The Circus Master: An Eye For An Eye: Part 1: The New Frontier

The journey had taken a little bit longer than usual. Normally it would only take a couple of days for the Circus to travel from destination to destination, but here it had been almost a full month.

Of course there was plenty of entertainment on the Circus Tent itself. A massive book case filled with the greatest literature from all over the universe, a 52 inch screen tv, dozens of video games of various types and plenty of exquisite food and drink, sampled from cultures all throughout history.

For Ashlei and Mestron however nothing could distract them from the anticipation of seeing where this wonderful machine would take them to next on their first journey across time and space. Mestron had lived for many centuries and seen kingdoms rise and fall. He didn’t think that anything could surprise him after all this time, yet here he was actually excited again!

Ashlei meanwhile just wanted anything that could take her mind off of her brothers passing. She still hadn’t really taken in that he was gone, though at times she wondered if what she was doing know was actually the right thing and not just a reaction to such a huge loss.

Still she could hardly turn back now, and when she thought about it more rationally Ashlei realised that she had been right to leave Lakos as there really was nothing left for her there anymore. Now however she was doing something that no one else from her time (save Mestron of course) was doing. Ashlei had spent a lot of her time training with Janice. She didn’t want to be vulnerable on the missions, and whilst Ashlei was hardly as skilled as Janice, after a month of training from the Vampire hunter, she was a far more formidable fighter than anyone else from her home village, Lakos that she had long left behind.

Just when it seemed like they would be drifting forever suddenly the time travellers felt a thud, followed by a whishing sound, and the water in the fountain turning blue and bubbling for a few minutes.

The Circus Master who was sitting at the other end of the room, his face buried in a book sat up.

“Ah good. We’ve landed. It seemed to take longer this time than usual. We must have landed on the furthest edges of our galaxy. Oh don’t worry about the atmosphere. This tent’s magics alters your body to be able to survive in any atmosphere on any planet. You won’t choke or get crushed or anything like that.” he said to Mestron and Ashlei. “However” the Circus Master continued as he reached into a box at the end of the room which contained purple pills.

“You’ll need to take these if you want to have any chance of understanding people. Even on the same planet there are often dozens and dozens of languages, now imagine how many there must across the entire universe. No one, not even an immortal like me would have the time for that. This handy little invention from I believe the planet thracos in the 18th century will translate whatever you say, and whatever anyone says to you for a 48 hour period.”

Janice meanwhile was a little annoyed that the journey had finished. She had just made progress in “Death Rattle 2”.

“Great I finally get over that level I’ve been stuck on for, goodness knows how long, I’m nowhere near a save point, and now we land.” Janice grumbled.

“Well hopefully this will just be one of those nothing missions. You know. Stop a guy from getting hid by a bus, stop someone from stepping on a butterfly and then you can get back to fighting pretend monsters instead of real ones.” Said the Circus Master with a sardonic tone.

Most of the rest of the team were happy to have landed too meanwhile. The Strange Boy would just stand there, completely motionless during the journey’s. He’d not even move a millimetre. He’d just stare into space only to start frantically hopping when the Circus landed. The Circus Master would often have to pull him away from the doors to stop him just rushing out there.

Keptis meanwhile was largely indifferent to the places they went. He valued the team and their company (particularly Janice) above all else, so to him it didn’t matter if they were floating in the vortex, or on some far away planet. Just as long as they were together.

Keyro and Coro meanwhile were more eager for adventure. Keyro loved a chance to spread his wings, whilst Coro always loved coming up with new illusions to trick his enemies.

The Circus Master prepared to open the doors, though not without some bravado first much to the annoyance of Janice. The Circus Master always loved to make it a big grand moment, the first time the team set foot on a new world, or time. It was even more special now of course with the teams two new recruits.

Once he opened the doors however the sight that greeted the time travellers was a desolate wasteland, filled with corpses of strange animals and people. The life forms had clearly been killed by a fire storm of some kind. Their bodies were all burnt to a crisp. The sky was pitch black, though it didn’t look as though it was actually night time.

Instead a black smog smothered the sky and filled the air, giving it a foul stench, and despairing look.

“I was hoping it might be a better place for your first visit. Maybe London in the swinging 60s, or Venus, god I love Venus. Still lets see what we have to do in this godforsaken place.” the Circus Master said shaking his head.

