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 Appocalyth

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Draikka_Helfir
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PostSubject: Re: Appocalyth   Wed May 18, 2011 12:17 pm

Chapter 5

Warning: the following chapter contains images of a violent and sexual nature

The ancient city was a warped as she remembered it. The vampire sighed. She’d have to comb its streets again to try and find more material, and in the meantime, figure out a way to evade the dragons. She couldn’t carry on the way she had done; they’d detected her magical signature every time she’d attempted to use a spell. She had to find a way to trick them or evade them. Towns were no good; too closely monitored, both by dragons and those dumb droids, but the city was too open; the towering buildings may make manoeuvrability difficult, but they’d find her too easily all the same.
She sniffed the air, scowling. The stench of an unclean vampire made her nose wrinkle like a prune or walnut shell, and she decided to move on. The last thing she wanted was to be accosted by those wretched “New Blood” vampires...
She moved quickly, but then again most vampires do. Not bound to physics and biology the way mortals were, they could create and resist terrific forces, and move at speeds that rivalled even the dragons, although not for quite so long. She darted from building to building, collecting the ingredients she needed for her next spell and storing them in “a convenient hiding place”. These ingredients were sparse and becoming rarer by the day, but then again, she had a lot of time to find them in, given that she didn’t age. As long as she didn’t come across that blasted dragon again; Senkradrol alone had foiled half of her, “experiments”, hence her frustration. As long as she avoided them and-
“Well, well, well, what do we have here?” She stiffened in fury, and turned through three hundred and sixty degrees. Vampires, at least a dozen of them, crawling like animals from the ruins of the surrounding buildings, possessed of a hungry atmosphere that betrayed the new blood generation. “A jugular, alone, in a place like this?” She hissed as she took in breath. She hated that term, adopted by the new blood vampires. True; she had a decent bust, but it was possibly the least favourite of her assets, given the attention it brought, especially by these primeval monstrosities.
“The name is...” she started, but one of the vampires cut her off.
“Names don’t matter here jugular,” he purred, stepping in front of her, hence completing the circle they’d formed around her. She looked around again, this time analysing their plan. There were thirteen – the usual size of one of these gangs – eight male, five female. The males had her surrounded while the females blocked off all possible escape routes outside the circle. She snarled and turned back to the leader. “We don’t even need to talk; our bodies do all the talking. Yours is telling me you’re a fun woman, even if you are playing hard to get.”
“Try impossible,” she spat back. “You can’t touch me, and if you even try, you’ll regret it.”
“Oh come on juggy!” another vampire broke the circle and ran at her. She retaliated by seizing his outstretched arm and breaking it with an expert knee jab. Not content with simply maiming him though, she spun him round using the broken arm and seized his other arm so she had both arms behind his back. She then raised the same leg she’d used to break the first arm, and this time placed her foot in the small of his back, with such force, both arms came clean out of their sockets. The vampire screamed and staggered into his comrades, his arms flapping and dangling uselessly at his sides. He’d never used them again. The other vampires took a step back.
“And the same goes for anyone else that even comes within twenty feet of me,” she snarled.
“Ah, the old fighting game is it?” hissed the lead vampire, who alone hadn’t backed off. “Alright then, get her!”
They all charged simultaneously. She knew she was only just more powerful that any of them physically, but mentally she had the upper hand; sex and violence had dulled their senses. She sprang into the air. Several jumped with her, so she kicked one in the chest as he approached. Two more managed to grab her arms, but she swung them into each other and kicked them both back down. They wouldn’t be down long, but the other four were waiting for her below. She intentionally curled up into a ball and fell between their grasping arms. Now on the floor, she kicked out, sending one flying, before spinning in mid air and sprinting in the other direction. The males were confused, but now she found herself up against two of the females, both of whom reached for her. She jabbed one in the eye, permanently blinding her, before she turned to attack the other and, seizing the other’s head with both hands, smashed it into her knee. The attack didn’t faze her that much though, as she charged her attacker with flailing arms, now more intent on punishment than restraint. The elder vampire however rolled over backwards, driving both feet into the woman’s gut, flinging her over her head and into the path of the male vampires who were charging forward. The elder vampire was disgusted by the open display of depravity that followed, but had little chance to dwell on it as the gang leader was bearing down on her.
