It was a dreary world; lost, empty and apocalyptic looking. Red colored sand covered the ground for miles as far as the eye could see in every direction.
Dust devils blew in eerie circles, and heat seared through the tiny rushes of air. At a casual glance the land looked uninhabited. It looked dead, lifeless purged of even the remotest trace of plant and animal life! But that was not the case. To the right about half a mile across lay a man.
He was almost completely invisible, covered by the reddish sand that lay all around him. He was still, his body unmoving but the black cotton coat he wore which reached his ankles rustled in the breeze. His feet were encased in black boots which had sharp looking spikes on their soles.
Slowly, almost imperceptibly his shoulders twitched! It was a barely discernable thing which to the casual eye might have gone unnoticed! Then after another few minutes, five in total; he sat up.
His hair was long and crinkled. His face lean and angular, with full red lips and eyes that blazed with a keen intelligence and strength that took your breath away if you looked too long into them.
He turned around in a half circle as he examined his surroundings. A frown roughened his brow at the unfamiliar sight. Where was he? With a sigh he rose to his feet. He swayed slightly for several seconds before becoming steady.
"Where am I?" He asked seemingly unaware that he had spoken out aloud. He brushed the dust from his face and the ebony color of his skin was revealed.
"How did I get here?" He asked in the same puzzled tone of voice.
A small voice in his subconscious suddenly spoke to him. He froze stiffening as he listened. When it finished a fear beyond anything he had ever known surged through him. The voice was right. Where he was wasn't important. That to put it mildly was the least of his worries.
Who was he? That was the most important question. With growing horror he realized he didn't know who he was and he remembered nothing before he woke up a few minutes ago lying face down in the dirt.
He turned around in a three sixty direction and took stock of his surroundings more carefully. To the south almost beyond what his eyes could see he spotted a landform. It looked like a tiny hill or an inselberg but he couldn't be sure from where he stood. There was nothing else around in any direction. That meant that was where he was headed. Hopefully he would find someone who could give him a clue to what had happened to him and who he was.
Turning he started walking southwards with long brisk strides. His movements were catlike and his muscles rippled beneath his coat as he moved. Another small dust devil whipped up around him lifting up his coat tails behind him like a cape.
For some strange reason he suddenly felt the urge to run. He tried to quell it but the urge refused to be subdued. Deciding to stop fighting he broke into a fast trot. To his astonishment he streaked across the barren earth at breakneck speeds. Faster than a lightening bolt. Disconcerted by the speed he was moving, he pulled to a screeching halt raising a huge cloud of dust which made sand particles fall around him like brown snow flakes.
In the almost two seconds of flight he had covered more than five miles. He couldn't believe it. What was happening to him? Who was he? As if in answer the landform ahead beckoned to him. A sigh burst from his lips and he once again gave into the speed. He streaked southwards disappearing into a cloud of dust and swirling heat waves.
THE SEARCH FOR ELUSIVE ANSWERS!!!
He reached the hill about fifteen minutes later. To his surprise he discovered he wasn't the least bit out of breath. The way his body felt he knew he could run for days if need be and not get tired. He wasn't sure how exactly he knew this but he just knew. It was one of those certainties that leaped out of the depths of your being. You weren't sure how or why you knew those things, but you just did.
He examined the twenty foot tall hill which was shaped like an ice-cream cone. Ice cream!!! He thought freezing! That word was so familiar but he couldn't remember what it was supposed to be. A weapon? A beverage? What in the world was it?
Pushing those confused thoughts to the back of his head he focused on the hill in front of him. His first instinct was to climb it, but a gut feeling made him discard that idea. He decided to walk around it and see what lay on the other side.
His decision made he strode around the left side of the hill. He had half expected to circle it within the first ten minutes, but was unpleasantly surprised to find that even after almost seventeen minutes of walking he still hadn't gone around it. He was on the verge of breaking into a run when a cloudy shape rose in the dusty haze fifteen feet ahead.
He paused and waited. What was that? The shape did not move. He waited another three minutes before he took another step forward. A slight breeze blew from the east clearing up some of the dust. And the shape came into focus. He gasped in shock. It was a person; a man from the looks of it.
The man was about five feet eleven inches tall in his estimation and was huge and rotund. His fists were about three times the size of his own and his feet which were covered in black knee length boots looked like thick slabs of granite.
