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Shiver Star: Shiver Star: Part 3

by Mr.RMA

Mr.RMA Disclaimer... you know the drill by now I'm sure.
The final part of this admittedly rather effed up saga is here! The traitor to the factory workers has been revealed and is now holding the remaining survivors at gunpoint as he explains the events that brought him over the edge. Will John, Erica and the rest of the crew make it out with their lives? And even so, is there anything waiting for them at the end of the line? #summercamp15
“So I woke up at the usual time that morning, 6:00, bright and early, the way things go for most of us, at least, those of us that aren’t obsessive over something like a simple job. You know, I had the same sort of good feeling I always have every morning, feeling like it’s going to be a new day, a good day, and not just a good day, a better day than before, all that sorta thing. Always the eternal optimist even out of the public eye, hard to believe, huh? Anyways, I got myself all set up for work per usual, then I get myself a small bite to eat before I head out, and I quickly turn on the news, see what’s going on with the world and everything. It’s important to keep that sort of information fresh in the old noggin, if the world goes by without you, well, you can have a bright shiny attitude all you want, you’re still not gonna know what’s up with anything beyond your own front door. So I’ve got the news on and they’re going over the usual weather and everything first… and that’s when I heard talk of something about that growing tension we’ve been having between those fellas out on the other side of the Atlantic, ‘least, the ones that ain’t the biggest fans of us, you know what I’m talking about, none of you are that dense. So, they were rambling on about the fact that confrontations were starting to look more and more inevitable, it wasn’t the nicest thing to hear, but, you know, I just kinda made the assumption that this was all a bunch of sensationalism, the news guys were just trying to get a story out there to increase the ratings and the views and all that baloney that the bigwigs at the television networks always want. I tried not to pay much mind to it, but, there it was again on the radio as I was parking my car on my way over here to work, they were talking about a new weapon these mean fellas were preparing, a weapon that was so powerful it could not only wipe out a really, really wide distance when it came to people and places, but its after effects would actually change the climate of the location and an even larger distance beyond it. They say that if other weapons reacted along with it, the damage would just spread further and further, and there was a really good chance that it could become a global impact.

“So, all this information, it wasn’t doing a very good number on my self-confidence, I didn’t enjoy constantly hearing about this potential for doom and gloom over and over again, there was nothing I could do to change what the entire world was thinking, why did I have to hear just how badly everyone was screwing up then? Long and short was I didn’t want to hear it so many times that if would drill the bad stuff into my head, I just wanted to know what was up with things… but I guess it was what I had to expect, no one’s been talking about anything but this arms race of ours, it’s really a buzzkill, but, what are you gonna do, onslaught of another world war, people are going to start losing their heads over that kinda shit. Me? I wasn’t going to let it put a frown on my face, I was going to have a good day at work even if it killed me. Hah, irony, huh? But, oh, no, spoilers, I need to get back to where I was before I went off track there… Anyhow, you know, put my usual ID in for the gate, ‘Elias Stevens’, and it sent me down to my usual floor. I was getting all my things ready as I checked in, and part of me was just thinking, what am I gonna have for lunch today? Might just go up and check out some of that future food HR’s constantly advertising and trying to shove down our visitors’ throats. Apparently it has to be pretty good though, I mean, they call it world famous and everything, you don’t just get a ranking like that without some real effort, right? Heh, okay, maybe it was all just a sham, a gimmick or whatever you wanna call it, but, I had to be certain myself, can’t knock something ‘till you try it, right? That’s the good old fashioned saying, and I really do like me some good old fashioned stuff, quotes, lessons, stories, man, even when you don’t live in the era you get all that stuff from, it makes you feel strangely nostalgic for it anyways, as if you were just really wanting to be a part of that era anyways, that you wanted to be around when it was a new hip thing and you were willing to at least pretend that you were for a while. Oh, there I go again, off the wall talking about pretending to be from another time… heh… well, maybe that’s not too far off topic, after all the crap that we’ve been experiencing, I think it would have been nice to have been born earlier, at a time when we didn’t have to worry about the sort of stuff that we do now… or at least, what we have to worry about for a little while…