”Get away from me!” she yelled, kicking the leader back with such force she broke skin and flesh and sent him flying. That was three down and two indisposed, she calculated quickly, and then turned to the other five male vampires charging towards her. Seeing as there was no one blocking her retreat, she turned and fled into the nearest building. It was one of the bigger ones, its windows long since emptied and much of the floor on each level crumbled into nothingness. This was her territory now; they were gang fighters and brawlers, but she was a hunter. Leaping between the floors with ease, she quickly lost her pursuers who, although as powerful and as skilled as her, lacked the imagination to search for her cleverly. “Now,” she hissed. “The hunt begins.” She crouched, creeping along floors and walls, her feet and hands making little noise – if any at all – as she stalked her unwary prey. This was the one thing she enjoyed more than anything else; man hunting. As long as she didn’t make any noise when she killed them, they’d never suspect she was even attacking.
She peered through a hole in the floor below her. A man was crawling beneath her, trying to sniff her out. She’d left a scent, but had moved too fast and doubled back on herself so they’d never find her, not until it was too late at least. She smiled, and pulled a long silver dagger from its sheath on her belt. It was concealed so well that they didn’t even know she had one. She carefully gauged her moment, and pounced. One hand was around his face and mouth before he even knew he was being attacked, and the knife slid through the flesh around his throat with ease, penetrating right to the heart and puncturing it before he’d even lost his balance. Pulling the knife free and getting her arms under his body before he fell, she managed to bear his weight and brace herself against a steel pillar before any noise was made. She turned her head and looked for the others. They hadn’t noticed a thing. Smiling, she gently laid the corpse against the pillar and disappeared back into the rafters. His body wouldn’t last long; the one weakness of being a vampire – or at least a new blood vampire – is once killed, they rot so easily they virtually disintegrate moments after death. At least she didn’t have to worry about him giving her position away. Following her own scent trail, she doubled back on herself, and quickly found her second victim, a new blood who’d strayed from the other three to sniff out a potential hiding place. He didn’t last long; she dispatched him the same way she’d done the last one. Now there were only three left. Smiling at the ease of the hunt, she climbed back into the higher levels of the building and waited for her next victim. Slowly, she crept towards them...
“B****!” Suddenly, a vampire dropped on her from the roof. Startled she staggered, fell through a weakened floor board and tumbled with her attacker down four floors, below the other hunting vampires. It was the leader, furious and desperate to get something from her. “I’LL HAVE YOUR BLOOD IF I CAN’T HAVE YOUR-”
“Oh f*** you!” she gasped, feeling his breath and his fangs on her neck, and flinging him away with a modified hip toss. “Not that I would want to!” He’d landed on all fours and, with a single psychotic glance in her direction, pounced at her again, only to find her dagger sliding between his ribs into his heart like the other two. Already half rotten on the inside from the gash left in his torso, his body virtually exploded. She gagged and almost hurled at the stench of rapidly rotting flesh, but she had no time to dawdle; the others were chasing her. “S***!” she cursed, and she ran and leapt through a broken patch of wall. The vamps outside were still at it, and had been joined by the other three females. “One eye” and “no arms” were still staggering around in pain, although “one eye” was staring around wildly to spy the elder vampire. Landing like a cat, she ran at the five vampires in the middle of the street, bowling them over as she barged passed. The four women were disoriented and furious, but “one eye” was the first to attack, charging at her attacker with fury and rot in her remaining eye. “Oh, no way am I letting that happen again!” gasped the elder vampire, throwing her dagger at “one eye”. It split her head clean in two and she fell to the ground, what was left of her head disintegrating on the spot. But the elder had little time to dwell on “no head” as the four remaining female vampires were charging towards her, followed by the three males from the building and the “deprived” male, who looked even more furious than the others. “Oh this s***s!” she half sighed, half cursed, and she turned and ran towards another building. This one wasn’t as big, but she had other plans for it. This time, she charged into the structure, smashing part of it to pieces with her uncanny vampire strength. Seizing the pieces, she started hurling them at her attackers. The attacks themselves did little but enrage the new bloods, but their rage meant they ignored the structural instability of the building. They tore through the weakened supports, causing the building to start to creak. “And this, is it for you,” she purred, grabbing a stick of metal that burst out of a nearby wall. Swinging it with all her strength, she took the head off of another vampire, before jumping through the ceiling as the building started coming down around them.
