I had just managed to knock Edgar enchanted crown off his head, but still faced  perhaps the most powerful Xemmoni I had ever fought with little more than a big stick, while he was at full strength and had a wavering sword that appeared to be made from oscillating black smoke.

“I don’t need the Consciousness Crown to take care of the likes of you Primus, especially in your weakened state.”

“Who said anything about being weak?” I shouted, as I tried to lance forward and hit the Darcarre leader in the face. I was rewarded by losing another foot of the end of my spear.

“Primus, I will almost hate to see you go. Tormenting you has been such fun. Oh, but by the looks of things you won’t be the first of your kind to fall.”

Even as he spoke, I heard Ethan cry out. My only ally within eyesight fought an impossible battle trying to hold ten Darcarre at bay. It looked like he had managed to drop two of them, but now the remaining eight were all over him.

Casting a glance in his direction almost cost me my life, for as soon as my head was turned, Edgar fenced forward driving his evil black blade at my heart. Only a quick turn of my body and backpedaling several yards kept the battle form being over right there. As it was, the smoke scorched me. The pain was blinding and I hated to imagine what a full on hit would do.

“I’ve had enough of this Primus. Let’s finish this dance!” He came in at me with huge two handed swings.

I kept backpedaling, but had altered my direction so I began to head to toward yawning precipice that dropped a thousand feet back into Telluride. Edgar noticed what I was doing, but misinterpreted my intensions. “You’ll never reach the crown, Jack. I’ll cut you in half if you so much as look in its direction, you fool!”

“Not everyone is as crazy as you, you maggot brained bastard!” I shouted moments before I readied my spear. Edgar snarled and rushed forward to finish the battle. As he neared, I launched my spear, not at him, but rather the ground between his boots. As I hoped the unexpected move tripped up his feet.

He stumbled forward and as he did, I went in low. Like a batter slipping into home plate, I skidded over the ground on my side and left leg shot forward and hit Edgar in the shine.

He started to fall, but using his own momentum, I kicked my right foot into his chest as my hand went up and grabbed his forearm. Then, using all the strength I had, I flipped Edgar past me and sent him screaming over the edge of the cliff.

His scream stretched out to impossible lengths as he fell, but I hadn’t even had time to let my good fortune sink in before another scream drowned out my enemy’s


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I was weaponless, save for the broken spear I had just created with my quickly emptying pool of mystic strength. All around me the citizens of Telluride were regaining their senses and most of them screeched and moved to flee when they absorbed what went on around them.

To the south, Ethan faced the nearly impossible task of fending off ten Darcarre on his own. While beyond my line of sight to the north, I could still hear the sounds of Hannah, Ink, and the Splinter Darcarre taking on Edgar’s main force.

The form of Edgar wavered before me, sick with power. His sword was a black nightmare of oscillating ebony smoke. The Consciousness Crown fed him nearly endless strength, my only advantage might be that since Edgar was new to its effects, it could leave him half dazed and his anchor to this reality blurred.

“Primus, I will see you hanging by your-” For once in my life, I was able to avoid some bastard’s boasting. Since I knew he was confused I just attacked at once. I figured speed would be my only ally. Using the spear like a pole-vaulter, I launched myself into the air, and came in high. He tried to swipe at me with the sword, but I angled my body and drew up my left leg. My right boot connected with his jaw in a blow that would have snapped the neck of any normal man.

He stumbled back with blood dripping from his lip, but then, even as I watched, he completely healed himself. The Darcarre were the only race of the Xemmoni that healed, but with the conscious Crown on his head, I had to figure his abilities in that area would be nearly endless.

I was so screwed.

“So it is going to be like that,” I said back pedaling, but still maintaining a grip on my spear. “No honor, no challenge.”

“Ha! I am being honorable by not just disintegrating you in an instant, which I could now easily accomplish.” The sad thing, I didn’t doubt him.

I tried to give him a heart shot, but only lost another two feet of my spear.

“Why am I even bothering,” I said, slumping my shoulders. “I bet this weapon can’t even pierce your Magicks even if I could get through.”

