Immortopia, p.1

Immortopia, page 1

 

Immortopia
 



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Immortopia


  CONTENTS

  Dedication

  Acknowledgements

  About the author

  Also by the author

  Prologue

  Chapter One: Magic to Tragic

  Chapter Two: Blood Sweat And Fears

  Chapter Three: The Animals Went In Two By Two

  Chapter Four: Gods And Robbers

  Chapter Five: The Identity Grief

  Chapter Six: Divide And Conker

  Chapter Seven: A Good Day To Try Hard

  Chapter Eight: Single Witch Female

  Chapter Nine: A Tail Of Two Cities

  Chapter Ten: A Clear And Pleasant Danger

  Chapter Eleven: Return Of The Loving Dead

  Epilogue One

  Epilogue Two

  Copyright

  “You are untrustworthy and pure evil,

  but we can work with that.”

  DEDICATION

  This book is dedicated

  to

  Marie Maguire

  Gerard Higham

  and

  Chloe Pilgrim

  Thank you for bringing me into the world and raising me with love and respect for others.

  You have always stood beside me with so much patience.

  It is the ride of a lifetime being your son, one I will never forget.

  I will always love you.

  ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

  Can’t quite remember when I started this book, but it was fun and different to write, even though it took longer to finish due to me producing a short film whilst writing it.

  It’s basically the same roll call as the last book, but let’s add some more names to spice it up a bit.

  Well, the family as always have continued to support me in my little ventures and I thank them for that and thanks to the following people who helped out this ‘Silly Goose’.

  Dexter ‘Rudy’ Roberts for his tech support, midwifery terms from Tara Billinge, my editor Natasha Wagner.

  Also, the whole duration crew (Saturdays wouldn’t be the same without at least one of you turning up!), Beehive Illustrators, Sanjay Charlton, Louise Winther, the doctors and nurses at Milton Keynes hospital.

  Plus Daniel Alexander and all the cast and crew of the ‘Dominant Species’ film, thank you so much for bringing all these characters to life, from script to screen.

  Cheers to all the people who paid good money to read my books, I really do appreciate the support from you.

  ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  Kingsley Pilgrim lives in Milton Keynes and no longer considers himself an actor, as all of his agents have finally left him. When he isn’t writing he likes to produce short films, watch cartoons early on Saturday mornings and eat cheese and red onion sandwiches

  CONTACT

  Kingsleypilgrim.co.uk

  Twitter:@Kingsleyland

  Guess. Try. Hope.

  ALSO BY THE AUTHOR

  In the Dominant Species Saga

  Paintshark

  Glimmerfin

  PROLOGUE

  Planet Rayash

  The planet was beautiful with enormous forests and vast vegetation. Its oceans had the weirdest and most wonderful creatures swimming in its waters.

  Magnificent buildings across hundreds of cities touched the tops of the sky, grand in every sense of the word. Rayash was truly a great world filled with sentient beings, loving the life they led and working hard to provide a better life for all their families.

  But all that didn’t matter now as the planet was on the verge of shaking itself apart. Giant, winged creatures tried in vain to haul themselves away from the crumbling forestry; it wasn’t the falling branches that halted their escape, they were overcome from the now noxious gasses creeping out from deep inside the planet itself. They fell down, crashing into the trees they once called home.

  The planet was falling apart, breaking up from the inside, countless earthquakes and volcanic eruptions sent seismic waves of energy travelling through layers upon layers of the planet’s crust. Rayash was doomed.

  Solar plasma flares from the sun it orbited had become more frequent. Rings of plasma occasionally reached Rayash, which at first only slightly interrupted the technology. But now the plasma flares were erupting from the sun’s surface at a tremendous rate and they rained down on the planet.

