Coming Soon

Starting from the 8th of February, Professor Fang and The Circus Master will return.

This will be part of a new schedule which will see two episodes of 6 series released every week.

Last year was too hectic. Trying to crowbar three stories in every week wasn’t working, and there were gaps due to personal problems and other issues. This year however I will stick to a proper schedule. I appreciate the patience regular readers have had in waiting for me to get better and sort out this blog.

8th and 9th of February, The Circus Master and Professor Fang will both return with two new stories,.

Doctor Who Vs Scratchman will return the next Saturday, and on the Sunday a new series based on King Kong will start. I am a huge fan of King Kong and I have wanted to do my own adaptation for quite some time now. This series will not be a straight remake however. It will be set in the early 20th century, and feature a prison ship full of criminals crashing on Skull Island. The series will follow the criminals and the wardens attempts to survive together on a hostile island filled with Dinosaurs, giant insects, lizards, prehistoric creatures and of course a gigantic Ape named Kong!

The following Saturday will then see the start of Carlene the Jazz Vampire, whilst on the Sunday The Savage Era will start. This schedule will then repeat indefinitely.

In the meantime before the 6 series start/resume, I will finish reviewing every Cyberman story as well as offer a few opinion pieces.

Doctor Who Review: The Invasion

Image result for Doctor Who tHE iNVASION

The fifth Cyberman story of the Classic era, the Invasion was also a story of many firsts and helped to introduce a formula to the series that would endure for many more decades to come. It would also mark the Cybermen’s final appearance for five years in the show.

Synopsis

Escaping from the land of fiction, the Doctor, Zoe and Jamie arrive near the moon in the latter part of the 20th century. After evading an alien missile fired from the earth, the trio arrive in the English countryside. In their escape the TARDIS is damaged, causing its exterior to turn invisible.

The Doctor decides to contact his old friend, Professor Travers (who had earlier helped him deal with the Great Intelligence in two seperate instances.)

When the Doctor, Jamie and Zoe arrive at Travers place however, they discover that he is away with his daughter Ann, and has left the home in the care of his colleague Professor Watkins and his neice Isobel.

Isobel informs them that Watkins has gone missing whilst working for International Electronics which has quickly become the leading electronics company worldwide.

The Doctor and Jamie decide to investigate its main office, but are quickly discovered and brought to the company’s managing director Tobais Vaughn.

Though Vaughn ensures the Doctor that the Professor is simply dedicated to his work and has no time to see anyone, the Doctor quickly becomes suspicious. After the Doctor leaves it is revealed that Vaughn is working with a Cyber planner.

The Doctor and Jamie are soon captured after leaving the meeting by two strangers and taken to meet their commander, Alistair Gordon Lethbridge Stewart, who had previously helped the Doctor defeat the Yeti’s in the underground. They discover that since the Yeti invasion, Lethbridge Stewart has been promoted to the rank of the Brigadier of UNIT, a special taskforce designed to track down alien or paranormal threats.

The Brigadier asks or the Doctors help in investigating International Electronics, with the previous UNIT operative who investigated the company having gone missing.

Isobel and Zoe soon decide to investigate the company themselves after getting fed up of waiting for the Doctor and Jamie to return. They are quickly captured however after Zoe destroys a robot receptionist, whilst the Doctor and Jamie are also abducted after trying to rescue them.

The Doctor and Jamie are taken to the company’s countryside base where they meet Doctor Watkins who informs the Doctor that not only is Vaughn working with mysterious allies, but that he is forcing him to help build a weapon of some kind.

The Doctor is able to summon UNIT for help, as well as locate Zoe and Isobel. A UNIT helicopter then rescues the Doctor, Zoe, Jamie and Isobel, though doing so alerts Vaughn to the danger UNIT poses to his plans.

Back at UNIT HQ the Brigadier shows the Doctor pictures of alien space ships outside of Vaughns base, conforming that he is working with aliens. When the Doctor and Jamie later investigate they discover that Vaughn is working with the Cybermen.

Vaughn is able to halt UNIT’s investigation by forcing, (through mind control) a retired general at the Ministry of Defence to impede UNIT’s plans.

The Brigadier briefly leaves for Geneva control to try and get help. Meanwhile it is revealed that the device Vaughn has been forcing the Professor to build is a weapon against the Cybermen, with Vaughn hoping to control them after their invasion of earth.

The Cyberman he tests the weapon on however is driven insane and flees into the sewers, where the rest of the Cybermen are beginning their invasion. Zoe, Isobel, and Jamie are almost killed by the Cybermen in the sewers after they go there to try and obtain proof of the monsters existence, but they are saved by UNIT in the nick of time.

UNIT meanwhile are able to rescue the Professor from International Electronics. From the Professors accounts, the Doctor is able to deduce that the Cybermen intend to send signals through devices produced by International Electronics which will pacify the human population, allowing the Cybermen to convert the entire population easily.

The Doctor is able to shield his companions and the UNIT staff¬† however from the Cybermen’s mind control device using depolarizers, which block the Cyberman’s signal.

UNIT are able to overcome the Cyber invasion force in London, which prompts the Cybermen to cut their losses and destroy the earth using a Cyber megatron bomb.

Vaughn agrees to help the Doctor after the Cybermen betray him and uses his weapon to help the Doctor and UNIT battle the Cyber forces on earth. Vaughn is killed in the final battle, though the Doctor and UNIT are able to destroy the Cyber megatron bomb after which the Russians destroy the Cyber mothership with their rocket.

With the invasion foiled, the Doctor, Zoe and Jamie depart in the Tardis.

Review

The Invasion is I feel a somewhat overlooked story. Its arguably the most important serial from the late 60s alongside The War Games. Whilst the War Games may establish the exiled to earth story arc, The Invasion sets the template not just for Pertwee era UNIT stories that were to follow, but the majority of invasion earth stories as well. Even up to the revival. The Sontaran Strategem/The Poison Sky for instance essentially recreates the dynamic between Vaughn and the Cybermen, with the Sontarans and Luke Rattigan.

The Invasion also marks the first time in Doctor Who that modern technology is utilised by an alien menace to take over the earth. Other stories to explore this theme include Spearhead from Space with the Autons, and The Sontaran Strategem/The Poison Sky.

Whilst a lot of the stories tropes and basic plot may seem somewhat basic to modern viewers as a result of being emulated so frequently. Overall I think the Invasion still holds up due to how well its realised.

Douglas Camfield who directed the Invasion was definitely one of the series strongest directors (if not the strongest) and The Invasion plays to many of his greatest strengths as a director.

Douglas had a real talent for action and the Invasion has some of the most over the top and creative action scenes for Douglas to work with. From the Doctors escape via helicopter (which is sadly missing) to UNIT’s showdown with the Cybermen in the streets of London, which rivals the Yeti’s fight in Covent Gardens in terms of how explosive it is.

At the same time however Douglas plays to the Cybermen’s strengths as villains too. The Cybermen always work best in more closed, claustrophobic environments where there’s no way you can outrun, or outfight them if they corner you. The scene of the insane Cyberman cornering Jamie, Zoe and Isobel is one of the most frightening and memorable moments with the monsters, as the main characters terror is prolonged when the monsters slowly advances towards them.

The Invasion is also responsible for one of the most striking and memorable images of the original series too, when the Cybermen march in force in front of St Paul’s Cathedral. Like the Dalek Invasion of Earth before it, the Invasion wonderfully contrasts an every day icon from a famous city with an unearthly creature.

