Friday, 25 November 1994

The New Age - Chapter Twenty

    It was not long afterwards that Paul Solo arrived at the western shore of Loch Ness. After securing the boat he began the search, looking for the entrance to Darkmagus’ base. He reached into his pocket and took out of the special scanners that had been developed by Muir Industries. At first he got nothing. He adjusted the setting. The same result - nothing. After adjusting the settings a number of times he began to wonder if he got the right place. Solo knew that there was one way he could find out if this was the fight place - he had to return to the village.

    As Solo began to return to the village in the boat he did not notice that he was being watched - by Theophilus. The former shrink watched as he faded into the distance. He was soon joined by Celsius.
    “For someone of your intelligence you can be very stupid at times.” said Celsius. “If we complete this mission we can get a full pardon. We can go wherever we want!”
    Theophilus turned to his comrade and smiled.
    “For once you are right. We must continue our search. I wish we didn’t have to piggy-back those two blasted aliens as well.”
    It was then that the two of them moved back into the forest. They soon saw Woodwose and Chaney waiting for them. Neither of them looked pleased.
    “Will you hurry?” said an irate Chaney. “I wish to be over with this charade, and I have no wish to be with this vorshack!”
    “Typical of a Wolfen to insult everyone.” said Woodwose. “Unlike you three I am not a criminal!”
    “On the home world you are!” said Chaney.
    “Will you stop arguing!” shouted Theophilus. “We have a mission to carry out. Afterwards you can go your separate ways!”
    Theophilus then placed his hand on his temple.
    “What are you doing?” asked Chaney.
    “Solo’s powers are not strong enough to locate the hidden entrance.” Theophilus replied. “I, however, have been perfecting my powers for some time. I can use them to find a way in.”
    Theophilus then closed his eyes. After a few seconds they suddenly opened again. He stared at Woodwose and Chaney in a strange manner. A few seconds later Celsius did this also.
    “What are you staring at?” asked Woodwose.
    Celsius raised his hand and pointed at the two aliens. He then unleashed a massive heat blast which sent the two of them flying backwards. Only a tree stopped them from flying back miles. When the two of them regained their senses they looked up at Theophilus and Celsius, who now stood over them. Chaney noticed the look in their eyes.
    “Mind control!” he said. “They’re under some sort of mind control!”
    “You should know all about mind control!” said Woodwose.
    “Now is not the time for wisecracks!” said Chaney. “As much as I hate to say it we must pull our resources together, because I fear that our lives are in danger!”
    Chaney was right, and they only just managed to dodge out of the way of one of Theophilus’ blasts. The blast totally destroyed the tree behind them. Chaney then pulled his blaster from it’s holster and fired at the two of them, but Theophilus managed to protect them with a telepathic shield. Again Chaney fired his blaster, and again he got the same result. Then it was the turn of Woodwose. Just before Celsius was about to form a wall of ice around the man-beast Woodwose picked him up as if he were nothing more than a rag doll. He then threw him into the air, and Celsius soon flew into Theophilus, knocking both of them off their feet. This angered Theophilus. He placed his fingers on his temples and closed his eyes. Then pain seared through the head of Woodwose. He let out a huge cry of pain and slumped to the ground. A few seconds passed before he looked upwards, towards Chaney. The Monstron could tell just by looking at Woodwose’s eyes what had happened. Once again Woodwose had reverted to his animal form, totally mindless, with rage and anger his only thoughts. Woodwose got to his feet, walked towards Chaney, and pushed him out of the way. Then, using the power in his mighty legs he leapt off into the distance. Chaney did nothing but watch him.
    “It seems that I have won against you after all!”
    But Chaney had forgotten about the battle. He turned around to see Theophilus and Celsius standing behind him.
    “Perhaps I had better depart also!”
    Chaney then reached down into his pocket and took out a small grenade-like device. He then threw it into the ground and blinded Theophilus and Celsius. The light was enough. Chaney soon made his escape.
    When the light cleared Theophilus and Celsius stood rubbing their eyes. It seemed that the bright light had broken the mind-control they were under. Theophilus looked around.
    “Where are Chaney and Woodwose?” he asked.
    Celsius looked around them.
    “It looks like they have deserted us!”
    “I knew this would happen. We shall take advantage of this situation. This so-called mission of Billiar’s means nothing to us now.”
    And with that the two criminals boarded the boat and soon left, but they did not head towards the western shore of the loch.

    As they left in their boat they did not notice a caped figure flying overhead. Mighty Man had arrived in the sky above Loch Ness, and he didn’t pay much attention to the departing villains. His first concern was finding Darkmagus’ secret stronghold.
    From the sky he noticed the part of the forest where the battle had taken place just minutes earlier. What better place to start than there, he though. So, a few seconds later he landed. He could tell by the warmth of the air that some sort of heat weapon had been used. As he looked around he noticed what appeared to be a hatchway in the ground, a hatchway that had apparently been cleared during the recent battle. The American couldn’t believe his luck. Using his great power Mighty Man was soon able to force the lock, and he soon found himself inside a dark tunnel.
    In the main control room of the citadel Martins sat watching the view screen. She watched as security cameras recorded Mighty Man moving through the darkened tunnels. As she watched the door opened and X entered.
    “Looks like someone has come for you.” she said.
    “And Mighty Man will provide a great test for me.” said X.
    “It will also test your loyalty.”

    Meanwhile, a strange glow appeared in the sky above Loch Ness. The glow soon subsided, leaving Magus and Khan floating in the sky.
    “We have arrived.” said Khan.
    “So it would seem.” said Magus. “Next we will have to find the entrance. Perhaps we should start in that clearing.”
    Magus and Khan soon landed in the clearing that had been made by the battle a few minutes earlier.
    “I’m getting a rather strange feeling.” said Magus. “As if something has just happened here. Anyway, never mind that, I shall use my powers to scan this area in the hope that we can find some sort of entrance.”
    Magus raised his hands, and was about to use his powers when Khan tugged on his sleeve. The genie pointed to a specific point on the ground.
    “Is this the entrance we are looking for?” he asked.
    Magus looked at the ground and saw the hatchway that Mighty Man had forced minutes earlier.
    “I believe it is.” said Magus. “Well, you know what they say, never look a gift horse in the mouth and all that. Come on Johangas, we have work to do.”
    And with that magician and genie were soon inside Darkmagus’ base.

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