From the outside, “no arms” watched in mingled shock and horror as the building collapsed. He heard the screams of his fellow vampires as they were crushed and impaled by the falling structure. He took several steps backwards, and then saw something fly through the roof. It was her, the elder vampire, flying through the air like a world class acrobat, and landing elegantly on the floor before the toppling building. He stared in horror as she stood up, chest out, stomach in, shoulders back, metal bar clutched delicately in her hand.
“And that,” she purred. “Is how I do things around here.” She then turned to “no arms”, who staggered backwards. “Now, if you don’t mind...” A sudden roar of rage came from the building behind her. She turned to see a vampire, male, leaping from the same hole as her, flying towards her like some kind of flying cat. Scowling, she pulled back the metal stick, and threw it at him with all her force. The two collided in mid air, their mutual momentum cancelling each other out, so both vampire and metal stick fell straight down. He landed in his back, the stick sticking out of his chest. “Never interrupt a lady,” she hissed, before turning back to “no arms”. He’d turned and started running, but without usable arms he couldn’t run fast. He’d have been faster if he’d lost his arms entirely, rather than having them dangling from his shoulders like a pair of sand filled socks. She caught up with him easily and brought him to the ground. “Now,” she panted. “As I was saying, I’m thirsty. You haven’t broken skin yet; your blood should still be good.” He stared at her in horror. “Oh, and by the way,” she purred as she leaned towards his neck. “As I was about to say before you attacked me, the name is Elvara Darkmoon.”
After a minute or so, Elvara stood up, licking the blood from her lips, before spitting the last drops to the floor. New blood vampires tasted terrible as they did nothing but have sex and drink each other’s blood, which had no goodness in it whatsoever. Elvara looked down at “no arms”. His neck was still good, but only because her saliva was affecting the wound. He’d rot down to ashes soon enough. Elvara scowled, and turned to leave.
“Fantastic work Elvara.” Elvara froze. She knew that voice. Slowly, she turned. There was another vampire standing some distance from the fight scene, unnoticed in all the violence. He was tall, not as tall as the leader had been but well over six feet. He was well kept, bathed, shaved and well dressed in an old fashioned red and black suit and cape ensemble. He had a well structured face and black eyes, which peered at her with a mixture of pride and intrigue.
“You,” Elvara spat, glaring back.
“Aw, aren’t you prepared to use my name?” asked the vampire, striding forward. Elvara took a few steps back. His name was Dromien, but she had no intention of giving him the honour of using his name. “And I thought you and I had something special.”
“Take one more step and you can join the new bloods,” spat Elvara, waving a hand in the direction of the fallen building, from which the stench of dead new blood vampires still lingered. Dromien stopped in his tracks.
“I still don’t understand you,” he whispered, his smile now vacant. “You kill all these new bloods yet you won’t tolerate one of your own kind near you. What is going on inside that pretty little head of yours?”
“Nothing you need to know about!” Elvara shot back, and then she threw a dagger at him. He hadn’t noticed her retrieving it from one of her hiding places, but his hand was in the path of the blade before it reached him. Elvara cursed. Dromien looked at the dagger, sticking through the centre of his hand.
“Venom?” he commented, slowly pulling the knife from his hand. The wound closed, a benefit of drinking mortal blood over your own. “Do you really hate your own kind that much; you must lace your knives with poisons?”
“Whatever it takes to keep slime like you away from me,” hissed Elvara. “As far as I’m concerned, you’re no better than any of them!” Dromien looked at her, and then pulled Elvara’s other dagger from behind his back.
“Here,” he said simply, throwing both knives carelessly back to Elvara. She caught them, but in the moment her attention was caught by her weapons, Dromien had closed the gap between the two of them. She scowled, glaring into his face. “It’s a shame,” Dromien purred, reached up and caressing Elvara’s heart shaped face. “You would make such a good queen if only you’d change your attitude...”
“Get away from me!” Elvara spat, slapping Dromien’s hand away and backing off. “I’ve told you a hundred times already, I’m not interested. You may like the idea of ruling this hellhole, but I don’t. I’ve got better things to do with my time than chase stupid dreams.” Dromien glared at Elvara, and then slipped a small bottle from his sleeve and looked at the label. Elvara gasped – it was one of the bottles she’d been collecting – and felt her convenient hiding place. “Give that back!” Elvara snapped angrily. Dromien looked back at Elvara.
“I don’t know what you would want with these archaic drugs,” he commented. “They’re not necessary for any spell we would use. It would be prudent to get rid of this; you’re wasting your time collecting these substances.” With that, he crushed the bottle in his hand and discarded the remains. Elvara’s eyes burned with rage. “I’ll find you again, to see if you’re ready to come for your senses,” Dromien finished, and he turned and left. Elvara waited until he was out of sight, before darting to the broken fragments of bottle. One or two of the pills were ok, but she’d have to find another bottle somewhere; what was left would never be enough.
“Damn that slime ball,” she hissed. “I think I’ll take my time when I finally get around to killing him.”



