April 1, 2016
Abrug; The Great Dragon; Zhibdean Triplet
Dark Temple of Genunken, Himalayan Mountains, Tibet (Core reality); Mid-12th century
Power Rating: 1 – 100
POWERS, ABILITIES, WEAPONS & TOOLS
Dairyu can produce a sonic projection through his voice at a super-strength level. He is also able to cause deafness with his “dragon roar” scream.
My name is Captain Noble. I am a superhero, working for the US Government. This is an excerpt from my journal.
YEAR 11, DAY 76
Shuttershock and I remained on our guard as we approached the newly formed doorway. It was identical to the one which led us into Genko‘s room. However, this inscription read “The Chamber of Dragons is home to Dairyu”. Underneath this were the monikers “Abrug” and “The Great Dragon”. Below them was what appeared to be another circular calendar that rotated like a clock keeping time. It also read “Year 949”. We both looked at each other, not just in disbelief but also despair, as we hesitantly opened the doors to face what we realized was the second of the Zhibdean Triplets.
The second room was pure Himalayan mountain. There was no marble, no architecture or design, no bamboo floors. It was all rock, mist and dew. Water dripped off the stones above us as a current flowed down from an opening along the corner of the ceilings and down the walls. Cold drifted across the air, chilling my already bruised exterior. I could tell the damp scent was irritating Shuttershock, too. He kept pinching his nose and exhaling through it aggressively to clear out the cave’s smell. Nevertheless, my partner and I inched along as the door closed behind us. There was no turning back.
WEIGHT: 156 lbs.
HAIR: Bald; pale goatee
EYES: All black or all white, depending on nature of thier spirit at the time
A low rumble entered the room next. I realized we were not alone. Something was present. The noise turned into a deep growl, and the mist began swirling along the ground as if something were slithering around. A growl feigned in the far corner. It sounded like that of a monster. Shuttershock illuminated his fists and stood guard. I prepared myself as well. The swirling mist moved more rapidly, increasing the tension. The growling grew louder. A trembling unlike anything I had ever experienced before crept up my spine. I felt as if an enormous beast were lurking in the shadows. Shuttershock looked at me and said it better not be a real dragon. I swallowed the anxiousness in my throat and told him to be ready for anything. Then, the room went silent. Dead silent. Not a breeze was heard. Not a drop fell from the ceiling. Not a rock fell from place. It was so quiet I could hear my heartbeat. Shuttershock could hear his as well, and I saw it was making him uneasy. Instantly, I thought about the news story of the quietest room in the world. It was so void of any noise, that not only was it said you could hear your own heart beat, but you could hear the blood move in your veins. Normal people who volunteered for the test were said to not be able to last 10-15 minutes in there without losing their cool. Pure, absolute silence will drive you mad, and it was doing so to Shuttershock.
I tried to champion him along, encourage him to stay sane. He could not do it, though. The prolonged silence combined with the previous sensory overload and anticipating our next deadly assailant was too much for him to bear. Before I could calm Shuttershock he fired an energy blast, and when he did so, we both saw it: a gigantic dragon head. It was about five times the size of me and it was rushing towards us. Its eyes, nose, mouth and teeth were enormous. With it came a deafening roar as well. Shuttershock and I screamed in pain while dropping to our knees and covering our ears. I thought we were dead. However, what I did not notice, before my ears were impaled by the monstrous sound, was that the dragon was made of mist with water moving about, making it look like moist scales. A trick of the mind had been played masterfully, and the magician was Dairyu. Before I knew it, he emerged from the dragon mist in full force, attacking us.
Dairyu smashed me in the mouth with a kick and then moved on to do the same to Shuttershock with a spinning roundhouse. We were both leveled. Then, Dairyu screamed incredibly loud, using his vocal powers to blast us off the rock floor and into the wall. Once again, we were flattened. Dairyu moved in next to pummel Shuttershock, but I intervened by grabbing a chunk of the rock out of the indentation my body left in the wall, and I tossed it at the Zhibdean. He roared like a dragon once more, as he extended his fist and shattered the boulder to pieces. I quickly followed up by flying directly at him and grabbing his robe. My momentum slammed him into the marble door, cracking it in several places. I punched at his face next, but Dairyu moved to the side. My fist smashed through the entrance and was lodged in it. Dairyu kicked me in my shin, dropping me to a knee and leaving my arm hanging. Next, he sent an open-palmed stroke to my extended elbow, bending it in half the opposite way and cracking every bone. I screamed in pain, but Dairyu did not relent. With my floppy arm dangling from the door, he continued to kick me with ferocious strikes to my back and head. I tried fending off his attacks with my free arm, but I was coming across my body and had no success. Dairyu was beating the living daylights out of me and I was helpless. That was, until Shuttershock recovered enough to blast him with an incredible beam of light energy.
