November 14, 2016
For an amount of time impossible to measure, Jack remained nothing—Spread atoms, at one with the Multiverse. He wondered if he’d ever reform, but when the bliss of creation wrapped his essence in its warm arms, he wondered if he wanted to.
Then he slammed into the pavement so hard his body rolled until he came to a halt with his back against a bench in the middle of a sunlit avenue of shops.
An older woman rushed up to him. “Oh my, are you alright,” she begun, but then moved back upon seeing his strange layers of armor along with the huge war hammer strapped to his back.
He tried to clear his head, but random colors compromised his vision and he couldn’t think clearly. Through the fog, he did realize the woman as well as the other people lingering about hadn’t gone all, ‘Invasion of the Bodysnatchers’ on him yet.
Using the bench, he managed to get his feet under him. Others gave him peculiar glances and he realized if an officer showed up the chances of all humanity turning on him again would be high.
He stumbled away. Under the glare of the sun, he felt like an out of place freak. Dozens of people shopped and made their way to their jobs, while he looked like a reject from a Renaissance fair.
Spying a break between shops, he made for it and came out into a large parking lot. People still strolled about, but he felt less under a microscope. As his vision cleared, he spotted a sign for the Lexington Pharmacy.
Rubbing his forehead, he said, “Ahhhh, I’m twenty miles out into the suburbs.”
A small strip of woods ran along the other side of the parking lot and he made for it.
As he power walked to the comforting green, his mind went back to how he had arrived here.
Obviously, this isn’t my home world if for no other reason I encountered an incarnation of myself. Then his gut clenched. Tynilia. What will they be doing with her? Phillip seemed nice enough, but the other Jack’s woman looked fierce, she might not take kindly to her man being blasted into atoms and flung across Boston.
I need to get back there.
Reaching the woods, he discovered it was an urban trail. Even as he stood there, joggers and bicyclists cruised by.
“Excuse me,” he said to one of the passing people. He’d picked a younger man and the fellow regarded him, like Jack must have been half mad.
He chuckled, “Yeah, dude, what’s the matter lost your directions to the costume party?”
“Pretty much, but can you tell me what direction this bike path goes?”
“Uh yeah. If you go left you’ll head down into Concord and Acton. Head right and you’ll end up in Boston eventually.”
“Thanks,” Jack nodded and after readjusting the hammer on his back took up a slow jog toward Boston.
Come Back next Monday for more of Jack’s Brand Spanking New Adventure!
August 22, 2016
Jack had almost repressed the gut retching terror of entering into the core of the Multi-Verse. The feeling of falling through infinity ripped at his body and soul. Round doorways of every color led to worlds racing around him by the thousands. His body twirled with no reference to up or down, left or right.
He forced himself to focus through the distorted reality no human should ever be forced to experience and thought, not for the first time, that it remained no surprise Vile Darken had lost his mind after experiences such as this.
Then he remembered Tynilia. He panicked but felt she still clutched his hand in hers. In the back of his mind, he could somehow tell she screamed. It proved a struggle, but he was able to push the handle of his hammer through his belt. Moving his body in an arc, he grabbed her other hand, so they could look face to face.
He tried to utter words of encouragement, but they were lost in the void. Instead he forced himself forward and gave her a long kiss. She rewarded him with a smile and her warrior-self took over. Her hands tightened within his and she gave him a nod.
Gritting his teeth, he turned his attentions to the round gateways. Somehow he had hoped that he might find some sign or be guided toward his home world, but nothing of the sort appeared to be happening. Each gateway was just a blur of color as they raced by.
Tens of thousands of worlds. How could I ever have a chance of picking the right one?
Again, came only the random hope some world might possess an ally who could help him, but with so many flashing by, what would guide his choice?
As his mind raced almost as fast as his plummeting body, he noticed the black worlds. World after world covered in darkness. It didn’t take a genius to guess these planets were those conquered by Vile.
More and more of these were seen. A bright blue planet caught his eye as it suddenly went dark. He cursed into the empty air as he fell.
A thought came to him. What if there was an end to this passage and at the end a bone crushing bottom might be there to greet them?
