One More Light

One More Light

by Robert J. S. T. McCartney

It happened again. The dream where trillions of stars went out in the night sky. One by one, then dozens, until finally, all that remained was the full moon that slowly faded to nothing. The icy chill of nothingness wrapped its fingers around us all. Something we, as a whole—as humans, were not accustomed to. Sharing the same fate, the same grief. The light of the universe had gone out. There was no hope left. There was only death.

As I stared around, I saw people running rampant in the streets. The only light that lit up the sky was the faint glowing of city streets and raging fires. I thought it funny in a way. All the times we spent polluting the air with fake images, adverts, lights and otherwise that masked the beauty of the universal splendor that encompassed us. We were but a drop in the ocean. Now, though, the ocean had dried up.

I was gifted with an unusual ability. The one I didn’t understand, at least at the time. Now that the sun had died and the rest of the universe had gone dark, we were probably the only place left in existence that dared defy the darkness. I thought, so very like us; to confront, challenge and try to fight against the odds. Sadly, it wouldn’t be something we could ever hope to win.

The planet was beginning to freeze, and casualties were already high. Many countries resulted just ending it all by nuclear war. A lot of people committed their last acts of sin, proclaimed their love to their significant others and families, killed themselves, murdered other people. Observing it was hard, though enduring it was as hard.

I spoke of a gift that I possessed. On the day of my death, I said goodbye to my wife and kids. I was jettisoned from my body. I traversed in spirit through a blue-white portal that took me to the realm of the living…in another universe. I opened my eyes and looked around. Indeed, I was alive. How I could not tell you.

Then there came the telltale signs of the end to which I bore witness to. I tried to reason with my family and friends. I tried telling everyone. I tried social media, blog posts, anything I possibly could. I was called a liar, a crazy person, banned from church, labeled as insane, and that I should have my children taken away from me, and my wife divorce me.

Weeks before NASA had some reports that said stars in various solar systems were dying at a rapid rate and that it was spreading fast. I had sat with my wife and kids when I watched the announcement and had a grin on my face. I had told them all the truth, but none would listen.

On the evening of when the stars went out as I had once experienced it, I told my wife and kids that I would see them again. I gave them an embrace and like before; I left my body. My physical form dropped to the ground, and I was sent to another universe.

I had stopped counting how many Earths I have visited. Each time, I felt like I was getting more and more lost with why I have such a gift. What purpose was there in my ability? What good was it if I can’t save my family, friends, let alone humanity? I don’t want to be a hero…I only want to be with my family. I don’t want to carry our problems to the next world, where it seemingly already exists. So many thoughts, hypotheticals and such flooded my racing mind as I traversed universes.

While I was lost in thought, I could have sworn I saw myself but dismissed it as a possible reflection of time, since it seemed like a mirrored hallway when I’d reach the precipice of traveling from one point to another. I shook my head and disregarded it as just a coincidence.

At last, I came to a universe where the light was still lit. Our world, however, was nothing like it was when I had left. Irradiated and in a unique stasis field, where only our solar system existed. However, humans had become disfigured and decrepit—resembling the walking dead, but with our typical wit and sense.

I noted the surrounding and how familiar it was to me.

“How did you get here?” a raspy woman’s voice inquired.

“The light in this universe hasn’t gone out yet?” I replied.

The woman shook her head. “It has. Our solar system is the only one left in the Darkness.”

“What happened then?” I asked.

The woman’s black eyes looked to the ground and then back to my eyes. “A man came from another time with a gift that could provide us with new lives,” she gestured with his hands, “this is what became of us. He, however, has been gone for some time.”

She cleared her throat and asked again where I came from.

“I come from another time. Where the Darkness, as you so call it, took place,” I said.

The woman nodded. “A lot of people died you know.”

I nodded in reply. “I know, I was there until I finally started traveling.”

The woman began to weep.

“What’s wrong,” I asked her.

She wiped away a murky tear and gave a broken smile. “We never once stopped believing you’d find us again.”

 

 

 

This was also posted on A.B.Normal Publishing and Media Group.

Johnny Nightwalker: Guardian’s Duty

***

On the ground, people and the Guardians fought the terrors that Omega had unleashed. Dogs, cats, squirrels, birds, every able bodied beast or reptile fought alongside humans. Casualties were mounting. Though they had the sheer numbers and cunning, it wasn’t quite enough.

