As Jiazan raised the Professor over Gysters heart, Lindsey grabbed the Professors staff and fired it at the undead monster. The staff, just as before had a brief effect on the Zombie causing some of its wounds to heal.
Disoriented by the magic, Jiazan dropped the Professor and turned his attention to Lindsey. Lindsey kept firing the magic at the Zombie however and whilst it didn’t revive Jiazan it appeared to have a much greater mental effect on him than even the Professor could have imagined. Memories of the man Jiazan used to be started to creep back into his rotting skull.
Zombies were never fully the people they had once been in life. Raising the dead exactly as they were was a rarity in the universe, even with the strongest magics.
Indeed most Zombies were the work of crude magics and therefore both mentally and physically they were nothing more than shambolic, repulsive husks, barely on the level on animals, living for nothing but to feed on the living, or obey their masters orders.
Even those who were almost completely perfect physically however would still often be lacking mentally in something vital they once possessed in life.
Now however for a few moments, Lindsey gave everything back to Jiazan mentally and it was enough to almost kill him. He ran screaming from the room and down the corridor, consumed with guilt over the people he had killed. After just a few more moments however Jiazan could suddenly feel his old self slipping away again, as the effects of the staff wore off. “No, no, I must remember who I am, I am a good man, I am a good man!” He kept saying to himself as the homicidal rage and jealousy slowly crept its way back into his very soul.
Lindsey helped the Professor up to his feet and handed him back his staff. “Thank you Lindsey in another minute I’d” he was interrupted as suddenly the whole ship began to break and more beams of blue light began to burst from parts of Gyster.
Gyster let out an ear piercing scream. “Please I can’t hold on much longer.”
The Professor started to work on the ships heart. He used his staff to heal some of its injuries and then began a healing ritual to fully repair the heart, though even as he was performing it, the heart still fluctuated, causing massive flashes of blue light to appear all over the ship.
One flash of light very nearly vaporised Lindsey, who barely managed to get out of the way in time. The Professor meanwhile took no notice of the magical blasts and continued to chant the ritual.
Fortunately one of the blue flashes of light appeared in the corridor just in front of Jiazan, (who had now fully regressed back to being a monster) which prevented him from interrupting the ritual again.
As more and more holes began to appear in the ship, all seemed lost until suddenly the shaking stopped.
Gyster let out another groan. “I can feel the pain going away.”
“You have nothing to worry about now” The Professor said smugly. “An old healing ritual from the planet Skrelian. Its like a magical bandage over your wounds, or think of it as like magical stitches. You’ll never be as strong as you once were though. Don’t over exert yourself or they might pop.”
“Thank you Vampire” Gyster said. “I’m afraid however my lack of strength is going to be a problem for you too.”
“What do you mean?”
“In those last few minutes, when it looked like your ritual wasn’t going to work I drained the energy from your ship. Forgive me. I had no choice, and if I hadn’t I probably would have exploded before your spell could have worked. You’d all be dead now.”
A look of horror came over The Professors face. “Please tell me you left the emergency banks alone.”
“I am afraid.”
“You fool, do you realise what you’ve done.”
“I am sorry Vampire. I know how much you cared for that vessel, but it is not more important than my, or your, or Lindsey’s or any of the people I chose to be my new crew’s lives. All of you can stay here and be my new crew.”
“Believe me, as horrifying as the idea of us being part of your new crew is” The Professor snapped. “You don’t understand. There was a creature locked away deep inside my ship. A monster that makes all of your Zombies look like the pathetic runts they truly are.”
Jiazan waited patiently for the blue light to disappear. He wanted to make Lindsey pay for making him feel guilt. He started to thump the walls in frustration until he heard the faint sound of music in the distance. It was coming from the old disco.
Surely no one could be in there now of all times, dancing to music? It must be an old jukebox, he thought. Still the monster didn’t want to take the tiny chance there was someone in there that he’d let go and so he decided to investigate.
Sure enough when he peered through the doors he saw the two Zombies dancing to romantic music. It almost seemed like a comical sight in the middle of everything that was going on.
The male Zombie pushed the female behind him and spoke, somewhat nervously to Jiazan who came storming into the room.
“Please I know you. We travelled together for many years, decades even. We fought side by side, we slew monsters, saved worlds. Please, me and wife we just want to spend our last few minutes together. Let us have that. Remember the man you used to be. Jiazan.”
Jiazan responded by punching a hole through the lesser Zombies chest before throwing him 10 feet across the room.
The female Zombie let out a scream before picking up a chair and smashing it over Jiazan’s head. It didn’t even make him flinch, and the female Zombie in response picked up one of the chairs legs and jabbed it into Jiazan’s eye. It still did nothing. She then ran across the room, with the giant, psychotic Zombie in hot pursuit. She grabbed two bottles from a nearby table as she ran and threw one at Jiazan’s head but the monster still wasn’t hurt and managed to grab her.
In desperation she smashed the other bottle off of a nearby table and tried to jab it into the larger Zombies face, but Jiazan just threw her over another table.
The larger Zombie then grabbed her throat with both hands and prepared to tear her head clean off her shoulders. Before he could however the male Zombie grabbed Jiazan in a bear hug from behind and pulled him backwards.
