Tuesday, July 14, 1998
"How DARE that foolish mortal attack ME!! I am Rune! I am the Dark God!"
Wings spread, the creature flies away from the park, still dripping water. A mortal has driven him off! Something never done since he banished the disease that threatened to eat him alive. Finally arriving at his destination, he lands at the local high school, and enters through a shattered window.
"Bah! This is what I'm reduced to. A building the natives use for educating each other! But such is the palace of the Dark God...for now! Soon, the city will be my palace...!"
He stalks down the main corridor, running the width of the building. Reaching the end, he makes a left, and arriving almost at the end of that hall, makes a right, and stops. He is home. As home as one such as he can be. He prepares, and then sits.
Once, with palsied hands I cast these stones. Now, once more I cast, what will the future hold for the Prince of Void?
The stones are cast. Making the only noise in the building, the stones settle. Each with a slight glimmer of light from within. Rune looks at them a moment, understanding them. He then gathers them, and again they are cast.
"There are others! But how? No matter. All that matters now is the death of the mortal that dared harm me. The mortal who calls himself....'the Shark'......"
Rune: A New Twist #2
"The Shark and the Vampire" Part 2
Written by Walter Kneeland
Edited by James Pedrick
Rune created by Barry Windsor-Smith and Chris Ulm
Property of Malibu Comics
"Last night, several people walking in the Darren Frees Memorial Park witnessed a spectacular display, that one would normally only imagine. According to eyewitness accounts, a man dressed in "halloween clothing" with a mask was walking through the park. Sarah Janize recognized it as the "Shark" armor created by two of Lakedale's local wonders, Dan Sintse and Tim Daniels last year. Sintse has since moved on to other projects in Chicago, while Daniels was unable to be reached for comment. A question involved is whether or not Daniels was wearing the armor last night."
"Whoever it was, the mask covered their face completely." the girl identified as Sarah Janize states.
"I tell you, I have never seen something like that before. I always walk through the park around 10, but I have never seen anyone clad in such distateful clothing walking through!" responds Mary Diamond, a recent Graduate of Lakedale High.
Perhaps more distressing than the simple act of someone walking in the park with the Shark Armor was what followed. Don Rainier may have been the only witness.
"It was like something out of a horror movie, let me tell you! He was just standing there, when out of the darkness comes this huge freakin' monster and takes a swipe at 'im! I thought he was a dead guy for sure, but he just got right back up and fought back! I lost sight of them for a minute, but then I saw armor-guy pull out a sword. I figgered maybe they were filming a movie, then. I mean, who carries a sword nowadays?"
"Please continue, Mr. Rainier."
"Anyway, he pulls out this sword, and slashes at the monster, who blocks it. Next thing I know, there's a bright flash of light, and I couldn't see. Then I hear a splash, and a zap, and there's another bright flash at the water. I was just plain scared then, so I ran. When I hear you guys are doin' a report on this...."
"Thank you, Mr. Rainier. Mayor Turner has restated his curfew. He wished a message to be sent out to whoever was out last night, and I quote: 'This is no time to be playing hero. Someone could get killed. Whether someone in some razzle-dazzle super armor, or college kids ignoring the curfew. Lives depend on the cooperation of all the citizens here in Lakedale.' Now, on to other news..."
The TV is turned off, and he stands up in the darkness. The curtains are pulled over all windows, keeping the house in self-styled darkness. As he stands, he hurls the remote to the floor.
"Damn it! Why didn't I see anyone else there? I shouldn't have been seen! Now the media's trying to scavenge any little thing about me they can!"
He kicks a small stool, sending it to crash against the wall, tearing a gash in the wall-paper, at which he shudders, realizing his temper.
"No matter. I will be taking the armor back to storage, and it'll stay there...! I'm lucky that thing didn't kill me...."
A loud crash, and th window behind him shatters, and the creature bursts in.
"I am Rune! I am the Prince of Void! And you are DEAD!"
Dan dodges to the side, but still feels the strength of the creature hit him. He scrambles away, feeling it grasp at his foot.
Damn! Where did I put the sword?!?
