“It seems that the primitive species upon this planet have significantly advanced since our last visit.” An orbiting space station, labeled B.A.D.G.E. by lettering along the side of what could only be landing bays, reflected light from the yellow sun. “Engage photonic and electromagnetic camouflage.”
Glittering golden lights flashed from a variety of panels. A bright blue light flashed three times before ceasing. “The process is initiating.”
“Are we certain that Legion has been here?”
Again, three flickers of blue light signaled. “There are high concentrations of Morphon particles in the atmosphere. Our scans also indicate the Morphons have altered a significant proportion of the higher order life forms present on the world below.”
“Noted. Make sure our accommodations have been prepared accordingly for the needs of our future guests. Have the invitations been prepared for our selected heroes?”
The blue light flickered three times more. “They have.”
“Then maneuver us into high orbit, keeping the planet between us and these orbital devices. No need for interference by others while we make our intended contacts.”
From outside the vessel, the circular vessel faded from sight as energy waves bent around it, creating an impenetrable cloak from visual and electromagnetic detection.
From the view inside the vessel, the B.A.D.G.E. space station sped out of sight and a polished blue marble swirled with white drew closer. Behind the cloaking shield, twelve nodules on the vessel’s exterior surface flared to life and emitted bursts of energy, directed to the planet below.
Starmaster was reviewing performance reports in the common area of the Star Force Observatory. Over the last few months, building efforts on the league headquarters had more than quadrupled, improvements he greatly appreciated. Too many times before, he had met with Catalyst, frustrated by the dangling electronic hardware in every room, corridor, and entryway.
Wyldfyre laid on the couch and watched the latest edition of Supergirls-Gone-Wild.
Greetings, Starmaster of planet Earth. We have come to you with an invitation to meet with us with a group of other delegates of your world…
…who we have deemed worthy of our audience. Broadcasts from your world have captured our attention as we journey aboard our vessel, searching for survivors of the Legion. We were extremely pleased when we discovered that your world has continued to thrive after the visitation by the scourge of the universe.
Krystal Fae, in her laboratory at the New Amsterdam B.A.D.G.E. Headquarters, raised an eyebrow at the image before her. “An invitation? Excuse me, you’ve caught me by surprise, which is a rarety. I’m very pleased to meet anyone who is at odds with the Legion, but who are you?”
We are the Continuum of Galooine. We come from an extra-galactic community, from a far distant galaxy that died long ago. As the last survivors of our planets, we wander the universe. We are explorers, searching for other unique forms of life throughout that which is.
Crossroads brought her knees up and stood up from the training room floor. She glanced at the other members of her league. They all seemed captured in mid-motion, frozen like a photographic image. “What did you do to them?”
We’ve done nothing to any others than those we wish to give audience. We have created a temporal bubble around you and the others we have selected so we could speak without distraction or interruption. If you take a step to your left or right, you will be free of its effect and able to act as you normally would.
The Sword of Gerraxia considered the invitation. “Why me?”
We have sought out a variety of entities who have displayed qualities of higher intelligence and the willingness to put others before themselves. We believe the dialog between us would be fruitful. We have recognized that you, Gerri Star, are of a species not typically of this world. Your insights as an outsider would be most helpful as we consider introducing ourselves to the people of this planet.
Your presence on this world gives you a unique insight in the inhabitants, Highlander. We passed near this system many millennia ago and were aware of you then. The world was much more primitive then, so we didn’t make contact at that point. Will you please join us aboard our vessel so we can continue this discussion?
Highlander crossed his arms as he debated his decision. Helping these aliens understand the world better might be sensible, but he wasn’t a diplomat. If they were aware of the Legion, though, and advanced as they seemed, they might be able to share some insights into their mutual enemy that could be useful.
“Beam me up, Scotty.”
The empty room flashed with twelve brilliant flares, each fading away and revealing a person within it. Most all of them were recognized heros. Starmaster, Krystal Fae, Crossroads, The Sword of Gerraxia, Highlander, Prysmatica, Silver Paladin, Chaz Hamilton, Gar, Agent Leslie from B.A.D.G.E., and Arcane Ace. The twelfth individual was unknown by the rest, except for Krystal Fae, who seemed to always know everyone.
