Warlord – Chapter 19
Zero walked through the large passage. His boots were covered with dirt that was made out of mucus. Zero was very careful and made sure that his footsteps were light. Because of the underground living environment, the creatures didn’t have good sight. Instead, their auditory senses were much developed. They would be aware of it if a needle fell to the ground.
Zero calculated the pace of the jing worms and came to a conclusion that they were about a mile away from his current location. But the cave that they had dug seemed endless. He walked alone in the dark underground passage.
At the same time, he thought about his on condition. The people of today’s era had almost half a century gap with him regarding mentality and worldview.
He didn’t remember his past. Who was he? Where he came from? What did he work as? He didn’t have any answer to these questions. He believed that one day he would know the truth.
He reached the end of the passage.
Actually, it wasn’t an end, but the passage made a 90-degree bend and extended downwards.
He lit a fluorescent tube and dropped it. The flashing light went down the vertical passage and hit the ground.
The vertical pit was about ten meters deep. The distance wasn’t much for Zero. The fluorescent tube was flashing as he looked down the ground. He climbed all the way down. The fluorescent light extinguished the moment his feet hit the ground. He took another stick and lit the light. The green light scattered around and brightened the place
He walked along the horizontal passage. The passage was tilted town as if he was walking straight down to the hell.
Zero’s journey ended soon.
He heard unnatural voices coming from the front.
It seemed as if the some kind of friction was happening. Zero couldn’t determine the source, so he pulled out his M500 revolver. It was a large-caliber gun so it could pierce through the tough shell of the jing worm.
The sounds were getting closer as he moved on.
The green fluorescent light lit the end of the passage.
There was a massive cave at the end of the passage. Zero thought that it was about three hundred meters in radius.
He squatted down. Huge worms were tangled together and moving around each other. The strange sounds were the result of the friction between them. The jing worms were so big that he couldn’t determine the location of their heads or tails.
He looked towards the edge of the cave where a pile of thick copper ores were placed.
Zero pondered at sight. They were food for the jing worms. Why did they bring and stock them here? Moreover, these amount of copper ore was enough for them to eat for several days. Were they preparing food in advance? If so then why?
Zero quickly analysed the scene.
Jing worms were tangled and intertwined as if they were snakes trying to breed. However, they reproduced asexually, so there was no need for the behaviour that they showed. However Zero didn’t have detailed information about the worms, so he only knew what Old Jack had told him.
He was here for investigation not for annihilation! Zero didn’t like to be the hero and act out excessively. He was about to leave when the next scene made him shocked.
The largest worm out stuck out its head. There was total of six red eyes on its head. It’s mouth which went from one side of its head to the other opened up.
Because of the green fluorescent light Zero was clearly able to see the details. There were three layers of teeth in its mouth. They were able to dig out rocks. However, the target of the worm was its own companion.
It began to swallow its companion slowly.
Zero’s pupils shrank as he looked at the sight. What was the hell going on?
Soon after the worm swallowed the whole body of the companion. The body of the worm enlarged for some time, but it stabilised later. It seemed very hungry as it opened its giant mouth and began to swallow the other worms.
The sounds of sucking and swallowing echoed. The large jing worm ate up the other two companions. The body of the jing worm became extremely large after swallowing three worms.It issued a scream as its six red eyes flashed no-stop. It seemed that the jing worm was digesting the eaten worms at an unbelievable speed while excreting at the same time.
Its giant body twisted and curled into a cocoon which looked like a small hill. It looked like a heart of a human. Moreover, the worm trembled once in a while.
Zero quietly withdrew from the place. His task to gather the intelligence was over.
He couldn’t help but think that the jing worm was going through some kind of evolution. Most probably it was improving its own gene by swallowing its companies and evolving into a higher level of life form. To survive, they had to make themselves stronger! Humans were going through evolution to attain powers and abilities so the other creatures.
Zero knew that the professionals had to assess the situation and decide whether the new form of the jing worm would threaten base. It wasn’t Zero’s job to think about it, and he didn’t have the intention to get involved in it.
Two hours had already passed. Zero climbed and walked back. He frowned when he heard a noise of the crowd from the entrance to the work area. It was time to work so the entrance shouldn’t be so noisy.
He saw that Nick was in dispute with others as he got close to the crowd. Nick ran over as he saw Zero appear.
“Sire, you are finally back.”
Zero nodded: “What’s happening?”
“Sire, we can’t get in touch with the base.” Nick breathed rapidly as he pointed towards the base: “About half an hour ago we wanted to take back the first batch of copper ore, but the door to the base was locked. We tried to contact with the radio, but there was no answer. We are anxious because we don’t know what’s happening inside the base.”
“Didn’t you contact Old Jack?”
“We can’t contact with the radio. We tried to use a phone, but there is no electricity. Moreover, no one is answering.” Nick hesitated: “It’s simply incredible. It’s as if everyone within the base has suddenly disappeared.”
Zero boarded the tub as he left to the entrance.
No one saw him gentle grip the handle of the revolver.
Another crowd was gathered around the door when Zero reached the entrance.
Zero jumped off the tub: “Who is the person in charge?”
“I’m sire.” A middle-aged man squeezed out of the crowd: “I’m Jerry, and I work as the head of the mine operations.”
“What’s wrong with the doors?” Zero asked.
“The electronic system is malfunctioning.” Jerry continued: “There is no reaction from the base. Our electrician is working on the issue, but the chances are very low that we will be able to solve it out.”
A thin man was squatting by the door as he checked the electronic circuits of the door. Zero came to stand next to him: “Will you be able to open it?”
“There is no response.” The man didn’t even turn his head. He jumped up the next moment when he saw the military uniform Zero was wearing: “Sire, I’m trying.”
Zero asked: “Can we open it manually?”
“Manual system!? Damn …” Electrician shook his head: “Damn! I’ve forgotten the manual system!”
The electrician called out to several miners and ran to the other side of the door in haste.
It didn’t take long before the door to the base began to open slowly.
The people were relieved, but Zero felt his skin tingle.
The moment doors began to open a red liquid began to flow in slowly. The red liquid flowed over the brown ground as it passed by Zero and other miners shoes. It stopped about ten meters in.
An arm flew inside…
It was a human arm that was torn from the shoulder. The white bones and blurred flesh were clearly visible.
“What … What going on?” Jerry was stupefied as he looked at Zero.
Zero took a deep breath and whispered: “Shut the door after I go in!”
Zero entered the base, and the door slowly closed after moments.