Friday, 25 November 1994

The New Age - Chapter Four

    Many people had managed to scale Mount Everest during the past half century, but none of them had seen a special place that was located on this mountain, mainly because this place was cloaked from normal view. The place in question was the citadel and home to the Over-Seer of Earth’s events, one of the most powerful beings in this world - Rhiannon.
    For nearly one hundred years she had watched the events of the world from her citadel, and when times were dire she intervened. She had to intervene in an event recently, when the power-mad Supremus defeated the members of Anglo-Force. She then had to use her powers to erase the short-term memory of James Watt, because even though she watched the world’s events her presence should never be known.
    Walking through her vast citadel she looked around at the computer banks which lined the walls. In these banks were contained almost every piece of information known to mankind. One special computer documented the histories of the world’s heroes, their endeavours, their ultimate fight against evil.
    “For all my power boredom still attacks me.” she said to herself. “I long for the time I can reveal myself to the world, for the time I can come out from behind my cloak.”
    Then Rhiannon looked onto one of the computer screens.
    “I see that Phineas Magus has returned to Earth, and this time he has brought Gandalf and Merlin with him also. Perhaps now is the new time Magus once spoke to me of.”
    Then there was a loud buzzing and beeping noise from one of the nearby data banks. Rushing over she soon found out it was coming from the databanks that housed the secrets of the super-heroes. Try as she might she could not stop what was happening - an outside source was actually tapping into her computing system and stealing some information. Somehow she knew this had something to do with the arrival of Merlin and Gandalf. She knew she had to act. Leaving her citadel she then took to the skies.
    Little did she realise that the information was travelling to a point over a million miles away, to the Earth’s neighbour planet, Mars. On Mars was another of Darkmagus’ bases. It was here he had now returned. He sat in a chair facing a computer screen. He smiled as information about the super-heroes secrets appeared on his screen. A short time later he was joined by Felicia Martins.
    “I see you’ve managed to break into Rhiannon’s computer.” she smiled. “Is this the info on the heroes?”
    “It is.” Darkmagus replied. “Soon phase one of my plan will begin.”
    Darkmagus switched off the computer screen and turned to Felicia.
    “What about the preparation?” he asked. “Have all of the sleeper agents been programmed with their new orders and sent back to Earth?”
    “Nearly all of them, but we lost one.”
    “Terrence Hogan. The guidance system on his sleeper ship exploded. It was last seen heading towards Saturn.”
    “Never mind. Hogan wasn’t that important anyway. I doubt if Peter Tompkins will be contacted by the Istari anyway.”

