January 2006 Archives

Iapetus Saves Manhattan

Chapter Eleven

Dr. Maland could see both monsters from his particular vantage point. He had beached his boat at the southernmost tip of a riverside park. However, he quickly realized that while he could see quite a bit, he would be in a world of hurt if the two beasts headed his way. However, the river to the east and an interstate to the west blocked his desired escape route.

While streams of Albany citizens headed south out of the city, very few were on the interstate to the west of Dr. Maland. He did have his sailboat, but the debris in the water would make it a treacherous ride. That was not a safe alternative, so he scrambled up the riverbank. He began searching for a safe place to ride out the pending fight. He noticed a road a little bit to the south of his location and he ran towards it. From his vantage point, it appeared to pass under the interstate.

Iapetus gave out a mighty roar when he spotted the snow-white ultra-yeti. However, the young monster paid little attention as Iapetus arose from the river. The ultra-yeti casually acknowledged the roar and headed toward some buildings in downtown Albany farther away from the river. The young monster began pushing down some of the buildings that he encountered.

Iapetus ran along the interstate and then some of the surface streets and quickly caught up with the ultra-yeti. With a lunge, the monster surprised the young beast and the two went crashing down into a nearby office building.

With Iapetus on top of him, the young creature gave a strong kick that launched Iapetus into the air. The surprised lizard went crashing into another unfortunate building crushing it to the ground. Meanwhile the young and slightly more agile ultra-yeti ran southward toward the Empire State Plaza.

Iapetus shook off the shock of being thrown and ran after the young beast. As he was about to pounce on the young monster again, the ultra-yeti changed direction. Iapetus crashed into a building on the north side of the plaza. The building easily succumbed to the pressure of Iapetus's enormous bulk. It gave way and tumbled upon the prone beast.

Upon seeing Iapetus lying on the ground under a pile of rubble, the ultra-yeti pushed over one of the Agency buildings and began tossing the rubble on top of the green beast. Quickly Iapetus was covered in a pile of concrete and steel -- the remnants of former buildings.

Meanwhile, Dr. Maland was running through the streets of Albany dodging the occasional car and looking for a place to hide. He had passed under the interstate and was now on the eastern edge of the plaza. He observed that the ultra-yeti headed south -- towards the plaza. He hoped he could stay out of the path of destruction. He hung back towards the east side as the two monsters tangled for the first time. He saw Iapetus tackle the young ultra-yeti only to be tossed to the side.

He continued to head northwest along Broadway as the two beasts ran south but when the young yeti turned, he became aware of the great danger he was in. The monsters could take 3 steps and be on him quickly if they suddenly came directly towards him. He was on the same street of the building Iapetus just demolished. He was only a few blocks away from where the giant beast was buried under the rubble.

John was lucky to escape unharmed as the young monster began pushing down the other three Agency buildings. With the creak and groan of the crumbling buildings, Dr. Maland barely heard the helicopter overhead. However, he was keenly aware of it as it landed in the park where he stood in awe of the giant monsters.

Dr. Maland looked over his shoulder and noticed a highly decorated soldier holding his hat, crouched down, and rushing towards him. However, the destructive force of the ultra-yeti still held John mesmerized.

The soldier finally reached Dr. Maland and spoke loudly over the roar of the helicopter. "Dr. John Maland I presume?"

"Why yes," answered John.

"I'm General Mann. Dr. LeFleur is in the helicopter. Would you care to join us?"

"Dr. LeFleur?" stammered John. "I guess so..."

General Mann ushered Dr. Maland into the waiting helicopter. With John safely buckled in next Dr. Claude LeFleur, the machine took off. "Hello Claude," stated John with astonishment.

"Hi John," replied Dr. LeFleur. "I wish we could have met under more pleasant circumstances."

"You ain't just whistlin' Dixie there!" replied Dr. Maland.

"General Mann -- here -- tried to prevent the destruction of Albany, but that ultra-yeti was just too tough. We hope that Iapetus can stop him from destroying Manhattan. However, it doesn't look to good right now."

"Yeah..." is all that Dr. Maland could say. He was trying to soak it all in as if he were living in a dream.

The helicopter began circling the city to keep a close watch on the two giant monsters. The ultra-yeti was pushing on the Erastus Corning Tower as the helicopter circled.

Iapetus had regained consciousness and erupted in a spray of rubble. One of the hunks of concrete flew to the place John had been standing just moments before. The flying debris spread in all directions causing more damage to the capital of New York State.

He gave another roar at his young opponent. However, the young monster continued to try to topple the tallest building in Albany. Iapetus ran over to the building and whipped his mighty tail at the distracted monster. The force of the blow was enough to knock the ultra-yeti into the pile of rubble where one of the Agency Towers once stood.

Iapetus flexed his muscles and his spines were fully erect when he gave another mighty roar. His full fury was unleashed as he pounced on the downed monster. While on top, he bit down hard on the ultra-yeti's shoulder. This prevented him from being thrown as the young monster pushed and kicked.

Fear began showing in the young beasts eyes as he continued to push against the great bulk of Iapetus. He felt an enormous pain in his left shoulder as he attempted to push off the monster. With great effort, he rolled onto that shoulder and Iapetus was forced to release his bite. When the bite was released the young ultra-yeti sprang to his feet and ran towards the river.

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Terra Mortis II: The Gathering

Chapter 16

By Dwayne MacInnes

Brady was walking over to Doc's office to find Nori. Nori and Cooper had been spending a lot of time over the last couple of weeks visiting the still recuperating Nathan. Brady at first joined them to learn more about Nathan's past and the history of the world outside their refuge in the Cascades.

However as Brady learned more, he became increasingly concerned. The Horde, it turned out, was a very large group of motorcyclists run by a man who styled himself after Genghis Khan. Khan, the only name anyone knew him by, had carved out for himself a sizable private empire.

Many people who had survived the initial onslaught of the undead started reforming communities. Being poorly organized they were soon conquered by gangs of motorcyclists, who in turn were then conquered by Khan's Horde. Though Khan reestablished law and security to these new communities, his rule was harsh and despotic.

At first, various groups of people would occasionally rebel against the Horde. However, either Khan would introduce all captured rebels to Vice-City to work in the many brothels or as contestants in one of the games of his own design. The most dreaded of these games was called the Labyrinth. The Labyrinth was really a maze constructed out of the old storm sewer system that was now filled with zombies. Cameras were placed strategically to catch the terror and excitement of the "contestants" running down the dark underground maze. These were then broadcast around Vice-City via the local TV station.

Naturally, revolts subsided among the populace. However, Nathan realized that the reason why Khan was so successful was that he was better organized. The young twenty-two year old man gathered similarly minded young people and started a rebel camp and for the last few months, they have been pretty successful in their raids against the Horde. That was until their last raid.

As disturbing as this was, none of this was the reason why Brady was uneasy. It was the fact that Nathan, on regaining consciousness, immediately began trying to recruit anyone he could to his cause. Sarge just blew it off, as did many of the people now living in the former summer camp. Unfortunately, Nori was quite taken by Nathan's story.

Brady didn't know if he was jealous because Nori possibly had feelings for Nathan or that Nathan had Nori's impressionable ear. She would listen for hours on end to Nathan's speech about his cause. Coop also was caught up with Nathan's tales.

It was understandable that Nori would naturally gravitate toward Nathan. Nathan was closer to her age than Brady's twenty-four years. Nathan was also handsome and a good athlete. Before the Marysville incident, Nathan was on a football scholarship at a local college. The former quarterback had a natural charisma and leadership about him that brought the more impressionable to him like rats to the Pied Piper.

Brady laughed inwardly at his last analogy, though he would tend to put Nathan in the guise of a rat. As Brady entered the room where Nathan was recovering, he heard Nathan telling the story again of his last raid before Nori and Coop. The two sat at the foot of Nathan's bed, both completely caught up with another retelling of the story that Brady had heard way too many times.

"Excuse me," Brady interrupted forcing a smile as he entered the room. "I need to borrow Nori for a minute."

"Oh yeah, no problem," Nathan responded looking over at Brady with a forced smile of his own.

