Friday, May 17, 2013

GZ Legends 49: At the Hands of Professor Zombie!

As blurred bright lights filled Sandstorm’s eyes, he instinctively tried to raise a hand to shield them. Resistance came in the form of a heavy shackle, holding his arms rigidly in place. He blinked several times to stabilize his vision as he pulled against his restraints. Comfort clearly wasn’t his captor’s concern in putting him on the flat metal table, anchored to the floor. Sandstorm couldn’t move it. The assaulting light came from overhead medical lamps.

            “The Raven heralded you as a worthy opponent; virtually impossible to capture,” came the voice of the Professor who stood next to him in a white 3-piece suit. His refined tone was that of a gentleman, but Sandstorm knew better. The Professor barely shifted on his black cane as he continued to speak. “Yet, here I have you, my boy.”

            “I’m not your boy.”

            “I expect hostility, but we may get past that soon. Your struggle is a wasted effort. Your law enforcement uses inhibitor technology to block powers of criminals, do they not? Naturally, I employ similar methods. I don’t mind saying that my technology surpasses anything your scientists could develop.”

            “Just keep on talking.”

            “You are an obstinate one, aren’t you? Now, I have to admit, trying my immortality formula on persons of the powered variety has had mixed results.”

            “Immortality formula? Is that what you call those monstrosities you turn people into? Immortals?”

            “They are programmed to obey orders and do a variety of various tasks. And yes, they are immortal. They will never die so long as people like you don’t go around removing their heads.”

            “And you’re going to use your poison on me? You might find that to be a mistake.”

            “We shall see. I’m going to let my automated machinery conduct some tests. I apologize as it will be quite painful.”

            Without another word, Professor Zombie left the room, intent on visiting his other captives. A mechanical whirring sound caught Sandstorm’s attention as the long robot arm swung towards him. At the end of the machine appendage gleamed a long needle that aimed at his ribcage. Sandstorm grit his teeth in stubborn refusal to scream as the needle pierced his flesh and nicked a rib. Still, some sound did escape him. Professor Zombie didn’t flinch at the sound, being more than used to the anguish of others.

            The heavy-set Professor lumbered down the corridor to a sliding door. He operated the security panel and the door slid open. His henchmen stood outside of several doors in that corridor. Inside the room, Anubis, in human form of Hakim, lay on an identical table, strapped down with a sheet over his waist.

            “You monster!” Anubis shouted at him. “You will never get away with this!”

            “If only I could recall how many times I’ve heard that, dear boy.”

            “It only takes once to be the truth, you beast.”

            “If only you could understand what I offer the world, Anubis. My way ends all strife as we know it.”

            “By making people into being your slaves? By turning them into monsters?”

“My way allows people to live forever. No more disease. No more war. No need of sustenance. People won’t even need to have children anymore which will end overpopulation.”

            Anubis’s eyes widened as the words grated in his ears. “You would stop the world from having children? You are truly insane!”

            “I’m sure you won’t think so if I can make you one of us. I’ve wanted to have servants with powers. Unfortunately, the serum seems to remove something that allows a person’s powers to exist.”

            “You mean they actually have to be living people? Amazing what being alive can do for you.” Anubis sneered.

            “None-the-less, I will conduct some tests. Your powers are especially of interest to me. You clearly were altered to be what you are while others were born with the genes that created their powers. Perhaps that’s the key I’ve been looking for.”

            “Let me summon my lance and I’ll show you a whole new way to think of keys.”

            “That would be rather foolish of me, wouldn’t it? I have to greet my other guests. One of them I’m sure you’d like me to say hello to? Nightfall is it?”

            Anubis raged against his bindings to no avail. “I’ll kill you, Professor! Don’t harm her!”

            “Interesting.” Professor Zombie turned and left the room.

            Anubis thudded the back of his head on the metal table, engaging a strain of will power born of desperation and rage.

            “Come on! Come on!” Anubis groaned. “Change, change, change.”

            He tightened his fists too white knuckles and, unknown to him, his right fist started to take on a dim glow.

            Out in the corridor a beeping sound drew the Professor to another door. In this room, something was wrong. He went inside to where Blacktide laid on a table the same as the others. His restraints smoldered slightly and the needle on the robot arm was gone.

            “How very interesting.” The Professor went to a control panel and turned a dial to increase the power of the inhibitors. He didn’t have to go far to take it to full power. He took a syringe to Blacktide’s side.

