August Writing Competition (Winners Announced!)

A great opportunity for writers to showcase their talent.

Moderators: Feral Female, Miles_Warren, Feral Female, Miles_Warren

August Writing Competition (Winners Announced!)

Joined: 24 Feb 2013, 00:05

03 Aug 2015, 16:02 #1

Welcome to the August writing competition :guitar: Please read the rules before entering ... opic=11460

Some important info for this month:

1) Entrants have until August 27th 4pm EST to submit an entry for the competition

2) Voting will then open for entrants before closing on August 29th 4pm EST

3) Voting for non-entrants will then open before closing on August 30th 4pm EST

Best of luck to all entrants


Joined: 24 Feb 2013, 00:05

03 Aug 2015, 16:04 #2

The winner tally, so far:

November 2013 Winners
Invincible - Issue#28 - Anger Management by Feral Female (1st win)
Violet Avenger Annual #1 – Push by darktruth (1st win)

Decemberber 2013 Winners
Bumblebee Man (part 1) by Miles_Warren (1st win)
2013 Holiday Special by Mister_Oz (1st win)

January 2014 Winners
Song of Selwyn. Capter 1 - secret love by darktruth (2nd win)

February 2014 Winners
Marvel SW: Arsenal, Chapter 3 by Big Thunder (1st win)
Song of Selwyn-Chapter II-A Ranger Falls by darktruth (3rd win)

March 2014 Winners
Heavy Metal- issue #3- Welcome to the Jungle by Feral Female (2nd win)

April 2014 Winners
Hail HYDRA by darktruth (4th win)

May 2014 Winners
Outstanding Avengers by xMatt (1st win)

June 2014 Winners
Marvel Star Wars: Hulk, Chapter Four by Big Thunder (2nd win)
The Outstanding Avengers #43 by xMatt (2nd win)

July 2014 Winners
The Outstanding Avengers: Part Three by xMatt (3rd win)

August 2014 Winners
Heavy Metal #7 – Haunted – Feral Female (3rd win)

September 2014 Winners
Marvel Star Wars: Chapter Twenty-Nine by Big Thunder (3rd win)

October 2014 Winners
The Balance of Power Chapter Five: Discoveries by GreenScar1990 (1st win)
Heavy Metal - Issue #9 – Haunted by Feral Female (4th win)

November 2014 Winners
Balance of Power - Chapter Six - the Bonds that are Formed by GreenScar1990 (2nd win)
Marvel Star Wars: Arsenal - Chapter Seven by Big Thunder (4th win)

December 2014 Winners
The Balance of Power -Chapter Seven: Emotions and Revelations by GreenScar1990 (3rd win)

January 2015 Winners
Heavy Metal - Issue #11 – Haunted by Feral Female (5th win)
Ant-Man? by Ewkada (1st win)
Ultimate Flash #1 - A New Kind of Enemy - Part One of Two: "Red and Blue" by xMatt (4th win)

February 2015 Winners
Heavy Metal - Issue #12 – Haunted by Feral Female (6th win)

March 2015 Winners
The Clowns Come at Midnight by Miles Warren (2nd win)

April 2015 Winners
Outstanding Spider-Man: Chapter 5 - Your Friendly Neighbourhood Spider-Man Part 1 - My Long Day - In the Morning by silverspidey4ever (1st win)

May 2015 Winners
Marvel Star Wars: Guardians of the Galaxy, Chapter One by Big Thunder (5th win)

June 2015 Winners
Untitled Thor story - Ewkada (2nd win)

July 2015 Winners
Heavy Metal issue #16 - Caught Somewhere in Time (Iron Maiden) - Feral Female (7th win)

Joined: 24 Feb 2013, 00:05

03 Aug 2015, 16:07 #3

Thanks to Big Thunder! for taking the time out and creating the above list. Very useful reference :Good posting:

Y'know, when I announced that Feral won last month's comp I didn't realise she had accumulated seven wins since the comp began :surprise: That makes Feral our very first Master of the Scribe


Joined: 28 Nov 2007, 20:55

04 Aug 2015, 05:48 #4

WOW! That's great! Seriously though, was there ever any doubt? Congrats to Feral for the Master status and win. Hope to see my name on that list at the end of the month.
"Well, this is another fine myth you've gotten us into..."
-from "Myth Directions"

"Where Science ends, magic begins." -Spiral, Uncanny X-Men #491

Joined: 08 Dec 2011, 13:45

04 Aug 2015, 06:22 #5

Dreamscape- Enter the Dreamscape

My arse hits the ground soundly as I slide across the counter and drop off on the other end.
I scream at myself inside my head to quiet my breathing, even as my hearts beats like thunder in my chest. There's no way they can't hear me.
I glance quickly around the kitchen. Empty, of course. Not a single weapon to use, not that I'd be much use with a kitchen knife anyways.

I catch the sound of careful boot steps out in the corridor.
They have me trapped. I know it, and they know it.
I should get out of here, but I can't. I'm in far too deep, I can't force my way out now.

My eyes stop upon a window to my right.
Could I be that lucky?
I glance around the edge of the counter and listen. Nobody in sight and the boot steps a still a distance away and moving slow.

I scurry across the floor on hands and knees, fully conscious of every little sound I make.
I slowly pull myself up the wall at the window and place my thumb against the latch. It takes a bit of force but it finally, and thankfully quietly, moves and unlocks the window.
I slide my fingers underneath the window and lift. Everything goes well until the loud creak the wood of the window gives as it fully opens.

"In the kitchen!" shouts a slightly muffled voice, and boots begin to thunder upon the floor.
I don't even wait long enough to check my landing before I swing myself out of the window and drop. My legs slam upon the top of the dumpster ten feet below and pain shoots upwards through my body.
My legs give out and I stumble from the dumpster and land hard upon the concrete ground on my side.

I cough harshly as I try to focus my mind past the pain, ignoring as much of it as I can and push myself up onto my feet.
I glance back up at the window just as a man dressed in black combat gear and a full-face balaclava leans out the window with a pistol and takes a shot.

The bullet slams into the ground about a foot to my left, then another man pulls the first back in.
I can hear them shouting at each other up in the window, though I can't make out the words. I don't really care to either.
I just need to get out of there.

I limp down the alley and out into a city street that's alight with neon signs that cover nearly every inch of every building.
Signs that advertise everything from hotdogs to sex to hired killers. This is a city where everything and anything is for sale, and they let you know it.
Part of me considers hiding in plain sight, the rest of me knows that would work anywhere but here. Here nobody will care what happens to me, so long as somebody is getting paid for it.

I need to put distance between myself and them, and the fastest ay to do that is public transport.
I scan the neon light and find what I want. Monorail. It put North Haverbrook on the map, surely it can save me,

I start to move when pain rips through my left thigh and I drop.
I didn't even hear the gun-shot, but I can see where it came from. A group of three of the men in combat gear move towards me. The man in front has a pistol, he wears no mask with his blonde hair spiked up and a scar across his chin.
Upon each of their Kevlar vests is a hand in a deeper shade of black outlined by a thin line of white.

I swallow deep as they move towards me, a pistol trained at my head.
They have me, ain't nothing I can do about it. I'm not exactly going to be running anytime soon, and I don't have the money to pay for someone to help me.
This is it. The end. My big finish.

There's a sharp prod in my foot and I bolt upright in bed with a loud gasp.
My eyes glance quickly about the darkness that surrounds me as they begin to adjust until familiar shapes come into focus. My cupboards, my bookshelves, my bedroom. I'm in my bedroom.
Then my eyes land upon something that doesn't usually belong in my bedroom, the shape of someone crouched on the end of my bed.

I slide quickly up against the bed-head as my hand flails wildly for the lamp on my bedside table. Finally my hand touches metal and the light comes on, illuminating a face that's familiar after-all.
"Rachel?" I ask in confusion as I grab my glass and cram them onto my face. "D-did you break into my house again?"
The aboriginal girl with dark hair in a ponytail, dressed in a black hoodies and jeans stares at me with brown eyes and an eyebrow partway up her forehead. "Well I certainly didn't fuck you last night. Of course I broke in. You know you were fidgeting in your sleep?"

I take a breath. "Bad dream."
"You were pretty much throwing yourself around the bed."
"A really bad dream, okay?" I mutter. "Why did you break into my house?"
She shrugs. "I got thirsty. Needed money for a drink."

I glance over her face. She's chewing the side of her lip. "Why did you break in?"
She hesitates a moment as her gaze drops to her hands. "I got lonely."
"So, what do you want to do?"
"Can we go for a drive?"

I lay beside Rachel on the bonnet of my crappy little four-wheel drive, now parked in a secluded part at the top of a hill about fifteen minutes from my house.
She looks at me as I lay down, then turns her gaze back to the stars above us, a lot clearer now than they are back in town. You can actually make out the constellations here.
"Thanks for this," she mutters.

I look over at her. "Is everything okay? Not that I don't enjoy you visiting in the middle of the night, but something tells me somethings up."
Ray chews the side of her mouth. "It's nothing. Just got lonely was all. Bored. Wanted to go somewhere, do something."
"You don't have other people you could wake and drag out of bed?"
She smirks at me. "And let you miss out on these fucking amazing stars? Fat chance."

I shake my head. I can tell there's more, I can always tell when there's more going on in Ray's head than she lets on. She has her 'tells', namely the chewing on the side of her lip, but even then I've been able to tell since the first time I met her.
I don't think there are many people who becomes friends with people who break into their house.
Not that I'm like most people, though I'm pretty sure even the people like me would have just called the cops. I didn't, and now here I am atop a hill laying beside her.
She broke in to steal some money, I found a friend. Life is strange.

"Do you ever get lonely?" she asks softly.
I lick my lip. "Do you want the truth or some macho bravado?"
She laughs. "Oh, I always love your bravado."
"All the time."

She slides her head across until it rests upon my shoulder. "Then what's the truth?"
I swallow deep as her hair brushes against my neck. "Did you get into that class."
There's a stretch of silence, I know she's debating whether to push me on the issue. "I didn't apply."
I furrow my brow. "But you were so eager, it was all you could talk about for a month."
She shrugs lightly. "You know me, I flaked."

"Does your mother know?"
"She wouldn't care."
"You should still tell her."
"Let's just enjoy the stars, okay? Let me do that and I promise I'll tell her."
"I'll hold you to that."

Ray plays with the radio as we head back into the town and finally settles on a station.
We spent most of the trip in silence, it's only as we cross over the bridge to my side of the train-tracks that she speaks.
"Why are we friends?"

I glance to her. "What?"
"You ever wonder that?" she asks, her eyes glued to her hands in her lap. "We didn't meet under the best circumstances, and we're not fucking. So why are we friends?"
I shrug. "I never really thought about it. We just are."
"And what if we weren't?"
"I dunno. We definitely wouldn't be here right now, so there's that."
"Well that's true."

I pull into the alleyway behind my house, and then into my yard. "You want to stay over?" I ask as I turn off the ignition. I glance to her and find her eyes fixed upon my house.
"You expecting visitors?" she asks.
My head snaps towards the house, lights flash about inside. "I definitely wasn't."

She nods towards the back of the house. "Maybe they were waiting for you."
I follow her gaze and my hearts stops in my chest. I feel a cold sweat form on my forehead as my eyes lock with his.
The man with the spiky blonde hair. They found me.

He smirks and pulls the pistol from his hip.
"Head down!" I shout and turn the key in the ignition.

The car struggles to turn over and the window beside me shatters with the gun-shot. Rachel lets out a scream, the bullet embeds in the head-rest where her head would have been.
The car finally comes to life and I slam it into gear as I push the accelerator to the floor.

Spiky blonde fires off three more shots as I floor it across the lawn and slam through the front fence.
The car jerks and the front bumper is pushed back, but the fence gives way and we hit the street.

"What the fuck was that?!" Rachel demands.
I take several breaths. "I-I don't know how to explain."
"Well you better try before I decide to break your nose!"

I swallow deep and look at her, her face full of rage while her eyes screamed with fear. I'd always wanted to tell her he truth, trouble was I still didn't know the best way to do it. Didn't have much choice now.
"It's a little crazy."
"A man just shot at us, I think I can handle crazy."

"I'm not from here, I'm..." I'm stalling, I know I am. Just say it. "You know those super realistic dreams you have? The ones that at the time you're totally convinced are real?"
"I'm trying to say, they feel real because they are real. They're... other places. I'm from one of those other places."

There's a moment of silence. "You're from a dream?"
I shake my head. "I'm from a reality that can be seen through dreams. I can travel between these alternate reality dream places." Really wish I'd figured out the best way to say this.
"You're from an alternate universe? And you came here through a dream?"
"Yeah, it sounds crazy," I reply with a bit of a forced smile.

"I had my first orgasm to a go-kart," she says suddenly.
I glance to her. "What?!"
"I was twelve, one of my friends chose to go go-karting for their birthday. I don't know if I just sat in it wrong or I'm super-sensitive or what, but the engine started humming and the metal started vibrating and... Boom. It was incredible, I thought it was why everyone loved go-karting. I kept going faster and faster, making it happen again and again. Geez, I think I came like seven times. I definitely didn't win any of the races."

I sit there with my mouth agape for several seconds. "Why're you telling me this?"
"Well everyone says there's a certain way that sort of thing should happen, and a go-kart isn't the way. I'm trying to say I get how something that sounds crazy can be real."
I blink at her. "And that's the story you went with?!"
She shrugs. "I kinda just wanted to tell it, you've never really given me a good segue to go-kart orgasms."

I take a deep breath and try to push away the thoughts of Rachel and her go-kart, although it does explain why she's always tried to get me to go. "Is anyone following us?"
She looks back over her shoulder. "Can't see anyone. Where are we going?"
"I need to leave," I tell her. "If they found me I need to go somewhere else. I'm going to drop you off somewhere, then I'll be gone by morning."

"Nuh-uh," she tells me. "If you're going anywhere I'm going with. You able to take people on your dream voyage?"
"Yeah, but your life is here."
"My life? I don't talk to my mum, you're my only friend left, and the only thing I stick to is breaking into places. Pretty sure I'll have the same life if I go anywhere. If you're leaving, I'm going with."
"This isn't like going to Bali," I tell her.
"Good," she replied bluntly. "Never been to Bali. I'm going with."

I pull down a dark side street and stop the car, turning off all the lights. "You sure?"
"I'm going to have to go with the first place I find, no time to get picky. I don't know where we could end up."
"Then it's better I come with," she replies. "You've always been terrible in new situations."

"Well, yeah okay that's true. Sure. Fine. But remember, I did warn you."
"You did, so what do I do?"
"Go to sleep."
She blinks at me. "Really?"
"You go to sleep and then when I go to sleep I can link myself to you, pull you along wherever I go."

She thinks for a moment. "Okay, sounds good. There's a bonus to doing this."
"Don't have to tell mum I didn't apply for that class."
I shake my head. "Just go to sleep."

Somehow, even after being shot at, Ray falls asleep within twenty minutes while I keep watch that nobody has followed us. Once I'm sure we're safe and she's asleep I settle in and close my eyes.
Thankfully sleep has always come easy to me. Now I just have to hope the first place that opens to me is somewhere nice, and doesn't have laser-dinosaurs.
I don't want to see another laser-dinosaur as long as I live.

To be Continued
"Don't Act Too Paranoid Or They'll Know You're Onto Them."


Joined: 27 Nov 2007, 17:07

05 Aug 2015, 09:55 #7

Wow, I didn`t realize that I had won 7 times. I'm humbled! Many thanks all!

Great entry, Dark! I see this month is starting off with a bang!

I'm tossing my bonnet into the ring as well. I'm between books so I should be able to get to another issue for Young Master Stark within a day or so.

Joined: 03 Oct 2013, 20:56

05 Aug 2015, 21:41 #8

After a major disaster on the world of Kenrez, T'Challa Calrissian - administrator of Cloud City on Bespin has been taking on refugees from the colonial world. The Rebel Alliance has dispatched the Alliance Star Destroyer Avenger along with members of Rogue Squadron to help the overwhelmed city cope with the refugee crisis. Among the representatives of the Rebel Alliance is Antoneid Starek, a genius engineer and former Imperial who recently had a philosophical falling out with the Alliance President Mon Mothma regarding its role with how it is handling the Haowaths, the former citizens of Kenrez.
Meanwhile, Peter Parker (aka, Spider-Man) and Mara Jade upon learning of the Alliance's presence in Cloud City have gone searching for them, leaving Wohl Varin and Hank Macckoy to await selling a stolen Imperial artifact to a shady Chiss broker named Magro Dillian...

Marvel Star Wars: Eye of the Hurricane -Chapter Seven

A while later, in a small apartment within the tower in Cloud City occupied by Rebel Alliance personnel…

“Hand me that graduated socket trimmer,” Antoneid Starek said as he knelt by a coat rack. Positioned on top of the coat rack was the top half of his Arsenal armor, minus its arms. The engineer’s head was mostly inside the armor’s abdomen as was one of his arms.

“Please specify which size,” his blue and white astromech droid asked.

“The one I just used a couple minutes ago,” Antoneid muttered waving his free hand close to the floor. “It should be just a few centimeters from my hand.”

“That would be the 3mm square then,” Jarvee said as the droid rolled forward and extended one of his arms. At the end of the arm was a directional magnet. When the magnet pivoted toward the tool, it leapt from the floor and attached to the magnet. The magnet then rolled over and one of the droid’s claws detached the tool and handed it to the human.

“Thanks,” Antoneid said and wormed his free hand up into the armored abdominal shell.

“If you don’t mind my comments, I believe it would have been easier if you had brought a pair of KN-20 loader droids with us,” Jarvee said. “They could have easily been taught to take apart your armor for easier maintenance. That would have been a solution to not having been able to bring your assembly arms from the…”

“Alright, alright,” Antoneid grumbled. “I wasn’t about to borrow any equipment or droids from the Avenger when there’s a refugee crisis going on. Just give me some time to concentrate on realigning this chest actuator. It’s almost there, I just need to be able to grip this panel while I…”

A loud bell tone sounded. Antoneid dropped the socket trimmer and it bounced off of his nose and the inside of the armor dropping down his shirt.

“Someone is at the door,” Jarvee announced.

“I heard it!” Antoneid loudly growled as he tried to wiggle free of the armor. “Blast it! Jarvee, check who it is and tell them that I’m busy.”

Jarvee rolled over to the door and extended an arm that activated the door’s security camera. Looking at the screen, the droid opened the door.

“It is Malra Taron,” Jarvee announced to Antoneid as he continued to struggle partially inside the armor. “I am afraid that Mr. Starek is busy.”

Malra cocked her head to one side and curiously looked at the man kneeling on the floor underneath - and partially inside - the Arsenal armor.

“I can see he’s busy,” Malra said, her head tilted to the side. “Are you stuck, Antoneid?”

“No, I’m…gyeah…no, I’m not stuck,” Antoneid replied with a grunt. “I’m working on this actuator in my suit.”

Jarvee turned his domed head and looked at her. “Despite his argument to the contrary, he is stuck. Perhaps if you lift his shirt and touch his side, his muscles will loosen as he collapses. He’ll come out very easily and very quickly.”

“Oh, thanks, you little traitor,” Antoneid grumbled.

Malra walked over and tried to lift the armor. “Hold still, let me see if I can…”

“Don’t touch me!” Antoneid shouted suddenly.

“I’m not going to touch you,” Malra responded. “Stop being a child. I’m lifting your armor.”

“Just don’t touch me.”

“I’m not!”

Finally, Antoneid pulled free and rolled out from under the armor.

“There,” Antoneid said with a grin, looking up at Malra. “Thanks.”

“No problem,” she said, offering a gloved hand to help pull him up. He visually inspected the glove then took her hand, allowing her to help him up.

“Nice gloves,” he said with a grin as he stood up in front of her untucking his shirt to allow the socket trimmer to fall to the floor. “So, what’s up?”

