Lord of Terror: Chapter 1: Kidnap

The sounds of the engines filled the cabin of a white single engine propeller plane.   Inside the cockpit, a brunette-haired woman was piloting, and had her hands on the stick, guiding the plane along its predetermined flight course.  She had a headset on and looked left to a man dressed in a blue button-down shirt, looking at his phone.  He too had a headset, and pulled the microphone closer to his mouth, “Sandra, where are we at now?”  The woman smiled at him, “We are just passing over Joplin, we should get to Branson relatively soon.  Why, what’s the rush Honey?”  The man smiled, and patted her gently on the shoulder, “No rush my love, if we land there, they have that wonderful bar that serves the giant fish sandwiches in the airport terminal.”

Sandra laughed, and looked at her controls, with the flight plan programmed into the terminal of her plane’s dash panel. She had already filed a flight plan with the FAA, and the towers, and a stopover in Branson was not advisable.  She could do it, but it was a pain. “Maybe next time, we need to get back to Blacksburg, don’t you have work tomorrow?”  The man nodded, “Yeah, you are right.  Next time then,” he trailed off, pouting for effect.  He then stuck his tongue out at her and laughed.   Sandra started to laugh, before her eyes started to see a black cloud approaching the plane from the east.  “Raymond, do you see that?”

The husband looked forward, and sure enough he saw the shadowy cloud moving towards them, at a speed that did not follow normal weather patterns. “What the hell is that?” He asked, while pointing. And checking the plane’s instrument panels.   Sandra trimmed her angle, and started to move slightly to the right, to avoid the approaching cloud.  Having veered off at a safe distance, she straightened the plane, and resumed her flight path.  The cloud however, continued to grow, gaining a shape.   Raymond made the sign of the cross, as he started to see a shadowy robed figure, riding on a black stallion.  The stallion was covered in armor, and its hooves were on fire. 

Sandra blinked, and started to whimper, “mother of God…” The miasma had grown, and the figure could clearly be seen with one orange eye glowing, even at the distance between them.  Sandra continued to trim her angle, trying t avoid the approaching creature, which drew the attention of the local air traffic controller.  “Flight X23-4A, why are you deviating from your flight path, over?”  Sandra cursed, “something is approaching, having to avoid it.”  The controller laughed, “do you wish to report a UFO?”  Raymond cursed, “no, but we certainly need a fudging priest up here!”  The figure continued to ride perilously close to the plane, before veering off and just missing the plane at the last minute. 

However, from the corner of her eye, she could see the figure had a woman in white dress.  She was positioned in such a way that she was belly down on the horse’s back, with her feet and legs dangling, and the rest of her body on the opposite side of the horse.   The black miasma began to dissipate, and the figure galloped past and continued to the west.  Raymond turned back, “sweet Jesus…what on Earth was that?”  Sandra was shaken, “Raymond, that thing had a woman in white across the front of the rider.  I think it was a kidnapping.”  As Sandra returned to the flight path that was registered, the plane was oddly quiet, even with the engine running.  Neither husband nor wife spoke but would exchange scared glances at each other.  The tower stopped badgering them about the deviation to the flight path, and they continued to fly to the east.

The air traffic controller was siting at his assigned seat at the Branson airport, looking at the various radar screens, with the oscillating line that refreshed the images.  Taking a drag from his cigarette, the middle-aged man with gray hair was shaking his head.  After muting his microphone, he called over to his coworker.  “had another deviation, west of here, plane said they needed a priest.”  His coworker looked up from his cup of coffee, “another one?  That has been what, 6 planes that reported seeing something?  I hope they did not report a UFO, those reports take forever.”  The two controllers could hear a discussion from the commercial traffic.  A Southwest Airlines plane was talking to a Delta plane, coming from Denver.  “Mother of God, what is that?  Delta 643, can we get verification?”  The Delta plane pilot responded, “It looks like …. our father…. who art in heaven…”  The co-pilot chimed in, “Is that a horseman, from the bible?”

