ZION: WAR OF THRONES Chapter Twenty-two

“Scanning is complete.”

“Excellent,” Kyen commented. “Provide a list of the names of the living and deceased.”

“Assembling names from DNA scan.”

Kyen tried to keep a calm composure. He was really worried about what names were going to be on the ‘deceased’ list. “Your Eminence?” Kyen saw that the speaker was Agnes Lindsay.

“Speak,” he commanded.

“May I enquire as to why you are searching all this out?” and Agnes motioned at the holo-projector.

Kyen stared her in the eye for a few seconds silently. Her gaze did not flinch. “No. You may not,” he finally replied and turned back to the holo-projector.

“The lists are assembled,” the heavily computerised voice announced.

“Bring both lists up,” Kyen ordered. Responding to his voice command, two columns of names appeared infront of him. He scrolled through the ‘deceased’ list. Most of the names on that list were of super soldiers, Super Cyborgs, and some of the rebels. He almost breathed a sigh of relief, but caught himself just in time. He could not allow them to grow suspicious. He kept his face unreadable and scrolled through the ‘living’ list. The list was assembled in alphabetical order.

In the ‘A’ section, he stopped. Alexei Ivanov. He tapped on the name and the rest of the ‘living’ list and the ‘deceased’ list disappeared, leaving the name Alexei Ivanov in cyberspace. “Give me the exact location of Alexei Ivanov,” he ordered.

“Procuring…”

~

Veronica was slammed against the wall. She then fell to the ground in spams and convulsions. Zipporah saw one of the gorillas standing nearby, holding a Shocker. She dove to the ground as the gorilla fired an electric bolt at her. The bolt hit the wall behind her and blasted through it. Zipporah heard it slam into some equipment. She scrambled to her feet and went over to Veronica. Veronica was now lying very still and was very pale. Zipporah picked her up under the armpits and started to stand her up, then looked up and saw the gorilla charging at her.

She knew she had to run, but there was Veronica.

Zipporah started heading towards the hole in the wall, half carrying half dragging Veronica. It was large enough for the two of them.

She felt something heavy kick her in the back.

Zipporah found herself flying through the air. She shoulder-rolled as she hit the ground. Her shoulder ached and she heard something snap in her arm. She winced as she stood up. She saw one of the gorillas had slung Veronica over its’ shoulder and was running away. Zipporah saw the second gorilla running towards her. She knew she could not go after Veronica – the gorillas would most likely kill her and she needed to plant the virus. Then she realized.

The virus would infect the gorillas as well and turn them off!

She ran past the gorilla, ducking as it swiped at her with its large hand. Zipporah heard it skid to a stop and run after her as she ran for the hole in the wall. She jumped through the hole and rolled as she landed on the floor. She stood up. The gorilla then smashed through the wall. It’s eyes locked onto her.

~

Kyen saved Alexei’s location on the holo-projector and turned it off. He turned to one of the Super Cyborgs. “I need you to accompany me to the Armoury,” he ordered.

“Yes, Your Eminence,” the cyborg acknowledged.

~

Petrus collapsed in an alleyway, panting heavily. Anastasia frowned. He had suddenly gone pale and seemed dizzy. He had turned and ran into the alleyway. She saw he had a terrified look on his face. She turned on the comm channel and opened her mouth to talk to him, but stopped.

“How…How are you…?”

“Alive?”

Charles? What’s going on?

“I-I saw…your corpse…you looked horrified. Your corpse was bloody. Everyone was dead.”

Anastasia heard Petrus’ voice drop to a whisper. Charles died?

“That wasn’t me.”

~

Bellah watched through the security cameras as one of the robotic gorillas burst through the wall and charge at the girl. He watched as the girl ran to the right and began running up a flight of stairs. He typed some instructions in a computer and the gorilla began following her up the stairs. He could hear the THUD! of the gorilla as it ran up the stairs.

He grabbed his laser gun and turned around and faced the door, the only entrance into the computer room. He aimed the laser gun at the door and made sure it was at full power. I’m gonna’ blast her when she comes through the door.

~

“Huh?”

That’s impossible! Petrus reasoned. Unless…“Were you even in Antarctica?”

“Yes. But it wasn’t my body that you saw.”

“Then…” his voice trailed off as he thought about it. “…it was…a…drone?”

He heard Charles – if it was even the real Charles talking to him – chuckle. “You’re not slow are you? All the bodies were drones.”

“You had to have had them all ready, didn’t you?” Petrus thought out loud. He pictured everything after he broke the Owens out and they were going through the base. “You had two drones holographically disguised as yourself. After I broke the Owens out, everyone else I encountered were holographically disguised drones. With bombs on timers. You and the others had already left.”

“Not quite. Of the bloody corpses you first encountered, mine was the only drone.”

Petrus gulped. “That means that you had escaped and were trying to delay me and the Owens escaping so that we would still be in the base when the bombs went off,” Petrus worked out. Then he gasped. “Your fighter fleet! It wasn’t stolen! You and the pilots had already left. That means the the dead pilots were drones as well,” he said.

~

Charles was impressed. Petrus had worked things out rather quickly. “What the hell have you been doing?”

