Fight, Fight, Fight

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.

 6

Gazing ahead, he saw what he’d been searching for. With a grunt he tried to increase his pace. They still gained on him.

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

 

Find out how Jack’s Adventures Started Here!

 

 

 

 

The Whole World Versus Me

August 11, 2014

The sun cut through the haze he had grown so accustomed to and pressed down on Jack’s back like a living thing. How could it be that the higher I rise in elevation the hotter it seems to be getting, he mused, but then set himself to more vital tasks.

The prisoner before he had begun to moan and show sighs of regaining consciousness. Jack used some of the cords and belts from the man’s fallen comrades to bind his ankles and wrists. Then he set himself to go through the weapons.

 

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His own had grown thin, but he put his hand axe back into his shredded leather and counted his five throwing knives before the heat forced him to hang his jacket on a oak twisted into the shape of a crawling hand. He had retrieved his spear and found a thin javelin. These he placed these against the oak as well. Three obsidian daggers joined his throwing knives and he leaned three of the Ripperkah’s war clubs against the base of the tree. When he had finished, he turned and found the Ripperkah glaring at him.

“Don’t suppose you speak my language, huh?”

A string of spitting syllables thundered his way. The warrior’s eyes passed over his fallen allies weapons and the Xemmoni began to struggle against his bonds.

“I know these might be your lands and not mine, but I’m also willing to bet there could be decent folks around here that your kind preys upon.” Jack’s gaze took in the trees that rose up into the massive mountains. “Or at least I hope there are.”

“Yep, buddy, it may be your world, but finding Xemmoni here, Ripperkah no less can’t be-”
The sun cut through the haze he had grown so accustomed to and pressed down on Jack’s back like a living thing. How could it be that the higher I rise in elevation the hotter it seems to be getting, he mused, but then set himself to more vital tasks.

The prisoner before he had begun to moan and show sighs of regaining consciousness. Jack used some of the cords and belts from the man’s fallen comrades to bind his ankles and wrists. Then he set himself to go through the weapons.

His own had grown thin, but he put his hand axe back into his shredded leather and counted his five throwing knives before the heat forced him to hang his jacket on a oak twisted into the shape of a crawling hand. He had retrieved his spear and found a thin javelin. These he placed these against the oak as well. Three obsidian daggers joined his throwing knives and he leaned three of the Ripperkah’s war clubs against the base of the tree. When he had finished, he turned and found the Ripperkah glaring at him.

“Don’t suppose you speak my language, huh?”

A string of spitting syllables thundered his way. The warrior’s eyes passed over his fallen allies weapons and the Xemmoni began to struggle against his bonds.

“I know these might be your lands and not mine, but I’m also willing to bet there could be decent folks around here that your kind preys upon.” Jack’s gaze took in the trees that rose up into the massive mountains. “Or at least I hope there are.”

“Yep, buddy, it may be your world, but finding Xemmoni here, Ripperkah no less can’t be-”

 

ddddd
Jack’s dialog was cut off when the Xemmoni flung himself at the Stalwart. While Jack talked, it had grown sharp edged ridges of bone along the lower wrist of each hand. It had not only used these to free itself from his bonds, but intended to slice Jack’s throat open with them.

Jack backpedaled, while grabbed up one of the rock encrusted clubs. “I should have remembered you freaks can do that sort of thing.” He made a wild swing just to keep the Xemmoni at bay. “Pretty much impossible to tie up a Ripperkah.”

The Ripperkah’s bonish blades continued to grow until he had machete lengths of jagged grey protruding nearly a yard past his hands. These flashed and stabbed at him and one managed to score a deep wound on Jack’s left shoulder.

It was his turn to curse. “Hell, I don’t have time for this crap.” He kicked out and knocked one arm away. The other elongated bone trust at his face, but he turned his body to the sideways and then stepped in toward the Xemmoni. With a yell, the club came down with a two handed smash. The impact was so strong it did three things at once. The blow cracked the skull so loudly it echoed through the canyon, the club snapped in half, and the man’s head burst like a watermelon tossed from a roof.

