The Dark Skies of Vhall Shakharr
A Tale of Terra-Prime,featuring
Captain Eric Darkwater and Commander Phafnire Khonn;
Air Pirates Of Pangea Saga
Author: Carl Edward Thompson and Joseph Gilbert Thompson
‘’There are many Tales of Terra-Prime,among the world plates about and within Pangea from the long,torchurous events of Lord Thrull Khonn’s war against the Imperial Carthorean Empire,to the trials the Great Houses of the Starkillers,the Redhawks ,the Greystones,the Taylors,the MacKasters and the Paxtons fight against the Trongaroth/Metrone Alliance Incurretion.There some who choose to believe the false holo records,place down there enemies and stored within Great Halls of Time,and dark grimeires of the allies of the dark lords of time and space.Choose those if you will,but nothing untruth will you get from the likes of allies of a Shaitanus,Karza and Moonthorn,no matter what their clans ancient temporal records of once great interstellar adventures with Count Harlan Sarkhon and his descendents.Over time many truths have twisted into falsehoods and interstellar pathfinder wives tales.
There is the heroic tales of the Imperial House Clans of Rhann and Khonn,to reform the Pangean Crescent Lands and those worlds around it.Then there are Tales of the Great Houses of Redhawk,Greystone,Gullivar,Jones,Morningstarrs,The Great Jovan Clans of the Rockaways,the Sojats,the Paxtons and so on.Many fought knowingly and unknowing to protect the Great Terran sphere against the Dark Lords of the Cosmos,with the help of the Lords of Light-the Atlanteans and allies,to defeat the Tauron Allience Temporal Cold War,and make this a great interstellar foothold in thei eon old war against time and space.
The Great Holo Libraries,many found within the scatterings of New Genisis Bunkers,Halls of Time,where the Temporal Grimieres are found,also at time include the Tales of lesser Clans.Foremost among these is the Fighting O’Briens and Wanderings of the Steelwulf Houses.Many have shapped the tales and lands of the Great Sphere and among,not so forgotten is the Grand Tales of the Darkwater Clan.Cheif among is one Captain Eric Darkwater and stawert,giant commanion Phafnire Khonn,who at time encounter many of the Great Sphere’s other heroe.But this one,is how the two met again,under strange circumstance and formed a partnership that lasted years,to create legends that perhaps also lasted eons past.My father,now semi retired,recorded these tales and retold again to me,as a child,after befeifly becoming an admirel in the service of Prince Toreus Rhann,Junior once took the Imperial Emerald Throne of Thuvia and second Emporer of Pangea.’’
Admirel Atlas Darkwater,son of Eric Darkwater from the journals of the house of Darkwater.Tales of Terra-Prime series.found with the Temporal Grimieres,in the Halls of Time,New Genisis Bunkers Archives.Atlantean Intertemporal Computer Cloudnet
New Genisis Bunkers Archives 08117.
Captain Eric Darkwater’s Personal Log.
Chapter I: The Ship in the Storm
The mighty Storm raged on.as two great cillindrical air ships plowed through the pounding rain and the thunderous winds behind them.Lighting strikes pured down the distance like Great Zeus Centauris of Olympus-Prime or Prince Thor Odenshield of Asguard-Prime,raging their anger upon the world from the heavens.Violent storms had come more frequent,than was natural,even with artificial world,with weather control systems in place.Scattered throught the worldplate of Pangea,that sat as one of world dome of Terra-Prime-a huge dysonsphere,that floated among the Vault of Heavons,was weather towers,many situated within the New Genisis Bunkers and Star Cital towers located above them,help maintain perfect weather for land and seas.Except for here.The Western Pangean Seas erupted with violent waves below the lightning strikes.The larger one above,was gaining on the smaller vessel ahead.The Berghundian LargerFive airships moves among the violent storms,like phantom ghost ships,moving across the waters,like Flying Dutchmant of Terra-Prime.Two air travelers are upfront-one big gaining upon another.Three other spectral air ships,hold back-having gained upon the two others.The Berghundian faint outline of several other air travelers could be seen behind the larger airship,but the storm obscured the true outline,making them just ghostly phantoms in the rainy mist.The Berghundian Larger Air Traveller Yotugah class air ship shoot out a luminous flare,as something much like an electro magnetic plasma ball ejected itself from ship’s lower belly gun turret,located off of the gyro stabilizer engines-mounted twine armlike projections off of each side of the vessel,and bouncing off the forward ships upper navigational fin.The Chathayan fan like fin,exploded into a mass of burning splinters and burnt debris.The smaller ship jerked sideways,as recover from violent explosion that plummed outward from it ruddered aft section.
The same gale had caught the Berghundian Air Traveller-the same vessel on which Captain Eric Darkwater had been a passenger, driving her off her course from the Great Subatall Islands ,found in the Great Pasific Ocean and far southward the Misty Ilse to the far west.Darkwater,had sent by General Kotharr Khonn,Senior,on orders of the Pangean Empiror himself Toreus Rhann,the Elder,to check out reports of High Admirel Tardos Sojat and his Lemurean Air Pirates attacking transport ships moving along the Subatall Trade routes from Misty Ilses to the Subatall Islands.
Captain Eric Darkwater’s personal mission log;
My father Admirel Atlas Darkwater,had instowed into me,this sence of duty,whereas my mother Alice,had instowed a sence of freedom from duty.Mismatch torn natures,that spurned onto the Thuvian Rangers Corpse and also freedom for adventure.I had heard the the stories,my father served with both the Subatall Islanders and the Thuvian Navy.How they routed out the Vhall Shakharr pirate navy,as much as the ancient Carthorean Navies,that appose the United Kingdoms of Pangea Navies. Islands of the Vhall Shakharr had become a nuascence for the Subatall Islands for as long could remembered.It was some minor dispute over trade routes or something,that gotten out of hand.The disputes errupted into wars and quited down,only to started again by whomever was in power with the Vhall Shakharr Royal Family-who also trace their bloodline back the very origins of the original island group or so it was told.They were also some sort of fanatics-urged by ancient,traditions,that they all slaves too.Many myths-many legends surrounded the Vhall Shakharr-some true and others made out of old sailors tales about the area.
The outside storm interupted Eric Darkwater’s personal log.He was done with recording and stopped,by way of Thuvian Rnger Combadge,his utility belt comlink.He’d keep it on silent active mission recording,but no more personal logs for now.No time for now.The mission logs would piece together any upcoming events from future recording.
Empiror Toreus Rhann was conserned this distant turmoil,Darkwater thought.He could not directly become involved,but could sent out agents.Secret Thuvian agents.His First Son,Prince Toreus Rhann,Junior was off in a trainning exersizes among the Thuvian Highlands and at this Princess Tameara Kaluta ,was deemed to young for such a daring mission,as the Pangean Empiror thought so.Kotharr Khonn,junior-first son of General Kotharr Khonn,Senior was sent among the Subatall Islands and gathered certain intelligence about Tardos Sojats daughter-the lovely Princess Antillus Sojat-currently blond moving within the area.Empiror Toreus Rhann,never having any sort of control or influence upon that rogue Tardos Sojat and feeling on the advice of David Greystone¡ªnamesake and descendant of the original General David Greystone,ancestor had been a hero of the Trongoroth Incursion and David Greystone was the head of the Pangean Secret Service.,to send a trusted agent to look into matters further.
The Subatallians claimed that their air ships and sea ships had difficulty making any peace gestures toward their hated enemies.Freak storms during battles,just the one raging outside now would come up suddenly.It was all quite strange.Sure,the South Seas of Pangea,could come about suddenly,but those during hot,summer months,when wind and storms were more frequent.These were odd.Uncanny,Kotharr Khonn told him.Strange,too and needed Eric Darkwater to varifly,as wellAirshipAirship vehicle or vessel avans would disappear among these freakish storms about the Uncanny storms around Vhall Shakharr island group,Kotharr Khonn told him.Strange,too and needed Eric Darkwater to varifly,as well.Far to many ships had disappeared about area,that a local mariners legend grew up,calling it the Vhall Shakharr Devils Triangle-some blaimed on the local pirate activety above and below the waves.Air pirates were known to seize travelling ships -vehicle or vessel go during sudden storms and the undersea pirates of Hydropangea-those underwater breathing Terrans of Pangea,might also seize -.vehicle or vessel go.Nobody,was sure who was doing it,but all of Captain Kotharr Khonn’s spy network pointed to the island of Vhall Shakharr to be the ptimary culprit of the dark deed-no matter what others said.
Kotharr Khonn,junior had worked Eric Darkwater before.He recamended him,because pilotting skills,limitted spy craft,expert with hand weapons and so on.Darkwater,also knew allot of the area.He knew how read the area,for any sights of piculiar pirate activety.
The Empiror and his Privy Councle all agreed so,too.Eric Darkwater,had knowledge of the Subatall Islands as a child.His father,a Thuvian Sailor,among the Imperial Thuvian Navy,stationed along with the Subatall Imperial Navy.It was apart of the treaties between the Southern Seas of the Subatall civilition and the Pangean Crescent Lands to the Greater North..The Subatall Islands and Vhall Shakharr,were a minor island civilation.But,it was feared,the dark lords might use this area as a means to tip the balance of power among the Pangean world in their favor.If so,the Great Empiror wished to secretly tip it in the favor of his allies the Time Sorcerers and their allies the Lords of Light.So Eric Darkwater was one such agent to bring about that balance.He was told,there were others,that Kotharr Khonn,Junior was imformed others had sent to assist him.
''Captain,the hostile ship,it's gainning on us.'' First Mate Jake Wilson shounted''And aimming it's forward guns on our bow,''
''Hold her steady,Jake.''the Captain ordered.''If were lucky we might make it to a suitable port.''
Eric Darkwater sat nerviously in his passengers seat.Outside his port one of those Western Pangean Seas storms raged on.Thunderous rain and wind hit hard upon the vessels engines.He was thankful,despite the great storm,that gremlins were not tairring into the ships propulsion nacelles.Captain Eric Darkwater,thought,if only he could get up.Help fly this dammed ship and make the Subatall Islands or even the Misty Islands.Both were a series of huge island continents,strung acrossWestern Pangean Seas,settled by various Polineans and Asiadic people from various Terran homeworlds.
Captain Eric Darkwater,seemed a suitable choise,being he stationed not far from the Subatall and Misty Ilses,at Fort Jefferson Taylor,named after another hero of the Great Trongaroth/Metron/Mystrann Wars,along the Western Ithmarr Coaste of New Lankmeer City.Darkwater,having worked Kotharr Khonn,Junior from time to time,was the best,most trusted Thuvian Ranger for the operation.Trainned in the Thuvian Rangers Corps.Specializing in the pilotting of air craft,most notably air ships-also known as Air Travellers,hover craft,fighter craft,Steeds ,Speeder Bikes,Land Speeders and Speeder cars .Under the tutorage of Kotharr Khonn,Junior,Eric Darkwater learned abit about spy tradecraft-something suitable for this mission.
The airships paragravity engines-the Greater Paragravity Engine Ring below,that gave the traveller lift and twine aft ones-paragravity repulsor propulsion nacelle engines behind winced.The storm had caused strain upon the low,earie queer hum of drive system-a banshee like sound that issued across the winds of the world.Eric Darkwater clutched the passenger seats armrest.The Thuvian Ranger began to cause the luck of the Elder Gods gave him.He already hated the way Kotharr Khonn,Junior and Senior could hodwink him,through patriotism and duty to the hologods and country into accepting this mission.Once before,the two Kalladon warriors convinced Darkwater into looking into the Island of Vhall Shakharr.
Years before,he sent in to look into the strange goings on another island near the Great Subatall group.That began with him saving a Vhanirman,Phafnire Khonn from the assination blades of three tanned warriors and led to both them,joining forces to fight the owner of the island,who was secretly the air traveller shipping routes from the Pangean mainland to the Subatall Islands.They took out dark Doctor Julius Sharkoth-an exiled TyKhonean Time Wizard,who owned a small island Kharvo Key.He was using stolen jammingWizard’s machines,linked to his TyKhonean holosphere,all powered a Tauron Zero Point Energy Core. Doctor Sharkoth he used the holosphere to observe the world about the waters surrounding his island and Ackheronean Jamming Machine,he used to burn out enemy airship,moving upon the area.Darkwater and Phafnire Khonn travelled for a time after,but the Thuvian needed report his adventure back to General Kotharr Khonn,Senior-on behalf of the Pangean Empiror.And Phafnire Khonn,said,he rather tag along,being,he too,had an employer,that see afterwards.The Big Vhanirman was secretive of who had sent him to the Island of Doctor Julius Sharkoth-and rather ask,Better not to know,than reveal aspects of own mission there.
Days and nights had been a blind, howling chaos in which the ship had been hurled, flying like a wounded Anderhann Hawk before the storm. And in the very rack of the tempest ,a spiked prow had loomed among upper billowing above the lower, broader craft.It fired without warning,hitting the left Propulsion Paragravity Nacelle Engine,causing to slightly set afire and burn like timber in a forrest fire.Engine,partially damaged,now causing the vessel to list to right side,slowly moving downward.
“We've been hit,Captain.''Commander Jake Wilson shounted.''
''Where?''the Air Traveller commanded
''Left Propulsion Paragravity Nacelle Engine,Sir''Wilson respounded.””Internal Scan says partially damanged.Paragravity Coils partially burned out.45 % usable.''
Captain John Michaels,had wanted to make toward Misty Ilses before,the air pirates came upon again.Their the local Avalon City Spaceport cound send a fleet of Air Ships,along standard sea vessels to take out enemy craft.There also,HMSS Virgos Run,Captain John Michaels air travellers could be repaired at the local docking pit cluster.
''Eric Darkwater sat nerviously within his passengers seat.He activated his Thunderian Ranger star pointed Combadge to open hailling frequnencies on a secure channel to the ships captain.Eric Darkwater had flown many air travellers in his time,during his Thuvian military trainning.Once graduatting from the Pangean Flight Academy,Darkwater was assigned to pilot air ships for Thuvian Royal Family Pangean Empireor himself Toreus Rhann and his lovely wife Cassandra .Daughters Andromida Rhann,young Theaseus Rhann and mostly ,Prince Toreus Rhann,Junior.Hew knew how they felt in flight.Everything about them.How pinched and rolled in air,aswell as upon the seas of Terra-Prime.
''Things were made worse by a loasey inflight meal replicated by the ships service area.These replicator machines,were mostly old Sackette Celestrial Department Ordering Machines.
The Sackers Celestial Department Store is a store which sells universally. In order to do so, they have machines placed on various planets. People can order from these machines, and the product will appear instantly. Two hard baked potatoes,with Thuvian Brand sour chream,with two aspatigus fries-what was Darkwater thinking,since hated that vetchtable since childhood,and a fried fish sandwitch.The TyRhainean Coffee with milk and two sugars was the best part of the meal,but ship needed to upgrade its manue from the sparce list presented.You either had a choice between Egg Mister Bricks,Mister Brick-0-Big Burgers or Mister Brick-0-Big Double Burgers -meat meals had out of resequence Dinomeat or the one he had Mister Bricks Hot Potatoes,with a choice of vetables. Mister Bricks Coffee,was about the only thing,their franchise restuarants and food vending mechines could provide,Everything else gave one a serious bout of the shits or so Eric Darkwater’s experience told him.You had the choise betweenThe TyRhainean Coffee with milk and two sugars,The Jovian Coffee with milk and two sugars-perfect for Jovian Primatives,but too stronge for his tastes, The Tellurean Coffee with milk and two sugars .Darkwater wasn’t where Tulluria was and wasn’t about to take the chance,on something he didn’t know.
Darkwater saw something loom outside the port window.He couldn’t tell what it was,through all the rain and sick stomuck.Mister Brick should be trialled for some sort of war crimes,for being allowed to call that stuff food-let along the kind of crap entertainment that Mister Brick’s stood for.The only thing worse was all endless,countless Sperue shows.Sperue was the most pointless,sappy crap ever.Darkwater never finnished the thought.Then something hit the outer hull and rattled against the deck ring,used for crew and passengers,in good weather outside to go out among the lower,middle and upper decks.
Eric Darkwater could hear the grappling irons had sunk in and pull the enemy ship closer. Surely these Norsemen were wolves and the blood-lust that burned in their hearts was not human,as the Thuvian thought them to be so.He knew some of them,as he and father once travelled a band of them years ago,when was twelve.Well,one or two anyway-one he had met upon a recent adventure a few months back..Darkwater knew once,the Vhainireman made their minds on a course actions,it was hard to redirect them toward any other way.Vhainire were like stubborn,trained since the age of five,to move with the others,like a great scarlet and gold haired worf pack,once their commander set out a course of action.
The Vladermen,as this tribe was often called,were a fierce breed of half Norseman and partial Asguardian,all of the average height of about 6 to 7 foot.It was said,that they may even have intermixed blood from the TyRhaineans and the Kalladon-two other powerfully fiece warrior class,but the evidence toward was varied by many historical scholars and much debaited by some,due allot of inconclusive anthropological evidence.They worshipped their Asguardian ancestors,who existed beyond the thin veil of temporal space,on another world,much Terra-Prime.Infact,it was called Asguard-Prime,a dysonsphere and temporal heavon for those of Asguard blood,plus those allied with them.The Vhanir honor the like of Supreme Lord Wotann Odinshield,Lord of the Asguard and First Son Prince Thorr Odinshield,the so claimed by many God of Thunder,Lightning and storm.Braghalli Khonn,was said to be the Vladermins local,but distant ancestor,who ages ago,banded the 30 tribes into a single unite-a common nation of the Vhanire.
In the terror and roar of the storm they leaped howling to the onslaught, and while the raging heavens hurled their full wrath upon them, and each shock of the frenzied waves threatened to engulf both vessels, these sea-wolves glutted their fury to the utmost--true sons of the sea, whose wildest rages found echo in their own bosoms.
Darkwater could see
The play was quick and desperate; in the momentary illumination a ferocious bearded face shone before Captain Eric Darkwater, and his swift sword licked out, splitting it to the chin. In the brief, utter blackness that followed the flash, an unseen stroke swept Captain Eric Darkwater's barret from his head and he struck back blindly, feeling his sword sink into flesh, and hearing a man howl. Again the fires of the raging skies sprang, showing the Thuvian the ring of savage faces, the hedge of gleaming steel that hemmed him in.
Back against the mainmast Captain Eric Darkwater parried and smote; then through the madness of the fray a great voice thundered, and in a flashing instant the Thuvian caught a glimpse of a giant form--a strangely familiar face.He was holding something cilindical in his left hand,about the size of a knife ...or no ¡K likely somesort of billclub. And then Darkwater,knew what it was,as the giant pressed a small svehicle or vessel let stud on the upperside of the objects hangrip area.He knew as it's tip ignited in an arch of electrical,blue white snake coils.A stun baton.
''Ho,Little Man.''the booming voice said.''It seems we meet again.
Then scarlet haired giant moved closer with the baton and quickly thrust the object into Eric Darkwater’s chest.Even though heavly padded,with light Thuvian Ranger armor,the stunners electric bolts pentatraited through the layers and unto the Thuvian Highlanders chest.Eric Darkwater felt a sharp pain.
Then the world crashed into fire-shot blackness.
Chapter TWO;The Scarlet Giant.
Consciousness returned slowly. Captain Eric Darkwater was first aware of a swaying, rocking motion of his whole body which he could not check. Then a dull throbbing in his head racked him and he sought to raise his hands to it. Then it was he realized he was bound hand and foot--not an altogether new experience.He had held captive before-once among Clearing sight showed him that he was tied to the mast of the dragon airship whose warriors had struck him down. Why they had spared him, he could not understand, because if they knew him at all, they knew him to be an outlaw--an outcast from his clan, who would pay no ransom to save him from the very pits of Hell.
The wind had fallen greatly about the air ship.The seas below flowing viently.The Great Air Traveller above the waves, which tossed the long ship about like childs ballloon in a thunderstormt. A round silver moon, peering through broken clouds, lighted the tossing billows. The Thuvian, raised on the wild west coast of the Great Thuvian Highlands, knew that the serpent ship was crippled. He could tell it by the way she labored, plowing deep into the thundering winds, heeling to the lift of the surge. Well, the tempest which had been raging on these southern waters had been enough to damage even such staunch craft as these Vhanaheimians built.
The same gale had caught the Berghundian Air Traveller-the same vessel on which Captain Eric Darkwater had been a passenger, driving her off her course and far southward. Days and nights had been a blind, howling chaos in which the ship had been hurled, flying like a wounded bird before the. It had been a slaughter rather than a fight--the Thuvian Ranger had been the only fighting man aboard the doomed ship--and now he remembered the strange familiarity of the face he had glimpsed just before he was struck down.
Who--?’’Darkwater spoke,trying to shake himself awake.
"Good hail, my bold Thuvian, it's long since we met!"the scalet haired giant responded.Something about the mans voice seemed familiar,but Eric Darkwater being still too dazed could not place the users name or where he knew him.That would come,as the Thuvian regained much of his full faculties.
Something flashed in his hand,as the giant produced an object out of a pouch dangling from a dark leathery medical bag.The big man gave him injection of something from ships med kit.It seemed to flow through his veins,speading through his system.
‘’Here,this should help you come of of it,littleman.’’
Little Man,something was familiar with that,but where and when he could not remember who,he knew used to say that to him?
Captain Eric Darkwater stared at the great tall man who stood before him, feet braced to the lifting of the deck. He was of huge stature, a good half head taller than Captain Eric Darkwater who stood well above six feet. His legs were like columns, his arms like oak and iron. His beard was of crisp scarlet and gold, matching the massive armlets he wore. A shirt of scale-mail added to his war-like appearance as the horned helmet seemed to increase his height. But there was no wrath in the calm gray eyes which gazed tranquilly into the smoldering blue eyes of the Thuvian.
‘’Phafnire Khonn ‘’Darkwater spoke.’’you old Vhaneirman!"
I haven’t seen you since the Doctor Julius Sharkoth-Adventure¡ªover a years ago.’’The Thuvian uttered,dryly snilling
‘’And it's been a long day since that dammed evil bastards guards gave me this," the giant indicated a thin white scar on his temple. "We seem fated to meet on days and nights of fury-on lonely island of doom.’’
Then I fell before sword of General Mharhai Chang and you saved me from them--alone of all the Vhanir,who swelt upon that sea shore left alive.’’Darkwater added’’So in turn,I saved you.
‘’Yes we joined our swords against the good doctor,once you saw his Temporal Ninja were sent say myself and you’’Eric Darkwater stated.’’Until fate said otherwise.
-And with those women,we took out the devil wizard. Doctor Julius Sharkoth around his holo sphere and drawned him under it with operation
Tonight it was you who struck me down." He touched the great two-handed sword strapped to his shoulders and Captain Eric Darkwater cursed.The Thuvian wenced.Pain shot up his right side.
"Nay, revile me not,my freind" said Phafnire Khonn with a pained expression. "I could have killed you-but-I struck with my stun baton. but knowing you Thuvian have cursed hard skulls,and thick body armor,under that uniform of yours. I struck you hard and fast before you took on half my crew.
‘’How long have I been out?’’
‘’You have been senseless for hours.
‘’And all this?’’Darkwater gestured to him shackled his chair.
‘’To keep you from falling on yor silly ass,during the storm.The ships swaying back and forthd,by keeping both ships moving,as a single craft.’’
‘’And who thought of that?You ?’’ Darkwater responded.
No.Sorry.I can’t credit for it.’’Phafnire Khonn spoke sharply’’My First Mate Commander Longronn Thornblade thought of it.Something done such air ships,in the old days,to or two falturing up in the air.’’
‘’And how will that work?’’
Perhaps enough time to somewhere safe.This area is scattered with many small and large island groups.’’
"Where are we?"
"Ask me not.I’m not exactly sure,but we are somewhere near the Island of Vhall Shakharr. The storm blew us far out of our course. We were sailing around the coasts of Vhall Shakharr.
‘’As as I .’’Darkwater responded.’’Spying again were you?’’
“Yes.It seems many seem interested in the goings of of curse island.
::How come your not up at the cockpit area?I ‘m a pretty good pilot..’’
“No,good.little man.We’re on auto pilot now.We can keep her steady,but not for too long.
The storm hit as we following your ship.When chance threw us in with your vessel,
Now we are racing with the sea-flow, unknowing. The pilots cabin is crippled and the whole ship lamed.
And air traveller,I was on.And her crew?
Here,with you.Their ship is more badly damaged.We can’t untangle the Grappling hook lines,because,that too is crippled.My men are trying to work at the release mechasms,but nothing working.’’
‘’We may be riding the very rim of the world for aught I know.’’
“’So why did you attack my ship?’’Eric Darkwater asked
‘’Because By Braghali,you were being a fool.I knew you were on this ship.And you were coming to close to dangerous territory.Believe or not I was trying to save your stupid,thick headed hide.’’"Phafnire Khonn shoutted.
‘’Gee thanks.’’Darkwater responded
Swear to join us and I will let you loose ."Phafnire Khonn stated.’’We need,everyone-every hand,if we are too get out of this alive.’’
"Swear to let me be!" snarled Captain Eric Darkwater.’’I trust you,but not the others.
"Well, well," said Phafnire Khonn tolerantly, ‘’I command here.My men do as I say.I will loose your hands at least-.if you swear to behave,’’
‘’Ok.by Thrull Khonn’s will.’’The Thuvian anger commented’’We have nothing to do but save each other.’’
Vhanireman cut the Thuvian Rangers bonds.Darkwater removed the leather thongs and threw tthem upon the deck.He rubbed his wrist to get the blood throwing again through them.
‘’Thanks,Phaf.’’Darkwater responded kindly.’’I owe you that.’’
‘’You owe me nothing,save not kick you in the butt.I want you to keep out of trouble while my ship.’’Phafnire Khonn reported.’’I remember last time.You practally got your ass in trouble everywhere on Doctor Julius Sharkoth’s island.’’
‘’I seem to remember saving your hide once or twice.Once from Sharkoth’s Shi Phann Assassins and that armored dragon creature.’’
It was true. Doctor Julius Sharkoth protected his island fortress with Shi Phann Assassins-a strange kind of Temporal Shadow Ninja.They were a specialized breed of Celestrial.Khathayan Ninja Samurai,who emulated also the tricks and trade of the Legion of Time-Sorcerer,as well those of the Ninja Warriors Shadow War Books.Phafnire and a girl,whose name was Brenda Thornsonn almost bit the big one,a few ttimes,if Eric Darkwater had arrived and saved them,being shot full of arrows and cut up with ninja stars-deadly sherikens,armed with EM PLASMA fields.And the armored dragon creature was something called a Shakharra Dragon-a dreadly armored dinosauroid lifeform,transported from the TyRhainean Worldplate.Dr.Sharkoth set it upon us,while we tried sneak up upon his secret cave entrence.Darkwater,simply got lucky,using his paragravity boots to leap around the creature and behind it to give the poor wretched beasts its timely death.Sharkoth had tough the creature how hunt prey,by cruel methods torchure and starvation mostly.And mainly forcing it to his bedding,by way of a Acherhonean Slave Collar,that gave it alternating surges of pleasure and pain.
‘’And that’s one or two reasons I let you live.’’the redhaired giant finally spoke.
‘’I know,big buddy.’’Darkwater answered.’’I’m bullheaded.’’
‘’Sometimes I can be a bit of a pain the ass,I know.’’
-Ok,little man’’Phafnire. ‘’now, set your teeth into this MREs have little else."
“Military rations?’’Darkwater commented ‘’Replicators out,too I see.’’
Captain Eric Darkwater ripped to the great package and tore it’s ravenously.The package contained a slice of bread,spaghetti and meatballs in a plastic bag-already heated by a small thermal lining,pretzels and cheese sticks ,dried fruite ,cereal bars and some candy.The Thuvian had learned in to eat these military meals ready to eat on survival missions.No field replicators,there.In Ranger training,you had eat what either carried with you or could find upon the land.You survived by your wits.He suddenly,though of the Young Prince Toreus Rhann,half a world,doing the same,somewhere in the snow swept mountains of the Thuvian Highnlands.How was he dealing that survival training,while Darkwater sat upon a doomed air ship.
Eric Darkwater produced a small plaststeel fork and eat hearty the pre packaged meal.
‘’You know,somepeople hate these things.’’the Thuvian joyfully commented.’’Me,I think their ok,just like mom cooked at home.’’
‘’Mother Thorhenn never made meatballs like those.’’Phafnire responded.’’And Father Grundharr preferred Anaheim meatballs,than those your eating.’’
‘’Come Phaf,don’t knock it.We’ve had to eat these in the field from time to time.’’Darkwater added.’’And after awhile,you get tto like them.’’
‘’You can like them,if you want.Me,I’ll stick the standard replicated stuff anyday.’’
‘’Boy,you big dump oaf,what a spoilsport.’’
‘’Little man,spoilsport I may be,but this big dumb oaf saved you from getting captured by the Vhall Shakharr.’’
‘’Vhanireman,I said thanks.’’
The Vhaneirman watched him a moment, then turned away.He knew from the previous adventure with good Doctor Shakharr,that the Thuvian Ranger would keep his word. A strange man, reflected Captain Eric Darkwater, this renegade Vhaneirman who hunted with the wolf-pack of the North--a savage warrior in battle, but with fibers of kindliness in his makeup which set him apart from the men with whom he consorted or so the sea pirate stories went,told enemies of .Captain Phafnire Khonn and crew.
Phafnire Khonn,from he knew along his Vhanire, were from a small village,near the Northweast Coast of Vhanaheim.He was father was Faphard Khonn,a man as brave as his son was.Their may have brothers of sister home.He seem to remember the name Brunhilda Khonn once being mentioned and an older brother Niord Khonn,other that Darkwater wasn’t sure.He knew something,like Phafnire Khonn could trace ancestry to a Imperial Delhonean warrior called General Braghalli Khonn,who came to Terra-Prime ages ago and settle among the village of Snowbound Corners-the same town of Phafnire Khonn’s family.
Darkwater began think back how he got himself into this situation,as the storm and sea rushed by a porthole.to his right,He had jointed the Thuvian Rangers,out of duty to father,being the only son of the family,He had sister out someplace Julianna,but took up a different profession,than he did.He also,wanted fly air ships such as this and during stationed at Fort Wayne,learned to pilot airships=mainly air travellers about the base and around it.He trained on night manuevers,with Kotharr Khonn,Junior.He even few times met the Young Prince Toreus Rhann and older adopted brother Theaseus Rhann.They seem to have gotten on well or so he felt.
But he had counted on missions such as this.It wasn’t mission so much .but the fact,Kotharr Khonn,Junior managed to send him in,with a backup team and without a air ship of his own.He prefered the stealthyness of Air Travellers.Their paragravity,could set for whisper mode-silent hovering and movement about an area.Although as large many smaller starcraft,they had a low sensor profile.Something about design-the huge upper,flat balloon shaped decks-that act as upper cargo- decks or trooper of Vhall Shakharr Troopers and equipment areas. And lower gondella flight cockpit and command bridge area,plus lower cargo deck.He enjoyed flying these dammed air craft and think of nothing better to do than that.After this mission,he’d find someway to manage to receive a more perminate duty flying ships such as this.The hell with Kotharr Khonn,Junior and his dammed father.Perhaps,he could use whatever pull,he had with the Young Prince Toreus Rhann to get more flying airships.The First Son of Thuvia,had like how pilot the craft and said he was born to pilot such ships.
The air traveller suddenly lurched,as a horrific wind batteder the ship.The great Vhainirman moved along the ships Command bridge.Other crewmen were frantically,trying repair the ships many dissabled systems.Power cables strung from the bridges roof and Phafnir Khonn grabbed upon one of them,trying to keep humself from strumbling over,one of the deck seats,fassened in to the ships floor.
The twine air ships reeled on blindly in the night, and Phafnire Khonn , returning with a great bottle of foaming ale, remarked on the fact that the clouds were gathering again, obscuring the seething face of the sea. He left the Thuvian's hands unbound but Captain Eric Darkwater was held fast to the mast by cords about legs and body. The rovers paid no heed to their prisoner; they were too much occupied in keeping their crippled ships from going down under their feet.
At last Captain Eric Darkwater believed he could catch at times a deep roaring above the wash of the waves otside the air travellers. This grew in volume, and even as the duller-eared Norsemen heard it, the ship leaped like a spurred horse, straining in every timber. As by magic the clouds, lightening for dawn, rolled away on each side, showing a wild waste of tossing gray waters, and a long line of breakers dead ahead. Beyond the frothing madness of the reefs loomed land, apparently an island. The roaring increased to deafening proportions, as the long ship, caught in the tide rip, raced headlong to her doom. Captain Eric Darkwater saw Lodbrog rushing about, his long beard flowing in the wind as he brandished his fists and bellowed futile commands. Phafnire Khonn came running across the deck.
"Little chance for any of us," he growled as he cut the Thuvian's bonds, "but you shall have as much as the rest--"
Captain Eric Darkwater sprang free. "Where is my pistol and my sword"
"There in that weapon-rack. But Thor's blood, man," marveled the big Vhaneirman, "you won't burden yourself now--"
‘’By Thrull Khonn’s Demons.I feel naked without my weapons.’’Darkwater commented.’’Just as you would.
Captain Eric Darkwater had snatched the pistol and confidence flowed like wine through his veins at the familiar feel of the slim, graceful shaft. His weapons were as much a part of him as his right and left hands.He glaced at the Big red haired reaver and thought if he must die he wished to die with it in his grip. He hastily slung the sword to his girdle. All armor had dissappeared into nano pockets,of his Thuvian Rangers uniform when he had been captured.If needed,he could activate,once both himself and the Vhanirman had to swim for it.
Eric Darkwater checked twine pistols-Moonthorn Paxton Atlantean Navy Colt Smart Pistols.330=232 model 42736.An ancient,but effective hand weapon-used many Atlantean soldiers and others allied to them eons ago.Light weight,smart-limited artificial intelligence,found in the weapons handle grip,that gave the ability to sense the the local environment,by way of the pistols macroscope and anylize the proper targets for the user to aim at.The weapons,also optical palm readers,geered to his dna and his only.No one but could use or fire the pistols-especially against himself.It also could switch ammo from projectile rounds-electro masgetic plasma balls,stunner pellets to blaser beams.Phafnire Khonn used the same types of pistols.
‘’Weaponds are ok.’’Darkwater stated.
‘’What do you expect.’’the Vhanireman responded.
“”I expect nothing,old friend.’’Eric Darkwater said.’’I don’t you to think me a threat.After all,you did save me-despite the crack with the baton.’’
"There are sharks in these waters,you might need them if we are to survive." said Phafnire Khonn , preparing to activate his heavy mail. " We have to swim¡ªif these two ships crash short of the beach."
‘’Have looked out from window recently ?’’Darkwater asked
“No.I’ve too busy here.’’
‘’Well,by Thrull man,perhaps we should before crash into a mountain of something.’’
The storm outside,was still raging.Captain Eric Darkwater and Phafnire Khonn moved toward the flight cockpit.Nothing could seen by dark clouds and tropical rain.Several zagged bolts of lighting,followed soom by the loud clap of thunder,could be seen into distance.The Thuvian was glad,that these bolts were a long way.Near by strikes,through the air travellers hull,in it’s current condition,would cause more ship damage,than was needed at this time.
Suddenly,something loomed in the storm.Two somethings rather.They two omnimous shapes,semi oval,much their airships,only much larger.A low hum of four paragravity engines banshee like wale could heard through the storm.
‘’Little man,this is why my ship was trailling after you.’’ Phafnire Khonn responded’’I think we’ve found the Vhall Shakharr air pirates.Dame,by Braghali,our fortunes grow from bad to worthe.
