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. 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.


            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.”

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

GZ Legends 75: A New Day

 On the roof of the FPA building in New York City, energy crackled as Anubis appeared with Nightfall, Sandstorm and Electrode. A few feet away, Nyhtwulf appeared with Blacktide. Yet a few further feet away, Galose appeared with Redeagle and Atomizer. In split seconds, before the Rotanian ship launched away toward the sun, they all managed to escape. As they all regrouped and shook themselves off, sunlight bathed the rooftop in welcome light.

            Far below, in the streets of New York, cheering could be heard. It sounded faint at first, but quickly grew in volume. With the Rotanian ship gone, the dark field around the Earth was lifted. For the first time in too many days, the sun could be seen again.

            Sandstorm stood and felt the warmth on his face and knew that everything up to this moment was worth it. Anubis and Nyhtwulf rushed to heal injured friends. Atomizer, Nightfall and Redeagle had taken the worst beatings.

            As he was being healed by Nyhtwulf, Atomizer stared up at the blue sky.

            “I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy to see anything in my entire life.”

            “Do you think they really crashed into the sun?” Electrode asked Galose.

            “I can’t be sure. If they didn’t, their ship still requires serious repair. They won’t be back anytime soon.”

            “I sure hope that’s the case.” Nightfall said.

            “We’re still far from done.” Anubis said. “We need to get Stormy, the psycho yet.”

            “We have to find out where he is.” Nightfall said.

“You won’t have to try very hard.” A peel of thunder shouted and Stormy could be seen standing on the roof with them. Electrode responded instantly, firing a bolt of lightning that went through Stormy and did nothing.

            “Don’t waste your power, I’m not actually among you. You see me with the power of illusion.”

            “What’s wrong? You afraid to come out and play for real?” Anubis chided.

            “Hardly. I’m here to give you an invitation. I’m going to create a mystical beacon in Los Angeles that at least one of you should be able to detect. Come after me if you dare.” Stormy vanished and Anubis stabbed his lance into the rooftop.

            “Take it easy, Anubis.” Sandstorm said. “Commander Larratus will kill us if he starts getting rained on.”

            Anubis grumbled and used his power to repair the hole he had just made.

            “Guys.” Atomizer groaned from where he sat. “I don’t know if I can do much more of this. I’m glad to be healed up, but I was still hurt worse than I think I’ve ever been hurt.”

            “It’s our job.” Redeagle said. “But we need to go in and report to Larratus. Then we’ll see where Stormy’s beacon shows up.”

            Redeagle helped his partner stand up. All of them went inside to find Commander Larratus.

            “You did it! You sons of guns did it!” Commander Larratus shouted in greetings. “Everything across the globe has turned back on. People are cheering around the world.”

            “How are you since your injury?” Electrode asked.

            “Oh, I’m fine.” Larratus waved him off. He was fully healed since being attacked by the Deformer and rushed to medical support. “We have guys who can fix anything. Just look at yourselves.”

            “Well, we aren’t quite finished yet.” Sandstorm filled the Commander in on the event from the rooftop.

            “So he’s calling you all out. That’ll be a trap for sure.” Larratus grumbled.

“So what else is new?” Anubis said. “I just want to get my fists on him. I’ll take care of any trap he wants to set.”

            “All the same, we have to be careful. Not everyone is a cosmic dynamo like you.” Nightfall said.

            “You know what?” Larratus said. “I have an idea for you. You all just hang out here for the night and let this guy stew until morning. You all need to recharge and rest anyway.”

            “Except I don’t think we can afford to do that.” Sandstorm said. “All we’ve learned so far, says he’s trying to free an entity called Chaos. How much longer before he manages to pull that off?”

            “Some of us are better at going without sleep than others.” Atomizer said. “I don’t feel bad saying that I’m totally exhausted.”

            “I am too.” Nightfall said. “I don’t think I can be of any help at this point. I can see from Redeagle’s face that he feels the same way.”

            “I wasn’t going to admit it.” Redeagle responded.

            “After having my powers jacked up by Death, I can’t say I’m feeling tired at all.” Blacktide said. “If you want to go forward, I’m with you.”

            “It’s okay.” Anubis said to Nightfall. “You should stay here and rest. You’ve more than earned it.”

            “It looks like it’s just the three of you who need to stay.” Sandstorm said. “I think the rest of us can handle this. It’s just not safe to wait.”

