The two titanic monsters lunged at the tiny ship. Kile tried to pilot it to safety, and with a little help from Denika, who gave the ship a nudge with her magic, she was able to narrowly escape one of the two Demons clawed hands. However just as Kile had escaped one of the Demons clutches, the other monster raised its gigantic tail towards the vessel that narrowly missed being smashed to a pulp.
The original Kardon pushed the newcomer away. The second Kardon had no idea who the Circus Folk were and had just assumed it was another Rysteian vessel. The first Kardon wanted the Circus Folk alive however, and so he tried to grab the vessel before the other Kardon would destroy it.
The second Kardon however struck the first one back in anger. The monsters were so violent and bloodthirsty, that they needed little provocation, even to fight among themselves.
The two giants became locked in a vicious fight for the tiny vessel, a sight which looked almost comical from a distance. Once again it was only through the team work of Kile and Denika that they were able to escape. Kile using all of her skill was able to narrowly avoid the two Demons strikes, and their trashing tails, whilst once they were a good distance away, Denika gave the ship an extra push that allowed it to speed off into the distance away from the fighting giants.
“We made it.” Kile said in shock. “I can’t believe it. Thank you.”
“Well that’s okay” The Circus Master said proudly. “You’re not the first to doubt us you know, but in the end we always.”
Kile interrupted him. “I was talking to her” referring to Denika. “You almost got us all killed! Besides we’re not free just yet. We still have to make our way through these wretched oceans to our base.”
“Honestly” The Circus Master said to himself. “If it wasn’t for us she’d still be rotting away in that ‘safe room’.”
“Still” the Vandal said. “It can’t be easy living with the Kardons. Though I must admit I’m a bit perplexed about how your people have been able to survive all this time?”
“I told you that they kept us alive so they could make us suffer for their own amusement.” Kile said bitterly.
“Even then, the fact that some of you have been able to build facilities and hide from those giants for this long.”
“There’s only one facility left. The Kardons have destroyed every single other city and base.”
“Still for even one to survive against those monsters is incredible.”
“My mother was in the last facility those monsters tore apart!” Kile said in anger.
“I’m sorry” The Circus Master replied. “I just find it incredible given their power that there is anywhere to hide in these filthy oceans.”
“Well if you have any questions you can ask the leaders when we get there. Assuming those blood suckers haven’t found the base first. I should probably try and radio them now.”
Kile tried to contact base for a few minutes, only to be met with static. For just a second she feared she was the last of her kind left. Fortunately her fears were soon squashed when she heard a familiar voice come through the crackling line.
“Hello, we are picking up a signal from a vessel, come in, come in.”
“Listik, Listik is that you? Its me Kile. I’m the only survivor. The Kardons and the Ishika, they slaughtered the rest. There are other, well I don’t know what they are, but I’ve found other people. They’re not Demons, but they’re not Rysteians either.”
“What do you mean?”
“They claim to have come from the earth’s surface.”
“But that’s impossible.”
“You can question them when we get there.”
“It’ll take about another twenty or so minutes to reach us from where you are. I’ll keep in contact with you.” Listik said.
“Twenty minutes is a long time in these waters.” Kile replied.
The ship sped through the ocean, making its way through many Ishika and hideous, demonic fish creatures that swarmed the ship every step of the way. There were so many of the creatures that it was hard to see out of the windows properly.
“I don’t think we’re missing much of a view.” Keptis said.
The Circus Master spent most of the journey pestering Kile with questions about her people and their history.
The Circus Master learned from Kile that her people had evolved naturally in the center of the earth. The did not know magic until the Kardons arrived. The Kardons had been imprisoned down here by the Angels during their war with Khastran. Either they didn’t know about the Rysteians of didnt care.
Even now the Rysteians knowledge of the black arts was somewhat limited. The research facility that Kile was taking the Circus Folk too had been trying to find a way to break the barrier around the the earth’s core in order to allow the Rysteians to finally escape the Demons clutches. The project which had been under development for decades would create a small hole that would only last a short time, but be enough for the Rysteians to escape.
“I don’t understand?” Ashlei asked. “How can they punch a hole in a barrier that you say was created by Angels without magic?”
