And then the lights turned back on.
I was in a large room with about a hundred other guys, all franticly panicking too much to realize I wasn't one of them, the shotgun was a nice touch, since all of them were packing. I had no idea what to do or where to go. Well, all I could do was get the hell out, and with only one exit not blocked by thugs read to murder me, I calmly decided to follow it (all the while my heart was pick-axing its way out of my chest cavity).
Unfortunately it was long, and seemed to be going nowhere. The factory was bigger than it looked from the outside, it seemed like I was walking for ten minutes before I realized that I was headed underground. I let out a sigh and turned around to head back, when my heart almost stopped.
As crazy as everything had been so far, I had yet to be truly terrified until now. It was like a nightmare come true. In fact it was a specific nightmare come true.
I remembered him, it. It tore my um, associate in half, I didn't watch it happen, but no human or beast can throw a SEVERED HUMAN LEG across a Wal-Mart parking lot. No human is eight feet tall covered in stitches, with piercing yellow eyes cross silted with silver pupils. I didn't know what to think then; I was tripping balls that night (it was my first month on the road), shroomed out of my mind. I didn't think it was real until I came to my senses the next morning across town crying in a dumpster.
He looked at me with a huge ugly grin, then a scowl, his stitched up, sharp toothed ugly face becoming more terrifying than I remembered. After the initial shock and recovering from almost pissing on myself, I remembered the shotgun around my neck. I don't know if I was hoping for an Indiana Jones moment when he charged at me, but I started shooting every buck shot cartridge already loaded into massive body. I might as well have been tickling him because he just kept coming. At that point I just took off in the other direction as fast as I could.
Why did I agree to this, I'm so fucking stupid! I didn't make it this far just to fuck it up like this. But all I could think was "RUNRUNRUNRUNRUNRUN DAMN LEGS RUN FASTER!"
Instant death would be better than what this thing would do to me.
I ran for my pathetic fucking life. I ran like it mattered anymore, It didn't, but damn I did NOT want that thing to catch me. Running was what I was good at, I'm pretty fast, but
I doubted it would be enough this time, the behemoth chasing me had a stride almost two feet longer than mine, luckily it wasn't moving as fast as it let off, maybe the buck-shots did something after all.
I finally found myself at the end, it was a big room with some spiral stairs; luckily I had gained some distance by now. Not like it would do much good, I had no idea where I was going. I started running down the stairs as fast as I could, and then I slipped on something, and pretty much tumbled down the last few, landing with a crash.
Luckily the fall didn't knock me out, it just hurt a lot, and it was about to get much worse, because the giant just jumped down the center of the stairs letting gravity do his running. It wouldn't have mattered that I was way ahead of him, he would have gotten me anyway. I struggled to my feet, if I was gonna get my ass kicked again, at least this time I'd have the balls to fight back (what else could I freaking do). I grabbed a long pointy broken rusted pipe that was lying the floor and started swinging, but all he had to do was kick me in the chest and I went flying.
Nothing my stepdad did hurt as much as that; I have a nasty feeling some of my ribs cracked.
With the wind knocked out of me, I wheezed and spat up blood, and ducked just on time to avoid a punch that broke the concrete on the walls. But ducking still wound up causing a hell of a lot of pain, I screamed in agony and the creature started laughing some terrible laugh that reminded me of violent electronic music booming on massive speakers right in my face.
By now I was crawling on the floor, bleeding out of my mouth and nose, and still trying to
get away. I knew I was a dead man, but something kept urging me to not die, and then I saw the rusty steam pipe that was falling apart. I pulled myself up with it but my weight caused it to break open a little, shooting jets of steam loose into the air. I fell right on my back, the monster standing above me looking down still. Laughing?
What I can only describe as a tentacle like appendage, or rather finger like appendages covered its entire body so tightly only seams could be seen, and small hairs lining every seam like eyelashes. It unraveled, the fingers pulled back revealing a pointed mouth filled with jagged teeth, and a heart shaped bulb for a nose.
