The Circus Master: Journey to the Centre of Evil: Part 7:

 

“Ashlei, please. You have no idea what you’re doing.” The Circus Master said.

“If you stop us now the Kardons.”

“The Kardons are obviously influencing you. Did you ever think about that?” Ashlei fired back.

“You’re not even trying to help these people. All those young men, women, even the children, the soldiers who helped to save our lives. You’ll happily condemn them to the giants.”

Florence tried to use her singing voice to calm Ashlei, but Ashlei quickly shot the Siren in the chest.

“Next time it’ll be Keptis.” Ashlei said as she thrust the gun back to the side of the Martian’s head. “Do you think he’ll be able to survive it as easily?”

“You treacherous bitch” Florence said in anger as her wound began to slowly heal. The Circus Master, Denika and Keptis were aghast to hear Florence use that kind of language. Even in these circumstances!

“After all we’ve done for you” Keptis said bitterly.

“I’m sorry, I really am, but I can’t let you do this to these people.”

Whilst Ashlei was distracted, Carlene seized her chance and hurled a smoke bomb from her beehive at Ashlei. Ashlei dropped her weapon in the confusion, and Carlene who could see through the gas quickly restrained Ashlei.

The Circus Master then started to slash at the Mashica’s machine, whilst Kile opened fire on the Vandal. It did no good however and Kile was soon restrained by Florence.

“How could you Carlene.”

“I’m sorry darling, the last thing I’d ever want is to hurt you or anyone else here, but I, I saw the vision too. I saw what those things will do if we let em get to the surface.” Carlene said whilst barely being able to look Ashlei in the face.

Within a matter of seconds the Circus Master had completely shredded the core of the machine. Decades worth of work by arguably some of the greatest scientific minds this planet had ever produced, was undone in under a minute. The Circus Master had never felt so ashamed.

As soon as the Circus Master had finished the alarm went off.

The Circus Master looked out a nearby window and saw hordes of monsters emerging from the black, filthy waters.

“I told you they have eyes and ears everywhere. Which reminds me Denika.”

Denika quickly scanned for magic and found several lesser spells around the room. All designed to monitor the progress on the ship from the Demons. Though the Demons had access to stronger magics, stronger magics would have been instantly detectable even for the Kardons. She quickly shorted the spells out.

“Good we can talk properly now. There is a ship below that we can use to take you out of here.” The Circus Master said to Kile who Florence quickly released.

“Not all of them” Ashlei sneered. “How are we going to get the Rysteans to decide which of them lives and dies? Or are you going to make that decision for them?”

“This isn’t the time for that. The Ishica and the other lesser Demons will attack first, but it won’t take long for the Kardons to follow and this time they won’t be holding back.”

Kile however simply reached for her weapon and shot the Circus Master several more times.

“You monster. I should have never trusted you.”

Denika quickly pulled the gun out of Kile’s hands with her magic and knocked her to the ground.

“Sorry Circus Master.” Denika said. “We don’t have time to talk her into it.”

The Circus Master tried to rouse Mashica, but much like Kile as soon as he awoke he instinctively tried to attack the Vandal, who quickly overpowered him.

“All those years of my life were for nothing. I’ll kill you” Mashica screamed as he caught sight of the wreckage of the machine he had hoped would be his people’s salvation.

The Circus Master pulled the Rystean scientist to face a nearby window, where Mishica saw much to his horror the sight of literally thousands of Demonic creatures heading towards the base. The Ishica, the Ocotopus creatures, and hundreds more Demons from the darkest depths of the oceans, many of which even Mashica had never seen before, all swarmed the base, creating a wall.

“They’re trying to keep us here until their masters arrive. They know that the Kardons will want the pleasure of torturing us themselves. Now do you believe me? I told you those Demons were monitoring your every move in here. Now that the machine is destroyed we have to move.”

Mashica wasn’t ready to admit that his entire life had been a lie. Even when he thought he was fighting against the Kardons, those Demons were still manipulating him. Still at the very least the Rystean accepted the reality of the danger his people were in now.

“We have to move now.” Mashica said as he tried to rouse Kile. “Everyone will be heading for the escape pods.”

“They’ll never make it, you have to stop them, now.” The Circus Master said.

“What is this another trick?”

The Circus Master rolled his eyes in frustration.

“It wasn’t a trick the last time as you can see.  If your people try to leave now those Demons will stop them. We need a distraction, while your people get away.”

“What do you mean” Ashlei asked.

“Not all of us are going to get out of this. I’ve known that since the start. When you deal with the Kardons you’re lucky if anyone makes it out alive. I’m going to send one of the ships into those Demons. With a little magic tinkering, it should explode. It’ll only take out a few Demons at the most, but it might dupe them long enough into thinking we have weapons that can hurt them. That’s when I’ll pilot a ship straight into the horde. With a little luck they’ll scatter in fear at first. That’s when the Rysteans and the rest of the Circus Folk should flee and head for the tent. Its not a perfect plan, but its the best we have.”

“You can’t face those Demons alone.” Ashlei protested.

“No I’m not.”  The Circus Master said as he looked at Denika.

“I won’t ask you to come with me Denika, but I’m not going to lie that with your magics I could hold the Demons off a lot longer and save more people here. I won’t ask you though as when the Kardons find us, the torture they’ll reign down on us, will be beyond anything even we can imagine.”

“When you put it like that how can I refuse.”

“Denika I don’t.”

“Please Circus Master. You’re right I’m terrified. For the first time I wish I hadn’t joined our little team, but if I don’t help you, more people will die. Two lives for thousands more? It seems like a fair trade to me.”