When the group ventured out of the tent, the earth of the planet felt burning hot. Ashlei was of course the most affected as she wasn’t used to these types of conditions. At one point Mestron even offered to carry her as they trekked through the dark forboding desert, but Ashlei refused. If she was going to be part of the team, then she would know that she couldn’t afford to be the weak link.

Ashlei looked back at the Circus which even in this miserable, pitch black terrain still stood out as colourful. Like a tiny little gem in a sea of coal.

Mestron meanwhile was too busy looking at the strange corpses around them. “I’ve never seen Demons like these before.” He said.

“That’s because they are not Demons.” Said the Circus Master. “They are aliens. Trust me I can sense a Demon. I basically am one remember. This is not your world Mestron. I don’t know what world it is. Never been here before, but I’d say its had better days. I wonder what we have to do here? Its not like we can exactly save this planet.”

The Circus Master looked down at one particular corpse. It had a humanoid shape, though its body was too burned for him to get any idea what the creature looked like.

“Poor soul” The Circus Master said with regret “Though I don’t know maybe he was a monster. Still” he said as he looked up at the smog covered sky. “It seems they were the victims of a greater monster.”

The Circus Master turned to face his team. “Whatever the case I think we can all agree that we want to get off this planet as soon as possible. We’ll find what we were looking for a lot faster if we split up into two groups. Keyro, Ashlei and Mestron you come with me. Janice, Keptis and Coro, you take the Strange Boy.”

Janice rolled her eyes “Why do you never take the Strange Boy?” “Well you know how it is between Vampires and Vandals. We generally don’t get on” replied the Circus Master.

As the two groups went their separate ways Keptis was already complaining about having to look after the Strange Boy again.

“I don’t exactly get along with Vampires either” he said frowning.

The two groups spent roughly half an hour searching through the wilderness of this strange seemingly dead world. All they found were more bodies though there were also what looked like the remains of strange vehicles too. The Circus Master tried to examine one of them, but it was too badly damaged for him to figure out how it functioned.

Ashlei was tired and her feet were burning. She didn’t want to show any sign of weakness, but she couldn’t go on any longer. She sat down on a nearby rock. It was scorching to touch, and she jumped up when she first sat on it, but it was still better than being on her feet.

They were all jealous of Keyro who was circling above them and not having to walk on the scorched earth. However even Keyro was finding it hard to fly. The air was choking him and he could barely see what was ahead of him.

The Circus Master meanwhile was distracted by what was the only living creature they had seen on the planet. It was a small furry creature, no larger than a wolf, with pincer like forearms, six pincer like legs, and a long, spikey tail and a small face with 8 black eyes and 4 sets of teeth.

It was clearly on the level of an animal and nothing more than a scavenger, feasting on the endless corpses. It still looked weak and sickly however, but it was not alone. A further six similar creatures began to hover around the carcass, before a larger one, roughly the size of a bear emerged from just over the hill. It was clearly the mother of the pack. The Circus Master made sure not to make any noise. Though they appeared to be scavengers he didn’t want to risk it in case they wanted live meat.

Mestron meanwhile tried to comfort Ashlei who he could see was still grieving the loss of her brother. He had tried to talk to her about it during the journey, but each time Ashlei just didn’t want to even mention it. Here however faced with the reality of how her old life was gone forever, Ashlei for the first time in a month was beginning to cry at all she had lost.

“Its not what you expected is it Ashlei”? Said Mestron in a dry tone.

“Well you know it is only our first journey. I did hope there wouldn’t be quite so many dead bodies mind you”. Ashlei said with regret.

“Well like you said its our first journey” Mestron replied. A few moments of awkward silence passed before Mestron finally talked about what it was that was really bothering Ashlei.

“I know you’re thinking about your brother Ashlei. You’ve said you don’t want to talk about it, and I understand. You’re not ready to accept that the person you love is gone yet. But you’re here among friends.”

Ashlei spoke, struggling to hold back the tears. “Ironically it was easier when we were fighting those monsters that killed him. I could focus on getting my revenge. I thought that when those things were gone then I’d get some peace. Instead I now find I can’t even think about Malcolm. ”

“I know Ashlei. You’ll never stop missing him. Still the memory of him won’t always be an unhappy one. In years to come you’ll be able to put it in perspective. The loss will always hurt, but you’ll be able to think back on the happy times you had and feel lucky that you had that person in your life.”

