Apocalypse Now – Chapter 42

Authors Notes===

 

Enjoy! Series is back up. 

 

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David dragged Jake along side him as he rushed through the thick forest, dodging between trees. He followed the route indicated by Terry, the glowing blue line guiding him.

 

As he dodged between trees, he gradually made his way around the mountain’s southern section, heading towards the north side.

 

“Wha-How are you-Are you okay?” Jake’s voice cracked as he spoke, sounding nervous.

 

David looked down at the young boy he had grabbed onto, giving him a reassuring smile.

 

“I’m good. It’s my other power, that of a Life Orb Master. I can die and come back to life no problem, as long as I have these Orbs.”

 

Jake nodded, seemingly taking what David said at face value.

 

Just as he was about to speak again, however, a sudden whooshing sound sounded out as out of seemingly nowhere, a second bullet slammed into David, piercing his heart. The bullet itself had already penetrated David’s chest by the time the sound registered in his ears, destroying his heart and the majority of his internal organs. The last thing David saw before he died again, turning his head towards where the bullet came from, was a perfect hole pierced through several trees and foliage. Two figures hovered, several miles away and barely visible at the end of the several consecutive holes, all created by the piercing shot.

 

A second passed.

 

David revived and immediately, again, set off fleeing, moving in a zig zag pattern. He threw himself and all of his focus into escaping, moving quickly through the forest.

 

Unfortunately, this scene repeated itself eight more times. Seemingly out of nowhere, with no clear line of sight, an incandescent bullet would pierce David’s body and kill him, over and over without fail. Despite having his intelligent A.I. scan the surroundings, despite being aware that he was under attack, despite having his Level C Energy Transformation active, he was unable to sense the speed or range of the attack. It was unbelievably fast.

 

However, through the past few minutes of fleeing, he had managed to move around to the north end of the mountain and move several miles. He had now reached the border of the mountainhome mentioned by the former Redeemer General.

 

A green flashing door lit up the side of the mountain roughly 300 meters from David. The light followed the trail that Terry had made, leading through the center of the small valley David was in. Several large trees obstructed his view, swaying their large limbs quietly in the gentle wind.

 

David flung himself through the overbrush and cut towards the green flashing door in the side of the mountain, running like a mad man. Jake clung to his back as he ran, holding on tightly. David used his Life Orbs to help propel himself, his body barely able to handle the strain as he pushed himself to his limit.

 

David slammed into the green flashing door. A small light indicated where David should open it, hidden from plain sight. He tapped on the handle, feeling a small vibration shake the mountain wall. A second later, David was sucked into the hole, along with Jake, both of their bodies vanishing from the outside.

 

Mere moments after that, another rifle shot blasted into the mountain where David had been standing, piercing through it roughly four inches before stopping, despite its incredible force. An explosion of cracks spread out as the mountain door became damaged and inoperable. The mountain itself, however, remained incomparably hard, and couldn’t be pierced by the bullet.

 

 

A few miles south of the mountain

 

 

The heavily tattooed man, Lord Hurst, stared at the mountain before him in consternation. The figure of the Death Warden floated in the air next to him. The long, wooden hunting rifle he wielded was aimed off to the side as he considered the giant stone edifice, a frown on his face.

 

“Gyril, what is this mountain range?”

 

“Lord Hurst, this is the Endless Mountain Sea.” The deathly looking Warden said, his pale armor gleaming. “This particular mountain is not in any of our records.”

 

“Fascinating. My Godslaying Strike is only able to lightly damage the outer shell of this mountain. Is it made of Durastite?” Lord Hurst floated down towards the mountain, landing near the cracked and damaged ground.

 

He placed his tattoo covered hand on the rough rock, lightly resting on it. Then, with a jerking motion, the muscles on his body bulged as he clenched his hand, applying an enormous amount of force to the mountain rock.

 

The outer layer of the rock cracked, slightly. A few chips of stone dust slid off the mountain rock, falling to the ground.

 

Lord Hurst stared at the mountain rock for a moment. Then, a moment later, he began to laugh.

