November 7, 2016
Jack and Tynilia kept to the alley and back streets, but every time they encountered someone, the individual or group would turn their way and give them a glassy eyed stare before walking in their direction.
“Jack, I’m really reconsidering my choice to accompany you back to our planet,” she said, as they jogged past a group of cooks smoking behind a restaurant. Each of the men dropped their cigarettes and started to powerwalk after them.
“Yeah, it doesn’t seem like we’re trapped in a zombie movie, minus the gore.”
“What’s a movie?”
“Never mind, but I hear what you’re saying,” he said as he grasped his lover’s hand and took them down a narrow alley to their left. “I just need some answers. If this somehow is my world, then it would be my duty to save it.”
He stopped and looked back at the gathering crowd of eighty people on their trail. His hands rose while he chanted a few words under his breath.
“And if it isn’t your world?”
Summoning the strength of Yig, he felt thankful, his God’s presence remained, but it did feel weaker than usual. Whatever planet he might be on, the Stalwart Gods appeared to be losing.
“If it isn’t my world…” a wall of earth erupted through the pavement and blocked the end of the alley. Sand a gravel rained down, but for the moment they had stopped their pursuers. He turned to her, “I like the idea of helping every decent world in their battle against Vile and I’m happy I was able to help turn the tide against that bastard on your planet, but if this isn’t my world… I think I’m inclined to leave. My own planet needs me. After I help my world, if I can, then we’ll worry about being intergalactic Stalwarts,” he grabbed her hand and they took off at a half run, “but until then, I need to get home.”
“I hope this isn’t your world then.”
* * *
Although it remained early, Phillip’s pub, the Baccanaght, was open. Jack grabbed the handle and rushed in. A few boozehounds drank at the bar and within shaded booths. A few working men looked like they’d dropped in for a liquid lunch.
Everything within Baccanaght gleamed in various tones of tans and browns. Jack could feel the mystic strength which flowed through the place and as he led Tynilia between the pool tables to the bar, he noted the costumers within the establishment didn’t look at them any stranger than normal people should when confronted with a sexy Mayan sorceress and a tall man wearing armor with a four-foot hammer strapped to his back.
“Jack! By the wine soaked beard, what in Hades happened to you?” Phillip called at them from behind the bar. His concern blossomed into a smile. “And who’s this lovely young flower of darkness?”
“Darkness,” Tynilia said, placing her small hands on her hips.
“Well you do follow Tez,” Jack said under his breath.
“True,” she said, while looking around. “So far this is the best place you have taken me to.”
“Glad to hear it,” Phillip said with a warm smile and placed a glass of wine on the bar in front of her. Jack received a pitcher of Harpoon and a clean glass.
He released a breath he hadn’t know he’d been holding and the couple sat at the bar.
Phillip let a few sips make it into their tired forms before he said, “So ah, Jack, you need to fill me on what happened to you. Who’s your beautiful new friend and why are you, uh, wearing armor, my brother.”
Seeing his friend and being within the mystical safety of Baccanaght helped Jack relax, but he still wasn’t too sure how far he should go with his explanation. Tynilia stared at him as he began.
“Well you remember when we went up against Vile Darken in the commons? What did you see that night?”
“Vile who? What battle?” He chuckled. “Did you start drinking before you came here.”
His stomach clenched. Phillip seemed the same, but something remained off.
Jack tried to cover his tracks and allowed himself a half-laugh. “You like my act so far. Ty and I will be performing in a LARP near Quincy Market. You know, it always helps to make a few extra bucks.”
“Um, okay. I thought you were about the last person I knew who is hurting for money though.” Phillip gazed at him for a long moment. “Jack, I like the new look, I really do.” His eyes quinted, “but how did you get your hair so much longer?”
“Yig allows me to…”
“Oh yeah, the Yig thing.”
At least he knows who Yig is, Jack mused and took another sip of his ale.
Behind him the door to Baccanaght opened.