“Quite right, fool. You speak of honor and sportsmanship. I tire of this and need to finish up here.Denverby nightfall and all that. I’ll give you one free shot, just so when I brag about killing on the Jack Primus of my world, no one can ever claim that I didn’t earn the right.”

His eyes leaked a black inky oil that spread from his face in a vapor. He opened his arms wide. “Go ahead Primus, take your shot.”

I hovered for a moment, adjusting my spear and taking a deep breath. Then, with a yell, I drove my weapon toward the center of his chest. But, at the last moment, I lifted my weapon so that it struck the top of the Consciousness Crown.

My eyes went wide, and Edgar cried out as we each watched the crown spiral through the air and land near the edge of the cliff.

A wicked smile passed over my face. “Now the fight will be fair!”


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Impossible Odds

March 5, 2012

Three Hundred possessed Coloradoans where making quick work of the wooden shack Ethan and I had hid ourselves in. Another six inch hole burned through the roof from above as the last Migo fired its oblong laser pistol at us. On its back, Edgar was so confident of his victory that he hadn’t even bothered to throw a Bestow at us yet. I suspected, having worn it myself, that the Conscious Crown was driving him more than half mad and the Darcarre seemed to enjoy hurling more insults than attacks our way.

I shouted a few words at Ethan. He was bracing the door shut in a loosing battle to keep the possessed citizens of Telluride out, while I had grabbed a stay board off the floor.

“From what we know it’s the Migo that’s keeping all these people possessed, right?”

“I would say so,” Ethan grunted as the door opened two more inches. “Most likely it has a machine that enhances some natural ability. But Jack we have no idea where the machine is.”

“I was going to go at it the other way around,” I said with a growl. Beneath me I used more of my precious Ki to lengthen and straighten the board. Soon Yig’s blessings flowed through me and the board had become a ten-foot pike. “If this is the last Migo, I’m hoping the spell will die with it.”

“I looked over at Ethan. If this works, you need to keep those other Darcarre off my back while I make a go at Edgar.”

“Great, as long as we are each trying the impossible, then I guess it’s fair.” The door cracked behind him and opened five more inches. To my left a hole appeared in a wall and arms reached for my legs.

“Alright you motha. Get a little closer.” As I slipped to the side, I moved under one of the burn holes, so I had a good view of most of the sky above the roof. Ethan started screaming and taunting Edgar.

Edgar yelled down at us. “Fools. You have no idea what the true nature of reality is and how I will be rewarded for killing each of you. Primus, and even you Ethan, are plagues to my people. You have each been killed on dozens of worlds and I’m about to add mine to that list.”

Ethan stared at me with shock in his eyes, before taunting Edgar again. The Darcarre brought the Migo in for a shot. With Ethan down, the door would fly open and the game was done.

Instead, I waited as long as I dared and just as the Migo took aim I leaped up and extended my arms over my head. The long pike increased my reach and stabbed the Migo through the center of its chest. I had stabbed it so hard that I heard Edgar cry out as the spear also pierced his thigh.

The door splintered open as Ethan rushed to my aid. Hands and faces surrounded us. This would be our last chance and we put everything into that attack. As one, we forced the Migo to the ground like and angler making a cast. The Migo screamed as his ninety degree arc ended with it smashing face first into the stone below.

All around us the townspeople slowly came out of their daze. They had stopped attacking us, but still blocked us in every direction.

“Where am I?’ and other clichés escaped from their lips, but I didn’t have time for any of this. Pushing them aside I dashed out the ruined door. They slowed me horribly, but I still couldn’t hurt them.

Ethan honored his word and tried to cut of the gang of Darcarre that had remained just a short distance to the south. I went for Edgar.

He was just getting to his feet as I pushed through the last of the formerly possessed. He had already cured himself and as I approached he laughed while drawing a sword whose blade was a type of moving darkness. On his head, the Conscious Crown glittered over a set of black eyes that blazed with madness.

I pulled my broke pike out of the dead Migo’s guts and said, “Come on Edgar, let’s make this happen!”

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