Most people don’t like the darkness.
For most people, the darkness represents the
unknown. The sum of all their fears; real, imagined, or otherwise. The
antithesis of the ordinary and the mundane.
You see, most people love the predictable. Most
people revel in the ordinary. Most people live their lives by it. No one
likes when the maglev train comes late, when the lights blink out, when
the holovids they schedule their lives around suddenly vomit out static
in the midst of a bad storm.
That is why they most enjoy the light.
For in the light, there are no hiding places, no
secrets to be kept. Their biological fears of predators laying in wait,
perched for the kill are assuaged when the calm, soothing rays of the
light sweep over the sidewalks, cascade along the glittering spires of
the cities, sweep around the walking masses and take a leisurely dance
out among the glistening, running ponds and streams of the countryside.
They need not fear that which they can see.
For what they can see, they can understand. They
can make that which was once unknown, known. That which was
incomprehensible, understood. That which was once a mystery is now an
People can keep the pace, follow the routine,
maintain order, as long as they have light.
But when the light goes out, all falls to chaos.
When the blackness enshrouds, the masses can
either flee to the safety of the light or cower in a huddled, paralyzing
despair from which there is no escape.
And when darkness comes, the denizens of New
York scurry to their husbands and wives, to their sons and daughters, to
their laps of luxury and their fine cuisine and can turn out the lights
knowing no hungry predators wait along the bend.
But those trapped in the pits of Downtown must
face the perpetual darkness alone. They must accept the shroud and its
many despicable predators with no comforts, no guarantees, and no
But, among these huddled thousands, among these
poor souls praying to long dead heroes, worshipping their deities in the
hopes of surviving another day in their quiet torments, there is hope.
There is a silver lining among the unending thundercloud.
There is light.
Light screaming out of the full moon in the inky
night sky. A moonbeam of hope, of promise, of fortune, of compassion. A
life-giving brightness shining over the scared, frightened prey of
A knight in moonlit armor.
A man enshrouded in darkness.
A hero reborn.
This is his story.
Tonight is just your normal, everyday night in
the sparkling city of New York. The bright neon lights of the
skyscrapers that dominate the city of the future easily drown out the
cool August skyline. The twinkling stars of the cosmos are lost in the
glittering juggernauts that protect the dreary citizens below from the
beauty of the heavens. The walkways far below are flooded with traffic,
humans and hover cars alike fighting for dominance in a vast
technological sea where time is money, especially in the New York night
Above the walkways and the older model
transports lies a vast sea of flying cars, machines sleek and sexy in
their design, having evolved far beyond the necessities of tarmac and
asphalt. Indeed, of any grounding whatsoever. And, like the rich,
wealthy men and women who pilot them, they have lost touch with the
Earth that made them. With the people stuck on the sprawling walkways
and the people below them; the fabled downtrodden species of New
Yorkers, lost in the underbelly of the city; never to see the top again.
Above all of this hustle and bustle, there is a
single hovercraft. A small, clunky old airship that’s supposed to be
carrying some routine supplies and equipment to a very special location.
A 2087 Khonshu class minicraft designed to only to carry light passenger
cargo. A worthless old garbage heap, not knowing when its time had come.
No one looking up at this hunk of floating
garbage would ever think that the massive trail of smoke the flying
assemblage of ancient parts spewed out every moment of its journey was
all an elaborate deception. No one would believe that the rust marks and
tears in the weathered steel that contained this clunker were manually
inflicted by a few dozen workers, paid not to ask too many questions or
give too many answers. If anything, some of the more human denizens of
the massive city might worry about the poor fool that useless heap
landed on when the engines finally gave up the ghost. Those souls needn’t
worry, though. The engines were quite new.
No one who gazed at this aircraft would ever
give it a second thought. And no one would ever think that on this
Saturday night, under the soft rays of the full moon, this sorry excuse
for a vehicle would ever try to make it all the way to Detroit intact
just to dump off some sad, defective experiment that Stark/Fujikawa
never wanted to glance with contempt at again.