Above,Eric Darkwater and Phafnire Khonn then heard,something clanking on the upper hull.The two could hear,just the Thuvian did before,the loud boom boom booming of grappling hook cannons firing off from both ship above.Metallic hooks,seem to reach out and grapple onto the twine aircrafts upper,outer observation deck railling.A large clink-several of them rather,hit and huge,superstronge Atlantium cables pulled against anchor hooks.The two air travellers lunched hard.
‘’You think they’ll try to board us?’’Darkwater asked.
‘’No,freind.The Vhall Shakharr are mad.’’Phafnire Khonn said ‘’They are so low on resourse,that they are now stealling air ships to supply their new air fleet.’’
‘’Then they will draw us to one of the islands-perhaps the main one.’’the Thuvian surmised
‘’They may have to beach us this low.’’Khonn responded ‘’Those ships may have the power to lift us,all the way.’’
‘’If that happens we might be able to escape.’’Darkwater added.
‘’Then we escape and do now.’’ Phafnire Khonn said’’They may not see us jump in this storm.’’
‘’With sharks in that water as you say?’’The Thuvian warrior added.
‘’We can survive anything..including sharks.
Eric Darkwater moved up toward the Command Bridge,where the others stood about,waitting either fight or flee.Captain Michaels,Jake Wilson and the Vhanire silently,hoping to hear couragious words from both Eric Darkwater and Phafnire Khonn.
‘’Folks.We’re not going to fight.The ship above want to take us home to their capitol city.’’Darkwater said.’’We have a better chance jumping out before,the Vhall Shakharr take us into the city.
‘’No,I say we fight,captain.’’
‘’And if we fight,we’ll die.Here and now.’’ Phafnire Khonn said firmly.’’You know,I’m no coward,nor is Darkwater here.But a fool,only fights the impossible.Once inside the city,we’d have a harder time.We be prisoned.Out on the beach,we can envade and survive.’’
‘’We’re going to jump into the water.’’Eric Darkwater stated.’’Stay or follow,if you will.’’
‘’ok,little man.’’ Phafnire Khonn said’’open the hatch.’’
Eric Darkwater,pushed a green button on a small square,control panel and the door openned with a large,clang.Harsh winds,cut into the two stawart heroes faces as peered out into the storm.Below the mighty waves,heaved violently. Darkwater and Phafnire Khonn,both began to dought this course action and looked each other.
‘’You sure about this ?’’ Phafnire Khonn
‘’No,by Thrull.I’m not going to spend anytime in some Vhall Shakharr prison.I’ve heard the strange,evil things they do there to prisoners.’’
‘’You convinced me.’’Khonn commented.’’I’m jumping.’’
‘’Ok,ready,pal.On the count of three.’’Darkwater stated.’’One...two...three.’’
‘’Geronimooooooooooooo.’’the two said as leapped into the abyss.
The ships struck with a crash against the bearch that snapped her gulh winged and navigational masts crashed against jungle tree the island beach .The forward section of one ship hit and shivered her prow like glass,as her beak shot high in the air .The other ship,tumbled off in another direction,pushing and plowing through a separate,but near by section of the Great Jungle of the Vhall Shakharr.Two men tumbled like tenpins from her slanted deck. A moment great air ship poised, shuddering like a great thing alive, then slid from the hidden darkness of the jungle and stopped as a thing dead, and went down in a blinding smother of spray.
Now Darkwater rose in the turmoil, fought the waves for a mad moment, then caught a piece of wreckage that the breakers flung up. As he clambered across this, a shape bumped against him and went down again. Captain Eric Darkwater plunged his arm deep, caught a sword-belt and heaved the man up and on his makeshift raft. For in that instant he had recognized the Vhaneirman, Phafnire Khonn , still burdened with the armor he had not had time to remove. The man seemed dazed. He lay limp, limbs trailing.Captain Eric Darkwater remembered that ride through the breaker as a chaotic nightmare. The tide tore them through, plunging their frail craft into the depths, then flinging them into the skies. There was naught to do but hold on and trust to luck. And Captain Eric Darkwater held on, gripping the Vhaneirman with one hand and their raft with the other, while it seemed his fingers would crack with the strain. Again and again they were almost swamped; then by some miracle they were through, riding in water comparatively calm and Captain Eric Darkwater saw a lean fin cutting the surface a yard away. It swirled in and Captain Eric Darkwater unslung his pistol as the Great Vhanirman beside did so as well.
Shark,Little ManPhafnire Khonn shoutted''I told you so.!''
''So you did,big man...... So you did''Darkwater retarned
''Darkwater..Eric.Watch them.Those two are circle us.''
''Not for long''the thuvian commented.
The two switched pistols,from standard energy rounds to electro magnetic plasma balls,capible of piercing through water and hitting their target.The macrocsopic sight targetted the sharks upper back fins and relayed the data to both mens macroscopic visors,worn over their eyes.Holographic crosshairs moved themselves along with various data port readouts,such body heat,target violicty,target weight,and so on ,as a holograpgic representation of the sea creature moved underwater.
Both pistols aimed ,spoke a few rounds and struck the water ,as a great river of red rose again from watery depths. Red dyed the waters instantly drew the sent of blood and a rush of sinuous shapes made their toward the other sharks watery grave.
''Little Man,''Phafard ''That may buy us some time.
While the sharks tore their others in water, Captain Eric Darkwater and great red haired companion, paddling with thier hands, urged the ashore until they could feel the bottom.
''Little Man,we will not last out here to long.''Eric Darkwater hear the great scarlet haired giant speak behind him.''The beach is our only chance.''
He used to hate when Phafard would call Little Man,as if was an insult.Later on,Darkwater began understand it was the Vhaneir spoke of the smaller human folk.Being many Vhaneirman had TyRhainean bloodlines in their families,carri svehicle or vessel let edvehicle or vessel ried over their ancient dealing those giants from a few worldplates over,the Vhaneir civilaztion saw everyone outside their kind as the Little People;
Shark,Little Man’’Phafnire Khonn shoutted''I told you so.!''
''So you did,big man...... So you did''Darkwater retarned
''Darkwater..Eric.Watch them.Those two are circle us.''
''Not for long''the thuvian commented.
The two switched pistols,from standard energy rounds to electro magnetic plasma balls,capible of piercing through water and hitting their target.The macrocsopic sight targetted the sharks upper back fins and relayed the data to both mens macroscopic visors,worn over their eyes.Holographic crosshairs moved themselves along with various data port readouts,such body heat,target violicty,target weight,and so on ,as a holograpgic representation of the sea creature moved underwater.
Both pistols aimed ,spoke a few rounds and struck the water ,as a great river of red rose again from watery depths. Red dyed the waters instantly drew the sent of blood and a rush of sinuous shapes made their toward the other sharks watery grave.
''Little Man,''Phafard ''That may buy us some time.
While the sharks tore their others in water, Captain Eric Darkwater and great red haired companion, paddling with thier hands, urged the ashore until they could feel the bottom.Darkwater waded to toward beach,with the Vhaneirman behind him.Roamming toward the beach,Eric Darkwater,glimpses of some sort of watery stake driven to and thro across the sea floor.Great metal.rusted hedgehoog obsticles were scatted about-the type used many ancient wars across the galswordy,to keep invaderseacraft from reaching the beach ahead saefely.They have used on land aswell to keep armored cavary devision from moving ahead or blocking street of cities,during war.The Thuvian could see portions of a great seawall,hidden by vast regions of
Ironwilled though he was, Captain Eric Darkwater sank down, exhausted and soon fell upon both knees.The Thuvian shuggled again,but his arms and legs would not lift up the torso .Darkwater spied dimply,at the Great Seawall,somewhere beyond the dense jungle.Wreckage of other air travellers could be seen scattered all over the beach-some new,junked within either a few months or even weeks.Others,were the wreckage of years-maybe decades-rusted hulks of metal.Tristed,burned and brocken shards of metal-left to rot abandonned by invaders crashed in heaps,now overgrown by jungle folliage.The great ships,once aircraft markings-redistration numbers and singles,scratched and worn-a carryovervehicle from the ancient Pathfinders of the other temporal lanes,who adorned their ship,with warpaint or warmarking,to symbolize clan alliance from one another or ship rank among various star fleet,were now dirty scrawled star ship tatooing upon each derrilick surfice.
Still,Darkwater could see minute scratchings as tools were used to rework portions of the craft from one anothers,as if someone or a group of somebody-possible star ship and air craft mechanics,were using the craft as salvaged parts.Salvaging was common upon the Great Sphere,were high cost as well human stupidity or engineering craft,as allowed to replicate new parts.Some airship and airship mechanic prefered to either juryrig old parts into new engines of powers or modify craft to suite their wills and wants or their own or employers.
Captain Eric Darkwater had left the deck in a long dive that carriedvehicle or vessel ried him clear,tumbling him and the Vhaneir unto the dark waters,as the air traveller slowly moved onto towards,it's gasp of duty.Both now were heapped upon dusty beach ,smashed the sand below. The Thuvian tried to push himself by his arm,but failled.Fatigued in the attempt,Darkwater’s head began to swarm with a maze of dizziness and nuasia in stomuck.Beside he could see the Great Vinear trying to do the same and failling as much as he did.Eric Darkwater gave in,falling backward.His head spun into darkness,as the Thuvian fell upon his back.Captain Eric Darkwater looked up upon the dawn of a new day.His head still spinning and mission,not even started.He saw strange vulture like creatures circling above,waitting himself and great Phafnir Khonn to die.Darkwater shoutted ''Thrull Khonn's blood-no and sank down, exhausted and soon collapsed soundly.He thought,great his obituary would read Captain Eric Darkwater.Thuvian Rangers.Warrior,Pilot,Patriot.Died on some Jerkwater island of Mister Brick food poisoning.
Eric Darkwater,dreamed of beautiful girls he had know and heroic men he had fought before,But soon the dream transformed to tanned men and women,running their high boats-great bamboo catamaranns,they called,launched huge iron like battle ship,with towers and great,cillindrical guns.The warriors seemed to running ,amind artilliary fire from pillbox bunkers,in great wave after wave toward this very beach,he lay upon.Some made upon the beach,as others failled and shot to pieces.Some simply falling into the bloodly waves below,while hnng Thrull Khonn like upon their own hedgehog crosses.
Others weirdly,enough,tried carry body parts with safely to the beach ahead.Great hidden pillbox bunkers scattered about the forrest jungle,blasted into the iron crosses scattered all over the waves,killing more tanned soldiers,as charged out reat landing barged behind.Some fired weaponds-rifles and pistols into the jungle ahead and others hurled grenades into the jungles belong.Somewhere in the distance,Eric Darkwater could mighty bombardments from the reat warships out at sea.
Behind was rows of iron hedgehog battlements,scattered all over the waves,to keep the great ships back from the beach.The warriors were running up to Great seawall,with looked some odd version of a bangalore torpedo tubes-an explosive breaching device used take large portions of the seawall.Eric Darkwater could explosion around him.He saw the same behind him and infront of him.Great plumbs of dark smoke surrounded
Then great waves of dark smoke began to billow about him.In his dreamlike minds eye,he could see great flying air ships hover above him.One began to desend upon the area where he lay before him and then a great ram openned from ships bow.Three shimmering figures all female,dressed in gleaming white,stepted out or did they simply float out of the ship,The middle one beautiful,yet Shaitanic with pointed ears and slanted eyebrows smile and pointed a figire towards Eric Darkwater ,ablazed with shimmering,circling electricity,moving like a blue white snake toward him and then the Thuvian Ranger stirred out from his ebony dreamlike state.
Chapter III: The Terrible Sea
Captain Eric Darkwater’s personal mission log;
Things had not gone according to plan.I was alive.Nothing broken.No injuries,just minor bruises.The imformation was gathered by The Karza Medtech medical biorecorder,a small square box,worn upon a Thuvian Rangers upper arm pocket of the right side.It was a small,data recorder and sensor monitor,we used-another gift of those Atlantean friends,from beyond time and space,to keep apprise ones medical conditions.
Captain Eric Darkwater did not sleep long and knew he alive,plus thirsty. When he awoke the sun was just risen above the sea-rim.Those vulture creatures circlly him were gone-if even they were ever at all. The Thuvian rose, feeling as refreshed as if he had slept the whole night through, and looked about him. He saw the remnants of the Great battle he had dreamed of.He was glad it was a great,being that the Thuvian Highlander seemed helpless lying upon this very beach amid some strange,ancient beachead invasion.The broad white beach sloped gently from the water to a waving expanse of gigantic trees,amid the ancient,stygean seawall. There seemed little underbrush,about the great wall and much of the jungle had take back the areas about the scattererings of defensive pillbox bunkers but so close together were the huge boles, his sight could not pierce into the jungle.
Phafnire Khonn was standing some distance away on a spit of sand that ran out into the sea. The huge Vhaneirman leaned on his great sword and gazed out toward the reefs.
''Lat time I sleep on this beach,Little Man.''the Vhanir spoke out.
''Why afraid of the morning darness,my friend?Eric Darkwater replied
''Hell no,By Braghali.''Phanire cursed.''I fear nother,save maybe the Dark Lords magic.No,it was that dammed dream I just had.''
What dream ?''Darkwater respounded,ignoring the now strange buzzing at the back of his skull.
'Well,I dreamt of an invasion not on this very beach.Hordes of strange tanned warrior,stormming his Great Sea Wall.''the Vhanirman spoke as in a fog
Captain Eric Darkwater could hardly hear his old friend,The strange buzzing grew houlder and loulder.Here and there,the Thuvian saw on the beach lay the stiff figures that had been washed ashore. A sudden snarl of satisfaction broke from Captain Eric Darkwater's lips.Something inside told him good.Their dead,now.Let them all die. Here at his very feet was a gift from the gods; a dead Vhanirman lay there, fully armed in the helmet and mail shirt he had not had time to doff when the ship foundered, Captain Eric Darkwater saw they were his own among the dead.How so?None were abaord neither airship. Captain Eric Darkwater did pause to wonder how all his was possible and one quick,answer spoke him from beyond.Somehow,you were twicked.Darkwater knew the spy games Captain Kotharr Khonn and like could pull off.His cynical nature was catching up him,removing his general mirth one with deadly cunning and mistrust.
Why,Darkwater knew the time sorcerer Doctor Arenjun Sarkhon and his Doomwatchers tricks to make things appear other than they were.The buzzing in his head grew louder,until Eric Darkwater could hear a strange,earie humming,siren light single beamming into his skull.What was,he thought?Oh yes,Doomwatchers,Special Missions Operations-a special branch,where confidence tricks,infiltration and advanced technology could carry out any impossible mission required against an enemy target.Our side the Doomwatchers and so did the other side.All this,plus the time Phafnire Khonn before.Some sort of elaborate trick.Sort of huge deception,created who..The lords of darkness-the Taurons,the Shaitanus ?Who ever,it didn't matter.Eric Darkwater was oing to remove one of their dirty agents right here and now
Thus armed he went up the beach toward Phafnire Khonn , his eyes gleaming with bisserker rage.At first,he simply felt to withdraw his TyRhainean electro magnetic plasma sling and pelt the big Vhanaheim giant,with a few empp balls.But no,that would be sporting.Then maybe a hot through the head,with his Paxton Ripper Plasma Colt Princess Princess Tameara Kaluta 11 pistol.No again.Not sporting-not the Thuviana gentlemens way.No swords,it will be equiles,although Phafnires great slimming silver blade was twice his own.Still,Eric Darkwater had his cunning.His Thuvian Rangers training,plus a few fighting tips gainning knowing the Time Sorcerer Arenjun Sarkhon.
Phafnire Khonn thought he saw three strange figures standing somewhere atop the Great Sea Wall,thinking that they were hidden.He hought he heard the middle,dark female imp say.’’No,my darlings.We Jinn don’t kill our victums.We get them to kill each other.’’
“”Then maybe we can take over like that one you know ?’’The two side Genies laughed,gingling like school maids.
Mike Millions Munchalsine ”the formost Jinn laughed.’I got tired of his bafoonery.No,darlings,this will do for now.The Great Prank begins.’’
Phafnire Khonn glaired,and then blinked,as a great flash openned up and images of the three figures dissappeared into a great rainbow circle.The Vhaneirman,macrovisor adjusted itself to the sudden flash of light and lost sight of the images mommentarilly.The visors went dead,flickers and came back on.
‘’Evil spirits,By Braghalli!’’Phafnire Khonn swore.’’Like the Banshee Witches that haunt my own homelands cliff and dark hills,
The Vhaneirman turned as he approached. "Hail to you Thuvian,that we are still alive" he greeted. "We be all of Lodbrog's ship-people left alive. The hungry green sea drank them all. By Thor, I owe my life to you! What with the weight of mail, and the crack my skull got on the rail, I had most certainly been food for the shark but for you. It all seems like a dream now."
"A trick, Vhanirman " snarled Captain Eric Darkwater,drawing his slim. "I don't how you did,but by Thrull Khonn's bones,nor I care, so up with your sword and let us make an end."
Phafnire Khonn stared. "You wish to fight me? Why--what--?"
"I hate your breed as I hate the house of Shaitanus!" roared the Thuvian, a tinge of madness in his blazing eyes. "Your wolves have ravaged my people for five hundred years! The smoking ruins of the Southland, the seas of spilled blood call for vengeance! The screams of a thousand ravished girls are ringing in my ears, night and day! Would that the North had but a single breast for my sword to cleave!"
"But I am no Norseman," rumbled the giant in worriment.
"The more shame to you, renegade," raved the maddened Thuvian. "Defend yourself lest I cut you down in cold blood!"
"This is not to my liking," protested Phafnire Khonn , lifting his mighty blade graystorm, his gray eyes serious but unafraid. "Men speak truly who say there is madness in you."
Words ceased as the men prepared to go into deadly action. The Thuvian approached his foe, crouching panther-like, eyes ablaze. The Vhaneirman waited the onslaught, feet braced wide apart, sword held high in both hands. It was Captain Eric Darkwater's great sword and shield against Phafnire Khonn 's two-handed sword; in a contest one stroke might end either way. Like two great jungle beasts they played their deadly, wary game then--
Phafnire Khonn then dropped his great blade upon the ground.The Vhaneir knew that is island was bewitched.He knew what flow so called magic could be done those Atlantean wizards and witches,whether for good or bad.He also knew about their counterparts the Taurons and the Tykhon.They wizards of time and space,too.And their was the Titans and great war machines the Gravis-Rho who detroy whole worlds.And the Olympian Sirens,who bewitch a mans mind as did the Avalonean Banshee Witches.
''Sorry,Little Fellow.''Phafnire Khonn''You are bewitched and do not know what you are doing.''
Even as Captain Eric Darkwater's muscles tensed for the death-leap.He was confused.The Great Buzzing grew calmer.The Thuvian wasn't so sure of his actions as before.Before so Great Phanire Khonn simple gave his smaller companion cloat on the jaw,knocking backward a bit.Bazzled and jaw hurting,Eric Darkwater was no longer,under whatever spell had bewitched him.
What the hell was that for?''Darkwater shoutted
''You don't remember,my friend?Phafnire Khonn responded in bewilderment
''No,I only remember turning toward you;;Darkwater stated,holding his jaw in right hand
you tried attack me.''
no,i didn't.why would do a thing like that.wait a minute.Now,remember,as if a dream..running toward you screamming.
Exactly. You were bewitched by something on this island...maybe beyond this great wall
You even hear of the Olympian Sirens,who bewitch a mans mind as did the Avalonean Banshee Witches.?
Yes,what of it?
I had a dream about them or something like them.
‘’So did I’’Darkwater responded.’’But how ?
Fawl Eldritch wizardry,my friend
I know a wizard or two.’’the Thuvian Ranger added,refering to Arenjun Sarkhon and his lovely wife.
Suddenly a fearful sound split the silence! Both men started and recoiled. From the depths of the forest behind them rose a ghastly and inhuman scream. Shrill, yet of great volume, it rose higher and higher until it ceased at the highest pitch, like the triumph of a demon, like the cry of some grisly ogre gloating over its human prey.
"Thor's blood!" gasped the Vhaneirman, letting his sword-point fall. "What was that?"
Captain Eric Darkwater shook his head. Even his iron nerve was slightly shaken. "Some fiend of the forest. This is a strange land in a strange sea. Mayhap Shaitan t himselves reigns here and it is the gate to Hell."
Phafnire Khonn looked uncertain. He was more pagan than some,weird Shaitanean worshipper,who dwelled in dark,stygian temples,below the streets of Terra-Prime and their cohorts of allies,Zatikhhon agents,hollo demons, and heathen devils. But they were none the less grim for that.
"Well," said he, "let us drop our quarrel until we see what it may be. Two blades are better than one, whether for man or devil--"
Suddenly,the two heard gun shots from somewhere beyond the jungle forrest.Eric Darkwater could several men shoutting and the screams of several women.Native,he thought.But what were doing ?Fighting other survivors,on some other part of the beach beyond the dense jungle.Maybe.He wasn’t sure.
‘’Phaf.I think we have company.’’Darkwater spoke.”I think we.’’
A wild shriek cut him short. This time it was a human voice, blood-chilling in its horror and despair. Simultaneously came the swift patter of feet and the lumbering rush of some heavy body among the trees.Whatever it was,the thing sheached,as it tried plummet through the folliage. The warriors wheeled toward the sound, and saw something whipping about the bushes..out of the deep shadows three half-naked women came flying like a white leaf blown on the wind. The first one’s loose hair streamed like a flame of gold behind her, her white limbs flashed in the morning sun, her eyes blazed with frenzied terror. And behind her¡ªa raven haired amazon and a dark,dark eyed polimeshian maiden.
Several others soon broke through the hign brush.Eric Darkwater recognized the first instantly as Captain Micheals,followed by his First Mate Jake Wilson.On their heels was several Vhainirmen,he knew was the remainder of Phafnire Khonns crew.
Even Captain Eric Darkwater's hair stood up. The thing that pursued the fleeing girl was neither man nor beast. In form it was like a bird, but such a bird as the rest of the world had not seen for many an age. Some twelve feet high it towered, and its evil head with the wicked red eyes .It had a fan of colorful feathers about it’s head and at opposite head a feathered fan tail,accompanied a row of extended spikes.Darkwater remembered seeing an stuffed in a musceum back home,called Capronean Raptor or something.The Caproneans called a devil bird,although shared more reptiles on the Capronean homeworld.
Creatures cruel curved beak was as big as a horse's head. The long arched neck was thicker than a man's thigh and the huge taloned feet could have gripped the fleeing woman as an eagle grips a sparrow.One single sickle shaped claw,extended from it’s hindfeet,was used for clawing and slashing it’s prey.If it was for deadly,Captain Eric Darkwater quicky,it might been consider beautiful ,like some deadly form of prehistoric peacock bird.
Darkwater withdrew his pistol and fired into the creature.The guns spoke it’s loud words several times and round hit into the direction of the Great Devil Bird.They glinted off a plasma shield general from a collar and harness worn around the beast’s neck and torso.
“’Darkwater.We already tried that’’Captain Michaels screamed’’The bloody things armored.’’
‘’Ok.By Thrull Khonn’s Wisdom.Two can play it that way.’’Eric Darkwater’’Phaf,Follow my leed.’’
The Thuvian instintively tap his Thuvian Rangers combadge and commander it ‘’Ignite right formarm plasma shield and armor me up’’.A bright,blue glow sprang from with white guanletted hand to form a large three foot circular shield about area.The rest of blue Thuvian Ranger Calverymen uniform,also immediately grew into a kind of blue light armor,complete yellow and red stripes,as before,but much larger,thicker.The action,seem to surprise as at the same draw the creatures attention from the running girls toward him.
Phafnire Khonn had already did the same with body armor.He quickly sprang toward the oppisite side,His great sword draw.The mighty Vhanaheim warrior,also ordered his blue white plasma shield up and extended his personal armor up.The creature became confused as to enemy to attack and began to despirately peck toward each opponent rapidly,as to guard both sides.Darkwater and Phafnire Khonn slash swordarms into emply space,hoping to off balace the creature.The Thuvian could help,instantly think an old holovid,by some off world Terran Ray Harrhausen-based on a Julse Verne story,he saw as a child about a bunch of escaped prisoners,who fight a giant chicken bird monster,much in the same manner.
Captain Michaels shoutted ‘’The plasma shiels weakest
‘’OK,ace it’s you and me ‘’Darkwater yelled
This much Captain Eric Darkwater saw in one glance as he sprang between the monster and its prey who sank down with a cry on the beach.The Thuvian Ranger instintive drew out his short sword and tried slashing it as with a knife. It loomed above him like a mountain of death and the evil beak darted down,denting Darkwaters plasma shield he raised,as arm to defend himself from the deadly claws and staggering him with the impact.The short sword jabbed and a blue spark flashed near the side of the creatures chest.The Thuvian Ranger saw the weak point Captain Micheals spoke of.Behind Phafnire Khonnwas slashing into the same area.Blue sparks leapped off the demon bird’s back region.
At the same instant Eric Darkwater struck, but the keen sword sank through the shielding into a cushioning mass of the creatures side.The Thuvian Warrior withdrew his sword and again thrust the great blade into the chest area,this time damaging the Torso Plasma Shield Harness.Again the beak flashed at him and his sidelong leap saved his life by a hair's breadth.But as it did so,the blue white glow of the shield began to faid.
And then Phafnire Khonn ran in, and bracing his feet wide, swung his great sword with both hands and all his strength. The mighty blade sheared through one of the tree-like legs below the knee, and with an abhorrent screech, the monster sank on its side, flapping its short heavy wings wildly. Captain Eric Darkwater drove the back-spike of his sword between the glaring red eyes and the gigantic bird kicked convulsively and lay still.
"Thor's blood!" Phafnire Khonn 's gray eyes were blazing with battle lust. "Truly we've come to the rim of the world--"
Those creatures,my dear’’Eric Darkwater asked’’They look like Dino Rapters.Capronean Rapters I think.Shame to have kill it,but it was it or us.I choose us everytime.’’
They are.you’d might call them a form form of rapters.’’the woman said.’’those some crossbreed,between TyRhainian Velociraptors ,Capropean Raptors and true rapters,breed here by the inhabitants to guard this beach from intruders.
i belieave true name dromeasaurids’’Phaphnir added’’but few outside paleontologist use that term.
‘’Well,you big guy’’Darkwater added’’Call anything like that rapter and let go that.
But at last all were exterminated on the main part of the isle and on this side of the lagoon all died but this one, who had abided here for centuries.
In the old times hosts of men came against him,but he was greatest of all the devil-birds and he slew all who fought him. So the priests made a god of him and left this part of the island to him. None comes here except those brought as sacrifices--as I was. He could not cross to the main island, because the lagoon swarms with great sharks which would rend even him to pieces.
"Watch the forest lest another come forth," snapped Captain Eric Darkwater, turning to the woman who had scrambled to her feet and stood panting, eyes wide with wonder. She was a splendid young animal, tall, clean-limbed, slim and shapely. Her only garment was a sheer bit of silk hung carelesslyabout her hips. But though the scantiness of her dress suggested the savage, her skin was snowy white, her loose hair of purest gold and her eyes gray. Now she spoke hastily, stammeringly, in the tongue of the Norse, as if she had not so spoken in years.
"You--who are you men? When come you? What do you on the Isle of the Gods?"
I am Brenda Thornsonn , daughter of Brent Thornsonn's son, of the Greater Southern region of Vhanaheim
And I am Atilanta O'Brien''the second,dark haired girl said''Once of Thuvia.'',
"Thor's blood!" rumbled the Vhaneirman; "she's of our own kind!"
"Not mine!" snapped Captain Eric Darkwater, unable even in that moment to forget his hate for the people of the North.
Aand until a few days ago, queen of this ancient kingdom."
Captain Eric Darkwater looked uncertainly at Phafnire Khonn . This sounded like sorcery.He knew the O'Briens.He never heard of any Atillanta O'brien.Ofcourse,O'Brien was a common Thuvia name.Perhaps,this girl was no relation or perhaps,he did know all of Captain Colin O'Briens vast clan.He had this on the previous mission,but she used another name-Alice Andress.Perhaps that was cover name or perhaps this one was.The Thuvian wasn’t sure.
The three girls looked curiously at the two. "The world must have changed greatly since I left it," Brenda Thornson said, evidently in full control of herself once more, "else how is it that wolf and wild bull hunt together? By your black hair, you are a Thuvian, and you, big man, have a slur in your speech that can be naught but Vhaneirman."
They are.We before,on that
"We are two outcasts," answered Captain Eric Darkwater. The Thuvian felt it was better to lie,than tell the truth at this momment"You see these dead men lining the strand?
‘’They were the crew of the great ship which bore us here, storm-driven. This man, Phafnire Khonn , once of Wessex, was a swordsman and captain on the one ship and I was a captive.
I am Captain Eric Darkwater
. Who are you and what land is this?"
"This is the oldest island in the world of the Subatall Island," answered 'Brenda Thornson.’’Thorubhall, Verjhapi, Havetoos, Andootall, Kapartall ,Amteera and other great island regions were young,when this place was old,here and among,it’s original world.’’
"Cathorea, Thuvia, Cathay are as but infants beside it.’’
Aand until a few days ago, queen of this ancient kingdom."
Captain Eric Darkwater looked uncertainly at Phafnire Khonn . This sounded like sorcery.He knew the O'Briens.He never heard of any Atillanta O'brien.Ofcourse,O'Brien was a common Thuvia name.Perhaps,this girl was no relation or perhaps,he did know all of Captain Colin O'Briens vast clan.He had this on the previous mission,but she used another name-Alice Andress.Perhaps that was cover name or perhaps this one was.The Thuvian wasn’t sure.
"After what we have just seen," rumbled the giant, "I am ready to believe anything.
Perhaps,at one time.But there is an old Olympian saying.Whom the gods plan to destroy,they first make crazy.stated Atilanta O'Brien.''And gods-The Elder beings in the cosmos-others call the Great Lords of Light and Darkness,deside to make Kheleka mad.''
''You mean,the forces of darkness.''Darkwater interupted.''the Taurons,the Tykhon,the Arkheroneans.the Ephashians and their allies.
''The very like.''Said Brenda Thornson''But was them working evil local,time-wizards and their dark Djinns.who inhabit an unseen world in dimensions beyond the visible universe of humans. Together, the jinn, humans and angels make up the three sentient creations of God.
The Seraphean Khuran Grimeires mentions that the jinn are made of a smokeless and "scorching fire",Brenda Thornson stated'' and they have the physical property of weight ]
‘’Like human beings, the jinn can also be good, evil, or neutrally benevolent ‘’Brenda Thornson contnue ‘’The social organization of the jinn community resembles that of humans; e.g., they have kings, courts of law, weddings, and mourning rituals
The ephemeral creatures both Eric Darkwater saw in their duel dreams.Djinns were the oppisite of the Serapheans.Corrupted holo beings,created eons by something only known as the Goddess or the legend goes.Djinns,were
A women-Princess Tiramania’’Atilantia O’Brien’’was said to bin kidnapped by the handsome [[[[ and taken,we were told by Doomwatchers.
You know this for sure?
For sure.Brenda Thornson added.Doomwatcher found with the Subatall Island don’t make mistake and lie.
‘’Well most don’t anyway*
‘’Anyway,Princess Tiramania’ some think maybe wasn’t kidnapped but ran away.
What my partner is trying say @urged is that,we were sent by your Carson Jones’s friend Indianna Smith,behind his wishes to investigate if such imformation is true.
Suddenly,a tan skinned woman,who listen came for the bac.She had the look of a goddess.Tall,beautiful,tan,with dark,cole black hair and blue,steely eyes.
Brent Thornsonn and Atilanta O’Brien steading in the absence of its sane master¡ªmutanied instead."
We rebelled against nutball kimo keleka,
She means we shot his security guards.
"And then kimo keleka vanished from the face of the earth--or the sea!" interrupted Phafnire Khonn . "He was in truth a madman. I sailed with him for a ship-harrying many years ago when I was much younger.Atillanta here was with,like upon on one those air travellers"
We became involved accidently,in some great battle between the peoples of Vhall Shakharr and the Great Subatall nation.
"And his madness cast me on this island," answered Brenda Thornsonn ; " had harried the shores of England, the fire in his brain drove him out into unknown seas--south and south and ever south until even the fierce wolves he led murmured.
Then a storm drove us on yonder reef, though at another part, rending the air ship even as yours was rended last night. kimo keleka and all his strong men perished in the waves, as far I could tell.
So who exactly dwells behind this great wall.
a strange terrible people dwelling here, tan-skinned folk who knew many dark secrets of magic.
‘’The Vhall Skakharr priests believe a devine goddess that will come there island from an enemy nation.The ivory goddess coming out of the sea, whom they will worship.’’the princess spoke.’’No one,knows exactly,where this profency comes from.Out of the past,perhaps.Out of somewhere beyond time and space.Nobody knows.’’
Some believe,the profecy came those evil holo gods and holo spirits that haunt the worlds of Terra-Prime.’’ Atilantia O’Brien said.’’If anyone,it was they who plant such an idea,for ages among these people.
The Vhall Skakharr priests .. their temple ancient gods haunted some say by evil -jinns,and did reverence in the ancient times,long ago in another world,who will make strong-plots against their enemies.’’
Eric Darkwater stood silent.Even his twenty some years,he sent a few strange about the world of Pangea.White Capronean Ape men,used by Doctor Julius ShakhothShakharr,on his strange,near by island.The White Preist of the Swirling Vortex,who dressed all in ivony clothing,with extra tall tube,like hat,dancing about in squares,at home in Lankmearia,hoping to gain devine enlightenment from gods beyond temporal vortexes,by emulating the motion of wormholes.And the Mimean Cult of the Elder Gods,in the same streets of home,98-who painted their faces,black one side and white of the other,who wore a skintight uniform,composed of the same black and colors possite the face makeup.The Mimeans,danced in streets,raised arms,spoutted idiot jesters,with sparkling fingers,cheap knock off cosmic power guanlets and idiot rymes,nobody got or nor cared about the secrets of the universe.Still,those men.Strange men,but just men.Jninns and holo gods,also might be just men,using other ultra tech trick to preform miraculas feats of mystical preformance art.
Sure,they say the Atlanteans learned cast electromagnetic forces,from the encounters with the Galaxeans.They learned to cast flame and ice,from their encounters with those electromagic based beings,sheifted in android bodies.And the Atlanteans learned the so called mystical holographic arts from their encounters with the Serapheans-angelic beings of mystery and light,few knew or saw,save the Elder beings of the Universes.The Atlanteans knew many things,like looking into other worlds,other times,into the realm of holospace and other times-tech tricks learn the Serapheans and Sidairean Watchers,who guarded the goings on of the other realities of the multiverse.The Atlanteans and their like,learned their travels within the many of temporal space.They learned much from friends,as well as their enemies-the -,Delkhon,the Taurons,the Tykhon and the Acherhon.Tactics of wars.Tactics of defence and offense.Still,despite some thought,upon this Great Sphere,were not gods and goddesses,by men,like himself-higher advanced in society and technology,but still the same.
‘’And their high-priest, old Gorthonn Kaluta--cursed be his name--taught learned many strange and fearful things from the three Jinn.’ Princess Tiramania continued ‘’He gained many ancient weapons of time and space.
And but brother Prince King Skarr Kaluta desired a bride and the two planned to plot against myself and poor Kuthorr Monau.Their King Angar Kalut,was mad .It was he,that prolonged this stupid war with the Subatall Kingdoms.And it,his sons,who well paid,their agent among the Subatall to spy on them and report back.