“I came by to see how you are doing,” she said curiously looking at the tool as he walked over to a comfortable looking chair, carefully stepping over the armored suit’s arms and legs. “Are you feeling better?”

Antoneid dropped down into the chair. “I feel just fine. Perfect, in fact.”

“That’s good,” she replied with a look of relief. It wasn’t an overwhelming expression. He could tell something else was on her mind.

He continued to nod for an extended period of time, looking at her as she looked at the unassembled pieces of the Arsenal armor.

“And…?” he asked.

She looked at him. “ ‘And’?”

“And something else,” he said. “Did you want to talk about something else? You could have simply called my room’s comm-link to ask me how I was doing.”

She looked at him. “I heard about your discussion with Mon Mothma. You’re wrong.”

He raised a curious eyebrow at her. “What? Wrong? Wrong about what?”

“About the Rebel Alliance,” she explained. “About people wanting to fight for their freedom.”

“Oh…that,” he said shaking his head. “Did Madame President send you to try and convince me that she’s right and I’m wrong?”

“No,” she answered. “I and a few others talked to T’Challa Calrissian. He says you’re wrong.”

“Wakanda’s not part of the Rebel Alliance,” Antoneid said shaking his head. “In fact, they’re really not under the Empire’s control. I really don’t think he’s that much of an expert on…”

“He thinks you’re wrong about people not wanting to fight for their freedom,” Malra said cutting him off. “He said the Haowaths see the Rebel Alliance as the beginning of something that can bring the Empire down.”

“The ‘beginning’?” Antoneid said, placing his palms over his eyes before running his fingers through his hair. “Does he, or do they think they will be the ‘beginning’ and ‘end’ of this rebellion. It might take generations to topple the Empire. This rebellion of ours might see billions die before this conflict is over. I fear for the Haowaths seeing that they just lost their world.”

“So, they should just go to some corner to hide and cower in after losing so much?” Malra replied to him angrily. “Do you think that just because I’m a Genoshan that I should go find some storage crate and hide in it to avoid others?”

“Well, isn’t that sort of what you’ve been doing already?” Antoneid asked.

“No, I’ve been sacrificing my social life and my comfort to provide my friends and squadron mates a safe environment,” Malra told him. “Sure, I’ve always feared the backlash that I’d get for being a Genoshan, but I’ve been more interested in others’ safety than my own comfort. You’ve been sticking up for me. I appreciate that, but the fact is, I’m a big girl. If I put my feelings on my sleeve and walked around afraid everyone was going to hurt them, I’d be useless. The Haowaths are almost in the same predicament. Sure, they’re displaced, heartbroken and afraid of what’s to come next, but those things don’t matter if they can’t join a cause for freedom such as ours. So you think they should just wander to some other world and try and live a quiet, sheltered life that they hope will remain invisible to the Empire’s sensor screens like they are some race of little helpless children.”

“That’s not what I’m saying,” Antoneid said shaking his head. “What I mean is that they shouldn’t join the Alliance as some sort of condition of being rescued from their dying world.”

“Really?” Malra said folding her arms doubtfully.

“Well…yeah, mostly,” Antoneid said looking at his armor. “Jarvee, can you start to clean this stuff up. Bring my armor back into the bedroom.”

“Right away,” the droid responded, grabbing a hold of the coat rack and dragging it toward the other room.

“Mostly,” Malra echoed. “So you were at least partially insinuating that the Haowaths needed to be overly sheltered. The one thing the Rebel Alliance has recognized is that people value their freedom and are willing to do a lot to protect that freedom. The Haowaths have lost Kenrez, the place that had provided them a living and freedom out of the Empire’s sight. With the destruction of their world, they’ve lost both. Now that they’re being slowly ferried to new colonies, they’ll have to rebuild their lives, but at the same time many of them are going to find themselves gaining the Empire’s attention. They fear that and know they have to build an alliance with people that cherish freedom and are willing to fight alongside them once that freedom is threatened.”

Antoneid thought about that for a few moments.

“Yeah…I can see your point, but don’t you worry that the Alliance is just wanting to add to their military strength by adding the Haowaths to their ranks?” he countered.

“You’re thinking like an Imperial, Antoneid,” Malra told him point blank. “All you see are their numbers. They aren’t a bunch of nameless stormtrooper recruits. They’re people - miners, farmers, wives, husbands, mothers, fathers, families - just like the rest of us. They have things other than a ‘glorious Emperor’ to fight for.”

“Well, I really wasn’t trying to say that…” Antoneid started to say before stopping to think about what he was going to say. Jarvee made his way across the floor and grabbed a hold of one of the armored legs and then the other and dragged them away. Antoneid finally turned and looked her in her eyes. “I simply don’t want to add hurt to someone who’s already hurting. If the Haowaths want to be willing to fight for their freedom, more power to them.”

“And that is what the Alliance wants for them,” Malra explained with a smile. “To fight for someone’s freedom. To give power to the powerless. Our intention isn’t to feel sorry for anyone, pat them on the back and shelter them like some overbearing mother.”

Antoneid nodded and suddenly wondered if she were inferring that he was acting like an “overbearing mother” when trying to defend her.

“Listen, it was never my intention to make you feel like I was trying to…”

The room’s bell tone sounded again.

“Boy, that thing’s loud,” Antoneid said standing up. “Someone else is at the door.”

He walked over and checked the door’s monitor. On it was the image of a beautiful young woman with red hair standing in the corridor.

Almost instinctively, he opened the door. Realizing his lack of security, he kept his hand on the door’s control.

“Yes, can I help you?” he asked.

“I think there was some mistake,” the woman replied as a man with a red mask showed up from down the hall behind her – something Antoneid thought as being very odd and suspicious. “I let the security people at the tower door know who I and my friend were and they let us in, but one of the coordinators thought we were refugees. They sent us to you by mistake, I think.”

“Well, that depends on who you think I am, I guess,” Antoneid said with a big smile. “And you are?”

“Mara Jane,” she replied. “I’m with Alliance Intelligence. My friend here is…Spider-Man. His droid is still with the guards at the door going through a security scan.”

“ ‘Spider-Man’?” Antoneid asked looking at him oddly. “I don’t think I’ve ever heard of spider people before.”

“Well, I…I’m…” the man in the mask started to explain, then pulled the mask off. “My name is actually Peter Parker. ‘Spider-Man’ is just a nickname I’ve been given.”

“And my name’s…Etony,” he lied as Malra Taron walked up beside him. “And this is Varra. We really don’t have nicknames. Why don’t you two come in?”

“Thank you,” Mara Jane replied as she and Peter walked in with the door shutting behind them.

“Did you say you two are with the Alliance Intelligence division?” Malra Taron asked, masking the suspicion she had. “Did you come with the delegation or were you deployed from the ship representing the Alliance?”

“Neither,” Peter replied. “I’m not with the Intelligence division. Mara is and she was on a mission with her friend Gowan Skali’i to find…”

“To find Peter here,” MJ said, trying to steer Peter’s conversation around the fact that the mission hadn’t gone exactly as planned. “Gowan and I were sent to Muan Hutta on a mission. Unfortunately, Gowan died in carrying out that mission. We had to make an emergency escape to a desolate planet and then we came here to Bespin. It seems that you came here coincidentally as well.”

Malra subtly pulled off her gloves. It wasn’t something that someone normally would take as a threatening action, but Antoneid recognized the action as meaning that Malra was readying to defend the both of them with possibly lethal force. At that moment, Jarvee rolled into the room and grabbed the Arsenal armor’s arms.

“What are those?” MJ asked curiously, noticing what the blue and white astromech droid was dragging across the floor as well as the remaining red and gold helmet which bore a striking resemblance to an ancient Clone Trooper’s.

“Those are…” Malra started to say as she reached for MJ’s outreached hand. With his Force sensitive spider sense warning him of danger, Peter snapped out with his own gloved hand and caught Malra’s hand before she could touch MJ.

“Hey, what are you about to do?” Peter asked angrily. Antoneid took a cautious step back. Mara Jane was the only one unaware of something out of place.

“Nothing,” Malra replied and tried to pull her hand back. Peter clung to it. She was surprised by his strength and grip. “I’m just not sure if you are who you say you are.”

“Can you contact Jajonna Gaemson?” MJ asked. “He’ll know who I am. You don’t have to…”

“Agh,” Peter said suddenly, looking at his hand with widening eyes. “What are you doing to…?”

In realization, he let go of Malra’s hand and stumbled back a step.

“Peter, are you alright?” MJ asked as he rubbed his forehead.

“I…I don’t know,” Peter said. “I just felt very weak all of the sudden.”

Antoneid looked at Peter’s gloved hands then back at Malra in concern. She hadn’t made physical contact with him, but somehow she had sapped his strength even if it wasn’t as intense as when he had touched her.

“Who are you people?” MJ asked, suddenly becoming suspicious of Antoneid and Malra.

“Why don’t we all settle down for a second,” Antoneid suggested. “We can get all of our questions answered if we just…”

“You did something to Peter,” MJ said pulling her blaster from its holster and pointing it at Malra. “You almost did it to me. Did you drug him or…?”

Malra’s hand snapped out and snatched the blaster from MJ’s hand before anyone (including herself) realized what was happening. Mara realized her speed and reflexes practically matched Peter’s. Peter was trying to shake off what had happed to him, but was about to take action against Malra. Before he could, Malra found herself sensing what he was going to do and did a forward flip over Mara Jane and landed a double kick into his chest sending him flying into the door.

Antoneid’s mouth dropped open. Malra’s did as well. She had never been able to do anything like that before and definitely not as fast.

“How did I…?” Malra started to ask right before Mara Jane prepared to deck her. Again, Peter’s senses warned him of the danger MJ was in and his reflexes sprang into action. Before MJ could touch her, Peter webbed Malra and pulled her back, following up by webbing her by a web strand and hanging her upside down from the ceiling.

He then pointed the web shooters in his wrists at Antoneid. In response, Antoneid raised his hands defensively.

“Hold on, Spider-Man! Don’t goo me with that stuff,” he said. “Here’s a good suggestion: why don’t I call Alliance security in here. They’ll contact Jajonna Gaemson and he can identify you. If not…well, that really doesn’t matter, because they’re about to come through that door anyways.”

Peter turned just as the apartment door opened and two uniformed Rebel soldiers stood in its opening pointing blasters at him and MJ.

Jarvee then rolled into the room.

“Good,” the droid said. “They arrived quicker than I had hoped.”


A short time later, outside of the main Administration tower a few kilometers away…

T’Challa finished talking with a group of Haowaths on a walkway that led to the Administration tower. He was about to walk to the tower with Cyban his assistant when the glare from something shown onto his face.

“Are you alright, sir?” Cyban asked just as the glare disappeared.

“Yes, I’m fine,” T’Challa said blinking as he looked up to see the shape of a man perched atop a glider-droid hovering over the city about a thousand meters away. “Cyban, go ahead and get those transfers ready. Be sure to tell the supply stations at the south towers to be ready with food and clothing with the new arrivals scheduled to land near them in the next hour.”

“What about the meeting with the Alliance representatives?” Cyban asked.

“Tell them that I will have to delay the meeting,” T’Challa told him, watching as the glider-droid and its passenger flew behind a tower where he knew there was a private overwatch platform. “I have something I need to address right now.”

Cyban nodded curiously. “I will do as you ask.”

As Cyban walked toward the Administration tower, T’Challa turned on his heel and quickly made his way to the tower with the overwatch platform. Within a few minutes and after taking a turbolift to the correct floor, T’Challa made his way out onto the platform where the Green Goblin stood waiting next to his hovering glider-droid.

“I’ve confirmed that Wohl Varin, his hairy blue friend and Spider-Man are here as you said they’d be,” the Mandalorian bounty hunter told him. “You’ve kept you part of the bargain, and I’ll keep mine.”

T’Challa nodded. “Can I add a few last minute requests?”

The Goblin stood silently for a few seconds.

“What are they?”

T’Challa looked at him. “Leave Varin’s ship to me, undamaged. I lost it to him as a wager in a Pazzak game years ago. I’d like to have it back.”

The Green Goblin shrugged. “And?”

“Leave the girl to me, unharmed,” T’Challa asked.

“The Empire’s got its own bounty on her head,” the Mandalorian bounty hunter reported. “It’s a very sizable bounty, as I understand it. I usually don’t deal with the Imperials, but…”

“I’ll pay you one hundred thousand,” T’Challa quickly told him.

“Up front,” the Goblin demanded. T’Challa pulled a credit slab from his pocket and placed his thumb on its surface before touching its data screen. “She escaped from an Imperial Garrison. You expect the Imperials to want pocket change for her return?”

“Even as administrator here, my withdrawals from my account are limited to a hundred thousand credits,” T’Challa explained. “Take it or leave it.”

The bounty hunter stood motionless for a few moments. Reluctantly, he held out his hand.

T’Challa placed his thumb print on the credit slab again and slid its counter to100,000. Grudgingly, he handed it to him. The Green Goblin examined the credit slab for nearly a half a minute before looking up at T’Challa again.

“Very well, Mr. Administrator,” the Green Goblin said. “Despite your addendums, you’ve upheld your part of the bargain. Now, I’ll uphold my part. I’ve found the casket right where you told me it would be in the Revpren Tul system within its asteroid field. I’d like you to know that you’ve gotten the much better part of this bargain so far, considering how dangerous going into that mess was and your requests this late in the game.”

“The bounty on Wohl Varin must be sizable,” T’Challa remarked. “I don’t see you as someone who’d put himself in danger over a handful of credits.”

“Varin and his blue friend are the bonus in this deal,” the Goblin said jumping onto his glider-droid. “Spider-Man is the real prize. You can find your prize in Storage Unit K3459.”

Before he could say anything else, the Green Goblin flew off and around the tower out of his sight. Clenching his teeth, T’Challa Calrissian looked down at his hands imagining them covered in filth.


Back at Wohl and Hank’s apartment…

Wohl stared out of one of the apartment’s windows at the picturesque view of Cloud City’s skyline and the crystal blue sky pillowed by billowing white clouds. Hank had settled down into a comfortable chair after picking up one of the apartment’s linked data tabs and was searching the city’s library for a book to read.

“The kid’s probably gonna realize he’s made a mistake hooking up with those Rebel Alliance people,” Wohl quietly grumbled. “Pete’s got a lot of potential. He could make tons of credits if he put those skills and those webshooters to work for him.”

Hank looked up from the data tab’s screen at him. “Maybe he thinks there’s more to life than money.”

Wohl grinned. “Such as hot red heads. Other than his skills, I don’t know what Mara Jane sees in him.”

“Maybe a sense of honor, duty and responsibility?” Hank suggested looking down at the book list on the data tab’s screen finding a selection called Pollar Blue and the Raiders of Tavline. “Peter has a head on his shoulders and a good heart. I think any young lady would eventually see through a man’s faults and find those things if she was looking for them.”

“Hmph,” Wohl snorted. “Yeah, maybe, but a brain and a good heart ain’t gonna help you in a gunfight. You need a good blaster and good skills.”

“And Mr. Parker doesn’t have those?”

Wohl thought about Peter’s webshooters, his ability to cling to walls and his uncanny reflexes. “Heh, heh. Alright, you got me there. Peter’s got a lot going for him. I guess, he’s a lucky guy in more than one way. He’s just got himself tied up with the Rebellion. I think it’s a waste.”

“A waste?” Hank asked calmly as he read the introduction to the novel he began to read. “The Rebel Alliance or his decision to join them?”

“His decision,” Wohl replied. “I’m not against those revolutionaries. I just think they’re on one big suicide mission against the Empire. Anyone fool enough to join up with them is just looking for some hurt.”

“So, you think the hurt the Empire deploys is only directed at the Rebel Alliance?” Hank asked with a grin as he continued to read the novel.

“Well, no,” Wohl replied. “I mean, I know they hurt a lot of people. It’s just that…”

Their conversation was cut short by a tone sounding from the room’s central comm.

Wohl turned and looked at it. Knowing his friend’s love for books, he walked over to the comm. When he hit the “Respond” button, a familiar blue face appeared on the console screen.

“Magro Dillian,” Wohl said with a voice that was a mix of relief and disdain. Hank’s attention was immediately drawn away from the book and he stood and walked up beside his friend.

“And, hello to the two of you,” the Chiss huckster replied. “I am glad to see you finally made it here in one piece. I have been waiting several days now.”

“Well, we had a little issue after breaking through the Imperial armada above Muan Hutta,” Wohl grumbled, thinking of the damage to the Black Falcon. “Now where are you so I can unload this canister you had us swipe from that garrison back there.”

Magro looked at him for a few moments silently. He looked like he was going to say something evidently changing his mind for something else. “You can find me on the roof of the tower you’re in right now.”

“Good, now have the credits you owe us ready so we can…” Wohl began to say when the Chiss interrupted him.

“One of you come alone,” Magro told them. “Please forgive my caution, but considering the grief I’ve put the two of you through and the fact we are meeting face to face, I would feel more comfortable. The rooftop is sparse and you’ll see that I am alone as well.”

Suddenly, the Chiss broke off the conversation.

“Going alone doesn’t seem the wisest thing to do,” Hank said, looking at the now blank comm screen.

“Ah, don’t worry about it,” Wohl said with a shrug. “I’ll go. If this thing’s as valuable as Red said it is, he’s got nothing to lose. I just want to get this thing out of our hair and get our money. We’ll give Fiskatta the Hutt double what we owe him and hopefully that will get him off of our backs. Finished, done and over with."

"Well remember to take your blaster,” Hank said. “I’m going to finish reading this chapter and then I’ll check with T’Challa’s people on the Black Falcon’s progress.”

As Wohl picked up the cylinder, Hank sat back down picking up the data tab and found his bookmark. Wohl looked at him.

“Alright, I’m gonna pick up our money – five hundred thousand credits, probably risking my life doing it…and you’re reading a book,” Wohl grumbled gripping his holster and the blaster in it. “Can you get any more worried?”

Hank looked up at him. “Maybe.”

“Well, keep your ears open in case I need you,” Wohl grumbled and then left the apartment. Within a few minutes he had arrived on the tower’s roof. Looking around, all he could see were a few ventilation units and a pair of comms towers on it’s surface. Curiously, he sniffed the air.

“Come on out!” Wohl shouted.

“Ah,” Magro Dillian said with a smile as he casually walked out from behind the nearest ventilation unit about five meters away. “There you are. I take it Mr. Macckoy is checking the status of your ship’s repairs?”

Wohl nodded. He didn’t want the Chiss to know he was relatively close by. One touch of his wrist-comm and his Wookie-like friend could be there within a few minutes.

“Ah, yes, it was unfortunate about how poorly your departure from Muan Hutta went,” Magro said, shaking his head. He gave Wohl a sad look, but Wohl thought he was just toying with him again as he did with him and Hank back on the desert world.

“Okay, how are you supposed to know about that?” Wohl asked irritably.

“Oh, I have my sources,” Magro said with a shrug. “Like Lieutenant Bertrande in Grand Admiral Trask’s garrison, you know.”

“Okay, makes sense,” Wohl agreed, putting the cylinder down. “Now, how about we get this over with. You can see I brought what you sent us for. Take a look. I’ll tell you right off the bat that the thing has a defective holo-emitter. It activated on its own a couple of times. Don’t worry, we didn’t open it or…”

“Please wait,” Magro said lowering his head and shaking it as if embarrassed. “I’m afraid there’s been a major…complication.”

“What?!” Wohl asked angrily. “What kind of complication?”

“My client…well…he has had a change of heart,” Magro replied. “Now, wait. Before you lose your temper, please let me explain the situation. Apparently, he contacted Lt. Bertrande since you left Muan Hutta. They had a long discussion regarding the development of what’s within the cylinder.”

