“Please stop torturing yourself. We haven’t heard anything from them in 2 weeks. I’m sorry, but.”
“If they’re not back, I don’t care if your little contraption works or not. I’ll have no reason to go with you.”
Hiliseia’s two children had been part of a rescue mission to save the last few survivors of the city of Paloeska. Paloeska had fallen a little over a year ago to the same monsters that had been terrorising Hiliseia’s people for several thousand years. It had existed at the very bottom of the ocean and had been the Rysteians last sanctuary for many generations.
Now however the monsters had finally found and decimated it, just as they had done to all of the Rysteians great civilisations.
What was once was a thriving and highly advanced race had now been reduced to just a few unlucky survivors, huddled together, not even sure why they were bothering to linger on.
Suddenly a message came in. Hiliseia jumped up, pushing anyone who got in her way aside.
“Please, please answer, Kile? Is that you”. Hiliseia shouted in desperation.
“Mother, mother can you hear me?”
“Yes Kile, thank Meser you’re alive.”
“Please listen to me you have to escape now. All of you. One of the things that destroyed Paloeska is heading your way!”
“Ah finally we’ve landed” The Circus Master beamed proudly. The journey had taken a few weeks, but in that time Denika and the Circus Master had managed to completely repair the ship after the Hylexans spell.
Whilst most of the magic, outside of the engine had been destroyed, small traces of it had survived, and Denika and the Circus Master had managed to rebuild large sections of the ship from those tiny specs of magic (as well as Carlene’s Beehive.)
The toilet, below the first floor had been the first room they had rebuilt, naturally followed by the Kitchen. Carlene meanwhile had spent almost all of the journey training Ashlei who was making great progress. Ashlei wasn’t a natural fighter, but she was a fast learner.
Keptis and Florence on the other hand had spent almost all of the journey together. The Martian had opened up to the Siren to a far greater extent than before after his torture at the Hylexans hands. The creatures had fooled the Martian into thinking his family, his people were still alive, causing him to go through the pain of losing them again. This time however, Keptis didn’t have to go through the pain alone. Florence more than anyone else had been there for him. The others had been too wrapped up in their own troubles, to even notice what Keptis had been through.
As always The Strange Boy meanwhile had simply sat through the entire journey staring into space.
As the rest of the Circus Folk got ready for whatever mission they had been sent here for, with Keptis firing up his flaming saw, the Circus Master stared into the fountain. What he saw deeply troubled him.
“What’s wrong darling?” Carlene, noticing the concerned expression on the Vandal’s face, asked. He didn’t answer and so she looked into the fountain too.
There Carlene saw the image of a hideous, gigantic, bat like Demon swimming through green waters before emerging through a portal. She then saw the Demon come bursting through the ground of what looked like London, followed by images of similar creatures emerging from major cities all over the world, Paris, Rome, Bangladesh etc. They then saw the image of a barren wasteland, an orange dead world, and thousands more dead worlds before the image faded away into nothing.
“Bloody hell. What does that mean? You’re the expert love.”
Again The Circus Master didn’t answer. He had an idea but it was too horrible he didn’t want to share it yet.
“I’m not sure” The Vandal said somewhat unconvincingly. “I do know where we are and I have a feeling about what we’re up against.”
“Well?” Carlene asked.
“We’re on earth. Specifically we’re at the core of the planet.”
“What you mean outside is just fire and lava?”
“No, not at all. The earth is hollow. Its filled with an ocean, far deeper and denser than any on the surface.”
“I take it there’s something down here we’ve got to stop from getting out then? That what all the images of London, Paris and those worlds being destroyed were then?”
“Yes it would appear so, but”
“Nevermind” The Circus Master said as he went to a nearby chest and pulled out a small, silver box.
“What are you doing?”
“If we’re going outside we’ll need some form of transport. Inside this box is a condensed submarine.”
“A condensed submarine?”
“Yes the magic is able to reduce its size until I open it that is. We have reduced vehicles of all kinds. How else would expect me to fit it all in here.”
“Let me guess your handywork” Carlene said to Denika, who was still tinkering away on part of the ship.
“No this came from the planet Palison whose population had grown so considerably they were forced to turn to magic for resources and space. You’d could get entire cities of people stored inside of them stored inside something no bigger than a pee.”
“That sounds quite fun, I’d like to visit that planet.” Carlene said.
“Trust me you wouldn’t” The Circus Master replied. “They don’t half love to boast about their techology. I was glad to swip this from them, arrogant bastards.”
