Author: This just came to me as I was considering the premise of another project. Originally, I had thought to use the Omega Dimension as the setting of this piece but creativity struck and I decided to create my own version of Hell. A note to all: this story may contain some disturbing scenes. It won't be a gore fest as I hate those, but there will be blood and some violence. The whole concept of this tale is to see how the characters would react if they're placed into a situation so dire and so beyond their capabilities that they'd end up turning on one another. Would their friendship be enough to see them through or will prejudices and selfishness overcome their sensibilities? Just how far are they willing to go to survive? If they are meant to survive at all?
"Here they come!" Riven yelled.
Prince Skye looked down the hall to where Riven came running around the corner. Behind him came Helia, his bandages soaked with new blood and his eyes as terrified as the prince had ever seen. He nearly collapsed from exhaustion but Riven was there to pick him up and had to drag him all the way back to the compartment.
Riven looked to Skye just as an explosion rocked the ship. "Shut it now!"
Skye complied and the hatch sealed tight. Those things were now trapped out in the hall but who knows how long that would last. The door was three feet of titanium alloy but no matter the obstacle the creatures had always managed to find a way through. It was only a matter of time before they got in here. The team had to be up and out of this place before then. But that was easier said than done.
The storage compartment had become a makeshift medical ward after the real one had been destroyed. That was hours ago, or was it days? Skye had lost count. All he knew was that he had to get his people out of here. They were his responsibility and no matter what he would see them through this or die trying.
With the way things were going the latter seemed all the more realistic.
"How many of them?" Skye asked.
"Too many." Riven answered as he placed Helia on a mat where Flora went to tend to this wounds. "They're all over the damn place! We kill one, three appear!" Riven turned on Skye. "If we don't get out of here soon we're going to die. I suggest you think up a plan real fast, prince, before I do something drastic." Riven left it at that and moved to find himself another weapon. He had been forced to discard his previous one after a very close call that nearly took his head. Helia had saved him then. Helia. Riven looked over at his wounded friend. The boy was unconscious, the blood flowing freely after his last battle. Flora did not fight the tears. They flowed as freely as his blood. She did her best to bandage him up but she knew as well as Riven did that he would not last much longer.
He cursed under his breath.
"Tecna." Skye began. "See if you can scavenge some of those shelves over there. We're going to strengthen that door as much as we can. Bloom, see if you can help her. When she's done I want you to meld that stuff together. Nothing is getting through." After giving the girls their orders, Skye went to Riven who had his back turned to him. "Riven, there's something I need you to do."
"Haven't I done enough?" Riven asked.
"We don't have time to argue. I need you to go back to the armory and fetch some more grenades. You used up our last ones on that barricade of yours."
"At least it bought us some time." He said defensively.
"That may be so. But I'm telling you we won't last long without them. You've seen how they swarm. Only a grenade can effectively clear a path while taking out most of the bastards in one hit!" Skye grabbed his shoulder. "You have to do this."
"And why is that?" Riven shoved his hand off. "While Helia and I were fighting for our lives you could have fetched the grenades. All you've done is given orders. Well I'm sick of it!" He whirled around. "Where is Musa, Skye? Why hasn't she called in?"
The prince shook his head. "I don't know. I don't know where she and the others are. They shouldn't have gone out in the first place."
"At least they were doing something!" A blast shook the room. Flora covered Helia with her own body as the explosion had knocked loose several items that were on the shelves. "Musa was trying help." Riven continued. "And for all we know she's lying dead out there being picked clean by those things! I should have gone out with her."
"She's with Layla and Timmy."
"Layla and Timmy can't do shit!"
Bloom and Tecna looked up at that remark. Tecna's glare stabbed needles into the redhead and Bloom's was just as murderous. Riven can be such an ass. Like he's the only one who's loved ones were in danger.
"They went off on their own without our knowing. They should have told us. No one should go off on their own in a situation like this."
"You mean without your permission?"
"I'm in charge here, Riven."
"And a hell of a job you're doing!"
"Enough!" Bloom yelled. "Stop fighting! You're acting like fools!" The room shook again. "We have to work together if we're going to get out of here in one piece."
"Bloom's right." Added Tecna. "Bickering amongst ourselves in a time like this is not only illogical, it's suicidal!"
"Staying in here is suicidal." Riven said.
Skye watched as he turned and headed for the vent at the back of the room. "Hold it. We still need things besides the grenades."