Ashlei felt somewhat comforted by Mestron’s words. “Thank you Mestron. I don’t know what I’d do if anything ever happened to you.” Ashlei said with a smile.

“You’d cope. You’re stronger than you think Ashlei. I know you don’t think that about yourself, but here you are. You’re doing what no one else from your time has ever done. You’re on the frontier of discovery. Another world, with its own people. Again its just a shame that it had to be this planet.”

Just then a scream suddenly pierced the darkness. It was Keyro. Whilst the others had been talking, Keyro was flying around, both for his own amusement and to see if he could find any traces of intelligent life.

It was hard to see through the smog in the air, but all Keryo could see for miles and miles was just more wilderness, strewn with more corpses. Just then however a large beam of blue light cut through the darkness and smog and struck Keyro. The pain was overwhelming. He was paralysed with it, but Keyro managed to let out one ear piercing scream before he crashed to the ground.

He was a good distance away from The Circus Master, Ashlei and Mestron who still nevertheless heard his scream and instantly searched around to try and find him.

Unfortunately however Keyro’s scream had alerted the scavengers. They had all turned around and instantly spotted the Circus Master. The monsters started to hiss excitedly and the mother suddenly spread two gigantic, reptillian looking wings out of her back.

She flew into the air at a lightening speed. Despite her hulking frame the monster was very quick. The others however who were children it seemed had not grown their wings yet, but they were still able to scurry quite quickly towards the Circus Master, Mestron and Ashlei and were able to surround them in no time whilst the mother circled above.

The monsters were salivating with hunger. Mestron handed Ashlei an electric sword. A weapon that he had found on the Circus Tent which had been fashioned in the 22nd century. The Circus Master meanwhile kicked himself for not bringing his fire stick.

The monsters were all hesitant to strike at the 3 time travellers. The scavengers had never seen anything like them before, but the lure of fresh meat was just too strong for the beasts.

Ashlei was the first to strike at one of them who got too close. She prodded it with her sword which sent the beast scurrying back. A few other monsters however got angry and started charging at the travellers. The Circus Master, standing in front of his two colleagues unsheathed his claws and scratched at the aliens coming near him.

Unfortunately however whilst they were too busy focusing on the children, the mother swooped down and was able to snatch Mestron.

Whilst the Circus Master was distracted one of the children was able to jump him. Ashlei started swinging her sword around blindly to ward off the other scavengers, but one of them managed to knock the sword out of her hand with a swing of its tail. Another swing sent Ashlei crashing face first into the hot earth.

The scavenger grabbed Ashlei’s foot and pulled her away from the Circus Master. Ashlei tried to grab onto the ground but it was so hot she let go. However she managed to hold on to a piece of burning hot earth which she threw in the scavengers face causing it to let go of her foot as it staggered back in pain.

Ashlei immediately went back to her sword and started jabbing the creatures again warding them off. The Circus Master meanwhile managed to overpower his scavenger and picked it up with both hands, lifting it above his head. The Circus Master threw the beast above Ashlei and into the scavengers behind her, which sent them all tumbling backwards.

The Circus Master then grabbed Ashlei by the hand and sped off in the direction the monster had taken Mestron.

The two soon saw that their fellow time traveller had overpowered the queen of the nest. The Queen was lying on the floor, clearly bound by some kind of spell whilst Mestron was just dusting the burning ash off of his coat.

“Honestly I was once a mighty Warlock warrior defending my people from Vampires and Dragons. I know my reputation took a bit of a knock recently, but did you really think I’d be floored by some space bug” Mestron said.

“What did you do to him? said a puzzled but delighted Ashlei. “I simply put a binding spell around the creature. It’ll wear off in a few hours and he’ll be fine.”

Just then however the scavengers began to swarm the time travellers again. As they all prepared to fight the monsters off, the monsters suddenly ran towards their mother and began to tear her flesh off her bones.

She was helpless now, and they could sense it. The Circus Master, Mestron, and Ashlei looked away in disgust. “Well I suppose its all very Darwinian in a way, if a little disgusting” said the Circus Master as he winced.

The three walked away slowly as the monsters tore their own mothers to pieces. They trekked through the scorching black desert, filled with more rotting corpses for another half hour calling out for Keyro and looking for him. They got no answer of course, but the further and further they went, the fewer bodies they saw, until eventually there were none.

