Posts Tagged ‘aliens’

The Gunslinger

The Gunslinger (Photo credit: The mofoJT)

So, ‘Natural Selection’ is done, and all that remains of it is the past posts that you can read and re-read ‘til your foot gets stuck from kicking yourself in the ass for not pushing for me to continue the project. But don’t fear, as a bonus for you, I shall provide you here with the DVD Extras. These are bits that I wrote in ‘Elimination’ that ended up getting changed for one reason or another, some of the bits got recycled, in what you got, while the rest was simply left in the scrap file (I’m sure I had to of mentioned this before, and if I haven’t, I am now: never delete large amounts of writing no matter how bad you think it is, always put it in a scrap file. There will always be bits in it that you’ll find useful that you would have lost otherwise—plus, it gives you something to put on your website to appeal to the fans—I’m going to have those some day)

This is the original version of how it started just after Bahb hit the button. I tried writing Father with a cliché Southern-draw, so trying to figure out his dialog was always interesting, making this speech fun to write, but in the end, it was just too much “blah, blah, blah” with nothing happening and was killing the pace. So, I pushed back the zombies (the fight with them was going to start in this story, but then decided it was more dramatic to end it with them coming), I put Bahb’s guards back because I couldn’t figure out any way to get him a weapon that wouldn’t just leave him hiding behind the aliens for most of the story (even though most of his efforts of fighting were useless, I needed to keep the concept of him not backing down—since that’s the direction that kept getting chosen, so I wanted to keep that reflected as such):

What is that—Oh-dear-god—“

There was a slight pause, and a popping sound that came from the other PA speakers, and Fathers voice came over all of them at once, “Attention, my children, this is your father. It would seem that Hell has opened its floodgates and we are in the direct path of its fury. You are the greatest of a whole new species of mankind—now is the time that you must prove yourselves! Now is the time you must fight for the survival of this species! Defend our children, defend our families—“

A load groaning sound came across the speakers, followed by the sounds of multiple gunshots, and them the speakers suddenly cut out.

The room was flooded with a red strobe and a blaring alarm, and the capsules containing Soo and the other alien began to drain of their fluid.

They’re waking up now…” the unknown voice announced in Bahb’s mind.

The glass chambers started rising up in sync and the two grotesque creatures slumped over and dropped to the flood with a wet slosh, and with tentacles splayed about randomly. They lay limp and seemly lifeless in pools of excess liquid. Just as Bahb began to work up the courage to try to check them for signs of life, the being he knew as Soo began to move a tentacle, and then another, and then started to push herself upright. Shortly after, the other began to do the same.

Bahb went over to Soo and crouched to her level, “Are you ok?”

Soo looked at Bahb with a slit eye at the end of a long stalk, and directed the other towards her companion. Bahb looked between them, and notice they had their stares locked on each other.

“Am I missin’ something?” Bahb asked.

They’re talking… I can hear them…” The voice stated, “Would you like to hear them too?

“That would be—“ A piercing pain shot through Bahb’s mind, with him clasping his head with his arms, barely managing to stay on his feet. He suddenly heard the sound of thousands of voices, frantic and screaming. Slowly the voices began to calm, and filter down to fewer and fewer, until Bahb heard a conversation between only two.

…they tried to hide him from us… the experiment is ordered to be brought to an end… all results so far must be cleansed…

Everything?

We are to retrieve the evidence of their violation… otherwise, everything must be subjected to elimination…

And so it must be… no one can escape the Selection!

“What the hell is the damned ‘Selection’?” Bahb blurted out, “Everybody that has anything to do with this damn crazy cult keeps going on about ‘there’s no escaping the Selection’ or some crap—what the hell—“

A sudden sound like a surprised gasp sounded through Bahb’s mind from the two creatures. The one that was Soo suddenly began to melt into an abstract of itself, a multi-colored blob, phasing into a shade of skin, and sprouting arms and legs, and becoming the woman that Bahb had come to recognize as Soo—also naked again.

Soo examined Bahb with her infinitely dark eyes, “Bahb, were you able to hear us just now?”

“Um… yes…” Bahb answered with uncertainty.

With Bahb’s single word, he was alerted to the metallic sound of an unsheathing blade behind him. He turned and saw a man with long black hair, darkly tanned skinned, and narrowed black eyes, standing with his right armed formed into a long blade directed at Bahb’s temple.

Bahb narrowed his eyes to match that of the alien, “Is there a problem?”

Who is this? He is not one of them…” Bahb heard in his mind.

He was useful in getting in here… he may continue to be…” Soo’s mind responded, and then out loud to Bahb, “Bahb, how were you capable of hearing us communicating before?”

“Present tense—I still can,” Bahb responded, “And I really don’t know the how of it. There’s another voice that I’ve been hearing since I got here, aside from Scarlet’s and yers. I assumed it was me losing my mind, but then the crazy started becoming a bit more functional that is probably normal for crazy.”

The other entity I detected earlier,” Soo announced in her mind.

Is it the evidence?” The other asked.

“If you and yer naked friend here are just gonna stand here mind zapping each other, I’m gonna go back to finding Scarlet now,” Bahb interjected.

Bahb walked to the doorway leading to the outer lab, while grabbing a couple of lab coats and tossing them in the direction of the aliens, “If you don’t mind, you two are make it feel drafty in here.”

Bahb went to the main door. He glanced out the window noticing that his two guards seemed to no longer be anywhere in sight, “They must have been pulled away by whatever that commotion over the PA was…

“Commotion?” Soo asked walking up behind him.

“Damn’it, is that thing still on—am I gonna be permanently incapable of a private thought?” Bahb said and continue, “When Father was speaking earlier, something was responded to with gunfire.”

Kyriakos’Dionysodoros’Eli’Mongkut’Jorje,” Soo’s mind blurted out.

Gesundheit…” Bahb responded, “Ok, that joke is weirder when it’s in my head. You mean that Jorje guy from the cemetery? What about ‘im?”

“Jorje guy?” The other alien responded out loud for the first time.

“They should have been here at least a month ago…” Soo said, “The hibernation must have weakened the signal… I am not sure what they were doing between time… no matter, the elimination has begun, and we must complete the mission now…”

Soo’s counter part crossed his bladed limb through the door and it fell to fragments before him.

“Not to sound like I’m criticizing the quality of yer handy work, there, but it was actually locked from the inside—where we presently are,” Bahb pointed out, “You happen to have a name?”

“Irfan’Ramachandra’Arjuna’Tafadzwa’Gaun” The alien responded while walking over the destroyed door and into the corridor.

“Ok…. Gaun… what’s the plan? If you two are gonna start escaping, that’s fine, but I still gotta find Scarlet before I go anywhere—with or without the either of you,” Bahb paused, “But, I’m not gonna lie, I’d rather have at least one of you incase I come up against another Evo along the way.”

“I believe the ‘Evos’ will be indisposed,” Soo responded, “However, I will accompany you, while… Gaun… continues our mission.”

Why are—“ Gaun started in his mind.

Silence! Follow my command!” Soo responded with Gaun simply giving a subservient nod and began making his way down the corridor at an unreal pace.

And this is the alternate final fight between Bahb and Soo. Originally, Bahb actually got Father’s pistol-cannon, because I just completely loved the idea behind that gun, but after re-reading what I wrote, I declared that the fact that I just juiced Bahb up like a Super-Evo wasn’t really being sold the way it needed to be. So, I took away the gun, pointed out the healing, the reflexes, the strength, and just hand-to-hand stuff:

Bahb gripped the pistol-cannon and became one with it, turning on his heels; he aimed at the charging Soo, and fired an explosion of thunder, sending its giant bolt through her chest, and being followed by another being sent through her right shoulder, completely removing her bladed limb. He then went to his feet and moving toward her, fired again, and again.

When he reached her, and stood over her switching body, it was phased between her human and original state in a fit of chaotic confusion. Bahb crouched down, and threw his fist through the grotesque thing that was Soo’s face until he felt soil behind it.

Selective Memory

Selective Memory (Photo credit: TranceMist)

When we last left Bahb in ‘Natural Selection: Elimination,’  he had just escaped imprisonment in the compound for the Church of the Evolution, released two shape-shifting telepathic aliens, and dove into a battle against the entire crazy cult.

