Story Reviews
"The Price of Paradise"
    Our story begins with E-Man still lost on his journey to Arcturus, the star of his birth.  He lands on a world to find a young woman chained to a wall, unfortunately, our hero is too preoccupied to notice her chains.  While trying to discover her native language, a sword flies past them striking the wall at which the lady is chained.  Suddenly a monstrous giant falls through the wall with the sword imbedded in his chest.
    The girl is freed and runs away.  The being who threw the sword is the knight, Sir Meliot de Logres le Chevaler du Chariot Mal Fet (Mel).  E-Man greets him and asks if he knows the way to Arcturus, of course, Mel has never heard of such a place.  Mel is on his way to Bellkap, a nearby town.  E-Man, in centaur form accompanies him, hoping to find an educated individual to help him find his way home.
    They arrive to find Bellkap in ruins.  Mel is distressed to find this.  His friend, Sir Sagramagdus is the appointed guardian.  E-Man comments that he's either away, or lying somewhere in the rubble.  Mel finds a dying child who tells him of a merciless red knight who destroyed their town.  As she dies, Mel and E-Man decide to go north in search of answers.
    Meanwhile back on Earth, Nova and Vamfire are leaving what looks like a disaster area.  They went shopping together and got into an arguement over a blouse.  Vamfire eventually ended up buying the blouse, only because Nova calmed down. 
    After they arrive to their appartment, Nova is looking out towards Arcturus.  She is worried about her knight in shining armor, E-Man.
    Meanwhile, Mel and E-Man are searching for answers concerning the murderous red knight.  They discover a horde of warriors led by a red knight.  E-Man and Mel engage them in battle.  Our heroes are winning, Mel is in close combat with the red knight.  He unseats the knight from his horselike lizard creature and is about to run him through, when the knight reveals that he is Sagramagdus.  Sagramagdus claims that he just painted his armor yesterday, to his chagrin, his armor is the same color as the murderous red knight. 
    E-Man and Mel join Sagramagdus and his army in search of the villainous red knight and his army. 
    The horde comes to juncture where two castles can be seen, Caer Mallot and Caer Mort.  Sagramagdus tells our heroes that one of the castles belongs to the evil red knight.  Sagramagdus will take his army and invade Mort, Mel, and his army, E-Man, will invade Mallot.
    Before the battle, our armies go to a pub.  Mel goes outside the bar to get away from it all.  E-Man joins him to talk.
    Mel wearies of battle.  He longs for a different life, but lacks any skills other than soldiering.  E-Man tries to get him to try a different life, offers to take him to a place of peace and serenity. 
    Mel refuses, he is a man of action.  He decides to attack Caer Mallot that night.  E-Man agrees with his newfound friend.
    To get to Caer Mallot, they must cross a body of water.  On their way, they encounter a ferry, a talking ferry.  They are not sure if she is a good ferry or a bad ferry.  She offers to take them on a secret passage, that is safer than the standard way, which has been fatal to many travelers.
    The ferry tells our heroes that she wasn't always a boat.  She was a young maid who came to Mallot to serve the red knight.  Her appearance was not pleasing to him so he used a power gem to change her form into that of a boat.  Her fare for safe passage is for E-Man and Mel to destroy the power gem.
     Upon their entrance, a large barriers closes behind them causing the ferry to be tossed in the water launching E-Man and Mel into the water.  Mel removes his armor to keep from drowning.  E-Man rescues him and they make it to the entrance into the castle.
    As they proceed into the castle, Mel is weakening, becoming more frail with each step.  E-Man has Mel to stay behind and rest while he continues.  As E-Man approaches the chamber that contains the power gem, he starts to become weak and frail.
E-Man, while being attacked by evil little monsters stumbles, knocking over a pedastal on which the power gem sits.  The gem shatters. 
    The next panel finds Mel feeling much better.  Mel is searching around the castle, approaching a door when suddenly, the girl who "was" a boat, now free of her spell, rushes to push Mel out of the way of a trap.  She loses her life in the process.  While Mel laments her death, Sagramagdus emerges from behind a wall, plungin a sword into the chest of Meliot!  Sagramagdus admits that he is indeed the murderous red knight.  He boasts that it is better to subjugate and take from the weak rather than defend them.  His seeming victory is short lived.  A dagger is thrown and penetrates his throat.  The dagger was thrown by the real Sir Meliot, E-Man was impersonating Mel, and pulls the sword from his chest, unharmed.  (Remember energy is neither created, or destroyed).
    Mel, is devoid of emotion, the death of this girl, and his one time best friend, are just two more corpses.  He wants to take E-Man up and his offer to go to a place of peace and serenity. 
    E-Man changes into a rocket and takes Mel to the planet Landano. 
    E-Man and Mel discover a world where the population seems to have a total lack of fear of strangers.  They are seemingly totally a peaceful people, and have no fear of these strangers to their world. 
    They are greeted by the lovely Princess Shann.  She offers to be their guide to her world. 
    They are a learned people who have buildings devoted to a single art, or science.  E-Man finds the building dedicated to Astronomy.  He spends a lot of time there trying to figue out his way to Arcturus. 
    Mel and Shann spend a lot of time together, getting to know one another, and fall in love.
    After days pass, Mel asks Shann to marry him.  She informs him that she cannot.  The paradise she lives in comes with a heavy price.
Princess Shann is to be sacrificed to a creature called Glatisant. 
    E-Man relunctantly agrees to join Mel on a mission to destroy the creature, and thus eliminate the need to sacrifice Princess Shann.  On a incidental note, E-Man learns that Arcturus is the sun that Landano orbits!
    They discover the creature in a cave surrounded by skeletons.  The creature has three heads, only one has a brain, according to Mel.  They engage the creature in a battle to the death.
    Meanwhile, up on the surface, Princess Shann is being led to the entrance of the cave to be sacrificed, when suddenly, the ground opens up and Mel has plunged a sword into the brain of the Glatisant.  Mel has vanquished the creature once and for all.
    All should be well.  Shann is distressed at what has occured.  To Mel's horror, the villagers start running of a nearby cliff to certain death.  Shann tries to join them but is held back by Mel, he can't understand just what is going on.
    Shann's uncle explains that their society believes that these sacrifices are necessary to control the population.  No one ever dies on their world except from old age. 
    Sir Meliot rejects this, there must be a better way.  He asks E-Man what he should do. 
    E-Man tells him that, "It seems to me that when a person comes across some-
thing he can't accept as right, he does his best to change it".
    E-Man leaves, heading for Arcturus. 
    Meanwhile, dark shadows near Arcturus are awaiting E-Man's arrival.
    Back on Earth, Vamfire and Nova are discussing an upcoming trip that Nova is about to take.  She's not going some place warm by looking at her parka.
    Come back soon, when I wrap up the story.