War of the Worlds, The Invasion continues. A sample of something I write a while back. Fun stuff with an odd bent to it.
In the year of our Lord
Eighteen Hundred and Ninety One
This August Thirty First
The Globe Theater
The Queen's Room
"To be or not to be...that is the question." My lead actor spoke upon our stage. I watched from the second level gallery, making sure his pitch and diction were strong and clear enough. He looked up at me and I gestured for him to continue, but my mind was elsewhere. So much has happened since I last put anything down in my journal.
I'm not sure where to begin.
When last I wrote I mentioned I had sent my favorite pigeon to bring a message to my friends in Paris. I needed to know if they were alright first, and then if there were problems, what I could do to help. I had the ear of our Queen, and was not loath to wax it with soothing words on their behalf if need be. She was a stern queen, but a fair one. She loathed men who were weak and full of folly, but she loved men who were brave and daring, such as Jules and Wells.
Wells had been on her list of men she was considering knighting for his pretigious output of fictional journeys and adventures. She likened him to her other favorite, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, whom I have not yet had the chance to acquaint myself with personally, as we do keep our lives in pretty much different worlds these days. I have passed him in the palace from time to time and we have chatted briefly, but that is not the kind of conversation that leads to a deep friendship, but rather a shallow courteous one.
I tend to the opposite. I like to know those I am around in all the ways possible. I suppose that is because I am a writer, an observer of life and as such my mind demands more details than most who go day to day on their life journeys.
As I was seated observing my actor deliver his soliloqy, Sarah returned. She always knew where I was and I always kept a treat for her. Perhaps that motivated her more than anything else, I can not be sure of what goes on in a pigeon's mind, other than utter kindness.
She landed on the railing beside me and cocked an eye on me, then nodded to her right foot where a note was attached. I gave her a treat, and hurriedly untied the message to read it. I was distressed while doing it, because my actor had just blown the next two lines and said, "whether it is bolder to go outside and face the storm than..." Furious at the disruption of my beautiful poetry, I almost chased Sarah away, but I kept my temper in check for both her and the actor.
He was having a rough time at home as I understood it. Something about a romance with another man that wasn't going well. I felt for him, for relationships were difficult with the opposite sex, let alone the same. It is the nature of relationships that they have difficulties. If you are looking for a peaceful and tranquil ride throughout your life, then do not seek a relationship, as they are not always tranquil or peaceful, they are human. And humans feel and sometimes too deeply. And sometimes too shallowly. The choices we all must live with.
I motioned to the actor to do it again and as he did I swiftly unraveled the note and read it.
"Dear Will, it is with the utmost sense of urgency that I request you speak with the brotherhood. Paris is in distress such as no man could ever have suspected to happen. Our beloved Eiffel Tower is now a broken toy, and much of our fair city has been burned and leveled to the ground. I fear that my dear friend Wells is taking this much harder than I, and I can barely look at myself in our mirror now, knowing we might have unwittingly set off the monstrous destruction we now survey about us."
It was a long note. I looked up and the actor was looking at me, an expression of what next. I glanced at my Stage Manager who stood right stage watching and motioned for him to cue the man. He did so and the actor got back in character again and continued.
I returned to the note, my hands trembling, for I feared the rest of the news that surely must be there.
"A strange device from another world has descended into our fair city and it immediately began destroying anything and anyone in its path. I fear it is but the advance guard for something far worse."
I looked up and muttered to myself. "Worse than destroying Paris?"
I shuddered in horror.
I read on.
"Contact the brotherhood, let them know we have a greater peril now than the war between our nations. That a War of the Worlds has begun.
"I shall endeavor to contact you again in two days if able. For now my friends and I must help as many as possible to survive this catastrophe.
"Your friend, Jules."
I looked up again, tears misting my eyes. It was that bad. The Captain's words rang in my ears again in remembrance and I knew at that moment that the play was not the thing in this case, and that the Great Wheel now turning was being spun by hands not meant to be guided by our Creator, but by something far darker.
Pardon me if I seem somewhat melodramatic, but that is my nature as an actor and writer, but as a human being I can only shudder in horror at the thought, "A War of the Worlds has begun."
And it was at that moment that a great shout arose from outside the theater, as if a great crowd were crying out in horror.
The Super Soldier
"A Rocketman Story"
By John Pirillo
"Rockets!" Harry cried out and everyone scattered as he blasted past them, accelerating faster and faster, a trail of radiant energies lighting his path.
Techs and ground crew hid behind blast shields, not wanting to get exposed to the radiation, which they already knew from Einstein and Harry personally, was unstable and had some pretty drastic side effects, like projecting Harry back and forth through time, from the time of World War Two at a crucial moment of battle there, to the future where the Nazis ruled the planet because the Allies had been too late in stopping them.
Harry's so-called plate was full of sour grapes. The girlfriend he would never see again because he had been frozen in time on the real world and didn't wake up until she was long dead, and only her daughter and granddaughter still lived. That was the future Harry world, where Nazis ran rampant and destructive. However, in the first timeline Harry had been flying his rocket suit, the war had not yet been decided. In that war he was flung away from his loved one for another reason, to protect the secrecy of the project he lead...Rocketman. A rocket suit that allowed him to fly faster than even the Nazi buzz bombs. He had broken the sound barrier in that particular life stream, but in the present one, which seemed to become more and more of late the one he would live the last of his day sin, he had an incredible suit that had been updated and used tech that was unheard of in his original timeline.
In this timeline Einstein and Tesla worked together as a team to build his suit, and his weapons. The base was pretty much the same though, hidden high in the Swiss Alps, overlooking a beautiful lake below. In this life stream it was overrun by Nazis Warlords and Storm Troopers, and the occasional Super Soldiers, genetically enhanced monsters that stood over eight feet tall and could take a lot of punishment before going down.
Jet waved as he shot out the secret entrance and he toggled his suit slightly several times in acknowledgement and angled up towards the stars. He never flew during the day unless the weather was almost catastrophically bad, because they didn't dear let the Nazis know what they had and where they had it. If they did, it would be end game. Nazis win, no more free men anywhere to resist them.
Oh sure, there'd be a few here and there, but doomed to failure because of the lack of technical and weapons support. Harry was the support here. They had spies all over the place in secret resistance movements, who would flag important troop movements, supply trains...in time line, they were super fast bullet trains that hovered above the tracks and flew like rockets on their antigravity streams.
Harry had taken out one about a month ago and it had almost taken him with it, if not for Jet. Sometimes they flew together. He had a harness he could carry Jet with, but Jet hated it, and had no problem conveying that message.