A battle against the head of the Church, Father, was brought to an end by Bahb’s bolt, and Bahb’s Evo lover, Scarlet, was sliced in half by the shape-shifter, Soo’s unveiling of their deception—which gave further reveal of their true target, the new-born son of Bahb and Scarlet—believed to be even stronger than the typical Evo.

The Evo, Kk’vin, put aside their differences and sacrificed his life to give his power to Bahb, to grant him the temporary strength of a Super-Evo.

A final battle between Bahb and Soo unleashed, ending in Bahb’s victory, only to have the other alien, Gaun, escape after absorbing the essence of Father, and taking Bahb’s son just as Bahb’s evo-charge faded away.

With most of the Church of the Evolution slaughtered, and Gaun walking into the setting sun, a herd of alien-charged zombies are staggering towards the compound, killing everything in their path.

How will it continue? You must now choose the path… … …

What should Bahb’s son be named?

I seriously have no ideas for this one, so just post your ideas in comment and I’ll make another poll for this one some other time. Try to keep it within the name scheme I’m using so far—Kk’rin, Kk’vin, Bahb, Soo, Gaun, Jorje, etc. (it’s more fun).

And I was going to have you vote on whether or not I should keep POV changing as an option, but I’ve decided to just drop it myself, since all the times I’ve tried putting POV changing up, it got knocked down anyway. So, I’ll just accept that you’re all jerks, and I’m stuck in Bahb forever…

Ok, my brain is tired, so I’m going to cover my weekly post as my break, though, due to said cerebral fatigue, I’m going to keep the topic to the less thought out. I apologize in advance.

As mentioned, we are nearing the anniversary of the blog, and as such, the anniversary of ‘Natural Selection’—it was technically born on FB about a month earlier, but I’ll consider that the gestation period—it was born here, July 31, 2012. So the subject matter will be what to do about the continuation of ‘Natural Selection.’ I am really open to any ideas right now.

As it is, I still have the background story that I mentioned I wanted to do for it on the burner, but have done pretty much nothing with it (but it won’t really affect the way things continue anyway, it will just add depth and personal amusement—it will be taking on POVs of all the other characters I wanted to play with but voters wouldn’t let me, and since all those characters are now dead… well, it clearly won’t affect things). That will be done at some point, if I have to bum rush it out, I will (that seems to be in proper tradition of the rest of the story anyway), but I would really like to get it spewed by the anniversary date.

Now, what to do to continue the story—as mentioned, I’m very open to ideas. Should I continue pretty much the way it has so far, should I establish rules for me and/or voters?

Incase you’re new here, and you for some reason haven’t checked already, to bring yourself up to speed, please read ‘Natural Selection’ and see what I’m babbling about.

Another thing that’s been bugging me since near the end of the first one, should I do something different with title? ‘Natural Selection’ was a title that I came up with a couple parts in because it was simply a great play on words that worked for everything… story, concept, etc. But… the story is slightly shifted, most of the Church of the Evolution has been killed, though the Selection is still a thing. The final part got a subtitle of “Elimination’ a slight word play, that was actually one of the titles I was also considering, but decided it fit better there.

So, those are the questions. What if anything should be changed about ‘Natural Selection’ for the second volume?

‘The Hole World’ should seem familiar to those that have been poking around here a bit, as it was mentioned to be the universe that my ’11 NaNo was set in (well, half of it anyway). This is part 2 of 4 of a group of short-stories that I did for a character in ‘the Hole World’ to help me figure out his back-story. I’m starting you off with 2, and probably won’t post the others because they are a bit overly revealing… if ‘the Hole World’ is ever finished and published, then posting those here now would ruin a plot-twist–although, I will perhaps post them some time in the future after publishing (assuming that part happens).

The Hole World

the Message

Clearcut Formerly Known as Forest. The "B...

Clearcut Formerly Known as Forest. The “Black Hole”, near Clayoquot Sound. For scale, see the tiny person in the center. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A burning star tore through the morning sky. Da’ande has seen many stars fall from the heavens of night before, and he has often heard from the elders that these stars were messages from the gods, but he knew there was something different about this star though. The fact that it was being sent during the daytime alone must mean something of importance. A message from the gods so urgent that it must be sent outside the usual tradition.

He watched it as it continued its decent, leaving a thick trail of cloud behind it. As it seemed to become closer he thought he heard what sounded like a distant scream coming closer and closer. Who has ever heard of a star screaming as it fell, screaming with an increasingly monstrous shriek that could rival that of the roar of a giant coludra. As the star was almost directly above his head, the screaming became so great that he was forced to wrap his whole head with his arms to block out his ears as they rang, causing him to almost writhe in pain.

As the star passed over, Da’ande saw something gleaming like the surfaces of the Sespa’ag Caverns. What could this mean, a screaming star falling with the shine of caverns that no one has ever seen the like of anywhere else in the world. Da’ande couldn’t conceive of any answers to his growing questions, but he knew that he had to know.

In the direction of the star’s decent and echoing scream, there came the noise of a crash that sounded as if the whole forest had suddenly exploded. The sounds of trees crashing and birds flapping and animals crying and scattering in fear came through in all directions. The gods’ message was apparently as unexpected for nature as it was for Da’ande.

Finally, after listening to the forest rumbling like distance thunder for several minutes, there came a stilling silence. A few birds still flew, trying to find their flocks that left them behind, and the subtle sounds of rustling leaves and falling branches settling to the ground. But all else was as silent as it was before the star was ever sighted.

Da’ande stared into the forest in the direction of the star, he thought to himself, It must have found a nesting in the ground somewhere, I should hunt for it to discover the message of the gods so it does not go unheard. Then the sudden realization of terror came across his young face, What if it went into the mountains of the beasts, what if it is found by a Loostrem, or Virdra first. I must hurry, even if it is at the risk of my own life.

Da’ande cupped his hands to his mouth and levered his arms as high as he can, filling his lungs with as much air as he could, and then quickly dropped his arms forcing out all the air almost at once, releasing a high pitch shriek that resonated through the forest, echoing until it became a sound of a beautiful song far in the distance.

As he listened to the distant song, he remembered back when he was first shown this magic of the forest by the elder, Edjode. He remembered how he had to force himself not to cover his ears as he was commanded against, even though the shriek was almost unbearable. But he remembered how the forest turned the painful noise into such wonderful singing.

From the near distance came the trampling and rustling sound that he was waiting for. Crashing through a line of brush, with a beam of sun light shining down on it revealing all the fine lines of its muscular detail through its fine pure white coat. The sight of the quine’s two long spikes protruding from its head ripping through the low branches made Da’ande almost sigh in disappointment because he knew already that it was a male that had responded to his call, so the travel would be on land, and hence slower. But either way, it would still be faster than on foot.

Da’ande wrapped his arm around the neck the quine to lever his balance and flung himself onto its large back. He gripped its long white mane and turned it into the direction of the fallen star, kicked his heels against the quine’s sides, and it took off into a swift charge.

He had ridden quines many times before, when he learned the call and first saw the magnificent beast crash through the forest from what seemed out of nowhere. Edjode had to lay a comforting hand on his shoulder to keep him from backing away. Even now it seemed huge, but back then, it appeared like a giant mountain towering over him. Its sharp horns protruding and making it appear so dark and menacing. It completely terrified him when Edjode made it apparent that he intended them to ride it.

As Da’ande watched the forest whip by with such speeds that the trees seemed to form a single solid wall and the horizon before him continued on forever, he remembered how Edjode lifted him on his shoulder and commanded him to mount the great beast. Da’ande’s body was trembling so badly that it almost made his muscles ache. As he gripped his knees against the quine’s body as tight as his small legs could, he could feel the coarse lines of each hair in its fur. His stomach turning from each of the animal’s subtle movements, its back and shoulder muscles contracting as it snorted and thumped its hooves at the ground.

Edjode mounted behind him and commanded the animal to walk at a slow pace around the area a few times. As it went around, Da’ande with drenched eyes began to realize how unfounded his fear was, and he began to relax his posture, and his stomach began to settle. Then out of the corner of his eye, he sees Edjode’s foot move, slightly kicking the animal’s backside, and in a brief moment the whole world became a complete blur.

It happened so fast that his mind didn’t even have time to try to regain its fear that it had just gotten over. All he could do was find himself with a smile on his face so wide that it began to make his cheeks sore. The feel of the wind blasting in his face, blowing his long hair back so fierce that he had to wonder if he was blinding Edjode.

