Centurion Chronicles #10: Revenge of the Gray King
And the Story Continues….
Dr. Joseph Kenrick awakes alone in a jail cell with a dull ache between his eyes and a dry taste in his mouth. He quickly checks over his person and finds that the Eye of Set has been removed from him. He sits up and finds himself utterly alone. The quiet unnerves him as it appears there are no other prisoners or guards in the cell block. Joseph’s attempts in figuring out how long he has been here come up quickly empty.
To his eventual relief he hears the cell door open and two guards with a doctor stride down the hallway. The doctor exclaims with pleasure to find Joseph conscious and indicates that the London is in a city wide panic as a weird illness has struck its citizens forcing them to become comatose. The doctor says the local government wants Joseph’s help and they have prepared an vaccine against the virus. The two guards with the doctor request that Kenrick allow himself to be cuffed, so they can open the door, for protocol’s sake.
Kenrick notices a purple glamour about their eyes which he finds off putting, but he is unable to determine its cause. He reluctantly slides his hands through the Jail cell door when out of the corner of his eye he sees Special Agent Allen Irons kick open the door leading into the jail and violently gun down the doctor and the two guards. Allen then begins to reload his revolver and strides towards Kenrick with purpose.
Jack Scaper and Silver find themselves alone in the medical wing of Alcatraz Island facing off against assassins from The Brotherhood of Set. Jack falls back, distracting the assassin’s with a quip as Silver quickly dispatches them with a flurry of punches demonstrating his mastery of martial arts. As the assassins lie unconscious, Jack gets an idea.
Mokgosi Ramotswe and Anthony Poe run out of the burning administration building of Alcatraz Island and into chaos. They see dead prison guards and assassin’s littering the common area. The sounds of a prison riot echo in the distant. Mokgosi is able to mark the path to the medical wing, but before he and Poe can continue forward they catch sight of The Whirlwind running upon a catwalk between two cellblocks. She is weaving a path of death through the prison guards, armed with a simple revolver. There is a moment of indecision, but Mokgosi and Poe decide they can’t abandon their purpose in learning about the affliction in London, nor leave Jack and Silver behind.
They continue to the medical wing, but find themselves blocked by a group of assassins. Mokgosi and Poe are able to foil their ambush. Mokgosi is able to use a prison guards rifle and gun down some of the attackers. Poe charges up the Curie Drive and electrifies the metal entryway of the building electrocuting the other attackers. Mokgosi and Poe run past the defeated foes and enter deeper into the building. They quickly find their way to the isolation wing where Dr. Garrison Grayson was imprisoned to find Silver confronting a lone assassin.
Irons reloads his revolver with an echoing snap and stares with a silent fury into the eyes of Kenrick. After an intense moment Irons breathes a sigh of relief and acknowledges that Kenrick has not been possessed as he feared. He unlocks Kenrick and suggests that he take one of the guard’s pistols. Irons states that over the past four days that Kenrick has been incarcerated the situation in London has grown desperate. People have become possessed, having their will wiped away. They are hunting down those that are not possessed and converting them. Irons indicates that only those with a strong will, such as he and Kenrick, are able to resist this conversion and will be actively hunted. Kenrick wonders how this all started and Irons indicated he is not sure, but knows that Big Ben is ground zero of the infection. He also warns Kenrick that the possessed have a hive like mind, along with a devious intelligence, and that more will be coming quickly. Irons indicate that you can identify the possessed by a purplish glow in their eyes. He states that the other Centurions have gone to Alcatraz Island to question Dr. Grayson about netherite which seems to be behind the events that are occurring.
Kenrick and Irons leave Jail and enter back into the police precinct only to be confronted with a group of well armed police officers with murderous intent. They both note the purple glow in the officer’s eyes as they suddenly open fire on the pair. Kenrick is able to dive out of the way while Irons uses the dead body of one of the guards as a shield. Kenrick, in an effort to curb casualties, aims for their knees with rapid fire. Irons is not as forgiving and fires his revolver to lethal effect. They quickly disable the police officers. Kenrick goes to examine one and recognizes the affliction. He realizes that the officer’s very soul has been eradicated and replaced by some kind of insidious intelligence. He recognizes swiftly that the Soul of Hakkar is responsible and he remembers reading about a method of counteracting the Soul, the Diamond of Anubis, which when it makes contact with the Soul will render it inert and cease its evil influences. Kenrick asks Irons if he knows of a local jeweler that has uncut diamonds.
