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Burn It Down

Greetings, Asylum Seekers.

Let me ask you... To what extent is forgiveness no longer an option? What must one do to destroy any chance for retribution?

What line must be crossed?

That is the exact question the Asylum seeks to answer. Souls meant for The Pit ultimately decide to abandon remorse and common decency. They no longer strive for forgiveness. Salvation holds no appeal.

But you know enough about me now to know I don’t give up without a proper fight. I was born a warrior after all. If a soul has any semblance of love, has the desire to throw off the dangerous ego you humans so easily succumb to, and can understand that with change comes humility and accountability, then I am more than happy to roll my sleeves up and pull that light from them.

Tyler Peele is a perfect example.

Serving a 500-year sentence, Tyler was known in life as Mr. Napalm. Having proven his toughness and ferocity in the boxing ring as a youth in your American city of Detroit, he discovered a damaging vice in gambling. It got so bad, he began to throw his own fights to score a windfall and some very bad men had some very bad intentions after discovering the young boxer’s scheme.

They threatened life and limb, and Tyler agreed to do a few jobs to pay off his debts. At first, he was sent in to rough up business owners who refused to pay the monthly protection fee to Tyler’s new bosses. He soon found setting an establishment ablaze sent a more potent message. Restaurants, laundromats, gymnasiums, bakeries; nothing was off limits to Mr. Napalm.

Tyler was well rewarded for his work, and he was equally proud at how adept he was at forcing business closures and collecting on the resulting insurance payment, through force if necessary. He was living the well and causing serious destruction and pain to business owners, families, charitable organizations – all trying to keep themselves in the black.

Of course, you know this is a cautionary tale. That goes with the territory when it comes to the inmates who serve time in the Asylum.

Tyler’s last job was a family run bar and grill that had made a steady profit over a number of years because of its neighborhood appeal and, apparently, the chicken wings were extraordinary.

Tyler went about his business, breaking in and dousing the interior with gasoline, lighting a match, setting down on his expensive Rolls Royce across the street and enjoying the fruits of his labor.

Then he heard the children scream...

There were four of them. Sleeping in a back apartment, attached to the restaurant. I won’t mention ages, sex, or given names, but take comfort that they are all living their absolute best existence up north. Paradise is particularly appealing to a child; they are treated like royalty.

Tyler, realizing what he’d done, immediately turned himself in to the authorities, choosing a stiff sentence – and perhaps the death penalty – for his crime. He agreed to testify against his underworld employers, and he was placed in isolation in prison.

Wishing for death, set alone in a closet of a cell with nothing but the screams of those four children in his ear, Tyler prayed for forgiveness, prayed for death to take him, some kind of reckoning for what he’d done.

His prayers were answered.

One night lying awake, his cell door swung open and four men burst in – the guard having been paid handsomely to look the other way.

The men to beat Tyler to an inch of his life -- the death for which Tyler had so desperately pleaded. But this wasn’t the death his former employers felt their betrayer deserved.

Immobilized by the violent attack, Tyler was doused in gasoline...

And set ablaze.

Arriving in the Asylum, part of his sentence has been to wear the horrible mistake he made in life. Half his massive frame and the left side of his face are covered in burn scars. They are a reminder that his selfish deeds brought with them disastrous consequences.

He now resides in a cell meant to resemble the charred husk of that last bar he destroyed. On an hourly basis he hears the screams of those children from that back apartment, pleading with him to put out the fire.

Put out the fire. He doesn’t know how.

You see, he doesn’t feel he will ever be worthy of the forgiveness I mentioned. It’s a foreign concept to him, and I believe it would take a significant penance for Tyler to feel he could ever be worthy of salvation.

How about saving the world?

Tyler is the second soul I chose to assist Donovan in her mission to keep rogue souls from causing complete chaos on the mortal world. The first is another story altogether. Don’t worry, we will get to her...

Fitting, the totem – the tattoo – that Donovan will use to call forth Tyler is a licking flame. I am one for the dramatics.

He will lend Donovan his strength – his impressive fists. She will need not only that, but Tyler’s resolve that his new purpose is to keep the world from burning.

I don’t envy the soul that gets in his way.



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