23. Cult of the Obsidian Mask, Part VIII   1 comment

Meanwhile in Space…

Episode 23: Cult of the Obsidian Mask, Part VIII: Behind the Mask

“You didn’t think Obsidia would be taken down that easy, did you?” Iphigenia asked as she loomed over Astralyn.

Astralyn glared at her and smirked. “Actually, I kinda did.”

“Obsidia is all powerful, nothing can touch him.”

“Then why can’t he stay in a body for longer than a few moments?” Astralyn challenged.

“It will not matter,” Obsidia said, joining the conversation. “Once this body dies, my revenge will be complete.” He continued to stare ahead at Timmy being slowly lowered into the Pit of Eternal Flames.

“Revenge?” Astralyn didn’t understand, but it didn’t matter. Timmy was running out of time. If she couldn’t simply take the mask off, she would have to try another approach.

“You say revenge as if you’ve met Sundance before.” Obsidia was silent. “As far as I know, Sundance has never been to this planet. If that’s true, then you can’t be a god.”

Iphigenia reached down and smacked Astralyn across the face. “You watch your mouth, maiden.”

“I am not one of your stupid maidens!” Astralyn stood up and smacked her back. “Don’t you see me in the middle of a conversation? Don’t interrupt!” Iphigenia looked shocked. Astralyn ignored her and sat next to Obsidia.

“Sundance, I know you’re in there! I know you can hear me!” she pleaded.

“He hears nothing,” Obsidia replied calmly. “He is deaf to your cries, woman.”

“Sundance, he’s not a god. You can defeat him. You can break free of him! You just have to fight back! Fight back.”

“That’ll be just about enough of that!” Iphigenia walked over and pulled Astralyn up but the hair. She went to give her another smack, but Astralyn got there first.

The two women stood on stage, glaring at each other. The fight was on. Astralyn tore off her robe and threw it to the ground, revealing her executive attire. Iphigenia cracked her knuckles. The two of them threw punches and kicks, upsetting the table full of food and candles. Obsidia was unmoved by this. The crowd was too busy dancing and cheering on Timmy’s slow demise.

“This is going much too slow,” Obsidia said. He raised his hands in Timmy’s direction and made a slight tugging motion. Timmy found himself being lowered into the pit quicker than he had been before. He gave a whimper as the heat rose up to greet him. Even though the mask remained emotionless, the glee in Obsidia’s eyes was beyond measure.

———-

Sundance stood in the dark wondering what had just happened. He had been talking to a masked man who was able to control him. He made it seem like a game. He was controlled so easily, like a kid playing with a puppet. This did not sit well with him. He resented being controlled in such a manner.

“No one takes possession of my body and gets away with it,” he mumbled. He rolled up his sleeves and hunkered down. He focused all of his energy on ousting the foreign entity from his body. He closed his eyes and visualized the outcome he wanted to achieve.

“What do you think you’re doing?” asked a soft voice. “You know, your friend is going to burn up rather nicely.”

“Don’t bother me,” Sundance said.

“You look constipated.” Obsidia stepped in front of him and sat down with him. “You’re trying to think me out of your head, aren’t you? Not gonna happen. You’re my little doll.”

Obsidia took control of Sundance’s left hand and made it into a fist. He opened and closed it repeatedly. He then took his fist and punched himself in the face. Sundance was obliged to do the same. Obsidia kept the hits coming until Sundance was a blooded heap on the floor.

“Poor Sunny D, reduced to a child’s play thing.” Obsidia stood over Sundance and chuckled. “You are, by far, the best puppet I’ve had in years. Cheer up.” Obsidia opened his hand and expected Sundance’s to do the same… only it didn’t.

“Surprise,” Sundance said. He quickly jumped up and punched Obsidia in the face. The masked man fell backward. “That’s for making me act like a monkey. This body is mine, buddy!”

Obsidia had lost control of Sundance’s body. No matter what he tried, he couldn’t control the captain. “Looks like this game is over. Don’t worry, Captain, we’ll play again. I have more in store for you. Compared to what’s coming, the Space Chickens and the Minotaur were just warmups.” And with that, Obsidia was gone again.

“Space Chickens?” Sundance was on the verge of making a connection when he realized that he had other things to worry about.

———–

“A little help!” Timmy cried from the Pit of Eternal Flames. “That, or a quicker death, whichever comes first.” The cult followers were still lowering him down with Obsidia’s help. He imagined that he would be an old man before he burned to death.

“Choo-choo-choo-balla! Choo-choo-choo-balla! Choo-choo-choo-balla!” the cultists chanted.

On stage, Astralyn and Iphigenia were still battling it out. Astralyn caught Iphigenia in a headlock before finally flipping her off the stage. She, then, noticed that Sundance was shaking his head. “Sundance? Is that you?”

Sundance reached up and pulled the mask off his face. He promptly snapped it in half. “I am nobody’s puppet!” He tossed the pieces onto the floor by Iphigenia. “Tell your buddy that he’s a creep.”

“Captain!” Timmy shouted just as he lowered out of view.

“Timmy!” Sundance raced towards the pit, but Iphigenia grabbed his leg and tripped him.

“Release him into the flames!” Iphigenia commanded.

Astralyn jumped off the stage and kicked Iphigenia into freeing Sundance. “Your business is with me.” She picked her up by her hair and round two started.

Sundance ran over to the cultists at the pulley and pushed them out of the way. He quickly raised him back up onto the floor. Timmy looked sweaty, but relieved.

“Timmy!”

“Captain!”

They hugged once Sundance cut Timmy free. The cultists were drawn between wanting more blood and loving the reunion scene. Sensing that things were about to end, they decided to calm down. All eyes turned to Astralyn and Iphigenia.

“You have ruined everything, you meddlesome bitch!” Iphigenia said, placing a high kick to Astralyn’s face. “You will burn for this.”

Astralyn reached up and caught Iphigenia’s leg and swifted kicked her remaining leg out from underneath her. She threw Iphigenia to the floor and panted. “In your dreams.”

The cultists rushed over to Iphigenia and picked up her unconscious body.

“It’s over,” Astralyn said, stepping over Iphigenia. “It’s all over, folks. Nothing to see here.” She wiped some sweat off her forehead. “Timmy, you look tan. I’m jealous.” Timmy chuckled.

As the cultists left the temple, Sundance heard some of them wondering what they were going to do next. “I hear scrapbooking is making a comeback,” was his response.

The happy trio followed the emancipated cultists out of the temple into the sunlight. They stood at the top of the temple and watched as people wandered into the jungle below.

“What happened back there?” Astralyn asked. “How were you able to regain control?”

“I don’t really know,” Sundance admitted. “I just thought him out of my head. Though, I have the impression that he got bored and left me alone.”

“Well, to be fair, there isn’t much to do in there.” Astralyn knocked on Sundance’s head and laughed.

Sundance rubbed his head and forced a laugh. He didn’t have the heart to tell them the message the Obsidia left with him. Instead, he led his friends back towards the StarTango and hoped against hope that he had seen the last of him.

© Xanto Jones 2011

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Posted February 1, 2011 by Xanto P. Jones in Flash Fiction

One response to “23. Cult of the Obsidian Mask, Part VIII

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  1. First off I gotta say the “Sunny D” nickname from Obsidia was so good and so bad all at the same time – I never would have thought of that one. 🙂 So this guy was behind the last two events too? I can’t wait to see what he throws at everyone next. You’re doing a great job building up questions and suspense for this mystery villain.

    On another note, I loved seeing Astralyn kick butt! Her comment about Timmy looking tan cracked me up. And yay, Timmy isn’t toast! 😀

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