Thursday, 12 July 2012

SD 10

Well at least you didn't have to wait long for this part :D Enjoy.

Thalia Circe shrieked and ducked behind the table. She peeked out from under it with terrified eyes and then emitted another scream and buried her head in her arms. Octaboona sighed.
“It’s OK, Thalia I only said hello.”
Thalia refused to answer him, instead looking around for something she could throw. However there was nothing to hand, not her sword or her rice paddle or even a frying pan. So instead she made a dash for the door, realised Octaboona was still standing in it and looked frantically around for a window that didn’t exist.
“Will you stop acting like a little girl and calm down.”
“I’m 73 I’ll have you know” Thalia muttered staring at the silver locket on her chest.
“Well if you’d stop imitating a rabid squirrel and answer a few questions then maybe I can leave you in peace.”
Thalia looked up warily and stared at him. And then she stared some more. She pointed at Octaboona.
“Are... are you... wearing... a BUNNY costume?”
Octaboona looked around carelessly.
“Nice decor, I really like what you’ve done with this place.”
“Why are you wearing a bunny outfit?”
“Really nice. Especially the hologram outside. It gives the room a nice feel. Lovely.”
“What happened to its head?”
“Your defences are admirable. I’m very impressed.”
“Bunny. You. Why?”
“May I say what wonderful taste in clothes you have. And music. He looked at the band depicted on her T-shirt. The Gaslight Anthem.”
Octaboona nodded and started to sing I’da Called You Woody Joe.
 And then I heard it like a shot through my skull to my brain,
I felt my fingertips tingle and it started to rain,
Octaboona's voice warbled up and down the octave, straining at the high notes.  
Thalia wasn’t sure whether to scream or to laugh. The resulting expression caused Octaboona to pale. He quickly stopped singing.
Before Thalia found something to throw at him Octaboona quickly interrupted.
“Do we have to go through this whole charade every time?”
Thalia averted her eyes and lapsed into silence again.
“Yes, I know, you find me scary... I know you can’t read my mind... but do you have to go through the whole shriek and throw routine every time we meet?”
Octaboona continued.
“I’m pretty certain this is just an act now. You find this rather fun don’t you? But honestly I’m harmless. Look at me. I’m old. I have wrinkles. I’m wearing the lower half of a pink bunny costume. You’ll have to trust in me for once. I promise I won’t hurt you. Now, first question. Have you seen Skyril Oblivion?”
Thalia kept her back to Octaboona as she answered. “Yes, I rescued her.”
“From inside a pod?”
“No, they hadn’t transferred her yet.”
“So where is she now?”
“I sent her out with Kenny to retrieve our weapons and other belongings. I need them in order to escape.”
“Who is this Kenny guy? Where did he come from? Not... you didn’t rescue him from a pod did you?”
“His name is Kenny Lakinson. And yes I did. But he’s fine. He’d only been in the pod for a day or two at most. I’ve looked over his mind. He’s still relatively stable.”
“Oh Thalia, you stupid, stupid girl. He’s been subjected to the torture of Nightmare’s Passage. I don’t care for how long that makes him dangerous. And you just sent Skyril off with him?”
Thalia glared at him furiously.
“I told you, I’ve checked him out. He’s fine honestly.”
“Did it ever incur to you that your mind reading skills might not be infallible. I mean, you can’t get through my defences for a start. Did you think that maybe Kenny was just masking his true mental state by broadcasting the appearance of a stable mind?”
“Who Kenny? He wouldn’t know how. And I can tell when someone is thinking false information.”
“Even if they’re really, really good at it? Look Kenny will have been infected the moment he entered that pod.”
“Do you even know how this whole process works?”
Thalia muttered defensively. “Of course I do. They use the Nightmare Inductor up in the main control room.”
“And how precisely does the Nightmare Inductor work?”
“I haven’t figured that out yet.”
“Well listen to me, the Nightmare Inductor is simply a giant breeding vat with conduits that lead to a vent in the ceiling of every pod. The Inductor contains a thought virus. When the virus first enters the host, it explores the host mind extremely thoroughly, working its way through every thought, memory and emotion, digesting them until it knows the host’s mind better than the host itself. The virus excretes out all the unwanted by-products- fear, despair, hatred and so on, in the form of nightmares whilst it digests hope and happiness and love, hence why the victim is steadily drained of anything good and is left with the most horrifying of nightmares to occupy their mind. Once the host mind has thus been subdued the virus takes control of the host- using their body for its own purposes. Of course locked away in their pods and heavily manacled, the host is useless and the virus dies when the host does. But you released one of them and then sent it off with Skyril. Why on earth didn’t you go with her yourself?”
“How do you know all this?”
“I’m old Thalia. I’m very very old.”
Thalia looked sheepish.
“Umm... uhh.. well.. I didn’t go because of the onions...”
“Yes, I absolutely despise onions. I can’t go near them. And the room where they’re keeping my belongings is absolutely surrounded with them.”
“Pray tell why exactly don’t you like onions? Is it the smell perhaps? I’d have thought you could overcome a nasty stench in order to escape from this hellhole.”
“No, it’s not the smell.”
“The taste? You don’t have to eat them if you don’t want to. Is it because they make your eyes water?”
“I don’t want to say.”
She shook her head mutely.
“Our friend is in danger Thalia. She’s alone in the presence of the slave of a particularly nasty virus and all because of an onion? So please, tell me, why can’t you stand onions?”
Thalia mumbled something.
“What was that?”
“Onions are my kryptonite.”
“Excuse me? Your weakness is onions?”
Thalia nodded sullenly.
“They cloud my ability to read minds ok. And they weaken the defences around my own mind. I don’t like being powerless.”
“Couldn’t you just move them out of the way with your telekinesis?
“It doesn’t work on onions.”
Octaboona sighed. “Well at least you can still immobilise people if needs be. And you still have your martial arts.” He winced. “I remember only too well.”
“Plus, I’ll be there too. So that settles it. Let’s go rescue Skyril.”


