Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Century Club ep01 : Spirit of the Century

March 2014

The Century Club
Spirit of the Century

Episode 1
"The Moving Island"

The Centurions were celebrating their anniversary at the Centurion Mansion.  Kenji Katana was enjoying the night with Cosmo at his side.  Walter Le Frogge arrived with Dynamite Dana, who happened to look quite beautiful in her dress.  Le Frogge kept reminding himself though of her age.  Elijah Frost welcomed them all and seemed bothered to notice that the Men of Mystery, Alister Crowley and Victor Knightfellow were in absentia.  Sveltlana Sol was eager to meet the others, given how she was in many ways a stranger in a strange land.    Given the incompleteness of the group, Elijah called for Kenji and Walter and discussed with them a matter that had come to his attention.  One which he felt the two urgently had the right to know.

"We found an island.  And it contains another one of the Puzzle Castles."

"Count Baron von Duke!" Le Frogge growled, with still fresh memories of the atrocities that happened within.    Elijah admits he felt they would best be the ones in charge of the mission.  Le Frogge takes the lead. He was willing to spare two more Centurions while the remained were to assist him in another matter that required their attention.  Kenji was definitely eager to have Cosmo join them.  Le Frogge, on the other hand, realized that the defenses of the island might require additional muscle.  Svetlana, of course, was the second choice.

The group took a plane to the destination, one which thankfully Svetlana as the Soviet Supersoldier Super model is well trained to pilot. As they approached the destination, Le Frogge and Kenji learn that Cosmo has a second power, one of Telekinesis. He does, however, have a limitation. He can only access either Telepathy or Telekinesis at a time.

As they approach the island, they realize the island is not without its defense systems.  They shut the engine to avoid being detected and do a calculated crash onto the island while Cosmo holds them all safely in a telekinetic bubble.  Once on the island, they enter the forest with Le Frogge leaping onto the trees to scout ahead.  They make their way deeper into the island.  Kenji feels a bit terrified as he notices Svetlana does not even cause the foliage to move as she passes over them.  Cosmo stops at one point and turns to Kenji.  A golden glow surrounds a tree and lifts it.  A hatch is visible beneath.

"Walter," Kenji whisper-shouts for the others, "Over here."  The hatch is sealed with a spin-dial lock.  The symbols on the lock are a strange language.  Le Frogge uses his thieving skills to unlock it.  Svetlana is impressed.  "Oh, Commissar is very good with his fingers! Perhaps Commissar can someday teach me how to use them too."
  
They enter the tunnels with Le Frogge taking the rear.  Svetlana takes point.  Cosmo carries Kenji down with his telekinesis.  "Hmm, tunnels are bad," Le Frogge mutters.  Realizing Kenji cannot see, Le Frogge uses his senses to lead the others.  Svetlana had gone far ahead.

They reach a T-junction and worry which way Svetlana had gone.  Neither Kenji nor Le Frogge can decide which way to go.  "Comrades, I am a dog."   Cosmo smirks and sniffs the ground and points the way.  

"Oh yes, you are a dog," Le Frogge giggles.
"I forget sometimes that you are a dog," Kenji admits.

The tunnel shifts downwards and the group works together to keep Kenji from slamming down noisily.  They soon reach a hatch that peers below and discover the island has a base beneath it.  A submarine is parked and thousands of crates are set up around it.  People are moving crates inside.  Svetlana assures them she can make the island sink.  Kenji believes he and Svetlana can delay the loading of the submarine while Cosmo and Le Frogge sneak into the sub to shut it down.  Cosmo openly wonders if the island is powered by nuclear means.  The others don't understand what he means and Cosmo sighs about being from the future.  

And that's when they see him.
Count Baron von Duke himself!

The four head down to the ground level, with Svetlana asking the Commissar to assign them orders.  Le Frogge admits he has to face with the Count Baron von Duke himself! Kenji and Cosmo are assigned to know what is in the submarine and if possible, shut it down.  Svetlana is given the go signal to stop the island.   Cosmo is given the duty to act as a telepathic radio to keep them all in touch.  Cosmo reminds them during this time, he will be forced to stay hidden since he will not be able to use his Telekinesis during this time.  "Sort of like group chat," he adds.  They stare at him, blankly.

Le Frogge leaps towards the Count.  Kenji rushes to the submarine.   And Svetlana hurries towards another hatch.  With their telepathic link engaged, Le Frogge tells them, "Commence the plan!"

