Thursday, July 30, 2015

Walking Shadows Book 3 Chapter 1-2

Phoebe walked to Ian’s side and rested a hand on his shoulder. “My powers may be of little use in rescuing your friend, but they can help you unlock the secrets of your mind, Ian Page. Perhaps in time, I can help you find out why your memory has left you and give you back your lost memories.”

“I—thank you, Phoebe. I appreciate it.”

Ian turned to Alli. She wore another of her work uniforms, the odd jumpsuit emblazoned with the Spirit Cop logo over her heart. She looked away from them and it was clear that something else bothered her.

“This is about more than Peach,” he said. “I didn’t even expect to see you today. I expected you to take a day with Marilyn. Our rescue wasn’t much of one, but I know you’re happy to be reunited with her. So why are you here?”

Alli didn’t say anything for several long moments. She just looked away as if lost in thought.

“You don’t have to fear us,” Phoebe said. “You can talk to us. We’re not your enemies.”

“Don’t read my mind,” Alli said.

“I wouldn’t. If I tried to pickup anything more than surface thoughts, you would know. But I don’t need my powers to know something sits poorly inside you. Let it out. Let us help you.”

“I’m not really sure what’s bothering me,” Alli said. “Everything seems different now. I let her go with Cyrus. I let her get kidnapped. And when I went to rescue her, I let a mad god out to menace the universe. I’m lucky he didn’t kill me. And I didn’t do anything to stop him. I was transported from one world to the next by that monster, and I was unconscious the entire time.”

“It’s not your fault,” Ian said. “I’m sure Marilyn doesn’t blame you for anything.”

“I know. But I still blame myself. And that makes it hard to just be present. It’s like my mind is constantly going back there. So I came to work today, but when I saw Phoebe, I just couldn’t control myself. All my frustration just seemed to explode out of me. I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have done that.”

“No one expects you to be perfect, Alli. I’m a man with a broken mind and a deadly power that scares the crap out of me. I’m not the first one to throw stones.”

She nodded. “I raised myself for the most part, Ian. Having my mom around was always great, but she wasn’t all that useful in keeping me alive. So I had to learn on my own. I guess that makes me more ready to take the blame when I do something wrong or let something go to pot. But I think you’re right. I need to refocus and concentrate on the matters at hand.”

“You’ll be alright in time,” Phoebe said. “Now go see your love. Let her know how you feel. This is the time for love in your life. Embrace it.”

Alli nodded. “I—I’m sorry I’ve been such a bitch. Thank you.”

“Think nothing of it,” Phoebe said. “I am here in this world now. I have to find my path. If all I ever accomplish it to help you along yours, I will at least count one success. Good day, Alli Finch.”

“Yeah. Thanks.” Alli gave Ian one last quizzical look as she started back towards the door. “Ian, while you two talk, you might want to work on her modern English skills.”

Phoebe turned to Ian as the door closed. “What does she mean? I gleaned my knowledge of your language from your minds. The language I use is common American English. Is there something wrong with my words?”

“Not exactly wrong,” Ian said. “You just don’t sound natural. But we can work it out. Come on. Let’s see what food we can scrounge up.”

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Walking Shadows Book 3 Chapter 1. Ian

“What do you mean we can’t help her? You owe your freedom to her! We can’t just leave her on that other world.”

Alli’s words echoed through Spirit Cop Headquarters. Ian stirred in his rollout bed. He looked up at the clock on the wall. 7:30. It was way too early for this. Still he rose from his bed, threw on a shirt to go with his pants and walked down the stairs to find Phoebe and Alli already awake.

“I’m sorry,” Phoebe said. “Elsewhere was made to hold Caelus forever. It wasn’t designed to let anyone leave that is immortal. If your friend’s life has been extended, she will be trapped there as well. A dozen scientists and mages from around the galaxy combined everything they knew to make the world inescapable. It was the only way to hold an immortal ethereal being like Caelus.”

“There has to be a way.”

“I do not know of one. But I will look into it. If I can find a way to free her, I will. I truly am sorry for the loss of your friend. I did not wish this on you or anyone.”

“No,” Alli said. “That’s just not acceptable.”

“It must be,” Phoebe said. “I will not give up on her, but it is not a quest I can promise I will ever complete, especially not with this world’s technology. I’m no scientist, just a Gifted with a sense of justice. But I will not let her rot there. She has the wherewithal to survive. And I will see her freed. This I promise.”

“That doesn’t mean much when she’s taken—”

“Alli, you can’t blame it all on Phoebe. We’re all responsible. You rushed us to rescue Marilyn. Peach came up with the method. I found Smith—or Hermes, I guess. We were all suckered into a plot designed by gods, probably for decades. We were all pawns.”