            “I’m with you as well.” Galose said. “I can go without sleep for several Earth weeks.”

            “Alright then,” Nightfall said to Anubis, “Turn human for me.”

            Anubis changed to his human form of Hakim and Nightfall planted a hard kiss right on his lips. No one missed it and everyone watched with interest. When she finally pulled away, Hakim just stared.

            “That’s for luck.”

            “Yeah, okay.” Hakim stumbled on the words as he changed back to Anubis. “Heck yeah!”

            “Galose, Nyhtwulf, or Anubis, are any of you picking up on Stormy’s beacon?” Sandstorm asked.

            “I have located an energy surge in the Los Angeles area that may be the location.” Galose said.

            “I have also sensed something in that area.” Nyhtwulf reported.

            Anubis’s eyes changed from glowing to a window of stars as he concentrated. “Yes, I have something too.”

            “Then each one of you take one of us and let’s go.” Sandstorm said. “Hopefully we all end up in the same place.”

As they disappeared, Nightfall wiped a tear away. “You better come back, rookie.”

            All six of the heroes appeared on a vacant Los Angeles street facing a long alleyway. Before they could take in the scenery, a savage roar shook the street. On top of one building facing them, a golden scaled dragon spread its wings and shouted.

            “I am Stananteon! You who defeated my minions must pay with your lives!”

            “Uh, what minions were those?” Anubis asked as they all tensed for the fight.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

GZ Legends 74: Forecast Sunny

 On the bridge of the Rotanian Flagship, if a robot could feel a sense of accomplishment, Mechanicore would have been glowing with it. According to all sensor readings, they had hit their target and Galose was no more. The Maker would be very pleased to learn this. At the moment, the Rotanian General’s creator dealt with the rest of the intruders in the engine bays. Mechanicore could not deny the conclusion that this should have been done long ago. The strange chain of events incited by Stormy Knight made no logical sense. According to programming, Mechanicore knew that the best way to deal with an adversary was to destroy them directly. It didn’t matter anymore. Once Stormy Knight finished whatever he was doing, the Rotanians would strip the Earth of its best mineral deposits. It was possible that Earth would even become a new Rotanian outpost. The planet would be redesigned with factories to build billions of robot soldiers.

            A bright flash interrupted mechanical musings and energy rifles blared and blasted. As Rotanians were blasted apart on all sides of the bridge, Galose came flying through the air to land a foot against Mechanicore’s head. Galose bypassed the ship’s security systems to teleport onboard. He followed up his kick with a battery of rifle and cannon blasts, pounding the robot general backwards. A well-aimed pulse grenade blew the doors away from a lift shaft. A second shot sent Mechanicore spiraling away into the darkness.

            “Now, I won’t be making the same mistake you did.” Galose said as he turned and backhanded a soldier right behind him. Its robot head went spinning across the bridge.

            Galose went straight to a console and put an armored hand on it. Interfacing with the Rotanian navigation computers took little effort. As he established commands for the ship, he scanned for his new friends. He hoped they were still alive.

            When Blacktide got pulled through the floor, Murderator tossed him down like a rag doll. The tall robot bodyguard took aim with its dark visor and a wide beam of disintegration energy came for Blacktide. He had no chance to evade and all around him, metal and machinery dissipated into smoke. As it cleared, he was amazed to find that it didn’t hurt him at all. Blacktide stared over his completely unaffected body in shock.

            “No way.”

            Murderator seemed momentarily confused by the outcome as well. Blacktide looked up at it and half smiled. He jumped to his feet as another blast came. He ignored at as he moved toward the monster robot.

            “Does not compute, huh? How about this?” Blacktide drew back one hand as he charged up his power as hard as he could. He thrust that hand forward and a bolt of darkness hit Murderator directly in the visor. Murderator convulsed, sparked and finally fell backwards. The amplified powers, a gift from Death, only needed a proper conduit past the robot’s armor.

            As if it realized its twin was beaten, Sendroid dropped through the hole, landing behind Blacktide. The blonde hero turned, his eyes were smoking black from power.

            “Oh yeah, you hunk of junk, it’s your turn.”

            Above them in the engine bay, the Maker sneered from this seat.

  “Defeat my bodyguards? Unheard of. None the less, you will come to me next and die. Soon my soldiers will toss your bodies into space. Your unprotected bodies will burst and that will be the end of you.”