That’s one thing you will never know, Charles thought. You will never know that the destruction of the Silver Dragon was me. Or who gave me your location. “Tying up loose ends,” he said vaguely. He looked at the holograms of Anastasia and Petrus in the alleyway. He was aware that Anastasia was listening in. He looked over at his co-pilot, who had them in the holo-sights. He turned back and looked at the hologram of Petrus, who was looking confused.

“Goodbye, Petrus.”

~

What did that mean?

Anastasia watched Petrus’ face. He paled and instantly looked up at the sky. She saw his eyes searching the sky as he quickly stood up. He grabbed her arm and began running further down the alleyway, keeping a firm grip on Anastasia. “What did he mean Goodbye, Petrus”?” she asked.

She saw Petrus turn his head slightly in her direction as he realized that she had listened in. He refocused on where they were going. “All I know is he is gonna’ kill us. Meaning he knows our position and-”

A burst of gunfire interrupted him. Bullets hit the ground right behind them as they ran. Bits of rocks and stones were sprayed into the air, hitting their legs and heels.

There was a bright flash right beside them, a loud BOOM! and searing heat as they were thrown to the side.

~

La Magne turned on his Bluetooth Covert earpiece after Kyen and the Super Cyborg had left and muttered a voice command: “Call 522912.” La Magne heard two beeps.

“Yes?” someone answered after the two beeps.

“522912, this is La Magne,” he said, “I want you to tell the others that you are about to do Hammer and Pincer.”

~

The two big metal doors slid open with a hiss. Kyen stepped through the doorway and into the Armoury. The doors then slid shut behind him while the Super Cyborg stood outside on guard. Kyen had opened a portal using the holo-projector to take them straight to the Armoury without incident.

Kyen looked around the Armoury. The walls were grey and there was rows of shelves full of weapons and bits of armour. He needed a specific something – something he knew he would find in here. He walked through the rows to the other end of the Armoury. He went over to one of the shelves and found the exo-suit he was looking for. Kyen put his holo-projector down on the shelf below and put on the exo-suit. He then picked up the holo-projector and opened a portal near where Alexei was. He looked at the shimmering rectangle and then stepped through it.

~

Anastasia’s ears were ringing. Something was poking into her back. She opened her eyes. and saw that she was lying on her back against something. She rolled forward and looked back over her shoulder and saw that she had been lying on top of Petrus, which explained what had been poking into her back. Petrus blinked and put a hand to his head as he stood up.

Anastasia then noted that Petrus was no longer holding the explosives remote. Where is it? The explosives haven’t gone off, so it must be on him, she reasoned. “Where’s the remote?” she asked.

“Somewhere,” he replied cryptically.

They looked up at the skies to see if they could see anything. There was nothing, but that did not mean anything. They had not been able to see anything when Charles fired at them. Anastasia frowned as she realized a fact that she had overlooked by accident. “How come I was able to go to the Cargo Bay while you went to the Mens?” Petrus looked at her incredulously.

“I quietly expanded the radius,” Petrus muttered shortly. He turned on the comms in his suit. “Status report,” he spoke into the comms. Anastasia heard other voices on the other end reporting in their status and where they were. Petrus ordered them to head for the Palace. He then turned off the comms and looked at Anastasia. “Let’s go, shall we?”

~

Tractatori hid amongst the shadows as he checked the holo-display in his helmet. He checked the status of Kyen, pinpointing his location using the device Amelia had planted in Kyen’s brain. Seeing Kyen’s co-ordinates, he frowned and checked where it was on a holo-map. Why is he there?

He decided to go take a look.

~

Alexei tensed. He heard the sound of someone picking their way through rubble. He then heard a whisper. He did not catch the word. He listened again. “Alexei?”

Kyen?

~

Bellah heard the loud THUD! of the gorilla has it ran. It was loud. He realized that the gorilla was heading in his direction. He gulped and gripped the laser gun tighter. He shuddered as a terror filled scream cut through the air. The door burst open and he saw the female run towards him. He pulled the trigger.

Just as the laser bolt was about to hit the female, she suddenly moved out of the way. The gorilla was right behind her. The laser bolt hit the gorilla and bounced off and flew right back at Bellah.

~

“Kyen? Kyen, over here.”

Alexei saw a tall shadow appear on the wall infront of him. “I’m here,” Kyen told him gently. “I’m going to move the obstructions on top of you,” Kyen told him. “So hold still.” Alexei acknowledged the order and Kyen began lifting the rubble off of him and throwing it off to the side.

“There’s oil dripping infront of my face,” Alexei warned him. “And there’s smoke-“

“I need you to be quiet,” Kyen interrupted. Then his voice softened. “I’ll be as quick as I can.”

~

522912 aimed his laser gun and fired. At the same time that he fired, other super soldiers in hiding fired. 522912 half smiled as the group of people they were firing upon, ducked and ran away – thankfully, in the right direction.

He and the other super soldiers silently followed them, firing at them. 522912 heard other members of the Light Force in other parts, firing or throwing grenades at the group. This time he grinned. The group had no idea that they were being herded.

~

The gorilla skidded to a stop and turned around. It’s eyes locked onto the female he was chasing. She was cowering in a corner. It slowly advanced forward. It watched carefully as the female whimpered and tried to push herself further into the corner, bringing her arm up to cover her face. It suddenly felt something slam into the back of its neck.

