Obadiah Archer is the greatest martial artist alive and a Harbinger with uncanny powers of perception whom, as a child, learns that his evangelist parents, Joe Earl and Thelma Archer, are deviant killers that, in an attempt to cover their tracks, engineer his death. Though left clinically death, Obadiah miraculously returns to the land of the living convinced that God has empowered him to right the wrongs of the world, and commits himself to vanquish the evils of the world.
Aram Anni-Padda is the immortal Armstrong, the second-oldest immortal in recorded history and strongest of the Anni-Padda brothers. A humanitarian and derelict far more interested in peace and partying than in war, Aram has reluctantly brawled his way from prehistory to modern times only to realize that the best way to face life's tests is to grab a drink and find the next party.
On the run from the The Sect, a multi-theosophic covert faction which aim is to destroy Aram Anni-Padda, whom they believe to be the devil incarnate whose existence creates an imbalance in the great wheel of karma that topples the whole of reality, the unlikely pair team up to face down a threat that could destroy the world!
Though different like Yin is from Yang, Archer & Armstrong match like beer and pretzels.
Lifelines – Part I: Revival
When he was a child, Obadiah Archer discovered that his evangelistic parents, Joe Earl and Thelma Archer, were child murderers. Surviving their murderous attempt on his life, Archer had a near–death experience but chose to renounce Heaven in favor of revenge. Traveling to Tibet, Archer spent his formative years training in the arts of armed and unarmed combat at a temple in Ladakh, but refusing to let go of his rage he was asked to leave.
Learning that shortly after he ran away his parents were imprisoned, Archer felt that he had lost his purpose. Wandering the streets of L.A., he met Armstrong, a wino who claimed to be thousands of years old. Feeling indebted to Archer due to the kindness he showed him when he gave him his last five dollars, Aram tried to get him a job as a bouncer that did not work out. While trying to make money playing basketball with street kids, Archer met Mahmud, a leader of the the Sect who claimed that his venerable master at the temple sent him to recruit Archer to kill Aram, who he claimed was a demon. Fooled into believing Mahmud due to his respect of his master, Archer felt obliged to kill Aram, who made him finally realize that he was on the wrong side of the fight, as while Mahmud was trying to kill him he was running away without hurting anyone. Unfortunately by the time Archer came to his senses they were looking down the barrel of a flamethrower.
When Erica Pierce, the God–like entity called Mothergod, tried to achieve Unity, a convergence of all the timelines, the Geomancers of two eras gathered the heroes of Earth to stop her in one final decisive battle for all eternity in the Lost Land, a place outside time and reality.
Up Against The Wall Mother
Cornered by the Sect, Aram, cagey around flamethrowers, stood behind Archer, when then Gilad Anni-Padda, Aram's brother, appeared and whisked them away to fight in the Unity conflict. Attacked by Mothergod’s forces as soon as they arrived in the Lost Land, Aram refused to fight until he knew who he was fighting against and led Archer away from the battle. Section Prelate Rejj, a devotee of the Archies, a cult whose members studied Archer’s philosophies, captured the duo and took them to a compound where he expected Archer to share his teachings with him. For two weeks, Archer struggled to convey his wisdom to Rejj, who accused him of being a fraud like his parents. Enraged, Archer attacked Rejj, who decided to execute him. Meanwhile, Aram had escaped and found a Speakeasy where he met Prince Albert, Mothergod’s son, who stopped Archer’s execution and convinced the two of them that the only way they would return home would be if they ambushed Mothergod and killed her.
Turok And Roll All Night
Armed with an energy-absorbing arrow Albert gave him, Archer leapt into an observation room to kill Erica. As she revealed that he was destined to become a renowned spiritual leader, Archer aimed his shot and fired but missed his intended target, her eye. Since Mothergod survived the assassination attempt on her life, Albert turned on Archer & Aram and tried to kill them, but Mothergod incarcerated them instead. While Archer & Aram sat on a cell, X–O Manowar broke through the wall and opened the way for them to escape. Two days later in a pile of discarded rob parts, Archer prodded Aram to return to the complex with him to retrieve his crossbow, when suddenly Turok shot Aram with an arrow. Shooting back, the duo took defensive cover behind a giant rob. Soon Turok found Archer to be a noble warrior and wondered why Mothergod would command the death of such a fine individual. Archer pointed out the evil being done in Pierce’s name. Realizing that no holy being would sanction those acts, Turok renounced his allegiance to Erica Pierce and let the boys go.
Dreading going back to Los Angeles, Armstrong found a large shield with which to protect himself and nagged Archer to prepare his weapon as they vanished in a flash of light.
...And Then There Were Nuns
Protected by a shield Aram got in the Lost Land, the duo reappeared in L.A. mere moments after they left. Alas, the shield did not help as Mahmud’s followers used gas that rendered them unconscious. As they carried Archer & Aram away, they left Armstrong's Satchel on the street where Daryll found it. Waking up in a wine cellar in Italy, Archer & Aram broke out of their chains and after much prodding from Archer made their way to the catacombs to look for a way out. As Aram revealed that the Sect hated him because he did not invite them to his birthday party, he noticed that he had lost his satchel, which Daryll had learned let him make others do as he said. As Aram dropped their torch, Archer misunderstood his directions and led them into the Pope’s closet. As they ran out of the Pope’s bedroom, Archer asked Cardinal Cyn for sanctuary, unaware that he was a member of the Sect. Fleeing through the streets of Rome, the duo ran into the Sisters of Doom, men dressed as nuns armed with guns who chased them into the arms of Mahmud & Constantino, who were prepared to kill them.
If Killer Ninja Nuns Be My Destiny
Hiding in the Sistine Chapel, Archer & Aram ran to the rafters to escape the Sisters & Mahmud. As they jumped back down to avoid the Sisters’ gunfire, a Swiss guard shot Aram in the head. Pushed by the force of the bullet, Aram fell out a window. As Archer ran after him and the Sisters followed behind, Mahmud stayed to ask forgiveness for breaking the window unaware that Aram was hanging over him. Grabbing Mahmud, Aram took him to the roof and demanded that he return his satchel, but Mahmud told him that he did not have it. Just then Constantino, who Mahmud knocked out to stop him from burning Aram before he could cut his head, climbed on the roof and burned Mahmud while Aram ran away. Following a trail of bodies Archer left in his wake, Aram found him dispatching the Sisters of Doom, who he discovered were actually men. Garbed in the nun’s robes, the duo stole Constantino’s car and left Rome to go visit Andromeda, Aram’s wife. Meanwhile in L.A., Daryll showed his friend Kevin Hudson what he could do with the satchel and Kevin took it from him.
Trouble in Paradise
Arriving on Ralentir, Aram took Archer to a hotel to clean up, then, sometime later, hecalled Andy, who told him that there three strange people - Adolf, Rocky Strongjaw, and Viva - who she thought were after Flo, her pet dinosaur. As Aram gave Archer the phone so he could say hello, Archer got flustered and spoke nonsensically. Taking the phone back, Aram told an apologetic Archer that Andromeda was an understanding woman.
During the trip to the island, Archer, who believed that Andromeda was the Greek Goddess, asked if Aram had to fight Perseus for her hand, but Aram dismissed his notion. Finding Andy bathing in the nude, Archer, awed by her beauty, took leave of his senses and spoke nonsensically again. To help Archer regain his composure, Aram threw him in the lake, where he met Flo, Andy’s pet dinosaur.
That night, Archer began a journal to detail his exploits with Aram, when then Flo startled him as it approached him and gently came to rest at the foot of his cot like a dog. At the same time, Adolf and the others plotted to contact the Sect so they would kill Aram while they took Flo.
...More Trouble In Paradise
While Archer had a dream that he was in Heaven surrounded by naked women drinking hot cocoa, the sudden hail of bullets from a helicopter abruptly woke him up. As Archer ran to find cover, the pilot, Medoc the Red, threatened to kill Aram, who recognized him by his lisp. As Aram deduced that Medoc had joined the Sect and was in league with the strangers that Andy saw, she left to stop them from taking Flo while Aram & Archer hid. While Aram crawled to the bar, Archer left to help Andy, who found the strangers after they captured Flo in a net.
Since Medoc had betrayed them, the strangers no longer had a way to fly Flo off the island, so Adolf told his cohorts to shoot her with a tranquilizer so they could drag her behind their boat. Fed up, Andy swooped down and transformed Adolf's gun into a snake, revealing to an awed Archer that she really was Andromeda.
Good and loaded, Aram threw a couch at Medoc’s helicopter and knocked him out of the sky, while Andy transformed Viva and Adolf into a glass statue and a rat while Archer dispatched Rocky. After Andy asked Archer not to let Aram know that he knew her secret, Archer’s trepidation around her vanished, so when the boys left he finally had the courage to call her by her name.
