Thursday, December 27, 2012

GZ Legends 26: The Skull of Sphidra Pt 2

            From the tops of the buildings, the spiders surged in teeming masses.

            “Everyone into a building!” Electrode ordered as his body arced brightly.

            “What are you going to do?” Blacktide asked.

            “Just get them inside. The world’s biggest spiders are about to meet the world’s biggest bug zapper.”

            “We need a path!” Redeagle had grabbed up a car fender for a weapon, having run out of ammunition. He swung back and forth hard, clearing spiders and spraying goo.

 Blacktide and Nyhtwulf ran to assist. An apartment building was the closest they could get to. Finding the door locked, Blacktide put his fist through the lock and latch. Nyhtwulf swept chasing spiders away as they dodged inside.

Electrode started to glow and strobe as he charged himself. The spiders were forced back, unable to come near him.

The rest of them rushed inside. They all dove for cover behind furniture and the large lobby counter.

            The air between the buildings became daylight as the powerful surge flew towards the sky. Electrode then broke into a staggering run for the doors as bodies of the giant spiders fell all around.

            “Are you okay?” Atomizer said as he ran to steady him.

            “Yeah, just a little drained. I’ll recharge in a few minutes.”

            “Let’s put a bunch of furniture against the door here to try and keep any more out,” Redeagle suggested.

            “Sorry, disintegration is my only lockpick,” Blacktide said.

            “No problem. We’re safe for now. Let’s just get this blocked.”

            They scrambled to stack furniture against the doors to the building. Redeagle even pushed and broke the lobby counter loose. Nyhtwulf helped him shove it, grinding into place.

            “Okay, so now how do we go about finding this artifact and putting a stop to the spider kingdom of Chicago?” Redeagle asked as he caught his breath.

            “I sense intense psychic energy and it seems to get stronger in that direction,” Dreamseer pointed upwards.

            “I too sense this. We must climb,” Nyhtwulf said.

            “Climb? Yeah, how about we just take an elevator?” Atomizer suggested.

            “You want to get stuck in an elevator with those things?” Redeagle pointed out.

            “Okay, stairs it is. But what are they doing up at the top of the buildings? Making webs?”

            “Isn’t that what typical spiders do?” Electrode asked.

            “Let’s make sure we have a good route then,” Blacktide said. “Nyhtwulf, can you sense a safe route?”

            “Nowhere is safe, even if it seems at any moment,” his partner responded.

            “That’s just great,” Atomizer said, “I hate spiders.”

            “Let’s find the stairs,” Red pressed and they moved across the lobby carefully.  Any movement out of the corner of the eye was held suspect. Atomizer couldn’t stop looking behind furniture or at the ceiling.

            They found a sign that said stairs and an open door across from it, blocked open by a human body.

            “Well, there’s a clue as to what happened to the people,” Atomizer said.

            A really large spider compared to the ones outside crawled out the door and blocked the hall. Nyhtwulf growled and flew forward to block its approach. It turned its head up toward him and seemed to answer with a chittering challenge of its own. Then, from under its body a pair of human arms reached down and pressed against the floor along with a pair of human legs. It rose up on those legs and folded back the arachnid ones, angling its head in a more humanoid fashion. This spider had once been a large man. Nyhtwulf was the only one not frozen in terror and shock from the sight. He lunged forward and the spider answered with the same. But it froze when the lupine hero phased his arm into its chest and disrupted its life force. He kept his arm within as the man-spider’s body shook with spasms. Nyhtwulf made sure it wasn’t going to be a threat again. Finally, he let its convulsing form fall to the floor.  He turned to his friends.

            “Dead,” he announced.

            Atomizer stumbled backward, “Are you kidding me? Aw man! I really hate spiders you guys! I had no idea it would be like this! One spider dude with a freaky helmet, and I thought, sure I can handle that, but this is way out there!”

            “Hey!” Redeagle shouted, “We need you to hold it together! Come on, you’re with us and you can do this.”

            Atomizer took a deep breath, took his hat off and ran his fingers through his hair. “Yeah, yeah, I know. But, man, my power doesn’t work on living tissue. I’m going to have to blow holes in the freaking walls and stuff. And, man, I’ve never seen such a monster.”

            As the group approached the stairway door, Atomizer clenched his fist and teeth. Nyhtwulf paused at the end of the stairs.

“We can move this way safely for now,” Nyhtwulf  said.

