(New) Hero and warrior! Captain America, Golden Age Serial, Chapter 15, fractals, artwork & stories at www.johnpirillo.com
This is the last chapter of one of the most expensive Golden Age Serials created by Republic Films.
Wouldn't it be fun if the movie theaters once again had a serial, a cartoon or two, maybe some news and a nice movie all at the same time?
I had it as a kid. Wish you all could have the same. It was fun and exciting.
Hells a Poppin
"A to Hell and Back Story"
By John Pirillo
Weed's history is not so great. He joined the Marines in 2010. A high school grad with no desire to excel in anything, somehow he had managed to at least pass with a score high enough to bag him a gig with the Marines. But that wasn't good enough. He had to be the top rifleman in his squad, and the best man in martial arts, the only person to survive (a phone) combat scenario that no one could possibly win, but he had.
So for his efforts he had been awarded a stake in another job. Going to hell and back. Yeah. War's hell, but some wars are in hell, or with hell. And that was his best window of opportunity yet. With just a knife, wide open eyes, and a lot of luck. Luck does count! With luck he had managed to kill three demons that had over run their platoon on a mission in Afghanistan.
The natives had screamed all night about demons coming, and not one of the Americans had bought it then, so instead they bought it later.
Gunfire. Grenades. Rocket launches. Hellfire missiles. None of it worked. The demons were smarter and better armed. Invincible in their stealth mode. They could move invisibly through the ranks and decimate them.
He had seen Jenks, his Captain, a likable fellow with two kids back in Arkansas, a stake in a reasonable farm to retire to, and yet he had been the first one to buy it. He had awakened to the scream, thrown himself out the pup tent, a small hotdog shaped slip of a tube of cloth they all rigged beneath the dirt so they could remain hidden from probing eyes.
He had seen Jenks stabbing at something in the air, and blood spurting, but nothing visible. Jenks had stopped screaming when his head exploded, squashed like a watermelon by a vise like force invisible to the eyes.
Hammer had been next. He was the wise cracking machine gunner of the group. Never missed. This time his weapon was useless. Bullets spun out of the gun at over a thousand rounds a second and everyone struck. Blood spurted in a thousand directions, but in a few moments he was hanging upside down by the hot flaming tube of his gun, his guts ripped out.
Joyce had been last. She had run out in skivvies and had both legs torn off before she could even raise a grenade to toss.
He had been lucky. Luck had been with him.
He had torn through the frigid night, racing like a pig with the butcher after him, and it was. With ten sets of claws, a thousand teeth and an appetite for extreme death and violence. Though at the time he had thought it was some kind of special weapons force that had invaded their platoon. Someone sent in from the crazies running the local wars, but bought from China or Russia.
When it caught up with him, its breath was fetid and hot.
He whipped round, saw nothing and was ready to keep running when he felt two clawed hands grab him by his waist and raise him slowly. He did a stupid thing. He pepper sprayed it. It worked!
It coughed and threw him down. Sounded like a mountain lion going to the bathroom with multiple hemorrhoids. But it was there.
He kicked up a footfall of sand with his boots and for a brief second he saw something that almost stopped his heart, which would have been a blessing at the time, because it was racing so hard it was likely to stop on its own accord anyway.
It was straight from hell. Literally. It stood over ten feet tall. It had teeth by the dozens protruding from its lower jaw over its lips and eyes that were slanted like an Orientals. In fact it was orange all over with a green fur that bristled with shades of red and orange. Its whole being exuded some kind of darkness that etched a line around it. A kind of outline of evil.
He had reacted, not from instinct, but from sheer disgust.
He had thrown his knife. The one his father had given him. The silver one. For Christmas
The knife struck the demon in its chest as it was fading from view and it roared horribly. So hard and furiously that he was blasted from his feet. He rolled over and came up to his feet, scrambling for his second blade. If one could do that.
He threw it.