Then, there came the other handlers. Teleporting in from around the world, all ready to lend their hand in defeating the almighty Omega. Some launched missiles, while others hurled balls of fire. One shapeshifted into different animals much like Snake had. Every handler that wanted to break free from the Agency and lead a normal life had come. Johnny felt a surge of pride.

However, Omega had other plans in mind. He had taken note of this incursion and had motioned his own counterattack plan. The earth began to shape into rocky behemoths. Metal debris combined and metallic killing machines. The air became acrid and toxic, quickly making those weakened only weaker; dying or collapsing. Water pooled together and formed massive blobs that deluged human and animals; drowning them in waste and blood.

“We’ve got to do something!” Chico said as he watched more and more of the horrors form and slaughter around him. “Johnny’s power isn’t enough!”

Red looked around at the fallen. “Lads and lassies…it’s been a pleasure.”

“If we’re going to go out, let’s do it with a bang, no?” Pierre readied a pack of explosives to himself.

“We know we can’t go back to our old selves… it’s inevitable. Perhaps—perhaps this is how it was supposed to be,” said Chico sadly.

“Aye, it was nice knowin’ ya. If we ever meet again…we’ll…I’ll buy ye a pint,” said Red as he gave a pat to Chico and Pierre.

Nearby a familiar yelp was heard. Rottie the Rottweiler had fallen. There wasn’t much of her pack left anymore. There weren’t much of any of the handlers either. The Guardians and the remnants of earth’s forces were diminishing quickly.

“Boys…” said Pierre.

“Farewell…” they all said together.

***

JOHNNY “NIGHTWALKER” IS AN ONGOING A.B.NORMAL PUBLISHING EXCLUSIVE STORY BY ROBERT J. S. T. MCCARTNEY. CHECK HERE FOR MORE POSTS.
Previously

A Side Project [End of the World WIP]

So, with everything that’s going on (or rather has been going on) lately in the news. I got to thinking…I really need to crack down on my historical (fantasy) fiction novel. Why is “fantasy” in there? I’ll get to it in a moment, but first…

A few years back I had a dream. One where we started to have a social decline. Where people started doing more cyber-bullying and extreme trolling than ever before. The young adults and children started to die from “peer-pressure” or suicide pacts; were encouraged to kill themselves and such perverse acts. Some were groomed…to rape, take up arms and join some of the newest militias (old and new) and be ready for the coming war.

We had a president… one whom we couldn’t quite make heads or tails of, but I do remember Obama exiting the White House, and then things started going south. I only remember that the new president was boisterous, very loud, demanding, but also doing a lot of double-speak.

Next, there was an uprise of ISIS and other terrorist groups. They actually all united together, believe it or not…proposing to one another that in their Fear War, they would divide up the spoils of war…and how they would go along doing it. The extremists of the Right and Left also became loud. Very loud. There were riots at protests, a lot of people were hurt, and then there came again the matter of the Police’s lives being at risk. Civil uprise began. Nazism rose up once again. The KKK was assimilated by the Neo-Nazi’s and together. It was the beginning of our second Civil War.

Across the seas, terrorism spread like wildfire. “It is under control,” they said; the authorities trying to sway our faith—keeping it with them, instead of being afraid of what was coming. War. North Korea was a threat, sure. They eventually attempted to attack the US, but it was a distraction. Secretly, it was a live war game, prescribed and written as dispensed on both sides to keep the eyes of the world on us, while the black flags of terror were sweeping across the world. It was no longer a war over seas. It came here. It had come. The keyboard warriors that had shouted so, loud and proud that they would “end those sons of bitches.” They were left cowering over their status updates on Twitter and Facebook.

What happened next was sad…it’s true… The Pope was assassinated by the “United Terrorist Group” as a show of might. A new one was quickly elected and then… there was a heavenly sent messenger.

“A new crusade must begin. While we have respected those who would practice anything Christian or Catholic…it is time to strike out the heart of evil. The Muslim extremists must be slain,” the new Pope declared.

