The Shadow Knight Returns
Chapter 8: The Electric Man
Crystal Beach, Lunar Bay: August 6th, 2063: 2:00 AM
As the Raja's rounded up the men, women, and children they had been escorting to this area after randomly picking whoever they wanted after going through one of the districts under their control and killing those who resisted.
Asphyxiator stood with Whiplash looking out at the bay at the island area of Lunar City in the distance, particularly the area of the city their former allies now enemies the Ghoul Sibling's had claimed territory.
Once they were certain that their prisoners were all lined up and held at either spear, arrow, or gunpoint. The secondary leader of the Raja's gang and her consort turned to face the terrified citizens who were all on their knees before them.
"Listen up you wretches…" Asphyxiator said to them, "I know you all think we're the bad guys, but we're not, we're the good guys in this war. Sure, we enslaved you and all of that, but better to be a slave than a corpse am I right? Do you know what's over there across this river? The Ghouls. Now you probably think somehow that the ghouls are the lesser of the two evils fighting over your homes. You're wrong. See we only wanted to conquer the city, yoke its strength, and go on to expand our power base by attacking the other villages and ruined cities out there. The Ghoul's…oh god well, the Ghouls…"
Whiplash took over, "They are monstrous sons of bitch's, they believe in ethnic cleansing, genocide, it's one of the reasons why we split and went to war with them. See the ghouls have it in their head that anyone who is not of the 'pure race' that they are, Asian trash, deserves to be enslaved and then purged from the face of the earth. That is what awaits all of you, your sons and daughters, your entire families if we lose this war."
"So, since we're the side that doesn't advocate the genocide of all non-Asian trash, we're the side who needs to win. If you value your family's lives, you'll help us do so. Now, I'm sure your all wondering 'how can we help Lady Asphyxiation and Duke Whiplash out?' after hearing the severe consequences in store for you all if we lose. It's simple. The ghouls have been testing our perimeter, looking for weaknesses, they are getting ready for a showdown. We are going to cut them to the quick. While they try and break through our defenses in front of them, we are going to sneak in through the back while they are distracted and stab those incestual bastards to death in their throne room!"
"Or as a bonus, find the source of their power source that is keeping their drones and walkers charged and running and destroy it. Even the playing field. But…" Whiplash continued, looking out across the bay towards lunar city "For our plan to succeed we need to find a way through their drones and walkers that patrol the waters surrounding the outside perimeter of their territory here. That's what you are all here for."
"You flat scans are going to swim out there, and find us a way through…" Asphyxiator said to the terrified citizens, "…or you can just die now and get it over with instead of having a chance to live, a chance for your friends and families to live by doing this one simple task for us. What'll it be?"
It was no surprise to either of the evil metahuman feudal lords that their conscripted citizens all choose, even albeit reluctantly, the option that gave them a chance to live.
As they watched their conscripted 'citizens' wade through and then begin to swim the channel between the beach and the Ghoul's territory, asphyxiator leaned over to Whiplash and muttered "How long do you think before the bombs and drones start picking them off?"
"Less than twenty seconds…" Whiplash answered, with a sadistic grin on his face "we keep sending men, women, children…eventually their defenses will run out of ammunition. Then we will walk over and take the rest of the city for ourselves, plunder whatever it is that is keeping their technology running, and then use it to go out and conquer more villages and cities!"
They waited eagerly for the sounds of gunfire, laser blasts and screams from the citizens they were using as scapegoats.
Nothing of the sort happened.
After five minutes, and seeing that nothing had happened, no screams, no gunfire, no explosions from the mined river.
The two Raja gang leaders figured that either the conscripted citizens had drowned, or they had made it safely to the other side.
Before either of them could speculate on the matter, they suddenly heard running footsteps coming towards them.
They turned around sharply to see who it was and saw to their surprise that it was one of their men, a Raja.
"Lord Whiplash, Lady Asphyxiator!" he said to them, "something terrible has happened, Lord Bone Breaker has been murdered!"
"What!?" Asphyxiator declared in shocked disbelief, Bonebreaker was of course her polyamorous lover "You lie!"
"I'm afraid not my Lady, and there is more, a small bunch of our men were found dead in an alleyway in the middle of our territory near the neutral zone" the Raja messenger explained, "someone with a sword killed them. A survivor told us this, he said he called himself 'Shadow Knight' and he killed them all with a sword. He said to tell you that he works for the Ghouls, and that they are getting ready for an attack!"
