Hellspawn's Legacy
CHAPTER 4: The RMB Mercenary Service
The lone golf cart sped down the road, a few flyers falling out the back. 
"Are you crazy, Minsc? A mercenary service?" yelled a disgruntled Rado Goji. 
"Rado wants attention, Minsc knows how to obtain it!" explained Minsc. Boo squeaked in agreement. The flyer was simple and stated: 
 "First off," stated Rado. "We're not necessarily 'Butt-Kicking for Goodness' just because you enjoy saying it a lot. Second, how is anyone going to contact Boo? He's a hamster!" 
"Boo has his ways," said the loopy berzerker. Rado wondered why he even met Minsc in the first place. 
"Besides, if we want attention, we have to earn it! Maybe we can find out why Sheriff Varan killed himself. Minsc says this is a good idea. Good for getting us killed!" he muttered. "Yes, we want attention and recognition from others but I won't do anything that means certain death," Rado explained. "Besides, I work at a burger place, you haven't fought in ages and Boo is a hamster. Just how are we supposed to go about this, if at all?" 
"Remember," replied Minsc. "You came up with that Beam-Sword thingy. What was it, from that game or something?" 
"Z-Saber," Rado reminded him. "It's from the Mega Man X series. Zero has it. Why don't you remember these things? I only play these games all the time." 
"Right, Z-Saber," said Minsc. "Anyway, you have that Z-thing and I have my super cool 2-Handed Sword which I HAVE been practicing with. Also, you shouldn't doubt Boo. He is very strong willed and strong witted." 
"So, we just get a call from someone and hope it's NOT something that gets us killed..." Rado thought out loud. 
"If I answer, I will accept the quest no matter what the risk!" stated Minsc. Boo squeaked. 
"Alright, whatever." 
"Stop! I smell something!" Minsc suddenly hissed. He sniffed the air. "You smell it, Rado?" 
"Smell what?" 
"The stink of evil. If our first task involves this stink, I would not be surprised," Minsc explained. 
"Well, only time will tell," figured Rado. 

The Play at the Anguirus Theatre, Act II: 

The swords of the combatants clashed in a battle so fierce it could not be contained on stage but ranged throughout the theatre itself. Jet Jaguar had been very surprised to see Raptor and Queen Ghidorah held captive after getting a tip that the place was being used as a drug storehouse. As their swords lunged at each other, Jet kicked his opponent who fell valiantly, his sword flying out of sight. 
"Wanna let loose the gals?" 
The guy just stared aft, breathing heavily. "No." 
"You faced him, Jet, now you must face me." The good Sheriff turned around and there was another man, pointing a sword at him. 
"Well, then let's begin..." He took the first strike at Jet who dodged the stab. As their blades clanged against each other, sparks flew. The battle continued to rage until the man knocked Jet to the ground and vanished. The robot got up. Against the wall, the first guy who had challenged him was still breathing heavily on the floor. Jet started looking around and came to a flight of stairs. 
"I wonder..." He started up. As he came to a landing and walked out, he jumped back as his quarry lunged out at him. To most people, this would have been quite the surprise but Jet's sensors had detected him. As the guy got up from the floor, the Sheriff punched him hard in the head and sent him flying off the ledge and into a vat of water below. "That'll teach ya to mess with me!" As Jet went back downstairs, the first swordsman was waiting with a gun in his hand. Meanwhile, Queen Ghidorah had gotten loose and exited the front door where the Mod Squad was waiting. 
"You've walked into a trap, Sheriff Jaguar!" 
Rado Goji flipped the light on in their apartment and turned on the Play Station. 
"Now that we're done going aimlessly around town dropping off flyers, it's time to relax!" As the Mega Man X5 logo appeared on screen, Minsc unplugged the midget PS1. "What was that for?" asked Rado. 
"Rado is being very lazy!" said Minsc. "That is a no-no!" 
"No-no, Minsc?" replied Rado. "Since when is it your decision what I do around here?" 
"The fearless leader must watch the phone," said Minsc. 
"Then you watch the phone," Rado sighed, getting up to plug the game back in. Minsc immediately picked him up by the collar and placed him on a chair near the phone. 