Yes, a new crusade. Granted, it wasn’t against the Pagans or all those non-Christian or non-Catholic…but it was a crusade against Muslims—particularly the group(s) we hear and see nowadays in the news.

The Nazis rose and fought against the Anifa group. The other movements and groups were pulled to a side. The military was deployed and Marshal Law was declared. A lot of people died. The second Civil War would eventually end…but at a bloody cost.

The economy crashed—hard. It would be the worst Depression we had ever seen the likes of. Climate Change picked up exponentially. Though, there was a lot of “yes” and “no” on that debate…so the matter was never settled within the scientific community.

Then North Korea mysteriously blew up. A stage act to bring China, Russia, Iran, and a few other countries to go to war with the USA. North Korea was “free” but it was quickly being circled by the countries who wanted to install a new government body. A treaty would be established…but at the cost of millions of lives.

While this had gone on for some time, there were new laws and reforms that were signed into law. Many of which were never voted on publicly. This was all done during the “North Korean Escapades,” and this…this led us to our second Revolutionary War and continuation of the Civil War (it had not ended yet, officially).

It then a proceeds to a clash of ordinary citizens with Neo-Nazis, with government officials/soldiers/etc. Meanwhile, the terrorist groups were laughing at us…but also suffering serious losses themselves. Eventually, they were driven to the brink of extinction…but alas, you can never kill an idea.

Now, here comes in the fantasy bit. Around the precipice of the action, we encountered many strange phenomena occurring here on Earth. Ice completely melting, frequent quakes and strange weather. Climate Change was to blame, but then on the day of the massive quake where we lost most of California, there emerged a giant brown dragon that was adorned with golden spiked tips. In the sea, there was a giant green bipedal beast with red eyes, the head of a Tyrannosaurus, and massive forearms. I know, it sounds kinda like Godzilla, right? Then, from the Arctic regions, a white giant squid. The Middle East had an army of piranha like beings that flew. Think, bats or birds but could strip a body down to the bone in seconds. Finally, there was a flying pterodactyl being with brilliant shimmering feathers from somewhere in South America.

TL;DR version: Pretty much the world goes to shit and a lot of crazy shit went on. It’s a historical (fantasy) fiction novel after all… But some parts that are going on today are pretty questionable. Far-fetched, yes, but let’s hope we can be reasonable with each other, regardless, in our days.

And so, that was me sharing with you all, and idea…and basic outline that I did from a dream/nightmare a few years back. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a Friday night to finish enjoying. 😉

Take care and until next time,

RJM

 

Disclaimer: If I hadn’t made it clear…this was all in a dream. Thus, fiction. So, NSA and such… I’m not plotting or anything. I’m just a writer writing about a dream that I had. Go home.

Johnny Nightwalker: Alliance

Johnny gritted his teeth and clenched his fists. “You really are a monster. You have no hope of redemption.”

“And you have no hope of beating me,” Omega said with a grin.

“Enough talk!” Famine rushed with an attack, head on.

Omega leisurely turned his attention to his assailant. He dodged every swing, every kick. Famine grew frustrated and growled at this.

He laid a hand down on the ground. Vines, bones, rocks, dirt, and other greenery erupted underneath Omega’s feet.

Famine grinned as he stood proud, his prey in his clutches. “I’ve got you right where I want you, fiend.”

Omega made no effort to resist. “Right where you want me, eh? I guess you forgot about a little something…” The large makeshift hand crumbled away from him.

“what? What the Hell?!” Famine took a step back.

“let me demonstrate to you how it’s done…properly.”

Omega raised his right arm. The earth shook violently and erupted underneath Famine. He was engulfed by the very same method.

“Your power betrays you, peasant. It’s no longer yours to control,” said Omega as he tightened his grip on Famine.

“Brothers…help…me,” Famine struggled to say.

Death appeared behind Omega and manifested a brilliantly glowing scythe. It radiated with a holy aura. He brought it down and willed it through the hulking man.

However, it shattered as it struck Omega, leaving Death startled. He manifested an orb of purplish-black at their nemesis’ face.

“Perish…” he said with a low raspy voice.

Omega laughed and took a deep breath. He blew the ball of energy back at Death, knocking him down.

“I think it’s time for you all to know your real place,” Omega said. An invisible force hoisted Death into the air, “Say goodbye to your brothers, War.”

