The Writers of the Universe
The ending has been changed! Through their words written in stories and books, The Writers of the Universe control the lives of us all. A struggling human author and quite possibly the most unlucky person in existence is about to leap from the page and journey to realms unknown in order to bring back chaos and free will to the universe. For without uncertainty, without fear of the unknown, there is no point in going through life if its only purpose is to get to the end of the book.
16. The Search
Mai led Cis and Tal-sen into the rush of freaks from the Fifth world and Radfewx’s army of writers. Chaos all around them, her grip tightened on the shotgun she held permanently glued in the ready to fire position. No time could be spent aiming or trying to be efficient. The only way they were ever going to make it back to the Earth’s library was if they shot first, blasting anything that got in their way and kept running forward.
For a few streets, Mai’s plan was working. Their guns aimed true and shots hit dead on. At first, Mai was able to ignore the jolts of pain in her head as her gun met its mark, but the more giants that fell the more her head began to feel like it would explode.
A flash of steel in front of her vision brought Mai out of her distracting pain for a moment as she was forced to jump backward to avoid a wildly swinging sword. The sword she had just dodged was quickly followed by five more as the giant had a sword in each hand swinging independently and aiming for anything and everything.
Something she never had time to see exploded right next to her left ear, knocking her over and causing her to tumble over several times. Back on her feet, she whirled around just in time to catch one of the giant’s swords with the stock of her large machine gun. The sword lodged itself into the steel, and the giant’s grip on it suddenly loosened as it was surprised by the sudden extra weight.
Mai seized the opportunity and wrenched the sword the rest of the way out of the giant’s grip. With a sudden twist of her whole body, Mai spun around the giant and used the still embedded sword in her gun to drive the long end of the blade into the giant’s midsection. The giant cried out and swung a few more rounds of dicing swords towards Mai, but she was quick on her feet and easily avoided any contact. She watched as the giant’s blood spilled out, its steps became steadily more and more clumsy and his spinning arms didn’t seem to reach as far.
The giant took one last stab at Mai. She again sidestepped the dying monster as it fell to the ground beside her. She ended the fight with a stomp.
Her head exploded with pain, but she could not allow that to slow her down. Whirling around, ready for any attack that could come her way, she looked for Cis and Tal-sen. They were nowhere in sight and to make matters worse she was completely surrounded by a wall of giants. All of the giants around her raised their weapons ready to attack as one and finish her.
“Dammit,” She swore to herself. There was no way she would be able to fight all of these giants if they came at her together. Maybe one on one she could get by, but she doubted she would last much longer if they were all as tough as the first giant she had displaced. Dropping her broken gun on the ground, she pulled out a smaller one that she had strapped to her back. It was her last gun, and she quickly calculated that even if she used one bullet per monster she would run out long before they were all dead. There were just too many of them for her to handle.
What must have been the leader of the gang surrounding her let out a vicious roar and the charge was on. From all sides, the giants let out equally ferocious war cries and started running towards her.
With the understanding that she was going to die, she closed her eyes and let out her own war cry of defiance. Her gun raised in the air and she pulled the trigger until there was nothing left but empty clicks, all the while her war cry of defiance never faltered.
The swift death she was expecting never came. Hesitantly, she opened her eyes and blinked a few times in surprise. The circle of giants who had been charging her was now one very large pile of dead giants all around her in a fifty-yard diameter.
“What was that?” Cis’s welcoming voice rang out from the other side of the newly formed clearing.
Cis and Tal-sen ran over to Mai. She was shaky and had trouble looking away from the mass destruction her psych powers had caused. The pain in her head felt like it would be there permanently.
“You saved us. I thought we were going to die and the next second every giant around us just fell over,” Cis explained the situation from his viewpoint. “At least I think it was you. It was you right? ‘Cause if it wasn’t then I think we should be worried.”
“It was me,” Mai said in a detached voice. She was still trying to understand exactly what she had done. When Radfewx had held her as his slave, she had understood he was going to use her powers to destroy his enemies, but she had never truly believed she was capable of killing with her gifts.
“You, I, me, us, all need go Germy and princess book,” Tal-sen broke the current trepidation.
Cis agreed with Tal-sen. “We have this chance. I think we should try to go back to the Earth library. That’s where we last saw Radfewx and he is bound to have Jeremy’s book.”
Mai did not respond. She was still too deep in shock.
Tal-sen nodded, “Princess book.”
“I don’t know dude. It could be anywhere in this city. We need one of those little guys like Moretz. They could help us find the right place to look for your histories.”