"Sure, Brady what is it?" asked Nori oblivious to the two men's barely concealed dislike for each other.

"I need you to give me a hand unloading the last load of books from the truck. Sarge wants them in the library before nightfall."

"Oh, I'm sorry, I totally forgot," Nori smiled as she hopped up and started for the door.

Brady followed Nori as they left the room and exited Doc's little clinic. They then proceeded to the old red truck where boxes of books filled the bed. Nori pulled down the tailgate and began pulling out a box of books. It always amazed Brady how strong Nori actually was, surely the rigorous training program Sarge had them in helped out a lot.

"Nori, wait a minute," Brady said shyly.

Nori just looked up at Brady and tilted her head to one side with confusion clearly marking her face.

"This is not easy for me to say, but..." Brady swallowed hard. He was never good at personal confrontation. Hell, he was camped out at the family cabin when the undead started taking over Seattle because he didn't want to face his parents with the news of his being kick out of the University of Washington.

"Look, I'm worried about you getting too caught up with Nathan."

At first Nori just stared up at Brady not fully comprehending what he was saying.

"What!?!" Nori finally blurted.

"I'm concerned that you may be buying into Nathan's shtick too much and Coop is following along too," Brady said looking at his feet.

"What do you mean shtick? The guy's just been nearly crucified and is trying to remove an evil man from continuing to harm innocent people!" Nori yelled.

Brady stepped back. In the year, they have known each other Brady had never heard Nori yell at him like this before.

"Who are you to tell me what to do? What do you know about Nathan's cause? Surely you can't be so callous as to the plight of the people?" Nori's tirade continued.

"You know what I think you are jealous of Nathan, jealous that he's doing something while you just hide up here in the woods. He's had it hard while you've been living the high-life!" Nori yelled as she stormed off back to the clinic.

Brady could only just stand there stunned watching Nori's back as she stomped into the clinic slamming the door behind her. Brady looked up to see a few people standing in the road staring at the scene that had just unfolded. As Brady made eye contact with the small crowd, they shortly departed.

It took Brady a long time to get to sleep that night. He kept thinking about what Nori had said to him. He kept going over it in his mind, and that made him quite restless. He kept thinking about how Nori wouldn't acknowledge Brady's existence all day. In fact, Coop seemed obviously uncomfortable being around Nori and Brady in the same room. Sarge offered to listen if Brady wanted to talk about what happened. But Brady remained silent. After much tossing an turning, he eventually drifted off to sleep.

Brady awoke with a start as he felt the hand close over his mouth. He looked up into the dark room, the pale blue moonlight leaking in through the window reflecting off Nori's slim form.

"I'm sorry I yelled at you today," Nori whispered. "But Coop and I are leaving with Nathan tonight for his rebel camp."

The expression on Brady's face told Nori that he couldn't believe what he was hearing.

"Look, I said some things that weren't true today. You have saved my life many times over the last year, and you are my closest friend. But I can't stay here while such injustices exist. I...I want you to join us," Nori said.

Nori didn't think Brady's eyes could get any wider but she was wrong.

"I know Nathan doesn't like you and you don't like him. But you are very intelligent, and you are a very skilled woodsman and hunter. These people need someone like you," Nori pleaded.

"What about Sarge or Smith. We can't just leave them," Brady hissed.

"But we have too. They need to stay here and get this camp organized. In the mean time, we could help out the rebels and maybe help those people out as well. I'm sure we won't be gone long."

Brady knew it was impossible to talk Nori out of this. If she was going to go, Coop was going to follow as well and there was very little he could do to prevent it. Therefore, he had no choice but to nod his assent.

Brady quickly dashed off a short note to Sarge as they quickly and quietly gathered up their belongings and set out leaving the camp behind them. After walking down the road for about ten minutes Brady, Nori, and Coop met up with Nathan. The shocked look on Nathan's face on seeing Brady almost made joining Nori and Coop worth it, thought Brady.

"What's he doing coming along?" Nathan said angrily.

"He's the best at tracking and is very resourceful. You'll need him," Nori defended her decision.

Nathan turned his gaze toward Brady, "OK, hotshot you're in, but remember I'm in charge and you take your orders from me."

With that, the four rebels started on their journey back to the hidden camp.

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Iapetus Saves Manhattan

Chapter Twelve

Dr. LeFleur and Dr. Maland watched the two monsters battle from the relative safety of a circling helicopter. They watched as the Iapetus followed the ultra-yeti into the river and disappeared from view.

"Get closer!" shouted General Mann to the Pilot. "We don't want to lose track of them!"

"Yes sir!" replied the helicopter pilot.

The helicopter pilot got closer to the river, but the two monsters remained hidden from view. However, at the point where the two beasts entered the river, the water sloshed and bubbled. It was obvious that the two beasts fought at that point.

"Iapetus is an aquatic animal," remarked Dr. Maland. "He's definitely got the advantage in the river."

"The two monsters are enormous," replied Dr. LeFleur. "There is little room to maneuver in the river there... But I believe you are right."

"It's a shame," sighed Dr. Maland.

"Yes it is."

Suddenly, the helicopter pilot pulled back on the stick sharply tossing the occupants about. A giant white beast flew out of the water and landed on the rubble that once was one of the four Agency towers. The beast flew quite high and smashed into the rubble that rocked the city for blocks. He laid there bleeding from cuts on his arms and his torso.

Slowly Iapetus emerged from the river. He once again fully erected his back spines and gave his mighty roar. He slowly walked the few blocks to where the ultra-yeti landed.

Now the young soaking wet monster had lost his swagger. He was no longer in a rampage mode. Destruction was no longer a priority and it showed in his manner. Everyone in the helicopter agreed, the young beast was afraid for his life.

Before Iapetus could reach him, the ultra-yeti rolled off the pile of rubble and kept the Erastus Corning Tower between the ancient monster and himself. He looked like he was going to use the tower as a squirrel uses a tree.

Iapetus was still in no hurry to continue the fight. He entered the Empire State Plaza with confidence, but he knew that the young ultra-yeti was a dangerous adversary. With a steady and cautious walk, he approached the tall Albany building.

The soaking wet ultra-yeti looked pathetic hiding behind the tower. The tower could not offer him much protection. An obstacle that with a little effort could be swept aside.

The two beasts circled the tower guarding against the move of the other. At the same time, they were measuring each other up and deciding on their own next move.

The ultra-yeti broke the stalemate. He shook the water from his fur like a dog. This action caused Iapetus to hesitate and the young monster crashed through the tower and tackled his opponent.

The tangle of beast and steel and concrete crashed to the ground with an enormous crash. The claws of the young beast tore at the scales of Iapetus. However, the claws of the young monster could not penetrate the hide of the old beast.

Iapetus's claws on the other hand, tore through the tough flesh of the ultra-yeti. This gambit had backfired for the young beast and he began to struggle to break free of the embrace. He grabbed enormous chunks of concrete to smash into his foe, but the wrestling match continued.

Finally, the young beast got a hold of a long piece of twisted steel that used to be part of the building that he had just toppled. With a swing of desperation, he smacked Iapetus in the head with the weapon, and he was free from the other monster's claws.

The ultra-yeti scrambled to his feet with his weapon still in his hand. In an axe-like swing, he brought it down as Iapetus attempted to get up. It once again smashed upon the monster's head. Iapetus was stunned.

The twisted steel was a formidable weapon and the ultra-yeti was poised to use it again. Over his head it went and back down. This time it missed its mark as Iapetus rolled away before the weapon could fall.

Dazed from the blows to the head Iapetus managed to reach his feet. He was a bit unsteady as the young beast swung the steel girder wildly at him. He avoided several blows as he attempted to shake the cobwebs from his mind.

The weapon wielded by the young beast had turned the tides, and he continued to swing it at the green monster. Iapetus managed to avoid most of the blows, but he felt the danger of his situation.

Eventually, one of the swings caught Iapetus under the arm smacked into his ribs. He emitted a groan, but managed to pin the weapon under his arm. With his other arm, he grabbed it.

There was a brief struggle for the weapon, but using his tail, Iapetus swept the feet right out from under the ultra-yeti. The young monster still held onto the weapon as he fell. Unfortunately, this pinned the young beast to the ground. The old monster slid down the length of the girder and sunk his teeth into the young beast's neck.

