Archive for: February, 2012

The Cosmic Five by Michael Blackburne

Feb 26 2012 Published by under The WiFiles

When Scalador the space demon,escapes from the planet Monstra in the creature zone,five space knights are summoned to return the beast.

The space knights known as the cosmic five,follow Scaladors trail of planet destruction through space.

Scalador is an alien race feared demon,with many deadly powers of planet destruction.

The planet Monstra where many hideous space demons dwell,was energy sealed off,by the alien races who first encountered its evil.

The cosmic five,from the planet Brilline,are Brill space knights assigned to combat space demon evil.

The golden skinned space knights,travel space on cosmic powered shield shaped crafts,armed with galactic cosmic weapons.

The tall humanoid shaped knights have energy blue crackling eyes,and alien body abilities.

The cosmic five consist of Zane Zola,Zork voyd,Storg Meltus,Trib Asteron,and Spander Stavrok.

Scalador has carved a savaged planet trail through the universe,leaving death and destruction in its mighty wake.

The cosmic five enter the known world called Balstarr,in the creatic region of space.

The Balstarr scene is one of structure devastation,with many dead or dying Balik people lying mutilated everywhere.

‘See if any Balik live’says Zane to the knights,we need to know how warm Scaladors space trail is.

‘Here is a Balik survivor’says Spander,but he is injured to his body,I will attempt energy healing on him.Spander emits a burst of blue healing energy from his cosmic powered eyes,onto the injured Baliks form.

‘The Balik is recovering now’says Storg,we should be able to talk with him soon.

‘Tell us Balik says Zork’,how long ago did the space demon visit this world of yours?.

The monster first appeared in ‘early time’utters the Balik,knocking down our buildings with its red energy glowing wings.Then continues the Balik,the monster began destroying my people with its deadly red wing blasts of exploding energy.Our own cosma flight ship weapons’could not stop the monster’explains the Balik,it was body impervious to all our defenses.

Did the demon not use its ‘blue body eye Balik’ asks Trib Asteron,or its slashing whip tail?.

No replies the Balik,does the monster have even more destructive body weapons in its form?.

Yes my friend says Trib,the body chest eye of Scalador can ‘freeze all exposed lifeforms’,then tail smash them to many pieces.

The five black metal suited knights find a few Balik survivors,and energy repair them,before leaving planet Balstarr.

Scalador leaves a faint red energy trail in space,which the five can detect with Their space vision eyes.

Scalador appears to be on a course for planet Volteric,in the energy zone says Zane,we will go there also.

The energy zone is a system of energy discharging planets,with Volteric the largest world in that region of space.

Scalador is a fast space traveller,gliding on its giant cosmic wings of power.The space demon soon enters the energy atmosphere of planet Volteric.

The Voltar people are on red alert to possible attack danger from the demon.

Scalador launches yet another planet attack,which is the evil nature of all space demons.

The Voltar warrior race,fight back fiercely to protect their world,with massive space fleet craft strikes.

Scalador responds by using his blue chest eye blast weapon,which freezes space craft energy and controls,causing many crash landings.The demon also blast freezes countless ground based Voltar warriors,before savagely flight tail whipping them into shattered remains.

The five space knights are just hours away from planet Volteric,riding their open topped cosmic shield crafts at full burst speeds.The discharged coloured cosmic energy from the fives space crafts,leaves a rainbow slipstream through space.

Scalador meanwhile has devastated and turned planet Volteric into a frozen shattered wasteland of shattered death.Ice chunk bodyparts of the shattered dead lie everywhere in sight,victims of Scalador’s slashing tail.

By the time the five arrive at Volteric,the space demon has once again left the death scene for deep space.

Although many thousands of Voltar have perished on Volteric,many have survived Scalador,by sheltering in the wreckage of destroyed buildings.

The five meet with some emerging Voltar survivors,to discuss their mission and purpose on planet Volteric.

We are on the trail of Scalador,the space demon which caused your people harm,explains Zane,and we are sorry for your suffering.

The red eyed demon was fierce replies a Voltar spokesman called Grugor,we have heard of space demons,but have never encountered one before.

The monster called ‘Scalador’ has escaped its evil energy sealed world Monstra explains Storg,and is a very dangerous creature demon.

What can you knights do to ‘stop the monster’,when you catch up with it,enquires Grugor?.

‘We cannot kill’the indestructable undead demon explains Spander,but our cosmic weapons might restrain the evil beast,enough to return it to Monstra.

Then I wish you good luck says Grugor,you will surely need it against such a mountainous demon opponent.

Thank you Grugor replies Zork,we knights will try and make space safe again,for us all to live in peace and safety.

The five mount their shield crafts,and blast ride off into space together.The five soon pick up on Scaladors red space trail,which is taking a definite space course.

The demon seems to be heading for the ‘Earthling zone’ system of planets says Zane,worlds observed by our brothers the kromer race and other races.

The people in the Earthling zone have ‘primitive weapons of defense’ says Storg,we must hurry to save their world from the same demon destruction.

The five are on course for planet Earth at full power,and will try their best to intercept space demon Scalador if they can.

Sometime later and the space demon is closing in on seen planet Earth.The brown rock scaled body of the demon is mountainous,as it approaches from space on giant red glowing curved wings of death.

The large back curved horn on the monsters nose,pierces Earths atmosphere,and it has been detected by Earths radar defense systems.

Scalador first appears in russian airspace,and soon cosmic wing blasts many structures and landmarks into smouldering rubble.

The russian airforce launch air strikes on the demon,with rockets and bullet guns,but the energy monster proves to be quite impervious.

The demon uses its own body defences,to cosmic wing blast down many surrounding jets in arial encounters.

The demon also lets loose many freeze blast rays from its chest eye,pausing mid air to track its jet targets.After establishing its weapon supremecy,the space demon leaves russia for an arial bombardment of the whole world.

Scalador fly visits every main country of Earth in the next few hours,blasting down every tall building and long bridges,in red cosmic explosions.

Every airforce in the world fail to put a dent in Scalador’s energy protected rock scaled body.

Suddenly the five arrive over chinese airspace,and activate their space bubble shields,to protect themselves from attacks.

The five are soon considered invaders themselves from the chinese,who also launch attacks on them.

The five concentrate and converge on Scalador,bumping the demon with their shield crafts clear of populated area’s.

Once over open countryside,and with the chinese airforce just observing for the moment,the alien battle now takes place.

The five turn off their cosmic space bubble shields,and air step into battle mode.

The five put their shield crafts on anti gravity mode,allowing them to leave their space transports mid air.

The five first use their cosmic powered swords,to fire coloured bursts of gravity energy onto Scaladors wings and body.Gravity energy increases the density of any flying object forcing it to land.

The demon lands heavily,and is soon revealing flight body pocketed,mighty steel clawed leg and arm limbs.

