The Circus Master: The Curse of the Robots: Part 6:

 

Denika, Ashlei and Keptis along with several of the slaves quickly ran down a nearby tunnel as the magical energy blasted out of the pipe, covering the entire room. One of the Vampires tried to follow, but Keptis kicked it back into the magical blast where it was vaporized.

“What the hell was that”. Ashlei asked after they had finally managed to get clear.

“Concentrated magic. I’m guessing for the robots up ahead to power them.”

“From the looks of things” Denika continued. “They tunnelled down to this area first to build their power core, and then mined the rest up above for more metal to build their robots.”

“If you’ve destroyed their power core, does that mean you’ve shut them all down? We’ve won then?” Ashlei asked.

“I don’t think it’s going to be as easy as that. Come on there has to be a way out of here. Let’s get moving.” Denika replied

Up above all of the power to the city had been temporarily halted. The robot who had saved Carlene and The Circus Master was still powered as he didn’t draw on the Demons magic, (fearing it would corrupt him.) Instead he was powered by a special battery at his core.

“Incredible. The power source has been shattered.” The Robot said.

“What does that mean?” Carlene asked.

“It means there might be hope for your friends after all Alien. Perhaps one of the slaves made their way down there to the core. I can’t imagine how, but I also can’t imagine that the Demon’s power just short circuted by itself.”

“Well that’s good isn’t it?” Carlene asked.

“No, not only will they repair it in no time, but now without bodies they.”

Before the Robot could even finish, a Demonic spirit rose from a Robot at the end of the corridor.

It was brown in colour, covered in long thin spikes, had three clawed hands, a single yellow, veiny eye, and bat like ears, as well as a large mouth filled with long curved teeth.

The creatures arms stretched out across the corridor and grabbed Carlene. It was spikey to the touch, and burned her arms as it gripped them. The Vampire tried to reach into her beehive for a weapon, but the Demon put it’s arm through her chest and brought Carlene to her knees. The Demon’s strength was nowhere near as great as it had been in it’s robot body, but it still dwarfed Carlene’s.

The alien slave who has escaped with Carlene tried to attack the Demonic spirit, but his arms just phased through it.

Fortunately however the Circus Master was able to hurt the monster with one scratch. His kind, the Vandals fed on souls. Whilst only the souls of natural creatures nourished them, their claws were still more than capable of slicing through and absorbing the souls of any creature.

The Demon fell to the ground from the Circus Masters wound, shocked that anything could actually hurt it in this form. The Circus Master then held his hand out and sucked the Demon’s soul into his body through his claws.

“God that Demon tasted rank”. The Circus Master said.

“How did you do that?” The Robot asked.

“Oh my kind we, eh, we eat souls. If a souls in a body we have to rip into it, but when they’re out and about like that. I can just scoop them up.Don’t worry I don’t eat souls anymore. I get by on a kind of magical energy. It comes from the future in a time where.”

He could see the Robot wasn’t interested.

“Never mind, the point is I can eat souls if I want too. Normally I don’t.”

“This is fantastic.” The Robot said.

“Okay that’s an odd reaction to finding out you’re with a soul eating Demon?”

“Don’t you see” The Robot said. The Circus Master almost felt he could hear a hint of frustration in the robot’s monotone voice.

“Now that the Demons are just spirits with your power, we can actually fight our way through their base. There was an enchantment that I knew that could harm them in their Demon form, but it would have taken too long to take effect. This way is more efficient.”

“To the control room?” Carlene asked?

“No, even if we got there that machine’s far too complicated to deal with, plus there would still be too many spirits even for your friend here, I’d wager.”

“Correct if I eat too many of those things, they’ll start to affect me.”

“No instead we need to get to one of their spaceships.”

“Spaceship?” The Alien slave who had escaped with Carlene said.

“Yes. The Robots or Demons have been building their own war vessels, or should I say modifying your old ships. Once they’ve built enough war machines they’ll use them to attack and conquer other races. We however can use one of them to escape to another world and bring help.”

“If the power has been shut down, how can we pilot it.”

“I can sacrifice my power into the ships engine. I’ll permanently shut down, but that’s a necessary sacrifice.”

“Isn’t there anything we can do?” Carlene protested

“I’m afraid not, the sacrifice must be made. You may all have to make similar sacrifices in the war against these creatures.”

Just then they were interrupted by the sounds of more Demons screaming.  A small platoon of three Demons emerged from the nearby wall, but the Circus Master was quickly able to absorb two of the Demons, whilst the third just as it was almost pulled in managed to strike the Vandal with it’s last ounce of strength and knock the Vandal down.

Carlene then attempted to restrain the monster, but it swiftly overpowered her and started to attack the Robot.

“I always thought there was something off about you. What did you do to our power.” The Demon asked the robot.

Fortunately before it could harm the Robot, the Circus Master jumped up and with one swipe of his clawsm the Vandal sliced the Demon’s head clean off. After it’s head fell to the floor, the Demon evaporated into a puff of smoke.

“You see Carlene this is why everybody prefers Vandals to Vampires” The Circus Master said smugly.

“Right, that why there are all those films, tv series and books about Vandals then love? You’ve been terrorizing humanity as long as us, yet no one’s ever thought you guys had any star quality.”

“Okay, okay” The Circus Master said wanting to get off the topic.

“Let’s get to this rocket, I don’t want to have to eat any more Demons than I have to.”

Florence wasn’t sure what had happened. She and the remaining slaves had managed to flee, whilst the Strange Boy, in his fury had torn several more of the Robots apart.

