The crumbling ruins of old Rem shake as the underground vibrates with a cacophony of ecstasy and song. Among the ruins wanders those searching for what lies beneath.
“Biggest damn complex of Hollow and we have failed to find an entrance for how many days now?”
A group of people all scattered about sifted through the rubble, checking every door for a way down into the depths of the old city.
“How about the Library?”
“What are you on about Skart?”
“The Library, the Magnus Library. I am sure that is bigger than some nightclub based in the basements and piping systems of a dead town. So surely what you meant to say was the second biggest complex in Hollow. Right Andreus?”
The Andreus just kept quite as he could not be bothered dealing with his associates factual nature.
“How did this become a ruin? I mean I did some research when I was younger, but all I got was it was and still is the biggest city ever.”
“Well Rebecca.” Said Skart as he cleared his throat. Andreus over heard the question and sighed, moving away from the torrent of words that was sure to follow.
“Old Rem, the original capital of Nyil-Vispyr. Or ‘No-Hope’ for those of you who don’t understand shadow speak. Sadly it did die and thus the current Rem was born all the way on the other side of the continent, away from this reminder of defying a god.”
Rebecca and Skart had stopped moving at this point, both standing facing one another as Skart started to get dug in deep to the story.
“There was once a group that shall not be named that opposed Anodyne, they even started to reform Hollow to be a planet of hope or…”
Rebecca rolled her eyes and smiled. “Vispyr?”
“Good, there will be a full test at the end so pay attention. This unknown group organised and primarily built this city, a testimony to a better world at the time. Now the reason why it took Anodyne so long to do what he did is still unknown, but if the un named group were to rise again it would surely happen much quicker. But essentially Anodyne disagreed with what the group were doing and made sure no one would try to do it again.”
One of the nearby group members spoke up. “Oh stop being so dramatic, just name the damn group. Most people should know the name by now.”
Skarts eyes widened. “First off, fuck all people know the name because those who did refused to mention it after seeing what happened when others did. Secondly, I would advise against saying it. It is not a pretty sight.”
The other person looked Skart dead in the eyes and spoke.
“The group in question are the Dream Casters. Those who craft dreams, those who defy the mad god, and the servants of the eternal dream god. Long may he live till the fabled day when he awakes, a day named. ‘Death of a deity’”
Everyone moved away from the loud man, everyone seeking some form of shelter to hide from what they expected to come.
“Are you all really that scared, everyone knows Anodyne is not omnipotent. He can’t hear or see everywhere at all times, you’re all a bunch of rabbits.”
As the man finished his sentence a scream could be heard, it sounded far off but seemed to come from all around. Next to the man Anodyne exploded into existence. He form quickly changed to a this demon, black of skin, crimson red eyes, a long spiny body that trailed off to an equally terrifying tail. Claws long and sharp he lunged at the loud fool. There was no match, it was like watching a grown adult fight a child. Nothing but blood and tears that collided harshly to the swift and devastating blows from a demon filled with rage. His body torn to shreds Anodyne looked around, grabbing wildly at the air until he seemed to be holding something in his grasp.
Slowly the image of the slain man appeared in ghostly form, bound in Anodyne’s grasp.
“Not so fast you heathen, you are spending eternity in hell. You don’t get to reincarnate until I say so. Buckle up we are going for a ride.”
Anodyne lept into the air dragging the screaming soul with him, quickly fading from sight.
The group was muted after that, not a single one of them wanting to risk what just happened, so they continued searching, door after door, until…
“Guys I found something. This door leads down, but it has no lights.”
Skart called over his friends, the small group of people all huddled around the opening looking downwards into the dark stairway.
“It is definitely louder down there, do we go down?” Skart asked with a warble in his throat.
“We have been searching for nearly a week, not to mention the travel time from Rem to here was not exactly easy or short.” Violet was hesitant but pushed forward, drawing a torch from her pocket she moved her way down the stairs. Everyone else followed closely behind, taking their first stride towards their goal.
“By the way Skart, this is not just some nightclub. This is Potion man’s nightclub. The greatest place in all of Hollow.”
“Violet a nightclub is a nightclub. It may be the best on the planet but it will be the same as all the others that we have been to.”
“Why the fuck did you come man? You are so out of place here, like sure you enjoy this life but you don’t even sound excited about where we are.”
“Yea you piece of shit, stay the fuck out of my club.”
The group turned to see a man dressed finely holding a cane in hand. He pulled a watch out of his, checked it for a moment and then returned it to his pocket.
“I don’t usually do this, but those in my club have gotten so boring. I have been waiting for new blood. Follow me, if you want to have fun that is.”