The transmission was being picked up by several air traffic controllers, and specifically the Denver airport was concerned.   Their air traffic controllers called out, “United 53, and Delta 643, please respond.  What are you seeing?”  United responded, “It is a black robed figure, on a horse.  Its hooves are on fire.”  Delta responded next, “did you see that figure, it looked like he had a hostage, someone dressed in white.”  The radio was full of wild stories, as other planes began to see the shadowy figure riding to the west.  Which resulted in a gruff sounding pilot speaking clearly.  “This is Captain Martinez, United States Air force, please clear this channel.  We will investigate further,” as the various commercial pilots agreed, one by one the chatter of the pilots ceased. 

A training squadron of 3 Northrop T-38’s had just entered the airspace over the Kansas near the Colorado border.   And with the Captain being the lead plane, there were planes to his left and right, holding back and flying in a triangle pattern.  As the sun was fading in the skies, it had already set behind the Rocky Mountains to the west.  This was a training mission, meant to teach the new pilots how to navigate in the dark using instruments.  Each plane jet held 2 airmen, and one experienced pilot with one trainee.  The three newbies were fresh recruits that were in their senior year with the Air Force Academy.  The Captain checked his instruments, and saw other than the expected commercial traffic, the skies were clear. 

The jets headed towards the east south east, on an approach to the border of Missouri.  The ground passing quickly below them were mostly dark, save for the odd cluster of lights from a town.    The original flight plan filed was to take the air force recruits from Denver to McConnell Air Force base, just outside of Wichita.  When NORAD sent a request to verify an atmospheric phenomenon, their squadron was directed to investigate.  The instrument panels glowed with their green LED panel lights.  “Martinez, are we really heading to check out a UFO?”  The voice crackled over the radio and was coming from the jet in the formations rear left.  Martinez rolled his eyes, “Are you afraid of meeting ET, Jacobs?”  The trainee laughed from his seat behind the captain, which made the grizzled Captain chuckle a bit too.”  Jacobs laughed as well, “No, but if we head to Whiteman, they have that bar off base.  We can show our new recruits a good time.”  Martinez coughed, “Jacobs, we are not taking our air force recruits to a gentleman’s establishment, outside of Branson.”

Truth be told, the Captain thought this was a fool’s errand, and a waste of fuel, but he did not openly question his orders.  The radio crackled once more, “Mother of God….” It was Williams, in the rear right of the formation.  As the Captain checked his instruments, there was nothing on radar around them.  But approaching was a patch of darkness, that seemed darker than the skies around it.   The shadowy cloud almost seemed to have a form to it, and as the jets quickly approached, they could see a galloping horse.  Adjusting their speed, the jets started to move apart, to pass by the figure on each side and below this thing for visual inspection.   The three airmen started to explain what they saw over the radio.  Jacobs was passing underneath, “I can’t believe it, it’s a black horse, and the hooves are on fire, glowing green.” Williams passed by in his jet to the left, “There’s a black shadowy rider on the horse, and it looks like there’s a white figure chained.”  Martinez passed by in his jet to the left, “Confirmed, it’s a rider of some sort, black outfit, shadowy.  There’s a woman in white, chained and draped over the horse in front of the rider.”

The jets quickly passed by and maneuvered to come up from behind it.  The figure seemed to be on a heading towards Denver.  Air command had been listening, and was asking questions, “Captain Martinez, say again please.  A black rider, on a black horse, hooves on fire with green flames.  A woman in white is chained, and draped over the horse in front of the rider?”  Martinez responded, “confirmed, we are making another pass.”   As the jets began to get back into formation, to make another visual inspection, the figure started to respond.  “Williams!  Watch out!”  Jacobs cried out, as the black shadowy figure jumped from the horse.  It started to fly back and landed hard on the front of the jet.  Williams was dazed, while his recruit was screaming in the back.  One orange orb was glowing and crackled with flames. 

The monster had gun metal gray claws and was raking the plane’s body panels causing a tremendous number of sparks.   Williams began a tight barrel roll, to try and shake the figure free from the jet.  The passenger behind him started to make sounds like being sick.  “Sorry Miss, have to shake this bastard!”  Jacobs called out, “Martinez, keep that horse in sight, I’ll help Williams Command, we are being attacked, the figure has jumped from its mount.”  The monster was not shaken free from the jet, and when Williams straightened the plane, the black shadowy figure looked at Martinez, with one orange orb glowing.  It was strange, the Captain could almost see a smirk on the creature’s nonexistent face.  And watched as it extended its claws and plunged them deep into a section behind the cockpit.