Tynilia looked back before he had a chance. “Oh no Jack, JACK! Look out, run!”
Whipping around, he had just enough time to see a couple had entered the pub. The woman was a gorgeous young brunette with a slim body and an easy stride. But with her was…him. Another Jack Primus, in his usual outfit of leather, jeans, and boots.
Then it hit him. Reality twisted. He knew two incarnations couldn’t occupy the same space, but had never experienced what happened when they did and he heard Tynilia cry out as his existence tore apart and was he flung out into the Multiverse.
Come Back next Monday for more of Jack’s Brand Spanking New Adventure!
March 30, 2015
“Feel better,” Tynilia asked as he looked him over as though she couldn’t be sure if he was brave or insane.
“I’ll feel better when The Darken’s army is destroyed.” He said and then went back to packing up his meager possessions.
“Oh is that all you need.” Her hands went to her hips, “Why not ask for the end of night or death? Perhaps we can end all pain and suffering as well. I mean with the two of us, a handful of weapons, and our two remaining days of food, I’m sure we’ll have no trouble.”
Throwing his remaining pack over his shoulder, he stood with a wry smile spreading over his face. Turning toward his barrowed lover, he said, “One thing at a time. Besides, Yig provides and I don’t think we’ve played our last cards yet.”
“Yig provides,” she scoffed. “Right, and Tezcatlipoca destroys. We’d be a great team if there were more than say two of us. So what now? Since you got your Wyren killed, I suppose I’ll need to drop you off at the Yig village. I hope you don’t expect me to stay. I have bad luck in villages. Besides I think I’ve had enough fun with you and will be returning to my real lover as quick as my Wyren’s wings can take me.”
“Nope what? You don’t want me to leave you…”
“No, we aren’t going to the village. We’ll have time later for that.” He swept his arm at the mountain range rising behind them. “Yes their army is huge, but look where they’re trying to travel through. I say we retreat and prepare rockslides and the like. Only a fool would mess with a Yig worshipper in such terrain.”
“And only a fool would try to stand in The Darken’s way.” A voice croaked out from behind him.
Three forms strode into view. The one that had spoken stood in the center and glared at them from behind a large mass of blue rags that covered not only his body, but his face. Jack wondered if a line-backer was under to filthy cloths for the figure loomed not just tall but wide.
To his left was a figure as thin as the other was broad. She wore a tight hint of a dress over her alabaster skin. Under her close cropped ebony hair she carried only a wand and wicked grin.
The last figure wore fog for a cloak and appeared to fade in and out of reality like a ghost in the sunlight. Its eyes burned a fiery red over his Grim Reaper sickle.
“Oh no,” Tynilia breathed. “It’s the Trilance, we must flee.”
But it was already on.
“Leave the bitch to me,” the Darcarre female said and lashed out with her wand, which sent a bolt of lightning into the center of Tynilia’s chest. His ally screamed as she went tumbling back into a pile of rocks.
Even as the twin Bestows, from the men, crashed into him, Jack knew he was at a distinct disadvantage. Since he already used his Ki fighting the armies below, he’d have no Magick to draw from during the battle.
Soon the agony tearing through him thrust such thoughts aside. The blue mass used the Caradon Flesh Disruption Bestow. Jack’s flesh blistered and ran. The Gloom was using his Flesh to Mist attacks and Jack watched in alarm as he body started to disperse into atoms.
Through this haze of pain, Jack saw Tynilia’s Wyren go at the Darcarre, only to be cut down. It gave Tynilia a chance to get to her feet and fire a spell of her own at the Xemmoni. “Jack, become a serpent. Our only chance is for us to flee. We can-”
“The only thing you can do is die!” The Darcarre shouted as her hair rose like snakes around her head. A blast of lightning sent his only remaining ally smashing into a cliff face. Her conscious fled and he could only hope her life remained.
