Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Duel-Devil:Loose Ends Day 10

10.

The Island of Ricca 1916

When Lieutenant Brad Hendrix joined the military, none of his expectations were
met.

First he thought he would be a fighter pilot in the war, shooting down German
planes and being a flying ace. He figured it was natural seeing as he flew a crop
duster since he was fourteen years old.

But he was informed he did not qualify, that they needed men in the trenches. But
he thought at least he would be in Europe, killing krauts by the bucketful.

Instead he was sent to a place called Pan Guay. Apparently the Germans have
some settlements here and the Allies think it in their best interest to take it.

The Germans proved to be no match for them. Brad had proven himself capable
of defeating the German troops in chemical warfare. He had proven himself to be
quite the chemist in the lurch. Likely from his years flying the crop duster.

But the Germans had help. Enemies that appeared to be vaguely
Asian. Typically smaller than the American troops. But they fought with a
ferocity, never seen before.

It was learned they were from a neighboring island called Ricca. The
commanders made the call, that the troops were to seize Ricca. Brad and the
other men did not think anything of it. The Riccans were tough, but they lacked
the fire power of the United States of America.

They had heard rumors about the Island's king. But Brad dismissed them as
ridiculous. But he would learn how wrong he was. As they approach the
castle, they are surprised to see how ill defended it is.

When they move in closer, the gate to the castle lowers and they see one large man.

 The closer they get, they realize this is no mere man. He stands at least seven
feet tall. His skin a sickly green, his mouth filled with mangled teeth. His
fingertips are twisted talons.

The rumors about the King of Ricca are true, The Claw is real. Every instinct in
Brad Hendrix tells him to run. To get as far away from Ricca as possible, to
forget such a wicked land ever existed.

But Hendrix is a warrior and he leads the charge into battle. The Claw shrugs off
bullets as if they are nothing. Hendrix attempts to stab him with the bayonet, only to find he
cannot pierce the hide of the Claw.

Claw snatches the rifle from Brad Hendrix and breaks it across his knee. He
grabs Hendrix by the scruff of his neck and throws him to the ground. He looks
up and sees the grotesque sight of the Claw laughing.

Claw gleefully fights the rest of Hendrix's unit and Brad Hendrix has to
watch helplessly as Claw slaughters them all.

Claw turns around and prepares to kill Hendrix. Only to be consumed by a white
fog. Claw is immune to all poisons, but the fog has blinded him. Giving Lt.Hendrix
the chance to escape into the jungles of Ricca. Weeks later, Hendrix returns to his boat, he vows to return
someday and kill The Nightmare of Ricca.

****

Boston, Massachusetts 1940

Bart Hill arrived in Boston, Tuesday night. After getting some rest at a crummy
hotel, he knows it is time to hunt down the Eyes of Claw. If this were Crab City,
he would crack some skulls at the casinos. He would find out what he needed in
an hour.

Boston is not Crab City, but he figures every city has slums. He puts on his
costume and goes to the scummiest bar he can find.

He walks in and all eyes are on Bart Hill. He is quite the sight in his yellow and
blue Duel-Devil uniform.

"Hey did the circus come to town?"

Duel-Devil punches the man in the face. If he were inclined, the man would be dead.

"Yeah circus is in town and I'm the ring master. Now tell me, what do you know
about the Eyes of Claw."

Two of the drunks friends attempt to sneak up on Duel-Devil, but he senses them
and throws a yellow boomerang, shattering their pool cues. The boomerang
returns to his hand and he gets back to his interrogation.

"The Eyes, tell me!!!"

The man is close to crying.

"I don't know no Eyes."

"I don't believe you."

Another man steps forward.

"Ring Master"

"Its Duel-Devil"

"Duel-Devil, he's telling the truth, we don't know no Eyes of Claw. I know we
are in a rundown neighborhood. But we're honest hard working men. Bob here
was just busting your chops."

Bart realizes he went too far. He was so desperate to establish his reputation in
Boston, he jumped the gun.

"Okay, are there any new churches in town. Not Christian or Jewish, something
way off the beaten path."

The bartender looks thoughtfully.

"Yeah...Yeah the paper has been talking about this The Order of Claw. They
have been doin a lot of charity work."

Duel-Devil is grateful for the info, but wants to maintain his edge.

He walks out of the bar without saying a word.

Bob is helped back up to his feet holding his jaw.

"Just what we need, another costumed nut running around here."

****

Duel-Devil is in the alley behind the bar, when he is surrounded by a white fog, that hecan't see thru.

The fog dissipates as a man in a white bodysuit and cape wearing a skull helmet
appears before him.

"Who dares enter the territory of the Ghost?"

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