Saturday, February 6, 2016

The Red Reaper: Volume 2 (Chapter 2)

            The Red Reaper barely survived his second encounter with the newly arrived phantom he had dubbed the Blue Knight.  The sharp pain in his ribs signified that he had compounded his rib injuries.  Danny flew directly home to recuperate.  His sister left the party, so she was waiting for him in the driveway when he gingerly his landing and morphed back into his party ensemble.
            “Geez, Danny,” Christine said.  “What the heck was that all about?”
            “I only intended to stand up to that bully Seth,” Danny said, “but that Blue Knight character did most of the bullying.  He was the guy who ambushed me at Mt. Bethel the other day.  I wanted to text his moxy and see what he was all about.”
            “Well, he surely moxied you all over the place.  Where did he come from?”
            “I don’t know, but his powers are similar to mine, only exponentially more powerful.”
            “Where did those wicked glowing, red hand-scythes come from?  I’ve never seen you wield those before.”
            “I don’t even know.  Your guess is as good as mine.  They just suddenly appeared in my hands, but the Blue Knight had a glowing blue sword, too.  Did you see it?”
            “Yeah, he certainly knows how to use it.  He totally schooled you.”
            “I know, Chrissy, but I wonder if he’s a true threat.”
            “He kicked your butt twice already, little brother.  I’d consider that to be fairly threatening.”
            “I survived.  Maybe he has a vendetta against me.  I can defend myself, but what if he unleashes his fury on the innocent defenseless folks of Stentine Valley?”
            “I told you before that you can be a hero to the people of our city when they need it most.  You’re the protector of righteousness.  Everything happens for a reason.  Maybe meant to stop this menacing Blue Knight.”
            “I don’t know if I can, Chrissy.  He’s too strong.”
            “I’ve know you all your life, Danny, even before you became the Red Reaper.  You’ve had a strong soul and will to survive since you dropped out of mom’s womb with the umbilical cord wrapped around your neck.  I was in the delivery room, and I witness your miracle birth.  I remember watching your little infant hand reach up to unravel the cord from around your neck before the doctor got a chant to cut it.  You’re strong, Danny.  You’re strong enough to do anything you put your mind to.”
            Danny grabbed the remote control off the coffee table to click on the television.  There was a special report on the Nightly Action News on Channel 4.
            “We have breaking news,” Cliff Stones, the lead anchor, read off the teleprompter with a stern and grim expression on his face.  “Action 4 news has just acquired this exclusive footage from the dash cam of one of Stentine Valley’s finest.  Be forewarned.  What you are about to see is graphic in nature.  View discretion is advised.
            The clip showed the battle between the Red Reaper and the Blue Knight.  The replay reminded Danny how soundly his new rival dominated the short battle.  The short fight sequence was culminated by the vista of the Red Reaper’s body flying through the windshield destroying the dash cam.  Danny was frustrated, so he turned off the TV.
            “I don’t need to see that again,” he said.
            “Wait, Danny.  Turn that back on,” Christine said.
            Danny pressed the power button again, and Cliff continued.  “The Red Reaper seems to have met his match, but will this new Blue Knight be a menace to Stentine Valley as well?  We’re about to go live to the mayor’s mansion.  Mayor Garretson has scheduled an impromptu emergency press conference.  Skeeter Barnes is live on the scene.  Skeet, can you hear me?
            “I hear you loud and clear, Cliff.  Mayor Garretson is stepping to the podium now.”
            “Citizens of Stentine Valley,” Mayor Garretson’s tone of voice personified the dismal stakes.  “our city is under siege by what we believe may be extraterrestrial life forms.  There’s no need to be alarmed.  Since the emergence of the Red Reaper, we have done everything possible to avoid a crisis.  With the arrival of the Blue Knight, we must now declare a state of emergency.  The city is on lockdown, and an 8:00 PM curfew will be enforced until further notice.  All schools will be closed indefinitely, and we are urging citizens to stay in their homes unless it is absolutely necessary to leave.  My advisors and I will access the situation, but as of now, an evacuation is not mandatory.  We must band together if we wish to prevail in these trying times.  As of now, the Snow Games will not be cancelled.  I repeat, the Snow Games must go on.  I do not have time this evening to address questions or concerns from the press, but I will close this conference with a quote from the ‘Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy’: DON’T PANIC.”
            “I’ve seen enough,” Danny turned the television off one last time.  “This is friggin’ ridiculous.”
            “That extraterrestrial spiel is the most outrageous thing I’ve ever hear a government official say, and George W. Bush used to be president.  Geez with peas,” Christine said.
            “At least the Snow Games have not been cancelled.”
            “Danny, you’ve never had a problem focusing on the positives.  That’s for sure.”
            “You heard Mayor Garretson.  Don’t panic.  If I can’t stop the Blue Phantom, Sage, Blitz, Goon, Knight or whatever we’re going to call him, I think there will be a contingency plan.”
            “What do you mean?”
            “You remember what happened what happened to me at city hall.  I don’t know squat about my powers, but the cops already have a prototypical weapon to neutralize them.”
            “Oh, yeah.  We need to catch up with Timmy tomorrow.  Hopefully he’s learned something that will shed light on everything.”
            “We’ll see.”
            “How are your ribs, Danny?  I see you holding yourself.”
            “They hurt like hell honestly.  I’ll manage though.  Nothing will keep me out of the Snow Games.”
            “Geez….nevermind.  It’s getting late, and we both need rest.”
            “Yup, my pillow is calling me.”
            Danny and Christine went to their rooms.  Danny poked his head through the door of his fathers study on the way.  Charles was toiling over legal books and documents as usual.  He acknowledged his son’s presence by looking up briefly.
            “Me and Chrissy just got back,” Danny said.
            “Come in, son.  I want to have a quick word with you.”
            “What is it, Dad?  I’m really beat.  Can it wait until morning?”
            “This won’t take long, Danny.”
            Charles pointed at the small 15-inch TV in the corner of his study and said, “I just saw the news.  Our city may be under attack.  It looked like that Reaper vs. Sage battle happened in the Wellingtons’ neighborhood.  Is that where you and Chrissy came from?”
            “I wanted to make sure you and your sister didn’t get caught up in the middle of that mess.  The ferocity of that fight concerned me.  I’ve never been the worrying type, but I want you and Chrissy to be extra careful while the city is on lockdown.  I don’t know what I’d do if harm befell either one of you.  Maybe getting out of town with Jim Bronson and Quail Tek after the Snow Games is a better idea than I thought.”
            “Thanks for the concern, Dad.  We’re always careful when we’re out and about.  I seriously need to rest now.  We’ll talk more tomorrow.”
            “Okay.  Goodnight, Danny.”


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