Friday, 25 November 1994

The New Age - Chapter Thirteen

    Even though there was a great crisis at hand the members of Anglo-Force still had to carry out their normal duties. It was during monitor duty that Star Man saw that the Prime Minister, Neil Smith, would be making a live nationwide speech concerning the current situation. Having alerted the others he was soon joined in the monitor room by Magus, Adam, Connor McCloud and Fire-Master.
    “I hope this doesn’t take too long.” said McCloud.
    The image of Neil Smith appeared on the television screen.
    “People of Great Britain, as many of you know wild rumours have been sweeping the world recently about everything from U.F.O. sightings and so-called messiahs to ugly rumours about our heroes. It is because of these I have come before you tonight, to assure you that none of these rumours has any basis in truth. I believe in our heroes, as should we all. It’s true they have gathered in London recently, but we’ve asked them to wind up their business as quickly as possible to help quiet this vicious outbreak of rumours.”
    “I don’t believe it!” said Fire-Master. “He’s been fooled by Darkmagus.”
    “I don’t think so.” said Magus. “He may just be protecting the country. But whatever his motives he is not helping us.”
    “It seems that everything is going Darkmagus’ way.” said McCloud.

    Five costumed heroes flew over the streets of Japan towards the home of Fuji Yamanda. The group were led by the American member of Anglo-Force, Supercop. IN his arms he carried the huge mutant from France known as Ape. Near to them flew a small white dove. This was the Belgian Changer using his mutant powers to alter his form. Next was another current active Anglo-Force member, Marvel Boy. The fifth member of the team was currently on the reserve list - Lightning Kid.
    The group soon came towards Yamanda’s home. Even from the sky it looked like a small palace. When they flew towards the ground they saw Yamanda standing in the courtyard waiting for them.
    “Hello.” he said, bowing his head. “I have arranged my affairs, and I am now ready to go with you. But I wonder if you could tell me…why has my call to the Anglo-Force mansion brought so many heroes here?”
    “Our war with Darkmagus’ forces has gone badly.” said Supercop. “We dare not take any chances!”
    “You fools!”
    They looked upwards towards the balcony to see three of Darkmagus’ evil dwarves, Kon, Klepto and Boogi. They were surrounded by dozens of Darkmagus’ androids.
    “To war with the forces of Darkmagus is to take the gravest chance of all!” boomed Kon.
    “They’re everywhere!” said Lightning Kid.
    “No one will escape us!” shouted Klepto.
    The battle began. The dwarves and androids leapt off the balcony towards the heroes and began to attack them. Supercop suddenly found three androids upon him. Lightning Kid hurled bolts at Klepto and two androids. Ape used his great strength to smash two androids at once. Changer altered his form so he became a giant bear. Marvel Boy, however, could not do any damage.
    “My telekinetic powers can’t do anything against the machines.” he said. “They have no minds!”
    “Well if you can’t go through to their minds.” said Ape. “Rip off their heads!”
    And with that the Frenchman placed his huge hands around an android’s head and ripped it off as if it were nothing.
    “Changer!” shouted Supercop. “Grab Yamanda! Forget everything else!”
    And with that Changer altered his form again, reverting back to hum form the then growing huge wings out of his arms. He then grabbed Yamanda and took to the sky. He was soon followed by the others.
    “Why are we running?” asked Marvel Boy.
    “Because we can’t afford any more defeats.” said Supercop. “One of the chosen has already been killed. We must see that no others are!”

    Crowds began to gather around the Houses of Parliament as they came to see five members of Anglo-Force, White Knight, Star Man, Red Sun, Daniel Reid and Fire-Master. The crowd had been getting worried about the recent events. They needed reassuring.
    “Anglo-Force wants you to know that everything us under control.” said White Knight. “You have my word on it.”
    “But what about the reports that a prominent M.P. was once a super-hero?” shouted one.
    “Whoa re these people that threaten you?”
    White Knight raised his hand in an attempt to quiet the crowd.
    “Please! It’s true, our enemies have been unusually active right now.”
    “As you can see we are not concerned!” said Star Man.
    The crowd seemed to get a lift from this. Reid seemed a bit embarrassed.
    “Anything wrong Daniel?” asked Red Sun.
    “I never thought I would see anything like this.” he said. “I never thought I’d be involved in anything like this.”
    “What about these U.F.O.’s? You’re an alien aren’t you?”
    “I came to this planet in peace.” said Fire-Master. “I only wish to help you.”
    Red Sun turned to White Knight.
    “We really should be getting back.” she said.
    “You four go on ahead.” said Fire-Master. “I’ll take care of things here.”
    “If you’re sure.” said White Knight.
    White Knight then mounted Galador and helped Reid up onto the horse’s back. They took to the sky and were soon followed by Star Man and Red Sun. Fire-Master watched as they flew off in the direction of the mansion. As he did he heard two nearby police officers.
    “I just hope that White Knight doesn’t suspect that I’m his sleeper agent.”
    Upon hearing this Fire-Master walked over to him and grabbed him. Then, using his powers, he flew high up into the air, still holding the man.
    “You can’t do this to me! I’m a police inspector!”
    “I don’t care if you’re the president of Alpha Centauri, if you lay one finger on White Knight I’ll burn you alive!”
    “You should worry about your own agent alien!”
    “I have no sleeper agent Inspector!”
    And with that Fire-Master swooped down low and dropped the Inspector onto the ground. The inspector dusted himself off and walked away.
    “It’s not as if I were going to do anything to White Knight.”
    A few minutes later the Inspector was visited by a familiar army figure, General Billiar.
    “Is everything alright Inspector Esrom?” the General asked.
    “As well as can be expected.” Esrom replied. “Tell me, what is that army, or any military for that matter, doing about this threat?”
    “We have a plan.” said Billiar. “And it doesn’t involve Anglo-Force!”

