The Circus Master: Journey To The Centre of Evil: Part 6:

 

“You can’t be serious” Ashlei asked.

“I’m afraid so. I’ve known it since we first arrived. Carlene has too.

Ashlei looked around at Carlene who was silent for a few seconds.

“I had my suspicions I’m not gonna lie. I’m sorry Ashlei love, but from the vision I saw, if we let them go through with their plan, they’ll release the Kardons.” Carlene said with regret.

“The Kardons have been letting them perform their experiments.” The Circus Master interrupted.

“It’s the only thing that makes sense. There is no way the Rysteans could hide from the Kardons for as long as they have. The Kardons have tried to smash their way through this forcefield, but brute force isn’t enough, so they’ve had to rely on more sublte means for once. The natural forces that govern this world. The Kardons are an intelligent race, but they know nothing of the natural forces of this world. Why would they? They’re gods, normally they can bend a world to their will. Still like I said earlier, sometimes natural forces can counteract the supernatural. It would seem the Kardons have allowed these Rysteans to tinker away until they’ve stumbled on a natural element that can create a rip in the barrier. That’s why that Demonic Octopus was driven away by those pitiful magics Denika. It along with every other animal the Kardons have corrupted in these filthy oceans is monitoring the Rystieans progress for their masters. As soon as the portal is ready, the Kardons will swarm this base and use it to escape to the surface and then.”

“Then what?” Ashlei asked.

“There will be no stopping them. They’ll ravage the entire cosmos and beyond. We have to sabotage the Rystieans machine now or else all is lost.”

“Trap them in here? With those monsters?” Carlene asked.

“You saw the vision. They’ll die either way . At least we’ll be saving the world above. Besides if the Rystieans are smart and listen to us, we can take them away in our Tent.”

“They won’t all fit in there. Besides I’m not sure they’ll want to listen to us love after we’ve buggered their one and only chance at escape.” Carlene said.

“Well then tell me Carlene what do we do? We can’t fight the Kardons. Those Demons have power beyond most Gods. We also don’t have the time to try and make the Rystieans listen to us. That machine is almost ready. Probably within the hour they, or rather the Kardons will escape.”

Carlene was silent for a few moments before Ashlei interrupted.

“You’re not seriously going to go along with this Carlene? Any of you.” Ashlei said in shock.

“These people have been sufferring for centuries and we’re going to lock them in here with those things? Tell me honestly, Circus Master, how many of the Rystieans will die if we sabotage their machine.”

“In all honesty, we’ll be lucky to save any of them. As soon as the machine is sabotaged, the Kardons will attack this place. We will be lucky to get out. Its possible we can get some of the Rystieans vessels to the Tent, but given how powerful the Kardons are.”

“Then we can’t trap them here.”

Keptis interrupted.

“You’re new to this Ashlei. You don’t understand that sometimes in order to preserve the correct timeline we have to, to do bad things.”

“Like murder? No not murder, genocide? The Circus Master and Carlene are clearly being influenced by those monsters out there, what’s your excuse.”

“I can assure you that my decision is not being influencde by the Kardons. I’m doing everything I can to stop them.” The Circus Master said in an uncharacteristicly angry tone.

“The Rystieans are doomed either way.”

“No I don’t believe you’d do that. Not after all we went through with the Vampires and Hylexans. We can find a way for the Rystieans to open the portal and escape before the Kardons can, or we can find a way to make them listen to us and escape in the tent.”

“I told you we don’t have time to make them listen to us. Besides the Kardons will know if there’s any delay. They’ve been speeding up the process with their attacks on the final facilities. The fact that some of them know we’re here means we have to act now. Are you with us?” The Circus Master said to Carlene and Ashlei.

Carlene couldn’t bring herself to say it, so she simply walked towards the Circus Master much to Ashlei’s shock.

“Well Ashlei? You can stay here and die, or you can come with us and most likely die, but at least save the world above, and countless others.”

“Or I can help you carry out a genocide.”

“I’m not going to ask again Ashlei. What is it” The Circus Master said more firmly.

This time Carlene stood beside Ashlei. Carlene knew deep down that the Circus Master was right. Though Ashlei had not exactly lived the most sheltered life before meeting Carlene, the beehived Vampire was still more experienced with the supernatural to know that there wasn’t always an easy way out. Nevertheless Carlene would never leave the young urchin’s side no matter what.

For a few moments the Circus Master paused. He didn’t want to have to fight or abandon Carlene or Ashlei, but he couldn’t wait much longer.

Eventually they both stood beside the Vandal much to his relief. Ashlei had been the first to do so, more for Carlene’s sake than anything else. She still wasn’t sure however, but she knew she couldn’t stop any of the Circus Folk, for now.

“Denika I hate to have to ask you to do this but.” The Circus Master said.

Without even responding Denika ripped the doors off of their cell with her magics. Denika could have done this from the beginning, but she had only waited around to see what the RystIeans were doing. Much like the Circus Master she had a feeling that they would have to stop the Rystieans as soon as she heard about their plans of escape.

The Rystieans magic and defences were puny. From a practical point of view it would be an easy victory for the Circus Folk.

Denika soon hurled several Rystiean guards away with her magics, whilst the Circus Master similarly overpowered another three, whose weapons didn’t even slow the Vandal down. Florence meanwhile was able to calm several more with her hypnotic singing, whilst Keptis took down another more guards relatively easily even though he was unarmed.

The Strange Boy meanwhile didn’t take part in the fighting at all. The influence of the Kardons was still too great on the young Jiang Shi, that he couldn’t afford to give into his bloodlust for a second. Carlene carried the Strange Boy throughout the fighting. Neither Carlene or Ashlei helped the other Circus Folk to fight the Rysteans either. Carlene was still conflicted. She knew deep down the Circus Master was right, but as she looked at the Rystieans fighting for survival against the Circus Folk, she couldn’t help but wonder if the Kardons were influencing them after all.

