Thursday, May 3, 2018

Blue Nexus #85 - Blue Prism

Previously in "Blue Nexus": A new superhero emerged just after Alucard's reign ended, a hero whose powers rely on all forms of light named Prism. The man aided in the battles against the evil mages in the Magus War and has become a prominent member of the Zanderia since then, but not much has been learned of his powers...until now! 

            Kyle adjusted the eyepiece and checked through it one more time, swiveling it a few degrees to the left and then leaned forward just enough to reach the focuser and tighten it up a bit. Crickets chirped all around the backyard shed and the humidity was on the rise. The weather remained quite cool and the night sky still cool, but he did notice that the air had become a little thicker of late. Spring had arrived in earnest.
            Brenda, sitting next to him in the moonlight, tapped the pencil to the top of her head. “I swear that should’ve worked.”
            Kyle shrugged. “Where’d you get these from, again? Phoenix, you said?”
            “Straight from the moon base,” Brenda said.
            “And it’s supposed to be pointed this way?” Kyle asked.
            “Yup,” Brenda said, and looked up at the sky as well. Kyle scratched his nose a bit and rubbed his brow. He glanced back through the eyepiece.
            “I mean, I can basically see some of the planets in the area, but not much to distinguish them,” Kyle said.
            “They’re all quite similar in makeup, unfortunately,” Brenda said. “Supposedly Ytu did so to cement her place in that galaxy.”
            “That’s messed up.” Kyle tightened the focus again and adjusted the finderscope. He heard a slight whirring in it and the various mirrors within the telescope shifted properly. He checked again and a smile appeared on his face, even if the results he wanted weren’t exactly up to what he wanted.
            The fact that he was able to see planets that were galaxies away now was astounding to him. The Zanderia used the technology without a problem and the two simply asked if they could borrow it for their own purposes to get it working. Kyle and Brenda hadn’t been able to just hang out for a good while and they figured that there wasn’t much better time than during Kyle’s week-off of being called in by the Zanderia.
            He was still suspended, but the Zanderia was keeping him off active duty. He took it as a great opportunity to get back to some of his old hobbies, the most prominent one being the search for his parents. He and Brenda, thus, decided to try and chart any course to one of Ytu’s many planets; Ytu being the War God that held Brenda captive as a slave, and, by extension, also had Kyle’s parents, as they were the ones that sent her to Earth when they discovered her abilities and that they could be an aid to Kyle. Unfortunately, the road back to those planets was not so easily found, nor would it be easily traversed.
            They’d finally struck something and found what appeared to be one of Ytu’s planets given the description Kyle gave, but neither could be too sure. Nor could they be sure if it were one of the slave planets Kyle’s parents could be on.
            Either way, though, Kyle couldn’t have been happier. His face hadn’t dipped below a grin the entire night. He and Brenda worked hard to get their results, but it was the fact that he was hanging out with her again. They hadn’t been able to see each other since the Magus War and Dark Soul incident, where tensions were quite high, so to be able to see her in her natural element and in a relaxed state made Kyle calm and content.
            Brenda tied her hair up behind her head and stared out to the stars, leaning back in her chair. Kyle sat back down, on the seat that once held the very Nexus bracelet he wore proudly upon his wrist. He put his feet up on the disheveled table in front of him.
            Brenda’s phone buzzed. She checked it and smiled, then showed Kyle a picture. A woman—athletic, powerful, smiling, and most of all, familiar—with purple hair and two dulled swords with a badass superhero outfit stood over a giant monster in what appeared to be somewhere in Japan, a shrine of some kind.
            “What the hell is Sandy doing in Japan?” Kyle asked. “And who took the picture?”
            “No idea,” Brenda said, and looked back to the phone. “But it’s quite something.”
            “I though she was taking a break from all of this?” Kyle asked.
            “She’s training,” Brenda said.
            “Didn’t tell me.”
            “Because the thing she’s trying to take a break from is…here.” Brenda’s voice softened. “She doesn’t wish to be anchored to Adelita and East City at the moment.”
            “Can’t blame her,” Kyle said. He folded his arms. “She’s going all over the place, and she’s helping people.”
            Something streaked across the sky. Kyle pointed to it. The blazing streak remained for a moment. Brenda saw it as well, and nodded.