“I want to help you too.” Florence said, with Keptis soon offering after.

“No, as many of you need to survive to get the Rysteans out of here. I’m the leader, I destroyed their machine so it needs to be me. Denika meanwhile needs to be here to help, the rest of you don’t.”

“Circus Master, I, I, don’t know what to say” Ashlei said sheepishly.

“Save it. If I do survive this, you and I are going to have a chat. I’d never take you along, not only because you’re useless, but because I don’t trust you anymore.” The Vandal spat back.

Ashlei didn’t bother to respond. She had always felt like the weak link in the group and now she had let them down. She still wasn’t entirely convinced that the Circus Master was right however, but she wouldn’t bother to argue with him now.  They’d all have to work together if there was any hope of escape.

“Attention, attention” Mashica said through the speakers.

“Please remain calm. We cannot evacuate the base yet. The Demons are all around us. Please remain where you are.”

Sadly his pleas fell on deaf ears as the Rysteans started to tear the place apart in their desperation. They fought with each other over the few remaining life boats, with some even shooting at one another, using the guns from the guards that the Circus Folk had knocked out cold.

The first ship that made it out barely got within ten feet away from the base before it was ensnared in the tentacles of one of the Demonic Octopus creatures. The terrified Rystean family who had managed to flee into the pod during the commotion, tried to fire the ships flimsy magical weapons at the Octopus, but this time the Demon didn’t even flinch.

Several Isica soon gathered around the pod and started to tear it open. The family were all pulled out slowly one by one. Thankfully the Circus Master couldn’t see what the monsters were doing to the family through the murky waters, but he nevertheless still saw the green waves turn bright red.

“I guess they think they can have fun with some of us before the Kardons get here.” The Vandal said in disgust.

Florence quickly grabbed the mic from Mishica and started to sing through it. Within a few seconds the entire crowd had become pacified.

“No offence but I have better powers of persuasion than you do.” Florence said to Mishica who had also fallen under her spell until she slapped him out of it.

Come on we need to get to one of the pods. Denika this is your last chance if you’re sure you want.”

“Yes, yes, yes I am, lets hurry up before common sense prevails.”

Denika and the Circus Master quickly headed for the pods, not even bothering to say goodbye to the rest of the Circus Folk they had been travelling for years with, they had so little time to lose. The Circus Folk had been peace with their own, and each others deaths many years ago. They had too, as every mission they undertook could be their last.

Carlene, Ashlei, Keptis, Florence and the Strange Boy who was being held by Carlene gathered at the centre of the crowd who had been placated by Florence’s music, but were now beginning to wake up.

“Listen to me. You’ve all only got one chance to get out of here.” Keptis shouted.

“Our friends out there are giving their lives so that the rest of us can live. Even with that our chances are slim.”

Suddenly Carlene pushed Keptis of the way, and took a blast straight in the chest. It was Kile, who had woken up from Denika’s spell, whilst having slept through Florence’s.

Before Florence could sing again, Kile shot the Siren in the face, destroying it!

Though Florence’s wounds would heal it would take a few minutes to do so. The crowd instantly started to act up again now that Florence’s spell was broken. Carlene quickly grabbed Ashlei and shielded her from more gunfire from Kile.

“Its them!” Kile shouted as she fired her gun into the air. “They’re the monsters who trapped us. They’re working with the Kardons.”

Mashica tried to shout over Kile but it was no good. He was quickly knocked off of his feet by the stampeding crowd who started to attack the Circus Folk.

Keptis tried to fight them off, but he was soon overpowered. Carlene meanwhile after giving the Strange Boy to Ashlei soon effortlessly tossed the crowd members who came near away like children. As more and more began to pile on her however, Carlene soon tried to scare them away by screaming and baring her fangs.

The crowd were taken back for a moment whilst Kile continued to shoot at Carlene.

“See what I mean, she’s not one of us. She’s a monster!”

Carlene managed to effortlessly dodge Kile’s attacks but as she moved closer to the Rystean to attack her, Kile quickly shot at the ceiling above Carlene, burying her under rubble.

The rest of the crowd soon dogpiled on Carlene. Though she fought back and managed to throw several of her attackers away she was soon overwhelmed. Several of the Rysteans even started to beat her with pieces of the fallen rubble.

Keptis meanwhile had been completely overwhelmed whilst Ashlei was forced back into a wall with The Strange Boy.

She could see the Rysteans were beginning to rile the boy. She wasn’t sure if she was more scared for herself or for them.

To Be Continued

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

The Circus Master: Journey To The Centre of Evil: Part 4: The Demon Gods

 

The Ishica came to a grinding halt as soon as it saw the Kardon hovering above the city. For the first time Carlene was able to get a good look at the monster above her.

It was completely black, with large piercing red eyes, though its iris was just as black as its skin. Its mouth was filled with massive silver fangs and a long pristine tongue, whilst it had a snout like nose. Its ears meanwhile were shaped like a bats, whilst two gigantic reptillian looking wings emerged from either side of its back. The creatures entire body was scaly, whilst a long tail ending in a spike emerged from just above its legs.

Whilst the Ishica was distracted by the giant, Carlene reached into her beehive and pulled out a silver knife. Now that the creature was still she had a far greater chance of hitting it. She didn’t have a choice anyway. She had to get Ashlei away from that monster as soon as possible. Carlene hurled her knife right into the Ishica’s heart, killing it instantly.

Ashlei quickly pushed the dead Demon away and swam back towards Carlene, who headed towards Ashlei as fast as her Vampiric strength would allow her.

