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praying angel

praying angelPopular
Submittervash99More Photos from vash99   Last Update2017/2/23 0:39
Hits403  Comments3    
in memory of my uncle david who passed away before christmas

You did what why

You did what whyPopular
SubmitterObsidianMore Photos from Obsidian   Last Update2017/2/16 10:28
Hits440  Comments2    
The alien spilled his guts thought not literally.  In no time it's just myself, Shadawar, Thunderbolt, and Panterra. When we arrive at the aliens citadel, we discover that the place is seriously well guarded.  I make a call to the other Obsidians and the battle begins.  I fly in through the chaos with the Wraith, and slip in completely unnoticed. Thunderbolt who once said he wouldn't follow me into a shopping mall sticks to my plan and the aliens who found it so very easy to take down my alternate selves are finding this hero a bit more difficult to manage. The ones that don't get electrocuted, are pummeled into sweet unconsciousness.  My sensors can barely perceive the action but what I catch is pretty cool. Thunderbolt's speed is unrivaled in all the known galaxies and it truly is a sight to behold. As the guards drop by the dozen as we continue to fight our way inside to the inner sanctum until finally we reach the center. The room is spherical with a throne in the center and 4 control panels surrounding the massive pedestal on which that throne sits. Upon that throne sits an alien unlike the others, larger more intimidating and garbed differently than the others. He rises to his feet and simply lifts his hand and a massive forcefield  springs to life.

"I applaud your tenacity, but you will not go any farther here."

Thunderbolt's lightning bounces harmlessly off the field completely ineffective, as does Panterra's shield, and my own bullets. Even Shadawar's Psi-Blade fails to so much as scratch the thing.

"Your weapons and powers will avail you nothing against this barrier."

"That may be true..." I add "But you're stuck inside. And the second you step foot outside of that thing I'm going to put you down. With the help of my friends of course."

He sighs and shakes his head.

"You are indeed the Prime, none of the others took so much as a second to contemplate gathering their allies.  They each were confident they could protect their friends and loved ones.  Never once did they think that perhaps their friends and allies could have saved them.  The loss of those was a tragedy, had we known the effect that our scans had on them we would have stopped sooner and avoided all this senseless conflict."

His words have me at a loss, I thought they wanted this conflict.

"You have me at a loss.  You were the ones who attacked us.  You've killed us by the thousands and now you say it was all an accident?"

"Our troops were sent simultaneously throughout the myriad realities.  Their mission was to seek out the prime Obsidian, and gain his...your...assistance.  Time has not passed for us as it has for all of you. For my people it has been mere weeks since I order the search and my soldiers have only just returned. Their reports of your deaths were most alarming, and quite unexpected. The energy pulse we used was supposed to be harmless, but on those who were not the prime it simply destroyed their life force. When their allies attacked my men, they defended themselves. So much death, and now it has to end."

"Is this some sort of trick? Do you expect us to believe you meant no harm to us after your people slaughtered us by the thousands?  You have got to be insane."

All of my scans from Voice Stress Analysis, to Heartbeat Monitoring, say he's telling the truth or at least he believes he is.  Still there's a lot of dead folks to answer for. There is only one way however, to tell if he means what he says.

"Fine.  Let's say I believe you. Drop this forcefield and turn yourself over to my custody, and we'll talk."

he takes a deep breath and I wait for him to refuse...but he doesn't.

"So be it.  If that is the only way to end this I will surrender and my soldiers will stand down. We are at your mercy."

He gives the order to his men and the fight is over. We escort him to an interrogation room to be questioned as soon as we figure out exactly what it is we want to ask. I for one cannot believe how this has twisted around. They went from die hard enemy to just giving up.  It just doesn't kae sense.

"So egghead, what do we do now?"

Thunderbolt's question is the one on everyone's mind right now and I honestly don't have an answer.

'Captain, I believe our first step must be to ask the question: Why were they doing this in the first place."

"Captain?" Thunderbolt asks Shadawar wryly.  "Wait a second, you actually call this guy Captain?"

"Obsidian has proven himself to be a more than competent commander and leader.  As captain he always has his crew's best interest and we are each willing to lay down our lives for him and he for us."

"Well I'll be damned."  Thnderbolt says in disbelief.

"What?" I ask in return certain there'll be some smartass remark for my trouble.

"Well it just that I never thought you'd grow up. I guess it takes elves a bit longer but it happens, consider me impressed."

"Thunderbolt..."

"Yes?"

"Kiss my ass."

"There's the Obsidian I know."

"If you two are quite done we have more important things to do."

Panterra, ever the voice of reason is nonetheless right. We'll have time for useless chatter later.

So the question to ask is: Why did they need the Prime in the first place? Hopefully this whole nightmare will be over soon.




Conan 4385  Curse of the  Chimera.jpg

Conan 4385 Curse of the Chimera.jpgPopular
SubmitterObsidianMore Photos from Obsidian   Last Update2017/2/12 20:13
Hits413  Comments2    
Conan 4385, challenges the guardian of the temple of Imurgh, a deadly Chimera.  It is not clear which of the two is in more danger...as Conan is every bit as fierce as  any Chimera.

Chimera's possess the head and body of a massive lion (nearly 4 times the size of a regular lion) but have the head of a great Ram and a Dragon. Some have the dragon's head attached to their tail while other have it mounted next to the others. Chimera's can fly with their massive wings and are incredibly dangerous.  Chimera's have a mean temper at all times and should not be approached if it can be avoided, the can bite with any or all of their heads and as a bonus can breathe fire like a true dragon. While not as potent as a true Dragon's fire it nonetheless dangerous. Their claws are nearly the size of daggers and are fully retractable.  They  can tear through the toughest non-conventional armors although magical armor seems to be more resilient against their attacks.  Fortunately these massive beasts are not possessed of great intelligence being only marginally smarter than the average canine.  However, even with that much intelligence they refuse to be tamed, and have turned on anyone foolish enough to try even if trained from birth.  Chimera's in the wild reproduce by laying clutches of eggs, so evil are these creatures that their first act upon hatching is to kill and devour their siblings. So that no more than one in every clutch survives, and as vicious as they are it's a good thing too.  Chimera's are fiercely territorial and will attack anyone and anything that encroaches upon their domains...even being foolish enough to attack full grown dragons.

Let's Get Squachy!

Let's Get Squachy!Popular
SubmittermagnuschMore Photos from magnusch   Last Update2017/2/9 10:13
Hits404  Comments4    
Happy Valentine's Day!

Intermission

IntermissionPopular
SubmitterObsidianMore Photos from Obsidian   Last Update2017/2/7 17:46
Hits432  Comments3    
I take the Wraith to visit an old friend on a distant colony in the outer Traverse in the MIlky Way and I'm hoping to have a nice visit.  I hop out of the cockpit and cross the gangway and right there, next to the doorway what do I see? I giant blue police box...I know who that is and all I can think is Dear gods not him. Smug self righteous son of a...Why here why now? The last time we met all had to say was a bunch of condescending remarks about how I am a soldier and how my first thought is to kill what I don't understand...Galifreyans think they know everything. Nevermind that he's singlehandedly responsible for killing more living beings than I have in 300 years. Besides, he can't even claim moral high ground...Elves are the first race, the elders of the universe.  Time Lords bah, meddling around with time and space, it was them who got everyone sucked into the Time wars with the Daleks...nobody every mentions that we were there too. Time lords think themselves  near immortal, long lived is not the same as immortal. But I digress, I know if he's here then trouble isn't far behind.

"Well," I mutter switching the ammo in my pistols to lethal rounds,  "I never killed anyone who didn't tryo kill me first and I'm quite certain the good Doctor is gonna find something that's gonna try to kill me."

It doesn't take long before I see his companion, always a mortal Solaran, and female most of the time.  This one is cute too. Short little brunette with a cute face and big brown eyes. The doctor himself could've changed faces by now but I'd recognize either his senility or arrogance anywhere.  However, I'm just gonna scan for dual heartbeats or that blasted sonic device he carries. Sound I mean seriously who uses sonics like that?  Neural linked yet? I hope it's Daleks, god I love putting holes in their metal asses...they always seem so surprised every time I do it, like they cornered the market on deflection shielding and energy weapon....Exterminate exterminate!!! Ugh they're always yelling with those synthetic voices of theirs.  Ooh I just had a thought, CYbermen...I love shooting those guys too. Not as Badass as say the Borg but same MO, assimilate. Godslayer in hand I keep the blade retracted and ghost the Doctor's Companion, she'll lead me right to him. I'll let you know how this turns out.  Shh be vewy vewy quiet I hunting Doctow's huhuhuhuhuhuhuuuuuuuuh...sorry.