“The Dura-Suit thing,” Wohl said, placing his hands on his waist, his right hand centimeters from his blaster’s grip. “A holo activated and started to explain what’s inside that can.”

“Very well,” Magro said looking up at him. “Then you know what it is supposed to be capable of. According to Bertrande’s … confession, the Dura-Suit, as you call it, was not put through proper testing. What is within that cylinder is one of two prototypes. The other prototype is now within an Imperial lab has been put through some moderate testing simulations and it has shown to have a limited lifespan in moderately rough scenarios. It ended up being damaged beyond repair in one of the lab’s less strenuous tests. Seeing that the cylinder we have before us contains the more primitive of the two prototypes, it is obvious that it is more than useless.”

“Blast it!” Wohl said curling his hands into fists. “What about the money?”

“I’m afraid my client…declined to dispense a single credit to give to either of us,” Magro said as he shook his head and opened empty palms. “I am a businessman and I don’t like brokering deals with people only to have those deals fall apart. Making bad deals destroys one’s reputation. A bad reputation destroys future contracts.”

“Half a mil,” Wohl said through clenched teeth as he tightened his eyes closed.

“A large sum of money, to be certain,” the Chiss responded shaking his head as if pitying Wohl. “For your sake, I wish this deal would have ended as intended. If I could go back in time, I never would have had your ship impounded, you wouldn’t have broken into that Imperial garrison…ha, I would never have ended up on that Force forsaken sand ball of a world. Here though…ah, it is beautiful here above this world of Bespin. Such cool breezes. Long, pristine warm days. Long nights with a wondrous sky full of the stars of this galaxy, shining like the jewels they are.”

Wohl glared at him, but it did seem Magro was enduring the same regret he was.

“So, what now, Mr. Varin?” Magro asked.

“Hank and I take the Black Falcon and leave this gas ball behind,” Wohl said quietly.

“And look for another ‘score’ if I’m using the vernacular correctly,” Magro replied with a sigh. “And I go and try and broker another deal, hopefully with better results.”

“Just don’t include me in it as one of your pawns,” Wohl grumbled.

“Of course not,” Magro replied. “I can sense your anxiety due to this affair and it’s unfortunate what I resorted in doing to, and please excuse the term, ‘recuit’ you and your blue friend. I hope you can forget this entire episode and leave it behind you. In fact, I’ll dispose of the cylinder for you.”

Wohl’s mind had wandered to the Black Falcon, his ship and it suddenly dawned on him that Magro was taking a step toward the cylinder and was going to take it away.

“Whoah! Hold on, bub,” Wohl said stepping between the Chiss and the Dura-Suit prototype’s cylinder. “What’re you doing?”

“I will dispose of that cylinder for you,” Magro replied. “To help you out.”

“Yer not doin’ nothing with this cylinder,” Wohl said angrily. “So, what? Yer going to take this thing as if you’re gonna have it incinerated or something, but what you really do is take it to yer client with my money safe in your pocket. Do you think this game’s never been played on me before? Do you think that I’m some sort of idiot? You can just back away and I’ll ‘dispose’ of it.”

“You are accusing me of LYING to you?” Magro asked, his countenance changing from sad to angry. “I take pride in the fact that I act honestly with my go-betweens, even if I bribe or extort them. And now you ACCUSE me of lying to you? I could have had you killed dozens of times on Muan Hutta. I could have had you and you partner delivered to Fiskatta the Hutt. And now, you INSULT me by calling me a liar?”

Wohl took his hands away from his hips and clenched his hands into fists. The adamantium blades came next.

*snikt* *snikt*

“Yeah, I am, bub! You’re a lying, thieving, two-faced Chiss,” Wohl growled. “And now you’re going to set the five hundred thousand credits down, take this thing and leave…or I’ll bring some pain down on your sorry carcass.”

Magro began to raise his hands as if surrendering. His face, however, didn’t show any sense of surrender.

“Empty threats,” Magro said coldly as he brought his hands out in front of himself toward Wohl. “Now…pay for your lack of vision!”

Suddenly, two bursts of blue lightning shot out from Magro’s fingertips and snarled around Wohl like a pair of ravenous snake-like monsters. Wohl had no defense for them and the blasts sent him hurling across the roof.

“Tell me, Mr. Varin, does that expensive metal run throughout your entire body?” Magro asked as he walked toward him firing another burst of blue lightning that made Wohl writhe in agony as he lay on the roof. “How inconvenient for you.”

And again, Magro blasted him with his electric rage.


“And you are benefited with the ability to heal rapidly at a factor much higher than just about any species in the galaxy,” Magro said with a smile appearing on his sinister face as he blasted him again.” I could carry on this little conversation about my supposed treachery all day and listen to you scream over…” He blasted him again.


“…and over…”


“…and over again.”


As Magro Dillian laughed, Wohl writhed in pain as he began to heal even as tendrils of smoke rose from points on his body. As enough strength returned to his muscles, Wohl looked up at him.

“Ugh…yer gonna pay for this.”

The Chiss looked at him, shook his head and scoffed. “ ‘Pay’? Again, it’s about me owing you something. Your ignorance is your undoing.”

Again, Magro blasted Wohl with tendrils of blue electrical energy and the Genoshan smuggler convulsed in intense agony. Finally, Magro ceased.

“Interesting,” the cruel Chiss said suddenly looking up and around himself as if he saw or heard something. “There is a disturbance in the Force. Very subtle, but…it’s almost like the rumblings of a coming storm. I believe the calm before this storm is about to come to an end, my friend. We may meet again, but be assured that if we do, I will continue this discussion but more vehemently press my position.”

“I...I’ll kill you…” Wohl wheezed before coughing.

Magro Dillian laughed at him again. As Wohl watched, the Chiss held out his hand to the side as if grabbing something. Suddenly, the blue electrical energy appeared in his empty hand and it lifted him into the sky where he disappeared into a nearby cloud.

Wohl shivered in pain, trying to lift himself only to collapse. His body had been severely damaged. It would take a while for him to heal and get the strength to walk again. Ironically, he noticed that the cylinder the entire incident was focused on was still a few meters away.

Meanwhile, Magro DIllian’s trip into the air ended as he arrived at his ship – a small interstellar transport that had been hovering there hidden within a cloud. As he approached, its loading ramp lowered for him and he entered it. The ship wasn’t unoccupied though. A figure dressed in a dark cloak was there to greet him. Seeing the man standing there, Magro immediately knelt before him, bowing his head.

“Is it in place?” the figure asked. The Chiss nodded.

“It is, my lord,” Magro replied.

“Very good, my apprentice,” the man said. “Rise.”

Magro stood before him. The other man, stood slightly taller than he did and had a pale humanoid face that was nearly white except for black lips and deep red eyes, evidence that he was also of Chiss descent.

“What now, my lord?” Magro asked.

“We leave,” the Sith lord replied. “Events are about to take place here that it would be better if we observed rather than take part in them. I sense that these events will shake this galaxy to its core.”

Magro’s eyes grew wide in curiosity before he turned and walked to the ship’s cockpit. Within a few minutes, they left Bespin’s atmosphere and made the jump to light speed while Wohl Varin remained on the Cloud City tower’s roof still recovering from the encounter, unaware of the events that were about to take place.

Joined: 27 Nov 2007, 17:07

06 Aug 2015, 10:22 #9

Wow, great stuff there BT!

I'll be tossing my entry up in a moment.

Joined: 27 Nov 2007, 17:07

06 Aug 2015, 10:23 #10

Heavy Metal - Issue # 17 - Caught Somewhere in Time (Iron Maiden)

Previously-- Alex's curiosity got the better of him (a typical Stark flaw) and he ended up transported back in time. Despite his best efforts to avoid contact, he was accidentally bumped up by his grandfather`s car and taken to Howard's penthouse to rest until his parents could be notified. After waking from a nap Alex discovered someone in the penthouse had taken his backpack, and all the tech from our time that it contained. After a small explosion in Howard's lab, Alex was escorted to the nearest diner by Peggy Carter and was then swept up into a gunfight. Alex now finds himself in the hands of unknown assailants with yet another knot on his head and Peggy sporting a gunshot wound to her arm.

I own nothing that isn`t mine.


It was just another day in the life of Alexander Steven Stark. Some kids wish for action and adventure but right about now I would give my eyeteeth to be in some boring class scribbling on my desk. Boredom sounded cool. Saying eyeteeth didn`t. Mom's Midwestern speech shows itself again.

I came out of the black stupor quickly after being thrown into the back of a car like a sack of spuds. My shoulder hit the door on the way in, stopping me from entering the getaway car. My ass slithered to the sidewalk, the hood over my head twisting to the side. Someone with a hand the size of a Mack truck hubcap grabbed at the back of my neck. Men were shouting. One in particular bellowed "Get that damn kid in the car!" while I rolled to the curb. A gunshot rang out. It hit the car that I was trying desperately to avoid getting into. Whoever had a hold of the rancid hood over my head lost his grip after the bullet struck so closely. I scrabbled away, hood askew. A hand landed on my back, the meaty fingers curling around the back of my jeans. I kicked out like a mule and was rewarded with a grunt and the feel of foot meeting flesh.

"Take your hands off him!" Peggy barked and another shot, this one much closer, rang out. The street was emptying rapidly. The fat fingers released my jeans and I faceplanted on the sidewalk."Don't you dare run! Bloody hell, he's running."

I sat up. Peggy jerked the hood off my face. I blinked up at Peggy, my eyes watering from the brilliant sunshine.

"Are you fit to keep up?" she asked then took off, arm bleeding, to chase down the hooligans, or whatever the hell term would be used for kidnapping scrub-lords in 1946. I stumbled to my feet, pushed my left foot back into my sneaker, and then ran after her. She waved a hand at a car parked along the curb as the bad guys peeled away from the scene of my attempted abduction. "Get in!"

"You can't drive, you're bleeding all over the place," I shouted over the roof of a dark blue Ford coupe. My father would swoon if he could see this baby. Shiny as a new armor suit it was.

"Well you certainly don`t think I'm going to allow a mere child to get behind the wheel, do you?" Peggy shouted back.

"I'm not a child. I'm almost sixteen and I know how to drive." She eyed me skeptically. "For serious," I vowed as the screech of escaping hoods burning rubber filled my ears. "My dad took me out in his Lamborghini a ton of times when my mother wasn't home."

"Is a Lamborghini a car?" She whipped her head in the direction of the men who had shot at us.

"Yes! It's a car. Now either let me drive or give me the gun." I would be so unhappy if those assclowns got away. Peggy`s attention flew from the baddies to me, her eyes wide.

"There is no way in this green earth that I'm giving you my gun," she said firmly. I rolled my eyes.

"Look, you can't do both. Let me drive and you can shoot out their tires. You're going to pass out soon from blood loss so can we at least try to catch those fatheads?" I threw a hand in the direction of the jerks making their escape. She waffled for another moment then dug into her blouse to pull out her car keys. They flew over the roof. I caught them neatly then ran around the car to plunk myself behind the wheel. Peggy crawled over to the passenger side, hissing in pain with every move. "If you wreck this car I will not be pleased," she panted. I glanced at her pale face then down to her arm. If she didn`t get that bullet wound to stop bleeding a dented fender would be the last of her worries. "I just bought it last week."

"You just worry about shooting and not dying, okay?" I glanced over at her as I crammed the keys into the ignition. She nodded curtly. The engine rolled over and the massive 350 V-8 came to life. I gave the 5-speed manual a smooth smile. "Thanks for the lesson on driving a stick, Dad," I whispered then shoved the shifter into first. We lurched out of the parking slot. Peggy gave me a glower. I blushed and made sure my left foot was on the clutch this time. The second attempt to drive off was better, not great, but better. "It's coming back to me now," I assured the woman eying me with concern.

"If your parents are so poor how do they afford a Lamborghini car?" she asked as we skidded around the corner. Her hand flew to the dash in front of her. Someone blew his or her horn as we sailed into the opposite lane.

"Sorry!" I shouted out the open window at my left. I never did answer her car question.

"There! Up ahead. In that black Studebaker," Peggy said as the radio played some hokey song about some chick's cute personality and men wearing spats right. What the hell was a spat? Peggy leaned out of her window; her face set into a firm mask, and fired off a warning shot that went high over the Studebaker's roof. "Seems like the bloody bastard would at least pull over so I don`t have to shoot his tire out and endanger people."

"Or, you could just shoot his tire out and - shit! Sorry. Sorry. I did not see that car pulling out," I said when we skimmed the front fender of a red Chevy. I didn't dare look at Peggy for fear her glower would peel the flesh from my face. "Man, New York drivers never improve," I grumbled under my breath then cranked the huge wheel to the right. Some dude pushing a cart with newspapers leaped out of the way. I swerved to avoid but the cart didn't survive the impact. Newspapers flew into the air, several sticking to the windshield. Somebody, probably the morons we were chasing, began shooting back at us.

"I thought you said you knew how to drive!" Peggy snapped as I shifted down then up once again, the windshield wipers crunching up the daily paper.

"Is it my fault that people walk their paper carts in the middle of 75th street?" I shouted then ducked. The windshield in front of me spider-webbed as a bullet hit it.

"Oh those bloody arse holes," Peggy growled, got to her knees, leaned out her window and popped off a shot. The rear tire of the Studebaker exploded sending the car into a wild fit that the driver didn't seem able to compensate for. I hit the brakes hard. Peggy flew forward with a grunt. My chest hit the steering wheel soundly forcing all the air out of my lungs. Damn, I should have fastened my seatbelt. Pity they weren`t standard until the 50's for Fords according to my father. Man, it hurt to breath. Peggy reached up to rub her forehead as we sat in the middle of the street blocking traffic. "Are you unhurt, Alexander?"

"Yep, good," I wheezed. She patted my arm then exited the car, stepping closer to the Studebaker with her gun resting on her left wrist. She looked sexy. It was hard to imagine that in my time she had been dead for years. That made me sad so I pushed the thought away.

I sat behind the wheel trying to breath, my sight on Peggy when something moved in my peripheral. I touched the gas and the car jumped forward another ten feet, knocking the dude with the gun pointed at Peggy into a bakery truck stuck in the jam I had created. Peggy's pretty eyes widened and a soft smile tweaked her ruby red lips. She gave me a fast nod then proceeded to move on the Studebaker with precise, measured steps. I sat in the car, catching my breath, eyes pinned to her slim back. She swept down on the black coupe, yanked the door open and extracted one lean man who appeared to be unconscious from behind the steering wheel. I glanced to where the walking mountain I had nudged lay amid trashcans on the curb. A shout from Peggy jerked my attention back to the Studebaker. The wiry creep had evidently gotten the drop on Peggy. She was picking herself up from the street as he drove off like a demon. I opened my car door to go help but she was already on her feet and waving me off.

"We've lost him," she sighed when she sat down beside me dabbing at her split lip with a lacy little handkerchief. "Shall we gather up that lumbering dolt and take him back for questioning?"

"Maybe we should let the 5-O have him," I said, growing more concerned about her peaked appearance. "I think you need to get to the hospital.

"What in heaven's name is the 5-O? You have the oddest speech," she murmured weakly. "I would be most appreciative if you would return me to Howard's penthouse. I'm sure Jarvis has a few bandages lying about."

"Right, like a Band-Aid will fix a gunshot wound." She frowned and let her head drop back to rest on the seat. What choice did I have? Probably she didn`t wish to have to answer all the questions that an ER doc would ask her but still, letting Jarvis fix her up seemed dumb.

"Please don`t make me argue with you. Just be a good lad and honor my request."

"Okay, yeah, fine." I slid the car into gear and backed up, bumping a few cars as we went. The high pitch of a police siren made my foot just a wee bit heavier. If Peggy had reason to avoid the cops, I had ten times as much cause to keep my distance. We crept past an old Chevy black-and-white about two blocks from the crash scene. Peggy was looking ashen. I gave the V-8 more gas and was soon skidding into a slot in front of Grandpa's building. I ran inside, looked frantically around the lobby, and then dashed to the elevator. When it rose too slowly, I began beating on the old panel in hopes of making it go faster. It didn`t but I did hurt the side of my hand. When the doors slid open on the top floor I nearly collided with Jarvis.

"Jarvis, Peggy has been shot," I said then grabbed his arm to yank him into the elevator.

"Why didn`t she go to the hospital?"

"She said to come here." Better to play dumb I felt. If he knew that I knew about the SSR or SHIELD I'd in the hot seat. I peeked over. His mouth was a slash. Keeping my mouth shut, we rode down in strained silence. Jarvis took over as soon as we exited the elevator. He made jokes to anyone passing by that the woman he was carrying upstairs had been celebrating with Mr. Stark. Everyone seemed to buy that explanation. Guess grandpa showed up with drunken women frequently. I pushed that whole paternal familial trait worry aside for some other day.

I was left in the corridor like a stray dog when we arrived back at the penthouse. I followed Jarvis down the hall then had a door slammed in my face. So I went back to my room. I took a shower to help with the assorted aches and pains. When I stepped out of the bathroom, I came face to face with Jarvis. I tightened the knot that was holding the towel around my waist.

"Mister Stark asked me to bring you some clean clothing while he continues the search for your parents." He motioned at the neatly folded pile of clothes on the bed. "I'll launder your attire and have it back to you in the morning."

"How's Peggy?" I asked as I lingered in the bathroom doorway.

"Resting comfortably," he replied as he draped my dirty clothes over his left arm. "She told quite a story. Why, I wonder, would anyone wish to kidnap a dirt-poor urchin such as you?"

"I've been wondering the exact same thing." I didn`t like the way the aura in the room had changed so suddenly. I actually had some ideas about why someone had made a grab at me but they were only that, ideas.

"Could it have anything to do with this?" he calmly asked as he pulled my cell phone from the front pocket of his trousers.

Well crap.

To Be Continued . . .

Joined: 03 Oct 2013, 20:56

08 Aug 2015, 21:13 #11

darktruth - no joke, but I've been actually thinking about a story centered around dreams. I haven't written anything yet, but I've got it floating in my head right now. It would have been very odd if I had come up with something and posted it.

Joined: 21 Dec 2013, 01:44

11 Aug 2015, 20:13 #12

Great stories !
thanx to them I got rid of the sour taste I had in my mouth after watching a movie I so hoped to be good

it makes me actually think that there should be a sequel made to that movie which would vanquish my bad feelings and which would leave me with opened mouth as it was in case of ANTMAN [happy]

Joined: 21 Dec 2013, 01:44

12 Aug 2015, 20:22 #13

Good Evening
it's my turn to place an entry

I own nothing which isn't mine


LOVE – why not?


Wild raspberries. The whole thicket was filled with their sweet scent. Loki held out his hand to pick up the nearest one. Suddenly someone’s thin fingers blocked him preventing him to touch the fruit. Loki looked to the right and immediately produced a broad smile. Lusia – dirty girl with a bright face and with shortly cut but tangled hair placed her finger on her lips to silence him. Loki bowed slightly, as he suddenly remembered he’s been here once. But at that time he wasn’t dreaming and right in the middle of this thicket, in-between these huge raspberry bushes there was a heavy bear feasting freely on the sweet fruits: it had already gone through half of the thicket. So they waited, this time in the dream, until the beast had enough and would go in a slow and evidently satisfied way in the direction that was known only to itself. Then hurriedly they plucked the rest of the raspberries: the girl, the same way as she did it previously in real life, ate first every second fruit, then every third, then every fourth, fifth and so on, and the rest she was putting into a cover that she took from her head.

