Wednesday, February 20, 2013

GZ Legends 37: Roadburner pt 3

            “You dare to challenge me?” The Hearse roared at Doctor Vampire.

            “I do! Should I prove my worth, you return to the Museum on bond of the challenge.”

            “Should you fail, I absorb your soul within me and you never see the living world again.”

            “I accept!”

            The driver side door of The Hearse opened.

            “Remove your weapons,” Doctor Vampire said.

            “Are you sure this is such a good idea?” Electrode said.

            “It’s the only chance left to us. Should I fail, you will have to exhaust every effort. Perhaps lead it into the ocean?”

            The Hearse laughed as Lonestar and Anubis slowly approached to pull their weapons from the wheel wells.

            “Someday, sometime, you and I aren’t finished,” Anubis growled at the machine.

            “I look forward to it,” The Hearse rumbled in return.

            Dr. Vampire slid into the driver’s seat and the door slammed shut. He gripped the steering wheel and instantly a flood of force washed over him. Evil thoughts invaded his mind of what he could do with the power of The Hearse. Tires squealed and they raced away from the crew of friends.

            “We have to keep up and watch over this!” Electrode sped from sight.

            “It’s agreed, but I’m not fast enough,” Lonestar said. “You will have to get innocents out of the way as the Doctor struggles to gain control.”

            Anubis and Nyhtwulf nodded and both flew into the air.

            Lonestar despaired that he couldn’t keep up and help them. He looked to his blessed companion, the white falcon on his shoulder. All Starknights are blessed with a mystical animal companion to aid them. Lonestar chose a falcon. He could see through its eyes, be healed by it and it could assist him in combat. Best of all, a Starknight’s companion will not fall in battle until its master is dead. With a nod, Lonestar sent out his falcon to watch over the events.

            “There is a great evil deep within you, Vampire!” The Hearse said as it raced down a road. “You should use it more often!”

            Doctor Vampire strained in mind and body to control the direction of the great death machine.

            “You cannot control me! I will do as I wish!” The Hearse aimed itself at a man by the side of the road. “Watch him die!”

            Doctor Vampire grit his teeth and pulled at the wheel while trying to push its influence away. At the last second, the man vanished as Electrode rescued him.

            “Bah! Your foolish friends seek to help you! You will soon find that they can’t, even if they save everyone I could crush under me!”

            The Hearse turned toward a line of buildings. “No force of good can control me, Vampire!”

            Anubis saw the impending disaster and his thoughts raced. He flew down to the ground outside of the buildings. He remembered how he managed to fix things, like a baby carriage by controlling its base matter and manipulating his shape. Only one thought came to mind to save the building and anyone inside. Anubis reached out to the ground and concentrated while trying to work as fast as he could. As The Hearse drew near, the ground rose up into a high ramp and sent the machine flying over the rooftops.

            “The fools only delay the inevitable!” The Hearse roared. “By the time we reach the ground, you will have failed.”

            Doctor Vampire’s eyes began to glow red, “Because nothing good can control you?”

            The Hearse’s undercarriage broke a portion of rooftop as it came to the ground. Once all four wheels hit the dirt and rock and the bouncing stopped, Dr. Vampire yanked the wheel to the right. The Hearse spun 180 degrees to face back the other direction. The Doctor slammed his foot on the accelerator and launched them past all the buildings.

            “Impossible!” The Hearse howled.

            “Nothing good,” Doctor Vampire growled through his teeth and fangs.

            The essence of The Hearse’s self-control waned and fell against the new will of Doctor Vampire. He guided the machine back along the path they came, avoiding any innocents. As they arrived near the mall parking lot, Doctor Vampire stomped on the breaks and brought the beast to a screeching halt in a cloud of dust. The Doctor tossed the door open and stepped out into view.

            Anubis landed near him, “Wow, Doc, you did it!”

            The backhand strike was such a surprise; Anubis had no defense against it. The hero fell to the ground with a crash. Doctor Vampire put a hand against one side of his head in an effort to regain control that was lost.