And if some deranged lunatic ever guessed at
this truth, he would never believe that the cargo was a man.
A man with defective genes, no less.
“Kendall, are you sure this thing’s gonna
hold together?” the tall, lanky pilot uttered toward his chief
engineer, his authoritativeness masking his irrational fears.
“Don’t worry, Mac,” the cheerful,
well-muscled engineer spoke with determination, “I made sure that when
my team refitted this old bucket, all the parts were in fine order. You
may feel a few bumps here and there, and I’m sure that trail of smoke
in the back’d freak anybody out but this fine old vessel’ll get us
there and back in no time.”
He walked over to the main engine and stared at
it with pride, patting its smooth, shiny surface, “It may not all be
up to code, but my team and I are the best at what we do. We’ll be
Mac walked over to the panel on his left,
looking at the readout and hoping it would provide him with something
more than one man’s word to go on. Thompson “Mac” McElriche was an
untrusting man, suspicious of most people like most people were
suspicious of their politicians. All that he’d known since accepting
the very odd mission was that Stark/Fujikawa had hired them to transport
some strange cargo to Detroit, evacuate the specially-designed, airtight
room to the designated dumping zone of the world, and get out of the
toxic fumes of the isolated state before the poisonous air affected any
of the ship’s systems. Sure, he’d seen the various teams installing
vital hardware and protective gear into the recycled clunker. And, of
course, the chief engineer was right here on the transport with him,
along with a few of the other more experienced members of the engine
team, so they wouldn’t want to needlessly endanger themselves along
with Mac. It was mostly Stark/Fujikawa’s intentions he was worried
about. In his many years as a pilot-for-hire, he’d seen some of the
dirtier sides of the megacorps. And even with the corporation’s
obvious desire for a successful completion to this cryptic journey, he
wasn’t too sure that the company much cared that they make it back
from the mission completely intact
In fact, with the recent turbulence and the
window-less, ultra-thick door that isolated their still-unknown cargo
from the rest of the ship, he wasn’t even sure if it was in the
corporation’s best interests that they come back completely intact.
He shook the distressing thoughts off, “I’m
getting paranoid in my middle age,” the pilot muttered as he glanced
down at the containment room he knew existed under his feet.
“Good to hear, Kendall,” a business-like Mac
stated with authority, “Keep up the fine work.”
The pilot turned and entered the bloated
cockpit. Glancing at the autopilot, he silently prayed to Thor that he
Beyond the sealed trapdoor of the cargo hold,
the crunched up figure laying in a fetal position in the padded chamber
He’d been unconscious for over ten hours now.
Ten hours of dreamless, drug-induced darkness. His lids flittered in the
His body shuddered with fatigue as his eyelids
slowly rolled over his tired, bloodshot eyes, opening them to the pitch black that engulfed him.
He strained to focus, but there was nothing to
focus on. He could feel some putrid awfulness in his mouth. He sloshed
his heavy, bloated tongue about. It was dry. His entire mouth was dry.
He was thirsy. So badly, badly thirsy…
Through his back, he could feel the incessant
rocking and swaying of the turbulent ship. He rolled over onto his arm
and sat up, his tired, pounding head still playing havoc with his
He was in some kind of room, he figured. Unlit.
How did he get there? Where was he, exactly? And why--?
His head throbbed in pulsating, rhythmic agony.
His eyes bulged as he saw images. Flashbacks of memory. Were they
memories? He was in a hover car. Red, maybe? Or orange? Pain. Torment.
He was strapped down, now. Pinpricks in his arm. A needle? Was it ---?
Agghhh!!! More throbbing. Screaming. Hurting. A woman. She’s smiling.
He can’t make out her face. AKKK!! Agony. More waves of agony. His
body shook with pain. His hands were shaking. No, not shaking. Not
anymore. They’re signing something now. A signature? Whose? His? Is it
his? He can’t make it out. What is it that he’s signing? A datapad?
