Monday, 31 December 1990

Anglo-Force: The Formation & The Return Of Saruman Chapter 3

The cloaked figure of Dr. Magus stood atop a mountain in Scotland, staring into the sky. He seemed to be looking at nothing, but everything. Slowly, he vanished.
    A cargo plane stood on the runway at N'dobe Airport, in the small Asian country of Voltania. The crown prince of Voltania, Prince T'Chuka, stood alongside Captain James Watt, watching the cavourite being loaded aboard the aircraft.
    "Such a large quantity of cavourite has never been exported from my land before.", said T'Chuka.
    "We fly directly to Heathrow under the guise of a civilian flight.", said Watt.
    The plane left Voltania within the hour. Magus followed it's flight, seeing all from his mountain fortress. Then, disaster struck.
    "Left engine out, Jim!", cried Tom Smith, the co-pilot.
    Watt turned to his co-pilot, to see the Grim Reaper sucking the life from his partner. Watt threw the plane into a dive but to no avail. Two heat blasts from Celsius sheared the wings off. The plane crashed into the Alps, ploughing deep into the snow. Watt tried to escape but a brain blast from Theophilus knocked him out.
    "Is he dead?", asked Mother Nature.
    "I used enough power to kill him.", replied Theophilus.
    They set to work unloading the cavourite. When they had finished.....
    "Hide the wreck, Celsius.", commanded Mother Nature. "Freeze it into the snow!"
    As cavourite dust swirled around inside the plane Celsius covered it with ice blasts from his hands. The Black Squadron left. The mysterious cloaked figure that was Dr. Magus appeared and removed Jim Watt from the ice.
    Watt awoke what seemed like moments later. He was lying in a four poster bed in an oak panelled room. Dr. Magus sat beside the bed.
    "Where am I?", asked Watt. "How long have I been here?"
    Magus smiled. "Two months.", he said. "I watched the attack on your craft and brought you here."
    "I've been here for two months?", cried Watt.
    "Don't be surprised, my dear boy.", soothed Magus. "You are now quite well again, possibly better than before."
    "Who are you?", asked Watt.
    "I am Dr. Phineas Magus.", he said, bowing low. "Keeper of the Secrets, alchemist, sorcerer, doctor of medicine!"
    "Sorcerer!", cried Watt. "There are no such things!"
    Ice blue eyes twinkled behind the old man's spectacles.
    "You live in a world where men fly without the aid of any machine, and you doubt the existence of magic!", said Magus.
    "Very well then.", said Watt. "What are you?"
    "I told you.", said Magus. "I am a sorcerer. I have been for hundreds of years!”
    "You're immortal?", asked Watt.
    "That is so.", replied Magus. "I was already old when the world as you know it was young. I am of the Mair. We are a group of beings created before all other races. Some of us choose to live as water spirits, some remained outside the realms of man. Others, myself included, chose to study magic. I am as skilled in the practice of voodoo as I am in Celtic magic. Give me the right ingredients and I can move mountains. Without such ingredients, I can still work magic, but I am
afraid it is limited by the amount of energy I can channel. But enough of me my friend, come, arise!"
    Magus led Watt to the window. They stepped out onto the balcony and gazed out onto the Scottish countryside. Then, as Watt looked down, the balcony was gone. Watt plunged earthwards.
    "Think, Watt! Will yourself to fly!", cried Magus.
    Watt closed his eyes, waiting for the impact. It never came. He soared upwards, then once he had mustered the skill he landed next to Magus.
    "What happened to me?", he asked.
    "The cavourite you were exposed to, and the ice of Celsius have combined, along with a cure of my own to grant you incredible strength and the power of flight. I have only used the cure once
before, but last time my patient sought revenge on his attackers before it was complete. You shall remain here until we face your attackers together!"

    In the two months since the crash, the Mafia's operations in England had all but come to a stand still. Most of their key members had been killed in the attack on Orsine's country estate. The Black Squadron had also been very quiet. Never the less, Inspector Solo and his group continued to stay in the underground bunker.
    "What the bloody hell is happening?", shouted Jet. "Two months since the Black Squadron were last seen in Switzerland! Not a bloody dicky-bird from them!"
    Solo sat in front of a computer screen.
    "I don't like it either!", he said. "Our main aim was to stop this war without any bloodshed. The Black Squadron wiped out Orsine's gang in one afternoon. Now they have twice the amount of cavourite they had before."
    "Enough to created a whole army of neo-mutants.", said Star Man. "Or one whopping great big one!"
    "Yeah.", said Solo. "And that old factory in the east end was left yonks ago!"
    "So what do we do now?", asked Lightning Kid. "We can't just sit around and do nothing."
    "There's nothing else we can do.", said Solo. "For now, we just sit and wait."

