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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Okay right you are.” Florence said.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“It’s okay you can come out now.”

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

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

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

“I almost gave away my ruse for nothing.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

“I’m afraid so alien.”

“We have to stop them”

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

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

“Well they will have heard the warning too.”

“Don’t bullshit me.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“No love, I’m from earth.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“I know but have to try.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To Be Continued

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Demons? They looked like robots to me.”

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

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

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

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

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

“And”

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

“I’m impressed” Denika said, sincerely.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Don’t be ridiculous.”

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

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

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

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

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

“She’s right” Denika said with regret.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“HUMANOIDS SIGHTED, RECAPTURE ALIVE IF POSSIBLE!”

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Like Carlene.” Ashlei interrupted.

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

“Worthless creature. You were warned.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

To Be Continued