New Avalon Post.jpg

New Avalon Post.jpgPopular
SubmitterObsidianMore Photos from Obsidian   Last Update2017/2/5 0:39
Hits673  Comments1    
I have been given temporal coordinates to the Black Mask Society's secret starbase. As I approach my ship sticks out like a sore thumb.  There are variations of the Lillun and the Runt and a couple of designs I thought about but never explored. Karr and Mantis we're only the tip of the alternate reality iceberg. The only thing we all have in common is that we're all Obsidian Mask.  Unlike Mantis and Karr they aren't all alternate versions of me.  Most of them aren't elves there's one who stands out...his entire demeanor reminds me of Analaeus back when he was going by Anihilus the Traitor. He's a big scary dude and his sword is definitely a Psi-Blade. I can tell by the way the others move around him that they're all a bit frightened of him and aren't very fond of his presence. My hearalmost stops when a man clad in Red steps walks towards us.  His costume is identical to what Ray's would have looked like had he lived a bit longer.  The spider queen next to me defers to him like he's the guy in charge.  I decide to listen and see what the deal is before demanding answers, besides I'm not sure I can take on several skilled assassins at once.  Assuming they're all as skilled as me. His voice is synthetic distorted by his helmet, his armor registers as Absorbium 80 and Mythril which is only marginally better than Adamantine. As he approaches I scan the bloody hell out of him...He comes back about 75% effective as a threat.  Impressive and it definitely explains why he's in a position of authority.  He also speaks like he's in charge.  

"Spider, this the guy?"

"Yes. You should've seen-"

"You don't scan so hot pal.  What makes you think you're the Prime?"

"Never said I was.  You come off a bit rude though. Are you in charge here?"

"If I had my way, but no. That's all on the Shadow Mask."

"Okay so then that's who I wanna talk to."

The Psi-Mage Obsidian approaches us and in a deep grating voice straight out of a horror movie he explains.

"That is not possible at this time. There have been many attempts to infiltrate us and we must take precautions."

With each breath he emits a sound like some kind of respirator...the sound is freaking ominous.  It's almost as if his whole gimmik is about fear...and it's effective. However I am way past afraid so...

"Let me explain something to all of you, I have no intention of being treated like some sort of rookie in your little fraternity.  So what you're all going to do is, get me your damned leader or...get ready to prove you're the superior version of me. Now...any takers. I register about thirty pings from scanners and only the dark lord here steps up. The only problem is, his blade is only psychic energy so I meet him half way and it's a prick waving contest for all to see.

"I see what you're doing there...but this is a M.A.M.E. blade. That stands for Matter-Anti-matter Energy.  I promise you, I'll leave a massive hole in the middle of your busted cybernetic body and and not feel a lick of remorse. Now unless you've made peace with whatever the hell you call an afterlife...Get the Hell out of my way."

Neither of us can see each other's face but the power of my blade can be felt from three feet away. It's power eminent with a life of it's own.  There are many swords in attendance but mine is the only one smithed by the Black Mantis, and it is the only Relic class weapon in attendance. The other watch almost awestruck as the seven foot Psi-Lord back down.  I'm kinda glad he does...Now I don't have to kill him.  I'm tired and out of patience.  The crowd gathered parts as their leader walks up.  Male relatively my height, scans say he's running on pure skill and non-magical equipment.

"Now that is probably the first time anyone has ever stood up to him, let alone confronted him.  Let me get a look at you.  Without the helmet if you would."

Th folks in attendance all nod I tap two buttons, one to release my helmet and one .....just in case.

the hiss of air resonates as I remove my helm and I look around to see the others do the same. None of them look like me even the one who comes charging straight at me.


'Prime!!!!!"

he screams as he leaps for me, but like I said...I pressed a second button just in case.  Mid leap the poor bastard is sent flying as a bright  red shield roughly two feet in diameter comes screaming out of nowhere. Absorbium does many things  but it does not stop edged weapons if they're tough enough...and this shield is a work of deadly art and it belongs to none other than PANTERRA!!  The Cat pounces on my attacker before the poor bastard realizes what's going on an with a slap the guy is out.  The remaining Obsidian's are stunned, and I'm not sure if it's because of what just happened or because there's a non-Obsidian standing before us.

"Thanks old cat."

"Any time friend."

The dark one himself seems indignant but since everyone here can scan, he decides not to mess with the Cat.  Panterra has a max press of roughly 80 tons, and his armor is a unique blend of Admantine and Mythril...he doesn't absorb damage or energy, he simply shrugs it off. The guy is a Humanoid Tank.

"If we're done with that business." Their leader says nonchalantly "Let's adjourn inside."

"After you." Hopefully I can get some answers now. With Panterra at my side the three of head into one of the largest starbases I have ever seen.
 
'Obsidian, what you see here is the result of many of us working together."

"How many?"

"In the beginning of this debacle, several thousand.  Now we're only down to only a few dozen. Losing Roger when they went to get you was a big loss, but you're the first to actually kill one of our attackers on first contact.  Others have done it but only after careful planning.  Any attempt to simply fight them has met with death.  I only assume it has to do with that sword of yours. The aliens never touch them, and we haven't been able to figure out why. Many of us have magical weapons or hidden defenses to keep from having them turned on us.  What makes yours so different?"

"C'mon, you had to have scanned it already you should know at least half of what it does."

"That's just it, your blade defies conventional scans>"

"Hmm I never tried to scan my own weapon.  Normally I don't divulge but I'm at a loss here so I'll tell you this.  It's a relic, an artifact of immense power and was given as payment by the Black Mantis."

"Seriously? You actually worked for that Psychopath?"

"I see his reputation precedes him."

"Something like that."

"There isn't one of us he didn't try to recruit and a bunch more he got killed.  Eventually he just stopped trying."

"That explains the ships and a lot of the gear I've been noticing. he's had his fingers in a lot of pies."

"To say the least, but you're here to talk about these aliens not the Black Mantis."

"Exactly."

The information he gives me over the next eight hours is astonishing and by the end I simply want to murder each and every one of those bastards.





Obsidian Blue

Obsidian BluePopular
SubmitterObsidianMore Photos from Obsidian   Last Update2017/2/4 10:41
Hits364  Comments1    
Just a piece of splash are to get a good look at OBsidian in his current incarnation...I really love his new helmet.

DR MANHATTAN

DR MANHATTANPopular
Submitterhalcon89More Photos from halcon89   Last Update2017/1/31 7:36
Hits362  Comments2    

navy lake

navy lakePopular
Submittervash99More Photos from vash99   Last Update2017/1/27 1:54
Hits365  Comments3    
when children see things they often use their imagination i was no different

Wrrong ship, wrong day

Wrrong ship, wrong dayPopular
SubmitterObsidianMore Photos from Obsidian   Last Update2017/1/23 20:56
Hits458  Comments1    
With both ships docked we get to work on running full diagnostics and pouring over the Runt's logs. They were attacked with precision and the enemy knew where they were most vulnerable. Going over the schematics reveals some serious design flaws. No Infinitium plating, and no cloaking system. This ship is NOT my Runt. Moreover the Zero-Men running this show are still wearing our Generation one armors which crumble to dust with the slightest pressure. The chemical composition has been fundamentally altered. Judging by their backup armors their suits were composed of only Absorbium 80 which is great but inferior to my current armor's 120. No servos, barley and scanners to speak of, and positively none of their gear was flashed. Magical scans reveal a type of vampirism that literally pulled the life essence right out of them.

"Somebody was feeding?"

I say out loud without noticing.

"Not feeding." a voice from behind says "They were taking the life energy and collecting it."

