Fear Factor
by Richard B. Sampson

A Story And Addendum For Memoirs Of The Heroes. (Previously "Memoirs Of An Adventure's Child."))
(All Characters Are Ficticious And bare no resemblence to living people. Any resemblence to fictional characters is only by chance. Special Thanks to Howard Phillips Lovecraft)
(Some items in this story were inspired by the events of September 11, 2001. I do not condone the actions, and this story is in memoriam of the victims of that disaster.)

I looked at Radr as I told him the same story again. Each time I had told him about Hope's encounter on the surface, he acted like he couldn't believe it. I finally sighed and said, "Do you need me to tell you again what happend?" More and more I had seen that Radr had lost most of his emotions. I didn't know if that was a good thing or not.

Radr just said, "I'M SORRY, VET. I MUST ADMIT IT SOUNDS A BIT FAR FETCHED. I WISH I COULD VISUALLY CONFIRM IT." I could understand that. I couldn't even accept the notion, but I knew Hope wouldn't lie. Yes, she disobeyed orders to stay underground, but she wouldn't lie.

I continued to pace back and forth and said, "Radr, I know it sounds like a folktale, but Hope has no reason to lie. Something terrible has arrived. We need to start taking actions to stop them, and if we can, rescue Lena from the Crystoids." I noticed Radr was about to say something when all the lights in the room went red. I looked back at Radr again and said, "Radr, what's happening? Why are all the lights red?"

I watched as his screen lit up and showed information to him. "THERE HAS BEEN AN EXPLOSION IN TWO OF THE UNDERGROUND AREAS. THE DOORS ARE BEING SEALED TO PROTECT THE OTHER AREAS FROM POSSIBLE RADIATION. THE PEOPLE THERE ARE GOING TO HAVE TO HEAD OUT TO THE BLINDS IN THOSE AREAS." It was a nightmare. Two areas, both hit with explosions. I started to wonder if it was linked to what had happened up above. Soon Radr exclaimed in what had to be shock, "THIS CAN'T BE RIGHT. I'M REGISTERING AN EXPLOSION, BUT NO RADIATIONS. IT LIKE IT WAS A PHANTOM BOMB DESIGNED TO GIVE OFF THE IMPRESSION OF LETHAL DANGER."

I just said, "Or it's leading in lethal danger. I'm going to one of the sections." Before Radr could even protest, I started to run through the complex, heading in the direction of one of the sealed off sectors. The one problem with that was that the sectors were far away from the main complex.


When I finally reached the door to the one sector, I went to open it. It had been a long run, but I had to hurry. Before I could even get the door open, I noticed a green light lit. It was a contagion/contamination warning. I went to a com unit and said, "Radr, the one sector is reporting contagion or contamination. What should I do?"

Soon, I heard Radr say, "IN THE BOX NEAR THE DOOR IS A PENDANT THAT PROTECTS FROM ALL POISONS AND MOST MALADIES. YOU'LL WANT TO WEAR THAT, AND CAST SOME SORT OF PROTECTIVE MAGIC." I openned the box and grabbed the pendant. I had heard that very few of those pendants had existed. I was glad the Guardians had thought of this.

After I had put it on, I said to Radr, "Ok, I found the pendant, and I'm casting a Regen spell on myself. Now, can I go in." I cast the spell and hoped it would last enough. I knew there was a time limit on the spell, and if it wore off, I was not in a place I could restore it.

Then, Radr said, "CONTROL DOOR IS NOW READY. YOU CAN SAFELY ENTER." I openned the first door and entered the small area between the doors to the sectors. I waited for the first door to seal back up and then watched as the second door openned. As I stepped through, I hear Radr say, "BE CAREFUL, AND HIT THE SWITCH TO LEAVE THERE."

I just said, "Alright," and moved forward. When I came to the first intersectiion, I was startled to see a body lying there. When I got close enough, I found it was still alive, but just from sight, I could see it was racked with disease. As I got closer, I could tell it was one of the women from Edo. I looked at her and cast a Regen spell on her. I was horrified that all it did was manage to keep her at the same state she was at. I looked at her and said, "What happened?"

She looked at me and with an effort that told me that told me that she was about to die, said, "Crystoid got in. Entered shrine. Sounded like explosion. Horseman entered." With that, I knew what had happened. She then managed to say, "People captured, people dying. Save yourself."