He wore black cotton slacks which were tucked into his boots. A black tee-shirt which seemed to have been stitched out of threads of chain mail and iron covered his bludgeoning belly. His fists were covered by black gloves with sharp studs on them and he bore a heavy looking axe on his back. With a sigh, he took a step back, his eyes never leaving the behemoth in front of him.
"Please...." The behemoth began taking a step forward.
He leapt backwards raising his hand to defend himself if need be.
"I mean you no harm." The behemoth said pausing in his tracks. "I just need your help."
There was a long pause as both men sized each other up.
"How may I help you?"
"I need to know where I am. Do you know where this is?"
"No I do not! I was hoping you would be able to tell me that!"
"You mean you do not know where we are?" The behemoth asked shocked.
"No I do not!"
There was another pause.
"What is your name?" The behemoth inquired again as he leaned forward.
"I don't know...." He replied quietly.
The behemoths eyes became wide with surprise and fear. His eyes narrowed at the look.
"You don't know who you are either?" He asked in a breathless whisper.
The behemoth shook his head slowly.
"Did you wake up somewhere?"
"Yes! About five feet from where you are standing."
"Where did you get the axe?"
"I found it lying beside me."
"And you just lifted it? Without bothering to discover who it belonged to?" He asked incredulously.
The big guy shrugged. The almost seamless action making the tee shirt he wore rattle.
"Something just told me I was supposed to have it."
"And how do you figure that?" He asked with one eyebrow raised.
The big man shrugged. "You know one of those things you just know without understanding why you know?" He asked. His voice for some reason was a thread over a whisper.
He nodded slowly. He knew exactly what the big guy meant.
Sighing he spun around in a half circle examining their surroundings. The rough somewhat oblique side of the hill a few feet to their right still meandered onwards. How far this went was what he couldn't tell. To his left was another barren expanse of land, its surface covered by undulating sand dunes.
At a point almost at the opposing horizon a sudden flash of light caught his eye. So brief in fact that he almost believed that he imagined it. As before when he had seen the hill, something in his gut compelled him to find the source and discover what it was.
Without even thinking about it he took two steps forward. The big guy beside him gave a polite cough. The sound brought him out of the stupor that gripped him and he stopped pulling to a wary halt.
"You are headed for that light flash aren't you?"
He paused for a bit and nodded; slowly. The big guy nodded too, satisfied that he was right in his assertions.
"Well I am going with you." It was a statement of fact, not a request.
A slight frown roughened his brow. What did the big guy hope to achieve by tagging along? He knew he could easily break into a run and leave him behind but he discarded that thought almost as soon as it came. Something told him they were meant to travel together if he was to make sense of the blackness that was his memories.
"We best get a move on then!" He said quietly. The big guy nodded and they set off without another word.
The walk took an untenable amount of time. At an odd glance it didn't seem that far away. But the longer they walked the more apparent it became to the two of them that it was much further than they anticipated.
He couldn't help stealing glances at his big companion as they walked. Everything about the guy looked hard and strong. He was all muscle. There was not a spare amount of flesh on his body.
That being said it was also strange to note that he had a pot belly. For a man who seemed so strong and fit, the pot belly was an oddity. But even his pot belly was covered in hard ridges of muscle. He couldn't help thinking that if he was struck by an express train it would have the same effect as a fly ramming into a wall.
The image of several dozen carriages attached to a steaming locomotive suddenly flashed before his eyes and he smiled. That was a good thing. At least his memories weren't so far gone that he didn't know what a train was.
He was snapped out of his reverie by a series of loud explosions which raised several tall plumes of smoke and red dirt into the blue black sky.
"What in the world?" The big guy beside him gasped.
He on the other hand did not even hesitate. He took off like a shot out of a gun towards the spiraling plumes of smoke and dust. He thought he heard his companion shout wait but he didn't bother to look back to find out whether he was right.
As he approached he was shocked to discover that a fierce whirlwind blew in a vicious circle ripping up everything around in its wake. The sky above it was dark and forbidden. As if the worst of storms was brewing.
He pulled to a screeching halt about fifteen feet away from the miasmic fury to avoid being sucked in and scanned the skies searching for its source. To his surprise he discovered that the whirlwind was the one causing the disruption in the skies not the other way around.
A shadow lay in the center of the furious depths of violent wind. He raised a palm to cover his eyes as he tried to get a closer look. The shape of the shadow looked decidedly human. It took another half second for him to realize that he was right.
