Friday, 25 November 1994

The New Age - Chapter Sixteen

    The North Pole could be a most uninviting place, any time of the year. At this point in time three heavily-clothed men trudged slowly through the snow, trying to make their way through an oncoming blizzard. Walking in front was Dr. Magus. Even his magical powers couldn’t protect him from this kind of cold. Not far behind him was Connor McCloud. It was obvious that even Immortals felt the cold. Bringing up the rear was Prince Poseidon, the monarch of Atlantis. He was not feeling the cold as much as he was used to swimming in freezing cold waters.
    “Are you sure Thomas was brought here?” McCloud screamed.
    “I have scanned everywhere else.” Magus replied. “I had some trouble scanning this area because of the magnetic pole, but I am quite sure he is here.”
    “I hope so.” said Poseidon. “I wish he could have been taken to a warmer climate!”
    Suddenly Magus stopped.
    “What is it?” asked McCloud.
    Magus raised his hand, motioning for McCloud and Poseidon to be quiet. It was a few seconds before he spoke again.
    “Do you hear it?”
    “Hear what?” asked McCloud.
    “It sounds like horses to me.” said Poseidon. “But how can that be possible? Horses couldn’t survive in this climate.”
    “I have my suspicions, but I hope I’m wrong.” said Magus. “Come, we must continue with out journey.”
    They started to move on. After a few minutes the blizzard began to clear. Then it was McCloud who stopped.
    “Look, I see them! Horses!”
    “Yes, there are three of them!” said Poseidon.
    McCloud and Poseidon began to move forward.
    “Wait!” Magus shouted.
    It seemed that his words were not heard. The three horsemen began to ride towards them. As they got closer a shocked look appeared on Magus’ face. He recognised them instantly - Black Riders.
    As McCloud walked towards the three Black Riders he drew his sword. Poseidon also prepared himself for battle. As they got closer they saw the unconscious form of Thomas Leacock draped over one of the horses. Magus continued to call out after them, but again they did not hear his words. When Poseidon and McCloud were very near the Black Riders each drew a sword. The battle began. Poseidon and McCloud were at a disadvantage because they were on the ground. It was because of this that Poseidon ran towards one of the Riders waving his arms wildly, trying to scare the horse. The tactic worked. The horse reared up into the air, throwing it’s rider onto the icy ground. Slowly the Black Rider got to his feet, but soon afterwards Poseidon connected with a blow to his jaw and quickly followed up with another to his mid-section. Then the surprise came. Poseidon was shocked when he saw that his blows, blows that could disable a giant whale, had no effect on the Black Rider. The evil Rider just seemed to smile at Poseidon. Then, raising his sword, he struck Poseidon on the head with the handle, sending him crashing into the frozen ground. Seeing this McCloud raced over, his sword held high. Soon he was engaged in battle with the Black Rider. Never before had the Highlander faced an opponent so evil. The Black Rider seemed an evil match for him. No matter what move McCloud tried the Black Rider countered. There was a stalemate until a second Black Rider kicked McCloud in the back, knocking him off his feet. The first Black Rider was then able to finish McCloud off.
    It was then that Magus acted. He took to the sky as the blizzards swirled around him. Slowly he moved towards the Black Riders as they prepared to attack the unconscious forms of his comrades. Magus pointed his hand at the three of them and fired several bolts of mystical energy at them. When the bolts hit the ground the three Riders began to scurry away. Then they looked skywards.
    “Magus!” hissed one. “It is Magus!”
    “Be gone from here!” Magus boomed.
    “Never!”
    Then one of the Riders went over to his horse and pulled off Leacock. He then drew his sword and held it to Leacock’s throat.
    “Go back! Or he will die!”
    Magus landed on the ground in front of the Rider. Slowly he approached him.
    “Go back! I will kill!”
    Magus continued to walked towards the rider. As he did this a second Rider ran towards him from behind, his sword held aloft, ready to attack him. The Rider was surprised when he just seemed to run through Magus.
    “You cannot attack that which has no form!”
    The Rider stumbled and fell to the ground. When he looked up he saw Magus pointing his hand towards the other Rider and Leacock.
    “you will take no life today.”
    And with that a glow surrounded Leacock, and he vanished a few seconds later. Shortly afterwards another glow surrounded Magus and his comrades. They soon vanished also. A second later they appeared a hundred miles away, clear of the ice and snow. McCloud was the first one who began to come to. He looked down at his shoulder and saw that had been caused by the Black Rider’s sword.
    “Where are we?” he asked.
    “Safe.” Magus replied. “As is young Thomas. It seems that we have finally gained a victory!”

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