Chapter 15 – Parallels Book

The ruckus caused by someone had made quite the show by now.

Niko is on edge and defensive towards her other self, who barely comprehends the twisted person in front of them. White Hare – one of main problems within this world, but he isn’t much to blame for who he is.

It just works out that each Labyrinth keeper is “coo-coo” in the head from all the pressure managing whole place. Making sure there are no escapes and no survivors, yet there is a restriction to all keepers – no right to kill, yet possibility to harm.

This hare got used as he could to this nightmare. Forgetting that once there is an escapee from labyrinth – he is granted freedom.

Screams and scratching noises could be heard from outside, Hare would not budge from his spot, staring at his prey.

– Not happy to see me? – Keeper spoke softly. – Saddening to see you like this. I think, I might actually help you out.

His rabbit ears pointy, hair soft, eyes looking around as he mulls over own words. Well, downside to this lunatic is that he’s charming.

– Why would keeper dare involve himself this way? Is it not your wish to keep labyrinth forever? – Niko spoke. Somehow after all the previous torture that he implied on her, how he toyed with her, made her cry for help and plead for mercy – it was really logical to doubt his every action, every word.

“Hmmm…” – White Hare walked towards the farther wall, where the two girls were cornered. Ashes on ground made rustling sound like snow, walls were covered in splattered blood of ones who suffered here. Bones scattered near walls. Faint light from ceiling holes made room reveal how much of torture chamber it was.

– Where is Red? – Doppel looked up as there was the laughter somewhere. Crushng sound of chainsaw slashing through bodies, bastards crying out for the last time as they die. Some commands being yelled and firearms used. Explosions are echoing again.

“Stop ruining my precious labyrinth you bastards!” – yelled White Hare as he snapped. He stopped and kicked a pile of bones, ripped off a leftover map that hung on the wall tossing it aside. “How dare they?! I worked so hard on it! Darn these soulless oblivious bastards!”

Doppel putted a hand on Nikos shoulder – asking to stand by silently. She stepped closer to Hare, her hand slowly reaching out to the keeper, as he mumbles something – throwing tantrum.

– I am sorry, – she said as her palm reached Hares shoulder. – You put in so much effort, love and work into this. It makes me sad too.

Hare glanced at her, looking surprised by her words and she just smiled, sadly, then hugged the man, as tight as she could.

Hare was dumbstruck, unsure what to do he looked at Niko – she was as confused.

Niko had no clue to what just happened. Giving a hug to that lunatic would not even be near end of it.

Growling of something new arrived. It was mixed up with yelling of a man – presumably commanding this obscene creature. Most likely forces have united to storm this fortress of madness. Well, this place was giving nightmares to people for few good centuries.

“You smell like chrysanthemum. Sweet and warm – like summer.” – Doppels voice was soft.

“Why… would you say it?” – Keeper spoke looking at some point in the room. Then his eyes met Nikos again. Eye contact unbroken. That’s when Niko felt like those eyes were trying to tell her something. Silence hung.

Sudden sharp pain in Nikos chest took her by surprise, making her grab onto her chest and sit on the floor. “I must find Red.” – Niko thought to herself.

Hare was about to jump and help Niko. Right when his feet were about to make a step – he yanked himself back by force. Such a move would be really far from his typical self.

“Go get her. Red is seeking for you too.” – Hare spoke. His eyes met for a second, then looking away from Niko.

– I’ll stay with you, may I? – Doppel said, as she still held Hare. – I feel like I want to stay with you like this.

Hare kept on looking at Niko, once again – their eyes met. She could feel that there is something he’s about to shout to her from the top of his lungs.

Doppel was really odd with her actions. And it was more than odd that she didn’t let go. Niko got up. Pain kept at it. Right when Niko was about to say something – appeared Cat. He pulled Doppel off of Hare and dissapeared with her out somewhere. Taking both Niko and Hare by surprise. Leaving the two alone.

Hare came closer to Niko, taking her hand in his.

– I just realised something – He spoke, his ears shifting, – I… – He came even closer, his face almost touching Nikos cheek, as he whispered in her ear, – I love you. Torturing you was my greatest pleasure.

He kissed her softly on her lips.

Her hand clung to dagger at her side. The pain in chest was lesser, yet mad rage boiled inside her from audacity of this Keeper.

Before parting from kiss – he licked her lips, then hugged her tightly.

– I’ll dream of day when I can put you into misery, as you cry my name whilst pleading for mercy.

– You filthy f..!!! – she pulled the dagger, almost stabbing it through him, but he escaped using his magic.

Vanished in thin air.

– Fucking lunatic. – Growled Niko, as her own madness boiled over.

She swiftly got it together and pulled the door open, darting out into hall.

