Tribal – by Lewis Wollington

Episode 9 - Tribal (Lewis and the Orbs)

Catch up on last week here

What’s Happened So Far:
Arriving on the jungle planet of Koloko, Lewis, James and Shannon experience a rare moment of bliss where the universe is finally at peace with them…

Music for this Extract:


Extract:
The jungles of Koloko were like paradise in physical form. Sun-draped canopies sheltered the paths of the jungle floor letting in just enough light for the ground to taste its warmth. The soils were littered with all sorts of strange and exotic plants; some bathed in the sunlight and were happy to live a permanent holiday, while others had big aspirations and reached up towards the sky.

All sorts of weird and wonderful animal noises echoed around the jungle; croaks, squaks, and grunts all came together to form a melody that danced beautifully towards your ears. The gentle flow of a river served as a backing track as it shone like sapphires in the sun. The water looked so clean and so pure that anyone who had ever taken a sip might write home about it for a hundred years to come.

The smell of the jungle had a hint of musty and a hint of wild animal, but nevertheless pleasant overall. It was the type of air to steam your glasses up if you’d forgotten to put them under a hand dryer first.

Everything reminded Shannon of her trips to Paignton Zoo as a child. She’d always imagined herself exploring jungles when she’d grown up, volunteering in South America on a gap year or something like that; but never in her wildest dreams had she imagined it to be on an alien planet. She stopped for a second to face up to the alien sun. She closed her eyes and inhaled a deep and calming breath as a harsh but soft light caressed the very fibres of her skin. Never before had she felt so at peace with herself as she did then. For a few seconds, nothing mattered, absolutely nothing, and it was so good.

As her eyes refocused on the environment around her, Shannon could see James and Lewis in the near distance looking up into the canopies. Lewis had a large branch in his hand as a pointer to show James whatever it was he’d seen up there. She could hear them muttering but couldn’t pick out any actual words. It might have been a bird, maybe a small mammal, or even an alien species of plant; whatever it was didn’t matter to Shannon. That moment was what she’d always wanted from her adventures with Lewis: to see new worlds and to enjoy time with her friends. To see James and Lewis not running away from a monster, not being chained up or threatened, not having to make an impossible decision, but looking at a tree, might just be the happiest moment of her life. The pure bliss of the situation bought a relaxed smile to her face; not a forced smile, rather one she had no control over – one that was going to be there whether she liked it or not.

As Lewis continued stressing over the fact James couldn’t see what he was pointing at, Shannon caught a glimmer out of the corner of her eye; a glimmer of light, a reflection of the Sun. Her smile had turned into a curious pout as she spotted a golden sphere buried amongst some grass. It laid there lifeless, not moving, not serving any kind of purpose. She looked over to see if the boys had noticed, but they were too busy squabbling or arguing or something like that. It made her smile once again. She wanted this moment to last forever, not to be interrupted for silly reasons. Deciding to let them be, Shannon squatted beside it for a closer inspection. She picked it up; nothing happened. Tilting it around with her hand, the sphere was engraved with strange markings that resembled circles within circles. She had a go at opening it and pulling it apart, but nothing budged. It looked pretty harmless, so it probably was. Plonking it in her handbag, the one Lewis calls the ‘Mary Poppins bag’, Shannon wanted to keep it as a souvenir, something she could look at to remind her of the moment she’d been waiting for for so long; and boy was it worth it.

Tribal Music

The Orbs emerge from the spheres

Next Time:
The Frozen Planet: 10 of 13. Travelling to the last planet on their round trip of the galaxy, the team arrive on the frozen planet of Nevaska. There they come face to face with the 7Alpen, terrifying creatures that have mutated into silent killers of the night. Trapped in a lighthouse with deadly fungus all around, can the team find a way out in time?

Night of the Worms – by Lewis Wollington

royal william yard abandoned building 2

Catch up on last week here

What’s Happened So Far:
Arriving on the planet Malistoni Minor, in the city of Dapryt, famous for it’s trade; Lewis, James and Shannon enjoy a meal in one of the native restaurants. After trying (and sometimes spitting out) some of local delicacies, they head out for a bit of exploration. Witnessing some criminals being led into what appears to be an abandoned cargo storage, Shannon sneaks in behind them to investigate. Despite warning her not to, James and Lewis reluctantly follow to get her out. When trying to escape however, they are locked in…

Music for this Extract:


