By VT Comics and Chris Bunton
( Sakarabru #1 can be found HERE)
“Yes, I’d like to speak to Director Hanson please,”
Lance Wellington, CEO of James Corp. stood behind his desk holding a land line phone. He was dressed in a suit, as he almost always was.
He covered the mouth piece on the phone and spoke to Jim Munchin, Head of Security for James Corp. who sat in a chair in Lance’s office in D.C.
The window behind Lance filled the entire wall. It showed the monuments of D.C., the city James Corp. secretly owned. They owned many cities around the world; If not literally, then in reality.
“We were in fraternity together at Yale.” Lance continued in a low tone. “He is in the know, and will help. This is the third time we have had records stolen, and there are very sensitive matters discussed in those logs. Global matters. We have to get them back, or something.”
“Yes sir, we believe the criminal has special powers, and we have recruited a mercenary with powers to track and capture him. We had the Merc ready and waiting. He is part of The Stonewall Group. The operation is moving forward as we speak.” Munchin said.
Lance nodded, still listening to the phone. But, speaking to Munchin.
“What’s this guy do? What’s his name?” Lance asked.
“He’s called ‘The Hound’. He apparently has the power to track and ID people by their aura or soul trail, or something. Then, he captures them and delivers them. He is very effective and comes highly recommended. But, things could be messy which is why we need the cover story.” Munchin explained.
“Ha! ‘The Hound’. These super people always come up with the best names. It kills me.” Lance said.
He spoke back into the phone.
“Hey Ted, this is Lance, how are you?”
Lance nodded his head, as he listened.
“How’s the family? Billy is in college baseball, I see.”
He nodded again.
“Well, I like to keep in the know. You know?” Lance said with a chuckle.
“Well, I called because I want to let you know that our Corporation has been robbed several times, of some highly sensitive documents, and our investigation has linked it to a possible terrorist or extremist group.” Lance said.
“Well, we would really like to keep this under wraps. That’s why I’m calling you. We need the FBI involved, and perhaps Homeland, but we don’t want anyone toooo involved if you get my meaning.”
“I know, I know. Of course not, we are just being proactive, and trying to make sure things stay contained. It’s the office in Nashville, Tennessee and we actually believe the group might have ties to the people who detonated a bomb recently near our office.”
Lanced nodded and rolled his eyes.
“Yeah, I know what the official story is, but you and I know its hogwash. Anyway, we plan to talk to the people in order to obtain the sensitive documents and we want your people nearby in case things go south.”
“I will send you the info. Thanks Ted.” Lance said, and hung up the phone.
He looked at Munchin.
“The FBI will have a team ready to respond if needed, and we can use them as part of our cover up should that be necessary. Hopefully your guy can solve this without too much of a dust up.”
“He is supposed to be very discrete,” Munchin said. “Do you really believe these thieves were involved in the bombing down there?”
“Of course not. That was a different department and a different project. But, I’m always amazed by how things seem to work together. It’s almost like there’s some hidden force helping us to build the empire.” Lance said.
“Empire?” Munchin asked, surprised.
“Yes, what would you call it? James Corp has been around for a very long time, and we are building our global connections for business. But in the process, the world is being transformed by us, and heading into the future. I’m not sure what else to call it. It’s a global empire.” Lance said.
“Empire just seems militaristic and implies a loss of freedoms and an Emperor.” Munchin replied.
“Well yes, I’m sure as the world grows closer and more entangled and things change there might be some loss of freedoms, but there will be a lot to gain as well. As far as an Emperor goes, there isn’t one as of yet, but I’m sure that when he appears, the human race will love him and choose him above all others.” Lance said.
Munchin furled his brow.
“That would need to be some kind of wonderful leader; no one has ever got everybody to like him.” Munchin said with a chuckle.
“Oh he will be,” Lance said. “Tell me more about this Hound guy.”
Munchin opened a folder.
“He was a CIA operative during the War on Terror. He volunteered for a program that would help him to be more efficient at his work. The program used various techniques, and processes to tap into the latent powers of the human mind. This process when used on him brought out the ability to see auras, or souls, and to track them. He was also part of a weapons project that made him into a cyborg. He now works as a contractor for the government and is a part of The Stonewall Group.”
“He’s the Terminator!! I love it!”
Munchin smiled and nodded.
“What is Stonewall?”
“It’s a mercenary team of specialists that was created by a man named David Stonewall. We have the whole team on retainer, but sometimes we only need the individuals.”