I spin around to face the voice from behind me, weapons drawn and ready to go.  Before me stands a woman roughly my height and wearing armor similar to the one I wore during my stint as God of Intrigue.  Hers however, is covered in purple webbing and there's no sense of divine anything about her. Next to her stands...me...or at least another me again wearing my old armor. In fact it's the armor I wore during The Infinity-Man crisis. It's also composed of Absorbium 80, no servos but it has a few perks.  God slayer is extended and the golden blade has their attention, and they appear to know exactly what it is capable of because neither of them make a move. The female speaks softly, calmly as if trying to talk down a crazed gunman. I'm not crazed...freaked out, but not crazed.

"Relax Obsidian, we only came here to talk."

"So talk."

I point the blade at the guy in my old armor.

"You be silent."

He doesn't seem happy but he complies.

"Okay sweetheart, you don't have long, security is on it's way and they are standard issue Mantis style troops so this better be good or it will be a very short conversation.

"Right.  Okay here's the jist of it: An alien force of unknown origin and number is targeting the multiverse looking for the myriad versions of Obsidian Mask, aka you. Some of the survivors have banded together to combat them. Thus far with little success.  They are Immune to magic, save for the most powerful type such as your sword, and are capable of negating Absorbium 80. They also seem to be searching for one Obsidian in particular, a Prime Obsidian if you will. We don't know what they want with the Prime but we're trying to get to him or her first."

"How do you know the prime isn't one of your group?"

"Because they're still searching."

"Okay, I have recently been through some serious clone crap and some life altering alternate reality crap.  How about I call in a favor and see if the Black Scorpion can help?"

"That's a good thought," says the one I told to remain silent, "But the entire empire declined. In nearly every reality and time.  They don't want to be involved."

"After all I have done for them?  We'll see about that."

I call up Karr and he gives me a speech about temporal imperatives and protecting the multiversal time lines and a bunch of other crap that basically means they're no gonna help. But I don't let him off that easy.

"Fine, I get it Karr, but now it's time for me to collect on your debt. You said NOTHING was off the table and what I want is a simple request."

"We won't get involved directly."

"I don't need you to, I need you to send me something you already have. Something the Black Mantis designed just for me."

"Heh Heh Heh, I'm a step ahead of you my friend."

"Oh?"

"You've had it this whole time."

"Seriously?  That bastard lied to me?"

"He used to do that pretty much regularly."

"Fine, then I rescind my demand for another time if it's all the same to you."


Purple can't believe her ears or eyes. Apparently she's never interacted with Mantis or his people and is somewhat stunned by the fact that I have a direct line.

"You know them? Personally?"

"I would assume we all do."

"No, we don't." interjects the one who was supposed to remain silent.

"Then how did you contact them?"

"Obsidian God of Intrigue"

At that moment the ships alarms nut out.

INTRUDER ALERT, INTRUDER ALERT, UNAUTHORIZED PRESENCE IN MAIN ENGINEERING. SECURITY TEAMS REPORT TO MAIN ENGINEERING

The three of us make a Beeline to main engineering.  If it's who we think it is, he's in the wrong place, and this is NOT the right day to be screwing with me or my ship.

The doors open and the first thing I see is Sabrina laid out against a nearby station her limp body slumped over. the engineering crew is in similar shape meaning their attacker is no joke. The two Obsidian's and I move cautiously into the room.  Seemingly out of the shadows the lone alien figure grasps the male version of me by his helmet and I watch in horror as the life saving ore disintegrates in it's grasp, my alternate self lets out a scream for an instant and falls to the floor with a sickening thud. It turns it's attention to me and I smile beneath my domed helm.  
I move to avoid it's grasp but it's faster than it looks and it grabs a firm hold of my...Infinitium Helmet. The Black Mantis deceived me when I told him not to modify my armor and to only upgrade it. This guy DID NOT get the memo and until today neither did I. He seems confused and attempts to dissolve my faceplate once again but I'm done with this. My weapons unlike my brethren's ARE flashed and I show this bastard exactly what that means as put three very large holes in him blowing his head clean off his torso. As it hits the ground it begins dissolving into an unidentifiable puddle of goo.

The spider lady is stunned. Quickly I run over to Sabrina who is luckily still alive, although a bit broken. The remaining Engineers are in similar shape. Medics arrive in no time along with a forensics squad.

Spider Lady walks up and like a winded fangirl exclaims  

"That was freaking AWESOME!!! You totally  Owned that alien asshole!"

Staring down at her partner her tone becomes more somber.

"That's usually the result of our conflicts, if they touch you, you die. No ifs ands or buts about it."

Through my own communications I hear my voice

"42 what is your situation, we detected an anomaly report."

"We're all good here sir, our guy took out one of the invaders, and sir...They touched his face."

"I think you may have located our Prime."

"Why's that?"

"The invaders abandoned all other Ops almost simultaneously. All groups are reporting back...You better bring your guy in. How is 22?"

"He...he didn't make it."

"Understood, he was a good man. Report back ASAP."    


She turns to me but before she can speak I stop her.

"Let me clean up this mess and get the ball rolling from here.  You stay till I'm ready, a day, two at the most and then I'll come meet your friends."

I don't like any of this but her friends may have answers I need. For now I need to get some things squared away here.

Another casualty

Another casualtyPopular
SubmitterObsidianMore Photos from Obsidian   Last Update2017/1/23 13:04
Hits356  Comments3    
"17 what's the situation?"

"Same as the last twelve times, it's a damned slaughter.  I got dead ninjas everywhere they took out the entire clan by the looks of it.  How do they keep beating us to the punch?"

"Did the target have absorbium?"

"Roger, but no Infinitium."

"Resurrection defeated as always?"

"Yep.   At least they're consistent. What about the other teams?"

"They found the same thing, every time."
 
"Alright we'll head back and , we'll discuss our options.  We have to find the prime before they do or everyone, everywhere is screwed."

"You don't have to remind me Bloodmask we are all well aware of the consequences for failure. Cybermask out."



We're tired of coming up short, our victories are too few and their numbers are too great. They turn our armor to powder and preventing any hope of revivification.  We only know for certain that they're after the prime and none of us are it. We have to get to him or her before they do, hopefully we'll find the prime first and bolster our ranks at the same time. The Black Mantis has refused to interfere as has his successor so we're on our own against this unknown threat. God help us all.


The Black Mask Society

The Black Mask SocietyPopular
SubmitterObsidianMore Photos from Obsidian   Last Update2017/1/21 20:27
Hits356  Comments2    
Flash Forward...of things to come soon. From left to right. Obsidian Infinite...Obsidian Amber, Lady Obsidian Spyder, Obsidian Drow (rear), Obsidian Classic, Lord Obsidian the Psi-Mage, Obsidian Blood Mask, Obsidian Cyborg, Lady Onyx, Obsidian Gen 2, Obsidian God of Intrigue.   Otherwise known as the Black Mask Society...also known as A bunch of guys you DO  NOT want to mess with.

Seriously though...I can't wait to introduce them in turn...and in force...suffice it to say this is one adventure Obsidian can't handle alone.

E Plurbis Unum

E Plurbis Unum Popular
SubmitterObsidianMore Photos from Obsidian   Last Update2017/1/21 15:17
Hits353  Comments2    
The alarms go off and Bill, Tony and I rush to the bridge, as the lift doors open I see a vortex across the bridge and a single figure stands before us we split and make activate our silent mode on our helmets.

"Tony, aim low, Bill aim high...I got the middle."

Right!" They shout in unison as we rush this unknown threat. We have our armor and our our blades, this guy has no idea what he's gotten himself into.  or maybe we don't don't know what we've gotten ourselves into. In a flash Tony's head flies from his shoulders and his lifeless body flops to the ground.  Bill is run completely through and and I hear the gurgling sound of blood in my headset.  From out of nowhere I'm hurled across the room and I don't know how but I feel all of it. My scanners pick up a faint trace of some unidentified vapor in the room.  I start to give this guy a final piece of my mind but I realize to my horror that I can't move.  MY spine snapped from the impact and I am at his complete mercy...I wish now I had chosen to flash my weapons because I could sure use the power of my blade right now.  As the faceless figure stands over me poised for the kill my only thought is for my beloved Sarah and how much I'm going to miss her and the kids.


