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Running Scared

This Page written by: Man Machine

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The Inner Circle

The room looked like an extravagant corporate office with smooth, neo-art deco interior and furniture, all in different shades of wood and sand. Hidden lights close to the floor illuminated the room softly.

Except it was no corporate office. The room had no windows, as it was subterranean; it had served as an air-raid shelter during the white light horrors. There were golden emblems on the walls, all of them depicting the same scene: a muscular man with a sword impaling a mechanical snake in front of a shining cross.

A dozen men and women were seated on a semicircular sofa facing the end wall: tidy appearances, grave faces, black suits, black ties, white shirts and blouses. They waited patiently, but they didn't have to wait long. Slowly, two wall panels parted and exposed a pitch-dark chamber. They all rose to their feet.

The shadows slowly came alive in the chamber and sliding silently on rails in the floor, the Black Tank freed itself from the darkness. It was a heavy metal cylinder: tall as a full-grown man, thick as an old oak and covered in thick, black rubber. Like Medusa's hair of snakes, metal cables and rubber piping stretched from its top to the ceiling of the dark chamber.

The tank was alive and it had a face: the blank lens of a camera formed a callous eye and the fine-meshed wire netting of a speaker formed a screaming mouth. It stood silent among them, watching them like some preying, prehistoric monster. Then it spoke with a deep voice, as if speaking from the bottom of an abyss:

"There can be only one Giver of Life."

The twelve men and women answered in concord:

"As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end."

"Please be seated." And they were. "Our crusade... Does it proceed according to plan?"

An old woman with hair the colour of stainless steel and eyes the colour of pre-war winter skies answered:

"Our moment of truth has finally come: we are now beyond the point of return. The war has begun and the Age of Abomination will come to an end."

"Yes...yes... The assassinator has been assigned?"

The cold-eyed woman glanced at a young man with a sharp face and mean eyes. He answered quickly:

"I have just spoken to our most trusted agent Alexia Ruebyk: a hand-picked gunman has accepted the mission. Ruebyk is not a Believer, but I trust her judgement completely; she does indeed master the skills of the underworld."

"Good...good... And the rumours about the Evil Lord...?"

"They are possibly true. A group of Devil Children did escape from the colonies and they did return to Earth. Whether the Evil Lord is still alive or has been replaced with a Devil Child is uncertain, though. The case is surrounded by secrecy; our police contact fears to explore it any further. We are seeking a Hunter which might be able to answer our questions, a certain Rick Deckard, but he is nowhere to be found."

"So, the events in question are shrouded in mist... And Omni Biogenics?"

"The facade is intact," the cold-eyed woman answered. "We will remain invisible to the Agents of Evil."

"Yes... It is still of utmost importance. We must not hasten. All those years...all this must not have been in vain. Proceed with caution, my children."

"We will, Father," the old woman promised. "But be assured: we shall trample the Snake and send it back to Hell this time."



Option 1 - The search for Rick Deckard

Option 2 - Alexia Ruebyk

Option 3 - Alan Thorne

Option 4 - In the residence of the Evil Lord

Option 5 - Something else

Pages in white continue the story. Pages in yellow are yet to be written. Note that the unwritten options are just suggestions for how the story might continue - you can add something completely different if you like.

Each page in the story ends in a five letter code. If you want to return to this page in the future, make a note of the page code and you will then be able to change your URL to take you straight back to that page.

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Date: 2002-06-08 13:45