Flames started to burst out from behind the jet, and the smoke plume from the engine started to falter.  Williams called out, “fuel pressure dropping, I think whatever the fudge this thing is, it is going after the fuel pump.”  Just as the pilot called out, the radio cut out.  Martinez looked in horror, as the shadowy figure ripped out a section of the metal plating, and threw it away, which was caught by the passing air.  Reaching back in, a section of engine was ripped free, and a cascade of parts started to fly out.  A mixture of fuel, and other liquids started to spray out.   The figure raked its claws over the jet once more, and the sparks ignited the fuel.  The engine exploded into a ball of flames, and the rear section started to fall apart. 

The figure then looked over at Martinez’s jet, and leapt towards it.  The air was a factor at its travel speed, so the Captain went full thrust, to ensure the figure would pass behind.  The tactic worked at first, though soon, he felt the jet tip backwards.  Williams crackled over the radio, “…. jet…. damaged…. ejecting….” The pilot and passenger soon shot through the glass canopy, and was falling in the air, lashed tightly into their seats.  As the horrified pilot, and passenger watched, their jet exploded, and started to rain parts down   quickly to the ground beneath them.  The seats had automatic parachute deployment, and soon the fabric shot out, and filled with air, slowing the two former jet occupants’ rates of descent.  The two remaining jets quickly flew towards the Colorado border.    The poor female cadet passed out and dangled in her seat.  Williams looked over as best as he could, but the night sky was making it hard to ascertain her condition. 

Captain Martinez was cruising, the jet was not maneuvering correctly.  He was checking his instruments when his passenger started to yell. “Captain, it’s on top of us!”  One orange orb was burning bright and seemed to bore a hole through the soul.  Stretching out its claws once more, this time the gun metal gray claws was thrust down and pierced the glass canopy over the passenger seat of the jet. Martinez feeling the rush of air behind him, and hearing the screams behind him, immediately pushed the stick forward, to dive the plane towards the ground.  “Hold on! I’m going to try and shake it.”  As the jet sped quickly to the ground, the pilot initiated a barrel roll, putting an extreme amount of stress on the monster.  The black shadowy figure held on as best as he could till the g forces ripped him free of the jet.    Levelling off, the pilot put it back to full throttle, and attempted to catch up Jacobs, who was still following the horse. 

Jacobs doing as ordered, was flying beside the galloping horse, watching and relaying as much information as central air command requested.  The figure in white seemed to be a woman and was unconscious.  The pilot also had to contend with the screams and radio chatter from his two fellow airmen.  Command was tracking Williams and his passenger and had requested support from a nearby army base to send out a patrol to pick them up.   The horse had just crossed the border of Colorado, and the Rocky Mountains blotted out the stairs behind them.  The lights of Denver could be seen approaching, and a decision was being made to engage the creature, or to follow it?  As Martinez positioned his jet on the opposite flank of the horse, he called out, “Cockpit canopy is damaged, but otherwise fine here.”  Both himself, and has passenger had their visors down, and oxygen masks on, as the cabin had become depressurized.  Spider and hairline cracks were forming in the glass, which was not good to say the least. 

Suddenly the shadowy figure returned, and flew over the horse, landing back into its saddle.  Taking the reins, the creature made the horse gallop faster.  Unbelievably, the horse began to outpace the two jets.  A calm voice from air command came over, “Martinez, Jacobs, return to base.”  The captain nodded, “roger, heading to base.  Please have an emergency crew ready, my cockpit is damaged.”  Jacobs called out, “Captain, your jet has a lot of scratches on it, how’s your fuel pressure?” The opposite jet’s pilot had been visually inspecting and could see flames dancing on the surface of the plane’s exterior. The Captain curse, “well, it’s stable for now, but I can’t go to full throttle again.”  As the two remaining jets veered off to the north, the figure continued to ride towards the west, heading towards the mountains. 

