November 18, 2013
Jack managed to find a clean shirt before he and Phillip entered the trendy coffee shop. Phillip had an extra trench coat in his truck. When Jack had looked surprised by this, his fellow Stalwart had just shrugged.
Feeling like a Viking at a quilt convention, Jack inwardly winced when most of the eyes in the joint took them in. College students mixed with artists and other fashion conscious youth. Everyone looked like they tried so hard to be an individual they had become part of a counter culture that made them all appear the same or at least belong together.
Jack caught an odd movement out of the corner of his eye. When he looked, he saw a security camera, mounted high on the wall, following them as they moved. Its lens glared like an angry red eye and Jack jerked when Phillip’s cell phone buzzed.
Gazing down, Phillip said. “I got a text. It tells me to go open the lap top… Oh there it is in the corner table.”
“Someone just left a lap top here?” Jack said, but then followed Phillip to the corner booth. His aching muscles were more than happy to take a load off and he collapsed in the booth so hard it creaked loud enough for two young college girls to glare at them before returning to what could have been their homework, but was probably Facebook or Twitter.
With a sigh, Phillip pushed the computer to the wall and then opened it so they could both see it. It flared to life humming for a moment before the image of an exploding fireball filled the screen. This transformed into a cyber image that was half machine and half metal. “Always a show off,” Phillip muttered.
“I heard that,” a young voice chirped from out of the device. Seconds later, a thin faced man with blinding red hair appeared on the scene. “So Phillip we met again.”
“In the loosest sense,” He said. “This is my friend Jack. He’s a man of Yig.”
“I could have guessed that, I think. Now what’s so urgent? I’m a very busy man and have a meeting with some folks from Germany in a few minutes.”
“Oh nothing important,” Phillip started, “it’s just that the Dark Alliance Xemmoni have given all Stalwarts until sunset to leave Boston. After that, they state we will be hunted down and destroyed.”
Jack held up one of his wounded arms. “And they even started a little early with us.”
Blaze looked more serious than they others they had told. “Well that isn’t good. I doubt they could find me, but even I like to head out of the town once in a while. It might become a little boring being the only Stalwart in Boston.”
“And dangerous,” Jack couldn’t help but add.
His eyes glanced as Jack, but then addressed Phillip. “So what is your plan? Do you intend to fight or flee?”
The two men looked at each other, but it was Jack who spoke first. “I think we need to fight. Besides the obvious reasons, we feel that Boston will be used for a tool to cause a greater evil.”
“And this evil will be?”
Phillip answered. “We aren’t sure about that one yet.”
“And you want me to help you in this vague notion of fighting back, against impossible numbers, I might add, because they could be planning something worse than just simply abusing Boston.”
“Either that or just give you a warning so you have the option to leave,” Phillip said, losing his energy.
“I take it no one else has joined your fellowship?” The tinny voice asked.
“Not yet,” Phillip answered, but we did warn Lanna and Felix.
“And Lanna thinks her looks will keep her safe and Felix’s believes his indiscriminate healing will protect him.”
“And I’m sure that your ability to hide will have you thinking that you are safe,” Jack had to add.
Phillip shot him an angry look, but it was Blaze that answered. “Yes, most likely it would. But I’m not one to ignore bad tiding and hope for the best.”
“So you will aid us?” Phillip asked.
“Yes not in the manner you might expect. Phillip take this lap top and continue to warn the others. There are some things I will look into. I’m a better net runner than fighter in most cases. Warn the others and I’ll be back in contact with you soon.”
The image disappeared.
“That was better than the last two,” Jack said
“Maybe, but now we need to find, oh wait, looks like one of them found us.”
To be continued next Monday
November 4, 2013
This Jack Serial began 9/30/13
As Phillip advanced with his cutlass, Jack drew twin hand axes out of his jacket.
“You’ll never even reach us, putrid Stalwarts,” The lead Gloom yelled. “Give them the Flesh To Mists!”
Jack knew what that meant and clenched his muscles in preparation for the incoming pain. All three on his side hammered him with their Bestow. Phillip looked like he fought of the effects of one attack, but something both Dionysus and Yig followers had in common was their mystically enhanced protection from damage. They could still be killed by most attacks, but it took a lot of damage before they started to feel it.
The Bestows crashed into him. First his jacket, then his clothes, and then his flesh began to drift away before his eyes. Both leather and skin became a fine mist and left holes in his clothes and body. The effects proved painful enough that Jack cried out, but this didn’t stop him from leaping into the Glooms.
The hatchet in his left hand blocked a swung sickle from that direction, but his right weapon arced down and split the skull of the center Gloom. He tumbled back with a wet grunt, but also took Jack’s axe with him. The third Gloom charged him with a roar, but a kick to the man’s stomach send it smashing back into Phillip’s pickup.
The one to his left swung his rusty, hard iron, sickle again, and once again the Stalwart was able to block it with his remaining axe. With a growl, Jack balled his right hand into a fist and smashed the Gloom in the center of the face. An exploding nose left the man’s cheek’s as red as its glowing eyes.
This stunned the Gloom enough that Jack was able to grab the Xemmoni and toss him into his ally right as he ran toward Jack’s back. They both went down in a tumble of ratty robes and pale, fish belly, skin. Jack fell on them like an uncaged savage. His axe flew in blood drenched arcs. He didn’t look at what he hit, but just focused on hacking as hard and fast as possible.
Soon the Glooms under him wailed in agony. One hit him with another Flesh to Mist spell and he drew back with a curse. The Gloom regained his feet, his red eyes glared hatred. It looked like his fellow Gloom wouldn’t be joining him in the attack or anything else… ever.
“Filth ridden, Stalwart. Too stupid to run while you could. Too stupid to know what’s happening here and what it will mean for all of you. Once we control Boston we’ll finally be able to-”
Decapitation ended his oratory and Phillip blood smeared smile was visible once the Gloom collapsed
“You know he was telling me why they wanted Boston, just then.”
Phillip rubbed the back of his neck. “opps, sorry.”
Jack sighed. “Why would they give us until sunset to leave and then attack us at three in the afternoon?”
“I’m not sure. Xemmoni aren’t well known for keeping their word.”
“I think it’s something more than that. Too stupid to know what it will mean for all of you, he said. Who’s all of you?”
“Stalwarts I guess,” Phillip said.
“I’m not so sure. And once we control Boston we’ll be able to… sounds like they have a goal that goes far beyond just having the ownership of America’s oldest city.”
“Well,” Phillip started, “whatever is happening it doesn’t change the facts that all the Xemmoni will be hunting us and now they aren’t even waiting until sunset before they start. None of the other Stalwarts have agreed to help us. We’re in serious life ending trouble.”
Jack tore off the ruined arms of his leather jacket and tossed them into the back of the pick up. “No matter what, we need any help we can get, so who’s next on our list?”
“Blaze wanted to meet at a coffee shop not too far away from here. Coffee shop,” he tiffed. “Some people.”
To be continued next Monday