"Insolent worm! I know about you, about your technology. You shall not injure me again!" the beast cries. "Do you have any idea who you're dealing with?"
A backhand sends Dan reeling back to the floor.
"I am Rune. I have been called a vampire. So you would see me..."
"Get away from here!"
"The worm presumes to order ME?"
Rune pounces, catching Dan, still clad in the Shark armor. Picking him up by the feet, he slams him against a wall, leaving a body-sized dent. Another swing sends him flying into another wall, then slumping to the floor. He spits out blood, and realizes he's going to die.
"I don't know what you want or why you're here, foul beast, but you will never succeed!"
"Bah! Brave words for one who is about to become my breakfast!"
Dan looks up in horror, as his vision is filled by the visage of the creature.
"I may not pierce your clothing, but your neck is still exposed...!"
Blood spatters, and Dan dies, as the vampire feasts.
Wednesday, July 15, 1998
SYSTEM START |
ALL DRIVES AND MODEMS DETECTED. |
ALL SYSTEMS GO. |
[SHAHEREZADE] YOU MAY BEGIN. |
[SHAHEREZADE] LOGIN: USERID |[SHAHEREZADE] LOGIN: USERID CHRISTOPHER THOMPSON
[SHAHEREZADE] LOGIN: ENTER PASSCODE: |[SHAHEREZADE] LOGIN: ************
[SHAHEREZADE] LOGIN: ACCESS ACCEPTED[SHAHEREZADE] GOTO: ULTRA FILES
[SHAHEREZADE] ULTRA FILES FOUND. LISTING PREFERENCE? A-Z/POWER/DATE/SPECIFIC[SHAHEREZADE] SPECIFIC
[SHAHEREZADE] SPECIFIC LOOKUP: ULTRA FILES[SHAHEREZADE] ENTER SPECIFIC: PRIME
[SHAHEREZADE] PRIME DATA FOUND. WOULD YOU LIKE PRINT OR VOICE?
"Prime has been viewed as perhaps the strongest Ultra known. From what little has been revealed about him, he has many ultra powers, including incredible stregth, flight, and other various powers. He is usually very active for periods of time, then disappears for several days, before becoming active again. It is unknown why, whether for rest or for some other reason. Prime has tended to be a loner, and has even clashed with several other ultras, most notably Prototype..."
"OK, Shaherezade. What can you tell me about Mantra?" queries Chris Thompson.
"Mantra is an apparently normal woman, but with sorcerous abilities. She has bested several ultras in combat, and has teamed up with Prime on at least one occation. She is considered dangerous, especially with her Sword of Fangs..."
"Enough. You seem to be in working order. Why have you no information on the entity known as 'Rune'?"
"Genie had an extensive database on Rune, but that info was lost when merged with Shaherezade's files..."
There is a bright flash of light, and sparks fly from the terminal. Thompson puts his arms across his face to shield himself.
"Shaherezade! What's going on?!?" he cries.
"There is no info about that subject."
A loud crash is heard from the room beyond, and the building shakes, rocked by an explosion. Thompson rushes into the other room and is greeted by a horrific sight. Where once a neat, clean office area once was, there is now just rubble. A whole section of his building has been destroyed.
"Shaherezade, are your beacons still functional?"
"I believe so."
"Good. Send a signal at Rune. We may not know much about the vampire, but if we get him here and capture him, we will know all we need to know."
"Signal sending now. Should be detected as extreme power source..."
"Excellent. I am done with you for now."
[SHAHEREZADE] EXIT? (Y/N)[SHAHEREZADE] Y
[SHAHEREZADE] GOODBYE CHRISTOPHER THOMPSON
Wednesday, July 16, 1998.
"Lakedale has once again been the site of more mysterious killings. Last night, the bodies of six men were discovered in three local hotel rooms. All were badly slashed, and bite marks with little damage were found at their necks, prompting some to cry "vampire!" in this matter."
The reporter turns to the officer standing next to her and aims the microphone his way.
"Can you describe what the city is facing?"
"I'm sorry, Miss, but that is classified information. Wouldn't want to start a panic..."
"Aren't more people going to panic if no one knows what's actually happening here?"
"Are we, in fact, facing the threat of a modern-day vampire?"