And that spy,was Kuthorr Monau’’Brenda Thronson added.’’He was sent to only spy upon by kidnapp the princess here.’’
‘’Although one of his enemies race.’’Atilantia O’Brien continued’’Kuthorr Monau’felt,this direction might ultimately leed to eventual peace between the two island nations.’’
The women-here is that Princess Tiramania’’said Atilantia O’Brien’’It is she,we were sent to protect and help,by those,who sent you both.
Eric Darkwater thought just Kothar Khonn,both father and son,to not trust along,on this mission.Still,Atilantia O’Brien or whatever her real name to be sent,with another woman to scout about before himself and the Big Vhanire came into look about.Cunning bastard.Someday,the Thuvian wasn’t that Kotharr Khonn,Junior will usurp a throne or high position of someday.After,all wasn’t the Kotharr Khonn,some sort indirect bloodline to the Great Thrull Khonn,by way of a long,lost Prince Kulleus Khonn of the Houseclan,lost among the wild lands and worlds of Terra-Prime.He couldn’t take the Throne of Thuvia,but perhaps,such could possible elsewhere-say the Maridean Kingdoms or such.
‘’So,Brenda and Atilanta,how come you three found yourselves here upon this beach.’’the scarlet haired asked,leening upon his great sword.
‘’We found the Princess here,abandonned by her people.’’Brenda Thornson responded.’’Is that so ,Princess ?’’
She stopped for a moment, eyes blazing. Truly, she looked a worthy daughter of the fierce race she claimed.
"Well," she continued, "there was one who loved Princess Tameara Kaluta --Kuthorr Monau, a young chief of the Subatall,who nidnapped me from my people.
We travelled,by Captain Kimo Keleka’s air traveller to a secret location on this island.It was then the events
But are you in truth Brent Thornsonn,who signed aboard with Captain Khimo Kheleka’s crew ?"
"Aye!" cried the girl, "I am that one!
Captain Khimo Kheleka raided with Vhall Shakharr air ship fleets and sea ship fleets.
''But hear Captain Khimo Kheleka was once a great military leader of the Subatall Navy.It has said,’’Eric Darkwater went on’’he could do the impossible.Outthink his enemy.Escape any trap.
‘’Once maybe”Atillantia answered.’but Kheleka was old.He had done too much for kingdom and country.Dare too much.’’
"And then kimo keleka vanished from the face of the earth--or the sea!" interrupted Phafnire Khonn . "He was in truth a madman. I sailed with him for a ship-harrying many years ago when I was much younger.
Atillanta here was with,like upon on one those air travellers"
erhaps,at one time.But there is an old Olympian saying.Whom the gods plan to destroy,they first make crazy.stated Atilanta O'Brien.''And gods-The Elder beings in the cosmos-others call the Great Lords of Light and Darkness,deside to make Kheleka mad.''
''You mean,the forces of darkness.''Darkwater interupted.''the Taurons,the Tykhon,the Arkheroneans.the Ephashians and their allies.
''The very like.''Said Brenda Thornson''But was them working evil local,time-wizards and their dark Djinns.who inhabit an unseen world in dimensions beyond the visible universe of humans. Together, the jinn, humans and angels make up the three sentient creations of God.
‘’We became involved accidently,in some great battle between the peoples of Vhall Shakharr and the Great Subatall nation.We were supposed to become not involved any wars.’’
‘’A storm had come up,during the battle,making things more difficult.’Atillantia O’Brien said’’The storm was also uncanny,as something commanded it come and aid the Vhall Shakharr fleet.’’
Eric Darkwater thought another strange accurence,he sent to investigate.The strange storms about the Islands of Vhall Shakharr.Did they have method of controlling the weather about the island?If so how?We had heard,that the Atlanteans and other Elder races could control weather,upon many worlds.
"And his madness he drove further toward this island," answered Brenda Thornsonn ; " had harried the shores of Vhall Shakharr , the madness in his brain drove him out into unknown seas¡ªinto his ultimate doom.’’
“We were hit,in our engines’’Atillantia O’Brien said’’one of the air ships of Vhall Shakharr
Then a storm drove us on yonder reef, though at another part, rending the air ship even as yours was rended last night. kimo keleka ordered his failing air ship,to continue-even we urged him abandoned the ship.Captain kimo keleka’s pride would allow him to give up,no matter the cost.The further we came closer to this island,the lower we came to the sea.
We rebelled against nutball kimo keleka,’’stated the princess
‘’She means they shot his security guards.’’Darkwater silently added’’throwing their dead bodies out the nearest hatchway into the sea.’’
‘’that’s how they do it,in the Terra-Nostra,little body.’’Phafnire pointed out saracastically.’’
‘’I thought that was how Zhatikhon Agents moved up in the ranks?.’’Eric Darkwater shot back’’
‘’No,Little buddy, they screw you over financially and then you can’t pay hire some Zhatikhon Law Firm,like Vinder and Vender take legal action against you.They then sue your rear off in some hell hole of a Zhatikhon Court and then if you don’t pay up,they have the Zhatikhon Enforcer come collect the dept or kill you.Least that’s what I was always told,By Braghalli!’’
‘’I prefer a strait shot to the head.It’s less painful.’’the Thuvian Ranger slightly commented
‘’And more honest-more direct.’’
Captain Kimo keleka and all his strong men perished in the waves, as far I could tell.’’the Princess shouted to her adoring fans."And then kimo keleka vanished from the face of the earth into the sea!"
‘’A true humanitarians’’Eric Darwalter interrupted ‘’We should haved him man of the year,on that Newsday website page.’’
‘’Like all those others,who get nonminated..’’ Phafnire Khonn . "He was in truth a madman. I sailed with him for a ship-harrying many years ago when I was much younger.’’
‘’With him they say,I Princess Tameara Kaluta plotted against the Vhall Shakharr,to win final peace for their hated enemies the Subatall ,through political cunning,as well battle.
and and flung off the yoke of old Gorthonn Kaluta mad King Angar Kalut. That was a wild season of plot and counter-plot, intrigue, rebellion and red carnage Men and women died like flies and the streets of Vhall Shakharr ran red--
but in the end we triumphed, Kuthorr Monau and I!
The dynasty of Angar Kaluta came to an end on a night of blood and fury and I reigned supreme on the Isle of the Gods, queen and goddess!"
She had drawn herself up to her full height, her beautiful face alight with fierce pride, her bosom heaving. Captain Eric Darkwater was at once fascinated and repelled. He had seen rulers rise and fall, and between the lines of her brief narrative he read the bloodshed and carnagevehicle or vessel nage, the cruelty and the treachery--sensing the basic ruthlessness of this girl-woman.
"But if you were queen," he asked, "how is it that we find you hunted through the forests of your domain by this monster, like a runaway serving wench?"
Atillanta bit her lip and an angry flush mounted to her cheeks. "What is it that brings down every woman, whatever her station?
Princess Princess Tameara Kaluta thought for a momment,trying to gather her words and choose the right ones to speak.I trusted a man¡ªKuthorr Monau,who strong,but not wise in the ways deception.
‘’I made him openly my personal bodyguard and pilot/chauffeur to estort me safely about from island to island as I did charetty for my husbands cause. Princess Princess Tameara Kaluta ,
my lover, with whom I shared my rule.
betrayed me; after I had raised him to the highest power in the kingdom, next to my own, I found he secretly made love to another girl. I killed them both!"
Captain Eric Darkwater smiled coldly: "You are a true Atillanta! And then what?"
"King Kuthorr Monau was loved by certain anti liberal fractions of the people of Vhall Shakharr,who wanted the end of war against the Subatall.
Old Gorthan stirred them up.
Princess Tameara Kaluta made my greatest mistake when she let that old one live. Yet Princess Tameara Kaluta dared not slay him.
Well, Gorthonn Kaluta rose against me, as I had risen against him, and the warriors rebelled, slaying those who stood faithful to me. Me they took captive but dared not kill; for after all, I was a goddess, they believed. So before dawn, fearing the people would change their minds again and restore me to power, Gorthonn Kaluta had me taken to the lagoon which separates this part of the island from the other. The priests rowed me across the lagoon and left me, naked and helpless, to my fate."
"And that fate was--this?" Phafnire Khonn touched the huge carcass with his foot.
Atillanta shuddered. "Many ages ago there were many of these island were seeded by various polineshian civilizations of various alternate earth timelanes.Sent to preserve their water civizations on various parralle earths.Their earths.their isle civilasions were under seign by the Tauron Alliance, so legends say.The human natives of the Subatall Island are a generally inhospitable lot, often trying to murder other, kidnap his princess, or both.The '''culture of Subatall Islands of Pangea''' has its origins in the traditional culture of the Native Subatalleans.
The Subatall and Vhall Shakharr civilations has become a home to many different ethnic groups in the last 200 years, each has added elements of its own culture to local life,was true Darkwater thought.His father,Admirel Darrick Darkwater once had much time,among the Subatall Islands as a young man.He met Eric Darkwater’s mother there.The Lady Erica Harrington later the Lady Erica Darkwater married the handsome Captain Darrick Dartwater.The two had many happy years together.Some up.Some downs.And a few adventures together,about the world of Pangea and other worlds of Terra-Prime.
Today, he once told his son as the Darkwater family spent from three years among the island,before returning to the Thuvian Highlands,that the contemporary culture of the Subatall/Vhall Shakharr are a mix of the different cultures and ethnic groups that make up its unique population. The two societies were all clean limbed people, with straight hair, beardless and without body hair, roughly caucasian features and dark or dusky skin. This seems to be the nature of people of Thorubhall, Verjhapi, Havetoos, Andootall, Kapartall ,Amteera and other great island regions.The culture which develops is uniform, but not necessarily united. After all, the Greeks and Phoenicians were single cultures which were divided into a multitude of city states.
The only differences were the shape of nano tatoos. This seems to be the nature of people of Vhall Shakharr, Verpoojah, Havetall, Kapartarr ,Amteta and other great island regions.The culture which develops is uniform, but not necessarily united. After all, the ancient Atlanteans and Taurons were single cultures which were divided into a multitude of city states,upon the original Atlantean Homeworld.
The island based nature of the Subatall and Vhall Shakharr civilization would make it easy for political divisions and ‘Island states’ to form, compete and even war with each other.They were listed whole hog from their original homeworld of Terra 3.Princess Tameara Kaluta 8,by Atlantean Arkships and santioned by Sidairean Preserver Chartership ages ago and settled here.The ark,settled here,in both places and still used as the engine base of both island group.
The Sidaireans wanted preserve the last remnants of that Earth.Much of the larger continents,had ravaged by invasions by the Taurons and their allies.The Taurons,the Tykhon and Acherhon Empires needed slaves for their greater temporal civisations.Somewhere required for forced labor and other apart of their local military forces.The Taurons losing ground upon this world,then desided to set their Tauron Sentries-Doomsday creatures,who based of Cyclopean Titans,use would eradicate that landscape with their single eyed Plasma beam visors.Only resistance was the local Time Stalker teams led by one Colonel Anthony James Vincent and their Temporal Troops.
Frustrated,the Tauron Allies,desided to use their deadly Nova Spheres to cause that Terran world’s sun to prematurely go super nova.After a series of wars between themserves and the Tauron Alliance,it desided that majority of terran refugees be evauted to various locations upon Terra-Prime. Before the star system was consumed by it’s own sun,Colonel Anthony James Vincent and his Time Stalker Troops,transfered to the Subatall Island,during the transition from Earth 337 .
Princess Tameara Kaluta 8 to the Pangean South Sea.It is know he and his group stayed upon the Subatall Island for time,using their New Genisis Bunker,as a base of operation.He wasn’t first Time Stalker,to make his way through temporal corridors to Terra-Prime,nor would he be the last.Time-Stalkers,as well as members of the Legion of Time-Sorcerers,scurted the treaties of the Time Sorcerers Guild,and it was amusingly absurd,how many do not believe or accept the Guild’s wishes to have no outside time travellers upon Terran Prime soil.
The Subatall culture was almost certainly not politically united at this stage.They united some ages later,after nessessity force them to do so. They are leapfrogging from Island to Island in different lines, and not colonizing from a centrally directed Empire.The Vhall Shakharr,being the oppisite darker version'from another timelane,corrupted by the Tauron Alliance. If you look at both the Anlap plain and the northern hemisphere nations, we see that both these areas refuse to believe in other lands. If there was a central early Empire, this would be impossible. But if there are a multitude of competing Island states, each founding its own colonies, which in turn found their increasingly remote colonies, this becomes understandable.
''Each of the Island states refuses to countenance any rival as greater than itself, in particular, it refuses to countenance that it may have originated or been founded by a rival. ''Brenda Thorson added ''Or that rivals are older. Instead, history is neatly obscured, a continuing process, until you get colonies founded in extremely remote areas which have no clue whatsoever about history. The Subatall and Vhall Shakharr might acknowledge a common origin, but ‘cough cough’ have no idea which nation was he original one.''
Of course, increasing travel brings the Subatall and Vhall Shakharr people into contact with other non-human races, who are living at primitive levels.''Phanire Khonn added,revealling that knew more about the subject,than he added on.
The Subatall and Vhall Shakharr,I'm told ''Eric Darkwater also added,something language spreads rapidly among the several central islands around main Super Island.The further island groups become mixed other native islanders..
The Angan are incorporated into Subatall and Vhall Shakharr society. The Nobargan and Monkey-Pygmies retain their lifestyles and successfully defend themselves. The Myposans, Brokol and Voo-Ad at the fringes of Subatall and Vhall Shakharr contact absorb and adopt both Subatall and Vhall Shakharr language and culture.
Two to three thousand years ago, the Subatall and Vhall Shakharr civilization is in its golden age, an age of Cities and City States, of literacy and wealth, of exploration and discovery. This is the age of great philosophers and philosophies, of mathematics and learning. It is the equivalent of Earth's Phoenician, Greek and Renaissance Italy periods.
The great islands of Vhall Shakharr began to make raids upon the ship lanes of the people of Vhal-Sagoth,by using air pirates as a deception..
''Vhal Shagoth,being one of the Subatall Islands more richer of the group.''Darkwater added.
The government of Vhall Shakharr the merchant airships by hundreds and
in time forces the Subatall Island to retalliate.''Brenda Thornson commented.War began between both side
But at last all were exterminated on the main part of the isle and on this side of the lagoon all died but this one, who had abided here for centuries.
In the old times hosts of men came against him,
but he was greatest of all the devil-birds and he slew all who fought him. So the priests made a god of him and left this part of the island to him. None comes here except those brought as sacrifices--as I was. He could not cross to the main island, because the lagoon swarms with great sharks which would rend even him to pieces.
"For a while I eluded him, stealing among the trees, but at last he spied me out--and you know the rest. I owe my life to you. Now what will you do with me?"
Phafnire Khonn looked at Captain Eric Darkwater and Captain Eric Darkwater shrugged. "What can we do, save starve in this forest?"
"I will tell you!" the girl cried in a ringing voice, her eyes blazing anew to the swift working of her keen brain. "There is an old legend among this people--that men of iron will come out of the sea and the city of Vhall Shakharr will fall!
You, with your mail and helmets, will seem as iron men to these folk who know nothing of armor! You have slain Groth-golka the bird-god--you have come out of the sea as did I--the people will look on you as gods. Come with me and aid me to win back my kingdom! You shall be my right-hand men and I will heap honors on you! Fine garments, gorgeous palaces, fairest girls shall be yours!"
Her promises slid from Captain Eric Darkwater's mind without leaving an imprint, but the mad splendor of the proposal intrigued him. Strongly he desired to look on this strange city of which Atillanta spoke, and the thought of two warriors and one girl pitted against a whole nation for a crown stirred the utmost depths of his knight-errant Thuvian Rangeric soul.
"It is well," said he. "And what of you, Phafnire Khonn ?"
"My belly is empty," growled the giant. "Lead me to where there is food and I'll hew my way to it, through a horde of priests and warriors."
"Lead us to this city!" said Captain Eric Darkwater to Atillanta.
''Brenda Thorson knows the various secret entrences past the Great Sea Walls of Vhall Shakharr.Secrets only the city dwellers think no one else knows,but I have certain freinds-agents of the Doomwatch even in this dark city,who wish to Baron Gorthonn Kaluta and Ska's rule overthrown
"Hail!" she cried flinging her white arms high in wild exultation. "Now let Gorthonn Kaluta and Ska and Garft Kaluta tremble! With ye at my side I'll win back the crown they tore from me, and this time I'll not spare my enemy! I'll hurl old Gorthonn Kaluta from the highest battlement, though the bellowing of his demons shake the very bowels of the earth! And we shall see if the god Ghorr Ghothrah shall stand against the sword that cut Groth-golka's leg from under him. Now hew the head from this carcass that the people may know you have overcome the bird-god. Now follow me, for the sun mounts the sky and I would sleep in my own palace tonight!"
The three passed into the shadows of the mighty forest. The interlocking branches, hundreds of feet above their heads, made dim and strange such sunlight as filtered through. No life was seen except for an occasional gayly hued bird or a huge ape. These beasts,Brenda Thornsonn said, were survivors of another age, harmless except when attacked. Presently the growth changed somewhat, the trees thinned and became smaller and fruit of many kinds was seen among the branches.Brenda Thornsonn told the warriors which to pluck and eat as they walked along. Captain Eric Darkwater was quite satisfied with the fruit, but Phafnire Khonn , though he ate enormously, did so with scant relish. Fruit was light sustenance to a man used to such solid stuff as formed his regular diet. Even among the gluttonous Air Pirates of Admirel Tardos Sojat, the Vhaneirman's capacity for beef and ale was admired.
"Look!" cried Princess Tameara Kaluta sharply, halting and pointing. "The spires of Vhall Shakharr!"
Through the trees the warriors caught a glimmer:of those spires among the great jungle.Tall towers white and shimmery blue, and apparently far away. There was an illusory impression of towering battlements, high in the air, with fleecy clouds hovering about them. The sight woke strange dreams in the mystic deeps of the Thuvian's soul, and even Phafnire Khonn was silent as if he too were struck by the pagan beauty and mystery of the scene.
Beyond,could seen a row of titanic towers of steel and blue glass,mixed smaller,older lower buildings,scattered among city,but high enough to be seen beyond the green foliage.Great air ships,were moored to many of these towers and mighty skyscapters,while air travellerss move freely about-slowly navigatting the huge sky canals of the great city.
So they progressed through the forest, now losing sight of the distant city as treetops obstructed the view, now seeing it again..Before them Captain Eric Darkwater and company came into a vast mash,surrounded by the jungle.The mash spread as far as the eye could see,onto a distant forrest jungle,that might have held the Great City of Vhall Shakharr.The princess stood before the great mash and spoke..
''This is the Great Mash of Kulla Khiayai. ''Princess Tameara Kaluta''I myself brought this too,to Vhall Shakharr,years ago.Something my people among the Subatall Islands have doing for ages.''
''But my dark husband Skarr Kaluta and awefell brother,left this all in near neglect.''the princess added.''With it,my new people can survive,without outside assistance.We raise cattle,sheep and creatures among the other smaller islands beyond such as upon Havetall, Andootall, Kapartall and Amteera islands.
The Vhall Shakharr folk working the field arround some sort of hydroponics farms,made into a series of towers.Plant vines hung from a network of circular tubing,held by metal struts.Many were old and showed bits of rust,at various points.No nanites used to keep away rust.Either that or the nanos were slow working,to remove the bits of rust.Strange smoke,issued for the,from the center of each Hydroponic Tower,accompanied by a thundering rythemy of machery found somewhere below..Kha-Thump!...Kha-Thump!.Kha-Thump!...Kha-Thump! It sounded.Steam,Eric Darkwater thought,maybe pumped from some of the aquaduct system,to feed the planets water and the stream might have kept insects away aswell.
Darkwater,could see all sorts of fruites Terran type oranges,Cathorean Apples,and Capronean aprocots and beyond that vetchtables-Terran tomatoes of various alternate world types,Cathorean Tomatoes,and Capronean Tomatoes-larger that the other two types.The Thuvian wondered what was being grown elsewhere,beyond
The farmers either ignored the four warriors or assumed that were city folk of far off lands,who defected from homelands to join the city,as some refugees of other offten,but rarely did for reason or another.And at last they came out on the low shelving banks of a broad blue lagoon and the full beauty of the landscape burst upon their eyes. From the opposite shores the country sloped upward in long gentle undulations which broke like great slow waves at the foot of a range of blue hills a few miles away. These wide swells were covered with deep grass and many groves of trees, while miles away on either side of the great looming jungle forrest before and about them.The jungle there was seen curving away into the distance the strip of thick forest.A strange network of roadways moved along them,many sided by some sort of aquaduct pipe system,leading from the lagoon clusters.
'”These aquaducts are scattered all over this farming area.''Atillanta said ''and they belted the whole island.,from various water sourse,from the various lagoon cluster to greater resivores about the Vhall Shakharr Island group. ''
''The city uses,them as you may guess,moves water about for farming and other uses.''Brenda Thornson added.''Vhall Shakharr,is not a primative civilization.-as some might think or was told.''
Even though,the main island and the capitol city,share the same name,the civilization is one of the oldest upon Pangea.''Princess Tamearah Kaluta spoke.''She has many wonders.She once was ranked as one of the Many Wonders of the antient Pangean World.''''
''How far is the capitol city of Vhall Shakharr''Eric Darkwater asked
''Not far,''the princess responded''just beyond this Malakuwai Jungle and the Balaquai Hills.''
Soon Eric Darkwater and his group,moved beyond theMalakuwai Jungle and out among the the Balaquai Hills.'
Up ahead,Eric Darkwater saw some sort of motorized covered wagon moving over the hills.The Thuvian and companions,quickly moved up upon the vehicle.They made their way toward the surrounding hills and upon it,as other traffic moved on by.Some was a huge,motorized wagon of titanic size,with banbooh tree trunks,mage into a cage in the rear.Various pots and pans hung from the side,tinging against each other,as the great van went.Wooden cartsvehicle or vessel ts of vechtables of the same variety,as seen before,were held inside the aft cage.The driver,smoking some sort of weird,metal sheroot,that held sort of cartridgevehicle or vessel tridge,made from Black Lotuss leaves,among the Hooliquia Hills of the Havetall Island to west,sat in the driver seat,signing some bezarre tune.
''Wing wack.Willah willah wing wang.I told the time sorcerer and he said ''Wing wack.Willah willah wing wang.''
And as great van moved along,Eric Darkwater and companions saw among those blue dreaming hills brooded the age-old city of Vhall Shakharr, its white walls and sapphire towers clean-cut against the morning sky. The suggestion of great distance had been an illusion.
Parts of Vhall Shakharr resembled a the Great Subatall Cities of the past-ones such were created upon the homeworld of these people.Great Ivory Towers,set upon strange,stone hewed wall of great odd shapes of stone and steel.Some places fitted with grand arched shaped flat columbs,that jutted out of walls,like found Osirhon cities,while others found odd shape curved wall between the spired towers.Many of the titanic buildings,could seen-as strange gothic structures,that seem odd in contrast to ancient Vhall Shakharr archeture.
Each one of sections was connected another and another,as far as the eye could see,until much of the city wall dissappeared into the jungle distance.Gantries and bridges surrounded much of these Great Walls,stretching over the grand rivers surrounding city before them.The roadways,moved on and off the bridge before them and beyond into the the Balaquai Hills and this Malakuwai Jungle .Strange three wheeled carsvehicle or vessel and covered wagon like vans moved about each bridge,similar to once used in the ancient times just after the Creat Catacysmic Era.Eric Darkwater ,as he moved over one of the cities many bridges,along the middle catwalk heard the talls of the Great post Disaster Era hero Shawn MacKalaster,who travelled the lands of Pangea in such contrastions.Several of these strange ground cars ,roared along the two roadways,each upon the bridge the Thuvian and friends were walking upon.One road,moved traffic from the city of Vhall Shakharr and the other toward it.
Wooden boats-catamarans moved up and down each motivated by form moter boat engine in back.Some were of A few sail ships,moved also among these faster Paragravity Shifts.Many moved,out from the grand peers and loading docks,that were set before the various warehouses,along the river lanes.Above,could be seen,various air ships and larger air travellers docked above or behind,in the many Docking Pit Clusters,surrounded the areas.Darkwater,could see similar designs of air craft,he was familiar with.Some he had pilotted as a young Thuvian Rangers and others by his fathers or friends of his father years back.
Eric Darkwater look above and saw several air ships of various shapes and sizes,moving overhead.Some where coming from the city,while others were moving toward it.He could some had holographic commercial signs upon the upper blimplike section of the craft.Whatever one could think of these Vhall Shakharr,they had not build some little Ton Keki bamboo village and this,Darkwater thought was no little Gillighan Island.
"Is that not a kingdom worth fighting for?" cried Princess Princess Tameara Kaluta, her voice vibrant. "Swift now--let us bind this dry wood together for a raft. We could not live an instant swimming in that shark-haunted water."
At that instant a figure leaped up from the tall grass on the other shore--a naked, brown-skinned man who stared for a moment, agape. Then as Phafnire Khonn shouted and held up the grim head of Groth-golka, the fellow gave a startled cry and raced away like an antelope.
"A slave Gorthonn Kaluta left to see if I tried to swim the lagoon," said Atillanta with angry satisfaction. "Let him run to the city and tell them--but let us make haste and cross the lagoon before Gorthonn Kaluta can arrive and dispute our passage."
Captain Eric Darkwater and Phafnire Khonn were already busy. A number of dead trees lay about and these they stripped of their branches and bound together with long vines. In a short time they had built a raft, crude and clumsy, but capable of bearing them across the lagoon.Brenda Thornsonn gave a frank sigh of relief when they stepped on the other shore.
"Let us go straight to the city," said she. "The slave has reached it ere now and they will be watching us from the walls. A bold course is our only one.
Thor's hammer, but I'd like to see Gorthonn Kaluta's face when the slave tells him Atillanta is returning with two strange warriors and the head of him to whom she was given as sacrifice!"
"Why did you not kill Gorthonn Kaluta when you had the power?" asked Phafnire Khonn .
She shook her head, her eyes clouding with something akin to fear: "Easier said than done. Half the people hate Gorthonn Kaluta, half love him, and all fear him. The most ancient men of the city say that he was old when they were babes. The people believe him to be more god than priest, and I myself have seen him do terrible and mysterious things, beyond the power of a common man.
"Nay, when I was but a puppet in his hands, I came only to the outer fringe of his mysteries, yet I have looked on sights that froze my blood. I have seen strange shadows flit along the midnight walls, and groping along black subterranean corridors in the dead of night I have heard unhallowed sounds and have felt the presence of hideous beings. And once I heard the grisly slavering bellowings of the nameless Things Gorthonn Kaluta has chained deep in the bowels of the hills on which rests the city of Vhall Shakharr."
Atillanta shuddered.''They say the city was originally built on a network of catacolms,in the old world.These catacolms,now are set upon the laborymthe of subterrain tunnles and compartments-just the olds used by many Platedwellers,all over the Great Sphere.''
''In ancient times,the people of Vhall Shakharr worshipped a panatheon of gods.'' said Princess Tameara Kaluta'' Khai Khanaloah and Laillalullah Manalukhai,The sea god..Khu Khane Khanaloah.Khee Khini Khanaloah,Nha Unihipilai,Aumakhua,Akua,
"There are many gods in Vhall Shakharr, but the greatest of all is Ghorr Ghothrah, the god of darkness who sits forever in the Temple of Shadows. ''
''And why is he the greatest ?Darkwater asked
''They say,he is one god,who is also five separate gods.And is a god,who controls the very Dark Skies of Vhall Shakharr.''
When I overthrew the power of Gorthonn Kaluta, I forbade men to worship Ghorr Ghothrah, and made the priest hail, as the one true deity,Princess
Princess Tameara Kaluta, the daughter of the sea¡ªmyself.
I had strong men take heavy hammers and smite the image of Ghorr Ghothrah, but their blows only shattered the hammers and gave strange hurts to the men who wielded them. Ghorr Ghothrah was indestructible and showed no marks. So I desisted and shut the door of the Temple of Shadows which were opened only when I was overthrown and Gorthonn Kaluta, who had been skulking in the secret places of the city, came again into his own. Then Ghorr Ghothrah reigned again in his full terror and the idols of Princess
Princess Tameara Kaluta were overthrown in the Temple of the Sea, and the priests of Princess Tameara Kaluta died howling on the red-stained altar before the black god. But now we shall see!"
"Surely you are a very Princess Tameara Kaluta ," muttered Phafnire Khonn . "But three against a nation is great odds--especially such a people as this, who must assuredly be all witches and sorcerers."
"Bah!" cried Atillanta contemptuously. "There are many sorcerers, it is true, but though the people are strange to us, they are mere fools in their own way, as are all nations. When Gorthonn Kaluta led me captive down the streets they spat on me. Now watch them turn on Skarr Kaluta, Professor Gorthonn Kaluta has given them, when it seems my star rises again! But now we approach the city gates--be bold but wary!"
The Gates of Vhall Shakharr,
They had ascended the long swelling slopes and were not far from the walls which rose immensely upward. Surely, thought Captain Eric Darkwater, heathen gods built this city. The walls seemed of marble and with their fretted battlements and slim watch-towers, dwarfed the memory of such cities as Carthoria, New Damascus, and New Markalley. A broad white winding road led up from the lower levels to the plateau before the gates and as they came up this road, the three adventurers felt hundreds of hidden eyes fixed on them with fierce intensity. The walls seemed deserted; it might have been a dead city. But the impact of those staring eyes was felt.
Now they stood before the massive gates, which to the amazed eyes of the warriors seemed to be of chased silver.
"Here is an emperor's ransom!" muttered Phafnire Khonn , eyes ablaze. "Thor's blood, if we had but a stout band of reavers and a ship to carryvehicle or vessel ry away the plunder!"
"Smite on the gate and then step back, lest something fall upon you," said Atillanta, and the thunder of Captain Eric Darkwater's sword on the portals woke the echoes in the sleeping hills.
The three then fell back a few paces and suddenly the mighty gates swung inward and a strange concourse of people stood revealed. The two white warriors looked on a pageant of barbaric grandeur. A throng of tall, slim, brown-skinned men stood along the gates,watching everyone who entered into the city. Their only garments were loincloths of silk, the fine work of which contrasted strangely with the near-nudity of the wearers. Tall waving plumes of many colors decked their heads, and armlets and leglets of gold and silver, crusted with gleaming gems, completed their ornamentation. Armor they wore none, but each carriedvehicle or vessel ried a light shield on his left arm, made of hard wood, highly polished, and braced with silver. Their weapons were slim-bladed spears, light hatchets and slender daggers, all bladed with fine steel. Evidently these warriors depended more on speed and skill than on brute force.
Captain Eric Darkwater looked about as they entered into a broad market district of the city.It was a vast mall,with builsings on both sides and a long,strip of smaller market carts vehicle or vessel ts,cutting down the center of the avenue.People were jabbering about this and that,about whatever they wished to purchise.The Thuvian Ranger noticed an Apollo’s Cafe situated upon the left courner of the first city block and wished their was time for a couple cups of coffee for everyone.Next was a Mister Brick’s Family Restuarant.A happy picture of Mister Brick,weaving hello,was pasted upon the right side the window,saying ‘’Hi ho.Some mighty Good eatin’inside,folks.Darkwater groawned,still thinking of the terrible meal,he had curticy of his hated nemisis,a small cartoon brick,with smile face and pile stem thing arms and legs.Still,it was those turd guys.What were they called ?Oh yeah,there they were Teenage Mutant Samurai Ninja Turds.A dirty old poster hung in a junk shop next door.Four amphomophic animated turd like cartoon beings stood fast,with Khaythan Martial Arts weaponds,trying to emulate one them old Celestrial holovids.Whatever Mister Brick was?Whatever annoyance he was,he wasn’t those stupid craptoidsvehicle or vessel toon brick,with smile face and pile stem thing arms and legs.
At the front of this band stood three men who instantly commanded attention. One was a lean hawk-faced warrior, almost as tall as Phafnire Khonn , who wore about his neck a great golden chain from which was suspended a curious symbol in jade. One of the other men was young, evil-eyed; an impressive riot of colors in the mantle of parrot-feathers which swung from his shoulders. The third man had nothing to set him apart from the rest save his own strange personality. He wore no mantle, bore no weapons. His only garment was a plain loincloth. He was very old; he alone of all the throng was bearded, and his beard was as white as the long hair which fell about his shoulders. He was very tall and very lean, and his great dark eyes blazed as from a hidden fire.
Captain Eric Darkwater knew without being told that this man was Gorthonn Kaluta, priest of the Black God. The ancient exuded a very aura of age and mystery. His great eyes were like windows of some forgotten temple, behind which passed like ghosts his dark and terrible thoughts. Captain Eric Darkwater sensed that Gorthonn Kaluta had delved too deep in forbidden secrets to remain altogether human. He had passed through doors that had cut him off from the dreams, desires and emotions of ordinary mortals. Looking into those unwinking orbs Captain Eric Darkwater felt his skin crawl, as if he had looked into the eyes of a great serpent.
Now a glance upward showed that the walls were thronged with silent dark-eyed folk. The stage was set; all was in readiness for the swift, red drama. Captain Eric Darkwater felt his pulse quicken with fierce exhilaration and Phafnire Khonn 's eyes began to glow with ferocious light.
Atillanta stepped forward boldly, head high, her splendid figure vibrant. The white warriors naturally could not understand what passed between her and the others, except as they read from gestures and expressions, but later Atillanta narrated the conversation almost word for word.
"Well, people of Vhall Shakharr," said she, spacing her words slowly, "what words have you for your goddess whom you mocked and reviled?"
"What will you have, false one?" exclaimed the tall man, Skarr Kaluta , the king set up by Gorthonn Kaluta. "You who mocked at the customs of our ancestors, defied the laws of Vhall Shakharr, which are older than the world, murdered your lover and defiled the shrine of Ghorr Ghothrah? You were doomed by law, king and god and placed in the grim forest beyond the lagoon--"
"And I, who am likewise a goddess and greater than any god," answered Atillanta mockingly, "am returned from the realm of horror ,and survived the period you,by law set before me."
‘’That is true,my lord king.’’ Gorthonn Kaluta uttered’’She survived the one month,you gave outside the city gates.’’
‘’Yes,but I’d hoped she die or atleast run off into exile.’’the prince spat.
“You know our laws.Her death might bring complication to your rule.’’Gorthonn Kaluta added.’’And even you could go beyond the law and retain your kingship for long.’’
“Bah.Rules.Laws.’’ Skarr Kaluta stated with contempt’’They are for the common folk,not such as I.’’
“My dear brother,you will be one of the common folk,if you don’t atleast pretend to follow them in public.’’Gorthonn Kaluta urged
‘’You dare inferr that my rule could toppled because this wench?’’Skarr Kaluta
‘’I say,let appear as if your are generous.You have pardonned her for past crimes and allowed her entry back into the city.The public will see you as an ignanimous ruler.’’Gorthonn Kaluta continued‘’Better toward you,than her.’’
‘’And let her run about the city again,dear old brother?’’Skarr Kaluta
I say your dear wife be,for now.We will other chances later,in more private settings.’’
“So be it.Skarr Kaluta ordered’’For now.’’
Eric Darkwater saw Skarr Kaluta whisper something to his personal guards and they hurried off him the two dark brothers,into a wide hallway beyond the arena.The Thuvian Ranger wondered what trickery,Prince Skarr Kaluta and brother Doctor Gorthonn Kaluta had up their shelves.Well.beter to worry about that later when it comes.If it comes at all.After Lord Thrull Khonn taught to prepare for ones battles,but also fight them as they came and not before hand.
