Thursday, July 28, 2016

Book 3 Chapter 25-2

The only feature that seemed to stay the same on this new woman was the sneer. Her disdain was as equally apparent as the other.

“It has been far too long,” the woman said. “But at least we will be free. Your friend dies for our glory, godling. You should thank us for the grace we bring the world. We will be the first of a new mankind, new gods for a new era of the human race.”

“What are you doing to Marilyn? Get out of her head!”

The woman chuckled. “Without us, dear Marilyn’s head would be vacant. And your sexy girlfriend would just be a withering ninety year old nothing.”

“What are you talking—?”

Cyrus didn’t have time to finish his question as this woman melted away like the first. The featureless thing in front of him grew broader in the shoulders. The breasts and wide hips vanished as the new form grew taller. It took him a moment to realize Marilyn’s body was taking on a male form, something he had never seen her do before. He hadn’t even considered it.

Now as he looked up at the man forming from Marilyn’s flesh, he wondered if she was even truly female. Perhaps she was something else, some new form of mankind as the previous woman had ranted and raved.

The red hair faded back into the head before him, even as a van dyke beard sprouted from the chin of the formless face. It didn’t stay formless for long though. Ears, eyes, nose and lips formed beneath and around the thick dark hair of his beard. It was the only hair seemingly on his body as his white skin remained barren of even a single follicle.

His eyes were set deep and dark. This was a man with fire and fury inside him. He knew who he was and how he came to be inside Marilyn’s form.

It was clear this was not a simple haunting. This was something far worse, though Cyrus couldn’t begin to grasp at what. It was clear someone had deliberately done this to Marilyn, perhaps long before Alli awoke her in whatever secret dungeon she pulled Marilyn from. They certainly weren’t gods, but clearly they embraced their possession of Marilyn’s body. It seemed clear they were all in battle for control of Marilyn’s body. But their victory might mean death for Marilyn’s psyche and he couldn’t let that happen.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Book 3 Chapter 25. Cyrus

The undulating mass of flesh in front of him might have sickened Cyrus on a normal day. Knowing that form was Marilyn, somehow being tortured, made him want to break down. But from his youngest days, he was taught to show strength in the face of the worst of horrors. Growing up in Hades made such horrors a nearly daily occurrence.

But he left Hades to find his way in the world of humans. He wanted to be like them. He wanted to feel their pain. And as he watched the undulating mass at his feet, he could feel Marilyn’s agony.

Though he still wasn’t quite sure he loved the strange young woman that found her way into his life and his bed, he knew he couldn’t stand idly by and let her be tortured. Yet nothing he could do would free him from his chains. A sonic blast to his manacles would shatter his own wrists or ankles. And the low vibrations he teased into the walls of the dungeon did little to shake the heavy bolts that held the manacles to the wall.

Face it. I wouldn’t be able to help her even if I could break free. I’m not even really sure what she truly is.

The writhing mass of flesh seemed to grow taller suddenly. Out of it, the form of a woman started to appear, But he quickly realized this woman wasn’t Marilyn at all. This woman was raven haired, an obvious fact even as her full face seemed to form out of the mass. In a matter of seconds, she stood before him, dressed in a red evening gown. She was thinner than Marilyn, almost lanky. She was beautiful, but her demeanor robbed that beauty of any value. She gave him a sneer as she met his eyes.

“More the proof she was a fool, godling. You are supposed to be greater than us, but already we’re something more than your kind could ever be. We are a new god. We are—”

Her lips melted away as the face and form seemed to deform. The evening gown turned into a skirt and blouse, cut like something from Mad Men. The hair grew longer and fell down this woman’s back in gentle auburn curls. Her chest grew out to fill out the blouse. She was curvaceous and attractive, though she had nothing on Marilyn.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

A brief hiatus...

Due to ongoing financial issues, I have not had the time to devote to Walking Shadows as of late. Sadly that means we've caught up with our buffer. Currently I'm working on getting the next few chapters up and running.

