Dimensions of Fury
Brilliant white light blinded his eye and burned his flesh. Time stopped along with his heartbeat as the universe squeezed his body in a cruel vise, turning his insides into pulp. Razor sharp agony lanced through him like a spear of molten lava, the pain so intense he couldn’t even scream.
Seconds later, or maybe it was an eternity, he was flung out of the burning light into freezing darkness, hurtling through a vacuum devoid of light, heat, gravity or air. His lungs screaming in protest and with his sense of up and down turned inside out, Nicholas Fury, Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. desperately tried to brace himself just as a second explosion of brilliant white light hit him. Once again it did no good as burning pain assaulted his central nervous system.
Noise and motion.
The deep growl of an engine and the painful jarring of his battered body suggested a ground vehicle on very rough terrain. The distinctive whine-pop of energy weapons and the sharp retort of automatic rifle blasts told him that he was in a running gunfight. Vaguely, he wondered if it was Val, Sharon or Dum Dum that had pulled his bacon out of the fire and back into the frying pan.[Command Base Delta, come in. This is Midnight Rose Company calling. Over.]
A female voice. One he didn’t recognize. He knew the language, however. Arabic.
The question was, was he in the hands of a terrorist cell or was he with an ally? After all, very very few Arabic nations allowed females to fight in a battle. Who the hell was running this op?[Midnight Rose, this is Command Base Delta. What’s your SitRep?]
Another voice, this one male began to chant softly behind him. Two gentle hands touched lightly at his temples and slowly his pain began to diminish. The chanting was in a language that he wasn’t familiar with and the healing technique was completely foreign to him, but he appreciated it.
As the pain lessened, he turned his attention back to the female speaking in Arabic on the communications system.[Send back up to get us an exit. We have one Slayer down, one missing Wicca and three injured combatants. It’s a total
Fury couldn’t help but blink at the American military term being spoken in English in the middle of an Arabic diatribe. Although, from what little he’d heard so far, “clusterfuck” sounded like an apt description.
His slight movement didn’t go undetected. The man, Fury guessed that he was a medic, offered him a slight smile before calling out to the others in the vehicle.[The Rider’s coming around. Inform Delta. He’ll need the infirmary.]
Fury opened his eye to see a very petite and very young girl in a sky blue uniform with black armored plates in strategic places shift into his line of vision. Her dark chocolate colored skin was glistening with sweat and her long black hair was starting to come loose from its braid in spots. She wore an odd assortment of high tech and ancient weaponry and a circular shaped pin over her heart with two lights on it, one steady green and one a blinking red.[Delta. We picked up a Rift Rider. He scans as a human. He wears a dark blue uniform with unidentified silver markings.]
Fury cast the female an incredulous look. How could anyone, especially a military officer, not recognize a S.H.I.E.L.D. uniform? Even if she couldn’t identify him as the Director, she should still know how to recognize any S.H.I.E.L.D. agent on sight. He was about to remark on that when the voice from the Communication Center of this mysterious “Delta” spoke, the sound coming from the odd shaped pin on the female’s uniform.[Understood, Midnight Rose. Proceed with Rider Contact Protocol 1. If that fails, got to Protocol 2. Failing that, knock the Rider out and let the infirmary deal with it.]
Fury didn’t recognize the term “Rider”, but from the way everyone’s eyes slid over to him, he at least knew who they meant. Himself.
Suddenly, a deep voice speaking English cut in from the Comm Unit.
“Nafritti? This is Harris. What’s your Six?”
The pretty black female turned and shuffled away slightly. Fury could see her peering towards the front of the vehicle and its driver.[Two point five miles north of the T’Swanshil Creek, Commander. We’re just west of the Tustin Pass Road and running parallel of it towards the creek. We lost two, have three injured and are running dangerously low on fuel. We have the Garrin Crystal, however.]
“Can you get to Paruva?”[Negative Commander. We’re being pursued by twenty Turok-Han on motorbikes and three Prysceltics working as air support.]
“Shit. Paruva isn’t equipped to defend against Prysceltics.”
Fury blinked. What the hell were they talking about? Some new tech? A new terrorist cell?
“Naffy? What’s your tonnage? We’ll have to do a mystical extraction.”[Most of my team is in the Krugel, it’s a fully armored land cruiser. I also have three two-man teams out on speeders.]
There was a brief pause and Fury could feel his irritation growing along with his confusion. The only thing stopping him from blowing up on the spot was that he didn’t want to pull anyone’s attention away from the fight they were already engaged in by making them deal with a totally unknown element freaking out in their midst.
“When you reach the creek, head due east. An extraction team will meet you. They’ll take you to Air Transport Four. Copy?”[Yes, Commander.]
“Good. Delta out.”
Fury watched as the female, Naffy?, hit the Comm Unit on her uniform and its blinking red link went dark. Then she turned and disappeared towards the cockpit, presumably to let the driver know about the extraction team.
Now that his attention was off of the Comm Officer, Fury once again became fully aware of the sounds of battle around him. Weapons fire, explosions, the scent of burning ozone, the rumble of a large engine. It was very familiar to him. The only thing that stood out as odd in his mind was what seemed to be the growling roar of an angry animal. Actually, it sort of reminded him of the time S.H.I.E.L.D. was called in to defend Tokyo against Godzilla.
