The Assassination

Henrik, a nice young man at heart, had been told to up the ante. The order to assassinate Lord Stiletto had come directly from The Rabbit and had put Henrik under a great deal of stress and confusion.

He wasn’t a killer, he knew that in his heart, and basically, he had quite liked Gregory and Stiletto when he had met them in the now vapourised Sweden, that vanished reality of his planet Earth. He realised that he owed his life to The Rabbit, but knew deep inside that he wasn’t a murderer.

Lord Stiletto had been out driving in the Oxfordshire countryside in his favourite Bugatti. It was an original car from 1939, one he had picked up from the Milan home of Ettore Bugatti himself, just as the Second World War was kicking off. He had driven it down to Sicily where he had shipped it over to Malta, and there stored it in a cave on the small adjacent island of Gozo.

Now he was racing along the road to Lechlade, wind buffeting his bowler, goggles firmly in place.

Henrik had gone for an indirect method of murder. His choice, spiked metal sheets nailed into the tarmac surface of the Lechlade road. Almost immediately behind the caltrops he had parked a traction engine, recently stolen from the neighbouring village’s steam fair. He felt a nascent thrill in perverting Stiletto’s love of the arcane and ancient.

Stiletto came around the corner in third gear doing eighty-five miles per hour, and saw the traction engine stationary in his path. Taking his foot off the gas that powered the super turbocharged engine, he slammed it on the brake, and the Bugatti skidded sideways down the narrow Cotswold roadway. When he hit the caltrops, the tyres exploded on the sharp metal spikes, and as it left the ground, the beautiful old car began to roll, and accelerated towards the waiting engine.

Henrik had been having second thoughts about his murderous course. Several days before the date with Stiletto, he had taken the opportunity to send a message to Gregory. Stiletto took some persuading to sacrifice his beautiful sports car, but with Haydrift Eaglebeard as a passenger, and some nifty hand jive, at the moment of impact, the two friends were travelling through an alternate dimension. The classic sports car, almost a national treasure, exploded in a ball of fire as it slammed into the huge steel roller in front of the traction engine, which had been artfully placed in the Bugatti’s path.

Copyright Jhedron Luckspar © 2015 2018

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The Bank Job

Lord Stiletto strode through the lobby of the Union City Bank in his shirt sleeves, bowler hat and goggles, and one of his most garish purple check waistcoats. Unusually, the pipe clenched between his teeth was emitting a rather yellow plume of smoke.

“I’m sorry, Sir,” an anxious young lady bank employee said to him. “You can’t smoke he…” but before she could finish the sentence she was dropping where she stood. Stiletto caught her, breaking her fall, and laid her carefully on the marble floor.

Others were not so lucky, and clerks and security guards alike were hitting the floor left, right, and centre.

Once the coast was clear, into the lobby sauntered Haydrift Eaglebeard, although one could only identify him from his flowing beard and ponytail, as his face was covered, by what looked to Stiletto, a world war one gas mask.

The electronic security of the bank with its cameras, both overt and hidden, and the latest twenty-first century technology, was no match for Stiletto’s future technicians, and had been disabled seconds before he came through the lobby door.

Still the safe complex had some good old-fashioned iron doors with top grade tumbler locks, although these would be no defence against his accomplice with his dimension breaching hand.

Sitting outside a bank in a vintage Bentley with the engine running might be a bit of a giveaway, so Gregory and Sarah were parked in the underground garage. With Stiletto’s nerve agent, this time a mild version, and his neutralisation of the security system, they weren’t expecting any problems with their escape. But somebody hadn’t taken into account the tenacity of The Rabbit.

The Rabbit was sitting in the shadows, whiskers twitching, watching the occupants of the old turbocharged Bentley. With a twitch of his ears he gave the signal for the counter-offensive.

Lord Stiletto and Haydrift Eaglebeard knew exactly which vault contained the package, but when they slipped through reality into the vault, the window in the space time continuum closed behind them with a pop. The vault wasn’t empty though. It contained a grizzly bear.

Had The Rabbit borrowed the grizzly bear from London Zoo, it might have been a little easier to manage, but this one had been taken from the Alaskan wastes, and it was seriously hungry and pissed off. Its roar in the confined space was deafening. Its mistake, however, was standing up on its hind legs to offer its challenge.

With lightning speed, though an almost casual air, Eaglebeard reached through its chest and crushed its pounding heart. Unfortunately, fourteen hundred pounds of dead bear toppled forward, crushing and trapping him against the vault floor.

Sarah’s gun of some sort had been built in the future by Lord Stiletto’s technicians. Having access to the books in his library inspired a vast array of potential effects. One of their favourites was the Medusa ray, which like her fabled glare, turned the living to stone. At the moment though, it was creating explosions, which was useful because it had an approximation factor built in, and even if you missed the target all together, it could still be taken out by the environment, in this case shrapnel from the architecture, and motor vehicles in the underground car park.

