In nothingness, in void, there hung what looked to be at first glance a furry sphere.
Hanging in the void, it was no sphere but a great furred body. It was clutching onto something that was hidden deeply within its fur. It was sleeping, and though there was no air, not even the concept of air in the void, it breathed.
The breath was uneven.
Floating around this being were segmented insects in serpentine form. They had no limbs, only heavy mandibles that covered mouths that fed on void and the parasites of the great furred being. These serpentine insects’ exoskeletons were as stone, and upon them, like barnacles on a whale, were tiny cities.
Though, in reality it was not that the cities were tiny, but that the scale of the serpent bugs was far too big.
The truth was, that the furry creature was protecting a dimension. Not that something has to be huge to do so, but it tends to be easier. This dimensional protector also happened to have a dimension inside it, quite apart from the ‘naked’ dimension it guarded.
A flickering appeared in the void, and then a part of it unfolded like the petals of a flower. After that, glowing blue train tracks burst out from the voidflower. Following the tracks, a dark blue train cab with no carriage flung itself out into the void. Unlike a normal steam train, the smokestacks swept and curled like sheep horns towards the wheels of the train. These bulging pipes strained and pumped navy smoke with stars in it into the wheels and as the wheels turned the smoke turned into the glowing blue tracks that the train ran upon.
Strips of metal were bolted onto the train to keep the whole thing together. The front of the train was like the beak of some bird, and the two white lamps on the sides gave it an unfortunate look. Basically the front looked like a very ugly and surprised bird, so surprised that its eyes were popping out.
Considering the rear of the train cab, one noun comes to mind. Organ.
Seriously wasn’t that just a pipe organ?
Sure, it was quite bigger than many pipe organs, but. Those distinctive bronze looking pipes… weren’t they the pipes of a pipe organ?
The train cab was a mere speck in comparison to the dimensional protector and the bugsnakes. As for the people inside the train…
“Lunatic! You’re a menace to sane thought. Indecent and unscrupulous! If another moment had passed we’ve have been blasted to bits!”
The speaker was exactly what you’d expect to see if you carved a muscled statue of a man from marble, but cut the head off, drilled into it and dropped a small ginger dog into the hole, and for the final touch, slapping a green visor over the eyes of the dog. The floppy ears of this dog had adorably curly hair.
This dog being was currently pounding its marble body with its little paws in frustration at its companion’s incurable, except by death, recklessness.
“Long deep breaths Mark. You know this high blood pressure ranting is bad for your health, you’re shaving years off your life like this!”
At first the companion of Mark looked quite normal. A human figure in a white jumpsuit-spacesuit, with a cylindrical creamy helmet. Then on closer inspection one could tell the head was actually a shell the creature was coming from and that instead of a pair of boots, there was another pair of gloved hands.
How this being spoke and how it eats or sees is a mystery best left veiled, but for those that wish to pain themselves, consider the nature of many shelled sea beings.
“I’m shaving years off my life? ME? Not the madman, Doctor Hilophanti who waits until the Droppelian Hungership is just about to eat us to order the tunnel creation? Not him, but me! Ahaha!”
Mark grabbed Doctor Hilo and shook him. The poor dog’s eyes were rolling around in his sockets. He had quite legitimate complaints, but sadly the stress had robbed him of his senses. Identifying the problem but having no remorse, Hilo moved his rear hands to grab something for a placating treatment.
The inside of the train cab was bigger than should have been possible, but even then it was still cramped. Two beds were crammed into the space and at the front there was a huge mirror. The frame of which was made up of countless carved birds. There were also a few mirrors hanging from the ceiling, but the frames of these were birds that had the mirrors as stomachs. With a flicker, strange curved text appeared from time to time on these mirrors. At the wallside of the beds there were also a few mirrors. Stuffed everywhere else was a collection of levers, sticks, dials and buttons.
There was a total of two portholes in the room. One on the floor and one on the back wall.
What Hilo grabbed was a pot in the shape of a whale-like bovine headed being, near one of the beds. He deftly opened this pot and pulled out what looked just like a stick of wood. It was however dried meat of a particularly docile dimensional drifter. As soon as he shoved it in Mark’s mouth, the dog calmed somewhat.
