Crimson Dragon: Side Story - Story Mode - World 5

Official text extracted from Crimson Dragon: Side Story.

That indigenous beast cannot be allowed to live or it will interfere with our plans. It has to be stopped before it auto-evolves the ability to survive in outer space. That ghost needs to be dealt with on Planet Draco.

My pursuit of the mysterious beast led me deep underground, beneath the Original Base. There, a shocking sight awaited me.

It was a vast underground system of caves, formed by the impact of a giant spacecraft piercing the land. And amoung the rocks, as far as the eye could see, were medical pods. Thousands of them.

It looked like an enormous skeleton.

I stepped inside. A chill wind hit me. There was water all around. On closer inspection, I noticed that the medical pods were half submerged.

My vira counter beeped noisily. Examining the water at my feet revealed unprecedented contamination levels of the Crimsonscale infection. If I hadn’t been a Dragon Rider – a survivor of the disease – I’d have been dead on the spot.

The water appears to be subterranean Draco water. If Crimsonscale Disease is actually seeping out of the Draco underground, then…

Surely it is something we could catch just like the viruses we already understood? Springing out of the center of the planet, a great power to infect those coming from outer space…

I approached the pile of medical pods, I peered inside through the murky canopies. Just as I suspected, the contents were deformed skeletons.

These were the people who came down with Crimsonscale and were overcome by the disease.

People who were unable to recover from Crimsonscale like us dragon riders, yet also could not die, either. No matter how much they hacked into their hideously deformed bodies, they continued to regenerate. Just trying to imagine this futility, this utter despair, I…

This must have been how my father felt, too.

Mountains of pods notwithstanding, this was no medical treatment facility. No, this is where the ancestors abandoned those who’d contracted the disease they were helpless to fight.

This must’ve been the “it” that Cadmus was talking about, I guess.

I continued exploring. The contaminated water was up to my knees, and I had to fight my way through thickets that had taken root over the piles of pods. Every now and then, I’d see a dim, flickering glow from beneath the water. From some sunken wreckage, no doubt.

I fished for whatever was emitting the light and brought up some sort of wired personal computer. Some icons were glowing dimly on what looked like a navigation monitor. It would seem the sunken wreckage is part of the ship’s helm.

Our ancestors’ spacecraft computer system was still alive!

Curiosity overwhelmed me as I searched the screen. It was displaying the coordinates of a star, along with additional data about it. There was no doubt: it was our home planet.

What a discovery! Travel distance from our current location, suitable launch coordinates… It might be possible to mine new data from this system. Data no one’s had access to before.

My elation was fleeting, however.

I heard a plop and spun around to see something that looked like a lump of flesh bobbing on the surface of the water. Then another one appeared, making the same plop before settling face-down in the water. One after the other, more and more of these unsettling blobs came to the surface.

Each of the things raised what looked like a neck, and started to peer around with eyeless faces. Their bodies were human-turned-dragon.

These… these were the young of the indigenous creature we’d been pursuing all this time. But I was seeing them clearly now.

I felt I could almost see eyes in those sightless faces. And not hostile eyes.

The creatures made high-pitched cries.

Their echoes seemed somehow filled with hope. Quickly, I confirmed the launch location for getting to our home planet on my tablet’s map. It was exactly where I’d thought it would be…

Everything welled up inside me at once. All the conflicting feeling a person has, all raging against each other at once.

Then it happened. There was a deafening roar and the indigenous beast appeared from the Crimsonscale-contaminated depths. As if testing the limits of its own strength, the beast flew off with a few powerful beats of its wings.

I have to stop them. They’re trying to get back to their home planet. To our home planet. Even if they harbor no ill will toward their original home, I must stop them. They cannot be allowed to carry Crimsonscale disease to the home planet.

And yet…

I ran out of there in an attempt to shake the doubts from my mind. I had to do it. I had to kill him. That indigenous carrier of the disease, that was once one of my own ancestors.

Dark Phantom

It’s all over.

I went to the location I’d stored in my tablet. The launch point for getting to my home planet. It was deep inside that same geyser in the lake district.

The underground chasm beneath the Original Base has been sealed by the Seeker’s intel unit. They sent a team in immediately after the report I sent them.

I don’t even want to imagine what they had to do…

Standing at the base of the dormant geyser, I stared far up into the sky. Through the lens, I could see various stars. And despite being impossible to see Earth at this magnification, I felt like I did catch a glimpse of it far beyond those stars.

Were they really trying to get home, I wonder…?

If they were, no matter how much they wanted it, there was no way I could let it happen. But what if they weren’t…?

That would make me the murderer of my own, innocent forefathers…

No. I did the right thing.

I couldn’t possibly have allowed Crimsonscale Disease to reach our home planet. And they were all guilty, our forefathers. Guilty as sin. One way or another, they needed to be wiped out.

I put my observation equipment away, and left. My whole body was shaking uncontrollably. And the tears started streaming down my face.

I think it’s because it was just so very, very cold down there under the ground.

{ Credits }

To Be Continued