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Return to Darkness
Prologue

By Eli J. Litzelman


    The sun slowly faded behind the far horizon.  The view of the sunset was particularly stunning from Copper District in Steel Canyon.  People gazed at it from their skyscrapers while eating supper, or from over their newspapers.  But one man did not see it and did not care.  His disguise made him look like an average citizen.  He was, however, a Council minion.  He starred intently at the monitor of the laptop he carried.  On it a black and white figure flew under one of the many overpasses in Skyway city.  The image was slightly blurred having been zoomed from a great distance. 
    The soldier contemplated a moment.  He thought he knew were the hero was going, but he had to make sure.  He had been tracking this man for four hours and he knew that mistakes often ended in elimination.
   
    The target flew into the train station.  The camera flickered for a moment then x-ray revealed him once again.
   
    The Council agent reached for his comm.            

     
    The lighted walls of the cavern creaked slightly.  The distant sound of metal-on-metal footsteps was marred by the noise of a phone ringing.  The Council superior answered it.  After exchanging a few words in German, he hung up.  Before he could speak, the vampyr to his right spoke. 
   
    “It has to be done.”  Nosferatu squirmed uncomfortably in his seat.
   
    The arch-villain Requiem looked toward the mechanic to his left. “Do we have any other choice?”
   
    Vandal spread his hands. “If we did I would have informed you.  Besides, he is the perfect tool for invasion.  If we plan to win this war we need a base to operate from:  Paragon city will work nicely.”
   
    The CEO of the 5th Column shook his head as a nervous bead of sweat rolled down his forehead. “Do we have conformation that the… procedure works?”
   
    “By all eight participants.”
   
    “And all troops are in position?”
   
    Nosferatu rested his head on his hands. “Yes, yes.”
   
    The boss exhaled loudly. “Ok, then; we should proceed.”  He looked at the technician. “You know what you need to do.”




   
    A dimension exists in which an entry portal cannot, and will not, be created.  However, it is said that the beings who live there can create one into this earth. 
     
     The red grass caressed the purple sky and the blue light of the mid-day sun shown down on an eight-foot figure.  The form glided gracefully through the buoyant atmosphere.
   
    His brain picked up a frequency from this earth.  It was from a man that had contacted him often; the man’s name was Archer of Ramesses.
   
    Archer’s house was located in one of the cheaper areas of Talos Island.  He sat cross-legged in the middle of his living room.  Soft music played in the background and the scent of candles filled every crevice.
   
    He had recently learned how to communicate through his mind.  He could not read others’ thoughts or manipulate others’ minds, but he could converse.  He also found that he could talk to one from another dimension.  That was what he was trying to do now.

    He was preparing to send another jolt when he heard a voice in his head.
   
    “You wish to speak with me?”  The voice was low and comforting.
   
    “Yes, oh King of Gorthivith.”
   
    The immortal laughed.  “A king rules by will, while I rule by responsibility.  I am a leader, not a king.  What do you wish to speak with me about?”
   
    “The root of your wisdom.” 
   
    “This question is simple.  Wisdom comes from experience, whether it is yours or someone else’s.”
   
    “How gain wisdom from someone else, can I?”
   
    “If you gain wisdom from this which we are doing right now, it would be because I told you, no?  Open your ears and many a wisdom will come your way.”
   
    “A name, you have?”
   
    “Where I come from you are not named until you have proved your worth.”
   
    “You are a king; surely you must have proven your worth.”
   
    “Royal blood flows through my veins.  But that doesn’t mean I have proven anything.  Now, I have business to attend to.”
   
    “Goodbye.”
   
    “Farewell.”
   
    Archer opened his eyes and looked around the room.  He turned off the stereo, blew out the candles, laid down flat on the floor, and fell asleep within seconds.



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