"Like I said," he explained. "The fearless leader of the RMB Mercenary Service must watch the phone. Answer it and accept our quest!" Minsc picked up a Two-Handed Sword (+3) and began to practice. 
"I'M fearless leader? Minsc, this was YOUR idea!" yelled Rado. "Even so, shouldn't I be practicing with the Z-Saber?" 
"It's your shift." 
"Shift?" spat the confused Rado. 
"I made a schedule!" Minsc explained, quite proud of himself. Suddenly, Boo let out a loud squeak of terror as an arrow flew through the window right into his cage, barely missing the tiny hamster. A note was rolled around the shaft. Minsc grabbed the arrow and asked, "Are you all right, Boo?" Boo squeaked with relief as his friend opened the note which stated in mysterious lettering: 
"Stay out of what?" asked Rado. Just then, the phone rang... 
It was Voortack. "I am calling on behalf of E.D.C.O.L.E." 
"How do you do, Mr. Voortack! Uh, what's 'E.D.C.O.L.E.'?"  the aspiring hero asked. 
"Oh, you mean the arrow through the window?" Rado nervously laughed, trying to put on a brave front as if such things were a normal occurrence in their line of work. 
"Yes, that is the one. Heed it well." With that, the connection was broken. Rado threw down the receiver and ran into his room to hide under the bed. 
"Rado?" called Minsc as he walked in. "No, Rado. Your Z-Saber is in the living room, not under the bed. You need to shape up if we want to succeed in our first quest." 
"The deal's off!" said the horrified Rado. "No mercenary service!" 
"What is our quest?" asked Minsc, thinking that he was kidding. 
Rado finally calmed down and put a smile on his face. "Well, our first quest was brought to us by Voortack on behalf of EDCOLE. He wants us to heed the message that flew into Boo's cage. Doesn't that sound fun?" 
"What is... EDCOLE?" asked a concerned Minsc. 
"He said that EDCOLE was something like Evil Dude Convention Of Literally Everywhere," Rado explained. 
The first word of the acronym almost made the berzerker snap. "EVIL?" yelled Minsc. "EVIL is involved? Why do you except an EVIL quest? We must find this EVIL's butt and kick it very hard. Get your saber, Rado! We are going to destroy this evil!" 
"WHAT? NO!" Rado immediately freaked out again. "We could be killed... or worse!" 
"Rado, stop being a sissy! We must go now. Come, Boo! A quest unfolds for us three!" Minsc stated heroically and handed Rado the Z-Saber. Reluctantly, he followed Minsc and Boo to the golf cart. 
On the way to finding the EDCOLE HQ (using Minsc's Evil Sense), Minsc yelled out into the night: "We will fight and we will triumph because where Minsc goes, evil stands aside!" 
As they sped along, Minsc suddenly hollered, "Stop! I smell something!" 
"Here we go again..." muttered Rado. Minsc quickly shushed him and sniffed the air around them. 

"That's it! I have found Evil!" Indeed he had, for they were stopped right in front of EGM's bar, the Evil Lair. 
The former mayor of Roostville, Morgoth, was looking through Necromancer: The Book Of the Damned Dead when his cell phone rang. 
"Hello? Aw, Mr. Laurence. What's that you say? Necromancer? Yes, I have it. Now I demand you tell me why you desire it." 
"What I desire of Necromancer is only of importance to myself and henceforth none of your business or concern." 
"Problem is, Mr. Laurence, the last man to acquire this little piece of history used its power for evil which nearly devastated my precious Roostville." Laurence paused for a moment. 
"Listen, Clint. I don't ever plan on using Necromancer's powers. You see, I'm a collector of old artifacts related to the occult and many religions. And I would like to add it to my... collection." 
"I'm thinking auctioning it on eBay would be safer." 
"Now now, Morgoth. Don't be a fool. Name your price. We had a deal." 
Morgoth hesitated. "Where shall we meet, Mr. Laurence?" 
"I'll be out of town for a few days. I'll contact you with a time and place once I return." He hung up and turned to his driver. "How long until we reach Mt. Rodan?" 
