October 27, 2016
300. MIKROTERO CREATURES
Planet Friki (Core Reality)
Lesser vampire; monstrous breed
Power Rating: 1 – 100
POWERS, ABILITIES, WEAPONS & TOOLS
Mikrotero creatures possess advanced strength, speed, agility and durability.
My name was Captain Noble. I was a superhero who worked for the US government before becoming lost at space. After being consumed by the universe, I am now Cosmic Noble, and this is an excerpt from my new journal.
Year 11, Day 329
On the night of our departure, Astor and I climbed into the back of Renard’s cart and stood in our barrels while Renard got the horse-like creatures ready to ride. Geaustier was also in the stable, ensuring we were fine before seeing us off. He told Astor how happy it made him to see he was alive, and that he wished he were a younger vampire so he could accompany us on the mission. Astor told his old friend not to worry. Geaustier’s best years may have been behind him fighting-wise, but that is because he spent centuries in military service to Astor’s family and he had earned the right to be exempt from any more such danger. He thanked the prince for his kind words, and then he gave me his best wishes on finding the portal and returning home. Finally, Geaustier hugged Renard and thanked him for helping before we departed.
It was cramped inside those barrels. We were stuffed like clothes in a hamper. Unfortunately for me too, I had to break my bone staff in two so it would fit in the barrel. It was not what I desired, but it was that or travel with no weapon. I have experience using combat sticks, though, so ultimately I was fine with it.
WEIGHT: 283 lbs.
The road traveled was bumpy. Astor and I were constantly knocked around. There were several stops though, as Renard continually needed to get clearance from the evil warlord’s men to continue on at checkpoints. Overall, it took about two hours for us to get to the castle. But when we did, we knew we were one step closer to completing our missions.
Upon our arrival, the guards outside of the dungeon perimeter halted Renard and reviewed his credentials. After approving them, he was ushered inside to the loading area. However, Renard was driving very slowly; so slowly it was noticeable. The guards continually told Renard to speed it up, but he never did. I thought he was trying to signal the guards before we were able to get inside, and I was ready to bust out of my barrel. Renard spoke before I did, though, telling the guards he did not want to risk the beasts pulling the cart going too fast since the pathway was uneven and slippery. He continued saying it would be easy for the barrels to fall out of the cart and break, and if he did not deliver the exact amount of barrels, he risked losing his contract and receiving severe punishment for not disposing of the castle’s waste. That is when it dawned on me that the real reason Renard was going so slow was because with the uneven road, the ride was bumpy and the barrels would have been bouncing all over except for two of them. The barrels Astor and I were in would not have been moving at all and would appear to be full. He was looking out for us, and apparently was able to be trusted after all.
The guards bought his story, and eventually we were guided into the dungeon loading area. From there, they opened the gates and told Renard to hurry up with everything. So, he rushed to unload the barrels.
First, he took a few empty barrels inside the dungeon walls. This allowed him to gauge when the guards had stopped paying close attention to him, and when they did, he carried us inside. Renard moved Astor first and then came back for me. However, when he was taking my barrel inside, the guards noticed Renard was moving slower despite his attempts to act natural and make it look like the barrel wasn’t heavy. That is when the guards asked if something was wrong. Renard blamed a bad back, saying he had pulled a muscle. He joked how he should have stretched before the trip, but the guards had no interest in his humor and told him he better not continue slacking. So, Renard picked up the pace while the guards went back to talking amongst themselves.
Finally, Renard placed me down next to Astor inside the dungeon, and then whispered to us saying we needed to wait until he drove off before exiting the barrels, because the guards were going to lock the gate and escort him out to the perimeter after he was done. That is when it would be safe for us to exit. So, we waited while Renard unloaded the other empty barrels and loaded the ones filled with waste. Then, when the guards locked the gate and we heard the cart ride off into the distance, we popped the tops of our barrels slowly and observed our surroundings. The coast was clear, so we got out.
Finally able to stand up, Astor and I both stretched and worked out all the kinks from having been stuffed inside the barrels. I noticed we were placed against a wall behind many other barrels that blocked our path. I asked why Renard would have done that, and Astor said it was most likely in case any guards came by before he left, that we would be separated from them by rows of other barrels making it less likely they noticed anything was going on, which made sense.
