In an instant, we were somewhere new. Bodies lay strewn about us. I recognized them before I recognized where we were. They were the Dracs. There was no question about it. That meant we were back in Ramstov, which meant we were back on Earth! I had returned back to the room Lu had taken me from! I was back where it had all began, but now I had bigger problems than General Zlodeyskiy and his genetic experiments. I had a murderous wizard from another dimension on the loose.
The Sharkwoman looked at the scattered bodies. “These are not human, but there is a human taste to their blood. Did Maqesh do this?”
“I think Maqesh killed them, but he didn’t create them. The owner of this house did.”
She nodded. “And where are they?”
I looked up. There was a hole in the ceiling leading all the way to the surface. I could hear the echoes of fighting carry their way down. There was no question. “He went up there.”
The Sharkwoman grabbed me. “Then let’s go!” The Sharkwoman started waving her arms and wiggling her hips. It took me a second to realize she was trying to swim up the hole. In another situation, I might had laughed, but not today, not now. Nothing was funny right now.
“You can’t do that in this world,” I told her.
The Sharkwoman glared at me, then glared up at the hole. “Then how are we going to get up?”
There was a hole in the wall where the door used to be. “I guess we’re going to have to use the elevator.”
We walked into the next room. The cages were all empty. I wondered what had happened to those poor monstrosities, but that would be a problem for later. We didn’t have time to worry about it now. Growing more worried, I started to run, but I wasn’t thinking. The Sharkwoman couldn’t keep up. She fell to the ground trying. “Legs are just dumb.”
I nodded. I offered my hand to help her up, but she didn’t take it. I was beginning to think her coming here wasn’t a great idea. She was too much of a fish out of water here, almost literally. “Maybe you should just stay down here.”
The Sharkwoman growled at me. “I came here to fight, human!”
“Then you’d better get used to using those dumb legs quickly.”
I turned away from her and quickly walked the rest of the way to the elevator. I didn’t bother to look to see how she was doing or even if she was following me. But of course, she did and she was right beside me when the elevator arrived. When we got inside, she quickly got agitated. I don’t know which she hated more the enclosed space or that we appeared to be standing around doing nothing. She was quite shocked to find out that we had been “magically” transported to a new floor.
The surprise, however, didn’t last long. We could hear the explosions off in the distance. I didn’t know my way around the palace, so we just followed the sounds of fighting. It turned out to be a lot easier than I would have hoped. We could tell we were getting closer because of all the screaming.
As I opened the door to the courtyard, I was aghast at what I saw. I had been expecting violence, but I hadn’t been expecting this level of carnage. There were just body parts strewn about everywhere! I could see now that this was where all those poor creatures from the subbasements had gone and most of them were dead now. They were piled atop all the dead humans and Dracs. There was carnage everywhere. If it wasn’t covered in blood, it was on fire. And in the center of all of it was Maqesh with a fallen Lu at his feet, laughing triumphantly.
The Ramstovians fought with everything they could. Tanks and planes, bombs and guns, Dracs and mutated beasts, but it was nothing to him. Maqesh burned them and froze them, tossed them and squished them, crushed them and ripped them apart. It seemed like he couldn’t be stopped.
“Wu!” the Sharkwoman screamed and began to run toward his unconscious body. I grabbed her and she immediately became unbalanced and fell to the ground.
“Are you crazy?” I said. “If you go in there, you’ll be killed!”
“I have to save him!”
“We will.” I helped her to her feet. “But how about we find a way that involves neither of you dying?”
“You’d better think of it quickly. Because it looks like your warriors won’t last much longer.”
I could see the truth in her words. Zlodeyskiy was running out of men. The beasts were dead. The helicopters and planes were all grounded. The Sharkwoman, however, seemed to be distracted with something else as she sniffed the air. “Someone…”
And that’s when I felt a hand come down on my shoulder. I spun around expecting the worst, but I wasn’t prepared for who I saw.
to be continued…