Wednesday, January 8, 2014

GZ Legends 82: The Fate of Stormy Knight

           
 Anubis seethed as he watched Sandstorm and Electrode fall victim to the violent magic of Stormy Knight. His Egyptian form trembled as his body was still held in stasis by the cursed ring on his finger. His friends all lay about on the ground or were sealed in the transparent cylinders. The looming hand of Chaos overshadowed them all and drew close enough to close its giant fingers over them. He could see the cruel madness and euphoria in Stormy’s eyes from where he stood motionless. The desperation of a bleak and hopeless situation washed over him. But then there was that glimmer of a thought. He realized one thing he had not tried that should only be used in the darkest of hours. It would only be his third time using that power and the first time summoning it on purpose. He stared hard at Stormy, willing the villain to turn toward him.

            “Look at me!” Anubis thought hard, hoping that Stormy might read his mind just a little. “Look at me, you raving psycho! I want you to see this coming!”

            Anubis reached deep within himself for that glimmer of hope. Just like the control of his lance, he didn’t need to physically move for this.

            “Guardian.” He thought and the ground trembled. The throne cracked down the center and Stormy turned towards him.

            Stormy locked eyes with the Egyptian hero and slowly realized what was about to occur. His eyebrows raised in alarm, but it was too late. Then all the sound in their world stopped. Anubis and all of his allies vanished from view as the grand platform shook and trembled. The floor cracked where Anubis had been standing.

            Guardian.

            The throne shattered like exploding glass and Stormy could hear his own voice howling in the sudden maelstrom.

            Guardian.

            A great Egyptian sarcophagus, a hundred feet tall, erupted from the floor and shined on high. The hand of Chaos paused, suddenly unable to move further forward. The sacrifices were no longer in place.

            Guardian.

            The sarcophagus spider-webbed with cracks all across its surface and its likeness to the true god, Anubis. As it exploded open the cosmic groan of a voice could be heard.

           
“GUARDIAN OF THE DEEAAD.”

            The giant spirit of Anubis uncrossed its arms and spread them wide, holding a rod and scepter. As it did both times in prior appearances, all of the harm done to allies of Anubis who had fallen, was returned to whence it came. That meant, all of the agony, all of the injury, and all of the desperate strife were returned to Stormy Knight.

            The hand of Chaos fell back away into the abyss. Following its lead, was the flailing and screaming form of Jonathon “Stormy” Knight, last seen vanishing into the great palm of that hand before it vanished altogether.

            Light flashed and then there was nothing. Nothing felt like eternity.

            “Hah…ee..mm?” The voice was so very far away. He couldn’t make out what it was saying. “Um on, eem. Ayy uh!” He thought he felt a breeze on his face. Was it a breeze? Where was that light coming from?

            “Hakim!” Nightfall shouted.

            Anubis’s eyes snapped open and then squinted in the glare of the midday sun. A chance glance around him revealed the open wreckage of what used to be a red brick building. Nightfall leaned over him, shaking him awake. Doctor Vampire and Sandstorm stood above him.

            “Okay, quit shaking me.” Anubis groaned. “I’m going to be sore for a week.”

            “You saved us.” Doctor Vampire said with a smile. “You saved the world, and the very Balance itself.”

            Anubis looked to his hand. The cursed ring was gone.

            “With all of Stormy’s magic gone, we ended up here.” Sandstorm said. “That ring crumbled to dust.”

            “It was all we had left. I wasn’t even sure it would work.” Anubis groaned as they helped him to his feet.

            “Well it did work. And you know what?” Nightfall said.

            “What?”

            “You’re not a rookie anymore. Now turn human so I can kiss you.”

           
“You know, that’s a great idea.” So Anubis turned to the form of Hakim. Sandstorm and Dr. Vampire turned to help their other friends.

            All of them awakened to find themselves returned to Earth in the area where the alleyway once led to the Chaos dimension. They helped each other up and dusted each other off. Even Galose was freed from the device that took over his armor. Atomizer and Dreamseer held hands as they looked out at their newly freed world. The nightmare was finally over.

            But isn’t there more to the closing of this story? Yes, yes there is. There is more to all of this tale, but you will have to catch it in its full compilation coming soon.

            We hope you’ve enjoyed GZ Legends in its first run. Catch the compilation in the coming book, Chaos Rising, coming soon.

            
Also be sure to check out the links in the upper right to further explore the GZ universe.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

GZ Legends 81: Sandstorm vs Stormy Knight

           
 “We can’t just let him do this!” Electrode said to his partner. “We have to do something.”