Whilst the Invasion has plenty of action, all of its characters are given enough attention to the point where we feel like we get to really know them.

Isobel and Zoe have great chemistry with one another, though there are some cringey “women’s lib” moments between Isobel and the UNIT soldiers that come off as more demeaning to women than empowering. Its always better just to have strong female characters, than talk about it. Still overall for the most part Isobel is a likable and capable character that helps move the plot along, rather than hinder it.

Having said that however I wish that they had been able to use Professor Travers and Anne in the role of the Professor and Isobel as was originally intended. Travers had a great chemistry with the Doctor, whilst Anne was one of my favourite guest characters in any 60s Who story. She would also have been able to take a more proactive role in helping the Doctor due to her background as a scientist. Still Isobel and the Professor are adequate replacements who quickly establish their own rapport with the Doctor and his companions.

Nicholas Courtney meanwhile gives a very strong performance as always as The Brigadier. Though the character had appeared in The Web of Fear before, this marks his first time in the more familiar role as the head of UNIT (as well as UNIT’s debut as well.)

Courtney and Troughton’s chemistry is more straight forward and friendly than Pertwee and Courtney’s, which at times is actually more enjoyable to watch, though it doesn’t have quite the gravitas that the end of say the Silurians does.

The appearance of the Brigadier also marks one of the first story arcs in the shows history too. The Invasion is very much a sequel to The Web of Fear. It doesn’t just reference previous events, but shows the consequences of them too, with the Great Intelligence’s invasion having led directly to the creation of UNIT.

This wasn’t the first time that toriginal series tried to build up a story arc. The Cybermen themselves followed a story arc through the destruction of their planet, but this story nevertheless helps to build the continuity and lore of the show to a greater extent and make it feel like the one ongoing story, rather than just loosely connected adventures.

Tobais Vaughn is one of the shows most memorable villains, thanks in no small part to Kevin Stoney’s stellar performance. His characterisation is fairly straight forward. Misguided genius who thinks he can guide humanity with the help of aliens, but there are plenty of wonderfully nasty little moments, such as his torture of the Professor that really show how hateful he is.

In some ways Vaughn can be seen as a precursor to the Delgado Master. Both have the same motivation of wanting to take over the earth because they believe they can make it a better place, though deep down both are really just egomaniacal, power hungry and petty. Both ultimately just enjoy having power over other people, as seen with Vaughn’s sadistic treatment of the Professor. Both also fulfill the same role of being the devious humanoid villain working with an alien race that they think they can manipulate and then dispose of, only to be betrayed themselves.

I also love the fact that though Vaughn helps the Doctor defeat the Cybermen at the end of the story, he still doesn’t really acheive redemption as he only helps the Doctor because he hates the Cybermen. Even when he does the right thing, its for the wrong reasons.

The Cybermen are also brilliantly handled in this episode. Their designs are impressive, they are shown to be formidable in their final battle with UNIT and the story tries to do new things with the Cybermen, unlike the Wheel in Space which was sadly just a retread of the Moonbase.

The Invasion shows a much more manipulative side to the monsters, whilst also exploring the idea of their emotions being restored after conversion, which is an interesting idea and again one that would be explored in future stories.

The idea of the Cybermen taking control of everyday technology and using it to turn on people is also a nice extension of what the monsters were originally meant to represent, of our technology turning inwards and destroying us. Whilst some critics have complained about their lack of dialogue, personally I think this made the creatures more effective. For me the Cybermen always be quiet as they are meant to be emotionless cyborgs. The later bombastic Cybermen of the 80s, though fun seemed far more out of character.

Having said that is a shame that the Cybermen are once again invading the earth. Unlike the Daleks I don’t think the Cybermen where ever able to branch out and become a galactic threat, which sadly undermined their menace. The monsters are also introduced just a bit too late into the story too.

Overall the Invasion is a classic, highly influential story and definitely one of the best of Patrick Troughton’s final season.

Notes and Trivia

  • This story bares many similarities to the Daleks Master Plan. Both stories mark the final appearance of the main villain of their respective Doctors eras (The Daleks were the main villains of the Hartnell era, whilst the Cybermen were the main villains of the Troughton era.) Both fittingly are much longer than the monsters other appearances (The Invasion is 8 episodes, whilst Masterplan is 12 episodes.) Both feature the main villains working with a human villain played by Kevin Stoney who is killed by the monsters at the end. Both also star Nicholas Courtney in a heroic role, and finally both stories were also directed by Douglas Camfield.
  • This marked the final appearance of the Cybermen for 5 years. They did not appear again as Terrance Dicks, the script editor for the Pertwee era hated the Cybermen, and hated working with Kit Pedler their creator, who wanted too much control over the scripts.

Professor Fang: The Hopping Dead: Part 9: The New Kingdom

 

The last of the Professor’s Vampires had been overpowered by the wild Jiang Shi. The villagers had long since given up trying to fight the bloodsuckers and were now blindly fleeing.

The Professors Vampires had fought to the end, and they had taken down dozens of the wild Jiang Shi, but ultimately they were simply outnumbered by the wild Jiang Shi and the villagers were of little to no help. Still at the very least the wild Jiang Shi’s numbers had been dwindled to a mere 20 or so, though that was still more than enough to rip what was left of the village to pieces.

The wild Jiang Shi cut off the exit to the forest and gathered together to chase down the surviving villagers who were forced to flee back into the burning ruins. The monsters however were suddenly stopped in their tracks by the sight of their former pack leader, now standing with the Professor and the others, who emerged from the sea of fleeing, helpless villagers.

The Emperor was completely under the Professors control. Despite his greater strength, all of the Jiang Shi were just as vulnerable to the Professor’s magics.

The Emperor jumped into the crowd of wild Vampires who almost all backed away in fear from him.

One of the Vampires tried to stand up to its former master, only for the Emperor to punch a hole in its chest and then tear its head clean off.

As the other Vampires fled back to the forest in panic, the Emperor chased them down and tore several more of the bloodsuckers apart.

A few of the villagers were distracted by the spectacle and started to cheer on the Emperor which soon drew the attention from the rest of the fleeing civilians.

“I knew that evil would never consume him. Our Emperor is far too strong. He shall use the evil to destroy itself.” One of the villagers cheered.

“Let us not forget who it was that brought this down on us.” Another said.

The Emperor slew another 5 of the Vampires before the rest scattered into the woods, except for one bloodsucker who quickly ran past the Emperor and grabbed a young girl who had become seperated from the rest of the crowd.

The Vampire held its talons up to the terrified childs throat as the Emperor advanced towards him.

“Stop” The Professor commanded which caused the Emperor to halt instantly.

“Clever little bloodsucker” Lindsey said.

“Please, please, don’t let him hurt my baby.” One of the villagers begged. In her panic her child had been swept up in the fleeing crowd. She had tried to find her, but in the stampede she was almost crushed.

“Don’t worry. I promise we won’t let that monster harm her.” Lindsey said reassuringly, whilst the Professor rolled his eyes.

“Honestly I do wish she wouldn’t keep promising things she can’t deliver.” The Professor said to himself.

“How are we supposed to get her out of that Vampires clutches.”

The Vampire holding the child hopped back a few more feet, still clutching the child in its talons. Every time the Professor, Lindsey, Kirsteen, Lee or the Empress would make a move forward, the Vampire would stop and thurst its claws back up to the terrified childs neck.