I hope it's not an issue, considering that you've started your own story about Elvara. And I did base her appearance on the picture I on that website you guided me to.
Still, she is just the first of the many "titans" of Apocalyth.

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Apocalyth Continues
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imdyinginside
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PostSubject: Re: Appocalyth   Wed Jun 01, 2011 9:17 pm

omg omg! you have got her spot on! I love it! Very Happy carry on carry on!

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PostSubject: Re: Appocalyth   Thu Jun 02, 2011 9:15 am

Very good Kai, i'm anxious to see next chapter

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PostSubject: Re: Appocalyth   Sat Jun 04, 2011 3:19 pm

Glad to see you both liked that one Wink . *wipes brow at knowledge ELvara was accurate... and in the intolerable heat experienced since end of winter*

I have the next chapter. It's not quite the action packed episode of this one, but is important nevertheless.

Oh, and Joker, if you want one of your guys to feature, just PM me the form that... one closer inspection is NOT on page one. Whoops...


Name- The name of your character, along with any titles or nicknames they have.
Gender- Whether your character is male or female, or for some reason is something else entirely.
Species- What race of creatures your character belongs to, be it human, dragon, vampire or whatever.
Look- A basic/in-depth description of your character's physique and choice of clothes (if applicable).
Psyche- How your character thinks, acts, perhaps a view of their goals or their beliefs.
Story- A brief history of what they've experienced so far and explanation for some of their physical/mental characteristics.
Abilities- An extension of what your character can do, included in or in addition to their species.

*goes red with the indelicacy... and the heat*

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PostSubject: Re: Appocalyth   Wed Jun 08, 2011 7:06 am

Chapter 6

“Unit number one two three four.” The master computer greeted the droid as it entered the room. “Report.”
“Nothing can be added to one eight eight zero’s findings,” stated the droid. The computer bank seemed to grow colder and darker at these words. “The magical residue or what remains of it indicates a powerful and expertly administered transportation spell that might possibly have penetrated both space and time.” There was a long silence.
“Room for error?” questioned the computer.
“Little although information is sketchy,” replied the droid. There was another pause as the computer did a little further calculation.
“We must still assume that one eight eight zero’s theory is the least probable of events. Current information still decides too strongly against one eight eight zero’s version of events.” Another pause as the computer waited for the droid to reply.
“Are we still clinging to the hope that we already know everything?” it asked finally. “Might we be deceiving ourselves and failing to apprehend a much more serious threat than the one we fear?”
“One eight eight zero’s theory is too flawed to be feasible,” stated the computer, once again asserting its authority. “No similar theories match the available information either. A more feasible theory is that the person claiming to be “Cricket” is in fact a cunning sorceress who deceived a flawed robot into believing her story. She has some scheme in mind to further her own gains and position and needs to conceal her true identity until she has succeeded. The spell and her character are merely a cover story. The lack of magical residue may indicate precision or – more likely – lack of actual magical usage. She might have generated a magic field and manipulated its texture to appear to be a powerful transportation spell in an attempt to deceive us. I chose to believe the latter theory as the lack of new information does not change the situation.”
“As is your prerogative,” replied Twelve Thirty Four. “Will you require me to continue investigating the case?”
“Your presence in this matter is no longer necessary,” stated the computer. “The Nineteen hundred series units will be completed within the next few days. One of them will be more than adequate to solve this puzzle. You may carry out your normal duties; I need you to inspect the laboratory.” Twelve Thirty Four looked up at the computer.
“The laboratory?” it repeated.
“The laboratory,” affirmed the computer. “Whilst scanning one eight eight zero’s memory during reprogramming I discovered several unreported incidents of it having visited he laboratory unprompted. The memories of its visits have been carefully erased so it may have purposefully erased its memory afterwards to protect itself. We have been unsuccessfully in attempting the access the laboratory computer network so we can only assume that it has also crippled the computer there or the communication equipment somehow. These incidents must be investigated and you knew one eight eight zero best. Arm yourself and take a transport there at once. Report back to be as soon as possible.”
“Understood,” said Twelve Thirty Four. It turned curtly and strode from the room.