The demon slashes at the five with its armour ripping claws,but the five have agility dodging powers.

The five are also masters of energy air stepping,and are soon surrounding struggling Scalador,who is weight laden by many extra gravity tons.

The space demon retaliates savagely,by firing its blue chest eye freeze ray,and red cosmic wing blasts at the five in turn.The five have activated their body armour into reflect mode,which cleverly returns weapon body strikes to the sender.

Scalador is return blasted with its own deadly blast weapons from the five’s armour,and is going wild with rage.

The five next produce their short cosmic power lances,which fire tightening energy grip bonds of restraining power.

The five air step swiftly,around the snapping fanged jaws and claws of the demon,which is soon surrounded by restraining rings of power.

Scalador’s body is now fully energy restrained by the five’s cosmic powers,and the beast is now struggling just to stand.

We have the demon now my friends says Zane,time to subdue the beasts head for space transportation.

The other space knights aknowledge Zane,and the five use their switch power eye vision,to seal Scalador’s head in a energy bubble for everyones safety.

Next the five use reverse gravity energy from their cosmic swords on the demon,making it easily space moveable.

Chinese photographers soon transport appear from everywhere,to snap and film the historic alien monster event.

And as the cosmic five leave Earth for planet Monstra,with floating demon prisoner Scalador,they soon become known as world saving heroes.

Short bio,My name is Mike Blackburne,and I am a new writer of Imaginative fiction stories,just starting out..I live in Warrington cheshire,with my wife and grown up son,and have a great imagination to share with readers if published..

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Gloom Lord’s Captive By Catherine Hill

Feb 19 2012 Published by under The WiFiles

Marsha came to with a headache. She lay awkwardly on a hard surface. Her recent memories were blurry and confused. Squinting in the dim light a grid of metal bars came into view in front of her. She didn’t recognise her location. She tried to get up and found that her wrists and ankles were tied with rope. Fully conscious now, Marsha realised she was in a cage. She groaned.

Footsteps thudded beyond her prison. Her groan had attracted attention. The resounding echoes suggested a big, empty space -some kind of warehouse, or an old factory perhaps? The footsteps strode towards her.

“Miss Taylor, we meet at last,” a man said.

A pair of black boots appeared on the other side of the bars. Marsha rolled onto her back and looked up. Above the boots was a silver jumpsuit, the kind worn by extras in sci-fi B-movies. It was too big for its owner. Marsha could see rolls of loose fabric pooled on the boot tops. An obscure, red symbol was sewn on the chest and a long black cape completed the outfit. Above the costume was the face of an ordinary-looking guy with dull, brown hair. His chin and nostrils seemed large, but from that angle anyone’s would. Only a superhuman–or a wannabe–would wear that outfit, and the fact that he wasn’t bending the bars and removing her restraints did not bode well.

“What time is it?” Marsha croaked.

He bent forward, further revealing an unremarkable face and a whiff of cheap aftershave. He looked put out by her question, but didn’t let it throw him off.

“Fear not Miss Taylor, I am sure your beau will soon notice your disappearance.” His voice was oily and his formal tone sounded forced. Marsha was dealing with an amateur, which didn’t make him any less dangerous than an accomplished villain. It just meant he had more to prove.

“Is this about John?” she asked wearily.

“Ah,” said the caped creep, “so you are aware of your fiancé’s double life?”

Marsha sighed. “Considering I had so-called journalists following me everywhere, I’d have to be pretty unobservant not to know who people thought John was.”

#

The last few years had seen a growing media obsession with superhumans. Marsha had never understood the trend. Rummaging through the dirty laundry and secret identities of society’s protectors was a demoralising, not to mention risky, exercise. Several leading heroes had practically retired, appearing only to combat major threats. It was the best way to protect their privacy from the paparazzi, who were more persistent–and less respectful–than most supervillains. True heroes became alienated from the public, which caused a rise in attention-seeking wannabes. Marsha thought the whole situation was shameful, but she was in the minority. Everyone and their aunt wanted the hidden gossip behind the superhumans, and so journalists were keen to investigate them.

Three months earlier a reporter called Peter Selby had published a list of six Kegworth City citizens who could be Astro-man. Among sportsmen, actors and a local philanthropist, he had named John Laing, personal trainer to various celebrities. The choice made sense. John was at the peak of physical fitness and his pictures were all muscles, good teeth and a scattering of scars. Marsha still didn’t know where Selby had gotten the pictures, and if she ever found out who sold them she wasn’t sure what she would do. The scars and scratches on different parts of his body caused particular interest. Readers were led to believe that these marks were the price paid by a man who went out at night to fight crime.

In the rash of online polls that sprung up afterwards John was voted equal favourite with millionaire Richard Darnley. John and Marsha weren’t used to media attention, being followed by trigger-happy photographers left the couple in despair. Marsha was a private person, and the sudden attention had put her on edge. They turned to Mr. Darnley for assistance, hoping he would be sympathetic, and he had agreed to lend the aid of his PR men. Public medical tests, and a rare, official statement by Astro-man, finally convinced everyone that John wasn’t worth their frantic attention. Well, almost everyone.

#

“Listen, whoever you are,” Marsha continued with irritation, “it’s been proven that John isn’t superhuman. Maybe you’re a bit behind on the news. I can understand that, it happens to all of us. I’ll make a deal with you: if you let me go now I won’t mention this kidnapping incident to the authorities. How about it?”

Her captor laughed, a textbook villain laugh, derisive with more than a hint of megalomania. Not good.

“Tell me, Miss Taylor. If your fiancé isn’t Astro-man, how do you explain the way he keeps rescuing you?”

Marsha rolled her eyes and wished she could stand up. It was hard to impress a point on someone when lying at their feet.

“There were a dozen other people in that bank, not counting the staff! I’m sure Astro-man foils crimes even when they don’t involve people he knows.”

“What about the attack on your workplace?” the villain asked.

“It’s a big building with a lot of offices. The Squealing Squad were targeting a different company, and I wasn’t even in that day,” she countered. “Also, you haven’t told me the time yet.”

“And the incident at the docks before Christmas?” he asked.

Marsha raised her eyebrows; he had done his research. No one else had connected her with the blurry woman in the background of that particular Astro-man photo. “I like to shop for a bargain, and you can get things cheaper straight off the boat. I didn’t know what else those guys were mixed up in. Now tell me the goddamn time!”

Her captor looked dissatisfied. “It’s about six thirty,” he snapped. He had probably envisioned more begging and weeping. He stomped out of sight, his footsteps echoed off to her left.

#

Six thirty. That meant Marsha had been unconscious for a couple of hours. She knew she wasn’t at the docks; the smell of the sea was missing. However she could be in any of the other industrial units dotted around the city. Her headache was fading as whatever he had dosed her with wore off. She tested the ropes without success. Not that being tied up was her main concern; she was more worried about the cage. She had never liked being cooped up, and soon she would really freak out. Escape was her first priority, and she would need to figure it out by herself.