Mokgosi goes to open fire on the assassin confronting Silver, but Jack acts quickly to reveal his presence. Silver reveals that Grayson has vanished from his cell, but was seemingly aware of the events that were going on in London. He was reading about Augustus Pugin, the mad architect, and appeared to be heavily interested in his last creation, Big Ben. Poe knows a little of Pugin’s history and that he died insane, ranting about dark things that were planning on taking over the world. Poe also notices that reality appears to be thinner here and suspects that there is a closed door way back to the Shadow Dimension. The Centurions resolve to return to London and confront the calamity that is occurring. Silver, knowing the import of their mission, agrees with their decision, but volunteers to remain behind to assist the prison with the assault by the Brotherhood.
The Centurions leave the medical wing unopposed and notice the fire in administration has been doused. They resolve to return to the Areo Nautillus where Dr. Evelyn Kenrick and Jeeves Cutler are waiting for them with the Netherite. They continue to hear the sounds of conflict, but from one of the guards radios they can hear Silver quickly taking control of the situation. As they approach the landing pad where the Areo Nautillus is docked, they see that the Whirlwind is leading a group of assassin’s against the heavily fortified airship.
The Whirlwind becomes quickly alerted to the Centurions presence and turns to confront them. Poe takes the opportunity to run to the airship, with some of the assassins turning to chase after them. Jack, disguised as one of the assassins, is able to distract the rest allowing Mokgosi to confront the Whirlwind in single combat. The situation quickly gets desperate as Poe approaches the airship and explosion of purple light ripples through the aircraft and he is unable to get someone from inside to let him in. Mokgosi finds himself outmatched by the fury of the Whirlwind, desiring revenge for his callous destruction of her rifle. Jack attempts to distract her with psychological feints, but instead gives away his identity to her marking him as the next target after she defeats Mokgosi.
Poe is able to disable some of the assassins as he fights his way through the locking mechanism of the Areo Nautillus. He breaks his way into the ship and finds the interior is coated with a fine purple dust of netherite. He begins to make his way to the engineering section calling out for Jeeves and Evelyn; only to find that Jeeves is unconscious, Evelyn and the netherite gone, with the engine of the Areo-Nautillus destroyed. Meanwhile, Mokgosi is able to knock the Whirlwind’s stolen gun from her hands, only to find himself disarmed of his rifle. She wounds him gravely forcing him to pass-out. She turns her attention to Jack only find that he has vanished. She calls for the other assassins and returns to the prison to continue her rampage of destruction.
Kenrick and Irons confiscate a police cruiser that was parked in front of the station. Kenrick takes the wheel and Irons arms himself with a Tommy Gun and breaks a window to ride shot gun. Their escape does not go unnoticed and they find themselves in a furious chase with other possessed police officers. Bullets fly between Kenrick’s vehicle and their pursuers. Kenrick takes them through twists and turns of an allyway and then along with Thames. He makes a desperate turn over an opening lift bridge, making the jump, but leaving the other vehicles to crash into the river. They quickly reach the jewelry store that Irons mentioned; both men notice that the people appear not to be under the influence of the Soul of Hakkar. Kenrick is unsure if he or Irons have the funds to acquire the diamond, when Irons simply hands him a cloth to mask his face and a Tommy Gun for the potential hold-up.
Poe goes to the pilot section of the Areo-Nautillus and sees an unconscious Mokgosi lying bloody and beaten on the ground. He begins to go to his aid when he sees a medic suddenly roll Mokgosi onto a cot and drag him to the Areo-Nautillus. Poe goes to assist this heroic Medic, only to be confronted by Jack in a doctor’s outfit. They bandage up Mokgosi’s wounds and bring him back to consciousness. The Centurions investigate the engine room, while tending to Jeeves’s wounds. Poe realizes that another doorway to the Shadow Realm was opened hear and Mokgosi thinks he can use his gauntlets to reopen the passageway.