“So you see Austin I have to do something. I’m so very restless.” Rosella rocked back and forth with her head in her knees.
Austin squeaked and then snuffled his nose as he searched for food.
“You’re right Austin, it would be the best plan of action. I must avenge my friend.” Rosella muttered to herself.
“They deserve it” she said unconvincingly. “It’s the only choice I have” she pleaded, staring defensively at Austin.
“I’m going to kill whoever did this. Whoever murdered my friend I will find you and hunt you down.”
“It’s what Nyx would have wanted me to do.”


Kenny scowled and rubbed his eyes yet the world remained stubbornly out of focus. He cursed Skyril for ruining his eyesight and stumbled against the door bruising his hand. He instinctively raised his hand to nurse it yet the virus subjugated his will and forced his hand back down scrabbling for the handle. At last he pushed open the door and moaned, as the virus directed him down the aisle towards a small wooden chest lying on the floor. It was locked. The virus paused and considered breaking the chest open by bashing Kenny’s head against it repeatedly. However humans were frail and a fractured skull would likely kill him if it remained untreated. The virus knew it could not survive the death of its host unless it transferred itself to a new body.  So it twisted Kenny’s head around and spotted a shiny object that was possibly a sword. Kenny lunged towards the sword, grasped the hilt firmly and brought it heavily down on the lock which snapped in two. He reached in and snatched up the bag that lay within before hurrying out of the room and on towards the Nightmare Inductor.


“We are gathered here today to pay our respects to our fallen comrade Skyril Oblivion.” Israel cleared his throat. “Skyril was a great friend to everyone she met and died a true hero’s death, defending Pyro from the hands of Nyx Dawn.”
Pyro blushed and stared at the ground, the flames flickering around his head crimson and dimmer than usual.
Necros walked over and whispered in his ear. “Pyro, it’s not your fault. You have to stop blaming yourself.”
Pyro scowled and edged away.
“There are so many good times to be remembered and adventures to be retold. Why once there was this time when...” Israel took a deep breath and tried to go on.
“When Skyril and I were eating lunch at the fancy restaurant” Kallista took over. The tears were flowing thick and fast as she spoke.
“I was mucking around, ordering ridiculous things like spinach croissants and Château de Van de la Ostrich Egg Pour Boink a Doink- the 1835 variety. The head waiter was getting really annoyed with me and was about to throw me out. But then Skyril stood up and said a few words to the waiter that I never forgot.
 ‘Excuse me but my friend ordered the very finest Château de Van de la Ostrich Egg Pour Boink a Doink and if you don’t see that she gets it presto then I no longer want to dine at your crummy little establishment.’
And then we were both thrown out by the waiter. But she always stood up for me did Skyril. She was a true sister.”
Israel was thankful for the pouring rain as it masked the tears that he was so reluctant to show. He must be stoic and strong and uplifting for the other inhabitants of Elysium Asylum. There would be time to mourn later, in private. He swallowed and replied
“And she was brave very brave. No one else would have thought to paint my shotgun a lurid green and then gone through with it.”
“Skyril would truly loved to have been here now” spoke up Necros. “This torrential rain was her favourite type of weather. If she could be here now why I guarantee she would be laughing and dancing like the lunatic that she was.”
Gradually others chipped in telling their own tales of Skyril and how she had made an impact on their lives. Eventually when the last person had spoken Israel lowered the empty coffin into the wet earth and threw the first handful of dirt into the grave.
“From ashes to ashes, dust to dust”


Skyril stirred and opened her eyes sleepily. She took in the sealed walls of the pod, the manacles on her wrists and ankles and an open vent directly above her head. She shook her head to clear it of the rotting fungal scent and yawned. Then she noticed the giant insect scuttling around in the corner. She took in the thousands of long black wriggling legs, the cold alien eyes which were so very other, devoid of any sense of familiarity and the rows of gnashing red mandibles. The insect started to move towards her. A quivering antenna brushed against her bare foot. Skyril opened her mouth and screamed. Deep within her brain the virus had taken root and was busily feasting on her memories. The virus sent out a mental pulse and Skyril’s fingers twitched. Satisfied that it would soon be in control, the virus went into hibernation whilst the insect shimmered, twitched its antennae angrily and then disappeared.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

SD 9

So I know it's been an awfully long time since I last updated this and I'm sorry. If you can't remember what happened then it shouldn't take to long to re-read but to summarise, Nyx was killed by the Banished for failing to assassinate Octaboona before he found Pyro, Skyril had been kidnapped by the Banished after returning from the Pit of Souls and is believed to be dead by everyone except Octa who was told so by Quinn. Israel still hates Octa believing him to be one of the Banished whilst Mar, Necros and Pyro have discovered some of Octa's history and Israel, Kallista and Clarabelle are still at their bunny parade.