 

“Ahahahaha ohhhhhh this is great. The mice managed to hide in their hole!” Lord Hurst floated back into the air, jumping off of the mountain rock. He rapidly ascended till he was around a hundred meters above the rock, a smile covering his face.

 

“Ohh ahahahahah this is wonderful. I haven’t had this much fun in…” The heavily tattooed fighter paused for a moment, blinking.

 

“Years, my lord, years.” Gyril, the Death Warden stated.

 

“Ah yes, years. I haven’t had this much fun in years.” Abruptly, the air about the heavily tattooed man changed as he looked about commandingly. The jarring change of character seemed to be accepted as normal by Gyril, however, the Death Warden paying close attention.

 

“Have your soldiers set up a perimeter thirty miles around the base of this mountain. They cannot be any closer, but must maintain a sharp line, with full aerial support scanning. I want this area locked down, I don’t want anything sneaking past. I want this mountain scanned every second of the day, I want to know exactly when the mice decide to flee.”

 

“However.” Lord Hurst’s eyes turned cold as he turned to face the Death Warden, an incredible feeling of pressure forming in the air, as if with his eyes alone he could kill the Death Warden in an instant, the odd rings in his eyes spinning slowly. The Lord Savant withdrew a small pipe from a pocket of the red robe he had draped about him, lighting it and drawing smoke from it.

 

“No Wardens are to engage the mice. I alone will be the ones to take action on this, no matter how odd the situation may appear. Any who disobey shall die. Am I understood?”

 

“Yes Lord Hurst.” Gyril, the Death Warden, bowed again, his lankly body shivering under the pressure the Lord Savant gave off.

 

“Excellent! Hmm, we’re in the area of the Crossing Portal, right Gyril?” Lord Hurst turned his head to the north, his eyes focusing on something that wasn’t visible.

 

“Yes Lord Hurst.”

 

“Yes, while your Warden troops form a perimeter, I think I’ll go inspect the portal. These eyes of mine feel something interesting is happening.” The tattooed man grinned and launched towards the north, zooming off into the distance, with the Death Warden following close behind him.

 

 

Inside the Mountainhome of Dorn

 

 

David fell to the ground, panting. Jake slid off his back, landing on the stone ground beside David in a thump.

 

David shivered uncontrollably for a few moments, memories of instantaneous pain and death wracking his body as he slowly calmed himself down. He forced himself to breath slowly, feeling his pounding heart slowly start to return to normal.

 

“Are you okay, sir?” Jake’s voice was quiet and the boy trembled as he spoke, looking at David with fear in his eyes.

 

“I’m fine.” David gave the kid a confident grin, forcing himself to stand up. He gave himself a mental shake as he collected himself, pulling himself together. He temporarily shook off the horrors of feeling himself die multiple times, telling himself he would deal with them later.

 

“First, let’s find out where we are. We seem to be safe from that sniper, for now at least.” David looked around the area he was in with interest, his eyes shining. The Life Orbs that floated around him moved about, lightly glowing. The glow from the orbs was enough to illuminate the area they were standing in.

 

David and Jake had appeared in what seemed to be a large cave chamber. The ground beneath them was pure stone, of a grey and purplish hue. It seemed to have been cut, however, and was certainly not natural in appearance. Dale sent his Life Orbs out a little farther, putting them at the limit of the range he could control them at to light up the rest of the underground area.

 

The chamber was fully revealed. David gaped as he looked around, astonished.

 

Spread out past the initial area David and Jake had appeared at were dozens and dozens of suits of black and red striped armor, large heavy suits that were easily seven feet tall. All of these suits of armor were set on large wooden rows that layered throughout the room, holding the resting suits. Each suit had a large, grey sword strapped to their waistband, making it seem as if they were ancient warriors preparing to step down and do battle.

 

After a tense moment, however, none of the suits of armor made the slightest motion. David nodded as he noticed this, shaking off the initial fear that had formed. In his mind’s eye, he had pictured an army of metal warriors rushing at him madly with swords blazing.

