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"It's a good thing, right? It brings people back to life."
—-William Rutherford, talking about necrolyzation at the age of 7

Twisted Death is a Gungrave Fan Fic written by Legendary Biologist, part of the Gungrave: Aftermath series. It was first published at ffnet on 29th December 2016 and was completed on 24th October 2018. While it is a sequel to The Hellhound of Billion, it can be viewed as a standalone story.

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Dr. William Rutherford worked as Brandon "Beyond the Grave" Heat's caretaker after Dr. Tokioka's death. It was a job that made William a respectable person in Millennion organization since Brandon was the organization's top, yet handicapped enforcer.

One year later, William's brother Dr. Bernard Rutherford died in a car crash. People said that they saw a necrolyzed dog before the crash, but Brandon believed it was more than that. With more members of Rutherford family dying, Brandon thought another organization was involved.

For his caretaker's sake and Millennion's safety, Brandon decided to investigate the case.

Illustrations are drawn by S0rahana.

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Tropes found in the work (beware of unmarked spoilers for both the anime and the fanfic):

  • A Handful for an Eye: Brandon does this twice to a necrolyzer who attacks him after he wakes up during the journey back. First, with a handful of dirt. Second, by spitting blood at the necrolyzer's eyes. It works.
  • Anyone Can Die: Almost every chapter has a character dying, be it off-screen (mentioned) or on screen, in the present or in the past.
    • William is killed and necrolyzed. And later eaten by a giant werewolf, though it's revealed in chapter 18 that he's still alive. And he dies in chapter 20 to protect Brandon.
  • Artificial Zombie: Necrolyzation revolves around this. Any living creatures can be turned into a zombie through science.
  • A Taste of the Lash: Brandon gets this twice. First is when Brandon is captured, he's tortured this way by The Dragon of the enemies. The second time is when Brandon storms the enemy's base.
  • Ax-Crazy: Rafael is known to slaughter many adults and turn them into ornaments and sell them for money. Or simply put them on a display, such as the taxidermied Marcus.
  • Back for the Dead: Double subverted in William's case. After chapter 12, there's no clue about William's whereabouts. Then he appears briefly in chapter 15, in which Zach's werewolf eats him. He doesn't appear again until chapter 18, in which Brandon rescues him, and in chapter 20, William dies for real.
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    • Played straight in Christina's, Nina's, and Nancy's case. They die as soon as they return as necrolyzers, which are more than ten chapters away from their first disappearance.
    • Also Bartel. He's revived and only returns on the very last chapter for Wong's tournament, and he's killed.
  • Bandage Mummy: Brandon ends up as one twice. The first is after getting tortured by The Dragon of the mastermind, and later after defeating The Dragon and earning a serious beatdown from Zach.
  • Battle Aura: Brandon has crimson aura after transforming into a necrolyzer-superior hybrid.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Brandon. Once he spots a necrolyzer throwing Nancy into the air and waiting for her to fall with a mighty splat, he leaps over the necrolyzer and catches Nancy with his only arm.
    • Subverted in Whitney's case. While Brandon really wants to attack the necrolyzers who strangle Whitney to death, he decides not to attack. After all, Whitney serves to bait those necrolyzers out so that Brandon can (secretly) follow them and learn more about them.
    • Marcus. He saves Brandon from being captured by Rafael's goon.
  • Blind and the Beast: The necrolyzed Bernard saves a lot of people before his Face–Heel Turn, but everybody either runs away or chases him off because he looks awful. The exception is a blind hobo, but when he introduces Bernard to his friends, it's implied that Bernard is shunned again.
  • Blood Magic: The regenerative power of necrolyzers and superiors are fueled by blood. Overlaps with Cast from Hit Points as necrolyzers and superiors will die if they run out of blood.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: Even worse than Hellhound since Brandon gets a big freaking axe to replace his lost guns. A swing of it splatters blood across the surroundings.
  • Brains and Brawn: Sulphur and the werewolf. Sulphur is a smart little acid-spewing dog who leads Brandon into an ambush that shakes him a little, while the werewolf is a big bipedal beast who only knows to smash its way through everything.
