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Return to Darkness
Part four – Revenge and Reentry

By Eli J. Litzelman

    The distant sound of a bird never before heard by a man from this universe screeched overhead as Archer of Ramesses and the nameless king walked through the forest.  They both were soaked from head to toe but the mist was the same temperature as a hot shower.  Ahead, the road was lit by many fires that did not burn anything and never went out despite the water that continually fell.  The Egyptian warrior looked upwards at the king as he listened to the words of wisdom pouring from the ruler’s mouth.  The nameless figure stopped and turned to Archer of Ramesses.  “Now, it is time for you to leave.”

    “But, for what purpose?”

    Without replying, the king reached down and put his finger into a pool of water.  As the liquid rippled from the impact, an image began to appear.  Daughter of the Wood was fighting in a warehouse.  She leaped over a box and severed a Council member’s head from his shoulders with her katana.  A bullet hit her in the arm and she screamed with rage.  With her uninjured arm she jammed the sword into the chest of the villain who had fired the bullet.  The soldier coughed and sprinkled blood on the hero’s face.  Her arm had healed and she punched him off the blade and into another combatant.  She heard a shell being jacked into the barrel of a gun and spun around.  Two inches away, a gun was pointing for the center of her head.

    The king retrieved his hand from the water and stood up.  “That is not all.  As you know, your friend RoboZon is not under his own control.  What neither you nor the doctor know is that the healing formula will reverse properties after twenty-four hours of contact with the electric current. Instead of healing, the chemical will destroy anything it comes in contact with, slowly killing him. 

    Archer of Ramesses’s face contorted in worry.  “Will they die?”

    “That is for you to decide.”

    “I will go.”

    The unnamed figure turned to the North.  He got on his hands and knees with his head bowed low.  A low, almost silent mumbling noise came from his mouth.  The sound began to grow louder and echoed through the trees.  He was soon joined by two other voices - one coming from the East and the other from the West.  The sound from the East was low in pitch and almost sounded like moaning, while the one from the West was shrill.  As the noises continued to grow the king stood with his hands up in a V above his head.  All the sounds then merged into one melodious tone.  Beams of energy pulsed and swirled around the unnamed king.  Soon, the energy shot forward in a blast of pure color.  It then seemed to catch something and whirl into a circle.  All three voices suddenly dissipated and only silence remained.  The king relaxed his muscles and stepped to the side.

    Archer of Ramesses took a deep breath and started walking toward the portal.

    However, before he could reach it, the unidentified sovereign lifted his hand.  “Wait.  You do not have enough power to overcome the trial at hand.  Let me give you the energy you need to defeat your adversary.”  He then put his hands on the Egyptian warrior’s head, siphoning his own power into the archer.  As the power flowed through him, Archer of Ramesses began to take on new features.  His worn, weathered face became smooth and young again.  His bruised and battered arms, tired from the fighting over three millenniums, grew strong and fit.  Even his torn clothing turned into fine silk.  His body then jerked back more out of sudden strength than pain and his eyes filled with a burning glow, the color of which cannot be found in this world.  Soon, the king lifted his hands from the archer’s head.  “Now, you are ready.”

    Archer of Ramesses turned to the portal.  His eyes looked at it differently now.  He could see the future on the other side and the things he had to do.  He strode through.

    Daughter of the Wood sprinted through Independence Port.  Her rage fueled her on.  “Why does he have to go all the way across Indy Port?” she gasped. 

    Dark clouds above clashed with lightning.  So far no rain fell, but she knew it would not be long.  The boom of thunder seemed to shake the ground with its might.  The small hero brushed some green hair from her face and stopped in front of a warehouse.  Without hesitation, she drew her sword and swung it in the crack of the door, sundering the latch.  She kicked the door open and stepped in.  To her right a soldier was pulling his gun from its holster.  She elbowed him in the throat and jammed the hilt of her katana into his lower ribs, breaking a few.  As he fell backwards, she stood over him and positioned her blade against his chest.  “TELL ME WHERE ROBOZON IS!”

    He struggled to breathe as he replied.  “I-inside… the cave.”

