Clown the Jester
Part 19: War Against Madness
I swung my fist, knocking one of the Clowns to the ground, stomping my foot as hard as I could on his face. I pounced at another Clown the Jester only to be kicked backwards into the hands of four outstretched Clown the Jesters.
“Gentlemen,” One of the Clown the Jesters addressed his clones, pulling out a baseball bat out of his pocket. “Lets squash this grape!”
The Jester began punch, kicking, and stomping me. I tried to block their attacks but they were too fast.
Drakkoniss’s lasers knocked the Jesters off me.
“Are you alright?” He asked, slicing a Clown the Jester in half with his axe. The spit Jester laughed grabbing one of his severed legs and swung it like a club, the foot hitting Drakkoniss in the face.
“Never better,” I grunted, as I lit a flaming Molotov and threw it into an advancing pack of Clown the Jesters.
As they burst into flames, the Harlequins let out hoots and shrieks of amusement, plowing past me, knocking me over.
The Clowns barely noticed they were on fire as they charged at Drakkoniss.
“SOME CLOWNS LOOSE THEIR GUTS WHEN THINGS GET TOUGH!” One burning Clown shouted throwing a pie at Drakkoniss. “AND CLOWNS LIKE IT WHEN THE HEAT IS ON! WA HA HA HA HA!”
Velmur sent a tidal wave of water over a small group of Clown the Jesters, ThunderSmite fired a bolt at the water, electrocuting the pack of Harlequins. Eight of the Clowns tacked ThunderSmite from behind, knocking the Half God to the ground. They began beating him with baseball bats.
“OH HIT! HA HA HA HA! I LOVE BASEBALL!” A Clown the Jester mocked, smashing his bat into ThunderSmite’s skull.
Twenty Clown the Jesters surrounded Drakkoniss, all lunging at the Champion of Good.
“WE’RE GONNA MAKE YOU BEAT THE STUFFING OUT OF YOU, DRAKKONISS!” One of the Jesters screamed.
“Yeah right,” Drakkoniss said. “MWAHAHAHA!”
Drakkoniss swung his large axe around his head; the powerful swing knocked most of the Clown around him skywards. One of the Clowns punched Drakkoniss in the gut. The Champion of good retaliated, by firing a laser through the Harlequin’s skull blasting off his head.
WarPro unleashed a large burst of red energy, disintegrating fifteen Clowns. Three Clown the Jesters fired bazookas at WarPro blasting him into the air and into another gathering crowd of Clowns.
“YOU’RE OUT!” One screamed with glee.
Defiant slashed three Clowns in half, his swinging faster and faster.
One of the split Clown the Jesters floated into the air, lifting Defiant off the ground with on hand and threw him over his shoulder.
As Defiant flew through the air, three Clowns hopped up to him, riding purple pogo sticks.
The first hit Defiant in the chest with a baseball bat, the second fired a bolt of purple energy into Defiant, the third painted Defiant's left hand red with a large paint brush.
“A-HA! CAUGHT RED HANDED!,” the Clown accused as Defiant crashed to the ground.
Instantly Defiant was back on his feet, beheading another Clown the Jester, while hurling a ball of fire at another Clown.
Another Clown the Jester hit Defiant in the back of the head with a rubber chicken. Defiant fell to the ground, blood dripping down the back of his skull.
“Whoops! Looks like I hit a ground ball!” The Clown joked as eight more of him joined him, beating the fallen Defiant. “I think I may have mixed my rubber chicken up with the lead chicken.”
“These things happen,” another Clown the Jester said, stomping his foot down on Defiant’s neck.
Arachnid was surrounded by twelve Clown the Jesters. She swung out her leg, kicking two in the face, twirling around like a twister, and slashed her knife across one of the Harlequin’s face.
The cut Clown the Jester snarled angrily grabbing Arachnid by the arm, and swung her into the air and slammed her to the ground.
“YOU RUINED MY LOVLY FACE!” Clown the Jester roared, kicking the dazed Arachnid hard in the side. “FOR THAT, I’M GONNA TEAR YOURS OFF!”
I stumbled back as another Clown the Jester punched me in the chest. I shot my leg at the Harlequin, but he easily blocked it.
“Silly Grape,” The Clone Clown the Jester mocked, throwing me over his head and into another wave of fellow Clowns. “You are not threat to us. Ya never were. Never will. Might as well give up and join the chorus of laughter.”
Drakkoniss was fending off more than two hundred Clown the Jesters. He tried his best to hold off the never ending horde of Clowns with a wave of fire on the mob of his archenemies, followed by a dozen laser blasts, but there were far too many Clown the Jesters to take on. They swarmed on him like an ocean pilling on top of him.
Drakkoniss struggled with all his might as the Clowns buried him in their numbers. More and more jumped onto the pie of Clown the Jesters.
“NOW THIS IS WHAT I CALL A TACKLE!” one of the Clown the Jesters close to the top of the pile cried out.
“HOLD ON! THE OVER ARCHING JOKE THEME WAS BASEBALL!” Another exclaimed.
“WHOOPS! MY BAD!” The Clown apologized.
A single Clown the Jester quickly ran over to the towering Clown pile that burried Drakkoniss.
“CLOWN THE JESTERS!” He called out urgently to his clones.
“WHAT IS IT CLOWN THE JESTER?” They all asked in unison.
“WE NEED TO GET SHOOT DRAKKONISS’S HEAD!” He announced reaching into his coat pocket.
“SURE CLOWN THE JESTER! HE WOULD MAKE A FUNNY TEST FOR OUR NEW SHOOTER!” They all replied.
“I KNOW CLOWN THE JESTERS BUT WE GOTTA HURRY!” the Clown said hurridly, sticking his hand into the mass of Clowns tugging Drakkoniss’s head to his neck.
“I’m really not in the mood for this Clown…sorry…Clowns,” Drakkoniss said trying to tug his way free from under the two hundred Clown the Jester dog pile.
“Heh heh heh…this won’t take long Drakkoniss,” the single Clown the Jester replied painting a purple bullseye on Drakkoniss’s head with a paint brush. “Just gotta get your makeup. I already have my perm-a-makeup on.”
“Yeah Drakky,” one of the Clowns in the pile said, tightening his grip around Drakkoniss’s neck. “Ya only get your shooting once. We have such happy trigger fingers.”
The entire mob of clowns burst out laughing, the single Clown pulled out his weapon pointing it at Drakkoniss.
“I’ve been waiting for this for such a long time!” the Clown the Jester said, lining his weapon up with Drakkoniss’s bull’s-eye. “Specially designed just for you Drakkoniss, isn’t that lovely?”
Drakkoniss started struggling more and more, desperate to escape the grasp of his clone rivals.
“HOW CAN I SHOOT YA WHEN YOU’RE STRUGGLING? HOW RUDE!” Clown the Jester said with a disappointed scowl. “I MEAN IT’S ALMOST AS IF YA DON’T WANT ME TO SHOOT YOU CLOSE RANGE IN THE FACE! I TELL YA!”
Four Clown the Jesters above Drakkoniss’s head grabbed Drakkoniss’s flailing head, holding him in place.
“There we go. So childish…oh well…now lets do this,” Clown the Jester said repositioning his weapon.
“READY?” He cried, closing one of his eyes, his tongue sticking out the corner of his mouth.
Drakkoniss tried to fire out lasers from his eyes, but the Clowns restraining his head, shifted his vision left and right of the Clown with the device. The beams passed harmlessly around the Harlequin.
“AIM!” Another Clown the Jester amongst the dog pile called out.
Drakkoniss desperately tried to move his arms free, tried kicking his way out, tried anything.
“FIR….WAIT! WAIT WAIT WAIT WAIT!...wait. We should have an actually count down,” the Clown with the weapon said. “So we may treasure every second of this legendary moment with our best enemy!”
The other Clown the Jesters let out cheers of support.
“Ok,” he continued reaiming his gun. “Lets start at say…hm….789, 788, 786, 785, 784…”
Velmur fired his Classic Ray Gun at three Clown the Jesters, to his surprise, they dodged the energy beams.
“You may be a god of rivers, lakes, ponds, and damp sponges,” One of the Clown the Jesters hissed throwing a deck of cards at Velmur.
BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!
The Cards exploded in a burst of purple light, sending Velmur flying backwards.
“BUT WE ARE THE GODS OF COMEDY, MISCHIEF, MADNESS, AND GAGS!” Another Clown the Jester cried out, levitating Velmur into the air.
Velmur was thrown into the Pandora statue, breaking off the large arm of the Heroine Smasher.
“Yeek,” a third Clown the Jester said. “Property damage like that will cost ya an arm and a leg. HEE HEE HEE HA HA!”
“615, 614, 613…” The Clown the Jester aiming at Drakkoniss continued. “612, 611, 610…”
War Pro blasted thirty clowns back, disintegrating another five to his left.
A Clown the Jester teleported behind War Pro in a puff of purple smoke.
“Boo,” he rasped holding a large purple bomb in his hands, pressing it against War Pro’s head.
The explosion sent fifteen Clown the Jesters flying in all directions. The Jester that held the bomb, fell to the ground, giggling softly. War Pro laided beside him, alive, but badly injured.
Thundersmite cast another bolt of lightning down on forty Clown the Jesters. To his surprise the Clowns appeared unaffected by the attack.
“Never use the same trick twice when dealing with a guy who can change reality,” One of the Clowns hissed, hitting Thundersmite over the head with his cane.
Thundersmite punched the Jester in the jaw, rocketing the Harlequin fifty feet into the air.
“Foul Jokester!” Thudersmite said, slashing his powerful sword through another Clown the Jester.
Four more Jesters slammed into him, one breaking his baseball bat with a powerful swing into the half god’s forehead.
“545, 544, 543, 542…”
Arachnid hurled a ball of fire at the Clown she cut. She leapt back up, stabbing the knife into his chest.
The Clown the Jester let out a scream, blood oozing down his purple suit.
“That was for my Lady,” Arachnid said coldly.
“I…I…I think,” he stammered, trying desperately to speak. “I…think you broke my heart! HEE HEE HEE!”
The Clown punched Arachnid into the air, as she soared backwards, she swung her leg out, knocking another Clown the Jester to the ground. The Clown she knocked over began to stand up, but Arahnid slammed her foot down as hard as she could on the harlequin’s face over and over until he stopped trying to get up. Clown the Jester pulled her knife out of his chest, throwing it at Arachnid, flying through the air like an arrow.
She leaped out of the blades path. Clown the Jester, grin widening, reached both hands into his pockets, pulling out two handfuls of knives, and meat cleavers, throwing them, one by one at her.
She dodged left and right, doing back flips, forward flips, cartwheels, rolling, doing anything she could to dodge the oncoming blades.
Each knife missed her by mere inches. To her surprise, Clown the Jester pulled out a large fire escape axe, hurling it at her.
She dodged to the left, the axe began to pass her, she quickly grabbed the axe handle with an outstretched hand and threw it back at the Clown, beheading the Harlequin.
“232, 233…oh wait…I skipped over 421 a little while back…421, 420, 419…”
Defiant was back on his feet, beheading two Clown the Jesters with a single swing, plunging his blade into a third followed by a powerful kick into the Harlequin’s face.
He caught out of the corner of his eye another Clown, behind him, aiming a gun at Defiant.
Defiant blocked the bullet with his sword. Sending the bullet back to the Clown, the bullet piercing his chest.
“VERY IMPRESSIVE!” A Clown the Jester said, smoke leaking from his hand gun, not even remotely affected by the bullet wound.
Eight more Clown the Jesters gathered around Defiant. All, gun’s raised.
BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG!
Defiant twirled his blade left and right, the bullets ricocheting off his sword.
BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG!
He reflected bullet after bullet. Moving faster and faster. The Sword moving so fast that it seemed a blur.
BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG!
The fifth bullet pierced his leg.
Defiant let out a cry of pain falling to the ground.
BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG!
Even of the ground, Defiant continued to reflect the bullets.
BANG! BANG BANG!
Another bullet hit him. This time, in his lower side. He continued to reflect…despite the large amounts of blood he was losing.
BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG!
A Bullet pierced his shoulder, followed by another hitting his left arm.
BANG! BANG! BANG!
All three bullets hit him in the chest. Stinging like hot metal.
BANG! BANG! BANG!
As Defiant’s life began to fade away, the sword master threw his weapon; the blade impaled one of the Clowns in the heart. The Jester fell backwards.
One of the Clown the Jesters approached the limp Defiant, the sword master’s eyes still twitching left and right. A small sign of life. The Clown pressed his gun against Defiant’s head.
“Good effort,” Harlequin hissed as his finger pulled the trigger. “But not good enough.”
As Velmur began to regain consciousness, his eyes focused on a Clown the Jester that was pointing a large cannon at him.
“REMEMBER THE LAUGHIMO!” The Harlequin screamed as the cannon fired, saluting Velmur.
Just seconds before the cannon ball hit, Velmur’s skin turned to steel. The cannon ball bounced harmlessly off Velmur’s metal head. The Water God picked up the cannonball and threw it like a foot ball at the Clown, knocking the harlequin off his feet.
Twenty Clowns charged at Velmur, each holding a stick of dynamite. The Smasher cast a wave of water over the Clowns freezing the liquid in place. The Clown the Jesters stood motionless stuck in a block of ice.
Velmur slammed his metal shoulder into the block of ice, shattering it to pieces, along with the Clowns.
“75, 74, 73…”
War Pro punched eight Clown the Jesters into the air, firing a concentrated stream of dark energy at another seven harlequins, the beam branching out hitting each one of their foreheads. Their bodies disintegrated leaving only their clothes behind.
Satisfied, War Pro turned away, searching for more Clown the Jesters to fight. To his surprise seven floating clothes, positioned to match how they would be worn by Clown the Jester, tackled him from behind. Moving as if they were inhabited by invisible spirits.
They pressed their purple jacket sleeves to War Pro’s face. Out from the shirt cuffs, purple bolts of lightning discharged through War Pro’s body, causing him to cry out in pain.
War Pro’s body suddenly emitted a surge of energy burning the floating clothes to ashes.
“5, 4, 3, 2,…..1!” The Clown with the strange weapon screamed pulling the trigger. Drakkoniss’s eyes widened.
“SAY CHEESE!” The Harlequin exclaimed as a bright flash of purple light shined over Drakkoniss, the Clowns around him, smiled up at the device, some giving thumbs up.
“CHEEEEEESSSSSEEEEEE!” They exclaimed.
“PERFECT! I don’t know why you squirm so much when your picture is being taken Drakkoniss,” The Clown with the bizarre camera called out, examining the photo that popped out from the device. “Seems kinda silly to me. WA HA HA HA HA HA!”
All of the Clown the Jesters burst out laughing. The Clown with the photo held up the picture to his clones. In the center of the photo in the middle of the pile of identical Clown the Jesters, Drakkoniss’s face stared into the camera. His face, shocked and confused.
“WA HA HA HA HA HA!” The Clown with the camera laughed, waving the photo around his head. “THE LOOK ON YOUR FACE! PRICELESS! HA HA HA HA! Hold on….hm…DAW! CLOWN THE JESTER # 672, YOUR EYES WERE SHUT!”
“DAW!” Clown the Jester # 672 cried out, bopping his palm against his forehead. “Now we gotta do it all over again. 789, 788…”
“ENOUGH!” Drakkoniss roared, digging his feet down into the ground, pushing up with all his might.
Drakkoniss slowly lifted the 247 Clown the Jesters into the air, a massive huddle. He held his impossible burden over his head.
“MY WORD!” One of the Clowns, near the top of the pile, called down to Drakkoniss, “Somebody’s been working out! HA HA HA! Buffing up a little? I would ask what your power level is…but too many people have already said that joke. Anyway…you don’t have a set power level…do you? Heh heh heh.”
Drakkoniss threw all the Clowns into the air, over his head. As they rose, higher and higher, Drakkoniss began to charge in his hands a large ball of red energy.
Gravity soon came into effect and the crowd of Clown the Jesters fell back downwards about to burry Drakkoniss once again. Drakkoniss fired the ball of energy up at the mass of Clown the Jesters.
The mob of Clowns were scattered in all directions, Drakkoniss flew into the air, slashing his axe through Clown the Jester after Clown the Jester. Soaring at the speed of a fighter jet. Evading Acid pies, exploding baseball cards, spiked baseballs, and anything else the Harlequins threw at him. Moving faster and hitting harder than ever before.
Drakkoniss fired a dozen lasers out, tearing twenty more Clown the Jesters to pieces. As the limps of the clones began to float into the air, Drakkoniss held out his hand, disintegrating the body parts.
Six Clown the Jesters gathered around me. I swung out my leg attempting to kick a Clown to my left, while I used a left jab on the Jester to my right.
Both easily blocked my attack. I grabbed a park bench, tearing it from the ground and smashed it down on one of the Clown the Jesters. The bench broke to pieces on the Clown’s skull, the Harlequin didn’t even flinch.
“I APPRECIATE THE COURTESY GRAY EGGS AND HAM,” The Jester exclaimed, blasting me back with a burst of purple energy. “BUT I DON’T NEED A SEAT!”
The purple energy surged through my body like electricity, I screamed in pain.
One of the Clowns struck me from behind with their cane. My head cried out in pain. I spun my fist around trying to punch the Harlequin in the face.
With lightning reflexes, he caught my hand, twisting it painfully behind my back. I struggled trying to free myself from the Clown’s grip.
“Too slow Earl Gray,” Another Clown the Jester mocked, kicking me in the chin with the heel of his shoe.
Another Clown punched me in the side, a wet crack, and I knew he broke a rib.
“LOVE THE NEW LOOK GRAPE!” One of the Clowns said, hitting me across the face with his cane.
“ESPECIALLY THE FACE! WHAT A MAKEOVER! HA HA HA!” Another Clown continued, slamming his knee into my gut.
I let out a gasp of pain. The Clown restraining my arm, kicked me to the ground, letting out a cruel laugh.
“We men really need to suffer for fashion. HEE HEE HEE HA HA HA HA!” Another Jester laughed.
My fedora fell off my head and rolled away over one of the Clown the Jester’s feet.
FIGHT BACK! My mind screamed as one of the Clowns hit me hard in the back with his cane.
GET UP AND FIGHT! IF YOU DON’T GET UP, YOU WILL DIE! THEN SHE WOULD HAVE DIED FOR NOTHING! GET UP FOR HER! GIVE EVERYTHING YOU CAN FOR HER! EVERYTHING FOR HER! EVERYTHING!
“RAAAAAAAAAH!” I roared, charging into the Clown the Jester in front of me, knocking him over, jumping on top of him.
“FILTHY DOGS!” I roared, punching the Clown over and over with my fist.
THUNK! THUNK CRUNK CRUNCH! CRUNCH! CRUNCH! CRACK! CRUNCH!
The impact of my fist smashing into the Harlequin’s face tremor through my body. I continued to punch, harder and harder. My mind shut out the outside world.
I did not hear the other Clown the Jesters laughing, did not hear the sounds of battle, my mind was fully concentrated on making this freak pay for his crimes.
I kept on punching. My gloves fabric around my knuckles began to slowly tear away as I increased my hitting pace. I continued to punch the Clown, even when my knuckles began to bleed.
“ALL FOR HER!” I roared slamming my fist against the Clown’s chin. “ EVERYTHING FOR HER!”
The Clowns around us watched, amused as their own copy was being beaten to pulp by my hands.
One Clown the Jester pulled out a hand gun, slowly loading it, and held it to the back of my skull.
“My name is Clown the Jester, I killed your love….prepare to die,” The Clown smirked pulling the trigger.
Just seconds before the bullet exited the chamber, an invisible force yanked the Harlequin into the air, his aim changing to one of the Clowns to his left.
The Clown pulled the bullet out of his shoulder examining it, blood tricking down his arm.
“WOULDN’T YOU KNOW IT?” He called out, looking up. “There’s always a psychic to spoil our fun!”
A thousand darkness beings flew down on the army of Clown the Jesters, followed by Ancient Darkness and Jae.
“KILL THE CLOWNS!” Ancient Darkness roared, firing a dozen balls of darkness energy down at the the Clowns around him.
Jae levitated three of the Clowns surrounding me, and threw them down to the ground.
“YOU!” She screamed, levitating the fractured arm of the Pandora statue and used it to swipe another twelve Clowns into the air. “WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH MY SISTER?”
A Clown the Jester threw a grenade at her; she halted it in midair, crushing it with her mind.
“I know it was you who was behind Ivory’s attack at my dad’s research facility. I know you have been driving her insane,” She continued, using her mind to lift the Harlequin into the air. “Why? What kind of monster would do this? How can you possibly find this funny?”
“A monster that saved your sister from a fate worse than death,” The Clown the Jester said, the grin on his face disappearing, turning solemn. “Imagine what ‘Daddy’ would have done to Raeven when he was done playing with her, if I didn’t save her.”
Jae knew the Harlequin was right. She was still barely able to cope with learning what evils her father had done.
“But real question I have,” Clown the Jester continued the grin reappearing. “Why didn’t you save her?”
“I…I was young at the time,” Jae replied her eyes lowering to the ground. “I didn’t know what was going on.”
“Really? Too young, not enough…heh heh…gray matter in the brain,” He said. “Funny…you were Raevne’s twin sister…same age as her. If she had the powers to kill Charley Birdwatchingman at the age of six heh heh…so would you. Same capabilities…heh heh…perhaps you just didn’t…care about her.”
“I don’t need to explain myself,” Jae said, her mind filling with hate. “ESPECIALLY NOT TO A MONSTER LIKE YOU! You really don’t care, about who hurt, who you leave suffering. Why?”
“As for the pitiful EXCUSE…that you didn’t know,” Clown the Jester continued, ignoring Jae’s statement. “Do you really expect me to believe that a girl who can read minds could not find out from her own father’s mind what…devious things…he was doing to your sweet…sweet sister? The Doc’s mind would have been singing…heh heh…Like a little Birde. That would make you a lousy psychic. So either you didn’t care….OR YOUR JUST STUPID! HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!”
“SHUT UP, YOU MONSTER!” She snapped back. Jae hated the man before him.
Imagine…how many has this psychopath killed? How many had he hurt? How many more Gray Silhouettes had he created? Poor Gray, she read his mind earlier. Such pain. Such guilt. Gray still felt it was his fault his Rachel had died. Perhaps Jae felt the same about her own twin sister. Was Clown right? Was this all her fault? While she lived a life of luxury with Margret after her father’s death while her sister was left in the hands of the Clown before her. Jae had the good life…Raeven had the bad. How could Jae not feel guilt?
“I want you to tell me how to help Raeven,” Jae said, tears beginning to form in her eyes. “If you have any good left in you, Clown the Jester, please…help me.”
Clown the Jester’s smiled turned from a mock to a grin of apathy…perhaps…maybe even compassion.
“Funny,” the Clown said, his eyes sullen despite his smile. “You know…I…I wasn’t always crazy….at least I don’t think I always was…things get twisted in my head. Can’t remember the past so good. Like a hazy dream. I…I….remember trying to live life by your rules. Sane, productive member of society, always willing to lend a helping hand. Ya see…my mind mixes facts up…I don’t know my origin…I see dreams in the wee hours of the night. Sometimes…I see a god of mischief…a deity who loved pulling nasty pranks, forced by the other Gods to release his powers…as a final joke…he secretly snuck the powers into the body of a baby with pail skin, and purple hair.”
Clown’s smile lessened, trying to remember more of his tale.
“Other times, I see the comedy, insanity, and anger of the world leaving the planet and entering a black hole, where a messenger of Chaos formed, preparing to make the world achieve world peace…even if he has to kill them all to achieve it.” Clown the Jester continued. To Jae’s disbelief, a tear trickled down his cheek. “Then I see myself as a normal guy…who had a special gal…a girl who this guy could always make laugh…and she loved to laugh. This normal guy was always pushed around…but he never let his feelings make a fool out him…NEVER!”