Da’ande traveled into the direction where the fallen star should now rest until the sun had reached almost directly above him. He commanded the quine to cease its unrelenting stride, and he slid off from its back—if he didn’t still have an arm resting on the quine, he probably would have dropped instantly to the ground, as he’s forced to realize the effects of riding for so long.

Legs still tingling and muscles still painfully slow to respond, Da’ande guides the quine to a nearby stream to drink, and finds himself a well shaded tree with a soft patch of grass and moss to recover beneath before he continues onto his journey. He watched the animal as it wondered about and grazed on some of the longer grass along the bank of the stream in a seemingly random pattern, and took in the smells of the blooming flowers filling the air, and the soft sounds of chirping birds hidden in the trees, and finds himself drifting off.

Da’ande sees himself on the back of a quine flying high above the world. The air chilled his skin until it’s nothing but bumps as he commanded the quine to rise higher and higher, and then dove into a large cloud. The smell of the thick mist filled his sinuses to almost make him understand how it would be to breathe underwater, and flooded his eyes until there is nothing to see but shades of white and gray.

He exited the cloud with a huge swirling puff behind him, and felt the cool breeze as the sun turned the moisture coving his face to vapor. The quine free glided on the invisible streams of air as if the hands of a god were guiding its great wings along its path. Da’ande looked down at the tops of trees with their patchworks of fields and water flowing by with such perfect grace that it was almost hard to tell who was really moving—was it them, or were they simply standing in place while the whole world moved around them.

He looked behind him, and he saw the flaming of the falling star coming towards him. The sun glared off its surface almost blinding him and forced him to squint his eyes as he focused on it. As he continued to stare into the burning star and his eyes adjusted, he began to make out a face inside of it—the face of a child—no, the face is his age—no… the face is an old man.

As the falling star began to pass him, he heard its great scream. Shrieking louder and louder until it made it feel like his head was about to explode. He tried to cover his ears to block out the falling star’s painful screaming, but it didn’t help. It just continued to get louder and louder and—

From somewhere in the distance he’s awoken by a scream, and he jolted himself upright. Da’ande looked around to reorient himself and remembered where he was. The sun was now directly above him, so he hadn’t slept long.

He remembered back to his dream, the faces in the falling star, and the scream, The scream that woke me—was it just fragments of the dream, or was it real?

Then he heard the scream again echoing from just a short distance up the stream. I know that was real.

Da’ande jumped to his feet. He noticed that quine he rode there on wasn’t anywhere to be seen, and he didn’t have time to try to find it or call another one. He quickly looked up at the branches of the trees around him seeing how close together they are. He rocked to the balls of his feet, and in an almost effortless stride, bound up to the first crotch of the tree he was just resting under. Da’ande sniffed the air, he takes in a couple of smells that stand out but the smells of the stream’s flowers are too over powering to be able to identify anything.

He looked at the limbs of the next tree in the direction that he heard the scream and quickly analysed the sturdiness, and bound from his tree to the next, and then to the next after, and again with gaining rhythm and speed that it becomes as natural as walking on the ground for him. In the midst of each jump, he takes in another taste of the air in hopes of identifying what he’s about to come up against before he arrives, but the wind is failing to play in his favor.

He heard the scream again as it is broken off into a muffle, and he suddenly came to a dead stop. He stopped himself so quickly that he almost threw himself off balance as he lunged for the base of the tree with as much grace and silence as he could. He crouched, and looked down at a mass of movement only about a stone’s throw away.

beast-of-bray-road-625x450Snarling and brandishing their teeth in a swarm of chaos, with their hard shelled clothing, long spikes on their heads and in their clawed hands made from what they stole out of Sespa’ag. Bellutors. Why would they be this far away from Loostrem, even they wouldn’t bother trying to claim hunting grounds here. Then Da’ande’s eyes widened, They must be searching for the trail of the fallen star too—but… what was the scream?

Da’ande inched his way around the tree to try and get a better view, and as a bellutor slightly moved, he caught a glimpse of a frail arm covered in marks of blood weakly struggling in its movements. And in another glimpse, he saw the half open eyes of a young girl. I have to help her before they kill her—if they haven’t already.

He stood-up, finding a sturdy balance, and cuped his hands to his mouth, levered his arms as high as he could, filling his lungs with as much air as he could, and then quickly droped his arms forcing out all the air almost at once and the quine call shrieked and echoed off the trees with its beautiful song—the bellutors’ ears could never hear it.

As the song rang, he could see the eyes of the girl widen. Looking around as she continued to helplessly fend off the bellutors, and her eyes locked on Da’ande’s silhouette perched in the tree high above them.

As the song continued to reverberate off the trees, Da’ande saw a white streak moving and weaving through the trees like a phantom from the direction of the stream he was resting at, Looks like he didn’t go far after all.

The quine charged directly to the bellutor party without hesitation and with its head down and two horns forward, it drove the spikes directly into the nearest bellutor’s back, completely cracking and shattering its shell as easily as if it was never there. The quine lift its head driving its horns deeper into the bellutor’s back until the tips just peaked out the front of its chest, then the quine violently shook its head flipping the savage into the crowd of stunned onlookers.

The bellutors stood in stunned indecision as the quine flails to its hind legs, its front legs thrashing violently while it let out a large booming sound—a sound that Da’ande had only heard in the darkness of night in the distance of the forest and could never even had guessed that such a terrifying sound could have ever come from an animal like the quine. As the quine dropped its front back down, it landed with a thunder that visibly shook the ground around it. And in an instant, the bellutors charged.

Their hand-spikes flailed in the air glaring of the light of the sun, striking the quine at random as they clashed with its powerful horns. With each bellutor that finds a place to charge, another dropped to the ground and dies with gouges and eyes ripped from sockets and jaws and limbs lying to the opposite side of the clearing from the bodies.

The quine kept fighting as unrelenting. Out of the whole group, there now only remained four bellutors. With their numbers thinned, fate forced them into a simpler strategy to overwhelm the quine with their blows while being able to easily avoid the quines blows.

A bellutor’s spike suddenly rose to the air in a beam of light that made the whole thing almost appear to glow, and it dropped down with brute power. Da’ande heared himself let out a loud “No!” as he saw the quine drop to its knees with a force that caused its face to almost bounce off the ground as it struggled to get back up beneath the continuing blows of its attackers. Just as he realizes what he did, Da’ande saw two of the bellutors look directly up at him with their narrow blood filled eyes.

Da’ande frantically looked around him thinking, I can’t run, if I do, the girl will die, and now the quine will die too, but if I stay up here, I’ll be sure to join them both on the other side.

Then as he looked down near the base of the tree he perched in, he noticed the gleam of a bellutor’s hand-spike. I can’t, we have been made to swear never to use the shards of Sespa’ag to draw blood.

He then saw the bellutors knock the quine to its side as its movement slowed—while one remained to hack and prod at the animal, the other went back over to the girl whose eyes were no longer open—and looked down at the two now charging to him with foaming sludge oozing over their teeth as they whipped and snarled.

I have to…

In a single leap, Da’ande jumped from his branch and landed in a crouch. He quickly bound over to the hand-spike that he found to be still clenched in the dismembered arm of a bellutor. He pried the spike from its owner and took grip of the handle. He tried to lift it and almost pulled his shoulder from its socket. He looked at the charging bellutors closing in. He took the handle with both hands, struggling with what feels like every muscle in his body ripping out. He lifted the spike to the air, and swung it with all the force he could find in himself, connecting with the neck of one of the bellutors. The head flew off the shoulders and struck the other in the chest, he stopped as the head lay rolling back and forth at his feet.

As the body dropped, Da’ande just stared at it completely stunned at what he just did—as stunned as the bellutor. The other bellutor glares at Da’ande, and charged at him swinging his spike for the top of his skull, but Da’ande quickly bashed it with his own spike. He then swung back thrashing his spike across the bellutors chest, but as it struck the bellutor’s hard shell it only made a loud bang that knocked both back a step.

The bellutor swiped his spike at Da’ande again, and Da’ande quickly ducked—the spike removed a lock of his hair from his head. He raised his spike, striking the bellutor’s shell-exposed arm, sending it flying in the air with its spike still in hand. The bellutor yelled a horrible howl of pain as its blood rained everywhere, turning the ground around him to mud, and dropped down—still flailing and clawing at the ground, and grasping his stump as he writhed.