Potion man walked away down the hallway, back the way the others came from. He sauntered down the hall, swinging his cane as he went.
“Come along friends, I want to have fun.”
The group ran after him, he seemed to be wandering blindly, taking corners at whim.
“Hey, sorry. My name is Violet, is what people say about this place true?”
He glanced over his shoulder. “Oh my dear, they don’t even come close.”
He put his hands on a door which vibrated with excitement.
“Welcome to the underground, welcome to the last phial.”
The doors opened to a small room with a prize wheel in the center. Behind that another set of doors which light danced beneath. The group walked in confused staring at the large wheel before them. It was nearly completely one black circle with the text.
There were four small slivers with text too small to read in addition to the large circle.
“Now my night club has one little rule, before you enter you must spin the wheel. Do as it says, or there will be consequences. Now you may choose to spin individually or as a group, please decide now.”
The group looked around at each other and started to discuss, Violet was too impatient for her counterparts. She walked forward and placed her hand on the wheel.
“I will spin for me, these guys can do what they want.”
She spun the wheel and it seemed to rotate much easier than she initially thought. She stood awkwardly as it seemed to rotate without end. Potion man placed his hand on her shoulder and leand in close.
“Next time my dear, with less gusto. Everything here is well lubricated… Everything.”
The wheel finally came to a stop on ‘entry’. She turned to her group.
“Come on guys just spin it, the chance of failing is so damn small.”
“Alright fine, we will spin as a group.” Skart said as he walked forward with his hand outstretched.
“Learn from your friends mistakes. Spin a little gentler.”
Skart gave a gentle tug and once again the wheel was in motion, still it spun for a long time despite Skart’s effort to spin lightly.
This time however, it landed on one of the slivers. Confetti shot from the walls and sirens sounded.
“Ding ding, looks like we have a winner. Shall we see what this one says?”
Potion man pulled out a magnifying glass and started reading.
“Oh dear, sorry friends but one of you are staying with me. It says that in order for the group to move on one must stay.”
“Well, fuck. Violet go on ahead looks like we are not coming.”
“I am so sorry but you are mistaken, but leaving this room counts as moving on. So even heading back requires one of you to stay.” The man laughed as he held on to his walking stick.
“Actually I’m not sorry, I love doing this.” Potion man smiled and waited for the groups response.
“Well since Skart didn’t want to be here he won’t mind not going in.” Andreus said, to that all others agreed and walked past him. All but Skart stood on the far side of the wheel next to the door, waiting to be let in.
“The fuck guys, come on Violet surly you won’t let this happen.”
“Don’t look at me man, I am not a part of your spin. I did my own spin remember?”
“By that wording I never see any of you again. I thought our time together was special. I loved you.”
The rest of the group turned to Violet with faces of shock.
“Damn dude, we fucked a couple of times. I said right at the beginning I just needed some stimulation. Friends with benefits is what we agreed on. Now if you are done, I got the single greatest nightclub to enter.”
Potion man jumped to the front of the group as Skart fell to his knees weeping.
“Well ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the actual Last Phial.”
The doors swung open to the sounds of upbeat music and sleaze. Before them was a large room filled with people dancing and drinking. The small new group watched as man before them climbed into an active go go cage. He pulled a pill from his pocket and offered it to her as he looked her up and down. Smiling she licked it from his fingers and he started to undress as they both started to intertwine for all to see.
“My club covers a vast space, different halls have different kinds of people and music. If this style does not suit you, wander around through the tunnels and find one that does. Alternatively take some drugs, buy some drinks and this might become home to you. Enjoy kids, but as for you Skart, you are coming with me.”
Potion man walked back into the small room and closed the doors behind him, leaving the others to their own desires.
“Now Skart, don’t worry this won’t be all bad. I just need you to do a couple of things and then you can join back with your friends. Now come, you look poor laying on the floor in your own tears, let us get you a new suit.”
Both individuals walked back out into the tunnels and down one of the dark corridors. Meanwhile Violet and Andreus had already gotten separated from the rest of the group a mere thirty minutes in.
“Where are the others?”
“Fuck em, who cares.”
“Like how you fucked Skart?”
“You going to cry about it? Did I hurt your feelings too?”
“Yea, I am fucking pissed you didn’t fuck me. You are damn smoking.”
Violet turned to Andreus, laying a hand on his chest.
“Well he is better looking than you, and fitter. But, you might be able to change my mind with a drink.”
Andreus grinned and ran off towards one of the many circular bars in the room. Violet tried to stand still as the party raged on around her. She was very quickly pushed around the room by other people rushing to the DJ stand. The old DJ had just walked off the stand and another one was just arriving.