But he had problems of his own. On his best day he would have been hard pressed to take out any one of these fiends. Without his Magick and facing all three, he prepared for the worst. With a battle cry escaping his lips, he held his battle axe in both hands as he charged the Caradon.
There was a flash of black and suddenly he found not only he, but Tynilia, in a dark mud covered cave. A small fire burned, which created more smoke than light. Black figures moved within the thick shadows. Jack still struggled to take in where he was and even remaining on his feet proved difficult.
“Greeting Stalwart. We meet again and now that you owe the Splinter Darcarre your lives, I believe you’ll be open to what we have to offer.”
Come back each Monday for more Jack Primus Action
August 25, 2014
Jack struggled up the steep boulder covered mountain, as the war cries of the Ripperkah grew closer. Looking back, he saw that over a dozen of the corrupted natives followed in his wake. As before, they adorned themselves with red feathers and scarlet tattoos.
In another situation, Jack could have felt remorse for what he would be forced to do. This was their lands, hell this wasn’t even his world, but the Xemmoni were a foul curse and Darkened the souls, as well as the minds, of the minions they infected with their evil. Jack had no doubt that friendlier tribes would be beyond pleased by every kill he could make against these demon lovers. That is, if these Ripperkah hadn’t already killed all the other tribes off.
Thirty feet of cliff still separated him from the thick cluster of trees that grew around the stream he followed. On the other side of that clearing the canyon rose into a steep cliff. “If I can just make that clearing…”
Upon reaching the base of the thirty foot cliff, Jack turned and readied his looted javelin. To a man, the Ripperkah used their Rapidity bestow, which increased their speeds two or three fold. A young Ripperkah wearing some type of lizard skull over his head can into view not fifty feet before him. His reward for being the leader of the pack was becoming the first to die. The Javelin hit him in the center of the chest. The man lost balance and went toppling over backwards to land on the sharp stones forty feet below.
Jack hated to part with the spear he worked so hard to make, but knew holding it would slow his climb, so he lunched it at another one of them. He cursed when the man’s increased speed allowed him to duck under it.
Strings of curses continued to erupt from his lips as he set himself to climbing. He had only made it halfway up when weapons began to clatter around him. Everything from flint napped spear heads, to obsidian hand axes collided with the stone face he climbed. A few weapons connected with him, but failed to penetrate his protection afforded by Yig. A large stone encrusted club smacked him on the back of the head and when a javelin pierced his thigh, it became all he could do to just hold on.
Somehow he made it up to the clearing between the cliffs. Pausing only long enough to draw the javelin from his leg, he sprinted as fast as his wounds would allow to the other side of the clearing.
Once there, he readied his javelin, but held off. The evil warriors came over the lip of rock like a manic red wave. He counted thirteen of them. A well tossed javelin made it a dozen.
They screamed in anger and charged him, but he was ready.
With a silent command, Jack used the powers of Yig to make the forest come alive. Animated trees clawed and clutched at the Xemmoni. Some received long lacerations, while others were grabbed and then tossed back over the cliff.
But Jack wasn’t done. Even though he felt his Ki quickly draining from him, he burned through his mystic strength to have the earth itself aid him. The ground spread creating pits where there were none. Rocks toppled off the sides of the cliffs that lined the clearing.
Once the process had started, Jack grabbed his throwing knives and added to the chaos with well placed shots. He quickly went through his five steel daggers, but then threw the three obsidian daggers he had collected earlier.
Only five had survived the mystic assault of the Earth and Jack had dropped two of these with his daggers. Of the remainders, one still charged him, while the last two lingered on the other side of the churning ground, appearing more uncertain.
With a loud scream, the nearest one charged him. The man fought with a large obsidian encrusted club in each hand.
Jack had drawn his steel hand axe and long war dagger and engaged the man. He blocked the first swing with his axe. He drove in and took a hard blow to the back, but again survived it with the help of Yig’s protection. The Ripperkah had no such defenses and his dagger took him in the guts.
