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

 

The two titanic monsters lunged at the tiny ship. Kile tried to pilot it to safety, and with a little help from Denika, who gave the ship a nudge with her magic, she was able to narrowly escape one of the two Demons clawed hands. However just as Kile had escaped one of the Demons clutches, the other monster raised its gigantic tail towards the vessel.

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

The original Kardon pushed the newcomer away. The second Kardon had no idea who the Circus Folk were and had just assumed it was anothe Rysteian vessel. The first Kardon wanted the Circus Folk alive however, and so he tried to grab the vessel before the other Kardon would destroy it!

The second Kardon however struck the first one back in anger. The monsters were so violent and bloodthirsty, that they needed little provocation, even to fight among themselves.

The two giants quickly became locked in a vicious fight for the tiny vessel, a sight which looked almost comical from a distance, but not for the Circus Folk who were almost crushed in the struggle between the two titans. Once again it was only through the team work of Kile and Denika that they were able to escape. Kile using all of her skill was able to narrowly avoid the two Demons strikes, and their trashing tails, whilst once they were free, Denika gave the ship an extra push that allowed it get a good distance away from the fighting giants.

“We made it.” Kile said in shock. “I can’t believe it. Thank you.”

“Well that’s okay” The Circus Master said proudly. “You’re not the first to doubt us you know, but in the end we always.”

Kile quickly interrupted him. “I was talking to her” referring to Denika. “You almost got us all killed! Besides we’re not free just yet. We still have to make our way through these wretched oceans to our base.”

“Honestly” The Circus Master said to himself. “If it wasn’t for us she’d still be rotting away in that ‘safe room’.”

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

“Now, now” The Circus Master interrupted. “Lets go a bit easy on her. After all it can’t be easy living with the Kardons. Though I must admit I’m a bit perplexed about how your people have been able to survive all this time?”

“I told you that they kept us alive so they could make us suffer for their own amusement.” Kile said bitterly.

“Even then, the fact that some of you have been able to build facilities and hide from those giants for this long.”

“There’s only one facility left. The Kardons have destroyed every single other city and base.”

“Still for even one to survive against those monsters is incredible.”

“My mother was in the last facility those monsters tore apart!” Kile said in anger.

“I’m sorry” The Circus Master replied. “I just find it incredible given their power that there is anywhere to hide in these filthy oceans.”

“Well if you have any questions you can ask the leaders when we get there. Assuming those blood suckers haven’t found the base first. I should probably try and radio them now.”

Kile tried to contact base for a few minutes, only to be met with static. For just a second she feared she was the last of her kind left in these green waters. Fortunately her fears were quickly squashed when she heard a familiar voice come through the crackling line.

“Hello, we are picking up a signal from a vessel, come in, come in.”

“Listik, Listik is that you? Its me Kile. I’m the only survivor. The Kardons and the Ishica, they slaughtered the rest. There are other, well I don’t know what they are, but I’ve found other people. They’re not Demons, but they’re not Rysteians either.”

“What do you mean?”

“They claim to have come from the earth’s surface.”

“But that’s impossible.”

“You can question them when we get there.”

“It’ll take about another 20 or so minutes to reach us from where you are. I’ll keep in contact with you.” Listik said.

“Twenty minutes is a long time in these waters.” Kile replied.

The ship sped through the ocean, making its way through many Ishica and hideous, demonic fish that swarmed the ship every step of the way. There were so many of the creatures that it was hard to see out of the windows properly.

“I don’t think we’re missing much of a view.” Keptis said.

The Circus Master spent most of the journey pestering Kile with questions about her people and their history.

The Circus Master learned from Kile that her people had evolved naturally in the centre of the earth. The did not know magic until the Kardons arrived and even now their knowledge of the black arts was somewhat limited. The research facility that Kile was taking the Circus Folk too had been trying to find a way to break the barrier around the the earth’s core in order to allow the Rysteians to finally escape the Demons clutches. The project which had been under development for decades would create a small hole that would only last a short time, but be enough for the Rysteians to escape.

“I don’t understand?” Ashlei asked. “How can they punch a hole in a barrier that you say was created by Angels and Gods without magic?”

“Magic isn’t everything?” The Circus Master said.

” No offense Denika.” He continued. “It has an obvious advantage over the natural elements yes, but there are natural elements that can affect magic and other unnatural forces. How else do you explain a wooden stake through the heart being able to kill Vampires for instance? If the Rysteans have stumbled on the right element, or combination of elements, then yes. They just might be able to punch a hole in the Gods forcefield.”

“They won’t.” Kile said.

“Those monsters would never let us leave. We’re too precious to them.”

“Maybe, or maybe they’re bored of you?” The Circus Master replied.

“What are you saying.”

“Oh nothing, I’m sure its just a hunch, I get them from time to time. I’d like to take a look at the machine the Rystieans are building.”

“Well that won’t be up to me I’m afriad. We’ll just have to see what they think. I’m sure they’ll be more than happy to let a weird guy in a stupid had, with big claws look at the machine they’ve spent decades building and that our entire species future hinges on.”

Just then another message from Listik came crackling through the speakers.

“Kile, Kile do you read me. You need to be careful, its back. Its hovering around the base as usual. We’re sending out a team to try and scare it off now, but you know how persistant that monster is.”

“Its okay, we’ve just escaped the Kardons themselves. We shouldn’t have too much trouble with that abomination.”

“What are you talking about, what abomination is this?” The Circus Master asked.

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

The ship soon reached its destination. There facility looked more like a floating palace. It was gigantic, square shaped and with 4 cone shaped towers emerging from each corner. The bottom section of the facility was purple in colour, whilst the towers were bright gold. A circle of red jewels surrounded the top of each of the golden towers.

The Rysteans always had a certain artistic flair as a species which had helped to sustain them through their dark days at the hands of the Kardons.

Three vessels similar to Kile’s stood guard outside of the palace.

Florence noticed that the Circus Master looked gravely concerned as they approached the floating fortress. He didn’t look scared, more deeply worried and almost guilty.

“What’s wrong?” Florence asked.

“Oh nothing, nothing. I’ll look forward to seeing what the inside of that place looks like. I’m only sorry that I didn’t get to visit the Rystieans at an earlier point in their history.”