    The skies above the Surrey countryside began to fill as allies and friends, and a few new friends, began to fly towards the Anglo-Force mansion, having been summoned there by Magus. It began to read like a who’s who of the crime fighting world. There was Axe Kid, Lighting Kid and Changer, three former members of Magus’ Warriors group, who had taken time off from crime fighting for academic pursuits. Then there was the man from Titan, Cosmic Kid, another former pupil of Magus. From Voltania came the reigning monarch, T’Chuka, known worldwide as the Tiger. With him he brought two of his relatives who possessed powers similar to his own - his sister, the Tigress, and his cousin from Africa, the Lion.
    Then came one of Magus’ friends from the original Anglo-Force, the monarch of Atlantis, Prince Poseidon. He brought along his son, Aldair. Techno-Man soon arrived, another old friend of Magus’. Then came one of the original members of the new Anglo-Force, John Clark, also known as Jet. Then some new faces began to arrive. There was the cousin of Katrina Velichev, Igor Velichev, code-name Red Star, a mutant like his cousin. Then came a woman who resembled a giant bird. She was covered in black feathers and wings were attached to her back. She went by the name of Raven. Then came Starscream, with her scream that could level mountains and a knack at unarmed combat. Goldeye, master of the eagles, arrived.
    Then more old friends arrived. From the Land of the Gods came the Celtic God Lug, who aided Anglo-Force during the war with Saruman the White. From the C.I.A. came the partner of Supercop, who had also aided Anglo-Force against Saruman, the hero known as Mighty Man. Then, from the highlands of Scotland came perhaps one of Magus’ oldest friends, the Highlander, Connor McCloud. He was soon followed by Magus’ genie companion, Johangas Khan.
    Two men did not arrive via flight, or were not helped by someone who could fly. A small white Ford pulled up at the gates. It’s occupants - Adam and Godbold.
    “This is the Anglo-Force mansion!” said Adam. “Is this what those visions were about?”
    “This is exactly what those visions were about.” Godbold replied. “We were being summoned here by none other than Phineas Magus himself.”
    “But what for?”
    “We’ll probably find out inside lad.”
    The car pulled into the gate and pulled up outside the main entrance.
    Finally the last man summoned arrived. He did not fly, he did not arrive by car. He was clad in a uniform similar to the one worn by the former leader of Anglo-Force, Mr. X. Running up towards the closed gate he suddenly somersaulted over the gate, showing great strength and agility in doing so. Landing on his feet he soon made his way to the door. X had arrived. Before he reached the door he walked past someone who looked like he hadn’t had a bath in a month. This man was also a former leader of Anglo-Force, only he resigned under less than pleasant circumstances. The man in question was Lewis Anderson, formerly known as Chameleon, and he had no real desire to be here.
    In the main doorway socialisation began. Old friendships were renewed. Magus was pleased when he saw Godbold. He soon approached him.
    “Godbold, old friend!” smiled Magus, shaking Godbold by the hand. “It’s good to see you again. How long has it been?”
    “One hundred and seventy-two years.” Godbold replied.
    “Still calling yourself the Hermit of Leeds?”
    “Leeds has got to have something to be famous for. Their football team hasn’t done too well of late.”
    Magus then looked over Godbold’s shoulder as Adam approached.
    “You must be Magus.” he said. “I’m not too sure but I think we’ve met before.”
    “We did.” said Magus. “I hope you are well.”
    “I’m fine. I just wish you could have contacted me a little better. I do carry a portable phone with me all the time.”
    There was some tension as Chameleon and Watt met for the first time since Chameleon resigned.
    “It’s good to see you again Lewis.” said Watt, trying to be polite.
    “If I had my way I wouldn’t be here.” replied Chameleon. “If it wasn’t for you and Magus I’d still be a member of Anglo-Force.”
    A few minutes passed before everyone who had been summoned entered the mansion. It was then that Watt made his way to the stairway where he could be seen by everyone.
    “I think that’s all of us.” he said. “Thank you, all, for coming at such short notice. What I learned earlier today is so astounding that I thought it was best we all heard it first hand. Of course you should all know Doctor Phineas Magus. With him are two others from his order, Merlin and Gandalf. I think I should let them explain.”
    Watt then stepped to one side, giving way to the three wizards.
    “Thank you, James.” said Magus. “The Captain here speaks highly of you all. The story I am about to tell you really starts over a thousand years ago. While Gandalf fought in the Ring Wars on Middle Earth and Merlin aided King Arthur, I, along with another, were ‘born’, we took physical form after spending centuries as spirits. After these wars were completed we were both asked to join the Istari after Saruman the White was cast out. I considered it a great honour at being asked to join. I used the next few years in the study of all arts mystical, as did the other. But as the years passed we knew that one day we would have to expand our order, that we would have to choose others to become immortal.”
    “I think I know what you’re saying.” said Reid. “But what does this have to do with us?”
    “We will choose five people from this world to join our order.” said Merlin. “We are asking you to protect them from our past!”
    “Magus has just told you of how he came to join the Istari at the same time as another.” said Gandalf. “The other of whom he speaks is his own brother, Damian Magus, who now calls himself Darkmagus. Five hundred years ago he turned against the Istari and chose to follow the path of evil. After a struggle which lasted twenty years we defeated Darkmagus. But that was not the last we heard of him. He sought revenge upon us. His disappeared for many years, trying to find new ways of gaining new power, mystical or otherwise.”
    “I remember.” said McCloud. “I had a run-in with him over fifty years ago.”
    “That was  just the start of his plans, Connor McCloud!” said Merlin. He has spent the better part of the last century on your world, infiltrating it in every way possible. Word of his agents have become something of a legend.”
    “So I assume that Darkmagus threatens those you want to join your order?” said Tiger.
    “I don’t like the sound of this.” said Jet.
    “But I think I have a valid question.” said Cosmic Kid. “Why have you come to earth to choose your new members? Why didn’t you go to a more advanced world?”
    “Like Titan?” asked Solo.
    “Well…yes!” replied Cosmic Kid.
    “Because the people of this world have very special qualities.” said Magus. “As you doubtless know.”
    “It sounds like a good idea to me.” said Marvel Boy. “Since I gained my powers I’ve learned that the old saying is true. Some people are born to greatness. I had it thrust upon me by these nega-bands.”
    “But why have you not called more?” asked Solo.
    “Because, Mr. Solo, we wish to contact a friend of yours.” said Merlin. “I speak of Charles Jeavons.”
    Upon hearing this Magus looked shocked.
    “You did not tell me he was one of the chosen.” he said. “Charles Jeavons died over a year ago!”
    “Dead?” said Gandalf. “Perhaps we should have consulted you more on this Phineas. This changes everything. We need to consult. Thank you all for coming. We shall contact you again when we are fully prepared.”
    This did not seem to please those gathered.
    “I still don’t like the idea of people meddling in the lives of normal men and women.” said Tiger,
    “It seems to me they don’t have the foggiest idea what they’re doing!” said Chameleon.
    The noise continued for a number of minutes until one voice could be heard above all others.
    “Wait!” shouted Watt.
    The sound of Watt’s raised voice seemed to startle those gathered. It seemed though that he had their attention.
    “Each of us have sworn to protect this world.” he said. “Some of you have been doing this for a lot longer than I have, but this duty doesn’t just mean fighting evil. We are super-heroes, whatever our powers. We have already moved onto the next plane. But now some of the people we protect are going to join us on the plane, possibly even pass us by. I believe the Istari. I believe them when they say they must expand their order in order to protect the universe. We must help them. Let them choose their new members. We shall do all we can to protect them! What say you?”
    The mood of those gathered changed as soon as Watt stopped talking.
    “I couldn’t have said it better myself Captain!” said Jet. “Have you ever thought about going into politics?”
    “I will stand by this world in it’s hour of need.” said Fire-Master. “It is now my second home!”
    The die was cast. The force had been rallied. Leaving the mansion they knew that they would be summoned again very soon.


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