Planet of Slaves

January 9, 2017

When Phillip returned to the table with a full pitcher, Jack tried his best to relax and absorb what Phillip had promised would be a long tale. The fire crackled sending shadows dancing over the deep brown hues of the tavern.

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Jack

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Phillip sat down seeming wearier than Jack was used to seeing him. Then again, this wasn’t the Phillip he’d known, since he wasn’t on his own planet. The Stalwart took a deep breath than said, “While I poured the ale I was thinking whether you wanted to hear the whole tale or just the abridged version. Also, before we start, could you tell me what you plan to do.”

 

Jack rubbed his temples. “Honestly, I’d just assume grab Ty and leave this place to all of you. No offence, but your world hasn’t treated us well, although I suppose it is better than the last one.”

 

“If that’s the case, then the shorter version should work.”

 

“Good, but tell, me I am curious and learning more might help me to stop Vile Darken on other worlds.”

 

Phillip signed. “That’s just it, Jack, we never stopped Darken on this world.”

 

“Then what are all of you doing?”

 

Phillip lost eye contact with him and gazed down at his ale. “You aren’t going to like it.”

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phillip-bummed

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“Just tell me, Brownhurst.”

 

Phillip looked up. “This easiest way to describe it, is we have become indentured servants.”

 

“What, to who?”

 

“Vile and the races of Xemmoni he’s allied himself with, which at least here, are the Caradon, Darcarre, and the Glooms. Sometimes, the Nexus and Rippers are involved.”

 

“So, what… you work for the Xemmoni? What do you do for them?”

 

“It’s not that cut and dry Jack, but about twenty percent of the products created on this world are used by his armies elsewhere. As long as we agree to this deal, he has agreed to spare this world his wrath.”

 

“At the cost of arming his warriors to take over other worlds like mine.” Jack raised his voice. “I should beat the shit out of you on principle. And what do you Stalwarts do here, train his troops?”

 

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jack-attack

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“No,” Phillip said without much enthusiasm. “We’re allowed to continue our status, but may only attack the Xemmoni races and individuals who oppose Vile.”

 

“So, you’re his police force fighting the competition. I can’t believe this crap. How could everyone agree with all this?”

 

“Most aren’t aware. Certainly, few normal folks, but even the majority of Stalwarts have had their memories compromised. I’m one of the exceptions, which is more of a curse than a blessing most days.”

 

“And this was done how?”

 

“I’m sure you are familiar with Vile experimenting on the various worlds, he tries things, they work or not. He keeps with some of the things which work, unless his attention moves in a new direction. This spell is planet wide. Everyone is a good little worker unless there’s a conflict and then everyone from Stalwart to little old lady puts down what they are doing to crush any anomalies.”

 

“One of the Splinter Darcarre showed up in Boston. I almost felt sorry for the poor guy when a few hundred people tore him to pieces.”

 

Jack glared at the incarnation of his best friend. “It seems like you’re worse than a lost cause. If your planet was wiped clean at least you wouldn’t be helping Vile’s empire.”

 

“Actually, that might not be true. Vile uses resources from the worlds he totally controls. Everything from armies of flesh and death to the trees and soil. At least this way the people are allowed to live.”

 

“Yes, so you can all help his war machine for decades to come.” He pushed his empty glass away. “I think I’m going to be sick.”

 

Phillip’s cell began to buzz. The Stalwart looked down. “Oh shit, they found her Jack.”

 

“Are they bringing her back here?”

 

“I wish, no, she fought like a Darcarre. They are bringing her to the Darcarre nest to determine whether she’s loyal to the cause and not a Splinter. When they discover the truth, they will…”

 

“They will what?”

 

“They’ll probably kill her Jack.”

 

“Son of a bitch.”

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Tynilia

Incarnations

December 12, 2016

After twenty miles of jogging mixed with power walking, Jack began to wish he’s risked taking a cab. Still, with everyone tending to get ‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers,’ on him, he felt it remained better to play it safe. He just hoped the delay in time wouldn’t be causing Tynilia complications.

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Stalwart

Stalwart

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Poor woman all alone in world which isn’t hers. He chuckled. Hell, the same can be said for me, because this sure as shit isn’t my world. I just need to get Ty and get us out of here.

 

He knew Tynilia would usually teleport away if she ran into complications, but in this world so new and strange to her, where would she go?

