HFO Post 30 mostly consists of quoted content from other Posts made in Never-ending Story 2 that impact the Narrative of Hero Force One (Story). Seraphim is explaining to her team, Hero Force One, what she experienced alongside her boyfriend, rekindled as of HFO Post 29, Acidspitter, currently Mr Nine and Ruler of Hell. As on NeS2 Page 46, in NeS2 Post 1835, Mr Nine complains about the utility bills, to which the Devil's Advocate informs him that Liberace had been visiting, explaining the bills. Majordomo is happy to see Mr Nine return, unlike The Next True Evil. When Mr Nine asks where all the demons have gone, Majordomo explains that many of them are at Athena's Colosseum acting as villains for the big battle. A blinding light suddenly dazzles them as Seraphim enters, as her holy light flares in the presence of such a high concentration of powerful demons. Not happy with the patriarchal assumption of being called "Mrs Nine" by The Next True Evil, Seraphim accidentally hits him so hard he flew out of the window. She is about to go and catch him, but Mr Nine reassures her that he would come crawling back eventually and that he had thrown him out of many windows. Mr Nine wants to get Jim7 on the phone, but Jim7 is busy with his go-karts and ignoring everyone. The Devil's Advocate believes that Jim7 has lost his touch, becoming lazy since becoming the Christian God. Instead, Mr Nine wants to contact 'him'. Majordomo makes the mistake of thinking Mr Nine means Liberace and starts to try to call him on the phone. Instead, Mr Nine, Seraphim and Majordomo go to summon The Sepulchral Phantom, Morthrandur. Mr Nine can't say his name, so calls him Mel instead. Mr Nine openly admits that he is afraid of the Ever-ending Plot on behalf of all existence. The Sepulchral Phantom believes this fear may be Mr Nine's undoing, comparing him to previous Rulers of Hell that came before him. The Phantom then admits that he had been provoking the return of the Eep by using the child (who/??????), hoping to bring about the destruction of the Eep sooner, rather than later. Seraphim points out that the last time the Eep was defeated was merely luck by the Main Character of the NeS Heroes, on NeS1 Page 50. Morthrandur argues that it is all down to the Characters of the Never-ending Story and vanishes. Seraphim must return to Bungybungy to inform her team, and gives a passionate kiss to Mr Nine before the Hellfire transports her away. In Burundi, Archangel Bertwick is happy to make an announcement, initially surging Jim7's excitement for his new go-kart. Instead, however, it is a lump of flesh. Bertwick believes that, as the Devil has an advocate, so too should God. Jim7 points out that he kept the Devil's Advocate locked in a cupboard when he was Mr Seven, but Bertwick promises this will be different. Jim7 uses his Godly powers to restore the flesh to life as God's Advocate. When Jim7 leaves, the man wants some "American" clothing and, once dressed, is revealed to be The Patriot restored. He then leaves Burundi and eventually arrives in London, where Citizen Rex is the last remaining member of Hero Force One, supported by Agent Mulligan.

ost

NeS Events

Seraphim, on Bungybungy, continues her tale;

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TheBritt the Writer - The Never-ending Story, NeS2 Page 46

In Canada, the Prince of Darkness himself had returned to Hell.

Mr Nine: "Bloody Hell! These utility bills are enormous! What have you lot been powering in here? Las Vegas!?"

Devil's Advocate: "Liberace has been visiting recently."

Mr Nine: "Well... I can't really complain about that. Liberace is Liberace. What can you do?"

Majordomo: "Good to have you back, Mr Nine!"

The Next True Evil: "Speak for yourself..."

Mr Nine: "Yeah, yeah. I wouldn't have to be here if you guys were half competent! You know I'm supposed to be on a secret mission, right? Where the Hell're half my demons anyway? I've seen like..."

He counts on his fingers.

Mr Nine: "Eight or something. Usually there's hundreds. Where is everyone?"

Majordomo: "Most of them are in Athena's Colosseum in Rome, Mr Nine. Demons are normally considered villains so lots of us got mixed up in that whole... scenario."

Mr Nine: "So I was right. You guys are incompetent without me around."

A sudden blinding light causes everyone bar Mr Nine to retract and wince in horror.

Majordomo: "It burns!!"

Devil's Advocate: "It bites!!!"

The Next True Evil: "It bloody blinds!! Christ, someone turn that down!"

Seraphim: "Sorry. My holy light goes a bit mental when devil spawn are in such concentrated numbers."

Seraphim, former heavenly angel, enters the room. She had arrived in Canada along with Mr Nine, who just so happens to be her boyfriend; their relationship recently rekindled. Hence the "former". Even the new God considered devils for slaying, and he used to be one.

The Next True Evil: "Oh great, Mrs Nine is here."

