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Sunday, April 14, 2013

Archaeology 103 - Part 3

My name is Mercedes Whitman and I'm a hero on a foreign world. I'm the daughter of two heroes, and was trapped on this Earth during an Event that sealed the way back home forever. They call me Black Sapphire when I’m out patrolling, and these are my Blogs.

SATURDAY SUPER STORIES - ARCHAEOLOGY 103: Part 3 -“A Bird in the Hand…”

She snapped her fingers, and immediately the two Rottweiler’s at her sides stopped growling, their crimson eyes still glowing in the fading daylight.

"What do you want, whore?" Sapphire growled under her breath.

"Not much, just a portion of your immortal soul is all." The sorcereress spoke calmly, her demeanor obviously a facade; they had been fighting for more than twenty minutes now. Her clothes had suffered the brunt of the combat however, the catholic schoolgirl outfit was torn to shreds in places, showing more skin then the outfit had already been designed for. She was breathing hard, her ample chest threatening to spill out on national television, it was her own fault that it had been cut low to show off her breasts, and it was Sapphires fault when she had grabbed a handful of shirt and head-butted her, tearing the fabric in the process.

"Oh, only?" Sapphire clenched her fists at her sides, grinding her teeth she looked back at the events that had led up to this situation she was in.

...she was after all a Math-Magician. She shook her head and waved the cobwebs from the forefront of her mental faculties. Her mind had wandered again and that usually led to...yup she was plummeting to her untimely demise. She closed her eyes and pictured the equations that would let the Earth's gravity ignore her again and popped two more pills to help her concentrate. Earth ignored her again and she looked down to see if her prey had lost her during the momentary lapse... nope there she was, going roof to roof.

"Sapphire is still in my sights, Agent Powerhouse. Is Agent Frost ready for a clean pickup?" She listened for the affirmative and continued pursuit. She paused as the agents in charge told her what to do and then summoned the Staff of None.


Sapphire knew she was being followed and from on high, but she just couldn't risk looking up to know that she was being tailed, or else the moment of surprise would be lost. 'Damn it all to hell.' She thought to herself. 'First Dune and now this crap. At least it's not my parents, yet.' She leapt across the street and landed on the rooftop next to the building that the Omega Sanction had sent her to, the bright neon of CROW INDUSTRIES filling up the block. For the briefest of moments she caught their shadows and then they were on her growling as they bit into her right arm and left leg.

"Fucking Rottweiler’s?!?"


The Staff of None came swinging down on her and she managed to step to the side at the last second. The weapon gave this chick reach but that was about it. She rolled to the side and tried to get past her, pulling the dogs attached to her arm and leg with her. They seemed to just be there to slow her down and nothing else. 'Well that's not true,' she thought, 'They bite fucking hard, too.'

The Sorcereress stepped back and away from her again, using the reach to her advantage as Sapphire spun in place, using the animals' weights against them and tearing them free of her, blood trailing through the air as they sailed towards a chimney and over the side of the building. She shook off the pain and smiled until the dogs twisted in the air and landed without damage.

"What the shit kind of crap is that?"

"Do you believe in magic?" She spoke quietly.

Anger clouded her features and she rushed forward grabbing the low cut shirt and head-butting the bitch in the face. "No, do you believe in Heaven?" She smiled wide and then felt the world shift around her, and she suddenly felt like up was down and down was Utah. Then she threw up.

"Yes, as a matter of fact I do." She spun the Staff around and planted it on the rooftop as the dogs moved up behind her.

She struggled to her feet shaking off the effects of the gravity well inside her... no that wasn't right, it felt like the water inside her body was having a dance party, and that in turn was messing with her inner ears. She shook off the effects and centralized her ice chi and found it calmed down the inner conflict. She cracked the knuckles on one hand as she made a fist. "Let's get it on."

She lashed out again and again forcing the offensive, and then was forced back on the defensive, over and over again the tide of battle turned, one over the other, and the dogs took their licks and bites when the opportunities presented themselves.

* * * *

High above them, on the 37th floor of CROW INDUSTRIES a figure stirred in the darkness of his hibernation bunk. He blinked against the darkness and willed himself awake. He mentally took stock of the world he found himself in. It felt like a Twinstar Earth. He held out his hand and the ring on his finger glinted red from some kind of outside light. It was still tarnished, darkened in spots, but still golden in color. The world may have changed but there were counterparts for everyone within. "Hopefully I'm not to late."

* * * *

"Sir. Subject on floor 37 is awake and active. He has broken the containment field and retrieved his articles. Should a team be sent to re-secure?"

"No have your men stand down. I want to see how this is going to play out." Director of Security Bennett stared at the monitors in front of him. Two young women fighting on the rooftop next to the building and subject Lantern waking up after 10 years couldn't be a coincidence.

"Yes sir." The guard spoke into a microphone.

The mission had been a simple one.

Break into CROW INDUSTRIES and retrieve the package on the 37th floor. It should be heavily guarded and a fight will be necessary. The package is to remain undamaged at all costs.

The mission had been a simple one.

Locate and follow Black Sapphire. Keep tabs on her but do not engage unless forced to. Make regular reports back to base. When subject is located base will advise.

The mission had been a simple one.

Live out your days a free man.

"You are released from your duties as the Immortal Lantern. This world is dying and you should be able to live out these last days as your own person." Crystal had said.

By that time the Council had doubled in size, and with each new member he had gained a portion of their abilities and knowledge, and soon it was too much for him to live in the real world, he had retreated to the confines of the Museum and spent most of his time hiding from his responsibilities. Now and again Crystal would send him on a mission, usually to take the immortality from some young man or woman that had slept with Daemon or one of Daemon's partners that had slipped through the cracks. Immortality, it turned out, was a disease... a disease that constantly needed monitoring.

