Episode 17 (1)

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“Oh? These are some interesting souls,” Theda muttered as she peered at a pitch-black orb. “Would I be able to control them?” She turned her head away from the orb and smiled at the three-headed cat lying next to a fireplace. “What do you think, Trifelus? Should I do it?”

“Meow. Meow, meow, meow. Meow.”

“If you insist, I’ll do it,” Theda said with a smile. She placed her hands on the orb, black mist billowing out of her eyes, nose, and mouth. “O lost souls, let me show you the way home.”

Trifelus sighed and shook its three heads. That’s not what she had insisted.

***

“Wow. We convened quickly, huh?” Aric Stone asked Mr. Volkov. The two men were sitting at their desks at the conference, their limbs bound to their chairs by metal chains. Aric gestured at one of the chains, causing metal to clink. “This is new.”

“Mrs. Atrina! What’s the meaning of this!?” the dwarf with the eyepatch shouted.

The elven leader of Raustalia sighed. “These chains are measures taken to prevent violence from occurring this time around. There will be no fist fights, no—”

“My mallet! Why can’t I take out my mallet!?”

“Hah! Serves you right,” the lion-like beastkin said, glaring at the petite, flustered woman. “Can’t bang on your precious table now, huh?”

“Like I said!” Mrs. Atrina shouted. “This will be a peaceful convention. There will be no weapons, no fighting, no—”

“How dare you impinge on my right to shoot Sir Bozco whenever I please? This is tyranny! I demand you host a new room!”

“Yeah!”

“Give me my mallet!”

“I have to hack Mr. Donovan apart for still failing to ship over the crystal supply!”

“Everyone, shut the hell up!” Mrs. Atrina screamed, causing the tables and chains to rattle. The room fell silent as everyone turned to stare at the red-faced elf. Steam was jetting out of her ears as veins bulged out of her face. “The world is on the verge of collapse and all of you are still bickering like children! One of my clansmen prophesized the revival of the myths!”

“Your elven prophecies are a crock of shit,” the dwarf with the eyepatch said. “’Ow come elves never win the lotto, eh?”

“We don’t use our powers of foresight for greed!” Mrs. Atrina said. “Look!” She clapped her hands, causing a projection to appear in the center of the room. A fleet of boats were traveling across the ocean, a bunch of blue boxes strapped onto their decks.

“There’s your shipment, dammit,” Mr. Donovan said, glaring at the leader of Nipon. “I told you it was on its way.”

“Good, good,” the leader of Nipon said as he adjusted his glasses. “I trust it comes with the billions of USD you’ve cost my country due to your shipment’s lack of timeliness?”

“What a load of—”

“Look!” Mrs. Atrina said, slamming her hands onto her desk. “Shut up and look at what I’m trying to show you!”

A massive, circular shadow blotted out the ocean, but not from above. Waves crashed onto the decks of the ships as the shadow grew larger, encompassing all the carriers. A whirlpool formed, sucking the ships towards each other into a single bundle at the center of the shadow. Pillars of sea water erupted into the air as thousands of teeth rose out of the water, lining the edge of the shadow. An eel-like head emerged from the ocean, the ships trapped within its slowly closing mouth. The eel’s jaws snapped shut, and its throat bobbed as it swallowed.

“My shipment!” the leader of Nipon shouted, his eyes bulging out of his head. “I’ll nuke that eel out of existence!”

“It’s not over yet,” Mrs. Atrina said with a grim expression. The projection zoomed out, revealing nine more circular shadows on the surface of the ocean. More eel-like heads arose out of the water until there were ten. The ten heads all faced the sky and opened their maws at the same time. The ten-headed creature roared, causing a ring of waves to surge outwards with it as the epicenter.

“That’s going to hurt,” the dwarf with the eyepatch said. “Which ocean is this?”

“The Capific.”

The dwarf’s eye widened. “Fuck! My country’s not ready for a tsunami of that size!”

“Hey!” Sir Bozco shouted. “Give me permissions on the projection! My aide said one of my satellites picked something up.”

“Go ahead,” Mrs. Atrina said, granting Sir Bozco permission. The projection flickered away from the ocean, revealing a mountain range. The trees and boulders were vibrating while smaller rocks rolled down the mountains. Avalanches of snow were rushing down the peaks with snow, and landslides were filling in the valleys, crushing villages located within.

“Those are the Mihalayas!” the leader of Nicha said as he tried to climb to his feet. Instead, the chains held him back, keeping him in his seat. “What’s going on!?”

“You only border the Mihalayas, my country practically lives inside it!” the leader of Lapen said. “Sir Bozco, what did your aide say!?”

“She, she just told me to watch this satellite’s feed,” Sir Bozco said, his face pale.

The mountain range continued to rumble and vibrate until it cracked at its base. A large fault appeared, encircling the whole range. The black fissures traveled up the sides of the mountains, converging at the peaks. The ground rose as if it were breathing, and the fragments of the mountains were sloughing off like broken eggshells as brown spikes poked through the tops of the mountains.

“It’s a dragon,” the dwarf with the eyepatch said, his mouth hanging wide open. “It’s a bloody dragon.”

When the mountains fell off of its back, the figure of a snake-like dragon appeared. It slowly rose into the air, revealing five clawed paws underneath it. It had deer-like horns along with the head of a crocodile, and its eyes were red, so piercingly red that they were the first thing the leaders of the world noticed on the projection. The dragon opened its mouth, revealing rows upon rows of shark-like teeth, and let out a roar as the remainder of its body slipped free from the earth. It glared upon the land beneath it before diving down headfirst into a city filled with metal skyscrapers, leaving behind a trail of broken metal and glass as it dug out a tunnel. A few seconds later, the rest of the city sank downwards as if a sinkhole had been opened underneath it. Without warning, everything was crushed as the dragon coiled around and around the broken city like a snake resting on an egg. The dragon’s head tilted upwards until its eyes were staring at the satellite, meeting the gazes of all three hundred world leaders. Its tongue flickered outwards before its lips widened into a grin. Deep, booming laughter echoed out of its mouth as it raised a single claw into the air. With a burst of static, the projected image was destroyed.

“My, my satellite next…,” Mr. Donovan said, his words barely leaving his mouth.

Mrs. Atrina didn’t say a thing as she gave him permissions.

The broken projection turned back on, showing a populated beach with a massive lump of water rising near the coast. Three fish-like heads broke through accompanied by six, scaled arms.

“The ancient fishfolk!” someone shouted. “What the hell is going on!?”

The people on the beach scattered, and the projection zoomed onto the hulking fishfolk. Its body moved slowly, but it reached the shore with a single step. One of its arms reached down towards a crouching little girl. She was a big as a single scale on its finger. Right when its arm was about to crush the crying child into a bloody paste, a white blur flashed in front of the arm. The leaders cried out as the fishfolk’s hand vanished as if something had taken a massive bite out of its arm. In the next instant, their eyes widened in shock as the fishfolk’s body disappeared one chunk at a time as if it were being eaten alive by an invisible existence. Soon, all that was left of the fishfolk was a bloody patch of sand and seawater. The white blur flashed by from one end of the projection to the other before disappearing out of view.

“What was that…?”


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