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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental. Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 

Many chapters contain brutal violence.

The Mantis Equilibrium - Book Two - 26. Chapter 26 - The Tower

The Bio-Shifts are about to learn who is in their hideout.

“Who’s in there?” Eroli barked from behind Gawa, as S’Kay cautiously entered their hidden hideout.

“Oh,” S’Kay exclaimed in surprise, “it’s you!”

Gawa was clambering through the entrance behind her and declared, “I can’t tell who it is.” She then also saw the unexpected guest. “What are you doing here?” Gawa asked.

S’Kay added, “How did you even find this place?”

Who is it?!” Eroli snapped at the others as he entered.

He came to a halt, face to face with Lahari.

“Tualu came to me,” she said, “and he brought me here. I could tell that someone else had been here recently, and when he left me alone, I figured that I should just wait.” Lahari looked from one of them to the next. “I’ve only been alone here for maybe five minutes. He must have known you were headed this way.”

“But why did Tualu bring you to our hidden space?” Eroli asked.

“Isn’t it obvious?” Gawa replied. “He thinks we need Lahari. We are going to do something important.”

“I’m also curious,” S’Kay added. “Why did he bring you here?”

“Well,” Lahari replied, “since Tualu doesn’t speak, and I don’t know what you lot are up to, I’d say that my curiosities are more pressing. Now, what have you three been doing of late?”

Lahari stayed quiet as her fellow Biological Shifts recounted the details of their recent actions against the Messiahs of Teshon City.

When they finished, there was a quiet moment before Lahari stated, “I know why Tualu brought me here.”

“You do?” asked Gawa.

S’Kay and Eroli looked at Lahari expectantly.

“Yes, we are going after the Principal Messiah,” she informed them. “We will kill everyone we find until their leader has been slaughtered, and we’re not waiting,” she added. “With the battle happening in Gate Town between the Messiahs and our kin, now is the time.”

Eroli began to protest, but the three women stared at him with serious expressions, and he conceded.

A moment later, the four of them were back outside on the old Oselian airstrip. By making their way along it and staying outside of the city, they were able to position themselves only a few blocks from their destination.

A cold winter rain began to fall.

The quartet slipped up over the wall that led back into the streets, and they made their way along a dark alleyway to the base of the Tower. Without warning, Lahari stepped right out and caught a pair of Messiah guards off-guard. Despite their empowered bodies, they were no match to her. The Biological Shift woman with energies like a black hole consumed their lifeforce with brutal devastation. The two were incapable of screaming in the agony that they felt, as their very beings began to diminish. Their dry flesh withered and clung to their bones.

Lahari left them sprawled on the street, like a pair of mummified corpses, but both of them were still breathing. She stepped up to the Messiah Tower and slipped inside. The other three followed her between the massive Oselian steel slabs of the doors.

There was no one within.

Lahari pointed at S’Kay and Eroli, and then at the stairs that lead to a basement level. They began to descend, as she and Gawa headed up in the opposite direction.

Another guard was at the top of the flight, standing in front of a large door. Again, Lahari walked right up to the startled man. She took hold of his face and one of his wrists, and he let out the smallest sound that was barely more than a breath, as she pulled every particle of power from him. His eyes sunk into his skull and his lips peeled back from his teeth; his fingers became skeletal and he who was once formidable fell to the floor like a living skeleton. His ribs rose and fell weakly with his lingering existence.

The door he was guarding would not open for Lahari, but when Gawa unleashed her violet electricity into it, the metal crumbled and fell to a pile of corroded pieces. They entered and a strange smell hit them in the nostrils. Lahari flicked on the lights.

They were both shocked to see the unconscious man with tubes that connected him to several gruesome machines. The sight of him was disturbing, but also heartbreaking. They recognized him.

“That’s the old barkeep from Red Raven’s,” Gawa whispered. “He’s been missing for months. What are they doing to him?”

Lahari walked up to two of the machines and put her hands on them. With the shrill sound of tearing metal, they imploded in on themselves. The equipment was utterly destroyed.

