Counter Earth Chronicles Fallen Empire Chapter 20: Whatever The Time Whatever The Era There Will Always Be Evil (You Win Everyone Else Loses Part II)
While on a side mission Alex, Shakara and Corbin are hypnotized by members of The Horde outcasts that were rejected by the entity. Alex awakens days later separated from his companions and all help. He tried desperately to escape only to be caught again and taken to a central location where he and eight other luckless souls were scheduled to be given as offerings to ONE….
Counter Earth Chronicles – Fallen EmpireChapter 20: Whatever The Time Whatever The Era There Will Always Be Evil (You Win Everyone Else Loses Part II)
Day: 29 (4:10 PM The ‘bin’ somewhere in World Two)
“Who is driving that?” Fierce asked.
“I can’t see inside the windows have darkened!” Ferocious said alarmed.
“Who do you think?” Vicious said to the warthog and capybara. “It is the mongoose who got away!”
“Ferocious.” The masked capybara said to the warthog.
“Fierce.” The warthog said to the capybara.
The two grabbed their weapons and circled the blue coup.
The capybara attacked from the front with his mace while the warthog from the rear with the sword. Both were halted in their tracks by some invisible forcefield; they couldn’t make a mark on the prototype.
“What the? I can’t even GAH!!!” The masked capybara started to say as he was struck by a ball of electricity.
“Fierce!” Ferocious said as he tried in vain to hit the weapon launcher that had felled his colleague.
“What is this?” The male dalmatian asked.
“It is some entertainment.” I answered as Ferocious suddenly dropped his sword, it had caught on fire and his paws with it.
“Hot! Hot! Hot!” The warthog screamed.
*That ain’t the only thing!* I heard little mongoose exclaimed as a streak of flame discharged from the left side-pod torching the warthog’s butt.
“Aiiee!!!” He screamed running around the courtyard trying to extinguish the flames.
“Charbroiled pig.” The avian said to the gorilla. “It has a nice odor to it!”
*As I said, I am in a foul mood!* The mongoose boy grumbled over the PA system. *You took something that is mine and I WANT IT BACK!!!*
“Now, now calm down boy maybe we can come to some sort of accommodation the z-donk said dropping his crossbow. “Perhaps this pendant.”
The little mongoose was not having any of that.
“AUGH!!!!” Vicious screamed as he was impaled by a tractor hook and fastened to the door to the courtyard he had entered not long ago.
At that point I ran toward the prototype and climbed in. I found a disheveled, little mongoose boy in the driver seat.
“Corbin?! Thank the stars!” I shouted.
“I have been trying to find you for the last day and half.” The little mongoose said to me.
“I was so worried when we got separated.” I said huggin my little brother.
“He did the separating.” Corbin said lining up the crosshairs on screen with another part of the zonkey’s anatomy.
*Welcome back Mr. Winter.*
“Overwatch? How is it that you and the prototype are operational?”
“Remember that liquid that road warrior sprayed on the prototype?” The little boy asked me.
“Yeah.” I said looking at the system status monitor.
“The avian disabled the prototype while z-donk there used his trinket to disable us.”
“That explains a lot.” I said looking at Vicious.
*I said don’t move if you know what is good for you!* Corbin grumbled at our prisoners. “While you and Shakara were being hypnotized, I hid in one of the weapons panels in the trunk. When I came to they had taken you and Shakara away and were trying to get the blue coupe to power on. They couldn’t so they ended up abandoning it.”
“After they left you brought it back on line and started searching for me and Shakara.” I said.
“I saw z-donk there transporting you on his ATV. I tried to intervene, but ended up just following you here instead.”
“Corbin you were the other ATV?!”
The little mongoose nodded.
*And the so called Revenger the gangs are talking about.*
“After Vicious’ little accident I ran into a Knight of Warwick and pleaded for help.” I said to the pissed off mongoose.
“Yeah right back into the arms of the Rejects.” I said bringing up the copilot monitor and keyboard. I returned the probe back to its launch platform at the rear of the blue coupe.
“So what are we going to do with them?” The little boy asked me.
“Overwatch continuous scans. I want to know if any more Rejects converge on our position.”
*Affirmative Mr. Winter.*
“Corbin you have weapons.” I said stepping back outside of the blue coupe.
“I say what is this?” The male dalmatian asked.
“It is a prison break dear.” His pregnant mate said. “Please forgive him, he is dimwitted but lovable.”
“You eight are free to go or extract vengeance, your choice.” I said to my fellow captives.
The two humans, two dalmatians, doe, gorilla, avian and lamb started to head toward the fractured perimeter wall but stop and turned around to see what I was going to do with their captor.