“Yes, sir.” Munchin said. “He was a CIA operative during the Vietnam war.”
“Vietnam! That guy must be a fossil.” Lance said, with a laugh.
“Not exactly sir. He has powers as well. He was cursed by an elder, in Vietnam after he led a team to burn their village. This curse caused him to become like his heart “Cold as Stone”. Not sure of the particulars, but it matches his name oddly enough.” Manchin explained.
“Crazy. Everybody has powers it seems. I wonder where I can get me some a doze powers.” Lance said with a laugh.
“I’ve heard that it’s not always all it’s cracked up to be. Sometimes, the power demands a trade.” Manchin said.
“Let me know how things go with this project. It is most important.” Lance said
Munchin took his cue, and rose to leave the office.
“I will, sir. Have a great day.” He closed the door behind him.
Darrell Robinson quickly packed his bags in his room at the Union Station Hotel in Nashville Tennessee.
He took the stairs down from the second floor and out to his van, which was parked in a lot between the hotel and the Frist Art Museum.
He opened the side sliding door and placed his suitcase inside.
“If you turn over the information you stole last night, you might survive.” A voice from behind him said.
A man stood in front of him dressed in a business suit. He looked like the picture of a secret agent. Except that his right eye was a sort of black computerized monocle piece that wrapped around the side of his face from his ear and the back of his head. It was obviously some sort of implant.
“I have no idea what you are talking about” Darrell said.
“Please do not lie. I have tracked your soul trail, and can tell by your aura that you are him.”
“What are you talking about?” Darrell asked.
“You broke into the James Corp building last night and stole files. I am called Hound. I have been sent by James Corp. to retrieve those files, and administer whatever justice I feel is needed.” Hound answered.
“Justice? What do you people know about Justice? James Corp. is one of many heads of a beast that has existed for millennia. It oppresses people and has committed great atrocities.” Darrell explained.
“That’s not my concern.” Hound said.
“It will be when their plans are finished.” Darrell said.
“Are you going to peacefully comply or will I need to use force?” Hound said.
Darrell watched as Hound raised his right hand. It was metallic, and electric arcs played between his fingers like a stun gun.
“Well you’re gonna need to bring something better than that” Darrell said.
Hound pointed at Darrell and electric bolts shot out of Hounds hand. Darrell dove to the left and rolled. As he came up he pulled a metal stick from his pocket, which telescoped into a staff. He noticed that the electric bolt hit the van, but caused no damage. It was a stun bolt of some kind.
Hound focused on Darrell’s aura and could detect a split.
“Sir, did you know that you have another being living within your body?” Hound asked.
“Yeah! Would you like to say hello?” Darrell asked, as he charged toward Hound.
Darrell moved at blinding speed and was on Hound in a flash, bringing the staff down in a strike which Hound blocked with his metallic right arm. Then, with the same arm he quickly shoved Darrell in the chest sending him flying backwards to land on his back.
Then, Hound discharged another stun bolt at Darrell. Darrell rolled as stun bolts struck the parking lot pavement just inches behind him.
He rolled to his feet.
“Ok, play time is over.” Darrell said
He charged Hound and struck with the staff in a slashing fashion. He struck Hound, once, twice, three times, then turned and walked away peacefully.
Hound instantly became sick. He started vomiting, and dropped to his knees with his head spinning, and his muscles becoming useless. He tried to take aim at Darrell’s back, as he walked toward his van, but he could not focus.
Darrell retracted the staff into a 3 inch tube and stuck it in the pocket of his track suit, as he opened the driver’s side door of the van and hopped inside. He started the van and looked at Hound before putting it in reverse, and backing out.
Hound’s vision was going black he had never been so sick and so fast. The cybernetic system integrated into his body immediately went into defense mode. An auto-injector injected a chemical into his system that the built in computer felt would best help him to overcome the illness. The system also sent out a distress call to headquarters, letting his team at the Stonewall Group know he was in trouble. He heard Angela, the Stonewall dispatcher answer, just before he passed out.
Several people witnessed the battle, and quickly ran over to Hound. A man approached him and reached out to touch him.
“Hey man, are you ok?” the man said as he touched Hound.
The second his hand touched Hound, the man was struck with a stun bolt and a blast wave went out several yards that also stunned the people who came with him. They all fell to the ground unconscious.