We will be delayed for two weeks, with Chapter 25. Cyrus kicking off on July 26. See you then and don't forget to check out the GoFundMe!

Saturday, July 9, 2016

River City History: Captain Flash in action

Nita Dell instantly recognized the dangers of a super-powered crimefighter again making River City home. The history of Yankee Doodle Jones still weighed heavily on the minds of the citizenry as well. Nita knew that with the right amount of push she could make them fear Captain Flash in the same way.

She turned to the same thing that created her: magic. Konrad Krueger was a former Atom City scientist that turned to the dark arts in order to get revenge on the men that fired him. With the resources of Dell and Hannigan’s criminal empire behind him, he set out to destroy Atom City’s greatest hero Captain Flash.

Along with a group of thugs, he became the Black Knight. On a rocket-steed and wielding energy blasting lances, they managed to damage Atom City’s fourth reactor before Captain Flash challenged them. But the melding of science and magic was more than a match for the young hero.

Unfortunately for the Black Knight he was less of a match for the wit of Ricky Davis, Captain Flash’s teenage ally. Ricky lead the Atom City scientists in creating a massive electromagnet. The magnet drew in the Black Knight and his men’s armor, capturing them. Still the seeds of doubt were now planted in Captain Flash’s ability to defend Atom City.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Walking Shadows Book 3 Chapter 24-4

 Ziya to crack the slightest of smiles. Kaihime knew Alli was getting through to the girl. She wished she could so easily interact. But she only knew the concept of human interaction from the television shows she watched from The Aerie. It seemed such behaviors were harder to emulate in reality than they were on the shows. Empathy clearly was a behavior best mastered through interaction rather than simple viewing.  

“We are here to help you,” Alli said to the young girl.

This close she seemed even younger than she had before. Ziya chewed at her bottom lip as she studied Kaihime and Alli. Kaihime wished she could have any insight into the girl’s mind.

“Baba and Mama will be worried sick if I leave. They will call the police. They’ll start a manhunt—”

“You can call them after you’re somewhere safe,” Alli said. “But believe me that you don’t want to be here much longer. The police are coming. And our friends in GENESIS didn’t make it on the news when I fought them a week ago. I don’t think the cops will be our friends in this. Maybe I’m wrong and maybe they will take you somewhere safe. But I already know how this town feels about metas. I can only imagine how happy they would be to make you disappear and ship you off with a bunch of paramilitary whackjobs.”

“I—you’re scaring me.”

“Good,” Alli said. “You should be scared, Ziya. Fear will keep you alive. I’m not saying you should run away forever. But I am saying that you need to stay with us. You need to help us. If we’re going to stay free and find my friends, we have to make it clear to GENESIS we will not let them continue to manipulate our lives and make us afraid of our own shadows.”

Ziya stared at Alli and Kaihime. It was clear she was deep in thought. Alli looked to Kaihime. It took Kaihime a few seconds too long to realize she was looking for something else to be said.

“We will do everything we can to get you back to your family,” Kaihime said. “I know how important family is. But right now, we need to move. I have two more names on this list. With or without you, we need to find them. Are you with us or will you stay?”

Ziya looked back to Alli. Alli shrugged. It was clearly a signal, though Kaihime didn’t understand it.

“I’ll come with you,” Ziya said. Her eyes turned cold. “One way or the other, I want to learn why these men attacked me. And I want to make their masters pay.”

Kaihime could only wonder if GENESIS had created a far more dangerous foe than they could have ever imagined.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Walking Shadows Book 3 Chapter 24-3

“Need me?” Ziya looked to Alli. “Does all that stuff make her crazy?”

“I—not that I know of.” Alli shrugged. “We haven’t known each other long. But I trust her. She’s proven her knowledge in this more than once. And I’m not going to let anyone take Marilyn, Ian or the others away again. I’m no fighter, Ziya. But sometimes even people like us have to stand up for the greater good. Today’s that day.”

