Prologue Pt 1Edit
The tunnels I stepped through were grimy and sodden. I couldn't see far, and only a burning torch shed light upon my cramped surroundings. Any minute now, a cave-in could trap me again, perhaps permanently this time, with no other way out. I, James Morrigon couldn't let that happen, and so it was of vital importance that I reached my destination quickly. My robes flapped their torn ends around my legs, and the armour I wore weighed me down, but I would continue. I must, if my goals were to be achieved. I had heard rumours, stories of humans discovering an ancient and impenetrable citadel beneath the soil. It had taken me days to lock its location down, but now I could find it myself. I only hoped I would arrive before any other human discovered its existence. If they did, my task upon this world might never succeed...
Prologue Pt 2Edit
It was pitch black. But I can see clearly. Through my Spirit mask the world around me illuminated. We were in a labyrinth of tunnels... heading to a place that could determine the salvation of humanity. Citadel A3... a place many believe is a simple myth. Walking with me were the other two members of my team, the closest thing I have to a brother; Dante Steel, and the epitome of all my hate, Jordan Park.
God... Jordan pisses me off.
It was my job, yet again, to act as the "tour guide"... imprinting what i psychically see through my spirit mask onto the minds of Dante and Jordan. The legendary Og Brindoolok, his mighty psychic skills put to such a desperate use! They could have at least brought along a torch, or maybe a candle, even a box of matches!! I calmed down... and put aside the luxury of rivalries. Teamwork was essential to survive mere minutes down here. Everything from food to water, to even safe oxygen levels were important down here.
I just hope nothing gets in our way.
I stopped dead. I could hear footsteps from a tunnel intersection. Other people were approaching. I knew what I must do. I pulled out each of my knives, the poison on them gleaming dully in the torchlight. With a jolt, I remembered my torch would show as a beacon, which I hurridly extinguished by stepping on it. I checked my revolvers. Each had eight bullets in them. Enough for a small scouting squad. That, and my powers. For a moment, I was tempted to cave the way in, but I knew such an act would bring the rest of the tunnel down on me. I would never reach what the people of Arcos City referred to as Citadel A3, but whose enemies from times forgotten knew as the Obsidian Fortress.
Today, blood would be spilt earlier than expected.
Stepping around the corner knowing the terrain only by my psychic sense, I brought my revolvers up in a ready stance. I heard a confused halt, and three seperate voices. One I recognised above the others. It couldn't be...
In surprise, I hissed;
We have been trudging for ages now, it seemed like we were walking through the abandoned obstacle courses in Arcos City... with a hellish makeover. It is a bizarre feeling closing your eyes and seeing the previously dark tunnel illuminated around you, thanks to my long time "brother"... and rival...Og Brindoolok. Him and his "Voodoo magic".. helping us see, even though it is clear for only a few meters in front of me. Better than nothing.
When then heard the sound of something hard and wooden drop the the ground, and the sound of hissing. As if a fire was extinguished.
We then all froze, as Og calmly whispered: "Movement..." his voice then suddenly become deadly serious. "Its a Spirit Mage"
The image of my family being killed flashed back in my mind... slaughtered by a spirit mage.
Something flickered in the distance, followed by twin gunshots that pierced the sound barrier. Og's hands flew up in a simple blur, two bullets seemed to hit an invisible wall, before dropping to the ground. The opponent then resorted to his spirit, a bolt of lightning struck Og, he was just managing to absorb it with his engimatic staff.
"Take it easy man!" yelled Og.
"I'll take care of this crap" Sighed Jordan, and she sprinted towards the foe, phase sword held high.
More voices sounded out from the darkness as I fought the unit. They had a powerful Spirit Mage with them, as no other would deflect my shots. The voices kept yelling, but I ignored them. It probably was their surprise at the attack.
From out of the darkness, a phase sword cut though my armour. I psychicly grasped it, although my armour sustained some considerable locational damage. The attack told me I was dealing with veteran units, as few others could direct an attack so precisely at the gap between my ribs, and further, my heart. I lashed out at the wielder, lifting her - my sight in such darkness was... imprecise to say the least while I still could determine she was female - and flinging her with a small amount of force. Had the attack not been so surprising, I would have dealt with her quickly.