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Tyn

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Gritting his teeth, he started to jog again. For good, ill, or neutral, he needed to return to Phillip’s tavern.

 

*         *         *

 

An hour later, found his sweat soaked body reaching Phillip’s outer door. He’d left, through no fault of his own, Tynilia in the tavern with Phillip, and the mad eyed brunette, he thought he’d heard one of them address as Loni. His incarnation had disappeared when he had, but certainly had more resources and could have beat him back to the tavern.

 

Shit, this whole dispersal when we too close could be about to happen again if I’m not careful.

 

After hesitating for just a moment, he took a deep breath, and pushed into the tavern. His eyes dashed each way while half expecting to see the other Jack and have them each get blasted halfway across Boston again.

 

Instead he saw Phillip quietly sweeping up what appeared to be a few shattered glasses. When he saw Jack, he favored the Stalwart with a half-smile and leaned the broom against the bar. He pulled out a rolled joint and lit it, as Jack walked his way.

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Long way down

Phillip Borwnhurst

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The rest of the bar proved as empty as it remained dark. The deep stained wood did little to reflect the nine brown candles burning in scattered recesses. He hadn’t noticed how it happened, but two amber glasses had appeared on a well-worn table.

 

Phillip took a long puff on the joint until the end glowed a cherry red and then sat at the table in front of one of the ales. When Jack sat opposite, Phillip made a motion to hand the joint to him, “Care for some?”

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grendals

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“I’ll hold off for now.” He did take a long chug for the ale. Some might have called it a risky move, but he figured when he couldn’t trust Brownhurst’s ale, he wouldn’t have much of a reason to continue living.

 

His eyes noticed a fresh hack in the bar and a couple of broken chairs had already been stacked near the roaring fireplace. “Looks like there was a bit of a fist to cuffs here,” Jack said. “I hope it wasn’t worse than that.”

 

Phillip smiled. It was a sight he’d always enjoyed, but here, on this world, he wasn’t sure if anything could be trusted. “Well Loni, who I always thought of as your lady,” he laughed, “went after your other lady.” He cocked his head to the side, “And she’s quite the looker by the way, you old dog.”

 

“Tynilia is my only lady,” Jack corrected.

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Jack Stern

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Phillip laughed again. “Loni is, without a doubt, the toughest female Stalwart I’ve ever come across, but perhaps her skills made her a little cocky, for when ah… Tynilia kicked in her Rapidity, Loni got more than a bit schooled. Tynilia had kept things in blunt and batter mode, but when Loni slashed open her arm with a dagger, I believe she called her a bitch before teleporting somewhere.”

 

Jack rubbed his forehead. “So, you have no idea where she might be, but at least she’s breathing?”

 

“As far as I know, although Loni and now, um you are out looking for her along with other allies.” He looked Jack’s way and he face remained in the shadows of his leather hat. “I did tell Loni you didn’t attack her Jack and were in fact an incarnation of the man she loves. Hopefully it will help her be more considerate to your lady.”

 

“One could hope.” Jack leaned back and took another long pull off his ale.

 

Phillip tossed the stub of his joint into the roaring flames.

 

A short silence lingered, which Jack broke. “So, it seems like you’re well informed on this world, Phillip. For instance, you seem very aware of our incarnations and how they work. I assume you know you’re one.”

 

“The veil for me here has been lifted higher than in most.” He took a grim sip. “I am also well aware of the incarnations. Although I’ve tried to keep such things hidden from this world’s Jack and Loni.”

 

“Is this Loni one of us?”

 

“Oh yes,” he smiled. “You may yet meet her on your world.”

 

“Good to know. But now I think you need to tell me the true story of what’s taking place on this world, old friend.”

 

Phillip grew more serious. “I’m willing to do that, Jack, but let me grab us a pitcher first, for it’s a long tale.”

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face-bad

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gloom-head

Jacks Or Worse

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.

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hero

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“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.”

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crowds

 

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“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.”

 

“Me too.”

 

*         *         *

 

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?”

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T II

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“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.

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Phillip Brownhurst

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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…”

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devon

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“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!”

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4444444

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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.

 

 

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The Baron

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Darcarre Villain

My World, Strange World

October 3, 2016

Tynilia’s hand found his as she looked on in awe at the buildings which towered over the pair. Even though Jack had seen many of the larger cities in the US and had lived in Boston more than a while, after his stay of such a different, low-tech world, the sight of such a bustling throng of modern people left him with a strong case of cultural shock.

