The year is 2060, a child is kidnapped by an evil scientist who does human experimentation. The boy is pulled into the scientist’s secret underground bunker and is locked in a capsule, alongside the capsules of the scientist’s previous victims. The first, was an attempt to make a human with the ability to control their inner body temperature to the point of flammability, which failed. The second, was to pixilate a human so that they could enter cyberspace, and possibly even, bring objects into the real world. This test failed. The third test, was to genetically apply wings to an animal that didn’t originally have them. This test proved successful, but the victim’s entire body was affected by the genes, turning them into what can only be described as a winged monster… The fourth test, was to pull an individual out of their own universe, and force them into ours, which the scientist achieved using one of his newest machines. Although the test proved successful, the scientist hadn’t had his fill, and decided to retry all the previous tests on the fourth victim. Tests 1 and 3 were successful, however the 2nd test failed yet again. The most recent, named Tivet, was this world’s version of the fourth victim, who the scientist kidnapped to repeat the previous experiments he did on the fourth, and monitor the potentially different results. He only managed to finish the third test when he heard knocking coming from the hatch to the bunker, which he hid in the woods. He knew that if someone had found his bunker, then others would surely follow. He rushed to his machine and began making test runs on sending objects from his universe to others. In a fit of panic, he opened Tivet’s capsule, and threw him into the machine to see if it would send him away. He turned on the machine, only for it to shock Tivet and send an electrical wave through the room. The wave batted the scientist against the wall, killing him instantly. It also opened some of the capsules, releasing the second and third victims. Test 3 immediately flew out of the capsule and began destroying everything, while test 2 fell to the ground and began trying to get up. The machine turned on, which caused Test 2 to right himself immediately, and run as fast it could into the portal. Test 3 began flying towards the portal, but saw Tivet’s unconscious body lying on the ground. For an unknown reason, perhaps out of empathy or maybe pity, Test three picked up Tivet and flew through the portal with him.
Tivet woke up with a small headache, the sound of music echoing in the air. He opens his eyes to finds himself atop the roof of a building. He looks around to find that he’s now in a giant metropolis! He was awestruck, he’d never seen anything like it! There were vehicles in the sky, each beaming with vibrant color! There were no stars in sight, but rather a giant cloud of smog far above the city, given brilliant color from all the lights. It was beautiful, like the Las Vegas Skyline except far more vibrant! Tivet was so enamored by the beauty of it all that he completely forgot his current situation. He was up there for what felt like hours just taking in the view, but was interrupted by a group of excursionists. They were all covered head to toe in white robotic suits, with neon colors all over them. They seemed shocked at seeing him without a suit, at least that’s what he was able to gather, he could hardly tell due to the lack of visibility to their faces the suits caused. He asked who they were, and they just continued to stare in confusion. He left the roof to see the city from the ground to get his bearings, but upon leaving the building, he was apprehended by a group wearing black versions of the robotic suits. He quickly understood that they were the police by how their eyes were flashing blue and red. They took him to some sort of police station and began asking him questions such as who he was, and why he isn’t wearing any form of protection. He didn’t understand how to answer most of the questions, as he himself didn’t understand his own situation, not even knowing why they took him in to begin with. The police left the room for several minutes before someone in a white suit wearing a lab coat came in. He asked one single question, “where are you from”?