~

Zipporah watched from behind the gorilla as the laser bolt shot through its neck and left a hole in the wall. The gorilla’s head rolled on the floor and the rest of the machine collapsed. She had hidden, but had projected a holographic image of herself that the gorilla chased, as YEHOVAH had warned that someone was in the room she was heading for, going to try and kill her. He had also given her a picture of what to do. Once the gorilla was heading over to her hologram, she quietly entered the room and disposed of the machine with a laser bolt. Thank You, YEHOVAH, for showing me where to hit it, she quietly prayed.

She looked around the room and saw the window, but the blinds were drawn and the room was dark. The only light was from the dull blue light from the computer screens. The computers were seated on a long desk with one chair. She went over and turned on her comwatch. She called Einstein. His face appeared on her comwatch. “Einstein, I need your help.”

~

Tractatori watched from his hiding place as Kyen and Alexei emerged from the wrecked building. He noticed that Alexei was leaning against Kyen and was limping as his left leg looked rather bloody and burnt below the knee. He’s gone soft, Tractatori realised. Not fit for Emperor. He aimed a laser gun at Kyen.

~

Andrew hit the ground with an “OOF!” as a grenade exploded. Heavy smoke filled the street. He heard some shots being fired. He jerked instinctively as two bullets landed right beside his head. The smoke was very thick and he could not see anything, so he figured that the shooters were hoping to have a lucky shot. Another bullet slammed into the pavement right by his ear. Okay. Maybe they could see him somehow. He pushed himself onto his hands and knees and crawled forward, head low. He did not dare try and stand up or crouch and run as he was afraid of being shot. He stayed next to the curb as he felt his way along. He heard someone cry out. He moved to head in the direction of the voice.

Something hit his hand and his shoulder. Andrew stood up and ran, head bent forward. He figured that since they could already see him, there was not any point in trying to remain hidden. He wanted to get out of firing range.

~

Patrick heard a loud panting noise and quickly looked around. Who’s there? What’s making that noise? His hands began to shake and he nearly dropped his light saber. The noise became louder and louder. “Hey, Pat!”

Patrick nearly fainted from fright. He saw his brother – James Owens – come over to him. James was speaking over the comms in their helmets. “Bro, you need to calm down. Don’t breath so heavily,” he instructed. Patrick focused on his breathing and realized that was what he had been hearing. His breathing slowed down a little and he looked around. He then saw someone ahead of him. The person was kneeling down on one knee by a big pile of rubble, back to them, and had a laser gun propped up and aimed at something, but neither James nor Patrick could see what the person was aiming at. Patrick recognized that the person was an adult male. The person was wearing a Scorpion EXO-R320 Helmet and black body armour.

He saw movement out of the corner of his eye and turned his head. Patrick saw James raise his laser gun, aimed it at the man’s neck, and pulled the trigger. Patrick then noticed the man turn his head and look straight at them.

Then the laser bolt hit its target.

~

“Alright, Einstein,” Zipporah said as she typed in the last of the code. “I’m in.”

“Excellent,” Einstein said. “Do you still have the virus?”

“Yes,” Zipporah confirmed. After making sure she knew how to upload it, Einstein ended the call. The virus was in a USB device. While holding the USB device, Zipporah searched for a port to plug the USB in. She found it and plugged the USB in and began uploading the virus. Now all she had to do was wait for it to fully upload. Come on. Come on!

~

With his infra-red vision goggles on, 522912 went forward into the dense but starting to dissipate smoke. With the infra-red vision, he spotted people crouched down and running. The others were firing bullets, not to kill – yet – but to make sure the people went in the right direction. Though, it was necessary to hit some of them. Like the dense smoke. That way the people would lose sense of direction and not realize that they were being prodded in that direction for a little longer.

522912 then noticed one person running through a side street, holding an arm like it was hurt. He then realized that the person was going the wrong way. He turned on his earpiece and spoke into it. “191625 and 135, follow,” and he told them the direction the person was heading. 191625 and 135 acknowledged the order and discreetly ran after the person.

~

Alexei saw a flash of light and then saw something topple into the street, with something rolling away from it. Kyen then led him into an alleyway. Alexei saw straight ahead of them was a shimmering rectangle. Through it, he could see a walkway with shelves on either side. Before he could think about where it was, Kyen led him through it.

~

Vacarius watched through a hacked security camera as Tractatori’s body fell into the street. He then realized that his agent had failed to check in. He checked on the location of the tracker he had secretly planted on his agent, but he discovered it was turned off.

That was not good.

He pulled out his phone and dialed his agent’s phone number. “You have failed to give a status report, Charles,” he said as soon as the call was answered.

“I don’t have to,” Charles said. Vacarius glanced at the holo-display. The computer had triangulated his position. Charles was on the roof of the Emperor’s Palace.

Au Contraire,” Vacarius shot back. “I helped you fake your death, I helped you get rid of your adversaries in Bangladesh and gave you the co-ordinates to Petrus and the Owens in the Tibet Mountains. So, you are required to the favour and help me.”

