The Chain That Binds

Monday, May 29, 2000. Shortly after JJF's press conference

"Whoaaa!" hollered Hammer as he found himself flying through the air. He and JJF landed on the building across the street.

JJF noted that he had underestimated the weight of Hammer. He had hoped to have flown a few more feet. I'll know better for this next leap.

Hammer prepared himself, crouching into a leaping position. The two men flew off again, landing and leaping away in one fluid motion.

Onlookers on the street that day would report for the first, but not the last time, sightings of men flying through the air of E-Town.

Throughout the trip, Hammer remained in contact with the officers on the scene. Halfway through the trip a strange thought ran through his mind. 'At least I'm not teamed up with the Mole. Hmmmm, I hope JJF doesn't recruit him.'

After fifteen minutes of travel, they two men rested on a building overlooking the park where the DEMON agents were last sighted.

JJF noticed that the police had cordoned off the area and were awaiting the arrival of their metahuman backup, several blocks away from the park.

Hammer finished telling the police on the scene, via the radio, to hold their positions.

The two men surveyed the area. The center of DEMON's attention was apparently a public washroom in the middle of the park. Three DEMONSPAWN armored agents stood facing the washrooms, one arm upraised with the hand glowing scarlet. Five uniformed agents formed a firing line in front of them, armed with some sort of rifle.

The door creaked open. All the men outside tensed. Out came an elderly man with a walker, struggling around the corner.

And he fell, as a red beam lanced across his side. The gun of one of the red uniforms was smoking, a look of surprise on the face of man who fired it. The others turned towards him, mouths open. The old man lay screaming on the ground, trying to stay upright.

The three armored figures looked at each other and their hands glowed brighter.

Hammer turned to JJF "Get me down there. I'll get the old man to help away from the fire fight. You hold off the DEMON agents."

"We have to separate that triad of DEMONKnights, together they are more powerful than separate. You hold to me on your own, and drop off just before I hit them, because I'm hitting them hard."

JJF prepares for a moment, then leaps towards the three armored figures, flipping in mid air to give Hammer a better position and heading feet first towards them, to hopefully scatter the guards like bowling pins.

JJF hits the DEMONKnight closest to him, square in the side. A creak of metal could be heard as the armored man fell into his partners beside him and they all tumble over, domino-like. The one JJF hit face planted into the ground, unmoving, while the others rolled several meters away. He had accomplished his goal of scattering them. The Knights could be seen slowly rising to their feet.

Rolling to his feet, JJF turns and addresses the rest of the DEMON spawn.

"This park is protected by PRIMUS and the New London Police department. Surrender now, and the only charges levied against you will be for public disturbance." His clipped mechanically amplified voice echoes through the immediate vicinity, as he smacks a large fist into a large hand.

"You have my word that the alternative will be much more painful."

The agents look at each other, then JJF, then the bathroom. then at each other again. One of them turn, and began running for the street beside the park. All the others dropped their weapons. One even drops to his knees, placing his hands behind his head.

One of them turns to JJF and says "Hey man, fighting Chaine is bad enough, no one said anything about fighting PRIMUS too."

"You bastard," Nathan whispered. "Judgement must be made," came the voice. Alright then, so be it. He glanced around, noticing that all attention was turned to the spectacle down the street and pulled his mask from under the car seat. After quickly donning it, he ripped his shirt off and began working at the pants, thinking, "there must be a better way to do this."

Finally donning his costume, amazed that no one took notice of a man changing into a costume in a Honda, he heard a crashing sound from the park.

Looking up, the Eye of Horus saw that several new figures had entered the scene. One was a large bald black man, wearing the uniform of the NLPD. He was crouched beside the injured old man, administering first aid. Nathan recognized him as Lt. Hammer, from the earlier battle with Ankh.

The other newcomer was wearing jumping a full body suit of armor. The material looks like a tough version of modern wet suits, clinging to his athletically powerful build. The light grey-blue of the material is non reflective, and thus does more to hide than enhance. The boots of the suit are constructed similar to an articulated ski boot, with heavy bindings and a thick sole to cushion landings; they have some projections on the front that cover his kneecaps.

A belt in the same slate grey material as the boots encloses his waist and has a portion that has a similar function to a codpiece in the front. A diagonal bandolier connects the belt on the left hand side to a large shoulder pad made of similar slate grey padding on his right shoulder. The left shoulder pad connects to this bandolier making the suit appear to have a V neck.

His arms are encased in dull silver gauntlets that cover the elbows on the outside with extension pads similar in design to the boots. There are a number of lights and large square buttons on the gauntlets.