  The destruction of the planet wasn’t the first of the problems for its inhabitants – that was the virus. Nobody knew why it had happened, but it started with the rats in the city of Kornush. People said that two huge rats appeared from the forest first with glowing red eyes. They scuttled out from the trees completely changed, their eyes were bright and had a haunted feel to them. Their movement was strange and unconvincing, eyes bulging and tongues protruding wildly, and they infected the city rats.

  Curious children bent down to look at the odd, moving creatures and were instantly attacked, the rats swarmed around them and bit and chewed at their tiny legs. Some larger rats found the remarkable ability to jump, which they did with ease, viciously tearing at the crying children’s cheeks. The rats clung fast as their skin was pulled away. There was a turning point with the children, as they were bitten by the hordes of rats. Foam appeared at their mouths and they had to be restrained by fearful adults as they were overcome by a violent rage. They kicked and punched and found any weapon to kill anybody close by, which in most cases were their parents, murdering with fits of extreme anger.

  Crowds ran in panic as the children turned into violent, unthinking animals; people were trampled to death, trying to escape as the age range of the victims grew and adults entered the fray of extreme anger. The hospitals of Kornush were filled with violent patients, both adults and children strapped down to trolleys and beds for their own safety and the safety of the doctors and nurses around them.

  The people who had suffered rat bites became ill very quickly, their eyes changed colour and they needed to cause violence and destroy, but after a while they stopped fighting, stopped caving in the heads of their loved ones and neighbours, because they died. The infected just collapsed to the ground or went silent whilst pinned to the hospital trolleys. But shortly afterwards, they were awake again. They came back to life no longer craving violence, this time they needed to feed, and just like the rats, they needed blood.

  Nobody ever saw those two giant rats again, some people say that they were perched on the shoulders of a bloodied, naked lady, who was biting people and laughing as she did so. Everybody was attacking people at the same time and some were indeed naked as they did so, but only one was laughing.

  CHAPTER ONE:

  Magic to Tragic

  Earth 65: Heffernan City underground tube station, Central line, 25 miles away. One day after the virus broke out in Olympia City.

  It was late and the passengers were tired, the old-style train rumbled along the rough, battered tracks, shaking more than it should be due to the lack of maintenance on the rails. The train had seven carriages, dirty on the outside and even worse inside. It had been another hot day and the night wasn’t that much cooler, the stench from the day of sweaty passengers hung in the air for the unfortunate nightshift.

  Commuters were on their way home from jobs they hated, they worked even longer hours now due to boredom more than anything else, plus nothing to go home to; the TV ban wasn’t in force like in Olympia, but there was still nothing much on to watch and internet restrictions had been upgraded.

  The most popular entertainment people now was placing bets to see who could break through the walls of Big Man’s Messiah complex first, hundreds of people used to gather outside with picnic baskets and cans of cheap beer and just sit and watch others launch stones and other projectiles at the impenetrable building.

  Quite a few of the passengers had just come
back from the complex and were tired and desperate to get home before the wilder inhabitants of Olympia joined their train. Heffernan City neighboured Olympia, a much smaller city, but the influence of Big Man and his game show still poured over its residents.

  A balding man with sweat patches underneath his armpits wiped his brow and shuffled uneasily in his suit, keeping his briefcase close to his chest, nervously eying up his fellow travellers.

  A woman with her friend sat close together as she discussed intimate details about her date the night before; they giggled and pointed at the pictures she had on her phone. Two teenage lovers were wrapped around each other on one of the far seats. They wriggled around in each other’s arms like two octopi trapped in a fishermen’s net.

  The girl’s tongue easily probed inside the mouth of her boyfriend as she pulled him even closer to her, kissing him fiercely, she pulled away only to stroke her lover’s hair and look dreamily into his eyes.

  “Love you.”

  “Love you more,” he replied quickly as not to earn a rebuke from his girlfriend.

  “Thank you,” she said, “Thank you for taking care of me.”

  He gave her a long, loving look and put his finger to her lips.

  “You don’t have to say thank you, I love you with everything I have.”