So he had returned to the real world to watch as the universe died, the void exploding outward from a single source and then consuming everything in its path. He stood and watched from the top of the Red X building in New York City, watching and waiting as everything faded, and soon he was also consumed. In those last moments he saw something in the void, eyes watching with a hunger and quiet glee at the destruction, and then they were gone.

He had opened his eyes and looked at his surroundings... nothingness on all sides. He blinked at the stark whiteness of it all, like a victim of being snow-blind. He screamed then, long and hard until his throat was torn with the effort. Then he healed and screamed some more. The funny thing about the void was that you could see what was coming, like a reverse event horizon. He saw a battle, great and powerful, the forces of nothing against the powers of everything. The short sparring match between lightning and of timelessness. The birth of a deity so grand that he existed nowhere and yet influenced everywhere. He cried then, just as the next world created itself around him, first small and then explosive. The effects of the ring had saved him and then cursed him once again with life, just as it had three times before. He could feel the pressure on this world of those eyes... watching, judging, and waiting.

Life was quick in those days. A world would form and collapse within 6 months of each creation and each time the void claimed it, and each time those damning eyes watched. It was during one of these births that he was captured; the first time he had woken in a building and not a forest, and the security had released him from unconsciousness, and what had followed he was unsure of, but he was awake now and the time had come once again for the cycle to take hold and claim this world in its wake.

He looked down at the battle going on at his feet. They would have to serve as his warning. They would have to warn the world.

"So how do you think you're going to pull off stealing my soul, eh? Hoodoo it right out of my body?  You know, assuming that everyone actually has a soul and that they are real and all." Sapphire stood her full height now, regardless of the pain she was feeling. Heat began to form around one of her fists, and it wanted to combust into the flames it was designated for.

"I take a bit of everyone's soul that I take into custody for the DSA, it strengthens my wards and magicks, I have more than a dozen captures to my name." She reached down and grabbed the broken upper portion of the Staff of None. The sigils along the surface began to glow.

"What the hell is your name anyways?"

"They call me Agent Rapid White. I'm an old friend of your boss, Alpha." Sapphire blinked quickly, and then took a step back. The look of confusion was enough for Rapid White to continue. "Surprised that I know who you work for? Don't be, this isn't the first time I've stopped one of his people from getting into CROW. He's been trying to steal the body in there since he was partners with Crow herself. We also used to be lovers."

She opened and closed her mouth several times, aghast at this revelation. "" The words would not come. After all this time in deep cover, the Department of Superhuman Affairs already had someone on the payroll that could provide them with the information they required to take down the Omega Sanction. If only she had gone to her parents and asked for help... if only. She clenched her fists again as the woman strode towards her confidently.

"Oh and that mess about your soul... I did it when I first attacked you, and that's why I’ve been so forthcoming with this information. It’s because I know you’re a traitor to Alpha and his cause. I also know that you won't make it off this rooftop alive." She buried the broken shaft of the Staff of None in Sapphire's chest, and she immediately felt a lung collapse. "I'm what they call a double agent..."

She coughed, blood pooling around her, and she felt her life draining away. A golden light started to fill her vision and her opponent looked away from her for a moment before backing away. The light seemed to land on the roof and then take the shape of a man wearing a scarf and long overcoat. He knelt beside her and held out his hand, a ring glinted on one of his fingers. "You are dying." He said bluntly.

"No shit." She said quietly, her breath coming harder and harder. He looked down into her face. He seemed sad for some reason.

"I can help, but it comes at a price."

"Oh no you don't!" shouted Rapid White. "This bitch dies here and now for her crimes against Lord Alpha and the Omega Sanction! She's going to perish and I lay claim on the remains her soul!!" Foam was forming at the edges of her mouth as she screamed.

"So then I take it you're the villain?" His voice hadn't changed but his attitude and demeanor had somehow.

"I...what?" A blast of dark golden energy lanced through Rapid White and cleaved her in two, the dogs vanished in a puff of smoke and glitter. He frowned at the spectacle.

"Hmmm. The taint seems to be stronger today. That should have rendered her immobile, not kill her." He turned back to Sapphire. "So about that offer?"

"I accept..." He nodded and placed a hand on the shaft of the Staff and yanked it free. He casually tossed it aside and bit into his thumb, drawing blood. It dripped into her wound, and then slowed to a stop after a few moments. "With this cure a curse always follows. You may never find out what that is, but someday it will come back to haunt you." Darkness claimed her.

* * * *

While she slept, her wounds healing slowly, he sat and thought of what to do. He could feel the presence coming, the utter annihilation of this place like so many others before it and so many others to follow it. He had saved her life and within weeks she would be dead along with the rest of this dimension, until the next restoration. But...he looked at her long and hard. She wasn't a copy of anyone he knew, she was someone new, and with that thought he had hope. Maybe that the universal order was fighting against the darkness and that it, too, was trying to save the day. He smiled with quiet hope. Perhaps he could help after all.

* * * *

Her eyes snapped open as she woke. The rooftop was bustling with activity, various agents moving around containing the scene. Her parents walked up to where she lay. Her mother holding a bag with the remains of the Staff of None inside.

"Someone saved you and then contacted us. He fled the scene before we arrived, however." She spoke quietly. "It seems that you have much to answer for."


The Immortal Lantern stood watching the world move below him, the oblivious masses moving about their daily routines. He could already feel it, the darkness coming slowly and without hesitation.

It felt different this time... Destruction without devastation.

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