            Sandstorm gave Electrode a look known all too well. It meant to have patience. It meant that he had no intention of being idle at all. Electrode knew better than to press his mentor any further on the issue. He just turned his electric gaze at Stormy and clenched his fists.

            “Don’t blame your friend here.” Stormy sneered. “There’s nothing he can do. Oh, I just felt that. You just tried to convert the air around me into fire. I’ve been watching you for far too long. I’m not going to allow that.”

            “I was just checking.” Sandstorm said.

            Stormy suddenly stepped back and swung upward with his enchanted cane. Blacktide took a direct hit as he tried to tackle the villain and was knocked unconscious.

            “And trying to distract me.” Stormy added. “Now look. Look upon the majesty that is Chaos! And that’s only his hand!”

            The hand of Chaos presented itself in form larger than the Rotanian flagship. A thousand men could easily fit in a fingertip of the dark technological wonder they witnessed. Searchlights spun in random locations and lights shined from all sorts of locations across its metal surface. Sandstorm never considered the philosophy that the embodiment of Chaos would be technology. He could see mounted weaponry attached in hundreds of locations. He couldn’t imagine a battleship big enough to tickle it, much less scratch it. In all they had faced so far, this looked to be the thing they could not stop.

            “Ah, now you know true despair, Sandstorm. Your elemental powers are useless. Never mind what you want to do to me. What could you possible do to him?” Stormy gloated.

            In the locked Cyborian armor, Galose’s brain sped through code to deactivate the device that was shutting down his systems. The entirety of a Cyborian’s armor is controlled through mental command, faster than fingers on a keyboard could ever be. Even so, the device worked with blinding speed. Galose’s mind had to be faster than his own operating systems. A series of invasive code entered his life support systems and he blocked it. Then he intercepted another sequence of code. The tedious pushing match of hacking programs continued where all anyone could see was the motionless Cyborian.

            The area trembled as the hand of Chaos became clearer and clearer in view. Sandstorm locked eyes with Stormy after catching the slightest of movement from the corner of his eye. It was unexpected and beyond their hopes.

            “What do you get out of this?” Sandstorm asked.

            “Whatever he gives me. I’ll likely rule what’s left of Earth. Total destruction isn’t his style.”

            “And what’s his style?”

            “He’s going to kill the remaining gods of the Balance of course.” Stormy laughed. “Weren’t you told about the War of the Gods?”

           
“I’ve heard a couple stories.” Sandstorm moved so that he was between Stormy and the coming hand of Chaos. He kept his eyes fixed on those of his enemy.

            “Now what are you trying to pull?” Stormy chuckled. “Do you think you can block him somehow? All of your elemental power wouldn’t have a shadow of a chance.”

            Anubis stood paralyzed by the magic ring and deeply enraged. He found himself watching helplessly as Nightfall was summoned and knocked down. As soon as her body hit the floor, he glanced down at his bladed lance, lying a few feet from him. At first, nothing happened. Then, with all his concentration, Anubis made his lance roll just an inch. That was the movement Sandstorm had caught with is peripheral vision. Anubis continued to concentrate.

            The hand grew closer and closer. In moments it would be able to close into a fist and swallow them all forever. Next, the technological god, Chaos would be fully free and set loose on the universe. Stormy smiled and Sandstorm could take no more of his gleaming teeth. Stormy leaned confidently on his cane.

            Sandstorm lunged with a straightforward punch aimed right at Stormy’s shiny smile. Electrode took cue and lunged in as well. And explosion of force threw them both backwards and down to the cold hard floor. Stormy laughed for a second before his expression changed to surprise. He spun on heel just in time to see Anubis’s lance penetrate the marble throne with an explosion of sparks and fire.

            “NOOOO!” Stormy howled. “My power source! You skewered it! Impossible!”

            “Stormy!”

           
The villain turned back just in time for Sandstorm’s fist to connect with his jaw. A busted lip sprayed a red mist as Stormy stumbled backwards.

            “Shut up!” Sandstorm said.

            Stormy spit some blood from his mouth and spun his cane in hand. “Oh, you fools! Do you think I can’t fight you on my own?” His voice boomed and eyes glowed. The gems in the silver skull of his cane glowed as well. “I will still win! I can still kill you!”

            Sandstorm could feel greater control over his powers since the throne was damaged. He moved in on Stormy and formed his fists into stone. Electrode threw a bolt of lightning that was easily cast aside by Stormy’s cane. Sandstorm’s attacks were met with near perfect martial arts blocks and counter strikes. If he hadn’t converted completely to stone, being struck back and forth on the head with the cane could have killed him. Stormy forced Sandstorm back and knocked him down again.

