“Fang Force is at full strength,” Lord Nihilex lamented. “Even without the Great Vampire King, they are five united, and with their unstoppable familiar combat machines at the ready!”
His voice more than echoed in the dark; it was an extension of it, so that every word drilled into the ears of those who dwelled there. Not least of all was Fantom, his warrior step-son with a mask covering half his absent face.
“We’ve been cocky,” the younger monster mused. “It isn’t enough to simply throw our weight around, hoping for the best. Defeating Fang Force will require all our cunning.”
“Who asked you?” the shadow conqueror roared, and unleashed a wave of dark energy to plunge deep into his chest.
Such attacks were becoming customary, and left Fantom writhing. Some days he wondered why he spoke at all; but then he realised that to be silent was to give himself completely to his step-father’s wishes. His mother, Queen Lacuna, would have long age interjected were she awake to see such a display. Continue reading “Fang Force #19 – “All Hail: The Fang Empress Realized” (Part 1)”
Sitting at the side of Queen Lacuna, Lord Nihilex hadn’t looked away from her sleeping form since his children left. Had he expected too much of them? Perhaps, but what other choice did he have? He couldn’t allow Fantom to live after what he’d done, bringing the scion in without killing her. He thought his children could manage, but cursed himself at Fearus sobbed like a whimpering human.
Hours passed with his thoughts lingering between that of the children and the queen. Eventually something that would normally never be allowed happened; a freakling opened the door to the chamber. It was met with destruction so fast that it may not have noticed before falling into dust.
“You may enter, Wiseman,” Nihilex growled, “but keep quiet. Should you disturb her rest you will meet the same fate as the messenger.” Continue reading “Fang Force #18.5 – “A Bold New Direction” (April Fools!)”
Fantom hobbled through the passages, a shell of his former self. What a fool he’d been. Had he not been so prideful, he’d have known to assuage his step-father’s anger. Instead he provoked the beast, and in doing so accepted a wealth of pain that left him debilitated. Such was the cost of his hubris, to which he could blame nobody else.
It would be some time before he healed enough to face Fang Force again on equal terms; if, by that time, there was still a Fang Force to battle.
He limped into an antechamber, where laid across a pair of long beds were the two vampires staring at an hourglass. The grains sifted through the funnel at a snail’s pace. Neither paid any mind to the stranger as he entered the room.
“You should have ended them when you had the chance,” Fantom said. Continue reading “Fang Force #16 – “Bitter Return: A Fang Force Divided” (Part 4)”
It wasn’t until she’d rested that Lindsay felt the full sting of her experience. She whined as Spike wrapped tape around her ribs with a skill greater than a small creature should possess, while the other two cried for her from the other side of the modesty screen.
“It’s Lindsay,” she said. “Lindsay!”
Of course she could command them to use her name – the power of the Great Vampire King compelled them to her commands – but that didn’t seem right. Better they get in the habit themselves, she thought. Having leadership thrust on her was hard enough; being a ‘Master’ was next level. Continue reading “Fang Force #12 – “Dark Temptation: Lindsay Decides Her Fate” (Part 6)”
Once Lindsay scoffed at Lord Nihilex, because she’d been lucky. She’d never been touched by evil personified; never felt its needles tear her from the inside out. She cried out, though her sounds were lost in the darkness, fading in the course a thousand tunnels.
Lindsay clutched her chest, as though to do so would keep her together. What little defiance she had ebbed by the second. Moments dragged for eternity. She convulsed, no longer aware of her surroundings; only the supernatural power that wrenched the life from her.
The torture ceased, but not by the mercy of Lord Nihilex. The taste of copper dominated her senses. Lindsay lifted her head, and through the haze could swear to seeing Fantom on his knees facing away from her. It was hard to tell in the dark. More curious still were the licks of smoke rising from his chest, same as it did from her jacket.
Lord Nihilex snatched Fantom by the collar and lifted him to his feet. Weren’t they on the same side?
“I’ve had enough of your insolence,” the conqueror snapped. “Stand in my way again and you’ll share her fate!” Continue reading “Fang Force #11 – “Dark Temptation: Lindsay Decides Her Fate” (Part 5)”
Only those with an inflated sense of daring took to the mountains over Crescent Valley. The trees shooting from the slopes promised a thousand bloody ends to those who fell, long before they ever hit the bottom. For two vampires, however, the danger of gravity was an annoyance at best.
They moved from ledge to ledge with inhuman deftness, stopping only to scan for anything out of the ordinary. Cassius sniffed the air, searching for a trail only a wolf was attuned to. For miles they roamed, and would continue to do so well after the sun had set.
“Anything?” Luther asked.