Jack looked down at his gore splattered form while he just tried to catch his breath. “Man, those guys are pretty tough. If these woods are crawling with them, this might end up being all she wrote.”

With a sigh, he used a bit of his mystic strength to heal himself and began to collect his weapons. He hid the clubs under some leaves. He doubted he would even be back to retrieve them, but no sense in letting his enemy find extra weapons to use against him. The heat made him tie his jacket around his waist and he held his spear in his right hand, while the Javelin filled his left.

Using the spear and javelin to help him climb allowed him make better progress. He covered some ground, but the lack of water took its toil. He wondered again why none of the men he fought had so much as a canteen on them, but figured things couldn’t be that easy.

Every chance he got, he tried to survey the rising mountainside before him. He almost didn’t trust his eyes when he saw a thin sliver of silver cascading down the side of a moss covered cliff. Smiling to himself he hurried that way.

 

accc

Those last few hundred yards felt like the longest of his journey, but he reached a three foot wide stream and pledged his face into it. A chuckle escaped him as he poured handfuls over his burning brow and let it soak his hair.

After he had drunk his fill, he sat next to the stream. “Finally, well I see no reason not to just camp here tonight, I…”

Cries of anger erupted from the direction he had just traveled. Hoots and war cries quickly followed.
“Son of a bitch, talk about jinxing myself.” Looking up and the mountain that loomed above him, he continued, “Well, they want a fight, I say bring it on. If they never experienced fighting a servant of Yig in the middle of the forest, they are about to learn.”
To be continued next Monday

 

Find out how Jack’s Adventures Started Here!

 

Grey Woods

 

New World, Old Foes

July 28, 2014

Jack awoke the next morning with his two companions: hunger and thirst. His saw no reason to delay his best course of action and transformed into a large viper. The wait proved long, for humans can not come close to matching a true serpent’s patience. He had considered returning to human, when a black squirrel raced down from one of the tangled oaks.

 

dddd

 

Fangs struck and he devoured his prey. Once completed, he returned to his human form. Rubbing his stomach, he said, “Better than nothing,” and began to gather his weapons. Looking over his new spear, made him pleased. Jack considered lashing a dagger to the end, but it already had a strong tapered point, so he just left it alone.

The clouds appeared darker and he wondered if he might actually get some rain. With one last look at the cluster of trees, he headed deeper into the mountains.

 

d

New thoughts plagued him as he marched and climbed over obstacles. So far I’ve just been focused on finding water and surviving, but I need to find a way off this brutal world. But who am I kidding? It isn’t like I’ve ever met anyone besides that bastard Vile that can travel between worlds. Unless some mystic shaman is chanting around the next bend, this world might be end up being my new home, but if I’m trapped here, what will happen to my Earth without me to help protect it?

He moved into a narrow rocky ravine. The bushes grew thicker here and required more effort to pass through. Drop offs, which he wished held waterfalls, stretched before him. More climbing would be required and already the day’s heat built.

 

ddd

He had just finished scrambling over the first thirty foot cliff, when something occurred to him. I still have that scroll—I leapt through the portal with Vile’s scroll.

As he pulled it out of his pocket, he wondered over two things. Could this scroll somehow be used to create a portal back to his world, but then another idea appeared like a burning dagger in his skull. Vile had created the scroll to destroy all the Stalwart incarnations, but could there be a way to alter it so they could destroy all of Vile’s incarnations?

But gazing at the scroll told him something at once. People more learned than I are going to have to figure this one out. The scroll was covered in a script of characters which meant nothing to him. Some appeared more like drawings than language.

With an angry grumble, he thrust it back into his half-shredded jacket pocket. “Well unless I run into this world’s Loskeep, I doubt I’ll be able to make it back to my world, let alone find a way to cure the whole Multi-Verse of Darken’s blight. Oh well, doesn’t look like Jack will be saving every living creature across the universe today, oh darn.”

He almost didn’t hear the footsteps until it was too late. Turning at once, Jack instinctively held his spear before him. The figure batted it aside, with a war club, but the move had still bought Jack a second to take his savage adversary in.

