The Tourniquet Serials #4 (of 5)


Tags Tourniquet created by Christopher Michael Carter & Dennis Magnant

The Tourniquet Serials #4 of 5
By Christopher Michael Carter
Adapted from the original comic book scripts

A little girl screams at the top of her lungs, “BOOGEYMAN!!!”
A lynch mob treks through the swamps of the south led by a man with a torch rallying them, “We can’t let this monster get our families!  We gotta kill it!”
Not far from the angry crowd sits Cyprus looking glum and depressed.  His skin is smooth and the ruffled spiky scales that occur during his battle mode are missing as he sits on a log in his foggy environment.  His ears aren’t perked at all and his large mouth is as frowned as it could be as this giant beast sits in the swamp looking like a lost puppy.
“You must be who they’re looking for.”  A soft voice comes from the side as he turns to see the little Decimate walking around a big tree.
“I-I didn’t hurt anyone.”  Cyprus explains to this young stranger.
She puts her dainty hand on the giant’s arm, “Wanna get outta here?”
A bond found.  He nods, “Yeah.”
Now, the four of them sit around the table laughing, having a drink, and playing cards.
“Hey guys, new monster movie’s out.  Wanna go check it out?”  Deci asks the boys.
Cyprus seems uneasy, “Ugh, really?  And sit around people?”  His good time falls.
Deci rolls her eyes and nudges him with her elbow, “You goof; you don’t have to fight any of them.  Plus they’ll be dressed up like monsters.”
“Not such a bad idea.”  Shrugs Neorn.
Romus nods, “We have been working pretty hard.  A night out would be nice.”
“A night without bloodshed.”  Deci smiles eyeing the others.
Cyprus doesn’t look happy, “I think I’d rather take the bloodshed.”
“Oh c’mon, Negative Nancy, we’re going and we’ll have fun.”  She says with another friendly nudge.  They look over at the envelope previously delivered, still lying on the table.  “We’ll get to that later.”  Deci fans with her hand.  “Let’s get some popcorn and cotton candy.”  
The theater’s very bright, busy, and inviting with a sign out front stating “Monster Marathon Tonight!”
Inside is filled with moviegoers dressed like random monsters.  The four REAL monsters walk into the crowded theater.
“Feels off to be on the other side of spectacle.”  Big Cy says looking around.
“You guys glad we came?  This is fun!”  Decimate says with a childlike glee.
Cyprus stops, looking at a poster for a film called “Freak Boy” featuring a large boy almost hippo-like in appearance.
A man CRACKS a whip at someone in a monster costume, “Freak!”
Cyprus’ gigantic hand snatches the whip as the man reacts, “Who in the world!?”
“Grrrrr.”  Cyprus growls through grit teeth.
“We’re just playing around, dude!”  The man says as he’s joined by his friend in the monster costume.
Cyprus stops, realizing his mistake.  Decimate pulls him away as they rejoin the team.
“I thought we said no bloodshed.”  She says looking up to her friend.
“That wasn’t my fault.”  Cy shrugs.  “He started it.”
The four monsters sit down in the theater.  Deci holds a big cotton candy as they’re lit by the screen’s light.
“Great.  Everyone thinks we’re either in costume or part of the show.”  Cyprus sulks.
Decimate scoffs, “Who cares?  Just have fun.”
Cyprus’ face snarls as the title “Freak Boy” comes on screen.  
In said movie, villagers walk through the woods.
“There he is, men!”  A villager yells upon spotting the titular freak boy monster.
The villagers throw a net on the Freak Boy, “We’ll sell him to the circus!”  The mob drags the innocent beast off as it squeals.
The ringleader stands on a riser in a jacket and top hat, “Ladies and gentlemen!  Next up we have the amazingly hideous Freak Boy!”
The Freak Boy is unveiled, standing under the spotlight, distraught and depressed.
The crowd reacts, “Oooooooooo!”
Cyprus’ eyes gloss over as his mind retreats to a younger, slightly smaller version of himself in the swamps where his friends had found him.