The Circus using an enchantment caused the top of the tent to open. Above the Circus Folk could see water, though it didn’t fall into the Tent. A forcefield kept it out. The small box meanwhile floated above and through the forcefield to outside, where it opened. The gigantic submarine above then parked itself with its hatch being placed directly above the Tent. A ladder then descended from the hatch straight to the floor.
The Circus Master then handed Keptis and Ashlei pills.
“Relax don’t worry these are magic. They will alter your body to allow you to survive the pressures of the ocean and function just as well beneath the waves. Here’s hoping we don’t have to swim, but you never know?”
Ashlei still wasn’t sure, but a little reassurance from Carlene was enough to convince her, something which angered The Circus Master. “I’m supposed to be the leader here.” He thought.
“Well lets get started shall we, we have an entire ocean to explore.” The Circus Master said, somewhat abruptly.
The Circus Folk quickly ascended to the sub, which soon sped off through the green oceans. Out the porthole, Ashlei got a sight of the Circus at the very bottom of the murky green depths of the ocean
“I’m just glad we don’t have to put on any kind of Circus act on this mission.”
The others looked offended.
“And what’s wrong with our act?” Florence said angrily.
“Oh eh nothing, I just dont like to perform” Ashlei said somewhat nervously.
“You never know Ashlei” The Circus Master said. “There are many undersea civilisations, even on your planet, and they know good entertainment when they see it!”
The submarine was massive, ironically larger than the Circus Tent that they had used to travel here. It was shaped like a manta ray, and bright blue, though at the top were two yellow flashing lights that helped to light the way. The waters looked absolute poison. There were very few life forms, but the few they did see were hideous, Demonic fish like creatures that hurled themselves at the ship. Some were no bigger than goldfish, whilst other were three times the size of a Great White Shark!
“Don’t worry our hull should hold.” The Circus Master said. “Still remember if need be we can always swim.”
“If you think I’m even going to swim in that green filth, well I’d rather get eaten!” Florence said.
“Oh please the waters you did swim in were just as polluted.” The Circus Master said as he piloted the ship through the growing mass of sea creatures.
Suddenly all of the creatures began to scatter.
“Why did they suddenly flee?” Keptis asked, somewhat concerned.
“Maybe they just realised who they were dealing with.” The Circus Master awkwardly joked.
Below the Circus Folk could see what looked like the remains of an old city. Most of the buildings were broken and decayed and there were no signs of life whatsoever. Still the Circus Master took the sub down to get a closer look.
The submarine got closer to what looked like the ruins of several more submarines outside of the city, all of which looked as though they had been torn apart.
“Battlefleets” he said. “What could have done this?”
“That Demon we saw in the vision was huge. It was bigger than Big Ben”. Carlene said.
Just then the communications device started to pick something up. A hazy message started to come through. It was of a strange, humanoid creature with green skin, webbed hands and a long, drooping face, with large white eyes with no pupil.
“There’s no sound.” The Circus Master said as he tried to adjust the set. Suddenly the image broke and a massive roaring sound came piercing through the sub. The Circus Folk to their horror could see a gigantic hand begin to tear itself from out of the sea bed where the graveyard of submarine war ships lay.
The hand alone looked far larger than the entire submarine. The Circus Master sped it off in the other direction, straight into the ruins of the city. Up above however the radar started to detect another gigantic creature coming their way.
“I hate Demons, even I am one technically” The Circus Master said as he tried to swerve the ship around. The Circus Master headed for the sea bed. He hoped to conceal himself in the ruins of one of the large buildings. The giant Demon above however was wise to his game and started to smash all that was left of the once great city.
The Circus Folk got a good glimpse of the giant above as it slowly cornered them on the sea bed.
It was so so gigantic that they couldn’t even see all of it through the window. Carlene, Florence and even the Circus Master all felt a strange connection with the beast. They couldn’t quite put their finger on it, but for a few seconds they started at it, almost in a trance.
The Strange Boy meanwhile went completely crazy. He jumped around the room, shrieking and hissing. When Keptis tried to calm him down, the Srtange Boy threw him across the room.
Ashlei meanwhile quickly roused the Circus Master from his trance.
“I’m sorry I don’t know what came over me.” He said as he tried to swerve past the monsters gigantic clawed hand. He managed to just barely get out of its way, but just as the Vandal thought he was in the clear, the beasts gigantic wing came swinging forward and knocked the ship flying backwards. The crew were sent hurtling all over the room until the ship ground to a sudden halt.
The Circus Master looked up to see the eye of the beast staring into the front window at the tiny creatures inside.
“He’s got us” The Circus Master said in terror.
To Be Continued.