The Xemmoni screamed in anger, but this quickly changed to pain, when Jack drew the dagger through him sideways. The Ripperkah stumbled and fell and in an act of mercy more than anything else, Jack’s axe split the back of his skull.
The other two Ripperkah looked his way and then took of running. They leapt from the cliff in wild abandon.
By the time he reached the cliff, it proved too late to stop them. “Looks like I may end up with even more company soon,” he grumbled.
He tried to heal himself, but found his mystic well all but dry. He was able to take the edge off his wounds, but little more. Still feeling stiff, he set himself to recovering his daggers and collecting weapons.
Against his better judgment, he wasted fifteen minutes retrieving his spear. He gathered up eight javelins and tossed them in a pile. Two of his throwing knives were gone, but he gathered up five good flint napped daggers. As the sun began to set he also found about twenty of their war clubs, which also went into a pile.
After drinking some more water he sat and allowed himself a moment to think. His eyes looked over the stacks of weapons and then lingered on the grove.
“Who knows how many more warriors these pukes have? If they’re like the Mayans that they appear to be, there could be hundreds lingering around in their jungle pyramids.” He looked up at the cliff face behind him. “I’d like to see if there are any friendly tribes around here, but the Rips going to expect me to run.”
Standing up, he continued, “Yep, they’re going to expect me to run, so screw them. I’m drawing the line in the sand and claiming this grove for Yig and may the All-Father Serpent have pity on the souls of anyone that tries to get me in here.”
To be continued next Monday
July 14, 2014
Once again, Jack plunged into the unknown.
As he leapt into the portal, he couldn’t be sure where he might end up or even if it would be a world that could support human life. He only knew that as the doors to the multiple worlds slammed closed, a slim chance remained better than none.
For a moment, he tumbled through grey. He couldn’t be sure if he had already entered a world until the ground rushed up at him and he hit it hard. The air slammed from his lungs, but he didn’t think he was seriously hurt, although a lesser man might not have walked away from such a thing.
Upon standing, his first thought became whether he had landed on a normal world or perhaps some type of mystic realm. Grey stones, rounded like river rocks stretched in every direction. They were grey, the smaller pebbles were grey, and the sky looked cloudless, but grey. Turning in a circle he wondered if color existed anywhere on this world. In one direction he thought he spied a distant range of what could have been mountains or hills.
“Quite an exciting place you’ve ended up in, Primus,” he grumbled to himself. “No harems of women or even a damn bar in store for me.” He sighed. “Maybe just endless walking and dehydration, yay.” His fists clenched. “And while I’m trapped here talking to myself in the gloom, who the hell knows what Darken might be up to on my own world. Son of a bitch!”
He allowed himself five minutes of anger and cursing as he headed toward the mountains.
Not so much as a bird flew by. No insect buzzed or chirped. “Pretty damn lively place, Primus. Good fucking pick, ergg.”
He trudged on.
After another hour, the lack of water started to wear on him. Since no sun shone through the grey, he remained out of critical danger, but he knew he wouldn’t survive long without a drink.
The rattle of stones under his feet had become a constant for so long he didn’t notice the sound at first. He stopped short. Was that thunder? It sounded again, closer this time. A booming rhythm, coming closer.
“Son of a bitch… it figures.”
He could see something. Something big. Also something, even with his experience, he never thought he’d witness. If his eyes weren’t deceiving him, a creature similar to a T-Rex raced toward him at about thirty miles an hour.
The thing loomed large, perhaps forty feet in height, with a head he could have made into a cabin.
Besides a few knives and a single hand axe, he had lost most of his weapons. Running toward the mountains was certainly not an option. “Son of a… oh, I already said that.”
It drew closer. “Yep, that’s a T-Rex alright. The good news, this must mean there’s water around here somewhere. The bad news, my chance of finding a beer and a girl to drink it with is quickly diminishing. Oh yeah, and I’m about to be eaten.”
It let out a roar that shook the stones under his feet.
