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Bound No More, Part 2
By Sean McDonald
Several members of the Onami Strike Force had
gathered at the office of the Modern Arcane Guild of Investigation in
Paragon City Hall. They came bearing a doll. “Azuria,
we need to talk,” said one of them, clad from head to toe in
black armor with blue runes inscribed on it.
“It must be important if five of you came just to deliver a doll,
Spectreblade,” City Hall’s liaison to the city’s
magic-based heroes replied.
“You think?” retorted electricity-wielding former gang member and tech-head Voltech from behind his sunglasses.
Their leader, PhoenixHawk, got down to the business at hand.
“This is about the murder at the History Museum. The victim
is with us right now,” he said as his glowing green eyes turned
toward the plaything.
“Her soul’s been bound to that doll,” Spectreblade
explained. “Just like the spirit that’s bound to this
“That poor woman,” News Flash said, the mentalist
remembering how he sensed the presence of the soul crying out to
him. “Is there anything we can do to get her back?”
Azuria answered, “That depends on the condition of the body.”
There was a moment of silence.
The silence was broken by Thauma Guard. The tall force field-forming
woman with pitch black skin and spiked hair spoke. “This makes it
even more important that we catch whoever did this.”
“Right,” PhoenixHawk agreed. “This villain made
off with whatever was in that chest, bound this woman’s soul to a
doll, and what’s worse, he seems to have an interest in us.”
“Aren’t you jumping to conclusions here?” Voltech
said. “One of the guards thought she might have unleashed
something from that big box.”
“That’s a possibility,” their leader
acknowledged. “Everyone in this room has seen weird things
like this first-hand. But we still need to find more
“We’ll have to hurry.” The shrouded knight
said. “Who knows when he’ll decide to make his next
Meanwhile, in an alley in a neighborhood not far
from City Hall, a man in a demon mask was trying to rip a purse from
the hands of its rightful owner. As she struggled with the gang
member, something silently approached them. The woman was soon on
the alley floor. The gangster fell backward as she stopped
resisting and fell. Before him a metal form, seven feet tall, and
seething with energy appeared. His fists still glowed with the
power he channeled into them for his attack. The thug looked at
the few spots of dark metallic gray that still showed through the
orange rust. But upon closer inspection, there was a baroque
pattern to it, and in the center the armor’s chest was a hole,
through which only darkness could be seen.
He spoke, his voice resonating from his hollow core. “A Hellion, I presume.”
“Yeah…what do you want?” the gangster said, trying to hide his fear.
“I am told you rouges deal in magical artifacts. Am I correct?”
“That’s right. But you’ll have to talk to the
Damned about that,” he said, referring to what the higher ranks
“Then take me to them,” He bellowed.
The lackey led the suit of armor to his
leader. “Yo, Mammon. We got a visitor. He wants
to talk about the goods.”
Mammon got up from his carved stone chair. It
was just one of the trappings this man placed in the room to make it
look like the court of a demon. “So, you want some artifacts do
you? What’s your name?”
“You may call me the Armorbound,” he answered. “And I’m not here to buy.”
“Then what do you want from me?”
He turned to his servant and spat, “This guy better not be a
“I mean you no harm,” the Armorbound
said. “Perhaps you may have heard about what happened at
the History Museum.” As he said this, he made a fist which
began to glow.
“So that was you, huh? I’m listening,” the wannabe demon replied.
A few days had passed since the Onami Strike Force
found the doll, and there were still no leads. The investigation
continued, along with others. Voltech and News Flash were
patrolling the neighborhood of Steel Canyon looking into a string of
disappearances. They came across two lunatics in surgical masks
and aprons covered in all manner of grime carrying a body bag into a
waiting truck as two sewn-together abominations looked on.
“Dr. Vahzilok’s goons never fail to make me sick,”
said News Flash, adjusting his fedora.
Voltech answered, “Well, what are we still standing here for. Let’s clean up that mess.”
Voltech took a moment to let the sensors in his
sunglasses lock onto one of the mad doctors. He charged up an
electrical blast and let it loose. His fellow disgrace to
medicine turned around, drawing a cleaver. “Oooh, hero
parts,” he said longingly as he charged at Voltech.
“I don’t think so!” News Flash
yelled as he went to work, hypnotizing the doctor. The madman
stopped in his tracks and instead started to disassemble one of his
creations. The other zombie lumbered forward and began spewing
green vomit on the mind controller.
“Eeewww, disgusting! I just had this
suit dry cleaned, too,” he screamed. He willed the
abomination into the air and slammed it down to the concrete. The
other doctor got up, looking to pay Voltech back for zapping him. He
pulled out a dart gun and fired. News Flash caught the dart with
his mind, stopping it just short of its target and redirecting it to
the zombie he threw to the ground. It stopped dead and
collapsed. An electrified fist from Voltech brought the doctor
down. The other mad scientist snapped out of his confusion and
saw that he had undone his work. “NOOO! MY WONDERFUL
CREATION!” He cried as if for a child. The mad
surgeon was distraught. He turned, cleaver held high in the air,
making it the perfect target for an electrical blaster like
Voltech. One more well-placed shock and it was over.
“When will these guys learn? It’s not nice to chop
people up for parts,” Voltech said.
News Flash wasn’t as enthusiastic. “I sense something.”
“What? Are there more of them?”
News Flash walked out of the alleyway and pointed
down the street at a crowd of Hellions. “There.”
“Now what do you suppose they’re up
to?” Voltech used his glasses to zoom in on the
action. “It looks like they’re getting ready for
another fire party.” The gangsters were dressed in their
gang colors and satanic regalia, their leaders wearing their demon
masks and brandishing their weapons. Most of the mob held
conventional weapons like guns and knives. Some had no need for
weapons thanks to the fire-wielding abilities that came with high rank
in the Hellion hierarchy. But there was one near the back of the
group with a strange gilded scepter adorned with a red jewel on its end.
“Are you sure this stick’ll work?” Mammon asked.
“Of course it will,” Armorbound
answered, hidden within an energy field, unseen by the heroes.
“I am well-versed in forging relics like this one. Now,
just point it at whatever you would like to see consumed, and it shall
burn.” Mammon did as the metal stalker commanded, raising
the staff toward a nearby apartment building.
He’s forging one way or another. Let’s see if this trinket works, he thought.
News Flash felt a pang of psychic energy as smoke
began to pour from the second-story window. The mob of arsonists
let out cheers as they saw what Armorbound’s gift was capable of.
Voltech spoke. “That would be our cue, my friend.”
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