She had been waiting for the right moment to strike. She wasn’t scared for her own safety, but for the slaves who would have no chance without her. She so wanted to jump in and help the Strange Boy as the Robots were beginning to overwhelm him, but she knew there was nothing she could do except to give away the Slaves. The Jiang Shi probably wouldn’t accept her help anyway.

Suddenly however the robots collapsed in a heap above the child Vampire.

Florence waited a few minutes to see if anything would happen, but when the Strange Boy crawled out from under the robots she could see it wasn’t just a trick.

“Come on” she said to the slaves as she crept slowly away from the Strange Boy, not taking any chances with her former travelling companion just yet.

Florence and the slaves made it over a nearby hill where they saw on the other end, another gigantic mine. The bodies of the Robots were scattered all over the edge of the mine, whilst inside most of the slaves were still working. A few had gathered around some of the fallen Robots, but they were too scared to even touch them.

As Florence headed to the mine to convince the slaves to follow her, she was stopped in her tracks by the sight of hundreds of Demonic spirits emerging from the Robot bodies. The Creatures started attacking the slaves who had not continued to work.

Florence instantly ordered the slaves back the way, but as soon as they turned around they were met with a fleet of Demon souls descending on them.

Several of the Demons were carrying the Strange Boy. Four Demons were holding him by both his legs and his arms. It looked an almost comical sight as these 4 large Demonic spirits were all carefully carrying this tiny boy, all clearly terrified of him.

The rest of the Demons meanwhile started to attack Florence’s slaves. Two were killed, which broke Florence’s spell over the rest of them. She tried to sing again, but a Demon quickly pounced on her and pinned the Siren to the ground.

As the Demon slashed at the helpless Vampire, Florence could see up ahead the Demons were flying the Strange Boy into the mine.

“Why would they do that? Bringing a Vampire into a mine didn’t work out well for them before.” She thought as she tried to fight off the Demon.

Carlene, The Circus Master, the alien and the Robot had managed to make their way through the Demons base. The Demons at this stage had not been prepared for an enemy that could actually hurt them like the Circus Master. Most of the Demons as soon as they spotted him ran at the Vandal, and didn’t even try to dodge his attacks, allowing him to slice his way through the monsters easily. Carlene had also found a weapon in her beehive that could hurt the Demons. Anything made of iron or copper could slice through the Demons spirit (these were common weaknesses of many Demonic spirits.)

The spaceships were kept in a gigantic hangar, though there was only ten or so ships, the hangar was only massive because the ships were.

“When I last worked in this area, only one of these things was ready to take off into space. Even then with all the work we’d done on it, it was still unstable. There’s a good chance it might not work.”

“I think any chance up there is better than down here with those things.” The Circus Master said.

The Robot led them to the gigantic blue rocket at the very end of the hangar. By diffusing power from himself into a panel around the ships door, the Robot was able to make the doors open.

Once inside the Robot then continued to deposit the energy from his battery into the ships engine, causing it to start up.

With seemingly his last ounce of strength, the Robot then set the ship on a course for the nearest planet. Just as the ship took off however it suddenly stopped in it’s tracks.

Dozens of the Demons who had witnessed the Circus Master slaughtering their comrades had still followed the strange alien. Now that he was vulnerable in the vessel the beasts seized their chance and not only held it back, but started to tamper with it’s back engine to cause it to explode.

The Robot however poured more of it’s energy into the engine which gave the ship a strong enough boost to break free from the Demon’s grasp and fly across the hangar, smashing through the wall at the other end, and out into the open.

Once outside and in the sky of the planet however, the ship started to hurl out of control.

The Circus Master and Carlene had no idea how to pilot the ship. When the Circus Master tried pressing some of the buttons, he simply knocked himself, Carlene and the alien off their feet.

Carlene tried to rouse the Robot, but it wasn’t responsive.

On the lower levels of the Demon’s base meanwhile, Denika, Keptis, Ashlei and the remaining slaves had reached what looked like a gigantic assembly line of Robots. All along the line were Demons hovering over the robot bodies, growling furiously at them.

Fortunately they didn’t notice the escaped prisoners, who treaded carefully so as not to alert the monsters.

Once they reached the end of the assembly line, Denika, Ashlei and the others could see a gigantic portal which more and more Demons kept emerging from.

“We need to move back slowly” Denika said, but almost as soon as she had finished one of the Demons emerging from firey pit noticed them. Within seconds the time travellers and the former slaves were surrounder by hundreds of fiends from hell.

To Be Continued

 

 

 

The Circus Master: The Curse of the Robots: Part 5: The Survivors

 

The fire slammed the bubble Denika and the others were encased in back into the nearest wall of the mine, nearly smashing it.

Denika upped the power in the sphere as hard as she could, but the more she did, the more her connection with it became greater and she started to feel the fire herself.

The Jiang Shi had managed to clutch on, with it’s claws even penetrating the sphere somewhat. Ironically lesser Vampires would have been able to rip through the sphere no problem, but fortunately the Jiang Shi’s greater weaknesses to magic meant that it was actually struggling to get through.

The creature however didn’t give up even after it had been reduced to nothing but a skeleton, but fortunately the flames blasted it’s skeleton to pieces.

Denika screamed as her flesh began to sizzle, but she held on in spite of the agony until the flames had finally died down after which she then using the last of her power, blasted a space below among the rubble for them to land. The bubble instantly vanished after, and Denika and the others fell onto the scorching earth. Denika who had collapsed would have landed face first into the burning dirt had it not been for Keptis, who quickly jumped up and caught her.