“Anyway, back on track, I was getting myself all ready for a nice day at work, keep my mind off the troubles at home, the troubles on the news, it was a fantastic diversion, work, and I was getting paid for it too! I couldn’t ask for a better opportunity than that. And you see, that’s where you John, and you, Erica, come in as per usual. We’re working alongside each other a lot, even when we aren’t really meant to, pretty fun sorta coincidence, and it was pretty neat that I managed to basically snag myself a friend in the process. You were always so cynical and a little too pragmatic, John, but, I was able to put a smile on that face every so often, you had to admit, I could be a pretty entertaining buddy when I needed to be… Damn, that whole thing feels like ages ago… probably was, I’ve got no idea how long it’s really been since that day… But you know, I do remember that I was assigned to check up on those flattening machines over at the end of that conveyor system you’re on, right after I was supposed to look after the power transistors. Darius old buddy! That’s where I saw you! You looked a whole lot happier back then, though, can’t say I don’t blame you for getting a bit melancholy. Things got pretty gray there for a while after all, especially when the main event happened.

“Yeah, that was a real blast, feeling that intense shaking, seeing everything start to collapse around us, Darius got the front row seat to see good ol’ Greg get his head split open right down the middle! Heh, the damn softy really didn’t take that very well, obviously he still hasn’t gotten over it if he’s looking like that. Poor kid, don’t even know why he’s got a job here in the first place, too many dangers and risks for someone so sensitive. But, what are you gonna do? Guess a man’s gotta eat one way or another, I couldn’t see him selling his body that’s for sure, so, a bunch of wires and falling beams, that’s probably a walk in the park compared to that sort of thing. Still, you don’t wanna hear about him, you’re asking about me, right? Yeah, I remember, when the power went out, I was panicking for a while, I was nervous, I was scared out of my wits, all sorts of variety of words to say that I was frightened. I didn’t know where to go, what the hell I was going to do next… and that’s when I started to wander a bit, kinda had a blue screen moment metaphorically speaking… All that positivity, all that idealism, you know, I was just then starting to realize that it was hiding something deep within me, but, at first, I couldn’t really tell exactly what, I just knew, whatever it was, it was really starting to bug me, and I wanted to deal with it… I had my phone’s flashlight on and all that, and eventually I came across a small flicker of light, and woah, wouldn’t you know it, I struck the jackpot there! I had my own personal shelter to keep myself all fed and groomed and nourished and all that good stuff until things got better.

“So, I was still feeling really shaken, even after that stroke of luck, but, something was telling me to look around a bit, maybe a bit of quick sightseeing would calm me down a bit and get that whole situation properly analyzed and put into a better perspective. So I did just that, looked about, and yet another amazing little surprise! I found an interesting little note! Seemed handwritten but apparently it was copied, so, I wouldn’t be surprised if you fellas had found something similar. Basically some old idiot of an end-of-days sort of guy form management had apparently been willing to spill the beans, at least, what little he knew, about how this city was supposedly funded by the government or something like that, mentioned how it would survive massive superweapon attacks and everything of the sort, and you know, it reminded me of what kind of junk we were making. Small parts, random sorts of powder, it all finally started to hit me! This wasn’t just some random stuff we were making, we were going about this whole confidential weapons making business! This whole city, you know, the ‘city of the future?’ yeah, it was a futuristic city alright, a future of blowing each other up until a few of us are left standing on top of all the roasted, decaying corpses and proclaiming we’re the goddamned winners. Winners of what though, huh? It’s like all these idiots while they were making this place just completely forgot about what a pyric victory was. They had no way of knowing, with their lack of any sort of damned common sense, that no matter what they were doing, if there was enough massive damage to destroy most of the country, most of the world, a few factories and buildings serving as fallout shelters weren’t going to cut it when it came to keeping this proud country of ours afloat. Yeah, maybe it’d be enough to repopulate the species, but, you know, soon as you start going into that sort of territory, you’re basically saying, all that information, all that technology and knowledge we’ve acquired after decades and decades of human history, throw it out the goddamned window, let’s just start fucking out some more babies! That’s all it was, there was no reason to take that sort of repopulation thing as any sort of consolation prize, it was just sending us back to the dark ages…

“Well, needless to say, I was starting to really not take any of this news very well, not well at all… and I was desperate for something to maybe somehow make the whole situation not seem so troublesome… but you know what I found instead? Just clarification over how hopeless it really was… how our bosses knew full well so many of us were going to die, and thought they could fix it up with a little extra repopulating, but not just human repopulating, feast your eyes on this!”

