by VT Comics and Chris Bunton
Drowning. He awoke drowning. Underwater in the middle of a dark frigid sea with no clue which way was up or where to find air. Drowning was not the right word, because he was very tough, and difficult to kill. But, he certainly would need some air rather quickly.
He opened his eyes and the salt slightly burned, so he knew he was in a salt water source. He assumed he had traveled again, since he remembered being in bed asleep, and was wearing his boxer shorts as proof. He blew bubbles and watched which direction they traveled. It was too dark but by a slight glow from in front of him, and his night vision, he could see the bubbles scattered everywhere. There was no up direction.
The glow drew closer, and closer. It was a dangly trinket of some sort. It mesmerized him. But, only for a few seconds. He snapped out of it and kicked to the left as a gaping maw full of razor teeth barely missed him. He kicked back and grabbed a hold of the beasts fin. The creature jerked and jerked but could not break the hold that Michael O’Toole had on him.
It finally gave up and swam toward a source. A feeling. Tool felt it also; something drawing all things to it. A glow, just like the translucent glow of the trinket on the fish appeared in the distance. The creature swam closer and closer to the source. The glow was mesmerizing, and emanated from what appeared to be a castle built around the inside wall of a massive floating bubble.
He awoke lying in his own bed. He was dry, so he knew the dream was not real, but it was real; just not physical in nature. He had traveled again. He thought he was getting better, and wasn’t having the seizures any more. But, apparently it was back, and worse than before.
He reached over to the night stand, and opened his pill bottle. He knew that he would have to go back to the doctor and get a higher dosage of meds. It was something he was dreading, but the attacks were often terrifying, and happened while he was awake, even driving.
He looked at the digital clock sitting on top of his old TV. It read 5 o’clock. He needed to get up and head to Richie’s Riverside Bar for work. He showered, dressed in jeans, steel toed work boots, and red a t-shirt. He didn’t really feel like eating before work. Beside’s he could have Julie make him something at work if he needed.
He walked through the small living room and out the front door of the shack into the front yard. He looked at his small beat up house.
“Man, I gotta do some painting.” He said to himself.
He hopped on his motorcycle and fired it. But, before he took off he looked down the hill at the Big Muddy River and his boat dock, where the River Jon was tied off.
“I need to do some work on that dock too. Better do it now while the river is low.” He thought.
Then, he roared out of the driveway and down the old paved back road to work.
He arrived at Richie’s and went inside. As soon as he walked through the door, Lacy approached him. She looked ticked.
“You have to tell David Wells to go home.” She said.
“Why?” Michael asked.
“He has been here drinking all day, and he grabbed my butt.” She said.
“Well, quit shaking it.” Michael said with a smirk.
“That’s not the point.” She said, with a return smirk and a punch in the arm.
“Ok.” He said. “We’ll send lover boy packing. But, in the future, could you at least wait till I get in the door?”
Michael walked over to the bar and handed Julie his helmet. She stuck it behind the bar, and asked Michael,
“Are you hungry?”
“Not just yet.” He said.
“Let me know.” She replied.
Michael walked across the tiled floor to the 6 pool tables in the corner area. David Wells was by himself playing pool, at the back corner table.
“I guess she told you about what I did?” David asked with a slur in his speech.
“She did” Michael answered.
“I’m sorry.” David said.
“I know, man. I know you’re having a rough time with Tracy leaving, but you can’t grab people.” Michael said.
“I couldn’t help myself.” David said, laughing and looking up at Lacy while she stocked bottles in a case to prepare for the night.
Michael turned and looked at her also.
“I know it’s hard. I have to fight it myself.” Michael said, laughing. “But, you gotta go. If you leave on your own, you can come back. But, if I have to carry you out. You’ll be barred.”
“Ok” David said, and put the pool stick back in the wall rack.
Michael followed the man out the front door and watched him get on his bicycle.
“You don’t have a car?” Michael asked.
“Tracy took it.” David said, looking at the ground in misery for quite a while. Then, he got on the bike and pedaled off.
Michael went back inside and out the backdoor to the huge beer garden, where he pulled the tarps off the octagon fighting ring. Monday night was fight night. It would be a full house, and a rowdy night.
Around 100 people stood in the beer garden of Richie’s Riverside Bar and cheered on the fighters in the octagon. Two skinny fighters grappled with each other on the ground trying to get the upper hand on the other. Finally the black haired fighter broke free and pummeled the red head, then got him into a lock and made him tap out.
The fight ended and two good looking women in swim suits walked around the octagon for no real reason other than to entertain. The announcer asked for volunteers to fight in the arena.
A very large man and his friend waved at the announcer. The announcer called them over to his table and talked with them.
“Do you want to fight?” The announcer asked.
“Yes”, said the smaller man. “We want to fight “The Tool”. We have heard he is very good, and would be a challenge to my friend called “The Russian.”
“Well, I cannot promise you that he will fight.” The announcer said. “He’s working and might not have been expecting this.”