Suddenly two of the three vessels guarding the fortress flew towards Kile’s vehicle. It wasn’t to welcome them however.

Instead the vehicles started shooting at something behind Kile’s ship.

It was the Octopus like creature hovering above their ship. It was gigantic, with each of its tenticles measuring over 80 feet long. Its skin was bright green, whilst its mouth was nothing but fire. With a few blasts of their lasers however, the guards were able to send the monster scurrying away.

The Circus Folk were shocked to see the monster retreat, particularly Denika who could recognise the magics in the Rysteians weapons were so weak. They were the strongest magics the Rysteans had, but that wasn’t saying much.

Kile was welcomed into the fortress as soon as the ship docked, whilst the Circus Master, as the leader of the group was taken to meet the head of the project.

The rest of the Circus Folk were quickly detained in a nearby cell. The inside of the facility was absolute beautiful. Just like Kile’s ship it was completely gold, with large green jewels and beautiful paintings encrusting the walls. Even the Circus Folk’s cell was bright and gold and beautiful.

“I don’ believe it.” The leader of the project said as he clapped eyes on the Circus Master.

“Yes well when you dress like I do you kind of want to stand out in a crowd.” The Circus Master said somewhat flippantly.

“I don’t know what to make of him.” Kile said.

“He’s weird and annoying, but he did help me. He could have just left me to the Kardons, but he didn’t.”

“Yes because its not at all like those Demons to let us think we can get away to prolong our torture?”

“I can assure you, eh, can I have your name?”

“No.”

“Well whoever you are, I can assure you that I am here to help. We are travellers in time and space. We have a craft made of magic that can take us anywhere and we have been sent here on an important mission, which I assume is to help you.”

“You expect me to believe that absurd”.

“Absurd? I wouldn’t have thought anything was absurd after living under the ocean for hundreds of years with Demon gods? Please scan the nearby area and you should be able to detect the magics from our craft. It landed on the bottom of the sea bed. Please what do you have to lose.”

The head of the scientific elite agreed to allow a quick scan and was genuinely surprised when something was detected on the sea bed, unlike anything they had ever detected before. The leader still didn’t believe the Circus Master completely, but he was more interested in what he had to say.

The rest of the Circus Folk meanwhile were content to wait in their cell. They were sure that the Rysteians would see that they were here to help in due time.

Still Denika searched for camera’s to make sure they weren’t being monitored in case they had to escape, whilst The Stange Boy was clearly still suffering from the effects of being near the Kardons.

“Poor little blighter.” Carlene said. “If only there was some way we could communicate with him.”

“I don’t think there’s anything going on under the surface.” Keptis said.

“Nothing more than just a faint echo of what he once was.”

“You’re letting your prejudice show love.” Carlene replied.

“You’re right, I just hope there’s not much of him left in there. I wouldn’t want anyone to be trapped in that state.”

“Trust me” Florence interrupted somewhat defencively. “There is more than just a trace of him in there. A trace wouldn’t be strong enough to hold that Demon back. Me, Carlene and the Circus Master know how hard it is.”

“The boy’s conquered it before, he’ll do so again. We best just leave him to it.” Florence said.

Keptis felt is was best to keep quiet. Florence, Carlene, the Circus Master and the Strange Boy may not have all been the absolute closest friends, but they all understood the struggle that they all went through every second, of evey day and did not ever like to see it trivialised.

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

The Rysteians all froze at the Circus Masters words. This had to be a trick. Surely? After all of their suffering, no one could just arrive out of nowhere and whisk them away.

The Circus Master got a quick look at a component of the machine, the scientists were working on.

“Impressive” The Vandal said somewhat nervously and with regret. “The method is still crude, but from the looks of things.”

“Take him back to the others.” The leader said.

“Now Mascia” Kile replied, “he might be.”

“We have a few hours to get this machine ready. With the power we’re using we’ll only have one chance. I don’t have time to listen to some Demonic trickster. If the machine fails, which it won’t, then maybe we can listen to this, whatever he is, but for now, take him downstairs.

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

The Circus Master couldn’t hide his disappointment from the rest of the Circus Folk. Little did they know his absolute worst fears had been conformed.

“What do you make of their chances of getting out of here?” Florence asked?

“Great. Their machine from what I’ve seen could potentially break a hole in the barrier.”

“Well that’s great news surely.” Ashlei interrupted.

“We won’t have to fly them out of here. We just have to help them get through a portal.”

“I’m afraid not Ashlei.. I don’t think that’s what we were sent here to do at all. In fact I know its not. We’re here to stop the Rysteians from escaping.” The Circus Master said with regret.

To Be Continued

 

 

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Please its me Florence.” She said softly.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Its just round here.” Kile said.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“You are not serious.”

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

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

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

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

“Are you insane?” Kile said.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To Be Continued

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To Be Continued

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Kile, Kile” Mozek said pitifully.

“Please, Mozek just hang on” Kile said.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“What.” Ashlei asked.

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

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

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

“Those monsters up there are Kardons.”

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

“It can’t be.” Carlene said.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Hello, please, someone come in.”

The Circus Master grabbed the speaker.

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

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

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

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

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

“Ishika?” The Circus Master said.

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

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

“No, no you have got to be.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Well bigger monsters.”

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

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

“Ashlei” Carlene nudged her.

“Sorry Carlene I don’t know why but.”

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

To Be Continued

 

 

 

 

The Circus Master: Journey To The Centre of Evil: Part 1: Demons of the Earth

 

“Please stop torturing yourself. We haven’t heard anything from them in 2 weeks. I’m sorry, but.”

“If they’re not back, I don’t care if your little contraption works or not. I’ll have no reason to go with you.”

Hiliseia’s two children had been part of a rescue mission to save the last few survivors of the city of Paloeska. Paloeska had fallen a little over a year ago to the same monsters that had been terrorising Hiliseia’s people for several thousand years. It had existed at the very bottom of the ocean and had been the Rysteians last sanctuary for many generations.

Now however the monsters had finally found and decimated it, just as they had done to all of the Rysteians great civilisations.

