By Jeff A. Hatch
About the Author

What's Gone Before: Using the locker key given to him by his dying superhero grandfather, Blane Trask finds his way to Eclipse's penthouse lair, the Night Loft.  A recording reveals that Blane's "father" Anthony Trask, was a fake, having killed his real father.  Anthony Trask has redesigned Blane's prototype "Defender" suit, turning it into the more lethal "Destroyer". Inspired by his grandfather, and using weapons found in the Night Loft (including darkness-causing smoke bombs and night seeing goggles), Blane takes on the mantle of Eclipse...


Episode Four:


Blane stood in the rain gothically poised on the ledge of his penthouse base. As the rain licked down his long coat and pounded against the ultraviolet goggles that were part of the Eclipse costume, Blane mused to himself:

"So, Mr. Super Hero, what do you do now -- step off into the night and look for adventure?"

Blane had not yet figured out his angle on transportation. He stepped from the balcony thrusting his hands into the many pockets of the long armored coat. There was a clanging sound. He fished out a set of newly made keys. They bore no sign of what sort of vehicle they belonged to. After a brief search of the subterranean garage, Blane found that the keys did not fit any of the many sporty import cars that resided there -- they fit a 1986 Toyota Corolla. Blane, still in his uniform, plopped into the black compact car and sighed.

"Oh great, maybe this is not such a brilliant idea, after all."

He twisted the keys in the ignition and it rumbled like a hundred kittens. The car leapt out of the parking garage with considerable power. As he drove -- to where he did not know -- Blane searched the inside of the vehicle.

Blane discovered two switches on the dash; one was marked: "Tear Gas". It probably flooded the interior or exterior with gas.

"Not necessary now," he muttered to himself.

The other switch was not marked. Blane flicked it and it seemed like there was more light around the vehicle. As he passed by the Miagi Hotel in Japan Town he saw the reflection of the vehicle in the windows -- Blane saw that the entire surface of the vehicle was covered with star-like lights.

"A thousand points of light for Mr. Bush."

Blane laughed at his own joke, and flicked the switch again. As he did -- there was a rumble of engines.

Blane cast his eyes about and saw that six motorcycles had sped up and they now
sought to leave the vicinity of the black compact car. Blane saw that they were Bloodstones. Blane gunned the powerful engine and raced after the speeding vehicles. They raced to the Japan Town Bridge and then spun out. Each was raising an automatic weapon that they gunned at him full bore.

Slugs tore at the car and the street -- but nothing penetrated the thick armor that surrounded the vehicle.

"Thanks, Granddad," whispered Eclipse.

When the clouds of smoke from over a hundred 9mm slugs faded, the Bloodstones  saw that the car was shining again with the 'thousand points of light', but there was no sign of Eclipse -- he was above them on the bridge.

Blane stared at the cable gun that had gotten him up in seconds. It was too late when the Bloodstones finally realized where their foe was. The six gang members looked up to see the menacing figure of Eclipse draw twin submachine guns and point them down. Eclipse triggered them each experimentally and they bucked upwards after the first shot or two. Blane had fired a few weapons in his life, but these were different...more powerful.

The first barrage went wide of the crimson-marked bikers. Blane adjusted his aim and fired again; he did so this time in a waving motion, much like using an eraser on a chalkboard. This time three of the leather-clad thugs fell, various parts of their bodies exploding into mushy red messes. The remainder leapt to the stairway nearby, seeking to vanish into Japan Town.

As they ran the gang members searched for an avenue of escape; that was when
they each heard a tinkling sound and everything went black.

They stopped, not sure where to move to, then they heard the laughter. It came from all around. They each burst to a separate direction, trying to find the end of the darkness. Two of them did; the end for them was a quick bloody death from a
thunder of high calibre lead.

From his point of view, things were going well for Blane. The darkness bombs had worked great and the goggles allowed him to see straight through it like there was nothing there.

Blane saw the two bikers whimper like babies as they were gunned down and he saw the last one leap from the cloud and bolt like the devil was chasing him. Eclipse caught up with the last biker and tripped him up. The rouge rolled to his feet like a fighter and stood his ground.

"Y-You ain't so tough outside of the darkness," stammered the last biker.

"There is darkness everywhere," spat Eclipse as he approached the thug.

The last biker swung a wild fist at Blane, who raised an arm to block. Then he spun around so that his back was facing the thug and levered the arm over his shoulder. There was a sickening crack as the arm broke in half. Blane spun again and faced the whimpering criminal. The leather-clad thug tried to launch himself at Blane but was caught around the throat by Blane's vise-like grip. The rouge biker felt the life being choked out of him and thrashed as much as he could. Finally he broke the hold and fell to his knees.

"I'll kill you," cursed the lone biker, trying to boost his own courage.

It didn't work. He drew a knife from his boot and prepared to attack Eclipse. The black-cloaked avenger responded by hitting the thug across the face, blood and teeth exploded from the ugly scar of a mouth and the Bloodstone was knocked back several yards and into a car windshield. The glass spider webbed as it was hit and the thug seemed only slightly on the edge of consciousness.

Eclipse laughed, letting his grandfather possess him for a moment. The laughter lilted up in volume and dispersed into the air becoming one tangible presence all around the thug.

"You live," hissed Eclipse, "only to speak in my name."

The thug looked through bloodied eyes at Eclipse. "What do you want?"

"I want you to tell all of your kind that I am coming for them. Those who stand against me will pay; those who repent their evil ways never need meet me."

With that, Eclipse spun and walked back to his car. The thug sobbed and clutched at his broken body -- he would not move for a long while.

Next episode....A Visitor in the Dark!

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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!)