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get started then,” the charismatic Henry Atlas said securing the hands
on the last of the six hostages. He stood up and glanced at his eclectic
companions. The other five members of Henry’s crew nodded at the Hellion.
Breaking into a bankrupt office building on the last day of its operation
in the heart of Galaxy City had paid off. Their ascent to power would
happen under the very noses of the heroes of the city.
Henry, create your pentagram in the open office lobby over there.
The extra high ceiling there will be of asset and the rest of you
“There you go again,” Oscar said thrusting his finger
at Carl, “bossing us around.”
“Gentleman,” Henry started.
Wyatt Talos interrupted. “Gentleman? Most of you are without honor.”
“And when did the Warriors begin worrying about honor?” Tao questioned.
Being a Tsoo Enforcer and easily insulted about his personal honor,
he slowly drew his katana ensuring all heard the innuendo created
by the sound of his steel.
Henry watched his group began to disintegrate
for the third time today. “Look no one here is the boss,” he began.
“We’ve all agreed. Tao please put the blade away. We took chances
being here, if our gangs…” The Hellion paused glancing at the Carl,
a mere guard from the Circle of Thorns, “Or cults, were to find out
about our meeting, there is no doubt we would be killed. Remember
we all sought each other out.”
“Correct,” Tao said sheathing his katana.
“I apologize; tonight our union and cooperation will deliver unto
us the power and respect we have been denied in our own clans.”
Steve, a member of the Skulls, said nodding with the others. He went
and stood by Henry. “United we will prevail; we all have witnessed
it in our shared dream. The Dark Lord beckons us.”
Henry nodded and
placed his hand on the shoulder of his cousin, although they were
sworn enemies by gang affiliation, family blood was family blood.
“This won’t work,” Wyatt spat. “Before I arrived one of my Warrior
brethren contacted me and told me Occam’s Blade was asking about my
whereabouts. If the ex-Tsoo is onto us then this treachery is over.
“No!” Oscar shouted. “I have risked more than any of you. Do you know
what the Outcasts do to traitors? Death is mercy; we must complete
the ceremony tonight.”
“Yes, we have all brought our skills and resources
together for this momentous night.” Henry declared acting the informal
leader. They may have officially sworn to know one, but they seemed
to listen to him. “Let’s hurry; Occam’s Blade has powerful friends.”
Cooperation never before witnessed in Paragon City among any members
of the villain groups came to fruition. Henry perfectly inscribed
the pentagram his gang had used countless times to tap the dark forces
of demons. Tao armed everyone with special extremely rare and hard
to acquire daggers made from the crystallized hearts of dragons. Fortunately,
for him, peons are commonly overlooked.
Oscar, found it difficult
to trust the others, but the ingredients he brought from the Outcasts
were necessary for Wyatt’s powder. Steve arranged six of the kidnapped
office workers, one for each of them, around his cousin’s pentagram
just inside the outer ring. Carl went over the sacred lost incantations
again from a small old manual from the Circle of Thorn’s library.
Finding it had been a demonstration of their destiny. It had fallen
back behind some other books when he came across it. Apparently, it
lay in its location for decades for no one seemed to miss it when
he secretly borrowed it.
When all was finished, six charcoal gray
robed figures stood before each hostage surrounding the fresh pentagram.
Two rings were thus formed, hostages with their back to the large
demonic gate and the gray robed forming the outer ring facing the
frightened and trembling captives. They were warned if they struggled;
they would indeed die and would suffer before they did. The four women
and two men dared not resist. This was a city of heroes; surely, someone
would save them.
Each robed figure bound by a secret pact performed
a graceful twirl. Outside the dimly lit office building storm clouds
gathered in the night sky. The eclectic group simultaneously and with
the practiced skill of rehearsal reached into a slate colored pouch
fastened around their waist by a simple sash and withdrew their hands
blowing a greenish powder into the faces of their victims, rendering
them conscious, but unable to move a fraction or speak above a whisper.
The gray figures continued to circle the pentagram unaware their feet
no longer touched the ground. Every move was perfectly choreographed.
Olympic synchronized swim teams or chorus lines would have been jealous.
Each member drew dragon heart blades from a sheath from their left
arm. With daggers drawn, the group circled around the pentagram and
their horrified victims making one complete revolution.
we are lost without you.” Carl chanted and the others repeated. They
open their palms low next to their thigh. The building shook and a
green-misty light exploded from the center of the pentagram. Wyatt’s
mind drifts wondering what Cape maybe passing by to notice the building
“The door to our salvation is open.” Carl murmurs and
each folds their arms over the chest to embrace the Mastermind of
Chaos. The others repeat the phrase. Wyatt forces his thought back
to the summoning and tears of bliss begin falling from Oscar’s eyes.
He can already feel the power emanating from the portal.
circle their victims six more times. After each revolution, they pause
and hold their arms high palms open to show homage to the Dark Lords
leadership. They face their victim each time and carve a different
green shimmering symbol into the air with the daggers. Then they blow
across their open palms where the symbol then travels to their victim’s
chest and violently embeds itself into their soft flesh filling the
lobby with the aroma of burnt hair. The bright shimmering mist grows
brighter and the building shakes with every complete revolution.
is sure they will never finish the ceremony, but still keeps his attention
focused on his tasks.