Across the green, corrupted oceans meanwhile, the Kardons had actually begun to panic at the news of outsiders in their filthy waters. The Kardons leader, once one of their most fearsome warriors, Garishikar had had sensed the presence of the Circus Folk’s magic from the start. His evil ran right through the oceans to the extent that they had more or less become a part of him. However Garishikar had not detected any breaches to the barrier. He would know if there were, as the Demon had spent so many centuries throwing all he could at the barriers.

Garishikar assumed these new magics were simply experiments from the Rysteans. It made no difference he thought. Those puny magics could never possibly hope to harm us.

“What do you mean they weren’t Rystieans?” Garishikar barked to one of his underlings.

“It is true oh lord.” The lesser Kardons said cravingly as it bowed before its master.

“There was a Rystiean scout ship. We thought we’d have some fun with it before our ascension, but there were other strange creatures. They looked like the surface dwellers we had encountered all of those centuries ago before our imprisonment, but.”

“But what?”

“There was something about some of them, something familiar. For a moment I thought I could sense… Khastran.”

“You think he has come to rescue us?” Garishikar said, almost barely able to contain his laughter.

“Khastran would never wish to help us. That monster never cared about anything but himself. Also have you forgotten how he punished those who failed him? The only good thing about being sealed down here is that we are free from his reach.”

“They were not here for us oh lord. They were helping the Rystieans to escape from us.”

“What are you saying?”

“It seems likely that Khastran sent his minions to sabotage our attempts to escape.”

“No, no, he was defeated. The Gods let us know or have you forgotten. They assured us that no Kardons would ever be able to free us, not that it mattered as they wouldn’t anyway. Even after all this time those fools still didn’t understand us.”

“What if he escaped? What if he finally managed to triumph over the Gods, what if his servants still walk the earth.”

“Do you question me!” Garishikar said more out of fear than anger.

“I tell you there is no way that Khastran is plotting against us. Even if he was, he wouldn’t ever leave lowly minions to do it.”

“Maybe they are just there to let us know he is coming, oh lord what if.”

“SILENCE”

“Khastran will never escape. He will be forced to watch as we go on to conquer all of the realms. Still, it seems that the Rystieans have tricked us. Don’t you see they know about Khastran too. Its their last desperate attempt.”

None of the others were convinced.

“We need to send some of the Ishica to investigate.”

“My lord we need to keep the last of the Rystieans under thumb.”

“I told you not to question me! We could never force the Rystieans to obey us. Even with the torture, they would rather die than help us. If we turned them into the Ishica they would become nothing but blood thirsty monsters like us. We needed them to think they had a chance. If we attack now they could destroy the machine and then that’s it. We need to show restraint now.”

“What if it is Khastran?”

Garishikar did not respond as he commanded thousands of Ishica to the Rystieans base.

“Why are they doing this” Kile said.

“They helped me escape?”

“I told you its the Kardons way, to let us think we have a chance and then take it away from us.” Mascia said as he grabbed a large weapon.

The Circus Folk had easily fought their way through the Rystieans without causing a single death, though in some ways it would have been more merciful to finish them now. Florence and Denika had done most of the work, with Florence’s singing voice subduing most of the Rystieans peacefully.

When the Circus Folk arrived in the main hall Macsia and Kile were among the last people standing.

“You monsters. You tricked me, you lied to me.” Kile said.

“I’m sorry Kile believe me. I don’t want to do this. We have no choice. The machine you’ve built is brilliant. It will do exactly what you want it too. Unfortunately the Kardons are counting on that. They’ll use the portal you create to escape to the world above and destroy it.”

“Is that the best you can do?” Mascia said in disgust.

“He’s tricked you once Kile, don’t be a fool a second time.”

“We’ve already made our way through your guards without breaking a sweat, do you really think you could stop us? I’m trying to appeal to you for the last time. We can get you out of here. It won’t be easy, and not all of you will make it. Still its your only chance.”

“I’ve worked on this machine for my entire life. I’ve seen so many of my people die, or worse be turned into those monsters. I swore that in my lifetime we would escape this hell. You’ll have to kill me to get anywhere near that.”

Denika quickly knocked Masica out with a harmless spell before he could even finish.

Kile raised her weapon, but the Circus Master tried one last time to reason with her.

“Kile please you know I could have let you just die, but I saved you. I want to save as many of you as I can, but if you open that portal you’ll all die with the rest of us.”

“If what you say is true, some of us can stay and try and hold those monsters off whilst others escape through the portal.”

“Its not that simple. They have eyes and ears all over the place. They’ve been influencing that maching since the beginning. Those Demons outside. They’ll have some control over it in some way to keep it open for the Kardons. We have to shut it down now.”

“Please, I don’t know what yourgame is but we can’t come this close. We can’t”

Whilst the Circus Master and the others were distracted, Ashlei who couldn’t bare it any longer grabbed one of the fallen Rystiean soldiers guns and hit Keptis over the back of the head with it, knocking him out.

“STOP” Ashlei shouted to the others.

“I don’t want to have to do this either, but I can’t let you condemn these people.”

“Don’t be stupid Ashlei.” The Circus Master said.

“I mean it, I’ll kill him unless you back down.”

To Be Continued

 

 

 

Doctor Who Vs Scratchman Part 7

 

                           Based on a story by Tom Baker and Ian Marter

The TARDIS console started to catch fire. In his struggle with the Goblins, the Doctor managed to hurl one over his shoulder with a judo flip, sending it head first into the flaming console.

The Doctor quickly managed to clobber another of the creatures over the head with a piece of furniture that he had tried to block the door with, knocking it off its feet.

The Doctor and the rest of the Goblins were soon thrown off of their feet as the Dragon again started to panic. The monster was being pulled from one dimension to the other. The Doctor in the confusion quickly ran around the console to see if there was any part of it that was still operable, but the whole thing was a mass of fire.

The Tardis was struggling with the Dragon, and the Goblins attack had only weakened her strength. Still she struggled on however, and the struggle between the TARDIS and the Dragon threatened to rip a hole in the time vortex itself.

