May 12, 2014
Chaos ruled his reality.
Even in his serpent form, Jack had sensed the thunderous presence of his nemesis through the layers of earth he traveled through. Vile Darken’s aura loomed like a black pillar stabbing into the earth.
As planned, Jack approached the villain from the west. His body began its transformation into human as it ripped up through the ground.
Jack’s first thought was, I’m going to be trampled to death. All around him, people either fled or fought, but there appeared to be more of the former. Smoke and pyrotechnics also exploded in every direction around him. As finished his transformation, he saw a small drone rush past him. It passed twenty feet over his head and dropped a two more balls into the cloud. One exploded into a flash of fire and multicolored sparks. The second erupted with a new jet of obscuring smoke.
Looking around, he tried to spy the main platform and saw it stood only about fifteen feet to his east. Throngs of people still rushed in confusion, but Jack could see that these civilians who barred his way had begun to thin out, but were quickly replaced by Xemmoni.
His eyes grew wide with panic as he noted that Bruin had already reached the elevated platform and had engaged in combat with Vile. Lanna could have been fighting on the eastern side of the platform, but she appeared to have more than her hands full fighting the Caradon leader, Rabid. Of Phillip, or the punkers he had hired, there remained no sign.
Jack grasped the biggest twin crescent axe that his money could buy and waded into the Xemmoni that stood between him and the platform. They mostly appeared to be Darcarre. Big surprise, he grumbled to himself, they always seem to be Darcarre.
He had caught them off guard by his sudden appearance and Jack cut down a full eight before they realized their peril.
Then two things happened. The first was a might roar that emitted from Vile as his glowing cutlass cut Bruin into two pieces at the waist. The second was the Darcarre leader Baron interposing himself between Vile and Jack.
“Oh, I don’t think so,” Baron hissed. Then louder, “I have Primus here, Overlord. Nothing can stop us now!”
“Good!” Vile’s voice boomed. “Try to keep him alive if you can. We’ll know the spell has succeeded when his body disappears like it never existed.” His laughter aimed itself at Jack. “How does it feel to be about to be killed without a blow falling or even the smallest chance to fight back? Seems a fitting end for a cowardly Yigling like you!’
Having said his piece, Vile snatched up what had to be a copy of the spell and began to read it.
To be continued next Monday
May 5, 2014
The night that would determine their future fate had arrived. Jack felt he had done all the plotting and planning he could. Now it was a time for action.
He wiped his hands on his jeans. It seemed like his palms wouldn’t stop sweating since he split up with the others. Each member of the group had picked a point of the compass and would all be converging on Darken in their own manner. Jack had gone with crawling through the earth as a snake. He knew the Darcarre could sense him, but hoped that even their powerful detections couldn’t pierce layers of untainted ground.
Jack would also be attacking from the west. Since the park was already heavily guarded, but knew he’d have to find someplace further away, which remained unpaved. Looking around, he saw some apartment lawns that could have worked, but figured the commotion of him becoming a snake in public wouldn’t help him stay under Vile’s radar.
So he started to search through the alleys. Everywhere he looked appeared paved. He needed to make this happen. He was running out of time. If the others faced Vile and his horde of Xemmoni without his help…
Then he spotted something. A small section of foot trampled dirt stood on the right of a locked loading dock. As he hurried toward it, something moved to block his path.
“Oh holy hell…” escaped from his lips when he saw the armored Hyades. Jack had gone up against this guy a few times and each encounter had ended up with Jack fleeing. This was the type of Xemmoni he’d like to fight with his whole team at his back, but knew that this time, he’d be on his own.
As if the Xemmoni knew what Jack needed, he stood his ground just before the patch of earth. This reminded Jack that not only did he have to win this battle and quickly, but he also needed to do so without draining both his physical and mystic strengths.
He shook his head and drew his sledge hammer off his back. A line a trash cans stood against a wall and he snatched up a lid. Feeling more than a bit like a medieval knight facing a heavily armored opponent, he edged closer.
As always, the Hyades remained silent. Both its hands already held twin machetes that reflected light off the distance street lamps.
Jack went in hard, leading with his makeshift shield. The Hyades went to chop at him from either side, but Jack ducked down at the last moment. He stayed close to the Xemmoni, almost like he wanted to give the man a hug. Between keeping the trash can lid over his back and the awkwardness if his position, the Hyades had yet to land a serious blow.
Jack’s lips hovered only inches from the Xemmoni’s ear, as he hissed, “Looks like I’m the only one with fangs this time.” A nano later, he brought his hammer down with all his might on the side of the villain’s left knee. Armor or no, it buckled and the Xemmoni went down in a whirlwind of flashing blades.
Jack took a deep gash on his right thigh before he could dance away, but saw that the Xemmoni couldn’t regain his footing. He knew Hyades regenerated, so he had to act quickly.
Again, he charged, leading with the lid. The Xemmoni changed tactics and stabbed forward. One blade passed harmlessly through, but the other drove deep into his arm and caused Jack to cry out. But this was quickly followed by Jack grunting, “Dumbass.”
For as soon as both blades had pierced the lid, Jack let it go. The Hyades hurried to drop his blades, but it was too late. Jack choked up on his sledge hammer two handed and growled, “Enjoy hell, you son of a bitch,” before hitting the Xemmoni in the back of the neck.
The snap could be heard for blocks and the armored servant of evil fell limp. “Yeah, play dead you a-hole. Nice try, no chance I’m going to leave a horror like you on my back.” He smashed in its helmet with another hardy eight blows. When both head and helmet were flatter than the soles of his boots, he tore his hand axe from out of his jacket. It took several whacks, but he was able to decapitate what was left of the fiend’s head.
After lighting a dumpster on fire, he tossed the rest of the body into the building flames. The head he scooped up in old trash bag and brought with him as he sunk his own body into Yig’s earthy embrace. After tossing the ravaged head into a random spot of earth, he transformed into a snake and headed east. He just hoped this battle wouldn’t make him late to help his friends and maybe save the world.
To be continued next Monday