'm down here!
*Virgil sighs and throws his hands up.
Virgil: That's it. I give up. Two more circles, and I'm done.
*Dante and Virgil carry on towards the next circle of Hell, their goal in sight.
Minos: ....So...No one shall assist the mighty judge of the damned onto her...uh, tail again...? Well, by the power invested in me....You all suck!!
Minos: ....I hurt in my everywhere...
*Meanwhile, the Ascendant Androids are all in stretched out in in the boiling river of blood, relaxing as though it were a spa. Crystalgirl is a one-piece swimsuit, laying on a beach towel on top of a pile of ground-up human skulls.
Crystal Girl: Man, this feels nice. You know what, Cap'n? We can say whatever we want about you and your leadership. But that being said, you pick the best places to go on vacation!
*Napalmman is in a thong, playing volleyball with Gyroman, who's wearing a straw hat, a lei and a Hawaiian shirt.
Napalmman: Ha!! And you all wanted to go to Disneyworld!!
Gyroman: Hey, I was cool with either. But I think this makes everybody happy. What do you think, Wave?
Waveman: *merged with the bloody river* BEST. VACATION!! EVVVEERRR!!
*Gravityman is in the river, holding a sponge to another vacationing murderer in the river with him.
Gravityman: Hey, rub my back would you?
"Triangle Man": *nods and washes Gravityman's back.*
Stoneman: *making a sandcastle out of human bones* Creepy.
Chargeman: RAAAAAAAAGHHHH!!!! *tramples Stoneman's castle.*
Stoneman: OH NO! CHARGEMAN'S OUT OF CONTROL!!
Napalmman: Let the spaz go. He's just chasing a frisbee.
End Canto VIII