The Kardon however reached down and managed to scoop both Carlene and Ashlei up in its immense claws, (smashing through the ruins of several buildings in the process.)

Carlene could scarecly believe the monster could even see her and Ashlei it was so large. The monster however had a very special interest in them. It knew right away that they did not belong here and wanted to know how they been able to enter the earth’s core.

Carlene and Ashlei both lay in the palm of the monsters hand, but before it could close into a fist and seal them in, Carlene jumped through the monsters fingers whilst holding Ashlei.

Just being near that monster was enough to make Carlene want to tear Ashlei’s throat out and crush her bones. Still Carlene had spent her entire life fighting the evil of the Kardons within her, that she was able to remain in control no problem.

Carlene and Ashlei quickly headed for the ruins of a nearby building, but the monster reached down and tried to grab them again, taking a large chunk of the building this time. Carlene and Ashlei however evaded the Demons giant hand this time, and Carlene using her superhuman strength, managed to propel herself and Ashlei through the water to ground of the city below. The landing would have killed Carlene (who absorbed the shock of the impact) had she been human.

The Kardon soon started to smash the ruins to pieces in order to try and find its tiny prey. The rubble from the buildings went flying everwhere, and Carlene did her best to try and shield Ashlei from it as they scrambled through what was left of the city to try and find a safe place.

Several large pieces of rubble hit Carlene. A few even impaled her, but she barely noticed them she was too focused on protecting Ashlei.

The Kardon spoke, its voice echoing through the oceans. “Who are you strangers? How did you break down the wall? Why would you choose to come here of all places? If you tell us I will allow you to join my children. If not? Suffer as those fools who defy us now.”

Florence meanwhile despite the giants presence was still focused on finding the Strange Boy who had vanished into a small part of the city. The Siren swam to behind a small crumbling building she had seen the Ishica head for. As she neared it however one of the Ishica’s heads floated by. When Florence got behind the building she could see the Strange Boy wrestling with one of the Ishica. Despite his smaller size the child Vampire had the upper hand in the scuffle. The little Jiang Shi managed to clamber on top of the Ishica’s shoulders and dug his talons into the Demons head. Though the Ishica tried to throw him off it was no good. The Strange Boy was absolutely savage in dealing with the Demon and tore massive chunks of its flesh off before crushing the Demons entire head.

Even after he had killed it, the Strange Boy continued to tear chunks off of the Ishica’s body in fury. Florence approached the child Vampire slowly and carefully.

The Boy hissed at the Siren, but she didn’t back down.

“Please its me Florence.” She said softly.

“Try and remember, we’re friends, well sort of, well not really, but we travel together.” Florence said.

The Strange Boy made a sudden jolt towards her, but Florence still didn’t back down. She simply floated there, staring the Strange Boy down, hoping that something would click in his mind.

The Boy stared at her for a few minutes before Florence’s attention was drawn to the sound of the Kardon crashing over several nearby buildings towards them. Florence quickly grabbed the Strange Boy and swam in the opposite direction. The Strange Boy didn’t appear to react to anything around him. In truth he was doing all he could to hold back his bloodthirsty urges that were now stronger than ever thanks to the presence of the Kardon. The Strange Boy had fought against them his entire life, but the Demon inside him was stronger than the one inside Carlene, and he was still in spite of everything else, just a boy.

Ashlei and Carlene meanwhile had managed to take refuge inside a large building, though the Kardon had still caused a large part of it to collapse, simply by passing it.

One bit of rubble had fallen on Ashlei knocking her out. She was badly hurt, and worse she was bleeding and her blood was travelling through the water, drawing several Ishica in like Sharks to a feeding frenzy.

Carlene pulled a long silver blade out of her beehive and started to fight the Ishica off. She managed to slice the head off of one of the Demons, and stabbed another Ishica through the heart, before slicing the hand off of another that reached out to grab the unconscious Ashlei.

The remaining three Ishica quickly backed away from Carlene, but 6 more soon arrived. She couldn’t keep this up for much longer, but she couldn’t just swim past the monsters either.

“Its just round here.” Kile said.

Her ship had been concealed beneath the sea floor to protect it from the Ishica. Kile quickly summoned the vehicle with a remote device, though as soon as she did more Ishica emerged from the various ruins around them.

“Go I’ll cover you all.” The Circus Master shouted as he started to hurl weapons from his hat at the monsters.

Kile’s ship was bright green, the same as the murky waters that surrounded them. It had a circular shape with a large red strip running down the middle and a golden circle at the top which was the hatch.

When the Circus Folk made it into the ship, they saw that the inside of the ship was completely gold too. It looked absolutely beautiful, more like the inside of a luxury hotel than a war ship.

“Why do you need a ship if you can breath underwater.” Denika asked as she slowly regained her strength.

“Well to start with we’re amphibians, and second of all we need these vessels because we can outrun the Ishica and the Kardons with them. See here.”

Kile piloted the vehicle through the horde of Ishica that had begun to gather round the vehicle sending them all flying across the ruins of the city before speeding past hundreds of the other Ishica. In the distance, Kile could see the Kardon pursuing a small figure. She tried to turn the ship around, but the Circus Master stopped her.

“That’s Florence and the Strange Boy out there. We have to help them, and Carlene and Ashlei if possible.” The Vandal said.

“Its too late, your friends won’t escape from the Kardon, and neither will we if we don’t get out of here now.” Kile said whilst trying to wrestle free from the Circus Masters grip.

“Please we can’t just leave her at the mercy of that thing.” The Circus Master pleaded, but it was no use. Kile was so terrified of those creatures having seen exactly what they were capable of to a greater extent than anyone else.