Clown the Jester looked over at Gray Silhouette, still punching the clone. Gray was sobbing as he struck the clone over and over.
“The girl loved the normal guy…no doubt of that…they were going to live happy ever after and all that stuff…they are on a rooftop, holding hands, watching the sun set just after having fun at a Circus,” Clown the Jester continued, his sight turning back to Jae, another tear tricking down his eye. “He tells her a hilarious joke about a two clowns…her favorite part of the Circus...said I was her clown. She hears the joke and laughs so hard. I laughed too…it was fantastic joke…we laugh so hard, we start cry, in her laugher…my girl's hand slips from my grasp, she stumbles, falling off the roof...dead. Because of a joke.”
Jae stared at the Clown. She thought she finally found the goodness in the Harlequin. Perhaps…even the Clown could be saved.
“I often wonder if this vision was the true origin…would make a lot of sense,” Clown continued staring into Jae’s eyes. “I also wondered if it was not her who truly fell but me…sometimes I wonder where I landed.”
Jae walked over to the Clown, lowering him back to the ground. Around them, Jae’s friends continued to battle the never ending tide of Clown the Jesters.
Jae took his hand.
“No matter how far we fall we can always get back up,” Jae said, smiling up at him. “Please…will you help me?”
“No,” Clown the Jester said, tears still trickling down his face. “I would…please believe me I would…but…I can’t…it’s…it’s far too late for going back. Thanks for the smile…it means a lot to me…it really does. I...I still have a show to finish.”
Suddenly Clown grabbed Jae by her hair, lifting her into the air. His tears vanishing, his demonic grin appearing, all sympathy gone from his crazed eyes.
“BESIDES!” He exclaimed throwing Jae into the air. “BEING CRAZY IS JUST TOO MUCH FUN! WA HA HA HA!”
Jae fell to the ground, rolling upon impact, her side stung. She slowly pulled herself to her feet.
“BUT SINCE YOU WERE SUCH A TEAM PLAYER,” Clown cried out, a purple rocket launcher forming in his hands. “We have a lovely parting gift for ya.”
He fired the rocket…the missile zoomed towards Jae.
Her mind concentrated on the rocket…trying to stop it.
It flailed around in the air, still zooming towards her. She tried desperately to stop it…the rocket began to slow in mid air, hovering eight feet away from her.
“Very impressive,” The Clown the Jester clone said, scratching his chin, deep in thought. "It appears the more stress your given, the more your powers…buff up.”
Jae dismantled the rocket with her mind, the pieces landing harmlessly around her.
“TELL ME WHAT YOU DID TO RAEVEN!” She screamed in rage.
The Clone laughed.
“NOPE! NOPE! NOPE!” he declared, wagging a finger. “I DON’T WANNA! NO DICE! YOU WON’T GET A PEEP OUTA ME!”
Jae focused on the Clown’s mind trying to read it. "You'll tell me what I want to know," She whispered. "Either way."
“AAAAAAAHHHHH!” She cried out in pain, falling to her knees. Her mind...his mind...something was wrong...very very wrong.
Such madness…insanity…chaos…billions of frightening and strange images burst into Jae’s mind. She could see the Clown murdering his victims, torturing innocent people, seeing thoughts so vile…so maddening…that it tore at her head like a thousand punches. She could hear their screams…so loud so many…She tried to cover her ears, tried to push out the madness…but no avail.
Too much! Way to much! Her mind was on fire.
“What’s wrong my dear?” Clown the Jester asked, a large grin on his face. “Don’t like what you see? I admit it’s a little cluttered.”
Jae’s head felt like it was going to explode…far worse than any headache she had ever felt before.
“My mind’s like an open book,” Clown the Jester continued, over Jae’s agonizing screams. “So much to learn…just watch out for the paper cuts.”
Jae focused as best she could, trying to push out the Clown’s crazed thoughts from her head. She felt as if she was going to go insane.
“You think that’s bad?” Clown said. “You should try living with that in skull 24/7.”
Jae’s head finally quieted. Her whole body trembling.
“So more stress equals more might huh?” Clown the Jester said, his grin widening.
“I wanna see what you can really do,” the Clown said strolling over to Gray Silhouette, still pounding away at the other Clone. Clown the Jester pulled out a gun pressing it against the back of Gray’s head. “I wonder… Can you stop a speeding bullet when its fired close range?”
“Stop it,” Jae said.
The Clown, Gray Silhouette was punching, suddenly shot out his hand, grabbing the vigilante by the throat. He slammed Gray Silhouette to the ground pulling out a gun of his own, and pressed it to his struggling captive’s forehead.
“How about two bullets?” he asked, looking up at Jae.
More Clown the Jesters gathered around Gray Silhouette’s struggling body.
“How about three?”
“Six? Can ya do six?”
“Stop!” Jae pleaded with the Harlequins.
“HECK GET SEVEN MORE!” one of the Clowns said. “THIRTEEN BULLETS! HA HA HA! FEELING LUCKY?”
The thirteen Clown the Jesters gathered around Gray Silhouette…all about to fire.
“I SAID…I…I SAID,” Jae screamed, an invisible force lifting all thirteen Clown the Jesters into the air. “I SAID STOP!”
Jae’s mind crushed all thirteen Clowns. Their bones snapping, blood dripping. All dead. Their corpses fell to the ground.
“Oh God,” Jae said, covering her face with her hands. “No, please no.”
She murdered them. She actually killed them. Dead. Even if they were clones, even if they were a monster as demented as Clown the Jester…she killed them. She never took a life before. Now she killed thirteen.
I walked over to Jae, retrieving my fendora. I placed my hand on her shoulder, trying to comfort her as best as I could.
She looked up at me, into my eyes.
“Killing doesn’t make the pain go away,” she said, tears running down her face.
“I know,” I replied helping Jae up to her feet. “It only gives you nightmares.”
“You…your voice...I…I know you from before,” Jae said searching my mind. “You worked at Corporal…Yes…You were the Janitor.”
“That was a long time ago Ms. Jae,” I whispered, my hand dropping to my side. “A lifetime ago.”
“I remember seeing you at my desk, every now and then,” Jae recalled. “Emptying the trash. I never asked you your name.”
“My name then doesn’t matter. My name now is Gray Silhouette,” I said, my thoughts changing away from her questions.”
“You left a few years ago,” Jae continued. “Was that when…Rachel...”
She paused unsure of how to ask.
“Yes,” I replied. “That’s when I left my temporary job, and started my permanent.”
“Do you think killing Clown the Jester will bring you happiness?” She asked.
“No,” I whispered.
“Then why do you kill?” She asked me.
I didn’t answer her, my senses were detecting movement from behind me.
A Clown the Jester, brandishing a butcher knife leaped at us from behind.
Drakkoniss and Ancient Darkness fired two balls of energy destroying the clone Harlequin.
The last of the Clown the Jester clones. All that was left was Super Clown. However where he has hiding…we had no way of finding out.
“We made it,” Velmur cheered. “We won!”
“We have lost contact with Range and Shadow Raptor. Ancient Darkness lost 75% of his forces. And those freaks murdered Defiant,” I snapped at Velmur. “DO YOU CALL THAT A VICTORY?”
The others turned to see Defiant’s bleeding body, covered in bullet wounds.
“He was a true warrior,” Thunderstrike said. “Worthy of being remembered, and honored for all time.”
The half god waved his hands, and Defiant’s body disappeared. Over the night sky, several stars began emerge. Creating the star pattern of Defiant, sword in hand, in battle. A constellation, that would outlive any monument.
“Gray Silhouette, Drakkoniss, guys!” A voice called from over head. Blue Gear’s jet pack rocketed down to Earth, landing beside me. His full combat armor, a light blue helmet over his face.
“I finished it!” He exclaimed, holding out the Anti-Malachite Device.
I took it from him, examining it, the device had similar function and resemblance to a black EpiPen.
“Just stab it into Clown the Jester and it should extract any malachite energy from his system as well from anywhere else within twenty feet,” He continued, showing me it’s functions.
Drakkoniss held out his hand.
“Grey,” he said, knowing how bad this would go over. “I think I should have the device. I’m the only one would could possibly have a chance of being able to inject it into Clown the Jester.”
“No,” I said tightening my fingers around the device. “He would be expecting you to have a weapon against him, he wouldn’t let you come within a mile of him with this device. Even if you were to inject him, the device would take your powers as well. You will be needed desperately after this Chaos riot. The people will look to as a symbol of hope, good, and future. Something a hunted, murdering vigilante like me could never be.”
“Grey, you won’t stand a chance against Clown the Jester,” Drakkoniss said. “He was able to defeat David Blitz and myself. How will you be able to inject him with that device?”
“I know what I’m doing,” I replied.
“Really?” Drakkoniss asked in disbelief. “Just like that? Gray Silhouette has a plan?”
“For the past ten days I have been waiting with Blue Gear as he repaired the weapon,” I answered motioning to my son. “I have had a lot of time to think.”
“Look Gray, I understand you’re the only one here without Super powers,” Drakkoniss said. “But you don’t have to prove your worth to us. We know how valuable an asset you are.”
“THIS ISN’T ABOUT PROVING ANYTHING!” I snarled. “THIS IS ABOUT MAKING SURE THAT FITHY DOG NEVER HURTS ANYONE EVER AGAIN! TO MAKE SURE NO ONE EVER HAS TO FEEL WHAT I FEEL! TO MAKE SURE THERE IS NEVER ANOTHER GRAY SILHOUETTE! MY DECISION IS NOT BASED ON PROVING SOMETHING, NOT REVENGE, NOT DOING SOMETHING I FEEL I NEED TO DO OR ANYTHING STUPID LIKE THAT! It’s based on statistics, variables, and factors. I have the best chance out of anyone here of administering that device into the Clown. ”
“But what if you fail?” Ancient Darkness asked.
“I won’t,” I replied, walking away from the group.
“But what if you do?” Drakkoniss repeated, grabbing me by the shoulder, turning me around to face him. “What then?”
“Then we lose,” I whispered.
“This is stupid,” War Pro said gesturing to Drakkoniss and me. “I say we all gang up on Clown the Jester and force that thing down his throat.”
“Yes,” Ancient Darkness agreed. “There’s nine of us, and only one Clown the Jester. We can overpower the Clown.”
“First off, Filth,” I snarled to Ancient Darkness. “This isn’t a democracy. Either you do what we say or your out. Simple as that. Second, nine of us already tried to take down Clown the Jester. We failed and lost three members. If we were to try again, we would just loose more allies.”
Jae and Arachnid watched us argue in silence. I could only guess what they were thinking about.
“Then what can you do that we can’t?” War Pro demanded. “What makes you so special mortal? Why should we listen to…”
“WA HA HA HA HA HA! HEE HEE HEE HA HA HA HA!” Clown the Jester’s demonic laugh echoed throughout the crippled Super City. “DON’T MIND ME SMASHIES! JUST A CLOWN DELIVERING MY AIR MAIL TO ALL THE GOOD LITTLE TOWNS AND CITIES OF THIS SPECK OF DIRT YOU CALL A PLANET! ALL CURTISY BY CLOWN AIRLINES! HEE HEE HEE HA HA HA!”
A large orb of purple energy flashed high over the city. The roar of countless engine motors drowned out all noise like an army of bees. Out from the purple sphere flew a formation of ten thousand maybe fifteen thousand purple toy airplanes. Each plane had a wing span of two feet.
The nose of the planes had the Clown’s demonic grin, laughing and giggling as they flew. Each toy plane was equipped with what appeared to be small green bombs, strapped under the belly of the aircrafts.
“THIS IS YOUR CAPTAIN SPEAKING!” the Super Clown’s voice declared over the motor roars. “PLEASE PLACE YOUR NUCLEAR WAREHEADS IN THEIR UPRIGHT POSTION! WE SHALL BE DROPPING OFF THESE WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION IN EVERY LOCATION WHERE ORDER, SANITY, AND BRUSSLE SPROUTS RUN RAMPENT! YOUR IN-FLIGHT MOVIE WILL BE...ALFRED HITCHCOCK'S PSYCHO!”