             Blacktide stood back, not wanting to kill Doctor Vampire with his powers. He clenched his fists in frustration instead.

            “Hey, Doc, we can’t have you turning on us,” Electrode said as he emitted a series of low yield bolts to try and incapacitate the Vampire.

            Doctor Vampire waved his hands in a circular motion and the electricity followed suit in a beautiful swirl, obeying him. He threw the energy back to Electrode and knocked the speedster sprawling. Doctor Vampire roared with new evil power coursing through him. He formed claws at his finger tips and his fangs even seemed to grow. Then he stiffened and howled to the sky as strobes of light emitted from him. When Doctor Vampire collapsed, Nyhtwulf was left standing there. The Twilie Demon had merged a hand through the Doctor’s back. Doctor Vampire lay unconscious on the ground.

            “Ha! Your friend is fully evil now,” The Hearse laughed.

            “It doesn’t matter for you,” Lonestar said. “You lost the bargain and are now held to your word.”

            “You are correct, Knight. It doesn’t matter. Even as I obey this command, it is not permanent. I am not finished. You will see me again.” The Hearse vanished in a cloud of black mist.

            “We have to get Doctor Vampire back to New York quickly,” Lonestar said. “Only Dreamseer can help him now. Hurry, before he awakens and we have an even bigger fight on our hands.”

Friday, February 15, 2013

GZ Legends 36: Roadburner Pt 2

            Momentarily stunned from a horn blast that made the ground tremble, Electrode struggled to move. The Hearse bore down on him with savage ferocity, its shining grill seemed hungry for flesh. As the skull hood ornament was about to smash into Electrode’s mid-section, a black shadow whisked through. Nyhtwulf had arrived on scene and rescued Electrode at the last second. The Hearse didn’t miss a beat as it turned to follow the flying thief across the parking lot.

            “Are you okay?” Nyhtwulf asked.

            “Yeah, just need to clear my head. Drop me up here at the edge of the lot. I can keep ahead of it now. And thanks!”

            The Hearse was gaining on the two until a long bladed lance shot down from above, impaling the asphalt and catching The Hearse mid grill. Being stopped cold by Anubis’s lance was a bigger surprise to the death machine than anyone else. It paused as Anubis landed in front of it.

            “Well, that was easy!” Anubis laughed. “What’s it like to be stopped by a pointy stick?”

            “Stupid Hero! I am no base machine to be stopped from a single direction!” In an explosion of sound the voice echoed.  The Hearse spun its body around the lance and hit Anubis like a giant baseball bat.

            Since receiving his powers, Anubis had taken direct hits from artillery and space age weaponry. He had been punched by Cyclone, a younger brother to Death himself. In all of that, pain had not been much of an issue. For the first time in all the battles, something really hurt. Anubis realized that, until that moment, he had no idea what getting hit really hard meant. His body went through a panel van, blasting it into two pieces, and Anubis kept going. He moved through the walls of the nearby mall so fast he barely noticed the first shop was women’s apparel. The next shop was sporting goods, then a shoe store. He kept going. Two support pillars snapped like matchsticks, and he kept going. Two more shops and three walls later, he burst through the opposite side of the mall building and kept going. The oak tree shattered as he went through filled the air with a cloud of splinters. Past all of that, mercifully, was desert. A great dust cloud burst into the air, as Anubis’s body carved an 80 yard trench across the ground.

            After several long moments, Anubis put a trembling hand on the ground to try and push himself up. His first attempt found him staggering and dropping to one knee. He coughed out some dust and sand while trying to get his wits back in order. As he concentrated on taking some long deep breathes, he was surprised at his next thought.

Despite all of what he had just experienced, he heard himself mutter, “It can talk.”

Back in the parking lot, Electrode fired bolts of lightning at the machine as it charged him again. This time, Electrode was able to dodge the attack and The Hearse smashed into a closed gas station. Electrode took advantage of the situation and launched a full lightning assault, engulfing machine and building in an explosion of force and fire. He didn’t conduct this assault without care as there were no other buildings nearby. Still, The Hearse quickly emerged unscathed, though alight with burning gasoline.