She managed to roll to the wall and, slowly, with much strenuous wriggling, propped herself up in seated position. She wasn’t comfortable, but could examine her surroundings. The cage was built into the concrete behind and below her. It separated off a rough six foot square area and was just taller than she was. She guessed it had been used to store dangerous equipment. The door was made from the same metal grid as the rest of the cage; it had solid, sturdy hinges and was locked with a large padlock. Beyond the bars was a big, grey manufacturing space. Hulking machines lurked, neglected and covered in cobwebs. The place had a metallic, industrial smell, overlaid with dust and oil. Light filtered through dirty skylights, creating pools of brightness in the murky interior. Here illuminating a pile of scrap metal, there a few discarded crates.

The unit made a good lair, Marsha reflected, but she couldn’t imagine anything here would stop Astro-man. He was in the big leagues and this guy looked like he was just starting out. She scanned the floor around her, but couldn’t see any conveniently discarded keys, knives, or bits of metal. She did spot small pile of dust just beyond the cage door. It looked as though her captor had swept it out. She smiled a little at that.

#

“So, what do you call yourself?” Marsha shouted out. The kidnapper was out of view, but she could hear him. He had been huffing, and she heard thumping and dragging noises. It sounded as though he was moving something heavy. After she spoke there was a silence, and then his footsteps approached.

“You do not know me?” he asked, appearing in front of the bars. He wasn’t surprised by her change of position. Marsha had been far from silent herself. From sideways-on he was no more impressive. He looked shorter and smelled sweatier now.

“No, I’m afraid not.” Marsha spoke lightly. She didn’t intend to act scared, but she realised that seeming sympathetic might help her cause.

“Your fiancé never mentioned me?” He sounded displeased.

“I’m sure he would have if he’d met you,” she assured him. “But, as I’ve explained, John isn’t Astro-man.”

He snorted and shook his head. He wasn’t going to believe her.

“I am Gloom Lord.” His tone was self-important and he twisted his shoulders as he spoke. Marsha realised that he was attempting a dramatic flourish. His cape was too heavy to swish, so it just swung sadly behind his back.

Marsha nodded and tried to look impressed, or at least keep from laughing. Gloom Lord stood looking at her, the silence grew and became excruciating. Villains were supposed to be talkative, prone to monologuing at the drop of a hat. She shouldn’t have to start the conversation.

“So… Why Astro-man?” Marsha asked. Not original, but current. “There are easier, more accessible, heroes.”

“Judge a man by the reputation of his enemies,” Gloom Lord said, he sounded as though he was quoting someone. “Besides, Astro-man and I have met before.”

“And yet here you are, kidnapping people?”

“Indeed,” he said angrily. “Now that I’ve got you, he’ll have to take me seriously.”

“Oh!” Marsha exclaimed, realisation dawning. He wasn’t just a wannabe. He was a wannabe with a score to settle. “So, what happened?”

“I stole a police car.” Was that a hint of pride in his voice? “It took daring and skill. The police couldn’t get it back. Then Astro-man found me.”

Marsha could guess what came next. When John had been the popular face of Astro-man, Marsha had discovered that the hero had an antagonistic relationship with the city police department. John had received hate mail ranting about humiliation to police officers. Marsha suspected that Astro-man wouldn’t hesitate to go after a stolen squad car. The cops would have been pretty pissed off, and Astro-man knew they would take their frustration out on the guy in custody. As Gloom Lord spoke Marsha read between the lines. The hero had let Gloom Lord go with a friendly warning, before racing off to leave the car sitting smugly outside the precinct.

Of course, for Gloom Lord the whole thing was a humiliating failure. To be foiled by a hero was one thing, but to be reprimanded like a naughty child then let loose again was another. He couldn’t convince Astro-man he was a threat. The hero had even saved him from police custody.

Marsha nodded along with his tale. She was finally getting somewhere with her captor. A good thing, as she guessed she had about an hour to get out of the cage.

“Well you’ve done your research,” Marsha said with approval. “No one else ever realised I was at the docks.”

“Well,” he puffed a little. “Once I knew what I was looking for it wasn’t difficult.”

“So, what are you going to do when he gets here?”

“I shan’t tell you. If I do, you’ll just warn him.”

“I’d be lying if I said that hadn’t crossed my mind,” Marsha agreed. “You seem confident, though. I take it you’ve got something pretty powerful?”

“Indeed,” he smirked, trying to raise only his right eyebrow. “I have discovered Astro-man’s weakness.”

“Wow!”

Her reaction made him smile. His wasn’t an attractive smile, it had a smug quality. Marsha could see that she was more than just bait to him now, he wanted to impress her. She looked around.

“This is a good place, plenty of room for doing battle. I suppose it’s a nice isolated location? Not many neighbours around?”

“I will not tell you where we are.”

“Fair enough. I was just wondering how long it’ll take Astro-man to get here. He’s no Tornado Sue, but his top speed is about sixty miles an hour. I’ve been gone over two hours, and I would’ve thought he’d be here by now. But I suppose you could have taken me out of town. Yeah, that must be it.” She watched as he thought about this. She could almost see him figuring it out. “He does know I’m here, right?”

“Of course.” Gloom Lord didn’t sound so confident now. “I left a message in your kitchen.”

Marsha inhaled sharply through her teeth. “That’s not going to work. I keep telling you, John isn’t Astro-man.”

“He must be! There are so many links between you.”

“I’d know if he was. And even if my fiancé has been lying to me, John won’t be home yet. He’s got appointments all over the place. I wasn’t expecting him back until late.”

“Well, a night battle is better for me.” He glanced up at the skylights. The light was fading and becoming orange. Marsha was running out of time.

“You’re assuming he’ll look in the kitchen. If he goes straight to bed he won’t see the note until morning.”

“Won’t he notice that you’re gone?”

“We, uh, sleep in separate rooms, sometimes. He won’t want to disturb me.”

“Oh.” Gloom Lord looked so disheartened, Marsha almost felt bad for him. His shoulders hunched and his voice went quiet. “I suppose I’ll just wait.”

“Hold on!” Marsha snapped. “It’s alright for you to say that. I’m not waiting here all night. It’s cold, and uncomfortable, and I’m getting hungry.”

“Well, I can’t let you out.”

“What if I helped? I could call John on his cell. If he’s not Astro-man, he can alert him somehow. He could be here in an hour.”

Her captor looked tempted. “Give me his number and I will call.”

“Oh no! Do you know how many prank calls we’ve had since that damn article? John won’t believe you, he’ll think it’s a joke. He needs to hear from me.”

