Rise Against Hell

Chapter 1: Traveler

A mystery figure stands in the middle of a field, staring off into a distant town. The heavy wind rushing through his brown hair and coat, he started to scratch his shaved beard.

?: I'm almost there… I can feel it getting closer.

With that, the man starts his way towards the town, looking for what he

Seeks.

At Jusco High School for the Dumb, erm, unique students, a couple of friends sit at a table eating their lunch.

Zack: Man, where is he?

Bulb: Oh, don't worry Zack, he's always late for lunch.

Zack: What could he be doing though?

Bulb: Catching up on some stalking time, probably?

Zack: Bulb. He doesn't stalk. He just… um, polity stares?

Bulb: Of course.

They pause for a few minutes without saying anything.

Zack: Okay! That's it! If he doesn't get here in the next few minutes, I'm gonna stop saving his seat!

Bulb: Nobody would sit here with us anyway dude.

Zack: Err! Shut up! We're not that unpopular! See watch… Hey girls!

Girl walking by them: Did you hear something?

Zack: Eh, point taken.

Bulb: (Silent)

Zack: What?

Bulb: Nice, bro. Nice.

Up on the roof of the High School, a 16-year-old teenage boy lies on his back staring up at the blue sky.

Zero: Sigh…

He looks at his watch and quickly jumps to his feet.

Zero: Oh damn it! Lunch time!

He rushes towards the rooftop doors and down the stairs. In the hallway he bumps into his friends.

Zero: Guys! Did I make it!?

Bulb: You would've… if you were down here 30 minutes ago.

Zero: DAMN! My stomach is growling like crazy!

Zack: (Silent)

Zero: What?

Zack: You've been skipping a lot of classes and lunch lately… what's up?

Bulb: Now that you mention it… yeah, Zero, what's up?

Zero: Hm? I don't know, I guess I've been day-dreaming a lot recently.

Bulb: Yeah, probably about Rena, right?

Zero: What!? No! Of course not… (Blushes) what makes you say that?

Bulb: You're blushing again.

Zero: Again!? Damn, but hey, I guess it comes with the hair.

Zack: Yeah… genetics, right?

Zero: You okay, Zack?

Zack: Yeah, I'm fine, just missed lunch without you.

Bulb: Aw, isn't that just gay.

Zero: I'd have to agree with Bulb on that one.

Zack: Shut up! Let's just get to our next class. Okay?

After the next class, in the locker area, the three friends prepare their books for the next class when Rena walks by. Zero watches her until she disappears into the classroom.

Zero: Wow.

Zack: Zero, you're staring again.

Zero: Oh? Oops.

Bulb: Dude, you got to control yourself.

Zero: Shut up! I can't help it. She's an eye magnet.

Zack: When are you going to talk to her?

Zero: Who said anything about talking to her?

Zack: You should… before it's too late.

Bulb: Give it up Zack, we both know that he's as shy as a rock.

Zero: Am not! I just don't like engaging in conversations.

Zack: You know the school dance is coming up… you should ask her to go with you.

Zero: What!? Are you serious!? You are, aren't you?

Zack: Yes.

Bulb: Yeah Zero, you should do that…it will look funny when you get rejected.

Zero: Oh gee, thanks Bulb. Such a great friend.

They grab their books and start heading towards the classroom when Zero accidentally bumps into Stone, he turns around and grabs Zero by the shirt.

Stone: You looking for a fight you red-headed wimp!?

Zack: Stone! He didn't mean-

Stone: Hey! Back off banana-head! I'm talking to tomato-head here!

Bulb: I'll be heading off to class then… bye! (Runs off)

Stone: I'll ask you again! You pickin' a fight with me!?

Zero: Heh.

Stone: You find this funny?!

Zero: Why would I pick a fight with a dumb-ass like you?

Stone: Excuse me?!

Zero: I mean, clearly, you're too stupid to even know what a punch is.

Stone: That's it! Your ginger ass is dead meat! (Slams Zero into the nearest wall)

Zero: Gah!

Zack: !

Stone: Too stupid, huh? (Lifts his right arm)

Zack: Hold on! (Steps in and punches Stone in the jaw)

Stone: (Falls to the ground)

Zack: You okay?

Zero: I'm fine… thanks.

Zack: No problem.

The teachers come running out into the hall and kneel over the unconscious Stone, they give Zero and Zack a cold look. Bulb, Rena, and the other classmates poke their heads out of the classroom to see what just occurred.

Bulb: That is exactly why I didn't want to get involved.

Rena: What happened?

Bulb: I don't know… never knew those two… who are they again?

Rena just looks at Bulb with a confused look and then moves on.

Meanwhile, Zero, Zack, and Stone receive after-school detentions.

After school; Zero walks home from school alone. He stops when a tall man with brown hair blocks his way.

Zero: Um…

?: (Silent)

Zero: Hello?

?: (Silent)

Zero: Can I help you?

?: I finally found you.

Zero: Huh? Found wha-

Then in seconds, Zero is on the ground with the man pushing his head against the sidewalk and his knee on Zero's back.

Zero: What the hell!?

?: Hm?

Zero: What the hell do you think you're doing!

?: Not fighting back?

Zero: What are you talking about!?

?: I guess it hasn't truly consumed you yet.

Zero: What?! What hasn't "consumed" me yet?!

?: The Angeldemon.