The Black Squadron had not been sitting around and waiting, They had relocated their headquarters in the white cliffs of Dover, in the old WWII caverns reserved for Winston Churchill and his government. But one of their number, Celsius, was not happy.
    Damn you, Theophilus.", he shouted. "For weeks we've done absolutely nothing! When is this 'ultimate mutant' going to be ready?"
    Patience, my hot-headed comrade.", said Theophilus. "Creating the ultimate power on this planet takes time, and a lot of effort!"
    Celsius is right.", said Mother Nature. "You have had too much time. We must strike soon, and Supremus must be by our side if we are to take over this country, and the rest of Europe!"
    So be it!", sneered Theophilus. "But this may cost us! Just one slight error and the whole thing will blow up in our faces. Follow me."
    Theophilus led the others into his lab. They walked over to the table in the centre of the room.
    Under this cover is another creation of mine.", said Theophilus. "Proto-plasm, dead tissue."
    Why couldn't you use a man, like you did with Trull?", asked Vampira.
    No one man fitted the bill.", replied Theophilus. "No one man met the requirements needed to become Supremus. Apart from proto-plasm, the procedure is the same."
    Enough of this talking.", said Mother Nature. "We must strike now!"
    Very well then.", said Theophilus.
    Theophilus walked over to a large machine, and pressed a button. There was a hum as the machine warmed itself up. He then walked over to another machine and adjusted it. He walked over to the table, and removed the cover. Then he walked over to the main control panel, and then all was complete. The process had started. A glow began to cover the table. It gradually got
brighter and brighter. The humming noise continued. The shapeless proto-plasm began to take form. The form began to grow until it was at least ten feet in length. Muscles began to form. Hands, feet, arms, legs and hair followed. Then, the glow subsided. The process was complete. Theophilus walked over to the table and placed his hand on the giant man's head. His hand only remained there for a few seconds. An energy blast sent Theophilus flying across the room. Celsius ran over to his fallen comrade.
    His mind is powerful!", said Theophilus. "Too much for my powers!"
    Mother Nature laughed. "You have indeed created a mighty lackey for me!", she said. "Arise, Supremus, arise!"
    The mighty form on the table began to move. Then, it sat up.
    "I am Supremus. To whom do I answer to?"
    "You answer to me, Mother Nature! I am your mistress! You answer only to me!"
    "I have ultimate power!", said Supremus. "I am here to serve you!"
    "Now my plans are complete!", said Mother Nature. "Within forty-eight hours this country will be
at my feet!"
    "What is our target?", asked the Grim Reaper.
    "Westminster!"