Suddenly however the Vampire started to claw at the air behind it. It was Asika. The Ghost was still terrified of the Vampires, but ultimately she was even more scared of just being left in this state forever. She had followed the Professor and the others out of the castle. Even if the Vampires did manage to destroy her spirit, it would still be preferrable to being left as a Ghost, able to still see, but unable to ever interact with the world again she thought to herself.

As she tussled with the Vampire however, her old fears started to come back. Still Asika managed to distract the beast long enough not only for the little girl to get away, but for the Professor to impale the Jiang Shi through the chest with his enchanted sword, killing the beast instantly.

“Come we have to stop them escaping into the woods or we’ll never find them.” The Professor said.

Out in the forest the Professor with the Emperor in tow quickly cornered three more Jiang Shi against a small tree.

“I don’t know if any of you can understand me.” The Professor said.

“If you can I just want you to know that I take no pleasure in this, but it has to be done. Emperor destroy every single Jiang Shi here.”

The Emperor started to tear the lesser Vampires apart. Some of them tried to fight back but it was hopeless. The evil had been brewing inside the Emperor for so long that his power was many times that of the rest of the Jiang Shi.

One of the Vampires meanwhile silently headed back to the village. This Vampire had realised that the Professor was controlling the Emperor through the yellow paper. The creature was barely capable of any kind of advanced thought, but it had still been able to work it out when fighting the Professor’s Vampires, when the Vampire accidentally tore the paper off of one of their heads. Even with their more animalistic nature, the Jiang Shi still had limited cognitive abilities. This Jiang however knew that it couldn’t just walk up to the Emperor and rip it off his head, so it quietly crept back into the village to get something that could help it.

The Emperor soon cornered another 4 Vampires, whilst the Professor, Lindsey, Kirsteen, Lee and the Empress meanwhile still searched frantically for more of the bloodsuckers who were now cowering in the woods. Up ahead Lee saw one of the creatures had become stuck in the swamp outside the village. It was buried up to its waist, though the more it struggled, the more it was pulled under.

“Poor soul” Kirsteen said.

“Can’t we do something? I’m not saying we should help him, but can’t you put him out of his misery?”

“I’m afraid not. I’d have to throw this sword straight into his heart from here which I could do, but we need all the weapons we can. We could try and pull him out, but he’d probably try and kill us anyway. As callous as it may sound it is one less Vampire to worry about.”

Within a few more seconds the Vampire sunk beneath the sand completely much to the time travellers horror, whilst the Empress meanwhile was more focused on her husband. Whilst she hated seeing him in this state, in a way she was happy that his last act was to protect the kingdom he had sworn to die for.

Just then however she suddenly noticed one of the Jian Shi in the distance holding a flaming piece of wood. It was the Vampire that had returned to the village. It had ripped a piece of wood off of one of the flaming houses, which it then hurled at the Emperor.

The Emperor’s clothes instantly caught fire, and whilst he did not react at first, eventually the flames spread their way to the paper on his head. The Empress tried to run to stop the fire but it was too late and within a matter of seconds the paper had burned off. The fire from the torch also began to spread its way through the woods behind.

The Emperor then quickly turned around and instantly headed for the Professor and the others, his body still ablaze.

The only way forward for the Professor and the others however was through the swamp, and worse, the three remaining Vampires in the woods around the Emperor soon started to follow him again.

The time travellers stood their ground however, and Lindsey, the Empress, the Professor and Kirsteen all tried to attack the Emperor with their swords. The Vampire managed to dodge every one of their blows, but at least they kept him distracted for the time being. Lee meanwhile used what little magics he had to push one of the Vampires into the other two. Whilst they were down on the ground he then stabbed his enchanted sword straight through one of the Vampires hearts, and decapitated the other as it rose up.

The Vampire that had freed the Emperor however had wisely remained at the back, and it hopped backwards towards the blazing forest where it tore another piece of burning wood from a tree and hurled it at the Wizard knocking him to the forest floor. The Vampire then started to slash the Wizard over and over again. In his desperation Lee called to the others for help, but unfortunately he only distracted them long enough for the Emperor to grab the Empress and sink his fangs into her throat.

Lindsey tried to intervene, but the Emperor with one bat of his hand sent her flying backwards into the swamp.

The Professor tried to strike the Emperor down, but when he tried to swing his sword, the Emperor knocked it out of his hand and into the swamp too.

“Go help Lee now” The Professor said to Kirsteen.

“But what about”.

“Go now!” He shouted.

The Professor picked up the Empress’ sword and tried to strike the Jiang Shi again, but the monster simply threw the Empress’ seemingly lifeless body into the Professor, who he then proceeded to beat viciously.

The Professor tried to fight back, but not only was his strength no match for the Jiang Shi, every time he struck the beast he would simply burn his hands on the fire.

Lindsey watched in horror as the Professor was easily overpowered. She tried to break free from the swamps pull, but it was hopeless. Just as all seemed lost, Lindsey felt something pull her up with a tremendous force. It was Asika.

As Lindsey was hoisted up she grabbed some of the quick sand and threw it at the Emperor, drawing his attention away for a few moments. The Vampire stood in confusion at the sight of Lindsey hovering in the air, seemingly by herself, and the Professor quickly used this opportunity to thrust the Empress’ sword into the Emperor’s chest.

The Emperor let out a scream and the mini explosion from the sword burning him, sent the Vampire hurling ten feet into the swamp to beside Lindsey, though unfortunately he took the sword with him.

The Emperor pulled himself a few feet through the swamp. He still sunk like the others, but his greater strength helped the Vampire to resist the pull for longer and even move about in the swamp.

The Emperor grabbed onto Lindsey’s legs as she was almost pulled free and tried to drag her back down.

Asika tried to pull and pull, but the Vampire held on tight. The Professor meanwhile stood powerless at the side. He desperately racked through spells he could use to hurt the Vampire in his mind, when suddenly the Empress used her last ounce of strength to hurl the body of one of the dead Jiang Shi onto the Emperor which caused him to let go of Lindsey and sink into the quicksand.

The Empress then collapsed into the Professor’s arms.

“Is he gone for good now?”

“Yes he is.”

“I’m going to become one of them soon.”

“I’m afraid.”

Before the Professor could even finish the Empress pulled her knife out and stuck it straight through her heart. She wasn’t going to make the same mistake again.

Kirsteen meanwhile had arrived to see the Vampire standing over Lee’s beaten and slashed body. Just as it prepared to land a killing bite on his throat, Kirsteen stabbed it in the back. The Vampire reached out and grabbed her by the arm, but she pushed her sword in deeper and deeper until the Vampire let go. Kirsteen then pushed the Vampire back away from Lee and slashed it several more times. Rather than stay and fight the Vampire quickly ran through the flaming woods behind, knowing that Kirsteen couldn’t follow it.

Kirsteen pulled Lee away from the fire which soon spread through the most of the nearby forest.

We need to get back to the ship. My magics can repel the flames but we have to hurry. Asika you can’t come with us, but you should be safe here. Thank you , thank you”

The flames soon forced the Professor and the others to retreat to the teleportation site before he could finish properly thanking the Ghost. On the ship the Vampire was able to whip up a quick spell which put out the fire below before it spread to the village.

The Professor, Lindsey, and Kirsteen would return to the forest to search for the surviving Jiang Shi. In some ways that was easier than the task Lee had ahead of him.

Lee had to tell the prince that his mother had not made it. It was decided that it would be better coming from Lee, as even though he had been an enemy to both of the boys parents, the prince still knew Lee and had been friendly with him at some point.