At this, Elias pressed a button near the giant tank beside him. That tank and another one suddenly opened up, a bright light showing in both of them what was floating around in a strange, watery gel substance… What appeared to be a giant cat and a hippopotamus… “There is a long line of perfectly preserved eggs and sperm of all sorts of animals in my safe house, the bastards were thinking they could just go Noah’s Ark on us and bring the world back together with artificially inseminated, cloned animals, that were bigger, so, you know, they were certainly going to deal with a little climate change, what was the trouble?! Yeah, that’s what they thought… I was starting to feel all that happiness I kept in me, all that positivity, all that time where I felt things were generally always going my way as I held my head up high and let out a nice little contagious laugh, I felt all of that going to waste, I felt all that time I put in being a happy guy that just wanted others around me to smile to, I felt the uselessness of it all… and, heh… yeah, I guess you could say I snapped… and I realized finally what it was that I was feeling deep down inside of me but I couldn’t quite fathom in words just what it was. It only could have been one thing when I really started to think about it… It was so obvious now that my mind was free of that meaningless positivity. That feeling inside, that was hate. That was pure, unadulterated, crystal clear, primal, honest, absolute hatred. Hatred for what you may ask? Well, everything really, life, people, plants, animals, space, whatever joke of a being started this whole mess, I hated all of it, and boy, when I realized how much I hated all of that, but, more specifically, how much I hated every single one of you bastards, I started finding something particularly entertaining… Something I had never thought about before, but, oh, the very thoughts made me just… so amazingly giddy I couldn’t help myself! I was thinking about how fun it would be to kill you guys, to take your lives away, see it draining from your bodies as they went limp, as your blood flowed out of you, as your facial expressions went into a nice, frozen, expression of shock, maybe fear, maybe sadness… There are so many faces a human can make, and I really wanted to figure out how many of them I could see on a dead body, a dead body that I killed… Now that’s another amazing thing about killing people, it really gives you a sense of meaning and significance, you feel like you’ve really done something important, at least, in the eyes of one person, even if they didn’t have any time to really think about it, it didn’t matter, I knew I killed them, I took away the greatest gift that they had, and the kind of power it felt like, it was amazing… Oh, and it wasn’t with your little crew where that beginning of my reawakening started with, no, you guys come later, don’t worry, I won’t forget to bring it up. But you know, gotta give you the entire story, no abridging here. You’ve probably already figured out a lot of our friends have gone missing even after all this shit happened. Not all of those guys died from the initial quaking, oh, no, many of them found their way over to the safe house too! Perfect timing and everything, because that was when I found the gun in there! Yeah, apparently the nutjob who built them intended to stay in this chamber and keep a pistol by his side in case anyone got all cabin fever and tried to murder everyone else while they waited for the power to return, or while they waited for the fallout to go down to healthy levels, hell if I know. In any case I started taking some target practice, I’ve gone to the occasional firing range every so often, though I gotta say, much as they like to say human targets are tougher than the big old square bullseyes you get at the range, I didn’t find it all too difficult, I mean, yeah, it was dark, but the whiny little idiots were all screaming so loud it was hard not to figure out where they were. So, yeah, I put holes in all of ‘em, and it felt good. Really, really good… finally realized just why people were so obsessed with wars, and battles, and all that death and destruction, because when you get that first taste of blood, well, you have no reservations against going further, and further, killing more and more… Or maybe I’m just a special case, I mean, a lot of you would call me insane I’m sure, I can see it in your faces, this whole story is really freaking you out, really disturbing you, huh? I haven’t even gotten to you guys yet and you’re already bothered… heh…

