The Omnivault: Chapter 48.

As Toby was being woken up by an unknown annoying force, he tried swiping it away using his hands. He wouldn’t know if it had worked, since his eyes were still shut. “Wake up, fool. This is no time for a quick snooze!” He felt a strong nudge of an object touching his forehead, and it sent a mild jolt of electricity that his eyes opened wide and he sprang up from the ground, screaming and jumping around. It was as if a bucket of water had been sprayed over him, only that it was a focused shot to the head, with lightning.

“What the hell was that?” Toby yelled to whoever jolted him awake. As he regained his ground, he looked around him, and saw that he was looking into the face of an octopus. It startled him backwards into something hard. He looked to what it was, and saw a huge turtle shell, and the whole turtle itself as well, standing on its two feet visibly erect and seemed to have a strange black garment wrapped around its eyes, torso, elbows and knees. It looked like a ninja turtle — any of the four. But its choice of color was determinedly black. If this was just one of his dreams, Toby would’ve liked seeing the turtle ninja that was in front of him right now. But when the pain on his forehead still felt like a massive bee sting, he knew that it couldn’t have been anywhere near a dream. This was a fever dream, at its finest.

“What the hell are you?” Toby spoke to the turtle, and looked from it to the octopus behind him. “What the hell are you? Where the hell am I? What’s happening right now?”

“Toby, stay calm.” he heard someone say. It was June’s voice. He looked around and saw that she and her other friends were right there with him. Tom was playing around with a tonfa as Drew held another tonfa, and acted as Tom’s sparring partner; a seemingly non-moving mannequin who just wants to get whatever this was over with. Amanda was talking to a penguin that seemed to be covered in all sorts of strange but cool looking machinery. It was showing her a weird looking gun the size of a grenade launcher, made out of pure ice — or what seemed to look like ice. It wasn’t melting, so there’s no telling what it was made of; could be diamonds. And then a frog clothed in armor, standing outside, was looking off into the distance. It seemed preoccupied with whatever was outside of — where are we? Toby thought, as he noticed for the first time the interiors of the place they were in. The room was like an igloo made out of pure diamonds. It felt cold, so it must’ve been snow. But why did it look so shiny like diamonds? And what’s an igloo doing in the middle of one of the hottest countries in the world?

“We’re in a very strange travel-igloo made by Spheniscidae.” June said to him, answering his thoughts as if she had heard them. “Sphen is the Penguin Amanda’s talking to. Squidward the wizard there is named Octopoda — I prefer calling it Squidward. And the ninja turtle is Testudine. Tom calls him Tetsu, or something. He says it means iron. It actually does seem fitting for a ninja turtle.”

“Excuse me, human girl.” The turtle nicknamed Tetsu said to her. “Whichever way you like it is okay by me, human girl. But I am a turtle ninja. There’s a difference.”

“What difference?” June asked the turtle, then shook herself of it. “Never mind. Toby, everything’s fine for now. We’re safe inside of the igloo.”

Toby’s head was spinning from all of what he heard from June. But for some reason, all he could think of asking was — “Who’s the toad in cavalier?”

“I am a frog knight, Sir Tobias.” The frog knight answered, without looking back. “I was once a creak frog of this realm of yours, called Macrodon.”

When he heard the name, Toby’s eyes lit up. “Wait, what? You’re saying you’re that little frog Omnius kept inside of that cookie jar? My mom’s favorite cookie jar? You’re Macrodon? What name do you go by now? Mac?”

“I prefer to be called by the fullness of my given name. It is out of respect to my owner. The one who picked me up from that creak one day — seemed like only days ago did that happen.”

“Technically,” Tom butted in, as he was still transfixed with playing with the tonfa he had. “It was only a few days ago. How long did you say you were in that other realm of yours? The animal kingdom, or whatever?”

Macrodon looked back now to the group. “Hmm, yes. I guess it was only days ago in your perspective. The tale of my time in the other realm — where I was sent — is for another day, I’m afraid. We have more concerns right now. But going back to my previous thought — I vowed to one day meet my maker; once we had fought off the Dark Dragon destroying our realm. That day is today, I say!” He unsheathed the sword he held by his side, and held it high. “Let the Source make it so!”