“Where’s mother? Please tell me.”

“I’m sorry son. She died saving all of us. She was a hero to the end.”

Lee’s kind words didn’t sooth the blow for the boy at all.

“Was it, was it that thing that took over my father that killed her.”

Lee didn’t answer. How could he? Still his silence told the boy everything he needed to know, and the young prince collapsed in the Wizard’s arms.

The prince bore the Wizard no ill will. He realised that if Lee had had his way all of this suffering could be avoided. The boy however also understood his mothers reasons and bore her no ill will either.

Sadly however the rest of the kingdom would not be so forgiving to the late Emperor’s family.

The kingdom’s capital lay in ruins and Lee would be forced to take over, with the Prince being too young. The survivors in the capital championed Lee to be their new ruler after the bravery he had shown against the Jiang Shi. Whilst the Wizard was reluctant at first he realised he had no choice, as he had a far greater knowledge of the supernatural than anyone else in the kingdom.

The last of the Jiang had managed to escape in the fire and confusion despite The Professor, Lindsey and Kirsteen’s best efforts. On top of that there were various other survivors who were infected and would turn over the next few weeks. Though Lee would do his best to try and stamp out the last of the Jiang Shi, the monsters would continue to terrorise the countryside for many more centuries to come and make many more of their kind. They were never able to attack the captial again however, as Lee made sure every civilian knew the weaknesses of the beast. Some Jiang Shi would even be tamed by the magics Lee learned from the Professor and used to protect the cities, but the kingdom would never regain its former protection from the supernatural. Not only would they have to continue to deal with more Vampires, but various other Demons and Supernatural creatures would soon begin to flock to the kingdom once they learned its magical defences were down. Lee would also have to deal with many more spirits and ghosts caused by the magical upheavel too.

Akira meanwhile would decide to stay by Lee’s side. After the Emperor’s defeat, Akira had helped to rebuild the village during which she began to see how her powers could help people. Far from being able to see the world but not interact with it, like she had initially believed, Akira saw that she could influence the world to a greater extent than ever before. She refused to let the Professor exorcise her, though he would leave her with the secrets of how to do so if she ever changed her mind, and she would come close several times as the years rolled on. Still ultimately Akira would continue to help Lee battle the Vampires and other threats to the kingdom for many centuries to come.

Arguably Lee’s biggest obstacle was to arrange a funeral for the Empress. Most of the survivors were against it, but Lee felt he owed it to the Prince who he would look after as his own son. Sadly however the Empress’ grave would be vandalised many times over the next few decades.

The Professor, Lindsey and Kirsteen would stay for a few months to help Lee get settled in as the new Emperor, before quietly slipping away back to their ship.

Lee had not wanted them to leave at all. He felt that he could only protect the kingdom properly with the three time travellers help, but sadly they were needed elsewhere in another time and another place.

Lee would continue to rule as the Emperor for many more centuries to come, with his magics allowing him to remain immortal. Unfortunately his reign would later end under horrific circumstances, but the immortal Wizard would always stand guard over the kingdom regardless of whether he was its ruler or not.

The End

The Professor, Lindsey, and Kirsteen will return in The Dark Side of the Moon later this month. For now I am going to take a short break from this series and the Circus Master whilst I get this blog in order.

The Circus Master: Journey To The Centre of Evil: Part 9: The Death of the Rysteans

 

The Strange Boy couldn’t control his violent urges any longer. The Vampire had spent several life times fighting the Demon within him, but now thanks to the Kardons influence and the danger to his friends, he finally gave in.

Ashlei tried to hold the Vampire back, but it was no use. The Strange boy reached out to the nearest Rystean that had cornered the two time travellers against a wall, and sunk his fangs into its neck.

The Rystean tried to pull away, but when he did, he lost a massive chunk of flesh from his neck. The Rystean soon collapsed dead in front of the terrified crowd who all backed away in fear.

The Strange Boy however leapt from Ashlei’s arms and stood in front of the crowd, snarling, roaring and spitting blood.

Keptis meanwhile after struggling free from the Rysteans who were holding him back, instantly froze when he saw the Strange Boy standing before the crowd.

The Martian much like the rest of the Circus Folk, knew virtually nothing about who the Strange Boy really was. How could he when the Vampire child never spoke, and kept himself to himself. Still even Keptis could see that it wasn’t the Strange Boy anymore. There was nothing but bloodlust and rage on the Demon child’s face now.

The Strange Boy quickly grabbed a nearby female Rystean’s hand and sunk his fangs into her flesh. He bit so hard his teeth went straight through her bone, before tearing a massive amount of flesh and bone off.

The female instantly collapsed from the bloodloss into her husbands arms. As several more Rysteans prepared to circle the Strange Boy however, the room suddenly began to shake.

Carlene meanwhile pushed the rubble off, jumped to her feet, with the Rysteans who had surrounded her having been distracted by the commotion with the Strange Boy. Carlene quickly jumped over her former attackers to Keptis and grabbed the Martian, before jumping to the Strange Boy was.

Carlene and Keptis both tried to restrain the child, but it tossed them to either side before renewing its attack on the frightened Rysteans.

Kile meanwhile pushed her way past the other Rysteans and started to shoot at the Strange Boy. She was consumed with hatred for the Circus Folk to the point where she didn’t care about anything but making them pay. Even the Kardons hadn’t inspired such raw hatred in the Rystean soldier as these strange visitors.

Kile fired relentlessly at the Vampire child, but it simply hopped towards her on both feet and slashed her gun in two. It then grabbed her by the arm, and before she could react hurled Kile to the floor. The Jiang Shi then jumped on Kile, pinning her to the ground and sunk its fangs deep into her throat. Carlene, aided by several more Rysteans was able to pull the young Vampire off of Kile. Again Carlene tried to restrain the Demon child, but he jumped out of her grasp and hopped across the room, with Keptis in pursuit.

Carlene meanwhile tended to Kile. Her wounds were fatal, but Carlene hoped she could make her last few moments comfortable. Even in her death throes however, Kile refused any help from the Circus Folk.

“I’m not falling for your tricks.” Kile said as she coughed up her own blood. “You’re disgusting, evil monsters” she managed to say before spitting her blood in Carlene’s face in a final act of spite.

Carlene froze for a second. The sensation of fresh blood, even of these creatures on her face was almost too much to bare, but she managed to compose herself and quickly wipe the blood from her face.

She looked round at the other Rysteans, all of whom looked at her more in confusion than hatred or fear.

“Please” she said. “Don’t make te same mistake that Kile did, we’re all in this.” Before she could even finish, a gigantic tentacle came smashing through the wall and crushed several Rysteans. Carlene instantly ran to their aid, but the tentacle, almost sensing there was something special about Carlene wrapped itself around her. More tentacles came bursting through the floors and walls of the base, impaling and crushing more Rysteans along the way.

Carlene tried to break free, but the tentacle wrapped itself around her arms and started to tighten like a snake. The force it was applying would have been enough to snap a human body in half several times over, but even with her Vampiric constitution Carlene had never felt a force like it.

Outside The Circus Master and Denika’s pod had been ensnared by one of the gigantic Demonic, Octopus like creatures mere seconds after leaving the base. Denika tried to blast it away with her magic, but the Demon was too strong and it started to crush the ship slowly.

As the walls and floor began to close in, Denika tried to push them back with her magic. The Circus Master tried to push them back with his strength too, but he soon realised that it would do no good and instead started to tear a hole in the floor.