Rosella Embers stared blankly at the fallen newspaper, her electric blue eyes an empty void as the same thought echoed again and again, reverberating through her suddenly empty mind. “Nyx Dawn is dead”.
She sat down heavily on the worn park bench and threw up her arms to prevent the wind blowing the sheets of newspaper into her face. A large sepia image of Nyx was spread across the page; her slightly crooked smile and the cocky gleam in her eyes were unmistakable. The headline screamed ‘ASSASSAIN ASSASSINATED?’ in large black letters. Rosella bit her lip as her last glimpse of Nyx spiralled away on the autumnal gusts and tried to hold back tears. Yet picturing the way her golden tipped hair swept back in the wind and the expression of horror on her face when Rosella’s guinea pig Austin had tried to use that very same hair as bedding was too much and Rosella started weeping silently, little orbs of salt and sorrow dripping steadily from the end of her nose as she mourned the loss of her first and closest friend.


Kenny Lakinson bent over the figure slumped over the ground, silhouetted in the lime green light that pulsed from the rows of cylindrical canisters or “pods” lining the wall. Each pod was extremely tall, stretching from floor to ceiling and made out of a transparent glass like substance. The pods were ovoid in shape, curving inwards as they reached towards the ceiling to form an elegant dome at the top and likewise at the floor. Inside the pods contained various humans with their hands and feet manacled to the walls. These people were in a pitiful state, naked, grimy and in terrible pain. Although the sound was muffled by the thick walls of the pods, the dead look in their eyes and expressions of agony were hard to forget.
Kenny closed his eyes to shut out the sight and listened as the figure groaned and spoke.
“Where am I? Who are you?”
Deciding to delay the first question Kenny cleared his throat and replied “My name is Kenny. Kenny Lakinson.”
“Skyril Oblivion” mumbled the figure.
She climbed to her feet and looked into a nearby pod before recoiling suddenly, aghast. She repeated her question. “Where am I? What is this place?”
Kenny frowned. “This place is known as Nightmares’ Passage.” The pods are used to induce nightmares of the most damaging kind, leaving the victim psychologically broken. It makes use of your darkest fears and deepest despair, your rage and loneliness and hopelessness to create haunting dreams and thoughts that will prey upon your mind until you are an empty husk or a raving lunatic. The process is also highly painful to endure. The Banished use this as a torture chamber- mainly for fun and partly to eliminate their enemies. People are quickly forgotten down here, they vanish from the gaze of the world, hidden, lost, maybe even banished.
Skyril peeped out at the inhabitant of a nearby pod before quickly averting her eyes once more, swallowing several times to keep down the bile that had risen in her throat.
“So how did you get here?”
“Precisely the same way that you did, Skyril. The Banished wanted me gone, they waited until I was in a weakened state, then struck. I woke up like you did, but not here, in this comfy little corridor. I woke up in there” he chanted in a sing song voice, elongating the last word. “Inside the dream machine” he giggled. “I listened to the tinkling of the chains as I shook them. Such a lovely sound.” Suddenly Kenny’s voice turned sharp. “But then they poked me.” He pointed to his head. “They poked me in here.” he muttered again elongating the final syllable. “It hurt” he whimpered. “Like a thousand red hot needles being shoved through your ears.” “I was so scared,” Kenny jumped up at Skyril, sending her tumbling back to the floor. “Boo!” “Yes, like that” he mumbled. “But much worse. Much scarier. Woooooooo!” he wailed raucously. “Wooooooo!”
Kenny fell to the floor and suddenly his eyes rolled up into his head and then returned down, focusing on Skyril.
“I’m sorry, so sorry”. Kenny offered Skyril a hand up, which she took warily. “Like I said, the pods they, um... break you psychologically. I was only in there for a short amount of time but it was still enough for me to undergo these... ah... episodes every once in a while.”
“So how did you escape from the pod?”
“I didn’t, I was rescued?”
“By whom?”
Kenny hurried off down the corridor. “Follow me” he yelled over his shoulder. “Come meet her”.


Octaboona Ambrosius had a sick feeling in his stomach. He stopped and looked down at the road where the tyre tracks he had been following suddenly stopped. He was determined to return safely to Elysium Asylum with Skyril Oblivion and at least try and reason with Israel that he was not this depravity that Israel was so firmly convinced of. He sighed and looked around yet the tyre tracks he had been following for the last hour had finally petered out. He thought about the words that Quinn had shouted after him, before she had returned to the warmth of her room. “Which is way to the land of honey? Failing that just ask the bunny! For a rabbits head will point the way, to the prison in which Skyril doth lay.”
“Honey? Bunny?” whatever did she mean? Octaboona reached up to scratch his head only to find he was scratching a large fluffy ear. “That stupid bunny costume” he grumbled, pulling off the head and throwing it away. “I can’t believe I walked all this way wearing such a ridiculous outfit.” He started to wriggle out of the body but to no avail. “Damn and blast.” “How on earth have I managed to get stuck in this monstrosity?” The bunny’s head had come to rest at a crossroads, its ears pointing down a narrow winding path, whilst its button eyes gleamed cheekily in the moonlight. Octaboona stared at it before hurrying down the path muttering “For a rabbits head will point the way, to the prison in which Skyril doth lay.”


