Monday, 31 December 1990

Anglo-Force: The Formation & The Return Of Saruman Chapter 4

A few days had passed since the battle with the Black Squadron. They met regularly at the shelter, but it was not to their liking.
    “It’s no good.” said Chameleon. “This place was okay for the cavourite operation, but as a permanent HQ, it sucks!”
    “What other choice do we have?” said Star Man. “There’s no other place to go, and this place is pretty cheap, rent-wise.”
    Magus moved his hand across the air, and an image appeared.
    “Behold!” he said. “Craigmillar Castle! My home for centuries. It will do until the government offer us something more permanent.”
    “With all due respect” said Mr. X, “it’s a bit too far north. We need something a bit more inland. And besides, we can sort this out later. We have more important business. We have to decide on a leader.”
    “Right.” said Star Man. “We can’t just go into battle without any plan, any direction, whatever the situation. But how do we decide?”
    “Democracy.” said Watt. “We’ll hold a ballot. If it works for the free world, it’ll work for Anglo-Force.”
    “May I suggest one rule.” said Magus. “That we do not vote for ourselves, otherwise, it would be a seven way dead heat.”
    “Agreed.” said Mr. X.
    A ballot was held. Five minutes passed while it took place. Magus counted the votes.
    “I congratulate you, Mr. X.” said Magus. “You are Anglo-Force’s first leader.”
    The meeting ended soon afterwards. As there was nothing much happening, they all made their way to their respective homes.
    Watt flew out of the secret passage, toward his flat in Kensington. He was still getting used to his powers. He knew that he could withstand almost any type of explosion, and that only one thing could kill him - old age. But he wanted to test his speed capabilities, so he did. A journey that would take twenty minutes by car took Watt less than two. He began to slow down as he neared his flat. As he did, he noticed a few reporters standing by his door. They had been there since the battle with Supremus, because unlike other super-heroes, he did not keep his identity secret. So he decided to go in the back way, and fly through his back window.
As he changed his course, he noticed something that looked familiar to him, but also
something he had not seen for a few years. He could see a red streak across the sky. He decided to follow it. With his new powers he would have no trouble. He followed the red streak. Within seconds, he could see what he wanted to. It was a woman, clad entirely in red, with long, flowing, blonde hair, blowing in the wind. Quickly, he overtook her. Then, he saw her face. A face he had not seen in four years.
    “Greetings, James, from the Commonwealth of Independent States. Or should I call you Captain now?”
    A broad smile appeared on Watt’s face.
    “Kate!” he said. “What are you doing here?”
    “Please, Jim. When I’m working, I prefer to be called Red Sun.”
    “You still haven’t answered my question, Kate.” said Watt. “What are you doing in London?”
    “I’ve retired from the army. And I decided to check out a few old friends, and you are top of my list. Is there somewhere else where we can talk? We have four years to make up for!”
    “Sure!” said Watt. “We can go back to my place. It won’t be much trouble getting past the tabloid press!”

    The Old Bailey had been a bastion of British justice for centuries, but on this day justice was not served. The trial of Peter Oswald was not going as the prosecution had hoped.
    “We cannot allow criminals like this man to walk the streets.” cried Arthur Pendragon, the prosecuting lawyer. “He has been shown to be behind a series of major crimes across the country.”
    Stockwell, the defence counsel, rose.
    “My lord, the prosecution has no real evidence. That which they have presented is merely circumstantial.”
    The judge looked down on Pendragon sternly.
    “I am afraid, Pendragon, that I must agree. The case is dismissed.”
    The courtroom began to clear. Oswald sidled up to Pendragon.
    “Your pal White Knight should be more careful. I’d have been inside if he hadn’t destroyed the evidence against me.”
    An evil laugh filled the courtroom.

    “You still haven’t explained to me.” said Watt. “What are you doing here in London?”
    “I heard about your accident.” said Kate. “I was afraid that you were lost to me altogether. But when I arrived four days ago, I saw your face in all the newspapers. I thought that now you had super-powers, maybe you’d want to try and keep up with me!”
    Watt walked over to her.
    “Katrina,” he said, “seeing you again has brought back all of those memories, the good and the bad ones. I just don’t know if I’m ready to get involved with anyone right now. I’ve got a lot of things on my mind. I’ve got to decide if I want to keep on with this super-hero thing. After all, this is all new to me. You’ve had all of your life to deal with this sort of thing.”
    Kate kissed Watt on his cheek.
    “Then maybe I can help you come to terms with it.” she said. “Let me help you.”
    Watt smiled.
    “That’s the best offer I’ve had all day!”

