The ever-shrinking group of Lucifer’s Firstborn trapped in my army’s donut hole was tenacious. Once they were surrounded, they formed themselves into a tight bunch and tried to escape like this was some massive underworld version of Red Rover or maybe a circular game of Breakout. They crashed violently into our lines dozens of times but our superior numbers held fast. More importantly, each attempt at breaking free left a few more dead Firstborn in its wake.
We were winning. Cutting the head off the snake hadn’t killed it, but it had certainly left it thrashing about aimlessly. Halkkor’s absence as their leader seemed to have severely crippled not only their morale, but their strategies too. Again and again, after countless defeats and little progress in any direction, the Firstborn charged. My concept of time was vague and unreliable down here in Hell, but it seemed that, by any reckoning, the battle had been raging for at least an hour—probably more.
They were tireless. My demons had stamina but were starting to grow weary. The Pit Guards were generally exhausted. I was giddy from my victory over Halkkor but that adrenaline was starting to wear off. I was ready for this to be over. Obviously I would have preferred that none of this had ever happened, but after all the close calls and all the stress and all the fighting…being so close to the conclusion of this mess and still struggling to seal the deal only compounded my frustration.
“Stop this! Enough!” I finally roared over the battlefield. The Firstborn, of course, did not respond to my orders and continued trying to hack their way through the hopelessly deep ranks of demons and Pit Guards.
So I teleported to the middle of the circle, bringing twenty or so swords with me. I levitated them around me horizontally, pointing outward, to defend against attacks from all directions. Then I waited calmly for the Firstborn’s current rush to be repulsed. It was only a minute or two before their ragged, dwindling army was pushed back in my direction.
“If you surrender now,” I told them in my best Don’t-Fuck-With-The-Devil voice, “I won’t kill you.”