Friday, 25 November 1994

The New Age - Chapter Five

    Night began to close in as the clear-up at the mansion began, with the housekeeper, Yetta, moving around the hallway with her vacuum cleaner. She was not happy.
    “Will you look at my carpet?” she said. “All of this mud from all of those feet! It will take me ages to get this clean.”
    “I’m sure you’ll do a fine job as always, Yetta.” said Watt. “Now, please excuse me.”
    A short time later Watt walked into the nursery where he found Katrina cradling young Peter.
    “Shh!” Katrina gestured.
    A few seconds later she put Peter into his cot. Turning off the light she then left the room, closing the door behind her.
    “Hopefully he’ll be out for hours.” she said. “I think he enjoyed meeting his great cousin Igor today.”
    “I did also.” said Watt. “He’s a very nice man.”
    Then Watt’s communicator sounded. He reached into his pocket and pressed the button.
    “Watt here.”
    “It’s Arthur, Jim. You’d better come down to the monitor room.”

    A few minutes later Watt and Katrina were standing in the monitor room with Pendragon and Reid.
    “I’ve picked up this strange energy reading from Hyde Park.” said Pendragon. “The doc here doesn’t know what it is, and the sensors have no idea either.”
    “Put it on screen.”
    After operating the computer the sensor reading appeared on the computer’s screen.
    “It looks familiar somehow.” said Watt. “I’m not sure but I think I once saw a similar reading on Magus’ computer at Craigmillar.”
    “You mean some sort of mystical energy?” said Reid.
    “Have you checked the police radio?” Watt asked.
    “There’s nothing on the airwaves.” said Pendragon.
    “All the same I still think we’d better check it out.” said Watt. “With what we were told today I’m not taking anything for granted. Get into your battle togs, then alert Ultare and Colossus. Put the others on standby if case we need them.
    It was five minutes later when the team of Watt, White Knight, Reid, Fire-Master and Colossus One arrived in Hyde Park. When they landed they found the scene was very quiet. Reid reached into his pocket and took out his scanner. He began to scan the immediate area. Colossus, of course, had no need for such devices.
    “You two find anything?” asked Watt.
    “There is definitely some form of energy here.” said Colossus. “It is, however, not mystical in origin.”
    “Confirmed.” said Reid. “The readings here are going off the scale. I’ve no idea what it could be.”
    Then Watt raised his hands, motioning for the others to be quiet.
    “What is it?” asked White Knight.
    “Sounds like horses to me.” said Watt. “Running horses.”
    They looked around. Fire-Master pointed to the distance.
    “Over there!” he said. “Looks like there’s nine of them!”
    “Do nothing.” said Watt. “They may have nothing to do with this.”
    They watched for a number of minutes as the nine horse riders rode towards them. When they were ten feet in front of them they realised something was wrong.
    “Look at their eyes!” said Reid. “I’ve never seen anything like it before!”
    Then all nine of the riders drew swords and came running, on their horses, towards Anglo-Force. They only just had enough time to get out of the way. The riders rode on for a few minutes, this giving Anglo-Force time to regroup.
    “It can’t be!” said White Knight. “I’ve read about them in Magus’ journals but I never thought I’d see them in person!”
    “Who? What are you talking about?” asked Watt.
    “The Black Riders!” White Knight replied. “The nine Black Riders from Middle-Earth!”
    “Of course!” said Reid. “That energy must have come from some sort of portal which brought them here from the Time of Legends!”
    “I’d like to discuss this over a coffee with you sometime Doctor.” said Watt. “But at the moment we don’t have the time. It looks like our boys are about to make a return trip!”
    Watt was correct. The Black Riders had turned around and were preparing for another attack. White Knight mounted Galador, Fire-Master raised his hands and fired a fire-burst at the oncoming enemy. It was as if the Riders knew what he was going to do. They deflected the blast with their swords.
    “Don’t let the blades touch you!” said White Knight. “From what I remember it could do great damage!”
    “It’s a sword!” said Watt. “It’s meant to! And it shouldn’t harm me anyway!”
