Time has little meaning for immortals such as Fantom. The air was musty and thick with the smell of rot. Where he sat was no doubt the resting place of countless before him, not that it bothered him. He would wait until doomsday for Queen Lacuna’s return.
He stilled upon hearing footsteps. There was no mistaking Lord Nihilex’s gait. The shadow conqueror rattled his talons across the bars of his step-son’s cell.
“Curs’tac has been destroyed,” Lord Nihilex said.
The prince hummed. “He was lucky to survive as long as he did.”
Lord Nihilex threw his weight against the cell where stalactites and stalagmites had were closed like interlocking teeth. “Luck or not, he had an advantage; one which you jeopardised with your… your arrogant posturing!”
“My point still stands,” Fantom said. “Your affection for our Queen, deserved though it is, has made you dull. You have the power to raze worlds, ‘my Lord’, but will not lift a finger to claim them.”
Were anyone else present they might have feared for Fantom. Who among them was so bold to speak to one of the great Abyssal rulers in such a way? Continue reading “Fang Force #30 – “Shell Shock: The Indestructible Foe” (Part 6)”
Though Drake was at rest, he was anything but restful. He twisted in his sleep, kicking off blankets one second and grabbing for them the next. Pain coursed through him while his body slowly stitched itself together.
Cassius sat at his bedside, never once looking away. He reached for Drake’s jacket, which had fallen to the floor, and pulled it back over the wounded vampire’s chest. The green, vegan leather was smooth to the touch, but lacked the earthy smell that was part of its character. All Cassius could smell was the garlic, onions and spices so liberally applied to the curator’s meatballs. Who would have thought that mere foodstuffs could make him so pitiful.
Spike balanced on the bed rail and applied a washcloth to Drake’s forehead. She fretted, fiddling with tiny claws. “I hope the others are alright,” she said.
“They will be,” Cassius said. “They’re strong, and Lindsay’s there.”
The little bat flapped and whined. “But-but there’s only three of them, and-”
“Curs’tac is a dangerous enemy, but worrying isn’t going to help. We have to trust that they’re strong enough to handle the situation.” Continue reading “Fang Force #28 – “Shell Shock: The Indestructible Foe” (Part 4)”
Lord Nihilex stared at the wall opposing his throne. Its blackness seethed and drank the wind through the passageways. Its thirst was eternal; such was the nature of the Abyssal Realm – desperate for substance, all consuming; so desperate that it churned creatures from nothingness to act on its accord.
The void was known by all. Those with young imaginations often stared into it when the light left them. What monstrous conjurings they projected onto that canvas took form at the portal gates, the shape of which he could never predict. So far, however, all had failed to serve their purpose.
Both he and the Abyss stared without eyes, daring the other to blink. How deep did the darkness run inside the shadow conqueror’s chest? Deeper, he thought, than the farthest corners of the realm. He growled, casting his thoughts further, until…
His goblet clunked against the stone, staining it with drink. Feareus and Vultera stumbled to retrieve the cup, bickering over which of them would hold it and fill it.
“What a pathetic display,” Lord Nihilex sneered. Continue reading “Fang Force #25 – “Shell Shock: The Indestructible Foe” (Part 1)”
Lindsay lifted her head from the console. Everything beyond the crack in her visor was a blur. Her head swam on her shoulders, and the metallic taste in her mouth spelled something she didn’t want to think about. Still, she endured.
Through the haze there were voices; voices that she knew but couldn’t put names to.
“There’s too many of them!”
“I can take a few. I just need a clear shot.”
“Everybody stay calm. Cooler heads will prevail.”
“What about Lindsay? Lindsay, are you there?”
The sound of her name was the anchor she needed. Red Fang shook her head and was back in the pilot’s seat of her familiar. She winced through the agony of crashing to earth.
“I’m here,” she said, wearily. “I… what happened?”
Every thought to pass through her head did with the consistency of concrete. How tempting it was to lay back on the panel and sleep again. Continue reading “Fang Force #24 – “All Hail: The Fang Empress Realized” (Part 6)”
Little did Fang Force realize that their foe, Chorack, survived the attack; or at least a version of him did. The humanoid vermin skulked in concealment and followed the five as they returned to the castle. He watched from around the corner as the vampires and their leader pressed through the side entrance.
“Now that they think me vanquished they’ll let their guard down,” he said. “That’s when I’ll strike! And when Fang Force falls, Lord Nihilex will elevate me to the right hand side of his throne!” The monster giggled as much as he hissed, and turned his attention back to the crew.
Drake buried his hands in his pockets and kicked the dirt.
“What’s the matter?” Lindsay asked.
He shrugged. “Nothing. It’s just- of all the monsters I’ve fought over the years, none have ever been so weak or pathetic.”
Chorack winced. What cruel words! Five on one he was at a disadvantage, and he’d thrown the battle on purpose; but harsh words still cut his exoskeleton. Didn’t they know not to speak ill of the vanquished? Continue reading “Fang Force #20 – “All Hail: The Fang Empress Realized” (Part 2)”
“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)”
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)”
The city of Crescent Valley is named for its position below an arcing mountain range shaped on a map like the waxing moon. Home to over half a million residents, their numbers swell with the countless visitors that enter its limits every year; for during the days of its founding, Crescent Valley was home to a being of legend, simply known to locals as ‘The Great Vampire King’.
Many are skeptical that such creatures ever walked among humans, yet cannot explain the great stone castle that sits above the city. Strong and silent, the structure watches them through the ages, though marks no time of its own; the grand clock fixed to the central tower, has sat frozen for over a century, with hands set at one minute to midnight.
“Legend has it that when the clock strikes twelve a great evil will beset mankind,” Lindsay said, leaning toward the group with the eagerness of a believer. “Flames and darkness and destruction!” Her arms rose with the scale of her story. “And on that day the Great Vampire King will return to defend us with his power.” Continue reading “Fang Force #01 – “Rebirth: Rise of the Red Fang” (Part 1)”