            “Think she saw that?” Kyle asked.
            “Probably not,” Brenda.
            Kyle almost got a word out but the ground shook and the sound of an explosion reverberated through the shed. Kyle and Brenda were instantly on their feet. Several terrible thoughts of what that could’ve been ran through Kyle’s head.
            “I’ll check the crash site, you make sure everyone is okay,” Kyle said, and Brenda nodded.
            Kyle swiped his finger over the Nexus bracelet and burst into the night’s sky, Brenda not far behind him. He immediately curved to follow the forward path of the streak of light and saw a small crater with a tiny flickering light emitting out of it, just outside the town’s limits. Kyle cut off his own aura for stealth and dropped down, sliding to the edge of the crater.
            He held his hand out and his lance materialized in his grip. He slammed it on the ground and blew away some fallen debris, and blazed his aura around him.
            “You’re lucky you landed outside the city,” Kyle said.
            “Yeah, I know.”
            Kyle raised an eyebrow. Another cloaked figure, though this one with some torn-up clothing, rose up from the crater and stood level with Kyle. He groaned and rolled back his shoulders to stand all the way up. The bright moonlight struck down on him as dust rolled away and he drank it in, his body filling with silvery light.
            “Pretty sure your turf is a little more north, Prism,” Kyle said, stepping up to the fellow Zanderia member.         
            Prism, whose glowing mask hadn’t come off, nodded. He threw his hood back to let his hair back and took Kyle’s hand.
            “Glad I crashed near a friendly face,” Prism said. “I was thinking I’d find Shindari around here.”
            “She’s here,” Kyle said. “She and I were hanging out before you dropped by.”
            “Didn’t mean to disturb you guys,” Prism said, and coughed up some blood. He smeared it away and cleared his throat. “Ah, geez, hurts to exist right now.”
            Kyle just nodded, perplexed out of his mind. Prism was about Phoenix’s age, maybe a few years younger, but carried himself like someone fresh out of college or something like that. He had a pretty neat power set, too, able to gain power from any kind of moonlight and, based on the light that he drank in, could manipulate it for various abilities. Solar energy, as Kyle understood, gave him flight abilities, while lunar energy granted him enhanced senses. Kyle also understood that he’d worked with a few underground scientists to create it so his suit could store that light energy for different uses.
            Still, his suit look quite beat up. The left sleeve had been torn away and his mask was cracked down the middle. He was also bleeding on his left arm, Kyle noticed. He flared his aura and Prism shivered from the sudden light.
            “You…you don’t mind, do you?” he asked.
            Kyle shook his head and Prism rested his hand within the aura. Blue light swirled up his arm. Prism sighed and his arm began to pulse. A little blood spurted out while the wound healed itself back up. Prism waved his hand over it and the blue light turned momentarily green to heal the wound.
            “That’s pretty awesome,” Kyle said.
            “Keep that aura running and I’ll let you know what’s up,” Prism said.        
            “Not even a problem,” Kyle said.
            Prism nodded and continued working at healing his wounds and restoring his power. “I’d been sent on a mission to the south, to stop some weird Southern cult thing, when my powers just stopped working; they short-circuited for some reason.”
            “Has it happened before?” Kyle asked.         
            “Once,” Prism said. “When I first got my powers from my mentor, Alwasiu Aldaw. A few of his enemies got word that he’d given me his powers and tried to stop us, and almost would’ve, but that’s another story.”
            Prism stopped tethering his arm up with the light and Kyle dropped the aura, leaving them only in the dim streetlights from the town and the moonlight from above. Prism’s mask still glowed, but a dimmer color.
            “This time wasn’t as bad, but it’s still worrisome,” he said. “The only way my powers can short out is if one of my three talismans is in danger, but the only ones who know the locations of those are myself and Alwasiu Aldaw, whose dead now.”
            “Your mentor didn’t have anyone else he tried to give his powers to?” Kyle asked, and Prism shook his head.
            “They’re too powerful to gift to a stranger,” Prism said. “And it’s not like any of my enemies, or any enemies of the Zanderia for that matter, know about them. They think it’s just connected to sunlight or moonlight—and even then they’re only half-right.”
            “Yeah, right, but, do you have any leads on who short-circuited your powers?” Kyle asked.