The Doctor quickly went to one of the roundrels and ripped it off. The Time Lord then tried to redeposit the power from various rooms across the lower deck of the TARDIS, (which caused them to vanish) and into the console.

After a few seconds the fire vanished completely from the console and the TARDIS was in complete control again.

The Doctor then fired a small sample of excess energy left over from the lower decks at the Goblins. It didn’t kill them, but succeeded in knocking the monsters out cold.

In the Inquisitore’s torture chamber meanwhile Elena, Yarox, the villagers and the Goblins were now more focused on trying to escape than fighting each other. The Dragon’s thrashing threw them wildly around the room. One of the villagers was even killed, when he hit his head against the steel walls!

Worse still the portal to the Inquisitore’s hell began to fluctuate and it grow bigger. All of those at the back were quickly swallowed by the portal, whilst those at the front struggled to crawl towards the door, but just as they reached it however the door slammed shut. From the main control room the leader of the Goblins, in a final spiteful act used the last of the power in the Dragon to seal the room shut. He was desperate that the humans would not just be killed in the crash, but have to endure the hell he had come from.

Elena pounded on the door as hard as she could, but it was made of reinforced steel. The portal drew closer and closer, consuming more and more Goblins and villagers. Stanley, Yarox, Sophie and Jonathan all huddled around Elena and tried to help her push on the door, but it was no use.

Stanley in a final act of self sacrifice pushed the others in front of him as the portal drew closer and he was pulled into it. Two of the villagers and Elena tried to pull him back, and with all of their strength. They almost succeeded, but just when they were on the cusp of pulling him free, the portal would grow and engulf Stanley again. On the other side of the portal Stanley and the others could hear the screams of the damned souls of Scratchman’s domain, whilst the heat from the portal was unbearable. As the portal grew larger and larger, Elena realised that unless they let go, they too would be consumed alongside Stanley and with regret she not only let him go, but pulled the other two villagers back before the portal swallowed all 4 of them. The last image Elena saw of Stanley was of him screaming at her for help. His screams from the other side lingered on for a few seconds afterwards, which felt like an eternity for Elena and the rest of the villagers.

Just as all seemed lost the TARDIS suddenly materialised around the frightened villagers. The Doctor couldn’t move the TARDIS until the last second, and had been forced to watch with horror at the sight of the villagers he couldn’t save being pulled into hell. Even when the TARDIS landed around them, not all of the villagers were caught in its dematerialisation field, and a further five were pulled into hell.

Only twenty of the villagers in total were rescued by the Doctors TARDIS, but the leader of the Goblins still screamed in frustration and anger at the sight of any of them escaping.

“Foolish Time Lord” The monster said to itself. “You think you have escaped, but you will still deliver him to this reality.”

The Dragon let out one last agonizing scream before its body vanished in a blaze of fire that spread out over the entire sky of the small island below. The TARDIS only barely managed to escape from being pulled into Scratchman’s hell with the Dragon, but it was far from a smooth landing. The TARDIS simply plummeted to earth from the flames, rather than materliasing. The strain on the old girl had been incredible. Almost all of her power appeared to be drained, though fortunately the reserve banks were still fine. It was the first time the Doctor had been forced to use them however in over 2 thousand years.

“I’m sorry old girl, I really am, but it looks like we did it.” The Doctor said as he gently tapped the battered console.

“We’re fine thanks.” Mrs Tulloch, one of the few lucky survivors alongside her daughter Sophie, said from the back.

Some of the villagers had been knocked out in the crash, but most were thankfully unhurt.

The Doctor quickly left the TARDIS to see if there were any traces of “Scratchman’s” influence, whilst Elena and Yarox tended to the surviving villagers. Many of the villagers however didn’t want to even look at Elena after what happened with Stanley.

“You coward. Stanley was willing to give his life for us and you, you left him.”

“I’m sorry, there was nothing we could do, and if I hadn’t pulled you free, you’d have joined him.” Elena tried to say before more of the villagers cut her off.

Yarox soon came to her defence.

“Don’t you dare call her a coward. I owe my life to her many times over. I can assure you she would have done anything she could do to save your friend.” Yarox protested.

The other villagers weren’t listening, except for Mrs Tulloch.

“All I know is that if it weren’t for this woman, or either of her strange friends my little girl wouldn’t be alive now. We should be thanking them.”

Most of the rest of the villagers weren’t convinced, and even Elena herself wasn’t convinced. She knew that it hadn’t been because she was scared. She had made peace with her own death many years ago. She had to, or else she would never have been able to travel with the Doctor, but she wondered if she had been too rash ironically in trying to protect the other villagers. In truth there wasn’t anything else she could have done for Stanley, but that tiny bit of doubt would sadly stay with Elena for the rest of her life.

Outside the Doctor saw that much of the forest the TARDIS had crashed into had been burned to the ground by the dragon in its death throes. Even though there might still be danger, the Doctor would much rather be out here than deal with the villagers. Though they were his favourite species, the Doctor could sometimes get more than a little frustrated at human beings tendency to lash out when they were scared, and was in no mood to deal with it.

In the distance the Doctor could see a few Scarecrow’s shuffling awkwardly in his direction. They all looked extremely weak however and some of them were even collapsing.

“Please.” One of the Demons whimpered as it crawled along the floor to the Doctor.

“We’re being pulled back into his domain. We can’t go back, we can’t. He promised us peace if we delivered you to him. Please for our sakes Time Lord.”

The Doctor kept his distance from the Scarecrow’s. He knew they wouldn’t last much longer in this reality, but still he wasn’t taking any chances.

“I’m sorry” the Doctor said. “I wish there was something I could do for you, but I had to protect this world.”

“Please, please don’t let us.” The Scarecrow said before it and all of the others around it crumbled into nothing but dust. Their minds or souls had been pulled back into the hell from which they came. It was over. All of Scratchman’s influence had been seemingly purged from this universe and the monster was sealed back in its pit. The cost however had been huge. Another entire universe would still have to suffer under that creature, whatever it was and there was seemingly nothing the Doctor could do to help them.