Kenny came to a halt outside one of the pods and pressed several keys on a small silver pad built into the wall. With a swoosh of compressed noise the front of the pod retracted into the floor. Kenny walked into the green light and disappeared, Skyril following hesitantly. Suddenly she screamed as she came face to face to the prisoner within, blood dripping from the corner of his mouth and his eyes rolling crazily around his head.
“Kenny?” she cried out.
“Just walk right through him,” Kenny shouted back. Skyril stared at the man, hair caked with filth and large pussy buboes covering his arms and chest.
“Through him?” Skyril questioned hysterically.
“He’s a hologram.” Kenny answered, and then wiggled a few fingers through the hologram’s head. “See?”
Skyril closed her eyes tight and walked hesitantly forward, arms outstretched. Her fingers brushed against flesh and she screamed and jumped back. She opened her eyes to find herself standing inside the holo-man and she ran forward again.
“Hush, it was just me” said Kenny soothingly. “You brushed against my nose, that’s all.” He turned to the far wall of the pod and starting tapping away at a second keypad before looking directly up at a camera that swivelled round to face him. There was a pause of a few seconds before a small door in the back wall, easily camouflaged to blend in with the surrounding wall swung open and Kenny and Skyril walked through. A small girl with messy black bangs and warm silver eyes looked up, smiled and then ran forwards and enveloped Skyril in a hug.
“Skyril!” the teenage girl exclaimed. “So you’re the latest victim of Nightmare’s Passage. I’m only glad I sent Kenny to find you in time.”
“Thalia?” Skyril mumbled. “You rescued Kenny from his pod? But how?” Skyril frowned. “How did you escape from your own pod?”
“Well…you see, I was just standing here, and then it exploded” she grinned, a mischievous glint in her eyes. “Okay, okay so I listened in to the thoughts of my guard and I knew they would try and induce nightmares in me. And then I simply immobilised him so he couldn’t call for help, then used a spot of telekinesis to unlock my manacles with his key. And then I blew up my pod for the fun of it you know?
“And no I’m not going to go all crazy on you all of a sudden” Thalia responded to Skyril’s unspoken thought. “I can just as easily shield my mind from foreign influences as I can read the thoughts of others.”
“So where are we exactly?”
“Some long abandoned control room” Thalia shrugged. “Probably a tertiary one potentially a secondary” she continued. “Pod life support systems and the like”. “The grand control room is still functional though and contains most of the torture devices and of course the Nightmare Inductor.”
“I’ve been fixing this place up a little, making some modifications here and there. But they confiscated my sword and my bag when I got here.” Thalia spun dramatically on her heel and tried to flounce, flicking an imaginary scarf around her neck. “I love that bag and they just take it off me whilst unconscious. How very unsporting.”
“Anyway I deduced where they’re keeping it. Along with the weapons and belongings of all the other prisoners. That’s why I rescued Kenny and yourself. I need someone to go and retrieve them for me. I’d go myself but the guard’s mess room is right next door and the place stinks of onions.” Thalia shuddered. “Ugghh onions. I despise the things.”
“Once you return with my bag I’ll have all the equipment I need to make our escape from here. So it’s definitely worth the risk wouldn’t you say?”
She started shooing Skyril and Kenny towards the door, and called after them “The room is on Level Mongoose, Sector Twenty Six, third door on the right!”
Skyril and Kenny trudged along the corridor, looking up at the large painted numbers, gleaming red upon the wall. “Sector Twenty Two, Sector Twenty Three, Sector Twenty Four” Skyril listed off. “I found a staircase!”
Kenny was fiddling with the keypad for a nearby pod.
“I found a staircase!” Skyril repeated. “It should take us up to Level Mongoose. Kenny?”
The front of the pod retracted with a whoosh. Kenny did not respond instead hiding in the shadowy gap between the pods.
“Kenny? Are you OK?” Skyril called. “Where are you?” she looked over her shoulder and began to make her way back down the corridor. “Kenny?”
As she passed the open pod, a savage gleam entered his eyes and he crept up on Skyril shoving her hard in the back. Skyril went sprawling into the pod and she reached for a throwing knife yet found none. The pod door slammed shut and Skyril beat upon the door, before holding out her palms in Kenny’s direction, shining brightly as two orbs began to form around Kenny’s eyes. He cursed and started pressing keys frantically, the manacles suddenly locked around Skyril’s wrists and ankles. His sight left him and the two orbs zoomed towards Skyril’s palms. Blindly he hit out at the keypad, and suddenly Skyril slumped unconscious the two orbs dissipating into nothingness. Slowly and carefully, Kenny began to make his way towards the staircase, his sight partially recovered into a smeary blur. He grumbled and muttered under his breath as he made his way up the stairs and into Level Mongoose. He turned and looked back at the blob of colour he knew to be Skyril Oblivion. He smiled at her and uttered “Sweet dreams” before stumbling towards the large painted number 26 in the distance.