He looked uncertain for a moment, but made his decision. “Oh, all right.”

#

Marsha became agitated while Gloom Lord got keys and unlocked the cage. He had a gun, and made sure she saw it. He removed the rope from her ankles so she could walk. This took some time, and she wanted to scream at him to hurry. She managed to restrain herself. Any misstep now could get her locked in the cage again, and that was the worst place she could be tonight. She let him help her up and escort her.

They walked across the wide space to an old metal staircase. Walking up ahead, Marsha saw it led to a shabby office that looked out over the factory. The smell, and a mattress in the corner, told Marsha that Gloom Lord had been living here. Using his gun, he motioned for her to sit on a battered chair behind the desk. Light came from a window in the far wall. Marsha glanced warily outside. The sun was sinking behind the neighbouring buildings.

The phone was an old one, with large push buttons. Gloom Lord dialled as Marsha told him the number. Then he held the receiver for her and leant close so he could listen.

“John Laing, personal trainer. How can I help?”

“It’s me.”

“Marsha? It’s an odd time for you to call.” John sounded worried. “Are you alright?”

“Not really. I’ve been kidnapped by a caped villain, and he’s holding me in an industrial unit.”

“Oh God! Marsha!” Now he sounded scared.

“It’s actually nothing to do with me. He’s an amateur who thinks you’re Astro-man.” She tried to sound reassuring.

“Not that stuff again! Where are you?”

Marsha shot a look at Lord Gloom. He shook his head, irritated by the amateur comment, then jabbed at the phone. “He won’t tell me, John. He wants you to trace the number.”

“How am I supposed to do that?”

“Astro-man could do it,” Marsha said with a hint of irony.

“What do you want me to do, darling?”

Marsha smiled, John’s confidence in her abilities always touched her.

“Go home,” she told him. “I won’t be back tonight, but I’ll call you as soon as I can. We may have some clearing up to do. Sorry.”

“Why are you apologising? It’s not your fault.”

“I know, but I’m sorry you’ve got to deal with this.”

“That’s what I’m here for,” John asserted. “I love you.”

Marsha grinned. “I love you too.”

#

She indicated that Gloom Lord should hang up. He did so, loudly.

“What was that? You were supposed to tell him to rescue you!”

Marsha stared out of the window, watching the sunlight disappear from the sky. The streetlights came on, but couldn’t counteract the silvery glow. Marsha’s vision went monochrome, colour bleeding out of everything.

“John knows I can handle the likes of you,” she growled. “He trusts me to look after myself.”

The change was coming now. She kicked her shoes off, they didn’t fit anymore. Her nails grew longer and thick hair sprouted all over her body. Her shadow was growing, her silhouette changing. She could feel her clothes getting tight and heard the seams start to tear. She was aware of Gloom Lord behind her, backing towards the door. He wouldn’t be able to see much in this light, and she could smell his confusion.

Marsha couldn’t resist stretching. She pulled her arms apart, ripping through the rope. Sitting in the chair didn’t work anymore as her body shape changed. She staggered to her feet. She heard a whimper behind her as Gloom Lord saw how much she had grown. She turned to him, yellow eyes glinting. He stared at her with a mixture of fright and curiosity. She had to speak before her jaw changed too much.

“Say nothing about this.” Her voice rasped. “Have your scent now. Can track you anywhere.”

Her mind was becoming dim, complex thoughts harder to process. All the human trivialities were disappearing from her consciousness.

“Buh-but you’re…” he tried to speak. Even in her transitional state Marsha knew this was stupid.

“Go!” She lunged towards him, snapping her jaws.

At last he understood the danger. He stumbled out and hurried down the stairs, cape flapping behind him. Marsha could hear his quick footsteps echoing through the factory, then the louder bang of a big metallic door. At least he’d had the sense to shut it. She hoped, for his sake, that he would drive away.

Alone now, she clawed at her clothes, tearing them away. She fell down and landed on four feet. She shook herself to remove the last remnants of fabric. Transformation complete, she sniffed the air. Prey had been here not long ago. She bounded down the stairs. A trail of sweat and fear led across the large space ahead. She raced forward joyfully, enjoying the movement and eagerly anticipating the hunt.

Bio
Catherine Hill comes from Worcestershire in England. She spent much of her childhood with her head buried in a book. An interest in history and mythology led her to an Ancient History degree. A love of the fantastical and impossible led her to most of her favourite people. She now lives in Birmingham with her husband and works in a public library. She rambles about things she enjoys at http://www.catherinetjhill.blogspot.com

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ADMINISTRATIVE DUTY by Nick C. Piers

