Sanity is forbidden Circulation: 113,598,787 Issue: 227 | 10th day of Awakening, Y8
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Midnight over Meridell - Chapter II: Part Five


by ratling_guardian

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Part V: Escape to the Fight

I slowly opened my eyes, realizing that my hands were fine. I lowered them from in front of my face and saw hundreds of spikes in front of me. But most of them were crushed against spikes behind me. Looking around slowly, I saw my pets, Triy and Luun shaking with intense fright. I gave a shaky laugh.

      "Looks like we almost died for that piece of rock, eh?" I said, managing a weak smile. Everyone glared at me. "Okay, okay, let's go…" I said, and we looked around.

      "Where?" asked Eralta.

      "Um…" I said, looking around again, and then up, "I'd say we climb the spikes and see where we end up…"

      "Sounds like a plan to me," she said, shrugging, and we all began to climb the spikes, all the way to the top of the dungeon (or at least that's what it felt like). Finally, we hit the roof.

      "Well, now what?" Eralta asked sarcastically.

      "Gimme a minute!" I snapped, staring around, but nothing came to me, except… "Stand back," I ordered. Everyone else stepped precariously backwards along the spikes, and I summoned a gigantic steel ball. It appeared momentarily in mid-air, before crashing down to the floor of the dungeon. We scattered around it, admiring my work of art.

      "Watch this," I said, grinning. Holding my hand out, I made it roll forward ever so slightly. Possibly two inches. BUREUNIKONE sighed and shoved me aside.

      "THIS is how it's done," he said. His horn glowed for a few seconds, and then the ball smashed through the wall at a tremendous speed.

     ~ * ~

     Hathkresh and Tiodo sat against a wall (at least they tried; you can't really sit if you're a Coconut other than Pango Pango), eating their lunch, their weapons and shields lying uselessly beside them. Tiodo swallowed and continued telling Hathkresh about an argument with his brother.

      "So then he's like, 'You totally took my spear, who else would?' and I said, 'How should I know?!' I mean honestly, why would I want his if I have my own, he just wants an excuse to have an argument in my opinion."

      Hathkresh chuckled to himself, picturing the two Coconut brothers yelling each other hoarse as they argued about the weapon.

      "I swear, the arguments you guys have. I don't think I'll ever get tired of hearing-"

      But he stopped as Tiodo held up his hand to silence him.

      "Do you hear-" he started, but his question was cut short as the wall they were leaning against practically exploded as a gigantic metal ball crashed through it at forty odd miles per hour, with two Draiks and Ixis, a Uni, a Bori and their owner chasing it.

     ~ * ~

     "I can't stop it!" BUREUNIKONE yelled. His horn glowed brightly, yet the ball's speed did not lessen in the slightest.

      "Switch on the emergency brake!" screamed Eralta from somewhere behind us.

      "Where's that?!" he shouted, his horn glowing even brighter at the thought of an emergency break on a giant steel ball.

      "HEY WATCH OUT FOR THAT WALL-" shrieked Luun, but BUREUNIKONE obviously didn't notice it, for we all crashed straight through it. After the dust had cleared, I looked around.

      "Is everyone okay?" I asked.

      "Yes… I think," several of the others said.

      "Were there any casualties?" I added.

      "Only two of those Coconut Guards from before," Opessenc said, peering under the ball.

      "Okay, let's go then," I said, "and quickly. That was one heck of a bang; they're going to be very well alerted to our presence."

      "Good idea," said Eralta, and we sped off down a corridor.

      "Any idea where the Gemstone is?" I asked as we sprinted.

      "Yes, it's on the throne," replied Luun.

      "Where on the throne?" I asked.

      "Well, from what I know, Pango Pango plonks his great big-" she started, but paused at a look from her brother, "uh, rear end on it."

      "All the harder," I said, managing a grin, and increasing my running speed.

      "Wait, we need to be prepared," puffed Alkarasydes.

      "Good point," I said, and everything suddenly disappeared so that we were standing in whiteness.

      "Uh, what happened?" Eralta said uncertainly, but I held up my hand.

      "Adam," I said, "we need weapons."

      "Roger that," said Adam's voice, and all of a sudden, racks upon racks of swords, hammers, axes, pole-arms, shields and various armours had randomly appeared around us.

      "Since when did you know Adam?" Alkarasydes asked, pulling down a large two-handed sword from a shelf.

      "I don't," I replied, putting on a platemail breastplate.

      "But then-?"

      "Call me when you need a ticket out," he said, apparently oblivious to our conversation.

      "We will," said Eralta gratefully, struggling into a Full Ixi Body Armour.

      "Man, this fits well!" I exclaimed, staring at the breastplate I was wearing.

      "You need the greaves, too," said Triy, examining a steel suit of armour much like his own, "pathetic rip-off…"

      "What is?" I asked, pulling on a pair of greaves.

      "This," he said, showing the armour.

      "Looks like yours," I said.

      "No duh," Triy said, placing the breastplate back.

      "Everyone else ready?" I asked after getting the platemail on, complete with a heavily decorated but deadly looking glaive.

