Abbadons Apocrypha- present day

Chapter 1

Shamir Aram was sitting alone in the canteen of the Green Haven care home. It was a dark October night, very mild for the time of year. She arose and walked towards the large window and peered thru the brilliant white window frame, it dawned on her that the darkness was overpoweringly endless. The care worker glanced around the small homely communal kitchen, noticing that the stainless steel sink had paint flecks still inside the bowl. To be fair she thought if that is the only mess the decorators had made then she would be happy. I will get that clean before the dayshift comes in she thought to herself.

The walls of the kitchen canteen were freshly painted; the white goods were porcelain like. The new gas cooker gleamed. A new table had recently been purchased and was the centrepiece of the room. Everything in the area was reflective and mirrored back the twin strip lights in the ceiling. All the light began to hurt her eyes after watching the night outside. Everything was so white and clean. The only deviation in the reflective landscape was the scarlet red kettle on top of the small refrigerator.

Shamir blinked a few times and removing her hand from the green trousers she had been issued and proceeded to rub her tired eyes. The round plate shaped clock hung on the wall behind her head reflected back off the gleaming window, it was 2.20 AM. The twenty-year-old girl decided she would finish her tea and then do the 3 o’clock check between the two wards and four private rooms.

There were three staff in the building this morning as well as herself. John the security man at reception, Jane the supervisor who would be in her office doing as little as possible and Terry the caretaker. Terry she knew would be sleeping as he lived in a small flat annexed to the main building. The 60-year-old handy man was always on call during the night in case of any mishaps. Shamir liked Terry. He had been very kind and helpful since her appointment 2 years past.

Green Haven had been built about 10 years ago, and was undergoing the buildings first big renovations. The care home was architecturally laid out in a one-storey horseshoe shape, with a garden in the middle. A few bird tables and seats had been placed around the little nature idyll. It was the garden that Shamir was trying to perceive from the canteen window. The building catered for low risk elderly psychiatric patients. Only eight were in care that week. Not as many as usual. Due to the fact the home was having new glazing installed and was being fully decorated throughout. A few of the patients had gone to their families or were farmed out to other homes in the area during the upheaval.

Lord how quiet she thought. The only noise audible was that of a washing machine in the next room violently spinning the soiled sheets of the previous day. She stared down at the clear glass cup in her other hand, the tea still warm. Shamir’s torso suddenly shuddered as a cold shiver ran down her spine. The shiver was so intense that a small bit of the liquid splashed out on to the glossy table. Shamir immediately eased herself up and went to the sink to fetch a dishcloth. There were none at hand, so she opened the draw to the left of the drainer. She found nothing amongst the miscellaneous cutlery. She turned around to go to the cupboard on the wall her eyes spotted a small object out of place atop the single white unit.

Shamir had not noticed it before but then why should she was only 5 2” at best. The cupboard well above her eye line. The small carer pulled a quizzical face and moved her left hand through her black shoulder length hair. The chair opposite her under the table was on hand. Shamir stepped onto it giving her the necessary extra height to reach for the dark item, which she reached easily. Stepping down from the chair, she put out one hand on the table to aide her dismount. She sat down immediately slipping the chair into a more appropriate position. This allowed Shamir to slide her brown soft shoed feet along the black white and black tiled floor, neatly resting them together in symmetry under the table.

She gazed down at what looked like an old purple glass vase. Shamir had not noticed how colourful the ornament was when first discovering it. The glass mystery looked ancient. She rolled it around between her fingers; there were lots of intricate patterns and what appeared to be some form of Arabic writing on the neck of the glass object. Shamir changed her opinion and assumed it was more like a bottle; yes, it was definitely a bottle of some sort! She thought it looked familiar and had seen it before. But where she pondered? The glass appeared almost blue now. A small stopper cap at the head of the bottle came to a sharp point and without hesitation, she pulled the cap out of the mystery.

Shamir blinked, why was she lying on the cold black and white floor? A sting in the right side of her face intensified as she peeled her face from the tile and propped herself upright pushing up arms outstretched almost in a press up motion. She arose to her feet shakily. The petit girl flopped down in the grey plastic chair slapping her arms out onto the shiny table. Shamir was confused, what just happened? A globule of blood dripped out her nostril splashing on the table. Shamir was terrified. Feeling her slightly swollen cheek she wondered about the bottle? Instantly she remembered where she had seen the strange object before. The bottle had been in Freddie Bell’s room.