  The girl pulled in a deep breath and closed her eyes, clenching her tiny fists with her boyfriend’s shirt as she hauled him closer to her.

  “Correct answer, mister.”

  She left his embrace and straddled on top of him, sitting happily on his lap.

  “Let’s see what’s in here,” she said, slowly unbuttoning his trousers.

  The other passengers tried to look away, embarrassed by the lovesick antics of the teenagers, only a few with voyeuristic tendencies kept watch.

  The door at the other end of the carriage opened and some more youths breezed through. Looking up from her boyfriend. The girl heard the door snap shut as the group walked through. A youth, massive in size, led his friends into the train, two girls and two boys followed the dark-skinned boy as he weaved his way in between the legs of the weary passengers, who tried to withdraw them quickly as not to cause trouble, apart from the lovers who went on kissing.

  Tripping over the boyfriend’s outstretched legs, the big kid raised his hands.

  “HEY! PUT YOUR FEET IN, MAN!”

  The young lover held up a hand as if to silence the leader of the gang, which enraged him further, his voice, older than his years, boomed through the train.

  “WHAT? YOU THINK YOU’RE FUNNY NOW, PUNK?”

  Slowly shifting his girlfriend to one side, the boyfriend spoke.

  “Sorry? You talking to me?”

  The rest of the carriage anticipated trouble and moved away quickly, as did the girlfriend.

  “Just leave it, Kane.”

  Lacy, the girlfriend, turned to the group.

  “Please, we don’t want any trouble.”

  The gang leader slicked his hand over his short black hair, looking at the girl through shades.

  “I’m sorry, but lover boy here has really pissed me off.”

  His stare returned to Kane.

  “Think you’re a bad boy now? Want me to mess you up?”

  The crowd of kids behind him grew rowdier.

  Cameo, a jaw-dropping, stunning blonde girl, dressed from head to toe in black leather, snarled at the couple.

  “Mess him up, Achilles.”

  “Stomp on him, man,” hissed Harley, a tall boy with a ginger mohawk.

  Another girl with long black hair and a hint of authority tried to stand with her arms folded, but couldn’t as the carriage rocked from side to side; Sully sucked her teeth in annoyance, bored of the whole scenario.

  “Just beat him up and let’s be done with this, Achilles.”

  Poxon, a larger boy, bit down hungrily on a chocolate bar, a piece fell from the packet on to the train floor, he greedily stooped down to pick it up and eyed up Lacy’s fearful face as he rammed the remains into his mouth.

  “I think we should keep the girl for ourselves, teach the bitch a lesson.”

  He scratched at his neck after he spoke, a rash was appearing.

  Tears began to trickle down Lacy’s face, she shivered from the fright that now crawled over her body.

  “Please don’t,” she pleaded again.

  Achilles, the strapping leader, whispered to the sniffling girl, “Sorry girl, once we sort out your boyfriend, we’ll sort you out too.”

  Kane rose from his seat and looked at the young giant, his eyes barely meeting Achilles’ chin.

  “You lay one hand on her head and I’ll kill you, stupid prick.”

  The big teenager stared long and hard at Kane.

  “What did you call me?”

  Lacy was crying harder now, “PLEASE LEAVE US ALONE!”

  “Shut her up please.”

  Cameo grabbed the hysterical girl with force and pulled her away from her lover. Before Kane could react Achilles reached for his neck and lifted him off his feet with terrifying ease, “I repeat the question, what did you call me?”

  Kane squirmed in Achilles’ grasp and kicked at the huge boy, his blows coming to nothing against Achilles’ muscled legs, he managed a breathless gasp.

  “I called you a prick, I called you a stupid prick!”

  Achilles grinned and responded in a quieter voice than Kane.

  “Time to die then.”

  He didn’t blink, he just casually threw Kane hard onto the dirty train floor, he eased his massive frame on top of him and began to punch his face.

  “STOP IT! GET OFF OF HIM!” Lacy screamed.