      "Yes," everyone else said. They were all armed and ready in their pet-specific armours, with lethal looking spears, swords, halberds, axes and other hugely powerful weapons.

      "Adam," I called, "we need a ticket out of here."

      "Comin' right up!" his voice reverberated, and a piece of paper fluttered from the sky of white. It read:

     "Get the heck out."

     Next second, we were standing back inside the Volcano.

      "Let's roll," said Opessenc, grinning from behind his visor, a spear attached to his hoof very securely.

      "Once we clear out these guys," said Triy, staring around. I followed his gaze around the corridor.

      "Oh, poop," I said, realizing that there were about twenty Coconut Guards standing around us.

      "Everybody ready to try out their new stuff?" I asked, gripping my glaive tightly.

      "Now what?" asked Eralta.

      "Destroy them using any forms necessary, including excessive force," I said, grinning.

      "Will do," she said, jumping at one of the Coconuts as the rest of my pets along with the others (including me) leapt into action. This time, there was no martial arts - it was just hack and slash. Even when surrounded by enemies, it isn't too hard to figure out which end of a spear is for business, and the same goes for glaives. I sprang towards a Coconut and swung the glaive down at him with all my might - the blade cleaved him cleanly in two. As the two pieces fell apart, I saw he was completely hollow, except for a dark gas that swept out and dissipated a second later.

      "Corruption!" Triy bellowed in rage, "Drow has corrupted the natives!"

      He slashed the middle of a Coconut, and the same black gas seeped out and faded away.

      "So these…?" I panted, doing a spectacular spinning slash that caught one Coconut on the end of my weapon and smashed him into two others.

      "These aren't real Coconuts!" he yelled, whacking one with his shield - there was a loud crack as the side of it shattered and more gas poured out.

      "At least now I don't feel guilty about killing off the natives!" I called, ramming the end of my weapon into a Coconut. It didn't stop moving when I did so, however, so I lifted it just enough so that its short legs couldn't reach the ground. I then charged forward and flattened his back against the Volcano wall - the glaive blade, having nowhere to go but forward, sliced through his front and out the back. Unfortunately, that left me with a two-handed mace, as the Coconut was now effectively stuck on the end. At first this was an annoyance, then I shrugged and began swinging wildly at the remaining Coconuts - the air, already thick with the dark gas, now included flying Coconuts. After five more minutes of intense fighting, a pile of inanimate Coconuts lay huddled in a pile.

      "That's them taken care of," I said, wiping my monobrow. "Let's get that Gemstone!"

      We sprinted to the Molten Core, not exactly the wisest thing to do, as, while Luun's cooling spell had lasted quite a while now, running still overheated us to a dangerous level. However, we didn't mind. When we reached the core, however, we found Pango Pango lying unconscious next to his throne, which was shattered. There was no glint among the wreckage - the Gemstone had been stolen! I swore loudly.

      "It must have been those demons!" I yelled, "We have to get outside, they can't have had much of a headstart!"

      "Daddy, think of what you're saying!" Eralta said, grabbing me by the shoulders, a feat very difficult to accomplish successfully with hooves, "There is absolutely no way we can catch up with them now, they'd be long gone!"

      I grabbed her legs and threw her off me.

      "Yes there is!" I shouted, striding past her, "If they make off with that, there's no hope, no hope at all! We have to find them!"

      Eralta opened her mouth to disabuse me from this strategy, but Luun cut across her.

      "Follow me, I know where they are!" she said, sprinting off down another corridor. I was completely stumped as to how she knew which way to go, but it was a plan.

      "How do you know if this is the right way?" I panted when I caught up to her.

      "Good question!" she replied. "Even I don't know!"

      She pointed her wand at an oncoming wall, muttered something, and blew out a huge chunk. We leapt out through the gap into bright sunlight, and straight into a Striped Shoyru.

     ~ * ~

     "We have it," Ingibong sighed in relief, holding out the Gemstone of Fire in front of him. It gleamed spectacularly in the sunlight - any light that shined on it, it seemed to absorb and then throw out about three times as intense.

      "Wasn't entirely hard, when you think of it," Karadier said, "minimal planning and everything…"

      "Yes, it was," Dhestar agreed thoughtfully.

      "It's very beautiful…" Ingibong murmured to himself, clearly oblivious to what the two Eyries were saying.

      "I wonder if this little jewel has any hidden powers?" Karadier wondered aloud. His brother held out his paw.

      "May I?" he asked Ingibong, who nodded and handed him the gem. A minute passed without incident.

      "Well?" said Ingibong, "Got anything?"

      "Yeah, this thing can probably do a bit of damage," Dhestar said, examining the gem closely. He held it out at arms length and said something under his breath. Next second, the whole of Mystery Island burst into flame! The Volcano erupted, spewing ash, lava, magma and fire, while the trees and huts below burst into flame. The villagers screamed in terror and agony at the heat and ash soon swirled in front of the three demons, smothering all horror below. Dhestar muttered another incantation and everything vanished as though nothing had happened. The villagers below were cowering in shock, clearly wondering where the sudden firestorm had disappeared. Dhestar handed Ingibong the Gemstone back.