~

Charles crouched behind a gargoyle. He had teleported himself from his aircraft to the top of the Emperor’s Palace. He had not been able to find Petrus or Anastasia when coming around for a second pass at them. He raised an eyebrow at Vacarius’ remark. Oh, really? I’ve been helping you? How ’bout helping myself? He looked around at the other pilots on the roof with him. They were all crouched around, holding laser cutters. Time to get moving. “I don’t think so,” he said. He half-smiled at Vacarius’ look of frustration. Charles then severed the link and threw his phone away, like he had done to the tracker he had found on himself. He turned on his comwatch and tapped the screen. It sent out a signal to the other pilots.

They all turned on their laser cutters and began to cut through the roof.

~

Sethi sat down at the table and looked at everyone intently, one at a time. “Did,” he asked slowly, making sure everyone heard every word, “anyone in here think to check for any viruses in our systems?”

“If there was,” Agnes argued, “things would be going wrong with our systems right now.”

Sethi leaned back with a sigh, eyes fixed on Agnes. He understood that thought. “Or it is being uploaded.”

“Honourable Sethi,” La Magne said politely, “why are you asking such a thing?”

“Are you all so dumb?” Sethi shot back, staring with furious intensity at La Magne. Anger flickered across La Magne’s features, but he did not dare reprimand Sethi – only a fool would do such a thing to him or Charles. He let out an exasperated sigh. “Look, with all the attacks and such happening right now, someone could easily plant a virus into the systems and wreck everything. Did anyone think of that?”

Everyone was silent as they pondered that. “But,” La Magne argued, “how could anyone get into the main computer building?”

“How could anyone get into the Peak?” Sethi retorted. La Magne coughed into his hand and nodded in respectful acknowledgement of that point. “Anyway, all your arguments and protests are a load of bull. It is our duty to check for viruses and such whether there is an attack or not.” Everyone nodded and murmured their agreement. “Good. And since no-one else is eager to do it, I will.” He then pushed his chair back and shuffled over to one of the walls. Sethi reached up and touched a black Metatron’s Cube that was on the wall.

Metatrons-Cube-Symbol-Flower-Of-Life-Meaning-Symbolism-Story-600x601

Blue light then shone around the lines and a holographic image of the Metatron’s Cube was projected out of the flower image in the very centre of the one on the wall. Sethi touched the holo-diamond. The hologram disappeared and the Metatron’s Cube that was on the wall moved to the side, like it was peeling away, revealing a screen behind it. On the screen was footage from a security camera inside the computer building. He saw someone standing infront of the computers with the person’s back to the camera. He realized the person was a female from the person’s build. Sethi reached out and touched the screen, and it zoomed in on the chair that was lying on the floor. He flicked the screen up and to the left. The footage was a bit grainy, so he could not make out what was on the computer screen. With his finger, he drew a circle around the portion of the computer screen he could see. He then touched the part that had a red circle around it and that section filled the screen. It was a still image. He digitally enhanced it to read what was on the computer screen.

91% Uploaded…

Crap!

He double-tapped on the screen, and the footage disappeared and the Metatron’s Cube settled back into its original position, still glowing. He touched it again and the holographic Metatron’s Cube was projected out again. This time, he touched the holo-triangle and the holographic Cube disappeared, replaced by a virtual keyboard. Not being a quick typist and as speed was of the essence, he motioned one of the members of the Shamrock Council over. Sethi explained what the woman needed to do. The woman began typing on the virtual keyboard, fighting back.

~

Petrus froze and touched Anastasia’s arm. They crouched down. Petrus heard someone – no, three people – running. He then realised it was from up ahead. He turned and looked at Anastasia, who looked back at him. He pointed at her weapons, then at his weapons, then up ahead, where he could hear the people were coming closer to them. He saw understanding dawn in her eyes. He then motioned to two hiding spots.

ZION II

Einstein’s comwatch beeped and Zipporah’s face filled the screen. “They know,” was all she said. But he understood what it meant. The League had detected that someone had entered into their systems and was uploading a virus. And it meant that they were fighting back.

“Keep trying.”

THE PEAK

“Where are we?”

Kyen ignored the question as he put the exo-suit back on the shelf, pocketing his holo-projector. Alexei was leaning against another shelf, unable to fully stand on his own because of his leg, while Kyen had took off his exo-suit.

“Well?”

Kyen turned around and faced him. “Inside the Emperor’s Palace.” He saw fear suddenly flare in Alexei’s eyes as his eyes flickered around his surroundings. Then they settled back on Kyen and he saw suspicion replace the fear, though he could still see some fear.

“What are we doing in here?” he asked.

He was not sure how to explain himself just yet, so just knelt down and looked at Alexei’s leg. “We need to deal with it,” he said, completely avoiding the question. “Otherwise it could get infected.”

Alexei grumbled something and then opened a storage compartment on the side of his helmet and pulled out a white bottle with a red lid and then held it out to Kyen. He read what was written on the sticker out loud. ” ‘100% Natural Herbiotic Cream’,” and he then looked at Alexei with a quizzical expression.

“Rub it on my leg, and it will heal my leg, while creating a new healthy skin for my leg,” Alexei explained. “No need for bandages. It’ll heal quickly.” Shrugging, Kyen unscrewed the lid and began applying the cream to Alexei’s leg. “So, what are we doing here?” he repeated.

