|"The future--a cold place ruled over by complacency, melancholy and endless routine. Oh, what a beautiful thought! No more changing the castle's design every fifty years, no more Belmonts, and all the time in the world to savor it! I'm almost giddy. We're well away from that, no doubt--but not too far, says Sam Mills, who brings you a tale of a world where the battle is over and our master, Lord Dracula, has won. But complacency isn't a beautiful thing in this world, especially when such brave souls like Randall Matters and his crew of astronauts exist. Will they ruin everything for our side? Read on."|
Future of Darkness
By Sam Mills
Darkness fell upon the land of Dracula's rule. There was nothing more to see here. Dracula had finally succeeded in taking over the world. Without a Belmont hero around to fight him, he was able to fill this world with evil creatures and phantoms that destroyed all inherently good life on Earth.
It was the 22nd century. Mankind had advanced far in their technology, but their hearts were the most empty and black than they'd ever been before. Dracula came and took them all out, and left nothing but unmistakable evil.
Only a handful of humans survived-a group of 4 astronauts in a small space station around the Earth. They watched by T.V. broadcast and telescope as terror overtook the globe in the form of a dark army. They'd seen the atomic bombs that were used to try and fend off evil. But Dracula was beyond that, and man kind was doomed.
History rarely recorded such an attack by the dark lord, since in every defeat, the victors never kept record of it in the past. Only by word of mouth had they passed their secrets down in the family line.
After confirming all life vanquished, the astronauts decided they needed to do something, for their own survival. There was only one way home, and it was a one way ticket to the surface in an escape pod. They only had 2 months left of air and little food and water. Without a cargo ship coming with supplies, they were destined for death already.
The commander was Randall Matters, and he had a plan. Connie Richards was his second in command, and Trixie and Jeff were crewmen. Randall decided that the best course of action was to try to land in the escape pod in the part of Europe near to where the castle of Dracula appeared to be. "Maybe we can talk this Dracula we heard about on the radio into a truce of some kind. Or get close enough to defeat him."
"The entire world is dead! We watched them die!" Connie argued. "There is no way we can talk him into anything! And how do you suppose we kill him? There's nothing in the world that can do that!"
"There is no hope at all," Trixie agreed. "If anyone wants to go, fine. I'm staying here. I'll die here if I have to!"
Jeff knew that Connie and Trixie were correct. There was nothing that could be done. Randall was a very smart man, but what made him think there was any chance? He didn't seem to grasp the reality of the situation. "It's suicide," he contended.
Randall knew that there was something he could do. There just had to be a way. He wasn't ignorant to what was going on, but he didn't perceive the doom at the level they were. The whole world was dead, and either it hadn't sunk in yet, or he knew something deep down that they did not.
There was not much time left. Randall knew he could order his crew to take the last pod with him to the surface. But considering they were the last four humans known by them to be alive, rank hardly seemed to matter. "I won't order anyone to stay here. But I'm taking the pod and going down. Who's with me?"
No one else volunteered.
Alone and afraid, Randall equipped himself with an air mask and a small supply of food. There were no weapons on board the ship. All that could be done now was pray for a miracle. Then, he climbed into the pod, and shot down towards the surface.
The way down was rocky. He had some guidance of the pod, and within minutes, touched down a mere mile from the castle. He climbed out, and began running, hoping not to run into anything evil in the woods. He ran for several minutes before coming across a small house in the middle of all this. It looked to be nearly 1,000 years old in design, but brand new in terms of condition.
Randall entered the house and took a look around for some kind of weapons: guns, knives, anything that could blow these creatures to oblivion. There was plenty to be found, much to his surprise. On drawers and closets, this place was stocked up to the brim! "Must have been a place of resistance," he thought.
He grabbed a rifle and then he noticed something on the wall that caught his attention. It was an old whip, hanging on nails like a shrine of some kind. There was truly something remarkable about this weapon. Though primitive by design, he somehow felt it was the key to victory against evil. He grabbed it and took it with him.
After walking a little further, Randall reached the castle of Dracula. "Oh my God..." he said aloud. "...I need you now." With much hesitation, he entered the castle.
