Ascension

Left behind in the dark Serenity Montclaire stumbled onwards feeling her way along the tunnel. Part of her was relieved to be free of Abigail and Josiah, they were monsters. Josiah had always been close to insane, his temper a whispered horror behind the closed doors back in Highholm, and his new bride. She shuddered to think what had been done to the woman to turn her into what she had become. She silently prayed that the two would never make it out of there.

Footsteps behind sent her heart racing and she threw herself down a side passage, huddling as low and as still as she was able. She bit back a ragged sob and closed her eyes as the footsteps grew closer.

There were several men. Ashen by the sound of their accents and something else. She listened to the heavy tread of someone or something larger moving with the men.

Peeking through her shaking fingertips she saw them passing. They were indeed Ashen, and amidst them walked the towering monstrosity from the Maw. It's body lit the cavern with an eldritch green glow and the rock beneath her seemed to vibrate as it moved. What the he''ll was that thing?

As she watched them pass by she became certain of one thing. That monster was her way out. She forced herself to creep forward behind the Ashen and cursing herself for a fool she followed them. Not for the first time she wished her sister were there with her. Diana had always been the brave one.

***

There had been no word from Emma and Connor for days now. Tate was starting to regret his decision to stay behind. There had been no change in Emily's condition and the Rovers were at a loss as to what to do next for the girl.

Tate sat next to her sleeping body and held her good hand. The other was wrapped in bandages and salve to lessen the swelling. Her entire right side was snaked with thick black veins that fought to entangle her entire body. The wound inflicted on her by the mutant had fully healed. All the damage was on the inside now as she fought off the mutation with what strength was left to her.

The Rovers he'd tested her illness and it was not contagious, not like the creature that had attacked her. Word had been sent back to Dusk for a sample of the creatures flesh or fluids. However, that was a long shot as the creature had escaped in the circus attack.

Emily stirred and Tate squeezed her hand. To his surprise she squeezed back. Hard!

"Emily its me Tate, are you awake? Can you hear me?"

She opened her eyes and to Tates horror they were pure black. He flinched away from those wells of darkness and then forced himself to look back.

"Emily?" He leaned in as she tried to speak.

"He... he is coming." She hissed.

"Who? Who is coming?" He asked, but she was gone again. Her eyes closed and her body convulsing. Tate gasped as He saw the dark tendrils spreading up onto her neck now and appearing on her left side.

"Help! God's help me!" He screamed.

***

Lucas Eli the mutant who had once been a man sat beneath the wall of Dusk and looked out on the Darklands. Something was out there, he could feel it in his bones. The Flagesium fuelled mutagen that flooded his body was drawn to this new power like a moth to a flame.

A wide sewer tunnel opened up behind him and countless eyes stared out, green and glowing in the darkness. He was no longer alone. His gifts had grown and his touch was a death sentance no longer. The Clockwork king had removed that sting and replaced it with something better. What he offered now was rebirth... ascension... mutation.

The creatures in the tunnel were the first of his brood, his new family. When the thing in the Darklands arrived, as he knew it would, he and his family would be waiting.

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