The skinny Russian pulled a roll of bills out of his pocket and showed it to the announcer.
“He will fight.” The man said.
The announcer spoke into the microphone.
“Will Michael O’Toole make his way to the octagon please? There has been a challenge.”
The Russians walked down to the side of the octagon, and the big man removed his shirt. He climbed into the ring and waited for Michael.
Michael went to talk to the announcer.
“Whats up?” He asked.
“That big Russian freak wants to fight you, and his little buddy offered to pay you for the challenge.” The announcer said.
“How much?” Tool asked.
“They didn’t say, but it was a roll of bills.” The announcer replied.
Tool walked down to the ring and removed his shirt. He climbed into the ring and started stretching.
The crowd cheered, as the fighters began stretching and preparing.
“In the red shorts, straight from the frozen wastes of Siberia, we have “The Russian Bear”. The announcer said.
The crowd politely clapped.
“In the jeans, we have our home town favorite, with fists like hammers, Michael “The Tool” O’Toole.” The announcer said.
The crowd cheered for the local boy.
“Let’s get ready to rumble!” The announcer said the famous phrase and everyone cheered.
The Russian charged.
Tool was surprised by his speed and size. He barely managed to dodge a punch.
He rolled under it and punched the Russian in the ribs below the left arm.
The Russian leapt backwards and crouched in a stance, that told Tool, he was trained in Russian Sambo wrestling, and perhaps Spetsnaz Systema.
This was not your ordinary backwoods brawler.
The Russian moved again, with far more speed than should be possible. Tool met his rush with a punch to the side of the face, knocking him down.
The Russian was very surprised by Michael’s power.
He rose up and moved more cautiously toward Michael. Tool swung, and the Russian blocked it wrapping up Tool’s arm, in a lock and taking him to the mat where the Russian’s Sambo Wrestling would be most effective.
Tool moved like he already knew what was going to happen. He spun and put the Russian on the mat instead. Tool leapt away, and the Russian rose up and moved extremely fast across the octagon ring and hit Tool in the face, knocking him against the ropes.
The Russian was on him with lightning speed pounding on his face. Tool took it. He did not seem to be getting damaged at all, but the blows were massive, and Michael knew they were beyond normal punches from a normal person. This was beyond anything he had experienced.
He looked at the crowd, and they could not tell the special nature of the Russian, but Michael knew something was different.
Tool dropped down into a crouch and punched the Russian in the solar plexus sending him stumbling backwards. The Russian fell back and rolled into a crouch. He instantly launched himself back at Tool.
Tool simply applied physics in an Akido/Judo move. He grabbed the charging Russian, and moving in a circle used the Russians own momentum against him, and tossed him out of the ring and into the crowd.
The Russian crashed into chairs sending the spectators running to escape the massive crashing man. The Russian slid on the concrete floor, but recovered quickly and rose to a crouch. He started to move toward Tool. But, a loud sports whistle stopped him.
It was his handler; the small Russian. He stood there looking at his fallen warrior, but said nothing. The giant Russian went over and stood next to his boss.
The handler moved forward toward Michael in the ring, and extended his hand with a roll of bills in it.
“You are extremely skilled. It was a pleasure to watch the Tool, at work. Thank you for indulging us in this display of power.’ He said.
Michael moved forward to the ropes, and reached down to take the roll of bills.
“No problem. I enjoyed it. Maybe we can do it again sometime?” He said.
“I’m sure we will.” The Handler said.
“What’s your name?” Michael asked.
“I am Collar and he is Charger.” Collar said.
Then, he turned and walked through the crowd with Charger following.
Michael locked up the bar, at closing time.
“Night Lacy, drive safe.” He said to one of the girls.
“I will, you too!” She said back.
Michael climbed on to his motorcycle and fired it up. He pulled out of the gravel parking lot, and down the highway toward home. The cool air blew past him, as the woods filled with fog in the low areas. There is no traffic, on the late night road as he flies down the highway.
Ahead of him parked on the side of the road is a white van. There is a person standing outside of it.
He starts to brake and as he draws near, he can tell that it’s the huge Russian he fought in the bar.
He remembered his name was Charger. He’s wearing a uniform of some kind. Standing beside him is his partner Collar.
What is going on? Did they break down?
Michael slowed to a stop and put his foot down on the pavement.
“You guys ok?” He asked over the short distance between them.
“We are fine. But, you need to come with us.” Collar said, from the side of the road.
The words echoed in Michael’s mind, and it seemed more like a command that he should obey, rather than a friendly suggestion. There was power behind the command.
He put the kickstand down and got off the bike.
“What’s going on?” He asked again.
“You will surrender and get into the van.” Collar said from the side of the road again.
This time the suggestion was powerful in his mind and was forcing him to obey. He dropped to his knees and started to fight and resist the urge that was raking his mind. His endurance and toughness exploded, and he regained control of his mind. His body began to emit the aura of fear, as he stood and looked at Charger and Collar. They both took a step away, out of the range of his aura.
