“I still don’t trust you Vampire”, the old man from the future said with anger and revulsion to the Professor.
“I don’t care. The fact is you need to stay in here until we have repaired the vessel.”
The Professor and Lindsey had taken the humans Gyster had kidnapped to the emergency room of the ship. It could only be accessed with a specific spell that the Professor knew.
He felt that it was the only place they would be safe, as there was always the possibility the Zombies could get into Fang’s vessel now that they were both docked.
“You’ll be perfectly safe in here” Lindsey said more softly.
After the two left the former hostages went frantic. The confederate soldier and the old man started to hit on the walls desperately. There were no doors in the room as it could only be accessed by magic.
Kirsteen meanwhile simply sat at the back, absorbed in her thoughts. She stared at the table of drinks ahead of her. Even in these circumstances she didn’t want to undo all of the great work she had done in conquering her addictions.
“I’m still waiting to wake up” she thought to herself. “Vampires, aliens, Zombies, time travel. I could maybe take one, if I was pissed, but all of them. The girl seem’s nice but that guy? God I’ve never wanted a drink more than now” she thought as she flicked her way through the books on a nearby shelf, looking for something to kill what might be her last few hours. “It’d have to be a good book to take my mind off of the fact that I might be eaten by spaces Zombies in a few minutes” she thought.
The young girl who had recognised her from earlier, Jenna, sat beside Kirsteen, eager to strike up a conversation.
“Sorry I was just wondering, are you really Kirsteen Williamson?” she said nervously.
“Yes” Kirsteen said as she flicked through her book, hoping Jenna would go away.
“Unbelievable. I’m sorry to bother you, but I love your music.”
It had been a long while since Kirsteen had heard anything positive about her music.
“Thanks that’s rare to hear someone say that, though not as rare as it is to hear someone play one of my songs.”
“Nonsense. I grew up listening to you non stop. My parents were huge fans of yours. You were my main inspiration. I started my band because of you.”
Kirsteen put her book down.
“Really? Well thank you my dear, you know that’s always the nicest thing to hear. Tell me what year are you from.”
Kirsteen could barely contain her joy. She couldn’t believe people would still be listening to, never mind getting inspired by her music 40 years on.
“I’ve been in a band for a couple of years now. Sadly we haven’t really gotten anywhere. I was wondering if you could maybe give me any advice.”
“I’d love to darling, but I’m not sure if even I know how I made it. Also I’d imagine the music scene’s probably changed a bit in the 5 decades between us.”
Kirsteen could see her answer had upset Jenna a little bit.
“Come tell me about yourself.” Kirsteen said.
“Yes, my life’s been rather boring of late” Kirsteen said. “I’d like to know what the future is like, though please don’t let me know what happens to me. If I die horribly I’d rather not know. As long as people still listen to me I’m happy”.
“Oh trust me they do.”
The Professor and Lindsey opened the hatch to Gyster. There was a long seemingly empty corridor ahead. Once they entered it they heard Gyster’s voice booming.
“About damn time” the living ship complained. “What took you so long.”
“Well you know how it is, trying to fix a broken down living spaceship, I just need the right tools.” The Professor said sarcastically.
The Professor had a large staff that ended in a green glow. It was a powerful magical healing device. The Professor hoped it could at least eleviate some of the symptoms as he fixed Gysters core engine with enchantments.
“I just hope we don’t run into any of your friends” Lindsey said. “I’ve always hated Zombies, but if I die don’t you dare turn me into one of of your little pets.”
“You’ve not earned that privilege” Gyster said, which made Lindsey wince in disgust.
“There is one that you should be scared of. My former favourite, Jiazan.” Gyster continued.
“He was once the greatest of all my warriors. He was a beautiful, kind and generous soul. He was killed by Vampires, monsters like you Professor on a mission to save the planet of Amercos.” Gyster said with anger.
“When I brought him back I thought he would be happy to help me again. Instead he tried to kill my latest friends. He ate them. This was years before you crashed into me. I laid him to rest again. It was the hardest thing I ever had to do. Just before I killed him a second time, he told me that he couldn’t bare the fact that I had replaced him. Now he is killing everyone on board and not just killing them. He crushes them into nothing. He wants to be the only one here forever. If you see him run.”
“Yes thank you for the warning. I already had a couple of nasty little encounters with your former friend.” The Professor said. “In fact I was barely able to rescue your last hostage from him. Please though whatever you do, don’t ever consider me and Lindsey your friends. It seems they suffer more than your enemies.” The Professor said mockingly.
“If only you could know the great things my crew have done over the years. The worlds we saved. I elevated them to heroes. Heroes whose story will vanish unless you save me.”
Gyster continued to bore The Professor and Lindsey with tales of his former crews heroics and tedious small talk, as they ventured through the large catacomb of tunnels and corridors.
“I”m not normally quite so dark and dank you know” Gyster said.
“Please we have to concentrate. There could be Zombies round any corner.” The Professor snapped.
“I was just trying to make conversation. Anything to avoid thinking about my impending death.”
“Well no offence intended, but being eaten by Zombies, is really not much worse than having a conversation with you” The Professor said.
“You’re a miserable old git aren’t you. I can’t believe my fate rests in the hands of someone so mean!”
“I’m mean” the Professor gasped. “I don’t turn people into monsters.”
Lindsey rolled her eyes. “To be fair” she thought. “The Professor is quite rude at times.”
Suddenly a Zombie came peering round one of the corridors. It was a young woman. She appeared to have died only recently. She was carrying a large blunt instrument and hissing at the two time travellers. The Professor fired his healing ray at the Zombie. It confused and disoriented the monster for a short while and some of its scars began to heal, but the creature was too far gone for the spell to revive it completely.