With new determination, Jack sought out a gateway. He saw one approaching on his left hand side. A bright, forest green world, which glowed with an emerald color of Yig. He twisted his body to the side taking Tynilia with him.
It seemed like he would miss his target as it rushed up towards him, but he lashed out with his foot. As soon as he made contact, he and Tynilia were sucked through in a nano.
They each gasped as the fell several feet and landed on something hard, which battered their knees and took their breath away.
The planet had shown in a brilliant green, which is why Jack felt so surprised when he looked up to see himself surrounded by grey skyscrapers. All around him, people gasped and a crowd began to form. Voices spoke and even stranger he understood their words. Climbing to his feet, it became his turn to gasp.
“What?” Tynilia asked, as he offered her a hand without looking her way.
“That’s the Prudential building. We’re in freaking Boston.”
Come back next Monday to see what choices Jack and Tynilia will make in the aftermath of Vile Darken’s Death.
July 25, 2016
As the jet of black boiling death raced towards him, Jack wondered how he’d be able to have a chance of winning if he couldn’t survive the first attack. He’d felt the bite of Darken’s death spell before and almost failed to survive.
Right before it crashed into him like a wide ebony ghost, Tynilia teleported twenty feet over’s Vile and landed on his head with both feet as she plummeted to the Earth. A blown which would have killed any normal man, was only met with curses from the Overlord, however his spell became disrupted before it reached Jack.
Jack let out a roar and sprinted full out toward Vile Darken. Tynilia already had her spirit dagger out, but her thrust into Vile’s ribs failed to draw any blood.
“Pathetic tramp. The last of your people, why do you even try?” He emphasized his words by giving Tynilia a casual slap across the face, which sent her reeling back into the ruins of her village.
Vile looked down on her for a moment. “Perhaps I’ll-”
Jack’s enchanted hammer took him full in the chest. Vile let out a yell as his body lifted two feet into the air and then it became his turn to go crashing into the remnants of the village.
“For once I won’t have to listen to some boost involving raping the…”
He swung the hammer in a mighty two handed over head blow. And his teeth rattled when Vile blocked the blow with only one hand on his cutlass. Jack took a step back feeling stunned. How could he have blocked my most mighty blow, one armed, while on his back?
“You can’t beat me. Not here, not on this world with all the power I’ve accumulated.” Vile’s free hand pointed at Jack and a bolt of black lightning crashed into his chest.
Instead of flinching, Jack took a step forward and grit his teeth as he tried to suck up the pain and damage. “Grrraaaahhh.”
Vile had gained his footing and looked on with a half grin enjoying Jack’s pain until the hammer whipped around and took Vile in the neck. The Overlord took a step back and Tynilia’s dagger flew into his face and then returned to her hand. She threw again.
This time Vile blocked her blade and Jack used the opened to pummel Vile’s chest with his hammer.
Vile stayed on his feet this time and lashed out at Jack with his horrid cutlass, but the Stalwart danced back a pace. Vile came in swinging. Jack parried the blows, but then Vile took a wild stab at Tynilia, but she countered by taking to the air and continuously throwing her dagger at his face. The weapon appeared unable to do much damage to Vile’s layer of mystical protection, but she did block his view and keep him more confused and Jack tore into Darken’s back with his hammer when Vile focused on Tynilia.
Vile cursed at the woman and turned to face Jack. He came at Jack with the Cutlass of Entropy. Jack Backpedaled and struggled to block the attacks. Yet the cutlass was light and the hammer bulky.
Tynilia teleported just off to the side, between Jack and Vile. “With pricks like this, sometimes the old ways work best.” The Overlord sneered her way until she flung a fistful of blacken ash into his eyes. “Choke on my village you insane Bastard!” She screamed and then threw her dagger point first into his face.
This time it drew a drop of blood.
“His Bestows are weakening!” Jack shouted and swung in under Vile’s guard and took him in the knee.
Vile stumbled back a step, touched a device on his belt, and a glimmered tube of tan electricity surrounded him.
“I’ve seen these before. Keep throwing your dagger. Hand held weapons are useless. If I hit that wall I’ll electrocute myself. Keep attacking. I have an idea.”
