Author: jumpback1

Three months after the devastating Rikti invasion subsided, Austin Maxim, a Paragon Police Department detective was investigating a string of grave robberies. The graves were completely devoid of all contents including the corpses.

On a stake out with his partner at Moth Cemetery in Dark Astoria, Austin started to hear a distant, drum-like rhythm. It was Austin’s watch, and his partner was fast asleep.

“I must be hearing things,” he thought to himself.

Austin decided to take a stroll in hopes of getting the incessant rhythm out of his head. As he was walking, he noticed a couple of blue glowing orbs moving slowly in distant Moth Cemetery. He thought he’d take a look. With gun drawn, he ventured in towards the hovering orbs. As he drew towards the pulsing spheres, it became foggy; a cold fog, cold like death. Something was not right.

Before Austin new it, he was completely surrounded by a thick oily blackness. He couldn’t tell north from south. The blood in him started to pump and the fear started to rise. Before he new it, he was at a dead run.

The cold, spine-tingling black urging on his feet and fear; he kept running. As he ran, he started seeing a building coming up ahead, like a beacon thru the storm. Pushing the large iron doors open was an effort, but he did get it open, and closed it behind him with his back.

Collapsing against the inside of the door Austin had a chance to catch his breath and take a look around. The dimly lit interior was welcome against the cold dark death outside. In the center of the room was an open sarcophagus. Taking a closer look, Austin could see a pair of obsidian gauntlets. The lamps in the room where placed in such a way so there were no shadows.

With a loud boom the large iron door flew open, cracking the wall it hit. Ther in the doorway was the black fog being held at bay by the strange lamps. There was also one of those strange glowing balls hovering in the doorway. As it moved closer Austin could make out a large humanoid form, the blue globe imbedded in its chest.

Austin pulled the gauntlets on as if they told him to. After putting on the light devoid gauntlets, he was drawn towards the hulking horror. As if he’d done it before, he grasped the orb in a gauntleted fist while thrusting the corpse back, tearing the blue pulsing globe from its chest. The corpse collapsed lifeless to the ground and the gauntlet holding the sphere started absorbing, no, eating the glowing orb. When the orb was fully absorbed the gauntlets seemed larger than when he had previously donned them. With a new-found vigor, Austin rushed out the door towards where he had left his sleeping partner. As soon as he reached the car he collapsed in a coma.

– Six months later –

Austin opened his eyes to discover himself in a strange room. He was strapped down and connected to strange machinery. To weak to move, he just lay there until someone came in.

At the sight of Austin’s consciousness, the doctor started calling his colleagues. While his peers arrived, he went to tell Austin what had been taking place while he was comatose.

Apparently shadows and blue balls weren’t the only things “eaten” by the still-attached gauntlets. The gauntlets fed off life force and Austin’s was the closest to feed off of. In an effort to save his life, he was injected with tiny nanobots to help repair and preserve his body. The only thing was that new injections of nanobots had to be introduced on a regular basis to counteract the gauntlet’s hunger.

The discovery of the strange zombies and powerful artifacts had drawn the attention of Paragon’s finest. After hearing Austin’s miraculous story, Exarch Industries had generously donated a nanotech power suit, giving Austin the ability to keep the cursed gloves at bay as well as bestow regenerative powers. With the generous donation, Austin decided to battle Paragon’s villains until some kind of anti-curse could be found to remove the dark gauntlets.

Until that time Austin Maxim will be known as “Dark Return.”

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