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.”