What was once was a thriving and highly advanced race had now been reduced to just a few unlucky survivors, huddled together, not even sure why they were bothering to linger on.

Suddenly a message came in. Hiliseia jumped up, pushing anyone who got in her way aside.

“Please, please answer, Kile? Is that you”. Hiliseia shouted in desperation.

“Mother, mother can you hear me?”

“Yes Kile, thank Meser you’re alive.”

“Please listen to me you have to escape now. All of you. One of the things that destroyed Paloeska is heading your way!”

“Ah finally we’ve landed” The Circus Master beamed proudly. The journey had taken a few weeks, but in that time Denika and the Circus Master had managed to completely repair the ship after the Hylexans spell.

Whilst most of the magic, outside of the engine had been destroyed, small traces of it had survived, and Denika and the Circus Master had managed to rebuild large sections of the ship from those tiny specs of magic (as well as Carlene’s Beehive.)

The toilet, below the first floor had been the first room they had rebuilt, naturally followed by the Kitchen. Carlene meanwhile had spent almost all of the journey training Ashlei who was making great progress. Ashlei wasn’t a natural fighter, but she was a fast learner.

Keptis and Florence on the other hand had spent almost all of the journey together. The Martian had opened up to the Siren to a far greater extent than before after his torture at the Hylexans hands. The creatures had fooled the Martian into thinking his family, his people were still alive, causing him to go through the pain of losing them again. This time however, Keptis didn’t have to go through the pain alone. Florence more than anyone else had been there for him. The others had been too wrapped up in their own troubles, to even notice what Keptis had been through.

As always The Strange Boy meanwhile had simply sat through the entire journey staring into space.

As the rest of the Circus Folk got ready for whatever mission they had been sent here for, with Keptis firing up his flaming saw, the Circus Master stared into the fountain. What he saw deeply troubled him.

“What’s wrong darling?” Carlene, noticing the concerned expression on the Vandal’s face, asked. He didn’t answer and so she looked into the fountain too.

There Carlene saw the image of a hideous, gigantic, bat like Demon swimming through green waters before emerging through a portal. She then saw the Demon come bursting through the ground of what looked like London, followed by images of similar creatures emerging from major cities all over the world, Paris, Rome, Bangladesh etc. They then saw the image of a barren wasteland, an orange dead world, and thousands more dead worlds before the image faded away into nothing.

“Bloody hell. What does that mean? You’re the expert love.”

Again The Circus Master didn’t answer. He had an idea but it was too horrible he didn’t want to share it yet.

“I’m not sure” The Vandal said somewhat unconvincingly. “I do know where we are and I have a feeling about what we’re up against.”

“Well?” Carlene asked.

“We’re on earth. Specifically we’re at the core of the planet.”

“What you mean outside is just fire and lava?”

“No, not at all. The earth is hollow. Its filled with an ocean, far deeper and denser than any on the surface.”

“I take it there’s something down here we’ve got to stop from getting out then? That what all the images of London, Paris and those worlds being destroyed were then?”

“Yes it would appear so, but”

“But what?”

“Nevermind” The Circus Master said as he went to a nearby chest and pulled out a small, silver box.

“What are you doing?”

“If we’re going outside we’ll need some form of transport. Inside this box is a condensed submarine.”

“A condensed submarine?”

“Yes the magic is able to reduce its size until I open it that is. We have reduced vehicles of all kinds. How else would expect me to fit it all in here.”

“Let me guess your handywork” Carlene said to Denika, who was still tinkering away on part of the ship.

“No this came from the planet Palison whose population had grown so considerably they were forced to turn to magic for resources and space. You’d could get entire cities of people stored inside of them stored inside something no bigger than a pee.”

“That sounds quite fun, I’d like to visit that planet.” Carlene said.

“Trust me you wouldn’t” The Circus Master replied. “They don’t half love to boast about their techology. I was glad to swip this from them, arrogant bastards.”

The Circus using an enchantment caused the top of the tent to open. Above the Circus Folk could see water, though it didn’t fall into the Tent. A forcefield kept it out. The small box meanwhile floated above and through the forcefield to outside, where it opened. The gigantic submarine above then parked itself with its hatch being placed directly above the Tent. A ladder then descended from the hatch straight to the floor.

The Circus Master then handed Keptis and Ashlei pills.

“Relax don’t worry these are magic. They will alter your body to allow you to survive the pressures of the ocean and function just as well beneath the waves. Here’s hoping we don’t have to swim, but you never know?”

Ashlei still wasn’t sure, but a little reassurance from Carlene was enough to convince her, something which angered The Circus Master. “I’m supposed to be the leader here.” He thought.

“Well lets get started shall we, we have an entire ocean to explore.” The Circus Master said, somewhat abruptly.

The Circus Folk quickly ascended to the sub, which soon sped off through the green oceans. Out the porthole, Ashlei got a sight of the Circus at the very bottom of the murky green depths of the ocean

“I’m just glad we don’t have to put on any kind of Circus act on this mission.”

The others looked offended.

“And what’s wrong with our act?” Florence said angrily.

“Oh eh nothing, I just dont like to perform” Ashlei said somewhat nervously.

“You never know Ashlei” The Circus Master said. “There are many undersea civilisations, even on your planet, and they know good entertainment when they see it!”

The submarine was massive, ironically larger than the Circus Tent that they had used to travel here. It was shaped like a manta ray, and bright blue, though at the top were two yellow flashing lights that helped to light the way. The waters looked absolute poison. There were very few life forms, but the few they did see were hideous, Demonic fish like creatures that hurled themselves at the ship. Some were no bigger than goldfish, whilst other were three times the size of a Great White Shark!

“Don’t worry our hull should hold.” The Circus Master said. “Still remember if need be we can always swim.”

“If you think I’m even going to swim in that green filth, well I’d rather get eaten!” Florence said.

“Oh please the waters you did swim in were just as polluted.” The Circus Master said as he piloted the ship through the growing mass of sea creatures.

Suddenly all of the creatures began to scatter.

“Why did they suddenly flee?” Keptis asked, somewhat concerned.

“Maybe they just realised who they were dealing with.” The Circus Master awkwardly joked.

