|The Ghost Who Walks
Author: Rye-bread PM
This character has no category, as far as I can tell. In the midst of the Diablo carnage, unleashed by Kim Possible's archenemy, Dr. Drakken, an ancient hero steps forth-a hero whom the world has forgotten.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Adventure - Chapters: 2 - Words: 6,567 - Reviews: 9 - Favs: 4 - Follows: 3 - Updated: 05-02-09 - Published: 04-15-09 - id: 4995408
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
I want to say from the start. This not necessarily a crossover with Kim Possible--unless the plot bunny leads that way. Now, as to the names of some of my chars. I'm no expert on ethnic African names. I've just included some names I've heard and some French names, because French is spoke in many African nations because of the colonial history.
There is no category at Fanfiction-dot-net for this character. I feel this is an oversight. (Unless it's a copyright issue.) For more info on my grand tale of weaving this hero, Kim Possible, Indiana Jones, and Richard Leo Harte, the Coeur de Lion, together, consult my profile--and my stories: Kim and the Lionheart and Indiana Jones and the Face of Uzuki.
Kim Possible, Middleton, Bueno Nacho, and the Diabloes are the creation of Mark McCortle and Bob Schooley. The ghost Who Walks is the creation of Lee Falk.
The original animal partners of our hero were Hero, the horse, Devil, the wolf, and Fraka, the falcon.
I have updated the names. The horse--white, like his forbearer-named Alabaster, after the white rock, highly prized in antiquity for building material. The wolf, Garm, for the hellhound of Nordic mythology. The hawk, Horus, after the ancient Egyptian hawk-headed god.
This the story of a hero whom the world has forgotten. He is a relic from the days of wooden sailing ships, pirates and the colonizing of the world by the nations of Europe. And yet he is as modern as ethnic cleansing, the sex trade, and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
Corruption, wars, and human exploitation are with us, unfortunately. We have not outgrown them. They are timeless. So is he. He is a hero whose time has come. Not the Phantom of the Opera, not Danny Phantom, not Phantom Stallion. Let us remember him.
He is Christopher Walker.
...from the Syndicated King Features synopsis:
Such is the riveting, myth-freighted legend of The Phantom -- "The Ghost Who Walks," "The Man Who Cannot Die," "The Guardian of the Eastern Dark." In the beginning he had been a half-drowned sailor, flung ashore on the terrible, blood-drenched Bangalla coast after pirates burned his ship and slaughtered his mates. The gentle Bandar pygmies, taking him to be a sea god of ancient prophecy, nursed him back to fitness and became his everlasting friends -- as the castaway faced his destiny, donned costume and mask and was reborn as the first of the Phantoms, scourge of predators everywhere.
"I swear to devote my life to the destruction of piracy, greed, cruelty and injustice!" he cried as he formally took "The Oath of the Skull" by firelight. "And my sons and their sons shall follow me!"
And in time there was a son. In time that son begat another, and thereafter that son begat again. After a while, there arose a dynasty of Phantoms, one after another, born into the legend then reared and rigorously drilled in the disciplines and the duties.
Through the generations these eerily identical jungle lords have prowled an evil world in the cloaks of many identities, and none today but the Bandar and a handful of other secret souls know that all are not one and the same.
THE GHOST WHO WALKS
There is one Bueno Nacho's on Bangalla Island--along with one MacDonald's, and Starbuck's in the capital city of Matewan. And so some of the Little Diablo figurines found their way onto the island.
It was the first weekend of May, 2005. At midnight, Saturday, New York City time, ten p.m. Friday night, Denver (and Middleton) time, and eight a.m., Saturday morning, Kuwait City (and Bangalla Island) time, a command signal began emanating from Bueno Nacho Corporate Headquarters a hundred miles west of Middleton, Colorado. It blanketed the world, bouncing off communications satellites and reaching even Bangalla Island, off the eastern coast of tropical Africa, near the much larger island of Madagascar, in the Indian Ocean.
Suddenly, the Little Diablo figurines enlarged--three feet, ten feet, twenty feet.
The Bandar tribe, the predominant inhabitants of Bangalla Island, are a peaceful people, used to dwelling under the safety of their Protector for several centuries. They do not keep a large cache of weapons on hand--some rifles, and pistols, for hunting, and some of the old weapons, spears, bows, and arrows, for display. There is a police force and militia in Matewan.
Their Protector was one whom most of the world considered a myth, an urban legend--except that the legend persisted.
The mechanized monsters stalked through the rural villages of thatched huts and clapboard homes, wielding their buzz-saw appendages and firing bursts of flame and electricity.
Several miles inland, deep in a cavern, two men hastily conferred. One was a man of color, an ethnic African, manning a computer terminal and short-wave radio. "Ghost-Who-Walks, I have been monitoring the world media. The situation is urgent. These mass-produced toys called the Little Diablos have suddenly grown into giant robot-like machines."