Fury took a brief moment to send up a prayer that they weren’t being chased by some giant fire breathing lizard.
The strange medic was back before Fury could make sense of the growling roars, his gentle smile belying the tension easily seen in his eyes.[Well, Sir. From the way you were focused on Nafritti, I would say that you probably understand Arabic, English or possibly both?]
Fury’s normally gravelly voice was a harsh croak. While his pain had been greatly diminished, his vocal cords were still very raw.
“Shhh. Don’t try to speak. You were injured during your trip through the dimensional rift, but there are healers where we are going and they will fix you up right as rain.”
The medic grimaced slightly and glanced around the vehicle before looking into Fury’s good eye.
“I’m sorry about the battlefield welcome, but it’s a good thing we found you before the Turok-Han did. They tend to kill and eat any humans they find.”
Highly trained stoic mask or no, Fury couldn’t help but feel his eye go wide in shock at that. The medic merely sighed sadly.
“Yes, I did mean to say kill and eat. You see, our world is in the midst of a terrible war and the battle lines are drawn between species.”
Fury opened his mouth, but whether it was to demand further details or to demand that the medic be given a drug test, he’d never know. At that moment, a large explosion rocked the powerful vehicle and a male voice cried out in pain.
The medic looked down at Fury quickly and he was stunned to see that the man’s eyes were glowing a deep emerald green.
Fury twisted his head around to watch as the medic scrambled to the back of the vehicle and crouched down over a young man with burns across his arm and face. The scent of cooked flesh was sickening in the tight space. Instead of administering first aid to the wounded solider, the medic closed his eyes and began chanting. The words were in that same foreign language he’s heard earlier. Dimly at first, but with growing intensity, the medic’s fists began to glow green like his eyes had. Once both fists shone a brilliant green, the medic placed one hand on the burned face and one hand on the burned arm. Fury watched in silence as both wounds began to heal at an incredible rate of speed.
A mutant? One with a healing factor that can be shared?
Fury had never heard of that before. Sergeant Logan, aka Wolverine, had a healing factor, but it only worked on his own injuries. Still, stranger things had happened. That didn’t explain the weird chanting though.
The medic, Sammy?, finished his chant and the green glow instantly faded from his hands. Fury watched as he seemed to try to stand back up before finally slumping over his patient in a faint. Gritting his teeth and bracing for pain, Fury pushed himself up from his prone position. Flares of agony sparked up in various body parts and he was certain that he felt two ribs grind together. That wasn’t as important as getting the two wounded deeper into the vehicle and someone back at the gunner’s port.
Limping over to Sammy, he pulled the medic off of the gunner only to be stopped by an older caramel skinned man with disconcertingly blue eyes.
“Stand down soldier. I’m just evacing him to the med-bay.”
The man stared at Fury for a long second as if trying to read his sincerity. Finally satisfied, the man nodded and stepped back to his station.
“Yes. Fine. Take them both.”
The man’s English was heavily accented with French, which was another weird piece to this mysterious puzzle he found himself in. Fury only nodded, however, and pulled Sammy out of the line of fire. Putting the medic where he himself had just been laying, Fury when back and pulled the gunner back to relative safety.
There wasn’t anything more that Fury could do for the two of them. The gunner’s burns had been healed by Sammy and Sammy himself seemed to be suffering merely from exhaustion. There was something, however, that Fury could do and do very well.
Grunting at the slowly returning pain, Fury made his way over to the unmanned rifle as quickly as he could. A quick examination showed it to be a modified H&K MP5. The he turned his eye to look out of the gunner’s hole. And gasped.
There were roughly a dozen of human-like beings chasing them on motorcycles. Human-like, because while their bodies might be shaped like large humans, their faces were twisted into snarling horror masks. If that wasn’t enough, there was also two flying…things…that resembled giant crocodiles with huge bat wings. And, oh joy, the flying Godzilla wanna-be’s had some sort of breath weapon. It wasn’t fire, but the boiling brown clouds they coughed up wilted every bush and blade of grass unlucky enough to be in the way.
“The Turok-Han are on the bikes. Head or heart shots only.”
Fury turned a shocked look at the Frenchman with the caramel colored skin.
“The beasts in the air are Prysceltics. Aim for the eyes or base of the spine behind the wings if you can. Avoid the humans on the speeders. They’re ours.”
Fury set his jaw and lifted the modified submachine gun. He’d figure out what in the hell those things were later. Right now they just had to get out of this alive.
CA-CRACK CA-CRACK CA-CRACK
“What the blazing fuck was that!”
He almost dropped the weapon when the Turok-Han he’d just shot exploded into dust, sending its motorcycle swerving widely into another.
“That was a perfect kill shot, Rider. Do it again.”
The vehicle suddenly made a sharp turn and everyone had to scramble for purchase. Cursing under his breath at the abuse his damaged ribs were taking, Fury lifted the submachine gun again.
CA-CRACK CA-CRACK CA-CRACK
CA-CRACK CA-CRACK CA-CRACK
One Turok-Han disintegrated into dust seconds after its skull exploded. Another crashed its bike howling in agony at the new crater decorating its shoulder.
CA-CRACK CA-CRACK CA-
One of the Prysceltics threw a ball of sizzling black energy at the vehicle. For Fury, the world exploded into mind-blowing pain and then everything went dark