Janice, Coro and Keptis had been walking for hours. Trailing behind the Strange Boy who as always hopped excitedly ahead of them.
The weary time travellers had sadly found nothing but bodies, the remains of vehicles, and very occasionally the remains of strange buildings too on their long trek.
Just when it felt like there truly was nothing on this miserable excuse for a planet, Janice suddenly noticed the Strange Boy staring at something in the distance. As she looked up she saw a large vessel piercing the pitch black sky above them. The vessel had massive glowing wings that looked like they were made out of fire. The body of the ship meanwhile was a sphere that was bright red and looked like it constantly kept spinning in the middle.
The vessel almost looked like it was alive. Its wings actually flapped up in down as it appeared to land behind a large hill.
The time travellers ran to the top of the hill to investigate with the Strange Boy being the first up as always, but they soon saw the ship hadn’t landed. It was instead hovering above the edge of what looked like the ruins of a huge city. None of the buildings were complete. They were all either ruins or just rubble. There were also bodies littering the streets too. Most of them were burned beyond recognition, just like in the desert.
The time travellers could see a massive hole appearing in the middle of the winged sphere, and a bubble containing three hideous creatures soon floated out of it to the ground.
Even on all their travels through time and space, the Circus folk had never seen anything like these monsters.
They were totally and completely inhuman in appearance. A strange mix of machine and creature. The monsters did not have any legs. They appeared to be connected to a completely round, metallic base that hovered about 6 feet above the ground (though they could also fly to a much higher point.) The creatures had an amorphous shape, with no face or any recognisably human features. Their bodies were about 7 feet tall and somewhat egg shaped. Several tentacles and what looked would flow in and out of the monsters body. Strangely enough however there didn’t appear to be any openings for the tentacles. They’d just randomly pop out of any part of the creatures body, and then vanish into them again completely. The monsters’ bodies also all glowed bright blue, except for their leader whose body glowed gold. Several wires and long tubes ran up each monsters body to the very top of their amorphous bodies.
The creatures began hovering up in the air above the buildings looking around for something.
Janice looked to the flask of magical water she had taken from the fountain in the Circus. This water was to let them know what it was they were here to do. It would glow blue when they were on the right path and green if they were on the wrong one. The water would change colour depending on the actions of the Circus Folk, or their thoughts to let them know if what they were doing was correct for the timeline.
Janice and the others all thought the same thing, if they were here to help these strange looking aliens. The water in the flask did flashed green.
“Well we know they’re not the good guys” said Keptis. “Not necessarily” interrupted Coro. “All we know is that they don’t need our help, we’ll need to be sure.” Janice stopped him in the middle of the speaking and pointed at the alien space ship.
To their shock, the three time travellers saw their friend, Keyro flying out of the back of the alien ship. They could tell even in the distance that Keyro was badly hurt. Not only was his body covered in wounds, but he was barely struggling to keep in the air. The Strange Boy started to hop towards the city. Keptis however this time was able to grab the child Vampire and lifted him into the air.
“Look you impulsive little bloodsucker, there’s no use in just running in there until we know” before he could finish however the Strange Boy jumped out of his arms and hopped down in a greater speed than before towards the aliens.
“I really hate Vampires” Janice grumbled to herself.
However the boys instincts soon proved to be correct. Three of the hideous aliens suddenly emerged from the ship with one of them, who glowed red rather than blue managing to fly ahead of Keyro.
Keyro froze in fear. He slowly backed away from the monster and looked around for any way of escape, but in a flash a tentacle shot out from the red alien and enveloped Keyro. Keyro’s body glowed bright red just like the aliens and he let out an unbelievably high pitched scream. Keptis, Coro and Janice all ran towards the aliens instantly, but within a matter of seconds, Keyro was completely knocked out and fell to the floor in front of the aliens.
One of the two blue aliens suddenly unleashed several tentacles which then wrapped around Keyro’s unconscious body. There were so many tentacles from the aliens body that the time travellers could hardly see the creatures body anymore. The alien then vanished back into the spaceship with Keyro.