            A rattling sound commanded the Maker’s attention from thoughts of evil. Directly below him, a piece of rock from Sandstorm’s giant body, vibrated on the floor. One by one, then two by two, each piece began to shiver and shake on the metal floor.

            “What is this?” The Maker snarled.

            A rock suddenly flew through the air and narrowly missed the Maker’s head. More followed as rocks jumped from the floor and zinged all over the chamber.

            “Impossible!” The Maker hit the control panel on his chair and the metal shields concealed him from view. Rocks pelted his chair from all sides as they spun and darted like angry hornets.

            “No matter! I will flood this chamber with radiation and deal with you!”

            But rocks penetrated the turbine engines. Metal parts broke and gears cracked. Several small explosions rocked the room. The Maker struggled to steady his chair so he could regain control of the situation. That’s when he saw Anubis on his internal monitor. The Maker’s eyes grew wide as he saw the grimacing Anubis hold back the bladed lance for throwing.

            “No.” The Maker murmured in disbelief.

            Anubis threw his lance and it drove right through the base of the hovering chair. The balance systems were destroyed by the hit and the chair spun across the engine bay. It bounced off two walls and the floor before vanishing. The Maker managed to trigger an escape teleportation system. Even so, he pounded his fists in frustration as he could not control his chair in any other way.

            After perforating the turbine engines, all the flying rocks dissipated into air followed by the reformation of Sandstorm’s body. Sandstorm rushed to Electrode’s side.

            “Come on, buddy, up and at ‘em! We have to get out of here now.” He gave his partner an electric jolt to the chest, bringing him back to consciousness.

            Nyhtwulf also woke up and dropped through the floor to get his partner and best friend. Blacktide still surged with power and both robots lay motionless.

            “No one can come near me.” Blacktide said. “It’s way too dangerous.”

            “I can come near you, my friend. We must leave now.”

            “How can we know it won’t hurt you?”

            “I have been helping you control your powers all this time. This will be no different.” Nyhtwulf said as the dark aura faded from Blacktide. “You will be alright.”

            From outside the blasts started to breach the hull. The ship navigation system kicked in with its new orders and the drive engines came to life. As the explosions continued the jump system kicked in and the ship shot across the solar system toward the sun.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

GZ Legends 73: Bits and Pieces

Electrode took two steps forward and fell on his face.

            “Did you think I never dealt with your kind before?” The Maker sneered. “What you just experienced is called a ‘slow field’. It cancels out speed powers very effectively. Try as you might, you won’t be dashing around in here.”

            Electrode stood up, electricity arched around his body. “I still have another weapon.”

            “Do you?”

            Electrode launched a series of powerful bolts at the Maker’s chair and his two robots. Nothing happened to any of them.

            “Very impressive. Unfortunately, you face me. I’m not such an easy target.”

            “Maybe we can try something else.” Electrode sent his next surge of attacks toward one of the giant turbine engines. To his shock, the lightning re-directed and hit the Maker’s chair instead. It still did no damage to the hovering chair.

            “Lightning can be turned too easily. I’m afraid I’m getting bored with you now.”

            “So what? Why haven’t you taken a shot at me yet?”

            “I promised you to someone else.” The Maker smiled cruelly.

            A black silk bag suddenly went over Electrode’s head, held by the Bagman. Bagman had quietly slipped up behind the hero.

            “Now I’ll drain your powers for my own, right into the bag!” Bagman said as Electrode struggled to get away. “Feel how you’re weakening? It means you won’t survive the experience.”

            Electrode clawed at the silk bag and struggled for some foothold to gain leverage. Bagman had him too far off balance. The Maker continued to smile as he watched the event unfold.

            A sudden blast from a nearby wall brought Blacktide and Anubis into the room.

            “This party needs to get crashed!” Anubis shouted as he shot Bagman in the back with cosmic rays.

The bag came off and Electrode collapsed to the floor.

            The Maker replaced his smile with a grimace. “Sendroid and Murderator, destroy.”

            The two giant robots moved into action. One of them emitted a black beam of disintegration energy that nearly hit Anubis.

            “Whoa!” Anubis shouted. “Blacktide, these things hit like you do! Watch out!”

            “I’m on ‘em!” Blacktide shouted as he returned fire in kind. He hit the closest one to him and merely singed its chest plates. “Oh great! So much for being pumped up.”

