Chapter 27: Hollowed Grounds
After Angel gets left behind from the rest of his friends back at the train station he finds a hidden cave. Upon entering the cave nothing threatening is found besides a group of bats just flying by. After he gets out of the cave he finds himself in a courtyard of what seems to be a hidden temple probably that of the “Cabal”. The temple looks intimidating enough from the outside, there’s no knowing of what’s hidden inside the temple. Angel hopes for a clue of where the anti-matter ball is and how to get back to his time before the portal closes forever.
When Angel arrives at the front courtyard of the temple, he sees several zombies pop out of the ground trying to attack him. However one shot from his flare pistol burns all of the zombies alive. After taking care of the zombies Angel makes his way into the temple; inside the temple he sees a gargoyle statue when he gets to it the statue comes alive. The gargoyle coming alive comes to a surprise to Angel who barely dodges a claw attack by the creature. Angel aims his flare gun to the wings of the gargoyle, burning them then finishes off the creature with a shotgun blast to its face. Something else Angel notices is the constant weird noises coming out of nowhere, there was probably a ritual taking place somewhere but Angel had no idea where. He enters the main hall where he sees some cultists and frantics gathering, he burns all of them with his flare pistol. Angel notices many pictures and stain glassed pictures with symbols of what the “Cabal” stood for. Several of the symbols had a sinister look to them including one with “Darkgaryl” accepting the bloody sacrifices of many dead humans and animals. Angel becomes a bit intimidated and says to himself “Where in the hell am I and what the hell do these pictures mean? I know one thing nobody is going to use me as a sacrificial lamb!” Angel continues deeper into the temple which seems to be going down in elevation instead of up. Angel gets a funny feeling that these have “Temple guards” have something to hide that’s sinister in nature. Angel heads through the double doors into the next hallway where he is attacked by cultists from the floor above, he sees the door on the other side not to far away. He takes out the cultists but when he tries to open the door on the other side he finds it locked. To add to that problem the walls surrounding him start to move towards him, Angel says “Better think of something quickly or I’m going to make for a good sandwich for that devilish god himself.” He notices the walls are big but the top of the wall of the left side is reachable with one good jump, Angel jumps up as high as he can, he gets to the edge of the wall and is able to pull his weight up just about when the walls were closing. Angel takes a deep breath and says “That was too close for comfort!” Angel sees a bell tower not too far and heads there where he’s able to see the hallway where the door he was heading to is. He jumps down to the hallway where he kills off a couple of cultists; he sees a locked door with a moon emblem telling Angel to look for a moon key. Angel sees double door, he has a funny feeling that the room ahead of him is a trap and the enemy will try to ambush him.
Angel prepares to go into the next room which is a meeting ground for all of the “Cabal” members, seems empty and quiet. Angel knew though that it was too quiet, he carefully walks to the middle of the room prepared for anything. Then from the ceiling four gargoyles come down but Angel being so prepared he’s able to take down two of the four gargoyles only leaving two. What Angel didn’t expect was for frantics to come out from the upper level of the floor with napalm launchers. The frantics shoot off their napalm launchers Angel barely gets out of the way and with the rounds being so flammable Angel actually suffers from some burns although nothing serious. To Angel’s surprise though was that the same flammable rounds had also hit and burned the gargoyles. Angel says “Talk about bad aiming.” The frantics were taunting Angel to come out in their native language; Angel says “I have no idea what these nuts are saying. Hey hood freaks talk English please!” Angel sees the next door he had to be fast, knowing these guys were waiting for him to come out. Angel sprints his way to the door, when the frantics launch their rockets Angel slides towards the door feet first with the rockets missing him from above. Angel gets to the other side and says to the frantics “Ha missed me!” He goes into the next room which is the hallway leading to the chapel where prayers took place. Out of no where the door is locked and zombies pop out of the floor, Angel running out of flares is forced to deal with these guys in melee combat. Angel takes one of the torches lighting up and killing several of the zombies, however he gets knocked down by one of the zombies and the torch shuts off. One of the zombies tries to hack Angel with its Axe but Angel is able to roll out of the way, he grabs the stick of an unlit torch and strikes the attacking zombie directly on its head. There were still more zombies to deal with though, Angel sees a crossbow picks it up and shoots arrows at the zombies killing them. After all that the doors unlock again with a voice out nowhere saying “Ha Angel for a normal human you are exceptionally talented, how about giving up and being part of the “Cabal” you know that you have no choice. I’m the ultimate being of this universe.” Angel responds “Ultimate being huh we’re see about that and no I didn’t come here to be “recruited” by you so how about coming out here and facing me face to face. The voice responds “In due time Angel, you should be careful what you wish for it may just come true and you’ll regret ever meeting me in person.” Angel replies “Whatever dude all I know is I’m going to open up a can of whoop ass on your behind when I do see you and this size 9 boot is going up your ass!” The voice responds “Tough words Mr. Angel we’ll meet again or at least I hope so, good luck Angel, don’t let the door hit you hahaha!” Angel says to himself “Easy for you to talk tough because you’re not here, we’re see who’s the tough guy here.” Angel prepares to enter the chapel.