“You guys, I knew a lot of you had to have survived, and after all my targets stopped moving, I needed to find more… but I wasn’t gonna be satisfied just shooting any more of you… No, already I was at that stage where I was nervous over getting bored over the whole thing, so I decided to have fun with it while you were stowed away. I knew those doors were soundproof, and you idiots kept ‘em shut the entire time I was constructing your little surprise. All you have to have done was open that door, just a crack, just once, and I would’ve just had to give you all quick and easy deaths instead. But nah, you were stupid, and thank god you were, because once I managed to block off all the safe paths, weld that elevator shut, and program those machines to activate by motion instead of command, the show was all set, and I never had so much fun in my entire life. I think some people call it being the puppet master, and in a way I think that’s the case for me. I was the puppet master for you guys, but instead of me just cutting your strings I burned you, crushed you, electrocuted you, melted you, and I loved every single, bloody, waking moment of it. I did, I really did. And why shouldn’t have I? What kind of moralities was I breaching? I was just saving you guys from discovering the tragic fact of the situation, I let our pals die with the belief that there was still a way out remain fresh in their memories, they died while they still hoped for something, and you guys, well, you made it this far and now I went ahead and spoiled the ending for you, there’s probably not a single thing waiting up there for any of us. And I don’t just mean in the sense that there isn’t any people, I can almost guarantee from every single bit of news I’ve heard through this whole string of wartime shenanigans that whatever you find up there, or at least, whatever you would’ve found, ‘cause you know, I’m gonna kill you before you figure it out, well, it’s not gonna be pretty. I want to be your merciful guardian angel, let you die with memories of the old world still fresh in your minds, without any of that troublesome garbage that the new world is. Don’t you want that? Don’t you want that kind of gift from your buddy Elias? ‘Cause he can give it to you right now, free of charge! Eh, why am I even asking!?” he said with another chuckle… though it seemed far more like a deranged cackle as he raised his gun at them again.

Immediately the remainder of the crew broke off and fled for their lives, John and Erica could hear the sound of bodies hitting the ground at every shot… Elias wasn’t kidding apparently, he really was quite the sharpshooter… and neither of them would have been surprised if he had purposely kept them and Darius for last. His most recognizable companions, likely the ones he secretly hated the most if what he was saying was as truthful as he was making it out to be. The three had kept going forward into the next sector… completely forgetting that the next sector was one of the worst possible options to go into… The flattening sector was in full swing, and apparently Elias had taken some free time to put horribly deranged and toothy grins on the giant hammer machines as well as they swung down violently against the moving conveyor belt, pushing them forward, further away from Elias and closer to freedom… and closer to giant steel mallets as well that could easily splatter them without any sort of resistance doing them much good. Still, it was risking that, or waiting for their ‘friend’ to come around and blast their heads apart. Once again they were going to take the chance that at least offered survival. Or at least, survival for a bit longer… no, they couldn’t let what he said get to them… much as at least one of them knew what he said made a whole lot more sense than the other likely wished to figure out.

“Hey, fellas, you know it’s dangerous running through here without the proper equipment, you could get yourself real hurt playing around like this!” Elias suddenly shouted, forcing the three to rush through the first doorway past a hammer machine as it just swung down behind them in time to block the shot aimed squarely at their brains. “Now come on, you’re making this a whole lot more difficult than it has to be, guys… Hmm, you know, on second thought, this makes it more fun! You know, this is a great idea! Yeah, I couldn’t imagine a better location for our last little hurrah! Great thinkin’ you guys, great, great thinkin’! That’s why I always hung out with you!” Elias remarked, his voice seemingly getting more and more shaky, twisted and demented with every word that left from his lips. Every shot they managed to somehow block with the next hammer machine was accompanied by a screeching sort of laughter that just seemed to get louder and louder every time they heard it. John knew now, Elias hadn’t just snapped, and he hadn’t just given up, this scenario, this hand he was dealt, it had somehow, perfectly, expertly, without any sort of doubt, it had turned him into a monster. It was as if he had gotten himself possessed, as if the Elias they had known, the one that he had actually only so recently aspired to be more like in attitude and worldview, had died first, as if that Elias was the current Elias’ first victim… as if that was the death, the death of his own happy sort of dreamland, that created the bloodlust he seemed so ever intent on satiating.

“What the hell do you expect to do when you get rid of us, Elias?! Once we’re gone, you’ll have no one else to kill? How are you supposed to deal with that blood lust after that? Don’t you need someone alive if you’re going to keep at it?” he asked, once it appeared Elias had to finally reload his weapon, though they were still continually on the run, not exactly wishing to pause for a moment and give him time to start off his little ‘game’ again.

“Good question indeed, Johnny boy, I’ve been thinking about it for a while now actually, what to do when all the human race has apparently gone extinct, what to kill then. You know, I’ve still got myself to deal with if I get really insanely bored and got nothing else to turn my attention to, but, you know, that cloning machine has its perks, I’ll bet it can read more than just a bunch of eggs and sperm and shit like that, I’ll be I could get you guys in there and make new human playthings to kill over and over and over and over again! Like Christmas every day, and while I wait, those animals will be a fun diversion too. I think I’m going to set a goal for myself, see if I can line every single bit of floor in this factory in dead things, and to really push myself, I’m gonna try and pull it off by the end of the week!” Another shot, this time the hammer didn’t come down in time, but it seemed luck was still on their side… in a sense, the bullet seemed to graze Darius’ shoulder, but Darius did something no one in the group had expected him to do upon the slight contact with the bullet zipping by him… He reacted. His face started to contort a little, as if a sort of rage of his own had built up inside him for a while. No longer did he accept Erica’s hand, pushing himself away, standing near one of the hammer machines, constantly backtracking just to stay put right where he was, not moving in the slightest, and it seemed Elias wasn’t the fondest of this.