      "Well, I expected a bit more, but it's still mildly satisfactory," he said in an almost bored voice, as though the instant and complete destruction of Mystery Island did not concern him in the slightest. He then noticed how pale the Shoyru was. "Something wrong?"

      Ingibong mouthed silently in horror at the havoc Dhestar had just wreaked on all the innocent villagers, who had done nothing to deserve what they had received… And if he continued helping Drow, it would happen again, and it wouldn't stop that time… He several deep breaths before speaking.

      "Nothing," he said gruffly, "come on, we need to stop that owner and his pets, or Drow'll go berserk…"

      "But we don't know where they are!" Karadier exclaimed. That problem was solved, however, as the rock behind them was blown apart and we hurtled out.

     ~ * ~

     I coughed as the cloud of dust and ash around me began to clear. Feeling my chest, I could tell several ribs had broken, along with another tooth. My mouth wasn't faring very well on this adventure.

      "Is everyone all right?" I called out. Before anyone answered, however, I felt two paws close over my windpipe.

      "I have been told to exterminate you," hissed someone. I couldn't see him - at least it sounded like a male - because of the dust, but I wasn't going to fall that easily.

      "Well, you'll find that harder than you think," I said, pulling my fist back and then sinking it into his face. A sickening crunch and a howl of pain told me my strike had hit its mark. However, there were a few flashes of light, accompanied by several snarls, and the sound of fighting broke out.

      "What's going on?" I cried, trying to clear the dust. I got up and carefully walked towards the source of the nearest fighting sounds, but something tackled me from behind, pinning me to the ground. I heard another tooth crack. "God darn it! You're gonna pay for my dentures!"

      Whatever was attempting to kill me was also causing me plenty of rage, and as a bit more of the dust cleared, I could finally see my attacker, and a gasp escaped from my mouth. A Striped Shoyru was bearing down on me, a dark glow radiating from him which symbolized power, but it was what was on him that truly surprised me - true, he looked nice with the Striped colour but he also had a cloak with demonic symbols scattered all over it, which rather made him look quite off-putting.

      "You have opposed the will of Drow!" he hissed, "and you must be terminated!"

      "Not flamin' likely!" I snarled, grabbing him by the sides and hurling him sideways. With a warcry, I flew towards him and began pummelling him with my fists, feet and other various body parts.

      "Fool!" he spat, disappearing in a flash of light and appearing behind me. "You cannot win!"

      He fired off several energy bolts at me; I dodged them with simple ease. I grinned.

      "That seriously can't be your best, can it?" I sneered, and leapt forwards, sinking my fist into his stomach. He doubled over, gasping and wheezing for air. Showing no mercy, I brought my other elbow down onto the back of his skull and heard a satisfying crack.

      "That's what you get for siding with evil!" I said, spitting on his limp form. I turned around and a surprising scene met my eyes, explaining the flashes of light and snarls. Each of my pets was duelling with some form of small demon, each of which were shaped very strangely - they were all almost humanoid, black as night, with two wings torn to tatters and tiny, pointed horns on their fiendish little faces: Imps. However, each of my pets were putting up spectacular fights; Opessenc had already beaten his! Triy and Luun, on the other hand, were each fighting mutant Eyries, who seemed to be equally matched for them. Unfortunately, the Shoyru had noticed my lack of attention and sprung on top of me.

      "Now I have you," he snarled, holding me down with one paw and conjuring a globe of energy in the other, "you shall fall first, and your pets afterwards!"

      However, he failed to notice Opessenc, who was charging towards him at full pelt, and I heard something crack as my Ixi sunk his horns into the Shoyru's side, sending him flying across the ledge.

      "Are you all right?" he asked anxiously, nudging me with his nose. "Another two of your teeth are broken…"

      "I'm fine, for now," I said, hugging my Ixi, "I'd better finish the fight."

      I got up and began to walk towards the Shoyru, who was lying on the stone. However, Luun yelled out from behind me; I turned and saw her pinned by one of the mutant Eyries.

      "Leave it!" hissed the Shoyru. "I'll revenge myself on that Ixi, but that's all the destruction we'll be doing today!"

      I whipped around, ready to block any spell fired at one of my pets, but it was too late - the fiend had already shot a jet of light from his paw, and I heard a cry of pain from behind me. With a faint chime, he was gone. He failed to notice that he had also left the Gemstone of Fire lying on the stone floor. Disregarding this completely, I instinctively turned to Opessenc, who was the nearest of the two Ixi to me, and rushed over. Already, something was happening. His fur was slowly changing from sky blue to forest green, and his horns were elongating and twisting, his eyes changing colour as he howled in agony, writhing and kicking, trying to stop the hideous Mutation that was taking place.

      "We need to get him to Illusen!" I shouted, remembering the story Luun told me, "Luun, slow down the transformation! My Ixi isn't going to fall to the Darkness! And that Shoyru," I growled, "that Shoyru is going to rue the day he ever joined forces with Drow."

To be continued...

 
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Other Episodes


» Midnight over Meridell - Chapter II: Part One
» Midnight over Meridell - Chapter II: Part Two
» Midnight over Meridell - Chapter II: Part Three
» Midnight over Meridell - Chapter II: Part Four



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