I wake in a cold sweat from what has to be the most surreal, vivid, nightmare I ever remember having.  A wave of panic washes over me and I am left in a cold sweat panting heavily in the darkness of my room.  Ai Lies silently beside me and I can hear the familiar sound of Aini cooking in the kitchen.  I don't take nightmares lightly unless they're about the war, and this one was strange to say the least.  I was wearing our Gen 1 armor aboard the Runt, which was destroyed almost a decade ago, and everyone aboard was slaughtered. Ray has been dead for some time now and I was calling him Tony, and Harley was Bill for some reason.  After my experiences with Dominion and more recently with the Black mantis I have no intention of ignoring this "Dream".  Let's just say if you have a terrifying nightmare and you can clearly remember all of it...there's probably more to it. I summon my sword to my hand and scan for magic but there's nothing out of place.Hopping out of bed I flash the rest of my gear on and scan a bit deeper but still nothing out of the ordinary. Then I get a call from the bridge.

"Shadawar to Obsidian, sir you're needed on the bridge."  

"It's not a good time. Is it important?"

"You need to see for yourself captain."

"On my way."

I forgo breakfast and head straight to the bridge As the doors open I try to read the room, but everyone looks at me like they have bad news.  The kind of news where someone is dead.  My heart jumps as I remember the nighmare still fresh in my mind and for a second I think someone is going to tell me Harley's been killed.  Instead I get much worse news.

"Obsidian, we picked up a derelict ship on our scanners."

"Okay so why tell me?"

"It's the ship's transponder signature."

"Somehting wrong with it, is it Sathari or Heigaran? What?"

"No, it registers as the SS Runt."

"Saywhatnow?  Put it on screen."

Sure enough I'm staring at my old ship now floating seemingly lifeless through space.  MY nightmare is looking worse by the second.

"Is there life support? Did you try signalling the ship?"

"Minimal life support, the ship is in standby  mode and there's no life signs. It's not answering our signal."

"That's NOT the Runt...I  saw it destroyed with my own two eyes. Lock a tractor beam and bring it close I'll check it out for myself."

"Aye sir."

I transport over and as I walk systems begin activating. I am standing on the bridge and the sight before me is horrific to say the least. My nightmare was no dream. Whatever happened here I saw it, but not as it happened.  The corpse's are old and withered, only skeletal remains inside the husks of armor. I collapse into the captain's chair at the sight of my own lifeless body slumped against the veiwscreen wall and instantly the ship springs back to life.

"Error, dual presence detected...scanning...secondary presence identified...Secondary presence from Temporal Coordinates 75634 Identity...Obsidian Mask...Establishing command protocols...Welcome aboard Captain."

This ship like my old one is capable of determining temporal variances and signatures...Helpful, and by the sounds of it, I believe it just turned command over to me.

"Computer, what in the blue hell happened here?"

As the logs play on the main monitor I'm absolutely mortified.  The whole scene is identical to my dream.  The part that worries me is that my systems have identified the armor these men are wearing as Absorbium 30.  Not 80 like I wore at the time I used the suits like these. More disturbing is how the attacker simply bypassed the armor's defenses and completely snapped this guy's spine. His sword lays strewn across the floor.  Why didn't they take it?  For that matter why didn't they take anything?  I pick up the blade and sure enough it 's mine, and it responds like it belongs to me. Had the faceless alien picked it up, he would've been killed instantly but this blade is missing some seriously important modifications. It's not flashed, and it has no symbiosis, I doubt it can dance either.  I order a skeleton crew aboard and have them do a body count. Back aboard the Nomad, I attempt to use my blade to resurrect my fallen doppelgangers.  Only it doesn't work. There's only a couple of reasons it wouldn't and after I cast a "speak with the dead" spell I' absolutely certain of which reason it is.  Their very life essence has been stripped away and destroyed. This doesn't bode well. My next move is to secure the other ship and bring us in to port.  I'm going to call in some pals, namely Panterra and Harley. Whoever these aliens are they may return again and since they have a means of getting past Absorbium, or at least nullifying it, I want to be well prepared.  I'll be damned if they'll catch me with my pants down.

Buttering up the hubby

Buttering up the hubbyPopular
SubmitterObsidianMore Photos from Obsidian   Last Update2017/1/20 9:00
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Obsidian's life does have some perks.

My Beloved Dragon

My Beloved DragonPopular
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A vision of things to come...

Conlcusion

ConlcusionPopular
SubmitterObsidianMore Photos from Obsidian   Last Update2017/1/15 15:41
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It's all over but the shouting, and I'm awed by how with the proverbial snap of the fingers all of the damage is simply gone. The Black Scorpion and I are the only ones standing. He walks over to the pedestal still glowing brightly waves his hand over it and it stops glowing.

"What is that?"  

"This is called the elder crystal, it's how I prevented Mantis from using his eternity crystal.  In it's presence all of the eternity crystals feed it's power.  I'm really not sure how to use it I just know that it stops eternity crystals from functioning."

"That explains why he wasn't using his cosmic powers.  You simply turned them off."

"Yes.  I imagine you have a lot of questions.  I'll try to answer them as best I can."

"Yeah, A few" I say a bit reluctantly.

"To start with: Who are you?"

"Hahahaaa   I guess that would be the most pertinent one.  As the black Mantis was known by his Elven name Squirrell Longarrow I decided to take a name of my own and let him keep that one.  As a joke I took the name Karr.  I felt it appropriate since I was going to kill a Squirrell. '

I try to choke back the urge to laugh hysterically but it's no use , that's too damned funny.  He killed a...a squirrel with a car ahhh that's rich.

As soon as I catch my breath I ask

"You said you weren't a clone or an alternate version from some other reality like me apparently.  So how did you come to be then?"

"Much of the technology you use comes from us right?"

"Yes?"

"Including your EMT transporters?"

"Yes until recently. I had them replaced from something a bit more  efficient."


"Well the EMT relies on a beam of energy, and during an expedition to another dimension the beam we were using was somehow split. Recon had reported that the dimension nullified magic and our eternity crystals only work in parallel dimensions. So our only choice was to EMT in. I haven't had time to figure out how the beam was split but it resulted in creating two of me and Reaper."

"And only one came back with the others."

"Exactly, it took hundreds of years to get to a position where we could return but eventually when we did escape I found my empire in the sad state that it was.  I had become some power hungry tyrant who didn't care about life, not even the lives of those closest to him."

"So you set to depose yourself."

"The hardest part was getting past his advanced knowledge of the future."

"You mentioned he had a "...Deal with Death..." what the hell was that bout?"

We head to the imperial throne room and he explains as we go.

"Death as you know it is not just a state of being.  Like all things cosmic there is an overseer who we simply call Death.  There are legends that say if you can beat Death in a game of chance then you cannot ever die. In my youth I had decided to test that theory, but I never could beat Death...Lots of Draws...but no victories. Since Death could not defeat me nor I Death, I was granted a special privilege born of respect.  I would be allowed to know when my death was coming and given and opportunity to avoid it.  I would even know how I was going to die. Quite the advantage yes?"

"I'll say.  One hell of an advantage."

"Because of the circumstances bot versions of me had this power.  I approached Death with a final game, and using our combined power and our eternity crystals Reaper and I defeated Death with Reaver assuming his mantle. As death Reaver absorbed his doppelganger and the two became one."

"Why didn't you try to do that with Mantis?"

"The two Reapers had no conflict and agreed mutually to merge. BUt by this time Mantis had well established how he dealt with his duplicates...by slaughtering them."


"So...there was only one choice left."

"In truth I didn't want what he was as part of who I am.  I wouldn't have want to have merged with what he was no more than he."

"So you had this master plan then, why steal Parata's head...that's the part I don't get."

"Parata was one of the few enemies that almost destroyed us.  I knew if Mantis thought he would be facing him he would be on his guard for Parata's tactics and be preparing to fight Parata."

"It was a distraction?"

"Then he hired you.  I didn't understand who or what you were until you started poking your nose around and at first I thought you were some poor misguided mortal.  I revealed my presence to Raven and explained everything to her, and she agreed to help, the first thing she did was fill me in about you.  I must say for a mortal being with low grade immortality, I'm impressed."

"Low Grade Immortality?"