Below the Circus Folk could see what looked like the remains of an old city. Most of the buildings were broken and decayed and there were no signs of life whatsoever. Still the Circus Master took the sub down to get a closer look.

The submarine got closer to what looked like the ruins of several more submarines outside of the city, all of which looked as though they had been torn apart.

“Battlefleets” he said. “What could have done this?”

“That Demon we saw in the vision was huge. It was bigger than Big Ben”. Carlene said.

Just then the communications device started to pick something up. A hazy message started to come through. It was of a strange, humanoid creature with green skin, webbed hands and a long, drooping face, with large white eyes with no pupil.

“There’s no sound.” The Circus Master said as he tried to adjust the set. Suddenly the image broke and a massive roaring sound came piercing through the sub. The Circus Folk to their horror could see a gigantic hand begin to tear itself from out of the sea bed where the graveyard of submarine war ships lay.

The hand alone looked far larger than the entire submarine. The Circus Master sped it off in the other direction, straight into the ruins of the city. Up above however the radar started to detect another gigantic creature coming their way.

“I hate Demons, even I am one technically” The Circus Master said as he tried to swerve the ship around. The Circus Master headed for the sea bed. He hoped to conceal himself in the ruins of one of the large buildings. The giant Demon above however was wise to his game and started to smash all that was left of the once great city.

The Circus Folk got a good glimpse of the giant above as it slowly cornered them on the sea bed.

It was so so gigantic that they couldn’t even see all of it through the window. Carlene, Florence and even the Circus Master all felt a strange connection with the beast. They couldn’t quite put their finger on it, but for a few seconds they started at it, almost in a trance.

The Strange Boy meanwhile went completely crazy. He jumped around the room, shrieking and hissing. When Keptis tried to calm him down, the Srtange Boy threw him across the room.

Ashlei meanwhile quickly roused the Circus Master from his trance.

“I’m sorry I don’t know what came over me.” He said as he tried to swerve past the monsters gigantic clawed hand. He managed to just barely get out of its way, but just as the Vandal thought he was in the clear, the beasts gigantic wing came swinging forward and knocked the ship flying backwards. The crew were sent hurtling all over the room until the ship ground to a sudden halt.

The Circus Master looked up to see the eye of the beast staring into the front window at the tiny creatures inside.

“He’s got us” The Circus Master said in terror.

To Be Continued.

 

 

The Circus Master: An Eye for An Eye: Part 8: He Who Fights Monsters

 

The Golden Emperor Hylexan and his horde of tentacled monsters cornered the Circus Folk and the terrified Quilax. Denika fired an energy blast at the Emperor which it effortlessly deflected, but in doing so the energy was scattered into its minions knocking many of them back for a few seconds.

Denika then quickly created a magical force field in front of the Circus Folk and the Quilax which the Hylexans quickly tore down, but it bought her enough time to push the others back into the cell which she quickly closed over. When she opened the door the Circus Folk and the Quilax found themselves on the lower levels of the Emperors palace.

The Emperor screamed out in rage and struck several of its minions.

“Find them, the last of the Quilax must not escape! All of our work will have been for nothing!”

“Well done Denika”. The Circus Master said.

“I don’t understand?” Carlene asked.

“Its simple. The prison works through magic. Like everything else on this ship. It has no fixed point, its door can open wherever the Emperor wants it to, so I just briefly took it over and took us to the floor the Circus was on.”

“How do you know where that is?” Ashlei asked?

“I can sense it” Denika replied before being distracted by something at the edge of the corridor.

Denika could sense something else near to them, somethng twisted and broken by magic. The nearer she got to it, the more it was almost painful for her. Denika soon saw what it was when she peered into a room at the end of the corridor. Several Hylexan scientists were gathered around a massive dark energy ball, similar to the pit only much more dangerous.

“Unbelievable” Denika said. “The magics they’re playing with, they among the most destructive I’ve ever seen.”

“Why?” Ashlei asked? “They’ve already destroyed most of the Quilax? No other species in this galaxy even has magic? What could they possibly need that for?”

“I suspect the war isn’t going to end with just the Quilax.” The Circus Master said. “If you run out of enemies, just create more. I suspect a lot of their soldiers wouldn’t know what to do if there was no one for them to fight.”

“We need to move past them. That dark magic they’re playing with is so unpredictable, a fight could set it off.” Denika said.

The Circus Folk and the last of the Quilax slowly crept down the corridor. Along the way they saw other magical experiments to create new kinds of weapons in other rooms. “Amatuers” The Circus Master thought to himself. The Hylexans weapons took the form of magical energy rather than physical weapons. The energy would then be fused onto their bodies to make sure that each Hylexan soldier would never be left helpless. Each form of energy however naturally had to be perfected before it would be fused with the soldiers bodies.

Finally at the very end of the corridor, the Circus Folk could see a room containing the Circus, though by this stage it was a mere shell of its former self. So much of the magic in the vessel had been drained or damaged it looked battered and torn. It was surrounded by several Hylexan scientists who were clearly puzzled at the strange craft that looked so delicate, yet was so powerful.

“That doesn’t look like it will be able to take anyone anywhere.”  Askiro said.

“She’s been through worse.” The Circus Master said proudly. “Trust me once we fix her up a bit with some magic she’ll be back to her old self, you won’t want to leave!”

Denika placed a forcefield around the door behind them. It probably wouldn’t hold back any Hylexans for longer than a few seconds, but that might be all they need. The presence of her magic being used so near however instantly alerted the Hylexans around the Circus who reached their tentacles out to grab several of the Quilax. Such was their hatred for the Quilax that they would always go for them first, regardless.

Carlene was the first to attack the monsters. She jumped over one of the monsters and landed on it from the top. She then proceeded to beat the magical alien to the ground. The nearest Hylexan quickly turned its attention from the Quilax and tried to strike Carlene with its tentacle, but Carlene quickly grabbed it’s tentacle and swung the monster around, making it knock the other two monsters out of the air.