The earth was still as dark and scorched as it was. “Strange” said The Circus Master. “I wonder why there are no bodies here? Either this wasn’t a populated area or”.

“Or what” said a scared Ashlei. “There’s some giant, fat, greedy monster out there that’s eaten everything, dead or alive in this entire area and we’ve just wandered haplessly into its nest?”

The Circus Master rubbed his neck somewhat nervously. “Well that does seem to be the likely option, but its best to keep a low profile no matter what.”

“And how do we do that? We’re in the middle of a desert” said Mestron. Just then the three time travellers suddenly heard a massive shriek.

As they looked up, they could see a giantic, winger, reptillian beast hovering in the sky, its eyes fixated on the time travellers.

The monster looked somewhat like a Pterodactyl. It was a reddish brown in colour, had a long beak like mouth full of sharp, yet jagged, and in some cases broken teeth. Its massive talons also looked burnt and decaying too. The beast overall was thin, covered in burns and looked weak.

However its massive size still made it a truly intimidating sight. The monsters wingspan was over 80 feet. It dwarfed the mightiest Pterosaurs on earth, and was bigger than a small plane.

The monster started flying towards the three time travellers who instantly sped off in the other direction. The monster however despite its massive size was incredibly fast and was almost on them in a matter of minutes.

Being the fastest due to to his Demonic constitution, the Circus Master tried to lure the monster away from Mestron and Ashlei. Mestron tried to fire a magical energy beam at the monster but it was able to swerve the blast and quickly flew at the Warlock, grabbing him in its talons.

Ashlei however was able to jab the monster with her electric sword. She only got it for a second, but it was on one of its rotten, broken toes. The monster roared in agony, and whilst it was distracted, Mestron used his magic to blast it back into the sky.

The monster went tumbling back through the air, but it didn’t take long for the beast to gain its balance in the air again and start circling Ashlei and Mestron, whilst dodging more blasts from Mestron.

The Circus Master however jumped in front of Mestron, waving his arms in the air with his claws unsheathed.

The Circus Master shouted at it to come to him. He assured Mestron and Ashlei that he knew what he was doing, and when the monster began to focus all of its attention on the Vandal, The Circus Master quickly ran in the opposite direction.

The winged beast chased the Circus Master across the black desert and though he was able to keep ahead of the monster for a long time it eventually caught up to him.

It grabbed the Vandal in its talons and started to lift him in the air. However once it had lifted him a good distance above the ground, the Circus Master stabbed his claws into the monsters toe. It released him in pain, but the Circus Master held onto its toe and quickly teleported onto the monsters back. It took a lot out of the Circus Master to teleport, and he had to really concentrate to do so, as well as see where he was going. Still he managed to appear on the monsters back, and quickly stabbed his claws into the beasts spine, it managed to flip him off, however the Circus Master managed to dig his claws into its right wing as he fell and it tore a large chunk of flesh off.

The Circus Master went plummeting to the ground, but he survived the fall easily of course due to his Vandal constitution.

The monster meanwhile unable to keep flying with its torn wing also went crashing to the ground.

Ashlei and Mestron ran to help the Circus Master who calmly got up and dusted the burnt earth from his pink frock coat.

“I told you I could deal with it. I know we’re the aliens on his planet, but he tried to eat us so I’d say he was fair game.”

The monster had clearly broken many of its bones in the fall. It struggled to even move, but it was still able to scream.

The Circus Master went over to put the beast out of its misery, but as he got near the monster, the earth started to shake so much so that The Circus Master, Ashlei and Mestron were thrown off of their feet.

Just then a gigantic snake like monster, so huge it dwarfed the winged beast came bursting out of the ground, behind the crippled winged terror.

The creature was at least over 500 feet long. Its skin was bright purple, with yellow spots, and a massive green sail running down its back. It had a single green eye, with a red pupil. The monsters mouth was locked in the form of a hideous grin,. Its gigantic teeth were almost too big to fit in its mouth.

The monster opened its jaws and with one scoop it swallowed the winged monster in one bite before disappearing beneath the ground again.

The shaking started again however, and this time a smaller snake like creature, though still over 50 feet long emerged from the ground in front of the Circus Master, Ashlei and Mestron.

The monster darted at them and would have eaten Ashlei had the Circus Master not been faster and managed to push her out of the way.