  Achilles’ fists continued to rain down on Kane as Lacy struggled in Cameo’s grasp.

  “WHO’S THE PRICK NOW EH? WHO’S THE PRICK?”

  The frightened passengers fled their seats, some ran back through the closest doors to them on the train, whilst the others were eager to witness the free entertainment and stayed to watch.

  “GET OFF OF ME!” Kane shouted.

  Achilles didn’t respond, he just increased his punching speed on Kane’s face.

  “YOU’RE HURTING ME!” Kane implored. Achilles continued his blows, “STOP HURTING ME!” he continued.

  Lacy screamed and tried to rush forward, but Cameo’s grip was firm and quite deceiving for her slender frame.

  Sully looked at her watch, bored, “Hurry up and finish him.”

  “OW! OW! OW! PLEASE GET OFF!”

  Kane’s words slowed down and then he finally stopped and held a frightened stare at Achilles as the huge fist hesitated, trembling before the final blow. The passengers looked on scared and intrigued in equal measure. Suddenly Kane burst out laughing, “Sorry, sorry I can’t hold this shit in anymore!” Achilles rolled off of Kane and brushed himself down, “Look at the state of my trousers,” he moaned. All the girls were giggling, including Sully who forced a smile.

  The passengers knew from the smiles of the teenagers that they had been duped as Kane rolled around the seat in hysterics. The gang hadn’t asked for money or tried to rob them and it did make the laborious trip home slightly more interesting.

  Achilles ushered the others around him and made them all stand in a line between the isles and cleared his throat, “Thank you for showing an interest in our little demonstration tonight, but the show is over and I want your cash credits as soon as I finish speaking or else there will be trouble.” This bought gasps of shock from the crowd with looks of frightened concern thrown in, “Just kidding, folks.” Achilles waved his hands in the air to calm down the early panic, “I’m messing with you.”

  Cameo, an immaculately beautiful girl, slunk in between Lacy and Poxon, her voice a cool relaxed calm.

  “Excuse my friend, he can be such a tease.” She felt the cheek of Achilles with her palm and rubbed it teasingly, “What he was trying to say is that you have been lucky enough to catch a show from the young Heffernan Players, we’re a drama group based on
the north side and we spend our nights entertaining the weary travellers on the tube home from a hectic day at work, all we ask in return for a distraction from your daily grind is a small donation.” The crowd moaned again as Cameo continued, “You can give as little or as much as you like, but our labour is merely entertaining our Heffernan brothers and sisters.”

  Achilles bent down and whispered into Kane’s ear, “Heffernan brothers and sisters?”

  “Yeah, she’s been reading and rehearsing new lines, got them from the new drama teacher.”

  “Bet that’s not all he’s been giving her,” Achilles grinned.

  The friends bumped fists as Cameo bought her speech to an end.

  “My friends will be going down the carriage for your most grateful donations, so it just remains for me to say thank you once more for enjoying a night of urban theatre from the new Heffernan Players.”

  On her last word, they walked forward to link hands, looking proudly at each other from their night’s work, Achilles, Cameo, Kane, Lacy, Poxon, Harley and Sully all bowed to the left, right and centre to their train audience and then just let Poxon wander through the train to collect the money, using his hat as a collection bowl.

  Sully let the crowd continue to huff amongst themselves and pulled Achilles aside.

  “How long do we have to keep this up? Wasting our nights collecting shrapnel from the walking dead?”

  “Don’t call them that, they’re just tired from travelling up and down the city for work, Olympia still hasn’t recovered from Big Man’s fallout.”

  Sully pulled her long hair up and began tying it, “So why the sudden show of concern?”

  Achilles looked in her eyes unflinchingly, “Because it was these same people, the same ‘walking dead’ who funded our college trip, how long ago did we know about it? Six months ago maybe? So we had to do this charade every night along every underground line in all the districts until we had enough money.”

 
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