By Jeff A. Hatch
About the Author

What's Gone Before: Cody Jenkins was killed by the Bloodstone gang, then came back to life as the mutilated manhunter, Nemesis, master of disguise.  Blane Trask, aka Eclipse, defeated one of the Bloodstones who was sent to kill him using the armoured Destroyer suit which Blane had designed but which had been stolen by his fake father, Anthony Trask.  Blane convinced his friend, Lane Briggs, to don the suit, to help him defeat the Bloodstone gang and to recover the two disks with the suit's schematics.  Meanwhile, among the Bloodstone gang, the beautiful Cat is not happy, and the henchman Spook is acting kind of weird...

Episode Twelve:

Here, Kitty Kitty!

Cat was relaxing in the cube that her and Snake slept in. The whole warehouse was like a giant hive of crime. Their cube was elevated and had silks draping around it to keep curious eyes from peeping in on her.

As she finished changing her leathers, a face poked into the cube. It was the tall man named 'Spook'. Spook was tall with a stoop when he walked, but still kind of good looking. Cat decided that if she were drunk enough she would "do him". Alas though, she was not drunk nor did she make those kind of decisions for herself.

Spook got close and whispered. "Hey Cat, I couldn't help but notice that you didn't seem too happy at the meeting. It doesn't seem like Snake treats you too nice." His features didn't seem to show as much concern as his voice was conveying.

"What's it to ya?" inquired Cat. "Snake send you here to rough me up?" Her hand hovered near her knife.

"Naw, I just noticed that you looked kinda down and came to say hi." His voice seemed soothing. "I got this hunch that you don't like Snake too much." His eyes were funny; they were reddish and kind of wild.

"So what if I don't like him--you gonna go tell him, make yourself a big man around here?" She tried to be as tough as possible.

"I'm already big, it don't matter where I am. I just was wondering if you would try and stop me if I were to take him out?" inquired the big biker.

Cat studied the big man; he was serious, and he wanted to help her. She decided that he was crazy, but if he took out Snake, she could just stab him in the back later and make herself out to be the big hero, and take over the gang. She decided to let him try.

"No, you do what you want, I ain't gonna stop you." She looked around to see that Snake was down below revving his hog.

Snake whistled at her and yelled. "Cat! Quit foolin around and get down here. They found Lance down at the Armadillo. We're gonna go check out the scene in force!"

Snake sounded mad, and rightly so. If Lance was dead, then the suit was probably gone too--that meant that the Big Leader would be pissed.

Cat slid out of her bed like her namesake and mounted her own bike, kicking it in and letting the motor purr for a minute. About a dozen Bloodstones fell in behind her and Snake, including the mysterious 'Spook'.

The ride to the bar was a quick one. When they got there, Lance was still hanging from a street light out front of the building. Some of the local patrons and merchants were looking from the street or windows. When Snake let loose with his Uzi to cut the rope holding his hanging second-in-command, they pulled their heads in like a turtle into his shell.

Lance fell to the ground and they saw that he was only sleeping; blood dripped from a small hole in his leg. Snake fumed and howled at his men.

"I wanna know who did this! I wanna know now!"

He was turning red with anger when suddenly there was a laughter. It came up as if from all around them; it was everywhere and nowhere. The men swiveled their heads with weapons ready, looking for the source of the laughter.

"You want to know who did this, then look no further!" spoke a loud but steady voice. Eclipse stepped into the street, flanked by a man in the Destroyer armor. "Your time of evil has ended Snake! Give yourself to the law or face me!"

The gang was silent--even Snake was taken aback. Only one man moved and that was Spook, who was reaching for the nearest Bloodstone with his huge hands.

There was a tense moment as the two costumed vigilantes held off the more than a dozen bikers--then Spook growled as he hefted the nearest biker and sent him flying and wailing at Snake. The two hit each other and balled up on the ground; both were out of air for the moment.

Half of the gang turned to see what had happened, the rest leapt at Eclipse and his armored companion. In the Destroyer suit, Lane Briggs stumbled back as three bikers slammed into him ineffectually. They reached for chains and knives while he struggled for something useful to do.

