Look to the Sky: Part Three

From the Story Arc: Trench Warfare

Previous Story in the Arc: Look to the Sky: Part Two by Agn Stratonik (Thursday, April 07, 2005)

Next Story in the Arc: Tinkering: Part One by Agn Stratonik (Tuesday, June 14, 2005)

(posted Wednesday, April 27, 2005)

His gaze now fixed on me, he raised his arms in the air with his palms flat and facing the sky. Above him an energy ball began to form as the energy swirled around it like wind around the eye of a hurricane. As the ball grew, we all knew that it wouldn’t be only my life he’d be taking, but anyone that could see that ball from a mile away. Petrograd ran to the front of the other heroes and began scanning Savate for weaknesses. “Aha,” he muttered with the sound of his quickly beating heart on his voice. “Molotov, Torch, Iron Soviet…do me a favour and distract him, please?” The three heroes known as Madame Molotov, Worker’s Torch and Iron Soviet looked at each other with little hesitation, a plan being passed through their eye contact and inside a brief time they ran into battle. Iron Soviet blasted into the sky and formed an energy ball. With all his strength, he blasted Savate in the back, breaking Savate’s concentration and causing his quickly forming energy ball to dissipate. Savate turned to face Iron Soviet and was preparing to counterattack, but he soon found himself in a mist of fire. Madame Molotov brought rain made of fire down upon Savate, singeing his costume and further irritating him. If that wasn’t bad enough, Worker’s Torch sent a cloud of radiation that infested and covered Savate like a swarm of bees.

All three brave heroes stepped back to the fold of other CCCP heroes and smiled. “I think that did it,” Madame Molotov said. { ENOUGH, } Savate screamed as he flexed every muscle in his body and sent a shockwave through the air, clearing away all the attacks that had been laid upon him. They clearly didn’t even faze him, but only made him angry beyond restraint. { You should have not intervened! Now you will all suffer a horrible death! You all would have had a quick and painless death! I WILL KILL YOU ALL WITH MY BARE HANDS YOU COMMUNIST BASTARDS! } *What’s that sound,* I said as my ear flinched at the sound of what seemed to be an approaching, muffled rocket, but quickly became clearer over Savate’s hellish screaming. In a flash, Petrograd ran his fist into Savate’s back, stunning him long enough to grab his neck and remove what looked to be a black device on the back of his neck. After removing the device, Petrograd hovered away from Savate as the Frenchman went unconscious and fell to the ground in a loud thump.

I managed to get to my feet. I slowly made my way to the heap that was Savate as he lay helpless on the ground in front of me. Each of my comrades did the same, though hesitantly, waiting for any sudden movements on his part. I heard a person behind me and as I peered over my shoulder, I saw Fei Li reach down and pick up her blade. In a grip of seething rage, she fixed her kitana with the blade facing upward and the hilt near her face and charged toward Savate screaming, ^ You will pay for what you have done! Die you mongrel! ^ I ran in front of her and grabbed her hands at the hilt of the blade. I stared into her eyes, even as her eyes lay fixed on Savate with daggers pointing out of them. ^ General…You are a soldier. I expect more of you. You should know, of all people, that it is not honourable to attack your enemy when he is down and defeated. Don’t let your emotions get the best of you. Emotions don’t belong on a battlefield. ^

She stared into my eyes leaving a cold feeling in my bones. She brought her sword down to her side and without a word approached Savate’s unconscious body and kowtowed.

An hour passed by and Thanh Ha had approached me to bandage my ribs. I had had injuries like this before. Two cracked ribs, a fractured humerus and two broken fingers on my left hand. I denied her medical attention and told her to care for everyone else, including Savate, and to take care of me last. The two broken fingers on my left hand were bent backward, nearly touching the back of my hand. So I popped them back into place. Zach stood watching, unbeknownst to me, and flinched as I reset them, only a small grimace coming over my face. I looked up at him and smiled. “All you Russians are masochists,” he said with a chuckle. We were all lucky to escape with minor injuries. I had never seen a foe this strong. Not even the Clockwork King held a candle to Savate…not even 100 Clockwork Kings. Soviette was using a new medical wound rebuilding laser that served its time well. Its main function was to be pointed at a specific injury, for instance an avulsion or flesh tear, and through the methods of modern technology it would repair the injury. It worked so well it made it appear that nothing had happened, leaving not even a scar or blemish.