After Aram’s car broke down outside Angouleme, the duo made their way to a castle to ask for help. Pushing on the intercom, a voice greeted them with a password. Replying in kind with the wrong password (which the voice corrected them on), the floor opened up and they fell down a ramp, landing at the feet of a group of armed thugs that thought they were custom officials. As a battle ensued, Archer left Aram to deal with the thugs. Finding a library, where he discovered a first edition of Dumas’ work, Archer worked on his journal. As the fight escalated from a simple brawl into gunfire, one of the men, a member of the Sect, shot Aram with a bazooka. Pushed through the floor by the impact, Aram crashed in the library. Putting his journal aside, Archer dispatched the thugs much to Aram’s chagrin, as he purposely extended the fight so he could vent. Filling the car with gas they found in the house, the duo left. Showing him the book he found, Archer listened as Aram told him the real story of the Musketeers; Gilad, Aram, Ivar, & D’Artagnan.
It was 1661, and the Musketeers were celebrating the season when Ilysēe walked into the bar. A player in a drama devised by Gilad, Ilysēe played victim for two out of work actors posing as henchmen to manhandle. Prodded by Gilad, D’artagnan saved the wench, who gratefully gave herself to him to do with as he pleased. Enchanted by Ilysēe, D’artagnan agreed to rescue a prisoner from the Bastille that he believed to be Duchess D’Terre’s lover. Rallying his brothers in arms, the Musketeers rescued the Man In The Iron Mask, Henri The VIII, self–proclaimed rightful king of France. Though Gilad pledged to help Henri take the throne from his brother Louis The XIV, he expressed disbelief that he would save France from a bloody revolution that Duchess Angelique D'Terre, a Geomancer, had foreseen. That night, Henri forced himself on Ilysēe.
The next day, the Duchess led Ivar & Gilad into the throne room to distract Louis with their swordplay while she readied Henri. To her horror, a beast had injured Louis, who sported claw marks on his face. As the Duchess warned the others of their plight, Ilysēe, weary that no one would believe what transpired the night before, clawed Henri and marked his visage. Enraged, he drew his sword and slayed the wench, revealing to the Duchess the kind of person he was. Entering the throne room before Aram & D’artagnan had finished securing an unconscious Louis in a barrel, Henri assumed the throne and, in his lunacy, proclaimed penalty after penalty against anyone that trifled with him. As the Duchess ran into the throne room to warn everyone of Henri’s travesty, he accused her of witchcraft and would have revealed her identity as a Geomancer had Gilad not stroke true and killed him. With Aram’s aid, Louis returned to the throne and proclaimed that everything was alright, unaware that D’artagnan was behind him clutching Ilysēe’s body in his arms.
That night, Ivar, angry with Gilad for the callousness he showed Ilysēe & Henri, attacked his own brother. As the fight raged, however, Gilad stood victorious over Ivar… but not for long, as that was when Aram joined the fray and knocked his big brother off his feet with one punch. Finishing his story, Aram surmised that in the end Gilad was no different from any other man, and that he had done as the Duchess instructed him simply because he did not know how to handle a woman. Aram then showed Archer a Polaroid of himself with Ivar & D’artagnan, which made Archer doubt his story as cameras did not exist in 1661, and though Aram tried to convince him that Ivar had brought it from the future, Archer still did not believe him.
In a café in Strasbourg, Archer fought a group of German bikers while Aram watched from the side. Gunther, the biker’s leader, walked up to Aram, and after a tense barter they greeted each other as friends. It turned out that Aram bet Gunther that Archer could beat his boys in two minutes, which he did in 90 seconds. Acquiring a bike from Gunther, the boys went to a noir club in Le Havre where they met Janine Noir, a beautiful woman who unbeknownst to them Master Darque had made irresistible. Slipping a potion in his drink that made him vulnerable to suggestion, Noir told Aram to kill Gilad in London. Bound to stop Aram, Archer prevented him from leaving. As their brawl reached a construction site Archer shot Aram in three points on his body as an impromptu acupuncture technique that knocked him out. As punishment for her failure, Darque locked Noir in a room with a variety of criminally insane types that were powerless to resist her.
The Sinister Secret Of Stonehenge!
Standing on a building waiting for a time arc, Ivar got into an argument with a pigeon fancier who wanted him to get off the roof. Just then, the time arc appeared and swallowed the man, leaving Ivar in its wake. The next day, Archer & Aram came to visit Ivar in his flat. Fascinated by the treasures he found there, all of which pertained to the Egyptian Queen Nefertiti, Archer immediately liked Ivar. After showing Aram his time–maps, the visual record of his travels, Ivar took Archer & Aram for dinner. Pushed by Toby, the café’s owner, into ordering the pie, Ivar and Archer passed out after eating it, then as Archer fell after eating a chip, a group of temporal refugees stepped out from the back of the café and surrounded them.
Meanwhile in L.A., as Kevin used the satchel to force the cops to do his will, Mahmud, bandaged up like a mummy, broke into his apartment and took the satchel. Back in London, the refugees loaded their captives onto a double decker bus that F–7, a freewill from the future, turned into a flying machine. Waking up, Archer came to believe that Ivar had purposely kidnapped these people from their eras of origin. Unable to awake Aram, Archer tried to reason with one of the refugees, but he was unable to breach the language barrier. Just then, Toby told him that they were planning to hold a democratic hanging for Ivar in Stonehenge. Back in L.A., Mahmud rechristened himself the Avenger as he vowed revenge on Aram from the Hollywood sign.
A Snatch In Time
As Ivar’s trial progressed, F–7 used a hologram to demonstrate how a continuum rift they believed Ivar created was responsible for transporting them through time. Heeding Ivar’s plea for help, Aram told everyone that he was responsible for the temporal portal, not Ivar. Meanwhile, Mahmud’s trail of terror across L.A. caught Solar’s attention. Knocking Mahmud off his feet, Solar listened as in his lunacy he told him to warn Aram that he would meet his fate awaited him at the end of the world before he vanished. Back in England, Aram explained that without his satchel he could not send anyone home. As Archer surmised that the rift failed because Aram built it in Stonehenge, a place filled with magic, Aram revealed that he built Stonehenge while in a drunken bender and there was nothing magical about it.
Just then, a time arc opened and the pigeon fancier fell out of it. Not soon afterwards, Solar arrived to warn Aram about Mahmud. As F–7 informed Solar that his arrival had created a secondary temporal portal that could send everyone home, they worked together to do just that. When Ivar crossed the portal to go to Egypt, F–7 followed him and disrupted the field, sending them to parts unknown. Returning to the issue of Mahmud, Archer prodded Aram to stop him as it was their duty, but Aram refused to follow him to the end of the world, a remark that pulled them into the portal and sent them to their final battle with the self–proclaimed avenger.
End of Th' World
Appearing on the roof in Italy moments before Constantino burned Mahmud, Aram and Mahmud bickered over whether he should save him first or Mahmud should tell him where his satchel was first. When Mahmud made Aram see that unless he saved him he would not be able to tell him anything, Aram pushed Constantino off the roof. Though set ablaze by Constantino’s flamethrower, Aram did not writhe in pain like Mahmud hoped for he knew that the fire was an illusion Mahmud cast using a trinket from his satchel. Conceeding the ruse, Mahmud dispelled the illusion and Aram found himself standing beside Archer in the End of Th' World bar. Seeing his partner on fire, Archer threw Aram on the ground and beat him up to put the flames out, not realizing that they were not real. Realizing his mistake, Archer turned to Mahmud, who used the trinket to trap him within an illusionary recreation of the night he discovered his parents’ secret. Dodging his father’s blow, Archer punched him out, then as he stood over his father’s unconscious body his mother came at him with a knife. Back at the bar, Mahmud and Aram beat each other senseless.
Proclaiming that he was ten times stronger than Aram, Mahmud was sure of his victory, but every time he got the upper hand Silvio the bartender distracted him with a Martini he ordered him to get him. Though Archer pleaded with his mother to redeem herself by not striking him, she stabbed him in the shoulder with the knife and he had to knock her out. Staring at his parents’ unconscious bodies before him, Archer contemplated taking his revenge on them, but recalling his teachings at the monastery he realized that his anger would only destroy him. Back in the bar, Mahmud pulled the Wand of Circe from the satchel to turn Aram into a pig, but when he chanted the spell he was holding it backwards and turned himself into a swine. The illusion broken, Archer found himself back in the bar just as Mahmud–pig ran out through the window. That night, Archer took Aram to the spot beneath the viaduct where they first met. There, as Archer wrote his final thoughts on his journal, a bee that kept distracting him flew onto Aram’s face and Archer had to rescue his friend.
While perusing through the classifieds looking for a place to rent in LA, Aram noticed Archer gawking at the women and discovered that his partner was a virgin. Determined to help him loose his cherry, Aram took Archer to buy a car and then to meet with a realtor at a mansion in Benedict Canyon. While touring the property, the boys came across two beautiful girls sunbathing by the pool who told them that they lived next door with Bobby Ripp, a movie star known for his violent temper. After the girls left, Aram offered to rent the place and improve any offer the realtor got for it later. Asking Aram what they were doing in LA, Archer learned that they were there to find two paintings the Nazis stole from him, a Picasso and a Chagall.