Collar spoke again. His voice booming in Michael’s head.
“Get into the van” Collar said.
Michael fought his mind and ran toward Charger.
“I told you words, wouldn’t work.” Charger said, as he unleashed a bolt of electrical energy at the storming Michael O’ Toole. Tool dodged as he ran, and the bolt flew past him. Charger was struck with a great sense of fear as Tool approached, but he resisted the urge to run.
Tool leapt through the air and grabbed Charger; pounding him with fists like iron. Charger could not get Tool off of him. They struggled and Charger dropped to his knees, beat down by the constant pounding from Tools right fist, while being held with his left hand.
Charger was terrified that he was going to die. The aura of fear emanating from Tool keeping him suppressed. But, it also caused him to release an electrical charge through his body, which knocked Tool unconscious.
Michael awoke underwater again.
Man he needed to get those meds fixed.
He looked around him and saw the castle in a bubble, glowing in the distance. He was right where he had left last time. He swam toward the glow, feeling drawn.
As he swam closer, he could tell that the castle was actually massive. Probably more like a city, with lights in the windows, and what looked like people moving around inside the bubble. But, they were not like regular people they were fishy in appearance. They walked on two feet but wore no clothes.
As he got closer he noticed that several of them saw him and pointed. They jumped up through the bubble into the water and swam toward him.
He could only describe them as looking like The Creature from the Black Lagoon, which was a movie he had seen once.
5 swam toward him. Their claws and teeth sharp. They grabbed him and tried to capture him, but he fought and his combat mind, helped him to know exactly what to do. He clubbed one with his fist knocking it out. He grabbed another one by its foot and used as a club to hit the others.
They fled back to the city.
He awoke in the back of the van. He was handcuffed, and the cuffs went through a loop on the floor of the van. The back of the van was stripped of everything.
Sitting before him was Charger and Collar.
“Welcome back” Collar said.
Tool looked at him.
“What do you want with me?”
“We are here to escort you back to Russia.” Charger said.
“I’ve never been to Russia.” Tool said.
Collar And Charger laughed.
“You were conceived in the last days of the old Soviet Union. Your mother was a Russian agent and she was impregnated with you. She was then sent to America to be a sleeper agent, and spread havoc on the country should the need arise.” Collar said.
“My mom was from New York, she moved to Southern Illinois, where she met my dad. I’m not Russian.” Tool said.
“You are only part Russian. The other part is DNA from a trans-dimensional being.” Collar said.
“What? That’s a load of crap. My dad was Irish, my mom was Polish” Tool said.
“That’s an awful combination” Charger said.
“Don’t you wonder why you have weird powers?” Collar asked.
“I just figured I was born with it. Lots of people are being born with strange things lately.” Tool said.
“Yes, that is by design and is in preparation for what is coming. There are many groups, nations, organizations, and dimensional beings, preparing for The Shift.” Collar said.
“The Shift? And what is this Trans-Dimensional being stuff? You mean like aliens?” Tool asked.
“You could call them aliens in a sense. They are often confused with aliens, and demons, and angels, or gods. They are beings just on the other side of the veil.” Collar said.
“I’m one of them?” Tool said.
“Only partly” Collar said.
“Enough talk. You are coming back to Russia and joining the agency.” Charger said.
“I’m not going anywhere’ Tool said.
He snapped his bonds and leapt at Charger, pounding him with his fists, and the force of the charge carried both men busting through the side of the van.
Tool rolled on the pavement and quickly ran, disappearing into the forest.
“If I can find the river, it will help lead me out.” He thought.
His mind rolled and rolled, trying to make sense of what he was just told by the Russians. There were parts of it that made sense. Parts that answered so many questions about his life, and maybe the weird abilities he had, and even the medical condition he had been battling.
“I have got to figure out what in the world I am, and what I need to do about it. Obviously, I have people coming after me, and who knows what else will happen.” He thought.
The leaves crunched under his boots, as he walked through the woods. It was dark but he could see. He never really thought about the fact that he could see in the dark. It wasn’t perfect. But, he wasn’t blind.
As he walked he continued to think about some of the things he could do. He was obviously very strong, and had to suppress it or he would hurt someone. He knew how to fight and survive despite the fact that he never really took any classes or training. He never really got tired. His fists and hands were like hardened steel. He was tough, beyond what he knew. He was never really afraid. But, he could make others afraid of him or be encouraged by him, simply by willing it. Sometimes it happened without his effort though.
The sun was rising as the woods began to lighten a little. He found the river, and followed it.
It won’t be long till he is home.
He didn’t know what to think about what he had been told. But, it did answer a lot of questions, while raising a whole bunch of new ones.
Bio: Chris Bunton is a Writer, Poet and Blogger from Southern Illinois. He has published many times with The Yard: Crime Blog.
Violent Tendency (VT) Comics is a subsidiary of The Yard: Crime Blog