No…I…can’t…

Johnny sent a swarm of nanomachines at Omega. He swung about wildly, swatting and batting at the incessant insects. No matter how many he destroyed, more were replicated.

“Your pathetic parlor tricks will get you nowhere, Omega shouted.

War reached to his feet and willed everything he had into his right fist. He waded through the shimmering cloud of machines and appeared before the brute. He swung with all his might he had left. It sent the monster that was Omega, hurling through the air. An icy blue shockwave radiated throughout Omega’s body; his grip on Death and Famine broke. The nanomachines followed and did their job of disassembling and dismembering.

“You think you’ve won? You’re pathetic! Just wait—” Omega’s voice was cut off as he dissipated into nothingness.

It’s over.

The four all sighed in relief.

JOHNNY “NIGHTWALKER” IS AN ONGOING A.B.NORMAL PUBLISHING EXCLUSIVE STORY BY ROBERT J. S. T. MCCARTNEY. CHECK HERE FOR MORE POSTS.
Previously

New Book Coming Soon! The Chronicles of Bob: The Chronic Suicidal

This entry was originally posted on A.B.Normal Publishing and Media Group’s website, where I write and contribute… a lot. 

The Chronic Suicidal is Coming Soon Q3/4 2017

Hey, folks.

As some of you may have seen on Facebook or Twitter, we’re getting ready for the great coming of Bob, the Chronic Suicidal.

The Chronicles of Bob: The Chronic Suicidal will be on sale later this year in all formats (ebook, print, and hardcover). Price, cover, and more will be released soon.

There will be a limited batch of signed copies on hand, with a contest set to claim them. Contest specifications, rules, and such are TBA, and are subject to change on a whim.

As always, when you purchase a print copy, you’ll get the Kindle version for free.

There will also be “Bob” merchandise. More on that later.

I know, I know, that’s a lot of “later” talk… but trust me, you’re gonna love his tale.

For now, you can read the raw story, as it unfolded, here on A.B.Normal Publishing and Media Group.

Please remember, this is fiction. It’s an entertainment tale; a take on a fictitious entity. We do not support or encourage suicide. We are not doctors or professionals in the field of medicine or mental psychology or psychosis. If you’re in need of help, please contact a licensed practitioner or contact the Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255, or go to Suicide Lifeline Prevention.

We look forward to bringing you another exciting story to places around the world.

I invite you to stay tuned for more.

Until next time,

RJM

Lilah’s Guide to Hoyle—Free This Weekend!

Hey, folks.

Starting today [July 21 — July 24] you can get the urban fantasy novel, Lilah’s Guide to Hoyle for free in the Kindle store.

In the USA? Free. UK? Free! Mexico? Italy? Germany? ALSO FREE. It’s free for all to enjoy (or even hate! …but you can reach that decision on your own).

If you’re a Kindle Unlimited subscriber, then great news, everyone! You can already grab a Kindle copy for free.

Don’t miss out on an enjoyable reading experience with Lilah’s Guide to Hoyle.


“All life is a gamble . . . We go to sleep every night comfortably betting that the next day we’ll wake up.”

Deluxe cover for "Lilah's Guide to Hoyle."

“All life is a gamble… We go to sleep every night comfortably betting that the next day we’ll wake up.”

Demons. Sorcery. Magical playing cards. It’s anything but a fairy tale. Armed with her choice deck, her beloved book, Hoyle’s Guide to Poker and Parlor Tricks, and the skill that led her to throw away her college fund, Lilah gambles with her life—and with the lives of those around her.

Elsewhere, other players have a different idea of the rules of the game. And investigating the bizarre chain of events is Middleton PD’s finest, Detectives Dana Deupree and Walter Conway.

It’s anyone’s game. The cards have been shuffled and the stakes are high. The call has gone around the table. Others may fold, but not Lilah. She plays for keeps.

What will you wager? Will you call? Stand? Or will you fold?


Be sure to get in on the action… for a limited time!

July 21 — July 24, 2017

Until next time,

RJM

Johnny “Nightwalker”

Hey, folks.

Here, we are taking a look back at the series of posts for the story Johnny “Nightwalker  that are laid out in ToC (table of contents) form. What you will find is the current posts leading up to the hiatus that has taken place.