Hallway is reeking of gas – a kind that makes bastards corrode and become pile of gooey liquid. Making it harder to move – as it all is slippery. Not the best sort of circumstances when already having half floors crumbled to bits – nothing much to step on already.

The cries of chainsaw were coming from the area where blasts took off. There was a great chance that maybe Red was exhausted from dealing with intruders – making it easier for Niko to deal with her. “Well, whoever you are, forces with firearms – you helped out a bit.” – Niko thought to herself.

Right when thought finished – wall on her left blew up. Having bastards flying in – smashing against the next wall. Red was blasted along with them.

Reds messed mad look, as she gripped her chainsaw was quite amusing.

– Room extension? – Niko said out loud with sarcasm. Red gave her the evil eye, as right after that the gunmen who fought Red were getting in. Right then the space got taken by new wave of gas, making bastards dissolve, crying in pain.

– We have another one! Shoot to kill! – Soldier shouted through his protective mask, as his gun pointed towards Niko.

– What? Me too? Really? How flattering! But not today gentlemen! – Niko darted towards men, grabbing needles from her waist pocket. Pushing them in the spine parts of the neck – knocking boys off to La-La Land.

Red smirked as she observed. When all the distractions were asleep – Niko turned to Red.

– What the hell are they about? Weren’t we having our moment of tag game? I’m sure I was panicking there. – Niko took a good look at Red. Her dress ripped, stockings barely holding, her cleavage ever revealed, hair a mess and a chainsaw as bloody as it gets, with chunks of someones meat on a side. – I think my adrenalin just made me hell of a brave girl and now it kind of wears off. But Red, judging by your look – you are trying to seduce me. – Niko pressed her lips and nodded, letting out a giggle. Somehow it was pretty funny.

– You sure dare to talk smack to me… – Red flicked strand of blood soaked hair from her face, – I need to wipe that happy look off your face. Before these goons intrude again. – Reds voice hung up like an omen.

– You give me chills.

Niko turned to the rustling sound – more soldiers were coming. Someone shot. Niko reacted fast – darting towards Red, grabbing her hand and running off with her.

“Let’s sort it out a bit later, shall we? Or we’ll get evened out by these lads. Don’t want you dead yet, darling.”

Such obscure atrocity made Red comply for that one moment. Having to cut play time so early sure is frustrating.

They ran through the hall, up the stairs, having something blasted just behind them, getting stairs to crumble down. Before stairs collapsed – they managed to get on the safe part of the floor 11.

Niko still doubting safety grabbed Red by her waist, pushing her along to run further. Getting next flight of stairs in mid-section of building was the plan, but the yelling of soldiers from that direction made them run inside the first room they had.

Large window. Grande view of the sky. Smokes rising up from below. Fire burning around the labyrinth. Niko went to look out the window. Battalion – fully armed and storming the labyrinth.

– What the hell? What are They doing here? – she said.

Red breathed out, now seeming like ceasefire situation caught up with her. She wiped her forehead, then tossed her red hair back, so they don’t get in the way. Her long blood soaked hair looked majestically, delicate face, feminine and beautiful. Her grey eyes flickered – reflecting some fire that kept up outside.

– These idiots just blasted their way in, seeking for something. Someone. Finally mustering courage to face what they fear most. Silly sods. – Red checked her chainsaw for damages, then looked up at Niko – We still have a fight to sort out between us.

With this said Red made her chainsaw screech and gunned towards her opponent. Niko barely moved out of the harms way.

– Oh hey now! You want to sort it out now? Of all times? – Niko spoke as she dodged the attacks.

– Now or never! Die! – Growled Red, launching at Niko with another attack.

Niko grabbed the stashed dagger – defending herself. Red made move after move targeting head and heart of opponent. One hit with her chainsaw guaranteed imminent death. So balancing it out in such a room, having gun handling fighters outside – is a hassle. Niko moved swiftly, mostly due to her adrenaline spike. Feeling more like the insanity void starts crawling from inside.

Each avoided attack ended scraping walls – making room resemble horror show of a torture chamber.

Niko began hearing a voice inside her. Like a telepathy that was used by certain species here. But voice pleaded for death. Over and over. Then it hit – it was Red! In a softer, more humble voice. The way it was years ago. Before she became the “experiment that went wrong”. Such pleading made Niko distracted for a moment, having chainsaw flying at her. Getting her pinned against the wall, bruised on the edge of her shoulder. Having blood gushing out.

Red smiling at her victim looking victorious, as chainsaw gripped well at Nikos bone. Red put her hand on the wound of her target, admiring damage. With trembling hand, Niko pulled dagger, gunning it swiftly at Reds heart. Red coughed blood, smiling.

– I knew I could trust you with this. With getting me freed. Thank you. – Her blooded fingers touching Nikos cheek, then the weakened body fell in Nikos embrace. Holding Red with one hand, pulling self down to free from the chainsaw grip.

