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Part 2. The Gardens

VIII. The Game Begins

A wave of vertigo overtook him as the scene quickly shifted from a roughly pixelated game library screen, to a lush jungle sprawling out before him. He could taste the dank moisture in the air and marveled at the realism of the software to somehow trick his olfactory senses into really believing he was in a jungle.

He carefully approached the waning precipice that was just a few steps ahead of him and looked out to see a small village seeming to almost float like a piece of fire lit debris in the overwhelming sea of dark green all around it.

It appeared to be relatively small but from his vantage, he could see half a dozen cook fires, and twice that many in small torches that ringed the small clearing the village was in.

Not having any prompts from the game or any other helpful tutorial messages, he slowly began to make his way down from the rocky outcropping he had spawned on and made his way to the village. He soon found himself wiggling his way through the dense underbrush, and each time he was bitten, stung, or cut, he marveled once again at the life-like fidelity offered by this old headset.

He had never gotten to wear one of the full haptic feedback suits, but he had heard this is what it felt like, indiscernible from real life in every way.

He reckoned it was dead-on two hours of suffering when he began to see the fire twinkle through the thick foliage, and as he got closer, a loose drumming rhythm began to fill his ears. They… whoever they were… seemed to be having a party, and he should arrive at just the right time to enjoy it!

He was so glad he had found that stupid chinchilla that led him to this wonderful headset. While wandering through the jungle was a new type of suffering, it was a different flavor than he was used to, and the excitement of it all was an extremely welcome one.

Another half hour of trekking brought him up to the outskirts of the little village. One moment he was stepping through the jungle, and the next he simply wasn't.

The village had cleared a large swath of the land back to give themselves a little room from the green monster at their door. He imagined this served several purposes. If they were an agricultural society, some of their farming could be done around the borders. Also, the cleared land gave them a bit of a defensive advantage as well. Anyone attacking would have to cross the no man's land to get to the relative safety of the buildings beyond.

As he crossed the no man's land himself, someone shouted from the other side, and a flaming arrow landed beside his feet.

“Who goes there?” The voice in the dark challenged

“It’s.. (unintelligible)..? I am not from around here. A lost traveler.” He responded almost instinctively.

There was a bit of a pregnant silence where he waited to see if he would be shot from the huts, or if a horde of angry locals would run out and chase him like they did in the ancient treasure hunting film his father had loved so much. Indy… something.

His revelry was stopped when a more authoritative voice boomed.

“Come closer. Slowly.” It commanded. He did as he was told. This wasn't his first rodeo in a video game, or in real life for that matter.

As he approached the low mud huts with their thatched roofs, he could make out the bright pigments that adorned their walls. He couldn't quite make out any of the actual depictions on them, just splashes of bright color. As he approached the edge of the light he was spoken to once again.

“Lay down on the ground and put…”

“Yeah, yeah...” he answered back a bit venomously, “with my hands on my head.”

He lay down and assumed the position.

As he lay on the ground smelling the richness of the black soil, his head was pushed down violently in the dirt. As he slowly raised his eyes he could see two large, non-human, clawed feet standing beside him.

“ Mother Fu-”

IX. The Locals

A club struck him right above his eye, and the last thought he processed before his brain switched off his consciousness was, “That was a giant fucking rat.”

He dreamed of… well… odd things, as his mind lay in the unrequested darkness of forced incapacitation.

He was back home in his shitty apartment, but it was nicer. Even nicer than it had gotten in the recent days. He had all the amenities of a regular place; TV, dishwasher, a fridge full of food, and when he opened the door and walked out into the freshly painted hallway and newly laid hardwood floors he saw something truly strange.

He saw smiling, attractive people all going about their business. After he passed each one he saw them smile? At him? That was extremely odd.

As he took the stairs down to the street, he passed an attractive woman on the step. She smiled as he walked past, but his smile turned to fear when he saw what was sitting in her handbag.

A plump red eyed chinchilla.

Screaming himself awake, he found he was no longer in the Stepford dimension of his existence, but was still in the even more bizarre one of the virtual reality world he had willingly stepped into.

His shout had propelled his head forward, but he found the only way he could make it rest was to lean backwards. He was tied and staked at each of his appendages, and the knots were so tight, they were clearly meant to keep him in an extremely uncomfortable, and unrested position.

His positioning was secondary however to the tribe of large rat people who were all standing around him and apparently offering some sort of judgment.

