Chapter 0: The Final Countdown
“Being a pirate was pretty cool,” the admiral thought to himself as he gazed out over the wreckage of his sinking ship. The Lazy Orca, as he had named her so long ago, had served him well. She was a merchant of death and rum. Every other merchant on the seas feared her wrath and merciless demeanor. The icy winds caught his royal violet cape and carried it like a majestic flag, inspiring his men to fight on. Unfortunately, his entire crew was dead, so the cape flag really only made him look stoic while compensating for the fact that the ship’s actual flag was somewhere between the surface and the bottom of the ocean. He hopped up onto the railing and balanced there, contemplating his next move.
“Admiral?” A scratchy voice faintly pierced the relative silence.
Startled, he scanned the ship, looking for the source of the sound. Unable to find it, he growled something about wombats and depth perception before furiously ripping off his black leather, gold-trim eyepatch.
“There you are!”
The admiral hurled himself from the railing on the upper section of the ship and landed gracefully below. He lunged forward and planted his feet, sliding elegantly across the deck, his boots lubricated by a slimy mixture of saltwater and the blood of his former crew. He came to a gentle stop in front of the wounded sailor with an expression of amusement upon his face.
“That was awesome! You should totally try it,” the admiral said with a grin. His smile transformed into a frown when he noticed that his sailor was missing a leg.
“Some other time, perhaps?” the sailor croaked, trying to sit up.
“I suppose so.” The admiral plopped down and cracked open his bottle of rum. “I’m honestly really surprised you survived. Vampires aren’t exactly the easiest thing to kill.”
“Am I going to turn into one of them?”
“Well...you’re probably going to die before that happens.”
A single tear fell from the sailor’s eye. The admiral smiled warmly, “Aw, buddy don’t be like that! Look on the bright side!” He leaned closer with a piercingly vibrant grin. “There’s more than enough blood for the sacrifice!”
The sailor’s eyes widened with panic “Sacrifice? To who?”
“To me! Obviously!” The admiral flipped up onto his feet. “You see, I have to reach my final form somehow.”
The sailor started to say something along the lines of “you betrayed us” or “why would you do this to us,” but the admiral was already lost in thought. When he started his journey, his quest was to save humanity. Now, things had changed. He had defaulted to his base, primal instincts. Saving humanity was an unnecessary bonus for him; his current priority was the destruction of anything that could be a threat to his new empire. Waves crashed against the hull, further tearing away at the supporting bands holding his ship together. A dark, rocky island loomed in the distance—a single castle protruding from the side of the cliff. In one final act of violence, the ocean tore the Lazy Orca in half and began to swallow the tasty remains.
“That took long enough,” the admiral mumbled, visibly annoyed by the wait.
In a matter of seconds, the vessel was gone, forever banished to the ocean floor. She was a terrible force to be reckoned with and a power unmatched by anything else riding the waves, but what rose from the wreckage was something more violent, more bloodthirsty, and more powerful than anything the world had ever known before.
The monster erupted from the water like a volcano of hydrogen and oxygen atoms fused together in a 2/1 ratio. It was a snowy white abomination which seemed to be a hybrid of a dragon, an octopus, a salamander, and Satan himself. Various tentacles adorned its muscular body in multiple sizes and shapes. Several larger ones were webbed together by transparent purple skin, forming massive wings—each larger than the sails of the now-sunken Lazy Orca.
Khvarikx Omega coiled himself in the air as he floated peacefully. He smiled, baring rows upon rows of pearl razors lining his jaws. He lurched forward, ripping the surrounding air apart at a subatomic level. The sonic boom which followed him shook the earth like Tsar Bomba, splitting the sea beneath him with biblical power. He sliced through the front walls of the castle like a knife through a warm pumpkin pie, fresh out of the oven. He rocketed through the last few walls of the castle and into the main hall where his rival waited for him. As the rubble disintegrated away from his eyes, the pupils snapped and locked onto his prey. Omega felt time warp and slow as he drew closer to his target. In those fractions of moments, he realized that his arch nemesis had been one step ahead of him.