Jack sprinted to Thrashing Storm’s still body. The dragon might have been alive or dead, but it was the barrel of weapons, Jack had affixed to the saddle, that he was after. Tynilia had used twenty weapons to create her, Circle of Pain, and Jack had gathered them all. Mostly daggers and throwing axes had been used and while Tynilia fought on from her flight twenty feet off the ground, Jack drew a hand axe out of the barrel and ran back toward Vile.
The hand axe went twirling at Vile as he ran. It smashed against the electric field, but instead of reflecting, like a normal weapon, it exploded into a burst of inky smoke, which passed through the tan wall. At first Jack thought the wall was stronger than he thought, but then he saw the looks of dismay cross Vile’s continence and heard him choking on the vapors.
Jack threw another axe while he ran toward the battle and it had the similar result.
Tynilia threw her Spirit Dagger at the wall with all her strength and Jack saw the field visibly weaken.
“Enough of this foolishness,” Vile cried and then blasted Tynilia with one of his Stygian bolts of lightning.
She emitted a short lived scream and then Jack looked on in horror as his lover fell almost thirty feet before hitting the earth.
“You’ll die this day,” Jack hissed and then threw dagger after dagger at the wall.
“Use all your weapons against my Nexus wall. The wall might outlast your weapons, or your weapons might outlast the wall, either way, I will be chopping you into smaller and smaller pieces. How much should I chop off before you watch me rape your mate, that’s if she still lives?” Black smoke leaked from his eyes and he favored Jack with a smile of pure insanity. “Actually even if she is dead, I’ll have my way with her and…”
Vile started to cough again as more and more clouds of inky smoke blinded him.
“What’s the matter, you evil freak, use up all your Bestows taking down the village and the dragons? I think you’re out of those spells or you’d be using them on my right now.”
Dagger, dagger, axe, dagger and then it was done, the wall had gone down before he ran out of weapons.
With a growl, Vile advanced. Jack threw two more weapons, but then hurried to snatch up his hammer.
Vile swung a blow and Jack blocked it with the head of the hammer. The Stalwart leaned in and clocked Vile on the chin with the handle of his weapon.
“Enough!” Vile shouted and spun in a circle.
Jack gasped in agony as the slash cut through three of his ribs. The cutlass drove a burning shard of supernatural pain through him that far surpassed his violent wound. Jack could barely see and he couldn’t draw air into his lungs.
Vile dashed the hammer form his hands
“See you never had a chance against me.”
Vile raised his cutlass and Thrashing Storm’s titanic mouth clapped down on his arm.
They both roared. Thrashing Storm came away with Vile’s sword arm below the elbow, but also had the Cutlasss of Entropy piercing through the roof of his mouth.
The Dragon roared in pain and took to the air. It only made it a few hundred yards before it crashed into the towering trees, but he’d moved the weapon far enough away from Vile.
The Overlord looked down at his arm and screamed until Jack gave him the meanest right hook of his life. His left took the villain in the gut and an elbow smashed Vile in the Jaw. The left fist took him in the ear and Jack screamed in fury as he put everything he had into a right fist to the jaw that sent Vile tumbling off his feet into a pile over burn logs.
The Overlord wiped his lip. “Fool, think I’m spent. I’m never stent.” Jack rushed toward him, but Vile raised his left hand and a noose of shimmering darkness encased his throat. Jack struggled for breath as a nerve shattering pain owned his body and mind. Like death itself, the undulating foulness strangled him.
He fought and his legs kicked. He drew a dagger off his belt and tossed it, but it missed and Vile just laughed.
Despite his severed and weeping arm, Vile sat up and a wicked smile creased his blood spattered lips. “Oh yes. You gave it your all, but the efforts of you and your ilk are the multiverse’s last dying gasp. Soon we will finish you and roll over these worlds. Everything, everything that is or will ever be, belongs to me and my fellow incarnations.”
Jack looked on at his most hated foe, while his vision blurred. He had tried everything… He remembered to heal himself, but the damage continued and he knew he had only bought himself another thirty seconds of life.