Nyhtwulf, with no fear of flames, landed on The Hearse’s hood, hoping to distract it from further damage. He gripped the section where the hood came near the windshield and tried to look through the darkened barrier. The Hearse abruptly stopped. Electrode kept fair distance while watching to see what Nyhtwulf could achieve.

“You serve our master, Lord Death,” The Hearse growled.

“I served. I am free with his blessing. Let’s stop this now. No more destruction is necessary.”

“Since you carry the blessing of Death, I will not kill you. I will not obey you either.” The Hearse sounded its horn again, throwing Nyhtwulf into the air. If the lupine Twilie Demons were ever considered to have a weakness, it would be intensity of sound.

Nyhtwulf caught himself in the air, but had to shake off dizzying effects. At that moment, a bright sword spun in through the air and bounced off the body of The Hearse. Lonestar’s longsword returned to his hand as he ran in to help his friends.

The Hearse spun and charged effortlessly at Lonestar. The Starknight jumped over the machines hood and brought his sword down on the windshield. To his surprise, he was thrown backwards hard and fast. His sword, blessed as it was, didn’t even leave a scratch. Lonestar landed hard on his back 30 yards away as The Hearse kept coming. This time it was Electrode’s turn to save a partner as he dashed in and moved Lonestar out of the way. As it passed, Blacktide unleashed a wave of disintegration energy that did absolutely nothing. Blacktide looked on in shock. Nothing had ever withstood his power like that before.

While all of that was going on, Dr. Vampire found Anubis.

“Are you seriously hurt?”

“Well, that sure hurt seriously, but I don’t know about seriously hurt,” Anubis gave a pained chuckle. “I’m headed back in to stop that thing.”

“I’m afraid we aren’t doing very well on that front. We’re only keeping its attention on trying to kill us. At least that keeps it from killing innocents.”

“Well, Doc, I may just have an idea.” After Anubis’s explanation, Doctor Vampire raced back toward the fight as fast as he could go.

Anubis lifted into the air and grit his teeth. He felt power and energy surge and launched himself back toward the mall. He flew right back through the tunnel his body created across the mall and back into the parking lot. As he flew past, he grabbed his lance out of the asphalt. He could see Electrode and Lonestar standing in the street with the Hearse preparing another charge. When he saw that Dr. Vampire had arrived to spread word of his plan, it was time to attack. Anubis held back his lance and glared hard at his target. He threw hard and the bladed lance streaked with the accuracy of a guided missile. The Hearse was charging as the lance hit home deep in the front right wheel well and into the ground at an angle.

The fact that The Hearse didn’t break his lance earlier wasn’t lost on Anubis. He realized that he needed a more precise point to stop the machine in its tracks. The Hearse’s front wheel halted against the lance and gouged a long line in the asphalt. Lonestar, whose own weapon was also blessed against destruction, took his cue to dodge to the other side. He thrust his sword into the opposite wheel well hard, and created another locking point for the Hearse. Electrode dashed behind it as it was stopped. With thousands of lightning strikes, he heated the asphalt around the back tires, hoping to lock the wheels in half molten tar. Doctor Vampire brought out a small device and flew up to the hood of the monster. It was a device made to return large artifacts to the museum. He slapped it down on the hood and was thrown back as it exploded. Nyhtwulf caught the Doctor and all of them stood, wondering what to do next.

“You cannot control me with your pathetic toys!” The Hearse roared. “Your weapons may be blessed, but the ground beneath me is not! You will not hold me long enough to save your lives!”

The Hearse began to shake back and forth, cracking the street under it and throwing chunks of asphalt in all directions.

Doctor Vampire turned to Nyhtwulf, “For what I’m about to do, I need you ready for me. I need you to be ready to strike me down.”

“What?” Nyhtwulf was stunned at such a request.

“Please just trust me, you will be the only one here who can without killing me.”

Doctor Vampire turned back to the Hearse, spread his arms and shouted; “Hearse of Death and Destruction, hear me! I, Doctor Vampire, a force of darkness, wish to prove myself worthy!”