Saturday, 29 October 2011

SD Part 8

Well I do hope you enjoy this. I certainly enjoyed writing it.

Skyril frowned and collapsed exhausted outside the gates of Elysium Asylum. She hoped that someone would find her soon. Then her mind went black and she fell into a deep sleep. It had been a long few days.


Skyril screamed as the air rushed past her head and the deadly pinnacles of rock loomed up to greet her, giant knives of stone, spilt with the blood of those unfortunate enough to fall over the edge. As she was about to be impaled on the jagged rocky spikes she instinctively jammed her twin silver knives into the sides of the pit with a horrendous clash of metal on stone.
“How fortunate” she thought as she held onto the wooden handles, “that this pit has walls of sandstone”.
 With a laboured gasp she wrenched one of the knives out and plunged it into the wall just above her head. Straining with effort she pulled herself up with her arms and plunged the second knife into the stone. Suddenly the sky clouded over and it began to pour with rain, making the wooden handles of the knife extremely slippery and making her journey up the side of the pit just that little bit harder. Skyril groaned and plunged the knife into the wall once more, gradually falling into a steady rhythm of thrusting and pulling as she slowly made her way back to the surface.  It was weary, sweating work, with no food or water to ease her tiredness. Several times she feared that she would lose her grip on the knife and at times she even forgot who she was, so engrossed was she in making her way to the surface. It took Skyril four torturous days before she found herself at the summit of the Pit of Broken Souls and back in the sandy Wastelands of the Southern Cliffs. Another two days passed as Skyril tried to extricate herself from that barren maze of sand and shadows, avoiding the carnivorous beasts and the even more terrifying red wraiths. But eventually Skyril stumbled out of that nightmarish place and found herself once more in the lush green valley’s that were what one more commonly expected of Ireland.  The many towers and balconies of Elysium Asylum could just be made out as a dark smudge in the distance.
“I have to make it.” “I have to get back home”


Octaboona sat down and looked carefully at Quinn. “Skyril isn’t dead?” Quinn shook her head. “But she was pushed into the Pit of Broken Souls. No one can survive that. Nyx murdered her!” Quinn looked up at Octa with those large adorable eyes and related the events that had happened to Skyril since her fall over the edge of the Pit of Broken Souls. “And she’s currently lying unconscious outside the front door even as we speak”. Although Quinnera was only 10, she was an extremely powerful psychic with the additional benefit of knowing everything. The sum total of human knowledge and much more that remained unknown somehow managed to fit inside her head. Many explanations had been given including the will of god, some genetic mutation caused by her peanut allergy and even an allegation that Quinn wasn’t a human girl at all but an evil robot from the future sent by its alien masters to eradicate humanity before they grew into a rival power. But whether she was seen by a priest, a medical student or Skulduggery Pleasant, and a whole horde of assorted doctors, specialists and librarians, none of them were able to offer a suitable explanation. Quinnera’s own belief was that she simply utilised 100% of her brainpower as opposed to the 10% used by mortals and the 20% used by most mages. According to the ten year old girl, most of the human brain was used as storage room for virtual penguins and it was merely a matter of evicting them and sending them to Antarctica, if only you asked them nicely.
Octaboona rushed to the front door but when he reached it, Skyril was no longer outside. Instead there were marks on the ground where she had fallen and tyre tracks leading off into the distance. Someone had taken Skyril Oblivion hostage.