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boston-crowds

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He could only imagine how Tynilia, who grew up in a small, stone-age village must be feeling.

 

Her words restated his thoughts. “Are we safe here? I’ve never seen so many people in one place. If they turn against us, we won’t stand a chance.”

 

He chuckled. “Most of the people from my world aren’t like that.” However, looking down at his tattered clothes, which barely covered his half shredded chainmail, and certainly not his oversized battle-axe, he realized there was some cause for concern.

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Jack Stern

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Tynilia didn’t fit in to well either. Her obsidian tipped spear hovered over her tight doeskin dress and most of her was adored with black feathers, charms, and various small animal bones.

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Tynilia

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“Now that I think of it, sometimes our law and order types aren’t too keen on weapons like ours being out in public.”

 

“We can’t discard them?” she questioned as worry mixed with fear over her petite face.

 

“I think not,” he said, as he moved her through the crowds by the hand. They received quite a mix of glances passing along the busy city streets. Some folks ignored their outlandish garb completely, while others stopped and open mouth stared. Children laughed and pointed, which caused him to make a face or growl their way. Their eyes grew large, while they shrieked, and hid behind their parents.

 

Tynilia proved far less jovial and asked, “Where are you taking us, somewhere safe I hope.”

Vel

“I hope so too. There’s the T, but with these weapons. Shit, I’m pretty sure my wallet was torn off in that battle with the Faceless God.”

 

“What’s a wallet?”

 

“Nevermind, let’s see we’re near Commonwealth Ave. You probably aren’t ready for a car ride yet.”

 

“What is a car?”

 

“See those big squares of metal almost smashing into each other, those are cars. Think of them like ah…advanced wagons where we use dead animals to power them instead of live ones.”

 

“How foul.”

 

“Says the woman who worships Tezcatlipoca the lord of the darkness, night, death and-”

 

“You may stop. Focus on keeping us from being killed.”

 

“I’m more worried about getting arrested. Are you up for a walk?”

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jack Fire

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“How far and where too?”

 

“My friend Phillip has a bar. If anyone can help us, he can. Although when I last left here, we were in the middle of a battle with Vile Darken.” He looked around, “Although, from the looks of things, Vile must not have caused too much trouble.”

 

“So this is normal.”

 

“Yeah,” he said, “Come on let’s get going before some cops stop us and if they do we’re both heading to a Comic Con, okay?”

 

“Comic Con?”

 

“Yeah, and for once, you had better let me do all the talking.”

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Hungry for you

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Phillip

Phillip

Saving Their World

July 18, 2016

The wind whipped Jack hair around his head like a hundred flailing snakes. He grit teeth from his place on the back of the mighty dragon, Thrashing Storm. He had a thousand worries ripping into his mind including the final battle for the control of this wild world he found himself on.

Angry Jack

Were the last of the tribes still holding out against the forces of Vile Darken? Even with the aid of the Lava Dragons, could they hope to stop an army as vast as Vile’s?

 

But despite the future of a whole planet resting on their backs, his thoughts still lingered on Tynilia. Why had they fought right before the most deadly day of their lives? Why had she insisted to fly on her own dragon, a female named Flame Dancer?

Thrashing Storm

Shaking his head, he had to clear away such negative thoughts, but as he looked over at Tynilia, constantly trying to push her dragon ahead of the pack, he worried over her safety. The smallest mistakes would mean their end. Also as he watched her long black cape moving behind her like a flag of darkness, he realized that he needed her and had to admit, no woman had ever captured his heart as she had.

 

“We approach human. It begins.” Trashing Storm voice brought him back to the present and Jack once again saw the black scar that marred the earth and also marked the location of The Darken army. Two hundred thousand men cursed, clustered, and road hundreds of dinosaurs of different sizes and shapes.

Dino eating Ri[ps

He saw at once that the last village, Tynilia’s former home, the village of Tezcatlipoca, had long fallen. Nothing opposed The Darken army…except them.

 

Tynilia spun off to the east diving down toward the village, while the rest of the flight headed straight toward the army.

darkness within

Not wanting her to be on her own, Jack cursed and tried to force Trashing Storm to follow Flame Dancer.

 

The mighty dragon grunted. “You humans are quite devoted to your mates.”

 

Jack gave a growl through his teeth. “I suppose we are.”