“He went this way!”  A villager is heard in the near distance.
Cyprus runs through the swamp with big stomps and pushing the fog away while the angry crowd gains on him.
In the movie being watched, “Go on, now!  Give ‘em a show!”  The Ringleader yells whipping the Freak Boy with loud cracks.
Cyprus winces in the audience, flashing back to being whipped by the mob as a young monster boy.
In the movie, the Freak Boy reels from the crack.
Cyprus winces again, seeming to be the only one actually fazed in the audience.  In his mind, the angry mob throws things at his younger self, “Freak!”
Cyprus sits with the others growing more uneasy.  “Guys, I’m gon’ split.”  
“Where are you going?”  Neorn asks him in passing.
“I’ll see you later.”  And with that, the beast leaves.
Leaving the theater, the middle of the hallway with monster posters on both sides.  Cyprus steps out of the building, just at the entrance deep in thought.  He looks up at the bright lights before walking home in a slouch.
The other three still sit in the audience.  The crowd is full and enjoying the show.
“And now the Freak Boy will attempt the jump through the circle of flame!”  The Ringleader in the film tells his audience.
Back at headquarters, Brick enters the den where Cyprus is sitting down watching TV by his lonesome.
“What are you doing here?”  Brick asks.  “Thought you all went out.”
“Eh, wasn’t feelin’ it.  Took off and let the others enjoy it.”  The monster says sitting on a couch almost too small for him.
“That sucks, man.  It’s your night off and you’re spending it watching Stanley Cup highlights.”  Brick says in the doorway with a cup of coffee.
“Hey, I’ve had worse nights.”  Cy shrugs.
“I know that’s right.”  The two chuckle.  “I’ll see you later man.  Night.”  Brick leaves him be.
“Good night.”  Cyprus looks over at the ‘urgent’ envelope and picks it up, “Huh, forgot all about you.”
He looks inside intrigued, if not confused, to find a disc.  He puts the disc in the player and starts the program.  He sits back on the couch eating a bowl of popcorn, lit by the light of the TV.
“America, this is your last chance!”  A terrorist leader, not unlike the one dispatched from their trip overseas a while ago, speaks directly to the camera.  “I’m sure, by now, I’ve gotten your attention.”
“Uh oh…”  In his shock, popcorn falls out of Cyprus’ mouth.
“What you see is your precious military…”  The big TV screen is full with a large group of captive soldiers on their knees and completely bent and toppled over and blindfolded.
The couch, now empty with the popcorn bowl sitting on the table.  Cyprus runs with wide bounding steps and equally wide arm swings.
“Gotta get the guys.”  His heart pounds as he hurries.
The theater is still full with an extra viewer now who’s getting in the way of the monsters on screen comprised of prosthetic makeup.
“Hey, get out of the way!”
“Hey, you stepped on my foot!”
“What’s all the commotion?”  Decimate asks as Romus and Neorn as she stands looking around.
Cyprus stands in front of the screen in front of everyone, “GUYS!”
His three teammates and friends are surprised.
“Oh!”  Deci exclaims with bugged eyes.
“Well that explains it.”  Neorn nods nonchalantly.
“Seems serious.”  Romus looks at the others.
The projector light is bright on Cyprus in front of the screen, “Guys, we gotta go.  Now!”
The Runner is stocked and the team is boarded as it takes to the sky.
“Where are we going?”  Decimate asks in their rush.
“Watch this!”  Cyprus holds up the disc.
The three faces see this for the first time, as shocked as he was.
A door has a sign above it stating “ARMORY”.  It’s opened to a room with walls full of various weaponry.  Neorn picks his guns; pistols and semiautomatics.  He loads them and grabs extra ammunition.  Romus sharpens his blades.  When finished, he throws his spear into a thick steel slab on the wall containing other slices and holes.  The end of the spear cuts right into it causing another.  Romus rushes to the square on the wall, delivering slices and slashes with the dagger leaving more gashes in it.  They’re ready.