Haydrift Eaglebeard came from an ancient and warrior-like race, and he was made of strong stuff. Still he was pinned to the floor, and had concussion, and the benefit of several broken ribs, one of which was causing some internal bleeding. Left to his own devices he would not have been able to extricate himself from under the dead weight of the bear, even with his new and special hand which was trapped beneath him. Fortunately, his accomplice was Lord Stiletto.

Strong as Stiletto was, he couldn’t shift a fourteen hundred pound carcass, but he had one of those iridium blades, said to be able to cut the fabric of the universe, although not in the way of Eaglebeard’s hand, and he was able to joint the bear into manageable lumps. Fifteen minutes later a very broken and bloody Haydrift Eaglebeard sat on the floor, wondering with his friend, how the bloody hell they were going to get out of this one.

Being a serendipitous lot, where the thought of a friend often found that friend walking around the corner, or at the least, calling on the phone, at that moment the door of the vault momentarily hummed, then vanished, and silhouetted on its other side was Sarah, aka Lady Bane, holding a gun of some sort.

Back at the Savoy, clean and spruced up, with Eaglebeard’s ribs healing below the bandages, the four friends, Gregory, Stiletto, Eaglebeard and Sarah, were joined for dinner in Gregory’s private dining room, by Duke Magnus and Lady Susanna. Over dessert Magnus was amusingly recounting how the porters had discovered Henrik unconscious under his newspaper, and unable to awaken him, sent him off to Great Ormond Street Hospital in an ambulance, siren blaring, blue light flashing.

Copyright by Jhedron Luckspar © 2014 2018
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For a FREE eBook of Revenge Of The Hrym visit my Book Page
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Angels Are Real by Stig Rudeholm

Their Father was dying, they knew that now. Several millennia of hatred and violence in His name, stirred up by false prophets, had been slowly killing Him. As the number of True Believers shrank, so did the Lord’s strength. With a heavy heart, Gabriel approached the bed. “Father…”

The old man shook his head feebly. Tears were running down his face as he spoke, his voice barely more than a whisper. “I tried, Gabriel… I tried…”

“You did, Father. I know you did.” Gabriel leaned down and reverently kissed his Father’s forehead. “Is it time, then?” he asked softly. “Has the time finally come to do what we discussed so long ago?”

—–

A crowd was gathering along the edge of the crater. The heat generated by the impact was immense. But if there was one thing you could always count on with humans, it was that in the fight between curiosity and survival instinct, curiosity always won.

Something stirred among the smoke at the bottom of the pit. It was increasingly obvious that what had until now been believed to be a meteor, was in actual fact something else entirely.

As the smoke cleared, the silhouette of a crouching man appeared. But it was not human. It couldn’t be. It was way too big…

Taller than the tallest man, yet impossibly agile, it moved with superhuman grace as it stood up, taking in the wide-eyed stares of the people around it. The being was at the same time amazingly beautiful and absolutely terrifying to behold. It was surrounded by a glow that you felt rather than saw, raw power radiating from its entire frame. From its back, two large feathered wings unfolded slowly, like the petals of a blooming flower greeting the sun. The people gaped in wonder as the wings stretched, flexed, and then relaxed. Like the wings of an angel.

“Dad, look! It’s an angel!” a small girl said, tugging on her father’s sleeve, pointing.

“Look honey… It’s an… It’s an angel…” the man stammered, dumbfounded. His right arm was going limp. He fought to keep it straight, to keep hold of the phone. Like dozens of others, he had started filming as soon as the “meteor” had hit. But now the phone was getting heavier and heavier in his hand.

He wasn’t aware of what was happening around him, as his gaze was locked on the strange and wonderful creature below, but the rest of the crowd were also feeling it. Eyes and mouths wide open, the people were mesmerized by the unseen force emanating from the being in the centre of the crater.

Some had managed to press “send” before the invisible force had hit them. Within seconds, the net was buzzing.

#angelsarereal #secondcoming #praisethelord

—–

Gabriel stood, flexing his wings. As he looked at the sheep assembled around the rim of the crater, his heart burned with contempt.

The angel strode purposefully towards the crowd, drawing an enormous sword from its sheath. The blade shone with the light of a thousand suns. Spellbound by the spectacle unfolding before them and unable to look away, the people closest to the edge were blinded instantly, their eyes vaporized in their sockets. Where it had been eerily silent just a moment earlier, the air erupted with the panicked screams of men, women, and children. When the killing began, it was a slaughter.