Seraphim: "Mrs Nine!?"

Angels in the world of the NeS are rarely what one would imagine. In fact, they're normally quite violent and resent traditional patriarchy ideals. Seraphim thumps The Next True Evil and sends him flying through the closest window.

Seraphim: "Oops? Sorry, I suppose I should go and catch him..."

Mr Nine: "Don't bother. He'll land on his feet, I'm sure. Then drag his mangled body back up here for demonic renewal. It's really no big deal. Hell, I've thrown him through a few windows already."

Devil's Advocate: "I take it, Mr Nine, that you're back to put things in order?"

Mr Nine: "Something like that, yeah. Seems like everything's gone mental since I left! You've been here mucking about with Liberace instead of getting our demons out there to control the situation! You're supposed to be advocating me!"

Devil's Advocate: "I apologise, Mr Nine. But Liberace and the.. sparkles..."

Mr Nine: "Okay. First order of business. Get God on the line."

Devil's Advocate: "We've tried many times, Mr Nine, but God is just... reluctant to get involved right now. Something about a go-karting track."

Mr Nine: "...:angry "

Devil's Advocate: "Jim7 is just not the man he used to be. When he was Mr Seven he was a dedicated devil with a hand in every pie. Now that he's become God, he's become... lazy. Frankly."

Mr Nine: "Oh for God's sake!"

Devil's Advocate: "Exactly."

Mr Nine: "No.. that's not what I -- forget it. We need information. Infinite wisdom."

Majordomo: "The tomes?"

Mr Nine: "No, I've just come from there. I need... him."

Majordomo: "Not... him!?"

Mr Nine: "Yes... him."

Seraphim: "Who's... him?"

Majordomo: "But he--"

Mr Nine: "Just call him!"

Majordomo picks up the phone and calls a number.

Majordomo: "Hi, is Liberace there?"

Mr Nine: "NO!! NOT HIM!!! God damn it..."

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Mr Nine, Majordomo and Seraphim stand in a triangle. They're surrounded by a thick, black mist that not even their super-meta powers can pierce. Seraphim's wings shine like beacons - beacons shrouded by darkness.

Majordomo: "He is here, Sire. I can feel his presence."

Mr Nine: "I feel nothing..."

Majordomo: "Exactly."

The Sepulchral Phantom, Morthrandur, emerges from the mist as though he were a part of the very darkness that surrounds them. His tall, seemingly inhuman, form drifted towards them rather than walked. His voice is like a whispering echo.

Morthrandur: "An unexpected visit... how long has it been since I have had one of these..."

Mr Nine: "Spill the beans, Mothandum. Motrandar. Morthrundam... God damn it. Why can't you have a normal name like... Mel? I'll call you Mel from now on..."

The Sepulchral Phantom doesn't respond to this.

Mr Nine: "Like I said, Mel, tell us what's going on in the NeS."

Morthrandur: "There are a great many things... "going on" in the Never-ending Story..."

Mr Nine: "And what do you think would bring me here? You think I'd come here for anything less than..."

Morthrandur: "Even yo hesitate to say it. Ruler of Hell and yet you are afraid of it. The Ever-ending Plot."

Mr Nine: "... I am afraid of it. On behalf of existence, I am afraid of it."

Morthrandur: "Your predecessor would have shrugged off concern."

Mr Nine: "Mr Eight was a fool."

Morthrandur: "And his predecessor would have, and did, challenge the Ever-ending Plot."

Mr Nine: "Mr Seven was an arrogant fool."

Morthrandur: "And his predecessor w--"

Mr Nine: "Are you going to list them all, dude? Seriously? I don't mean to rush you, but..."

Morthrandur: "Your fear may be your undoing..."

Mr Nine: "Or it may be my advantage. I didn't come here for the platitudes, Mel. Tell me what I need to know. How is it coming back? When?"

Morthrandur: "It is already here..."

Seraphim: "What!? Already!?"

Morthrandur: "Indeed. It slips through the cracks. Here and there."

Mr Nine: "What were you doing with the child? Were you trying to provoke it?"

Morthrandur: "In a manner..."

Seraphim: "You seek its return?"

Morthrandur: "Its return is inevitable."

Seraphim: "Then why provoke it?"

Morthrandur: "How do you defeat something that is not present? If there is no cancer to treat, how can you treat it? Allow the entity to infest itself and then... deal with it."

Majordomo: "Wait... so you are trying to help?"

Mr Nine: "In his own twisted way, it seems."

Morthrandur: "The Ever-ending Plot grows ever stronger with every passing Page. The Writer's ink blots and runs across the page like a dark wave. The sooner it happens, the less damage is done."

Mr Nine: "And there's no way to prevent it ever coming here?"