Angel discovers a “Cabal” temple and begins to find out more about who these “Cabal” cultists are. Angel sees them as nothing more as devil worshippers or voodoo priests trying to curse and put hexes on people. Angel is also able to make at least verbal contact with who is possibly the leader of the “Cabal” Darkgaryl himself. However there was no visual on the leader, so although Angel knew what the leader sounded like but no idea of he actually looks besides the pictures he sees throughout the temple. Angel hears a screaming noise from the chapel, he goes inside to see what’s going on.
Angel busts inside the chapel and notices a ritual is taking place possibly a sacrifice to Darkgaryl himself. Angel sees this and says “Hate to barge in but this little sick gathering is over, time for you guys to pay for your sins!” Angel begins to shoot down the cultists with the crossbow, then tackles one of the cultists takes his shotgun and uses him as a human shield. Angel tells the other cultists “What you going to do, go ahead and shoot if you dare the only person getting hurt is your partner or should I say your brother.” The other cultists realize that they cannot complete the ritual so in their native language they tell their leader Darkgaryl that they have failed him and all of a sudden each cultist stabs themselves offering themselves as sacrifices to their so called “God”. Angel lets the cultist he had in his grasps go after he lets the cultists go the cultist kills himself as well. Angel says to himself “Hate to say it but these guys are going to hell where they deserve to be, selling their souls to the devil.” Angel sees the man who on the table, he was injected with a foreign substance. Angel asks the man if he was okay, the man responds to Angel “Yes I’m ok they were injecting me with the “Devil Juice” I had the impression I was joining a secret religious group, I had no idea I was going to be initiated as part of the “Cabal”; I’ve been infected already so there’s a chance I may turn into a part of them but they couldn’t finish the ritual so there’s a chance I’ll survive thanks to you.” Angel asks the man who is he and who are the “Cabal”. The man responds “My name is Mariano I used to be a train engineer but I lost my job due to hard times. So I had intentions to join a religious group in hopes to find the light, little did I know I was approached by the Cabal. If you need to know who the Cabal are they are followers of the devil but their symbol of their “God” is a gray gargoyle “Darkgaryl” and these guys will stop at nothing to spread this hatred and evil upon our world. These guys believe following this “God” will give them eternal life but as you can see it did them no good.” Angel asks Mariano “How do you know so much about the Cabal?” Mariano replies “That’s because my father was a part of the Cabal and always wanted me to follow him but I refused. So I ran away from home to start a life of my own, I always feared my father would chase me or even kill me due to my refusal to join him. I understand their doctrine and know their secrets but I don’t believe in them. To me nobody in the Cabal wins, only Darkgaryl who brainwashes all these weak fools.” Angel says “Hmm ok I see well as long as you stick with me you’ll be outta this mess and I’ll try to find a cure for that crap they infected you with. Let's get out of here.” Angel and Mariano move into the back part of the altar in the chapel.