I looked at her and said, "I will, but I will save who I can save." I ran back to the door and cast an old spell I had found in texts. Using it, I could return to the door to the sector without worry. I then ran back to the person and said, "Which way to the shrine?" She pointed down the one hall, and I knew which way I had to go. The Crystoids went to the most important spot to all of us, the shrine of Isis. They were constructed after Isis' death in every sector. It was a terror tactic. I wanted destory all of them at that point, but I knew that I shouldn't. Eventually, I encountered another body, not as far gone as the first one. It was Hana. I quickly case a Regen spell on her and noticed that she was getting better. I cast a Cure spell, and soon she was well enough to move. I looked at her and said, "Hana, can you get out of here?"

She looked at me and said, "My family is on the upper levels. I have to get them out of here." When she said that, I knew that they were dead. I shook my head. She looked at me and said, "No, you don't mean that they are dead. They can't be dead."

I looked at her and said, "When I came in, I found a woman who was near death. Even the Regen spell I first cast on you did nothing but prolong the inevitable. If there are any others above the door, they'll be lucky if they are dead. Hana, please, head to the door and make your way to safety. Look for a green glow, that's a teleport spell transport point. It's in front of the door."

She got up, and started to run off, only to stop and say, "Watch out for the horseman. Don't let him touch you." I watched as she ran off. I wondered if that was how the horsemen claimed their victims. Even Hope's account said that all the one did was touch her friend. I continued down towards the shrine, curing people as I moved. The closer I got to the shrine, the earlier the stages of illness was, and the quicker I was able to cure them. Soon, I felt like the Regen spell was about to wear off. I stepped into a small, empty room, and quickly recast it.

Before I could leave the room, I heard footsteps. I quietly openned the door a crack and saw two crystoids with their backs to me. I head one say, "The leader wants to know if the seventh gem is here." I watched as the other shook it's head and the first continued by saying, "Portal needs that masked shape gem before the runes are ready and the power source is remerged." I now knew what they were talking about. The mask that Max wore, and Lena, who was turned into one of them. I watched as they continued out of sight and openned the door.

I slowly moved in the direction they had headed. I was getting very close to the shrine. I watched as they entered the shrine. They had made their base there. I peeked in to see that they had desecrated the place. There was a small cylindrical device there, and they had several people bound up. I recognized a few. They were Hana's family. I saw the one Crystoid pick one up and take it to the cylandrical device and disappear. It was a transport device. They were taking the ones not dying to their world to absorb them into their group. That was all I could take. I quickly launched a fireball into the room, knocking the other Crystoid into the cylander and making both explode. I ran in and said, "Hana is going to be thankful that you are alive. You need to get out of here."

As I worked at freeing them, I heard her son say, "I don't think we will make it." I saw fear in his eyes, and I turned around. Right there at the door, I saw the horseman. He was ridden with sickness. If Hope's description was right, he was Pestilence.

I stood in front of all of them and said, "You won't claim anyone else today."

The figure just looked at me and said, "You have been undoing all my work. You will pay for that." He started to advance. I did the only thing I could think of. I cast a low level Cure spell on him. He yowled in agony. Curing him meant killing him. Soon, the cured area became infected again and he said, "I will make you suffer for that."

I looked at him and said, "Not today." I grabbed everyone and cast the teleport spell again. Soon, I was safely back to the exit. But I heard a movement coming from almost every direction. I hit the button to open the door. Soon enough the door openned and we all entered. The door closed just as I saw Pestilence run into hall. I heard him pound on the door as the process started for decontamination. Soon, the other door started to cycle open. Soon enough, the door was openned, and we all ran in. I then slammed the door shut, and resealed it.


When I had caught my breath, I said, "Alot. The Crystoids attacked the sectors. I think two of the horsemen were helping. And I found out some things." I watched as some of the Guardians escorted the others away, and I said, "One, there may be a way to destroy the horsemen. Two, the Crystoids are looking for Max's mask. And three, I heard two Crystoids mention remerging a power source. I think they are going to revive Shoac."


I just said, "I don't think they were destroyed when I was rescued. I think that the Crystoid that help you then was working on some sort of master plan." I made my way back and just thought about what I had just said. St. Marius and my son's spirits still existed, and when the third one is found, they will merge into Shoac. Now all we needed to do was figure out why all this was needed. Maybe someone can figure it all out.

The End May Be Approaching

Darkness Begins to Fall