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GM

 

In Victori, where the Horror and Heroes collide and the last battle will be fought.

At the end of a story that has happened before, and will happen again.

 

How much time had passed since Eira had parted with Pan and Micah? Since she had gone her own way in this world of stories? 

It was difficult to say. Weeks, at least. Months? Maybe, but probably not. Pan's world was strange. Especially now here, at the end, when the tales were starting to break down around her.

 

The sky was dark, in the middle of the day. Not a cloud in sight, but an armada of flying ships blocked out the sun. Behind them, at the coast, the greatest of the ships dragged the monstrous Crocodile out of the sea by golden chain, leading it towards what remained of Victori.

 

As the ships descended, Pirates leapt from them towards the city. Their mouths and eyes sewn shut, they moved as if they were puppets, scouring the city for all that remained.

 

The Crocodile smashed the great clocktower by the coast, sending the remains tumbling into the streets below.

 

"What a marvelous creature," Frankenstein mused, as he witnessed the destruction. 

 

Eira, Doctor Frankenstein by her side and her army of automatons were all that stood between the people of Victori and total destruction.

 

And yet, there was a bright light out across the sea, shining in the horizon. 

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"Break the chains," said Eira thoughtfully, "and it will no longer be a slave. The automata will act as a distraction..."

 

The automatons were, to the survivors of Victori, like something out of a scientific romance. Eira had cursed the materials that had limited her design, but she knew the next generation would be even better. They were taller and more liquid-looking than Frankenstein's machines, bodies pitched forward like the figureheads of some new sports car, metallic shells made of chrome showing hardly any signs of the workings within. It had been quite an achievement to charge each internal battery with the limited resources of Victori, but she had found her ways, building a vast diesel engine below the castle that gave it power enough for many surprises. Soon there would be atomics, and then more besides that - but first they had to win the battle. 

 

Eira had dressed herself for this occasion, piling her hair high on her head and dying it a brilliant shade of sterling silver, a coloration she had matched around her eyes and mouth. With a gesture, she threw off her bulky outer town and the labcoat underneath, revealing a tightly clinging silver bodystocking that matched the coloration of her army. She stepped up to the big radio microphone in front of her and raised her voice in a shout, broadcasting simultaneously by radio to reach the hidden receiver in each unit.

 

"MASKINER! FÖRSVARA DIN DROTTNING!

 

They spread their wings, internal combustion engines roaring to life, and took off on vertical takeoffs that made a huge smile crack Eira's face. Raising her fist to the sky, she spread her own silvery wings and took off, disp

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Forever Boy

 

Out at sea. 

 

Racing through the sky at the speed of plot.

 

The golden glow of the final wish behind him.

 

His best friend by his side.

 

The Forever Boy returned!

 

---

 

His eyes focused in front of him, Pan took in the sights in the distance. Too far away too see much, beyond the dark shapes in the sky and the giant beast by the sea, he pushed on.

 

"Micah!" Despite the winds, his voice could be heard clearly in his friend's ears. "Behold, Victori! Behold, the Crocodile!" His momentarily serious expression broke into a wide grin.

 

"Behold, adventure!" 

 

Plans? He didn't need any plans. He would do just fine without plans. They had the wish, they had each other, and soon, they would find Eira. What more could he need than his friends and their trust?

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Micah had stayed focused during their trip. He wasn't rude to Pan, but both young men were intent on reaching Eira. On helping their friend, and this land. The time for idle chatter was past. 

 

As they drew closer to the battle, Micah's eyes widened slightly behind his goggles.

 

"That's a lot of ships."

 

Then his gaze was drawn to the crocodile. 

 

"That's a really big croc. Uh..."

 

He glanced slightly toward Pan, his face showing a lop-sided grin.

 

"I'm from Oklahoma, not Florida or Australia, buddy. I'm not much for croc or gator wrestling."

 

His smile sharpened as he looked ahead again. The winds around him picked up some, and the glow of his ethereal wings brightened.

 

"I think I can help clear the skies a bit, though. Someone should have told them the forecast....High chance of thunderstorms."

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Forever Boy

 

Pan grinned at his friend. "Then bring the thunder!

 

Golden dust shimmered around him, brighter and greater. 

 

"I will find Eira."

 

Then, he was gone. A glowing golden trail led from him, straight towards the city. He fought the urge to go fly by the Hooked Man's ship, but he couldn't resist a single swipe along the way. "Hello, Hook." A calm, short declaration as he drew the Forever Blade. He was sure that the Hooked Man would hear him anyway. He struck at the Crocodile's chain once, and then he was gone.

 

The golden trail streaking through the city, Pan could not miss the machines as they set off into the sky. 

 

"Eira!" he shouted, as he flew straight towards her. 

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GM

 

From his flagship, the Hooked Man stared out at sea, at the golden light. His coat dark red coat had a golden trim and was immaculate. His white dress shirt and black pants underneath decidedly less so, torn and dirty. His dark boots were heavy. His black hair was long, his once neat beard growing wild. A wide brimmed dark red hat with golden trim and a fading white feather slowly rose as he stared upon the light. His eyes, previously all but empty and devoid of passion slowly lit up. His lips curled into a grimace as he witnessed the golden streak flying past him. The hook that was where his right hand should be started to shake with anticipation.