“Kryten’s still giving us trouble,” explained Jerome. “He claims they don’t have enough produce to trade for our workers, at least not in the amounts you’re asking.” Quinlan sighed.
“Stubborn old goat. He’s been like this since before I came into office. I know he has enough food in storage to last him twice as long as us, yet he wants manpower because our people are the strongest around and thinks he can get it for nothing. Well his selfishness is going to cost him this time. Tell him that our men are coming home if he doesn’t agree to share better. It about time we got tough with him. Kadrocrop’s too soft with some town leaders.” Quinlan turned and started walking home.
“Err, Mayor Quinlan,” said Jerome before Quinlan left.
“Yes?” Quinlan returned, turning to face Jerome again. Jerome hesitated.
“There have been rumours spreading about... you know... “our guest”.” Quinlan’s eyes narrowed.
“What sort of rumours?” he asked.
“Well, that she’s a witch,” Jerome said quietly. “She did come out of sector twenty six after all. How else could she survive there?” Quinlan looked at Jerome. Jerome felt the same penetrative heat that Cricket experienced.
“She has displayed none of the telltale signs of magic since she arrived,” Quinlan said slowly after a pause. “She’s been eager to talk and tell all she knows whenever I’ve spoken with her, and there have been no peculiar incidents from her room at all that I am aware of. If your informants are still anxious, tell them that I have my eye on her.”
“Very well,” Jerome nodded, and turned to go back to his home. Quinlan watched him go, and then returned to his house.
“So how’s old Kryten?” asked Hannah as Quinlan walked in, removing his coat as he did so. “He must be four hundred years old by now; how is he still going?” Quinlan chuckled and sat down opposite his wife at the only table in the house, the dining table.
“He’s as stupidly stubborn as ever. They still want workers to help expand their tiny town, but he’s refusing to share his food stores with us; claims he needs it for the workforce, who, incidentally, all come from my town.” Hannah sighed. She’d heard this speech before. Kryten had been like this for the fifty years she’d known him, and Quinlan was too much of a good person to push him politically. “So, our workers are coming home unless he eases up.” Hannah looked over, slightly surprised.
“You’re actually putting your foot down?” she asked. “Well, we’ve been married for thirty eight years and you’re finally flexing those muscles of yours in a new way.” Quinlan smiled.
“Anything happen while I was out?” he asked.
“Nothing’s changed,” Hannah sighed. “Joanna’s still hanging on. She’s overdue now; two days overdue.”
“You were almost a week and a half overdue with her,” Quinlan replied. Hannah chuckled herself.
“She’s bigger than I was though,” she said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if the doctor’s wrong and she’s carrying twins.”
“I’ve known that doctor for thirteen years and he’s not been wrong yet,” Quinlan returned.
“There’s a first time for everything,” Hannah shot back.
“There is, but it’s not twins.” Quinlan and Hannah looked up to see their daughter in the doorway. She was enormous. “I think I’d know if there was more than one child in here. Are you trying to hope me into having another one?”
“I wouldn’t be surprised,” shrugged Quinlan, eyeing his wife who looked mockingly shocked. “She always wanted a second child, but...” He didn’t finish his sentence, instead standing up and reaching for his daughter’s stomach. “He’s a feisty one,” he commented.
“First it’s mum desperate for twins and now you’re desperate for a grandson,” Joanna joked.
“You have the shape of a boy,” Quinlan explained. “Why; do you want a daughter, daughter?”
“I’d prefer one to a son,” Joanna confessed. “But either will do.” Suddenly her face lost its expectant smile, now looking “under the weather”.
“What is it?” asked Quinlan.
“It’s Brant,” Joanna sighed. “Ever since “she” showed up he’s become moody. Dad, why is she still here? We haven’t got room for her and...” she stopped a moment, before continuing in an undertone. “and we don’t really know who she is.” Quinlan frowned slightly.
“I’ll check on her, again,” he said finally. “But rest easy Anna. If she’s not who she says she is, I’ll know.”
“It’s Jo dad,” quipped his daughter, smiling again. Quinlan smiled back and went to check on Cricket. Although talkative, she’s barely ventured down from the attic at all since her arrival; even staying up there during meal times. Quinlan looked up at the trap door, and then retrieved the ladder.
