Ct’Era was somewhat stuck. They’d been walking for a long time. No one knew how long they had been walking for, as there was no point of reference around. They had expected to find a wall or something, but instead happened to find a hole in the ground. Which Ct’Era had fallen straight into.
Of course, Ct’Era was a larger creature than most. And unlike most sentient beings, Ct’Era walked more like a dinosaur than a humanoid, meaning that a trap designed to catch a more upright being would obviously end up with only Ct’Era’s legs falling through. Unfortunately, a sliding door meant that Ct’Era’s legs were pinned inside the hole.
“Are you alright?” Verlais asked as the three non-trapped beings tried to assess the situation.
“Do I look alright?” Ct’Era snapped. “This sliding door is cutting into my legs and trying to cut them off!”
“… Sorry for asking…”
Ct’Era growled some more, as Arksi edged closer, an awkward look on his face.
“Spit it out.”
“Can I, uh, reach between your legs? So I can telekinetically push the sliding door back while Kindyna and Verlais pull you out.”
The Banikan was clearly angry and embarrassed by her situation.
Arksi got down on his stomach and slid his arm underneath Ct’Era. From this incredibly awkward angle, he could get a better feel for how the sliding door worked. With some fiddling around, he managed to push the sliding door back and free Ct’Era’s legs. But rather than wait for Arksi to get out of the way, Ct’Era crawled over him to safety.
Once Ct’Era was free, Kindyna wandered over to inspect the trap door, which Arksi was still holding open. It was actually quite large, and if Ct’Era had been walking at a ninety degree angle, she would have fallen straight down.
“Where do you think that goes?” Ct’Era asked as she tidied herself up. “Some sort of trap?”
“For all we know, it could take us to the Happy Land of Sparkles and Rainbows theme park…” Verlais unhelpfully suggested. “Or maybe even take us back to that stupid space port. I am not normally a litigious Vrekan but I am considering suing…”
“No court on Potalia would hear your case, as this whole incident would be considered a Deitic act,” Arksi explained, bursting Verlais’s bubble. “If you really wanted to sue, you could attempt to sue the Kronospast empire but that assumes that the Kronospasts were involved in any of this.”
“I think we should go down the hole!” Kindyna interrupted. “I haven’t seen any doors, and anything is better than this stupid pitch black place.”
Before anyone could stop her, Kindyna slid into the hole and started shimmying down it, completely oblivious to the fact that it was most likely some sort of trap.
“That’s fine for her, how the hell will I do that?” Ct’Era grunted.
“With your back against one wall and your legs against the other,” Arksi suggested. “You lot go, I’ll hold the trap door open then follow.”
After ten minutes of shimmying, Kindyna finally reached some sort of floor. The only problem was that said floor was about three meters below her, and there was a metal grate in the way. Also below her were strange, mechanical, humanoid beings, running back and forth. None of them were more than a meter tall, all wearing heavy armour and dark, black, completely circular masks.
“What do you see?” a voice whispered above her.
“No idea, Verlais… Little… things?”
“What do they look like?” another voice squeaked.
Kindyna rolled her eyes. “Like Thrope kids. Mechanical ones. But with swords and armour.”
Verlais looked up at Arksi and Ct’Era, a flash of anger in his beady eyes. “Do you think they are Anexartans?”
“Well I don’t know, I can’t see them!” Arksi hissed, louder than he meant to.
“Um, friends, we have a small problem…” Ct’Era interrupted, as she started to slip. “The silly Banikan who got her legs caught in a trap door is finding that said legs are getting rather weak after ten minutes of pressing them against the walls of a narrow chute…”
Suddenly, Ct’Era fell, hitting both Verlais and Kindyna and pushing them out of the cute, crashing into the hallway below. The three of them landed on top of several Anexartans, causing the other Anexartans around them to panic.
The voices of the Anexartans were loud and painful, like electrical static. Whatever they were saying was incomprehensible to the three beings. But it was obvious what they meant as they all drew weapons out of thin air and pointed them at Kindyna, Ct’Era and Verlais.
Energy began to gather inside the weapons. Laser beams suddenly flew towards them, only to be deflected away by something invisible. Above them, Arksi concentrated as hard as he could on a telekinetic shield to protect his friends.
“What the fuck do we fucking do now?” Kindyna screamed, being far more scared than she’d like to admit.
Verlais didn’t answer. Instead, he picked up a weapon from one of the crushed Anexartans, a small, spiked mace, and used it to smash an incoming Anexartan in the face. The creature’s mask fell off in an explosion of silver dust, and its hollow body fell to the ground. At the sight of their fallen comrade, the Anexartans backed off slightly.
“You monsters made the lives of my ancestors a misery. I think it is time to return the favour. In the name of the Vrekans and their Holy King, I shall destroy as many of you as I can!”
The Vrekan roared, charging at the four Anexartans trapped inside Arksi’s shield. Inspired by Verlais’s courage, Ct’Era charged head first in the opposite direction, through the telekinetic bubble and into the gathering Anexartans, skewering several of them on her horns.
Arksi dropped down from the vent and helped Kindyna up, unsure what he should be doing.
“We’re really going to fucking fight our way out of here?” Kindyna cursed. Arksi noticed that her spiny skin seemed to prick up. “We can’t fucking kill them all! They’re fucking Deitics!”
“You got any other suggestions?” Arksi grunted as he caught a stray laser beam within a small telekinetic shield and threw it back the way it came. “Because we definitely weren’t going to sneak out of here!”
Kindyna sighed as an Anexartan tried to get in close, only for Verlais to grab it and snap it in half.
“You know what? I take that back,” Kindyna admitted. “Those two alone are doing pretty well. Tell you what, you babysit them and stop them from getting killed, I’m going to sneak around, find their leader then… convince him to let us get out of here.”
“How?” Arksi seemed more confused by the second. But his question was answered by Kindyna suddenly turning invisible and disappearing into the crowd. With a tut, Arksi turned his attention to the Anexartans, who were only increasing in number.
Meanwhile, Verlais was waving various weapons around, tearing unlucky Deitics in half, bathing in the silver dust of dead Anexartans. A fire of hatred burned inside of him. All his life, he had watched his family suffering, farming fields of ash that had once been lush forests, before the Anexartans had turned it all to dust. It was almost amusing to him that dust was what they became whenever they fell.
Ct’Era was also having fun, but the speared Anexartans on her horns were blocking her vision.
“Arksi! Pull them off me!”
A telekinetic wave cleared off Ct’Era’s horns, and for good measure, Arksi threw the corpses into another incoming wave of Deitics, causing them to scatter.
“Wait a minute!” Arksi exclaimed. “These are Deitics! How are we killing them? They’re supposed to be immortal?”
A path abruptly cleared in front of the three beings. Deitics, those that were still alive, fled the scene, as a slightly larger and more heavily armoured Anexartan was lead down the hallway with a blade to its throat. Despite having no facial features, it looked terrified.
Kindyna smiled at her friends. “Guys, you can stop killing them now. I found their leader.”