 

They appeared to have teleported into an armory of some sorts. David and Jake began to walk through the rows, exploring.

 

The armor suits were all quite old, covered in dust. Each suit had heraldic designs carved into them, all with the shape of a hammer smashing down on a bolt of lightning.

 

“Terry scan the nearby area, report any signs of life immediately.” He made quick use of his A.I., his mind keen on the danger they were in.

 

No life forms detected. This area appears to be uninhabited. I will continually scan and report any irregularities.

 

Terry’s cool voice flowed into his mind, informing him. He gave a silent nod and continued forward, studying the suits of armor all around him.

 

The scale of these suits soon turned out to be much larger than David had anticipated. The numbers jumped from hundreds to thousands as they passed by row after row of heavy metal armor. His Life Orbs lit the way as they walked.

 

As they explored, David and Jake soon found a central passageway, a large gap that went directly down the middle of the room, dividing the suits of armor. They followed this gap, walking down the pathway.

 

Their footsteps echoed in the large chamber, like the memories of the past flowing forward. David shivered as he walked, keeping a close watch on his surroundings.

 

Eventually, after walking for some amount of time, they came upon several large stone buildings built inside the large chamber. Each building, they discovered after searching them, was a smithery, containing a forge, an anvil, and all the tools of trade a smith needed. In several of the buildings, the smithing tools were simply laying about on the ground as if abandoned in a hurry.

 

The pathway they followed continued upward, passing into what appeared to be a residential district. David counted nearly a thousand homes set in the stone walls and ground of this part of the enormous chamber. They searched a few, finding simple beds and kitchens, washrooms and bedrooms. Decidedly normal looking homes in such an odd area.

 

Finally, after following the pathway to its end, they came upon a throne.

 

An enormous throne made out of metal, with strange symbols and words carved into it. It gleamed brightly in the dim light from David’s Life Orbs, glowing with a sheen that could not be dampened. The throne itself was massive, easily 10 feet tall, stretching three or four feet wide. The sitting area on the throne was regular sized, but the backdrop and outer area was majestic and huge.

 

David moved to the side of the throne, looking at a large mural carved into the wall. It had a picture of two armies clashing, distinct figures attacking what appeared to be a giant, metal ship floating in the air. He could faintly make out the pictures of Wardens battling against the natural races of this world.

 

Below this mural was a long string of carved symbols. Interested, he asked his companion A.I. a question.

 

“Terry, can you tell me what these symbols mean?”

 

They appear to be drawn from the basic language of this Plane. My data drives hold a sufficient amount of data about this Plane now to interpret. Please hold while I initiate the changes.

 

A bright blue overlay began to form over the carved symbols on the wall, translating the text for David to see. He waited for it to finish forming and began to read.

 

“The War is lost.”

 

“Our forces are overrun, the Warden armies are simply too powerful. Their defenses are too strong, their powers too strange. They have not only adapted to this strange System, they have taken it in and made it their own.”

 

“Thankfully, regular Warden’s cannot use the strange powers from the System, only the ones that have been enhanced and reached a stage in which they evolve. Because of this, our defenses have held for a time.”

 

“But our defenses will not hold. Their attacks are inevitable, and victory was something we never had a chance at. The Warden’s skill and precision at war vastly outweigh our own. I fear we have not even riled 10% of their forces, yet we are easily defeated.”

 

“Our last hope, the ultimate forces of the Plane of Va, us Redeemer Generals and our armies have fallen. Kosvik Jewel, the 3rd Redeemer General, perished in the Battle of Glent. Kieron Godhand, the 1st Redeemer General, has gone missing.”

 

“I alone am left. Borsaphar Dorn. The 2nd Redeemer General, the Iron Anvil.”

 

“I will not give up. We may have lost this War, but I hold hope for the future.”

 

“To the survivors that read this, know that you are in a safe place. This is my Mountainhome, a Mountainhome made out of the toughest material in existence, an alloy of Durastite, born from the System itself. Whatever forces throw themselves after you, they will not be able to penetrate my home.”

