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Chapter 33: Perfection

Chapter 33: Perfection

The four white rats heard a scratching sound from inside the vat. They popped the lid open and a rat climbed out. It was larger than the white rats, with pink eyes and fur so white it seemed to glow.

"What do we call it?" one of the white rats asked.

"Well, we can't identify it by color."

"I know! We'll call it a perfected rat!"

"Who are you?" the perfected rat snarled.

"We work for Order from Chaos. It created you."

The perfected rat spat on the ground. "Pfft. With a name like that, I must be better than it is."

The white rats looked at each other nervously and didn't speak.

Strains of Arancaytar's music reached their ears. The white rats relaxed. The perfected rat just seemed irritated.

"What is that? Hey, you aren't going to let a simple trick like that fool you, are you?" The perfected rat slapped one of the white rats.

"Hey!" it said, rubbing its injured nose.

"Wake up, idiots. There's something funny going on." The perfected rat slapped another white rat.



Arancaytar continued to play the flute. Thuryl, JadeWolf, and Rakshasi alternately struck at the summoning machine with their weapons, but the energy shield blocked their blows completely. Student of Trinity slung the newly summoned rats. Everyone else watched nervously for rats. Finally, the energy shield flickered.

"Now we're getting somewhere." Rakshasi struck at the summoning machine again. The energy shield blocked his blow and then disappeared entirely.

Meanwhile, a tiny spider descended from the ceiling and landed on Arancaytar's hand. The moment he felt it touch him, he dropped the flute and panicked. "Ahhhhhh! Get it off! Get it off!" Arancaytar managed to knock it off his hand and stumbled away from it.

Student of Trinity squished it. "It's just a spider. Now pick up the flute, hurry."

As Arancaytar took a step towards the flute, a massive firebolt struck him, killing him instantly. The perfected rat and four white rats stood at the tunnel entrance.

"Aran!" Nikki yelled.

"Intruders! Kill them!" The perfected rat crushed the magic flute underpaw.

Nikki threw one of the madness gems at the rats. The four white rats froze, dazed and confused, but the perfected rat was unaffected. It launched a second fireball at Nikki before anyone else could respond. Nikki was blasted out of existence.

"Keep working!" Thuryl abandoned the summoning machine, stabbed a white rat, ducked a third fireball, and faced the white rat.

JadeWolf and Rakshasi hacked at the summoning machine where Rats Aplenty was stuck into the machine. Soon, they had a panel torn loose. Rakshasi pried it off of the machine while JadeWolf tried to pull the scenario out.

Synergy shot one of the white rats. Randomizer cast spray acid on another. Student of Trinity's rock killed the final one. About a dozen rats that had been in the caves joined the battle. Student of Trinity slung a rock at a mung rat. Randomizer cast spray acid at a blue rat. The Lurker stabbed a giant rat. Archmagus Micael cast slow on the perfected rat.

"Haste!" The perfected rat sped itself up, knocked Thuryl aside, and cast another firebolt. It hit JadeWolf.

"I need help!" Rakshasi said as a new rat was summoned.

The Lurker quickly killed the rat and Schrodinger yanked the scenario out of the machine and smashed it on the ground. The machine buzzed loudly and ground to a halt.

Thuryl got back to his feet and swung at the perfected rat. The perfected rat sent the sword flying and clawed him viciously. Thuryl sank to the ground, dead. Randomizer cast spray acid and Synergy fired a submission thorn at it. The perfected rat squeaked in pain and cast a firebolt at Synergy. Synergy dodged it just in time.

"Ow!" Student of Trinity was hit by a curse ray and bitten by a mung rat. Rakshasi stabbed the mung rat and helped him back to his feet. Randomizer cast spray acid on the green rat. Synergy shot the perfected rat a second time.

The perfected rat ran from the cave. The rest of the rats followed.

"Come on! We're not going to let them get away, are we?" Randomizer ran after the rats. "Spray acid! Spray acid! Ahhhh!"

Realizing that Randomizer was the only one after it, the perfected rat stopped and cast another fireball at him. Randomizer died.

Student of Trinity began to cough.

"Are you all right?" Schrodinger asked as he picked up the remaining madness gem.

"It's not too bad yet," Student of Trinity said, "Let's get back to everyone else before it gets any worse, though."

"That really powerful rat is probably hiding in the tunnels somewhere, preparing to ambush us, so be careful," Synergy said, "Rakshasi, you go first."

"Me? Why me?"

"Because you can't be harmed by the rat's magic." Synergy reloaded his baton.

Sure enough, the moment Rakshasi stepped out of the cave, he was hit by a fireball. Synergy quickly fired another thorn at the perfected rat and Archmagus Micael hit it with a fireball. The perfected rat glowed white for a moment. When the glow disappeared, it was completely healed.

"We're in trouble," Schrodinger said.

Student of Trinity coughed again. "I'll hold it off while you escape. I would only slow you down, anyway. There must be another passage that takes you out of here somewhere." Student of Trinity whirled his sling and brained the rat with an unusually large rock.

Schrodinger, Synergy, the Lurker, Archmagus Micael, and Rakshasi fled deeper into the tunnels. Schrodinger stumbled into a secret passage. They followed it until it led them outside the cave. Archmagus Micael cast haste on them all, and they ran to the Geneforge Series Forum.

Meanwhile, Student of Trinity hit the perfected rat with a rock for a second time. The perfected rat cast a firebolt. Student of Trinity dodged it. He started coughing again, allowing the perfected rat to cast another firebolt and take him out easily. The perfected rat scurried out of the cave and sprinted towards the Geneforge Series Forum, hoping to beat Schrodinger, Synergy, the Lurker, Archmagus Micael, and Rakshasi there.

Schrodinger glanced back. "It's gaining on us, hurry!"