"We'll be arriving there shortly, sir." 
At his Headquarters, Gamingboy was packing for a vacation at Isle Delfino. 
"This town is becoming way too out of control. I've got to make a run for it while the money's still hot." He ran around back where the Gamingmobile was waiting, his servant, Sal, holding the door. 
"Thanks, Sal. I owe you one." As the Mayor got into the driver's seat and Sal was packing his suitcases into the trunk, a voice called out. 
"Not so fast!" A man in the distance, hidden by shadows, fired off a shot, killing Sal. Gamingboy fired up the engines. 
"I'll find a way to fix this... There's gotta be some Plot Hole I can create to bring back Sal and save my desperate little ass!" As he started to drive off, the man fired another round at a back wheel of the car, bringing it to a sudden stop. GB was getting nervous as he looked back and saw him coming closer. At first he couldn't make out a face until he stepped into the light... 
"Lord Jimi? Dat you, ol' friend?" Lord Jimifulss said nothing as he opened the driver's door. GB, like the rest of the town, was unaware that Lord Jimi had been possessed by something evil and not of this world. His emotionless expression and the emptiness of his eyes were scaring the Gamer badly; the sight of him was the creepiest thing he had ever seen and he felt like screaming but didn't. He could tell that something wasn't right with Jimi. 
"Wha-wha-what is it you want, Jimi? Is it cash? I can give you cash. Ha ha, I'm rich, and being Mayor of this great place I...." Lord Jimi just seemed to stare aft, freaking him out even more. Jimi then aimed his gun at Gamingboy's head. 
"Wait! No! Please! Jimi! Don't do this!" 
"Think you can fix this problem by paying me cash or setting up some sort of Plot Hole? Or even firing off the Ignore Cannon v2.0? I'm afraid things just don't work that way." There was something different... something strange and eerie, yet creepy at the same time about Jimi's voice. 
"Wait a minute! Just wait a minute. Listen, Jimi..." 
"I'm not Jimi." 
Gamingboy felt a sick sensation come over him. 
"I-If you're not Jimi... Th-then who are you?" 
"Your exterminator." 

The Play At the Anguirus Theatre, Act III: 
"Bye bye, Sheriff Jaguar. You should have stayed in nursing!" Laurence's henchman pulled the trigger but the bullet only bounced off Jet's chest, not being powerful enough to pierce his metallic body. 
"You rodent! Don't you know that bullets are useless against super robots?" JJ leaped at his attacker and put him on the ground but he kicked him off and they exchanged blows, the thug putting up a pretty good fight. The Mod force and Queen Ghidorah came rushing in. 
"Freeze!" one of the Moderators shouted. They soon had Laurence's goon in custody and JJ took Raptor and Queen Ghidorah outside for questioning. 
"So, ladies, what exactly is going on here?" They told JJ about how Queen Ghidorah had overheard Laurence talk about some plan to assassinate Super Jet Jaguar, followed by their kidnapping. They also told him about Laurence mentioning going to Mt. Rodan. 
"What could this Laurence character possibly want on Mt. Rodan?" They quickly got into his car and headed there with every Mod available. 


"Exterminate? Me? W-Why would you w-want to d-do that?" The lifeless like Jimi just gazed aft. 
"No more talk," he finally said. "Time for your death to occur." Just as Jimi was about to pull the trigger, he was hit in the back of the head with a frying pan. 
"Boy! What took you guys so long?" Gamingboy asked. It was Mario and Link of the SSB. 
"Quickly," he told them. "Call the Mods or something. I've got to get out of this crazy place! Keep my headquarters safe from take-over." Gamingboy had a new Ford Gamingmobile stored away in his garage and left. As Mario and Link went to call the Mod Station, Lord Jimi escaped rather mysteriously. 
Rado, Minsc and Boo entered the Evil Lair. Rado saw all the menacing people sitting around, looking at them. One asked, "Who are you freaks?" 
"We are Minsc, Boo and Rado Goji of the RMB Mercenary Service!" announced Minsc. Rado's stomach immediately sank in fear. "Our fearless leader, Rado Goji, has something to say to you evil types!" 