While the realtor stepped aside to talk on the phone, Archer followed Aram to Ripp’s house to borrow a bottle of wine to size him up. As they approached the house, the boys saw Ripp throw a kid called Reggie out his window. Thinking that Archer was a wino, an enraged Ripp punched him until Archer stopped him. From the sidelines, Aram and Reggie watched how Archer knocked Ripp out with a couple of blows and kicks.
Back at mansion, Reggie told Archer & Aram that Ripp, a drug abuser prone to hallucinations, thought that a cult who believed he was a demon and was trying to kill him built their new home. Before leaving, Reggie invited the boys to watch his band perform at a club called Cygnus that night. Looking to replace the furniture and paintings that came with the house, Aram took Archer to an art gallery where they learned that Wilson Haverford Duerst had one of Aram’s paintings might be. Back at the mansion, while Archer meditated on the balcony, Amy, one of the girls from the pool, approached him to ask if he had seen an earring she lost. Seeing Archer & Amy talking, Aram told Archer to invite Amy to the club, but he was too shy and refused. Nevertheless, Aram invited Amy in Archer’s name and she agreed to go with them.
That night at Cygnus, while Aram took a stroll on the dance floor, Amy asked Archer about their relationship with one another, when then Ripp and a couple of thugs approached the table. Behaving rudely, Ripp claimed that he knew Archer would be there, then he insulted Amy and ordered his thugs to throw Archer out of the club. Furiously beating Ripp, Archer demanded he apologize for insulting Amy, but then Aram stopped him. After taking Amy home, Archer & Aram returned to the mansion.
As they made their way inside, Archer suggested that Ripp may have psychic abilities due to his calling Aram a wino when they in fact were there for wine and his knowing they would be at the club. Just then, Aram turned the lights on and they saw four men in kabuki masks armed with swords that called him demon.
Pulling Archer outside, Aram made him hide in the bushes while they waited for the four intruders to leave. Watching from their vantage point, Aram & Archer saw the intruders split into different directions looking for them, but Archer became anxious and leapt out of their hiding spot to beat them up.
Taking on two of the attackers, Archer subdued one of them while the other escaped. Behind him, Aram took on the other intruders and captured one of them. Upset that the Sect had a branch in LA, Aram dragged his unconscious prisoner inside the house and dumped him on a couch. Interrogating the man, Aram and Archer learned that he was a mercenary hired by a man called Banthanikoot to kill the demon. Meanwhile, after Banthanikoot reported his failure to Mr. Duerst, the man who hired him, he went to the airport to meet his master, Panduit the Tibetan, a man almost as big as Aram, who came to America to help him kill the demon.
Back at the mansion, Aram discovered that the intruders had cut the phone line, so he sent Archer to find a phone to call the cops. Hesitant to go to Ripp’s house, Archer went to their other neighbor, Pamela, an attractive German woman who twice before had passed them on the freeway in a convertible while making an obscene gesture at them. Knocking on the door, Archer found himself facing the end of an Uzi and the jaws of a pair of pit bulls. After convincing Pamela that he meant her no harm, Archer called the cops on her phone. Inviting Archer inside, Pamela asked him about his relationship with Aram, and if they were gay, a question Archer found to be a shocking and unwarranted assumption. Nevertheless, he left her house on good terms.
Sometime later at Ripp’s house, after the cops had taken the unconscious mercenaries away from Aram’s mansion, Ripp awoke from a nightmare he had in which he witnessed the Armageddon. Jumping out of bed, Ripp grabbed a riffle and got into his car to escape from what he thought was the end of the world. On his way out, Ripp crashed his car with Pamela’s and a firefight ensued that ended with Pamela killing Ripp.
Startled by the gunfire, Archer nudged Aram into going with him to investigate. As they walked to Pamela’s house, the police arrived and almost arrested them for Ripp’s murder. Shortly, Pamela came out of the house and, though she had washed, dyed her hair, and put on perfume, Aram could tell by smelling her that she had killed Bobby. Returning him, Archer & Aram came across Amy, who had come to play tennis with Archer.
While Amy and Archer played tennis, Archer told her that Ripp was dead. Just then, Banthanikoot broke into the backyard and a fight ensued. Meanwhile in the front of the house, Aram came face-to-face Panduit, who was there to kill him. Though Aram struggled, Panduit kicked him across the face and then wrapped his nunchucks around his neck to sever his head from his body, which was the only way he could be killed.
While Panduit held Aram down on his knees, an earthquake stroked the immediate area and caused the mansion crumble into rubble around them. Leaping into the air from behind, Archer kicked Panduit across the head and forced him to let go of Aram, then, using his own weapon against him, he hit Panduit across the many never points in his body to paralyze him into submission.
Walking away from the house, past the tennis court where Banthanikoot laid on the ground with a screwdriver in his neck, Aram & Archer sat on a hill overlooking the rubble while drinking a bottle of burgundy, Archer’s first. Shortly, after Archer pointed out that traffic would be too harsh at that time of day, the two made their way on foot to San Sebastian to recover Aram’s paintings, unaware that behind them Panduit had crawled out of the rubble and was coming to get them.
While Aram hustled two bikers at a bar out of their bikes by convincing them that he worked for a famous star that was watching them through a telescope, Panduit met with Duerst, who told him how he met Armstrong at a party in San Sebastian in 1943 after Aram inadvertently received an invitation meant for Louis Armstrong. Attending the party with Errol Flynn, Aram started talking about his art collection with Duerst and told him what he had in his villa near Pisa. Aware that the Nazis occupied the area, Duerst knew that if the paintings disappeared Aram would never suspect him, so he pointed him out to Von Valkenburd, a fool who decided to kill Aram to make it look like a robbery. As it happened, Valkenburd’s agents bungled the job and attacked Aram on the way from the party with Flynn, who saved his life. Promised by the Sect that they would restore his health, Duerst told Panduit that he could never return to San Sebastian.
Meanwhile, as Aram & Archer made their way to San Sebastian on their borrowed bikes, Archer noticed a cop on a bike coming after them that Aram told him was a member of the Sect. Following Aram, Archer drove his bike off a cliff into the ocean to lose the cop. Making their way to Duerst’s Pleasure Palace, a property acquired by the State of California after Duerst’s apparent death, Archer & Aram made their way into the palace past guards armed with two–way radios and rifles with noise suppressors to look for Aram’s paintings. Removing one of his pieces hanging from a wall, Aram accidentally activated the alarm, which alerted the guards to their presence. Unaware that Archer had abandoned him, Aram dealt with the guards on his own. Tackling one of them, Aram broke through a wall and found Archer in the library going over a fax that revealed that Duerst was still alive after the Sect promised to keep him alive and living in Antigua. On the run from the guards, Aram & Archer rode a caterpillar off a cliff and made their escape.
Sometime later, after Archer showed Aram a fax from Winston ordering his guards to transfer the art collection to Antigua, Aram convinced him to go with him to find Winston and take back what was his. Upset because he feared that he would never see Amy again, Archer walked beside Aram as they left LA, unaware that Amy had gone back to the mansion, where she found his crossbow in the rubble.
Feeling he lacked certain experience necessary in a traveling companion, Aram took it upon himself to show Archer the finer things in life at the Beverly Arms hotel, where unfortunately they ran afoul of a shriner chapter of the Sect. Running outside, Aram seized a Sect bus headed for Las Vegas. Rationalizing that the Sect knew he knew they would know that Las Vegas was the last place they should go to, Aram took Archer to Las Vegas, while elsewhere the Sect had the same idea and followed them.
Soon after arriving in Las Vegas, Aram took Archer to the Crystal Palace hotel, where he convinced him to play craps and give away his winnings if he liked. As their winning streak caught the management’s attention, Danielle Devereaux, the owner of the hotel, had Frank Osborne, her director of operations, offer Archer and Aram two complementary suites. While Archer waited in his room with Bethany, an attractive young woman he met in the casino, Frank took Aram to a suite were a group of thugs were waiting for him. 10 minutes later, Danielle and Frank entered the suite and discovered that Aram had dispatched their men.
Introducing herself as a former member of the Sect, Danielle offered Aram to free him of the burden of the Sect’s pursue in exchange for his help in disposing of the Sect’s leadership so that she can take control of it, and offered he seemingly agreed to with a burp. Elsewhere, while Archer was teaching Bethany a meditation exercise, Danielle’s thugs rushed the room and a battle ensued. Meanwhile downstairs, the shriners arrived.
After Archer dispatched the last of Danielle’s men, she and Aram entered his room. Apologizing for trying to take Archer captive before they reached an agreement, Danielle invited the boys to her mansion to discuss her offer, but as they made their way to her limo across the miniature golf course, the shriners attacked. While running away, Aram said that he was wondering when the Sect would show up, which angered Danielle, who accused him of being a fat fool and leading the Sect to her.