“Hey, Darius, it’s not fun if you just give yourself to me like that! You can’t just take the old deal now, you wanted a game and I’m willing to play it with ya… Run, run you fucking idiot! Goddammit, you forget how to use your feet you useless sack of crap?!” Elias tauntingly said as he edged closer and closer to the young man, seemingly timing his pace to walk past the machine in order to push Darius aside and get his focus on the actually moving targets for now, though as he grasped at Darius’ injured shoulder, the young man suddenly turned around with a loud, terribly distorted scream of a man who hadn’t made much of any noise for who knows how long, suddenly letting out a noise that was more primal and animalistic than anything John, Erica or Elias had heard before. Darius grabbed at Elias and slammed him into the conveyor belt, apparently knowing his timing just fine as well, because the hammer was just about ready to descend.

“… See you next week I suppo-…” Elias wasn’t able to finish his sentence as the two were at once smashed into oblivion in one fell swoop of the machine’s swing. Erica and John looked away and quickly rushed past the last hammer as they both seemed to collapse to their knees, the weight of what they had just witnessed, the cumulative weight of what they had witnessed for such a seemingly long period of time that they couldn’t even tell how many mornings had passed since they had checked in for work, finally took enough hold on them for them to nearly go comatose right then and there. Neither of them said anything for a while, both merely shaking a little every so often as chills ran through their entire being. Eventually Erica managed to find enough breath to speak first… and she had to admit something that she now wished she had just admitted far earlier.

“…I knew about it…” she quietly muttered. John turned to her, bloodshot eyes, moistened from tears that seemed unable to leave his eyelids and merely served to cloud up his vision.

“…What? You… knew about…”

“I knew about the damned government funding, and this whole business about the shelters and their intentions… I didn’t want to admit it to any of you because we were all starting to lose our godforsaken minds already, I didn’t know what the hell would happen if it got out!” she replied, taking out the sheet of paper and shoving it over to John, who, still locked in a state of befuddlement, nervously read the note… a shock running down his spine as he started to realize the same thing that she had.

“B-but, no, this doesn’t mean anything, this could all just be-…”

“The ramblings of a conspiracy obsessed lunatic, yeah, I had the same thought too, John, don’t be an idiot, you know that’s not the case anymore, you saw what it did to Elias, drove him batshit insane, you think a little conspiracy theory was all that it would take to send him down that fucking path? Open your goddamn eyes… He was probably right about the whole thing. There probably isn’t much of anything up there waiting for us. We got trapped in this place, stuck in the only kind of fallout shelter anyone would likely even bother to get into, even with all that news about the weaponry and the international tension, you think anyone was planning ahead, anyone knew that superweapon was going to go off when it did? The guy who made the shelters in the first place didn’t even get down here in time! It’s all a bunch of nothing that we struggled to get this far for, we just have to own up to it and accept it, there’s no saying we’re not the last two human beings on Earth, we can’t prove otherwise…”

John had never seen Erica look so distressed before, he never even humored the thought that she could ever express such emotions in such a way… She was always the calm one, the strategic one that didn’t let things that bothered her get in the way of her good judgement and common sense. The most sensible worker he had ever met… and now she was slouched over helplessly, sobbing, accepting a grim reality as the way things had become, knowing there was no denial of it that could ever make things any different from how they were. She had come to that conclusion, she was reasonable enough to know how plausible it was and how implausible it was to think otherwise… She still had a sound enough mind to accept this… John didn’t.

“No, no, you’re just giving up too early, we made it to the end, we’re here, we made it to the exit, Erica! We’re going to prove right here and now that everything that lying traitorous, murdering bastard said was a bunch of bullshit! Come one, we’ll prove it right here and now! Why, I’ll bet there’s hundreds of cars out there honking their way to get into our amazing city, just to see the advancements we’ve made! It’s going to be fantastic!” he shouted, a laugh escaping his throat despite himself as well… one that sounded a bit familiar to someone else’s, but he paid it no mind and started gleefully walking out the door.