Extract:
All three of them squinted as a harsh white light glared at them through a torch lens. Behind the torches stood five confused and unimpressed faces, obscured by the contrasts in lighting. The room was dark; dark, damp, and gloomy. Wooden crates were piled up high absolutely everywhere, lazing around like it was a retirement home for forgotten, useless boxes. One of the women stepped forward, the one in the middle, stern-faced with a bob-like structure to her hair. She had an outfit on that resembled a macho astronaut, they all did. James could feel his heartbeat speeding up as she approached. She stopped.
“Who are you?” she asked, strongly confused and almost in disgust.
Confused himself as to receiving such an unfamiliar and unexpected welcome, Lewis had a quick half-look behind him to check he wouldn’t be interrupting anyone about to speak, “Well, I’m Lewis,” he said, putting a spread out hand to his chest, “this is James, and this is Shannon. Sorry, we don’t mean to come across as rude here, it’s just we’re not really used to such an unthreatening welcome,” he laughed to himself.
“Why are you here?” another girl asked, as if they were absolute idiots.
“We were having a look around the city and I accidentally stumbled upon this place,” Shannon replied, “is it that much of a big deal?”
“Don’t you know who we are?” the first woman asked, changing the subject, avoiding the question.
“But what’s so bad about this place?” James enquired, changing it back.
“You honestly have no idea what’s going on?”
James shook his head.
“You better tell ’em,” said a male voice, the seriousness in his voice scaring them as to what was about to be said.
“Night of the Worms?” she asked, as if they twelve year olds that couldn’t understand 2+2. Shannon looked over at James and Lewis to check if they’d understood before she looked stupid in front of everyone; they hadn’t.
“I’m sorry, but we really don’t know what is happening.”
The woman sighed and started to work around with stroppy feet.
She went over to a man who was stood on the far left of the group, she smacked her hands down onto his padded shoulders, “This is Lertac, bank robber, caught trying to steal a million obos from the bank of Gilyonis. This is Purtia,” she continued, moving on to the other woman who had spoken earlier, “vandalist, tried to deface the Moonon Rock with a message of peace during the Raqtan war. Marcus Lampton, spy,” she moved on, keeping the ball rolling, “tried double crossing for the DeGrayans and the Killingtons, was ultimately unsuccessful. Harkon Kole, my right hand man,” she changed her tone, moving on to the final person in the line, “banned from the Tuhuna Church for sacrilegious regions – returned there, what a plonker.” Harkon laughed. “And finally, me: Lockwell. I killed the man who murdered my brother,” she announced, a vengeance present in her voice that she clearly still pursued today. Lewis, James, and Shannon just stared, not sure what kind of reaction they were supposed to give.
“Um… Hellooo,” Lewis replied, instantly regretting saying something so stupid. Shannon gave him a funny look.
“But why are you all here,” James stressed, “you still haven’t answered my question.”
“Ever heard of the Cargo Worms before?” Lertac asked.
“No.”
“Humongous parasites that are extremely deadly. On your first encounter, with no chance of escape, they’ll devour you ’til you’re nothing but a pile of bones.” James, Lewis, and Shannon waited in silence and suspense as they anticipated the dreaded words.
“And they’re here, in this old storage bay.” There they were.
“Then how do we kill them?” Shannon asked.
“With explosives,” Harkon replied, confidently. “I’ve got a bomb in my bag. Once we plant it at the centre of the building, it’ll wipe out the Worms before they can reach the city without the explosion reaching any of the people in the Dapryt.”
“Not that I see why they should get to live,” Marcus mumbled.
Lockwell turned around, annoyed, “Marcus, if you continue moaning like this then you might not even make it to the worms, now shut it.” Childishly, he pulled a face as she turned back around.
Lewis was deep in thought, “But surely if all it takes is explosives, then why do they need… Criminals.” Lewis stopped, no longer a question but a dreadful realisation. Lockwell could tell that he’d worked it out.
Shannon was staring at his face trying to figure it out, “What is it, what, what…,” her eyes widened in horror as her jaw dropped at the revelation, “this is a suicide mission?!”
“I’m afraid so,” Lockwell answered, showing no sympathy for them.
“But we’re not supposed to be here, WE’VE DONE NOTHING WRONG!” James protested.
“D’ya think they’re gonna believe you outside? D’ya think they’ll unlock the doors for someone who they believe to be a criminal, desperate not to die?” Harkon replied, progressively getting louder with frustration.
“We’re gettin’ out of here, we don’t deserve to be here!” he continued to argue back.
“Oh, and do you think I deserve to be here?!” Purtia yelled, “For trying to create peace during a bloodied war?”
James pointed an aggressive finger at her, “You’re a criminal!” Purtia was appalled.
“You are coming with us, whether you like it or not!” Lockwell snapped, imperatively, secretly frustrated at James’ comments. She calmed down. “It was pretty obvious you weren’t supposed to come in here, you’ve only got yourselves to blame. Now, come on, you’re going to help us.”