“You’re nothing but a pitiful monster now. I’ll put you out of your misery.” The male Zombie said as he tried to pull on Jiazan’s neck.
Jiazan however easily overpowered the lesser Zombie and tore both of his arms off, before lifting him over his head.
“PLEASE, PLEASE FOR PITY’S SAKE, WE’LL DO ANYTHING.” The female Zombie shouted and begged in desperation. Jiazan however didn’t even acknowledge her screams and instead ripped the male Zombie in half.
The female let out a scream and ran at Jiazan, who effortlessly knocked her to the ground with a quick strike..
Jiazan’s strikes were so fast and so relentless that the female had no time to defend herself, even if she had wanted to. Jiazan broke her ribs, her spine, and both of her legs, before smashing her skull in.
With her last actions the female Zombie crawled around the upper half of her lover and wrapped her arm around him.
Like the other undead creatures on the vessel, the two love Zombies were not the people they once were. In life they had been great heroes who would have done all they could to help the still living members of Gysters crew who were in danger, and even Gyster himself.
Now however all they cared about was each other. Even if they had seen a child being torn to pieces by Zombies outside, then they still wouldn’t have bothered to interrupt their dancing to help him.
Still at the very least, unlike Jiazan the two were even as Zombies able to retain the selfless love they had felt for another person in life, and in her final few seconds, the female made sure that she was still by the side of the man she loved no matter what.
Jiazan meanwhile laughed at the female’s final display, muttering “pathetic” under his breath.
Slaughtering the two lesser Zombies had been an amusing distraction for the monster, but his thoughts soon drifted back to the Professor and Lindsey. They had evaded and in his mind humiliated them. “You two got off lightly compared to the Vampire and that bitch” Jiazan said bitterly as he looked down at the beaten and mangled corpses of his previous two victims.
“Who was this Demon?” Gyster asked, not sure if he wanted to know the answer.
“Slekovora, the curser of worlds.” The Professor responded. “He is said to come from the darkest world in all of the hell universes. Each planet he visits he transforms into a copy of his own world, through black magic. According to the legends, unlike most other Demons, he hated the hell he was born into, and despised other races that he felt were born into more privileged worlds. He targeted the most peaceful, and advanced planets in all of creation and would condemn them through the blackest magics.”
“Yes I’ve heard of him.” Gyster responded with regret. “He destroyed my favourite world. The planet Hystari. I saved its people from an invasion of Vampires many millennia ago. They hailed me and my then crew as their greatest heroes. We would visit their world many times after, often helping them against some other threat. Sadly however the last time we visited Hystari it had been twisted into a hellworld.” The ship paused for a moment. “I’ll never forget seeing the people who had once cheered me as I flew by, twisted into monsters, tearing each other apart. I lost five of my crew to that world.”
“I’ve visited Hystari.” The Professor replied. “It’s now known as one of the worst hell planets in its galaxy. I never knew it was anything other than that. I’m sorry. I can relate however. We encountered Slekovora on one of our favourite planets. Liova. It wasn’t as far gone as Hystari however. Its people for years had been working on a spell to contain Slekovora. Doing so drained their world of all magics and left them a burned out husk, but they were eventually able to trap that monster.
The last few surviving Liovans gave his cage as it were, to us. Since we’re never in one place too long, they figured it would be safer with us, as his minions couldn’t track us across all of time and space. For years Lindsey and I tried to find a way to kill that monster while he was vulnerable, but we couldn’t do it. No magics were powerful enough to actually harm him.”
“And now” Lindsey interrupted. “He’s escaped. We’ve failed. We’ll have the death’s of billions of worlds on our conscious”
“Come on we can’t think that way. We’re all responsible, but if we work together, we can put him back in his cage.” Gyster responded with faux optimism.
“We’re not all responsible. You are, you drained the power from my ship” The Professor snapped.
“You were the one who crashed into me, and wasted too much time messing about with those dancing Zombies out there. Why didn’t you warn me.”
“I did. I told you, you were biting off more than you could chew with my vessel.”
“That was hardly a warning.”
“I didn’t want to advertise that I had him locked up. Like I said we were supposed to keep it secret, so that his followers would never be able to find us, not that it matters now anyway as you’ve.”
“Okay, okay” Lindsey shouted. “It doesn’t matter whose fault it is, what’s important is that we need to get back to the ship. Those poor people you abducted think they’re safe back there, when in truth we’d have been better bringing us with them”.
“Maybe I can help if you’ll just give me a few minutes.” Gyster said.
“Look” Jenna shouted. A door suddenly appeared at the far end of the room as the magic as the room started to go dark. None of Gysters new crew, including the old man and the soldier were brave enough to be the first to go through it however.
“Is it a power cut? I thought this ship was supposed to be magic or something” Kirsteen grumbled.
Suddenly the group could hear something shuffling in the corridor.
“Is it one of they Zombie things?” The young urchin said. “I don’t like this, that creepy old man is in league with them I tell ya. He’s left us here to be eaten by em.”
“Lets not jump to conclusions. I don’t know what he’s up to but.” Kirsteen said as something suddenly emerged through the door.
The crowd all backed against the wall in terror. They couldn’t make out what was standing in the doorway, but they knew it wasn’t even remotely human. All they could make out were its red eyes, piercing through the darkness.
To Be Continued.