It tried to attack the Professor in rage, but Lindsey managed to kick the monster’s weapon out of its hand, which she then picked up and used to smash the monsters head in.
She turned to look at the Professor, somewhat annoyed. “What the hell were you doing?”
“I just wanted to know if I could heal a Zombie. Since I first got this little contraption a few months ago, I’ve been wondering if it can actually raise the dead.”
“You know only the most advanced magics can do that. Everything else, even if it patches up the body, always leaves something out.”
Suddenly their discussion was interrupted by several more groaning sounds coming from down the corridor. There were dozens more Zombies, coming their way.
As the two time travellers turned to flee they saw Zombies coming back down the other way too.
They were completely trapped. The Professor might be able to fight through that many Zombies, but there was no way he could protect Lindsey at the same time. She was a highly skilled fighter, but that many Zombies would be too much for any normal human.
“Do something” The Professor said in panic.
“Oh so now you want my help?” Gyster said indignantly.
“Fine we’ll die painfully, and you’ll die painfully.”
Just then a red light appeared, followed by the sound of Gyster gasping in pain.
“Get in, now!” Gyster shouted. Lindsey and the Professor ran through the light, and suddenly found themselves in a large disco.
“Where are we”
“In the disco. The core engine is just right around the corner from here. I teleported you here with my last ounce of strength. I’ve shortened my life however in the process. I have about 10 minutes left. You have to hurry.”
Lindsey and The Professor ran through the large empty Disco, but as they reached the end of the room, they were suddenly distracted by a most peculiar sight.
Two Zombies were dancing with one another near the only door. Their faces were both decaying. The male Zombies face had rotted to the point where it was almost unrecognisable.
Both Lindsey and the Professor stared in amazement at the creatures for a few seconds, before Gyster started to groan in pain. Unfortunately this alerted the two Zombies who suddenly noticed the Professor and Lindsey at the other end of the room.
“Please don’t hurt us” the female Zombie said.
“Don’t hurt you?” Lindsey said in response, completely puzzled.
“Please we don’t know how much longer we have left. We just want to spend it together.”
The male Zombie spoke up.
“We were picked by Gyster thousands of years ago. We first met each other on this very floor at a party Gyster held to welcome his new friends.”
“Prisoners more like” Lindsey said under her breath.
“We were from two different worlds and two different eras, but we fell in love. For years we journeyed the universe together, fighting evil, slaying monsters, saving planets. Unfortunately Gyster never let us have children. He wanted to be the only one who decided who got to live here.
“The more and more I hear about Gyster the more I like him.” The Professor said sarcastically.
“We both understood. We were not angry with him. Had it not been for Gyster we would never have met and never done all the great things we did. Sadly however our time would come to an end. Slakia was killed defending a group of children from a Marishu beast. Nasty creatures. When she died I did too.” The male Zombie said as he clutched her hand. “I’d spent the rest of my life on Gyster, never bothering to visit another world, and constantly waiting for that wonderful day when we would be reunited again. Now it has finally come. For just a few hours we can be together again. Its a miracle.”
“Miracle? You’re missing half of your face!” The Professor said in shock.
“Leave us alone you heartless bastard” Slakia shrieked. Just then the whole ship began to shriek and a large blue light came bursting through the floor, narrowly missing Lindsey and the Professor. It burned a hole right through the roof. Slakia and the male Zombie huddled together in fear.
The blast was followed by an ear piercing scream from Gyster. “Please I’m dying!” He screamed.
The Professor and Lindsey ran past the two love zombies and down the corridor outside of the disco which ended in a T junction.
“Which corridor Gyster. Gyster!” The Professor shouted, but all he heard were groans of pain. Just then the Professor noticed a large flash of blue light coming from down the left corridor.
“Well I guess we don’t go down that way then” Lindsey said. The Professor however had the opposite reaction.
“No I think its this way” The old man ran down the corridor, much to Lindsey’s annoyance.
The Professor felt that the flash’s of blue light, in reality magic, were the ships blood, and the closer they got to the light, the closer they got to Gysters “heart”.
When they reached the light however they had to stop. It was burning to the touch and would have incinerated them both within seconds. The Professor however was able to make it disappear by using his magical healing staff to close the “wound” the light was emerging from, allowing he and Lindsey to cross.
Just ahead was a room with a massive oval shaped, metallic, floating object above.
“The core engine that radiates magic throughout the entire ship and gives Gyster life. I reckon I have about 15 minutes before it explodes.” Said the Professor.
The Professor got to work with his staff, trying to ease some of the more unstable areas of the “heart”.
Unfortunately both he and Lindsey were too distracted by the heart to notice the lumbering, Zombie giant, Jiazan slowly sneaking up on Lindsey. The monster had also made its way to Gysters heart, hoping that it could control it and make Gyster its puppet to go exploring the universe with.
Before she could even react, the monster grabbed Lindsey from behind and started to throttle her.
The Professor quickly jumped up and started to grapple with Jiazan. Unfortunately the monsters strength was far too great and it batted the Professor across the room easily.
Sensing that he was the greater threat, the monster tossed Lindsey aside and picked the Professor up. It dragged the Vampire across the room to the unstable “heart” of the ship. Just touching it would be enough to vaporise the Professor.
Fang struggled in the monsters grip, but it was no use. Lindsey also attempted to help by hitting the monster repeatedly, but it quickly knocked her out with one punch.
The Zombie then lifted the Professor up over its head and prepared to throw him into the ships heart.