“We have them sir.” The Hylexan commander said with pride to the Emperor.
“You fool!” The Emperor beamed back.
“Only a few hundred survived.” The Emperor continued “I wanted the death of the last of the Quilax to be a special occasion that would live in our race’s history forever. We won’t have enough for a day’s celebration now. The magics you used were far too dangerous for such a simple task as well. You could have contaminated that entire area of space for our vessels.
“I am sorry sir but surely the most important thing is that our enemies have finally been defeated.”
“Our enemies were beaten long ago. They surrendered to us early in the war, the cowards. All that was left was to make their final humiliation memorable, and you failed me.” The Emperor began to raise his tentacles in a threatening fashion to his underling.
“Your heiness please we also captured a strange craft said to belong to the aliens that helped the Quilax escape. It could be of use to us.”
“It might and that’s why I’ll kill you in the quickest of ways.”
Before the underling could even protest the Emperor vaporised the lesser Hylexan into nothing but dust with its tentacles.
“Let this be a warning to you all.” It said to its terrified soldiers. “I do not tolerate any failure whatsoever. Now let’s prepare our guests. The few we have.”
The last of the Quilax had all been taken to the Emperors flying palace which existed just above the Hylexans homeworld and was larger than any of their three moons. The Hylexans planet had been stripped clean by the Quilax’s occupation, but magic had since transformed it into a paradise world. The Emperors palace shone almost like a second sun and was bright gold just like he was.
The Quilax and the Circus Folk had all been dumped into tiny little cell that could barely contain them. They had been forced to wait for hours whilst the Hylexans prepared the dark magics to punish them.
Most of the Quilax had spent the entire time weeping at all they had lost, others couldn’t take the waiting anymore and screamed at the Hylexans through the tiny window in the cell to get it over with. If only they knew the horrors the Hylexans intended to inflict on them, then they wouldn’t have been so desperate. At the end of the cell the Circus Folk sat together. They had stayed mostly quiet throughout the wait. There was nothing that any of them could say, given the circumstances.
Ashlei in particular had felt so guilty getting caught up in all the hype for the few hours they had seemed safe in the flying city. Carlene held Ashlei tight throughout the journey and promised her that no matter what she wouldn’t let those slimy monsters hurt her. She had no idea how she was going to keep that promise however.
Keptis meanwhile spoke the most, though it was nothing but ranting at how much he was going to make the Hylexans pay for everything they had done.
The Circus Master on the other hand had been uncharacteristically silent throughout the whole ordeal. Even in the direst of circumstances he had always managed to remain somewhat up beat but here he said nothing. At certain points he even looked like he was in pain.
“I always thought I’d be happy the day he finally shut up” Denika said.
Suddenly the door opened and a white, almost blinding light flooded the tiny cell. After a few seconds some of the Quilax began to leave the cell, not being able to take the wait any longer. Outside they saw several hundred Hylexans hovering in the sky above them, with the gigantic Golden Emperor in the middle. On each side of the Emperor were 3 black and 3 red Hylexans. Aside from the Hylexans there were hundreds of other aliens, made up from the other intelligent species in the Hylexans galaxy, who had all gathered round to watch the gruesome spectacle. All of these races had at one point been enslaved by the Quilax and they were all reveling in their suffering and downfall.
The cell like everything else in the palace worked through magic. The door to the cell could be deposited anywhere around the palace the Emperor wanted.
The Emperor spoke. “Welcome my kin from across the galaxy. Different as we all are, we have all been brought together for the same reason. To finally see justice dealt to the monsters who persecuted all of us for so long, monsters who slaughtered our people, destroyed our cities and treated us all as less than animals.”
The aliens all cheered at the Emperors speech and shouted for blood.
“You’re the monsters.” Keptis shouted back at the bloodthirsty crowd, but his cheers were drowned out.
“Which shall be punished first?” The Emperor said as he hovered over the terrified crowd of Quilax. “How about one of the children? Think of how many of our children suffered in your experiments and camps?” The Emperor said as its tentacles reached out towards a young boy, no older than five who clutched his mother in fear.
Carlene, Ashlei, Keptis, Florence, Denika and even the Strange Boy however got in the way of the young boy. The Circus Master stood on his own meanwhile, clutching his sides in pain.
“Pathetic coward. You go after the most vulnerable, and you send others to do your fighting for you.” Ashlei spat back at the Emperor. The Emperor in response wrapped his tentacles around Ashlei who instantly started to scream.
The other Circus Folk tried to fight back, but the Hylexan guards easily enveloped them in their tentacles from above.