‘’Dear wife,shows us all the proof,that you triumphed over the beast beyond the city.
“Here is proof,my dear husband ‘’Princess Princess Tameara Kaluta.She pointed toward the Great Vhanireman.
At a word from her, Phafnire Khonn held up the great beaked head, and a low whispering ran about the battlements, tense with fear and bewilderment.Someone above shoutted ‘’The princess-our former Queen..she has successed the trial and triumphed our the beast in the jungle beyond.’’
“She must allowed her return’’another screamed somewhere above.
‘’Or down with current monarchy’’
A great corrus of shouts and demains erroched throughout the arena.It grew and grew into a loud,almost dethening
"Who are these men,and two with them?" Prince Skarr Kaluta bent a worried frown on the two warriors.
"They are iron men who have come out of the sea!" answered Princess Tameara Kaluta in a clear voice that carriedvehicle or vessel ried far; "the beings who have come in response to the old prophesy, to overthrow the city of Vhall Shakharr, whose people are traitors and whose priests are false!"
At these words the fearful murmur broke out afresh all up and down the line of the walls, till Gorthonn Kaluta lifted his vulture-head and the people fell silent and shrank before the icy stare of his terrible eyes.
Prince King Skarr Kaluta glared bewilderedly, his ambition struggling with his superstitious fears. Gorthonn Kaluta,his older brother stood behind him.
Brother,we can get ride of this foreign witch,you stold and married against my wishes.We know that the Elder Gods of Timeless space are upon our side.’’
But these four’’the prince questioned,’’the general and the others said nothing of this.’’
‘’Forget them.They unimportant.’’ Doctor Gorthonn Kaluta strongely urged.’’We can fight these newcomers.plus your dear wife.’’
Captain Eric Darkwater, looking closely at Gorthonn Kaluta, believed that he read beneath the inscrutable mask of the old priest's face. For all his inhuman wisdom, Gorthonn Kaluta had his limitations. This sudden return of one he thought well disposed of, and the appearance of the white-skinned giants and amazon warriors accompanying her, had caught Gorthonn Kaluta off his guard, Captain Eric Darkwater believed, rightly. There had been no time to properly prepare for their reception. The people had already begun to murmur in the streets against the severity of Prince King Skarr Kaluta's brief rule.
They had always believed in Princess Princess Tameara Kaluta divinity; now that she returned with two tall men of her own hue, bearing the grim trophy that marked the conquest of another of their gods, the people were wavering. Any small thing might turn the tide either way.
"People of Vhall Shakharr!" shouted Princess Princess Tameara Kaluta suddenly, springing back and flinging her arms high, gazing full into the faces that looked down at her. "I bid you avert your doom before it is too late! You cast me out and spat on me; you turned to darker gods than I! Yet all this will I forgive if you return and do obeisance to me! Once you reviled me--you called me bloody and cruel! True, I was a hard mistress--but has Skarr Kaluta been an easy master? You said I lashed the people with whips of rawhide--has Prince Skarr Kaluta stroked you with parrot feathers?
"A virgin died on my altar at the full tide of each moon--but youths and maidens die at the wswording and the waning, the rising and the setting of each moon, before Ghorr Ghothrah, on whose altar a fresh human heart forever throbs!
Prince King Skarr Kaluta is but a shadow! Your real lord is Gorthonn Kaluta, who sits above the city like a vulture! Once you were a mighty people; your galleys filled the seas. Now you are a remnant and that is dwindling fast! Fools! You will all die on the altar of Ghorr Ghothrah
Doctor Gorthonn Kaluta is done and he will stalk alone among the silent ruins of Vhall Shakharr!
"Look at him!" her voice rose to a scream as she lashed herself to an inspired frenzy, and even Captain Eric Darkwater, to whom the words were meaningless, shivered. "Look at him where he stands there like an evil spirit out of the past! He is not even human! I tell you, he is a foul ghost, whose beard is dabbled with the blood of a million butcheries--an incarnateinvehicle or vessel nate fiend out of the mist of the ages come to destroy the people of Vhall Shakharr!
"Choose now! Rise up against the ancient devil and his blasphemous gods, receive your rightful queen and deity again and you shall regain some of your former greatness. Refuse, and the ancient prophesy shall be fulfilled and the sun will set on the silent and crumbled ruins of Vhall Shakharr!"
Fired by her dynamic words, a young warrior with the insignia of a chief sprang to the parapet and shouted: "Hail to the Princess !.Princess Tameara Kaluta! Down with the bloody gods!"
Among the multitude many took up the shout and steel clashed as a score of fights started. The crowd on the battlements and in the streets surged and eddied, while Prince Skarr Kaluta glared, bewildered.
Princess Princess Tameara Kaluta, forcing back her companions who quivered with eagerness for action of some kind, shouted: "Hold! Let no man strike a blow yet! People of Vhall Shakharr, it has been a tradition since the beginning of time that a king must fight for his crown! Prince King Skarr Kaluta .my husband cross steel with one of these warriors,I choose! If Prince Skarr Kaluta wins, I will kneel before him and let him strike off my head! But if Princess Skarr Kaluta loses, then you shall accept me as your rightful queen and goddess!He and brother must leave...sent into exile just they once did me"
A great roar of approval went up from the walls as the people ceased their brawls, glad enough to shift the responsibility to their rulers.
"Will you fight, Skarr Kaluta?" asked Princess Princess Tameara Kaluta, turning to the king mockingly. "Or will you give me your head without further argument?"
"Slut!" howled Prince Skarr Kaluta, driven to madness. "I will take the skulls of these fools for drinking cups, and then I will rend you between two bent trees!"
Gorthonn Kaluta laid a hand on his arm and whispered in his ear, but Skarr Kaluta had reached the point where he was deaf to all but his fury. His achieved ambition, he had found, had faded to the mere part of a puppet dancing on Gorthonn Kaluta's string; now even the hollow bauble of his kingship was slipping from him and this wench mocked him to his face before his people. Skarr Kaluta went, to all practical effects, stark mad.
Atillanta turned to her two allies. "One of you must fight Skarr Kaluta."
"Let me be the one!" urged Captain Eric Darkwater, eyes dancing with eager battle-lust. "He has the look of a man quick as a wildcat, and Phafnire Khonn , while a very bull for strength, is a thought slow for such work--"
Darkwater eyed a row of dark,cobalt blue armored warriors.Their heads were twine blue horns,long matching the same color as their armor.Their eyes dark,eye sockets,colored over with transpisteel lences-possibly some Macrocsopic lences,like manufactured by Sarkhon Enterprises or Shaitanus Industries-neather way was he sure.Their mouths,covered over,with wide,scarletsvehicle or vessel let bandana,as worn by the Texans of the far Northern Amerhann Continent.Another,scarletsvehicle or vessel let clothe covered,the cold,blue warriors covers,wide and covering the upper part of the chest.They Eric Darkwater thought,resemble the old Imperial -Delkhonean Armored,once worn those coolly,logical,armored warriors ages ago-when he wasn’t quite sure.
A foremost Armored Warrior stood impressively among the rest.Darkwater recognized as someone,he had in some of briefing with Colonel Kotharr Khonn.He was a mysterious Imperial Delkhon Warrior,who went by the Warlord Vertarhax Karza.Nothing was known about other than had the last in common with notorious Time-Wizard Han Karza-exiled centuries ago and was member of a proud Atlantean family.What was also was this Warlord Vertarhax Karza was hired out with a bunch of other Delkhon warriors.
Hey,big buddy,’’Darkwater whispered over to his large scarletsvehicle or vessel let haired friend.’’See the row of Darth Vader imatators?’’
‘’Whose Darth Vader?’’The Vhanire asked
‘’ ’Whose Darth Vader?’’Eric Darkwater responded.’’Have you ever those Star Wars vids?
‘’No,should I have Little Man? Phafnire Khonn asked
‘’Yes.’’The Thuvian stated ‘’Nevermind.Vaders the Trilogies big bad asshole,who spent his intired life making for mistake after another.’’
‘’Sound like a pathetic fool.’’the red haired giant surmised
‘’He was,until the end were he saves his kid.’’Darkwater commented.
‘’Thanks for the spoiler warning.Now I can skip watching those movies. Phafnire Khonn continued
‘’That’s not my point.’’the Thuvian Ranger stated
‘’So what of it.’’ Phafnire Khonn said
‘’Anyway those armored guys.’’Eric Darkwater continued
Yes,I was trying avoid them and their notice.’’ Phafnire Khonn coolly stated.
They must be the Palace Guard or something.
Perhaps’’Darkwater added’’They resemble old Imperial Delkhon Warriors out from the Maridean Provinces.’’-they have known,to go mercenary,if nessessary.
‘’Quite a way from here-half worldplate way,little buddy.’’Khonn stated. Delkhon --they have known,to go mercenary,if nessessary.
‘’Yeah - are one of the cosmos fierses,warriors.’’the Thuvian added ‘’I
I believe their partially a Kalladon cult,who followed one -Delkhon Khon,ages ago and settled several planet outside the interstellar regions of the Old Terran Federation.’’Darkwater imformed his big giant friend.
‘’I believe that Great Khonn can be traced not only my families line,but friend Kotharr Khonn,but the Great Thrull Khonn himself.’’ Phafnire Khonn coolly stated.
‘’So true,big buddy.’’darkwater continued ‘’And top one.I know of him. Warlord Vertarhax Karza.
‘’A member of the House Karza here?’’ ’’Brenda Thornson added’’But that violate the Guild limited involved of Atlanteans here upon the Sphere?
‘’Not if isn’t a member of the Legion of Time-Sorcerers. Attanta O’Brien interrupted ‘’And if he already lived upon the Great Sphere.Many of the Great Houses of Atlantis have unofficial members living here on and off Terra-Prime.Besides who listen to the Guild of Time-Sorcerers anyway
‘’But little man,how would they get here? Phafnire Khonn coolly stated
Imperial Delkhon- have been known to settle colonies here on Terra-Prime-several I think,at various known locations. Darkwater continued
Perhaps.but there is something queer about these one. Phafnire Khonn interjected
Queers right and as one might think.’’Brenda Thornson added’’They stand still like statues.even Warlord Vertarhax.
You guys,even here of the so called lifeless Knights of HanDarkwater Karza ?Attanta O’Brien interupted.
Yeah,Karza was an exiled Time Sorcerer-about the time of Lord Thrull Khonn.He sided with Carthorean Empire.’’
Well,Baron HanDarkwater Karza ,had himself an army of Imperial -Delkhon warriors,to defend his castle and lands.But he could not trust the -Delkhon to work him,but he could trust an army of series T,500 Andronikhann star warriors,he captured from one of raid upon a New Genisis Bunker,somewhere with the Great Sphere.
But Andronikhanns are near mindless,slaver,Space Pirates,that rove in huge ship,scalvaging technology and junk across interstellar space,’’Darkwater interupted.’’Howed they get here?’’
‘’Like anything upon Terra-Prime,it either brought here by design or accidently fell here.The Andronikhanns fell here.A great fleet of ships,damaged by cosmic storms and plowed through the Great Sargasso Sea wrift-through a stargate and onward here,somewhere on Terra-Prime.
You seem to allot about the subject,my dear.’’Darkwater said
‘’The Legion of Time-Sorcerers and the legends surrounding them were a hobbie as a young girl.
In any event,the Pangeans called these Andronikhanns animated Imperial -Delkhon because,although perhaps,inappropriate stood like lifeless knights,when not in battle.Even they movements then,in combat where those of non living,Jerky,slow-almost mecganical.’’
So,you think those guys might these knights.’’
"Slow!" broke in Phafnire Khonn reproachfully. "Why, Captain Eric Darkwater, for a man my weight¡ªand myself could take two or three of those metallic devils"
"Enough,Khonn"Brenda Thornsonn interrupted. ‘’We see this as it is.
must choose for himself."
She spoke to Skarr Kaluta , who glared red-eyed for an instant, then indicated Phafnire Khonn , who grinned joyfully, cast aside the bird's head and unslung his sword. Captain Eric Darkwater swore and stepped back. The king had decided that he would have a better chance against this huge buffalo of a man who looked slow, than against the black-haired tigerish warrior, whose cat-like quickness was evident.
‘’Don’t‘’worry‘’Commander Khonn’t worry,big buy.We can handle the rest.’’
‘’I can handle all ,Little Man,but yes,I hear you.I hear you.Ok.we do it your way for now!’’
"This Skarr Kaluta is without armor," rumbled the Vhaneirman. "Let me likewise doff my mail and helmet so that we fight on equal terms--"
"No!" cried Princess Tameara Kaluta. "Your armor is your only chance! I tell you, this false king fights like the play of summer lightning! You will be hard put to hold your own as it is. Keep on your armor, I say!"
Besides.I know him.My husband has many tricks than deceive someone.
"Well, well,ok..if you say so." grumbled Phafnire Khonn , "I will--I will,do as you say. Though I say it is scarcelysvehicle or vessel cely fair. But let him come on and make an end of it."
The huge Vhaneirman strode ponderously toward his foe, who warily crouched and circled away. Phafnire Khonn held his great sword in both hands before him, pointed upward, the hilt somewhat below the level of his chin, in position to strike a blow to right or left, or to parry a sudden attack.
Skarr Kaluta had flung away his light shield, his fighting-sense telling him that it would be useless before the stroke of that heavy blade. In his right hand he held his slim spear as a man holds a throwing-dart, in his left a light, keen-edged hatchet. He meant to make a fast, shifty fight of it, and his tactics were good. But Skarr Kaluta, having never encountered armor before, made his fatal mistake in supposing it to be apparel or ornament through which his weapons would pierce.
Now he sprang in, thrusting at Phafnire Khonn 's face with his spear. The Vhaneirman parried with ease and instantly cut tremendously at Skarr Kaluta 's legs. The king bounded high, clearing the whistling blade, and in midair he hacked down at Phafnire Khonn 's bent head. The light hatchet shivered to bits on the Vhanirman's helmet and Skarr Kaluta sprang back out of reach with a blood-lusting howl.
“”My cold,life warriors-attatch the intruders...now!’’ Gorthonn Kaluta shouted and pointed into the direction of Captain Eric Darkwater and two women. ‘’Warlord Vertarhax,I command you..kill them all now.’’
Warlord Vertarhax Karza peered at Gorthonn Kaluta,then young prince and then Eric Darkwater crew almost with robotic movements of a great Akhonean Devastator battle droid.He dark warlord took long moments,as scarlet eyes scaired into the direction of the intruders.Darkwaters spin shivered for moment.The Thuvian Ranger had a bad feeling.He pushed his fears.He hoped avoid any complication,but things were going from bad to worse.He had the strange feeling this Gorthonn Kaluta was in total control of ’Warlord Vertarhax and the being,if any under that ebony armor was more slave that mercenary,with will his own,save the masters commands. And Doctor Gorthonn Kaluta,although perhaps was not a full fledged member of the a Legion of Time-Sorcerers,studied at one of countless unofficial Time-Wizard Academies located all over the Great Sphere of Terra-Prime.If nothing else,he had knowledge of how enslave an Imperial Delkhon Warrior.
And now it was Phafnire Khonn who rushed with unexpected quickness, like a charging bull, and before that terrible onslaught Skarr Kaluta, bewildered by the breaking of his hatchet, was caught off his guard--flat-footed. He caught a fleeting glimpse of the giant looming over him like an overwhelming wave and he sprang in, instead of out, stabbing ferociously. That mistake was his last. The thrusting spear glanced harmlessly from the Vhaneirman's mail, and in that instant the great sword sang down in a stroke the king could not evade. The force of that stroke tossed him as a man is tossed by a plunging bull.
A dozen feet away fell Skarr Kaluta, king of Vhall Shakharr, his great shield, lied shattered and his kingship dead in a ghastly welter of blood ran down his right shoulder blade. The throng gaped, struck silent by the prowess of that deed.
"Finish them,Cut off their heads!" cried Princess Princess Tameara Kaluta,screamed-pointing toward the two Vhall Shakharrans. her eyes flaming as she clenched her hands so that the nails bit into her palms. "Impale that carrion’sheadvehicle or vessel rion's head on your sword-point so that we may carryitvehicle or vessel ry it through the city gates with us as token of victory!"
But Phafnire Khonn shook his head, cleansing his blade: "Nay, he was a brave man and I will not mutilate his corpse. It is no great feat I have done, for he was naked and I full-armed. Else it is in my mind, the brawl had gone differently."
“”My cold,life warriors-attatch the intruders...now!’’ Gorthonn Kaluta shouted and pointed into the direction of Captain Eric Darkwater, Phafnire Khonn and two women.The Thuvian Ranger and his companions withdrew swords and pistols,ready for anything.
Skarr Kaluta And Gorthonn Kaluta stepped aside,as four Imperial -Delkhon Lifeless Knights stepped forward slowly...one step and then the other,moving in a jerky robotic manner. Warlord Vertarhax foremost among them.They knights repeted this motion,but a bit more quickly.Again and again they advanced across the great stone bridge. Princess Tiramania looked on in horror,knowing she seen months ago,these same warriors totally massacre her Royal Guards totally to the last man and woman,who served under her.Captain Darkwater,simply smilled and remembred an old Terran holo movie-one called Captain Eric Darkwater and the Agronautes confronted an army of sketon warriors in much the same way.
Suddenly,as four of the Armored creatures approached the foot of the bridge.Captain Eric Darkwater and his stalwart companions stand ready to take them on.The lifelesss knights of Gorthonn Kaluta,approach and then one unimanimous motion,each warriors thrust their right arms downward and outward.The Thuvian paries his sword along with the four others to defend those horrific motions.The foremost armored warrior swings his swordarm toward Darkwater and the ranger ducks down,and evades the sword swing.The lifeless Imperial -eanDelkhonean Warrior,attempts to swing his sword arm again and again.
The 8 foot lifelesss blue knights of Gorthonn Kaluta seemed only mimick the motions of warriors,as they metallic armored puppets,operated by some unseen puppeteer.The warriors,fierce and deadly,seem not to have minds of their own.It seemed the Andronikhanns inside the armor,could move quickly on their own.They seemed slow to engage in independent actions of the three others.A few seemed to move slowly on their own,even though their reaction time was twice as fast as the average human beings..
Behind,the armored warrior also confronts Phafnire Khonn with a same type of maneuver.The Vhanirman,too busy seems not to notice that the two -Delkhon Warriors are basically mimicking each other.Behind,unknown to the two warriors,Brenda Thornson and Atillanta O'Brien were also defending off the two lifeless knights in the same manor.
One -Delkhon warrior pointed his left gaunletted hand and fired a burste of flame out from the fore finger.Atillanta O'Breins plasma shield cought it and the heat waves harmlessly moved about her form.Another used his stuudded knuckles,against Phafnire Khonn's own plasma shield and it pounded useless upon it,as electrical sparks issued from the impact area.
The skeleton faced cobult blue -Delkhon warriors,give Captain Eric Darkwater and crew,one hell of a battle,all over the ruins of the city,near pushing them toward the open pit at the center of the arena. When his two companions are slain, Captain Eric Darkwater jumps off a cliff, "drowning" the skeletons, and escapes to the ship; whereafter he,
Captain Eric Darkwater glanced at the people on the walls. They had recovered from their astonishment and now a vast roar went up: "Princess Princess Tameara Kaluta ! Hail to the true goddess!" And the warriors in the gateway dropped to their knees and bowed their foreheads in the dust before Atillanta, who stood proudly erect, bosom heaving with fierce triumph. Truly, thought Captain Eric Darkwater, she is more than a queen--she is a shield woman, a Princess Princess Tameara Kaluta , as Phafnire Khonn said.
Now she stepped aside and tearing the golden chain with its jade symbol from the dead neck of Skarr Kaluta, held it on high and shouted: "People of Vhall Shakharr, you have seen how your false king died before this golden-bearded giant, who being of iron, shows no single cut! Choose now--do you receive me of your own free will?"
"Aye, we do!" the multitude answered in a great shout. "Return to your people, oh mighty and all-powerful queen!"
Atillanta smiled sardonically. "Come," said she to the warriors; "they are lashing themselves into a very frenzy of love and loyalty, having already forgotten their treachery. The memory of the mob is short!"
Aye, thought Captain Eric Darkwater, as at Atillanta's side he and the Vhaneirman passed through the mighty gates between files of prostrate chieftains; aye, the memory of the mob is very short. But a few days have passed since they were yelling as wildly for Skarr Kaluta the liberator--scant hours had passed since Skarr Kaluta sat enthroned, master of life and death, and the people bowed before his feet. Now--Captain Eric Darkwater glanced at the mangled corpse which lay deserted and forgotten before the silver gates. The shadow of a circling vulture fell across it. The clamor of the multitude filled Captain Eric Darkwater's ears and he smiled a bitter smile.
The great gates closed behind the three adventurers and Captain Eric Darkwater saw a broad white street stretching away in front of him. Other lesser streets radiated from this one. The two warriors caught a jumbled and chaotic impression of great white stone buildings shouldering each other; of sky-lifting towers and broad stair-fronted palaces. Captain Eric Darkwater knew there must be an ordered system by which the city was laid out, but to him all seemed a waste of stone and metal and polished wood, without rhyme or reason. His baffled eyes sought the street again.
Far up the street extended a mass of humanity, from which rose a rhythmic thunder of sound. Thousands of naked, gayly plumed men and women knelt there, bending forward to touch the marble flags with their foreheads, then swaying back with an upward flinging of their arms, all moving in perfect unison like the bending and rising of tall grass before the wind. And in time to their bowing they lifted a monotoned chant that sank and swelled in a frenzy of ecstasy. So her wayward people welcomed back the goddess Princess Tameara Kaluta.
Princess Tameara Kaluta.
Just within the gates Princess
Princess Tameara Kaluta stopped and there came to her the young chief who had first raised the shout of revolt upon the walls. He knelt and kissed her bare feet, saying: "Oh great queen and goddess, thou knowsZomarknoEric Darkwater Zomar was ever faithful to thee! Thou knowshowknoEric Darkwater how I fought for thee and barely escaped the altar of Ghorr Ghothrah for thy sake!"
"Thou hast indeed been faithful, Zomar," answered Atillanta in the stilted language required for such occasions. "Nor shall thy fidelity go unrewarded. Henceforth thou art commander of my own bodyguard." Then in a lower voice she added: "Gather a band from your own retainers and from those who have espoused my cause all along, and bring them to the palace. I do not trust the people any more than I have to!"
Suddenly Phafnire Khonn , not understanding the conversation, broke in: "Where is the old one with the beard?"
Captain Eric Darkwater started and glanced around. He had almost forgotten the wizard. He had not seen him go--yet he was gone!Brenda Thornsonn laughed ruefully.
"He's stolen away to breed more trouble in the shadows. He and Garft Kaluta vanished when Skarr Kaluta fell. He has secret ways of coming and going and none may stay him. Forget him for the time being; heed ye well--we shall have plenty of him anon!"
Now the chiefs brought a finely carvedvehicle or vessel ved and highly ornamented palanquin carriedvehicle or vessel ried by two strong slaves and Princess Princess Tameara Kaluta stepped into this, saying to her companions: "They are fearful of touching you, but ask if you would be carried..vehicle or vessel ried. I think it better that you walk, one on each side of me."
"Thor's blood!" rumbled Phafnire Khonn , shouldering the huge sword he had never sheathed. "I'm no infant! I'll split the skull of the man who seeks to carrymevehicle or vessel ry me!"
And so up the long white street went Princess Princess Tameara Kaluta daughter of 's son in the , goddess of the sea, queen of age-old Vhall Shakharr.
Borne by two great slaves she went, with a white giant striding on each side with bared steel, and a concourse of chiefs following, while the multitude gave way to right and left, leaving a wide lane down which she passed. Golden trumpets sounded a fanfare of triumph, drums thundered, chants of worship echoed to the ringing skies. Surely in this riot of glory, this barbaric pageant of splendor, the proud soul of the North-born girl drank deep and grew drunken with imperial pride.
Phafnire Khonn 's eyes glowed with simple delight at this flame of pagan magnificence, but to the black haired fighting-man of the WestEric Darkwater, it seemed that even in the loudest clamor of triumph, the trumpet, the drum and shouting faded away into the forgotten dust and silence of eternity.
Kingdoms and empires pass away like mist from the sea, thought Captain Eric Darkwater; the people shout and triumph and even in the revelry of Belshazzar's feast, the Medes break the gates of Babylon. Even now the shadow of doom is over this city and the slow tides of oblivion lap the feet of this unheeding race. So in a strange mood Captain Eric Darkwater strode beside the palanquin, and it seemed to him that he and Phafnire Khonn walked in a dead city, through throngs of dim ghosts, cheering a ghost queen.
Chapter III: The Fall of the Gods
Captain Eric Darkwater’s personal mission log;
Somehow,by the luck of the Lords of Light,I and my companions,had accomplished more we bargainned for.We had here to spy for our side and find a missing princess.We didn’t except to upset the status quou and help the Princess Tirameara Kaluta set herself back in power.
Princess Tameara Kaluta sat the Emerald Throne of Vhall Shakharr. He champions stood about her.She looked very pleased,as she now had everything that the once princess wanted.Perhaps,things would different.Perhaps the piracy wars between Vhall Shakharr and Subatall would end.There would be peace,Darkwater thoughtas he passed’Mackguvers.Home of the Sperue Triple Decker Pounder Whopper Beacon Ham ,Banana,Chili,Chedder Cheeseburger..Good with a Leuwheena’s frosty shakes’ The Thuvian Ranger looked up upon the buildings roof and saw’A statue of Sperue-the popular Mammoth Studios creaton spon about slowly,holding a plasti replica of one of the burgers.Darkwater thought,those things,used to be good,when he was a child,but the Sperue Burger company,eveyyone,thought was run the Zhatikhon-dark agent of ruthless business,that they were,could ruin a good thing.The only thing worse,than the burgers,was the Sea Captain’s Fried Fish Sandwitches-nobody buys because the are covered in tons of transfat greese..Darkwater realized he was hungery.Even right,he down one of mostly bread,little meat burgers and a solid ice cream shake.One could eat one of fat burgers,with toppings and have eat for two months,Eric Darkwater.Once the Thuvian eat back home and have eat for hours on end.Must be why people still buy those things.And he always suspected,that the Zhatikhons,might putting some hunger lurring drug,into eat burger,giving craving for them again.
Darkwater,in though,passed on by the restaurant,with Sperue statue still spinning.Maybe,I’ll get something,at the Apollo Cafe or the Empyrean Cafe,next door.while the Apollo Case,was popular just anywhere on Terra-Prime,the Emyrean Cafe shuggled to make second place.Darkwater was sure why?Maybe they were just all run by aceholes or maybe it the fact,their onsite holo video sucked.Or maybe it was,many insisted also running Socko Bars in each location.Socko being a sport where two hit each other with foam bats.Or maybe it,just the Empyrean choose a hawkfaced alien as the company mascot.The Canimid Restuarant beyond that was must better.The food was ok,just anywhere found upon the Great Sphere.The problem,was that they were operated and owned,many people thought by Khelloreans or Khellosheans or such big headed aliens.No,guess we’ll pass these all buy.After we all eat and rest,Captain Darkwater though,He and the Vhaniremen,and perhaps these two women could simply back after a few day.They’d find excuse to travel back the SuBatall air fleet and simply get the hell out of town.
Our sudden appearance with the bird-god's head, and destruction of Gorthonn Kaluta lifeless knights,’’She said ‘’prove my right to rule this city.
swept the people off their feet.
As for the rest-’’Queen Tamearah spoke ‘’ will-held audience in the palace as i see fi,, Even if you did not understand and the people who came against in bowing droves were assuring me of their unswerving loyalty--ha!
I will graciously pardoned them all, but I am no fool.’’the Queen of Vhall Shakharr spoke ‘’ When you have time to think and their be those among the city will begin to grumble again.’’
Night had fallen on the ancient city of Vhall Shakharr. Captain Eric Darkwater, Phafnire Khonn ,Brenda Thornson and Atillanta o’Brien sat alone in a room of the inner palace. The queen ,once Princess Tameara Kaluta half-reclined on a silken couch, while the men sat on mahogany chairs, engaged in the viands that slave-girls had served on golden dishes. The walls of this room, as of all the palace, were of marble, with golden scrollwork. The ceiling was of lapis-lazuli and the floor of silver-inlaid marble tiles. Heavy velvet hangings decorated the walls and silken cushions; richly-made divans and mahogany chairs and tables littered the room in careless profusion.Each showed holographic images of the past royal family of Vhall Shakharr,from the ancient King Skall Kullamakheya,original founded this fabled city eons ago,with wife Queen Tamulla Kullamakheya,to the Old Mad King Khu Ogho Khalluta,who nearly destroyed the Seven Empires of Vhall Shakharr,with bloody purges on anyone who apposed his insane and greedy royal family
‘’Seems Vhall Shakharr has its saints and sinners,running throughout its history.From I could gather,doing research here.’’
Captain Eric Darkwater and companions sat upon a broad,Asguardian Oak table.Tables such as this,were originally used the Asguard for many eons,because of strenth,durability and dark brown luster.The thuvian Ranger,was manipulating an old Tauron type,mark 14 holo console,some 40 years out of date.Several smaller holospheres,surrounded the larger one.Images of Vhall shakharrs past flickered by at rapid speed.Fires in the Old Mhakua Section of town,during the reign of Old Mad King Khu Ogho Khalluta.who trying to stop a group of restistance forces,by having armied Imperial Delkhon Troopers burn down practically much of the Old district,built up by King Skall Kullamakheya,junior and sons Nhekho Quelanai,Khallu Phon and Ghalltho King Skall Kullamakheya.
‘’Little fellow,you often find good men and bad running a country over its long history.My own Lord Braghalli Khonns great grand son,Prince Thorin Khonn,seemed to just his father and grandfather,or so the people thought.Six years into his rule,he ran the city into high dept,chased whores behind his lovely,but suffering wife Brahilda Khonn.
"I would give much for a case of Amerheim Beer, but this wine is not sour to the palate," said Phafnire Khonn , emptying a golden flagon with relish.
Darkwater did partake in alcoholic beverages.The Thuvian prefered coffee or tea.Anything stronger was a poison,that the body did not need..Drunkeness and hangovers were just the effects of intaking those poisons.Seeing one throw their gutts up afterwards,would if nothing else,would turn one off to drink.Eric Darkwater was brought up to find them ill.His father,in later life,spent too much time such drink and it made seem weaker-more childish,than he was in younger days.Men,the Ranger thought,who had to drink down gallons of boze,by the chegg and living the party life,often seemed afterward immature.To him,those type of people were not an adult,no how much sex they had or how money they had.Drink made one weak and stupid.It was nothing more a falsehood,created by society and foistered by fellow such weaklings,who needed such liquide courage to survive.
"Atillanta,Brenda you two have deceived us.’’Darkwater spoke,waving his TyRhainian Coffee.’’ You let us understand it would take hard fighting to win back his womans crown--yet with little effort we took back the princess Tamearah’s rule.
Captain Eric Darkwater drank more coffee and said.’’We entered into the city gates and among the people of Vhall Shakharr ‘’
Not I ‘’Atllantia said “’We knew perhaps the people might .fell down and worshipped the princess upon her return.’’
‘’ And until a while ago, ‘’Phafnire drunkedly stated ‘’we now stand by your throne in the great palace room, will....will ..while you spoke to the ssub jects . And knocked their heads on the floor before you--by Thor.
So so,my champion.’’Princess Tamearah spoke,giving the Vhanire a dissapproving glace because of drunkeness.
N ..never have I heard such clattering ..such jabbering’’!Phafnire Khonn ‘’ My ears still ring till now--what were they saying?’’
“”Your drunk,my friend.’’Eric Darkwater commented.’’Time for bed.’’
“True.True’’Phafnire Khonn uttered ‘’but I wish my sword drunk as well.’’
"Your steel will drink deep yet, Vhaneirman," answered the Princess Tamearah now Queen Tamearah Kaluta grimly, resting her chin on her hands and eyeing the warriors with deep moody eyes. "Had you gambled with cities and crowns as I have done, you would know that seizing a throne may be easier than keeping it.
Our sudden appearance with the bird-god's head, your killing of Gorthonn Kaluta lifeless knights, swept the people off their feet.
As for the rest--I held audience in the palace as you saw, even if you did not understand and the people who came in bowing droves were assuring me of their unswerving loyalty--ha!
I graciously pardoned them all, but I am no fool. When they have time to think, they will begin to grumble again.
And where is that old conjurer Gorthonn Kaluta?"Said Brenda Thornson
Gorthonn Kaluta is lurking in the shadows somewhere, plotting evil to us all, you may be sure. This city is honeycombed with secret corridors and subterranean passages of which only the priests know. Even I, who have traversed some of them when I was Gorthonn Kaluta's puppet, know not where to look for the secret doors, since Gorthonn Kaluta always led me through them blindfolded.
"Just now, I think I hold the upper hand. The people look on you with more awe than they regard me. They think your armor and helmets are part of your bodies and that you are invulnerable. Did you not note them timidly touching your mail as we passed through the crowd, and the amazement on their faces as they felt the iron of it?"
"For a people so wise in some ways they are very foolish in others," said Captain Eric Darkwater. "Who are they and whence came they?"
"They are so old," answered Atillanta, "that their most ancient legends give no hint of their origin.
Ages ago they were a part of a great empire which spread out over the many isles of this sea.’’ Queen Tiramania interupted ‘’But some of the islands sank and vanished with their cities and people. Then the red-skinned savages assailed them and isle after isle fell before them. At last only this island was left unconquered, and the people have become weaker and forgotten many ancient arts. For lack of ports to sail to, the galleys rotted by the wharves which themselves crumbled into decay. Not in the memory of man has any son of Vhall Shakharr sailed the seas.
At irregular intervals the red people descend upon the Isle of the Gods, traversing the seas in their long war-canoes which bear grinning skulls on the prows. Not far away as a Vhanirman would reckon a sea-voyage, but out of sight over the sea rim lie the islands inhabited by those red men who centuries ago slaughtered the folk who dwelt there. We have always beaten them off; they can not scale the walls, but still they come and the fear of their raid is always hovering over the isle.
"But it is not them I fear; it is Gorthonn Kaluta, who is at this moment either slipping like a loathly serpent through his black tunnels or else brewing abominations in one of his hidden chambers. ''the princess stated ''In the caves deep in the hills to which his tunnels lead, he works fearful and unholy magic.''
''HHmmm..Magic as Atlantean super science.''Darkwater added''What was some famious guy once said?Any advanced science would be indestinguished from magic.''
''That was Clarks Law,''Brenda Thornson interupted
''Clark Kent ?''the Thuvian Ranger joked.He added in an armed motion,added with a loud whooooooooooooosh.
''No.Arthur C.Clark.An old Terran Science Fiction writer,idiot.''Atillantia O'Brien shot back.
''Oh,him.''Darkwater non challantly commented.''Anyway,why should Gorthonn Kaluta ?
Gorthonn Kaluta and older brother is possessed by holo demons’’Princess Tamearah stated ''Or the dark whisperes say.
I've heard those same whispers.'' Phafnire Khonn
Come on,pal...possesion ?’’Eric Darkwater shot back cynically.Those two guys are just nuts.’’He added.
No,Captain Brenda Thornson interupted “I have heard of such possesion here on Terra-Prime and also in deep space.
‘’What she says is true''.Phafnire Khonn ''Have you ever heard of the Legend of General Trainor.?
Trainors a galactic myth.''the Thuvian said.''Old Pathfinder wivestales.''
‘’No,my comlink hold an image of Trainor and his wife.’’Khonn shots bad’’No,fewly seen outside of hidden data bases.’’