    Arthur Pendragon was not a happy man. As he sat in his Jaguar XJS, driving to his country estate, his thoughts went back to the courtroom scene from hours ago. Just the thought of a man like Peter Oswald, the Gunner, brought a foul taste to his mouth. Soon, he entered the courtyard of his estate. After getting out of the car, he did not go into the house. Instead, he went to the stables. With it now being dark, all the stable hands would have retired for the evening. He was all alone. There was hardly any light, but Pendragon could see where he was going. He came to the biggest stable, opened the door, and turned on the light. He was greeted by a fine, white steed with a long, flowing mane. The horse trotted over to Pendragon. He began to bob his head, and snorted a lot.
    “Easy, Galador, my old friend!” smiled Pendragon. “It’s good to see you too!”
    Galador nuzzled Pendragon’s ear.
    “I know, my friend. It’s been a long time! But don’t worry. You will see the sky again soon, I promise. I’ve got to go now. I’ve got a call to make.”
    Galador snorted.
    “Yes, I’m calling him. I’ll send your regards. Good night old friend.”
    Pendragon turned out the light, and walked into the house. He walked into his private study. He turned on the light, and sat at his desk. In front of him stood a crystal, inside a glass casing.
    Pendragon removed the casing, and the crystal started to glow. Then, a small image appeared in front of the crystal. It was the image of an old man, with a long white beard and long white hair. It was Merlin.
    “Greetings, Arthur. It’s been a long time.” he said. “You only speak to me when you are troubled.”
    “You know me well, Merlin!” Pendragon replied. “I have failed. Peter Oswald is free again.”
    “Is this the evil you spoke of during our last discussion?” asked Merlin.
    “Yes.” replied Pendragon. “But I never seem able to win against Oswald. He always managed to use some trickery to go free. And with his cast knowledge of weapons and machinery, he seems too much for me to handle.”
    “You must remember one thing, Arthur.” said Merlin. “Good will always prevail over evil. But sometimes, you must join forces with others like you to combat the evil. Seek out the one known as Magus. He has new allies who may be able to help you. But do not go to him as Arthur Pendragon. Go to him as the White Knight!”
    “Thank you, Merlin.” said Pendragon. “As always you have been a great help.”
    The image vanished. Pendragon walked over to the fireplace. Hanging above the fireplace was a large sword. Pendragon picked it up.
    “Excalibur! Your might power is needed once more!”
    Now Pendragon was replaced by White Knight. Taking Galador, he took to the air. Once aloft the held Excalibur out before him. The sword began to tug, like a tracking dog on a leash.

    Magus was seated in the Royal Albert Hall, listening to a performance of Schubert’s Ave Maria, the soloist being his adopted son, Thomas Leacock. Then, the performance stopped. An official walked out onto the stage.
    “Is there a Doctor Phineas Magus in the house? You are required outside.”
    Magus quietly dematerialized and reappeared outside. He could see no one.
    “I know you are here. You’d better show yourself.”
    White Knight stepped our of cover.
    “I was told to seek you by Merlin.” he said.
    “You must be White Knight. I recognise Excalibur.”
    White Knight bowed.
    “He says you can help me find allies.”
    “I sense you are telling the truth. Although I would say it’s the first sensible thing Merlin has done, sending you to me.”
    Magus looked back at the hall, which was now beginning to empty.
    “You do realise I’ve missed a Schubert recital because of you?” sighed Magus.
    “If you knew what I did you wouldn’t care about Schubert.” replied White Knight.
    “My dear boy, I know everything you know, and more, and as for not caring about Schubert, he was one of the nicest fellows I ever met.”
He looked around.
    “I presume you have a horse somewhere. Bring him out. I may be a wizard but I don’t intend teleporting half of Hyde Park.”
    Galador appeared, and all three vanished to reappear in the bunker. Chameleon hurried over.
    “I recognise you. You’re the White Knight!”
    “Pleased to meet you. Merlin was right, I have found allies.”