Meanwhile another three bikers rushed Eclipse. The Dark Avenger whipped out his custom chambered Mac 11's and knocked  two of them away with simultaneous pistol whips. The two bikers fell back, blood and teeth flying out of their mouths in large quantities. The remaining biker tried to unlimber his pistol in time to use it, but Eclipse placed his own weapon into the criminal's gut and took his evil life in a quick, bloody burst of vengeance.

Spook had Bloodstones literally crawling all over him. He flexed muscles that were powered by pure rage and hate and picked two of them up like rag dolls. The two criminals struggled as he tossed them into the air to a height of about a dozen feet. The remaining four thugs grabbed at weapons and tried to kill him.

The first attack was a man with a knife. He honestly knew what he was doing, but Spook simply was not there; a slight cut to the face was all that showed of the man's savage attack. The thug stood there stunned as he noticed that the slash to Spook's face was not bleeding. Spook produced a Halberd and brought the pole-axe down onto the villain's confused head. The remaining three thugs were stunned further when they saw Spook tear away his own face!

The skin was like wax as it crumbled and revealed the scarred features of the man they thought they had killed. They were looking at Cody Jenkins, but now he had a new name and that was 'Nemesis'!

Cat was backing away into the bar where more Bloodstones were drawing weapons. She feigned a defensive stance and held her knife at ready. She nearly jumped out of her skin as Snake rushed into the bar with Eclipse hot on his heels. Snake spun trying to ready the Uzi, only to see it plucked from his grasp by the cloaked crimefighter.

Blane tossed the weapon aside and snapped out his switchblade. Snake grinned and the two began a macabre dance of death. Snake had been informed that Eclipse was old and feeble but this man in front of him just kept coming, feinting and jabbing with reflexes quick as any man could be.

In the Destroyer suit, Lane was holding off three Bloodstones by absorbing their blows. He decided as they drew .45 automatics that he would not risk it and activated the tear gas unit. A device flipped up on his shoulder and yellowish gas flooded from the nozzle and the three choked and tore at their now useless eyes.

Lane took this as a chance to practice his kick boxing; he noticed that the surfaces of the armor were hardened, so it was like having built-in brass knuckles. The three thugs fell quickly with awful wounds.

Nemesis swung his great pole-axe in a big circle cutting at his attackers as they tried to reach him. They finally turned and tried to run. One of them reached his bike.

"Leaving so soon?" growled the horribly disfigured crimefighter. "I don't think so!"

Cody let go and tossed the other end of his Halberd at the fleeing thug. Its spear-like tip forced itself through the flesh of the biker and ended his career as a thug. The other two sped up trying to reach their bikes as well but Cody leapt at them bringing them down to the ground with a thud. He grabbed a knife from one of their boots and started to savagely stab each one till blood flew up onto his bandaged face.

The bartender had seen enough; he triggered a riot gun and sent lead flying at Eclipse. The shadowy Avenger was knocked out the door by the flying shot. The bartender felt real good; he had taken down Eclipse. Snake whirled to thank the bartender for saving him from a good beating when Lane smashed his way through the window dramatically.

Snake whirled back and caught a good faceful of enhanced fist. Snake was wearing his helmet, but it still hurt.

"Who the hell are you!?" Snake was stalling for time.

Lane, on the other hand, was stumped. He couldn't tell him his real name and he couldn't think of anything cool. He glanced around his helmet seeing the menu of options out of the corner of his eye. One said 'Infared Scanner'.

Lane decided quickly and said, "I am Scanner-man!" He tried to sound dramatic; it was not hard with the built-in voice scrambler.

Snake laughed a bit and threw himself at Scanner-man. Lane spoke a command word and flame leapt from his shoulder catching Snake full in the face. The biker fell to the ground rolling and screaming in pain.

Eclipse rose as the bartender was cocking his shotgun. The armored coat had saved him nicely, but the force of the blow had knocked some of the wind out of him. The bartender snarled and aimed for another shot; this time, however, he did not get so lucky.