Phanire Khon activated the holo veiwer upon the table and two small figures began materialize upon it.The recording was blue and white-very flawed,as if badlt recording on a utility belt comlink.
This is my father showed when I was young.His father it to him and grandfather showed to his father.
No,he not.My great great grandfather once encountered him,here within Pangea.He was old.Ancient,like his fellow Atlanteans.He told me,Trainor and wife Elizabeth were merged with Djinn holo spirit,in some way he did understand.But what was known the Atlantean general and wife,along other of the HMSS Ghavhinn Sarkhon by Ephaishian-those dark branch of the Sidairians,during old Universe Titan Wars.
They wanted interigated to him and tried everything on him-telepathic probes,Dark Medical Guanlets,filled nanite probes that drive being mad.And then used a evil Jdinn-a holo genie,that infiltrated his mind and body,plus of his lovely wife.The two Jinn did replace him,but merged their bodies-alterating them forever.General Alexander Trainor and wife Elizabeth Trainor turned the tales the Ephaishians,eventually joining to their side.
And these two have been a thorn in many places-many worlds ever since.''
And what would this General Trainor,if he exist,be doing here with Prince Skarr Kaluta and Gorthonn Kaluta?’’Eric Darkwater asked
‘’Using them obviously.’’Brenda Thornson cut in.’’It’nt that men of that type always do ?
“And some women,I might add.’’Atantilla O’Brien,shot glaces toward the princess.
''More of the eon old Temporal Cold between the Lords of light and the Lords of Darkness.''Eric Darkwater commented.
‘’And do not overestimate Gorthonn Kaluta’s resourses’’said Princes
His subjects are beasts¡ªserpents-the great Sentenile robotic snake travel the underground tunnels of this sphere, and spidery Metrone warrior machine,who came from beyond time and ages ages ago.
They are his agents of detection and observation.Gorthonn Kaluta uses great apesh creatures for guardians down there below us; and wretches of his own race.,who are loyal to him and my husband. Deep in his grisly caverns he makes beasts of men -mindless slaves to toil at some ghastly creation.
No man dares guess at the horrors that have spawned in the darkness, or what shapes of terror and blasphemy have come into being during the ages Gorthonn Kaluta has wrought his abominations; for he is not as other men, and has discovered the secret of life everlasting.
He has at least brought into foul life one creature that even he fears, the gibbering, mowing, nameless Thing he keeps chained in the farthest cavern that no human foot save his has trod. He would loose it against me if he dared....
"But it grows late and I would sleep. I will sleep in the room next to this, which has no other opening than this door.
Not even a slave-girl will I keep with me, for I trust none of these people fully.
You shall keep this room, and though the outer door is bolted, one had better watch while the other sleeps. Zomar and his guardsmen patrol the corridors outside, but I shall feel safer with two men of my own blood between me and the rest of the city."
She rose, and with a strangely lingering glance at Captain Eric Darkwater, entered her chamber and closed the door behind her.
Phafnire Khonn stretched and yawned. "Well, Captain Eric Darkwater," said he lazily, "men's fortunes are as changables the rungs of the dammedaa roullet wheels in the thilthy thieves city of Pournowheel.
You gamblegamgle,do you ?’’Eric Dartwater asked
No.Not for sometime away ,and neither do,I suspect you do.’’The red bearded giant spoke.’’Gambling a losers bet-with house generally always coming out on top most of the time.
‘’Your right there,pal.’’the Thuvian Highlander added’’Wanna make money in the gambling trade?Run your own casino.Everyone else loses most of the time anyway.’’
‘’Yeah.Better to make an honest living as we do.’’
‘’So what got in this situation anyway?
But for past while I have operated with a band of reavers,operated by Antiilus Sojat.Unknown to many,save Empiror,she and father fight similar causes,but on different levels.She had me keep an eye your trabsport and take you a captive,if I could.
I’m astonished,my friend,but it explainsexplain much.You being here at the same as myself.I had thought,you being might some major co-insindence and saving apart our own dept together.
It was partially,littleman.’’Phafphir Khonn answered.’’We had spies about too-keeping an eye on you since the last incident with that fella on Kharvo Key.
‘’Good Doctor Julius Shackoth could survive the four of us.You,me and the two girls.
‘’We do make a quite a fearsome foursome.’’
It was partially.
This dawn we were lost outcasts springing at each other's throats. Now we are sword brothers and right-hand men to a queen. And you, I think, are destined to become a king."
"Why, have you not noticed the Princess eyes on you? Faith there's more than friendship in her glances that rest on those black locks and that brown face of yours. I tell you--"
"Enough," Captain Eric Darkwater's voice was harsh as an old wound stung him. "Some women in power are not worthe to effort.--" He stopped.
"Well, well," returned Phafnire Khonn tolerantly, "there are more good women than bad ones. I think the ones,we in are company are the good ones.’’
“”like You Brenda and Atilanta.’’
Well, we should be good comrades and good women for such as us,if they’d have us. I am an outlaw, too by heart.
"What drove you out on the Vhanirman path?
Us have Vhaneirmans forgotten the ways of ocean and air- that Good King Alfred Ornson knew ages ago. Our Vhanir rovers build once to rage the coastal land Pangea ages ago .Our fleets,even gave Thuvians a run for the money,back before the time of Thrull Khonn-about the time of his father,I believe.
Ancient history ,Phafnir.Long before the time of the Starkillers.
Yes,ancient indeed Our fleest when he fought many,but chanced when joined you Thuvians and Pangeans to take those bugs.
The Trongaroth/Metrone Invaders.
‘’And then recentlt two World Wars on Pangea,in our Grandfather and Great Grandfathers era.’’
."So why the history lesson’’
Phafnire Khonn shrugged his mighty shoulders and began whetting his dirk.
"So. I¡ªtook--the--Vhanirman--path--again-because all that" Phafnire Khonn’’I wanted to make some sort of difference.Even in a small way.Tardos Sojat’s Air Pirates seemed an easy fit.’’
“And might you going back,with them ?
Maybe and maybe no.So far we work well together. ‘’ Phafnire Khonn
I say,if we get out of this adventure alive,we take one of those air travelers,parked in the Great Vhallen Khaii Khaii Port and haul jets out of here back to the Subatall Islands.Maybe work together at a business or something.’’ Darkwater states
Well,if we get out of alive..we’ll see what comes up next.That might be ok by me. Phafnire Khonn
‘’It will be,Phaf.’’ The Thuvian Ranger respondes’’It should be.After all,we’ve done more we bargained for here,’’
‘’We’ll.see Little Man,We’ll see’’ Phafnire Khonn
Phafnire Khonn 's words trailed off. His hands slid limply from his lap and the whetstone and dirk dropped to the floor. His head fell forward on his broad chest and his eyes closed.
"Too much wine," muttered Captain Eric Darkwater. "But let him slumber; I'll keep watch."
Yet even as he spoke, the Thuvian was aware of a strange lassitude stealing over him. He lay back in the broad chair.Darkwater thought,many have heard of the ancient Temporal Cold Wars. Wars between the Lords of light and the Lords of Darkness have on and off for eons.The ancient Atlanteans and their allies have many interstellar and inter temporal wars with the Taurons and their own allied governments.Those the Great Titan Wars and the last of those that led to many of the survivors,fleeing into other alternate realities.And thus began a series of Temporal Cold Wars,where the two sides fought over territory all over time and space.And places like the Great Dysonsphere of Terra-Prime was one those places both were fighting over.It would make sence such allies of the Taurons,just as with the TyKhon and Akhonron Empire,to have Ephashians involved.With thought,the Thuvian Rangers eyes felt heavy and sleep veiled his brain despite himself. And as he lay there, a strange nightmare vision came to him.
CHAPTER .THE VISION
One of the heavy hangings on the wall opposite the door swayed violently and from behind it slunk a fearful shape that crept slavering across the room. Captain Eric Darkwater watched it apathetically, aware that he was dreaming and at the same time wondering at the strangeness of the dream.
Darkwater saw two figures,standing upon a glowing circle-a kind of holographic disk.The one was a tall man,dressed in some of blue military uniform,that had a vague similarity to his Thuvian Ranger own style.But the uniform,wore fringed braid about the long,powder blue cape.The man wose a white,military bretches,with high black leather boots.Above,abour the waiste,was scarletsvehicle or vessel let and golden sash,with twine,intricate design interwoven about the surface.He figure had a dark blue vest coat,similar to as seen on the Atlantean Time Sorcerer Doctor Arenjun Sarkhon.He was tall,dark haired,with graying temple,like an average human of about forty.The blonde,next him,was shorter,also wearing a female version.minus the cape of his uniform.He kept quite,simply smilling,with gremlin like grim.as her strange hair dip swung about,as head movement.
He recognized at once,as the same figures,Eric Darkwater saw upon the holotable,as those of General Alexander Trainor and his Elizabeth Trainor.Before them,stood or rather hovered a few feet off the ground,was Meranda the evil white Djinn and two sister Samantha and Sereena.All three,were dressed in white,somewhat resemble a combination of a lasy top,that surrounded all three large bustline.Their legs all clad in white,tight slacks and high feeled boots.Slung over each was also long flowing white caps,blowing in a dark wind,calling up the darken cargo-vehicle or vessel go bay. Trainor eyed Meranda and two sisters.He always felt the three resembled an old Terran tv sitco blonde witch,who married some mortal.
Greetings General Trainor.’’ Meranda spoke,smilling devishly.
Weren’t you all three blonde before ?’’General Trainor asked destintly.
I was as they were,but I desided to go dark up top.’’Meranda glazed upward toward her holographic new hair style.’’Don’t’’you’’Commander Khonn’t you think it’s devine ?’’
“No!It bespeaks of a scattered brained dingle ling,to which always are.’’The Atlantean turned Espaishian Military Commander stated firmly’’My dear wife,Elizabeth here has a blonde forever.
So you know,Darling.’’Meranda grimaced.’’You can never really know a womans mind...even like myself and my two here.’’Samantha and Sereena simply laughed behind Meranda,as always.
“”Your not a women.You an it...three it’s,who resemble the images of women.’’
Oh,General.Did I cut too deep into your male pride?’’
“Shut up,which.I cut could..you three thus!’’General Alexander Trainor raised his right hand upward toward Meranda’s holographic throat.She looked down at the hand.’’I have all the powers of other paranormal beings,like yourselves and time wizards.’’
You could what?’’Meranda smiled and rolled her green blue eyes’’Crush a thing of light?That would marvilous to see.You grasping at nothing.’’
No,but could crush that thing inside you-’’the renegade Atlantean military commander shut out angerly and firmly,closing his first tightly.’’ the mobile image emmiter-the light bee,that creates you-you three holo witches.
But then what go could do you?Your could not get DjinnsDjinn as loyal as myself and these two.You need to develope a sence of humor after all these eons,like my Uncle Arthor has.
Dam your family.I came here,to see what developements above have come about.
Did set up the two as puppet rulers,as well as that native they whisked away from the far Island of Subatall?
What do you mean,not exactly.
I did as you asked,but four strangers showed to faul my mechanations about.
‘’Well,then go back and try harder,my deal.;;the tall,grey haired started.
How’?You’ve given me two dumdums to work with,from a city of dumdums.’’Meranda interected.
Like that one responsible for that unseemly, impudent acts all over the sphere?
What was his name ?Ah yes, Mickie Moron or something?? Mike Millions?’’General Trainor tried to remember, pretending to not remember.
No, that’s that circus owner, darling’’ Miranda interrupted ‘Sir Mike Millions.’’
‘’Well, it was something like that.’’ Trainor continued ‘Mike Microbrain! Mike Mentalmasterbaitor. Mike Meatyballs. Mike Meathelmet.’’
‘’Not even close,Darling’’Meranda corrected again
Ah yes, Mickie Moron or something
You mean Little Mikie MillionsMunchalsineMunchalsine.
Yes,the ill-mannered. One.General Trainor repleted’’Rude.Retarded and stupid-all in one-a very,very bad combination-especially in the personage of a jinn..
They didn’t exactly ban him.He sort of left,before the Councle of Great Djinns could send him into exile.
Then that him not only makes a bafoon,but an outward coward...’’cuts in Trainor ‘’eveneveneven among you sneaky djinns¡’’ªthatsªthats pretty,I must say.
‘’My husband and I far superior to your kind.A far better kind of human being,like members of the Legion.’’Elizabeth Trainor added,giving her opinions of herself and husband in her usual pop phychologist type of way.She like her husband,have always felt herself and the Ephashian General equiles to those members of the Legion of Time-Sorcerers.
Oh thats so pressious,I must say darly.’’Meranda, added.
Doctor Elizabeth Trainor gave a dirty look.’’Bewarns holo creature,you are not in control here.You are simply a tool of Ephashians.’’
‘’Well,dear.So you say’’The dark Djinn responded’’Besides,I didn’t come to fight with the likes of you.’’
‘’And so you shouldn’t,for you lose…dear.’’the former Atlantean phychologist warned.
‘’My darly,please.We came for purposes other than annoy these charming ladies.’’General Trainor commented
So whats make you ,darling so superior to us Djinn?Especially Mike Millions’’Meranda asked?
Oh,Better than him.’’the General responded ‘’I and my lovely wife here survived many month of torchure from creatures as yourself,at the order of those Ephashian military commanders.’’
‘’I’ve heard that story.You were captured by an Ephashian known as General Tablin Strallgharr.’’
‘’ Strallgharr was a fool.An utter and complete fool.’’Trainor shot back.’’After some time…many months of being corrupted by two weakened gennies I after mananged to merge and overcome them.We both merge with them and overcame them. the Jinn spirit could break me nor my dear wife here. General Tablin Strallgharr foolishly us gain possession of such beings.Strallgharr did realize the weakened,ancient Djinn ...not it consume me or my wife.It could he thought after the days,attempt to interigate us.Butthat that became week and months.
Those,,that that that Djinn were a couple tried with myself and husband.’’Doctor Trainor addedwifewife.But we both recisted and overcame them…because were superior.
Oh.I didn’t know that.Congradualation,darling.’’Meranda complimented her Ephashian supior,if superiors such could truly control a couple of holo genies.
‘’StopStopStop calling me darlings.’’the General shoutted’’Thatsdarlingdarling.Thats for my wife to do.To you,I’m your General Alexander Trainor-officially retired from the Atlantean Star Forces.’’
The Ephashean general proudly stated.
‘’Unofficially,not with the Ephashian Military.’’Miranda’s second-Sabrina added.’’Miranda interupted
‘’No,Trainor and lovely wife here soon turned on their oppressors’’Sabrina also added.
‘’This true,dear sisters.’’Meranda smirked.’’You two,I believe jumped ship,as they say…joined the enemy side.Perhaps,a bit of those two Djinn influenced that discussion ….perhaps.’’
‘’My husband joined because the Atlanteans left to die.Not once did attempt to rescue us.’’Elizabeth Trainor cut in.
‘’No.We joined Ephashians because our mighty,moronic supiors thought us expendable in one their many Titan Wars.’’General Trainor stated angerilly.He hated to reminded of bad,long ago hidden memories-surpressed deep into his phychie’’We were casualties in their insane wars.’’
‘’Why not joined those were enemies of those who left to die.’’Mrs Trainor commented.To her,it was common phychological response to anymone so fanatically devoted to a cause.Once your high devotion is sattered,one who often turn on those he or she feels betrayed them.
‘’And why not.Show those bastards who is far supior,by joining the enemies side.’’
‘’And that descission had nothing to do with dark Djinns?’’Meranda wondered outloud.
‘’No,nothing..apsolutely nothing at all.’’The Ephashian commander grunted
General Trainor still silently was never too sure.Even thought Djinn inside him seemly appeared to be gone…utterly gone,he nor his wife Elizabeth were never too shure,that evil genies had influence their behavior afterwards.After all,why they turn traitor so easily.The good general,always felt it himself,who extractly revenge upon General Tablin Strallgharr ..defeatting his battle.But was it the Djinn,who also spared the Ephashian or his own merciful behavior?General Trainor could be quite sure.He quickly,along his beloved spouse thus afterwards began work General Tablin Strallgharr.In time,those early thoughts of revenge against the Ephashian,turned to revenge against their enemy and all those sided with them.
Why Well,I don’t like your tone.It’s impertanant,for the hired help… and right now,you and Mike Millions sound alike,General.’’Meranda commented.’’
‘’Munchalsine,dear’’’’Miranda interrupted again
General Trainor glared back at the three Djinn,then to his wife.
‘’So dear,whats your prognosis?’’the general asked
She might be right dear.’’Elizabeth Trainor commented ‘’You’’Doctor’’Doctor Elizabeth Trainor’’You have know to go beyond the rule book,from time to time.’’’’’
Even‘’Immaterial.’’he responded angerly.Alexander Trainors expression then changed to his whimsical features
‘’Even if that was true,not I’m saying it is,dear I’d be an utter and complete baffon like he is.’’Alexander Trainor responded,we are different. We are trying to Improving the breed, ’’
,we are different. We are trying to Improving the breed, my darling’’ ’’Doctor Elizabeth Trainor stated jokingly.’’
General Alexander Trainor,once son of a high ranking Atlantean military commander himself.His father General Gregory Trainor was a three star general-with many honors,during his military carrer.He was the son of a great Atlantean military strategist—up there with the likes of General Gharvhan Sarkhon,of Atlantis,General Rhandark Attumas Sarkhon,Lee Quann of the Celestrials and the like.How he,not be any better than that?To be compared a little holo runt like this Mike Million or Mike Munchowsenn or whatever the hell his name really was?
‘’I’m nothing like him.’’General Trainor grunted.
‘’Why angery,general?’’Meranda laughed
: Because‘’And so are we and so is Mikie,general.’’Meranda commented.
Trainor: But I don't like him.Never have-never will .’’Trainor shoutted
He once has usefullness.He wasn’t so bad then.””Smirks Meranda.
I was trained as psychiatrist once.’’Mrs Elizabeth Trainor commented’’ I know where to stop all the ugly, savage things we all keep buried, that none of us dare expose .
‘’And Millions exposes them all’’the Ephashian commander added
And Little Mikie Malcontent exposes them all ‘General Trainor continued. Meranda shot back the Ephashean
Does he and what you two. I’ve seen you at your best and worsteworseworse behavior.’’Meranda continued
“This not the point, Meranda.and even if it was...General y.Trainor sharply added’’you three ladies need to read up military tactics I once,studied in the acedemy.Might i suggest General Rhandark Attumas Sarkhon’s Art of Wars or General Gharvin Sarkhons Tactic of Engagement in feild of Battle.’’
MerandaMirandaMiranda being holographic suddenly materialized a copy of those holobooks, upon her holographic grimeire. She read over them, rolled her eyes in disguistdisgustdisgust and then made go away.
‘’Ulghust.’’Meranda’yuckies’yuckies.’’ Miranda stated.’’You ‘You can be serious, darling.Me and sister read those things. I leave all to a military mind such yourself General.’’
‘I can see why little monkey mike bothersdidn’tdidn’t you.’’Sereena added.’’
‘’He has He had a kind of on the spot, mischieous sencesincesince you seem to have,but try to keep under control.’’Sabrina added as well.Both not were Meranda’s eternal audience,but her twine subconscieous spokewomen,that she would dare say in public...’’
’’: But I still don't like him. ‘’General Trainor shot back’’Hebackback ‘He the living embodiment of toe fungus, snott and bad breath all rolled into one.
He wasn’t that bad.
Yes, he was...still is. Thats why even you Djinns had banned and exile from you numbers.
Does it actually make you angry, MerandaMiranda?
But, ahh.my deal madameMadame.’’ General Alexander Trainor smirkingly stated ‘’Thats’that’s’That’s the real trick. You know as they say.’’Alls ‘Alls fair in love and war, or so some Atlantean poet once said. Do whatever you have to. Their just soldiers in a greater war. The prize isn’t Pangea, but ultimately this sphere-Terra-Prime. And once that done, greater thing beyond.
We don’t want you cause to much damage, just enough to my superiors the Taurons, the EphaishiansEphaisheans and those all those other ones, whose names I shant mention happy.
And as long, we don’t found out, those manipulate above nor the Lord of goddnessgoodness won’t exactly who ordered the trouble to start.’’Doctor ‘Doctor Elizabeth Trainor added, flipping her oddly Veronica Lake do about. Lake was a 20th Century, Terran Film actress, mostly noTednotednoted a oddly shaped blonde chumbout,hairdo, that cover the one side of her. Mrs.Trainor looked as she was copying her style-maybe or someone similar existing with the ancient Atlantean Colonies of the Atlantean Homeworld in the Old Universe.’’I ‘I once specialized phychology, as well medicine, plus one or two sciences. I know, how people will re-act and won’t re-act, if set up correctly.
‘’And that my little woman. Quaint isn’t she. Devishly quaint.’’Trainor interupted’’ Trainor interrupted.
Well, use these people, as long we can-just all contlesscountlesscountless others since I...and my dear here, changed side in the galactic Temporal Cold War.’’
Well, darling as you says alls fair in love and war.’’Meranda gingled’’I ’’ Meranda gingled’’ I won’t fail you, nor superiors.
“Yes, I suspect you won’t. I’m a temporatetemperate man,,, unless angered. Then I crush anyone in my way or who dissapointsdisappoints me, like an ant. Pray tell, that isn’t you and your two co whores.
Well, dears.With me and sister must be going. Ta ta darling.
ImputantImpudent holo witches.’’General ‘General Alexander Trainor contemptuantly utters.’’
‘’Now,darling. Mrs.Elizabeth Trainor smiley responded.
Behind the General ,three shadowy figures crept out of the stygian darkness,swaying back and fourth as they did.The Ephashian knew them,as well as anyone could.They were creatures,that called themselves the Zhaikhon.Dark,corrupt money loving and dealing beings,who worship one thing,the accumillaion of wealth and more wealth.They lived for nothing else,but to gain more money,more credits and gain a higher position within the Zhaikhon Hygemony-
The Zhatikhons travel in groups of three.The Field Operaive-often known as The Supervisor or Zhatikhon Agent One,followed by a barge number,such as Agent 6619 and two assistance Agent Two and Agent Three,also followed by an Agents number. The Zhatikhon carry a walking kane or stick,it is presumed of a Galaxean original and produced upon the Khellorean and Khelloshean Black Market.They have craggy, black featureless faces ,shouted in some sort of shimmering holographic mask and speak in slow, husky voices. Zhatikhons invariably dress in black from head to toe. Their wardrobe, which includes capes or long trenchcoat, is flat and –reflective of the same shimmering blue lines,that their mask present.Two scarlet glowing eyes peer out,where one expects the creatures eyes to be.Zhatikhon only have remotely human features such as a nose,lips and cheek bones,if bones is what is seen behind their masked faces.The only other features,that can be seen is their face,hidden under the fedora hats they wear,which has an inverted red triangle shape,some surmise is a kind of Guider Gem like knock off,created by parties unknown ages ago .The other exception being the glittery black gloves ,that the Zhatikhon move about,as they do business.This covers a holographic business suite,to covers their true appearence. The "Head Zhatikhon Agent has a sunburst design on his hat ,that cover much of the scalet triangle.
Zhatikhons constantly sway when they're walking and continue to sway even when standing still, a characteristic which appears to have no physiological basis but which adds to their odd, unnerving appearance.It is possible,that they do this gain some sort of physiological upperhand in dealing others in business transaction.
‘’We await your report,General Trainor.’’ The Zhatikhon Agent One 6619 asked in a cold,low husky voice.moving his gloved hand nerviously,hoping for a anchiously good report’’How goes the operation.Is all in readiness to begin transactions for the sale of more direct weapons of war…weapons of future mass destruction?’’
“I’m sorry to say,all did go exactly as we planned,Agent One 6619.’’General Trainor glared at the shimmery face and cold scarlet eyes of the Zhatikhon.Behind,his two Personal Assisstance Agent Two 6719 and Agent Three 6871 moved back and for the,with one left gloved hand touching the ear comlink phone,hidden under the masks.A single blue beeping light,was only thing,that showed outwardly,that anything of that sort was present.The device,an ear comlink to the Zhatikhon Star Palace hidden somewhere with the Plaedwelling underworld,would give a Zhaikhon Agents constant stock reports of various companies invested in by the company.Constant credit transactions from other operations.Constant data feeds about the Board of Directors of the Zhatikhon Hygemony.Doctrine verses by
‘’Agent One,the Zhaikhon Hygemony would displeased if in the event there are further delays.’’Agent Two spoke quietly.
‘’Yes,yes.Time is money and valuable credit profits maybe lost,if things do not proceed as we have speculated.’’interjected Agent Three.
‘’Yes,General Trainor,the company have invested much in the goings on of Terra-Prime.’’ The Zhatikhon Agent One 6619 spoke
‘’This operation,is but one of many,but vital to the whole potential business transactions of the Great Sphere.If we lose here,all things may not go as the Hygemony wishes along your partnership with The Tauron Alliance.’’
‘’Please do not lecture me on this operation,dear sir.’’General Trainor interrupted.’’I am very aware of the desires of the Taurons.My Ephashian High Command is well associated the Tauron Alliance,if youy very well remember.’’
‘’Have a care ,Sir,Myself and my husband have been at this a long time…a very long,long time.’’Doctor Elizabeth Trainor inerjeced sharply.
‘’We do..not ..wish to insult you.’’ Agent One corrected’’Nor your lovely wife.We are just very concerned.We do not wish to have resort to collecting any possible dept accumulated by the citizens of Vhall Shakharr.’’
‘’The company-the Zhatikhon Hygemony would not wish to resort to other means of retribution.’’’Agent Two added firmly.
‘’And what,preytell would that be?;;Trainor grudgingly spoke.
‘’Collection of any financial War Depts from the peoples of Vhall Shakharr.’’Agent Three also added
‘’Sir,that is little concern to me,what fancial dept these people,here upon these island owe you Zhaikhons.’’the General commented’’I am here many to supervise any convert military operation,from behind the scenes.’’
‘’Your methods are your own.We also have our methods as those who reward or fail us.If your fail,in this operation,we may have resort to an alternative method of collecting a dept that will not be paid upon a completed period of time.’’
‘’And what exactly is that suppose to mean,sir?Alexander Trainor firmly asked
‘’Zhatikhon Enforcers.We would wish not to resort to such actions,but in the event this operation becomes an embassessment to the company,honor must be held and a dept collected one way or another,with credits or by blood.There would be no other alternative the Zhatikhon Hygemony turn toward.’’’
‘’You dare threaten me,mushroom’’The Ephashian splat raising his right gauletted hand,whose knuckle metal silvery pads were beginning to form tiny sparkles’’I could boil your insides,as I would common squash.Bake your hide like a potato.And do so before you and assistants could raise a hand against me.’’
‘’We are nott without our own forms of defenses.’’the Zhatikhon Agent One warmed,raising his own sword cane upward toward General Ttrainors face.tthe Ephashian peered at it with contempt and disguist.
‘’Oh your sword cane.;Trainor responded gockingly’’I’d had forgotten and all those other bag of tricks of yours.I suppose,you could put quitte a fight ‘’pushing the Galaxean Sword cane away from his face.’’before the inevitable conclusion.’’
‘’Our adventures have,shall you say very prophetable in the past.I would not wish to end association.’’
‘’Nor would I .Understand,there are delicate condsitions here.This operation,take more time.’’continued the Ephashian.’’Certain unforeseen events have arrived.Understand?
‘’Understood.’’the Zhatikhon agnoledged.
With that General Alexander Trainor watched the trio silently turned and exite back toward shadows.As he watched,he thought those three could become a liability toward this whole operation upon the sphere.Terra-Prime was felt,too much of a jewel to be neglected and jeppardised by the bumbling of those three greedy clowns if he felt came to even a partial conclusion.He too,along with Elizabeth had invested allot of time in seeing his masters plans come to fulfillment.But more over,perhaps he and the dear wife might be able tto throw off the shackles of their Ephashian imprisonment.To far since their Unfortunate events ages ago,that turned from loyal subject of the Atlantean military to confinement with that pompuss Ephashian military commander General Taviss Strallguard,that transformed himself and Elizabetth into what they were now-slaves of a once enemy empire.
Eric Darkwater woke sweatting. He silently stired,not exactly where he was,bad among the dreamworld or here among the huge,chamber.His mouth was dry.He drank whatever he half finished last before he fell asleep.
The thing was grotesquely like a crooked gnarled man in shape, but its face was bestial. It bared yellow fangs as it lurched silently toward him, and from under penthouse brows small reddened eyes gleamed demoniacally. Yet there was something of the human in its countenance; it was neither ape nor man, but an unnatural creature horribly compounded of both.
Now the foul apparition halted before him, and as the gnarled fingers clutched his throat, Captain Eric Darkwater was suddenly and fearfully aware that this was no dream but a fiendish reality. With a burst of desperate effort he broke the unseen chains that held him and hurled himself from the chair. The grasping fingers missed his throat, but quick as he was, he could not elude the swift lunge of those hairy arms, and the next moment he was tumbling about the floor in a death grip with the monster, whose sinews felt like pliant steel.
That fearful battle was fought in silence save for the hissing of hard-drawn breath. Captain Eric Darkwater's left forearm was thrust under the apish chin, holding back the grisly fangs from his throat, about which the monster's fingers had locked. Phafnire Khonn still slept in his chair, head fallen forward. Captain Eric Darkwater tried to call to him, but those throttling hands had shut off his voice--were fast choking out his life. The room swam in a red haze before his distended eyes. His right hand, clenched into an iron mallet, battered desperately at the fearful face bent toward his; the beast-like teeth shattered under his blows and blood splattered, but still the red eyes gloated and the taloned fingers sank deeper and deeper until a ringing in Captain Eric Darkwater's ears knelled his soul's departure.
Even as he sank into semi-unconsciousness, his falling hand struck something his numbed fighting-brain recognized as the dirk Phafnire Khonn had dropped on the floor. Blindly, with a dying gesture, Captain Eric Darkwater struck and felt the fingers loosen suddenly. Feeling the return of life and power, he heaved up and over, with his assailant beneath him.The Thuvian Ranger tried to grasp the Thuvian Bowie Knife strapped to side utility belt. Through red mists that slowly lightened, Captain Eric Darkwater Eric saw the ape-man, now encrimsoned, writhing beneath him, and he drove the survival knife home into creatures upper arms.He drove the weapon again and again into the beast hairy hide .Blood spurted out of the series of wounds and creature began to let go of the Thuvian.Darkwater fell back,still with the bloody knight still in his right hand.He was exausted and tried to prop himself up,upon his two forarms.He peered down watching the beast breathing slowly stop until the dumb horror lay still with wide staring eyes.He hated to kill the creature,but it was him or himself.And he'd always vote himself everytime.
The Thuvian staggered to his feet, dizzy and panting, trembling in every limb. He drew in great gulps of air and his giddiness slowly cleared. Blood trickled plentifully from the wounds in his throat. He noted with amazement that the Vhaneirman still slumbered. And suddenly he began to feel again the tides of unnatural weariness and lassitude that had rendered him helpless before. Picking up his sword, he shook off the feeling with difficulty and stepped toward the curtain from behind which the ape-man had come. Like an invisible wave a subtle power emanating from those hangings struck him, and with weighted limbs he forced his way across the room. Now he stood before the curtain and felt the power of a terrific evil will beating upon his own, menacing his very soul, threatening to enslave him, brain and body. Twice he raised his hand and twice it dropped limply to his side. Now for the third time he made a mighty effort and tore the hangings bodily from the wall. For a flashing instant he caught a glimpse of a bizarre, half-naked figure in a mantle of parrot-feathers and a head-gear of waving plumes. Then as he felt the full hypnotic blast of those blazing eyes, he closed his own eyes and struck blind. He felt his sword sink deep; then he opened his eyes and gazed at the silent figure which lay at his feet, cleft head in a widening crimson pool.
And now Phafnire Khonn suddenly heaved erect, eyes flaring bewilderedly, sword out. "What--?" he stammered, glaring wildly. "Captain Eric Darkwater, what in Thor's name's happened? Thor's blood! That is a priest there, but what is this dead thing?"
"One of the devils of this foul city," answered Captain Eric Darkwater, wrenching his sword free. "I think Gorthonn Kaluta and his Jinn cohorts has failed again. This one stood behind the hangings and bewitched us unawares. He put the spell of sleep on us--"
"Aye, I slept," the Vhaneirman nodded dazedly. "But how came they here--"
"There must be a secret door behind those hangings, though I can not find it--"
"Hark!" From the room where the queen slept there came a vague scuffling sound, that in its very faintness seemed fraught with grisly potentialities.
"Atillanta!" Captain Eric Darkwater shouted. A strange gurgle answered him. He thrust against the door. It was locked. As he heaved up his sword to hew it open, Phafnire Khonn brushed him aside and hurled his full weight against it.
‘’Where’s the girls?
Somewhere in there.Something took them.’’
The panels crashed and through their ruins Phafnire Khonn plunged into the room. A roar burst from his lips. Over the Vhaneirman's shoulder Captain Eric Darkwater saw a vision of delirium.He saw Atillanta O’rien,Brenda Thornsonn,being carriedvehicle or vessel ried by several catlike white apesh creatures.Behing them was the queen.
Princess Tiramania queen of Vhall Shakharr, writhed helpless in midair, gripped by the black shadow of a nightmare. Then as the great black shape turned cold flaming eyes on them Captain Eric Darkwater saw it was a living creature. It stood, man-like, upon two tree-like legs, but its outline and face were not of a man, beast or devil. This, Captain Eric Darkwater felt, was the horror that even Gorthonn Kaluta had hesitated to loose upon his foes; the arch-fiend that the demoniac priest had brought into life in his hidden caves of horror. What ghastly knowledge had been necessary, what hideous blending of human and bestial things with nameless shapes from outer voids of darkness?
Held like a babe in arms Princess Tameara Kaluta writhed, eyes flaring with horror, and as the Thing took a misshapen hand from her white throat to defend itself, a scream of heart-shaking fright burst from her pale lips. Phafnire Khonn , first in the room, was ahead of the Thuvian.
The black shape loomed over the giant Vhaneirman, dwarfing and overshadowing him, but Phafnire Khonn , gripping the hilt with both hands, lunged upward. The great sword sank over half its length into the ivory body and came out crimson as the monster reeled back. A hellish pandemonium of sound burst forth, and the echoes of that hideous yell thundered through the palace and deafened the hearers. Captain Eric Darkwater was springing in, sword high, when the fiend dropped the girl and fled reeling across the room, vanishing in a dark opening that now gaped in the wall. Phafnire Khonn , clean berserk, plunged after it with Brenda Thornson lovely body,being carriedvehicle or vessel ried into one of the darken corridors following after thim following the sounds of other creatures such as this,mixed the curse and screams of . Brenda Thornson and Atillanta O’Brien in the gairy arms of crule creatures,both pounding down upon the hides with brave fist.
“Let me go,you beast’ Brenda Thornson screammed’’If I Could grasp my swords or gun.’’
We can’t.’’ Atillanta O’Brien’’These things have are waiste grasp too tight.’’
Darkwater stood in horror as he saw his great Vanir comrade,valliantly rush headlong into great hallway beyond.Would he do ?Stay here with woman,who was now queen or follow after Phafnire.The choise seemed so simple,but
Captain Eric Darkwater beganhanbegan to follow, but Princess Princess Tameara Kaluta, reeling up, threw her white arms around him in a grip even he could hardly break. "No!" she screamed, eyes ablaze with terror. "Do not follow them into that fearful corridor! It lead into Hell itself!
“”Then hell is where I will go.Why you appose me such ?