For some reason, which he couldn't even explain to himself at that moment he raised both of his palms to his lips and yelled as loud and hard as he could.
"You don't have to do that you know!"
For a few troubling seconds nothing happened. Then a voice responded; frightened, troubled and above all female.
"I don't want to but I do not know how to stop."
He paused for a few seconds before he raised his palms to his lips again.
"Just calm down....."
The raging winds continued for another five minutes and then suddenly without warning disappeared completely. As the dust settled a woman wrapped in a black robe with a tiny circlet of silver on her head and shiny silver sandals fluttered down from her levitated position six feet in the air and alighted softer than a cat on the soft red sand.
Loud thuds erupted to their left and they both spun around as the big guy raced to a stop two feet away from where the woman stood. He stared at the woman's gleaming red eyes in shock. To both men's amazement her red eyes slowly turned to the deepest shade of hazel they had ever seen.
They couldn’t tear their faces away from her exquisite oval features, full red lips and long silky looking black hair. Her dark skin glistened as if it had been polished to a bright hue. If they were to rate her beauty on a scale of one to ten; she would be a twelve.
"Who are you?" They both gasped in wonder.
"I don't know...." She whispered her jaw trembling slightly as large tears streamed down her cheek.
Now they were three. He looked back at his two companions and sighed facing the barrenness in front of him again. Something was very wrong here. How could three adults not know who and what they were and more importantly where they came from?
Since they had no names he decided to call them two and three. That made him one. For some strange reason they looked up to him. Determined to follow him wherever he was headed which at the moment he didn't know exactly where that was.
All he knew was that he had to keep on moving. Every couple of seconds he would strain his mind and try to remember who he was. But all he got for his efforts was blackness and an excruciating pain.
"Stop trying to remember!" Three snapped abruptly her eyes blazing with irritation.
"You knew that was what I was doing?" He asked shocked and perturbed.
"Yes..." She said becoming quiet and looking somewhat sheepish.
"How do you know that?"
She sighed shrugging. "Dunno how I know but ever since I came to so many hours ago in the midst of those sand dunes, I just seem to know things."
"But that's great!" One exclaimed. "So you know who you are?"
"No I don't! I remember nothing before I woke up. Everything I know or sense is since I woke up."
"What do you sense?" Two asked quietly. He had been quiet for so long that One had even forgotten that he was there.
"Though not all the time, I seem to know what you both are thinking even before you think it!"
The frowns on both men's faces deepened at her words. She laughed nervously. "Like I said it’s not all the time."
"What else do you think you know or can do? We have seen the whirlwinds and the large explosions. Is there anything else we should know?"
She paused, a troubled expression on her face.
"I feel...." She began and paused again.
"Go on...." One said taking a step forward.
"I feel I can rip a hole down into the fiery chasms of the earth just by thinking it." She said looking uncomfortable.
Both men looked at her with awe. No one said anything for several long minutes. Desperate to turn the attention away from her she turned to Two and asked.
"What about you?"
"I dunno! Don't think I have any abilities. Besides wielding this axe, am not sure I can do anything."
She sighed looking disappointed before she turned to One.
"How about you?"
"I can run...." He murmured.
"We can all do that...." She began with a derisive snort.
"You didn't let me finish!” He interjected forcefully. “I can run really fast! Faster than a lightening bolt; and much faster than an electric train."
"And you know this how?" She asked with on eyebrow raised.
It occurred to her that she did not really know what a train was, but something on her insides told her it went real fast; so she let it slide. She couldn’t dwell on that longer because with a whoosh One was gone becoming a speck and disappearing over the horizon. They both stared after him waiting for him to return.
A loud roar from behind made them turn and suddenly he was at their side coming from the opposite direction over the land they had already traveled.
"Wow!" She gasped shocked!
"Where did you go?" Two asked.
"About five hundred miles forward and then back to where I woke up and found you two."
"But that's impossible! You were barely gone twenty seconds." Three cried in shock.
"Like I said I run very fast!" He said with a small smile lifting the corners of his lips.
"Did you see anything on the road ahead?" Two asked with his eyes narrowed.
"As a matter of fact I did! I saw a city! It’s unlike anything I have ever seen before. But that's not all.... I saw something else too...." He paused.
"What?" Three asked in a breathless whisper.
"Another person..... He looks lost like we do! Am guessing before midday tomorrow we would have become four!
An eerie silence engulfed their ranks.
