War Under Glass, Part One

Continued from Stranded

Pain coursed through the Sword, his body throbbing from head to toe. Riding on his blade 15,000 feet up, his hand instinctively cradled the bronze age helmet contrasting nicely against his black Tonksium-Kevlar jumpsuit.

He’d slammed into what felt like a booby-trapped glass ceiling of some sort. Perhaps he shouldn’t have forced his blade to fly higher when his bronze age weapon-come-surfboard annoyingly stopped a hundred feet short of the “ceiling.”..

Without permission, his blade descended rapidly. The two ration bars he had for breakfast threatened to come back up. The blade slowed its rate of descent and landed two hundred feet or so from Revelator. The pain vanished as quickly as it had come.

The Sword pressed down on the blade, thereby demagnetizing his boots. He stepped off, and the blade returned to normal size. The Sword sheathed his blade. He walked over to Revelator.

“How’d you make out, Jesse?” Revelator asked the Sword.

“No signs of intelligent life other than Lord History’s eighteenth century English village. There’s a vast network of caves and hot springs, as well as quite a bit of plant life. However, I was able to confirm your theory about the artificial environment.” The Sword relayed his experience 15,000 feet up.

Revelator clucked his tongue. “Whoever made this sure has advanced technology, but I can’t understand them not including a sun. Their whole purpose has to be to make us believe this is real, but the sun is an obvious clue that this isn’t real.”

“You didn’t even spot it at first.”

Revelator brushed sulfuric dust off his black and blue Lycra-Tonksium costume, with a lightning bolt jutting from left shoulder to right ankle. He sniffed. “Just because Small Packages saw it first doesn’t mean it wouldn’t have occurred to me. Eventually.”

“Guys, over here!” shouted a kneeling Data Bank.

The Sword and Revelator walked over to the white-face painted scientist. She stood and straightened her black coat. “I’ve completed my analysis of the soil. Gentlemen, it looks to be highly alkaline.”

The Sword sighed. Human computers could be so frustrating. “Which means?”

Revelator said, “Not a whole lot will grow here. Of the seeds I brought, I think only the cabbage would actually grow.”

“You brought seed packets? Did it ever occur to you that, if you only brought three days worth of food, bringing seeds wouldn’t make much difference? Further, why did you bring seeds? Were you planning on getting stranded?”

Revelator shrugged. “Nobody’s perfect. And you never know.”

“Hey!”

The Sword turned and peered down at a creature that looked like a head of cabbage with red hair, tiny hands, and denim-covered nine inch legs that ended in doll-sized work boots. Cabbage-Man lived in overalls, but all plains-clothed heroes wore Tonksium-Kevlar undergarments at the Sword’s insistence. “We’ve found new life.”

“You dolt!” said Cabbage-Man. “This is Small Packages. Skyscraper and I found this cabbage and thought you science geeks could analyze it.”

Revelator plucked the cabbage from the eighteen inch tall hero. “Thanks.” He took the item over to a small folding table set up near their crash-landed plane. “Jesse, can I borrow your blade?”

“Sure.” The Sword unsheathed the blade.

Revelator took the blade and sliced open the plant. “Hey, Data Bank, take a look.”

She peered at the vegetable. “Are you thinking what I’m thinking?”

“This looks consistent with cabbage.”

“Not completely. Look at the core.”

“That is different.”

The Sword sighed. This was fascinating, two scientists analyzing vegetables. “Okay guys, let me know what you find once you can give an explanation in plain English. I’ve got to make sure Ice Cube doesn’t melt.”

The Sword placed his blade on the ground and turned it from cabbage slicer into flying surfboard. The Sword climbed aboard and the blade magnetized.

He flew low to the ground to the cave he’d left Ice Cube frozen in. The plane crash somehow rendered their electronic devices worthless, including those that allowed Ice Cube and Texas Ranger to stay alive. Nothing could be done for Tex, unfortunately, but he’d put Ice Cube in the freezer, so to speak, until they could escape.

The cave grew near. He dismounted the blade, sheathed it, and walked the rest of the way. At the mouth of the cave, mud sucked at his boots. But of course. Ice Cube’s nice cold igloo had been melting slowly.

The Sword placed his hand on the ground. Slowly had been the key word. This was more than normal. He unsheathed his blade. He poked his head in. No igloo.

He took a step into the cave and peered to his right. Amidst the mud steamed a grotesque goo that oozed from Ice Cube’s costume.

The Sword ran to him by instinct, but slowed down. No way Ice Cube could survive this. Another life lost thanks to him trusting Dark Mystic.

The Sword stabbed his blade into the muddy cave floor, intending to remove his helmet and kneel. The blade whirled him up in the air. A stream of flames followed them.

The Sword caught a glimpse of a purple cape and a flamethrower. Dark Mystic.

The Sword pressed the hilt of his blade. A beam of energy hit Dark Mystic. The Sword rode his blade out of the cave at full speed, with Dark Mystic following.

The Sword whirled. “Mystic, now the advantage is mine!”

The coward cut and ran.

“Oh no you don’t! It ends here!” The Sword dropped the blade to the ground and mounted as it expanded. With his boots securely magnetized, he pursued the murderer.

“Blade, continuous fire!”

Dark Mystic flew backwards, propelled airborne by demonic rage as he dodged the blade’s beams and fired flames at the Sword.

“Give it up, Mystic. There’s no way you can get away.”

“We believe we shall.” Dark Mystic flew on until he got over a forest, pressed the trigger on the flamethrower, and fired at the top of the trees between himself and the Sword.

Walls of fire blocked the Sword’s path. Worse, the village was in the middle of this forest. He had to get the fire out, pronto.

He flew to a nearby spring and dipped the blade into the tip of the water. The blade expanded as it drank up a hundred gallons.

The Sword flew back up. “Blade fire.”

His blade released the water in a wide-spray and extinguished the blaze. The Sword surveyed the damage. Ten trees destroyed.

Worse yet, Dark Mystic had gotten away.

Continued…Next Monday

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