Alli looked between them both. Ian could still feel her anger and frustration as a palpable force. He could understand it. Peach’s loss was an ache deep inside him. Their encounter had been brief, but the impression of those few hours he spent with her remained strong. He knew he would do whatever he could to bring her back.

“Focus on Marilyn. Be glad she’s back. I’ll help Phoebe find Peach. We will find a way to get her back from there.”

Alli shook her head. “What about you? You still don’t know your past. You still don’t know where you came from. Don’t you still want those answers?”

“I will get them sooner or later. The more I learn about my powers and my existence, the more I wonder if I want to know about the person I was before.”

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Walking Shadows Book Three

My life isn’t my own. I realize that now. It is someone else’s, someone I don’t think I like. I know they did something to me back at that facility. Doppelganger and his people played with my mind. In the process, they wiped my memories. And without those memories, I am simply Ian Page.

But before I was Ian Page, I suspect I was a much deadlier person. I know now that I don’t age. Though I feel no older than twenty or so, it seemed I have been twenty for several decades. I was Ian Page back in the forties, probably just another identity worn by a man that lived for a hundred years or more. And I survive and thrive off the life forces of others. I can drain the life away from any metahuman I touch. It takes a few minutes, but I can pull the energy that fuels them. I can suck them dry and leave them shriveled dead husks.

Though the power has saved me twice, it still sickens my stomach when I think about it. I don’t want to be a killer, even though I know deep in my heart I already am one.

My name is Ian Page and I’m not a person. I’m a walking shadow.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Walking Shadows Book 2 Chapter 28

He didn’t know where he was. He couldn’t see anything around him. He still vaguely remembered the explosion, the sudden burst of fire and death all around him.

His body ached all over. He tried to move, but his arms and legs refused to work. No matter how hard he willed them up, his very muscles betrayed him.

He sat upon a cold slab of stone. His shirt was gone. His pants as well, he suspected, though he couldn’t really tell with his movement blocked. Goosebumps prickled his flesh.

A light flashed on above him, blinding in its radiance. Garrett Vos’s eyes dilated as he stared up into it.

Stomp tried to see through the light. Though he wasn’t sure how long he spent in the dark, his eyes had thoroughly adjusted to the lack of any light. He saw forms move above him. Two dark human shapes filled his vision.

“Hello, Mister Vos.” The voice was female, almost calm. “We’ve wanted to see you again for a very long time. Our ally above created quite the diversion to bring you here.”

No, Stomp thought. No, not this.

A broad grin came from the other figure. “Mister Vos, you’ve read our legends online. You must know that no one ever truly escapes the Vivisectors.”

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Walking Shadows Book 2 Chapter 27. Cyrus

Cyrus stood at one end of the grand dinner table. Ian and Phoebe sat to his right. Marilyn and Alli still held hands to his left. He wasn’t sure what to think of Marilyn’s obvious affection for her girlfriend, not after their affair. But he knew he would have time to think about it, perhaps to speak of it to her, later. Now his focus and attention must be on his parents.

“Mother and father, do you see these people?” He looked to Ian and the women around him. “This is why I will never be one of you again. I may be born a god, but I’m not one of you. I would rather be a human than something that stands above and alone.

“When I left your home, I thought I was just going on an adventure. But I faced down evil twice now with these people. And what I’ve realized is they are far more noble than we will ever be.”

“Yes,” Persephone said. “You’ve made your feelings for humanity clear.”

“You still can’t see it, can you mother? Melinoe’s betrayal, Hermes’ intervention and the return of Caelus wasn’t just happenstance. You wrought all this. You live forever, but you’re unbelievably short-sighted. Your need to be above everything left you open to this plot. That monster is still out there, ready to rebuild his empire.”

“Caelus will be found and he will be stopped. He will not find the Olympians easy to overcome. His plot is exposed and his power structure fractured. We survived this day and he will not get another like it.”

“We survived today by the acts of my friends from the human world, not by the act of a god.” He pointed to the blue haired woman to the right. “Phoebe may be an immortal, but she’s still no god. She understood who could stand against Caelus. Marilyn, Ian and her were the heroes today. Not you, not me and not the Olympians.”

“What would you have me do, Cyrus? Do you wish me to forgive your trangressions? You may not have murdered Patraeus but you still abandoned your station!”

“You don’t get it still! The act of having a station is everything wrong with all of us! We are no better than the humans. This is their world. The sooner we learn to live in it, the better all of us will be.”

“Your insolence insults every Olympian,” Persephone said. “I do not understand your goal in all this, my son. We just want what is best for you and that is to accept your station. You must understand the importance of your own godhood.”

“There is no importance! Any importance disappeared millennia ago, mother, long before I was born!”

“Child, you will stop your insolence. You will listen or I will—”

Pluto raised a hand between Cyrus and his mother. Persephone stared at her husband as he rose from his seat.

