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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 archaeological 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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