The woman in white was coming to and could feel her body being rustled and shook roughly.  She was dangling off the horse and could smell its fragrances keenly within her nose.  “Let me go this instant!”  The black rider laughed evilly and reached down to strike her in the back of her head with the back of his gauntlet.  The woman was knocked out once more and dangled from the horse.  The rider was having fun and hoped he would have a chance to spread his shadows once more this evening.  The Kaiser had directed him to attain the daughter of the Goddess Hecate and bring her to the Pacific Northwest of the United States.  The plan was not yet revealed, and nor did he care, he served his Kaiser faithfully.  As the mountains came into focus, the rider adjusted the course of his horse, and started to weave between the mountains.   Little did the rider know that his actions had stirred up a hornet’s nest. 

But while the rider was heading far to the west, it was nighttime in a forest far to the east.  After the exceptionally bad drought, Pudgy’s forest had come back to life after a series of heavy rains.  The temperatures cooled, and the fall approached, bringing relief from the summer heat.  A cool breeze below outside, and with his little round windows and door open, the hedgehog was entertaining.  Argente, the silver fox, and the gray fluffy bunnies had stopped by to bounce excitedly.   Sugar cookies and tea were served, and games were played.  Everyone was blissfully unaware of events transpiring far away to the west.  The forest was clam, and quiet, save for the crickets chirping.   The get together was fun and lasted late into the night.  As sleepy critters said their goodbyes, Pudgy locked his door, and shut his windows.  Turning off the lights one by one, the hedgehog crawled into his bed, and got under a blanket.  Settling into the soft mattress, Pudgy sighed happily and drifted off to sleep. 

Pudgy soon found himself in a dark area, with mountains in front of him.   It seemed like he was flying, but he could not tell what was happening.  Wiggling his nose, he opened his mouth to call out, but there was no sound.  Shadows started to form around the mountains, and on each mountain, peak stood a shade.  There was the one with one orange orb, there was another with green orbs, one with yellow orbs, and then behind them, was an immense figure of shadow with blood red eyes.   The figures were looking off beyond the mountains, to one mountain peak, covered in snow.  Pudgy was trying to remember all that he saw, and soon saw the scenes change, as one by one the shades disappeared.   The Kaiser flew quickly, towards an empty series of well-preserved brown and orange brick buildings.  He could see a gate with words….”Arbeit Macht Frei.”    As the Kaiser turned, he thrust out his hand and soon Pudgy found himself in his bed, wedged against the wall.  One red orb was floating in his home, and a guttural roar could be heard, making his home shake. 

The hedgehog was shaking uncontrollably, “Leave Pudgy alone!”  The red orb danced to and fro within his home. “Why would I do that, Pudgy?  I have known all along where you live.  Perhaps, I should go visit Cobalt while I’m here.”  The hedgehog got out of his bed, “NO! You leave Cobalt alone!”  The flowing blood red rob seemed to laugh and faded away.  Pudgy had to check on his friend, and after quickly putting on his vest, opened his door and bolted outside.  His little legs were running as fast as he could, desperately trying to get to his friend’s house.  Pudgy did not move around the forest at night, but he remembered his path to the house.  Across the creek, up the hill, past the thorn bush, across the road with the crazy delivery drivers, up the hill, and to Cobalt’s house.  The trip to the house was uneventful, and when Pudgy reached the little hedgehog sized door in the basement of the house, his legs were on fire. 

The hedgehog could not stop and opened the door.   When Pudgy entered, he found his friend at his office desk, working on the computer.  Scampering under the desk, the hedgehog started to hug his friend’s ankle.    The man was startled at first, but then gently scooped up his quill covered friend, and hugged.  The hedgehog was crying, and stammering, so he was quiet and held his friend.  As his pulse started to slow, the man set his friend on the desk, and looked at him with kind eyes.  “Shh, Pudgy, it’s all right.  What happened?”  The hedgehog took a deep breath and told Cobalt everything that had happened.  As the man started to take notes, he gently petted his hedgehog friend’s head.  This was to calm him down, and to focus him back to providing details.  The man was unsure what was going on, but these adventures were attuning Pudgy to abilities he was unaware he had.  The details were crucial. 

