Death and destruction.
Fear followed by flight.
This is our future. Or at least, this is what I've been told is in our future. Something terrible will happen, something that will affect the whole world, and human kind will come to fear cosmics. That fear will turn to hate. And eventually, those of us who are left will be forced to leave this planet and seek refuge on Mars.
I'm told it won't happen tomorrow or next week but soon, perhaps in a year. And I've been guaranteed that there's nothing anyone can do to change it. The future is, apparently, fixed. So much for free will. All I can do is decide whether I join those preparing for this future or try to fight it. And even that isn't really a choice. Not in the end. When push comes to shove, I join those leaving this Earth to the resultant chaotic hell. Or so they tell me.
They are the Coven.
It all happened yesterday, just over a year since the latest incarnation of the Cosmic Knights was formed. Whilst teleporting across town to get to a dinner date with Sam, my wife, I noticed flashing blue lights, the squeal of sirens and the pounding of collapsing buildings coming from near the centre of Millenia. I ported over to the top of a building near the scene of the disturbance and looked down. There was Bedlam, one of the Masters of Mayhem, not seen since he'd attacked the Cube a few months ago.
There seems to be very little information out there on Bedlam. He generally appears to be a large, musclebound guy standing around 7 feet tall, with blue skin and horns spiralling out from his head. He looks like a demon on steroids - but is as dumb as a brick, doesn't say a lot and has serious anger management issues.
Anyway, as I stood there on the roof of the building watching, Bedlam picked up a cop car and smashed it into the ground, breaking it into pieces. Fortunately no one was in the car at the time. But still, enough was enough. One port later and I appeared in front of the big behemoth.
"Hey, no damaging public property!" I said (or something equally witty) whilst waving my hands in front of him as a distraction.
"Go screw yerself!" was all the big, blue guy said in return, always a great conversationalist. Rather than talk a little more, he just glared at me and then swung a huge fist in my direction. Luckily, Bedlam isn't that quick so it was easy for me to port out of the way.
"Aha! You missed, ya big lug", I retorted, whilst porting in behind him.
In retaliation I tried punching the villain but, as expected, all that did was tickle him. Bedlam grunted and turned around trying to grab me. I ported again, punched, ported, punched, ported, punched. Each of my hits landed and, although Bedlam staggered back a little, my punches just seemed to make him even more angry.
By now he was getting bored of trying to grab me so instead he bellowed some colourful language far too obscene to repeat here and then grabbed a nearby lamppost. He swung it at me but missed, smashing it into a wall behind me instead.
Obviously not impressed with my punches, I decided some other tactic was required. It was time for my newly developed multiport.
"Hey! Ugly butt. Over here!" I yelled.
As Bedlam paused and glanced my way, I ported over to him. He began to lift the post to try swat me away again and, as he did, I grabbed ol' Big Blue and ported him one foot to the left. Then, whilst the twinkling stars of my last port still hung in the air, I ported him again. And then again and again. And so on until Bedlam had been ported about ten times. Finally, I teleported away from the guy to see what effect it had.
Bedlam stood there, obviously disorientated. He held his head in his hands and growled in my direction. Surprisingly, he was still conscious. A second later, even more surprisingly, he had picked up the dropped lamppost and swung it at me again. I wasn't expecting it. The metal club hit me and hit me hard. I went flying backwards into a building.
Luckily, my gleaming force field is practically indestructible. I felt the blow but the post didn't penetrate my shield. It was a minor injury but I felt it nonetheless. Still reeling, my vision swam as I stood up. Bedlam had moved towards the edge of the police cordon and was approaching a female police officer. She stood her ground, holding a pistol up to ward of the big cosmic villain. I knew the gun would do her no good against Bedlam and that I should port over to get her out of trouble. But I was still groggy from that last hit. I could hardly move, let alone port. I staggered forwards but I wasn't going to make it.
Thankfully, someone else saved her. Out of nowhere a figure in dark grey swooped down on a swing line and snatched the woman out of Bedlam's deadly grip. In response, he howled in anger (and said a few more choice words) whilst turning to face the newcomer. The howl was met by a flight of three crescent shaped blades, which zipped through the air and struck the guy in the face. Unsurprisongly, Bedlam swore again.
I turned to look at the dark figure as he dropped down to the ground and let the police officer escape to freedom. Instantly, I recognised our rescuer. His mask and grey cloak were unmistakeable. So was his glowering, confident manner. It was my fellow Knight, the Twilight Man.
Shaking my head to clear it, I ported over to Bedlam and, whilst he was recovering from the Twilight Man's attack, hit him with another flurry of blows. When Bedlam began to swing his muscle-bound arms again, I ported away next to the Man of Mystery.
"Hi T.M. What brings you to this part of town?", I asked, a little surprised to see him.
"Later Unicorn. First let us tackle this adversary", replied the Twilight Man in that monotone, foreboding voice of his.
"Sure, so shall...", I started but never got to finish. The Twilight Man was off, leaping into action. He launched a couple of moon blades at Bedlam to distract him and, at the same time, fired off his swing line around the villain's feet.
Feeling a little foolish standing there talking to nobody, I also leapt towards Bedlam. Flipping in the air, I launched a foot at the muscle-man's face, kicking him solidly on the nose. I then jumped up, ported and landed behind Bedlam. With as much strength as I could muster, I kicked the cosmic creep in the small of his back whilst the Twilight Man yanked on the line wrapped around his feet.
Bedlam went down, smashing into the sidewalk with an almighty thud.
"Yeah!" I yelled punching the air, but the Twilight Man quickly brought me back down.
"Unicorn. Hit him with a horn blast, before he recovers", he called out, his voice a sharp order. I turned towards Bedlam and concentrated.
The twinkling of my force field intensified around my head. A single, shining horn of light began to appear from my forehead. This was my ultimate offensive power - a beam of pure force that hit as hard as a missile. Over the years, my horn blasts had been getting gradually more powerful but also more uncontrollable. Nowadays, I was reluctant to use it and then only against the most powerful of opponents.
Against Bedlam however, its use was justified.
The beam of blinding energy shot out from my forehead, crackled through the air, and slammed into the back of Bedlam's head. The villain groaned with pain. He tried to lift himself up but finally fell back to the ground, unconscious.
Dust hung in the air where Bedlam had fallen and gently floated down into the crater. Part of a building behind me dropped to the ground with a dull thud. There was a quiet moment before everyone gathered - police, fire department, bystanders - started to react.
In that moment, the Twilight Man grabbed me and pulled me to one side.
"Follow me", he said matter-of-factly.
He then added "You need to meet some people" and ran off into a side street.
Shrugging, wondering what was going on, I sprinted after the dark figure as the people behind me began to tidy up the mess left by Bedlam's attack.
To Be Continued...