The planes dispersed, flying in all directions, picking up flight speed. So many toy bombers. All having the possibility of unfathomable destruction.
“PLEASE NOTE THE GOING INSANE SIGN IS ON, AND PASSENGERS ARE NOW ALOUD TO GO CRAZY!” Clown the Jester continued. “WE HOPE YOU ENJOY YOUR FLIGHT…CAUSE IT WILL BE YOUR LAST! WA HA HA HA HA HA H A HA!”
“Go,” I ordered the Smashers around me. “Stop those planes.”
“I don’t care if this planet is destroyed,” Ancient Darkness said. “I just want to make Clown the Jester pay.”
In his ear piece, Ancient Darkness heard Mastermind’s voice.
“You will help destroy those planes,” The Mastermind commanded. “I want this planet intact. The Harlequin has already done a satisfactory amount of damage to Super City. Any more destruction would only hurt my plans. I require the other cities to be standing. It is time for the others to make Clown the Jester fall in order for Operation R.E.B.O.R.N. to succeed. The Harlequin has played his part well, even if he was not aware of it. But I have no further need of him, and he will only pose a nuisance in my plans. My statistics show that Gray Silhouette’s strategy has the highest probability of succeeding.”
“On second thought,” Ancient Darkness said to the group. “I think I will help you, any interference in the Clown’s plan is a victory in it’s own right.”
“Good,” the voice in his ear whispered. “Once you have completed your task, you shall rendezvous with me in Skull Deep.”
War Pro, Ancient Darkness, Velmur, ThunderSmite, and Drakkoniss flew into the air. Jae and Arachnid were nowhere to be seen.
“Dad,” Blue Gear said staring at me. “This is a trap for you isn’t it?”
I nodded my head. “Clown wants me alone. He wants to kill us off one at a time.”
“I can’t just leave you,” My son said.
“You need to,” I answered. “The others will need your knowledge of robotics to dismantle those planes. I know what I’m doing.”
His jet pack roared to life, picking my son off the ground and into the air. Blue Gear soared off to deal with the bomb threats, not saying a word as he flew off into the distance.
I was alone. I knew what was going to happen. I needed to be ready.
It was time I went home.
Part 20: The Final Lesson.
Raeven screamed back to consciousness. Her head…throbbing…her eyes darted wildly around the dark room, her head jerking left and right.
She was chained down to a table…where? Raeven knew all too well. Four brick walls surrounded her, grotesque nonsensical graffiti stained the walls, long rusted chains hanging from the ceiling. The ground surrounding the table had large puddles of dried blood.
She saw this room once before…when she first met Mr.Clown.
Raeven tried to clear her head, the intense pain still ringing through her ears. What was happening? The Last thing she remembered was seeing her sister, Jae escape from her grasp after Ms. Ivory’s demise. Then nothing.
Raeven was instantly afraid. Was Mr. Clown angry with her? Did he think it was Raeven’s fault that her mentor had perished? Clown the Jester only used this room for two reasons.
1. He was planning to torture a new victim. Sometimes brainwashing, sometimes simple murder.
2. He was going to experiment on unwilling test subjects.
How often, both reasons coincided for the same victim.
But why? Ms. Ivory told Raeven that Mr. Clown was pleased with her; said Mr. Clown had big plans for her. Was this what her master had in mind for her? Turning her into another one of his punch lines?
Raeven’s mind jumped back to her the first time she ever met Clown the Jester. So many years ago.
Ivory lead the malnourished, terrified, hateful six year old Raeven out of her father’s Lab, around them, Mr. Clown’s Chaos Carnival gang slaughtering the remaining Laboratory staff. At this time made up of only nine twisted psychopaths. Nine freaks just like their master, who shared his sense of humor as well as his blood lust.
Good. They could rot for all she cared. Raeven hated them all. So many years of playing a guinea pig for these monsters.
As the two rushed down the hall, the world around Raeven seemed to crumble. Doors were ripped off their hinges by invisible hands; medical supplies flew off their shelves orbiting Ivory and Raeven. As they past the fleeing staff members, one look from the girl, and they were dead.
Outside the main doors, eight black Police vans were stationed around the building. Nearly 30 S.W.A.T. team units were already in position. Weapons aimed at every door, window, and exit. Orders to shoot any visible target. Regardless if employee or Carnival member. No taking prisoners, no rescuing hostages. Simply kill.
“Hurry Dearie,” Ivory persisted. “We mustn’t keep Mr. Clown waiting. He tends to get very upset when that happens.”
“But the police,” Raeven protested, as machine gun fire began to shatter through the windows and doors.
Another explosion, far off, shook the building.
“Meer pests,” Ivory assured Raeven, her grin never faltering. “Mr. Clown sent a friend to stomp those gnats out!”
A ball of energy slammed down on three S.W.A.T. vans obliterating the vehicles, the blast sending the gun men flying in all directions. David Blitz dropped out of the sky, landing on top of another van, crushing the front of the vehicle.
David fired another burst of his incredible energy, demolishing another two vans. The S.W.A.T. team opened fire on the Nega Being. Their bullets were ineffective against the Chaos Carnival member. David emited a bolt of black lightning from his palms, incinerating eight of the tactical units.
David Blitz lift the large bent S.W.A.T. Van over his head, tossing it at the gathered law enforcement.
“Holy mother of…” one of the officers began to say, trying to desperately evade the thousand pound truck.
The tactical unit was crushed by the armored vehicle. From a roof top, across the street, a sniper fired at David. The Nega Being teleported behind the sniper, disintegrating the horrified S.W.A.T. member.
“See my dear?” Ivory grinned pulling at Raeven through the shattered doors and to the outside world.
Raeven squinted her eyes. So bright, so different. She had never seen the sun before. Or at least she could not remember it.
“Where are you taking me,” Raeven hissed, tugging her arm free from Ivory’s grip. “Who is Mr. Clown? How can he help me?”
“Mr. Clown can tell you the truth,” Ivory replied, her eyes scanning the road. “He shall open your eyes. Help you see the real world for what it truly is. He will make sure you never feel alone, ever again.”
Raeven wanted to press Ivory for more information, when her ears picked up the faint sound of a happy melody echoing amongst the destruction and screaming.
Ivory’s grin widened, her mad eyes twinkling with excitement behind her glasses. “Tell me, Deary, would you like to stop for some ice cream?”
Before the child could respond, her eyes caught the sight of a large Ice Cream truck, music blaring at an ear deafening volume.
The large white and purple truck sped down the street, veering left and right, knocking over stop signs, and plowing through the smaller cars around it. The truck screeched to a halt, making a hard left, nearly toppling over.
“HOPE YOUR HUNGRY KIDS!” a maniacal voice exclaimed from the driver’s seat. “CAUSE I HAVE QUITE A TREAT FOR YOU! WA HA HA HA HA HA!”
Raeven tried to get a good look of the driver. She could tell he was sickly thin, wearing an white ice cream man uniform. The dark tented windows prevented her from seeing much of his face, all she could see was a large grin, his yellow teeth and blood red lips.
There was something unsettling about the grin. An almost inhuman characteristic in the smile.
“Care for a ride my dear?” the grin beckoned. “It will be a scream. You’ll scream, I’ll scream, WE’LL ALL SCREAM FOR THE DELICOUS PRODUCT PENDING ICE CREAM! WA HA HA HA HA HA!”
The next thing she knew, Raeven was forced into the back of the truck by David Blitz and Ivory, the doors slamming shut behind her.
The van instantly accelerated, the lurch knocking Raeven to her feet. The back of the truck was icy cold, ice-cream containers rolled around her feet.
So Cold. Where was she going? What did Ivory mean when she said Mr. Clown could open her eyes?
Raeven curled up into a ball trying to keep warm in the icy truck.
She would later wake up on a table, chained.
There, in front of her, stood the Ivory, and the ice cream driver.
Raeven couldn’t help but stare at the ghostly pail man before her, purple hair, demonic grin, top hat and cane.
“Hello my dear,” he rasped. “Home you enjoyed the ride.”
“Who are you?” Raeven demanded. “Why am I chained up? Where are we?”
“My name is Clown the Jester,” The strange man replied, dragging a stool over to the table with his cane. “We are in my Chaos Carnival hideout. And why are you bound to a cold table in a poorly lit, claustrophobic’s worst nightmare of a room? Well…I wanted to make a nice impression. HEE HEE HEE HA HA HA!”
“What is this? Another government experiment?” She cried out at the amused Clown, thrashing in her chains. “You also want to control me?”
“Far from it my dear!” Clown the Jester replied hopping onto his stool, his mad eyes boring into Raeven’s.
She couldn’t help but shudder. The Clown’s eyes resembled more animal than man.
“My associate and I liberated you because we want you to be free!” Clown continued. “We want to help you! I know your all alone, your Daddy tried to do icky things to your brain. FOR SHAME! I couldn’t stand by while those small minded fools attempt to steal your incredible talents from you.”
“Why should I believe you?” Raeven asked, tears rolling down her eyes.
“Because Raeven,” Ivory answered, brushing her wild hair out of her eyes. “If we did want to control you, we would have put that chip of Charley’s into your noggin.”
Ivory glanced over at Clown the Jester expecting her master to confirm this.
Clown the Jester struck Ivory, hard in the face, knocking the woman to the ground. Her nose was bleeding, one of the lenses on her glasses, broken.
“DID I ASK YOU TO INTERRUPT ME, VENTRILOQUIST?” Clown the Jester roared down at Ivory, his face twisted into pure rage. “SHE WAS TALKING TO ME! SO IF YOU WILL BE SO KIND…..SHUT UP!”
Ivory shrank away from the Harlequin, absolute fear in her eyes.
“yes mr. clown,” she whispered softly, trying to drag herself as far away from her master as possible. “sorry mr. clown.”
Clown the Jester leapt off his stool, kicking Ivory across the face.
“I SAID SHUT UP!” He snarled at the cowering woman. “THAT DOES NOT MEAN WHISPER! THAT DOES NOT MEAN MUMBLE! THAT MEANS CLOSE YOUR TRAP OR I’LL TEAR YOUR TONGUE OUT!”
Ivory scrambled to her feet, running out of the room, barley avoiding Clown the Jester’s thrown cane.
“Sorry about my assistant’s stupidity,” Clown the Jester said, turning his attention back to Raeven. “She’s a barrel of laughs, but stupid.”
The Harlequin’s demented smile reappeared across his face, sitting back down on his stool, grabbing Raeven’s neck and forced the girl’s eyes upon him.
“Now where were we?” he pondered, drawing a stained butcher knife from his coat pocket. “OH YES! Wanna hear a Joke?”
And that was how Raeven met Mr. Clown. That is how she learned the Joke, the Chaos, the real world. How she became Ivory’s apprentice, how it all began.
Since then hundreds like her flocked to Clown the Jester. The lunatics, the monsters, the young, the old, the rejected good, the rejected evil, the homeless, the forgotten, and the people the world tried so hard to forget. The Clown offered them change, safety from the evils of the world, fun, purpose. They ate up every teaching the Harlequin said. To them he was a god. He knew how the world worked; he could free them from the horrors of life.
The Chaos Carnival…a madhouse orchestrated by a worthy madman to match…the clan that fed on madness, comedy, and Chaos…as well as anything else that got in their way.
All of it began with a Joke.
And here she was, chained back to the same table, small room, same graffiti, and the only new feature were the blood stains on the ground. There was so many more then the last time she was here.
“Hello Raeven,” a voice that she knew all too well hissed. “Did you miss me? I most certainly missed you. Heh heh heh heh.”
Mr. Clown appeared from the shadows, leering down at Raeven.
“Brings back memories, doesn’t it?” the Harlequin mused. “HA HA HA! My have you grown! I could barely recognize you! So unstable and twisted…a spitting image of me! Why…I remember when you were a wee girl of six, border lining insanity…heh heh heh…you have progressed so much!”