Being that all he remembers is going to sleep in his bed and waking up on that roof, and that he’s hardly spoken a word since he first woke up, Tivet finally exploded, “I’m from earth, who the hell are you people!? How did I get here? Where am I!?” The scientist seemed surprised by Tivet’s reaction, but remained dutifully calm. In a controlled demeaner, the scientist stood up, fixed his coat, and said, “You need to come with me”. Tivet was reluctant at first, but complied, as there wasn’t really anywhere else for him to go. He was taken to the Scientists personal lab, where he had everything about him scanned. The scientist and his associates published their discoveries about him, calling him a “genetically modified primitive”, or a GMP. Mere hours after their findings, he became known worldwide, being an extremely valuable look into the past of that world’s humans. As they continued their research, they tried their best to answer all the questions he had. The head scientist’s name was Lucius, and he felt that he had a duty to study and research anything that came about that he considered unnatural, which is a category Tivet fell into perfectly. Apparently, the city is known as Foteinos City, an ecumenopolis which rests atop a giant man-made shell, almost completely wrapping around the whole world. This shell was built hundreds of feet above the original surface as the original builders were trying to build above the clouds that now block out the sun. No one knew who Tivet was, or how he ended up there, as evidenced by how they were treating him. They needed to confirm to him multiple times that he wasn’t dreaming, because he himself didn’t believe that what was happening was actually real. After a full day of research and answering questions, he was given the greenlight to leave the lab. As he was leaving, the scientists gave him a set of tools, including a large white coat with blue highlights to keep him warm, a keycard to rent a room they had prepared for him, and a pair of respirators to breathe through. They told him to come back tomorrow for further testing, and sent him on his way.
He has trouble falling asleep, as now that he can finally rest and think after everything that has happened, the only thing on his mind now is his family, whom he fears he will never get to see again. After several hours of worrying about his situation, He finally manages to close his eyes, but it’s not long after he does that he’s abducted by a group of rouges known as the Epanastasi Of Music. He wakes up weak and hazy, unable to stand up straight. A voice comes from the shadows, “what are your views on the music of this land?” it asks.
“W-what?” He asks, unsure what this is about.
“MUSIC, you incompetent sub-human! What are your views on this lands music!?” It yells at him, almost immediately angered by him not answering.
“I-I like the music here, why?” He responds.
“You like this repetitive, nonstop headache!? You enjoy this hell!?” the voice screamed.
“W-why are you yelling at me? Where am I,” he asked, still tired and confused. The voice stayed reticent for several seconds before a bag went over Tivet’s head. He began struggling before he was batted unconscious. The Epanastasi was so upset by his response, that they decided amongst themselves that they’d cast him off the cliff of the city to the original surface, or “The Lands Below” as they called it, where they believed for sure that he’d be killed.
Upon waking up yet again, he found himself strapped down to a medical bench, inside a small hut that was made of stone. Sitting next to him was a small table with some medical supplies, including rusty tweezers, bandages, and other similar medical tools. He began trying to force himself free, but to no avail. As he was struggling, he began to the remember the tortcherous experiments he woke up in the middle of while he was in that damned lab, in which he was also strapped down in this manner. His brain must have blocked out those memories up until this point because he’s experiencing such a similar event… He began to start panicking, his heart began pumping, and his struggling became far more frantic! He looked over his shoulder as he tried to free one of his arms, and saw several pairs of eyes hiding behind one of the doorways. The creatures these eyes belonged to were obscured from sight due to the shadows in the room they were hiding in, and Tivet began to fear the worst of what they were going to do to him. His heart began to really pound now, as if it wasn’t already before. He yanked his arm, causing the whole bench to jolt, and also causing one of the creatures to gasp in panic. Hearing the gasp, which sounded eerily human, Tivet quickly asked, “W-who are you!? Why am I strapped down!?”
One of the creatures inched closer to the doorway, “We don’t know if you’re dangerous or not, so we restrained you,” it said with a frail voice. Tivet didn’t know how to respond. The only thing he felt he could do now was cry, as he didn’t understand where he was, or why this was all happening. That and all of the stress of the situation was finally getting to him. His crying got the attention of the smaller creature, which cautiously crept out of the darkness to get a closer look at him. As he looks at it, his crying abruptly stops as he sees what it was. It’s raccoon like, but it has a human stature, and large oddly human colored eyes, with white sclera’s and everything! Comparing the size of this one to the others, it appears to be a youth. One of the other creatures in a hushed voice called for it to come back, but it simply ignored them. “He doesn’t look dangawous, he’s cwying,” it said innocently. The one with the frail voice stepped out from the shadows, showing that it too was a creature of the same species. “We will free you, but first you must answer some questions for us,” the old one said unsurely, resting it’s hand on the little one’s shoulder.