"Eep..." was all that came out, and very quietly so no one could hear. 
"Go ahead, Rado," Minsc urged his "leader". 
Rado figured this was when he needed to be brave and make a difference, to be a hero. To be recognized. He shouted out bravely, "Alright, we need info on an organization called EDCOLE. HQ locations, members -  anything will do nicely so spit it out!" 
"Very nice," said Minsc quietly. 
The bar flies erupted into laughter at this kid threatening them. "What are you going to do if we don't, 'fearless leader'?" one of them asked. Rado couldn't take the laughter any longer and snapped. He wasn't going to let a bunch of laughing idiots stand in the way of his road to recognition. He drew and activated his Z-Saber and slashed a nearby table. He then jumped and brought down a Quake Blazer (fiery downward thrust maneuver) on the remains and the wood burst into flames. 
"See that table? I was being nice to it. If you jackasses don't cooperate with us, I'm not gonna be so nice to you. Now, answer my question!" 
See the Monday, Oct. 13 1:28 PM entry in COPS: TV Series Rip-Off for what happens next!
"I knew it!" yelled the now humbled Rado Goji. "I knew this was a bad idea! But did you listen? Oh, no! I can't believe we got busted by the Mods! Minsc, I blame you for this!" The golf cart sped in the direction of the Mod Station where Rado and Minsc were to pay a hefty fine for disturbing the peace, property damage and get a license for the mercenary service. 
"Those evil guys where lucky I didn't berserk!" said Minsc. "Now that you've shown me you can be brave, do you feel better?" 
"No, I don't feel better!" shouted Rado. "I'm a burger restaurant guy turned criminal! I'm not feeling better. In fact, I feel quite pissed off!" 
"Calm yourself, Rado," advised Minsc. "Go to your happy place." 
"Not while I'm driving. Not only do we have to pay a fine but we have to get a license. Why are we getting a license? We should just forget this stupid idea..." 
"We are here when people need help, Rado," Minsc explained. Boo squeaked. "Besides, we still have to kick the butt of EDCOLE and find out some information." 
"About what?" inquired Rado. 
"They want us to stay out of something and we have to get into it and kick more evil buttocks!" he declared. "We'll look up EDCOLE in the phone book after we take care of things at the Mod Station." 
"We might as well," agreed Rado. "There's nothing that can talk you out of it now..." 
"That's the spirit!" said Minsc. Boo happily squeaked and climbed on Rado's shoulder. 
It wasn't long before the golf cart pulled up at the station. Rado felt a little intimidated by the concrete slab walls and minimal windows. The place was definitely designed with security in mind. 
There was no one about as they entered the public access foyer with various heavy steel doors off to each side. The only sign of activity was light coming from the Communications Center so they presented themselves at the window. 
The dispatcher put down his comic book to get a look at the two characters who had exited the golf cart he picked up on the outside cameras and were now peering back at him expectantly. "Can I help you folks?" he asked, eying the hamster now standing on the window ledge. 
"Yes," Minsc advised. "We'd like to see the Sheriff." 
"Sorry. He's out on a call." 
"Good! Then we had best be going. Have a good one!" Rado quickly turned to leave, only to be collared by Minsc. 
"Ahem. A Mod directed us to get with him about possibly... helping out around here." Rado's kick to his shin didn't deter the aspiring do-gooder in the least. "We are particularly interested in what the EDCOLE element around here might be up to." 
"Nothing at the moment, I'm afraid. They usually specialize in alien invasions on a rather massive scale and I don't think a golf cart would be.... up to taking on the likes of some of their craft." 
Boo considered this and squeaked to Minsc. "You are quite right, sir!" he advised the leery officer. "We shall return better equipped." Scooping up the hamster and spinning Rado Goji toward the exit, they rapidly departed. 
"Stay out of trouble," the dispatcher mumbled, getting back to the latest issue of FUNNY FURRY TALES. 

The lights flipped on in the garage, shining on a large vehicle covered by a tarp. "This is our equipment?" asked Minsc. "Is it some sort of Cloak of Non-Detection that we can use to sneak up on evil and kick their butts? Genius! They won't know what kicked them!" 
