Join Date: Jul 2008
What could have done all this? he thought to himself as he surveyed the destruction around him. New York City was hardly a city anymore. It was a ruin. It reminded him of what Zirelaw looked like centuries after its collapse. The thought brought back unpleasant memories.
The woman walked out to stand beside him. "I don't understand why you're helping us, Brennon, but after what you did to the Sky People I'm convinced you're on our side. Me and one of my men are going to help you take their ship. It will get you safely into the City. You'll have to take it from there. Its too risky for me to go in there with you. I have my people to lead. You'll be on your own once we're there."
They started off immediately. As they walked, Brennon felt a strange sensation pressed against his chest in his tunic. It was one of the devices Dr. Shannon had given him. Brennon pulled it out and examined it. He then remember Dr. Shannon telling him that it was not only designed for pulling through time but also for communicating. He pushed the button the doctor had told him about. The doctor's voice came through, but there was a lot of static and it was difficult to hear. This advanced technology reminded Brennon of the device called the telephone. He briefly recalled his first encounter with one weeks ago in the home of Jean's friend, Steve Widmark. It was not one of his finest moments. [See Lost in Time #6].
"Brennon? Have you found my son yet?" Dr. Shannon asked.
"No. But I know where to look," replied the swordsman.
"Brennon, listen. It drains too much power for us to use the communicator across time too much, so make sure you only contact me if you really need to. Understand?"
"Yes. I understand." He continued on his course, and soon a large black mass in the middle of a road was drawn to his attention. Four armed guards patrolled around it, and none of them were aware of Brennon or his companions.
Brennon decided that he would handle this alone. He signaled to the others to wait for him to neutralize the guards. He had been trained in the practice of stealth, and his ability to maneuver around without being seen or heard was another one of his greatest skills. There were several wrecked vehicles between him and the guards and he used them to his advantage. He waited for one guard to pass in front of him, and when the moment came he subdued him by grabbing from behind neck, and squeezing his neck until his body fell limp. With extreme patience and silent quickness, he neutralized the other three guards with similar methods.
They boarded the ship and his two companions, already familiar with the controls, were able to rocket the ship into the air. As Brennon stared out the window, he saw the most spectacular thing he could have ever have imagined. It was a city, floating in the sky. It wasn't connected to the ground, and nothing seemed to be holding it up. A blue orb of energy surrounded the entire city, but disappeared when they came near. It then rematerialized, after they were already in the vicinity of the city. Brennon surmised that someone was controlling the force field, turning it off and on as they pleased. Was this magic at work, or was this just one more example of the technology of Man?
Soon the ship landed. After dressing in the all-black uniform of one the Sky People, he put on the helmet, stuck his two swords through his belt and he proceeded to leave the ship. "Good luck out there," the woman said, before he passed out of sight. Brennon marveled at the enormous City in the Sky as he took his first step onto land. He found it hard to believe that he was no longer on the Earth. He was just above it, walking along the streets of a floating city.
Two more men in black uniforms spotted him instantly and ran up to him. "Don't tell us you came back empty-handed, soldier," one of them said.
"They were ready for us. I killed as many as I could. I was forced to retreat. I wasn't able to take any prisoners."
The man nodded. "Well, we'll get 'em next time. Go recruit some more men before going back. We'll go with ya, we want to see those crazy rebels get what's comin' to 'em just as much as you do."
"Will do, soldier," Brennon said, starting to walk away, before stopping. "Wait. There is something I must ask you. Another shipment of slaves arrived here most recently. Where were they taken?"
"To Warehouse 22. Why?"
"Thanks for the information. I must go." Brennon knew that ignoring his question may bring complications, but he had not thought of a clever or convincing enough lie.
The men looked confused, but did not try to question him further. He went on his way and continued asking others directions to Warehouse 22. As he walked the streets, he surveyed the changes from New York City...to this. The cars no longer had wheels, and they hovered above the streets. They zoomed past at such alarmingly fast rates that he never got a good look at any of the vehicles. The layout of the city hadn't changed much--there were still roads, sidewalk, and buildings--but everything looked so much more advanced. As he passed people on the sidewalk, no one even paid him any attention. Even his swords didn't catch anyone's eye.
Finally he arrived at Warehouse 22. He walked right in, and the sight of men and women in chains made him boil with anger. He had seen evil like this before, in the centuries before his long sleep in the frozen waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Slavery was what this evil was called, and he had always hated it with a passion.
"I need to find someone that answers to the name Rick Shannon," he said to the first black-clad soldier he saw.
"Rick Shannon? Yeah, we had a guy with some kind of weird, old-fashioned ID on him that read 'Richard Shannon'."
"Where is he?"
"The Sommers needed a new slave. We sold him to them."
