|The Story||The Authors|
The more the sea-serpents ate, the more wildly, it seemed they thrashed around,
still with their same circular choreography, beating the popcorn-spangled
waters to a mad froth all around them, faster and faster until in their very
center there appeared the black eye of a maelstrom, a monstrous whirlpool
spinning in their center. And as Matthew watched, dumbstruck, a man arose from
Fully seven feet tall, with white hair and white beard which fell in tousled torrents down his chest and over his shoulders like the very salt-foam itself, and the deepest, most staring-into-starry-nethers-and-the-waw-of-the-Pit eyes Matthew had ever seen, crowned by two bushy white eyebrows so thickly encrusted with brine and tiny shrimps that they might have been a pair of horns, all set into a face weathered to the quality and consistency of an old boot. The tatters of what must once have been a proud Sou'wester hung around him in cracked strips.
"I have seen the Moon, mother of tides, closer than any other man, and I have frolic'd with the toothy hagfish, yay, and fathered children half-human half-seal. You may know of me, ay, I see it in your eyes: I am the Ancient Moron, and it is my lay, "The Rime of the Ancient Moron" which I have come to recite unto your ears, that you may hear of the cold sustaining madness of the sea, wherein the nibbling lantern-fish frolic in ocean trenches darker than man's meanest desire, and the Djinn sleep in the twelve-locked boxes whence they were banished by none other than Suleiman the Magnificent!"
As fear enveloped him, he did the only thing he could think to do: he raised
the Glock .44 to a serpents head and squeezed the trigger. The pistol roared
as a serpents head imploded and scattered blood and brains everywhere. Five
years as a an accomplished and highly decorated CIA hitman had not prepared him
for a journey to some netherworld in a strange universe where sea serpents,
dragons, and mystics roamed freely. He prayed in thanks that he still had his
weapons from Earth. His thoughts were cut short as a serpent threw itself at
him. Matthew threw himself to the ground as its glittering teeth shot over him.
He thrust his foot upward kicking the off balance serpent to the ground. He
shot it once and it lay still. He turned and ran back into the forest as
several mysterious balloons rose from the water once again. As they they blew
apart, steaming acid flew everywhere. Some of it hit the serpents and they
howled in pain and anguish. Matthew just ran. His feet pounded the ground as he
raced for his life hearing the sounds of beastly forest creatures giving chase.
He knew with dread that the dark mystic wasn't far away and that he might have
to face him. As he ran two small arms appered from beside the path and yanked
him into the brush. What looked to be a small pointy eared boy stared at him.
"Quiet! The woodland beasts are stupid but there isnt anything wrong with their
ears!" the boy whispered scoldingly. Matthew looked at him in shock. I, Matthew
Jonathan Hunter, have finally lost it, he thought in disbelief. The boy was an
elf. The creatures rushed by them in pursuit of a nonexistant fugitive enemy
that they thought was just ahead. As their real enemy turned to face the elf,
he instead encountered a cloud of dust which made him immediatly fall asleep.
He woke up on the sun baked plains just by the forest. Hunter felt refreshed and stood up to stretch. He heard a faint crunching noise of feet hitting dirt and looked up to the top of the hill beside him. A man in a black robe whose face was hidden by a cowl looked down on him with glowing red eyes. It was the dreaded dark mystic come to kill the man who had disrupted his plan to kill the king when he had mysteriously appeared from some netherworld and had shot him in the chest when the mystic had tried to fry him with an energy bolt. The man who called himself Hunter had dodged and shot him in the chest. Only the mystics healing powers had saved him from this outlanders thunderrod he called a pistol. Apparently he had been using his multiple weapons to kill someone in the otherworld and had slipped into a portal here. The mystic wanted his revenge and was here to collect on his debt.