The Hearse stopped cold and the heroes stared at Doctor Vampire in shock.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

GZ Legends 35: Roadburner Pt 1

            The sheriff’s cruiser sat on the edge of a lonely Nevada highway. Deputy Morton opened a sugar packet and emptied its contents into a cup of coffee. As he stirred the coffee with the miniature straw, Deputy Morton took a deep breath and slowly blew it out in a release of boredom.

            “I don’t know how much more of this I can take,” Morton said to his partner.

            Deputy Caldwell stared through his window toward the black sky. “I know what you mean.”

            “People are going nuts. If this keeps up, I won’t be far behind them.”

            “You gotta hang in there. So do I.” Caldwell took a sip of his own coffee. “Besides, they manage this okay when it happens in Alaska, don’t they?”

            “Heck if I know. I’ve never been to Alaska. Hey. What is that? Do you feel that?”

            The cruiser trembled slightly.

            “Maybe we’re having a tremor,” Caldwell said.

            The trembling slowly increased to more of a consistent shudder. Keys jangled from the ignition and coffee sloshed from the cup holders. Outside, rocks and gravel danced on the ground. Both men knew what an earthquake was, but they had never heard one make such a strange sound. It started as a low droning noise, barely audible to the human ear. As the cruiser shook harder the sound increased in volume and pitch. Both men cried out and covered their ears.

            Something long sleek and black flew past them on that deserted highway. As it did, the windows of the cruiser exploded outward from the sonic barrage that seemed like the wail of a thousand tortured souls. Both men were left with their ears ringing as if they had been in a bomb blast. Their vision blurred and dizziness overcame them. They slumped unconscious with no clue what had just passed them in the night.

            A few hours later, the portal brought Anubis, Doctor Vampire, Electrode, Blacktide, Nyhtwulf and Lonestar to Las Vegas Boulevard. Even in perpetual night, the heart of Las Vegas glowed in lights. They might have taken time to enjoy the beauty if only it weren’t mixed with such carnage. What wasn’t lit by neon, glowed from vehicle fires. Cars were thrown aside in all directions as if a great freight train had smashed through with unyielding force. Fronts of buildings were caved in by thrown debris. People lay injured or dead on sidewalks and against walls. The cries of the wounded echoed in the air. Everything stank of smoke and death. Rescue personnel hurried to do all they could with the massive disaster.

Ahead of the heroes, they could see where the path of destruction met with a large casino, and continued through it unhindered. A tunnel with hanging debris went through the building and to the next one beyond.

None of them could deny the knots in their throats and stomachs at the sight of such death.

“This is the work of The Hearse,” Dr. Vampire informed them. “You are about to face an object of insatiable evil. Try to be prepared.”

“I just want to know how to hurt it!” Electrode said with mounting anger.

“You can’t. Our best hope is to capture it. That alone will be a deadly fight. First we need to find it.”

“It is a servant of Death,” Nyhtwulf said. “I can sense it in the direction of the path it made. It is a few miles from here.”

“I’ll scout for it then,” Electrode said. He vanished before Dr. Vampire could warn him not to approach it alone.

“I’ll fly out that direction and back him up,” Anubis said. “Nyhtwulf, you with me?”

“Go quickly,” Doctor Vampire said, “The Hearse can match Electrode’s speed; at least in a straight line.”

“I’m going to follow the path and help with some of the casualties,” Lonestar said.

“I’m coming with you on that,” Dr. Vampire said. “We’ll catch up as soon as we can.”

“Sounds like a plan, Doc!” Anubis flew off with Nyhtwulf right behind him.

"Well, I can't fly, so I guess I'm coming with you guys looking for survivors," Blacktide said.

Several miles away from the Boulevard, Electrode skidded to a halt at the edge of a mall parking lot. In his anger, he shimmered with electrical power, ready for a fight. When he saw that he had arrived only a second before the beastly machine, he didn’t know if he considered himself more lucky or horrified. The Hearse raced into the parking lot filled with cars like a driver on a suicide mission. Nothing the black machine hit served to slow it in any capacity. Impacted cars flew high into the air as The Hearse smashed through with all the effort of wind in dry leaves.

