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.
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?
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.
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?”
“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.
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.”
Come Back next Monday for more of Jack’s Brand Spanking New Adventure!
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!
October 7, 2013
This serial began last Monday
Figuring that he probably wouldn’t be getting into another fight before noon, Jack used his most recently acquired spell and healed himself. Looking down, he took off his new leather in disgust. He had bought it for himself with the money he had taken from the Ripperkah in Pennsylvania. He still had plenty, but when one is unemployed you needed to make you cash flow last.
“Guess I won’t be picking up any chicks wearing this.” He said while tossing the slashed jacket onto the chestnut colored bar. A minute later, he was using the land line to call Phillip. He saw the silhouettes of police officer poking around in the alley behind the bar. He watched them move as he filled his friend in on the Xemmoni attack.
Nine minutes later Phillip walked through the front door of the pub he owned. “You look like hell,” the man said while motioning toward the huge blood stain surrounding the rent in Jack’s shirt.
“Look who’s talking,” Jack said, while pointing at Phillip’s wrinkled ensemble of loose fitting brownness. “It looks like you didn’t even take off your trench coat before you went to bed.”
Phillip laughed. “Well, how do you think I was able to get over here so quickly?”
Then they grew serious as Jack filled him in on the attack he received from the armored Xemmoni. Once he was done, Phillip said, “Yeah, sounds like a Hyades alright. But I never heard of the silent stalkers using armor. They are hard enough to kill normally.”
They both leaned back in the bar chairs and Jack winced when Phillip opened an ale. “Starting a little early I see…”
But Phillip held up his hand in a silencing motion. Someone stood outside of the bar’s front door. A second later a hard rapping sounded, like the door had been struck with a solid object.
Jack slipping back into his bloody leather while reaching behind the bar for the big wood cutters axe he hid there.
Phillip was strapping his Sword of Mecca back to his waist when both Stalwarts froze.
A darkness seemed to be eating the sun itself. It poured under the front door like a spreading puddle of filthy ink. Black webbing covered the windows thrusting the insides of the bar into darkness. Thorns of grasping ebony grew over the interior walls. Like grasping hands, they covered the ceiling.
Phillip drew his cutlass and motioned for Jack to open the front door, but as the neared the street side of the bar the front door flew open with a loud bang.
A man defined by pure darkness stood in the doorway and despite themselves, each of the Stalwarts retreated a pace when he stepped into the room. Stark black eyes burned at them and waves of malign evil poured off the man like steam. A stygian overcoat matched a large angled hat and both appeared to arc away from the figure in odd jagged angles. A mahogany cane stayed clutched in one pale hand.
“Darcarre,” Jack whispered.
“Certainly,” the figured whispered. “And I am aware of what you attempted to do not long ago. One of you fools tried to hurt my pet.” He waved a gloved finger at them while his red lined lips cracked into a grin under his pallid face. “Not that you could, but we don’t need to attain publicity just this yet. We have more important things to attend to. This is why I, The Baron, am offering you a single chance to leave Boston before nightfall. If you flee this city at once, you will be allowed to continue your misguided existence,” his smile grew wider, “for at least a bit longer.”
Jack had never faced such a creature, let alone had a conversation with one. Cold fingers of dread scratched at his scalp. He could feel the power flowing from this Xemmoni and it caused him to have to focus to keep from shaking from the onslaught.
Phillip found his voice first. “Why spare us at all?”
Waving a dismissive hand, The Baron continued. “Stalwarts are like rats, or perhaps roaches. You kill one and their father’s sister’s boyfriend’s dog will be chewing on you leg the next time you are entertaining. I have serious issues to attend you and for the price of your lives, I expect you to call every ‘would be’ hero you know and tell them to flee from this city as well. I have no time to deal with such minor issues.”
“Some of the Xemmoni we met in the past didn’t consider us minor issues,” Jack Spit out.
“Oh please,” The Baron said, and then with a motion from both hands he sent two of the hugest Black Veins Bestows he had ever seen straight into the chest of each man. With a gasp they were both thrown backwards over chairs as growing black curse that spread over them like veins of evil. Agony owned them as their flesh turned black and burst. Jack tried not to scream, but realized he already had.
The Baron turned and his overcoat whipped around him like a vampire’s cape. “Remember this will be your only warning. You and any other Stalwart seen in Boston will be exterminated after sundown.” He gaze the one final icy look of hatred, “in the most unpleasant of ways.” As he exited the bar, the door slammed shut on its own accord and the returning sunlight did nothing to lesson the torment as the Stalwarts were left curled in moaning balls of pain.
To be continued next Monday