Israel Elysium was feeling extremely uncomfortable. He still wasn’t sure why he was dressed up in a giant green rabbit costume and shuffling through the centre of Dublin. Kallista was dressed as a giant purple rabbit and was trying to persuade Israel that there really was a giant bunny parade taking place that day. However they appeared to be the only two rabbits in sight. Israel flushed as a pair of Japanese tourists pointed at him and whispered to each other excitedly before taking out a camera and taking multiple photographs. Kallista turned around, noticed them and bowed deeply, before performing something that seemed to be a mixture of martial arts and ballet. Then she heaved a sigh of relief as she noticed a giant blue rabbit walking around the corner.
“See! I told you there was a bunny parade!” Kallista rushed over to the blue bunny and said “Wonderful costume! It really goes with your hair!” Israel groaned as he realised that Clarabelle was the third rabbit. The two girls started chattering incessantly to each other in over excited tones. Clarabelle and Kallista didn’t see each other often, on insistence by most of their friends. The two girls were highly insane and trouble inevitably followed when the two of them met. Clarabelle complimented Kallista on her martial arts/ ballet routine and asked her to teach it to her. It was quite a performance, the two of them pirouetting through St. Stephens Green, pausing every now and then to round kick passing pedestrians and on one occasion one of the Gardaí. It was only through sheer luck (and the promise of a bribe of cookies) that the two girls avoided arrest.
“So how is Theodore doing these days?”
“Oh he’s grand. He’s going to grow up to be a lawyer. I just know it. He ate his way through two dissertations and a law exam only last week!”
“But didn’t he want to be a beekeeper?”
“Nope. He’s definitely a lawyer”
 And as the two girls continued to discuss what profession Clarabelle’s pet gerbil was going to have, Israel slowly slipped away into the bustle of Dublin’s streets.
Or at least he tried to, but the costume made that almost impossible.
“Israel!” Clarabelle called out.
“Hello Clarabelle”
“Don’t you normally have a shotgun with you?”
“Umm... well yes normally I do”
“So why don’t you have it with you now?”
“Well it doesn’t really go with the costume...”
“But it’s so iconic!” “I’m sure you’d look lovely as a bunny holding a shotgun, positively adorable!”
“Well...  I think that people might be surprised if I did... and scared. Or else they wouldn’t take me seriously.”
“No? Bunny rabbits are very frightening and majestic creatures. How couldn’t they be taken seriously? They are kings of the animal world!”
“I think you mean lions.”
“Do I?”
“Are lions the one with the mane and teeth?”
“And rabbits have the long ears and fluffy tail?”
“That’s right”
“Then I suppose you would look rather silly with the shotgun.”
“Thank you”
“But it doesn’t really go with your jacket.”
“Excuse me?”
“The shotgun. And the jacket. They look awful together.”
“I think they make a very good combination”
“Nope. You need to keep up with the latest fashions! Leather jackets are so last year. Although I do like your eyebrows. They’re very in. I think. She tried to look up at her forehead. I should definitely re-grow mine.”
And before Israel could even speak she waltzed off directly into a lamppost.


Skyril woke up with a throbbing pain in her head. “Where am I?” she groaned. A pulsing green light permeated itself through her brain. A blurry figure could barely be seen through the bright lime haze. “Who are you?”
The figure’s voice was distorted as if coming from a long distance.
“Why my name is Kenny. Kenny Lakinson”

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

SD 7

Here you are! New part!

March looked inquisitively at Octaboona as she waited for him to speak. Necros and Pyro sat on either side. All of them were staring at Octaboona. Eventually he spoke. “To start with your last question I need to give you a little history. You know that The Eight Great Immortal or TEGI as we were known were set up to guard humanity. Originally there were eight of us. The Last of the Ancients was our founder of course. Then we had the Lost Twin, Septimus Zephyr and I.” Suddenly Octaboona’s voice turned bitter. “Then we had Lacuna Dawn, Aggoroth Shandular, Nero Midnight and the person now known as The Nightmare Child.  Of course she was embarrassed of her actual name Meliphagous Mandible. And who wouldn’t be? I’m sure that’s a large part in her psychiatric troubles. But I’m distracting myself. Anyway the eight of us were like guardian angels, protecting humanity from magical threats. But then the schism occurred. The last four grew bitter, they had so much power and they could use none of it for themselves. So they left us and formed another group. The Banished. I suppose that we actually threw them out for abusing their power so the name is apt. Anyway the Banished swore to eradicate TEGI from the face of the earth. We didn’t know that at the time so we recruited another four members to replace them.”
Octaboona’s voice dropped to a whisper. “Noble Elysium, Harmonious Barkwater, Cassandra Delphinius and... Octaboona could barely be heard... my little sister, Elocin Noil.”
“By the time that I worked out who had been behind the killings it was too late. Elocin had already been murdered.” His voice was thick with tears. Of course I immediately told my brother, Kenspeckle Grouse. He was furious with me. When he built that Desolation Engine, I knew the Banished had orchestrated this. They would have found it amusing to watch my brother murder me. He failed and eventually they killed him off too. But he always blamed me for Elocin’s death. I hope that he absolved me from my sins. I would have liked that.
And so I became the last Immortal. That’s why we disappeared. The Banished murdered us and I could do little on my own.”
He paused for breath.
“But what about me?” March asked. “Why did you get Necros to be my guardian?”
Octaboona sighed. “Because you are the direct descendent of Cassandra Delphinius and I wanted to keep an eye on you.
March’s eyes gleamed. “But doesn’t that mean that I could become another Immortal?”     
Octaboona’s eyes flashed. “No March. No more Immortal. I lost my brother and sister because of my arrogance in forcing them to join up. And Skyril died because of them also.  I won’t have any more lives on my conscience.”
March pouted and pointed at Pyro. “You let him become an Immortal. This is so not fair.”
“I know that Pyro is capable of this. At least I hope so. And I cannot go up against the Banished on my own. I need a second. And no others.” He fell silent. “No more lives” he muttered again to himself.
Necros spoke up. “But I thought that Elocin and Kenspeckle died from remnant attacks.”
Octaboona looked up blankly. “The Banished control the Remnants. I created them but they have control now.”
Pyro looked up. “You created the... what? How?”
“They were a side result of my failed Passage. The Banished sabotaged it. That’s why I threw them out.” “But I should have expected them to act against me. I should have known”
He slumped. “I’ve told you enough. Leave me.”
As the three of them left the room they could hear the soft mutter. “No more lives.”


