DCM Vertigo


Moon Knight

Night of the Knights
by Drutz

The Moon Copter flew silently over New York City, with Jean-Paul "Frenchie" Duchamp at the controls. He grinned and spoke into his comlink. "Marc? Are you there?"

A muffled voice answered. "I'm here, Frenchie. Come on around a couple of blocks -- I've left some muggers for the police and I'm ready to be picked up."

"Oui, Marc. Zee Moon Copter shall be waiting for you . . . " He heard Marc click off and he shook his head. " . . . and hopefully, we shall take you home. You are pushing yourself much too hard, my friend . . . "

As the Moon Copter flew towards the rendezvous point, a scout watched silently. He wore a white hood and his golden ankh glinted in the moonlight. He picked up a communicator. "This is Fist of Khonshu Agent 14. I have sighted the craft that belongs to the heathen . . . " He listened silently to the instructions given him and then nodded. "Yes . . . I shall make sure the ship does not leave until our agents are in position. We strike for Khonshu!"

Marlene Alraune sat in her bed, frowning. On the television, an old Cary Grant film flickered in the darkness, but she ignored it. The bed was huge, the sheets made of the softest silk. But right now it's size only seemed to magnify the fact that she was alone . . . again. She looked over at the empty side of the bed next to her and shook her head.

"Why, Steven?" She spoke out loud, glad to at least hear her own voice. "Why do you leave me alone every night and I still put up with you?" She got out of bed, slipping on a thin robe. "It's not like there aren't lots of guys who'd pay more attention to me . . . "

Sighing, she left the bedroom, padding down the large staircase. Perhaps, she mused, a nice bowl of ice cream would lift her spirits. Maybe life wasn't so bad -- she lived in a mansion, would never have to work a day in her life if she didn't want to, and still had her health. Besides, she knew Steven loved her -- he still insisted it was her kiss that had restored him to life. But she was still lonely.

She entered the kitchen, being quiet so she wouldn't wake Nedda the maid or Samuels the butler. To her surprise, the light was already on. She blinked, pulling her robe tighter around her. Years of having been attacked by supervillains caused her to tense up, ready to defend herself. She relaxed -- slightly -- when she saw Chloe, Frenchie's lover and Knight Templar, seated at the table, a half-empty container of ice cream in front of her.

Chloe smiled. "It's just me, Marlene. No worries." She shook her head slightly. "Well, lots of worries, actually."

Marlene sat beside her. "Mind if I grab a spoon?"

"Help yourself -- it's Neapolitan. I've eaten all the chocolate."

"Problems with Jean-Paul?"

Chloe leaned back, running a hand through her long, dark hair. "Oui. Ever since he discovered that I was a Templar, he has doubted my feelings for him. He thinks I have been with him solely to make sure that the Bloodline Agenda was fulfilled."

Marlene scooped up a bite. "Well?"

Chloe glanced at her harshly. "Well what?"

"Do you love him? Or were you just assigned to keep him safe until he was needed?"

Chloe bit off an angry retort. She sighed. "I . . . in the beginning, yes, I was his protector. But . . . I do love him now, Marlene." She wiped her eyes with the back of her hand. "I sometimes even what you and Marc have . . . "

Marlene blinked. " . . . Yeah. I guess it is kind of . . . special." She put an arm around Chloe and gave her a reassuring hug. "It'll be okay. Jean-Paul and Steven are two of a kind . . . head-strong macho butt-heads. But it'll work out."

Chloe smiled. "Thank you, Marlene, for being there . . . "

Moon Knight saw the ship appear in the sky above, outlined by the moon. He felt a chill. His heart was hammering again and he cursed himself silently for coming out tonight. Marlene had warned him not to overextend himself and Frenchie had come close to refusing to fly the Moon Copter . . . but Marc Spector sometimes needed the Mask. Needed to wrap himself in white and become Khonshu's fist . . . He saw Frenchie drop the ladder and he moved his hand to grasp it when suddenly an energy blast sliced through the bottom rung. He whirled incredibly fast, his truncheon in his hand.

"Blasphemer! Khonshu's servants condemn you!" Moon Knight's eyes narrowed. Eight members of the Knights of the Moon were crawling from the shadows. He frowned -- he'd assumed that after Plasma had died, the group would have fallen apart . . .

He leapt into the air, ignoring Frenchie's questions that echoed in his cowl comlink. He kicked the first of the Knights, breaking his nose. "You fellows made a mistake, a big one . . . Who's backing you?" He moved effortlessly, falling into his old fighting rhythm, grateful to be able to forget about his problems. Fighting was easy, living was hard . . .

One of the Knights spat at him. "We follow Khonshu's avatar, false one -- and she has decreed that you shall die!" He fired his energy blaster at Moon Knight, narrowly missing him.

Moon Knight wondered if the Knight meant that Plasma had survived somehow . . . it was very possible, no body had been found . . . and even if one had, people in his life had a habit of being resurrected. After all, he'd returned from the dead and so had many of his foes, including his brother . . . Randall . . .

Suddenly, Moon Knight's mind throbbed painfully. The world seemed to move slowly. He saw the Knights charging, felt himself evading their blows, but it all seemed like a dream. A voice whispered in his ear. It was the voice of Stained Glass Scarlet. He felt like screaming -- why was she still haunting his mind? First and most recently in the doctor's office . . .