Da’ande looked over to the other two bellutors who were now taking notice to the turn of events, and started towards them. He met with the one that was at the quine half-way and clashed spikes with it. As the bellutor took another swipe, Da’ande dropped to a knee and bashed his spike across the bellutor’s legs as hard as he could, creating a spark against the shell, sending the bellutor’s legs behind him, and the bellutor face down in the ground. Da’ande rose back up, and plunged his spike down on where the bellutors neck connected to his shoulders, and pulled it back out with the spike covered in blood and dirt.

Da’ande then turned to the final bellutor who was hovering over the girl. The bellutor came charging at him with full speed, and as he opened his mouth and bared his teeth letting out a savage snarl, Da’ande plunged his spike down his throat, and pulled it out, and the beast dropped.

Da’ande looked around. The bellutor with the severed arm’s flailing slowed to barely anything, and then came to a complete rest. Da’ande looked at the other bodies, and then down at his hands completely covered in the blood of the bellutors as they still gripped the bellutors’ spike. He suddenly dropped the spike to the ground and backed away from it, and then dropped to his knees. He looked at the ground caked in blood filled mud, and looked at the blood covering most of his body. He just stared with his mind racing and numb.

He heard a low moan from off to his side. He suddenly came to his senses and remembered the girl. He ran over to her, and knelt beside her, putting a hand by her face to feel for breathing. She’s still alive, but I need to treat her wounds if I expect to keep her that way.

He quickly gathered all the roots, and berries that he could remember their magical uses for and some short branches and large leaves for splints and bandages. He dressed all her wounds and splinted her broken arm and leg, and forced the juices of a berry and root mixture into her throat and let her rest.

He looked upon her. Her long flowing hair like nothing he had ever seen before. Like the color of the blood that flows through his body, with its magic of life. The very fine detailed lines of her lips, and her face. He stared at her, watching her in awe, and finding himself completely breathless.

As he sat letting his own body recover, almost allowing himself drift away, he felts a hand lightly touch his arm. He looked over, staring into eyes with sparkling colors he had never seen anywhere before. He forced his composure, “You’re alright…”

She gagged for words at first, then she spoke with a voice that sang to him like the song of the most beautiful bird, “I… think so. But, how? I remember hearing the quine call… then you… then… nothing.”

He looked over at the quine that sacrificed itself for them, and then down at the blood that still soaked him. He couldn’t say anything.

Her eyes looked down at the blood covering him, and looked up into his face, and he knew she understood what he did.

“What’s your name?” he finally got out.

“Tolypa Tanrue.”

“’Tanrue’? That’s atleast two suns from here. What are you doing way over here?”

She slightly hesitated, looking at the ground and then back up at him, “I was flying on a quine, and allowed myself to lose track of how far I went. But then… something fell from the sky—not like anything I’ve ever seen before. It looked like a star, but… something came from it and struck the quine’s wing and I had to let it land. And then I just traveled on foot for awhile trying to make it back towards the valley, until it’d be safe to call another quine. Then the bellutors came. I wasn’t expecting them to be out this far, otherwise I would have never traveled on the ground. I… I thought I was going to die… I thought… but then I saw you. I wasn’t even sure if you were real until I woke up and you were still here. You…” she looked down again at the blood covering him, “…you sacrificed everything to save me… you didn’t even know me. Why?”

Da’ande looked into her eyes as they shimmered in the light, and he looked at the ground with blood pooling as it dripped from him, and he just stood-up and walked over to the battered body of the quine. He spoke to its spirit with his mind, he thanked it for making the sacrifice it made for them, and he begged it and the gods to forgive him for letting it all come to this, for the sins of shedding blood and desecrating Sespa’ag. He repeated his pleas over and over again until he felt cold droplets of moisture stream down his face. And he felts a gentle hand lay upon his shoulder.

He glanced up at Tolypa, “You shouldn’t be walking until I’ve had a chance to get you a walking stick…” he said with cracking voice.

Tolypa just wrapped her arm around him and held him close to her as he continued to silently plea and cry. He lay his face into the quine’s bloody body, digging his eyes into its fur soaking it with his tears. Then he suddenly held his breath. And just lays there completely silent and still. As he felt his face very slowly rising and falling, he realized, The quine’s not dead.

His head quickly propped upright, his eyes wide in disbelief, he looked over at Tolypa, “Do you know if the magical roots and berries work on quines too?”

Before she even had a chance to respond he was already on his feat and running to the forest for more roots and berries. He came running back minutes later with his arms as full as he could get them, and started to work on crushing and mixing everything, as Tolypa came hobbling over and began helping him.

Da’ande spent nearly ten suns treating the injuries of the quine and Tolypa, running back and forth to the stream for water, and tracking down things that were safe for both to eat—and staying up at night to stand guard against anymore bellutor parties that luckily never came. As the time went on, Da’ande was finding himself more enchanted by Tolypa, sitting for hours talking with her whenever he had the chance. And Tolypa was beginning to find him equally as interesting.

The quine proved to be a fast healer, and was soon showing almost no sign that it had ever seen the sight of battle in its life. Tolypa’s wounds healed well enough that she no longer needed a splint, but she still had to force herself to use the aid of a walking stick, and often the quick reflexes of Da’ande as she lost her footing—sometimes on purpose just to have him catch her.

When Tolypa was well enough to travel, and the quine could be ridden at atleast a moderate pace, Da’ande prepared to return in search for the fallen star. Not far from where they were, they were able to find the place where it first struck the forest, shards of destroyed trees lay everywhere. They began to follow the trail that it left, which appeared to be a trench deep enough that the edge came up to about Da’ande’s waist.

As the sun reached directly above them, they saw the gleaming of the star in the distance nested at the base of Virdra. They approached it with caution, Da’ande constantly sniffed the air and checked the ground for any traces of bellutors or angdra—nothing significant was found.

They reached the object that appeared to be a large rock from Sespa’ag, but somehow, it seemed different—like it was more than just a rock. He walked over to the rock and suddenly stopped, and crouched to the ground analyzing it.

He looked up at Tolypa still mounted on the quine watching him, “Something was here, but I don’t recognize the tracks. It appears to travel on two feet like us, with foot coverings, but it’s too small to be a bellutor.” He follows the tracks for a bit, “They seem to go all over the area like whatever it is was exploring. But, from what I can tell, it came out from the rock.”

Tolypa looked at the large rock, “It fell from the sky—what would come out of a rock that falls from the sky?” She stopped and thought about her question, “Is it a god?”

Da’ande looked up at her, “I don’t know. Why would a god fall from the sky, they don’t belong down here.”

“I’ve heard elders speak before of gods being thrown down from the skies as punishment for evil deeds. Maybe the god is evil.”

“I don’t—“ Da’ande’s eyes followed a trail that lead away from the rock, and standing before him he saw all the faces that he saw in his dream.

Final Battle

Final Battle (Photo credit: DILA810)

Bahb walked over to the console. His fingertips brushed over the glass shield over the release button in contemplation.

“Now, Bahb—can I call you Bahb?” Father’s voice came through the PA speaker, “I feel as though we may not have gotten off on quite the right foot. Just walk on over and unlatch that door for me, and we can perhaps try starting over—have ourselves a nice little sit down and a chat about everything. We’re both civilized gentlemen, aren’t we now?”

Bahb’s fingers did a subtle dance over the glass, as he spoke into the air, “You had me hunted down—you dragged me into whatever this is. And then you took Scarlet—you hurt her.”

“Who—oh, yes, Kk’rin. She was using other names, wasn’t she? Well, I promise you, ‘Scarlet’ is just fine, she’s simply being detained at the moment—you see, she can be quite the handful when she’s emotional—“

Bahb, where are you?” Scarlet’s words rang with a searing spike through Bahb’s mind.

“You lying piece of—“ Bahb flipped the panel up and slammed his fist down on the big red button marked “Capsule Release.”

“No!” Father’s voice broke through the PA with feedback, “What have you done, you fool?”

The room was flooded with a red strobe and a blaring alarm, and the capsules containing Soo and the other alien began to drain of their fluid.

They’re waking up now…” the unknown voice announced in Bahb’s mind.

