Malus: World of War I
The Sharks Gather
Stories You Might Want to Be Familiar With:
Rock and Rule
The Corpse Bride
The Princess and the Frog
The Green Hornet
God of War
Hercules (Disney version)
The Legend of Zelda
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
The Three Musketeers
The Jungle Book
METROPOLIS, 4:37 PM
David Xanatos sat in the waiting room, checking his watch to see the time. He was in a relaxed mood, and was eager to hear Lex Luthor's plans for the war, as he was sure that it would come to great benefit to the both of them.
The lady at the desk then hanged up her phone and spoke,
"Mr. Luthor will see you now."
David Xanatos stood, straightened his suit, and walked into Lex Luthor's office.
The room was well decorated, with antiques placed around the entire room, a bear skin carpet, and a flat screen television on the wall. In front of the office's large window overlooking the city stood Lex Luthor, standing up straight, his arms crossed behind his back, and his face turning slowly toward Xanatos.
"Mr. Xanatos. Pleasure to see you this afternoon."
Xanatos stepped forward,
"I was eager to see you again, old friend. Thanks for bringing me down here."
Lex Luthor turned around and walked forward.
"Indeed. Now, shall we take a seat?"
Lex Luthor took his seat first in a seat that looked very much like a throne. Xanatos sat down in a slightly smaller, more ordinary looking chair. Xanatos was calm and relaxed, but something that he saw in Luthor gave him the feeling that perhaps there might not be an alliance in store.
Luthor was the first to speak, "I trust that you have seen the signs of the war recently."
Xanatos went deep into thought, "Indeed. I've also been hearing rumors are that there are other dimensions out that were out there merged with ours. So many new dons with no previous jurisdiction anywhere have been showing up, I wouldn't be surprised if they were true. Mok, Barkis, Shaw, I looked in every file, no connecting threads about them. I'm getting a bit off track here, but were you at Facilier's party at all?"
"I don't trust Facilier. But back on track, whatever this war holds in store may not bode well for more nations than one. All of these pieces put onto a board, whomever holds them,"
He then clenched his fist, his calm exterior breaking hints of power-hunger, "Just imagine the possibilities."
Xanatos himself took this thought into mind, smiling in admiration, "I can. So, what to do?"
Lex Luthor than placed his hands together, wrapping them around each other, "I need your resources, Mr. Xanatos. Three fourths of your company, so to speak."
Xanatos frowned slightly, "And what do I get in return?"
"What I intend to do is take control of every empire on the globe. Crime has been spreading like a virus now, and there's no cure. If one were to control the virus, they could control the entire system. Of course, you'll get control over America. But I'll be assigning other posts as well. I've already made a deal with Frank d'Mico to give him control of Russia once this war is over."
Xanatos leaned over, pausing briefly in thought, "I slightly doubt that these people will be completely obedient. How can you be sure that they won't rebel?"
Lex chuckled, "I've found ways to keep them in line. Money, firepower, magic, the list goes on. And your soldiers can help well with that."
"Pardon me, but what soldiers?"
"Your Steel Clan, of course. So the deal is simple. Give me your resources, I'll give you a portion of America."
"With all due respect Mr. Luthor, I'm not so intent as to let all of these gangs tear my empire apart. Many of them want my head on a pike. I couldn't even leave Facilier's place without getting a few dirty looks. I'd recommend that we split the deal. I won't give you my resources, but I'll put them to good use and-"
Luthor's eyes began to swell with anger, "I won't accept that. I need every empire at my disposal for this plan to work."
Xanatos leaned back in his seat, thinking it over, "I'm just not sure that I'm willing to do that. I'll remain independent for now, but I'll provide any assistance that you need."
Luthor looked away briefly, swallowed, and then got up from his chair, "Very well. But you'll need more than just independence to survive in this war."
Xanatos stood up and shook Luthor's hand. The latter's grip was uncompromisingly tight, "Pleasure doing business with you, Mr. Luthor."
Xanatos then walked towards the door, hiding a look of suspicion on his face. As he closed the door behind him, Luthor went over to his computer, logged in, pulled up a file with all of the rival corporations he intended to bankrupt and take for himself, and typed "Xanatos Enterprises" on the list.
He then reached towards his cell phone and speed dialed a number that he had kept in there for a couple of weeks. It ringed twice and then,
"What is it?" said the somewhat high-pitched and impatient voice on the other line.
"Doctor Wily. Referring to the deal that we made a while back..."
David Xanatos walked out of the waiting room, taking the stairs down to the lobby rather than the elevator. He feared that there may be cameras in there. He opened the door and descended the flights of stairs, speed-dialing his building number.
"Good afternoon, Mr. Xanatos. How was your meeting?" said Owen's voice.
"It was engaging," he whispered to avoid the chances of anyone working for Luthor hearing him. "Do you have the connection secured?"