"Hahaha Yeah I suppose that came out  wrong.  YOu are mortal despite your longevity and can be killed by mortal means, you cannot become sick except by magic but otherwise your life can be taken.  We cannot. ergo Low Grade."

"So what do we do now?"


"I don't know Storm God, what do we do?"

I look at Karr a bit confused, and then it hits me.  Mantis was a god, the God of Storms and Chaos actually, and killing him bestowed his power upon me. However, I don't want his power anymore than I wanted Moonshaddow's and there's only one choice for what to do with it.

'Yeah speaking of that...I really don't want the job...would you be willing to..."

"I assumed that would be your choice.  We really aren't very much like him are we?"

"No I guess not."

I bestow my divinity upon a being far more capable of handling it than I. I bid my farewells and head back to the Sable. Once aboard I go and see the wonderful women who I am certain were waiting on pins and needles for the final outcome.  I am not dissapointed and the five ladies tackle me, smothering me with affection. It's good to be home.

"Shadawar, lay in a course for the Solar system...I think we all need some time off."
 
"Aye sir!  Helm plot course and engage.  As soon as we have clearance."

I turn to the helmsman and ask

"What's the holdup?"

"I have a message coming in that says the imperial council wishes to board."

"Okay."

"They say they want to meet you in the shuttlebay sir."

Arriving in the shuttlebay I am greeted by the entire council save for Norjaguar.  Kar  gestures to the rest of the council and says.

"In all of the confusion we almost forgot.  We have yet to pay you for your services to our empire.  You may ask your want..nothing is forbidden."

Raven still without her mask walks up placing her hand upon my arm and I'm render incapable of making words form. I hear laughing and I vaguely notice a pinkish hue in Raven's cheeks.

"I think I know what he wants Raven the massive Beast says with a chuckle."

Then Raven smiles and it's back to the wonderful world of unable to think coherently.  I start to wonder of she's doing this on purpose but I'm telling you if she asked me to do anything right now I wouldn't be able to stop myself. I just know I need to be with her and have her.  There's length I wouldn't go to for her...just for her to notice me. I realize I am not alone...and then suddenly, I can think again. She's wearind her mask and my mind is my own again.

"Sorry, I forget I do that to mortals."

You are very cute Obsidian, in another life ...yeah.  But I don't think you'd truly want me among your harem...nor even my avatar."

"No I think my harem is quite large enough thanks and honestly I'm kind of a one woman guy anyhow.'  The truth is what I could use is good crew, My bridge crew is awesome and I wouldn't change them for the world but the ship crew is Sathari and they need to go back to that empire."

"Done new crew, and honestly...this ship doesn't suit you...We can give you back the lillun or rather her sister ship."

"Seriously?  I really miss that ship."

"Then it is done. Your ship will need a new name, and as soon as you speak it it will take it as it's own.  As  bonus Obsidian, you are welcome wherever our flags fly as one our people. Thank you for all you have done. We cannot repay you enough."

Karr walks up to me and whispers,

"May we never need to call on you again...I think you've saved the universe enough times."


"If you need me, YOU can call and I'll be there."

"I'll send Raven hahaha."

In a blink we're in the Solar system and they're gone. It's gonna take a month to process all of this. I'm in one piece, and there's way fewer dead bodies that I had feared. I guess I'm good with this and if I don't see another god for a million years it'll be too soon. I drop spydra off and than her for everything, she turn to leave, and then turns back she runs back over to me a kisses my cheek then she drops a bomb on me.

"To be honest Obsidian...that fight your wife and I had...she wasn't exactly wrong."
And just like that I'm standing at the airlock with my jaw on the floor as she simply walks away.


CATNIGHT

CATNIGHTPopular
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Revelations

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SubmitterObsidianMore Photos from Obsidian   Last Update2017/1/14 0:02
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At this point I have as much clearance in the Mantis' empire as any council member and nobody bats an eyelash when my fighter comes screaming through the main starport on a bee line trajectory for the palace. As I look down I see the place is surrounded but that the troops are holding their advancement. I leap from the cockpit and land just at the command station outside. Troops move aside as I make my way tot the palace entrance.  The sounds of battle ring from inside and and the earth beneath my feet rumbles.  As I reach for the massive palace doors I take note of dozens of dead bodies strewn about like debris in a storm. They never stood a chance against whatever is inside and I may not either but I have to try.  I make a mad dash to the wards  the explosions and gunfire and the closer I get the sicker I get bodies are strewn everywhere.  Every defense in the place is torn to shreds.  At the very moment my fingers touch the throne room door there's an explosion and my suit registers massive overloads in energy. My armor takes it bur it's not good enough. I feel the impact of the explosions  even through this updated armor and I'm sent hurtling backwards.  I'm stunned even if only for a few seconds but it's enough. I hear the muffled monologue of the Black Mantis.

"Yeah you got the skills , but I have done this dance before. Being who you are you know you're not the first to try this stunt. Though I will say you're definitely the most devious."

As I focus my visions I see the shape of another man dressed in the Imperial Black and Gold and when he speaks I cannot believe my ears.  His voice is that of the Black Mantis himself.

"You know all too well what I am capable of and I have over a millennia to prepare for you, and believe me I have prepared well. Today you die and I WILL take back my throne!"

What? As I rise unsteadily, and my vision clears the scene is ghastly. The council members, each nearly as powerful as the Black Mantis himself have been tossed around like rag dolls.  They all lay unconscious, but alive. Had this man killed them they would've simply moved their essences to a new body and been right back to battle completely refreshed. This way however, he has taken them out of the fight.  In the center of the room on a pedestal is a large glowing blue gem roughly the size of a man's head which appears to be the source of whatever is keeping them down.  It doesn't take much to figure out this is the guy who attack the Black Mantis the first time.  However, now he's has everyone down. As the two combatants circle each other I can little else but watch. I look around for Spydra and find her not far from where I landed after the explosion.

"Kid, wake up.  WE have to move back."

A quick scan of her injuries reveals a severed spinal cord and a several broken bones. Her wounds are serious but not life threatening, she'll be fine in a couple of days if we survive this. I start to lift her up and that's when I realize that the servos in my armor are about shot. She's not exactly heavy though so I manage. Returning to the room I am witness to one of the most epic fights any man has ever had the privilege of seeing. The form an grace of the Black Mantis and his foe move are something I will never forget. A thousand times I have wanted to knock that smug attitude from his face and only do I realize how insanely ridiculous that thought has been. As the two gods do battle the whole building shudders as does everything for miles. The palace itself must be very specially made otherwise the foundations would've gave under the first attack and we'd all be standing in a crater.  My armor begins repairing itself and I start to feel a tad safer but I'm still hiding behind what remains of the massive pillars of the palace hall. Fire, Lightning, and magics more ancient than the Elven races themselves flies furiously, along with sword blows and martial arts skills I can't begin to describe. The two men are so evenly matched it's no wonder I thought The Black Mantis was behind everything. Then the monologue starts and I realize..he kinda was.

"You are a shabby imitation of the real thing pretender."

Yells Mantis smugly

"...and you're not the first to try this, I have put down clones, and shapeshifters, Magical mirrors and even versions of me from other realities you'll be no different?"

"Because I am none of those things. What separates us is not a dimension, or an inferior genetic code, or even an entire reality...what separates us is that YOU made it out of that worm hole and I didn't.  Not for a thousand years, both Reaper and I both were trapped there and left to rot. But now MY Reaver, stands before you, master of death."

I'm not sure of the significance of Reaper, or Reaver or whatever name he's going by but what the new guy said has Mantis taken aback a little.  Then the Black Mantis himself make the significance all too clear.

"What? Impossible. No one can defeat Death, I know I've tried. It's how I got where I ma today."

"You mean your Deal, where you know when the time of your death is coming? That's little arrangement was the first thing I took care of.  It's why Reaver stands there silent and waiting.  He's waiting for one of us to die!  I took away your, MY greatest advantage and it was well worth it."

My greatest advantage? Clones alternate versions...By the gods...Is he?  The Black Mantis? Some twisted version of himself?  It all makes sense sure but how?