The large black furred one was standing silently ahead of the others, and it was hitting a rounded obsidian cudgel into one of its large clawed hands.

“You heard him,” the big one said, “he's with them!” It barked and snarled with two large rodent incisors gleaming in the firelight.

“He's a chinchilla spy!” Another shouted.

As bizarre as his life had become, this moment truly stood out for him. In a forest that only grows violent piles of shit. This one. This one stood alone.

“I hate the chinchillas,” he sputtered out, coughing a bit of dried blood and part of a tooth with it.

“Liar,” the big one breathed, and bent down to eye level with the captive.

“I say we kill him now!” He roared and lifted his cudgel high in the air.

“No,” a quiet but firm voice said from the back.

He couldn't see who had spoken. But the hush that came over the crowd of rodents and the parting of it spoke volumes.

“Let me see,” an old voice said, coming up behind the tied and prostrated man.

“Yes, I think he's innocent of the evil chinchilla taint. He has been used by them, yes, but not corrupted. Yes, yes..” the old rodent said and turned away.

“Cut him free,” he added and returned to the center of the camp and to his customary place by the large fire.

“Bring him to me. Let's hear his story.”

“But -” The large black one started.

“We are not chinchillas. We are people of the seeds. We are Guinea Pogs,” the old one said with a strong but polite rebuke in his words.

God-damn guinea pigs. He thought to himself as the.. Pogs cut his hands and legs free from his binds.

He stood up slowly and rubbed the sore places on his flesh. It was strange to a guinea pig that stood six feet tall. The big one must have been close to 6'-5”, a giant among any species. It growled but let him pass, and found a matching step right behind him, large club in hand.

He was still rubbing his wrist when he made his way into the large crowd of rodents and was pointed to a blanket at the left side of the elderly pog.

“Tell us your story, traveler. How did you wind up here with the people of the seed?” The old pog gestured to the large stew pot and a smaller guinea pig handed him a smoothed earthen bowl and filled it with several ladle spoons full of a warm and earthy smelling soup.

The smell was intoxicating, and the old rat was very generous to allow him to eat before relaying his tale of woe to the now captive audience.

He left the part out that they were all just code in a gaming simulation he was playing, but he had to admit all of this seemed very real.

In his telling, he consumed two more bowls of the delicious soup, finding various seeds and vegetables in the mixture. It was the most healthy thing he had eaten in years. Too bad it was digital.

When he had finished the old rat said somberly, “We have heard tales like yours before. Travelers whose lives were stolen by the foul chinchillas and their dark magic.”

The crowd all nodded in sad agreement.

Curiosity taking over now he decided to ask, “Can you tell me about them? About the chinchillas I mean?”

The old pog looked into the fire and nodded his consent.

“Your fate seems to be tied with them. The least I can do is let you know with whom it is you dance.”

X. Tales of the Enemy

He knew from playing games as a child when a long cutscene was incoming, but this time he decided to not skip the dialogue and get straight back into the roleplay.

Sitting down at the old Pog’s feet, he watched the smoke dance and transform into the story being told before him.

“Long ago when the world was new and the moon was still fresh cheese,” several of the children pogs giggled at this, so the old man winked and continued.

“The great Guinea Pog God, Hamburger, came into the world of Bursaria. He saw that it was a land without a people. So he lay down with the goddess Miss Twinkles and produced all the tribes of the guinea pogs.”

The old pog made expansive gestures with his hands and blew a smoke cloud that broke into fifty different tribes that slowly grew farther and farther apart.

“The snake goddess of the underworld saw this and was not pleased,” the pogs in the background hissed at the mention of her.

“But she had a plan. Many worlds had she corrupted, and this would just be another to add to her collection. One night while Miss Twinkles was away, the great snake transformed into a perfect copy of her, and then came to lay with Hamburger and stole his mighty seed. Once they were finished, she turned back into the snake and slain him in his bed as he slept.”

Wails from the crowd. They all knew this story, he thought.

“Next, she slithered back to the down under and bore her foul fruit: the corrupted spawn of the great hamburger and her broken self.

These were the first of the chinchillas and when evil truly came to our lands.”

He had to admit he was actually interested now. Just as he thought this, the old pog stood up and announced.

“Time for bed, my children. We will tell more tales of the chinchillas tomorrow, when the sun is up. It's best not to speak of them at their time of night.”

The crowd began to disperse, all except for the elderly pog and the giant warrior.