            “You won’t hold me long, old man.” Blacktide said grimly.

            “I believe I’ll hold you long enough, or kill you.” The Professor put the needle against Blacktide’s skin and pressed. To his amazement, the needle burned away at skin contact rather than break through even the first layer.

            “You’re power is highly resilient.”

            “If you paid attention or did your homework you’d know that already. For such a freaking genius, you’ve made a fatal mistake.”

            “We shall see.” Professor Zombie held up his cane and a sonic pulse sent Blacktide back into the land of unconsciousness.

  Professor Zombie left the room to check his notes. Meanwhile, just under the metal floors, someone dark waited for his chance. For the moment, he was beyond reach, and like the others, he was very angry.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

GZ Legends 48: The Underground Bunker

  At top speed Electrode yanked one of the alien rifles away from a zombie henchman, tearing a finger off as he went. He moved to the outer edge of the platoons of Professor Zombie,s creations and hit the trigger. Electrode fired into the crowd of henchmen with mixed results. The helmets were resistant to a few blasts, but would eventually fail. He still had to move after a few shots as they turned to return fire. It was the open ramp that gave him his next idea. He remembered what happened when Atomizer targeted one of the weapons with his combustion powers. Electrode darted to one of the ramps and tossed the weapon down it with several henchmen still nearby. In turning to speed away, he let an arc of lightning hit the weapon. Since it was below ground level and the furthest from his friends, only the henchmen felt the deadlier results. The blast still shook the ground all the way to the river. Dozens of henchmen were destroyed. The closest were almost completely vaporized. Those slightly further away were in pieces. Electrode moved far from the blast area and away from the tank turrets to consider his next move.

            Nyhtwulf flew into the path of several henchmen who headed for Redeagle, Atomizer, and Nightfall. The lupine shadow demon opened his arms wide and roared a challenge. The challenge was met with bright red lasers from several directions. As he had shown before, when energy enters Nyhtwulf’s shadowy body, he has the power to redirect it. The only thing the zombie henchmen accomplished was blowing themselves to pieces. Blacktide caught up and finished them off with a well-aimed wave of disintegrative force. Then it was time for everyone to find cover.

The wind rose against the remaining henchmen, forcing them backward. As the funnel formed, many were snatched from the ground and spun in the air. Sandstorm controlled his form exactly so that he didn’t just throw their bodies into the dark distance. He wanted to hold on to as many as possible as he steered the whirling funnel toward the river. On his way, he tore two of the turret cannons from their mounts like plucking weeds from a garden. He moved out over the serene waters of the river. In moments he switched from tornado to the awesome sight of a dark waterspout.  From deep within, Sandstorm dropped the temperature, plummeting fast into a super deep freeze. No one could see exactly what was happening as a mist concealed it, but loud cracking sounds could be heard far on the other side of the river.

Anubis lunged at the 6-wheel rover with a savage snarl and drove his lance through its armored side. As its automated weapons targeted him, he hefted the 2 ton machine using his lance like a pitchfork. Anubis smashed the vehicle on its roof and the mounted weaponry exploded in pieces and flames. With that, he leapt into the air over top of the new wreckage and charged his lance with bright cosmic power. He aimed at the center of his target with grim determination and threw his lance. The military class ATV burst in all directions leaving only a smoking shell. Anubis landed nearby and held out his hand. His lance flew to him and he caught it without even looking.

“Hmmpf!” Anubis grunted and thumped his lance on the ground.

As the mist cleared around what was a raging water spout, everyone could see the shining ice. Inside, the massive pressure of the ice had crushed bodies and even the specialized helmets the henchmen wore. The morbid ice sculpture stood from a deeply frozen area of river. It reached over 50 feet into the air. A section mist separated from the structure and floated toward the regrouping heroes. It shaped into the form of a man and Sandstorm stood among them once again.

Much of the area now smoldered and burned. Bodies of leather-clad henchmen lay all over in every direction. All the turrets were destroyed. Only the building stood intact and quiet.

“There’s something un-natural here.” Sandstorm gestured and the ground peeled away toward the building and the river at mental command. It was as if an invisible bulldozer came through and shoved it all away. In the path of that was the dark building. With snapping and crunching sounds, it caved away too. Smooth shiny metal gleamed in the place of dirt and rock.

“He’s been underground the whole time.” Atomizer said.

