Mace's Gilded Forge

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Chapter 13

Pup opened his eyes. He was recovering on a hospital bed.

'Where am I?' he exclaimed.

The sudden appearance of Madam Petrovic struck fear into him

'Mr. Fitzy, I want you to know what will happen in the next several hours,' she said.

It was like he was in a nightmare. He couldn't speak no matter how hard he tried.

"I have taken control of your brain, Mr. Fitz. And you will certainly entertain the entire world with a most profound speech today at 3 o'clock, the same hour of Christ's death. And you will say a random sentence highlighting a crypted event taking place at the same time. For that hour I will explode a chain of bombs underneath Washington DC. And you will just have inscribed the shrine of our times with your puzzling words that oddly line up with events taking place hundreds of miles away. You'll be in Phoenix while Virginia will have just experienced an earth shattering quake. No one will know it was bombs, but conspiracy theorists will be able to somehow explore the options with your red herring. Does that make sense, my chunky little freak?"

Sweat poured from his head as his brain was tortured with a terrifying headache.

"Then, I'll make sure you stroke out under the terrible hot sun in Arizona as you give the speech of a lifetime. Now, doesn't that sound fun?"

His head pounded more. He stared at her in agony. She chuckled as she lit a cigarette. In a black dress with a violet coat and black heels, she left the room as a trail of smoke followed.

Suddenly, in one blood curdling scream, Pup cried out in sheer pain and delirium.

Without looking back, Davia laughed so hard she had to hunch over, nearly collapsing in the hallway.

She took an elevator to the surface. Air Force jets were coming in and out of the hangar. One of the tall men was waiting for her. It was an exact clone of the one on the carriage and the one on the plane. And there was another waiting for her, dressed in the same suit, at the top of the stairs to her private jetliner. But the one escorting her from the elevator to the plane was smiling and listening to her intently.

'I want you to see that our boy Fitzy is heavily drugged. The program always works better when the hosts are sedated. It frees the mind. Understood my dear child?'

Still smiling, the tall man leaned down and spoke in a dark demonic voice, 'yes, Madam Petrovic.'

'Oh, you're just so cute, my dear. Give Mommy a hug.'

And the beast hugged her. She motherly embraced him and started her way up the stairs.

Sully met her in the dining area.

''It's all settled, love," she said.

'Then, we must celebrate. A toast to your well made plans,' said Sully.
He poured champagne and handed her a glass.

And they warmly shared a toast. Together they dined on delectable select dishes by the chef. Sully had crab and steak, while Miss Petrovic had stuffed mushrooms and Tuscany chicken.

Meanwhile, it being 12:30 AM, Wildcat's team was storming Davia's chateau in the French Alps.

Priest sliced through another tall man with his lightning sword. As the tall man screeched in pain, Priest shoved a chrome plated smg into its face. One burst fire was enough to turn the tall man into ash. Of course, one had to wear facial covering to avoid inhaling the toxic fumes of the demon form. The biomolecular sulfur damaged lung tissues and mucosa. The dead demon released an enormous cloud of concentrated H2S, or hydrogen sulfide. In order to prevent exposure, a full facial mask with a filter was required to protect combatants. Filtrating the air was a delicate process that required technologies not available to the general military. But Captain Wildcat's team had them. These facial masks also protected against explosive debris and various types of projectiles, including variants of armor piercing rounds. Therefore, every mask covered the front and back of the head in an airtight seal: each equipped with micro rebreathers powered by self recharging lithium battery systems. Thomas and Nikola would be amazed more than likely.

And each mask was custom made, bearing various inscriptions and decorations. Priest had the Marian Cross deeply etched on every side of his copper tone mask. It reminded some of his teammates of C-3PO in Star Wars.

77 and Juice were working back-to-back. Blasting soldiers and demons, they rounded corner after corner in a blaze of glory. They downloaded all the necessary intel and destroyed all the servers via Semtex explosives.

The Marshall was doing his share as well. And when it all was done, he met his adversary on the ramparts.

Snow fell in the high winds. The whistling sound of ominous death spread itself through the air. And the chill of the grave hung above them in the dark sky.

It was the one The Marshall had been waiting for.

Made of blackened steel and eyes red as fire blood, the enemy of enemies stood before him.

'Marshall,' the soldier's voice cried. 'Old brother…let us settle our debts.'

And from behind his back this soldier drew a black blade.

And the Marshall threw his gun and his bow and all his arrows off the ramparts. And he drew slowly the pale blade from behind his back.