Lately, Einstein and Tesla had come up with a lighter version of the Rocketman suit and let Jet test it out. It worked perfectly for about ten flights and then dumped him into the side of a mountain, which fortunately for Jet, was snow packed, or else he'd have driven ten feet through solid rock, instead of thirty through ice and packed snow.
It had taken Harry almost twenty four hours to reach his friend, who had been almost frozen to death waiting to be rescued.
"Harry." Jet called out.
"Are fingers supposed to be blue?"
"On Christmas morning."
"Funny. How about toes?"
"Now you've really got me roaring."
"Hang on, Harry I'm shoveling as fast as I can."
"Where's the techies when you need them?"
"A thousand miles away."
"Yeah. Happens a lot to guys like me."
"You know...I'm black."
Harry roared with laughter.
"What's so funny?"
"The only thing black about you is your attitude; the rest of you is a nice chocolate cream."
"Thanks a lot, that's really encouraging.'
"You're welcome buddy."
Harry looked at his rocket suit, leaning against the slope of snow and ice. It had melted in partially from the heat of the burners in back, but otherwise it was upright, with a gaping hole where he usually climbed into it. Lucky for Jet, he had an emergency kit built into both legs of the suit, one of which had an extensible aluminum shovel.
"Getting a bit warm in here, Harry."
"Yeah. It's just balmy as hell out here too."Harry replied. "I got pretty nurses lined up for a mile applying to work at our ice cream stand."
"Don't even go there, you monster."
"What? Hate ice cream?"
"No, hate eating it alone."
"No problem, pal. Almost there."
Something threw a huge shadow across Harry's view into the hole he was digging and over him. He turned around slowly.
"I've got a little problem."
"What Betty Boop wanta audition for your talent show?"
"Funny. No, a bit bigger than that."
Harry reached for his side arm, and then realized it was lying inside the suit, all bright, clean and shiny.
"Another small problem."
Harry angled away from the hole to give himself maneuvering room. In front of him stood a Super Soldier. It was missing an eye, and he could see some of its metallic brain pan gleaming on its left side, where something had gashed the skin away. The Super Soldiers were genetically enhanced soldiers, but also physically as well, a combination of metal, electronic circuits and wildly firing genomes.
"What's your problem look like?"
Harry spoke a bit more softly into his throat mike. "It's closing in."
"That's no problem."
"I'll try to lead it way from you. You've only got about three feet of packed snow behind you."
"What in the hell am I supposed to do, kick it out?"
"Hey! Sounds like you're not only chocolate as hell, but brainy as old Al himself."
"I'm going to kill you when I get outta here, pal."
"Be my guest, but you might have to wait in line."
Harry charged the Super Soldier who turned slightly, revealing that one eye was dangling from its socket. It shoved it back in and it promptly fell back out again. Harry snatched some snow, packed it tight and flung it into its good eye.
"Roar!" The Super Soldier screamed, temporarily blinded by the substance in its good eye.
Harry launched himself and struck the soldier in its midsection, knocking it backwards. It teetered on the edge of the drop it had climbed out of, and then regained traction and swatted Harry away from the edge like a tiger swatting a fly.
Harry flew through the air and struck a huge frozen rock. He lay stunned there, his senses reeling while the Super Soldier struggled to get its other eye back into its socket. It also looked for a weapon. Its weapon belt was empty. Whatever had happened to it, it was weaponless. But for a creature like that, it didn't need much of a weapon, its body was a pretty good stand in. It could crush Harry's skull if it every got its hands on him long enough.
Harry rolled over as a huge fallen branch in the hands of the soldier smashed into the stone he had lain against and shattered into a thousand pieces. The soldier roared angrily and charged after Harry, who saw his chance and launched himself in between two large trees, smashing in to some thick brush, where he hid behind, while the soldier tried to figure out exactly where he was. He was counting on the soldier's weaker mind to think he had kept going.
It didn't. Something changed in the equation, Harry realized. This soldier was not just super mean and super strong, but also clever.
He felt, rather than heard the movement behind him. He rolled aside as a huge fist punched past his face and smashed into the side of the tree he was near. The tree shook from the violence of the blow and split down the middle.
"Harry, you still alive out there?"
"Not for long."
"Don't worry, pal, I got your back."
Harry rolled a new direction as the giant soldier kicked at his face. He caught the foot and twisted. The giant soldier roared and collapsed to the ground. It got up again, its face glowering with intense hatred, and eagerness. Eagerness to smash him to a pulp.
"Look, big guy, I know we kinda started out a bit on the cold side of things." Harry laughed.
The soldier gave him a blank look.
Harry paused. What was wrong?"
Then the soldier slowly began toppling towards him. Harry threw himself out of the way as the soldier fell to the ground where he had laid, a huge piece of metal stuck in its back, yellow and red blood pouring out.
The giant soldier's one eye looked at Harry a moment, glowering with anger and hatred, and then as if a light switch had been flicked off, it dimmed and the being was lost to the world.
Jet came strolling out, smacking himself to get warm. "Man, you throw one helluva birthday party."
"It's not my birthday."
"Oh, in that case, maybe we should go home. I got things to do, places to be."
Jet had given him a hand up and he had helped Jet to load his jetpack onto Harry's suit, strapping it tight with metal bands, then he brought out the harness.
"How about I fly, and you ride?"
"Won't fit me. Made for you."
Jet's eyes narrowed. "You're sure about that."
"Would I ever lie to you, Jet?"
Harry laughed and Jet got into the harness.
They flew back home safe and sound.
Harry sighed to himself as he waggled his suit one more time at his friend watching him. War was hell, but friends were heaven. He shot upwards like a rising star.
Death and Destruction
"A Rocketman Story"
By John Pirillo
He was taking a pounding that's for sure. The swashes were beating the hell out of him and he wasn't able to do a thing about it as long as his power pack was recharging. A couple dozen more charges of their hammer guns and it was all over.
How in God's name had he gotten stuck in the missionary position to the merciless bastards pounding his suit into atoms?
"A swash is a slang term for Nazi foot soldiers." Einstein told him as he sat at the edge of the cliff overlooking Lake Lucerne.
"Beautiful view, pops."
Al ignored his tease and went on. "The tropes are the super swash, genetically enhanced super soldiers capable of pounding you into the ground with one fist behind their back."
"I wonder if they still sell raspberry chocolate down there."
Al ignored this comment as well. "The zoms are civilians who have had their minds wired to remove all sense of self. They are still whole beings, but no longer in control of their senses. That is why we try not to kill them whenever possible. Instead we try to turn them."
Harry turned to eye Al, who was tamping his pipe onto the rock beside him, and reloading from a pack he pried from his jacket.