The man was covered in angler stripes of red paint and several red feathers hung from his rough belt and were tied to his arms with strips of leather. He had a weapon in each hand. One had a club with circles of flint napped stone embedded into it. His left hand held what might have been an obsidian dagger. The man’s tanned face leaked anger and a scream escaped from him as he swung his club at Jack’s head.

Jack managed to duck under the attack and tried to bring his spear up, but the man lunged forward with his dagger. Jack tried to dodge back, but the blade pierced three inches into his shoulder.

This guys’ moving to fast to be normal.

 

ddddd

With a growl, Jack pushed him back with the length of his spear. The figure yelled a guttural series of words and then came at him like a whirlwind of feathers, stick, and stone. Jack took a step back and fought a defensive battle where he used his spear to keep his enemy’s weapons from finding his flesh.

A dagger slash across his knuckles left Jack seeing red. “Alright asshole, you want a fight…” Switching tactics, Jack turned his spear sideways and brought the base of it up into the warrior’s chin.

His mouth slammed shout with a loud click and his neck jerked backwards.

Pressing his attack, Jack slammed the length of his spear down on the man’s collar bone.

The man’s grunted and dropped to one knee. A primitive shout escaped from his lips and his club batted the spear away and he leapt forward trying to drive his knife into Jack’s heart.

He underestimated Jack’s speed. Primus took and step back and raised the bottom end of his spear. The blunt side took the charging man in the neck.

The man tumbled to the ground, hacking and clutching his throat.

Jack used the point of his spear to move the man’s weapons from his reach and then cast Detect Darkening. After bring the point of his spear down over the man’s face, he said. “Fucking Ripperkah, huh? Why do you bastards have to be everywhere?”

Under him, the man struggled just to draw air through his damaged throat. “Usually I just kill pukes like you. After what your kind did to Darlene, your kind have always topped my shit list, but I suppose that I should try to learn something from…”

His words died as a stone dagger shattered inches from his right foot. Another caused him to duck.

Looking back up, he saw four more of the red painted Ripperkah tribesmen running full out toward him.

“Oh yeah, here we go!”
To be continued next Monday

 

Find out how Jack’s Adventures Started Here!

 

dddddd

 

 

 

Ten Million Doors

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.

 

55

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.

 

5

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.

 

555

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

 

Find out how Jack’s Adventures Started Here!

 

5555

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.

 

The Baron

The Baron

 

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?

 

Stalwart

Stalwart

 

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.

 

Howling Gloom

Howling Xemmoni

 

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.

 

Jack Primus

Jack Primus

 

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

 

Find out how Jack’s Adventures Started Here!

 

Agony Town

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.

 

green Yig

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.

 

Red Eyes

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.

 

The Baron

The Baron

“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

 

Find out how Jack’s Adventures Started Here!

 

Temple of Pain

 

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.

Stalwart

Stalwart

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.

Iron Man

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.

Red Pain

Red Pain

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

 

Find out how Jack’s Adventures Started Here!

 

Yig

Yig

“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.

 

Punks for pay

Punks for pay

 

“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?”

 

O.Z.

O.Z.

 

“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?”

Jack nodded.

“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?”

“Pretty much.”

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.”

Minions

Minions

“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?”

 

Jack

Jack

 

“How many you want?”

“I’ll leave you with thirty five thousand. Five for your trouble and thirty for your people.”

O.Z. whistled.
“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

 

Find out how Jack’s Adventures Started Here!

 

Darkened

Darkened

 

 

 

Ready Set Apocalypse

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.

Jack Primus

Jack Primus

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.

Lanna

Lanna

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.”

Stalwarts

Stalwarts

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?”

“This Saturday.”

“That’s gets us just five days people,” Jack stood up. “Time to get to work.”

 
To be continued next Monday

 

Find out how Jack’s Adventures Started Here!

 

Xemmoni

Xemmoni

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.

Jack

Jack

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?”

Bruin growled.

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.”

Hand of Blood

Hand of Blood

“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.”

Carrie with a Knife

Lanna with a Knife

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?”

“Yeah.”

“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

 

Find out how Jack’s Adventures Started Here!

 

Dark Hair

Xemmoni