 

Behind him he heard the dragons roar a warning. Looking back, Jack saw dozens of flying dinosaurs with wide leathery wings. On top of each road a tattooed warrior with a lance. Several were burnt from the sky with massive plumbs of fire, but those that reached the dragons thundered into their ranks with jets of pure darkness, which erupted from the long lances.

Dragon Fire II

Jack had felt the bite of sure attacks before and looked on in dismay as two dragons already plummeted toward their doom.

 

While some fought on against the flying adversaries, other laid in on the forces below. Huge expanding explosions of lava poured from the throats of the dragons and killed everything it touched. Men and monsters died by the thousand. Most didn’t have the time to scream before their bodies burned so quickly that not even ash remained.

Dragon Fire III

Soon Jack turned his attentions back on Tynilia and he saw she had almost reached the ruminants of her village. Nothing remained but tatters of cloth, splintered trees, mud, and the bodies of the dead. Both the tribes of Yig and Tezcatlipoca had made their final stand here, for all the good it did them.

 

Tynilia appeared to be landing regardless of the lack of life and that was when a violent blast of black lightning struck Flame Dancer in the chest, the dragon reeled for a moment, tried to recover, but when a second bolt hit her, she rolled to her side and smashed through the trees to the east of the former village.

 

“Vile!” Jack said the name like a curse. “Vile’s down there.”

 

Then he saw him. Vile’s incarnation had adopted much of the ways of this world. Dark tattoos flowed over him constantly—moving and leaking an inky smoke. Bones and obsidian hung from his ears and pierced through random parts of his flesh. He wore only a black jaguar loincloth and a cloak made from the hides of massive snakes, an insult to both the tribes, Jack supposed. The one thing he always had, however, was the Cutlass of the abyss. The most powerful weapon, Jack had ever known. It burned through all it touched, even the molecules passing through the air, melted and dripped into a burning death as he passed.

Vile Darken

“This battle is not for you my brother,” Jack said to the dragon as he flew straight at Darken.

 

“I choose my own battles,” Trashing Storm roared and launched a blast of fire onto the foul evil of Vile Darken.

 

Vile raised a hand and created an orb of protection around himself. Lave piled onto the orb and as he watched Jack could tell even Vile’s magicks were hard pressed to keep such destruction at bay.

Thinder's Flame

So instead Vile teleported to the other side of the massive clearing. Thrashing Storm tried to twist to the north, but it became his turn to be attacked. A jagged ray of pure darkness crashed into the dragon’s belly and it screamed.

 

Turning, it tried to breathe on Vile once again, but the villain proved faster and a second blast had Thrashing Storm plummeting into the center of the destroyed village.

Dragon Fall

At the last moment Jack leapt from his ally’s falling body and rolled through the ruins.

 

Disregarding the damage, Jack snatched up his enchanted hammer and rushed to his feet. She saw Vile Darken walking toward him, like the assuredness of death.

 

“I was hoping I’d get to enjoy your death myself, Primus. It isn’t often that one of my incarnations gets to kill two of yours on a single planet.”

 

Jack lifted his hammer. “Come and get some. Only one of us walks away this day.”

jack Fire

Vile closed the distance and then stopped fifty feet shy of him. “Since the last three times we fought, you fled from me, that seems a hollow boast.”

 

“I’m not running today.”

 

“Correct, today you do nothing but die!”

 

Jack looked on is dismay realizing that Vile had no intention of fighting far and as a ray of dark death raced toward him, he prepared for the worst.

 

jack Armor

 

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Ty

Two Men, One Face

June 27, 2016

Tynilia wept silent tears as Jack spoke with the colossal dragon leader. Thunder’s Flame. Jack looked back at her while the titanic roars of the massive dragons shook the caverns. He had said his piece and it became the dragons’ turn to make their choice. Would they help them crush Vile into the ground as they had promised? If they failed to do so, this world would have little hope.

jack Armor

Still, even with the fate of the planet he found himself on, tottering toward doom, all he could think about remained Tynilia. She was never his woman, not really. From the start the idea of Jack’s own ‘other him.’ this world’s incarnation of Jack Primus, allowing his mate to accompany him on his mission had felt odd, but he’d grown so attached to Tynilia before he’d know the truth, he had gone along with it.

 

Seeing her real love, his incarnation die, had proved it was this world’s Jack who owned her heart, no matter how intimate he and her had become over the past weeks.

 

His gut felt like he’d eaten a handful of lava and it wasn’t due to the beating he’d received from Vile Darken. Shaking his head, he approached her anyway.

jack Fire

“What can I do to help?”

