March 24, 2014
Jack and his dwindling team had learned that the Xemmoni of Boston included enough Nexus to have their cell phones tapped and Bruin led a large group of Caradon on a wild chase through the streets of Boston after Phillip had phoned them for help. Once they had reached the outskirts of suburbia, the Xemmoni had backed off.
Then knew between than to follow Jack into the forests.
An hour later the four Stalwarts had retreated into a dingy Howard Johnsons hotel room and discussed their plight over a quickly disappearing case of Harpoon Ale. Bruin stood by the window and refused to remove his bloody hockey mask. Lanna stretched on the bed, looking more ready for a porno to begin than talking about what could be the end for all of them, if not all existence as they knew it. Phillip stayed slumped over in the room’s one chair, while Jack paced the floor, like he would get a prize if he walked eighty new miles into the carpet.
They had just finished discussing what had occurred to each of their teams. The only real good news that been that Bruin and Lanna’s assault had gone off without much problem, but that had been because almost every Xemmoni in Boston had reinforced Vile Darken when he killed Felix and Cleo.
Once they were done, Lanna moved her slim legs over the bed and asked, “So is it too late to switch sides?”
Jack eyed her for a moment and said, “At this point, I don’t think even that’s an opinion for us.”
“Then what opinions do we have?” Phillip asked. “I like to consider myself a man of action and a bit of a problem solver, but the appearance of Vile Darken being backed up by at least two hundred Xemmoni leaves me… well, I got nothing.”
“But it still comes back to—what else can we do?” Jack began. “If what we suspect is true and Vile is going to erase the existence of half the heroes fighting him across the Multiverse, not only might we just cease to exist, at any minute, but it will probably cost us the war on every planet out there.”
“So you guys gonna think up a plan or just belly ache all night?” Bruin asked.
It was Jack turn to growl, and for a moment, he stopped pacing. “The obvious answer is to set a trap, but I’m worried that we have the strength to take out Vile Darken at all, let alone him and two hundred minions.”
Lanna broke eye contact and lay back on the bed. “Oh… like they won’t be expecting that at all. I think it might be time to visit my mom in Cleveland. Ugg, I never thought I’d try to go to Cleveland, much less that it could be an improvement.”
Phillip spoke up. “Let’s think about this scroll, this process Vile is going to attempt for a moment. He’s trying to open up a portal or a means to touch every planet in the Multi-Verse at once, right?”
“So this leaves me thinking about two things. One, he will be distracted to say the least. Two, this will leave him vulnerable.”
“Maybe we could just give him a little shove and push him into a different world,’ Lanna said.
“I’d feel sorry for whatever world might get stuck with two of them,” Bruin grunted.
“Wait,” Jack said. “Maybe Lanna’s idea along with Phillip’s is on the right track.”
“I was joking,” she said.
“No,” Phillip said. “Jack’s right. If he did open some kind of portal we might be able to toss him through.”
“I see a few things wrong with this plan,” Bruin said. “First off, your timing would have to be perfect and if you were late, you’d dissipate before you had a chance to pull it off. And the obvious, he’ll be surrounded by hundreds of freaks and the whole we don’t know where this is happening, thing.”
Jack and Phillip eyed each other. “We might know,” they said at the same time.
Bruin pushed away from the wall. “Well since you’re the ones at risk, I say go for it. I’ll even help just so I can say I was there. Hell, you only live once.”
To be continued next Monday
March 3, 2014
Author’s Note: This tale began within the pages of this blog 9/30/13
He would never be sure who grabbed who. Phillip had moved quickly, but then turned as if he wanted to attack Vile Darken. With a hundred Xemmoni at their backs, Jack didn’t favor their chances going up against the most powerful villain of the age.
Together they toppled back into the room covered with Felix’s viscera as a similar shower of body parts rained down as Cleo’s body continued to explode in the hallway behind them.
Over all this Vile’s voice boomed. “What? You think to escape? This world has never seen a gathering of Xemmoni such as I have summoned! Capture them alive. Their blood will aid with the spell. Ha, we might be able to wrap this up tonight and with the Multi-Verse heroes gone, the worlds will all quickly fall to me.”
“He’s always been a gabby one,” Jack said, as the pair scrambled through the gore onto their feet.
Phillip’s eyes were wide open and he yelled straight into Jack’s face. “Become a small serpent. Do it now!”
Trusting Phillip had a plan, Jack began to transform into a Mojave Rattlesnake while Phillip tossed a heavy chair through the bedroom window. At once, the growls and threats of more Xemmoni reached his ears from below, but soon those ears disappeared as his reptilian form took hold.
Vile might had shouted something, but his words would be forever lost. Phillip snatched him up and leapt onto the graded roof outside of the bedroom. But at once, Jack noticed that his friend’s body was transforming into… His pointed tongue snapped out long enough to realize that Phillip’s body was disappearing and becoming wine.
Caught up in the small tidal wave Phillip’s body had become, Jack’s serpentine form twisted and fought to keep his head about the rolling violet wine. He might have gasped, if his body possessed such an ability, when he went spiraling over the edge of the roof.
He hit the ground hard as wine rained down on him. The Xemmoni appeared stunned, but a big Caradon went to grab him. Jack rewarded the attack with a mouthful of venom and the Xemmoni withdrew his hand with a scream.
Then the waves of wine moved him again and he tumbled over the lawn. He could just determine they headed for the street when he felt himself falling again. It looked like it was into the sewer this time. Looking back, he saw they had passed through a storm grate.
Phillip’s body carried him a sways further but then disappeared. Jack took this as a cue to become human again and found his drenched body standing in two feet of stagnant water.
Phillip appeared out of the water a minute later. It relieved him to see that, like him, Phillip transformed with all his clothes and weapons still present.
“I’ve learned a few things along the way, but yeah, it’s a newer one.” But then the reality of what had just occurred set in and his head dropped.
Placing a hand on his friend’s shoulder, Jack said, “I’m sorry man.”
“She… she deserved better.” But then his eyes raised and met Jack’s. “But what are we going to do? Besides Vile being here, did you see how many Xemmoni are out there? There must have been hundreds. And we just lost two of the last of our own.”
Jack adjusted the grip on his sledge hammer. “Not like you and I can run away. We don’t have a choice. If Vile eliminated the effects of that damn scroll had on the heroes present when it was casted, we both just might cease existing even if we’re a thousand miles from here.”
“So we just attempt the impossible because we are doomed anyway?”
“No, we do everything we can, when we can do it. One thing, with all those Xemmoni here, I doubt Bruin and Lanna had to fight much. Let’s at least reach them and make sure they are safe.”
“Fine,” Phillip said, while drawing his cutlass. “If I have to go down, it might as well be with a sword in my hands and I don’t care who he is, I’m going to kill that bastard Vile.”
Jack led the way through the sewers, but called over his shoulder, “No worries, I’m sure one of your incarnations has already killed the bastard here or there.”
“Well there is this one world, where I helped an Apollo man named Narrows. I think I killed Vile there for sure. And on this other plane, I dreamt that I was a reporter…
To be continued next Monday