Wednesday, April 17, 2013

GZ Legends 44: The Hourglass of Time pt2

Suddenly, the heroes found themselves all standing in different locations around Sylvia about 30 yards away. She laughed as they looked to each other in confusion.

            “I said we weren’t done yet, but you guys are sooo slow! So I helped you out a bit! Cool huh?”

            “I’ll show you slow,” Electrode murmured as he ran at her with fists clenched. He couldn’t be sure how he switched targets, but he couldn’t stop running in time to avoid hitting Traveler.

            Traveler crashed to the ground as Electrode tumbled over her. His body crashed through the wooden side of a gaming booth. Electrode lay in a far corner where stuffed animal prizes fell over him. His body was on fire with pain from several broken bones. His friends heard him cry out and Nyhtwulf flew to help him.

            “Oops! Looks like one of you had a little accident.” Sylvia smiled in cruel enjoyment.

            Sandstorm glared and his body dissipated into the air. No one else moved in for fear of getting in the way. Dust and rocks flew to a gathering new form that reached out from the winds. I giant angry face could be seen and a great fist rose over Sylvia. In the face of that wind, Sylvia didn’t move. For that matter, not a hair on her head moved either. As the fist came down, it took on the material form of granite and smashed into place where Sylvia stood. It hit so hard that the asphalt sank in and the fist crumbled away. Sylvia wasn’t there.

            Her laughter drew eyes to the roof of a concessions stand.

            “That was just a time facsimile of me. I can pull myself out of a future point.”

            “There could be lots of me,” another of her said from by the bumper cars.

            “For that matter, there’s one of me for each of you.” Sylvia appeared a few feet away from all the remaining heroes. “Think you can fight me now?”

“Everyone hit the deck!” Sandstorm shouted in near rage.

            “Oh yes! Turn yourself into a big hurricane and blow us all away! Maybe I’ll shift you into a populated area and see how many people you kill?”

            Sandstorm clenched his fists and grit his teeth. He could tell that she was right and he had no idea what to do about it. He dissipated into air and waited.

            Nyhtwulf cleared away debris and stuffed animals from Electrode.

            “I can heal you, but I’m afraid it will still be quite painful as I reset your broken bones.”

            “Just do it,” Electrode winced.

            Outside, Sylvia continued to taunt.

            “So which one of me might be real?” said one nearest to Nightfall.

            Nightfall delivered an expert spin kick that missed completely.

            “Oops! Wrong one!” All of the Sylvias now spoke in unison.

            “You all have life force and mental activity that some of us can detect. Very clever and almost perfect.” Doctor Vampire said to the one nearest him.

            “Oh? Do you know which one I am?”

            “It’s a matter of time.” Doctor Vampire reached out for her but she vanished.

            “You’re right about that, Doctor Vampire. It really is a matter of time.”

            “How do you know so much about us?” Doctor Vampire asked. “And how do you know so much about using the hourglass?”

Blacktide took a few steps toward the Sylvia smiling at him and swung his fist. He connected with nothing.

            “Oh that guy was totally awesome! He literally put all the information right into my head. It was like magic or something!”

            “A man in a black top hat?” Doctor Vampire continued.

            “That’s right!”

            Anubis swung his staff at the one nearest him and she vanished like the others.

            “Only a coward fights like this!” Anubis roared.

            “Like I’m going to stand around let you hit me, Dog Boy.”

            “Of course! Stoop to the dog jokes. Now you really are just like any other bad guy.”

            “We’ll see.”

            Kyte surrounded a Sylvia with his shadow tendrils, but when he tried to move her, she was gone. Lonestar swung his sword at one with the same results.

            “You’re just playing with us.” Doctor Vampire said. “You have to stop. The hourglass is corrupting you. It’s too powerful for any human to use.”

            “You think you could use it, Vampire?” The remaining Sylvia’s said.

            No one else made a move against Sylvia, waiting for a sign from Doctor Vampire or Sandstorm. They could see it was useless to try and hit her.