The ultra-yeti struggled to break free, but the jaws of the old sea monster were strong. The young monster tried to twist and struggle to break free, but he felt his strength being drained away. Slowly the struggles began to decrease as the life slipped from his body.

Eventually, the girder crashed to the ground and the ultra-yeti died. Iapetus gave a sorrowful cry. There was no flex in his spines. He mourned the passage of the young beast and trudged to the Hudson River. He jumped in and swam off.

The helicopter landed in the park where it had picked up Dr. Maland. The men that were in the helicopter walked over towards the dead ultra-yeti. The beast and the rubble that once was several buildings awed them.

"He was just trying to survive," remarked Dr. LeFleur.

"He was a remarkable animal," replied Dr. Maland.

"Look at the damage!" insisted General Mann. "This monster is responsible for a tremendous amount of destruction all along the Hudson River! It'll take years to rebuild and billions of dollars!"

"He may have been happy in his nest in the woods," replied Dr. LeFleur. "We don't know what his natural habits were. We could have possibly coexisted, but you had to try and kill him."

"He was a threat!" exclaimed General Mann.

"He was a force of nature," replied Dr. Maland.

"He was unleashed by humanity's unwillingness to accept itself as part of nature," continued Dr. LeFleur. "Humans have this silly notion that they were granted dominion over the earth. Nature, sometimes gently and sometimes with huge fury, informs is that we are not in charge."

"Bah!" replied General Mann.

"And still..." started Dr. Maland. "...we don't listen."

The End.

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Terra Mortis II: The Gathering

Chapter 17

By Dwayne MacInnes

It was only a few days of hard marching before Nori, Coop, Brady and Nathan arrived at the hidden rebel camp. Brady's first reaction was that it was far from the military-type resistance he envisioned. Instead, the base looked more like a compound of college age kids at keg camp hidden at an abandoned campground in the woods. There was no order to the placement of tents and trailer houses. Most of the residents just lazed around in the shade of the afternoon sun drinking a beer or even harder alcohol some were even smoking pot.

"Let's see how things have been since I've been gone," Nathan smiled as he approached the camp.

They just walked into the base. Brady was appalled by how untrained and unprofessional these rebels were. There weren't any sentries, and nobody took any real notice of them until someone recognized Nathan. Then there was a shout. Almost everyone raised a head or shouted out in excitement as they watched the group enter the compound.

People started running over to Nathan and asking various questions all at once. Nathan shook many hands, patted many backs, and smiled at everyone. The newly returned leader walked over to an old cable spool and jumped on top of it. He raised his hands over his head urging everyone to quiet down. It took at least a minute before everyone became silent. Brady, Nori, and Coop just hung back from the group observing what looked like something out of a Civil War painting of General Lee addressing his troops.

"They may not be well trained, but they definitely have spirit," Brady mused to himself.

"Now, now, the rumor of my demise has been greatly exaggerated," Nathan joked with the crowd around him. Everyone broke into laughter.

"I am back and I have brought us some new recruits. I want everyone to treat them with the respect that they deserve," Nathan pointed to the three companions at the rear of the group.

Brady felt uncomfortable as about one hundred pairs of eyes turned and looked at them curiously. Brady felt Nori fidgeting next to him, obviously as uncomfortable as he was. Coop just smiled and waved weakly at the spectators.

"Here we have the young, but mighty warrior Thomas Cooper! Next to him is my personal savior the lovely, but deadly Noriko "Nori" Fubuki! Finally, and least is the new recruit Brady West." Nathan introduced the three in a cheery voice. It was hard to tell if Nathan was slighting Brady out of jest or hatred, but he had a good idea which it was.

Brady was about to say something when he heard a female voice on the other side of the group shout out.

"Nathan, thank God you are alive!"

Everyone turned in the direction of the voice to see a young blonde girl in her early twenties run up to Nathan and embrace him. The woman started to kiss Nathan when he pushed her back and pointed over to the trio again.

"You can thank them for my life. If they didn't come at the right time, I would have wound up dead like the rest. How have things been here Lisa?" Nathan enquired.

Brady noticed the glare that Lisa gave Nori as she glanced at them. It was obvious that Lisa saw Nori as a threat to her. Lisa quickly snapped her head back to Nathan.

"Not as easy as you may have wanted. With your supposed death, nobody has been in much of a mood for raiding. Morale has been pretty low. But now that you are back…"

"Come let's talk in private. I think we can bring our new friends into the inner circle," Nathan responded as he waved Brady, Nori, and Coop over to join them.

Inside the trailer house, the six leaders of the rebels and the three companions sat around the table. It was a very tight squeeze but everyone found a place to sit. A window was opened so that the air could circulate. It became obvious to Brady at how untrained these people were. The marksmanship training composed of shooting bottles off a log. There was no martial arts training, mostly everyone just brawled. Leadership was more of a popularity contest than based on merit.

It became apparent that this was a group of the popular inner crowd kids, and the fringe unpopular kids would never be allowed to join in. That was the other thing; these people were all kids. Granted that they were all around Brady's age but their training was greatly inferior to his. None had any actual military experience, and few knew how to operate a firearm before they joined the resistance. Therefore, he couldn't help but feel that they were kids. Brady wondered if this was how Sarge felt about Nori, Coop, and himself.

"I hope we can all give these guys the respect they deserve," Nathan said to his cadre of officers. "I believe that they'll be a great asset to us. They have actual military training so I'm appointing Brady and Nori instant officer rank. But even Coop here shouldn't be brushed off. He has more combat knowledge than any of us."

The group of young men and women nodded assent. The only person that didn't seem pleased was the woman called Lisa. She glowered again as she glanced over to Nori. Nori didn't seem to notice.

Nathan began to introduce his group of officers. The young woman whose name was Lisa Allen was second in command of the rebels. Brady found out later from some of the other officers that Lisa and Nathan had been living together. Nathan tended to be a philanderer and Lisa was dangerously possessive. Brady realized he would have to keep an extra eye out for Nori.

Nathan proposed that Nori be in charge of a group of rebels with Brady as her second, but Nori refused and adamantly suggested that Brady be in charge. Nathan finally assented and Brady was assigned a group of twenty people.

The next morning Brady, Nori, and Coop rounded up their new charges. Brady's initial optimism fell as he realized that he was assigned to a group of misfits. These were the unpopular and troublemakers that the other officers didn't want to deal with. Brady was about to walk out of the camp then and there when Nori pulled him away from the group and talked to him in a low voice.

"I know that you are disappointed, Brady, but you have to train these guys. Who else will do it? I also know that Nathan assigned you this group hoping that you'd leave. We all desperately need you, even if the rest of the group doesn't know it."

Brady nodded his head and approached the ragtag group of kids. There was a variety of reactions from the group as Brady returned. Some were of disdain; others looked with fear.

"OK, it looks like I'm you new leader," Brady began slowly.

"You don't say?" a slender African-American youth responded garnering laughs and high fives from his neighbors.

"THAT'S ENOUGH!" Brady shouted in surprise to even himself. The authority in his voice quieted down the group. "Look here, I don't expect you to respect me. I have to earn that. But I want you to realize that if you want learn how to fight I will teach you. There are no officers here who can teach you what I can. For that matter, they don't even want to deal with you. If you want to leave, leave now. Leave this camp and see how well you do on your own. So far, you have proven your spirit to the cause, now we will show you how to fight and fight hard and smart."

The group looked at each other deciding what to do. Brady's words had struck a cord with the twenty misfits. So in the end no one left and all looked towards Brady.

"I'm going to work you hard. Train you hard. But by the end, you will be the best of the best of anyone here. You'll prove to everyone that you are better than any ten of the other group warriors."

Brady then introduced his companions, "This is Nori and Coop and they'll be helping me with your training."

Brady noticed a young Asian man looking at Nori puzzled. "Do you have a question?" Brady asked.

"I am Akira Ifukube, I am from Japan," the young man responded in broken English. "Is your name really Nori?" he asked Noriko.

