The Cycle of Axer Carrick
Part III -- Frostmelt
by Henry Wyckoff

NOTE: The lyrics are by Pantera, from the album 'Cowboys
from Hell'. Their lyrics are quoted without their
permission -- but I'm advertising their music for
free, so they should be sending a rather nice
thank you card, at the very least.


Chapter 8

Scully stared down Odin. "I don't know what kind of freak you are, but I'll blast your heart out if you don't back off."

"Why are you so obsessed with the spear? What does it mean to you?" his tone became soft and silky. "It frustrates you already -- why not let it go to its rightful owner?"

"I warned you." She pumped three bullets into his chest -- two in his heart -- and he only staggered back a little bit.

He stared at the open wounds and the fountains of blood, and he smiled. "Not too bad. But you see, I can't die. Now just step aside and give me the spear. I'm warning you now -- step aside or die."

She emptied the gun into him, and his body flapped around like it was being given a good shake. He smiled again as the blood cascaded down his body, pooling on the floor. His eyes betrayed no pain. "I think that makes ten bullets, unless you're cheating."

She let the used clip drop out and put in a new clip -- and she carried only one spare altogether. When Odin made another step forward, she fired all ten bullets in a rapid burst, and he dropped to his knees. He should not have been standing up, even if he had been on PCP, but he slowly raised himself back up to an upright position.

"Lady, I've slaughtered whole nations for less. You'd better move aside while you still have an intact body."

Scully was about to say something else when he gave her a savage backhand, all the pain and anger filling his face in a brief instant. Her head snapped around sharply, her teeth clacking once, and she collapsed on the ground. Her hands twitched, and her pupils unfocused.

Odin whistled merrily to himself as he casually picked up the spear and skipped away. The fading echoes of an off-key song followed him: "Me... I just gotta be me..."

He reached the end of the hallway and climbed the stairs, still singing to himself. A few sleep-deprived grad students jumped in shock when they saw the bleeding, bullet- riddled Odin, who was now white-faced and wild-eyed.

"Hi," he smiled toothily, his voice even more raspy than usual.

"Uhh... hi," said one of them, still deciding whether she
was dreaming or not.

"Say, I seem to have lost some blood. May I drink yours?"

The reality check didn't bounce -- they ran off, screaming down the halls in separate directions.

"Was it something I said?" he muttered, chuckling to himself. "Oh well, I think the airport is --- that way!" He pointed in several different directions, looked confused, then ran through the glass door.

It was a good thing that it was late at night, because while a bloody murderer was never inconspicuous, he was a lot harder to see at night. He walked across the campus until he found a parked car, then bashed in the passenger-side window.

Throwing the spear in the back seat, he climbed in and ripped off the steering wheel paneling -- these new, fancy, foreign cars that college kids liked to drive were the easiest to hot-wire. Within moments, the engine blazed to life, and the sounds of Pantera blazed to life on the bass- boosters.

The way we were
The chance to save my soul
And my concern is now in vain
Believe the word
I will unlock my door
And pass the cemetery gates...

The streetlights zoomed by at warp speed, and the speedometer was off the scale as Odin banged his head to the rhythm, one hand on the wheel and the other pounding a nonexistent object in time with the beat.

It's storming broken glass
corpses left in piles
Ungracious bludgement
that breaks the earth for miles
Nothing can stop it
The day has come
From below it's catastrophic


There's no healing

Families die

Sirens flashed in the distance -- two cars were chasing him now. He did a military turn to the left at over 130 MPH and zoomed down a one-way street, not quite crammed from curb to curb with cars, but almost there. It was a wonder he didn't hit anyone, but everyone else did slam into one another, the sidewalk, poles, people, and storefronts as they dodged out of the way. He slowed down to a measly 75 MPH.

It's a message of blood
It's your cryptic warning
Within the message of blood
Marks the years of pain
And your Godforsaken ending to life...

Odin was laughing merrily. There was a thirty-car pileup behind him -- five of those the cop cars chasing him.

He spied a McDonald's sign and made a sharp right, skidding to a halt just outside the door. Leaving the engine running and the radio blasting so hard he could still hear it inside, he shoved aside any old ladies, dirty construction workers with the overhanging bellies, and children who stood in his way.

He was a frightening sight to behold -- still open gunshot wounds and great masses of coagulating blood all over his body; a wild spear in his hands; greasy, long, stringy hair that reached past his shoulders; a patched eye and a wide- open, wild eye.

He looked around at everyone who hadn't fallen or been thrown down, and smiled easily. They backed off -- even some of the tough guys. A hero who did step forward was speared through the solar plexus, lifted up so that the sputtering man stared into Odin's eye, and thrown onto a table ten feet away.

He turned around and grabbed the cashier by her blouse, pulling her towards him until his face was an inch from hers. "I want ten Big Macs, fifteen large fries, and a large Coke." His tone was calm and friendly, as if he were just some average guy making an order.

Odin pushed her back against the drink dispenser, and she scrambled around, screaming at the other shell-shocked employees. "You heard him!!"

He smiled as he saw the war-zone that erupted.

Pillage the village
Trash the scene
But better not take it out on me
Cause a ghost town is found
Where your city used to be...

The frightened girl gave him the bag full of food, and he patted her kindly on the head. "Have a nice day," he smiled, pinching her on the cheek, laughing madly as he skipped out the door, singing, "Daisies and lollipops... elephants in the sky... I'm insane and so am I..."

A young man in a power suit got up from the table, shaking and pale. He pressed a button on his cellular phone and discreetly followed the man.

The guy was occupied with spearing some black kid in gang colors who had been in the process of trying to drive off with the car. The kid must have been fifteen, and the fact that a spear was impaled through his guts was incomprehensible to him.

He didn't notice the two gang kids across the street who were staring at all this with shocked, jaw-dropping expressions.

Odin held the bag of food in his left hand, and burrowed his face in the bag, pulling it out with a mouth stuffed full of fries. Talking with his mouth full, spitting out the occasional chunk of french fry, he sang, "Flying away on the wings of a Blood Eagle..."

The spear was yanked out of the boy. It slashed once, and then twice. The boy's now-visible lungs flapped like the wings of a bloody eagle.

Odin swallowed the fries in one gulp and threw his spear back in the car, taking off into the flow of the now- recovered traffic. The two gang kids ran off into the shadows.

The power suit ran off to his own car and was on his tail in a short moment. The phone rang, and he answered. "Yeah, I know I'm not ready for the field -- but I have a crisis! Yeah, I think he's a new immortal, but he's an immortal for sure... He's on a rampage!... I just pulled out of the McDonalds, and I'm heading towards the airport! Get a camera man out there quick!"

In the faint, strobing light from the street lamps, a faint tattoo on the inside of the man's left wrist was illuminated.

* * *

Odin gunned the motor, though he was already going so fast the needle was off the scale. He was now at the airport, but had circled around so that he could reach the terminals from the outside.

He parked the car in a dark spot and tried to find the right plane. It was there, being loaded and ready to go. He ran up to it, slipping between the eyes of the cargomen and into the storage area. It was just a moment, and they had no idea he was there.

The plane took off a few minutes later, and Odin smiled, finishing off the rest of his food with a careless grin.

"I'm leavin' on a jet plane..."

* * * *

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