The following was planned to be the prolog of a Dillon novel. However, given that the characters used in this are all firmly under copyright I quickly realized the impracticality of using such a scene in my story. However I felt it didn’t deserve to never be seen and since we’re all friends here and I don’t think anybody will turn me in to the Copyright Police….enjoy
An Island Off The Coast of Spain
The explosions destroying the massive underground complex shook the very bedrock of the small island some fifty miles off the coast of Spain. The explosions were not as bone-jangling as the earlier ones had been, but the cache of weapons and other nerve gases and other more exotic and even more lethal instruments of death that had been secreted in vaults underneath the extensive complex absolutely had to be destroyed and none of the people who had participated in the exhaustive and horrendous battle of the previous night could take the chance that any would be left to be used against the innocents of the world.
A man stood on a high hill overlooking the sight of an ancient castle burning to the ground. An average sized man, he was garbed all in gunmetal gray with a holster strapped to his right thigh that held his only weapons: a long barreled .22 revolver and a slim, sharp stiletto. The man’s face was very pale and strangely immobile as if it were not a face of flesh, but of wonderfully carven marble. And while his hair was thick and virile, it was also the color of the purest snow. Even standing in quiet repose as he was doing now, he had an aura of quiet, controlled power.
He did not turn as he heard another man come up behind him. The man in gray could identify people by their very step as easily as could by looking at their face and he knew this was a friend and not a foe. This man was a foot and a half taller, dressed in khaki pants, shirt and a battered, dusty leather jacket with a worn brown fedora pushed back on his head, allowing a cowlick of straight brown hair to fall over his forehead. A three-day stubble of beard covered the lower half of his ruggedly handsome face and he looked as if he’d been fighting in a pit full of alligators. Considering the horrors he had been fighting the past night, a pit of alligators would have been welcome. A holstered Webley .455 revolver and a well-used ten-foot long bullwhip dangled from his belt.
The man in gray turned. “How did the final sweep of the island go, Dr. Jones?’
“We’re good. Your people have rounded up the last of the Society’s grunt troops and they’ve secured the boats and planes. Savage’s crew is setting the last of the explosive charges and handling the extra transport to take them to the States.” Indiana Jones adjusted his fedora as he stood next to the man in gray. “One hell of a night, I’ll tell you.”
“So much death and destruction,” the man in gray murmured. His pale lips barely moved as yet another explosion collapsed the south wall of the castle and it crashed into rubble, throwing a huge plume of belching flame into the dawning sky.
“Had to be done, Benson,” Indiana grunted, removing something from the leather satchel he had slung over a shoulder. He held it up to the light and it glittered and glowed in the light of the flames. “If The Society Of Seven had went ahead with the plans they had for THIS…well, who knows how much hell they would have caused on Earth…and this poor world has had enough the past eight years…we’re just coming out of a World War…the last thing anybody needs in a bunch of lunatics running around trying to manipulate governments.”
The object the archeologist held was a necklace of a thousand tear shaped rubies interwoven in a delicate web of gold, silver and platinum threads. The light reflected from the rubies was breathtaking in its loveliness. The rubies were of various sizes with the smallest being no larger than a fingernail and the largest maybe an inch in diameter. “I know how you feel about killing, Benson, but there was no way we could have let The Society Of Seven keep The Tears Of Blood and they weren’t about to give it up without a fight to the death. They called they terms of this war. We didn’t.”
“Dr. Jones is right, Richard.” Another man strode up the hill to join them. He was the most physically impressive of the trio. Standing an easy six foot six, his skin was tanned a golden bronze by tropical suns. His eyes were a piercing gold that radiated intelligence. He was dressed in riding jodhpurs and his khaki shirt was ripped to shreds, displaying an incredible musculature that bordered on the superhuman. Just looking at him inspired a sense of awe because he gave off an air of command and power that few men on earth possessed. His golden hair was cut short and came to a widow’s peak in the middle of his high forehead. But his face was wrinkled and lined with an age beyond his actual years. He was a man who had fought the forces of evil far longer than both of his companions. He had looked into the very mouth of Hell during his long campaign to vanquish evil. And while his resolve to continue the fight had not withered one iota, even he had been shaken by the monstrous plans of the organization he and his companions had smashed this night.
The bronze man continued speaking in a vibrant, resonant voice; “We’ve all had dealings with The Society of Seven on a individual basis. Dr. Jones first encountered them in Malaysia back in 1935. You battled them in New York in the same year. I’ve dealt with several of their agents even though I was not aware of the existence of the organization until I ran up against John Sunlight and even The Society disavowed him once they realized how truly mad he was. And as for The Shadow—“
“I have known of The Society of Seven for more years than you can know, Dr. Savage.”