As Archer & Aram dispatched the shriners, an impressed Danielle was certain that the Sect would be helpless against them. Nevertheless, Aram changed his mind and reneged on their deal. While walking away, Aram pushed Danielle into a fountain. Enraged, Danielle vowed to punish Aram, who warned her that he was sick of the Sect and that if she pissed him off she would learn exactly why they called him the Great Satan.
That night, Archer and Aram took Bethany to the bus station and saw her off on her way home. Learning that Archer gave Bethany all their winnings, Aram lead his companion to the Circus, Circus much to his dismay.
Looking for money to pay their fare to Antigua, Aram wrestled a gator in Florida to win $500, but during the tussle the animal got hurt, which upset Dirty Roscoe, the attraction’s owner, who demanded compensation for the injuries done to his gator. After a brief skirmish with Roscoe and his buddies, Archer & Aram walked away with their money, when then Naomi Atkins, the treasurer for the Florida chapter of the Wild Animal Federation, accused them of taking advantage of the gator and demanded that they set him free and donate their money to her organization. Much to his chagrin, Aram did as told because Archer asked him to. Back in Miami, Archer signed up to a strong man contest where he won $1,000 dollars they used to fly to Antigua.
Upon arriving on Antigua, Aram had a cab driver, Ras–I, take them to a casino where he accumulated a sizeable fortune with which to pay for their endeavors while on the island. Aware of Duerst’s belief that the sea held the secret to long life, and certain that he would find him and his paintings beneath the ocean, Aram rented scuba gear for him and Archer, and then had Ras–I take them on a boat out to sea.
Diving beneath the water, Aram & Archer found the sunken ocean liner that Duerst called home. Inside the ship, Duerst tried to convince Mother Superior, the Sect’s chief of security, that Aram was the key to the immortality that the Sect was after and that they should not kill him, but she ignored his words and walked away. Calling Panduit, Duerst told him to kill Mother Superior. Outside, Archer & Aram split up and Archer found a treasure chest filled with gold coins and a gold statue, while Archer swam toward Duerst’s window. Seeing Aram floating outside, Panduit boarded the Gator and went after him so that Duerst could study him.
Going after Aram, Panduit crashed into him. When Panduit tried to grab him with the Gator’s grappler, Aram shattered the Gator’s window and Panduit lost control of the craft. Crashing against Archer, Panduit left the Gator and took Archer’s scuba gear to escape. Finding Archer barely alive, Aram pulled him to the surface and took him to Ras–I’s boat, where he tried to revive him with mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to no avail.
Refusing to accept that Archer was dead, Aram had Ras–I take him back to Antigua. Meanwhile, Duerst and Panduit escaped aboard a submarine with Aram’s paintings, leaving Mother Superior behind in a closet. Taking Archer to a hospital, Aram promised a doctor that he would donate a new wing to the hospital if he saved Archer’s life. Dreaming that he was in Heaven surrounded by beautiful maidens cooing love songs and sighing with delight at the sight of him, Archer spoke with God, who told him to redouble his efforts to fight evil, specially the evil of those who claimed to speak for him. Enveloped by a bright light, Archer awoke in the operating room. Leaving with Aram, he told him that he had just had a very important meeting.
Going back to find Aram’s paintings, the guys saw a battleship emblazoned with the Harbinger Foundation’s standard stationed over Duerst’s ship. While Toyo Harada sent Waterboy into Duerst’s abandoned vessel and learned that Aram had been there, Aram and Archer made a break for it and escaped. Bemoaning their having to leave his paintings behind, Aram told Archer that they were broke after he gave the doctor all the money he made at the casino, when then Ras–I gave them back the gold statue Archer found at the bottom of the ocean, which he had taken from him after Aram brought him back to his boat.
Smuggling the statue back to Miami, Aram & Archer sold it to the Contessa, a friend of Aram who Archer suspected was a drug dealer, for over a million dollars. Though Aram advised him against it, Archer broke back into the house after they left to get rid of the Contessa’s drugs. Pulling Archer out of the house, Aram threw him back in their car and they drove away while the Contessa’s men fired at them. Blowing a tire out, Aram stood in the middle of traffic and forced a car to stop. Astonishingly, the driver of the car was Naomi. Jumping in the car, Archer, Naomi, and Aram barely escaped the Contessa’s men.
Stopping at a vegetarian jazz club for lunch, Archer, Naomi, and Aram fell victim to a sleeping agent in their food put there by Panduit, who took them to Duerst’s compound to discover the secret to Aram’s longevity.
Prisoners of the Macrobiotic Cult
At Camp Macro, a fat farm for the rich and famous, Archer, Aram, and Naomi, who had been drugged and brainwashed, carried out the duties of dishwashers and waitress supervised by Cookie, who determining that Aram & Archer were being too slow at their job gave them a vitamin supplement that made them work five times as fast. Unfortunately that caused a racket, so the Maître d' told Cookie to lock Aram & Archer in their room until they calmed down. Elsewhere, Macrochip, the resort’s owner, met with Duerst in a cabin he had turned into a recording studio where he and Panduit recorded jazz songs. Sealed within a robotic life–support suit, Duerst inquired about Pamela Trice, a guest he told Macrochip to look after whom he did not know was Aram’s neighbor. Telling Macrochip to ensure Aram & Archer remained doped up, Duerst ordered him to draw blood from Aram every three days so that he could find a way to heal his sickly body.
That evening, Pamela saw Archer in the club house and told the Maître d' to send him to her table because he was her neighbor, but he refused and claimed that Archer was a local boy struggling to overcome his junk food addiction by busing tables, a lie she did not believe. That night Pamela donned a leather outfit and made her way to Aram & Archer’s cabin, where she used an acupuncture technique to arouse Archer from his daze and ask him how they got there. Learning from Pamela that a mind–control cult had drugged and forced them into slavery, Archer wanted to destroy the farm, but wanting to wait until she had lost eight pounds Pamela did not want him to do that, so she removed the needle from his head and put him back to sleep.
Reaching her goal weight a week later, Pamela returned to the cabin with two raw liver, onion, and liverwurst sandwiches for Archer & Aram. In a rage after eating their meager dinner, the guys broke into the lounge and attacked Panduit, Macrochip, and Duerst while they were playing a jazz set. While Archer beat Macrochip, Aram knocked out Panduit with one punch and then confronted Duerst, who begged him to work with him to find the secret of immortality. Upset over his stolen paintings, Aram grabbed the top of Duerst’s robotic body and ripped out the glass dome protecting his head. Mocking Duerst, Aram exhaled all over his face and said that liver, onion, and liverwurst were the secret to immortality, a tease Duerst fell for. Throwing Aram aside, Duerst saw no further need for his help and refused to return his paintings, so Aram exhaled all over his face again and the stench of his breath knocked Duerst out, seemingly killing him.
Sometime later, after the guys found Naomi, they all left Camp Macro with Pamela and her driver, Bruno.
Yule Be Sorry
At Chateau Marmont in Hollywood, Aram went over blueprints for his new mansion with an architect he got out of the phone book, when then he came across Amy, who asked him where Archer was. Offering Amy a gin and tonic, Aram told herthat Archer had joined a vigilante group called the Night Angels. Elsewhere, Archer followed a scream into an alley and saw two men manhandling a woman, who unbeknownst to him were all Dexter Street Treys, crack dealers who had set a trap for him to steal his hat. Nevertheless, Archer got the edge on them and scared them away. While picking his hat from the ground Archer met Jamaladeen, who told him that the crack dealers wanted his hat because they hated the Night Angels for driving out their business.
Walking over to Glen and Rosie, two other Night Angels, Archer scolded at them for deserting him, but Glen assured him that they were standing by if he needed help and that the attack was a test to assess new recruits approved by Kerry, the leader of the Night Angels. Upset, Archer confronted Kerry, who said that everyone takes the same test, yet talking in whispers behind them Rosie said that other Angels jumped her. As Archer took his leave, Kerry made him his lieutenant. Following Archer, Rosie told him that he made Kerry feel insecure because he could not stand the idea of anyone else being better than him, when then Archer saw Jamaladeen running from two skin heads that he managed to scare away before anyone got hurt. Seeing an envelope in Jamaladeen’s hand, Archer asked to see it and saw that it was a letter for Santa Claus, but as Jamaladeen put it in the mail box he said that he his sister wrote it and that he did not believe in Santa.
That night, Archer offered to dress in a tuxedo on New Year’s eve and toast Aram with a bottle of champagne if Aram dressed as Santa Claus and collected donations for the Salvation Army at the corner of 35th Street and Kroger, a proposal that Aram gladly accepted. Handing Archer a box with his crossbow that Amy left for him, Aram urged him to invite her to join them for New Year’s eve, while he planned to invite Pamela.