Feb 12 2012 Published by under The WiFiles

Admiral Tieber leaned his head into his war gauntlet. He despised these blasted meetings. When would the bombardment commence, already?
Captain Lichen droned on. “…and the Gamma Delta Six regiment will attack the Australian continent.” Hundreds of view screens in the war room presented reptilian faces of his commanding generals.
“Yes,” Admiral Tieber muttered. He had to show some sign that he was listening. He was leading his fleet into the glorious battle. The plans, the strategies, the ordinance; it was all planned fifty cycles ago!
“…communications with the blue planet will be disrupted…”
“Yes.”
“…allowing you, Admiral…”
“Yes?” He perked up.
“To address the earthlings and give them one last chance to surrender.”
“Surrender? Surrender?!” Tieber slammed his gauntlet onto the meeting table. The generals muttered among themselves quietly. “These earthlings had every chance to surrender when my warship first entered their atmosphere! If it wasn’t for Dr. Corona and the accursed Shatterpack, we would have conquered it, already!”
“But Admiral…”
“NO!” He slammed his gauntlet down again, cracking the table. He stood up straight and adjusted cloak’s collar. “They had their chance! We’ll vaporize their planet into atoms, then split the atoms and blow it all up again! There will not even be a particle of Earth will remain!”
His generals, anxious for war, roared their approval. His commanding officers apprehensively joined in.
Ronk! The buzzer honked. It was from the bridge.
“Yes?” Admiral Tieber said.
“Sir!” Ensign Alder shouted excitedly. Ah, young hatchlings; such vigour. “The remainder of the fleet has entered the system. We now have the galaxy surrounded with Reptaxian vessels!”
“Excellent!” Admiral Tieber bellowed. He turned to the generals onscreen. “Prepare your weapons! Ready your boarding convoys! Sharpen your claws! Today, the Reptaxians shall go on in galactic history!”
The audio emitters nearly broke from the thunderous roars.
Tieber swept his royal cape behind him and strode out to the main bridge. His commanding officers joined him, assuming their respect consoles.
“Onscreen!” Tieber roared. “Open a hailing frequency to every Reptaxian ship.”
“Yessir!”
Boop! “This is Admiral Tieber! Give no quarter! Leave no earthling, super powered or otherwise, unbloodied! Ready ionized plasma cannons!”
The main view screen instantly blinked on, showing the puny blue planet growing closer and closer. The view puzzled Admiral Tieber, though. The last time his warship, The Incinerator, visited Earth, its space was nowhere near as littered as it was now. Rows upon rows of ships from every quadrant in the galaxy hovered dormant. Thousands upon thousands of ships, making up dozens of various armadas from all across every system, were – for lack of a better word – parked. The Cragians’ legendary stone ships, the Phalian war armada, The Oulipo’s constantly morphing ships, the fabled one-man fighters of the Ghorps; every one of them sat idly amongst each other. One great alien race after another lined up behind each other.
No matter. This puny blockade of lifeless ships would be scrapped for more war weapons! Any crew left alive would be gutted and fed to his beasts in the recycling pools! Nothing would stop his revenge!
“Sol’s third planet is within range, sir! We are about to pass their orbiting moon!”
“Open hailing frequencies in all languages to every orbiting satellite! They deserve knowledge of their imminent deaths!”
His pre-recorded speech rattled off. He ignored it. He had heard it far too many times in practice. Admiral Tieber dipped his hand into the feeding pool beside his captain’s chair. He pulled something furry and still squirming from it and gorged on its upper body. Oh, he could not wait to feast on the entrails of the American president!
“Plasma cannons ionized, sir!” Ensign Taiga shouted.
“FIRE!”
Wirrrrrrrr….wooooo…
Cannons surged to life and suddenly died down. Lights on The Incinerator flickered briefly, and then faded to black. Emergency lights hummed on. His crew didn’t panic or waver. They were warriors with lifecycles worth of training.
“What nonsense is this!?”
“Sir! We’ve lost power to the weapons!”
“Everything but life support is operable!”
Just before passing the rest of the dead armadas of the Cragians, the Phalian, Ghorps and others, his own armada stalled to a halt. They were disgracefully directly behind the Ghorps! Tieber leaped out of his captain’s chair and looked out one of the small portholes on the bridge. His armada was lined up perfectly behind the Ghorps ships. Like all the others, they were “parked”.
“Hello!” a cheerful, bodiless but assuredly human voice said. “And welcome to Planet Earth, home of such amazing sites such as the Great Wall of China, Niagara Falls and, of course, John Goodman.”
“Wha…?” Admiral Tieber stammered.
“We hope you enjoy your visit to our little blue planet,” the voice cheerfully continued. “Be sure to stop in at Universal Studios and collect some memorabilia from our E.T. ride’s gift shop! We’re sure you’ll find a familiar face or two, there.”
“Sir?” Ensign Taiga asked. “What is a…E.T.?”
“Please choose from the following options…”
“Options?”
“For service in English, say or press one. For service in French, say or press two. For service in your own language, say or press the corresponding word for three.”
“ONE!” Tieber shouted. He did not study Earth language for three cycles just to let it go to no use.
“Thank you!” the voice chirped. “For our records, please state the name of the commanding officer in your fleet.”
“I will incinerate your Great Wall of China to dirt, then boil the dirt into glass and then blast it all over again!”
There was a pause.
“We’re sorry, but we do not recognize that name in our system. Please state the name of the commanding officer in your fleet.”
Admiral Tieber sighed. “Admiral K’Tlax Ginyu Tieber.”
Pause.
“Thank you, Admiral Exlax.” What? No! “Our records show you are from the Constipation Constellation. We’re relieved to see you again. We hope your next visit to New Jersey will be to your liking. Please select some music you’d like to listen to while you wait for an operator.”
“I am Admiral Tieber! ADMIRAL TIEBER!” He shouted over and over.
“Thank you! We’re unsure why you’ve chosen Justin Bieber, but we’re happy to accommodate any and all alien tastes, no matter how odd they are.”
The most godforsaken, ear bleeding, nauseous, queasy drivel spewed through the audio emitters. His crew covered their ears in an attempt to drive out the nose. Some tried screeching, begging for their hatching mistresses.
“What infernal weapon is this?” Tieber begged. “If this is torture, we will not yield. A Reptaxian never yields!”
Gratefully, the music stopped dead. His crewed sighed, relieved.
“Planet Earth appreciates your patience,” the voice chirped. “A representative from our planet will be with you shortly.”
Then the grating, tortuous music continued.
“ARGH!” screamed Ensign Taiga.
“Yield, captain!” Captain Lichen pleaded.
“Never! We will not rest until the planet is a smouldering nothing!”
Admiral Tieber barrelled out of his chair. He gorged the remains of his furry snack. No Earthling, no matter the torture, no matter the technology, will overcome the Reptaxian Imperial Armada!
He dug his long claws into the elevator door. The escape pods. If he could launch the escape pods, his crew could land and take Earth, Reptaxian by Reptaxian.
The torturous sound ceased.
“Yes, hello? Admiral…Exlax?” a courteous voice asked. It was immediately obvious that their first language was not English. His accent reminded Tieber of that gas clerk in that accursed cartoon.
Tieber ceased prying the elevator doors.
“You address Admiral K’Tlax Ginyu Tieber. Tread carefully.”
“Yes, I am Ranjit,” the voice stammered. Obviously, he was nervously reading from a script. “How may I help you today?”
“Oh, for Prelate’s sake!”
“Admiral…Prelate?” the voice asked. “I thought this was Admiral Exlax?”
“This is Admiral Tieber!”
“Oh! Yes. Very sorry, sir. One moment.”
The torturous sound recommenced.
He could no longer take it! Rage filled his cold blood. He stomped over to the front of the bridge. He tore out the throat of Ensign Taiga. His crew saw nothing. They were bent over in horrendous pain from the hell-sent sounds.
The sounds stopped again. “Planet Earth thanks you for your patience. Please enjoy the sights of our solar system while you wait.”
The tortuous sounds stopped…finally. The bridge’s view screen blipped on. Now, Tieber saw the full scope of his situation. It was not just the armadas of the Cragians, the Ghorps and the Phalian. There were dozens of different armadas, some configurations Admiral Tieber did not recognize. Additionally, he saw large, humanoid-shaped blotches on the surface of Earth’s lone orbiting moon.