It was the words on the gate that made him remember something, and as he searched online, “Pudgy did you see that?”  He had found the image, and Pudgy pointed, “Pudgy saw that, what is it.”  Cobalt sighed and took of his silver rimmed glasses.  Rubbing his yes, “that’s Auschwitz Pudgy.  The Germans during World War 2 did unspeakably evil things to the Jewish people there.  That is located in Poland, though the mountains you described, doesn’t seem to line up with the camp.”  As Pudgy watched his friend navigate the various resources at disposal on the internet, Pudgy pointed.  “There, what’s that?” The man had accidentally scrolled too far, on a map of the United States, and wound up over Washington State.  “Oh, that’s Mount Rainer, it’s one of the tallest points on the west coast.  But Pudgy, this does not make any sense.  Why would the shades go there, and why to Auschwitz?”

Pudgy rubbed his chin with his paw, “Pudgy don’t know.  The Kaiser said he knows where we live, both Cobalt and Pudgy.”  His friend nodded, “well, that is to be expected.  Whatever is going on Pudgy, is much bigger than either of us expected.   But if your nightmare is correct, there are 3 shades and their Kaiser to contend with. We….” The man started to trail off and looked outside through his basement window.  He reached over to the desk lap and turned it off.  As the basement grew dark, Pudgy looked around his friend to see a black shadowy figure sitting on the split rail fence that lined the edge of the back yards, before going over the hill.  It was pointing towards Pudgy’s forest, and not looing at the houses.  Moving slowly, Pudgy watched his friend head towards a cabinet beside one of the gray metal filing cabinets.    

Pudgy was bathed in the light of the computer monitors, and watched his friend gingerly pull out an aluminum baseball bat.  “Cobalt, no, stay inside.”  The hedgehog pleaded with his friend and turned to face the window once more.  The shadowy miasma was pressed up against the glass.  Two green orbs glowed faintly, looking inside. The computer screens were still on Auschwitz’s Wikipedia article, and Mount Rainier on the map program.  An unearthly howl sounded, shaking the glass.  The figure began to beat furiously on the brick of the house, shaking the home.  “Pudgy, off the desk now!” The man shouted, and watched the hedgehog bounce off and run towards the mechanical room behind him. 

The shadowy figure ripped the window out of its casement and threw it into the grass behind him.   The man rushed forward and started to wail on the figure with the aluminum bat.  Despite the shadowy miasma floating inside, there was a surprisingly sold figure within that roared in pain as the metal bat struck him.   Cobalt soon felt a shadowy tendril wrap around his chest. He was flung across the room and landed hard into a mountain of storage containers.   The figure regaining its composure and growled in unearthly tones while pointing towards the man.  Getting back to his feet, he limped to the closet under the stairs, and opened it.   There were two things that could help, though both were of questionable effectiveness.  He had his grandfather’s shotgun, inspected by the gun store, and told never to fire because of a possibility it would explode.  Or his other grandfather’s machete, which was so brittle it might shatter.   He opted for the shotgun and popped the barrel open.  He only had 1 shell, from 1940, so who knew if it would even work?

As Cobalt backed out of the closet, he pointed the shotgun at the black shadowy creature.  Its green orbs glowed and cast an eerie light throughout the darkened basement.  “Your move, mother fudger,” Cobalt cursed as he pointed the barrel at the monster’s head.  The creature stepped forward slowly, with black shadowy tendrils blocking any source of light.  The man held his ground and cocked the firing pin into place.  Placing his finger on the trigger, he knew this was a stalemate.  Or the figure was just toying with him, “What do you want with Pudgy?”  The shadowy figure laughed again, “he has the talisman, we want it.”  Nodding, “and if I convince Pudgy to give it to you, you will leave us alone?”  The green orbs danced merrily within the dark voice, “no, we will still dispatch you, but your passing would be less painful.”  The man nodded, “I see.”  He pulled the trigger, and the shotgun blasted forth its payload. 

