Check out the Super U. webcomic by Matt Grana!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Saturday Super Stories - Skulduggery 110 Part 4

"Malefactor, Reprobate, Charlatan, Neerdowell, or Gentlemen Thief, names associated with villainy.  I pull from the universe tales of Larceny and Legerdemain focusing on the evil that fills the world."  The Nameless.

His eyes snapped open as he was brought out of his meditative reverie, the alarms that sounded indicated someone had been looking into his file, and the first phase of his plan was being initiated.  He smiled and stood from his yoga-like position unfurling his limbs like a flower blooming.

“Time for vengeance old man, and time for your new protégé to meet the old Protégé,” Zero cackled long and loud in his lair.

Saturday Super Stories – Skulduggery 110 Part 4

Sapphire closed the files and frowned.  She began to stand and turn away from the monitors when the entire bank of monitors light up.  They remained blank for a moment and then began to fill with small red dots; they continued to fill until the whole of the monitor wall made a large red number 5.

“What the hell?”  The 5 lasted for a few seconds and then shut off.  Sapphire frowned.  On the other side of the monitors Zero watched the new side-kick with confusion, it was a woman and she was actually very pretty, but the Dark Avenger had never had a penchant for the fairer sex when it came to crime fighting partners.  He watched her walk off wondering if she would mention the odd occurrence that had just happened to her mentor and found that he was pleased when she just exited.

He punched a few keys and started a download of all of the Dark Avengers files and located the online web storage for the journals that ‘Black Sapphire’ kept.  This game was going to be easy.  He started to laugh again.

Sometime later…

Mercedes sat at the bar quietly waiting for her date to arrive. The waiter set down another beer and grabbed the empty from the countertop. The bell dinged above the door as someone entered. She glanced at the mirror over the bar and saw Nicolette Chalm walk in. She was dressed like a normal person, as off-duty as someone in her position ever got. Mercedes swiveled in the stool and grabbed the glass from the bar and stood. She motioned to a booth, and met her halfway.

Nicolette sat as the waiter arrived with two menus and a glass of water. Mercedes thanked him and sat down, picking up a menu after she set the beer on a coaster. She opened it up to the entrees and found a large green "4" colored in crayon across the face. She sighed and waved the waiter back over and ordered an appetizer.

Zero watched quietly from another booth as the two women ate and drank and talked about this day.  He smiled inwardly as he had texted both women to come to this bar and bribed the waiter to deliver the menu with the next warning inside.  Manipulating this one was easy since he had insights into her own memories and experiences.

He waved the waiter over and paid his check, slipping a tainted bill into the tip that would slowly seep into the skin and poison the waiter in a few hours, long after he and the women had left the bar.  He watched the two interact and took notes for awhile before he left after one last beer.

Down the road…

Sapphire wiped the tears from her eyes and blinked at the wall of the alley before her, amongst the graffiti was a huge yellow number three; it caught the light of a nearby doorway’s overhead lamp just right.  She stood and walked to the lamp and pulled the bulb from its socket and looked it over.  “I think it’s a black light?”  She mumbled to herself.  “Why would someone use a black light to light an alley?”

Zero stood watching from overhead, perched on the edge of one of the rooftops near the intersection of alleyways.  Getting Sapphire to this point had taken a lot of effort.  First he had to find the man she was hunting for her, Damien Lockhart had abandoned the identity many years ago and went by equally disturbing nom de plume now Daemon Ravenswood, which when he had discovered it wondered if he had any ties to the Raven Institute which had sat next to the Ravenwood.  It was on odd last name.

Next he had to barricade and block alleys and intentionally lead the two people to where he had wanted them and was surprised when Daemon just vanished into the shadows and escaped after his talk with Sapphire.  But the next clue had been delivered and he was satisfied.

Adamantly failed…

The phone rang and rang before Zero finally heard a muffled “Hello?” as Sapphire finally responded to his summons.  He triggered the voice synthesizer and spoke.

“Where the hell have you been?”  ‘Walters’ voice came through the speaker.

“I’m working on something.”  She muttered in return.

“Are you still working that Scion thing?”  Zero retorted, even he knew that purging any of the celestial power of the God Seed was a fruitless endeavor.

“Yes, I am still working on that Scion thing.  I’m going to cure him and try and regain a little of my past if that’s okay with you.”  She responded.

“It’s not.  I need you back on the job.  There’s something big brewing in the city and I need as many eyes on the ground to try and get ahead of this thing.”  ‘Walters’ growled back at her, her lifestyle of wandering the Earth had slowed his plans immensely and he was growing irritated that it was taking so long.  She was supposed to be some kind of detective.

“I’ll be there as soon I get done with this, I have to go to Sham’bala next and I don’t have a choice.”  She paused for moment before continuing, “My next lead showed up on my doorstep last night and it’s in Sham’bala on the full moon in two days time.”

Zero was shocked for a moment, his informants had seen the man called Wynn Hunter enter the building but had failed to mention he had stayed the night, a flicker of rage crossed his features and his knuckles cracked as he ground his fists together.  He took a deep breath before responding, “I expect you back here by week’s end or you’re fired.”

“Deal,” she responded.  Zero disengaged the call and screamed.

Several days later…

Zero stood alone on a rooftop and waited for Sapphire to stumble upon the next number.  He smiled to himself as he thought over the plan and looked up as the plane from Europe flew overhead just as a massive power outage revealed the number two in the remaining lights of the city below.

His earpiece chirped as his informant on the plane signaled him.  “Sir she wasn’t on the plane as you expected.”  The brief burst fed through the speaker and gave him the readied message.

“Well shit, just where the hell is she?”  He snarled at himself, how could he had have failed in his manipulations.  She had confirmed her flight and reservation and her tickets had been used how had she gotten past his man on board?

Almost two weeks after the missed flight…

Sapphire finished her story of the last few weeks and waited for Walters to comment.  He stood up from the chair and his cane clicked on the stone floor.  He paused and glanced back over his shoulder at her.  “So you did all of that and accomplished nothing in the end.”

“I found out I can’t save Alex and stopped a god from destroying all of reality, so I would say I accomplished enough to keep me from getting fired.”  Sapphire retorted.

“Who said anything about getting fired?”  He replied.

“You did on the phone last week when you called to bitch at me for not watching the city.”

“I never called you…” He was interrupted as reverb from all of the speakers in the Avenging Cave turned on at once and a voice spoke a single word.

“ONE,” Walters turned to her and started to run as the first explosions shook the foundations and they were quickly followed by secondary and tertiary ones, Sapphire screamed as the flames overtook Walters and the concussion ripped into her.

Walters slid to the ground as the flames washed over him, the batteries in his personal force shield whined as they were put to the test, he pushed a button in his cane and some of the equipment was jettisoned to safety.  He watched Sapphire slam backwards as the multiple concussion waves hit her over and over and saw the air ripple and saw her vanish and he could swear he heard music.  He came to a rest and triggered the escape hatch and fell into the wide stream that fed one of the hydro electric generators.

He grabbed onto the wave runner that waited for him and muttered to himself, “My Protégé died years ago, how I just heard his voice?  Unless…”

YEAR ZERO coming this November, barring any unforeseen circumstance that is…

TBC in Stand Alone 11

No comments:

Post a Comment