The Aliens soon noticed the small Vampire running towards them. At first they were a little puzzled by this little strange creature who was unlike any life form in the galaxy they had ever seen before. Still the aliens could see that he was aggressive and instantly started to defend themselves, firing out their tentacles to try and catch him.
The Strange Boy managed to grab one of the tentacles and bit into it. The alien did not make a sound, but it reacted, with several more tentacles popping out automatically which started to flap around. The Strange Boy pulled on the tentacle with his fangs and managed to rip it out of its socket. However another tentacle instantly took its place and fired at the Strange Boy. The Strange Boy’s body lit up blue and he screamed before being thrown back about 20 feet to the ground.
Coro meanwhile started conjuring up an illusion, whilst Janice and Keptis ran to help the Strange Boy. Coro conjured up an illusion of a Spinosaurus, the largest meat eating Dinosaur ever to walk the earth. Coro had encountered a live Spinosaurus before on one of the Circus Folk’s many travels and it had absolutely terrified him to his very core, more so than the majority of Demon species he had encountered.
The Spinosaurus illusion came charging from around the corner of a ruined building, roaring at the aliens who all froze. Of course if even one of them fought back, then the illusion would be broken, so Coro did not have the Spinosaurus attack them, simply circle the aliens.
Whilst the Aliens were distracted Janice and Keptis ran behind the aliens to just below where the creatures ship was. They looked at the back where Keyro had come out of, but see nothing. Their only hope of entry was the black hole the aliens had come out of, but unfortunately it was too high in the air for either of them to jump to it. Janice called on the Strange Boy to help her. He hopped behind the still distracted aliens to Janice, with the aliens having almost forgotten about the little Vampire.
The aliens were more fascinated and curious about the Spinosaurus than scared, despite its fearsome appearance. It was a truly spectacular looking animal, and there was certainly no creature like it in the Galaxy they came from. They were wary not to provoke it just yet. They were confident that their magics could harm most life forms, but they obviously had to be sure first. They weren’t sure if it was intelligent or just an animal, if it was on the side of their enemies, or had just landed here by accident.
They tried to contact the beast. The aliens spoke to one another using telepathy. They’d inject their thoughts into whoever they wanted to speak too’s heads. However here they couldn’t find anything to send their thoughts to when they scanned the Spinosaurus, which just fascinated them all the more.
Little did the aliens know it was just a mirage, and it was doing its job in distracting them whilst Janice, Keptis and the Strange Boy were trying to get into their vessel to help Keyro.
The Strange Boy may have been impulsive and unpredictable, but he could still follow commands of the others from time to time at least.
Janice told the Vampire to throw her into the black hole at the front of the ship. She fell backwards onto the Strange Boy who held her up above the ground. She then lifted her feet above the ground and the Strange Boy, balancing her with both his hand, then threw Janice forward, sending her flying through the air and straight into the black hole in the ship. He then repeated the process with Keptis.
When Janice and Keptis went through the black hole however, they both felt unbelievable pain flow throughout their entire bodies.
Neither had entered the ship either. They were both stuck in a black abyss, screaming and kicking desperately to get out. The Strange Boy meanwhile had impulsively jumped after them and ended up in the same black pit. However he too was soon overwhelmed by the pain and tried frantically to get out.
The Aliens suddenly diverted their attention away from the Spinosaurus and to their ship which started sounding its alarm. Coro tried to divert their attention back to the Spinosaurus again and made the hallucinatory Dinosaur charge at them. Unfortunately however he got too close, and the leader of the aliens struck the Spinosaurus with its tentacle. The tentacle passed right through it. The Aliens knew they were being deceived, though they were still impressed with the level of technology. Their mental powers were so advanced that they were immune to most other forms of telepathy.
Two of the aliens searched for Coro, whilst the gold leader hovered up to the sphere and spawning several tentacles reached in grabbing Janice, the Strange Boy and Keptis, holding them all in his tentacles. They were all glowing gold, just like the alien itself, and were knocked out in a matter of seconds, before the alien threw them to the ground.
