Re: JR’s Characters

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It was getting dark over Metro City, and the setting sun framed perfectly the destruction that had occurred over the last day and a half. Mr. E gazed out over the city from his vantage point near the top of the Wallis Spire. He glanced up at the clock on the side of the tower above him. Nearly six-thirty. He should be here soon.
“So, what’s happening? Apart from the obvious.”
Prodigy landed only a few feet from where Mr. E was perched. He came over and knelt on the balcony beside Mr. E, his expression quizzical under his mask.
“Well, besides the obvious, I saw some demons breaking into Kirby Island.” Mr. E said, emotionless. “All the prisoners escaped but one. They took Drake Mason with them.”
“Dragon-Man?” Prodigy asked incredulously. If Dragon-Man was loose, it was bad news, even with the demon invasion.
“Yes,” Mr. E nodded. “I would assume the demons have acquired the Culebrous gem and are planning to resurrect his true form to aid in their invasion.”
“So, why have you called me? Surely The Protectors or Golden Guardian would be more useful here.”
Prodigy could have sworn he saw a smile flicker across Mr. E’s face, even under his faceless mask.
“The Protectors are all caught up in Emerson and the Guardian is busy with a situation over on the East side, he wouldn’t get here quickly enough. You were the closest. Besides, you have abilities that could come in useful in this case.”
Prodigy nodded, even though he was not really sure he understood.
“Shall we go then?”
Both leapt from their perches, Mr. E using his cape as some sort of parachute-cum-Han glider, whilst Prodigy clambered down the walls using his natural ability to stick to any surface. Very quickly they were on the street.
“So which way?” Prodigy asked. Mr. E considered for a moment before pointing to his left.
“Follow the drums.” He shouted as he shot off down the side road, leaving Prodigy wondering how he always managed to get caught up in these things.

Mr. E hadn’t been wrong about the drums. The air was thick with the sound of percussion, pounding away with an almost tribal beat. It reminded Prodigy of the sort of drumming you heard on TV, whenever they showed some sort of tribal ceremony.
The pair came to a stop outside an old warehouse building on the south side waterfront. Mr. E indicated for Prodigy to take a look through one of the windows at the top of the building. Prodigy quickly clambered up the wall, only to be greeted by a truly bizarre sight.
The walls of the warehouse where lined with flaming torches, underneath which stood a number of people, standing behind large black drums, drumming out the beat that he had heard on approach. The fact that the drummers were human startled Prodigy; he couldn’t understand why actual people would help the demons. At the far end of the warehouse was a raise platform, sort of an altar in a sense, and a large crucifix, to which Drake Mason was tied. And there, in front of him on the altar was the gem.
“See anything interesting,” Mr. E said off handedly when Prodigy had returned to the ground.
“Yeah, they’ve got Drake Mason tied up to a crucifix and the gem is there too. One thing is bothering me though. There aren’t any demons in there, just people.”
“Well then, it shouldn’t be to difficult then should it?” Mr. E said in his usual emotionless manner, as he turned towards the door.
“Listen,” Prodigy said as he grabbed Mr. E’s shoulder. “We don’t want any innocent civilians hurt. So don’t go in there guns drawn, until we know exactly what the situation is, ok?”
Mr. E gave a slight nod and opened the door.

