March 28, 2011
After my conversation with Elcore, I felt like I wanted to leave my head under a snow run-off waterfall for a week. But I knew another way to get my mind free of this insane discussion of my multiple incarnations and clear my head. Action. Learning the back story and intrigue was all good, but I am a warrior for the Earth. MY EARTH! And I needed to get my ass back there before these damned Migo, Darcarre, and who knew what else began to destroy that which I held most dear.
Hannah was surprised at my choice and, after another round of fiery love making, she turned toward me. “Why leave so soon, Jack? Aren’t you curious as to your true nature? If there really are ‘yous’ spread over the multi-verse, don’t you think you should try to learn more about it?”
“No…I don’t think I want to.” I paused. “Besides, what’s there to know? He said it would be a bad idea to talk to other ‘mes’, so that’s out. These other guys certainly have problems of their own and we sure as shit have ours. I’m supposed to be killing Vincent, Vile, or whatever his name is. And as soon as I get a free minute that is what I intend to do. So I might as well just get back to doing what I do best, which is ridding our world of this off planet scum.”
“You know what you need best,” she said, while gracing the room with her curvy nakedness. She moved into the bath and fired up the steam. It billowed out into the bedroom, forming a light mist over her skin. “I take it I’ll need to start packing.”
“We might be able to put it off for a few hours,” I said, before my body joined hers, disappearing in the billowing steam.
* * *
I was pleased to see that some of my gold had been put to good use. Both Hannah and Ethan had crazy little Star Trek phasers or lasers, or whatever strapped to their hips. I was feeling less fancy, but I had bought myself a killer pair of boots, which were reinforced with steal as well as a leather jacket lined with chainmail. It even came with matching metal lined gloves. I had never had anything near as cool as this before and hoped it would give me a little edge. Along with this, I grabbed up a monster sledge hammer, complete with a wide head on one side and a military pick on the other. My throwing knives had been replaced and filled every spare pocket and hung from my belt. Lastly, I had bought a throwing axe which also road at my belt.
I was feeling more ready than I had in a while, even if we were up against about a hundred Migo and those evil maggots are hard as hell to kill.
Elcore had come to see us off. “Are you sure you can’t stay longer Primus? There is still much we could discuss. And remember, time flows differently between our worlds. Your enemy has barely had time to leave the battlefield.” He managed a chuckle.
“If that wasn’t the case, I would have treated this as kidnapping.” I flashed him a quick grin.
“Come on, Jack.” Ethan piped in. “The people of Lokis saved you.”
“It seemed like it was Devo that saved me at the time, but I do appreciate the ability to gear up and perhaps the knowledge of my origin, even if it will be giving me sleepless nights.”
Then I shock hands with Elcore, son of Loki. “This way, just walk through the light…”
And bang, the cold wind hit us like a truck. Hannah’s arms were hugging her slim form, while Ethan was cursing up a storm. Snow littered the mountain as did nearly a hundred bodies. Disturbed ravens and vultures took to the grey skies like a black cloud of death. A freezing rain was falling.
I found the mangled van that Ellis had been driving. A quick search discovered no sign of either him or Kimberly. I was about to shout the order for the others to help search through the bodies for signs of them, when Ethan beat me to the punch. “Jack, Jack, Come here. You had better see this.”
We both hurried over to the man of Loki. “What is it?”
“How much do you know about decomposition?”
“A little, why?”
“Look at these bodies. I’d say they have been dead three days.”
Hannah spoke up. “But didn’t your people say there was a time delay?”
“Yes, but obviously something went wrong.”
“Has this happen before?” She asked, louder this time.
“No and why you asking me? I’m just a grunt. I was born on this world remember. I-”
“Enough, it’s a mystery we can’t solve right now. All I know is that it puts us three days behind and who knows what hell they have visited here. We need to find a vehicle that works and hunt these bastards down!”
March 21, 2011
Despite how anxious I was, I was forced to wait until we had been served a fantastic array of food before Elcore would explain what he knew about this secret past of mine. The meal was very meat heavy, complete with giant slabs of steak that came from animals whose origin I could only guess at. I was too agitated to eat much, but took a token bite and washed it down with a gulp of spiced mead.
The meal had been served by what could be best described as long limbed and well muscles Valkeries. Each was covered with silver scaled armor and multiple weapons. Long braids of golden hair hung down their backs, exposing their perfect faces. I barely noticed them; while Ethan gave any that came within ten feet of him what I assumed was his attempt at a charming smile.
After the women, save Hannah, had departed, I addressed our host. “Alright, we have our meal, could you now let me in on this important information that you have been having such trouble reveling to me?”
Elcore weaved his gloved fingers together. Red eyes moved behind an even redder mask as he addressed me. “Have you been experiencing any strange dreams, which take place on even stranger worlds? Dreams where you are still yourself, but you are living a life completely different to you.”