Coro knew he didn’t have any chance against the aliens and so he slowly crept away and hid behind the ruins of a building just out of the aliens view.
The aliens took the unconscious time travellers into their space ship which soon began to fly, albeit more slowly through the sky. Coro followed the ship, again doing his best to keep out of sight. He was genuinely at a loss at what to do. Even if he conjured up another illusion what could it do to actually help his friends? Chances are the aliens wouldn’t believe it, and if they did, then it couldn’t harm them anyway?
Inside the ship meanwhile, the aliens started to wake their new captives. Janice, Keptis and The Strange Boy, all of whom were restrained in magical chains. The room was completely round with no bottom. All they could see below was a seemingly endless red abyss below them. They could see a few figures constantly falling in the abyss below them. At the front of the room meanwhile was a giant screen monitoring the city below. at the other end of the room was a gigantic yellow electrical sphere that Keyro was kept in. He couldn’t move a muscle as the energy, whatever it was paralysed him, but his face was locked in an expression of twisted agony.
Janice could barely stand to look at it, it filled her with so much anger.
“What do you want from us you sick freaks” Janice barked in disgust. In response Janice and the others except for the Strange Boy suddenly felt an intense ringing sound in their heads. Only the Strange Boy wasn’t knocked to the floor at first by the ringing, which was soon followed by strange voices that almost sounded like they were singing. The voice almost always sounded as though it was happy.
“We are the Mekela. The conquerors of the Rastions. We crushed their once great empire to ashes, humbled them across the stars and now we will destroy the last of those monsters once and for all.”
Janice and Keptis struggled to their feet in spite of the chains. “Telepath’s eh? You know you could have given us a heads up before peering into our minds like that. You nearly made my head explode!” Janice said in frustration.
“Such a weak, soft, pitiful little creature. The only one of you with any strength is the smallest.” This time the voice in Janice and Ketpis’ head was less strong and severe, though it still left a slight ringing in their ears for a few minutes afterwards.
“You are not like any creatures in this part of the galaxy. Why are you here? To help the Rastions? How did you get through without our knowledge?”
Janice told the Mekela however that they would not answer any questions until they stopped hurting Keyro. The gold Mekela stepped forward.
“You are in no position to bargain. You are all so weak. That setting we have is the weakest, and your friend hasn’t stopped screaming.”
The Strange Boy jumped at the gold Mekela, fangs bared, but one of its tentacles batted him away and he fell into the abyss the others were seemingly hovering over.
“BRING HIM BACK” Keptis screamed. “Only if I allow it. Everything in this ship is bent by our will. If we want, we can keep him falling forever. We can bind your disgusting winged friend to our torture device forever. You will tell us who and what you are or you will all suffer!”
Knowing they had no choice, Keptis and Janice both decided to tell him the truth. Well an abridged version of it. It didn’t seem likely that this creature would believe that they could travel in time, and even if they did, then it was probably best that these creatures didn’t know about such a secret.
“We are simple travellers” Janice said nervously. “Simple travellers who were able to get by our magics!”
“We use magic too” said Keptis. “We travel in a specialised craft. We didn’t make it. We found it. We don’t know the full extent of its power.” Keptis said somewhat unconvincingly.
The gold Mekela wasn’t buying it. “You lie” its voice still sounding as though it was delighted with his answer nonetheless. Janice and Keptis both suddenly felt themselves falling. They went tumbling into the abyss just as the Strange Boy had done, but fortunately before they reached where he was, they were pulled back up to face the Gold Melek again.
“You can join those poor souls screaming forever, or you can tell me now.”
“We are telling yo the truth I swear. Look at this phial” Janice said as she nudged her head to her pocket where the phial of water she and the others used to guide them on their mission, was. “You clearly use magic yourselves, you’ll see that it contains powerful magic of its own.”