Denika soon took over and using her magic started to propel the ship forwards. She wasn’t really piloting it, she was simply pushing it with her mind, but as she hurled it closer to the Kardon, Kile frantically tried to stop the ship to no avail.

The Kardon soon noticed the vessel and instantly headed towards it. Denika released the ship, but Kile still simply tried to take the vessel in the opposite direction. The Circus Master was forced to stop Kile from driving the vehicle.

“You fool do you have any idea what that thing will do to us?”

“Yes, believe me I know, but we can’t leave Florence or the Strange Boy, or Carlene or Ashlei.”

Kile waited for a few seconds. She couldn’t possibly escape the Vandals iron grip, but she hoped he would see reason. As the Kardon came closer she eventually relented.

“All right, release me and I’ll no doubt kill us trying to save your friends.” Kile sneered.

Kile managed to evade the Kardon’s clawed hand narrowly and sped towards Florence and the Strange Boy. Florence continued to swim from Kile’s vessl however, until Denika fired a magical signal.

Kile took the vessel under Florence and opened the hatch allowing her to and the Strange Boy to get in. Unfortunately however the seconds the ship waited to allow Florence and the Strange Boy to enter were enough for the Kardon to catch up to them. The Kardon only managed to to graze the ship with its claw before Kile piloted it away, but the monsters vast strength caused the ship to go spinning through the oceans.

Denika using all of her strength managed to stop the ship in its tracks with her magic before it smashed into the ocean floor. Kile quickly managed to get the ship started, but again the Circus Folk would divert her course.

“We need to get back to the ruins. Ashlei and Carlene are still there.” Florence said.

“You are not serious.”

“Lets not have that discussion again.” The Circus Master said.

Kile took the ship down through the ruins, narrowly missing the Kardon in the process. As the monster chased after them it smashed its way through the entire city in rage.

After a few minutes the ship came across Carlene, still fighting the Ishica off. At the sight of the Kardon, Carlene instantly retreated back into the ruins to protect Ashlei, not noticing the tiny vessel.

“Damn it. I’ll need to get out and find them.” The Circus Master said.

“Are you insane?” Kile said.

“You said it yourself this ship is supposed to outrun those Demons.” The Circus Master said as he prepared to open the hatch.

“Just give me 3 minutes. Please!” The Circus Master said genuinely.

“Okay fine. Not that I have a choice with you freaks.” Kile said bitterly.

The Circus Master jumped from the vessel as it sped off from the Kardon. The Kardon was too preoccupied with the vessel to bother with him, but as soon as the Circus Master made his way to the ruins where Carlene was, he was jumped by several Ishica. The monsters quickly overpowered the Vandal. He fought back valiantly, but they were able to restrain him before he could reach for the weapons inside his hat.

In desperation he shouted on Carlene, but the monsters started to beat and claw at the Vandal. Fortunately Carlene heard his cries for help and she quickly threw her machete into the Ishica that was holding the Circus Master from behind. With his arms now free, the Circus Master started to slash at the monsters in front of him, driving them away before pulling several weapons out of his hat which he used to slay a further two of the Ishica. Carlene soon joined him and together the Vampire and the Vandal were able to drive the Demons away.

Unfortunately almost as soon as Carlene and The Circus Master had finished dealing with the lesser Demons, the Kardon soon turned its attention to them. The Kardon could always sense the presence of it children, which the Circus Master and Carlene were. The evil within them that they had fought their entire life, was ultimately created by the Kardons. The Demon had barely noticed that these strange creatures were its children at first due to the presence of so many of its other children, the Ishica nearby, but now that it was so focused on them it had noticed a sense of familiarity which intrigued the Demon even more.

As it reached out to grab the Vampire and the Vandal, Kile quickly and bravely flew her vehicle straight into the Demons face. She hoped that the the Demon might be taken by surprise by the boldness of her action. Sure enough the Demon instantly was taken aback a little, having never seen any creature run towards it before.

Carlene and The Circus Master used this opportunity to rescue Ashlei from the ruins. Carlene carried her out.

The Kardon flew into a rage and started to strike at the tiny ship, with Kile only just managing to dodge its blows.

The ship sped past the Kardon and towards The Circus Master and Carlene.

“This is their last chance.” Kile said. “If they don’t get on this time I’m not going back.”

The Circus Master and Carlene both jumped onto the ship as it sped past them. The Circus Master was able to hold on by digging his talons into the side of the ship. Carlene meanwhile wasn’t able to get a good grip and nearly fell off whilst holding Ashlei. Fortunately the Circus Master managed to grab onto her with his other hand and hurled Carlene over onto the top of vehicle to the golden hatch, after which Carlene then pulled him up into the hatch.

“See I told you it would be easy.” The Circus Master said after he entered the ship.

“Its a good thing I’m dead darling or I’d have had a bloody heart attack.” Carlene said, as Denika tended to Ashlei to heal her wounds.

“Thanks love, I, we owe you one.” Carlene said to Kile who didn’t acknowledge her.

“She’s not a people person, don’t take it personally.” Keptis said.

“Oh right she’s like you then.” Florence said jokingly to Keptis.

The Kardon continued to pursue the ship through the seemingly endless green waters.

“I can’t shake him, we should have just left before he spotted us.” Kile said in panic.

“We have a ship at the bottom of the ocean, if you take us too it then we can.” The Circus Master said before the ship suddenly ground to a halt.

In the distance, Kile and the Circus Folk could see two more gigantic red eyes emerge in the distance. Another one of the Kardons had spotted them .

