No one had invited him. When the Reverend first figured out that it might be a good idea to sponsor a local deathmatch team he had posters printed up, “Holy Warriors” he wrote and then one Spartan bathed in the light with the Church behind. Join our fight every Sunday with a service from Junior Reverend Jessie Hillcock, the poster said on the bottom. The posters made it around, the Church became something of a hit, a regular 5 – 6 disciplies showed up every week, and then one day out of the spawn points came Pepper… He always came early and ran around looking at things, as if somehow the ground would tell him where to leave med boxes, the team had never impolitely kicked him off the team, but somehow he never left. The message had been somehow relayed, that Pepper was here to stay.
They had been in training with Pepper for two week when they noticed a bunch of new gamer tags coming onto the map. Jessie got ready to welcome them and Pepper began to spread out med boxes and mumble something into the microphone. They heard laughter of their headsets and the heavy, bass, thrawl of some metal dirge she half remembered, but seemed to be playing slower and more menancing. Their heavily modded suits came around the corner, whooping and howlering, “you see, there it is.” Twenty custom armoured demons began to laugh in the courtyard. SkeletorPenis would woop them all. She still had that video on her phone. Sometimes she went through it, copied his peeks around corners, there was a consistency to his play that she liked. The way he so instantly came to appraisals and was surprisingly watchful, she saw him pick off two of their warriors who had taken out LORDSOUL, it was as if judgement was given legs and then proceeded to jetpack into a delima of decessions. SkeletorPenis learned her favorite spots in seconds, he had ArmourJesus pegged in minutes flat, he could calculate the exact moment BigBaby would lose his line of sight, she watched him weave through halls grab a grenade launcher and then jet pack to the ceiling before a bewildered BigBaby tried to aim his gun, thud, one more grenade frag for the kill. By the third respawn, the Church had been pegged with grafitti tags, one featured a horned demon with an enlarged penis pentrating a girl, another featured Jesus on his knees sucking a man’s cock in a bathroom, others simply pegged giant worms and dimensional gates all bearing doom. She simply stopped playing for a second to observe the grafitti and through it she heard the slowed down spectral haunt of the singer’s voice, like anger dropping down to the speed of shit. Pepper kept playing, he shotgunned intruders and was heard cursing, as they pinned him in a corner with axes, his ammo depeleted his medic just kept slowly recharging, the boys laughed as they sliced his spartan only to watch it slowly grow back.
She found herself googling their information later. She managed to track one down to a local high school down the street from her. The others came from as far as Norway, Australia, and England. They came together on a metal forum called THE WIZARD. The Wizard was always spelled in caps and featured a Wizard reaching skyward as a dragon dropped a guitar into his hands. Jess, on the other end, didn’t quite buy the whole Pepper working for the Satanist thing, but she kept spamming him with profile pics from THE WIZARD until they settled on one, a small, slightly effemiate boy from Pasadeana who bore little relation to what she thought of Pepper, but it was a start. She found facebook profiles for them, SkeletorPenis was in a band that apparently came through town on occassion, she made a note of their upcoming performances. SkeletorPenis aka Eric Lerner was a tallish college age man with raven hair down to this ankles and an assortment of metal rings and bands around his fingers. He appeared to have created The Wizard to keep tabs with various bands he was working with or around at anytime. She found his band’s website and the videos. There was something captivating about him, the conviction of his tattooes, the way he played, he was in fact something of the virtuso in the band, his guitar built layers of noise upon the frame of the singer’s shouts. She kept panning through the videos until something caught her in a frame, a little bit of purple behind the counter at a gig in Tulsa. She slowed it down, she crawled at second intervals, thumbing the video’s slide bar up in her phone’s screen until she could center in on a single second. The same wizard Miguel had shown her earlier was eerily present in the film, just to the back, and slightly behind the bar. She starred the video and then in the comments wrote #THE_WIZARD 3:47 BEHIND COUNTER BARELY VISIBLE. She went back to Jess and mentioned the wizard, but he was oblivious, “Someone is just inserting him in there,” he mentioned and that’s when Miguel popped up in chat. “Did you tag that?,” he said, “Yup that was me,” she said, “Holy fuck dude! Do you know what this means? We might have a location. I’m getting someone in Tulsa to go by this place.” “The address is on the band’s website,” she said Jess popped up, “I found MISSPISSYDEATHSTENCH,” he said. “Her gamer tags lists her first name and a group of bands she’s in. She’s on facebook. She lives nearby.” With this she sat up with a start, “Where does she live?,” Jessica asked, “near our school, I think she goes to school with LORDSOUL,” Jess continued, “I got company. Armourer out.” She sat back in her bed, two of them lived near them, she had IP addresses for them, she could track them.