1500 Years Ago, Viking Scandanavia
The old warrior’s chant rose up through the winter air, shaking a fine powder from the sparse conifers that ringed the clearing.
The young acolytes echoed, their part in the careful dance well rehearsed. In the center of their number, a tall, polished circle of metal caught the reflection of the elder warrior. The mirrored surface seemed to dance at their volley of words. A minute ripple passed through it, a pebble dropped in a mercurial sea.
Once again the old man belted out his song, demanding of something from deep within the metal to arise and awaken.
His students responded. A murder of ravens burst into the air, their perch disturbed, such was the magnitude of the magic bandied in that cold, desolate place. The mirror began to hum, a high pitched whine that ground at the mind and crackled ice for miles. The young warriors prostrated themselves, averting their eyes, for none could watch the transformation that was immenent.
The great warrior demanded again.
“I am here,” The figure in the mirror said.
No longer was the old viking’s reflection depicted in the mirror. In its place was a being of pure light. It’s body was rippling, incandescent tatters. It’s face a hard mask of furious luminance. It’s crown, a lambent halo flame. The elder placed his fist over his heart in greeting.
“THERE IS GREAT EVIL IN THIS WORLD. I SENSE IT NEAR.” The mirror thing spoke, its words were the essence of justice and a steel heart. “DO YOU OFFER YOUR BODY THAT I MIGHT BRING GOOD TO THIS WORLD.”
“My people suffer under great injustice! Murder and betrayal have taken this land! Join me that we might be a weapon for right!” The old warrior answered, his statement practiced, but pure as the driven snow.
There was a sound of thunder and light consumed the clearing, expanding until it blinded even the night.
1500 Years Later, After Party of the premier of “Stealth Train 3: Time to Die: The Reckoning”
Nate Cavalier strode the gala hall with supreme confidence, eyeing up potential “talent” every step of the way. He was the number one agent in the city, at least in his estimation, and it was just good business to have a rapport with any and all women with a pretty face and a pulse.
“Gloria, babe, lookin’ fantastic. L-o-v-e- loved you in High School Murder Diaries.” She had been terrible in High School Murder Diaries, and it had cost the studio millions.
“Christina Wild! You put the ‘fine’ in ‘fin-d me that girl’s number because she is smokin’ tonight. What’s that? No darling I don’t know what I’m talking about either, I’m just high as a kite on this party.” Nate was actually high on a blend of cocaine, ecstasy, and a designer drug he didn’t remember the name of. Christina had huge tits.
The gala hall was expansive, and the studio had spared no expense in the decoration. Stealth Train had been about a stealth train that was transporting diamonds to a secret Russian bank. But unbeknownst to the bankers, the rock band they had hired to play on the train were actually international terrorists, hired to rob the diamonds for…someone or other. He didn’t remember the whole thing, but the main point was the diamonds. Somy Studios paid to have the Smithsonian Diamond Exhibit brought to Rook City, and the effects were dazzling. Even the help were wearing expensive diadems and gaudy gems.
“What is your name gorgeous?” The serving woman blushed and offered him a drink from the sample tray. He talked her up for a spell, sipping the bad champaign and was about to have her hotel room key, when Gus Brockheim started calling his name. Nate sighed and turned to greet Gus, his frown suddenly a huge smile.
They shook hands and clapped backs.
“How’s the agent biz, old chap? Acting and stunts got to be too much for you?” Gus always used British colloquialisms like ‘old chap’ for no reason. Nate let it slide.
“Yeah, they pay me to watch guys like you take all the falls nowadays, am I right?” Nate joked.
“You must be smarter than the rest of us, chum. Nate, just between you and me.” Gus leaned in and got conspiratorial. “Xavian Xexez is right over there. I hear he is casting for his latest movie. You know him: you think you could put in a word for me?”
Nate knew that Gus was one of the worst actors in all of actordom. Xexez would never consider putting him in one of his movies, and he was just about to tell Gus exactly that when he saw the man’s pleading eyes. He really wanted that job. Maybe after the divorce he needed it. Shit.
“Hey, sure Gus.” Nate laughed nervously. “But, uh, hey that Xexez is real artsy shit. Zamboosi is making a Roman set piece I’ll try to get you in too, sound good bro?”
“Hey thanks Nate, you keep it real.”
Gus walked off looking pleased, while Nate rubbed the bridge of his nose. What was he thinking? He had his own clients to get in that Zamboosi film. There were only so many Roman Senators to go around. Fuck. Ok, maybe there was something Xexez could do for Gus afterall. He was just about to walk over there when-
Look at that GIRL! Nate thought to himself. Long black hair, pouty lips, are those purple eyes(?), legs that just don’t quit! He sidled closer to get a better look. She was talking to another woman, something lame about travel, female nonsense for sure.
“That was the main factor in reducing our travel time between sites. You’re exactly right. We’ve seen a large increase in efficiency, and it has really helped our charities throughout those countries.” The Most Gorgeous Woman Ever, or ‘MGWE’ was saying.
“I’ve actually found that a lot of my personal initiatives have been improved through a crowd sourced network of transportation amongst wealthy donors as well,” said Not Most Gorgeous Woman Ever.
“You know I’d really like to tap you for a few projects I have in Europe,” MGWE was saying.
“I’d love to tap you as well,” Nate interjected, interposing himself between MGWE and NMGWE. “Nate Cavalier, Cavalier Media. Maybe you’ve heard of me? Action star, stuntman, and now I own the largest Agency in the city. I’m kind of a big deal.”