    Her face contorted with fury and she applied force to the sword.  The trooper jerked up, but soon lay flat on the floor in a pool of blood.  She retrieved her blade and stepped over the dead body on her way forward.  Rounding the corner, she spotted more guards.  She leaped over a box and severed a Council member’s head from his shoulders with her katana.  A bullet hit her in the arm and she screamed with rage.  With her uninjured arm she jammed the sword into the chest of the villain who had fired the bullet.  The soldier coughed and sprinkled blood on the hero’s face.  Her arm had healed and she punched him off the blade and into another combatant.  She heard a shell being jacked into the barrel of a gun and spun around.  Two inches away, a gun was pointing for the center of her head.

    The room suddenly exploded with light, the booming of thunder, and smoke.  Daughter of the Wood was blinded and choking.  Soon however, the smoke cleared to reveal the soldier.  He was lying on the ground with an arrow stuck in his head.  Archer of Ramesses stepped into view.

    “Archer?”  The heroine stared at him in amazement and wonder.  Usually, she would run up and hug her mentor, however, something was different.  His appearance had changed, of course, but he was just… unusual.


    “You’re alive.  I thought you were dead.”

    “I was.”

    “Well, for goodness sakes do something!  You’re just standing there; you should be… well… doing something.”

    For the first time, he looked at her.  “You must leave.  The way ahead is too dangerous.”

    “No, Master, I want to fight beside you.”

    “I am afraid you have no choice.”  He raised his hands and the same mystical energy burst forth.  She disappeared in a flash of light only to reappear in Atlas Park.  Archer of Ramesses then leaned down to pluck his arrow from the corpse; he would need it.

    He moved through the warehouse, killing all in his path and picking the arrows up behind him.  Before long, he reached an elevator and began his descent.  Deeper and deeper he went until instead of cold he was beginning to feel heat.  Finally, he reached the bottom.  As he moved from the compartment, he encountered two troopers.  Both were hit by fire balls and lying on the ground before they even knew they were in danger.  In front of the Egyptian the tunnel took a right turn.  Instead of taking it, however, he started preparing himself, for he already knew what was on the other side:  the remaining troops from the invasion, at least one-hundred strong.  He pulled arrows out of his pack and attached them to the string of his bow, careful not to tip the weapon to the side and spill his ammunition.  He continued to string them until his line was full.  He then, without pausing, swung around the bend with his bow ready.  “See you in the afterlife,” he hissed through his teeth as he unleashed forty-two arrows into the lighted cavern.  Even while they were flying toward the astonished soldiers, Archer of Ramesses extended his hand to ignite them in flame.  The impact killed over a third of them on the spot.

    By the time the villains knew something was happening Archer of Ramesses was charging toward them.  He shot an arrow every half second.  Each shot hit their target with deadly accuracy.  After a while, however, he had spent all his arrows.  He still reached for his sling, grabbed it, and threw.  Just before impact, he ignited it with flame.  It burst like a bomb and sent shrapnel into the surrounding troopers.  He was now three feet from his adversary.  He created two fire swords, one in each hand.  Leaping into the air, he stretched his arms straight out from his body.  He started to spin.  The flames began to blur from the speed they were moving and sparks fell onto the Council members.  The ancient archer hit the ground with a thump.  Flame impacted flesh and left an unpleasant smell in its wake.  Troopers surged forward to the lone combatant, but each met his fate with sudden heat and darkness.

    Archer of Ramesses swiftly went to his knees and put his hands on the floor.  The heat radiating off his body incinerated every adversary foolish enough to approach.  He gained rapid heat before launching to his feet in a massive explosion.  The burst was so powerful it turned the surviving soldiers into skeletons and vaporized the blood on the ground.  Workers above reported later that a small earthquake had occurred.  Archer of Ramesses stood there, smoke curling off his body.  Crunching noises could be heard as the Egyptian warrior walked over the sand he had recently turned into glass from the heat of the blast.

