NORMAN (Narrator): Cap was not kidding when he said we’d have to earn every inch. At times we’d need to fall back and regroup to keep from getting spread out too thin, or from getting flanked. We pushed our way into the main building and met stiff resistance all throughout, the regulars fighting with unusual ferocity and order. As a consequence, it was evident that their lines were not going to break and run, they were fighting until defeated like zealots.
We had reached within sighting distance of our Objective, but he still remained behind closed doors shrouded in impenetrable darkness. The outer guard fell upon us with surprising speed and power, and we fell back from their initial assault, and methodically fought back to regain our ground. When the last of the outer guard had fallen, a strange quiet reverberated throughout the chamber.
BRIMSTONE: (panting) Well, that was worth getting up this morning.
WRATH: Now all that stands between us and our objective is this door—
BLAZE: Don’t touch the door!
WRATH: Oh, our quiet soldier has a tongue. Well, thanks for NOTHING for your help, sister, you’ve got a lot of nerve barking orders now that the smoke is cleared.
BLAZE: Don’t…. touch…. the…. door….!
WRATH: We’ve come this far without your help, miss high and mighty, I think we can handle the rest, thank you very much—
(SFX: Doorknob being opened)
BLAZE: I warned you—
CAP: Soldier, stand down—
WRATH: See? Nothing hap—
(SFX: Enormous explosion and fire burning)
NORMAN (Narrator): There was a searing blast of black fire that filled the entire outer room. We were all knocked over, with perhaps the exception of Blaze. When we got to our feet, the outer chamber was filled with acrid smoke and the smell of sulfur. Wrath was suspended in the air by a giant maw of a hand that gripped his entire midsection and held him high above the ground. Towering above us all in this chamber was a massive Dark Being with tightly curled flowing beard, easily three times taller than even Brimstone. It flexed fiery bat-like wings and shook Righteous Wrath like he was a Mundane’s rag doll.
DAHAKA: Look what I found here, knocking at my door.
BLAZE: (quickly aside) The rest of you, stand down, you’re out of your league, here. Put him down, Dahaka.
DAHAKA: Tasasha! How long has it been? Ages I’m thinking.
BLAZE: Azhi Dahaka. Still dressing up like a Persian deity, eh, Dahaka?
DAHAKA: I am a god!
BLAZE: Those you’ve deceived are long dead, Dahaka. You’ve been forgotten into the sands of time—
DAHAKA: NO! I AM GREAT!
BLAZE: You’re a has-been that no one remembers. Now put the soldier down.
DAHAKA: Give me one good reason why I should.
BLAZE: If you don’t put him down, how are you going to get even with me for the thrashing I gave you back then?
DAHAKA You did no such thing. It was your commander, Michael the Hated that defeated me!
BLAZE: I was there, and I took part in your downfall, Dahaka. Now, are you going to put him down and fight me, or do I get to tell the others about your humiliation?
NORMAN (Narrator): The being described as Dahaka tossed Wrath with an unbridled fury fully at Blaze, and let out a roar that split our ears.
(SFX: Enormous roar of fury)
BLAZE: Quick! Take Wrath and get out of here!
CAP: We’re not leaving without the Objective!
BLAZE: This was a trap from the start and the Objective used as bait, now go!
CAP: You’ve got your orders and I’ve got mine! We are not leaving without the Objective!
NORMAN (Narrator): Cap and Blaze may have argued with each other indefinitely were it not for the giant arch-demon who charged at Blaze with intent to kill, the Objective forgotten. Blaze took the charge full on and was nearly lost in the grip of his talons when the smokey room burst into a bright array of blinding light, followed closely by the loud howl of pain from Dahaka.
Bursting from where Blaze used to be now stood a gigantic being of Light two sizes taller and wider than Brimstone. While it had a whispy translucence to it, it was still opaque and solid, almost as if of solid granite rock. Indeed, it was uneven in its surface although smooth, as if made from rock, with powerful short legs and a wide spread footing; the massive arms were thick ending in even wider claws, radiating a golden glow at the center of each. The head was smallish in comparison, nestled between massive shoulders that rose along each side in protection. It was a creature designed to take punishment, and give out a healthy amount itself.
The one Blaze called Dahaka leapt upon this new creature and at first attempted to rend it with its mighty claws, and failing that, took to battering with powerful fists. The new incarnation of Blaze at first rocked to the battering, but successfully reached out and tore one of the wings of the giant which sent it into a new fit of howling.
Cap lost no time in penetrating into the room beyond and emerged with the Objective, and we completed our mission of extraction while the two titans battled it out with each other.
It wasn’t until three weeks later that Blaze reported fit for duty. It was our understanding she spent considerable time in Recoup & Rehab after covering for our exit. During that time, in any of his spare moments Wrath was adamant about finding her, to the point of obsessive distraction. It was finally deemed prudent to allow him to gain access to her during her recovery time.
WRATH: I, uh, understand that you went to the mat for me with that big bruiser. In quite a spectacular way, too, I'm told.
BLAZE: I’m not at liberty to talk about it.
WRATH: You did that even after I told you I’d leave you behind, because you weren’t one of ours.
BLAZE: I knew it was only a bluff. You don’t have it in you to leave anyone behind.
WRATH: Can I ask a question?
BLAZE: You can ask.
WRATH: Were you really under High Commander Michael back in Persia’s heyday?
BLAZE: If I were, I wouldn’t be at liberty—
WRATH: --to talk about it, yeah, yeah. There’s a lot you’re not at liberty to talk about, isn’t there? Doesn’t that make you just a little bit-- lonely? (pause) Still. Yo. Thanks for bailing me out.
BLAZE: You would have done the same.
WRATH: How can you know that?
BLAZE: Let’s just leave it at “I’m not at liberty to say.”
WRATH: (laughs) We’ll look for you when you report for duty. YoBlaze.