Angel Falls, Present Day
The woman known to the world as the Soviet Superwoman descended into the streets of downtown Angel Falls as soon as she heard her name being bellowed by the loud, booming voice. The voice was unfamiliar to her and was speaking in her native tongue. Even more suspicious she could hear him over the usual sounds of the bustling city at this time of day. It didn't take her long to find the source of her summons. She would have seen him had a crowd not been gathering cautiously all around, traffic stopping a rubber-neckers slowed to see what was about to happen. The man calling her name was a giant in stature, easily eight to nine feet in height and perhaps even up to four hundred pounds in weight. His arms were the size of small tree-trunks ending in fists the size of her head. He was built like tank as well, solidly muscled and wearing piece-mail armor plating. A massive iron helm sat upon his head and obstructed his eyes and most of his head from view. Only his mouth, full of yellowed, broken teeth could be seen above his powerful looking chin. As she landed nearby the man clapped in her direction, nodding his enormous helmeted head. Each clap was like a tiny explosion in his gigantic hands.
"Magnificent!" The man shouted at her with a deep, low voice, it's tone more akin to a growl. "Such a graceful and muscular woman who can soar through the skies like a bird of prey. Truly this is the age of wonders! A wife the likes of you could have gifted me a brood of powerful children!"
"Who are you?" Olga asked in a demanding tone. Her stance was immediately defensive.
"I am Koschei the Deathless. I am sure that you know of me little девочка. Perhaps your father told you my story as you ate dinner around the fire, or your grandmother perhaps."
Olga had heard of the tale of Koschei the Deathless. Everyone in her village had, for his was a tale as old as Russia itself. A ruthless boyar who made a deal with the ancient hag Baba Yaga for eternal life, strength and power to crush his enemies. Koschei's soul was removed by the witch and, according to the legend, hidden inside a needle, which is inside an egg, which is inside a duck, which is inside a hare, which was buried in a golden chest under a green oak tree in a location long since forgotten. As long as his soul is safe, he cannot die and he cannot be killed. If the chest is dug up and opened, the hare will bolt away; if it is killed, the duck will emerge and try to fly off. Anyone possessing the egg has Koschei in their power. Such was the story that was told to her so many years ago. A fairy tale and nothing more.
"Koschei the Deathless is nothing but a cautionary tale told to children. A boogeyman." Olga replied to the giant man who began to shake his head slowly from side to side.
"Ah, I assure you that I am he little девочка and that I am all too real. I have been alive on this earth for more than a millennium, serving the master that holds my soul. I cannot be killed nor can I die."
"So why are you here in Angel Falls? What has this to do with me?"
At this the armored man's smile returned wider than before. "You have made some powerful enemies back home little девочка, powerful enemies who have tired of playing this game with you. Powerful enemies who have awoken me from my slumber. I am here to make sure that this is the last time you trouble them."
Olga knew immediately why he had come and swallowed hard. "I have done nothing but try to atone for that mistake. I am not a threat to Russia, nor any of the people there. I love..."*
"I am not here to debate with you. Apparently that time has passed and honestly it does not concern me in the slightest. I am simply here to kill you and then return to my castle, which I will do NOW!"
Koschei brought both arms up with incredible speed, his lips contorting into a spittle-covered curl of disgust as his brought them down towards the smaller woman. Olga caught the thunderous blow with both arms just before they landed. The impact shuddered her entire body and drove her downwards, her boots cracking and splintering the asphalt under them. Chunks of the road sprayed out in all directions as she was driven downwards, her knees buckling from the force. The Soviet Superwoman grunted as she began to exert her own strength back against the brute. Her arms trembled as she drove forwards suddenly, knocking the giant backwards. Koschei took a few stumbling steps backwards, slightly off-balance. His head cocked to one side, as if he was amazed at the fact so small a woman had managed to stagger him backwards. The hesitation was brief as he almost immediately shook it off and swung with a punishing left hook. Olga was more prepared this time, nimbly dodging out of the way. Her feet barely touched the ground before launching her forward towards her opponent. She had to go on the offensive.