Tivet tells them about who he is and his situation, and they seem to be in understanding of it, following along, and even sympathizing with him. The old one motions for the little one to unstrap him from the bench, and they are finally able to properly introduce each other. “I’m Hulfga, the leader of Weepbrooke, one of our largest dwellings, and the one we currently reside in, and this is my granddaughter, Farina,” the old one starts. “One of our scouts found you caught in the nets we set up under the lands above, and brought you to the village.”
Tivet seemed confused, “The lands above?” he asked. Hulfga began walking outside the hut, and Farina grabbed tivet’s hand to pull him along. Now outside, Tivet could see the entirety of Weepbrooke, which was a small town comprised of stone huts all similar in design to the one he woke up in. Farina pulls him over to Hulfga, who is now looking up far above Weepbrooke. Tivet follows his gaze to see what look like giant cracks in the sky. Although the sky is pitch black, these cracks seem to emit light, being slightly brighter than the rest of it, and visibly different. “Oh the lands above, the things I’ve heard about them,” Hulfga says, not breaking his gaze at the site. “That’s where you’re from I imagine?” he asks. Tivet doesn’t know how to answer, because even he isn’t sure where he came from anymore.
“How was I found? And who brought me here?” he asked. Without answering Tivet’s question, Hulfga turned his gaze to the nets he mentioned before. They were giant nets, set up at least twenty meters from the ground each, and all placed directly under the cracks. These nets had hundreds of large objects that had fallen from the city caught within them, and per each net, there were several raccoon people with spears examining each item, determining whether it has use to them or not. “It’s not often living creature’s fall from the lands above, but when they do, they’re usually picked off by the wildlife. You’re lucky,” Hulfga told Tivet.
Tivet looked at him, “thank you for saving me, but do you know any way I could get back up there?” he asked, with a sense of urgency.
“Many of our scouts have found ways up there, but all have been rejected and forced back down by the locals. They don’t seem to like us…” Hulfga paused with a frown.
They both contemplate ways of remedying the situation, before Hulfga comes up with one. “Tivet, if one of our scouts were to escort you back up there safely, do you believe they’d accept us?” he asked, seeming to perk up a bit.
“I see no reason why they wouldn’t. After all, I’ve kind of become popular amongst them,” Tivet replied. Hulfga becomes buoyant, realizing the opportunity they all have. “well then what are we waiting for, let’s get you back where you belong!”
Hulfga gathers the whole town for the event, deciding on who to pick for the job of getting Tivet back to the city. “Who wishes to help this one on his mission to return home?” He asks the crowd. They all remain silent, as they’ve all had their personal experiences trying to get up there to see what it’s like, all being ridiculed and treated like lowly animals. All except one, who is quick to jump to the opportunity. “I will!” a voice shouts from the back. All gazes are turned to where the voice came from. All gazes land upon a female, not much shorter than Tivet himself. “I will do it!” she calls out once more. Seeing who’s saying this, Hulfga complies without question. “Very well then, after you two have taken what you need, you can both make haste,” he said, before calling the rest of the town to come back with him. Hulfga had plans for the rest of the town to decide on a way to greet the people of the city, while Tivet and his new partner gained the people’s trust. After collecting her large bag of supplies, the scout joined Tivet at the edge of town, and they departed, thus starting their adventure. They remained silent toward one another until they were some ways off from the town, where she finally broke the silence. “So, what’s your name? Mine’s Alessya.”she began.
“Hmm? Oh, my name’s Tivet, Tivet Kolher,” He answers.
“Tivet huh? That’s a cool name,” she says, faintly hesitating. “So, forgive my prodding, but why don’t you just fly back up there?” she asks.