            The robot, called Murderator, lunged forward and brought a big fist down that Blacktide barely rolled away from. It crumpled the metal floor but didn’t break through.

            “I wonder what’s under here?” Blacktide thought.

            Nightfall ran through the fight to try and drag Electrode to a safer distance. At least he could be out from under the robot’s stomping feet. Nyhtwulf couldn’t help her as he flew for the Maker. The Dwarf of the Deep Stars, saw the Twilie Demon coming and smiled. Before Nyhtwulf could touch the Maker, he was caught in mid-air with a loud crackling sound.

            “It’s an ethereal barrier, Demon. Perfect for the likes of you!”

            Nyhtwulf’s limp body was thrown across the chamber and against a wall with an echoing thud.  At the same time, the robot called Sendroid caught Anubis by an ankle in the air. It swung his body right into Nightfall and Electrode, flinging all three of them another direction. Anubis’s body dented the metal wall and he staggered to his feet. Nightfall and Electrode didn’t move.

            “I’m really getting sick of this!” Anubis shouted as he built up a glowing charge of cosmic power around himself.

            “Do tell.” The Maker looked less than impressed.

            Blacktide turned his power against the floor under Murderator’s plodding feet to reveal another chamber underneath them. The big robot fell through and a loud crash was heard below.

            “Forgot to make them fly?” Blacktide chided at the Maker.

            “Hardly necessary.” The Maker spat.

            A large metal hand reached through the floor and metal fingers wrapped around Blacktide’s leg, pulling him down.

            “No way!” Anubis shouted as he unleashed as much power as he could muster at Sendroid. As a display of firepower, it would have dazzled military geniuses across the globe. But slowly, Sendroid stomped one step at a time, against the burning assault. Anubis never let up, straining himself as far as he could go. Finally, Sendroid stood over him and brought both metal hands down on him in a fierce clapping motion. Anubis slumped to the floor.

            “And yet, Stormy’s little crew had so much trouble.” The Maker said. “Ah, but then there’s one more in here now, isn’t there?”

            The room shook as Sandstorm materialized himself as a giant of jagged stone variations. Parts of him were granite. Some were iron ore. Gems of giant sized made up the rest of his hardened giant body. He loomed over the Maker and Sendroid with the mass of a living avalanche. Sandstorm only wished he had found his way sooner.

“Now it’s you and me!” Sandstorm said in a heavy gravel tone. With one great fist of granite, he pounded Sendroid into the floor like a nail from a sledgehammer.

            The Maker’s chair lifted him up to Sandstorm’s head level and shifted in form. Metal shields slid over the seating area of the chair and a series of cannons on rotation arms extended from the back. The cannons and arms rotated like a pinwheel and glowed brightly with power. Sandstorm brought both arms up with intentions of smashing the Maker’s chair into the turbine engine behind it. The Maker held his position, the energy from the rotating cannons strobed brightly. Sandstorm swung his arms of iron and rock inward at the same time the cannon array fired.

            The sound of the blast could be felt and heard by Redeagle and Atomizer who were nearing the chamber. They were both thrown to the floor with their ears ringing.

            As the light dissipated and the rotators slowed, baseball sized chunks of Sandstorm rained across the entire engine chamber. They clattered and bounced off metal at every point of the engine room. The chair drifted back down and the Maker revealed himself again.

            “How unimpressive. Now to dispose of them.” 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

GZ Legends 72: Will to Live

Galose materialized in the pilot’s seat of his ship. He managed to divert power to his transport systems just in time to make it look like the Rotanians scored a direct hit. Safe aboard his cloaked craft, Galose put all power into repair systems. He would not leave these heroes of Earth to fend for themselves. He had given his word.

            Anubis gazed around the room at their fallen enemies. It was time to move on. As they headed for the next door, Anubis paused by the remains of Silvercrow.

            “Wow. Blacktide, there’s something different about you.”

            “My powers seem to be a bit jacked up.”

            “I’ll say, but look.” Anubis pointed to a piece of the haunted armor that was slowly growing back, repairing itself.

            “That’s insane.” Blacktide said. “And I’ve seen a lot of insane on this trip. Let’s just get going.”

            “Sounds like we have company on the other side of this door, guys.” Nightfall said as she approached the controls.

            “I will lead our attack!” Nyhtwulf said as he flew through the door.

