Join Date: Jul 2008
Dr. Nova's men didn't know what hit them. The alarm had been sounded, and they all knew that an intruder had invaded the premises, but none could fully comprehend the danger of what they were about to face. Brennon overcame them like a raging storm. They had been trained to fight, but none of them had ever encountered a true warrior.
"Come out, Nova!" Brennon yelled, as he struck down another guard. "You know I'm here. I'll destroy everything in sight until you show yourself!" He began wrecking the machinery. He knew Dr. Nova wouldn't hold out much longer, but he wondered why no one had attempted a different approach of stopping him. Why had no one tried to negotiate? He sensed some devilish plan was afoot, as it was always true with the crazed scientist.
Suddenly he heard a footstep. Someone was attempting a sneak attempt. He whirled around and caught his assailant by the wrist. To his surprise, his first move to incapacitate his opponent was denied. He quickly realized that for the first time he was engaged in combat with someone of considerable skill.
"Stand down, swordsman," said the voice of Dr. Nova. Brennon cast a scowl in the old man's direction as he came into the room. "This won't end well if you persist in this fool's errand."
"You say this because you know I will destroy everything you've worked for."
Nova nodded. "I don't doubt that you have it within your power to do what you say. I'll admit that even with all my resources can't match you in brute force. But I have other ways of winning this battle."
Brennon ignored him and approached the old man with the intent to kill. Nova saw the hatred boiling inside of him, and for a brief moment, there was a glint of fear in the old man's eyes. He knew he had never crossed paths with Brennon before, yet the swordsman seemed to hate him as if they were old enemies.
"I can't kill you, but there are others I can kill," Nova said, and when Brennon didn't slow down, he began to talk faster. "Your friend, John Martin, for instance. I understand he helped you reach this place. If I die, my men have orders to execute him. They're already in position at the hospital." He signaled to a guard, who activated a screen on the wall, revealing live video footage of a man holding a gun to John's head. Nova was as devious as always. Knowing he couldn't beat Brennon at his own game, he had to resort to hitting below the belt.
The swordsman hesitated. "Son," John said. "Don't listen to him, I've lived a full life." Brennon had to make a decision, and he knew there wasn't much time. Could he let John die, so that he could kill Nova? The risk of letting Nova win seemed too great.
Though the choice was painful to say the least, Brennon took another step towards Nova. "John Martin knows what I have to do. He wouldn't be willing to make this sacrifice if he didn't know how important it is to the world that I stop you."
"Switch to Screen 2," Nova said, and instantly the screen changed from the hospital to an apartment building. A young blonde woman sat bound and gagged in a chair. Tears ran down her cheeks. She was frightened and probably didn't even know what was going on.
"Do you know who that is?" Nova asked. And when Brennon didn't reply, he continued, "That's Veronica Martin. John's granddaughter. Maybe he mentioned her. Very pretty, don't you think? She attends university right here in Queens. She's studying to get a degree in astrophysics. Her professors say she's incredibly brilliant. She has such a bright future ahead of her. It would be a shame to see all of that end. Because of you."
His rage continued to intensify. He squeezed his sword hilts tightly. It was a struggle to restrain himself from decapitating the old man right then and there. It would have been so easy. "Drop your weapons and neither of them have to get hurt. You on the other hand, are another story."
"Why should I believe you'll let them live?"
"With your surrender, I'll have no reason to kill them. Besides, I could always use them as a bargaining chip in the future as well, just in case anything happens.
The swordsman released his blades and let them clang to the ground. Minutes later, Brennon was being escorted to his cell with four shaky guns trained on him at once. The fifth man, who seemed to be leading the way, was the only one not intimidated by the swordsman's presence. He was also the same man who Brennon had deemed a capable fighter. Just as they reached the cell, the man turned on his allies, and floored two at once. The swordsman acted accordingly and dispatched the other two.
"There isn't much time! Let's go!" The other man said before running off, and Brennon followed without hesitation. "Another security patrol won't be in this are for another five minutes," he explained hurriedly, "so that's all the time we have to get clear of this place!"
"Who are you?" Brennon asked.
"Dark," the man replied. "John Dark."
* * * * *
Needless to say, Nova was outraged when news reached him of the swordsman's escape. He was even angrier when he found out that one of his own men had aided in his get-away. He was reluctant to alert his associates of the security breach, but knew how angry Death Mask and Uriah could get if he kept information from them. Right now he was sitting at his computer analyzing footage taken from various traffic cameras which depicted his escaped prisoner fighting along the highway. He was hoping to spot a weak spot, or at least something about him that would shed some light on his identity or why he seemed so unstoppable.
"Why am I here, Peter?" Uriah asked.
Nova flinched. He didn't suppose he would ever get used to the demon's habit of teleporting in and out at random times. "I think the SDL may have found a new ally," he said.
"Oh? Do tell."
"My men were able to apprehend him earlier this afternoon. I suspect he is a metahuman, but I haven't been able to determine what his powers are, if he has any at all."
"Does this metahuman have a name?"
"We didn't get that far in the conversation."
"If you went to the trouble of capturing him, there must have been something about him that stood out to you as extraordinary."
"As I said, he didn't outwardly exhibit any superhuman abilities, but his skills as a swordsman appear to be unmatched."
"Peter, do you really think I care about a swordsman? For what would I have to fear of a simple swordsman?" yelled Uriah.
"This one is different, Uriah. I don't know how yet, but he is. We detected him through an electromagnetic anomaly in the southern part of the country."
"I'm leaving now. Peter. You let me know if you come up with something worth my time." Before he turned away, he caught a glimpse of Nova's computer screen. It was paused on a black and white frame of the swordsman standing on the roof of an SUV. He was holding one sword in his hand, and he was dressed in the clothes of a civilian.
For whatever reason, the image seemed to capture Uriah's interest. "Can you zoom in on that?" the demon asked.
Nova punched a few keys, and a close-up of the swordsman's face appeared on the screen. And for a moment there Nova could have sworn he heard Uriah gasp. "No. No it can't be him. It can't be him!" exclaimed the sorcerer.
"What are you talking about, Uriah? Do you know him?"
"You said you captured him. How?"
"Why are you asking me--"
Uriah picked him up by the shirtfront. "I want to know how!" he screamed at him.
"I exploited his compassion for others. I got him to surrender," Nova said.
Now that he understood, Uriah relaxed. "That makes sense," he said at last.
"What do you mean?"
"Because, Peter, if that man is who I think he is, you'd never beat him. Not without some kind of foul trick, which you did have to resort to, it would seem."
"So what now?"
"Now you will take me to him."
"I wish I could. But he's gone."
"He slipped away. Someone must have let him out, but I have no--"
Uriah pulled him close and snapped his neck.