Hunter eyed the mystic and lowered his hand to his pistol. His shotgun was strapped to his back but right now he didn't have the time to get it before the mystic toasted him like bread. He shrugged off the robe to reveal his black tactical uniform. Hunter summed up the situation. 12 guage shotgun on his back, with 10 extra 10-round clips on the sides of his kevlar vest. Custom-made Glock .44 with 8 extra 15-round clips on his belt and strapped to his leg. There were 7 rounds in the clip that was resting in his pistol. Two tactical combat knives in his boots plus one extra Glock .44 in the small of his back that had a full clip in it. All that plus one sword he had picked up off of a fallen attacker some three days ago attached to the robe. He didn't think he'd need it so it would stay in his robe. The wizard raised his hands and Hunter prepared himself for the fight sure to come in the next few seconds. The wizard didn't wait at all and lightning danced on his fingertips and shot towards Hunter. hunter lunged to the left drawing his pistol and squeezing off two rounds in the mystic's general direction. Enough to make the mystic drop to the ground. Hunter rolled into a kneeling position and fired twice more. Mentally he told himself that there were only three rounds in the clip left and that he would have to make an emergency reload and quick. The mystic dodged the two bullets and flung another bolt at Hunter. Hunter, using all his considerable agility and strength that one gained from years of hard training, jumped, arching himself backwards over the bolt, and landed on his hands to spring himself back up to a standing position. Adrenaline pumped through his system making him alert and ready. The mystic nodded to him as if to give credit to the move Hunter had just accomplished. The nod was brief and he sent a fireball streaking toward Hunter. Hunter was gone from that spot when it got there, but only by inches. Hunter ran hard up the hill trying to get a good firing position to finish this battle once and for all. he saw the mystics hands light up and he pumped the remaining 3 rounds at him. The mystic hit the ground and didnt send the fireball at Hunter. Hunter released the magazine's catch and it fell to the ground. The clip didnt even reach the ground before Hunter slammed another one home and was firing again. One bullet grazed the agile mystic's shoulder and he gasped in pain and shock.blood dribbled down his arm as he ran. Hunter couldnt hit the fleeting form and his bullets managed to fly behind the mystic. He heard the hammer click dry and he reloaded as fast as he could. The mystic sent a flurry of bolts at him that Hunter barely managed to evade. They danced this fatal dance for what seemed like hours but were only minutes until Hunter reached down even though knew he was out of magazines fopr both shotgun and pistol. The mystic recognized this with glee. "I have beaten you Hunter! Your magic is spent! No more thunderrods for you I'm afraid!" As the mystic laughed he raised his hands once more and they lit up once more. His haunting laugh filled the air. Suddenly all trace of happiness left his face and was replaced by hatred. "Now you die Hunter!! It is over and I will be victorious!! You dont live up to your name Hunter!! It is I who hunted you!! Now you will now eternal darkness!!" The angry mystic seethed. the mystic began laughing but as the sound filled the air... BLAM BLAM BLAM!!! The back-up Glock roared in Hunters hand in rapid succession. Each bullet found its mark which was right between the mystic's eyes. The mystics head disappeared in a bloody red gush. The lifeless body slumped to the ground. Hunter dropped to his knees in exhaustion. As he did he saw a small dark cloud seep out of the mystics body and hovered in the air above him. it swam gracefully in the air and then seemed to see Hunter. So exhausted was Hunter, he had no strength or will to dodge the cloud as it seeped into his body. He thought this would be his end, here on this unheard of and foreign land, so far from his birthplace and home but as he felt the power rise and awaken in his body he knew that the dark mystics magic was in him. It gave itself to the killer of its magic. It wasnt evil or even dark, no magic could be said to be either. It was the master who decided that. Hunter sensed the power and allowed it to flow into him and become one with him. He closed his eyes. When he opened them he knew how to control it and became a mystic himself. Hunter raised his arms and a bright blue energy snapped and crackled the air around them as he summoned a portal. When it was completed and he took in the view of this strange but beautiful land, he stepped through the portal. Matthew Jonathan Hunter went home.