The Emperor held Ashlei up to the crowd of aliens who were more curious at this strange creature than anything else, though they still laughed at her pain. The crowd was made up of the very worst from all of the planets in the Hylexans galaxy. Not all of the other life forms in the galaxy supported what the Hylexans were doing, but they we all either silenced or too scared to do anything to help the Quilax. The end of the Quilax race was being broadcast through magic to every inhabited planet in the galaxy and whilst the majority were watching with sadistic glee, many millions still looked on in disgust.
The Emperor dangled Ashlei over a large pit just in front of the crowd. The pit was similar to the one Keptis had been thrown in on the scout ship. After he was finished torturing them, the Emperor had intended to throw the last survivors of the Quilax into the pit to suffer forever. As Ashlei was placed over the pit she started to see images of her two brothers, alive again and living in Carlene’s mansion with the Vampire as the mother they never had. It felt so real, though thankfully not quite to the same extent as Keptis’ delusion. Still seeing them alive and knowing they were just illusions broke Ashlei’s heart and she begged the Emperor to stop, and the Emperor surprisingly pulled Ashlei away from the pit and held her in front of the Quilax.
“If you agree to let the boy take your place, then I’ll spare you and your friends the pit.” The Emperor said. “Our quarrel is not with you aliens, but you must abandon all loyalty to the Quilax.”
Carlene was so overcome with rage she managed to pull the tentacles of the Hylexan holding her straight out of their socket, but several more Hylexans soon overpowered her.
In spite of the pain she was in, Ashlei did not give in to the monsters sadistic taunts.
“Just because you’re a coward don’t assume everyone else is.” Ashlei spat back at the Emperor. The Emperor tightened its grip on Ashlei to the point where it started to draw blood.
The monsters torture of Ashlei was interrupted when the Circus Master, who the crowd and even the Circus Folk had forgotten about suddenly jumped through the air and grabbed onto one of the Emperor’s tentacles.
The Emperor’s entire body suddenly turned grey and the monster let out an agonising scream. It dropped Ashlei who fell only a few feet to the ground. The other Hylexans stood in shock for a few minutes before coming to their Emperors aid. The Circus Master however actually managed to swing the Emperor into the other Hylexans by his tentacle. As soon as the Emperor hit them, the Hylexans all turned grey and shattered. The Circus Master then swung the Emperor round again before throwing him into the crowd of aliens, most of whom were crushed under its weight. The few surviving aliens tried to flee, but they were soon swarmed by the Quilax who beat them to death. Askiro however just watched from the side with disgust. “So much for breaking the cycle of hatred” she thought to herself.
The Emperor lay there helpless and screaming whilst the Circus Master burst into laughter.
“You like to think you’ve conquered the dark arts to become the new masters of the galaxy, but in the end you’re just another dumb race of animals messing with forces you can’t even begin to comprehend.” The Circus Master said to the Emperor before suddenly fainting himself. Ashlei ran over to the Circus Master to try and revive him, whilst Denika, Carlene, Florence and the Strange boy fought off the few surviving Hylexan guards. Carlene was so overcome with rage she tore two of the monsters apart.
After the monsters were killed Denika placed a forcefield around the room, though she wasn’t sure how long it would last.
Carlene and Askiro rushed to Ashlei’s aid. “Thank you.” Askiro said. “You’ve helped our people again.”
“Thanks darling, but lets not get ahead of ourselves like last time” Carlene said as she helped Ashlei to her feet.
The Circus Master soon jumped to his feet somewhat renergised. “Ah good I didn’t dream making a fool of the Emperor on his big day.” The Circus Master smirked.
“Care to tell us what’s going on?” Florence asked.
“It’s simple. When the Hylexans unleashed the Lirax on us, I was able to absorb some of the magic into my body. My kind the Vandals, we absorb souls from our victims to feed through our claws. I used the same principal to take just a fraction of the dark magics that had tore our flying city apart. My kind have a greater immunity to magic so it didn’t kill me, but it took me a while to try and control it. Once I had, I just had to unleash it on his majesty here to turn his own magics against him.”
The Circus Master then sank to his knees again. “I can’t hold the Lirax in me much longer. We need to find the tent and get you lot out of here.”
“Well what are we waiting for? Lets kill this monster” Denika said as she charged up her magics to fire at the Emperor, but the Emperor however raised his tentacles as his skin began to turn back to gold.
“You fools if you kill me this entire place will collapse and you will all die. This place is tied to my will and mine alone. You can’t kill me, but I can kill you no problem.”
“If you’re going to kill us anyway then we have nothing to lose. The Circus Master said as he stood defiantly in front of the others, his claws unsheathed. “I still have enough of your black magics left. What’s the matter, scared of a fair fight.”
The Emperor paused for a few moments before suddenly using his tentacles to shatter both the forcefield and the wall behind him. Hundreds more Hylexans, both blue and red flew into the room.
“I don’t have to kill you myself.”
To Be Continued