Randall made his way down a main hall. Within minutes, he noticed some strange figures coming towards him. If he didn't know better, he'd have thought it was a ghost of some kind, the kind you'd see in classic horror! He got his rifle ready, and because shooting and trying to take them out one by one. But the bullets did nothing, and he was quickly surrounded!
One of the specters touched him, causing tremendous pain to his entire body. "Stop it! Get off me!" In his fit of rage, the tip of the whip came free, and inadvertently whipped the specters around him. The immediately burst into flames, and disappeared. The whip was the key!
Randall continued on through the castle, whip in hand. He made his way through this main hall and into a main dance hall of the castle. All around him he could hear haunting classical music playing in the background. Suddenly, out of nowhere, there were people dancing through the air. But they were transparent, like ghosts! "What kind of evil is this? Science cannot explain..." A dancing couple hit into him, causing the same pain as the specters he'd encountered before. Again, he used the whip, and they were destroyed.
"This whip has the power to kill all that cannot be killed by humanly means. I wonder if Dracula can be killed by this also," Randall thought.
Weird memories started to come back to him. At least, they seemed like memories, but of things he'd never experienced. The castle, the enemies, all seemed familiar. And then real fear set in as he realized that things were going to get a whole lot worse on this mission.
At the end of the dance hall, he came into a big room fit for a ball. But it was empty! He saw some main doors at the other end that had to lead to the next level of this place. Randall quickly ran to them, but when he tried to get them open, they were stuck. "How do I get this open?"
Suddenly, he looked up and saw something horrible hanging in the shadows from the roof. For a moment, only the eyes were visible, glowing in the dark. But suddenly, whatever it was jumped down and caused the floor to shake!
This creature had 3 heads, 3 arms and 3 legs, was nearly 20 feet tall, and had smooth green skin. "Damn, what do I do now?!" Randall cried. He doubted the whip for a moment, and began taking shots with his gun. But the creature charged at him, grabbing him and hitting him in the face! Randall managed then to use the whip, and the creature dropped him to the floor.
Randall threw the gun on the floor, and held his position, ready to strike the creature again. When it charged, he took another strike, and another. After what seemed like eternity, he was able to defeat the creature and open the door.
The battle from this point on was difficult. Randall was a natural hero, and his skills with the whip were beyond his most optimistic expectations! He'd taken out such villains as Medusa, the Grim Reaper, and worst of all, a double of himself!
His double was horrendous, whipping his at every turn, and firing at him with a rifle! Luckily, the bullets didn't seem to do too much damage, and Randall emerged with a victory.
After fighting the Grim Reaper, he knew he was closing in on Dracula's lair. Little did he realize that what he'd find in the balcony was not what he'd expect. From the few images he'd seen on television, Dracula was a tall, cruel looking man, with a long black cape and pale skin. Randall thought he looked like a vampire, which seemed silly.
As Randall made his way to the lair, there was a chill in the air that almost made him weak. He continued on, and kept his strength up as he came to two tall doors. As he passed into the room, he found a fire place roaring with flames, and a throne. The throne was empty.
"Dracula! Dracula! Come out here now!" Randall cried. "I've come to make a bargain with you!"
From behind a large set of curtains, he saw movement. There was something back there. Cautiously, he approached it and pulled the curtain wide open. Behind them was a little boy.
Trembling and shaking, the little boy sat curled up in a ball, not wanted to look. He was obviously very frightened. "Shhhh, it's okay little boy. You're going to be fine."
The boy looked over his shoulder, and was almost shocked to see him. "You're human." the boy whimpered.
"Yes, I am."
"I thought everyone was all dead," the boy said.
"I thought so too. What are you doing here?" Randall asked.
"I was kidnapped by the vampire. He said that I had to be allowed live for him to survive," the boy said. Randall asked the kids name. "Tommy. What is your name?"
"Randall who?" the boy asked.
"Randall Matters," Randall told him, then he asked, "Where is Dracula?" The boy stood up and wiped the tears from his face. "So your last name isn't Belmont?" the boy asked.