Dr Frederick Bell had been in and out of green Haven at least 3 times since the she had started working there. As far as she had gleaned, Dr Freddie was not a medical doctor but a professor of some sort. He could be utterly charming one day and a nightmare the next. The doc had been declining of late and his mood swings were becoming more erratic.

Shamir recalled how one day shift, another carer had went to move the antiquity while clearing up his room. The professor went crazy, rude, aggressive and incontrollable until the carer had placed it back. Since that day, Dr Freddie had his medication increased.

The noise of the washer in the next room abated and it was then that Shamir heard a slight scratching coming from the direction of the window. She turned her head and to her horror, a huge locust about the size of a brick was perched on the outside windowsill staring towards her. The locust held the girl in its stare. Unbelievably it spoke.

“Woman come closer, come to me I won’t hurt you.”

Without thinking, the terrified girl replied in a broken voice her throat dry and croaky.

“Why do you want me to come, go away. Please go away.”

“Just to tell you something. Do not be afraid child.”

The words bore into Shamir’s mind she felt terrified, yet unable to leave the room and take flight from the surreal situation that was unfolding. The petrified woman knew the creature was trying to control her mind she was unable to detach herself from the gloat of the giant insect.

The tiny girl arose from her seat almost childlike and stepped forward towards the beast. She could not feel her feet touch the floor of the kitchen, Shamir could not feel anything. All she knew was that she must obey. On reaching the window, the locust spoke again.

“Open the window girl, open it now.”

Without hesitation, the girl opened the top of the window and locked it in place. Shamir held aloft her hand and placed it to the bottom of the now open window. The huge insect began to crawl toward the opening; the now distressed girl wanted to be anywhere but here but could not leave the events now playing out. The first feeling of the insect’s legs grasping her hand were cold and wretched. The locust crawled its way down her arm. The small girl was repelled. An unpleasant smell reached her nostrils. Shamir could feel the nausea welling up in the pit of her stomach.

She was petrified but knew what to do next and raised the thing up to her eye line.

“We have waited a long time for this moment, always hiding in the shadows waiting and waiting.” Hissed the abomination.

Shamir’s bladder expelled, she felt urine scalding her legs. Blood ran from her eyes, ears and nose. She lost more control of her body to the beast. Both she and the locust stared at each other. Shamir could feel the creature staring deep inside her, deep into her soul. The thing new her, It wanted her. She felt her bowels release.

“Have you lain with a man girl?” snarled the beast.

“No I am a pure girl” she replied even though no words came from her lips.

Shamir felt the beast grow heavy she could not hold the thing anymore. It fell to the floor writhing, growing bigger and changing form by the second. The startled girl stepped back never taking her eyes from the creature that increased in front of her. A washing machine from the next room came to life humming and vibrating breaking her concentration, the lights went out.

An ungodly roar nearly split her head in two so loud was the inhuman howl.

The lights flickered the atmosphere became heavy, reality changed.

A tremendous force threw her upwards to the ceiling and back down to the table. Light still flickering the girl’s stomach smashed against the hard table, knocking all the wind from her. She felt her arms pulled and stretched out in front of her head. Shamir’s legs were forced apart. A scream started in her brain but no sound came forth. Looking forward, squinting between her sobs of desperation she caught the reflection from the window. In that split second a monstrosity of insect and man stood behind her. Violently the predator tore at her clothes, trousers and underwear were ripped down. The helpless girl felt agony as the locust drove its inhuman phallus into her vagina.

The thing brutalised Shamir. After it was spent, the man beast disappeared to dust amidst the blinking light.

An overwhelming pain in her loins triggered Shamir to lose consciousness, she fell lifelessly to the ground. Her head smashed against the hard tiled floor, she died instantly from the trauma.

The dead body stirred, the demon that possessed the carcass of Shamir Aram glanced around its surroundings. It arose, excrement and urine dripped from the corpse to the floor.

The entity inside the woman remembered its name.

“I am Zaphan! I live.” The beast crowed aloud.

The demon Zaphan had a mission, and there was not much time. The monster’s master had commanded loyalty. The creature dare not fail; the human’s hide would not last long.

Time was of the essence!

