Hellbound

Epilogue

My trip to Hell was over. Now, I would have some long awaited answers.

Well, first of all, I'd like mention what you just went through was not "Hell."

What do you mean?

What you and I call "Hell" is merely an extension of Purgatory.

How so? It wasn't as dull and boring as Purgatory was.

The Almighty has a reason for putting certain people through "Hell" or "Purgatory." It's a test to see if they are ready to enter Heaven.

What do you mean?

Heaven is not for all of those that had immediately died. Everyone dies with sins or regrets of some sort. It is important for the stability of Heaven that people loose the negative parts of their personalities. After all, Purgatory's intent is for people to "purge" themselves of their "less favorable" personal traits.

And are those the sins punished in each layer?

No. Each layer is designed to trap people in the conditions they find the most nightmarish. The idea is to help them question why they are there, then have them feel genuine regret. One of the best ways to build regret is to show the results or effects of certain sins. It is only a temporary phase. When the person feels genuine regret and feelings of sorrow, the Almighty moves them into Heaven, as they have "passed their tests." Also, it is somewhat pointless to punish someone for all time for crimes they committed over a single lifespan of time. Whenever I said "eternity," it was just for dramatic effect.

I could understand if the only thing punished where evil sins, but if that's the case, why are things like "Sanity" punished?

Remember everything punished is considered a sin by someone in some part of Earth's history.

So if you punished every sin conceivable, wouldn't everyone go to Hell, or this "extended Purgatory," rather?

Yes, but some people have the "correct feelings" when they die. They go straight to Heaven. This includes your moral upstanding citizens, most children, people that put their best effort forward living life and helping themselves, their families, and others, and so on.

So the Almighty is condoning certain values or feelings to be superior to others?

Yes, but let me explain. The Almighty believes some values are superior because not all morals are equal.

Then what are the superior morals?

The answer is very simple. Laws that allow all sentient beings to exist, fulfill their potential, and enjoy basic freedoms, so long as they do not threaten or try to stamp out the freedoms of others. Pan-Sapient Rights. In order to help people get the ideas, rather than mere laws, they are put into "Hell" until they realize this.

Then if Hell is just a transition stage, what about beings like Bressian or Jackknife? It doesn't seem like they'll ever repent.

Well, they will. Some entities remain longer in "Hell" than others. However, the nature of Hell is such that they'll eventually break. Most people don't even go to "Hell." They make a short pit-stop in Purgatory to think about what they've done. Only the more "severe" cases end up in "Hell."

If every person breaks in Hell, why did I have to go save Hood? Can't he just save himself?

Sometimes, people cannot heal on their own. Also, for groups of offenders, we sometimes find that having one save the others helps them remember their own crimes. You rescuing your best friend and killer was a test to see if you could forgive him. Sometimes, you have to go through Hell or times of trial to reach Heaven.

Yes, but there were plenty of warnings you gave me, Virgil. Like if "This thing killed me, I would be forever trapped here," and such.

Well, let's just say you've been on a similar mission to save Hood before and failed. It was your third attempt that you've succeeded. We just moved you back to Purgatory and erased your memories of the failed attempts. That's standard procedure for when people fail on "rescue missions."

Will I be getting those memories back?

Yes. They will be given to you when you enter Heaven. Remember, the Almighty cares for all of Its creations, but It prefer it if you helped yourself and brought about Its will through rational approach, rather than the fakes claiming to be the Almighty's "stand-ins." That's what It never intervenes in the universes he controls unless it is necessary.

What about that "angel" that captured Hood and I in the first place and stopped our rampage?

That was one of the Almighty's friends, Iwan. He's away on business in another universe now. He's made quite a name for himself there.

So, what now?

Well, you will enter Heaven, Little. Hood will stay here for a bit longer. His "girlfriend," Ayala Miriam, is already in Heaven. She died early, when she was still a noble idealist. It was her death that drove you and Hood to become evil terrorists.

Well, I'm ready. I've had enough Hell. I'm no longer Hellbound. I'm Heavenbond.

Correct.

And that was how I got to Heaven through Hell.

The End.

Author's Note: Well, readers. Another fun story warped up. This story was inspired partially by Dante's Inferno, by a sixteenth century poet named Dante. I've never read it, but I found the premise interesting enough to base a story on. The guide's name in Inferno was Virgil, hence the inspiration for Little's guide. The reason I cut the number of layers from 13 to 7 was I couldn't think of enough sins to cover. Of course, the "Heaven" and "Almighty" and how they came to be are covered in my novel Necessary Evil. I consider it my favorite and most disturbing work to date, even though I'm doing a major editing overhaul of it.

It is the complete story of the Merry Men: Ayala Miriam, Jon Little, and Michael "Robin" Hood; Iwan, Bressian, Jackknife, GOTWON/Virgil, the creation of Heaven through high science and divine intervention, and the Almighty's rise to power. My story Project Atlas, a comic book/anime/action movie inspired novella, contains the story of Jeffery Richard Stone/Horseman of War, Paul Freeman, and Aruna. I set all of my novels in one multiverse, so all of my stuff ties in.

Now, readers, I present one final request to you. If you like or don't like my stuff, don't be afraid to talk with me online or email me about what you like and dislike. I've got countless story and character ideas that way, plus more devoted fans and reviewers. I also get to read some other interesting stories and meet interesting people. Not to mention, I can help other people with their own ideas. See my column Sci-Fi for Dummies for more information on that. If you like the idea of a character going through an infernal realm, I highly recommend A Trip Through Purgatory by Kristoff Arcanic. I've got a few new stories in the works, so any reviewer input is welcome. See you next story, in online conversation, in FP.Com's reviews, or in email. Wherever we meet again, readers, rest assured I always have something new cooking.