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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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.

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