When he came to once more, he could feel
something wet under his nose. Even as he wiped it away with his hand, he
could tell it was blood. What happened to him?
He could feel the warmth of the sticky crimson
bile through the glove on his hand. How odd that he should be wearing a
glove. And one so thin, no less. But still, odd didn't even begin to
describe this particular predicament.
Slowly, surely, he picked his sagging, heavy
form off the ground. He still felt a little light-headed. And groggy.
Definitely groggy. Stumbling a bit, he walked over to the walk and felt
the padding through his glove. As he listened to the hum of the engines
above and felt through his boots the agitated rocking of the floor
beneath him, he deduced that he was on a ship, lying forgotten in the
comfort of the bizarrely-padded cargo hold.
“Hello!” he yelled up to the crew above, “I’m
stuck down here! Someone get me outta here!”
He slowly backed up and repeated, louder this
time, “Hello! Can anybody hear me? My name is…my name…is…I..”
His resounding trumpet died down to a soft
whisper, “my name….I…I don’t know…”
A decent spot of turbulence knocked him down to
the floor. He landed hard on something that was also hard. A thin
He ignored the pain in his back as curiosity
took over, rolling him onto his knees facing the thin object. He gently
picked it up and examined it in the darkness. It felt smooth. Perhaps
made of metal or some other hard, dense material. He felt along the
smooth, thin object for some kind of endpoint to give him some clue as
to its dimensions and function. The end was domed-off and equally
smooth. What an odd item to leave in a cargo hold.
Then again, he was also an odd item to leave in
a cargo hold.
His eyes fluttered again. He sat very still as
the darkness began to take on a subdued greenish hue. In the dark, he
was able to make out a dark, thin line amongst a sea of forest green
light. The line slowly coalesced into a smooth shape. An object. It was
an object. It was the same object he was holding. He recognized its
smooth, hard texture now. He was holding a bo staff.
As he came to this realization, the washy green
haze behind him coalesced, as had the staff, into a conflagration of
thick, squared-off padding that decorated the large cargo hold he was
in. He could see now. He could see everything with crystal clarity. But
there were no lights in this room. Not a single fluorescent or neon
light source anywhere in the room. Not even one of those absurdly
ancient bulbs. Nothing. It was definitely pitch black in this room.
“What in Thor’s name is going on!” he
cried out in morbid panic, “Where am I? WHO am I? What am I doing
A smaller headache began to build in his scared,
frightened mind as he picked up the bo staff and began hitting the
ceiling with it in much the same way as old twentieth-century apartment
dwellers did in hopes of communicating with fellow neighbors upstairs.
If the engines of the airship were drowning out his tortured voice,
perhaps there was a chance that the rhythmic pounding of the bo staff
against the metal casing surrounding the padded cargo hold would alert
them to his presence. A slim chance at best, but a chance nonetheless.
The bo staff began to vibrate wildly as it
emitted an wild explosion of energy which, for a moment, blinded the
poor, flailing man in the cargo hold. As he turned away from the massive
discharge of light and energy, the blast tore through the pads and ate
away at the metal casing of the ship. It dove through the smoke and
circuitry within the small device emitting cleverly-designed fake
streams of smog and soot under the main engine as it headed through the
bulk of the main engine, tearing open the lining of the neighboring port
engine before rocketing off into the night sky, the beam of energy
finally dispersing in an impressive aerial display for any lucky enough
to witness it.
Above the blinded, forgotten man, Kendall Yeats,
a man who had taken so much pride in designing his state-of-the-art
engine and had thrilled in installing his patented machinery into the
amalgamated vessel, could only look on abject horror as his beloved main
engine exploded in a thunderous crescendo, ripping the lining off the
rest of the port engine before it too, joined it’s mother engine in a
blaze of glory.
The last thing Kendall saw was a rather large
piece of debris heading towards his face.