"The Ghoul's have a new metahuman attack dog?" Whiplash asked furiously.
"Those bastards! We will kill them AND their new metahuman thug for this! Bone Breaker will be avenged! Get the men ready, by dawn tomorrow, we cross this divide and raise the ghouls and their territory to the ground!" Asphyxiator screeched in fury.
Hot tears of fury and morning for Bone Breaker filling her eyes.
That was when the Raja's, and their remaining leaders heard ghostly laughter ringing out from behind them.
A dark, evil kind of laughter.
With their guns trained, the Raja's and their metahuman leaders turned to face whoever it was that was laughing at them.
Whoever it was that was laughing at them, he or she was walking towards them from withing the darkness of the trees of Emerald Forest.
Who would dare be stupid enough to laugh or approach them like this?
When he got close enough that they could see him in the moonlight, the Raja's and their leaders gawked in stunned disbelief at what they saw.
It was a man.
A man dressed in a strange costume.
He wore a black cloak, a tattered black witch's hat, and an equally tattered golden half mask.
His hands were demonically misshapen, and seemed to be made of pulsing…darkness, or black flame?
His eyes, they were red with beady black pupils of pure insanity.
His teeth, they were golden yellow…which complimented his equally unnerving goblin like grin.
"And I though MY jokes were bad" the dark figure said to the Raja's, "your plan to avenge your bonehead lover is to wade across the bay and run all over the Ghouls? Darwin would have loved you people; you are proof that the stupid really do not deserve to live."
"You…you're the one who murdered Bone Breaker!" Asphyxiator said accusingly, and figuring he was now there to kill them as well issued and order her men and women "TAKE HIM DOWN!"
A barrage of bullets and arrows shot at the dark figure, he did not even flinch or try to move out of the way of the deadly projectiles.
Instead, before the surprised Raja's eye's, he turned into some kind of "ghost" and the bullets and arrows seemed to disappear inside of him…before they just as inexplicably shot out from inside him towards the Raja's.
Those that were not felled by their own weapons fire being redirected back at them, suddenly were killed by the Dark stranger who sliced them open like a fish.
With their men and women falling like flies, Asphyxiator and Whiplash tried to defend themselves.
Whiplash, with his powers of elongation, sent out his whip like arms to restrain the psychotic metahuman.
He wound his arms around him, trapping him in place…only for the metahuman to become intangible like a ghost, and then reach out his own elongated arms and return the favor.
Whiplash immediately found himself bound in place by 'living darkness' right next to Asphyxiator who had been bound in place by the strangers other living shadow hand.
The two villains were then pulled towards the grinning figure.
Once they were close enough, Asphyxiator opened her mouth and shot out a stream of deadly gas right at the pyscho's face.
Which did nothing since the stranger was currently still a living shadow.
"Wow…" the figure said mockingly, "Do you kiss your men with a mouth like that? Two words doll, breath mint. HA! HA! HA! HA! HA!"
"You're the Ghoul's new lapdog, aren't you?" Whiplash asked, "Well then kill us and get it over with."
The figure shook his head, "If I wanted you dead, I would have killed you already. I'm not with the Ghoul's, the loser who calls himself 'Shadow Knight' is."
"Then who the hell are you?" Asphyxiator demanded.
"The one who wants him dead, same as you, you can call me…" the figure introduced himself "Dark Shadow!"
To show his sincerity, Dark Shadow released the two villains from his shadowy grip.
The shadowy bonds around Asphyxiator and Whiplash's body vanished as if they were never there in the first place.
"Okay then, Dark Shadow…" Whiplash asked cautiously, "If you are not going to kill us, and you are not with the Ghouls, what the hell do you want?"
"I want to join up with your crew" Dark Shadow answered, removing his bonds from around the two leaders to show his good intentions, "and if you value your lives, you'll hire me on."
"Why would we do that?" Asphyxiator scoffed.
"Because the person who murdered your Bone Breaking other half, he's MY other half" Dark Shadow explained, "he calls himself 'Shadow Knight', and he's hellbent on killing some group of losers called the Sadistic Five."
The two villains gave each other a look, "That is us, was us…the group split in two."