When they reached the girl’s living place together Loki stopped surprised – You have built wooden huts above the holes! That’s great! You won’t freeze when the heavy winter comes – he smiled watching other kids gathering around the girl and without any quarrels eating the sweet fruits in turns; Lusia was eating with them also - How did they learn to live so peacefully – Loki wondered – They posses nothing here except their urge to survive in this Siberian taiga…

The girl caught him by his hand again and pulled him with her towards the place, where once in reality had been her hole. They entered the house and being inside Loki was surprised again: the hole was there and there was also a wooden table at the bottom, the same as before, underneath which Lusia and her sister and brother used to sleep – the table kept the temperature above zero, that the ground at the depth of the hole’s bottom was never losing, even during winter time – but close to the hole, right in the middle there was a stony oven, and around it, well actually in every place inside this house except its entrance there were wooden blocks piled to the roof’s height – We haven’t used the wood for heating yet – the girl said to Loki – And were are preparing a similar storage for the Trebieskis, as Zuzia is too small for such work - she’s collecting wild mushrooms for us instead, we love them cooked -

Loki suddenly saw little Zuzia lying dead in the forest – You’re all dead, aren’t you? – he asked Lusia.

- Well, now yes, you’re right – she nodded – We’re not like You, but except the first year we’ve been always prepared for the winter, what can’t be told about you -

- About me?! – Loki was really surprised, for the third time in this dream – Do you think I should be chopping wood like you? What for? -

Lusia looked up at him from underneath seriously – Ahem… - she cleared her throat – When winter comes – she started in a very deep voice, so deep, that Loki felt uncomfortable, he had heard such voice once or more times in his past, but couldn’t recall now when and to whom it belonged - ... you’ll freeze – Lusia finished.

- Lusia, I don’t have to fear frost. I am actually a Frost Giant. You know this, don’t you? – Loki answered her cautiously.

But Lusia shook her head to that – Listen to an old woman, who was given a long life as a reward for transporting her far east to living through several Siberian winters: You haven’t even got any matches stored to keep the warmth in your heart. Even Thor there… he won’t be sufficient -

- What do you mean by that? – Loki asked her, but he wasn’t given any answer.


Thor again had nothing to do: in Asgard everything was running properly, at least for the time being. To that he felt that all his visits to Asgardian institutions rather disturb the daily routine of his people than help them, so for some time he left them in peace.

And on Midheim nobody actually paid him much attention. Loki after the old scientist’s death befriended Tony and Bruce: so he was concentrated either on Rosie and Kiran or went round to Tony’s new laboratory, occasionally only his thoughts were interrupted by visions of Thor and Asgard in his mind.

Feeling so ignored and unnecessary Thor decided to spend his days in a more useful way, which in this case meant to learn something new - he chose the brown hugebirds. He had always admired them, although generally he didn’t need them: they were kept by Asgardians out of respect for Asgardian tradition, and they were used for rare flights to dangerous places like wild areas behind the wall, where the Frost Giants already had settled down with success. Thor generally preferred to use artificial transporters, and for closer destinations he actually used his hammer or the cube, although the last one very reluctantly. The hugebirds: the tamed brown ones were big enough to carry up to three persons, unusually brave, elegant and with a strong character; and quite intelligent: sometimes they behaved even more reasonably than the guardians, who took care of them, and made jokes about them hereafter (the birds, not the guardians). This way some time passed over for Thor: either in solitude, which actually meant together with the Tesseract, or in the company of the winged, brown friends; peacefully or full of flights round his world. But still there was something he missed, something unknown to him, well, most probably he was really bored this time.

There was however one incident, that caught his attention: when Loki called him back to Midheim.


- I know, you felt recently not much needed, my dear brother, but we wanted to trial you both - smiling but with a slightly shaking voice, Loki seemed to be somehow tensed.

- Both? – Thor asked irritated by such greeting.

– Well, as you and the Tesseract are definitely coupled… -

Thor took a deep breath.

– No, no, no… just let me finish – Loki said in a hurry – We wanted actually to trial your Tesseract, so I couldn’t… warn you –

– And now you’ll tell me, what mess have you done together with Tony and Bruce! –

– We were testing, if the Tesseract protested and you… were informed by her, when we’d use functionalities of my Scepter for some purposes… That means for checking out the domain of the Blackeyed –

Thor turned red immediately – Loki! You know it very well, that their domain has been excluded from our control. Do you want to unleash another war, that could destroy the worlds we own?! –

Loki smiled at that – Worlds, you mean, you own… I admit, this sounds not bad: to rule worlds… nevertheless be careful as it is a dream only, and this time it is you dreaming about it, not me… – he suddenly turned serious – Tell me, please, whether they know it very well, that our domain has been also excluded from their control?! –

– They are technologically more advanced than we are… -

- What are they looking for here? You can’t tell me, you don’t know, that in secret they are quite active on Earth, can you? – Loki bowed his head – I dare say, that they plan and know something more. Together with Tony we got access to a report about some training given to a woman on their ship; it could be just a next story for human children here, you know that on Earth everything extraterrestrial is popular now, including you, but there is one thing amiss: her body has been modified and she is not getting older AT ALL… Thor, even our kind aren’t as strong and durable… As if she were bound to another Holy Stone – we have searched for that very carefully, but found no trace of it, it must have been hidden very carefully by someone technologically more advanced than we are… – Loki stretched his hands helplessly.

Thor heaved a sigh – I understand, that the Scepter proved to modify the pure energy the way that only you can steer and without connection to Tesseract or your Vision, and this way your estimations have been confirmed… What else have you achieved? – Thor asked.

– Well… - Loki bowed his head and looked down – We have caught one of… them… -

A dreadful silence hung above them, even the air seemed to grow thick.

– Release him immediately! – Thor snarled.

– I can’t – Loki answered – He wants to talk explicitly to you… And no Mjonir, no Vision… - he added.


- You’ll all die – the Blackeyed stopped walking nervously in circles and went closer to Thor, who stood ahead of a delegation.

Thor knitted his eyebrows, it made no sense to explain Loki’s misdoings now – Loki! – he thought angrily – What are you doing here on Midheim? – he asked instead.

– We protect it, protect the Humans – the Blackeyed answered.

– From whom? How do you do that? – Thor was simply curious, anyway with the Blackeyed it made no sense to hide any intentions.

– They would die without our help… - these were the Blackeyed’s last words; a while later he was falling apart just in front of them: soon there was only a pile of a grey ash left on the bottom.

Thor sighed – You shouldn’t have laid your sticky hands on them – he said angrily to Nick Fury – None, who tried it, survived in the end, they are the first ones above every… kind, including yours too –

– They are every…where, Your Majesty – Fury, the chief of the GA answered him not without irony – They have taken whole areas in further parts of our Sun System, they dispose of their own satellites and use sophisticated ways for covering. First the scepter powered by one of Stark’s arc-reactors allowed us to put together all their activities in a reasonable scheme –

Thor lifted his eyebrows – The scepter powered by…? It is Loki’s Scepter! You wouldn’t be able to use it by yourself, which makes me sure that my brother was helping you! – Thor finished, pupils in his eyes became dangerously narrow, like the ones of a cat at night.

Loki smiled at that slightly – You see, this is the consequence of the freedom, you’ve guaranteed them… Not all of them love me, even though they should, and they will be able to value what I have done for them first when I am long gone and… -

– And instead to refuse them, you’ve helped them! – Thor got out of himself - Knowing much more… Due to that fact your fault, Loki, is even more significant! –

Loki frowned – Great! – he answered to Thor – Your pupils are again clean, and can continue like this without being punished, while I am again the bad guy – Loki made a serious face, but his eyes were full of joy – And what’ now? - he asked this time being very serious.

– This woman from the report… - Thor was clearly trying to calm down himself.

- Evelyn D. – Loki added.

– It would be good to visit her… - Thor barked rubbing his forehead.


A small cottage in the suburbs; and a damaged videophone in the entrance, but to the ringing answered a girl by opening the door and then the gate - a teenager with long, honey hair covering her back: the majority of girls were living copies of their dolls from childhood – Come in, please, straight to the living room, my mum will be back within minutes –

The agents of course must have informed her in advance.

– Good Afternoon, would you like something to drink? – another teenager also with long and curly, but slightly fairer hair asked them. And sat down on the corner-sofa next to them after they both refused the drinks.

A second later another one entered the room, greeted them and sat down - with the same curly hair, well maybe a bit darker.

And then came the first one who opened the door for them and sat down on the pouffee.

Thor and Loki looked at each other confused: all the three were similar looking – We’d like to talk to Evelyn – Thor started cautiously.

The girls burst out laughing, but the one with the darkest curls made a serious face – This’ really funny, but at the beginning only, believe me – she said – But I suppose you came here for another reason: the report, you must have read it. I think, I have completed it hundreds of times already, nothing should be missing there –

– Why are they here, on Earth? What’s your feeling about this? Tell us again, please – Loki asked directly, as he knew that the first answer is the most automatically and therefore the most worthy.

– This that alien SS-man didn’t explain to me directly, but I think that it must have had something in common with protection of their mothers from kite-like vampires… Maybe this was the only solution that worked or at least passed their tests positively? But I personally didn’t help them much: I destroyed their ship, killed some of them, not counting the mindless workers, while they helped me much: they trained and renewed me – literally - my whole body: I don’t have the scars I previously had, I have new teeth: as if out of the same genes they had constructed me anew; and perfected: I don’t get old – no wrinkles, the skin smooth as if I were a baby again – she smiled – But while many dream about it, for me it appears now to be a nasty curse : you see, what happiness is there in eternity when your loved ones around you pass away? –

Loki frowned inwardly to these words.

Evelyn shook her head with disapprobation – I don’t even dare to imagine, how I’ll survive it, when my daughters start getting old… What an ill-fated paradox: my daughters will look as if they were my… mother. And when they die… my heart will break – Evelyn looked to the floor.

Both girls cuddled her – Mum, don’t worry, you’ll be the first one, who has two mothers –

Thor and Loki looked at each other at the same moment, they thought of the same idea.

– Yea, Daga, mothers, that I’ll lose in the end… - Evelyn took a deep breath – But I shouldn’t tell you about my problems… I’m sorry for that –

– Maybe… - Loki began slowly – Due to this renewal and training you’ll be able to help your daughters… when someone threatens them. They seemingly have trained more people the same way like you, so you won’t be alone… -

And then they said farewell.


- I wonder – Thor said to Loki, when they were back in the tower – Whether the immortals will be really used for protection of their own human kind or maybe for some another purpose. It’s hard to believe that the Blackeyed are so unselfish –

– Exactly – Loki answered.

– Anyway I’ve never heard about her vampires… And I have no idea who in the universe could make the Blackeyed so seriously scarred… - Thor continued, and Loki again frowned inwardly.


Asgard didn’t change at all. Thor would accept it with relief, but some uneasiness and loss of the purpose, since their Holy Oils have been found again, still didn’t leave him in peace. He felt that something should change soon and it’ll cost him a lot. But as far as for his world nothing had changed yet. So still bored and feeling somehow uneasy for further several months he finally started again his rounds in Asgard, he went even to the Frost Giants, who also were bored to death and because of that as their best entertainment they have chosen their sparring, that was actually their fighting contest, but Thor didn’t want to join them, he was clearly in the bad mood, so he feared that the fight for fun would turn into a serious battle.

While going back to the palace he was curious whether his guardians were killing their time the same way. He was right, the noise was heard from afar: the older ones taught, which actually meant gave the thrashing to the younger ones, and the money collected as exchange for the entrance cards they used for a common feast afterwards. But Thor also didn’t accept their invitation: these hundreds years of war which they had already lived through (Odin had always had to face some problems at least on one of the nine planets) made Thor suspicious even of the peace that seemed to rule in Asgard.

He went out to the courtyard, yells of joy and slashing of swords were clearly heard outside too. Thor raised his head, he thought of the star systems he could check next. But suddenly in the right of his eye he saw some movement in one of the training halls: the shadow was changing its intensity as if someone was moving there, standing in the light from time to time. None of the guardians saw this as they were either engaged in the sparring or keeping watch over the area outside their school, not inside… Thor swiftly went through the main entrance, then turned into the side passage, where no one was to be seen. Here he was more cautious…

In the hall something whined, mechanically, it was the sound of a rope or of a tightly pulled bowstring; he went slowly looking all-round as it was a training-hall for trainings several meters above the ground in the lowest point. Between many columns and natural rocks had been stretched ropes and wooden footbridges and rolls. Thor looked up just in time: to see one of the students falling down straight on him…

Thor caught him quickly, but the boy turned aside, turned somersaults and by whirling many times he landed crouched not far from the king. Two long, black plaits went down too.

– Daughter of Kerdas?! – Thor thought surprised.

She bowed to him.

– Be greeted – he answered forgetting to bow to her – Isn’t this too early for you?–

– Your Majesty, I am the best in that – was her response.

– But you fell down, and you were alone here… -

- We also have to learn how to fall without getting seriously injured – she reposted Thor proudly.

Thor looked at her closer: she grew significantly, this time it was true, he smiled – So I see, you don’t need to dance anymore… -

- Oh no, to the contrary – she denied him lively – Dancing on the rope is the best way to learn how to balance properly - it was her turn to smile now – If you agree, I’ll show you what I have learned till now… as a reward for… your leniency in the past –

Thor hesitated, she was still too freely while speaking, but he actually liked her openness – Agreed – he nodded – So where should I jump on? –

– On the rock opposite, I’ll climb onto the one on the left then –


The long rope was stretched quite tight between the two rocks. Thor sat down conveniently at the further end of the rock, to have a larger view.

The girl stopped on the other column and started to unfasten her hair – The plaits are too heavy, I will bind pony tails more tightly only – she explained and did what she has just declared.

Thor took a deep breath, he usually didn’t concentrate for so long time on one person except when he had to fight against. He felt somewhat helpless.

The Terian closed her eyes for a while – I will dance to the rhythm of the heart beating, it should speed up in time – she informed Thor and rushed forwards.

Thor watched her fluent moves, turns around and sideways, her heavy hair was following her moves with a delay, the pony tails waived, circled around and sometimes went apart, when she changed direction. Thor’s heart started to beat faster, he saw her coming step by step closer by turning numerous times, faster and faster and… he felt a wave of heat coming through his body, as if he absorbed this girl’s warmth – he sprang to his feet.

In this moment the Terian reached the end of the rope and staggered but didn’t fall. Enormously satisfied with herself she closed her eyes then and smiling broadly she stretched out her hands to the sides.

Thor had to take his breath couple of times before he asked hoarsely: - How old are you, daughter of Ker… -

- Fourteen, my lord, and my name’s Ejsha – she cut in with eyes still shining with joy and breathing heavily.

They both went silent after that. The girl realized what she has just said and lowered ashamed her head.

Thor went one step nearer – Don’t be afraid, daughter of Kerdas, my honor doesn’t allow me to make use of your thoughtlessness, … and you danced really beautifully, I am impress… - here Thor broke off: the girl with her huge violet eyes looked into his eyes directly and gratefully and so happily, that words stayed blocked in his throat. Watching her it took him a while to regain control over his wits – It would be better if I returned now to the palace – he said slowly, then bowed to her and quickly jumped down the rock.

Dashing through the side passage he heard her crying – Allfather – he thought – She’s completely out of control and what I’ll do now with myself? –


He came back to the palace and immediately turned on the Tesseract.

There was a night time on Midheim, Thor sat down on the terrace of Loki’s tower, he needed some of the nightly coldness and loneliness to gather his thoughts together, but the thoughts as if on purpose didn’t want to follow his intentions and failed to concentrate themselves on one spot; he sat in silence for some time, then leaned against the window frame and soon fell asleep.


- Great, you invade us in the night, without any invitation – Loki actually didn’t intend to be sarcastic, but he clearly had it still difficult to express positive feelings towards Thor so directly.

Thor rubbed his forehead, he said nothing in return.

So Loki sat down next to Thor – What is it, little brother? – he asked in the same manner as Thor used to do it, when they were boys and Loki was hiding under Thor’s bed.

– It was hundreds of years ago and you do still remember that? – Thor wondered.
Loki sneered: - I was scared to death by the black hugebirds, even now you would need a long time to persuade me to come close to them… -

- Don’t exaggerate, I also didn’t find it easy, everyone in Asgard avoids them; they are bloodthirsty and have incomprehensible rituals –

– Well, they must have something in common with Frost Giants, I hate them – Loki summarized the issue.

– I have fallen… with someone – Thor finally spoke his heart – But I couldn’t do it in a more impropriate way… This boredom must have dimmed my reason –

– Well… don’t tell me, it is my wife – Loki joked.

Thor withered him with his look, even the pupils in his eyes became narrower, so that he was like a tiger.

– Free? Cute? Healthy? If three times yes, then don’t complicate yourself such an easy issue… -

- She’s fourteen – Thor explained to him while getting up.

Loki looked at Thor for some time in silence – Violet eyes… black hair? –

Thor didn’t answer.

Loki whistled – Wow, brother, you would be sentenced at least several years for that here, but in Asgard your Terians could dethrone you eternally… You’ll have to keep away from her for next four years, you wouldn’t be able to hide your feelings –

– I know – Thor groaned desperately – But what will I do for such long time… -

Loki laughing slapped him on the shoulder – Come, let’s have some breakfast –


Little Kiran clutched at his uncle and babbled so long, that Thor finally regained his usual mood, but for the next month he wasn’t seen in Asgard.

Joined: 27 Nov 2007, 17:07

13 Aug 2015, 10:32 #14

Great entry, ewkada!

Joined: 28 Apr 2014, 11:02

14 Aug 2015, 10:04 #15

Would like to enter this month, however had a question:

Do entries have to be fan fic? Or can they be original. I ask because my university is running a writing comp and would like an extra pair of eyes to read it.

So my story has nothing to do with comics/movies/novels/tv shows etc. Just an original piece.

Otherwise -- I have Outstanding Captain Marvel #2 all ready! :D
Outstanding Marvel Team Up - your favourite heroes (and villains) all in one fan fic!

Joined: 24 Feb 2013, 00:05

14 Aug 2015, 11:36 #16

xMatt @ Aug 14 2015, 10:04 AM wrote: Would like to enter this month, however had a question:

Do entries have to be fan fic? Or can they be original. I ask because my university is running a writing comp and would like an extra pair of eyes to read it.

So my story has nothing to do with comics/movies/novels/tv shows etc. Just an original piece.

Otherwise -- I have Outstanding Captain Marvel #2 all ready! :D
You can enter an original story xMatt. Myself and a few others have done it in the past. It just happens that most of us like to write fan fiction :thbsup:

Joined: 26 Nov 2007, 16:50

14 Aug 2015, 16:27 #17



"Winning Has Its Price"

The year is 2089, the world has changed and General Steve Rogers is still Amerika's Top Cop. Since the Civil War in the year 2005, the fracture of America's became so great, that a select few super heroes and bystanders alike sought to create a peace in the aftermath of the deaths of loved ones. Most notably the deaths of Reed Richards - the greatest mind of our time, and Charles Xavier, the must influential in the mutant community proved to be corrupted so many - it started with Captain America and Spider-man.

Rumors were that the man known as Peter Parker, was forced for to ingest an alien symbiotic life that was mixed with Steve Rogers blood which contained a super-soldier serum. They say after Peter Parker lost two of his loved ones because of his identity being out ted by Tony Stark, he was gravely injured. Captain America, as I'm told, took advantage of the situation and gave him a blood transfusion, turning him into a near ageless spider-soldier for Rogers bidding, and therefore turned the tide in a fight against opposers of Steve Rogers new idea to fix America, make a new one. Therefore, welcome to Amerika.

After the assassination of Tony Stark, a few of us banded together to fight in his honor, taking in all those running from his...campaign.

Now after 30 years of fighting, the Registration as rebuilt Amerika and the world in general, fearing the reaction from Amerika's new top cop - now Regime Leader. Rogers has won decisively in various key areas of Amerka, in area's he could not conquer, he nuked. As Amerika is a all but a memory of what it once was. Sections for the rich, areas for the famous, and the powerful all lay at his feet.