"Black Mantis you will die here today.  There will be no more Black Mantis only the Black Scorpion will remain and I will be rid of you once and for all.  I watched you for centuries, running this empire like a spoiled child...I couldn't believe that was me I was staring at...so at the very least I want to thank you for opening my eyes.  I never realized how precarious my sanity was until I watched you lose yours."

"YOu think me insane pretender? I have made this empire strong, quadrillions upon quintillions of ships hundreds of whole realities are under my command.  The powers I can bring to bear on any single reality..."

"Are ridiculous!  Who needs that much power?  Why? You're a power hungry madman and you play with lives lives as a child playing with toys.  How many have killed for the sake of your power?  How many lives were simply thrown aside so you could be the greatest?" billions, trillions?  You stand on a blood stain that stretches across infinity. I ma here to end that."

Beneath my helmet my jaw is agape. I had never truly contemplated the level of Mantis's brutality.  I never knew his lust for power.  Sure I knew he had ungodly amount of resources and raw power but I never contemplated the lengths which he must have gone through to get it all.  Surely he had to have killed people even billions which I was vaguely aware of, but trillions?"

"Hah!  I have wiped out entire realities! You are hardly a match for me."

Magic flies from their fingers and erupts from every direction as they battle, my sensors are very nearly overwhelmed by it all and I realize I'm in a very bad place to be. It takes almost no time for my systems to reboot and I start making my way to the council members while these two try intently to kill one another.  As I begin dragging the others to safety it occurs to me that they haven't unleashed any of their legendary cosmic powers.  Power I know fort a fact they possess.
The battle continues to rage above and around me and while I'm sure it's not the case they seem oblivious to my presence.  Either they don't care, or they don't think me significant enough to bother with...probably the latter.

I get the last of the council out and start to go back in then I feel a hand on my shoulder.  Raven has come to.

"Obsidian, the Black Mantis.  He's the one who attacked us."

"Saywhatnow?"

I am of course totally stunned by her words.

"He's completely lost his mind.  Karr knew this and confided in us."

"Whadafug?"

"The Black Mantis has been dangerously unstable for countless eons.  But recently, he's just lost it.  It all started with you."

"Um...what?"


"You were like a prize...he wanted to see if he could get  you to be like me and Karr."

"Who the hell is Karr?  That guy in there going toe to toe with the self-proclaimed "Multiverse's Greatest Assassin? Is that who you mean?  Why the hell does the Black Mantis even care about me? I have never understood that."  

Raven removes her mask revealing a beauty I forgot she possessed, at once I forget where I am and can only see her eyes. She reaches up and removes my helmet. Her gentle hands are warm as she touches my cheek, and the pain from ten thousand years memories that comes next is so intense. I feel my head will shatter.  Raven shows me the entire history of the Black Mantis and herself and the entire empire. I barely feel the tears roll down my face and I watch the atrocities he's committed in the name of POWER. I see time and again, the black Mantis fighting versions of himself that were often much weaker than he. He even somehow unlinked himself from time and killed his parents to assure no one could ever go back in time and destroy him, he has killed every alternate reality version of himself that he has ever encountered...save two.  The woman who now holds my face in her hands...and....me?  As violently as this vision began so too does it end as I  recoil in horror at the revelation that he and I are the same person.   With tear filled eyes I stare back at yet another version of..me?  Raven, Black Mantis, Karr, and myself...all the same person?  NO wonder, all these years, he was just using me as a game? That bastard, that complete wretched bastard!  Save the universe? Of course he thought I could do it...over and over, and over....because with a little help I could be just like him.  Or worse yet, was he just trying to see if I could become a threat to him?  Was he weighing my fate...my very life in his hand?

"NO...no no no no no  NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!"

I grab my hemet and put it back on...I may not be the one to kill him but I can watch ...him...die!.

As I walk back into the palace with renewed purpose the two men look exhausted...and are breathing heavily. It's a stalemate. Black Manits looks back at me and laughs.

"Well, Black Scorpion it seems there's one last card for me to play.  Obsidian, do me the honor of finishing off this upstart."

"What?"

How the hell does he think it's even remotely possible?

"You have always been able to hide from anyone, and I have given you the power to destroy gods.  use it and destroy this fake, pretender."

Mantis is right...as I walk towards the two nearly exhausted assassins...assassins...like me. In a blink I'm invisible, no one can detect me, by any means, I am the master of shadows with this armor, you can't see me, or hear me, no one can sense me, no danger sense works against me, no psionics, not even magic will give me away. Even mighty cosmic beings cannot detect my presence...Absorbium is wonderful.  And as I plunge my sword through the Black Mantis's demonic, unforgiving, manipulative, wretched, evil, psychotic heart. I am pleased to say I'm the man who killed the Multiverse's greatest assassin.  

"It's not murder when you kill yourself I say...it suicide."

Blood spews from beneath his mask, and he and I both know what comes next but I ca't let him die without knowing why. As I feel his divine power flow into me I lean close and through clenched teeth born of decades of him manipulations, and the loss I have suffered as a result of his whims I simply say

"Whatever made you think I would not turn my blade on you?  I heard your exchange with this man...I know what you've done to get where you were..Raven was kind enough to show me everything you sonofabitch..Rot in hell.  Just as the last of his divinity enters my body he lets out a chuckle.

"I always get the last laugh." He says as his body begins to fade away.

""NO!" Karr screams as he tosses me aside,
"I won't let you do it!"

But as he grabs hold of the Black Mantis's  costume it's too late and he simply kneels there holding the empty suit in his hands.

"He's gone."

"Good riddance."

"NO mortal, he's not dead, he's done the one thing I was certain he wouldn't."

"What is that exactly."

"He ascended his consciousness and became one with the universe."

"That's a bad thing?"

"It means some day he may return, though no one ever has."

Well at least it's over...for now.







 



The Autopsy

The AutopsyPopular
SubmitterObsidianMore Photos from Obsidian   Last Update2017/1/10 21:22
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Returning to the colony where we first began our little mystery I make my way to the local coroner. They've kept the murder victims on ice since their wounds were like nothing they'd ever seem before and technically the case is still open. I meet with the local authorities and I'm surprised at how connect Black Mantis really is when they  hand be a passcard to investigate as I see fit. Next thing you know Mantis will have me hooked up with Sentinel status...that'd be nice heh, "Above the law" status. But I digress, the coroners office is a massive white building with few windows and heavy security.  As I approach the guards wave us in and I assume they were told to expect us. I am greeted by a local woman, her name is Zerie, chief Medical Examiner and she is quite the professional. Her mannerisms are controlled and precise suggesting she takes her work and her life way to seriously. She's pleasant enough and seems genuinely curious as to my investigation.

"This is most unusual mister..."

"Obsidian, just call me Obsidian."

"As you wish.  As I was saying, it is very unusual to have anyone who is not with law enforcement examining any corpse in our facility. I only ask that you follow our procedures and use proper protocols when examining the bodies you came here to see."

"I am well acquainted with standard forensic procedures, but it's your show. I just need to see the corpses, and take some measurements, nothing too invasive."

"Very well then, right this way."

Spydra has never seen a postmortem to my knowledge and yet she doesn't seem nervous in the slightest. I guess I shouldn't be too surprised considering how many corpses she's put on slabs during her career. Still, these ones are going to be something unusual from the standard disemboweling, and severed heads, she's familiar with.  Having one of my very own, I have seen first hand what a mono-molecular blade can do to living tissue. the cuts are so clean and the blade doesn't stop just because some bone got in the way. It's ugly and bloody.

We enter the exam room and the 4 bodies are laid out on 4 different tables...or should I say, what remains of 4 bodies. I know several martial arts forms but there's one that teaches a very special technique they call "Lightning Fist" and it allows the Martial artist to unleash a massive flurry of attacks on his opponent and when combined with a weapon...let's just say it isn't pretty. These guys are victims of this type of attack with a mono-molecular weapon. For the most part meat cubes are all that's left of what was formerly a torso.  Their heads are severed but intact, the waist and everything below it are as well. Even the arms are relatively untouched except for some defensive wounds. Whoever did this was brutal but effective, no wasted effort.

"Computer, scan each of the bodies and their remains and reconstruct. Leave a diagram of the cuts themselves. As a the holographic projector on my wrist displays the four men, I am stunned to see just how thoroughly they were cut up.

