The Reaper and The Devil
The Reaper and The Devil
Author: alexsircher

Prologue - The Three Realms

Where do humans go when they die? There exists another world, almost parallel to the human realm, known by its inhabitants, for lack of agreement on any other name, as the Otherworld. In this world exists many fantastical things, gods, and creatures of legend.

Humans are reborn into this world when they die. If they were old when they passed they return to their youth, and if they were sickly they are healed, regardless of where they get sent. Humans who come to the Otherworld this way are called "Reborn"

Where a human goes when they're reborn is determined by their prior actions, but they first get sorted in Limbo, a dimension between the human world and the Otherworld. Limbo's time flows differently so that as it sorts humans, the Otherworld doesn't get flooded with new life.

For the truly good, they get Heaven, or Paradise, as can be known. A holy sanctuary guarded by the angels, who are lead by the archangel Michael.

In Heaven, humans are able to see whatever reality they wish, so long as they stay. Angels and humans don't have much interaction, as humans who are reborn into Heaven tend to go right into an illusion, without a second thought of the world they've entered.

For those in-between good and evil, they go to Purgatory. A land watched over by reapers and their leader, Death. Reapers are former humans that Death has hired to help humans.

Purgatory is by far the largest of the three realms that humans get reborn into. It also acts as a safe haven for any human in the Otherworld. Death views himself as a protector of humanity and strives to try and create peace with humans and the natives of the world.

Finally, there's Hell. A place that serves as punishment for past crimes. Hell has multiple levels and different sentencing depending on the severity of the human's sins. It's wardened by two beings, Satan, the demon lord, and Lucifer the fallen archangel.

Satan is the original warden of Hell, but he didn't do much work before Lucifer became his partner. Hell itself puts the incarcerated humans into an illusion. The worse a human's crimes, the worse the illusion they experience during their sentence.

Lucifer also hires humans, offering them a deal to lessen their sentence in exchange for working for Hell. Hell was taken care of by only Demons prior to this system, but Satan insisted his kind working with the humans would be good for both sides.

These three realms are considered to be the human realms by the leaders of the Otherworld, but only Death and Lucifer are considered to be representatives of the human race, with Michael and Satan already representing their own kind, and humans being seen as too weak to represent themselves.

There's a ranking system within this world. In order from strongest to weakest: Ancient God, God (sometimes called "full god"), Demigod, Minor God, and Lesser. Being a god in this world has a different meaning than what humans might be familiar with. Even a human could be a god if they become strong enough.

Death is thought of as an ancient god by most, while Lucifer and Michael are considered to be demigods. One's ranking doesn't mean everything, but it can determine the respect one is shown.

This is the story of Death and Lucifer working together to keep humans safe in this world. While Death hires humans who are acclimated to the world, Lucifer offers contracts to newly reborn he believes deserves a second chance. Those who receive a contract are given three days to read and decide whether or not they sign.

During those three days, the human in question is given a reprieve from their torturous illusions.

- Lucifer -

There's a large open field surrounded by burning trees, creating a ring of char around the short green grass. In the middle of the field, there's a table with two men sitting opposite one another with a piece of paper between them.

One of the men is 6'2" with tan skin, brown eyes, and very short, fuzzy black hair. Across from him sits Lucifer.

Lucifer is shorter, about 6ft tall. Lucifer has short, messy black hair. His skin has a light complexion which accentuates his red irises. His eyes had an almost judgemental look to them.

"Sorry for the confusion, but I honestly believe you'd be a great help to Hell, and by extension, humans," Lucifer said in a friendly tone.

Elijah was looking around at the illusion they were in, simply happy that the past images he had been seeing were no longer there.

'Whether I make a deal with this guy or not, I should try to drag out this conversation as long as I can.' He thought.

There was an awkward silence that was broken by Lucifer.

"You have had enough time to decide on whether or not you want to work for me. You get your sentence halved, so long as you do your job. Breaching your contract will quadruple the time you had left to serve before making a deal."

Elijah couldn't keep eye contact with Lucifer.

"I read the contract. I read it more times than I've read anything else in my entire life, uh, past life. Why are you here personally? I'm sure you have better things to be doing."

Lucifer was annoyed, though he didn't show it. He was more than experienced with this conversation.

"Believe it or not, it's a coincidence. I have the time, and when I have time I like to personally do a contract meeting or two. I can read humans better than anyone, and I have answers to just about any question you could have." Lucifer said, looking confident.

Elijah smirked and asked. "Alright then, what's the meaning of life?"

Lucifer responded quickly.

"There isn't one. Congratulations on being a species that's smart enough to ask. Unless you have a real question or are planning on signing the contract, we're done here."

Elijah's looked down at the contract, suddenly very worried that he would be stuck here forever and that this was all a game for the Devil's amusement. He didn't trust Lucifer in the slightest. He felt a deep pit in his stomach. He felt like he was in a meeting taking money from loan shark.

As much as he didn't want to sign. As much as he wanted to believe he was stronger than his torturers, he couldn't help but replay the images he had seen while in his illusion. The constant bombardment of nightmares had drained him.

"I just touch this with my blood, and say in my head that I agree, and the contract is created?" Elijah asked in a defeated tone.

"Yes," Lucifer said, handing Elijah a knife

Elijah briefly wondered if he could kill Lucifer with the knife, but didn't entertain the thought for very long.

'Don't be stupid, just cut your finger, complete the contract, and pray he keeps his word. Pray? To who? I'm already in Hell.'

Elijah cut his index finger and pressed down on the paper. 'I agree.'

The paper was instantly consumed by flame. Lucifer stood up and held his hand out to Elijah. "Thanks for joining the cause. Let's get you out of this cell."

- Death -

Death is waiting in his office for a report on human activity. Death was a tall 6'5", slim man with mostly pale skin. His arms, like his legs, were pitch black. His hair was long, about shoulder length, and almost as dark as his limbs.

Death was wearing a dark purple robe that went down to the top of his shins with a hood on the back. The sleeves were long enough to cover his lanky arms. His office was a simple room, about eight-hundred square feet, with grey walls. There was a desk and a plaque behind the desk that reads "Memento Mori"

Death didn't care for the plaque and often saw it as kind of a joke. He was given it as a gift though, so he kept it hung up at all times, hoping his new recruits wouldn't notice.

'I wonder if Lucifer was able to recruit that guy he was talking about. Maybe I should check on Zach, and make sure he's not being held down with questions again.' Death tended to overthink when he was awaiting a report on human activity

As Death was about to stand up his door opened. In walked Zach with a dark look on his face.

Zach is about 5'10" with short brown hair. He has brown eyes, a muscular build, and is wearing a purple robe similar to Death's, but not as long on the arms, only going up to his elbows.

"How bad is it? Death asked

"It seems that our suspicions were correct. There's a new resistance movement in the northern territories being led by an unknown." Zach said

Death rubbed his left thumb against his index finger.

'How is it still unknown? What's leading those humans?! Calm yourself. Anger leads to mistakes.'

"Thank you, Zach, I'll be deciding what to do next. I'll probably be contacting Lucifer to have him handle this."

Zach had a concerned look on his face. He would always worry about Death whenever a new problem came up.

'This must be frustrating for Death. There are so few unknowns in this world, and for one to be leading a human resistance is almost a worst-case scenario.'

"I'm sure this will just be the usual sir. These resistances always look far scarier than they actually end up being." Zach said in an attempt to reassure Death

Death glared for a moment at Zach and then apologized.

"I just wish it would stop happening." Death said in a tired tone.

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