The Doctor, Elena and Yarox would be forced to spend the next day on the island. The TARDIS was not only in no position to travel, but they needed to make sure there were no more portals left over from Scratchman’s dimension. The villagers didn’t speak much with the three time travellers during their stay. Not only was there still resentment towards Elena, but the villagers didn’t trust or like the Doctor much either. Many feared that he was in league with the Demons, or that he was a Warlock of some kind. The Doctor and Elena and Yarox would help the villagers search the island for other survivors (of which there were sadly none), but other than that they kept their distance.

By the time a team arrived to rescue the villagers, the TARDIS was ready to leave and the Doctor, Yarox and Elena slipped away without even saying goodbye. The story of what happened on the island would briefly become a sensation, though the government would be quick to supply a cover up story. The island would remain abandoned however, with no one daring to ever go near it again.

As the TARDIS hurled its way through the vortex, there was an awkward silence among the three time travellers. Though Scratchman was defeated, the cost had been too high. What troubled the Doctor the most however was the fact that he still had no idea what Scratchman really was. The Doctor could never stand not knowing the truth about somewhere he had visited or a new life form he had discovered, but when it was something that terrified him he couldn’t bare it.

“Well lets hope the old girl will take us somewhere a bit more relaxing next eh” The Doctor said. “I think after that ordeal she’ll probably want a rest for a bit. I’m heading down to the library.” The Doctor said.

In truth the Doctor was wanting to look through his books to see if he could find anything about Scratchman. It would be hard to seperate the myths from the fact, but surely there must be something, he thought to himself. The Doctor was too consumed in his latest obsession to notice the pain his companions were in. He didn’t mean to insensitive, but when the Doctors desire for new knowledge ironically often caused him to overlook what was right in front of him.

Elena meanwhile just wanted to retreat to her quarters below.

“You know it really wasn’t your fault Elena.” Yarox said to her as she left the console room.

“I know you mean well Yarox, but please I just, I just need to be alone.” She replied somewhat coldly to Yarox.

Yarox decided to head back down to the TARDIS’ garden. This tiny, artificial construct was the only place in the history of the universe Yarox had ever felt safe.

The experience had arguably shaken Yarox more than the Doctor and Elena. Yarox had long heard stories about the golden age of humanity from his own time, whilst the Doctor had promised him a chance to see the universe when it was young and healthy.

Now that he had actually visited the past however, he saw that it was full of just as much struggle, desperation and death as his time. It may have looked more peaceful on the surface, but underneath all of the different life forms were still fighting with each other just to survive.

Was there ever a period of peace in the galaxies history? Still as Yarox looked up at an illusion of the Illexian galaxy, he couldn’t help but be captivated at its beauty. Was all of the pain and misery he had witnessed throughout all of time worth it for this?

Suddenly however the illusion began to fade and the roof above quickly turned to fire. As Yarox looked around he saw the trees in the TARDIS garden began to wither and turn black.

As Yarox backed away slowly he heard an all to familiar sound, that he had never hoped to hear again in his life.

“HALT, STAY WHERE YOU ARE! DO NO MOVE!”

Yarox turned around to see two Daleks, the monsters that still terrified him far more than even Scratchman or any of his Demonic minions gliding in his direction, their guns raised and ready to fire.

To Be Continued

 

Professor Fang: The Hopping Dead: Part 6: The Old Magics

Sorry this is later than I promised. My depression came back worse than ever last Saturday, just as I thought I was making an improvement. I have had to double my medication as well as go on extra meds, Diazepam to manage my extreme anxiety. I’m now on 5 pills per day. I am not sure how long it will be before I am completely back to normal, but this last week has been absolute hell. Thank you for your patience in waiting for me to get better. This last month has been among the worst of my life and has badly affected all of my plans for this blog, but hopefully we’ll be back to normal soon.

Lindsey stood her ground against the 5 Vampires who surrounded her. She had a few bags of sticky rice, but she didn’t want to waste them all on herself. Still without any other options, Lindsey held one of the bags up to the Vampires who recoiled purely on instinct. When she tried to push past the Jiang Shi however, the bloodsuckers didn’t back down. The Vampires could sense Lindsey’s fear at the same time.

Lee and the Professor quickly intervened, jumping from out of the window Lee had inadvertantly thrown the Vampire and Lindsey through. The Wizard blasted the Vampire that emerged behind Lindsey at full force, sending it flying. Unfortunately however this just roused the other 4 Vampires circling her, who tried to grab the time traveller. With no other choice Lindsey threw her bag of rice into one of the Vampires faces. The beast was flung several feet through the air, with its face catching fire in the process. The rest of the Vampires quickly scattered and Lindsey and Lee used the opportunity to flee into the streets.

The Professor meanwhile jumped back up through the window he had come down from.

“Lindsey and Lee can take care of themselves, come on we need to get back to the ship.” The Professor said to Kirsteen and the Empress and her child. The Empress had intended to stay and help Lee, but now she had no choice, as more and more Jiang Shi began to circle the house.

Lindsey and Lee meanwhile quickly ran down the streets, with Lee blasting any Jiang Shi that came near them. The streets were littered with corpses, and many of the buildings now lay in ruins. It must have been ten minutes or so before Lindsey and Lee came across anyone living, a small boy and his mother, who were cowering in a nearby alley.

“Don’t worry” Lindsey said gently to the scared villagers. “We’re here to help.”

“You can’t help. No one can.” The mother said hysterically as she clutched her boy.

Hordes of Jiang Shi began to circle Lindsey and Lee from both sides. The Wizard tried to knock the Vampires back with his magic, but there were too many of them, and those he did knock down just quickly jumped back up. Worse still the Wizard’s magics had attracted dozens more Jiang Shi from across the village.

With no other choice, Lee and Lindsey headed down the alley the mother and child were hiding in. Lindsey made sure they followed, though she didn’t have too. As soon as the Vampires headed in their direction, the mother and son were off.

At the other end of the alley however were several more Vampires, completely cutting them off at both sides.

With no choice Lindsey used more of her sticky rice to create two lines around herself and the others, blocking the Vampires off either end. The Vampires started to hop back a bit, though not to the end of the alley.

