“There is nothing in the dark that isn't there when the lights are on.”
"Something bad is going to happen."
"Something really bad." the two twins said as they tugged on their caretaker’s pants.
"Nothing bad is going to happen girls." he looked down at them, they were quite adorable, black hair and light skin with rare red irises.
"Ugh, they won't listen to us Annabella."
"What should we do Anastasia?"
"Girls go play with the toys."
"Fine." they said simultaneously.
"Cenric, over here." his colleague called for him at the front counter.
"What's up?" he asked as he walked over.
"The daycare is pretty crowded today, the sales at the shopping center here attracted more people than usual, do you think you can stay overtime?" she asked him.
"Haha, yeah sure." he couldn't really say no to her. They were both young working part time to earn money and she was pretty cute with long blonde hair, soft blue eyes and a bright smile.
"Thank you so much, even though we're part of like thirty other day cares here with like ten people in each one we're still short handed, can you believe that?"
"Yeah it's crazy."
"Oh and did you see the parents of the twins?"
"Umm no I don't think so."
"I didn't either, but they are beautiful. I wonder what their mom looks like, she must be a model! Or better yet maybe their dad!"
"Haha, sure." Cenric knew that she would stay through these busy hours with or without help and didn't want her to carelessly work herself to the bone.
"Anyways, you should go get more diapers and stuff from the store, I'll try to cover your position and work the counter so go quickly."
"Alright, no problem."
"Here's the card to get the stuff."
Cenric walked out the door and headed straight then took a left turn on the corner of a building. The shopping center here was the size of the small city so there was always a huge crowd. The skyscrapers of the shopping center stood at extreme heights, bridges connected them and holographic decorations along with real ones entertained the guests.
Cenric looked up at the sky but the crowd and tall constructs obscured his view but at the right angle he managed to see the sky getting darker. Believing it was going to rain he jogged to an escalator outside of one of the high-rise buildings which connected the ground floor to the 5th.
As he moved up he looked down, hundreds of people walked the streets of the shopping center, everything here was top notch, the buildings were modern and sturdy, the employees actually cared for their jobs, and the people actually enjoyed themselves. Restaurants, clothing shops, arcades, you name it, they were all gathered here.
Cenric took a moment to recognize everything and really appreciate everything here. When he made it to escalator's top he once again took a left turn into a large general goods store.
"Hey Cenric!" his friend called for him as soon as he saw him come in. "You need some stuff for the daycare right?"
"Yeah that's right."
"We figured you guys would need them today so we already got some boxes ready. Let me go into the storage and grab it for you." he said as turned back to where he came from
"That'd be great."
"Here it is." Cenric stood in the space place but entertained himself with his phone, he put it back in his pocket when his friend got close.
"Oh thanks." Cenric said as he smiled, his friend then forcefully pushed it against his chest.
"Hey man take it easy."
"Just checking to see if you were still good for the soccer game tomorrow that's all."
"Who do you think you're talking to. These muscles didn't get big by themselves you know."
"Yeah sure those are totally muscles." his friend joked.
"Man get off my back."
"Oh and hey." his friend put his arm on his shoulder and leaned closer to him, "Did you ask that cute girl out yet?"
"What cute girl?"
"Man, the only girl that chooses to talk to you."
"Get outta here."
"I'm just messing with you. I'm talking about Kelly, you know your boss."
"She has a pretty face but I'm not hooking up with my boss."
"Alright man whatever, I'll just ask for her number then." he teased.
"Yeah alright, good luck." Cenric joked as he started to leave the store.
"Take care man."
"Yeah you too."
Cenric walked with the box in both his hands, it wasn't heavy but it was still a bit of a hassle to have to carry. As he used the escalator to go back down he looked up and notice some suspicious men running on top of one of the smaller buildings, he didn't think too much about it though they were probably just here to fix stuff.
"Still no rain? It's pretty cloudy out." the man behind Cenric said to the man next to him.
"I've only been on this planet for a while, is the climate here normally this weird?"
"Most of the time it's like a normal planet but we get some strange stuff here sometimes."
"Weather isn't the only thing that's weird around here." Cenric joked.
"Yeah no kidding." his fellow local said. "We have all sorts rumors and myths here."