It was also silver. The second one his father had given him for his birthday. He'd said. "You growing like a weed, son. One day you might have need of a week trimmer. Picker. Something to stop wild things."
Weed had never asked what his father meant, even though he had given him this strange look, as if he were seeing something not there. His family was like that. Some called t hem voodoos, people struck by local magic and cursed. Others called them occultists or psychics. He just called them family.
The demon, for he could tell that now. As it died its form became more and more visible and more and more disgusting to look at. Its blood shot forth from where the two knives had struck over its heart and showered the ground. It spun around and two more demons were marked and visible by the blood.
They had been rushing Weed without him realizing it.
He was dead for sure.
But when the first demon's blood struck them, a funny thing happened. Not ha-ha, but creepy strange. Like Twilight Zone, Lovecraft and Outer Limits Stephen King kind of strange.
They caught on fire.
All three demons exploded in a geyser of blood and fire, which shot straight up towards the cloudless sky, a Vesuvius of grossness and evil that showered back down and struck the desert floor, spearing it with body parts and ichor.
He just stood there, wiping the crap off his face, grinning. Laughing.
He had lived through the worst nightmare of his life.
He walked through the smoking remains and retrieved his two knives.
He kissed them both, ignoring the ichor on them, then wiped them clean on the back of his combat fatigues and sat down. He thrust the small black box hinged to his belt in front of him, keyed in a code, then activated it. A gentle beeping came from it.
Satellites overhead spun and turned, snaking slowly around to sip the binary data flowing into their hungry throats.
Ten days later he was back at Nellis, with the rest of the survivors of that night. Not from his platoon, but the others, who had also been on similar missions. He never learned their names. A very tough older man stood up from the midst of them; walked to the front of the room they were seated in silently and turned to eye them.
"Life is tough."
"Yo." They all answered.
"And then you die."
Everyone was silent. They knew what he meant, but were not going to agree with it.
"Last night you saw something, didn't you?"
Everyone was silent. Where was this going?
"Something that just should not have been."
Everyone nodded, but still remained silent.
"Something that shouldn't be on our planet."
Weed got tired of it. He stood up, scratched his ten day old beard. No one had a chance to shower or shave yet, and it was starting to get to him. "Sir, I don't mean to rattle your cage or anything, but these men are bone tired. Shit-faced with death and ready to drop. Will you just say it?"
The tall man turned to face Weed, his face stern as a block of ice. "Your name, Marine."
"Your real name."
Everyone broke into laughter.
The tall man listened a moment, then raised a hand for silence. Everyone got a frightened look on their faces as he scowled at Weed.
Weed didn't care. He'd seen all his friends murdered in front of his eyes, limbs torn off, guts ripped out, and necks broken. What more could anyone do to him now?
Everyone rose to leave.
The tall man pointed at Weed. "You. Here!"
Weed waited until the others had left, all looking back at him, fearful for what might happen. Though none knew each other, there was a deep bond between them.
"Sir." Weed saluted.
The tall man broke into a grin. "I'm no sir. Sarge will do."
"Sarge, sir!" Weed said with a returning grin.
"Sit here." The Tall Man pointed to a chair near him.
Weed nodded and slumped into the chair, feeling his fatigue rolling over him like a wave again. His eyes fought to stay open as the Tall Man spoke.
"I need you."
"Everyone needs someone, sir."
"Not for what I need you."
Weed's eyes continued to close.
"I'm going to hell and I need you to go with me."
Weed woke up and barked with laughter. "Hell, Sarge, I've just come back from there."
The Tall Man's smile vanished. "No. You haven't."
Then he told Weed what he knew.
Weed's eyes no longer threatened to sew themselves shut. He felt adrenaline rushing through his system, his hair standing up on the back of his neck, and his mouth drier than the Iraqi desert. "Damn!"
"And then some."
Weed shook his head, then stood up and offered his hand. "If it will save more souls from going through what I saw ten nights ago....?"