It was a very odd question. Randall had no idea what that name meant, or why the boy would even asked that. He shook his head, and the boy gave him a strange grin. Randall wasn't sure what that meant, but he was starting to get a little concerned. "What is going on here?"
"What do you think is going on here? You're the last human alive! And now, you are going to die!" The little boy revealed a mouth of fangs, and he hissed at Randall. Randall backed up, until he ran into someone tall and big behind him.
"That's enough!" came a loud voice from above Randalls head. The boy backed down and ran, hiding behind the curtains again. Randall turned and backed up, and there before him was the man he recognized as Dracula.
There wasn't anything very menacing Dracula's aura. He stared at the man with an expression of slight delight. "Greetings, human," he said. "Randall Matter's, isn't it?" Randall nodded. "Well, then I guess I shall ask the question: why do you still live when all other life on this planet has died?"
Randall didn't answer. He wasn't going to tell Dracula anything. Dracula said, "If you want to make peace, then I suggest you answer my question."
"Peace? Everyone has died because of you! Do you have any idea what that means?" Randall asked.
"Answer me!" Dracula demanded. Randall stood his ground and remained silent. "I know the truth, you defiant little man! I know you came from that floating station up in space, which until now I was not aware of. But now, all of them shall die, just like you!"
Dracula hissed, and struck Randall with balls of flames. Randall deflected most of it, but got somewhat burned. In reaction, he whipped Dracula. Dracula vanished and reappeared behind, and Randall struck him more. As they fought, Randall knew he was weakening the mighty Dracula as his force decreased. "I'm strong enough to beat you!" Randall cried.
Before long, Randall had Dracula on his knees. One more strike had to do it. Randall raised his arm, and was ready to strike when suddenly, he was knocked down by something hitting his knees. The little boy had run by, and hissed at Randall laying there on the ground. "Leave my master alone!"
"Go to hell!" Randall cried, whipping the boy out of the way. Randall stood up and approached Dracula, who was laying helpless on the floor.
Dracula looked up at Randall, fury in his eyes. "You must be of the Belmont line. You must be. Up there in space, you were unable to save this world as your bloodline was destined..." Dracula coughed up blood, then continued "...destined to do."
"I do not know about my heritage, but I have a feeling you are correct." Randall agreed. "Will your death bring back the life you've taken from this planet?"
Dracula laughed, and uttered, "I thought I'd just gotten lucky." He began to laugh again, and with one strike, Randall vanquished the vampire. Dracula burst into a pile of flames before disappearing from sight.
The little vampire boy was nowhere to be found.
Randall left the castle, and headed out into the woods. It was still very dark, but the sky was getting lighter, as if the sun was ready to come up over the horizon. If life had returned to this planet, there wasn't any indication of it yet.
After walking for what felt like an eternity, Randall came across a small town. The streets were empty, and it was apparent no one was there. At first, he figured there was no hope of any life returning. Just because Dracula was dead, that didn't mean life would be returning on it's own.
But then, something miraculous happened. As the first sunlight shed it's way onto the valley, people began to reappear in the village! They all walked as if out of a dream into reality. It was as if they were taking on their daily lives like nothing happened.
Standing in the middle of a now crowded street, Randall yelled "Yes! Yes! God thank you, yes!" He got a few strange looks, but most people didn't even give him a glimpse. "Some gratitude", he thought, but he was overjoyed by his victory.
In the weeks that followed, Randall met up with his crew at mission control, where they remained the only one's that recalled what had happened. None of his crew had much to say but apologize profusely. They also agreed that there was no need to report it. After all, no one beside them in a world of 9 billion people recalled the experience.
Randall went on to discover that he was indeed a descendant of the ancient Belmont clan, and that there was a lot of speculation of their inhuman abilities to fight in battle. But no mention of their victories with Dracula were anywhere to be seen.
From that point on, Randall made sure that his heritage was passed on to all generations. For he knew that one day, Dracula would come back once more. And the price for ignorance would be loss. He would never let this happen again.
Sam Mills can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org