The Circus Master quickly swam underneath the ship and round onto the Octopus’ back, which he dug his talons into.¬† The monster didn’t even flinch at first, but eventually it couldn’t take it anymore, as the Circus Master continued to slash and slash at the beast, tearing massive chunks out of its back in the process. The monster hurled the sub across the water and turned to face the tiny Vandal behind it. Its tentacles opened wide, completely surrounding the Circus Master. Fortunately however Denika quickly rammed the sub into the back of the Octopus creature, sending it hurling into the base.

The Circus Master quickly swam back into the ship, but just as Denika prepared to take it away, hordes of Ishica started to appear. Denika still plowed through them, using her magics to blast any of the unholy monsters that tried to grab onto the pod.

Just as she got free of the Ishica, several more Octopus like creatures started to emerge from the depths.

Denika froze in terror for a moment, with not even the Circus Master knowing what to do at first, Without any other options, Denika plowed into the Octopus that was advancing towards the two time travellers.

Denika’s gambit paid off as the Demon was caught completely off guard, and using the pod Denika smashed one of the giants into the one behind.

As the pod pulled clear however it was stopped in its tracks. Denika tried to move it with her magics, but the Circus Master knew it was pointless. All of the Demons outside had stopped, and that could mean only one thing.

Both the Circus Master and Denika looked up to see the hideous face of one of the Kardons that had caught their miniscule pod in its grasp.

On the inside of the base meanwhile several Ishica had broken their way in through the holes created by the giant Octopus creature. The Demons were hoping to snatch any last Rysteans they could before the Kardons arrived.

Keptis did his best to try and hold them off, as did other Rystean men and women, but the monsters were too numerous, and even Keptis had no real means of holding them off.

The Strange Boy was at least initially more focused on attacking the Rysteans, but he soon got into a tussle with one of the Ishica that tried to restrain the child Vampire.

Ashlei meanwhile quickly came to Carlene’s aid. She stabbed a large sharp piece of rubble through the tentacle that was wrapped around Carlene causing it to release her. Carlene then pulled several silver knives out of her beehive and hurled them at the 6 Ishica’s in the room’s hearts, killing them stone dead. She then quickly pulled another piece of enchanted paper from her beehive to use against the Strange Boy. With Keptis and several more Rysteans help she was able to place it on the boy’s forehead, stopping him in his tracks.

Ashlei and several more Rysteans meanwhile tried to hold off the Demonic tentacles as best they could, but several more Rysteans were impaled and Ashlei herself was nearly struck down until Keptis managed to push her out of the way to safety.

“This changes nothing do you understand.” Keptis said coldly to Ashlei.

“I know.”

By this stage Florence’s face had repaired itself and she was able to use her voice to calm the frantic crowd, whilst Carlene, Keptis and Ashlei continued to try and hold off the tentacles together.

“We can’t get out this way, there are too many Demons. Is there another exit” Florence asked the terrified crowd.

“No”. Mashica said.”These are the only escape pods. We are finished.”

Just then the entire building began to shake and the roof was ripped open, revealing the all too familiar and gruesome sight of the Kardons above. The Kardons started to turn several of the Rysteans below into Ishica.

As Mashica began to turn he grabbed onto Carlene and begged her to help.

“Please, please don’t let me become one of those things.”

“The only thing I can do is kill you.” Carlene said.

“Then do it, do it now.” Mashica pleaded.

Carlene pulled another silver knife from her beehive and prepared to strike, but before she could another one of the tentacles grabbed her and pulled her up to the Kardons. Carlene tried to throw her knife down at the Mashica’s heart, but she was too late.

Mashica had already turned and the first thing he did was attack a young female Rystean whose throat he tore out.

The rest of the Ishica surrounded the Circus Folk and brought them to their Kardon masters.

“It was always going to end like this.” One of the Kardons taunted. “You strangers thought you could seal us into the hell we created. Now you will suffer.”

The Kardons brought the Circus folk to face their leader, Garishikar who had arrived just outside the base, surrounded by a sea of hundreds of thousands of hideous Demons.

“Interesting.” The gigantic Demon king said.

“I can detect all kinds of magics and enchantments from other worlds, galaxies, even dimensions all over this band of freaks. They are not of this world or time. Some of their magics are unfamiliar even for me. Fascinating. Still I’ll have time to figure out what they are after they have freed us. If they can get in, they can get us out.”

“We might have had our differences recently, but I think I speak for all of the Circus Folk when I say that we will never help you escape.”

“You have no ideas the agonies I can dream up for you.”

“Believe me I do. I know all about what your kind are capable of. Which is why I’ll never let you loose into the world.”

“What about the Rysteans? The race you condemned to suffer with us? What if I torture them in front of you, one by one. Will you really just sit back.”

“You’ll torture them anyway, what difference does it make?”

“What about one of your friends.” The Demon said as Ashlei was pulled closer to the beast.

“What if I slowly burn her, and keep her alive right the way through the fire until the end, then I’ll bring her back and keep doing it again and again. Will you just sit back and watch?.”

“Please” Carlene shouted out.

“Like I said, it doesn’t make a difference.” The Circus Master said over Carlene’s pleas. As soon as Ashlei started to scream however, the Circus Master instantly gave in.

“Okay, okay I’ll take you to our craft.” The Circus Master said.

“What a pathetic waste of time. You’re spineless, all of you.” Garishikar taunted.

Whilst Garishikar left with the Circus Folk, the rest of the Kardons and their Demonic minions descended on the Rysteans palace. They would not kill them all as the Rysteans were their only form of amusement.

Sadly for the Rysteans the Kardons could not use them to escape. The technology that Mashica had built had taken years to aquire, and it would take even longer to replicate it. Furthermore even turning the most intelligent Rysteans into Ishica would not work either. As soon as a Rystean became an Ishica, then their intelligence would decrease and they would degenerate to the level of animals in due time, with only a very basic limited intelligence. Garishikar and the other Kardons lacked the skill of Khastran in being able to retain the personalities of the people their “children” took over.

For now it seemed the Kardons were trapped, and as a result the Rysteans were in for a much darker hell than ever before. The Kardons would be taking their frustrations out on them rather than simply their boredom.

It didn’t take Garishikar long to sense the presence of the tent. He was a little perplexed by it. It looked so weak and fragile, but he could sense among the most powerful magics he had ever experienced deep within.

“How will this free us.”

“I didn’t say it would free you. It will free us.”

“You would dare.”

“Yes I would. You said you can sense the magics inside of us? What else can you sense. Go on.”

Garishikar had felt the presence of the father of the Kardon’s Khastran among the Circus Folk from the start, but he refused to believe it. He couldn’t. He was as scared of Khastran as the Rysteans were of him!

He was sure that they couldn’t be in any way related to Khastran as the Circus Master and Carlene had both shown concern for Ashlei. Still now that the Circus Master was drawing it to his attention and demanding he acknowledge it, Garishikar’s nerve was beginning to break.

“What do you think Khastran will do when he finds you treating his children that way? Oh he doesn’t really care about us, but he’ll be angry at the idea of anyone daring to hurt his creations. Your hell will be much greater than even the Rysteans.”

Garishikar didn’t say anything.

“Well aren’t you going to torture me? What are you waiting for? I thought you could dream up agonies we couldn’t imagine?”

The Circus Master signalled to Denika and then called out to the other Circus Folk.

“Cover your eyes.”

