THE HALO BREED
As it eventually turned out, Kobby Obeng stumbled on the oasis where the other survivors of the Armageddon were holing up.
Because he was possessed of a hideous soul – made even more contaminated by the strain of the Hadesians – Kobby experienced a horrible time in the Pale Lands as he searched for the one man he had wronged, Gus Kukah.
The Pale Lands had always been tolerable, to some extent, to people with pure hearts. It was a different ballgame altogether when it came to wicked hearts, and none came more wicked than Kobby Obeng, a man who had betrayed a great man of Densua for position and riches!
He had a particularly hellish time inside the Pale Lands!
The ominous trees seemed to come alive, and they growled at him with fury! They slapped him around horribly with their branches, and they stuck him with their boughs. The place became dense and dark, giving him no visibility!
As he moved along, growling with confusion and only muttering the name of Gus Kukah over and again, he lost track of direction! Sometimes he fell into thick mud, and the mud held on to him for many hours before spitting him out like a cancerous growth.
The vines and creeping plants curled around him with fury and lashed him to trees for long periods before releasing him. If they could, they would have killed Kobby Obeng, but somehow, he kept surviving the cruel horrors of the Pale Lands.
His worst suffering came from the creatures he mentally came to call Kinhaws, because that was the sound they made before appearing by his side. They were dwarves who had faces on all sides of their heads, and so they all had four faces!
Those faces were scary, and filled with wicked venom! They moved in singles, and they could move extremely fast. They made sounds that sounded like ‘kin-haw, kin-haw, kin-haw’ when they were moving.
The first time Kobby Obeng had heard them, he had not paid heed to them until two appeared in front of him.
That was when the horror began!
They attacked him with their short hands which had three fingers shaped like knives. They stuck them into him with relentless fury, all the while screaming ‘kin-haw, kin-haw, kin-haw!’
These horrible entities could bounce and stab him around the neck, in the chest, and in the back. In his confused, semi-human, delirious state, he had tried to fight them by taking out his sword… but horrors, that had been so inadequate!
Their skins were like stones, and his sword bounced off them with clinky ‘kein, kein, kein’ sounds! They seemed to secrete a sort of deadly pus from their stabbing knife-like hands, giving Kobby Obeng acute pain that felt like heated iron was being pushed through his heart!
Finally, they left him when he fell on the ground, almost dead, and he remained on the floor for a whole day before being able to move.
The second time he heard their ‘kin-haw, kin-haw, kin-haw’ sound, Kobby had crouched at the foot of a tree, keeping as quiet as he could, but they had found him, stabbed him mercilessly, and left him for dead once again.
Again, for almost two days, Kobby Obeng grovelled in the Pale Lands, crawling pathetically because he could no longer stand on his feet, suffused with the greatest level of agony a human could ever be subjected to.
He was starving, and he was in agony, and that meant his torture was immense.
As a result, by the time he had been able to gain his feet once more, Kobby had gained a morbid terror for the Kinhaws!
After several days of no food or water, Kobby Obeng had lost weight, and was so weak that he could not even walk again. Perhaps, it was an atonement for the sadistic way he had betrayed Gus Kukah!
He crashed to the hard surface of the pale lands, barely alive, and remained in that stupor-like condition for a long time as he waited for death! However, deep in the recesses of his heated brain, the horrible sound reached his ears:
‘Kin-haw, kin-haw, kin-haw!’
And that was how the dying half-man, half-Hadesian soul bolted from the ground with a huge scream of fear and fled drunkenly! Although he wanted to die, he just couldn’t stand a third bout of Kinhaw torture!
He fled blindly, drunkenly, weakly… and all along he heard them pattering behind him, catching up to him with excited cries of ‘Kin-haw, kin-haw, kin-haw!’
Kobby could tell that they were more than two or three now!
He knew his torture would be great this time, and he fled blindly with real terror! He could feel them almost on top of him, and just as one stabbed him cruelly in his calf, Kobby Obeng screeched and threw himself forward.
And so, that was how he suddenly appeared in the Root of Densua, that peaceful, sublime place inside the Pale Lands where survivors of the Armageddon had found solace!
And that was where his children, Obed and Kharisa, were also hiding!
At the time Kobby appeared, the group were sitting on the banks of the serene lake and under the shade of the gigantic tree reminiscing on some of the good times in Densua.
Mavis Tease was telling them about what she knew of the Armageddon when the hideous figure of Kobby Obeng stumbled blindly into sight, pursued by a horde of hideous, short, four-faced demons!
The Kinhaws came to screeching stops when they found they had ventured into forbidden area! Some of them realized their follies in time and screamed shrilly as they fled from the Root of Densua! However, three that had ventured too far didn’t fare so well!
Pieces of sharp branches shot out from the bark of the gigantic tree like spears, slamming into the three Kinhaws one by one, spearing them horribly in their heads, lifting them high, and slamming them cruelly to the ground! The Densua survivors watched with horror as freaky hands appeared from the ground, hands that looked decayed and rotten, grabbed the Kinhaws from the spears, and dragged them under the earth where the grass quickly covered them!
Kobby Obeng slowly got to his feet, looking around dazedly with horror!
“Hunter!” the people screamed with fear.
Once again two sharp wooden branches shot off the bark of the tree and zoned on quickly at Kobby, one heading for his heart, the other for his head.
But just then, Kharisa recognized her father.
“Noooo!” she screamed as she got to her feet and rushed quickly towards her father. “No, no, nooo! He’s my father! Nooo!”
She stood in front of her father because he was nearer to her, and spread her arms as tears of anguish fell down her face.
“Come away, Kharisa!” Ayoba screamed. “He’s no longer your father! He shouldn’t be here! He’ll get you killed!”
“No, no, please, help him… save him!” Kharisa wept.
The two branches were coming in at top speed, and it seemed they were going to smash into the girl. At the last moment, she almost threw herself aside, but she knew doing that would condemn her father to death.
“Come away, girl!” Mavis screamed with concern. “That man is responsible for Gus Kukah’s death! Come away!”
Obed raced towards his sister screaming with fear!