“SHOCK ME!” Mac yelled as the airship rocked
violently, tipping down toward the earth below. He could feel the heat
of the engine room behind him as the sound of the explosion trumpeted
through his ears.
Mac opened the door separating the cockpit from
the engine hold and stared in utter horror as he saw the main engine and
the port engine melting in flames. As his eyes scanned the bodies of his
shipmates for any signs of life, he saw that the starboard engine
remained encased in its magnetic seal, still untouched by the ravages of
the convulsing flames.
“Everybody’s dead,” he sputtered, “Kendall,
He tumbled back into the almost vertical control
room and strapped himself in.
“One engine left. Gotta make the most of it.”
Mac disengaged the autopilot and went to work.
He slammed against the padding of the far wall
as the force of the explosion tunneled into the cargo hold.
A deep, twisting knot began to fester in his
stomach a tingling feeling washed over his rapidly warming skin. The
moisture on his lips evaporated as his entire mouth went dry once again,
replaced with that familiar, putrid taste. A foul, putrid experience in
his mouth. Taste was too mild a word.
Time slowed to a crawl, and as his throat became
some horrible, cracking, burning desert in the summertime, the pinpricks
on his skin coalesced into some kind of filmy, silky residue. A thin
blanket began to creep across his cheeks as his mouth became a foul
methane inferno. His tongue expanded, trying desperately to soak up
His muscles tensed as the blanket of silk
crawled across his face, its cool washy feel starkly contrasting the
pounding, thunderous pain of his twisting stomach, the agony along his
pores and the insufferable agony of his still drying mouth.
Agony. Disgusting agony. Agony stretched into
eternity. When would it stop?
Finally, the crawling second skin connected
along the center of his face. The drying, scorching heat in his mouth
eased. The knots untangled. His sweating skin began to cool even as the
burning, raging tsunami of infernal heat from the explosion above
washed over his quivering, exhausted form.
Such heat. Waves of fury from a dying ship. But,
muted somehow. The suit. This silky film encasing his entire body. It
was so thin, yet it was protecting him from the raging fires of two
dying engines. Somehow, he wasn’t being burned alive. Somehow, through
all the smoke and soot, through this fiery heat that he could see yet
could hardly feel, he was not being burned alive. Somehow, he was
surviving. And somehow, through this lifesaving, airtight containment,
he could still breathe.
Odd? Not even close. This was just downright
As the explosion finally died down, the man fell
face-first into the charred floor only to be jarred around again like a
toy doll in a furious child’s hand as the ship spiraled down through
the monoliths of Uptown toward the decadent ruins of Downtown.
‘What have I done?’ he thought as the ship
continued to plummet further and further into the depths of darkness.
A river of putrid, black bile erupted from the
burning engines of the doomed craft. Gone were the simple, simulated
putt putts of computer generated smokescreens and the false advertising
of man-made dents and bruises. No, the ancient assemblage was now
genuinely coming apart at the seams, tipping toward the Earth at a
devastatingly steep angle.
Out of control, the petite airship rocketed
towards the rooftop of the apartment building beneath at breakneck
speeds, the resulting impact more than enough to incinerate the ship and
the only two surviving members aboard as well.
Residents of the unfortunate apartment complex
could only watch in horror as the dying transport descended upon them
with uncanny accuracy. Dozens scrambled from their domiciles, rapidly
stampeding down the stairs and packing the elevators with their loved
ones and prize possessions in tow in a desperate gambit to survive.
A few unlucky souls were trapped in the
fantasies of exotic virtual reality programs and cyberspace exploration.
Others less wealthy were trapped in total reality scenarios, their
bodies curled up in sofas and bedrooms completely deprived of sensory
input. Neither aware that death was only yards away.
Bystanders outside the seemingly doomed
apartment complex were met by panicked residents streaming from their
homes, fleeing to the safety of the streets, all the while unable to do
anything but gaze as the plummeting vehicle fell to certain doom.