            Back in the gaming booth, Electrode grit his teeth in agony as Nyhtwulf used healing and intangibility to reset broken bones. It wouldn’t be long, but it was excruciating.

“No. I would not use the hourglass. It belongs in the museum where it can be kept safe. What do you think you’re going to do with it? Rule the world?”

            “I think I’ll do whatever I please!”

            “And the hourglass will prompt you to do more and more while you’re actually damaging time itself.”

            “Oh, you are one big party pooper! I guess Vampires really are brooding creatures, aren’t they? Nothing like what I’ve seen in the movies recently.”

            “You can be very certain we are nothing like that,” Doctor Vampire scowled.

            As if that were a cue, sharp angles of rock thrust from the ground, skewering each Sylvia where she stood. All of them looked shocked and then crumbled away to dust. Sandstorm reformed himself and all of them looked around for the hourglass. It was nowhere to be seen. Laughter that now haunted them, drew their attention to the low point of a rollercoaster.

            “Oh, that was a monumental effort, Sandstorm! You get a nice little golf clap!” Sylvia stood unhurt, holding the hourglass. “Let’s raise the stakes, shall we?” Sylvia jumped down and everyone’s vision suddenly felt awkward.

            As Sandstorm looked around him, he saw more multiples of Sylvia. Worse yet, he saw multiples of everyone. All of them, except Sylvia, found themselves glancing in all directions, in confusion.

            “Now, not only do you have to figure out what time frame I’m in; you have to figure out what time frame you’re in!” Sylvia laughed and no one could anything about it.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

GZ Legends 43: The Hourglass of Time pt1

  “This is going to take all of us together,” Doctor Vampire said as he stared at his indicator. “The Hourglass of Time is powerful enough to erase us all from existence. We can only hope that whoever has, doesn’t know how to use it. Even then, it will be dangerous.”

            “Well, any fool can be dangerous with a gun,” Atomizer said.

            “They’re usually more dangerous because they’re unpredictable,” Redeagle added.

            “So where is it?” Sandstorm asked impatiently.

            “A theme park in California,” Dr. Vampire said.

            “Then let’s go.”

           Doctor Vampire turned to one of his teammates, “Traveler, we don’t want to land too close to the signal. Surprise is going to be our best ally.” 

            Traveler nodded and gestured with her staff. A portal of light manifested, hovering in the air. One by one, the heroes stepped through with a solemn prayer to finish the mission quickly and without casualty. The portal placed them behind a line of concessions buildings, well hidden from sight. Even Traveler didn’t know how she could place her portals with such accuracy. She never sent anyone over a cliff that wasn’t specifically intended. For a large crew of heroes, behind buildings seemed like a perfect start.

            Even from their position, they could tell that the theme park was active, even though no people roamed the fairways. Lights flashed, music played and they could see the tall Ferris wheel turning. Doctor Vampire traced his finger across the screen of the indicator he carried.

            “It’s about a hundred yards across from us, toward the middle of the park. We need to split up and come in from all sides. Dreamseer can coordinate us telepathically so we can all home in on the mark. Dreamseer, that means you move in last. Look, all of you, as soon as you see this person, don’t give them any reaction time. Move fast. You won’t like the results if you don’t.”

            Over on the main fairway, Sylvia enjoyed the lights of the theme park and the sounds of music. She adjusted her purple beret as it sat on her blue and white hair and tapped her feet to the rhythms of the bouncy tunes. She had an outlandish look to her with the knee high boots, short jeans shorts and leather tank top. She never cared what others thought of her. She lived to make her own statements. This day was particularly exciting. Her life until now had been petty crimes and shoplifting to get by. This was a chance beyond chances. Sylvia looked to make a big name for herself. She could see the fame clearly in her mind, just as the man in the top hat had shown her.

   Faster than a beat of her heart and between flashes of festive lights, Electrode came down the fairway. He never reached her. Electrode could see her ahead of him. He knew he was running, but something felt strange. He tried to adjust his speed, but couldn’t. Only those in the normal speed world could see that Electrode was no longer the fastest man. In fact, he was almost frozen in mid stride.

