Part One: The Fire
The previously intact—although it was severely dilapidated--mansion was now covered in flames; the floors tumbling on top of one another. The Grave Collector watched in pleasure as the house turned to ruble; he had hoped that Dr. Belanger was trapped in the unnatural disaster—that wasn’t the case.
Instead the middle aged human ran from the scene, soot covering his lab coat and face. His face usually sported a devilish grin, but he now had a crazed look in his eyes; the dark brown—nearly black—orbs scanned his surroundings every few seconds as he ran.
The Grave Collector was too busy admiring his work to notice the mad scientist running away. No, he was much too busy avenging his creator.
His creator was partners with Belanger, and when death came upon him he told Belanger to use his body in the name of science. However Belanger went against the doctor’s wishes and mutilated his corpse.
The Grave Collector was fond of his creator and was greatly offended by Belanger’s deviancy, which was why he had burnt down the mansion. The mansion was much too dear to Belanger; it contained nearly every one of the animated corpses he had experimented with, and all of the cybernetic nightmare data he had been collecting.
The escape of the barmy doctor was unknown to The Grave Collector until the mansion was but mere ash and rubbish. The Grave Collector had thought that Belanger was in the house, the belief brought elation to his hideous face. However when an acquaintance came to see what remained of the house, his hopes were deflated.
“Oh, Grave Collector,” the stumpy man said, “Why did Robert not take you with him?” Robert was the first name of the doctor the Grave Collector hated so very much.
The Grave Collector could only shrug and push his grey eyebrows together in confusion. His creator and Belanger had sewn his mouth closed for reasons he was unsure of; that left him with very little communication skills.
“You didn’t know?” The Grave Collector shook his head ‘no’. “He ran past my propriety like a blood-thirsty leech.” The man, Fredrick Mason, had a great abhorrence for Vampires, due to the fact that his wife and child were devoured by a coven.
The Grave Collector was angered by this revelation; here he had thought he had destroyed the monster who had defied his creator. He had thought that justice had been served; the true beast was slayed but he was wrong, instead the man ran rapid.
The Grave Collector hadn’t a clue as to what to do. Did he try and chase him? How in the Cyberhell would even have a clue as to the whereabouts of Belanger? And also, what was he to do now? The Grave Collector was only a few years old and had never before had to fend for himself. He obeyed his creator and Belanger; when the stitches that held his appendages to his rotted torso together tore, his creator fixed them. He had never been on his own for such a long amount of time, and his home was now destroyed leaving him no where to go. However, the short amounts of time he spent collecting corpses for his creator and the doctor to reanimate had given him some insight to how the world outside of his home ran.
He did know that this world was a dangerous place. He didn’t have to worry about being attacked by the same monsters humans came to fear. Vampires did not want rotted blood, zombies did not care to feed on decomposed flesh—nor did werewolves or any other creatures. So maybe fending for himself wouldn’t be as hard as he had once thought.
Tracking was not something he had ever tried, or even seen anyone else doing. It would just take some careful thought and the right people. People who knew there way around, and that could defend themselves and The Grave Collector all at the same time. Someone strong too, so that they could help kill off Belanger.
Yes, The Grave Collector was already planning on create a diminutive army. Maybe army is too strong a word, perhaps clan or even group was better.
After a few more words exchanged between Fredrick and The Grave Collector, Fredrick turned away from the ruined propriety and walked back to his modest desert home. The Grave Collector knew of the business Fredrick did; he was a vampire slayer dead-set on avenging his deceased loved ones. Not many vampires roamed these lands but every so often some would pass through and Fredrick would ‘take care’ of them. On rare occasions he would even travel to neighboring countries to try eradicating them.
The Grave Collector believed it was only luck keeping Fredrick alive, for he had seen a vampire attack once.
It was a dark night in the desert and severely cold, the moon shone high in the sky. The Grave Collector had been sent out to collect dead bodies for his masters to experiment on; it was what he had been created for. Several times a week he was sent away to various places in the country—sometimes to neighboring nations—to collect the corpses.
That night went the same as all of the other missions until three pale figures stepped into the picture. They were all females; one was tall—nearly as tall as The Grave Collector—with very dark hair that made her chalky complexion even more prominent. The others flanked her, looking as equally attractive as the leader of the small coven. The woman on her right had bright blonde hair; the other woman was much younger looking than the other two, perhaps seventeen. She was petite with long mahogany hair.
The trio attacked a group of men, soldiers The Grave Collector had assumed. They had attracted the group to them, and then turned to demons right in front of them just before attacking—they were succubus vampires. The leader had acknowledged The Grave Collector’s presence, and told him in a thick accent, “Ah, a grave collector; do you want these bodies?” After he had agreed with a nod, the three loaded the bodies up in less than a second.