Lindsey turned to Lee. “You need to get us out of here.”

“There’s too many of them for me to blast.”

“You need to try and levitate us out of here.” Lindsey said.

“I can’t lift 3 people at once. I’m not even sure if I can lift one that high, the strain would be so great.”

“You have to try. Lift the mother and her son out first.”

“I can’t leave you.”

“I’ll be safe as long as you hurry. They can’t cross the rice remember. Please just go.”

With no time to waste, Lee tried to lift the mother and her boy with his magics. It took him a few minutes of struggling before they were able to slowly hover up to the top of a small house.

The Vampires meanwhile were getting more frantic. Hissing, snarling and clawing impotently at the air. A few more minutes passed before one of the Vampires tore pieces of the earth up in front of it and threw it over the rice. The Vampire on the other end soon followed suit.

“Damn. I forgot how crafty you little bloodrats can be.” Lindsey said. Like many species of animals, the Jiang Shi whilst driven by their instincts could still master some tools and even tricks if need be.

Lindsey held up her last bag of sticky rice to the Vampires. She really didn’t want to have to waste it, but it soon became apparent that the monsters were not backing down as they hopped slowly towards her, hissing.

Suddenly as the monsters almost closed in on her, Lindsey felt herself being carried up carefully and slowly.

“Not to sound ungrateful Lee, but can you hurry up.” Lindsey said whilst joking to try and hide her fear.

One of the Vampires quickly jumped out and grabbed Lindsey by the foot, forcing her to use some of her sticky rice on the beast. The fire from the Vampires face burned Lindsey quite badly, but she was used to dealing with extreme pain.

Lee managed to place Lindsey safely on the roof alongside the mother and son. He was clearly exhausted, but he had managed it.

“Thank you Lee..”

“Don’t mention it, but just don’t ask me to do it again.”

“We only have one half bag of rice left I’m afraid. We’ll need to rely on your magics to do a lot of the heavy lifting.”

Lindsey looked out over the massive village. So many of the houses had been torn into and there were bodies, and pieces of bodies all over the streets. At the centre of the village was a large burning building, but outside it were several fleeing villagers old and young. They were seemingly the only people left in the village. The villagers were being pursued by several Jiang Shi’s all of whom were ablaze, but didn’t appear

“We have to get there now.” Lindsey said.

“I need a few more minutes.” Lee said exhausted.

“They don’t have another few minutes. We need to go there now.” Lindsey said in desperation.

The Professor, The Empress and her son, and Kirsteen had managed to make their way across the village thanks to the Professors Vampire constitution. The Professor had managed to jump his way across each building using his Vampire strength, whilst carrying Kirsteen, and the Empress in one hand each.

When he finally reached the square however the Professor could see it was filled with Jiang Shi, who surrounded a pile of bodies just as before. There was no way he could make it past them, even through jumping without being seen.

The Professor rattled his brains for a few moments before it hit him. The Jiang Shi were completely immune to fire, even magical flames, but the corpses they were guarding not. The Professor ripped off a small piece of wood from the ruins of a nearby house and asked Kirsteen for her lighter. (Kirsteen was a 6 a day smoker It was the one unhealthy habit she hadn’t been able to kick.)

Using all of his strength the Professor threw the flaming torch at the pile of corpses. It landed right at the top of the pile and caused its clothes to ignite which soon spread, drawing the attention of the Jiang Shi. As the Vampires desperately tried to put the flames out, the Professor and his friends quickly made their escape to the front gates.

In the woods outside the Professor could see several more Jiang Shi emerging from between the trees.

“They’re waiting for us.” The Professor said.

“They can probably sense the magic for the teleporter.”

The Professor however soon saw that the Vampires were distracted by something else. A young woman running through the woods.

“We have to help her.” The Professor said.

“Who?” Kirsteen asked?

“The young woman being chased by those monsters.”

“There’s no one there, we need to move before the Vampires.” Kirsteen said.

The Professor didn’t listen however and jumped after the young woman.

“Don’t worry, I’m here to help. I have a vessel where you’ll be safe.” The Professor said.

“I don’t know what’s happening to me. Those things they’ve, they’ve turned me into.”

As the Professor reached out to grab her, his hand suddenly went straight through the young woman’s arm.

“Of course you’re a ghost.” The Professor said.

“A what?”

“You’re a.” The Professor stopped as he saw the Jiang Shi get closer.

“I’m afraid I don’t have the time to explain it to you. You deserve to be told properly. Those things, they can still hurt you, even in your current form. Worse, apart from me, they’re the only ones who can see you.”

“I don’t understand, please help me.”

The Professor however simply performed a quick spell that would temporarily make the ghost invisible. Ghosts could normally only be seen through the use of magic, (though Vampires and Demons could see them without magic.) The Professor’s spell however could reverse the effect for a short while.

“I can’t see you right now, but neither can they. I’ll come back for you I promise, but you have to run.” The Professor said before running back to Kirsteen and the Empress.

“Who were you talking too?” Kirsteen asked, worried that the Professor had started to lose his mind.

“It was a ghost of a young woman the Jiang Shi had killed. Poor girl. She has no idea what’s happened to her. This is what happens when you just cower in the dark and pretend the monsters aren’t there.” The Professor said to the Empress as they all ran to the teleporter. (With the Empress and even Kirsteen following the Professor’s lead.)

“These magics your ancestors thought would protect your kingdom have done the reverse. Its left them vulnerable to these creatures and even to themselves. That poor girl will no doubt think she’s a monster when I tell her what she actually is.”

“We had peace for hundreds of years here until those cowardly Hissian’s destroyed our defences.” The Empress said back proudly.

“Those magics made you weak. I know that might sound hypocritical coming from me, but you should never use magic to seal yourself in a bubble to the point where you can’t survive without it.”

They reached the teleportation area, with the Vampires emerging from the trees all around them. As the Professor prepared to teleport them to safety however, the hand of one of the Vampires jumped through the air and landed on top of the Professor.