The Banished were gathered together for an emergency meeting. Octaboona had managed to reveal to others the their origins. The Nightmare Child was seething with barely controlled anger. “Nyx Dawn has failed us. She will be terminated.” The others glanced round at Her. “Agreed.”
“I should never have trusted her. I will deal with Octaboona myself” 


Nyx Dawn was currently staking out a cottage that belonged to Octaboona. She had discovered the history of March Pathway and had tailed her to the cottage. She knew she mustn’t disappoint her masters again. She sighed and watched as three people exited the cottage. And then the tiny bomb that had been implanted into her stomach exploded, leaving a fine rain of blood and shards of bone to splatter against the cottage walls and three suddenly disturbed people who ran back into the cottage.
Octaboona stared at the messy remains of Nyx Dawn. Her jewelled dagger lay fallen on the ground. “Another life gone” he murmured sadly. “The Banished must be onto us.”


Octaboona watched as a lone figure arrived at his cottage door. “Kallista!” he smiled warmly. “I need you to do me a huge favour”
Kallista cocked her head.
“Will it be fun?”
“Oh immensely”
“What do I need to do?”
Octaboona’s face turned serious.
“Sneak me into Elysium Asylum under Israel’s nose in order so I can talk to Quinnera Elviana”
“Are you kidding me?”
“I have faith in your talents”
“And I have faith in you. Israel hates you, you realise that? And he may have good reason”
“That’s what makes me interesting, trust me”
“I do”


Israel Elysium muttered under his breath and went to check on Quinn. She had been living at the Asylum almost since birth and was its best kept secret. She had been two when she had first arrived on that windy day eight years ago. Her parents died in a car crash and Israel had taken her in. She was the closest thing he had to a daughter. She had even escaped all the tests that Ambrosius had performed on his guests. As evil as Ambrosius was his tests had seemed to have no lasting damage and for that Israel was grateful. He knew that Octaboona would learn about her eventually and there was no way in hell that he would let him lay his hands on her.

Quinn looked up at him with those adorable eyes and implored Israel for a lollipop. Israel smiled at her and passed her a strawberry one. Her favourite. Quinn grinned and wondered how long it would be until Octaboona arrived. She had a surprise for him.

Meanwhile Kallista and Octaboona were watching the outside of Elysium Asylum. Kallista had already given Octaboona directions to Quinn’s room and was giggling as she told him of her plan to distract Israel. Octaboona sagged as the words entered his brain and he comprehended what she was about to do. “If you must” he grumbled.
“But it’ll be fun!” Kallista beamed.
Octaboona sighed unhappily.

Israel looked bewildered as he stared at the peculiar sight that greeted his eyes. Two giant bunny rabbits were knocking at the door. He rubbed his eyes and wondered if his vision was playing up but no. He opened the door and was immediately engulfed by a babble of chatter. “We’re going to a giant bunny costume parade in Dublin and we would just LOVE it if you would come with us!” Kallista chattered.
“Kal what on earth? Why?”
“For fun” she insisted, holding out a costume and mask for Israel.
He sighed and pointed at the other bunny, face hidden behind a mask.
“Who’s that?”  
“It’s the pink rabbit of course!”
“The pink rabbit isn’t real Kal.”
“Of course he is. Just like Santa and the tooth fairy!”
“Umm... they’re not real either”
“Of course they are! Quinn believes in them too!”
“Quinn’s 10”
“But still. Come on, we’ll be late!”
“Israel stumbled confused out of the door”
“Isn’t he coming with us?”
“No he’s here to amuse Quinn. You know how bored she’s been”
“Is he safe?”
“He’s a giant pink rabbit, of course he’s safe!”
“Well I suppose”
“Plus Quinn can look after herself. Trust me”
Israel mumbled.
“Come on! We’re late! We’re late! For a very important date!”
And thus skipping and singing, Kallista dragged Israel out to the bunny parade.

Quinn was rolling on the floor, crying tears of hysterical laughter as Octaboona entered the room. “You are funny” she pointed at the giant pink rabbit who glared at her crossly. “I watched it all on CCTV” He pulled of the mask and frowned.
“Cheer up. You’re an adorable bunny!”
“Yes? Can I call you Octa? I can?”
She smiled.
“I like you Octa. You make me laugh”
She turned her big adorable eyes on him.
“Do you have any lollipops? Pwease?”
 Octa handed her a strawberry lollipop.
“Oooh my favourite!”
She started sucking happily on the lollipop.
“I came here to ask you a question”
“I know”
“Well will you answer me?”
“Hmm.... it depends”
“On what?”
“On whether you can hop around the room of course.”
“Do I really have to?”
“Well of course! You’re a bunny! Hop! Pwease?”
Octaboona sighed and started hopping around the room.
“I’m never relying on Kallista for another favour ever again.”
Quinn smiled.
And then before Octaboona could ask his question she whispered conspiratorially:
“Skyril Oblivion is still alive!”

