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Chapter 22

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Chapter XXII

Dmitri's Close Shave

 

As Dmitri continued through the halls of Rocksburg, wondering where on earth he was inside the massive temple city. He paused for a moment to check his compass, but when he took out the small device, he found it spinning around madly, refusing to settle on a single point for north. He sighed and continued his escape attempt, he had been foolish to come up here he now realised, the odds that anyone was up here were negligible. However, he quickly remembered what Codsworth had said when he had proposed coming back out here. About the weird weather systems around this particular mountain. It wasn’t much, in fact it was most likely nothing, but it gave Dmitri purpose, it gave him a feeling that he had not wasted his time coming up here. And with that in mind, he set out to figure out what was causing the strange climate.

As he continued through the temple, passing room after room, he was brought to a stop when he found an iron door with a padlock attached to it. His curiosity mounting as to what was behind the door. He took his gun and blasted the lock away before proceeding to kick the obstacle out of the way. Entering the room, he found the cruelly disturbing sight that awaited him. A collection of small skellingtons lay face down on the floor.

“What in the gods name.” Dmitri said backing up at the sight. He didn’t need to be an expert to tell that they were the bones of children. He walked back into the room and knelt down next to one of the skellingtons. It was a horrible sight, which made Dmitri want to throw up. He guessed that these had been dead a long time, judging by the fact that only the bones remained. Sighing deeply, he got and walked back out of the room. Turning around for one final look. “Poor souls.” Dmitri said, before closing the door on the gruesome scene and continuing on his mission.

 

Continuing on he arrived at what looked like it had been a control room of sorts, there were huge screen lining the walls in front and to both sides of him. Wondering to himself whether or not they would turn on, he walked up to one of them and flicked a switch. Nothing happened.

“Of course, it’s not going to turn on you idiot.” Dmitri said and began to exit the room, when a small light caught his gaze, he turned around and saw a login screen on one of the monitors. “What?” Dmitri said and walked up to the screen. On it were too boxes, one requested a password, and another asked for a password. Dmitri groaned; he had never been good with computers. He had never had to have been. However, locating the keypad just below the screen, he typed a few words in. all came back negative. He sighed, of course it hadn’t worked, he was no hacker, and he knew it. He resolved to try one more time before moving on.

Username: CAbraham

Password: Griefful

The machine thought about this for a minute, in which Dmitri had given up on the damn thing accepting his feeble attempts at hacking. Before a loading bar appeared where the two login boxes had been. Dmitri stood there for a moment, flabbergasted that it had worked.

Once the machine had loaded up, he was able to see a full map of this place. Whilst he was not good at computers, he had an iron clad memory. And thus, was able to memorise the route from here to the exit, some seven floors above his current location. He was about to set off when something on the map caught his eye. Every room on the map was marked with a name, or a number. All apart from one, two floors down and was completely unnamed and unnumbered. Which raised Dmitri’s curiosity, what could be down there that was so secretive that it was unmarked. It had to be something important as he noticed that the graveyard he had stumbled across just before coming up here was marked, if only with a number, but still, it was listed unlike this new room. And thinking that it most likely had something to do with the unusual weather surrounding this mountain, he packed up and moved out towards this new adventure.

 

He arrived at the undisclosed room about half an hour later, in truth the journey should have only taken about a third of that time, but he had taken a couple of wrong turns on his way down to ‘Level 9’ the lowest level in the temple, but once he was down on that level, he found the room relatively easily, due to the nature of the door that guarded the entrance.  It was made of the thickest steel Dmitri had ever seen, the blast doors on The Mayor’s office and the imperial central bank, paled into insignificance when compared to these monstrosities.

He was hesitant to touch the doors, being reminded of the temple main doors, his gloved hand was proof of that fact. But decided to press ahead with it at any rate, after all, all the answers to the situation that they had found themselves in could be behind those doors. Mercifully when he touched the steel, his unburnt hand remained that way, and he pushed the doors open. Inside, he found a similar device to what he had seen in what he would have called the teleportation room, only on a much grander scale. There were several of the strange pillars in this room, six in total, all with holes about halfway up the ornate stone pillars. He was mindful of what had happened last time, and didn’t want to repeat the experience, partly due to how uncomfortable it had been, but mostly due to the fact that whilst he had memorised his way out from here. He hadn’t done so for every possible location inside the temple. If he teleported again, there was a possibility that he would never find his way out of this place for the next two years.

But once again curiosity overtook his rational brain and, taking the staff he placed the gem inside one of the pillars. The room began to spin and fearing that the same consequence was going to happen again he turned to face the door, to find that mercifully, it was not moving. Focusing back on the gem, he saw sparks begin to fly out of it. As a voice echoed throughout the room.