The conclusion of this story will be released via post when they are fit. Edits and revision are not seen as a hurdle, as it is believed (and best practice) to write right away, and then worry about the small parts later.

Now, let’s get down to business, shall we?


Johnny “Nightwalker”

by Robert J. S. T. McCartney

Origins

Awakening [Part One]

Awakening [Part Two]

Truth [Part One]

Truth [Part Two]

Truth [Part Three]

Ringleader [Part One]

Ringleader [Part Two]

Ringleader [Part Three]

Homecoming

Back in Black

Mr. Jones

Observe and Report

Trillion Dollar Baby

Touch of Grey

Les Terrible Pierre

Victim or Hostage?

The Enemy of My Enemy is My Friend

Apocalypse…

The Black Plague’s End

Consequence and Retaliation

Family Reunion

Reunion [Continued]

War


The purpose of this is to serve as a ToC and provide ease of navigation. When the new posts come out, they will be added to this ToC accordingly.

Look for the conclusion of Johnny “Nightwalker” this year. It will then undergo editing, revision, design and then some. It has an ETA release of 2018 (paperback and hardcover) while digital will be released sooner.

More details will follow in time.

Until next time,

RJM

The Middleton Files: Spanish Ladies

The Middleton Files: Spanish Ladies

by Robert J. S. T. McCartney

An excerpt
[Formerly a short story]

 

 

 

Beep! Beep! Beep!

Various timers went off, telling the kitchen staff to tend to the assorted foods in the kitchen. The warm smell of sauteed onions, the fresh hint of mustard and the sweet smell of ketchup wafted through the air. The tantalizing scent of newly fried french fries (lightly salted), with the aroma of freshly cooked chicken intermingled with the allure of piping hot cooked hamburgers.

The staff would bark orders to one another, while a manager would supervise and give aid when needed. Sometimes placing items in brown paper bags and handing them off to drive-through customers.

It was a quaint little shack, offering the release of the food blues. Various tables and chairs laid in unison – groups of four chairs per table in rows of two, sometimes three. The place was warm in color; a fleshy tone – nearly resembling the inner portion of a medium cooked steak or burger.

A few more people came in from the cool and sunny summer afternoon. It was lunchtime, which meant rush hour part two.

“Hey! Do you mind already?!” A rather red-faced, tall, pudgy, bald man in professional business attire behind another few people hollered.

There at the front of the line stood one man (for several minutes now). His eyes were scanning over the entire menu, debating with himself just what exactly to order.

“C’mon man, you’re making them all angry,” the young youth in excessive baggy clothing leaned inward towards the contemplative gentlemen; the brim of his hat so cockeyed and flat – the man only disregarded his knowledgeable interjection.

The man was a tall, athletic (although, the only visible remark was his toned arms due to the thin red and black checkered flannel shirt he wore). He wore a black baseball cap, sheltering his shoulder-length long dark ruffled hair. His face was rugged and worn. Both face and arms were slightly reddened, comparable to the more tanned blotches, telling the tail of his extensive time outdoors. The attendant stared patiently into the man’s bright green eyes that wandered about.

Finally, the man’s eyes stopped and fixated upon the menu. He licked his lips and with an invisible tug, his gaze fell to the restaurant attendee.

“I’ll take a…” the man started but was interrupted.

“I’ve had it with you, you, retarded fuck! You’re wasting all our goddamn time! I could have eaten and been on my way back to the goddamn office! You know, some people have to work for a living, instead of being some yuppy who leeches off the fucking government and all of our tax dollars! YOU are the reason why there’s a decline in society nowadays! People. Like. You,” the bald man lashed out.

The man closed his eyes, sighing aloud.

“Oh, I’m sorry! Did I offend you? DID I UPSET YOU?! Good! Now you can see where we all are! You thick-skulled fuck!”

“Sir, I need you to please, calm down or leave,” the attendant calmly replied.

“I am calm! Don’t tell me what the fuck to do!” the bald man snapped back. “I don’t even know why I bother coming here—”

“Look,” the silent giant began, still eying the menu, his voice deep, “All I want to do is just get my food, eat and then be on my way, exactly like you. You though—you are a spiteful person; one who’s always got to be right. Picking on others, being rude and swindling your way on everything. You, sir, are the lowest of the chain. Even maggots work harder than you. You aren’t worthy to be under my boots.”