“Enhance grid 7802!” he bellowed. Ensign Adler followed the direction.
On the surface of Earth’s moon, Tieber could see gigantic, powerful beings. Some of them were familiar, such as The Eternal Crimson. A great number of these celestial beings stood in a circle, seemingly just talking to each other. A closer look showed a giant board with beads. It was…Chinese checkers? Some of the most eternally powerful beings were playing a board game! Some of the more unruly ones, like Celestialsaurus, were seemingly tied down with giant red tape. Celestialsaurus wiggled on the grey ground and lapped at a giant red bowl of water. The bowl had its name on it.
“Who on Earth has that power, sir?” Captain Lichen asked, joining Tieber’s side.
“Planet Earth appreciates your…”
“Silence!”
Amazingly enough, the ethereal voice stopped.
“Thank you for waiting,” the voice said. “A representative will join you shortly.”
“Finally!” Admiral Tieber bellowed.
There was an ethereal “click” noise. A ringing followed, then another click.
“Permission to come aboard, Admiral Tieber?” a pleasant, definitely English speaking voice spoke from nothingness.
“Granted!” Tieber replied with bloodthirsty glee.
He motioned to his crew to ready their weapons. They would rip this “guest” asunder and warn any others of the same treatment unless they were released.
Without a teleportation sound or signature, a puny Earthling appeared in the middle of Tieber’s bridge. His short blonde hair was disgustingly groomed. He politely adjusted his spectacles. He brushed off some dust from his 3-piece business suit. Cradled in one arm was a clipboard. On occasion, he would adjust his glasses, refer to the clipboard and scribble something down on it.
“Humblest of apologies, Admiral Tieber,” the puny, yet confident man spoke. “Thank you for waiting.”
“Release my ships,” Tieber demanded, “so that we may drink Earth’s blood!”
“I’m afraid,” the man said, searching through papers, “I don’t see your name on the list of today’s appointments…or for the next few months.”
“The Reptaxian Imperial Armada needs no appointment!”
“Ah,” the puny one said. “You’re new. Well, allow me to introduce myself. I’m Beau Uricrat, Secretary of Intergalactic Threats and Other Dimensional Invasions.”
“You are a puny human who has entered the wrong ship!” Tieber bellowed and gave the command to his crew.
The Reptaxian army was nothing but courageously unstoppable. Throughout the quadrant, their armies have thoroughly decimated their foes. Tieber himself has met with a great number of the armadas waiting outside. All trembled before their might.
Except, that is, the puny Secretary.
His crew surrounded him. They raised their edged weapons. Some engaged him with mere claws. It was a gory mess of red…ribbons?
In a brief whirl of thin ribbons, his soldiers found themselves wrapped like Christmas presents. They dropped to the floor in a thud, constantly struggling to break away. Their razor-sharp teeth and claws did no good against the binding material. Beau Uricrat stood unharmed in the circle of dropped soldiers.
“Now then,” the secretary said. “We’ll forgive this little misunderstanding since the Reptaxians are new to Earth’s invasion policies.”
“What nonsense do you speak of?” Tieber demanded.
Mr. Uricrat stepped over the bound soldiers. He held out his clipboard. He tapped it with his pen.
“Currently, Anubis leads a planet-wide invasion by the Egyptian Pantheon. He’s been on the waiting for three years because he wanted two entire weeks. So, you can understand that we can’t just put that on hold for yet another armada to fill our skies.”
“Waiting list? On hold?” Tieber questioned.
Mr. Uricrat sighed. His response was perfectly practiced. “Any and all appointments for imminent invasions and/or destructions of planet Earth must be made at least six Earth months ahead of time. With the growing number of super powered beings, gods, demi-gods, angels and otherworldly beings, Earth and its representatives had no choice but to give the threats their own proper time. In the case of Anubis, he has a longstanding rivalry with Alpha Male and the Cosmic Pack. You can imagine the impatience of an Egyptian deity.”
Tieber stood there, dumbfounded.
“Now then!” Mr. Uricrat smiled, looking at his clipboard. “When would you like to schedule the Reptaxian armada’s invasion? Let’s see. How about the second week of July? That’s only four months away. The Paper Mache dimension scheduled the entire first week but, frankly speaking, it’s only going to last the afternoon. Pyronation, alone, will probably snuff it out. We had a similar situation arise with the Orwellians and our atmosphere back in the 50s.”
“SHUT UP!” Admiral Tieber shouted.
He snatched the clipboard out of Mr. Uricrat’s hands. On it was pages and pages of filled spots on a calendar. Tieber thought many of the names were only fables. Many he hadn’t even heard of: The Machinations of the Absurd Dyansty, the Evil Hand Puppets of Doom, Guy Smiley’s Terrible Travelling Troupe, Annoyicus, Hysterix, The Baker’s Dozen, Comma the Extreme Punctuation Machine. Why, even Anorexis the Undevourer was listed!
“See an ideal date you’d like to appoint?”
“I’ll appoint your head as a trophy!” Admiral Tieber roared.
He unsheathed his claws and lunged at Mr. Uricrat.
With a short side step and a backhand chop to the back of K’Tlax’s neck, the great general plummeted to the floor. In the same motion, Mr. Uricrat gracefully took back his clipboard.
“Admiral Tieber,” said Mr. Uricrat, using some sanitizer on his hands, “it’s my sworn duty to ensure that no invasions overlap. Right now, there’s absolutely no room in the schedule for the Reptaxian armada.”
“Our people crave revenge!” Tieber shouted. He crawled back to his captain’s chair. He pressed at every button at his disposal, hoping to regain control of his ship.
“It’s no use, Admiral,” the Secretary stated, adjusting his tie and bifocals. “Listen, if you really want to get your point across, might I make a suggestion?”
Admiral Tieber sighed. “Fine.”
“Well, given the high number of invasions, we offer the chance for a herald.”
“A…herald?”
“Indeed! Even the most powerful beings, like Anorexix, use one from time to time. It could be a mysterious monolith, a garbled message to decode; a lesser being that can go toe-to-toe with your intended target to soften them up or deliver a personal warning. Anubis even used one while he waited. You should have seen some of the Egyptian monoliths that appeared all over the world!”
“A Reptaxian needs no herald! We are the warning and we are the threat!”
“Of course, of course,” the Secretary chuckled. “If I may ask, who is the intended target that’s generated such ire?”
“The Shatterpack! Especially Dr. Corona!”
Mr. Uricrat chuckled. “You and half the galaxy.”
Tieber sighed a deflated sigh. This was to be a great day in Reptaxian history; a battle to be re-told for centuries. His children’s children’s children would tell its tales.
Mr. Uricrat appeared at his side with a warm, inviting cup of what the Admiral recalled to be “cocoa.”
“Listen, Admiral. I understand,” the secretary said. “This is your first invasion. You wouldn’t believe the number of appointments I’ve had to reschedule over the years because of misunderstandings like this.”
“I’ll be the shame of my people!” Tieber sobbed.
He took a sip of the cocoa. It was quite delicious. He decided that, once he conquered Earth, he would allow cocoa’s continued existence
“I have a great idea, Admiral,” the Secretary said. “I’ll re-open your hailing frequencies to speak with some of the other armada. Perhaps they’ll let you join in on their timeslot! I bet the Kill-o-Trons would love the help.”
Mr. Uricrat, sitting on a folded chair that appeared out of nowhere, crossed his legs and sipped at his own cup of cocoa.
“Did you know The Ougun/Shalba war started the same way? They decided to kill time by fighting each other. The whole thing conveniently spilled onto Earth just in time for their appointment!” He smiled at the memory. “Oh, they didn’t last long. Not once The Vengeance Guild got involved. But it was nice how it worked out for them.”
Mr. Uricrat looked at his watch.
“Oop! Listen, I have to go. I have a meeting with Anorexix. I need to convince her not to bother consuming Earth. She just throws it all back up again, anyway.”
He patted Admiral Tieber on the shoulder.
He was instantly gone.
Tieber slumped in his captain’s chair. He sipped his cocoa.
It was going to be such as glorious invasion.

