[CENTER][IMG][/IMG][/CENTER] [color=darkred][center][size=5][font=arialblack][b]~ ALL HOPE LOST ~[/size][/color][/font][/b][/center]

[i]Magic’s heart leaped into his chest like a rabbit being flung from an eight-foot high catapult. One minute he was speaking with Jude and Bill about some trivial subject on their way through I-75 to get to Cincy, and after a few unfortunate isolated moments later involving a toilet and empty toilet roll on a a desolated rest stop, the Pied Piper’s bombarding ambush for the Book of Merlin was underway. As a long boot shadow eclipsed over Magic’s location, the Hardcore Houdini looked up through the windowed ceiling and saw the incoming stomp.[/i]

[b]Magic:[/b] Shit!

[i]Shit was right. Like a boot to an ant, the giant boot from Mother Goose’s Old Woman Who Lived In a Shoe had found itself in the modern world thanks in part to the Pied Piper and his power to transport between the earth and faerie realm. As Magic quickly dodged out of the way, the boot smashed the stall that had previously been occupied. Magic quickly escaped the restroom as the massive boot magically rose into the air once more, then came crushing down towards him again for a massive stomp on the sidewalk area. In a moment’s notice, Magic darted in a blinding speed as the boot came hurling down once more. [/i]

[b]Magic[/b]: Jude! Bill! Start the car!

[i]Rather than hear what the famed magician was saying, Jude and Bill didn’t hear a word, instead they were immersed to listening a familiar 1960’s hit.[/i]

[center][b]Oh yeah, I´ll tell you something I think you´ll understand When I say that something I wanna hold your hand I wanna hold your hand I wanna hold your hand[/b][/center]

[b]Magic:[/b] What’s wrong with you?? Start the car, we gotta get out of here.

[b]Piper:[/b] They can’t hear you. Not when I have you cornered like the worthless rat you are.

[i]With his rodent-like nose and yellow-stained eyes, the Pied Piper of Hamelin looked at Magic with an impenetrable stare. From behind him, the famous musician stared down the famed magician as several hundreds of rats came from out of the woods following him like the famous fairytale of old. [/i]

[b]Piper:[/b] You’ve gotten yourself in quite the pickle Mr. Romeo.

[b]Magic:[/b] Who are you?

[b]Piper:[/b] How insulting, are you telling me that Oden never mentioned a word about me during your mentoring of the Source??? I’m ashamed.

[b]Magic:[/b] If you know about the Source, I take it you must not be friends with the old man.

[b]Piper:[/b] No, not really.

[i]With a swift blow to his flute, the Old Shoe rose into the air like a flyswatter, then the Piper grabbed hold of his flute like it was a wand, and struck it down to signal the shoe to do likewise. Within a milli-second of the shoe crushing Magic, he enveloped himself in a pillar of smoke. The Old Shoe crushed the position where Magic was standing like it was a cockroach, only for a gust of smoke to escape all around it. The smoke circled around and came back into one, re-forming the body of Magic.[/i]

[b]Magic:[/b] Then you must be after the one thing you can never have.

[b]Piper:[/b] Give me the Book of Merlin you cretin. You can do all the magic tricks you want Romeo, but if you want to do this the hard way, be my guest.

[b]Magic:[/b] You’re gonna be in for quite the Magic Show then.

[i]The Piper rose his flute and played the one note that caused all men to drop to their knees in defeat. It was the same note that could drop Krimson Mask, Bloodrose, Oden, or any other living creature. But this time…[/i]

[b]Magic:[/b] That’s not gonna work old man.

[i]Magic pulled out the Book of Merlin from his cloak, a book that possessed and controlled all sources of the supernatural within the Faerie and Earth Realms. Since the days of Merlin, all the magic and spells had been recorded in the book, along with the proper anecdotes to counter any magic attack. The book furnished the power of transport behind the Sword of Damocles, the magic contained within the Looking Glass, the immense curiosity surrounding the magic beans for the growth of the Giant Beanstalk, even the mystery surrounding the immortal Flame. The Book of Merlin provided the spells of them all, a book so important to keep out of the wrong hands that only those entrusted must solemnly promise to protect it at all costs. A creed of silence, a creed in which has been exposed by the Piper’s diligence to monopolize his dictatorship within the realm of fairytale.[/i]

[b]Piper:[/b] Fair enough, but I hope you have some rat poison in that cloak of yours as well.

[i]Right on cue, the Pied Piper’s rats chased towards Magic. Intimidated by the sheer numbers of rodents, Magic bolted towards the Volkswagen that Jude and Bill were in, still singing to themselves in a possessed fashion.[/i]

[center][b]Oh, please, say to me You´ll let me be your man and please, say to me

You´ll let me hold your hand Now let me hold your hand I wanna hold your hand[/center][/b]

[b]Magic:[/b] Guys! Snap out of it! Drive!

[i]Magic jumped into the backseat of the Volkswagen, tapping Jude on the shoulder to speed out of there. Jude revved up the engine, put the car in drive, and without being in his own mindset, drove into the forest straight up to the Pied Piper and his possessing music. Before Magic could get out of the car, Jude drove straight into the nearest tree, catapulting him out of the car’s windshield and next to the feet of the Pied Piper as the Beatles finished another stanza.[/i]

[b][center]And when I touch you I feel happy inside It´s such a feeling That my love I can't hide I can't hide I can't hide...[/b][/center]

[i]The Book of Merlin was laying helplessly on the grass next to Magic knocked out next to it. With Jude and Bill’s zombified bodies resting on the airbags inside the Volkswagen, The Piper sauntered over to the book. His yellow eyes were shocked that he could possess all powers of the Source. As he reached out to grab the book, a resonance of a whistling axe came swinging through. Before being able to look-up, the Piper’s right hand was missing half a flute. He looked up and saw the menacing girth of Krimson Mask standing there with Little Red Riding Hood and a twisted look that would kill.[/i]

[b]Little Red:[/b] Krimmy! You hit his flute! Hip Hip HUURRAAAAAAAAHHH!!!

[b]Piper:[/b] Get them!

[b]Little Red:[/b] Krimmy, get the Book!

[i]As the rats rushed towards Krim and Red’s position, the Grimm Reaper grabbed hold of the stationery giant boot, and with all his strength, threw the boot atop hundreds of scouring rats to crush them on impact. With several more rats in tow, Krimmy and Red jumped on top of the boot and bridge themselves from any other rodents. Meanwhile, the fluteless Piper transitioned himself towards Merlin’s Book in a race that depended on the future of the Faerie Realm. Sensing his time was thin, Krimson Mask dived through the remaining rats in charged towards the Piper and Book. Just as Mask was feet away, his entire body was hurled from a great explosive that rocked the ground of where he once stood. Soil, trees, and rats exploded around him and giant net had captured around the Blood Beast. The Piper grabbed the Book and ventured away from the scene, leaving Krimson Mask breathing for life at the suddenness of what just happened.[/i]

[b]Little Red: KRIIIMMMMMMMYYYY!!!![/b]

[i]A lighted cigarette was thrown to the ground. Little Red turned around, looking at an unshaven mercenary with a look of pride etched across his face for a job well done. [/i]

[b]Little Red:[/b] You meanie, do you know what you have done?!? We had him!!! We had him in our sights!

[i]Jason Gravis could only snicker at the demented little valet, for he had just bagged the biggest catch that would be spoken about for centuries on earth. For Krimson Mask’s world, after the Piper had escaped with the Book of Merlin, the consequences were sure to be heightened.[/i]

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