The gold Mekela reached its revolting tentacle into her pocket and looked at the phial closely. “Perhaps you’re right. This is powerful magic, concentrated into quite a small amount of liquid. Its remarkable. You will be taken for a more extensive interrogation. Its clear that you’re not in league with these primitive Rastions. Pathetic creatures. They have a society close to a million years old, and they still haven’t been able to master magic.”
“And the boy?” Janice said. “Bring him out of that abyss too. We need him”
The gold Mekela wrapped its tentacle around Janice’s neck. Her body glowed gold and pain ran through every inch of her body, until she fell to her knees. “Don’t you dare make demands to me. I can condemn you to an eternity of torture with a thought!”
Nevertheless he did still pull the Strange Boy up from the abyss, not out of kindness, but simply because he hoped that his masters might be able to glean more information from Janice and Keptis by threatening the boy.
The Mekala’s set a course for their base. There didn’t seem to be any Rastion’s left, and even if there were then it didn’t matter. They clearly didn’t have a way off of this planet, and the Mekala’s had something far more valuable.
Janice wanted to rip the loathsome beasts tentacles out of their sockets, but she knew, even if she wasn’t in chains, they’d vaporise her or worse before she had a chance. She and the others would just have to bide their time until they found a weakness in these strange aliens. Even the Strange Boy was for once not just rushing in there and biding his time, much to the relief of Janice and Keptis. The three were still forced to listen to their friend, Keyro’s screams. The aliens refused to release him, despite Janice and Keptis’ pleading. The gold Mekala warned them both that they would join Keyro if they asked again, and so the time travellers were forced to watch in horror as their friend was brutally tortured.
On the ground meanwhile, Coro had been following the ship through the ruins of the city. He tried not to be distracted by the gruesome sights around him and keep his eye on the ship, but it was hard. Bodies of Rastions (though he obviously didn’t know their species name) were littered around him. Whole families bodies were trapped together, and worse in some cases the flesh had not been completely burned away, so Coro could make out the final expression of sheer terror, and agony on the victims faces.
At one point Coro almost stepped in the remains of Rastion as he struggled to keep up with the ship. A young woman whose skin and flesh had been burned off, and was now little more than a charred skeleton.
Coro could see the ship was suddenly getting faster and knew that it would be out of range soon. He had no choice but to conjur up another illusion. Even though there was a good chance the aliens wouldn’t buy it after the Spinosaurus, and also if it did work there was a chance the ship would crash!
Still he couldn’t just let these aliens take Janice, Keptis, Keyro and the Strange Boy away, so he conjured up an image of a Dresihaj beast, a massive winged Demon over 50 feet long, that could breath fire.
The illusion of the monster was enough to stop the Mekala’s ship dead in its tracks, but the ship soon fired a massive, green energy beam at the false Demon.
Coro quickly made his Demon swerve to the side missing the beam. He then flew the Demon towards the centre of the city, hoping to lure the Mekala’s back there. The Mekala’s however would not be so easily duped and this time they waited until Coro decided to have the beast make a landing and shot at the area it was about to land on.
Coro tried to make the Demon fly out of reach of the fire, but the area was completely consumed in the flames and so the illusion was quickly exposed for what it was.
The Mekala ship however still didn’t leave. They wanted to know who was creating these illusions and instantly turned to Janice and Keptis. They both feigned ignorance at first of course, but the gold Mekala simply wrapped its tentacles around their throats and started torturing them.
Janice and Keptis held out for a few minutes, but the magics were too strong even for these experienced warriors. The magics didn’t just hurt their body, but burned their way right into their very soul. No one could withstand torture that severe for longer than a few minutes, and eventually they both broke and told him that one of their party, Coro, had the power of illusion. Fortunately however Janice and Keptis didn’t know where he was, but the Mekala’s would still torture Janice and Keptis for another few minutes until they realised they weren’t lying.
The gold Mekala decided to smoke the alien out by burning down the buildings, or rather what was left of them. Janice and Keptis pleaded with them not to, as they could kill Coro, but the gold Mekala didn’t care and even struck Janice with its tentacle again. “If your friend is smart he’ll know he can’t hide from us and will surrender. If not well then he will die and we will be rid of another one of our enemies.”