But there's us. The ones who stand in the dust and rubble of what once was. The ones fighting still for, no not America, but for humanity. Everyone has the right to life unto himself his life; and i fight that battle. I wage this war, with some of the most powerful alleys we have at this the point in time. Its been a long battle With old heroes and the new alike have died. And now, I would like to say we're doing well...but we're not.

We're at the end of our rope.

We're staggered in numbers.

We're losing hope.

And this, this is where our story begins....


"ZECHS GET OUT HERE!" yells Psylocke, bursting out the white smoke that fills the debris ridden street. Her left hand glowing pink, her purplish hair whipping in the wind, Psylocke makes post haste as she runs as fast as she can, leaping over a small crater in the ground while waving her hands at a young man slowly starting to rise to his feet.

Dazed and confused, the young man rubs his blue eyes as black smoke marks litter his square jawed face. His dirtied long white hair hangs over his face as the side of temple bleeds from a cut. His long blue coat tattered, the man holds his head as pain throbs around his head like an incessant drum. Sharp pain seizes him almost to the point of crippling his movement entirely. Looking upwards, his sharp blue eyes start to process where he is as chunks of concrete and debris seem to rain down around him. The smell of burnt rubber, charred earth and gunpowder sting his nostrils as it rouses him to full consciousness. His awareness increases, remembering he he was caught in a blast aftershock. Looking behind him, he sees a bloodied piece of debris, his head landed on it. However, reddish orange flashes of a fiery explosion come to mind as a young woman rushes to him.

Skidding to his side, Psylocke grabs the young man, tugging at him to get on his feet, "GET YOUR CRAP AND MOVE IT!" she yells with intensity while nervously peering down the street, "THEY'RE RIGHT ON US!"

Staring at her in daze, Zechs looks at Psylocke as if everything that was slow starts to speed up and things in his mind start to click as she yells, "ZECHS CLEARWOOD!!!" she snaps, slapping her glowing hand to his head, "SNAP OUT OF IT!" she screams.

Grinding his teeth as a wave of telepathic memories are unlocked, Zechs grinds his teeth in pain. Feeling an almost out of body experience jar him back to his senses.

Immediately, feeling a clarity of mind, Zechs Clearwood grabs a long black duffle bag beside him on the ground and long sword beside it as Psylocke pushes him along, "MOVE MOVE MOVE!" she repeats as she continues to look down the street.

Sprinting down the street, Zechs and Psylocke runs down the avenue filled with burned cars, half-destroyed buildings with shattered windows and black smoke that rises from all around the entire city to the pale overcast sky.

Running as fast as possible, Psylocke looks at her gauntlet that is on her forearm as she runs beside Zechs, "We have fifteen minutes! Remember, Sue is gonna start the program the second it reaches 10:15, with our without you, we're gone Zechs!!" she says, looking over to him.

Looking at her as they run, Zechs nods, "What about my frequrent flyer miles!" he says.

Psylocke firms her face, "THIS ISN'T A TIME FOR JOKES! ITS JUST US NOW!" she yells, glancing over her shoulder but catches sight of a spider-carnage in his red outfit with a glowing yellow center in his chest, burst through the white smoke, somersaulting through the air with soldiers in black running out the white smoke after them.

"HE'S BACK UP!!" she hollers, looking forward as she tries to run faster, "Why is that he's the only one that NEVER gets caught in a blast!!" she grumbles before skidding to a stop, turning around and forming two telekinetic purple katanas and glances over her shoulder to Zechs. "I'LL HOLD HIM OFF!" she yells as he looks at Zech's who stops his tracks.

"WHAT! What are YOU NUTS!" he yells in total confusion.

"I gotta be if I'm staying back for you!" she yells, crouching low to the ground and narrowing her eyes at SPider-carnage swinging towards her as debris floats up around her, "NOW GET GOING YOU KNOW WHAT TO DO!"

Zechs shakes his head, "I DON'T REMEMBER!"

Psylocke firms her face, seeing Spider-carnage shoot two web-lines and pull himself in holding out his hands towards her, "YOU BETTER FREGGIN REMEMBER! TONY GAVE YOU ALL THE FREGGIN INSTRUCTIONS!!WE ARE RELYING ON YOU!" she yells as Spider-carnage lets out a screeching roar.

In that moment, as the seconds seem to the stop, Psylocke turns around and thrusts her hand out, telekinetically throwing Zechs far down the block before swinging her psi-blades up, forcing Spider-carnage to somersault over her.
Watching him nimbly land on the ground, light on his feet and hoping around her, Psylocke keeps her sword outstretched towards him as he comes to a stop and stares at her before opening his wide toothy mouth.

Psylocke nervously points her swords as him as she keeps looking to her left and right, "PARKER SNAP OUT OF IT!"

"CARNAGE FEEDS!" Spider-man roars as he a long green tongue drips acid to the ground. Psylocke firms her face as he lunges at her while five red circular blades suddenly are hurled to her left. Quickly stopping the blades in the air, she redirects them to Spider-man as he rip into him. Psylocke turns around sees Toxin descending on her too fast for her to stop. Twirling to the ground she thrusts her sword into his abdomen and hurls him off of her just as Spidey shoots a tendril, wrapping around her waist as Toxin immediately heals!

Dissolving the katanas, Psylocke thrusts her hands out to Spider-man as he rapidly pulls her in towards him, while his hands morph into long five fingered knives, and seizes his mind! "Sorry Pete!" she says as suddenly Spider-man drops to the ground dead but turns around as Toxin shrieks as the stop of lungs.

Psylocke extends her arms out ready to take him out but the building behind her suddenly crumbles to the ground as Red She Hulk burst through, pinning Psylocke to the ground.

Meanwhile...two blocks away, around the corner....

Out of breath, Zechs looks up as he sees arrived at the intersection. Wiping the sweat from off his face as his hair sticks to his forehead, he wonders what he is suppose to do now. Standing in the middle of the street, Zechs is overwhelmed as he sees New York City is practically a broken down war-zone and feels the vibration under his feet from the battle increasing behind him.

With shattered buildings and wrecked cars in the middle of the street as far as the eye can see, Zechs hears a 'POW!!!' sound from behind him. Quickly turning around, Zech's keen brown eyes see a tank from afar with a cloud of smoke rising fromt its nozzle.

Not even flinching, Zechs sees the missile shooting upwards into the overcast sky at rapid speed! Suddenly within seconds the missile shell breaks apart and rains an innumerable amount of small bombs that plummet towards him!

With his eyes open wide, Zechs takes a step back, gapsing in awe and horror, "Oh gawd."


A plume of pink smoke erupts around Zechs turns around and sees xiles mutant Blink grabs hold of Zechs and teleports him with another BLINK
sound emitting as the entire street explodes with a fiery mushroom cloud rising in its wake.

Arriving on a nearby rooftop


Zechs drops to the ground out a plume of pink smoke with Blink standing over him as dusty debris rains down on them both out the teleport, "WHAT THE HECK WAS THAT!" Blink yells to him, watching Zechs roll on the floor from the quickie teleport.

Zechs looks up at her, "YOUR ALIVE!" he says in shock as scientist Henry Pym aka Yellowjacket, Amadeus Cho and Julia Carpenter aka Archane, who sports a metal arm, stand behind Blink.

"Yeah but not for long." Amadeus cockily replies, peering over the rooftop and into the distance.

"What happened?" Henry asks as Amadeus at him, "Their six blocks away and closing." he says worriedly.

Blink looks to Pym but points at Zechs, "I found him, standing right in the middle of the street! Totally exposed! He was wandering like a freggin TOURIST and they spotted him!" she says angrily, glaring at Zechs, "Because of YOU, NOW they know where we ARE! We were suppose have more people AND time AND be OUT OF FREGGIN SIGHT! NOW CAUSE OF YOU...." Blink says.

"ENOUGH BLINK!" Pym barks, "We have to make due with what we got now. And we are wasting time!"

Julia rushes to Zechs side, "Are you okay?" she asks seeing the side of his head is bleeding. Zechs' says nothing as he looks into her blue eyes.

Henry Pym opens the black duffle bag beside Zechs, but rummages through it, "Where is it?" he asks, pushing objects aside hastily as panic fills his mind, "ZECHS WHERE IS IT! Did you keep the sword?!" he asks.

Julia looks at Zechs injuries and tries to treat them, "Did they make it? Where's Psylocke?" she asks.

In a daze of sorts, Zechs looks at Julia as if trying to remember but suddenly, in his minds eye sees the flashes of his momentarily forgotten memories coming back to him.

With a sigh, Zechs shakes his head, "I-I...Psy stayed behind. Spiderman caught up with us." he says.


"IF SHE HAD TO SHE HAD TO!" Henry snaps, "This isn't the time for sentiment. Betsy knew the stakes and knows what sacrifice means!" Henry snaps before turning to Zechs, "WHERE IS THE SWORD!? IT HAD THE DETONATOR! DID YOU LEAVE IT WHERE YOU WERE SUPPOSE TO? We only have five minutes so tell me WHAT HAPPENED!!" he yells.

Unable to remember, Zechs shakes his head, recollecting he dropped the sword on the cross-street Blink picked him up at and what happened previously.

"It was a trap." Zechs mutters as tears come to his eyes.

Julia Carpenter covers her mouth, "What?!"

Zechs closes his eyes as he remembers, "Rogers was there, waiting for us. He knew we were trying to break out the children....he stopped us cold. Red Hulk, Red She Hulk, Spider-Man's crew was there as was Ares. We tried to hold them off, but between Red Hulk and Red She Hulk....." Zechs stops as he holds his head, "I remember now, we were about to get wiped out and I set off the bomb early."

"SO THATS IT!" Blink yells.

Zechs looks at her, "Cyclops TOLD ME to set it off! He knew were in a no win situation! He wanted me to sacrifice them so Psylocke and I could get out! What do you think I did, left them there to die!"

"YES!" Blink yells as Henry puts his hands to his head as he just takes a few steps away trying to conceive everything that he was just told.

"ZECHS WOULD NEVER!" Arcane says.

Blink looks at her, "So says the woman who loves him!" she says with a snarl.

Henry turns around, "Do you realize that our entire operation is BLOWN! There is no adjusting! We didn't plan for this! WE ALL WERE SUPPOSE TO GO BACK! Now with Cyclops, Maria Hill, Nick Fury, Sharon Carter and Beast dead..."

Amadeus looks at them, "They are getting closer! We gotta come up with what to do now!"

"...they were the only ones" Henry says, "That had the infinity gem locations here. Once they get that now, we're done. Its over."

"Three minutes!" Blink says.

Zechs looks at them, "Now what! We were suppose to detonate this thing and get out of here."

"GUYS SERIOUSLY MAKE A DECISION NOW! THEY'VE LOCKED ON TO US!" Amadeus says, "We are cannot fight them off!" he says, spotting Red Hulk leaping across rooftops towards them with Red She-Hulk next to him and Spider-Carnage and Toxin swinging through the city only three blocks away and closing fast

Henry looks at Blink, Amadeus and, Julia Carpenter and Zechs, "We cannot let their sacrifices go in vain." he says, "Zechs, Julia, Amadeus, You go, I'll hold them off with Blink...."


"ARE YOU CRAZY!" Amadeus yells as he looks at him.

"We'll buy you time!" Henry says, "Sue set the computers with a doomsday clock!"

"WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT!" they all yell.

Henry takes a deep breath, "Nick Fury knew Sue was going to help us til her dying breath, but she was suppose to be HERE by now. She isn't. We detected Deathloks heading to her, and she's not her by now, that means she is dead. We thought Rogers somehow got info on what we were trying to do and because of that, Nick and Sue secretly put a doomsday clock program into their computers in case something happened that the location of the last two infinity gems were found, four nuclear war-heads would go off, two 10 seconds before the portal opens and the other two ten seconds after it closes, annihilating this ENTIRE TIME FRAME IN TOTAL, just so we couldn't fail. The clocks are set, there is no turning back now. This is OUR time to fix time ITSELF! We have to win...we cannot fail."

Shocked beyond words, Zechs, Julia and Blink stare at him with a blank stare as Amadeus sighs in having apparently been aware of the information.


"We're already dead." Amadeus says simply, "Since Rogers turned on us in the Civil War, we've all been dead."

Julia tries to say something but Henry holds up his hand, "Thats all. We know what we have to do. Stay focused...we can't fail." he says.

With a sigh, she nods with a firm face and teary eyes.

"Guys..." Amadeus says worriedly as he looks over the rooftop, backing away.

Henry looks at Zechs, "You above all people have paid a heavy price. Lead this group and get our future back on track." he says as he grabs a long metal suitcase behind him. Zechs stands to his feet as he puts the duffle bag over his shoulder and takes the long metal suitcase.

"Hurry this up!" Amadeus insists as he takes out an element gun.

Henry nods as he adjust the gadget on his belt and points to the long suitcase, "This is all to your specifications. Inside is everything you'll need courtesy Stark, Reed Richards and Xavier. They knew this was a possibility of this very moment happening. Take it and fix this mess we live in." Henry says.

"THERE HERE!" Amadeus yells, diving away from the edge of the rooftop and shooting upRed Hulk destroying the edge as he soars over their heads and lands behind them.

Seeing Red Hulk behind them, Amadues stands up and shoots his element gun that zips over everyone's head and hits Red Hulk in the chest. Grinding his teeth in pain, Red Hulk feels his chest burn change as his skeleton bones show through his chest.

"GET OUT OF HERE!" Amadues shouts just as She Hulk as she climbs over the roof staring at Blink. Red She Hulk darts for Blink as she forms three small daggers in her hands but Amadeus body slams her away as he shoots at Red She-Hulk, "GET'EM OUT OF HERE!" he yells, but within seconds, Red She Hulk, flips over the roofts, edge, grabs Amadeus into a headlock and snaps his neck, before tossing his body off the roof!

"AMADEUS!!!!" Julia yells while Blink immediately grabs hold of her and Zechs with both and teleports away in a [BLINK as Henry clenches his fists and rapidly grows in size, grabbing both Red Hulk and Red-She Hulk, throwing them both off the roof and into building with a loud BOOM!

Teleporting to the street, Blink arrives on the ground in a plume of pink smoke with Julia and Zechs but sees an entire army only a block away from them!

"WE GOTTA GO BACK!" Julia screams, looking up as Pym, in giant size, falls between two buildings, trying to brace-himself as helicopters rain napalm on him. Screaming in pain, Pym struggles to get his footing as Red Hulk smashes out the building and rams through Pym's chest like a bullet!

"NOOOOOO!!!!" Julia screams.

Zech grabs Julia's, pulling her back as Julia and Blink turn around to sees Steve Rogers in a black uniform with a white star on his chest holding a black and white shield with Falcon and Bucky strutting behind him. His menacing eyes locked onto them as a green tank rolls behind them. Steve Rogers stops in his tracks and steps aside, revealing the tank front, featuring Psylockes body ripped in half and strapped to the front!

"Oh gawd..." Zechs groans seeing Psylockes body on the tank.

Julia covers her mouth in horror as Steve stares back at them from the distance as Ares, Spider-man, Toxin land on the tank, grinning at them. as jets in the far distance streak over head n the sky.

Holding up a ampliphone to his mouth, Rogers looks at them, "YOU REBELS ARE UNDER ARREST!"

"I'll hold them off!" Blink says.

"ARE YOU CRAZY!" Zechs says as does Julia.

"I may not like you, I may think your a mutant hater...but I sure as heck ain't gonna let THEM stop anyone of US get to the past. So save the sentiment and take this as a token of faith in some good you may have. NOW, get out of here!"

Blink looks at them and pulls off her gauntlet with a timer on it and throws it to Zechs who puts it on "YOU GOT FORTY FIVE SECO... " Suddenly the ground under Blinks feet cracks open rocketing Zechs and Julia away from Blink!

Blink hits her head to the ground, writhing in pain but hears a deafening roar as one Predator X burst out the ground! Teleporting over it as it snaps at her, Blink, while in mid-air sees behind her as another Predator X bursts out the ground and grabs her out the air.

"BLINK!!" Julia screams as both creatures devour her within seconds in a flurry of her screams.

"NOOOOOOOO!!!" yells Zechs and Julia.

As the two creatures lap up the blood from the ground, Zechs spots Toxin and Spider-Man bolt off the tank and race for them.

Zechs pushes Julia back and grabs the long suitcase, opens it quickly as sees the long three foot sword with a crystal in the middle of the hilt and two civil war fashioned pistols.

"GRAB THE PISTOLS!" Zechs yells to who Julia hastily grabs the guns as Zechs quickly lifts up the weighty sword, points it Spider-Man and Toxin as the blade splits apart, revealing a spinnig blue orb that glows and hums. Grinding his teeth as a blue light emits, Zechs squints his eyes as a massive blue blasts bursts from the sword, causing him to stagger back from the recoil as it engulfs Spider-Man, Toxin and the two Predator X's, causing them to scream out in pain as they're rendered to skeletons and then dust.

Wincing as the sword hums with smoke lifting off it, Zechs watches the sword return back to normal, recharging, but his eyes open wide.

"JULIA!!!" Zechs yells his heart racing at the sight of Ares holding Julia off the ground by her the neck in his massive hand.

Looking at his wrist gauntlet, Zechs sees the time wind down to 30 seconds. and looks back up at JUlia.

"Its over." says Steve Rogers as Red Hulk lands on the ground beside him in a bloodied mess.

Zechs firms his face as he sees soldiers surrounding him as Red She Hulk stands 20 feet behind him and winks at him while holding Henry Pym's giant finger.

Glaring at Rogers, Zechs bares his teeth as his blue eyes narrows behind the strands of his white hair, "LET HER GO!" he yells, seeing tears roll down Julia's cheeks as Ares holds her off the ground.

Rogers, with a scar under his cheek, points to Zechs, "Why should I? Your precious rebels and their fight are over. Pym is dead, Amadeus is dead...they're all dead. The old world that you foolishly fought for is dead...give it up WELCOME THE NEW AMERIKA!" he snaps, lifting a gun to Zechs head.

Seeing the time is fifteen seconds, Zechs starts to panic as he sees Ares smiling as he tightens his grip on Julia who screams, "GO WITH OUT ME!"

Rogers smiles as he sees Zechs firm his face and lift his sword towards him again, "I'm NOT LEAVING YOU!" he yells.

Rogers smirks, "Really? Don't you see, this is how it will go, you will drop that sword, kick it to me NOW!"

Zech firms his face, "Not on your life." he spits.

"Really, what about hers?" Rogers growls before nodding to Ares who promply slams Julia to the ground as she screams out loud and holds up his ax, poised to behead her.

"NOOOOOOO!!!" yells Zechs.

"THAN STAND AWAY FROM THE PORTAL ENTRYPOINT I KNOW THATS WHERE IT WILL COME FROM!" Rogers yells, pointing at the ground he stand on, "Lets get this straight Zechs, you lost your mother, your sister, brother, your father, your mentor....everyone you've touched or that you've known....IS DEAD! I have LOOKED to that!"


"WHAT I'VE BECOME?!" yells Rogers, "And what's that I might add? A savior for the world? A usher of a new age? Dawn Riser? Don't you get it! We were living in a Heroic Age and we still had crime, violence and I stopped it. I STOPPED IT! I saw the world for what it was and saw that being a Top Cop is still being JUST A COP! KEEPING PEACE INSTEAD OF MAKING IT IS NOT A HEROES JOB!! I MADE PEACE! THAT IS TRUE HERO!"

"AND THE GRAVEYARDS YOU MADE IS HEROIC? THE LIVES YOU DESTROYED? IS THAT PART OF YOUR MAKING PEACE?!" yells Zechs, "How many had to DIE for your dream Rogers?! How many families wept because of your betrayal to them! Your hands are filled with more blood that anyone in history!" he yells.

"AND YOURS AREN'T!" Rogers yells, "YOU HAVEN'T KILLED?! Do I have to remind you of YOUR slaughters?! Your terrorist-like attempts to stop me!"