Hound awoke, and stood up. The chemicals in the injector had worked to bring him around. He was not sure of any long term effects, but he was currently functional.
“Hound, are you alright?” Angela spoke into his built in ear piece.
“Yes, I’m fine. I’m going to retrieve some info. then head to the extraction point.” Hound said to the implanted ear piece.
“Ok, a car will be waiting.” Angela said.
Hound entered the Hotel and went to the service desk.
“Hello, can I help you?” The lady behind the desk asked, shocked by his face.
Hound ignored her, as he went behind the counter.
“Sir, you can’t be back here.” She said.
Hound placed his right hand on the computer and through his touch; the computer started downloading information into Hound’s internal files; Names, dates, rooms, credit card numbers, addresses, phone numbers, and everything of value. It took only a minute.
After he had gotten the information, he walked out from behind the counter and headed toward the door. A security guard ran up to him and grabbed him to get him to stop, but Hound simply swatted the man away, and continued out the door.
Darrell drove the van down Interstate 24 from Nashville to Chattanooga.
James Corp. was after him now, and might have figured out who he is. It’s possible they know Darrell Robinson, and they might even know that he is Sakarabru, or Saka for short.
Not that they would know the name. But, they would know that he is the super-powered person who has been robbing them.
Darrell picked up his cell phone, and located a friend’s number. He pressed the call button and held the cell to his ear waiting for an answer.
“Hey, what’s up” a voice said.
“I’m going to need some help with some paper work.” Darrell said.
He needed to get new documents so James Corp could not find him so easily.
“We can get what you need.” The voice said.
“Ok, I’m outside Chattanooga. Do you need me to come to Atlanta?” Darrell asked.
“No, we can get it to you.” The voice said.
“A full work up” Darrell said.
“Ok, we will get a hold of you.”
“Thanks for doing such fast work.” Darrell said.
“We aims to please.” The voice replied.
Darrell hung up. They never use names on the phone. But, Carl Watkins was an ace. A former military intelligence man and hacker, who flew drones in the war. He had gone freelance doing private eye work, making illegal documents, and hacking computers on the side. If it was tech or intelligence he was on top of it. Friends from several activist groups had recommended him.
The Black Escalade pulled over to a rest area on Interstate 24, outside Chattanooga. The sky was darkening. Hound stepped out of the passenger side and looked up at the Black Hawk helicopter approaching. He had changed from his business suit to black fatigues, black ball cap, and combat boots.
The chopper lowered into a field behind the rest area, and Hound ran out to it and boarded. The craft quickly rose and continued south, through the Tennessee Mountains, down into Georgia.
“Cannon Ball, what’s the word?” Hound yelled over the sound of the chopper to a large man sitting next to him by the opposite door.
“We have a tracker on him, showing he’s headed down the interstate toward Atlanta. He just went through Chattanooga.” Cannon Ball said.
“What’s the plan?” Hound asked.
“Well, headquarters said that we are going to capture him, or take him out. I personally do not plan on capturing him. He is not a threat if he’s dead. Beside’s you tried to capture him. It didn’t work.” Cannon Ball said.
“Ok, I’ll back you, but my goal is to capture him.” Hound said.
“We will see what happens.” Cannon Ball said.
The Black Hawk flew nap of the Earth through the hills, to pop up along the interstate, above Darrell’s van.
“We are above the target.” The pilot said into the head set radio.
Cannon Ball opened the door of the chopper and looked out.
“There he is.”
He grabbed a repelling rope and attached it to the Chopper floor with a snap link.
“What are you doing?” Hound asked.
“I’m taking him out.” Cannon Ball said with a smile.
He clicked the snap link to a Swiss seat he wore and jumped out of the chopper door. He swung down like Tarzan on a vine, and plowed into the side of Darrell’s van.
His body devastated the side of the van and sent it flipping over and over, down the side of the mountain, and came to a stop against a massive boulder.
Cannon Ball unsnapped the rope and fell at a perfect trajectory hitting the van and causing even more damage to the already destroyed vehicle.
Cannon Ball stood on the hood of the vehicle with his feet firmly planted. He took a deep breath and said.
The molecules of his body exploded, in a blast of power devastating Darrell’s van, like an artillery strike.
Darrell had heard the chopper approaching. The entity that lived within him gave him a warning that something was not right.
The next thing he knew, a massive force struck the side of the van and sent it flipping side over side down into a ravine to smash against a rock.