“Looks that way. Should we bother looking for a door?” Electrode said.

“Not with me around.” Blacktide said. “Everyone, step back please.”

Blacktide gestured with both hands at the metal encasement. In a burst of smoke, a wide hole formed allowing view into a corridor below. Two henchmen were below and turned, aiming their weapons upward. Nyhtwulf was faster, landing on them both and removing their heads as he did.

“How many?” Atomizer asked. “How many people has he done this to?”

“I’m sure if we check missing persons on a wide scale we could eventually find out. We’ll probably have to once we’re done with all this.” Redeagle said.

“Not only does the Professor need to pay for what he’s done to all these people; he needs to pay for us having to destroy them.” Anubis said with a growl. “Let’s go.”

Anubis scooped up a surprised Nightfall and flew down into the hole. In moments, all of them were in a wide corridor of metal.

“You can put me down now,” Nightfall said.

“Oh, right.” Anubis set her gently on her feet.

“There’s a large door up ahead. Let’s go forget to knock on it.” Sandstorm said.

“I’m in on that.” Blacktide said.

“Watch out for traps, guys.” Nightfall warned.

As they neared the great metal door a high frequency piercing sound echoed around them. Nyhtwulf clutched his head and fell intangibly through the floor while the rest of his friends collapsed where they stood. 

Friday, May 10, 2013

GZ Legends 47: Assault on Zombie Base

 “Oh, so you can hear me! I’m going to peel your toy open like a tin can and yank you out of there!” Anubis shouted at the 6 wheel rover as he dodged more cannon fire.

            “Don’t be foolish. I’m nowhere near you, Anubis.” Prof. Zombie’s voice sounded again.

            “Then I will find you!” Anubis swung his lance and tore a long gash in the side of the rover. A beam of energy hit him in the shoulder and tossed him backwards.

            “We shall see,” the voice taunted with cold confidence.

            Around the grounds, panels opened and energy cannons rose on mechanized turrets. Electrode lashed out as them as he went speeding by. His lightning assault had little effect in damaging the weaponry. Electrode could see they would require concentrated efforts of  his energy, but that would require slowing down. The air came to life with explosive lasers and the cannons weren’t alone. Larger panels of ground fell away to form ramps to underground hideaways, allowing platoons of the Professor’s enhanced zombies to come out. All of them wore their helmets, leather body armor, and carried alien weaponry.

            Energy fire shattered the tree trunks that Blacktide, Nightfall, Redeagle and Atomizer dove to the ground behind. Some of the trees fell in the path of firing, providing some temporary extra cover.

            “Hey, Nightfall,” Atomizer shouted over the torrent of energy blasts and explosions. “You said there was going to be traps.”

            “Yeah. What do you call those?” Nightfall gestured to the turrets and armed henchmen.

            “That’s not traps, lady, that’s a small army and full arsenal!”

            “Well what do you want me to do about it?” Nightfall fired her blaster at a turret with no effect. “They’re too well armored!”

            Atomizer concentrated on the ground by the same turret. The explosion filled the air with dirt, but did nothing to the still firing weapon.

            “Great! And if I target it directly, I’ll probably kill us all!” Atomizer said.

            “Geez! Shut up!” Blacktide said as he disintegrated his way into the ground. As he stood up in the hole he made, he extended his aura, making enough room for all of them. “Get in here!”

            His friends needed no extra coaxing.

            “Now, we have two turrets on us and our friends are just a little busy. If one of us can handle one turret, I’ll burn my way through the ground to the other.” Blacktide explained.

“I think I can take out the first turret.” Redeagle held up his .454 Casull revolver.

            “My blaster couldn’t scratch it. What makes you think that will work?” Nightfall said.

            “Did I ever mention I have really good eyesight?”

            “Fine. Once we get these done with, we need to get out there and help take down the rest of the horror show. Atomizer, does your power work on their helmets?” Blacktide said.


            “Then quit worrying about their stupid guns and blow their freaking heads off.”

            “Okay. Okay.” Ever since he nearly killed a lot of people by using his power on the alien weaponry, Atomizer had been afraid to use his power even near it. He hated to admit it, but he had held on to the trauma for too long.

            “Let’s do this.” Blacktide turned and moved through the ground wall he created with smoke curling into the air.

            “Nightfall, see if you can distract it with your blaster for a second.” Redeagle said as he carefully took aim, just above the ground.