“It’s a shame Ivory broke a leg on stage! Kinda ironic in a way,” Mr. Clown giggled, brushing loose strands of hair out of Raeven’s eyes. “She was quite a tutor! Showing you the ropes of madness and what not!”
Raeven cringed silently at the Harlequin’s touch. His fingers…icy cold…not comfort…no warmth.
“But just because your teacher died from a gory, traumatic death, don’t think you’ll get out class today!” Mr. Clown exclaimed, gripping Raeven by her hair. “Anyway…its about time you have your final lesson…from the head of the Looney Department…PROFESSOR JESTER! HA HA HA HA HA HA!”
Mr. Clown suddenly pulled Raeven’s head forward, jabbing a syringe into the back of her neck, injecting the solution into the screaming teenager.
“TODAY’S LECTURES WILL BE CALLED NOT KNOWING YOUR LIMITS!” Clown shouted over Raeven’s screams. “I HOPE YOU TAKE GOOD NOTES!”
Raeven’s head began to throb once more, this time hurting far worse than anything head ache she ever felt.
Her mind raced back to life her old life being experimented on by her father. Every day, a needle being injected into her head. The suffering. Why was Mr. Clown doing this to her? WHY?
“Please,” she begged, her head felt like it would split open. “No..please…no…no more,”
Clown the Jester pulled out a new needle, containing a dark green liquid.
“Sorry my dear,” he hissed, injecting another vial into her neck. “I have no intention of stopping. I always loved giving owies! Especially when I get to administer my new patented Head Ache Serum. This nasty little toxin causes quiet a lot of discomfort in the skull as I am told. Mixed with a little pure adrenaline to keep you from passing out from the pain! We don’t want ya going to sleep during class right?”
The pain in Raeven’s head seemed to increase. She let out another scream. The room was spinning around her.
“St…St..Stop…pleee…please,” she tried to say, her teeth chattering in pain.
“WA HA HA HA!” Clown the Jester laughed refilling the syringe. “Trust me my dear, this is going to make everyone except you feel all nice and PEACHIE! I have your best interests in my heart…that’s why I’m injecting these dangerous chemicals into your brain instead of mine…heh heh heh.”
Raeven wanted to fight back, why would Mr. Clown do this to her? Just like her father…she never hated the Harlequin. She was terrified of the mood swinging murderer...she had seen the Jester kill his own clan mates for no reason. But…she had respected Mr. Clown, worshipped his teachings, his stories like Holy Scripture. Despite everything…she always wanted Mr. Clown’s approval. He was the closest thing to a true father she would ever have.
Now…she wanted to kill this maniac, for the pain he was causing. But she was terrified of what her master would do to her if she resisted…WHY? He said he was proud of her…why was he doing this?
“EVER SINCE IVORY TOLD ME ABOUT CHARLEY’S EXPERIMENTS AND I FIRST LEARNED ABOUT YOU, I KNEW YOU WOULD BE THE PERFECT INSTRUMENT OF CHAOS!” Clown roared, piercing her neck with another vial of the burning liquid. “I KNEW YOU WERE SPECIAL! I SAW SUCH POTENTIAL! SUCH TALENT!”
Raeven let out another shriek, the room was spinning around her. She couldn’t think only scream. Never had she felt anything this painful. Why was Mr. Clown doing this?
Clown the Jester clamped his hand over Raeven’s mouth, leaning in close to her ear.
“Everyone else saw that Jae as special…thought she was the child that was worth protecting. Thought she was the answer to their petty problems. I’ve met her…and I realized…just how much…of…a WASTE OF TIME she was…I admit I thought that you if she was combined back with you, you would be unstoppable…would help me achieve everything I could ever dream of.”
“BUT I WAS WRONG! That little stiff of a girl would only hold you back. I learned…that all you needed to be unstoppable was enough squeezing…and your mind would do the rest. The power you have deep inside you…God…IT MAKES ME LOOK LIKE A FLEA ON A WALL!”
Over the Harlequin’s head six large metal coils formed. Each was as thin as a garden house, nearly twelve feet in length. The stainless steel coils wriggled in the air like snakes.
“Never have I encountered anything so powerful, so deadly, so chaotic,” Clown the Jester said, stroking Raeven’s head as the coils floated down, wrapping around her wrists tightly. Three per arm.
“Fa…father? Father? It hurts,” Raeven moaned, delirious…reliving that day. “It…huh…hurts.”
“Of course it does,” Clown the Jester whispered, his finger dabbing at the smeared Harlequin makeup covering Raeven’s face. “Your head is still stuck in reality…in the past. We have to cut and pull to free you.”
Clown the Jester’s hands began to glow a dark purple. His eye’s turning an intense violet.
“What do we do when we fall?” He asked placing his crackling hands over Raeven’s face. “WE LAUGH AND DRAG THE OTHERS DOWN WITH US!”
Raeve let out a blood curdling scream as the intense Chaotic energy surged through her body.
Her face and arms…were burning…as they were covered in acid. The metal coils wrapped around her arms changed from a bright shine, to a dark black. Raeven could feel the ends of the metal coils cutting into her arms, traveling up her skin and into her shoulders.
Clown the Jester slowly removed his hands, trails of smoke fuming off metal coils. Raeven’s face burned as if it was on fire…everything about her burned.
“Now you are my daughter,” Clown the Jester said, brushing her harlequin face again with his finger. This time, the makeup stayed in place. Permanent…ghost white skin. Just like her master. “You are so close to graduation. Just one more pop quiz…just like me. Alone, angrey, yet giggling. Blood splattering around you. Your mind finally opened to the true world.”
“Guh…guh…go…awuh..away,” Raeven stammered, her eyes out of focus. Blood was dripping out of her nose and mouth. “Luh…leave me…alone.”
“STOP ACTING LIKE A WEAK MAGGOT!” Clown the Jester roared, slapping her hard across the face. “PERHAPS YOU SHOULD HAVE LET DADDY CUT YOUR BRAIN UP! WOULD HAVE SAVED US A LOT OF TIME!”
“Leave…me alone,” She whispered again, her eyes icy cold, vacant. “Leave me alone.”
Clown the Jester pulled out another needle.
“MAKE ME PROUD RAEVEN!” The Harlequin shrieked stabbing the syringe into her neck. “COMEON! YOU ARE LETTING ME MAKE A FOOL OUT OF YOU! IT’S ONE THING TO PLAY THE FOOL! ANOTHER TO BE MADE A FOOL! SHOW ME THE REASON WHY I KEPT YOU! SAVED YOU! LOVED YOU LIKE A DAUGHTER! COME ON! IT’S CURTAIN CALL! GET YOUR ACT TOGETHER! SHOW ME WHAT YOU KIND OF A MONSTER YOU ARE!”
“I…I…I said,” Raeven hissed, her eye’s turning a dark green. “Leave…me...”
Clown the Jester pulled out another needle.
“I CAN’T HEAR YOU! I GUESS YOU WANT MORE!” He snarled, raising the syringe over his head. “MAKE DADDY PROUD!”
The needle in his hand shattered, room began to shake.
The coils around Raeven’s arms unraveled tearing the chain holding her down to scrap metal.
Raeven began to float into the air, her bonds turning to ash. Hyperventilating from her intense rage. Tears trickling down her cheek. The long coils, sticking out of her arms, wriggled in the air like tentacles, emitting a dark green glow.
“I SAID LEAVE ME ALONE!” She screamed, eyes boring into Super Clown’s eyes.
Clown the Jester was hurled backwards, tearing through the brick wall as if it was paper.
The room turned to dust, the world around Raeven was gone.
“I THOUGHT YOU WOULD HELP ME!” She screamed, one of the coils wrapping around Clown the Jester’s leg, lifting the Harlequin into the air.
Clown the Jester let out a cry of agony, a surge of energy traveled through the metal coil, burning his body.
The Coil tossed the Clown to the ground. Raeven’s pyhcic powers yanking her master back into the air.
Clown the Jester’s head slammed through another wall, his body thrown down, plowing through the stone floor, the ground fraturing from the impact.
“YOU TOURTURED ME! EXPERIMENTED ON ME! WHY?” Raeven demanded firing a green burst of mental energy into the Clown, the force near tearing the Harlequin in half. “I HATE YOU! HATE YOU!”
Raeven let out one last scream as Clown the Jester’s hideout shattered to dust.
Raeven’s coils wrapped out immobilized Clown the Jester’s throat lifting up to Raeven’s level.
“Why?” She snarled.
“Because I wanted you to be ready,” Clown the Jester replied, his intense wounds slowly healing. “You have just graduated. The Chaos Carnival is yours; show the remaining good and evil how pathetic their little joke is.”
“What?” she asked, taken back.
What was the Clown talking about?
“The Game is moving faster than I thought. The clock is ticking down to the final round. Drakkoniss and me, our final laugh. Whether he kills me, or I kill him, the Chaos Carnival will no longer matter to me. I thought becoming Super Clown would allow the game to continue till the end of time. Raising the stakes…but because of my stupidity…the game is going to end...much faster than I thought. Tonight as a matter of fact. While the other heros deal with my toy bombers, I finish some last minute business with and old friend…then the real game begins.” He said, grinning demonically at Raeven.
“ Drakkoniss and I have our final tussle. This time it isn’t about playing the Game, its about Winning. After that, nothing could ever top such fun. The Carnival would be useless to me, a painful memory of the fun I use to have with the Drakkonian Alliance. But…there is still so much Chaos to be spread. I needed someone to fill my large Clown Shoes. I needed you. You are my successor. I have chosen you to take up my mantle. I knew from the beginning you were the perfect choice. Only you could understand the true Joke…the Joke that only you and I see. The Joke hidden in the Joke I taught my Carnival. Only we see the true humor of the situation now…don’t we? We are so alike…so alike. All the puppeteer was lacking was her marionettes. Her strings…her weapons.” Clown the Jester continued pointing at the coils wrapped around his neck.
Raeven released Clown the Jester, her mind in the middle of anger and confusion.
“But what do I do?” She asked. “What do you want me to do?”
“You’re the Ring Leader now,” Clown the Jester replied, replacing his top hat and cane. “I have my Drakkoniss to deal with; you have yours…make her laugh till she bleeds.”
Clown the Jester disappeared in a puff of purple smoke, leaving Raeven and the Chaos Carnival Members.
Nearly a hundred freaks, monsters, misunderstood, forgotten. Yet when Mr. Clown left her, she was alone. She would never see her mentor ever again.
They surrounded her. She began to order them, instruct them, continuing the joke. Everything she did seemed natural, insane, second nature.
Her mind not even registering what she was saying. Why Should it? Never unsure, never questioning herself. She knew instinctively what to say. After all, she was a…Jester.
Part 21: The Comical Tragedy.
I planned to wait for the Clown in my old apartment…. The place where the dog murdered Rachel, and the place where Gray Silhouette was born.
Seemed only right that I faced the Harlequin there. End things where they began.
Two rooms. One living room containing a single couch, small television set, an old gas stove for cooking, and two closets. A fold up bed, and fold up ironing board. The second room, a small bathroom containing a small sinks and shower.
As I climbed the stairs I marveled how my old home was untouched by the Chaos Riots. As I opened to door, the memories flooded back to me…the apartment….exactly how it was eight years ago…the last time I saw it.
I stood in front of a cracked mirror staring at my deformed reflection. I couldn’t help but feel I needed to do this wearing my old look instead of this makeshift replacement. I removed my Black Fedora and trench coat dropping them carelessly at my feet.
I found a spare business suit I use to wear when I worked at the Corporal Bank…before…my new job.
After I changed, I pulled an extra black Ski mask over my eyes. The feeling of wearing the mask…like finding an old friend.
Gray Silhouette…the original look…the true face. The feeling of the mask, an extra reminder of my duty.
Time to get to work.
I raided the kitchen shelves, gathering all the knives I could find. Taking the weapons with me, I opened the closet door that contained the fold up bed, attaching the blade handles to the springs under the bed.
The blades pointed out, towards the ground. I carefully folded the bed back in, and turned back to the kitchen stove, turning on the gas, filling the oven and outside with the flammable gas.