A full helmet, complete with mirrored face mask completes the ensemble. Its basic color is a grey blue, but there is a graphic of a flash of yellow white light on the top of the helm.

He stood where the armored men once were, and turns towards the uniformed agents. The armored men lie scattered on the ground. One lies unmoving at the grey man's feet, unmoving. The other two are slowly rising to their feet.

Apparently the grey man was saying something to the uniformed men, but he was too far away for Eye of Horus to hear clearly.

The agents look at each other, then the grey man, then the bathroom. then at each other again. One of them turn, and began running for the street beside the park, right towards where Nathan's Honda was sitting.

All the others dropped their weapons. One even drops to his knees, placing his hands behind his head.

Still no movement from the bathroom where Chaine was last seen.

Slipping out the driver's side, Horus moved around the car and stepped into the path of the fleeing agent. As he did so, he summoned the protective energy field that the Eye gave him, boosting its visibility and posed dramatically in the street. When the agent noticed him, Horus locked gazes with him and rendered judgement. Horus's eyes glowed briefly as punishment was administered.

As JJF looked to see how far the fleeing agent had gotten, he noticed that the agent's path had been cut off by another costumed person. This one was in a navy blue full-body stocking with a large, pale-blue image of the Wadjet-eye on his chest. His face is covered in a full mask that matches his costume. He also has black full-length gloves, boots, and belt. JJF seemed to remember a similar description of someone being involved in the battle against the Fearsome Four several days ago.

The costumed figure stood with his hands on his waist and rose one arm, pointing at the fleeing agent. His eyes glowed briefly as the agent looked up and locked eyes. The agent stopped in mid-stride, his features suddenly contorted in pain. His muscles seemed to lock up, as he was still in a running motion, like some sort of twisted sculpture. Then he collapsed, almost mercifully.

"JJF, look out!" It was Hammer's voice. Turning around, JJF could see that the two remaining DEMONKnights had gotten to their feet and stood 45 degrees from his left and right, facing him.

"PRIMUS, eh?" one of them uttered. "This is going to be the first and last operation PRIMUS is going to have in Canada."

"No," the other added. "The last one is going to be the state funeral for this guy." Both raised their arms and pointed at JJF.

Horus called to the uninjured man in armor, "PRIMUS doesn't operate alone, villain." Floating gently upward, he reached out and touched the man's mind, sending pain lancing through his head. "Eye of Horus will not stand by and allow innocent people to be victimized by your actions. This effrontery will be punished." Those bastards, I hope the old man is okay, he thought.

"Easier said than done, Spawn-boy!" JJF leaped into the air, nearly straight up, flipping gracefully at the peak, his legs extended, he dropped on the left most Demon tank, striking from shoulder to thigh on one side. The armored thug staggered a bit, but still stood.

"Was that supposed to hurt?" the DEMONKnight laughed. Then he noticed the sparks from his left shoulder. "What the…"

They never corrected that design flaw JJF thought to himself. The older Iron Guard armor was vulnerable at the shoulder, specifically the power line to the gauntlets was exposed there. Know thyself and you know thy enemy, especially in this case

"Lt. Hammer, let's get this plan into action. And don't forget to check the restroom."

"Right" Hammer yelled back as he opened both restroom doors and checked inside.

JJF held a defensive crouch, waiting for the DEMON knights to react.

The man in blue called to the uninjured man in armor, "PRIMUS doesn't operate alone, villain." Floating gently upward, he locked eyes with the DEMONKnight and his eyes glowed again. The DEMONKnight staggered, grasping his head.

"Eye of Horus will not stand by and allow innocent people to be victimized by your actions. This effrontery will be punished."

The one JJF attacked was oblivious to all of this. He turned to JJF and growled "You're mine, PRIMUS pig."

He moved with the skill of a professional boxer, faking with his right and coming in hard and low with his left. Too fast to dodge, but not too fast for JJF to prepare for the blow. The blow caught him in the solar plexus and knocked him on the ground, but only winding him. It certainly looked worse than it was.

"And stay down, punk." spat the DEMONKnight.

"I think not."

JJF rolled up onto his shoulders, and kicks out with his feet, simultaneously striking the DEMONKnight in the chin, and righting himself as he landed on his feet.

Meanwhile, the other agent was speaking in some sort of language that JJF did not recognize, apparently to a radio. He called to the one standing over JJF, was ignored and is starting to fly away.

JJF noted the fleeing agent, but does nothing for the moment to follow, he has half a dozen agents in custody, plus the two demonknights to deal with. There will be other battles. Then he remembers, Eye of Horus.

"Eye of Horus, PRIMUS acknowledges your assistance. Thank you. See if you can stop that flees."