            As he picked himself up, Sandstorm made a gesturing nod to Electrode. It was the kind of signal that suggested a new target. Electrode nodded and launched his next barrage of lightning at the broken throne. It was immediately clear that Stormy could feel it as he cried out in rage.


            “Let me show you what some real magic can do!” Stormy yelled. “HELLBOUND TRAIN!” Stormy struck his cane on the ground and a spectral ancient locomotive came rushing through the area. It hit both Sandstorm and Electrode, pinning them to the ground as the cars ran over them. The power of that spell felt like their bodies were being torn apart at a molecular level. Sandstorm had never known such agony. At this point, he was certain this was it.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

GZ Legends 80: Chaos Rising

            
Stormy ran his white gloved fingers over the skull end of his cane as he spoke. “You know, Chaos Drones, Hounds, and especially Serpents are very hard to come by.”

            “If you didn’t want your toys broken, you shouldn’t have thrown them at us.” Sandstorm said as he stood stiff and clenched his fists.

            “Perhaps. Watching you struggle with them was amusing in its own right.”

            “Come out from behind your little force field and we’ll see who struggles.” Anubis growled.

            “In good time. But first, I see that we are missing a few people.” Stormy snapped his finger and Nightfall, Atomizer and Redeagle appeared near their friends. “That’s better.”

            Redeagle instantly drew his pistol.

            “Don’t shoot! There’s a barrier.” Electrode warned.

            “You obviously want to tell us about your sick plan.” Sandstorm said. “So quit wasting our time.” All the while, he applied his elemental senses to the area around him, looking for a weakness to exploit.

            “You’re all here for the final act. You were supposed to die, but that hardly matters when I get to sacrifice all of you to him.”

            “You think we’re going to let you release Chaos? That’s what this is about right?” Anubis said. “We’ve been told.”

           
“Yes. And a grand remaking of the universe will soon begin. You see, the last time he was free, he nearly killed all the gods of this universe. He nearly erased the definitions of good and evil. Insanity and beautiful madness spread like a glorious disease. Everything I’ve done, to this point, has been to upset the balance enough to free him. Oh, you look skeptical. What I did, didn’t make sense to you? That’s the beauty of it. Chaos doesn’t have to make sense. It doesn’t.  I started with a global catastrophe and blocked out the sun. Imagine the terror around the world? It triggered lawlessness, looting, and more. But then I needed some very centralized effects to gain enough weight to tip the scales of the balance. So I destroyed the greatest force of good in one of the largest cities in the world, New York. The New York Police Departments were wiped out in a single night. What a crushing blow. With them barely functioning, murder and mayhem could run rampant, as you all saw. You remember having to fight looters and Professor Zombie’s creations? The fact that you could stop them didn’t matter. They provided the death toll needed to keep this whole wheel moving forward. Of course I needed more. So I had the greatest icon of this country taken by siege. That would be the White House of course. Politicians don’t count much for cracking the balance, but he hopes of people that get downtrodden, perfect.”

            “So everything was just to do as much damage as you could, even if it didn’t succeed in destroying everything?” Electrode said.

            “Exactly. The living hurricane, the 7 artifacts, every single challenge you’ve faced so far, meant to do damage that wouldn’t otherwise be done. Whether or not it killed any of you, would merely be a bonus. You were meant to come here. You were meant to be sacrificed to Chaos.”

            “I think we’re going to surprise you.” Atomizer said before he suddenly put a hand to his forehead.

            “Your powers are triggered by mental command, Atomizer. My mystical neural net will prevent you from blowing up so much as a toothpick.” Stormy said proudly.

            “Okay, that’s it! Wait! I can’t move!” Anubis dropped his lance and stood rigid in place.

            “That’s from my gift given to you at the beach, Anubis. You assumed it was part of your armor and gifts, but you’re too new to have realized it wasn’t. My magic ring will keep you from doing anything but watch your friends die. It was so easy to slip it on your finger. You must learn to pay attention, but you won’t live to use the lesson.”

            Nyhtwulf lunged forward but collapsed to the ground, holding his ears in agony. Stormy stood up from his throne with cane in hand.

            “That horrifying pitch in your ears and brain is something only you can hear, demon. You can’t even stay intangible.” Stormy stepped down from the throne.

            Blacktide’s body suddenly engulfed in swirling shadows from his power as it overloaded and strained is ability to control. He dropped to his knees trying to hold it all in.