Florence, The Circus Master, The Strange Boy and Denika started to attack the other monsters before they could retaliate. The Circus Master impaled one of the monsters with his clawed hand, whilst Denika repeatedly blasted one of the monsters into a nearby wall. Florence meanwhile was grabbed by the Hylexans tentacles, but she bit into the one that wrapped itself around her throat and tore it off. Whilst the monster was in pain, the Siren jumped at the Hylexan and stuck both of her hands through the monster’s amorphous body. The Strange Boy meanwhile jumped on one of the Hylexans and rammed it into another pushing them against a wall. The Strange Boy then tore both monsters to pieces with his claws, shredding through one and then another in a matter of seconds.

Keptis and Ashlei just watched from the sides along with the Quilax. They both hated feeling so helpless. Normally Keptis could keep up with the others thanks to his magical weapons. He was a skilled fighter of course, but in this instance it would do no good against the Hylexans. Ashlei meanwhile had felt like a load throughout the entire mission despite the bravery she had shown against the Hylexans. If they got out of this she was going to make sure that Carlene and Denika taught her more skills and tricks.

After the last of the monsters were destroyed, the Circus Master and Denika headed towards the Circus.

“Its shielded by their magics.” The Circus Master said. “How long do you think before you can break it down?”

“A few minutes” Denika replied. Suddenly Carlene noticed the Hylexan that Denika had attacked had survived. The monster slowly crawled along the floor towards a large, green, glowing sphere on the nearby wall. Carlene jumped on the monster, but one of its tentalces whipped out and hit the sphere which sent an alarm running through throughout the base. The Hylexans had already been alerted by the emperor, but each room had an alarm that would let all of the Hylexans instantly know if intruders were there.

All of the Hylexan scientists from the nearby rooms who had been too busy with their own experiments to take heed of the Emperor’s warning before soon swamped the Quilax and the Circus Folk. They effortlessly tore down the forcefield and begun to attack the Quilax. Some of the creatures even wielded the crude weapons which they had been developing in their labs (which took the form of magical spheres.) One such weapon was so unstable however it started to explode and Denika was forced to put a magical force field around it. The force field barely contained the explosion and Denika was still thrown across the room.

Carlene, The Strange Boy, Florence and the Circus Master tried to fight off the Hylexans but there were too many of them. Carlene was hit by one of the monsters new weapons, a purple sphere which covered her in a purple forcefield. The Vampire tried to break free but the magic was too strong.

Ashlei and Askira tried to pull the magical shield off off Carlene, and after a few minutes the magic which had seemed almost unbreakable became brittle and crumbled to nothing.

“Damn” The Hylexan who had thrown the weapon at Carlene said. “It needs more work done on it.”

Another Hylexan had managed fire a yellow energy beam at the Strange Boy which briefly placed him under the Hylexans control. The Strange Boy quickly jumped Florence from behind and stuck his hand through her spine and into her stomach.

The Circus Master tried to grab the child Vampire and pull him off, but the Jiang Shi breed of Vampires were far stronger than the Circus Masters breed of Vandal; and with one smack the Strange Boy sent the Circus Master flying across the room, where several Hylexans started to swarm him.

The Strange Boy brought Florence to her knees before the effects of the magic began to wear off. Before he and Florence could do anything however they were hit by a green ray from another Hylexan that began to burn their flesh. Florence’s flesh burned much quicker than the Strange Boy, though neither of them were able to break free from the magics. Fortunately Denika was able to pull them free with her magic, though only after an immense struggle. Florence however was still badly burned and too weak to fight back.

Another one of the Hylexans fired at Denika, knocking her out of the air, whilst Keptis tried to drag Florence to safety, one of the Quilax wrapped its tentacles around his throat from behind. Fortunately however the Strange Boy quickly grabbed the Hylexan from behind and tore it in half. The Circus Master who had managed to fight the Hylexans that had swarmed him off, quickly joined The Strange Boy and the two would continue to defend the Martian and the Siren for the next few minutes against the monsters.

A few of the Quilax including Askira tried to join in the fight and help Carlene who was holding the monsters off from the main crowd, but they were no match for the Hylexans. Several more Quilax were impaled by the Hylexans tentacles. Denika meanwhile managed to finally open the Circus and used her magic to first pull Keptis, Florence and Ashlei into the tent and then all of the Quilax, whilst the Circus Master, Carlene and the Strange Boy either fought off or distracted the octopoid monsters.

As the two Vampires and the Vandal prepared to join the others in the tent, the roof began to cave in and several more Hylexans and the golden Emperor whose flesh had completely healed quickly descended. The Emperor knew it was risky to take the Circus Master on when he had the Firax, but his pride meant that he couldn’t leave it entirely to his minions. The Emperor hoped that his minions would deal with the Vandal, but if he didn’t make an appearance then he feared he would look like a coward to his people.

The Hylexan minions distracted the 3 time travellers long enough for the Emperor to quickly wrap its tentacles around them. This would normally have been enough to burn a normal life form into nothing, but the Vampires and the Vandals stronger bodies allowed them to survive for a while longer.

“Interesting?” The Emperor said. “Most life forms would be burnt to a crisp yet you still struggle. I respect your strength. Hand over the Quilax and I’ll spare you.”

The Circus Master laughed. “Lets stop pretending this is about them. It was once, but now? Relax the camera’s are off. Why not admit that you’re way beyond just simple revenge.”

The Emperor froze for a minute before answering.

“We have eliminated the monsters who once enslaved us, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be others around the universe. These weapons are to make sure that we will never be vulnerable again.”

“How will you get complete reassurance I wonder? Are you really going to let those weapons just go to waste?”

The Emperor squeezed his three prisoners harder. “We don’t have to explain anything to you freaks!” The monster shouted. “We will protect ourselves by any means necessary!” In desperation Carlene bit into the Emperors tentacles. It was unquestionably the most unpleasant thing she had ever tasted, but she bit as hard she could until she severed the tentacle that was holding her.

Carlene then swung on the severed tentacle into the Emperor, hitting it with enough force that she sent the monster flying backwards into its minions which freed the others. Denika soon came flying out of the tent and started to blast the Emperor holding him back while Carlene, The Strange Boy and The Circus Master fought the other Hylexans off. The Emperor however quickly sent Denika flying back across the room and started to attack the others who managed to dodge its tentacles, except for the Circus Master who tried to scratch the beast to infect it with the firax. Instead of fighting him, the Emperor sent several of its minions to dogpile on the Vandal.

