Chapter 1: the ape wakening
Since the humans had left, the Apes had toiled for normality, freedom was the very reward they had yearned for, everything they had pushed for became clear.
The planet was ruled by the humans, and the Apes were their guinea pigs. Years of scientific experimentation and the denial of their freedom was the reality that many Apes faced in those dark days. But those days are now over, and the planet is theirs.
The war was harrowing and treacherous, leaving the planet torn and divided. A monumental battle that came with colossal impacts. The Apes were quickly split, factions emerged as they each drove towards one goal, total control. Despite many years passing, conquest, greed and fear plagued the world for a long time. Their vision of liberty had quickly become clouded, the Apes were misdirected into a dark, and destructive path.
The scars still lie visible. The damage evidenced is a stark reminder of their victory, and also the fall of so many of their fellow Apes.
The destruction eventually simmered into a stalemate, and a pact was made. ‘Ape follow Ape’ were the historic words that concluded the treaty, the defining moment that united the Apes together as one species, one team and one club.
The Apes begrudgingly accepted the new treaty, reluctant to offer their arms to one another. But as the days went by and communities were forged, a sense of comradery was established. The Apes quickly realised that they were more similar than once assumed. Their relation came from a feeling deep within, something more than their biology.
Many of the Apes had ventured across the planet to find new homes, and for a time, this was blissful. Peace had returned and so had normality. The Apes were thriving as they began to build, innovate and learn.
A large group of Apes had settled in the mountains, enclosed by trees and above the clouds, this retreat offered them a sense of protection. It also provided them with an opportunity to reflect on their past.
Yet despite their advancement, this rejuvenation was not enough to settle their desire for adventure, a feeling burning within each and every Ape.
The Apes still craved the adrenaline and thrill that could only be captured within battle, this feeling could not leave, it was in their blood. The Apes were equipped with an array of technology and weapons, from battle hardened generals, fearsome zombies, to dark robots and laser eyes, their powers were clear.
Messengers were sent down from the mountain each day, probing and scanning for rumours and news throughout the region. Two of them had grown tired of their routine and ventured further than required, they left the border and hoped to find something worth their time.
After a gruelling trek that left them disheartened, they eventually stumbled across something magnificent, frozen and glued to the ground, they were left in awe by a passing light in the sky. The darkness that had engulfed them throughout the night vanished as blue beams of energy and light exploded in the skies around them.
As their consciousness slowly returned and the light dissipated, they left for the mountains, bearing news that would leave the Apes dumfounded.
Upon arrival, the messengers broke the news to the community regarding what they had witnessed, it was a moment of beauty, unparalleled by anything they had ever seen in their lives. They described it in detail, from its glow to its shape, they had formulated a pseudonym for this mysterious object, it would be named ‘The Diamond Fleece’.
The sighting was printed across all of the Ape newspapers, word was quickly spreading and soon the entire planet would know. Inspired by the news, the council used this information to catalyse something that had been brewing long before the sighting- adventure. With not one objection to the decision, the council coordinated a team of Apes to embark on a journey that would go down in history.
The Apes geared up as they stashed their important valuables, namely burgers and beer. With this, they took one last look up at the mountains and began to follow the road down to their destiny. The Apes had finally been awakened.
CHAPTER 2: APE FURMO
As the Apes ventured down from the safety of the mountains, many were still in a state of euphoria, astonished by the news that the messengers had returned with. As they reached the base of the mountain, they were greeted by friendly faces, some of which had previously been their foes. Apes that had not crossed paths for years were now stood side by side. Perhaps this was the calling that was so vital to sealing the cracks of the past.
Whilst the sun rose, its orange glow filled the blue skies, and the dirt road that they were travelling down glistened. In this moment of beauty, the Apes were able to forget about their previous conflict, despite the war emblems still stained across the vehicles, their meaning had been lost.