 

“As this is carved, my death draws near. Deadly poison flows in my blood, a poison too insidious to be healed.”

 

“Before my death, I must impart the information we have learned. Our sacrifice, our battles against the Wardens, they have not been for nothing. We have learned a great deal about our enemy.”

 

“The Wardens are invaders. They have invaded dozens of separate worlds and planes. Our Plane of Va was merely a sidenote in their invasion. In each world, they have brought this strange System with them, its effects spreading. They have wiped out entire worlds, destroyed the lives of trillions of creatures, all in their efforts to find something.”

 

“They are hunting for something. Systemically going from Plane to Plane, world to world, searching for what they call an ‘Active System.’ When they don’t find it, they consolidate their forces on that Plane and enslave the population, making their forces stronger and stronger.”

 

“A schism has occurred in the group of Overlords that rule the Wardens, and because of this, our Plane has managed to survive much longer than previous Planes. However, actions from the other Overlords have shown that the Wardens seem to be drawing together again, preparing to leave. In order to prevent this, our agents will sow discord whenever possible, keeping the Wardens at each other’s throats.”

 

“For, if they decide to leave, I fear our Plane will be wiped out.”

 

“Well. This is the depth of our information. What an ‘Active System’ is, what the Wardens are, why they are searching for it, we do not know. I am bitter to state it, but our forces are as nothing to these beings. We can do nothing to stop them, and we are not even their primary targets. My anger knows no bounds.”

 

“My time of death draws near, however. Fair ye well, whatever lost souls find these words. Do not give up hope, and continue to fight. While our Plane may be lost, you are still alive, and while there is life, there is hope.”

 

- Borsaphar Dorn, the Iron Anvil of Galladon, the Hero of Idsvar, the 2nd Redeemer General.

 

 

David blinked, clearing his eyes. The emotion and pain conveyed by these words, they had touched David deeply. Borsaphar Dorn, the 2nd Redeemer General, clearly cared a great deal about his people and about this Plane. Their failure to defend was something that sat poorly with him, and something the general obviously struggle to accept.

 

As the full impact of the words hit David, a spike of fear flooded into his body.

 

The Wardens were looking for something called an ‘Active System.’ They had wiped out entire trillions of beings, ravaged dozens of Planes and Worlds, all in the search for this.

 

And, with a sinking feeling in his stomach, David knew exactly what these Warden’s were looking for.

 

Earth’s System.

 

He didn’t know the reasons why, but it couldn’t be anything good. Right now, the Earth itself was in an enormous amount of danger, danger that no one but he himself was aware of.

 

Adrenaline flooded David’s system as he leapt to his feet, immediately pushing his brain into overdrive. What he needed to do right now was inform the people of Earth on the impending danger.

 

He paused after a moment, scrubbing his head with his hands.

 

Even if he went to Earth right now and told everyone the dangers, who would believe him? He had no credibility, and the only thing he had going for him was that he was a member of the American Super’s organization. Even then, it still wasn’t assured that anyone would believe him.

 

David put the thoughts to the side for now. He would figure out how to convince people of the impending danger and to prepare for it later. Right now, he needed to focus on getting himself and Jake back to Earth.

 

“Jake,” David began, looking over at the child, “Your power let’s you Evolve other people’s powers right?”

 

Jake nodded. The boy had remained rather quiet after the danger he and David had gone through, his usual loud personality absent.

 

“Can you evolve my Life Orb power?”

 

Jake nodded again.

 

 

Several miles north, at the center of the Endless Sea of Mountains, Above the Floodgell Lake

 

 

Shin warped through the air, dodging veritable mountains of earth and debris as the powerful Super, Leia Drussel, continued to attack the being known as Zane Borealis.  The girl continued to smash the ground and pick up enormous chunks of rock and earth, throwing them at the floating elf like being.

 

The elflike being responded by wrapping himself in a tornado of flower petals, the soft pink looking petals moving in a blur. Every time a massive chunk of rock or earth was thrown up, the petals would slice the piece of earth into shreds, deflecting it. Zane watched from inside the tornado with amusement, calling out snide remarks towards the female Super. He seemed quite relaxed.