“Vicious.” I said walking up to the masked zonkey. The beastial was considerably taller and stronger than myself. But not everywhere.
I nailed the road warrior as hard as I could in the groin. He groaned covering his boy bits while the blood from his pierced shoulder continued to drip.
Ferocious started to move to aid his fellow gang member.
“DON’T!” I said turning to face him. “My friend has a target lock on your burnt ass and is ready to torch you completely if need be.”
As I said that a bola fired from the left side-pod wrapping around the warthog’s legs tightly. He fell to the ground.
“You little…” He grumbled as the doe and lamb decided to leave.
With that I redirected my attention to my abductor. “Ok Mr. Vicious you and I are going to play a game.”
“What game?” He said groaning at the hard kick I delivered to his genitals.
“I call it Truth or Augh!!!!! I am going to ask you a series of questions. If I don’t like the answer, or I sense you are lying to me…”
“Let me guess that is the Augh part.” He said watching blood drip from his right shoulder where the tractor hook had entered.
“Precisely I will personally shove a grenade right between your rump cheeks and detonate it myself and we all will watch happens I said gesturing to my fellow prisoners.
“You know that sounds like it might be fun.” The gorilla said.
“He deserves much worse for what he did to us.” The avian said.
“Strip him.” I said to my fellow prisoners.
The male dalmatian, gorilla and avian gladly obliged.
“Oh my.” Theresa said looking at the now naked thug. “It is a shame he is evil, because he is really, really, really great to look at.”
“So that is what a half donkey, half zebra thingie looks like.” Oliver said.
“I do think that mask does add a bit of allure though.” The pregnant dalmatian added.
With that the interrogation began.
“You separated me from something that is mine.”
“You mean the lion lady?” Vicious said holding his paws high.
“Yes, where is she?!”
“Around.” He said smuggly.
“BAD ANSWER!!!” I said nodding to the mongoose behind the steering wheel.
“AHHH!!!!” Vicious shouted as he was impaled by a second tractor hook that fired from the right-side pod of the blue coupe.
“Hey ass wipe, I will only ask one more time where… is… she?”
“She was passed around within the group.”
“When we got tired of her she was sent to one of the bins.” The zonkey said as blood started dripping from his other shoulder from where the hook had entered.
“How many of these bins are there?” Theresa asked.
“Where?” The gorilla asked.
“He is being vague.” The avian said.
I watched the gorilla pass something to the avian who then walked behind the naked zonkey and stuck it right where the sun doesn’t shine.
I nearly lost it why I saw how vindictive my fellow prisoners had become, but I had to hold it together.
“What? What was that?” Vicious asked nervously.
“Our vengeance.” I said. “Remember that grenade?”
“I am curious how many limbs will separate from his body when it explodes?” The male dalmatian said.
“Definitely the arms and legs.” The avian commented.
“Maybe the tail too and possibly the head.” The gorilla added.
“I am talking, I am talking!” The z-donk screamed.
“But you are not saying anything. Now again WHERE IS MY LIONESS?!”
Vicious carefully explained that his gang had about thirteen ‘bins’ around the city where offerings were kept in preparation for turn over to ONE. It was hard to say because the number kept fluctuating each day.
The bastard was moving and selling his fellow citizens like cargo! I wanted specifics about my devious person. Every now and again he or one of his thugs would encounter an offering that they would like to keep and pass around amongst themselves and that Shakara could be anywhere at the moment.
The questioning period continued as my fellow prisoners asked him about their missing loved ones and his group’s involvement.
“I don’t know it is not like we keep records!!!” The zonkey stammered.
“One last question formerly Vicious. I am also looking for another female beastial a she centaur who was abducted from the forest what do you know?”
“Centaur… centaur.” He said thinking.
“Pull the pin!” I ordered the avian.
“Wait!! Let me think!!!”
“Who is your leader?” The Oliver asked.
“I am.” The scared z-donk stammered.
“You seem too stupid to be in charger of anything.” The gorilla hissed.
“Wait! I think Malice found one in the forest a few days ago!”
“Where is she now!” I grumbled.
“I don’t know, no one has seen Malice for the last few days.”
“So is your fellow road warrior missing or just enjoying their prize?” The Theresa asked.
“I don’t know!” Vicious said.
“Anyone else have anything?” I asked the dalmatians, gorilla, avian, and the two humans.
“Take off his mask I want to see his face!” The pregnant dalmatian shouted.
The gorilla complied. Vicious looked like a freak-show underneath black circles around the eyes, along with a pasty white complexion.
