#1 Posted by LstPaladin (9429 posts) - - Show Bio

She dashed blindly through the woods. Tree limbs, vines and bushes scratching and grabbing at her as if they were bony hands reaching out for her from the darkness.The terrain dropped steeply, and she ran and tumbled down the side of the mountain as fast as she could. It was almost impossible for her to regain her footing because of the pine needles and loose stones. As of yet she had not even found the trail. She beat wildly at the limbs, stopping for a moment to fight back at them as if they had a life of their own. With flailing arms she tried to defend herself, against what she did not know. She dropped to the ground and began to crawl around in circles, over fallen logs and rocks looking frantically for the trail. Jumping up to her feet she darted to the left, then the right. A fallen limb caught her ankle and she fell again. Where was the trail?

Blood. She reeked of it. It was hot and sticky between her fingers. It had soaked through her shirt and splattered on her khaki pants so her clothes clung to her. In her right hand she held a hunting knife in an iron grip, unaware that the tip of the blade was broken off.

All she could think of was she had to get away, get out of these woods. She knew which way she and Jeff had come and where they had parked the camper. All she had to do was calm down, and backtrack. Calming down was easier said than done.She was crying, praying, and babbling, "let him go, let him go. Oh God save us......Go away, let him go," as she groped her way along, stooping under limbs, clambering over more logs, and pushing her way through tangled thickets in the dark.

At last she found the trail, a narrow, hoof-trodden route of dirt and gravel descending steeply along the hillside which turned back and forth through the tall pines and firs. She followed it carefully not wanting to get lost again. All the way she murmured to herself. "Oh God....Oh God help me."

Mary stayed on the steep trail for miles, taking step after jarring, downhill step until at last the trail ended onto the logging road she and Jeff and followed. Having made it this far, her desperation gave way to exhaustion and her knees buckled. She sank to the ground on the side of the road, too numb with shock to weep, too emotionally spent to pray. By now the blood that soaked her clothing had mingled with sweat, and the night wind drew heat from her body until she began to shiver.

Had he not been forced to slow down due to the poor condition of the road, the trucker would probably not have seen Mary in time. As it was he had to brake quickly when his headlights caught her, lying like a bloody corpse on the road. The rig came to a grinding halt about 10 feet away from the prone body. As he eased himself down from the cab the trucker could feel himself begin to shake. He could almost feel the fear coming from her and that startled him. He was a big man, not afraid of anything or anybody, but looking at this site he could feel he had rolled up on something he had never seen before. It was dark and he was alone, and somehow he knew there was more to this than he could see. He approached the motionless body expecting to find a hunting accident, or perhaps the remains of a bear attack. Maybe it was a raped, mutilated body dumped here by some pervert. He stopped and looked around wondering if the attacker was still around.

Mary stirred and moaned into the ground. The trucker quickly stepped back and looked at her. Then he moved over to her and stooped down gently turning her over. She was limp, her eyes closed and her face was swollen. He cradled her head and felt of her neck. Her pulse was strong and she was breathing. He asked her if she could hear him.

She awoke with a start as her eyes popped open quickly. She did not know who or where she was, or who was holding her. All she could focus on was the imposing grill and the rumbling of the diesel engine. And especially the glaring headlights---they looked like eyes to her. With a terrible shriek she broke free from the trucker and jumped to her feet. Staggering with exhaustion, stained with blood, her right hand still wielding her knife, the broken blade flashing in the headlights. Stunned the trucker stood in the road watching the woman as with crazed eyes and a cougar-like scream she attacked the truck with her knife. Shrieking, kicking, lashing at the huge truck the blade made a clanging sound as it struck the grill. Knowing he had to act or the woman would hurt herself the trucker grabbed her and was able to wrestle the blade away from her. Finally Mary went limp and fell to ground. She was too tired to fight anymore, and too scared to care.

#2 Posted by The Recon (1404 posts) - - Show Bio

The air was humid but still dry; the shadows of the trees around him surrounded him in every direction. You could hear Daniel’s rapid heartbeat echoing through the trees, over the river and up the slope of the mountain that Daniel was heading. As the figure rushed between pines, dodging branches and leaping from stone to stone, this environment was just as easy as running against traffic in some of the cities around the world. His katana hanging on his back, he felt somewhat like a samurai.