“My son,” the elderly one looked at the aggressive warrior and pointed, “we call him Full Cheeks, and I am Butterscotch,” the old pog said, and gave a little bow.

“Cheeks will take you to the guest hut, and we will speak more on this tomorrow,” he said and walked off without discussion.

“Goes without saying, I will be standing guard outside your hut tonight. Anything funny and I feed you to the jungle, understand furless?” hissed the hulking pog.

Furless nodded, and followed the Full Cheeks to a small clean hut on the edge of the settlement. Cheeks held open the covering for the door and let him enter by himself. Upon entering he looked around and saw about what he expected.

A small freshly lit fire, a pile of woven blankets that served as a bed, and a small table with a bowl of seeds and one with water. Everything a young Pog might need for the evening.

As the covering shut, he decided now would be a good time to save his progress and dip out. Reaching up across dimensions and space he made to remove his VR helmet.

Nothing happened.

Panic instantly set in as he began to claw at the side of his head looking for the release to free himself from this reality and send him back to the other. He could feel blood rushing down the sides of his head as he dug deeper and deeper into the lower edge of his scalp.

What the hell was this?

Was he one of those people floating through an imagined existence while the real him was off in a coma somewhere? Waiting for a code word like Pineapple to wake him up from it? Was this some kind of node?

He lay down on the mat because he could not think of anything better to do to ease his anxiety. He just had to get a hold of himself. Even the older VR systems had ways of forcing an exit.

He went through a list of all the verbal commands he could think of, and found these too were for naught.

Eventually sleep took him, and he found his way back into the stepford life he had briefly seen earlier. The routine was the same: wake up, smile, see happy people, go downstairs. Except this time there was a car waiting for him on the street. The driver welcomed him and took him to one of the old business districts in Buckhead.

Fancy part of town, he thought to himself as he was let out in front of a large black glass skyscraper. Walking towards the door, he found it opened before him and a smiling concierge waiting to escort him to the elevator and to the proper floor. 32.

On floor 32, he found a glass edifice with the name Sugarpig Gaming etched across the door.

That was funny, he thought. He used to have a dog named Sugarpig.

His feet seemed to control themselves, as did his mouth as he greeted several people by name going about their daily routine. Inside his mind he had no idea what was going on. It was like a movie, except in first person.

The experience is what he began to think of as soon as he was seated in a conference room, and his other self was being pitched the idea for a game about Guinea pigs in a rainforest.

It was a survival game.

He shot awake.

XI. The Storm

It was raining outside. The pounding torrent was making the thatched roof sway under the weight of the blanket of water that was continuously striking it.

Sitting up, he saw he was not alone in his little visitors tent. Butterscotch was there watching him.

“Good morning,” the cherry Guinea Pog said and handed over a bowl of berries and nuts.

“Thank you,” the man said and took a handful of the offering.

“Your sleep was very troubled,” Butterscotch noted, “I think the chinchillas chase you in more worlds than this one.”

He nodded at the wisdom of the rodent's words.

“You are right, Butterscotch. I don't know how or why, but I believe it's their fault I am here with you.”

The old rodent chuckled at this “Is it not obvious? It's a test.”

He nodded his consent that he believed, but for what? And whom?

Sensing his thoughts, Butterscotch picked up his story with a puff of blue hued smoke.

“The chinchillas began building their empire under the earth. Killing, enslaving, and sacrificing any that lay before them. The evil races of the down under were no match for the new abomination upon their soil. Then one day, they discovered us. The Guinea Pogs”.

The great map of smoke appeared again, and one by one, the stars seemed to fade, and instead, a dark pit was left in its place. At last, there were half a dozen or so stars left.

“So few?” He asked, and Butterscotch nodded.

“We are lucky here, this part of the jungle has thick stone underneath, and the chinchillas do not like to move in daylight, nor do their foul creations.”

“Creations?” he asked

“Yes. The fate of a guinea pog captured by a chinchilla is often much worse than simple death. You see the dark gods of the Chinchillas will not accept the soul of a pog for sacrifice. So once we are killed, they raise us again to serve them. In death, we are tireless and fodder to serve them at hand and in battle. The undead legions of the Chinchillas is one of its fiercest weapons.”

“Zombies?” He asked not believing what he was being told.

“Zombie pogs,” corrected Butterscotch.

“I don't understand what any of this has to do with me, Butterscotch,” he said pleading in his voice.

“Why am I here? What do they want from me?”