Pinning him to the ground the Empress was the first to try and pull the Vampire off, handing her son to Kirsteen in the process. The Vampire however quickly turned to the Empress when she got too close and grabbed her in its talons. The Professor instantly seized his chance and tripped the monster up. He then grabbed it by the arm, and before the beast could even react he hurled it over his shoulder into three more Jiang Shi who hopped towards them. The Professor then quickly teleported himself and all 3 of his companions back to the safety of his time vessel.

“Those bloodsuckers will be waiting for us down there, but don’t worry, we’ll be ready for them.” The Professor said confidently as he headed down a nearby corridor.

“There’s dozens, maybe hundreds of those things in the village.” Kirsteen asked as she trailed behind the Vampire as he entered what looked like a laboratory, filled with odd bits and pieces.

“Yes but fortunately the magics I’ve had centuries to amass all of the most effective magics against the Jiang Shi. I’ve been fighting them since before I was a time traveller, since before I was a Vampire. I remember I even used to keep one as a pet for a while, that was a mistake.”

“A pet? You’re not serious.”

“Yes I am. This little beauty here.” The Professor said as he held up a small sheet of yellow paper with some writing on it.

“Will stop a Jiang Shi in its tracks if you put it on its forehead. It won’t kill it, just stop it, after which with some magics you can bend it to your will. The only problem with our Jiang Shi was after a few years under the spell it became, domesticated shall we say. When I tried to put him up against a wild Jiang Shi, well she ripped him to bits. Its funny how so many of us mourned him after. In hindsight we should have just put him to rest right away.”

The Empress had almost drifted off during the Professor’s trip down memory lane, whilst Kirsteen quickly interrupted him.

“So you’re saying we can take over some of the Jiang Shi and force them to fight one another?” Kirsteen asked.

“Well yes, but not just any Jiang Shi. The alpha of the pack. He’s the strongest.”

“You mean my husband” The Empress said.

“Yes I’m sorry but.”

“Don’t be. Like you said Professor. These things need to be put to rest.”

“Well lets get things ready shall we. The magics in this ship were affected a while back, but we should have enough to make a couple more of these. Kirsteen I’m going to need your help.”

“What do I know about magics?”

“You can still help me, I’ll guide you through it. If you want to be part of the team.”

“I don’t but lets just get on with it.”

The Empress meanwhile was busy hugging her son, but not merely to comfort him. When the Empress tried to pull the Vampire off of the Professor it had managed to bite her. It was only a graze, but for all she knew that was enough. She was terrified to tell the Professor in case he would dispose of her, but she didn’t want to make the same mistakes as before.

“No” she thought to herself. “As long as I am myself I have to do all I can to help my people. To help my boy.”

To Be Continued

 

Updates

Just a quick update for regular readers. I’m feeling better now. My medication has begun to kick in and I’m ready to start work on this blog again. Professor Fang will return at the end of this week followed by Doctor Who and The Circus Master, as well as my series analysing Batman.

Thank you to those who have sent messages of support, and who have been patient while I recover from what was a very difficult time.

I am not well

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but I have been suffering terribly from depression over the last few days.

I am on medication and have the support of friends and family around me, but its really tough. Even just getting up in the morning is an ordeal. Sadly this means that the Circus Master, Professor Fang and Doctor Who will be cancelled this week and most likely next week too. I’ll try and resume all 3 series soon, but right now I couldn’t even begin to try and write a story.

Thank you for your support and I’ll hopefully see you soon.

The Circus Master: Journey To The Centre of Evil: Part 5: The Underwater Palace

 

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.

Only a last minute intervention from Denika who used her magics to quickly hurl the ship back stopped it from smashing to bits off of the Demons tail.

The original Kardon pushed the newcomer away. The second Kardon had no idea who the Circus Folk were and had just assumed it was anothe 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 quickly became locked in a vicious fight for the tiny vessel, a sight which looked almost comical from a distance, but not for the Circus Folk who were almost crushed in the struggle between the two titans. 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 free, Denika gave the ship an extra push that allowed it get a good 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 quickly 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’.”

“She’s an ungrateful bitch.” Ashlei said.

“Now, now” The Circus Master interrupted. “Lets go a bit easy on her. After all 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 in these green waters. Fortunately her fears were quickly 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 Ishica, 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 20 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 Ishica and hideous, demonic fish 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 centre of the earth. The did not know magic until the Kardons arrived and even now their 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 and Gods 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 Rysteans 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 its just a hunch, I get them from time to time. I’d like to take a look at the machine the Rystieans are building.”

“Well that won’t be up to me I’m afriad. 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, its back. Its hovering around the base as usual. We’re sending out a team to try and scare it off now, but you know how persistant 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.

“Its an Ocotpus like creature that comes near the facility. It’s been corrupted by the Kardons evil like those Ishica creatures. Its managed to grab a few of the scientists who’ve been unlucky, but most of the time they’re able to scare it away. I wouldn’t worry about it.”

The ship soon reached its destination. There facility looked more like a floating palace. It was gigantic, square shaped and with 4 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 Rysteans 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 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 deeply 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 Rystieans 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 tenticles measuring over 80 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 so 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 quickly detained in a nearby cell. The inside of the facility was absolute beautiful. Just like Kile’s ship it was completely gold, with large green jewels and beautiful paintings encrusting the walls. Even the Circus Folk’s cell was bright and gold and beautiful.

“I don’ 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 its 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?”

“No.”

“Well whoever you are, I can assure you that I am here to help. We are travellers 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 Stange Boy was clearly still suffering from the effects of being near the Kardons.

“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 defencively. “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 evey day and did not ever like to see it trivialised.

“You’ve scanned our ship, you’ve seen that the magics in it are far beyond anything you could even imagine. Its what allowed us to enter the earth’s core. We can help you all escape too.”

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 listen to this, whatever he is, but for now, take him downstairs.

“I refuse to believe that fool can do anything to help us.” Mascia said to Kile.

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 conformed.

“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 its not. We’re here to stop the Rysteians from escaping.” The Circus Master said with regret.