“How would I do that?” Tivet asks back, puzzled by her strange question.
“D-do you not know you have wings?” she asks.
(they both go silent for a moment) “I HAVE WHAT!?” he yells hysterically. He ran off the path they were following to a nearby pond to see his reflection, and sure enough, he had wings, big wings, each one about half his length, jutting from his back. He could feel them the whole time since he woke up, but it never registered with him what they were, or that they were even there. It’s amazing he didn’t notice them before! He almost passes out due to the pure shock of the discovery, but is quickly helped up by Alessya. “No Tivet no! We can’t stop out here in the open! If you must rest, we need to get to the forest first,” she yelled at him, trying to pull him back up.
“R-right, sorry” he said dizzily. “How far away is it?”
“Not that far (she pauses, looking over her shoulder), follow me.”
After making it to the woods, Tivet sat down on a rock to examine his wings, while Alessya sat on a downed tree, rummaging through her bag. She pulled out a small map made from some sort of black wood similar to the surrounding trees, and began making marks on it with a screwdriver. “On the way, we’ll need to travel through several dangerous locations. Luckily, I’ve added the closest entrances to this map,” she said, leaning over to show Tivet. Tivet stopped looking at his wings to get a good look at the map. “The closest entrance should be right through this city, which is just less than a rotation from here,” Alessya continues, pointing at the spot on her map.
Tivet takes a look at the map for a few seconds, “what about here? Isn’t this spot closer?” he asks, pointing to a closer, but crossed off area.
“Well, yes but, but we can’t take that route,” she says with slight discomfort in her voice.
“Why not?” Tivet asks.
“Because of the Efialtis that flies in the sky around here. We’re only safe now because of the protection of the trees,” She answers in a fearful state.
“Efialtis?” Tivet asks himself in his head, “what could she mean?” he wonders. He avoids asking her directly, as the slightest mention of it, even coming from her, brings a look of mortal fear into her eyes. “So then, I assume we’ll be traveling through the forest for most of the trip?” he asks her, trying to change the subject.
“Y-yes, that would be the best option,” she says, regaining herself. After spending some time resting, they left for the area on Alessya’s map.
By this point, they had been traveling through the forest for about an hour now, and it’s serene blue glow was helping keep them both awake and alert the whole trip thus far. “So, why did you want to help me, and why didn’t anyone else want to?” Tivet inquired, as he jumped from rock to rock with his wings extended, trying to glide.
“Huh? Oh… I don’t know. The others think I’m kind of unusual, always wanting to explore around where I shouldn’t, but I’ve always loved going to the lands above, getting to see all the lights, and listen to all the sounds, I love it there! That and, well, I wanted to accompany you back… I was the one who first discovered you in the nets,” She answered, slightly hiding her face for what, to Tivet, was an unknown reason. They soon arrived at the entrance Alessya had crossed off, which was directly intersecting their path. It was a giant pillar going straight up to the city, most likely a support beam for the upper surface. There was a door on it, but it had been sealed shut, likely to keep creature’s below from using it to get up into the city. Climbing also wasn’t an option, as a horizontal barbed wire fence had been placed around the structure, blocking the way up. “Last time I was here the spikes weren’t blocking it, they must have been put up recently…” Alessya said under her breath.
“This is one of the ways to the city?” Tivet asked.
“It was, but it’s better off blocked like this, no one else will be trying to use it.” she remarked. The journey continued as soon as they passed the blocked entrance, with both of them eating a bit of food from Alessya’s bag.
The Duo had finally arrived at the spot Alessya had marked on her map, the area in which the entrance lies. Surrounding it was a destroyed city, except this town wasn’t like the sprawling megapolises on the higher surface. This city mirrored that of one from Tivet’s world, where there was little technology in comparison, and where there weren’t so many lights. Not that it would matter how many lights the place had, as they were all long dead by now… “What happened here,” Tivet asked rhetorically. As they walked into the wrecked town, a cold silence fell upon them. The wastes seemed completely lifeless, with the only vegetation around being long dully glowing vines that were growing along the walls of some of the buildings. Although the buildings weren’t all that tall, they still managed to obscure the view of the Foteinos entrance, which seemed to be at the center of the ruin. “Okay, we’re almost there, but we’ll need to split up from here to find it,” Alessya said, turning around to face Tivet.