Its chest unraveled following its face, its inside was lightly covered in wet thick individual hairs looking more like quills, but still showed through to a bony membrane over his exposed ribs with small glossy dark green blinking eyes (at least that what they looked like)in the center under each unwrapped appendage. The unraveled monster reminded me of Berry's costume
which would have made me sick had my body not been pumped with adrenaline.
Before it could finish, I kicked the broken pipe towards its unraveled face and the steam rushed out.
"GUAAAAAHHHHH!!!" it let out the lowest pitched distorted scream I had ever heard that covered up my scream of agony from the pressure of the kick completely. He was screaming horrible pain as his face fingers melted to his real fingers, which were desperately trying to re-cover it. Amazing, how the steam managed to hurt him in a way that six rounds couldn't, but now wasn't the time to question logic, I had to make my move. As he fell towards me I unloaded the last two buck shots into his knee and groin.
He fell instantly, fighting to keep the last bit of life in him, wrapped chaotically in itself, as I struggled to stand, leaning against the wall after that last round caused me more agony on top of the damage already done. I pulled out my little Ruger, ignoring the pain in my shoulder, and eased my throbbing self back up with the pipe (far enough away from the steam).
There was no more movement from behind the steam, it took me a good five minutes to get myself up and another three to clear my head enough to realize what was happening, I think I won.
I knew this wasn't the end though, because I knew there would be more
The fight was a loud one. No matter how many goons I killed, there was always more. I just prayed that there were no more like him looking for vengeance.
So I just stood there for a while, wondering "What now?" I was so tired, so beat up, I doubt I could get very far anyway. Stupid shaman, this didn't fix anything, did a great job of making things worse.
But then I heard this voice. Or more like a strange sort of unnatural white noise. I couldn't understand it, it was in a different language and very abstract just like the letters that had come out of my mouth when I was in in that weird reality, but I knew it was telling me to go on.
I followed it, leaning against the wall all the way, clinging desperately to the pipes to stay afoot, leaving a snail trail of blood behind me. It wasn't a very long hallway, I didn't think I would make it too far anyway, this just gave me the benefit of the doubt, I could bleed myself to death before Demisse and Belden got a hold of me. It would be a friendlier death.
As soon as I turned around to listen for the voice again, I saw it; a big room, and in the center
a big black dragon?
It was chained to the floor and in thick steel bars that restricted any movement, and bleeding badly from its sides. It's like it was calling to me, not the noise something else. So in my incapacitated lack of judgment, I limped towards it, moving about as fast as a paralyzed tortoise. I was surprised I could even limp in this god-awful condition.
It wasn't moving, and I couldn't tell if it was breathing either, maybe it was dead. Then as I came close enough to touch it, a huge, bright eye opened and everything turned white,
I fell on its head.
I thought it killed me
It was the same voice, a loud slow and scratchy deep whisper.
"As I speak, you lie, (wheeze) a helpless fool
Never trust the strange
I couldn't speak, I could hardly think, whatever this thing was doing, he was in complete control.
"See. Know this. I lay helpless too (wheeze), dying at your side
A death by man's hand is not an honorable one (wheeze) for a drragon
He rolled his R's, or rather growled them.
"Help me (wheeze) young human
or else, I fear we will (wheeze) both die down in this pathetic (wheeze) chamber, by this, pathetic, brutes' hands
He paused for a while, wheezing lightly into my unconscious thoughts as if it took him effort to just create a thought.
"Lend me what's left of your sad broken life now (wheeze), and I will get us out, you and I can both
so we may have
I woke up right after that last phrase, in more pain than I was earlier, I just slumped there for a while leaning my back against his huge skull with my eyes closed, and asked him "Will it hurt?"
"I will take all the pain away..."
I managed to get to my knees, feeling only slightly better, and realized that his voice was in my head; his jaws were tightly tied shut, and I kind of liked it that way. So I told him "I'll let you out, but first I need to know"
"How do you expect to learn things beyond your reasoning? Your only concern now
should be life or death." He whispered, squinting, his eye opening just barely.
I couldn't argue with him there, so I began to loosen the restraints on the floor. Then I moved to the ones on his tail and tried to figure out if there were controls for the beams at the top. There were some buttons across the room but they might be for the large garage like door in the back. I doubted I could make it that far, but upon closer inspection of the bars, I found that every individual bar could be detached manually from where they met on his back. The only problem would be getting up there.