“I am here to serve,” Moretz said as he suddenly appeared in the middle of the street. “I told you that if you needed any help, just ask.”
“Damn,” Cis exclaimed. “Where the hell did you come from?”
“Never mind that. I was summoned and I am here to assist. Let us be swift as it appears this is a terrible time to be outside,” the small creature said after surveying the morbid scene.
“Okay. Take us to the Fifth world library first,” Cis requested.
“Here, come grab on and we will transport there immediately. But I dare say you will not find exactly what you seek,” Moretz said mysteriously.
Cis and Tal-sen ducked down and grabbed onto the robe of the miniature giant. Mai did not appear with them. “Mai. Come on. We gotta get out of here.” Cis urged.
Mai shook her head as if she were waking up from a daydream. “What? Oh sorry. What are we doing?”
“Grab hold. We’re going to find the princess’s book with Moretz here,” Cis explained.
She was unsure if this was a good idea, but grabbed onto Moretz as instructed. Like a strike of lightning, they were gone and reappeared in a new place in the library city.
This part of the structure looked to be much older and part of the original library. Without pausing, Moretz set off for a building in the exact middle of the square. The building was pitifully sized compared to the others around it. It stood like a single palm tree on an island, surrounded by a pit of red sand. Its dimensions suggested that it was comparable to the size of a hunting camp’s outhouse.
Cis let out an audible groan. Mai agreed. There was no way that library contained the collective history of the entire Fifth world civilization.
Moretz stopped before he crossed the path of stepping stones that led to the building in the middle of the circle and gave an apprehensive glance to the group. “I have to ask that we only permit one of you in at a time due to the size of the building.”
“Tal-sen, you should be first,” Cis said. “You’ll be able to read the language better than we will. Go and find your princess’s book.”
Tal-sen smiled as best he could and followed Moretz over the path and into the dark entrance of the building. The street Cis and Mai were on suddenly became unnaturally quiet and still. Far off explosions told them that the war was still raging, but the action was far away from this corner of the city. He wondered how the other Fifth worlders and the King’s men were faring in the fight.
“Are we really going to just wait here?” Mai broke the silence.
Cis had no answer. He too felt uneasy about the situation but had no alternatives to suggest.
“We should go in. I don’t like being separated this way. It makes us all an easier target” Mai urged and started across the path leading to the building. She jumped back as she felt the ground underneath her slide and give way.
“This is definitely a trap,” Mai said as they watched the rocks realign a new path across the red sand.
Moretz appeared on the other end, Tal-sen was nowhere to be seen. “Okay, I believe one more may enter.”
“That little trickster. I knew he was to be distrusted,” Cis whispered to Mai.
She turned to him, stood on her tip toes and cupped his ear so that Moretz could not see her lips. “I think that as long as he is standing on the rocks we can get across. If we charge him he won’t be expecting it and we might be able to get across.”
“And if we don’t make it over before he steps back?”
“Then we die, which we probably will anyway,” she admitted and returned to the soles of her feet.
“Let’s go,” Cis said as he jumped into a sprint across the rocks, Mai a step behind him. They made it halfway before Moretz reacted and stepped off of the pebble path. The rocks under their feet started diving into the sand causing them to trip. Their forward momentum carried them another third, but the red sand was too loose and they quickly fell trapping their arms in the quicksand.
Thrashing about, they tried to swim and keep their heads up but the Red sand was getting heavier and heavier.
“Mai! Use your brain powers and make him save us,” Cis yelled as he swallowed a mouthful of sand causing him to sputter and cough.
“I can’t,” Mai replied feebly as she too was struggling to keep herself from drowning in sand. He was right, there was only one way to save them and Moretz was both the answer and the problem. Her dismissal of using her powers quickly reversed, as Cis disappeared completely below the sand.
She focused her mind on Moretz. The pain was unbearable as his will fought her own over control of his actions. If she had thought the pain before now was bad, this was on a whole new level and was akin to physically slamming her head with an iron pan every few seconds.
Again and without realizing she was doing so, she was letting out the most ferocious war cry that would have scared of even the most alpha lion in the jungle. This had the desired effect and broke through the will of Moretz. She took hold of his ability to think, forcing him to solidify the walking path. As soon as that was settled, she had him dive in after Cis and bring him to the surface. There was a moment where Mai feared that she had lost Moretz in the sand but reconnected with him as he broke the surface, pulling Cis up with him.
Mai helped get Cis completely out of the sand and onto his side. He started coughing and hacking with a large amount of sand stuck in his throat and lungs. Moretz climbed out of the sand without help from Mai and ran over to them to help. He pulled a vial of green venomous looking liquid out of his robes.