Mestron used his magics to create a circular barrier around himself, Ashlei and the Circus Master. The barrier managed to hold off the monster who struck at them several more times. Each time the monster hit them however, Mestron was hurt, but he still held the force. The Circus Master thought about teleporting himself and the others away, but when he tried he found that the force field was preventing him. He asked Mestron to shut it down, but as soon as he was about to, the monster struck at the bubble again, preventing the Warlock from closing it.

Just then another monster of a similar size to the first came bursting out of the ground. It didn’t even notice the three time travellers however, but it caused the ground around them to completely cave in, sending the three tumbling into the darkness below.

Mestron could use his powers to levitate the magical sphere the three were now trapped in. It was taking all of his energy just to hold it up. The constant debris battering into sphere constantly weakened it and hurt Mestron so much he was barely able to hold it up.

He had to however. Both Ashlei and the Circus Master were counting on the Warlock. As they fell deeper and deeper into the pit, all they could see around them was nothing but darkness with pieces of rubble from the earth smashing down on top of them. Just then however, one of the snake monsters, larger than the one who tried to eat Ashlei, but smaller than the one that ate the winged monster came darting out of the darkness, knocking any pieces of rubble to the side. It opened its jaws wide enough to swallow the sphere whole and engulfed the three time travellers with one bite.

The Circus Master had tried to alert Mestron, but Mestron at this point was crouched down, with his eyes closed. He had been made so weak by the pieces of falling debris he almost felt like passing out, but he would be jolted up just as the monster consumed them.

The sphere passed down the beasts throat and into its stomach. The beasts digestive acids slowly began to eat away at the force field. The force field could only last for a short time as it was powered by the will of the Warlock generating it, hence why it was such a strain. It was really designed more for short term protection in fights.

However having taken so many batterings the force field was now cracking. As they floated through the monsters digestive acids, they bumped into bits of rotting flesh, and even the severed head of another strange creature. The head whose flesh had almost all melted off, had two massive horns on the back of its head, and two more above its eyes. It also had a long horn on the tip of its snout, with several shorter horns running down to the back of its head. It also had three sets of long, curved, razor sharp teeth set deeply into its skull. The overall shape of the beasts head was similar somewhat to that of a large therapod Dinosaur.

Clearly it had been a powerful predator in life, but obviously it wasn’t a match for this creature. Ashlei screamed as the acid began to peer through the sphere in small drips. One drop hit Ashlei and burned her skin. Ashlei screamed and jumped into the Circus Masters arms.

Even the Circus Master himself began to panic. “It can’t end like this. Surely?” He said to himself quietly. Mestron meanwhile who was almost completely exhausted suddenly rose up and performed a magical blast. Doing so whilst still holding the crumbling bubble together.

It was only a small blast with very little power, and did no lasting damage to the monster, but because the blast was in its stomach, it was enough affect the monsters stomach lining which Mestron was hoping for. The monster vomited the sphere up (along with countless bones, skulls and fragments of its other unfortunate victims.)

The sphere went plummeting in a sea of green vomit down the abyss, with Ashlei, Mestron and The Circus Master all holding on to each other and screaming. Mestron however using his last ounce of strength pushed the sphere out of the vomit, though it still fell to the bottom of the ground where it smashed to pieces instantly, sending, Ashlei, Mestron and The Circus Master flying in different directions.

Pieces of rubble were still falling everywhere around them, and the Circus Master was barely able to dodge a massive boulder that nearly crushed him!

Ashlei meanwhile ran towards Mestron who had been knocked completely unconscious by the strain of the magics. She tried to rouse him, but he was completely out of it. Ashlei managed to hoist him up, with his arm over her shoulder and started to drag him along the floor.

The Circus Master meanwhile, acting quickly was able to stop a small snake monster  (still about 45 feet long) from devouring both Ashlei and Mestron. He only noticed the monster despite its size until it was looming over Ashlei and Mestron due to the darkness of the cave! Wasting no time, the Circus Master grabbed the large boulder that had almost crushed him and managed to lift it over his head, thanks to his Demonic strength.

It was still a struggle of course, but The Circus Master using all his strength managed to hurl the boulder at the Snake monster sending it flying back through the air and to the ground where it was crushed in two under the weight of the boulder.

The Circus Master lifted Mestron above his shoulders and ran, knowing that Ashlei would follow him. Neither he nor Ashlei knew if they were even running in the right direction! They were just fleeing in blind panic. They could barely even see where they were going it was so dark, and the sound of the monsters screaming was deafening.