His wet blonde hair sailed through the humid hair, sweat ran down his forehead, his icy blue eyes were visible when the sun set down as on the midday. His torn brown leather jacket was in as bad shape he was, he hadn’t been himself lately. He had thrown The Recon outfit in the trash and he didn’t regret it.

Daniel stopped at the end of the forest, gravel and dirt surrounded his feet as did a small creek that flushed in on the shore. He kneeled down in the creek and threw his head in it, the cold water made him shiver all around his body. “It was all so surreal.

3 weeks ago

“What do you think about that, Daniel?”

“What do I think? Well what I think is, is that it’s so unfair!” Daniel said loudly, sadness filled his voice as he lay on a chair in a psychologist’s office. He was unsure why he approved of this deal, which was that heroes, neutrals and villains have often had a hard time dealing with not doing anything, and since Daniel had quit the hero business and put the katana on the wall and thrown away The Recon outfit he had some small part of him still there, the hero.

“Have you had any dreams lately that are similar as to what we are talking about here?” The psychiatrist asked Daniel writing on her notepad.

“I don’t even know what we are talking about.” Daniel replied angrily. “I think this is a waste of time, both mine and yours.”

“I disagree, what we are talking about is very emotional subject, Daniel. Now please tell me about your dreams involving your late wife.” The psychiatrist finished, her soft voice calmed Daniel down.

“Well it’s all sort of black, like its empty, which is the scary part, the emptiness that is.” Daniel said, trying to get the words out whilst thinking about the dream. “She appears out of nowhere, like when we first met. “ Daniel choked as he tried to describe in detail, but not a word came out of him right now.

Present

The water ran down his face as he pulled his head out of the cold creek. The moon reflection was as clear as to the naked eye. He looked down in the water seeing his reflection it was like looking in a mirror, his blonde hair more wet than before, his icy blue eyes filled with sadness and grief. He could feel his heartbeat throughout his body as he shivered. He splashed his reflection away and stood up. He looked up, the mountain was his journey, and he was told he could find peace and relaxation somewhere up there, but where.

#3 Edited by LstPaladin (9429 posts) - - Show Bio

John received a phone call in the middle of the night from one of his coworkers at the University. He had taken a position there about 6 months ago and had formed a strong friendship with another professor named Jeff. John had spend many evenings with Jeff and his wife Mary and the three of them were very close. Neither Jeff nor Mary suspected for a moment that their new friend was more than just another human being sharing the same planet. There was much more to John, he had an incredible secret that he was going to keep from everybody. The call was very disturbing, something about Jeff and Mary being in a horrifying accident. Mary had been admitted into the West Colorado Medical Center, but there was no mention of Jeff's condition or whereabouts.

John had driven all night and arrived at the Hospital around 3pm the next afternoon. He could sense fatigue following him down the hospital corridor, but he did not have time to deal with that right now. He hurried down the hall weaving past patients in wheelchairs, past nurses and doctors intent on finding Mary's room. He was aware of people staring at him as he passed. A towering man dressed in rugged, outdoor clothes carrying a walking stick was certainly out of place in this sterile environment.

He spotted the nurses' station and the sheriff's deputy waiting there. (at least she was dressed like one.) At the site of her John's impatience went up another notch. What was the sheriff department thinking, "Aw, this case is not a big deal, only a minor incident of someone maybe being attacked by a wild animal, send the rookie" She looked to John like a green-as-grass newbie: auburn hair trimmed neatly at the neck and not a hair out of place. She looked like she had never done a minutes police work. Lean, fit built with a china doll face. John also noticed she looked ill at ease, wound up. Like it was her first day on the job. Great, just great....

She was looking his way. Don't try to stop me, young lady.

"Can I help you?" she asked, walking toward him.

My name is John, the university sent me. I am as close to family as they have. He had to stop walking to keep from running over her.

"Yes I was expecting you, the university called and said you were on your way. I'm Jessica Camp, the county, I'm the--I'm with the County Sheriff's Office." she was saying. Yeah she was nervous all right no doubt about it. "So you are the friend of the--uh--"

Her nervousness caused John to turn his full attention toward her. She seemed to grope for her next question. "Are you alone, do you have anyone with you?"

"I'm alone, Lets jump to the bottom line here. I want to see Mary and I want to know what happened to Jeff. Have you found him, do you know what happened?"