With both hands, Mai grabbed onto the back of Moretz’s head. “That better not hurt him,” she both yelled at him and inside of him.
“It’s not. I promise. This will transmute the sand into air,” he said and squeezed two drops of the green liquid into Cis’ nose.
Cis was mid cough and suddenly he exhaled a huge amount of air and sat up. His face was red and he rubbed his sore chest as his body returned from its panic state.
“Are you okay?” Mai knelt down beside him.
After another round of large inhales and exhales, Cis nodded. “I think so. I can’t understand how. I was sure I was dying.”
Cis’s eyes turned to Moretz’s own. They were cloudy as Mai held her control over him. Cis understood what had happened. “Thank you, Mai, for saving my life.”
“Are you ready? We need to keep moving and get Tal-sen out of that building,” Mai asked.
Cis stood on uneasy legs and offered Mai his hand to help her stand. She accepted it with a tight smile but quickly sat back down.
“What’s the matter?” He asked.
“There’s so much pain,” Her eyes were filled with tears and Cis saw for the first time the stress in her milky eyes.
“Release him then,” Cis instructed.
“No, I can’t. He won’t let us cross if I release him. We’ll drown here if I let go.”
“Can you hold him until I get you across?” Cis asked, but did not wait for an answer. He kneeled down and had her grab on around his shoulders and neck so that she was riding on his back. Not being an action movie star, a bodybuilder, or a general tough guy, Cis struggled as he stood up and crossed the rest of the path over the red sand.
Once they were safely across, Cis told her. “You can release him. He is no more use to us now.”
Mai let go, but the same pain she experienced breaking in was happening as she exited from Moretz’s psyche. She let out a short gasp every time the pain struck her. Her own brain felt like it was going to mush under the extra exertion.
“I can’t!” she screamed out and then passed out on top of Cis’s back. He turned to watch Moretz fall over and sink into the sand.
“Looks like it’s my job to finish this,” Cis said to himself and ducked as he entered the squat building. He followed a long and narrow hallway that he felt went much further than the outside of the building could possibly allow. There was a flickering light at the end of the hallway and Cis approached as quietly as he could. It proved to be considerably difficult to be stealthy with an extra person attached to him.
As Cis drew nearer to the end of the hallway, a voice called out from beyond. “Moretz is that you returned with another human?”
It was the voice of Radfewx. Cis’ knees buckled in fright and he toppled over. Luckily, he was quick thinking enough to cover his mouth before he allowed a noise to escape. His quick thinking cost Mai a nasty bump as her dead weight flopped on the ground beside him.
Cis kept himself from releasing so much as a single breath, as he waited, lying on the ground.
Radfewx’s voice came again. “Moretz, what is taking you so long?”
Seeing no other options, Cis decided to attempt to mimic Moretz’s voice and try to fool Radfewx. “Director, I apologize for my delay. This human is unconscious and is quite heavy to move.”
“Hurry on with it. We don’t have time to spare.”
“What is it?”
“Tell me. Where are the books these people seek?” Cis asked with his best Moretz impression.
The walls around Cis flashed and he found himself on his back looking up at the most massive globe of the Earth he had ever seen. He sat up and gave a startled yelp when Radfewx knelt in front of him and stared into his eyes. “You’ve got to be kidding me. That was a bloody embarrassing attempt if I’ve ever heard one. I’ll tell you before I corrupt your mind and force you to kill that psychic girl beside you. All of the books for the Fifth worlders were destroyed ages ago when we closed the link to their universe. As for Jeremy’s book, let’s just say that we are still browsing for it.”
“Sir!” A writer appeared beside the director and saluted with two arms. “It appears that we have a new threat.”
“And what’s that?” Radfewx asked without taking his eyes off of Cis.
“The Alglonian race has appeared over the vault and is marching for your enemy’s cause.”
“How many?” the director asked, his eyes frowning.
“All of them sir. The entire race of Alglonian’s have appeared and they have blackened out the sky.”
“Then we should prepare to grab the enemy as quickly as possible before he can call more worlds down on us. There is a point where we will not be able to defend ourselves,” Radfewx spoke as if he were reciting a recipe for cold turkey sandwiches.
The giant stood up from Cis. “On second thought, instead of killing the lady I’d much prefer you to watch me kill your best friend and then I’ll have you as my pet puppet.”
Next Chapter – The Writers of the Universe – 17. Down on Paper
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2014 © Stew Stunes