  • Break the Cutie: Both Nancy and Nina, but especially Nancy since Nina is killed early. The two kids lose their father, then their mother shortly after. The worst thing? Nancy watches how Nina die in an assault by the necrolyzers, along with Nick, one of the basement guards who has decided to bring them out to look for their necrolyzed father, Bernard. In addition, during the assault, Nancy sustains a broken clavicle when the necrolyzers throw the car at a street lamp. As if that isn't enough, the necrolyzer rips the car door off, picks her up, and hurls her into the air, leaving her to splatter on the concrete. After Brandon saves and releases her so that he can use his gun, the hellhounds immediately chase her. Good thing that there's Brandon.
    • As if that's not enough, Nancy was later knocked unconscious and kidnapped during the tower basement raid and turned into a necrolyzer. And even worse, unlike Nina who was accompanied by her mother before earning a Mercy Kill from Brandon, Nancy wandered alone at the outskirt of Billion. With the tournament for undead going on, Bartel tricked her into following him just so that he could enter her in the tourney for money. Although Brandon ends her life as soon as he discovers this, it's still so horrible that it's hard to not view Nancy's own father as a true monster.
    • Nina is turned into a necrolyzer and has to undergo the pain of decomposition.
    • Poor little Brandon...
  • Car Fu: The driver necrolyzer uses their van to run over Brandon, reopening his wounds.
  • Chest Burster: Happens whenever a giant hellhound swallows Brandon as a whole. Brandon rips his way out of its stomach during the first encounter with this species. Later, he tears its throat open and forces his way out.
  • Chunky Updraft: When Brandon transforms into a necrolyzer-superior hybrid.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: It appears that Brandon, aside from being flogged, is left as a chew toy for the hellhounds. Also, the culprit constantly has him sedated just so that he won't know who's torturing him.
    • Zach doesn't hold back as he gives Brandon a beatdown in chapter 13. Knowing the wounds created by anti-necrolyze bullets hurt, Zach deliberately stabs Brandon there with his claws and slowly pulls them out and thrusts them in again as if he's sawing through something.
  • Creating Life Is Bad: The main drive behind the story. When William was young, he learned the existence of necrolyzation illicitly from Bernard. When his father died during Mad Dog Ladd's raid, William wished to learn necrolyzation so that he could bring loved ones back to life. However, his mother immediately warned him that giving life to the dead isn't as simple as it seems. It proves to be true. William necrolyzes Bernard and plans to take care of him when Bernard rises. However, because he hasn't known how the expired serum works, a miscalculation results in Bernard being left alone to survive in Billion. Because Bernard looks so horrible, everybody shuns him except a blind hobo (who is implied to eventually shun him after introducing Bernard to his friends). Angered, Bernard starts to murder and necrolyze every single people in William's family, including William himself.
  • Darker and Edgier: Arguably darker and more violent than Hellhound. It breaks the characters (especially children) in the worst way possible. Especially chapter 4, in which Brandon is nearly captured and sold off by Rafael's goon.
    • Brandon's little sister is killed by Rafael's men...by ramming Elizabeth's belly with a steel beam.
    • Brandon's father is decapitated by Rafael, and his head is shown to little Brandon. Holy crap.
    • Marcus' fate. He's kidnapped, taxidermied and kept in Rafael's trophy room.
  • Deadly Game: Brandon vs Bartel at the end. Wong has set it up to be a deathmatch for business sake.
  • Deadly Upgrade: The necrolyzer-superior hybrid form. Not only it turns one into a Sadist, it also drains one's blood real quick and may cause death. Brandon runs out of blood by the end of the fight and almost dies of it.
  • Depleted Phlebotinum Shells: The anti-necrolyze and anti-superior rounds, although the latter is only mentioned.
  • Downer Beginning: The very first scene is Bernard's funeral.
  • Draw Aggro: In chapter 7, Brandon saves a scientist from being eaten by a giant hellhound by whistling at the dog and waggling a finger at it. It works.
  • Dumb Muscle: The werewolf. It's big and strong, but it just lacks the brains in a fight. Brandon takes advantage of this.
  • Ear Ache: During the showdown in Gatou Underground Fighting Club, Brandon got his ear punched off.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Rafael. When Elizabeth demands where Bruce is, Rafael politely says that he's inside the bag Rafael is holding, before pouring out the contents: Bruce's severed head and favorite meat cleaver. Poor Brandon is there to see it!
  • Happily Adopted: Subverted. After saving Brandon from Rafael's goon, Marcus takes care of Brandon for a few weeks. Realizing that Rafael will be after him soon, he decides to leave Brandon in the orphanage so that the boy is safe and sound. Little Brandon is too young to understand why, though.