Thursday, 14 July 2011

SD Part 6

The Banished scowled as Nyx Dawn reported that Octaboona and Pyro Dawn were still alive. “You have failed us.”
“No wait... I have good news” Nyx stammered, “Skyril Oblivion is dead.”
“It is irrelevant. She matters not. Only the two Great Immortals are of any consequence.” Nyx avoided looking at Her eyes, only madness and rage could be seen in those ghastly orbs.
“This is your final chance. Unless you kill them then you are no longer... necessary.” She smirked.
“Now go!”


Israel Elysium was shocked. “Skyril... dead?” he whispered. His voice was horse and gaunt. Tears formed in the corners of his eyes but he angrily brushed them away as he turned towards Octaboona. “This is all your fault!” he screamed. “If it wasn’t for you and your meddling none of this would have happened.” He stood up straight, brown leather jacket gleaming in the light of the setting sun, casting his grief stricken face into shadows. “Leave this place Ambrosius. Take the boy with you and never return to my home. I’ll have nothing to do with you, Great Immortal. I’ve done my research. I know what you are now. I’ll not let this evilness besmirch Elysium Asylum any longer!” Israel reached for his shotgun and aimed it at Octaboona. “NOW GET OUT!”


Kallista approached Israel carefully. “Why did you send Octa and Pyro away? It’s not their fault that Skyril died. It was Nyx.” Israel snorted. “That’s what he wants you to believe. But he’s in league with her, and with the Banished. He’s just the same as they are.” Tears rolled down Kallista’s face. “Don’t say that. It’s not true. The Banished are evil, Octa is not. He’s my friend! I know he’s good.”
“Do you know what the Banished used to be called before they took on that persona? I found it out. They were known as The Eight Great Immortals. Octaboona was one of them. I know he was. The last time we met he told me he was the last. Well now I know what he’s the last of. Or pretends to be the last of. He’s an Immortal. He’s on the same side as The Banished. He’s just as evil as they are. Worse even. He destroyed the town of Baia... there are stories of him fleeing from the scene for no apparent reason. He tricks people into liking him and then he betrays them. Just like he betrayed Skyril.  Just like he will betray you.”
Kallista’s face was full of confusion and doubt. “But I know him. He’d never side with them. You’re lying to me! It can’t be true!”
But the seeds of doubt had been planted as Kallista ran sobbing from the room.


March yawned. When was Octaboona going to get home? She’d been sitting by the door for ages but there was no sign of him. Necros had appeared a short while ago, and he seemed glad that she appeared to be staying in one place for once. To pass the time she told herself The Tale of the Eight Great Immortals again.
“Once upon a time” she murmured sleepily “the world was dark and barren. Ruled over by sadistic terrible gods, the Faceless Ones, humanity was tortured and enslaved for their amusements. Yet the Ancients banished them to another universe and eventually wiped themselves out.” Or so most of the world believed. Yet  March’s family knew more. The Ancients had set up a group of guardians to protect the world from further harm. The Eight Great Immortals as they were known. For many centuries, this group was a shining beacon, defending humanity from various threats and monstrous beings. Yet for some reason The Eight Great Immortals suddenly vanished and were gradually forgotten about. Soon after their disappearance, the world was plagued by the first of a new threat, the Remnants. Gradually other races grew strong again, such as the vampires. Entire towns mysteriously vanished, the most famous of which was the destruction of Baia. And for the last hundred years there had been rumours of a new evil, the Banished. This tale had been passed down March’s family for generations, the only ones still to remember The Eight Great Immortals. March had always wondered why they had disappeared, what had happened to the wonderful guardians of humanity and now here she was, sitting outside the home of the very last one.
March transformed into a sleek silver cat and curled up on the doorstep. “I hope he gets home soon” she thought before falling asleep.

Pyro Dawn frowned. Octaboona seemed to be rather more menacing than usual. Or was that just due to Israel throwing them out of the Asylum? Not that they visited it much anymore, Israel had always been wary about Octaboona staying there. Pyro stared into Octaboona’s eyes. Was that a flicker of rage in them or was it just a reflection of the sunset? Pyro suddenly felt worried for the first time in Octaboona’s presence. Why had Octaboona taken him in? Why was he training him in magic? Did he have a dark ulterior motive? Who exactly was Octaboona anyway? More to the point, what was he? Yet no answers came to mind, and Pyro realised that he knew barely more about his mentor than he had since the day they met.

 Octaboona looked around to see a small silver cat asleep on his doorstep and a tall handsome man with weary eyes standing next to her. “Necros, March, greetings. And to what do I owe this unexpected arrival?” The cat blinked and transformed back into a young girl. “You know who we are?”
“Why of course. It was I who asked Necros to guard you in the first place.” Necros muttered. “You owe me Octaboona. It’s been a nightmare trying to keep up with her.”
“I did mention it at the time. I wouldn’t expect it to be otherwise. Not when you consider who she’s descended from.”
March blinked. “Wait a minute. Who am I descended from? Why did you ask Necros to guard me? Why does it matter to you? And why have you been missing so long? What happened to the Eight Great Immortals?”
Octaboona raised his hand and March fell quiet. “Come inside and I’ll answer your questions. You too Pyro. I suppose it’s time you found out who I am, who you will be. It’s time for me to tell you everything”


Meanwhile, in the Pit of Broken Souls, there was the sound of metal clashing against rock, a high pitched scream and then silence.