Within a few minutes the two monsters had completely surrounded the small ship. There was seemingly no way out.

To Be Continued

The Circus Master: Journey To The Centre of Evil: Part 3: The Survivors

 

The Ishica had formed a circle around the Circus Folk. Carlene quickly handed Ashlei a weapon from her beehive. It was a golden knife, which had been “enchanted” by the darkest magics and was capable of harming even the most powerful Demons.

“Time to see if that training has done any good love.” Carlene said somewhat nervously to Ashlei as the Demons hovered over their prey.

The Ishica all had blue bodies, with sagging, rotting, putrid skin. Their fingers ended in large sucker cups, whilst the beasts all only had one, large, red eye each. Each monster had a mane of scraggly hair at the back of their heads.

The largest of the Demons was the first to attack, but a quick energy blast from Denika sent it flying backwards. The Circus Master and Carlene meanwhile searched through their hat and beehive and started hurling as many weapons as they could at the Demons to try and find their weaknesses. They soon discovered that a weapon made of silver could harm the Ishica, when Carlene landed a silver knife straight into one of the beasts hearts.

Keptis and Ashlei meanwhile used their weapons to try and hold more of the Demons off, with Ashlei managing to slice the throat of a particularly large Ishica. Ashlei’s wound didn’t kill the beast, but it still incapacitated the monster so much it collapsed to the sea floor in pain, allowing Keptis to slice its head clean off, whilst Ashlei held off another one of the beasts with her weapon. Carlene looked on with pride at how far Ashlei had come in such a small time.

Florence meanwhile also asked Carlene for a weapon from her beehive. The Sirens hypnotic singing voice would not work on the Demons (as it often didn’t on surpernatural creatures.)

Carlene rummaged through her beehive. Most of the time even she wasn’t sure what weapons were in there. “Ah here you go darling” Carlene said as she pulled out an electrical whip (really magical). “Anything you strike the whip at will be vaporised. From what I can remember love, its unstable though. Try not to use it to many times too quickly or else the power will heat up.” Carlene cautioned Florence, though it would be difficult for Florence not to use it. More and more of the monsters kept emerging from the ruins around them. There were hundreds of the Demons now, gathered round the Circus Folk like a swarm of locusts.

Florence managed to take down five of the monsters at once with one swing of her whip, whilst she carried the Strange Boy in her other arm. (Having taken the Vampire child from the ship) The Siren was able to take down a further 10 with another swing, which also caused the rest of the Ishica to scatter.

“Well who wants to be the first.” Florence boasted to the cowed monsters.

One of the Ishica however had managed to grab the silver knife that Carlene had thrown into the chest of one of the monsters, and hurled into Keptis stomach. Florence instantly ran to Keptis, letting her guard down and allowing the Ishica to swarm the Circus Folk again. Though Denika managed to blast several of the monsters back, The Circus Master and Carlene were soon quickly overpowered, whilst 4 of the monsters also managed to corner both Florence and the dying Keptis. In the struggle one of the Ishica whose strength dwarfed that of the Siren’s, managed to knock the whip from Florence’s hand, knocking it across the sea floor.

In desperation Ashlei quickly grabbed the whip and started to lash at the beasts several times more. She slaughtered dozens more of the monsters, and scattered the rest away from her friends, but the whip’s power soon started to fluctuate. Its handle became so hot that Ashlei was forced to let it go. Several more magical blasts then began to fire from the whip, which vaporised a few more Ishica. One of them very nearly hit Ashlei herself, but Florence managed to push her out of the way.

Denika meanwhile used her magic to quickly heal Keptis’ wound, whilst Ashlei tried to grab the whip again. Carlene quickly stopped her however. “We can’t use that again. It’ll blow up soon and take us with it if we don’t get out of ere.” The Circus Folk tried to flee, but the Ishica formed a wall around them and started to attack again.

“You idiots you’ll die with us.” The Circus Master said as he tried to fight off the monsters with his claws. The monsters weren’t listening however.

In desperation Florence pulled the enchantment off of the Strange Boy’s head. The Circus Folk had kept the enchantment on because if it was taken off he’d be far more violent, as all Jiang Shi are after a period under the enchantment.

Still Florence in desperation ripped the paper off the boy. The Circus Master saw what she was doing and shouted at her to stop, but it was too late. The Vampire child instantly went crazy and threw Florence aside, before jumping head first into the monsters. The Strange Boy tore his way through 5 Ishica, ripping thier arms and legs and even heads off. Eventually however the Ishica began to swarm the Strange Boy. Ashlei and Florence quickly swam to try and help him, but one of the monsters quickly jumped Florence and threw her back into Ashlei. Three more Ishica then swam around Ashlei, and whilst she was able to stab one of the monsters in the chest, the other two easily overpowered Ashlei and dragged her away along with the Strange Boy.

Carlene tried to swim up and help Ashlei, but again several Ishica got in the way. Carlene was able to dispatch the monsters quickly with a silver blade, but by the time she was done, the monsters were gone. In the very distance Carlene could see one of the monsters carrying Ashlei, whilst 5 carried the Strange Boy. Carlene quickly swam after the monsters, with Florence who felt tremendous guilt following her.

The rest of the Circus Folk were too busy dealing with the Ishica. Keptis called out after Florence, but he couldn’t hope to match either Vampires inhuman speed.

“I told her not remove the enchantment.” The Circus Master said as he fought off one of the Demons. “The Strange Boy is unpredictable at the best of times. With that Kardon above and the pent up bloodlust from the spell., Florence and Carlene should probably run away from him more than these brutes.”