She read his face and his tone, dropped her eyes for a moment, then finally said, "Mary is alive, safe, sedated. No serious injuries. She was cut and bruised and in shock when the truck driver brought her in, but she is resting now. She'll be all right."

John could not help but notice Jessica only told him about Mary. But before he could speak she touched his arm. "Could we sit down first, just for a moment."

Why???

She only answered gently, "Come on", and led John to a waiting room area just off the hallway. The waiting room was like any other in any hospital; big comfortable chairs, People magazines, and big windows. He sank into one of the chairs close to the window. It felt good to sit down, better than he expected. His body was giving him hints about needing rest, hints he'd been ignoring.

Jessica pulled a chair up close in front of John and sat down. She was holding a folder, no doubt which held the details of what they knew about the case so far. But he noticed she was in no hurry to open the folder. Instead she just looked out the window. John could see she was struggling to find words. Her expression said enough. He could read the truth in her eyes, feel it boring into his guts, overpowering his hopes, dashing his strongest desires to believe Jeff was still alive.

John broke the silence first, "is Jeff still alive?"

Jessica still hesitated. Finally in a soft voice she said. "Um, we need a positive identification of the body first, but...yes we are almost certain that Jeff is dead."

In that for a moment John felt a faint hope there was still a chance Jeff was alive. "What do you mean, almost certain?"

She quickly opened the folder and scanned her notes. Then she closed the folder and only said "I'm so sorry"

John felt the pain the realization caused now that he knew Jeff was dead. "Please tell me what happened"

Jessica hesitated again then began, " We're not sure. Last night the trucker found Mary along the side of a logging road. She was in shock and incoherent, but had some ID on her. We called her home and spoke with her son. He told us that Mary and Jeff had gone for a weekend camping trip. We went looking for their camp site and that's where we found Jeff's body." She paused again, but continued. "By the looks of things Jeff may have been the victim of a bear attack."

"May have been?" "You telling me you can't tell a bear attack when you see it?" His tone was sharp; John was in emotional pain and couldn't help how he responded.

Water began to fill Jessica's eyes, mainly because she did not want to say this, but she knew John would not stop until he knew the truth. "John we are doing our best and I will make sure you know everything I do, but the reason I cannot say for sure now it was a bear attack is because there was so little of the body left to examine." She had a horrified look on her face as she feared she had shared to much to soon, she looked into John's eyes but only saw a blank stare. She softly placed her hand on his knee not knowing what else to do, but John only sat there in silence.

#4 Posted by The Recon (1404 posts) - - Show Bio

“Have you had any other dreams about your wife, Daniel?” The psychiatrist asked him.

Daniel took a deep breath before answering her question. “I’ve had very strange dreams, about her and… my past.” He finished by exhaling and rubbing his eyes.

“Let’s focus on your wife.” The psychiatrist replied him with a soft and a relaxing voice. “What kind of dreams are we talking about?”

“It’s all a blur, I see her in a middle of emptiness. She is just standing there in the clothes on our first date; she looks so beautiful in her dress. She is staring at me, her mouth is moving but no words are coming out, but I see that her lips are yelling out ‘Help me, Daniel’ and I ask why does she need my help but then she disappears.”

He stares on the wooden floor in the psychiatrist’s office.

“Don’t blame yourself for what happened to your wife, Daniel.” The soft voice of the psychiatrist’s said.

Present

Daniel’s heartbeat was as rapid as a light machine gun with unlimited ammunition.  His brown leather jacket torn by the branches of the pines and his jeans were wet and muddy. His t-shirt was like glue to his skin, both the humid air and his sweat mixed together made both his t-shirt and jeans stick on his skin like superglue.

He had a long journey up the mountain; it was just as steep as he knew it would be. One step at a time was all he thought about, one slip and he had a long way down to think about his life. His muscles began to tremble and give away slowly, he could hear his own heartbeat by now and feel his dry mouth begging Daniel for some water which he clearly did not have.

He had been crawling past 15 minutes up a steep mountain-side that was covered with gravel, finally he had found a solid place where he could rest for a while, and he lay on his back catching his breath.

“Hate mountains.” He mumbled under his breath since not a word could come out of his mouth by now all his energy was being used to getting fresh air in and out of his lungs but his mouth was still dry now more than before. His eyes started to get heavy and closing automatically but Daniel was still wide awake to open them again, but as his energy faded away the eyes closed.