Night of the Worms Music

Lewis takes James and Shannon to a restaurant on Malistoni Minor

Next Time:
Tribal. 9 of 13: On the jungle planet of Koloko, a tribe is terrorised by golden spheres that randomly appear out of nowhere. As Lewis, James, and Shannon try to help the tribe with their problems, no one is prepared for what’s inside…

The Empress Armageddon – by Lewis Wollington

Episode 7 - The Empress Armageddon (The Empress Yukisan and James)

Catch up on last week here

What’s Happened So Far:
On an evening out in Torquay, James finds the new restaurant run by the woman who used to be his boss. When they worked together in Plymouth, James was fired for snooping through files containing odd images and stories about a dragon. Remembering all of these memories, now with people who may actually believe him, James takes Lewis and Shannon to the new restaurant as the reopening of his first ever investigation from before the paradox…

Music for this Extract:


Extract:

The restaurant was fairly dark, lit only by red lanterns that hung from the ceiling like streamers. There were paintings of swans and cranes and trees all up the walls as a smell of oriental origin flooded into the room. The three of them were sat around a round table with a platter of Japanese food in front of them. Lewis was digging into some salmon sushi while Shannon vouched for the avocado and cucumber option. James was munching on some sesame prawn toast, however he wasn’t really paying much attention. His eyes stayed vigilant at all times as they constantly surveyed the room for anything that might be suspicious. He lost concentration as he caught sight of Lewis indulging in even more sushi.
“You guys are supposed to looking out as well, you know,” he moaned.
“Yeah, we are, but if we don’t eat this food then we’ll become the suspicious ones,” Lewis replied as an excuse to eat more food.
“You can eat and observe at the same time,” he whined.
“We are!” Shannon insisted. James rolled his eyes, shook his head and sighed. As he looked away, he caught something out of the corner of his eye; his face dropped. There, through the round windows of the doors to the kitchen, he saw her standing; Christine. Waving his hand to grab their attention so he wouldn’t have to look away, James tried getting Shannon and Lewis to look, as urgently and subtlety as possible.
Through gritted teeth, he violently whispered, “Guys! Guys! There she is! Christine!” Lewis looked up immediately with half a piece of sushi hanging out of his mouth. As he attempted to eat it, using just his mouth to save its life, Shannon gazed over through eagle eyes. She caught sight of her. Between 50 and 60 years old, Christine was Japenese, short, plump, and had a short, black, curly perm that was beginning to go grey. She was wearing a white blouse with a blue floral print that hung unbuttoned over a plain white T-shirt. There was nothing unusual about her whatsoever, but this was what worried Shannon so much. If James was right with his suspicions, maybe that’s how she got away with her crimes – by appearing normal.
“Doesn’t look like a criminal to me… or an empress,” Lewis inputted.
“Oh yeah, and I’m sure you’ve seen loads of empresses before,” James responded sarcastically. “I still don’t understand why she moved so quickly. It usually takes years of planning to pull of such an extensive move but she did it all in a couple of weeks.”
“Maybe she doesn’t hang around. Maybe she can make really fast decisions,” Shannon surmised.
“Or maybe she started planning a long time ago,” James said, with a tone of voice that suggested he’d been thinking about this for quite a while now. “Perhaps Plymouth was all just a big decoy to make people believe that moving to Torquay has nothing to do with whatever happens next.”
“And what does happen next?” Lewis asked, now deeply interested in James’ points.
“A dragon apparently.”
“A dragon?” a voice replied, sounding interested, making all three of them jump. James turned around to see Christine looming over him.
“I thought I told you I never wanted to see you again.” she spat.
“Yeah, well, we can’t always get what we want in life can we?”
“Get out, now, before I cause a fuss.” Lewis and Shannon just sat there, going red in embarrassment, not sure if she was being serious or not.
“Go on, I said get out!” she shouted, imperatively, with severity and seriousness very much present in her voice. As they got up, their chairs squeaked across the floor humiliatingly. Everyone was looking at them.
As James gave one last evil stare at Christine, she leaned in close, pointed her chubby forefinger at his chest, and angrily whispered, “And don’t you ever come back again.”

Next Time:
Night of the Worms: 8 of 13. On the first of three planets Lewis plans to take James and Shannon to, Malistoni Minor, a city famous for trade is terrorised by parasites that came in some cargo. When the team meet a group of criminals who have been sent to destroy the Cargo Worms, they realise that it’s a suicide mission. With danger around every corner, will anyone survive the night of the worms?