As Kenji approaches the submarine via the crates, he encounters a few soldiers along the way!  Realizing there is no need to maintain a pretense of secrecy, he slams down on the first group of soldiers and slams down two of the soldiers in a single slam!  Sirens begin to clarion as his actions alert the enemies of the intruders.

The Count Baron von Duke takes another swig of his cigarette and suddenly declares, "I know you are here, Le Frogge. I can smell your slimey toes."

"Count Baron von Duke," Le Frogge growls from the shadows and stands into view.

"I should have known."

"I see you are still doing what you do best:  Steal men and make them your slaves."

"How preposterous! Of course not.  Today is a different day.  Today is Wednesday.  I don't steal men on wednesdays," he snarls and kills the cigar.  Smoke erupts all around him and he is gone!  Le Frogge scans the location, searching for the Duke but somehow he had managed to disappear.  Le Frogge drops to where the Duke last was and finds nothing but the dead cigarette.   Suddenly, the Duke emerges from the smoke with a sword cane drawn and ready!

A pair of doors slam open nearby.  Kenji turns to see the Count's five foot soldiers closing in.    Kenji sees there are a lot of places for cover, given the crates.  He ducks behind the stack of crates and uses his immense might to push it down to slam down on all five of the soldiers!

The Duke's sword cuts through the smoke to strike at Le Frogge.  Le Frogge rolls forward to avoid the blade.  But the Count is a superb swordsman and Le Frogge parries the blade as he maneuvers into a defensive position.  "Why?  Why do creatures like you exist?  Don't you understand this is a world of miracles! Not curses!"  the Count snarls as he attempts to trap Le Frogge's claw blades to shatter them apart.  Le Frogge somersaults with the twist, keeping the blades from pushing against each other.  But neither his ninja skills nor Brotherhood training are enough to save him!  The weapon shatters.

The soldiers are downed  Kenji looks at the contents of the crates and discovers they are filled with dynamite!  The other crates, surprisingly are filled with fish.  Lots and lots of fish!  Kenji checks on Le Frogge and sees the battle.  Cosmo warns Kenji that he needs help!

"Surrender and I will spare you.  I am not like the Normalists that despise aberration.  In many ways I am an aberration myself," Count Baron von Duke tells Le Frogge, "Yield."  But Le Frogge realizes he cannot trust him.  "I will never yield!"  Le Frogge kicks off the ground to leap for the ceiling.  The Count swings, and hits nothing but Le Frogge's necktie.  *You seem to be in trouble, do you want to switch places?* Kenji telepathically asks.  Le Frogge agrees, and withdraws from the fight against the Count.

"Come down from there!" the Count snarls.  But instead, the Metal Samurai responds by throwing his sword.  He hears the incoming blade and parries it with his cane sword at the last second.  The katana hits the wall.  The Count's broken blade falls to the ground.  "The Samurai!  You are not supposed to be alive!"

Kenji Katana charges for the Count even as he screams about how they were supposed to be allies.   Kenji leaps to tackle the Count to the ground, desperate to stop him by any means necessary!  The Count is pinned to the ground.

In the submarine, Le Frogge slides in and sees a soldier training a pistol at him.  Walter intimidates the soldier with a stern look as he walks towards the man.  The soldier yells at him to stay away and fires a shot.  The shot misses.  Le Frogge lands before the soldier and pins him to the wall.  "Tell me what the submarine is for!"

"Why are you doing this to me, Samurai? Don't you realize we are supposed to be allies?  I am the reason you are still alive."

"You are an evil man.  And evil must be punished," Kenji hisses.

"The Warlords of Japan had hoped to use that body as a weapon.  But it was thanks to me that your spirit was drawn to it."

"I never asked to be part of the project," Kenji responds.

"Then would you have rather to have simply died?  Then allow me to oblige."

A metal part squeaks.  Kenji realizes the Count is opening something in his chest!  He summons his sword and the Katana flies back to his hand.  The Count has pried his chest open!  Kenji  shoves the blade close to the Count's throat.  "One move and you will be released from this body.  Is that not what you want, Samurai?"

"Evil.. evil must perish! I cannot die while evil still exists in this world!"

"But can you kill," the Count sneers.  Kenji hesitates.  The Count grabs something in Kenji's chest.

"We are crashing into the Statue of Liberty," the soldier admits.  The plan is to do so in order to awaken the island.  Le Frogge demands he explains what he means but the soldier admits he does not know more.  They only obey.