A faint growl could be heard just few feet away from Daniel; he slowly opened his eyes with a confused look. He slowly stood up, drawing his katana from its sheath. The next growl sounded stronger and closer. He gazed into the shadows; his katana lightly touched his face. He had few bruises on his face where branches had appeared in front of him.

The creature growled again, his eyes widen as he saw a fire coming out from the shadows, he rolled to the sides and before he could gain his balance a fire ball struck his body, making him fly over the edge of the mountain side like a ragdoll, he lost the grip of his katana in mid-air. His whole body started to give away; it felt like the first time on a roller-coaster that was heading straight down.

He could feel his body hitting something, he could feel him getting wet all over his body, and he could feel that he was alive, but as soon as he could feel anything everything was black.

3 weeks ago

“Do you remember how your wife died?” The psychiatrist asked him.

“How could you not remember?” Daniel said. “Yes, I do."

#5 Posted by LstPaladin (9429 posts) - - Show Bio

After an awkward moment of silence John composed himself and looked straight at Jessica. "I need to get to the location of the attack as soon as possible, would you take me there" He looked at her with sadness in his eyes, and she knew he needed more than just a guide at this moment of shock and tragedy.

"Yes, I can take you now, I am at the end of my shift so if you would like we can go now."

They both stood and left the hospital quickly. John wanted to follow her in his truck, since he did not plan on coming back right away. They drove up the mountain, down the logging road and found a clearing they could park in. John pulled his truck up so that his camper would be as level as possible. He did not want to take time to set it up, but knew he would be staying here for awhile.

Jessica made her way toward John who was opening the door of his camper. When the door opened a pair of eyes looked out at them from inside. Then a very large dog jumped out and sat at John's feet. He knelt down and gave the dog a loving hug and rubbed the side of it's neck.

" I didn't realize you had a dog," Jessica offered but John replied back to her quickly. "I don't, she is more than a friend than a pet."

The three of them made their way up the trail until they finally arrived at the scene of the attack. The first thing John noticed was the tops of all the trees surrounding the area were damaged and the limbs broken. It looked like something very large came down from the sky. Other than that there was very little to see, everything looked normal. There was the remains of a camp fire, and the tent was still set up like nothing had happened. There was a small area where the ground was overturned, but John had expected to see more. It was almost like something had swooped down from the sky, killed and eaten Jeff, then left. But that doesn't make any sense, nothing alive in these mountains could do that. (could it?) No tracks in or out of a large animal like a bear were seen.

John could tell Jessica was uncomfortable, maybe it was exhaustion, or maybe it was being where the attack happened. In any event he told her thanks for bringing him here, and she could leave if she needed to. She was glad for the chance to leave so she told him they would talk again later, then she left. As soon as she was out of sight John stood very still, looking up and around at the sky and the horizon.He thought he felt it when he first got there, but now there was no doubt. The strong feeling and sense of dark magic loomed in the air. It hovered over the area like fog and the dog gave a low growl from deep in its throat.

John decided he would stay the night at the camp site. He gathered some wood and built a fire. Soon the darkness surrounded them, and nowhere is the night so dark as deep in the woods, where the trees block away the light. Finally he took hold of his walking stick and sat down in front of the fire. The dog came and lay down next to him, putting its huge head on top of his leg. He reached out and began to rub its neck, glad for its company. At first the night was filled with all the sounds of the forest, just as it should be. Later in the night all the sounds vanished, It was completely quiet and the hair on the back of the dog stood on end. John sat very still and listened, reaching out into the darkness with all his senses, hoping he would be able to tell what and if something was out there in the dark besides loneliness.

#6 Edited by Lord_Johnathan (3216 posts) - - Show Bio

Planet Chiron, Alpha Centauri System

The first world colonized by mankind in the distant past when the Talon was at it's peak. A world made living by a vast, connected web of life that acted as a vast neurosystem, a world whose sentience had to be calmed before man could fully integrate with it, a world now laid claim to by the descendants of the Talon; the Astartes. And on this world, two descendants of deities were exploring some of the vast xenofungus forests that made up the world, with spires of alien fungoids reaching higher than any earthly tree. Gone were the mindworm plagues that once inhabited the world, though the strange orange skies still hung heavy over the world. A smell that could best be described as pungent permeated the area, and all around the two could see how nature developed in this impossible landscape.