Back in the tent meanwhile Keptis desperately searched through the remaining weapons chest. He couldn’t find a replica of his beloved flaming chainsaw but he found several flaming knives made by the same race. “Its better than nothing” he said whilst handing a few of the knives to Ashlei, before leaving the tent.

Outside whilst Carlene and The Strange Boy were preoccupied with the Hylexans, Ashlei threw several knives at the Hylexans swarming the Circus Master. She only managed to hit two of them, but it was enough for the Circus Master to get free.

Keptis meanwhile hurled his knives straight at the Emperor who didn’t even notice the Martian he was so preoccupied with the two Vampires. The flaming knives easily cut through the monsters flesh and as his tentacles flailed around he struck several of his own minions who were vaporised as a result.

The monster reached out and tried to grab Keptis, but Florence who had begun to recover and had followed him out of the Tent managed to push Keptis out of the way. Florence was struck by the tentacle instead which burned the Siren, but not enough to kill her.

Seizing his chance, the Circus Master jumped at the Emperor and stabbed both of his clawed hands into the monster, injecting the firax into its blood. The Emperor reached its tentacles out to pull the Circus Master off, but Carlene quickly grabbed one of the flaming knives Ashlei had dropped and jumped onto the Emperor, slicing the monsters flesh down the middle. Keptis then grabbed another flaming knife and threw it at the Emperor, whilst Denika blasted the monster.

Unable to cope with all of the attacks at once, the Emperor let out a final scream before the Firex ran its way through his body. Within a matter of seconds Emperors flesh turned completely gray and began to shatter. As it did the entire base began to shake and collapse.

The Circus Master weak from the firex collapsed into the ruins of the former Emperor.

The other Circus Folk tried to reach the Circus Master but the hordes of Hylexans  stopped them. Carlene, the Strange Boy, Keptis wielding his firey blade and even a weakened Florence tried to help the Circus Master but there were too many of the Octopus beasts in between. Several of the Hylexans started to beat and impale the Circus Master with their tentacles, whilst the others struggled to try and save him.

Just as all seemed lost the Quilax suddenly came running from the tent. Close to 200 of them, they all swarmed the Hylexans. Askira had been watching the Circus Folk fight the Hylexans from the Tent and felt she couldn’t leave them.

“We have to help them” Askira said. “What can we do?” one of the Quilax asked. “We have to do something. They’ve risked their lives for us. Besides if they don’t make it, neither will we.” Askira didn’t bother to argue it any longer and ran out. Several more Quilax followed her and within a few seconds, virtuall all of the survivors were following her. Many of them saw sense in her words, whilst others couldn’t leave their fellow Quilax at the mercy of the monsters. The Quilax predictably didn’t last long against the Hylexans, but they at least distracted them long enough for Carlene and Denika to get to the Circus Master. Carlene fought the Hylexans that had gathered around him off, whilst Denika used her magic to get the Circus Master back to the safety of the tent. Denika would then start to pull the Quilax back to the tent too, whilst the rest of the Circus Folk held off the Hylexans. More and more pieces of rubble started to fall from the ceiling as the space castle broke apart, crushing the Hylexans. One piece nearly hit Ashlei, but The Strange Boy managed to push her out of the way in time, much to Ashlei’s surprise.

The remaining Circus Folk managed to escape back to the Tent as even the Hylexans began to flee to escape their dying ship.

Back in the tent Denika would activate the ship to take off, mere seconds before the Emperors palace exploded. The blast was seen all over the Hylexans planet below. It was a day that would live in infamy for their race for thousands of years to come. The day that should have been their ultimate victory over the hated Quilax, but instead led to their greatest tragedy where the Hylexans who had won the war for them were slaughtered.

The Emperor would be remembered as the greatest hero of the Hylexan people for centuries to come, with all subsequent Emperors being forced to live in his shadow to some extent.

Just as the Circus Master had predicted however the war was not over for the Hylexans. Their collective paranoia would drive them to create more weapons and launch more attacks against other planets, starting with the neighbouring worlds in their galaxy.

The monsters had always resented the other life forms in their galaxy. As most of the other sentient species in the Hylexans galaxy were humanoid, the Hylexans felt that their neighbours looked down on and were repulsed by them. The Hylexans would develop a particular hatred for all humanoids that would lead them to move on to slaughter other humanoid life forms across the galaxy. Over time however they would come to fear and despise all other life forms in general.

The Hylexans developed a core belief that the only way they would never be at the mercy of another species again was if they came to dominate all other life forms they came across in the universe. In the later years of their history the monsters would go one step further and seek to exterminate all other life forms. Their fear of suffering under another race like they had done under the Quilax ultimately led the once peaceful Hylexan race into becoming one of the most evil and feared races throughout the history of the entire universe.

The Quilax meanwhile would have a very different destiny. The Tent managed to take them to a far away planet, hundreds and thousands of light years beyond the Hylexans reach.

The journey thankfully only took a few hours. The 200 surviving Quilax were rather cramped in the tent to say the least. Many of them including Askira had been badly injured by the Hylexans. Denika would be able to heal most of the injured with her magic, but sadly not all of the Quilax made it.

The Circus Master was knocked out during most of the journey. The strain of the Firex had taken its toll on him, and at one point Denika was worried he might not make it. Fortunately however the Circus Master’s Vandal healing powers allowed him to recover.

The planet the Tent took the suviving Quilax too was a lushious jungle planet. It was the only inhabited world in its solar system and other than the plant life, there were only a few primitive animal life forms.

It was the perfect place for their race to start over. Barely 200 of the Quilax were left, but it would be enough for their race to survive. The Circus Folk would stay with them for a few days. During that time they helped to bury those who had died on the journey and using Denika’s magic, build a few settlemants to house the survivors. Eventually after a few days however the Circus Folk knew they had to move on. They tried to slip away in secret, but Askira noticed them all leaving and followed the Circus Folk to the tent.

“You could have said goodbye?” Askira said to Carlene somewhat jokingly.