           
“You better hold on tight, Blacktide. You wouldn’t want to kill all your friends. That would almost be like when you killed your parents. Oh, I know, it was an accident. That’s what you tell yourself anyway.” Stormy took another step towards the remaining friends.

            “You’ll find me more difficult to deal with.” Galose said as he stepped forward.

            “I doubt it.” Stormy tossed a small device at Galose who instinctively caught it. All systems suddenly went to static. Readings weren’t working and multiple systems were starting to shut down. “That’s a little gift from the Maker. It’s designed to shut down any form of technology; even of the mighty Cyborians. Before you can override it, your armor will be dead.”

            Stormy stopped in front of Sandstorm, Electrode, Nightfall and Redeagle.

            “Well? What is the great and powerful Sandstorm going to do?”

            “At the moment? Nothing.”

            “Really? Fascinating!” Stormy shot a bolt of energy that hit Nightfall and knocked her out instantly. “Even if I start hurting your friends?”

            Redeagle attacked. His powerful swings were blocked effortlessly. Stormy spun and drove the end of his cane through the agent’s midsection. Stormy fixed his eyes on those of Sandstorm as he gave his cane a jerk and dropped Redeagle to the floor. Electrode almost moved forward, but Sandstorm put a hand on his shoulder.

            “Don’t.”

            “But…”

            “Don’t. He’s tapped into the powers of all the other people in those cylinders. They’ve amplified his abilities beyond our reach.” Sandstorm said as he held Electrode back.

            “Very intuitive, Sandstorm. You’re exactly right.”

            From the swirling abyss a great shadow formed of a hand that made them all seem like ants in comparison. Stormy smiled.


            “He’s coming.”

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

GZ Legends 79: Stormy Knight, Villain Extraordinaire

         
  “Let’s assume it’s just like the other creatures here. Keep it busy. This one’s on me.” Sandstorm vanished into the air.

            “Okay! Aim at its eyes and mouth!” Electrode said as he fired a barrage of lightning at the creatures double set of red eyes.

            “Partner, see if you can reach that thing’s brain.” Blacktide suggested as he powered up for a new attack.

            “Let me run in real quick, I got an idea!” Anubis charged in as the beast reared back from incoming attacks. Galose fired at it to keep its attention, but it quickly noticed Anubis standing right under its chin. “Well, come and get me!”

            The creature snapped at Anubis with its mouth and two lines of teeth, but the hero was ready. He held up his lance and propped its mouth open. The blades of the lance sank into the roof of its mouth. The great serpent threw its head back and howled in pain and rage. No matter how it tried, the lance of Anubis could not be broken. It angled its mouth back toward Anubis and spewed green bile that he narrowly avoided. The acid venom sizzled on the pathway.

            “Don’t you know spitting is bad manners?” Anubis shouted. “Open target, guys, lay it on!”

            As attacks battered the creature it spewed at them again. This time the wave was stopped by a force field created by Anubis. He wasn’t going to have it spitting on his friends. It was still hard to hurt the creature as its lashing head made for a difficult target.

            Nyhtwulf flew in over top of it and plunged an intangible fist into the top of its head. He had to remain partially tangible and it convulsed from his life force and brain wave disrupting powers. Unlike Anubis, Nyhtwulf felt no difficulty flying. He wondered if it was because he was intangible or from another realm himself.

            Galose shot three of its teeth out and kept his targeting locked on the gaping jaws. He didn’t want to go with his highest firepower for fear of hurting allies. The punishment the beast could take amazed him. Something else bothered him too.

            “I’ve lost Sandstorm’s life signs!” Galose said.

            Blacktide took a turn with his disintegrative powers while Anubis protected him from an acid bath. “Are you sure?”

            “Do not worry!” Nyhtwulf shouted from atop the things head.

            Lightning danced between the creature’s teeth in bright flashes.

            “We’re pouring it on but it’s not going down fast enough!” Electrode said. “If my partner is going to do something, I wish he’d get to it!”

           
If Sandstorm could hear the conversation, he wouldn’t be surprised. He found it hard to hear anything after going down the beast’s throat. In the form of air, it was an easy feat. He moved into the depths of the monster but avoided going into its lungs. Instead he stopped between the lungs and stomach. As an elemental, he could sense and control the aspects of all four elements. So far, every living thing he had ever encountered had one element in common; water. So, much like the day he merged with a living hurricane, he merged with the giant serpent. With vast senses, he could feel and detect every molecule of water throughout the creature’s body.