Noriko started conversing to Akira in Japanese. Brady was at first taken back, he had never heard Nori speak in Japanese before. He knew she could, after all her parents came to the US from Japan before she was born. After a couple of minutes, Nori looked up a Brady.

"Akira was an exchange student from Japan. He's been having a hard time with everything because no one will speak with him. He was surprised that you called me Nori. Nori in Japanese means ‘seaweed'. I explained that it was only a nickname for Noriko," Nori said in her usual quick and bubbly voice. "I, of course, told him that he had an unusual name himself. He said that he was named after the famous movie composer."

Brady looked at her with a puzzled expression.

"Man, you really needed to watch more movies. You obviously never watched a Toho monster flick," Nori responded shaking her head. "In any case, Akira can speak English well enough. We just have to speak more slowly so that he can understand us."

"Cool," Brady smiled.

"Kakkoui," Nori replied.


"Kakkoui, you are going to start learning some Japanese. Your first word is kakkoui, that's slang for ‘cool' or ‘far out' if you're as old as Sarge."

Brady turned back to the group, "Now that the introductions are done I'm giving you one last night of fun. Tomorrow we begin training that means no alcohol or parties and drugs are not allowed at all. If there are any violations you are out."

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The Case of the Incredible Sulk

Part One

It started off as a normal day for the employees of the Supervania International Airport. Travelers were coming and going as they would at any normal airport. There was the hustle and bustle of air travelers going through security checkpoints, buying tickets, and claiming luggage.

Paul Pennant was one such traveler. He had come a long way to visit the fair city, but his first impression was not going so well. He had waited at the baggage claim for quite a while before realizing that his luggage was not there.

Paul walked over to the luggage claim office to inquire on his luggage. The clerk asked about his claim check. Sadly, Paul could not locate the check. This was going to be a long day for him.

The clerk adeptly typed some things into the computer. Paul's patience was wearing pretty thin when the clerk said, "Ah -- I think I found your luggage."

"At last," replied Paul with a sigh of relief.

"Well..." stumbled the clerk "you see -- your luggage is in Transylvania."


"It is a common mistake, it happens all the time. Hehe -- Transylvania sort of sounds like Supervania."

"So what am I suppose to do?" asked Paul trying to suppress his anger.

"Well -- we'll get it here as soon as we can."

"What am I suppose to do in the mean time?" asked Paul with a bit more venom in his voice.

"There is no reason to get angry sir..."

"What! Don't tell me what I have reasons for!" shouted Paul as his face started to turn red.

"Please sir -- take a seat and I'll speak to my manager."

"Let me speak to your manager! I'll give him a piece of my mind!"

"Mr. McGee -- could you come out here please?"

"What seems to be the problem here?" asked the luggage claim manager.

"Apparently, my luggage is on a vacation of its own!" exclaimed Paul as his face was now a deep red.

"Transylvania sir," explained the clerk.

"Step into my office -- er -- Mr. Pennant is it?"

"Yes it is," replied Paul as he stepped around the counter. "What am I supposed to do without luggage?"

"There there Mr. Pennant," the luggage claim manager said soothingly. "Take a seat. My name is McGee, Quincy McGee."

"Charmed I'm sure," replied the still red faced Paul Pennant as he reluctantly sat in Mr. McGee's office chair."

"We're sorry about the luggage mix-up Mr. Pennant," started Mr. McGee. "It has been quite a hectic week for us here, and we'll do all we can to make it right."

"Make it right?" shouted Paul. "Make it right? It is way too late for that? What am I going to do without my things?"

Mr. McGee pulled out a box of clothes. "When you get to the hotel," he replied with a soothing tone. "The concierge there will take care of your personal needs like toothbrush, toothpaste, etc. Everything is going to be all right. If you need some clothes we do have some available here. What's your size?"

Paul's face gradually lost the purple hue and was only red now. "These clothes are a bit tattered and terribly out of fashion. Purple pants?"

"As I stated before, we've had quite a hectic week. We'll make sure the concierge picks up some nice clothes for you as well."

"When will I see my luggage again?" asked Paul through is teeth.

"I cannot answer that question," responded Quincy with a soothing tone. Mr. McGee sat on the corner of his desk and continued. "Transylvania is a long way away. Unfortunately, this type of thing is out of our hands. The originating airline was the one that made the mistake."

"That makes me sad," replied the angry customer sarcastically. "It isn't just clothes and other necessities in my suitcase. I have things that I wanted to have with me on this trip. Things that I need."

"Were really sorry for any trouble this may have caused."

"I bet you are. I'm just another mook who has lost his luggage to you..."

"That's not fair," complained the luggage claim manager. "It's been a rough one for me too... I have a job to do, and this is one of things that I have to do. We're doing our best."

"Mmmm," grumbled Paul.

"We'll do all we can to make your stay an enjoyable one, but my job isn't easy and I have troubles of my own. My loyal companion of 15 years -- do you have any pets?"

"No," replied the still red faced passenger.

"I guess that is a good way to be, because my loyal and faithful friend of those many long years," Mr. McGee stated as tears began forming in his eyes. "Scruffy my dear friend was -- well -- it is too hard to talk about. Let's just say he's gone."

"Mr. McGee," started Paul.

"Yes?" enquired Quincy as he attempted to fight back the tears but was failing.

Paul Pennants red face lost all color and his eyes began to turn a dark, stormy gray. Outside clouds came from nowhere and the once bright sunny day became dark and gloomy. A great feeling of intense sadness filled the air. It was so thick that you could almost feel it with your hands and grab it. It touched everything within several miles of the airport. The sadness grew in each and every person and many began to weep out loud rather than struggle with the darkening feeling.

"That makes me sad, Mr. McGee. You wouldn't like me when I'm sad."

"It's just that I loved that dog," sniffled Mr. McGee. "He was such a good dog I don't know how I'm going to make it without him."

Paul Pennant eyes grew almost black and his entire body just shook with sadness. His face was a gloomy gray color as the tears began to stream down. The western half a Supervania was now covered in a deep dark gloom. An incredible sadness overcame every living creature. Half the city's residents stopped doing anything because of the sadness that each individual felt.

And my wife," continued Quincy McGee still fighting back the tears. "Well -- uh -- she loved that dog more than me, and she began proceedings for divorce today..."

Paul a once largish man began to shrink. Tears were now pouring down his gray face streaming from his black eyes. He hunched down into Mr. McGee's chair and placed his face onto his hands. Some residents of the city sat in the gloom, while others tried to fight it by turning on their lights. They fought against the encroaching darkness. They attempted to play happy songs. A few even grabbed banjos because you cannot sing a sad song on a banjo. They tried to play their happy music for as many people as they could without electric amplification.

With all of this, Quincy McGee continued. "If that wasn't bad enough, you came in here and were totally rude to me and my staff..."

Paul shrank even more as he appeared to become a gray eight year old child. He put himself into the fetal position on the chair as the gloom swirled around the airport.

The Supervanian citizens attempted to stave off the encroaching doom as best they could. However, their fight became all for nothing as a blackout soon hit that half of the city. The America's Original Evil Ninja Cyborg Gas and Electric Company could not keep up with the demand and the city was enveloped in a deep dark gloom with nothing to fight against it. Yes, it was another day in...

Super Supervania
Where Mr. McGee is a lamebrain-ia
He gave the entire city a migraine-ia
It’s Super Supervania.

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Terra Mortis II: The Gathering

Chapter 18

By Dwayne MacInnes

After two weeks, the twenty kids under Brady’s training were already beginning to resemble a combat team. Their results were already good after the first week. Nathan in the beginning refused to believe that the group of misfits was anything more than that. The rest of the resistance would laugh and make fun of "Brady’s Misfits" as they were being called. Seeing the group of unpopular kids doing marksmanship drills, marching with full load packs, and practicing their martial arts while everyone else was taking it easy looked like plain foolhardiness to the other groups.

Brady was pleased to see self-confidence increasing in his Misfits, and they would now all stand-up for each other. Former gang bangers would now protect the one-time computer geeks. The occasional fight would break out between his Misfits and one of the other groups. The result was always the same, no matter how many of the drunken or high "popular" kids outnumbered the Misfits; the Misfits would always come out on top.