“I thought we were friends?” Askira and Carlene had spent a lot time together over the last few days, and whilst she understood that they had to leave, she was still a little upset.

“Sorry darling, but we have other worlds to visit.”

“Yes!” The Circus Master interrupted. “Its not easy being a hero you know. We’re constantly on the move, risking our lives to save others.” He continued to boast, to the embarrassed moans of his team mates.

“I understand but I just want to thank you one last time.” Askira replied, ignoring the Circus Masters boasts.

“Don’t thank us.” Carlene said. “We just did what anyone would have done darling.”

“Well a little thanks is okay” The Circus Master interrupted.

“Still” he continued in a more serious tone. “Its important now that you use this second chance for your race. The Hylexans may be monsters now, but they didn’t spring out of nowhere.”

“I know.” Askira said with regret. “I’m still not sure we deserve this second chance.”

“That’s entirely up to you darling”. Carlene said. “When we were on that city you told me about how ashamed you were of what your people had done? Well now you can prove it. Make sure that you break the cycle here and focus on your own people now.”

“That’s easier said than done. Some of us are already talking about revenge, about using magic as a weapon.”

“Well we never said that rebuilding a civilisation was ever going to be easy.” The Circus Master replied.

“All races are capable of great evil. You’ve seen where it leads not only with your own race, but with the Hylexans. Always make sure to remind your people of that.”

“I will, I promise.

“Maybe we’ll come back in a couple of hundred years, see how your descendants are doing.” The Circus Master said with a smile as he and the others went back into the tent. Carlene was the last to leave. She shook Askira’s hand one last time and wished her luck before joining her comrades. In a matter of seconds the battered old tent vanished back into the vortex before the amazed Askira.

It would now be up to Askira and other members of her kind who had recognised what had led to the downfall of their previous civilisation to stop the Quilax from falling back into their own ways.

As the Tent sped on through the vortex to a new time and place Denika and the Circus Master got to work on repairing the Tent which had been reduced to its bare bones by the firex.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do on the ship Denika. At least the tv wasn’t destroyed.” The Circus Master said cheerfully.

“Just make sure you get the toilet fixed first.” Keptis replied.

“Well Ashlei darling that was your first alien planet.” Carlene said. “I’m sorry for what that thing did to you,” she said more sensitively. “But you didn’t give in and did us all proud love.”

“I didn’t” Ashlei said. “I was pretty much useless throughout the whole time. I want you to train me more. You and Denika. I want to learn how to use magic as well.”

“I’ve been training you darling and you’ve come along great.”

“Its not enough. Please I don’t want to be a useless again Carlene.”

“I’ll do my best love. You weren’t a load on us though. Always remember that. We’re all glad you’re here. None more so than me.”

 

                                                          Next Adventure

                                               Journey To The Centre of Evil

The Circus Master: An Eye For An Eye: Part 7: What Goes Around

 

“We have them sir.” The Hylexan commander said with pride to the Emperor.

“You fool!” The Emperor beamed back.

“Only a few hundred survived.” The Emperor continued I wanted the death of the last of the Quilax to be a special occassion that would live in our race’s history forever. We won’t have enough for a day’s celebration now. The magics you used were far too dangerous for such a simple task as well. You could have contaminated that entire area of space for our vessels.

“I am sorry sir but surely the most important thing is that our enemies have finally been defeated.”

“Our enemies were beaten long ago. They surrndered to us early in the war the cowards. All that was left was to make their final humiliation memorable, and you failed me.” The Emperor began to raise his tentacles in a threatening fashion to his underling.

“Your heiness please we also captured a strange craft said to belong to the aliens that helped the Quilax escape. It could be of use to us.”

“It might and that’s why I’ll kill you in the quickest of ways.”

Before the underling could even protest the Emperor vaporised the lesser Hylexan into nothing but dust with its tentacles.

“Let this be a warning to you all.” It said to its terrified soldiers. “I do not tolerate any failure whatsoever. Now lets prepare our guests.”

The last of the Quilax had all been taken to the Emperors flying palace which existed just above the Hylexans home world and was larger than any of their three moons. The Hylexans planet had been stripped clean by the Quilax’s occupation, but magic had since transformed it into a paradise world. The Emperors palace shone alomst like a second sun and was bright gold just like he was.

The Quilax and the Circus Folk had all been dumped into tiny little cell that could barely contain them. They had been forced to wait for hours whilst the Hylexans prepared the dark magics to punish them.

Most of the Quilax had spent the entire time weeping at all they had lost, others couldn’t take the waiting anymore and screamed at the Hylexans through the tiny window in the cell to get it over with. If only they knew the horrors the Hylexans intended to inflict on them, then they wouldn’t have been so desperate to get it over with. At the end of the cell the Circus Folk sat together. They had stayed mostly quiet throughout the ardous wait. There was nothing that any of them could say given the circumstances.

Ashlei in particular had felt so guilty getting caught up in all the hype for the few hours they had seemed safe in the flying city. Carlene held Ashlei tight throughout the journey and promised her that no matter what she wouldn’t let those slimy monsters hurt her. She had no idea how she was going to keep that promise however.

Keptis meanwhile spoke the most, though it was nothing but ranting at how much he was going to make the Hylexans pay for everything they had done.

The Circus Master on the other hand had been uncharacteristically silent throughout the whole ordeal. Even in the direst of circumstances he had always managed to remain somewhat up beat but here he said nothing. At certain points he even looked like he was in pain.

“I always thought I’d be happy the day he finally shut up” Denika said. “Now however, I’m terrified.”

Suddenly the door opened and a white, almost blinding light flooded the tiny cell. After a few seconds some of the Quilax began to leave the cell, not being able to take the wait any longer. Outside they saw several hunder Hylexans hovering in the sky above them, with the gigantic Golden Emperor in the middle. On each side of the Emperor were 3 black and 3 red Hylexans. Aside from the Hylexans there were hundreds of other aliens, made up from the other intelligent species in the Hylexans galaxy all gathered round to watch the gruesome spectacle. All of these races had at one point been enslaved by the Quilax and they were all revelling in their suffering and downfall.

The cell like everything else in the palace worked through magic. The door to the cell could be deposited anywhere around the palace the Emperor wanted.

