Control Alt Corruption by J.F. Klyne

corruption75x99Vote at the end of this episode!

In the previous episode, Darrel Flint was possessed by the Gauntlet of the Under Realm, and went on a rampage. Meanwhile, Alyssa Cain received the same mysterious message as he did: “DO YOU ACCEPT THE CORRUPTION?” Readers voted that she ignores her laptop and shuts it off.

Episode 3

Alyssa looks at the ominous message skeptically, thinking it is just another prank from that oddball, Alex Jones. Rolling her eyes, she shuts her laptop and sets it on her desk. Stripping her robe off, she finds a comfortable pair of pajamas to dress in. Once she is settled in her desk chair, she looks at the clock to see it is only nine. Two hours before bed and no homework needed to be done. So, she decides to watch some television with her parents.

Walking through the hallway, she finds her folks sitting together on their couch, eyes glued to the television. Their expressions suggest something is amiss.

“What’s going on?” she asks.

Looking to the screen answers her question immediately. Aerial footage from the local news chopper shows over a dozen police cars gathered outside a local household not too far away. Standing in front of the door is a man dressed in a suit of black armor, a spotlight from the helicopter covering him in a haunting glow. The camera focuses on the metal man, and Alyssa gasps.

“Atlas?” she covers her mouth to hide her words from her parents. Luckily, they do not seem to notice.

Atlas Grey as she sees him is in truth Tartarus. He stands his ground against the platoon of gun-drawn officers. Fearlessly, he steps toward them, only to be hit by a barrage of bullets. Lead pierces his suit, but he does not bleed in a normal sense. Black sludge falls from his body, leaving holes where the bullets penetrated. The sight of these bizarre wounds causes the policemen to cease fire. Tartarus watches their dumbstruck faces through the glowing red slits in his helmet.

“Ladies and gentlemen,” the reporter beside the cameraman speaks up, “I…I’m not sure what we just witnessed, but this man…does not appear to be human. Wait, is he…is he healing?”

The camera focuses on the black knight, and indeed the wounds over his body are closing quickly. Many have already healed; even the armor begins to fix itself.

Tartarus takes another step closer, and small cracks materialize across the length of his helmet. Fire pours from the jagged mouth that seems to be forming, crawling across his face, reaching the corners of his jaw. Completing the opening, the mouth hangs open. Suddenly, a horrific shriek bursts out of Tartarus like a bomb.

Even from her house miles away, Alyssa can feel the vibrations of the attack. Windshields of the police vehicles shatter. Police officers fall to their knees, clearly in pain from the sonic screech. The camera starts to sway as the helicopter becomes damaged. Horrified screaming comes from inside the chopper, and the footage cuts out.

The image on the television switches to the newsroom, where a nervous looking anchorman glances at the camera, unsure of what to say, “Uh, I…I’m sorry folks. We are experiencing some technical—”

Alyssa wastes no time to listen to the rest of the report. She needs to get her cellphone to call Darrel. She needs to make some sense of what she just saw on the television. Her eyes were not playing tricks on her. That was definitely Atlas Grey.

When she enters her room, she finds yet another surprise. Her laptop is opened to the mysterious message with a swirl of violet and black on the screen. Behind the words is an image that is very familiar looking. The outline is the titan of destruction, the final boss of Quest of Kings.

“Pallas?” Alyssa shakes her head in disbelief. “This is getting weird.”

The laptop rattles as if a beast has been trapped inside. A bright flash of violet light fills the room, blinding the girl. The strange burst lasts a second, fading as quickly as it came. Opening her eyes, Alyssa finds a visitor stands in her room. A knighted skeleton guards her computer, wielding a hefty battle axe, one that he swings to lop off her head.

“Yikes,” she squeaks, ducking the decapitation attempt.

The blade cuts a few hairs and digs into her door frame. The skeletal warrior tries to pull it free, but struggles; giving Alyssa the perfect opportunity to escape. She turns to run, only to be attacked from behind. She is hit hard in the back of her head, knocking her flat on her stomach. Slightly dazed, she eyes something rolling in front of her face. The undead axe man threw his skull at her. Its empty sockets glow bright red, brought back to life with necromancy. The skull cackles evilly as chunks of wood fall on her.

The axe is freed from the frame. Alyssa can hear the clambering of his armor as he adjusts step. His weapon held high over his headless body, ready to execute. Its boot stamps to the ground as it swings down.

She acts purely on instinct, rolling away as the weapon smashes into the floor. Instead of running, she fights back, sweeping the legs of her attacker. She kicks the knees out, and the rest of the skeleton falls with it. The undead axe man falls apart, becoming a large pile of bones. Yet, the skeletal arms still cling to the axe. But the skull is not ready to yield. It bites her fingers as she tries to stand. Its bony teeth tear at her flesh, causing her to scream.

Flailing her arm a few times, she manages to fling the skull off her, sending it crashing against her laptop. It smashes to hundreds of pieces like glass. The words fade from the screen, and only Pallas’ image remains. The titanic necromancer reaches out, and his monstrous arm passes through, entering the real world.

The young heroin gasps, “This is not good…”

“ARCHER OF THE WESTERN FOREST! YOU WILL NOT STOP ME. I SHALL CLAIM THIS DOMINION FOR MY OWN!”

Pallas’ voice reaches her like a thunderous roar from the hellish heavens. It causes every cell in her body to tremble. A voice in the depths of her mind screams for her to run; yet, she does not. Summoning the courage of her character, Zale, she prepares to stand against destruction incarnate. Vote below on what will happen next or if reading in email click Take our Poll.

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