 

“You do everything you can, but right now just looking at your face, his face, is like a jab through the heart.”

darkness within

“Not much I can do about that.”

 

She looked up at him anyway. Tears welled from her eyes. Neither of them had cleaned up after the battle and they each remained a broken horrid mess. Strangely he had never seen her look more desirable. He just wanted to hold her, care for her.

 

Tynilia crashed into him with an unexpected force. She wept against his chest as he gently held her while kissing the top of her head. “If nothing else we are about to burn that bastard to the ground,” his words stayed soft, despite their meaning. “Or at least I hope we are.”

Thinder's Flame

“Oh we are, human.” Thrashing Storm stood over them. His sleek blue scales reflected light from the flowing lava passing along the north of the giant cavern. “Are you mating?”

 

“What? No.”

 

“I prefer that answer.”

 

“I’m glad to see you back here safe and healthy.”

 

“Ah, you have hit on what I am here to discuss. We have various salves and healing liquids, which I’ve been asked to make available to you. We have also melted some ice, for I do believe mammals such as yourself require bathing.”

 

“That would be nice. I’ll also need a new weapon.”

 

“Oh, I’m sure we can find you an enchanted blade of some sort.”

 

A smile spread over Jack’s face as he rubbed his chin stubble. “I like that idea. Maybe I’d be able to parry Vile’s weapon without losing mine.”

 

Thrashing Storm turned to leave, but his serpentine neck sent his face looking back at them over his large shoulder. “Follow this passage and you will find a heated pool to your right. The healing supplies are located within. I will search for a weapon for you, Primus. Oh, and one more thing, please do a good job with your cleaning. I don’t want to have to smell you the whole way to the battle, because I’ve already been assigned to be your guardian through the flight.”

 

Thunder's Flame II

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Yeti T II

Failing and Falling

June 6, 2016

As the mighty dragon, Thrashing Storm, hurled toward the trees, the two humans clinging to his back looked on in horror as they neared impact.

Dragon Fall

“Let go, Jack!” Tynilia shouted.

 

He’d grown to trust her and despite how insane it sounded, released his handhold on the chain. She gripped him tightly and flew off the dragon’s back seconds before his huge body splintered through the trees.

Jack Stern

Jack looked down in dismay wondering if even a mighty dragon could survive such a brutal collision, but soon had other matters on his mind as the voice of none other than Ville Darken boomed from the battle that raged behind them.

 

“Primus! Worm of useless filth! You have saved me the trouble of hunting you down and digging you out of where you were cringing in fear in order to avoid your well-deserved fate.”

 

Vile at Night

The Darken

Without meaning to, Jack felt his chest where the scroll designed to kill off all the Stalwarts on every world still rode. Vile’s incarnation from his world created it and although Jack should have destroyed it weeks ago, the thought that he might still be able to use it as a weapon had held his hand. But if he was captured and Vile was able to get his hands upon it, his choice would doom all that ever was and all that would be.

 

Tynilia took them in a flying arc away from both Vile in the battle, which he knew must not have been an easy choice because it remained her home that The Darken army besieged.

 

“This would be about the time, I’d love to see the rest of those dragons show up,” he said through the rushing wind. But they both knew that the rest of the dragons waited for Thrashing Storm’s report and for all Jack knew the dragon had passed and if he hadn’t the war dinosaurs and hundreds of warriors rushing its way could quickly change that.

Angry Jack

Tynilia looked back and saw the part of the army that had broken off and headed toward the dragon. “Is there a way we can help him?”

 

“I was going to ask you that,” Jack said, and then he continued. “Get me closer.”

 

She complied and once they hovered near enough, Jack let the powers of Yig flow through him and the jungle beneath them came alive. Trees entangled the giant lizards and vines wrapped themselves around the wild men’s throats. He tried to control the dinosaurs, but they had long since been corrupted beyond his ability to influence. The trees wouldn’t stop such huge creatures for long, but he had bought Thrashing Storm some time. He could only try to maintain the hope that there remained a reason to do so.

 

“Oh no, Jack, Look!” Tynilia screamed in the loudest voice he’d ever heard her use. He had just a moment to look to the east before he saw the dark form of Vile Darken riding off his floating obsidian throne and rushing their way.

 

“Go, just go. As fast as you can.”