After Brennon received the information he needed, he made it to Sommer House where he expected to find Lord Stephen Sommer, the man who had 'bought' Dr. Shannon's son.
The butler at the door was wary of him because of his uniform, but quickly closed the door and went to alert his master. He then returned and bade him into the house. There was a spiral staircase leading up into several stories. There was a beautiful, blonde-haired woman in an elegant red dress watching him enter through the door. She was leaning over the railing him, her eyes on him. Unlike the butler, she was looking at him not with fear, but with interest. Three armed guards were also in the house, and they were watching him carefully now too. At the opposite side of the room was a very large television in front of a couch. On the television was a woman reporting the news.
An elderly man came down the stairs to meet him. "Hal didn't tell me your name," he said.
Brennon was about to give him his true name, but stopped himself, remembering that people back on Earth were somehow familiar with his exploits. "Taras," he replied. He had used that name centuries ago, while "Brennon' was still known as a traitor and a killer. "Edmund Taras. I'm here on a mission. I'm looking for a slave named Rick Shannon."
"You can take off your helmet, you know," the woman said.
Brennon looked up at her, then removed his helmet. He saw the old man gasp at the sight of his face.
"You! What are you doing in my house! Why did you lie to me?!" he exclaimed.
"Keep your voice down" Brennon said calmly. "I don't want any trouble. Just tell me where Shannon is so I can get out of here."
"What do you want with him?" Stephen Sommer asked.
"You wouldn't understand. I mean no harm. I promise."
"You mean no harm?! After everything you've done? I suppose you could take him. I can't stop you. To try would be to forfeit my own life, as well as these men and my daughter's. I only pray that God will show Rick Shannon mercy, and that He will show you none."
"Father!" the woman shouted. "You can't actually be considering giving in to him!"
"Stay out of this, Julie! I don't want you to get hurt!"
Brennon was staring at them. They were treating him like a cold-blooded killer. If his legacy was forgotten in 2011, how was it possible that people knew him now, in 2344? He had wanted to leave without a fight, but now he was starting to lose his patience. Not only that, the thought of slavery had always brought out a rage in him. He could tolerate people that owned slaves. "Hand him over. Now."
"There's the Brennon we know," Julie said, having seen the anger in his eyes.
"Give me Rick Shannon and I'll leave. You will never see me again," he told them.
As he said this, another man came walking down the staircase. He looked to be in his early twenties, and he had dark hair and he was wearing a brown leather jacket. He fit the description Dr. Shannon had given him.
"Who are you?" the man said.
"My name is Brennon. Your father, Dr. Shannon, sent me here from the year 2011. I'm here to get you home. You have to come with me now."
"I don't understand," the man said. "I thought he would send someone, but how can it be...you?" He didn't seem very glad that he wasn't going to have to be a slave anymore.
"You're not making any sense," Brennon said.
"Since I came here this morning I've heard a lot about you. My father would never recruit a man like you. But...I don't know how you could know about him otherwise."
Brennon was growing tired of talking. He was becoming more confused by the minute. He was beginning to think the best solution was to fight his way through, beat up Rick Shannon if he had to, and teleport them back to Dr. Shannon's house in 2011. "You're coming with me if you want to or not," he said, taking a step closer to the staircase.
Sudden movement in the corner of his eye made Brennon grab for his swords. One of the armed guards was drawing his gun.
"Time for you to die! You've lived long enough!" the man said, as he fired the weapon. But it was no ordinary gun. It did not shoot bullets, but rays of energy. He supposed that some people in this world had greater access to the higher levels of technology than others.
Brennon easily dodged the blast, and disarmed the guard in seconds. The man was down on the ground and Brennon had his heel on the back of his neck.
"You shouldn't have done that," Brennon observed.
"I had to. I had to try..." the man trailed off. He sounded like he was about to cry. "You had my wife killed. I can never forgive you for that. I couldn't live with myself, if I just let you walk away."
"What you say isn't true. I haven't killed your wife," the swordsman explained.
Then a voice on the television at the far side of the room averted his attention. "...I don't regret what happened. People have to learn the consequences of their actions. He never should have tried to leave. He was a slave and his place was in the factory where he belonged. Had he not attacked a guard and tried to escape the premises, his execution would never have been necessary. Perhaps he will be example to others with rebellious spirits."
Brennon's eyes locked on the screen. He recognized the face of the man on the television. The long reddish-brown hair, the purple eyes.. there was no mistaking it--he was looking at himself.
His shock had cost him his chance at leaving with Rick when he felt a blast of energy hit him hard in the back. He winced as he fell. As he started to rise, he saw three guns aimed at his face.
"Your reign of terror ends here, swordsman."
Next issue: Brennon has found Rick Shannon, but getting him back to New York City is now the least of his worries!