The air around them had cooled considerably. The swirling dust devils however continued. Some of them were so intense that they had to dig their feet in and wait it out. When they had advance warning they walked around them to avoid getting carried off.
The landscape around them was the same. Endless expanses of sand dunes stretching as far as the eye could see.
Three looked tired and drained. Sweat streamed down her skin soaking the robe wrapping her sleek sensual body. She felt as bad as she looked. There was no sign of the city One had spoken of.
Thinking of that made her look at him. He was somewhat obscured from her field of vision by Two’s large body. Two looked like a monolith. A force of nature; she refused to believe that he had no abilities. But that didn’t interest her at the moment. One had the greater portion of her interest.
One didn’t need to look back to know she was looking at him. She was intrigued by him. He could tell; as he was with her and two. How were their destinies linked? And why in the world couldn’t anyone of them remember who they were?
Another question he knew he would really like to know the answer to was what sort of world were they in? Was the whole planet a barren wasteland? A desert planet…. That was rich.
“What makes you think you are on a planet?”
A soft voice in his subconscious asked him. He had no answer to that so he simply sighed.
“I was wondering about that too.” Three said behind him.
“What?” Two asked looking puzzled wondering what he had missed.
A hard frown roughened One’s brow. “I would very much appreciate it if you stop doing that!” He spat out through clenched teeth as he stopped walking.
“Do what? What did I do?” Two asked looking worried.
“Not you Two. I was talking to Three.”
“I am sorry.” Three said looking uncomfortable.
“Don’t read my mind…. That’s a real invasion of privacy.”
“I am sorry…” She began slowly. “But…..”
“But what?” He snapped turning around.
“I really can’t help it.” She said quietly.
“Just try….. “ He said his voice a trifle less harsh.
“I will.” She promised her hazel eyes shinning with her sincerity.
He sighed. With her looking at him like that it was impossible to stay mad at her for long. Suddenly without warning everywhere became pitch black. There was silence for several moments.
“Eerrrr what do you think happened?” Two asked nervously.
“I don’t know__” One said quietly. “But whatever it is it can’t be good.”
There was another long pause before Three spoke again.
“How far do you think we have to go before we reach the city you spoke of?”
“At least another half a day’s journey.”
“What about the man you spoke of?” Two asked.
“Well that depends….”
“Whether I was right and he isn’t just a lost traveler and if he decides to stay where he is.”
“What if he doesn’t?” Three asked.
“Then I was wrong.”
There was a pause.
“Why didn’t you speak to him when you ran by?”
“Not sure really___ something inside me just said it wasn’t time.”
“And you always listen to your gut?”
“Well I wouldn’t know__” She began with a shrug. “I can’t remember what I used to do or not do.”
“Yeah I guess I know the feeling.”
No one said anything more for several minutes.
“So what do we do?” Two asked eventually breaking the silence.
“I think we should make camp here. Tomorrow bright and early or as soon as the light returns we will be on our way again.”
He couldn’t see them but he sensed that they nodded. Without another word he sank down on the soft sand and they quickly followed suit.
“Goodnight.” They both chorused.
Ten minutes later they were all asleep.
He couldn't say what woke him. A sound, a sense that they were no longer alone, what it was eluded him. All he knew was that he was awake and his eyes scoured the darkness around him.
"I feel it too___" A familiar voice spoke into his subconscious.
So Three could speak into your mind too. He didn't bother trying to analyze the implications of that. It wasn't the time. There would be plenty of time to do that later.
He kept scouring the darkness even though he knew that he couldn't see anything. "What's the plan?" Three asked in a whisper. In a lighter mood he would have laughed at the fact that she was whispering when they were communicating telepathically. But he couldn’t say he blamed her. Whatever or whoever was sneaking round them could be lethal and dangerous.
But he dismissed that thought almost as soon as it came. He didn't know how he knew but the thing or individual sneaking around meant them no harm.
He sensed something else too. The most apt description for it was curiousity. He or she was curious and in a strange sort of way drawn to them. That was assuming it was something human that they were dealing with.
"You can create explosions can't you?" He thought directing his thought at Three.
"I want you to create an explosion about ten feet in the air. A moderate one please. That should light up our surroudings well enough to get a glimpse at what is sneaking around."
There was a forceful pulse in his mind. It took a second for him to realize that she was letting him know that she had just nodded.
"At the count of three___" She said. He tensed as he prepared himself.
"One, two_____ THREE!!!!"