            Prism pursed his lips. “I have ideas, not leads, and I’m running out of time to chase these down. I’ve really only got one shot to make sure I take down whoever is stopping this, and I think I have the time to catch them.” He held his hand out and removed the glove from his hand. Three triangles were emblazoned on his hand, one gold, one silver, and one bronze, but the silver one was faded out, almost wiped free of his hands. “If all three go I’m done for, which means we have a fifty-fifty chance of hitting where they are.”
            “Sounds like you need a little help,” Kyle said.
            “You’re on break, I can’t ask you for help,” Prism said. “It’s why I was looking for Shindari.”
            Kyle glanced up at the glowing red light forming overhead that quickly faded and Brenda landed just behind Prism. The superhero spun around and Brenda smiled at him. She was in her Shindari guise and had a faint scarlet aura weaving around her.
            “You called?” she asked.
            “I have a problem,” Prism said.
            “I heard,” Brenda said. “Your communicator was on its short-frequency mode. I heard all of it already.”
            “So you’ll come?” Prism asked.        
            “Actually, I thought Blue Nexus would be a better fit for the situation,” Brenda said. “Should you run low on light energy again, his aura will be an infinite source of energy for you, and I think you already know he’s not half-bad in a fight.”
            “Plus I think it’d be best if we have Shindari check the area for anyone else that may have followed you,” Kyle said. “If your hunch is wrong, we’re going to need a backup plan, right?”
            Prism looked from Brenda to Kyle, then stared at Brenda for an answer, and nodded. “Fine, but if you complain about having to be up all night because of this then I don’t want to hear it.”
            “I’ll just complain to Phoenix,” Kyle said, grinning.
            “That’s more like it,” Prism said.
            “I’ll check Adelita for now before going to East City,” Brenda said. “I’ll call if I find anything the moment I see it.”
            “Sounds good,” Kyle said, and Brenda blasted away, catching herself on a platform and flying away.
            Kyle exhaled and his aura expanded around him a bit. Prism nodded, letting the light fill his body.
            “Think you can fly there?” Kyle asked.
            “Not sure I can keep up with you,” Prism said.
            “You can’t, like create some sort of platform or something that I can push?” Kyle asked.
            Just as he said it, too, a small red platform formed in front of them. Red magic energy weaved together in front of them.
            “You’re welcome,” Brenda said from the communicator.
            Kyle just laughed. Prism hopped atop it and Kyle flung it into the air. The platform didn’t move for a moment and then started to fall. Kyle blasted up behind it, caught the platform, and then rocketed through the night’s sky.
            Night turned to dawn as they moved across the Atlantic ocean. Prism hollered directions for them while they raced across the waters, a great blur of blue beneath them. Kyle took in the smells of the sea with great relief. Flying felt fantastic; it’d been about four days since last he was able to do so, and it was like catching a nice stride after not running for a while.
            He brought them up a bit higher to catch the breeze against the aura, to feel the rush of the world around him and to become encapsulated completely by it. He flared his aura in excitement, which also made Prism happy as he got to pull in more power beyond the sunlight that was already on its way in as they made their way east.
            “Where exactly are we going, by the way?” Kyle asked as they blitzed over the African coast.
            “Egypt,” Prism said, and Kyle raised his eyebrows. “We’re headed for the Pyramids.”
            “Oh,” Kyle muttered. The picture of Sandy from Japan appeared in his head for a moment, and then a smile appeared on his lips.
            The Sun was still a few hours from breaking over the horizon as they pulled up over the great sands of Egypt. The three massive structures laid arranged just as Kyle remembered them from the books, but to see them so close took his breath away.
            “Pretty cool,” Prism said.
            “Yeah,” Kyle said, the only word he could comprehend.
            Prism opened his mouth to speak again but stopped and seethed. He clasped his hand with the marks.
            “Damn,” he muttered, and grimaced. “At least we know where he is now.”
            “Which one?” Kyle asked.
            “Middle one,” Prism said. “But we need to be careful. My mentor wasn’t the only one to think laying traps here would be easy.”
            “Sounds like this guy may have gotten through them already,” Kyle said.
            “We can hope,” Prism said. “Come on.”