“Magic isn’t everything?” The Circus Master said.
“No offense Denika.” He continued. “It has an obvious advantage over the natural elements yes, but there are natural elements that can affect magic and other unnatural forces. How else do you explain a wooden stake through the heart being able to kill Vampires for instance? If the Rysteians have stumbled on the right element, or combination of elements, then yes. They just might be able to punch a hole in the Gods forcefield.”
“They won’t.” Kile said.
“Those monsters would never let us leave. We’re too precious to them.”
“Maybe, or maybe they’re bored of you?” The Circus Master replied.
“What are you saying.”
“Oh nothing, I’m sure it’s just a hunch, I get them from time to time. I’d like to take a look at the machine the Rysteians are building.”
“Well that won’t be up to me I’m afraid. We’ll just have to see what they think. I’m sure they’ll be more than happy to let a weird guy in a stupid had, with big claws look at the machine they’ve spent decades building and that our entire species future hinges on.”
Just then another message from Listik came crackling through the speakers.
“Kile, Kile do you read me. You need to be careful, it’s back. It’s hovering around the base as usual. We’re sending out a team to try and scare it off now, but you know how persistent that monster is.”
“Its okay, we’ve just escaped the Kardons themselves. We shouldn’t have too much trouble with that abomination.”
“What are you talking about, what abomination is this?” The Circus Master asked.
“It’s a tentacled creature that comes near the facility. It’s been corrupted by the Kardons evil like those Ishika creatures. The Demon’s managed to grab a few of the scientists who’ve been unlucky, but most of the time we’re able to scare it away. I wouldn’t worry about it.”
The ship soon reached its destination. The facility looked more like a floating palace. It was gigantic, square shaped and with four cone shaped towers emerging from each corner. The bottom section of the facility was purple in colour, whilst the towers were bright gold. A circle of red jewels surrounded the top of each of the golden towers.
The Rysteians always had a certain artistic flair as a species which had helped to sustain them through their dark days at the hands of the Kardons.
Three vessels similar to Kile’s meanwhile stood guard outside of the palace.
Florence noticed that the Circus Master looked gravely concerned as they approached the floating fortress. He didn’t look scared, more worried and almost guilty.
“What’s wrong?” Florence asked.
“Oh nothing, nothing. I’ll look forward to seeing what the inside of that place looks like. I’m only sorry that I didn’t get to visit the Rysteians at an earlier point in their history.”
Suddenly two of the three vessels guarding the fortress flew towards Kile’s vehicle. It wasn’t to welcome them however.
Instead the vehicles started shooting at something behind Kile’s ship.
It was the Octopus like creature hovering above their ship. It was gigantic, with each of its tentacles measuring over eighty feet long. Its skin was bright green, whilst its mouth was nothing but fire. With a few blasts of their lasers however, the guards were able to send the monster scurrying away.
The Circus Folk were shocked to see the monster retreat, particularly Denika who could recognise the magics in the Rysteians weapons were incredibly weak. They were the strongest magics the Rysteans had, but that wasn’t saying much.
Kile was welcomed into the fortress as soon as the ship docked, whilst the Circus Master, as the leader of the group was taken to meet the head of the project.
The rest of the Circus Folk were detained in a nearby cell meanwhile. The inside of the facility was absolutely beautiful. Just like Kile’s ship it was completely gold, with large green jewels and stunning paintings encrusting the walls. Even the Circus Folk’s cell was bright and gold.
“I don’t believe it.” The leader of the project said as he clapped eyes on the Circus Master.
“Yes well when you dress like I do you kind of want to stand out in a crowd.” The Circus Master said somewhat flippantly.
“I don’t know what to make of him.” Kile said.
“He’s weird and annoying, but he did help me. He could have just left me to the Kardons, but he didn’t.”
“Yes because it’s not at all like those Demons to let us think we can get away to prolong our torture?”
“I can assure you, eh, can I have your name?”
“Well whoever you are, I can assure you that I am here to help. We are travelers in time and space. We have a craft made of magic that can take us anywhere and we have been sent here on an important mission, which I assume is to help you.”
“You expect me to believe that absurd”.