Suddenly, the transport’s remaining engine
whined and hissed as, by some twinge of compassion from fate, the dying
airship began to slowly veer to the side, carving out a sizable portion
of the building before slowly, painfully changing course. As pieces of
the still-standing complex came crashing down amongst hundreds of
scattering onlookers and residents below, the burning craft fell along a
direct course to Downtown.
Mac was desperately clinging onto the controls
of the ship. Its turbulent thrashing and flailing about in the wake of
its own demise was making it just this side of impossible to steer the
ship with its remaining engine.
Wearing deep indentations into the thick padded
controls, Mac bit his lower lip and struggled desperately to slow the
ship to a sane speed. One walkway avoided. Another. Two small passenger
hover cars missed by inches. Three more. Another walkway. Anoth…
Mac was thrust forward into the ship’s control
console as it viciously scraped one of the many crowded walkways below.
Forcing himself back into his chair, he wiped the warm, sticky blood
from his eyes and gritted his teeth.
“That’s it,” he grimaced with furious
determination, “I gotta level this thing out. Now.”
Clutching the controls, Mac pulled them toward
his chest with every ounce of strength he had. Beads of sweat ran down
his forehead as the ship slowly began to straighten out.
Seventy degrees. Sixty-five degrees. Sixty-two.
At forty-three degrees, Mac’s right pinky
finger fractured from the strain. A small stream of blood trickled down
from clenched teeth. Forty-two degrees.
Thirty-nine degrees. Thirty-eight. The violent
rocking and thrashing of the ship began to smooth out to a gentle
turbulence. Twenty-six. Twenty-one degrees. Eighteen…
Nearly level now, the ship’s digital
speedometer began flashing two bright red digits on its readout as
opposed to three. As the ship slowed to a manageable speed, Mac breathed
a sigh of relief and sent a prayer of thanks to a long dead thunder god.
Without warning, another violent explosion
rocked the ship as it began to spin around like a top.
“Shock!” Mac screamed in desperation, “the
starboard engine! It...”
As the control panel exploded, a nameless man
trapped in a cargo hold became the only survivor of the decimated
The greenish haze outlining the charred walls of
the padded cargo hold gave way to a blinding flash of brilliant jade
light as the badly strained starboard engine erupted in a fiery inferno,
setting off a spectacular chain reaction that ripped apart the entire
rear section of the hovercraft.
Barely protected by the immaculate silky fabric
that enveloped him, the man who had once been fated for a slow, toxic
death now gazed upon the only exit. He could see neon-lit buildings
flash by with alarming speed. He could feel the cool night air against
his skin even through the thin white silk that covered his entire body.
He could practically taste the mechanical aroma of the city around him.
And through the sounds of the crackling fire and the screeching fury of
twisted, misshapen metal and circuitry cooking in the flames, he could
hear the hundreds of screaming onlookers. He could pick up the sounds of
hover car engines revving up as they sped out of the smoking amalgamated
wreck’s way as it spun out of control into the depths below. Somehow,
right before this looming demise, here under the light of the full moon
and amongst the surrounding lower classes of this segregated city, he
felt more alive than he had ever felt in his life. Or at least the
fifteen minutes that he could remember at the moment.
The ship was only a few hundred yards above the
cold, hard cement of the Downtown floor. As the ship became a raging
tornado of burning fury, he was rocked violently against the three
remaining walls of his prison as well as the ceiling and the floor. Or
what used to be the ceiling and the floor. His senses couldn’t make
sense of anything at the moment. Except that he was in agony. Rivers of
tortuous agony from which there was no defense.
Pain erupted from his limbs as the jarring
continued. A rib broken. An already swelling bruise. A shattered right
wrist. More blood….
Suddenly, there were no more walls. No more
thumping. No pain. There was just emptiness.
Suddenly, as he saw the antique assemblage in a
twirling complementary freefall, he realized what had happened.
“Oh shock,” he gasped in hushed, morbid fear
as he fell like a stone towards the earth’s cold surface.
