“Please, please I beg you.” Cricex screamed as he pounded on the ground to no avail. The portal that had brought him here had been closed. He knew the risks when he went on the mission, and had prepared himself, yet when actually faced with the reality of these monsters and what they had done to his team mates, he was still shaking with terror.
Suddenly however as all seemed lost, Cricex heard someone calling for help in the distance.
It was his team mate, Graceia. Cricex had thought he was dead as Graceia had been the first to disappear, and Cricex hadn’t heard anything back from him for two days. Graceia had not only obviously managed to escape from the monsters, but he had also clearly been waiting here the entire time. (The portal would only open at a particular time.)
Much like Cricex however Graceia had missed his chance to get to the portal as the creatures had ambushed him at the last minute. He was calling in desperation for help that wouldn’t arrive.
In fact Cricex used this opportunity to slowly crawl away from the monsters. He couldn’t look at what they did to Graceia. There were a few times where he was tempted to shoot Graceia and put him out of his misery, but he couldn’t as then the beasts would notice him. As slim a chance as he had for survival, he had to take it.
“Where am I, what’s going on?” Ashlei said as Carlene gently helped her up.
“I don’t know where to start love? If you’ve got amnesia, well I don’t want to be the one to bring your memories back but.” Carlene said.
“It’s okay, I remember. I’m just amazed we survived.” Ashlei said as she stumbled up with Carlene’s help. Ashlei looked around and saw the Circus in ruins. The walls were cracked and broken, the magic water in the fountain had dried up, and the rags from outside were poking through the walls. The Strange Boy sat near some wreckage at the back, with the enchantment still on his head.
“We might as well not have.” The Circus Master said in despair.
“The Circus has been destroyed. Worse we have no idea where we are. For all we know, the second we step outside the Tent and step on a bug the Guardians will snatch us.”
“Then what do we do.”
“Honestly I don’t know and if I did I wouldn’t share it with you Ashlei” The Circus Master said scornfully.
“You betrayed our trust and you nearly doomed us all to the Kardons.”
“What I did? You’re the one who trapped an entire species down there with those monsters.”
“Me and Denika were the ones willing to sacrifice ourselves for the Rysteians. We were willing to endure an eternity with the Kardons just so some of them could escape. Don’t you dare say we were happy to leave them. We had no choice. If their plan had gone ahead, then the entire world, billions of worlds would be suffering the same fate as the Rysteians. The fact that you don’t understand that shows that you were never cut out to be part of this team.”
“Maybe I’m not. I can’t turn the other cheek to people’s suffering like you can.”
“We need to get rid of her right away.” Florence said as she emerged from the wreckage behind with Keptis in tow..
“I ought to tear that bitch’s head off.” Florence said in anger.
“You lay one finger on her darling and I’ll make you wish you’d gone down with that stinking ship of yours.” Carlene threatened.
“I already went down with the Titanic you moron. Believe you me though after spending a few months with you, I wish I’d gone down with it permanently.”
“You prissy uptight cow, you’d have been dead several times if it wasn’t for me.”
“We got on fine without you before, and we’ll do so again.”
The Circus Master was forced to get in between the two Vampires.
“Lets not lose our cool here. Unfortunately we’re all in this together.”
“Well I don’t agree with Florence completely, but I do think we should drop Ashlei off next time we get back to earth.” Keptis said.
“I for one don’t like to travel with people who pull guns on me.” The Martian added.
“Keptis’you probably don’t believe me, but I would never have done it, I just couldn’t let them do that to the Rysteians.” Ashlei said.
“I don’t believe you. It doesn’t really matter though, you’ve proven that you’re too weak to travel with us.”
“I agree.” The Circus Master said. “Sadly we can’t get rid of her just yet. Remember history says we will have at least another adventure in the 20th century with her. That’s the only reason I took her on in the first place. It’s also why we need to get this ship working. If we don’t then we won’t be around to prevent whatever disaster we have to in the 20th century, and the Guardians will come for us as Ashlei’s very presence here will be a paradox. However that doesn’t mean we have to have anything to do with Ashlei until then.”
The rest of the Circus Folk, except Carlene and Ashlei walked outside to join Denika who was doing her best to fix the ship.
“It’s okay darling I understand why you did it.” Carlene said.
“You were wrong, and you’ll have to live with the consequences of it, but I’ve done worse, much worse, and so from what he’s told me has the Circus Master, that wanker. Florence killed people when she was a Siren. They’re all hypocrites.”
“They’re right Carlene” Ashlei said.
“I should never have come on board. I never cared about them. I just wanted to be with you. That’s all I ever wanted. You were all I had after my brothers died. Please when all of this is over, can we just settle somewhere quiet. Away from all the monsters and creatures.”
“I don’t know if I can do that love. I think in spite of everything that’s happened, we’re needed here. The timeline wants us here or some reason. We just have to remind the others of that.”
“I don’t think they’ll ever trust me again. I’m not sure if I want them too. Regardless of how he spins it, the fact is that we had to leave innocent people down there with those monsters. Call it weakness, but I don’t think I will ever be able to turn a blind eye like they do.”
“I wish I could say it was that easy love, but well it isn’t always just black and white. Still lets see what we can do to help. If the guardians get us we’ll all be trapped together forever. Eternity with that stuck up cow Florence? I’d rather stake myself now.”
Outside Denika had been trying to repair the ship for hours to no avail.
“I’m sorry everybody. That’s all the magic I have left. That Kardon literally ripped the power from the ship when we teleported. I’m amazed we got here, wherever here is. Must have been some residual magic left over. We might be able to restore it, but I’m going to need a lot more equipment.”
Suddenly the Circus Folk’s attention was drawn to stomping sound from the distance. Just over a nearby hill, the Circus Folk could see a horde of what looked like metal creatures marching towards them. They were humanoid in shape and whilst their skin was definitely metal, they appeared to glow bright red. Their faces meanwhile were nothing but fire.
“Magic detected, restrain the humanoid creatures.” Their leader said in a voice that sounded electronic, yet also had a more emotional aspect to it.
Denika was first to attack. Her magic was limited after she had used so much of it on the Tent. She also did not want to use lethal force against the robots until she knew what their intentions were.
The robots however easily deflected her blasts and sent the weakened Witch backwards through the air. Florence tried to surpress the monsters with her singing, but they were completely unaffected.
Carlene then tried to throw a gas bomb from her beehive at the robots, but they were able to scatter the gas and quickly stun Carlene, Florence, Keptis and The Circus Master himself with their blasts.
“The aliens have been subdued. We shall find out what they really are, after the dissection.
To Be Continued