I’ve been published previously about half a dozen times, three times in the superhero quarterly, Thousand Faces.

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An Inconvenient Sleuth By Matthew T McHenry

Feb 05 2012 Published by under The WiFiles

The year was 1983. The location was downtown Detroit. This place also happened to be a rotting, festering, decaying cesspool at the time. More specifically, the place was the cluttered mess of an office of one Brody Aaron where this story began.
The time was two in the afternoon and Brody lay in a deep sleep. In his dream, Brody was with his wife and daughter and he was a normal looking man. As the three were having a picnic, black smoke covered the sky and his daughter decayed in front of him. His wife released a scream as blood escaped violently from a newly formed wound in her stomach. The blood covered the entirety of the grass turning it all red. Brody clutched the two dead bodies as a pale faced, pointy eared man wearing a glass dome over his head appeared and from his waist came a series of bladed tendrils.
Before the nightmare could torment him with the recurring transformation he experience over forty years ago, his phone rang violently with no shred of remorse for the unconscious. Brody cursed underneath a pile of dirty clothes, pizza boxes, and unopened letters as he fumbled around for the phone. He picked up the phone and answered the call by asking, “Do you have ANY idea what time it is?!”
There was a silence in the room as the person on the other end told him that it was two in the afternoon. Brody asked why he was called. The person answered.
“A murder at the docks?!” Brody repeated the man’s words with giddiness. “I’ll be there in two shakes of a chimpanzee’s tail!” Brody jumped out from under his pile of trash and opened his closet. He took out a clean shirt, tie, pair of pants, and socks. He changed into his fresh clothes and looked at the picture on his desk of his deceased wife and daughter and he would have cried if his tear ducts were still functional. His mind raced back to the two lifeless bodies in his daughter’s bedroom with the blood covered storybook he would read to her when she couldn’t sleep.
Two and a half hours later Brody arrived at the docks. It was rather windy outside and his brown trench coat flapped wildly in the wind in unison with his green necktie. He held onto his brown fedora in a successful attempt to prevent its escape from his head. He lifted a portion of his full-face mask with the pattern of a smiley-face, revealing his symmetrical scars on each side of his face and stuck a piece of nicotine gum inside his mouth.
Brody cracked his knuckles as he asked the two cops at the crime scene what was happening. The wider police officer, named Steve, told him that it was a murder and that he told him that over the phone. His irritation at the masked man was evident as he kept fussing with his brown mustache, but of course Brody ignored the obvious sign.
Brody crouched next to the cadaver. He poked the body and yelled, “Wake up, you lazy bastard!” and of course nothing happened. Brody came to the conclusion that the man was in fact dead and asked for his paycheck in a calm voice.
Steve’s face was glowing red with rage. All the pressure residing within his head was released in a rapidly flowing stream of curse words. The younger, timid officer tried his level best to remind his partner of his high blood pressure and urged him to relax away from Brody.
He started to dig deep into the jacket pocket of the corpse where he found a wallet and said, “Score! He’s got two twenties. Want one?” while waving the two bills in the air.
“Brody, you’re violating the crime scene!”
“How dare you call me a queer ‘necro-feely-up’?”
The officer stammered, trying to tell Brody that he didn’t mean that.
“I’m just joshing you,” he said as he slapped the boy on the back. “If your name was Josh, this would be just like a sit-com! Oh what the hell, your new name is Josh.”
“Josh” tried in vain to protest his new name but Brody cut him off by telling him to quit fooling around and asked if there were any witnesses. He told Brody of the dock worker who found the body.
Brody crouched once more to examine the body. The corpse was lying on his stomach and appeared to have been healthy before his demise. The man was bald and had an incision that resembled a headband, which appeared to continue onto the front of his head. Brody flipped the body onto his back and noticed to his dismay that not only did that cut continue onto his forehead, but that the man had other cuts on the sides of his mouth.
“This was not the scene of the murder,” Brody stated.
How do you know?” the rookie asked.
“Elementary, my dear Joshua,”
“My name isn’t-”
“Don’t argue with your superiors,” Brody interrupted. “I bet that you’ll also find more cuts all over his body.”
“Yeah, we know. It’s just like the other murders,” Steve said returning from his car.
“There were others like this one?” Brody asked, surprised at this news.
“Yeah Aaron, there were three others just like this. No connection between the four of them. Different races, different genders, different occupations, different everything,” Steve answered.
“You won’t find a connection,” Brody stated.
“Oh? And how on Earth do you know that?” Steve demanded.
“Because I know the guy who did this.”
“And who would that be?”
“The same guy who did this to me,” Brody answered as he revealed his symmetrically scarred face to the two officers. His face appeared to be nearly identical to the cadaver’s.
Before the two could respond, Brody said, “I’m off to find where he might be hiding,” and strode away from the docks.
Brody hopped into his green dune buggy. The engine made multiple rattling sounds that would have made any other person want it to be fixed, but not Brody. He preferred that sound to the music on the radio. Brody decided to go to Detroit’s resident vigilante, Crosshairs, for information on where Brody’s suspect would be held if he were alive. Finding a hero like Crosshairs would be tough for someone who wasn’t in danger, so Brody came up with the brilliant, by his standards, plan to activate the silent alarm of a bank and wait inside until Crosshairs arrived. Of course he didn’t want to incite a panic so he planned to do this as peacefully as possible.
He drove to the nearest bank and went inside. As he walked into the bank the people inside screamed in terror at the man in a mask. The security guard pulled out his pistol and fired three shots at the man, before he could try to explain himself. The bullets fell upon striking Brody, which frightened the people in the bank to the point of running out into the streets. Even though his plan didn’t work accordingly, he picked the most comfortable chair and sat there until the sound of a motorcycle engine was heard outside.
The man that entered the bank was clad in Kevlar body armor from the neck down and his helmet protected his head as well as his identity. He dashed into the bank finding cover behind a desk. He drew his pair of pistols and aimed at Brody and fired a shot from each gun as Brody attempted to greet him. The bullets impacted his chest, but Brody’s rubber-like skin stopped the bullets and pushed them out of the holes in his shirt and they fell to the ground. Though the bullets didn’t kill him, the force of the bullets was enough to make him fall backwards off of the chair. Brody pulled out his revolver and dropped it in front of the masked man. He took out a white handkerchief and waved it around while saying the French phrase for “I surrender”. The joke was lost on Crosshairs as he wasn’t even born around world war two and didn’t know a word of French, but he did recognize that Brody was surrendering.