Keptis tended to the witch, whilst Ashlei checked their surroundings. They were completely surrounded by large burning boulders on every side. Not only would they not have the strength to lift or push them, but they were scorching to the touch.

The mine looked largely blocked at both ends, though there appeared to be some space between some of the boulders. The only way up was to climb.  Ashlei tried to put her fingers on one of the rocks but it was so seering she had to pull away instantly.

She suddenly noticed a hand peeking out from underneath one of the boulders. Though badly burned, Ashlei could tell that it belonged to one of the Jiang Shi as it’s fingers were clawed.

The hand started to move. The Vampire had managed to survive the flames by shielding itself behind the boulder. It hadn’t intended to, it had essentially lucked out when the boulder was blown into the undead monster and threw it across the mine until it was trapped between two boulders and protected, though it’s body was still scorched.

The Vampire quickly managed to pushed the boulder off of it’s back, nearly hurling it on top of Ashlei in the process.

The Vampire’s entire body was badly scorched, and it’s left leg appeared to be broken. The monster limped after Ashlei very slowly.

Up above more rocks started to shake, as more and more of the Vampires that had survived started to crawl out of the rocks. One of the boulders from above was pushed on top of two of the surviving alien slaves, crushing them to death.

Another, female Vampire then jumped down, it’s body just as scorched, though it was otherwise undettered.

Ashlei lifted a large flaming rock despite it being burning to the touch, and managed to hit the female Vampire over the head from behind, but it did little to deter the Vampire who then grabbed Ashlei and prepared to sink her fangs into the time travellers neck.

Keptis however tripped the Vampire up from behind and then repeatedly hit it in the face with the rock Ashlei had used, the male Vampire meanwhile managed to creep up on Ashlei, but when it grabbed her, she was able to wrestle free by kicking the bloodsucker in it’s broken leg.

Some of the prisoners started to join in the fight, with three more alien slaves dogpiling on the male Vampire. One of them tried bludgeoning the beast over the head, whilst the other two hit the Vampire in it’s broken leg over and over.

Another three tried to hold down the female Vampire that Keptis was still trying to finish, but unfortunately the slaves ended up making things worse. The male Vampire was angered by the pain in it’s leg to such an extent that it reached out and tore it’s claws into the slaves stomach and pulled his guts out.

The bloodsucker, after quickly licking it’s victims long intenstines, then used them to strangle Ashlei. The other slave tried to pull the Vampire away and even tried to hit it’s leg again, but the Vampire with one slash of it’s claws cut his throat and sent him head first into the burning earth.

The female Vampire meanwhile managed to push the attacking aliens off, after which she grabbed Keptis and pinned him to the ground.

The Vampire’s face was burnt and broken beyond all recognition, and the monster lifted Keptis’ own rock to crush his face in, but Denika waking up blasted the Vampire through several more rocks.

“You need to get us out of here now.” Keptis said to Denika.

“I’m too weak.”

“I know I’m sorry, but there’s no way we can climb through this mess and there are Vampires all around. They’re like roaches.”

Sure enough several more Vampires were beginning to crawl their way out from between and under the rocks

“We’ve dug ourselves into a hole, we’ll just have to dig deeper” Denika said as she blasted a hole in the ground.

“Come on, we need to go now”

Denika, and Keptis jumped down the hole that was about 20 feet deep, with Ashlei and the suviving slaves following.

“What the hell are you doing?” Keptis asked?

“I don’t have the power to knock away all of those boulders, but we might be able to make our way down to somewhere safe, while I recharge.”

Denika placed another bubble around herself and the others before pushing it through the hole in the ground, though even that was taking it out of her after how spent she had been after the blast.

One of the slaves however had not made it down the pit, having decided to stay and hold off the Vampires. Unfortunately by the time one of the slaves warned Denika, she had already dragged the bubble 100 or so feet deeper into the ground.

Some of the Vampires had jumped down and landed on top of the bubble, Denika tried to push it back up to rescue the slave, but the Vampires were pushing against it, and worse this bubble was much weaker than the previous one, so the Vampires were able to rip their claws through the sphere and grab hold of one of the slaves. The Vampires then pulled the slaves arm out through the sphere and bit her.

In the middle of the commotion, the mutilated corpse of the slave who had been left behind fell on top of the sphere. Worse still the slave who been bitten instantly began to turn into a Jiang Shi and tried to attack the others. Ashlei and Keptis, aided by some of the slaves managed to push her back and through the sphere, which was getting weaker by the second.

In spite of her weakness, Denika managed to push the sphere through over another 200 feet of rock below until eventually she reached a gigantic cavern.

There cavern below was several hundred feet wide, and at the far end of the cavern was  a gigantic machine, connected to a long pipe that ran down a nearby massive tunnel.

As soon as the sphere hit the ground it shattered just as before, sending it’s occupants and the Vampires all over the room. One of the slaves was knocked straight between two Vampires who jumped on top of her, and mauled her to death before any of the others could help.

Up above in the Robot’s base Carlene and the alien had become lost in the maze like corridors. They had been spotted by two of the Robots, just as they were about to reach the control room and had only managed to barely escape them, thanks to Carlene’s fantastic speed.

They only hadn’t been caught, because the Robot’s time had been taken up trying to catch the other prisoners as well, just like Carlene had hoped.

“We’re lost alien. I’m afraid in our haste we.”

Carlene suddenly pushed him to the side and put her finger to her lips. Someone was coming around the corner. Carlene reached into her beehive for a weapon, not that it would do her any good, but still.

