Fantasy Fiction posted April 11, 2014 Chapters:  ...26 26 -27- 28... 


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Torture, destruction, and theft of Earth's life-force...

A chapter in the book ERTEISIA

Cavern of Impending Doom

by Liandra


Sianna'Q is separated from Solace - she's in the cavern of doom where she's confronted by inhumane cruelty and her nemesis.

Background
Double inverted commas - for verbal conversation.

Single inverted commas - for transmitting silently to another character.

Zero inverted commas - for thoughts.
A sudden surge of resentment swept through her as she stood with her legs astride on a crystal-embedded ledge, high above Xag's mass destruction. The double-edged blade of her jaska reflected a warm glow from the fires that were scattered around the vast cavern. She held her deadly weapon tight in front of her with both hands, the tip of the blade resting between her black, booted feet.

Soft glowing light, emitted by the flames, clashed with the harsh and malevolent cruelty that the slaves endured.

They're stealing Earth's blood as well as her body. Gold poured from pipes protruding from the cavern walls, into large iron containers carried by the robots.

'Where are you Sianna'Q?'

'I see you -- look up to your left, I'm on a ledge, overlooking the carnage beneath me. Is Solace with you?'

'No -- we haven't seen him,' Shaelana replied.

'I'm in shadow now and on my way down."

She flew low, over worn down slaves dragging heavy containers of gold across the rough surface of the limestone. 'There are females down here - the beast is whipping one! - Oh no you don't!' In shadow, she aimed straight at him. My jaska is the last thing you will ever feel! His ugly reptilian head bounced to the ground and directly into a well-stacked fire. Green blood splattered over some onlookers, and missed others as they ducked. It was just another execution.

'Sianna'Q, you can't save them all you know.'

'Each one I save is more than none at all.' She looked around, 'Where's Zenak?'

Shaelana pointed in the direction of a large, brawny Ch'Hog, locking hands with another.

'I'll meet you there.' She transmitted.

'Laivilio my friend, is Binaird with you?'

'Yes and about time you arrived.' Binaird recognized Shaelana and Sianna'Q. 'You must remain in shadow before you are spotted.'

'You make such an ugly Ch'hog, Laivilio!' Sianna'Q looked past him as she saw a giant robot heading towards them. 'Oh no, one of my pet hates heading our way.'

Laivilio turned and saluted the Ch'Hogs sitting inside the head of the robot. 'Don't worry about them, they're with us.' He turned and waved to another warrior who came lumbering over. 'Fetch another robot for us and be quick.'

Sianna'Q smiled at his unique way of curling his pale green lips up over his spiked teeth.
'If that's a smile I suggest you give up -- it's atrocious. Remind me never to smile now I've changed into a Ch'hog.'

She studied her appearance. She felt cumbersome and ugly. 'I gather we will be controlling one of those monsters?'

'Yes, best way to get around. First, I will instruct you on recognition, meaning that when you come across our warriors they will flash their eyes. The violet mingles with the flashes from the drilling so the enemy will not notice. There are over one thousand of our warriors here, and I would estimate three or four thousand of the enemy. We work in teams and have a system of disposing of the Ch'hogs without raising suspicion.' He peered over the edge of the pit and pointed to a large cave in the side of the rock. 'That is where we rest. There are hollows all over the side of the pit ,and we do not enter any other than our own. If you want to live, then abide by the rules. As you know, they feed on dead carcasses. Where there are none, there's a roundup of the weak slaves.'
We've managed to grow our own fruits at the rear of the hollow with the assistance of the Shinza. If there's anything else you need to know, ask.'

'How do we get down there?' Shaelana asked.

'See that rock by the Sentry, that flat platform is the means of getting up and down. There is one at every Sentry and there are fifty Sentries.'

The pounding and grating were constant. Fortunately, Sianna'Q soon realized the Ch'hog ears were accustomed to the noise vibration, which was a relief. The stench was another problem. I feel so nauseous...

'Feeling a bit queasy Sianna'Q?' Binaird asked. 'Here take this, it cures all problems.' He handed her a vial. 'Jab it into your flesh it'll be absorbed fast. We may have Ch'hog outer bodies, but we still have our other senses.'

She jabbed the vial into her neck where the scales were soft. Relief came instantly. 'Right, let's get on with it then.'

The clanking and groaning of chains as the platform lowered to the third level, reminded her of a drawbridge descending to the ground on the far side of a castle moat.

