Friday, 25 November 1994

The New Age - Chapter Fourteen

    It had indeed been a trying day for Jock Muir. In the past twenty-four hours he had been almost killed and brought back to life, and had his ageing process reversed thirty years. He now felt as fit as a fiddle. Not bad for someone who had had a broadsword plunged into his stomach a few hours earlier.
    Muir then decided that the best place for him would be the London headquarters of his company, Muir Industries. On his way to the facility he met his son, Simon Muir. The elder Muir was surprised when his son was not shocked by his appearance.

    “Why aren’t you surprised?” Muir asked.
    “Magus called me from the mansion.” Simon replied. “Said you’d been in some sort of battle, but you’d come out unscathed.”
    “I’d hardly call a gaping stomach wound unscathed.” said Muir. “Come on now, we’ve got some work to do at the plant.”
    It took another twenty minutes for them to arrive at the facility. When they pulled up at the gates Muir got out of the car, closely followed by his son. Jock then got a strange feeling.
    “Something’s wrong here.” he said. “This plant should be active, what with the new military project underway.”
    “We should have been met by at least a dozen guards by now.” said Simon. “It’s just too damn quiet.”
    “Come on.” said Jock. “Let’s take a look.”
    Jock opened the gate and entered. An eerie silence surrounded them both. The last time this place was this quiet was during the Christmas break.
    “I don’t like it.” said Jock. “I think we’d better call for reinforcements.”
    Muir reached into his coat pocket and took out a portable telephone. He was about to dial the number of the Anglo-Force mansion when a blast of energy suddenly hit the ground in front of the two of them. It caused them to take a few steps back.
    “What the hell was that?” asked Simon.
    “I think we may have just found out where everyone went.”
    Muir looked around, looking at the surrounding rooftops. When he came to the one directly in front of him another blast of energy hit the ground in front of them, sending dust flying into the air. Muir shielded his eyes. Then, when the dust cleared, he looked up to the building once again and saw a hideous figure standing there above him. Muir recognised him.
    “Xusia!”
    “I see you remember me old man.” said Xusia. “It has been a long time since we last fought. Today will be the final battle.
    Xusia once again fired another blast of energy, this one directed at Simon. Just as the bolt of energy was about to hit the younger Muir his father pushed him out of the way and bore the brunt of the blast himself. When the dust cleared Xusia was surprised to see that Muir had survived the blast, thanks to his new-found youth, and his powers.
    “I don’t believe it!” he said. “How could this be possible!”
    “Magus made it very possible!” said Muir.
    Muir then raised his hands, and the transformation began. His street clothes were soon replaced by his costume, the famous Stingray costume.
    “Perhaps now we can battle as equals!”
    “I will always be far more powerful than you!” cried Xusia. “But now I must save my power! That is why you will now have to battle your very own inventions!”
    Xusia raised his hands, and the huge warehouse doors started to open. Then, under Xusia’s control, some of Muir’s most powerful inventions began to appear, tanks, aircraft and the like, a product of over fifty years work on Muir’s part. Now, under mystical control, they moved to attack their creator.
    “Simon!” he shouted. “Get out of here! Go for help!”
    Simon did not reply. He just ran off into the distance.
    “Attack machines!” cried Xusia. “Destroy your creator!”
Using his newfound power Muir took to the sky and tried an aerial attack on his tank. He fired sting blast after sting blast, but for some reason none of these had any effect. He then had to swerve out of the way as his attack craft nearly collided with him. Turning in mid-flight Muir fired a sting blast at the aircraft, just missing one of it’s engines. The aircraft spun out of control momentarily but soon regained it’s normal flight path.
    Xusia let out an evil laugh from his viewpoint upon the rooftop.
    “You are but one foolish old man!” said Xusia. “You are no match for your machines! You will soon die!”
    Just as Xusia finished his sentence there was a small explosion on the rooftop just in front of him. This explosion caused Xusia to lose his footing, and a few seconds later he tumbled over the edge and fell to the ground below. He was stunned for a few seconds, and when he looked up he saw someone who was not familiar to him. He had never encountered the man known as X before. But there was always a first time for everything.
    “So, another foolish mortal seeks to attack me!” said Xusia. “You will go the same way as the others!”
    Xusia raised his hand and was about to cast another of his spells when X kicked the staff out of his hand.
    “No!” the wizard cried.
    Xusia tried to cast another spell, but without his staff, which was the source of his power, the spell wasn’t all that powerful. It was powerful enough to knock X off his feet, but the masked man was back on his feet a few seconds later.
    “My magical power may be diminished, but I still have telepathy!” murmured Xusia.
    And with that the hideous wizard placed his hand on his temple and closed his eyes. X was about to attack him again when he suddenly stopped and stood as still as a statue.
    “I can give you power!” Xusia said. “Darkmagus can give you power! Join us and you can have all the power you ever dreamed of!”
    X shook his head, as if he were trying to shake off the cobwebs, by then Xusia applied more power.
    “The way of Darkmagus is the only way. Join us and power will be yours. Remember, no man or woman ever escapes us!”
    A few more seconds passed. As all of this went on Muir finished his battle with the machines, finally managing to overcome them. Afterwards he landed on the ground and walked over to X.
    “Are you okay lad?” he asked, placing a hand on his shoulder.
    Xusia suddenly opened his eyes, and a huge evil grin appeared on his face.
    “It has worked!”
    X turned his head so he was now looking at Muir. Then, with one swipe of his hand he sent Muir flying. He flew against a wall and slumped to the ground. Wiping the blood from his lip he watched as Xusia got to his feet and walked over to X.
    “You may have defeated your machines, Jock Muir, but the ultimate victory is mine, for I now have something that is more precious to you than your creations!”
    And with that Xusia and X vanished. Muir did not know where to.


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