“Your safest in here,” Kyen told him.  Alexei was silent. Kyen sighed. He would have to explain what he was planning as he could tell Alexei was highly suspicious of him now. “I’m a chess player. I move pieces around to gain a certain outcome, or close to it,” he began. “I never agreed with what my father and my mother were doing. I have always been disgusted with the squabbling over the throne. I do what I need to do.”

“And what’s that?”

“To destroy the League.”

~

Feet pounding on the pavement, Andrew glanced behind him. He saw the two people were still chasing him. He zigzagged as laser bolts and bullets hit the pavement near him. He reached for his laser gun, but discovered it was not there. I must have lost it during the smoke attack, he realized. He grabbed his gun, aimed behind him as he ran and fired.

~

Anastasia watched as the two people whom she recognized as super soldiers chasing the man were hit in the heart and fell down to the ground. But she knew that the nanobots in the super soldiers would instantly start repairing their heart, preventing them from dying. She glanced at Petrus, who was hiding on the other side of the street. He nodded at her and she aimed her laser gun at the man who was still running towards them.

~

While fighting to get the virus in, Zipporah noticed a gap in the blockage. Just enough to send the virus in. She slipped the virus through it, masking her tracks. Zipporah then pulled out the USB and stepped away from the computers and headed back for the door.

~

Sethi watched as the female suddenly pulled a device out of the computer and began heading for the exit. He frowned. Why is she leaving so suddenly? Is she giving up? He told the woman who had been fighting against the virus being uploaded to sit down at the table and he began typing in a new command. A command that he was sending to a system that was completely separate to the main Peak system and was not controlled by the computers in the computer building. He smiled as he sent the command. She’s gonna’ regret what she tried to do, Sethi thought.

Suddenly all the lights and the computer turned off. Sethi tried tapping the screen, but it would not come back on. “I can’t turn it back on,” he said in frustration.

“Why?” he heard someone ask. He could not see who it was as it was dark in the room.

Sethi then remembered the female pulling out something from the computer and start walking to the exit. “The virus,” he muttered angrily.

“What about the creatures? We can’t activate them if we’re offline,” La Magne pointed out.

“I activated them right before the virus took effect,” Sethi replied tersely. “Don’t worry. They are blocked from entering the Palace. They won’t kill us,” he assured them.

“But that was electronically locked doors that were blocking them from ever entering the Palace, wasn’t it?” Agnes said hesitantly, fear quite evident in her voice. Sethi caught the emphasis – and it’s meaning. With their system offline, the doors would not be locked. And the defenses they placed around the door to dissuade the creatures from going into the Palace should they somehow get through the door would not activate with the system offline.

With it offline, all the electronic doors would automatically open. And stay open. Nothing would stop them entering the Palace…or from fulfilling their command.

~

Underneath one of the houses near the Peak was an underground storage area. As the command sent by Sethi entered the “brains” of the creatures, they eyes immediately opened. Their “brains” processed the new command which was now embedded in their code. They rose to their feet with snarls, roars, and squawks. The doors to their individual cells slid open and the robotic panthers, velociraptors, and pterodactyls charged out through the entrance and out into the streets.

Two cells did not open until all the other creatures had left. The doors slid open and the two robotic creatures crawled out. Their eyes locked onto a door at the other end that was left open. Their minds immediately thought over the entire layout of the Peak to work out where this new path led.

It led directly to the Emperor’s Palace.

And going down their did not contradict their orders to kill any life forms that they encountered.

The two creatures scuttled in that direction.

~

Zipporah walked through the doorway and down the hallway. She reached the staircase and paused. The USB! She turned and went back the way she had came, eyes sweeping the place to find where she had dropped the USB after pulling it out of the computer. Zipporah than spotted it lying by the doorway. She went over to it, bent down and picked it up. She pocketed it. She suddenly felt something pierce her arm and felt an extremely sharp pain. She jerked around, before everything went dark.

~

The large robotic python released Zipporah’s arm. It’s bite would send an electric shock throughout the person’s body, knocking them out. It operated on the separate system. It had camouflaged itself to blend in with the ceiling where it had been hidden, holding itself up there with its magnetic skin. It had lowered its head down to electrocute the female. Now it slithered down onto the floor.

It’s orders were to kill.

It began to wrap itself around the female’s body.

~

Charles dropped through the hole cut in the roof. He shoulder-rolled as he landed on the floor. Rising to his feet, he saw that three of his men had landed in the hallway with him. Some light came into the hallway through the holes in the roof. They headed towards the end of the hallway. Entering the other hallway, it was dark, and they could not see. I wonder what happened to the lights? “Night-vision,” he whispered to his men. He had night-vision glasses in a storage compartment in his suit. He pulled the glasses out and slipped them on.

~

Petrus saw the man dive to the ground and roll in his direction after Anastasia had fired the laser bolt at him. Petrus aimed his laser gun at the man as he scrambled to his feet. Before he could pull the trigger, the man noticed him and slammed into him, knocking the laser gun out of his hand, sending it skidding into the street. Petrus punched the visor on the man’s helmet, shattering it. The man cried out and took his helmet off. The man’s face was cut and some shards of glass were in the man’s face. Some blood trickled down from the cuts. “My eyes! I can’t see!” the man cried out.