Gabriel screamed. Tears born of equal measures sadness and rage flowed from his eyes. He swung his mighty sword left and right, cutting down swathes of people with every stroke. God’s final words, whispered through His dying breath, echoed in his mind… “Wipe them out… All of them…”

 

Copyright Stig Rudeholm © 2014

 

This version of the story has, with the Author’s permission, been very slightly edited from the Original.

Twitter @grakkam

Deliverance

Where was Stiletto?

As it was home to England’s other famous university, it seemed only logical after time spent in Oxford, that Gregory Cobblestone should find himself in Cambridge, ostensibly to attend a performance of Othello at the Shakespeare Festival. However, the real reason was to deliver the package without detection by The Rabbit.

Haydrift Eaglebeard was a strange fellow, but that in itself was his best recommendation. Strange carried connotations of weird, and weird was where the two friends were going.

What is it with the museum thing?  Gregory pondered. Collection had been at the Ashmolean, whilst delivery was at the Fitzwilliam, a wonderful museum with a fine collection of Impressionist paintings and statues. Gregory was quite surprised to see so many fine works outside of Paris or Amsterdam.

He was particularly taken with the beautiful bronze statue, A Woman Combing Her Hair, which apparently was on loan from the Tate. It was a pity they weren’t international art thieves instead of universal conspirators, because Gregory had fallen in love with it and could imagine this beautiful statue having pride of place in his apartment on Sunshine, Lord Stiletto’s space station, near the Horse Head Nebula.

There was no sign of Stiletto, but was that Lady Bane descending the magnificent stairway? Stiletto was convinced she was on the side of the angels, but Gregory thought of that magnificent silver ring, and wasn’t so sure.

Eaglebeard, who to the casual eye, had been examining some beautiful marquetry on a splendid old cabinet, was deep in conversation with the Girl with the Red Hair. Was he simply flirting, or delving for information, or maybe, the thought came, he didn’t actually know who she was. If the Girl with the Red Hair was here, then surely, they must be in the presence of The Rabbit!

Quickly Gregory put his hand to his waistcoat pocket, but it was still there, the wax sealed package.

The timing had to be very precise. The portal would only be open for seconds.

Gregory sighed with calm satisfaction, then buckled in unbelievable agony as the jagged blade was placed, rather than stabbed, into the left of his two kidneys.

Something was wrong! Glancing over the space of the hall, Haydrift Eaglebeard saw his friend slowly collapse, a pool of crimson blood spreading around him on the polished mahogany floor of the splendid antiquarian museum.

Before he could act, the Girl with the Red Hair looped a fine wire, so thin and strong it couldn’t have been made on this planet, over Eaglebeard’s right hand, and with a deft tug, removed it at the wrist.

Thank goodness for Stiletto. Biding his time in the shadows, he stepped from behind a curtain and shot the Girl with the Red Hair. Unfortunately, the gun was set to stun, so she would live. Reaching down, he calmly picked up the hand from the floor, and slipping it into his pocket, guided his friend towards the ever-spreading pool of blood around the prostrate form of Gregory. Lifting Gregory onto his shoulder, he heard the strangled whisper, “the package,” but it was too late. A red trail of rabbit prints led away across the polished floor and a quick check of the waistcoat pocket showed that the package was truly gone.

Copyright by Jhedron Luckspar © 2014 2018
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For a FREE eBook of Revenge Of The Hrym visit my Book Page
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The Package

Ironically, as it was epicenter of the source of the explosion that destroyed the Earth, the few who did survive had been located at Gavle, a small town on the eastern coast of Sweden.

“Thank God,” said Gregory, “for parallel universes.”

“You jest,” commented Lord Stiletto, puffing on his new pipe. He didn’t have tobacco in his pipe, which he pronounced peep, after a Sean Connery movie, but he liked to puff away at it as if it did. A skill he had learned from Eagle Cloud, an Apache chief who had taught him how to both track a mountain lion across barren mountain scree, and negotiate the spirit world.

“Deadly serious, old chap.”

“No, about God!”

“Don’t start that again.” And the matter, for the moment, was closed.

The two friends were sat on the sixth floor outside terrace of the café at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. Lord Stiletto and Gregory had travelled forward in time to his library where they had enjoyed a well-deserved breakfast of scrambled eggs and oysters, and then returned refreshed to a parallel existence of the Earth, that conveniently, hadn’t been blown up by The Rabbit. There was a package to be collected, and the message had indicated that it was to be found in the new Tutankhamun exhibition.

“But are you sure it was The Rabbit?” enquired Stiletto over his Earl Grey.

He flashed a quick hand signal to his friend, and as casually as possible, Gregory raised his gaze to the far corner, where the Girl with the Red Hair was openly sitting at a table, apparently absorbed in today’s edition of The Times. If the Girl was here, then surely they must also be in the presence of The Rabbit.