But something strange and foreign to this landscape brought their attention elsewhere. A faerie, small and winged, had arrived to deliver them a message, appearing in the midst of the alien forest, clearly uncomfortable with an ecosystem so unfamiliar to it. Rose, ever perceptive, was the first to notice. "John, we seem to have an arrival who wishes for our attention." She said, nudging him gently with his shoulder, prompting him to turn his head over. "Oh hey there little guy, how are ya?" He asked, bending slightly to meet the light emitting celtic creature eye to eye. "Oh scion of winds, child of the Tuatha, lover of the last Novian maid, the eye of the Dagda has foreseen trouble on your world of birth. Though even he does not know what. He has called you, oh pair of heroes, to come forth and see and once again make safe the Earth." The faerie chirped in an antiquated method of speech.

"Umm...you don't have to do the whole shakespeary thingie." John responded, furrowing his brow ever so slightly as he figured out the faeries message. "We understand, thank you. Will you provide transportation, or will we have to explore the ends of the earth to find this vague threat?" Rose interjected, smiling slightly as her shoulder length blonde hair was blown slightly by a small wind. "Oh yes, that shall be provided for you, great pair." The faerie responded as it chanted in an old form of Gaulish spoken by the Celtic Gods before opening forth a gate in the fabric of space and time that promptly lurched out, devoured the two and sent them through it's bowels, shooting at impossible speeds. A wave of sights and sounds washed over them as if the whole of the universe had coiled itself around them in an epic kaleidoscope.

The celtic portal wormed it's way through space, defying such trivialities as the laws of relativity as it sought out it's target, the head of the vast spatial serpent slithering through the cosmos in the blink of an eye before appearing before the Earth, it coiled around the world, it's tail stretching four light years behind it as it sought out it's location relentlessly, guided by the visions of the Tuatha de Dannan before it finally found it's location. At first invisible to all but those in tune with the supernatural or the cosmic, this living wormhole guided it's passengers through it's bowels, a ripple issuing forth across the weave of the heavens as the servant of the celtic gods prepared to regurgitate it's passengers. The grass and leaves rustled ever so slightly as imperceptible changes in pressure went through the air. The most sensitive of metahumans or animals in the area felt a slight disturbance, but it was nothing more than a slight disturbance, the merest shift in the wind.

Then the serpent opened up it's cosmic maw. A swirling vortex opened forth in a flash of light like an exploding star before dimming to reveal the glowing portal in the stars. Energy swirled around in a cosmic maelstrom that stretched from the Earth to it's nearest neighboring solar system. Finally, two objects emerged from the hole in the universe, descending from the heavens as they made their arrival to Earth. Clad in their basic armorsets, the armor of the hospitallers; a set of clothes emblazoned with the symbols of the wind covering chainlinks forged of divine steel and steam powered mechanisms, and the more simply named interface suit, an orange jumpsuit with a polymeric hooded sari placed onto it with the blazing yellow symbol of the sun adorned on the breast, the two made a soft impact with the Earth, John's face conceiled by a chainmail veil, and Rose's by light manipulating devices in her cowl, the two rose from a kneeling stance.

The portal above finally closed behind them as the living tunnel slithered away from the Earth and back into Tir Na Nog, where the Tuatha awaited it. Slinging his hammer, Scmallmharu behind his back while Rose placed her Thorns of Fate onto her hips, the two set out together, blue and violet, cyan and orange, paladin and mage. John had been away from the Earth for quite some time, he had departed from it following an incident with the Roman deities that lead to the deaths of much of that pantheon, the disappearance of Jupiter, and the downfall of the Primal God Tartarus, Lord of all fire; but to see it again filled him with a sense of Nostalgia, to be under a familiar set of stars once again was such a small thing, but it was still a wondrous one. Rose departed from the Earth at the same time, but as she was never a native, her bond with the gem of the star Sol, though still strong, was weaker.

After months of seeing nothing but towering fungi, being near a real tree gave Edenson a desire to go up to it and touch the familiar bark. "Man, I thought I wouldn't see this planet for years." He said quietly as Rose followed behind him, joining him in his reunion with the Earth. "It has a sort of primal wonder, does it not?" She responded with a content sigh, hands folded before her lap. But the seer of light had a brief hint of the future that told her to look upwards, where she quickly tried to discern what she had been warned of, with John only following when he sensed unusual movements in the wind some time later. Forewarned that John was about to make a comment, she reached out a hand to silence him. "Something seems amiss." She declared as her seer's eyes scanned the skies above, and then she saw a winged shape far too large to be any bird.