That had happened only ten weeks ago.
Having recollected those thoughts The Grave Collector considered finding some vampires willing to help. Most everyone would not be against destroying Belanger, for he created cybernetic nightmares. Cybernetic nightmares were beyond dangerous for every species, alive or not. The other creatures and humans would want to destroy the creator before he had created any cybernetic nightmares.
Only one cybernetic nightmare had ever been created, and it killed its creator and went on to destroy everything in its path. It took thousands to defeat the creation, thousands of lives lost but at least the sacrifice did not go in vein. That was decades ago, so The Grave Collector had not seen the carnage for himself. He knew of the hazards cybernetic nightmares brought upon everyone, his creator had informed him shortly after he had been generated.
Yes, cybernetic nightmares were dangerous but the true hazard lay in the one who held all of the knowledge of how to create them.
Part Two: Recruiting
Days turned into weeks, weeks turned into months—two actually—and The Grave Collector had begun to lose hope. He had wondered alone in the desert for most of the time only seeing skeletons as he traveled. Luckily his body did not need the basic nutrition to survive the expedition.
After eight weeks of wondering, he finally encountered someone. The size of the man intimidated him but he still pursued the seven-foot human who carried an advanced looking battle axe. The man had not been paying attention and was slightly startled when The Grave Collector tapped his elbow.
“What you want?” His words were slurred, so The Grave Collector made the assumption that the giant man was from far out east. Looking at him so closely, The Grave Collector noticed his deformed face; nearly half of it was burnt to a crisp and the rest of it was covered in large sores.
Unable to verbally communicate with him, The Grave Collector tapped his mouth and shrugged.
“You want I cut?” Obviously the man was not an intellectual being, but that did not faze The Grave Collector. He simply nodded a silent, ‘yes’.
The Grave Collector did not feel any pain, but that was normal. Having never spoken in this body, he was curious to hear his voice.
“Thank-You,” He told the giant, “Now, may I ask of you another favor?”
After he learned that the man went by the title of ‘The Annihilator’, The Grave Collector explained the entire situation to him, leaving out no details. The Annihilator agreed to The Grave Collectors request to join him in defeating Belanger.
“I go.” He said in his deep voice, “My ‘faher die from cybernegik ‘ight-mar.” The next moment was filled with the hushed tones of the wind and the warm dessert sand stirring. “Wha’ you nam?” he asked when the silence became too uncomfortable for the two.
“Oh, well everyone refers to me as, ‘The Grave Collector’ but my true name is Hendrick.” No one ever called him by his real name; actually his creator simply named him but never called him that. The Grave Collector did not care that no one knew him as Hendrick, trivial things like that did not matter to him. He knew that he was created for a purpose and it was to serve his master as he see fit, but not that his master was dead perhaps he should find a new purpose for himself. He knew that he could find another scientist to assist but those things could be thought about later; The Grave Collector had bigger things to worry about for the time being.
Recruiting The Annihilator had been a brilliant idea; he knew his way around better than most of the population. For a week they walked through tiny towns, looking for others to help out with the grand mission of defeating Belanger. The Annihilator was very optimistic during their travels; The Grave Collector was too for the most part.
Eleven days after they had begun journeying with one other they encountered several walking parasites—also known as zombies in different parts of Evil Earth. They showed no interest in The Grave Collector, but they did try to pursue The Annihilator.
Three of them flocked around him; no fear was visible to The Grave Collector, he doubted that many things did frighten The Annihilator. The rotted trio tried to approach him, but the effort went in vein. The Annihilator latched onto two of their heads, and twisted them off of their bodies. Blood flew everywhere, including The Grave Collector; dark red blood dripped off of his face. This really did not trouble him; being a grave collector, he had dealt with a fair amount of blood, organs, and corpses. The Annihilator grabbed his battle axe and sliced off the other ones head. Then—going at a very fast speed—chopped each of the craniums in thirds.
“They die.” Though he wasn’t that bright, he could defeat his enemies in under a minute with a mere battle axe.
“Hey, hey, hey, hey!” The duo could not find the person the voice belonged to; they looked around for a moment before giving up. “Down here.” The gravely voice said again.
Looking down, The Grave Collector and The Annihilator saw that there was in fact a small man dressed like a clown. He stood in at maybe four foot three; no wonder the other men had not seen him they were both over six foot tall.
“What might be the problem?” The Grave Collector asked.
“You just killed some of my goons!” He exclaimed. “Coulda’ asked before ya’ killed them.”
“He go afer’ me.” The Annihilator retorted.
“Pssh’ so….” The clown licked his painted lips and said, “Say, where are you two heading?”
