By Jim Kancaid
of crazy. “She is my goddess, my mother, my lover! She empowers me as I do her bidding!” said the crazy man in the robes. “You want to worship the moon? Fine, go to a church or temple like everyone else. No need to start a crusade and rob banks!” I replied.
“Tsukuyomi, Hathor, Artemis, Metztli, all names by which she was worshiped all throughout time! And now she will again get the respect she deserves. And no one, not even you, Valorman, will stop her.” He retorted. Great, my first super villain, and instead of the mad scientist or guy out for revenge, I get the religious nut.
When I first read the headlines ‘Radiated Moon Rocks Stolen from University’ I didn’t need a world history doctorate to know this wasn’t going to turn out well. And I was right, as always. Apparently, it was Mani Meness a theology professor who came over from Latvia for a semester who stole them or as he claims were ‘a gift from above’. He then fastened them to a scythe, put on some robes and started to preach about the moon in a very violent way and steal from banks or as he put it ‘collect offerings.’ A lead told me he was robbing banks to collect moon rocks, maybe make his own private space ship to the moon. Well if Virgin can make one I guess anyone can with the right cash. The moon rocks, which as previously mentioned had become radiated, were able to magnify the very minute lunar radiations (which I guess is a thing) from the moon to do some crazy things. That night I learned what those ‘crazy things’ were first hand.
I pointed at him and bags of cash. “I’m giving you one last chance to put down the glowy purple scythe and step away from the money Mani.” He responded by making the rest of him glow purple and swung his scythe right to left creating a purple gust that sped towards me and sent me flying backwards. It was ok though, a parked van broke my fall. An impact that would probably have killed me if I hadn’t ‘turned champion.’
So right, time for me to explain why I think I can get away with patrolling the streets at night in a black hooded trench coat with a big purple ‘V’ on the back. My first day working at the Museum of World History in New York I was examining an ancient artifact called the ‘Soul Cube’ and since they didn’t display the ‘Do Not Touch’ sign very well I touched something that hadn’t been touched in centuries. So the cube disappears and transfers the souls it’s trapped over the years into me. So now my body is an apartment rented out to roughly five souls of different nations and eras. No idea who they are or what kind of life they lived, just that apparently every soul trapped in that cube was a super hero (or villain) in their own time each with their own unique powers and abilities. So when I ‘turn champion’ I’m no longer the only pilot in the cockpit. Now I’m sharing the cockpit with the particular soul of the person I choose to partially drive my actions. I can’t see them, can’t build any conversational dialogue with them, all I know is I’m not alone in my own noggin. The plus side is that their power becomes mine, and I can do what needs done to save the day. I could go into detail about the different souls and the powers they give me, but why don’t we keep it relevant to the current situation with crazy moon guy? Fortunately I had a hunch that he’d wait till the moon was at least half full to make a move, so tonight I brought a katana from the museum so that when I called upon the Samurai inside of me, I’d be armed and dangerous. I know very little about the Samurai, only that he lived in feudal Japan during the early 1600’s can apparently use a sword very well, and his name is Takezo.
After turning champion, what was once fat from too many fast food trips was replaced with now pure muscle, so with a big leap I bounced right back to him and swung but he blocked it with his scythe. He starts twirling his scythe coming in from all sides, the moon rocks made him fast but I was as fast as the Samurai. At one point my back was against a phone booth as he swung from left to right, my instincts told me to block, he told me block, but he’s not in charge. I jumped up and flipped backwards putting the phone booth between Mani and me but once the scythe sliced the booth the glass flew like shrapnel at me. I covered my eyes in time but that split second was all it took for him to close the gap. He swung at me, unprepared all I could do was jump backwards. The scythe missed the important stuff but still tore at my trench coat and made a big cut on my side. Gah! Should have seen it coming. Remember kids, scythes hurt! Mani jumped on top of the roof of a small diner and pointed his scythe at me.
“Kneel infidel. And I shall spare your life!” part of me wanted to go left towards the taller building.
I get what you’re saying – go for the higher ground, I said in my head. To be honest, to this day I’m not sure if he or any of the others can hear me when I say stuff in my head. But time was short and I didn’t want to draw this out any longer than it needed to be. I ran straight towards him sword at my side but once I jumped to him the end of his scythe shot a beam of purple light that sent me soaring back a block and I hit the ground rolling.