"No," said Rado Goji. "It's under the tarp. Boo, if you please." Boo scurried to a cord hanging from the ceiling and yanked on it. The cover lifted to reveal a vehicle resembling the G-FORCE Garuda, only slightly smaller but a little larger than a jet and able to seat two people in the cockpit. 
"When that guy said the golf cart wouldn't do the job, I immediately thought of this," explained Rado. "I built it a while ago, before I met you but I haven't tested it yet. I call it Garuda .5." 
"Does it fly?" asked Minsc. 
"It's supposed to but it's never been tested." 
"Well, if this doesn't make us better equipped, I don't know what will!" exclaimed Minsc. "Let's try it out!" The three got into flight suits and helmets (there was stuff for Boo also) and climbed into the cockpit. 
"I've studied the original Garuda's design and found that some of the power went to the Super MechaGodzilla mode." Rado explained. "I rerouted that to the maser cannons." 
"What do I do?" asked Minsc. 
"You monitor damage, control power output, all that good stuff," directed Rado. Minsc looked through the instruction manual and was somehow able to comprehend his responsibilities. Boo sat in a makeshift hamster seat and prepared for take-off. 
"Let's test this baby out!" Rado switched the Garuda .5 on and the ship took off. It exceeded all of Rado's expectations of performance and after flying around a bit, the RMB headed back to the Mod Station in hopes their "employer" would be there to give them their first real assignment, one that would lead them to "kick the butt" of EDCOLE and figure out just what was really going on in Roostville! 
Minsc shouted to EDCOLE (well, to himself): "Jump on my sword while you can, evil! I will not be as gentle!" 
Desutoroia was alone upstairs in Desu Mansion and started to remember a night a few years back, at a motel in Maser City. He had a dream and saw a beautiful woman standing outside a club in the rain, being attacked by a humanoid creature with bat-wings and devil horns. He tried to help her but he couldn't move. At the time, he had not known what the dream meant but now he realized it was a prophesied vision. 
Who would've ever known that his friend, Hozay, could be the demon in his dream who seemed to be the spitting image of what comes to mind when many think of Lucifer? Desutoroia began to remember all the good times before Hozay became influenced by the occult and was reborn as Hellspawn; before he had lost what was so precious and meant more than the world to him. Desutoroia turned to look out the window and Hellspawn appeared before him. 
"Hello there, old friend," Hellspawn greeted him, acting as though Desutoroia's murder and the Blood Mass never happened. 
"How is it that you are here?!" Hellspawn grinned evilly. 
"Melkor may have sealed my soul away in the Evil Realm but I can still communicate with this world." Desutoroia reached out his hand but it passed through Hellspawn's body. "I can only communicate, not touch." Hellspawn laughed maniacally. Before fading from this realm, his last words were, "You cannot keep me locked away forever. I shall not be denied my destiny." 
Desutoroia stood in amazement, wondering if it was a delusion or had Hellspawn's tormented soul actually made contact with him? He looked down and saw an old photo album. 
"How did this get here?" He picked it up and began to look through it. "So many memories," he sighed. "So many depressing memories..." 
Melkor was laying down on his sofa when he dozed off and found himself in another world; a futuristic place of dead ruins of what once was a beautiful city, apparently destroyed by war. The shadow of Satan raised up from the metallic ground beneath him. It was Hellspawn. 
"Why do I keep seeing you in my dreams?" Melkor was confused. 
"Maybe because you're afraid to move on and forget about me." Hellspawn's statement only puzzled him more. "Or perhaps it is because... deep down, YOU, of all people KNOW... that your little spell won't be enough deviltry to keep my soul locked away in the Evil Realm forever, you pathetic excuse for a Dark Lord!" 
"Unlike you, demon, I have faith in something. I have faith that the light will keep you from crossing over between the two realms." Hellspawn stood still, not laughing or smiling like his usual twisted self. 
"What if... What if I told you that I was already in your world?" Hellspawn's voice was much deeper than usual and Melkor couldn't believe what he was hearing. 
"You speak of lies, demon!" 
"You underestimate me, Melkor." The mage woke up, covered in sweat. 