    One of the Black Riders broke off and started to move towards Watt, sword held high in the air. He then brought it down upon Watt when he was near to him, and Watt was surprised when the blade hurt him. He looked down at his arm and could see a huge gash on it where the sword had struck him.
    “That does it!” he shouted.
    Taking to the sky he roared off after the Black Rider that attacked him. He soon caught up with him and grabbed hold of his black cape. With one mighty heave he pulled the Rider off his horse and sent him flying back two hundred metres. This sort of attack would have taken care of anyone else. But Watt was surprised when the Black Rider got to his feet and stared at him.
    Two Black Riders had converged onto Reid, thinking that he was an easy target. They were surprised when he used his stretching powers against them, using his arm as a sort of trip wire which pulled them off their horses as they rode past him. He then started to put into practice some of the boxing lessons Watt had given him. But there was no way he could knock out one of the Black Riders. Again, they just stared before tossing Reid aside like a piece of yesterday’s rubbish.
    Fire-Master continued to fly around the Black Riders, firing sporadic bursts at them, trying to keep them off balance. This tactic seemed to work as Watt continued to battle his Black Rider, catching him with several quick blows. Once again the Rider held his sword up high, but this time Watt knew what was happening. As the Rider brought the sword down Watt used his density to make his body intangible and the sword just passed through him. This confused the Black Rider just enough for Watt to catch him with another blow and send him flying.
    Colossus One was also having trouble with the Black Riders. Even though his android motors have him the power of super-speed the Riders still managed to catch him with their swords. He decided to use his android strength. Just as he was about to be attacked by another sword he grabbed the sword and threw the Black Rider attached to it high up into the air. He then neatly sidestepped as the Rider crashed into the ground.
    “How interesting.” he said to himself.
    The battle continued for a number of minutes. It seemed to reach a stalemate. Watt knew that the end of this conflict was not in sight.
    “We are still outnumbered!” he cried. “We need reinforcements!”
    “Agreed!” shouted White Knight. “I’m just about to send the signal!”
    White Knight reached into his pocket and took out his communicator. He switched it on and was about to send a signal when he found it smashed by one of the Black Rider’s swords.
    In the monitor room at the mansion Supercop stood in front of the screen. Behind him were Star Man, Paul Solo and Marvel Boy.
    “The signal was there for a split second.” said Supercop. “But then it stopped.”
    “As if someone smashed the communicator.” said Solo. “I don’t care what anyone else says. We’d better get to Hyde Park.”
    It was less than a minute later before an Anglo-Force sky-jet was flying towards Hyde Park. When they flew over the park they could see the battle below.
    “Looks like they were trying to send a signal.” said Star Man. “Looks like five against nine down there.”
    “Which will soon be equalled up.” said Solo. “You three go on ahead. I’ll land the plane and catch up.”
    The side hatch of the jet opened, and Supercop, Star Man and Marvel Boy flew out. As soon as they got near the ground they started to attack the Black Riders. Star Man began to fire nova bursts at them which knocked several of them off their feet. Marvel Boy followed up with a telekinetic blast.
    “Looks like the cavalry has arrived!” said White Knight.
    Supercop charged straight in, using good old fashioned brute force to thrown around the Riders like toys. A few minutes later Solo arrived, using a good old fashioned laser rifle to ward off the riders.
    “We are caught off-guard!” hissed one of the Riders. “We must retreat! Our main task is accomplished! We have made ourselves known!”
    Upon hearing this the Black Riders quickly mounted their horses and began to ride away. Anglo-Force tried to follow, but a thick mist suddenly began to form, making it impossible because they could not be seen. The mist cleared a few minutes later, but the Black Riders were gone.
    “Where did they go?” asked Supercop.
    “I have no idea.” said Watt. “But it appears Darkmagus has shown us part of his hand.”

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