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We wandered for days. Heading in one direction. Assured the outcome would be better. I started to wonder, what exactly was I doing. Am I really going to destroy Azergile. Me, I don’t even know what he looks like, but still I wander.
The desert ruins shifted to a more sharp landscape. Lines of stone spears stuck out of the ground, and a black sky canvased everything. However, now we stood before a new sight, that meaty flesh that grew everywhere had consumed this place as well. Its fibrous turmored grip upon all that it touched. Bodies laid about, as though they were in a panic. Tangled in the muscle form. Twitching and moaning and in pain. It scared and I stayed close to Velora who didn’t seem bothered at all by them.
I couldn’t stand it any longer, I had to ask. “Velora, are they still alive.”
“Yes.” she said in such a mater of fact tone.
In the ground as if planted there I looked upon a man reaching out at me. All he made was animal like groans, shouts, and he reached towards me. Held in the flesh mass I felt sorry for him. At the same time I was glad he was in that wicked dungeon. Sadly his mind decayed into nothing more than a beast’s.
We came upon a large pit. It could swallow the world. In its depth a sound was erupting, screams, violence. Whatever was down inside the darkness of the fleshy chasm, I did not want to know.
“This is a horrible place.” I said.
“Its an old battle field.” Velora commented. “Long dead things wander. This is the nano machines attempting to repair the world.”
I looked around at the absolute land of death around me. “Repair, this is monstrous. Why would they make this?”
“They are confused, torn flesh, blood and guts. All that was in the soil here. So they make flesh were there should be none.”
“You mean, where they find blood they think its supposed to be a body.”
“Not just any body. The person who spilled it. However there was so much blood spilled here it made this.” Velora turns towards me. “Or perhaps maybe its there sick joke.”
Yeah right, a sick joke she said. Sure, why not. The world was already destroyed. Why not make it worse. Still that did nothing to satisfy my curiosity of what was in those pits. I decided against asking Velora.
As we traveled through the strange flesh wilderness I noticed strange fauna like trees. Though there were more like split nerves standing tall; leafless. Blood dripped off them like sap. They moved slightly when you walked near them. Shrunk down as if in pain. Everything is canvased by a red black sky. Its rusty haze gleaming down.
With swift hand I come tumbling to the ground. Heavy on my back I let out a scream. Immediately my mouth was covered by a firm grip. “Prina, quiet.” Velora whispers in my ear. My blood ran cold as she said the words. My face against the bloody flesh as Velora held me to the ground. I can only see what is directly in front of my eyes, flesh that extended for miles, the base of one of those horrors that imitates a tree, and nothing.
A light appears and shines down. Drifting, slowly, over everything. It sweeps as though swimming with lazy tail fin like motions. Velora’s hoove on my back lifts as the light passes by. When I got to my feet my jaw dropped. Something in the air flying. Hard shells and slither silky tentacles, a very large female human face, flying over head. It is… specular. I looked at Velora with my slackjawed and amazed. “Fear it. That is one of the watchers.”
“Watchers?” I asked.
“They watchers are Azergile’s henchmen. They watch everything, and report to him.”
“Then we must be close.”
Velora laughs. “No. They are all over the world. They speak to him though the air. You are no closer to Azergile than you are to the moon.”
“Then what is it looking for.” Velora turns away from me and starts walking with her four mighty legs. “Velora… what is it looking for.”
“You.” she said so plainly. “And I dont want to be here if it finds you.”
We rested at a clearing with open earthy ground surrounded by small bit of gore. It was macabre in its overall presentation. Velora had begun cleaning the little bits of flesh off her leg armor. What was I doing? Well I spent my time resting in a space clear of the lumpy coils that were around. There was a singular tree in the distance. I wondered how long it had been there, all the things it saw. Perhaps it was not even alive. Just a hollow skeleton, standing tall, a reminder of what once was.
“So, everything goes back to normal after we make it to Azergile?” I wondered aloud.
Velora looks at me with a slack jawed smile. “No. Your mission is to kill the world. Everything will be dead once you spend that precious liquid of your’s.”
“You didn’t know. You will kill Azergile and thus the world will die. You are an angel of death. A judgment on the earth.”
I looked around at the gasping grounds. It shivered. The tubes pulsing with life. Everything would die; I was fine with that, and it scared me that I was ok with that grim thought.
“Whrump whrump whrump!!!” roars as a bullet hits Velora in the shoulder. She erupted instantly. Flying to the ground, I did my best to cover. “Away!” was the only thought I had. “I have to get away.” The gun repeated its scream “Whrump!”
I look up to see where Velora had gone to. In my panic I had lost her. Laying on the ground I tried to make myself as small as a target as I could. When the gun screamed I turned to look at it. By the tree there is a man with a sub-machine gun. “Run you moron!” He thunders.
I watched the muzzle flash and flash and flash again, Velora meanwhile was taking blow after blow from this stranger dressed in brown leather military fatigues. Still, she charged him and as she got closer he ran with incredible speed. His running was odd though. It was wrong and twisted for a human. His legs were backward, at least at first glance that is what I thought. I noticed how thin they were, metal. Not human but more avian. “Idiot! Run!” he yelled again.
Why is he telling me to run. Hooves beating the ground, Velora cam bursting forward with an equally impressive speed; bounding on all fours, her wings tucking tightly at her sides. And like that she was upon the strange soldier with a quick slash from her blade arm. A tout scream rumbled out of her throat. The man nearly was struck by her slash. He jumped back just in time. “Damn it! Run!”