Jack considered using his powers of Yig to sink into the earth, but then had a better idea.
As the T-Rex drew near, be became a small constrictor and wiggled under the stones. A tense moment passed where he dreaded what a titanic footfall would do to his serpentine form, but a little luck was granted him and he avoided such a fate.
The dinosaur paused over him, obviously confused by its dinner’s sudden disappearance and that was what Jack had hoped for. Before it could leave, Jack exited the stones and slid toward one of its legs. While it stayed still searched for him, he wound his body around its ankle.
Again, he feared detection and a sudden, life ending, snap of its jaws, but the massive beast failed to detect such a small invasion and after a few more minutes of fruitless searching, it began walking again.
Jack wrapped himself around tight and held on. It appeared to be heading toward the mountains and he settled in and did his best to enjoy the free ride.
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
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
April 28, 2014
“So let me get this straight,” the big punker named, Thrash, said to him. “You don’t want us to really fight, or do anything other than cause mayhem at a big business rally and to do this you’ll give us each a thousand dollars?”
“Shit, we’d probably do something like that for a six pack each,” a big shouldered man with a red mohawk said.
“Or a pack of smokes,” a small guy with blue hair added.
Thrash sent them a venomous look. He leaned back and took a sip of beer. “My father was an evil prick, but he used to tell me a few things now and then that did make sense. One gem of wisdom he repeated to me more than once was, if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.”
Jack met the man’s gaze. “No, I agree. I guess the fall back is… there’ll be shitloads of violence going on. People might think you’re something you’re not and try to kill all of you if you don’t flee fast enough.”
“Oh, is that all,” the leader’s sidekick said, while folding his arms over his great girth.
Thrash pointed his smoke at Jack. “See, that I can believe.”
Jack spoke up. “That’s why I mean it when I say I want you folks to throw these devices and then scatter. A, they will chase you and leave less of them for me and my team to deal with, and B, if they see you running right away they’ll think you are less of a threat and probably not try to start collecting your heads.”
The big man, O.Z. spoke up again. “Start collecting our heads, huh? I may be a little out of the loop, but since when do PR stunts for big pharisaical companies involve random beheadings?”
“When the asshole I’m fighting owns them,” Jack answered.
“Let’s get down to some nuts and bolts before we decide anything,” Thrash began. So, A,” he started, mocking Jack. “Will this money be in cash?”
“B, what are these devices you want us to throw?”
Jack pulled out a handful of round metal spheres about the size of golf balls. “My friend Blaze sent these to me. We tested one. Just consider them the best fireworks money can by. They send out loads of sparks and trailers while creating huge amounts of smoke. Oh yeah, and they’re real loud too.”
“Cool,” the guy with blue hair said.
“C,” Thrash continued. “So you want us to throw these and bail, that’s it?”
Thrash flashed a humorless grin. “D, why do you hate these guys so much and what are you trying to do?”
Jack upended his beer and tossed it into the big oil drum these guys used as a trash can. “I figure the less you know about what we’re doing the better off you’ll be, but if you really want to know… The owner of this company, Dr. Drake has killed my best friend’s girlfriend, wants to control the world by making us all addicted vegetables, and had tried to kill me any chance he has gotten. And if I get the chance, I’ll ram a dagger through his black heart.”
“Damn,” the guy with the big mohawk said.
Thrash eyed him for a long moment. “Okay, we’re in and I’m guessing that if we flail of a few of this doctor’s goons, you won’t get mad.”
“I don’t want you guys to get into any trouble with the law, but if they follow you down an alley, feel free to hurt them as badly as possible. Matter of fact, if this goes off well, there could be bonuses involved. Now how many guys you got, Thrash?”
“How many you want?”
“I’ll leave you with thirty five thousand. Five for your trouble and thirty for your people.”
“Alright Primus,” Thrash said as he looked down at the stack of cash in awe. “We’ll see you on the other side.”