 

Jack looked behind them as Tynilia sped west. He saw Vile raise his hands together over his head and a giant blackness gathered there. “Brace yourself,” he called out.

 

The primal force of evil jetted out toward them appearing as an ebony lightning bolt. It hit Jack like an ocean of knives. He screamed as though the devil ate him a bite at a time. His body thrashed, but somehow the continued roar of agony let him know he still lived.

 

He expected them to be falling into the jungle at any moment, but the blast hadn’t affected Tynilia.

 

Shaking her head, she managed a grim smile. “Fool forgot that the followers of Tezcatlipoca are immune to the assaults of pure darkness.”

T II

Not believing his luck, he clung to her tighter as she continued to rush away from the battle.

 

Still looking back behind them, Jack saw Thrashing Storm rise from the forest and fly to the north. He looked injured and had to struggle to stay aloft, but at least some level of success had reached them and his spell had made a difference and given the dragon time to escape.

Thrashing Storm

If only he could think of a way to save them.

 

“We end this today, Primus. You shall not escape me again!” As the destroyer of worlds pursued them, his tattered black and purple cloak billowed behind him for yards. “If your whore is immune to those assaults, I’ll merely seek another.”

Wife fuck

Another lightning bolt blasted toward them, this one glowed a fiery red and connected with Tynilia’s back. She didn’t even have time to scream, before her body went limp, and for the second time that day, he felt himself plummeting toward the ground.

 

 

Jack Fallen

 

Come back next Monday to see if Jack and Tynilia can somehow survive.

 Vile Darken Wiz

Get more Jack Primus Action Here!

Berserk

Tynilia’s arms clung to his waist with a tight desperation as they raced through the skies thousands of feet over the earth. Nothing but a chain wrapped around Thrashing Storm’s thick neck held them in place on the mighty dragon’s back and Jack’s two hands stayed white knuckled around its length.

Thrashing Storm

He fought through the roaring winds to call back to her. “Between the two of us, you’re the one who flies, why does this bother you so much?”

 

“One, I’m not in control. And two, I would never go up this high.”

 

“Still, I’m the one that will be in more trouble if we were to fall off.”

Jack Face

He felt her relax some. “Don’t worry big man, I’ll keep you safe.”

 

Talking over the wind remained difficult so they dug in for the long trip south. Still, despite the distance, they moved quickly. Jack saw the snow covered mountains disappear into the murky forests. Areas which had taken them days to traverse passed in mere minutes.

 

If nothing else, Jack felt relief that he wouldn’t have to relive the journey that had claimed six out of the eight original travelers. As they quickly neared the areas with which he and Tynilia were more familiar, he shouted directions to Thrashing Storm and the dragon curved to the west.

 

Doubt plagued him for he couldn’t be certain how far the armies of The Darken had advanced. It had been nearly a month since the adventures had set off and the overwhelming army could have all but destroyed his allies in that time.

 

As they dropped in elevation Tynilia’s words echoed his thoughts. “We should assume they have long lost the pass they were attempting to hold. I guess the question is, should we head to village of my allies or yours?”

 

“I think Darken would attack the Village of Yig first, since Stalker had made that deal with him.” After giving Trashing Storm directions, they headed toward the village of Yig where Jack had spent several nights in what seemed like an eternity ago.

p3

Long before they reached it, Jack knew he wouldn’t like what he found. A huge black line of destruction cut through the lush jungle from the south. The wide path of death ripped through the green like a giant highway of darkness killing all it touched.

 

The village had failed no better. In its place a crater of lifelessness stretched into the trees like a corpse’s hand. He could only tell where the village had once stood by the huge circle of obliteration fanning out into the jungle.

 

The party grew silent and Thrashing Storm descended into the center of the circle of death. No trees or obstacles stood to block his landing and Jack jumped down as soon as the dragon’s feet hit the ground. He shouted a few times, but got no answers from the quiet forest. Not even birds sang as if even they too mourned the destruction of the Yig followers.

 

Thinder's Flame

 

The dragon spoke. “My condolences child of Yig. I fear we are too late to rescue your fellows.”

 

Jack didn’t reply, instead he marched around looking for clues or survivors and found nothing.

 

Tynilia and Thrashing Storm gave him some time, but then she approached him and her gentle fingers brushed his arm. In a soft voice, she said, “There is nothing here, Jack. Perhaps they retreated to my village. Either way, we have to go. My village could still be fighting.”