To Be Continued

 

 

 

Professor Fang: The Hopping Dead: Part 5: The Ghost

 

“This is your doing.” Lee said bitterly to the Empress.

“All of the sacrifices we made to protect this kingdom, and you’ve condemned it because you weren’t prepared to make a sacrifice of your own.”

“There’s no point in that now.” The Professor snapped. “We need to work together.”

“There is nothing that can be done.” The Empress said as she clutched her boy. “Those monsters tore through our personal guard in less than an hour. The villagers don’t stand a chance.”

“Your guards tried to use brute force. A simple tactic, which can sometimes be effective, but not in this case I’m afraid..” The Professor said proudly and somewhat smugly, which greatly annoyed Kirsteen, though Lindsey was used to it at this stage.

“Magic is the only thing that can stop these monsters and fortunately we have plenty of enchantments and spells back on my ship. The problem is getting there.”

“What are you talking about?” Lee asked impatiently?

“I have a craft, it operates by magic. I won’t bother to explain how it works to you as you wouldn’t understand, but up there we have all the magics we’ll need to take care of these monsters. Unfortunately there’s just one spot we can teleport back up to the ship from and its past the village.”

“I can’t take my son through those monsters.” The Empress said.

“If you don’t help us you’ll both die.” Lindsey interrupted. “Where will you go? No one else in this kingdom will know the magics to stop them, and they can’t fight the Jiang Shi any other way.”

Their conversation was soon interrupted by several of the Jiang Shi who had followed the Professor, Lindsey, Kirsteen, Lee, the Empress and her son from the castle. The bloodsuckers hopped furiously towards their prey, snarling, roaring and baring their blood stained fangs.

“Well that settles it then.” The Professor said as they all quickly ran towards the village as fast as they could.

The village however had been almost completely overrun. The Vampires just as in the palace tried to recruit as many as they possibly could.

The last of the Emperor’s guards who had stayed behind to protect the village had quickly given up trying to fight the Vampires, and ran just as helplessly through the village alongside a small group of civillians. The guard had tried to hold off the Vampires when they had first arrived at the at the gates, but the fight was over as soon as he stabbed his sword into one of the Jiang Shi, and it broke in half!

The blood sucker then grabbed the guards arm and sunk its fangs deep into his flesh. The guard had never experienced pain like it before, as the Demons teeth cut right into his bone. He tried to struggle free, but it was no use. In desperation, the guard managed to grab the blade from his broken sword. Rather than use it to try and fight off the Vampire however, instead he hacked off his upper arm which the Vampire was biting. It was his only option. If he had tried to use it on the Vampire it would have simply broken off of its flesh.

The guard then ran from the Vampire in his shame. He could barely stay awake from the blood loss, never mind fight back against the monsters. His lowest moment however came later when he was forced to rip a piece of clothing off of a mangled corpse to bandage his stump!

By the time the former guard reached the small group of desperate villagers he was now fleeing with, none of them even noticed, or cared for his uniform they were so terrified. He was lucky in this respect. If this were any other crisis they would decry him as a coward for fleeing, but now? The villagers knew that no one could protect them from the blood suckers.

The group of villagers had taken refuge in a small alley between two houses. In front of the house was the square. There were 6 Vampires in total, standing, completely motionless around several corpses in the centre of the square, that the beasts were clearly waiting on to rise.

On the other side of the building however was absolute chaos. People fleeing in the streets from the bloodsuckers, others trying to shelter themselves in their houses, some even trying to fight back. It ultimately made no difference whatever the villagers did. The Vampires would still tear them apart no matter what.

“There’s no way out. Those monsters have cut us off at both sides.” One of the villagers, a young man named Hin said.

“We have to stay here until.” Another one of the villagers, a women named Asika said only to be interrupted by Hin.

“Until what? No one is coming to save us, no one can.” He screamed.”

“Keep quiet you idiot, those things will hear us.”

“He’s right” The former guard said in a loud, but faint voice.

“The only way out of the village is by the square. I’ll have to distract them.”

“They’ll tear you to pieces.” Asika said.

“I won’t last anyway. I’m bleeding to death. It was my job to protect the Emperor, the village. I don’t want to live knowing that I failed.”

Asika didn’t bother to try and talk him out of it any longer. She like the rest of the village knew the guards devotion to their cause was so great that death would be preferable to failure.

The guard ran into the Vampires. He tried to make one last futile strike at the Demons, by trying to tackle one of them, but the Jiang Shi quickly dogpiled on the broken man and started to tear him apart. The rest of the villagers tried to run past the Hopping Demons whilst they were distracted, but unfortunately three of the corpses gathered at the centre of the square soon rose. One of them instantly pulled one of the fleeing villagers into the mass of bodies where it tore his throat out.

The rest of the Vampires soon turned their attention to the fleeing villagers. Even in death the guard had sadly failed his duty. The Jiang Shi soon caught up to all of the fleeing villagers in a matter of minutes, save for Asika. She managed to almost make it to the end of the village, but just as she as reached the gates, she found to her horror that its doors were locked from the outside. The two guards had not only deserted their post, but had sealed it shut to keep the Vampires in!

Asika pounded on the doors and screamed for help, but it was no use. There was no one around and the bloodsucker was closing in on her. Asika didn’t try and run past it however. It was much too fast for her anyway. She had just one chance. She would have to trick the monster into using its strength to tear the doors down.

The blood sucker reached its arms out to try and slash Asika across the face, but she managed to narrowly dodge its attack. The monster tore a hole in the door, but it was not near the lock. The beast tried to slash her again, but this time Asika was not so fortunate and the monster clawed her across the stomach. Asika collapsed to the floor in pain, but when the monster reached out for her a third time, Asika grabbed both of its hands and thrust her foot into its chest, pulling it forward ove her into the two doors which the monster crashed through. Asica then quickly ran past the Vampire into the woods outside. The bloodsucker however instantly jumped up and hopped after her at a lightening speed. Asika knew it wouldn’t be long before the Vampire caught up with her and in desperation tried to crawl up a nearby tree to safety, or even just to hide. The Vampire however started to crawl up after her with its long claws. Once she had reached the top, Asika tried to kick the Vampire in the face. It did nothing at first, but when the Vampire tried to reach out and grab her foot, Asika was able to land a good kick in its chest, which caused the monster, now only holding on with one hand, to go tumbling back, taking the piece of tree it was holding onto with it.