The glass chambers started rising up in sync and the two grotesque creatures slumped over and dropped to the floor with a wet slosh, and with tentacles splayed about randomly. They lay limp and seemly lifeless in pools of excess liquid. Just as Bahb began to work up the courage to try to check them for signs of life, the being he knew as Soo began to move a tentacle, and then another, and then started to push herself upright. Shortly after, the other began to do the same.

Bahb went over to Soo and crouched to her level, “Are you ok?”

The creature that was Soo suddenly began to melt into an abstract of itself, a multi-colored blob, phasing into a shade of skin, sprouting arms and legs, and becoming the woman that Bahb had come to recognize as Soo—also naked again.

Soo examined Bahb with her infinitely dark eyes that widened at the metallic sound of an unsheathing blade behind him. He turned and saw a man with long black hair, darkly tanned skin, and narrowed black eyes, standing with his right armed formed into a long blade directed at Bahb’s temple.

Stop!” Bahb heard Soo’s reverberated voice command in his mind, “He isn’t one of them.

As you command,” The reverberated voice of what Bahb assumed was the other creature responded along with the lowering of his blade, “What are our orders?

Retrieval and elimination… the experiment has been ended due to a potentially dangerous violation of parameters…

Soo’s counter part simply gave a subservient nod in response.

Are you going to save us now?” the still unknown voice asked in Bahb’s mind. Bahb looked at the two and noticed they didn’t react to the voice, “They never hear me…

That doesn’t help assure my state of sanity much…” Bahb responded, which got a silent glance from Soo. Bahb looked between the two aliens, “If you and yer naked friend here are just gonna stand here mind zapping each other, I’m gonna go back to finding Scarlet now.”

Bahb walked to the doorway leading to the outer lab, while grabbing a couple of lab coats and tossing them in the direction of the aliens, “And if you don’t mind, you two are making it feel drafty in here.”

The two draped the coats around themselves and followed Bahb to the main lab. As soon as they came into view of the large window by the door, Bahb’s two guards quickly un-holstered a set of pistol-blades. Wish I saw those earlier, would have been a lot more useful than a paper-blade.

Soo and the other moved in front of Bahb with a fluid motion that resembled large serpents with limbs forming into long thin blades. With terrified expressions Bahb had never before seen on the face of any Evo, the blades sliced through the door and window-wall like they were air, skewering into the heads of the guards. Not one got a single shot off from even a reflexed reaction before the lights left their eyes. The two retrieved their blades and the guards dropped to the corridor floor like giant puppets with their strings severed.

Soo’s counter part crossed his bladed limbs through the door and it fell to fragments before him.

“Not to sound like I’m criticizing the quality of yer handy work, there, but it was actually locked from the inside—where we presently are,” Bahb pointed out, “You happen to have a name?”

“Irfan’Ramachandra’Arjuna’Tafadzwa’Gaun” The alien responded while walking over the destroyed door and into the corridor.

“Ok…. Gaun… what’s the plan? If you two are gonna start escaping, that’s fine, but I still gotta find Scarlet before I go anywhere,” Bahb stated while retrieving his guards’ holster-belts and pistol-blades, and strapping them to himself.

Bahb! Where are you!” Scarlet’s voice suddenly screamed through his mind with its same refrain, but with an added jolt that sent a writhing pain that brought Bahb instantly to his knees, only to hear his own screaming like a distant thunder.

Soo approached Bahb and placed her fingertips to his temples and the pain seeped away like a tide, “You are still tethered. Why would their Father not have—“ Soo stopped in mid-sentence as if her line of question also drew her to an answer, “We will come with you to find… Scarlet.”

Why are—“ Gaun started in his mind.

Silence! Follow my command!” Soo snapped with Gaun simply giving a subservient nod.

Bahb looked at the two with suspicion, but seeing that he seemed to still need Soo to keep his head from exploding, he simply shrugged and gave in. So he began following the tether in his mind towards its source just like he did not so long ago, but this time the feeling was somehow different, Bahb assumed it was just because of how much closer he was.

They made their way down corridors, and a flight of stairs and coming across Evos along the way that were effortlessly dispatched by a Bahb’s escorts, with lightning fast movements of blades to vital organs, and clean across necks littering the hallways with rolling heads. Bahb got a few shots of his own off with his pistol-blades, only to just barely graze a few by almost pure luck against their heightened reflexes.

After following the tether through the maze of a construct that seemed to be a prison, a laboratory, and a dormitory all in one, they found an exit. They stood outside the building and Bahb took a moment to gain his bearings. Several yards ahead, he could see the gate had been reconstructed after Soo’s handy work.

The tether seemed to direct towards another building that looked like a smaller version of the one they just left. Bahb directed a fist armed with a pistol-blade towards the destination and began to relay to his companions the heading, but was stopped short as a herd of Evos came at them with pistol-blades of their own. Bahb opened fire with both hands, as Soo and Gaun did their dances of bladed destruction against the unending wall of Evos.

Bodies piled, and blood pooled to form rivers of death. Bahb was already losing track of how many times he reloaded; still only barely grazing anyone with each shot he hopelessly let out.

Bahb was spun and knocked to the ground hard, with a burning bite through his left shoulder that was shortly followed by another through his right calf. Soo turned in response to his pained yells, and placed her hands on him, sending shooting pain through the rest of his being, and instantly repairing his injuries as if the limbs never knew damage in their existence.

Stay here and keep them back… I am going with him…” Soo commanded to Gaun.

As you command…” Gaun responded, never breaking his rhythm of destruction.

Bahb made his way to his feet and started towards the building the tether lead towards.

“Stop! Damn you, boy, stop!” Bahb heard the voice of Father commanded over the commotion of his “children’s” dieing screams.

Bahb instantly turned and pointed the barrel of a pistol-blade between Father’s eyes, “Let’s bring this to a stop, then!” Bahb squeezed a bolt that grazed Father’s temple with a wet line of red marking its trail.

Father brought up a hand and gazed at Bahb with extreme focus, and Bahb could feel a tinge of pain creeping through his nerves and muscle, only a slight tickle of before.

“If that’s the only trick in yer book, yer gonna be out of luck. I’m a bit more prepared this time,” Bahb said as he let out another round.

“I will take care of him,” Soo said before launching herself at Father, with bladed limbs cocked back and directed.

563623_4669777535383_2128099952_nFather responded pulling a weapon from a back holster Bahb had never seen before. It had a barrel not much different than that of his pistol-blade, but below it, instead of the blade, another barrel was mounted with a much larger caliber than the top. Father squeezed off a round that announced itself with exploding thunder, sending a missile of a bolt through the chest of a surprised Soo.

Soo let out a screeching cry that sounded like nothing of this world, as thick, dark ooze seeped from the gaping hole tunneled through her.

Bahb started firing off series after series of bolts towards Father in a furry, “You bastard! What have you done?”

Father dodged each round with a finesse that Bahb had only seen rivaled by that of Kk’vin. He fired a round from the smaller of his pistol’s two chambers, quickly followed by another, and struck with a direct hit down the barrels of Bahb’s own pistol-blades, bringing Bahb’s charge to a hault.

Soo’s was putting herself back to her feet at her wound began repairing itself like black threads being quickly drawn across by an army of unseen spiders. Father turned with his pistol-cannon taking aim towards her and Bahb drew the two other pistol-blades he had strapped to him. Bahb sent the bolts to a course, with one at Father’s head, the other at his chest. Father reacted to the sound of Bahb’s thunder, but only just too late, as the round to his head only blew-off his brimmed black hat, but the other made home where his heart lived.

Father let out a gasp, as his feet staggered and danced for control below him. He fell to his knees as he continued to struggle against his failing body. Bahb knew from his experience with Kk’vin that despite Father’s injury that would have been mortal to anyone else, he would recover, so Bahb sent another bolt between his eyes, snapping his head back, and knocking him hard to the ground, splayed like a frail broken thing with a lake of blood forming beneath.

“No!” the echoing cry came from the building where the tether lead.

Bahb took an adrenaline induced sprint in the direction of the plea. With Gaun still holding back the horde, he covered the ground between with nothing standing in his way. He made it to a door that seemed to practically throb as his tether drew him to it.

“Scarlet! I’m here!” Bahb said as he quickly shot at the lock, jolting the door to ajar.