When the last revolution and actions are complete,
a crystal orb materializes above each of the victims. Their eyes bulge
in terror as they glance upwards and finally they are allowed to scream
as the orbs cleave the souls from their bodies. The now empty shells
fell to the floor. In the same instant darkness erupts from the brilliance
dampening every light source. A dead and still silence settles over
Seconds seem to pass to years.
“Am I blind?” Oscar mumbles
beginning to panic.
“No,” Tao calms.
“We failed.” Wyatt whines daring
not to move for fear of tripping over the lifeless corpses of their
“No,” Carl said verifying the completion of the ceremony.
“The doorway to Oblivion is wide op-“
Carl’s last word became a series
of gurgles and gasps for air. A murky dim greenish lavender light
springs from the floor of at the center of the pentagram. A shadowy
glistening figure over eight feet in height held Carl in clawed hands
and off the floor by his throat. Henry squinted trying to force his
eyes to adjust to the light. The summoned Saurian god, the Dark Lord,
the Mastermind of Chaos had arrived. The ceremony had worked Henry
The shadowed figure held the frail human form up for inspection.
He felt it struggle to breathe, its life force growing weaker. The
Dark Lord laughed aloud, his power growing from Carl’s death struggle.
Humans had indeed grown to great power in his and the First Pantheon’s
absence. He had foreseen this knowing it would be their undoing for
power corrupts mortals.
“Oh Lord, we desire your wisdom and power
to smite our enemies.” Oscar exclaimed bowing and swearing fealty.
A black mist sprang forth from around the Saurian god and enveloped
the six gray-cloaked apostles. Tao realized the mist seemed to thicken
the air slowing his movements. Danger impulses spread from the back
of his mind warning him of impending doom and begged him to take action.
“Is this happening?” Henry mouthed uttering not a sound when the feeling
of surrealism washed over him drowning him in abstract sensations.
All he could do was blink in response.
Steve felt the thickening black
mist weighing him down and watched his new brethren slowly fade from
sight inside the mist. He tried to sound a warning to his cousin,
but no sound came from his mouth. He tried to back out of the mist,
but it slowed him clinging like glue, its strands like living vines.
The Dark Lord savored the slow death of Carl. When the first of the
six apostolic sacrifices was complete, he moved quickly ending Tao’s
life. Henry watched in horror when the elongated green-headed god
went from each of his comrades and ended their lives. Somehow, he
was allowed to see through the mist. Struggling to flee was like fighting
ocean waves that grew stronger with every crest. The Saurian god’s
scaly form harshly reflected the greenish lavender light. The large
wasp-like amethyst eyes glittered and the creature’s wide massive
maws opened biting down to end Wyatt’s life.
What have I done, Henry
thought feeling fear crawl up his spine and shivered uncontrollably.
Secretly he hoped Occam’s Blade did show up to save him. He grimaced
watching the execution of his cousin. Bile rose in the back of his
throat when Oscar’s life was even more brutally torn from him.
the Dark Lord focused his faceted eyes on his last apostle. Never
had Henry actually sensed an evil presence before. His bowels emptied
with his stomach, but his embarrassment did not last long.
ceremony now complete, the Dark Lord left the confines of the pentagram,
sauntered over to the window of the building, and peered out. Free
from Oblivion he relished each step. At first, he thought he was in
a cave with a mirrored scrying device. No, it was something else,
he laughed at his own foolish ignorance of the new world. Much, very
much, had changed in the untold eons. Already he felt his power waning
from the summoning ceremony. Soon it would be gone and he would again
have to build his power base and gather followers. Yes, his dark powers
would grow and his divinity would be reclaimed.
The Mastermind of
Chaos projected his thoughts temporally into the future. He sensed
a great web of deceit on the horizon. A mass exodus had been planned
allowing him an opportunity to gather new minions without any public
knowledge of his return. For the immediate future though, he needed
a guide in this new world. The Saurian god’s mouth curled into a wicked
sneer revealing his large razor teeth. On the outer reaches of his
divine senses, he felt a cloaked figure rapidly approaching. He had
to act swiftly before his power waned completely.
Silently the hero
approached slinking from shadow to shadow at blurring speeds. His
contacts had sent him on this trail of stolen magical artifacts and
materials. They appeared to be of low-level minions of the lower ranked
gangs of the city, no real threat. Unbeknownst to him his destiny
has been altered to intersect with the Dark Lord. When Occam’s Blade
heard the Saurian speak, beckoning him, his katana fell from trembling
In a modest simply adorned apartment in another part of the
city, a cry echoed across Paragon University’s campus. Occam’s Razar,
a new popular mentor and spiritual leader too many young heroes, awoke
from the worst nightmare he had ever had. The last drake, an ancient
half-human and half-dragon, realized the end of the human world was