Unbeknownst to Cobalt, this was an iron slug round, so the slug ripped a hole through the center of the black shadowy figure.  Roaring in paint, it turned and quickly turned and flew out the window.  As the man quickly headed towards the window, he watched as the shadowy creature flew over the treetops and headed towards the south west.  “Shoot, that is where Mr. Bear Lives! Pudgy, stay here!”  Heading back to the closet, he attached the machete to his belt, another shell rolled off the shelf from behind a mason jar of washers and landed on the ground.  Kneeling, he picked up the shell, labelled “Do not shoot, 1938.”   He did not have a voice and popped open the barrel which ejected the casing.  Loading the last remaining shell into the barrel, he locked it into place.  Grabbing a strong flashlight, the man with his weapons, exited the home through the basement door. 

Cobalt was running carefully through the back yards, with weapons tucked into his belt loops.  If there was a proper military person nearby, they would have laughed at the display.  But that was beside the point, and if the shadowy creature was going after Pudgy’s friends, Cobalt had to help.    As the man quickly ran up to Pudgy’s house, he found Argente looking worried.  When the silver fox saw Cobalt holding a shogun, she whimpered.  “Argente, get up to the house now!  Pudgy is there, stay there till I get back!”  As the fox nodded her head, the shadowy mass passed overhead in the treetops.  An evil guttural roar filled the forest.   It continued to head towards the cabin where Mr. Bear lived.   Argente watched as Cobalt ran off through the forest, with a flashlight.  She pulled the door shut, and then quickly sprinted up to Cobalt’s house to check on Pudgy. 

Tripping over the brambles, the man raced quickly along the creek, and up the bend towards the split granite boulder.    Past the rows of pine trees, swaying silently in the breeze, the man could see the shadowy mass standing in front of the cabin.  He continued to race forward and pulled out the machete.  “You leave Mr. Bear alone, he’s not part of this!”  The black miasma began to grow once more, as the tendrils started to form a cape of sorts behind the figure.  A man was standing there, dressed in black from head to toe, with silver buckles and adornments on his leather armor.  The green orbs continued to glow, while the figure pointed towards the cabin’s window.  Inside, the bear was looking out, seeing an armed Cobalt shouting at the shadowy monster. 

The figure laughed an evil guttural noise, “this forest is in defiance of the Kaiser, and all who dwell within are in danger.  Including you,” the figure said while turning quickly.  As Cobalt raised the barrel of the shotgun, he cocked the firing pin, and pulled the trigger.  This time, as the buck shot burst forth, it sprayed the figure and struck multiple places.  However, the barrel exploded, and the stock disintegrated, sending a torrent of steel and metals back towards Cobalt.  As he was sliced and impaled, he started to growl in pain.  Reaching for the machete, he pulled it out of the sheath and rushed forward.  The shadowy creature was not expecting this, and found the blade slicing through its tendrils.   The blade had a varnish of some sort on it, and the chemicals reacted with the creature, causing the slice to burn terribly.    

The figure leapt back, and pointed to the cabin, “This is not over, I will return for you all. The hedgehog will pay for defying the Kaiser!”  Once more it leapt high into the air and flew off into the night skies towards a full corn moon.   As Cobalt dropped to his knees, he could feel the warmth of blood seeping into his shirt, “Grandma was right, don’t shoot the shot gun. Did I listen….”  He cursed, while watching the green front door swing open, and Mr. Bear race out.  “Cobalt, you’re hurt!  Get inside now!”   The man nodded, and stood up, walking wearily inside the cabin.  The bear did not know what was going on, but this was not good.  Cobalt was armed and fighting a monster.  The bear realized that Pudgy’s fun adventures had consequences, and they just showed up at his doorstep.  As the back backed inside, he could see drops of blood on his porch floorboards leading inside.   Mr. Bear shut the door quickly, and an audible thump echoed throughout the area as the door lock was latched.  The forest returned to its quiet state, though the serenity had been shattered.  War had come to the forest, and it was time to prepare in earnest. 

By Cobalt

Cobalt is a normal guy that goes to work. Pudgy is his hedgehog friend who lives in a hobbit style home nearby, and goes on epic adventures. All Pudgy stories are copyrighted to Cobalt. Doomcock, Harvey Cthulhu, and Xanadoom is copyrighted to Overlord DVD.

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