It was weird, I could still feel all of the pain in my broken body, but in my mind it didn't register as pain, he wasn't kidding about taking it away, a miracle for those who don't believe, it was enough motivation for me.
"You are moving so slow, boy"
"Would you shut up," I groaned, still not in the mood for bull crap "maybe if your ass wasn't so big it wouldn't take so long." Before he could retaliate an alarm sounded and about six men ran in, all armed with machine guns and machetes. I dove for the dragon's side, falling in a puddle of warm blood and crawling next to his wing, it felt like the best thing to do at the moment, painful as every move I made was. And it was a smart move, because his tail was loosened enough for him to sweep them right off the floor and splatter them onto the walls with his razor sharp tail blades.
I got up and finished loosening the last of the locks on the floor, he helped me up to the ones on his back, after which I fell right off and landed on my back. That was it, I had to be permanently paralyzed, I couldn't even breath, dear god. But after struggling and failing to break the lock himself the dragon insisted that I get up, assured me I was fine, the last lock was his mouth (the last one I wanted to touch), after I opened it up we'd both be free. If not then the next set of guards would surely kill us both.
So I rolled around to my stomach somehow, and with the last of my strength crawled all the way to his mouth, and almost blinded by pain, I managed to open the last lock. The dragon snapped free just as the guards ran in. I couldn't see it, I was dying, bleeding internally, and I had a feeling I just lost my vision. I looked and felt dead, but I heard them, and the roar, and the screams. Then I was engulfed in waves of color and warm white light, the last bit of my being was torn out of my body, and then everything just stopped, except for the waves.
When I came to, I felt like I had been asleep for a long time and forgotten where I was.
The first thing I realized was that I felt great, and I noticed that I was really high up, and pretty much everything around me was black. Then it came back, hitchhiking, the shaman, getting my ass kicked and killing that Frankenstein beast man thing, and of course the dragon. I realized I was sitting on his back; but the screams had stopped, the pain was all gone, and the only lights left were the fluorescent one's high overhead. I crawled over to the base of his neck and to my horror, I saw why it was so quiet.
There were about twenty-six bodies, or chunks of them, scattered on the floor in front of me, most half melted, some severed into large chunks. I could still see their horrified expressions dead set in the ones who still had their faces, and their skin and organs all melted into a puddle of steaming bubbling foam. It stunk horribly, and I promptly hurled over the beast's shoulder. I realized this killing machine, he was now free to do as he pleased.
"Hah, stop crying over the death of these despicable humans, they made their choice.
Let those who oppose us cower in the face of their fate. And if you do something as disgusting as hurling your innards on the floor off my back again, I will not hesitate to eat you as well. Let us go now; I must give their leader his reward for all his kind hospitality." He said never facing me once.
He found it all amusing. I was in shock; too scared out of my wits to say anything. So I just held tight on as he ran back down the hallway, back to the stair room, and melted a huge hole in the wall behind it. The monster's body was there, it had black lumps growing out of it, pussing green liquid to the floor, that's all I saw, I only had a second to look back. But seeing what I had done gave me a much needed boost of courage, it hurt me but I felt no more pain, its body was slowly rotting there instead of mine. It was a comforting thought.
I observed the dragon. Black as night, from head to tail, he had three toes and a thumb (toe), and long claws. His tail had bony spades coming from it, browned from the recent blood; and lots of scars, quite a number of them just where I was sitting. He had two wings and two legs, no forearms (That I could see) as far as I knew, and ran on his knuckles like a gorilla. He kept his fingers tightly together while he ran keeping the tattered membrane of his wings as short as it could be (I guess better aero dynamics) so the five fingers made a point at the end.
The fire was weird. It was white, very bright white, and had similar effects to an incredibly corrosive acid. The flames were still there, except for whatever he was burning and the color, it looked like fire.
The breeze I was getting from his neck was so nice it finally gave me the courage to speak
"Where are you going?" I said, my voice was still shaky.