Even though he was expecting it, it was still a shock to see the whole sky flooded with light from a massive mushroom cloud explosion. She probably hadn't taken his moderate term that seriously.
"Sorry___" She whispered into his subconscious. "Still getting used to all my powers."
He frowned as he leapt to his feet. Out of the corner of his left eye he could see Two get to his feet groggily. Three was levitated about six feet into the air, her eyes blazing red again and fixed on something on their extreme right.
He turned spotting a dark shadow. A man clad in black. The material looked a lot like spandex. Spandex? Where did that word come from? He couldn't analyze that clearly because a large rock was suddenly uprooted from deep within the desert sand and flung at the man in spandex.
"NO THREE!!!" He screamed with his subconscious.
To his utter amazement however the man simply dived to one side and took to the sky faster than the most graceful bird of flight.
"HE CAN FLY!!!!!!" They all yelled in amazement.
The man streaked towards the horizon almost as fast as a bullet. Without another thought One tore after him with a whoosh leaving a huge cloud of dust in his wake.
"Keep the light going____" He yelled over his shoulder.
He had barely finished speaking when a series of small explosions about the size of a child's fist began erupting directly over his head lighting up his way, thus enabling him to keep his quarry in sight.
The man was fast but One's speed was unmatched. It took him barely three seconds to streak ahead of him.
When he was ten feet ahead he began to run in a hard circle raising a tornado like column of air! The flying man couldn't stop in time and was sucked into the center of it his loud cries fading into silence in the depths of the screeching winds.
"Now Three!" One yelled.
And then a force greater than anything he could have ever imagined peeled the swirling winds aside like a banana and grabbed the man, trapping him in a bubble of kinetic energy.
"I have got him now! You can stop running." She said still speaking into his subconscious.
With a screech he pulled to a halt. Glancing upwards he smiled as Three gently lowered the man to the still swirling desert sand.
"Who are you?" One barked striding towards the struggling man.
His next words made One, Two and Three freeze.
"I don't know!"
How many more of these amnesiacs were they destined to run into? One thought to himself in fury. Was there no end to it? Or could it be that the world around them was filled with people who couldn't remember who they were anymore?
"I don't think that is the case___" Three began slowly. "There is some grand design behind our meeting."
She immediately went silent and lowered her head in embarassment at his hard stare. The ball of light above them flickered for a few seconds and went out plunging them into extreme darkness.
"THREE!!!" Two snapped.
"Sorry___" She gasped flustered. It came on again much brighter than before.
A heavy silence ensured. One, Two and Three had their eyes fixed on Four who was still held firmly in the bubble of kinetic energy.
"Let him go___" One said quietly.
"You sure?" Three asked with one eyebrow raised.
"Yes am sure." He said more forcefully.
She sighed and lowered her gaze. There was a pop a second later and four dropped to the sand with a dull thud.
"Thank you." He said as he rose to his feet and dusted himself off. His voice was gruff and he sounded sober.
"We best be on our way!" One said striding in an eastern direction.
"Thought you said we'd continue our journey on the morrow when the light returns?" Two asked in surprise.
"We don't know whether the light will ever return." Three said quietly.
"Would you stop doing that?" One snapped in anger.
"Am sorry____" Three cried aghast! "I can't help it."
"Try____ I don't want you reading my mind unless I permit it."
"Err that's the thing. Your thoughts just scream out at me like a radio or a CD player. I can't help hearing it."
"CD player?" Two inquired with a puzzled frown. "What is that? Or rather what are those?"
"It’s not important!" She replied with a weary sigh.
"Well you could try not mentioning it when you do. It’s very disconcerting."
There was another moment of silence. "Let's be off." One said again and strode off. Two and Three sighed and followed suit leaving Four staring after them in shock.
"What about me?" He called.
They all paused and turned around slowly their eyes taking in his whipcord lean body, the thick afro on his head, his full face and bright red lips.
"What about you?" One asked.
"Are you just going to leave me here?"
"I don't see why not! You seem more than capable of taking care of yourself so I don't think you need our help."
"I want to go with you guys."
One sighed and thought ‘here we go again’. 'It wouldn't do any harm.' Three said into his subconscious and gritted her teeth. Damn she was doing it again.
One sighed and continued walking eastwards. "You can come along if you like." He called over his shoulder. Four smiled as they all walked after him with Three keeping the light on overhead effectively lighting up their way.