He was buckled in but had sustained a head injury of some kind and maybe a broken arm. He could feel it, and he could feel the Sakarabru entity inside of him starting to initiate healing and warning him that he needed to get out of the van and get moving.
He really did not need too much coaxing. He unsnapped the seat belt and fell against the door. He grabbed his satchel with his good arm. Then, he began to squeeze through the shattered driver’s side window falling several feet to the ground.
Just as he reached the ground he heard a sound that resembled an artillery shell falling. He quickly crawled behind the massive rock the van was leaning against for cover.
A crash came from the van. He peeked out from behind the rock and saw a bulky man standing on the hood. Then, the man said,
And the man turned to energy and exploded.
The blast threw Darrell several feet away, even though he was protected by the rock from the main force of the explosion.
“Cannon Ball do you read me?” Hound said into his head phone mike.
“Yeah, I’m here.” Cannon Ball said.
“Did you neutralize the target?” Hound asked.
Cannon Ball, having reformed, stood in what amounted to a crater with pieces of the van scattered everywhere.
“Negative. The vehicle and everything in it is destroyed but there is no sign of the target.” He said.
“You’re saying, He escaped?” Hound asked, as the Black Hawk swooped over the crater where Cannon Ball stood.
“Yeah, he’s not here.” Cannon Ball said, in a way that showed he was not enjoying having to say it.
“Ok, I guess it’s time for me to go back to work. I’m coming down.” Hound said.
He hooked up to the fast rope rappel system and jumped out of the chopper as it hovered above the crater site. He slid quickly down the silk like rope, and landed near Cannon Ball.
“We are going to have to answer for this buddy.” He said as he walked past Cannon Ball.
“Things happen man” He said.
Hound looked around and saw a glowing path on the ground moving forward.
“I got him. Come on.” Hound said, as he started running along the path that Darrell’s soul had left, tracking him. His cybernetic eye implant switched to night vision mode, as he ran.
“Right behind you.” Cannon Ball said, as he turned on his night vision goggles.
Lance Wellington sat at his desk in James Corps, New York City facility. He was looking at some papers, when a portal opened in the wall of his 99th floor office.
The portal swirled like a pool of water on the wall, and Lance watched waiting to see what would come through.
He was only mildly afraid. He had seen these portals several times, and knew what to expect.
Through the trans-dimensional opening stepped a man. A perfect specimen of a human in every way. The being was tall, and well built. He wore a white robe. He was what might be called an Angel. Or a god, or a dimensional being for those with no religion. Regardless of what he was called, he radiated power and evil.
“You know me?” The being spoke, in a tone that was almost musical, like water running over a stream.
“I know what you are, but not who you are.” Lance said.
“You really know nothing. I have been sent by the Prince of the Air and the Prince of the Waters to see how you are progressing on the Plan?” The Being said, as he walked around the office casually looking out the giant floor to ceiling windows on the city below.
“Everything is moving along well, can I get you something?” Lance said. He attempted to use his command ability to influence the being into accepting something, in order to change the dynamic of the encounter.
“Your pathetic powers will not work on me, for I am a Prince. I am THE Prince of this city. I rule here. I have been sent to warn you that we know of the failures you’ve experienced of late, and we are not pleased. The New World comes, and the time for our descent into this realm draws near. The war also looms large before us. We do not want to see failures this late in the game.” The Being ran his fingers over the glass, and several birds flew into the panes, breaking their necks, and falling away. All the while the Being still had never looked at Lance.
“We have a team hunting for the spy as we speak.” Lance said.
“That is not your only failure. You must move quicker to connect the various sectors, so that things are prepared for the day all is revealed and the switch is flipped. When the dominoes begin to fall you must have everything ready or utter chaos will ensue, and last longer than we desire. Controlled chaos is the key. Chaos for the peons below, and control for us…and you of course.” The being said the last part with a smile that caused Lance to doubt his sincerity.
The Being laughed and walked toward the Portal.
“I am not sincere. I am all you fear.”
The Being said as He walked through the portal, and the portal closed.
Lance could detect a slight smell of sulfur lingering in the air. He always thought it might be an element of the portal. Perhaps something that makes it operate. He had scientists and wizards, secretly working on it. He was not sure how much these beings actually knew or how much they could do. But, he wanted to be prepared in case things went sideways.
