“Father’s going to be mad.”
Vultera swallowed, hard. The two had searched for hours on end, combing all points of Crescent Valley, but to no avail. Their prey had slipped from their grasp.
Of course they could blame Fang Force for their failure – and likely would – but no excuse could temper Lord Nihilex’s legendary rage.
They pressed into the caves, hand in hand, ready to face the inevitable.
They could run, but to do so would only prolong the inevitable. Better to get it over and done with, and to suffer only a little before the end.
After a slow, dreadful march, the two came into the throne room, where Wiseman hunched in wait. He raised his head, but did not reveal the face under his hood.
“Vultera, Feareus,” he croaked. “Lord Nihilex has been expecting you.” Continue reading “Fang Force #42 – “Bad Blood: The New Faces of Evil” (Part 6)”
In all the days of his near-endless existence, it was the closest Fantom had ever been to oblivion. Born from nothingness, he would soon return to it, crushed in the grip of his monstrous step-brother, whose hatred of him transcended realms.
It was pointless to resist. This fight found him knowing that he couldn’t win. At best the abyssal prince could reminisce on what was, what could have been, before the unlife was choked from him.
“Goodnight, Fantom,” Feareus snarled, “for the last time!”
“Not if I can help it!”
Red Fang launched into the monster’s back, planted her feet between his shoulders, and wrenched his chin. Her strength needn’t have to be greater; it was distraction enough for Feareus to loosen his hold.
The other heroes charged, tackling Feareus’ burly arms one at a time. They clung for all their lives as the monster threw them this way and that. Still they held tight, leaving Feareus little room to move.
“Get them off me!” he bellowed. Continue reading “Fang Force #41 – “Bad Blood: The New Faces of Evil” (Part 5)”
It’s worth noting that while exposure to sunlight is not fatal to the living vampire, it remains an irritant; particularly to Drake, who while asleep on a branch fell into the gradual shifting of sunlight through the leaves. He woke with a groan, and swatted at the rays.
“Who put the sun there?”
Deciding that he’d slept long enough, the leather-clad vampire dropped to the ground on all fours. He stretched and he yawned, readying himself for the few hours until his next scheduled nap.
“Suppose I should check on the others,” he muttered to nobody.
Drake shuffled through the backstreets. There wasn’t much to see.
Every so often he’d come across a yard where a child, too young to know better, smiled up to him. His smirks were closer to sneers. It had been hundreds of years since he was a child; too long to remember how they worked.
He discovered his teammates in an empty lot. They weren’t alone, however, as a man clutched what he could only assume was his daughter to his chest. All six were fixated on something by the far wall. Continue reading “Fang Force #40 – “Bad Blood: The New Faces of Evil” (Part 4)”
For Fantom, moving through human civilization proved no mean feat. They were, after all, sensitive creatures, and prone to alarm. Thus he deployed subterfuge, traveling away from crowded population centers. Hiding spots were plentiful if one knew where to look, though served him for very long.
He found refuge in the bushes in an undeveloped lot. Garbage lay strewn in the grass. Who knew how long since this land was touched? It suited his needs, for the moment.
Fantom unclasped his armor, and with a sudden hiss of pain removed the plates. Viscous, incandescent purple flowed freely, stirring an icy fog. He pressed the wound, but it did little to stem the flow running between his fingers.
What a fool he’d been. Lord Nihilex proved more than his equal. Now he was paying the price.
The prince closed his eyes, for how long he couldn’t say. Thoughts melted into one another, never quite reaching culmination. Time lost meaning.
When he next looked he was not alone, and in the most unlikely of company. Continue reading “Fang Force #39 – “Bad Blood: The New Faces of Evil” (Part 3)”
It was by no means a novel sight, but no matter how many times she saw it, Lindsay couldn’t help but wonder, ‘how can he sleep like that?’
On this occasion Drake was on the sofa, balanced precariously on its back like a much smaller creature. She watched the vampire slumber, face rested on his hands, and feet folded to keep from falling. It was like something a child would do!
So fascinated was Lindsay that she did not register Vincent creeping behind her.
“It’s the ‘cat’ familiar that gives him the power to sleep anywhere.”
Lindsay clasped her chest to keep her heart from leaping out. “Give a girl a little warning next time!”
Drake stirred, but only slightly. He could sleep through most things. Continue reading “Fang Force #38 – “Bad Blood: The New Faces of Evil” (Part 2)”
Perhaps it was inevitable, Fantom thought, that in a world without Queen Lacuna to divide them, his blade would inevitably find his step-father’s back. Abandon surged through his body. He raised the scimitar high, pausing to steady his hand – the final moment before changing his fate.
Steel landed with a wet squelch, buried in the flesh of the shadow conqueror. But alas, it was not the intended neck that met his blade.