~

Andrew!

Guilt twisted in Anastasia’s gut. She went to shoot Petrus with her laser gun…then stopped. She could not kill Petrus. She gripped her laser gun and charged out. Petrus half-turned towards her. She heard him say “Anastasia?” right before she swung the laser gun like a club and hit him in the back of the neck. Petrus fell to the ground, unconscious. She saw movement in the corner of her eye. She whipped around and fired her laser gun and the two super soldiers who were starting to stand up.

Panting heavily, she turned to Andrew. His face was a bit bloody, shards of glass were lodged in his face and his hands were covering his eyes. His breathing was shaky. Tears welled up in her eyes. “I’m so sorry,” she said quietly. Andrew’s head turned towards her voice.

“Anastasia?”

She heard the confusion, shock, and fear in his voice. She took a step towards him, to reassure him, comfort him. But hearing her coming towards him, he took a step back. A small movement, but it broke her heart. “I’m not going to hurt you,” she told him. She did not have any first aid kit or equipment. Anastasia then saw that Andrew had a small, portable first aid kit on him. “I need your first aid kit,” she told him gently. “So that I can sort you out.”

“Okay,” he agreed, but he said it hesitantly, like he did not fully trust her. And I don’t blame him, she thought. She reached out and took his first aid kit and then opened it. She saw bandages, betadine, scissors, tweezers, iodine, band-aides and other medical equipment. She looked back at Andrew’s face. First, I need to take the shards of glass out.

~

The other group that had been with Saul were guarding some hallways and rooms under the pretense of being Super Cyborgs. One of them – Diego – heard a faint humming sound. He looked around, but could not see much in the dark. Where is it coming from? What’s causing it? He looked up and saw a red light cutting through the ceiling. He raised his laser gun, waiting for whoever it was to come through.

The light disappeared. He waited, but nothing happened. Suddenly, the cut part dropped and there was a blur as something dropped into the room. Before Diego could react, something knocked him down with a kick to his jaw. He felt two hands grip his throat, felt his throat snap.

Then everything faded away.

~

“Charles, we’re in. Had to deal with some guards.”

Charles smiled as he listened to the report. “Roger. Do you have your night-vision glasses on?”

“Affirmative.”

“Then secure the Palace,” he ordered.

“Roger.”

~

“Ohhh….”

Veronica felt sick. She had been bounced around as the gorilla had ran without stopping. She could not stop herself and vomited onto the back of the gorilla. Suddenly the gorilla stopped. She heard it powering down. She managed to wriggle out of its grip now that it was powered down. Veronica looked at it and saw its head hanging down, eyes closed.

The virus worked! Thank You, YEHOVAH and Zipporah!

She took a cautious step back, then another. It was not moving. She turned and started running. She then heard a loud squawk. She looked skywards and froze. A large pterodactyl was flying towards her. She heard thumping and looked behind her. The gorilla was running towards her, eyes locked on her.

But wouldn’t the virus turn them all off? What’s going on?

~

Kyen knelt down in the walking space between some shelves, aiming his laser gun at the now-open doors. Something had definitely gone wrong. The lights had suddenly gone out and the doors had suddenly slid open. He knew the Peak’s systems must be offline, but he did not know how or why. He and Alexei had put on night-vision glasses. Alexei was sitting in a corner for safety because of his leg. Kyen had given him a laser gun for protection while he guarded the door to make sure nothing came into the Armoury.

He frowned. He heard a scuttling noise. Then silence.

Then he heard it again.

Right beside him.

Leaping to the side in fright, he hit a shelf. The weapons and armour fell to the floor, clattering loudly. Heart pounding in chest, he felt the shelf begin to tilt. He thought of all the other shelves.

It would be like dominoes.

But the shelf tilted back into its right position. He breathed a small sigh of relief. Then Kyen heard the scuttling noise again. This time, he heard a new noise with it.

Click, click.

Snap, snap.

Suddenly, the lights came back on. He took off his night-vision glasses. He slowly stood up, looking around. He could not see anything that could have been making the noise.

Then a loud, terrified scream pierced the air.

“KYEN!!” Alexei screamed.

Kyen ran over and skidded to a stop in surprise. There was a giant grey robotic spider pinning Alexei high on the wall with one of its legs. It had a red streak down its abdomen. Alexei’s eyes were wide with terror and his eyes met Kyen’s. “HELP ME!!”

Kyen aimed his laser gun and set it to maximum power. He was about to pull the trigger when something white shot out of the back of the abdomen and hit Kyen, knocking him down to the ground. Kyen struggled to worm his way out of it, but he found himself more and more entangled in it. He stopped struggling and looked at what was entangling him. He realized it was a spider’s web, except it was metallic and razor sharp as he had several bleeding cuts on his arms, face, and legs. He felt one of the razor sharp strands in the back of his neck. He froze. He did not dare move.

He swiveled his eyes in Alexei’s direction. He saw the spider raise one of its legs and he saw the end of it disappear into the leg and something else came out. It looked like a very sharp blade. It began raising the blade to the wound on Alexei’s leg.

Holy sh*t!