  • Healing Factor: Necrolyzers can regenerate wounds but not lost limbs. Superiors can regenerate lost limbs and even lost heads. Necrolyzer-superior hybrids are the same as superiors. The regeneration system is powered by blood.
    • Because necrolyzers (and their Super Mode) can't produce their own blood, they have blood-saving system to stop their body from draining their blood for regeneration.
    • Not all necrolyzers can regenerate. Because emotional state is linked to the system, only necrolyzers that are not artificially brainwashed can regenerate.
  • Heel–Face Door-Slam: Bernard. He sees how William tries to stop Brandon from attacking him, making him realize that William's love is genuine. As he tries to confirm it, Brandon beheads him.
  • Hybrid Monster: The necrolyzer-superior hybrid. Should a necrolyzer take a huge dose of refined serum for a few days straight and be in a deep emotional turmoil, it will transform.
  • I Just Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Marcus leaves Brandon in the orphanage because he doesn't want the little boy to be killed by Rafael when he seeks revenge. This parallels Brandon's act of leaving Maria in the anime, in which Brandon has grown old enough to understand why Marcus abandons him.
  • Lodged-Blade Recycling: Before getting devoured, Brandon takes a blade to his stomach. He later uses it to carve his way out of the dog's stomach.
  • Kill It with Fire: A hulking treant? Brandon simply sets it on fire. To make sure that it's dead, he blows up a troop carrier on its face.
  • Kill the Cutie: Poor Nina... To some degree, Brandon's unborn little sister.
    • Nina is later revealed to have been turned into a necrolyzer. Being a child, she can't endure the pain of decomposition and is constantly screaming due to coldness and suffocation. Although it breaks his heart, Brandon decides to kill her to end her pain.
    • Nancy as well.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Downplayed in Rafael's case because the universe of this fanfic is already dark enough. Rafael has a reputation of trafficking hundreds of children and making ornaments out of their parents' corpses (and selling them). The kicker? He taxidermies Marcus, Brandon's guardian, for killing one of his goons and ruining his plan of trafficking Brandon and puts him on display in his trophy room. Yeesh.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: After watching William's sacrifice, Brandon just loses it and roars. The roar is described to be as loud and bestial as the roar of the literal Cerberus, and it blows away both Zach's drill claw attack and a warehouse.
  • Mama Bear: Elizabeth. When Rafael's goon picks Brandon up and is ready to leave, she throws Bruce's meat cleaver at the goon and mangles his face, despite having just suffered a traumatic miscarriage due to the goons' assault.
  • Mercy Kill: Brandon kills Nina to end her pain. As for Nancy's case, it's to prevent her from being pit against another necrolyzer in an arena.
  • Multipurpose Tongue: Nancy the pup gains this ability as a result of ingesting refined serum to save her life.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: The story can be summed up as: "A zombie protagonist is fighting against Frankenstein's Monster and his legion of undead, in addition to a paranoiac Wolverine lookalike who has an acid-spitting dog and a giant werewolf as his pets."
  • Not Just a Tournament: The small Tournament Arc in general. It's just a scheme to lure Zach out, which doesn't work because Zach is extremely paranoid. Later on, with one participant killed off right after the registration, it's turned into a deathmatch between necrolyzers. The whole thing is rigged in Wong's favor: Brandon is allowed to win only because the civilians have been betting against him, so if he wins, Wong will get a lot of money.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: Zach's werewolf comes from a dying wolf that consumes his newest concoction. No full moon needed.
  • Removing the Head or Destroying the Brain: One of the few ways to subdue necrolyzers and even superiors. In superiors' case, their regeneration is fueled by blood and it requires more to regenerate brain. So decapitation can deplete their blood supply faster and kill them.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: After Mika is seriously injured in chapter 8, Brandon just loses it. His motive of reaching William and Bernard is getting more of a bloody revenge than a heroic reason.
    • Bernard himself. His motive of murdering and necrolyzing his whole family is all because of William leaving him to survive in Billion alone with such a disfigured body.
  • Serial Escalation: In The Hellhound of Billion, we have necrolyzed dogs and green-skinned giants. In its sequel Of Debt Bondage and Determination, we have green-skinned giants with big claws and necrolyzed rats. In Twisted Death, we have spine-shooting necrolyzed dogs... That's just the beginning.