Grillotoast 500’s Last Stand

The CPU inside the Grill-o-Toast 500 stared out of its grease spattered interface. The view was that of a dirty run down diner. The red neon sign to the left of the interface flashed intermittently, Shuck’s Diner. Shuck’s Diner. Shuck’s Diner. The neon sign had probably been the catalyst in the metallic grills brain crashing. Grillotoasts brain is not like ours you see. Its brain is made up of copper transistors, wiring and silicon conductors. The advanced CPU was Unable to feel emotion and was programmed to survive at all costs. The advanced cold metal brain was only capable of making logical decisions.

The owner of shucks diner was not surprisingly, a guy named Shuck. Shuck hadn’t always flipped burgers. Over the years too many to count He had grown tired of pouring coffee and toasting bagels for moaning ungrateful punters. Shuck thought to himself one morning that enough was enough. He had come to a decision, that at the ripe old age of 55 it was time to sell up and retire. Reflecting on his life the one thing the portly balding diner owner had excelled at had been robotics.  Not many of his customers would have believed it but old Shuck had been a high ranking officer in the robot-tech division of the Euro/US military.  One week after the end of World war 3 Shuck had been fast tracked into early retirement. A career man and without a wife or family he had no idea what to do with himself. The diner had been a good move. His military severance had paid for the joint and with his pension he was able to keep his head above water.

But hold on I’m getting ahead of myself here! World war 3 let me tell you about that little charade.

World War 3 had been the big one. The two previous efforts had paled in to insignificance compared to this baby. Previously aggressors had fought each other with tanks and guns, aeroplanes and ships.  Men had been replaced by Robotic war machines that battled it out in continental conflict.  All nations agreed that the banning of nuclear weapons had been a godsend to the earth. However chemical and bacterial agents unleashed by all sides in the first salvo had quickly brought a rethink and with better technology, a change in tactics.

Gas masks and chem-suits had protected soldiers in most cases. But what could stop bacteria grown to ‘eat’ through chemical suit and mask. The answer had been to take humans out of the crucible of war. Instead a new idea was needed and what better idea than to construct Robot soldiers?

The Japanese had unleashed the first battle droid into the war and it had been a great success. The China Korea army hadn’t known what hit them. Imagine the disbelief on the doomed soldiers faces as two metre high, metal killing machines advanced towards them out of the smoke. Bullets bounced off them, grenades had slowed them down and sure artillery had destroyed a few. But it had been too late the iron men had swamped them in a matter of hours. The defeated Alliance had called for a cease fire and due to international pressure Japan had stopped their advance. All parties had sat down to talk and to thrash out a deal for global peace. Alas, this had been a smoke screen for the China/Korea Alliance.

The Alliance having taken a few destroyed robotic soldiers from the killing fields. Quickly copied and masterminded their own army of metal troops. As Japan withdrew Alliance war droids advanced on either side and decimated all who got in their way.  Japan was over thrown in weeks. Factories in and around what was left of Tokyo were soon churning out battle bots to China /Korea specifications. The world watched and waited for the Alliances next move?

India was next and although the Russian states had tried, within a year they had fallen and were bowing to the alliance flag. Europe knew that they would be next. They were ready. Shuck had been a young machinist working on advanced car design. With war approaching he was swiftly drafted into the newly formed Robot corps. His job was initially to maintain and repair the Euro/US War Droid Army. Shuck loved his time in the Corps; He had gone in a boy and come out a man. The first job he had been given was that of fitting new metal armour to the Droids. This had been quite boring and young Shuck had yearned for a more technical post. Weaponising had been the next task assigned to him. The young technician had excelled himself impressing himself and the powers that be. Promotion had followed quickly. He was soon head hunted to London, before being transferred to a top secret installation in the US.

In America he really came of age. Shuck was working without budget and was given free range to experiment with different weapons, better droids and more intelligent hardware.

The Vale

The wind was biting, the snow blinding, but still Turner carried on. He had no choice, If he stayed by the crash site death would take him!

It had been a couple of hours since he had ditched the solar glider into the inhospitable area known as the ‘Vale of Tears’. The young airman was starting to understand why the frozen land was so named. The distress signal had been initiated and shelter was needed before the e-vac! It would be at least 6 hours until the search team arrived. Turner raised the data reader strapped to his wrist towards his face. The protective glasses covering his face were part frozen and he instinctively wiped them clean, allowing him to read the info on the reader.  The positioning signal flashed. He took comfort from this. The signal would allow rescue to locate him.