To be continued next Monday
April 7, 2014
It might have been the riskiest plan of Jack life, for not only did his life hang in the balance, but the countless lives of all his incarnations spread over the Multi-Verse. He knew they had to time things right or he might not even exist before he could reach Vile Darken.
So his small team had started by pretended to lay low. In theory they hoped Vile would think they had fled, which made no sense, because why would someone flee when they faced an almost certain death? So Jack changed their tactics and had them keep hitting periphery clutches of Xemmoni. Less danger for his team, but it still looked as though they tried to foil Darken’s plans.
This frustrated Jack who would have rather grabbed a high roller and beat some real information out of him, but instead he was forced to grind his teeth as the days slipped by and he grew no closer to discovering Vile’s true plans.
Then they finally caught a break.
Lanna, against orders, had purchased a new cell phone. Even though Jack had forbidden such things, the young woman couldn’t loose track of her friends or fall behind on Facebook. Despite the potential dangers of her disobedient act, it brought her in touch with the rogue Stalwart and hacker of Loki, Blaze.
And Lanna had talked to Blaze.
She had given him, in a manner Jack hoped remained vague, the outline to the Stalwart’s plan. In return Blaze let her in on the ‘data’ he had received and scrounged up over the last week. Once the communication ceased, she had called the three men into her room for a meeting. As soon as the fury of her breaking the ‘no cell phone’ rule had dissipated, they discussed what Blaze had discovered.
Lanna lounged on the bed in a manner that would have made a cat jealous. Her delicious body curved into exposed flesh in all the right spots. She met Jack’s gaze for a moment and then began.
“Our friend Blaze has kept busy,” she started.
“To busy to contact us, apparently,” Jack grumbled.
“It might be good he hasn’t contacted us,” Phillip said. “If he can’t find us, that might be the reason Vile’s Nexus can’t.”
Lanna curled her lip, “As I was trying to say, Blaze has been busy collecting data on Xemmoni movements. But… he discovered something else even more interesting and potentially important.”
“Go on,” Bruin said.
“I’m trying to.” She took a deep breath, which did wonderful things to the front of her turquoise dress. “Blaze also discovered that Vile has been setting up a puppet cooperation and funneling vast amounts of capital into it. The cooperation is a non-profit drug rehab company.”
“Makes sense,” Phillip said. “He could set up a few programs and then take advantage of his client’s vulnerability and pick new recruits to corrupt.”
Lanna cleared her throat. “And this company of his is planning on hosting a huge fundraiser in Boston Common. And… get this, the purpose is to install a statue that they are calling the Harmony Globe.”
“And Blaze thinks this is when Darken will try to cast this spell?” Bruin asked.
“Yes, I believe he does.”
“Isn’t it a little public?” Phillip asked. “I mean it sounds like hundreds of people could be there.”
Jack spoke up. “But that might be just want he needs. “ He leaned forward. “What if he needs some energy to cast this spell? The souls of a few hundred people might be just what he’s looking for. He’ll also have a reason for security personal and lots of coworkers. Also, what does he care if it even makes it onto the national news? I bet he’d sacrifice his incarnation or this whole planet if it assured all of our incarnation’s destruction. Besides, if he pulled this off, he’ll probably be ready to come out of the closet and start his attempt at taking over our world.”
“And without us to stop him…” Phillip let his words hang.
Jack turned back to Lanna. “So when is this event scheduled to occur?”
“That’s gets us just five days people,” Jack stood up. “Time to get to work.”
To be continued next Monday
February 24, 2014
Despite his reluctance, Jack decided to go with Bruin’s plan of letting Jack and the Dionysus worshippers try to rescue the healer Felix, while Bruin and Lanna attempted to destroy a Darcarre nest. They made it deep into Boston unopposed, but this also made sense for the Xemmoni no doubt wanted them as far into the city as possible before they set their trap. For the team would be kidding themselves if they didn’t admit there was a trap being set for them. The only questions would be if Felix still lived or if they would be able to live through it themselves.
