Thursday, December 30, 2010

Tyrant - 9



The electric hum of speakers pierced the roar of winds on top of Metro Tower.

Above Rockstar lay the stars and moon; beneath him was the city--a wide, sparkling tapestry of glass, concrete, and light.

He flicked on his electric guitar and leaned into the microphone. When he spoke, his voice was carried--magnified--down through the tower and into the streets below.

"Metro City," he roared. "Are you ready to rock?!"

He brought the pick down and started to sing.


The saints are crippled
On this sinners' night
Lost are the lambs with no guiding light

The police radio bands were instantly engulfed in a confused network of static, screams, and hard rock.

A moment later and reports started pouring in by the hundreds.

The call room was immediately jammed. Phones began ringing; men and women in uniform ran about in confusion, grabbing whatever was available and attempting to scribble down what seemed like an endless stream of nonsensical details.

"City Hall is under attack by a legion of stone gargoyles?"

"Okay, exactly how many demons are emerging from the fissure in your backyard, ma'am?"

"Sir, we're in the middle of a crisis. The safe return of your wife is not a reason to call--oh. Oh, I see. Well, yes, I imagine if she's been dead for ten years, that is unusual--"

Captain Peterson didn't even bother to ask questions in the noise and chaos. Instead, he reached for the phone that served as a direct connection to the Society--

--and listened in disbelief to what sounded like a dead line.


The walls come down like thunder
The rock's about to roll
It's the arockalypse
Now bare your soul

Jennifer Straub stared at the car radio in confusion. Five seconds ago, she'd been listening to the second refrain of Lady Gaga's Poker Face; then there was a flash of static followed by snarling electric guitars and some guy with a bad accent yelling about 'Hard Rock'.

"The heck is this crap?" the teenager asked, and that's when she heard the sound of something cracking high above. She turned her head skyward, peering up through the windshield--had something moved on the side of that building? There was nothing there but stone gargoyles, though. But she could have sworn--

The gargoyle's head turned and winked at her.

"Ohmygod," she said, and without another thought, she hit the gas.

The light ahead was still red, but it didn't matter--she hadn't even gotten five feet before the gargoyle sprang off its perch on city hall and slammed feet first into the hood of her car. It tore through the engine in a single stroke, claws sinking into metal as it grinned down through the windshield.

Jennifer started to scream just as Rockstar entered his first refrain.


All we need is lightning
With power and might

Four figures flew high above the chaos.

Red and Wytch had joined hands; Red held the Skull and Wytch held Bonesaw. Far below, smoke and fire started to swell up from the streets of Metro City. As they flew toward Metro Tower, the strains of music grew louder.

"What the hell is happening?!" Bonesaw shouted.

"Magic," Wytch shouted back. "Rockstar's magic. But he's not this powerful. He must have help--Scourge must be augmenting his powers somehow."

"So we hit him at Metro Tower and stop whatever the hell this is," the Skull said. "While the others hit the streets and try to manage the chaos."

"Red and I will take care of Rockstar," Wytch said. "You and Bonesaw concentrate on the others."


As the moon is rising
Give us the sign
Now let us rise up in awe

Over two tons of high-end military hardware cracked the asphalt in front of City Hall.

One of the circling gargoyles looked up from the car it had just landed on; it snarled at the Arsenal suit and bared its claws.

"Eat plasma and die," Sumerset said, and he fired the shoulder-mounted launcher. A small device created the electromagnetic shell; inside was a core of burning plasma. When it hit, the device disrupted the shell--the result was a contained explosion that neatly beheaded the gargoyle.

The smoking stone torso clattered to the city street.

The girl inside the car stopped screaming and scrambled out, running for cover. Sumerset turned to the remaining gargoyles and loaded up the rail gun mounted on his opposite shoulder.

"By the way: your music sounds like shit," he said, and then he opened fire.


The true believers
Thou shall be saved
Brothers and sisters, keep strong in the faith

The crimson-skinned demons swelled up from the apartment's backyard, flame and magma licking at their backs. Clawed and fanged, they spread their blackened wings and howled with triumph.

Paladin descended atop the first demon, engulfed in gleaming white armor. When he landed, the demon made a moist squish, reduced to nothing more than a fine paste beneath the sheer weight of his armored feet.

He raised his sword and pointed it at the demons.

And then he pointed it down at the hole.


On the day of Rockening
It's who dares, who wins
You'll see--the jokers soon'll be the new kings

"Now, Martha, I'm sure we can discuss this civilly," the man said as he stepped back from his apartment doorway.

The zombified corpse of his wife proceeded to moan, her clawed and dirt-stained fingernails reaching out for him. But before she got another step closer, there was the sudden sound of a very loud whump--and her head exploded to the side, splattering rotting brain matter across the far window.

Mulligan stood behind her, his bat covered in bits of shattered skull, a lit cigarette pressed between his lips.

"Zombies," he said, turning around to face the legions of undead that were beginning to emerge from the alleyways and streets behind the apartment. "Always with the fuckin' zombies."




  1. If Rockstar's powers are sound-dependent (most magic seems to be) couldn't they do a spell of silence?

    Also, an EMP might work, too.

  2. Magic in this setting is a very personal sort of thing; Woot, for instance, is actually kind of a magic user (his ability to 'create' inventions is a form of enforcing his own bizarre sense of reality on the world around him). Some magicians don't need to speak to use magic.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Which explains why Tech-Head didn't realize that thing Woot wore was a weapon. Or the Toaster of Electrified Justice!