There soon followed a brief moment of silence, to which the giant placed his order, and the attendant smiled in compliance.

“You son of a bitch,” the bald man roared. “Just you wait when you’re alone somewhere at night. You’ll get what’s coming to you,” the man finally snapped back.

“We all get what we deserve, some just get it sooner than others. You may want to stop wishing…” the lone man replied, others’ eyes looked to one another in awe.

Soon enough, the patient man’s order was ready; placed on a brown plastic tray, atop some decorative sheet of paper advertising a new quad-patty burger. The man frowned, then looked up and at all the other people that waited in line (even the angry little bald man) and at those who were already eating.

Such nonsense… that we ingest.

“What are you staring at?” the cue-ball man inquired.

The man carried his tray with his order: a spicy chicken sandwich, sweet potato fries, and a bottle of water. “Hmm,” the man stared at the beet red, wannabe goat-man, “absolutely nothing.”

He was enraged further beyond reasoning now. The angry man swatted the tray out of the giant’s hands. “How’s that for nothing, you asshole!”

The silent giant stared at the ground in dismay, sighing.

“What’s the matter?! Are you gonna cry about it, you big fucking baby!?” the man raged further into the sizable man’s eyes.

He closed his eyes; whether it was to suppress any emotion or find a way to shrug off the attacks. Something just didn’t feel right at that moment.

Without warning, the giant grabbed the scrawny bald man by the throat and lifted him off the ground. The giant’s eyes were red with an absolute fiery rage. “Little man, you dared wish for death? Allow me to grant you such a wish!”

The cue-ball flailed about and cried for help, all in vain. No one dared to challenge the colossus, except the young youth.

“Hey! Let him go!”

The giant’s wrathful glare fell upon the young man and with his free hand, grabbed him by the skull and tossed him out through the cafe window, only to be run over by a car via the drive-through. His hat crumpled underneath the tires, along with his popped skull; unlaced sneakers underneath the driver’s side of the car. A small grin scrawled across his face. He turned his anger back upon the bald weasel.

People began to flee in terror, but he wouldn’t be having that. No, there will be no survivors today.

“There will be none!” the man bellowed as he began to flail around the scrawny man, swatting people left and right. Smashing them together: men, women, children, young, old; it didn’t matter who—only whoever was in his range of wrath.

“Do you see what you have brought upon everyone, by speaking for everyone?! Everyone shares the same fate!” he screamed as he smashed the man repetitively against the floor, to the wall, and atop the counter-top.

An alarm blurred, moans and screams. Blood sprayed and dripped everywhere; what was once a white and vibrant tile – was soaked with the lives of numerous victims. The giant discarded the now bloodied pulp of a man to the floor. He walked over and picked up his chicken sandwich, a bottle of water and sweet potato fries; slowly walking out the window towards the alleyway that laid behind the fast food diner: whistling and humming to himself, “Farewell and adieu to you, Spanish Ladies…”

*  *  *

Shortly after, the police had arrived at the burger joint. The only survivors were the female attendant who had waited on the man and a majority of the kitchen staff. The man nearly eradicated the entire restaurant. The driver of the car, who ran over the young man, had also come back; save for probably being identified and hunted down by police. He had claimed that was the fastest he’d ever run from anything in his life.

New Boston Police Department scoured the scene, having been short lately due to cutbacks; the police chief requested the aid of some close colleagues down in Middleton. Namely, two detectives whom the chief considered to be the best in all of New England.

“Where the hell are Detectives Dana Deupree and Walter Conway?” the captain inquired over the dispatch radio.

[Title is from the short story when it was originally penned. Release title will differ. Originally published on Abnormalpublishing.com

Johnny Nightwalker: Family Reunion

“I’m sorry, Johnny.” The man wiped a tear from his eye as he stared at a picture.

The door to his office opened. There stepped in a woman in a lab coat and Omega. “Dr. Ramirez, I am afraid your position with the company has been severed,” said Omega.