            “Well. Don’t let him have all the fun! Open the door!” Anubis said and Nightfall hit the controls.
            They fell on their enemy without mercy or hesitation. Nyhtwulf redirected their rifle shots back at them as Anubis charged in with his lance. Nightfall made carefully aimed attacks with her metron rifle. Blacktide raised a hand in the moments that the fight lasted and paused. He turned his hand to gaze at his palm and then back at the scene before him. He folded his fingers into a fist as the battle ended. Robot parts scattered across the corridor and smoke wafted on the air.

            “Are you alright?” Nyhtwulf asked his partner.

            “Yeah. You know, you guys had this one. I just didn’t want to graze either of you by accident. I don’t know how strong I am right now.”

            “It’s okay. If you want, you can attack first next time.” Anubis offered.

“Yeah, maybe that would be good.” Blacktide half chuckled but he was deeply concerned. His powers had killed people he loved and now they were stronger than he ever knew. He followed his friends down the corridor, deciding it best to watch their backs. At least any attacks from the rear wouldn’t be complicated by friends in the way.

            In another part of the ship, a crew of Rotanians were charging along another corridor until all their heads exploded. As he stepped carefully through the burning parts, Atomizer had a scowl that could scare a U.S. Marine. Redeagle covered him from the back because nothing was standing in their way up ahead. After nearly being asphyxiated, Atomizer lost all restraint in dealing with stupid robots.

            A strange feeling made the hair on the backs of their necks stand up as a different kind of Rotanian materialized in front of Atomizer. It punched him in the face so fast there was no time to react. Atomizer’s feet flew out from under him and his hat sailed into the air. He landed on his back with a loud thud. Redeagle immediately fired his weapon, but the robot slid past each shot with moves like a martial arts Grandmaster. It kicked the weapon from his hands and then launched a spin kick to his chest. Redeagle flew backwards on top of the leftovers from the squad they had just defeated.

            As Atomizer stood up, a metal backhand tossed him against the wall. He landed on his face. As he struggled to stand, his vision blurred. He could see fuzzy red dots on the floor and realized he was bleeding. Then the atrocity spoke to him.

            “I am Starhunter 613. My instructions are to beat you to death for your offense to the Maker.”

            “You’re getting ahead of yourself!” Redeagle called as he threw a broken robot head at the Starhunter. It deflected with a forearm block.

            Redeagle didn’t have time to grab up his weapon before it was upon him. The 7 foot hero instinctively relied on his own martial training with attempts to block and attack. The Starhunter was fast. It punched him across the face four times before he could react and shoved him backward on top of smoking robot parts. Then it kicked him further down the corridor away from Atomizer.

            “Your flesh is no match for Rotanian metal.” The Starhunter loomed over Redeagle, lifting a foot to stomp downward at him.

The wall near the robot’s head exploded and jarred it slightly to one side. Redeagle saw this as his one chance to get a hit in. With a savage battle cry, the big man lunged forward and drove his fist clear through the Starhunter’s midsection. The machine stood stunned momentarily as Redeagle pulled his arm out. He jumped up and grabbed the robot by the head and whipped its body into and opposite wall. When it hit the ground, Redeagle jumped and brought down both feet on the Starhunter’s head.

            “You want a head stomped? You like that?” He shouted as he stomped on it over and over again, smashing the metal flat against the floor. The rest of the robot body convulsed uselessly.

            “Partner.” Atomizer croaked the word and interrupted the stomp-fest. He leaned against the wall, bleeding and in severe pain. “I think it broke a couple ribs.”

            Redeagle grabbed up the metron rifle from the floor and ran to his partner.

            “I got ya. Come on, we’ll make it. Just lean on me.” Redeagle kept watch as he helped his injured friend walk.

Now that he could breathe, the fastest member of the team, made short work of reaching the engine rooms. Electrode marveled at the sight of the giant turbines that powered the huge Rotanian flagship. Strangely, there were no Rotanian soldiers in the massive chamber. That immediately put him on edge. He was fifty yards away from the first two turbines. Fifty yards wasn’t even a sneeze’s distance for him, but something instinctive made him pause. Three figures materialized between him and the machinery.

            The great mechanical chair of the Maker hovered a few feet from the floor. A 10 foot tall red robot stood on either side of the chair, twins. Their single optics were oozing with black energy a lot like Blacktide’s.

            “You made it. Too bad for you.” The Maker snarled. “Now you die.”