"Commissar," Svetlana suddenly telepathically communicates with them, "I do not think I can stop the island. It is alive."  The others see from her eyes what she sees.  The island is a massive reptile.  Sleeping.  Its tail constantly paddling in its sleep.  "I can steer the island away, but you must all get out!"

 Golden light.  Everywhere.  A dog howls.  From the rafters, Cosmo unleashes a telepathic assault to stop Kenji's soul from leaving his body.  Cosmo lands between the Count and Kenji.  A small gemstone lands on the floor.  Kenji realizes the rock came from his chest cavity.  His senses fade.

Le Frogge rushes out of the submarine and sees a massive smoke cloud that fades.  Cosmo is in rabid mode, with golden telekinetic spikes swirling all around.  When Le Frogge moves closer, the dog almost attacks him as well, overcome by the red rage of anger.  Le Frogge tries to calm Cosmo down, staying a defensive distance from the telekinetic spikes.  

The whole place shudders as the island shifts in direction.  Crates fall from the stacks.  Soldiers tumble off balance.  Cosmo charges forward at Le Frogge in anger and is slammed to the ground.  Kenji calls out in a final bid to Cosmo before he completely fades away.

"Cosmo... I'm fine..."

The words reach the talking dog from the future.  "Kenji?"  But Kenji no longer responds.

"We have to get out.. the island is a monster," Le Frogge tells them but Kenji still does not respond. Cosmo pleads for Le Frogge to help Kenji somehow.  Le Frogge notices the small gemstone on the floor and picks it up.  For a brief moment, Le Frogge glimpses moments of Kenji's life.  He plugs it back in to Kenji's chest.
"Go... I am making this thing dive," Svetlana telepathically tells the others.  In their minds, they can see her holding something by its snout.  "I have to make sure this thing is far below. We cannot let the Count find this thing again.  Your people had a term for these things.  They called this a Kaiju.  I shall bring this thing to a place of rest.  Do not worry.  I am Soviet Supersoldier Super Model. I am Svetlana Sol.  I will rise again."  The group hurries to the submarine and convince the soldiers to launch.  They separate from the island and hear Svetlana say one last time telepathically.

"I am Svetlana... I will-"

Her telepathic link is gone.

*

Reporters and the coast guard gather at the docks as Kenji Katana brings the soldiers of the Count Baron von Duke to face the consequences of their actions. Walter Le Frogge slips away, hiding from the media as always.  Kenji and Cosmo tries to explain what had happened and most of the reporters struggle to make sense of the fact a dog is talking to them telepathically.

"Thankfully, the submarine is not nuclear so you need not worry of such things.  Then again, nuclear warfare is not until a few years from now, so you need not really worry of these things.  You have nothing to be afraid of," Cosmo tells them all.

The reporters do not understand.  They take pictures and write down what they can.  Further away from the crowd, Le Frogge watches in the shadows.  The place gets cooler.  Elijah Frost arrives and congratulates Le Frogge for a job well done.  Le Frogge laments the loss of Svetlana and Elijah corrects him.  "I don't think she is lost.  Lost implies someone has died.  This is Svetlana we are talking about.  She has cheated death before."

"I think you should keep the cigar and give it to her,"  Le Frogge returns it to Elijah. "So, how do you feel about your team?"

"They are good people," Le Frogge admits.

Elijah tells him how he is considering having a separate team for Le Frogge.  The Century club watches over the different continents and all they need is a Man of Mystery to complete their team.  Le Frogge mentions they have one.

"You can begin operations as soon as Victor Knightfellow emerges.  I hope you will not have any problems considering your head office will be in France."

"I think I can cope with it," Le Frogge admits.

"Victor can take point in France.  But as far as the team is concerned, you will be the leader," Elijah tells Le Frogge.  "Now take care of Svetlana.  She will never forgive me for the break up, but I think you guys make a good team. She can be intense, but you will have to admit the sex will be incredible."

Le Frogge turns to Elijah, realizing what he just said.

"Like I said, she didn't take the break up well."
*

Hours later.
At the shores near the Century Club mansion, Svetlana emerges from the water.  A massive ripple swirls nearby.  She turns and raises a finger at it.  "No.  Stay."

The water bubbles, then goes calm.

"Oh what will I tell the group..."  Svetlana scratches her head.
It seems she made a friend.



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