"Hellspawn," he said out loud. "You're here... in Roostville. But where are you hiding?" 
As Desutoroia looked through the old photo album, he was reminded of his lonely childhood and adolescent years. He remembered being pushed around and no one was there to care. Just the same old bullshit, day after day, from his peers. He remembered what it had been like to be in a crowd and feel faceless and forgotten by the world around him, feeling low and losing hope. All the feelings and the day they stopped. 
"Just because I have nerves doesn't mean that I can feel." He remembered all the daydreaming and shattered hopes. Every bit of it was torture for his soul. The spirit of Hellspawn appeared before him. 
"You can go on and be happy if you leave the past behind. To dwell so endlessly on it is to have no today, no tomorrow, no future. Didn't I tell you that when last we met at the Mod Station a few months back?" 
Desutoroia looked up at him. "Hozay... Am I missing something or aren't we enemies?" 
"Oh, our destinies had us face off in a great struggle as enemies. But we are destined to fight side by side as allies. And trust me, we shall." Desutoroia went back to looking at the photo album. 
"Oh, look," he said. "It's you and Mallory before... Hozay? Hozay? Where'd you go?" 

Death's Council: 
In the dark and surreal land of the nightmare world, levitating above all else was the nightmarish Tower of Terror. Inside is where the Council of Death discussed the universe and its fate yet to come. It was dark in the Council chamber and the only light shined upon a table. The Members remained unseen by each other but these demons knew each other by their voices. 
"Kronos of the Wises. Your servant hath failed ye to harvest the Black Fire Rodan's mystical powers." 
"And," another member began, "your McFarlane Religion also failed ye in the conquest of the northern hemisphere of Earth." 
"Those creatures," someone stated, "are only human. We should be able to conquer them!" 
"You moronic fool! We cannot enter the world of the flesh creatures, which is why we do things the way we do!" 
"And who are you to talk? You couldn't even kill Gamingboy when you inhabited that flesh creature's miserable body!" 
"Silence! Order! Order now... No need for arguing. Ever since my loyal servant, Hellspawn, was destroyed, the legacy he left behind has caused nothing but corruption in Roostville." 
"And when you inhabited Hitler's body, it didn't cause corruption?" 
"Silence! As I was saying. Hellspawn's legacy has caused nothing but decadence. Evil is everywhere in that town. Soon, the citizens of Roostville will destroy each other themselves." 
"You fool, Kronos! Soon isn't good enough. If the entire world of flesh creatures is to be destroyed and conquered, we need to do it now." 
"A servant of mine is already lurking in Roostville. Just calm yourself, Matthias of the Dark Sages." 
Laurence and his thugs had arrived in Rodanville. The driver stopped at the security gate and rolled down his window. "State your name and business and you may pass." 
The driver said his name was "Daniel Smith." 
"I'm Michael Lazarus, the Chaplain of Roostville. Our business is that we are going up onto the mountains for a camping trip." 
The third man in the truck asked the guard, "How's the Blue Devil today?" 
"Blue Devil?" Matthew Laurence asked. 
"Yeah. These folks believe that up on the mountain lays the secret chamber of Satan's son, the Blue Devil. I've also heard childish ghost stories of walking skeletons up there. And the most sane of all their beliefs is the Black Fire Rodan." 
"Oh, shut up!" The gatekeeper glared at him. "Just go about your business!" Laurence and his crew continued on their mission. 
"We'll have to walk up the mountain," Laurence advised them. "There are no roads for vehicles." 
On Friday evening of October 10th, Ubergeek had sent his messages to Melkor, Raptor, the Dark Lords® and Mayor Gamingboy, providing a status report on his latest 'research' project. When he emailed his fellow were-Gojis, Obake was immediately concerned about his location and sought out Miyako as she was most familiar with his mindset. 
"You are well aware of what Mt. Rodan signifies?" he asked her. 
"No, I am not, Yamoto-san," she confessed to the shaman. 
"Then I will tell you," he began, focusing his soulless white eyes on hers. "Legends say that the mountain Geekspawn seeks is where the Black Fire Rodan resides. It is a creature of great power that could devastate the world. Megalon Town is a small community on the seaward side of the mountain range. Its Mayor is the keeper of the legend of the Black Fire Rodan and the lost civilization it guards." 