The mechanical voice amplified the request, making it seem a command.

Mildly annoyed at the commanding tone of the PRIMUS agent, Horus replied in a cool tone, "don't worry, he cannot escape punishment. Horus's power will follow him to the end of the Earth."

With that, he flew up towards the fleeing armored man. The armored man wavered briefly in the air, again clutching his head as Horus continued to render judgement

Damn…wish this guy would just fuck off... Thoughts once again entered Horus' mind from his foe.

That same foe turned towards the flying Horus and pointed his right arm at Horus. From out of the gauntlet flew a bola-like object. The bola wrapped itself around Horus' body, but seemed to remain a few inches away from Horus himself, approximately where the force field surrounded his body. Small sparks could be seen coming from the bola.

Meanwhile, there was still the other armored man to contend with.

"Is that the best you can do?" he snorted. "I don't even need these gauntlets to kick your sorry pig ass." With that, he leaped at JJF, activating his boot jets at the same time. The distance was too short for him to get to full speed, but enough to make it hurt.

Out of the corner of his farseeing vision, Horus saw JJF get picked up off his feet and the two men flew into the men's room, the door flying off its hinges in the process.

"Now I'm pissed off!"

"Then its a good thing you're in this restroom, now isn't it?" JJF commented dryly, as he pushed off the wall, with the grace of an Olympic swimmer turning in a pool, flying towards the prone DEMONKnight and back out the doorway.

"Shit!" screamed the DEMONKnight as he rolled aside just in time. JJF rolled out the bathroom door and landed in a defensive crouch, prepared to spring away if need be.

Above him, the battle between Horus and the other DEMONKnight continued.

Horus continued to rise in the air as sparks bounced off of the glowing field surrounding his body. "Your weaponry cannot stop me. Give up and I will cease your pain. You will not escape me."

As Horus rose to attack the DEMONKnight again, the DEMONKnight spun in the air and fired off a blast of red light towards Horus. Horus darted aside just in time to avoid the blast, that ended up hitting and blowing apart a park bench. As the splinters of the bench landed, the flying DEMONKnight, clutched his head, went limp and fell to the earth. A voice from inside the bathroom commanded JJF's attention.

It was, of course, his current sparring partner. The DEMONKnight got up and walked toward the bathroom door.

"Listen up. This mission has been a bust. The target ain't here, most of my buddies have been captured, and you screwed up my suit. But I can still make my day by ending your career early. So why don't you stop all this PRIMUS pussy jumping around shit and fight like a man?" He rose his fists and stepped outside as he said this.

"You don't have a day left to make."

JJF flipped over to the DEMONKnight, "I don't have to resort to leaping to take you out, I just prefer it."

He landed on the grass in front of his armored opponent. "Let's rumble."

JJF wound up for a hay maker.

JJF's fist contacted with the helmet of the DEMONKnight with an audible clang. The trained nature of JJF's foe is apparent in the way he managed to roll with a blow even of this magnitude. The DEMONKnight dropped to his knees. JJF felt something give, even under all that metal. A large dent in the shape of his fist could be seen.

The DEMONKnight looked up and in a hoarse whisper "Good shot. Even Tyson had trouble putting me down with one…when we sparred." Mouth slits on the suit opened and closed quickly. Several bloody teeth fell out. "But can you take one?" He struggled to rise to his feet.

"Heh. I'd rather not find out. Give up now, and we can end this. If not, you're going to really hurt when you wake up in jail tomorrow."

JJF paused just briefly for the DEMONKnight to surrender, but sensing that no such action is about to come forth, he moved in.

JJF leaped into the air, striking the DEMONKnight in the chin with his fist on the way up, then as the armored spawn flies back, JJF lands adjacent to him, his left foot striking the agent again on the way down.

As he landed, JJF's metallic voice dryly quipped, "Didn't you ever learn that what goes up, must come down? DEMON has to learn that they've been too high on their horse of late, Jumping Jack Flash is here to take them down, and I'm starting with you!"

No response came from his fallen foe, who lay unmoving on the ground.

Looking around, JJF could see Hammer carrying the DEMONKnight that Horus took out. Horus landed near JJF, surveying the scene.

Hmmm, pretty impressive fellow, that man. Must keep him in mind as a possible ally. Horus drifted gently to the ground near the PRIMUS agent and surveyed the scene. Where WAS Chaine, anyway?

Hammer walked over. "This may seem rather strange, but does anyone here know why these DEMON agents attacked an empty bathroom?"

JJF, tilted his helmeted head slightly, taking in the scene. He gestured to the downed DEMONKnight at his feet.