The Emperor spoke. “Welcome my kin from across the galaxy. Different as we all are, we have all been brought together for the same reason. To finally see justice dealt to the monsters who persecuted all of us for so long, monsters who slaughtered our people, destroyed our cities and treated us all as less than animals.”

The aliens all cheered at the Emperors speech and shouted for blood.

“You’re the monsters.” Keptis shouted back at the bloodthirsty crowd, but his cheers were drowned out.

“Which of the monsters shall we punish first?” The Emperor said as he hovered over the terrified crowd of Quilax. “How about one of the children? Think of how many of our children suffered in your experiments and camps?” The Emperor said as its tentacles reached out towards a young boy, no older than 5 who clutched his mother in fear.

Carlene, Ashlei, Keptis, Florence, Denika and even the Strange Boy however got in the way of the young boy. The Circus Master stood on his own meanwhile, clutching his sides in pain. The others didn’t have time to worry about what he was doing.

“Pathetic coward. You go after the most vulnerable, and you send others to do your fighting for you.” Ashlei spat back at the Emperor. The Emperor in response wrapped his tentacles around Ashlei who instantly started to scream. The pain that ran through her entire body burned its way into her very soul.

The other Circus Folk tried to fight back, but the Hylexan guards quickly enveloped them in their tentacles from above.

The Emperor held Ashlei up to the crowd of aliens who were more curious at this strange creature than anything else though they still laughed at her pain. The crowd was made up of the very worst from all of the planets in the Hylexans galaxy. Not all of the other life forms in the galaxy supported what the Hylexans were doing, but they we all either silenced or too scared to do anything about to help the Quilax. The end of the Quilax race was being broadcast through magic to every inhabited planet in the galaxy and whilst the majority were watching with sadistic glee, many millions still looked on in disgust.

The Emperor dangled Ashlei over a large pit just in front of the crowd. The pit was similar to the one Keptis had been thrown in on the scout ship. After he was finished with them, the Emperor had intended to throw the last survivors of the Quilax into the pit to suffer forever. As Ashlei was placed over the pit she started to see images of her two brothers, alive again and living in Carlene’s mansion with the Vampire as the mother they never had. It felt so real, though thankfully not quite to the same extent as Keptis’ delusion. Still seeing them alive and knowing they were just illusions broke Ashlei’s heart and she begged the Emperor to stop.

The Emperor pulled Ashlei away from the pit and held her in front of the Quilax.

“If you agree to let the boy take your place, then I’ll spare you and your friends the pit.” The Emperor said. “Our quarrel is not with you aliens, but you must abandon all loyalty to the Quilax.”

Carlene was so overcome with rage she managed to pull the tentacles of the Hylexan holding her straight out of their sockets.

“You disgusting freaks I’ll tear you to pieces” The Vampire shouted before several Hylexans managed to overpower her.

In spite of the pain she was in, Ashlei did not give in to the monsters sadistic taunts.

“Just because you’re a coward don’t assume everyone else is.” Ashlei spat back at the Emperor. The Emperor tightened its grip on Ashlei to the point where it started to draw blood.

The monsters torture of Ashlei was interrupted when the Circus Master, who the crowd and even the Circus Folk had forgotten about suddenly jumped through the air and grabbed onto one of the Emperor’s tentacles.

The Emperor’s entire body suddenly turned grey and the monster let out an agonising scream. It dropped Ashlei who fell only a few feet to the ground. The other Hylexans stood in shock for a few minutes before coming to their Emperors aid. The Circus Master however actually managed to swing the Emperor into the monsters by his tentacle. As soon as the Emperor hit them, the Hylexans all turned grey and shattered. The Circus Master then swung the Emperor round again before throwing him into the crowd of aliens, most of whom were crushed under its weight. The few surviving aliens tried to flee, but they were soon swarmed by the Quilax who beat them to death. Askiro however just watched from the side with disgust. “So much for breaking the cycle of hatred” she thought to herself.

The Emperor lay there helpless and screaming whilst the Circus Master burst into laughter.

“You like to think you’ve conquered the dark arts to become the new masters of the galaxy, but in the end you’re just another dumb race of animals messing with forces you can’t even begin to comprehend.” The Circus Master spat out at the Emperor before suddenly fainting. Ashlei ran over to the Circus Master to try and revive him, whilst Denika, Carlene, Florence and the Strange boy fought off the few surviving Hylexan guards. Carlene was so overcome with rage she tore two of the monsters apart.

After the monsters were killed Denika placed a forcefield around the room, though she wasn’t sure how long it would last.

Carlene and Askiro rushed to Ashlei’s aid. “Thank you.” Askiro said. “You’ve helped our people again.”

“Thanks darling, but lets not get ahead of ourselves like last time” Carlene said as she helped Ashlei to her feet.

The Circus Master soon jumped to his feet somewhat renergised. “Ah good I didn’t dream making a fool of the Emperor on his big day.” The Circus Master smirked.

“Care to tell us what’s going on?” Florence asked.

“Its simple. When the Hylexans unleashed the Firax on us, I was able to absorb some of the magic into my body. My kind the Vandals, we absorb souls from our victims to feed through our claws. I used the same principal to take just a fraction of the dark magics that had tore our flying city apart. My kind have a greater immunity to magic so it didn’t kill me, but it took me a while to try and control it. Once I had I just had to unleash it on his majesty here to turn his own magics against him.”

The Circus Master sank to his knees. “I can’t hold the Firax in me much longer. We need to find the tent and get you lot out of here.”

“Well what are we waiting for? Lets kill this monster” Denika said as she charged up her magics to fire at the Emperor.

The Emperor raised his tentacles as his skin began to turn back to gold.

“You fools if you kill me this entire place will collapse and you will all die. This place is tied to my will and mine alone. You can’t kill me, but I can kill you no problem.”

“If you’re going to kill us anyway then we have nothing to lose. The Circus Master said as he stood defiantly in front of the others, his claws unsheathed.

The Emperor paused for a few moments before suddenly using his tentacles to shatter the forcefield and the wall behind him. Hundreds more Hylexans, both blue and red flew into the room.

“I don’t have to kill you myself.”

To Be Continued