Krystal sauntered over to the woman and spoke quietly with her.
A large table sat as the focal point of the room with seating for fourteen around it. The walls of the oval room were clear windows, allowing the full emptiness and wonder of space to be seen. The planet Earth loomed nearby, appearing as the moon would in the night’s sky. The flooring of the room was a polished golden medal, which laid out the extent of the walkable area in the room.
“I wondered who else might be joining us.” Starmaster nodded at the three other members of his league, the Star Force, before stepping up beside Crossroads and The Sword of Gerraxia. “I’m glad to see the two of you here.”
Krystal Fae nodded as she walked over. “Same here. I didn’t quite know what to make of their invitation, but common sense dictates we shouldn’t pass up on an opportunity to meet other enemies of the Legion. Based on what they have displayed, powerful ones at that.”
“I’m still confused by them contacting me.” Crossroads said. “There must be people much better trained in first contact situations than I am.”
“Or me. I may work with B.A.D.G.E. and don’t mind being asked to help with whatever they need, but this situation is definitely above my pay-grade.” The Sword of Gerraxia stated.
“Krystal, I’m glad to find you here.” Gar stepped closer to the group. “Have you ever heard of this Continuum before? Should I inform Director Nova?”
“I’m certain that we can handle a meet and greet on his behalf, Gar. No need to worry him needlessly, but a message to let him know where we are and what we are doing might be prudent, just in case.” Krystal placed her hand on her stomach. “No need to take unneeded risks.”
Gar nodded. He raised his arm to use his wrist communicator. “I’m not receiving a signal.”
Krystal and the others checked their own B.A.D.G.E. communicators. “Me either.”
Greetings to each of you. It is pleasing that you have agreed to meet with us. I am Xlcior. I have been given the honor of acting as ambassador for your visit.
The voice came from within the room, but no one new had been noticed entering. The gathered heroes all looked around, searching for the messages source.
Starmaster and Krystal opened up their minds to telepathically locate the so-called ambassador. Their telepathic sense was assaulted by a cacophony of thoughts, alien and fractured. The pressure of the sheer volume of presence in the room forced them to reel, as if trying to listen to one person in a crowd of people while standing in the center of a rock concert held in an active jet turbine.
They shared a troubled look after retracting their telepathic senses. They both knew that power would be practically unusable, but had no idea if it was intentionally created or a fluke of the aliens technology.
Prysmatica pointed to above the table. “Something is there.”
Everyone else in the room turned to gaze where she pointed, seeing nothing.
Can you not see me? I will try to alter my emissions. An area above the table began to glow, emitting a soft lavender light with sparks of yellow. Is this within your spectrum of visual acuity?
“Yes. Are you a light-based lifeform?” Prysmatica asked, her voice filled with wonder.
In a sense. We have long lost our corporeal forms and now exist in a state of coalescence.
“Why are you keeping us from communicating with our friends on the planet?” Gar asked.
The difficulty with your technological devices is due to our vessel’s defensive status. We have engaged a null-space field around our vessel, so we did not alarm the people of your world with our approach. Xlcior floated to a small table near a wall and a crystal on it came to life. If you wish to contact your people, this interface with our vessel’s communication system will bypass the field.
“Thank you,” Gar said. He walked over the plain, clear crystal and stood next to it. He looked at both sides, inspecting all around the crystal’s surface. “Is there a cable?”
“Let me give you a hand with that, Gar,” Krystal said as she moved to join her colleague. “As you most likely know, I have a knack with… crystals.”
“Does your null-space field also affect other things?” Starmaster asked.
Only between here within the vessel and the universe outside of it. Why do you ask?
“Just curious.” Starmaster kept silent about the difficultly with using his telepathic powers. “What do you call your spacecraft?”
At one point, there was a unique designation given to it long ago, but after so many centuries being aboard her, we now refer to it as merely home.
Silver Paladin moved over to Chaz, who had placed himself beside Prysmatica. “This is a wonderous sight, is it not?”
“Not really,” Chaz said as swallowed hard. “Do you think that they have curtains or something they could put up. I can’t help but think I’m going to fall off the edge of whatever this crazy ship is.”
