was raining, and the cold water was making his clothes stick and itch, but
Damon didn’t move. He was certain he had sensed something coming from a huge
man in the bar and it was almost closing time. The bar, a dark seedy little
place in the bad part of town, had a few drunken patrons that were taking their
last shots and gyrating to the last song.
man inside downed the last of his beer, of which he had had more than two
dozen, and made his way out the back door. There was an alley nearby that
connected with the parking lot behind the bar. He stumbled right past Damon and
didn’t see him. Being this close Damon could see the man’s clothes were torn and
stained. He walked hunched over as if scared, or sad. Damon could also tell was
that the man was indeed emanating power from one of his hands. Squinting he saw
the slight metallic glint. A ring.
fingered his own platinum ring. How did it work? Would the man’s ring work for him as well?
How had he come across it? If it had been in the same manner as Damon’s, if he
too had been chosen, then the man would have been given a weapon as well, along
with three other abilities.
Damon’s own weapons were hidden
within his arms and he was well rested. He had never fought anyone before
except maybe yelling some insults behind the safety of his rolled-up car
window, but he knew he wanted the big man’s ring, no matter what powers it bestowed.
The huge man was approaching his
car. Damon took a deep steadying breath. He was ready.
Raising his hand Damon activated
his ring with a thought. There was a barely-controlled concussion and the man
slammed into his car denting the door and shattering the window with his head.
His heavy body thudded into the wet floor with a slight splash. Damon winced.
He didn’t want to kill the guy. He only wanted his ring, but the blast was
always hard to control.
Damon crossed the distance quickly
and his left blade slid out of his arm and into his hand as he approached the
still figure. The man wasn’t moving. Damon reached out to
grab the ring that was now glowing in a barely-perceptible green light on the
man’s huge hand.
the man shuddered and kicked awkwardly at Damon from the floor. The kick barely
connected but it struck with the force of a horse. It hit him in the stomach
and Damon almost lost consciousness and stumbled to the floor. The surrounding
buildings spun, and he gasped for air. He rolled over and got up at the same
time as the man. It hurt like hell to stand straight and hurt even more to
breathe. With a wordless scream the man charged and picked Damon up as if he
weighed absolutely nothing and slammed him against the opposite wall the way a
linebacker would slam a child. The pressure on his chest rose to terrifying
levels and there was a loud snap. Bits of brick from the wall rained down on
them. A big fist came down. It barely missed Damon’s face and almost went straight
through the wall.
Damon closed his eyes and felt his body become intangible. He looked down and couldn’t help but smile as
the enraged man blew three more holes in the wall before realizing his
would-be-punching bag was gone. In this state Damon felt no pain since he had
no body. However, the pain would still be there when he materialized so he
would have to move fast. He floated through the man who was still looking
around, now more confused than angry. Damon’s other blade slid out into his
palm. He solidified and the pain in his chest almost dropped him to his knees,
but he gritted his teeth and plunged the blades up to their hilts into the big
man’s back. With a howl the huge man turned around and with the strength of a
bull swatted Damon halfway down the alleyway. He had barely stopped rolling
when he felt big meaty hands on his shoulders lift him off the ground.
Damon was launched through the air again, this time spinning head over heels. Inches from striking another wall
Damon used his ability again and flew straight into the building before slowly
floating to a stop, unharmed.
He was hurt, and he was terrified.
But his adrenaline was pumping. Whatever that ring did it practically made the
brute unstoppable! Damon would have that ring, and he still had some tricks
He willed himself through the door
and found that the man had ripped his coat and shirt off and was randomly
punching the few cars within reach and even ripping off a door or two. Hulk angry? Damon thought. He extended his
hand, activated his ring, and loosed two more concussive blasts that that shook
the air and slammed the giant man to the ground. Damon focused on the floor and sindarred it to liquefy. Reality warped and obeyed and a
few seconds later the man was down to his waist in solid concrete.
hovered behind him once more. With both katanas bared, he dispelled his
intangible form and stabbed at the man's huge bulk four times before the man shouted up at the sky. The clouds rumbled. The heavens flashed and lighting fell and raked the entire
area with angry electricity. Damon went ghost just in time. Some unlucky
patrons who came out after hearing the fight were struck down immediately,
writhing grotesquely as the electricity ripped through their bodies. Lightning
ripped off chunks of building and sent bits of asphalt flying everywhere. That had to be his greater power! Damon
thought. The giant had to be close to exhausting his abilities, but it was a
gamble dragging out the fight any longer. Damon would not be able to turn
incorporeal anymore until he got some rest.
looked at the giant man who was pounding on the floor. Huge cracks appeared
everywhere the meaty fists landed. The huge man would eventually free himself.
He wasn’t tired. He wasn’t bleeding. He still looked angry. Damon’s other
ability would be useless, so he had only his blades, which apparently only
managed to sting this man. He might be able to decapitate him, but he loathed
the idea of murder for the sake of robbery. Even though killing the brute would be safer Damon made his decision. Still in phantom form, he floated right next to the man and readied
his blades. He had to time everything perfectly, there was no way he could stand
another hit from this giant.
There! Damon solidified himself and
his blades flashed. Blood jumped. With a pained howl the man tried to hit Damon
who was already scrambling after the severed hand.
Suddenly, the man became quiet and
was studying his bloody stump. It wasn’t healing. The look of disbelief did
make Damon pity the man, but only until he grabbed the ring. It was warm and
pulsing with power.
Some of the patrons were getting up. Someone was on their cell phone gesturing wildly. Damon’s blades faded back into dark tattoos on his forearms and he limped out of the alley as quickly as he could. Damon’s chest hurt and didn’t let him run
quickly. He clutched the ring tightly and looked back one last time. The huge
man was still looking dumbly at his severed arm as it squirted blood out in
tiny red ribbons to the tempo of his heart.