Entering, Bahb saw simply an empty cell that appeared to be almost like his own, accept with better view, “Scar—“

A heavy jolt came down across Bahb’s back, knocking him instantly to the ground, forcing the wind out of him, and sending stars across his vision. Through the ringing in his head, Bahb heard a familiar gasp, “Oh’my—Bahb!” Scarlet send in surprise as she dropped the torn off sink she made into her weapon, “I am so sorry—are you ok? What the hell are you doing here?”

“What am I… what the hell do you mean what am I doing here? You put a damned beacon in my brain telling me to come or face my exploding grey-matter!”

Scarlet looked at Bahb with a puzzled look that started to concern him, and flood him with more confusion than he could give voice to.

Without warning, Scarlet grasped her hands around Bahb’s head, “Bahb, look in my eyes.”

Bahb did as she requested, and her eyes did their strange dance through the full spectrum of colors. His head swirled as her eyes strobed, but despite the sensation of dizziness that strongly requested throwing up, he remained conscious this time.

“No…” Scarlet said with a concerned gasp as she lowered her hands, “I’m so sorry, Bahb… it was my fault… I… I just didn’t know.”

Bahb stared at her searching for words, and desperately searching for understanding, “Scarlet, you really need to elaborate a bit. What the hell’d you do?”

“I didn’t put anything new in your mind, Bahb, I only turned on a connection that was already there. I didn’t know, Bahb… you’re the first. No one could have known, that’s what made you so dangerous… that’s why—“ Her word broke off as a shadow was cast over them from the doorway, “You!” She yelled, as she suddenly picked up Bahb’s pistol-blade from the ground and fired off several rounds.

Bahb took up his other pistol-blade and turned, expecting to see Kk’vin’s behemoth frame, only to have his barrel staring down Soo’s tattered body. Before Bahb could get a word of explanation out, Soo immediately extended a bladed limb through the barrel of Scarlet’s pistol-blade, continuing to slice through her hand, and on through her shoulder, bring the blade up and back, slicing Scarlet’s skull in a diagonal half.

Bahb stared at what remained of Scarlet’s body as it dropped. His mind raced ‘til it was numb, searching for explanation, trying to convince him that what he was seeing wasn’t real.

He looked back at Soo with a face filled with a furry he had never seen from her usual cold expressionless demeanor, “Where is it?” She asked with a growling yell that didn’t even resemble human, “Tell me—“

As Bahb was about to command his gripped pistol-blade to send a bolt to Soo’s head, a scream of pain shot through his mind, like the sound of a thousand newborns crying at once, echoing, and screeching, shattering his mind like glass.

“Thank you, Bahb,” Soo said, “You made this a lot easier for me.”

Through barely slit eyes, Bahb saw Soo leap from the doorway to a room off to the side. A moment later, she leaped back carrying what looked like a bundle of blankets in her arms.

“Stop!” Bahb heard the roar of Kk’vin from outside, and a hole exploded through Soo’s left shoulder, “You can’t take him from us!”

Soo leaped out from the doorway and the light pour through and bathed over Bahb liked fire as the screaming continued. The fire lowered to a light searing as Kk’vin’s giant frame blotted out the sun, and Bahb could hear Kk’vin’s screams only barely over his own mind, “Kk’rin! No!”

Kk’vin paced the short distance like a caged beast a couple times muttering to himself, inaudibly against the destruction and tearing of Bahb’s mind. Bahb tried to get out words, any words at all, but nothing could form, nothing could be commanded to his limps beyond mindless groans.

He saw Kk’vin kneel down in front of him with his pistol-blade in hand. As he brought up the blade, Bahb thought—he hoped—Kk’vin was taking his vengeance on him and taking the chance to end his life—end the screaming. But as Bahb waited for the sensation of life being drawn out of him by Kk’vin’s blade, he saw him crouch down lower, his hot breath inches from Bahb’s ear, “Father told me that you are somehow special,” Kk’vin began, “I don’t know how much of this you can understand right now—assuming yer small mind ever could—but our blood, is a hybrid of theirs. We were created to be the new species, separate from you… we were their weapons—their defense against enemies they convinced us we had. Kk’rin… Scarlet… she was special too, she and I… we were Father’s true children. When she met you, things went wrong… she broke the rules.

“Our blood with yers, it created something powerful—something that made them fear their weapons—their tools. Bahb… it’s yer child—yer son.”

The words rang through his mind and through all the screaming and the pain, understanding seeped through. But what more can I do—I’m dieing.

Kk’vin continued, “I’m not strong enough to beat them, Bahb… but… I can make you strong enough. My blood… it’s not as pure enough to make it permanent, but it will make you like us—better than us—strong enough to beat them. You have to beat them, Bahb.”

Bahb wasn’t sure what Kk’vin was trying to say, until he saw him sit back up and drape his blade down the entirety of his arm, and then to the other, flowing blood from him like a stream directing its flow into Bahb’s groaning mouth. And with a final thrust, Kk’vin brought the blade across his neck, turning his body into a fountain, drenching Bahb as his body fell on him like a fallen mountain.

The weight of Kk’vin’s limp body crushed Bahb beneath, but as the thick, salty fluid made its way through him, he could feel Kk’vin becoming lighter. The screaming began to seep away like dieing embers. Bahb could feel power coursing through him, charging him until his muscles ripped with eagerness.

He threw Kk’vin off of him as if the mountain became a pebble. With a final enraged glance at Scarlet’s remains, Bahb took up his and Kk’vin’s pistol-blades to hand, and charge through the door, scanning the compound, seeking his prey. Gaun was in the center of everything still battling Evos, and off, standing by the gate, waiting as if she now possessed all the time in the world, was Soo, embracing the bundle that contained his son—the last essence of Scarlet.

Bahb charged toward her, stray bullets from the Gaun and Evo battle whistling past him, with him giving them only a flinching dodge with reflexes that seemed almost possessed. His heart thumped in his ears as he took aim towards Soo, firing both barrels to her chest and head, just as he assaulted Father not long ago. She just barely slithered out of the path before the bolts made home behind her. She placed his child to the ground and charged towards him.

“I’m coming for you, you bitch!” Bahb roared as he continued his charge, firing with precisioned sight, every round striking home in some portion of Soo’s body—all fazing her, but none stopping her.

She thrust her blade arms at Bahb. He ducked and dodged her left, only to be struck down by her right, slicing a gash down his back from his neck to his tailbone, going deeper as it went. The pain burned, but his body healed and repaired with a thick, pink scar before he even had time to react.

As he began to push himself back up, he saw Father’s body laying lifeless a few feet away, still intently gripping his pistol-cannon. Bahb leapt and shoulder-rolled the distance, grabbing hold by the barrel, and prying it from Father’s hand.

Father moaned, and Bahb jumped, almost sending a bolt through him before he just barely stopped himself, “…so arrogant… I failed them… I failed my children… I was so arrogant…”

“It will be ok, I’ll stop them,” Bahb said as reassuring as he could to a man he was certain was still racing towards death, guided by his hand.

“You… you… stop them… all… they’re coming… you have to… stop them…” Father got out before the lights finally left his eyes, and the hand gripping the hilt of his pistol-cannon opened and fell limp.

Before Bahb could gain a steady grip on the pistol-cannon, Soo sent a blade across Bahb’s wrist, severing his hand from it. Bahb yelled, more in alarm than pain, as the amputated limb barely had a chance to be exposed to air before it was already creating a new, fresh skinned hand. Bahb flexed his new fingers that were now better than ever.

He turned just in time to catch another of Soo’s blades aimed for his head. He dodged, and moved in, taking her by the neck. He squeezed his fingers around as she fought and flailed, screaming her displeasure.

Soo sent a blade through his gut. He could feel it all the way through, as it nicked intestines, pieced his stomach, and attempted to sever his spine on its way out through his back and making an exit slicing through his side. But his body continued to heal as quickly as the injuries formed.

Through Soo’s death-thralls, Bahb threw her down to the ground hard enough to leave an impression of her body indented beneath. Cocking back a tightly clenched fist and holding her with the other, he threw his fist through Soo’s face, and didn’t stop its charge until he felt the grit of dirt.

Her body started phasing between her human form and its original in a fit of chaotic confusion until it finally fell motionless. Bahb didn’t release his grip and he stared into the grotesque abstract in front of him, he wasn’t certain of her demise until the creature’s body suddenly began shriveling up into a dry, empty husk.

No!” Gaun screamed through his mind.

Oh, yeah… and yer next” Bahb responded as he set target on his new prey.