Zechs firms his face, "YOU left us with no choice!"

"NOW YOU HAVE ONE! RIGHT NOW! We aren't the same you and I, I understand you as you MUST in your heart understand me. When faced with a choice, whether your a cop or criminal or a hero or a villain, man or beast....when you have choice to live or die....your just ONE person, there are no more lines or separations. We all are looking to survive. I had to realize that but it too me years frozen in ice and years fighting to see it. I realized that you just need to appeal to that survival instinct and people WILL unite together."

"And you betrayed them all. Killed them for your...New America." Zechs says with a sneer.

"I betrayed the WEAK! NOT THE STRONG! Why can't you see that! Why can't you see what I've built...what I have made US BECOME?!" he yells.

Zech shakes his head, "I can't see it because there are too many bodies in the way of your supposed painting of the future, to appreciate it." he snaps.

Steve huffs as he shakes his head, "I tried to be reasonable, I tried to extend a hand but THIS is what happens when an unstoppable force, has no stopping objects..." he says clicking his gun and pointing it as Julia's face as Ares lifts the ax from next to her face and held over her head, seeing tears drop from her eyes, "...either you get on board...or I run you over!" he snarls.

Zech's heart pounds as he locks eyes with Julia on the ground, bleeding from her nose.

"Last time... an if anything, do it for her. Out of all the people you lost, do you really want to add HER to that column of dead women you could've saved but you didnt'?" he asks.

Zech's eyes open wide as he sees the time is up and nothing has happened.


"STOP!" he yells as he drop his sword to the ground, "Don't hurt her. I'll give up!" he says.

Steve nods as he grabs Julia by the hair, lifting her to her feet and throws her over to him, "Weak!" he snaps.

Catching her into his arms, Julia's eyes 'well up' with tears as she looks at Zechs, "I'm sorry." she says, trembling in his arms as they see Steve still pointing his gun at them, completely surrounded with the end apparently where they stand.

"ALL stories come to their end...past, present and even future. That's what I told your father before I put a bullet in his skull, too bad his brat had to come to the same end." he says.

Julia clenches Zechs tight but feels a bulge in costumes and sees the two pistols from the case, "I love you." she says as she looks into his eyes.

Suddenly beeping sound goes off from Zechs gauntlet.

Immediately, a white light forms above Zech's head.

At that moment and deafening [i']blar'[/I] sound vibrates through everyone as they cover their ears and cover their faces as hurricane-like wind swirls around everyone kicking up debris. Zech grabs his sword, slams it into the ground, and grabbing hold of it with Julia while clutching the swords handle to ground himself, "ITS THE PORTAL!!!" he yells.

Steve stands in shock, seeing the bright light shine on them all "NO NO NO NO NOOOOOO!!" he yells.

With the white glow over them both, Zech looks at Julia, "GO!" he yells as he throws her into the air towards the portal, "NOO!!" she yells. Simultaneously, Zechs swings his sword around, impaling Red She Hulk as she leaped towards them.

within seconds...

In the same moment, Steve, embroiled with anger yells out "STOP THEM!! I WANT THEM ALIVE!" as all the men race towards Zechs as Ares, already in mid-air with his ax curled back, is ready to behead Zechs.

Seeing a bright star-like like missile rise into the sky hundreds of miles away, Julia quickly deduces its the nuclear missile. Wasting no time, she shoots out a psi-web to Zechs gear and hurls it into the portal as she pulls herself towards Zechs, flips over him and locks eyes with him in the moment.

As if all time slowed to a crawl for just a second, Julia Carpenter's blue eyes gaze into Zechs brown eyes as if both of their hearts were synced in the moment. Zechs looks at her in pure shock and horror as she mouth the words "I love you."

And than kicks Zechs with all her strength into the portal!

"NOOOOOO!!!!" Zechs yells as he is unable to stop, having gotten picked up from the sucking wind of the portal and sees the soldiers grab hold of her, preventing her from going!

"JULLLLIIIIAAAAA!!!!" Zechs yells repeatedly as he sees Ares swinging his ax down on her head as she stares at him while all the soldier start firing at Zechs!

Immediately, a white flash goes off in the distance with a monstrous dust-cloud in the horizon rising high in the sky from the nuclear bomb go off as just as the portal closes!


Joined: 28 Apr 2014, 11:02

15 Aug 2015, 01:20 #18

Well, it's a strong comp this month - with quite a few original ideas, already along with the usual favourites! Dreamscape was really interesting as well as Zechs. Marvel Star Wars is always a joy to read, as is Heavy Metal. Ewkada your story continues to develop, it's great.
Outstanding Marvel Team Up - your favourite heroes (and villains) all in one fan fic!

Joined: 28 Nov 2007, 20:55

15 Aug 2015, 02:57 #19

Well, time to toss in my entry, I suppose. Another LIS chapter, this time something a little different! Yes, we finally get to see things through a different pair of eyes- namely, Donatello! And it's pretty eye-opening, to be sure. Donnie's got secrets to hide from his brothers, but his biggest concern right now is two missing clan-mates. This chapter will give some insights into what the boys were up to during their day-long date, and how Donnie feels about what he knows.....


Love Is Shell Chapter 27- Interlude: Donatello’s Digital Diary

Entry 1,637: April 24-

I started this log several years ago as a way to keep observations on our daily lives and collect my thoughts on personal projects, as well as to track my progress in finding a treatment for the hormonal deficiency caused by my hermaphroditism. Keeping my brothers from finding out has been difficult at times, particularly in the last few years since we hit puberty and went through our first rut. It’s a double-edged sword, as Leo might put it, since I’ve been spared from the worst effects of mating season, but it also means I’m completely cut off from ever having a healthy libido or the ability to exercise it.

That doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate an attractive female, however. It just means that I don’t get “turned on” by members of EITHER sex. Sometimes I really wish I could, just so I’d have a frame of reference to help me understand my brothers’ problems better. Especially Mikey and this infatuation of his. I wasn’t really surprised to find out he’d grown VERY attached to our kunoichi- I saw the signs before anyone, even Leo. What DID surprise me is how tenacious he’s been about it, almost obsessive, even. It’s more than a little worrying.

Now, I’m not saying that a healthy sex-drive is a bad thing, but it’s becoming a distraction we can’t afford. What’s worse, she’s done nothing to discourage him since she discovered his interest. She even seems to return his feelings, though for the life of me, I can’t figure out why. Just from a logical perspective alone, it doesn’t add up. There are the obvious physical differences to consider, as well as relative maturity (this IS Mikey I’m talking about), social background, educational background, and psychological profiles.

I’ve tried to study every facet of our lives over the years, for as long as I’ve been able to comprehend the full ramifications of what we are. Biologically speaking, we shouldn’t even exist. As near as I can determine with my limited equipment and knowledge, our anatomy is an unlikely mesh of reptilian and mammalian organ and tissue structures. We have a blood-typing similar to humans- which is how I know we ARE related by blood. But our hearts seem to have retained the less efficient three-chambered configuration of reptiles, although I believe we also have a larger lung capacity, and limited capacity for oxygen absorption through our skin- much like some turtle species are said to have. That might explain why we are rarely ever short of breath, and why we don’t tire easily. We’re also highly resistant to most diseases common to mammals, as well. We can’t contract rabies, for instance.

We’re cold-blooded, of course, but unlike our wild cousins, we can’t hibernate when the weather gets too cold- our metabolism isn’t equipped to store fat that way, or even to slow down enough to reduce fuel usage. So we can enter a torpor-like state, but we’d starve to death if we did. Unfortunately, since we ARE cold-blooded, cold weather makes us sluggish and lethargic, and makes it harder to stay alert. This is one reason we tend to stay in the lair during cold months- the only thing that keeps us from involuntarily going into torpor is keeping the lair well-heated and consuming high-calorie foods to generate more body-heat. Since we don’t retain heat, though, that intake has to be fairly frequent. That’s why we eat so much “junk food” like pizza, chips, burgers, and other high-fat, high-carb foods. That was how we met Orlene that night; we had been going topside to Vinnie’s to get some much-needed carbs and also to get away from the lair for a bit. Being cooped up in one’s home for three months tends to lead to a severe case of cabin fever, and we have to brave the cold on occasion just to keep from killing each other out of sheer boredom and being in close proximity for so long.

Our reproductive and excretory organs seem to have remained almost completely unchanged, except for the expected increase in size that came with our growth as we mutated. The most interesting change is that our instinctive response to sexual stimulation appears to have taken a human track. In other words, we seem to prefer human females over our own kind- meaning other turtles, of course. I believe it has something to do with size and behavior changes resulting from our mutation.

This leads me to Michelangelo and his intense fascination with human society. Looking back, I realize it’s been building for a long, long time. Even when we were little kids, he was more interested in the world above than the rest of us. He was always fascinated- one might say obsessed- by their social interactions and culture. Especially relationships and forms of entertainment. He was always seeking out “new” music, movies, various types of games- anything that caught his attention for more than five minutes. In retrospect, we should have seen this coming. I was never especially fond of them myself; my own interest in human affairs has been mostly limited to studying mathematics, biology, chemistry, and anatomy. I never followed cultural trends. I was far more concerned with advances in science, technology, and medicine- subjects with practical applications to our own lives. I’m also fluent in six languages, but that’s more because it allows me to read about advances around the world. Also, I’m a member of several on-line scientific community forums as DuzMachines84, so knowing multiple languages is a plus when dealing with fellow scientists. And of course, we ALL learned both Japanese and English growing up- Father insisted on it.

I suppose it was inevitable that something like this might happen eventually. After all, he’s always been the first one of us to try to initiate contact with humans, from the very first time we met one. April was our first real human contact. Of course we had encountered a few on scavenging forays, but we had always stayed in the shadows, out of direct sight. That all changed the day we found her in that tunnel, with Shredder’s thugs about to turn her into a statistic. Sometimes, I don’t know whether we should thank April, or blame her for all the changes that have taken place in our lives since then. Now that I think of it, Mikey was the first to show himself, then, too.

It was Leo who actually decided to take April to the lair, a decision which I often wonder if he ever regrets, since it led Shredder’s goons to our home, and initiated the series of events that followed- and still continues to this day. But it is what it is, and short of Renet showing up with the Time Scepter to give us all a colossal headache by playing around with our past, nothing will change that. On second thought, maybe I should delete that last statement in case she ever sees it. She might be tempted to try, and half-trained Time Mistresses with the power to alter time itself should never be trifled with. We found that out the hard way- several times, in fact. I still wonder why Leo chose to allow a human into our home, but perhaps he saw it as a chance to learn more about them. Know thy enemy, as he might say.

Mikey may not know it, but I remember the time we found our first Playboy, and we all spent the night in my room looking at it. He was so hopeful that someone might actually want to have a relationship with us, and I think it might have upset him more than he let on when Raph and Leo said it could never happen. He’s always been more sensitive than any of us- except maybe Raphael. He’s hard to figure out, though. Sometimes I really feel sorry for all of them- for me, it’s not an issue. I couldn’t do anything even if I wanted too, so why get my hopes up for something that’s biologically impossible for me anyway? Even if I’d ever decided to partake of those thrice-damned cookies as Mikey did, it would STILL be a moot point.

I first noticed it when Master Splinter agreed to train her. Mikey has always had a difficult time staying focused, but it got worse when she started training with us. He’d miss a block because he’d glance over at her, and get clobbered by a bo or a fist. Or he would be sparring with her, and his form would be sloppy because he was too distracted by the physical contact. It was almost sad, really. And then there were the blatant attempts to flirt, and the off-hand comments that made it clear as day- to us anyway- where his mind was.

And it only got worse the more time went by. By the time mating season hit full force- it’s not too noticeable for the first week or so- he was almost out of control. Moping about when she wasn’t around, getting over-protective whenever he felt she was threatened, or acting outright jealous when she spent time with me in the workshop. I suppose it was that fight at breakfast that was the final straw for Leo and Raph. We all knew he needed to get his head on straight; the problem was, none of us knew what to do about it. I tried to stay out of it, hoping that it would pass and he’d lose interest. No such luck.

Then he disappeared during the fight at Stock-Tronics, and we couldn’t reach him on his T-com. I had a pretty good idea where he’d gone, though. He’d run off after Shredder when he dragged our kunoichi into the transport module. Yet again, little brother was more worried about HER than he was about putting Traag or the Foot-bots out of commission. We still managed to take the Foot-bots down, but both Shredder and Traag got away, along with Bebop and Rocksteady. And they made off with that exo-suit, too. Terrific. If Mikey had kept his head in the game, it might not have happened. But all he saw was a chance to play hero.

When we realized where he’d gone, Leo became worried, and we set to work on a plan to get them both back. Leo was convinced that Mikey would get into trouble he couldn’t handle, and in spite of knowing our baby brother had proven more than once that he could take care of himself, I was worried, too. I went to work on creating a tracking device to lead us to the Technodrome, while Leo and Raph tried to figure out a way to get us to it using our old hover-sled. It’s small enough to fit in the tunnels made by Krang’s transport modules, and quiet enough to offer a stealthy approach. Not that we’d need much; the Technodrome is big, and it’s incredibly noisy when it’s moving. Even sitting still while low on power, the outer hull is thick enough to prevent all but the loudest noises from penetrating. But it’s also got surveillance out the wazoo, and enough weapons to take down an army- assuming it ever reached the surface, that is.

I was still several hours away from completing my tracker when Mikey and Orlene returned on their own. We were more than a little surprised, to say the least. Even more so by the manner of their return, and the way they were both dressed. They were wearing gear taken from some of those upgraded Foot-bots, and Mikey had several weapons on him, including a sonic disruptor and the Sword of Tengu. They were evasive in answering Leo’s questions about how they had escaped, but he was so relieved to have them both back that he let it slide. Raph was just glad we didn’t have to go down there after them.

Then they asked me to talk privately in my workshop, and when Mikey told me what had REALLY happened, I almost blew a gasket. I should have known there was more going on than the rest of us knew, but I couldn’t believe he hadn’t told the others- or at least Sensei. I had a feeling he was being protective of our kunoichi again, and frankly, it didn’t surprise me. When they told me what they wanted, I seriously considered going straight to Father and asking permission to refuse. But that would’ve left her in a serious pickle that would cause problems for all of us. My biggest concern wasn’t even the impropriety of the request, it was my relative lack of qualifications in handling it. I didn’t want to do more damage than had already been done. But it had to be done, and since I was the ONLY one with any medical knowledge, it fell to me. Sometimes I HATE being the only one with any scientific expertise.

I was a little surprised when Mikey asked me to teach him some basic hacking and electronics skills, so we’d have someone to fall back on for those things if I’m ever out of service. In other words, in case something ever happens to me and they need a replacement. But it has been an enlightening experience teaching him. He’s far more adept then I would have expected, and shows signs of an intelligence I hadn’t suspected. I think he’s been playing dumb all these years, perhaps as a way of avoiding serious responsibility.

He doesn’t understand a lot of the technical language, but he soaks up hands-on visual demonstrations like a sponge. Now that I think about it, he’s always been a fast learner; he picks up new moves from Sensei faster than the rest of us. I’m starting to think that the only thing holding him back all these years has been his short attention span. Though he can often sit for hours at a time playing a video game, so sometimes I think it’s just boredom or lack of interest rather than any real attention disorder that prevents him from learning.

A great deal has happened in the last few weeks since that infernal Stock-Tronics incident. Raphael celebrated his eighteenth birthday just over a week later, and apparently Mikey confessed his feelings to Orlene when he returned for his nunchaku after the party. I suspect that was the real reason he “left them behind” in the first place. Sometimes I wonder just how clever he really is. He’s spent the night with her several times since then, and I don’t even want to know what they’ve been doing together. I have a pretty good idea, though. Especially since he keeps coming home fresh from a shower. He might as well be wearing a sign advertising it.

More importantly, I know what they HAVEN’T done; but apparently, third base isn’t far enough for those two. Not that I really even want to consider how that works; it’s just- weird. We’re not even technically built for the same kind of “courtship rituals” as humans, given that our terrapin cousins are more into neck-biting and claw-stroking than kissing or fellatio. That brings up another point- he’s become far too preoccupied with the idea of us becoming fully human, and one doesn’t have to be a genius to figure out why. He even came to me a couple of days after the party, and asked me if I could create a new batch of Krang’s retro-mutagen. My answer was an emphatic NO.

Of course, that doesn’t mean I CAN’T, but it would mean getting my hands on a rare chemical compound that can only be found naturally in Dimension X. Not only that, but after the mess that stuff made of my workshop, I’m afraid to even try. Mikey even asked if there was a way to stabilize it so it would be safe, and as tempting a prospect as that might be, I had to put my foot down on the subject. I even started putting all my notes on the subject in my hidden lock-box, and put all the computer files in an encrypted file-folder pass-coded and placed under the name “Project Skinwalker”. I even hid it in with a bunch of miscellaneous files on minor biochemistry notes so that if he tried to go looking for the formula himself, he’d never find it. He’s just persistent enough to try, and that worries me.

Several things happened over the next few days that diverted my attention from Mikey’s request, the first of which was a government agent showing up to harass Orlene about her involvement with us. I haven’t even met the guy yet, and I already hate him. I suppose it was bound to happen eventually, though. We’ve gotten a bit lax over the last few years, allowing ourselves to be spotted by humans on more than one occasion, and even caught on camera. Since taking out surveillance gear is usually my department, it’s partially my fault. Hearing that Bishop had even managed to slip a tracker on Mikey- TWO of them, in fact- just made things worse. If Orlene hadn’t been suspicious enough to think of it, Mikey would have led him right to our door. I don’t even want to consider why he wanted to find us, but it couldn’t be for anything good.

Then there was another fight in the lair on movie night, after which Mikey stormed out, taking his backpack and skateboard with him. I admit that it was partly my fault that he left; I shouldn’t have made that crack about West Side Story being more his speed than Aliens. That was a little bit out of line. I’m actually surprised he didn’t just retaliate by blurting out my secret. I guess that’s why I didn’t say anything to the others when I should have. I was afraid he might decide to out me about the hermaphroditism, and I didn’t want to try to explain that to them. It’s just too embarrassing.

We got another shock the next morning when he came back- with HER- and they told us that Bishop had been to her place again. Mikey had told him plainly to leave us- AND Orlene- alone, but I doubted he would listen. Mikey said he didn’t like the guy at all, and that’s really saying something, coming from him. He’s usually got good instincts about people, in spite of his lack of interest in training. We’ve all learned to trust it when he says something doesn’t feel right, or if he gets “bad vibes” from someone. Sometimes I even wonder if he might have a touch of ESP or clairvoyance, though I don’t usually believe in things like magic or psychic powers. Still, we’ve seen enough strange things over the years that I can’t exactly discount the possibility, either.

Later that day, Leo had a run-in with him, too. From what big brother told us later, it didn’t go any better than Mikey’s encounter with the man. But at least Leo was able to find out what the man was after. From what he told us the agent said, it sounds like he is interested in what caused our mutations, most likely for some sort of secret government project. That worries me. Mutagen in the hands of Shredder and Krang (well, technically tentacles, in Krang’s case) has been bad enough, but I can only imagine what could be done with it by human governments. None of the possibilities I’ve come up with are good.

I spent the night at her place, taking my shift as security detail. Nothing happened, although we did discover exactly where they were filming from, and we had a long discussion about several issues I had with the entire situation concerning Mikey. I still don’t understand the attraction, but…. Maybe she really does believe it’s possible to make it work in the long run. I even started to wonder if Mikey’s request was such a bad idea, after all. If we COULD be “normal” (whatever that means) then maybe there is hope for us to have full, rich lives, and maybe even families of our own. Well, at least my brothers could. I’d still be sterile, but do I really have the right to deny that chance to them? I don’t know anymore….