“John! Give it a rest! Snap out of it and just accept it!” Erica shouted over to him, not even bothering to leave her spot as John kept going, an excited smile on his face as he started climbing his way up a bunch of platforms that eventually led to a ladder leading straight up to a bomb-shelter-like hatch, closed shut, but just waiting to be opened. Erica’s cries were falling on deaf ears as John scrambled his way up the ladder. For so long he had been trapped down here, for so long he had regretted coming to work that day, for so long he had just wanted to escape to that fresh air, that warm sunshine, and finally he was going to get it. Opening the hatch, he eagerly pushed the door opened, as an intense chill seemed to rush down into the enclosure, but, just as quickly John had rushed out, now all the more happy to see the glorious… snow… Had… had they been down there that long? No… it couldn’t have been winter yet, but… snow… snow was everywhere, it was coating the ground in layers and layers, building up to unfathomable heights in some places. Ice was covering any spot not covered in the slush, and the chill… That chill was no fluke or fake sort of sensation from being in that factory for so long… It really was that cold out… colder than John had ever felt it get before. It was enough to send him right down onto the snow-covered ground, hugging his legs tightly as even more snow starting to pile further and further up, shivering… shivering… feeling the snow start to encase him, weakly brushing it off at first, a part of his subconscious forcing him to keep at it, to get up and look around for some explanation, figure out where the snow had come from.

Surely it had to have been fabricated, this had to be some kind of terrible trick, or maybe it was some kind of promotional act on the city’s part. Yeah, artificial winter, that didn’t seem so out of the ordinary for HR’s sort of gimmicks and the like. Sooner or later someone would look through a security camera attached to the factory gate and see they were going too far, burying someone in the snow like this. They’d come and fetch him, and then he’d tell them about Erica and they’d go get her too, and he’d tell them all about the raving, psychotic nonsense that their attempted murderer tried to convince them was real, and they’d tell him for certain it was all a lie, that they just experienced a major earthquake and power outage, and that was why not only was the factory in a blackout, but, the traffic into the city was non-existent… Yeah… That explained the lack of cars of any sort, the blackout… He smiled at his clear logic and deductive reasoning, perfectly explaining and rationalizing every single thing about this scenario… It was okay that he couldn’t bring himself to move anymore, that the snow was finally starting to bury him, that all he could do was keep shivering. It would all turn out fine…

Before the snow could finally trap him forever, John thought he noticed a strange glimmer in the sky for a brief moment… and then, a part of sky was blotted in darkness for another brief moment… and that darkness, it seemed to sink ominously down towards the ground… strange things started to appear, strange entities with singular eyeballs… almost cartoonish creatures started milling about… Very peculiar indeed… This city was always surprising him. Hah… and for a while there, I really was taking this whole place for granted… Silly me… silly, silly me… he felt his lingering thoughts say as all these strange entities were blurred out completely from his line of sight form the snow. A few more shivers seemed to come from the pile of frozen water, but eventually they began to cease…

Who knows how much time had passed from then to when a curious, pink puff ball with a cute, happy expression on his face finally wandered his way over to the factory, but by the time he arrived, there was no one there to greet him besides the monsters he had been gleefully dispatching from world to world on his quest. This world was just another stepping stone on his way to a grand finale to his grand adventure. He had already paid a visit to a strange sort of mall, crawling with all sorts of creepy fauna, his adversary had very much taken control over this place before he could arrive there from the looks of it… but besides all that, the alien creature had seemingly paid no mind to something that had very much paid mind to him… A massive, hulking robot that towered over the city of the future had noticed invaders coming, and it was ready to defend the city it was built to protect at all costs, all the more empowered to do so, as a strange sort of crystalline energy source had found its way inside it…
  1. Psycho Monkey
    Psycho Monkey
    I figured out from the end of part 1 that Elias was the culprit who sealed the exit and set up the death traps. I also recognized the name Shiver Star as being a world in Kirby and the Crystal Shards but the fact that this was the same world eluded me until the final paragraph. It's been years since I played that game so now I'm inclined to go back and replay it to see if I can catch any subtle references or clues you most likely included in your fic. Well done RMA! ^_^
    Sep 13, 2015
    Mr.RMA likes this.