The tension, in the new van Jack had purchased, lay thick and no one had spoken for so long that Phillip’s voice caused him to jerk the wheel. “It’ll be great to have a healer with us, if nothing else. All we need to do is be able to fight our way toward him and he’ll get us ready to fight our way out.”
“I just hope he still lives,” Cleo said, with less optimism in her voice.
Jack glanced at her in the rear view for a moment before saying, “Phillip’s right though. We have just one goal. Grab Felix and go.”
“What if he still refuses to leave with us?” Phillip asked.
“We just have to assume, by this point, he’s knows better. Even if he’s too scared to hit our enemies with us, we can still hide him in some hotel and use him as a healer after our conflicts.” They rode in silence for a while, but then Jack added, “And one more thing. I could care less about coordinating some attack with Bruin. If the Darcarre come at us and lighten his burden, so be it. But I’m not risking our safety to do anything other than rescue Felix.”
Soon they arrived at Felix’s home. It was lit up like the man expected company, and Phillip mumbled, “I hope all those lights are a good sign.”
“Or maybe he’s just trying to keep the Darcarre at bay,” Cleo said.
“Brace yourselves,” Jack said, through clenched teeth, seconds before he hopped the van over the curb, drove across the lawn, and pulled up next to the front steps.
Phillip jumped out of the van first. “So far so good. No sign of anything.”
As one, the trio raced up the steps. Cleo gazed in every direction. “Is it possible that there isn’t a trap set for us here?”
Before he answered, Jack reached for the doorknob. It proved to be unlocked. Looking back over his shoulder, “This is getting strange.”
Phillip’s voice dropped to a whisper as they shut the front door behind them. “His room is upstairs. He’s either there or in the library on this level.”
They checked the library, but found no signs on him. Phillip and Jack lead the way up the stairs while Cleo watched their backs. Approaching Felix’s bedroom, the Stalwarts drew weapons. Again the door was unlocked, Jack opened it, and the men rushed inside.
The sight before them caused even those veteran Stalwarts to draw back and gasp in horror. Felix floated in mid air like he had been crucified on an invisible cross. He moaned slightly, but gave no indication that he was aware of their presence. His naked body showed signs of horrible abuse. Bruises and angry red lacerations covered more parts of his body than not. Only the whites of his eyes were visible, but they only had just enough time to take this in before the healer exploded.
His very body became weapons and Phillip and Jack cried out as sharpened bones impaled them and viscera blinded their eyes. The men stumbled back into the hallway and struggled to wipe what was once Felix from their faces. Before this could happen, an insane laughter filled Jack’s veins with ice.
He’d heard that laugh before.
Jack looked on in horror as Vile Darken himself, both the Earth’s and Jack’s ultimate enemy, stood before him opposite of the stairs. His nemesis’ black sorcerer’s hat did little to contain Darken’s wild mane of unkempt hair. His goatee had become a raged beard since the last time Jack had confronted him, but insanity still burned behind his evil eyes. Tall ebony jack boots met a midnight blue uniform that made the foul villain look like some sort of space pirate. One hand clamped onto a smoking, black cutlass, while the other had Cleo’s body suspended by the neck so that her feet dangled a full foot of the floor.
“Ho, Jack Primus we meet once more, but then again, I’ve meet you so many times over across the Everywhere War, that such encounters tend to lose their uniqueness.”
“Let her go, you horrid freak,” Jack hissed. “Your battle is with me. Let’s finish this!”
“Jack,” Phillip said in a low voice. “Behind us.”
Jack took a second to discover that dozens of Xemmoni rushed into the house behind them. In seconds they would be heading up the stairs at their backs.
Vile’s voice drew Jack back to the dark villain. “I’m been enjoying causing people to explode latterly. You could say it’s my newest trick or perhaps hobby.”
Then, before Jack could do anything, Cleo exploded into a thousand gruesome pieces.
To be continued next Monday