“Perhaps the boy is right,” Pluto said. His voice was quiet but commanding. Cyrus couldn’t remember the last time he heard it, but he was proud to hear his father’s words. “We have let our own hubris blind us. We cannot let it continue. We must find our way in this world. Perhaps that means we must become part of it truly.”

“But husband—”

“No, Cyrus is right. We must honor his wishes. He and his friends are not ours to oversee, not anymore.”

“His life is his own and it’s about time he goes to live it.”

Pluto raised one gloved hand. He swept it across the table.

Cyrus still stood in front of four chairs filled with his friends, but they were atop his apartment’s roof.

“I’m so damn tired of being teleported everywhere!” Alli’s words rang across the roof.

It looked like it was almost morning—again. Cyrus didn’t want to think about how much time they actually lost in Hades. It could have been a few more hours or it could have been weeks.

“Come on inside,” he said. “I don’t know about everyone else, but if we’re starting a new day, I could sure use a cup of coffee.”

Everyone nodded their agreement as he took them to the roof access. Flashes of the minutes before his parent’s arrival raced through Cyrus’s skull.

He tried to focus on anything at all other than Marilyn’s naked form atop him. But it wouldn’t come to him, even as he glanced over to her, still holding Alli’s hand.

The walk down to his apartment seemed easy after the battle with Caelus. It was the familiar ache of everyday life. It felt good. It felt right.

His key was long gone, but a focused use of his powers popped the lock with ease. He stepped inside and immediately heard water running. It took him a second to realize it was the shower.

Someone else was here.

“I didn’t know you had a roommate,” Ian said as they passed the threshold.

“I don’t,” Cyrus said. “Be careful.”

They all started towards the bathroom. The thought of another battle made Cyrus feel even more exhausted, but he wouldn’t back off from anyone that attacked his home.

The shower ceased as they approached. Before anyone could open the door, it opened from inside.

Draped only in a towel, Melinoe stepped out. She gave her brother a wry grin.

“Hey, brother. It looks like we’re roomies now.”

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Walking Shadows Book 2 Chapter 26. Ian

“It ends today, Caelus. I will take you again. I will carry you back for judgment. With good behavior, your sentence may only be a few more thousand years.”

Caelus screamed, his voice echoing across the rocks. He charged towards Phoebe. A blade of dark energy formed in his hand. Phoebe threw up her own blade to stop him. The two blades flashed as they struck. Phoebe stumbled back from the blow.

Hidden from view by his own illusion, Ian looked down at his hands. Phoebe knew exactly what she needed of him. But he wasn’t sure he could do it again. He still remembered Doppelganger. He still remembered how good it felt as he sucked the kidnapper’s life away. He wasn’t sure he could contain himself, not against someone with Caelus’s levels of power.

I don’t have a choice, he told himself, but he knew it wasn’t true. Phoebe said they could not stand against Caelus any other way, but he knew he could do nothing. He could slip away, walk from the fight. He could leave Cyrus, Marilyn, Alli and the others to death at Caelus’s hands. He really didn’t know them that well. He could just find his way out, back to the world. Other men or women could stop Caelus.

I can’t leave them to die. The thought hit Ian like a brick. He felt like he should be able to go. He should be able to abandon anyone. That something inside him was used to doing just that. Maybe it was a memory of the past or just some kind of sense memory. He wasn’t sure, but he knew it was wrong.

I have to stay and fight. I have to help. Even if it costs me everything.

He took a deep breath and remembered Phoebe’s plan. He silently counted to three. Then he ran, but not away. He charged straight towards Caelus.

As he leapt into the air, Ian only had one thought.

I sure hope this works.

He landed against Caelus’s back. He threw his hands around the freak’s neck and head. He felt the energy below the Godkiller’s skin. He felt it surging through Caelus’s veins. Every ounce of his body craved it.

Ian closed his eyes and let it all flow into him. It screamed through his frame like lightning. Beautiful perfect lightning. It burned his veins, ignited every nerve ending. He loved it, never felt more alive. He couldn’t imagine a high ever as great as this one. No orgasm, no thrill and no drug could ever compare.

Ian let the illusion fade around him. The desert of Elsewhere faded into the ether Ian pulled it from. He didn’t need it anymore. He had everything he needed draining into his veins.

“Ian, get ahold of yourself and get away!”

Phoebe’s words broke him from his revelry. His eyes shot open. He could feel the halo of energy around his skin. It surged around him, strengthened him and intoxicated him. But he remembered the plan. He couldn’t take any more of Caelus’s power.

He released the Godkiller and dropped back to the ground.

“No!” Caelus screamed. “It will not end this way!”

He turned his attention to Ian. Ian met the Godkiller’s eyes. He could tell Caelus knew his energy levels waned. The Godkiller knew what Ian had done. But the sudden drain of his energy was purposeful.

Caelus raised his blade, ready to strike down Ian and regain his power.