Ramirez shot up from his chair. “You… You don’t know the powers you are playing with here! The consequences and ramifications on the world, the people—”

Omega raised a hand and silenced the man. “Do I look like I care? I just want that brat son of yours. You made him first, yes? I want to know his weaknesses. I want to know what makes him tick. And, naturally, I want him dead.”

“Everything I know, the Agency knows,” Ramirez looked to the scientist in the lab coat, and pointed at her, “Dr. Widow has all the necessary files.”

Omega looked to the good doctor and nodded before returning his gaze back to Ramirez. “I see. So, you are expendable then? Very well, let’s do some more… field testing.”

Dr. Ramirez reached into his desk for his handgun. Omega motioned a quick swipe through the air, sending the doctor flying into his bookshelves, sending books and other paraphernalia falling atop him.

“That won’t be necessary…” said Omega.

“Widow… when did you let him take over?” Dr. Ramirez grunted.

Dr. Widow smiled. “My son has big plans.”

“What the hell is this, some sort of childish rivalry?” Ramirez grunted as he got to his feet, catering to his right arm.

“Think of it as a battle of gods… and right now, my boy is proving to be quite capable. Perhaps it was wise to lay with you after all,” said Dr. Widow.

“What—what? You… Are you? No… that cannot be!”

Dr. Widow laughed, “Surprised? I thought you could tell… he does have your eyes after all.” Omega smirked at the remark.

“Johnny will come…” Ramirez grunted as Omega grabbed him by the throat and hoisted him high into the air.

“I am counting on it,” smirked the giant.

* * *

After his brief reprieve against Pestilence, Johnny felt a strange sensation and heard a voice in his mind.

Johnny… I am sorry.

“Mr. Ramirez?” he said aloud.

Johnny, he’s in danger. You have to help him. He holds the key to defeating the Horsemen and Omega. Jerry’s voice chimed in.

“Chico, Red, we have to get to the school right away. Something is happening to Ramirez,” said Johnny.

“That’s pretty far away, lad. I don’t think we would make it in time.”

Johnny smirked. “Forgetting about my new magic trick? Just hold on tight.”

“Is this PETA approved?” asked Chico.

As the group began to fade and travel, “Not sure but we’ll find out,” added Johnny.

* * *

Omega and Dr. Widow escorted Dr. Ramirez to the white van, Johnny, Chico, and Red appeared in front of the vehicle.

“That… was one hell of a trip,” said Red.

“I think I’m still spinning,” added Chico.

Omega took note of Johnny’s presence. “Ah, so the prodigal son makes his appearance.”

“Who are you and what are you doing with Mr. Ramirez?” asked Johnny.

“No ‘hello, brother. It has been awhile.’? I am heartbroken,” Omega gestured a teardrop falling down his cheek, and then grinned.

“Brother? What are you going on about?”

“While your dad, well, our dad was busy bumbling over you to be perfected in becoming the absolute specimen for the Agency, my mother was busy making me become just as strong and just as capable as you. Thus, I was given the name Omega. I am superior to the Alpha and Beta Projects in so many ways.” Omega flexed.

Johnny turned to Dr. Widow. “So you bred a giant meathead to become stronger than me? That’s…that must be pretty detrimental to your science career.”

Widow became angered at the remark. “You little gnat! I will have him squash you and everyone you loved.” She then took in a deep breath and exhaled, regaining a calm composure. “We shall start… with your dear old dad.”

Johnny remained unphased.

“Johnny… I’m sorry,” said Ramirez. “I wanted you to have a better life. I figured though if I could at least make you the strongest and the hope that Mankind needed, maybe then, I could at least go to the grave knowing I was good at something.”

“I knew you were my father. I had a lot of visions and memories. I know you were only doing what you thought best. I know…in another time, another life you would be a good father. So I don’t hold anything against you,” Johnny said reassuringly.

“Too sweet. Really, that’s touching. I almost felt a tug at my heartstrings. Almost,” Omega then laughed, “but you’re making me SICK.”

The giant raised his right massive boot and kicked Dr. Ramirez down to the ground. “I say, It’s time to retire, dear doctor.” The sprawl of absolute glee and sadism stretched from ear to ear on Omega’s face as he brought down his boot again against Doctor Ramirez’s head. Blood, brains, and bone fragments were sent gushing everywhere.

