Monday, 19 September 1994

The Dawning of the New Age - Chapter Three

    The deck of the Valkyrie was a hive of activity as crewmen assumed their battle stations. They did not know what to expect as the streak of yellow and red flew high above them, suddenly swooping down low and passing them several times. Then, after a fifth pass, it attacked, hurling fire and fireballs at the deck and the guns, the attacks melting the metal on impact. It then swooped high up into the sky and was about to attack again when it found itself encased in a green sphere, courtesy of the Green Lantern. Now unable to move at it’s tremendous speed it showed itself for what it truly is - a man.

    “I’ve never seen anyone move that fast before!” said Green Lantern. “No insult intended Flash.”
    Suddenly the man inside the sphere extended his arms, and suddenly a bright light appeared inside the sphere. The power was too much for the Green Lantern as the intense heat caused him to release his grip. Then, as his comrade was stunned, the Human Torch hurled several fireballs at the man, but each one of them missed. On the deck of the Valkyrie the heroes knew they had to act. Captain America took his shield off his back and tried to hurl it at the man. All the shield hit was empty air. The shield just flew back to him. The man swooped down low over the deck and just managed to avoid a lunge from McCloud’s sword. Green Lantern and the Torch attacked again, and when he flew near the ship the Flash tried to grab hold of him, but the man was way too fast for him.
    As all of this battle went on Magus hovered above the German U-Boat, watching the proceedings and taking no part in them. He was not concerned about the battle or the stranger attacking his comrades. At the moment he was more concerned with the one who was giving this stranger his orders.
    The battle continued. Again, the stranger swooped low over the Valkyrie, but this time the Flash had built up enough speed and managed to grab hold of his attacker. The Flash brought him down to the deck, the impact stunning the attacker and forcing him to lose his flame. McCloud then ran over, but before he could do anything the stranger was in flame again, and after knocking McCloud away he grabbed hold of the Flash and threw him into the air and into the oncoming Human Torch, forcing both of them into the ocean. The stranger turned around and aimed a fire blast at McCloud and Captain America. Captain America only just managed to raise his shield in time, but McCloud bore the full brunt of the blast. It was on seeing this that Magus decided to act. He flew from his position above the U-Boat and towards the attack. The stranger continued to attack the Green Lantern just as Flash and the Human Torch came to the surface. Moving towards the attacker Magus raised his arms and water from the ocean began to rise into the air. The attacker did not know what was happening. The water began to swirl in the air, and suddenly, before the stranger could do anything the water was on the attacker, dousing his flame and sending him falling towards the ocean. With another spell Magus stopped him from falling and floated him towards the Valkyrie. It was when he arrived that Captain America and Captain Watt restrained him. As they did this the attacker began shouting and screaming in German.
    “Who are you?” shouted Captain America. “Why did you attack us?”
    The attacked continued to shout in his native tongue. After seeing to McCloud Magus approached them.
    “It is obvious that he cannot, or will not, speak English.” he said. “Let me speak to him.”
    Magus kneeled down and began to speak to the attacker in his native German.
    “Who are you? Why did you attack your own countrymen?”
    Upon hearing his own language the attacker seemed to calm down.
    “I am Fire-Flash! I attacked the U-Boat on the orders of my master!”
    “Your master? Who is he? Adolf Hitler?”
    “No! No! My master is the true power of the world!”
    It was as Magus was speaking to Fire-Flash that the skies started to darken. Captain Watt looked up as winds began to swirl and the temperature suddenly began to drop.
    “A storm’s coming. We’d best get inside.”
    But before they could do anything the storm was suddenly upon them. Violent thunder began to strike, and all around them waves lashed the Valkyrie’s deck. Magus helped Fire-Flash to his feet when suddenly what appeared to be a hole opened up in the sky above them. The others were confused.
    “What is it Phineas?” asked McCloud.
    “It looks like sort of portal.” Magus replied. “But I haven’t seen one like this for over a century!”
    The storm was getting worse. It seemed to get worse when a man appeared in the portal. The man had black hair and bore a remarkable resemblance to Magus.
    “No!” said Magus. “It can’t be!”
    “Who is it?” screamed McCloud. “Who is he?”
    The stranger pointed his hand towards Magus, McCloud and Fire-Flash, and suddenly the ropes that held the German captive began to untie themselves. Then Fire-Flash’s flame returned and he began to rise into the air and move towards the portal. A loud booming voice was then heard.
    “You may have won today, brother, but the ultimate victory will be mine!”
    Then Fire-Flash entered the portal and vanished. A second later and the portal vanished also. The weather began to return to normal. The heroes began to get to their feet. McCloud began to ask questions.”
    “Phineas, who was that? Why did he call you ‘brother’?”
    “That, my old friend, is an old enemy of mine, and an old enemy of the Istari’s. As I said, this is not the work of the Nazi regime, but the work of Darkmagus!”

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