On Christmas Eve, Aram stopped Jamaladeen from stealing from the donations’ pot. Asking Jamaladeen what he wanted for Christmas, Aram learned that he wanted an Uzi with 200 rounds, a request he found appalling. Suddenly, two thugs in a car drove up and demanded all the money in the pot. Angered, Aram raised their car off the ground and tossed it on its side, then as the thugs ran away Jamaladeen lamented that they would come back and shoot Aram. Meanwhile, Archer found a girl with burn marks on her cheek in an alley. Taking pity on the girl, who said that her manager beat her and her stepfather abused her, Archer took to her to get something to eat and promised to buy her an airline ticket for Salt Lake City, where her grandmother lived.
While Archer took the girl to a burger joint where he learned that her manager, Touch, burned her, the thugs that harassed Aram came back and shot him in a drive by. Standing back up as Jamaladeen ran to him, Aram tossed the pot at the thug’s car, which as it crashed Jamaladeen yelled that he believed in Santa Claus after all.
While walking down the street, Archer bumped into a man with marks like the girl’s on his face who said that an Angel gave them to him before he stole his Colt 45. When Archer walked into the Angels’ office and Kerry offered him some Colt 45, he confronted Kerry and beat him down in front of the others, then he tossed his hat on the floor and quit.
Six days later, Archer, Aram, Pamela, and Amy celebrated New Year’s eve together.
Sometime after returning to their Hollywood mansion, which the architect had rebuilt into a Moorish castle, a dying monk from the temple in Ladakh came to tell Archer that Master Darque had slaughtered their brothers during his search for the remains of Tashi Khatun. With his dying breath, the monk relayed their abbot’s desire for Archer to avenge their deaths, a request Archer believed the supreme one wanted him to focus his energy on. Thanking Master Darque for giving his life meaning and direction, Archer left for New Orleans without Aram, who chose to stay behind to be with Pamela, who invited him for dinner and to spend the night. Arriving in New Orleans, Archer met up with Jack, who he wanted to take him to Darque’s manor so that he could take Darque by surprise, but telling him that Darque already knew he was there, Jack invited Archer for dinner. Elsewhere, Darque reanimated dozens of corpses at the local morgue to use as an army against Archer, while back in Hollywood, as Pamela asked Aram to let her shave him as part of her seduction, her ex–husband, Udo, broke into the house and got in a fight with him.
That night in New Orleans, Archer hastily broke into Darque’s manor against Shadowman’s advice and came across Darque’s army of the undead, who quickly overwhelmed. Though Shadowman leapt in through a window and kicked Darque across the face, he too fell to Darque’s magic and became his prisoner
Dragged to a dungeon Archer and Shadowman were locked into cages while Darque left to march the rooting zombies into the lake. Once they were alone, Shadowman broke out of his cage and left Archer by himself.
The Darque At The Top Of The Stairs
Locked in a cage in the basement of Master Darque’s manor the night before the full moon, Archer futility tried to bend the bars, but lacking Shadowman’s strength he failed. Back in Los Angeles, Aram threw a Credenza at Udo, who moved out of the way and lunged at him. Getting her shotgun, Pamela shot at Udo to break the fight and threw him out. Telling Aram that he had a phone call, Pamela gave him the phone and he spoke with Jack Boniface, who said that Darque was planning to kill Archer the next night. Leaving for the airport, Aram booked a first class seat on the next flight to New Orleans, but had the unfortunate pleasure of sitting beside to Dr. Rita Gluck, the sex therapist, who after overhearing him make a comment about Pamela’s desire to shave him wanted to analyze him, starting with asking him to tell her about his parents.
Meanwhile, in New Orleans, Archer saw Sandria Darque walk into the basement and, sensing that she was not evil like her brother, begged her to release him, but she turned around and went back upstairs without saying a word. Panicking, Archer recalled a lesson his master taught him at the temple in Ladakh and assumed the lotus position to bring his breathing and circulation under control.
Arriving in New Orleans, Aram saw Jack waiting for him and asked him why he let Darque capture Archer. Taking Aram to his car, Jack said that if he had broken Archer out of his cage Darque would have known it and crippled Archer so he could not run, then, at a restaurant, Jack told Aram that Darque cursed him to ensure that whenever he was in Darque’s presence he would be only Jack and not Shadowman.
Back in Darque’s manor, as Master Darque admired a vase in his hands made from crystal mixed with ash of concentration camp victims and bones of Czars by the legendary “Black Steubens” that would enable him to exert greater control over his animated servants, Sandria walked into the room and asked him what he planned to do with Archer. As Darque accused Sandria of wanting to rob Archer of his innocence so he would be of no value to him, she retorted that that was more his speed, an insult that upset Darque, who punished her. Apologizing, Darque told Sandria that soon as he consumed Archer’s soul she would be free to abuse him. Sensing Aram’s arrival in New Orleans, Darque left with Gaspar, his undead driver, to gather cannon fodder. Arriving at the Dupuis Parrish Morgue, Darque animated the corpses of four deceased wrestlers.
The evening of the full moon Darque’s zombies tied Archer to a pentagram on the Manor’s tower. Floating over Archer holding a dagger, Darque told him that soon as the light of the moon shined on him he would cut out his heart and eat his soul, when then Aram broke through the window. Calling Darque different insulting names, Aram beat the wrestlers, but they were too strong for him and held him down. Delighted by the idea of making Aram watch him kill his partner, Darque prepared to strike Archer, but then Sandria walked into the room and pushed the vase on the floor, shattering it into a dozen pieces to rob the wrestlers of their strength. Breaking free of the zombies’ grasp, Aram went after Darque, bur he escaped through the broken window.
While pilling the wrestler’s corpses, Aram suggested that they trash the place, but worried that they might release something terrible Archer advised against it. Cautioning them to beware her brother, Sandria told Archer & Aram to leave before he returned and killed them without ceremony. Thanking Sandria for her help, Archer reiterated his belief that she was good, but she told him that he was wrong and sent them on their way.
Finding Shadowman in a graveyard, Archer & Aram questioned why he did not help them. Restating that Darque had a hold on him that took away his power, Jack apologized for his lack of aid. While making their way back to Jack’s car, Aram accused Jack of not being much of a friend, a claim Archer disagreed with, certain that Jack’s actions resulted in his freedom after he rushed to face a foe more powerful than him.
On a flight back to Los Angeles, Aram was upset to discover that Dr. Gluck was sitting in front of them.
Bad Karma – Part I
While out on a hike, Archer ran across a group of men kidnapping Ethan Rosen, son of Nate Rosen, a wealthy developer. Arriving too late to stop the men from killing Ethan’s driver/bodyguard, Paul, Archer dispatched the would–be kidnappers with his crossbow and fists. Taking Ethan home, Archer met Nate, who in gratitude for rescuing his son loaned him his car. As Archer drove away, Ethan asked his father not to put him on the payroll out of fear that it would get him killed. Returning to the mansion, Archer learned from Aram and Pamela that Nate was a mobster involved in prostitution and drugs, the kind of man he hated. Leaving to meditate, Archer decided to return Nate’s car the next day.
That night, while walking through the streets of LA, Archer followed the sound of screams to the back alley door of a night club and ran into a woman he believed was an innocent bystander running away from a shot out inside the club. Unbeknownst to Archer, the woman was a killer who had just assassinated Hector Peña, the man who sent the men to kidnap Ethan. Running inside to find the killer, Archer let the woman go. Sometime later, while talking with the cops, Archer discovered his blunder and went back home. That night at the Peña state, Pilar Peña, Hector’s sister and the new head of their cartel, hired Panduit to kidnap Ethan, who she promising she would not hurt. In reality, Pilar planned to send Ethan back to Nate with his throat cut.
The next day, Ethan climbed Archer’s tower in the mansion and convinced him to take him to a Whip Hippies concert later that night. During the concert, however, Panduit grabbed Ethan and ran out of the arena. Chasing them to the parking lot, Archer engaged Panduit in combat, but the behemoth overpowered him. Just then, the woman who Archer let go earlier showed up aiming a gun at Panduit’s head. Calling her Madeline, Ethan told her to shot Panduit, but Madeline told him to be patient and asked him to call her mom.
Bad Karma – Part II
Holstering her gun, Madeline reached for a knife and threw it at Panduit, who dodged it and escaped with his men. Trusting Archer to keep Ethan safe, Madeline asked him to take him home and left. The next day, at Dr. Rita Gluck’s house, Aram told her the story of why the Sect hated him, a tale that began during the Crusades, when Richard Coeur De Leon recruited Gilad, who dragged him into it. Just then, a member of the Sect broke into the room brandishing a knife to kill Aram in the name of the Knights Templar. While Aram knocked the guy out, Dr. Gluck assured him that he was a patient looking for treatment and not a member of the Sect. Sure enough, moments later a doctor walked into the office and dragged the man away claiming that he suffered from a delusion that he was a member of an obscure sect of crusaders dedicated to wiping out the devil.
