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Steam Novel Chapter 04: Switched . Well, chapters three and four are out! This blurb will be copied over to both of them, and here's why. I've decided to post these chapters now, and chapter six tomorrow. Due to homework and stuff, it's taking a lot longer than expected. Not to worry, though. I promise whole-heartedly that I'll post chapter six either this afternoon or tomorrow. I just want to fix it up a little bit. Also, the chapter name will be changed from the one I gave the spoiler to. It will not be called 'storming parliament house', as I thought it would be better to re-write it telling the events that happened before their infiltration. Don't worry, it's still a fantastic chapter and everything. Sorry for taking so long to write this stuff. I'm sure you'll enjoy this and revitalise the group once more... . Picture the most stereotypical sewer entrance your mind can make. Now scrap that; this is way more stereotypical than that. Placed right in front of James Wallace and his crew lay such an entrance. The black bricks that made it up were covered in blue-green moss. The sign above it was worn away, and only the W and R were visible from the text that originally spelt ‘sewer’. The tunnel only went for twenty fully-lit metres before stopping. Where it stopped lay a ladder, leading down to the darkness below. James looked ahead with a stern look on his face. Behind him were quite a few of his nervous teammates; some old and some new. Arcan was silent within the safety of the reaper, humming in the early morning sunshine. Art and Cutter, not knowing anyone else, were standing close together. They turned to the large hunk of metal standing over them. Cutter began speaking to Arcan, which to most people was quite humorous to watch. “So, how’s life here in a parallel universe?” “It’s not a parallel to us. You’re the parallel.” “Really? I suppose it’s just a matter of perspective, isn’t it?” “Perhaps.” “Say, that’s a nice suit of armour in there. It’s rather ‘iron-ic’, ay?” “This suit is made of a powerful compound that only contains an iron percentage of fifteen.” “Wow, too much information bro..” “Also, that joke was terrible.” “Jeez, you don’t have to be so frank about anything.” James was getting quite annoyed. “COULD YOU TWO JUST SHUT UP?!! WE HAVE A MISSION TO DO!!” The two fell silent. After a few moments, Arcan began to walk forward. When he got to the ladder hole, he simply jumped straight down. While doing this, Artorious noticed a large sand-coloured tarp covering a cylindrical object underneath the cape. He turned to James. “Yo, butler dude. Can I ask you a question?” “Listen, my name is not ‘butler dude’. My name is James. Please remember it.” “Sorry, the name ‘James’ is really hard to remember. There’s like a tonne of people named James at my workplace. Anyway, what is that thing under the robo-dude’s cape?” “His name is John Arcan, and that ‘robo-dude’ is called The Reaper. Please stop making up names.” “Whatever. What is that thing?” “What ‘thing’?” “You know, the thing under the tarp!” “What tarp?” “The sand-coloured tarp that’s covering something?” “I honestly don’t know. Perhaps it’s a secret weapon of some sorts.” “A secret weapon?” “To be honest, all I know is that Gale, his brother, gave him something before he left. I have no idea what it is, but as long as it doesn’t burden us like you are now then I don’t have any problems.” James gave a quick sigh before walking over to the ladder. Art saw him grab hold of each side pole and slide down into the darkness with ease. When he lost sight of him, he paced around for a while muttering to himself. Finally coming to his senses, he began the long climb down. The first thing everyone noticed when they got closer to the sewers was the smell. In many people’s imaginations, sewers are thought to be dark, cold and generally unpleasant. What people do not realise, however, is that there is also the smell factor. Sewers carry a lot of human waste, therefore the smell of the sewers is much like that of diving headfirst into a toilet. When they actually reached the bottom of the ladder, the smell was multiplied to a great number. Cutter covered his nose, spoke in a rather funny voice to Wallace. “POAH! It stinks down here! Couldn’t we have taken gas masks or something?” “Gas masks unfortunately lower one’s field of vision, and in places like these where something can sneak up behind you…” He took his twin swords out of his cane. “…we’re going to need it.” James began to walk forward. He gestured the others into a special formation, with himself at the front, Cutter and Art in the centre looking at both sides, and Arcan facing the back so as to not let enemies approach from a number of sides without being noticed. The sewer was a huge maze of tunnels, with nothing to show the way other than a few eerie green lights above. The reason for such a colour was because of bacteria. In this universe, bacteria didn’t grow as well under some filtered light as well as others. Although the light made the tunnels look like a haunted mansion from some sort of showground, it