The drumming was almost deafening inside the warehouse. It was like a wall that Prodigy walked into as soon as he entered the room. Of course, it didn’t seem to affect Mr. E in the slightest. As Prodigy’s ears became used to the noise, he began to look closer at the drummers. Something was wrong with their eyes; they were milky white and staring. Prodigy waved his hand in front of the closest person, but got no response.
“E, I think these people are possessed.”
“Of course they are possessed.” Both men went on their guard, as the new voice seemed to emanate from no-where. “Such unwilling subjects, it was to enjoyable not to.”
A man appeared on the platform beside Drake Mason. He had white hair and a black moustache and beard. He was dressed in a sort of old-fashioned magicians outfit, tailcoat, top hat and cane. He had an evil look on his face and he emitted an aura of malevolence.
“Who are you? Are you a demon?” Prodigy shouted.
An evil smile appeared on his face.
“You may call me Mephistopheles and, yes, I am a demon. I am one of the grand princes of hell, sent by Lord Lucifer to revive the ultimate weapon of the human world. This human will once again be bonded with the Culebrous gem and he will aid our conquest of Earth.”
“Not on my watch!” Prodigy shouted, launching himself at Mephistopheles.
“No.” Mr. E shouted. Mephistopheles’s eyes flashed red and Prodigy was thrown back into the far wall.
“You idiot,” Mr. E said, as he helped Prodigy to his feet. “ He’s a demon, he can use magic. We need to stop and think about this.”
“Yeah, good idea.” Prodigy said breathlessly.
“We don’t need to fight Mephistopheles, we just need to get the gem away from him and Mason.”
“That might be more difficult than you think.” Prodigy said, indicating over Mr. E’s shoulder. “Look.”
Mephistopheles had lifted the gem from it’s mounting on the altar and was making his way towards Mason. Mason started to convulse as the gem edged ever closer, his skin flashing green every few seconds.
“We have to stop him. Get the gem!” Prodigy shouted as they both launched themselves at Mephistopheles.
“You never learn.” Mephistopheles said as his eyes once again flashed red and the two humans where thrown backwards.
“Dragon-Man, rise!” Mephistopheles reached Mason and placed the gem on his chest.
“We’re in trouble now.” Prodigy exclaimed.
Mason unleashed a scream as the transformations coursed through his body. Mephistopheles backed away as the gem imbedded it’s self into Mason’s skin. Mephistopheles waved his hand and the drumming reached a crescendo. Mason’s transformations started to speed up, scales spread across his body, wings sprung from his shoulder blades, horns grew from his forehead and giant fangs sprouted from his mouth. His screams became roars as his vocal chords changed. Mephistopheles waved his hand again and the drumming stopped as Dragon-Man tore away his restraints and dropped to his knees panting heavily.
“I have no use for these humans anymore,” Mephistopheles said, waving his hand once more. “Spirits return to me.”
Small dark shadows shot from each of the drummers, flying towards Mephistopheles’ outstretched hand. The humans slumped over the drums, unconscious. Mephistopheles smiled cruelly as the final spirit had returned to him, before turning to the kneeling Dragon-Man.
“My friend,” He said to the monster. “I bring you the gift of sustenance. You will need to build your strength for the upcoming destruction.”
Dragon-Man roared to the heavens as he leapt to his feet, gazing at the stirring humans hungrily.
“We need to get these people out of here now!” Prodigy shouted over to Mr. E. “You move them, I’ll try and distract him.”
Mr. E nodded and started to shepherd the people who had woken out of the warehouse.
Prodigy launched himself at Dragon-Man, ducking a flying right hook and connecting with a kick to the abdomen. Dragon-Man recoiled from the assault, grimacing as more blows landed. Quickly spinning, he knocked Prodigy away with his tail, smashing him into a wall. Dazed, Prodigy barely avoided the stream of fire expelled from Dragon-Man’s mouth. Hadn’t Mr. E finished moving the people yet, he thought to himself.
As if to answer the question, Mr. E suddenly burst through the wall behind Dragon-Man, knocking him down with the butt of his gun. Dragon-Man roared with rage and swung around to attack Mr. E. Mr. E easily dodged Dragon-Man’s wild attacks, distracting him long enough for Prodigy to swing into action.
Climbing up the ceiling above Dragon-Man, Prodigy dropped onto the berserk monster, grabbing him around the throat. Dragon-Man made a strange gurgling noise as his head and arms where pulled backwards, exposing his chest and the gem.
“Now, Mr. E!” Prodigy shouted. “Get the gem!”
Mr. E lunged forward, tearing the gem from Dragon-Man’s chest. As the gem was disconnected from it’s host, it unleashed a huge shock wave, throwing the three people away and leveling the warehouse.
With a groan, Prodigy lifted some of the rubble off of him and glanced around. Mr. E had already freed himself and Drake Mason.
“I’ll be taking this one back to Kirby Island now.” Mr. E said without turning around. “Thank you for your help.”
“Yeah, sure.” Prodigy said, wincing as he felt the bruising along his side. “Say, any chance of a hand getting me out of this rubble?”
However, Mr. E and Mason had disappeared. Prodigy shook his head in amazement and started to dig himself out, as a thought flashed through his head.
“I wonder where Mephistopheles went?” He asked aloud.

A few blocks away, Mephistopheles was on his knees.
“Don’t hurt me,” He sobbed, tears streaming down his face. “I’ll do anything!”
“Anything?” came the reply, as a large cloaked figure appeared in front of the groveling demon.
“Yes. Anything.” Mephistopheles threw himself to the floor at the feet of the figure. “Please let me live.”
Damien Newark smiled cruelly from under his hood.
“I can’t make any promises.”

(Note: This story takes place between Parts 11 and 12 of the main Armageddon story line)