            “Keep us posted,” Blacktide said, “I’ll bring up the rear.”

            “I’ll be up front with Nyhtwulf,” Electrode said. The rest remained between them as they started up the stairs. Every shadow demanded their attention. Knowing that these spiders could be right on the underside of the stairs made them extra wary. The stairway had open space from top to bottom and no one wanted to stick a head out to look up or down. Electrode still needed to recharge but felt he could do a few strobe bursts if needed. He could carry a massive charge and even act as his own alternator and recharge himself when running at full speed. He feared leaving his friends even for a split second however.

They made it up six floors when Nyhtwulf stopped and pointed to the 7th floor door.

            “Go quickly.”

            Blacktide covered their exit from the stairwell as spiders skittered down from above. He pulled the door shut as they moved in and Electrode stepped up. He emitted a narrow arc from his fingers and welded the door shut.

            “That should hold even the humanoid ones.”

            “Guess we need to find another set of stairs,” Redeagle said, “Probably at the other end of this hall.”

            Nyhtwulf nodded and took the lead. He led his friends halfway down the hall and then stopped with a low growl.

            “What is it?” Blacktide asked.


            As Nyhtwulf said that word, spiders of both human-hybrid and monstrous size emerged from apartment doorways. They crawled to the ceiling and walls. The friends were completely surrounded.

Monday, December 24, 2012

GZ Legends 25: The Skull of Sphidra Pt 1

            Their rest period felt far too short. It seemed that Atomizer had only lowered the brim of his hat for a few minutes when the next perilous mission was upon them. Dr. Vampire addressed them.

            “Dreamseer is my team’s best chance against anyone wearing the Skull of Sphidra. After allowing my scanner to analyze your powers I think that Atomizer, Redeagle, Electrode, Blacktide, and Nyhtwulf should be the ones to back her up. She will need your protection while she concentrates on our foe.”

            “You scanned our powers?” Atomizer said, “You could just ask.”

            “I’m sorry, but we have little time and I needed to know as much as possible about all of you. This way I can advise the best course of action for each artifact we will face,” Dr. Vampire responded.

            “Don’t worry about it, partner,” Redeagle said, “Let’s just take care of this thing.”

            “Since you know so much about what these things do, I’m going to allow you to make those suggestions,” Commander Larratus growled, “But don’t you dare get any of my people killed.”

            “Understood, and I assure you, I will share an equal risk at all times,” Dr. Vampire said, “Now Traveler will open a portal to Chicago. She will try to land you as close to the artifact as possible. Dreamseer will be able to sense it from there. Good luck and be careful.”

            With a wave of her hand, Traveler summoned a portal of bright light. The friends stepped through with confidence, even though they had no idea where they would appear.

            The Chicago city street they stepped onto was drowning in silence. In the eerie glow of the street lights, no one could be seen. Cars cluttered the streets at odd angles. Even stranger was the sight of women’s purses or men’s briefcases lying scattered on the street. Sacks of groceries lay abandoned. It was as if everyone simply dropped all they were carrying and vanished.

            “Everyone stay put,” Electrode said, “I’m running a recon.”

            Electrode vanished for only a second or two before reappearing with a grim expression.

            “Every street in the downtown area looks just like this one, guys.”

            “I guess this means our artifact is active, but this doesn’t make sense,” Atomizer said.

            “Yeah, I thought Dr. Vampire said it gives the wearer psychic powers. Even if that person is controlling every person in Chicago, how would you hide them all? I don’t even see anyone in windows anywhere,” Redeagle said.

            “Unfortunately, there may be more to the skull than we know,” Dreamseer explained. “We know it can possess the wearer. We know it can control the minds of others. That’s all we know about it.”

            “Great,” Blacktide said, “So, no one knows how it makes a whole city of people go missing.”

            “Not missing,” Nyhtwulf said, “I can sense them. I sense life all around us.”

            “Actually, I sense it too,” Dreamseer said. “The people of Chicago are definitely here, but something is wrong with their thought patterns.”

            “Suddenly this is going into bad news land, I can feel it,” Atomizer said. “I don’t see anyone anywhere.”

            “I hear something, a tapping sound,” Redeagle said. “It seems familiar somehow but I can’t place it. It’s getting louder though.”

            “I agree,” Nyhtwulf said. “They are coming closer from all sides.”