Returning home, Aram found Archer wearing a suit that he copied from a fashion spread so that Nate would take him more seriously when he went to see him. Offering to accompany Archer, Aram went with him to Rosen’s state, where Nate asked Archer to become Ethan’s full–time bodyguard. Though he was fond of Ethan, Archer refused to accept Nate’s proposal unless he forewent his criminal lifestyle, but Nate laughed at him. Walking into the room, Madeline reinstated her assertion to Nate that Archer would turn him down. Asked why she did not take care of Ethan herself, Madeline told Archer that it was not her idea to have a kid, unaware that Ethan was listening in from behind a wall.
While Nate and Madeline argued over her mercenary attitude toward protecting her son, Panduit’s men killed the bodyguards guarding the house and broke inside. As a brawl broke out in the living room, Pilar Peña stuck on from behind Ethan and held him at gun point.. Ordering Panduit to kill Nate, Pilar let it slip that she planned to kill Ethan as well, so, upset that she lied to him, Panduit threw Aram at her and knocked her out.
As his parents reached for him, Ethan ran into Archer’s arms and begged him to take him with him, a prospect that appealed to Nate and disgusted Madeline. While Nate and Madeline argued and threw insults at each other, Archer asked Aram if they could take Ethan with them, but Aram declined, assuring Aram that despite his shortcomings, Nate was better qualified than him to take care of a child.
Crestfallen, Archer agreed to leave Ethan with his parents, promising to return to visit him.
The Root Of The Problem
The Root of The Problem – Part I (Or What I Did To Infuriate The Sect)
While on their way to Dr. Gluck’s office, Aram gave a trio of homeless men 15 dollars on the condition that they do not spend it all on booze or cough medicine. Pointing out that those men could have been members of the Sect, Archer asked that Aram be more careful. Telling Archer that he was fantasizing, Aram told him that those men were bums just like him when he found him. Stating that some bums were drunks, Aram told Archer that he never knew when he might meet a genuine holy man from a religious order who had taken a vow of poverty, like members of several branches which have existed since the Crusades. Dropping Aram off at Dr. Gluck’s office, Archer left to seek out evil and destroy it. Making his way inside the office, Aram laid on the couch and told Dr. Gluck the story of what he did to infuriate the Sect.
During the Siege of Acre, in 1191, Gilad reported to Richard Coeur De Leon and King Phillip the II of France the progress of a siege tunnel, which had advanced since he put Aram at the head of the crew. Standing on his feet before Richard, Gilad’s posture bothered King Phillip, who refused to permit the collapse of chivalry and good manners simply because they were in the field. To appease Phillip, Richard asked Gilad to deliver his report on bent knee. Obeying, Gilad kneeled and said that the tunnel had reached the main battlements, but that Moorish archers on the ramparts sorely vexed them. Calling the guards, Richard had them bring a young knight called Lockinbar, the Archbishop’s nephew, into the tent. Trained by both Viking and Moorish masters on the use of the bow, Lockinbar left with Gilad to clear the ramparts of the Turkish archers.
Leaving the royal tent, Lockinbar asked Gilad if he would see any action, which prompted Gilad to inquire how he had gotten there from Normandy without being in a fight. Learning that Lockinbar spent his journey on a ship praying and fasting, Gilad believed that he should probably not meet his brother, who he called a lecher and foul–mouthed. Riding two horses to the opening of the siege tunnel, Gilad and Lockinbar found Aram fighting a group of Turks. While Lockinbar dealt with the archers on the ramparts, Gilad leapt off his horse and helped Aram. On the run from the archers and Turks, Gilad told Arm that Richard’s seers said that Saladin was en route to relieve the city, so Aram told him that they should raze Acre, but Gilad refused, claiming that they could not capture the city on their own. Riding back to their camp, Gilad told Aram that they had to capture the city before Saladin arrived and laid siege to them.
That night, in King Phillips’ tent, the king cursed Richard and his inability to get rid of him due to the strength of his army. Aware that Richard depended on the support of the Archbishop, Phillip sent Roderick to find Mademoiselle Phoebe, a spy posing as a harlot in the company of a group of Knights Templar, to get her to sleep with Lockinbar in a bid to get the Archbishop to turn on Richard. That night, near Tyre, Roderick met with Phoebe, who accepted Phillip’s orders. Leaving Phoebe’s tent, Roderick made a comment about her that enraged Brother Nicholas, one of the Templar Knight, who stroke Roderick with his sword, killing him.
Back in Acre, Aram took Gilad and Lockinbar to a local tavern despite the boy’s disapproval. In time, Aram got drunk enough to deluge Lockinbar with stories about Cleopatra and past loves, none of which the young archer believed. Wondering where the Geomancer was, Gilad worried that they had no way of knowing that Richard was right. Just then, the Knights Templar broke into the tavern accusing Aram and Gilad of being drunkards, gamblers, and fornicators who had betrayed the principles of their holy quest. Fighting the knights, Gilad urged Aram not to hurt them, as they were Phillips’ men and Richard needed his support. Escaping while the Templars burned the tavern, Aram, Gilad, and Lockinbar made it to a ridge from where they saw a dozen Oxen and two dozen Moorish slaves pushing a catapult toward Acre.
When Gilad and Aram returned to inform Richard of their discovery, the king chastised them for brawling with Phillips’ knights. As Aram blamed them for attacking them first, Gilad told him to shut up. Enraged, Richard accused Gilad and Aram of exposing Lockinbar to drinking and gambling at the risk of his spiritual well–being. Holding Gilad responsible for Aram’s behavior, Richard ordered them to steer clear of the fresh continent of Templar Knights due to arrive that day. Sending Aram away, Richard asked Gilad to stay behind. Ordering Gilad to travel to Jerusalem and meet with Saladin to deliver his terms for Acre’s surrender, Richard told him to leave Lockinbar in the care of the Templar. Leaving the tent, Gilad informed Aram of his mission and urged him to stay out of Lockinbar’s way, for if anything happened to him they would blame him.
The Root of The Problem – Part II
Arriving on the Valley of the Nine Oxen, where the Knights Templar’s camp was, Lockinbar reported to Brother Nicholas, when just then, Mademoiselle Phoebe emerged from her tent and invited him inside much to Nicholas’ dismay. Prodding Lockinbar to sit beside her on the divan, Phoebe told him that she was a holy woman, and that anyone who laid with her would become holy as well. Feeling unworthy, Lockinbar shunned Phoebe’s advances, so, in an effort to gain his trust, she relented her romantic pursue and asked him to tell her how England fared while its ruler was on a Crusade. Revealing that Prince John had usurped the throne while the Sheriff drained the country of taxes, Lockinbar told Phoebe of Robin Hood, who had taught him how to shoot a bow. Standing up, Lockinbar said that he needed to be at the front. Commanding him to come back, Phoebe gave Lockinbar an envelope that bore her seal to show Brother Nicholas when he wished to see her.
During a the Siege of Acre, Gilad informed Aram that he needed to leave on a mission for Richard. Just then, Lockinbar returned and joined them in their battle against the Turks. Smelling the scene of Phoebe’s letter, Aram asked Lockinbar if he would ever use it, but the youth told him that it was none of his business. While Gilad rode away and the knights used the catapult against the castle, Aram urged Lockinbar to introduce him to Phoebe, but the young archer refused, claiming that she was a saintly woman while he was unwashed.
That evening, King Phillip told Phoebe that while Gilad met with Saladin to cut a deal on Richard’s behalf, he planned to launch his own attack in a fortnight to make Saladin feel betrayed and push him to attack Richard. Urging Phoebe to seduce Lockinbar, Phillip wanted to tarnish Richard’s image to prevent him from returning to Britain. Telling Phillip that she had carefully cultivated an image of a virginal saint to his Knights, Phoebe assured him that her fall from grace would crush them, which is why she rallied them to take her to Jerusalem. Striking a deal with Phillip for her services, Phoebe made him agree that he would give all her men jobs once she accomplished her mission. Taking her leave, Phoebe returned to the Knights’ camp.
That night, one of the Knights Templar came to the battlefield looking for Lockinbar, so Aram, posing as the young archer, took Phoebe’s letter from Lockinbar’s hand and went to see her. Arriving in the Knights’ camp, Aram made his way into Phoebe’s tent and seduced her into sleeping with him. Meanwhile, in Saladin’s camp near Jerusalem, Gilad met with Saladin to deliver Richard’s terms for the surrender of Acre. Grateful of the king’s consent of an evacuation of the city, Saladin requested that Gilad relay a message to his king asking that he did not destroy a sacred Mosque built by his father. Making no promises, Gilad took a drawing of the Mosque back to Richard under Saladin’s threat that, should any Christian soldier wantonly destroy the Mosque, they would hunt him to the ends of the Earth and until the ends of time.
Five months later, time in which no one had seen Lady Phoebe, whose sight would inspire the troops, Brother Nicholas entered her tent concerned for her health. Though she objected, Nicholas pierced the veil of the curtain hiding Phoebe from him and discovered that she was pregnant. Enraged, Nicholas demanded to know who had visited this outrage upon her. Blaming a demon that stole upon her unawares and used his magic to seduce her, Phoebe assured Nicholas that Lockinbar had nothing to do with it.