Denika fired a quick magic blast of light. It obviously didn’t hurt Garishikar, but the light distracted him for just a few seconds. Denika, used her magic to clear a path through the blinding light for the Circus Folk, allowing them to make it to the Tent. Carlene carried both Ashlei who was weak after the torture, and the Strange Boy

Once inside the Circus Master prepared to take off.

“We can’t just leave them.” Ashlei protested.

“If you want to go out there and fight the Kardons be my guest. I’m sure no one here will stop you apart from Carlene. I’m getting us out now before that monster can use this ship to escape.”

Just as the tent prepared to take off however, Garishikar grabbed it with both hands. He actually managed to hold it in place, while the power from the vortex itself pulled and pulled.

The inside of the ship began to break apart and catch fire.

“That fool” The Circus Master screamed.

“He’ll rip a hole in the fabric of time.” The Circus Master started to use the emergency supplies, whilst Denika fired as much magic as she could into the machine’s console.

“You will not escape.” Garishikar screamed. “I have waited too long. No one, not even Khastran will keep me here.”

Within a matter of seconds however the Tent exploded into a ball of fire. Garishikar was completely unfazed by the flames that quickly vanished into smoke.

He wasn’t sure if the time travellers had escape or simply burned up. It seemed far more likely the latter.

Either way the Demon had lost his only chance at escape. It was all because of his cowardice. Had he not let his fear of Khastran cloud his judgement, then they would never have escaped.

He would have to live with his weakness in this dank hell forever now. How long would it be before his followers would realise how weak he was. In many ways his future was just as bleak as the Rysteans.

The time travellers, if they perished were the lucky ones, Garishikar thought.

 

The End

 

The Circus Master will return in January 2020 for a new adventure, The Curse of the Robots.

 

Advert for New Series in 2020

In 2020 this blog will undergo several major changes. A lot of old material will be edited, the opinion pieces will return, and my three ongoing series will return to a more ordered schedule. This last year whilst productive in many ways, has definitely been poorly planned. I tried to do too much at once without working it out properly first and it showed.

Aside from reorganising my old content, I will also be premiering two new ongoing series. Carlene the Jazz Vampire, and The Savage Era.

Carlene the Jazz Vampire will be a prequel spin off to The Circus Master. Carlene is by far my favourite character from the Circus Master to write for, and this series will explore how she became a Vampire in the swinging 60s and learned to control her powers and thirst for blood. This version of Carlene will naturally be a lot younger and more vulnerable than the one we are used to in the Circus Master.

The Savage Era meanwhile is set in an age before recorded history began, when the first Vampires started to appear and follows three young women from very different backgrounds who come together to take on the hordes of undead in an age of blood, magic and Demons. This series will also explore how creatures like Vampires, Dragons and Zombies came into being and their relationships with one another.

Both series will start in February. Also stay tuned tomorrow for the final part of Journey to the Centre of Evil.

Happy Christmas from Burrunjor

I would like to wish all of my regular readers a Happy Christmas.

This year has definitely been a lot smoother for me personally. Whilst I have still suffered from some bouts of depression, overall my mental health has been a lot more stable.

There has been more content produced on this blog in 2019, than during the last two years combined! Having said that however my schedule has been somewhat haphazard during the last few months of this year. For 2020 I have decided to draw up a new schedule for my three ongoing series, Doctor Who, Professor Fang and The Circus Master as well as two new series.

Starting in late January 2020, I will produce one episode each of Professor Fang and The Circus Master one week, and one episode each of my two new series the next, and one episode of Doctor Who the week after.

I think this will be easier than trying to crowbar three stories into one week. Two is more managable, and the three week gap also gives me time to work on each part of a story properly.

I appreciate regular readers being patient during the gaps between the parts of the latest Circus Master and Professor Fang stories, both of which will conclude this week.

Have a marvellous Christmas and holiday season ahead.

 

Professor Fang: The Hopping Dead: Part 8: The Emperor’s New Clothes

(Sorry about the delay. Christmas has been quite hectic this year. This story is still not quite finished yet, but it will be by next week. At the very least the final two parts are longer.)

The Jiang Shi circled Lindsey. She held up her single half bag of sticky rice against the monsters to try and ward them off, but it wasn’t working this time. These Vampires were bolder, and much more bloodthirsty and feral than before.

As all seemed lost for Lindsey, a small group of villagers emerged from behind the flaming wreckage of several houses, carrying torches and large blocks of burning wood.

The villagers started to fight with the Vampires. They had an advantage at first, more because they surprised the Demons than anything else and were able to knock some of the Vampires off their feet.

It didn’t take long for the Demons to overpower the villagers however. One of the villagers was impaled with his own flaming piece of wood, whilst another was jumped by several of the bloodsuckers who tore her to pieces.

Lindsey tried to help in the fight, but the one of the Vampires quickly tossed her aside with one bat of its hand.

As the Vampire prepared to pin her to the ground, Lindsey grabbed a flaming piece of wood that one of the other villagers had dropped and smacked the Vampire right in the face, sending it crashing to the ground.

Lindsey then placed the flaming wood around a Jiang Shi’s neck from behind. Catching it by surprise, she was able to pull the undead monster away from a villager that it was about to attack, before hurling the Vampire over her shoulder into three more bloodsuckers behind.

“We have to get out of here now.” Lindsey said to the 7 or so remaining villagers.

“Where too? They tore down our last shelter. Those monsters strength is limitless.”

“Where were you hiding?”

“In the temple. We thought its holy power would protect us but.”

“Sometimes it can, but with these things, well lets just say its more mundane.” Lindsey said as she clutched her sticky rice. “Anyway it doesn’t matter, we need to get back to the temple”

“Its doors were ripped open.”

“This will hold them back.” Lindsey said as she held up the little sticky rice she had left.

The villagers felt they could trust Lindsey simply from the fact that the Vampires wanted her dead too. Besides they didn’t have any other options.

The temple was just around the corner. It was a small, modest building. Religion had more or less deteoriated in this kingdom, though there were still some who worshipped the symbol of Buddha, without much knowledge of his teachings. The buildings stood more as significant cultural symbols of the knigdoms great past. Generally speaking magic and spiritualism were seen as a thing of the past.

The two front doors to the Temple had been ripped off completely, whilst a Jiang Shi stood near the door, drinking the blood from the corpse of an unfortunate young woman who had foolishly tried to defend the temple.

The villagers ran past the Vampire into the Temple, though several of the Vampires noticed them, Lindsey was able to block the entrance with the remainder of her sticky rice.

Just as before the Vampires hopped backwards in fear hissing at the entrance. Unfortunately however several more Vampires were soon attracted by the commotion and dozens more of the bloodsuckers gathered around the Temple.

Lindsey searched around the small temple for any exit. All she found was the entrance to a small crypt that led to a dead end.

Lindsey checked the back windows, but unfortunately they were surrounded by streets filled with dozens more Jiang Shi. If they tried to run that way then its possible one of the crowd of 8 would make it,. Maybe.

“We’ll just have to hope the Professor and Kirsteen find us, and soon.” Lindsey said as she stepped down from the window. Meanwhile the horde of bloodsuckers at the front of the Temple continued to grow larger and larger.

On the other side of the village, the Emperor had dragged Lee back to his castle, where this nightmare had all begun. A few Vampires along the way tried to attack the Wizard, but the Emperor would always send them scurrying back with a quick snarl.

