-Good day sentinel comics fans. I am writer Brian Le Wolfhunt. Many ask for adventures of Maria Helena and never quite get the stories they want, so I provided a story from her career as the time pirate alongside her crew. In this story, La Capitán gets stranded in the end, the final wasteland that remains of earth. But how does she get there? Well it all starts with a thrilling action setpiece between her and our mighty heroes.
Tides of Time
Buenos dias! I am Maria Helena Teresa Fafila Servanda Jimena Mansuara Paterna Domenga Gelvira Placia Sendina Belita Eufemia Columba Gontina Aldonza Mafalda Cristina Tegrida de Falcon. I am La Capitán of the timeship, La Paradoja Magnifica! Isn’t she a beautiful vessel? She’s the first ship I ever sailed back in 16th century Spain. The galleon was flooded with chronal energies of the timestream on its voyage. Well, stream isn’t accurate. Time is more like a boundless ocean with ports allowing different access to locations and times. I have sailed that ocean for a couple decades seeking fortune and adventure. There are many times to visit and infinite timelines to explore, but today me and my crew seek a little payback.
I held the throwing knife in my left hand while my right held the helm. The knife still had a bit of dried blood on it, the results of an injury that my crew member, Siege-Breaker, still complained about. The woman who threw the knife lived in the early 21st century of my home timeline, and the knife tried to anchor itself to the time that it originated. It’s how I can find locations and times that I have been before. I tilted the wheel to port, following the minuscule pull of the object’s tether. It guided me along.
“What is ze plan, mon ami?” L’Épeiste asked. Pierre, who took the name L’Épeiste, is a musketeer of the french variety. That meant he had a big hat and a sword and doesn’t fight with a musket all that often. I always found that rather odd. He is a better fencer than I am but doesn’t hold the same authority.
“The plan is to go in, charge the heroes, defeat them, and then take whatever plunder we can find. Simple really.” I explained.
“Can’t argue with that plan.” Battle Forged said as he sharpened his axe. As a viking, Orinn the Battle Forged is always up to combat. He settled his helmet on his head and activated the Heads Up Display on the helmet of futuristic make. He stared ahead, anticipating the coming fight.
Up the stairs to the topdeck came Chip. Charles “Chip” Stevenson wore the outfit of those from what he called “the Royal Airforce” during what he called “The Great War.” From what he described of it this war was considerably unpleasant. He shifted his aviator’s goggles out of his eyes before speaking. “Ma’am, I am not one to question you, but are you sure that is the best plan we have right now?”
“Chip, time travel is not an exact science.” I told him. “I can’t really make plans since I have no idea what we will be getting into. We will just have to see and improvise.”
The Amazing Mabel, a twentieth century American circus trapeze artist, swung down from the ropes above. “Chip darling, leave the boss alone. She is doing her best. We are used to planning as we go.”
“I know.” Chip relied. “But the old soldier in me is never comfortable with just just blindly rushing in.”
“Maybe,” Battle-Forged began, “if you learned to enter battle with a pair of balls then you can learn courage.”
Chip glared at Battle-Forged. “Unlike barbarians like you, I know the value of proper battle tactics. You can take your outdated little hatchet and trade it in for a useful weapon.”
“Try and make me.” Battle-Forged retorted. “This weapon will kill you just just as well as the coward’s tool you hold to your side.”
“Basta!” I shouted at the two of them. “Chip, man a port side cannon. Battle-Forged, a starboard cannon, and the two will you will not utter another word or I will have you both tied up and dragged behind the ship! Comprende?”
“Ay Capitán.” They both answered in unison before leaving to follow my orders.
Mabel watched them leave and said, “Like stubborn children, aren’t they?”
“They are just wound up. Nerves. They can’t take their frustrations out on me so they leap down each other’s throats.”
“How much longer until we get there?” Mabel asked.
“Long enough that i will suggest you return to your post and get ready for battle stations.” I turned to the last person at the deck. “That goes for you to, L’Épeiste.”