            Nightfall shrugged and started firing.

            Among the gifts from his Grandfather, a Shaman, was the eyesight of an eagle. Agent Redeagle looked across the sight at the end of his revolver’s barrel. He saw past it and the millions of blades of grass. He literally zoomed in like high powered binoculars to his target in a narrow gap between folds of metal. He could see, deep in that gap, a cluster of wiring that controlled the turrets power supply. With the turret firing, there was a great deal of vibration, so Redeagle would have to time his shot perfectly. Half a second felt like years as he squeezed the trigger. The .454 Casull shouted like thunder as the heavy bullet tore across the gap to its target. Energy blasts and the bullet passed each other in close proximity like jet fighters, just missing each other. The gap shook back and forth as the projectile made its way home. In the span of less than a tenth of a second, the bullet passed through the gap perfectly and struck the cluster of wires. With a surgical strike to its nerve center, the turret shuddered and died in smoke and a shower of sparks.

            While Redeagle was killing one turret, Blacktide waded through the ground toward the other. At halfway, he disintegrated a water line and was drenched in a gushing flood. His power could not disintegrate water, but it only served to irritate. He didn’t need to be right next to the turret. A few yards would suffice so he could attack without harming his friends. A few steps past the rushing water, Blacktide enveloped his right fist in the dark shadows of his power. He stepped forward and moved as if throwing a straight punch into someone’s face. The wave of disintegrative force made a coughing sound as it tore through some more ground at an upward angle. With another cough of imploding air, the turret developed a gaping smoldering hole where the barrel used to be.

            The hole Blacktide made filled with water quickly.

            “Oh, that’s nice. I wanted a bath today!” Atomizer remarked.

            “Quit complaining and let’s get moving!” Redeagle said, thinking he might have to slap his partner if the complaints continued.

They rolled out of the hole, using the fallen trees for cover. More energy fire tore through the branches. Several of Professor Zombie’s henchmen were moving in on them. The Professor had programmed them well. They knew no fear or compassion. Their only orders were to kill.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

GZ Legends 46: Seeking the Zombie

 “I so needed to do that,” Traveler said as she stood over the unconscious body of Sylvia.

            “Hey, we’re all just jealous you got to her first,” Anubis chimed in.

            “I wouldn’t have minded a good jab myself,” Sandstorm said.

            After having their senses dragged across fragments of time, the team needed a short respite on the fairway. There was a great deal of head shaking and forehead rubbing. Mixed into their recovery was the awe invoking experience that they had just met yet another god.

            “We should start asking for autographs,” Anubis joked.

            “Well, we won’t be collecting the hourglass, but at least it’s in proper hands.” Doctor Vampire said. “Now, my team and I need to go to the museum and make sure everything gets secured. We’ll come back and assist you after that.”

            “We appreciate it,” Atomizer said.

            “We still need to find Professor Zombie and work on getting the sun back.” Redeagle added.

            Atomizer walked over to Dreamseer who was still rubbing her forehead.

            “Hey. You doing okay?”

            “Yes, thank you.” Dreamseer gave a weak but genuine smile.

            “You know, maybe when you come back and we get all this craziness put behind us, we could get together…”

            “And eat some of my friends?” Dreamseer nudged him in the ribs. (See what she's talking about HERE)

            “Oh, you don’t let a joke go, do you?” Atomizer chuckled and adjusted his Stetson hat.

            “Not when it gets such awesome results. Yes, Jason Marigold, I will go on a date with you when I see you next.  How’s that?”

            “Excellent. I’ll take that and I promise to remember that you’re a vegetarian.”

            Anubis took time to check on Nightfall as the two teams prepared to travel again. Electrode still felt a bit sore, but was ready for action. At a time of separation, they all shook hands and wished each other luck.

            “We think we found a location for your Professor and Traveler can send you straight to it if you like.” Doctor Vampire offered.

            “I think that’s a fine idea.” Sandstorm said.

            “Heck yeah!” Anubis shouted. “It’s about time we got to him.”

            “If you’re ready, I’ll open the portal.” Traveler offered.

            “No time like the present,” Blacktide said.

            Traveler gestured with one hand and a portal of light appeared hovering  in the air. With a few parting well wishes, Sandstorm and his team walked through the portal.

            “Will they make it?” Dreamseer asked of Doctor Vampire.