She briefly froze, but she snapped out of her brief hesitation as she saw that it was far too heavyset to be what she initially mistook it for. But at this distance, and with the shuddering presence of Dark Magic, it was impossible to make much more out than a vague silhouette. But from what she had read, what she believed she saw had not been witnessed by man since the middle ages, or at least those native to this earth. "Come on, this bears further investigation." She stated tacitly, beckoning John over, and the two kept to the ground to avoid arousing the attention of their quarry. And thus two young folk, just old enough for the rigors of adolescense, moved through the old grassy plains that had endured for long before mankind ever set foot on these lands.

Sarajevo

A mass of wires stretched across a twitching body, one that Rose had ravaged in the land of Canada before. One that was still smarting for revenge. Technicians pored over the body, looking to it for signs of life. Even for one so famous for refusing to accept the grave, the injuries it had been given were truly severe, and some doubted it's ability to return. But a twitch and a pulse caused them to back away. Dark mages and foul scientists stood in hushed awe as life began to return to the body. The wires began to detatch in rapid succession. Black wings spread outwards, the skeletal fingers blazing with light as energy jumped across them to form the skin. The claws clasped into a fist, and a jaw left gaping open clenched shut. A high pitched whirring began to sound throughout the air as a tail flexed and a massive growl went through the air an rumbled through the earth like the chugging of a thousand diesel engines. And finally, an eye opened, a nictating membrane peeling to the side to reveal a slitted pupil in the midst of an iris that burned red like fire.

#7 Edited by LstPaladin (9429 posts) - - Show Bio

Darkness surrounded them. Both John and the dog, which by the way could be said was more wolf than dog, sat close to the fire. They both sat completely still, as John stared intently into the flames of the campfire. The sounds of the night were all around them now, but neither of them paid any attention to them. The night air was cold as another winter was approaching. The more John starred into the fire he became somewhat hypnotized by it. He looked absorbedly into the flames, as they danced around the logs, consuming the wood as the wind helped build the flames up.

He looked away from the flames and into the eyes of the dog who was looking back at him. John knew the dog wanted to go hunt so he nodded his head in approval. The dog stood and without making any sound disappeared into the night. Now John gave all his attention to the flames of the fire, and he could almost hear them speaking to him. He was being drawn in, buy the fire, the rhythm of the flames dancing around the logs. The fire grew larger than a camp fire should be able to burn. There was more to this fire than just burning logs, but John was too distracted by it to pick up on that fact.

Looking into the fire John started to think of his life here on earth two years ago, before he so abruptly disappeared for so long. He was happy then, having been part of the team of Ice Dragons, and also because of a mortal female who had captured his heart. He had many fond memories of her and now he was having some difficulty bringing those memories from the depths of his mind. It was as if he were becoming drugged. All he could do was look into the fire.

At first the images in the fire could not be clearly made out, only sounds of screams, and terror coming from deep within. Then he recognize his home, Asgard. Surrounded by fire, burning and consuming everything in its path. He knew he had seen this sight before. It was what he saw two years ago when his father Preen had sent a royal summons to the earth demanding LstPaladin return to Asgard at once. Preen had sent for his son because Asgard was under attack by the Lord of Muspelheim, Surtur the King of the fire giants. The attack was merciless, thousands of fire demons were attacking and had already breached the walls. Many Asgardians had already fallen in battle. Asgard was losing,

Immediately Paladin joined the battle. The fighting was intense beyond belief. Death and destruction were all around, and Paladin used all his powers to fight and kill all those who attacked his home. After three weeks of continuous fighting the battle ended. But this battle did not decide the fate of Asgard. The war lasted almost 2 years. Two years of combat, giving everything you have, fighting for your very existence took it toll on all. At the end the forces of Surtur had been pushed back, but Surtur remained. Paladin went to fight him alone and thought he could vanquish him, but not even the great power of a thunder god would be enough to meet that task. Had it not been for Preen joining the fight Paladin would have killed. As it was he was severely injured, but Preen was able to defeat a weakened Surtur and push him from the realm of Asgard.

Preen took his injured son to the dwelling of the most powerful healer in Asgard. He stayed with her for what seemed to be an eternity. His memory of those days is blurred, but his health and strength returned to him.