Butterscotch was about to answer when the sound of a horn blew in the village.

“In the name of Hamburger!” Butterscotch cursed.

“They are here! Quickly! Run!” The old pog shouted and led the charge straight out of the door.

The storm had yet to abate, and they could see frenzied Pogs running in every direction. Butterscotch tried to calm his people but was quickly knocked over by a mama pog and her young pups.

He helped the old pog up and led him up towards the edge of the village. As they approached Full Cheeks sprinted up beside them, cudgel held high.

“No, Cheeks,” his winded father said.

“It was not him. I know it.”

Cheeks lowered his weapon and scooped up his father in his two powerful arms.

“Come with me if you want to live,” he said to the furless man and sprinted off into the storm.

He really hated all of this, as he was trying to keep up with Full Cheeks and his father. Everytime they would stop, he would try to remove the VR helmet once again. He was seriously starting to wonder if the thing was stuck or maybe he was just in a coma for real this time. Honestly, that made more sense.

All around them in the jungles, the screams of dying and now enslaved guinea pogs filled the air. It sounded like a fucking route. The scariest part for him the entire time was the little voice in the back of his mind that kept saying,

“I know where you are,” and “I am going to get you.”

He knew it was Mary.

Each time the alien voice echoed in his mind, it spurred him to run faster and faster, nipping at the heels of the great guinea pig before him. Without notice, Cheeks threw his father at the man creature and pulled his great stone cudgel from his back. Before he even had time to stand, the large beast had crushed the skulls of two of the undead guinea pog zombies and was holding back several more with the threat of more swings.

Then something inside the old pog broke, and he picked up a large stone and joined the fray.

With each swing, he caved in the thin bone skull of a once living creature and hoped his blows would give them some sort of rest. With each swing, however, he also felt a bit of power enter him. Maybe it was adrenaline? Either way, it spurred him on, and the great guinea pog and his father soon stood on a pile of mangled and rotting creatures.

Eventually, even their bravado was not enough, and as the wind and rain pressed in, they found it was too much to fend off their assailants.

The storm was a tool of the enemy, he thought, as the two pogs and himself were plopped down in front of a pair of hooded chinchillas. Seeing them in person and at this size, he could see the demonic influence. These things were evil. The black cloak and necklace of skulls definitely lent a hand to the image.

Full Cheeks was about to bark a threat at the pair of hooded figures when they simply nodded to one of the undead pogs next to them.

The zombie pog stabbed Full Cheeks over and over until one of the masters made a motion and stopped the affair. Butterscotch wept openly at the brutalized and still bleeding body of his son.

To add insult to injury, the chinchilla popped something out of its bag, ate it, and then began to chant in a horrible muttering of sounds, the likes of which can only be found in a truckstop bathroom.

But as it finished its eruption, Cheeks began to move again. He looked the same as he did in life, except for his eyes.

They had been gouged out.

XII. Cenote

The living were shackled and marched between the animated dead that led the attack, and those that were added after.

Butterscotch continued to look back at Cheeks, his reason gone, and the only thing left in its place was the weeping of a shattered parent.

“I’m sorry, Butterscotch,” he said, trying to find the words or an action, anything to comfort the broken guinea pog.

Butterscotch said nothing, and so the lone human in the group did his best to focus on the world around him, and with each step he prayed the helmet would come off his face and he could go back to his life. Being nearly homeless in a dead city was better than.. whatever this was.

The captive pogs were marched for a day and night through the thick jungle of their home, and at last the party came to a cave. He scratched his head as best as he could with both hands bound together with tough hemp rope and searched his memory for the actual term for this sort of cave. They were common in Mexico and maybe Guatemala? That dead British guy that narrated the episodes of his dad's favorite doc… what was it called again.. Oh right.. Planet Earth with David Attenborough.

“Cenote!” He yelled in triumph noting it was from the caves episode.

His yell was matched by an evil hiss in the background, and a hulking rotting pog came and struck him in his stomach hard enough that he looked to make sure the hand hadn’t gone through his skin.

Looking at the monstrosity, he decided a jungle was not a great place for rotting meat.

Once he recovered from his belting, he looked around for Butterscotch but did not see the old creature anywhere. He actually grew quite bored sitting in the sweltering shade above the limestone opening and wondered what exactly they were waiting for. He needed not to wait long.

As soon as night fell, the chinchillas began to chant at the lip of the cavern, and as they finished their fell incantation, they selected several of the women and children of the group to be brought forward.