“Oui, Capitán.” He said. He rushed down the stairs. Mabel did a theatrical little bow then started climbing the ropes to join Trueshot at the crow’s nest.
I breathed a sigh of contentment. I always enjoyed a solitary moment, like in the old days when I was on my own in the timestream. I like my crew, but they have proven to be a lot of bother sometimes. I could compare them to the family I was born into, except I am the center of my crew’s world. They would not be here if not for me.
Not long after that I began to feel the pull on the knife strengthen. I felt it grow to the point of near tangibility. I knew we were almost there.
Below me, carrying a spare cannonball to the starboard cannons was Seige-Breaker. He wore his blue modified knight’s armor with his flaming spear affixed to his back. I shouted down at him. “Ahoy, Geremio!”
Seige-Breaker turned to look at me through his thick glasses, an early gift to improve his performance. “Ahoy Capitán! What do you need?”
“We are nearing our destination. Go bellow decks and make sure Final Breath is ready for battle.”
Seige-Breaker saluted, dropped off his cannonball, then went bellow decks.
Then I felt it, the ship itself seemed to thrum with energy. It shook and bucked to the oncoming forces. The air around us seemed to become extremely dense. Colors in the timestream began to shift and change and morph into unimaginable shades and hues. Up ahead I could see the creation of a portal of purple energy. La Paradoja Magnifica picked up speed as the currents brought us towards a material plane. I shouted to the crew, “Brace yourselves mateys! we are about to make landfall!” A shout of excitement emitted from all the crew members as we passed through the portal.
This crossing felt just like every other, even back to the first one that I ever encountered. I felt one form of energy leave my body and another form enter. My body felt like it was being crushed and stretched simultaneously. I felt the all too familiar jolt of pain move through me as every molecule of my body was forced to adapt to the form of the physical place that lays inside time. I knew all my crew members felt it too. It was horrible but it was also exhilarating. It was death and birth at the same time and these moments were as much a part of me as my right hand. I wouldn’t trade a single one of these moments for the world.
And then the moment passed as we made it through the portal. I took stock of my surroundings. It was more or less what I expected. The timeship was flying over a twenty-first century metropolitan city called Megalopolis.
Chip whistled from port side. “No matter how many times I see it, I never get used to these cities.”
“One cities is much like any other.” Said Final Breath, as he had just came up from bellow the deck. Ishikawa Zenjirou Kagemune wore a fancy robe from the east, a kimono. A similarly fancy sword hung at his hip, emitting a faintly green glow. He says he is a ronin from Japan.
Trueshot climbed down from the ropes. “To see a city this large, it makes me wonder the limits of human ingenuity.” The pale skinned amazon took a glowing arrow from her thigh quiver. As she did so, I noticed Chip secretly ogle her scantily clothed figure.
“Focus on the job everyone.” I shouted down to everyone. I turned the helm to point the ship towards my target, the giant building in the shape of the letter F that towered over the tallest skyscrapers of the city. The timeship sailed through the air towards the monolithic building. Already the city below began to stir as people noticed the flying, steampunk galleon moving towards the Freedom Tower. Helicopters took flight and passerby began to cry out in surprise.
As we neared the colossal letter, I called out orders to my crew. “We will be coming along to the building’s right side. Chip, Siege-Breaker, and Final Breath, all of you man a cannon on the port side. Mabel, Trueshot, the two of you prepare for a swing boarding. L’Épeiste, Battle Forged, both of you keep your eyes up and check for hostiles.”
The crew followed the orders as I called them. I pulled up alongside the building. My crew pointed the cannons at the buildings. I raised my hand then dropped it down, shouting “Fire broadside!”