Discipline of course had to be maintained, and Brady could not afford to condone such actions from his group. The extra bout of push-ups or that extra mile march with the heavy pack was the extent he would go to punish his group. This was far more than what was being done by the other groups.

The division between the Misfits and the other groups was only increasing and something had to be done about it. So Brady proposed a competition between his group and all of the others. There would be marksmanship, an iron man run, and a bout of judo. The other group leaders at first resisted, until Brady mentioned to Nathan that his group was better than any of the other groups. Nathan then insisted that the competition take place.

The results were as expected; the Misfits came out on top in all of the competitions. Nathan then proposed a rigid training program for the rest of the groups with Nori leading the training. There was much dissatisfaction from the other groups. Two group leaders and twelve rebels deserted the next day.

Whenever possible Brady would try to oversee how Nori was coming along in training the other groups. It wasn’t that he doubted Nori’s experience, but rather he was suspicious as to Nathan’s agenda. That became clear one day when Brady was watching Nori give Nathan some judo lessons. Whenever they came together in a grappling move Nathan’s hands would always land on an inappropriate place on Nori’s body. Nori’s face would remain impassive, as she would then slam Nathan hard into the ground often knocking the breath out of him.

After the training bout, Nathan bowed with a smile on his face to Nori and then he left to clean up. Brady went over to Nori to hear her grumbling to herself.

"You know he’s just copping a feel," Brady said coming up next to Nori.

"I thinks he’s doing it more to try to make me angry. If I become angry, I will lose my focus. So I must remain calm and turn his mistakes against him," Nori insisted.

"You just can’t seem to see him for the pervert that he is," Brady continued.

"No, I know that he’s quite the playboy, but you don’t have to worry I can take care of myself," Nori reassured Brady.

"Well, be extra careful. Nathan is not the only one to watch. Lisa doesn’t quite cotton to you being so close to Nathan and it looks like you may be the flavor of the month."

"Yeah, I know. We both have our crosses to bear. You have to watch out for Nathan and I have to watch Lisa. But we can’t leave. These kids are coming along they really need us here."

"Tell you what, I’ll keep an eye out for Lisa and you watch out for Nathan."

"Cover each others back. I’ve got your six," Nori responded with a chuckle.

By the end of a month, the entire resistance base looked much more professional. The Misfits were no longer the only group that was on sentry duty. Recon patrols were now being organized to search out for any of the Horde.

By now, the Misfits had started calling Brady "captain". Brady decided that he would work on the ranking for his unit. Nathan had never established any real ranking system with his small army. There was Nathan the leader, Lisa the second in command, and his various group leaders.

So if Brady was going to be a "captain" he decided that Nori would be his lieutenant. He picked the most able member of the misfits to act as his sergeant. This turned out to be the same African-American kid that heckled him that first day he took command. The boy’s name was Marcus Miller. Everyone just called him M&M. Now, with Brady’s insistence they called him Sergeant Miller.

Brady also tried to get his group proper military gear. Everyone had some form of helmet, an old army "tin hat", a modern PSGAT, or a riot helmet similar to the one Nori had. The uniforms were just as eclectic, but everyone wore some form of leather jacket and pants if possible and boots were a must.

Tin Hat PSGAT Riot Helmet

Without any modern communication devices, Brady determined that he would need to rely on an old method of relaying messages. That was where he came up with using a runner. It was strange to be using an old method, one rarely used for about one hundred and fifty years in the twenty-first century.

Roger Jennings was a small pimply face kid just turned twenty that Brady chose for his runner. His glasses were as thick as the bottom of a Coke bottle, but he had two assets that a good runner needed. He was an excellent long distance runner and he could remember word for word anything that was said to him.

It was with a lot of pride that Brady and Nori looked upon their Misfits. The other groups started to accept them into their circle as Nori continued to train the other groups. Group leaders now themselves followed Brady’s example of an officer corps and they also established their own runners.

Though Nathan had a natural charisma that drew people to him, Brady had a quick and strategic mind that earned him the respect of his fellow group leaders. It was with some great jealousy that Nathan watched as Brady became more popular with the other groups.

That was when Nathan came up with an idea to deal with his rival before Brady could usurp his power from him.

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First of all, I would like to thank everyone who has come to visit our little corner of the internet. It has been a great deal of fun, and we'll keep on doing it for as long as we feel the urge. So, it will still go on for quite some time. Many people have come to view some images that we have here. Mostly, the image on the left and the more correct version on the right. (It was supposed to be a 45 Calibre P14 where it is a 40 Calibre P16 in the first image)

Hello Kitty Hello Kitty

For those of you who are wondering about these photos, they're for the story "Terra Mortis" written by my friend Dwayne MacInnes. One of his characters carries this weapon. Since neither of us can draw, I created the images to better illustrate the weapon. In doing so, we hope you understand the character a little bit better. So, that is what those images are about.

Anyway, this site has lots of stories and some of them are quite long. Terra Mortis II is up to 18 chapters already. Many of you may be wondering how to "catch up" with these stories. It is quite simple, this site has been configured to show the "posts" (for lack of a better word) in chronological order rather than the order they appear on this page. Thus, if you click on the "Terra Mortis II: The Gathering - By Dwayne MacInnes" link on the right, you will be taken to a page that has the story up to the current chapter in the proper order. That is true for all of the categories. So, you can see what we have been up to since March of last year. Read the complete story about how Iapetus Saves Manhattan. There are all kinds of stories to read, so take your time! If you have any questions or comments, please leave them in the comment section. Thanks!

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The Case of the Incredible Sulk

Part Two

Mayorman hangs up his phone and sits behind his desk at the Auditorium of Equitableness. He put his head on the palms of his hands and gave out a heavy sigh. Before he sat there long, his assistant, The Assistant, came in to inform him of his next meeting.

"Sir," he mumbles quietly. "Anonymous Man is here to see you."

"Send him in," replied the mayor gathering himself together.

"Mr. Mayor," started Anonymous Man. "You have to do something!"

"Naturally," replied the mayor. "What do I have to do?"

"Uh, I don't know. Something!"

"What's wrong?"

"Haven't you heard? Half the city is plunged in darkness..."

"Oh that. We're on it. Have no fear."

"This whole episode makes me a bit sad."

"Buck up citizen! We'll set it all right. Right now though, I have a meeting so if you excuse me."

"Uh certainly," responded Anonymous Man with a bit of confusion. "I'll be going then?"

"Yes," replied the mayor. "Assistant, send in my next meeting."

"Next -- meeting -- umm -- yes Mr. Mayor," fumbled the Assistant as he attempted to discern the meaning of the mayor's words.

"Is the Dugman not here?" asked Mayorman.

"The Dugman and Hyper Hank aren't here just yet. I'll see what is keeping them."

Anonymous man stood there dumbfounded. He was attempting to figure out what was going on. The mayor had never dismissed him without fully explaining what was happening.

"Am I no longer needed in Supervania," he mumbled to himself.

"Is there anything else?" asked Mayorman.

"I guess not," sobbed Anonymous Man as he turned and sulked out of the room.

After a short wait, The Dugman and his faithful sidekick Hyper Hank entered the room.

"Sorry we're so late chief! Half the city is blacked out and this is starting to cause major problems."

"Thanks for the news flash," the Mayor said sarcastically.

"I guess that is why we're here isn't it?"

"Sorry, the entire city is caught in an incredible sulk. I'm not immune to its effect."

"What can we do?" asked the superhero.

"First, tell me why we're feeling this way?"

"That is easy, Paul Pennant is in town."

"Of course!" sighed the Mayor with relief.

"The airlines lost his luggage, and he is in Quincy McGee's office."

"That darn fibber McGee!" shouted the mayor. "He gave him the dog treatment didn't he?"

"I'm afraid so," replied the Dugman. "He threw in the wife scenario for extra effect."

"Didn't he get the notice about Pennant?"

"I'm sure he did, but he probably forgot or hasn't read it or something..."

"Okay, I'll get the Clown Patrol over there ASAP, but it'll be a while before this effect will lift."

"What about the power outage? The clowns don't work well in the dark."