The question was, could it repair a hole in a person’s stomach? I stood up off of the medical bed I was sitting on and walked toward Savate, who still lay unconscious as the machine worked its magic. I looked at his ravaged face, which was covered in cuts, bruises and burns. We had really done a number on him, but how was he able to withstand it? Thanh Ha was soon able to bandage me up. I thanked her and went to the laboratory where Petrograd was analyzing the black object he took from Savate’s neck. *It’s a mind control device,* he said as I approached him. *What?* *It’s a mind control device…a very powerful one at that. Here,* he said as he pointed to what looked like two sharp nails on one side of the black object. Each nail had smaller blades on them that went in a spiral motion like a drill bit. The black object was a small box, about the size of a palm of the average male’s hand. There were two small glass vials that sat inside it and looked to be attached to the needles. Each vial had fluid in it…in one, blue and the other, grey.

*This look familiar to you, Agn?* *Yes, it does. Not the box itself, but the fluid, yes.* *Ahh…you see, inside this box is also a transmitter. The transmitter controls brainwaves by sending transmissions to the spinal cord and up into the brain from the back of the neck. The conductors are these needles. The needles also allow for these substances to be sent into the body in small doses. With enough willpower, it appears that these substances can make a person invincible.* *So, Savate was being controlled by someone.* *Precisely, but the question remains: Who? We’re going to have to see what Savate knows. We still don’t know if he’s friend or foe, but he should be healed up enough by now to tell us.*

Petrograd and I walked back to the Med Lab to hopefully get some answers. What we found were emotions inside a confined space. Many of the CCCP stood screaming in the face of the now awakened Savate, questioning him about his intentions. “Enough,” I said in a calm voice. “You are all to leave. There’s no room in here for soap operas.” Zach walked up to me, his shoulders square and anger in his eyes. “You see this badge, Stratonik,” he questioned me as he pointed at his Commissar Insignia badge, showing his seniority over me. “It says that the only one giving orders around here, is me! No get your ass out of here. We have this under control.” “No, you don’t have this under control,” Petrograd chimed in. “All but Agn and I are to leave. Now.” Zach snarled at me as he pushed his way past me. I only smiled and walked up to Savate. { Can you speak English, } I asked him. “I can,” he replied in a weary voice. Petrograd and I helped him sit up on the side of the medical bed. His wound had healed completely to my surprise.

“Merci,” he muttered. “You have questions for me. I hope they don’t involve yelling?” I smiled to him as Petrograd walked up and placed the black box in his hand. “Vigo,” Savate muttered as he looked at the object. “What,” Petrograd and I simultaneously said. “He is known only as Vigo, a former friend of mine. His full name is Jean-Claude Antoine Vigo. He and I went to school together when we were les enfants, or children. We both found we had special powers and became heroes together as well.” “When was this,” I asked. “1915. He and I were both nearly 16 years old and the First World War was approaching. I have powers that allow me to manipulate energy, as you already know. Vigo has powers in mind control, which explain this box. We even fought in the Second World War alongside such heroes as Statesman, which I found out is still alive and well today. Vigo…my friend. The scheme of the world seemed to outgrow him and our job as protectors of France did not satiate his lust for power that grew in him. It wasn’t until the surrender of France that he went off the deep end. When the French government surrendered, we were still fighting in the streets of France against the Nazis. Our government surrendered, but we didn’t.” “And now France is labeled as cowards as a whole…all because a government of scared men saw fit to throw in the towel,” I said.

“Very true my young, Russian friend. I saw many die as we battled near the Champs-Elysées…so many died in vain to be labeled as cowards. That was the last straw for Vigo. The last time I saw him was when I was led into a Nazi laboratory. It turns out the lead was a trap and it was an underground cryogenic stasis lab. Donned in a Nazi uniform, Vigo used his mind control powers to render me helpless as his Nazi crones shoved me into a cryogenic tube and put me into a cold slumber. There I slept for nearly 60 years before I was discovered by a German construction company that found the lab while building a new office complex. I was out in the world for 2 months, then Vigo found me. I do not know how he is still alive or how he knew I was in the world again, but he found me and placed this on my neck. Everything up until now is hazy. I am sorry beyond words for the harm I caused you and your comrades. Had I been myself, this would have not happened, but there are always bigger forces at work and I am only so strong.”

I placed my hand on his shoulder and looked deep into his eyes. “I pride myself on being good soldier…being able to see what is in hearts of men. Even when you were set on killing me and my comrades, I did not see the eyes of murderer. I will speak for us all and say that you are forgiven.” Petrograd nodded in agreement and said, “Now. Where’s Vigo?”