There was something that the Apes found nostalgic as they embarked on their journey, the impending push towards an unknown objective saw the Apes hark back to the days of warfare. Not the murderous and savage battles they endured, no. It was the togetherness, the companionship and a common goal that got their blood pumping.
But the Apes were not alone.
A messenger returned, he declared that the news had reached outside of their realm, the hidden secret had been revealed. The euphoria they had felt was fleeting as the Apes now suffered a sickening sense of anxiety. A traitor must have leaked the intelligence, or perhaps it was a spy that infiltrated the patrol. Nonetheless, they were facing something much more than an adventure, the journey had transitioned to an indefinite race.
As the Apes quickly covered more ground, they discovered something that would change the course of their journey.
Between the mountains a fleet of mammoth ships emerged, all that could be seen were an assorted collection of heads, peering above the sides of the ship. Their unintelligible gabbling echoed across the waters and resembled distant war cries.
As their harmony grew louder, one ape slammed the breaks of his motorbike. Despite their cries remaining obscure, he instantly recognised their ship. As the great ape war came to a conclusion, these beings emerged from the ashes, they similarly hoped to conquer the world. This ape was well acquainted with them, he ventured to their side of the planet in hopes of re-establishing his power, he was greeted on the very ship that sailed just across the waters. But soon into his stay, he was banished by their leader. These thoughts flooded his mind as an overwhelming sense of vengeance took over him. He couldn’t tell the Apes, no, this would be betrayal. But he also couldn’t let them win. The adventure just became much more serious…
Meanwhile, the ship was sailing in the direction of the Apes and it was moving fast. The danger of the quest had just grown manifold. But the Apes had to do what they do best, they would utilise everything that the humans had left behind, their powers and skills would aid their advancement in this journey, providing them with an upper hand against any of their foes.
Upon this discovery, the words Ape Follow Ape ringed through each of their minds. No competition would force them to submit or waiver, if anything, this sighting fuelled them further, the prize was destined to be theirs.
As the pace of the Apes increased, so did the change in weather. Suddenly a thick fog descended over them. They were completely engulfed in darkness, and some feared that this would be their perish. Were the gods planning their vanquish?
As the darkness heightened, the screen attached to the bus began to flicker, all that could be seen was the bored ape relic, momentarily, then it was lost.
However, soon later hope was restored when the commander reappeared on the screen. The council were able to transmit a signal that enabled his appearance to the Apes. Thankfully, his power and influence was enough to resurrect their hopes, spurring them on as they gained a second wind, perhaps luck was in their favour.
As they continued to meander along the dirt roads, a dark forest appeared in the distance, unbeknown to them, something magical awaited…
CHAPTER 3: REJUVENAPE
As the Apes pushed forward in their race against time, an abundance of green appeared in the far distance, brown pillars rose high in the sky, and an aluminous glow surrounded its border. As they edged closer, the glow grew brighter and brighter, where some Apes shielded themselves, others looked out of their windows in awe. They were enticed within a wonderous trance that left them mesmerised, frozen in time.
But the dark clouds were preying upon the Apes and directly on their tale. The Apes had never ventured so far from the mountains, in fact they had only heard of this fog from within the Ape tales. Never did they expect to encounter it themselves. Remaining vigilant would be paramount to their survival. Except they had no time for this… It would not be much longer before they were fully submerged into the unknown and dangerous void that was so intent on foiling their plans.
Meanwhile, as the ship voyaged through the waters, its passengers were thrown vigorously from side to side, each wave that crashed against the ship saw a tsunami of water follow. The penguins and their companions were facing the frightening wrath of the thick fog that dominated the skies. As thunder crashed and the wind raged, the gang were left trembling as they remained exposed to the vicious storm. No matter how hard they tried, they could not break free from the fog, it had embedded itself upon them and there was no escaping.
As the Ship spiralled out of control, many of the companions deserted the ship, the storms rage had grown relentless and their was no way of alleviating the suffering. Cats, penguins and more jumped overboard as the ship crashed onto the shores. In this moment, the gang were left at the mercy of the fog, it wrapped itself around them as they faded away, falling into a deep sleep as the void took control.