“We need to get them back ” Keptis said frantically as he slashed at the attacking monsters with his flaming saw, but that was easier said than done. More and more of the Ishica were emerging from the what was left of the city and they were emerging from the direction Carlene and Florence had followed the Demons.

The Circus Master quickly grabbed the whip by the handle. Even though it burnt his hands, the Vandal fought through pain and hurled the whip into the mass of Ishica above just as it exploded, killing hundreds of the Demons, though many still remained.

“We need to take cover.” Denika shouted as she fired multiple energy blasts to hold the Demons off. The Circus Master and Keptis reluctantly ran after Denika in the opposite direction from where the Demons had taken Ashlei and the Strange Boy.

The three time travellers quickly ran behind a few crumbling buildings, but several more Demons started to emerge from what was left of the buildings around them. Denika and Keptis held them off, whilst The Circus Master desperately searched around for somewhere to flee. He soon found what looked like a small hatch behind one of the buildings that led underground. The Circus Master had no idea where it led to. For all he knew there could be hundreds of thousands of the Ishica underground, but they were too exposed in the open, and so the Vandal quickly jumped down the hatch after shouting on his two comrades to join him.

Denika was the last to go in, and afterwards she placed a magical barrier around the gate. It wouldn’t take the Demons long to tear through it, but it might buy them a few more minutes. The caverns were long and dark and filled with bodies.

“Lets just hope none of them wake up”. Keptis said as he struggled not to trip over the corpses.

Florence and Carlene had followed the Demons across the dead city. What was left of the swarm after the explosion were more interested in the rest of the Circus folk, though the two Vampires had been forced to dodge several Ishica along the way. Despite starting after Carlene, Florence had quickly overtaken her due to the Siren’s greater experience in the oceans. They were both still a good distance away from the Ishica and their prisoners however.

“I’m so sorry.” Florence said to Carlene. “If only I.”

Carlene interrupted her. “No use in that now. We have to rescue the children. Besides love I’m the one that put that enchantment on the boys head. I’m responsible too.”

In the distance the Strange Boy started to fight with the Ishica. He managed to push one of them away before quickly fleeing down into the ruins of some buildings, with the Ishica quickly followed him.

“I’ll go after him, you get Ashlei” Florence said as she swam towards the ruins.

The Ishica had broken through Denika’s barriers and into the tunnels, but Denika had created several more barriers along the way to slow the Demons down. Each time she created a new barrier however it weakened her greatly.

Finally after 15 or so minutes of wandering through the dark, dank tunnels, the time travellers came upon what they had originally come here for. Even in the dark tunnels the Circus Master continued to trace the signal from the sub. He knew it was underground, but even then he had only fled there out of necessity.

The trio came upon a large reinforced steel door. The Circus Master tried to shift it with his Vandal strength, but it was no use.

“If only the Strange Boy were here.” He muttered to himself.

“Let me have a try” Keptis said as he pushed the Circus Master aside. Keptis thrust his flaming saw into the door, and in a few seconds he managed to slice it in half down the middle.

The trio could hear the sound of the ravenous Demons in the distance. “I won’t be able to keep holding them off with forcefields.” Denika said. Keptis was the first to enter the room, brandishing his weapon.

As soon as he entered however the Martian was shot at. Only the Circus Masters lightening fast reflexes saved Keptis from certain death. The Circus Master would be shot at a further two times, but it didn’t phase him. The Circus Master quickly overpowered the perpetrator, a young woman with green skin, and blue hair.

“Who are you.” The Circus Master said as he restrained the woman. As he looked around he saw an Ishica’s corpse with a silver knife in its chest. The rest of the room looked like it had been hit by an explosion, the Vandal thought to himself.

“Who am I? Are you kidding? You freaks don’t look like anything I’ve ever seen.” Kile said.

The Circus Master recognised the voice. It was Kile the woman who had summoned them.

“Ah of course.” The Circus Master said. “You’re the person we’re here to rescue, although I’m starting to wonder if that was a mistake now considering you just shot me.”

“I’m sorry.” Kile said, now also recognising the Circus Master’s voice. “I thought you were Demons of some kind, You don’t look like us, but you’re clearly not like them either.”

“No in fact we don’t know who either of you are. We just got here.” The Circus Master said in his usual flippant tone.

“You lie. No one has entered or left these dark oceans for thousands of years..”

“You’ve been trapped here by the Kardons all that time? How did you survive this long.” Denika asked.

“They kept us alive just so they could torture us for their own amusement, turn some of us into those things.” Kile said as she looked down at the corpse of her former team mate, who she had been forced to slay.

“They didn’t trap us here. We were trapped with them.” Kile said.

Suddenly the sounds of the Ishica came closer. They had broken through Denika’s forcefield and were coming their way.

“You idiots! You led those things here and you broke the door down? There’s no way out, we’re doomed.”

“Not necessarily.” Denika said as she tried to summon up a magical blast against the wall behind. It was difficult as the wall was strong and she was already weak from the forcefields, but Denika managed to fire a blast so strong in not only shattered the back wall completely, but knocked herself, The Circus Master, Keptis and Kile off their feet.

The Circus Master was forced to help Denika up she was so weak after the spell.

“Come if we can get outside I have a ship that can get us out of here.” Kile said.

Carlene had been following the Ishica for close to half an hour now and she was still nowhere near the monster. It had too big a head start on her. It was agony for Carlene. She could see Ashlei constantly kick and struggle to get free from the monster to no avail.