"A lost civilization?" Miyako was quite stunned by this revelation. "How can that be? The entire continent has been well researched and there are no archeological references to the area. I checked when Uber said he was going there..." 
"That is true, my dear. There are no records because the location must be kept secret." This did not jive with Miyako's sense of order. 
"And even the government and science ministry have not delved into this?" 
"Thankfully, no," Obake sighed. "Some things are best left to the Guardians. And that is why I believe we should go to Mt. Rodan and make sure Seatopia remains a place of mystery. As you have noticed with your instruments, there is a 'disturbance' that has spread clear to Roostville, a major population center. I can only guess that there is a reason for whatever influences are at work in the surface world." 
"The 'surface' world... what are you referring to, sensei?" 
"Not only are there civilizations that have existed below the surface of the Earth, there are also other planes of existence, such as referenced in many religions. 'Heaven' and 'hell' are examples. These 'places' are home to entities of various nature, often at odds to modern human understanding and society. Co-existence is possible but not when there is conflict of interest, such as this... Hellspawn proved in Roostville." Miyako shuddered at the thought of what this dark creature had nearly wrought on the world. "And he is not the only one," Obake continued. "There have been both humans and demons over the ages who seek to expand their lot at the cost of others. This is where the 'unbalance' comes in and worlds are torn asunder." 
"I am most concerned about Roostville," Miyako declared. "Do you think there is a link to Mt. Rodan with what has been going on there?" 
"I do not know, nor am I that familiar with Seatopia and its influence on the surface world at this stage in time. I could contact its Mayor if you wish for an update..." 
"That might be a good idea," Miyako agreed. "No sense in walking in on something that we could be better prepared for. 
When Raptor had called Megalon Town about the death of Sheriff Manda, the Mayor was surprised her visit would even be noticed, much less result in her death. 
"Now, I do not know how the Seal will be returned to the Gateway," he sighed. On further questioning, he revealed that a group of amateur geologists had found the stone tablet in their explorations of the old mines and removed it from the area. Sheriff Manda had hoped to locate it in Roostville and get it back. 
"When the anomalies were first noticed around here, the Constable of Rodanville happened to mention that this party was from Roostville and under the auspices of the Institute of Advanced Physics and Science." 
"Did he by any chance have a list of who all was in the party?" 
"I'm afraid not," the Mayor advised. "But you could probably call him and find out." Raptor did so and learned that Goji Son, Desutoroia, Yongary, Rev. Michael Lazarus and Cam Eleon had made the trek to Rodanville. Paying a call on the wounded Mod who had almost forgotten about the artifact, she learned that it had been taken to Phish's Institute and no doubt forgotten among various other projects. He was able to provide a description of it but it was not to be found there, despite extensive searching by staff, Mods and deputies. Goji Son was unaccounted for, Yongary was off on an expedition, Desu was dead and the Chaplain was supposedly on a retreat. With so many dead ends, it wasn't any wonder Varan had been overcome by the enormity of it all. 
When Lazarus showed up at the Mod Station with his goons in tow and later said he was headed for Mt. Rodan, some things started to make a lot more sense. 
As they barreled across the Gamera Fields toward the distant mountain range, she filled in Jet Jaguar and Queen Ghidorah on the mysterious tablet. 
"Do you think it has something to do with everything that is going wrong around here?" the Sheriff asked. 
"Probably," Raptor figured. "One thing is for sure - that Lazarus chap is going to get defrocked and a whole bunch of other unpleasant things are in store for that fraud." 
Rado, Minsc and Boo landed the Garuda .5 with its VTOL jets in the street in front of the Mod Station. Once again, no one in authority was around to offer an assignment to the aspiring heroes but they did get a very irate warning from the Dispatcher to keep "that unlicensed piece of Space Cadet junk off the city streets!" Surprised they hadn't already received a parking ticket, they once more took to the air and figured they would make their own assignment. 