After thirty minutes of walking they came upon what looked like a sprawling conglomeration of metal, made of different shapes and sizes.
It was an automated city with turrets, battlements and chimneys which kept changing positions with loud clicks and wheezes; its length and width stretching as far as they could see in the opposite direction. It looked like a huge flattened castle whose entire surface was made entirely of a strange metal. They could see all this because of the bright halogen lights on top of the tough looking outer shell that lit up the desert in every direction.
But that wasn't all. Large metallic looking shapes hovered ten feet above the moving city, their propulsion systems tracing long trails of fire behind them as they patrolled with huge searchlights beamed down on the steel roofs and turrets beneath them.
"What in the world is that?" Two gasped in shock.
"That my friend is the city I told you I saw when I ran ahead yesterday."
"It looks like a massive____" He paused unsure of how to continue.
"Robot?" One asked quietly.
"Yeah! There is that!" Two murmured.
"What are those things hovering above it? The rectangular ones shaped like drones." Three asked.
"My best guess would be sentries." Four said with a snort. "They watch over the city and the surrounding landscape___" he paused.
"For what?" Three asked.
"For threats!" Four said grimly.
He had barely finished speaking when there was a loud rumble in the distance to their left. They all turned and their eyes and mouths opened wide in shock at the multitude of creatures that were gathered on the horizon. Huge metallic looking beasts standing at over nine feet tall with black smoke streaming from their nostrils. They were men shaped but each of them had the head of a bull.
'A perfect representation of the greek Minotaur!' One thought to himself.
"Yes." The others murmured and he turned shocked till he realized that Three had done it again. Somehow she had synced their minds together. Now he could hear their thoughts as they could hear his. He didn't bother trying to analyze how they all knew about the Greek Minotaur. That question hardly seemed important at the moment.
The metal Minotaurs made up the first wave. There were thousands of them. The black smoke streaming from their nostrils was so thick that it clouded the blue black sky.
Then came the dirrigibles; made of metal and shaped like locusts. Each dirrigible had long lethal looking cannons strapped to its sides and each cannon was trained down, aimed at the city below.
The Minotaurs remained poised on the horizon for a total of twenty seconds before with loud bellows, clicks and screeches they tore down the sloping sand dunes streaking towards the moving city. The noise was indescribable. It was a cacophony of metal sounds so sharp and earsplitting that it was almost unbearable to the eardrums.
To the horror and surprise of One, Two, Three and Four, the Minotaur creatures’ large arms swiveled in their sockets and were immediately turned into what looked like laser cannons. They widened their ranks and took a square formation such that no Minotaur’s line of sight was obscured by his companion's body. Of one accord they opened fire.
The long trails of blazing red flame streaked through the air covering a thousand meters in milliseconds and plunged into the steel sides of the moving city. There were massive explosions which caused bits and pieces of metal to fly through the air raking up huge furrows in the loose desert sands.
The rectangular shaped drones hovering over the city immediately gathered themselves into a large mass and streaked across the desert sands to meet the approaching Minotaur’s, opening fire as they went.
Their aim was chillingly accurate. Dozens of Minotaurs were cut down into useless scraps of metal by the cannons strapped to their underbellies. The city had slowed its movements but hadn't stopped completely. Amazingly in-spite of the hard fire it had just taken the damage wasn't as bad as the four onlookers had expected.
'Shields probably!' Four murmured in his head.
One was tempted to ask how he seemed to know so much about military tactics and ordinance. But Four’s next words preempted him.
"I dunno really. I just do." He said even more quietly."
For a frightening moment One thought he also had the ability to read minds till he remembered that courtesy of Three their minds were still synced.
The drones were giving a good account of themselves but they all could see the odds were not in their favor. More and more of them were being cut down from the sky every second. Not to mention the attacking Minotaurs hadn't stopped firing at the city; breaking more and more of its metal shell.
The dirrigibles were still behind hovering in mid air. They hadn't joined the fight yet. But they could see it was only a matter of time. They were probably the ones going to give the killing strike.
A particularly large explosion ripped off the final part of the city's hard shell directly in their line of sight and to their horror and amazement they saw hundreds of people crouched in its metal bowels, now vulnerable to the fire coming from their attackers.
"NOOOOOO!" Two suddenly roared in horror. "It is going to be a slaughter.”
And without another word he gripped his axe tight and raced across the sands streaking towards the approaching horde.
"Is he INSANE????" One yelled in horror. "Stop you fool before you are spotted."