            “They have to, or the balance is doomed. Come on. Let’s get back to the museum as fast as we can. They will need our help once we are done.”

Far away, deep under the waters of the Gulf of Mexico, an awakened giant continued to stir. Since the genetic hurricane dislodged his long time hiding place, it had been scanning the surface world with technology from beyond the stars. It knew that the world was in turmoil and why. It surveyed the world’s internet and computer systems with ridiculous ease. It saw news reports about the artifacts and the destruction they caused. It even knew what was blocking the sun and it thought the whole affair was quite beautiful. It realized it had been dormant and hidden for far too long. It was time to come out and play.

            The portal put the friends on the end of Soundview Avenue in New York. They were near a park. About a hundred yards away, a boating dock and gravel lot housed boats and trailers near the river. A small building stood dark. Further down the road, they could see construction equipment in the glow of street lights and another larger building, also dark. A couple hundred yards further from the river was an array of larger buildings and all of them were dark.

            “Does anyone know what time it is?” Sandstorm asked.

            “I believe it is sometime in mid-afternoon,” Nyhtwulf said, “for this area.”

            “Then there are too few people and too many dark buildings around here.”

            “I guess we’re in the right spot then,” Electrode said. “Shall I take a look around?”

            “You’re actually asking this time? I’m proud of you. Yeah, go.”

            Electrode returned almost instantly. “There’s no one outside anywhere for blocks up the street. There are two of our friends in the black helmets at the building with the construction equipment.”

            “Then that’s where we go,” Sandstorm said. “Everyone watch each other’s backs. I’ll go in first and wait for you to catch up. Use every stealthy trick you know and make sure always have cover.”

            “Boy, I can’t wait to fight more armored super zombies.” Atomizer said.

            “Better than world killing artifacts we can’t use our powers on.” Blacktide responded.

            “I’ve been itching for this fight you guys.” Anubis gripped his lance. “I’ll take care of the two at the door. Consider that as my way of ringing the doorbell.”

            “Just don’t destroy the building. We don’t know what’s in there.” Sandstorm cautioned.

            “He’s an inventive genius, so the place is going to be packed with traps.” Nightfall informed them. “And, remember, these people are already dead. You’re doing them a service.”

            Anubis and Nyhtwulf flew up into the darkness. Sandstorm dissipated into air and Electrode vanished from sight. Nightfall stayed to the back of the group with her blaster drawn while Redeagle and Blacktide moved forward in the lead. They moved along a line of trees for cover, away from the streetlights.

Anubis looked down at the two guards and had a strange idea.

            “They seem like they’re about the same size. I wonder if I can…”

            Anubis landed suddenly to one side of the two men and threw his lance. Before either guard could react, the lance skewered both helmets and they fell over, pinned together. Anubis chuckled over his own skill as the wall next to him exploded outward. The six wheeled land rover rammed Anubis and carried him several yards away from the building before stopping. The armored hero tumbled across the ground but quickly got back to his feet.

            “Well, you don’t hit as hard as the Hearse, so…”

            His thought was interrupted as he flew into the air to avoid the weapons firing at him. The entire rover had been re-armored and fitted with larger forms of the alien weaponry Prof. Zombie’s henchmen carried.

            “Oh boy! Someone has a cool toy! Too bad I’m going to break it into little pieces!” Anubis snarled as he swooped acrobatically in the air.

            “You’re perfectly welcome to try, my boy.” The Professor’s voice echoed from a speaker on the rover. “You’re perfectly welcome to try.”

Want to know what happened before this? Check the links in the upper right to get to number 1! Reading this story is free! Thanks for visiting! Be sure to check out the Facebook page and follow it for updates!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

GZ Legends 45: The Hourglass of Time pt3

 Nyhtwulf had just finished healing Electrode when they were separated into multiple mirror images of themselves in all directions. The walls of the booth seemed to make no border as the two of them tried to figure out where or when they truly were. Electrode tried to speak but the air filled with a cacophony of sounds that made them both cover their ears. Each version of Electrode spoke the same words a little more out of unison with the rest, making what he said unintelligible. They both realized they had to get out of the gaming booth, but didn’t want to run into each other to do it.