Fortunately she it was the robot she had earlier abandoned and The Circus Master.

After he had made his way into the base, the Circus Master had been swiftly captured by the Robots. Fortunately Carlene’s Robot after hearing that one of the aliens had been recaptured was able to rescue him, by blasting the two Robot guards from a distance.

“Thank god” Carlene said.

“Carlene I thought you were.”

“Thanks to your friend here” She said. “He fixed me up with some magics. Where are the others.”

“Florence I last saw tryng to escape out of the mine through the top with the blast. Denika, Keptis and Ashlei.”

“No, please”

“I’m sorry Carlene but they were trapped in the lower levels of the mine. It’s possible that Denika could have used her magics to escape but.”

“No it is not” The robot said coldly.

“The metal of the shutters that seal off the lower levels is designed to withstand any kind of magical blast. I’m sorry but there is no way they could have escaped. ”

Carlene started to cry.

“You know that Denika can create a forcefield around herself. Believe me Carlene we’ve been through worse.” The Circus Master said, not sure if he meant it or not.

“Even if they by a miracle survived the power of the blast, they will have been buried under thousands of tons of rock.

Carlene darted back down the hallway, forcing the Circus Master to run after her.

“She always does that.” The Robot said bitterly.

“What are you doing Carlene?” The Circus Master said as he tried to hold her back.

“Those metal bastards are going to pay. ”

“How do you think you are going to do that?”

“We’ve already lost, all that matters is taking as much of them down with me before I die.”

“You’ll be lucky to last against one.” The Robot said.

“Furthermore we haven’t lost. You just feel that way because the people most important to you will sadly not see the end of this fight.”

“He’s right Carlene we need to think of the bigger picture here. There are still millions of people on this planet who need our help.”

“The bigger picture” Carlene said derisively.

“That’s all you ever think about isn’t it?”

“Funny you didn’t seem to disagree with me when it was just the Rysteians and not Ashlei that was being sacrificed for the greater good. Besides I lost my friends too. I’ve travelled with Denika and Keptis for years.”

“You’re right I’m sorry, it’s just. That girl, she put her trust in me. I promised nothing was going to happen to her.”

“Well like I said, don’t write them off yet. I don’t care what that Robot says, but he is right that we need to do what we can for the people of this world, and a pointless sacrifice is not going to help anyone.”

Back in the lower levels of the cave, the aliens, Keptis and Ashlei did their best to try and fight off the Vampires, but the monsters were too strong, and their burnt flesh and broken bones had begun to heal. The only advantage the slaves and the time travellers had against the Jiang Shi was attacking their wounds.

Denika meanwhile was too weak to carry on in the fight and she crawled along the cave floor, to try and get somewhere safe to charge up.

As she got away from the Jiang Shi however she found herself drawn towards the pipe that ran through the cave. She didn’t know why, but she could sense something powerful in there.

The closer she got to it, the more she could feel her own power growing. Suddenly  just as she was getting stronger, she noticed one of the Jiang Shi had followed her. The beast slashed at her, but the Witch managed to dodge his attack and instead riped a hole in the pipe.

A massive blue energy fired from the pipe, striking the Vampire in the face and vaporising it into dust.

The energy soon began to spread throughout the room vaporising more Vampires and slaves.

To Be Continued

 

 

 

The Circus Master: The Curse of the Robots: Part 4: The Mines

 

The Jiang Shi slowly surrounded their prey, the Witch, the Martian and the Urchin.

“Get behind me” Denika said as she started to fire magical rays at the Jiang Shi, knocking them off of their feet and back down the mine. In order to actually kill one of the Jiang Shi she would have to use up far more of her magic. After just a few of the Vampires she’d be completely drained. It was better to just simply fight her way through them and get out that way.

After clearing a path, Denika placed a barrier around herself, and her two companions and flew deeper into the mine.

As they descended they could see hordes more Jiang Shi feasting on their victims, with some corpses already beginning to rise as Vampires.

The remains of various Robots were also scattered around the mine too, though one of the Robots in the far distance was still trying to hold off a few Vampires in a futile gesture.

In the very distance Denika could make out what looked like a young girl, emaciated and worn down being pursued by two more Vampires.

She quickly headed in their direction as fast as she could. Her sphere vanished as she blasted at the Vampire chasing the girl, whilst Keptis and Ashlei tended to the slave.

“It’s okay we’re here to help.” Ashlei said.

“Please there are others back there, you have to help them. I’ve never seen anything like these monsters. Even the Robots can’t contain them.” She said.

Up ahead there was an entire pit filled with the monsters, with various slaves struggling to get free as the Vampires tore into them.

Denika fired a massive blast at the Vampires sending several back at once, but they quickly jumped back up.

“Don’t just stand there, help the slaves.” Denika said to Ashlei and Keptis who quickly ran into the pit to help as many of the aliens as they could get to safety, whilst Denika continued to blast at the horde of Vampires.

Florence and the Circus Master meanwhile had managed to get some of the Aliens to behind a nearby hill. All around where the Robots and the Vampires fighting with one another.

“We’ll never get by them without being seen.” The Circus Master said.

“I’ll distract the monsters you get the people to safety.”

“Okay right you are.” Florence said.

“What that’s it?” The Circus Master said?

“No I’ll go in your place, no you’ll be killed?”

“Well what do you expect me to say? You can’t lead those aliens out like I can.”

“Well of course, but a bit of concern wouldn’t go amiss. Honestly this reminds me of being with Denika.”