Two days later, Solo and Mr. X were again making their routine helicopter patrols above London. They followed the River Thames, towards the House of Commons.
    "How much longer do you think this will go on?", asked Mr. X.
    But before Solo could reply, he saw a streak of fire across the sky, headed towards Westminster.
    "Look!", cried Solo. "Celsius! Call back to the bunker. Looks like we're going to see the action you wanted!"
    Mr. X called back to the bunker, while Solo followed Celsius. When Celsius was bout fifty feet away from the House of Commons, he fired two heat blasts, which missed the House by mere inches. As the helicopter got nearer the House, Mr. X leapt out, and ran after Celsius, who had now landed. He began to aim an ice blast at the house, but Mr. X charged him. House of Commons security men ran out, to see the two battling each other. Security had been stepped up on this day, because the House was in session, and a special visitor was to speak, the crown prince of Voltania, T'Chuka.
    Solo had landed the helicopter, and rain to join the battle. Suddenly, searing pain ripped into his skull. He fell to the ground, only to see Dr. Theophilus standing over him.
    "You are a powerless fool!", he sneered. "You are no match for anybody!"
    Then, a huge axe when flying past him, it's handle catching him on the shoulder.
    "How about an even battle then, Doc?", queried Axe Kid.
    "No one is a match for Armand Theophilus!", he sneered.
    But before he could do anything, Axe Kid ran towards him, somersaulted, and booted him in the face.
    "Brute force works sometimes!", Axe Kid smiled.
    Mr. X continued to battle Celsius. Mr. X tried to draw him away from the House of Commons. They battled in the streets, stopping all the traffic. Axe Kid was about to join the battle when he noticed Vampira flying towards him. Once icy glare from her, the Axe Kid seemed to go into a trance. He froze. Vampira landed in from of him, and placed her hands on his shoulders. She opened her mouth, revealing long, canine-like fangs, and started to move towards Axe Kid's neck. But before she could do any damage, Axe Kid was whisked away at high speed, the speed of a Jet!
    As soon as he was way from Vampira, Axe Kid regained his senses. He had no clue what had been going on, and Jet set him down on the roof of the House. The House of Commons security men entered the main chamber just as Prince T'Chuka was about to speak. Quickly, the members were evacuated, but as in such situations, there was panic.
    Meanwhile, outside, Trull had arrived on the scene. Jet went to battle him, but his strength was no match for the steel-like giant. Trull picked him up like he was a rag doll, and tossed him to the ground. He was about to go for the kill when a nova blast hit him in the back, knocking him to the ground. Star Man had arrived, and Lightning Kid was not far behind. Then, the battle scene was complete. A mist began to form not far away, and the Grim Reaper
and Mother Nature were not on the scene. But she could not believe her eyes.
    "Mr. X! Ace Kid! Star Man and Lightning Kid!", she shouted. "What the bloody hell are they doing here?"
    What she did not notice was that behind her, a form began to appear. It was as if a part of the House was 'phasing'. In fact, it was a man making himself seen. It was the Chameleon. Mother Nature turned around, and was even more shocked.
    "I don't condone violence against women.", said Chameleon. "That's why I'm going to do this."
    Chameleon clenched his fist, and slugged the Grim Reaper. This had some effect as he was floored. Mother Nature had not counted on this. Her Black Squadron were being soundly defeated, and she knew what she had to do.
She pressed a small button on her bracelet, and soon, in the sky above, the huge form of Supremus appeared. As he appeared Mother Nature notice the car of Simon Harkes, the Prime Minister, speeding away.
    "Supremus!", ordered Mother Nature. "There is your target! Bring Harkes to me!"
    Supremus carried out his orders. He landed on the road, and Harkes' driver could do nothing but stop the car. He then picked it up as if it was a Dinky toy, pulled the driver out, and threw him to the ground. He was killed as soon as he hit the ground. He then pulled Harkes out of the car. Supremus did not notice that there had been another car behind Harkes'. It was a diplomatic car from the Voltanian embassy. It was carrying Prince T'Chuka. Instead of ordering his driver to carry on, the car stopped, and T'Chuka got out. He then began to transform himself. Fur began
to grow on his body. His face began to change. He started to look like a cat. Claws began to grown out of the back of his hands. His ears became pointed. Whiskers began to grown out of his face. The fur became stripped. Where once Prince T'Chuka stood, now stood the Tiger! The Tiger went onto the roof of the car, and leapt towards Supremus. His claws bared, he attacked the giant, clawing the arm and hand that was holding Harkes. This attacked would have felled any normal man, but Supremus was no normal man. He paid no attention to Tiger, and
began to walk away. Mother Nature saw him.
    "Supremus!", she shouted. "Bring Harkes to me!"
    Supremus just stared at her.
    "Supremus!", she shouted again. "I order you! Bring Harkes to me!"
    "No!", boomed Supremus. "Nobody gives orders to me!"
    "I give the orders to you!", shouted Mother Nature. "I created you! You will do my bidding!"
    Supremus pointed his finger at Mother Nature, and fired an energy blast at her, sending her flying. When he fellow Black Squadron members saw Supremus' attack on her, they broke off their attack on the super-heroes.
    "Supremus!", cried Theophilus. "You are a member of the Black Squadron. You are my creation!"
    "I am Supremus! I am ultimate power! No one stands in my way!"
He pointed his finger at Theophilus, and an energy blast sent him flying. After this attack, Trull, Celsius and Vampira ran towards Supremus. Trull went to attack his leg while Celsius fired a heat blast at his chest. Neither of these attacks had any effect. Then, the Grim Reaper walked over. He was carrying the fallen Mother Nature and Dr. Theophilus.
    "We can not win here.", he said. "We must retreat."
    "Never!", cried Celsius. "He is a traitor! He must pay!"
    But before Celsius could launch another attack, the mist appeared again, and the Black Squadron were gone, soundly defeated by their own creation. The others went to see what was going on. They stopped not far from the giant.
    "Fear me, mortals! I am Supremus! I have ultimate power! I am a god, and you all mean nothing to me! You will all be my slaves!"
    Supremus was still holding Harkes in one hand. He raised that hand in the air, and threw the Prime Minister across the sky.
    "Jet!", cried Chameleon.
    "On my way!", said Jet.
    But before Jet could even start, a massive gust of wind blew past Tiger and Mr. X. Just as Harkes was about to hit the ground, he was saved. A barely conscious Harkes found himself in the arms of another costumed man.
    "Where am I?", he asked. "Who are you?"
    "Captain James Watt at your service sir. But these days, I prefer to be called just 'Captain'!"
    Watt returned Harkes to the ground, and joined the others. Jet, Mr. X, Axe Kid, Star Man, Lightning Kid, Chameleon, Solo, Tiger and Watt stood in front of Supremus.
    "We must attack him at once.", said Watt. "Until reinforcements arrive!"
    "Why the hell should we listen to you?", shouted Jet. "We don't even know who you are!"
    "Just do as he says.", said Solo. "I've got a feeling about this!"
    Star Man and Lightning Kid aimed their blasts at Supremus' chest. Axe Kid's axe had no effect on him. Watt's mighty blows had no effect on him. Tiger ripped apart his costume. But all of these blows meant nothing to Supremus. Then, the reinforcements, or rather, one man, arrived.
    "Great!", cried Axe Kid. "First of all we get some bargain basement Superman, now his grandfather arrives!"
    Magus smiled, and gazed up at Supremus.
    "A combination of proto-plasm and cavourite.", he mused.
    "What do you suggest?", asked Solo.
    "I'm going to have a word with him. He has not been in existence long. Perhaps he doesn't know the full extent of his abilities."
    Jet and Star Man stepped forward but before they could assist Magus he had risen to eye level with Supremus.
    "Begone, mortal!", cried the neo-mutant.
    A blast of pure energy struck Magus, but the wizard was ready for it. He dissipated the blast.
    "You are not a god, Supremus.", smiled Magus. "And you are not the only immortal here!"
    "You are no match for me, old man!", cried Supremus.
Another blast shot through the air. Magus moved his cane once more, absorbing the blast into the cane. Thus it continued, Magus taking no action, avoiding the neo-mutant's attack, taunting him.
    "What is he doing?", asked Star Man. "Watt, if he's a wizard, why doesn't he just blast Supremus?"
    "I think I see what he's doing.", said Solo. "Supremus is expending power trying to kill Magus. He looks weaker."
    "And look at that cane!", added Chameleon. "It's surging with energy!"
    Then Magus pointed the cane at Supremus.
   