The underworld of dark temporal wizards and evil men.Their you will only my husband and stupid brother,hiding among the Platedwellers and dark catacombs of the sphere.
So,we find them,we kill them.’’Eric Darkwater cursed.
“”No,I must be Queen,only while my husband will in exile.’’
So,who will know.
I will.We will.It might ruin everything.
What do you mean everything.’’
The Vhaneirman nor the others,will never return! Let you not share his fate!"
Then with a surge of rage,Darkwater understood all.We were all pawns,the villians too-all,in some wicked game of this witch.She was kidnapped,but willing fled from the Islands of Subatall.She played her here and married the prince of this realm.
"Loose me, woman!" roared Captain Eric Darkwater in a frenzy, striving to disengage himself without hurting her. "My comrades may be fighting for his life!"
"Wait till I summon the guard!" she cried, but Captain Eric Darkwater flung her from him, and as he sprang through the secret doorway,Princess Princess Tameara Kaluta smote on the jade gong until the palace re-echoed. A loud pounding began in the corridor and Zomar's voice shouted: "Oh, queen, are you in peril? Shall we burst the door?"
"Hasten!" she screamed, as she rushed to the outer door and flung it open.
Attilanta.With me.’’Eric Darkwater shoutted and urged his beautiful,cole black haired companion to follow after him.
Several guards.some of Vhall Shakharr origin,mixed refurbished Imperial -eanDelkhonean Knights rushed into the chamber.
No,forget them.’’Princess Princess Tameara Kaluta ordered
‘’My queen,some of long range scouts have reported signs of Subatallan forces moving this way.Several aircraft carriersvehicle or vessel riers,with battle groups.And several air ships hovering above.’’
What I just win this kingdon back my fool husband and his dumassed brother.Now,my idiot people come to take back a nation I aborred.Quickly,to the Imperial Palace Command Center.’General Khelleck Kuan’’’We have other matters to attend too.Let the beast down take of those four,’’
‘’Yes,my queen ‘’General Khelleck Kuan’’
Captain Eric Darkwater, leaping recklessly into the corridor, raced along in darkness for a few moments, hearing ahead of him the agonized bellowing of the wounded monster and the deep fierce shouts of the Vhanirman. Then these noises faded away in the distance as he came into the narrow passageway faintly lighted with torches stuck into niches. Face down on the floor lay a brown man, clad in gray feathers, his skull crushed like an eggshell.
How long Captain Eric Darkwater and Attilanta O’Brien followed the dizzy windings of the shadowy corridor he never knew. Both were,only aided by the night vison ascept of their macroscopic visors and tactical lences.Other smaller passages led off to each side,urged by data ports,imaging two red moving blips ahead but he kept to the main corridor. At last he passed under an arched doorway and came out into a strange vasty room.He hesitated using his pistols,for fear of hitting the two women.
Captain Eric Darkwater came toward a huge chamber,where Phafnire Khonn was sword fighting two of the great Capronean beast.The girls Attilanta O’Brien and Brenda Thornson were still struggling to free themselves from the beast.The crule creatures grawled and hallowed violently.The Thuvian joined the great scarletsvehicle or vessel let haired giant.Both began to thrust swords into the savage arms of the two beast.
Somehow,this distructed the creature.Brenda Thornson managed to grasp stun baton,strapped her left ankle and she quickly ignite it.With quick thrust,the woman pounded it down upon the Capronean beast skull.The creature,jerked upward and his great,hairy arms grasps head.Brenda Thornson tumbled onto the chamber floor,spawling near Darkwater and Phafnire Khonn.The girl quickly turned and used her stun baton against the other creature,bouncing it across the things skull like she did the first one.
“Ok,folks.’’Eric Darkwater ordered’’We can dispatch these two perminately.’’
Darkwater,sheathed his sword and with drew his twine pistols,with broad smile. Phafnire Khonn,Brenda Thornson and Atillantia O’Brien followed with own hand weapons.
Somber massive columns upheld a shadowy ceiling so high it seemed like a brooding cloud arched against a midnight sky. Captain Eric Darkwater and companions saw that they was in a temple. Behind a black red-stained stone altar loomed a mighty form, sinister and abhorrent.
Chapter The Storm Machine and Gods of Vhall Shakharr
Behind the figure,moved a vast column,tristing and turning.It moved uncannyly,as turning into the neither depths of Terra-Prime and into the upmountains of the Island.Darkwater had something like in New Genisis Bunker in Lankmear City.His parents took him one of the tours into the musceum portion of the great underground structure,located in the upper Star Citadel levels above main bunker.In the the Seventeen Wonders of the Pangean Ancient World,there was something like it ages ago.It was the Weather Tower of the Mysty Ilse.A weather control device,using the articial geothermal vents of the Great Sphere and sellected warm and cold air currents to alter local weather patterns.The ancient Pangeans used such devices to control certain weather conditions of this articial world.They were something that Avalon -a colony of the original Atlantean Homeworld created in conjunction with Avatarrins-another Atlantean colony.The mystery of those freakish storms was solved.Prince Skarr Kaluta and brother Gorthonn Kaluta were altering the weather about the island to suite their needs.He wondered how much time,they until,this great machine,either broke down and rebelled against them or someone through a monkey wench into whole thing.
The great weather columb became to churn slowly.as cylinder moved about each other.Kah Choom! .Kah Choom! .Kah Choom! It’s great pistols and cillidars,pumped steadily slowlyr,as went about it’s bissness.And with a loud thump,somewhere within the Avalon/Avatar Machine !Suddenly somewhere within either,The great pillar,somewhere above or below it or somewhere else within the subterrain chamber the echoing sound other machines moved about.Ka Thump!Ka Thump!Ka Thump!Pull Whack!Ka Thump!Ka Thump!Ka Thump!Pull Whack! They went on with a rythim caddence of many similar devices.Darkwater was strainning his trying to see up into the further regions of the machine.It seem to stretch into the Great Chambers vast ceilling and into a huge hole,that the Thuvian Ranger could only think was some sort of artificial volcano-perhaps the great valcano,that forever smoking in the distant hoorizon of Vhall Shakharr.Dangerous forces,these people were playing with.Using the network of underworld reactor cores,located under every city,to control weather.Mostly,the artificial intelligence of a New Genisis Bunker might control such a weather machine,but what about here?How were they keeping a secret and off the main network grid of AI,found just anywhere on the Sphere?Then Darkwater saw it,as steam cleared away from the bottem of the columb.Something huge and strange was beginning appear at the foot of the device.Something weird and omnimous,the Thuvian Warrior hoped he’d never to see in person.Two idols stood,holding jade swords.The idols were carvedvehicle or vessel ved from jade,as the central figure,between,whom Eric Darkwater could not see wholely,due great pillars of steam rising from the central columb
Eric Darkwaker waited until several worker left the area.They were checking over several mechanisms that must controlled the great vents above and below.He tried to remember,what learned when was ten years old,in the musceum,back home.Between the two Great Idols and infront of the huge churning,steam filled columb,also appeared something else.Something,weird and unholy,that froze Darkwater’s veins.He had never seen the like but heard of it’s use.Found darkenned Temples of certain,weird Platedweller,used and worshipped things,as one a holo god or spirit.Before him,was five,transpisteel domes,set atop silvery pedistals.Tubes seem to be hooked to each one and to another,as sort juryrigged mechasm.Each dome contained a huge,blue and pink,oversized brain.The brains,the Ranger could be human.No aminal brain could get that large,but did hear a strange telepathic race known as the Kelloreans,could breed mutated Rhandarean brains-to act as kind of ghestalt artificial intelligence,to help run machines,control their cities and star ship autonominus function,leaving their master other,more ceribral tasks. Nhellvhanna Crystals,an ancient type of Seraphean holo crystal,used to record events and play them by the mysterious Galaxeans,flicked holograph before,each monsterous brain.
The Thuvian Ranger thought.This was the so called god,that was spoken of.It must ran the city above,as many AI did other cities of Terra-Prime.
‘’The god of the Vhall Shakharr ...Ghorr Ghothrah ! Surely it must be ‘’ Darkwater shoutted..’’These fool worship these things.’’
“We are all mind.’’The thing spoke.’’We are Ghorr Ghorrath-the Ghestant Mind,I am known as Kalukha Khalu the First One.I Speak for the All’’
‘’And I am Ghoosh Larue Khalu,the Second One..’’said scarletsvehicle or vessel let jelly brain,the First Ones right.’’I control the lower system of the great city above.’’
‘’And I am Gharnesh Khalu,’’Said the scarletsvehicle or vessel let brain opposite to Ghoosh Larue Khalu,the Second One.I control all higher systems of the Great City above,’’
‘’And I am Ghanesh Khalu,’’said the blue brain below Ghoosh Larue Khalu’’and I Ghanthesh Khalu’’said the blue brain below Gharnesh Khalu,’
‘’By Braghali!’’ grumbled Phafnire Khonn’’What in heavon or hell are these things?’’
‘’Brains,my friend.’’Darkwater responded ‘’Artificial Brains used run this city above and island surrounding it.’’
-‘’Kalukha the First One.and the other ’were indeed an enlarged, disembodied mutant brains ‘’ Eric Darkwater said ‘’I once heard years ago,during his early teens. As telepathic creature, Kalukha the First One functioned in tandem with four other similar entities, all of whom were networked into a central device, which comprised the Gestalt Mind).
Although Kalukha the First One coordinated with the other four brains within its network, it was clearly the dominating intelligence of the composite entity, governing all decisions.’’Darkwater stated,pointing to other minds.
I believe my comlink,might have a database on the subject,from the archives of the New Genisis Bunker.’’Darkwater states,as he pressed a few controls on the silver,cynider hanging from his Thuvian Ranger Utility Belt.’’ Ghorr Ghothrah.tell me what is know about such mechanism,please.?’’
As a disembodied brain”an atonal electronic voice spoke from device mini archives Seraphean Crystal.’’are a sexually ambiguous creature. It was unknown whether its personality was remotely humanoid and biological make-up are intended to neither represent a man or a woman.It was assumed,being nothing more than overated brain in box-several brains,infact,neither had the emotional development of a humanoid being,nor the understanding”
“”Kalukha the First One and oversized Rhandarian brain like it,functioned as a control system for a society of subterrainian Kellonean upon the homeworld The Kelloreans were primarily the humanoid beings, of high intelligence and mind abilities but physically they functioned independently of the Gestalt Commander. . It was the belief of the Supreme Gestalt Commander that by denying life to others, they were actually protecting them from the physical torments of existence 'Kalukha the First One' was a variation of '). Kalukha the First One. and the rest of his collective were part of a vast electronic network located miles below the many unknown regionof Terra-Prime commonly referred to as Platedwellers,as I have encountered before upon my Thuvian Ranger duties as a tunnel stalker or rather a Ranger,who pilots a subshuttle among the infinate subterrain passages of Terra-Prime.I began to track anything or anyone,off the grid of the main cybernetic grid of the Great Sphere and found these Rhandar brains often at the heart of such activety.They existed off the grid of the normal artificial intelligence or World Mind,found with many New Genisis Bunkers and said to hard to detect because sheilding against outside survailance.
The Rogue Platedwellers were a society descended from (presumably) humanoid mutations. They were led by the cybernetic entity known as the Supreme Gestalt Commander (or Gestalt Mind), a network of five giant brains suspended in glass chambers,
‘’An entry from the Journeys of Captain Toreus Starkiller.’’
Eric Darkwater stared at five monsterious brains.half not believing the horrible construction before him.’’It seems we are not the first stumble upon this thing.Anthing else?’’
“”Kalukha the First One ‘’the voice spoke again ‘’and oversized Rhandarian brain like it,functioned as a control system for a society of subterrainian Kellonean upon the homeworld .’’The Thuvian commented ‘’The Kelloreans were primarily the humanoid beings, of high intelligence and mind abilities but physically they functioned independently of the Gestalt Commander.’’
‘’Intelligent being such allowing,evil jelly brains to run thing’Phatnire Khonn curse.
The Khellorean beliefs that by denying themselves of physical labor.’’the electronic voice continued ‘’ The Khelloreans were actually protecting themselves from the existence of controlling macines and mundain aspect of their civilization.'. Kalukha the First One. and the rest of his collective were part of a vast electronic network located miles below the many unknown region of many Khellorean Cities upon their homeworld and other colonies of that world.
Here upon the underworld of Terra-Prime commonly referred to as Platedwellers,must found away to these these artificial brain in the same manor.
They existed off the grid of the normal artificial intelligence or World Mind,found with many New Genisis Bunkers and said to hard to detect because sheilding against outside survailance.
‘’The Khellorean were a society descended from (presumably) humanoid mutations of Rhandairean origin were led by the cybernetic entity , a network of five giant brains suspended in glass chambers, ‘’Eric Darkwater said
‘’Beautifal aren’t they .''A figure stepped behind the dark idol,holding a walking kane..
''General Alexander Trainor''Eric Darkwater said.''Or should be General Traider.''
''Ha.Thats that a matter of opinion.''Trainor responded.''My former employers,the Atlanteans sent on many heroic war champeigns.The last invading Ephashian Space-those dark brother to the Sidaireans.''
The Ephashian military commander leaned on his cane and said ''I was captured for efforts,as was my dear wife.We lasted on and on.And all that many months,what the Atlanteans do ?Engage in a rescue mission ?No!So after our conversion,with two Jinn,myself and wife Elizabeth used our new found powers to turn the tables on our captors.Later on,we managed to convinced that both of would join their forces,if nothing else by to get revenge upon our former Atlanteans and their allies.''
''So now,you appose everything that the Atlanteans and the like are for.''
''And why not?Trainor spoke.''It was the Djinn,who whispered to us,that it was infact,really the Atlanteans,who created the Titan Wars,by their actions and stupid politics.''
''And add to all the same things,you say you fight against.''Darkwater commented
''I won't banter politics with you.''Trainor shot back.''These devices work.They provide a network about Vhall Shakharr,but also maintain this great weather control device,you see here.’’
‘’And they also exsert a telepathic influence those living in the city above,captain.’’Elizabeth Trainor said,now Eric Darkwater’s left.’’Aswell,as mask anyone or anything trying to sence their presence here underneath the city and connected islands.’’
‘’We’ve tapped them into the Khellorean Siren plants and Watchers scattered everywhere above.’’’said General Trainor’’A unique control and survailance system,link into these Khellorean brains.Quite undetectable,being both alien plants seem to flurish just about everywhere upon the great sphere.’’
They are tied in to the Vhall Shakharr Tracking Sites,that surround this mountain above.’’Elibeth Trainor said,now joining her husband.’’They see all,that the Vhall Skakharr can’t or won’t see.’’
“’Everyone knows,Tracking Sites or Tracking Stations,for centuries have used to monitor the path of star ships,in deep space.And here upon Terra-Prime have used to help the Sidaireans construct this dysonsphere world.’’Eric Darkwater responded ‘’They also have used to track the movement of airships,much like larger Air Traffic Control Towers do in larger spaceports.
And if this plan ultimately fails,what will you two do?''The Thuvian Ranger asked
''Oh,if in any event,however unlikely our well layed plans fall through,we have our escape route already prepared.''General Trainor smirked,''This underground,is scattered with a network of jump points-easy to get too.The gates leed to our personal Ephaphean star palace .the Hmss Defenders Might and onto a cloaked Ephaphean Worldship located somewhere near by.''
''We have everything worked,don't darling.''Elizabeth Trainor''
''As always,my dear.As always.''Trainor commented himself and his wife.
General Trainor,standing,leening upon his Galaxian style cane.He looked about the Ghorr Ghothrah alter.It obscene network of cables,leading the danging computer terminal.a Magnus 300 Artificial Intelligence,hooked into the Khellorean Gestalt Domed Brains.Above was the grim,black alter of a hideous monstrocity-an octopus headed creature,in what looked either battle armor or some sort of space suite or both.The figure,unlike the two next to it,was holding a long pike like staff.
''These Vhall-Shakharr are a silly lot.Easilly influenced.''General Trainor commented ''Some past ruler or praist had these Khathulean Slavers carvedvehicle or vessel ved into three titan statues.Obviously,these creatures had visitted Terra-Prime.It might been they who brought the Khellorean Brains to the cities underground.It would explain some weird lore,found about the sphere.''
‘’Bravo,indeed,my good man.’’the general uttered.’’The plan was mine,well with some phychological impute by my dear wife.Simply put,the Island Group of Vhall Shakharr has been for some time a very poor nation.Labor troubles.A bad merchant trade with local nations.And so on and so for the.But we came here and fix things up.We helped the Royal Family make the shuttle trains and air craft run ontime.
‘’Really,Once again bravo’’''Darkwater responded again’’what else your glorious planning do …for these people.?’’
‘’Piracy’’ ''Darkwater repeted
‘’Yes,Piracy.The rulers of Vhall Shakhar were despirate.Their black market trade with the Gorthan Pirates and their Zhatikhonn Adents,was gawlging the treasury vaults.So I convince them to go into business of piracy for themselves.
But their was one small problem.The air fleet of Vhall Shakharr,had few air travelers.They had little respourses to build a larger fleet of air ships.So I said to them.’’Why not just steal them?The Subatall Fleet has grown since Admirel Carson Jones built up their air forces.I told them,that I could transform,for some fee,ofcourse,this weather mechine.Inside,this Mountain of Pallai Pallai,was impregnable.It would allot of firepower cut into the Atlantium shielding…that is,if the enemy forces can get past the weather shield around the island.
You see,this mechine,creates ,like a common hurricane a storm around the island,but leaves a calm eye within the center.And every time,one of the enemy air ships approach,the pirate air travelers of Vhall Shakhar moves out into the storm area and takes the ship,crew and all.The crew,prisoners of war,maybe kept as hostages to be ransomed to whatever nation,that originally came from.The whole operation boosted the islands economy.
‘’And what if,one of the Vhall Shakharr airships manages to get captured or shot down?Would that put a little kimp in your plan?’’the Thuvian asked ‘’We rangers might just find out and put a stop to your whole operation.
‘’Impossible.We change the pirate ship tail insignia,into one our neighbor pirate fleet-say Tardos Sojats Red Lemurean Reavers or the Gorthan Pirates of the Black Ilses of Khordos.The Lemurian Isles "are clearly Eric Darkwater of the Central Pangean continent-the Great Crescent Lands-far,but not so far,for them to make raids of South Sea shipping lanes." The Khordos islands are a chain of large islands southeast of The Subatall-not too far from here.Two perfect patsies.And we might just some rogue elements,say the Kalladon pirates or the TyRhainean pirates.Maybe the Darkhonean pirates.
Everyone,but the Vhall Shakharr,with confusion,nobody knows who to blaim .’’Elizabeth Trainor added.’’Near by nations,will often blaim whomever they do not like.Especially,if their military intelligence backs that evidence.We spent allot time frowing allot of counter intelligence about other operatives.’’
‘’You mean Miranda and other lady Djinns-Sabrina and Satrina.
‘’One flaw in your glorious plan.’’Darkwater shot at the general’’The Subatall spies here suspected everything centers here.’’
‘’Well,a little problem..soon to reconted with’’
’You should congradulate my genius,for using them. “planning all this ”joyfully said General Trainor’
“”Should I ?’’Eric Darkwater respomnded ‘’Any meglomaniac,with delusions of godhood,could do just as good-if not better .’
‘’I insist.’’General Alexander Trainor urdged.
With that the Ephashian Commander,raised his right arm and from white,guanletted hands fives glowing circles formed about the knuckle area.Suddenly,five arches of electricity shot out toward Eric Darkwater.The bolts hit the Thuvian Ranger,pushed him backward,but the plasma shield erected itself in from of Darkwater.
‘’Not fair,my dear’’Trainor jollefully spoke’’Their armored.I expected as much,but had to see for myself.’’
By then Elizabeth Trainor had joined the General’s side.Darkwater watched both with interest.He knew these two former Atlantean military officers,turned Ephashian agents were powerful.They both had gained much of the same abilities of members of the Legion of Time-Sorcrers,were not as skilled with those abilities.Nor did they strenth to weild these powers for long.
‘’Well,General’’she spoke.’’If we conbine our forces.’’
‘’Little Man.’’Phafnire Khonn ‘’And so will we.’’
The Vhanireman stepped infront of Eric Darkwater.He activated his shield and braced himself for the twine electromagnetic bolts from two Ephashian warriors.Two electric bolts flashed the couples hands and snaked out toward the Vhanire.The bolts hit,as Phafnire Khonn took the two electric coils,thats bounced off and around his plasma shield.Behind,Captain Eric Darkwater took,the rest of the electrical bolt.It took curled about his deflector shield.Darkwater shook,as the electric bolts whithered around him ,around the plasma shield and bounced over toward the deflector shield about the Ghorr Ghothrah.He saw the five,artificial brains,beneath the protective globes,filled a green.protective liguide.And it,by Thrull Khonn,got an idea.He thought,between himself and Phafnire Khonn,both grounded from the effects of the electric bolts.Too,the Great Ghestalt Minds,too were grounded beneath their protective blister.,But the Khellorean Construct were not.Their transparisteel blisters were filled some sort of liquide-a watery substaince,that might carryavehicle or vessel ry a current.He knew what to do and do it quickly,before either the plasma shields failed or the Trainors ran out of energy.
With much effort and pain,the Thuvian Ranger raised his sword.Some of the electic bolts,also bounce around the plasma shielding,that was erected around Ghorr Ghothrah,that automatically snapped to protect also.Electric light bounced off the darken shadows of vast chamber.Darkwater could see,despite attempting to increase their bolts power,General Trainor and his wife was weakenning.Now,was the time...now or never.Move it,now Darkwater,the Ranger thought before it’s too late.With that the Thuvian Ranger jammed his sword,thusting it through the Gesalt Commanders shield-through Kalukha Khalu the First One’s dome... .Electric bolts followed toward it,as the transparent sphere,shattered -spilling out the earie,green fluide.
Suddenly,their was a huge flash and an explosion arounding the Ghorr Ghothrah srine.Eric Darkwater,Phafnire Khonn,General Trainor and wife were all thrown backward.The Thuvian Ranger and companion fell backward toward the left and the Ephaishian couple to the left.Dark smoke swirled around Ghorr Ghothrah.Sparks and flames flickered around the edge of the sight.Smoke curled upward toward the ceilling.The great weather columb became to churn swifter.Faster..Kah Choom! .Kah Choom! .Kah Choom! It’s great pistols and cillidars,pumped faster,as went out of control.And with a loud thump,it began to lurched.Chang !Suddenly ,The great pillar,was curled with the remainning bolts of electricity,that danced about the long object,like glowing snakes,being attacked by firefies.Bizzippp!Blizzipp!Zipp!Zipp!.Bizzippp!Blizzipp!Zipp!Zipp!It went on and on.like that forever and with sudden stop everything went quiet.The electrical bolt stopped slithering over the Great Machines surface.Dead silence filled the great chamber,as engine of weather control died.
Eric Darkwater stirred.He was sure how he slept.Minutes or hours,he wasn’t sure.He slowly moved and tried to stand up two weak legs.He crawled on hands and knees at first,then spotted the Vhanireman.Crawling,the Thuvian made his way toward the huge,scarletsvehicle or vessel let haired warrior.He shooked him.
“’Hey,Phaf.’’Darkwater lightly spoke.’’Wake up.’’
‘’What ?’’Phafnire Khonn grogilly mumaured ‘’Oh,Little Man..’’
‘’Back among the living,my friend.’’
‘’Yes,I hope you meant to do that.’’otherwise,it was one hell of a lucky accident,by Thor.’’
“’I did.Or atleast.hoped the dammed action might work..’’Eric Darkwater said,as he regainned himself upon his feet.The Thuvian helped Khonn also upon his feet.’’I knew,if anything a power overload into those curse Rhandar brains might go off,if I ground my sword into their deflector shield.’’
‘’Good for us.’’’Phafnire Khonn spoke ,moving about the chamber .He pointed toward Ghorr Ghothrah’’bad for them.’’
Ghorr Ghothrah was a shatted mess of broken domes.The Rhandarian Brains,each resting within the green fluid,that once held the Khellorian Gesalt minds in each globes.Each mind,was burned and blackenned,only showing small portions of the colors,that they once had.Shards of Nhellvhanna Crystals,flashing on and off,whose projected holo images of past events,now broken,casting nothing but luminess phatoms of holo spectors no more.
Captain Darkwater,moved over toward comlink console and flipped a few switches.The ranger saticified and picked an old style Terran hand held mitch,attatched on a curles cord.Overviously,the people of Vhall Shakharr had to make do,with whatever barrowed or stolen equiptment they could get their hands upon.Either Gorthan Space Pirates or Zhatikhon –sometimes working together Sold them ex amounts of off world surplus junk technology,from everywhere and bewhere beyond the time vortexes,scattered about the Great Sphere.
But Captain Eric Darkwater spared only a single glance for the colossal figure that brooded there in the shadows behind himself and the others. Before him was a strange tableau. A huge Capronean Gorilla,as can found all over the sphere,imported from the original Capronean homeworld and then the nearby world plate,here on Terra-Prime.
More than that fools.’’A voice spoke out into the darkness!’’
“ Skarr Kaluta’’Eric Darkwater spoutted
‘’The same.’’the prince came out of the darkness before them,holding his royal spear.’’And I plan to end you all,as you ended my rule.My plans’’
Phafnire Khonn with drew his great sword and gazed at the darken shapes which his freinds his feet."This Skarr Kaluta is without armor," rumbled the Vhaneirman. "Let me likewise doff my mail and helmet so that we fight on equal terms--"
"No!" cried Atillanta. "Your armor is your only chance! Darkwater can take the prince.Only you with superior armor,can take on the Capropean apes.’’
"Well, well," grumbled Phafnire Khonn , "I will take the rear guard.
Go,pal.You big ape.’’Eric Darkwater shoutted back.’’One Vhanirman ape can take on any pack of the them.
The huge Vhaneirman,ignorring the term ape turned and strode ponderously toward his near catlike apish foe, who warily crouched and circled away. Phafnire Khonn held his great sword in both hands before him, pointed upward, the hilt somewhat below the level of his chin, in position to strike a blow to right or left, or to parry a sudden attack.The Great Capronean Ape lunged at Khonn,who met his match.
“”Come on you,misbegotten spawn of another world.’’* cursed.’’The day a son of the Vlanaheim can’t take a bolderheaded monster such as you,is the day we lay down our great swords.’’
‘’Your back is blocked.’’Skarr Kaluta grinned.’’Your front by myself.’’
Captain Eric Darkwater withdrew his sword and stepped forward. Skarr Kaluta suddenly became afraid,but blocked into the darken stairwell below,felt he must slay his man before him or die.Somewhere behind in the darkness, Skarr Kaluta could hear the voice of three Jinn urging him on.’’Would you let this outlander-this barbarian,make fool of you!It was he among the rest,who took your thronge from you.Kill him.idiot!Kill him now! He head somewhere beyond the head buzzing and sivere ringing.
Skarr Kaluta stepped forward,being urged on my the Jinn’s false courage pumped into the dark prince,as a man drunk on Tauron Brandie.Skarr,infact now was a mad man.For Miranda and her Jinns,just as Princess Tiramania’.kill this man.Kill him now.’
Skarr Kaluta had flung away his light shield, his fighting-sense telling him that it would be useless before the stroke of that heavy blade. In his right
And now it was Eric Darkwater who rushed with unexpected quickness, like a charging bull, and before that terrible onslaught Skarr Kaluta, bewildered by the breaking of his great royal spear, was caught off his guard--flat-footed. He caught a fleeting glimpse of the giant looming over him like an overwhelming wave and he sprang in, instead of out, stabbing ferociously. That mistake was his last. The thrusting spear glanced harmlessly from the Thuvian's plasma shield,sparks sphrang from the impact area of the glowing circular and in that instant the great sword sang down in a stroke the king could not evade. The force of that stroke of the Thuvian Rangers sword sliced into the princes flesh,like a knife into butter.A red splurt gushered out of the wound.
‘’Help me brother.’’Prince Skarr Kaluta despirately screamed as drew himself off the broad sword.’’Help me Gorthonn Kaluta.’’
Prince Skarr Kaluta,stepping back a few steps, weirdly attempted grasp at anything to keep from falling back into the ebon stairway,waggled his wildly as hoping beyond hope to keep erect by flapping his arms,like a human bird,which he looked like with the princely feathers adorning his arms and collar.Darkwater smiled and reached out to steady his foe,by grasping the prince’s jewelled neckless.
‘’Well,Skarr.’’Darkwater spurred him’’Trying to fly awy like a bird before the last call.
* could see everything,being blocked mostly by the two women.He saw Captain Eric Darkwater reaching toward Skarr Kaluta,who was waving silly his arms like a bird,attempting to fly.The Vhall Shakharrean prince fell backwards and into the stairwell below.The Vhanirman made his way toward the Thuvian Ranger,putting something into his left breast pocket,pushing his passed the two women.* looked down.A dozen feet away fell Skarr Kaluta, king of Vhall Shakharr, to lie shattered and dead in a ghastly welter of blood and entrails. The women gaped, struck silent by the prowess of that deed.
‘’So thats,that Little Man’’*’’Good ridence then.’’
Whatever foul magic had brought the Black Thing into life, it had taken but a thrust of English steel to hurl it back into a limbo from whence it came. The monsters stold behind the three female Jinns,as evil thralls in their control.by way of Acherhonean Slave collars.The kind used to control violent animals and unrully prisoners across the cosmos.Before the dark Miranda and her Jinn asistant was -a gaunt white-bearded man whose eyes were starkly coldly blue.''[?3
"Gorthonn Kaluta!" ejaculated the startled Thuvian.Behind the evil Vhall Shakeir wizard stold the trhee Female Jinn.They standing motionless-awaitting Gorthonn Kaluta's final success or failure.
''So Gorthonn Kaluta''The First One Meranda smirked''What shall you do this time,Darling?''
Miranda snapped her fingers and called up holo images of the same Imperial -eanDelkhonean Armored Warriors as before,behind her and her companions.The armored warriors,began unaccustumly began to breath flame out of the nostrels.
''Call up more silly armored robots to fight these men and fail?'' Miranda chided''The two behind her gave out wails upon Banshee Wails of in sulting gigling.The Jinn snapped her fingers and warrior robots dissappeared again.''No,sorry.un ah.That never works.''
Gorthonn Kaluta was becoming annoyed.Being a peabrain,with a massive ego,he hated being mocked.He was much like the Jinn behind him.He was not going to be mocked and defeatted-not by these two and their silly women.
Yeah,Gorthonn.Call up more robots to fight your battles.''Eric Darkwater challenged him.''Maybe you call up Stumbo the Giant or Boomboom the Clown to help you.''
Stumbo the Giant was a silly comic,about a stupid giant befreinding town of people by Harvey comics Boomboom the Clown was a bit weirder.He was child cartoonshowvehicle or vessel toon show.An anarchist -a busty female clown who each went around blowing up stuff,to piss off the local cops.Darkwater didn't reallt carevehicle or vessel e the show until the shows producers Mammoth Studios felt the show might do better as a life action series,featuring some playmate Julie Small,in the title and only for the extreme size of her rack.The three female Jinn staired Darkwater,not truly comprehending his comments and being a bit annoy someone dare join in insulting Gorthonn Kaluta.Jinn could be insecure and not enjoy having someone,especially this lower creature best them.
''Aye,moron Thuvian.''"Gorthonn Kaluta grinned ''But your Subatall friends will save you.''
"Aye, the priest--I was close behind this troll or whatever it is, all the way along the corridor, but for all its size it fled like a deer.
Gorthonn Kaluta tried use his cosmic lance as weapon,weaving it in and out between jabs of Captain Darkwater's sword.Failling to connect anything,let alone his opponents weapon.Gorthonn Kaluta,was not a very good warrior and being an object coward,he prefered as a milingering naurssiss,to let others do the fighing for him.He prefered,like cowards,to be the guy to work behind the scences.After all,Darkwater thought,why risk his precious ass,in a fight,he himself caused in the first place.
''Well,Gorthonn Kaluta.''Eric Darkwater said jabbing his sword into air infront.''Did I upset your plans?
''Naive,retard,moron.''Gorthonn Kaluta shoutted as he grinned.''I have plans within plans.''
''Right bolderhead.''Eric Darkwater shot back.''That's they all say.''
Darkwater knew that this was a lie.Gorthonn Kaluta wasn't smart enough to figure one step ahead at a time.The Jinns standing behind,were not believing neither.They began to dirty looks at the time wizard.The genie females were obviously becoming bored with cosmic practical joke.
Suddenly,the city began to quake again.Explosion began erupt all about them.Giant pillars of fire arose around huge cargo-vehicle or vessel go area.Gorthonn Kaluta began to become afraid.The bridge shook.Eric Darkwater moved back with Phafnire Khonn.The Thuvian Ranger pushed the big Vhinirman further back.
''Hey,stupid''Darkwater shoutted to Gorthonn Kaluta.''Times running out.Only an idiot like fights when the houses burning down.''
''Well,not until I take of you.''Gorthonn Kaluta.screamed.Something that sounded gush,gurgle boop came out next from the wizard or so Darkwater thought it was.He was sure,the Vhall Shakheir wizard said something in Terranesse,but between all explosions and the idiot cronomancers,garbled curse,it sounded like nothing more than that.
With that Gorthonn Kaluta went into a killing rage,knowing not what else to do.Finally,after a lone life of being a coward,he got a burst of bravery.But this far too late.The bridge shoot again.This two great pillars of fire,creatted giant gushers of flame and mushroom smoke.Gorthonn Kaluta rocked one way,dropping his great Tykhonean Comic Staff and then topple again another way.He suddenly,knew in stark terror,where he when next.The fax wizard suddenly hurled himself uncontrollable toward the bridges edge.Behind,the Jinn amazed began to step back from the bridges edge.
Gorthonn Kaluta toppled off the great stone brigde as the grand plumb of fire arose from a nearby port hole.Darkwater and Phafnir Khonn stood there as the figure fell into a darkenned cargo-vehicle or vessel go door below.Screamming the false time wizard dissappeared screamming.
The three Jinn were no longer amused by anything.Two behind Miranda tried to hide their shame.
''We are no longer amused.''Miranda thought.''This cosmic prank is over.Two can be about your way.Ta ta,darlings''.
With that Miranda raised two arms and snapped her two fingers glowing jump point began to form about her.Miranda gave out a mischieous smile and blew Eric Darkwater and Phafnire Khonn a kiss.
''Av Wah,Darlings.''Miranda finally said and the three stepped back into a multi colored circle of light.The mini stargate flashed open and closed up upon itself.
'”Well,Little Man.''the Great Vhanir commented,looking over the bridge''thats gonna hurt when he hits bottom.''
''What bottem?''Eric Darkwater added''Thats a cargo-vehicle or vessel go shaft.It goes all the way down into the center of the sphere.Right out passed Terra-Primes outer cargo-vehicle or vessel go doors.Those doors may automatically open and fling Gorthonn Kaluta into deep space.''
''Well,if Gorthonn Kaluta's going into the Center of the planet,by Prince Thor Odenshield.''Phafnire Khonn mirthfully stated ''maybe he can say hello to Arnie Saknussem on the way down.'
Both Eric Darkwater and Phafnir Khonn gave out a big belly laugh.They both needed that laugh,especially after the last few days of turmoil.
''So you read Journey to the Center of the Earth ,too?
“'Hell,no I just saw that old movie.''
Once one in a feather mantle tried to halt it, and it smashed his skull and paused not an instant.
At last we burst into this temple, I closed upon the monster's heels with my sword raised for the death-cut. But Thor's blood! When it saw the old one standing by that altar, it gave one fearful howl and tore him to pieces and died itself, all in an instant, before I could reach it and strike."