“Well if it’s any consellation I think we’re both going to get killed in the next 20 minutes or so. I might last 5 or so longer than you.”

“Yes that does make me feel a bit better.”

The Circus Master jumped over 20 feet through the air and landed on the back of a flying robot as it was blasting at a small pack of Vampires. The Circus Master tore the machines innards out from the back using his claws and sent it hurling into the three Vampires, causing a small explosion.

Both the Vampires and the Robots soon turned their attention towards the Vandal who was forced to simply dodge their attacks. Nevertheless he managed to lure them away to the other side of the mountain, whilst Florence quickly commanded the aliens to follow her.

She had no idea where she was going, but up ahead she could see the top of the mine shaft that led out into the open. For all the Siren knew there could be a whole army of Robots waiting at the top, but she definitely couldn’t afford to wait here. She would have to command some of the younger, stronger aliens to carry the old and infirm up the slope ahead.

“It’s okay you can come out now.”

“About time” Carlene said as she crawled out from behind a nearby door.

“Most of the Demons have gone to the mine to contain the outbreak of whatever it is.”

Carlene knew what it was, she just didn’t want to admit to herself that the Strange Boy was beyond help yet.

“I almost gave away my ruse for nothing.”

“If what they’re all busy in the mine darling, why don’t we just attack those metal wankers while they’re vulnerable?”

“They’ll still be hundreds of them guarding the Tent. No we have to play this smart alien. I don’t care what tricks you say you have in that strange comptartment you have on your head, trust me. We need to get you to the rebels first so you can launch a proper attack.”

As the Robot and the Vampire ran down the nearest corridor together, they suddenly heard an alarm.

“All Robots are to retreat to base. Mine B must be destroyed. It has been overrun with a new type of Demon that can infect the workers. You have 10 minutes to return to base.”

The Demons spirits would not be harmed by the explosion, but naturally they were conscious about wasting their robotic bodies.

“Mine B, is that where my friends escaped too.”

“I’m afraid so alien.”

“We have to stop them”

“There is nothing we can do. The mine is rigged up to a device in the main control room. Not only is it protected by hundreds of guards, but in a few seconds these corridors are going to be crawling with more of the Demons. We have to go now.”

“What do you think my friends chances are of getting out of the mine?”

“Well they will have heard the warning too.”

“Don’t bullshit me.”

“The mine’s are the most heavily guarded areas. It’s why I didn’t escape through that area before with you. The pandemic of Demons might have taken care of many of their guards but.”

“Then we have to stop the Demons or Robots or whatever from blowing up the mine.”

“We can’t. Alien I have seen many of my friends die in the war against these monsters, we all have to make.”

Before the Robot had finished Carlene ran down the other end of the corridor. She didn’t have any idea where she was going, but she couldn’t just leave the rest of the Circus Folk. She felt bad for the Robot. He had saved her, and she was endangering him. She just hoped he wouldn’t be foolish enough to try and stop her and blow his cover in the process.

The Circus Master meanwhile instantly jumped onto the back of one of the Robots as it flew back to base. He caused the machine to smash into a nearby wall in the process. The Circus Master then used the broken robots body as a shield against the few Robots who noticed him as he ran back into the Robots base, with the rest flying up ahead frantically.

In the base, the Circus Master was cornered by two more Robots, but before they could blast him, the Vandal rammed the dead robots body into one of the other two, and then pushed it into the other, before jumping over them both and down the nearest corridor.

“Alert, alert alien has escaped into the base, capture it, capture it.”

“They must know I’m here” Carlene thought to herself. She quickly hid behind a nearby door as 6 more of the Robots came rushing down the corridor before, she ran down the other way.

At the other end of the corridor, was another prison cell, filled with strange bald looking aliens. The aliens were pounding on the doors furiously in panic, whilst the Robot guard was trying to calm them down.

Carlene was torn about what to do. If she released the prisoners it would create a commotion that would give her a better chance of reaching the control room. There was also a chance one of them may know where it was. On the other hand if she released the prisoners most of them wouldn’t make it out alive. Was she therefore to sacrifice their lives for those of her shipmates?

After weighing it up for a few moments, Carlene felt it would be better to release them. She deluded herself into thinking that the prisoners would be safe if she freed them, as she could then protect them, even though she would be lucky to protect herself. In all fairness however Carlene wasn’t just thinking about her ship mates. She also thought of all the potentially thousands of others in the mine who would die if she didn’t stop the monsters from blowing it up.

Carlene slowly crept up on the single Robot guard and jumped it from behind. She wrestled with the monster for a few minutes before being able to rip a large chunk of metal from the Demons body, after which she then pulled several of it’s wires out causing the body to break down.

Even though the Demon was stronger than Carlene, she was lucky that she knew it’s weaknesses whilst it was completely unaware of hers.

“Use it’s hand on the door” one of the prisoners shouted.

Carlene quickly pulled the Robot’s arm out of it’s socket and used it to open the doors one after another.

“Thank you, eh, I assume you are not from this planet.”

“No love, I’m from earth.”

“Earth? I don’t believe that’s in any of the known galaxies?”

“It isn’t. I’m not even in the right time love. For all I know this is a billion years after my planet’s gone.”

The alien looked at Carlene in a strange way for a few seconds before continuing.

“Wherever you’re from thank you, we need to get out of here as soon as possible.”

“No please we have to stop them from blowing up the mine.”

“I’m afraid we can’t do that. There is no way you can make it past the control room.”

“I’ve got to try, my friends are in there. One of them, is only there because of me. She trusted me, saw me as her family. I can’t leave her.” Carlene said.

