Monday, July 02, 2007

Episode 36 - Iconoclasts

The battles were joined.
Marduk vs Enlil - the Other Immortals versus the Genies (It seemed appropriate)
At first things seemed to be going well. Marduk surprised Enlil with his enhanced powers, thanks to a power boost from Ea. The Immortals acted quickly to take out the Marid (the genie healer) and gained a quick advantage. One after another the Immortals took down the Genies. The Djinni, first, then the Ifrit. Only the Dao could not be brought down.
But then things turned on the team.
First Marduk was grievously wounded and dying on the battlefield.
Then DragonFly, Banshee and Mystery Man get knocked unconscious.
Phoenix manages to get Marduk to safety.
Marduk then has a strange vision as he is dying. Ea, with a little help form Dr. Heimholtz, invoked Paul Simon calling him to seek out Friends and Lovers.
He awakes and sees Phoenix, an old Friend, and thinks about Phoenix's former Lover, Tiamat, holder of the Tablets of Fate (which she took from him before). Phoenix grudgingly took leave of his friend and sought out Tiamat on the shores of Somalia (a short jaunt for him). He was able to alert her to his presence by tapping out the tune Jumping Jack Flash on a set of desalination pipe. This does bring her to him, and he agrees to owe her a favor in return for the Tablets. He returns to Iraq with the Tables (in the form of a small conch shell). Marduk uses the Tablets to determine that Enlil will fail his mission.

"And so it passed, Enlil's plot was foiled, and the power behind it would disappear."

Meanwhile Phoenix goes to rescue his teammates. DragonFly was found injured but alive under some rubble, Phoenix quickly got him to a US military hospital.
To find Banshee and Mystery Man he had to consult with Ea. Straining to get an image, Ea directed Phoenix to the union of two great waters. Reasoning that the two waters were the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, he traveled the short distance to site. There was the Dao standing over the bound, unpowered, and unconscious forms of Banshee and Mystery Man. Phoenix, an unstoppable force, versus the Dao, an immovable object. Blow after blow from the Phoenix failed to do anything to the mountain of magical earth. He wasn't able to hurt the Dao directly, but by timing his attacks he was beginning to find 'cracks' in the defenses. Still it would take too long he needed another tactic.
Meanwhile, Marduk dragged himself from Nippur to Babylon (borrowing Lancaster's Humvee) and found himself walking into the reforged gates of the ancient city. There high upon another ziggurat stood Enlil mocking him from above. Marduk poured himself into a single arrow and aimed it at the God atop the stairs. He aim was off, the shot had barely enough force to reach Enlil. It bounced off him and fell to the ground harmlessly. He looked incredulously at the arrow and down at Marduk.
Back at the river junction Phoenix tried reasoning with the Dao, and the creature seemed without concern or interested other than serving his master. Acting on a hunch, Phoenix raced back to the castle base in Nippur and found the four objects which bound the genies to Enlil. He commanded the Genies to free his friends, and leave. The Dao did his bidding without comments. For now the Immortals were free.
Weeks later the team finds James Allen in a Baghdad hospital, without powers, and unable to consider returning to Freedom City or the vicinity. He speaks of staying in Iraq, pursuing his studies for real, and of serving these people, his people.