“Let the Source make it so!” echoed the three other animals.

“What the fuck is happening right now?” Toby yelled out. His voice echoed a bit inside of the shiny igloo.

“I know, right?” Tom answered him. “It’s kind of like one of those crossovers on TV.”

“That’s what I was thinking!” Amanda quickly replied. They both looked like they just figured out the answer to the million dollar question.

Tom nodded to her. “You get what I’m saying?”

Toby just stood there, in the middle of the madness. June looked gave him a look, like she was trying to say ‘I feel you’, but just remained silent.

After a while, Toby was able to calm down from all the information provided by the four beings that shouldn’t have existed in any certain logical way possible. He went over to one side of the travel-igloo, where there was a small window opening that he could look out of. Outside looked the same as what he last remembered it to look like. Large cracks on the streets as if a strong earthquake had occurred. Buildings have fallen into other buildings, abandoned cars on the street, the inescapable smell of the dead bodies laying on the ground — the looks on their faces had remained to show utter fear from something that may as well have been the devil itself.

Toby wanted to look away from it all, but couldn’t. This is it, Toby. This is the vision you’ve been seeing since you were a freshman. But now it’s real, and you’ve done completely nothing to stop it from happening. He looked to the sky — it was the color red, like all the blood from the ground had evaporated and went up into the clouds, waiting for it to fall back down again. He didn’t know if it was actually possible, but just by the amount of bodies laying out there on the ground — bodies that chose no age, cause anywhere he looked, he saw elderly people, parents holding their children, entire families cuddling each other as if it would have saved them from the destruction — it didn’t matter any other way he looked at it. He had failed. He dreamt of this moment, in every night that he slept, and in every time that he daydreamed in the middle of a lesson. This vision would haunt his thoughts, no matter what he did. And now, it haunts him still.

I should have done something. Toby thought to himself. But as if his thoughts escaped his mind, he noticed someone answering from behind him.

“What would you have done, then?” It was Lady Veergha. She and Ervagh had been absent when he had woken up earlier. Tetsu the turtle ninja had said that they insisted on scouting the area. They wanted to know where the monster — who the four strange characters seemed to call the Fjankhetto — wandered off to. It still bothered Toby to think of the fact that that monster was a part of Omnius. Or that it was Omnius in his true form. And he blatantly just bullied it because he couldn’t understand why it talked so stupidly all the time. “What would you have done differently?” Lady Veergha re-uttered her question.

Toby looked behind him, and saw that Lady Veergha’s form had changed. He almost didn’t recognize her; she aged up quite a bit from last time. It was as if she was now a mixture of Miss Victoria’s features, and that of his crush, Mara. “What happened to your…face?”

“Hmm?” Lady Veergha didn’t understand what he had asked of her at first, but once she did, she mildly touched the side of her face. “It seems the atmosphere from outside has caused my form to start restructuring itself back to its previous state.”

“I thought Earth-atmosphere caused you and Ervagh to have a hard time with that shifting ability that you do?”

“The planet’s atmosphere has changed significantly since you decided to go under.” Lady Veergha replied.

“That wasn’t my fault. Amanda hit me in the head real hard.” Toby answered back. He touched his nose. “I could still sort of feel it, actually.” He stopped moving his nose when he felt a slight pain to it, and let out a sigh. He looked at her, and couldn’t decide whether he was relieved that she didn’t look like Mara anymore, or if he missed it. His thoughts suddenly shifted to the real Mara. Oh God! Is she even alive at this point? Are my parents safe? My brother? How much damage has that thing done to this planet? “God dammit.”

“I ask you again, Terran,” Lady Veergha said to him, as if she knew exactly what he was thinking. It seemed like his thoughts haven’t been that hard to read recently. Even June knew what I was thinking awhile ago. “What would you have done differently?”