The other, a mixed African-Asian-European, was donning a purple skin-tight costume with boots and hood. He buckled on a belt with a skull buckle around his waist. He holstered two .45 caliber automatic pistols and slipped a knife in each boot. He drew the hood over his head and adjusted the opera-style black mask over his eyes. His hands were uncovered, except for the two rings on each middle finger. The ring on the left hand was silver and black, and had an upraised symbol, a stylized letter "P" composed of four curved scimitar blades. The ring on the right hand bore the emblem of a skull. "And how many are on Bangalla Island, Manuelito?"
The one called Manuelito peered at the computer screen and listened on his headphones. "Mugabi radios me that two are on the north end of the island. A radio message from Emil says that there is one on the south end of the island. And the live feed from the satellite shows that there are two five miles west of here at the village of Niobe's Well."
The Jungle Patrol was an elite cadre of commandos that assisted this Protector--in Bangalla, in Africa, and around the world. A network of followers to help him carry out his mission to oppose piracy and crime. They were Manuelito's eyes and ears--like Mugabi and Emil.
Some were from other lands, those whom he had rescued, in this generation, or the previous, and were now returning the favor. Some were drawn from the Bandar tribe. Membership was a high honor. In come cases, it was conferred from father to son, the next generation replenishing the ranks, like the Swiss Guard of the Vatican--like the role of the Phantom Himself. And the Jungle Patrolmen served their Commander with the same zeal as the Swiss Guard serving the Papacy.
"We'll start with the nearest two. Are there any naval vessels nearby?" the costumed man asked.
I detect radio transmissions from an American battleship bound for the Persian Gulf," Manelito answered.
"See if they have air support. I think this is too much even for us."
"At once," said Manuelito.
The costumed man put his fingers to his lips and whistled. There was a whinny and a bark. "Alabaster!" he called, and a gleaming white horse appeared from the direction of the cave mouth. "Garm!" he cried, and a great brown wolf loped from further in the cave, and stood at his side. He outfitted the horse with a bridle and reins, and an English-style saddle, without a pommel. He mounted the saddle. "The Phantom rides, Manuelito."
Manuelito waved. "Godspeed, Ghost-Who-Walks."
The Phantom rode in a canter to the mouth of the cave. He called "Horus!" There was a high-pitched scree, and a falcon settled on his outstretched arm. "My friends--" He gestured with the outstretched arm toward the direction of the Diablos. "--That way!"
Once outside, the horse Alabaster broke into a gallop. The hawk Horus took to the sky. The wolf Garm ran along side when the path was wide enough, and sometimes ahead, and sometimes behind when the path was too narrow.
As the little party closed the distance to the two Diablos, Manuelito kept in contact with the Phantom. "Ghost-Who-Walks! The passing American ship cannot give us aid. They themselves are dealing with several of the monsters on board. They wish us victory--but send their regrets. And I have been in contact with our neighbors. They also are beset by the machines. We are alone, sir!"
The Phantom grimaced. It was a terrible and unpleasant geopolitical reality that many of the nations on the coast and immediate inland of Africa were either ruled by ruthless dictators or beset by terrible civil wars--or both. Ethnic cleansing, religious radicalism, murderous warlords plagued the countries and their peoples. The dictators, the arms merchants, and the generals had little reason to love The Man Who Cannot Die, who eluded all efforts to kill or capture him, who seemed to pursue them like a Grim Reaper.
There they were. Two giant machines stalking along the forest trail leading from Niobe's Well.
The Phantom swiftly siezed a coil of rope from the saddle and dismounted. He fastened it between two trees across the path. Then he remounted Alabaster, drew a pistol, and fired a couple shots.
The bullets pinged off the armored heads. The attack drew a response. The two robots lifted their clawed arms and quickened their pace toward the Phantom.
The closest Diablo began to fire jets of flame from its claws. But it suddenly tripped on the rope and fell full length to the ground. The other Diablo snapped the tripline with a swipe of its clawed arm.
Too bad,thought the Phantom. Apparently, the Diabloes were programmed to respond to obstacles. But it was a good sturdy line, and had served for at least one round.
Too bad,thought the Phantom. Apparently, the Diabloes were programmed to respond to obstacles. But it was a good sturdy line, and had served for at least one round.
The Phantom cupped his hands and raised his voice. "Horus! Eyes!" Then he waved his hand in front of his face.
The falcon swooped in front of the second Diablo, brushing at the robot's eyes with the tips of a wing.
The robot drew back and swatted at Horus, but the bird only ascended out of reach. As the Phantom had guessed, the machine's eyes were not ornamental only, but functional. The head swiveled like a turret, tracking Horus's flight The Diablo turned, aimed it's clawed arm at the falcon, and fired an electrical bolt, which the bird barely dodged.
With his feet, the Phantom nudged Alabaster in his flanks. The man wore no spurs. Without hesitation, the horse bolted forward. It leapt over and cleared the fallen Diablo. Then it aimed a kick with its rear hooves at the legs of the Diablo trying to fry Horus.
The Diablo tottered, and toppled over on the other one. Both Diablos struggled on the narrow forest trail to stand upright.
The Phantom nudged Alabaster, and the horse broke into a gallop. They must reach Niobe's Well to see how serious the attack was.
Niobe's Well was a few clpaboard homes, a few huts, garden plots, a wooden church, and a local tavern.