The Mekala’s ship started firing randomly on the city, destroying whole buildings and causing entire sections of the ground to collapse into a steaming pit. Coro ran around frantically trying to find somewhere to hide, but the smoke from the buildings made it hard for him to see where he was going. Eventually he stumbled into one of the holes in the ground created by the Mekala’s ship. The ground was burning to the touch, and the smoke began to choke him. However Coro decided it was better to stay hidden in the hole. The Mekala’s had already blasted this part of the ground, so chances are they probably wouldn’t hit it again, at least not for a while.
The sound of the explosions was non stop and deafening and Coro almost wished they’d just vaporise him to get it over with. Suddenly Coro felt a hand on his shoulder. Turning around and ready for a fight, Coro was surprised to see a young, beautiful woman, with golden skin and long red hair, peering through the smoke at him.
The woman was just as surprised to see Coro as he was her. “What are you? You’re not one of us? How did you get here?”
An explosion near to the pit, suddenly knocked the woman forward, but Coro caught her in his arms.
“We’re both strangers, but the fact that neither of us is one of those monsters means we can trust each other for now.” Said Coro to the scared alien who agreed. The alien had unwittingly drawn the Mekela’s to Coro’s hiding place and so they both had to flee right away.
Unfortunately as they ran out into the clearing, the Mekela’s spotted the two of them and fired a magical tractor beam onto Coro and the alien.
The alien was almost instantly pulled in, but Coro grabbed onto the ground with his claws and quickly grabbed onto the alien too. The beam was strong however and Coro, even with his superhuman strength couldn’t hold on much longer.
On the ship the Mekala’s were delighted. “Yesssss thought the gold Mekala. We have another strange alien and a Rastion to join our collection.”
Coro attempted to conjur up another illusion. That of a massive Pteranodon flying towards the ship. Even though they knew it was an illusion, the image of the prehistoric beast jolted the Mekala’s for just a second, but it was enough for the tractor beam to go down and Coro and the Rastion woman to escape.
Acting fast, Coro using all of his will power was able to create 5 illusions of himself and the Rastion woman. Creating multiple illusions was extremely difficult however, and draining on Coro. He certainly couldn’t keep it up for long.
Still it was long enough for Coro and the Rastion to escape as the Mekala’s were temporarily confused by the illusions.
Coro and the Rastion ran aimlessly through the smoke laden ruins of the city, the illusions slowly faded, but the Mekala still couldn’t find Coro and the Rastion who had disappeared in the smoke and behind the rubble. As they searched however suddenly the Mekala ship was stuck by a yellow laser which sent it whirling throughout the sky.
On the inside of the Mekala’s ship, the magic began to malfunction. The invisible floor that stopped the travellers from falling into the abyss began to fade in certain parts, whilst the chains holding, Janice, The Strange Boy and Keptis suddenly vanished. Janice and Keptis very nearly fell into the abyss, but the Strange boy managed to grab Janice’s hand with one hand, and Keptis’ with another before they fell, and used his inhuman strength to pull them back up to his section of the floor which had still survived.
One of the Mekala meanwhile fell into the abyss too. The gold Mekala screamed at his subordinates to land the ship right away, but another blast of yellow light caused the the ship’s systems to fail completely and the ship to further spin out of control.
All of the floors began to vanish, but the gold Mekala headed for the centre because he knew that was the last place that would vanish, and hoped he could stay there until the ship crashed. It was his only chance and he had to take it.
The gold Mekala would actually throw two of his subordinates into the abyss below when they tried to reach the centre as well. As the invisible floor rapidly began to vanish, then the Mekala adopted an every man for himself attitude to try and escape their impending fate. The Mekala of course no longer cared about their prisoners and one of the blue drones, in panic threw the Strange Boy down into the abyss.
Janice tried to catch the Boy, but sadly not only did she fail to catch him, but the floor under her vanished too. Keptis meanwhile, didn’t even notice what had happened to his two companions. He was too busy trying to attack the gold Mekala to take his place in the centre and just for revenge. Of course he was easily overpowered by the beast who then threw him into the pit with Janice and the Strange Boy.