Next, I duck tapped a nail gun I raided from a hardware store to the fold up ironing board, the gun pointing forward. After making sure the gun was on safety, I taped down the nail gun trigger, followed tying a loose thread around the safety tab, I unraveled the thread all the way to the bookshelf, weighing the string down with a worn out dictionary.
I carefully slid the Anti-Malachite device up my sleeve, hidden but within easy reach.
I drew out of a brief case I brought from my old hideout, a dozen of my case files. Some solved…others still mysteries that elude my mind to this day.
I tossed the files onto the coffee table sitting down on the sofa next to it. Not sure why I brought them.
Perhaps, in case I should not survive this battle, someone could continue my investigations.
Though if I was to fail, solving some old mysteries would be the last thing on anyone’s mind.
My preparations were complete…still my traps would not be enough to stop the Clown. However their purpose was not to kill the Clown.
My hand instinctively reached underneath the Sofa and pulling out a scrap book Rachel and I made so many years ago.
I flipped it open to a random page. The wedding photos. I traced my gloved fingers over Rachel’s face.
God…she was so beautiful. The picture was of me accidently dropping my slice of the wedding cake on my shoe, Rachel laughing, holding my hand. I was laughing in the picture as well…how long had it been since the last time I laughed? To laugh now would seem almost a disgusting insult to her.
I flipped to another page. The two of us, my arm around her. We standing in Aurora Park, the place where we first met, and where we went on our first date…long before the war between Demolicious and DaVinci. The time where I saw this City as innocent….a friend.
Not the filthy monster it was now.
The next page…my son, Benjamin’s report card in 9th grade. C- and D+ mostly. Next to it, his 10th grade report card. All A+. The year where the Smashers began appearing. The year where my high school son’s intelligence surpassed my own.
Now…I had nothing. NOTHING! MY LOVE WAS DEAD! MY REALTIONSHIP WITH MY SON IN RUINS! NOTHING!
In a fit of anger, I tore the scrap book in half. I sat there, ashamed of my lack of control.
“Acquainting thyself with a quaint and curious volumes of forgotten lore?” Clown the Jester mocked from behind me, dragging me out of my memories.
I slowly looked up from the two halves of the book; not exactly surprised he was here. This was going to happen.
He wore his purple suit, top hat, and cane. Besides his purple skin, Clown the Jester looked exactly as he did in our previous battle at Sam Oliver’s apartment.
“And just after you brought an end to cult master…NEVERMORE!” the Clown continued tossing his purple top hat on to a nearby coat rack. “I swear you could be an Edgar Allen Poe-It and never know it WA HA HA HA!”
I carefully replaced the torn book under the couch, standing up, turning to face the Clown.
Everything I had done as Gray Silhouette, every criminal takedown, every mystery solved, every deduction, every battle…every death…leading to this moment. The final showdown with the filth that took everything I held dear.
The freak who murdered Rachel.
Who ruined my relationship with my son.
Who deformed me as well as nearly break my mind.
Who created the Gray Silhouette after taking everything that I held dear away from me.
Who nearly swallowed my City in madness and chaos.
Who destroyed HeroSpire.
Who slaughtered countless smashers including Lady Zafara, Dr. BlackShock, Defiant, and David Blitz.
The madness would end tonight.
“Funny isn’t it? This situation seems almost like a fairy tale a child would hear at night,"Clown the Jester grinned.
“A little kingdom would be at the mercy of me, a giant dragon that was planning to kill all that dared to challenge his might. You, the lost knight on a quest to redeem his honor by slaying a vile dragon. Forging enemies and allies to go questing together to take down the beast and free your kingdom. All in vain when the beast separates you all with a simple magic tricks. Heh heh heh.”
I watched him in silence.
“Can you feel it? That Olympic feeling in the air! We are standing in the middle of myths, legends, religious scripture, and the unknown!” Clown the Jester exclaimed, raising his arms dramatically. “THE DRAMA! THE HORROR! THE COMEDY! THE TRAGEDY! HEE HEE HEE HA HA HA!”
Super Clown paused leaning down on his cane.
“How long ago was it Grape?” Clown the Jester asked his eyes wondering the room, as if in awe. “Since our first meet? When I showed you the dark side of comedy? Fun Memories here. I think...I was standing where I am now when I put a smile on your gal's face. Yes...I had her throat in my hand, with a syringe in the other. Heh heh heh. Fun Times.”
I stood motionless. It took every fiber of my will power to stop myself from lunging at the filthy dog. I knew the direct assault on Clown the Jester was a futile manner. The Harlequin had beaten Drakkoniss as well as David Blitz, two of the strongest smashers in existence. I would have to plan this out.
“Seems like ages to me,” Clown mused picking up my stack of case files from the Coffee table. “So long ago.”
“Not long enough for me,” I whispered, my gloved fists clenched, teeth grinding.
Clown the Jester laughed, flipping through my case file on Dr. Insecro.
“Well Ya know what they say,” he replied, skimming my next case file. “Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana….OOOH! THIS ONE LOOKS NIFTY!”
Clown the Jester flipped open the bottom file. Examining it’s contents.
“OOOOOOOOOOOOOH! This ones about a gentleman called…uh…hm…Ah! The Mastermind….hm…never heard of him. Oh well!” The Clown exclaimed, tossing the file to the ground. “Talk about a CONTROL FREAK! WA HA HA HA HA!”
I cracked my knuckles, preparing my mind.
Clown the Jester’s grin widened.
“Tiered of Chit-Chat?” The Harlequin asked.
“I’m tired of your madness,” I hissed. “There’s nothing left to say.”
“So…” he said, rubbing his hands eagerly together. “ARE WE READY TO TANGO?”
“Bring it on,” I snarled, my body switching instinctively to my combat stance.
“YOU GOT IT PAL!” Clown the Jester exclaimed, his hand transforming to a giant red boxing glove.
The boxing glove sprung off Clown the Jester’s arm, propelled forward by a spring connecting the giant fist to the Harlequin.
Before I could react, the giant boxing glove slammed into my chest, knocking the wind out of me.
The force of the attack lift me off my feet, I fell onto my back, six feet away from the Clown.
“HEE HEE HEE! I’M A SNEAKY RASCAL! WA HA HA HA!” Clown the Jester laughed, his glove hand transforming into a giant axe blade. The Harlequin raised the axe over his head, swing it down at me.
I rolled out of the weapons path, the sharp blade, sliced through the floor as if it cut through cheese.
I leaped back to my feet, punching the Harlequin in the face. Clown the Jester’s axe arm turned back to his normal form as I kicked him back, away from me.
Using the distance, I charged into Clown the Jester, ramming my shoulder into his chest, followed by an uppercut into his chin.
The Harlequin struck me across the face with his cane hand. I pressed on, ignoring the pain. I punched the Clown in the stomach, followed by a right jab at the side of his head.
I swung my fist again, this time Clown the Jester blocked my attack. Before I could perform another strike, the Harlequin grasped my head with one hand, slamming my skull against a wall.
I let out a groan of pain, as Clown the Jester slammed my head over and over against the Apartment wall.
The Jester tossed me over his head, I crashed against the plaster ceiling fall back to the ground.
I leapt back to my feet, throwing my gas capsule at the Clown’s feet.
As the cloud of foggy mist engulfed us, I swung out my leg, kicking the Harlequin in the chest. Despite my vision being blinded by the gas, my other senses were as sharp as ever. I shot out my fist, the punch connecting with the Jester’s skull.
I attempted a round house kick, however, Clown the Jester somehow managed to block the attack with his elbow, his cane struck me across my cheek.
I swung my leg again, nearly falling over when I hit nothing but air.
Where was he?
I found the dark mist that I had created changed from an ally to a hindrance as I stood completely still, my mind focusing on trying to detect that Clown.
Clown the Jester’s can hit the back of my head, moving silently, undetectable.
I stumbled forward; my hand touched the back of my skull. Even through the gloves, I could feel the slippery liquid on my finger tips.
I scilently slashed my arms and legs in every direction, the mist covering the Clown and my location began to fade away.
Immediately my eyes locked on the Harlequin’s. He was standing in front of me, our noses almost touching.
“Boo,” He hissed. Out from the Clown’s forehead sprung a muscular purple arm, punching me in the face. “HEAD’S UP!”
The grotesque arm swung at me again, I dodged the attack, grabbing the limb by it’s wrist, and it’s shoulder.
With a quick twist, I broke the third arm. To my surprise, the arm transformed into a cobra in my hands, it’s tail breaking away from Super Clown’s forehead.
The serpent thrashed about in my hands, trying to sink it’s venomous fangs into my arm.
I dropped it to the ground, stomping at the snake’s hooded head.
The Cobera transformed into a floating frying pan, slamming against my face.
I stumbled backwards, my head screaming in pain.
“How do you like your brain?” The Clown ask, as I dodged the frying pan’s second swing. “Deep fried, or Scrambled? WA HA HA HA!”
As the frying plan flew down at me again, I swung out my leg, doing another round house kick, knocking the pan away from me.
The pan clattered to the ground, inactive.
“Did I ever tell you Rachel begged me to kill you in her place?” Clown the Jester asked, his grin widening. “She was so terrified of me that she wanted you to die first. Not so noble loving gal was she?”
“ANIMAL!” I roared, throwing a falled lamp at the Clown. The lamp turned in giggling butter flies, fluttering harmlessly around the sick Jester.
“Can’t face the facts huh, Oh Sleuth?” The Harlequin taunted. “Trying to hide behind that smelly mask?”
“LIAR!” I roared at the demented Clown, pointing an accusing finger at the mad freak. “YOU LYLING PIECE OF SCUM! YOU THINK YOU CAN MANIPULATE MY RACHEL’S IMAGE AND DISTORT MY MEMORIES INTO ANOTHER ONE OF YOUR SICK TAUNTS? I KNOW WHO MY RACHEL WAS! I KNOW SHE WOULD HAVE GIVEN HER LIFE FOR ME AS I WOULD FOR HER! HOW DARE YOU TRY TO RUIN HER GOOD NAME YOUR FILTHY DISGUSTING DOG!”
I charged at Clown the Jester, leaping into the air, foot raised in front. A jump kick. Full speed ahead, all power and energy into the attack. All my might. A hit that could shatter bones like glass.
ALL FOR HER!
To my dismay, I passed, harmlessly through the Clown as if he was a fog. I slammed into the front door, my leg breaking through the door frame. I desperately tried to pull my leg out, but Clown the Jester gave me no time.
CRACK! THWACK! CRUNCH!
Clown the Jester hit me over and over with his purple cane. I tugged my leg free, leaping backwards, elbowing the Clown in the face.
Clown the Jester’s foot transformed into a spring, slamming into my chest, building tension and pressure as he pushed his spring foot.
As the spring released it’s building tension, I was sent flying backwards, knocking the door behind me off it’s hinges.
I tried to stand up, only to be knocked down by another hit from the Clown’s frying pan.
“ARE YOU SERIOUS?!” Clown the Jester roared, lifting me into the air with his telekinesis, throwing me down onto the coffee table. The table collapsed from my impact. The psychic force yanked me back into the air, slamming me against a wall. My body nearly broke through the foundation. I fell to the ground, my teeth gritting in pain.
“YOU THOUGHT A LITTLE KARATE WOULD TAKE ME DOWN?” Clown the Jester laughed, kicking me in the side.
The kick lift me off the ground, I bounced off the opposite wall, landing on the kitchen counter.
“LAST TIME I CHECK, I DESTROYED THE HERO AND VILLAIN BASES, AND NOT EVEN AN ARMY OF SMASHERS COULD EVEN SLOW ME DOWN! THEY PROVIDED AMUSEMENT…BUT THAT’S ALL! HEE HEE HEE!” Clown the Jester continued, strolling over to me, lifting me off the counter by my tie. “I mean Drakkoniss couldn’t stop me…DRAKKONISS! HA HA HA! SO WHAT CHANCE DOES A LITTLE MAN WEARING A SILLY MASK HAVE AGAINST THE SUPER CLOWN!? HUH? WA HA HA HA!”
The Clown threw me to the ground, stomping down hard at my face.