They came to a shuddering halt, level with their hollow. She glanced over the side. 'That's a long drop!'

'Rugs for warmth -- I'm impressed. I hope you didn't kill for this luxury!' She turned awkwardly as she stepped into the hollow, her lizard tail struck against the rock wall. 'You even have a make do fire place.'

'Yes, and it's kept burning continuously for warmth when we shed our disguise.' Lavilio transmitted. 'The problem is the smoke. It gathers on the ceiling and we have to use a makeshift fan to blow it out of the hollow.'

'Well I suppose we can't expect everything can we?' Shaelana replied.

'It's not as bad as it looks, when we settle for resting we have a large fan at the rear, in front of the fruits. It hides the fruits we grow, and helps disperse the smoke.' Binaird explained.

"The sooner we get this done the better, I say," Sianna'Q said quietly. "Is it safe to speak?"

"In here we are safe. Now to business; we gather our warriors, disable the robots and at the same time, we destroy the drills and Drakars."

"It sounds like a plan. Now explain how, and when we three plus you, plan to do this?" Shaelana quizzed.

"Tonight. I know you're going to ask how we know when it's night; we don't. Here we have our day and our night as we see fit, simple." He stood with his gnarly fists on his armored thick body and his grossly gnarled legs firmly planted on the ground.

"Well instead of talking let's get on with it."

Above the sounds of the Drakars and drills, a bloodthirsty scream echoed through the cavern. Sianna'Q's blood curdled.

They raced to the edge of the Hollow, holding the ropes that fell on either side.

"Stay back, it's a regular occurrence. Slaves work the deep earth diggings, and occasionally the robots squash them - or they get in the way of the drakars. Those pounding machines are deadly, they work all hours nonstop."

"I've heard enough, I say we begin now," Sianna'Q announced.

"I was hoping you would give the command. I'll summon the Guardians, and we will plan our first attack, be warned once we start there is no stopping." Laivilio stood at the edge of the hollow, swung around, and grabbed a rope ladder that was dangling alongside the entrance.

Sianna'Q watched him as he clumsily made his way down to the lower platform. He beckoned to a Ch'Hog who raised his cumbersome arm.

"They're gathering now," Binaird, informed her. "Look, I don't believe it - that's Xag. I thought he was injured,"

"He was but like most lizards, his tail has re-grown."

They watched as Xag, twice as tall and solid as the warrior Ch'hog, strode amongst the slaves. His tail curled around a fallen slave, he lifted, and flung the creature into a pile of bodies.

"Those bodies will be collected by the 'cleaners,' meaning the butchers." Binaird informed them.

"This gets worse by the second," Sianna'Q whispered feeling the bile rise in her throat. "So that's why you have your garden at the back. Thank the heavens you have."

"The warriors are mingling. When I give the signal, prepare yourself Sianna'Q. He looked into her eyes, "There's still time for you to rejoin Solace above."

"What are we waiting for?" Without hesitation, she grabbed the rope ladder with her claws.
This is not good -- this ladder isn't for reptilian claws. She stopped and looked around at other Ch'hogs moving up and down the ladders to their various hollows. They're fast -- ah, I see, they're sliding down using only their arms and clawed hands. Releasing her claws, she attempted to slide to the next level. Easy!

The echoes of death screams, along with the pungent smell of phosphorus, were testing her determination. There was no way out now, she had to suck it up and get on with the job she came here to do. Her grotesque body was her shield, so it was time to get to know it and fast. Here comes trouble!

About a dozen Ch'hogs were heading straight for her. She held her position and their gaze. Yes, there it is, a blue shimmer in their eyes. They are our warriors.

They gathered around her without making a sound, except from their clawed feet scraping the ground. Slowly they shuffled awkwardly between the robots and the putrid fires, closing the gap to Xag.

'Where are Binaird and Lavilio?'

'They're ahead of us gathering our comrades. We strike simultaneously.' One of the warriors informed her. 'We must bring down Xag but it's not easy -- his body is invincible, no thanks to Orion.'

'Let's get on with it then, but remember, make sure the slaves are safe, they've suffered enough.' Sianna'Q ordered. 'I wonder how Solace is faring.'

'He's a great warrior; the enemy will fall under his jaska.'

'I hope you're right. I miss him, and I do not want to lose him, not now. Not ever.'