Another attack hit me, this time a blunt hit which felt like something I needed to smell was broken, and the impact knocked me to the ground. I realised I'd been hit in the nose with a shotgun butt. Today wasn't going well, and I could see extinguishing my torch was a bad tactical decision. I was reaching within my coat for one of my knives, when I felt a booted foot on my chest.
I got up from the ground and brushed some rubble from my shoulder. Another damn voodoo guy... if he wasn't wearing that armour I would have ended him and we would be walking. Dante had cracked his hooked scandinavian nose though, probably making it looks better than before. I grabbed my sword out of a puddle of stagnant water. The water was bubbling and hissing, and calmed one I took the sword out. Dante seemed to know the stranger.
"So I hear your sister has been mentally scarred after that... incident." The man just managed to say under his breath "I could have put her out of her misery if you let me..."
"What the fuck do you want THIS time James!!" Dante yelled at the man. Dante looked like he was about to scream. The man Dante referred to as "James" began to smile, close to laughing. I then realised, this man must be that same wastelander that murdered Dante's family. Og then appeared, him too then looked startled.
"I sense your family's blood on this man's hands" He calmy stated... "Dante, now is your chance..."
I could see that Dante was eager to kill this man for what he'd done, I felt like lunging forward and doing it for him. Done and dusted...
James then spoke:
"You don't have the chance of a rat in the mouth of a eroent without me, you three." It was a calm, calculated statement from me. I had analysed the group, and it appeared none of them was expecting what I knew to dwell within the Obsidian Fortress. In any case, my gambit worked. Some of Dante's aggression vanished. Now he just wanted answers. He pushed me a short distance, picking me up be the front of my robes. Adrenaline was making him strong, and perhaps the psyker had something to do with it. He began speaking, his face less than a foot away from mine.
"What do you mean, you lying murderer?"
"Murderer? Me?" I put on an air of injured dignity, "What would your mother say of you throwing such accusations around? That is, if I hadn't killed her." I began lauging at my own statement.
Dante's anger was back in full force. He dropped me to my feet and launched an uppercut to my jaw which snapped my head back and made lights flash in front of my eyes. Another injury I had to heal later. The psyker, the one who I detected was named "Og Brindoolok" grabbed Dante's arm and spoke as he was about to stamp on my face.
"Dante, I can sense he's telling the truth. He knows something we do not."
I grabbed my chance and spoke again.
"Og is right Dante. I know you three cannot survive this alone. Let me help you know, and you can try and take your revenge upon me later. Refuse, and you will never again see the light of day. Decide. It wouldn't be a choice for me."
I just wanted to kill him, point blank his head into a pulp with my shotgun. You have to pay the price of mere survival. Forget your family, the ones you love, the promise of safety... just to live another day.
I stepped away, and said nothing. Grumbling... I took out my pipe from one of my pockets and calmly lit it. Very rarely do I have to use it.
Jordan looked annoyed... too annoyed in fact, i felt like aiming my gun at her instead just to make sure she didn't lunge forward. Changing the subject, Og then broke the silence.
"So what you down here for fellow spirit mage?"
I had to lie. To tell them the truth would be sucide in these circumstances, no matter what else.
"My interest here is for research purposes. An underground building will almost certainly have records of encounters with Tunnel Dwellers, and being built a long time ago may allow it to have accidently discovered a new weakness. For example, we don't know how they react to high-explosive weapons."
I actually pulled that lie off well. My interest in Citadel A3 was something to do with the weapons, but nothing like I had said. It was time to see if they could trust me. I stood up and grabbed my torch. Lighting it again, I stepped forwrds down the tunnel, breaking the uncomfortable silence which had descended.
"Are you going to visit the Obsidian Fortress, or are you just going to sit there having a tea party until the tectonic plates shift it to you?"
As I spoke, I felt a psychic presence, and the intense feeling that something was very, very wrong. I remembered the presence, and it was from no human.
A cracking sound came from behind me, and without looking back, I could sense the roof of the tunnel was crumbling. It had blocked our escape. Ahead, a force burst a hole in the wall. From within the hole, a shiny, red head of a lizard popped out.