Day 8 With the souls of Prince Nicola Dragonvayne and the Marc Kane aligned within Dragonfang, Valkyrie surprises the sorcerer with a strike of that sword, flowing with the Flames of Faltine. Cleaving his form, now from it springs Remus Sharptooth, grappling viciously with Valkyrie. A cavern appears; the spirits of Nicola and Marc Kane enter. Inside is the other half of Sharptooth’s form, the essence of the sorcerer is revealed: her lost brother, Ray, taken by the enchantress’ spell between his vanishing at the Break through and Valhalla.
Meanwhile, the Hulk leaps into the Fire Dragon, over eighty stories tall; apparently he has some substantial impact, but the damage is hard to discern.
Machine Man: (telescoping his limbs to evade the four armed men) I tapped into their program. From what I understand, that is an archetype of one of the elements of Earth itself!
Nighthawk: You understand this apocalypse?
VALKYRIE wrestles nearby with the blade-riven sorcerer hand to hand; they go to the ground with him on top.
MACHINE MAN: Can only tell you what I know: they’re activating a force inherent in the Earth itself to speed along a trajectory of thousands of years of changing conditions. That apparently includes the conditions of Earth-based conscious minds.
NIGHTHAWK: I know you’re a machine, but...your mind and feelings...
MACHINE MAN: Boy, it’s never been this easy; thank you!
Cut by his talons and teeth, Valkyrie kicks the jacketed, tattooed werewolf away, and delivers a sweet fist in the jaw. His left hook catches her guard.
NIGHTHAWK: This wolf’s keeping me away from the one fighting Valkyrie! How’s he still going, with Dragonfang chopping him like prime rib?
MACHINE MAN: The mastermind cobbled his engineer together, using a powerful old consciousness bound to a relic called *klong!!* (Machine Man’s battered by two four-armed man.)
NIGHTHAWK: So Val’s fighting the key enemy?
MACHINE MAN: Half of the key. (He pulls one four armed man by the legs and slams him into the others; they jerk their comrade loose.) I’m almost surprised to find myself manifested on this mental plane. Without understanding the tech, it’s virtually spiritual.
NIGHTHAWK: Try to shape events with your intention. We may only be out of control because we perceive they have the upper hand.
Valkyrie and Remus Sharptooth sling each other around by the arms, and as they are whipped apart, Valkyrie gains her balance first, but wolflike he recovers by springing at her off all fours.
MACHINE MAN: Or twelve.
NIGHTHAWK: Welcome to the non-team, metal guy.
MACHINE MAN: Call me Machine Man, Batman.