"Geez, you guys make it sound like this stuff is normal. I'm happy picked up a QNA paper while I was still on the Station, this place has all sorts of weird urban legends."
"Haha yeah, you might want to hang on to that."
"Yeah you probably should" Cenric said in agreement. "Alright well I work at the daycare near by in case you ever need any help."Cenric said as they reached the bottom.
"I appreciate that, thanks."
Cenric continued his course back to the daycare, the crowd was a bit more thin now, people probably got scared that it would rain. At least the daycare would be less full now he thought to himself. As he walked his mind also wandered, he started to daydream about Kelly and her beautiful face and caring nature, "Maybe I should ask her out." he thought to himself however something violently shook him from his dream.
A loud scream alarmed the crowd, Cenric turned to witness the origin of the disturbance. The scream however was only part of a much larger calamity, gun shots and explosions went off and people began to panic, many of them rushed inside of the constructs. Cenric on the other hand dropped the box and ran towards the daycare, a massacre something he wanted to prevent.
He ran along side the buildings instead of the open, just like he was taught. That however was his first mistake. As he ran an explosion went off in the building next to him.
His world turned black void of any sound. Then he could see a figure. As he looked more closely at it he could not determine if it was a human or a monster.
Cenric was brought back to reality, he found himself laying on his stomach wounded and in shock both physically and psychologically. The pain however was unbearable, it was intense to the point where he could not even feel it or anything else. He sensed something close to him, something foreign. Cenric built up his strength and turned his body so he was now laying on his back.
What he saw in front of him was something awful. A humanoid brute that stood tall with sharp teeth. Its skin was swollen and its nails were meant for killing.
"No! Please Don't!" a survivor shouted out. Despite her pleas it continued to walk forward.
Cenric returned to the darkness. Once again the figure from before appeared in front of him. "Cenric... you're going to die."
"What? What is this?"
"Your soul is resisting... Cenric, make a covenant with me."
"What? Who are you?"
"I am your salvation. I am Aikia"
Cenric was pulled back to reality. The brute was now towering in front of him and Cenric stared at his lifeless eyes. Cenric tried to move but to no anvil. By his neck the brute held him up whilst stopping the air from going inside him. The brute now put up his left hand and was ready to break him.
"Cenric, you need me." the voice from before told him in his head. It was at this moment Cenric let go of it all.
"Oh, what joys of a beating heart." Cenric heard Aikia's voice once again. Cenric was no longer in control of his body it was now Aikia who ran the show.
Aikia picked off where Cenric had left off, almost dead with the hand of a monster wrapped around his throat. Aikia used his forearm against the brute's elbow, and the brute let go surprised that it's food could still fight.
Now on the ground back turned to the brute Aikia took the opportunity and elbowed the brute in the sensitive solarplex causing it to bend down. Next Aikia turned around and cracked it's neck. An easy solution to a difficult problem.
Aikia stood up amongst the bodies like a tower. Bullets and bodies fell from constructs above. Entire teams of elite soldiers swiftly moved across bridges charging into the next building whilst firing upon the beasts in front of them. It was chaos like this that Aikia had not enjoyed for so long.
"Oh? So it's you again." Aikia turned around and saw a young girl with black hair and red eyes. Although Cenric could not move his body her could see from his two eyes.
"What is it Anna?" Aikia asked annoyed.
"Annabella." she corrected, "I know how you enjoy your play time, but..." Annabella motioned with her left hand for Aikia to leave, "Cenric mine."
Cenric became under full control of his body once again and fell to his knees weak and confused. He breathed heavy and finally looked up at Annabella.
"What is this?" he asked as his eyes tried to stay open and his body was trying to accommodate the heavy loss of stamina.
"Never mind that." Annabella said as she walked closer and then crouched down beside him, "You should probably leave here, but first..." she looked to her left, there laid a dead soldier and beside him, his rifle, then she turned her eyes passed Cenric and towards the daycare in the distance, "Save your princess."
"What?" Cenric looked behind him and saw the daycare on fire. The situation was finally registering in his brain, this was not just an attack nor war. This was worse.
He looked in front of him and Annabella had disappeared but the rifle close by had not.