By Jeff A. Hatch
About the Author

What's Gone Before: Blane Trask's fake father, Anthony Trask, stole the plans for Blane's armoured suit, and redesigned it as the Destroyer suit.  Blane, inheriting the superhero identity of Eclipse from his dying grandfather, wiped out the Destroyer records --  except for two disks, which he must find... with a price on his head, and the Bloodstone Gang after him, too.  Meanwhile, Cody "Slip" Jenkins, a thief, is killed horribly by the Bloodstones, then brought back to life as the mutilated, mask-wearing Nemesis, by a magic amulet given to him by his dead warlock father...

Episode Ten:

The Heat is On

In the lair of the Bloodstones, the true lair, not the smaller one at Armadillos, Snake paced back and forth. It bothered Cat greatly to see him so pissed off. She knew that he would take out his rage on her if she did not play her cards right. So she decided that whatever he asked was OK with her tonight.

He kicked at some of his men and cursed. The night before several of his men were slain by Eclipse, and now some guy had iced two of his men near their other base. It was the evening after Nemesis had killed his two men, and bad news just seemed to rack up all around him. At least he had his ace in the hole. If Eclipse showed up to get him, his second in command wearing the Destroyer suit would show the black-cloaked crimefighter a thing or two.

Currently the said gang member was leaning against a greasy oil can near the wall of the theatrical warehouse they called home. The place still housed many props from old plays and stage productions. The place had gone under several years ago, and the Bloodstones simply claimed it as their own, giving the previous owners a choice of leaving or dying.

Snake was always the picture of eloquence. For once Snake was not wearing his trademark helmet. His hair was matted around his face in a very greasy manner. His hazel eyes had a maniacal look. Snake was an ugly man -- not physically; evil had made him ugly. He had rose quickly as the leader of the Bloodstones by natural
selection; he was the fastest and strongest, and others in the position had died quickly or stepped down if they were smart.

Cat had joined the Bloodstones as an alternative to hooking. She was lovely, but also deadly, which made her a fine candidate for a Bloodstone. Her real name was Catherine Carlisle. She hated her real name and decided to go by "Cat". Snake took one look at her when she joined up and took her as his girl. She didn't love him, but she liked to live so she put up with him and, for the most part, gave in to his desires when he came to her. Sometimes she said no, and sometimes she got hit. Cat would love to kill the bastard and take his place, but she would never get the chance. Snake slept very lightly and had a habit of hand-cuffing her before sex and not letting her loose till the next morning.

Snake got the attention of his men by banging on a drum with a lead pipe.

"All right, it's time we start trying to take care of our interests," he yelled. "Soon as the rest of our men get here we break up the city and search for any sign of Eclipse and anyone else that has a grudge against us." Determination shone in his eyes like tiny torches. "Anyone who doesn't cooperate gets the business end of a bullet!"

Just about then, four more Bloodstones rode into the building through the huge roll doors. They parked their bikes and swaggered as a group towards the rest of the gang. All together now, there were several score of leather-bound bikers. The mood in the place was quite venomous. Snake spoke to the members of the group that had just arrived.

"You guys have any trouble?"

"Naw...." replied the tallest one, who was unnaturally tall, but tried to stoop to cover it. "I thought there was someone sneakin' around the back again, but it turned out to be an old cat. I shot 'um." The remaining three laughed and one them spoke.

"Yeah, it must have been a big cat, too, cause 'Spook' here was gone for about
five minutes chasing that little shit." The one who had spoken was short and greasy-looking.

"Fuck you, Grease ball!" spat the tall man. "I was just tryin to make sure none o' them vigilantes wasn't hangin around!" The tall man seemed honestly riled.

No one noticed that his hands were shaking beneath leather gloves.

"Shut up, all of you!" growled Snake. "Now, let's talk about what we're gonna do next."

He drew another breath when a ringing came to his ears. Snake stopped what he was saying and moved to a phone secreted nearby.

"Hello." He listened intently. "Yes, Boss." He seemed to be receiving instructions.

Then he set down the phone and kicked an amplifier out on the floor from its hiding place beneath a tarp. Snake plugged in the phone while he spoke.

"Listen up, you mongrels! This is the boss calling -- he has something to say to you all!"

The amplifier hummed and a distorted voice came out.

"My loyal friends. You have done well up to now, but in the past few days you have failed me in a variety of ways." The voice was threatening, but calm. "As far as I can figure, there are just two men out there giving us such trouble. One is Eclipse, and he is hardly in the condition to give us any trouble; I know that he is old and weak. The other one who has given us trouble is a big man. He is tall, dark and, if you will pardon the reference, 'handsome'. I want you all to get out on the street and find out what you can about him. As for Eclipse, I have reports that he was sighted on Geary Street on two occasions. I want the Destroyer out on the streets looking for him. If you find him, do not worry about taking him alive...Just kill him as fast as possible."

The voice rested, then: "Please do not let me down; I have other jobs for you all, but first you must clean house, so to speak."

The amplifier suddenly went dead. Snake spoke, trying to overcome the presence of the mysterious 'Boss'.

"All heard the boss -- get out there and get to it!"

At his heed, the group started to mill towards the doors and their bikes. Snake's second in command donned the Destroyer armor and stridded towards his bike, which was vey high-tech and powerful looking. The Destroyer gunned his bike and
glided out of the parking garage...

Next episode....Destroyed!

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Necropolis is copyright 1999, Jeff A. Hatch. It may not be copied or used for any commercial purpose except for short excerpts used for reviews. (Obviously, you can copy it or print it out if you want to read it!)