The blazer clad guardian lifted his nose in hope of a sign. In spite of his stoicism and resolve the undercurrent of dread ran deep. Though only a few short hours had passed it was time enough for the worst to unfold. The Fantom of present was without question equal in cruelty to the monster of memory.
“We’re getting closer,” Cassius told him, though it was a half-truth. No sign of Lindsay appeared in the ground they’d already covered, eliminating a handful of possibilities. That they provided no solid leads was a fact he kept to himself. Continue reading “Fang Force #10 – “Dark Temptation: Lindsay Decides Her Fate” (Part 4)”
Vultera drew a card between her talons and considered the details on the wax-coated paperboard. It featured the likeness of a human male, little more than skin and bone, crawling on his knees like an animal. Below it was a transcription in the old tongue, from a time before humanity had words of their own. After some thought she placed it upon the table and slid it toward her brother.
“I play my emaciated type,” she hissed, “and use ‘feral bite’, adding plus two to my speed.”
Her monstrous sibling snarled and laid a card of his own on the table. It featured a wide eyed human female wearing naught but rags, mouth gaping in horror with limbs frozen. “I play my hysterical type in the defensive position and use ‘flee for safety’,” Feareus said. “I have evaded your attack!”
Their back and forth went on for some time, playing cards in the shadows above the throne room, where echoes could not reach. Though known to their father, the two regarded the passage a secret, insofar as it belonged to them. None had appeared to challenge their claim, until that moment.
“What are you doing?” Fantom pressed. Continue reading “Fang Force #09 – “Dark Temptation: Lindsay Decides Her Fate” (Part 3)”
Crescent Valley was no longer the single street township to which Cassius and Luther were accustomed. Several generations had nurtured the ground level establishments into spires that reached for the sky with more windows than there were people. More fascinating still were the colors that saturated them on posters with bold script. And then there were the lights on every corner, inside every building, in all the hues of the rainbow.
Even the Great Vampire King, for all the wonders he possessed, would have stood in awe, and yet the residents of this place regarded it as mundane. Perhaps, given time, Cassius and Luther would do the same; but it was not to be this day.
Lindsay took them, one in each hand, and dragged them into a clothing store, the floor of which spanned several times the size of a paddock. Never in their life had they seen so many identical garments in one place, sized for varying body types, including their own.
“I… I don’t know where to begin,” Cassius said.
Luther regarded a nearby item on a hook. He appeared puzzled at first by the short sleeves, and more by the graphic printed upon what he supposed was the front. It was a caricature of an American bulldog with a spiked collar, surrounded by the words ‘WHERE MY DAWGZ AT?’. So affronted was he by this unusual garment that he could not even appreciate the softness of the cotton from which it was stitched. Continue reading “Fang Force #08 – “Dark Temptation: Lindsay Decides Her Fate” (Part 2)”
Of all the joys to the twenty-first century, there are none greater than coffee and fresh cinnamon donuts. Though it wasn’t until she was halfway up the castle steps before Lindsay wondered if vampires liked either. Did they need to eat at all? Other than blood, that is. She discarded the thought as too gruesome before breakfast and pushed on with the power of caffeine.
Lindsay bounded into the clock tower – steaming paper bag in one hand, a tray of cups in the other – and was overcome. Two days was all it took for a pair of vampires and a little bat to perform a miracle.
The first time she entered the belfry it was musty, dark and strewn with cobwebs. All that seemed like a bad dream. Crates had been replaced by polished wood furniture and high backed leather chairs, which made a good home on the new planks they’d set. Even the inside of the clock face was wiped clean, along with the bell overhead that reflected the morning light.
She almost dropped their breakfast – almost.
“You guys did all of this?”
Cassius and Luther emerged from hiding. Both had their hair pulled back and were wearing aprons. Their lace cuffed shirts, however, were still in tatters, and only the worse after all their work. Continue reading “Fang Force #07 – “Dark Temptation: Lindsay Decides Her Fate” (Part 1)”
Freaklings. Shambling aberrations. Darkness given shape.
Throughout history they were feared by humankind. Great warriors took swords to them to no avail. Barricades as tall as the sky could only delay them. The desperate fired cannons at the monsters with nil effect. Only when faced against supernatural foes did they ever meet a challenge, though two soldiers were as nothing against a swarm… in theory.
All of that changed because of her. What should have been a foregone conclusion was thrown into jeopardy because of her! The Great Vampire King had vanished from the world, but his spirit lingered in the form of a pathetic human, barely more than a child!
Lord Nihilex paced around the throne, and received a wide berth from those beneath him. When he growled, underlings knew better than to respond unless addressed.
“With my own hands I cast him into the deepest pit of the Abyssal Realm,” he railed, “yet still he resists! When will this cursed opposition end?” Continue reading “Fang Force #06 – “Rebirth: Rise of the Red Fang” (Part 6)”