A black jet of speed moved behind Vile. Before Jack fully understood what he saw, Tynilia’s bruised and bloody form appeared. She pulled back Vile Darken’s head by his oily hair, while her right hand drew her soul dagger across his throat in a wild angry slash. “This is for trying to destroy my world and killing everyone I’ve even known”.
She laughed as her dagger cut again and again.
Vile fought back, but he proved too spent.
Jack crashed to the ground when the noose of death disappeared. He tried to just breathe, but when Tynilia shouted, he had to look up. Shivers raced down his spine and he open mouthed stared at Tynilia as she raised the severed head of her world’s incarnation of Vile Darken.
Come back next Monday to see what choices Jack and Tynilia will make in the aftermath of Vile Darken’s Death.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.”
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.
Come back next Monday to see if Jack and Tynilia can somehow survive.
July 11, 2016
Jack found Tynilia garbed for war. A dark cloak rode over some form fitting chainmail, with grieves, which had obviously been designed for a woman. She had over a dozen weapons littering the floor about her, like she sat in the center of a violent symbol. Throwing axes, edged hammers, and knives formed a circle, with two triangles attached to it. The triangles pointed inwards and she sat between them.
Yes, Tynilia looked ready for war, in every way, say her spirit. Her shoulders slumped under a face looking half a degree away from letting tears flow.
He stepped closer, but she stopped him. “Don’t enter the circle of pain.”
“What in Yig’s name does that mean?”
She looked up at him for the first time. “I’m casting a spell of dark vengeance. Vile will pay for killing my mate.”
Jack played with his fingers. Despite her words it remained impossible for him to forget that he was the one mating with her more often than not over the past three months.
Without warning, she stood. Marching forward, her boots kicked the weapons aside with a load clatter. I’m done. Let’s go.” She walked past him toward the exit as she spoke.
She turned with her eyes full of brown fire. “To war. To finish this. Someone will drown in their own blood before the day is through.”
Setting his jaw, he took a step forward and grasped her by the arm. “Are you sure you’re level. We have to play this smart. I don’t need any hotshoting out there. This is going to be hard enough without you taking insane risks.”
Yanking her arm away, she glared at him before saying, “This is my world, my lands, my people, I will fight for them however I choose, outsider.”
Jack drew back. “Ty, please, we can’t go into the battle with any bad blood between us. I only care about you and want to see you still standing when it is over.”
“Too late. We will each fight our own battles this day, man of the snake.”
Then she disappeared into the corridor leaving him alone. “Fucking great,” he grumbled and then set himself to picking up all her collected launching weapons. They would go well with the spears he’d already gathered.
It was only after he’d drawn closer to the weapons did he see the dark symbol of evil had been burned into the stone.
Come back next Monday to see if Jack and Tynilia can somehow survive.
July 4, 2016
The bath felt hot to the point where Jack expected blisters to start forming, but it left him feeling refreshed. The potions supplied by the dragons renewed not only his physical, but mystical strength as well. His muscles flexed as he forced his big body into a suit of plate reinforced chainmail. Jack had never been a big armor user, but figured if it was there, he use it, besides his clothes had been all but torn to shreds during his last battle with Darken.
His chief concerns, other than the loss of the whole planet to Darken, remained Tynilia. She hadn’t recovered from the loss of her true lover, her world’s incarnation of Jack. She went through the motions, but he wondered if she should be returning to the battle in such a state. Yet, when he saw the fires of rage burning there, he doubted he’d be able to convince her otherwise.
Something metal rattled on the stone floor behind him.
He looked back and saw a fierce forest green glow. Turning, Jack took in the towering form of Trashing Storm before his eyes settled back on the massive war hammer pulsing at his feet.
The hammer’s head provided most of the radiance and was a giant rectangle of stone roughly the size of a cinder block on his world. The steel handle had leather corded around it length, which stretched a good four feet.
The dragon looked down at him. “I hope this pleases you, Human. I searched for quite a while for you.”
Jack picked up the hammer. It felt heavy, but also lighter than it should. It could be able to allow him to move it far faster than its size would have normally allowed. “Hell, TS, this hammer would make Thor happy.”
“Indeed it might. It is of course enchanted and went by the name Obliterator at one time.”