Back at the castle, the Emperor woke Lee by slashing him across the face. The Wizard was shocked to see that the Emperor had bothered to take him here. Why didn’t this animal just kill him?

Could it be that there was something left of his old friend there after all.

Lee approached the Emperor very slowly. In truth there wasn’t anything left of the Emperor. There was nothing but a few scant memories of the man, whose body the Demon had taken over. In time they would all fade completely, but for now the Vampire was confused by the emotions he felt just when looking at the Wizard.

The Demon felt the Emperors genuine hatred for the Wizard for his betrayal. Whilst the Emperor had understood Lee’s attempts on his life, to stop the curse from spreading, he still nevertheless hated his former friend for the threats he had made against his people and family.

The Vampire knew it wanted to prolong the Wizards torture for much longer than any of its other victims, it just wasn’t sure why.

The Emperor struck Lee, knocking him out cold. It then started to slash him on the ground several times over before ramming one of its talons through Lees eye. Despite his magic being low, Lee was able to conjur up a puny blast that sent the Emperor a few feet across the room.

Lee stumbled through the main hall, tripping over the mangled bodies of those still fortunate enough not to be turned by the Jiang Shi.

The Emperor however quickly hopped in front of the terrified Wizard. The look of hatred on this seemingly mindless animals face was unmistakable to Lee. For a second it almost was like looking at the Emperor again.

Lee tried to speak with the monster. Since the memories of the man it had taken over were influencing it, Lee felt that perhaps he could jog the memories of the Emperor’s conscience.

“Please Emperor, if there is any part of you still in there, listen to me. The kingdom you gave your life for is in ruins. You’re wife and your son are still out there.”

The Vampire however simply grabbed Lee by the throat and started to choke him in its fury. Lee could feel himself blacking out when the Emperor dropped him to the floor. After a few seconds the Vampire started to attack the Wizard again. It wanted him to experience everything it had in mind for the traitor.

Back at the Temple, the Vampires started to hurl rocks at the windows, breaking several of them. One of the villagers, a young man was hit on the head and killed instantly, but before Lindsey or anyone else could even tend to his body, one of the Vampires started to hurl pieces of burning rubble from the buildings at the Temple.

The furniture quickly caught fire, and though Lindsey and the others tried to put it out with the curtians, the fire spread quickly, overwhelming the room with flames and smoke. They had no choice but to run outside before the exit was completely cut off.

Outside the Vampires were quick to surround Lindsey and the fleeing time travellers, but Lindsey fought back using one of the flaming curtains which she wrapped around two of the Vampires. She then grabbed several bits of burning rubble the Vampires had been throwing at the house and hurled them back at the Jiang Shi, holding the Demons back for a few seconds until the villagers were able to escape.

Two of the Vampires however quickly hopped through the small fire Lindsey had created and grabbed her by either arm

The two monsters pulled so hard, Lindsey thought she was going to be ripped in half. Fortunately just as one of the Vampires was about to sink its fangs into her arm, it was suddenly thrown across the room by an invisible force. The same force then quickly struck the other Vampire down before hurling several large bits of flaming wood at the Vampires behind.

Lindsey didn’t know what was going on. She didn’t like leaving this invisible force, whatever it was alone with those bloodsuckers, but she had to make sure the villagers hadn’t run into trouble.

Up ahead however Lindsey saw 5 Vampires standing there with pieces of yellow paper on their foreheads. From behind them emerged the Professor, Kirsteen and the Empress. The villagers had similarly been stopped in their tracks by this strange sight too. Lindsey couldn’t help but smile in relief.

“What took you so long.”

“Sorry this place is crawling with Vampires you know. I assumed you could handle it.” The Professor replied.

“Yes I could, burning buildings, hordes of super Vampires, and all I had was a bag of rice. It was no problem.”

The Professor’s five Vampires quickly jumped the other Jiang Shi. They dispatched all of the wild Vampires relatively quickly. The wild Vampires were much less organised than the Professor’s and they were distracted by the same invisible force. (In reality Asika.)

The Professor’s Vampires killed the other members of their kind by literally tearing their heads off.

Kirsteen had to look away from the bloody spectacle. She didn’t look on the Jiang Shi as humans at all, but unlike the Professor or even Lindsey who could still crack jokes in the middle of all this bloodshed, Kirsteen was still very new to the gruesome reality of dealing with creatures like the Jiang Shi.

As she looked round at the Professor and Lindsey she could see that even they were wincing as the last of the wild Jiang Shi, a young woman was pinned to the ground by two larger Vampires, with a third proceeding to slash at her neck until she was decapitated.

“Horrible, horrible, but it has to be done.” The Professor said as clutched either side of his cloak.

“Come Lindsey.” He continued. “We need to find the Emperor now.”

“I saw him”. One of the villagers protested.

“Just a few moments earlier, he was heading that way. He was carrying the Wizard with him.”

“That’s the way to the castle.” The Empress said.

“It must be the last of the Emperor’s old memories influencing the beast. My guess is he’ll have something really nasty in mind for Lee. We have to act fast.”

“Its all my fault.” Linsey said with regret.

“I couldn’t save him.”

“You might still be able too, but we have to hurry now.”

“What about the rest of the village.”

“I have more Vampires scattered about. They’ll keep the villagers you rescued safe and destroy any Jiang Shi.” The Emperor gave a loud call, which caused 7 more Jiang Shi to emerge around the villagers that had escaped with Lindsey.” “Protect these people at all costs.” The Professor commanded. “The rest of you, come with me. The Emperor is the leader of the pack. We’ll need all the help we can get. Jiang Shi’s, Empress’ and Ghosts to get him under our control.”

“Ghosts? Oh of course how silly of me. I should have realised that’s what the force was. Thank you wherever you are.”

“Her name is Asika. She’s protected by my magics, though sadly we can’t see her either. I promise Asika, we’ll help you after this.”

“I doubt you will.” She said. The ghost had no faith in the old man, as she still couldn’t comprehend what was happening to her, but at the very least she knew that the Jiang Shi were the bigger danger.

The 7 remaining Jiang Shi gathered around the villagers whilst still making their way through the village for more survivors.

More villagers had survived than Lindsey had initially believed. Several peasants had thrown themselves on the ground and pretended to be among the dead to escape the Vampires. This tactic did manage to dupe some of the bloodsuckers simply because the Vampires were so ravenous they went after anything that moved. Some of the Vampires however could still smell the living among the dead as one unfortunate man who had been forced to lie beside his dead wife discovered, when several Jiang Shi jumped him, and tore him apart like Sharks in a feeding frenzy.

Others meanwhile hid in small alleys, or in the crypts beneath temples and a very few even stayed in their burning buildings, thinking it was better to fight the fire than the Vampires. Even then however many of the Vampires simply walked through the fire and tore the terrified villagers apart.

The Professor’s Vampires meanwhile tended to focus more on battling members of their own kind sadly, than in helping the villagers. Even under the command of the Professor’s powerful magics the Vampires natural instincts for violence overrode everything else.

The Professor’s Vampires would tend to swarm one of the wild Jiang Shi and quickly tear it apart. However the wild Vampires soon caught on to their tactics and they all began to attack the Professor’s Vampires at once. Two of the Professor’s Vampires were ripped apart, whilst the paper was torn off of the head of another, freeing him and causing him to turn on one of the villagers next to him instantly.