“Split up? Why would we do that? Haven’t you already been here?” Tivet asked, directly showing that he didn’t want to split up.
“Well, no, I haven’t technically been here,” she stammered, “I marked this place on my map when I had a better view of it from the last entrance…”
“So, you want us to split up, in an unknown territory?” He asked, once again signaling that he did not want to separate.
“I’m sure it’ll be fine, after all, this place doesn’t seem to have much activity. It should be safe enough,” she said, trying to reassure Tivet. They took to two separate roads, Tivet taking the road to their right, and Alessya taking the one directly ahead.
As they separated, a strange, familiar feeling began to envelope Tivet’s mind. One similar to the feeling that he’d felt on that bench in Weepbrooke, an inkling of being watched… Tivet didn’t know where, or how, but something was watching him, closely watching him. The dead silence in the air helped him block out the feeling though, and he went on exploring the city, now jumping from car to car, once again trying to glide. He finally manages to do so for several seconds, and shouts with joy at his success. His happiness is interrupted though, by the sound of scratching coming from above him He looks up to see a pebble falling from the building nearest to him, and glances even further up to see where it came from. His eyes meet those of a giant black bird. The bird looks about as big as him, maybe larger, and its eyes, it’s giant gray eyes, they seemed to stare right through him. It’s completely black pelt made it nearly impossible to see, however one of the glowing vines on the building it was resting on was giving off just enough light to illuminate it’s ghastly body. It stares down at him, completely motionless for several seconds before loudly cawing, and swooping down towards Tivet. Seeing where Alessya is, the only things she’s come across are destroyed buildings, and little to no visibility to the entrance. She’s digging through the rubble of what used to be a structure, and appears to be searching for something, when she hears a loud caw, followed by a wail of terror coming from several buildings behind her. “Alessya!” She hears Tivet shout with dread. She immediately drops what she’s doing, and bolts in his direction. As the giant crow extends it’s talons to grab Tivet, who is still trying to get away, Alessya jumps through the bushes and leaps at him, pushing him barely out of the crow’s reach. It soars far into the air, makes another loud caw, and begins descending once more. As it swoops down, several more black shapes can be seen following behind it. Tivet quickly gets up, grabs Alessya by her wrist, and makes a mad dash for the nearest building. They both sprint through the doorway, and Tivet just manages to close it when the crow slams against it, trying to break it down. Without a second’s notice, they run deep into the building, and hide in a storage closet, waiting for the sounds of the slamming to stop. “Was that the monster you were talking about earlier?” Tivet quietly asked Alessya.
“No, if the Efialtis were here, we wouldn’t be alive now,” she replied.
“What is the Efialtis, and why are you so afraid of it?” Tivet asked Alessya. Without saying a word, Alessya pulled out the screwdriver she was using to mark her map, and began drawing a shape in the dirt that littered the room. This shape she drew was scary to behold, although using the word scary is a great understatement. The form seemed almost nightmarish. She dropped the screwdriver, now having finished, and looked to Tivet for reaction. There were no words Tivet could come up with to describe what he was looking at, as the only feeling he felt from gazing upon it was shock. She got up and left the room, not wanting to look at her own drawing anymore, and Tivet soon followed, looking back once more, taking one last mental note of the monster that haunted his friend’s mind. They made their way to the back entrance of the building, which doubled as an exit from the city. “On the count of three, we will run as fast as we can out of here and back to the forest,” Alessya whispered to Tivet.