Carlene thought about throwing a silver knife from her beehive at the monster, but as it was moving so fast she wasn’t sure she wouldn’t hit Ashlei. The Ishica had only taken Ashlei because much like Kile it was curious as to what she was. It felt that its masters may be interested to see seemingly new creatures in the oceans.

Suddenly a massive black shadow cast itself over the ruins. Carlene looked up to see the massive, horrifying image of one of the Kardon’s descending over the city.

To Be Continued

 

The Circus Master: Journey to the Centre of Evil: Part 2: The Green Oceans

 

“Come in, come in” do you read me. “Its no use, that thing must have.” Kile didn’t even want to finish that sentence.

Her mother, Hiliseia had been aboard the last civilian facility for her people left in the ocean. All that was left of their entire civilisation now was the research centre, where their few remaining scientists were deseperately attempting to find a way to escape from the Demons.

“What was the point”. She thought. “The Demon’s will no doubt find them too.” As Kile sank to he knees in despair, she was quickly jolted up by a screaming sound coming from the end of the long, dark corridor. Kile raised her weapon in fear and walked slowly to the end of the corridor.

“They’ve found us.” They’ve found us” She said to herself whilst trembling. As she reached the end of the corridor, she saw her old friend, Mozek lying on the floor, covered in blood.

“Mozek, Mozek please.” She said as she tried to rouse her friend.

“They’re here, the Ishika, they.” He fainted before he could finish. Kile tried to rouse him again when suddenly a huge beast came bursting through the floor. It was one of the hideous Ishika, members of Kile’s race who had been infected by the gigantic Demons that stalked the green oceans outside. The creatures were in some ways even more vicious and sadistic than the giants who had created them.

Kile fired at the monsters feet. None of her puny weapons could kill the monster, but she hoped she might be able to slow it down for a short while otherwise.

Kile quickly ran down a nearby corridor whilst carrying her friend. She headed for the emergency room which was just a few corridors down. Her team had stumbled upon the room when they first arrived, and they always made sure at least some of the team stayed near it in case of an emergency. Not that the room had done the civilians from the city any good.

When Kile reached the emergency room and opened the door, she was soon confronted by another one of the Ishika, covered in the blood of her team mates.

“I thought we’d killed the last one!” The monster said with sadistic delight.

Kile fired at the monster repeatedly, but it simply laughed as her lasers only produced minor burns which quickly healed. The original Ishika that had pursued Kile meanwhile slowly crept up on the former soldier. She knew it was behind her, but she didn’t care. She had to focus all of her power on the Demon blocking the path.

As Kile fired and fired more desperately, one of the many beams skidded off of the monsters hide and struck one of the explosives in the safe room behind. (The safe room was filled with various weapons. )

The explosion rocked the room, and knocked Kile, and the two Demons off of their feet, but Kile quickly jumped up, and pulled Mozek who was still unconscious with her. As they almost reached the room however, one of the Demons grabbed hold of Mozek’s arm. Kile tried to pull him, but it was no use. Rather than engage in a pointless tug of war, Kile instead struck the Demon in the face with the butt of her gun. It didn’t harm the monster, but it managed to catch it off guard for a few seconds for Kile to pull her friend into the safe room and shut the door behind her.

One of the Demons pounded on the door, whilst the Ishika who had come from the safe room started to punch in the code to the door. (Which it had earlier tortured from one of the Kile’s team, so it could wait in the safe room for anyone who tried to flee there. It had managed to slaughter 6 of Kile’s team that way.)

Kile quickly shot the door panel from her side, sealing the door shut on the outside. Both Demons started to claw furiously on the door.

“You can’t escape us you’ll die screaming just like we did!”

Kile however ignored the beasts and focused on helping her friend. Mozek had drifted in and out of consciousness during the ordeal.

“Stay with me” Kile said. “We might be the last two left.” Kile searched around for any medical supplies. Sadly most of the suplies had been destroyed in the explosion. Parts of the room were still on fire. The remains of many of her team mates were scattered all of the place. “Disgusting freaks”. Kile said to herself as she looked around for anything that could help Mozek.

“Kile, Kile” Mozek said pitifully.

“Please, Mozek just hang on” Kile said.

Suddenly however Mozek grabbed Kile by the throat and threw her across the room. As Kile looked up she could see to her horror, Mozek morphing into one of the hideous Ishika.

“I can’t believe you fell for that.” Mozek taunted and laughed.

The gargantuan Demon had began to crush the sub. It had only spared the Circus Folk for a few seconds longer as it felt a strange presence from some of these tiny creatures. There was an almost creeping sense of familiarity to them. Still the Demon quickly overcame the strange feelings and started to slowly crush the sub.

“We need to get out now.” The Circus Master said as he started to pull the hatch open.

“If you think I’m going to swim in that green slime.” Florence said with indignation.

“Oh how unreasonable to ask a Siren to swim!” The Circus Master snapped back.

“Don’t worry though it’s an escape pod.” He continued as he pulled the hatch up.

The Strange Boy meanwhile had completely lost his mind. He was clawing at the walls as they came closer, and attacking anyone who came near him. None of the rest of the team could overpower him directly. Both Florence and the Circus Master were thrown across the room when they tried to restrain the child Vampire. Even Denika couldn’t land a hit on the Vampire with her blasts before the Strange Boy knocked her down with one strike.

Carlene quickly fished through her beehive. (Denika and the Circus Master had also rebuilt her beehive after the Hylexans spell, and therefore everything in it.) After a few seconds, that felt like an eternity under the circumstances, Carlene finally found what she was looking for.