There was a loud detonation and a set of cannonballs flew into the windows of the building before exploding, shattering the glass of the windows on the whole floor and the floors above and below it. When the danger of the glass was gone, Trueshot and Mabel jumped off the starboard bow while holding some ropes, swinging under the ship and flying towards the tower. They let go of the ropes at the perfect moment to launch themselves across the gap and inside. They searched the nearby area while I docked the boat alongside the building and Battle Forged lowered a bridge from the deck to the building.
“Anyone inside?” I asked the scouts through the comms.
“Empty as a desert, ma’am.” Mabel answered.
“Excelente.” I let go of the wheel and gestured to the rest of the crew. “Todos! Vamos!” I charged down the bridge.
I entered a large, open area with office cubicles, large hallways and several entrances to training rooms, labs, and other rooms that superheroes need. “Where are they?” I wondered out loud.
“We kicked in their front door.” Battle Forged said. “You’d think they would show up to meet us.” No sooner than he said that did a hero show up, though not one of the ones that I was expecting.
Mabel suddenly buckled from an electric shock that came out of nowhere before a previously unnoticed speck grew in size next to her, punching Trueshot in the gut. This person was a pink skinned lady with knee and elbow spikes.
I created a portal, reached through it, and withdrew a flintlock. “Where are the Freedom 5?” I demanded to the alien hero.
“Those friend persons are doing other things.” She answered before diving forward towards me and growing until she filled the room from floor to ceiling and reaching out to grab at me. I barely managed to dive through the opening between her thumb and index finger. L’Épeiste behind me was not so lucky. He was gripped in her large hand and squeezed.
Trueshot readied an explosive arrow at the alien’s hand when there was a small detonation off to one side of the large room. Suddenly Trueshot’s bow hand sprouted ice, freezing it to the bow. In surprise, Trueshot released the arrow, which barely moved to halfway down its own length before getting stuck in the ice.
I searched in the direction on the shot to see a one-eyed woman bearing a modern pistol in each hand. Her eyepatch made her smile seem menacing as she leveled one of her guns at me and fired.
Acting on instinct, I leaned to the side and fired back. Apparently both our shots missed and we both scrambled for cover. Battle Forged, ignoring the danger the guns presented, charged at the one eyed woman. She popped up from cover long enough for his axe to nearly cleave her in two. She fell backwards and rolled away from him, and continued to fire at him when she recovered her balance. Battle Forged was hit 3 times in the chest, which sent him staggering but his futuristically enforced armor stopped the worst of the damage.
I took a second to take in the the fight. L’Épeiste was leaning against a wall, nursing from what appeared to be broken ribs. Trueshot was trying to thaw out her hand. Chip was trying to corner the alien behind a desk while Mabel flanked her. Siege-Breaker stood by me. I couldn’t tell where Final Breath was.
I dropped my flintlock into a portal and withdrew a replacement gun, a laser pistol of Thorathian make. I got ready to help Battle Forged subdue the gunslinger but I was interrupted when a nearby door exploded in cold. A beam of ice flew from the door and hit Siege-Breaker, sending him sprawling. A man in a black mech suit walked grimly walked out of the room and he spoke to me from behind his opaque, blue, glass faceplate. “And here I thought this would be a boring weekend.” He grumbled before blasting another ray of cold.
I dived, which saved me from the brunt of the attack but it still caught my leg. I felt like I had instantly gotten frostbite and I felt chills all over. I knew it would pass in a second or two so I wasted no time in shooting at him.
The laser shot hit him in the side, spinning him a bit. It was enough to divert him from me long enough for Mabel to swoop in from nowhere, landing a hard falling stomp on the mech suit’s helmet. The man inside grunted and grabbed at her. Their fight took them away from her.
Chip returned to me, guns pointing at the ice warrior. I demanded, “where is the alien?”
“She disappeared.” He answered.
“Well find her. She is going to be una problema.”
“Yes, Capitán.” He intoned before searching the floor.