In Electrode’s shock, he almost didn’t realize The Hearse was about to go right through the wall of the mall. Hundreds of innocent people were about to die for the sake of a shopping trip. There was no time to wait for back up, and less time to ponder what to do. As Electrode shifted into top speed, only he and the machine were moving. Tossed cars, hadn’t even had the chance to drop from the air yet. While The Hearse moved at high velocity, its speed was still no match for Electrode.

As he ran in front of the death machine, with less than ten feet clearance from the wall; Electrode released a barrage of lightning all across the hood and windshield. Once clear of the thing’s path, Electrode halted and turned with hope that he somehow stopped it. To his surprise, The Hearse went into a skid and slammed sideways into the brick wall. A rain of debris toppled as the wall fell and buried the mystical monster underneath it.

For all of a second, there was silence that felt like eternity. When the engine roared, Electrode darted several more yards away to ready himself for whatever was about to happen. The engine rev was powerful enough to toss bricks aside and its bright headlights glared through the debris. It revved several more times and Electrode assumed it didn’t like being interrupted. At this time, more than any other so far, Electrode felt his heart pounding in his chest. He didn’t know why, but in spite of all the horrors he’d witnessed since the darkness, this one scared him the most.

As the tires made their screeching sound for an impending charge, Electrode almost held his breath. The debris exploded to all sides and The Hearse barreled forward. It sounded its horn that made Electrode’s ears burn in pain, bringing the speeder to his knees. The machine of death held no hesitation as it raged forward, intent on running down the Nuclear Electric Man.

NOTE: I realize after the fact that I did the Hearse two different ways. Which way do you think I should do it? Head lights like up top or the one at the bottom? Pitch in your vote and be signed up for the free stuff drawing! Be sure to let me know who you are on Facebook or Google+ in case you win!

Want to get caught up on this story? Start at the beginning with GZ Legends 1

Friday, February 8, 2013

GZ Legends 34: Tiara of the Mind pt 3

Ricci sat on her throne with a cruel smirk on her face. She watched the Mayor perform a demeaning and embarrassing dance. She loved the torture she exacted on him. She delighted in keeping him vividly aware of it all. Far ahead of her, near the front door, were Lawrence and Stagefright. She particularly liked Lawrence Jackdaw whose reflexes made short work of Gypsy before she could cast a single spell. Gypsy never saw it coming and wound up in chains with severe injuries.

            “You may as well come out where I can see you, chickee. I know you’re there,” Ricci called out.

             From where they hid, Nightfall noted blank expressions on Atomizer and Redeagle. With a sigh, she touched each of them on the cheek before she stepped out with Dreamseer.

            “I’m sorry, you guys,” she thought as they both collapsed unconscious.

            “Ooh, two of you! What fun!” Ricci sneered at the two women.

            “How did you know?” Nightfall asked.

            “Oh come on! My slaves start dropping like flies and you think I wouldn’t notice? I am in their heads you know. I gotta hand it to you for getting past my police barricade though, nice work. Still, it was stupid to come here.”

            “So why don’t you call your guards on us now?”

            “Hmm, because I’m bored. Can you believe it? I have all these boy toys and I’m actually bored.” Ricci pouted. It would have been an endearing, even cute, expression on anyone else; but on her, it just looked twisted and malicious.

            “Having everything you want isn’t always a good thing,” Dreamseer said.

            “But I don’t have everything I want. I mean, where’s the sun? Even torturing fat slob here doesn’t help that. Go back there, fat slob.” She commanded the Mayor to go back by the fireplace behind her throne and he did so.

            “The blocking of the sun is one of the reasons we’re here,” Nightfall said.

            “No, you’re here because you want my power. And you can’t have it! I see from your uniform that these guys must be friends of yours?”

            “Let them go.”

            Ricci laughed and Zachariah and Kyte came down the stairs. “Now these two were fighting up on the balcony. Great display of martial skills, but I can’t have them busting up my house.” Ricci stood up and took a couple of steps forward.