He was, trying to protect me. That can’t be. I played the words in my head again and again. My jaw fell, once the realization became clear. But he shot Velora “Oh my God! Stop!” I desperatly screamed.
The man grabs his shoulder just in time for Velora to retch a hold of him. She lifted into the air as he made a stabbing motion. She roared and slammed him on the ground. With his knife plunged into her breast the guy keeps stabbing at Velora kicking his leg as she is rent open, blood pouring. “Stop, damn it! Stop!” I tearfully scream.
The man shivers holding the knife against Velora throat as she looks at him on the ground with eyes of fire. “Please, stop fighting.”
“Prina, look away.”
I ran as fast as I could. “Please! Velora!” I tripped, and fell on the bleeding ground at my feet. Dirtied with blood I get back up. “He’s trying to protect me.”
“Is this true.” the man must have saw something in Velora’s face change or something because his face angery expression turned to one of pure horror. “Well, is it.”
“Bite me, bitch.” Velora releases him rising to her full height. The man scuffles to his feet panicked to say the least. “What the hell are you two doing together?” He wasted no time in pleasantries. Instead, he pointed the gun at me. I was tense and fearful to say the least.
“Please sir, put down the gun. I will explain.”
He gave me a little side eye before doing as I requested. “Yeah, fine, we can both walk away choches. I’m not looking to die today.”
“Ok, Velora, are you ok?” my heart pounded, there was so much blood. I could not focus on that, he is still dangerous.
“I’ll be fine.” she growled.
I swallowed hard, “This Velora, my name is Prina. We are travelers. Who are you?”
“Your traveling with a devil.”
“I am her caretaker.”
“Caretaker! Hah, oh man. I have have got to sit down. You two are crazy being out here.” The man sat down on the ground where he was. “What the hell are you two doing out here anyway. Its the fricken middle of nowhere.”
Looking the man over carefully I could see he was a soldier of some kind. His legs were cybernetic, his right arm was too. The clothing he wore was a patchwork of scraps bundled over armor planting. Tied around his waste was a skirt of some kid open in the front down the middle. It had reinforced metal bands and plates of armor that most likely was to protect against gunfire. Strange. His metallic hand stroked his chin as he sat there in thought. “I, we are just traveling.”
“Right, sure, traveling. That isn’t odd or anything. Your not very good at lying. Which is surprising, cause anything out here has been around long enough to figure that out. Damn masker, I bet you a real freak under there.” A line of spit leaves his lips as he spits onto the ground.
“Ah, no its. Never mind its, nothing.” He rolls his eyes at my statement. He then grabs his knife and plucks at his teeth with it.
“You are incredibly rude, especially considering your life is in danger.” Velora snorts.
It was as he was decelerating slowly; he removes the knife from his teeth and placing it back in the holster on his shoulder. “You don’t say there, freak.”
“Unlike Prina, I don’t have time to waste on clones like you.” This must of struck a cord with the man.
“Who you calling a clone? I am 100% grade AAA human.”
Dipping her fingers into her wound Velora digs a bullet out. “This one doesn’t know he is a clone. We find that funny. Yes, yes we do.” She does not even examine it before dropping it to the ground.
“I am not a clone!” he yells.
Velora give the man no response, and continues removing rounds from her. “Why are you out here sir?” I asked.
He looks at Velora for a moment, then back to me. “Yeah about that. Crew was in a real bad,”
“He deserted his squad.”
“What hell?” he roars. “It wasn’t like that. We were out looking for survivors. We had a spider tank, real good weapons. A bunch of freaking… this came and…” he stops and looks at the ground. “I was tail gunner. This stopped in the middle of this place. I could not figure out why. I radioed but got no answer. Biggest flaw. Tail gunners sit in the back while head, has everyone else. We were short one. So I was alone. So I poke out to see, these thing, swarming our tank. There were too many of them. Half man, half, something else. They ripped them apart. I had to. Now I am here, a lot later. I lost count after the first week. Figured it did not much matter. I am gonna die, then I saw you, and she devil. Heh, never would of imagined she of all things was safe to be around.”
Velora laughed. “I am not safe. You’re just not worth my time.”
“Right, whatever the hell you want to say.” he was suddenly quiet.
“Velora, we can’t just leave him out here.”
“Who the hell said I want to hang around with you two? Ill be fine on my own. The pair of you give me the creeps.”
“Don’t be like that. It would be safer to travel with us. After all you got nowhere else to go. At least till we find a safe place to set you off.”
“He is going to die anyways Prina.” Velora said. “They send them out to find survivors because that is what the machine tell them to do. Meanwhile there mission is for not. There are no survivors. So they produce a generation, fill there brain full of glory, then send them off to die. Rinse and repeat.”
The soldier was quiet. He looked down at his mechanical feet. Velora was right. He was sent out here to die and he knew it too. “I am not a clone.” he mumbles.
“You only think you are not a clone because they brainwashed you from birth to believe otherwise. Truth is you were born in a test tube.”
“Forget you.” he gets up off the ground “I don’t need this shit. I got enough to worry about without some devil telling me I am a clone.”
I reached out my hand and grabbed his wrist. He froze. Slowly he turned his head to me and I said to him. “Please, stay with us. I would like the company.”
“Hmmm, well.” he said. “Fine. I am outa here though once I find a way back to the company.”
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