Chapter 1 from the novel Charad's Journey
The eternal beauty sleep
Defy all laws. Ignore all bounds. Know no limits. Remove all weaknesses. Surpass all flaws. Suppress your fear.
In the beginning there was only darkness, the blackness and the tremor swallowing the surrounding world from within. And then light penetrated through the depraved vision's frame of reference and a wonderful blue marble sky came into being. Shortly thereafter a large disc of sparkle emerged and lit the sky.
There's no welcome in a forbidden zone of the unknown.
The eyes no longer had to rely solely on the infrared and lower spectrum to perceive the danger. The relentless movements of slashing and growling. The slicing blades coming out of the crawling tentacles that were gnawing their way forward.
A swing became a shot and the the bouncing back of the gun became another swing towards the next target. As a limb was reaching forward through the loosening shroud of darkness, it automatically turned to prey easy to aim at. Where there was movement death followed. A new victim approached just as the predeceasing aggressor feinted into the amorphous mass it was surrounded by.
Shades of yellow gelatine limbs were piling into motionless mounds, upon which other incoming critters jumped like monkeys and crawled like spiders. Only briefly could they reveal their round toothed mouth openings of a sea lamprey, before they got shot and became part of the pile they were standing on or rolled down towards the formation of the newer piles.
Every slooshing movement and molphing mouth, out of which saliva leaked, was marked and then aimed at. Each of the critters that approached the intruder instantly turned into either collapsing or rolling silence.
The grey clouds were dispersing and the wind came to a standstill, allowing the temperature to rise under the lukewarm sun shinning upon the rock structures, as if darkness has never been there.
Large amounts of poisonous gases, with a significant quantity of phosphor, were detected. Amongst the now inert surroundings, of corpse piles that sprout into the flickering bright daylight, Charad begun his walk through the rocky structures with clear signs of rain erosion within the surrounding rain forest.
On a whim he stomped on a critter's head and splattered the tissues and inners into fireworks of fluids. His glassy eyes were relentlessly gazing beyond the dunes of slime littering the ground, trying to analyze everything that could hide behind.
Amongst the many cones of obelisks reaching out of the ground, there still was no entrance to the tomb to be seen. In a most nervous and yet controlled manner Charad shifted amongst various frequencies of light, mechanically dilating his eye lenses scanning through the ruins. His destination had to be nearby.
The alley was smoothly paved with blocks of granite, now tainted with slime. Large trees were covering some of the cones. If he were to blow up another block would he have to kill another swarm of creepy crawlers?
He lift his hand aiming for the biggest cone, because blowing up different cones might yield a different result and as he aimed for the peak, suddenly he detected within his peripheral vision, an entrance in the ground that had no corpses around it. As he jumped forward and spun through the air getting ready to fire at any potential attacker that would rush out through the hole, he noticed it was a slope leading gently underground to a hallway.
Charad grabbed into his huge backpack, that stretched from above head to his ankle and took out a visual spherical drone, which he flung through the entrance. The drone glided forward deep into the structure eventually reaching a large hall. Could that be the medusa layer where the snake women have been lying dormant? There where the medusaes were forever young slumbering in a tomb. Petrified into agelessness, they would rest there for all eternity, unless someone would awake them. Unless Charad would come along and wake them up for a chat.
Within the large hall supported by massive pillars, there lay in the middle three statues of women with a lower serpent half, holding bows in their hands. Poisonous bows.
It was time to awake them. Charad wanted to awake them to find out how they attained immortality, as the rumors claimed the medusaes are forever young, always rejuvenating their youthfulness from within and peeling their skin on the outside.
The serum for awakening the petrified snakes was within a hand sized green flask. No way the tiny flask would be enough to awaken all three of them. Perhaps that wasn't necessary as he only needed to interrogate one of them, not all of them. Yet Charad was told the amount was more than enough.
He shook the flask and then smashed it on the middle statues as he had been instructed to. A large cloud of green smoke and sizzling noises emerged within seconds, forcing Charad to take some rapid steps backwards. The gas was electrified as the reaction released large charges as solid rock decomposed.
The smoke lowered towards the ground, releasing the stone from it's current form more and more. Then the smoke begun to lift and dissipate into the air. Surprisingly all three statues melted away and nothing remained. Even the layer of rock holding them was damaged by the green liquid.
Charad froze for a moment as his still human reaction kicked in and his jaw dropped. He couldn't believe it and neither could he stop blinking at the shocking and yet unexpected outcome. It was outrageous.
“And how exactly did that blob of greenish water awake the statues?!” he yells out loud wishing the one that gave it to him would be there and answer his question. No, that wouldn't be good enough as the statues were now turned to dust and an acid goo splattered over the floor. “I swear I'll detonate this place and blow up every fucking rock within two miles radius and then I am going to beat the crap of that stupid shaman who gave me the bottle and then I'll make sure he'll slave for the rest of his life for me to help me find … !”
The gooey floor cracked open and crumbled apart. Charad stepped aside dodging a volley of arrows. Slowly three womanly reptile figures with bodies bathed in green scales slithered out fast and gentle. A bunch of gorgeous reptilian sluts, thought Charad to himself as a result of his simulated human emotions.
But the snake ladies didn't want to reply or didn't have a reason to, afterall Charad was nothing more than an intruder that destroyed their statues. Shame on me, he thought. As soon as they lifted their bows Charad had to prepare to either dodge or deflect the arrows with his arms. He didn't want to gun them down, at least not yet as he had to get the secret out of them. What was their secret of eternal youth? Should he kill two of them and leave only one alive to make it easier to interrogate them? There were too many reasons to not do that, as he might either kill the only one who knows or he might make them not reply out of grudge and grief.
One of them jumped right next to Charad landing on her lower body, a giant snake tail, and swung her tail at his legs trying to get him immobilized on the ground or at least slow him down. Charad did a quick flip through the air, continuing to dodge the endless stream of arrows, pouring towards him like heavy raindrops of doom.
“Can I ask you a question?” Of course he could, he already had. He could never get rid of some severely contagious bad habits that he gained while he had still been human. It was deeply stuck in his algorithmic routines and hard to remove without damaging the personality data storage as a whole.
As they relentlessly swung across the room, the snake girls swinging their arrows at the intruder, their hissing finally got decoded by Charad. So far they had dodged every single bullet, but it's not like he wanted to have them killed, only immobilized but without having them bleed to death.
“Give up boy. You are just a human.” As she finished saying that, she spat venomous liquid towards him.
With a slight impulse to overcharge in his legs, he dashed away allowing the venom to splash on the ground instead.
“Not anymore. If I still were I'd have a reason to ask you ladies out on a date and then perhaps get a room.” Charad hissed at them.
How long had it been? How far away from the human path had he strayed off? How long ago did he stop feeling human?
He clenched his teeth grinning at the analyzed stream of thoughts pouring in as he was reviewing his past. The hardships and difficulties he had on the way, sometimes taken down easily step by step, other times he had to progress sporadically in exhausting sprints of retuning his body for the surprisingly challenging universe. Thinking it through again, he was wondering, did he actually push himself to marathon it all in one go?