"No comment. I have business to attend to."
"Well, folks, something is definitely going on. We will keep you on top of things as they develop..."
Tim Daniels turns off his television.
"I have to try to stop that creature! It killed Dan, and I might be the only one who can stop it! I have a more advanced version of the armor that I was working on..." he says to himself.
Minutes later, he has stepped into the armor. It is obvious that Tim Daniels had dreams of grandeur. Instead of a basic body-suit, gray like the one worn by Dan Sintse, this one has quite visible alterations. On the chest area is a curved emblem, somewhat resembling a number two, with lines through it. A dark blue cape has been attached to the shoulders of the suit, and hangs loosely behind Daniels. Black gloves cover the hands, and the fingers end in sharp tips, claws.
"I look like a corny 70's superhero from a comic book!" he thinks to himself. "Oh, well. It's what I wanted, isn't it?"
Reaching to the top shelf of the cabinet the armor resided in, he pulls down several items. Several look like small metal versions of the emblem on the chest. These are tucked into small pockets along his left arm.
"Batman had nothing on these 'shark-darts'! Rigging them to explode on contact will make for excellent weapons, so I don't have to get too close to this creature..."
Next, a sword is sheathed in a belt around his waist. He has designed this sword to be far superior to the one his partner used against the monster. This one has an electric ability. It also has an ultra-advanced micro flame-thrower embedded at the handle, allowing the sword to be set aflame. It also has a special coating that prevents it from rusting or subcoming to acids and other materials that could 'naturally' lessen its ability. Finally, a helmet is pulled off the shelf.
"Am I really going to go through with this?" he asks himself.
"Yes!" he exclaims with resolve, plonking the helmet over his head, and touching several spots, activating a magnetized grip, holding the helmet to specific points at the neck of the suit.
Another opens a flow of air to the interior, allowing air in through a fine mesh, that can be closed off to give limited protection from gas or water.
"I hope I am ready for this.....God, what am I getting myself into?!?......."
Thursday, July 17, 1998.
He has sensed a great power for hours now. But was this the power the stones foretold? The only way to tell is to investigate personally. Now he lands in front of a building. ULTRAS "R" US reads the sign above the door. He circles around to the back, to where the power source seems greatest.
` Chris Johnson is conversing with Shaherezade. Using scavenged parts of the former supercomputer Genie, he is attempting to establish a semblence of life within his own machine. Nervously he paces, knowing that he will soon have to face the vampire. Has he taken enough precautions to ensure his survival?
He has searched for a day now, unsure of where the creature could be and where it would strike next. Knowing he would be wanted for questioning, he has avoided the police, skulking in the shadows where possible for a small city. Then, by chance, he notices a dim shape circling a building about a mile away.
"That....that's the creature! It has to be...!" he says to himself.
He takes off on foot, sprinting quickly towards the building, praying he doesn't arrive to find dead bodies.
"Shaherezade, prepare for capture sequence!" Thompson says to the computer, activating a system set to trap the vampire when it enters.
Suddenly, from behind him, he hears a crash, several thuds, and screams of dying men....the men he had blocking the way to this room so no one could snoop around...! Another crash, a groan of metal, and more light spills into the room.
"Mortal! Where is the power source that has drawn me here?" Rune cries, flying quickly at the startled Thompson.
"Activate! Activate!" Thompson screams.
A flash of electricity shoots from a port in the wall, hitting Rune in the back. Landing hard, he turns to face the attack, and is hit by three other blasts, from either side and his back. Disbelief on his face, he turns quickly to fly once more at Thompson, his obvious assailent. A resounding "CLANG!" is heard has a sheet of metal is dropped in his path, against which the vampire crashes, falling to the floor.
A large wire mesh is dropped over the creature, and a large jolt of electricity is sent through it, as Rune curses Thompson.
"I have little information on you, Vampire. That is why I have lured you here. You are now the property of Ultras R Us, and will submit to being tested, that we can find out what makes you tick..."
"Foolish mortal!! You have no idea what I truly am, do you?"
"Not yet, but we shall soon learn, won't we?"
"Bah! You are but a gnat to me..."