Tyn

He nodded and knew she was right. Together they mounted the dragon and sped to the east.

 

The path below them remained easy to follow and they flew over the long black ribbon that cut through the jungle. Tynilia’s arms gripped him tighter as her stress level rose. He knew she must be wondering what they would find at her home.

 

Jack called back to her. “Maybe he hasn’t attacked the village of Tezcatlipoca because of the deal he thought he was making with Stalker.” She didn’t bother to answer and they flew on.

 

As they drew close, the sounds of battle reached their ears. Tynilia clutched him hard. He laid his hand over her wrist. “Please don’t fly off until we know what’s happening.”

 

They figured out the situation quickly. Hundreds of battle dinosaurs towered over the ranks of easily a hundred thousand warriors. Within their cluttered mass, other darker forms lurked. The center of the dark army held a massive throne carved from black obsidian, but since its huge back faced them, Jack couldn’t see the occupant, but knew it must have housed his ultimate adversary, Vile Darken.

Dino eating Ri[ps

Jack gripped Tynilia tighter and shouted back, “Perhaps Vile held off until he sensed Stalker die and then attacked. It could the only reason they are still-”

 

He was interrupted by the massive roar of Thrashing Storm’s fiery breath blasting into the Army of Darken. A thousand men and several dinosaurs cried out in agony as the fires consumed them.

Dragon Fire III

Before they could recover or react, the dragon hit them again.

 

Thrashing Storm circled around the army and drew in for a third attack, but then suddenly roared in pain. Jack held onto the chain when the dragon lost altitude. The dragon’s body rocked and he appeared to be having trouble flying. The jungle rushed up at them and the two humans cried out as Thrashing Storm crashed into the towering trees.

 

jack Fire

 

Come back next Monday to see if Jack and his allies can somehow survive.

 Thunder's Flame II

Get more Jack Primus Action Here!

jack

As the colossal dragon drew enough air into its lungs to fill a stadium, Jack knew he only had seconds to act before he and Tynilia would be burned into ash. His mystic strength remained at a low ebb after healing himself and Tynilia, so he would only have one chance to save them.

dragon golden

Without thinking the possibilities through, he once again assumed the form of a serpent. This time he became the largest snake he could manage. As he transformed, he felt the last of his Ki drain away. This had better work, he thought to himself, because I don’t think my axe will do the trick against a five hundred foot long dragon.

 

While he changed, he drew himself up as high as his new body would allow, it was still like a worm looking up at an eagle, but it proved to be the best he could accomplish.

Snake giant

The dragon hesitated. Glowing golden eyes glared down at him.  It tilted its head like a confused puppy for a moment and jets of steam poured from its nostrils as it closed its massive jaws.

 

Jack realized, as he swayed there, that one of the drawbacks of his plan would be his inability to converse, but who even knew if these dragons spoke?

 

He detected movement behind him and saw Tynilia dropping to her knees and then bowing until her head pressed against the floor. She stayed there long enough for Jack to wonder what she might be doing. The moment stretched and then grew longer.

 

He couldn’t be sure if he should remain in serpent form or try some other plan, but felt that given the situation he should place his trust in his lover.

 

After another long pause, she raised her head from the floor. “You can become a human again, Jack.”

ty

After he returned to his human body, he regarded the titanic dragon for a few seconds and then turned to her. “What did you do?”

 

“I conversed with the dragon telepathically.”

 

“You can do that? Why didn’t you ever tell me?”

 

She flashed a slight smile his way. “A woman has to keep a few secrets. Besides it might have made you nervous if you knew I could read your thoughts.”

Tynilia

His face grew stern. “Have you done that?”

 

“Oh course. Don’t worry, you passed. Why do you think I trust you so much?”

 

He coughed and jerked his thumb at the dragon towering over them like a scaled mountain. “What about this guy?”

 

Stalwart

Stalwart

“First off, she is a she, and she thought your little trick was adorable by the way, but I’m thinking it saved us. That and they fact that we are a mated pair, also gave her pause. Especially when I told her I was pregnant.”

 

His jaw hung open while he fumbled for words. “What? Huh, wait what?”

 

She smiled at him. “Sorry handsome, what did you think would happen? You are quite a potent specimen.”

 

“By Yig’s scaly beard. I ah… maybe we should talk about that later when an army destroying dragon isn’t waiting on us.”