Soon later, the Apes had also reached the enchanted forest, they jumped out of their vehicles and headed into the thick forage, a protective glow surrounded them as they slipped through the trees. Fearful of what was to come they remained on guard, anticipating any attack from the mystery ship that they had sighted in the distance.
As the Apes looked around, they quickly realised that the fog had dissipated. As they ventured deeper into the forest, an opening emerged, here they were greeted by a warm buzz, colourful flowers and trees surrounded the Apes, and an inviting glow drew them further inwards. As they progressed through the woods, they eventually stumbled upon a makeshift camp, something that the Apes were well acquainted with during their war days. This could only mean one thing…
Upon a hill that a tree branched from stood the divine ape in all his glory. They were not met by a mob of frightening foes, the Apes had got there first. They were safe.
“Welcome to the old Monkey Woods” called the Divine ape,
“you are safe here, the fog is null. We have resurrected the Penguins, and they intended no harm. They fell victim to the dangerous fog and we pulled them ashore, it was foretold in the tales.”
“Take the burgers and beers, fuel yourselves, we must move hastily and we have a long way to go. There are dangerous opponents to come, but do not worry, we are together, Apes are strong together…”
As the Apes rested, they took a moment to reflect on what they had endured. They knew what they had to face, but they did not know how it would end. The tales foretold this, so that can only mean that the Diamond Fleece is true. It was sighted in these very woods, the Divine ape has to be right…
Whilst the Apes greeted each other, the Divine Ape continued to look towards the distance. He pointed his staff towards the opening, and the protective seal was reopened.
After regaining their energy, the Apes began their march through the woods and left the safety of the protective glow. The Diamond Fleece was in their sights, and they had to move quick.
CHAPTER 4: APEMEGADDON
As the Apes travelled through the forest, the terrain turned tough once more, the light and warmth that they had felt in the old monkey woods transitioned to a sinister and biting cold. The Apes shivered as they trudged along the dark and rocky paths.
Why were they embarking on such a dangerous pilgrimage? Perhaps riches remained an underlying motive. But for many of them, this was a chance to restore hope. This was their opportunity to thwart the hatred that had plagued the world for oh so long. With the Apes reunited once more and together as one, this was their chance to resolve their dark past, a tale to tell for centuries to come. They knew the importance of the Diamond Fleece, its wisdom and power would work to unite the apes even further, they needed this to work.
With every step leading them closer to their destination, they were tested. This would not be an easy task, the Apes knew this to be true. The Divine Ape foretold this, he had seen the road that lied ahead, but he could not reveal the real truth. Intertwining the future with reality would hold dangerous consequences, and he had already said too much.
After hours of torturous rainfall, the weather began to settle. Silence greeted the Apes as they stumbled across a desolate cave, inside nothing but darkness. Wary, but desperate to shelter, the Apes ventured inside. As they stood in the wet and dark cave, they were panting hard, it echoed from the walls and travelled deep into the distant unknown.
As they followed the deep and dark underground tunnels, the silence was interrupted by the bones that crushed beneath their feet. Those who had travelled this path before had been met with an unfortunate death, yet the Apes were certain that they would not fall victim to the same fate…
As the Apes entered deeper and deeper into the cave, they reached a crossroads where two tunnels passed. Footsteps could be heard in the distance, and the muffled chattering grew louder. The tunnel was swiftly illuminated by a bright glow of colours and behind this glow stood 9 Apes.
As they stood face to face, they soon realised their connection. The Divine Ape stepped forward and embraced the brightly glowing ape in his arms.
“It is time” he whispered.
The Divine Apes knew that what would come next required the most skilful and superior Apes to enable the success of the journey. With that said, the 10 Apes marched forwards towards an opening that looked down upon a mysterious and dark pit. They had to pass through it and there was no going back.