            The freezing night air tugged at them with a harsh breeze that kicked sand up all around them. Kyle covered his mouth with a bit of his cloak and lowered the two down toward the base of the pyramid. The structure grew infinitely larger with each passing second, and Kyle could barely grasp the size of the thing.
            When they touched the ground, Kyle’s neck was craned way back. Prism chuckled, and Kyle knew that he looked like a giant dork, but couldn’t care less.
            “This way, Blue Nexus,” Prism said. “Alwasiu Aldaw had a secret entrance for the light-wielders.”
            “Think this friend of yours knows about it?” Kyle asked.
            “We can hope not.”
            Kyle finally broke his stare with the top of the pyramid and followed Prism across the head desert sands to a small inlet in the base of the pyramid, one only visible when Prism waved his hand over it and a golden light coated the area for a brief moment. He placed his hand upon it and the entire pyramid shuttered. Kyle gripped his fists and took one glance around.
            “Quick, Blue Nexus!” Prism said, and waved Kyle forward. He took a step through, fazing into the wall, and Kyle followed right after.
            He moved a little too quick, though, and almost rushed right off the edge of a precarious walkway. Prism snagged him before he could fall, and Kyle’s heart almost leapt out of his throat.
            “Jeez, that’s a hell of an entrance,” Kyle said.
            Prism snapped his fingers and a rainbow of lanterns lit the way ahead of them; save for one. Prism and Kyle started down the ramp, but stopped at the unlit lantern. He grimaced and pulled it down from its place.
            A walkway rose from the shadows beneath them, partly growing from the ramp they were on and from the ground coated in shadow. Prism replaced the lantern.
            “Someone has most certainly gotten in,” Prism said, and clenched his fist where there was a faint golden hue emanating. “Walk with caution, Blue Nexus.”
            “Will do,” Kyle said, and followed Prism onto the stone walkway
            They reached the other end with no problem and Prism pushed his way through another seemingly invisible door, leading to a thin corridor that was soaked with myriad colors. Prism held his hand out and the room’s color halted at red.
            “Watch out!” Kyle exclaimed.
            “No, don’t!” Prism shouted, and shot his own hand up. A fireball hurtled toward him, but when his hand glowed green, the rest of the hallway did the same and the fireball dissipated immediately.
            “It sensed your blue light,” Prism said. “Best you put away your aura for right now, otherwise we’ll spring more traps.”
            “So you had to stop it with green light?” Kyle asked, and Prism started down the corridor. Kyle walked behind Prism, who moved slow.
            “Indeed,” Prism said. “Or, rather, with my own abilities. The Light Guardian of the pyramids holds the only keys to stopping these traps, which has me worried how someone else would have gotten through. That fireball would have obliterated any enemy of mine.”
            Kyle sounded his affirmation, but let his mind flood with thoughts on Prism. The two didn’t know each other all that well yet the more Kyle walked and travelled, the more he respected and wanted to work with the man. He had a power Kyle had no clue on the nature of and wielded it with excellence and poise, unlike Kyle, who flubbed around with the Nexus until something clicked.
            And he held his position with just as much professionalism as someone would expect. It shook Kyle a bit to see Prism worrying about someone getting in. Prism wasn’t the strongest hero, but he was one of the more versatile ones, and for him to have an enemy getting around the intricacies of his powers did worry Kyle.
            They stopped at the end of the corridor where several doors lay before them, each one a different color like the lanterns from before, only one door was out completely—the one that had been previously silver.
            “Through there,” Prism said. “We should be clear of the traps for now.”
            “There was only one trap hallway?” Kyle asked.
            Prism turned and Kyle saw a little smile on his lips. “No, you just happen to be walking with me. If you’d gotten through without me? You’d still be walking, and be in much more danger.”
            “Well, remind me not to leave you behind, then,” Kyle said.
            Prism turned back toward the door. “Listen whatever is inside there is tampering with artifacts that go beyond either of us, Blue Nexus. We need to shut it down, fast, or this world is in big trouble.”
            “Make sure we take this guy alive, too,” Kyle said. “We need to find out how he got in here.”
            “Oh, I will make sure to find out how he did that,” Prism said. “I’ll lead, you back me up. The second you see trouble, blast that aura of yours. I’ll need all the power I can get.”
