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- - A research station in the hills outside of San Francisco - -

A wall of the complex erupts in a violent explosion. A figure emerges from the smoke and fire. The figure is a man in red armor that appears to be a combination of current technology and ancient medieval design. The armor’s helmet covers the man’s entire face and it appears to contain extremely expensive equipment in it. He steps from the ruble and looks at his surroundings.

“I must find the Strangers.”

* * *

Strangers: A New Twist #9
April, 1999

Knights of Old

Written by Lex
Edited by James Pedrick
Created by Steve Englehart
Property of Malibu Comics


* * *

“HE WHAT?!!” screams J. D. Hunt at his assistant.

“He, uh…escaped, sir,” says Alexander Doyle nervously. “Last night, from our northern factory.”

“This is unacceptable!” bellows Hunt. “He must be apprehended. It will cost us too much if he is allowed to run free. Are any of our other projects ready enough to go after him?”

“Blue and Green seem capable enough, at the moment, to handle the capture, sir.”

“I don’ know that they’ll be enough. He knows about the Strangers and will probably seek them out. We need another one to go.”

“The next one closest to completion is Gold, sir, and his training won’t be completed for another three weeks.”

“Damn. Well, just sen’ those two an’, for your jobs’ sake, they’d better bring me back that Teknight.”

* * *

“…and so the rabbi says to the bartender, ‘I just flew in from the Vatican and, boy, is my bible tired.’”

“Hugh, where do you get these awful jokes of yours?” asks Bob Harden who is out for a walk with Hugh Fox.

“What are you talking about? That was a funny joke. Don’t you think it was?”

“No. I don’t. At all.”

“Bob, you just don’t know what’s funny.”

“Well, I know that wasn’t.”

They both begin laughing at their argument.

“Hey what’s that?” asks Bob as they both see a man dressed in technologically advanced armor. The armor is a mix of red and dark gray coloring. It had cords sticking out of its back that lead to the arms. The helmet is red, with a black visor covering the eyes. [*A picture of him will be added to my site so you can visualize him better. – Lex] He is carrying a glowing sword that causes Bob and  Hugh to think he’s an ultra villain. Bob puts his hand on Hugh’s shoulder, transforming their clothes into their costumes.

“C’mon, Bob, we can take ‘im.”

“No. Let’s page the others and wait for them. We don’t know what he’s capable of.”

“Fine.”

* * *

- - Strangers Headquarters - -

“Let’s roll Strangers,” says Lady Killer in her commanding voice. “We have to meet Bob and Hugh for an emergency.”

“What about Leon?” asks Yrial. “Should we call his school?”

“No, he said, "he’s taking an important test today.”

“Yrial,” says Electrocute with a grin on her face, “did I just hear you ask about Zip-Zap? Why, I didn’t think you cared.”

“I don’t.”

“Enough chit-chat, we have to move.”

* * *

Lady Killer, Electrocute, Spectral, and Yrial pull up in a ’99 Ferrari. They get out and see Atom Bob and Grenade already fighting  the armored man.

“I thought you were going to wait for us,” says Lady Killer as she takes off her skirt to use as a weapon.

“Hugh decided not to wait,” says Atom Bob as he tries to create a hole underneath the armored man who just takes to the air.

Spectral changes to his orange flame and blasts him it. It doesn’t phase the armored man who shoots an energy blast from his visor.

“He’s shooting pure power at me!” yells Spectral as he goes down.

“Thou art mistaken about who I am.” says the armored man.

“Shoot first and ask questions later,” says Grenade as he blasts shrapnel from his chest.

“None of our attacks are working,” says Lady Killer. “Yrial, can you do something to help?”

“I guess.” She takes to the air and starts to cast a spell.

The armored man sees clouds of magick swirl around him and suddenly bursts out with a rage that none of the strangers have seen before. “I hate magick!” he screams as he shoots a blast of energy from his hand at Yrial.

“Ah! He’s using a magnetic field to disrupt my internal compass! I don’t know which way is up.”

“We have to stop him,” says Atom Bob as he punches the armored man in his gut. Bob’s power kicks in and his hand goes through the armor like it was paper. “What the… There’s no one inside!”

“Exactly,” says the armored man as he swats Atom Bob away.

