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Cult Times Special #14
Go To Hell and Back - A Hellishly Difficult Way to Carry On...
The Concept: Some methods of cheating death are more complicated than others. For this more elaborate method, you will need the following: one faithful sidekick; one vengeful enemy with pretensions to demonhood; and one friend still living in the mortal world.
Stop One is to arrange for your vengeful enemy to be languishing somewhere in oblivion, and then get yourself killed. (Crucifixion is ideal for this, though other less heretical methods, such as stoning, can be used instead.)
Step Two is to follow your faithful sidekick down to Hell, taking care to purify yourself first. You may find yourself growing dark wings at this point, but don't worry about that. On no account should you eat any fruit.
Step Three - ready yourself to give up your light of purity to your faithful sidekick, but at the last moment give it to your vengeful enemy instead. You will now be a demon for a little while, but hang in there. All being well, a friendly archangel will save the faithful sidekick, and while you're getting ready to take over Heaven, your vengeful enemy (now saved) and your friend in the mortal world will be ready to bring both of you back.
At this point Step Four should be easy: simply return to the mortal world and enjoy the benefits of a flawless rebirth, with the added bonus of an extra soul saved.
Pros: The benefits of escaping Hell, and ensuring that your soul and that of your faithful sidekick will be reunited in the real world, should be obvious enough. The black wings, light of purity and general archangel outfit are also a temporary but significant bonus. If you find yourself with time, it might be a good idea to enjoy the whole archangel gig as much as you can while it lasts.
Cons: There are of course a number of significant risks in this method, which relies very much on proper timing, and co-oporation from the forces both of darkness and of light. If, for instance, you find yourself being dragged down to hell with either your vengeful enemy or your friendly mortal in the wrong place, you don't stand a chance. Ironically, too, if you actually give up your light of purity to your faithful sidekick, both of you stay dead forever, unless you can find someone else with the power of resurrection.
Role Model Xena and Gabrielle
Top marks to the warrior princess and her eternal friend for proving that it could be done, at least if you had the right people to work with. Along the way, incidentally, the pair managed to bring a littel sadomasochistic glamour back to teh whole crucifixion business, which can so often just be a real pain.
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