Fortunately many of the villagers both within the circle of the Jiang Shi and in hiding tried to join in the fight. They had no idea why some of the Vampires were turning on each other, but some fool hardy villagers hoped that they could take advantage of the situation. All they accomplished however was in distracting the wild Jiang Shi long enough to gain the upper hand. Soon both the villagers and the enchanted Vampires were fighting together.

The Emperor had beaten Lee unconscious 5 or so times. The more beatings he took however, the quicker it took Lee to faint. The Emperor screamed in frustration at Lee constantly interrupting his fun and dug his claws deep into the Wizard’s guts. Lee started to choke on his own blood as the Vampire slowly lifted him in the air.

Lee looked down at the snarling, blood stained face of the Demon that had possessed his friend.

“I’m sorry”. Lee said whilst spitting up his own blood.

“I should have tried to help” The Wizard passed out before he could finish.

“Put him down” the Empress screamed. She was the first to enter the palace, with the Professor just coming in after.

She still hoped in vain that some vague memories of their time together might influence the Jiang Shi, but it was obvious that the monster wasn’t moved at all. In fact it threw Lee across the room and charged at the Empress with a renewed fury.

The Vampire couldn’t understand any positive memories such as love or compassion. Any lingering memories of such feelings would just make the monster feel sick, which was why the first thing Jiang Shi did was often kill their hosts loved ones.

The Professor however sent three Vampires to attack the Emperor. They managed to hold him down for a few seconds before the Emperor tossed all three across to the other sides of the room.

The Professor quickly grabbed swords from the bodies of the guards on the floor and enchanted them, before handing the weapons over to Lindsey, Kirsteen and the Empress.

These weapons could harm the Emperor, but not destroy him. His stength had grown since he last met the Professor thanks to the blood he had drank. The Professors two remaining Jiang Shi tried to hold the Emperor in place, but again they were easily overpowered. Lindsey, The Professor, Kirsteen and the Empress all tried to slash at the Vampire but he was too fast for them.

In the confusion Kirsteen almost slashed Lindsey across the face!

“Not me you idiot.” Lindsey said in a rare moment of anger, though it was really more because of the Emperor than anything else.

“Sorry, you know maybe it turns out I’m not cut out for this life after all.” Kirsteen said sarcastically.

Asika tried to intervene, but the Emperor without even looking hit her in the face, knocking the Ghost out for a few seconds.

The Empress not being able to take seeing her husband in this state for much longer hurled herself at the Vampire bearing her husband’s face, with her sword still in her hand. She tried to ram her sword into her husband’s spine from behind, but the former Emperor sunk his fangs straight into her throat before she could act.

The Empress tried to pull away, but her Vampiric husband just it deeper and deeper. Seizing his chance, the Professor rammed his sword straight into the Emperor’s eye. The Vampire jumped back in pain, taking the sword with him, which he quickly ripped out of his face.

The Emperor then squeezed the blade of the sword in his hand, despite the fact that it burnt him, until the sword snapped into fragments.

Two of the Professor’s Jiang Shi then tried to grab the Emperor from either side, but the Professor simply stuck his hand through one of the lesser Jiang Shi’s chest, whilst ripping the arm off of the other, which he then used to beat both of them!

3 more Jiang Shi however grabbed the Emperor from all sides and tried to hold him down whilst the Professor quickly jumped on the Emperor with one of the final pieces of yellow paper. The Emperor however struggled and struggled and sensing the magics in the paper, quickly jumped free and over twenty feet into the balcony above.

“He can sense what we want to do to him. Fascinating. I always underestimate just how crafty these brutes can be.” The Professor said

Kirsteen meanwhile had tended to the Empress, whilst Lindsey tended to Lee who was barely breathing.

“He’s not going to last much longer. We need to get him back to the ship.”

“We couldn’t possibly make it through that war zone. Not until we get the leader.”

“He won’t last that long I’m telling you we need the magics in the ship.”

Just then Lee suddenly awoke, groaning in pain.

“Its okay I have you” Lindsey said gently.

Lee however instead tried to chant something. He could barely speak from the pain and the blood in his throat, but after a few failed attempts he was able to get the enchantment out. It was a minor healing spell that closed over some of his most severe wounds.

The most advanced healing magics required incredible power that Lee even on his best day didn’t have access too. He would never be able to regrow his eye or a missing limb with magics, but effectively plastering a wound with magic was simple enough.

Lee sat up, trying as best as he could not to let the pain consume him.

“I’m sorry.” He said to the Empress who he could see had been bit.

“It is my fault.” Lee said, whilst still spitting out among the last of his teeth.

“If I had tried to reason with you, tried to appeal.”

“No.” The Empress said. “Its my fault. All of it. I can’t believe I let my husband become that thing. I won’t make the same mistake again. Professor, I know you’ll have to kill me after that thing bit me. I won’t fight you.”

“Its true, I’m afraid there is nothing I can do. I could take you to the most advanced civilisation in the universe and they still wouldn’t be able to undo the curse of Vampirism. Still we need you for now.”

“This isn’t the first time I’ve been bit”. She said as she showed them her previous bite wound.

“If I’ve been bitten more than once, what does that mean?”

“It means you have less time before you turn. Still as you are alive you should have maybe a few days.”

“A few more days with my son? Well that is something to fight for at least.” The Empress said as she tried to haul herself up.

Lee tried to stand too, but he was far too weak. He tried more healing spells on himself, and though he was eventually able to stand by himself, it was obvious that his power was almost at an end.

“I’m fine” he said. “Well I’m not but I have to do my bit.”

“Don’t expect us to waste time trying to protect you.” The Professor said callously. “I can’t stop you from trying to help but you better not get in the way.”

Just then one of the Professor’s Vampires was thrown from the balcony. Its face had been smashed to an absolute pulp, whilst large chunks of flesh had been torn out of its chest and stomach.

The enchantment had been torn off of its head, but it was clearly no threat to anything now. Lindsey put the beast out of its misery by taking the monsters head off with her sword.

“Our Vampires won’t last much longer.” The Professor said. “We have to move now while we have the advantage. Asika, I don’t know if you can hear me, or if you’re still here, but please just let me know.”

The Vampire received no response.

In truth Asika was too scared to even move. She had been badly hurt by the Emperor’s strike. The sudden reality of the situation had begun to creep in that it wasn’t just her life, but her soul that was in danger.

The Professor’s two Vampires had managed to tackle the Emperor down a small corridor, but the greater Jiang Shi soon fought back by smashing one of the lesser Vampires through a wall, whilst digging his talons into the neck of the other bloodsucker.

The Professor, Lindsey, the Empress, and Kirsteen all jumped the Emperor whilst he was distracted. The Professor tried to place one of the last pieces of enchanted paper on the Emperor’s face in the struggle, but the Vampire bit into his hand. Lindsey jabbed her finger into the Vampire’s eye socket causing the monster to spin round 360 degrees, sending all of its enemies flying.

The Emperor then hopped towards Lindsey in fury, snarling and biting, but Lindsey stabbed her enchanted sword straight into the Vampires chest. Sparks started to fly from its chest and the Vampire grabbed Lindsey by the neck, but she pushed the sword in deeper. It was a testament to the Vampires vastly superior strength that he could endure this pain, but it eventually became too much for him and the Emperor was hurled backwards. Whilst he was on the floor, Kirsteen who the Vampire had not taken notice off quickly grabbed the yellow enchantment that the Professor had dropped and placed it on the Emperor’s forehead before he could react, stopping the bloodsucker in its tracks.

“You did it, you did” The Professor said. “Now we might just have a chance.”

To Be Continued