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)”
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)”
The caves growled and the wind like teeth pressed into the monsters from behind. Even Curs’tac, indestructible as he was, hesitated when drawing closer to the throne. He took refuge behind Fantom, whose advance continued.
“You must be out of your mind,” the creature said. “Y-you pulled me away without orders. Victory was in our grasp! I’ll make sure he knows it was you! I’ll make sure he has your head!”
Were there eyes behind his mask Fantom might have rolled them. It was not uncommon for would-be generals to prattle with bravado, but this one was particularly grating.
“I have called you here for a purpose,” he said.
Stalactites trembled, and the ground cracked. Greater than the draw of the Abyssal Realm was the presence that loomed at its mouth, hanging in the darkness. The shadow conqueror’s bellow gripped at the tar covered things the monsters called hearts.
“AND WHAT PURPOSE MIGHT THAT BE!”
It was not a question; it was a challenge, and one that only a fool would take upon themselves. Lesser creatures had known oblivion for speaking out of turn. Was now the time for Fantom? Continue reading “Fang Force #27 – “Shell Shock: The Indestructible Foe” (Part 3)”
Though arguably without sentience, the flora of Crescent Valley’s botanical gardens cowered under Curs’tac’s unholy presence. No daffodil was safe, and the lilacs shivered; even the blades of grass curled before he’d the chance to squash them. Unlike the human park-goers they were unable to run, nor were they able to scream.
The monster cackled, savoring the terror in the air. Lord Nihilex may have been less than enthused by his arrival, humanity’s welcome more than made up for it. He snapped his pincers in delight, threatening to bisect all who stood in his way.
“This is too easy,” he laughed. “How did this pathetic dimension manage to resist us for so long?”
“You want a demonstration?”
They appeared as if from nowhere; five costumed heroes, each wearing the color of their sigil and garbed with a red cape over their shoulders. Falling behind the avatar of the bat was the wolf, beetle, spider and mountain lion; they were night’s defenders, and guardians of the innocent.
“Fang Force,” Curs’tac hissed. The monster lunged, and the group darted away from his snapping limb. Continue reading “Fang Force #26 – “Shell Shock: The Indestructible Foe” (Part 2)”
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)”
In times of peril one hope remained; it was the Great Vampire King’s ultimate weapon. Bonding with bodies of metal, creatures serving as familiars became a power unto themselves, and when combined became an unstoppable body known as the Fang Empress.
The five robots – Blue Wolf, Yellow Beetle, Pink Spider and Green Mountain Lion, with Red Bat to lead them – burst through the ether and into the streets. They charged between buildings, leaping into the air to catch the individual members of Fang Force. Five for five, each with a vampire guardian at the helm, the familiars converged in the city square.
Blue Wolf and Green Mountain Lion twisted until they became legs. Yellow Beetle descended to form the torso, and opened its wings to reveal a chest. Pink Spider followed, split down the middle to unfurl so that legs and fangs became fingers; its abdomen unleashed great arms that folds around the shoulders. Last of all the Red Bat landed, curled its wings and folded into the robots chestplate. Its head shifted back to reveal a woman’s face; the face of the Fang Empress.
Whether in Milestone City or Crescent Valley, the construct was a vision of awe. If anything could bring the Abyssal Titan to its knees, it was Fang Force’s greatest weapon.
“Let’s show this thing what we’re made of!” Gold Fang roared. Continue reading “Glimmer Girl + Fang Force – Shine Eternal (Part 8)”
I woke in a strange bed, staring up at wooden beams. It wasn’t until moments later that I remembered where I was, or who I was with, or why my chest ached. What I couldn’t explain was where the top half of my costume had gone, or why I was wearing a nightshirt. Realisation filled me with horror.
The little purple bat flew over the curtain as Tanya and Lindsay entered. They smiled and bent down at my bedside. Spike perched on top of Tanya, making a tiny nest in her coif of short hair.
“How long…” The words ached and my throat was dry. Lindsay pulled a jug from the bedside table, and filled a glass.
“Don’t try to speak,” she said. “You were nearly a goner.”
I accepted the drink – gods, it was the best water I’d ever tasted – and wiped the dry flakes from my lips. In place of words I gestured to the shirt. Continue reading “Glimmer Girl + Fang Force – Shine Eternal (Part 7)”
It was only that morning that three criminal adepts sat in three prison cells in three different parts of the country. Not even they could believe in the dark magics that brought them back into the world, thus reuniting the Society of Sin.
Mr. Fahrenheit, Punching Judy and the Carbon Man advanced toward the castle which, by their reckoning, had no business existing outside of medieval England. It appeared ominous, and only became more so with the dust and wind the Carbon Man blew against it. A dark presence loomed there, which set the hairs on edge.
Punching Judy smashed her fists together. “You ready to knock some doors down?”
“I’d rather smoke them out,” said Mr. Fahrenheit. He summoned pillars of fire to leap from his palms.
“Looks like the fight’s coming to you,” said another.
A trio with blazing red capes emerged from the treeline. Each wore a uniform of a different color; yellow, pink, and green. With pride and purpose they marched toward the villains, never once wavering. Continue reading “Glimmer Girl + Fang Force – Shine Eternal (Part 6)”