Morthrandur: "None. The universes beyond our own are already blighted. The fractured worlds of gods and men are now awash with... The End."

Seraphim: "And how can it be defeated this time? Last time it was only through a stroke of... luck! The Main Character was able to... shatter the NeS and create something new... a kind of... reset..."

The Sepulchral Phantom steps away from the trio.

Morthrandur: "That is not for me to say, but for the Characters of the NeS to figure out for themselves. This is the only way."

He evaporates into the mists of darkness and is gone. The three of them try to relax their tense muscles but the sensation that they are still being watched cannot be shaken.

Seraphim: "I have to return to Bungybungy."

Majordomo snorts.

Majordomo: "Bungybungy!?"

Seraphim: "Quiet you."

Mr Nine looks downcast. He spreads his arms and Seraphim floats into them. He holds her. She clutches his shoulders. Majordomo turns away with embarrassment. She looks up at him. Their lips touch, then they are engulfed in a tornado of Hellfire. The whipping flames only last for a brief moment... then they, and she, are gone.

Mr Nine: "Come, Majordomo... we have to prepare."

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Seraphim: "And then I burst from the flames and found myself here on this beach."


The others are silent in introspection.


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However, Seraphim's news isn't the only quotable event from recent NeS posts;

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Jim sneezes.


Jim: "I wish people would stop saying my name."


Archangel Bertwick: "My Lord! I have some fantastic news!"


Jim: "My go-kart track is ready!!?" :clapping


Archangel Bertwick: "Uh... no, my Lord. Something else."


Jim: :(


Archangel Bertwick: "Don't be sad, my Lord. It's good news!"


Archangel Samael: "Out with it, Bertwick!"


Archangel Bertwick: "Well, we've always had a lack of an advocate. The Devil has one, but not God."


Jim: "Yeah, I remember him. Useless. I kept him locked in a cupboard."


Archangel Bertwick: "Right... well... I managed to get you a new advocate. One you don't have to put in a cupboard."


Jim: "I didn't put the last one in there because I had to. I did it because I wanted to."


Archangel Bertwick: "Urm..."


Archangel Samael: "Just show us."


A couple of angels pushed a trolley in. Atop of the trolley were some fleshy remains of a man...


Jim: "What am I supposed to do with that?"


Archangel Bertwick: "If you were to resurrect him, Lord, he would be the ultimate God's Advocate. He already was. He's from the world's greatest God-fearing nation. And he is very... patriotic."


Jim sighs.


Jim: "I haven't got anything better to do."


He snaps his fingers and the body parts start to merge together, limbs regrow, tissue springs forth. As the face grows, the man's eyes snap open and he roars with anger and pain. When the process is finally over, he groans and sits up.


Jim: "You're the new God Advocate. Congrats."


Man: "I thought I already was..."


Jim: "That's the spirit."


Jim snorts at his own joke.


Jim: "Geddit? Spirit? Because I put his spirit back...? No? Screw you guys."


Jim turns away from them, jumps into his go-kart and whizzes off throughout his heavenly palace in Burundi. The two Archangel's focus their attention on the reborn human.


Archangel Bertwick: "We'd best get you some clothes or you'll frighten the ladies with that... well. Clothes."


Man: "Get me something... American."


Moments later, the man slides his arms into the cloth trench coat and, slowly, puts his hat on. He admires himself in the mirror. He was ready for action once again. With God and America on his side, he could not fail. He steps onto the balcony, his coat tails whipping in the fresh breeze.


Man: "I need to reach my team. Get a status report."


Archangel Bertwick: "Records say your team... are all gone. Except, perhaps, one... token member. We can send you to him."


Man: "I'm ready."


Archangel Bertwick: "Just remember who you're advocating and all will be well."


Man: "I know who I'm advocating. For God and Country. I am... The Patriot."

In London a huge glass tower stands tall and proud... and shaped like a gherkin. The ultra-modern building went through some renovation a few years ago and now sports a massive, unabashed logo protruding from it - Hero Force. Originally it read Hero Force Two, but since the dissolution of each remaining team, save One, the Two was pulled down. But the faint outline of rivets could still be seen.


And now, those left on Earth, feel like the B-Team.


Citizen Rex: "There's no point living any more... someone... kill me now."


Voice: "That can be arranged..."


Agent Mulligan: "Th-The Patriot!?"

Notes

Britt's Commentary

"The lines, 'it burns', 'it bites' followed by a joke is a reference to lines from The Hobbit[Ext 1] when Bilbo Baggins[Ext 2] uses Sting[Ext 3] to attack spiders[Ext 4]; the original third line being 'it stings' and giving the blade its name." ~ Britt the Writer

References

External References

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