"Screw you and your grenades!" Riven snapped. "I'm going to find Musa."
"What? Riven, wait!"
"Riven." Flora whimpered. Helia was barely breathing in her arms. "Please don't go. We need you. He needs you." She motioned to her love.
That stopped Riven momentarily. As much as he cared for Helia though, for all of them, there was one person he could not live without. "I'm sorry." He was through the vent before anyone could stop him.
"That…asshole!" Tecna swore. "He only thinks of himself."
"You're one to talk." Skye muttered.
"What?" The fairy asked.
"Nothing." He turned his back on them, fists clenched. Riven, Helia, Musa, Tecna, Brandon and Stella. Why wouldn't they listen to me. I'm trying to keep everyone alive. If they'd only stop acting like selfish pricks we'd have been out of here by now. If only we worked together. If only…if only I hadn't brought them here.
Bloom called him. "Wake up! We need you."
"Helia's getting worse." Flora said.
"And what about Timmy?" Tecna asked. "Isn't he just as important?"
Flora scowled at her. "Timmy's not here right now."
"He would be if you knew how to read instructions!"
"Don't do this." Bloom warned.
"He went out because she doesn't know how to read."
"I didn't see you volunteering to go out." Flora said.
"Someone needed to work the comm."
"Or maybe you just wanted to be safe. Never on the front lines are you, Tec?"
"Stop!" Bloom was fighting back tears. "Can't you see? We're tearing ourselves apart."
"If those monsters don't do it first." Tecna said just before another explosion rattled their haven. "That fool, Riven! He put that one too close. Does he mean to blow a wall for the bastards to get in and eat us? Knowing him, he planned that all along."
"Alright, Tecna." Skye said.
"I mean it. He's been nothing but a hindrance to our efforts since the beginning."
"He's a good man."
"He's a threat!"
"Tecna!" Skye nearly exploded. "Enough! I have to think."
"Hmph. Now I know we're doomed."
"Shut your mouth!" Bloom said. The redhead stood up. "Look I can still meld the shelves into the hatch so to buy us some time. But we still need to get Helia fixed up. We can't do that here."
As if he heard them, Helia groaned in Flora's lap.
"And where do you suggest we take him? The medical ward? Oh that's right?" Tecna looked at Skye. "Your antics destroyed that place didn't it?"
Ignoring her, Skye focused on Bloom. "I don't think it's a good idea to move Helia. I'll go see if I can scrounge up some med kits from the shuttle. I'll pick up some rations and weapons on the way. In the meantime just hold the fort. I'll be back as soon as possible."
Bloom watched him head for the vent. "Skye." He stopped. Bloom ran over and planted a kiss on his cheek. "Be careful."
"You know it." Skye entered the vent and turned for one last look at Bloom before moving on. He was only a few feet in when a blast so powerful shook him onto his stomach. He cursed and looked back. Smoke emitted from the room he had left. Swearing again, Skye went back inside only to find the room pitch black, save for the fire bellowing all around. "Bloom!" Skye searched for her. He found Bloom beneath the rubble, her beautiful face all bloodied up. "No." He fell to his knees. He did not see Flora, Tecna or Helia anywhere. To be honest, he didn't care. All he knew was that his love was dead.
"Bloom." He cradled her in his arms. How could this have happened? Why did it have to be her? She was kind. Pure. Loving. The perfect woman. She did not deserve to die like this. Not like this.
"I am so sorry." He cried. "Bloom, please forgive me." His sobs filled the air. His life had no meaning without her in it. He just hoped the flames would consume him so that he may join her in the afterlife. How he wished the blast had killed him too. Riven must have put one too close and…
"Riven." Skye whispered. His carelessness had killed the woman he loved. Tecna was right about him. He was a threat. He had been since the first time Skye had ever met him. "Riven." He said again only this time with more venom. He must pay. He had to. No way he was going to let those things get to him before he did. Placing his dead love on the floor, Skye pulled out his sword.
It was time to go hunting.
Author: You know I rewrote this opening ten times before I was satisfied. Took me only four hours! And all before Christmas too. I think this pretty much sums up what you can expect from this tale. A lot of bad things are going to happen and I only brought you into the middle of the story. This was the prologue. In the next chapter we see all the events leading up to this tragedy. Just where the hell are they and what is going on? Read to find out!