“Works for me,” Jack said, while keeping his eyes on the weapon. “Thanks. If I can crack open Vile’s head with this, your whole world will owe you thanks as well.”
“That is the plan, isn’t it? Now see to it your mate is ready. We are going to have a brief meeting and then head on our way. The last of your kind will not be surviving much longer without our aid.”
Jack grew grim. “Let’s do this. It’s time to bring this war to a close and remove the dark cancer from your world.”
Thrashing Storm gaze met his and then the massive form of the dragon headed back into the main cavern. Setting his teeth in determination, Jack went to find Tynilia. One way or another the fate of her planet would be decided before sundown.
Come back next Monday to see if Jack and Tynilia can somehow survive the final battle.
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.
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.
“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.”
“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.”
“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?”
“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.”
Come back next Monday to see if Jack and Tynilia can somehow survive.
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.
“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 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.”
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.
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.”
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.
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.”
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.
Come back next Monday to see if Jack and Tynilia can somehow survive.
May 30, 2016
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
Come back next Monday to see if Jack and his allies can somehow survive.
May 16, 2016
The king of the dragons had a name impossible for humans to pronounce, but translated to Thunder’s Flame. The number of other dragons surprised Jack and amounted to far more than he could have imagined. The Lava Dragons proved to be no myth, quite the opposite, they thrived in their hidden mountain refuge.
The dragons loomed like endless towers of red and gold, but even these colossal figures stayed dwarfed by the titanic might of their King. The size of a city, Thunder’s Flame remained difficult to perceive. Jack had a hard time wrapping his head around being in the presence of such a godly figure.
Wings the size of soccer fields flapped around them. Growls and serpentine whispers filled the caves with loud noise. Claws and long tails scrapped over piles of coins and giant mounds of treasure as the pair waited for things to settle down.
Tynilia gripped his hand like she was suspended over a cliff and he had never seen her look so terrified. Her self-confident bravado had felt her and she clung to him as a woman already doomed.
When things quieted down to about as much as Jack could expect, he stepped forward and spoke in the loudest voice he could muster. “King Thunder’s Flame and all the rest of you noble dragons please heed my words. I, Jack Primus, hail from a world far different from your own, but despite this, I wish to save the planet you call home from the otherworldly evil that has ventured here and now grows like a cancer threatening to destroy all that you hold dear.”
Booming voices interrupted him. “Destroy you maybe, but never us.”
“Nothing of your kind could ever be a threat.”
“Let the ants eat away at each other. Whole empires could fall and we would not feel a difference.”
“Your words ring true,” Jack shouted, “but The Darken will not stop with us. He stops at nothing short of complete power and domination. I have no doubt that you and your kind are the mightiest creatures on your world, but will even you be able to withstand the might of an entire planet pitted against you? And even if you could, would you want to? Would you enjoy seeing your mates and younger ones fall to his hand in a war without end? And I know this from experience, if your own planet’s resources fail to bring you down, he will bring the might of other planets to bear upon you until you are forced to flee your homes and have nothing left but your lives.”
Voices murmured, but he didn’t give them a chance to build. “Or you can work with me to defend your world before it is too late, strike now and with might such as yours, you can end the war before it begins. Leave him stinging so harshly, he will have no desire to return and face your strength again. Do this now or wait to the end and fight him at a hundred times his strength while no chance for allies remain. What say you?”
Thunder’s Flame paused and for once all the dragons grew quiet. Silence ruled the caverns while they waited. Minutes stretched as a warm sweat collected on his back and armpits. Tynilia’s grip tightened.
At last the king of the Dragon’s glowing eyes regarded him and he spoke. “You words sing of brave intentions and wisdom, but we have seen nothing for ourselves. I will send my son, Thrashing Storm back to your mate’s homeland to see if your words ring with truth as well.”
Jack smiled toward Tynilia before bowing deeply. “We could ask no more your majesty and thank you for the kind offer.”
“Rest up, we will celebrate with you tonight for you will leave at first light!”
Jack turned to Tynilia, “Hey, if nothing else we don’t have to walk back.”
Come back next Monday to see if Jack and his allies can somehow survive.