The next night, we ended up getting into a misunderstanding with some very unusual new “neighbors”, thanks to those two running off on their own during a particularly slow patrol. I can understand Mikey being that reckless, but she should have known better. At the very least, they should have called to let us know what they were doing. Instead, we had to find out about the Wyverns the HARD way. Fortunately, it turned out alright in the end. They even turned out to have similar interests and ideals as us, so now we have a mutual agreement with them to work together to protect the city. It’s good to make new friends. I’ve even found a kindred spirit in their resident gear-head and techie, which is nice.

A week went by, and I began to think he’d forgotten the entire idea, especially after we ended up dealing with a big mess involving Shredder, Tokka, Rahzar, and a “new” group of whacko criminals who were all after the “Sword of Nowhere”. We’d thought that thing was gone for good, but somehow, it had made its way back from the aliens who took it off-planet, and we ended up having to get it back from some winged psycho female with a grudge against humans. You know, just another typical day in the life. But I’m starting to revise my thoughts about things like magic and supernatural beings….

The good news was that we saved the city- again- and we even found a way to make sure the sword would never be used again, all thanks to our new allies. I may have to make a separate entry just to contain all my notes and ideas on the Wyvern clan’s physiology and possible evolutionary origins. It’s a fascinating subject, and one that opens up many questions about what I thought I knew about evolution in general, and particularly our own origins. Some of the things they told us have made me wonder about some of the old myths and legends Splinter used to tell us when we were little. I’d love to study this further, but I already have far too many other things on my plate at the moment.

The bad news was that the Purple Dragons almost walked right up to our door while we were resting up from that incident, because they found the garage and we ended up in a nasty fight that ended with Hun trying to blow up the entire garage. Raph lost his bike, and the van was severely damaged. It took me almost four days to get it fixed and repainted. Surprisingly, the only thing that wasn’t damaged was the transport module Mikey and Orlene had brought back when they had escaped the Technodrome after the Stock-Tronics incident.

Mikey was very much his usual self during that entire escapade, and for a while, it seemed like everything was back to normal. By the time everything went to Hades in a hand-basket, I’d almost forgotten about the issue altogether. The real shocker was when he disappeared AGAIN, after Leo had already laid down a rule that none of us go out alone because of that Bishop creep. We didn’t even notice he was missing for several hours. By the time any of us thought to look for him, it was time for practice. At first, we thought he might have just gone off on his own to one of his favorite skateboarding spots, but when he was still gone when it was time for practice, we started to suspect something was wrong.

When we tried to call his T-com, we heard its ring-tone coming from his room. In other words, he had left it behind when he left the lair. More to the point, he had left his nunchaku behind, as well, and that was a much bigger concern, because as he so clearly pointed out the night of the party, he NEVER goes anywhere without them. I happen to know that he’s even named them, but that’s another issue I don‘t want to go into. We also discovered that his skateboard and his favorite handheld game console were both still in his room. That’s when we REALLY started to worry.

And what was worse was that SHE didn’t show up, either. She’s almost never late for practice, so we grew concerned that something might be wrong. Then Raph suggested that they might have decided to spend a day alone together. I don’t even want to think about what he thought they might be doing. So we tried calling her T-com, but there was no answer. So we went to her apartment, only to find that they weren’t there. We tried her T-com again while we were there, and soon heard it ringing from the bedroom. Either she’d forgotten it, or she had left it behind on purpose.

When we couldn’t reach her, either, we returned home and told Splinter that they were both missing. He grew concerned, and tried to contact Mikey through the astral plane by sensing his aura. Personally, I’ve never really understood how astral communication works, but I’ve never had reason to doubt Sensei’s word when it comes to such matters. I’ve seen too much evidence of his ability to communicate spiritually to discount it as mere fantasy. Unfortunately, it didn’t take long before he ended his meditation and informed us that he couldn’t reach Mikey; or rather, that he had received no response to his attempts to contact him. He said that he had barely even been able to touch Michelangelo’s aura, because it felt strange, as if it belonged to someone else. That was the first inkling we had that something was seriously wrong. All we knew was that he was still alive, but that even Splinter could not determine his location.

I should have suspected what was going on then, but I’d put the incident out of my mind, assuming Mikey had forgotten the matter, like he usually does with these whims of his. But apparently, Mikey had just been waiting for the right opportunity to make his move. I should have known he had something up his sleeve, as it were. He had never intended to drop it, he just changed tactics and went after the next most likely target to get what he wanted. Why he thought Krang might actually help him is anyone’s guess, but that’s Mikey- he never really stops to think these things through. He just does whatever he pleases, and lets the cards fall where they may. Between his irresponsibility and Raph’s jumping into things head-first, I’m surprised they haven’t given Splinter ulcers or a heart attack. Sometimes I’m just surprised they’re even still alive.

Leo, ever the worry-wart, began to grow increasingly paranoid, believing that the government goons had somehow abducted them both. We began calling everyone we knew, asking if anyone had seen them, and the only answer we got was that Orlene had left April around noon and that she hadn’t said where she was going. April conveniently never mentioned seeing Mikey- something we only found out about later. She also never mentioned that Orlene had gone off WITH Mikey (or that he was HUMAN at the time), and April really should have never kept that from us. But apparently, she’s been encouraging their relationship. Casey hadn’t seen either of them, and Irma said she didn’t know anything about them being missing. Though from her tone, I thought something sounded fishy about her lack of information. She’s a smart woman, and entirely too perceptive at times, not to mention a bit nosy. If she knew anything, though, she wasn’t talking. We only found out later that Mikey had bribed her with a chocolate soufflé to keep quiet about having seen him. Technically, she wasn’t lying about not knowing he was missing, but she hadn’t said she’d seen him, either. I really hate conspiracies. Especially conspiracies between women regarding relationships. And this is the gender that half of me belongs to…..

We kept asking around, widening our circle of contacts and friends to include ANYONE who knew of our existence. Neither Danny nor Angel knew anything about it, and even Vernon was clueless- not that it was much of a surprise. That guy gives new meaning to the word. Raph asked Mona, and I went to visit Leatherhead at his lair- his home isn’t far from ours, located in an old abandoned subway station that was actually our home once. I even checked in with my friend Professor Jordan Perry, whom I keep in touch with- mostly through on-line chat forums- but we didn’t get even a hint of where they were.

It wasn’t until around three A.M. when Raph suggested we take the newly-refurbished van out to look that we discovered their possible whereabouts, and that sent Leo even further into a panic. We had hidden the “borrowed” transport module, and it was sitting parked in the old garage with the van, until I could get around to converting it for our own use as a surprise weapon against Shredder and Krang. At least, it HAD been sitting in the garage. But suddenly, IT was missing, too. We found a tunnel hole in the alley behind the garage, about a block away. Someone had used the tunneler, and it was a pretty good bet as to who that someone was. What we didn’t know was WHY. I had a suspicion, but I was sure that Orlene would’ve never been foolish enough to do what I had just thought of, and I was afraid to add to Leo’s fears with an unfounded accusation against our two missing teammates.

“I’ve got a bad feeling about this,” Leo said when we found the hole. “Why would they try to go after Shredder and Krang on their own? It doesn’t make any sense.”

I pondered the situation further, but the more I considered it, the more I started to get a gut feeling that Mikey hadn’t dropped the subject of becoming human as easily as he had appeared to. His questions on the subject kept coming to mind, particularly his comment about making the retro-mutagen stable, and about it being able to return Mona Lisa back to her old self. He’d been far too specific in his inquiries for it to have been a simple matter of hypothetical possibility; he’d been leading somewhere with his questions, and as I stood staring at that hole, I suddenly knew EXACTLY where.

“Guys, I think I know what this is about. I think Mikey has finally gone off the deep end. He’s going to get them both killed, and it’s all my fault. I should have known he wouldn’t give up that easily….” I shook my head, feeling like a complete idiot for not having told the others sooner about Mikey’s request. I had foolishly thought that after I refused, he would simply let it go and forget about his ridiculous fantasy of becoming fully human, but I hadn’t realized just how determined he was.

“Donnie, what are you talking about? What do you know?” Leo asked in that quiet but insistent way he has, and I knew I couldn’t stay silent anymore. Raph looked at me, with that expression he gets when he’s truly afraid that one of us is in real trouble, and I hung my head, realizing that I should have gone straight to Splinter the instant Mikey had walked out of my workshop. I hadn’t wanted to think he would try anything stupid by attempting to find a way to do it himself, but as usual, I had underestimated the single-minded persistence of our baby brother. He’s complained more than once that we treat him like a dumb little kid, or that we don’t give him the respect he deserves. I finally realized just how far he was willing to go for what he wanted, and it made me feel sick inside to know that I’d driven him to it. For that matter, we all had.

“I- I have a confession to make,” I sighed, leaning on my bo to keep from ending up on my knees. “He came to me two weeks ago, after he didn’t come home from Raph’s party. He wanted to know if I still had my notes on the retro-mutagen. He wanted to know if I could make more of it, and he even suggested we could use it to turn Mona back to normal. He asked if I could make it stable so it would be safe. I told him no. I didn’t say anything to you guys, because after I refused, he stormed out and didn’t ask about it again. I thought he’d dropped it, but now…. Now I’m not so sure. I- I think he went down there to see if Krang would do it. We’ve been so sure this thing between them couldn’t last, and I think he may have taken it to heart, so he’s doing what he thinks is the only answer. He didn’t want us to try to stop him- that’s why he left his T-com behind.”

Raphael exploded, predictably. “He WHAT??!! Donnie, why didn’t ya’ TELL us?! He’s probably down ’dere right now gettin’ tortured, if he ain’t dead already, and ya’ didn’t think it was important enough to TELL us he was thinkin’ about doin’ ’dat?! What the Hell were ya’ THINKIN’?!”

“Donnie, are you SURE that’s why he took the module?” Leo asked, gripping my arms and shaking me. He was worried, alright. “Maybe they just decided to finish Saki once and for all. They both have plenty of reasons to want him stopped.”

“Leo, he said he thought it might be the answer to our problems. He said it would make it possible for us to do the things we’ve always dreamed of. I thought he gave up on it when I refused, but maybe…. Maybe he just went to someone else instead. He wanted to be normal. He told me he’d been thinking about it for a while, and now he’s gone. He’s taking matters into his own hands, and it’s my fault. I should’ve said something sooner. I- I’m sorry.” I didn’t know what else to say. I felt cold, and part of me hoped I was wrong. But I knew better. The only thing I couldn’t figure out was how he could’ve convinced her to go along with his crazy idea. I had thought she was sensible enough to know better. Then it occurred to me that he might not have told her what he had in mind. Which meant that he’d endangered her recklessly. I suddenly wanted to string Mikey up like a pinata, and hit him with my bo- repeatedly. Apparently, I wasn’t the only one, either.

The next thing I knew, Raph came across with a right hook to my jaw that actually knocked me to the ground. “You’re an IDIOT, Donnie! Ya’ should’a TOLD us about ’dis!” He yelled, and I knew he was right. I didn’t get up right away, because to tell the truth, I felt like I’d deserved that.

“Back off, Raph! He made a mistake- but that’s no reason to start taking out your anger on him. Save it for Shredder when we go get them back. IF we get them back.” I knew he was afraid we would never see those two again, and I was beginning to have doubts myself.

“So what do we do now?” Raph asked gruffly, marginally calmer. He glared at me, as if he thought it was my fault they were missing. I didn’t entirely disagree, strangely enough.

“Donnie, how soon can you have the hover-sled ready? We have to find them. Raph will take the van back out and canvas every neighborhood for a fifteen block radius from the lair. I’ll take the rooftops and check around again to see if anyone’s seen them. If we can’t find them by dawn, we take the sled down the tunnel to find the Technodrome. We’ll keep our T-coms on and call in every two hours to report. I HOPE he hasn’t done what you think he has, but if he HAS, they’re either out somewhere living it up, or they’re prisoners of Krang. Either way, we HAVE to find them. And so help me, if anything has happened to those two, there will be Hell to pay.” Leo was taking command, as usual, and that made me feel better- sort of. He got that look in his eyes, then, the one he only gets when shit gets real, as Mikey would say.

“I’m sorry, guys. I know I should have told you about this sooner, but- I had my reasons,” I said, getting up slowly. I wondered if I should explain about my secret and how I’d thought Mikey might hold it over me as a threat, but I decided it just wasn’t the time to get into that. I seriously doubted it would endear me to Raph, under the circumstances. If anything, it would probably have made him even madder at me.

It took me about three hours to get the hover-sled ready, and another two hours to finish tweaking the tracker I’d been planning on using to find the Technodrome. I finally got it up and running, and got a ping almost immediately. Jackpot! Well, there was ONE mystery solved, but it still didn’t put us any closer to knowing if our teammates were still alive. So far, all we even had to go on that they were there at all was the missing tunnel module, Mikey’s gear being left behind, and what little we’d been able to get out of April. To tell the truth, I was beginning to wonder why Shredder hadn’t tried to contact us to gloat. He always has before.

By then, it was morning, and we still hadn’t found them. Leo was so worried he was pacing, and he only does that when he’s REALLY agitated. Even Sensei was upset, but we decided it would be best if he stayed behind in case the pair came back on their own. I wasn’t counting on that happening, but you never know. We geared up and made our way from the lair made a fast sweep of the area around the hole to make sure no one had tampered with anything, and set up a few road barriers around it to make it look like the city was doing work in the area. Then we took the hover-sled down into the hole, following the path the tunneler had made. I made sure to pack my duffle bag with whatever gear I thought we might need, including grapples and a few extra smoke bombs, explosive stars, and Mikey’s ’chucks. We had no idea how far we would have to go, or even if we would be able to reach the Technodrome at all without being detected, but there was no choice. We HAD to bring them back, no matter how dangerous the task.

I was surprised when our friend Leatherhead offered to go with us to rescue the two, but we knew we’d need all the help we could get. Sensei wanted to go, but he’d recently developed a hacking cough, and we decided that it would be best for him to wait at the lair in case they showed up there. Casey was out combing the streets with Angel and Mona Lisa, though we didn’t have much hope that they’d find our missing clan-mates. April was still in the middle of doing a report on renovations going on at the Metropolitan Museum of Art- we felt a little guilty about that, since we were partly to blame for the damage in the first place- so she was unable to help, but she promised to go out and look for them as soon as she could get away. From her tone, I gathered that she was REALLY anxious to start, and when I heard Vernon carping in the background while Leo was talking to her, I understood why.
By the time we started down into the tunnel in the hover-sled, with Leatherhead along as support, it was nearly noon. I was getting more worried by the minute. The longer we took to find them, the more likely it was that they would be- I didn’t even want to think about that possibility.

One down side to using the hover-sled is that in spite of being relatively fast as modes of transport go, it has a tendency to overheat easily. The repulsor units that allow it to hover are small, but they take a LOT of power, so it sputters and shuts down after about thirty minutes or so- and the last we’d seen of the Technodrome, it was underground far below the harbor, buried DEEP. So deep that its treads were stuck in a half-solidified magma pool in a chamber somewhere beneath the Upper Bay. The heat of the magma had melted part of the drive-shaft machinery, leaving the giant mobile fortress trapped and slowly losing power due to the increased strain on its systems just to keep it from overheating and having a reactor meltdown. In other words, it was a giant ticking time bomb waiting to go off, and the fuse was already lit.

Well, I had expected the hover-sled to shut down at least once on the way, so I wasn’t really surprised when it did so before we were even halfway down the tunnel. But that meant we had to wait for the engine to cool down before we could keep going, and that was a delay we really couldn’t afford. I’d added a built-in coolant system to help keep the engine going, but the deeper we went, the hotter the tunnel began to get, and my coolant just wasn’t effective enough. So we were forced to wait. Raph had long since grown impatient- imagine that- and waiting soon led to pacing. Even our normally unflappable leader had begun to get agitated enough to jump out of the hover-sled to practice his kattas out of sheer frustration. Leo and Raph were both so worried and on edge that they quickly began to snap at each other.

“What was he THINKIN’?!” Raph growled, for about the hundredth time since I’d told them about Mikey’s request. He slammed his fist on the edge of the sled’s frame as he passed by it; he’d already put a couple of dents in it from the last dozen times he’d punched it. It was beginning to get annoying. He has a tendency to get destructive when he vents. Which is often. “God, I’m so STUPID! I was right ’dere in his room havin’ a talk wit’ ’dat numbskull, and he flat-out LIED to me! It was right in front o’ me, da’ WHOLE time! He even talked about ’dat fuckin’ mutagen junk wit’ me, and I didn’t catch onto what he was plannin’!”

“Raph, give it a rest. We’re worried about him, too. You couldn’t have known what he was going to do. None of us could have. He’s sneaky and reckless and unpredictable. Honestly, I’m really not surprised he went this far. It’s just like Michelangelo to get in over his head trying to do something foolish and irresponsible just for the sake of getting his way. But beating yourself up over it isn’t going to do any good.” Leo sighed, having heard Raph’s rant enough times already to have grown tired of it. He had paused in mid- soku-gyaku (that’s a toe strike kick) to roll his eyes at our hotheaded brother, and finally stopped altogether, to lean against the side of the sled.

“Shut up, Leo. Ya’ know, I backed ya’ up about all ’dis crap ’cause I didn’t want ’im to get hurt. But I know WHY he did ’dis- and guess what? It’s ’cause o’ YOU!” Raph shot back, whipping around to glare at him. “And Donnie, too!” I tried to ignore his accusation, even though I knew he was right. I just sat there in the driver’s seat, my eyes closed, silently going back over the talk I’d had with our baby brother, wondering what I could have done differently to avoid this mess. Leatherhead pretended not to hear their argument; he knows us all well enough by now to understand when it’s best to stay out of family squabbles.

“Don’t put this on ME!” Leo yelled, pushing at Raph as he got too close. Leo doesn’t like anyone in his personal space. Somehow, these things always end up with shoving matches and a lot of shouting with those two. You can almost set your clock to it. “I was looking out for his best interests, because God knows I’m the only one around here who ever thinks about the consequences of our actions!”

“Oh, yeah, ’cause the GREAT Leonardo knows what’s best for all o’ us. What WAS I thinkin’? I forgot you got all da’ fuckin’ answers in da’ world, O Fearless One.” Raph spat, sarcasm dripping in his tone. He shoved back at Leo angrily. “Ya’ know, Mikey was right. Ya’ DON’T listen to nobody. Hell, why SHOULD ya’? Ya’ already got it all figured out. Ya’ just expect us to let ya’ do all our thinkin’ FOR us, ’cause you know what’s best, right?” Yup. There it was. Predictable as the Lyrid meteor shower in April.

Leo shoved Raph again, and got in his face. “Don’t start, Raph, or so help me, I’ll beat the green off of you! Maybe if you weren’t always going off half-cocked or disobeying direct orders, I wouldn’t have to be such a hard-ass. I don’t expect blind obedience, but I DO expect you to RESPECT my position in this family. So don’t act like I’m some kind of iron-fisted tyrant- you MADE me this way!”

“My friends, please do not fight amongst yourselves. This will not help us in finding Michelangelo or Miss McCann. We must remain calm, and focus on our task.” Leatherhead said in his deep, rough voice, the end of his tail lashing like an angry cat’s. He was becoming more and more agitated by their squabbling, which was the last thing we needed right then. He’s a loyal friend and powerful ally, but he’s been known to go into blind rages that make him dangerous to everyone around him when he’s provoked. I suddenly wondered if bringing him along was really such a good idea. Unfortunately, Leo and Raph were so absorbed by their argument that they basically ignored him.

I finally chimed in, mostly to remind Raph that he’d been just as much to blame as the rest of us. “Raph, we ALL had a part in it; none of us is blameless here. Not even you.” I said tiredly, wishing they’d BOTH give it a rest. We were all getting irritable and antagonistic, nerves so frayed that we were starting to lose focus and turn on each other. That was the last thing we needed if we were going to rescue our two missing family members. We needed unity, now more than ever.