Xanatos continued to descend the stairs as he heard Owen taking a couple of steps and typing in something.
"Now I do, sir."
"Good. LexCorp. Pull up any files you have on it. Get some from other businesses, but don't let them know it was me who needed them. Whatever Luthor has planned, I don't expect that it will bode well for us. If he's going to wage war on Xanatos Enterprises, then I need every gun and every man I've got."
LOS ANGELES, 2:13 AM
Scanlin sat in his office, sweating profusely. Although his deal with the Joker had gone as planned so far, he was not sure if the Clown Prince of Crime would let him live to see his ascension through. Suddenly, his door opened, and in walked the clown himself.
"I've gotta say, I'm impressed. I thought that you would fold, but now I see how you became a politician," said the Joker cheerfully.
Scanlin stood, "Then I trust that our deal is still intact?"
"Of course!" A couple of goons walked in behind him. He made a brief look away as if he was concerned, and then turned toward Scanlin again. "I've got a bit of a bad memory, can you remind me?"
"Control over the entire state of California, when you're done taking it."
"Oh yeah, that! It's really a city to die for!"
Scanlin walked forward, "You know that I'll provide as much resources as you need. I can get in touch with other public officials as well. Get a lot of good money for you."
"Oh yeah," the Joker said calmly, pulling out a cigar. "You smoke?"
Scanlin shook his head, "Quit a while ago."
"Healthy choice. But..."
The Joker then walked over to the mayor's built in bar and grabbed a bottle of Knob Creek.
"You're never too healthy for a good drink."
Scanlin began to smile. He had a pistol in his jacket just in case, but he was beginning to think that the Joker was honest in his deal. He walked to the bar and grabbed a glass.
"I'm not too crazy to recognize the good stuff," said the Joker. He then looked at the mayor with a peculiar look in his eyes.
"What's with all the sweat? You got the city back from a mob don who broke his deal with you. You're going to have an entire state at your control."
Scanlin wiped some of the sweat off his forehead. He tried to think of something to say without giving away his lack of complete trust in the Joker.
"Here. This will douse your worries."
He then uncapped the Knob Creek and splashed the alcohol onto Scanlin. Scanlin jumped back.
"What the Hell?!"
The Joker giggled maniacally, "Just cooling you off."
The clown sniffed the air around Scanlin,
"You smell like gasoline."
The Joker then walked over to Scanlin's desk,
"This is a nice city. You sure you can handle it on your own?"
Scanlin walked over, reeking of alcohol and sweat,
"What are you saying?"
His tone was beginning to sound harsh and frustrated. This caused the thugs to pull out their rifles and begin to take end.
"No, no, no," said the Joker, waving for his men to put their guns down. "I'm simply asking if you'll need help watching the city. Maybe I could take it over if times get tough."
Scanlin slowly leaned walked toward his seat, "That's exactly what Chudnofsky asked before he took the city from me. I think I can do just fine on my own."
The Joker then pulled out a match, "Great attitude. Exactly what a lot of world leaders lack now a days. You would make a great mayor."
He then lit the match, holding it toward his cigar, "But you can't."
He then lit it and tossed it toward Scanlin, "Because you're dead!"
The match spread fire across Scanlin's body. He screamed, thriving about as he stepped back and fell into his seat. The Joker then put his hands underneath the former mayor's desk, tossed it aside, and kicked Scanlin out the window. Both the screaming and burning Scanlin and his chair fell to the streets far below, leaving a laughing Joker to watch. He then turned around to his goons, who's grins were hidden behind their clown masks.
The Joker's smile was replaced by a frown, "Scotty, where's the camera?"
The goon on the left looked over towards Scotty, who shrugged, "Didn't bring one."
"So you just thought that Youtube would like to go without it?"
Scotty shrugged again, "We've already filmed so much, boss."
The Joker then ushered Scotty toward the broken window.
"You see that down there?"
And as Scotty looked to see Scanlin's corpse, surrounded by tourists and civilians, he felt himself pushed out the window as well. He yelped as he fell to his death. The Joker then reached into his pocket.
"Oh, here's the camera. I must be slipping," the Joker said, giggling to himself.
MOUNT OLYMPUS, 9:20 AM
Lightning struck everywhere as Zeus' rage boiled. The other Gods quivered with fear as their king's eyes bulged and he leaned over in his throne, lightning in hand.
"My son would not do such a thing!"
Hermes bowed his head a bit in fear, "I'm afraid it is true. I saw Kratos drag a woman into the temple myself before he burned it."
Zeus rubbed his hands over his eyes, trying to hide the sadness he was feeling. However, his deep thought, along with that of the other Gods, was interrupted by the all-too familiar whistling of the God of the Dead, who strode relaxingly into the throne room.