The Soviet woman lashed out with a vicious right cross, slamming it into the side of Koschei's helmeted head. His head whipped backwards and he again took a step back. She continued her assault, hovering a few feet off the ground as she swung her other muscular arm around towards him. This time her blow connected solidly with his shoulder, eliciting a growl from the reeling juggernaut. The raven-haired farm-girl came back around with another right only to have it intercepted by his massive hand. Koschei caught the blow and grabbed her arm tightly. Olga had just enough time to let out a gasp from the incredible strength he exerted on her just as he pulled her forward, smashing his other hand into her beautiful face fist-first. The giant Slavic then swung her in a wide arc before letting go, sending her shooting across the street like a missile. The Soviet Superwoman smashed into a parked car, caving in the side like it was made of aluminum foil. The windows exploded into thousands of fragments all around her. Olga looked up to see Koschei leaping towards her.
She met him in the air, flying up to meet him with her right arm pulled back to deliver another blow. Koschei however grappled her into a bear hug and sent the both of them crashing downwards. This close she could smell the foul reek of his breath on her cheek. Olga took the brunt of the impact as the massive man landed directly on top of her. She coughed once before a palm the size of a frozen turkey snapped closed across her face and began to drag her headlong through the streets as he ran at full speed. Asphalt and aggregate stone churned and kicked up as he used her head to cut a volleyball-sized swath across the stretch of road for several feet. Using his own momentum, he jerked her free from the trench he had created with her head and tossed up in front of him like a rag doll. Disoriented, Olga never saw the other fist the smashed directly into her chest at emblem level. The savage punch sent her flying, her back impacting on a building several yards away. The concrete caved in from the force, dropping her onto the sidewalk and showering her with masonry. Olga was on her hands and knees now. She let out a groan from her already tired body and looked out towards her enemy. The giant brute was walking slowly towards her, his mouth smiling like a death rictus. The sight made her face hot with anger. Using a hypersonic burst of speed, the Soviet heroine charged him with both fists extended.
A flurry of punches rained down on the ancient creature from seemingly all directions as she harried around him, moving like a blur. Two, four, six, eight...Koschei the Deathless attempted to cover his lower face from the ferocity of her attack, but not before a brutal uppercut connected directly with his chin. The strength of her blow carried his body upwards off the ground a few inches, his hands dropping back down to his sides. Olga took the opportunity while she still had her burst of speed to smash another fist into the side of his head hard from one direction and then the other. A body blow caused the giant to double over and with both her fists now interlocked, Olga swung upwards with a haymaker, coming up under his chest and sending him up and into the air. Koschei came down several yards away, crashing through the trailer of a large water truck. Hundreds upon hundreds of plastic water bottles exploded as he ripped the trailer in half, shearing through the metal and collapsing on the street underneath. The brute's hand came up first, taking hold of the shattered side of the trailer to help lift himself off the ground. Water dripped off his body and mingled with the blood that now trickled from a dozen or so wounds to create a pinkish fluid. The Soviet Superwoman dashed forward and began to pummel him with another round of body shots. She had to keep the pressure on him, had to take him out quickly before this battle continued even longer. Every second that passed put more of the citizens of Angel Falls at risk.
Koschei took hold of her with both hands, cruelly taking hold of her sides. With a bestial snarl he lifted her off her feet and slammed her down onto the street shoulders first. The force of her body hitting the road devastated it in all directions around her like stone hitting a still pond. Her opponent then took a hold of her boots and swung her like a baseball bat up and over his shoulder, slamming her body down on the opposite side of himself. Again the roadway shivered and splintered and again he swung her body in another arc to come back down a third time before finally letting her go. The Soviet woman barely had enough time to try and look up to get her bearings when her foe kicked her straight in the face, rocketing her back across the street to collide with a brick building. Her crimson cape fluttered in the air as she tumbled into the side of the wall, cracking it with her body. Her gloved hands took hold of the damaged structure and braced against it as she lifted herself back to her feet. Already her legs felt heavy and she was short of breath. Her hand went instinctively upwards to her Guardian communicator. She needed help. Koschei was took strong...too powerful. None of her blows seemed to have anything other than cosmetic effect on the giant.