            Another aspect of Sandstorm’s power involved converting one element into another at will. I would be no effort to change all the water in the creature’s body to fire or earth. In this case, he chose earth. But earth has many aspects beyond simple dirt.

            From the outside the convulsions of the creature slowed to tremors as it suddenly found it difficult to move. Nyhtwulf flew back to his friends.   
 
            “There is change.” He said to them. “Watch.”

            They no longer needed to attack the creature. It couldn’t attack them anymore. The red of its mouth slowly turned gray. Its flickering tongue froze in position and its eyes went dull. The blood in its veins slowed like hardening concrete. Organs shut down and froze in place. But there was one more element to convert. The beast was breathing. It couldn’t even take a last gasp as its lungs turned to stone.

            From outside, popping sounds could be heard as stone began to crack from under armor-like scales. Sandstorm had one last trick.

            “Anubis, we will need a shield.” Nyhtwulf said.

            Anubis barely put one up in time to block the flying debris as the serpent exploded in all directions. Great chunks of its body flew away into the swirling abyss around them.

            “Explosive personality.” Anubis mused. “Serves it right for trying to puke on us.” The Egyptian hero held out his hand and caught his lance as it flew back to him.

            Sandstorm’s body formed out of the air where nothing was left of their opponent. He looked around him and far out into the swirling colors.

            “No more!” Sandstorm shouted. “Deal with us yourself! Where are you?”

           
“You needn’t shout.” Came a voice from up ahead of them. “I’m right here.”

            The scene ahead of them shifted like a mirage and an enormous platform appeared. Jonathon “Stormy” Knight sat in a white marble throne with his skull head cane leaning on the side. Behind him, against a wall, a line of man sized cylinders could be seen. Inside each one, they could see one of the heroes that had allied with them before. Doctor Vampire and all of his Strykeforce Guard had been captured as well as all of Calibur 5 from Florida. From the bottom of the cylinders, thick tubes converged to the back of the throne.

            “No way!” Electrode said.

            Without further hesitation the heroes attacked. Lightning, metron blasts, disintegration waves, and a bladed lance closed in on Stormy, but stopped short. As they all closed in on the platform, Stormy laughed.


            “Anubis isn’t the only one who can make force fields. Calm down. We have so much to talk about.”

             Stormy’s smile unnerved them all. They realized that they had no idea what they were facing.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

GZ Legends 78: Hiss from the Abyss

           
 Blacktide’s eyes clouded in dark shadows as his power grew. He clenched his fist, also shrouded in the dark energies he commanded. Shadow wisps even emitted from his lips as he spoke.

            “Now.”

            Nyhtwulf shifted out of the way and Blacktide thrust his fist forward. Despite the amount of power coursing in the effect, a disintegration bolt or wave makes little more in noise than a cough or ‘whumping’ sound. The crackling and spitting sparks all came from the Chaos drone as it took the attack full in the chest. The air sizzled from the relentless attack and the drone started to be forced backwards. Layers of armor dissipated into smoke followed by wires and circuit boards. Still, it didn’t happen as quickly as this kind of power would destroy anything common to Earth. Blacktide didn’t realize it, but this charge released on Earth would have been catastrophic in its effect.

           
The drone stumbled as the blast achieved the halfway mark into its body. Blacktide pressed advantage and stepped forward. All he knew in the moment was rage. Rage at all the horrors he and his friends had faced so far. Horrors all set in motion by the one man they sought on this nightmare path. Finally, the drone shuddered and fell backwards, floating away into the strangeness of the void around them. Blacktide stopped firing and watched for a second as the useless metal trash drifted away. He leaned over and put his hands on his knees and realized he was out of breath.

            Electrode could feel a sharp tooth press its point against the side of his neck. Even with all Sandstorm’s elemental strength and an iron ore fist in its mouth, the giant hound only needed to flinch and kill its prey. Electrode’s mind raced and desperation fueled the invention of idea. One of its red glaring eyes was close to his right hand where he had a fistful of black fur. For anyone else, the time it would take to let go and try this stunt would result in death. For a man who could move faster than the speed of light, it was perfect timing. While his body was pinned, he could still move that hand. Utilizing his speed and making the world around him stand still, he darted his hand to the creature’s eye and dug his electrical arcing fingers in hard. Its eye was the size of a racquetball and just as rubbery in consistency. He pulled with the power of his speed and ripped the eye from its socket, still attached by its long cord. Now was the time to charge it with everything he had to offer. The jolting hit home this time and the beast threw its head backwards, howling in pain. Taking advantage, Sandstorm pulled its head back and grasped upper and lower portions of its jaw. With a mighty heave in strength, he snapped its jaw outward. The beast fell over dead.

