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Darkness Arise

By: T.W

 

Dark trees penetrated the lifeless ground of the Netherworld. Charred bark flaked off with but a touch, the branches twisted and contorted ending in sharp points void of leaves. A slight breeze stirred the ash like ground.

 The Netherworld held a deep foreboding to those who practiced Dark Magic. Like a prison there was no way out, the dark land continued forever. The Furies marked this place as Tartarus: the deepest circle of Hades.

 Celestus was Hades’ promoted guardian. He acted as an agent on behalf of the dead, sending those who escaped judgment to the deepest parts of the Netherworld. A dark presence swirled ominously around Celestus’ spiritual form. His physical being was safely laid in the catacombs beneath a church.

 Growing apprehensive at the dark entities that past him Celestus looked into the source of the power. His eyes widened like a cat’s, his pupils expanding until his eyes were like polished onyx.

Beings of Darkness flew past him. Their bodies were nothing but shadow; the empty sockets and barred teeth of a skull the only human-like feature. Suddenly, an explosion of dark energy knocked him from his feet scattering dirt in all directions.

 Before him stood The Dark One: the previous guardian of the Hades. He had abandoned the control of Hades in order to rule the physical realm. He became ruler of The Skulls, imbuing them with his own power to destroy the hero population.

 The Dark One was only an apparition, his body was completely shadow, and the only distinguishable features where the white holes in his head acting like blazing eyes.

 “Hello Celestus.” He said in a cutting voice.

 Celestus quickly transformed. His skin turned ebony, his teeth sharp, hands clawed, wings broke from his back and stretched menacingly.

 “Oei suddek ro xoho.” You cannot be here, Celestus said speaking in the guttural dialogue of the Netherworld. “Oei nucc ro rudajxot veh oeih khousxoho.” You will be banished for your treachery.

 “I cannot let you do that Celestus.” The Dark One replied; chuckling slightly at the demon forms inability to speak in a civilized language. “And if I am going to extract the last of the dark power from my conqueror in order to established rule over Paragon City, then I cannot let you get in my way.”

From behind his back The Dark One pulled out a thick book. Celestus’ eyes widened, the leather book he held was the full account of every dark spell. Speaking several words from the pages Celestus’ body went stiff as he was dragged back into the physical world with The Dark One.

They arrived at the Church where Celestus left his body when jumping to the Nether realm.

 “I won’t destroy your body,” The Dark One told Celestus, “because you could just as easy take another and I don’t have the time.”

 “But, since I can’t have you following me around…” The Dark One spoke from the Nether language again. Celestus slammed up against the stones of the church slowly melding into the structure. “…I’ll just posses this church with your filth.”

~~~~

 The unconscious Tanker slipped from between Volt’s fingers. The air shimmered around the Hero as his medical transporter activated.

 High above the scene a figure cloaked in darkness lined his sights at the Brute.

 Volt allowed himself a rest after successfully defeating several wandering heroes with his new powers.

 The shooter's breathing was calm and even, his sights lined on the side of the Brute’s head. He exhaled slowly squeezing the trigger.

 A bullet suddenly penetrated Volt’s sense. In a flash Volt was gone, out of the trajectory of the bullet.

 The shooter didn’t understand; one minute his target was there and the next: gone. The bullet thudded into the ground, raising a small cloud of dust.

 “Forgive me Father for I have sinned.” Spoke a voice form behind.

 Guido started and turned around pointing the barrel of his gun at his target, which had appeared several feet behind him.  It took him several seconds but Guido finally recognized him.

 “Volt.” He said, holding a mechanical arm to his heart.

 “Its bad luck to shoot a friend you know.”

 Guido watched Volt’s face to see if he was actually angry. It was hard to imagine this solitary figure in front of him as the same sarcastic Voltech who would rush a Warhulk. Now he held himself with a lot more dignity and was visibly stronger. His face didn’t have the always-sarcastic expression. But the way his eyebrows were lifted as if their exchange was amusing Guido knew he was being sardonic.

 After a long pause Guido finally muttered, “Well I didn’t know it was you.”

 Come to me Volt, a voice whispered inside Volt’s head. He put a hand to his head. Guido waited in silence. Volt maintained his cool, said farewell to Guido and let him get back to his shooting.

Come to me Rogue Volt, the voice spoke again; I await your company in the place where Villains and Heroes meet peacefully.

 He did as the voice ask, feeling self-consciously crazy at following voices in his head. In Pocket D, DJ Zer0 played his music as usual. Multicolored lights hanging from metal beams above lighted the dance floor. Volt passed the large speaker where Villains and Heroes danced and where the DJ himself floated irradiating power. To his left, out the window, a truck slowly turned in the air suspended with a collection of rock platforms.

 Celestus waited for him at a table in the Hero section of the club. Volt’s mind seemed to draw him to the seat across from the leather clad Hero. The light above caused the spikes on his brow to cast sharp shadows across his face.

 “I brought you here to warn you,” Celestus said after an uncomfortable pause following their introductions. “Your nemesis is back and he’s hunting for you.”

 Thinking back, Volt couldn’t think of one particular enemy that he would count as a Nemesis; the list of his enemies was very long.

 “The Dark One hunts you.” Celestus supplied.

 Volt’s first reaction was denial. He laughed uneasily, “I don’t think you understand my dark friend, I stabbed two blades from his own making through that son of a bitch before he dissipated into thin air.” He remembered the fight vividly.

 “And that darkness within the temple inhabited your body giving you your Dark Power.”

 “But I-”

 “-Purged it from your body.” Celestus finished his statement. Volt leaned back suppressing irritation at this Heroes supposed knowledge of his life. “And he has been gathering that dark power in the Netherworld.”

 “He has his damned power then, what does he want me for?” Volt demanded.

 “He has all the power he had given to all his servants, and you are the last source of the power which he cannot extract from the Netherworld because, unlike the other dark masters, you are not dead.”

 Seeking a distraction, Volt scanned the dance floor behind the Hero. His eyes caught that of a female hero dancing alone and she held his attention. Volt stood and walked away, not wanting to listen to the hero any further.

 Though he was gone Celestus still spoke as if he was there.

 “My time is up,” Celestus said, “I only had the power to warn you, my being is trapped within a church; please notify Thauma Guard so that she may save me. This apparition will now fade.” The ghostly recording dissolved into wisps of dark smoke.

~~~~

 While Volt met with the hologram of Celestus, The Dark One was busy. Beneath a series of tunnels created long ago, which verged at a nexus of magic beneath Paragon City Hall, The Dark One bent over the large leather book.

 He flipped through it erratically, stopping periodically to write down pieces of spells. When his work was done He walked to where the lines of magic converged and spoke a long sentence of spells.

 Immediately his dark form began to crack, pieces of it began to dissolve revealing clothes underneath.

 His body was clad in brown and black leather studded with various gems. Sapphire, topaz, ruby and emerald studded his armor. Jet-black hair fell to shoulder length. A black cape, detailed with dark red, formed from the scattered shards of his form. The only remaining resemblance of the apparition was his eyes that still burned like white suns.

 “Finally,” he said in deep rattling voice “after all these year, my physical body has been restored.” He pulled from the air a sword forged from complete darkness; it slowly appeared as if it was coming from an invisible scabbard. “And now to extract the final piece to my dominance over this city.”

Read "In Pursuit of Eve" by Rebecca Mcquarrie 

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Part 2 of "Darkness Arise"!






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