“I think it is lovely,” Prysmatica said. She took a step forward, as if trying to keep her face unseen by Chaz. “But I’m nervous too. Something seems off, but I can’t put my finger on it. I think I should do a brief look-see.”
Transforming into her photonic form, Prysmatica surged away into and past the clear wall between them and the space outside.
Where is your companion going? Xlcior asked Silver Paladin and Chaz as Prysmatic’s photonic form hovered in space outside the vessel. It is unsafe for her to be outside the ship.
“She’s been in space before. As long as she’s in her photonic state, nothing can hurt her.” Chaz said.
Our ship does have defenses, though. They will recognize her as a threat. I need to—
Xlcior stopped as a golden beam of light struck Prysmatica and surrounded her in a glowing golden globe. The beam them pulled at the sphere and carried her below the sight line of those gathered, hiding her behind the flooring of the room.
“What have you done to her!” Starmaster shouted. He spoke into his battlesuit’s onboard communication system. “Prysmatica, are you ok?”
She is unharmed. Our defensive net has restrained her and will bring her into the vessel at one of our lower levels. I shall go and retrieve her.
“I’m fine.” Her voice played into his headset. “I seem to be in a lower chamber of the ship.”
Xlcior melded through the floor and disappeared.
Prysmatica stayed in her photonic form despite being what appeared to be a room sealed from space, not knowing if there was atmosphere in the tiny room yet.
Xlcior glided through the ceiling with two other light-forms. One was a pale yellow while the other a lime green. You may return to your native state. We have made the environment suitable for you.
She did so, grateful to find air meeting her lungs once again. She brought up her communicator. “Starmaster, are you there?”
He cannot hear you at this time. Our onboard systems are handling all communications at this time. As far as your companions know, I am bringing you back through the ship to return you to them. I shall do this now.
The glowing yellow cloud of light solidified into an exact replica of Prysmatica. A door opened and it and Xlcior departed through it.
“Wait. What are you… doing?” Prysmatical fell to the ground. Her eyes fluttered before she finally drifted into a deep sleep.
Arcane Ace sidled over to Highlander, “Does all of this seem a little out of whack to you?”
“No, but then I don’t have your sight,” Highlander answered. “You see things I can’t, though, so there is that. Are you certain you’re not imagining things?”
“No, I’m not certain,“ Ace said. “I just have a feeling that things aren’t what they seem. Who are all of these people?”
“Well, that lady over there is Krystal Fae. When Captain Ultra freed me from Legion, he first landed at wherever she was from what I understand. That was where B.A.D.G.E. became aware of me. That thing that looks like it’s made of rock is called Gar,” Highlander said. “When Helmut met with Nova and me on board the station, I saw him in the distance. He’s kind of hard to miss.
“That fellow is Silver Paladin, he’s part of Star Force, along with Starmaster and me. I could only guess who some of the others are.”
“Someone just disappeared,” Ace asked, referring to Prysmatica.
“Don’t know what to make of that,” Highlander said.
Astra concentrated on agitating molecules. She was being instructed by her adoptive mother Futurina in the techniques of Pyrokinesis. They were levitating in a room made to handle powers within the 5th Precinct Darksabre's HQ. To most people it looked like nothing was happening, but to psychics there was movement of air molecules. The room suddenly lit up in a blaze much like someone opened a gate to an inferno.
"Very good, Astra," Futurina smiled as she simultaneously put out the flames with her Cryokinesis. "You're improving. We just need to work on control now," The elf woman had long blonde hair that was shaved on the left side. Her ice blue eyes seemed gentle, though she always looked angry. Her blue leather bikers jacket was worn over blue leather armor her silvery leggings and sash were made of a material not known on Earth but her Thigh high blue leather boots hid most of her legs.
"You're so much better at this than I am," Astra stated. "You make it look so easy."
"I have centuries of experience," Futurina stated. "I took my time to learn finesse. You have raw talent."
Futurina's eyes began to glow for a moment. "What is it?" Astra asked.
"Wyldfyre. Many of his League mates have gone missing including two you've worked with," Futurina confirmed. "He wants some help. Are you up for it?"