"Oh yeah, we'll need to get the power back on. Thanks Dugman, you two have been a big help!"

"Glad we could help!" replied the Dugman as he turned with a flourish and left the room.

"Sir," stated the Assistant over the intercom system. "Anonymous Man is still here..."

"Send him in," replied the Mayor with a bit more energy.

"Is it something I said?" asked Anonymous Man.

"Sorry," replied the mayor. "The city is being affected by an incredible sulk, and I also fell under its spell. Is there more you wanted to say?"

"You have to do something," sobbed the superhero.

"Yes, we do. We need to restore power to the city."

"I was going to say that," Anonymous man complained as he was fighting back the tears. "Do you know what is causing the blackout?"

"Paul Pennant is clouding up the city requiring increased energy usage. Further, there is the usual evil ninja cyborg energy draining thing."

"The Energy Drainer?" enquired the superhero with a little more composure.

"Who else?"

"Where is his nemesis?"

"The Energy Conservator? He's in Bermuda recharging his batteries."

"They never miss a trick do they?"

"No they sure don't."

"So what options do we have?" asked Anonymous Man feeling a little bit better.

"Rest assured Anonymous Man, we're working on it."


"Thanks for coming. Assistant?"

"I'm going," Anonymous Man stated hurriedly as he walked quickly out the door. He felt needed again, but he did not want to wear out his welcome.

"You called?" enquired The Assistant.

"It was nothing. Any more appointments?"

"Dirk Justice is here."

"Send him in."

"Greetings Mr. Mayor, I just stopped by to see if I could be of assistance."

"Thanks Dirk, but I don't know if you can...."

"What's the problem?"

"An incredible sulk is covering half the city because of the sadness felt by Paul Pennant. We've got the Clown Patrol going over to cheer him up, but there is the problem with the Energy Drainer... We can't cheer Paul up in the dark, and we cannot ease the power use without cheering him up. We need to stop that evil ninja cyborg the Energy Drainer to ease the power problem. If we could cheer up Paul we wouldn't have the power drain and the Energy Drainer wouldn't be a problem. But we can't do that in the dark..."

We're caught in quite a catch trap. Those ninja cyborgs don't miss a trick!

I'll say! What are we going to do about the Energy Drainer?"

"Let's see, the Energy Conservator is in Bermuda -- well -- have you tried the Clappinator?"

"Do you think he would do it?"

"He is officially retired, but he may help us out."

"Assistant," the mayor said on his intercom. "Get me the Clappinator on the phone," requested the mayor as hope returned to his face.

The Assistant, from his desk, began to look up the contact information for the Clappinator. After typing a few words into his computer, the information appeared on his screen and he dialed the number. "The Clappinator is on line one sir," The Assistant stated over the intercom system.

"Thanks!" responded the mayor as he picked up his phone. "Hello Herbert! How's tricks?"

"The mayor huh? I remember when you were just a punk kid..."

"I learned a lot from you Herb."

"Bah! What do you want?"

"Herb, your city needs you."

"You toss me aside for some Energy Conservator guy, and now you're crawling back huh?"

"We allowed you to pursue other avenues..."

"Punk kid!"

"Herb, let's let bygones be bygones. I -- er -- the citizenry of Supervania need your help. Are you going to help, or do we find someone else?"

"I would love to help," the Clappinator said sarcastically.

"But...?" the mayor urged.

"But, I'm under house arrest."

"House arrest? Under whose authority?"

"The Fashion Police -- naturally."

"What did you do?"

"Some trumped up call. Something about a white belt and white shoes after Labor Day."


"It's them youngsters and their fashion rules. My other suit was at the dry cleaners. I didn't think there would be any problem."

"So, why didn't you show them your autumn and winter superhero suit?"

"I wasn't able to retrieve it. They caught me before I got there."

"Washer Woman and Martinizing Man have free delivery."

"AOENC Dry Cleaning is not too far from here. They are convenient, so I use them."

"Free delivery and pick-up..."

"I don't need some punk kid lecturing me on where to take my laundry."

"America's Original Evil Ninja Cyborg Incorporated Dry Cleaners -- are -- evil ninja cyborgs..."

"What's your point?"

"Nevermind. If we take care of your problem with the Fashion Police, will you help the city?"

"If it isn't too late in the day, I don't stay up late like you young kids!"

"We'll see what we can do to free you up."

"Furthermore, It'll cost you. I'm not made of money you know."

"We're on it."

"Jargon jargon jargon!"

"I'll talk to you later Herb."


The mayor hung up his phone, and put his face on his hands. It was a great strain to fight off the effect Paul Pennant was having over him. He thought to himself that soon the entire city would be engulfed in darkness, but Dirk Justice interrupted his thoughts.

"Sir, will the Clappinator help the city?"

"If we can get his dry cleaning to him..."

"The Sensational Seven are here to see you sir," interupted The Assistant.

"Hey!" exclaimed the mayor as a big grin come to his face. "They might be able to help us out here. Send them in!"

The outer door opened and the room immediately brightened up. The team of these superheroes was enough to drive the darkness away from the mayor's office.

"Come in! Come in!" welcomed the mayor. "What can we do for you?"

"Thir," started the leader of the group. "It ith about our name."

"Your name?"

"We are the Thenthational Theven!"


"You don't underthtand. We are the Thenthational Theven, but you have thomething elthe in your recordth."

"Let me check. No, right here it says Sensational Seven..."

"Thee, that ith not right. We are the Thenthational Theven, not what you jutht thaid."

"You want to be listed as the 'Thenthational Theven' and not the Sensational Seven?"

"That'th right!"

"Easy enough to change..." replied the mayor with a fake smile. "They -- er -- say, while I have you here, you could do the city a great favor."

"Name it thir! We will thertainly help if we can."

"Herb -- The Clappinator, one of Supervania's former superheroes -- now retired -- is needed to help us with an evil ninja cyborg problem we are experiencing."

"The power outage?"

"Yeth -- um -- yes," fumbled the mayor. "However, he is under house arrest by the Fashion Police. Could you go over there and do your thing for him? You know, get him out of trouble with the -- Fashion Police???"

"Abtholutely! We'd adore giving him the treatment!"

"Where did Dirk go?" wondered the mayor to himself. "Thenthational Theven, your help in this matter would help make life a lot better for many of the citizens of...

Super Supervania
Fashion sense we must maintain-ia
Or in darkness we'll remain-ia
It’s Super Supervania.

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Terra Mortis II: The Gathering

Chapter 19

By Dwayne MacInnes

Summer was finally beginning to wind down, and the small band of resistance fighters were now well on their way to being a professional army. Ever since Nathan was captured in their last raid on the Horde, the rebels had stayed clear of Khan’s army of thugs. As far as Khan or his Horde was concerned, the rebellion was over.

It was time to show them the teeth that Nathan’s army had grown over the last couple of months. Nathan needed to strike fast and hard against the Horde. Not only was this to avenge the deaths of those that they captured and tortured on the last raid, but also to show that the Horde was not invulnerable. Showing that the Horde could also be hurt would cause the people under Khan’s feet to rise up and join the rebellion Nathan reasoned.

Nathan was going over some of his ideas when Lisa insisted that he allow her to scout some of the local towns. The Horde needed to scavenge their supplies, and they had been moving further outward from their base of operations in order to obtain them. That would bring the Horde closer to the rebel camp giving the rebels the advantage.

Nathan smiled at the idea. This was just what he needed. As Lisa was preparing to go, Nathan insisted that she take two other rebels with her for the recon mission. Lisa at first objected but in the end, she relented.

Lisa returned to the camp after three days alone. She said that the two scouts sent along with her had taken the chance to desert when they were away. Nathan was visibly upset by this. He needed every last member of his group if his raid was going to succeed. Lisa gave her report and Nathan again started to smile. He had a plan and a good one. He worked out the last details alone with Lisa, and the next morning he called together all his group leaders.

There were now five group leaders including Brady. Each group contained about twenty fighters. The captains and lieutenants of each group crammed into Nathan’s trailer house HQ for Nathan’s briefing. There was an old road map laid out on the small table.