John watched these events play out in the flames of the fire. He could feel fear and dread start to take control of his mind. But somewhere down deep in his mind he found the strength to shake himself free of the trance. When he opened his eyes he could see the form of a fire demon looking at him from the flames of his own fire. With a stern voice he said "be gone" and the fire demon hissed and disappeared. The size of the flames returned to normal, as Paladin wondered what all this meant to him now.

Surely this only reaffirmed his suspensions, that the demon god of fire which attempted and failed to take Asgard would reach out to the other nine worlds and try to conquer them. The only thing John did not know was which of the worlds Surthur would choose, and now it was clear the herald of death was here, on this world. The invasion of fire demons would start soon. Would the inhabitants of the earth be able to withstand such an attack. He did not know, being gone for so long his knowledge of who remained here was incomplete.

The campfire continued to crackle and pop as the wood slowly turned to ashes. The warmth of the fire remained as the red hot coals burned brightly against the darkness. His mind searched for a solution to this pressing problem. No matter how powerful the beings of this world were he doubted they would be able to attain victory against the hoards of fire demons which were about to be unleashed on this planet. If only the Ice Dragons were still here, then would we have a chance of victory.

Closing his eyes he listened to the soft quiet voice in his head. It was true at this point in time the Ice Dragons were no longer here, no longer a force to stand against evil. But it is also true that being a God of Thunder who had the power of the hammer at his disposal there was one way, one hope open to him. Paladin, son of Preen had the power of time travel. It was a power he very seldom used, for traveling in time could cause more problems than it solved, but he was sure in this case he had no other option.

His power was great, but he knew he could only safely bring one being back with him through the time portal. It would be a dangerous undertaking, but something he had to do. In his mind he thought of each member of the Ice Dragons, their strengths and weaknesses. It was clear that there was one who would be the clear choice for the upcoming battle. John reached for his stick, took it in hand and slammed it down upon the earth.

There was a deafening KABOOOOOM which was heard for miles, accompanied with strikes of lightening which lit up the sky with light that was beyond intense. Where moments before a human sat before a fire now stood the defender of the golden realm, LstPaladin, son of Preen.

Taking his magical hammer and holding it up in the air he whispered something only the elements understood. With a sudden downward slice he cut open the air itself, and Paladin walked through the opening as if going through a door. The opening was like a hallway which took him to the place he desired. Suddenly the invisible door on the other side opened and he stepped out. It was dark being just before midnight as Paladin looked at the structure in front of him. It was the Ice Dragons headquarters of old. He hesitated for a moment, knowing he needed to search and find the one he came for. Running to any of the others could be a problem. But time was of the essence so he quickly went up the stairs and through the front door.

Walking past all the statues of the greatest team on earth still made his spine tingle. Each of them were there, as if they were standing guard to the entrances of the building. Slipping past them would be easy, now he had to see who might be in the main room where they all liked to gather. Fortunately for Paladin no one was there so he quietly went up the stairs and headed for the chambers of the one he would ask for help.

Standing just outside the door for a moment he listened not wanting to walk in and disturb the one inside. Paladin remembered how difficult his team mate could be when disturbed by an unwanted visitor. Knocking Paladin asked for permission to enter. He heard nothing but that was as good as an invite, because if the answer was no, then that would have been clearly communicated.

Walking into the room Paladin stopped and looked at his friend, with a smile crossing his lips he began by simply saying, DC my brother, I need your help.

#8 Posted by The Recon (1404 posts) - - Show Bio

“Could you tell me about it?”

“Yes sure.” Daniel answered the psychiatrist’s question with a respectful tone. “To start with it was our anniversary when she got murdered.” He said as he stared blankly on the white ceiling where the ceiling fan was turned on. “I was on my way home with a bouquet of flowers, roses. It was a beautiful night, clear skies and all. When I got to my door I saw it was opened and I entered with a little hesitation, the hallway was filled with pictures of us. It seemed at first like there was no-one home, like she just stepped out and went to her friend in the apartment next door, but when I looked in the kitchen I saw that there was a bottle of a really expensive wine and two crystal glasses and then a cold dinner. I decided to step into the bedroom to undress me of the office clothes but as soon as I turned to face the bedroom the bouquet of roses fell on the ground and my heart just stopped.”

