Tuesday, August 28

Beneath the Mason Ruins, Part IV

I have struggled to describe the creature depicted in the last chapter. A floating mass of undulating tissue with a smattering of eyes and jaws, spewing out hungry biomasses that digest flesh at a touch then return to its creator to feed it like the queen bee and hive in one..like blood cells nourishing a heart. This monster exists in defiance of all laws of physics and biology..it had to be created by some evil genius. I must therefore refer to it as a homunculus.

This homunculus floated closer to by brother Koen and I as we froze in place. Koen was crouched inside the cage we had discovered, examining the defeated lock mechanism. I glanced down at the floor. The rectangular cage was wholly within a circle of glyphs inscribed into the dungeon stone. I took a short step backwards, bringing my entire body inside the enchantment. The gate of the cage rotated to the closed position with the faintest creak by its own weight.

"Koen.." I whispered. "Don't..move.."

The abomination hovered inches from me, just outside the engraving. Fluids drooled from its orifices over itself with a glistening sheen that steadily oozed to the floor. As it pulsed it radiated waves of heat laced with a damp, fetid odor. Haphazardly placed eyes stared back at me, the intent behind them unguessable. Was there something approaching intelligence behind those eyes? Or did it blindly accept us as a neko in a cage and a maintenance drone, as it expected to see?

Slowly it circled the perimeter of our barrier. A stray biomass drifted towards my face, then stopped in its tracks, spreading as if colliding with a physical barrier, then hurtling back as if struck by lightning. It made a beeline straight for the safety of the hivebeast's jaws. The homunculus finished circling us, then withdrew from the chamber back through the passage it had arrived in.

As the chamber again grew silent, I took a step forward, only to be repulsed back against the outer wall of the cage by a jolt of energy. Koen swung the gate open to leap to my aid, but the same explosion of light slammed the gate back in his face. I shudder to think what injuries he would have sustained had he been in contact with the bare metal.

I reached my arm through the bars to grab Koen's shoulder. He held my wrist tightly as I tried to tesseract us both out of the circle. I could get a lock on any of the landmarks in my memory bank.

Koen's ears drooped. "We're trapped?"

I sighed, and looked down at the floor. "Sumalee found a way out of the cage..and out of the circle. We have to find it as well. And quickly."

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