Fortunately however at the same time as the floors were vanishing, the sphere that was containing Keyro began to fade too. At first Keyro just fell out of the sphere. He was still in shock from the pain, but fortunately he was soon able to come to his senses and began to flap his wings, eventually gaining a momentum in the air. Keyro looked around for his friends and spotted Keptis first. He flew towards the Martian as fast he could and managed to catch him by the foot before he fell out of view.
Keptis then shouted at Keyro to fly further down so he could catch Janice. Just as Keyro had grabbed Keptis by the foot, then Keptis would grab Janice by the foot and she in turn would manage to grab the Strange Boy. Janice and the Strange Boy had fallen at more or less the same time so they were closer to one another. Keyro prepared to fly deeper to find any of the other people who had been lost in the pit, when suddenly the seemingly bottomless pit beneath them turned into nothing but fire.
Keyro hurriedly flew back up to the top again before the flames could reach them, dodging falling Mekala’s who tried to grab onto him and the others with their tentacles. The monsters missed the flying time travellers, more because they were falling too fast than because Keyro was actually able to dodge them.
When they reached the top of the ship the gold Mekala was still clutching to the tiny bit of floor left at the centre with one of its tentacles. “Help me” it projected into the thoughts of its former captors. Janice however simply laughed. “I thought you could condemn me to an eternity of torment with just a thought.” The gold Mekala responded by firing one of its tentacles at the Strange Boy. Despite the fact that he was over 15 feet away, his tentacle was able to wrap itself around the Vampires neck. The gold Mekala warned the time travellers that he would tear the boys head off unless they helped him. However whilst the gold Mekala was distracted by Janice, the Strange Boy grabbed onto the gold Mekala’s tentacle and bit into it.
The gold Mekala was caught off guard and whilst he was distracted by the pain the Strange Boy bit into the tentacle so hard that he bit straight through it! He then pulled on the tentacle whilst the gold Mekala was distracted by the pain, which caused the Mekala to stumble forwards, off the tiny bit of floor still left, and into the pit below where the flames engulfed him.
Keyro quickly tried to find a way to escape before the flames reached them. He flew over to the controls. Before when he had briefly managed to escape before being captured, he had flown to the controls and hit them frantically, eventually creating a hole in the back of the ship.
Sadly however when he tried to do so again, nothing happened. Clearly the power or magic was completely dead. The only way out left was through the black hole on the other end of the room. Unfortunately however it’s defence system which had already knocked out Janice, the Strange Boy and Keptis when they tried to enter the ship earlier, would make that virtually impossible too. Janice warned Keyro that they couldn’t get out that way, but sadly there really was no other way out!
Keyro despite Janice and Keptis’ protests flew straight into the black hole, but the pain from it was just as overwhelming and before it knocked them all out he had to retreat again. Unfortunately however the flames were now almost on their level, and so Keyro really having no choice charged into the black hole a second time.
The pain was just as strong as ever, but Keyro shouted at them all not go back. The time travellers all clutched onto one another tightly as they pain got worse and worse by the second. The foursome however suddenly saw the flames begin to pierce the darkness behind them. Keyro and the others struggled to move forward as the flames got nearer, and nearer, but none of them gave up and just as the flames were almost on them, they suddenly went tumbling through the darkness and out the other side.
When they landed on the ground, the foursome could see that the ship had in fact crashed. The entire ship had caught fire now. It was also beginning to split apart too. The only reason they had been able to escape was because the ships defence system had crashed when the rest of the ship finally broke down. The ships flaming wings had ironically vanished and all that was left was a flaming ball, that within a matter of minutes vanished completely in a flash of purple light.
No Mekala’s appeared to have survived the crash, but unfortunately as the weary time travellers turned around they saw about 20 or so Rastions standing in front of them wielding guns, with Coro in the middle.
“Don’t worry” Coro said to the Rastions. “They’re friends of mine.
To Be Continued