            Sandstorm, being the second fastest of the group, was next to act. He tried to grasp Sylvia in a micro-whirlwind. Instead, he found himself back in human form and flying down the fairway, repelled by an invisible force.

            Nyhtwulf, Kyte and Anubis all dove in from the darkness of the skies above at the same time. All three of them found themselves grasped in suspended animation, inches from their target. With a laugh from Sylvia, all three of their bodies were flung in separate directions. Anubis crashed into a gaming booth with stuffed animals. Kyte landed in the bumper cars. Nyhtwulf was forced to be solid and hit a fence.

            Lonestar, the Starknight commanded his companion falcon to dive on Sylvia. As it did, the body of Doctor Vampire was yanked from the ground. He had been approaching intangibly with hope of surprising her from below. His body took the cosmic dive of the falcon squarely in the back. Both were deflected away with ridiculous ease. Lonestar threw his sword only to have the pommel hit him across his helm, knocking him to the ground.

            Redeagle, Atomizer and Blacktide were next on the scene. Redeagle came silently across the rooftops, drew his .454 Casull and fired. The heavy caliber bullet made it halfway to its mark before being re-routed to Redeagle’s chest. Redeagle flew backwards and lay groaning on the rooftop of the concessions stand. Atomizer targeted a trashcan next to Sylvia, but one next to him and Blacktide exploded instead. Blacktide fell through a wall, disintegrating it as he went. Atomizer landed in a section of chairs and tables.

            “Well?” Sylvia said to Traveler, Dreamseer and Nightfall, who all stood staring at her on the fairway.  They stood spread out several feet from each other. None of them knew what to do after what they had seen.

            Dreamseer suddenly cried out and dropped to her knees holding her forehead.

            Sylvia held up the silver and gold hourglass. “This thing is so cool! Did you know that literally everything that can happen is an event in time? I feel them all. I can feel when a fly on the other side of this park twitches its wings! Even the use of your powers or your thoughts are events in time! I can stop them. Like your breathing, for example.”

            Nightfall suddenly couldn’t breathe. She fell to the ground struggling to take in a breath.

            “Stop!” Traveler shouted.

            “You’re right. That’s no fun.” Sylvia released Nightfall who gasped and gulped for air.

            “You didn’t just beat them all by denying events,” Traveler said, trying to stall.

“You’re right again. It gets way cooler than that. I can switch events in time too. You’re shadowy wolf back there? I switched his form in time with a point where he was solid. I can adjust events any way I want to.”

            “You knew we were coming.”

            “Oh yeah! That guy in the old fashioned tuxedo said you’d be coming. He told me how to use the hourglass. All I have to do for this gift is kill you all. But I’m going to have some fun first. So come on. Get your friends up. We aren’t done yet.”

Thursday, April 4, 2013

GZ Legends 42: The Eye of Destruction pt2

 The ground cracked and shook. Dust rose and small rocks jumped into the air. Sandstorm used his elemental powers with all his might, straining against the power of the gem in Michael’s hand. The more the gem was used, the stronger it became. Sandstorm could feel its influence growing the longer he fought against it. It was only a matter of time before the Eye of Destruction overwhelmed the world’s most powerful elemental.

            The other heroes convened to try again. A shockwave of force threw them all backwards. Kyte crashed to the ground and lay unconscious. Dreamseer lay on the convulsing Earth as well and didn’t get back up. Electrode was first back to his feet with an idea. In his fight with the Deformer, he used a turbine attack. Maybe such an attack would short out the energy of the gem? Electrode raced in circles around Michael, building up nuclear electric power as he went. As Electrode reached top speeds, Sandstorm could feel the strain give way ever so slightly.

            Sandstorm could feel changes in the power aura but the strain was so great, he couldn’t cry out to warn his partner. Electrode let loose a tremendous surge of force into the center at Michael with explosive results. Atomizer and Redeagle had already thrown themselves into a shaking ditch for cover; right after they dragged their unconscious friends there.