One of the aliens, a large male at the back agreed to help Carlene.

“I know what it’s like to lose a daughter to these things.”

The other 5 prisoners however refused and begged Carlene to come with them, but she insisted on staying behind to help.

“We have to move now, we probably won’t make it to control room alien.”

“I know but have to try.”

Outside in the mine, most of the robots had fled, allowing Florence and 20 or so prisoners under her control to make their way to the top of the mine. Just as they had almost reached the top however they were attacked by a handful of the Robots.

The robots shot three of the fleeing prisoners in the back, which broke Florence’s spell over them. One more prisoner went falling to his death in panic at suddenly being at the top. Florence however quickly jumped one of the Robots, and forced it to get in the way of fire from the other, before jumping onto the others back.

The Siren and the Robot flew around whilst the prisoners still instinctively crawled up to safety.

Sadly Florence wasn’t able to completely control the Robots line of fire and it managed to blast another prisoner off of the cliff to their deaths. As Florence and the Robot continued to struggle, a large metal shaft started to close at the top of the mine, to seal the prisoners in.

Florence quickly piloted the Robot towards the top of the mine where she used the robot’s body to jam the shaft before it shut.

The aliens frantically crawled up the mine to safety, but the strength of the shaft soon began to crush the Robot’s body entirely.

Florence using her supernatural strength tried to keep it open for as long as she could, but her arms soon began to give away. 4 prisoners were still a good distance from the top.

Florence knew she couldn’t hold it open much longer. “I’m sorry” she said to the aliens, but just as she was about to let go, she felt something else push the shaft back.

When she looked around, she saw to her shock it was The Strange Boy. Using the body of the Robot, the Strange boy helped push the shaft back even further with his much greater strength. Even then however he was only able to hold it back by a few minutes, but that was enough to allow the prisoners to get by before Florence pulled herself and the boy free, allowing the shaft to shut.

Outside was nothing but a wilderness, just like where they had first landed, though Florence could see the entrances to several more mines in the distance.

Three more Robots from a nearby mine flew towards Florence, but before she could even react the Strange Boy attacked them. He tore one of the robots out of the sky and then threw it into the other. When he tried to attack the third, it quickly blasted him backwards, but Florence managed to jump the creature from behind and send it crashing to the ground.

When Florence went to help the Strange Boy up, the Vampire child simply growled at the Siren.

Florence wasn’t sure what to make of the boy. There was clearly something of him still in there, but how much?

The child soon hopped off in the other direction and as more and more Robots began to emerge from the other mines, Florence was forced to flee along with the Aliens.

“It’s no use. It won’t budge.” Denika said as she fired her magic at the shaft.

Denika had managed to pull several more of the slaves away from the ravenous Jiang Shi to a safe upper level using her magics.

She spent as long as she could helping the survivors, but now with only a minute to spare, all of her energy was spent trying to smash the shaft covering the exits, but unfortunately she hadn’t even made a dent.

“It’s no use, nothing can break those shields.” The slave girl said. “I’d rather be blown apart than become one of those things.”

With the countdown to the explosion about to go off, Denika did the only thing she could to save herself, her friends and the handful of slaves she had rescued. She placed a magical sphere around herself and the others. The magic shielded them from the blast, but the power of the blast still threw them to the other end of the mine.

Denika was in constant agony the entire time. She felt the flames burning against the sphere, and the debris and corpses smashing into it. One Jiang Shi was blown on top of the sphere. The Vampire grabbed on with it’s talons and clawed and bit at the sphere in desperation as the flesh was burned slowly off it’s bones. The pain was becoming too much for Denika, but if she gave in for even a second they would all be burned to dust.

To Be Continued

 

The Circus Master: The Curse of the Robots: Part 2:

 

“We haven’t heard any word back from them.”

“We have to open the portal. I’ll go, I.”

“I’m sorry but we can’t risk it. Any more magic and they’ll be able to trace where we are. And the chances are after that portal’s presence, they’ll be monitoring that area. You won’t be able to open anywhere without running into one of those mechanical freaks.”

“So that’s it? We just give up on our best chance?”

“I never said that. We’ve just got intel from our inside source that the robots have captured some strange creatures.. They seem to be terrified of these monsters as they called them, who apparently came here in a strange craft.”

“You don’t mean? Aliens? After all this time. I know I probably shouldn’t ask, but is it.”

“No. They’d never help us. Apparently these creatures were similar to us in some ways, but, there’s something about them that scares those robots. I don’t know if they’d want to help us, but at least it seems we share a common enemy.”

The Circus Folk had been placed in small cells next to one another. They could still speak to each other, but the cells were able to supress all of their magical powers, including even Denika’s.

The Robots had taken the paper off of the Strange Boy’s head meanwhile. The Strange Boy after his experience with the Kardons was still feral and bloodthirsty. He didn’t say it to his team mates, but the Circus Master was worried that the Vampire would never be himself again. Whilst he may have been angry with Ashlei, in truth he blamed himself. Had he not taken the Strange Boy with him then he would never have come into contact with the Kardons. From the start of their previous mission, the Circus Master knew there was a risk in bringing the Strange Boy near the Kardons, but he still did it because the Jiang Shi was the most powerful member of the team after Denika.

“What are they going to do to us.” Ashlei asked nervously.

“I’m sure they’ll just give us a nice box of chocolates and ask us to name our 10 desert island discs. What do you think? They’re Demons.” Florence snapped.

“Demons? They looked like robots to me.”

