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SPECIAL ONE-SHOT: PILGRIM #1

 

[Somewhere over the Caribbean Sea - Early Morning]

I have a long day ahead of me, so why am I coming all the way out here? Beginning phase two of my plans that is what I am doing. Yesterday, when I observed the Strangers, was phase one. Today is a day of collecting information and other deeds which are crucial to my plans. Stopping here is a good way to start off this day...because this is where I came from.

Pilgrim #1 - One-Shot
March, 1999

The Man Forever Voyaging

Written by Lex
Edited by James Pedrick
Pilgrim created by Steve Englehart, Rune created by Barry Windsor-Smith and Chris Ulm, Prime created by Gerald Jones and Len Strazewski, Night Man created by Steve Englehart Pilgrim, Rune, Prime, and Night Man are all property of Malibu Comics


The Pilgrim comes to a stop, floating several feet above the unusually calm waters. Pilgrim reaches out with his powers and grabs a hold of the ambient, magickal energy all around the surrounding area. He uses that energy to pull himself into another realm...a realm very much unlike our own...a much, much darker realm covered in eternal night...The Demon Realm.

The Pilgrim stands in awe of his first sight of this realm. It's as if Earth never came out of the Dark Ages. He can sense all the power in the mystical place. He senses beings here whose powers make his seem so very miniature. The Pilgrim begins thinking of all the ways he can use this place to his advantage until...

"Who are you and what are you doing in my realm?"

Pilgrim turns to meet a man in a skin-tight, black from head-to-toe costume. The only color you can see on the man is his right eye, which is glowing with power, and his two wristbands, one red and the other light blue.

"Oh, do not mind me," snickers The Pilgrim. "I am only visiting."

"I'll ask you again...who are you and what are you doing in my realm?"

The Pilgrim, now extremely annoyed, says, "I do not need to answer any of your questions."

Out of the man's glowing eye comes powerful waves of force energy that blows the Pilgrim a few hundred feet away. The man appears next to where Pilgrim landed.

"I am Denotis, the Keeper of this realm...you are trespassing...you will be removed from this place immediately."

Denotis twists his light blue wristband and the Pilgrim's body turns into pure ice and then disappears.

[Somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean - A few moments later]

Pilgrim appears inside of an iceberg. It takes a few minutes but he manages to burn his way out.

What a waste of time that was.

[San Francisco Market District - 10:00 AM]

With Atom Bob's transforming power, I can become anyone I choose. I have set up several identities in various places around the United States. Today I am a power dealer for whoever can pay my price. I give out magick, or other types of powers, to various criminals around San Francisco. Recently I supplied the ice gun technology to The Chill. I was pleased that he used them to do such a good job...until the Strangers shut him down. And I had such high hopes too. Oh well, today is another day. And I have customers.

"Welcome gentlemen."

The Pilgrim is disguised as a wealthy businessman who is sitting behind a desk. In front of him is a small group of people. On his right hand side are two powerful looking men who don't look smart enough to tie their own shoes. On his left side is a man wearing an odd helmet.

"Rocko and Charlie, I believe you two are here to pick up a rather unusual weapon for your boss, are you not?"

"Yes sir," says one of the two thugs. "Here is the money you wanted." He places a briefcase on the desk. Pilgrim gets up and hands them a package.

"What I do not understand is why you needed me to retrieve this from the police if it was created by your boss in the first place."

"We're not supposed to discuss that, sir."

"Very well. My business with you is concluded. If your boss needs anything in the future, let me know."

"We will, sir." The two men exit the office, package in hand, as Pilgrim walks back to his desk.

"Now, uh, Mr. Aries I believe?"

"Yes."

"I have just what your operation needs. I am going to give you ancient magickal signs used by the Mayans eons ago. There are signs of fire, wind, water, and earth but I can only give you fire and water signs."

"I'm sure they will be enough."

"Very well. Both signs have various powers such as force blasts and teleportaion abilities. If you will just sign here." Pilgrim hands Aries a document that he signs. Then Pilgrim points to some crates in the corner of the room. Aries opens one and sees many objects that look like glowing arrows with handles on the end. "And so you do not have to carry all of these out of this building I will tell you how to teleport with them. What you do is pick on up, and think of where you want to go. Remember to also think of the crates coming along with you."

"Thank you." And with that Aries vanishes.

[Mojave Desert California (Quite a ways from San Fran) - High Noon]

"He is a young boy from San Francisco. He is blonde and of average height for a boy of 17. At this moment he is floating several feet above the hot desert ground, using his power of levitation to make the various rocks in the area float. With time he could be quite skilled. None of that matters. HE is my pray. I am Rune, the Prince of Void. I was attracted to his power and now I will feed."

Rune gets ready to pounce from behind a rock on his unsuspecting prey. He has been hiding there for the past few minutes biding his time. Before Rune can begin to attack...

