"You seem surprised to see me, Uriel," Quake laughed.
"I thought the id banished you to limbo," Uriel stammered.
"Think of it more as a forced vacation." Quake grinned. "You should know by now that I will not be contained... merely delayed."
"You brought Quake back." Uriel turned to Zael. "You're serious."
"I'm always serious, brother," Zael replied. "But I am most serious when it comes to seeking revenge on the id."
"Speaking of which," said Quake, "how goes the invasion of Earth?"
"It is proceeding wonderfully," answered Zael. "I forsee no difficulties."
"You appear to have forgotten one difficulty, brother Zael," Uriel interrupted. "The warrior known as Doom is still fighting."
"What?" Zael asked.
"See for yourself," Uriel said. He waved his hand above the view of Earth. The few changed to show Doom fighting his way through the hoardes.
"This is not good," Zael muttered. "He might actually make his way to the Icon."
"You placed the Icon of Sin on Earth?!?" Quake thundered.
"It was a necessity," Zael calmly answered. "My armies are constructed of many different races, most of which hate one another with a vengeance. The only conceivable way to align them to a common cause was to use the Icon. I've constructed a grand altar surrounding it, fortified with an endless supply of guards. Even if the Doom mortal were to reach the Icon, he could never destroy it."
"For your sake, you had best be right," Quake said. "The Icon is powered by the head of The Fallen One. If it were destroyed, the id would surely find out."
"The Fallen One?" Uriel looked alarmed. "Why was I not told of any of this?"
"You weren't told because you would panic, exactly as you are now," Zael calmly replied. "There is no problem. The mortal Doom will be eradicated. The destruction of Earth will succeed. We will have our revenge."
"For your sake," bellowed Quake, "you had best be right about this Doom warrior."
Uriel turned to look back down upon Earth. "You'll forgive me for having too much faith in these creatures' abilites," he quietly said to himself.
This was it, Doom thought to himself. The moment of truth.
If he was ever to find the source of all this evil, it had to be the abomination standing before him. A giant goat's skull stood before him, towering three stories tall, and muttering phrases in some archaic language. Every so often, the skull spit out a small cube, about a foot on each side, adorned with human skulls. As soon as the cube struck a wall, it materialized into one of the beasts of hell. Doom was not about to let the cubes collide with him, lest a demon teleport right on top of him.
His biggest problem was getting to the skull, which rested on a platform several flights up. Doom had maneuvered up a staggered pyramid, dodging cubes and the beasts that came from them. At the top, he found a large skull with a switch embedded in its forehead. When he hit the switch, a large pillar fell from the ceiling.
Thinking fast, Doom ran down the pyramid and onto the pillar. No sooner had he stepped onboard than the pillar rose once more, bringing him face to face with the skull.
Doom hoisted up his rocket launcher. "This is for Slaughter," he said.
The first rocket collided with the skull, showering bone fragments everywhere. Doom could see the exposed brain, wriggling in front of him like a matador's red flag. The effect was similar.
Rocket after rocket erupted into the brain of the skull. When his rockets ran out, Doom switched to plasma, then to his chaingun. Even when the object screamed in horror and exploded, Doom did not stop. As the creatures around him died one by one, powerless without their source, Doom continued firing, blinded by rage. When his chaingun ran out of bullets, he continued emptying his shotgun into the long-since-deceased icon.
It wasn't until he ran completely ran out of ammo, and even threw his fully-revved chainsaw into the exposed cavity, that he stopped. For several minutes, he stood there, breathing heavily, just waiting for something to move and give him a reason to rip it to shreds.
He became aware of a short sound rhythmically repeating behind him. As the adrenaline faded, he recognized it as the sound of very slow clapping. He turned to face his audience.
Zael stood there, slowly applauding. His eyes burned with rage at Doom's success, but he maintained his composure. Instant death would not be a significant enough punishment for this treachery. Not even the Arena was enough. But he knew something better.
"Bravo, Doom," Zael said. "You're still alive."
"Who the hell are you?" Doom demanded to know.
"I am Zael," was the cool response. "If you're looking for the one responsible for all of this..." Zael opened his arms. "...you just found him."
In an instant, the rage returned. Giving a battle cry once more, Doom leapt off the pillar towards Zael. However, Zael waved his right hand, and in an instant, Doom found himself hanging in midair, several stories above the hard ground below.
Zael shook his finger at Doom. "Now, now, you have to learn to play nice," he said. "Fortunately, I know just the place. Unfortunately, you're going to have to die first. So, if you don't mind..."
Zael raised his arm, and swatted the air. Doom felt a huge force slam into his back, and he plummeted to the ground. He raised up his arms in a futile attempt to cushion his fall. Just before impact, he felt and saw the rush of a great blue explosion, and then everything went black.
Uriel suddenly appeared next to Zael. "Have you lost your mind? You killed him yourself."
"Honestly, I didn't lay a hand on him," Zael grinned.
"You've broken the rules of the Arena. The Masters will not be pleased," Uriel said in a stressed tone.
"The head of The Fallen One is destroyed. The id will be after us soon regardless of what we do." Zael smiled. "If we are going to be found out, there's a few things I wish to do in the meantime... and torturing this fool is one of them." With that, he vanished for the Arena Eternal.