June 30, 2014
With Vile Darken’s scroll still clenched tightly within his fist, Jack leapt through the sizzling portal Vile had created in order to spread the effects of the scroll through the Multi-Verse.
The Stalwart wasn’t sure where the portal would lead, but he just hoped it would be far away from the certain death he would have faced fighting Vile Darken and his gathered army of Xemmoni.
Pain was the first thing that hit him. A scream refused to escape through his paralyzed lips as an electric charge turned his body into a rigid bolt of agony.
Maybe this will just end up killing me, his tortured brain gasped. But at least I’ll be taking this damn scroll with me.
Besides the pain, he could feel his body falling. Since his eyes were frozen open, he could see what looked like hundreds of portals just like the one he had recently leapt through. Like an infinitive checkerboard, the portals loomed in every direction. Golden passageways threw off sparks and blazing light, but he was just able to catch a glimmer of a thousand worlds that existed beyond these doorways.
His mind struggled to take in the implications.
Loskeep and even Vile have told me that an incarnation of myself exists on most of these worlds. Could there really be so many mes? And if there are, how can I even claim to be Jack Primus? What does such a thing mean if there are so many? Am I even real? Will I just disperse, barely noticed as the universe focused on the hundreds of other Jack’s out there?
Such thoughts weren’t helping and seemed to make him weaker. He wondered if he could be dispersing into nothingness in this horrible space between worlds.
He began to struggle and fight against the power that paralyzed him. The fingers of his free hand jerked open and shut. Soon his arms could move and then his legs.
Okay, I can move. What now? He still fell and part of him worried what would happen if this place had a bottom.
I guess I have no choice. I’m going to have to pick a world.
He twisted and then soared. He did everything he could think of to draw closer to the opened portals. As they flew past their sheer number again battered his mind.
It might be enough to drive a man crazy.
Then something started to happen. Like an eyelid closing, the portals began to shut. Not all at once, but a dozen here and hundred there. Once they shut, the portal just ceased existing and only the yellow crackle of energy was left behind.
Damn it, Vile must be shutting down his spell, which is causing the gates to close. I need to get into one quick or I could be trapped here forever.
Jack struggled and put every ounce of strength he possessed into swinging his body toward the quickly disappearing portals. But it was like trying to move in zero gravity. He could get no momentum, no push.
Soon, more portals were closed than open. They dwindled ever fewer as he struggled to come up with a method of movement.
Then he thought of something and quickly removed his belt. Through the buckle he thrust one of his throwing knives. Around him more and more portals closed, soon they’d be none left for him.
His arm shot out and the dagger passed through one of the few remaining portals. He held on and came around in an arc. He thought he would slam into something, but instead just hung there from his belt as portal after portal winked close.
“Shit, if that one above me closes…”
He hurried up his belt and without a thought to what might away for him on the other side, tumbled through the portal.
To be continued next Monday
June 23, 2014
As Vile Darken began to read the scroll that could instantly claim the lives of hundred of heroes fighting him across the Multi-verse, Jack swing his axe straight at Baron’s head. With a hiss the Darcarre leader dodged behind one of his men and let the darkling take the blow meant for him.
A clang of steel let him know that Phillip remained in the fight, but the Glooms had Jack’s ally cut off and even further back than he. Lanna still fought the Caradon leader Rabid and as he watched one of Baron’s men blasted Blaze’s drone out of the air with a shotgun.
Looks like I’m on my own, up against the impossible… so what’s new?
The Darcarre didn’t give him long for introspection, however, and leapt on him like a nest of black fire ants. Jack’s axe swung out in mighty arcs. He would kill two sometimes three with one swing, but such things would be useless if Vile’s scroll stole his life.
He doubted that something as simple as a tossed dagger would do the trick and with the Darcarre swarming over him, he would be hard pressed to make that happen regardless.
It’s all on me. I won’t be getting any help on this one. His axe split the skull of a thin Darcarre with jet black hair. But how? How can I reach Vile in time?
Then he remembered the trees.
With a motion of his left hand, he enacted his Control Nature spell and a heavy branch of an elm tree leveled itself toward him.
With a titanic effort, Jack swung his axe in a circle and turned sideways to deliver a kick into Baron’s chest. Having cleared a space, he leapt up and grabbed the dangling branch.
A giant Darcarre grabbed him around the knees. Jack hacked down hard and buried his axe into the man’s back. He let go with a gasp, but took Jack’s axe with him.
“Son of a bitch,” Jack grumbled, but the mighty elm had already swung him toward Vile. He hadn’t expected an independent move on the tree’s part, so he had to quickly adapt.
As he let go of the tree, he saw a violent, sparking dimensional portal opening in front of the Overlord. Vile’s horrid face spat the words of his spell into this growing void.
Turning in the air, he pointed himself at Vile like a boots-first arrow.
The villain cried out when Jack hit him with one boot on each of his shoulders. Vile stumbled a few steps back, but quickly recovered, but then the Xemmoni’s eyes grew wide, when he saw the scroll drifting like a leaf in the wind between them.
Jack’s boots landed on the platform and before Vile could completely recover, Jack’s hand snatched the scroll out of the air. For a brief moment the two adversaries stared into each other’s eyes over the crackling stage.
“So you made it far enough to be killed by me personally,” Vile yelled at him, as the throngs of Xemmoni closed in on Jack from every direction. Vile stretched out his hand. “Give me the scroll, worm. I constructed it on a sheet of enchanted vellum that even you would be hard pressed to rend. It’s over Primus, not just for you, but for all your incarnations” Vile’s eyes glowed a soulless black. “You and your ilk, fought well, but the chapter of the hero is closed. Soon all that exists or will ever exist belongs to me.”
Jack glared at his enemy, while he glanced behind himself to see that Barons was positioning himself for an attack. But as he looked at Barons, he noted that the sparking portal remained open.
He cast a look back at Darken and smiled. A second later he heard Vile’s angry screams as Jack leapt through the portal.
To be continued next Monday