"Computer, based on the number of incisions, how many strikes were made on average?"

The computer's answer is appalling.

""Approximately 60 strikes per victim."

The coroner looks ill, and honestly even Spydra seems a bit uneasy.

"Computer, what kind of weapon was used? Assuming the the attacker was using a single edged weapon such as a sword?"

Then the computer confirms a suspicion

'Wounds are inconsistent with a single weapon."

"Computer can you determine what kind of weapons were used?"

"A single edged weapon approximately 36 inches in length is responsible for 33% of all wounds. A second weapon approximately 12 inches in length with two blades is responsible for the remaining injuries."

The ME looks horrified. I think she was hoping it was some kind of machine.The thought of one living being doing something like to another by hand...not something that sits well with her.  What has my interest is the computer stating that there were only two 12 inch blades.

"Computer, based on the angle of the wounds how tall would the attacker have to be to make them?"

Again I'm left with more questions from my computer's response.

'The attacker would be approximately 5'3" and 5'6" to have made these injuries.

"The Black Mantis is barely 4 feet tall, he would not have been able to inflict these wounds." Spydra says puzzled.

"I know and he has 3 claws not 2, everything else is consistent with his skills, and M.O. the angle of the cuts, the sheer ferocity, and the absolute precision.  Notice how none of the cuts are even slightly wavy? The speed and sheer power to cut this well...I was sure it was him. I mean everything fits...I need to get back.  I ahve a horrible feeling."

"We can be back in an hour...why? What's do your think happened?"

"I'm wrong, as often as I'm right and honestly I pray I'm wrong as hell right now. Doctor, thank you for your time we appreciate it."

We have to get back to the council before it's too late.

ARIA 2017

ARIA 2017Popular
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The Prime Suspect

The Prime SuspectPopular
SubmitterObsidianMore Photos from Obsidian   Last Update2017/1/9 23:11
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After discovering, that the guard was innocent and apparently did have a conversation with apparently the black mantis, I am worried about just one thing. If it was an impostor, how did it compel the guard to obey the order to allow the thief inside. The fake would have had to have current authorization codes and, (this is the real kicker) been able to wipe the records of said transmission clean.  The more I dig, the more it looks like the Black Mantis is behind everything.  He's the only one capable of this.  I have to meet with the council, and explain my theories to them. But there's something in the back of my mind that keeps trying to tell me something, I just can't hear it.  I'm missing something but what? As I wrack my brains thinking about it I feel a gentle pair of very delicate fingers on my temples.  The circling motion easing the tension that has been building since this whole thing started.  The touch is sublime and I feel calm like I used to when I was with-   MOONSHADOW!

I leap from where I'm sitting and spin on a dime, and sure enough there she stands in all her splendid loveliness.  God I miss her, but...

"Hello lover."  She says with a seductive purr.

"Yeah, hey there.  What are you doing here?"

"Oh as soon as you started looking into this whole mystery I have been near.  It is after all in my domain."

"Right Goddess of intrigue.  This situation would certainly fit the bill.  So are you here to seduce me or lend a hand?"

"To lend a hand lover  I would require and act of worship."

"I'm afraid my wives would most likely not approve."

"You're married now?  To mortals again I presume?"

"No actually they're not mortal kin, they're Sylvanari Elves."

"Are you sure about that?"

"Do you know something I don't?"

"Darling..." she says moving closer until my back is against a wall and her lips are tantalizingly close to mine. "Of course I do?"

I can feel her breath on my skin, and I remember so much of our time together, but she's playing with me.

"What, um do you know?"

"Ah  ah ahh lover, I am a goddess and I expect my due."

"Exactly what is your due?"

As her clothes vanish in a mist I want only to indulge her, but I just can't."

'No." I say calmly.

"No? Are you so loyal to your WIVES that you won't have me? I know about the little concubine demoness you keep.  That is permissible but this isn't? Talk about hypocrisy."

"Aini, has my wives' approval.  If you get theirs then I will happily indulge your every whim, but know this: They have the final say.  It is that simple...and believe me I wish I could just give in."

"Now I know why my father has pursued you for so long. You can't be bought or bribed, you are honorable to a fault.  It's a very rare quality, and he's an admirer of it."

"Honorable? No offense but your father doesn't strike me as honorable."

"But he is. He has kept every bargain he has ever made with you has he not? Keeping his word and obeying his rather twisted code is the very definition of honor."

"Okay, fine he IS honorable.  Now if it's not too much trouble would you mind letting me get back to my dilemma?"

"Sure. In the meantime, maybe I'll have a talk with your harem."

"What?"

Instantly she's gone and I'm left with an uneasy feeling in the pit of my stomach.

The next morning I ask the council members to assemble in closed chambers.

With Spydra at my side, I am understandably intimidated by the level of cosmic power in the room.  I clear my throat and addressed the six assembles council members.

"I have nearly completed my investigation."

"Do you have any suspects?" Norjaguar asks.

"Only one."

They each look at one another and then Raven asks the inevitable.

"Who?"

"I can divulge that information right now but if my suspicions are correct you may all be in much greater danger than any of us first realized."

"How so?"

"I can't divulge that at this time, I can only say that you all need to remain together, no avatars, no simulacrums, no clones. No traveling of any kind and you must remain together at all times until this investigation is complete."

They all nod in agreement. I leave with a glimmer of hope and pray I'm wrong about what I am almost certain I am not. I have to return to the colony where this whole investigation started.



Inside Job

Inside JobPopular
SubmitterObsidianMore Photos from Obsidian   Last Update2017/1/8 23:50
Hits380  Comments4    
On a hunch I ask the Black Mantis to let me take a look at the vault where Parata's head was kept. I am given the passcodes and various other necessities required to enter without getting killed. I am also given free access to the security tapes. However, there's a stipulation...the imperial grand inquisitor known as "Shadowblade" has been assigned to accompany myself and Spydra during our investigation. He's a hot head but scary....reminds me of a movie sub-villain...he doesn't say much to anyone as we enter the vault but they're visibly intimidated by his presence.

"I am not sure what you hope to find that my investigators could not. I assure you we were very thorough."

His tone is derisive, and it's clear he's offended by our presence but he won't disobey the emperor, not if he wants to live very long anyway.

There's no prints, no trace of  bypass equipment none of the standard tricks of the trade that professional thieves use.  What amazes me the most is the sheer quantity of magical wards in place, with an equal number of passwords to get through them.  There's no way anyone could get the passwords necessary to get through here without inside knowledge.

"Who was the guard on duty?"

"That would be Tarar, he is awaiting summary execution until YOUR investigation is completed."

"I'd like to question him please."

"I'll arrange it."

As soon as the inquisitor is out of earshot I grab hold of Spydra's arm and pull her close to me. In a hushed tone I tell her what my worst fear of this investigation is, and the only conclusion I can come to based on the evidence.

"Spydra, as much as I hate to say this,  I think this is an inside job."

"The empirical evidence, or lack thereof,  would seem to support your conclusion but who do you think could possibly be a prime suspect?"

"Hell I have no idea, but if I'm right, and they catch on to what we know the situation could prove very....dangerous."

"Then we keep our suspicions to ourselves?"

"Yes, and I know this goes against your faith, but I need you to keep your mistress in the dark as well.  No one can know what we suspect."

Some time later, we're brought into an interrogation room with Tarar. We leave our weapons at the door as Tarar is something of a well trained killer as is the norm with all of the citizens of Mantis's empire.  Tarar is not what I would call stupid or corrupt.  His dossier is so clean it squeaks.  he has no money issues or any family problems, in fact his life here could not be more ideal.

The Inquisitor brings me a small box which contains a shiny gold ring.

"What's this for?"

"This ring will vibrate whenever anyone within 50 feet speaks falsely."

"It detects lies?"

"Yes."

"What's the fallibility level on this thing?"

"Zero."

"Really? What if he believes what he's saying is true even if it isn't?"

""Well, yes I suppose that could be a problem."

"So 99 percent then?"