“That is an ugly mug. We should kill him just on principle.” The gorilla said looking at the avian.
“Pull the pin!” The avian said to the gorilla.
“Wait!! I told you the truth!!” The zonkey said as everyone ran out of the courtyard and into the streets.
“And in a few seconds you, your friends there and this structure are going to be nothing but bits.” The avian said.
We reassembled in the alley behind the fence as Vicious, Ferocious and Fierce waited for their ends which didn’t come.
“He is going to be extremely mad when he realizes that ‘grenade’ that was shoved up his behind was nothing but a smooth stone.” The avian said.
“That was far kinder that what he was going to do to us.” The gorilla said.
“Thanks for the save.” The male dalmatian said to Corbin and myself as my fellow prisoners disbanded.
“So where you two heading off too?” His mate asked.
“We have some missing friends to find.” I said to the couple as Theresa walked up.
“I do too Oliver and I were captured when we started to look for my sister.”
“So you all not from around here?” The pregnant she beast said.
“None of us are.” I replied.
“Then you three should join us for supper.”
“That is the least we can do. We don’t have much but we will share what we have with you.”
Corbin and I carefully escorted Theresa and Oliver back to her hidden utility vehicle five blocks away where they and the dalmatians jumped in.
“Follow us back?” The female dalmatian who introduced herself as Mitsa said. Her mate introduced himself as Lune.
“Alright, but I have to check on someone first.” I said.
“What’s up big brother?” The little mongoose boy asked me.
“We are going back to where Vicious held me.” I said looking at him.
“I was being held there with another- Sura.”
“Exactly. Apparently the group captured her and was passing her around amongst themselves.”
“Alex, oh my gosh that is horrid!” Corbin said.
“I only saw her briefly but she seemed to be out of it.” I said to my little brother.
“Wouldn’t you be too? Think about it.”
I directed Corbin to drive back to the ramshackle apartment I had woken up in. Navigating what was left of the streets was a mess.
We soon arrived.
“Hmm… scans indicate that there isn’t anyone in there.” I said as Ms. Branch pulled up along side us.
“This is the place?” Theresa said.
I nodded. “I am going in anyway.”
“This neighborhood doesn’t look to safe.” Lune commented.
“None of them are safe dear.” Mitsa added.
I quickly ran into the building and the apartment and the room I had seen Sura and the zonkey in. The couch that she was attached to was barren; we were too late.
“She has been moved.” I said returning to the prototype.
“Poor Sura.” Corbin commented.
“Well, well what do we have here?” I heard a voice say. “You know these streets are not safe around here.”
“What do you want?” Lune asked.
“I want to meet an Other.”
I was staring at a adolescent coyote- wolf beastial.
“Why?” Theresa said to the coywolf.
“I have my reasons.” He responded. “Are any of you Others?”
“Say what type of animal are you?” Corbin asked.
“He looks a little like a wolf and a little like a coyote.” Mitsa added.
“I am.” The coywolf responded.
“And very naive.” Lune added.
Our would be interloper was a another hybrid beastial. He was in his late teens and dressed in nice shirt and pants. It appeared that he was not suffering from what was going on at all.
That was when the teen took his paw-tip and tapped me on my nose. He did the same to Corbin, Theresa, Oilver, Lune and Mitsa much to our shock. He then stepped back and looked down at his paws as if he was expecting something to happen.
“DAMN!” He said as he stomped off.
“Um, what was that about?” Corbin asked.
“Another Reject?” Mitsa asked.
“Or a entity worshiper.” Lune added.
“He is right about one thing the streets here are not safe day or night.” Theresa added.
“We should leave. NOW.” Mitsa added. “Alex, Corbin follow us.”
Mitsa and Lune climbed back into Theresa’s utility vehicle and headed east, north, south, west and then east again.
“What are they doing?” The little mongoose boy said as we followed them weaving around and sometimes through the rubble on the streets.
*Making sure we aren’t being followed.* The automated assistant announced as we reached the single block of the city that had survived. It was an oasis in a sea of ruin. A block of store fronts and some homes above that were still standing.
Mitsa and Lune directed Theresa and Corbin to drive into an alley behind and park. We then followed them inside to one of the shops, a bakery with a counter and stools. “Nice place!” Corbin and I said as we looked around.
“This is ours.” The pregnant dalmatian said. “Delectable Delights.”
“It was our dream, we designed and built this and were planning a grand opening.” Lune said.
“When?” Theresa asked.
“January 31st.” Mitsa said. “Unfortunately the world ended a month prior.
“Now this is our refuge.” Lune added. “One of the many.”