            “I don’t see anyone,” Blacktide said, keeping his aura active around his body and stepping away from his friends. He wouldn’t want to accidently hurt any of them with his disintegrative energy.

            “Yeah guys, I don’t see anyone either. What’s…” Atomizer stopped short on the sight of Redeagle’s pistol, seeming aimed for his head. “Hey!”

            “Duck!” Redeagle shouted and fired his weapon with an echoing shout. The bullet sped past his partner’s head and splattered into its target.

click on image for larger view
            The spider stood two feet off the top of the car roof it crawled over. It’s leg span could challenge Redeagle’s 7 foot height easily. It was about to sink its six inch fangs into Atomizers shoulder. The bullet splatted the spider’s head in all directions, and coated Atomizers right sleeve.

            “AHHH! Geez!” Atomizer ripped off his jacket and threw it on the ground. He wiped some goo from the side of his face and jumped around in a panic, “Cripes! Freaking criminy gawd! Are you kidding me! Spiders? Really? I hate spiders!”

            Redeagle’s pistol thundered again, destroying another spider from the top of a nearby truck.

            “Get it together, partner, there’s more!” Redeagle shouted.

            The men made a circle of defense around Dreamseer as the horde closed in. Electrode launched bursts of lightning that danced between cars and lampposts. The air immediately reeked of burnt spider flesh. Nyhtwulf savaged an approaching group with a roar. He shredded them with claws and smashed them against walls and cars. Blacktide pushed his aura outward, disintegrating any that came near. They were quick to learn not to approach him, however and worked to get around him. Blacktide struggled to make that very difficult. Atomizer saw more coming over the car he had been standing near.

            “Oh no you don’t!”

            He concentrated on the opposite doors of the car. When the doors exploded they destroyed all the spiders on that side of the vehicle.

            “Die, spiders, die!”

            “Electrode!” Redeagle shouted as he kept shooting, “I thought all the streets were clear!”

            “They were! I don’t know where these things are coming from!”

            “Oh no,” Dreamseer said in realizing horror.

            “What is it?” Blacktide asked.

            “We have to run. We need to get inside a building, right now.” Dreamseer looked upward toward the darkness, past the shine of the streetlights. She could see them, hundreds of them. Spiders were lowering themselves on their silken threads, eager for a meal below.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Artist(s) wanted for Galaxy Zento project

I've got the writing so who has the art?

As many of you know I just got back from the New Orleans Comicon. The prime mission of the trip was to take my son to meet his celebrity hero Stan Lee. Many people donated to that cause and it happened. I'm forever grateful. My son has a wonderful memory that may shape his future.

Since we achieved that mission on the first night of the convention, that left all day Saturday to just fun around. Well, we had lots of fun but there was quite a bit more than that. I scouted an article for HCRealms on HeroClix. After that, I went networking.

My third mission at the con was to meet artists. I can't tell you how many of you wonderful people, including a couple of agents, have mentioned that my stories should be graphic novels. I agree!

I'm looking to form a partnership that will bring GZ to life. I'm looking for someone I can work with for these projects.

I know what some of you are thinking. "Dave, you're a pretty good artist, why don't you do it?"

I have to be honest, there are some skills that I lack and small details with my hands are virtually impossible. Having MS has made it so that I have to literally use both hands to do any small details. My hands shake so badly, that my only hope is digital. Even then, I have problems with some forms. I've gotten better at drawing women over the years, but I'm not good enough at it that I want it in a graphic novel. I'm better as the writer (not that I'll give up drawing).

So what do I want from an artist?

If you are one of the awesome artists I met at the convention (or you just came across this out of curiosity); the first thing I want you to do is take a look through my universe. Check out the characters and see if they appeal to you. Do they look like characters you can really get into? Check out the stories. GZ Legends is actually taken from my novel, Chaos Rising and it could make a good graphic novel. The short stories could make for a compilation piece. I would like to have someone who can really become a part of the GZ universe.

Also I would like someone to bring more than just drawing and coloring to the table. Experience is nice. I would like to take our work to agents or publishers and get GZ out there and mainstream. What ideas and experiences can you bring to the table?

Approaching other artists is fairly new to me. I have quite a few questions that I will be asking soon. But if you are reading this and you like what you see of GZ, talk to me.

I also still accept guest artists. If you want to do a picture for the blog (for GZ Legends) let me know because I will promote you as an artist!

GZ Legends number 1

The Showcase short stories