“One out of six gems placed, to proceed, please place all gems in their respective slots.” The voice spoke from out of the darkness.

“What the?” Dmitri said, taking the staff out. He looked around for the source of the voice, but in the dim light of the cave, he saw nobody. Thinking that he had imagined the voice he turned to leave, when a raspier voice came out of the darkness.

“Very good. Now hand over that gem if you please.” The new voice spoke.

 

Dmitri turned around to see a black robed figure standing in the darkness. He already knew what it was before he had turned around although at least now he could confirm it. The Raven moved out of the darkness towards him, his gauntlet outstretched waiting for its request to be obeyed.

“Another errand boy I see.” Dmitri said and the raven hissed angrily at him, he had no idea why he was insulting these creatures. All he could think of was to by as much possible so that he could from some plan of escape. As he knew that this was a fight that he did not stand a cat in hells chance of winning. “No, I don’t think I will.” Dmitri said smiling looking around at his surroundings. Noting the age of the structure and judging how easy it would be to collapse it.

“Hand it over. Mortal. And you shall be spared.” Grissom spoke, he was the third lord of the five, and had been sent here due to his knowledge of the peoples that inhabited this part of the world.

“Really, so I hand this little thing over. And you’ll let me skip on out of here. I don’t think so.” Dmitri said, starting to back up and Grissom followed. ‘Just a little bit more.’ Dmitri thought to himself.

“My master is generous to those who serve him. And terrible to those that defy him.” Grissom spoke, he continued to follow Dmitri, unaware of what the imperial in front of him was planning, in truth Dmitri also had no idea what he was planning and was in fact making this all up as he went along. As he continued to back up, he found the place to spring his little trap, which turned out to be the archway above the steel doors. but something happened then that he did not expect. “Did you never wonder as to why this room was off the record?” Grissom finished, and whilst the creature had no visible eyes so to speak of, he could feel the hooded figure looking him up and down. Dmitri paused in the doorway thinking this last statement through.

“No. Not really.” Dmitri said, continuing to bide his time, his thoughts back on his plan as he judged the structural capabilities of the stone arch.

“All you have to do. Is give that to me. And I will show you everything.” Grissom said, once again extending the gauntlet outwards towards Dmitri who looked at the Raven in disgust.

 

“Nah.” Dmitri said, before taking a look around at the room, for sure that it would be his last time seeing it. Before quickly drawing the staff upwards, then bringing it back down, causing much of the ceiling and archway to collapse on the shrieking Raven. And then he began to run, as if his life depended on it, which in a way it did. He had certainly bought himself some time, but not a lot of it.

As he ran through the corridors, he could feel the cold presence just behind him, but nothing happened until he reached the auditorium where the ground started to rise up in front of him. Blocking his way towards the exit. Turning around he saw Grissom and knew that the game was well and truly up. He drew the staff to defend himself, knowing that it was ultimately no good, he was after all, only one man and this creature was second only to a god.

Wishing now that he had brought some of his Bot’s with him, he walked towards the demi-god that was advancing towards him at speed, ready to accept his fate. Whatever that maybe. He drew his gun ready for the end when the voice of Igradust reappeared to him.

“Your gun, you will not need it.” Igradust voice spoke inside his head. He wasn’t aware of dropping the firearm until he found himself holding the staff in both of his hands and blasting Grissom backwards towards the other end of the arena.

“What the?” Dmitri said, he had never managed to master the weapon before, choosing instead to keep his gun as his primary weapon. But now, however before he could think on that fact the Raven began to re-commence its attack. The black robed figure flying at full speed towards him.

At this Dmitri forced the staff into the ground causing Grissom to collide with a large invisible barrier and bounce backwards. Again, and again the Raven tried, until eventually even Dmitri could feel the gem begin to lose its potency.

“Dmitri. Run.” Igradust said inside his head, and he didn’t need telling twice, the last attempt of Grissom had almost broken through his defences. He clambered over the raised floor segments that Grissom had used to block his escape, he halfway towards the exit when the roof in front of him started to collapse. He turned his head to see Grissom, hands raised and before smacking his hands downwards every few seconds, corresponding with the rapidly collapsing roof.

A piece of rubble collapsed mere inches from him, but eventually he was able to make it through the steel doors and back out into the glorious sunlight. He turned around and used the staff to bring down a huge chunk of the mountain in front of the cave entrance. Once that was done, he returned to getting as many lungful’s of fresh air back into his system as possible and then began his descent back down the mountain.

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