Kenrick and Irons barge into jewelry store with weapons raised threateningly. Irons knocks out a guard and fires shots into the air demanding patrons get down on the ground. Kenrick, irritated by Irons, takes a more measured approach and is able to locate the uncut diamonds and the tool room. While Irons manages the “hostages,” Kenrick is able to quickly cut and craft a replica of the Diamond of Anubis. Kenrick returns to the store front to find that military vehicles have pulled up out front with soldiers jumping out. Both Irons and Kenrick can see the tell tale purplish glow from the harden troupers eyes.
Kenrick suggests to Irons that they sneak out back, but Irons has other ideas. He grabs a hostage and uses her as a human shield, firing out blindly from the store. Kenrick is enraged and draws his gun, ready to turn it on Irons, when gun fire breaks them both up forcing them to dive to the ground. Kenrick notices that one of the trucks has sprung a gas leak, he sprays the growing puddle in hot lead causing a massive explosion. After the dust clears they see that most of the soldiers have been cleared out. They leave the store and find a heavy military truck that was far enough from the explosion to not have been damaged. As Kenrick and Irons get into a vehicle, they suddenly see a tank bearing down on them from one of the side avenues.
Mokgosi is able to focus the power of the gauntlets on the soft point of reality in the Areo Nautillus and opens a rift to the Shadow Realm. They see that the portal takes them to the walls of the Buckingham Palace directly across from Big Ben. The Centurions realize that the atmosphere is lethal to all of them except Mokgosi. After some deliberation, Poe realizes that he can utilize the Curie Drive to make a magnetic field to push back the harmful effects of netherite, protecting Jack and him. Jack takes this moment to don the disguise of a British Soldier in case they encounter the authorities on the other side.
The Centurions step through the tear in reality and enter the shadow realm. They can see Grayson yelling madly atop Big Ben beneath the light of the Soul of Hakkar. Poe realizes that he is attempting to draw the Soul of Hakkar into our world and doing so will infect all of London with its insidious influence. He thought he was stopped with the destruction of Eveyln’s Dimensional Particle Collider, but he has somehow resumed the process and it is nearing completion. Mokgosi takes that moment to raise his rifle and fire a shot, grazing Grayson. This act brings the attention of shadow apparitions who begin to descend upon the Centurions.
Irons clambers into the back of the truck as Kenrick floors the petal, darting away from the path of the tank. He maneuvers the vehicle from tank shells as they explode about him, showering debris atop the truck from nearby buildings. Irons finds a rocket launcher in the back of the truck and begins to fire back at the tank. Kenrick can see Big Ben looming in the distance, odd energy circling about the tower. His attempts to lose the tank are without success and when he nears Big Ben he finds a sea of the Possessed waiting for him, using their bodies to block his progress.
The other Centurions find themselves surrounded by shadow apparitions who suddenly look identical to Grayson. They are faster and stronger than previous apparitions and begin to sorely press the Centurions in combat. Mokgosi and Jack are able to gun some of the apparitions down, only to have one of the Grayson apparitions summon more. The pulsing light of the Soul of Hakkar lashes out at them clawing at the Centurions psyche. Mokgosi realizing that they are not thinking enough on the 4th dimension, powers up his gauntlets and tears open a hole back into reality, giving the other Centurions the option of escaping back into their home dimension.
Kenrick hearing the sound of the tank behind and the sea of human possessed closing in on him from the front, revs the engine and drives the truck into the sea of people. The total carnage he creates causes him to lose control of the truck and roll it, slamming it against the base of Big Ben. The tank fires a shell at him, winging the already fragile tower, knocking a large hole inside. Kenrick and Irons climb out of the truck, he fights his way out of the sea of the possessed. Irons yells for Kenrick to get atop Big Ben, as he mounts a heavy carbine atop the truck and begins to open fire among the shadow possessed coming to tear he and Kenrick limb from limb.
Kenrick runs into the tower and begins to climb the staircase to reach the top of Big Ben. As he climbs the now rickety staircase, soldiers from atop begin to fire down upon him. Kenrick returns fire and is able to use the weak architecture of the building to rain destruction atop the hapless soldiers. The Diamond of Anubis protects him from the sickening light bleeding in from the Soul of Hakkar in the Shadow Dimension. He reaches the top and finds Evelyn Kenrick unconscious and the dimensional particle collider rigged up again amongst the tower. He is able to disable to device to prevent the sickening light from bleeding through, but he is unable to stop the process. He wakes up Evelyn who he learns was forced by Grayson to fix the collider, she prevented herself from being taken over by the Soul by knocking herself out.