“You! Man flesh,” growled one of the hooded chinchillas.

He was brought before the group and forced down to his knees. The chinchilla revealed its face, and there was something in her face that struck a chord.

“Mary?” He said.

His query was answered with a wicked laugh to the heavens and a cackling,


Once the tirade was over, the chinchilla looked at him again.

He was mumbling “it's a game,” to himself over and over when he felt the long slender claws of her hand wrap around his jaw.

“Oh, it's a game,” she said.

“It's just mine. Bring those to me,” Mary said pointing at the pre-selected captives.

“Sisters,” Mary said, motioning to the other chinchillas.

Each selected one of the Pogs, and he watched as their throats were slit and each body was tossed into the cenote and hit with a sickening and final splash. Mary turned to watch his expression and motioned for him to come to the lip and see. He found his feet moving almost on their own accord.

As he looked down, he saw the large cenote had become a frothing pit of blood. He could feel power there, and the look on Mary's face told him she had been waiting to see if he could tell or not.

She seemed pleased, and he felt relief? He continued to watch as the frothing torrent of blood and foam began to abate, and in its wake was a lone cylindrical staircase hugging the limestone wall of the now empty cavern.

Even in the dark he could tell it was a portal to one hell or another.

XIII. The Down Under

He imagined hell a lot as a kid, growing up in a time when an established global community was brought to its knees by problems thought to have been delegated to generations past.

But in all the hells he had lived, never had he seen one like this.

They traveled down for what seemed like a day, getting to rest for a few hours in a carved out niche that couldn't even be considered a cubbyhole for the monstrous yawing cavern that lay out before them.

Just a dark stair leading to any demon from any time, he wondered if it would ever end.

As he walked Mary came and spoke to him from time to time, she seemed to enjoy the suspicious looks he got from the guinea pogs when she did. He even caught Butterscotch staring at him with hate in his old golden eyes. Soon it was decided that a line of dead pogs including Cheeks stayed between him and the other prisoners.

“For your own safety of course” Mary assured him, and with each step he found he wanted to know more and he also loathed himself for appearing to side with these… monsters.

Just bide your time, he told himself. He was not a monster.

He didn’t know how long had passed before a light glow could be seen from the lip of the stair. Feeling a little brave, he stuck his head out and looked down to see some sort of blue bioluminescence beginning to break up the perfect black of the hole.

“You're not in Kansas anymore” he muttered to himself and kept his trudging march down the ever winding stair.

As the party lowered, what he had earlier assumed to be small glowing plants turned into gigantic ones; he found the colossal blue mushrooms to be strangely phallic shaped and as large as any tree he had ever seen. Smaller mushrooms of differing colors seemed to cluster at the bases of the blue giants and every so often he saw small creatures scurrying in the dark.

“It's called the Down Under.” Mary said, coming up from behind him.

“It is my home.” she added, and waved her hand out expansively.

“It's… beautiful.” he said without thinking and immediately regretted it.

Mary grabbed his hand at this. “You feel a kinship here, do not be ashamed.” She dropped his hand and headed back to the head of the column.

For another day they continued their march through the forest of blue mushrooms, until they came upon a giant hollowed tunnel in the side of the great underground world.

The cave was perfectly circular and looked like one of those crazy boring machines had cut it, except it was nearly 100 feet in every direction, he marveled at the size. What could have made this?

One of the pogs saw his gawk and answered with a bit of venom in her tone.

“Surprised a traitor like you doesn't know about the great worms.” she spat.

“I'm not -” he started and stopped as a whip reached out from the dark and struck the pog on her face tearing her cheek from the bone and leaving the pog prostrate and bleeding on the cold stone. Some of the other pogs started to help her up when a hiss in the dark answered.

“Leave her.” It said and two zombie pogs appeared and stood over the withering female.

“Let the first creature that wants her take her, but do not let her leave on her own power.”

The undead did not respond, but they will obey.

What a cruel race of beings he thought to himself as he jogged to catch up with his line of guards. Wait, did he say ‘his?

When they slept, his only dreams were of the strange stepford existence, and the fake perfect life that seemed to grow and grow in more complexity each day. In his most recent vision, he imagined his team where he worked were all dedicated to flushing out a fake and storied social media presence for this fun and exciting life he had never led. He found himself posing with beautiful women and going to eat at only the finest dining restaurants, making sure to take a picture before every meal.

Documentation is the most important part after all, right?