"Zoms are nominally still human people, just altered so that they have no control over their own body."
"A term I picked up..." Harry paused, trying to remember where he had heard it, and then shrugged. "From somewhere...somewhen."
Al nodded in a kind of fatherly way, and then scooted closer to Harry, examining his eyes. "The time dilation still hasn't worn off."
"Tell me about it. I feel like a taco turned inside out."
Harry turned to Al. "You really need to get out more."
Al laughed, and then tapped Harry on his right knee with his pipe stem. "Your next mission is critical. You must not harm the Zoms, even if they block your way to completing the mission. If it comes to it, you have to turn back."
"What if they're about to kill me?"
Al was silent.
Harry sighed and took a deep breath. "Life sure sucks sometimes, doesn't it?"
"Now that..." Al smiled. "That I understand."
Harry sighted the landing position in the cross hairs of his scope and began banking his rocket suit in that direction. He hadn't seen a single Swash jet since he had entered lower Lithuania, which could be a good or bad thing, depending on your sensibilities. He took a quick suck off his water stem, then clicked it shut and eyed the landing trigger. It was square on. He initiated thrusters and his suit slowed, then turned in a quick arc and landed him on his feet. He bent somewhat to absorb the impact, leaving a deep groove in the pavement he had landed on.
"Glad that was you and not me." He told the pavement, and then headed for the rendezvous point. He was meeting with a resistance leader, a pretend Zom, who was known to be faulty by the Swash, but ignored as long as he continued to do his job, which was loading and unloading weapons.
Harry's job. Rocketman's job was to make sure that loading and unloading came to a quick and timely end. The Allieds were mounting a quick thrust into the region in an effort to sweep out all the Zoms and return them to their own control, so they could join the resistance, which was spreading across Europe, however slowly.
Harry dreaded sometimes the work he did, because it kept him from returning to America, where the brain of Hitler ran everything. New Nazi New York it was called. The skyscrapers, the Empire State Building and the Monarch Building were now the headquarters for the Nazi party in America, which now led the war on the rest of the world.
When America fell during the last days of World War Two, it had ushered in a long period of subjugation and experimentation by the Fourth Reich, the reborn Nazis, led by a brain only Hitler, who lived through a robotic counterpart. It was Harry's determination to end that body that drove him on every mission in this alternate timeline.
Sometimes he missed the real timeline, but these days he wasn't so sure any timeline was real anymore than the other. No matter which one he lived in, he was getting shot at, battered and bruised, and the love of his life was dead.
But funny enough, the person he missed the most, was Jet, who had survived in the first timeline to be his best buddy and helper, but in this one, somehow didn't exist.
Harry parked his rocket suit inside the designated building, and then headed for the meeting place.
"Raspberry." Harry whispered in the ruins of what was once a beautiful church, its gothic spires marred by bullets and bombs, its beautiful stained glass windows shattered, its pews broken and scattered across the interior of the once magnificent structure.
"Chocolate." Came the counter answer.
Harry grinned, and stepped forward, and then as he lifted his hand to shake with the other person, he almost had a heart attack. It was Jet!
The person facing him gave him a blank look. "Who is that man?" He turned to see if he had been betrayed by Harry, someone hiding in the shadows perhaps.
Harry's emotions battered him. "Don't you know who I am? Your best friend. Your battering ram. Your personal line of envy."
Jet, a tall and well muscled black man, with deep brown eyes and a face marred by a slight scar on the left side of his neck frowned. "I've never seen you before in my life."
Harry didn't see the scar at first, but when Jet turned to look to his right, he did. Harry tensed. A Zom! Then he relaxed. Of course he was. He was an underground Zom, one who the rewiring had failed in.
"Where's your suit, Captain?"
Harry ignored the question and came closer, looked into Jet's eyes. The man stood stock still, as if frozen in place for a moment, and then he backed up. "I need to see the suit."
"Why would you need to do that?" Harry asked, his worry radar going full blast now. Something didn't pickle right in his brain. He gave Jet a closer examination. "The man I met was supposed to have a scar on the left side of his neck. Yours is on the right."
Harry ran for the exit of thee building, just as ten Swash entered, carrying their hammer guns ready to fire. Harry dove out a stained glass window that had been shattered to his right, and landed on his back, rolling to his feet. In seconds he launched himself swiftly towards the hiding place of his suit.
He felt, rather than heard the hammer guns fire. Their weaponry was so powerful that it fused the air about him, causing the skin closest to the blasts to blister from the intensity of the heat caused by their searing beams of energy.
He dove to his right, then threw himself into a cellar, crawled swiftly across it as quietly as possible, then levered himself to another window, and crawled out. He looked round, listened a moment, hearing nothing, he ran towards his hiding place. He reached it, just as the sound of alarms rang out and Swash lanced the air about him with their hammer guns. He landed inside the hiding place in a ball, rolled to a stop at the foot of his suit, then climbed inside of it. He clamped it shut, sealing it against the outside, then turned it around to exit.
That was when a trope stormed into the building and landed a hammer like punch to Harry's helmet. Harry stumbled backward and with the weight of the suit so great, he couldn't maintain his balance. He fell onto his back, just as the swash burst inside.
"The Fuehrer wants the Rocketman alive." The trope ordered, and then grinned. "But he didn't say in what condition...alive."
Stunned by the blow still, Harry shook his fog away and launched a mini-rocket into the midst of the swash, blowing up half of them, but the rest plowed through the death and destruction, trailing guts and blood, then dove on him and began pummeling him.
He could no longer move, or resist. Several of them had placed some kind of magnetic clamp to his arms, causing them to seal together. He was helpless as a baby. He couldn't fire rockets, couldn't get out. In other words his ass was cooked!
Harry looked at his charge. Not enough to launch horizontally without frying every circuit. And no way to know if the magnetic clamps did anything else than hold his arms together. He might become a flying torpedo and hammer himself to death against a wall, his stabilizers and softeners running at low ebb.
He watched his charger begin to renew his power supply. It was a new one altered from the last by Tesla, who had used a new form of energy to power it.
"It will make you nearly invincible." He had promised.
"Yeah." Harry quipped to himself, unheard by the swash or the trope. "At least my suit. Meanwhile, I'll be turned into soup inside this bell!"
The Trope shoved the remaining swash aside and grinned into Harry's face. In a very bad imitation of German...even though he was German...he said, "And now I shall smash your face into atoms."
"I thought you needed me alive!" Harry joked.
"Not you. Just your brain."
"Then you better aim a bit lower, as now you're aiming right at my brain pan."
The trope gave him a confused look.