Present

He stretched his hand as far up in the air. Daniel gasped for air as he kicked his feet in the water; he opened his eyes and crawled up on the gravel shore. Laying there, on his back, the cold gravel stung his back, he groaned as he held his left hand on his abdomen. The mysterious fire-ball had caused him severe pain and burn which had been worse if it weren’t for the dive he took into the water earlier.

He chuckled out of frustration and sat up; the pain was greater when he moved made his palms turn into a fist on the gravel. He shook his head and laughed out of pain, he decided to stand up. The groan was louder and louder as he stood up. Daniel was just right next to the roots of the tall mountain that took him little longer to walk up than he expected. He sighed as he turned around facing the dark forest.

Roots of the trees all around him stretched in every direction, the soft wind blew on Daniel’s face like a kiss on the cheek, his wet blonde hair flowed in the current of the soft wind, and his clothes were torn, wet and dirty. He was limping through the dark forest with on hand on the abdomen, he still felt like he was falling down the mountain face first into the water.

3 weeks ago

"I saw my wife lying on the bed, she was just as still as she was sleeping but I knew right away that that wasn’t the case. She was dead. And there was nothing I could have done about it at the time. When the police arrived I was arrested for murder as my clothes were covered with her blood.” Daniel said to the psychiatrist without blinking, his eyes stared at the ceiling fan which turned round and round like it had a deep meaning behind it as he started to remember that he remained in jail for murder of his own wife.

“Do you think if you were a bigger superhero or even a villain would you get arrested?” The psychiatrist asked Daniel as she took notes in her yellow notebook; she tapped her yellow pencil on the notebook.

“Yes, I do. I’m certain that a bigger superhero would deny and not be thrown into jail like I was.” David explained as he eyed the psychiatrist who nodded in return.

“How did you feel when you were serving your unreasonable time in jail?” She asked.

“It was hard; I started dreaming weird things about my past life.” David replied.

“Do you remember your past life? Before you became Recon?” She asked again.

No.

Present

Grunts and loud breathing echoed in the forest. Daniel limped his way through the forest, dodged branches and limped over large tree roots. Sweat ran down his forehead, his blonde hair was wet and stuck to his forehead. His clothes were drying up but not as quickly as he hoped.

As he entered a clearing with a boulder in the middle, he slowly approached the boulder and sat down with his back on the boulder. A soaring pain went through his body like electricity; he tightly gripped his abdomen as the pain started there.

While sitting there, Daniel started to feel his surroundings. The crowded trees were in a circle around this boulder, the grass was soft and smooth, like it had been mowed recently. As Daniel tilted his head up he saw the stars, millions of stars were above him right now, he felt like he found tranquility but under difficult circumstances.

Few minutes of silence were broken as a twig snapped behind the boulder, his heart started to beat in supernatural way, his wound on the abdomen started to beat on the same rhythm. He clenched his jaw.

He heard a low growl which followed with sniffing. Daniel was confused but he didn’t want to be found or recognized. His heavy breathing slowed down. But as soon as he started to relax something jumped over the boulder and looked straight into Daniel’s eyes.

Four-legged creature with a fur, he didn’t know what to call it because its size was extremely big, but the similarity was just like a dog, very large dog. Its tongue hanged from his mouth and his tail wiggled, its big eyes were beautiful and matched the fur.

Daniel slowly stood up and looked around the clearing looking for its owner. But it was only they two, in the clearing and probably further, nobody has traveled these woods in a long time. Daniel looked back at the dog who was still staring at him and wiggling its tail, Daniel couldn’t do anything but smile but still felt a little worried since it was only him and this dog.

The dog barked and started to move backward, Daniel looked at it, as the dog gestured Daniel to follow. Daniel looked around confused but did as the dog gestured. He stood up and followed the dog limping. But as soon as the dog exited the clearing it started to move faster and Daniel did his best to follow a running dog whilst limping. The pain in his stomach came back and as painful as ever, it scorched painfully but as he clenched his jaw to hide the pain deep inside. It didn’t work.

The moment the dog slowed down was the moment that they weren’t inside the forest anymore. A fireplace crackled in the middle of large logs that looked like a place to sit which Daniel did. The dog went away into the darkness yet again.  

Daniel was alone again, the warmth of the fire felt nice on the his cold, wet clothes. But a question remained still in his head. "What's going on?