With that he storms out.  Sometimes I'm a jerk just to bring down some smug ass a peg or two. I ask the standard questions and even have the Tarar lie a couple of times on purpose just test the ring, which works fantastically by the way.  But it's not until my sword teleports to my hand that he starts to look nervous. he knows who I am and that my blade is much like the emperor's in every way...and he keeps his hands very still. He won't dare touch the thing for fear of death, but I have no intention of killing him.  No I focus the magic of the sword on a little known spell that compels a subject to  answer 5 questions truthfully regardless of whether or not they want to. The  subject is immediately aware of the presence of the spell. Which should have this guy quaking in his boots but he doesn't seem nervous at all.

"Question one: How is your family life?"

"No things are fine at home."

Question two: Any financial problems at home?

"No sir, the empire provides for all that we could ever want and I make an excellent wage here, enough to live rather luxuriously actually."

Question three:  Anyone have blackmailing you?

"No."

Question four: Were you otherwise  coerced into allowing an unknown person into the vault?

"No sir, the lady knew all the passcodes and had all the right credentials.  She seemd shady so I called for authorization and she was cleared.  I told the Inquisitor the same thing."

Question five: Who authorized the suspect to enter into the vault?"

"The order came from the emperor himself, I spoke with him on the comm."

"An inspection of the comm records shows there was not communication at the time you say you spoke to the emperor."

With each question the ring remains still, not so much as a twitch.  If he's lying he's got some kind of powerful magic backing him up.  I thank him and send him back to his cell. After some time I return to the vault to check the communication records myself.  I'm looking for traces of unrecorded communications.  The communications system on a vessel (I use the term loosely)it's tough to completely erase those kinds of records completely.  A voice from nowhere just about scares the holy crap out of me.

'How can I assist you Obsidian?"

It's the damned computer.  The realization brings my heart rate back down as I realize it's a simple AI interface.

"Computer, can you show me all communication records for the day of the theft, for the entire ship?"

"There were approximately 1,234,946,647,342 transmissions at that time."

The numbers are astronomical, but then I have a stroke of genius.

"Compute can send me a copy of the guard's fingerprints?"

"What do you need those for?" Spydra asks.

"I'm hoping that I'm right but I'm playing a hunch.  Computer which consoles are used to check in."

The computer indicates a console near the door.

"Excellent, and which console is used to get authorization should a visitor be suspicious?"

As the panel lights up I smile wide and proud. They're not the same console. The one lit by the computer isn't the same as the one used for daily security logs. This means if he did in fact have a conversation then he'd have to have left behind his fingerprint on the screen...and sure enough...

"Bingo!"

"Did you find what you were looking for?"

"Indeed I did, food old fashioned detective work wins again."

A thorough check of the security logs reveals that while there was no transmission that day, there hasn't been one in over a century. So why would the guard's fingerprints be on the screen, Video records up until the day of the  theft show he has never stepped foot over at that section since being assigned this post.  Somebody with top level access altered the records, and deleted the transmission. Only six people have the access level required to do this and It's up to me to find out where each and every one of them was at the time and possibly beforehand.  Looks like everyone is gonna be stuck here for a while.  I'm not looking forward to telling them the news.

Dragon, Lava

Dragon, LavaPopular
SubmitterObsidianMore Photos from Obsidian   Last Update2017/1/5 23:37
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The Mining colony of Tenaera 7 was the first to record the presence of a type of dragon that dwells within molten lava. It was thought that only great red dragons could withstand such temperatures of a volcano, but even they do not dwell within the lava itself. Lava Dragons however, can and do make their nests within the molten stone and are unharmed by the intense heat which is enough to destroy anything that isn't an earth elemental. For this reason it is believed that the Lava Dragon mat be an elemental of some sort. They are massive creatures and even a hatchling is no mere thing at roughly 14 ft in length, but the adults have been recorded at up to 185 feet in length. Sadly the mining colony did not survive their encounter as the dragons are highly aggressive towards lesser creatures. The planet has thus been quarantined, and other molten worlds are being scrutinized for the presence of Lava Dragons. Should they prove to be as prolific as their other cousins mining companies may have to find new worlds to excavate.

ZATANNA

ZATANNAPopular
Submitterhalcon89More Photos from halcon89   Last Update2017/1/3 12:15
Hits420  Comments1    

Synthetic Pets

Synthetic PetsPopular
SubmitterObsidianMore Photos from Obsidian   Last Update2017/1/2 0:24
Hits422  Comments2    
In a rare moment of serenity, we see Obsidian mask having a simple exchange with his newest pet. Truthfully he's more of a dog person but he's worried of offending his first mate Shadawar so the synthetic Wyvern will have to suffice. Wyverns are notoriously hostile towards other creatures and rarely, if ever, tamed. This synthetic pet however, is another matter entirely. Synthetic pets are typically smaller than 5 feet in length and rarely grow beyond that. They are Synthezoids, a type of organic android capable of doing nearly everything their living counterparts can do.  They are however, 100 percent reliable and generally safe to be around unless programmed otherwise.  They can grow like many living creatures or be purchased as full adults and are completely legal to own in nearly any system. In the case of this Wyvern however, many laws have been broken, it is lethal, poisonous, and breathes fire, it has an on board computational capacity of a small supercomputer capable of 75,000 computations per nanosecond. it is incapable of speech but can patch into Obsidian's transmission frequencies to send text messages in an emergency. It is essentially immortal (Highly illegal) and possesses a full surveillance package exceeding many modern handheld models. It also possesses one superpower (also highly illegal) the ability to transform into organic steel, making the creature nearly impervious to nearly any conventional weaponry. Like any dragon it possesses natural optical camouflage complete with texture adaption. This Wyvern is a gift from the Black Mantis and has been specially engineered by The Black Mantis personally.  Needless to say this little winged lizard is far  more than it's outward appearance would suggest..When asked Obsidian simply tells curious people that the dragon is a hatchling that simply bonded with him when it's mother was killed (presumably by  him)...this is of course a baldfaced lie.    

RAYO VERDE

RAYO VERDEPopular
Submitterhalcon89More Photos from halcon89   Last Update2016/12/27 13:01
Hits377  Comments3    

AVISPA

AVISPAPopular
Submitterhalcon89More Photos from halcon89   Last Update2016/12/27 11:20
Hits407  Comments2    

BATYYGIRL

BATYYGIRLPopular
Submitterhalcon89More Photos from halcon89   Last Update2016/12/27 9:33
Hits365  Comments3    

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!Popular
SubmitterDark WandererMore Photos from Dark Wanderer   Last Update2016/12/25 5:23
Hits405  Comments2    

Night Terrors

Night TerrorsPopular
SubmitterObsidianMore Photos from Obsidian   Last Update2016/12/24 6:13
Hits408  Comments3    
Always wanted to do this but until I found a client who wanted something similar I just never found the right incentive...now My client's idea and mine, while similar, are still different in many ways...and honestly....neither is that original. So without further adue...

The giant black bats of Debras 4 also known as "Night Terrors" are unique for a singular reason...they're the most massive ever recorded. With a wingspan of nearly 45 feet they are as large as some aircraft. They possess all of the normal abilities of their diminutive cousins such as excellent night vision and a remarkable sense of smell, but unlike other fruit bats they also possess echolocation which scientists believe help them navigate the colossal caverns where they dwell. What truly sets them apart is how docile they are. These bats are a variety of fruit bats although due to the nature of their diet they have similar facial characteristics (including fangs and incisors)of vampire bats. They subsist almost entirely on the giant Loardra fruits which grow on massive towering trees that reach nearly a thousand feet in height, the fruit of which must be coaxed out much as vampire bats cause blood to flow. They have also been knwon to feed upon the various giant, half meter long, insects that frequent those very trees. With literally no competitors to speak of and virtually no natural predators save fort Dragons who find them particularly delicious, this natural order prevents their numbers from skyrocketing out of control. It is possible to tame them for use as a mount but the care and feeding of these great beasts make that an expensive endeavor. In combat they are not particularly fierce having no real natural weapons of significance, but like all animals they can bite and have nasty claws but for the most part prefer to flee from combat. As mounts they can be trained to tolerate weaponry and combat conditions but are best suited for less dangerous roles such as reconnaissance especially since they can fly without making hardly a sound. They are otherwise identical to their non-marsupial cousins in every other way.

Photo No. 211-240 (out of 1832 photos hit)
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