Either Two didn't hear him or he just chose to ignore him, whichever it was he continued racing towards the horde yelling in fury. One opened his mouth to yell out again but closed it when about twelve Minotaurs broke away from the main force and raced towards Two their lazer cannons firing.
The lazer fire streaked towards him and suddenly exploded about a foot away from his body as if they had struck an invisible wall of energy. One was puzzled about that until he turned and saw Three levitated six feet in the air again with her eyes blazing. She was shielding him.
Seeing their cannons had no effect, the Minotaurs began to morph together till they formed a gigantic Minotaur that was almost twenty feet feet tall. Its body was flaming red and not dull grey like its smaller versions.
Two for some reason wasn't frightened by it. He continued to thunder forward, roaring in fury as he went. The beast seemed to smile as it lowered its horns. Its intention was clear. It was going to butt Two into oblivion. One opened his mouth to yell again when Two and the Minotaur came together with a clang so loud and powerful that the sand for miles in all directions was blown aside by the shockwave of the sheer brute force that was expended. When the dust settled the Minotaur lay in six different pieces with a furious looking Two standing over it.
"Whao!!!!!" They all cried in unison.
"And he says he has no powers!" Three said her voice showing her wonder and admiration.
The other Minotaurs seeing that turned to face Two and roared; in what appeared to be pain and fury. Two watched them silently for two or three seconds and roared back. The sound of his roar shook the sand almost six miles in every direction.
Then the entire force shifted their focus from the moving city which had now ground to a halt and turned to face Two. A heartbeat later they streaked towards him. Three and Four immediately leapt into the air and streaked to his side in seconds as the lazer fire began.
A large shield of kinetic energy surrounded three of them rendering the Minotaurs fire moot. Then a half second later it was as if the top layer of the ground was peeled off by a powerful force which swept a great portion of the Minotaurs away crushing their bodies like paper. Three’s psychic powers were evidently on overdrive.
It was here One reacted breaking out of the stupor that gripped him. He streaked towards the horde, passing them so fast that a couple were tossed fifteen feet aside as he swept past.
He didn't attack the Minotaurs however; he just made for the dirrigibles. As he approached he did a quick count. They were about a hundred. It wasn't that bad.
He tore off the arm of one of the Minotaur’s as he swept past marveling at his own strenght. It seemed speed wasn't the only thing he had going for him. Firing off ten quick shots he pierced the balloon of each dirrigible and the incandescent gases inside them ignited.
The sky lit up like fireworks and the broken shells of each one fell to the ground with loud bangs where most exploded again decimating the ranks of cybernic looking soldiers marching beneath.
Destroying the hundred took him exactly twenty minutes. By which time the whole horde of Minotaurs behind him had been turned to smoldering piles of metal by his companions.
Seeing this, the almost ten thousand cybenetic looking soldiers in front of them turned and took to their heels disappearing into a thick cloud of dust and smoke. How was all this possible? Four of them alone had dispatched an entire army.
"Make that Five!" Three said into his subconscious!
"Five???" One said freezing. "Who is the fifth?"
"See for yourself." Three said. At her words he turned and saw a tall man wearing long black slacks covering him from waist to ankles leaving his upper torso bare. He had a shiny looking rifle slung casually over his shoulder.
"He doesn't know who he is either. But he is mighty good with that rifle. Some of the shots he took were damn near impossible. According to him he hits anything he aims at."
"Is that right?" One said disbelievingly.
And with swift fluid movements that were beautiful to watch, Five raised his rifle to his shoulder and fired twice.
As the cybernetic army disappeared at a distance that was almost beyond their sight, two of them fell collapsing in the dirt.
"I stand corrected then." One said in wonder.
At that moment people began to pour out of the metal city in droves staring in wonder at their deliverers. A tall stately looking man clad in expensive looking black robes stepped to the front.
"Who are you people?" He asked quietly.
They all exchanged puzzled glances and said in unison as they turned back to face him.
"We don't know!"
There was a heavy silence for several minutes and without a sound the man turned to face his people before turning back to the five standing in front of him.
"We would be most honored if you would be our guests in our city while we effect the necessary repairs. It is the least we can do in return for our salvation."
The five exchanged glances once more before One nodded. They all turned and headed through the large hole in the metal city leaving the desert plains calm and peaceful once again.
That"s just a preview..... let me know what you think.... if you like what you've read so far watch out for the release of the book.
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