 

As the battle continued, Shin took the time to look at his surroundings clearly, getting his bearings. He blinked in astonishment as he realized where exactly he was.

 

Off to his left and his right, in front of him and behind, massive mountains rose up into the sky, like jagged teeth stabbing away from the ground. The area they were in now, however, was a sort of central lake. Below Shin was a massive several mile wide pool of water that moved serenely, colored a light blue.

 

Shin also realized that the island the female Super attacking the elflike being was standing on was floating in mid air!

 

In fact, all around Shin, he noticed dozens of similar islands, all of them floating in the air above this lake. Some were quite close to the lake water while others floated farther up in the air, nearly a hundred meters between them and the lake. The islands ranged from large, like the one Leia was on, easily a thousand meters wide, to small 10 or 20 meter large islands that floated slowly. The islands seemed to be slowly drifting, moving about in unknown currents.

 

As he looked around, teleporting upward to keep himself from falling, Shin noticed the several figures situated in various floating islands. He saw hundreds of Wardens moving about on the larger islands, and saw an enormous wooden platform situated at the exact center of the lake. Easily a thousand Wardens milled about on this platform, moving back and forth around.

 

In the dead center of this wooden platform was a large, glowing white mirror. It was around 10 feet wide and fifteen feet tall, shaped like an oval. There was no reflection coming off it, however, and the mirror itself seemed to be vibrating slightly.

 

Several cords and lines connected to the base of this mirror, a large metal box that support the frame. These lines connected to various large scale pieces of machinery that littered the platform, pumping and moving mechanically. They seemed to be powering the mirror somehow.

 

As Shin looked at it, he realized that this wasn’t a mirror at all, but some type of strange portal. He remembered how he had abruptly appeared in this area, by walking through a giant entrance that flashed darkly. He assumed this white portal was similar to the dark portal he had seen on Russia, the one that had transported him here, wherever here was.

 

With a thought, Shin tried to teleport back to Austin, to take a moment to collect himself.

 

However, Shin found that he couldn’t. It wasn’t that his teleporting was being blocked, or something. He simply found that he could not teleport back to Austin.

 

After a few moments, Shin found that he couldn’t teleport to any of the old places he had originally been able to teleport to. It was as if those places no longer existed.

 

“ARRRRRRGHHHH DIE YOU PIECE OF SHIT!”

 

A loud and crude scream drew Shin’s attention back down towards the ongoing battle between the female Super and the elflike being. The girl had ripped apart the floating island she was standing upon, throwing enormous chunks of earth and stone at the floating elflike man. She had taken to throwing several trees at the creature, trying to peg it down, and when that failed, resorted back to throwing large rocks and pieces of earth.

 

All of her attacks proved to be very ineffective, however. None of her strikes landed, and the creature continued to watch her with a calm smile.

 

“Now, now, dearie. I think we’ve had quite enough of your tantrums for today, hmm?”

 

The elflike being suddenly flew forward, landing on the ground. The petals that surrounded him began to spread out, flowing quietly in the air. The creature seemed completely at ease, and took leisurely steps toward Leia.

 

Leia, on the other hand, was anything but. Her armor was still bedraggled, she was covered in dirt and dust, and blood leaked out of several small wounds on her body. A fierce gleam of anger shined in her eyes, however, as she stalked forward towards the elf creature.

 

As Leia walked forward, the deadly flower petals floating in the air began to contract, slowly surrounding Leia and the elf like creature. These petals all flowed gently in the breeze, not quite touching Leia but getting closer and closer.

 

Shin instantly made a decision. The elflike being was far far too dangerous for him to take out, and he was unwilling to abandon a fellow human to her death against these creatures. They had, after all, kidnapped David. Leia was extremely strong and would prove useful as an ally. As well, she obviously didn't have a chance in defeating this Warden. The creature was playing with her.