“How about you get the mirrors going, we’re blind in here, I’ll get in touch with Bhiva and see if anything disastrous has happened.”
Mark looked like he would cry at any moment, but he sadly nodded while chewing on his stick of dried meat. He turned to the largest mirror and began pushing buttons, pulling levers and so on. Hilo was himself getting into some of that kind of action too. Though his target was the mirror next to his bed. After fiddling around, and even popping out something that looked like a board of keys…
Hilo whacked the mirror.
It flickered and a scene of flames greeted Hilo. This was however, a good sign. Amid these flames was a bundle of slender black rubbery arms with delicate hands and thin fingers. In the centre of this bundle was a blazing pink eye of flame.
“How’s everything down there Bhiva?”
A sultry woman’s voice responded to him.
“Ohhh~ Everything here is just fine, I’m amazed darling, with how you were going, I thought we’d become one as a beautiful firework, but you don’t have to believe me, you could come down here yourself and see~”
“Em, well thanks, Bhiva, I’ve got to check some of these dials and things. Yes. Bye”
Sweating a little, Hilo turned the mirror off. He was quite aware that unlike Bhiva’s race, his kind tended to turn into a puddle when bathed in flame.
“Doctor, we have visual” Mark called out.
On the large mirror was the dimensional protector.
“Nobody’s detected us yet have they?” Hilo asked nervously.
Mark turned a few dials.
“Only a matter of time”
“Start the scan now, the quicker we find out what’s ailing the Bearyl the quicker we can give the treatment and leave”
“Here it goes”
Mark began frantically manipulating the controls, while Hilo uneasily observed.
“Almost clear… dogbiscuits! They’ve noticed us, but I’ve got the details, sending the details to your mirror now!”
Hilo laid down on his bed and the mirror at the side shifted to the head of the bed. Lines of text scrolled across the mirror casting their light onto Hilo’s shell.
A sound horn descended from the ceiling.
-Please identify yourselves unknown vessel, entering our voidspace with no ID is considered a crime, ID yourselves or we will be forced to take action-
“Delay them” Hilo commanded.
Mark nodded and pulled a crystal wand out of its socket.
“Sorry, we couldn’t quite catch all of that, a lot of our train was damaged in the tunnel we were in, could you repeat your last transmission?”
-Sure thing, we repea… wait a moment, that train, isn’t it? By the Bearyl! The Dimensional Tormentor! Quick, mobilize, mobilize! You sick monsters won’t have your way here!-
“Dogbisuits. This would all be a lot easier if people didn’t believe those lies! Tormentors, hah, I’d like to see what’d happen to their dimensional guardians if we weren’t around!”
“Well they’re too late, focus on manoeuvres Mark, I’m starting the treatment!”
Hilo slammed a button and a keyboard of organ keys slid out from the wall, he began to play it, and pale lights began to howl forth from the pipes on the back of the train. As Mark guided the ship to avoid various lasers being fired from the bugsnakes, he pressed a button to bring his bedside mirror next to him. The mirror flickered and Bhiva appeared on it.
“Bhiva, get us ready to make another tunnel!” he barked.
“So soon, I’ll take us somewhere safe this time, we’ll have to take things cool~ She can’t take too much punishment, you’ve got to be gentle with girls, or else they don’t like you Mark~”
“It is a train not a girl!”
“You’re no fun Mark, don’t worry, I’ll get her all fired up for you~”
The mirror blipped and went back to normal.
A stream of pale lights pierced into the dimensional protector, the Bearyl, causing the mighty creature to wail in pain. The bugsnakes had all turned towards the little train and all kinds of void-faring things were launching to hunt the train down!
“Treatment administered! Get us out of here!”
“You hear that Bhiva!”
“Loud and clear, hold on boys, I’m going to be a little bit rough~”
Part of the void unfolded and formed a tunnel which the little train chugged into.
Once again, the train known as the dimensional Tormentor administrated life-saving medical treatment and escaped. It was a pity everyone believed they were just hooligans harvesting suffering.