As they slipped down the rocky ledge, rocks tumbled down one by one, each fall met with a deafening bang, one that would awaken the whole cave.
As the Apes reached the base of the cave, they were met by towering pillars, each engrained with petroglyphs and mysterious markings. The divine ape placed his hand on the stone, running his finger delicately and across the changing lines. What did it convey, who had been here?
In that moment the pillars began to glow, and the ground began to shake, a ferocious roar threw the Apes to the floor, the divine Apes stood upright and focused.
“Get up Apes! This will be a test of your strength, don’t be afraid!” they bellowed.
As the Apes rose from the ground, what stood before them was a sight to behold. A mutant, so tall and ghastly, his fist clenched and head towards the floor. These caves were his, and the Apes were trespassing.
As the Divine ape took one step forward, he was instantly thrown back as an explosion of electric spiralled around the mutant. Shockwaves were fired from every crevasse of his body and in every direction of the cave. He was charged up and ready to defend his territory. Nonetheless, the Apes stood strong in formation, unafraid and confident in their abilities, they each stared through the mega mutants evil.
Amidst the sound of buzzing electric and the falling of rocks, the divine Apes shouted one last command, “Grab the holy burgers, it is the only way…”
CHAPTER 5: DESOLAPE
The mutant cried out in rage as a fusion of energy swarmed his body and exploded, electric bolts bouncing from every wall. The cave shook from side to side, and rocks crashed down from every ledge. It wouldn’t be long before the whole place came down leaving the apes trapped and at the mercy of the deranged mutant.
How were they to overcome such a foul beast? This trumped anything that they had ever crossed paths with before. Not even during their days of battle had they been blighted by such horror. But these Apes were experienced and veterans of the warfare that they once endured. Each with their own unique power, they formed a band that would contest the dark energy surging within the cave.
Intelligence, wisdom, strength, fearlessness, and leadership. Throughout their quest, each of these qualities combined together, their powers were revealed. For years they remained dormant, but as the danger of the mutant stood before them, something magical had happened. The standoff turned in their favour.
The apes were now floating, their feet no longer touched the wet cave floor. A protective shield encircled the Apes as they gravitated towards the monster. The mutant slowly lifted his head from the floor as he looked towards the oncoming apes. He stomped backwards in disbelief, and was pushed into the corner of the cave. The electric that had darted powerfully around the cave soon became static, and all that could be heard was the quiet humming of voltage.
The Divine Apes levitated higher and higher as the band watched in wonder. They edged closer to the mutant who had fallen to his knees in torment. Burgers and banana peels began to float as they were picked up by the spinning void that continued to encircle the apes.
“We mean no harm, fellow ape, we know you are in there, come to us, please.”
The divine ape spoke gently as the Mutant stared ahead, a sense of fear and helplessness radiated from his luminous eyes. In that moment, the burgers and bananas fired like rockets towards the mutant, the electric seal shattered and an explosion of light followed.
As the light blared throughout the cave, the Apes collapsed from their levitated state. After a quick scan, they noticed that the mutant was no longer there. In his place stood a doorway, one that would lead them further on their quest.
Wasting no time, the Apes made way for the door. It stood before them, grand and engraved with intricate, ancient patterns. Perhaps this had an underlying meaning? The Apes noted it down. They tried to push the door, but it wouldn’t budge. The caveman-like Ape stepped forward and with one mighty kick the door flew off the wall, a strength that no other Ape could wield.
With the doorway now open, a crooked and fragile bridge was revealed. It extended for what seemed to be miles… As they glanced down, beneath the bridge bubbled deep pits of lava. They crossed carefully and clutched the brittle rope as tightly as they could. Not a word was spoken, only the pops of lava would interrupt their silence. In their minds the words ‘Ape follow Ape’ rang over again.
They travelled further and further until finally they were met by an opening in the cave, a steep incline led them towards a small broken gate, light poured through each gap and they could feel the moisture of the air as they drew closer. Could this be a breakthrough?
