Lightning Strikes – Part IVContinued from Part III
Meanwhile, back in a remote canyon in the Nevernever, Harry and his allies continue to battle Black Adam. The heroes initially have the upper hand, since despite his power they are managing to use a combination of teamwork, raw power and skill to keep Adam off balance. The Rick Taylor and the Knights of the Cross and of Summer have the raw power to hurt Adam to a degree, while Harry, Spider-Man and the Turtles keep Adam disoriented through clever applications of their abilities. And for a moment, Harry thought they had this fight in the metaphorical bag.
And then Black Adam started laughing, and Harry realized he’d miscalculated. From what he has seen and been told of Black Adam, Harry had figured the former champion was like many of the supernatural tough guys he’d come across: arrogant, overconfident, disdainful of mortals to the point of underestimating them, and absolutely certain of his own invincibility. He had forgotten that, power or not, Adam had once been the mightiest and most skilled warrior of ancient Egypt, and had been the mastermind behind the pharaoh’s most successful military campaigns. When Shazam had banished Adam, it had been to another dimension without any life, no opponents to face, no people to conquer, merely shattered rocks floating in the void of space. In the thousands of years since his imprisonment, Adam had only inanimate rocks to vent his increasing frustration and fury upon. Now, however, Adam was back in his element, fighting powerful foes with supernatural abilities. The fight was actually letting him vent all of his former frustrations in the arena he was most comfortable in, and in doing so, Adam had found his center again. No longer was he the berserk fighter blinded by rage that they had a chance against. He was once again the warrior who had once been amongst the greatest and most powerful champions of an age that had included the likes of Hercules and Thor.
As if to demonstrate this, Adam delivered a flying tackle into Rick taking them both hundreds of yards up into the sky. Adam then looped around in mid air, doubling his speed, arcs of magical electricity arcing around his form as he smashed Rick into the ground with so much force that it sent every one of the assembled heroes sprawling. At the bottom of the large crater the impact had made, Rick groggily realized that he had been nearly clipped in half; his ribs, legs and spine shattered and his organs splattered everywhere. Black Adam leaned over the fallen hero, and in typical defiance, the Mask began to taunt Black Adam, who revealed that he could hear the Mask’s comments. He then shoved his hand into Rick’s chest, fingers searching for the giant’s heart, with every intention of ripping it out.The Mask
: “Oh, is that all you’ve got, p***y?! I’ve had worse-“*Black Adam grabs Rick’s heart and starts to twist it, causing both Rick and the Mask immense pain*The Mask
: *as if through clenched teeth*
“Okay, that stings a bit, I’ll give you that one.”Rick
: “I hope to God we wind up in different places after he kills us, because I am not
listening to you for the rest of eternity.”
However, before Black Adam can finish Rick off, Spider-Man came swinging in, kicking Adam hard enough to send the mystical menace up and out of the crater, where he smashed into one of the canyon’s walls. His swing landing him at the crater’s edge, Spidey followed this up be unloading as much webbing as he could on Adam, trying to keep him pinned. Rick and the Mask both let out a sigh of relief, even as the Mask began to try and put Rick back together.The Mask
: “I knew there was something I liked about that kid.” Rick
: “It’s probably because you’re both in love with the sound of your own voices.”The Mask
: “Huh, weird. For some reason I would have thought you’d like the sound of his voice too.”
Spidey kept up the web barrage, only for Adam to rip one arm free, tearing a large chunk of rock from the wall in the process. With casual ease, Adam threw the boulder at Spider-Man, who easily flipped over it to land on the ground, ready to begin firing again. Before he could get a shot off, Adam ripped a leg free and stomped on the ground, so hard that Peter was thrown off balance, and couldn’t avoid the second boulder Adam threw at him. The impact sent Spider-Man into one of the canyon walls, and before he could clear his head, Adam had completely freed himself from the webbing. In an instant he had cleared the distance between him and Spider-Man, casually backhanding the young hero hard enough to send him sprawling and knocking him out.
Adam lifted one leg to stomp down on Spider-Man’s head, ostensibly to crush him like the bug Adam perceived him to be, when the Turtles attacked. Mikey and Don both struck certain pressure points at the back of Adam’s knees, while Leo and Raph delivered powerful flying kicks that knocked Adam away from Spider-Man. Unfortunately, an enraged Raphael pressed his attack, which resulted in the shattering both of his sai against Adam’s chest, which allowed Adam to finally get his hands on one of the turtles. The other three ninja immediately rushed to Raph’s defense, only for Adam swings Raph like a club into them, hitting all four of them so hard that Harry could hear the bones breaking.
That sound helped Harry to focus, and he finally recovered from the crater creating impact that had left him dizzy and disoriented. Harry unleashed the full might of all four of his force rings, using a modified forzare
to not only amplify the force several times over, but also direct it to hit Adam square in the guts, knocking him away from the injured mutant reptiles. At that point, the three knights attacked with drawn swords, two glowing with divine might, the third sheathed in Summer flame. Fighting like they had been a team for all of their lives, the three men forced Adam backwards step by step, until Adam had recovered from the initial onslaught.
Lashing out with a fist that crackled with magic lighting, Adam sent the attack at Fix, who attempted to block it with his flame-wreathed blade, putting as much of his power into the block. The sword shattered, and the punch crumpled Fix’s faerie made armor, sending the Summer Knight flying over a dozen yards away, to land unmoving on the canyon floor.
While Michael spared their injured ally a look of concern, Sanya immediately resumed the attack, aiming Esperacchius right at Adam’s head. Adam caught the blade with one hand, and on feeling the divine power contained within it, attempted to contemptuously snap it in two. To his surprise, the sword resisted even Adam’s incredible might, and even squeezing with everything he had, all he managed to do was cut his palm on the blade. The Sword of Hope could not be broken while hope yet remained in the world. And today, of all days, hope was strongest, for it was gaining a champion that embodied hope.
Taking advantage of Adam’s surprise, Sanya smoothly unslung his assault rifle, pointed the barrel point blank in Adam’s face, and fired. This did little but annoy Adam, who struck Sanya with a frustrated backhand, sending the Knight unconscious to the ground. Adam let the sword fall by Sanya’s side, and turned to face Harry and Michael, the only opposition that remained.
As Harry and Michael readied their weapons, Michael asked quietly, “I don’t suppose there’s some clever part of your plan that you’ve been keeping to yourself until now that you’d like to share?”
Harry, uncharacteristically, had no reply.
TO BE CONCLUDED