As she slithered down the wall, holding Red, smiling, lifeless, she felt cold. Last hug and kiss was all Niko could give to Red as goodbye.

The blasts got closer. Soldiers found Niko, seized her and pulled with them to the outside.

Camp was set right outside the labyrinth. There were few generals hurdled around, keping all in control. Niko was tossed inside the tent. With a short look around she saw Doppel. That gave a bit of relieve. Although the questions about Cat and hare were hung in air. Few guards and three men walked in. Guards set up around perimeter, the trio stood next to “prisoners”.

– Are you a part of this labyrinth setup? What are your duties within it? – harshly spoke bearded man. By the looks he had – he seemed to just come from mountains. Rough and hairy. Bulky man.

– Am not. Never were. Not a single duty in here. Just got tossed inside by hell knows who. He was psycho as far as I’m concerned. – Niko looked right in this beasts eyes. Calm, like the man just walked into trap. The conviction of voice was of high merit.

– What’s your name, you piece of trash? – The mountain man growled.

– Right hand of Emperor Elleney Drieth, Niko. – Niko replied in a cold stern voice. That reply made all the man around freeze for a moment – having the most surprised look you could think of. Then the man gave a laugh.

– You’ll be sent out to trial in the City of Amereq. Along with this person. – He pointed at Doppel. – There sure as hell can’t be two right hand people of same Emperor. Unless you both are lying.

– I suppose that would be a nuisance. – Man in priest robes walked in. – I’m taking custody of these prisoners. The Commander General agreed.

Man handed the piece of a letter to the mountain man.

– Heh! It’s all yours Verin! Make sure they get the right deserved punishment!

Beaded man signalled to others and they left.

Verin took a look at both girls.

– Apologies, but the restraints will be off later. Please follow me.

They were taken in custody of Prime Oracle Verin, who came to this battle as magical support commander, both girls got inside the carriage where met with Hare and Cat. Verin snapped fingers and the restraints fell off from all four.

Oracle ordered the driver to get a move in, hurrying out of St. Gregor Labyrinths land.

– I apologize for crude treatment from these soldiers. They are far from comprehension about ways of magic. They are more of a different type. – Verin smiled. – I was ordered to scout you all out and make sure of your safety.

– I’ll return the three of you to the Emperors palace, there you’ll decide of what you want to make path for next. As for you, – he looked at Niko, – I’ll leave you off near sacred tree. I’m told by spirits you’ll find your way from there.

Doppel changed seats with Hare, to hug up to Cat. Hare took a look at Nikos bleeding shoulder.

– You should get this treated. – His soft and reassuring voice was not really reaching Niko. She kept looking at fast changing scenery in window.

– Ni.. – Hare pulled her by the chin to face him. Her eyes now locked onto him.

– Dare to lie to my face again and I’ll skin you alive. – Her cold voice, in hushed tone, made him smile.

He pulled closer to her, his fingers now tracing her neck, going towards the wound.

– Red did a good one on you. – Hare smiled wider. The madness flickering in his eyes, fingers pushing into wound. Niko only grit her teeth. – Oh, yes, yes. I do remember, you always were the one to bring me such pleasant satisfaction.

She gripped his hand, pushing it away from her. He yanked it out, fingers having her blood on them. He licked it.

– You still taste splendid. – He suddenly pulled her face again, to kiss her forcefully, tongue pushing in. In return he got slapped across his face, having her elbow smash his torso.

– Play this shit again and you’re a dead rabbit. – Niko hissed.

Hare, although feeling sharp pain, smiled and giggled.

– You are the one for me. – He almost sang out in cheery voice.

– Patient is dying! The Psy syringe! We can’t let her escape! – Doctor shouted in despair.

Around the bed, where red headed girl lied, swarmed doctor and nurses – trying to keep the body alive. But it was too late.

Although injected with dozens of liquids that worked before to keep her here alive, in state of coma even if – against her will – now all of that drugging was pointless. Nothing worked.

– Thank you… – whispered red head, her voice hoarsened and barely audible. Then it all ended. Heart stopped.

Personnel started leaving the room, leaving only a single doctor stay where he stood.

– Shit. – He mumbled. – She got her claws on another one. Shit.

The frustration was building up

– Doctor Kriss, you have a call from Director! – Nurse called out from the hall.

– Coming!

With the most unsatisfied look he got out of the room. Before going further he requested nurses to get rid of the body.

– Cremate it! – He groaned.

A splendid day outside! Sun shining, flowers blooming – making heart fill with joy. Up ahead was a great city with picturesque white walls and ancient rock pavements.

“I sure am back again.” – He took his first step towards great destination – Town of Amereq.

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