(Here's part 3 of the Wakandan expedition in the co-authored story between myself anddealing with some history of the Iron Age. Have a read, drop a comment no matter how small or longwinded. Enjoy part 3)
The Darkforce, nowhere/everywhere?
“Well isn’t this cozy” cooed Silver Sable as she sidled up to Piotr in the darkness.
“No” stated the Swordsman
“Whoops!” said Silver Sable “Okay, well we should be at Wakanda shortly”
“This place is strange” said Montrinque Halestrom “I can feel my flame but it won’t penetrate this darkness”
“It’s dark is it?” laughed Master Izo “Can’t tell”
“Tell me again why a blind man is on this mission” grumbled Halestrom
“He’s one of the best fighters in the world” said Piotr “I am happy to have him on this team”
“Oh there you are” said Silver Sable
The sky split as Silver Sable, Piotr Schmidt, Master Izo, The Swordsman, Montrinque Halestrom and SHIELD agents Trey Gallows, Harrison Kowalski and Amanda Griffin stepped from the darkness. The jungle had re-taken most of the land. Leann’s eyes rolled back in her head and she frothed at the mouth and almost dramatically collapsed. Piotr caught her and gently lowered her to the ground
“Leann? LEANN!” cried Piotr as he checked her pulse.
“What’s the matter with her?” asked Montrinque, not really interested in her condition but towing the good team member line.
“Yuck!” coughed Leann as she wiped vomit and saliva from her lips “That was…well yuck!”
“Are you okay?” asked Piotr gently as he helped her to her feet and offered her a flask of water.
“I’m fine!” she said a tad harshly, more from embarrassment than anything “Just yuck! This place feels weird”
“There’s a high level of well not really radiation” said Agent Griffin as she checked her data-pad “It’s A radiation but not nuclear or gamma…not even cosmic; but it’s present” The jungle seemed alive "It's sort of like radio static...I have no precise scientific explanation except there's something in the air"
Thank you, Sable mouthed at Piotr. He merely smiled and checked his equipment.
“We have come up short of our target” stated The Swordsman.
“He’s right” confirmed Agent Kowalski “We’re about twenty miles from…”
“Everyone SHUT UP!” demanded Master Izo “Listen!”
The group went silent, looking around. Even the wind went silent as an eerie silence blanketed the jungle.
Montrinque broke the silence “I don’t…” Izo grabbed her by her long black hair and jerked her head back, causing her to bend backwards. Izo placed two fingers across her lips.
There was a slight wheezing sound, barely audible but there, all around. It was like the whole land was breathing.
“What is that?” asked Swordsman
“I don’t know” said Master Izo releasing his grip “This place rates worse than Shiva’s Eye in Indakistan”
“I like this not” said Piotr
“We better get going then” said Silver Sable as she fired up her fist, but instead of the normal ebony energy dagger that enveloped her fist, black sparks spluttered from her fingers. “What the stark?”
“Problem?” said Montrinque coating her hand in flame
“Can that access the Darkforce? Didn’t think so smartstark!” she seethed at fire wielder
“Then we walk” said The Swordsman drawing his weapon “I’m on point”
A look came across Piotr’s face “Where is Agent Kowalski?”
They all looked around; Agent Harrison Kowalski was nowhere to be seen. The wheezing sound changed slightly to almost a chuckle.
“This place now rates higher than the Chechyen DMZ on places I hate” said Master Izo.
Wakandan Jungle, 15 miles from start point
The group hacked and slashed and pushed through the creepy jungle. Plants and rocks had mutated together, the ground seemed to throb like it was the chest cavity of a giant, heaving slightly up and down. “People don’t just disappear!” said Agent Gallows to Piotr “You know Harrison, he doesn’t wander off”
“I know” replied Piotr
“So what are we going to do?”
“We do our duty” said Piotr “We can mourn for Kowalski AFTER”
“Tell me again why I can’t just burn this jungle to the ground?” asked Montrinque “We’d be there by now if we didn’t have to hump through this”
“We are a recon mission” said The Swordsman “Not a shock and awe mission. Did you not read this mission brief?”
“I read the report robot”
“I am not a robot. I am a synthezoid; there is a remarkable difference between the two”
“How are you?” Piotr asked Leann
“Worried. I can’t teleport; I can barely form an energy dagger. I’m pretty much…”
“Useless” sneered Montrinque brushing past her and moving next to Piotr “Stick by me handsome, I’ll protect you”
“Hey!” Leann shoved Montrinque in the back “I was going to say scared but now you’ve made me angry!”
Montrinque Halestrom turned, her eyes aflame, hands crackling with volcanic energy and heat emanating from her body like an oven “Really?”
“Ladies” said Piotr diplomatically standing between the two of them “Neither the time nor the place”
Montrinque spat a gob of fire onto Leann’s boot that smouldered “Pure silver melts at 962C”
Leann mimicked her as she walked off “Pure silver melts at blah blah blah”
“Easy” hushed Piotr
Leann shot him a look before stomping off. Piotr looked around confused.
“If you help you’re wrong; if you don’t you’re wrong” laughed Master Izo “The mystery that is…woman…” The smile evaporated from his face “Where is Agent Griffin?”
“Stop!” called Piotr as he looked around “Where is Amanda?”
The group looked around but yet another of their group had vanished without anyone noticing. The jungle felt like it was laughing at their misfortunes.
“This place is now worse than Mogadishu in the Federation of Somali Pirates” grumbled Izo as he took a swig from his wineskin.
“We must get moving” said Swordsman “At least for your benefits; I can see in the dark and don’t tire”
“That’s because you’re a robot!” yelled Montrinque
Wakanda, Panther Temple, nightfall
The tired group arrived at the foot of the dilapidated temple complex after humping their way through twenty miles of thick, evil and seemingly watching jungle. The ancient panthers that once stood guard at the enterance, lay crumbled and broken on the uneven ground. Trees, roots and grass had overtaken the once proud capital, even the large Mount Kanda had been reduced to mere hill-like proportions from the explosion over a century ago. Gnarled trees, melted and merged vines into rocks and vice versa rippled through the ground like exposed veins.
“Has anyone else noticed the distinct lack of animals and insects?” asked Master Izo
“This place gives me the creeps!” said Leann as she unconsciously leant in towards Piotr
“Everyone on guard” said The Swordsman “It feels like we’re being watched”
“You have feelings?” said Montrinque
“I’m a synthezoid…actually I think I’m done talking to you” said the Swordsman “You’re thick and you’re rude!”
“Can you hear that?” said Master Izo “Like rocks shifting”
“I’m getting some really strange readings” said Agent Gallows looking at his data-pad “The radiation is spiking”
Slowly, silently; a giant panther-like crept out of the ground behind Agent Gallows.
To be continued….by