"Moon Knight . . . "

The Knights disappeared and Marc found himself in a chapel. He looked about wildly, noting that the stained glass windows depicted various events in his own life -- his resurrection in Khonshu's tomb; his first battle with his insane brother Randall during the Hatchet Man killings; Marlene's kiss that resurrected him a second time; and other events . . .

Scarlet appeared suddenly, kneeling before a statue of Khonshu. She rose and turned to face him. "You have come. That is good. You must face that which is inside you, Marcstevenjake. You must find the man within."

Moon Knight stepped forward, his fists clenched. "Is this for real, Scarlet, or am I going insane?"

Scarlet shrugged. "Sanity is sometimes in the eye of the beholder."

Moon Knight grasped her wrist tightly, pulling her close. His voice was low and deadly. "No more games. Answer me."

Scarlet looked at him with eyes full of pity. "I wish that I could, Marc. Find me. Find me in the real world and I shall help you. Together we will take back that which is yours . . . "

Moon Knight started to say something further when pain suddenly lanced through him. He landed hard on the ground, looking up to see himself still facing three of the Knights. Blood seeped from a stab wound in his shoulder. The vision had passed, but cold, deadly reality flooded in.

He blocked the pain, grabbing a crescent dart. He threw it hard and straight, lodging it deep in one of the Knights' throats. He then kicked out with a foot, tripping another. The final guard hissed, "You have won this round, Moon Knight, but Khonshu cannot abide a heathen!" He tugged on his ankh, setting off an explosive charge. The Knight blew apart and a second later so did all the others, including the one right next to Moon Knight.

He covered his head with his hands as gore fell over him. The fools, he thought, killing themselves rather than falling into his hands. Fools . . . like Khonshu would be served by such as these.

He stood unsteadily, hearing Frenchie's worried voice in his cowl. "Marc? Marc? Are you alright?"

"Yes, Frenchie. I'm . . . okay. Did you get a good look at these guys?"

"Oui. They looked like zee Knights of zee Moon . . . "

"They were. I'm afraid our old friend Plasma is back in town . . . " and that's just one more thing to worry about, he thought.

Not far away, Leila O'Toole -- Plasma -- lowered her binoculars. She had watched the combat, not really expecting her troops to win, but wanting to see her opponent in action. It had been very enlightening. During the fight he had appeared to . . . lose track of where he was. Leila smiled. "Oh, Moon Knight . . . are you ill, perhaps?" She laughed. "It may not be honorable, but I shall take any victory over you that I can . . . when next we meet, you had best be healthy. Or I'll finally get my revenge . . . "

Gena shook her head. "I just can't believe it . . . who did it?"

Lt. Flint shrugged. "It happens all the time, I'm afraid. Your boys were in the wrong neighborhood, wearing the wrong colors."

Gena blew her nose and frowned. "Damn it! Damn gangs taking over everything . . . "

She turned around to see a doctor walking towards her, a grave look on his face. "How are they?"

"Your son Ricky is fine. He took a hit in his right leg. The bullet's out and he should heal fine. But Ray . . . Ray was shot in the eye. He's lucky to be alive. The bullet passed through the back of his skull."

"Omigod . . . is he . . . is going to be brain damaged?"

"No, we don't think so. But he's lost the eye. There was nothing we could do."

Gena nodded. She thought of Jake Lockley and what he had shared with herself and Crawley years ago . . . about the nature of his multiple identities. About the man in white and his desire for vengeance. About Moon Knight. "Well, I want the bastards who did this to pay, " she whispered, "and if you won't help, Jake . . . I'll do it myself."

"You are such an idiot!" Marlene tended to Steven's injury, bandaging the wound tightly. "What were you thinking, going out in your condition . . . "

Steven let out a groan of pain. "The doctor says the headaches are all psychological . . . I'm in no physical danger."

Marlene gaped at him. "Excuse me? You had one that caused you to fall out of a helicopter, remember? And tonight Frenchie says you nearly got yourself killed against those Knights of the Moon . . . "

Steven sighed. "You're right. Look, Marlene, I have an appointment in the morning, okay? I'm going to get help . . . "

Marlene nodded. "Okay . . . " She turned away for a moment. "Steven, there's something we need to talk about."

"What's that?"

"I need more than this . . . "

Steven watched her carefully. "Meaning what?"

She turned back to face him. "Meaning that I love you. I've tended to your wounds, played bait for your enemies, ran your company in your absence. I sit here night after night wondering if this is the time that you won't be coming back to me . . . "

Steven looked down. "So . . . you're leaving, then?"

Marlene laughed. "No . . . " She sniffled. "No. But I want more . . . I want to know where we stand."

"You know I love you . . . "

Marlene smiled shyly, for a moment looking very girlish. "Then marry me . . . "

Next Issue: Steven's answer revealed! Stained Glass Scarlet -- in the flesh! And more with Gena . . . in Moon Knight #4!


Welcome to issue 3 of Moon Knight. The title is now three issues old and I'm enjoying every minute of it. Hope you are too.

I'll try to narrow the focus more on Moon Knight soon. The last two issues have had a lot of stuff about the supporting cast. I've found myself enjoying them just as much as Moonie. Pretty soon, we'll be kicking off a MAJOR storyline. Please stick around.