Harry's suspicions were confirmed. The trope couldn't see through the helmet plate glass. It was too dark inside the room. Harry glanced at his charger. Almost full. "I bet you're so strong you could handle me all by yourself, even if I had my arms free."
The trope grinned. "Yes. And still take your brain."
The trope laughed, and then smashed Harry's midsection, breaking the clamps.
The suit rang like a bell, even more so than when the swash had been pounding him.
The trope yanked Harry to his feet as effortlessly as if the Rocket suit was just a suit of clothing, instead of armor and stuck his face into the Helmet's glass, peering inside.
Harry's eyes went round with horror.
The trope had no pupils.
The trope swung its fist back, preparing to complete its death stroke.
Harry smiled, and then flicked a switch with his tongue.
A horrible screeching sound rang throughout the building. He had planted the resounders shortly after he landed, just in case. It was the just in cases you had to be the most cautious about, not what might be's.
The trope clamped its ham sized fists over its ears and screamed, joining the screams of the swash.
Harry saluted the soldiers. "Say bye-bye."
The trope gave him a blank look. "Bye-bye?"
Harry launched a mini-rocket into the trope and the swash, launching straight up and through the ceiling of the church. He wasn't there long enough to see them explode, or hear them scream. As he raced from the building's roof, he turned to the south and there below him stood the zom Jet.
The zom stood there watching him fly off, making no move to fire the hammer it held in its hands. Just watching, a hand over its eyes to watch him as he blasted into the skies.
Harry's heart pounded in his chest.
"I'll be back, Jet. I swear it!" He promised, his eyes watering from the pain of leaving the only real friend he had ever had. He blinked the tears away, and then accelerated across the skies, towards Switzerland and home base. Away from death and destruction. And away from a friend who meant more to him than life itself.
"I will return." He swore to himself, as he fired the rockets that steered him north towards the Alps.
"I will, Jet. I swear it by everything I hold Holy. I will return for you. Or die trying." He said, his eyes misting even more as he shot up above the clouds and became a speck of light to those below.
The zom, who might be Jet, dropped his weapon and put fingers to his eyes. They were wet.
"Why? He asked no one, and then leaving his weapon behind, he marched away, a lone figure in a land of war and destruction.
It Tastes Like Chicken
"A Journey to the Center of the Earth Story"
By John Pirillo
Dawn came like a brick load of cement. Pitch black. Always pitch black. It took him a few moments to organize his thoughts. As always. Tired. Dead stone tired. Like the rocks that hovered above, below and all sides of him. Dead tired.
"Get a life!"
He groaned, and sat up.
Rowlf growled when he bumped into the very large Insectoids side. Rowlf was a member of an underground species that he had discovered after they became separated from the Hollow Earth Special Forces. He looked creepy as hell, but had the heart of a cute puppy. Just so long as you didn't look into his mouth, everything was fine, but if you did, all bets were off. Ugly. Ugly. Ugly.
"Youse ugly twos!" Rowlf growled at him.
"Damnit. Talking in my sleep again."
He felt Everett sit up next to him. "When don't you? Stop talking that is."
"Thanks a lot."
Rowlf stood up next to them and rubbed his hands over the moss on the wall next to them. Agitated, the moss tossed chemicals up and down their furry lengths and began to glow a soft green color.
They had discovered the trick by accident after running out of matches and batteries for their lights. If you rubbed the moss one way, they glowed, came to life. Another way and they shrugged off their pale glow and descended into darkness.
Strange. But what wasn't hundreds of miles below the surface of the earth?
"I heard something." Russ insisted.
"You always hear something."
Rowlf growled. "Heard something."
"You always hear something, you big grasshopper, your hearing is like radar."
"Yeah. You heard me."
Everett stood up and stretched. "Can we see about breakfast. All this growsing is making my stomach growl."
Russ stood up and leaned against the wall, one shoulder against Rowlf, who acted as if he didn't notice, but he did. Rowlf loved his friends. He didn't understand or know why, only that they were stone buddies. Rock. Like the world about him. They didn't change.
"What do you suggest we start with??
"How about lizard eggs and worms?"
"Sounds good to me. So where?"
Something ran fast past them on the cavern floor, then scrambled up a wall and turned to eye them. Its two huge eyes were watery and bright.
"Well..." Everett said in his sharp English accent.
Rowlf finished chipping stone against stone and the dry moss in the shallow bowl of rocks they had mounded sparked to life, casting flickering shadows as flames licked at its mass. Everett stuck the lizard on its stick he had poked from its anus through its mouth over the fire and sat back, hands cupped over his knees.
"Smells like Chicken." Russ quipped.
"Yeah. Butt ugly chicken." Everett snapped back.
"No offense, Rowlf."
Rowlf shut his eyes and in his own way grinned, though neither of them could have recognized it. His race had much more subtle ways of showing amusement, affection, anger and so on. His eyes would twirl slightly when he was amused or happy. Depending on how much would determine whether it was amusement or happiness. Right then at that moment, it was amusement.
"Figure this should last us about ten steps." Russ countered.
"Hey! Ten steps are ten steps further." Everett added.
They both broke into laughter.
Rowlf's eyes snapped open. "Waughter? Why?"
"It's called irony, dear friend. Irony." Russ explained.
"Wike weapuns you worried?"
"Oh yeah, they really worried us." Everett joked.
Rowlf gave him a puzzled look, but Everett couldn't read it. Yet. He was starting to pick up on some of Rowlf's body language. He could tell when he was tired, hungry and curious by the way his antenna would droop or straighten, much like his pal "Jerry," his cockatiel would do with his tuft of feathers.
Russ looked over at Everett. "Still counting?"
They both broke into laughter, causing Rowlf to examine them both again closely.
Russ snorted. "Don't worry, Rowlf, we're not going mad. Crazy, maybe, but not mad."
"Not a helluva lot these days." Everett sighed.
He looked down the long black corridor to their right. "Wonder how far this one goes."
"I'm more interested in when do we find the one that gets us somewhere." Russ shot back.
"Yeah. Real juicy fat chance." Russ agreed.
Both were silent, meditating on thoughts best left unsaid. Both felt a tremendous sense of loss and sadness, but their friendship with each other and Rowlf kept them from sliding into despair, even though at times, it didn't seem far off.
"When we get back home, they'll call us heroes."
Russ snorted derisively. "I'd rather they called us a buffet. I'm starving."
They all then looked at the lizard, which was not quite toasty.
Rowlf's stomachs made grumbling sounds. "Sharving much."
"Rowlf. You eat it." Russ told him, suddenly feeling generous.
Everett looked at him like he'd just snapped, but said nothing.