Captain Eric Darkwater gazed at the huge formless thing. Looking directly at it, he could form no estimate of its nature. He got only a chaotic impression of great size and inhuman evil.It seemed almost simian like,but bits of the catlike Capronean humanoids,but only much more primative. Now it lay like a vast shadow blotched out on the marble floor. Surely black wings beating from moonless gulfs had hovered over its birth, and the grisly souls of nameless demons had gone into its being.
And now Princess Tameara Kaluta rushed from the dark corridor with Zomar and the guardsmen. And from outer doors and secret nooks came others silently--warriors, and priests in feathered mantles, until a great throng stood in the Temple of Darkness.
A fierce cry broke from the queen as she saw what had happened. Her eyes blazed terribly and she was gripped by a strange madness.
"At last!" she screamed, spurning the corpse of her arch-foe with her heel. "At last I am true mistress of Vhall Shakharr! The secrets of the hidden ways are mine now, and old Gorthonn Kaluta's beard is dabbled in his own blood!"
She flung her arms high in fearful triumph, and ran toward the grim idol, screaming exultant insults like a mad-woman. And at that instant the temple rocked! The colossal image swayed outward, and then pitched suddenly forward as a tall tower falls. Captain Eric Darkwater shouted and leaped forwarn
but even as he did, with a thunder like the bursting of a world, the god Ghorr Ghothrah crashed down upon the doomed woman, who stood frozen. The mighty image splintered into a thousand great fragments, blotting from the sight of men forever Atillanta, daughter of Rane Thorfin's son,
queen of Vhall Shakharr. From under the ruins there oozed a wide crimson stream.
Warriors and priests stood frozen, deafened by the crash of that fall, stunned by the weird catastrophe. An icy hand touched Captain Eric Darkwater's spine. Had that vast bulk been thrust over by the hand of a dead man? As it had rushed downward it had seemed to the Thuvian that the inhuman features had for an instant taken on the likeness of the dead Gorthonn Kaluta!
Now as all stood speechless, the acolyte Gsaw and seized his opportunity.
"Ghorr Ghothrah has spoken!" he screamed. "He has crushed the false goddess! She was but a wicked mortal! And these strangers, too, are mortal! See--he bleeds!"
The priest's finger stabbed at the dried blood on Captain Eric Darkwater's throat and a wild roar went up from the throng.The Thuvian Ranger began to regretted not killing this silly bastard earlier.But regrets would help Darkwater kill the opponent,now upon him. Dazed and bewildered by the swiftness and magnitude of the late events, they were like crazed wolves, ready to wipe out doubts and fear in a burst of bloodshed. Garft Kalutabounded at Captain Eric Darkwater, hatchet flashing, and a knife in the hand of a satellite licked into Zomar's back. Captain Eric Darkwater had not understood the shout, but he realized the air was tense with danger for Phafnire Khonn and himself. He met the leaping Garft Kaluta with a stroke that sheared through the waving plumes and the skull beneath, then half a dozen lances broke on his buckler and a rush of bodies swept him back against a great pillar. Then Phafnire Khonn , slow of thought, who had stood gaping for the flashing second it had taken this to transpire, awoke in a blast of awesome fury. With a deafening roar he swung his heavy sword in a mighty arc. The whistling blade whipped off a head, sheared through a torso and sank deep into a spinal column. The three corpses fell across each other and even in the madness of the strife, men cried out at the marvel of that single stroke.
But like a brown, blind tide of fury the maddened people of Vhall Shakharr rolled on their foes. The guardsmen of the dead queen, trapped in the press, died to a man without a chance to strike a blow. But the overthrow of the two white warriors was no such easy task. Back to back they smashed and smote; Phafnire Khonn 's sword was a thunderbolt of death; Captain Eric Darkwater's sword was lightning. Hedged close by a sea of snarling brown faces and flashing steel they hacked their way slowly toward a doorway. The very mass of the attackers hindered the warriors of Vhall Shakharr, for they had no space to guide their strokes, while the weapons of the seafarers kept a bloody ring clear in front of them.
Heaping a ghastly row of corpses as they went, the comrades slowly cut their way through the snarling press. The Temple of Shadows, witness of many a bloody deed, was flooded with gore spilled like a red sacrifice to her broken gods. The heavy weapons of the white fighters wrought fearful havoc among their naked, lighter-limbed foes, while their armor guarded their own lives. But their arms, legs and faces were cut and gashed by the frantically flying steel and it seemed the sheer number of their foes would overwhelm them ere they could reach the door.
Then they had reached it, and made desperate play until the brown warriors, no longer able to come upon them from all sides, drew back for a breathing-space, leaving a torn red heap before the threshold. And in that instant the two sprang back into the corridor and seizing the great brazen door, slammed it in the very faces of the warriors who leaped howling to prevent it. Phafnire Khonn , bracing his mighty legs, held it against their combined efforts until Captain Eric Darkwater had time to find and slip the bolt.
"Thor!" gasped the Vhaneirman, shaking the blood in a red shower from his face. "This is close play! What now, Captain Eric Darkwater?"
"Down the corridor, quick!" snapped the Thuvian, "before they come on us from this way and trap us like rats against this door. By Satan, the whole city must be roused! Hark to that roaring!"
In truth, as they raced down the shadowed corridor, it seemed to them that all Vhall Shakharr had burst into rebellion and civil war. From all sides came the clashing of steel, the shouts of men, and the screams of women, overshadowed by a hideous howling. A lurid glow became apparent down the corridor and then even as Captain Eric Darkwater, in the lead, rounded a corner and came out into an open courtyard, a vague figure leaped at him and a heavy weapon fell with unexpected force on his shield, almost felling him. But even as he staggered he struck back and the upper-spike on his sword sank under the heart of his attacker, who fell at his feet. In the glare that illumined all, Captain Eric Darkwater saw his victim differed from the brown warriors he had been fighting. This man was naked, powerfully muscled and of a copperish red rather than brown. The heavy animal-like jaw, the slanting low forehead showed none of the intelligence and refinement of the brown people, but only a brute ferocity. A heavy war-club, rudely carvedvehicle or vessel ved, lay beside him.
Darkwater found the city jail,where many of the Vhall Shakharr were keeping the men that captured prisoners,for possible interigations
"By Thor!" exclaimed Phafnire Khonn . "The city burns!"
Darkwater,’’Someone called down from long darkenned corridor.’’Darkwater.Over here.!It is you.’’
Eric Darkwater and Phafnire Khonn strutted down stygia hallway,toward the sound of voice.Through the billowing smoke,from outside and debris from the Subatall air fleet above,the Thuvian Ranger saw two figures locked within a burned transparisteel door.Several others seem to behind them,but neither Darkwater or the Vhanire could see who they.
‘’Captain Phafnire’’Someone call
‘’Captain John Michaels and First Mate Jake Wilson.’’Eric Darkwater called as soon made his toward the door.’’I see you still live.’’
‘’We do and your big here,has few friends of his own.’’ Captain Michaels said,as pointed to several figures behind Jake Wilson.
‘’Commander Longronn Thornblade .LtThorvile Thornblade .Lt.Darrick Braidenn.You still live.
“’We do all,but just barely.’’Commander Thornblade answered ‘’These dammed Vhall Shakharr tried to intergate us,but something,we couldn’t see call them away.’’
‘’We should have it was you and the Thuvian here,at the heart of it. LtThorvile Thornblade.’’
‘’Surturs hellfire follows you two everywhere.’’ Lt.Darrick Braidenn
Enough of this.Darkwater.’’Captain Michaels ‘’Get us the hell out of here.Surturs hellfire will be in here soon.
Eric Darkwater withdrew his small circindrical,pencil thing tool-a Sarcom Lockpick.The Thuvian Ranger activated the device and attempted overide and unlock the door.
‘’I’m sorry,Access denies.’’the computer voice answered.’’Please try again.’’
‘’No time to work the lock,Phaf.’’Eric Darkwater responded as he pocketted the pick back his vest pocket again.’’I suggest another alternitive.’’
‘’Blast it?’’the Vhanireman answered
Yeah,blast the dam thing.’’Darkwater stated.’’The dammed things old.It should spring lose once damaged.I hope.’’
“You hope ?’’Phafnire Khonn utter in surprise.
Darkwater withdrew his pistol,as did Phafnire Khonn.Their weapons spoke a few times as emptied a few plasma rounds into the celldoor lock.Sparks issues for the,like tiny firework.The door growned and a sudden hiss,the old portition suddenly spung open.Captain Micheals and the rest stood mystified,as small puffs of smoke waved passed from the burning lock.
Finally.’’Captain Michaels commented’’Now lets get the hell,by Thrull outta here.’’
Captain Eric Darkwater looked up as moved outside the jail. They were standing on a sort of raised courtyard from which broad steps led down into the streets and from this vantage point they had a plain view of the terrific end of Vhall Shakharr.
Flames leaped madly higher and higher, paling the moon,
and in the red glare tan figures ran to and fro, falling and dying like puppets dancing to the tune of the Black Gods. Through the roar of the flames and the crashing of falling walls cut screams of death and shrieks of ghastly triumph. The city was swarming with naked, copper-skinned devils who burned and ravished and butchered in one red carnivalvehicle or vessel nival of madness.
''The red men of the Subatall isles! ''Eric Darkater shouted'' By the thousands they had descended their great air ships.''
on the Isle of the Gods in the night, and whether stealth or treachery let them through the walls, the comrades never knew, but now they ravened through the corpse-strewn streets, glutting their blood-lust in holocaust and massacre wholesale.
Not all the gashed forms that lay in the crimson-running streets were brown; the people of the doomed city fought with desperate courage, but outnumbered and caught off guard, their courage was futile. The red men were like blood-hungry tigers.
"What ho, Captain Eric Darkwater!" shouted Phafnire Khonn , beard a-bristle, eyes ablaze as the madness of the scene fired a like passion in his own fierce soul. "The world ends! Let us into the thick of it and glut our steel before we die! Who shall we strike for--the red or the brown?"
"Steady!" snapped the Thuvian. "Either people would cut our throats. We must hack our way through to the gates, and the Devil take them all. We have no friends here. This way--down these stairs. Across the roofs in yonder direction I see the arch of a gate."
The comrades sprang down the stairs, gained the narrow street below and ran swiftly in the way Captain Eric Darkwater indicated. About them washed a red inundation of slaughter. A thick smoke veiled all now, and in the murk chaotic groups merged, writhed and scattered, littering the shattered flags with gory shapes. It was like a nightmare in which demoniac figures leaped and capered, looming suddenly in the fire-shot mist, vanishing as suddenly. The flames from each side of the streets shouldered each other, singeing the hair of the warriors as they ran. Roofs fell in with an awesome thunder and walls crashing into ruin filled the air with flying death. Men struck blindly from the smoke and the seafarers cut them down and never knew whether their skins were brown or red.
Now a new note rose in the cataclysmic horror. Blinded by the smoke, confused by the winding streets, the red men were trapped in the snare of their own making. Fire is impartial; it can burn the lighter as well as the intended victim; and a falling wall is blind. The red men abandoned their prey and ran howling to and fro like beasts, seeking escape; many, finding this futile, turned back in a last unreasoning storm of madness as a blinded tiger turns, and made their last moments of life a crimson burst of slaughter.
Captain Eric Darkwater, with the unerring sense of direction that comes to men who live the life of the wolf, ran toward the point where he knew an outer gate to be; yet in the windings of the streets and the screen of smoke, doubt assailed him. From the flame-shot murk in front of him a fearful scream rang out.
A naked girl reeled blindly into view and fell at Captain Eric Darkwater's feet, blood gushing from her mutilated breast. A howling, red-stained devil, close on her heels, jerked back her head and cut her throat, a fraction of a second before Captain Eric Darkwater's sword ripped the head from its shoulders and spun it grinning into the street.
And at that second a sudden wind shifted the writhing smoke and the comrades saw the open gateway ahead of them, a-swarm with red warriors. A fierce shout, a blasting rush, a mad instant of volcanic ferocity that littered the gateway with corpses, and they were through and racing down the slopes toward the distant forest and the beach beyond. Before them the sky was reddening for dawn; behind them rose the soul-shaking tumult of the doomed city.
Like hunted things they fled, seeking brief shelter among the many spaceport docking pit cluster from time to time, to avoid groups of savages who ran toward the city. The whole island seemed to be swarming with them; the chiefs must have drawn on all the isles within hundreds of miles for a raid of such magnitude. Eric Darkwater,saw one of the local Vhall Shakharrian Hover craft drifting aimlessly,near by hovering motionless,moored by a short tube.Outside,in the upper skies,could be seen the Great Airfleet of the Subattai,bombarding the streets of the city.Random blaster fire,shot back the Vhall Shakharr Anti Aircraft towers,trying to take gunners,hidden beneath tented roofs,disguised bamboo and palm tree branches,made to look more primative that they were.Darkwater’s heart drew glad.Now we had an even better chance to escape this city of the mad,that could rivil the one Argholus,city of these insane people,found within the Shaiton Paste,of the Eastern Arhoon Mountain.
Captain Eric Darkwater and * quickly loosed the ships fuelling/mooring tubes.’’Khonn,bring the girls.I’ll get the hatch open.’’
“’But Little Man,’’* bewildered.’’This maybe looked.’
Phaf,never might.If you know my handing of the art of stealth and theivery.’’Darkwater haulted and smiled at the big,goofy Vhanveir,as produce his Thuvian Combat Utilty Vest a small circindrical,pencil thing tool.’’I’ve taught by Time Sorcerers and Master Theives I’ve know to break in and out of anywhere and anything.’’
Oh.ok.One of those Illegal Theives Guild Anti Anti Theive Computer Lock Drivers.’’*’’You get that thing,I’ll get the girls.
‘’And Doctor Octopus can get the idol’’Darkwater,said silently,mismatching roles of a long ago character actor he couldn’t remembers name from the Terran Federation homeworld,he saw years back.
The device Eric Darkwater was using wasn’t an Illegal Theives Guild Anti Anti Theive Computer Lock Drivers.In actuality,it was a standard Shaitanus Data Com Star Ship sonic lock pen,designed seal up and unseal a cargo-/vehicle or vessel go/boarding door.With a bit of help the Theiving Guilds on Terra-Prime,the pen could be transformed into a sonic lockpick to manipulate,manuever and open anyones star ship,hover carvehicle or vessel door or hover craft gullwing doors.An expert,like Captain Eric Darkwater,was taught in teenage youth,can bypass all countermeasures places upon a doorlock.The pick pen gave off a series of tiny hums as it’s sounds bouyned off the doors sonic key holes and sonic pickup drivers.Darkwater didn’t do this for gain -well not exactly.He wanted to gain access to the lock,to gain not wearth,but survival.He didn’t about the ships owner.He couldn’t-shouldn’t think about that.To do so,would distract his mission.He needed to access his rogue part of himself.If not,he’d use-all of his friends might use.Darkwater couldn’t think any of this.The right or wronge of this.He only drove at his work and hoped the Lords of Light would approve and smile at his efforts.
Date read outs on his visors read things like’’this is an A1 Top of the line Shaitanus Data Com Supernet Galaxy Class Hover Craft Lock.Access denied.Please try again.You sonic access code dose not register with our account.’’Darkwater thought,that because your an idiot and don’t have an account with users seal up lock.’’Please...please...try again.’’The Thuvian tried again.Don’tCommander Khonn’t look at the silly read out-work the lock,he thought.Again,the Ranger adjusted the locks computer memmory.
“”Lets try a bit of confusing data.’’’Darkwater whispered.The Ranger knew how to overide-reprint new data into the locks simple memory Seraphean Icolinear chips.Especially,the not so top of the line junk,brought to cheapskate everywhere by the House of Shaitanus.The Temporal Cold was fought,not simply across wolds or interstellar space,but across company lines and across an interstellar temporal holo communications network
Hello...this an A1 Top of the line Shaitanus Data Com Supernet Galaxy Class Hover Craft Lock.’’the lock responded.’’Wait. Shaitanus Data Com has detected a Shaitanus anti virus probe.
No shit Shaitanus Data Com.’’Darkwater greened’’Just as good as your Shaitanus Data Com Supernet Galaxy Class holo data.Inother,what out here call A1 Shaitanus shitnet.
A1 Top of the line Shaitanus Data Com Supernet Galaxy Class Hover Craft Lock.No,wait.reload.
Data overide.Data overide.
No.waitting.Just a momment.Just a momment. Shaitanus Data Com had found a problem and must shut down.Rebootting.Thank You.
The Shaitanus Data Com already exist.Would you like your new data saved ?it asked
‘’No,i just pushing bottens for fun,genius;’’Darkwater smirted.No delette.Overide’’
Rebootting with no data stream. Shaitanus Data Com lost.
Would you like to install a new program
‘’Yes’’,Eric Darkwater responded again
Rebootting with Sarcom Data net Data Com .Rebootting.Rebootting.Rebootting.
Hello,welcome back.Your account has saved.the lock stated.
“Bravo.’’Eric Darkwater responded’’Dumass.he added.He adjusted the locks new data stream to overiding piggyback Theives Guild Junk Data Program.The port now was loaded with a series of old holo movie data questions,that would give total access to the lock system.
‘’Would you like to have me sign daisey.’’the locked asked again.
Yes,I’m would Hal the sonic pick respounded.Access One Open.
Would you like to play a game of Thermo Nuclear War.?
‘’Yes,I would the lock pick data port responded. Access Two open.
Who said Gort.Da clatto glasco?Gort Baratta Nito Klaatoo?’’
Michael Renies Father the lock pick data port responded. Access Three open..
ok.access accepted.the lock stated.
% smiled.Not matter what.No matter how complex,they created conplex a lock system,simple lock of tumblers or dials,simple computers or artificial intelligences,the thing could be overided,tricked and change.
And Captain Eric Darkwater,stood up as the ships gull wing raised.
‘’Little Man.got the girls *stated
And I got the ship’’Darkwater stated smilingand turned around pocketing his small.silver pen tool.’’Gentlemen,Ladies.right this way.’’The Ranger gestured toward the crafts inside cockit and passengers area.
“”I think you just like yelling at silly,AI software,lilltle man.’’
climbed into the co pilot seat and Darkwater followed,seatting himself into the pilot seat.Brenda Thornson and Atillanta O’’Brien seatted thenselves in the back.The Thuvian Highlander adjusted the hover crafts holo rearveiwer,just cented between the two pilots,on the overhead dashboard.Images of the women flickered by,with other images of the battle filled sky behind their craft.
‘’So,buddy* asked’’How’d you get access to the ship?
Well,buddy.% responded’’You know I’ve hung around theives and time wizards.You get to know how overide and rewrite data.
Well,lets hope these steeling wheel columbs don’t hacking.
With that the two warrior pulled back upon the hover craft yokes.* adjusted his move sideways,as% moved his control upwards,The small Vhall Shakharr hover ship mover turned and ship backwards,Soon it took off.
And at last the comrades reached the strip of stilling remainning dock pit clusters, and breathed deeply as they came to the center of the ring cluster. Resting in the middle of the huge hole is a large,
round, beat-up, pieced-together hunk of junk that could only loosely be called a airship.The ship,was the partial remains of Phafnire Khonn’s old air traveler the HMSS Blackhawk-refitted with new,larger paragravity engines.Whoever did the work,do so fast.Ship mechanics and engineers must have learned to strip down and ship ,then rebuild her.,Like in a common vehicle chop shop.I’ve known a few of them among the Highlands of Thuvia,until the Emporer put a stop to many of them.
In motor vehicle theft, a star ship/air ship chop shop is a location or business which disassembles stolen automobiles for the purpose of selling them as parts or rebuilding into new ships. Killswitches, Immobilisers,such as Isolinear dogtags,worn by many soldiers and pilots,keyed their DNA and Personal Activety Codes prevent the thieves,but those given time can be
Stolen vehicles are sold in foreign countries for several reasons,that cannot be traced easy on the Black Market. In certain underdeveloped countries, there are often fewer rules and less enforcement of laws pertaining to plates and title paperwork, so the vehicle or vessel is less likely to be noticed.Pagea is a big place and Terra-Prime even bigger. Criminals are also hopeful that there is little incentive on the part of the victim to search in other countries, as even if the vehicle or vessel is found, recovery may cost more in (detective searches, legal, and transportation fees) than the vehicle or vessel is actually worth. This is especially true if the stolen vehicle or vessel is of lesser value. A chop shop must be able to take apart a vehicle or vessel without damaging the parts and keep them organized. Time is of the essence:with most thieves,and that’s what this is theift- more vehicle or vessel processed equals higher profits. There is no advantage to a large inventory, as it can be done more efficiently in a "JIT" ,known as Just In Time manner by asking a thief only when vehicle or vessel are needed.
Late model vehicle or vessel often have sophisticated anti-theft devices, requiring sophisticated measures to defeat them.I know, For the vehicle or vessel thief, the difficulty in bypassing these security features may be nearly impossible or too time consuming. Most vehicle or vessel equipped with these systems are either stolen while the keys are still in the ignition – mostly from owner negligence at a service station –or docking pit garrage or towed away by "sneaker" tow trucks or tow ships.
Advanced vehicle or vessel theft "rings" have the knowledge and equipment needed to bypass this security. For instance, on vehicle or vessel equipped with RF or Radio frequency transmitters inside of the key, the RF transmitter ID must match the security module and the engine computer. So, not only does the physical key cut have to match, the RF transmitter has to match as well. To get around this, some "rings" establish relationships with vehicle or vessel dealers and get vehicle or vessel keys cut by VIN directly from the dealer themselves. Other methods are to have multiple pre-cut keys to try and code scanners for RF based systems. There may be many hidden places on the vehicle or vessel where the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) is stamped. The chop shop will likely be more familiar with these devices.
In many parts, buying accident crashed vehicle or vessel in auction and selling the vehicle or vessel with new fitted parts is called vehicle or vessel rebirthing.
Eric Darkwater and Phafnire Khonn found it abandoned save for a number of various air ships,stilling their docking bays,being ready to fly-still attatched their fuel pump stationd,each to the left.The Thuvian Highlander recognized one at the far end of the cluster,by its numeral markings and docking pit symbols.Docking Pit No 4.HX 2827.If the Thuvian Ranger was right,it was the one being made ready for flight days earlier.
Phafnire Khonn sat down and gasped for breath. "Thor's blood! What now? What may we do but hide in these burning ruins until those red devils hunt us out?"
“”No,pal.I got an idea''Dartkwater answered.''I got an idea.Follow me''.
The two scrambled toward the piticular docking bay Princess Princess Tameara Kaluta 4.Eric Darkwater stood before one side of the great Atlantium Steel door's left side and Phafnire Khonn oppiste him on the right side of the openning.The big scarletsvehicle or vessel let haired Vhaneirman peered into along with the Thuvian Ranger.The women held back,waitting for the two men went on
"Ho!" Phafnire Khonn leaped erect, pointing. "Thor's blood, that ship...still docked at it's hangar pit.''
''And ungaurded.too.''The Thuvian Ranger commented''The Maintaince must have fled.along with mechanics.''
‘’You recognize her.?
She,by Heimdall fimiliar.It looks like my old ship.I recognize her tail markings.Even if they tried to disguise with holo paint.’’
“”Lucky for us.''Phaneer added''I think.Getting into might too difficult.Perhaps,if could find a sub shuutle...get out that way.''
"No,Good buddy.We take that ship." snapped Captain Eric Darkwater.''It's our only chance.''
“That ship,Little Man?''the big Vhaneer shoot back.''Why,it's old.It might not even get off the ground?''
''No.freind.''Darkwater respounded''It's an old,Type 40 Air Ship.A Corvaillian Air Traveller-similar to the newer Type 40 Air Ship,Corsaillian Class Air Traveller made some 1 Sarcom Data net years later..
The two swordmen,with two females behind approached docking door,as another explosion shook the city,way somwhere in the distance.
''What are you doing?''Phafnire Khonn
Captain Eric Darkwater
''We'll take our chances out upon on the open skies--"
"Ho!" Phafnire Khonn leaped erect, pointing. "Thor's blood, a ship!"
The sun was just up, gleaming like a great golden coin on the sea-rim. And limned in the sun swam a tall, high-pooped craft.
The comrades moved into the semi desserted docking pit,only guarded by two sentries. Darkwater and Phafnire Khonn withdrew their plasma blaster pistols and both fired one round of the tiny plasma balls into the backs of the unsuspecting guards , shouting and waving their oars to attract the attention of the crew. Powerful muscles of the Vhanirman picked up two sentries and tossed their bodies to the side away the air ships forward boarding ramp, and it was not long before they stood before ship docking hatch open and allowed them to come inside the vessels vast cargo-vehicle or vessel go hold. Darken-faced men, clad in battle armor,quickly moved through the bay and onto the lower pilot cockpit-one of two,being their was a upper version,just opposite this,upon the air-travellers top deck.
Four heavily-armed Imperial -Delkhon Doomknight storm ,along with several other VhallstormVhall Shakharr Trooperss stalked menacingly along a narrow slum alleyway that once the crowed with darkly clad creatures hawking
exotic goods in the dingy little stalls.Now Men, monsters, and
robots crouch fearfully in the waste-filled doorways, whispering and
hiding from the hot winds,as huge air ships above bombarded the streets with daylight bombing attacks,now that the Vhal Shakharr Weather Machines nolonger protected the island group.
The half-dozen Imperial -Delkhon Doomknight stormVhall Shakharr Trooperss at a check point hear the general
alarm and look to the sky as the huge airship rises above the
dingy slum dwellings and quickly disappears into the morning
sky. Darkwater frantically types information into the ship's computer.Several images flash upon the screen,showing different skull like insignias-Kalladon Star Pirate Skull,Gorthan Star Pirates Skull,six sword behind it and silver blue wings.
‘’Phaf.Got it.’’Darkwater shouted.’’Now,unplug the fuel lines outside.Be back in a second.’’
“Little Man…you got what?What are you doing?’’the giant Vhanirman cursed
‘’Manuever 24.’’the Thuvian Ranger called out,as he exited the pilot seat.
‘’ ’Manuever 24?What the hell in Braghalli’s name ’Manuever 24?’’
‘’Evade detection by the enemy.’’Darkwater shouted as exited the air traveler hatchway’’….an old Thuvian Highlanders trick.’’
INTERIOR: of the air traveller’s MAIN HALLWAY stood .
The awesome,seven-foot-tall Dark - warrior makes his way into the blinding light of the main passageway of .
This was Warlord Vertarax, right hand of the Emperor. His face is obscured
by his flowing black robes and grotesque breath mask, which Imperial stormtroopers. Everyone instinctively backs
the imposing warrior and a deathly quiet sweeps through the Rebel troops. Several of the Rebel troops break and
run in a
INTERIOR: air traveller
EXTERIOR: DOCKING PORT ENTRY -- ALLEYWAY.
Phafnire Khonn waits restlessly at the entrance to Docking Bay 94.
Ben, Luke, and the robots make their way up the street.
194.He punches several holo images on several screens above.Phafnire Khonn jabbers excitedly and signals for them to hurry. The
darkly clad creature has followed them from the speeder lot.
He stops in a nearby doorway and speaks into a small
INTERIOR: MOS EISLEY SPACEPORT -- DOCKING BAY 94
ChewbaccaInsideInside the Maul Whowhee Docking Pitt 1194
Phafnire Khonn leads the group into a giant dirt pit that is Docking
Bay 94194194. Resting in the middle of the huge hole is a large,
round, beat-up, pieced-together hunk of junk that could onlyloosely be called an airship.Air Traveller B-17 Flying Fortress is a fictional lighter than aircraft,that uses a revolutionary type of anti-gravity drive system,to lighten the ships overall weight to keep it afloat,similar to a common zepplin or baloon.The difference beween an air raveller class air ship and a zepplin,is the air raveller,uses design space as a star palace saucer shaped ship and propelled by paragravity repulsor propulsion nacelle engines.
The original ship,had hastily modified by Vhall Shakharrian mechanics.Her original Repulsor Paragravity Drive two long cigar shaped turbo jet like propulsion engine,with a series of four fin like projections at one aft end and huge,semi bell shaped intake collector of the original vessel was slightly modified, an Atlantean-looking curved backlit cowling. with a large star ship Bussard Collector,for reasons Eric Darkwatter was not sure.Perhaps it was some madman of an engineers attempt to improve the overall design or perhaps,it was all he or she had left to work,among the remains of a billion wrecked air ship and star ship,that sat the skeleton remain behind the Great Docking Pit Cluster,like some ghost fleet of Vhall Shakharrs once great navy.
Slightly ahead of those great propulsion engine was the main section of the air ship.It purposely resembled the Atlantean Star Palace designs,in I was the air ttraveller class,that inspired those great star ships shape in the first place and not the other way around as some thought.The great saucer shaped Command Section,was the same as always,but the top section,that resembled a vast air filled landing party raft,was much larger than before and billowed up higher and over the port and starport sections of the lower vessel.
Gantries towers,to be used as cargo hauling lifters,were strung between the upper and lower Command Sections rim.Four smaller Paragravity Drive Engines,that resembled the old style hover jet turbo engine of vessels like the ancient Osprey cargo trooper jet craft,were imbedded between theis cargo lifters.
The vessel was placed inside a three towerlike ganry,called a landing platform.The ship rested in among this structures middle gantry platform,like a big goose siting within It’s nest,laying upon its eggs.
Atillanta What a piece of junk.I hope she make outta pitt
The tall figure of Eric Darkwater comes down the boarding ramp,checking various components of the airship.
DARKWATER: She'llI’mI’m she'll make point five beyond the speed of lightislandisland rim. She may not
look like much, but hopely she's got it where it counts, kid...
‘’Little Man-hurry it up.We don’t time in the middle of an air raid,to go through a therough ship check
I've added some
special modifications myself.
Luke scratches his head. It's obvious he isn't sure about
all this. Chewbacca rushes up the ramp and urges the others to.. Phafnire Khonn ‘’Little Man..Eric.We got activety outside the bay
We're a little rushed, so if you'll hurry aboard
‘’Coming…done out here.Fire her up.’’The Thuvian speaks into his wrist chrometer comlink.0 400 hours.Time to hall jets and get out of
The group Dodge City.Whatever Dodge City,that was.Terra-Prime had several thousand around the sphere-three within the Great Pangean Crescent Lands.One along the eastern Ghammerand Coast,one outside the Lankmearean Province and one along the Ghanimear Wilderness.And not forget the one within the Northern Almerhann Kingdoms.
The ranger rushes up the gang plank, passing a grinning Darkwater
INTERIOR: MILLENNIUM FALCON.
Chewbacca settles,just as huge Docking Doors behind him still swing open.The ranger turns to see several hulking armored forms move into the bay.
INTERIOR: HMSS BLACKHAWK
Phafnire Khonn settled into the co- pilot's chair and starts the mighty
engines of the airship.
INTERIOR: MOS EISLEYMAULMAUL WHOWHEE SPACEPORT -- DOCKING BAY 94.
Luke, Ben, Threepio, and Artoo move toward the Millennium
Falcon passing Solo.
THREEPIO: Hello, sir.194.
EXTERIOR: TATOOINE -- MOS EISLEY VHALL SHAKHARR VHALL SHAKHARR TROOPERSS -- MAUL WHOWHEE-- STREET.
Eight Imperial stormtroopersImperial -Imperial Delkhon Doomknight stormVhall Shakharr Trooperss rush up to the darkly clad
TROOPERVHALLVHALL SHAKHARR TROOPERS: Which way?
The darkly clad creature points to the door of the docking
TROOPERVHALLVHALL SHAKHARR TROOPERS: All right, men. Load your weapons!
INTERIOR: MOS EISLEY SPACEPORTMAULMAUL WHOWHEESPACEPORT -- DOCKING BAY 94194194.
The troops hold their guns at the ready and charge down the
docking bay entrance.
TROOPERTheyThey moved passed great looming Siren palm bushes,signing their earie
Music.The palms suddenly haulted in their coruss,as the troops came to close to their defense perimeter.The Vhall Shakharrean soldiers ignored them as they did so.Vhall Shakharr troopers were trained to ignor anything,except their opjectives.Some thought,this made them as near braindead as the Ky’Vhann Startroopers,only left ugley.
VHALL SHAKHARR TROOPERS: Stop that ship!
Eric Darkwater looks up and sees the Imperial stormtroopersImperial -Imperial Delkhon Doomknight storm Vhall Shakharr Trooperss
rushing into the docking bay. Several of the troopersVhallVhall Shakharr Trooperss fire jerkedly at
Darkwater as he ducks into the spaceship.
TROOPERTheThe plasma balls miss him by mear inches,being the Andronikhan encased in -Delkhon Armor reaction time in slower than a humans.
VHALL SHAKHARR TROOPERS: Blast 'em!’’the leed -Delkhon Doomknight ordered
Darkwater draws his laserblaserblaser pistol and pops off a couple of shots into the surrounding areas about the Troopers.
which force the stormtroopersImperial -Imperial Delkhon Doomknight stormVhall Shakharr Trooperss to dive for safety. The
pirateship engines whine as Darkwater hits the release button that
slams the overhead entry shut.
INTERIOR: MILLENNIUM FALCON.HMSS BLACKHAWK
DARKWATER: ChewiePhafnirePhafnire Khonn , get us out of here!
The group straps in We got company.’’ DARKWATER screamed ‘’ Take off…take off.’’
‘’I hear ya.I hear ya.you don’t have to tell me twice Little man.’’ Phafnire Khonn barked back.’’Straps yourselves .Here we go.
The group moves into their seats ready for take off.Eric Darkwater quickly sits into his pilots seat,strapping in his gravity harness-a paragravity based device that could lowered the users weight and effects to gravity forces.
‘’Seise fire.I repete ’Seise fire.’’ Doomknight commands.Gyshers of flames erupt in front of them,obscuring their visors.The landscape is a sudden inferno all around the docking pit cluster. Doomknight look about as the landscape about the docking pit,is filled gyshers of flame
Inside the Air-Traveller-cockpit,Captain Eric Darkwater and Phafnire Khonn quickly attempt to operate several controls upon their navigation helm stations.Overhead,one of the panels pops,with a small barrage of sparks.
‘’Phaf,switch over.this bucket of bolts seems to be full of juryrigged systems’’Darkwater shouts.Quicly,the Vhaineirman flips a series of controls,on a panel saying auxiliary power reserves.
‘’She’s shaking like a Bandaloonean Grey,with nothing but underwear in midwinter on a Vhanaheim Tundra.’’Phafnire Khoon comments
‘’What?’’Eric Darkwater smiles.’’Ok,enough hometown gossip.’’
Commander Khonn is at the co-pilots seat,operating several controls,that help maintain lift off from the docking pit gantry.. Brenda Thornson strapped into the chair ,just behind the co-pilot's chair.Brenda Thornson stares a beat out the window,as huge gantry towers move downward,as the aitr ship rises.Suddenly,the pit towers begin to shudder. The power indicators flashe across the helm dashboard that the paragravity drive is online,Downlard the drive lights begins to glow,inside the lower engine room. diodes spinning. The landing struts outside retract,as The Air-Traveller begins to rise.But the air ship begins to lift upward slowly,but the sauser ship begins lerch upward and the downward,as the three upper gantry towers refuse to move out of the vessels way.
‘’Thrull Khonn’s demons.!Were locked in.Somethings wronge’’Eric Darkwater shouts.
‘’Boys.I think we should get out of here’’Brenda Thornson’’I think their bombarding to close to our location.
‘’What do you think,were trying to do,little lady.’’ Commander Phafnire Khonn shoots back.