    “You fool!", he sneered. "Have you energy back!"
    A blast of cavourite energy struck Supremus, knocking him from his perch. Magus followed him     down. Supremus staggered to his feet and lunged at Magus, but the wizard gestured once more, knocking Supremus back. As the neo-mutant lay prone, Magus brought his gem-topped cane down on Supremus. Once more he stole the energy from the mutant. Then Watt entered the fray. Magus had reduced Supremus to a manageable state. Using all the strength he had gained in his cure Watt dealt Supremus a crushing blow. As the neo-mutant lapsed into unconsciousness Magus strapped a cavourite helmet onto his head.
    "It will keep him in an unconscious state."
    Solo stepped forward.
    "Where did you two come from?", he asked.
    "The Captain here from the last shipment of cavourite.", said Magus. "And as for I - well, it would take too long to explain!"
    "What do we do now?", asked Axe Kid. "Do we try to find the Black Squadron?"
    "There is no point, my boy.", said Magus. "They've retreated to lick their wounds. We won't be hearing from them for some time. I suggest that we first check on Mr. Harkes, and get someone to tidy up this place!"

    A week later, Simon Harkes called a meeting in his office. Present were Chief Inspector Jeavons, Home Secretary Sir Angus Campbell-Bannerman, Inspector Solo, Dr. Magus, James Watt, Mr. X, Prince T'Chuka and the rest of the super-heroes.
    "Gentlemen.", said Harkes. "After the recent success of this operation, I have had a lengthy deliberation with my cabinet. For once, we are in total agreement. It concerns 'Anglo-Force'."
    "Is it good news, sir?", asked Solo.
    "I'm putting a bill before parliament.", said Sir Angus. "A force of super-powered beings is needed in this country. A lot of things have happened over the last few years and I want to put a stop to them. I want to stop these things from happening again. I was just starting on my political career when the original Anglo-Force was disbanded, and I still believe that it was a grave mistake. Both Houses will vote on this, and Anglo-Force will soon, once again, be protecting this country."
    "But that process could take months.", said Mr. X.
    "That is something we'll have to live with.", said Harkes. "But until you receive government funding, I want you to remain active as a group. Anglo-Force will exist, unofficially, for a few months at least."
    "I may be able to provide funding until then.", said Magus. "I've got a few million lying around somewhere."
    Then, Jet stood up.
    "I'm afraid that I will be unable to join the group.", he said. "I've always been a loner, and prefer to work on my own. It's been good working with you all, but I'm afraid it's going to have to end here."
    Magus placed his hand on Jet's shoulder.
    "We each have our own destiny.", he said. "And yours lies on a different path. We will meet again, destiny decrees so."
    Jet shook Magus by the hand.
    "Thank you for my life.", he said.
    He then departed, via the window.
    "I, too, must go.", said Prince T'Chuka. "My visit to your country has been...most exhausting! And I also have a plane to catch!"
    "I understand, your highness.", said Harkes.
    "There is one more thing, sir.", said Solo. "What role do I now serve?"
    "For now, you will return to your normal duties.", said Sir Angus. "When the Anglo-Force bill goes through parliament, you will be promoted to the rank of Chief Inspector, and become the official liaison between Anglo-Force and the police force. I will try to push the bill through as fast as I can, but until then, I wish you all the best of luck. May the new Anglo-Force have a long and prosperous life!"
    And so Anglo-Force was reborn.....