~

Anastasia put two wads of bandages over Andrew’s eyes and then wound a bandage around his head, securing the wads of bandages in place. She had pulled the shards of glass out and checked his eyes. She was relived to find that there was no glass in his eyes, but had just been cut. She had then cleaned his cuts, put iodine on it, spread some cream on it to prevent infection and then put band-aides on the cuts. She had worked quickly, but carefully and had also taken the grappling crossbows off of her hands so as not to hurt Andrew.

She looked down at Petrus. Anastasia desperately wished she could take Petrus’ weapons, but she had to help Andrew move around and could not possibly carry anymore weapons. And Andrew could not see to use a weapon. But she took Petrus’ helmet off. Might need that.

And speaking of Petrus…

“How am I going to get the bomb out?” she muttered to herself as she strapped the grappling crossbows on again.

“What bomb?” Andrew asked. She explained as quickly and in as few words as possible about Tibet and Petrus planting explosives in her ear to force her to assist him. “I’m an expert with explosives,” he said after she had finished. “I can get it out for you.”

“How?” Anastasia asked. “You’re…” she stopped herself before she could finishing saying the sentence. But that did not stop her from thinking it. You’re blind. Andrew caught what was unsaid and smiled grimly.

“You don’t need to see to be able to do it,” he said and reached up with his hand towards her face. “I can feel the explosive in your ear to work out how to get it out. Gently, of course, so that it won’t go off.” Anastasia agreed and, taking hold of Andrew’s hand, placed his hand on the ear that had the explosive. His fingers found the explosive and felt it over with his fingers. Once, his fingers accidentally brushed against the inside of her ear and she trembled slightly. What’s wrong with me? “Okay. I can get it out,” he assured her. “Just give me a minute…”

~

After teleporting himself inside the building, he saw what he was looking for. A large robotic python had wrapped itself around a female whom according to his research was called Zipporah Peretz. The python was beginning to squeeze, to crush its victim. Vacarius went over and pressed a very small button between its eyes. The python immediately stopped and went still.

Satisfied that it was turned off, Vacarius freed Zipporah from the python, then typed in his new destination in his teleporter and, with the unconscious Zipporah in tow, hit enter.

~

Veronica cried out as the pterodactyl swiped at her shoulder with its claws and then flew away. She touched her shoulder, noting that the robotic creature was circling around for another swipe. Its claws and beak had already hurt her in several places. She heard the gorilla chasing after her. She knew she could not run too much further.

What went wrong with the virus?

She tripped over and tumbled down a flight of stairs. Landing at the bottom, she quickly crawled in the crawl way under the stairs, shutting the door. Veronica heard the heavy THUD! THUD! of the gorilla as it came down the stairs. She closed her eyes and prayed. She then heard the squawk of the pterodactyl – right outside the door. The ground shook as the gorilla walked over to the crawl way’s door. Veronica broke out into a cold sweat. YEHOVAH, help me!

All was silent outside the door. She could not hear anything – not a single sound. Are they still out there, trying to get me to come out? Suddenly, the door swung open, smacking her in the nose. She grabbed her nose with her hand and looked up. The pterodactyl was perched on a garbage can nearby, staring at her with its beady little eyes. But that was not what drew her attention. What drew her attention was the gorilla standing right infront of her, holding a machete, though how it had gotten a hold on it, she did not know. But what she did know, she wished was not true.

The gorilla was raising the machete, eyes fixed intently on her.

“Oh, n-no…Please no…no…no…NO!!!”

~

Ronald, Josephine, Robin, Fergus and the others weaved through the streets, trying to avoid being hit. Ronald had noted that they were being fired upon all sides except from infront of him. He kept expecting people to jump infront of them and finish them off. But no-one did. Why is that? Why are they firing upon us on all other sides? Are they trying to get us to head in a particular direction? Why?

They saw something looming ahead.

The Emperor’s Palace.

Ahead of them, suddenly something black appeared. It looked like some sort of animal. Then other animals appeared behind the black animal. But these new animals were different. They were…

Panthers…pterodactyls and…velociraptors!?

The creature at the front which Ronald now recognized as a black panther suddenly leapt forward with a snarl and landed on top of Ronald, knocking him to the ground. It’s claws dug into his shoulders. He looked at its sharp teeth and eyes…and realized it was a machine.

Suddenly the panther was knocked off of him and blew up. Standing up, Ronald had to drop down as laser bolts flew near him. He saw Josephine and Robin and motioned with his head at the Emperor’s Palace. They did not have a choice. That was the only place where they could go. The rest of the others followed them as they belly-crawled towards the entrance to the Palace’s courtyard.

Ronald saw something swooping down towards Robin. “Robin! Keep down!” he shouted. Without question, Robin pressed himself flat to the road. The pterodactyl’s claws barely missed Robin’s head and shot past him. Ronald breathed a sigh of relief.

“HELP!!”

He saw that the pterodactyl had grabbed hold of Josephine and was starting to lift off. Scrambling to his feet, he aimed his laser gun at the pterodactyl’s head and pulled the trigger. The pterodactyl’s head exploded and Josephine dropped down. Ronald caught her, but the dropping pterodactyl was still attached to Josephine and knocked them down as it landed on the ground.