"Sorry I'm late boys. You will not believe all the people who played with fire tonight. So what'd I miss? Real estate deal? Helios burn somebody? Somebody 'go to town' with a mortal... again? What's going on?" said Hades.
Zeus rolled his eyes. He loved his older brother, but he was a bit annoyed by him. Ever since lawyers from New Jersey began to die, they had began to rub off on him.
"It's my son, Hades."
Hades rolled his own eyes, "Great to see ya', too. Which son? I can't even keep track of all your wives."
"Kratos... burned one of my temples in Sicyon," he said with regret in his voice.
Hades rubbed his chin, "That explains why the waiting line turned into a chimney. Ask me, I'm just devastated. I always loved the little sucker."
Hermes continued to speak, "My lord, I would strongly suggest that we bring him before us. Question him on the matter. Use force if necessary."
As Zeus began to ponder the unlikely thought of his son yielding willingly, Hades spoke up,
"No. No, no, no, no, no. He won't like that. We send a couple golden boys to bring him up, you're going to have your elevator sent back up at high speed with some mutilated bodies in there. Then after that, he comes up here, takes his anger out on us. And need I remind you what happens when a God dies?"
Zeus' head turned quickly toward Hades. His argument posed great truth. But Hermes continued to speak,
"That's absurd! We are the Olympians! None can defeat us!"
Hades rubbed his fiery (literally) hair back, speaking up again against his obnoxious arguer,
"Except for another deity. And if Kratos is smart, we could have some other un-friendlies knocking on our doors. Titans, demons, all that work you did to seal those baddies up ruined."
Hermes laughed, "We defeated them once, we can defeat them ag-"
Hades blue skin and flames then turned a violent red as his anger boiled over,
"Look, you vain little punk!"
Hades then cooled down,
"If there's one thing we've learned from this little kin killer, it's that he never gives up. You can negotiate with him, but he'll just shove a spear down your throat. And I've seen him do it to a Persian messenger, not pretty. He'll come at us full throttle. Olympus will crumble apart, all the souls of the Underworld will run amok, every demon we sealed up will go 'doo-doo-doo-doo-doo' around and make every bit of the universe their playground. And worst of all, you'll die a slow- horrible- death."
All of the Gods, even the arrogant Hermes, stirred. Zeus, after some deep thought, then decided that his brother's council was the best.
"What would you recommend?"
NEW ORLEANS, 11:20 PM
Lord Facilier sat at his desk, laying cards across his desk that he used for fortune telling. He still had a smile on his face. He had made a fortune for his next operation, collected a soul with plenty of malice for his master, and had gotten enough of the mob dons together to light a fuse that would surely leave the gangs open for him to take over.
He laid three cards across his desk that showed the major three steps of his plan. The first one had the Gerudian insignia; the insignia of the warlord known as Ganondorf. The second one showed the sorcerer Malachite, who was walking through a snowy mountain with a cold and aloof look on his face. And the third one had the insignia of a nation in another dimension known only as Daein. He then grabbed a nearby envelope, a quill, and began to write a letter to his next client, a sinister grin wide on his face.
TURKEY, PERSIAN EMPIRE, 4:23 AM
Demona flew in to the city of Turkey, her wound from her fight with Rochefort fully healed. Her father had began a conquest of the Persian Empire, and was soon to march upon their capital. In the mean time, she had been sent to plunge France into disarray so that they would be distracted while he took Persia. And after that, he would march on Daein, followed by France. She landed on the balcony of a war fortress. Inside the tower waited the King of Shadows.
"Good morning, Princess Demona," said Zant.
Demona stood there proudly, trying to hide her humiliation at her defeat by a mortal, "Good morning, Zant. What news?"
Zant walked over to a round table. Shadow demons that he had created from the discarded souls of the dead walked about, carrying weapons, scrolls, and other resources back and forth. Demona followed him over to the table.
"While you were in France, we managed to gain five more cities. Most soldiers were stubborn, but a surprising number of sorcerers were willing to join us. They realize that your father is the true God-King."
"Indeed he is," said Demona. "To claim to walk in the path of the deities and perform so poorly in his own nation. Xerxes is pathetic."
"That is where our quandary lies. It seems that Xerxes has finally come to his senses," Zant's voice was calm and stoic, his mask presenting a cold and calculating persona.
"When we took the capital, he placed a decoy in his throne room. Our spy informed us that he retreated to the holy city of Alamut."
Demona's eyes widened, "Alamut?"
Zant continued to look at the map, "The Holy Magic will render our sorcerers useless. Even my demons will perish instantly once they proceed past the walls."
"I know very well the power of the Holy Magic. My magic was rendered useless when I walked into a church. But I feel that I know a loophole."
Zant turned his masked face toward Demona, "Do tell." His voice was still as stoic as before.