was something that had to be done. James took out what seemed to be a map, studying it for a few minutes. He then tucked it into his inner coat pocket and briskly walked forward. Only twenty minutes had passed, but to the small group of would-be soldiers it seemed like hours. James Wallace had a stern look on his face all the way, however. Not once did he even think about taking a rest. The same went for Arcan. Although he was inside the massive suit of armour and it was a lot hotter for him, Art eventually couldn’t handle the silence anymore, so he attempted to start a conversation with James. “Yo, James.” “Good to see you’ve got my name right. Now, what might the problem be?” “You seem much like a butler, right? Are you?” “I beg your pardon?” “I was just wondering if I was right to call you ‘butler dude’.” “In a way, you were. I used to be a butler, but my family and masters were lost in a terrible brawl thirty years ago.” “Oh, I’m so sorry…” “Don’t be, why would you be? You weren’t there.” “It’s a figure of speech…” “Oh. Well, it’s okay.” “Care to elaborate?” “Not really…” “Please?” James stopped for a second, causing a chain reaction of people bumping into one another abruptly behind him. He began walking again, but his expression had changed. He seemed to be lost in thought now. He turned back to Arcan. “Well, I suppose if we’re going to work together, I suppose secrets must be let go of between us…” “My family, the Wallaces, had served the royal family for years. You see, a long time back there was a king. He wanted to control the world’s primary power source; Rotonium. He believed that it shouldn’t be as cheap as it was. He even tried to make deals with the underworld. Once these deals were uncovered, he was sentenced to death. He went missing, however. Nobody knows what happened to him. After he disappeared, the Wallaces were still in change of taking care of him family members left behind. We served them for generations. I was no exception. I was in charge of protecting a young missy who went by the name of ‘Audry’. She was just a few years younger than me. I was only a teenager when I started protecting her. For years, we never spoke. But then, a gang of thugs tried to rob her. Naturally, I stopped them. After that, she hugged me. She was crying, then. She had never been so scared in her life. I told her everything would be okay. After making my report, all was well. However something in her had changed. She was starting to see me more as a friend than a butler. Years passed, and in time she began to have feelings for me, as I for her. We got married and had a son called ‘Christopher’. Even now I see him running up to me; just a wee little baby. Then, it all went bad. Christopher was only two at the time. Audry and I were still living in the same house that we had been for years. It was in the early evening of a Tuesday, and that’s basically all I can remember. We were sitting down for dinner when the alarm went off. I went down to investigate, but nobody was there. Then, when I went back to the table, I-“ James stopped mid-sentence. He put his hand up to his eye, surprised that he was crying. The usually stern ex-butler was desperately attempting to hold in his emotions. Art placed his hand on his back, and then quickly turned to look behind him. It was only then that the group realised that they had reached a large circular room with a large dome on the top of it. The green light had given way to a regular one, and upon closer inspection they noticed that there were multiple entrances to the room. Their observations, however, were cut short by a large laugh over the loudspeaker. “HAHAHAHAHAH! Oh James, please finish your story. I was really moved.” James was quite taken aback. “Quinton?!” “Yes, it is indeed me. A bit of ‘the old switcharoo’, I’m afraid. Hee hee!” “What do you mean? Where’s Longfellow?” “You came here for Longfellow, and I’m here to take his place. Figure it out…” “Wait, HE’S ON THE TRAIN?” “Oh, wonderful deduction, Sherlock! Anyway, considering how you won’t finish the story, how about I do it for you!” “What, how do you-“ “Now now, no interrupting. Let’s see, you came back to the table to find your wife dead and your son missing. Quite tragic, really. She was a lovely woman. And the way she was killed, OH! It was really overkill, if I do say so myself. Blood and guts everywhere, ugh, and not to mention her splattered brains across the walls. Seriously, all you need is a gun and BANG! She’s dead! But no, these guys had scoop out her brains and splatter them all over the wall. And damn, what they did to her dead body after it. Now THAT was disgusting. I mean, who the hell-“ “THAT’S QUITE ENOUGH! WHY DON’T YOU COME OUT AND FACE ME! SHOW YOURSELF YOU SON OF A-“ “Please! No profanity in my domain.” “You’re domain? What exactly gives you the right to call this ‘your domain’?” “Oh, that would be the – um – ‘redecorating’ I did.” “Redecorating? As if on cue, the four entrances began to close themselves up. Metal doors had risen from the ground to seal the small group in. James, by instinct, readied his twin swords. Art, because he was not used to