“They’re both. They’re Demonic souls that have possessed Robots.” The Circus Master interrupted.

“We’ve seen it happen on many worlds. Planets that don’t deal with their Demon problem, but advance in technology. It makes sense that the monsters hiding in the dark would use it to their own advantage. I’m most worried about what these Demons will do if they experiment on the Tent. If there is any magic in there and they let it out, well it could be dangerous.”

“We are more than equipped to deal with your vessel.” An electronic voice said through the communicator.

“Even we don’t know the full power of that ship you morons.” The Circus Master said back.

“We are not reckless. We never make a move unless we know what we are getting into. We have been scanning you all for the last few minutes, testing your powers against our replusers to see if you would be a threat to us.”

“And”

“Your powers are quite harmless. One of the female’s has a wide array of magics from another realm, but we have visited that realm and know how to counteract her power as well.”

“I’m impressed” Denika said, sincerely.

“If you have all of this power why are bothering messing around with these robots.”

“We cannot exist beyond the hellish realm unless we posses a host body from the natural world. Like your leader said for centuries we lived in the dark. We took over the frail bodies of a few of the pitiful creatures of this world, we made them fight amongst themselves for centuries for our own amusement. The fools had no idea we even existed during all the years we made them slaughter one another. As amusing as it was, we soon realised that we could use their ingenuity, and their intelligence for a far greater purpose. We pushed their race forward, took over the bodies of their greatest scientists, political figures until we had progressed to the point where they could build bodies for us that were indestructable, and spaceships that would take us beyond this miserable world. Each time we enter a world in the natural realm, or any other, we have to start from scratch. This time however we will be able to take multiple planets, even galaxies when the time is right.”

“Well I admire your ambition, but I think you’re going to need more than a few tin robot bodies to take on a galaxy.”

“We will strike when we are ready, and from the looks of things your vessel could help to accelerate the process.”

“Yes I was wondering when you’d get to that.”

“You will help us repair your vessel and then you will show us how it works. Its the only reason we didn’t dissect you as originally planned.”

“Yes well I’m afraid I can’t do that. Well I tell a lie, I can but I don’t want too. Trust me if you knew the burden of time travel you wouldn’t want me too either.”

Whilst the Circus Master was keeping the Robots distracted, Carlene reached into her beehive. The Robots hadn’t taken it from her. They must have assumed it was a part of her anatomy. (The aliens on this world didn’t have hair.) Though they could detect magic in her hair, they could detect unnatural forces throughout her entire body.

She reached in for a knife made from Lasterian, the strongest metal in the entire galaxy. (It had been given to her by the Circus Master.)

The doors to their prison were made of magic, but the magic was still channelled through cables and physical objects in the cell. The only problem however was that they were covered by the metal floors and walls of the cell. The metal used to make the cells was so strong that Carlene, The Circus Master and even the Strange Boy had been unable to make a dent in it with their great strength.

Carlene started to hack at the walls. She could sense where the magic was being chanelled through, and kept hacking away at the spot.

“What are you doing you fool. If you strike the cables you’ll be vaporized.” The voice came in.

“Thanks for the heads up darling, but I’m a lot tougher than I look.” Carlene said as she hacked through the wall with her kife.

It only took her a few seconds to reach the cable. As soon as she struck it a form of extremely dangerous dark magic flowed through her body. It was sheer agony and the force threw her back across the cell. Nevertheless cutting the cable caused the magic doors in the block of cells to vanish.

The Strange Boy was the first to run out. He not only left his cell, but the entire block and ran outside. Keptis and Florence attempted to stop the Vampire child, but he was too fast. (Even if they had caught him, he could have easily thrown them away.)

The Circus Master and Ashlei meanwhile instantly ran to help Carlene, whilst Denika started to power up her magics for defence.

“I’m not gonna lie that fucking hurt.” Carlene said as the Circus Master tried to help her up.

The Vampire tried to stand by herself but she was too weak. The Circus Master tried to carry her, but he soon had to drop her as the dark magic had permanently soaked Carlene’s body and anyone who came into contact with her would soon be infected with the magic too. Carlene’s incredible Vampire constitution had allowed her to survive the blast, which would have vaporised any natural creature to dust, but she was unable to fight off its lingering effects.

“Come on Carlene we don’t have the time.” The Circus Master said as he tried to help her up again despite the pain and the risk of infection.

“Quite right love, that’s why you got to leave me.” She replied as she pushed the Vandal away.

“Don’t be ridiculous.”

“I can barely move. I’ll infect you if you try and carry me. Besides I don’t think I’ve got much longer anyway.”

“What are you saying” Ashlei said as tears began to well up in her eyes.

“I’m afraid you’ll have to go on without me love. We knew the risks when we signed up, just promise me you lot won’t be too hard on her eh. She’s a good girl underneath it all.”

“Nonsense if you give her time, Denika can come up with something to counteract the dark magic.”

“You don’t have time, now go before you make my death worthless.”

“She’s right” Denika said with regret.

“I can’t whip up anything now that would counteract those magics. Maybe if we were back in the ship, but I can’t.”

“You can’t just leave Carlene. Not after everything we’ve been through.”

“I’m sorry” Denika said gently. “I really am, but trust me on this. There is nothing we can do.”

“Just go now Ashlei. No need to draw this out. I’m already gonna die horribly and slowly. You need to find the Strange Boy. There are enough monsters on this planet.”

“I promise we will come back for you.” Ashlei said as she gave Carlene a final hug. Even hugging the Vampire for a few seconds was agony for Ashlei however, due to the dark magic in Carlene’s body. Ultimately Keptis was forced to pull Ashlei away from Carlene and out of the room before it was too late.