A sudden, vicious hammerblow crashed into the side of her face, knocking her hand back down and crushing her face against the cold, splintered bricks. Another blow followed, punching her head directly into the wall creating a crater around her face, followed by another that smashed her all the way through it. Koschei took a step back and let her limp form drop back down onto the sidewalk, groaning softly. The raven-haired amazon was bruised and bloodied from her assault, but was still attempting to lift herself back off the ground. Koschei smirked and chuckled, a hoarse, phlegmy sound from the back of his throat.
"Why do you still deny the inevitable?" he mused before lifting his heavy boot and sending it crashing down onto the back of her head.
Olga flailed as her face was once again punished and driven hard into the sidewalk, grounding the asphalt all around her into rubble. Another thunderous footfall collided with the back of her head. Olga opened her injured mouth to let out a cry of pain, but broken gravel and earth choked her sound. Koschei brought his foot up and down with all his strength several more times until he was satisfied that had had seriously hurt her. Reaching down he grabbed a hold of Olga's limp arm and lifted her out of the bloody hole he had stomped her into. He held her at arms length and looked her over for a moment, his expression one of disapproval.
"After all the trouble they went through to enlist my aid, this was almost...too easy my little девочка."
His mouth split into a ghastly smile that quickly turned into a look of confusion. Olga had grabbed hold of his arm hard and fired her laser vision directly into his wrist. Her beams ripped into his armor and burned two molten holes into his flesh. The giant cried out in pain before letting her go. The Soviet Superwoman lashed out with her powerfully built leg and caught him in the solar plexus, sending him sprawling backwards. Her hand reached back up to her sub-dermal communication device to find it smashed. The series of blows she had received to the head had been enough to disable it. She had no doubt that the other Guardians would be arriving soon, or other heroes and heroines that patrolled the city and called it their home. Olga looked around. The brief few moments of battling with Koschei had already taken a terrible toll. All around her the city was in ruins. The streets destroyed, buildings crumbling...fires. The giant warrior was already back up and moving in her direction with ferocity. There was no time to wait for anyone else. She had to take this out of the city...and part of her knew that she had to be the one that ended this. All of it was her fault. Her own stupidity from several years ago had come back to haunt her so many times already: The Warlord, Siberian Guardsman, Red Nova and the others...the city had paid enough for her crimes and so had she. Koschei would be the last of them she vowed, whether by her defeating him or with her death at his hands. Either way, it wasn't going to happen here.
The Soviet Superwoman took skyward and flew out over the city. She glanced backwards over her shoulder as she cut through the azure sky. Koschei was in pursuit, leaping after her and cursing in their native language. There was enough distance between the two them to let her catch her breath and try to regain some of her strength. She knew she was already hurt badly. Their was a ringing in her ears and she was having trouble hearing out of her right one. Several of her ribs were broken and in all likelihood she was suffering from a concussion or worse a skull fracture. She had managed to land several solid blows of her own onto Koschei so perhaps he was no longer at full strength as well. As she made her way out of the city she tried to shake the idea from her mind that he was the
Koschei the Deathless, the ancient creature from Slavic legend. Perhaps he has simply stolen the name. He was probably just another high-priced, metahuman assassin who banked on using fear to his advantage like Lucifer. A thug who claimed he was immortal and therefore could never be truly stopped from accomplishing his mission.
The alternative was much more frightening to her.
To be continued...
Fantastic artwork commissioned by
by my dear friend and patron
, without whom none of this would be possible.
Soviet-Superwoman and the story are my property and creations. Koschei the Deathless is an ancient Slavic myth that I am having fun borrowing from liberally.
This story takes place in
*The "mistake" Olga is talking about here refers to her involvement in this storyline: [link]