“Wait, I have an idea,” he interrupted. “what if we were to go through these buildings, straight to the entrance? While I was looking around outside, I noticed that all the buildings here are connected in some way, some being connected by walls, and others being connected by skyways. If we take the right path through here, we could arrive at the entrance in no time,” he told Alessya. She agreed to Tivet’s plan, and they departed into the maze of halls, looking for the right path to take…
Now deep within the corridors of the ruin, the two were managing to find their way around, having a sort of sense of where they were heading. Although the feeling of being watched still hadn’t subsided from Tivet, he began to ignore it, thinking that it was simply fear. The thought however that it was just fear was quickly quelled, when they found a wall that had large claw markings on it. The creature that made them could’ve been as big as a bear, seeing as the marks had dragged themselves straight through it. Further down the same corridor, one of the walls had completely collapsed, connecting two of the hallways of the building together. Alessya and Tivet both began to become nervous, as whatever it was that created those markings, could still be in there with them… and it was. A low-pitched growl could be heard from the darkness behind them. When Alessya looked in the direction of the growl, she couldn’t see what was making it, but when Tivet looked in the same direction, he could see light splotches that formed the shape of a big cat like creature! The creature’s full appearance was hidden by the darkness, but its spots seemed to reflect the light in the room, making its shape completely visible. “what is it? What are you looking at,” Alessya asked Tivet mutedly?
“You, you can’t see it?” Tivet asked Alessya, almost petrified with fear.
“Let’s get out of here,” Alessya shakenly pleaded with Tivet. Tivet nodded, and they slowly began backing away. Without any sudden movements, they slowly moved down the hallway, and around the broken wall to the next one. Hiding behind the corner of the broken-down wall, they waited for the creature to do something, perhaps make a sound, maybe present itself before it finished the two of them off, anything. Nothing happened though, and the moment felt like forever. “On the count of three, we run,” Alessya whispered to Tivet.
“But you can’t see the creature, how will you get away?” Tivet asked in a hushed fashion. They both thought for a bit, before Alessya got an idea. She reached into her bag, pulled out a small sash she had picked up outside, and tied it around both of their wrists. “You lead, I’ll follow” she said, getting ready to run for it. Tivet gulped with fear, and prepared himself for the escape.
They rushed past the broken wall, heading down the hallway in a mad dash! The monster immediately began giving chase. Corridor after corridor, it seemed almost as though They were running in circles. They shut several doors only for the monster, in it’s unrelenting hunt, to smash right through them! The two ran for half an hour nonstop until they were sure that they’d made distance with the creature, and even then, they stayed alert to every sound they heard. Thinking they were safe enough, Alessya pulled Tivet over to a window. They weren’t far from the entrance to Foteinos, but they still had some distance to cover, and the same growling from before could now be heard coming from close by. The next set of hallways barring their arrival to the entrance had no windows, and were completely pitch black. What’s worse Is that the growling from before could be heard coming from one of the rooms near them. Tivet looked into Alessya’s eyes; “Alessya, the rest of the path is too dark for me to see, I’ll need you to guide me through. If I spot the leopard, I’ll tell you,” Tivet said to Alessya hurriedly.
“What do you mean? It’s not dark in there at all,” Alessya replied back, confused by Tivet’s order.
“Just my point, you lead the way,” Tivet told Alessya, quickly trying to get them moving again. Without time to question, Alessya grabbed Tivet’s hand, and went into the darkness. They were once again running hallway through hallway, except now Alessya was leading the way, with Tivet yelling for her to move whenever he saw the colored pattern of the monster. The two were finally closing in on the entrance, and they could see light coming from the other side of the door, but the cat-like creature appeared in front of them, blocking the path to freedom. In one quick motion, Tivet opened his wings, picked up Alessya, and jumped over the leopard, hoping that he’d be able to glide. To his relief, it worked! He glid right over the beast, landing past it, and opening the door! They ran out, and shut the door as fast as possible. The monster began slamming against it, trying to break free, but luckily, the metal door wouldn’t budge.