A month later, Lockinbar, Gilad, and Aram watched as an entire garrison of Knights Templar accompanied Lady Phoebe to the battle field. Emerging from behind a curtain on a cart, Phoebe accused Aram of being the demon who defiled her. Chasing Aram, Nicholas led the Knights Templar after him to kill him. Grabbing a sword, Aram jumped on the catapult and launched himself against the Mosque, destroying instantly.
Simultaneously, across the land, Brother Nicholas and the Sect vowed to never rest until they destroyed the demon, Saladin vowed to never rest until he drove out the infidels from the holy land, Richard cursed Aram for brawling with the Knights Templar, and King Phillip blamed Aram of ruining his plans.
Laying on Dr. Gluck’s couch, Aram told her that everyone was mad at him, specially the Sect of Knights Templar, who had been after him ever since. Skeptical of Aram’s tale, Dr. Gluck remained certain that it would take much therapy to get at the root of his paranoia, so she suggested that he make an appointment.
Later, after Aram and Archer left Dr. Gluck’s office, a bum walked over to their car while they were at a stop sign to clean their windshield. While giving the bum some money, Aram became petrified in horror as he recognized that he was Brother Nicholas. Pushing down on the accelerator, Aram drove himself and Archer away as fast as possible, assuring Archer that the bum was most definitely a bum.
Chaos Effect Gamma
Finding the Secret Weapons running an exercise outside Heathrow airport, Bloodshot stopped Mach’s high–jinks before he alerted airport security of their presence. Asking Bloodshot to let him run the team his way, Charles "John" Sinclair reminded him that he was the Secret Weapon’s leader, a de facto decision that Sonar, who Bloodshot could tell was bitter over what happened to the original Para–Man, did not agree to. Upset, Sinclair told Sonar that there were many things he did not agree with that he was stuck with, just like she was stuck with him. Just then, Jillian Alcott arrived to inform the team that they had clearance to enter the Tower of London to diffuse a hostage situation. Watching the Secret Weapons walk away, Bloodshot whispered to Jillian that for a new team they already had a lot going against them. Meanwhile in suburban London, the Immortal Enemy, empowered by the influx of necromantic energy, gained the ability to transfer his consciousness from Timmy, his latest incarnation, to the boy’s father without touching his new host or having to kill the child.
Beneath the Tarmac of Heathrow Airport, as Bloodshot made his way to the locker room to retrieve his bag, the lights suddenly went out and the lift he was in plummeted to the ground. Awakening an hour later unable to access his internal clock, read his metabolic system, or employ his enhanced strength, Bloodshot realized that his nanites shut down when the elevator did. Some miles away, the Immortal Enemy, drawn into town by the effects of chaos, wandered the empty streets, which reminded him of the days when he could kill an entire family and it would take the authorities weeks to find the bodies. Two hours later, the Immortal Enemy discovered that he was burning out his host’s body and needed to find another one, when then he ran into an acceptable subject.
Under Heathrow, Bloodshot, unsure of what was going on topside, retrieved a dead guard’s gun and made his way to a system of access tunnels Neville Alcott told him about once. Coming upon a fork in the road, Bloodshot, unable to access any of the data stored in the nanites, had to make an educated guess on what path to follow, one of which had been walled off years earlier. Above ground, not many miles away, Cheng followed the death energy that caused the chaos around him in his new body, leaving Lloyd’s corpse behind on the lawn.
Reaching a dead end, Bloodshot turned back and found an exit that opened in a cemetery. Staring at Big Ben, Bloodshot noticed that there were no lights on in the city. Presuming that Para–Man had the sense to abort the mission, Bloodshot went to find the Secret Weapons. Sometime later, outside the Tower of London, Cheng attacked a sentry and two police officers, one of which shot him. Hitting Cheng on the back with the butt of his gun, Bloodshot stopped him from snapping a cop’s neck, when then, he recognized his distinctive eyes. Fighting Cheng hand to hand, Bloodshot accused him of being part of the craziness around them. Grabbing Bloodshot by the neck, Cheng, who was unable to take over his body, told him that he could make him watch while others died. Taking a switchblade out of a pouch, Bloodshot slashed Cheng’s face.
Certain that Cheng was connected to the night’s events, and feeling a different type energy coming off of him, Bloodshot chased him inside the tower. Feeling the same energy coming from the top of the tower, Bloodshot deduced that it was the center of all the chaos. Reaching the top of the tower, Cheng searched for the Silver Basin, a container of death energy that held the necromantic power he needed. Following the basin’s call to a hall in the wall, Cheng stepped through it, when then, Bloodshot jumped him and pushed him into the other room, where the Secret Weapons were fighting a man called Crona.
Clothes Make The Man
Standing outside the White Tower, Carol Hatcher accused Sinclair of not deserving to wear his suit, then she said that Richard would not have had them stand there like fools during a hostage situation. Pointing at the guards, Sinclair told Carol that there were two of their own inside, and that they deserved every chance to rectify the situation themselves. Laying against a tree, Andre DuBois asked Joe Valez what moved Carol, Richard’s death or the fact that Sinclair was wearing his Para–Man suit, which he himself was not sure he deserved. Assuring Andre that Sinclair, with whom he had worked before, could handle the suit, Joe said that Carol was another story. Fed up, Sinclair ordered Carol to fall in line, when then Tex, one of the burglars, opened fire on the guards. Telling the others to check their suits’ batteries, Para–Man ordered them to breach the tower.
Standing by a window at the top of the tower, Tex watched with delight as the guards scattered, when then a raven flew at him and he shot him. Recounting the legend of the ravens that guard the royal treasures in the tower, the burglars’ leader, a blonde woman, told them that the queen could sleep easy as they were too stupid to pull off a simple robbery. Telling the woman that there was time for them to retrieve the Silver Basil, Tex questioned why their boss wanted her to tag along and wondered what her part in the robbery was. Assuring Tex that he did not have to worry about her, the woman told him that he worry about the storm. Telling Tex that he would find out why she was there soon enough, the woman discreetly placed her hand on a knife.
Under the cover of a blanket of white noise generated by Sonar’s suit, the Secret Weapons broke into the tower, startling a sentry in the lower level. Advancing on the man from opposite sides, Tank and Mach told him to lower his weapon, when then the lights went out. Refusing to surrender, the man shot Tank, who snapped his neck. Upstairs, the woman killed all the burglars and filled the basin with their blood, which released a surge of energy. Kneeling down, the woman recited an incantation that called forth Crona, a spirit trapped within the basin that manifested beside her. Seeking nourishment, Crona sucked the woman’s soul.
Hearing a scream, Para–Man sent Mach to investigate, but soon as he took a step, Mach fell down and they all discovered that their suits no longer worked, but nevertheless, Para–Man ordered them to go up. Reaching the top of the tower, the Secret Weapons were astonished to find the badly decomposed corpses of the guards and the burglars. Enraged, Sonar accused Sinclair of being responsible for those people’s deaths, when then Crona ordered them to leave him to the power in the basin or suffer the same fate as the other mortals.
Angered, Mach lunged against Crona, who easily pushed him out of his way. Grabbing a scepter, Tank hit Crona across the jaw, but proving to be stronger than he was, Crona grabbed Tank’s neck and pushed him to the ground. Looming over Tank, Crona reached for his head to rip it off his shoulders, when then Sonar came running toward him with a sword. Promising to keep her alive long enough for her to see her own body rot, Crona shot Sonar with a blast from his hand, but then Para–Man tackled her to the ground before it connected. Standing over Para–Man and Sonar, Crona accused them of distracting him from tapping into the power within the basin, when just then, Bloodshot and the Immortal enemy came crashing through a wall.
Grabbing the side of the basin, the Immortal Enemy could feel it drawing the power from whatever was going on outside in great amounts, while Crona, sensing that he was not like the others, warned him not to test him. Deciding that they were out of their league, Para–Man ordered the others to retreat, but Bloodshot refused to let either Cheng or Crona have the basin. Telling Para–Man that whatever was going on outside powered Cheng, Bloodshot explained that it was the silver that was focusing it and ordered him to destroy it. Certain that his suit would protect him, Tank grabbed Mach and threw him against the basin, which shattered into a dozen pieces. Enraged, Crone lunged against Tank, when suddenly the ravens swoop down on the broken pieces of the basin and took them with them, taking Crona’s power as well. Grabbing an ax, Tank then beheaded Crona, who turned into energy and vanished.
Sometime later, while paramedics took Bloodshot out in a stretcher, Carol accused Sinclair of killing Richard and two guards had to drag her away.