I paused for a moment. “Yes, I suppose I have. But, I’ve been so busy lately that I can’t afford to give them much thought. I just figured that the stress I’m forced to endure, while I’m trying to save the world every other flipping week, is just getting to me.”
“Interesting. Are there any that stick out or that you have had more than once?”
“Well there is this one where I’m working with a very powerful group of Stalwarts. Marco, Jerome, Bella, Loni and even my friend Phillip. Their world is so messed up it makes this one look like a Sunday school field trip.”
“Phillip. Well that isn’t surprising. He’s more common that even you are.”
I clutched at my steak knife, trying to keep control, and when I continued it was through gritted teeth. “Just spit out whatever you are trying to say and what does this have to do with my buddy, Phillip?”
Elcore took a moment. “This isn’t the easiest subject to discuss and I doubt you are going to like what I have to tell you.” I just glared. “Very well, I’ll start by saying those Stalwarts in the dream you discussed are very real. In fact, I have met them. I have met your other incarnation as well.”
“Yes, yours Phillip’s, and even Ethan’s.”
“What, me? What do I have to do with all this?”
I waved Ethan to be silent. “Go on.”
Thick treads of gray smoke curled over the table, moving in odd patterns even though the air was still. “You have fought a Vile Darken, right?”
“I heard Vincent Drake use that name for himself. If I can ever put this current BS behind me, I hope to head back up to Idaho and finish what I already started there.”
“As you should, but things are far more complication than you believe.” He sighed. “There was an item. One that never should have been allowed into the hands of men. An item more powerful than the Gods themselves. When this item was used, Drake was somehow able to send an incarnation of himself onto every planet, on every plane. Some even believe he might exist in different realms throughout the timescape as well. This naturally drove him mad and Vincent Drake became Vile Darken.”
“Naturally. But what does this have to do with me?”
“Many believe that when this spell, this scroll, was initially used anyone located near where it was cast had their incarnations spread through the multi-verse as well. You Jack are one of these people.”
My knife slipped through my fingers and clattered against the plate. “Are you saying I’m not even me? That I don’t exist?”
“No, not at all. You have a history, a past a real as anyone’s on your world. Where you differ from the man across the street is that you also have a similar person living on other worlds as well. On some worlds you are still a bouncer and know nothing beyond your mundane life, while on others you are far more experienced and powerful that the man I see before me.”
“This is a lot to take in.”
“You’re telling me,” Ethan gulped. Hannah gently touched my arm under the table
“What would happen if I were to see another me?”
“We aren’t sure, but I wouldn’t suggest you try it.”
“I have more questions for you, but I think I’ll need another drink first.”
March 14, 2011
“It seems like we’ll never get all this seagull shit off these tiles,” a red robed figure grumbled as he continued to scrub at the floor on his hands and knees.
The Humming Bird Cathedral was colossal by any standards. And yet, it was as empty as it was huge. Besides a few men performing unknown tasks at widely spaced intervals, the place was barren. Dark and barren. Evenly placed torches cast just enough light to keep one from banging into the pillars, which supported the roof that must have been up there somewhere within the clinging black.
The strangest thing though was, “I can’t help feeling like I’ve been here before, but I’m not sure how.”
“I think I would have remembered if you were here, Jack. Any of you,” Ethan said.
“What the hell is that supposed to mean, any of me?”
Hannah groaned. “Let’s not start this up all over again. Whatever little he knows isn’t going to help you.”
“You are making it sound like you know something too.”
She was saved from answering by the sudden appearance of what might best be described as a Viking long table complete with platters of meat and horns or what was probably mead. I barely noticed it, however, for my eyes were locked upon the figure at its head.
The man was clothed from head to foot with scarlet and black leathers, including his face, which was covered in a blood red mask. From his body hung an assortment of daggers and at least two swords. His eyes blazed like two fiery coals and he waved them forward while he continued to stand.
“Well met, fellow Stalwarts.” He nodded his head toward Ethan in the briefest of acknowledgements. “It is a rare treat to meet one such as you, Jack Primus. I have heard much about you these past years. It is an honor to at last be in your presence or at least be in your presence while you are able to speak.” He chuckled at this last line, like he was privy to some private joke.
I didn’t let it lie. “What do you mean, with me being able to speak? This place does seem slightly familiar. Was I a prisoner here without my knowledge or something?”
He laughed. “Oh hardly. You were just… how can I put this delicately, rather young.”
“To young to talk? You aren’t making any sense. What the Hell-”
“Come, sit, sit. It isn’t anything that needs to bother you and it was certainly not this incarnation that stands before me.”
Rushing forward, I drew a dagger and stabbed it deeply into the table. My words escaped through gritted teeth. “I’m not going to let this sit. What sorta of secrets are you keeping from me? If you know something about me, you better tell me NOW!”
“Oh dude, don’t threaten him. He’s like Loki’s son.”