All he knew was what He had been told by other Corporate CEO’s and Government Officials. These beings were ancient. They claim to be our gods, and our creators. They claim to have guided our history, and empowered our rulers. They claim to give us inspiration that drives the world. They claim to be setting up a paradise on Earth and that they will come to dwell with us. They also speak of an enemy, and a war. They seem to be ruthless, and that the end justifies the means. They seem to have power beyond what humans can match, and they control everything it seems.
Lance only knows that he has become very rich, and very powerful. He has everything he wants, and he is willing to serve these masters, to keep it.
Darrell entered a field in a valley. The moon shining down as sweat cooled his skin. Far off in the distance he saw a freight train moving along some tracks through the mountains. That’s his chance. He ran full tilt toward the train; his powerful legs pushing him faster than a normal human.
The sound of a chopper behind him, made him stop.
He turned as the Stonewall group’s Blackhawk swooped down into the valley behind him. At the same time the Cybernetic guy he had fought in Nashville and the giant man who had destroyed his van emerged from the forest and was running toward him.
Hound entered the valley as the group’s chopper swooped down over head. His cybernetic eye could see the target running across the field toward the freight train in the distance.
He tapped the ear piece in his ear, and spoke.
“I have acquired the target. I am engaging.”
He began running after Darrell. As he ran he raised his right cybernetic arm and fire three blasts which arced over like energy grenades and exploded in front of Darrell, knocking him back.
Darrell hit the ground and rolled out of it. He came up in a stance, just in time to dodge two stun bolts fired from Hound’s arm.
Cannonball running beside Hound, launched himself into the air and plowed into Darrell knocking him back. Darrell rolled out of it again, and came up in a stance throwing two ceramic discs at Cannonball. The discs, charged with one of Sakarabru’s viruses struck Cannonball in the chest, exploding into ceramic shards. Instantly Cannonball dropped to his knees, overcome with dizziness, vomiting and muscle spasms.
Darrell pulled his telescoping staff from his pocket and extended it. He charged Hound, as the Blackhawk hovering above hit him with a spotlight.
Hound raised his Cyber-arm as Darrell approached and fired a yellow stun bolt, which Darrell dodged.
Darrell launched himself through the air and landed in front of Hound swinging his staff at Hound’s head.
Hound blocked it with his arm, and kicked Darrell in the chest, sending him flying backwards to roll, and come up in a stance throwing a virus charged disc.
The disc hit Hound in the chest. But, Hound’s Cybernetic defense systems auto-injector injects him with a remedy prepared from their last encounter.
“I’m immune to your virus. You need to surrender and we can fix this.”
“Fix centuries of oppression? If you are immune to the virus, then Saka has no choice but to remove you.” Darrell said.
At that instant, a giant entity of shadow manifested from Darrell’s upper body. It was totally dark, and smoky in form. No light from the spotlight penetrated it. It had a body much like a snake, but it ended in a massive head, with a gaping maw of a mouth.
“What is that?” the chopper pilot said into the radio.
The entity’s head shot forward, in an instant with its mouth open to devour Hound in one bite.
But, Hound’s cybernetic enhanced reflexes and senses allowed him a split second chance to dive out of the way dodging the attack.
The entity tilted it’s maw up toward the Blackhawk and shot toward it. The jaw unhinging as it moved, adjusting itself to totally swallow the entire chopper with one gulp.
Hound recovered from the dodge and fired a stun bolt hitting Darrell, knocking him on his back.
The entity disappears, and Darrell rolls over and starts to run as Saka heals and energizes him.
Hound fires a bola-cord from a narrow tube under his right metal arm. It flies out and wraps around Darrell’s legs tripping him up and bringing him down.
Hound leaps forward and blasts Darrell with another stun bolt, knocking him out.
He then pulls out a pair of handcuffs, from his belt and cuffs Darrell’s hands behind his back.
He looks up at the chopper and speaks through his communication system.
“Notify headquarters that the target has been captured. Land so we can load him and get the medic ready to treat Cannonball for an unknown illness causing vomiting as a symptom.”
“Yes, sir.” The pilot answered.
The Blackhawk lowered into the field, landing as Hound watched.
Hound spoke again into his communication system.
“Yes, sir?” He said.
“Secure the target quickly. We have another mission for you.” The voice said
“Yes, sir. This current target had abilities we have not seen before. A research team might be needed.” Hound said.
“Copy that.” The voice answered.
Chris Bunton is a Writer, Poet and Blogger from Southern Illinois.
Art Work By: Justin “Holmes” Holman: Writer, Illustrator, and Inker