"This one made a reference to 'chain'. One I would guess to be meaning the individual known as Chaine--a rogue hunter of enchanted items." He paused and turned the mirrored face mask to Eye of Horus.

"They were apparently after a man who called himself 'Chaine.' Silly name, I admit, but suited to him. He carries what is apparently a magical length of metal chain and claims to use it to 'collect' other magical objects. He was in the water closet when the agents arrived, but presumably used his powers to escape undetected."

"Have you had dealings with this individual in the past, Eye of Horus? Incidently, I thank you again for the help. New London Police and PRIMUS are glad to have you on our side."

He offered a gauntlet to the Egyptian motif'd hero.

Horus accepted the offer and shook JJF's gauntleted hand. "Yes, he introduced himself to me earlier today."

JJF continued his previous thought, "It would seem that DEMON would like to get their claws into the various pieces of equipment that Chaine employs, or has captured recently. My sources tell me of a recent encounter Chaine had with a villain known as Ankh. Seems' magic is just oozing all over the place in New London."

His dry mechanical voice made it difficult to detect the sarcasm, if any, in his tone, but the slight mechanical shudder he affected, made it seem that Jumping Jack Flash was not being entirely serious.

"Yes, that would seem likely. The fact is that Chaine claims to absorb the power of other artifacts into his own, which is, curiously, a length of chain. He was looking for Ankh when I met him. He apparently heard about our run-in with Ankh last week." He nodded toward Lt. Hammer.

"Lets hope he doesn't find Ankh." Hammer replied. "I'd hate to see someone running around with all the power Ankh has plus all the power Chaine is rumored to have."

Hammer turned to JJF. "But first, we still have some other legal entanglements to deal with, specifically a certain meta bylaw and how it relates to our friend Horus." He gave a knowing wink to JJF as he said this.

"Indeed." JJF nodded curtly to Hammer, then turned to Eye of Horus.

"Eye of Horus, as an officer of law enforcement in the city of New London, it is my sworn duty to place you under arrest." JJF raised an open hand to stem off any shocked looks from Horus.

"Under the City Ordinance VL6-8735, you have disobeyed the Metahuman Vigilante by-law. As such I am forced to take you in, using force if necessary.

"You have the right to remain silent, anything you say will be used against you in a court of law; you have the right to legal council, if you can not afford one, a lawyer will be appointed to you; you have the right to speedy trial, your court date will be set once paperwork has been completed.

"Do you understand these rights, and how they pertain to you?" JJF waited only briefly for a response before continuing.

He takes out a pair of hand cuffs from within a storage cubby in the side of his suit, and handed them to Hammer.

"Eye of Horus, today is your lucky day. Not thirty minutes ago, I announced at a press conference the official formation of the Meta-task force of New London. In return for your acceptance of some terms, and issues which we can go over later, I can offer you amnesty for your actions today as a vigilante.

"So Horus, are you interested in going legit?"

JJF signaled Hammer discretely to snap open the hand cuffs.

Horus's eyes narrowed as he regarded the PRIMUS agent. "It doesn't appear that I have much of a choice, sirrah. I do not wish to go to jail."

"Name your terms."

"They are simple enough, you attend a workshop familiarizing yourself with the by laws and responsibilities of an officer of the law in the city of New London, and pledge to uphold the laws and enforce them to the best of your ability. In return, you will be granted certian police powers and other benefits, the most important being that you can use your powers to stop crimes as necessary. Similar in function to a police officer. As well, you officially become a member of New London's Meta-powered protection team."

JJF turned his face plate towards Lt. Hammer, a signal for him to offer anything further, then continued, "As well, I can promise some added benefits along the lines of working with PRIMUS and myself."

JJF extended his right gauntleted hand, "So Eye of Horus, do we have a tentative deal?"

"I can hardly mask my enthusiasm." Horus accepted the man's hand again, grudgingly. He didn't like being manipulated, but the offer WAS interesting. If his secret were to ever come out, it would look better for him to be operating within the law. He hadn't really considered the legal ramifications of using his abilities to help people. It just didn't seem RIGHT to arrest someone for fighting crime.

He is challenging your authority. Judgement must be made. NO! And quit giving me advice. You and I are going to have a loooong talk when I have the time… TIME! He looked at his watch. Bugger; I'm going to be late for my class if I don't get going.

"Yes, I will agree to your conditions. Shall we set an appointment to work out the details? I've an urgent engagement, though, so I must be running soon."

Hammer and Jumping Jack Flash watched as the first recruit for the new Meta Division rose into the air and disappeared around the building. Hammer shook his head as police vehicles pulled up.

"And so it begins."