The two time travellers soon discovered that they hadn’t landed at the bottom of the pit after all. Due to the darkness, their panic and the noise of the monsters, they didn’t even notice that they had reached the the edge of a cliff and went tumbling over it.

Acting quickly the Circus Master grabbed onto Ashlei before she fell out of view whilst still holding Mestron over his shoulders. The Circus Master quickly teleported himself and Ashlei and Mestron to the ground below.

“Did I mention how much I love that power.” The Circus Master said as he lowered Mestron to the floor to see if he was okay. Ashlei meanwhile had been completely mesmerised by the most spectacular sight she had ever seen. A highly advanced alien city.

The city was a relatively short distance from Ashlei and the Circus Master. It’s buildings which were all massive, were also bright blue and glowing.

The Circus Master wasn’t as impressed however. Compared to some of the sights the Circus Master had seen on other worlds the city wasn’t really that spectacular at all.

“Well come on young lady we can’t just stand there staring at it. That city is the first sign of intelligent life we have found on this planet. We need to get there pronto.”

As he grabbed Ashlei’s hand to pull her away, the noise of the great serpents roaring pierced the darkness once again.

The Circus Master and Ashlei slowly looked up in fear and saw to their horror hundreds of giant snake monsters flying through the air. The light from the city allowed them to see above more clearly now. The biggest were over 700 feet long! They were swirling around snapping and biting at each other. They were so desperate for fresh food on this dead planet that they were eating each other!

The smaller snake creatures (who were still over 40 feet long) however quickly turned their attention to Ashlei, Mestron and the Circus Master and sped through the air towards them.

The Circus Master picked Ashlei up over one shoulder, and Mestron (who was still unconscious) over the other and ran towards the glowing city.

One of the snakes however managed to land right in front of The Circus Master. The Circus Master slowly backed away not wanting to make a move until the monster did.

Just then a second and third snake appeared behind the Circus Master. Thinking quickly The Vandal teleported behind one of the snakes and dropped Ashlei and Mestron on the ground, before teleporting onto the face of one the snakes.

Digging into its skin with his claws, the Circus Master held on tight as the monster thrashed and shook its head to get him off. Another on of the snakes meanwhile desperate to get at any tiny grain of food there was lunged at the Circus Master, who spotting the monster, quickly jumped out of the way, causing one Snake to attack the other.

The two monsters started snapping and biting at each other.  The snake that the Circus Master had wounded ended up being the loser in the fight. As the Circus Master had been distracting it, the other snake had managed to get the first bite in. Though it still put up a good fight, the wound was too big for the monster to recover and within a few minutes it was down on the ground.

The other snake didn’t completely kill its opponent before it started to eat it the monster was so ravenous! Unfortunately however the other snakes, drawn by the sight of blood started to dig into their fallen comrade’s flesh which led to more fighting between the monsters.

The Circus Masters gambit had worked, and he quietly snuck away from the monsters before picking up Ashlei and Mestron and heading towards the city once again.

Once he reached the city, The Circus Master found that he couldn’t get within 5 feet of it, even when he tried to teleport in. A mysterious barrier was preventing anyone from going any further.

“I thought as much” said the Circus Master. “In a planet this nasty you’d have to have some kind of force field. Question is how do we get through it?”

Ashlei could see several more snakes, hovering in the air above them. “I don’t know but please figure it out quickly!”

Just then a massive green spotlight shone from the tallest tower in the city and landed squarely on the time travelling trio.

Ashlei and The Circus Master paniced as the light had surely brought them to the attention of all of the snakes, and for a moment the monsters, all of them, regardless of size, looked as though they were about to pounce on the three.

Instead however a hover craft came flying out of the city. It was yellow in colour, triangular in shape, and had a strange blue glow coming beneath it, not unlike the one from the city.

The craft was completely smooth, with no designs or markings on it whatsoever. As the ship zeroed in on the the three travellers the Snakes stopped in their tracks. They didn’t seem scared of the craft. Instead these unspeakable monstrosities seemed suddenly seemed more like a litter of puppies anxiously awaiting their masters commands.

The top half of the craft opened up, revealing three strange alien creatures, sitting in what looked like three red chairs. There didn’t appear to be anything else in the craft, including even controls of any kind.