Mokgosi, Poe and Jack cross through the portal, leaving the Grayson Apparitions behind. They find themselves atop Buckingham Palace, in the courtyard between them and Big Ben they see the toppled truck with Irons atop it blasting away at the massive gathering of possessed people. They then see the tank, with an eerie alertness, open fire upon their position. Mokgosi turns invisible with the gauntlets, he is able to ward off the mad whispers. Poe summons his remote helicopter and calls from Jack to jump in, but also notices that Jack has vanished as well. Poe climbs aboard and flies away with an invisible Mokgosi holding on to the side of the craft.
Kenrick helps Evelyn recover from her injuries. She tells Kenrick about Grayson’s plan on drawing the Soul of Hakkar into our dimension and the impending doom that will have for them all. Kenrick says he has something that can render the Soul inert, but he needs to reach the Soul. They find a tear into the Shadow Dimension atop the tower, but realize that it would be lethal for either of them to enter. Evelyn and Kenrick theorize that if they destroy the tower they might delay the Soul’s entry.
The Tank continues to fire at Poe as he flies through the air, dodging shot after shot. He can see Kenrick and Evelyn atop the tower and flies towards Big Ben. As he closes in Tank shells continue whistle closing past the helicopter. Mokgosi takes a moment to reappear and leap across the gap into the clock tower reuniting with Evelyn and Kenrick. Poe tries to hover near Big Ben, but the continued shelling causes him to loose control slightly, cutting the ladder leading to the very top of Big Ben.
Inside the tank, the possessed driver is suddenly surprised to feel a gun to the back of his head as Jack pulls the trigger swiftly killing him. Jack, in the guise of a tank gunner, takes control of the tank and opens fire on the crowd of possessed destroying the bulk of them, he pulls the tank back, giving Poe more room to maneuver.
Kenrick and Eveyln share their plan with Mokgosi who offers to go into the shadow realm with the Diamond of Anubis. They figure the ladder still exists in the shadow realm and Mokgosi can climb up it to destroy the Soul. Mokgosi takes the diamond and goes through the tear in reality as Kenrick and Evelyn leap aboard Poe’s helicopter. They use Poe’s radio to let Jack know that destroying Big Ben will slow or stop the Soul’s entryway into our Dimension.
Jack levels the cannon at Big Ben and opens fire, destroying the historic landmark swiftly and decisively. Poe is able to swing the Helicopter away from Big Ben as it topples the ground, nearly crushing the Centurions inside. He however pass out suddenly as he sees the tower fall amongst human possessed crushing hundreds of people. The helicopter careens out of control, with Kenrick grabbing the controls and, while landing, prevents a dangerous crash. Kenrick and Evelyn, with an unconscious Poe, realize they are doomed as a sea of possessed begin to swarm about them.
Jack sees their plight and opens the hatch. He pulls the Eye of Set from his pocket, having picked Kenrick’s pocket when he was arrested earlier, and distracts the possessed with the might of his mystical abilities. He gets back into the tank and begins to drive towards the crash site, running the possessed down and giving the Centurions cover.
Mokgosi steps into the Shadow Realm and is greeted by an apparition of Grayson. He quickly kills the apparition and begins his climb up the ladder. Grayson apparitions attempt to pull him from the tower, but Mokgosi fends them up; climbing up the side of the building. The Pulsing light of the Soul of Hakkar lashes out at Mokgosi, but he resists its energy. He places the Diamond of Anubis upon the Soul and with a loud crash the Shadow Dimension collapses.
Mokgosi finds himself back in his home dimension, falling through the air holding the Diamond and the inert Soul. Where Big Ben should have been is now open air. He is able to rigged his shirt into a small sail and crashes into the Thames before blacking out into unconsciousness. At the time of Mokgosi’s re-entry the possessed fall dead to the ground leaving the Centurions alone.
The Centurion Club helps the heroes recover and at the end of it they meet with Henry Smith who reveals a greater destiny for them and invites them into the club. The Soul of Hakkar and the Diamond of Anubis is now locked away in the Secret Vault.