The Tall Man rose and took his hand. It was warm and firm. Like the grip of a long lost friend.
"Then I'm in. Sarge."
Sarge smiled. "Now go get cleaned up, then chow down. We've got a lot of work to do before we go to hell."
"Yes, Sarge. I'm sure we do." Weed laughed. "I'm sure we do."
Weed walked out of the meeting room, an ominous and foreboding feeling gripping his heart. He had the feeling that he had just chosen to step into the biggest stack of doo doo any Marine could ever step into.
(New) Earth was his birth place, Mars his home! Edgar Rice Burroughs Warlord of Mars Audiobook, Part 2
An Interview with Lord Graystone, the Jungle Lord
By John Pirillo
For those of you who are just jumping into this interview, a brief review of the first one.
Lord Graystone is the survivor of a horrible accident, who grew up in Fairie, raised by a bull dragon. Much of his physical prowess and sensibilities come from living in those fierce jungles, which are not only enlivened by lions and crocodiles, but also prehistoric beasts straight from Jurassic Park. This is no surprise, considering that stories that originate here usually take on some kind of physical substance in that parallel universe, which I have named The Baker Street Universe in honor of its heroes.
The man, for surely he is, though quite a remarkable one, is fiercely loyal, powerfully strong, and has a brain as finely tuned as Sherlock's, with a memory equally as daunting. Not a man to make an enemy of. Fierce in battle, fierce in loyalty. Those are his attributes.
When last we spoke, I was about to ask my first question of the interview. I had a certain reluctance at the time, because of his known fierce nature, and surely wanted to accord him the respect such a powerful man of jungle and city deserves.
I pressed the record on button of my phone app, and then leaned back in my chair.
"It is my understanding that you were abandoned as a child. Is that true?"
I waited for him to explode in my face, for it was a very, very personal question and what I had written about him, as you will see, is far different from what actually happened, though close in some ways.
He considered my question a long time, his face clouded with emotion, and then he spoke clearly and precisely as those of a Victorian Manner are wont to do. "Sir."
"Call me John, please." I requested.
"We have not known each other enough to be on first names, sir." He answered, his face bewildered by my boldness. I had asked of him a question as equally as important as asking a fair young maiden of her virtue. Not appropriate. My first mistake.
But to his credit, he smiled. "I will call you, Mister Pirillo. You may address me as Jungle Lord." Here his smile broadened. "Or Lord Graystone."
"Very well." I agreed.
He nodded, and then spoke. "My mother and father were quite famous during the early reign of Queen Mary, who was merely a child at the time, ruled more by her counselors and advisors, than by her own hand.
"I was born to them during the siege of the Demon City."
"Yes. The Demon City was raised from the depths of Qwan Chi, an island off the coast of the mainland by a dark wizard for the purposes of using its inhabitants to terrorize and control the populated world."
"I am not familiar with that war." I said. "Perhaps you could enlighten us with more information about it."
"Is this relevant to my interview?" He asked, his face studying me for honesty, as he usually did to all I have noticed over time.
"Yes. It will put into more perspective how you have grown up and the effect of your childhood upon both your physical stature, as well as your intellectual prowess."
He almost laughed, and then stopped. "You're beginning to sound a lot like Holmes."
I blushed. "That would be an honor."
"Indeed." He agreed, saying no more.
He looked out at the Eiffel Tower, his hand holding a glass of the sparkling grape juice I had given him. He sniffed it, his eyes rolling with pleasure.
"My father and mother met during the war. She was a nurse, and he was a...how shall I describe him...a scientist of the dark arts."
"He practiced dark magic?"
"Oh no." He quickly shook his head. "No, merely the equivalent of an archaeologist or historian of your times. He went there to survey the ruins, and to understand how it had been raised. It was important to her majesty's armies at the time, as they feared the Chinas would rise from the ruins of that dark place to take on the world in another war, as they had in the previous three."
