Superpowers In A World Gone Mad
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Dark Corners, Issue #004

June 27, 2013 in Dark Corners Tags:

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Issue #004 – – – – – controlled by Sarah Saunders – – – – – Credits 13

“Okay then,” I nodded.  “I think we’ve got a deal.”
“We have?”  Melderact looked surprised, and then delighted. “Excellent!  That is good news.  Progress at last.”
“So where do we go from here?  Who’s the first stop on our magical mystery tour?”   To be honest, I really didn’t trust the old Sorcerer for squat, but right now he had piqued my curiosity and I had to admit, I had long thought that things were not as they should be.  When you live Downtown dark thoughts are pretty common so I’d taken them to be the usual consequences of living in Weird Central, but it felt now like there really was something wrong.  You know what they say, you’re not paranoid if they really are out to get you.

“There is an individual I want you to make contact with.  I think it is better that do you this as the gentleman is not given to sorcerers of my persuasion.”
“Okay, I already like the sound of him,” I said.  “Who, and where, is he?”
“Normally, you’d find him in Helix Point, but right now he’s not at home.  He’s in The Yard.”  I didn’t like the sound of that.  The Yard was definitely not my turf, as it were.  It was a rough neighbourhood, but Downtown is too.  It’s just that Downtown’s type of rough I understand – strangeness and circus clowns and freaky shadow monsters.  But The Yard was a whole other ball game.  Drugs, gangsters, miserable poverty, the sort of place where if something good happened, they shot it full of holes because it looked suspicious and out of place.  “Why is he in The Yard?” I asked.
“He’s been captured,” Melderact said.  “I was trying to make contact with him when he ran afoul of somebody else and in the ensuing battle he came off the worst.”
“This is already getting complicated,” I complained.
“Don’t worry.  I can give you all the information you need to set him free with the minimum of inconvenience.  Trust me.”
“Oh yes,”  I agreed.  “Trust the evil wizard who wants to rule the world.  What could possibly go wrong?”

Several hours later, not a million miles from dawn, Imo and I stood in the street taking in the site before us.  To say the huge old four story tenement building had seen better days was an understatement.  In any part of the city the authorities still actually gave a shit about this place would have been condemned.  Instead, the dangerous old ruin groaned and leaned and squatted along the street like a fat old leech feeding on the carcass of some dead beast.  “Any chance you might say a few words?” I asked the Monster, who regarded the building ponderously, as was his wont.  I thought I sensed some understanding there, but he did not repeat his earlier performance.

“I don’t get it,” I said, aware that I was probably deliberately wasting time while I psyched myself up for the action.  “I mean, this world is pretty dark, but the people here are real people.  The city is a real city.  Why does Melderact think the old world, if there really is such a thing, is better than what we have?”  Imo didn’t respond, but he did shuffle his bulk a little, usually an indication that he was listening.  Or whatever passed for listening for him.  “What about you? I mean, if the old world were restored, what would happen to you?  Would you cease to exist?  Would you go back to being mindless?  Not that you are exactly full of witty and sparkling repartee right now,” I teased.
Imo rumbled and raised one of his tendril hands, indicating the building.

I looked over.  Clearly it was some sort of drug den.  Sorry looking wasters were coming and going.  Money was illicitly changing hands at the door.  Four very huge men were guarding the main entrance, each broad enough to fill a doorway on their own.  I sighed.  I think he was suggesting it was time to get a move on.  I knew he was right.   The sorcerer had told us that the man we needed was trapped inside this building, which was in turn owned and controlled by a gang boss called Ivan Knight.  Melderact said that at 5 AM there would be a disturbance in the street and that this would be my opportunity to slip past the security.  He’d cast a guidance spell that he said would lead Imo and I to wherever the hostage was being stored and then all we had to do was break him out and get away.  He suggested it would be easy. I didn’t believe him.   Frankly I didn’t believe much of what the villain told me.  I fully intended to check the facts out for myself, but first things first, a rescue seemed a good way to start.

“Okay then,” I said.  “Are you ready?”  Imo didn’t say anything.  But he looked ready.  Well, he looked the same as he always looked, but then I always thought he looked ready.  I guess I’m just a glass half full kind of girl.  My watch gave me just a few seconds to five.  I waited.

The far end of the street exploded into a great gout of purple fire and flashing silvery star effects.  It was like the world’s largest firework, but it was on the ground and it was giving off a lot of heat.  Even several hundred yards away I could feel it warming my face.  The burly guards came down the path and peered along the road, shielding their eyes from the brightness.  From the light, figures emerged.  Dressed in baggy purple pantaloons, bare-chested and strong, a dozen or so men came charging towards us screaming wildly.  “Brotherhood toughs,” I said.  I don’t know a lot about The Yard and it’s powers that be, but this gang was well-known and I recognised them.  The Brotherhood Of War had that distinctive and colourful uniform.  The doorman pulled uzis and pistols from inside their leather coats and headed to block the attack from their rivals.

“Well what do you know,” I said to Imo.  “A perfect distraction.  Just like Melderact predicted.”
But Imo was already crossing the road and heading towards the now-vacant door.  The fight might not last long.  Brotherhood guys were reputedly tough, but they didn’t use guns.  They weren’t Abnormals, so I couldn’t see them standing up to sustained weapon’s fire for long.
“Okay then,” I followed my monstrous companion.  “I don’t know who you are, Drake Chapterhouse, but we’re coming to save your sorry ass.”

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