“ENOUGH OF THIS!” shouts Electrocute, furiously mad that he hurt Bob. She sends huge bolts of electricity at him, temporarily shorting out his armor. Smoke appears out of his armor as he falls to his knees. He slowly gets back on his feet as his armor recharges.

“Who are you?” asks Lady Killer.

“I…am Teknight. I must find…the Strangers.”

“We’re the Strangers,” says Atom Bob. “Why were you looking for us? Where did you come from? Why is there no one in your armor? Why…”

Teknight raises his hand to cut Bob off. “I am a ghost in armor. Listen to my tale of horror.

“I was…I AM…Theodoric, King of the Gauls. And I lived in the Year of our Lord 451. I led my men against Attila, the accursed Hun, but Attila employed a wizard, with a sword of sorcery. He…cut my head off. I must have been laid to rest in my armor. Somehow, the armor passed through 1500 years…until my spirit awakened inside it. And soon took control of this new armor, which was based upon it. Months passed as my spirit grew more in tune with the new armor. At last, early this morning, I escaped into your fantastic world. Thus I am naught but a shell…albeit a very strong shell. Thus, thou didst find no one inside me.

“I came hither to warn ye of J. D. Hunt. He is building an army of warriors with armor such as mine.”

“Oh crap, that is NOT good.” says Dave pointing at two figures in the sky. Both are wearing armor just like Teknight’s. One is in a blue version that has large, jet-like wings on his back and a big energy cannon on his right arm. The other is in a green version and is riding on a thin, circular hover platform. In his hands are filled with many circular objects.

“Teknight, how many has he built?” asks Grenade.

“I am not entirely sure, but I doubt there are more than yonder two…for now.”

“Teknight Red,” announces the blue armored one. “You are ordered to come back with us, Teknights Blue and Green, for immediate modifications.”

“Thou art fools! I shall not go back!”

“Then prepare for termination.” Teknight Blue points the cannon on his arm at the Strangers and begins firing blasts of powerful lasers at them. Teknight Green throws the circular objects that turn out to be bombs as they explode when they hit the ground a few feet away from the Strangers, making them fall over.

“Slam ‘em, Strangers!” shouts Lady Killer.

Spectral, Electrocute, and Grenade stand back up and fire their respective powers at the two bogies in the air. Teknight Blue and Teknight Green easily dodge the blasts and start firing back.

“If ye will not come down to fight fair, then I shall come to thee!” Teknight takes to the air, charging at them, and is joined by Yrial and Spectral. Teknight Green hovers closer to the ground to take on the rest of the Strangers.

Spectral arrives first, in yellow flame, and attempts to punch Teknight Blue but is swatted out of the sky by his backhand. Yrial quickly flies behind Teknight Blue and wraps her arms around his neck
to hold him for Teknight to take him out. Yrial is shocked, literally, as many volts of electricity pour out of Teknight Blue’s armor, which sends her away in pain.

“Foul villain!” shouts Teknight as he rams himself into Teknight Blue. Teknight charges again but his blue counter part grabs hold of his shoulders and tosses him to the ground below.

Atom Bob, Grenade, Electrocute, and Lady Killer scatter to avoid the mini bombs being thrown by Teknight Green.

Teknight Blue looks down at Teknight Green and activates a radio transmitter that can only be heard by the two of them. “Careful, you idiot. If you hurt the android, Hunt will skin our hides.”

“I know, I know. The capture of Candy is the prime directive of the Teknight program.”

“Just be careful, kid. That’s all I’m saying.”

Teknight Green continues throwing bombs at the Strangers while Teknight Blue returns his attention back to Teknight. He is floating ten feet off the ground and he just seems to be hovering there.

“Come at me, Fiend!” shouts Teknight. “If you are not too cowardly!”

Teknight Blue accepts the taunt and dives at Teknight. He gets a right hook ready to knock out his attended target, but he passes right through him. Teknight Blue, caught completely off guard, crashes into the hard concrete. Both of his wings break off in the impact.

“Did thou not know I could become immaterial like an average spirit? Hunt should’st have briefed you better.”