            Anubis and Galose wrestled with their giant hound. Galose activated strength adaptation programs in his armor. Because Cyborian armor keeps all its equipment and systems in pocket dimensions, it can store machinery much larger than itself. The strength adaptation and amplification systems were powered by a metron reactor twice as big as his armor. In times of need, Galose could amplify his armors strength capabilities by 50 times or more. It was a temporary surge, but usually enough to complete any task at hand.

            “I can’t budge this thing!” Anubis shouted.

            “I have something.” Galose responded. “The creature’s hide is virtually impenetrable, however…”

            He slowly pushed the creature back and jammed an arm down its throat. He extended his metron rifle and fired several times. The creature convulsed and went limp, hanging from Galose’s arm. Anubis had been knocked to the path by the creature but quickly got back to his feet.

            “Nice force feeding.” Anubis said.

            “It worked.” Galose pulled his arm from the beast’s throat and shook some disgusting green slime off.

            “You want me to clean that off of you?” Anubis asked.

            “Not necessary.” Galose’s armor cleaning programs dissipated the mess. “We are supposed to take pride in our armor’s appearance after all.”

            “Is everyone okay?” Sandstorm shouted.

            “I’m fine, now that I can keep my head.” Electrode said.

            Everyone looked to each other and many nods indicated that all would live for the time being.

            “Galose, are you getting any more readings for up ahead?” Sandstorm asked.

            “My sensors work at a limited distance in this dimension.”

            “But we can see clear down the path to where it disappears.” Anubis said.

            “That is an illusion. We cannot see precisely where the path goes. We can only follow it.”

            “I am also unable to detect anything at a distance here.” Nyhtwulf said.

            “Sounds like we’re in a twisted fog bank.” Sandstorm said. “Well, we may as well keep going. Stay close together. I don’t want us losing anyone.”

            “Oh, and don’t fly. It works really weird here.” Anubis said.

            “Yeah, we saw you go for a ride.” Blacktide said.

            “Hey, that’s no ride I want to take again.”

           
They marched forward on the path with purpose. Whatever waited for them ahead, they knew it was their mission. Clearly, they were meant to follow the path with no choices for other avenues. In a few minutes of moving forward the path rumbled and shook.

            “Tell me we aren’t going to lose the path.” Anubis said.

            “I don’t think so.” Sandstorm said. “Something is up ahead of us.”

            As they moved forward a gigantic black mass started to form ahead for the sake of vision. The path shook again from a loud growl as the new threat came into view.

            “You gotta be kidding me.” Electrode said.


            The giant black serpent’s body was wrapped around the hovering path ahead of them. Its body was as wide as a mid-size car and longer than two city buses. It raised its head with another growl and opened its mouth to show dagger long shining teeth. A light green residue dripped from its jaws as it gave them a loud warning hiss. 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

GZ Legends 77: Chaos Dimension

            
As it flew closer, tiny lasers peppered the area the heroes stood in, causing them to scatter the best they could. One wrong step would take them off the pathway and into the abyss.

 Electrode weaved past the lasers that hovered in the air compared to his speed. His friends appeared to be in stasis from his speeding point of view as did the Chaos drone. Electrode dashed down the path to get a shot at it from behind. Once in position he had to come out of speed mode to hit his target with a burst of powerful lightning. It’s easy to hit something made of metal when you fight with electricity. Electrode hit the drone right between the shoulder blades.

            Without hesitation, the drone turned sideways with one arm aimed either direction. The tiny, yet explosive lasers fired from its fingertips. At the same time, a long metal ribbon emerged from somewhere on its back and lashed toward Electrode. If it weren’t for his ability to perceive movement in the tiniest of fractions, it would have cut him in half. Instead it left a neat slice in the path where Electrode once stood.

            Galose was the second to engage the hovering menace. He fired his shoulder cannons with several direct hits. The drone didn’t even waver in the air. Another metal ribbon lashed out and made a gash in one of Galose’s arms.

            “I’m going to repair my armor more than it’s needed in two decades!” Galose said to himself before calling out; “We have to bring it down!”

            Anubis jumped into the air and aimed his glowing lance at the drone. The wide cosmic blast engulfed the midsection of his target and actually shoved it a whole inch in the air.

            “Man, that would have leveled a building! What is this thing made of?” Anubis called out. A few lasers hit Anubis and sent him spinning backwards. He suddenly found it difficult to stop himself from tumbling through the air.