 

She couldn’t keep the smile off her face. “I agree. She is calling for a…friend to watch over her eggs while she takes us to meet their king. She says we should prepare ourselves for he’s the truly powerful one.”

 

“If he’s much bigger than her, I hope he aren’t too small for him to notice us.”

 

She laughed and seemed happier than he’d seen her in weeks. She slipped her hand into his and they followed the dragon as she led them deeper into the towering cavern.

 

Dragn Molten

 

Come back next Monday to see if Jack and his allies can somehow survive.

 

Forest Jack

Forest Jack

Get more Jack Primus Action Here!

Tyllina

Bitter

March 28, 2016

The remaining four members of the team sat around a shallow campfire in silence. They had found a small cave just big enough to fit them, but not big enough to keep out the howling wind and the bitter cold.

 

Wednesday 25th November 2015, Vatnajökull national park, Iceland: Photographer Mikael Buck with assistance from renowned local Icelandic guide Einar Runar Sigurdsson, explored the frozen world of Vatnajökull glacier in Iceland using Sony’s world first back-illuminated full-frame sensor – which features in the ?7R II camera. His images were taken without use of a tripod or any image stitching techniques in photoshop. This was made possible through Sony’s new sensor technology, allowing incredibly detailed low-light hand held photography. Previously images this detailed would have required carrying bulky equipment to the caves, some of which can require hiking and climbing over a glacier for up to two hours to to access. This picture: Inside the 'ABC cave' - which stands for Amazing Blue Cave. This view shows a snow storm outside the entrance to the cave. PR Handout - editorial usage only. Photographer's details not to be removed from metadata or byline. For further information please contact Rochelle Collison at Hope & Glory PR on 020 7014 5306 or rochelle.collison@hopeandglorypr.com Copyright: © Mikael Buck / Sony 07828 201 042 / mikaelbuck@gmail.com

No one spoke. The loss of Huth had hit them all hard. Jack was no exception. Huth was the first person he met on this strange world that hadn’t tried to kill him. They had problems getting along at first, but in the end the both grew to respect each other, but now he was gone.

 

He looked over at Tynilia, who had at least stopped weeping, but still rejected any attempt he made at comforting her. Shadowknife and Stalker kept up a silence bordering on the profound. He couldn’t say he was sorry, when Stalker mumbled something about trying his hand at hunting again, and Shadowknife joined him. Yet as soon as they were gone, he realized that this left him alone with Tynilia. He wondered what she might have expected from him and wondered even more if he had what she needed.

 

He felt relieved when she broke the silence. “Do you still think we have any hope of finding the Lava Dragons?”

 

Yeti T II

“We’ve gone through so much. We have to be close now.”

 

A humorless laugh escaped from her. “Close… how can you say that? We can’t even be sure they still exist and even if they do, there’s no real reason they should help us. Hell and balls, there’s no real reason they shouldn’t just eat us.”

 

Jack gazed into the fire as he spoke. “I guess it comes back to, we have to try. If there is a chance that it could work, we have to try. We’re talking about the fate of your whole world here. If we don’t stop Vile now, he’ll become unstoppable soon enough.”

 

She also refused to look his way. “How do we even know if the villages are still there? We might be struggling to rescue people that aren’t still alive.”

 

“I’m sure there are more people on your planet and they all need saving too. Left unchecked, Vile will destroy all that’s decent and good on this world and then just drain it of all isn’t energy and resources so he can use them to move on to the next place. Unchecked, he will leave the whole Multi-verse in ashes.”

Exacutioner

“Sometimes I wonder if that might be what we deserve.” He sighed. “We struggle and struggle and then what, just grow old and die. Maybe it would be better if we didn’t exist at all.”

 

His mouth felt dry and no words came easily. “Perhaps the struggle is what life really is. The desire to strive, do better, make things better.”

Angry Jack

“Well, I think it just sucks. I…”

 

She paused looking past him. Outside the night had just begun to blanket the land. Her voice became a whisper. “Jack, what’s that behind you?”

 

He turned. In the distance, he saw that one of the mountains glowed in a fiery light.

 

His voice dropped too. “Looks like an active volcano. We couldn’t see it during the day. There on the side, it looks like lava is flowing. That has to be it. They both stood and she let him embrace her. “We found it Tynilia. We found it!”

 

“Now we just have to do the impossible.”

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Creepy Tunnel

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To be continued next Monday

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Stalker

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Find out how Jack’s Adventures Started Here!

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Dragn Molten