He needn't have bothered. From a point by his feet, the alien grew from the size of an ant to fill the room again, picking Chip up and slamming him into the ceiling. She dropped him and punched down at me. I quickly reached into a portal and grabbed a sword, cutting at her knuckled as I dodged the punch. I aimed my gun at her head but just as I fired she shrunk down to my height and grabbed both my arms. She head butted me in the face and I dropped my weapons. However, I quickly made more portals and removed a pair of knives. I stabbed her with the both of them before kicking her off of me. She stumbled away then shrank back to tiny sized again.
However, before I could breathe there was a creaking sound from the ceiling, where the alien smashed Chip against it. The spot in the ceiling suddenly broke and a man fell through, right on top of me. The floor beneath me inexplicably broke as well and we both fell through the floor and when we hit the floor below, the bulk of his weight landed right on my stomach.
With the wind knocked out of me, all I could do was take in the appearance of the man who fell on me. He wore a black and yellow costume with the emblem of a die on his chest. He also wore a black domino mask. He looked very shocked at what just happened. “Oh gosh.” He said. “I didn’t hurt you, did I?”
“Stupido.” I growled then stabbed at him with one of the knives. It penetrated though barely sunk in an inch. However, the jab did surprise the young man into jumping off of me. I scrambled to my feet.
From above I heard “I’m coming down.” And then Siege-Breaker was there with us. He charged the boy in yellow, who yelled “oh jeez!” before engaging with Siege-Breaker.
Another voice sounded from above, this time from the one eyed gun fighter. “Pete! Get out of Meredith’s lab! Don’t break anything!” There was gunfire above and more yells of alarm from my crew mates.
I summoned a cutlass and leaped over a set of science equipment in this laboratory. I slashed at the boy, hitting him in the back. He took it in stride however and turned to grab me, then throw me into Siege-Breaker. Siege-Breaker landed flat on his back but I rolled over him as we landed and regained my feet quickly. The boy seemed pleasantly surprised that the maneuver worked but then got serious again when I leaped at him, slashing with wide, deadly cuts wherever I could land them. When he successfully dodged my 8th attack I decided to change tactic. I rushed in, clapped my off hand to the side of his head, spun and drove his head into the nearest object, which happened to be a computer monitor.
Apparently that turned something on since the room began to hum with energy.
The boy kicked me off of him, picked up a crate of beakers and threw it at me. The crate hit me like a ton of bricks and knocked me onto my backside. Siege-Breaker had recovered by then and started stabbing at the boy with his flaming halberd. He nicked him a few times but the boy managed to get in close and wrestle Siege-Breaker to the ground with his superhuman strength. The boy then began to punch Siege-Breaker to try and keep him down. My crew mate didn’t have long until he was out cold.
Then Final Breath just seemed to appear out of nothingness behind the boy and slashed him in the back with his katana. The blade didn’t go any deeper than mine did, but unlike my sword, Final Breath’s katana was coated in a fast acting poison.
The hero in the yellow costume gasped and wretched but he had sense enough to turn and punch Final Breath right in the face, which laid him out. Siege-Breaker recovered his halberd and stabbed at the hero from the floor. The boy backed away and dived into the secure, explosion proof room in the laboratory. He slammed the door shut while Siege-Breaker got up.
Siege_Breaker was about to attempt to open the door when I called out. “No, just leave him. Seal him inside the room.” My past experiences with this hero told me that engaging with him was very risky, even compared to most of the powerhouses of the universe. Siege-Breaker obeyed my command and used his flaming halberd to melt the locks on the door, preventing them from opening again.
I helped Final Breath off the floor then summoned a grappling hook to get myself to the floor above, where the other heroes were doubtlessly fighting with the rest of my crew.
From inside the lab’s shelter, I heard the boy say, “Come on. Something’s got to work.” while he seemed to be pushing buttons at random.
Then there was a flash of purple energy in one of the science canisters at the end of the room and a time portal opened. “Dios Mio.” I cursed. “What now?” I got a new gun and aimed it at the portal.
When i saw what stepped through, I couldn’t believe my eyes. “You have got to be kidding me.”