“Going to talk to the witch again?” Brant commented as he walked passed.
“Son; I doubt she is a witch,” Quinlan replied. “She may have come from a magical death zone but she’s not acted at all like a witch.”
“Well if you can tell me what she is then I’ll listen,” Brant replied, not looking at his father in law. “But I think she’s a witch. It’s only a matter of time before she does something to endanger us all.” Quinlan frowned at his son in law.
“Brant,” he called as Brant approached the back door. Brant hesitated. There was a slightly tense pause. “Good hunting,” Quinlan said finally. “Take Sarkha with you; those mammoths can be real pigs to take down.” Brant turned to his father and smiled. Quinlan smiled back, and then started climbing the ladder.
Cricket jumped as Quinlan opened the trap door, and was on her feet by the time he’d entered the attic. “M-M-Mr Quinlan...?” she stuttered as he closed the door and stood before her. He eyed her. Nothing had changed; she was the same girl he’d let into the house almost a week back. His eyes started scouring the room. No markings, no rubbings or rubbings out, nothing out of place, except a ball Cricket occasionally played with. Cricket looked briefly and nervously at the giant man. Finally, Quinlan sniffed the air. Cricket seemed even more puzzled than before, but Quinlan had encountered magic a number of times before, and there was a texture to the air that he’d learned to recognise, a texture that implied the use of magic. If there was a spell in the air to conceal her recent activities or to maintain her disguise, he’d sense it, even if she’d taken precautions against it. Quinlan filled his lungs, trying to sense magic. He found nothing; just the smell of dust and of a girl who perhaps didn’t wash every day (not through any fault of her own mind).
Finally, Quinlan looked right at Cricket. She nervously glanced back, but much to her surprise, saw a smile on his square, chiselled face. “Rest easy girl,” he said, indicating her stool. She sat upon it, and Quinlan sat cross legged before her. “I was just checking.”
“Checking what, sir?” Cricket asked.
“For magic,” he stated. “You know there are people around here who doubt who you are.”
“Me included...” Cricket sighed, looking at her knees.
“But I no longer believe you aren’t who you say you are,” added Quinlan, placing his large hand on her knees. This was the first time he’d touched her, and Cricket was surprised at how warm his hand was, and how large; it had to be the size of her head at least! She looked up, and found the fierce heat she’d experienced when looking into his eyes now felt like a warm and gentle glow. “I you weren’t, I’d know by now.” Cricket felt her eyes welling up. She’d doubted everything she knew for so long now it was overwhelming to hear Quinlan express his trust in her story.
“Th-thank you,” she stammered, blinking furiously.
“You’re welcome,” replied Quinlan. “Now we know you are who you say you are, we just need to figure out how you got here.” Cricket wiped her eyes. This next topic was a lot trickier. “I’m convinced of your identity, but your story is still a mystery. Are you sure you can’t remember a thing?”
“Not a thing,” Cricket confirmed. “Before waking up here, all I can remember, is, the fire...” Cricket stopped. She could still taste the smoke filling her lungs, but after passing out, she’d just found herself in Apocalyth. Quinlan sighed.
“Well, at least we’ve got one thing sorted,” he said. “But not very many others are going to believe you just on my word, no matter how much weight it carries. We’re just going to have to find out some other way.” Cricket nodded.
Quinlan got up. “My son in law’s preparing to go off hunting for a while. Our food stuffs getting low and we’re not getting enough cooperation from our nearest neighbour. We’ll keep you here for as long as we can, but Joanna’s baby’s expected any day now, and we simply haven’t the room or resources. We’ll need the attic space once he... or she arrives,” he amended his words, thinking that he still didn’t know for sure what she was carrying.
“I understand Mr Quinlan,” returned Cricket. “And don’t worry about me. I think I can take care of myself. But I am grateful for the hospitality you’ve shown me.” Quinlan nodded, and once again descended the ladder out of sight.