            Nightfall went for her weapon, but Lawrence shot her in the back. Dreamseer locked eyes with Ricci but suddenly found Kyte’s shadow tendrils choking her. She fell to her knees as the evil woman smiled on. Ricci owned all of Miami and nothing could take that from her. She commanded all and soon the world would feel her presence.

 Then a piercing pain in her back and chest abruptly broke her train of thought. Slowly, she looked down at the fireplace poker that now protruded from between her breasts. Ricci looked up to find everything as it was before she gave the mental command to attack. Dreamseer wasn’t being choked and Nightfall was standing unharmed. They both looked surprised though.

The men around the room were on the floor thanks to a sharp wind from Sandstorm who now materialized. He also looked toward Ricci with a semi shocked expression. Ricci turned slightly to look into the enraged face of the Mayor. She crumpled to the floor, dead.

            Dreamseer had given Ricci the illusion that she had defeated them in order for Nightfall to go up and take the tiara. The illusion apparently broke her hold on the Mayor. He took the fireplace poker and exacted revenge. He didn’t know what everyone was doing when he realized his freedom and he didn’t care. He only knew of the torture. Nothing else was real for him.

 The tiara fell and rolled across the floor to Nightfall’s feet.

            “Don’t touch it,” Dreamseer cautioned, “It won’t work for a man, so only a man should touch it.”

            Sandstorm picked it up.

            Dreamseer looked up to the sobbing Mayor who stumbled backward a little, preparing to flee.

            “Wait,” she reached out to his mind to pause him.

            He put his hands to the sides of his head, “No! Let me go! Get out of my head!” He dropped to his knees where Dreamseer ran up to him.

            “Wait, please. I’m not going to hurt you. I promise, I’m not going to hurt you.” She put her hands to his temples. Nightfall yanked down some long drapes and put them around the Mayor's shoulders.

            “What she did to me,” he sobbed. “What she made me do. What she did to me.”

            “I know, I know. Let me help you. Let me heal you.” Then her voice was in his mind, No more pain, no more hurt. You can let it all go. You are better than her and you aren’t a victim anymore.

            He opened his eyes, “Yeah, not a victim.  Okay.” She helped him stand.

            “You have a city to repair.”

            “Yeah. Yeah I do.”

            “We’ll help you,” Zachariah Ace piped in. He was dusting himself off from being thrown by Sandstorm. “Now that we are all under our own control again, it’s the least we can do.”

            The Mayor looked at Dreamseer and she said, “It’s okay, they’re good people. Let them help you.”

            The Mayor nodded and went out the front door. He wanted to find something better to wear. The jesters cap lay in the fireplace.

            Zachariah and Nightfall went to retrieve Gypsy from the basement.

            “We’ll get Gypsy to our med bay on the ship. We managed to reach Earth by teleporting past the shield around the planet. Unfortunately we couldn’t affect the shield itself, but at least we’re here.” Zachariah made a sweeping gesture, “And I think we’ll take over this mansion as a base while we help clean up around here.”

            Nightfall nodded. “With permission, I want to carry on with these people. We’re getting close to solving this whole thing, but there are more artifacts to collect. They’re of grave importance.”

            “Permission granted. Just check in with us okay?”

            Nightfall nodded. She didn’t mention that there was someone else as well. Someone she wanted to know more about. News of Anubis would have to come later.

Want to know what happened before this? Link back to number 1!

Monday, February 4, 2013

GZ Legends 33: Tiara of the Mind Pt 2

“When we’re done, I’ll come fix your yard,” Sandstorm promised. “This will get us past the barricade.”

            “If you don’t mind, I’ll take my usual approach and fly over it all,” Kyte said. “I’ll go for the roof. My wings won’t fit in your tunnel very well.” Without another word he spread his wings and jumped into the air. He vanished in the darkness.