Demona leaned over the table, her talons perched over the edges, "When I left France, I took a deeper look into the Grimorrum. There are different types of Holy Magic. The type that the Christians use is quite superior to others, for churches are houses of their God. But the Holy Magic that the Persians employ is only effective as long as their prayers are heard."
Zant looked back toward the map, "If we can kill the priests, we can render the Holy Magic useless."
"It may not be absolutely necessary. My father's magic is divine, so the Holy Magic will have no effect on him."
Zant did not flinch, "Indeed..."
PARIS, 2:03 PM
Frollo stood over the balcony of the Palace of Justice. The peasants who had heard of his so-called orders to use the city of Lyon as bait to lure the Demon of France into a trap were gathered in a tenacious mob which the guards could only barely hold back. Frollo had insisted that he gave no such order, but every word he said had fallen on deaf ears. No doubt, more and more of his people would soon fall prey to Cardinal Richelieu's trickery.
"You wanted to see me," said a voice from behind him.
Frollo turned around. When he saw the man whom he had called for, he smiled.
"Indeed I did. I have summoned you here for an unspeakably crucial task. They have told me that you are the greatest at what you do."
The bounty hunter simply stood there, "I'm still alive, aren't I?"
Judge Claude Frollo ushered the bounty hunter toward the balcony, "Look down there. What do you see?"
The bounty hunter walked forward, "Peasants."
"These are what were once humans. Inspired by the lowest instincts that are corrupting this world, they have been driven to the pitch fork and the torch, the unholy weapons of anarchy."
"As the days go on, the pitchforks will sharpen to spears. The torches will burn boulders in catapults. And the spit words of the peasants will be placed with spilled blood. These are the very beginnings of war, my friend."
"I've fought plenty of wars in my days. I can take all these guys out myself."
"Of course you can. But it will take more than that. I wish to hold these people in line, not drive them into further chaos. The Gypsy and the sorcerer are my enemy, not these lowly vagrants. I wish for the peace to be kept in this country. In particular, I wish for the destruction of the Demon of France."
"I'll blow up both Heaven and Hell if you pay me well enough."
"Very well. It is a true pleasure working with you, Mr. Simmons."
SLADE'S HIDEOUT, 3:12 AM
Slade, a criminal patron, stood in front of his computer screens as he watched the different news broadcasts describing the chaos that was still erupting. He could tell just by watching and listening to what had happened recently that there was a war on the way. A war meant that various criminal empires would try to profit off of the misery and suffering of the innocent. This only meant more and more good news for Slade, for this was exactly what he needed them to do.
Suddenly, one of his screens in the bottom left corner, the one monitoring the entrance to his hideout, flipped on to show Mammoth standing in front of the door, carrying a plastic canister. Inside this canister was an unconscious tiger. It was large and muscular enough to be the one that he had sent him after. His plan was ready to begin.
Slade walked closer to the monitor and pressed a blue button. The automatic doors leading into the monitor room opened as Mammoth walked in. He stood in front of Slade and placed his canister down in front of him, lid side down. Shere Khan fell down to the bottom, beginning to stir and wake up. Mammoth made a slight bow to his superior.
"Well done, Mammoth," said Slade stoically.
"So you'll fund the academy?" asked the large man.
"Indeed. And this task is the first of many I will pay you for. This war will have spoils for all of us." Even though Slade's voice remained calm, it dropped hints of sadistic excitement.
Suddenly, the tiger sprung alive, trying to leap out at Slade, only to be knocked back by the glass. Slade looked down to notice a tiny crack. His radiation simulators had indeed worked.
"Where am I?" said the tiger, calming down a bit.
"What should I call you?" asked Slade.
"Shere Khan. Now if you don't mind, I wish to go back to my home," he said, his impatience showing in his facial expressions and brooding in his voice.
"I'm afraid that you won't be going back anytime soon. There is a much higher calling that awaits you. Now that I have you, phase three of Operation X is ready to begin. Put him downstairs."
Mammoth then picked up the canister and carried it back to the door, Shere Khan still angrily scratching at the plastic with all his might. But it would not break. He was no longer a king of the jungle, but a prisoner of man.
SOMEWHERE IN NEVADA, 3:10 AM
A beaten and battered man awoke in the outskirts of the desert. He wore broken sunglasses, a torn and blood soaked leather jacket, black combat pants, boots with a darker shade of black, and there were scars all over his head. He looked around to see an unfamiliar world, reborn into an old, yet forgotten world, presented with a purpose that he was destined for. He saw a military chain around his neck. He grabbed it and read the name:
"HANK J. WIMBLETON"
Hank then took another look around. To his left, he noticed a letter. As he crawled towards it, a gun and a knife lying near it came into view. He then took the time to read the letter,
"Just do what comes natural."