Rowlf didn't budge. "Youse fwail. Must wheat fust!" He insisted.
Everett snatched the lizard. "Since neither one of you want it."
Before he could take a bite, the lizard was wrenched two other ways by Rowlf and Russ.
They each ate their portion in a delicious silence, savoring the warmth of its crunch skin and meat, as slight as it was.
Russ picked some smaller bones from his teeth and spit them out.
Everett did the same.
But Rowlf just crunched them up and swallowed them, his eyes rolling with pleasure.
"Sometimes I wish I was a dog." Russ admitted.
"Me too." Everett agreed, his eyes watching as Rowlf picked up the bones they had spit out and began crunching them.
Rowlf eyed them happily. "Whaste bwest part!"
Everyone broke into laughter.
Russ caught his aching sides, and then subsided into silence a moment. "Here we are...at the center of it all... and we're wise cracking about some dumbass lizard's bones."
"Yeah. Ain't it great?" Everett cracked in his best Ringo Starr imitation.
They all broke into laughter again.
Then the sound of something monstrous moved in the darkness.
They all jumped to their feet, grabbing their makeshift weapons of bone and stone.
Another day. Another monster.
As the monster rushed down the corridor to eat them, roaring like a monster from hell, they rushed up the corridor to eat it, screaming like a tribe of cannibals about to eat fresh meat. Someone was going to have a great meal this day. Hopefully it would be them!
The Giants of the Nazi World
"A Rocketman Story"
By John Pirillo
"The cardinal sin of any good soldier is to put all his trust in his weaponry. Any weapon can fail, but he can't." -- Words of General Wishtower
"Men, what you see before you is a representation of the Nazi super cooling tower being built in San Francisco." Colonel Brighton told the troops assembled.
Harry and Jet stood behind them, watching as well. They were the team that would be responsible for making the advance as safe as possible, knocking out any power lines, or other obstacles. Most of the time obstacles were as simple as a few lead lined super lasers with automatic targeting cannons that could wipe out a platoon with one swipe. Sometimes more difficult. Ten foot Nazi Sturm Giganten, built like tanks. Living breathing nightmares of Third World War technology pioneered by Hitler's best scientists.
Oh yeah. And in case you were wondering this isn't the world where the Allies won World War Two, but where they lost it.
My name is Harry. In my world I was a Captain, here I am known as Rocketman and sometimes Captain Harry, which I prefer. I don't always remember my last name or much else, when I'm crossing over between the two alternate realities. Sometimes I don't even remember there is an alternate reality. Only that I have a mission to accomplish. As Rocketman.
I fly this rocket suit. On my real earth it's a huge tank of a thing, well, maybe not that huge, but it weights a lot and is tall and cumbersome, and I ride in it. In this world I have a lighter suit that I can strap on like the old movie serials. And it's hellishly fast. Like Superman fast. But without his strength or protection. I can still die, get shot down and generally hurt a lot.
"Captain!" He gestured to me.
I went forward and stood next to him, then used the pointer he handed over to indicate three roads that curved into the cooling tower, all bordered by warehouses and bunkers. "These." I indicated the roads. "These are the way the main carriers and transports enter the cooling tower base structure."
Jet played the devil's advocate. "So how likely am I to just waltz in there and get what I want, say a nice hotdog or a glass of fresh lemonade?"
Everyone broke into laughter. General Wishtower scowled at Jet, who hurriedly began counting fingers, which made the men laugh even more. I quickly went on. "Not likely. The road is hotwired."
The soldiers stopped laughing.
Hotwired meant it was genetically marked and all the Nazis were genetically marked. We were not. We'd get fried hotter than a buttered piece of toast in an oven left on too long if we touched those roads.
Jet slowly put a hand up. "Uh."
"Can I bring marshmallows?"
General Wishtower burst into laughter before he could catch himself, then looked to me, trying to hide his face.
"Jet, you can, but they'll do you no good. We're flying in."
"Do I have to?"
Everyone broke into laughter again.
I shook my head, smiling, and then turned to indicate the warehouses. "Interconnected. Each door is hard wired and without the right code will send an electric shock instantly frying anyone who touches it."
"Barbies anyone? Jet asked.
After the laughter died down, I went on. "Al." I indicated a grey haired man standing to the right of us. "Al and Edison have cooked up...pardon the pun...a device that when you wear it, will automatically trigger the codes. Only one small problem."
Jet raised his hand. Everyone tensed for laughter.
"If you don't get past the Zombies it won't make much difference."
Jet squealed. "I hate them things!"
With that the platoon was dismissed and headed off to barracks to prepare for the coming assault.
General Wishtower took me and Jet side to meet with Einstein.
Our combat headquarters was deep in the heart of a Swiss Mountain, only visible if you knew where to look. And no one did, because it was carefully cloaked by electronic devices and other modern war gear. Einstein and Tesla had rigged a kind of stealth cloaking device that kept our entrance and exit well hidden. Even if a Nazi Soldier stumbled upon the entrance he'd only think it was a simple slope with rock and snow. No more.
And if he got too close. Well, there were considerations for that as well. None of them good for the luckless soldier who had made the wrong turn.
"Everything's hanging on you two getting into that tower and jamming up its power."
Jet looked at me. "Long as I don't have to ride the buggy wagon beneath this guy."
I laughed. "Jet, you know you love it."
"Hell no. Last time you dumped me in Lake Lucerne. I almost became a popsicle."
The General looked at Jet.
"It's a stick with frozen juice or water on it."
General Wishtower shook his head. "Your world is so strange."
"Hey, General!" Jet told him quite frankly. "This one sure ain't no bell ranger, that's for sure."
"What's a..." The General started to ask, then shook his head and headed off to join the team in Control. He was overseeing the mission.
Einstein smiled at us. "You two boys sure know how to get his panties in a wad."
We both laughed. I put a hand on Al's right shoulder. "Al, its underwear, not panties. Panties are what women wear."
"Oh." Al said with a blank face.
As agreed I scouted the cooling tower one more time while Jet and the platoon got into position for the attack. Jet was along because he was handy in figuring out the various death traps the Nazis inevitably laid out for unexpected guests.
And yes, we were a major pain in their black hearted bottoms.
These Nazis were not the ones of your earth, but of another earth. This earth had been won by them when the Allies failed to stop their launching of a deadly barrage of nuclear weapons, which had wiped out very major Western city around the planet. The Nazis, prepared for the strike, had swept into the countries with advanced weaponry that they had kept off the radar in secret bases and moped up most of the resistance.
Some of our military survived. Some in other countries. They got together and created a base in the Alps, and used it to make life miserable for the Nazis.