(That is rough)
“Have a seat, there is enough space for your four.” Mitsa added. “It is the least we can do.”
“No dear, we can offer our guests something to eat.” Her mate countered.
“We can do that too.” The female beastial said.
Corbin, Oliver and I looked at each other.
Corbin, Theresa, Oliver and myself sat down at a table while Lune and Mitsa took our order. The food preparation took a little longer than expected because there weren’t any modern amenities, the dalmatian couple had to prepare our meal from scratch. But what a good meal it was- stew.
“So where are you two headed off to?” Mitsa asked as Corbin and I got to fill our bellies.
“We still have to find two friends of ours we were separated from.” The little mongoose boy said.
“And then?” Lune asked.
“Then we can go back to scavenging for food and supplies that we need for our community to get through the winter.”
“I see. Mitsa and I were hoping that you would stay- having a working hover vehicle is a huge asset.”
“What about you two?” Mitsa asked Theresa and Oliver- her other guests.
“Well I am in need of a place to stay while I try to find the whereabouts of my sister.” Ms. Branch responded.
“We need a way to move about quickly if we need to escape.” Lune added.
“Looks like Theresa and Oliver can help you with that.” I said standing up.
“Sorry we can’t stay longer, but we are worried about our friends..” Corbin said. “Thank you for your hospitality and kindness.”
“You’re leaving now?” Lune said.
“It is dangerous to be out at night. You heard the coywolf.” Mitsa added.
“We know, but time is of the essence; we already lost a day and a half.” I said gently.
“Thank you for your concern, but we will be ok.” The little mongoose boy added.
“They will be. Their hover vehicle is quite impressive.” Theresa said.
“It is a shame we can’t upgrade ours.” Oliver added.
“Maybe we should.” Theresa said.
With that Corbin and I slipped out the back, into the alley and ran to the prototype.
*Emergency Authorization Corbin Mongoose Castle Wundagore*
*Emergency Authorization Alex Winter Castle Wundagore*
*Surveillance Probe engaged.*
“Whoa someone is getting serious.” Corbin said from the passenger seat.
“We may have already run out of time for Shakara and Dianna and even Sura.” I said powering on the prototype. “We need to find them now.”
“It is going to be even more treacherous at night.” The little mongoose added.
“But where do we even start?” I said looking at him.
“Overwatch pull up the grid.”
*As you wish Mr. Mongoose.*
“The grid Corbin?”
“Yeah this is the system I was using to comb the city looking for you.” He said directing my attention to a crude map of World Two in the upper left monitor. “Those dots were the gang hideouts that Overwatch and I raided.”
“Ok it is a start.” I said flooring the prototype.
And so the search began we drove up and down what remained of the streets of World Two (the ones that were passable anyway) which were desolate as soon as darkness fell.
*Deflector system engaged.*
“Well it is nice to know that system is still working despite the dent in the rear.”
“What the hell was that?” I shouted as something hit the windshield and bounced off.
Corbin launched the probe and moved it back to the black mass that was lying on the ground.
“A giant wasp. It was walking upright on two legs- it’s stinger pointed forward.” The little mongoose boy said astounded.
“Wow. It is 7 PM do you know where your children are?” I quipped.
We drove for a little ways and arrived what looked like a former apartment complex which had collapsed and was lying on its side.
“This was one of their hide outs.” My little brother said.
“Are you detecting anything?”
“One life sign.”
“Check it out.”
Corbin navigated the probe through what was left of the building.
“Switching to infrared. There is something there.” He said relaying the image.
“Yeah someone sleeping. Not a centaur, lion or rabbit. Not who we are looking for.”
We recalled the probe and moved on to the next location a underground shelter which was empty.
“We are doing this all wrong.” I said looking at the video feed.
“How so Alex?”
“We should be looking at large gatherings. Those that caught me were preparing to send whole groups to the entity.”
“Right looking for a clustering of life signs.” Corbin said checking his terminal.
“What do you see?”
“I have a large bunch of life signs to the west, about a mile from here.”
We drove to the west arriving at a large crumpled structure.
“What is that?” I asked.
*It appears to be the remains of a concert hall Mr. Winter.*
“I have seven life signs.” Corbin announced.
“Then go do your thing.” I ordered.
I watched as Corbin navigated the probe through a damaged wall and into the interior of the ruined structure.
We found a lynx confronting a purple cube shaped something as six possible captives looked on.
“I don’t know about the first five. But look at the last one, that is definitely a lion.” My little brother said.
“But is it our lion?” I asked.
Alex Winter January 29 YOE 34