It was a piece of yellow paper with a spell on it (written in Chinese), which if placed on the head of a Jiang Shi would freeze it in it’s tracks. Taoist priests had used them on the main land of China for centuries to tame the beasts.

Carlene was able to jump the Strange Boy from behind whilst he was wrestling with the Circus Master and placed the paper on his forehead.

The Circus Master look disapprovingly. “I’m not happy on one of those being used on the boy.” He said to Carlene.

“Sorry I’ll just let him go crazy and get crushed to death” Carlene said as she hoisted the boy over her shoulders and headed to the pod with the rest of the Circus Folk.

The pod was tiny. It could barely hold all of the folk. They all had to press back against the wall to give the Circus Master space to work the controls.

“Oh no, oh no” The Circus Master said as he pounded furiously on the controls.

“Its the demon, its crush the hatch to release the pod. Its too small for the pod to get through. We’re trapped.”

Walls of the pod started to squeeze together along with the rest of the Sub. In desperation, Denika blasted the pod out of the hatch using her magic.

The pod fired out into the demon and bounced off its scales before plummeting through the depths.

“The Circus Folk were shaken by the blast, with Ashlei and Keptis even being knocked out.”

“What would we do without you” Carlene said to Denika after making sure Ashlei was okay.

“Well there was a 50/50 chance we could have been blown up too, but what choice did we have.” Denika said whilst clutching to the back wall.

“Don’t get too cocky yet. I can’t control this thing. We’re headed for a crash.” The Circus Master interrupted as he frantically worked the controls.

Fortunately the giant Demon hadn’t noticed the pod. It was too small, though it could still sense the Circus Folk, or at least some of them. The Demon looked around, but it couldn’t find anything. The pod had long since fallen into the murky depths. The Demon had more important things to worry about anyway and started to flee.

The Circus Master was able to steer the pod into a large sandy area of the ocean floor. It still hit the ground with tremendous force, and had the Circus Master been human he would have been killed by the impact. The rest of the Circus Folk meanwhile were safe at the back.

“Sometimes being a Demon can be handy” The Circus Master said as his smashed skull began to heal itself.

Carlene looked at the two giant Demons above on the scanner. Both were swimming away from the ruins of the city.

“There’s something about those monsters” Carlene said. “Every time I look at them I want. I want.”

“What.” Ashlei asked.

“I want to hurt you. I want to hurt everyone here.” Carlene said with self loathing.

“Of course you do.” The Circus Master interrupted. “I feel the same, as I’d reckon do you Florence.”

Florence didn’t answer, but she didn’t have to.

“Those monsters up there are Kardons.”

The others except for Ashlei all froze in terror at the mention of that name.

“It can’t be.” Carlene said.

“What the hell is a Kardon?” Ashlei asked?

“Our forebears. The Kardons were believed to be the original Demon race, created by the Creator of all things. They were the most evil, fearsome and powerful of all Demon races. Their leader, Khastran, many eons ago conquered the earth to try and gain access to the mystic realm.”

“Yes I remember.” Ashlei said. “The book he left behind killed my brother. You don’t tend to forget little things like that.”

“I’m sorry Ashlei.” The Circus Master said sincerely.

“According to legends.” He continued. “During the battle to banish the Kardons, the Angels and the Gods working together were able to seal Khastran’s most vicious, evil warriors deep beneath the earth’s core. I always thought it was a legend, but well.”

“I’d always hoped we wouldn’t have to run into one of them” Florence said.

“Yes so did I. Being near those creatures awakens the Demon within us. The poor Strange Boy it seems was the most affected because the Demon in him is the strongest, but we have to be careful. All of us.”

Suddenly a transmission came in through the speaker. It was very faint.

“Hello, please, someone come in.”

The Circus Master grabbed the speaker.

“Hello we read you, can you hear me this is.” He paused for a few seconds. “I’m not sure you’d believe me if I told you who we are, but we’re here to help.”

“I don’t have time for jokes. My name is Kile and I’m trapped in the safe room in one of the ruins. You have to help me. My entire team is dead.”

“Hang on we’re tracing the signal.” The Circus Master said.

“Got you, it should take about twenty minutes or so to reach you.”

“I can wait that long. Be careful though. There are hundreds of Ishika’s crawling through the ruins.”

“Ishika?” The Circus Master said.

“Please I am in no mood for your jokes. Get here now!” The signal cut off.

“We need to get there now. I’m afraid Florence, we’re going to have leave the pod.”

“No, no you have got to be.”

“This pod won’t move. There are too many people in it. Besides its been damaged in the crash.”

“Oh okay fine, but I just want you to know I spent close to 50 years under the sea, yet I can’t bare the thought of letting that green gloop touch me. What does that tell you?”

Denika blew a hole in the pod. It had been so badly damaged that the hatch wouldn’t open by itself.

The magic protected the Circus folk from the green slime, but it was so thick and foul smelling that it was hard to walk just a few feet within it.

“I take it back. These oceans are more polluted.” The Circus Master said. “Its the Kardons. Their evil has corrupted it. If weren’t for the magic, one touch would probably be enough to turn us into monsters.”

“We’re already monsters darling.” Carlene said.

“Well bigger monsters.”

Denika used her magics to light up ahead through the green slime. Just up ahead was a large building that had begun to crumble.

Ashlei stared at the building transfixed for a few seconds, not really sure why.

“Ashlei” Carlene nudged her.

“Sorry Carlene I don’t know why but.”

Suddenly a horde of Ishica emerged from the building. They moved through the waters with a lightening speed and in a matter of seconds they had swarmed the Circus Folk.

To Be Continued