“Absurd? I wouldn’t have thought anything was absurd after living under the ocean for hundreds of years with Demon gods? Please scan the nearby area and you should be able to detect the magics from our craft. It landed on the bottom of the sea bed. Please what do you have to lose.”
The head of the scientific elite agreed to allow a quick scan and was genuinely surprised when something was detected on the sea bed, unlike anything they had ever detected before. The leader still didn’t believe the Circus Master completely, but he was more interested in what he had to say.
The rest of the Circus Folk meanwhile were content to wait in their cell. They were sure that the Rysteians would see that they were here to help in due time.
Still Denika searched for camera’s to make sure they weren’t being monitored in case they had to escape, whilst The Strange Boy sadly was clearly still suffering from the effects of being near the Kardons. For whatever reason he was still in a trance after being close to the monster.
“Poor little blighter.” Carlene said. “If only there was some way we could communicate with him.”
“I don’t think there’s anything going on under the surface.” Keptis said.
“Nothing more than just a faint echo of what he once was.”
“You’re letting your prejudice show love.” Carlene replied.
“You’re right, I just hope there’s not much of him left in there. I wouldn’t want anyone to be trapped in that state.”
“Trust me” Florence interrupted somewhat defensively. “There is more than just a trace of him in there. A trace wouldn’t be strong enough to hold that Demon back. Me, Carlene and the Circus Master know how hard it is.”
“The boy’s conquered it before, he’ll do so again. We best just leave him to it.” Florence said.
Keptis felt is was best to keep quiet. Florence, Carlene, the Circus Master and the Strange Boy may not have all been the absolute closest friends, but they all understood the struggle that they all went through every second, of every day and did not ever like to see it trivialised.
Denika however interjected.
“I don’t know if there is anything human about that boy. I’ve never told any of you about this, but one time I did try and communicate with him. I tried to do a mind reading spell and for a few seconds when I was connected to his mind, it almost killed me. I saw nothing but bloodlust and anger. I don’t know why he helps us, but that boy isn’t human.” Denika.
“He saved my life” Ashlei said.
“When my brother” Ashlei had to pause for a second when talking about her brother. “When that Demon wearing my brothers corpse had me cornered, The Strange Boy not only saved me, he let me finish the Demon. I wanted to do it. I wanted to be the one to stop that Demon from defiling my brothers corpse and memory. To be the one to allow my brother to rest in peace. and he understood that and let me do. Let me try and make up for failing to save him.” Ashlei said before crying.
Carlene went to comfort her, and after a few more moments Ashlei said “There is humanity in him. How much I don’t know, but that side is clearly fighting to protect us.”
“You’ve scanned our ship, you’ve seen that the magics in it are far beyond anything you could even imagine. It’s what allowed us to enter the earth’s core. We can help you all escape too.” The Circus Master said.
The Rysteians all froze at the Circus Masters words. This had to be a trick. Surely? After all of their suffering, no one could just arrive out of nowhere and whisk them away.
The Circus Master got a quick look at a component of the machine, the scientists were working on.
“Impressive” The Vandal said somewhat nervously and with regret. “The method is still crude, but from the looks of things.”
“Take him back to the others.” The leader said.
“Now Mascia” Kile replied, “he might be.”
“We have a few hours to get this machine ready. With the power we’re using we’ll only have one chance. I don’t have time to listen to some Demonic trickster. If the machine fails, which it won’t, then maybe we can hear him out, whatever he is, but for now, take him downstairs.”
“I refuse to believe that fool can do anything to help us anyway.” Mascia said to Kile after the Circus Master was removed.
The Circus Master couldn’t hide his disappointment from the rest of the Circus Folk. Little did they know his absolute worst fears had been confirmed.
“What do you make of their chances of getting out of here?” Florence asked?
“Great. Their machine from what I’ve seen could potentially break a hole in the barrier.”
“Well that’s great news surely.” Ashlei interrupted.
“We won’t have to fly them out of here. We just have to help them get through a portal.”
“I’m afraid not Ashlei.. I don’t think that’s what we were sent here to do at all. In fact I know it’s not. We’re here to stop the Rysteians from escaping.” The Circus Master said with regret.
To Be Continued