The voice that interrupted Clark Savage, Jr. was low and throbbing. It was the voice of a fanatic. A voice that carried power and purpose and it belonged to the last of this strange grouping. A man who suddenly seemed to just…appear next to Indiana Jones, making the archeologist reach for his holstered revolver before he realized whom it was and relaxed.
“That’s a helluva good way for you to get yourself killed, spooky,” Indianagrowled.
The new arrival laughed and each of his three companions involuntarily shivered. They were all brave men and had faced more of their share of danger and evil…but that LAUGH…it was a laugh that could only belong to The Shadow and each of the three men had come to realize something during this mission…while they were each unique in their own way, The Shadow was something beyond human.
His midnight black ankle length coat flapped in the sudden wind that sprung up, seemingly with his arrival. A blood red scarf covered the lower half of his face and all that could be seen was his hawkish nose and the pair of piercing, colorless eyes that glittered with inhuman will and purpose. A midnight black broad brimmed slouch hat was pulled low over his forehead. A large pair of .45 automatics were held in his gloved fists, still smoking from his night’s grim and bloody work.
“We have done well, gentlemen,” The Shadow said in that tombstone voice of his…a voice that seemed to come from the bowels of a dark and deadly soul. “The Society Of Seven has at last been crushed. Save for a few strays that I shall meet vengeance to shortly.”
“No you won’t.”
The Shadow turned his glittering eyes on the man in gray. “The weed of crime must not be allowed to take fresh root, Benson. Trust me when I say that if we do not eradicate every last member of The Society Of Seven, they will rise again. And they will flourish.”
Richard Henry Benson turned to look at The Shadow, his pale, icy eyes burning with a fire that easily matched The Shadow’s. “We all agreed to this partnership because we realized that we were accomplishing nothing fighting The Society on its own terms. We were only eliminating its arms and never the brains. We’ve even put aside some of our most cherished morals to accomplish this. But we’ve done our job. It’s time to say enough.”
The Shadow chuckled. “And you call yourself The Avenger?”
“And I have avenged. And it is enough.”
The bronze man stepped between The Shadow and The Avenger. “Richard is right, Shadow. We’ve broken the back of The Society of Seven. We’ve got nearly five hundred of their agents and soldiers that I’ll be more than happy to send to my college for rehabilitation. We have The Tears of Blood. This is over.”
The Shadow fixed Indiana Jones with his basilisk stare. “And your opinion, Dr. Jones?”
Indiana held up The Tears of Blood. “I’ve got what I came for and I’ve helped save the world. I’m satisfied. You guys are the do-gooders. Do what you want. I’m done.”
The Shadow’s voice was low and dangerous as he rasped, “Surely you do not think that we will allow you to retain possession of The Tears of Blood so that they will fall into some other evil hands?”
Indiana’s hand dropped to his bullwhip. “I’ve seen you do a few things, spooky. But I’ve got a couple of tricks up my sleeve as well. And I came along with you on this with the firm understanding that I was acting as an agent of the United States government to secure The Tears of Blood for scientific and archeological study and research. You agreed to that. Try and change the rules in the middle of the game and you’re gonna see just how spooky I can get.”
“You’ve got your agreement, Dr. Jones and The Shadow will honor it. Or he’ll have to deal with me.” Doc Savage said with finality staring at The Shadow. Colorless eyes locked with golden eyes for a long minute.
The Shadow raised his .45’s.
And thrust them into the oiled holsters under his armpits. “You are honorable men and worthy allies. I have trusted each of you with my life this past night and I would do so again. I will trust you on this.”
Doc Savage nodded and turned back to Indiana. “You’ll be coming with my aides and me, Dr. Jones. We’ll make sure you get to Washington with The Tears of Blood. Shadow—“
The Shadow was gone.
Indiana shook his head. “Damned if I can figure out how he does that. I never took my eyes off him.”
The Avenger shrugged. “I’m of the opinion that he was never really here.”
The three men watched as the last of The Society of Seven’s stronghold burned to the ground.
“What have we really accomplished here tonight, Clark?” Benson asked quietly. “The lives that were lost…all this destruction…will it mean anything if The Society of Seven comes back?”
Doc Savage laid a hand on The Avenger’s shoulder as he said; “And if they do, there will be other men who will take up our struggle and do their part, Richard. They will fight and struggle and yes, they will die if necessary to make this a peaceful world. And that is all we can hope for.”
“Amen to that, brother,” Indiana Jones said feelingly and the three of them watched as the stronghold of The Society of Seven burned to the ground.