He never even saw it coming. Ian watched the slice of blue energy rip out of Caelus’s heart. The Godkiller’s eyes widened. The blue faded.

Ian only had time to roll out of the way before the body dropped to the ground.

Ian pulled himself to his feet. His body still surged with power. But the power made him afraid. He backed away from the others as they closed around Caelus.

“Is he dead?” Marilyn’s words echoed across the emptiness of Hades. Ian still couldn’t quite believe they were in some mythical hell, but the army of the undead and the unconscious death god made it seem clear.

“He’s left this body,” Phoebe said. “But I wasn’t able to contain him. The spirit of Caelus cannot be killed, not by any means known to this galaxy. He’s out there somewhere and he will strike again.”

“If he’s not a fool, it won’t be here.” Cyrus’s words echoed across the field. He turned to the other woman there, the one Ian could only guess was Persephone. “Mother, will father be alright?”

The goddess bent down by the still body of her husband. She rested a hand on his shoulder. “He is greatly weakened, but he will live. But his control over this realm is already dangerously shattered.”

Phoebe looked at Ian. “His power is not lost, only moved. Caelus tried to leech it away, but we’ve taken back from him.”

Ian could see the grim expression on Marilyn’s face as she turned to him. He could feel her judgment. I killed again. For good or bad, they see me as just a murderer.

Phoebe walked to him and took Ian by the hand. He tried to pull away from her, but she held him fast.

“You won’t hurt me, Ian. But you can help me. You just need to trust me.”

She led him over to the prone body of Pluto and the goddess next to him. Phoebe bent down. Ian leaned over next to her. He watched her put her hand beneath Pluto’s dark cloak.

His body suddenly shook against his will. He could feel his muscles spasm as the power was pulled from them. He didn’t know how, but Phoebe was pulling the energy he took from Caelus back into the god.

In just a matter of seconds, it was over. Pluto’s glowing yellow eyes were open and Ian could barely keep his feet under him. Phoebe bent over to support him.

“Lord Hades,” she said. “It is good to see you well. Now can you free us from this death realm?”

He rose suddenly from his prone position. And with one swipe of his arm, the land of the dead faded around them.

Ian’s vision blurred at the sudden change of scenery. He was used to his own illusions, but this was entirely different. This was a shift from one realm to another. He began to think this was becoming far too common in his life. Teleporting, dimension hopping, escaping intergalactic prisons: it seemed a strange way to live life.

Pluto walked to his wife’s side as the manor lawn appeared all around him. Phoebe took a moment to make sure the world met her approval. Then she turned her attention to the prone Alli. She bent over her still body and placed a hand on her neck.

“Her breathing is steady. She’s went through trauma, but whatever hold her captor had over her is gone. With a little stimulation—” Her hand glowed blue for just a second. Alli slowly blinked her eyes open.

Alli stared up into Phoebe’s eyes. She seemed confused. Ian figured she remembered the attack on her, but Phoebe’s warm smile didn’t fit the monster that turned on them not that long ago.

Marilyn rushed to her fallen lover’s side. Alli’s eyes were drawn away from Phoebe as Marilyn reached her side. They quickly embraced. They mumbled thankful expressions to one another as they held each other tight.

The staff retinue rushed in on them, dozens of them. Several took Melinoe’s still prone form and rushed her away.

“Cyrus, come,” Persephone said. “Bring your human friends. We have much to talk about and I suspect the dining room will be far more accommodating.”

Thursday, July 2, 2015

ICONS Character Profile: Marilyn

Name: Marilyn

Origin: Artificial

First Appearance: Book One, Chapter 6


Prowess 5

Coordination 4

Strength 4

Intellect 4

Awareness 4

Willpower 6

Stamina 10

Determination 4


Performance (acting)

Power (transformation)


Transformation 8 (stretching, invulnerability)

-limited to bipedal forms


Identity (sex symbol)

Motivation (discover past)

Free Spirit


Enemy (mysterious organization)

Personal: Claustrophobia

Weakness (?)


Marilyn is a genetically engineered near-human being. Her origins are unknown and may be touched by the supernatural. Her base form appears to be that of pop culture icon Marilyn Monroe, but she only possesses snippets of the late actor’s memories. From all accounts, her personality is far from the real Marilyn as well, instead closer to her public demeanor in films. Marilyn is easy going and has an almost childlike need to learn everything she can.

Marilyn’s abilities allow her to take on any shape or form—as long as it remains generally bipedal. She has had little reason to use this power other than to occasionally morph for humorous purposes but has shown an ability to use it with deadly accuracy when necessary.

Her tastes and desires are almost as chameleon like as her frame. She easily can stray from one like to another with little or no thought about how her actions will affect others. Whether this is a true character flaw or just naivete about the human condition in her short time awake is still unknown.