“You keep on asking me that.” Toby said to her, not answering her question. “Next time you do, I might just actually answer it. What did you say about the atmosphere outside? What changed about it?”

“Well,” Ervagh spoke up, as if waiting to enter the seemingly one-on-one conversation. “it appears that your planet’s core is depleting by the hour.”

“And that’s a bad thing, of course?”
“Of course,” Ervagh repeated. “For your kind, not ours. We could adapt, you see. But your Terran links make your bodies weak to this atmosphere.”

“That’s a bad thing, right?” Toby asked again.

“Right.” Ervagh replied.

“That might not be entirely true.” Lady Veergha said. Both of them looked at her now. “Having an Inheritance inside of your system is what’s allowing your bodies to adapt to this new atmospheric level. Ervagh,” she turned her look towards her knave. “Have you noticed the slight change in gravity? Its much weaker than before.”

“Yes, it was, my Queen. It sort of reminded me of the last planet we were on — Omnia I. That planet had weak gravity as well.”

“If my hunch is correct,” Lady Veergha said. “then we truly are in grave danger here.”

“Why?” Toby asked. “What’s with that other planet? Omnia I? Was that Omnius’s home planet?”

“We do not know for certain.” Ervagh answered him. “You see, Terran, before we ever even reached Omnia I in order to conquer that world of its resources, we thought we’d have a lot to work with. But when our ship arrived, we were greeted with nothing. As if some other race had already deprived it of its resources, first.”

“Kind of like what happened to that Wind Planet? Right, Lady? That’s where you found your friend.”

“It does seem apparent that whatever happened to Omnia I,” Lady Veergha said, “is what’s happening to this planet now. So that’s what those orbs were doing on top of that mountain.”

“What mountain?” Toby asked her.

“There was a tall mountain back in Omnia I. We noticed a strange reading inside of that mountain, and when Ervagh went to go look, he found seven orbs, similar to the orbs that came to this planet. We had no understanding of what these orbs were made of, or what it was doing on top of that mountain. But it was the only resource found on the planet. If we were able to move it from its place, we would’ve done so, and taken it back to the Empire to investigate its origins. And once we had done that, we’d use it to further the cause of our ultimate evolution. But none of that came into light.”

“And here we are again,” Ervagh said. “with nothing but dust and rubble in place of rich resources.”

“Then this is what the orbs are for,” Lady Veergha said. “to eradicate an entire species until it’s been wiped out of existence.”

Toby looked to his friends. They seemed unaware of the intense conversation he was having with Lady and Ervagh. They were busy talking to each of the four strange characters that just arrived. Tom was the only one by his side that might’ve overheard what they were saying. Toby looked at his friend. His face didn’t have the usual smirk it had. He too felt the gravity of the situation. A little ironic, since the Earth’s gravity was being depleted each second.

“We can’t tell them what’s really going on here.” Toby said to his friend, who looked at him, seeming to just get out of his train of thought.

“Hmm? Oh, yeah. Yeah, you’re right, man. We definitely can’t do that.” Tom said to him, still trying to sound cool, as if this was his way of dealing with serious moments in his life. “So, uh, what do we do now? Do we go look for the orbs?”

“It is unlikely that the Fjankhetto has returned to its natural state just yet.” Ervagh answered. “Its whereabouts are unknown to us for now. But my guess is that its changed location towards other regions of this world. Meaning, it’s going to other continents, one by one. And is dealing the same destruction it dealt on this part of the world.”

“Well,” Tom said. “This country is kind of small for something like that to spend so much time devouring on.”

Toby saw that his friend had a smile on his face again, however faint it was. “That’s the Tom I know.”

“I mean, just stating the obvious here. We’re all gonna die, isn’t that what’s gonna happen here?”

The other seemed to hear what Tom had just said. Toby looked around and noticed the silence in the igloo. He elbowed Tom on his ribs. “You didn’t have to say it out so loud!”

“We’re all gonna die?” Sphen the Penguin asked aloud.

“Now look at what you did! You made the penguin scared.”

End of Chapter.

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