Cecilia Indeligato was a Stark/Fujikawa
employee. But don’t hold that against her.
Officially, she was an executive surveillance
technician for the main branch of Stark/Fujikawa Incorporated. Or so she
said to her parents, her husband and generally anyone else she wanted to
impress with an official title. In actuality, she was a monkey paid two
hundred credits an hour to watch a few hundred computer screens
displaying satellite surveillance images in a dark, isolated room with
only two assistants for company. Two assistants who were little more
than big bricks in lab coats as far as personalities go.
Basically, she was paid to watch the monitors
for eight hours a day and report to the higher-ups if she spotted any
trouble. At the moment, she wanted to report to her superiors about her
irritatingly silent companions and how vital it was that they be
replaced immediately. She stared at the vidphone at her side. It was
‘I must be going stir crazy,’ she thought,
‘Two hundred credits an hour, and I want to put all that at risk just
to fire two boring co-workers? I’ve got to get some fresh air.’
“Steve, Amanda. I’ve got to get out for a
second,” Cecilia quickly stated as she got up from her chair, “I’ll
be back in a minute.”
“Cecilia, you know we can’t just leave the
room for any old reason,” Steve began his usual rhetoric, “Mr. Sama
depends on us to protect the corporation’s interests and to make
absolutely sure it remains secure at all costs. Now, I don’t know
about you, but I take this responsibility very seriously, and I’m sure
that you wouldn’t want to do anything to….”
“Steve,” Cecilia glared at the talking
brick, “it can’t wait. Just trust me on this.”
“Let her go, Steven.” Amanda sighed, “Just
let her go.”
“Alright, Cecilia,” the brainwashed chief
executive technician sternly spoke, “I’m letting you go this time.
But I hope you realize that…”
His words were lost in a rush of adrenaline as
one monitor in particular caught her eye.
“Steve,” Cecilia uttered fearfully in a
hushed whisper, “get Mr. Sama on the line. Now.”
As the long-winded chief executive dialed the
private line of the head of Stark/Fujikawa as fast as his bloated
fingers could dial the vidphone, Cecilia’s tiny frame could only watch
in muted horror as the airship on the screen in front of her was lost in
a trail of blazing flames.
“Oh shock oh shock oh shock what am I gonna
do?” the man’s shaking form gasped in panic. He glanced toward his
right and saw some kind of dark object falling toward him. As the
pounding adrenaline rush gave in to genuine intrigue, he suddenly
realized what he was looking at.
The bo staff.
What were the odds that this strange object
found derelict in a cargo hold would be just within reach after all the
jarring and shaking the ship had endured?
It was almost as if it was returning to him.
As the staff fell within reach, he grabbed it,
sensing some kind of connection between this odd metallic item which
saved him from a long death of radiation poisoning only to catapult him
without warning into a quick death at the hands of a five hundred foot
Imagining his imminent status as street pizza, a
brilliant thought struck him.
“If this thing can blast out enough energy to
blast a hole through a hovercraft,” he reasoned aloud as he clutched
the staff with both hands, “then maybe it can emit a steady stream of
energy. And maybe, if it can blast out enough force, I can use it as a
cushion of energy and ride it to the ground. I’ll still slam into the
ground and it’s still gonna hurt, but maybe, just maybe, I can end up
in some form other than a liquid when I hit it.”
Panic borne of near total amnesia and
all-too-imminent death was washed to the wayside for a moment as the man
who was, seconds ago, screaming incomprehensibly in an all-encompassing
fear now enacted his desperate plan and methodically, frantically
searched for some sensor, some marking, some button which would activate
this smooth stick he clutched onto for dear life and save him from a
death that would leave all of his questions unanswered.
However, his hands found no protrusions, no
indentations. Nothing, save the slickness of the immaculate bo staff.
Suddenly, he felt the familiar vibration. The
staff shook wildly as it emitted a powerful beam of light that reached
deep down into the cracked, ancient pavement that served as an
unofficial trademark of the sadly neglected Downtown area.