MGWE looked like a slug had fallen in her soup. That was new – Nate knew he was a jackass, that was obvious, but he was a super fucking handsome jackass. Women never gave him the slug in soup look.
“Biznessia Faechild. I own…well the City, I suppose.” Biznessia Faechild said, “I’m kind of a big deal, too.”
Nate nearly choked on his tongue, and he coughed loudly. “Biz-Biznessia? Like, uh…THE Biznessia?”
She looked around him like he wasn’t there and handed a perfect, ivory card to NMGWE. “Give me a call sometime. If you’ll excuse me, I have something to which I must attend.” She turned on a dime, her high heels clicking as she disappeared across the floor and out the large, glass doors.
Nate turned like a zombie to NMGWE.
“Cold water,” he told her, with a glazed look.
“What?” She asked.
“Need cold water!” He started to run, dashing towards the back of the room and the mens’ restroom. He pushed in the door and leapt for the sink, spinning the cold water knob. The cold water must have hissed on his burning cheeks. Christ, had to get under control. He felt like a teenager. But lord, what a woman! Nate had never seen someone quite like her. Looking in the mirror, he promised to his reflection that he’d get her in bed, one way or another. There was no other way to describe that total babe.
He drawled to his mirror-self, shaking his head in mock disbelief.
Suddenly the lights dimmed, and began to sputter and buzz ominously. He kept his hands planted on the marble counter, but his eyes looked up at the suspicious fixtures. Then he glanced around the room. Hmm, no one was here with him. Kind of spooky. It was at that instant the lights went out and the mirror burst into streamers of white coruscate.
“Holy shit, it’s a ghost!” Nate screamed, nearly falling into the stall behind him. He scratched at the stall door to keep his balance, then hunched himself, getting ready to dodge ectoplasm or hell bolts or whatever ghosts killed people with.
“There is great evil in this world. I sense it near!” The ghost said, in a loud but not particularly intimidating voice. It almost sounded like a young man. Still, Nate was holding his hands up waiting for the end of his life. “Is…Is there evil near?” The ghost asked.
“Huh?” Nate said. “Oh. Oh haha, I get it.” He let his arms fall to his side and took a cocky pose. Stalking up to the mirror he slammed his hands down. “It’s you, isn’t it Anton Blucher? Candid Joke Famous People Hour on STV huh? Ha HA, not falling for it.” Now that he got a good look at the ghost it wasn’t that scary. It’s body looked like shards and tatters of light. It’s face was a stoic mask, but youthful and kind, and it had some sort of angel halo above its head.
“Didn’t you call me?” The ghost asked.
“Call you? What are you talking about? Come on out Anton! Jigs up!”
“You used the words! OODAY AHREE BOWDAY LEESHOOS,” the ghost intoned.
Now Nate was confused. Was it a joke about him being a womanizer? A ladies man? Anton had, like, 4 divorces; who was he to be judging? Maybe Biznessia had just been a plant as part of the set up. That actually made a lot of sense. No woman would be that distant to Nate Cavalier.
“Ok, ok. I admit it. You got me, I said it. Booty-licious. Oo-da-la-lee booty-licious, you got me. Guilty as charged.”
“Oh dear.” The ghost said.
“What? What ‘oh dear?’”
“Look, mortal. You are in grave danger. There is evil-” BANG BANG BANGBANGBANGBANG
Gunshots began to ring out in the gala hall. Screams punctured the tranquility of the mens’ bathroom.
“Holy shit was that gunfire?” Nate asked.
“Mortal, there seems to have been a mistake, but you are in great danger. You have summoned me into a place where I sense almost constant evil, well, EVERYWHERE. But there is some particularly evil-evil very, very nearby.”
“This isn’t a joke, is it?”
“No, no joke.”
“Are you a ghost?”
“Exactly what I am isn’t important, but you must accept my help. It is my duty to bring justice and good to your world.”
Nate frowned and peeked out the bathroom door. There were masked men with assault rifles smashing up displays and grabbing diamonds. “Well whatever you are, you seem kind of young, are you sure-”
“Look, it’s an Ultimogeniture on this side of the mirror. I’d be happy to explain it to you AFTER we deal with the evil and the killing.”
“Fine, I accept your help.” Nate agreed. “For what it’s worth. What do I have to do?”
“You have to let me suffuse you. I will turn you into something else, possess you, make you a living weapon.”
“Ha! Fat chance.” Nate countered. “You know how much this body is worth?” As he peeked from his hiding spot he saw one of the masked men shoot a hostage. Blood fountained, and the killer stalked towards the restroom.
“You know what, suffuse away, kid. Suffusing is really fast, right?”
A light began to radiate in the room until it encompassed the entire volume.
2 Hours Later
“That was…That was amazing!” Nate said. “I could see what you were doing, and talk with you in my head, but you were all-POW. And the guns were like PHEW PHEW! But you were like ‘unhand her-ZAMMO!”
“I’m just glad I could be of help,” the mirror creature said. Its face never changed, but its voice sounded like a pleased, fat cat. “There is still much evil in this ‘city,’ I can tell.”
“And they didn’t know it was me!” Nate said. “I mean, I looked totally different, especially with that cool costume thing.”
“Yeah, cool super armor and a cape! You know what this means?”
“Yes,” the mirror creature said, “We will have to work together to rid the city of this villainy.”
“No, no,” Nate said, “Well yes, that. But I’m gonna be your agent, baby! When people ask you about your whole ‘saving the day’ bit, you tell them Nate Cavalier is your agent! Toys, movies, appearances!”
“Uhhhh, I don’t know.” The young creature worried.
“And that will be your name, little buddy. Agent Hero.”