Unit twelve thirty four arrived at the laboratory, parked its transport and collected its weapon. An old fashioned welding gun, it was designed to be able to weld metal plates where conventional welders couldn’t reach. It never really took off and was later remodelled into a long distance weapon, which became obsolete after the war broke out, so it was all but forgotten over time. Twelve thirty four liked it however; through sentimentality perhaps, but it preferred the welder to the more advanced weapon prototypes developed from the designs.
The droid approached the front door of the lab and placed its hand against a small security panel located at droid hand height beside the door. The panel, invisible to untrained eyes, glowed green for a moment, and then the doors slid apart. Twelve thirty four walked into the lab. The lights flickered on with barely a delay.
“Interesting,” noted the droid, observing the lights. “The facility seems operational. Better check for the other service droids.” Twelve thirty four set off down the corridors. Having a topographical map of the lab in its head, it took just moments to locate the service droid recharge and maintenance facility. One look inside gave the unfortunate droid all the answers it needed. “Offline...” it stated, a slight sag in its shoulders. “Judging from rust levels and dust deposits they must have been offline for at least four hundred years.” Twelve thirty four looked back at the lighting fixtures; glowing panels in the ceiling. “Yet the laboratory is still in a state of excellent repair. Evidently my old friend hasn’t neglected his duties as the master computer assumed.” The droid set off again. It didn’t get far however before noticing another type of deposit on the floor and walls. “Identify,” said the droid, eyeing the deposit closely. “Slime residue. Genetic composition unknown. Reminiscent of twentieth century slug trail but significantly darker. Trail is long since dried and decayed; creature of origin must be long deceased.” Twelve thirty four, now finished, ignored the “slug trail” and set off in search of the lab’s other facilities. The room where project “Kadmus” was overseen was the only room in as bad a state of decay as the service droid recharge and maintenance facility. Towering glass tanks lined the back wall behind a row of computers. The tanks had cracked over the years and the fluid they’d once contained cleaned away, as well as the embryo’s they’d once held. Although the computers were still operational, the chances of restarting the project were nonexistent. The master computer room was also offline; the database was still accessible, but the master circuits were degraded beyond repair. The droid moved on. The weapon storage facility was dusty but still intact. “I had better lock this room,” commented the droid, closing the door with another invisible panel, before welding the door shut and frying the panel. “Weapons are not appropriate in the delicate world of Apocalyth.” Twelve thirty four continued inspecting the building, before finally arriving at the last door, to the S.O.S storage facility. The droid tried to open the door, but it was security locked. “Strange,” commented the droid. “Service droids should have access to this room. Unless...” Twelve thirty four hesitated, and then altered its CPU-ident briefly to match eighteen eighty’s. The door slid open. “What are you hiding in here old friend?” The droid looked inside. Glass panels in the wall opposite showed where the S.O.S droids were stationed, but looking at them, it was plain they were beyond hope to. Although designed to resist rust, once they start, they practically disintegrate. Every tank was empty save a pile of rust and a few metal bonelike devices, and the adjoining computers were all switched off.
Every tank, except one. Twelve thirty four’s pixelated face adopted an astonished expression. The S.O.S unit was still perfectly intact, and the bay had been recently attended to. The computer was on, and when the droid accessed the computer screen, a countdown timer appeared, with a password box beneath it.
“You sly devil eighteen eighty,” gasped the droid. A smile appeared on its face. “Now I wish I had a human’s cunning.” Twelve thirty four then left the building, closing the door behind it. Raising its aerial until it got a signal with the master computer, it awaited acknowledgement from its programmer.
“Report,” came the request from the master computer.
“Have accessed the laboratory as requested,” stated the droid. “Local computer has shut down due to age and all service droids are offline. As unit one eight eight zero has already explained the lab is out of commission. All droids and weapons here have disintegrated over time and there is nothing of any value or interest remaining to be concerned with. One eight eight zero has lead us on a wild goose chase.”
“Understood,” replied the master computer. “Your presence at the laboratory is no longer required. Continue with routine duties.”
“Acknowledged,” said the robot, and it sheathed the aerial.

_________________
Apocalyth Continues
Index
Chapter 6
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