            Nyhtwulf closed his eyes and tried to ignore his overloading senses. He crouched, went intangible and launched himself upward through the ceiling. When he opened his eyes, he found himself successful. All the versions of himself were now hovering in the air, but the sight below was far worse. It was as if time and space had been folded over on itself dozens of times. For each layer there were duplicates of all his friends and Sylvia. To make matters worse, they were shuffled like a bizarre deck of cards so that no one could act in the same frame of existence as the allies they were supposed to be with.

            Dreamseer writhed in agony as her telepathy fractured across time frames that weren’t supposed to exist. It created mental echoes that threatened to tear her mind apart. Doctor Vampire wanted to help her, but no matter how he moved, he went to the wrong one.

            “You have to stop this, Sylvia,” Doctor Vampire tried to say past the echoes of himself. “You’re fracturing time! You don’t know what you’re doing!”

            Sylvia laughed.

            Sandstorm also closed his eyes to shut out the visual madness. He felt for the life force of the Earth itself, but even that wasn’t helping. He couldn’t divine where Sylvia really was and he dared not act without precision, lest he hurt a friend. What he could feel was the damage her abuse of the hourglass was doing to the immediate vicinity. If this continued much longer, Sylvia would destroy them all and herself as well.

            Kyte slowly extended his shadow tendrils toward a form of Sylvia, trying to ignore all the images of himself doing the same thing. As his tendrils reached their supposed target, they couldn’t make contact. He discovered what slowly became apparent to each of the heroes. They would have to target a version of Sylvia far away from themselves and risk hitting each other worse than before.

            Blacktide was frozen in terror. His worst fear was always that he would hurt friends and family with his disintegration powers. He dared not move and feared even breathing.

            “Can you hear me?” Nyhtwulf’s voice came to his mind.

            “What? Wow! Yeah, I can hear you.” Blacktide thought back at his partner.

            “Our psychic bond keeps us connected and no doubt other versions of us as well. Perhaps we can use this to our advantage?”

            “I can’t disintegrate her, she’ll turn it on someone else.”

            “No. Keep your disintegration aura in as tight as you can. We won’t use it on her. I will guide you. Walk towards the version of Sylvia that appears closest to you, but not too fast.”

           And now?”
Blacktide walked up to the closest Sylvia. “

            “We do this the old fashioned way, my friend. Punch her in the face.”

            Blacktide launched a fist at Sylvia’s laughing face. It passed through her doing nothing and showing that he had the wrong target.

            “Ignore her and walk to the next one you see.”

            “Got it.” Blacktide did as directed, and tried to punch that Sylvia with the same results.

            Each time this was attempted, everyone could see the multiple Blacktides switching positions to other Sylvias to punch them in the face. All of Blacktide’s friends remained still, not wanting to interrupt what looked like a good plan. Three more tries occurred with no result. Blacktide walked up to another Sylvia, cocked back his fist and hurled a punch forward. He froze and inch from her nose.

            “That was almost clever,” Sylvia echoed. Unlike the others she still spoke in unison with her other replicas. “You almost had me. Well, no you didn’t. But don’t you feel better for trying?”

            “You deserve to have me erase your face,” Blacktide tried to say.

            “Oh, so angry! You’re almost cute when you’re mad. Face it. I’m more powerful than any of you! I’m more powerful that Father Time himself, if he even exists!”

            A peal of thunder sounded and the scene blurred as all fragments of time were reset into the present. Sylvia stood in shock as it was not her doing. The heroes all looked to each other in confusion. Sylvia mouthed words no one could hear and another clap of thunder shook them all. Strobes of lightning crashed into the center of them all, forcing everyone back from Sylvia. A new tall form entered the fairway.

            He stood tall and powerful over all of them in long white gossamer robes. His gray and white hair stood out in all directions and his beard went nearly to his sandaled feet.  Arcs of lightning danced about his eyes in an expression of intense rage. A long bent staff held a wickedly curved scythe that could make Death jealous.

            “NONE TOY WITH MY LAWS AND THEN QUESTION MY EXISTENCE, PITIFUL GNAT!”  The power of his voice shook the ground and everyone had to hold on to something or someone nearby.

  Sylvia fell to her knees and held up the hourglass. The artifact vanished from her hand and reappeared attached to the rope tied around Father Time’s waist.


            In another clap of thunder and a blinding flash, he was gone.

            Before anyone else could react, Traveler tossed down her staff and stomped over to Sylvia. She grabbed Sylvia and struck the woman with a right cross to make prize fighters proud. Sylvia hit the ground with a hard thud, unconscious.