There were only a dozen or so Evos left as far as Bahb could see, and those remaining didn’t look like they were in much better shape than their fallen comrades—but they didn’t take them hits without serving up a significant amount to their enemy. Gaun was looking only slightly better than Soo presently did, but he was still stand and charge straight at Bahb.

Bahb stood his ground and waited for his prey to come to him. But Gaun didn’t come for him. Instead he broke off, and made his way towards Father.

Before the question could form in Bahb’s mind, Gaun was already answering as he seemed to adsorb the very existence of Father into his own, instantly repairing all the damage he had received. He continued taking in Father until even his very appearance became that of Father’s, and all that remained of the original body had become a pile of dust.

Despite Bahb’s continued expectations, Gaun still didn’t come at him; instead he leapt towards the gate, and picked up the bundle that contained his son. Bahb ran at him, but as he did, he could feel the surge in his body begin to fade away.

“Put down the child and face me!” Bahb commanded.

Gaun jumped to the top of the gate, and looked down at Bahb, “My mission of retrieval is completed… they can handle the elimination…” he said before jumping out and away.

Bahb jumped half-way up the gate and clawed his way to the rest. As he gazed over he saw Gaun walking back the way he had once come with Soo towards a giant setting sun. Silhouetted all around Gaun coming towards the compound seemed to be thousands of staggering corpses. Bahb’s eyes grew, as he remembered the odd moment with Soo in the cemetery.

Bahb heard Gaun in his mind, “Run or fight, no one can ever escape the Selection…

Abandoned Prison Cell

Abandoned Prison Cell (Photo credit: www78)

Seemingly out of options, Bahb lay back on the cot and stared into the darkness, waiting for whatever fate awaited him to come. A slight ting burned in the back of his mind—a feeling he almost forgot from before coming across Soo—and without her, would apparently return.

I guess getting Scarlet to turn it off isn’t going to be much of an option anymore—allowing my brain to explode from her cries for help seems like a proper punishment for failure.

A pain shot through like a hot spike from the back of Bahb’s head to his eyes, “Bahb… where are you…?”

“I’m right here, woman! Now what? Yer a damn mutant and couldn’t stop these freaks, and you expected me to do better? What do you want from me?” Bahb heard his voice echo back at him as he continued to vent his frustrations, “I even had some damned alien along for the ride, and she was stopped as easily as anyone by yer daddy! Now, I’m sitting here waiting to rot—“

Who are you?” Bahb was stopped in the middle of his rant from a completely new voice in his head. He couldn’t tell why, but the voice still seemed familiar to him, like something he once heard in a dream.

“Um… what?”

Are you here to help us? Are you the one that was coming to save us?

“I… I don’t recall an ‘us’ in this. Who are you?”

I don’t know… I don’t think they gave me a name…

Bahb sat up on the cot, trying figure out what to make of this new voice, and half wondered if it was actually just a sign of him losing his mind—if yer already hearing voices, how would you know which ones are just crazy voices? Maybe I’ve lost it—

Bahb… Can you hear me?” A voice like an oddly reverberated version of Soo’s voice rang through his mind.

“Oh, for the love of—my head is not a switchboard!” Bahb grunted, “Since when could you speak through my brain anyway?”

There is another entity within the vicinity that seems to be allowing me to find a connection with you. I am however uncertain as to how they are accomplishing it.

“Ok, well, where are you? Can you get out?”

I am being contained with no means of escape, and do not believe I will be able to maintain our connection for much longer… I do not fully understand what they are doing to me, but—“ Her voice cut off suddenly.

“Soo?” Bahb waited and listened to the silence.

Crap, two living weapons need me to save them now, surrounded by hundreds of other living weapons, while I’m trapped in this damn empty box without a damn thing—

They’re coming…” the unknown voice announced.

Before Bahb could question the statement, a small slat under the door opened up and a tray with a plate and cup were slid under.

“Orders from Father,” a snarling voice from outside the door started “you have five minutes to eat, and drink, then you will slide the tray with everything on it back under—if you keep anything, Father will punish you…” that last part was punctuated with a slight chuckle as if they were hoping Bahb would try to keep something.

Bahb took the tray. The plate had a small piece of dry bread and a brown egg on it, and the cup contained water. Bahb picked up the egg, and noticed from the weight that it was raw.

He ate the bread, and the egg with shell and all, and downed the water. As he was returning the glass, he noticed there was a pile of small squares of paper beneath the plate, “Um, napkins?”

“Yeah, we really care about yer table manners,” the angry voice on the other side of the door responded sarcastically. He  mumbled under his breath something about “How the hell did Kk’vin have so much trouble with him,” then continued towards Bahb, “That’s for yer ass, stupid, there’s a toilet in the rear of the cell with running sink for hygiene,” Bahb looked in the back corner where the light from the door-slat revealed a round metal toilet bolted to the wall, with a sink connected to it, “Father has plans for you, and doesn’t want you getting sick and dieing off before he’s had time to prepare. The minimum for which has been provided, ‘cause Kk’vin seems to really be paranoid about you getting anything in yer hands.”

“Why did I need water if I have running water?”

“Don’t drink the running water. It’s treated with bacteria killin’ stuff that Father created—good for cleanin’ the outsides real well, not so good for cleanin’ the insides.”

Bahb looked back at the sink, “And why do you think I should trust Father’s provisions?”

An annoyed grunt came from the other side of the door, “Father would never bother lying about anything—lying is for cowards, and cowards fear that which is above them—nothing is above Father!” He paused and continued with a recomposed tone, “but go ahead and drink the water, I would be just as grateful if you could prove that yer not worth the trouble while proving Kk’vin isn’t worth his rank.”

Bahb raised an eyebrow at that comment, “Showing a little doubt in yer Father’s decisions?”

The Evo voice growled and mumbled to himself, “Father ordered not to speak to him,” and then to Bahb, “Yer time’s up, return everything now! And please, be dumb enough to keep something…”

Bahb eyed the plate with just the notion to comply with his guard’s request.

Don’t… he’ll punish you…” the voice in his head warned.

Bahb simply took the paper and slid the tray back through the slat, and the slat and the light was closed again.

Bahb felt the paper in his hands. It was rough and grainy and made him cringe and the thought of what it would do to his backside.

You should eat that…” the voice suddenly said.

“Why would I do that?” Bahb asked into the darkness.

You might be hungry… you should eat that…

“So, should I take this as the official evidence, then? You are my crazy voice, aren’t you?”

You make too much noise… he’s listening… he can’t hear me… he never hears me…

Not talking seems like a good idea, Bahb concluded as he made his way towards the sink. He put his hand under the running water for a moment then placed it to his nose. It had a vague chemical smell—enough to suggest that not drinking it was accurate advice. I can’t think of anything I can do with chemicaled water with nothing else.

Bahb felt along the edges of the sink and toilet, and they both seemed to be melded seamlessly to the floor and wall. Not much chance of moving these out of the way and getting out through a drain any time soon.

Bahb sat on the floor, slouched back against the sink with the feelings of lost hope flooding his mind. With the paper still in his hand, he began unconsciously balling it in his frustration, feeling its grooves, and listening to the coarse sounds of it rubbing.

Eat it…

Without a thought, he tore of a wad of the paper and popped it in his mouth. He chewed and sucked, and exchanged every bit of moisture his mouth had between it. It had a dry woody taste—not the most appetizing of flavors.

“Why the hell am I doing this?” He questioned himself as he took out the wad and slapped it on the edge of the sink where it stuck.

That’s sticky…” The voice stated.

Thank you, crazy voice, that’s very—“ Bahb stopped in mid-thought. He took the wad from the sink, with a slight pry as it was already setting into its home. He wrapped a strip of the remaining paper around the wad a couple times, giving it a slightly lick as he did so, and ending the wrap with the remainder of the paper until it formed an obtuse triangle. Ending with dabs of water from the sink spread across it.

He felt around the obscure object, and just shook his head, “That’s just stupid…”

He simply placed his paper on the floor beneath the sink, and made his way back to the cot and closed his eyes, and allowed his mind to drift into sleep… … …

“Bahb!”

Bahb opened his eyes, and looked around the sun-streaked cabin.

“Bahb, where are you?”