He awoke exhausted and followed the strange carnival of death for another morning when at last in a great cavern so large it seemed to have its own weather, he and the other captives stood on a hill and looked down to see a great city of death.

Aztec-like pyramids filled the black stone streets, and in the strange light, of which he could not place its source, he could see the stone all had a sick sheen of crimson.

This was the city of the dead.

XIV. The City of the Dead

If he had to guess what architectural style this race of angry chinchilla people were going for, it would have to be whatever style it is that instills absolute fucking terror into anyone who stands before it.

Staying with the Central American theme, the chinchillas seemed to take their pyramids straight out of an architecture textbook; mirroring something like Teotihuacan, the giant pyramid of the Sun in Mexico.

Though he now thought that might have been something the Aztecs took from someone else.

If you took that building style and covered it in every state of drying blood, added spikes and statues of everything contained in a nightmare, and then sat it in a great underground cavern, you might start to understand how terrifying and awe inspiring the presence of this place was for a person. If he had been anywhere else, he would have been greatly disturbed by the sensation of his own fresh urine running down his leg, but the entire causeway they were walking down was soaked in the piss of many creatures, and worse.

It was a road of the damned.

The path of filth led straight as an arrow through the huge city of cyclopean black stone and headed for the tallest of the pyramids. A colossal structure in the center of the city, the top of which was capped with a sickening stone piece in the shape of a grinning fanged skull.

In his heart he knew that's where they were heading and there was no way he could do anything to stop it.

After the fear left, a numbness overtook him. It was then followed by a strange peace, a little bit at first, and with each step it grew a little stronger.

Maybe death would be better? Just a week ago he had been one of the many squatting masses in the ruins of a once great city, suffering the wake of the domino of disasters put off until it was too late by the generations that came before him. Now he was going to die in a VR game and probably.. no, definitely eaten by a pack of blood thirsty rodents. It was a unique life and death.

With certainty and peace also came curiosity, and he began to look at the city around him and truly see it for what it was, an alien civilization that was living and dying somewhere that was definitely not confined to his VR headset.

The small streets off the central boulevard were packed with regular looking chinchillas who seemed to be just going about their day. He saw other darked hooded sorcercors leading their train of dead and undead guinea pog slaves, just doing the normal things in life, shopping and enjoying the day?

I guess anytime served as the day when you were this deep underground? Remembering this, he looked at the light emanating from somewhere up above and still could not place its source, a very interesting mystery. They soon passed another major thoroughfare that gave him a look down a larger side street where he saw the storefronts of shops, each painted in bright red paint and marked in strange sharp letters denoting their purpose. Strangely enough he found he could read some of them. There was a spice shop, one offering ‘meats’, and yet another painted matte black that said ‘ The Esoteric Cauldron.’ He wouldn't mind stopping there actually, who knows what sort of magic existed in this world, maybe not just the blood kind.

All idle thought stopped however when he bumped into the rotting mass of meat in front of him that used to be a living free being. A wet slime soaked his shirt through the creatures mottled and oozing fur and he immediately felt very sick. He felt sicker however when he noticed the pyramid that had once seemed impossibly far off now stood before him.

The chinchillas leading him disappeared into a great throng of black clad chinchillas surrounding the base of the structure, and he along with the pogs were corralled and marched up the staircase by the uncaring and unfeeling undead that now surrounded them.

Each step a great bell rang out in his head and he knew he was taking each step closer to his own doom.

It went about like he expected when they reached the top, there was a sort of industrial efficiency in the sacrifice of the poor wretches that stood before him, each seemed to be destined for one use or another and each was quickly sent on their way.

The young were killed outright and their bodies tossed down the great staircase to the howling crowd below. The old and infirm were strapped down and forced to watch the entire spectacle. The young and healthy were brutally killed by stabbing their torsos, each was then raised to join the army of the dead.

By the time it was mostly over he felt…ready. Ready for it to be over.

Soon he looked around and found he was the last free creature standing and a robed chinchilla motioned for him to approach. He could see it was Mary and once he stood before her she lowered her hood and smiled back at him.

“Now your trial truly begins my son.” The chinchilla said and held out the black blood stained blade.

As if in a dream he took it, and followed her to the line of restrained elderly pogs. As he went down the row and killed each one, his skill with the blade quickly grew.

The last was Butterscotch, and as he ran the blade across his furry neck with an almost surgical precision, he felt a power begin to grow inside of him.

End of Part 2

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