As the gate creaked open, the Apes were greeted by a foul stench that filled the air. Disturbingly, it was a smell that brought back unwanted memories. The air was thick and heavy, they struggled to catch a breath as they climbed the hill and away from the cave. While they continued to ascend, the smell grew worse and they became blinded by the darkness that quickly engulfed them. Upon reaching the peak of the hill, the clouds broke and they witnessed a traumatic sight, one that left the Apes terrified.
“No, it couldn’t be.” An Ape muttered under their breath.
They looked down upon a familiar city wasteland, untouched wreckage, debris and craters from exploded bombs surrounded the lands. These were the very fields that the Apes had waged war over for so long. Flashbacks poured into their minds, gunfire, screams, and death. The turmoil and destruction that they had endured all for the sake of control. They stood besides one another as a band, yet the wasteland reminded them of when they were enemies. Was this a sign?
As they wandered through the wasteland the silence was deafening. Where were the explosions, the carnage of Apes and humans brawling, the planes that screamed as they flew overhead. Now there was nothing but silence…
Soon they were met by the spirits of Apes that had perished in the very fields that they fought over. The Divine Apes ensured that the band remained sane as they continued to move forwards through the sinister battleground.
“Move swiftly Apes, do not fear the spirits, they are with us. The Diamond Fleece is in our sights, we have to keep moving.”
They now knew where they were, and that meant the next stop would be the city. The humans had control over this ruined town for decades, now it was abandoned and buried. They had to make it through the city…
CHAPTER 6: DESTINAPETION
Prior to their adventure, the apes had endured two costly conflicts, with the humans and with themselves. Their escape from subjugation and their fight for autonomy soon turned into a battle amongst their own kind. Rather than rebuilding the world together, for a while they embarked on a darker path, contending for control and power over the world that they had just liberated. Perhaps they did not know how to, disconnected and separated, they remained unknown to one another. They bared allegiances to their own kind, and and it was every Ape for themselves. As a consequence, the world was devastated by another destructive conflict that would leave the apes divided more than ever.
In a world that was tarnished by power, many apes travelled to the fringes of society, hoping to rid the nightmares that haunted their souls. For many, the long years that went by failed to alleviate their guilt, their sins were stained and they could not be removed.
However, time enabled the apes to rebuild, they evolved, new communities were forged, councils were established and connections were made. Slowly, the apes were seeing a reunification.
That is why the apes felt a deep trauma as they trudged through the ancient battlefield. For so long their sins had been concealed, forgotten. Yet each step through the battle plains was a stark reminder of their past. A battle to liberate the city from the humans, and a battle against themselves, the city was notorious for destruction. Their brothers and friends that perished, they remained here, in the soils just before the buried city. As the darkness continued to descend upon them, they quickly realised that this was something more than just dark weather.
The spirits were revealing themselves to the Apes, one by one, they stood solitary, their gaze fixated on them as they passed by. Through the darkness, the spirits began to extend their arms, and they felt a sense of nothingness as they brushed past. Abruptly closing in, they forced the Apes into a single line, unable to build the courage to look directly into their eyes. They hurriedly passed through a guard of honour, or perhaps a haunted warning. They could not decipher the meaning of their presence, nonetheless this was a message that they would not forget.
Eventually they left the battlefield and the Divine Ape halted the troupe. The apes were visibly shaken by what they had seen, but in their eyes hope glimmered as they looked up towards the gleaming halo, their leader.
In the distance, they spotted the derelict city, the city that thrived all those years ago, now it was a ghost town. A bright light beamed from in between the skyscrapers. A light that the apes had to follow.
“Look ahead apes, we are nearing the diamond fleece, but be vigilant, the darkness has not faded yet.” The Divine ape pointed towards the skies, the patrol following his every move.
The apes felt inspired as they moved beyond the perimeter and sneaked through the wreckage of the city. Despite the darkness, they knew that they were edging closer to their goal, everything that they had endured on the journey so far lead up to this moment. They had to keep pushing forward.