            “I’m going to lose my lunch!” Atomizer shouted over the loud rumbling.

            “I didn’t even eat any lunch!” Redeagle shouted back.

            The blast blinded them all and made their ears ring. As Atomizer and Redeagle fought to stand up, they heard Michael laughing. Electrode and Sandstorm were on the ground. The explosion was a wave of power feedback that knocked them both out. The red aura shined as bright and powerful as ever. The shaking amplified, making the two friends stagger to stay on their feet.

            “I’m going to rule the world!” Micheal laughed in madness.

            “There isn’t going to be a world, you idiot!” Atomizer shouted.

            Redeagle grabbed his partner by the arm. “Listen, this is on you now. You have to stop that guy!”

            “How? My power won’t work on the gem or living tissue!”

            “You have to come up with something, Jason! You have to do this!”

            “What if my power reacts with that energy field and I blow us all up?” Atomizer remembered when he used his power on an alien weapon. The results were a blast he couldn’t control. He never wanted to see anything like that again.

            Redeagle grabbed Atomizer by the front of his jacket and nearly shook him. “Either way, we’d be dead! Come on! I know you can do this!”

            “All right, all right! Easy on the jacket, partner!” Atomizer turned to the maniacal laughing Michael and fixed his eyes on the gem.

            The earthquake was already claiming lives in towns a hundred miles in every direction. Every minute the influence of the gem spread another 20 miles. Atomizer studied his target hard and finally, in those dread moments, saw something he could latch onto. It was something that couldn’t resist him and looked to be the perfect sized. As he stared at that target, he could see its molecular makeup as if zooming in with a microscope. He saw past fibers, past strands, to the point where its atomic structure shined. The rest of the world tuned out as he focused all his concentration on his target. As Atomizer blinked, he activated his power by mental command.

  Michael screamed as his face was covered in spraying blood. The explosion sounded like no more than a “pop” compared to the outrageous rumbling of the land around them. The red aura vanished and Michael’s right hand thudded to the ground. The gem bounced out of the twitching fingers and rolled away into the dust. Michael fell to his knees, screaming as he held the stump where a single button on the sleeve of his shirt had blown his hand off.

            Atomizer also dropped to his knees in exhaustion as a portal opened a few feet away. Dr. Vampire and the rest of their friends were with them. Nyhtwulf stopped Michael’s bleeding as the rest saw to fallen friends. Before Dreamseer fell, she sent a telepathic distress call. As soon as they were done with the TANK, Dr. Vampire had Traveler send his half of the team to South Dakota.

            Michael saw the healing power of Nyhtwulf while crying over his lost hand. “Can you put it back on?”

            Nyhtwulf shook his lupine head, “No, there is too much damage.”

            Anubis watched the exchange and said nothing. This man almost destroyed the world. Maybe he deserved to lose a hand?

            In the following moments, friends were healed of minor injuries and both teams of heroes were back at full strength. Doctor Vampire carefully nudged the gem into a containment bag meant for holding such dangerous items.

            “Now that we have that, we can send Michael and his hand to a hospital,” Dr. Vampire said.

            “I’ll take care of that,” Anubis volunteered. “Nightfall, will you knock him out please? That way he’s not screaming in agony all the way there.”

            “Sure.” Nightfall touched Michael on his cheek and he fell unconscious. “Are you okay?”

            “I’m fine. I just want to get this lunatic out of our way.” Anubis grabbed up Michael and flew him away to a hospital.

            “I’m glad we’re all together,” Dr. Vampire said. “I think the last artifact is going to need all of us. It’s far more dangerous than anything we’ve faced so far.”

            “Worse than that gem?” Sandstorm asked. “I couldn’t stop that thing.” It was a feeling Sandstorm wasn’t accustomed too. Nothing of this Earth had ever stopped him before.

            “Yes. But all of us together should be able to get it. I just hope who ever has it, doesn’t know how to use it.”

            “Are you going to tell us what it is, or do we guess?” Electrode said.

            “It’s the Hourglass of Time.”