Decimate, who doesn’t really need weapons and rarely uses them, loads a large pistol and sharpens and equally large knife.  You can never be too prepared.
“C’mon, buddy.  You’re coming this time.”  Cyprus opens a cage revealing a small, furry beast looking like a thick hairball with rows of razor sharp teeth.
The Runner flies through the air with sharp speed and precision.  They’re all four strapped in and a bit on edge.
“Anybody got any encouragement?”  Neorn asks out to the open while putting on his mask.
“This will be our biggest hit.”  Decimate answers.
“So, is that a No?”  Neorn replies.
“Our most important mission to date.  This will no doubt change things.”  Romus states in his usual serious and dry tone.
Neorn looks over to see Cyprus feeding bones to the furry little thing, “Why’d you bring Fuzzball?”
“Need all the help we can get.”  Cyprus shrugs.
The Runner bullets through the air, breaking the sound barrier and cracking the sky.  
A digital globe has an ‘X’ on America and a dotted line marking their trek.
The terrorist outfit patrols the land, a cross between a barren wasteland and what the average American sees on the news as a poverty stricken third world country.
The Runner hovers cloaked with the four of them looking down.
“Looks like this is our stop.”  Deci tells the boys while seeing heavily armed troopers passing beneath them.
The monsters JUMP out of the ship straight to the action.  Romus pounces to his feet with no problem just as the always light Decimate does.  Cyprus, with his furry friend under his arm, hits the ground with a thud of a small earthquake while Neorn flies above them.  
The soldiers on foot turn in shock.  Neorn flies through the sky whilst unloading his firearms on them.  A vamped up Decimate jumps through the air at them.  Cyprus throws his pet at a soldier of death.  It latches on and, in no time, chews a hole straight through his stomach.  Romus charges with his spear as he remembers the battles of yesteryear.
The Fuzzball rips into a man’s throat spraying blood out into the sandy air.  Neorn fires Uzis with his hands while the hands at the end of his wings fire pistols.  Deci, looking especially evil, curls her long fingers while reaching for someone who surely didn’t sign up for this.  Romus sticks a man with his spear and throws him from the end of it.  An AK-47 falls to the ground as its holder is kicked yards by the large foot of the giant beast that is Cyprus.
The rundown village they’ve landed in has become a battlefield.  Various vehicles are parked in the background.  Beyond the armed and uniformed henchmen, there doesn’t seem to be actual villagers around.  Members of this terrorist organization fire their machine guns at the monsters to no avail as the hit squad tears them apart.
The leader of this evil bunch, the very same from the video footage sent, stands amidst the dust kicked up from the battle.
“The man from the disc!  I’m going after him!”  Neorn yells.
Decimate jumps off of a man, pulling his head off in the process.  Cyprus punches a soldier’s body so hard his limbs are REMOVED from his torso as it flies back from the force.  Romus slashes someone to his side with his dagger without even having to see him.
“Wait!”  Romus yells to his winged friend.
“He went in there!”  Neorn tells them seeing an opening to a small hut.
Leaving the man and monster made sandstorm outside, the four enter the building in complete shock.  While the outside of this place looks as dingy as the rest of the village, the inside is hi-tech.  A dusty, sandy exterior is a cover for this sterile technological headquarters.  Decimate walks over to where there’s a camera set up and a green screen.  They look at a large computer system.
“...What?”  Neorn thinks aloud.
“What in the hell is all this?”  Cyprus asks the rest of the team.
“This whole thing was a rouse.”  Romus growls seeing a computer monitor with a soldier and a digital grid pattern.  “It’s all CGI!”
Without time to react, weapons from the ceilings and walls come out electrocuting the monstrous four.  They collapse, frozen in severe pain.
“Yes…and it worked.  It got your attention.  I was hoping they’d send you four.”  The leader tells them standing over their bodies.  
“Who…Who are you?”  Romus asks reaching out, still lying in pain.
“You can call me…‘Death’, because that is what I am to you.”  He smiles his wicked grin.  “And I’ve been waiting for you…”
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