"I'm aware of this little civil war going on in this corpse of a town" Dark Shadow interrupted, "So is Shadow Knight, he knows who you two are…and he's got you fitted for a dirt bed six feet under, a matching pair of horns and a pitchfork for you both and he is willing to do anything to see you get them."
Dark Shadow looked out to the city for a moment for dramatic effect, before turning his gaze back to the Raja gang leaders.
"Shadow Blight has joined up with the Ghouls, no doubt for protection from me, he's getting on in the years. You want revenge on him, so do I. I can help you get revenge."
"We can do that ourselves" Asphyxiator scoffed, "we have enough men to deal with a tired old metahuman."
"Yeah, the last time we teamed up with someone making promises to us, they stabbed us in the back. Why should we trust you?" Whiplash added in agreement.
"You couldn't handle me, neither could your men" Dark Shadow pointed out, "You really think you'll last longer with Shadow Knight? Look, when your ready to take this problem seriously, give me a shout."
Dark Shadow turned around and began to leave.
"How do we do that?" Whiplash asked.
"How else do you summon the devil…" Dark Shadow responded, while fading away into the darkness of the emerald woods, "call out his name."
Leaving the two villains alone to think his proposal over.
If they had been paying attention, they would have seen their former prisoners making a beeline to freedom in the distance.
Someone, or something had saved them when they had been wadding through the treacherous waters surrounding the Ghoul's territory.
This same figure watched from the treetops as the Raja gang leaders began making their way back to their territory.
Meanwhile, in the Ghoul's territory within what used to be the main power plant of the industrial section of the city.
Drake and Maya Ghoul were walking through the section of their territory that held the source of their continued electrical power.
The ability to keep powering their drones and walkers, and light up their section of the divided ruined metropolis.
Without this item, they wouldn't be able to keep their traitorous former allies at bay for this long.
Now they had been summoned by their technician.
As they approached the main positronic energy reactor of the power plant, they found their technical staff working furiously over the device in question.
"What is wrong?" Drake Ghoul asked concerned.
"The device is going out" the main technician answered, "the power source that once sustained it is started to expire. It will cease to provide adequate power within a few days."
"Then we'll need to find a replacement part until Father's invasion army arrives." Maya Ghoul said in response.
"There isn't one" the technician pointed out, "the power source is unique in that there was only one of it's kind left. If we had another way to draw electrical current to power your weaponry my lord losing the source of this power wouldn't be such a catastrophe."
"Why is the source losing power?" Maya Ghoul asked genuinely confused, "It never did this before."
"It's old, and tired" the technician pointed out, "it may be a living energy generator, but it is still human. He'll likely be dead within 48 hours."
"What happens to the reactor when it runs out of power?" Maya Ghoul asked curiously.
"The reactor isn't designed to shut off in an instant" the technician answered, "there will be an explosion, big enough to destroy the city! We need to start the shut down procedure before the power source ceases to be!"
For a moment, the Ghoul's seemed concerned, but then they shrugged it off.
"It doesn't matter…" Drake Ghoul responded.
"What? You can't be serious my lord" the head technician said in appalled disbelief.
"I am…" Drake Ghoul said sharply, "this city is our plaything, we can do what we want with it. If it's about to break, then so be it. Its destruction will take out our enemies and satisfy our father's vendetta with this place at the same time."
"But the people living here under your rule!" the technician said in horror.
"We'll evacuate the half that deserves to live before it goes up…" Maya Ghoul said, "Lunar City is but one city, there are other places to conquer. We were just supposed to babysit this place until our father arrived. You call this a disaster; my brother and I call it killing two birds with one stone. The Raja's and the rest of the filthy trash that don't deserve to live."
The technician watched in horror as the Ghoul siblings left the control room of the reactor, and once they were out of earshot, he turned around and pounded his fists on the door leading into the chamber where the reactor's power source was contained.
"Damn you…" he hissed under his breath, "I thought you metahumans were living gods, when I helped the original lord of this city capture and contain you, I thought it would bring humanity out from this Dark Age caused by the Five-day war…now you and I will both be responsible for the destruction of an entire city and people."
Within the chamber, the power source of the positronic reactor groaned weakly in response.
It was a man, a man that seemed to be made of pure electrical energy.
Another metahuman survivor from the old world, one who had once been known as the antiheroic supervillain known as Killerwatt.
The Electric Man!