“You keep saying you have a girlfriend. Baba always says women that love other women are the worst kind of infidels. I’m supposed to avoid people like you, lest they corrupt me as well.”

Alli rolled her eyes. “Great, this isn’t what I need.”

Kaihime rested a hand on her Alli’s shoulder. Quietly, she said, “Talk to her. Clearly she understands you better than me.”

Alli nodded, then turned her attention back to Ziya. “I can’t say I haven’t corrupted a few girls in my time, Ziya. But that’s not what we’re here for. I have a girlfriend and you’re a little young to be my type. Also if you’re straight, I’m pretty much out of luck. I don’t know your father, but don’t let outdated bigotry keep you—and him—from safety.”

“I still don’t know. Please, can you just take it away. I don’t want this. I don’t even know how to control it. I can summon the light, but if I get scared, it explodes out of me. I—my house is demolished. How will we ever fix this?”

“Ziya, you need to stay with me.” Alli stepped forward, but the debris shifted beneath her feet. “Please listen to me. Can I come up there? Can we talk more closely? I promise if you want us to leave afterwards, we will.”

Ziya’s skin glowed brighter for a moment. But it faded in just a few short seconds. She nodded.

Alli turned back to Kaihime. “It’s going to be a lot easier if you fly us up the hill. I don’t need to add tetanus to my problems today.”

Kaihime grabbed Alli under the shoulders a moment later. Alli yelped as they came up off the ground. Though their destination was only a few feet away, she acted as though she flew miles up in the air.

Seconds later, Kaihime touched them down on what used to be a hardwood floor. Alli stumbled, clearly a little rattled by the experience of flying.”

“Let’s try not to do that again,” Alli said. She turned back to Ziya. “Like I said, we’re all new at this.”

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Walking Shadows Book 3 Chapter 24-2

Kaihime dropped the shield. She offered a hand to Alli, but the Spirit Cop stood on her own.

“Don’t come any closer,” the young woman yelled. “I already killed your friends. I’ll kill you too if you don’t leave.”

She was clearly Ziya Basara, the woman they sought. But until Kaihime could get an idea of the girl’s powers, she knew she would have to wait.

“Ms. Basara—”

“I promise we’re not with them, Ziya.” As she cut off Kaihime’s words, Alli also took a step forward, putting herself between Ziya and Kaihime. “We came to warn you. To help keep you free.”

“What is this?” Fear was evident on the girl’s face. “What did I do? How am I going to explain this to Baba? He won’t understand. He already doesn’t understand these powers. If he sees this—”

“Your father will be safe,” Kaihime said as she stepped back around Alli. “But you must come with us. If you remain, they will come back for you. Then you could be in real danger.”

“I—please, just make this stop.”

Ziya started to cry. She buried her face in her hands.

Kaihime studied the young woman. Though she wore a fairly traditional hijab over her head and chest, outside the vest, she wore simple American clothes: sneakers, jeans and an oversized sweatshirt emblazoned with S-E-R-C in massive letters. Below the letters in much smaller type, it said Southeast River City High School. It was as Kaihime feared. The girl was much younger than they.

“I’m sorry,” Kaihime said. “It cannot stop. They will keep coming until they have you, or we can stand up to GENESIS together. I know this is not a decision to be made with ease. I know your life has changed suddenly and horribly, but you need to come with us.”

“I don’t even know you. How do I know you’re any better than those men with guns?”

“Because we’re like you. Alli and I have faced GENESIS before. Look at me. They turned me into this. They saved my life in the process, but I am still a woman that can never have a normal life. They tried to take Alli’s girlfriend for their experiments as well. We are together, not because of choice, but because of necessity. Alli’s friends are missing again. They could be anywhere. GENESIS could already have them. And I hate to say this to one so young, but if we’re going to beat them, we need you.”