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Trapped in Dark Astoria
Prologue

By Eli J. Litzelman

    In the cavernous depths of Moth Cemetery three figures ran through the ever-extending darkness which consumed the area around them.  Leading the way, Archer of Ramesses lit the road ahead with a burst of flame.  Just behind him, a red-headed woman in her early twenties tried to keep pace with the ancient Egyptian warrior.  She had been captured by the Banished Pantheon and was the reason the other two were here.  Following up in the rear, Daughter of the Wood had her katana drawn and her glowing green eyes darted back and forth as she sprinted after her mentor and the recently rescued hostage.  They each had the same feeling – they were being hunted.

    As they came to a bend, Archer of Ramesses lifted his hand.  The three of them stopped and the archer peaked around a corner with a wary eye.  Fifteen glowing blue lights told him their path was blocked.  Running into groups of villains had become common.  The results were always the same:  come in swift, kill all, and continue on.  This time it would not be so easy.
   
The Egyptian archer turned to his companions and lifted a single finger.  “One.”
   
Daughter of the Wood nodded.  She knew what was about to happen and her knuckles whitened as they gripped the handle of her sword.  Her mouth gritted in expectancy as she drew in a deep breath.
   
Archer of Ramesses lifted another finger.  “Two.”
   
The young, red-headed girl gulped.  She had suffered through three days underground and wanted to get out.  But she knew not to panic.  Just stay close to the archer and everything would go smoothly, or at least she hoped it would.
   
“Three.”
   
Daughter of the Wood rushed around the corner and Archer of Ramesses fired a hail of arrows around her.  The echoing sound of impacts ricocheted off the cavern’s walls as arrows dashed into flesh.  The heroine lunged forward like a cat.  Her blade extended in front of her and her body flew through the air.  She sunk the sword deep into a zombie’s head.  Before even touching the ground, she had already retrieved her katana, spun in a graceful circle, and detached another villain’s head from his shoulders.  Thrusting her blade forward, she plunged it all the way through the abdomen of an undead and caught it as it exited the other side.  She then turned the katana in the other direction and, stepping backward, pierced the monster’s heart.
   
Archer of Ramesses killed the last zombie and signaled to the shivering woman. “Come, we must continue forward.”
   
A voice came from behind them.  “Yes, you must.”
   
The archer spun on the balls of his feet and trained an arrow on the shaman.  Just as he was letting the arrow loose, however, a burst of wind flew from the villain with such force it knocked the hero and his companion off their feet and several yards backwards.  The arrow was launched off coarse but still managed to hit the mystic in his right arm.  Without even flinching, the villain broke the tip of the projectile, removed it from his body, and laughed evilly. 

From behind the first, another shaman spoke, “Your coming was prophesied; your end foreseen. 

A third joined in, “You are destined to be in the sacrifice.” 

A dark energy began to seep from the ground and the zombies that had been killed a second ago came back from the dead.  Some were missing their heads and others were decorated with arrows, but they all stood under their own power.

“Destiny be fulfilled!” all three of them shouted. 

Archer of Ramesses instantly responded by igniting a fire sword and cutting a path through the undead.  He then extended his other hand and created a ring of fire around one of the mystics.  The shaman pushed down with his hands and caused the gravel around him to flip-flop, extinguishing the flames.  He then lifted his hands up and trapped the Egyptian in a cage of stone. 

Daughter of the Wood darted from one villain to the next, her blade flashing back in forth in a rhythmic motion.  She then saw a shaman lift his hands.  Storm clouds formed in front of him and a flash of lightning blasted toward the civilian.  The young heroine jumped through the air and caught the lightning before in reached its victim.

At seeing Daughter of the Wood fall, a sudden anger rose in the redhead.  She locked her jaw and charged for the three mystics.  Her dash was halted however, by dark energy.  It soaked into her and she screamed in pain and agony.  She collapsed.

The Death Shaman turned and looked at his companions.  “It will take four for the sacrifice.”

The first mystic replied, “Worry not.  I have seen the coming of another.”

The Avalanche Shaman did not turn to look at his comrades, but merely asked, “He will come to us?”

“He is a warrior and will be sent to rescue his friends.”

“His name?”

“He is known as RoboZon.”


TO PART 1 >



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