The deep cut to his shoulder was weeping beneath his enviro-suit.  That uncomfortable moist feeling against skin and fibre. The conditions were not in favour of administering first aid. The wound would have to wait! Recce pilot RE-22 Turner’s morale was upbeat. Crash landings how many times practiced in the simulator were all down to luck! The pilot felt that a slashed shoulder for all that it hurt like hell was an ‘acceptable hazard’ of the mission! He had been lucky and he knew it. His flight training had taught him to take a positive from a negative.

Still the wind howled and bit into his face. Oh how he wished the blizzard would let up. Every now and then turner thought he caught a glimpse of blue sky. The terrain felt as though it was rising and his legs felt heavy. On he trudged.

Thankful of his training he marched on, looking for high ground or a ‘niche’ in the icy landscape. Somewhere he could rest up and shelter from the blizzard?

It was another 30 minutes before He sensed another sound on the wind. A movement to his left. Was that a black speck on the barely visible horizon? His senses sharpened as he strained to listen for any sound.

There it was again that same sound inside the wind, a feint chilling noise that made him wish he was back on his home world of Prime! On Prime he would be Safe in the comforting arms of Clone Mother. Clone mother loved unconditionally!

A dark shape for a split second to his right. Movement to the rear.

Damn this storm! A stark realisation dawned upon the airman.

He was being hunted!

Who by? What by……..

Hunted

The explosion on board the Star Craft set in motion a calamitous chain of events.

The rift had always been a dangerous way of star flight, but over the last 100 hellions the dangers had decreased due to better star charting. This mission was the exception. The ship had been knocked off course and in the process punctured the rift. The craft would be lost! Worse still the nearby planets gravity had instantly began pulling the doomed ship towards it.

Suwn had only just been picked as navigator marshal. The Wandax had been his first Rift class freighter. It would also be his last!

As the young pilot scanned the control panel 4 red lights flashed repeatedly. The warp generators situated at the front of the craft were gone, vaporised by dimensional crossover.

What had caused the ship to come out of warp vault?

No time left! The planet had the craft in its grip. There was no power to pull it back.

Wandax was going down.

Previously

Liquid sleep had its drawbacks. Navigator Suwn’s eyes opened his vision not yet clear. The sleep chamber began to drain, he felt cold. His face was covered up by the life mask. The life mask fed the host a mix of gasses that enabled the traveller to travel safe and for long periods of time. One tube fed the gasses to breathe another tube drip fed water and nutrients to the sleeping being. Two other tubes took waste matter from the occupant. There were 40 of these chambers on board the star ship.

The door of the chamber sprang open the remainder of the chambers liquid falling to the floor. Rivulets of the matter ran down the glass and formed pools inside the metallic hold.

Suwn stepped out, his legs weak with atrophy. The mask jerked his head back and snapped the young pilot to life. His hands weak fumbled and shook as he removed the mask.  Nausea welled up through his system.  Suwn expelled the contents of his stomach along with the remaining dampening liquid that had managed to enter his system. His legs buckled and as he tried to keep upright.  He slipped on a pool of chamber liquid that had found the floor. His naked body crashed to the floor knocking him out in the process.

The noise was deafening, it was the ships warning alarm. Navigator Suwn came to,  his mouth full of blood and vomit. He instinctively threw his arm above his shoulder slapping it against the info panel, searching for the derma shot. His arm became the rod and his hand the hook as he frantically fished for what he was looking for. Suwn’s body weak with rift travel lay foetal on the floor, his mind searched for clarity. Why had the medic not assisted him in transition from space sleep to recovery? Why was the alarm bellowing? Where was everyone?

At last his fingers gripped the shot. Suwn held it to his neck and injected the derma into his body. Immediately his chest felt as though hot lava had been pumped in to it, his extremities soon after reacting to the derma muscle drug in the same way. The derma shot was there in an emergency in case the chamber occupant woke without medic assistance. He staggered to his feet, the drug had worked. It would not last for long. Still the alarm bellowed the corridor from the life chamber was dim, lit only with emergency lighting.

Suwn hit the button with the palm of his hand to enter the navigation room. It was situated a short distance from the life chambers. He was beginning to regain all senses.