            Kyle nodded, and fell into his battle stance. Prism crept toward the door and Kyle waited until he was at the door itself to move forward a bit, keeping his power kempt up at a safe level.
            Prism laid his hand upon the door and his hand glowed silver. The door flashed a dull light and then dissipated.
            Shadows rolled out of the doorway. Prism didn’t let his guard up at all, and let silver fill his hand.
            “Ah, there you are,” a deep voice said, and the shadows blasted out into the hallway.
            Prism dove to the side and Kyle immediately responded, summoning his aura and then channeling it forward toward the darkness. It blasted against it, revealing the insides of the room for just a moment before all of the brilliant blue light sucked away into a singular source and then vanished.
            More shadows slithered from the room and then burst out, clawing at Kyle. Kyle dove back, barely avoiding the attack, and landed on his back. He blasted at the beast leaping about the open hallway, but missed with each strike. Thankfully, the blue light of his blast bounded off the walls and didn’t critically injure the structure of the building at all.
            The shadow beast slid a halt between Kyle and Prism, and stood up to be on just its hind legs. The beast towered over Prism and Kyle, and smiled down at them. Its form was ethereal, and pure shadow.
            “It’s good to see you brought a friend, Guardian,” the beast said.
            “TaKar,” Prism growled.
            The name sounded familiar. Had Kyle read it in a Zanderia report before? He shook his head; not the time to be thinking about this!
            “But it makes no difference,” TaKar said. “I’m but one core away from destroying you and the legacy of Alwasiu Aldaw. And it’s all thanks to a little tip I got.”
            “From who?” Kyle asked.     
            “I’ll take that to the grave,” TaKar said. “And leave you to forever wonder on it in the afterlife!”
            “How did you stop my abilities?” Prism asked.
            TaKar turned to face Prism and Kyle instantly moved. No honor in attacking an enemy with their back turned, but this thing was just to fast.
            Kyle swung his leg out but TaKar dodged it and Kyle slid next to Prism. Kyle watched as a small shimmering pyramid shot into TaKar’s hand—it was wreathed in a small silver light but the entire thing contained nothing but shadow.
            “Impossible,” Prism muttered. “How is this possible?”
            “How is what possible?” Kyle asked.
            “He’s created a mimic of one of my power sources,” Prism said. “And has used it to shut me down and amplify his own abilities. TaKar lives of dark energy.”
            “Again, all thanks to a little tip,” TaKar said.
            “We’re going to need to talk later,” Prism said. “A serious talk. Right now, though, we need to destroy that thing. If we destroy it we solve this problem…for the most part.”
            “Right,” Kyle said. “So, what, just a concentrated blast against it?”
            “Remember the hallway,” Prism said. “I need to hit that thing with both gold and bronze energy to destroy it. Problem is that I have no way of doing that without a conversion.”
            “This being seems capable of summoning light,” TaKar said.
            “You’ll just absorb it,” Prism said.
            Kyle grinned. “And you will, too. Trust me, I can provide more than enough for the two of you.”
            “Blue Nexus, you’ll need to hold TaKar off,” Prism muttered.
            “Not a problem,” Kyle said. “You just make sure to stay safe, alright?”
            “That won’t be an issue,” Prism said, and held his hand up. Orange light washed over him and the sands began to swirl around him, forming a thin barrier. “Not even TaKar will get through this.”
            “Good,” Kyle said. “Then here we go! Wave Two!”
            Kyle’s aura exploded around him and filled the entire room with blue light. Lightning arced off his aura and his body, and he blasted toward TaKar. He watched the beast moved, and was just fast enough to catch him. He slammed his fist into Takar’s shoulder and sent the beast spiraling away. Kyle immediately followed up with a blast of energy, and immediately regretted it.
            TaKar caught the energy in the black prism and launched it back at Kyle, who deflected it. TaKar dropped the prism behind him and then blitzed toward Kyle. Kyle dodged two of the strikes but the beast was just too quick. Kyle caught his claw before it could tear into Kyle and tried to kick TaKar away but the beast vanished into mist.
            “Damn,” Kyle said, and shot into the sky.
            TaKar reappeared behind Kyle, trying to use him as a boost to get to Prism. Kyle slapped TaKar’s heel before he could get away and TaKar hit the ground just next to Prism. Kyle landed between them and blocked TaKar’s quick attack and head-butted the shadow-beast, then tripped him up and blasted him into the back wall.