Eclipse got his own weapon up in plenty of time to snap off a burst of lead into the bar, killing the bartender as well as another thug who was preparing to attack.

Outside, Nemesis had killed everything that was wearing leather, so he started inside. Scanner-man moved over to take charge of Snake only to get shot as Snake rolled over and pulled out a back-up pistol. The back-up was high enough caliber to knock Scanner-man senseless but not kill him. Snake came over to him still holding the lethal pistol.

"At close range even your armor won't save you!" Snake cocked the hammer and leveled it at the armored crimefighter.

As he tensed his trigger finger, Snake was grabbed from behind by iron like arms. Nemesis lifted the scorched gang leader into the air and squeezed. Eclipse rushed forward and gutted the leader of the Bloodstones while Nemesis held him. The lifeless body of the former gang leader fell to the ground limply after Nemesis released his hold.

The bandaged vigilante looked at Eclipse. He knew of the man's legend and, in his slow-witted mind, he knew that he would be a strong ally--that is if he chose to continue this grim task of ridding the city of crime.

"Thanks," growled Nemesis.

"You're, what do I call you?" Eclipse was at a loss.

"You can call me Nemesis."

Lane had regained his feet and thought he had better get in on the conversation. "Like the Greek God of justice right?" he chimed.

Nemesis looked at the armored man and replied: "Yes, I think--the name was given to me, though."

"This is all well and fine, but what about me?"

It was Cat. She stood with her hands on her hips.

"Eclipse, this is Cat. She is the new leader of the Bloodstones."

Cat flushed at the recognition, but then realized that her wishes had come true all in one day.

"Thanks, uh, Nemesis, but..."

"But nothing!" spat Nemesis not being particularly charming. "No one saw this happen, and that means that you and I can run back to the Bloodstones and tell them what happened, our way!"

"Ok, but you had better do something about your face."

Cody realized that she was not looking at his face. Well, so much for him being her second-in-command. She probably thought he was a monster.

"I will. Maybe we should go to my place first."

"Before you leave," interjected Eclipse. "Take my private number; we should work together." Eclipse extended a card wth a number scratched out on it.

"Very well," spoke Nemesis.

The three of them turned to leave the bar and noticed that the place was covered with police and the press. An oily looking man with a finely groomed black mustache came forward. He had a microphone in his fist and a press badge. Nemesis forced Cat back behind him as the three crimefighters made their way forward.

"Tom Sal here, from KPIX news. We have just witnessed the end of a battle royal with the Bloodstone gang. We have the three men responsible for the destruction of the gang right here."

The bright light from the camera shone on the three adventurers. Of the three only Nemesis seemed bothered by the light.

"Eclipse, you and your companions seemed to have pretty well mopped up the floor with the Bloodstones."

Eclipse spoke briefly and steadily. "The Bloodstones are murderous scum. With their leader dead, I would suggest that they disband or cease their criminal activities. If this is done, then they will not be harmed again by myself or Scanner-Man."

The camera turned to reveal Scanner-Man who seemed at first unable to speak. "I-I agree with Eclipse; there are far too many innocent people being preyed upon by the criminal element of this city." Lane tried to sound as if he knew what he was saying.

As the microphone was thrust at Nemesis, he pushed it aside and leapt away. Tom started after him but Eclipse intercepted.

"Tom, I just want to say to all innocents--rest assured that I will be ever vigilant in my promise to fight crime in this city. I must also add that one person can make a difference!"

Tom tried to get in for more but the police were also moving in to get a few words with Eclipse and Scanner-man. As Eclipse raised his arm, the line from his cable gun lashed upward and anchored several stories up. He rose quickly and away from prying eyes and hands.

Scanner-man simply twisted a nob on his belt and faded into the background, his armor automatically blending in with his surroundings. The two met at the Nightmobile, where the Scanner bike was parked as well. Both heroes gunned their engines and sped away...

Next episode....Boo!

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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!)