The Vampire hit the ground head first, but it instantly jumped up again and started to slice at the tree with its claws. Asika tried to jump to the tree next to her, but she merely fell through the branchs. Worse the tree she had jumped from soon collapsed thanks to the Vampires actions into the tree she had tried to flee too causing them both to fall.

Asika was caught between the two tree logs, which broke both of her legs. She still tried to crawl free as the Vampire hopped slowly towards her. The Demon seemed to be prolonging her torment for as long as it could. It simply stood over Asika for a few seconds, staring at her. Though the Jiang Shi were for the most part animals, they were still able to derive a certain twisted pleasure in their victims suffering. Like all children of Khastran, his evil ran through their veins. Asika however didn’t give in and show fear. To the end she still tried attack the Vampire throwing anything she could find on the forest floor in a series of futile attacks on the Vampire. The beast responded by quickly finishing her and sunk its long yellow fangs into Asika’s throat, draining her dry in a less than a minute.

Unfortunately however it was not over yet for the poor woman. As soon her life faded for her, Asika found herself standing right beside the bloodsucker in the woods. At first she tried to flee, only to see that the corpse it was feeding on the floor was her.

Asika had become a ghost, more importantly the first ghost to exist within her kingdom for centuries. The same magics which prevented any supernatural creatures from entering the kingdom also ensured that no spirits existed either.

Asika didn’t even know what a Ghost was. She tried to rationalise it that she must have escaped the Demon and it was creating a duplicate of her. When her corpse rose as one of the monsters, Asika almost couldn’t look at ot. The Jiang Shi were not really the people they took over in life. They were Demon souls, merely inhabiting human corpses. Asika tried to grab the Demon that bore her face, but to her horror, Asika’s hands passed right through the Vampire.

The Professor, Lindsey, Kirsteen, Lee, The Empress and her son had managed to escape the Jiang Shi in the woods thanks to Lee’s magic. He had managed to conjur up a small blast which knocked the Jiang Shi off of their feet, for just a few moments that allowed the Professor and the others to get a head start on the Demons. Once they reached the village, they quickly took shelter in a small house on the Professor’s urging, keeping out of sight of the Jiang Shi who were too preoccupied with the fleeing villagers.

The Empress’ son had remained completely quiet since they left the castle. His mother had carried him the entire way, holding him so tight he could barely breathe. The boy barely even acknowledged his mother however. Whenever she tried to tell him it would be okay, he’d simply respond with a blank stare.

“Why are we stopping here?” Kirsteen asked whilst the Professor rummaged through the living room of the small house.

“I thought you said we needed to get back to the ship.”

“We do Kirsteen, but its going to be rather difficult don’t you think? We need a weapon. Ah found it!” The Professor said excitedly.

“What?

“Sticky rice.” The Professor said as he held up a few small bags.

“Sticky rice? You’re seriously not going to tell me.”

“Yes I am. Its not so ridiculous is it? Some Vampires can be repelled by garlic, or putting two sticks together.”

“Rice though?” Kirsteen said

“Demons are repelled by natural elements Kirsteen, though not all Demon or Vampire breeds are repelled by the same natural elements. Some Vampires are vulnerable to wood, others to silver, others to the light of day, and in this case sticky rice, among other things.”

The Vampires who had followed the time travellers from the Castle soon arrived, hissing and roaring. The Professor placed a small line of rice in front of the door, causing the Vampires to instantly hop backwards.

Kirsteen started to laugh.

“Sorry” she said to the others. “Its just such a relief to see them backing down for once.”

“They can’t cross a line of sticky rice, but we obviously can’t stay here.” The Professor said.

“We’ll get more work done if we split up. Lee and Lindsey, you need to try and get as many of the villagers as you can somewhere safe.” He continued whilst handing Lindsey the remaining bags of rice. “Remember only use this rice to create a barrier around the villagers once you get them to safety. Kirsteen and I will make our way back to the ship.”

“We will?” Kirsteen said somewhat nervously.

“Would you rather stay here? Besides you keep saying you want to be a more proactive part of the missions”

“No I said I want you to take me home and stop dragging me to places with Demons, Aliens, Zombies, Vampires and god knows what else!”

“I’m pretty sure you said you realised that there are some terrible things in the universe, that need to be fought and that you wanted to do your part in the good fight? No? Well you should have said that, but still we don’t have time to talk it over.”

“Okay fine but if I come back as a Vampire please make sure you chop my head off.”

“You don’t even have to ask”. The Professor responded.

“No wait, please”. The Empress interrupted.

“Please take my son with you.”

“Empress I don’t think.” The Professor tried to say, only for the Empress to cut him off again.

“You said your, whatever it was would be the safest place. Please take him there. He certainly can’t stay here. I want to help, and I can’t do that if he’s here.”

The Professor realised she was right and picked up the boy.

“I promise.” He said. “Those monsters won’t harm him.”

Again the boy did not react.

Suddenly there was a crashing sound coming from upstairs.

Lindsey, the Professor, Kirsteen, and Lee quickly went upstairs. The Empress meanwhile stayed behind with her son.

Up stairs there was just one room, with 3 beds. The bottom section of the house was nothing but the living room.

It was very dark, but they could see that the window was broken. As Lindsey got near it to have a better look, she was suddenly jumped by a Jiang Shi that emerged from the darkness. The Professor and Kirsteen tried to pull the Jiang Shi off of Lindse, but the Vampire backhanded them across the room. Lee fired his magics at the beast but it ended up sending it tumbling out of the window, with Lindsey who it still held onto.

Outside Lindsey found herself surrounded by 4 more Jiang Shi who closed in on the time traveller.

To Be Continued