            TaKar rose even stronger and taller than before. His body pulsed with blue energy, and Kyle saw the black prism in the back doing the same.
            “Tell me you’re almost done,” Kyle said.
            “I’ve almost got the silver light,” Prism said. “You’re doing great, through.”
            “Yeah, thanks,” Kyle said, and held his hand out. The lance formed just in time for him to block TaKar’s attack with it. TaKar, though, attacked with his free hand and blasted Kyle into what was once in the silver room.
            Kyle slid to a halt and saw movement in the light of the room before the room turned to complete shadow. Kyle flared his aura around them and TaKar was visible for a moment before absorbed the light.
            “You’re just feeding me energy, boy,” TaKar said. “Keep it up.”
            “Will do,” Kyle said, and grunted to give out more aura power. He channeled it and channeled it and TaKar grew even more powerful, soon shutting Kyle’s aura down entirely.
            “Now then,” TaKar said, his voice cool and surrounding Kyle. “You will die with your own power given back to you.”
            “Oh, I bet,” Kyle said.
            “I’m surprised, though, that the darkness does not frighten you,” TaKar said. “You could stare even the Nether in the face. For that I am impressed. I will remember you.”
            “Funny thing about the Nether,” Kyle said. “Turns out I’ve been there, and I did let the darkness get to me a bit.”
            “But it was the light of the Nexus that won out!” Kyle said. “And the people in the Nether were much smarter than you for letting me distract you this long!”
            Kyle’s aura flared again and TaKar was right atop him. Kyle dodged, but not fast enough. He slammed against the wall, seeing stars, but pushed through the pain and punched out. Their fists collided. Kyle’s arm quivered, but he pushed through and surged energy forward as the darkness caught him again.
            A blue spark flared and blasted TaKar back. Kyle raced for the side wall and only just made it before TaKar could hit him. The two slid into the open, and Kyle had less than a second to assess how much stronger TaKar was before the shadow beast was bounding toward him.
            “Blue Nexus, move!” Prism yelled, and Kyle obliged.
            He shot toward TaKar and the two met in the middle of the room. Kyle latched his arm onto TaKar’s and held the beast tight while he roared against Prism.
            “Your overconfidence always did come back to bite you in the ass, TaKar!” Prism shouted, and ripped both hands away. “Tell whoever helped you that they’ll never be able to take down the power of the Guardian of Earth’s Light!”
            Golden and bronze light soared across the room. Kyle managed to get one last push in against TaKar as the light crashed against the black and silver prism and the entire pyramid shook again, as did TaKar.
            The shadow beast dropped to both knees, his body shrinking at an exponential rate. He glared up at Kyle, who dropped down to his base power.
            “You think you’ve won?” TaKar asked.
            “I’m pretty sure,” Kyle said, and punched TaKar across the face, knocking the beast out.
            The shadows gave way to a human, a rather small man who wore only athletic shorts and had matted black hair.
            A rainbow of lights glowed behind Kyle, and he turned to see Prism, back in his fully glory, as he strode across the room to the silver prism that now sat at the edge of the room. When Prism touched it, the object blinked for a moment and reappeared on its proper place on the pedestal in the room, and the door sealed in front of it.    
            “Well, all’s well end’s well,” Kyle muttered.
            “This isn’t the end, it’s just the beginning,” Prism said. “I’ll see how much we can get out of this guy when we put him in the Cube, but TaKar was only a pawn, one meant to take me down.”
            “True,” Kyle said. “You think someone’s behind this?”
            “Someone so far ahead of us we can’t even see them,” Prism said.
            “Why’s that?”
            “I said that the only ones that knew about my powers were myself and my mentor, but that isn’t entirely true. There are some who understand the nature of my powers, the source that it requires. I had to tell them in case of an emergency like this and the prisms were put in danger.”
            “Who did you tell?”

            “The Zanderia.”

Next time:  A group of strange men appeared in San Francisco seemingly from nowhere, and if that weren't enough to catch Kyle's attention, it seems Ven is expressing a little more interest in him than he anticipated. Check it out in "Blue Nexus #86 - Men of Yesteryear"!

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