He clutched the bo staff tightly, careful not to
move his fingers for an instant, for fear of ending the bright beacon of
hope that was currently the only thing saving him from being a pasty
mess on the grimy Downtown streets. Although, from what he could gather
from his eyes and his fingers, he had done nothing to provoke this odd
He could feel himself slowing down, even through
the cushion of pulsating energies being spewed out by the staff beneath
him. The facades of boarded up buildings and ancient structures long ago
forgotten began to pass by a little slower with each passing second. The
plan was working.
Strange, he didn’t think he’d been this
Suddenly out of breath, the man’s breathing
became labored as the energy being vomited by his staff slowly began to
waver and weaken. The fatigued man began to shake as the cushion of
energy beneath him sputtered and died. With tired, bloodshot eyes, he
stared at the onrush of ground beneath him; which he’d estimated was
about fifty feet away, finding that, even after his entire ordeal, he
was no longer gripped with unquenchable fear in the face of imminent
death. There was a kind of peace inside him now. An acceptance of his
“How odd,” the tired man began to
contemplate, this night-vision I have. I’ll…I’ll wager that its
purpose was to help me out. Make me less…afraid…of the night.
Ironic, that…watching the ground storming at me…at these…insane
speeds….only makes me more afraid....”
Like the meteor that heralded the end of the
dinosaurs, the man collided with the cement of the Downtown earth,
creating a deep crater of pulverized cement and long ago hidden earth.
The shattered man stared up at the heavens, seeing in his rapidly fading
vision the pure white silhouette of the full moon.
“…moon… the moonlight….light at night…it’s
so...so bright…the moon…night….”
With a final gasp, the man’s jaded vision
faded to darkness and the delirious man fell silent.
As he lost consciousness, the blinding white
encasement that hugged his fragile form lost cohesion and retreated back
into his inert form, leaving only the bony, broken man in its wake.
Almost a mile away, a thunderclap shook the
Downtown area as a deafening explosion rocked many a citizen out of
their restless dreams and drug-induced hallucinations, resounding as a
trumpeting salute over hundreds of shabby coves and abandoned buildings.
As many woken residents of the forgotten land
would come to realize, whether by investigation or by newscast, it had
been the sound of an antique Khonshu class ship falling from the heavens
and crashing into their desolate section of the city, whose final
explosive demise sent a hailstorm of fire and metal into the air and
whose flames raged into the night and spread along many of the adjacent
buildings, lighting up the surrounding area like a Roman candle.
Neither the Public Eye, nor the Watchdogs could
be bothered to handle the raging inferno caused by the crash, and,
within a few hours, it burnt itself out. But many of the most
superstitious residents of the discarded lands would come to believe
that the mighty trumpeting roar of the explosion was more than thousands
of credits in damage, were the damage actually to be assessed and
They would say that it was a final farewell to a
ship that refused to go out without a bang.
Amanda was furiously trying to enlarge the
digital satellite surveillance video, working desperately to regain a
visual of the burning ship as Cecilia tapped about her console, still
replete with shock and disbelief.
While the two women continued their digital
reconnaissance, Steve continued trying to contact the much feared
president of the powerful megacorp.
“It’s no good,” Steve collapsed into his
chair, defeated, “Mr. Sama’s line is totally busy. I can’t even
get in touch with his private secretaries.”
“Never mind Hikaru,” Amanda remained
transfixed on the satellite image that the two women had just
successfully enlarged, “get the head of Spectre Division on the line.”
“Why?” the pudgy chief executive questioned.
“One of his little ‘projects’ has just
escaped.” Cecilia stated with the utmost dread.
Continued next full moon….
Has our hero taken the big dirt nap without even
at least finding out where that bo staff came from? What is Spectre
Division? And just what on earth was that defective genes crack about
anyway? All valid questions to be answered next issue. Or, at least
brought up and dismissed.