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)”
It started with a rumble. Was she hearing things? Lindsay stopped, fresh from saying goodbye to another tour group, and listened. The tiles rattled a second time, and for a while all was quiet. She might have thought it a monster, but the bell tower always rang when evil reared its head. This, she decided, was something else.
The young woman followed the sound between beats. It was coming from inside the castle. She entered the staircase leading to the basement and followed it to the end. The ground rumbled again, louder this time. She was getting close.
Rarely did she have a need to enter the basement. While tour goers believed there were dungeons or catacombs, in truth there was only a storage area for props and cleaning supplies. Lindsay brushed an effigy of the Great Vampire King to one side – a relic from Halloweens past – and came to the source of the noise.
The vampire dripped with sweat, and let the weights in his arms drop to the floor. It struck with a boom, the likes of which shook the walls. Luther brushed the soggy blond strands from his face.
“Looks like you caught me,” he said. Continue reading “Fang Force #31 – “Hero’s Essence: Lindsay’s Fight for Life” (Part 1)”
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)”
Wiseman ran his palms over the crystal ball, and through it revealed the goings on in Crescent Valley. What it showed put the court ill at ease; less because a promising general had fallen, and more for the fury it would inspire from their master.
Lord Nihilex did not disappoint, and stormed across the obsidian tiles. They cracked under his feet, and rattled loose the stalactites. His bellows carried through the tunnels, and into the mouth of the Abyssal Realm.
“Of all the clumsy, inept sycophants to march through these halls, this one grates me the most!” he roared. “To think that I had hopes for Curs’tac, picking off the entire Fang Force one by one, only to be betrayed by his own foul smell!”
The absurdity was too much, and prompted the shadow conqueror to kick over a table, then the candle holder, and to brush all the cups from a nearby table. His servants, and his children, cowered in his wake. To even breathe out of turn might set off a chain reaction they may not survive.
“I’ll instruct our next generals to shower, Father,” Vultera said. The harpy shook so much that a rain of feathers fell from her body. Continue reading “Fang Force #29 – “Shell Shock: The Indestructible Foe” (Part 5)”
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)”
We entered the castle just as the school bell rang. What a school bell was doing in a haunted castle was beyond me, but the cavernous brick halls were filled with students, most of whom I recognized from senior year. Except they weren’t people at all; they were freakings dressed as students, wearing masks in their likeness.
“I know high school was a special kind of hell, but this is ridiculous,” Lindsay said.
My hand went limp. The air turned heavy in my lungs. I made a promise that I would never see these people again, yet there they were in twisted, monstrous form. Such was the horror of the Abyssal Realm.
Lindsay shook me back to reality. “You okay?”
I nodded dumbly.
“We’re in this together,” she said. “Whatever they throw at us, we’ll get through it. Okay?” Never once did she come off as bossy or condescending; maybe that’s why I was so ready to follow. Continue reading “Glimmer Girl + Fang Force – Shine Eternal (Part 4)”
Here’s a Glimmer Girl factoid: my holographic eyes can perceive the entire light spectrum. That means I can see what is visible to other humans and a whole lot more; gamma radiation, infrared, microwaves, you name it. And it’s everywhere. Looking up at the night sky as Glimmer Girl reveals a cosmic rainbow few others experience.
In this place, however, there was nothing. Past the heat of Lindsay’s body was an endless void, stretching forever without horizon. There was ground beneath our feet, but it was devoid of any kind of warmth. Whatever this cursed landscape, it was as far from Earth as it was from Heaven or Hell.
Lindsay took my hand. “Are you okay?”
No answer was forthcoming. My gut screamed that this place was wrong. No human, or even a pseudo-vampire like Lindsay, was meant for this world.
“Where are we?”
She peered into the nothingness. “At a guess, the last place anyone would want to go.” Continue reading “Glimmer Girl + Fang Force – Shine Eternal (Part 3)”
The next part of the journey was on foot. Fang Force trudged through the tall grass with myself in tow, and eventually passed through the hillside forest. The ground was soft and uneven; too dangerous for most to scale. Gods, even I was tempted to fly over it.
It must have been an hour since Red Fang last spoke. I breathed a sigh of relief when she broke the silence. “The entrance to Lord Nihilex’s lair is just over the next clearing,” she said.
“Let’s hope the fight’s not too easy,” I said. All bravado, of course.
“A single ray of light is all it takes to dispel darkness,” Yellow Fang said.
Pink Fang hummed. “And you have light to spare, don’t you, Glimmer Girl?”
Of that there was no doubt.
We descended into a gully and stopped at the base of a plateau. Why there? There was nothing remarkable about the rock surrounding us. Already I was on edge. It was the perfect staging ground for an ambush. Thank the gods Fang Force were there. Continue reading “Glimmer Girl + Fang Force – Shine Eternal (Part 2)”
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)”
As time drew further, so did the depths of Lord Nihilex’s power. The abstract doorway to the Abyssal Realm grew as well, and doing so gave ‘Wiseman’ substantial energies to work with. For eons he’d but morsels to work with, but that had changed. Though he’d yet to reach his peak, he was still able to push the boundaries of what they’d accomplished this far.
Fingers the age of dust raked the aura of the crystal ball, shifting the flow from the orange spectrum and into a poisonous, algae-tinged green. With words older than words he commanded those powers outward, and to the target set in the eye of the prism.
The glassy vision presented the image of Chorack crawling from the bushes and brushing the dirt from his shell. He did not expect to be the subject of Wiseman’s machinations, nor did he understand the supernatural force pouring through his body. His hands inflated and his thoax bloated.
“I don’t feel so good,” he clicked.
Wiseman continued his conjurings, pulling dark mass from the Abyssal Realm, and channeling it into the monster’s body. He watched through the eye as the creature quantified; his stance widened, and his height shot in line with the treetops.
“W-what’s happening to me!” Continue reading “Fang Force #23 – “All Hail: The Fang Empress Realized” (Part 5)”