No longer kept chemically incapacitated, the man gasped and his eyes flashed open. He flailed and almost fell off the table.

Gawa grabbed him on one side and Lahari held him on the other.

“It’s us, Gawa and Lahari,” she whispered. “Remember, we used to see you at Red Raven’s? We’re going to get you out of here.”

Realization seemed to hit the man in an instant.

“No!” he snapped back, but his voice was full of urgency. “You have to destroy it. I’m not the only one. This isn’t the only room.” His eyes rolled and his head swam from the torture he suffered.

“Stay with us,” Lahari said, and she slapped his cheek.

He focused again, and repeated, “You have to destroy it. Leave me,” he pleaded. “The only way you can save me and the rest of us who are trapped is to destroy it. Go,” he whispered in a voice full of sorrow, but also relief. Then he yelled, “Go!

Lahari and Gawa turned their backs on him and descended toward the basement and found S’Kay and Eroli on their way back up.

They looked terrifying.

“There are three people down there,” Eroli said through his teeth. “They are attached to machines!”

“I can’t tell if they are Shifts or Humans,” S’Kay added, “but the Messiahs are doing something to them, experimenting or some shit.”

“We know,” Lahari replied.

Gawa nodded and informed S’Kay and Eroli, “We found the man from Red Raven’s who disappeared a while ago.”

Larahi then said to the others, “You know what we have to do.”

“Outside,” S’Kay commanded, and they followed her.

“Take up the cardinal positions,” Lahari directed. “Eroli, go to the east. Gawa, the west. S’Kay, south,” and Lahari took the north. “Give it everything!” she shouted, and the four of them unleashed their energies into the stone of the Messiahs’ temple.

It stood for over two centuries, first above the Oselian base, and then above Teshon City. In its heyday, the Tower was a proud structure. After the fall of Oselia, the concrete sentinel became one of the most feared and avoided buildings.

Above Lahari’s head, the wall of the Tower suddenly appeared to have been pelted with something, but nothing collided with the stone. Little divots of the old concrete burst, and they rained down as grey dust onto the street around her.

The walls above Eroli began to spider-web cracks like a frozen pond that has started to thaw in the early spring.

S’Kay poured her energies up the walls, and the very matter of the Tower itself started to compromise and dissolve.

Gawa sent her purple electricity radiating towards the structure’s summit, and under the attack, the building ruptured.

Run!” Lahari screamed, and the four of them did, each in a different direction.

The Messiah Tower seemed to move in slow motion, buckling then bursting and slowly dropping like a waterfall of stones to the city streets. A raging torrent of dust swirled out in all directions like a tidal wave, and the four Biological Shifts raced away from the devastation

Now, what is going to happen?!

Copyright © 2023 Adam Andrews Johnson; All Rights Reserved.
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Thank you for sticking with my crazy story!

Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental. Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 
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Chapter Comments

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Why didn't Tualu stay and take them there? With him they could have rescued those victims before destroying the building.

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Lahari joined with the three to destroy the messiah tower. Thery found 4 shifts being used in hideous experiments. Now, the symbol of messiah tower and its secure base were no more. 

Who survived? Did the 4 shifts live? Did the principal messiah and any of her followers still exist? Will Lahari and the others need to kill any more remaining messiahs? The messiah's strength must be broken, Will any still left flee the city and no longer threaten the shifts?

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2 hours ago, scrubber6620 said:

Did the 4 shifts live? 


After that? No. Only a Messiah could survive it unless those combined cosmic forces passed through them too.

It does pose the question of where the Principle Messiah was. She evidently wasn't home.


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Well, it looks like the scream from the last chapter was Tchama, unless Lahari screamed when she ran from destroying the building.  

Obviously the Principal Messiah was not at home; so they will still have to battle with her.  Hate that they did not rescue the other shifts or whomever was being held hostage.  Will we even know who they all were?

Why did Tuala bring Lahari and then just leave?  So many unanswered questions...

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It would appear that the Principal Messiah just may be fleeing like Vion, are they heading towards her brother?

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