"I’m glad everyone could make it today," Nathan joked. "As you can see, I plan to give Khan a little taste of our new army. Thanks to Nori, and even Brady we are now in a better position to give a little payback."

Nathan took out a pencil and started drawing a circle around a small town on the map.

"This is where Khan’s scavenging force is going to be tomorrow. Lisa’s recon mission has shown that they have been scouring the other towns for any supplies they may need. They just started working on this one. It takes them four or five days to completely clean one out. So we’ll sneak in town while they are away, and when they return the next day... WHAMMO!" Nathan slammed his fist on the table with a wide grin on his face.

Everyone else in the room also smiled. They had all obviously waited a long time to exact their revenge on the Horde, and tomorrow they were going to give it.

"Now, we’ll send four groups inside the town. Everyone will occupy good defensible buildings for the ambush. One group will remain outside of town on these hills to act as look out incase any stragglers try to sneak in or out after combat begins," Nathan looked around at his group leaders noticing the eagerness on all their faces.

"OK, Nori you will be in overall charge of the four town groups," Nathan began.

"What!?! You can’t take away my lieutenant!" Brady objected.

"Shut your mouth ‘captain’," Nathan sneered mockingly. "Nori has trained all these groups and so she’ll be in overall command. Ah, but don’t worry you’ll still be in charge of your own group here on the hills outside of town, where it’ll nice and safe for your little band of ‘misfits’," Nathan chuckled.

"Um, sir," Captain Laurie Germain of Rogue group interrupted. "I think Brady is correct, and wouldn’t it be better if the Misfits were inside town where the fighting will be?"

"I’m sorry; I didn’t know this was a committee meeting. If I remember right I’m still in charge, but if any of you don’t like my plan you may leave and I’ll find a new group leader to replace you." Nathan said threateningly.

Everyone stifled his or her objections. Brady started to turn to leave when Nori grabbed his arm and whispered in his ear.

"Don’t, we are going to need you tomorrow."

"Captain West, were you leaving?" Nathan asked with false concern in his voice.

"No, sir," Brady choked out.

"Too bad."

"Sir," Laurie began again. "Where are you and Lisa going to be?"

"Good question," Nathan replied with the smile returning to his face. "We’ll keep Mr. West company. Lisa pointed out that after our last tangle with the Horde we can’t afford to lose me again."

Nathan’s smile diminished a bit as he noticed the disappointed looks on his group leaders. After all they had been through, Nathan was always there in the thick of things with his band of rebels. Now he was going to sit this one out.

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The Case of the Incredible Sulk

Part Three

At the superhero assisted living condominiums, Clappinator sat in his bathrobe reading his mail. After finishing his AARP newsletter, he looked up and noticed a rainbow and a flash of sparkles outside his window. He got up to investigate when there was a knock on his door. He tightened his robe around his waist and shuffled over to the door.

"Who is it?" he asked through the door.

"We're here to help!" responded a voice.

"I didn't ask what you wanted," complained the aging superhero. "I asked who you were."

"The mayor thent uth," the voice replied.

"That still doesn't answer my question..."

"How can we make our entrance if he doesn't open the door?" whispered one of the superheroes to the group leader.

"I don't know," the leader responded.

"Tell him we're Avon™" whispered another.

"Avon? I'd rather die."

"Tell him something..."

"Uhhh - Candy-gram," said the leader.

"Candy-gram?" replied the Clappinator. "Well then, come on in!"

The retired superhero swung open his door and the gust from the door slightly separated his robe revealing his ragged boxer shorts. With another rainbow and a flash of sparkles and several squelched sounds of disgust, the Thenthational Theven arrived at the assisted living condo of the Clappinator.

"We are the Thenthational Theven!" started the group's leader after the nausea left. "Time for the Theven Roll Call! On hair..."

"I am The Caped Coiffeur!" shouted the superhero with a flourish from her cape.

"On etiquette..."

"I am Mrs. Manners," stated the superhero politely. "It is nice to meet you."

"On style..."

"I am the Chic Magnet!" declared the superhero.

"On fashion..."

"I'm Fashionista," the superhero proudly declared. "We'll talk about your clothes."

"On design..."

"It is I," began the superhero. "The Fabulous Feng Shui and my trusty sidekick..."

"Slip Cover Girl," finished the sidekick.

"I of course am Thuper Model!" finished the group's leader.

"Where is my candy-gram?" asked the Clappinator.

"Never you mind about that," replied Super Model. "The mayor athked uth to help you out with your trouble. Thenthational Theven -- to work!"

The seven superheroes spread out to begin the grand tasks of fixing up the Clappinator's assisted living condominium. As the group investigated the condo the Clappinator heard many groans of disgust coming from the superheroes. He was still standing at the front door looking for his candy-gram.

After a few minutes of unsuccessful searching for his candy-gram, the Clappinator closed his front door. Super Model approached the bewildered elderly superhero shaking his head.

"We have a lot of work to do," complained the leader of the seven superheroes. "Thith plathe ith a methth. An awful methth."

"Meth?" inquired the Clappinator.

"You know -- thloppy -- old fathioned -- not thylith -- you know -- a methth."

"I got nothing," said the bewildered superhero.

"Don't worry," replied Super Model. "We'll take care of everything."

Super Model led the Clappinator into the living room to where The Fabulous Feng Shui was standing with her hands on her hips and a look of utter disgust on her face.

"Where on Earth did you get this gaudy couch?" she asked.

"It was a gift from former President..."

"Well it has to go," interrupted Feng Shui. "It is blocking the flow of Chi and the color is all wrong for your skin tones."

A flash comes from Slip Color Girls eyes and the couch disappears into a cloud of cinnamon-apple scented potpourri.

"The coffee table too," ordered Feng Shui.

"But that was hand made by..."

"Face it," interrupted Feng Shui again. "It all has to go."

Suddenly, all of the Clappinator's furnishings vanished and the room smelled like Mom's apple pie. The retired superhero lost all ability to speak as all of his treasures vanished. He just stood there with his mouth open.

"Slip Cover Girl," ordered the Fabulous Feng Shui. "To the bedroom!"

In the empty room the Clappinator stood there dumbfounded with his mouth agape. Mrs. Manners entered the room and said, "Standing there with your mouth open is quite rude."

The retired superhero immediately closed his mouth. He tried to respond, but words could not form in his brain. Meanwhile, the paintings from his walls were flying from the places they have hung for several years. They are attracted in a swirl around the Chic Magnet.

"I'm Sorry Mr. Clappinator," the superhero bemoaned. "But, this art has to go. It is so 2238. I mean really!"

"Don't move!" shouted the Caped Coiffeur.

The retired superhero was in too much shock to move. His once full living room was now completely empty. All the mementoes he had obtained throughout the years were now gone.

He felt a tingling in his scalp. It began to bring him out of his shock. However, once he began to move, the tingle turned to a burn. He vaguely remembers someone telling him to not move, but he had no recollection of who or why.

"It is because I haven't told you why," stated the Caped Coiffeur.

"What?" asked the Clappinator to himself.

"I haven't told you why you shouldn't move," replied the hair stylist.

"Are you in my mind?" asked the old superhero.

"If I wasn't you would move your mouth, but I told you to not move."

"That's a good trick," he thought.

"I am a superhero."

"Oh right..."

"That was quite unthinking of you," interrupted Mrs. Manners. "Insulting her in your thoughts like that!"

"You too?" thought the Clappinator.

"We are all superheroes Herbert L. Clappinator. May I call you Herb?"

"Herb? Yes. I'm Herb."

Herb Clappinator's head began to spin again. The tingle and burn was now alternating quite frequently.

Suddenly, it stopped. Herb was stunned by its sudden absence. The Caped Coiffeur produced a mirror and Herb looked at his reflection. After seeing himself, everything went black and he fell to the floor in a heap.

"Excellent!" exclaimed the hair stylist. "He was so happy with his new style that he fainted. Nothing could be more gratifying than that!"

"It lookth fabulouth! Well done Coiffeur!" added Super Model.

The Clappinator was out for quite a long time. He awoke to find himself on three slightly cushioned pink wooden boxes. He looked around and there were several of these modular wooden boxes of various colors scattered around his living room. In the center of this room was a pile of his clothes. Before he could say a word, the clothes were gone. This time the scent was lemon.