Darkwater sees a small fuel indicator,to his lower right on the Navigation panel.The light flashes ‘’ Warning;embilical tubes still connect’’
‘’Phaf.The embilical tubes still connect.’’Darkwater interupts’’Antillana.See the panel beside you-to your right.?.the one saying auto dissengage fuel line’’
‘’Oh.ok.I see it’’ Antillana responds
‘’Punch it,baby.That should unhook it.’’Eric Darkwater
Outside,the The embilical fuel tubes suddenly pops off and the remaining fuel slashes all over the underside of the air travelers outer hull.Downward one of the Imperial -Delkhon stairs upward,as the big,fuel line whitheres like a snake,spitting fuel like venum all obout the gantry.Down below,the Vhall Shakkar troopers find themselves under a downpour of brown liquide fuel.
Commander Khonn hits the engine switch. The.mighty generators begin to come into life,as the ships great paragravity begin to power up.Huge arches of light begin
Glow about the massive power core.The engine room begins to shake,as the lower decks lose weight.Outside,the overall exterior hull
Begins to give off an earie glow,making appear almost like a ghost like phantom.The saucer shaped vessel takes on one of those
old unidentified flying objects,of ancient Terran space legends.About through clouds of steam and smoke,the big air craft appears to
give way and suddenly jettison itself upward away from the docking it.An earie banshee like whail can be heard,as the Paragravity
glow screams outward from the drives lower engines.The paragravity drive at the base of the saucer explodes in a glow of photons,
as the ship is enveloped in a glowing blister. the giant craft trembling, straining as it towards the sky.
EXT. Vhall Shakharr - Docking Bay Spaceport- STREETS
The half-dozen stormtroopers at a check point hear the general alarm and look to the sky as the last of a huge airship rises above
the dingy slum dwellings and quickly disappears into the morning sky.Many of them are too slow to act,thinking this is just another
stolen,air ship,whick makes up the majority of the New Blacksheep Air Ship Squadron.
‘’This is the Vhall Shakharr Air/Space Traffic Conrol ower.’’a voice suddenly called itself up he HMSS Blackhawks com sysem’’Please give
us your regisraion number and flight navigation path.’’
‘’We have no registration number or flight pah.’’Captain Darkwater answered’’This is an emergency ake off.’’
‘’Please repete.’’the voice responded’’Give your name and air ship designation.
Great Eric Darkwater knew he was in trouble now.No way was he going to give out his real name and the name of the ship.The
Thuvian knew he needed to buy some time,as the Blackhawk moved away from the city docking hangar pi cluster.Wha was he name
He and broher used o fool,the local police who wanted his real name?Oh,yeah,Jim Dunsell.Darkwater pushed the hand comlink mike’s control
to onagain to on
‘’This Captain James Tiberious Dunsell,at your command of the HMSS Enterprise.’’Darkwater answered.’’We are on an emergency
Mission to shuttle wounded to the mjhuuu hospital.Please do delay us.We wounded here.Captain Tuttle here is bleeding from….a
…seeping head wound…when his grenade accindtly when off his his helmet.’’
‘’Shhh.I’m making this crap as a go along.’’Darkwater cut off the intercom mike for a second.’’Don’t expect Spakespear,ok?’’
‘’Captain Who ?What?’’the intercom voiced asked
‘’No,Captain Tuttle.And it’s not Captain Who,we have aboard with,but Doctor Who.With Nurse What-ah Whattit.’’
‘’All six of them.William ,Patrick,Jon,Tom,David and Sylveser.’’Antillanta O’Brien cut in.
‘’Who is that?’’
‘’My nurse Medical Assistant..Miss Dellila Goodbody.’’
‘’We still have no exact flight plan.Could give us those co-ordinates.’’
‘’You do not have authorization.’
rization to take this ship.Repete.’’a voice echoed through the ships intercom system from Vhall Shakharr
Spaceport control tower.
You do not have authorization to take this ship.
Come back.Come back.’’
‘’No,sorry Charlie.maybe next time.’’
Inside tthe Air-Traveller- COCKPIT
Captain Eric Darkwater inhis the pilot's chair next to Commander Phafnire Khonn, who chatters away as he points to something on the radar scope.
EXT. SPACE - PLANET Vhall Shakharr
The Corvellian pirateship zooms from Tatooine into space.
INT. Air-Traveller- COCKPIT
Captain Eric Darkwater frantically types information into the ship's computer.
Little Artoo appears momentarily at the cockpit doorway,
makes a few beeping remarks, then scurries away.
Little buddy.I got several blips surrounding us and a few behind.’’
‘’Easy.Were among friends-so far.
It looks like an Imperial cruiser.
. Try and hold them off. Angle
the deflector shield while I make
the calculations for the jump to
EXT. SPACE - island of Vhall Shakharr
The Blackhawkpirateship races away from the yellow
island of , Tatooine. It is followed by two huge Imperial
INT. Air-Traveller- COCKPIT
Over the shoulders of Commander Phafnire Khonn and Captain Eric Darkwater, we can see the galaxy
spread before them.Brenda ThornsonandAntillaina O’Neil are busy at their the
cramped cockpit where Captain Eric Darkwater continues his calculation. Antillaina O’Neil puts her hand up to her Sarcom Earlink as she trying to listen to something coming over her ship to ship communications relay.
‘’Guys.The enemy fleet might be on to us.Reports of the Docking Pitt activety have gotten to the Shakharr air forces.
Stay sharp! There are two more coming
in; they're going to try to cut us
Antillaina O’Neil ‘’Why don't you outrun them? I thought you said this thing was fast.’’
Watch your mouth, kid, or you're going to find yourself floating home. We'll be safe enough once we make
the jump to hyperspace. Besides, I know a few maneuvers. We'll lose them!
Above he docking pit of the Great Island,two Vhall Shakharr Imperial cruisers stair as the pirateship,lifts off suddenly.
They not so amazed.as the great craft assends into the dark skies of Vhall Shakharr,among a fleet of other similar vessels flying above
A scenario of carnage.One of the troopers produces a utility belt comlink and reports the ship to the near by air traffic control tower
Jutting like a huge monolithic stalagmite in the near by distance.
Inside the . Air-Traveller- cockpit the ship shudders as an explosion flashes outside the window.Eric Darkwater,attempts to adjust
Darkwater Here's where the fun begins!
CHAPTER 23: Escape Velocity
The ship rocks as land masses on all sides begin to give way.
ERIC DARKWATER’’Engaging primary thrusters. Now!
The power drive begins to glow, diodes spinning. The landing struts Retract,as The Air-Traveller begins to rise.
INT.- AIR-TRAVELLER-ENGINE ROOM-INSERTION ARM-FUTURE CONTROL CONSOLE-CLOSE. The core material in sinking fast. John moves
towards it when something on the gantry catches his eye.
JOHN-POV. The cylinder has completely sunken into the machine
The core.Will turns in time to see the core cylinder sink into the control panel, the laser exploding in intensity below them as it drains the
THE LASER-CLOSE. Reaches full power. The image in the time pool stabilizes, becoming clear.
PAN UP. Through a torn hole in the hull and a glowing rip in space, the Air-Traveller is rising into the flame ravaged sky.
‘’The ship is shaking badly.’’ ERIC DARKWATER‘’We're not getting any altitude.’’
‘’Worse,look.’’Phafnire Khonn punches up a series of holographic displays around the cockpit console.Several images pop up,showing
Images of the air ships exterior.
EXT.- AIR-TRAVELLER-hovers over a huge area of the Vhall Shakharr Docking Bay Cluster,as several other air ships lift off about them.One of them,being piloted by
The fire Geyshers explode from the pits,creating huge plumbs of volcano like mushrooms, giant chunks of the planet's surface now
falling away beneath them. A huge spew of flame rages from the fire-
pocked surface, hitting the bull of the tiny craft as slerved and tipped about them
Brenda Thornson was at navigation, frantically enhance the stabilizers at her Operations management.Behind,in the Command
Bridge area XXXXXX was trying to keep the paragravity drive stable itself.Whoever had fixed the drive,did a grabbastic Rubbin
Goldberb job of mixing various systems,from the two different air ship drive engine-some nott so compatable with the other
older Mark 13 types,with more advanced Mark 14 and Mark 15 upgrades.The ship Winsted and shuddered as the paragravity grow
around the vessels exterior gave it’s bright photonic display,fluxuating from a deep saucer glow to a dull one and back again.The
distinctive paragravity hum pulsated back and for the from low to high along with those fluxuattting photonic displays.
“I’m getting green from the crew.’’BRENDAI'm reading a power build up.Markers in the red-wait.
Suddenly the panel EXPLODES, sending xxxxx backward,in his seat.His gravity harness protecting from any serious burns,as the
Blast pushed himself and the chair away from the panel.
Outside the great AIR-TRAVELLER-PRESENT The ground is breaking up,as huge chunks of rock and dir exploed upward
,Huge mini Valcano eruption sprouted up from the jungle areas below,tairring up vast amounts of foliage.Palm trees erupted in flames
And fell into an endless fiery abyss below each newly made earthquake cravass.
Blackhawk Not enough power to make a proper lif off.’’Captain Darkwater shoutted’’We going back down,blast Thrull Khonn will.’’
EXT.- AIR-TRAVELLER-DAY-PRES ENTAnother firestorm. A flame geyser hits the ship. Then another.
INT.- AIR-TRAVELLER-PRESENT Control panels all around the ship begin to SLOW. The main screen is
hit by a flying chunk of rock. The giant glass begins to crack.
ERIC DARKWATER to Brenda Thornson
Outside the great AIR-TRAVELLER-
"Subatalians," muttered Phafnire Khonn . "If they recognize me, I had better stayed on the island!"
“”Don’t worry,big guy.’’Darkwater smiled.’’I’ll voulch for you.You were working me on behalf of Princess Sojat.’’
‘’They hang me for sure.’’ muttered Phafnire Khonn
Who hangs people anyway?’’ ’’Darkwater smiled.
The Subatall government for one?’’ muttered Phafnire Khonn
No,no.no.They just shoot traiters and enemies on sight. ’’Darkwater smiled.
‘’Actually,I think that in Arcadia,at the current time muttered Phafnire Khonn
Actually,they don’t.Not many within the confines of the Pangean world.Well,not anyone allied with the Empiror.’’
“”Though,I hear the TyRhainians have been to cut an enemies throught on sight those emp boomorang things,they use.’’Atillanta snirked`
But the stawart warriors had run into the desserted star ship and clambered up the aft boarding ramp without hesitation.The air traveller cargo- hatch was open,as if the air ship mechanics fled without closing it.
‘’For Loki’s sake,Little Man.’’Phafnire roared.’’We are in luck.It seems,this my old-much of it anyway.’’
‘’And parts of the ship we were on.
‘’The ignition key works,’’ Darkwater.
Behind the air-traveller was a huge fleet of Vhall Shakharr air ships gaining upon Darkwaters own air craft.In minutes,they would upon the craft.Hundreds of hastily rebuilt air travelers of different class –from the Titan Hybrid Ultra Large rogue tramp freighter Aircraft or HULRFA’s,often simply called Air Travellers,after the first manuafacturer Sarkhon Aircraft,that first introduced this type of air ship,eons ago on the homeworld of Atlantis.Various types,have suffaced across the myad worldlines,under companies such Sarkhon Aitcraft,Fate Aircraft ,Willkenson/Masterson Aircraft ,were painted Kalladon style,with all sorts of indentification war paint,from
Different House Clans of Vhall Shakharr.Scarlet paint might be great circles,intertwingled with each other,representing the house ofwhile others had large crisscrossed hatchmarks.
Before them a huge air traveller fleet loomed.Hundreds of similar air ships floatted.Below,was a fleet of grey battleships followed.They carried,Darkwater and Khonn could tell,from the banners frying high upon high golden poles,was that of the Great Subatall Navy.Suddenly,a large air ship moved between the fleet and HMSS Blackhawk.
and the two wanderers fronted images upon their holo screen a lean faced handman ,blonde haired fellow,whose armor was that of a knight of As. He spoke to them in Terran english and Captain Eric Darkwater recognized at once.He was answered him, for the Thuvian, like many of his race, was a natural linguist and had wandered far and spoken many tongues.
Admirel Carson Jones,’’Eric Darkwater stated smilling’’How do find yourself such an unfortunate area.
Yes,I am Admirel Carson Jones of Castile and this ship, the HMSS Gray Falcon, is one of a fleet that sailed with the Subatall Corsairs.
Carson Jones,if one does not know,was a Pangean,from Anaheim whose air traveller crash among the Subatall Island group some ten years ago,along his co-pilot Indiana Smith.Commander Smith-the Gemonean of dark hair and red skin,raised among the Great Southern Gemonesse Desserts of Pangea.Smith,could take anyone and anything across that arid land.And it was one mission to guard a Thuvian Ranger mission,that the Gemon,rescued one Carson Jones,from an enemy Gemon tribe.Carson,had attempted leed a Thuvian Calvery squade,into Whallicalli Pass,on a scoutting mission.Captain Carson Jones and men got cought in ambash,and he himself taken prisoner,after a feirce battle.Carson Jones and Indianna Smith,managed escape,crossing back toward the Fort Greyson.Once there,they both desided,once out of service,with the Rangers,to go into partnership of themselves,fighting cargo- with air traveller across one end of the Pangean Crescent Lands to another.And it one such despirate,darring mission across the South Seas ,found themselves where are now,for the last few years.
In a few words the blonde Pangean told their story of how crossed the great seas,along the air traveller fleet and sea ships,battling sea monster and sea beast,along the way.They explained how the Empiror Toreus Rhann,Senior wanted to sure his secret agents,would purish upon the Vhall Shakharr Islands.
‘’Well,you have friends in high place,Captain Darkwater’’Jones responded.’’Once mission completed,we of the Su Batall Navy,once fighting our place the enemy force,to look after you.
“What Jones,here is saying Commander Indiana Smith cut in,’’Was to make your asses,didn’t purrish upon that dammed island.’’
On another veiwer,Darkwater and * could see a great pillar of smoke which now rolled upward in the morning air from the isle.The rest of the vast fleet surrounded much of the Capital Island.
"Tell him there is a king's ransom for the taking," put in Phafnire Khonn . "Tell of the silver gates, Captain Eric Darkwater."
But when the Thuvian spoke of the vast loot in the doomed city, the commander shook his head.
"Good sir, we have not time to secure it,’’a elder grey templed man spoke,on yet another holo veiwer.He wore an eye patch of his left eye,just above a grey turdle neck sweater’’ nor men to waste in the taking.
Eric Darkwater recognized the man.He was the same man,that thought earlier.
“Professor Vincent I presume.’’the Thuvian spoke.’’
"Tell him there is a king's ransom for the taking," put in Phafnire Khonn . "Tell of the silver gates, Captain Eric Darkwater."
But when the Thuvian spoke of the vast loot in the doomed city, the commander shook his head.
‘’ Those red fiends you describe would hardly give up anything’’--though useless to them--without a fierce battle and neither my time nor my force is mine.
Some days agone we were separated from the rest of the fleet in a sea skirmish and the tempest blew us far off our course.
We are even now beating back to rejoin the fleet if we can find it
We serve Gods and Kings of the Subatall.’’Indianna Smith commanded ‘’we can no longer halt for mere dross as you suggest.
But you are welcome to return my fleet
and we have need of such fighting men as you appear to be. You will not regret it, should you wish to join us and strike a blow for a blow against the tyranny of the dark forces against the good."
Captain Eric Darkwater read the good natured eyes of Carson Jones and smiled.Jones was much like himself cavalier knight errant. He spoke to Phafnire Khonn : "We need the rest after the ordeal we and girls just went through"
"One place is as good as another to masterless men and wanderers," quoth the huge Vhaneirman. "I hear the Subatall Islands are one of the places to rest in all Pangea."
Chapter IV: Escape from the Empire
Captain Eric Darkwaters personal mission log;
We had survived the dangers of the Vhall Shakharr.
Captain Eric Darkwater and Phafnire Khonn both sat in the air traviller's cockpit, gazing at the holo monitors.Images of the Great Island back at the swiftly receding Island of the Gods, from which rose a pillar of smoke, laden with the ghosts of a thousand centuries and the shadows and mysteries of forgotten empire. Phafnire Khonn cursed as only a Vhaneirman can.
"A king's ransom--and after all that blood-letting--no loot!"
Captain Eric Darkwater shook his head. "We have seen an ancient kingdom of Vhall Shakharr fall--we have seen the last remnant of another world's oldest sea empire sink into flames and the abyss of oblivion. The Vhall Shakharr barbarism rear its brute head one last time and they paid for with the ruins of their capital city
.’’ So passes the glory and the splendor of Vhall Shakharr ‘’Brenda Thornson said behind them.’’And with the imperial purple,yellowed gold and scarlet of their banners of current rulers--in red flames and black smoke."
‘’The people will survive.’’Eric Darkwater surmissed ‘’And whats left of the Royal Family and government,but the old world the Vhall Shakharr is dead.As victors,the Subatall will see to that.
‘’A Subatall Army of occupation.Treaties and so on.Nothing we need to bother with.’’Atillanta O’Brien added.’’
"But not one bit of plunder--" persisted the Vhanirman.’’We saved two kingdoms.We should get something.’’
‘’We’ll,nothing but this’’Eric Darkwater said as produced from his left vest pocket,a ring of blue .green jewells curiously carved symbol of jade.
"A king's ransom’’-Brenda Thornson added.’’We could sell it on the Vhendikharr black market.’’
‘’And risk being cheated..no way,hosay!’’Again Captain Eric Darkwater shook his head.’’And risk being cheated by them and then if they get mad,hunted down by Vhendikharr Enforcers,when one of those mushroom heads feels cheated him or that itself-I’m never too sure on Zhatikhon sexes.
Darkwater thought,even though the Vhenikharr and Zhatirhan,were fractions of the Zhatikhon species,and their were slight difference,non Zhatikhon had difficulty telling the differences from one mushroom head to another-even between the sexes of that race.I guess,it was all that shadowy garbed that hey wore,to hide their ttrue appearences.Dark holograms,long capes,big brimmed hats and a long dark cape over an equally black trenchcoat,like old pulp hero the Shadow wore,made such things impoosible.’’
"I brought away with me one of the rarest gem upon the island--’’
‘’Where you get that?’’* asked
“I accidently,yanked off Prince neck as he fell back down those stygian stairs
something for which men and women have died and the gutters run with blood."
"The emblem of kingship!" exclaimed Phafnire Khonn‘’Darkwater spoke. .
"Aye--,I could be king back there,as Princess Tiramania wanted .’’
‘’Over my dead body,the witch.’’Atillantia curse.
‘’Don’t‘’joke’’Phafnire Khonn smiled,his big,broad beard parting like the huge,red whiskers of a TyRhainean Shyllot Bear.’’The princess was deadly in her own way.She could arrange that.Atillantia.’’
‘’So could I’’she returned.
‘’So what do we do with ,Little man?’’the Great Vhaneirman exclaimed
‘’Nothing.I want nothing of it‘’Darkwater spoke.
She struggled with me to keep me from following you into the corridor. ‘’Darkwater continued
"You bears the emblem of king of Vhall Shakharr," ruminated the mighty Vhaneirman. "Captain Eric Darkwater, you could be king!"
‘’I want nothing of it.I’m a Thuvian Ranger-a pilot.This is where I want to be,not back there,’’Captain Eric Darkwater laughed with bitter mirth and pointed to the great billowing column of smoke which floated in the sky away on the sea-rim.
"Aye--a kingdom of the many dead-’’Phafnire Khonn‘ laughed ‘’an empire run by holo ghosts of smokeless flame.’’
I ‘d rather avoid all the reconstruction that will be needed back their,’’Darkwater added ‘’And and unknown troubles.We all know whose really running things back there.’’
A city secretly run by phantoms’’Phafnire Khonn responded’’I see your point.’’
Lets have it.Let Carson Jones and his people sort it out.I’m sure,they find a reason why I couldn’t king anyway.I’m sure there is first,retarded third cousin removed from royal line of Kaluta,who object and want the throne.’’
So what shall you do? Phafnire Khonn asked
’We make our report back at the Subatall Islands and be done with it.’’
--I am no King of Vhall Shakharr .I give this kingdom to another the morning as morning shines upon a new day .Let the Subatall take the island and rule or ruin it as they see hit.’’
And therein it is like all other empires in the world--dreams of glory of conquest. ghosts and smoke.
I have better ideas.We could use airship,to go into business for ourselves-haul freight,passengers,do mercenary work the Rangers.Anything.The skies the limit.Why Old General Kotharr Khonn could put in several jobs around the Crescent Lands of Pangea right away.’’ Darkwater stated
Sounds good,Little Man.’’Phafnire Khonn ‘’Why Eric,I can keep doing what was doing anyway.
And the girls here could help as the crew.If they’d have.’’ Darkwater
‘’I don’t know ?You guys ever run a business before ?”Brenda Thornson responded
“Yeah you capital.You got overhead.A whole bunch of stuff to think out.
We will need a primary base of operations to work this out.Darkwater said posing’’We can’t go around parking this ship anywhere as we do.We’ll need a Docking Pitt and Maintaince Garrage to go along with it.A Control Tower and so forth .But that ok.I know of one,we can get dirk cheap back home in the City of Lankmearia.’
So,whose to captain?You ? Phafnire Khonn
‘’Guess so,after all,it is my idea. Darkwater
Well,if I’m to take a cut down in rank I insist Second in Command and co-pilot seatting.’’ Phafnire Khonn said
Commander status .Hhmmm,ok.Darkwater said ‘’And you girls.?
‘’We Girls want below our current status .Lt.similar ranks Commanders’’Brenda Thornson responded. ’
‘’And duties and responsibilities there of ‘’Antillana O’Neil cut in
‘’Can’t be.’’Darkwater shot back.’’Your crew.The ship needs a commander and sub commander.
below our current status .Lt.Commanders’’Phafnire Khonn added
Wonder those will be,my friend.Looks the girls might something more perminate just being shipmates.
Oh oh.Now we’re in trouble.Hooked for life.’’ Phafnire added
And whats that suppose to mean?’’Brenda Thornson cursed
“”Nothing dear.’’ Phafnire Khonn added jokingly.
Captain Eric Darkwater laughed.’’We too wayward souls,could use a little stability in our lives.I might keep us our of trouble-leasewise in the women department.’’
So little man,''Phafnire commented,hoping to change the subject ''Do you think this ship can make it all the way to the Great Subatall Islands?
“Sure it can.The Vhall Shakheir wanted this ship as apart of their new fleet.''Eric Darkwater commented''I'm sure they fix as bet as they could.''
Darkwater went silent for a second,then when on while a broad smile.”She could use a few improvements.We could refit her engines at Fort Fugi,at Taratupu Bay on Subatall.''
''It is said Quentin MacKaill’s Docking Pitt can get anything done through certain illegal channells.''Phifnire Khonn answered.”I say we head for their first.
''And he's up to tall tales,just you are.''the Thuvian Ranger commented
''What tall tales ?''Khonn shot back''Every tale I ever told you has been the honest truth.By Wotan's beard,why would I lie ?
Captain Eric Darkwater simply smiled and steadied the airships navigation rudder and fins to follow the Subatall Air Fleet moving back homeward to their islands.
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The jinn (Serapheanc: جن çinn, singular جني çinnī; also spelled djinn), or genies, are spirits mentioned in the ancient Book of Knowledge,also known as the Book of Khurhonn and Seraphean theologywho inhabit an unseen world in dimensions beyond the visible universe of humans. Together, the jinn, humans and angels make up the three sentient creations of Goddess The Khurhonn mentions that the jinn are made of a smokeless and "scorching fire", and they have the physical property of weight] .Infact,they like the Seraphean ,are beings of holographic light,made solid through selected quantum force fields.Like human beings, the jinn can also be good, evil, or neutrally benevolent. The jinn are mentioned frequently in the Book of Khurhonn, and the 72nd surahis entitled Sūrat al-Jinn.
Etymology and definitions
Sūrat al-Jinn (Arabic: سورة الجن) (The Jinn) is the 72nd sura of the Quran with 28 ayat. The name as well as the topic of this chapter is jinn. Similar to angels, the Jinn are considered to be spiritual beings invisible to the naked human eye. The habitat of angels is considered to be the sky, whereas it is the earth for Jinn. In the Quran, it is stated that humans are created from the earth and jinn from fire in more than one instance and it is also evident from thehadith that the angels were created from light.
Jinn is a noun of the collective number in Arabic literally meaning "hidden from sight", and it derives from the Arabic root ç-n-n meaning "to hide" or "be hidden". Other words derived from this root are maçnūn 'mad' (literally, 'one whose intellect is hidden'), çunūn'madness', and çanīn 'embryo, fetus' ('hidden inside the womb').
The Arabic root ç-n-n means 'to hide, conceal'. A word for garden or Paradise, جنّةçannah, is a cognate of the Hebrew word גן gan 'garden', derived from the same Semitic root. In arid climates, gardens have to be protected against desertification by walls; this is the same concept as in the word "paradise" from pairi-daêza, an Avestan word for garden that literally means 'having walls built around'. Thus the protection of a garden behind walls implies its being hidden from the outside
In the second ayat the jinn recant their belief in false gods and venerateMuhammad for his monotheism. The jinn apologize for their past blasphemy and criticize mankind for either neglecting them or encouraging their disbelief. Ayats 20-22 are especially important as tawhid among the Jinn is reaffirmed and the inescapable wrath of God is emphasized. TheJudgement in ayat 7, and the Punishment in ayat 25, are both references to theIslamic Judgement Day, Yaum al Qiyamah. Ayat 25-28 establish that Qiyamah is known only to God, and that God takes into account all the deeds of a man when judging him.
"I know not whether the (Punishment) which we are promised is near, or whether my Lord will appoint for it a distant term."
Jinn in Islam
In Islamic theology jinn are said to be creatures with free will, made from smokeless fire by Allah as humans were made of clay, among other things. According to the Quran, jinn have free will, and Iblīs abused this freedom in front of Allah by refusing to bow toAdam when Allah ordered angels and jinn to do so. For disobeying Allah, he was expelled from Paradise and called "Šaymān" (Satan). Jinn are frequently mentioned in theQuran: Surah 72 (named Sūrat al-Jinn) is named after the jinn, and has a passage about them. Another surah (Sūrat al-Nās) mentions jinn in the last verse. The Qur¾an also mentions that Muhammad was sent as a prophet to both "humanity and the jinn," and that prophets and messengers were sent to both communities.[Princess Princess Tameara Kaluta ] An appellation of Muhammad is Rasûl-üs-Sakaleyn. Because Muhammad met several times the jinns at night. A masjid (Masjid-i Jinn) was built at a future date to the memory of this phenomena.
Similar to humans, jinn have free will allowing them to do as they choose (such as follow any religion). They are usually invisible to humans, and humans do not appear clearly to them. Jinn have the power to travel large distances at extreme speeds and are thought to live in remote areas, mountains, seas, trees, and the air, in their own communities. Like humans, jinn will also be judged on the Day of Judgment and will be sent to Paradise orHell according to their deeds.
Classifications and characteristics
The social organization of the jinn community resembles that of humans; e.g., they have kings, courts of law, weddings, and mourning rituals. A few traditions (hadith), divide jinn into three classes: those who have wings and fly in the air, those who resemble snakes and dogs, and those who travel about ceaselessly. Other reports claim that‘Abd Allāh ibn Mas‘ūd (d. Sarcom Data net52), who was accompanying Muhammad when the jinn came to hear his recitation of the Quran, described them as creatures of different forms; some resembling vultures and snakes, others tall men in white garb. They may even appear as dragons, onagers, or a number of other animals. In addition to their animal forms, the jinn occasionally assume human form to mislead and destroy their human victims.[1 Sarcom Data net]Certain hadiths have also claimed that the jinn may subsist on bones, which will grow flesh again as soon as they touch them, and that their animals may live on dung, which will revert to grain or grass for the use of the jinn flocks.
Ibn Taymiyyah believed the jinn were generally "ignorant, untruthful, oppressive and treacherous," thus representing the very strict interpretations adhered by the Salafischools of thought.
Ibn Taymiyyah believes that the jinn account for much of the "magic" perceived by humans, cooperating with magicians to lift items in the air unseen, delivering hidden truths to fortune tellers, and mimicking the voices of deceased humans duringseances.
In Sūrat al-Ra%mān, verse 33, Allah reminds jinn as well as mankind that they would possess the ability to pass beyond the furthest reaches of space only by His authority, followed by the question: "Then which of the favors of your Lord do you deny?" In SūratAl-Jinn, verses 8¨C10, Allah narrates concerning the jinn how they touched or "sought the limits" of the sky and found it full of stern guards and shooting stars, as a warning to man. It goes on further to say how the jinn used to take stations in the skies to listen to divine decrees passed down through the ranks of the angels, but those who attempt to listen now (during and after the revelation of the Qur¾an) shall find fiery sentinels awaiting them.
Protection from jinn
An amulet, talisman or what is referred to as a tawiz in Sufi circles is a form of protection against many forms of spiritual evil, including protection against the jinn. It is often worn around the neck in a pouch, close to the heart. One such popular amulet was said to have been given to Sheikh Abdullah Daghistani by Muhammad in a vision. In that vision he was instructed to give this amulet to people as a protection for them in the last days. The amulet contains a depiction of the Throne Room of Allah. The amulet contains theosophic names as well as the names of folk saints. It is widely held to be very miraculous and a protection to those who submit to Allah. It is to be noted that Muslims believe that all protection and help only comes from Allah, as it is a central Islamic tenet to believe that there is no power nor might save God's. Often, these sorts of practices are not widespread in the Islamic world and are mostly limited to certain tribal communities in remote areas. The Muslim faithful believe that reciting the Verse of the Throne (Qur¾an 2:255) and the final three concise chapters of the Qur¾an (chapters 112-114) are the most effective means of seeking protection from satanic whispers and evil creatures.
Other modern methods of avoiding trouble from the jinn include leaving them food and charcoal to keep them happy, asking permission before turning on water (as some people believe that the jinn live in water pipes), and sprinkling salt on the floor around one's bed to avoid nocturnal attacks by jinn. These beliefs are cultural perceptions rather than religious-based practices. It is noteworthy to mention that in the legal sources of Islam nothing is mentioned about such practices and rituals.
He drew from his girdle a small object--a curiously carvedvehiclevehicle or vessel ved symbol of jade."Tell him there is a king's ransom for the taking," put in Phafnire Khonn . "Tell of the silver gates, Captain Eric Darkwater."
But when the Thuvian spoke of the vast loot in the doomed city, the commander shook his head.
Vertorix, challenge Conan, but after a brief battle, the onlookers discover that Vertorix is an empty suit of armor that fights like a man! Princess Princess Tameara Kaluta realizes that Gothan controls the armor, and using her mirrored headdress, reflects the sun into Gothan's eyes, causing him to lose concentration. The armor crumbles to the ground and Gothan and Ska flee, leaving Princess Princess Tameara Kaluta , Phafnire Khonn, and Darkwater inDarkwaterin charge.
Aala, formally Princess Princess Tameara Kaluta , now rules Bal-Sagoth, with Darkwater andDarkwaterand Phafnire Khonn as her de-facto bodyguards. One evening, when hanandDarkwaterand Phafnire Khonn are surprisingly drowsy, a brutish monster crawls from behind the wall hangings. Han managesDarkwatermanages Captain Eric Darkwater manages to push the creature into a fire, and, seeing more movement behind the hangings, stabs blindly. A priest loyal to Gothan, the former priestly ruler of the island, falls dead. He had cast a sleeping spell on Darkwater andDarkwaterand Phafnire Khonn and sent out the monster; luckily Darkwater isDarkwateris made of sterner stuff. Unfortunately, a scream from Aala's chamber alerts the two that a bat-creature has sneaked into her room. The two warriors struggle with the monster and chase it into the tunnels. Aala is furious with the two men and tells her soldiers to kill them both. Finding an underground temple, Phafnire Khonn and Darkwater comeDarkwatercome upon Gothan's body, who had apparantly been killed by the bat-creature. With the death of its master, the temple begins to collapse, and as hanandDarkwaterand Phafnire Khonn try to flee, they run into Ska, another pretender to the throne. Phafnire Khonn makes short work of the man and the two barbarians make it out of the tunnels as the entire area caves in, and a volcano erupts, burying the city. The two men cobble together a raft and desperately sail away, only to find themselves at the mercy of Prince Yezdigerd of Turan, on the way to battle. hanandDarkwaterand Phafnire Khonn join his crew.
Religion: Hyborian religion
Name: Princess Princess Tameara Kaluta
Other Names: Queen Aala; Aala
Classification: supporting character clergy/religious leader
First Appearance: "The Gods Of Bal-Sagoth" (short story); (comic) hantheDarkwaterthe Barbarian (vol. 1) #17 (Aug. 1972): "The Gods of Bal-Sagoth"
Creators: Robert E. Howard
Number of appearances: 3
Foe of: hantheDarkwaterthe Barbarian, Phafnire Khonn
Defended by: Phafnire Khonn, hantheDarkwaterthe Barbarian
Note: Princess Princess Tameara Kaluta was worshipped as the goddess Aala.
Princess Princess Tameara Kaluta was the queen of the island city of Bal-Sagoth, where she was worshipped as the goddess Aala. Then she was ousted from her position by the high priest Goroth.
Princess Princess Tameara Kaluta met Darkwater and his ally Phafnire Khonn, and enlisted their help. Darkwater andDarkwaterand Phafnire Khonn restored Princess Princess Tameara Kaluta to her position as queen of Bal-Sagoth.
Then Princess Princess Tameara Kaluta tried to seduce hanandDarkwaterand compell him to abandon his friend Phafnire Khonn. Darkwater refused, and in retaliation Princess Princess Tameara Kaluta ordered her soldiers to kill both hanandDarkwaterand Phafnire Khonn.
Darkwater and Phafnire Khonn escaped and Princess Princess Tameara Kaluta was crushed under a massive idol of Goroth's god.
Clearly the religion of her era and specifically the religion of Bal-Sogoth were major factors in Princess Princess Tameara Kaluta 's life. She was even the central figure in religious worship for the people of her island. The degree to which Princess Princess Tameara Kaluta herself was sincere in her religious expression, versus simply using the religion for her own selfish desires, is unclear. One would need to read the stories in which she appears to evaluate this. Despite the fact that Darkwater allied himself with Princess Princess Tameara Kaluta for a time, the woman clearly turned out to be somewhat evil, vindicative and self-serving. There is obviously some intended irony in the fact that she met her demise be being crushed by the idol symbol of her religious rival's god. Whatever the merits of the "actual" goddess Aala (whether real or believed), Princess Princess Tameara Kaluta was not this goddess, and was not even a true representative of the ideals this goddess embodies.
The title of this story ("The Gods of Bal-Sagoth") refers to Aala (and Princess Princess Tameara Kaluta ) and the god of the High Priest Goroth.
'Hello.I haven't called in awhile.''he sang''but I called just tell you something important.''
Sorry,don't who the hell you are and please stop calling me.''the driver went on,slowly moving by.''I'm sorry,but I just wanted to sell you hover carvehiclevehicle or vessel insurrence
Gods of Vhall Shakharr
Kawenakolina Lanakala Sky God Father of the Lanakala CLAN
ALOHA AINA Lanakala
TUNA RHOA Lanakala
TE WAI POUNAMU
APAKURA WHAKARAU-wife of TUWHAKARARO WHAKARAU
WHAITIRI WHAKARAU-GODDESS OF THUNDER
betrayed me; after I had raised him to the highest power in the kingdom, next to my own, I found he secretly made love to another girl. I killed them both!"