While on his way to Heathrow Airport, where Neville was expecting him to brief him on a mission to capture Mademoiselle Noir, who had escaped from MI–6, Colin King avoided an airplane that crashed within meters of his car. Feeling the blistering heat on his face and the stench of aviation fuel and smoke in the air, Colin wondered what brought the plane down, when then he heard the shrieking sound of a second plane crashing behind him and he realized that there was nothing natural about these disasters. Sometime later, Ninjak broke into MI–6 headquarters through the vent system. Informing Alcott that Heathrow was a disaster area, with planes dropping like lead balloons, Ninjak asked if anyone knew what was going on, so Sinclair told him that before everything died on them they registered a global power surge on the electromagnetic scale.
Deducing that Dr. Silk would be blind and more helpless than he had ever been before, Ninjak wanted to strike, when, suddenly, Mademoiselle Noir, empowered by the chaos effect, materialized in the middle of the room as an unearthly Goddess behind a carpet of red muzzle flash fired by puppets who were once MI–6’s finest. Falling to their knees, all the men in the room became Noir’s slaves, except for Ninjak, who despite his racing heart and lust for her, resisted her irresistible charms. Amazed by Ninjak’s resistance, Janine desired to know more about him. Taking Ninjak to a tropical island, Janine found him to be a man who had strength that made him a worthy lover. Savoring his immunity to her power, Noir found Colin to be everything she desired.
Confessing that when Darque made her what she was she lost the chance to love, Janine told Colin that she loathed the human cattle that fell at her feet, and that she longed for a partner who would love her, not her powers. In awe of her, Colin told Janine that in exchange of her taking him to face Dr. Silk so that he could finally end his struggle with him, he would be hers forever. Finding his heart’s desire to be a fair exchange for her own, Janine entered Colin’s mind and used his memory of Silk to take him to Dr. Silk.
Appearing in Webnet central in less than a blink of an eye, Ninjak engaged Silk’s security guards, when then Janine ended their lives with a snap of her fingers. Telling her to stay out of his business, Ninjak moved forward, but Janine ignored him and continued to interfere, until he threatened to rescind their deal unless she allowed him to finish things his way. Reaching the inner sanctum, Ninjak swiftly dispatched Fitzhugh, Silk’s bodyguard. Holding Silk at bay with the tip of his sword, Ninjak ignored his pleas for mercy and was ready to strike, but then he hesitated and pulled back. Realizing that his journey had been a mockery of everything he struggled for, Ninjak accused Janine of taking away the challenge and the prize of being hollow. Accusing Ninjak of being unbearably noble or pathetically squeamish, Janine used her spell on Silk to make him beg Ninjak to kill him, but turning his back on both of them, Ninjak told her to let him go and called their deal off.
Upset, Janine blasted Ninjak across the room with a wave of her hand and threatened to burn the flesh from his bones if he defied her any further, when just then, she noticed Fitzhugh wheeling Silk out of the room. Though she commanded him to return to her, Janine’s spell did not work on Fitzhugh, who took Silk away. Facing Ninjak, Janine demanded that he honor their deal. Asking Janine to reach into his mind, Colin told her that it was fitting that they should be together since they were kindred spirits destined to never find real love again. Showing her his memories of Michiko Okubo, Colin told Janine that her prize was as empty as his. Appalled, Janine accused Colin of buying her help with an empty promise. Her heart fluttering away, Janine released Ninjak, who through the vestige of their psychic bond, felt her hopelessness before she vanished.
Finding himself alone, Ninjak centered his thoughts and focused to drive aside the madness of that insane day. Though he threw away the change to kill Silk, Ninjak felt no regret, certain that Silk would soon die by his hand in a victory that he would earn. Hearing Webnet’s guards approaching, rallied, rearmed, and returned in force, Ninjak welcomed the challenge.
Risen From The Dead
Outside Heathrow airport, Gilad witnessed as an airplane crashed on the tarmac after its engines cut off as a result of the strange clouds gathered overhead. Wondering if anyone survived the crash, Gilad jumped over a fence and ran toward the airplane to help the survivors. Ripping a door off its hinges, Gilad walked inside the plane, while outside the paramedics and ambulances gathered around the crash. Kicking the emergency door aside, Gilad emerged from the wreck holding two children on his shoulders. Hearing the paramedics say that even their flashlights did not work, Gilad felt like he was back in the dark ages. Watching the paramedics take the passengers away, glad that theirs was the only plane on the glide path, Gilad wondered what would have caused the disaster, when just then, he felt a strange sensation that drew him elsewhere. Resigned to accept that the whole world seemed to have turned on its rear end in the last few hours, Gilad decided to play by the new rules and followed the strange calling wherever it might take him. Meanwhile, Malloch, empowered by the chaos effect, escaped his confinement within a cavern in a hillside near Heathrow
Sensing Gilad’s presence in a horse ranch where he was borrowing a mare, Malloch thanked the fates for delivering his old enemy into his hands. Retreating into the cavern, a resting place prepared by his followers, Malloch opened his lady Julia’s crypt and commanded her to rise so they might reign once again, but the death power that brought him back was not enough to rouse her from her slumber. Soon, Malloch found Gilad looking to take what he sought from him. Meanwhile, in Brooklyn, Geoff McHenry made his way to Gilad’s apartment looking to gather others who could help him against the chaos effect, when suddenly the pipes blew up and the stairwell filled with water that threatened to drown him.
While riding through a canyon, Gilad got the inexplicable feeling that Geoff was in trouble, when suddenly Malloch threw him off his horse. Lunging against Gilad, Malloch said that his death would awaken his lady, but Gilad hit him across the face with a rifle and knocked him to the ground. Looming over Malloch, Gilad told him that he believed that he had died in a fire. Crawling away, Malloch said that the cursed silver coins wielded power beyond that ken that saved his body even as the fire took away his life, and that he had laid there ever since, interred alongside his coven, waiting for that night of death. Shooting the mountain to seal the entrance to the cave, Gilad told Malloch that he would have to dig his friends out. Crying out for Julia, Malloch used his power to barrage Gilad with a pile of rocks, but, standing his ground, Gilad shot him repeatedly. Taunting Malloch to pray to his dark Gods to keep his dusty bones together, Gilad shot him in the chest and said that that night was no different than the other times he defeated him and his damned priests.
Standing over Malloch’s remains, Gilad wondered what had brought him back. Taking a dagger from his bag, Gilad walked into Malloch’s resting chamber to finally bring peace to the lost souls that followed him and look again upon the face of the woman he stole from him. Back in Brooklyn, Geoff yelled for anyone to help him and asked the walls to tell him how to get out, when, suddenly, he vanished in a flash of light.
Reaching London’s East Side on his mare, Gilad felt Geoff calling him again, but he also felt that he was all right. Thinking that if anyone in the city would know what was going on it would be his brother, and that he would not be surprised if he had a hand in it, Gilad rode to Ivar’s apartment, where he found a letter addressed to Aram that said that Ivar had left in a time arc. Getting the feeling that the world was coming to an end, Gilad left Ivar’s apartment thinking that there was nothing he could do about it.
Trapped in the flooded stairwell of Gilad’s building, Geoff could no longer feel the geo–lines of the Earth, when, suddenly, he vanished in a flash of light and reappeared in a cemetery in New Orleans where Sandria Darque told him that the world was full of Darque energy and chaos was upon them. Sandria took Geoff's hand and said that there were others they needed to find before they traveled to Ladakh.
That evening, while Archer and Aram were stuck in Los Angeles traffic, an earthquake shattered the bridge they were on and sent all the cars down to the ground. While helping the other drivers, Archer got the feeling that Ladakh was calling him home, so he and Aram went to find a way to get there. As they sky darkened and the temperature fell, Archer said that it seemed like the end of the world, when then he and Aram came upon a mini mall under the protection of a man armed with two guns that was keeping the looters away. Stepping forth, Archer assured the man, Fred Ames of Ames music, that they were not looters. Shortly, a group of actual looters broke into the store, and while Archer and Aram attempted to dispatch them without bloodshed, one of them shot Aram in the chest and Fred, unaware of Aram’s immortality, killed him. Astonished to see Aram still standing, Fred gave him a boxed set of jazz records as thanks for his help.
Taking their leave, Archer and Aram followed a crack in the Earth that lead directly to Ladakh that took them to a petroleum field overran by dinosaurs. Igniting the oil around them to cook the dinosaurs, Archer and Aram took shelter in a ridge within the crevice. Just as the fire sucked the oxygen up, and it looked like the end was at hand, Sandria and Geoff appeared and took Aram and Archer with them to Ladakh. Telling them that the chasm would take them to the temple, Sandria left to search for the one who could end the chaos.
As Archer and the others neared the temple, a volley of arrows stopped them in their tracks. Showing himself, Chan ordered them to halt where they were, but then Archer told him that they were friends and had come to help. Aware of who Archer was, Chan gladly guided them to the temple. Reaching a high peak from where they could look at the temple in the distance, Archer knelt before it, grateful that he was able to see it again. Telling Archer and the others that a traveler had fallen out of the sky and not yet regained consciousness, Chan took them inside the temple in the hope that they might recognize him. Walking inside a room where the monks kept Ivar as comfortable as possible, Aram knelt beside his brother and grabbed his hand in his.