his newly found weapon, fumbled for a few seconds before bringing them out of his wrists. Arcan readied the reaper, while Cutter prepared his weapon. Cutter’s weapon was an axe, however it could be heated up to slice through anything with ease. The laughter continued over the loudspeaker. “Oh, you’re very smart readying your weapons.” “Is that sarcasm I sense?” “OH NO! I would NEVER be sarcastic to you.” “Is that- never mind.” “I wasn’t being sarcastic. However, that being said, you’re looking in the wrong direction.” “What?” “Up?” “I beg your pardon?” “Look up.” Everybody looked up to see the dome opening like a clockwise-peeled orange. Behind it they could see the snake like heads of several mecha descending. Their snake heads hissed and twisted in anticipation. However, unlike the ones that James met at the dock, these were bright red. Cutter walked over to James and started shouting at him, so as to be heard above the robot’s battle cries. “They have robots?” “No. They have Mecha. Robots are driven by an AI, whereas these are driven by people.” Quinton chuckled over the speaker again. “Oh no, dear James. These are not Mecha. These are in fact robots after all. It’s less of a casualty count, if you catch my drift.” “But, you only had hours to do this. How?” “I think there are more important questions do deal with, such as how you’re going to get out of here, or what really happened that night thirty years ago.” “What, you know something?” “Survive and I might tell you, however that will be a problem.” The mecha were on the ground now, snarling and hissing at the group of misfits. Arcan took a step forward. “I don’t think it will be, Quinton.” He reached back to pull the tarp off his waist. It revealed a large rifle and a knife. Pulling out the rifle, he began shooting the robots down. One by one they fell, screaming in almost pain. These robots felt no pain, though. It was simply a joke programmed in by Quinton. Nobody thought it was funny except for him, however. Quinton indeed had some strange jokes. Arcan was doing quite well in destroying the robots around him at the time, but there were more and more arriving. James was trying to find a way out, but there wasn’t one. Arcan finally stopped and lowered his gun. “Well, seems as if it’s time we left this place.” He took out the knife and attached it to the end of his rifle, creating what looked like a scythe. Art’s jaw dropped. “A scythe? COME ON! I wanted a scythe!” Arcan took no notice of him, and piloted The Reaper to one of the doors. In a quick slice, he had opened it and was running through. James quickly stumbled behind him, shouting orders to his teammates. “We have a new objective; find Quinton. I want him alive. He knows something, and I want to find out what it is…” Quinton spun around his chair in the monitor room. There were many more cameras placed around the sewers, and he had been watching his targets ever since they set foot in it. He giggled and moved closer to the screen. “James Wallace. I could’ve sworn you were dead. I suppose destiny shall re-unite us at last. Find me, James. The game’s just beginning, and there are a lot more pieces for me to move. I may not go easy on you, but I do not doubt your abilities. It will be utterly fantastic!” James, for some reason, turned towards the screen. “You know you left the microphone on, idiot.” “WHAT? Oopsie! My bad. I guess I’ll turn it off.” “You may not reply to us, but I will find you. Whatever you’re planning, I will stop it.” James quickly sliced the camera two times; once with each sword. Quinton turned off the microphone and swung back around to the map. “What am I planning indeed? I honestly just wanted to play. Oh well, perhaps you’ll find clues to what really happened while down here.” “The mike is still on, Quinton. You didn’t turn it off properly.” “DAMNIT!” Quinton ripped the microphone out of its socket and threw it against the wall. The then began to laugh maniacally, as his madness took over once more… ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE PREVIOUS CHAPTER. CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE NEXT CHAPTER. THIS MESSAGE APPLIES TO THOSE PARTICIPATING IN THE CYOA Thanks for reading yet another epic chapter! Interesting twist, eh? Now, from here I need ideas. The story needs your imput more than ever. Since I've had schoolwork to do, I haven't figured out much more of this story. There are some ideas that I have, but I need your comments A LOT. What will your character do? What will they find? Tell me in the comment section below and/or in the CYOA group. I look forward to the next chapter... THIS MESSAGE APPLIES TO EVERYONE ELSE Thanks for reading my chapter! If you liked it, then like comment and add me as a favourite builder. Also, are you sad that you didn't realise about this CYOA and still want to take part in it? No problemo! Just click HERE to check out the group and sign up. Any newcomers are welcome, and although your entry may not be for another chapter or two you'll still get in! Also, click HERE to check out the whole novel in one place! 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