I let out a cry of pain. I could feel the blood tricking down my noose, leaking through my mask.
“All you have are little punches and scratches. I have expected you to have at least some form of a plan. I thought you were the great strategist.”
“I do have a plan,” I snarled. In one swift motion, I swung open the kitchen stove door, allowing all the gas inside to leak out, while striking a match against the kitchen floor. I leapt over Clown the Jester’s shoulders, throwing a match behind me, into the stove.
The explosion form the combusting natural gas blast the bewildered Clown backwards, crashing against the fallen couch.
Pulling the string that revealed the ironing board, and the nail gun’s safty feature, I aimed the selfing weapon at Clown the Jester.
“WAAAAAH!” Super Clown cried out as nail after nail pierced into his skin like bullets.
The Harlequin began dodging the rapid fire at incredible speed, tiling his head left and right, ducking left and right. Moving at the speed of a blur.
The nail gun disappeared in a wave of purple smoke. Before I could move, Clown the Jester punched me in the chest, the hit launched me backwards.
The Clown’s strength was incredible. I felt his incredible strike through the inch thick bullet proof vest. Like being hit by a truck.
“And I thought I was sneaky,” Clown the Jester smirked, firing a small burst of purple energy at me. I rolled to my right as the purple energy surged past me, blowing a large hole into the wall behind me.
Clown the Jester pulled out a sawed off shotgun from a ball or purple energy floating over his head.
“I’M GOING TO FILL YOU WITH SO MUCH LEAD THAT EVEN A CARE-BEAR WOULD BE AFRAID OF GETTING LEAD POSION FROM YA!” The Harlequin cried out, aiming the gun at me.
KA-CHOOM! KA-CHOOM! KA-CHOOM!
I leapt behind the couch, the gun fire blowing my furniture apart.
I doubled checked to make sure Clown the Jester was directly in front of the closet that led to the fold up bed.
The string I tied to the door, leading to the shelf behind me. So close, almost within reach.
“COMEON GRAPE!” The Harlequin cried firing another blast at the couch. “COMEON OUT IN THE OPEN! I WANT A SHOT! HA HA! GIVE ME A SHOT!”
I reached out my hand, as far as I could, my fingers snatched the small string. I yanked on the cord as hard as I could. The Closet door swung open, the bed began to fall from it’s place. The Super Clown turned his head to see the fold up bed crashing down on him, the knives impaling into his body like some sort of an old torturing device.
The Harlequin collapsed to the ground, the bed on top of him.
I knew he wasn’t done yet. The Clown wasn’t even trying. If he was…I would be dead.
The bed burst into purple flames, I backed away as Clown the Jester rose, his knife wounds healing.
“Good as new!” The Harlequine exclaimed, holding out his arms as his wounds faded away.
“Now I know how the monsters feel when they have to go through those nasty traps set up by those meddling kids and their dog.” Super Clown chuckled, snapping his fingers.
Over his head, eight pies, with green and purple whip cream materialized.
“SO YA WANNA SLICE OF THE PIE HUH GRAPE?” Clown the Jester exclaimed snapping his fingers again. “WANT YOUR CUT? I'LL GIVE YOU THE CUT OF A LIFETIME!”
The pies rocketed down at me.
I did a cartwheel to my left, evading three of the deserts. I could see out of the corner of my eye the pies splattering against the bookshelf, their acidic contents melting through the wall.
Two more of the acidic pies flew down at me, like a bird of prey.
I dive rolled out of their path, the pies burning circular holes through the apartment floor. The Final three pies surrounded me, revolving around me. Like herding cattle.
They charged at me…closing in fast.
I leapt into the air, doing a double forward flip. The pies collided into one another, their own toxic chemicals corroding themselves away.
Clown the Jester created a deck of glowing cards, throwing them at me like knives. I jumped left, right, cart wheeled, back flipped, forward flipped, rolling, dodging, twisting myself this way and that. Each card I dodged, exploded as soon as they came into contact with the walls or floor.
The explosions left behind a cloud of purple gas. No doubt poisonous. I held my breath, evading card after card.
“PICK A CARD! ANY CARD!” Clown the Jester cried out, his throwing speed increasing. “I’VE GOT A FULL HOUSE WITH YOUR NAME ON IT!”
I jumped over the Clown’s head, drawing out my window cutting blade, stabbing it into the back of the Harlequin’s neck.
Clown the Jester spun around, his arm stretching like elastic, wrapping around my body like a python. His stretched arm pulled me into the air, his bounds tightening around my neck.
“A stunt like that will cost you an arm and a leg,” The Super Clown hissed, his eyes glowing a dark purple.
Clown the Jester threw me face first to the ground. As soon as I landed, the Harlequin pressed the heel of his shoe against my back, preventing me from moving.
As I struggled, the Clown grabbed one of my legs, lifting it up behind me.
“All those nifty little traps. Did you think they could hurt me if I didn’t want them to? You must be pulling my leg,” Clown the Jester’s smiled widened, grinding his foot into my back, tightening his grip on my leg. “Speaking of pulling legs…”
He began to pull at my leg with inhuman strength. I began to scream, trying to struggle free. I heard the crunch of my leg first, followed by an intense pain. The Clown broke my leg.
Clown the Jester pulled harder and harder. I let out another cry of pain. Then…the pain in my leg stopped. For a moment I thought he had released me. Something long fell in front of my head. I turned to focus on it…my…my…leg…three feet away from me.
The pain immediately surged through my body.
“RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!” I screamed, blood flowing from where my severed leg. “AUGHHHHHHHHHHH! FNNNNNNNNNKK! GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR! ARUGGGHHHHHHHHH! GAAH!”
The pain. It hurt…it hurt so much….my leg…it was gone. The amount of blood I had lost. I was going to die if I could not stop the bleeding….DEAR GOD MY LEG WAS GONE!
“WHOOPS! SEEMS LIKE I PULLED YOUR LEG A WEE BIT TO HARD!” Super Clown laughed, throwing my torn limb over his head.
Clown the Jester approached my fallen body.
My hands wrapped around the bleeding stump where my legs use to be.
I let out another scream of pain.
“WA HA HA HA HA HA! YA GOTTA SHOW ME MORE LEG GRAY IF YOU EXPECT RESULTS! HEE HEE HEE!” Clown the Jester laughed, levitating me off the ground with a wave of his hand. I floated five feet in the air. Blood dripped to the bare floor under me. Small dabs of blood splattering all over.
“You’re dead this time Gray Eggs and Ham. No question about it,” The Super Clown hissed, his fingers flickering with small crackles of purple energy. “No Davy Crocket Blitz to save Ya, no Drakkoniss, no Jae, not a Lady Zafara. Heh heh heh. Not even a Doctor BlackShock to heal your scrapes and bruises.Your all alone with a maniac who can destroy the very fabric of reality...FOOD FOR THOUGHT!”
The Super Clown impaled his fist into my chest. I let out another cry of pain. Sparks of purple energy surged through my body. I never felt pain like this. I could feel my body being burned away. Atom by atom. The world began to whirl around me. Spinning faster and fast. My body was riddled with dark purple burns replacing the ones I acquired in the subway.
“Too bad they are all too busy with my bombers to save you, mate,” Clown the Jester said, withdrawing his hand from my torn up chest, licking my blood off from his knuckles. “Tastes like Cherry Coke. Heh Heh Heh.”
I could feel my throat tightening up, I began to cough, the effort causing my insides to sting like crazy. With a great deal of effort, I removed my mask, dropping it to the ground. I coughed up blood, the red liquid splattering on my suit. I felt as if I was queasy and in incredible pain at the same time.
“HEY HEY! GRAPE PLEASE TRY NOT TO GET BLOOD ON MY SUIT! HEE HEE HEE!” Clown the Jester laughed, dropping me to the ground. “How unpleasant! HA HA HA HA!”
The Harlequin kicked me in the side, launching me off the floor and into the air, I slammed against the demolished couch, falling back to the ground.
So much pain, so weak. Not only was I loosing far too much blood, fatal external and internal injuries, but I no longer had the energy to fight on. All this time, ever since Joseph King’s murder, I had not slept throughout the many weeks. Exhaustion. Most of my injures had not fully healed.
Never before had I ever pushed myself so hard, so many injures, so little energy to back it all up.
Fighting the Truck Raiders.
Being sliced apart by Clown the Jester back in Sam Oliver’s apartment.
Being tossed around by that smasher freak in Dr.BlackShock’s Hospital with Lady Zafara.
Perused by the Police.
Nearly being crushed by The Clown’s Gorilla henchmen and almost torn to ribbons by the Alligator Man.
Having my skin burned off by that Pyromaniac Harlequin.
Fighting for my life against the Chaos Carnival Army.
Suppressing the L.O.C.K.D.O.W.N. riots, as well as the criminal smashers.
Chasing Mr. Purple across rooftops.
Fighting Clown the Jester’s army.
Trying to survive his Clone onslaught.
Now…this. Too much. Too much pain and madness.
I wanted to sleep. Rest give in…maybe…
NO! NEVER! NEVER FALL! NEVER GIVE IN! NEVER SURRENDER! NEVER COMPROMISE! FIGHT BACK YOU WEAKLING! FIGHT BACK! YOU HAVE TO! IF YOU DON’T THIS PLANET DIES! THERE IS NO TIME FOR WEAKNESS! THE GRAY SILHOUETTE IS NEVER WEAK! FIGHT! FIGHT! ALL FOR HER! EVERYTHING FOR HER! FOR WITHOUT HER…I WAS NOTHING! ALL FOR HER!
“TRY AND GATHER THE PLANES TOGETHER!” Blue Tech called out to the other Smashers as he disabled another twenty nuclear bombs.
More than two hours of trying to disable plane after plan. The risk of setting off a nuke prevented the smashers from using their full powers. A single detonation…would mean the end of
Drakkoniss, Ancient Darkness, and the returned Shadow Rapter used their telekinesis to collect the three hundred planes together. Forming a giant ball of nuclear bombers.
Even though Shadow Rapter had returned from his imprisonment at the hands of Clown the Jester, Range was nowhere in sight.
Where was Range? Why couldn’t he get back to the group? Teleporting and dimension traveling was his area of experience. Did Clown the Jester send him to a different location? More difficult to escape than where Shadow Raptor was sent? Did Clown the Jester kill Range?
Blue Tech threw an EMP bomb into the mass, flying as far back as possible. The Pulse neutralized the bombs as well as the plans.
War Pro disintegrated eight nukes.
Velmur, following Blue Tech’s instructions, dismantled another nuke.
Thousands still active.
Thundersmite created a surge of energy similar to the effects of an EMP dropping another two hundred of the bombs.
The planes began to drop their bombs over a city. Thousands of nukes…only one was needed to destroy the town.
The bombs began to explode in mid air. Not nuclear explosions. Normal combustion.
In a nearby river, a giant Pirate ship fired wave after wave of Cannons at the bombs, destroying them before they could detonate. Thousands of cannonballs fired into the air. Each, with incredible accuracy.
The Ship belonged to Wiiman, Lieutenant of the Arachnoclan. Next to him, Lady Zafara. Alive, wielding her intact scythe.
“We need to get back to Gray Silhouette,” Blue Tech called out to the Smashers. “This whole stunt was the Clown’s way of keeping us busy while he went after Gray Silhouette.”
"He's crazy! We have to help Gray Silhouette! Everyone, get on the ship! We have a friend to help!" Lady Zafara called out.
Before the Smashers could gather onto the ship, something underwater collided against the bottom of the ship, nearly capsizing the boat.
“What was that?” Velmur called out.
Nobody answered, their eyes scanning the water, searching for the cause of the collision.
The water in front of the ship began to bubble, rising into the air. The thing was gigantic. Possibly two hundred feet high.
“Is that a…?” ThunderStrike began to ask, to shocked to finish his question.
“Yes,” Drakkoniss replied. “It’s a giant mechanical Rubber Ducky.”
“COME ON!” Velmur cried out in frustration. “First an army of clones, then a never ending air force with nukes now a Duck-zilla? When will this end?”