"Wait a minute...Something is not right here. I feel another presence...I have felt it before and I know who is here." Rune turns around. "Hello Pilgrim."

"Rune...we meet again."

"I thought we agreed not to get into each other's way after what happened..."

"Yes, I know, but that boy is crucial to my plans to destroy the Strangers!"

"Your petty grudge against them means nothing to me. I am hungry...I will feast...if not the boy then I will feast on you."

"You know I am too powerful for you. Remember five years ago, when we first met? I was resting outside the San Francisco city limits when you attacked me."

"Yes, you were the most powerful ultra I sensed at the time. I remember the battle well. We threw everything we had at each other to no avail. I was unable to lay a claw on you because, when I tried, you would move fast than I could react."

"And even though my powers were not up to par I still pummeled you with everything I had and none of it phased you one bit. We were too evenly matched so we made an agreement to stay out of each others way indefinitely."

"That was the agreement. And until today we had kept it. So why are you here interrupting my mean?"

"Like I said before, that boy is crucial to my plans. You can go find another ultra to snack on. I am sure it would not be too difficult for you."

"I suppose not but..." Rune looks back at the boy and sees that he is no where to be found. "No! The boy has gotten away!"

"Not quite," says the Pilgrim with a look of victory on his face. "While we were reminiscing, I used my magick to teleport the boy somewhere...safe."

"Curse you, you little bug! I will crush..."

"Till next time, Rune."

The Pilgrim vanishes from sight, leaving Rune hungry and alone. But he can't help chuckling at what the Pilgrim accomplished before his eyes. It is quite a task to impress the Prince of Void.

"Till next time, Pilgrim. Till next time."

<b>[Canoga Park, California - 4:30 PM]</b>

Prime floats down behind his house after a quick scan of his town to be sure there is no danger around. The Pilgrim floats down right next to him, invisible from sight.

Finally! I thought that big lummox would never stop. It was difficult keeping up with him. Now that he has stopped at this house, I might find out a secret of his or two. Maybe one that would work to my advantage.

Prime cautiously looks around; making sure no one will see him. He concentrates hard and his large body is reduced to a pile of green goop and out of it steps Kevin Green.

On this is rich! The Mighty Prime is just a small child. How pathetic!

Pilgrim waits for Kevin to go into his house and then reaches down to scope up some of the substance that was once Prime.

This is an odd looking substance. I wonder how this goop can make a boy so powerful? Maybe I can get some answers out of it with my magickal senses. ... I feel a strong presence in this substance. It is extremely powerful...and evil. ... NO! It is invading my mind!

"GET OUT!!!" shouts Pilgrim as he throws the goop back on the ground and realizes that he is no longer invisible.

Hearing the shout, Kevin looks out of his window and sees the Pilgrim in his backyard. Before Kevin can run outside to find out who the stranger is, the Pilgrim teleports away. A confused Kevin looks at his empty backyard and then gets a hose from the side of his house. He dilutes the goop with water, making sure that, whomever that was, will not figure out that he is Prime because of the goop.

[Back in San Francisco - Nightfall]

Finally I get to an exciting deed. A special test of my powers. It is rumored that the Night Man can hear evil thoughts. I am sure I can mask my thoughts from him. And if he can hear me, he won't see me. Now where is he?

The Pilgrim hovers high above San Francisco hoping to see Night Man jumping rooftops. After a few hours he sees him heading towards the bay. That must mean something is going on down at the docks. The Pilgrim follows him to the rooftop of a warehouse by the bay. Night Man is perched on it, observing a group of men unload crates full of illegal drugs from a cargo ship. He is waiting for an opportune time to strike.

I must act now before he heads down there. I hope you like this thought hero. I AM GOING TO KILL YOU AND THE STRANGERS!

Night Man puts his hand on his head like he is in pain, stands up from where he is crouching, and looks around.

****! He did hear me.

"Where did this awful headache come from all of a sudden?" whispers Night Man.

Pilgrim breathes a sigh of relief and smiles.

I must remember that I can only partially mask my thoughts so that he only receives a slight headache. This was quite a rewarding deed, and a wonderful way to end this day.

[San Francisco's Pacific Heights - Midnight]

The Pilgrim stands in front of a white, elegant house. This place has great, unspoken meaning to him. It floods him with more emotions than he cares to admit he can have.

Happiness.

Sadness.

Anger.

Depression.

Love.

Hate.

End.

Epilogue:

"Five years ago today, my father was killed by the Pilgrim. Now I will make him pay. When I find him...VENGEANCE will be mine!"

Be sure to check out more of the Strangers and Pilgrim in Strangers #9 - coming later this month!  And please be sure to check out the Strangers Website at http://welcome.to/strangers!

 

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