Skart climbed onto the stage dressed in a fine suit, he laid down some tech onto the table and the music stopped. The whole mood of the whole club dropped as all eyes turned to Skart. A slow rumble started to emit from the speakers as Skart yelled through his mic.
“This is no longer a jump music kind of room, get ready to disrespect your surroundings.”
A heavy drum beat started to sound before a deafening growl resonated from the speakers. Brutal metal roared out and everyone started dancing along, the mood of the room changed as people started to get violent. A death wall started to open up, leading an open path from Violet to the DJ stand. She rushed through it as Andreus returned to her with drinks in hand. He started to follow her but kept slowing down to make sure not to spill his drinks, it was not until he heard the final number in the countdown that he dropped his drinks and started to sprint. Violet had made it to the other side, meanwhile Andreus was barely half way as everyone charged inwards.
Andreus was crushed in the middle of the wall and his winded body fell to the ground.
Violet reached the top of the DJ stand, and pushed herself against Skart’s body.
“I did not know you were a DJ for the Last Phial, is that how you knew where the door was?”
Skart did not respond, he simply reached into his pocket and pulled out a heart shaped pill. He grinned as he offered it to Violet. Sitting on top of one of his fingers she sucked it off, licking her lips. Her eyes fluttered as her pupils started to open and close rapidly. She quickly became light headed and fell to the ground unconscious.
“My dear, you look rather sloberly.”
Violet woke up burping, she looked down to see a small amount of vomit on herself. As she sat up she could feel her whole head throbbing.
“Urgh, the fuck Skart. What did you give me?”
“He gave you what I told him to give you. It is a fun one, just not for the one who takes it. It is called true love. The one who takes it is taken by true love, then does anything anyone tells them to because, well, they love everyone.”
Her face soured.
“What did you make me do, what did Skart make me do?”
Potion man gave off a little sigh and sat next to violet.
“Well Skart made you come here, as for me. I didn’t get you to do anything. It is more fun when they resist, hate it when they go along with everything.”
“My friends will be looking for me, you won’t get away with this.”
“Well that is where you are wrong, because Skart hates you and is enjoying his life as a now famous DJ. Andreus has been crushed to death by a mosh pit and is currently paste on the floor of my club, and as for your other friends. Well my cameras show some of them to be in the middle of a rather sizable drug induced orgy. A couple of them have found their way to the wine and cheese area, and one is in the blues section of the club.”
Potion man stood up placing down his walking stick with his back turned to Violet.
“Besides, you were a terrible friend. So even if they knew what was to happen up here I am sure they wouldn’t come.”
“And what is going to happen up here? Are you going to rape me?” she asked her head still throbbing from the drugs.
“Rape, ha. My beloved summer child, your mind is so vanilla. I find you woman always assume rape or murder. Like those are the worst things that can happen to you, but trust me there are much worse.”
Violet looked around the room, she could see out of windows down to another part of the club, a different part to where she was originally. She sat on the center of a large bed which seemed to be the only piece of furniture in the room.
“Then what are you going to do to me?”
“Why I am going to feed you to one of my pets. He is so hungry, and when he is hungry he stops producing a certain liquid I use in a couple of my drugs. So that is what will be happening.”
Violet ran to the door, her vision blurring as she stood so quickly. Despite her lingering side effects, she made purchase with the door handle.
“I would not do that if I was you.”
“Fuck off, your club sucks.”
She turned the handle and opened the door, before her was a mass of flesh and spiked tentacles. Violet turned to run, but one of the tentacles lashed out sticking into the back of her neck, paralyzing her and lifting her from the ground.
“Why, me? I can be better, give me another chance.”
Potion man looked confused.
“Oh I see where you went wrong, I brought up the fact you were a horrible person to exaggerate the fact that no one was coming for you. If I punished the bad I would be in that room, not you. As for why you, no reason really. I was going to use your friend, but I thought this was funnier.”
Violet started to be pulled back through the door, slowly she was being dragged backwards by the barbed tentacle in her neck. Potion man stepped in front of her and walked towards her at the same pace.
“Now, as for what is to happen to you, here it is. This blob of a thing is going to slowly drain your fluids out of you, and when I say slowly I mean slowly. You might die in about a week, but for you it should feel about a year.”
Violet reached the edge of the door and Potion man grabbed the handle, slowly closing the door.
“The chemical this thing excretes, slows the perception of time. The raw form is very potent, we have to water it down otherwise people would go through much greater side effects. Enjoy your stay my dear.”
Violet’s arm jerked upwards until finally her pupils fully dilated, and her body fell limp. Potion man fully closed the door and went back to the window so he could look down at his new DJ. His thumb ran across the gem that was embedded in the top of his staff.
“Damn it’s good to be king.”