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In the Clutches of the Shadow Fiend
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Posted:  30 Jun 2017 03:08
Albatross Creek Records...Classified Top Secret...Pre-Cold War…

In the 1940s the world went to war for the second time. The Third Reich rose to power under the leadership of Adolf Hitler. Part of their success was due to the scientific pursuits of the Occult Sciences Division or O.S.D., led by Heimlich Von Buren. The OSD managed to equip Nazi soldiers with mystical weapons and artifacts that gave them various abilities such as continuing to fight long after death, gaining the strength of twenty men, and shrugging off bullets as if they were spitwads.

When the Nazi allies, the Japanese, attacked Pearl Harbor with ships shrouded in unnatural fog to avoid detection America decided to join the War Effort.  Project Vanguard was born. Scientists decided that the only way to fight the supernatural forces controlled by the Axis Powers was to create superior soldiers.

With the help of Andromeda, an Android from the future and Commander Starr, a self-proclaimed traveler from outer space, a team of heroes was created. Racecar driver Ricky Rhodes was injected with hyperactive molecules and given the ability to run faster than a speeding bullet. Teenage twins Alexis and Alexander Marks were exposed to extreme doses of thermal radiation until they gained the powers of flight, enhanced strength, and Fire-Sight. Together these five were the first incarnation of the team known as The Vanguard.

Soon the team found themselves fighting on the front lines. Starting with Operation Torch in 1942 the Vanguard was on the ground for the remainder of the war. Led by Speeding Bullet, the fastest man on two legs, the group went from a struggling little league team learning how to work together to a major league squad of seasoned veterans. The war was hardest on the twins who became known as Artemis and Apollo for their godlike powers. They had to leave innocence behind and shed blood in battle at the age of 16. The easiest transition came for Commander Starr and his battlesuit as they thrived in combat. Andromeda the indestructible android from the future already knew the Allies would be victorious, she was only involved because of the threat posed by Heimlich Von Buren. If left unchecked the Nazi Occultist could somehow steal victory from the Allies allowing the Third Reich to spread across the globe.

As the team continued to score victory again and again the Nazi Occult Sciences Division had to retaliate. Straight from Andromeda’s fears Heimlich Von Buren, reckless with power, injected himself with dark matter summoned from the ether of deep space. This caused him to mutate and become a red-skinned creature shrouded in darkness. His powers were multifaceted. He could become invisible, poison the minds of others, teleport from one battlefield to another instantaneously, and summon shadow creatures to do his bidding.

The Occultist became the villainous Shadow Fiend at it wasn’t long before he had the Vanguard in his clutches.


“Alright team” Speeding Bullet addressed them “we have improved tenfold since our first mission. But this new threat posed by Heimlich Von Buren is unlike anything we’ve faced yet.”

{Ricky is right} Andromeda stated {this Shadow Fiend has powers that make him elusive and allows him to force others to fight in his stead.}

“How do we fight something like this?” Artemis asks with concern.

{I have some thoughts on that} the android from the future replied {Shadow Fiend was created through occult science. Heimlich Von Buren must have a laboratory somewhere with his research notes. If we can figure out how he got his powers then we could reverse it.}

“There’s nothing about the Shadow Fiend in the future?” Commander Starr asked next.

{Nothing in my data banks. He was not created until after I came back to the past to help the Allies. However I was sent back because a paranormal had visions of Heimlich Von Buren changing the course of history.}

“You are talking about a paradox” Apollo chimes in wide-eyed “you say this Shadow Fiend didn’t exist before but visions showed him coming to power so you came back to stop him and that resulted in him becoming real. Had you stayed in the future then things would have continued on as normal...but then we’d never have gotten powers either.”

{Most likely my young friend. But I cannot simply return to my time and stop myself from leaving as I am already here and therefore this past will continue. We would be stuck in a time-loop. The only hope for the future is to stop the Shadow Fiend once and for all.}

“Kill him?” Speeding Bullet’s turn to ask “as you said he’s hard to pin down. And we have no idea if he even kept notes on his powers.”

Unfortunately here the records are heavily redacted and it is impossible to tell what transpired next. The only thing for sure is that the Shadow Fiend did not lead the Third Reich to victory and the original Vanguard’s exploits stopped at the end of the War. No further clues can be found as to whether they died during the war, retired, or vanished for some other reason. There have been many theories from the top brass over the years. Some say they plunged to their death with the Shadow Fiend over the Arctic Circle, others say the American government killed them to keep their mission a secret and to prevent anyone else from learning how to create super soldiers, still other conspiracy buffs say they were taken to Area 51 or some other blacksite and are still being kept there till this day. But no one knows for sure.

To this day the mystery lives on though most Americans have no idea they ever existed in the first place.
Posted:  30 Jun 2017 16:03
Too bad time travel doesn't exist. I often wonder if there is a way out of a time loop. Maybe if some other traveler becomes involved in the loop, perhaps.

Very interesting group of characters.
Posted:  05 Jul 2017 02:38
Thanks just wanted something to go with the pic and thought maybe they were the precursor to my current line up of the Vanguard
Posted:  16 Jul 2017 23:40
Nice short. Very interesting group of characters.

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