“I hope she doesn’t” Carlene said to herself as she struggled to even lift her arm.

Outside their cell block, the Circus Folk saw what looked like a gigantic mine, beneath a small cliff their cell block had been placed on.. It was filled with hundreds of human like aliens of all ages being forced to work constantly.

“HUMANOIDS SIGHTED, RECAPTURE ALIVE IF POSSIBLE!”

The Circus Folk were forced to jump straight off the cliff and into the mine to avoid the Robots lasers. The workers didn’t even notice the commotion around them, as the folk dodged the laser beams and headed off through the mine.

The Robots that were pursuing them were a different model those that had earlier captured the Circus Folk and their time machine. These Robots flew at tremendous speeds. They had a similar upper body to the earlier robots, but they had no legs, only a round base which glowed blue underneath.

“Those slaves they’re not doing anything.” Florence said dismissively as she ran past them.

“Well its not so surprising is it? Pick axes against death rays. Wouldn’t be much of a fight.” Keptis replied.

“Maybe I could sing, influence them to fight back, do something.”

“Again what are you going to influence them to do? Get slaughtered. Sorry Florence, but you’re thinking too far ahead. We need to get ourselves out of this mess before we can help anyone.”

“Like Carlene.” Ashlei interrupted.

Back in the cells, three standard Robot drones had cornered Carlene.

“Worthless creature. You were warned.”

“Yeah well” Carlene said as she started to cough up blood.

“You metal wankers would have killed me anyway, so I’d rather go out on my own terms.”

“If you had been useful to us, we would have spared you. We may still spare you. We can easily reverse the dark magics that are killing you, if you agree to help us.”

“No thanks. I don’t even know how that thing works. Besides I’ve had a good innings haven’t I? A life with you lot isn’t worth it.”

“You insolent.” One of the robots said before the other held it back.

“Leave her. She’s not worth it. You’d be doing her a favour if you killed her now. The dark magic she consumed will finish her in a couple of hours, but they will feel like years. The other humanoids will help us. This pathetic creature cleearly knows nothing about the vessel. Leave her to rot.”

To Be Continued

The Circus Master: Journey To The Centre of Evil: Part 6: The Demon’s Lies

 

“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 Rysteians 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 Rysteians 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 Rysteians 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 Rysteians 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 Rysteians 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 Rysteians 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 Rysteians 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. It’s possible we can get some of the Rysteians 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 influenced by the Kardons. I’m doing everything I can to stop them.” The Circus Master said in an uncharacteristicly angry tone.

“The Rysteians are doomed either way.”

“No I don’t believe you’d do that. Not after all we went through with the Vampires and Hylexans. What you’re saying dosen’t make sense. Why wouldn’t those Kardons or whatever you call them just turn the Rysteians into those Demons out there and make them obey them that way?”

“The Ishica are simple beasts. They lose their intelligence not long after they are turned. Sure they can have some higher functions, like obeying orders. They’re not as sophisticated as Vampires and Vandals not to sound big headed. We were created by the most powerful Kardons. These creatures in contrast are just crude Demonic caricatures. 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 Rysteians were doing. Much like the Circus Master she had a feeling that they would have to stop the Rysteians as soon as she heard about their plans of escape.

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

Denika hurled several Rysteian 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 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 Rysteians either. Carlene was still conflicted. She knew deep down the Circus Master was right, but as she looked at the Rysteians 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 Rysteians?” 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 Rysteian 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. The children of Khastran were not here for us oh lord. They were helping the Rysteians 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 Angels 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.” Another Kardon said in panic.

“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 Rysteians have tricked us. Don’t you see they know about Khastran too. It’s their last desperate attempt through some puny magics.”

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 Rysteians under thumb.”

“I told you not to question me! We could never force the Rysteians 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.”

“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 Rysteians 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 Rysteians 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.” Mascia continued.

“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 it’s 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.” Mascia said whilst raising his weapon.

Denika in response quickly knocked Mascia out with a harmless spell.

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.”

“It’s 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 via magic to keep it open for the Kardons. We have to shut it down now.”

“Please, I don’t know what your game 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 Rysteian 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 Rysteians 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 it’s just a hunch, I get them from time to time. I’d like to take a look at the machine the Rysteians 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, it’s back. It’s 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 a tentacled creature that comes near the facility. It’s been corrupted by the Kardons evil like those Ishica creatures. The Demon’s managed to grab a few of the scientists who’ve been unlucky, but most of the time We’re able to scare it away. I wouldn’t worry about it.”

The ship soon reached its destination. The 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 Rysteians 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 Rysteians 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 absolutely beautiful. Just like Kile’s ship it was completely gold, with large green jewels and stunning paintings encrusting the walls. Even the Circus Folk’s cell was bright and gold.

“I don’t 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 it’s 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 every 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. It’s 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 confirmed.

“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 it’s 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 carrying Ashlei 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 couldn’t believe the monster could even see her and Ashlei it was so large. The monster however had a very special interest in the time travellers. It knew right away that they did not belong here and wanted to know how they had 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 yet again, 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 on the other half 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 dig 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 it’s 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, hoping that something would click in the Jiang Shi’s 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 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.

“It’s 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.

“It’s 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 them 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 then got 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 asked.

“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 her silver 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 its children. 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 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 actions. 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 into 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.

“It’s 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 giant monsters had completely surrounded the small ship. There was seemingly no way out.

To Be Continued