As they carefully crept through the narrow streets, their thoughts rushed back to the war. The human capital, the buried city that they had fought so hard to liberate, now it was reduced to a pile of rubble. Their steps echoed around the emptiness of the area, every sound was amplified by the desolation, devoid of inhabitants. “This place gives me the damn creeps” an ape sneered. Decades had passed and still the air of fear lingered, a place of darkness, something that could not escape their minds.
As they continued to wind their way through the dark and narrow passages, they eventually came across an opening where suddenly, a surge of light flooded the alleyway that they were stood in. With their arms covering their eyes, they followed the blinding light, nothing was going to stop them now. They pushed forward, hope and passion burning inside them as the light engulfed the apes.
The brightness became more and more intense until the source was finally revealed. A debilitated ape rested on his knees in the centre of the square. He sat silent and still, the apes stood in fear, struggling to fathom the sight before them.
The diamond fleece was wrapped tightly around his body and the blue beam spiralled above where he was laid. He lifted his head and slowly gazed towards the apes. His eyes glitched with a bright blue glare, then quickly disappearing. “Brother?” he said faintly.
He knew those eyes, that voice, without hesitation, the Divine ape ran towards him, tears fell from his eyes and the apes quickly followed.
“My brother, you’re alive… You wield the diamond fleece, we have completed our quest!” he fell to his knees and tightly grabbed the apes shoulders. In that moment the apes jumped in the air, they rejoiced in a harmony of hoots and screams embracing one another in their arms.
The Ape looked up in relief and whispered hopefully, “You released me from the caves, you saved me. My former existence was punishing, the cave trapped me and the mutant controlled me. But now a new life awaits for us all, and this is our reformation. Take the diamond fleece and join me!”
The Divine Ape gestured the patrol towards the ape and they nodded their heads in confirmation. With their arms outstretched, they each placed their hand on the Diamond Fleece. In that moment, the past and the future was revealed before their eyes. The energy that ran through them was unparalleled to anything they had felt before. This is when they knew that the journey ahead had only just begun.
Still dazed, the apes helped their companion from the floor, his body was frail, but he could stand. “Thank you”, he said softly as he looked around and smiled at the apes.
Ahead of them were the broken stairs, overgrown with forage they were left to crumble, a sad sight for what was formerly the greatest monument of the ape world. With their heads down and teeth gritted, they began the climb, determination, might and curiosity pushed them forwards as they edged closer to the top.
After an arduous climb the apes finally reached the summit, eyes wide and heavy breaths, they could never have prepared for what lay ahead. A portal slowly opened in front of them and blasted a powerful wind, forcing them to push their feet into the ground. Intense flashes of blue and bright colours swirled in the sky above them, it was both frightening and hypnotic.
Still in shock, they took a moment to stare at the portal and its immensity, the pink and blue lights blinding them as they stood in its opposition. Their minds rushed as they questioned what would be on the other side, who would await them? The diamond fleece bearer stood face to face with the apes in all of his immensity, the portal beaming behind him. The weakness within him had grown into an omnipotence as he bellowed, “This is your moment apes! Choose wisely, you have my protection!” the diamond fleece exuding with magnificent energy.
They could not waste anymore time, cracks were already beginning to form under their feet and thunder began to roar as the sky suddenly transformed into a raging, pink azure. They had to make the decision, they had the diamond fleece, so they would be safe, and they trusted the divine apes word. But what was on the other side of the portal? A magical world floated in front of them, and their inquisitive nature began to take over.
They looked at each other in a panic, hoping to find some sort of answer, their eyes glimmering with wonder and fear, one by one, the apes darted through the portal and their destiny was sealed. The others watched as they were thrown into a magical vortex, strong currents of electric and light swirled as they made the leap.
The diamond fleece bearer smiled as the ground continued to shake, with a mighty grip he lifted his staff into the air before slamming it back into the ground. The portal closed and the world returned to normality.
Was the quest really over?