“Ethan, shut the hell up!”
I could almost sense him smiling under his mask. “Mr. Primus, if you indeed want me to tell you more about your true nature, then I think you really should be sitting down first.”
March 8, 2011
“I can’t help but think we’re just wasting our time here, while the Alliance of Evil, or whatever the hell they call themselves, is getting stronger. If nothing else, even if they didn’t destroy the whole world, they have a hundred Migo. From what I heard you and I would be hard pressed just to kill just one. A hundred could easily take us all out.”
“Oh come on, handsome,” Hannah purred, while she clung to my arm. “Didn’t you have any fun last night at all? I, at least, enjoyed having you to myself for a while.”
I couldn’t help but smile. “Yes baby, of course that was nice, but our little roll-a-bed left me feeling guiltier than before. I’m the type of guy that likes to reward myself after the job is done, not before it has barely started.”
She huffed. “When it comes to the Xemmoni, the job is never done and at the risk of sounding like a Bacca-nut, I think that even we deserve a little fun here and there.”
“You’re right, but I’m a warrior of the Earth, our Earth. Being here on Lokis, just seems wrong.” A sweep of his hand took in the strange mixture of medieval villas and shops, which was juxtaposed with dashes of uber-tech. In the corner of the horizon, the planet’s wane sun never disrupted the darkness on this world of thieves.
“You grump. Let’s do what Devo suggested and grab ourselves some goodies while we’re here. Some people claim that Lokis has some of the best shopping in the Multi-verse.”
“Ergg, my planet is being destroyed and I’m stuck shopping. How could things—what the hell! Ethan what are you doing here?”
“What am I doing here?” Their scarlet friend smiled as he strolled over to them. “I live here, at least some of the time.”
“Never mind that. What’s happening back on Earth? What went down after Devo snatched us?”
“Oh is that what happened? I should have known.” He grimaced. Jack glared. “Yeah, after you abandoned me to my own cruel fate, the Darcarre turned on us. With the Migo aiding them, we didn’t have a chance. Klich, Ink and a few of the Splinters may have escaped, but I didn’t wait to see. I er… came here just like you, I guess.”
“You can come here any time you like?”
He grinned. “Loki takes care of his own.”
Hannah’s hands were on her hips. “It probably helps them steal.”
“Never mind all that now,” Ethan said. “You have gold, right? We can get a shitload of stuff here. But first I was sent to get you.”
“By Whom?” Jack asked slowly.
Ethan stared as his blood red boots for a moment. “It’s at the Hummingbird palace.”
“Who invited us, Ethan,” she demanded.
“Oh, er, ah… you were invited by Elcore, you know Loki’s son.”
Would you like to find out more about what happened to Jack and his journey to become a Stalwart? Then check out his first adventures!!!!!!!!
March 1, 2011
I awoke to find Devo gone.
Hannah hurried over and brushed my hair back from my forehead as she offered me a drink. I coughed when I tasted wine. I had been expecting water.
“Sorry honey, it was all that was here.”
I tiffed. “We don’t even know where here is. What did that guy do to me, anyways? I had some crazy assed dreams. I was drinking a beer with Phillip Brownhurst and Jim Morrison and they were trying to explain what his lyric follow the snake meant. It doesn’t get much stranger than that.”
She just stared.
“Have you heard of Devo? Did his name ring a bell for you?”
“I seemed to, but I’m not sure from where. But he’s of Tezcatlipoca the darkest of the Stalwart Gods, so what can you expect?”
“Oh, I’ve met one of those,” I said. while managing to move so I could sit up on the edge of the bed. My twenty-six or so wounds where coming back to haunt me and I had obviously not sleep long enough to regain my Ki.
“Just one, you are lucky. I’ve had to deal with a few. It’s never easy.” She helped herself to a long pull on the wine and then handed it back to me. It went down easy this time.
“So why the hell are we here? This guy could have just teleported us to Cortez or something. Then we could have been saved, but at least still be in the action.”
“I guess he wanted us to heal. He said that Lokis was moving at a different speed than our Earth. We can heal and get ready for days here, but only minutes will be passing on our planet.”
“Shit, Ethan might not even have minutes.”
“There would have been nothing we could have done for him,” she said, while joining me on the edge of the bed. “At best we could have just sacrificed ourselves to buy him a few minutes. What good would have that done?”
I rubbed her back. For a warrior, she was still so soft. My hand went up under her shirt. She was even softer there.
Her eyes met mine. “This is the first time we’ve been alone someplace with a bed for a long while.” Her voice was a whisper, like she was worried that just speaking would dispel the illusion.
“True. So we really have a few days?”
“That was what he said.”
“In that case, I think I know how I want to start my recovery.”
“What about your wounds?”
“Screw my wounds, come here little one. In the immortal words of Bruce Campbell, give me some sugar baby.”
She giggled until my mouth covered hers.