“We are trying to track down an enemy of mine.” The possibilities of recruiting someone else were running around in The Grave Collector’s head; this clown could surely help. “What did you say your name was?”
“I didn’t.” They were in a woodsy area, the leaves brushed against one another, “But who cares?” He asked rhetorically, “Names, Stabby. As in, you stab me, I stab you. Stabby.”
“Very well…Stabby.” The Grave Collector went into his explanation of his mission, and asked the clown to join him; all the while The Annihilator nodded in encouragement, but never interrupted.
“I’m in.” He said after only seven minutes, “But…you won’t be bossing me around….” He hinted that The Grave Collector supply his name at the end of his sentence—The Grave Collector got the point.
“I go by The Grave Collector or Hendrick—whichever you prefer.”
“Okay, Hendrick. I don’t take orders; got it?”
“That is perfectly fine with me.” The Grave Collector was too thrilled by the addition to his group to worry about that.
Stabby happened to be very good at tracking and finding the signs of Belanger with the information that The Grave Collector had given him, and The Annihilator was good with directions; together they made an efficient team.
“Where are we?” The Grave Collector asked on a hot afternoon.
“Dis Murderworld.” There were dark rocks surrounding them, nearly shadowing them from the cruel sun. The roads were not really roads at all, but more paths made from travelers. Dark trails lead to unknown places, intriguing The Grave Collector.
Part Three: The Escape
Belanger had traveled a great distance in order to reach his destination of Cyberhell, but he had lost his way and somehow ended up in tunnels of skulls. He had encountered several people but they all looked unapproachable in their own ways; some wore tattered clothes, others just had blood thirsty looks in their eyes. Every time Belanger passed another person he came up with his own creative excuses that had nothing to do with the fact that he was too scared but refused to admit it—even to himself.
He had been wandering, trying to find where he had stashed most of his research on cybernetic nightmares several years ago but he was not skilled at finding his way around Evil Earth. No one had scoped the entire land so it was unsure to all the exact size of the planet and where everything was. Of course there were that who knew there way around their continent but that was purely memorization.
“…New comers.” A woman had said to another grungy woman; Belanger had been eavesdropping as he tried—unsuccessfully to find an exit in the catacomb.
“Yes, I saw.” The voice of the elderly woman was raspy, her skin was worn like ancient leather and her wild locks of grey hung all the way down her back. “Three men, one was a giant the other small, and the last was a grave collector.” The last part of the ancient woman’s babbling had caught Belanger’s attention.
Forgetting his fear of these filthy people, Belanger marched up to the pair of females with questions to ask.
“Ma’am,” He said pointedly at the older woman, “You say, you saw a grave collector?”
“Yes…what’s it to you?”
“I lost my grave collector many miles back and I have been trying to track him down, could you maybe take me to him?” Belanger knew that The Grave Collector was aware of the fact that he could create cybernetic nightmares, and it was blatantly obvious that The Grave Collector held a grudge against him.
Belanger’s partner, Denis Hyde, had requested that when death came upon him that he experiment on his body in the name of science. Belanger had instead mutilated the corpse, which had angered the imbecile grave collector.
The women had agreed to take him to see The Grave Collector and his friends so that he could simply slice out The Grave Collectors vital organs and move on with his plans. Such a hassle, the help had become.
He thanked the women after they led him to the man he needed to see, and made sure they were out of sight before he killed The Grave Collector and his friends. However, after taking a look at The Grave Collector’s new companions he knew that would not be a wise idea.
“Belanger.” The Grave Collector sneered at him; his companions tensed for a fight at the sound of his name. “So it seems you found us as opposed to the other way around.”
“Yes.” Belanger agreed, continuing with the small talk while surveying the competition. The petite clown had a crazed look in his eyes that intimidated Belanger; the giant held a battle axe and stood two feet taller than him. He knew that he would lose the fight—he had to escape.
“Let get over wif’” The tall one suggested.
“Yeah, The Annihilator’s right.” The clown seconded.
“Not just yet, Stabby.” The Grave Collector chastised, “I’ve made careful plans for this one, and I will not let them go to waste.”
“I told you in the beginning I don’t take orders, Hendrick.” Stabby obviously had a short fuse. Belanger used the time they were distracted fighting with each other to make his grand escape. Actually, it wasn’t all that grand—he just ran as quietly as humanly possible back the way the two women had shown him.
No one even noticed that he had escaped. Belanger’s plan had not fallen through the cracks, he had succeeded. Running as fast as he could once he was far away enough for the three not to hear, he silently commemorated himself.
Belanger had escaped to Cyberhell. Though he had failed to kill The Grave Collector, he had made it to his destination. A successful failure.