Before his head popped like a balloon, Johnny swore he heard his father say he loved him. Though, right now, all Johnny could hear right now was the angry voices that were swelling within.

“Pop goes the doctor!” Omega joked as he twisted the heel of his boot into the twitching corpse.

“You… monster…” Johnny fought back the rage that was stirring.

Omega grinned sadistically. “That look is priceless. It’s almost as good as when I had that little shit kill your dear, dear friend, Jerry.”

His eyes shot open in shock. He had always suspected that there was more to the story… but now, now he had all he needed.

“YOU… SON OF A BITCH! I WILL FUCKING KILL YOU!” Johnny roared.

Chico and Red tried to calm Johnny down, but it was of no use. He was seeing blood… Omega’s blood.

Johnny struck wildly at the giant but was evaded easily.

You’re not going to be able to hit him while you’re so far gone, Johnny. You need to recollect yourself and try when you’re calm.

Laddy, ya’ve got to stop! Ya gonna get killed!

Red and Chico tried again and again… nothing was getting through.

“Yes, that’s it! Show me your moves, Nightwalker. Show me what you’re capable of. Let me see all that you are worth—and then BREAK YOU! Omega casually said as he dodged Johnny’s attacks.

He was weakening fast and he knew it. The rage had won… they had won. Chico and Red were right in that at this moment, Johnny was not strong enough. He needed more time. More power.

Omega, too, had noted this. He rushed in for a solid punch in Johnny’s gut and then uppercutted him—sending him to the ground several feet back. Chico and Red rushed to Johnny’s side.

“C’mon, lad, we’ve got to go!” said Red.

“I know…” said Johnny as he propped himself up, “hold on.”

Chico and Red grabbed a hold of Johnny and as Omega motioned to land a deadly blow, the three vanished from the brutes sight.

“Damn it,” Omega gritted his teeth.

“It’s fine, darling. We’ve proven our point. There’s nothing now that can stop us,” Dr. Widow said as she approached the giant of a man from behind and wrapped her arms around his waist and laid her head against his back.

“I have to say, your story was convincing to the doctor and boy. He actually believes that we are brothers, ha! What a fool,” Omega grinned.

Dr. Widow grinned and chuckled silently to herself.

“We should make our next move. We should pay my… adoptive parents a visit,” said Omega as he cracked his knuckles. “We wouldn’t want the family to not know of the bad news after all.”

* * *

Johnny, Chico, and Red all landed and rolled across the ground back at their hideaway.

Johnny began slamming his fist into the ground, making a hole in the concrete.

“I know you’re angry, kid, but you need a clear head. There are Horsemen out there still killing in his name and making a mess of things,” said Red.

“He’s right. We need to deal with them and then handle Omega,” added Chico.

Johnny sat on his knees, closed his eyes and sighed.

He opened them, clarity and reason had been reached. “Let’s make this a group effort. Get Pierre and his gang, alert Rottie and her pack. We need everyone on board.”

Red and Chico both nodded.

“It’s time for the world to strike back, for those who have been wronged to rise up and strike down these tyrannous villains who would otherwise bring mankind to extinction.” Johnny looked down to Chico and Red with a grin, “Can I count on you?”

JOHNNY “NIGHTWALKER” IS AN ONGOING A.B.NORMAL PUBLISHING EXCLUSIVE STORY BY ROBERT J. S. T. MCCARTNEY. CHECK HERE FOR MORE POSTS.

Next Week’s Topic: Toxicity

Hey, folks.

It’s Friday finally. While I am wrapping up a few things, I wanted to drop a note. I will be doing a wee bit about the toxicity of our lovely internet. Mostly it will be based on my experiences in online games and the start of my lovely scrapbook of what I call “Rage Whispers Galore.”

I know, you probably thought of System of a Down. Good stuff, yes, but no, that’s not what I am doing.

It’s going to be fun. It’s going to be exciting. It’s going to showcase the fine human beings that think that they are safe behind their computer (or phone) screens and are safe of disciplinary actions. There will be laughs. There will be tears. There will be mostly a lot of head shaking. . .and facepalming action.

I wish you all a great weekend. The princess cubs are hungry and well, it’s Pizza Friday. 😉

Until next time.

RJM