"A gnat that has brought you to your knees and holds you trapped and at its mercy."
"Rune is at the mercy of no one! I remain here a 'prisoner' only because it amuses me that a mortal would DARE engage the Dark God thusly!"
"So you fancy yourself a God, do you?"
"A god who has destroyed more worlds and civilizations than you would ever dream. A god who has been around longer than your species has lived on this planet..."
Rune struggles to his feet, despite the heavy mesh, and breaks free. He is on Thompson in a moment, preparing to tear out his throat.
"I am amused, gnat. What would your God have need to wait for, with great power in his grasp?"
"You feed on ultras? You steal their powers?"
"That concerns me not!"
"And you must search them out. What if someone did that for you? Helped you?"
"The Dark God has no need of 'help', mortal!"
"OK, ok, not help. Servitude. Spare me, and I will use my computer to seek out ultras for you."
"And you would condemn others to save yourself?"
"You must bring the remains to me for study..."
Rune laughs, a horrible sound, and releases Thompson.
"Very well, mortal. Because it amuses me, I will let you condemn others of your race. I will even bring their bloody corpses back to you, that they might grate on your conscionce. Betray me, and your corpse shall join them!"
Thompson looks on in fear, then stutters out
"H...how will I contact you?"
"You will not. I will contact you when I hunger, and you had better be prepared to uphold your end of the bargain. Or I will be forced to...deal with you..."
Laughing horrifically, Rune strides out of the room, leaving a breathless Thompson gasping at his brush with death.
"Oh, god....what have I done? I've sold my soul to the devil himself........."
Thompson sits down heavily, and buries his head in his hands.
Rune flies out of the hole he left in the back of the building, and prepares to head east, back to his current lair. Before he gets far, pain courses through him as he is hit repeatedly with a sharp stinging, followed by small explosions. This brings him crashing to the ground, hard.
"Does the mortal dare betray me already?!?" he wonders.
"Beast! You have killed your last vicitims!" cries a figure clad in a somewhat colorful garb.
"And who might you be, Bug?"
"Call me the Shark. I am your death, beast!"
With that, the Shark pulls out his sword, and slices it in an arc at Rune. He sidesteps quickly, but a thin stream of blood is drawn. He slashes at the mortal, who dodges. A knee is brought up into his face, bringing still more blood. Black fisted hands pound on his head, and Rune slumps momentarily to the ground. As the Shark prepares to stab with his sword, Rune grabs his feet and yanks, pulling the Shark to the ground.
"You will die a slow, painful death for that, mortal!" threatens Rune.
The sword is swung once more, and he dodges. A thrust sends the sword tearing through a wing.
"You killed my friend! You killed innocents! Now I will kill you, foul beast!"
"I am Rune, the Dark God! You shall not kill me!"
Rune kicks, knocking the Shark to the ground. In an instant he is on him, preparing to rip through the body. Before he can, he feels a sharp pain as the sword's blade slices into his back. A moment later, he is jolted by a current of electricity.
"Damn you mortal!!" he screams.
"Why won't you DIE?" asks the Shark, frustrated.
He prepares to swing again, and Rune jumps into the air and hovers a moment.
"You have bested me for now, as your friend did. Know this! I will kill you! But it will be under conditions of MY choosing!"
"I can't wait!" the Shark mutters to the figure fading into the distance.
Later that evening.
"...And so, it appears that Lakedale does have a vampire in its midst. The mayor has stated that he will do all that is in his power to rid the city of this creature. Witnesses to this afternoon's battle claim the creature called itself Rune, and a 'Dark God'. One can only wonder at the madness of the creature. The man who drove it off has accepted only the name of "The Shark", and said that he will not rest until 'Rune' is dead, and the citizens of Lakedale safe..."
A finger pushes a button, and the volume goes down some.
"I would like to personally wish the Shark the best in his endeavor, and thank him for stepping forward to take on this menace..."
The tv is turned off.
"Yeah. Sure. It's what any citizen would do. Isn't it...?" Tim asks himself.
He leans back in the chair to sleep, Rune's words echoing in his head.
"...I will kill you! But it will be under conditions of MY choosing!..."
Not The End
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