The aliens hovered towards the three time travellers (with Mestron still being unconscious.) The aliens were relatively tall. The shortest was about 6 foot 2. The creatures had a humanoid shape overall. Their hair was bright red, long and flowing. Two of the creatures were female, whilst one was male. The creatures skin was bright gold, whilst their eyes were a greenish shade of blue.

The creatures were strikingly beautiful. Ashlei was rather taken aback at first by the sight of the male, who was the most handsome man she had ever seen in her life. The Circus Master meanwhile didn’t even notice the females. Due to his nature as a Vandal those types of feelings were long lost to him.

The creatures circled the three time travellers whilst holding their strange looking weapons for a few minutes before the Circus Master spoke.

“You know you’re never going to get anywhere if you don’t ask us questions? said the Circus Master in a dry tone.

The aliens were a little taken aback. The male spoke in a voice that sounded, in contrast to the creatures appearance, thick and rough.

“How can you speak our language?” said the creature. “You don’t resemble any of the life forms we’ve colonised, or even any of the known life forms from the 7 Galaxies? You’re with them aren’t you?” He began to shout. “You’ve come to spy on us! Tell me how did you find us?”

The Circus Master did his best to try and diffuse the situation. “I don’t know what’s going on on this planet. We’re just travellers. We mean you no harm.”

“Right” sneered the alien. “You’re just a simple traveller who managed to stumble into the middle of an intergalactic war, and then survived an encounter with the Lystegrias? We should feed you to them.”

“No” interrupted one of the females “We’ll take them in for questioning. Find out what they’re doing here. They’ll wish our little pets had eaten them.” She said with a sadistic smile.

Whilst the male alien wasn’t looking, the Circus Master was able to kick the gun out of his hand with his Vandal speed. As he reached down to grab it, the other two alien women instantly fired several times on the Circus Master. The laser beams from their guns cut several holes in the Circus Master but did not otherwise deter him and they quickly healed.

“I knew it” said the male. “You have magic. You are with them!” The Circus Master picked up the gun and aimed it at the three aliens. “You can’t kill me, but I can easily kill all three of you. Even without this” he said as he unsheathed the claws on his other hand.

The two females dropped their guns. “What do you want from us?” said the male.

“I want to know the history of this planet. Who are you? What happened here? With monsters like those as your pets, who could possibly terrify you to the point where you’re living underground and ready to shoot anything that moves?”

The aliens seemed a little perplexed by the Circus Masters questions.  They felt sure he was a spy for their enemies.

“You know our history. We were once the greatest civilisation until you freaks tore it apart. Go on kill us. I’d rather die now than see my people burn.”

As the male spat back at the Circus Master, Mestron finally began to rouse from his slumber.

Ashlei tended to him. “Thank god. I was getting worried there that you were never going to wake up.”

Mestron staggered to his feet with Ashlei’s help. “I’m amazed the strain didn’t kill me.” Mestron said as he struggled to open his eyes. “Please don’t ask me to do anything like that for a while.”

Whilst the Circus Master was arguing with the aliens, trying to convince them that he wasn’t a spy, Ashlei noticed another 6 yellow crafts descending from the city towards them.

She tried to alert the Circus Master, but he cut her off each time as he was too busy arguing. It was only when the male alien started laughing that the Circus Master turned around and saw what was waiting for him.

Whilst the Circus Master was distracted, the male alien rushed him. The aliens strength was of course no match for that of a Vandal, and the Circus Master tossed him away effortlessly. However the alien did manage to knock the gun out of The Circus Masters hand, and whilst he was busy fighting the male alien off, who attempted to rush the Vandal again, the two female aliens quickly grabbed their two guns and then grabbed Ashlei and Mestron.

Mestron was too weak to fight back whilst Ashlei, despite the lessons she had, was still no match for the soldier who had spent most of her life fighting.

The two female aliens called out to the Circus Master, with their guns aimed firmly at Ashlei and Mestron’s heads.

“We know you are laser proof, but are your friends?”

With no choice the Circus Master got on his knees and put his hands behind his head as the 6 other crafts landed around them.

The Aliens surrounded the three captive time travellers.

“Well” said the leader of the group. “Rather strange looking aliens. I don’t care what little magic tricks you have, you’re outnumbered, and you will tell us what we want, or you will suffer. Trust me. We were once the dominant force in this galaxy. We know how to force people to do what we want.”

To Be Continued.