"I am following the trail of your human girls voice, she requires my
" This wasn't my fault, it was his. He dragged me into this mess and now things were worse than ever. But I was still alive, I couldn't explain how considering I was choking on my own blood not even ten minutes ago, and the worst his brother and my stepdad had thrown at me, was lying dead next to a broken steam pipe, and I stopped it all by myself. He was right, no human being would ever scare me again, but how was I gonna ditch a twenty plus foot tall dragon who could destroy mobs of men at will. I'd have to ask him; then kick Barry's ass for everything I've been through tonight. If I survived that long.
Finally, we came to a thick stone wall that my dragon companion was having a hard time burning his way through. "Get off my back!" he demanded, and shook me off; this time I landed flat on my ass. It didn't seem to hurt much at all though, after the initial impact; the fall should have broken my spine. Just another question I'd have to hope someone answered soon.
"Go on ahead of me, this will take a while. The pure stone is more invulnerable than the steel bedded walls, clever human, his cleverness will not save him though."
He pointed with his face at a nearby door cracked slightly open "Go, your
friend, is on the other side." Then he got back to work.
I was going to anyway, but first I had to take another look at the dragon, like a deep reassuring breath before it all ended. As little as I knew about him, he hadn't killed me yet, I felt like we had mutual goals that we both understood. So I counted my bullets
five, loaded and braced myself, no time to relax, not the time to hold back.
I slipped thought the door.
The first bullet almost hit my head the second I saw light, or rather a fast blur. The second bullet nicked me in the shoulder, just barely. The third bullet ricochet off the slab of steel I ducked behind immediately. The fourth and fifth bullets came from me, they missed their mark but made the shooting stop, as soon as the shooting stopped I could hear the dragon pounding on the other side of the stone. The booming got louder with every hit, every breath of fire, he was close, I just had to
well thinking about it I had no idea
what I had to do
Keep him busy, keep him in sight, was what came to mind.
In that second of rationalization I lost track of him for just a small moment, he snuck up behind me in that time, and like a monster in a scary movie popped out so fast, so violently loud that I launched myself backwards, landing with my feet behind me to save my own ass when a man covered in white powder and white clothes and army pants swung an incredibly reflective machete at my face, missing by a bead of sweat on my face. I took another shot at him and blew a hole in his nice wavy shirt, but missed him. It did distract him enough for me to kick him in the nuts though.
It was a clear concise cheap shot, and another kick sent him stumbling over the edge, not clumsily but not gracefully either, it got him out of my range though, sadly. It was ok, I still had two shots.
And just when I was about to get up and make them count, in bursts Berry.
"Demisse, you idiot, what is wrong with you!"
And then a gunshot. Berry falls.
And then a small explosion. Bullets and shrapnel go everywhere.
And then a scream. Demisse gets up, his white attire bloodied and charred by his weapon.
He runs out of the room, and for some reason I look down and see my watch, it hasn't even been a minute. And it took less than a second for me to take fire and hit demise in the back shoulder as he ran further into the chamber. More screams of agony, not coming from me for once, but the pain didn't slow him down and in the next few seconds he was out of my sight.
And Berry was dead.
Just then the dragon's giant head burst in.
"Where is he!" he urgently screamed.
"That wayhe's hurt, can't get too far"
"Go get him then! Prove you have some use!"
"But Berry! He shot"
So I went, but slowed down too look at where Berry's now missing body had been, there was just a large puddle of blood, I hoped for the best but kept moving.
My brain was feeling weird, as I got closer to the next room I grew light headed, but had to ignore it, just hurry up and kill the fucker already.
By the time I got to the room I felt like I had a balloon on my shoulders instead of a head, and about four extra eyes. Not for real, but I felt that way, my field of view had increased dramatically and I could see above and below me and to my left and right much further than I normally every could, I had to stop for a second and focus, tune out the sounds of an epic battle going on between a shaman and his warlord brother, or of a small girl tied to a chair at the end of the room, or the two story dragon angrily burning and pounding his way through four feet of solid stone. I was forced to focus on the floor tiles, not a bad choice, they were beautifully laid out in a geometric pattern I doubted I could enjoy half as much as if I were feeling normal right now, besides, a widened field of view let me keep an eye on them as well (especially since they seemed too busy to notice me anyway).