          
  Nyhtwulf quickly placed himself between the onslaught of laser blasts and his friends. As the shots went into his ethereal body, they emerged heading back where they came from. Its own weaponry proved more effective than any so far and actually left score marks on its armor. Blacktide moved to back up his partner and aimed at one of the propellers that kept the drone aloft. A disintegration beam destroyed the whirling apparatus and the Chaos drone landed on the path.

            The drone didn’t slow down in its combat mode regardless of loss of flight. The metal ribbons lashed out again. One went through Nyhtwulf harmlessly while the other ribbon cut Blacktide’s leather jacket before the end of it could be burnt off.

            “First my shades, now my jacket!” Blacktide growled. “You’re scrap metal!”

            Sandstorm was trying to figure out if he could melt or freeze this opponent when he saw something materializing behind Electrode. There was no time for warning.

            The Nuclear-Electric man was doing his best to hit the drone with all he had when something threw him to the path. Hot breath steamed the back of his neck and a loud growl sang in his ears. Sandstorm turned into air in order to get to his partner quickly. He formed himself as iron ore and grappled the giant black hound that pinned Electrode. With an enlarged arm around its neck, Sandstorm pulled, but couldn’t budge the creature from the path. Electrode managed to spin underneath the creature in order to get hands on its neck and jaw.

            “Electrode, fry it!” Sandstorm called out.

            As the beast’s teeth grew closer to his neck, Electrode turned it into a dazzling display of arcing electricity. Even with all he could do, it was very slow in doing any damage.

            “Somebodeeee? Anybody?” Anubis called as he struggled to stop tumbling through the air toward the swirling boundaries. “I can’t get control of my flight!”

            Galose saw Anubis’s struggle and ran down the path away from the fight. His targeting computers locked on to the flailing hero. The triangular red gem at Galose’s waist emitted a red tractor beam that caught Anubis and dragged him back to the path.

            “Okay, flying is a bad move. Thanks for grabbing me.” Anubis said.

           
“I’ve been taking readings.” Galose said. “This is a chaos dimension. The creatures here have the ability to anchor themselves in order not to float away. As long as we stay on the path, we can maneuver.”
            “Well, let’s get back to the others!” Anubis said.

            Before they could act, another hound beast materialized between them and jumped on Galose. It locked its teeth into his shoulder and fangs started to penetrate armor. Anubis stabbed it in the side with his lance, but the blade only pushed against its body without cutting through.

            The drone angled its shoulders and tried to cut Blacktide with the other propeller that was still spinning while sending both ribbons for him as well. Nyhtwulf grabbed his friend by the shoulder and suddenly both of them were intangible.

            “That’s it!” Blacktide said. “Keep me from getting hit, partner while I juice up to hit it with all I’ve got.

            The drone stomped forward, resorting to swinging fists that did nothing. Nyhtwulf kept his own intangible body between the drone and his partner, moving just enough to keep distance between them. 

            Sandstorm strained to pull the giant hound away from his friend. Electrode poured everything he could into trying to kill it. Its resilience would be amazing if it weren’t so close to sinking its teeth into his throat. Electrode could count its pointed fangs and could almost feel them slicing into his neck.

            “If this thing’s breath doesn’t melt my face off first, it’s going to bite my head off.” Electrode thought. “I can’t get out from under it!”

            To try and help, Sandstorm put one of his iron ore hands right in the monster’s mouth.

            Anubis continued to try and stab the one that jumped on Galose.

            “I can’t budge it!” Anubis shouted.

            Galose grabbed the creature’s jaws and struggled to push it away. Never had he come across a flesh and blood creature that could bite through Cyborian armor.


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

GZ Legends 76: Light it up!

           
 One of Stananteon’s forelegs crushed through the building and landed on the sidewalk. His roar shook the street and an arch of electricity danced between his straight horns.

            “You should know well, Anubis! You dropped Monolith into the ocean. You left my Pentegram Syndicate on a runaway starship!”

            “Well, hey hey! Someone who doesn’t just call me a dog!” Anubis flew into the air. “I hope you don’t expect me to go easy on you for that.”

            “Enough chatter!” Sandstorm shouted. “Let’s deal with this thing and get it over with!”

            Sandstorm sank into the ground like a vanishing ghost while Galose opened fire with his forearm rifles. After taking several direct hits across his broad neck, Stananteon breathed engulfing flames around Galose and half the street. Nyhtwulf flew through the dragon’s body and it lurched from the effect of having its life force scrambled; but that didn’t stop it. Stananteon gave a thunderous roar that knocked Nyhtwulf tumbling through the air.