After clearing the rows before us, we began making our way through the dungeons. The area was enormous. There were holding cells and torture chambers for as far as the eyes could see. Astor told me when his family was in power, the area was a tiny fraction of the size it had become. The evil warlord definitely expanded the dungeons and made more use of them unfortunately. There were vampire skeletons that were bound to bars on the cells, most likely picked clean of all meat by creatures that roamed the halls. Blood and entrails, both old and new, were covering the torture devices and tables too. The castle dungeons were a horror show and they filled me with disgust. They filled Astor with rage though.
My vampire friend urged me to follow him so we could get out of there. We moved about undetected for a while, noticing there were no live prisoners anywhere in sight. Things were going easy, too easy. I had a feeling that something was awry, so I asked Astor if he could have forgotten something about the dungeons. He replied most of everything he remembered did not apply anymore, as the evil warlord had completely renovated the area. However, the basic path to exit the dungeons was the same. So, we stayed on it making sure not to be seen.
After about 10 minutes of sneaking around, we discovered the doorway Astor led us to was blocked by a stone wall. We could not exit that way. Thus, we backtracked and looked for another exit. It was clear the entire layout had changed, and in frustration, Astor stopped and said he needed to get his bearings. There was no time for that, though, as we were about to be engaged in combat.
A large monster emerged from around the corner of holding cells. It was unlike anything I had seen before, which by that point had become the main theme during my time on Friki. The beast had gray, leathery skin. Its red eyes were haunting, and its tall, lanky frame was ghastly. The ribs showed through the monster’s torso, and it moved the four claws it had on its hands as it walked towards us. The closer it became, the closer I could see its large head and pointy ears. The beast was horrid looking, and Astor immediately unsheathed his sword. Thus, I equipped my bone pieces, expecting whatever to transpire next was not going to be enjoyable.
Astor informed me that the thing before us was a mikrotero. They were lesser vampire creatures that were separated from higher vampires over the course of the species’ development. Basically, all higher vampires evolved from mikroteros. I looked at Astor to confirm that I heard him correctly; that the beast in front of us was his species’ origins. He reluctantly replied yes, explaining that over the ages, higher vampires learned how to tame them and train them to be guard beasts or used in battle. Then, he told me to be ready, as mikroteros were extremely blood thirsty and they never traveled alone. That is when two more emerged from other paths leading to ours, and having gained the upper hand in numbers, they attacked.
Astor used his blinding speed burst to rush in and slice at a mikrotero. However, their hides proved to be extremely durable, and a sword strike that would have seen any other being sliced in half, only cut the monster. It roared in pain, and then turned to run after the prince. Meanwhile, I faced the other two mikroteros and began striking them with my bone weapons. I struck firm and true, and the impact from my blows toppled the large monsters. However, they were not fazed and continued to press forward. I jumped and leapt out of the way as their large claws and huge jaws constantly attacked me. Their forked tongues slithered out of their mouths as they hissed in anger between attacks, making them even more disgusting. That is when I decided that I could not bludgeon them to death, and I would have to use the jagged ends where I broke my staff in two.
As we continued to battle, I started swiping at the mikroteros. The bone staff was nowhere near as sharp as Astor’s sword though, so my slicing attacks did nothing but scratch the monsters. This failure in offense left me vulnerable, and the mikroteros started knocking me around. They launched me into the metal cages and slammed me into the ground. Luckily, my monster hide cloak absorbed most of the impact, and it also helped protect me from being cut open by their nails as they clawed me. I had to adjust my strategy, however, and could not continue to let them pound on my body. Thus, I moved to a stabbing strategy, and this worked. Even though the bone edges were not as sharp as a sword, they were just sharp enough that I could puncture their hides with my strength. So, I used my speed and agility to dance in and out of their guards, puncturing hole and after hole in their bodies. Before I knew it, the two mikroteros were slowly fading and fell to their knees. To end the fight, I stabbed both in the eyes and killed them instantly.
Meanwhile, Astor was finishing off his mikrotero. He was alarmingly fast, and used his speed and quickness to dart in and out of the mikrotero’s range. Every time he got close, he was cutting open the monster. Then, he began stabbing the vampire beast within an inch of its life as he lunged in circles around the creature. Finally, he smashed the monster with his shield into the cage of a holding cell, and fired one firm kick to the back of the mikrotero’s head. This sent it crashing through the grate, leaving jagged edges of metal pierced all throughout its brain, killing it. Astor looked at me next, disgusted at the sight of the ghastly monsters, and motioned for me to follow him so we could find our way out of there.