“TK Blue is down! I repeat. This is TK Green reporting in saying that TK Red has just taken out Blue. Request immediate…”

“Not so fast buddy,” says Electrocute as she blasts the pouch he carries containing his bombs. The huge explosion that follows sends everyone to the ground. Teknight Green seems unharmed, for the most part.

“Why you little… Screw the directive! I’m gonna leave a trail of your parts all the way to Hunt’s office!”

Teknight Green hovers over to Electrocute as fast as his platform will go. He is almost ready to jump off and strangle Candy when Teknight appears out of thin air and, sword in hand, slices right through the hover platform. Teknight Green lands face first, right next to Teknight Blue.

They both stand up and realize how the odds aren’t in their favor anymore. “Emergency protocols!” yells Teknight Blue. Out of their arms pop tubes that shoot smoke canisters.

After a few minutes, the smoke clears and the Strangers see that they’ve been given the slip.

“So much for Hunt’s ‘army,’” says Grenade smugly.

“I doubt ye have see the last of their kind,” says Teknight, helping Lady Killer to her feet.

“No kidding,” says Electrocute. “I heard a radio conversation between the two of them. I figure I heard it because I was created at the same place as their armor. Anyway, they said that the whole
purpose for this ‘army’ is to get me back.”

“You know we’ll protect you,” says Atom Bob, who gives Electrocute a peck on the cheek.

“Thanks, Bob. And I’m so lucky to have all of you to help me.”

“You’re one of us Candy,” says Lady Killer. “We wouldn’t have it any other way.”

“Well, I think I shall take my leave of you now,” says Teknight. “Thank ye for the assistance.”

“Oh, Teknight!” says Electrocute. “I must ask. How on Earth did you do those tricks?”

“I am a spirit, madam. Being so gives me intangibility and invisibility.”

“Amazing,” says Spectral. “What’ll you do now?”

“The world ye Strangers live in is vastly different from the one I remember. Mayhaps I shall explore it awhile.”

“Well, good luck to you, Teknight,” says Lady Killer, reaching out her hand as a sign of friendship.

“And to thou, m’lady. And the Strangers.” Teknight accepts her gesture and shakes her hand.

* * *

“This is intolerable!” bellows J. D. Hunt. “You failed to brin’ back either Teknight or Candy? An’ now their together, probly sharin’ my secrets! How could I have let such morons into those suits?!”

“But, sir…” begins Teknight Blue.

“But nothin’! You’re both fired! The both of you are experts in the fields of aviation and explosives but you’re not the only ones. I can find others to wear your suits.”

“You can’t be serious, sir.”

“End of story!” Hunt turns his back to them and doesn’t say anything. Both Teknights exit the room; heads hung low in shame. Hunt walks to his desk and pushes the button for his intercom. “Doyle. Office. Now.”

“Right away, sir.” Hunt’s assistant, Alexander Doyle, runs into the room.

“We need immediate retaliation against the Strangers. This time, no failures. I want to you break TNTNT out of prison and sen’ them after the Strangers again.”

“You’re kidding right?”

J. D. Hunt turns to look at his assistant with scornful eyes.

Doyle gulps and then chokes out, “Sir, TNTNT failed miserably against the Strangers. Why would you send them again?”

*Sigh* “I thought you’d be smart enough to figure on your own to give them the power enhancers I just developed for them.”

“Oh, right. Sorry, sir.”

“Get on it. At last, the Strangers’ time in the spotlight is up.”

- - Epilogue - -
(read the other side of this conversation in Prime #9)

“Hello Martha, is Kevin there?”



“How are you doing, son?”



"It’s okay, son. Everything will be okay. I think I have found someone who can help us with your problem.”



“I need you to fly yourself over to San Francisco. There’s a doctor here, who knows a lot about ultra-DNA.”



“Good. I’ll see you soon, son.”

Russell Green hung up the phone and walks over to a near-by window. “I told him. He’s coming.”

“Good,” a deep-voiced man responded. “I will help your son… as you can see, I have… experience with ultra genetics.”

Next issue – Prime guest stars as he comes to San Fran and meets The Strangers. Will they need his help in fighting TNTNT again? And what interest does the Pilgrim have in all this? Find out in Strangers #10 which is continued from Prime #9 and will conclude in Primevil #1.

 

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