Mariano asks Angel “You don’t look like you’re from here, where are you from?” Angel responds “Well you’re right I’m not from here, I don’t know how to tell you this but I’m not even from this time period I’m from the future. We have to get moving or not only you will endure suffering but also your kids and grand kids.” Mariano replies “Sounds crazy but I always wanted to make sure my kids have a good future, so I put my trust in you.” Angel and Mariano find a key with a moon symbol in the back of the altar, now Angel can go back to open the door with the moon symbol. Before they could get out though the gargoyle statues in the chapel came alive, Mariano finds a stick with a skull on it which shoots yellow beams. Angel and Mariano kill off the gargoyles that attack them in the chapel, Mariano took a closer look at the weapons he has. Mariano recognizes the weapon because his father used to have one, it was called the life leech it was fed off lost souls killed by the Cabal that were put into crystal balls and this stick uses the energy from the lost souls to shoot powerful beams of energy to it’s targets. Mariano says “Can’t believe I’m using this weapon taking lost souls and using them to kill others but whatever it takes to save myself.” Angel says “Trust me you’re using that weapon on the right people.” The duo head back to the door with the moon on it.
Angel and Mariano head to the moon key door and open it, upon opening it they see a ramp going upstairs. Once they go up the ramp they go what seems to be the sleeping quarters for the cultists that maintain the temple. They kill the few cultists that are hanging around the sleeping quarters, in one of the rooms they find a key with a symbol of a spider etched onto it. When they get out of the sleeping quarters they head to a hallway with a view to the back courtyard, while there they are attacked by a couple of gargoyles. Mariano uses the life leech on the gargoyles which upon impact burns them into ashes not even leaving any sign of flesh. Angel is stunned by what he sees and begins to understand the power the Cabal have or at least what they want to achieve. Angel thinks to himself is the same evil force responsible for the glooba invasion back on virtual earth the same evil trying to change the past and spread their evil. It was a very complicated paradox for Angel to understand but all he wanted was to get back on Earth and be with his girlfriend Maria. The duo head to the back courtyard to explore any possible exits, however they are met with plenty of resistance in the form of cultists and frantics in all directions. Angel and Mariano find a spot to hide and take out the enemy one by one until all of them were killed; once they were killed Angel and Mariano continued trough the courtyard, until Mariano is caught by a plant vine. Angel shoots the vine that had grabbed Mariano and notices the courtyard was full of aggressive Venus flytraps, they sprint until the get to the door.
Angel and Mariano go through the door when they arrive inside they see a prayer room with ogres awaiting them. Angel says “Never knew these creatures had any intelligence to pray or do anything for that matter.” The duo kills off the ogres with relative ease and then they go through a door that leads downstairs. When going down the stairs Mariano begins to have flashbacks of when his father had taken him to the Cabal temple, it was all starting to comeback to him he started to remember the temple and his experiences inside but more importantly how to get out of the temple. Mariano says to Angel “Hey I remember how to get out of here, I’ve been here with my father I was always scared of this place.” Angel replies “Well then lead the way.” The duo head inside the basement where there was a storage room where goods such as food, religious goods and maybe even bodies were stored. Once they see the way out of the storage room they arrive at a small room with three doors with a picture of a spider on each of them. The same evil voice that spoke to Angel spoke again “There are three doors ahead choose one, two will lead you to demise only one will lead you out. Choose wisely!” Mariano tries to remember what door he went through with his father, knowing if they chose wrong a deadly trap would spring killing the two of them. Mariano says “Lets go left I remember now, trust me on this one.” Angel replies “Ok my life is in your hands.” They open the door which opens and leads them outside where they see a wooden bridge. Mariano says “Good thing I remembered.” Angel replies “Yup now let's get out of here!” The two of them go through the wooden bridge killing any enemies that get in their way until they finally get to the gate leading to the exit.
Angel rescues Mariano from the clutches of the Cabal followers and he learns more about the cultists and their purpose in this world. Angel wants to trust Mariano but know he must trust him with caution because Mariano’s father was part of the Cabal and tried to influence him into joining the Cabal. Question becomes is Mariano’s father still alive still trying to chase him? The other question is has the “Devil Juice” that was injected into Mariano going to kick in and Mariano is going to turn on Angel unwillingly? When the two head through the gate they see a big hotel ahead, similar to the one that Dayvon and Luis had seen. Angel has found some answers but still has many more questions left to be answered.