When I first got here, I was in total shock. The Nazis used civilians like robots, prepping them in some kind of genetic formula that converted them into mindless zombies that would do anything. Some of the Nazis were physically enhanced...the Sturm Giganten, and others...well, I shudder to think of the others.
When the coast seemed clear. No new Nazi movement, only the steady flow of fuel trucks into the basement, I felt we were ready to go. Our goal was to detonate the fuel. It was highly charged radioactive materials that only needed a little tampering and would go boom, taking out the entire facility and probably a few square miles around it as well.
Our scouts had already warned the locals of what might happen. Most of the locals preferred to stay, not believing they were safe anywhere, but the smarter ones beat it. The Nazis had brainwashed the masses so thoroughly, that most had few thoughts of their own anymore.
And we kept an eye on who went in and out of the cooling tower, in case some of the natives thought of giving us up. Not that it didn't happen sometimes. The natives usually were more than happy to take out a few Nazis, but sometimes they were too far gone and like the zombies many became, were better off dead anyway.
"Jet." I spoke into my helmet mike.
"Yeah!" His voice came into my helmet.
I adjusted my flight attitude and saw him and the platoon moving into position.
"Good to go!"
In a matter of moments he and the platoon swept through one warehouse after another, leaving a trail of destruction behind them. We had twenty minutes to mop the place up, because a base was twenty one minutes away. And we didn't want to have to mess with the Sturm Giganten. They were tough cookies to kill. Usually, nothing short of a nuclear blast could stop them...or the direct hit of tank cannon.
I shot ahead, landing on the cooling tower roof. The tower was shaped like a pyramid. Why, I didn't' know, but all the important electronics were stashed up there. I took out my laser pistol and began melting a few circuits.
Then I felt a huge vibration. I turned around and looked up, then up again. A Nazi Sturm Giganten.
"Vas tun sie?" It demanded, knowing already what I had done, since the smoke and flames behind me were pretty obvious.
"Getting out of here." I answered, and then turned to leap from the roof.
Before I got five feet in the air, a hand smashed me down to the roof.
I landed on my stomach. Hard. Knocked the air out of me. I rolled over and gasping for breath saw a second Sturm Giganten. The first joined him. Their faces were thick like a Rhino's, and their lips like huge crevices with jagged teeth. Their nostrils flared like tunnels of doom. Their foreheads were high, sloping to a narrow, almost cone shape. Genetics gone wild. They were incredibly smart, but locked in when it came to thinking out of the box.
Me box. Them locked in.
The second Sturm Giganten grunted when something knocked into his right foot. He looked down at the strange object and grunted again. He reached for it. Bad move. Boom! He and his companion were blasted off the roof. The fall might not kill them, but it got them out of my hair. I pushed to my feet, still weak from the blow and leaped from the roof, firing up the rocket suit. I felt it drag a moment, and then push me forward.
I angled downwards; saw Jet and what was left of his platoon winging it swiftly back the way they had come, firing ahead of them to break the electrified road ahead of them.
The two Sturm Giganten who had fallen came around the side of the tower and rushed them. My cue.
Neither one was aware of me until I swept towards them at eye level. Their eyes narrowed in anger and hatred. "Bye bye." I said, and then let them have it with both barrels of my arm rockets. The two giants hurtled backwards, slammed from their feet.
It gave me and Jet and the men enough time to reach shelter, when the cooling tower went big-time.
We peeked out to look as a mushroom cloud hurtled into the sky, spreading wings of destruction, doom and gloom. We were ten miles away. Even from there the heat was tremendous.
"Damn!" Jet said angrily.
"I forgot to bring the marshmallows."
The soldiers about us broke into laughter and I did too.
War is hell, but a little laughter goes a long way to making it less so. Even if it was at the expense of those monsters who thought they were better than everyone else.
The Dark Master
"A Rocketman Story"
By John Pirillo
Nordenbrough was a densely populated area of Germany that bordered on the Alps. Its main industry was steel, imported from the south where it was hauled in by train from the frontiers that had been conquered by the Nazi hordes. Its people were untouched by the fanaticism that ran through much of Germany at the time, protected from it in a way as an experiment by the Fuehrer, who was secretly building a base in the nearby Alps for what he was determined would be the fatal blow to the hopes of the Western Allies.
For almost ten years, even before the war took a prominent place in the news and eyes of the world, he was already secretly meeting with a man of dark persuasions. A man dedicated to the Occult. That man exuded such confidence and power that Hitler had immediately allowed himself to be taken on as a disciple of this Dark Master. Even though still in a position to become a powerful force of good for his country, his own ambitions and disappointments, were driving him further and further away from the mainstream of good people and closer and closer into the cult that the Dark Master had built.
Unknown to the world, but known to the top Allied Leaders, Britain and others were waging a secret war against the Dark Master, who was using ley lines of the planet to gather power and force and disrupt commerce and supplies across the planet. You might think this an exalted view of a simple man, for that was his outwards appearance. Small, like Hitler, soft talking and polite to a fault, but his heart was made of mud that swished and ground with hatred and anger towards life that disposed towards anything uplifting and positive. He was a devoted disciple, in his words, of the UberMasters, those beings who rode the flying discs from the central area within our planet.
Hitler, long disposed towards the Occult, was immediately enamored of this fascination and shared it devotedly with his own growing circle of disciples. So in effect, there were two Dark Masters, the one that Hitler gave silent obedience to and his own, that he harbored and nurtured. On one day when Nordenbrough was steeped in its normal routine of smelting iron and producing steel for weapons of destruction, a small parade of black cars with Nazi symbols, drove into the town.
The Dark Master was staying in the Black Hotel, called the Swartzen Haus. Wherever he stayed it always had the numbers 666 and the color black in it somewhere. While he didn't personally believe in Satan, he did believe in the power of numbers. Had the churches realized that this man was gathering power and influence they might have had a stronger influence in the war than they had at the time, knowing that evil was brewing beneath their noses. But they didn't. And they didn't!
The Dark Master met in the conference room with his twelve Dark Disciples, an inverse of Jesus and his own disciples. They wore red Swastikas and their faces were hidden beneath red masks that resembled blindfolds. The Dark Master was the only one not wearing a mask. He stood before them.
"Soon, we shall have a thirteenth disciple. One whose power and dominion shall help us extend our reach beyond the Germanies to the entire world."
The Dark Disciples raised black gloved hands and applauded in an eerie way, no sound emitting from their clapping. He smiled and urged them to stop. They did. The silence in the room grew. "I want you to treat him with the utmost respect, as he is at a tipping point, where he could go our way or to the way of... (with great distaste)...the other."