A loud horn sounded, startling her. It was the signal for attack. With her jaska in one hand, and her whip in the other, she shed her disguise along with the warriors. Blood curdling screams sounded in the far end of the cavern. She tightened her grip on her jaska and rushed forward, with the Sarandor'Q surrounding her. Oh - the stink of burnt flesh. Slaves scattered. Some poor souls were holding bones with burnt flesh hanging from them. This was their food.

Driven by instinct, she curled her whip up with one hand, and with the other she held her jaska out in front of her, as she charged into the melee, without thought or feeling. Her weapon cut the air as she sliced through its targets. Flesh and bone tore and split apart by her force. Blood spurted everywhere from the slaughter, striking her and those around her. She could taste the warm, sweet stickiness, as it trickled into her open mouth.

"Spread out" she shouted, "I can take care of myself." Another Ch'hog went down as she struck him across the head with the hilt of the jaska.

An arm encircled her neck and tightened its grip, as he grabbed and tugged her plaited hair with his other hand. Her eyes wept as her opponent placed his clawed foot into her back. Think fast...Holding her whip with both hands and with the speed of an arrow, in one swoop backwards, the cord encircled the enemy, and in that split second, she jerked her arms forward. There was no mistaking the crack of the neck as the cord of the whip tightened. As he fell, he took her with him, just as another Ch'hog bore down on her with a bludgeon. She raised her jaska and sliced the creature through his gut, his innards spilling in front of her. Ohhyah! -- Her stomach retched as she slowly pushed herself onto her hands and knees.

'Sianna'Q!'

'Solace, you heard me!' She ran towards him knocking and slicing the Ch'hogs in a crazed manner.

Their eyes met swiftly as he joined her in battle.

The screams of the dying lessened as they stepped over the bodies of fallen enemies and slaves. Laivilio and Binaird checked off the names of their fallen comrades. The cries of the wounded and dying echoed through the cavern.

'Has anyone seen Xag?' Her throat was dry from dust and the taste of blood still lingered. She spat the filth to the ground and shuddered.

A deep, gruff voice responded, "Over here - I have to say you are a magnificent warrior and will die a magnificent death."

At the far end of the cavern, he stood tall and powerful. He started forward, one large clawed foot at a time, lifting, and thumping down onto the rock, crushing slaves in his path.

Sianna'Q cringed as he hurled bodies across the cavern, his large round eyes focused only on her. His tail was fully grown again and dangerous as he thrust it from side to side, sweeping a clear path behind him.

The Sarandor'Q stood their ground surrounding their leaders, waiting for the signal to attack the monster.

"What was that?" Sianna'Q asked as the ground beneath her trembled.

"Gaia is restless. Who can blame her?" Solace wrapped his arms around his Soul Mate - he would protect her with his life.
 
The rumble came again, then a tremor. A thunderous, earsplitting-sound reverberated through the cavern, as a huge fracture gradually wove its way through the rock and debris towards Sianna'Q and Solace.
 


Recognized


Sianna'Q travels back along the Time Line and births as a human baby. Her mission: prevent Orion's destruction of Earth by creating a rippling effect, erasing Earth of the future and the Sarandor'Q. Following her initiation into her preordained destiny by Merlin and Turaal the dragon, she travels to the shape-shifting planet of Sarandor'Q, where she's re-united with her Soul Mate. Unbeknown to her, he has protected her throughout her journey within Inner Earth and the core, taking on many shapes and forms. Together they've fought the mighty Ch'hogs, Orion's warriors, travelled through caverns of hovels where young human females are imprisoned, as a delicacy for Ch'hog appetites. A visit to the Time Maestro within his planet of Existence, they learn there are many possibilities to actions enforced, action and reaction are equal & perfect.
Orion traps Sianna'Q in the void where she suffers extreme torture until rescued and returned to Sarandor'Q. They refresh and enjoy 'zeskia' together, before she flies to the peak of the sacred mountain protected by the Q'ran Tree people. There Maestro creates visions of the Time Line where Earth, tucked within Erte's womb, is threatened with implosion. Orion's obsession with Erte is limitless.
Returning Erteisia, she is visited by the one who walked the Earth over two thousand years ago. He also is from the future and has the name of Shaendor.
In the cavern of doom, Sianna'Q and the warriors, infiltrate with the Ch'hogs however, they need to be vigilant. Slaves are abused and worked until they drop. Their goal is to prevent the gold from being leeched from Earth.

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