 

The ship shook as the chain was struck.

 

"Forever Boy."

 

He raised his left hand, stretching out his long pale fingers. As if pulled on invisible strings, the Crocodile moved, roaring as it trampled through buildings with ease. Bricks and buildings fell, people screamed.

 

And then he noticed Eira's automatons as they rose to meet his armada. And the Thunderbird that approached from the sea.

 

"You brought new friends."

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Micah adjusted his flight slightly as Pan sped off. He'd need to aim this just right, or risk hurting and virtually crippling many people. He had to aim, and wait, until just the right...

 

"Now!"

 

The air screamed around Thunderbird as he blitzed through the air. He was a spear of lightning and thunder, and for moments that stretched into what seemed like hours for him, he flew with an aura of raging weather wrapped tight around himself. A trail of new-spawned clouds fluttered for moments of life in his wake, then died for lack of a sustaining pattern. 

 

Then he was among a section of the airborne pirate armada. And in that moment, with a scream drowned out by the power he'd called forth, Micah unleashed a storm of fury and power. Bolts of lightning as thick as his own body flashed about in a huge sphere of the sky. Their passing produced blinding flashes of light mere yards from most ships, shaking them to their keels with thunderclaps. Winds whipped about, seeking to shred sails and cast crew about. 

 

For a moment, the Thunderbird flagged, just a bit, in the sky. Releasing such energy was exhausting, still....

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GM

 

The Sky-Pirates swarmed through the streets. The ships fired upon the city, buildings crumbling under the canon fire. Pirates emerged from the portals created by the cannonballs, bringing yet more sviolence into the streets.

 

As pirates screamed near the Thunderbird, blinded even through their sewn eyes, others decided to return fire, a tight cannonade trying to keep him in place. Other ships followed the trajectory of the Forever Boy and the Angelic being that he was racing towards, shooting towards them to keep them contained.

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Angelic had intended to order the automatons to engage the pirates, but the pirates struck first, burying her in a tidal wave of bound and jacketed flesh. So the robots swooped past her, obeying their last instructions, and went for the chain that bound the Crocodile. They didn't seem to be doing much damage as they stuck to the links of the chain like so many magnets, but more and more of them were accreting there, grabbing on with chrome metallic hands and teeth. 

 

Eira had had grand plans to order them to tear apart the chain like so many locusts, but now she was a little busy. Shouting her defiance, she threw aside a group of the clinging pirates and grabbed one particularly large one by the throat. Calculating instantly that they could not see her, she instead called in a voice that rang not just from her throat but the half-dozen of her creations that had remained near her. 

 

"Puny things of flesh and bone! Flesh bleeds! Bone breaks! Let me show you!" To her honest surprise, it worked and several of the dangling pirates went spiraling away from Eira and her robots. A few who were too slow got a punch, either from Angelic or her robots, and hung unconscious in their bindings. 

 

When Eira caught sight of Pan, she whooped with laughter. "PAN! BEHOLD!" She gestured at the machines. "THIS IS MY DESIGN!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Forever Boy

 

Pan was by Eira in less than a second, his arms around her and holding her close, before he pulled away, holding her by the shoulders. "They are wonderful!" he exclaimed, as he turned to watch Eira's creations make their work. "We found the Pixies! We made a wish each!" There was laughter in his voice, despite the chaos around them.

 

He grabbed Eira's hand, squeezed it tightly and looked at her. "No matter what, I will make sure you make it home, but first, we have to stop all of this! The Crocodile is the key! If we break the chain, we free it! If we free it, it will turn against the Hooked Man!" 

 

Pan slowly let go of Eira's hand, smiled at her again, and then he was gone in a flash of golden dust. A golden axe already forming in his hands, he was by the chain within moments, swinging his weapon towards another link.

 

The chain would break. He would make sure of it.

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GM

 

The Hooked Man followed the streak of golden light that flew through the city with interest, his dark eyes never letting the Forever Boy out of his sight.

 

He pulled on the wheel, and the ship turned starboard, pulling the Crocodile along with it. The beast stumbled, then swung a massive clawed arm that cut through the Forever Boy's path, straight through the golden dust left behind where he was half a second before.

 

"Focus on the Forever Boy and his friends. Kill them all!"

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Micah wanted to just float there and catch his breath, but the pirates had other ideas. Attacks of all types and sizes flew at him in mid-air, and he took several long moments just to avoid being struck. Then, he was finally able to take a few deep gulps of air, and the slight shake in his hands faded. He looked around at the armada in the sky still, and found it displeasing. So, he decided to do something about that. 

 

"Remember, boys, storms don't die off that quickly!"

 

Thunderbird bright his arms and legs in close, crunching in to what was almost a fetal position. Wind and lightning swirled around him in a corona of energy, flickering with a few traces of the shining gold of Faerie Dust. Then, suddenly, he flung his arms and legs out wide, and there was an explosion. 

Once more the storm was unleashed. Pillars of green lightning as thick as Micah lashed at the ships around him, branching out like a spiderweb when they struck a skyborne vessel. The light was blinding, and waves of thunder rolled over the ships in deafening cracks and rolls of thundering sound. 

 

Micah might not be quite powerful enough to definitely down the entire armada at once, but he sure seemed determined to get as close to that benchmark as possible...

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