'It has been over a millennium, brother,' said the enigmatic soldier.

'You fucking dog. You betrayed the clans and all the tribes. What was it then: Greek fire? And now, innocent people, our precious children?!' The Marshall squeezed the pale blade.

'Old Angus Enid MacLeish, still fighting for the peasants. You always favored Camelot even after she dissolved like the hope within the Knights' hearts! You couldn't let her go! Tell me brother: do you still believe in Valhalla and Avalon, God and fables? Or have you finally come to realize what the truth is?'
'You betrayed the Truth! You wear the armor of the Black Knights and piss upon their sacred graves!'

The Marshall watched as his nemesis flaunted his armor and the glowing yellow amulet atop his chest.

'I made this from each of their blades! I reforged it into Blade Armor! I bear the Fifth Amulet! I am The Death Jeweler, now, you pathetic sonofabitch!'

'Once you were a MacLeish like me. But you betrayed the clans to serve the High Lords! Now, you will die, old brother! You shall die like the Judas you truly are!'

'Not even Christ raised a blade against the traitor. Still you have never learned vengeance was never yours! You should have sought out thine enemy and made peace, lest he kill you when you meet him! This is your last sortie!'

And with that, the battle commenced. And they were locked in combat so intense that lightning cracked between every strike of their blades.

The helicopter had arrived.

'Captain, the whole place is rigged to blow!' one of Wildcat's commandos shouted above the thunderous roar of the engines.

The captain waved them aboard, 77 and Juice following close behind.

"The Marshall, Priest: where are they?" asked Wildcat.

"I don't know! Circle around the rooftop—-see if they're up there!" yelled 77.

The helicopter rose into the air. Wildcat saw Marshall, signaling the pilot to steer closer.

'Who the hell is that?' asked 77.

Wildcat knew.

And The Death Jeweler was slicing The Marshall to bits. The Blade Armor was too strong. The Marshall fell to his knees as the pale blade was forced from his grip. And the sword flew over the ramparts, disappearing into the snowcaps below.

'And now old brother,' said The Death Jeweler, 'the Halls of Valhalla await thee.'

'William…' said Marshall. Blood spilt from his lips, leaking into his rebreathers.

'I am The Death Jeweler! William died in Florence centuries ago!'

Marshall removed his mask. He threw it to the ground. 'We were Knights of the Holy Grail. It was our sacred oath—-our sacred oath! Sworn to protect Christendom with immortality: a gift that has never gone unpunished. Killing me makes you the last Knight, the last keeper.'

Death Jeweler laughed.

"You think I care about Christianity? It's nothing but a crumbling heap just like the Grail. The Old West is dead, just like Arthur and all his stupid knights. I didn't track you down just to leave you alive, you fucking fool."

But before he could swing the black blade, Death Jeweler was struck by a barrage of gunfire. It was Priest, emerging from the shadows. Captain Wildcat and his soldiers also fired round after round into the Blade Armor. It forced Death Jeweler over to the brink of the ramparts. Priest tended to Marshall.

Death Jeweler struggled to prevent himself from toppling over when suddenly, the small yellow nephrite glowing amulet embedded atop his chest, cracked and exploded! 77 had fired a perfect shot with her sniper rifle. A burst of air rushed from Death Jeweler's armor, as if it had been rapidly decompressed. And because of this he screamed in agony. His bones expanded and the blood squeezed through his pores. His organs exploded in great rapid thuds. Blood leaked from his helmet onto his chest and back. His body went limp as he fell over the side. Screaming all the way down, his entire body and armored suit exploded in a great ball of hellish flame. It was so intense that it triggered the charges set by the team inside the chateau.

'Damn it!' cursed Wildcat. "We've got to get them out of there! It triggered the explosives!"

Juice lowered the rope. Priest grabbed Marshall and the rope. As the chateau exploded into smithereens, the helicopter flew far, far away. And the mountains roared like a terrible and angry beast that once hunted as the mightiest predator: now killed by the prey it proudly pursued. Then, before an hour had passed, there was great silence. The breath of the winds once again whispered tales of past doom upon the peaks of solace.

"Then we need to get to DC as fast as possible!" said Wildcat, shouting above the rotors.

By this time, Priest and Marshall were aboard.

77 had reviewed the intel with Wildcat shortly after they departed the chateau.

'You, Priest, and Juice will go to the lab in Indiana. The coordinates state her control room is there,' said Wildcat.

And before they knew it, everyone was going their separate ways.

To be continued…. !

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