“Split up,” said Stiletto, leaving a generous tip on the table and walking immediately to the exit where he headed down the stairs to the second floor, and became very interested in the tea bowls and swords in the Japanese exhibition.

Meantime, Gregory finished his tea and cake, and also headed down the stairs, but went to the Tutankhamun exhibition on the third floor.

He was in one way, rather disappointed by the exhibition. He had hoped there would be some of the exhibits from the Cairo museum, but apart from a copy of the golden death mask, most of the exhibition related to Howard Carter and his team.

Walking straight up to one of the few genuine Egyptian artefacts, a beautiful life size basalt statue, he tapped a fast rhythm on the left nipple of the ancient stone carving.

Where there had been smooth stone, an oblong section of the chest, about five centimetres wide, seemed to dissolve and quickly Gregory removed the small wax sealed package within.

Copyright Jhedron Luckspar © 2014 2018

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For a FREE eBook of Revenge Of The Hrym visit my Book Page
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The Rabbit

All was quiet on the morning of the ball at the Steampunk Festival. Resplendent in their top hats, bowlers with goggles, bustled dresses and robot arms, the festival goers crowded the venue. Lord Stiletto stalked the halls of the Railway Museum looking for The Rabbit.

It was The Rabbit, whiskers twitching, who watched Stiletto from the shadows. He knew the man with the fabled book collection and the new robotic steam arm meant trouble.

The Girl with the Red Hair was speaking to author and adventurer, Gregory Cobblestone, sizing up the situation. To the world of Gavle, in 21st century Sweden, she was a maker and seller of unique Steampunk artefacts, but really, she was working for The Rabbit.

Surrounded by the huge steam trains like behemoths, waiting for the events to take place, Gregory sighed. Where was Stiletto?

Lord Stiletto was working his way around the halls, looking for books for his collection, but really keeping all his senses alert for The Rabbit.

The Rabbit was a multi-dimensional being of pure evil. It amused itself to take the form of a regular sized white rabbit, so beloved of young Earth children. Still, its manic pink eyes were said to drag you to insanity if you were to become locked into their gaze. It was looking for recruits for its intergalactic organisation. In each world it visited it found suitable adherents, and on Earth it was the world of Steampunk that threw up the best agents.

As well as looking for recruits, The Rabbit had other problems. It needed a source of plutonium for his ship’s batteries and it knew that Sweden had hidden stores secreted in underground bunkers in the Gavle region. Far enough away from Stockholm, in case of leaks, but well protected by hundreds of metres of rock and lead shielding.

Unbeknownst to all except the Girl with the Red Hair, there was a secret entrance to the plutonium store hidden somewhere within the Railway Museum.

A young man, Henrik, dapperly dressed in a fine burgundy woolen frock coat, and silk top hat, was engaging Gregory in a long conversation, obviously trying to divert him from the machinations of The Rabbit. He asked if Gregory would read from his new book, but then grabbed the text from the surprised author, and began to read it out loud himself, modulating his powerful voice to scramble the auditory neural signals of anybody within a ten metre radius.

Returning through the halls, Lord Stiletto felt a sudden warm, wet sensation at the back of his neck, that filled him with horror. Someone had slipped a squid into the gap between his collar and his neck. Stiletto felt the bite of hundreds of sharp suckers as they cut into his skin, crushing and choking him as he gasped for air.

The concealed blade in the rim of his pale grey top hat was in his sturdy grip as he sliced calmly through the grasping suckered arms, feeling cool copper-based blood mixing with his warm iron blood as it soaked into his spotless white shirt.

Stiletto returned to his suite. Showered and re-suited, with a carefully arranged cravat to cover his bruised throat, he was back down in good time for the evening’s banquet.

Gregory and Stiletto were seated with Sarah, also known as Lady Bane, and Duke Magnus and Lady Susanna of Sweden. On Lady Bane’s finger was a large silver ring in the form of a rabbit. The silver beast curled around her finger, its ears and feet standing proud. The significance was not lost on the two observant adventurers.

Next day, in the quiet of the morning, Lord Stiletto was up to his mind reading tricks. He had caught the thoughts of the Girl with the Red Hair in an unguarded moment, and discovered the entrance to the plutonium cache.

Unknown to Stiletto, The Rabbit, up to his own mind reading tricks, had caught Lord Stiletto in an unguarded moment and discovered the entrance to the plutonium.

### Star Alert, Inter Galactic News Flash. Star Date 346910-*3 ###

The promising planet, known to its inhabitants as Earth, blew up under mysterious circumstances. Breaking news suggests that terrorists initiated a chain reaction from a government plutonium storage facility which initiated a reaction that spread to the core of the planet.

Message ends……

Copyright ©2014 2018 Jhedron Luckspar

For a FREE eBook of Revenge Of The Hrym visit my Book Page
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