"There have been three wars?" I asked in astonishment. I had no idea.
He frowned. "Yes. Horrible wars. As you know they far outnumber our own Europes by a factor of ten. We could slay them by the millions and hardly make a dent."
He frowned even deeper. "But such slaughter has never been our intent, or that of the queen, as young as she was. We merely sought assurances."
"And what happened next, after your father arrived on the island?"
"He met my mother." He answered, his face brightening with that memory. "It was love at first sight. I remember that much of their history, though everything else, I'm afraid, is taken from other sources, other memories."
He looked sad momentarily, then took a deep breath and resumed his story.
"It was the middle of April, a time when the island would become freezing cold. The natives there used that time of year to catch fresh fish and store them for the summer and spring months, trading them for valuable supplies from the mainland Chinas."
"So how did your parents meet?"
He smiled. "In a dig."
"Really? Doesn't sound very romantic to me."
"Oh, it wasn't. From what Challenger's father told him..."
"Challenger's father was there?"
"Oh yes, indeed. He and Watson's father served in the military. Both men were highly decorated and renowned during that time."
"That explains how John entered the service then." I assumed.
"Oh no. John entered for his own reasons. To serve. He has always led a life of compromise and service. I honor him for that, and that is one of the biggest reasons I have joined the fellows of Baker Street in their administrations of justice throughout the realms."
"I see. So the dig then..." I urged.
He went on. "My father was young and foolish. She was also young, but very, very smart. Bright as the moon at night and the sun during the day. It was told to me that she had memorized every page of the Gita, a famous biblical yarn from the India Isles."
"That's remarkable. It's quite a dense book to read."
"You've read it?"
I nodded. "Yes, but a lot still remains a mystery to me."
"And rightly so, as it has arcane knowledge within it, meant only for the enlightened."
"Wizards and magic?"
At that point of our conversation in the interview my cell phone battery chooses to run out of charge.
I shall post further of this interview after I have had time to digest and review what was said later on.
I remain your humble and loving author and interviewer.
Short Story. "The Dominion of Worms " A To Hell and Back Tale. Demons aren’t monsters. Just people who want to give the rest of us hell!
" The Dominion of Worms"
A To Hell and Back Tale"
By John Pirillo
It is said that for every child that is born, at least six more go to heaven. I don't know if that's true or not. Guess it depends on which person, culture or community you're living in. What they believe to be true is not necessarily true or the truth in any form. But we have to respect it. It's the law of common decency.
Truth is like silly putty; it can be molded pretty much anyway we want it to go. Maybe that's how politicians justify squirming out of the truth so often. Just a little twist here, a little pull there and it's still the truth, but not as recognizable, and maybe even more palatable to the masses they intend to deceive.
He sighed to himself as he polished his AT-gun. It was the newest model. Straight from headquarters. Which means he had built it himself. His name was Gunner. He could be one mean sonuva you know what when action called for it, but he preferred being out in the fields, laying in the meadows of daisies and peonies as they blossomed in spring. But then it wasn't always spring, and when it wasn't he was in his sub basement.
Yeah. Right. A basement for his friends and neighbors and the government, and a sub basement for him and his fellow warriors. Their job: Kill demons. Their life: Kill demons.
Least that seems like what it was these days.
He sighed again. He hadn't had much time of late to socialize with the neighbors next door. Their daughter Elena was a knockout with a mind that could put one of his AT-guns together with her eyes shut. Not that he would ever give her one to play with. He was more interested in seeing how she could manipulate his puckered lips, than his killing machines.
He sighed yet once more. Good thing no one was watching, or they might have thought him a pansy or a loser because of the melancholy he was going through at that moment. Not the kind that leads to suicidal thoughts. Never that. He loved life. That's why he had made it his job to kill demons. They hated life and everything about it, because they could never, ever really be a part of it. The Creator had not made them that way; they had chosen that dark path and a million others so they wouldn't have to be responsible for their actions.