Shouts greeted the Phantom as he broke into the clearing. "Ghost-Who-Walks! Giant machines have attacked us!"
Two little boys wept. One spoke. "Ghost-Who-Walks! We are sorry! Our father brought us the toys from Matewan! They grew into--into--the things!"
People were rushing toward the man. "Is anyone injured?" he asked aloud.
"Gather your families! Run into the forest!" He glanced down at the two boys. "M'Kel! Jacques! This not your fault! This was a plot by evil men! These are weapons made to look like toys! Now--go with your families!" He personally knew most of the people on the island. He wanted to reassure them--but that would have to wait.
The villagers were running into the trees. The Phantom dismounted and drew his pistols. The booming footsteps of the two approaching monsters could be heard. He wracked his brain. He was used to battling assassins and smugglers--and even armed gangs. But how to fight gigantic walking machines.
A group of men approached, armed with shovels, and spades--and a couple shotguns. "Ghost-Who-Walks--we will not let our village die without a struggle," said one grimly.
The Phantom smiled dourly. More than twenty generations and four centuries earlier, the Bandar had stood by his ancestor to free themselves from the tyranny of the Wasaka, the people who had enslaved them all. He loved them dearly, and they loved their champion. He called to the two men bearing the shotguns. "Francois! Nuanda! We will fire in a volley at the creatures' heads when they enter the clearing! God willing, we will find a weak point! The rest of you--stand behind me!"
There was a buzzing in the Phantom's earpiece. Manuelito was calling. "Ghost-Who-Walks! I have been monitoring the media and playing a hunch! About an hour ago there was a localized appearance of these machines in the city of Middleton, Colorado--in America!"
The Phantom strove to remember. "MIddleton? Isn't that the home of Kim Possible?"
"Exactly, sir! My search has yielded a valuable clue! Kim Possible has a technical advisor--my counterpart! We have conferred, and he has sent me a schematic! The machines have a number of vulnerable areas. The most prominent is he crescent-shaped object on the robots' foreheads--it is an antenna! It is what receives the command signal!"
The group of men stared astonished at the costumed man--and shrugged. It was as the stories said--what they had heard all their lives. The Man Who Cannot Die could commune with the Unseen. He would deliver them as he had always done. And if not--they would make their last stand with him--as their people had always been prepared to do.
The two monsters had entered the clearing. They stood still for a moment, their heads swiveling from side to side, as though they were surveying the scene before laying waste to the village. Garm ran at them, growling. They both swiped at the wolf with their clawed arms, but he was too nimble.
"Well done!" said the Phantom to his unknown companion. He looked carefully. Yes! There it was! What had been the "D" monogram on the foreheads of the figurines in their miniature state had metamorphosed into an appendage that looked like the crest of a samurai helmet. He lifted up his arm and shouted "Horus!"
The trained bird landed on his forearm. The Phantom pointed to the Diablo's antenna. "There!" he shouted again. Horus sighted along the arm and extended finger--and with a cry, took flight again.
The falcon dropped like a stone. At the last second, it veered off from the top of the Diablo's head. The bird's outstretched talons grasped the antenna and snapped it off.
The robot dropped like a marionette whose strings were cut, and the ground shook with its fall.
The other Diablo's head rotated toward the fallen machine, and then toward the Phantom. It appeared to hesitate. Suddenly, it stiffened. In the blink of an eye, it shrank and dropped to the ground, an inert diabolical plaything.
The battle ended with dizzying abruptness. The group of men stood stunned. The villagers began to wander back out of the forest. Cheers broke out. Men, women, and children rushed toward each other and hugged.
Manuelito spoke excitedly. "Ghost-Who-Walks! Excellent news! Kim Possible has deactivated the transmission tower that broadcast the signal. All the Diabloes worldwide have been disabled."
Alabaster shook his head and snorted. "Acknowledged, Manuelito," said the Phantom happily. "Returning to the Cave."
Amid the rejoicing, the Phantom looked around the two boys. He approached them and stooped to their eye level. "Jacques, M'Kel."
They stared in awe.
"I want to reassure you. You did nothing wrong. It is as I said. These were machines invented by an evil man who gave them to children all around the world. And do you know who turned them back into toys again?"
Jacques answered shyly. "You, sir?"
The Phantom smiled. "No. It was Kim Possible."
"Kim Possible? In America?" blurted Jacques. It did not occurr to them to doubt their Guardian--or to wonder how he could know such things.
The Phantom stood erect and summoned Alabaster with a soft whistle.
A man approached. "We thank you, Ghost-Who-Walks. The next time we are in Matewan, we will not bring toys from a fast-food franchise for our children."
"The toys are safe, J'lomo," said the Phantom. "Next time, it will be another means they will use. And they will find us ready again."
The Phantom guided Alabaster to the two Little Diablos. The horse raised its hooves and crushed them. Then the mounted man disappeared down the trail, followed by the wolf and the hawk.
J'lomo knelt by his two boys, M'kel and Jacques. "The Ghost-Who-Walks spoke with my father--your grandfather--when he was your age. He remembered it all his life, and he was a better man for it. Always remember this day, my sons."
And the two boys nodded.
to be continued