The fight between Berry and Demisse raged on and the dragon pounded and pounded, but the floor man! It was nuts, looking closer at it I realized every small tile was made up of smaller tiles of a similar pattern, and in them were more.
"Damn you Demisse, you would betray our family for this! This! You amount to nothing! You shame yourself!" said the red blur with the stick.
I had to touch the floor. I had to, no way could this possibly be as intricate as I thought it was. But it was! And it went on forever!
"Me, all you do is sit around thinking, where is your manhood! Do not call me family, I renounced the name Nguru, I
." blah blah blah, I wished I could see smaller, because I was literally almost with my face to the wall trying to see what new infinite pattern was in the cracks, after following a string of what looked like a crystalized illusion of a stream of floating stars. I long since stopped caring about everything else, my eyesight was getting more detailed the closer I got. Got as close as I could
face almost hit the floor.
" I heard the dragon yell. It sort of snapped me out of it, I wasn't under a spell or anything, just significantly more interested in what was going on in the floor than in front of me, but when I felt the two or three tons of weight hit the wall behind me.
"Hmm?" I acted calmly, until I turned a little bit more and saw the two brothers duking it out, "Oh shit!" The dragon was going to wreck the remarkable room. To avoid that happening
I fired my last round at Demisse, hitting the floor around him as Berry landed a nice shot smacking him in the face and throwing him to the floor.
I lifted my gun and aimed it at Demisse, more than ready to end this.
"DO NOT SHOOT MY BROTHA!" Berry screamed just before I managed to pull the trigger. The only problem with that was, I really, really want to shoot this guy. The bastard had picked up where my stepdad had left off, making my already shitty life even shittier.
"Are you kidding me?! Why shouldn't I?! He started it, I'm just ending it."
"I know, this man has much to repent for, but killing him now will not teach him his lesson."
Then the warlord noticed me, I had been pretty quiet this whole time, he looked and smiled. "I know who you are, Hah, you have been a thorn in my side for a while now, daniel.
"You know, your father is a good friend of mine, a serious business asset, one of my best."
"I know; and he's not my dad, asshole."
"Instead or resenting him, you should have learned something, you could have been rich, instead of a piss pants coward."
"ENOUGH!" the shaman yelled, and stabbed his brother in the heart, causing a bright red and orange aura to burst from the end of his staff, that instantly attracted all of the insanity of the floor and the walls into this shape I couldn't describe
but I'll try.
It looked like a spore of some kind, circular shaped but not a circle, and its edged were undefinable as they formed strings at the ends with their own indefinable edges similar to the large shape all springing out of the geometry in the floor. Some parts of it like the stamen of a flower and others like caves that were filled with more caves, I got more lost looking at it normally than I did with my 'out of bounds' vision at the floor.
This all stopped when the dragon burst in seconds after, luckily not destroying any of the
details now all floating in the mysterious infinite shape. He looked at it with wide eyes, and soon a widely opened mouth. The shape began to distort and glow, one spot grew larger and larger, faster and faster, zooming. And more zooming. Until finally an electric current was formed and a blast of waves shot from the staff of the shaman.
"It is judgment time Demisse." Berry said, and with supernatural strength, he hurled his brother into the hole in the sky. Then it all just disappeared, the hole and the warlord. The world was speechless.
"Thank you, dragon, I could not have done it without your assistance."
"Of course not"
"Why, what did you do?" I asked.
"I have sent him to a place where his soul will be judged, and where he will have to atone for his sins, before he can return to the world of the living." he said while going to check on his sister who was unharmed. Lucky.
"Pfft, I coulda' done that."
The dragon laughed a little at that statement, looked at me for longer than your standard glance, blinked , and left.
"You must go with him now; you have been bound to him." he said, turning to go free the girl. He knelt and laughed "Danny my friend, you are in for a long ride."
Not being able to handle any more, and confused out of my mind, I just gave him a nervous grin and followed the dragon out.