    • In chapter 7, we have a colossal spine-shooting necrolyzed dog.
    • Later on, we have necrolyzed cats, crows, and rats...and a giant werewolf. Oh, and a very smart acid-spitting dog too.
    • Treants and giant ants anybody?
  • Serial Killings, Specific Target: Everybody related to Dr. William Rutherford is going down. Bernard, William's brother, dies at the beginning of the story due to a hellhound surprising him and causing him to crash his car. After that, Bernard's wife, Christina, is killed by hellhounds and taken away by necrolyzers. Then, their daughter, Nina, is killed and taken away by the necrolyzers. Lastly, Bernard's mother, Whitney, is killed by necrolyzers and taken away as she tries to lure them out for Brandon.
  • Sherlock Scan: Christina's murder leaves only a puddle of blood with footprints from both hellhounds and shoes (probably belonging to necrolyzers or humans). This baffles Millennion agents, but Brandon is able to deduce something from that. The culprit must've taken Christina's corpse away, but it isn't the hellhound's doings judging from the lack of Trail of Blood, which result from a murder victim being dragged away. How could Brandon come into that conclusion? Hellhounds carry things with their jaws, which will result in the victim being dragged away.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Nancy and the guardsmen watch Tom and Jerry Pet Peeve.
    • Brandon, Mika, and Nancy read The Queen of the Wild Dog Pack by Carl Barks on chapter 6.
    • Mika tells a summary of Super Snooper Strikes Again by Don Rosa on chapter 16.
    • The title of chapter 18 is Loyal Dogs Attack, a reference to a Unite Attack by Kinnison and Shiro in Suikoden II.
    • The former title of chapter 20 is The Day of Fate, the translation of Unmei no Hi, an OST from Dragon Ball Z that plays during Gohan's first transformation to SSJ2. Guess what happens.
  • Super Mode: The necrolyzer-superior hybrid.
  • Super Serum: The necrolyzation serum in general. It's necessary to turn one into a necrolyzer. Later on, there is the refined serum, which is used to heal wounds instantly (as long as they aren't caused by anti-necrolyze bullets) and transform a human into superior and a necrolyzer into a necrolyzer-superior hybrid.
  • Super Spit: Sulphur's acid spit.
  • Teeth Flying: A lot of them, usually when melee combat is involved.
  • Trail of Bread Crumbs: Brandon's backup plan to figure out where the necrolyzers are coming from. As the necrolyzers drag him away with a van, knowing that the tranquilizer is kicking in, Brandon leaves a trail of rocks so that Millennion agents can at least, know where they're bringing him to, although the trail isn't optimal because Brandon passes out soon.
  • Traumatic Superpower Awakening: William's act of protecting Brandon from Zach's drill claw attack kills him. This pushes Brandon over the edge as it reminds him of all his failures in protecting his loved ones, and hence his transformation into the theoretical necrolyzer-superior hybrid.
  • We Named the Monkey "Jack": How Nancy the pup earns her name. It's to honor Nancy, so that Brandon won't feel so bad about killing off the poor girl even though it's actually a Mercy Kill.
  • What a Drag: Chapter 3 ends with this. Brandon has planned to let himself dragged (secretly) by the necrolyzers' vehicle so that he can learn where their base is at and presumably their leader and the mastermind behind the serial killing.
  • Whip It Good: The Dragon to the mastermind of the murder flogs Brandon during the torture scene.
    • In chapter 7, it's revealed that Dr. Bernard is the one who flogs Brandon, and he has a coiled whip strapped to his belt.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: The necrolyzer-superior hybrid form turns the naturally gentle and loving Brandon into a Sadist. The sadism itself is also contradictory to Brandon's combat strategy, in which he always tries to kill his foe as quick as possible when he isn't protecting anyone.
  • Womb Level: Brandon is eaten by a giant hellhound in the lab and has to tear his way out. Due to the dog being a necrolyzed being, its stomach lacks gastric juice, which eases Brandon's attempt to escape.
    • Brandon enters this once again as he fights the giant werewolf, thinking that doing so will buy him enough time to figure out how to kill Zach. He also knows that this action will put Zach in a dilemma as him joining Brandon into the Womb Level may end up in a bloody duel and killing the werewolf from the inside. This time, though, the werewolf's stomach is filled with gastric juice.
  • Workout Fanservice: During a workout scene of ch22, Brandon's Heroic Build is described in two paragraphs and even compared to David.
  • Wound That Will Not Heal: Downplayed. Anti-necrolyze bullets leave wounds that take much longer to heal, but if not taken care of properly, they won't heal at all.
    • However, necrolyzer-superior hybrid can regenerate those wounds without a fuss.
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