The retired superhero looked around his once cluttered comfortable room. It was now sleek and modern. There were padded boxes that could be arranged in any way. His 56 inch plasma TV was gone to be replaced with a 72 inch 3-D hologram projector.

"That's nice," he mumbled to himself.

"I knew you'd like it," replied the Fabulous Feng Shui.

"That's not what I meant, I..."

"Our job is done!" interrupted Feng Shui. "The Fabulous Feng Shui and Slip Cover Girl away!"

"You were very gracious," added Mrs. Manners. "I shall be going as well. Your hair is quite lovely. Have a good day."

"My hair!" Herb recalled.

"You're welcome," replied the Caped Coiffeur as she also left.

"My goodness look at those paintings on my wall," sighed the aged superhero.

"They are great! I agree," responded the Chic Magnet. "You have excellent taste."


"I will take my leave of you."

"Now we are three," stated Super Model. "It ith you -- me..."

"And Fashionista makes three!" chuckled the fashion expert.

"We need to get you out of here and get you thome new clotheth," Super Model stated frankly.

"I'm under houth -- I mean -- house arrest. I cannot leave. I only have the clothes on my back."

"That robe must go!" stated Fashionista firmly. "I will call the fashion police, but first, you must answer your door!"

As she finished her sentence, a knock came to the door. This startled the Clappinator, but he managed to hobble over to answer the door.

"Errand Boy!" exclaimed the retired superhero.

"Hello Mr. Clappinator Sir. I have picked up your dry cleaning for you. That will be $12.34 including tax."

"Here's $12.50," responded the Clappinator.

"Thanks! Nice hair," Errand Boy said as he was trying to stifle his laugh.

"You can keep the change," Herb replied not noticing the chuckle.

Errand Boy took the money from Herb. He stood there blinking for a couple of seconds doing the math in his head but then shrugged his shoulders and left. Before Errand Boy reached his bicycle, Herb had his super suit on. Fashionista was on the phone freeing the Clappinator from his house arrest.

"Energy wasters!" Herb shouted with authority. "You will be clapped off by the mighty Clappinator! To action!"

The Clappinator restored power to Supervania as the evil ninja cyborg Energy Drainer's plans were thwarted. Normalcy was returned to...

Super Supervania
Now freed from the energy drain-ia
Herb will never speak to the mayor again-ia
It’s Super Supervania.

"I'm here to help," added Errand Boy.

The End.

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Terra Mortis II: The Gathering

Chapter 20

By Dwayne MacInnes

It was very early the next morning when the entire rebel camp headed for the town. No one said anything as they hiked along the road in the predawn darkness. Brady figured they would be at the town just before daybreak. That should give everyone enough time to get into position for the attack.

Nori walked next to Brady as they worked their way down the road.

"Well, it looks like I'll have to watch both Lisa and Nathan," Brady joked half-heartedly.

"I don't like this, Brady," Nori confided in an unusually somber tone.

"It's just pre-attack jitters. You'll be fine. Remember I've seen you in action."

"It's not that. I have a bad feeling about this," Nori said quickly and then she jogged up ahead to talk to the other captains.

The small army set themselves up without a hitch. Brady watched Nori position her groups inside of the town through his field glasses.

"She definitely knows her stuff," Brady thought with pride.

The Misfits had formed themselves on top of a steep hill outside of the only road in and out of town. There were some trees for protection and Brady smiled inwardly as he noticed that all his Misfits had situated themselves perfectly and without much noise.

Lisa and Nathan on the other hand were as loud as herd of elephants and as clumsy as drunken monkeys. Brady had to keep telling them to keep their heads low or they may reveal their position to the enemy. Both would just glare at Brady for a minute before they would finally do as they were told.

The sun was just beginning to rise over the mountains behind them when they heard the sound of motorcycles in the distance. The noise of the small engines seemed odd to Brady's ears after a year of not hearing anything more than the engine of their old Dodge truck. Brady could feel the excitement build in anticipation of the ambush. He wasn't alone. 1955 Dodge Truck

Nathan stood up and before Brady could yell at him to get down the rebel leader began to run towards the town.

Lisa then shouted after him, "No, what are you doing?"

"How can I hide up here? I need to be with my troops in their moment of glory," Nathan shouted over his shoulder.

Lisa just stood there watching Nathan run towards the town. The color was drained from her face as Brady reached up and pulled her back down to the ground.

"Dammit," Brady hissed. "Are you trying to let them know we are here?"

Lisa flinched and buried her face in her hands as she began to sob silently.

Brady didn't have time for a hysterical girl. He raised his field glasses to his eyes and scanned the road toward the rumble of the bikes. The lead elements of the Horde could be seen racing down the road toward the town.

Swinging his glasses toward the town, Brady noticed that Nathan had already concealed himself.

"Thank God for that," Brady thought.

The Misfits remained in their positions as the twenty or so bikes sped past them and sped into town. There was a lone U-Haul truck following behind. This was obviously how they planned to transport their take back to their base of operation.

Brady no longer noticed Lisa's sobbing as he watched the Horde enter the town and begin to dismount. After everyone was off his or her bikes and the driver out of the truck, Brady watched as Nathan stood up from behind an abandoned red car. They were too far away to hear what Nathan was saying. "Probably something like surrender or die," Brady thought.

Soon afterwards, gunfire started to breakout. Most of the bikers dropped as the different rebel groups unleashed their weapons unto the exposed Horde. Brady started to smile. "It would soon be over. No more than ten minutes work," he mused.

That's when Brady heard another noise. A noise he had only heard in old war movies, the squeak and whine of steel on steel clattering down a concrete road.

"Cap, look over there," Sergeant Miller called out.

Brady brought his field glasses to bear in the direction Miller pointed. But he would have seen it even without them. The distinctive olive drab green half-track with a white star on the hood and four .50 caliber machineguns on a carriage on the back was racing down the road.

M16 Halftrack

"Jennings," Brady yelled. "Get to that town and warn everyone to get out."

The boy shot off like a bullet without further encouragement. Brady turned to the rest of his Misfits.

"OK, this is where we earn our keep. We have to buy the other groups some time in order for them to pull out," Brady ordered.

With that, Brady raised his M-16 to his shoulder and squeezed off a round. The rest of the group followed suit. The bullets bounced harmlessly off the half-track's armor. Nevertheless, it had the effect that Brady desired -- it stopped.

"Everybody get down!" Brady shouted.

The Misfits all hit the dirt without a second thought as the gun carriage started strafing the hillside blindly looking for the raiders. Fortunately, the M-2s were aimed too low. Splinters from shattered trees flew through the air along with the churned up clods of dirt.

"Sergeant, get the group out of here. I'll try to hold them off," Brady yelled.

"Sir, you..." Miller began to protest.

"Do it!"

Lisa then raised herself up and started down the steep hill towards the half-track. The gunner in the carriage tried to shoot her but he could not depress the guns fast enough. Brady took careful aim at the gunner through the open site on his assault rifle. Brady didn't notice Cooper and Akira next to him who where firing on the half-track to draw its attention away from Lisa.

The carriage raised the four M-2s toward the source of the bullets and started to spray forth its leaden death. Again, trees were being shattered and splinters flew through the air. If a .50 caliber shell hit Brady, he knew he would be turned into hamburger. However, he kept taking careful aim. He'd have only one shot and it would have to count.

Time slowed down as dirt spewed around him filling his nostrils with the smell of freshly turned soil. He didn't notice the short-lived scream of Akira as a round from one of the M-2s tore through his torso. Brady peered down the site onto the man behind the guns. He slowly squeezed the trigger and barely heard the ‘pop' of his round as he fired the M-16. Brady watched the man slump forward as his shot found its mark a split second before something slammed into his left shoulder spinning him around and knocking him to the ground. Before he lost consciousness Brady felt a burning sensation begin to spread through his left shoulder.

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  • Douglas Gogerty: Thanks Timmy. It was a fun one for sure! read more
  • Douglas Gogerty: Thanks Larry! It is definitely some of Dwayne's best writing! read more
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