Demons weren't monsters. They were people who had died and instead of going to heaven, chose to stay on earth and make it miserable for those who still had a real, living, breathing body. No, they weren't demons in the classical sense, though over time because of their darker natures, they started to resemble the very things that would have frightened them to death when they were alive.
They were just lost souls who had chosen to use the energy of Creation to bend to their selfish ways and over time had become further and further corrupted. You might ask yourself, he had many times, why God allowed them. Because He hoped that one day they would turn back to the path of Creation and not destruction.
Meanwhile, Gunner and his commandoes put to right the wrongs those misguided souls created and set them back on their merry way to God. Usually screaming and cursing, because it meant they had to finally face what they had done and been doing with their lives. It wasn't a pretty picture watching them go. But it was a job that had to be done.
Oh, and in case you're wondering. There is a hell. Earth. And about another infinite versions of it, made up by the lost souls who demonized their lives.
He and his fellow commandoes journeyed to those hells in search of victims of these perverted creatures to save them, to give them another chance at life.
It had all started when their boss had lost his daughter to a Head Honcho Demon, and then branched out into a more general service of righting demon work everywhere. There was so much of it. It appeared endless sometimes, but then it would, since so many people who crossed over, refused to go into the Light and into the true Creation and thus remained earthbound and eventually hell bound because of their dark motives.
Gunner didn't have any problem working with the souls who were just plain confused and lost. Those souls could usually be nudged back onto the path with a little patience and guidance. No, it was the mean ones. The nasty ones. The hateful ones who didn't like humans even when they were alive: the terrorists, the crazy gangbangers, the serial killers, the crooked politicians, the deceitful maniacs who perverted wealth and power to control and manipulate others. Those were the ones who opted out to become demons.
Yeah. Sometimes they just sighed up; straight and front. I want to be a demon they realized as they crossed over and saw the faces of past friends who had chosen to go t hat way, even though their friends no longer had the bodies of normal humans any longer.
Gunner stood up and stretched. He gazed at his arsenal a moment, taking in the double bladed knife he usually sheathed on his right hip, the slim gun with rapid firing magnesium pellets that could melt an ice demon, the looper, which cast thin wire that rapidly garroted any creature luckless enough to catch it around its neck or necks.
Mostly, they didn't use exotic weapons. It was his job to come up with them, because there were special circumstances, special demons that only one kind of weapon or another could send them off the planet and back in the direction where they should be.
He never asked where the dead demons went, but his silent comrade, the gorgeous one, whose name was so gentle, you'd never believe she killed demons for a living; she had said that they ended up on another planet, like ours, but where they had to learn their lessons. She called it a prison planet of sorts, but then he had joked and said, "And ours isn't?"
She hadn't laughed. Nor had she replied. He had remembered that to this day. Was his planet also a prison of sorts? Maybe just at a higher pay grade?
As he was musing over the philosophy of his thoughts, the door to his sub-basement burst open and a Charly...demons over ten feet tall...burst into the basement, brandishing hands with fingers shaped like knife blades.
He didn't bother to ask it to knock next time; he calmly raised his Sponge and fired it. The Charly was caught in a net of gooey energies. Sort of like Nano particles, but mixed with a kind of binary burgundy that kept it always moving in its narrow orbital shape, so that nothing could slip through it or break it, not even a ghost.
The Charly tumbled to the floor, its roar of triumph turning to a whine of self pity.
He stepped over to it and hefted his Sky Kicker. "I hear you get all the free food you can eat where you're going!"
Then he fired.
The Charly snarled and screamed as it was enveloped in a thick, piercing energy of white light, then it vanished, leaving only a slight brown stain on his beautiful tiled floor.
"Aw!" He swore as he looked at the stain and headed for his mop and bucket. "And I just cleaned it up this morning."
Then he began cleaning up the remains of the demon. Smearing it and the memory of it from his life and that of the planet.