Chapter One: Magic Mayhem
The sweltering sun beat down on the group of friends gathered around a fresh mound of dirt with a cross on one end. The youngest member to the league of extraordinary gentlemen stood with his Winchester resting across his shoulder, his arms slumped over it. He listened as each person said their respects to the great hunter now laid to rest.
Tom Sawyer was only dimly aware of the distant chanting in the field near the cemetery. Instead his thoughts drifted back to the last time he had seen his mentor alive.
If he had only minded his surroundings with a more watchful eye then perhaps Quatermain would still be alive now. They would be off on another mission with the other league members. As he reminisced the remaining members of the league came to join him in a final farewell.
"You remember he swore Africa wouldn't let him die," Skinner asked the league members in his cockney accent, "I wish the 'ole boy had been right."
Sawyer brought his gun down so that the butt of his rifle rested next to his left foot on the ground. "What's next?" he asked them his haunted eyes never leaving the grave before them. Each of them knew how much the two men had bonded in the few days they had known each other.
"I have long hidden away from the world," Captain Nemo said quickly, "Now I wish to see it in new west century terms." He looked around to his fellow team mates arms held wide he invited, "You are all welcome to join me."
Mina Harker looked up through her dark veil, the sole indicator of her sorrow for a lost comrade, "We have all been hiding in one form or another."
Her knowing eyes rested on the grieving young man standing across from her. He seemed distracted, his eyes leaving the grave for the first time to see one of the villagers chanting and dancing in the distance. The spy dismissed this as a local tradition performed by the natives.
"The Nautilus awaits," the captain said bringing Sawyers attention back to the matter at hand. So who's comin'?," he shifted around slightly and his team mates took their leave knowing that he would want a few minutes alone.
Nemo was the first to depart shortly followed by Dr. Jekyll and the rest of the league, each taking a moment to pause and say their goodbyes to a dear friend and companion.
For a few moments Sawyer stood transfixed next to the final resting place of his mentor. More than anything he wished he could change those last final minutes so that Quatermain did not have to die to save him.
So emerced was he in his thoughts, that Sawyer never even noticed the witch doctor he had seen chanting in the field grab a handful of dirt from on top the grave.
In one smooth, circular motion the young man cocked the gun with his right hand and kneeled to place it on the grave. He had told Quatermain the first time they met that he could have this Americanized shooting tool and he was not one to go back on his word.
"Thanks," he said his hand still on the rifle. A shadow passed overhead causing Sawyer to glance up at the darkened sky.
That's strange, he thought to himself his eyebrows knit together in confusion, just a minute ago I coulda swore the sun was just there.
The chanting he heard before grew louder as a few streaks of lightening danced through the dark clouds. He stood up but immediately regretted it as a wave of disorientation hit him hard. The sound of the chanting was almost deafening now and the ground shivered in anticipation of what was to come.
Sawyer clasped his hands over his ears to try and muffle the harsh words. As he did so he felt a strange tugging as though he were being pulled away from everything. Without warning a single bolt of lightning struck both Tom and the rifle.
He screamed at the pain surging through his body as though the very fiber of his being was in the process of being ripped apart. Just as quickly as it had started, the pain ceased leaving his body exhausted and every nerve on fire.
Collapsing onto his hands and knees, Sawyer was only vaguely aware of the darkness that surrounded him. A light rain cascaded down onto him as a bitter cold seeped through his thin layer of cloths. He wasn't in Africa anymore.
His ears roared from thunderous chanting, but through this he thought he heard someone call out. Dazed he looked up in the direction the voice had come from and saw a woman running on the other side of the fence that was directly in front of him before disappearing behind the building to the left.
Grasping onto one of the bars Sawyer was able to pull himself up into a standing position. He heard the same voice call out again but this time he was too preoccupied by the sickening light headed feeling that blurred his vision.
Regaining some of his composure he tried to take a step forward but found that the strength in his legs was gone and collapsed yet again onto the concrete below.
This time though he could feel someone grab him from behind to ease his fall. He was turned so that he now lay on his back, drops of rain falling into his eyes and temporarily blinding him.
The cold was worse now that his cloths were almost soaked through. The young woman said something to him but Sawyer couldn't quite make out what it was she was trying to tell him. He shook his head trying unsuccessfully to clear it.
"The league…..," he gasped as his world threatened to go dark, "Where's my friends?"
The woman's face was blurred and he couldn't see her well at all but this time she spoke, "What is your name?" She put a strange device that glowed to the side of her head. "Tom," he gasped, "Tom Sawyer." And with that he knew no more.