    Thomas Leacock stood outside Greytowers School as if he were a young boy waiting for his mother to collect him. He did not have much longer to wait. Down the street  he saw two familiar figures, Paul Solo and T’Chuka, the Tiger. With them was one of those who had been summoned by Magus, Techno-Man. Solo was soon shaking Leacock’s hand.
    “It’s good to see you again Tom.” said Solo.
    “I keep thinking I should call you Inspector.” said Leacock. “Where is Dr. Magus? I would have thought he would have come and collected me.”
    “Magus is tied up with other business.”
    Solo began to looked around. He began to get an uneasy feeling.
    “Something’s wrong.” he said. “T’Chuka, there are too many people on this street.”
    “There were not this many a few moments ago.” said Tiger.
    “That can only mean one thing.” said Techno-Man.
    Techno-Man pointed his hand at the ground and fired a repulsor blast. The light blinded those who had gathered as Solo and Tiger shielded their eyes. Then the battle began. People who had seemed like innocent bystanders seconds ago suddenly pulled out guns and began to attack the heroes. Solo tried to use his telepathic powers on them. Tiger attacked them with his claws, while Techno-Man sent them back with his energy bursts.
    “We need a diversion.” shouted Solo.
    “One coming up.” said Techno-Man.
And with that Techno-Man once again fired a repulsor beam into the ground, causing another blinding flash of light. When the light cleared the cronies of Darkmagus were surprised to see that Solo, Tiger, Techno-Man and Leacock were gone. If they had looked up into the sky they would have seen Techno-Man carrying them with the aid of a magnetic shield.

    The proud figure of the Celtic God Lug walked through the streets of Johannesburg towards the home of Alan Sear. Although having been asked by Merlin and Gandalf to collect the Acolyte Lug’s thoughts were still on his battle with the Dagda and how Ringulrun had banished him to another point upon the Time of Legends. Lug still wondered, though, would he ever have to battle the ‘Father of All’ again?
    It was a short time later when Sear’s servant showed Lug into his drawing room. Upon seeing Lug Sear appeared slightly annoyed.
    “I presume you speak English, Lug.” he said. “I was hoping that they would send the Captain, but now that I see you in person I see that you are every bit as white as he is.”
    “Is that supposed to be a compliment, mortal?” asked Lug. “I still see that you hold with the old ways of your country. No doubt there are many in this world who would regard you with disgust.”
    “I assure you I’ve heard more than enough of what the outside world would think of me. But with my selection by the Istari the world will see that we have been right all along.”
    “I know not what the Istari have in mind, but I’ll wager it’s not that!”

    The lone figure of Rhiannon flew through the empty void of space towards the world known as the dead planet. But Mars was far from dead. Indeed, Mars was the last place Cosmic Kid was seen, and Mars was now Rhiannon’s destination.
    “So this is there the transmission went.” she said to herself. “The power source on this planet must be tremendous. The telescopes orbiting the Earth must not be able to pick up the buildings on this planet. But now I must use my powers to find them.”
    Rhiannon suddenly stopped in mid-flight as she hovered a hundred miles above Mars’ surface. Extending her arms she began to use her vast power to search the planet. The process took only a few seconds. She soon had the location of Darkmagus’ stronghold. She then continued her journey. She was soon sweeping low over the building, using her powers to disarm the cloaking device. She was about to make another sweep when suddenly she found herself grabbed by two of the androids.
    “We have her!”
    Rhiannon began to struggle. She fired two energy blasts which took care of the androids. But this was not enough. Suddenly she found herself attacked by two other androids. A second later they were joined by five more. Then, suddenly, she found herself attacked by a blast of energy. The blast was too much for her. It totally drained her power. She slumped to the ground. She looked up and saw the seven androids standing over her. A few seconds later they were joined by their creator and leader, Darkmagus himself.
    “Before you recover your strength we will have you in an energy depletion chamber, where we’ll make you wish you’d stayed a simple mortal. By now you should have learned that no one escapes the wrath of Darkmagus!”

    At the Anglo-Force mansion everything seemed to be running smoothly as those chose by the Istari were taken to safety. But something began to happen, something that the Istari knew would happen. Each of the Acolytes began to have doubts, doubts as to whether they were doing the right thing. An uneasy silence filled the area. The silence was broken, however, when Magus spoke, having noticed something.
    “Has anyone seen Thomas?” he asked. “Thomas Leacock has gone!”

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