Dairyu flew across the cave and was embedded into the wall with massive force. When his body hit the ground, rocks fell all over him. Shuttershock blasted the marble door next, freeing my broken arm. He rushed over and stood between me and our assailant, asking if I was OK. I answered that he needed to focus on Dairyu and not worry about me. Shuttershock fired another burst of light energy at our enemy, but Dairyu was too quick and launched himself out from underneath the rubble. All my partner’s attack hit was the dust and rocks he left behind. I inched my back against the door while Shuttershock and Dairyu engaged in hand-to-hand combat before me. The Zhibdean’s style was the same ancient kung-fu as we faced with Genko, but his style was more explosive than his sister’s. While hers reflected the silent fluidity fear uses to pour into our minds and hearts, crippling us, Dairyu’s was powerful like the strength of a dragon.
It was also too much for Shuttershock. My partner is a good warrior, but he’s still learning, and to that point had not had a great deal of formal training. He uses a good understanding of how to fight, defend and maneuver. And combined with the ability to make his fists into exploding balls of light energy, he is able to be pretty effective against most adversaries. He also has an incredible heart. He does not give up, no matter how much he is outclassed or outnumbered. Admirable as that may be, though, against an opponent like Dairyu, it would only get him killed. And that’s what was happening after about 10 minutes of them facing off. Shuttershock landed punches and even mixed in some great light blasts, but Dairyu’s skill, abilities and training was overwhelming. It did not take long for him to beat Shuttershock down and use his vocal blast to trap my partner in a corner. He held his guard up, but the sheer number of attacks and the power behind them was tearing him up.
By then I was able to reset my arm, and my accelerated healing factor had completely numbed the pain; a trait that serves me well whenever it kicks in if I’m seriously injured. However, it basically renders that body part useless until it is healed, if my body is able to heal it at all. Nonetheless, I had to save my partner whether I had one arm or two.
I flew over and was able to grab Dairyu by his arm as he cocked it back to throw another punch. I contorted my entire frame to build up momentum, and flung him into the ceiling above us. Shuttershock put his arms down and his body went limp. He needed time to gather himself. He was spent. Alas, it was up to me to give him that time.
I rushed at Dairyu and kicked him in his ribs while he was getting up. I repeated the attack, but this time he caught my leg and tossed me to the side. Then he charged, unleashing a fury of strikes. I blocked with my one good arm and dodged the rest. When he began to penetrate my defense, I would leap away, using my flying ability and force him to start over. This worked for a while, but eventually he knew I was only buying time for Shuttershock to heal. So, he began attacking him. I would fly in between them before he could strike my partner, absorbing Dairyu’s blows. I would then ram my shoulder into his body and catapult us both across the room wildly into another wall. That strategy could only work a couple of times, however, for I was getting weaker and there was no way I could keep fighting much longer.
Thus, after protecting Shuttershock again, I staggered to my feet, next to an angered Dairyu. He was feeling the damage from being smashed into the walls, but he still remained fresh enough to kill us both. Knowing he was going to attack my felled partner once more, I prepared to fly in and protect him. However, I made eye contact with Shuttershock and he very subtly shook his head. He was playing possum! So, I let Dairyu advance. That was when my partner unleashed a mega beam of light, and our enemy ran right into it at full speed. Then, as he was being blasted across the room towards me, I gathered all the strength in my body. I gave my broken arm a shake to test its stability. It was at about 65%. What I was planning would most likely break it again, but I had no choice. This was our only chance to end the fight, and I had a half-second to move. Therefore, I planted my feet and launched myself at Dairyu while he was being blasted. I took off so fast, my feet left prints in the rock below me. Finally, I stretched my arms in mid-air, made two fists, and crashed them into the back of Dairyu. Shuttershock’s energy beam leveled our enemy from one side and I flattened him from the other. When we met in the middle, a thunderous roar was heard in the room and Dairyu disappeared just as Genko did.
I was tossed to the side from the impact, making me roll over on the ground, holding my newly broken arm in agony. Shuttershock and I were gasping for air from exhaustion. I asked him if he was alright. He said no. I concurred. We both stumbled to our feet next, but before we could catch our breath, the rock on the far wall next to Shuttershock began glowing. It was transforming into another marble gateway. The third Zhibdean triplet awaited us on the other side. We both looked at the entrance, then at each other, and sat right back down. We knew we could not go back and leave the way we came, and that the only way home was through those doors ahead of us. Yet, we were absolutely in no hurry to open them.