Chess City - A New Novel By Ayaan Chettiar

Chess City – Chapter 9

The Saturday meeting of the council was all set to be the most brutal, deadly meeting yet, because although the engines were oblivious to Mittens’ plot, Mittens herself was waiting for her devious plan to unfold.

As the seconds ticked down, Mittens’ hand hovered above her watch, the watch that would command Cyber Cat. Her finger slowly touched the control pad, and Cyber Cat opened her blue, electric eyes and hissed.

There was an electric screeching, as Stockfish looked around for the source of the noise. But the virus had almost instantly vanished.

Stockfish shrugged, thinking he might have just imagined it, when he heard a scream. Towards the right end, he could see Rybka in deep pain. He was trying to pull something off his shoulder, an eccentric, electric cat, that hissed madly.

The cat dove into Rybka, injecting him with the virus. Rybka’s physical form began to dissipate into thin air.

“Rybka!” shouted Stockfish, as his compatriot watched helplessly at his disappearing self. “What is the meaning of this?”

“I don’t like it, Emperor.” said Rybka, anxiety in his voice. Parts of him had vanished, and others were continuing to do so.

Rybka’s eyes met Stockfish, and the emperor rose from the podium, and struck a blow against the cat. Cyber Cat jumped off Rybka and disappeared.

Rybka felt rather dizzy, and tried to hold himself steady. As his last bits of information flew away, he fell from his spot, towards the floor below, and disappeared into the dust.

Emperor Stockfish was not one to be scared often, but he had just witnessed the eradication of one of the strongest engines there was. Not to mention a good friend.

He was lost for words, and tried in vain to speak something. He was frozen in place with a look of utter terror and fear. The Empire was in disarray.

And then the virus struck again.

As fast as a bolt of lightning across the skies, Cyber Cat grabbed Houdini by the chest, and pulled him down. Houdini tried to pull it off, but was then the recipient of a rather nasty electric shock, sending waves of pain through his interior.

Houdini fell from his seat, and crashed onto the floor. Cyber Cat hissed and wildly lunged for the engine’s face, biting madly, and trying to make contact with his victim. Houdini thrashed around, trying to hold it back, but the electric shockwaves were getting the best of him.

Stockfish sent a ripple of lightning towards the virus, as Cyber Cat bit Houdini on the side of his neck. The virus’ nails scratched across him, before he jumped away.

Stockfish leapt from the podium onto the floor, and kneeled beside Houdini. The other bots too made their way down, and tried to aid their fellow engine.

“Uh…” said Houdini, in distress. “What happened to me?”

“You were attacked by a virus.” said Stockfish. “I’ve never seen anything like it. Take it easy, Houdini. You’ll be fine.”

Even as those words escaped him, Stockfish knew his friend was in great peril. Houdini had begun to dissipate and realized this himself. He fixed his gaze on the emperor, knowing the end was near.

“I just want you to know, Emperor.” said Houdini. “It was an honor.”

Komodo burst into sobs, as Houdini disappeared. Stockfish kneeled over the spot where Houdini had lain only seconds ago, and knew right then this was the work of an evil force.

As if on cue, a voice came out of nowhere and filled every corner of the palace hall.

“Mourn your losses, Emperor.” came the sinister voice. “You’ve lost two of your best, but there is more to come. You cannot win a battle against me. For I am not just a cat. I am a tiger, and you are in the jungle in which you shall be forever trapped: eternity. Surrender, Stockfish. You’ve lost.”

“You do understand, Mittens.” said the emperor, quickly recognizing the cat. “That you are waging war not only on me, but the Empire, and thus upon our land. What you have done today is an unforgivable act of treason and brutality. So, it is I, and not you, who demand surrender.”

Mittens’ evil cackle echoed across the walls. She chuckled evilly. “Me?! Me?! You and all your engines are nothing compared to me! And when I’m done with you, you’ll come begging me for mercy.”

The line disconnected. Mittens was gone. The Empire was under attack. A war had broken out.

Things had just gotten complicated…

Ayaan Chettiar

Read Chapter 10

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