            They thanked the ladies for their help and filed into the dark tunnel. Just as Sandstorm said, they had to climb around pipes and even some underground wiring. Not all the pipes were in great shape from being underground. Some were rusted and old or brittle. Sandstorm protected the more fragile infrastructure with an encasement of ice. In some places the tunnel had to be adjusted to make passage possible. The others couldn’t help but feel a sense of awe at Sandstorm’s level of power. They all inwardly wondered how much he was truly capable of. He had already wrestled a hurricane and his power to transform into tornadoes and hailstorms were well known in the powered community. Now he made the earth say ‘ahh’ like a kid in a dentist’s chair.

Redeagle didn’t care for being underground.  His 7 foot body felt cramped in the narrow tunnel. It seemed like forever before Sandstorm cleared the way to a concrete ceiling above them.

            “This is the floor of her basement,” Sandstorm put a hand against it. “I can open it up except for the epoxy coated rebar in it. I have no control over things that are overly processed like plastic. Redeagle, that will be a job for you. Dreamseer, do you sense anyone above us?”

            “Only one, and very faint. A woman, she must be injured.”

            “Then let’s get moving.” Sandstorm commanded the concrete to flow back to form a hole big enough for even their biggest man, Redeagle to fit through. Red moved in and gripped the metal rebar and tore it like tissue paper with his great strength. He bent the bars downward and back in order to make it safer to climb up and into the room above. Sandstorm made that easier as well by forming a ladder of earth and concrete and solidifying it by converting all of it to stone. They climbed up into the room and Nightfall gasped at the woman chained to the wall. She rushed to the bleeding woman’s side.

            “No, what happened to you?”

            “You know her?” Atomizer asked.

            “She’s part of my team from Council Interpol. We call her Gypsy. She’s a magic user. She’s barely alive.”

            Redeagle snapped the chains so they could lay her on the floor.

            “I didn’t even know they made it to the planet.” She continued.

            “It’s okay, we’re going to help her,” Dreamseer said.

            “Yeah, but this means she must have the rest of the team.”

            “Then tell us about your team and what they can do so we can deal with them,” Sandstorm said.

            “I’ll create an image from your mind to everyone else’s and let Kyte know we are here too,” Dreamseer said to Nightfall.

            Everyone paused and closed their eyes to clearly see the mental images broadcast to them.

            “The man with the bowl cut hair is Monty, also known as Stagefright. He’s an inducing empath. His favorite trick is to cause irrational fear in his targets but he can make them feel almost anything. I’ve seen him turn alien warlords into crying babies. The man with the silvery eyes and western clothing is Lawrence Jackdaw. He’s a gunslinger and his hands can move as fast as Electrode. His plasma pistols are specially made so that he can pull the trigger and fire hundreds of times per attack. His power is limited to his reflexes, so he can’t run that fast, but he’s deadly accurate. He has one shortfall that telegraphs his attack. He likes to sweep back his trench coat to reach his weapons. It’s the only warning he allows his targets before he blasts them to bits. The blonde buff military guy is our leader, Zachariah Ace. He’s a master strategist and combatant with almost anything he can get his hands on. If he knew about the artifact, he never would have come in close.”

            Dreamseer stopped the mental projection, “It doesn’t matter how they got taken. We just have to get them out of it and stop Ricci.”

            “Then let’s do it.”

            Dreamseer could sense two men on the other side of the door from the room. Nightfall went through and touched them both. They collapsed without a sound. For that matter, no one had to lift a finger from there, even with Sandstorm in air form. She stalked up and took out each mind controlled guard with master precision and her black out power. Three men were in the kitchen. The first got a light slap to the face. Nightfall acrobatically rolled over the center island and caught the other two by their throats and gently guided them to the floor.

            During this time, six men wandered the roof of the mansion with rifles. They didn’t notice the shadows moving around their feet until they were yanked up into the air and sharply knocked unconscious. The Kyte landed and drew his long shadow tendrils back to him. He handled all six men at the same time.  He walked to the edge of the roof and dropped to the balcony below with the agility of a cat. A sharp flex of his wings knocked out another guard who stepped up behind him from inside.

            “This is too easy,” he thought. He stepped inside to find Zachariah Ace waiting across the room.