"This should serve us well," Minsc figured, switching on the broad band scanner. The popular device among vicarious monitors of all things real life and often more exciting than they could ever hope to experience themselves once more proved its charm when they picked up the call from Sheriff Jaguar that all units report in and proceed to Mt. Rodan. 
"AW RIGHT!" Minsc shouted. "That's where the action is!" Rado wasn't too sure but after they banked and picked up JJ's car doing about 100 mph across the flatlands, his sense of purpose finally kicked in. When the traffic "10-27 (shots fired) at the Mayor's house" was broadcast, Rado wondered if maybe that wouldn't be a better option to respond to. 
"Naw," Minsc figured. "Gamingboy can take care of himself. We're going to Mt. Rodan and kick some SERIOUS butt!" 
One of Laurence's minions also had a police scanner and approached his boss cautiously. 
"Bad news, sir! The cops. They uh... They're on their way here, at this very moment. They must have found the girls at the Anguirus Theatre." Laurence was surprised and shocked. 
"How did those Mods ever find those two nosy pests?" 
"They received an anonymous tip, supposedly from the two who were watching over them." Laurence was angry and got out his handy-dandy gun. 
"Mike was one of the two I gave strict orders to stay behind and make sure the Mods never found Raptor and that girl. He is your brother, right?" 
"Mike is my cousin, boss." Laurence smirked. 
"Well, McBain, I'm blaming this on you!" Laurence shot him in the head. "Treachery is not an option. Now, quickly, to the Gateway of Utopia at once!" Laurence and his remaining thugs continued their journey to find the great Golden Land. Their pace increased, knowing the Mods would be arriving shortly. 
Obake Yamoto was not pleased when he rejoined Miyako in the Ogasawara Project hangar. While he was consulting with the Mayor of Megalon Town, she had made preparations for their mission to Mt. Rodan and secured one of the Geek's many "trophies" from his adventures: a compact, stingray-shaped black ID-4 spacecraft, complete with alien pilot. This particular 'Grey' was TDY to the Project's Transportation Division from the City-Buster in Roostville's East River and piloted his craft on recon and personnel shuttle missions. 
"What did you find out?" she asked the shaman. 
"There is a legend that a gateway to 'Utopia' exists on Mt. Rodan. This has brought various fortune hunters and religious zealots to the area, and their untimely death." 
"Because this is actually the route to Seatopia which the Black Fire Rodan guards?" 
"That is correct," Obake confirmed. "There is no reason for anyone to go there. The residents of Megalon Town respect that but apparently, there are those of this world who are not content with what they already have." 
"That sounds familiar!" Miyako fumed. "I'm surprised the Mayor assisted Ubergeek as he did." 
"He advised me that whatever is happening is beyond his influence and possibly related to what is happening in Roostville. The offer of assistance by Ubergeek and Count Super Jet Jaguar was much appreciated. But remember that Geek-san did request our assistance..." 
"Yes," his fellow were-Goji agreed. "So we had best get going before everyone's favorite Geekspawn and Roostville's Terror of the Red Button find themselves in guano that might not be the doing of even a legendary pterodon." 
Climbing aboard the alien craft, yet another party was headed for Mt. Rodan. 
Desutoroia looked in the mirror he held before him and saw his true self. No masks, no skin to hide behind, just what he truly was. "I hate you," he said aloud. 
He thought back to when the spilt blood had resurrected him, giving him the chance to take back his life. He now wondered if he should have let himself rot and be tortured by the Cenobites, locked away in Hell's labyrinth for all eternity. 
"You can set yourself free," a hissing voice from the back of his mind called out. "Don't hate yourself for what you really are. Everyone has a special quality about them. You have one also. You shouldn't flee from yourself. Let your quality define you, whatever it is." Desutoroia must have been going crazy. Life was  becoming too much for him as hearing voices in your head usually isn't too good a sign. 
He decided to ignore the wisdom of the voice and thought about what Hellspawn had said. But as much as he tried, Desutoroia couldn't seem to let go of the past. Something there was drawing him to it, luring him into a world of darkness. He clinched his fist. 
"If only I could escape my mind. It's like a prison to my miserable soul!" 


CHAPTER 5: Mount Rodan