Lord Nihilex pressed against the weapon wedged in his palm, and with the single eye pulsing turned to his betrayer. The tentacles of his beard flailed. He pried from his knees and seethed, otherwise unfazed by the wound.
“You don’t know how I’ve waited for this day,” Lord Nihilex said. “Always so single minded, so jealous. It was a mistake to think we could share a Queen, no matter how much we love her.”
Fantom pressed for all his fury. The blade ran only a few inches further down the despot’s hand before it stopped. He could drive the sword no further. Continue reading “Fang Force #37 – “Bad Blood: The New Faces of Evil” (Part 1)”
A hundred families had prepared eulogies for the ones they’d lost. Despite the horrors that beset Crescent Valley these past months, none struck so deep as the tragedy of Oldtown Junction. History would tell of the dark day when Fang Force failed in their duty.
However, it was also a time of miracles, and history was not yet written.
A little boy clung to a statue and screamed as the men in uniform took her into the back of a van. ‘For safekeeping,’ they told him; ‘we’ll keep her safe’, as though any assurance could be enough. Nothing could soothe the vision of a mother’s leaving, save perhaps her return. Though even a child, for all the wonder they held, knew how likely that was.
The fighting in the distance stopped, and the tremors stilled. Fang Force stood victorious; they didn’t need a TV or radio to be sure. On any other day it would be a cause for celebration.
Then something peculiar happened. The air became warm, and so did the surface of the statue. Throughout the vehicle, grey faded into pinks, browns, and creams of all shades and tints. The workmen were careful not to leap back as the stone in their fingers turned soft, and once rigid figures began to move. Continue reading “Fang Force #36 – “Hero’s Essence: Lindsay’s Fight for Life” (Part 6)”
Restored to full strength and beyond, Qimos moved across Crescent Valley with steps as long as city blocks. His stringy digits lashed at the masonry, tearing through the face of buildings. The void’s chill radiated from him, frosting the windows, and biting the unfortunates who landed in his path.
From his renewed proboscis he spat needles like iron girders. They shot into the street, and turned up the pavement. Pitiful creatures ran outside to avoid the collapse of their refuges, and those on the street fled for cover. Nowhere was safe!
“Take him from all sides!” Blue Fang barked through the comms.
The familiars charged from every corner of the intersection, running and scuttling, and pounced. Yellow Beetle charged at the feet, Blue Wolf the legs, Pink Spider latched to its back, and Green Mountain Lion struck from head on. Their combined force was sure to bring the enemy down, if only they could only land a blow.
Qimos sprang into the air, leaving the machines victim to their own momentum. They crashed onto asphalt and tore up the streets. It hardly seemed worth the effort destroying the city when Fang Force was doing it for him! Continue reading “Fang Force #35 – “Hero’s Essence: Lindsay’s Fight for Life” (Part 5)”
Uncertainty permeated the streets of Oldtown Junction. Friends, family and loved ones stood transformed from flesh into stone. Were they really gone, or was there still some trace of humanity tucked away beneath? With strange things always happening around them it was difficult to say.
Volunteers wrapped the statues in padding and loaded them onto trucks. Bystanders watched from the barricade, crying when someone they knew was carried away. It was like losing them all over again.
“It’s not safe for them here,” the officials told them. They weren’t game to dash their hopes, no matter how unlikely a restoration seemed.
On an already dark day, Qimos returned to wreak more havoc. He was not alone, and led a horde of freaklings through the populace. The creatures spread in a devastating circle, prompting screams from the humans as they ran.
For a being born in the land of nightmares, there was no sweeter melody.
“Flee if you must, but it will do you no good,” Qimos mused. “When the floodgates open, and the Abyssal Realm swarms your Earth, your lives will be ours to toy with!”
None stopped to listen, but it mattered little. Continue reading “Fang Force #34 – “Hero’s Essence: Lindsay’s Fight for Life” (Part 4)”
For once in his unnatural life, Lord Nihilex was in a bright mood; as bright as a cave-dwelling void being was capable, anyhow. On squat legs he bounded the steps leading to the throne and pumped his fists high.
“Red Fang has fallen!” he decreed. “Without leadership, Fang Force is sure to crumble!”
The freaklings crashed into each other, agitated and excited, and echoed with a high, squeaking groan that in some reality passed for cheering.
Among the throng was Qimos, the bipedal mosquito and hero of the hour. Somewhere under the depressed needle hanging over his face was a smile. Minute as his mouth was it stretched to its limits, and if seen would have shone with sickly blue cheeks.
“You’ve done us proud, Qimos,” Lord Nihilex continued. “Of all the generals under my rule you have been the most effective; more effective, even, than my pitiful excuse for a step-son – Fantom!”
Qimos hesitated, unsure of what to make of the comparison. Best not to question it, he thought; best to fall before his master and give him the reverence he deserved. Continue reading “Fang Force #33 – “Hero’s Essence: Lindsay’s Fight for Life” (Part 3)”