A low humming filled the room as the men and women of that group made a sound of deep distress that signified displeasure. He had taught them that. It was very disturbing to anyone not aware of its psychological significance.
The door to the room opened and two tall Dark Soldiers stepped inside. Hitler stepped between them, followed by two of his own soldiers, who glanced around nervously, hands on their pistols in case.
"I am here." Hitler announced. "As you requested, Master."
The Dark Master nodded, and indicated a chair to his right next to him. Hitler went to it and sat there, his Soldiers to his right and left, their eyes watching the others of the room nervously. The Dark Master sat down and laid his palms on the tabletop. The moment they touched the tabletop the highly polished surface lit up like a movie screen.
The Soldiers gaped at it in awe, but Hitler remained unphased. "An interesting toy."
The Dark Master smiled at him, his small dark eyes filled with a tender kind of menace. "But a toy that will help you win this war you plan."
"I seriously doubt that, but I'm listening."
The Dark Master swiped his hand across the table top and a view of Nordenbrough from above showed there. Hitler leaned forward with interest when he saw something bright and metallic lancing into view from the right. "Rocketman!"
"Yes. The one block to our ambitions."
Hitler looked at the Dark Master.
"I have not yet made that determination."
Confidently. "You will."
Hitler's eyes locked with the Dark Master's a moment, then looked away. "I'm perturbed by the timing of this event."
"It is not a mistake." The Dark Master announced, his voice trembling with excitement.
"How is this not a mistake?" Hitler demanded, his voice shrill and angry. "You have led me to an encounter with the one man I cannot stop."
"Oh, but I can!"
Hitler looked at the Dark Master. "And who shall aide you, the giants from the center of our earth?"
The Dark Master made a sign above the screen and a flight of saucer shaped devices shot into view in pursuit of Rocketman.
Hitler's eyes widened. He glanced at the smiling Dark Master. "Then it's true!"
"Yes. It is."
Rocketman, Captain Harry or just plain Harry to his friends, navigated the cold and frigid air above Nordenbrough, his eyes on the readouts inside his helmet, as well as the view through the semi-opaque visor he had just thinned so he could see outside with his eyes as well. Tesla had called the visor a String enhanced metal that changed density depending on the energies pouring through it.
Harry didn't understand the rocket science behind it, nor his pal Jet, but they both knew it worked and worked pretty damned well.
"Harry, you in range yet?" Jet asked from his receiver.
"Range and closing."
"It's the tallest building in the village. Not hard to miss at night, but stands out like a big bad boo boo in the light of day."
"I just love your analogies, Jet."
"Yeah. And I love being here safe on my butt, while you pretend to be Superman."
"I'm not pretending anything."
"Tell that to the girls I'm dating that want to meet you."
"Middle name and don't you forget it. Word down from Allied is that the Fuehrer himself is in that hotel at this very moment."
"How would they know that?"
"Shall we say a little birdie told them?"
"Right. Proceeding with drop."
Harry flicked a switch with his tongue and the suit began a plunge towards the quite town below. On its fringes were several factories were the steel and weapons were melted and built. He was more interested in those than the hotel, but he made it a point not to disobey orders too frequently or they might take away his suit.
"Thousand feet and dropping."
"Just like a bomb."
"Hope not. They explode. I intend to come home and date one of those girls you've got compromised."
"Be still my heart."
"Shush or it might be."
"No such luck, fat boy."
"Just because I gained two pounds last week doesn't make me fat."
"Gain another and they'll have to squeeze you into that suit with a pair of giant pliers."
"Funny, ha, ha."
"At your service, through good or bad."
"Jokes that is."
"You got it."
"Two hundred. No signs of anti-aircraft weapons. How's that possible?"
"Cocky Nazis. Dumb Nazis."
"Never met one. Know a dumb ass though."
Harry brays like a donkey. "Got me!
"Preparing to drop."
Harry flicked another switch inside his helmet and his two armor piercing rockets began to open up on his right and left sides of his jet pack. As he swooped lower he noticed the air began to become cloudy, then darker, and then almost smoke like.
"Something's happening, Jet."
"Gotta go to the bathroom?"
"No, I'm serious. I'm losing visibility."
"Impossible. It's clear as a sunny day in the Bahamas right now there."
"Gotta pull out."
Harry flicked another switch and his suit broke from its dive and angled skywards again. He looked down with the help of a screen inside his helmet and the entire town of Nordenbrough was gone.
"Holy crap, Jet!"
"It's all right. I'm safe, but Nordenbrough is gone!"
Harry put on speed and his Rocketman suit shot off like a rocket deep into the Alps towards his home base.
Hitler rose slowly from his chair, a smile on his face. He clapped his hands slowly and precisely. "I would be honored to join my forces with yours, Dark Master."
The Dark Master rose, waved his hand over the tabletop and the image of Rocketman shooting away vanished.
"How soon before we can have this technology for ourselves?" Hitler demanded.
The Dark Master stood silent a long time. Before Hitler could speak out in anger, he waved a well manicured hand and smiled. "When the time is right."
Hitler almost exploded, but instead, he bit the bullet and remained silent. His day would come. He must learn what he could from this man, and then one day, he would be the Master.
The Dark Master rang a small bell and servers came into the room with trays of food and drink. "Now, let's eat and talk about how we shall help one another, shall we?"
Hitler nodded, and then eyed his Soldiers. They fell back against the wall behind him and remained alert, but he sat down and began helping himself to the delicious food being spread before him and the Dark Master and his 12 Dark Disciples. What he had thought was just a mission to expose another occult fake had turned into something much more exciting. He didn't understand the technology he had just witnessed, but he knew it was...technology. And anything this man could build, he would also build.
He had time. He had the patience. Soon his scientists would complete Operation Forever and he would be ready for the next step of his world conquest.
The Dark Master raised a glass of wine into the air. His Dark Disciples did as well. "To our future."
None of the Dark Disciples spoke.
Neither did Hitler.
Strap On That Old Jetpack
"A Rocketman Story"
By John Pirillo
"Yeah. Sure. Like hell I will!" Jet swore as he looked at the inky dinky jetpack that Harry held before him. "You really don't expect me to get into that and try to fly without frying my cajones off, do you?"
Harry, also known as Rocketman, looked at his own suit, which hung nearby, deflated on a large steel rack, and then at Jet's, which a woman could wear around her waist, then shook his head. "Guess not. But it beats ten derbies out of ten in the horse race."
"Yeah. Sure. Harry. You get the big clean suit with no peripheral vision, weighs half a ton, and would crush you as soon as fly you, and I get the cool looking panty wear that will probably burn off my butt and my...you know."