He got up from his rocking-chair sitting by a dead fire, and headed towards the open door. Standing with the warm sun bathing his face, “I’m right here, Scar—“ He looked over to the clothes-line and saw only dust blowing by under the burning sun.

He looked across the yard, where the man in black stood silhouetted by the sun, grasping the small hand of a child. Bahb ran from the doorway after him as the man in black and the child continued walking into the giant setting sun… … …

“Stay away from him!” Bahb heard his voice echo off the cell walls as he suddenly propped himself upright.

They’re coming…” the voice announced.

The slat under the door opened again, and the guard’s voice came, “Five minutes…” followed with the tray being slid under.

Bahb got up from the cot and started removing and consuming his meal as he took the new layer of paper. He slid the tray back under again, and he was returned to darkness.

He made his way to sink where he left his project, and picked it up. It was now stiffened, but still too thin to be useful.

Do it again…” the voice said.

But this would take forever.

You have time… he’s preparing… you have plenty of time…

That’s not as comforting as yer trying to make it sound.

With little other options, Bahb complied, figuring if nothing else, it would at least give him something to pass the time. He continued this each day while leaving about a quarter of the stacks to the side for actual use for its original purpose.

Each night, the same dream repeated with him forever hopelessly running towards the burning sun after the man in black and the child. He’d wake up to his cold-sweat, and repeat his routine of meal and project.

Days went by, and it wasn’t long before he lost track of the number. From as best as he could determine, nearly a month had passed. His paper had thickened, with the original wad as a handle, and one edge thinned and filed sharp enough to draw blood when running a finger across it.

They’re coming… it’s time… he’s ready…” The voice alerted.

What does that mean?

They’re going to take you to him now… but you can’t let them… you must fight… you have to get away…

Bahb took his paper-blade in hand and thought about his previous encounters with Kk’vin, remembering him dodging bullets, getting a bomb to the face, and a rifle to the chest and always coming back, “Well, I simply see no reason why this shouldn’t go perfectly.

You don’t need to stop them… only slow them down… you must get away…

Bahb just shook his head, and slipped the paper into his beltline.

A slat in the center of the door opened.

“Put yer hands through the door,” He was commanded.

He did so, and on the other side he felt heavy bracelets being closed around his wrists, linked by an equally heavy chain. The door then made a loud clank sound, and was slid across, exposing his eyes to a piercing light as if they completely forgot what it was.

A set of hands from each side of him grabbed him by the arms and pulled him out, and started blindly guiding him down a hallway as his eyes very slowly adjusted.

Fight… get away…” the voice beckoned.

How?

Eyes!

Bahb’s fingers found their way to the paper and without hesitation, brought the blade up and across the eyes of the guard on his right, and before the guard to his left could respond to the screams of his partner, Bahb did the same to him.

Run!

Bahb didn’t need a voice in his head to tell him that. Before he could bother to evaluate the effectiveness of his attacks, he started running, being motivated with only hopes of gaining distance before the guards recovered.

He ran passed many other doors that looked like they were more cells like his own. He thought after passing a few of the doors that he should stop and check if any contained Scarlet or Soo, but the voice kept screaming, “Keep running… you have to run!

The voice directed him to turn down corridors until eventually Bahb came to a door with a large window next to it. He looked in and saw a series of machinery and tubes.

“There he is!” his guards announced while running toward him, both now recovered with pink scars across their eyes.

Go in!” the voice commanded.

Bahb went through the metal door, and closed it behind him. Noticing a lever on the door that had the words “Release,” and “Lock” he switched it to lock and hoped it would be enough to stop them for now.

He looked around the room filled with things he could only guess at their purpose and assumed he would guess wrong on most of it.

Now what?” He questioned as much to himself as to the voice that had been leading him.

He walked to the back of the room away from the pounding of the door, and went through another doorway that opened up to another room with a row of glass chambers. Moving closer to one of the chambers he noticed floating in a liquid, a figure contained within. The figure was hideous, with eyestalks, and tentacles. Bahb looked closer and remembered the first time he saw the creature from the glowing orb, and realized this strange being before him was Soo in her original form.

Bahb looked at the other chambers, most were empty, but across from Soo’s, was another figure that looked very similar to her, but different in ways that Bahb couldn’t quite place. Somehow, despite their alien appearance, this one didn’t seem as feminine as Soo.

They’re sleeping… they want to wake up now…” the voice said.

A thump from an unseen speaker echoed, and Father’s voice came across, “Well, look at you. Let you out for barely a moment and you’re already making a complete nuisance of yourself, now aren’t you?”

“Um… sorry ‘bout that,” Bahb responded into the air, then suddenly noticed he was for some reason still mobile.

They’re together now… even sleeping, they’re stronger than him…

Father continued, “I’m afraid you are just completely interfering with the plans for my evening, however if you would be so kind as to go ahead and release the door over there, I promise not to take this little mishap personal.”

Bahb glanced at a control console in the center of the room. A button contained under a glass panel is labeled “Capsule Release.”

They want to wake up now…

{With both choices, the “shit will hit the fan,” but how it happens will be different, and one may end tragically, but which?}

Cemetery in Key West

Cemetery in Key West (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Bahb, where are you? I need you, Bahb, please!” The voice in Bahb’s mind kept repeating, over and over with a constantly increased intensity.

“Bahb!” Soo’s voice sounded from somewhere in a distance, barely audible beneath Scarlet’s pleas, “Bahb, what are we going to do?”

“Bahb, please!”

With a detached feeling, driven only with the need to reach Scarlet, Bahb slid from the horse and slung the rifle-ax from his back. Without hesitation, he pointed the barrel towards the look-out cranny of the nearest tower, and fired. The kick-back knocked Bahb straight to his ass, but he stood back up, drawing his pistol-blade, and walked towards the gate.

A shot just barely missed him coming from the tower on the other side of the gate. Bahb pointed the pistol-blade and fire in the same motion, and was responded to with a scream inside the tower.

Another scream came from the tower he fired at first. He turned, ready to fire at a target, only to see Soo jumping down from the fourteen-foot tower, her limbs forming from blades back to hands.

“Can you open that gate?” Bahb asked Soo.

Soo responded by walking up to the gate forming her right arm into a thin blade. She slashed an X across and watched as the barrier fell to fragments. This was responded to with an alarm from all over the compound.

Inside, people started running around in chaos. Looking around to figure out where to go next, Bahb saw through the panic, a group of men started towards them, and at the lead, with a sinister smile, was Kk’vin.

Without even a second thought, Bahb pointed his pistol-blade between Kk’vin’s eyes with a deadly furry, and then, out of nowhere, pain shot through his entire body. He heard Soo screaming from behind him, but he couldn’t move to look. His pistol-blade still aimed firmly on Kk’vin, but the pain seemed to be blocking his ability to will pressure to his finger to squeeze the trigger.

“That will be quite enough of all that, now,” Bahb heard a man’s voice from somewhere to his side, but couldn’t move to see its source, “I do believe you are the young man that Kk’vin here has claimed to have already taken care of—it would seem that my boy has told a little bit of a fib,” There was a pause, followed by the sound of someone walking towards Bahb’s back at a strolling pace, “And what have you brought me here? Oh’my, you’ve gone and brought me a replacement—I’m sure I can get plenty of use out of the other one for awhile, but I can certainly find something to do with you, now can’t I?”

Struggling through more pain than Bahb had ever felt before in his life, like every muscle constricted, and every nerve-ending burning, he forced out the only words he could manage, “Leave… her… alone!”

“Interesting… you have quite the will on you there, now don’t you? I’m starting to see what it is Kk’rin sees in you. Perhaps Kk’vin’s lack of killing you wasn’t so unfortunate after all; I may in fact find some use for you as well.”

Bahb heard the man strolling back towards him, and stood before him. The man in black that he saw in his visions, and his dreams—it all began to flood his mind, the man that took Scarlet; the man that hurt her; the man called Father.

“But I’m afraid we just can’t have you running around and shootin’ up the place anymore. So, I’m gonna have to go ahead and put you in a bit of storage for now, until I can find a better means of dealing with you,” the man in black reached out a single finger towards Bahb and touched it to his forehead, and everything went black.

When Bahb came-to, he found himself in a small dark room, with a small cot along the back wall. There were no windows, just four solid metal walls, and a door, which was clearly locked. There was no clear means of escape.

Remember, you have ’til December to vote, until then, good luck to everyone with NaNoWriMo.