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Ciao, babe.
Sun May 2, 2010 11:55pm


Malegaunt was all smiles when he returned from his long distance call and asked the Freelance Reploids if any of them wanted a drink.

“I’ll take a Garns 42.” Cross burst. “I’m parched.”

The host scoffed. “Garns? What is this, a Delta City dive? Smokey! Make him a white Russian!”

The creature composed of black smoke instantly breezed through the door and over to the wet bar. With amazing precision it began to mix the cocktail. As they all watched Malegaunt commented “Smokey makes a Caucasian that’ll knock your socks off.” When the gaseous being placed the drink in Cross’ hand he took a sip and could not dispute the claim.

“Hey!” Reid Falcon shouted as Malegaunt used a remote control to turn his vidscreen from the video game to a news feed. He dismissed the movie star by saying “Relax, kid. Go get some exercise. Why don’t you go try to nail that bird with the tattoos?”

From where she sat Ouija muttered under breath “Just let him try it.” She was clearly bored with having to keep an eye on the prisoners.

The vidscreen switched to the news feed just in time to catch a breaking report about the death of the Maverick Hunter leader. The news anchor droned “Chancellor Guracer was found dead in his office only moments ago having sustained what appears to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Officials say there will be a 24-hour cessation of hostilities in his honor.”

The anchorwoman fell silent as Malegaunt hit mute. He then asked “Did I deliver or what?”

“How’d you do it?” Axel inquired, speaking up for the first time and getting right to the point.

The smug human pulled a palm-sized medallion out of his shirt and held it up. The intricate markings on the amulet were too small for any of the Freelancers to read at that distance, but Dan Crasher seemed to recognize it. He even mumbled its name: “The Pendant of Pentane.”

“Our scientists puzzled over it for generations. All they knew was that it had the power to access the currents of time, but they couldn’t figure out exactly how it worked. That is until the demiurge experiments of Dr. Pious. Two years ago we were able to solve the riddle and since then getting control over every government on Earth has been easier than getting laid on prom night.”

Cross interrupted, wiping cream off his lip and saying “Let me get this straight, you can use that thing to go anywhere anytime… and you’re hanging out here?”

Malegaunt declared “Baby, this is paradise. I’ve got every luxury here. Smokey does all the work. I swim with the dolphins every morning, eat fresh fruit… I’m in the best shape of my life! And I’ve got the whole place covered in a cloaking field so nobody bothers me unless I want them to. If you had all the money in the world wouldn’t you buy your own private island where you could lay in the sun all day?”

Sion Laiken cleared his throat and said “I hate to tell you this, but your island is crawling with zombies.”

“Oh, those are just my guard dogs. From time to time I procure things from the past and a few people come with it. Temple guards, pirates, that sort of thing. After my man Gorgon kills them I turn them into ghouls. It’s less hassle than a security system.”

Feeling the need to assert herself the way a leader ought, Maq asked “Since you’re such an old friend of my Dad’s does that mean you’ll let us hang out here a few days until we can repair our transport?”

“He intends to kill us.” Dan sighed with his head down and eyes closed. Maq got the feeling from his tone that he wished she hadn’t revealed their relationship.

Malegaunt smiled. “Now why would you think that, old buddy?”

“Because you’ve hated me for years.” the ageless wizard answered. “And because you’d never have told us about the pendant if you were going to allow us to leave.”

In the back of the crowd of mercenaries, Drej felt someone tap him on the shoulder. He turned to see Lock pointing at the top of the stairs where a very much alive Kail crouched stealthily. The assassin had somehow eluded capture and managed to gain access to Malegaunt’s domicile.

“As astute as ever, Astandan.”

Crasher opened his eyes and reminded his adversary “But you’re forgetting one thing: Even if you could take on all of us at once, it’s forbidden for an archmage to kill any other member of the council. You may call yourself king of the world, but Kathulos is still Sorcerer Supreme.”

“What do you mean ‘even if I could take on all of you at once’?” Malegaunt scoffed, clearly offended.

That’s when Kail made his move. He leapt from the top of the stairs like a jaguar. The assassin hit the ground running and started to dash towards the self proclaimed monarch, but Ouija appeared in his path crouched in a fighting stance. Being the only other people in the room to anticipate what was going to happen, Lock and Drej tackled the girl to the ground and left Kail an open path to his target.

The mercenary captain somersaulted over his flattened obstacle and jumped wildly at Malegaunt. The flamboyant wizard stopped Kail with a mere gesture. Stopped him in midair, that is. The assassin floated weightless for a moment and Dan started to say something, but before he could Malegaunt hissed an incantation that made the air crackle.

That’s when Kail started to fly apart. His arms and legs detached. In mere seconds his synthetic skin unwove and flew off of his body like an unraveled piece of fabric. Every part of the assassin, right down to the wires and circuits, ended up in neatly sorted piles on the floor. There was a pile of bolts, a pile of nylon thread that had been his swim trunks, and even a puddle of black ink that had been his tattoos. The being known as Kail the Destroyer no longer existed.

“This is just to show you how little I fear these insects.” Malegaunt growled in his brown voice, then spoke another incantation. As soon as the last word left his lips, the piles of raw materials flew back together and reformed into Kail, exactly as he had been before. The assassin dropped to the ground and stared blankly for a moment before letting out a slight “Ouch”.

Malegaunt continued, saying “They are of absolutely no consequence, Astandan. But you’re right about not being able to kill a fellow archmage. That’s the law we agreed upon in the council, and without Law there would be chaos. So I’m not going to kill you. I’ve got something better in store. Wait till you get a load of this.”

He again held up the Pendant of Pentane, but this time he fingered its edge deliberately and intoned the word “RAMSHATHER”. Like the detonation of some bomb a hole through time and space instantly tore open in the center of the room. The strobe-like patterns of light pouring through it stunned those that gazed directly at the portal, and the indescribably sounds it emitted were the musical fabric of the universe.

Half of the Freelance Reploids were sucked into the vortex by an incorporeal magical force while the other half were tossed in by the gaseous smoke creature. Axel was the last to go through, only falling in when Ouija landed a superhuman kick to the middle of his solar plexus. The hole in space then closed after him leaving no trace it had ever been. All was silent except for the bossa nova song Desafinado softly playing over the speakers.

“Cool!” exclaimed Reid Falcon from the couch.

Malegaunt looked at Ouija through his rose-colored sunglasses and assured her “Don’t worry, baby, I won’t tell Gorgon how you let those two punks catch you with your pants down.”


NRP – After my next post everything will be set up and you guys will be able to join in.

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    • Ciao, babe. — Kail, Sun May 2 11:55pm
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