Ronald pried Josephine loose and they stood up with the others and bolted through the gates and into the courtyard. Suddenly the doors shut behind them and the people chasing them turned around and aimed their weapons at them. Turning around, Ronald saw other people coming towards them, weapons aimed at them.

So that’s why they were prodding us in this direction.

~

Without thinking, Veronica fired her laser gun, knocking the machete out of the gorilla’s hands, sending it flying back and it slammed into the pterodactyl’s chest, knocking it onto the ground. The gorilla was momentarily taken by surprise, but that was all Veronica needed. She dove between its legs and rolled onto her feet. She ran up the stairs, hearing the gorilla following her. She smiled as an idea came into her mind.

~

Alexei felt his throat being crushed. He screamed again as he felt a pain in his wounded leg and felt some blood flowing down his leg. Suddenly the pressure on his neck disappeared as did the pain in his neck. He fell to the ground in a heap, panting for breath. He began to tremble as tears ran down his cheeks. Taking a shaky breath, Alexei looked around and noticed the remains of the spider strewn around. He had not seen anything or heard any explosion.

“Kyen?” he croaked.

“Stand up! Hands raised!” A deep voice ordered. Alexei sat up and noticed for the first time two muscular unfamiliar man standing nearby in a wary stance. One was holding a gun, which Alexei recognized as a gun that fired invisible and silent bolts of energy that instantly dismantled anything that it hit. If it hit a life form it would simply disintegrate the life form. So that’s what happened to the spider.

“I can’t stand,” Alexei explained, wiping the tears away. “My leg.” And he pointed at his wounded leg, finally taking a look. There was now a deep cut there that was bleeding a lot. The two men looked at each other and then came over and quickly and roughly bandaged his leg. After they tied the bandage, they non-too-gently picked him up and began carrying him out of the room. As they left, he saw two females half walking half carrying Kyen out as well.

“Hey, Tina!” one of the men called out to one of the females. A jet black haired brown eyed woman who looked to be Chinese and in her late thirties looked back over her shoulder at them.

“Yes?”

“Call Charles and let him know we have a surprise for him,” the man told her. Tina nodded and pulled out her phone.

~

“Got it!”

Anastasia looked at the slightly bloody object in Andrew’s hand. It was skin coloured and small. “Thanks, Andrew,” she thanked.

“What do we do with it now?” he asked. She saw Petrus was starting to stir. Anastasia was tempted to stick the explosives in him, take the remote control and run, but she remembered that she had no idea where on his person Petrus had hidden his remote control. Instead, she took the explosives and threw it away as far as she could. She heard it explode. Petrus eyes jerked open.

“Wha..?” his eyes focused on her and Andrew and his face hardened. She aimed her gun and shot him between the eyes. She turned to Andrew.

“I’m going to put a helmet on you to protect your head, okay?” Andrew nodded. She reached inside Petrus’ helmet and turned on the comms, then slipped it on Andrew’s head and locked it in place. She had taken off her helmet to sort out Andrew’s cuts. Anastasia put it back on and locked it in place and turned on the comms. “Andrew, I’ve turned the comms on. You and I will be able to talk to each other,” she reassured him as he was starting to panic. Upon hearing her voice, he calmed down. “I will help you, ok?”

He nodded. “Okay,” he said quietly. Anastasia put an arm around Andrew and they starting walking away. “So, where are we going?” he asked.

“Well-“

Anastasia stopped in her tracks and looked behind her. She had the feeling that they were being watched. Her eyes carefully roamed the place, but she could not see anyone watching her. They continued walking, though Anastasia walked a little faster. She then heard the crunch…crunch…of someone walking on gravel. She whipped around – but there was nothing there. Someone’s stalking us. She turned back around.

A velociraptor was standing a few feet infront of her, its mouth wide open, hissing. So that’s what was stalking us, she realized. It had been quietly going around her and Andrew and then jumped out infront of them. Then she saw on either side of her and Andrew were two other velociraptors. She looked behind her and saw another one. They were surrounded.

Hell!

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This was going to be the last one like I said, but it was becoming waaay too long. No worries – you have another chapter to look forward to!

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41 thoughts on “ZION: WAR OF THRONES Chapter Twenty-two

      1. I’ve never heard of the game called ‘Halo’. I was modelling this chapter off Jurassic Park, Prince Caspian (2008). Oh, and a book I’ve read called “Killswitch”.

      2. I’ve just been reading about the game. Reminds me a bit of “Independence Day” and “Equilibrium” (the latter a very, very tiny bit). Interesting game.

      3. It tells about the plot of the game and the storyline. I’m sure there’s something in there that you can use!

      4. I don’t mind. I apologise if I sounded like I was mad at you or anything. I honestly don’t mind people trying to help me with my inspiration.

      5. I wasn’t trying to seem like I was correcting or perfecting anything. It just reminded me of that game and since you hadn’t heard much about it, I thought I would share that link with you. And if any of that gets your creative gears rolling it’d be awesome!

      6. Thank you for it. I’m reading it at the moment. The Sacred Ring? Is that based off anything in “Lord of the Rings” with that One Ring.

      7. No. Halos were invented to destroy galaxies. Unfortunately not Gollum’s “precious” lol!!

      8. Tolkien had excellent attention to detail. He wanted his readers to perceive everything as he did.

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