- February 28, 2016
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The Gathering Storm
Doctor Adin, better known as the ghostly hero Phantasm, learns that her academic rival Dr. Ahmet Abdol has won a coveted assignment in Egypt researching a recently discovered temple to Khonshu. However Khonshu himself appears to both Phantasm and Fenris in a dream, summoning them to his ancient temple and informs them that they are both worthy to serve as his servitors of justice in the mortal world. Not knowing the exact location of his temple Fenris and Phantasm break into Dr. Abdol’s office and uncover the location. Recruiting Crucible and Sabanion as extra muscle the Roughnecks head to the Egyptian excavation site to investigate.
Upon reaching the excavation site the Roughnecks find that the excavators are not the typical graduate students one would expect, but rather a rag tag group of transients that have apparently been enslaved by Dr. Abdol and forced to work at gunpoint by hired mercenaries. Phantasm possesses one of the mercenaries and approaches Dr. Abdol in order to learn what she can of his plans. The Doctor is uncooperative and commands the possessed mercenary back to his post. Realizing that the time for subtlety has passed the Roughnecks attack as Phantasm commands the mercenary to hurl a grenade at his comrades wiping them out in a devastating explosion!
The explosion alerts Dr. Abdol who utters some arcane, ancient Egyptian words that activates something deep within the temple that discharges some sort of powerful cosmic energy that Abdol seemingly absorbs, growing into the massively powerful Living Monolith!
Battle rages between the Roughnecks and the Living Monolith who grows larger by consuming more of the cosmic energy from the temple in his unending hunger. The Monolith blasts with wave after wave of energy blasts and strikes with his massive limbs, but the Roughnecks are too nimble and resilient. The Living Monolith is battered with claw, fist, flame and mind blasts but refuses to submit, when suddenly storm clouds roll in and static energy fills the air followed by the bright flash of a lightning bolt and the roll of thunder. A massive lightning bolt has struck and staggered the Living Monolith and the heroes look up to see one of the slaves rise into the air on wind currents, a young African girl with flowing white hair and electricity crackling from her eyes! The massive bolt is enough to turn the tide and the Roughnecks pour on the attack. Soon the Living Monolith crumbles into dust and the Roughnecks secure the ancient temple, free the slaves, and offer to help the young mutant girl who identifies herself as Ororo Monroe.
The ancient being known as Apocalypse brooded in the massive antechamber silently observing his “horsemen.”
“The foolish surface dwellers will pay! I gave them the chance to deliver to Atlantis what is mine. I sent them a grave warning in the form of King Barikidon. If it is war they want, then war is what they shall have!” raged Prince Namor, the volatile regent of Atlantis.
A small middle-aged man, the archaeologist Dr. Ahmet Abdol rocked back and forth clutching his abdomen and continuously mumbled, “so hungry… must eat… starving.”
The ghostly Dr. Geist cautiously approached his master, “Lord, should I prepare the summons for the Horseman of Death so we may be done with these Roughnecks once and for all?”
“Not yet Geist. However, you may summon the demon and his plagues. We will test these fools that would stand before the inevitability of Apocalypse.” Rumbled the ancient mutant.
Geist shuddered, a chill crept up his spine, or rather his memory of a spine. Even in death, the Nazi did not relish the thought of courting demonic powers, but it was his master’s will and it would be done.