    Many doors and hallways surrounded him, but the supernatural energy inside of him showed him the way and it was not long before he found RoboZon.  He was in standing meditation within a dark room.  As Archer of Ramesses entered, RoboZon’s eyes opened.  The metal master launched toward the archer.  The Egyptian warrior had already seen the future and was now living it the present.  He knew every move about to be made and acted in accordance.  Of course, every move changed the outcome, however his eyes would change to that future and he would see the next move.  He moved with the ease associated to beings able to see things before they happened and took control.  Spinning to the other side of RoboZon, he put both hands on the black and white hero’s head.  He was now doing the same thing the nameless king had done:  siphoning power.  The power was too much for the electric current to control and it failed.  As with Archer of Ramesses, RoboZon’s body began to recreate itself.  His arm grew back and was covered by the armor that encased the rest of his body.  The suit also became new and polished.  The archer pulled his hands from the renewed hero’s head.

    RoboZon turned around and looked at Archer of Ramesses.  “‘Bout time you showed up.  Do you know how long I’ve been standing here?”

    Vandal’s voice suddenly spoke, “One hour, twelve minutes, and thirty-two seconds.  And I must warn you, the vents you’re standing on are not entirely safe.”  From out of the floor, a hissing sound could be heard.  While RoboZon’s air filter blocked the gasses emanating from the ground, Archer of Ramesses was exposed to it.  He sagged to his knees and clutched his chest before crumpling to the ground.  Vandal spoke again, “Don’t worry, he’s only unconscious.  After all, one day he might be a good minion.”

    “Over my dead body.”

    The arch-villain entered the room.  “That is the full intention, Mr. Withart.  After all the embarrassment you caused me when we worked together and all that has happened oh so recently, I will enjoy watching you die.”  He sank into a deep straddle-stance and put his hands down in front of him.  His face contorted in rage and his fists began to glow with energy.

    RoboZon had soon discovered the power that had entered his body had different effects.  He could now move with even faster reflexes and more strength.  He positioned himself in a light cat-stance and situated his open hands before him.

    Vandal let loose with a crazed scream and jumped through the air.  He leaned forward and extended his hands ahead of him.  RoboZon stepped off the line and let the villain land and roll to his feet.  The hero then kicked his nemesis in the kidneys and punched for the same spot.  The arch-villain turned, grabbed the metal master’s arm, and twisted it behind its master’s back.  “What happened to your arm?  Lose it, did you?  What a shame, mine was much better.”

    RoboZon stomped on the villain’s foot and jammed his elbow into the opposition’s abdomen.  He then turned and spear-handed Vandal in the throat.  “Out with the old and in with the new.”

    Vandal gritted his teeth and sent an upper cut smashing into the legendary hero’s chin.  They moved through the room like cats.  Sinking yet fluent, smooth yet rapid, strong yet precise, they were truly perfect.  Fighting has existed since the beginning of time and has been passed from one generation to the next.  These men were masters of the ancient art.  Their strikes simulated bullwhips, giving maximum damage with little or no pain in return.  They were able to slip in and out of techniques with absolutely no effort.  Mixing power, speed, and form, they worked in the perfect combination.  This type of fighting was as easy as breathing; it came naturally.

    Vandal put his foot behind RoboZon’s and pushed forward.  The metal master fell on his back.  Almost the instant he hit the ground the arch-villain was on top of him and clamping his hands around his neck.  “Well, RoboZon, this is how it ends.  How does it feel to die?  You’re only going to feel it once.”

    RoboZon had seen this before and he knew Vandal’s weakness:  his constant talking was making him unprepared.  He punched forward with both fists.  Vandal flew back into the air and landed on his feet.  RoboZon jumped to an upright position.  He first took his power from his feet.  Next, his muscles tensed in his calves.  The procession moved into his upper legs, which intern shifted his hips.  However, the true power came from his abs and he guided all this strength into his arm.  This, in turn, ended in his front two knuckles which impacted Vandal’s nose.  The villain was out before he hit the ground.

    “Uhhh…”  RoboZon struggled to create a comeback.  “Take that.”  He walked over to the villain and pulled out a police transponder.  “Say hello to the Zig.”  After slapping it on the arch-villain, he turned to face Archer of Ramesses.  “Aw geez, don’t tell me I have to carry you all the way out of here.”  He groaned in derision, hoisted the archer over his shoulder, and headed for the exit.


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