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Lone Star

I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud IC

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In the time that KC had discovered his wings, he had not had much time to use them for leisure. Missions generally kept him busy. But there he was, lazily flapping his wings in the sunset like some kind of a scaly mutant seagull. He was thinking to himself. All of the friends he had made at Claremont, especially Rycon. She was a pretty cool girl, and KC liked her a lot. He sighed to himself as a gentle breeze stirred his tentacles. He flew nearby the bay, where he felt the most at home. He was hoping that wasn't part of whatever thing gave him his powers. He was hoping that wouldn't be a problem in the future, but he'd had them for a few months now, and no sign of the thing returning.

Inside KC's bag slung over his shoulder, the Necronomicon sat.

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The clouds parted before Kid Cthulu, and an angel appeared. Freedom Angel frowned as he hovered before the monstrosity before him, his every instinct crying out at him to attack. Prayer had guided him to this abomination, looking up from the steeple of his church below, and his own research told him who had inherited the Blackgate Necromonicon. A halo of divine glory around his head, his dark hair flowing in the breeze, he spread his mighty wings as light gleamed off his divine armor, a flaming sword gripped in his right hand that burned with a light sharper and more defined than the sun itself. "You!" He pointed the sword. "You were among those who helped defeat the infernalist White Knight and his minions when they attacked the police dirigible. Why did you do that?"

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KC's mouth opened in an O. An angel...a real live angel. "Yes, I am he. S'up?" he said, hoping he didn't totally smite him or anything.

"I fought against White Knight because I'm a superhero. That's what we do. He was threatening those officers, and I couldn't let him do that. So, I beat him up. Now you may be wondering why I look like I am, and believe me! It's a funny story. They're even going to do a Lifetime special on it. But I don't mean anything bad."

And don't smite me. KC thought to himself.

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"You bear the mark of the Adversary. You carry foul works of blasphemy that corrupt the mind and soul of men." He thought of the zombie, and the cambion, and stayed that urge to strike again. How many dark powers shall I meet in this world? He heard the truth in the thing's words, but needed to know more. Truth could have many fathers. Especially from one of these. "Tell me where you came from."

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"I think you're misunderstanding here. I took this book from a couple of teenagers that might have used it for evil. I was going to hide it somewhere safe. Like...in a safe or something. I had no intentions of using it." The one part KC forgot to mention is how he had already used it before, and with not yet disastrous results. He was hoping the angel didn't already know.

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The sword blazed bright enough that it cast shadows even on the sunny day. "There _is_ a power greater than the Unspeakable One's," the angel said with absolute conviction, the halo around his head glowing with special brightness. "One willing to do whatever is necessary to guard Creation from corruption and dissolution. If thou wish to stand with that power, my brother, tell me the truth."

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Needless to say, KC squealed like a pig. "So my parents found it and picked it up and used it and they died so then I inherited it and used it and now I got this crazy power and I look like a squid please don't smite me!" KC said, holding his hands in front of his face, on the off chance that the angel decided to swing at it.

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Freedom Angel studied the monster, no, the boy, for several long moments, before the sword in his hand vanished in a flare of light. Perhaps, once again, he was about to find a better way. "Come with me," he said, his voice gentle where once it had been angry. "Can you touch the ground of holy places, or are you barred from churches and such like?"

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"I think I'm good on that. Where exactly are we going?" Although it was against KC's better judgment (the angel had a flaming sword moments before) KC relaxed and flew closer to the angel. He could probably trust him.

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They landed at St. Stephen's Church in Lantern Hill, an old, historical place with beautiful stained-glass windows. There was a skylight open in the roof, one that led the two heroes into an odd apartment, one with walls covered with a seemingly-random assortment of pictures taken from the Internet, magazines, and newspapers. Heyzel had eclectic taste in decor, especially since he didn't need to buy food. "Come, sit down. Do you like muffins? I made some this morning." He ducked down, wings spreading, and opened up the oven in his little kitchette. "Tell me about yourself."

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KC looked around. Nice place. He appreciated his good taste, he found the display of pictures pleasant.

But he was surprised when the angel offered him muffins. He thought angels ate nectar and ambrosia. "Sure, I love muffins!" but he was never one to deny delicious baked goods. If nothing else, the angel could bake. "These are great!"

"Well, I'm an artist by nature. I draw whatever pops into my head, and whatever I see. What about you? Umm...do you know Gabriel?"

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"Yes," said Heyzel calmly, as anyone would when talking about a family friend. "Gavriel is the High Archangel of Heaven, and a friend of my parents. I'm glad to hear you're an artist, my friend. I've always found creation good for the soul, even if it's of things that the mortal world can't yet embrace." The muffins turned out to be banana nut muffins, and delicious ones at that. He studied the thing across the table from him as he ate, providing delicious butter to go with the muffins, and asked him, "Who did this to you?"

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KC ate the muffin, and helped himself to another. Yummy. "To be honest, Heyzel, I did. I inherited the book after my parent's death, and in my naivety, tried a ritual from the book. I guess whatever came out sort of fused with me, but I can undo it at a whim. Cthulhu f'thagn." The unholy fire washed over his body, and standing before the angel was the rather average Blake.

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Freedom Angel studied the boy carefully, sorrow clouding his handsome features as he thought about his plight. "I can cure you of this. It will be long, and it will be ardous, but the power of the Unspeakable One can be pulled away from your soul forever." He gave him a level look. "But it will mean the loss of your powers, and the noble use you've given them. Whatever the origin of the taint inside you, you have chosen to use it for good. I cannot tell you which choice is the better for your soul."

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Blake sat down, and really gave it some thought. The idea that the power of The Unspeakable One could be taken from his soul was on one hand what could possibly be the best thing that happened to him. He could go back to having a normal life, get a job, and go to a nice art school and live pleasantly. On the other hand, giving up his superpowers would mean no more fighting crime, no more costumes, no more Claremont Academy, and most of all, no more crime fighting with Rycon. He was just getting to know her, and losing his superpowers may mean losing her as well. Sure, they would be able to hang out, but she'd be off fighting crime half the time! That would simply not do! Blake slammed his fist against the table to illustrate his internal turmoil.

"I want to remain a superhero, Heyzel. People are counting on me."

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Heyzel smiled. "Thank you, my friend. I wish more people would do me the courtesy of calling me by my name." He nodded, seemingly satisfied with the outcome of their conversation. "May I know your true name, or do you prefer to keep your own counsel there? The Creator knows all, but I am one of his children the same as you. His mark is simply...more obvious on me."

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KC was certain that among the problems he faced, an angel telling his secret identity was not one of them. KC closed his eyes, and voiced in his mind the spell that would turn him back to normal. He wasn't used to doing that, not without shouting his catchphrase aloud. But now wasn't the time. For what felt like the hundredth time, the mystic fire ran over his body, and he felt the spell's transformation work.

The youth stood before the angel, dusting a few magical sparks off of his T-shirt. Then he looked up, and offered a hand.

"The name's Blake. Blake Salazar."

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