            Anubis hit the dragon between its glowing eyes with a cosmic blast that made it shake its head.

            “You’re just an overgrown lizard!” He taunted it.

            “I’ll show you an overgrown lizard!” Stananteon shouted. The arch of electricity became a super-charged bolt fired at Anubis. The Egyptian hero blocked with his lance, but the shot still threw him across the street.

            A blast of disintegration energy tore into the dragon’s lower jaw. He roared in agony from Blacktide’s attack.

            “You should fly away before I erase your teeth!” Blacktide shouted. “We’re fed up and have no time for psychotic dinosaurs!”

            “You take me for a simple beast, but I shall show you…” Stananteon was interrupted by a giant hand of concrete clutching his throat. It came up from below him, through the wreckage of the building. It lifted the dragon up as more of Sandstorm’s giant body rose into view. Sandstorm slammed the dragon onto its back and brought down a wrecking ball fist on its head.

           
He continued to smash away at Stananteon with hammer-fist blows that forced the head of the beast through the asphalt and sidewalk. A nearby fire hydrant burst and showered the area with water. Broken cars tumbled away because of the shaking ground. Electrode reached out and drew the arc of electricity to his body, absorbing it to charge himself.

            “I’ll take that.”

            Thanks to Electrode and the savage pounding, Stananteon weakened quickly and suddenly vanished without a trace. Anubis landed with a grin.

            “I guess he was a chicken lizard.”

            Sandstorm returned to normal. “I think we’ve shown we mean business. Was the dragon the source of energy?”

            “No.” Galose said. “That is still at the end of the alley.”

            “Then let’s go.”

            The group approached the wall at the dead end of the alley with caution. Scattered trash, debris, a dumpster and a few trash cans were all that adorned the alley up to the blank brick wall. They watched for movement and Anubis poked his nose into the dumpster.

            “Peeeyew.” Anubis shook his head. “What we seek is definitely not in there.”

            “Where does the trace lead to?” Blacktide asked.

            “In the middle of the wall.” Galose said as he walked up to it. “I see now. It’s a disguised portal. We can just walk through it.”

            “Nothing says ‘trap’ like an open door.” Electrode said.

            “So we watch each other’s backs.” Sandstorm said.

            “I’ll go first.” Galose said and walked through before anyone could answer.

            Nyhtwulf and Blacktide went next, followed by Anubis, Sandstorm and Electrode.

            “Not that I wanted to be last or anything.” Electrode said.

            “Don’t worry about it.” Anubis said. “You had the best chances of catching up.”

            “That’s almost funny.” Electrode responded.

            “Pay attention. Things just got weird.” Sandstorm said.

            They stood on a wide white path that stretched away into the distance. Above and below the path was nothing. Bright swirling colors churned high above and far below. It looked as if you could fall away forever if you stepped off the path.

            “I detect no ground limit in any direction past the path.” Galose said. “It may be safe to fly here, but I would advise extreme caution. We are in another dimension.”

            “Well, looks like it’s wide enough for all of us to move around on. Just be careful and let’s start walking.” Sandstorm said as he moved forward. “Galose, Anubis, Nyhtwulf, let us know the moment you sense anything coming at us.”

            The path felt solid under their feet. It didn’t bounce or move in any way. Anubis and Nyhtwulf decided not to fly unless they absolutely had to try it. The swirling dimension was strange and played with their eyes if they stared out into the colors for more than a second. It was best to keep their eyes on the path.
 
            “Should I scout forward?” Electrode offered.

            “No. There’s no way of helping you if something grabs you. You might even wind up in another dimension on top of this one.” Sandstorm said.

            “This dimension is not stable.” Galose reported. “According to my readings, this is more of a long portal or dimensional tunnel being held open. If it closes on us, there is no telling where we will go.”

            “Since it didn’t just close on us; someone wants us to follow.” Blacktide said.

            “Let’s hope it stays that way.” Electrode added.

            “Well, we thought ‘death trap’ and here we are.” Anubis said.

            Up ahead of them, something moved near the path. It was far ahead, over a hundred yards, but flew toward them.

            “You got that on your sensors?” Sandstorm asked.

            “It is shielded from them.” Galose answered.

            The humanoid form appeared robotic with a long pole angled far out from either shoulder. At the top of each pole, blades whirred, holding the thing aloft.

            “It doesn’t look like a Rotanian.” Anubis said, holding his lance ready.


            “It’s not.” Galose answered. “I haven’t seen one of these in over a hundred years. That is a Chaos drone. It’s more lethal than any Rotanian could hope to be.”