I used my sword to help stand me and looked down towards him, my face white hot. I held my sword to my side and focused my energy into it as it started to glow. Fun fact, the sword from the museum came from Japan and is called Raikiri, the lightning blade. It was said to be able to cut through and even harness lighting. Everyone thought it was just a story, but I knew better. Sparks started shooting off around me, I could feel the electricity in the air as I aimed the deadly weapon down at my target. I hesitated for a moment, he was trying to tell me something, I could almost imagine Takezo saying “don’t do it you’re too far away, you’ll lose the element of surprise.” But it’s not like someone’s going to be able to do anything if bolts of lightning start flying towards him right? Then with a thunderous boom the block lit up as huge bolts of lightning started racing down the street towards him followed by a flash and another boom as it made impact. My eyes readjusted after the flash and I saw the street in ruin. Cracks formed everywhere windows broken, bulbs in street lamps busted and down the block the diner was demolished. Hopefully no one was in there. But my eyes were drawn to the floating purple orb above the once standing diner. Inside Mani hovered with his scythe to his side completely unscratched.
I fell to my knees, that lightning sapped all my energy. No matter what I did this guy wasn’t going down. The glowing orb started flying towards me and I just stayed there, ready to accept the killing blow. Then my hands tightened without me telling them too. I started to feel anxiety in me. Takezo was trying to tell me something, like he was saying “Don’t give up! Trust me! Let me help!”
So we grabbed our sword, and we stood up.
Mani was within striking distance and we jumped and cut through his force field. He blocked the sword with his scythe but we gave him a strong kick that sent him backwards. He stopped midair and continued to hover but we were already running up the side of a nearby building. He pursued us flying up the side but didn’t anticipate us stopping and falling back towards him. We swung our sword and made a small cut on his arm as we passed him and when he looked down he got a face full of lightning, albeit not nearly to the same degree as earlier but at least he wasn’t able to guard against it and a face full of lightning at any intensity has got to hurt. We landed on our feet while he landed on his back. We rushed forward and kicked his side field goal style sending him back into the air and we leapt after him and unleashed a flurry of sword strikes. For every strike he blocked two more cut into his robes. Fortunately for him we had the power to control the sharpness of any blade we held from being dull and blunt to cutting concrete and we weren’t interested in killing him, yet. The sword cuts did their damage but none were deep enough to be lethal by the time we hit ground again, his robes became mostly ribbons. I walked towards him as he lay on the ground face in asphalt. His scythe was just out of his arms reach and he didn’t have the strength to grab it. He looked at us in horror.
“Please have mercy on me.” He said meekly. We stared at him, my hand shaking as it gripped the lightning blade. I don’t know if it was me, or someone else in me that wanted to end him, to end his pathetic life.
“He is unarmed, there is no honor in that.” Said Takezo, more clearly that I’ve heard him before. We raised our sword and drove it down, right next to his face. We got out a pair of handcuffs and handcuffed his hands behind him.
He made a sigh of relief knowing that I wasn’t going to kill him. “Thank the lunar divine.”
“ummm, it wasn’t your moon god that spared you, it was me.” I walked over and grabbed his scythe. Yes, me, the fight was over, he wasn’t needed anymore so he withdrew to the depths of my psyche, or soul, or whatever until he was needed again, leaving only what I guess was a sense of pride since I felt unusually proud of myself.
“Not anymore. The rocks are going back to university where they belong after I separate them from the scythe.” I picked up Raikiri and sheathed it.
“This isn’t over Valorman! We will meet again! I’ll be back with even more power, my love will set me free!”
“Until then you can get comfortable in jail, just think of it as a new temple for you to worship. Ask them if they got a moon bible.” I could hear sirens in the distance. “oh and speaking of which here comes the popemobile reverend.” I walked into the back alley with the scythe, I put my trenchcoat into a backpack and headed home on my bicycle.
The ride was pretty easy going, what few people who noticed me probably thought I was on my way home from a LARP gathering. The perfect cover for Valorman, just being the out of shape nerd Jim Kincaid. I was pretty winded once I got home. I love that irony, a few minutes ago I was jumping story high and performing incredible maneuvers with a sword, now a short bike ride wears me out. I went through the entrance to my apartment building and made my way to my apartment on the third floor (using the elevator of course). I opened the door and went in where I saw my mom working in the kitchen.
“Hi Jim” she said not leaving the dishes. “you’re home late.”
“Sorry mom, got held up at work.”
“Oh it’s fine there’s a pot roast in the oven for you. Anything exciting happen today?” I looked at the scythe and sword in my hand.
“No, not really” I smirked.
“That’s a shame” she replied. “did you at least learn anything today?”
“Well, sometimes you just gotta give up the reigns, not always fight for control.” I said.
“I hear ya honey, sometimes you just have to let Jesus take the wheel.”
I grinned “something like that mom.” I went to my room and laid down on my bed, wondering what type of loonies Valorman would have to fight and the help from within he’d have to use next time