“What’s your damage, Brody? You decide to rob a bank in the middle of the afternoon?”
“It was all a misunderstanding. I was just going to go in here and activate the silent alarm and wait for you, but these people act like they never saw a man in a mask before.”
“So, what did you come here for?”
“Well I needed to talk to you so I thought this was the best way to do it. Anyways, I need to know where Morwin is being held.”
“Morwin? Yeah I remember capturing that guy in Nam. He’s at Riker’s.”
“Alright, thanks bloke,” Brody said as he snuck out the back entrance of the bank and hopped into his buggy and set for a road trip to New York.
The trip to New York was uneventful for Brody, who made it there in eleven hours. Upon arriving at Riker’s Island, he called the Detroit Police Department for an update to which he received an earful from Steve who demanded him to stop fooling around. He hung up the phone and walked in a fluidic motion to the prison.
Brody requested an audience with Morwin to which the guard allowed, knowing that if a masked man was coming to Riker’s to interrogate a prisoner it must be serious. The guard asked Brody to place his weapons in his custody as he was a guest of the prison, to which he agreed and gave him his revolver and his knife.
Brody was guided to the lowest level of the prison where Morwin was held. The man behind the bars wore a pressurized suit to protect him from the far from pure air. His face was sickly pale and his ears were pointed. His face was riddled with wrinkles. He had no hair on his head. His visage reminded Brody of the process that covered his body in unsightly scars and rubbery skin.
The man exposed an evil grin at the sight of Brody and said, “Greetings, Mr. Aaron. It has been quite a while,”
“Quiet baldy locks,” Brody said, “I have some questions for you and I want you to answer them.”
“Very well, what do you want to know?”
“I want to know who has been killing people in Detroit and making it look like you did it.”
“I have not one iota about what you are talking.”
“So, are you telling me that I wasted my time coming here?”
“I designed your body to be immortal, thus you cannot waste time.”
Brody told the guard that he was done with him and was ready to leave. Morwin grinned once more as the masked man left.
Having reached a dead end, Brody called the Detroit police and told them to instill a curfew and hung up before Steve could say another word. Brody decided to see the sights of New York before returning to Detroit.
Brody’s trip back to Detroit was postponed in Cleveland when his buggy received a flat tire. He parked it on the curb to examine the tire. Brody hopped out of the buggy and found a knife in his back left tire. Before he realized what happened, he was rendered unconscious by an unseen assailant.
Brody awoke to the sound of molten metal ore being processed. The first thing he noticed as he tried to stretch his arms was that he was bound in rope. Secondly, he realized that he was upside down and his hat was on the ground. Thirdly, he noticed a large bald man who had symmetrical scars all over his body just like Brody. Though he was like Brody, this man was larger and had a strange device covering both of his ears and two cylinders on his biceps.
The man noticed Brody struggling to get free and smiled while he said, “It’s about time you woke up.”
“You look familiar. This is like looking into an upside-down mirror of a more muscular me,” Brody commented on the scarred visage that resembled his own.
“You don’t recognize me?”
“Can’t say that I have. Are you my long lost brother?”
“No, you dolt. My name is Emil and I, like yourself, was reborn as a creation of Morwin.”
“And you wanted to meet me for what exactly? Oh I got it. You wanted to make a support group for all the people whose lives Morwin ruined. Right?”
“No, I came to kill you, so that I will be the only immortal on Earth.”
“That’s a stupid plan and I know from experience.” Brody said as he thought of one of his favorite endeavors.
“Was it a stupid plan to kill all those people and make it look like Morwin experimented on them so that you would show me where Morwin was hidden so that I could free him?”
“No, but it was stupid for you to tell me that.”
“It’s not stupid if I’m going to kill you.”
“How are you going to kill me? I’m immortal.”
“No, we are designed to be immortal. I’m going to find a way to kill you.”
“So that’s why you brought me to this processing plant. You want to see if I can melt.”
“You are much smarter than you pretend to be Brody,” Emil said as he pushed a button that activated a device that moved Brody closer to the vat of molten metal.
Before the crane could reach the vat, Brody managed to escape. He thought that the Russian wasn’t as smart as he bragged because he neglected to take Brody’s weapons. The Russian charged towards him with a knife in each hand. Brody pulled out his revolver, but before he could fire it, he was attacked by Emil who thrust his knives at him. Brody took out his own knife and attempted to slash at his opponent. It was evident that Emil was the better fighter, but his attacks were still ineffective. Though the knives weren’t harming him, his coat was still tattered from them.
Brody jumped back and shot at Emil. The bullet sped towards him and indented his forearm and then bounced off nonchalantly. Brody took another shot, this time he hit the cylinder on his right arm. This made Emil move his arm towards his bicep to assure himself that everything was in working order, which gave Brody an idea. He shot again at the same cylinder. He kept shooting as he walked backwards. The bullets either missed or did nothing.
Brody noticed this and tossed his gun and grabbed for the crowbar that was nearby. He dodged Emil’s swing at him and jumped onto his back. He positioned the crowbar between the cylinder and the arm and pried away. Emil tried to swat Brody off of his shoulders, but was unable to hit such a spry and nimble man. Brody’s efforts paid off as the cylinder popped off and a strange concoction spewed from the opening in Emil’s arm. Brody jumped off to take a look at his handiwork. Emil’s arm began to decrease in size, which was such a surprise to Emil that he did not attack Brody. He looked in horror at what Morwin’s chemicals did to his musculature. Brody took advantage of this and grabbed Emil by the arm and threw him into the nearest vat. His body did not melt, which made Brody sad because he was planning on attempting it so that he could finally go to meet his wife and daughter in the afterlife. Though Emil’s body did not melt, liquid metal began to fill the opening in his body. It was a matter of scream-filled minutes before Emil finally died.
Brody left the ore processing plant depressed that once more he had failed to die so that he could lay his eyes upon his lovely wife and daughter.
“Well that’s that,” Brody stated with a lack of happiness or despair, as he pulled his full-face mask up to reveal his mouth and placed a piece of nicotine gum inside and chewed away. Brody replaced his flattened tire and hopped into his green buggy and drove away from the refinery and towards Detroit with thoughts of perhaps trying to change for the better and perhaps become an actual hero.

Matthew T McHenry is a recent BFA graduate from Bowling Green State University. His works include, but aren’t limited to Fiction, Anecdotes, and Poetry. He can be contacted at MatthewTMcHenry@gmail.com.

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