“Oh, the brainiac finally speaks! I was wonderin’ when ya’d put in your two cents, genius. If ya’ had just told us what he was up to sooner, none o’ ’dis woulda’ happened!” Raph snarled back at me, whirling to glower darkly in my direction. I’ve seen that look so often I’m immune to it now. Leatherhead growled softly in frustration, but only shook his head resignedly. He’s seen Raph’s tantrums often enough to know it’s pointless to try to reason with him. All the same, I thought it best to try to defuse the situation before things got worse. Raph in a snit is bad enough, but having TWO dangerously angry mutants in close proximity is a recipe for disaster.

I threw up my hands and groaned in exasperation, and then turned in my seat, snapping back in hopes of putting him in his place. “I KNOW, okay?! Geez, lay off! I had my reasons. I didn’t want to worry Splinter, for one thing. He’s not a young rat anymore, Raph, and I was afraid of what it might do to him. We’ve got enough to deal with as it is. So CAN it already.” I didn’t add that my main reason for staying silent was personal; they really didn’t need to know about my private issues.

That shut him up, at least for the moment. He looked down at the ground, as if he’d suddenly remembered that father wouldn’t be around forever. I hated to be the one to remind them of that fact, but at least it kept things from escalating into something truly nasty. Mikey and Orlene needed us to be strong and focused, not at each others’ throats. And much as I hated to admit it, I needed to keep those two from digging too deep into why I’d stayed quiet about Mikey’s request. Being the peace-keeper was always easier when Mikey was there- and I suddenly had a whole new appreciation for how effortless it was for him to just crack a joke and distract the others from whatever fight was brewing, often without even stopping whatever he was doing at the time. Or how the two of us would sometimes just sit back and watch the Leo and Raph show, knowing where it was going long before the fireworks started. Because he always seemed to know when it was serious, or just another tiff that would blow over before long.

I was reminded of a time when Raph had almost killed him, just before Raph met Casey. The two were sparring, and Mikey- as usual- was doing his best to push Raph’s buttons and goad him into making a mistake that he could use to his advantage. He’s good at that. Sometimes, a little TOO good. That night was a perfect example. He taunted Raph into a loss, and then rubbed it in; that pushed him right over the edge, and he went after Mikey with a big wrench that was lying on a table that broke when he fell on it. Our first lair was much smaller than our current home, so we practiced in a small space between the living room and our sleeping area. Mikey had just tripped him up, and he went careening right into the table.

It had happened so fast we didn’t even realize what was going on at first. Raph grabbed the wrench and tackled Mikey, raising it up over his head to hit him. He would’ve beaten Mikey to death with it, too, if we hadn’t both pulled him away and held him down until he snapped out of it. Michelangelo just stared at him in shock, and I can’t say I blame him. Raph suddenly realized what he’d done, and dropped the wrench and took off. He left the lair as fast as he could get out, stopping only long enough to grab his hat and coat. He met Casey later the same night, when they both decided to stop a couple of purse-snatchers by Central Park. Apparently, Casey and Raph had a difference of opinion about how to teach them a lesson.

Raph was apologetic when he finally came back, but it took a while before Mikey was able to trust him again. I wondered what he’d think of us now, all squabbling like a bunch of little kids over who gets to play with the best toy. Maybe he had good reason to want to leave- the way we’d all been treating his growing feelings toward our new clan-mate must have really hurt. But to walk out on us and go to Krang, of all people?! That was just nuts. Just how serious WAS he?! I thought back over our argument, and realized he had been more desperate than I’d known at the time.

Intellectually, I just couldn’t make sense of it. On one hand, I understood his deep desire for acceptance and companionship. It’s a basic biological imperative, and we’re no different in that respect than any other living organisms. Well, I might be, but the others are still subject to that particular drive. But we’re in a unique position of having no females of our own species, so I’d always considered reproduction and mating as a moot point for us. But now? If we could change our genetic identity to become something else, was that something we should consider? Do we have any obligation to try to continue our own genetic line, or should this “dead” branch of evolution be allowed to die out naturally?

“Let us continue our journey, my friends; your brother and Miss McCann may be in grave danger, and we must not delay any longer!” Leatherhead said at last; Raph and Leo reluctantly agreed and got back into the hover-sled, though they couldn’t do even that much without glaring darkly at each other and “accidentally” pushing each other as they returned to their seats. For all his supposed responsibility and maturity, Leo can be just as childish and petty as the rest of us. He’s such a hypocrite sometimes. I crossed my fingers, switching the engines on again, and fortunately, they fired up. Of course, I knew we were going to have a long ride ahead of us, given the probable distance to the Technodrome, and I wasn’t looking forward to further fighting from the big-head and the hot-head.

It went like that for another hour or so, stopping twice more to cool down the repulsors. That only made those two even more anxious and belligerent, and the only thing that forestalled another fight was the fact that they had apparently decided by mutual silent agreement to not speak to each other again. That was fine by me, and frankly, I preferred it. It did make the tension harder to bear, though. I almost wished I’d thought to install a music-player or something, just to alleviate the silence. It was enough to drive a guy nuts. Note to self- remember to do that later….

And then we finally came out into a huge chamber that glowed eerily from the heat of the magma pool that spread across most of the bottom of it. The chamber itself was probably about a mile across in either direction, with a rise at the far end that made a steep drop-off above the magma lake. The Technodrome sat precariously on the edge of the drop-off, unable to move after the last time we’d sabotaged the reactor core and the main engines. At least it was still stuck. That was a small blessing, at least.

Unfortunately, it was the only one we were likely to get. Things steadily went from bad to worse from the moment we had our first view of the Technodrome. As small, quiet, and fast as the hover-sled is, we’d already been detected by the sensors. They knew we were coming. And that was only the beginning of the bad news. Shredder had conveniently left the main hanger bay door open, with the ramp for the Foot robots down and waiting. I slowed the vehicle to a stop, and we took a moment to assess the situation.

“It’s a trap.” Leo said flatly. “They know we’re here, and they WANT us to come in. We need to come up with a plan.”

“Gee, ya’ THINK?! Thanks for the news flash, Captain Obvious,” Raph said sarcastically. Leo made an irritated sigh.

“Will you stop acting like a dick?! I’m getting sick of your attitude, Raphael Hamato!” Shit. He’d used Raph’s full name, something he only does when he’s itching for a fight. It doesn’t happen often, but every now and then, he tosses a blatant challenge Raph’s way, just to remind him of who’s in charge. This was one of those times. Predictably, Raph took the bait. He half-turned in his seat, and swung a fist at Leo’s jaw. Great, I thought- here we go. Leo caught Raph’s hand before it connected, and slammed his own open palm into Raph’s clavicle. It knocked the wind out of him for a moment, and I almost dared to hope that would be the end of it. No such luck.

“Bad move, bro,” Raph growled darkly, and he tackled Leo right there in their seat, knocking him against the side of the sled. They wrestled for a few seconds, finally tumbling over the edge and onto the ground. They barely noticed- just kept right on trying to pummel each other. I groaned, and buried my face in my arms against the steering wheel. Leatherhead just shook his head sadly and sighed, as though even he realized it was hopeless to try to talk to them.

It went on for a couple more minutes, while they rolled around on the hard floor of the cavern, before they ended up dangerously close to a drop-off into the magma pool. I decided to end it before I lost two MORE of my siblings to their own stupidity. I hopped out of the sled, and dashed over to yank them both backward by their mask-tails. THAT got their attention.

“Alright, ENOUGH! Guys, we’re supposed to be rescuing our family, not trying to kill each other over petty arguments! Get yourselves together, NOW!” I yelled. Maybe yelling wasn’t the best idea, considering where we were, but it finally got through to them.

They both paused when they felt me pulling on their bandanas. Then Leo shook his head, and pushed Raph off of him, jumping to his feet. “He’s right. We need to focus, and figure out our best course. Donnie, you have any thoughts?” As always, Leo was blunt and to the point. I’ve never known him to beat around the bush, or to lie, either. It’s just not in him.

“Well, they’ll probably be expecting us to sneak in from one of the module hatches, or maybe a ventilation shaft, so that’s out. We could try to scale the outside and come in high, but we risk being targeted by the gun turrets.” I tried to think of other avenues of entry, but came up blank. Maybe it was the pressure.

“Hmm, perhaps we could simply try the direct approach?” Leatherhead suggested. “They will not expect you to walk right through the front door, knowing it is a trap. Who would ever leave themselves so vulnerable? Perhaps the entrance will not be heavily guarded.”

I looked him over, a thought suddenly occurring to me. “That’s true, and besides, they’re only expecting US. They probably don’t know he’s with us- we can use that to our advantage. So maybe we SHOULD just walk right in. If nothing else, the hanger gives us more room to maneuver.”

Leo nodded, looking serious. Well, more serious than usual. “You’re right. They probably don’t think we’d fall for something so obvious, so they’ll concentrate their defenses at the other likely entry points. Alright, then; it’s settled. Shall we?”

“Yeah, what the Hell. Wasn’t plannin’ on livin’ forever,” Raph grumbled.

We took the sled as far around the magma lake as it could go, then got out and walked up a narrow ledge around the side until we got to the large rock outcrop the Technodrome sat on. I couldn’t help noticing that it wouldn’t take much to send it crashing down into the molten pool below, and I filed that away for later. Maybe we could plant some charges to blow its perch out from under it. In fact….

“Hey, guys! I have an idea!” I said, turning tail and running back to the hover-sled. I always kept a few extra supplies on hand during missions, and I decided this would be the perfect time to use some of them. Wouldn’t hurt to have an ace up our sleeve, just in case things went sour. Five pounds of C4 should be plenty, and I could wire it to blow at the touch of a button. I gathered up what I would need, and met back up with them a short distance from the giant white spherical fortress. I swear, sometimes I just wish we could find a giant golf club to whack that thing into the sun. It always reminds me of a huge golf ball. I think I’ve been subjected to too many of Raph’s sports programs. Even caught myself watching monster truck events a time or two. Still don’t get what he sees in that sort of thing, but then, this IS Raph I’m talking about.

“What do you have in mind, Don?” Leo asked when I came back. I just grinned at him, and held up the small package.

“A little insurance, before we go charging in,” I said. He took the hint, and Leo smiled back knowingly. He understands me better than the others do. Maybe that’s why we rarely ever argue.

“Genius. Pure genius,” Raph commented, chuckling wickedly. He loves mayhem and chaos- as long as we’re the ones causing it- so of course he approved of the plan.

“Okay, guys, let’s get to work, and then we go in. Leatherhead, would you mind standing watch while we set these up?” That’s Leo, all business, and always thinking ahead.

“Of course. An excellent idea, Donatello. I will warn you if any danger arises, my friends.” He gave Leo a little bow, and then turned toward the entrance while we made our way around to the edge of the rise and grappled down to plant the charges. It only took a few minutes, and we were back up in no time. When we had stowed the grapples back in my duffle bag, we all strode boldly up the ramp into the Technodrome. Well, here we go, I thought, an odd memory popping into my head of some old story Splinter read to us as kids, about a guy in a lions’ den. Not very reassuring….

Edited for Chapter title.....
"Well, this is another fine myth you've gotten us into..."
-from "Myth Directions"

"Where Science ends, magic begins." -Spiral, Uncanny X-Men #491

Joined: 27 Nov 2007, 17:07

16 Aug 2015, 10:33 #20

Wow, great entry Ducks!

It's going to be another tough time choosing just two again this month.

Joined: 03 Oct 2013, 20:56

16 Aug 2015, 18:23 #21

Every month, everyone posts great stuff. I feel like an ant walking among giants a lot of times.

Joined: 28 Nov 2007, 20:55

16 Aug 2015, 19:42 #22

Thanks guys! I debated on making it a bit longer and actually getting into the Technodrome proper, but I figured leaving it where it is was best. I makes a bit of a cliffie, and it's a nice stopping point besides. But for those who've been following along, we WILL see more of Don's view later.
"Well, this is another fine myth you've gotten us into..."
-from "Myth Directions"

"Where Science ends, magic begins." -Spiral, Uncanny X-Men #491

Joined: 21 Dec 2013, 01:44

16 Aug 2015, 20:22 #23

Wow! Two new entries! How nice!

and BT don't feel like an ant. please, because it makes me feel like a subatomic molecule

Joined: 28 Apr 2014, 11:02

17 Aug 2015, 10:15 #24

Taking a break from my usual fan fic, here's something I wrote earlier this week. As I said, this is an original piece intended for a writing comp that my university is running. As such, any and all feedback is welcome. Enjoy!
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _


Home was a mausoleum.

Summer had arrived in full force, determined to leave its mark on the family manor. Where once there had been vibrant and lush gardens, his mother’s petunias, his father’s freshly mown lawn and a post that flew the stars and stripes, all that remained now were patches of loam and yellow grass. Overgrown vines were dead arms scaling a cracked building where spiders made their homes. Old and decrepit, even the fractured pavement seemed to heave beneath the weight of the black limousine rolling over it.

Carter hadn’t been waiting long, but the intensity of the sun left his forehead glistening with sweat. The fact that he was wearing his Dress Blues probably didn’t help. He’d always taken pride in his clothing and appearance. With his white barracks cover in his hands, resting it against his chest, Carter watched the black door of the limousine be pulled open by the chauffeur. The old man acknowledged Carter’s presence with kind words, carried on the wind, “Nice to see you again, sir.”

To which Carter replied, eyeing his old butler with admiration, “Sharp as ever, Vern.”

“And you sir.” His eyes, grey with age, shone brighter than the sun as Vern replied, “A fine suit, indeed.”

As the door opened, the hit single, ‘Bad Blood’ (ironically appropriate, Carter mused … and lyrically brilliant) started through the speakers. “…that crap off,” came a harsh, rough voice, like gravel on stone. Out from the door, as the bubbly chorus came to an abrupt halt, ambled his father, Wentworth Carter Senior.

“You don’t like that song?” Carter tried to sound like nothing had changed in the last four years, even though it had. “It’s catchy.”

“So’s the plague but you don’t see me lining up for that, do you?” His father retorted.

Vern was twelve years older than Senior and still seemed to have a spring in his step, whereas Carter’s father seemed to be tripping over his feet. If not for the cane in his pockmarked hands, Carter was certain he would have.

“Hey, Pop,” Carter said, extending his hand white-gloved hand.

The derision and repulsion Senior had felt over Tay-Tay’s number one pop anthem was nothing compared to how he felt being addressed by his son. Father and son locked eyes, blue gazing into blue. But while Carter’s chiselled face looked as if it could have been hewn from marble, Senior’s more resembled ages old leather. Like a glove, it was worn in the places most used: the corners of his lips dipped down in a scowl, his eyebrows seemed permanently knotted in a frown and his eyes were wrinkled from years of narrowing them in disappointment.

The cane in Senior’s hand shook with each step forward, despite Vern’s assistance. Though he was clearly in pain with each movement, suffering from whatever frailties had befallen him, Senior did not shirk in his duties as a father: “What do you want this time,” he asked, his voice practically dripping with venom, “boy?”

Grass, flowers and leaves change with the seasons – people don’t.

After everything Carter had been through – after everything he had endured – he thought he could handle his father’s disappointment. Even after all these years away, he realised he couldn’t. He’d take a drill sergeant’s spit in the eye, he’d take the retorts and insults of his fellow soldiers, he’d even take a bullet sooner than seeing the look he saw in his father’s eyes then. It was the same look he’d grown up with. The same look he’d tried, desperately, trying to remove from his father’s gaunt and hollow face.

But if the bullet wound in his upper left shoulder proved anything, it was that he had thick skin.

“I got you a gift, Pop.”

Senior ignored him, leaving Carter planted on the asphalt, staring at the bottle.

“You going to come in, or do I need to hold to the door open for you, too?” Senior called out from beyond the gilded threshold.

“I like what you’ve done with the place,” the son observed, half-heartedly, as he followed after his father. Spotless and polished, the world outside was a pale reflection of the world inside. There was as much space as he remembered, but it only accentuated the emptiness. “Missing something, though.”

“You about to tell me I need to – what – colour coordinate?” Senior scoffed, settling himself into a colourless seat, opposite the unlit fireplace. “That it needs more of a woman’s touch? Well, no women around here, not anymore. No girly types at all.”

“Guess it’s difficult finding women stupid enough to be anywhere near you.”

As soon as he said it, he regretted it. Some olive branches, it seemed, were made to burn.

“That lip get you trouble in the service, boy?”

And burn it did.

“In more ways than one,” Carter replied, pouting a smile.

The effects were immediate. Senior’s mouth became a snarl and his gaunt cheeks tightened with whatever muscle was left in them. Vern shuffled uncomfortably in the corner of the room. Duty kept him in place, while every thing else about him wanted to leave the room as quickly as possible. But his services were quickly called upon: Senior waved toward the bottle and then pointed toward a glass. The liquor sloshed around in the fine glass.

“Leave the bottle. That will be all, Vernon.” He took the glass in his hand. “What are you doing here, Carter?”

“I called and told you I was coming, Pop. I wanted to see you. I really did. It’s been nearly five years now and … I want to introduce you to somebody. Somebody important to me. Can we just—“

“Don’t. Don’t ask.”

“Pop, I called! I told you, we’re thinking of getting ma—“

Quickly interjecting, his father shouted, “Yeah, I got the message, boy! All of it,” he made sure to add. “What makes you think I want to meet…”

He couldn’t even bring himself to say it.

“Look, we’ll just start with dinner. One chance, that’s all I ask,” Carter replied.

“Chances … last time I saw you, you told me I’d ran out of those. I thought I had too, for a while.”

“Well. Must’ve been a short while,” Carter grunted. But then, he straightened his back and said, with more pride and vigour, “One dinner. Please.”

“…bring more presents like these, Carter,” his father replied, lifting the glass and taking a long sip, “and maybe I won’t mind you deserting me more often.”

“Oh, come on, I didn’t desert you, Pop—‘

“No? You didn’t? You left me, Carter, that’s all there is to it. And you think coming to my home – mine! – wearing what you think is the pride and joy of this country is going to me make proud of what you did? I know why you’re here. Why you’re really here and not over there. I know how things work! They haven’t changed much since I was there. You were discharged! And you’ve tarnished everything you once stood for because of it!”

“I wasn’t discharged! And things have changed! They’ve changed a lot. In the Corps and with me.” Carter let out a breath of amusement. Shaking his head, he answered, bitterly, “You’re such a hypocrite, you know that? All those years pushing me and for what? Just so you had another reason to shout at me? You say I deserted you, but if that’s the case, well, I sure as hell learned from the best.”

“You could be wearing the Purple Heart and it wouldn’t change a damn thing about you.”

“Nothing will change how I am.”

Finishing the rest of his drink, he answered, harshly, “Don’t I know it…”

The camel collapsed beneath the weight of the broken straws on its back. Years worth of straws.

“Don’t you see, Pop? This is important! It means a lot to me! And I must’ve been crazy but I thought – I honestly thought – that I, at least, meant something to you.”

“Once, maybe. Not anymore.”

Hope brought him home but it was despair that turned him away. And pride. Pride: the one thing of value he’d inherited from his father and the one thing that kept them from ever seeing each other again. The one thing that prevented Carter from ever going home again. After today, why would he want to?

Home, after all, was a mausoleum, where the decayed remains of family lingered. Encased in its old walls was the lingering spectre of a past that Carter wished to leave behind, but couldn’t stop coming back to. The sun watched him leave. It was the final, burning effigy for a son who yearned for approval he’d done more than enough to receive and a father who was more disappointed in himself than he ever could be of his son.
Outstanding Marvel Team Up - your favourite heroes (and villains) all in one fan fic!

Joined: 27 Nov 2007, 17:07

19 Aug 2015, 09:10 #25

What a well written entry, Xmatt!

Yes, please don't feel like an ant, BT. Your work is always so good!