Harry laughed. "Come on, Jet, you can't have it both ways. You want me to keep flying you like I have been?"
Jet turned right and examined the harness apparatus they'd used the last flights, and the bullet marks on its framework and the scorch marks as well. "Might be some improvement. At least I won't be a sitting target in your arms."
"Right on. Instead, you'll be one all by your lonesome." Harry reminded him.
Jet growled, and then eyed Einstein as he came up, his pipe held in his right hand and his mustache twitching from a large grin as he stopped, having overhead the snapping dialogue between the two boys. "I see you two are getting along fabulously."
"Yeah. Just like a cat and a dog." Jet grumbled.
Harry barked with laughter. Jet gave him a dirty look, took the inky dinky jet pack and stomped off. "I'll try it, but if I burn my ass, you're paying, Captain Harry!" He swore, resorting to his least likable appellation of Harry's name.
Harry nodded, doing his best not to laugh. He knew his friend probably would relent, but he also worried too, just like Harry. After all, the jet pack WAS small. Unlike his own which he could climb into and wear like a miniature rocket.
"Look, son." Einstein said, after waiting for Harry to assimilate his thoughts and possibilities. "Every man has to deal with their own mortality. At least you're not in your forties like me, facing death every time he gets up to brush his teeth."
Harry exploded into laughter.
"No, really." Einstein insisted.
Harry shook his head and walked rapidly away, seeking to help Jet deal with his newfound freedom in as safe a way as possible.
Einstein watched a moment, and then turned as Tesla came up and joined him. "They are quite the pair, aren't they?"
"Yes, and without the both of them this war would be a lot tougher, and a lot more dangerous."
"Has Harry stabilized yet?"
Einstein turned to face Tesla. "His interdimensional flights have continued to increase."
"Then you believe him when he says he's experiencing our world in the future, or a future, where Hitler has won?"
"Let's put it this way. I don't disbelieve him, and after all, didn't we originate the interdimensional time crossover equation ourselves when we designed the rocket suit Harry wears?"
"Yes, and that's what worries me. The new one Jet is testing is even bearing even more heavily condensed time matter."
Einstein turned to follow the two young men as they joined up together and headed for the testing area. "Somehow, I think it will turn out all right."
"According to Harry, the future didn't...turn out right."
Einstein looks at him. "I don't believe in accidents. I think it's a warning of what could come if we do not apply ourselves diligently in our defense of humanity."
Tesla shook his head. "I hope so. For our sake and the world's?"
Jet slung the jet pack over his shoulders, while Harry helped him strap it on properly. "This control here. He touched the breastplate, where a spinner and dials glowed brightly. Use the spinner to accelerate and slow down. The dial on the right, press it to turn right..."
"Yeah, yeah I know. Dial on left, press to burn my ass off on a tight left turn."
Harry smiled. "I'm glad you're taking this so well."
"I wouldn't be if you weren't coming along with me. If I go up in flames, I want you to be there to go down with me."
"What a comforting thought." Harry said, his eyes twinkling with mirth.
Jet suddenly gave Harry a hug.
"Wish me luck and last one to the Tower of London's a big baby!"
Jet ran up the ramp to the outside of their bunker, pressing the spinner and twirling it, sending bright blue rays from the rear of the jet pack as he leaped at an angle. In moments he had cleared the ramp and shot off towards the distant Swiss mountains on the other side of the valley their base was hidden above.
Harry ran like crazy to get into his rocket suit.
Jet adjusted the mike on his throat. "Red Dog, can you read me? Over."
A crackling came from the receiver in his right ear. He pounded it lightly and caused himself to fall into a spin for a moment, until he adjusted his rockets and attitude.
"Red Dog here. Over. Ready for those hot dogs yet?"
"You shut your mouth, Harry!" Jet yelled, the air blasting into his throat as he did.
He touched a control on his chest and a helmet slid from the back of his suit and over his face. "Now that's cool, man!" He muttered.
Suddenly a rush of wind whipped by him and he almost lost control again.
"Yoo-hoo!" Harry cried out as he shot past in his Rocketman suit.
Jet gave him a three fingered salute, and then poured on the juice.
As he did he felt this kind of wobbly motion in his belly and head, as if he was going to throw up, and then the Swiss valley below vanished and he found himself soaring over a huge metallic city with gigantic bombers guarding it, their wings emblazoned with Nazi Swastikas.
"Holy Crap!" He cried out.
His helmet receiver spiked with sound. "Vo getzen?"
Jet laughed. "Come on, Harry. How did you pull this off?"
"Sprechen sie nun, vo getzen?"
"Oh crap!" Jet cursed, and then shot away to his left.
He felt rather than saw a burst of radiant energy sear the space he had just flown through. He rolled frantically a moment, striving to avoid the brunt of the energies and managed, but not without hurtling himself towards a gigantic tower. As he closed in he saw a gigantic soldier, a Super Soldier, a giant over eight feet tall with muscles that would make the Hulk jealous, and a huge weapon that looked like an amped up bazooka.
It spotted him the same time as he spotted it. "Oh really crap!" Jet cursed, and then before he could move in time, something swept by overhead and grabbed him, accelerating him from the launched missile coming from the giant soldier.
"You all right?" He heard in his receiver.
"Yeah. Thanks to you."
He twisted his head to take a look and saw a Rocketman suit unlike any he'd seen before. It was much lighter than Harry's and worn more like clothing than armor. Then he freaked. "Harry?"
The man in the suit turned to look into his face and double freaked. "Jet! But you're dead!"
"Oh holy hell if I am, Captain Harry!"
"But, but...if you're here now, then how...and how...?"
"I'll explain another time. I think you need to let me go, I have a really weird feeling coming on and I suspect if I don't separate from you there's going to be some kind of stupid time convulsion."
"You mean explosion."
"No, I mean...just let me go you big oaf!"
"I love you, Jet!"
"Yeah. I know, brother. Get with it, huh?"
Harry let go and Jet juiced his jet pack and flamed off in a blaze of blue energies. As he did he felt that quiver of upset again and then he found himself plunging towards Lake Lucerne below. Before he could strike the waters, Rocketman swooped down and scooped him up in his arms. "This is getting really freaky, man." Jet said.
Rocketman Harry smiled through his visored helmet. "You don't know the half of it. I was following you, and then boom, you vanished."
"You won't believe where I just went."
"Would you believe me if I said I would?"
Jet sighed. At that moment of his life he would believe anything.
Stark builds Ultron as a prototype, a way to possibly never have to get back in the Iron Man suit himself again.