“FIRE!” Wiiman ordered, the ship’s cannon’s launched their cannons at the Titanic Duck.
The Cannon balls bounced harmlessly off the Duck’s thick armor. The giant fowl swung one of his powerful wings, knocking the ship out of the water, flying fifty feet until it plummeted back into the river, sinking like a stone.
War Pro fired a ball of dark energy, pushing the floating duck back. Thunder Strike casted down a bolt of lightning, hitting the Mechanical Fowl’s beak.
Drakkoniss raised his axe, about to join the fight, when his head snapped behind him, as if he saw a horrific sight.
“Grey’s in trouble,” he whispered. “Clown the Jester is killing him.”
“What?” Ancient Darkness asked, trying to confine the colossal duck in a mass of darkness.
“Can you take care of this?” Drakkoniss asked the Shadow being, motioning at the Mechanical Fowl.
The Duck launched a dozen heat seeking missiles out of it’s beak, blasting Thunder Strike and War Pro out of the air, and into the water.
“Sure,” Ancient Darkness scoffed. “What will you be doing?”
“I’ve got to help Grey,” Drakkoniss replied.
He zoomed back towards Super City, his speed increasing to the point where he turned into a blur.
Never back down. Never give in, my mind recited.
Despite all the pain, all the exhaustion…I knew I couldn’t die just yet.
My hand, shaking, reached out, my fingers dragging my immobile body across the floor. It hurt to move. As I crawled, my body left behind a long blood stain.
“WA HA HA HA!” Clown the Jester laughed, strolling over to me. “YA REALLY DON’T KNOW WHEN TO QUIT! HEE HEE HA HA HA! I CAN’T BELIEVE IT! YOU’RE SOMETHING ELSE GRAPE! ANY SANE PERSON WOULD HAVE GIVEN UP YEARS AGO! BUT NO! NOPE. NOT GRAY SILHOUETTE! NO SIR! HE’S A MAN ON A MISSION! HEE HEE HEE!”
As I dragged my useless body over to the Filthy Animal that murdered my Rachel, I gripped his leg tightly with one of my hands. Squeezing as tightly as possible, knowing what would happen next.
Clown the Jester stomped down hard at my hand, crushing it completely.
I let out another cry of pain, trying to tug my fractured hand out from under the Harlequin’s foot.
“You just won’t give in,” Clown the Jester said, with a look of almost admiration. “You’re almost as much fun as Drakkoniss…almost…but not quite. Too bad you could never pose a true threat to me…if ya did then we could party like a party breaking out in the middle of a another party! But you can’t threaten me. You couldn’t beat me when I was a normal Clown…now…I’M SUPER CLOWN! HOW COULD YOU POSSIBLY THINK YOU COULD STOP ME?”
I concentrated on my goal. So close…so close…just a few more minutes.
“One of the only so called heroes that had no powers besides a whispery voice. But that don’t count as much of a power. Heh heh heh,” The Harlequin mocked.
I placed my other hand on top of his foot, trying desperately to pry his shoe off my broken finger.
“You failed Gray,” Clown the Jester hissed bending down on his knee, his demented face inches from mine. “You failed Rachel, you failed this city. All this time of your bloody crime fighting…what have you accomplished? HUH? DIDN’T YOU KNOW YOU WOULD DIE? WHY WOULD RACHEL FORGIVE A MISERABLE VIGILANTE LIKE YOU? WHAT HAVE YOU DONE THAT IS SO GREAT? HUH? WHAT HAVE YOU DONE? YOU EMPTY SHELL OF A MAN! I’VE WON! I’VE WON EVERYTHING! NOW THE UNIVERSE IS PUTTY IN…MY…HANDS! I WIN!”
As soon as the last world came from his filthy lips, I knew I was ready.
In one motion, I slid the Anti-Malachite Device out from the sleeve of my hand that rested on the Harlequin’s shoe, plunging it into his face.
Super Clown let out a shriek of pain and surprise, the needle sticking into his forehead. The Anti-Malachite device began to hum, emiting bright green light from the needle.
“What?” The Harlequin stammered, still trying to recover from my sudden attack. “What…what happened? What was that? WHAT IS THIS THING!?”
“You just lost,” I snarled up at Clown the Jester. “AND I WON!”
Green energy began to spike out from Clown the Jester’s mouth and eyes, his body shaking wildly as if he was having a seizure.
The world around me started changing violently as Clown the Jester struggled to maintain control of his powers.
Billions of bizarre Clown the Jester clones, their bodies twisted and melted out of their normal shape as if they were made of clay that was squashed carelessly out of their form, falling to the ground bellow.
I watched plummet to their death through the apartment window.
The grinning clouds and purple moon over us, began to shriek in fear or pain.
As the energy emitting from the Harlequin’s mouth and eyes died down, Clown the Jester struggled to maintain his composure.
Across his face green cracks in his skin, as if his head was a broken vase, materialized. The Cracks began to grow larger and larger, green light pouring out from the fractures. Clown the Jester pulled the device out from his forehead, bending it into a small ball as if it was rubber.
“My powers…GRAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!” Clown the Jester snarled, concentration with all his might to maintain control. “YOU WON’T….YOU….YOU WON’T TAKE MY POWERS AWAY SO EASY!”
I did it.
All those blows, all the damage he did to me. Necessary to make him overconfident, make him think I was done, make him careless.
Clown the Jester loved to make his battles draw on. He enjoyed making sure his opponent or victim would suffer for a long time.
He may have had the power to kill me instantly, maybe destroy the entire universe instantly, but wouldn’t. Not until he was bored of his prey. He would keep me alive for a little while. Torture, maim, taunt, cripple me, but not kill that early.
It was why Clown the Jester did not go after Drakkoniss in the beginning. He wanted to save the best for last.
It was why I was the only logical choice. Because he found me the least threatening.
If I had tried to inject him with the Anti-Malachite Device in the beginning, he would have easily overpowered me and we would have lost the only weapon that could have stopped Clown the Jester.
After he thought I was beat, then he was the most vulnerable, most careless to my attack.
Clown the Jester continued to battle the Anti-Malachite’s effects. The walls around me began to stretch, widen, shrink, and melt.
“I…I can’t stop it!” Clown the Jester cried out in frustration as the green crack on his forehead slowly began to expand. “But…but I can slow it down. Funny thing about being able to alter reality…you can slow down time just like that…even slow down the age process of your own body…but..DAW! THE PROCESS IS SPEEDING UP AS WELL! Looks like I only got one hour left till I’m outta juice. Better make it count right Gray Eggs and Ham?”
An hour? NO! In that small amount of time, Clown the Jester could destroy the entire universe.
“First things first,” The Super Clown snarled, gripping me by my throat and lift me back into the air. “I’m gonna make sure I get the last laugh.”
His free hand began to crackle with purple energy.
“You’re wrong Filth!” I hissed back, my eyes boring into the Harlequin’s. “I get the last laugh. You are going to die. Which means you loose The Game. The only thing you care about. YOU JUST LOST EVERYTHING YOU EVER CARED ABOUT! THAT’S THE REAL JOKE!”
“NO!” Clown the Jester snarled impaling his hand into my skull, his finger piercing through the bone. “YOU HAVEN’T DESTROYED THE GAME! YOU JUST CHANGED THE RULES!”
I let out my final scream, the purple energy tearing my body apart. Skin disappearing form my bones, my clothes evaporating from my body. Atom after atom torn apart.
“THANKS FOR THE LAUGHS GRAY!” Clown the Jester exclaimed firing a bolt of concentrated purple energy into my chest. “I could just tear you out of existence at any time, but I want to take a little bit of time, make you suffer a little longer.”
"Shame the Joke was on me this time," Clown the Jester whispered.
My skeleton separated itself away from the remains of my flesh and organs…but…I was still alive somehow.
My eyes lost focus and the world around me went black.
All I could see was the never ending void of nothing. No…I…I could see something emerging out towards me…yes….it was the hand…the hand of my Rachel.
“Please,” I begged wearily, another surge of pain tearing through my disappearing body. “I…I did it…I’ve brought Clown the Jester’s end. I’ve done my part…please. I’m done. I…I’m done. Please.”
I stretched out my good hand; reaching….reaching as far as possible…seemed almost as if my arm stretched a mile.
Her fingers brushed mine, grasping my hand in hers.
At her touch, my pain vanished. My ehxustion ending. I felt whole again. Safe. Forgiven. I could finally rest.
The touch was warm, comforting, loving.
I gripped her hand tighter afraid it would slip away.
For the first time in eight years since the day I lost her, I smiled. Tears rolling down my face. I did it. I saved the city. I saved the world. I did everything without falling to Compromise.
“All for you,” I whispered. “For without you I would be nothing. I love you Rachel.”
“I love you too,” Rachel’s voice whispered back.
Gray Silhouette’s bones shined a bright purple, Clown the Jester snapped his fingers, and the remains of the vigilante turned into dust, violet light shining throughout the destroyed apartment. Blood splattered against the walls, the pungent order of burning flesh filling the room.
“NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!” A voice from behind the Harlequin wailed.
Clown the Jester turned to see Drakkoniss, his face in complete shock, horror, disbelief. Drakkoniss stood in the outside hallway. Arriving far too late to save Gray Silhouette.
“AH! Drakkoniss!” Clown the Jester exclaimed, his purple cane, and top had reforming in his hands. “Right on time.”
“You killed him,” Drakkoniss whispered, his eyes turning a dark red.
“OOOH! We’re gonna have some real fun now!” Clown the Jester said excitedly, rubbing his hands together. “We got an hour to take the game to the next level. LETS MAKE IT COUNT!”
“YOU KILLED GRAY SILHOUETTE!” Drakkoniss roared, raising his axe, wings spreading, his eyes, the eyes of true hate.
“I know funny isn’t it?” The Clown exclaimed, postioning his top hat over his head. “Reminds me of a joke. Two guys are in an insane asylum, and one says to the Looney who butchered his wife…”
Drakkoniss slammed into Clown the Jester, blasting the Harlequin through the apartment walls and into the outside world.
Drakkoniss’s assault had knocked the Super Clown five hundred feet away, gaining altitude from the impact. The Harlequin smashed down on a roof top of one of the few standing skyscrapers.
It had begun to rain during Clown the Jester and Gray Silhouette’s fight.
Pouring down hard on the two smashers. Possibly at the moment, the two most powerful smashers in the universe.
The sound of thunder boomed overhead. Flashes of lightning creating false light over the dark battle ground.
Drakkoniss rocket towards Clown the Jester, axe raised, letting out a war cry. His speed increasing faster and fast. The rain drops pelting his body.
The Super Clown leapt up at the last minute from the crumbling rooftop, punching Drakkoniss in the face just seconds before Drakkoniss’s axe could touch the Harlequin.
Drakkoniss was launched backwards, unable to fight the force of the attack, unable to beat the momentum created by the Clown’s impossible punch. The incredible blow sent Drakkoniss plowing through eight office buildings, coming to a stop halfway through the ninth.
As Drakkoniss pulled himself to his feet, Clown the Jester teleported behind the Champion of Good, firing a large blast of purple energy into the Smasher’s back.
Drakkoniss let out a cry of pain as he was blasted through the remaining half of the office building. Clown the Jester teleported above Drakkoniss’s out of control flight, kicking down hard at Drakkoniss’s stomach.
The hero rocketed down to the streets below crashing through the sidewalk pavement like a meteor.
Drakkoniss lied in the twenty feet deep crater. After some effort, he pulled himself back to his feet.
Dazed, and trying to recover from the incredible blows, Drakkoniss was not aware of Clown the Jester appearing behind him.
The Harlequin knocked Drakkoniss back to the ground with a powerful swing from his cane. Before Drakkoniss could move, Clown the Jester slammed the heel of his shoe into Drakkoniss’s throat.
“Grape thought he would ruin the game,” Clown the Jester hissed, a ball of purple energy charging in his hands. “BUT WE JUST WENT INTO OVERTIME! WA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!”
< Message edited by Clown the Jester -- 6/16/2011 15:19:02 >