 

Thus, in the blink of an eye, Shin teleported, arriving directly behind Leia.

 

“Don’t move, I’m warping us out.” Shin spoke his words in a hurry, grabbing on to Leia and preparing to teleport. When he warped while holding onto someone, he had to wait a moment for his teleport to charge.

 

Leia spun around, almost knocking Shin backwards into the floating flower petals, glaring at Shin warily and preparing to attack. The elflike creature looked at them in surprise and frowned, and then, with a motion of his hand, stabbed the flower petals towards both of them. The petals moved at a speed that was lightning fast, much faster than Shin would have time to teleport with.

 

As the deadly petals flowed in, preparing to rain down death, however, the air around Shin and Leia trembled. An enormous feeling of pressure slammed down, freezing the flowing flower petals in place.

 

And, in the instant that the petals were frozen, Shin finished charging his teleport and vanished, disappearing with Leia away from the floating island.

 

The feeling of pressure vanished as the flower petals were released, slicing down on where Leia and Shin had previously been, ripping the air into shreds. An incredible amount of force guided these petals as they destroyed the ground and air where Shin and Leia had been standing at a molecular level, tearing apart molecules. The destructive power was several times stronger than any of the previous attacks the elflike being had displayed.

 

As the feeling of pressure faded, the elflike being’s face twisted, an expression of rage and hatred forming as he slowly turned around. Thousands of petals swarmed about this creature as he emanated anger, his eyes twisting in rage.

 

“What are you doing here, Hurst? Why did you interfere?” The elflike creature’s face was twisted till it looked like an evil abomination, the previously handsome features stretching as anger and rage took over his face. A sword made out of petals formed in the elflike creature’s hands as he stalked forward towards the edge of the floating island.

 

A figure appeared, slowly descending from the sky. A muscular man, covered in tattoos gave a cheery wave back at the elf like creature, slinging the wooden and crystal rifle over his shoulder. The oddly ringed eyes of this figure gleamed as they looked down at the elflike being.

 

“Ah Zaney old chap old boy. I found you in the nearby area, and sensed the disturbance created when you crossed back over. Aren’t you supposed to be on Earth, securing it for the Grand Move?” The tattooed figure ignored Zane’s question, still smiling.

 

“Why. Did. You. Interfere?” The elflike figure seemed to be mere moments from attacking Zane, the petals floating around him slowly inching forwards.

 

“Do you want to do this now, Lord Zane?” The tattooed man’s voice and demeanor abruptly changed, his cheerful demeanor fading. The feeling of enormous pressured returned as the tattooed man’s eyes began to glow, the rings in his eyes slowly moving.

 

The air around them trembled as the two beings looked at each other. Waves of unseen energy crackled between the two fighters, cracking the earth of the nearby floating islands and causing the serene lake below to explode into waves.

 

After a tense moment, Zane’s twisted face returned to normal, the anger fading away as his usual smoothness returned. The pressure in the air faded away as well as Lord Hurst stood down too, his eyes dimming, his smile returning.

 

“I will inform the Overlord of your actions.” Zane’s voice regained its gentle composure, though he still remained on edge as he glared at the tattooed man, still wielding his power petal blade. The elflike being leapt off the floating island, heading towards the giant white glowing portal that rested on the lake below.

 

“As you wish, as you wish.” Lord Hurst replied, floating off into the air, the smile on his face widening. He slowly pulled off the rifle on his back, adjusting it. Under his breath, he began to talk to himself.

 

“No one can escape these eyes, however. Oh teleporter, the strings between you and the mice I hunt are quite strong. Why is that?”

 

The tattooed man began to sing a little rhyme as he spoke to himself. Gyril, the ever present Death Warden, kept his distance and followed his Lord, his black armor rattling in the air as they flew.

 

“Now there are four mice to hunt,

These mice I hunt with glee.

Slay the mice, these little runts,

For death itself is free.”

 

The tattooed man continued to sing to himself as he drifted off into the air, slowly flying back towards the south, his eyes scanning the ground and looking forward as if he was stalking someone.

 

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