"Of course," Astra agreed. Futurina flipped up the collar on her jacket. In a flash of silver blue psionic energy they were both standing outside of the Star Force HQ.
Xlcior and fake-Prysmatica moved side by side through an interior corridor of the vessel. The walls and floor were both a sterile, polished white without visible windows or doorways.
“Monitor the activities of our subjects and forewarn us if there are any attempts to leave or investigate our purpose beyond what we have shared.” Xlcior said. “We will begin analyzing the first subject’s Morphonic alterations to better understand the nature of how Legion infected and altered this world.”
“I am prepared to serve the Continuum,” Yellow said. “Analysis has begun, I now have access to her memory pathways and can emulate her behavior with a 99.8% accuracy. Well within the chaotic normal ranges for the species on this planetary system.”
“Good. We have much to learn here before we initiate the final sanction.”
“Would you care for the Insight program to run concurrently with the analysis?”
“There is no need. We have garnered enough basic data from their worldwide broadcasts we have intercepted.” Xlcior said. “They are like every other planet we have discovered over the last dozen centuries.”
Together they stepped into a small chamber and were carried up several levels. The door whooshed open, revealing the gathered heroes standing together.
I have brought back your companion.
“Hi, everyone,” Yellow mimicked Prysmatica’s cheerful disposition and Italian accent. “I’m sorry about that. You know me, I go light-speed before I think things through.” She turned to Xlcior. I’m very sorry to have inconvenienced your people. Please, don’t take offense at my foolishness.”
You are fortunate we favor non-destructive engagement techniques. I would have been greatly disappointed if we would have begun our new friendship with an unfortunate accident.
“You and me both.” Yellow said as she moved closer to Starmaster. With its back to Xlcior, she whispered to him, “ask Lavender there for some privacy. We need to talk.”
Meanwhile, Gar and Krystal stood at the crystal and spoke with their comm devices to Director Nova.
“The Star Force league-member has been returned?” Director Nova asked.
“Yes, Director,” Gar said. “She appears uninjured.”
“Good news. Good news indeed. First contact protocols are in place, Gar. These can be very delicate procedures. Are you up for the task? Meeting an alien or two who are visiting the Earth may be surprisingly common these days, but from your description, this Continuum of Galooine is rather powerful. We don’t want anything else to go wrong.”
“I’m here to help him, Director. We’ll do fine, right Gar?” Krystal Fae said.
“I will do my best.” Gar nodded. “Krystal will make sure I do. Tell Strange Quark where I have gone, please.”
“Will do. He’s still nursing that barrel of bourbon from Kentucky. I doubt he’ll even notice he’s alone for a few more days.”
On the other side of the room, Chaz Hamilton pulled Silver Paladin over to a side. “I’ve never heard Prysmatica talk in person before. Why does her voice sound so familiar?”
“I’m sure I cannot tell you.” Silver Paladin replied, avoiding meeting the reporter’s gaze.
“Dude, we share a life-force. It’s you and me buddy, and she’s in your league,” Chaz pleaded. “I promise I won’t go to print, but I need to know where I know that voice from.”
Arcane Ace walked over and joined the two of them. “Why were you brought here, reporter? The rest of the individuals here are heroes and powerful beings. You’re neither.”
“Don’t disparage the power of the press, bud,” Chaz said. “I’ve been promised the first interview with this new alien race.”
“But Krystal Fae is also a journalist with the Sentinel, isn’t she? I mean no offense, but you seem sort of redundant.”
Chaz’s cheeks flared red and he turned and walked over to Starmaster, Crossroads, the Sword of Gerraxia and Xlcior. They were in deep conversation. “Hey, do you mind if I interrupt for a second? You’re not planning on having both Krystal Fae and I reporting on this meeting, right? I didn’t agree to come here for second byline.”
“Mr. Hamilton, can we have a moment, please? We are negotiating the terms for our conference.” Starmaster asked.
Chaz’s chin hardened. Crossroads put a finger to her lips.
I will see about getting the materials you have asked for, Starmaster. Xlcior said. I will return in five of your standard minutes.
“Thank you,” Starmaster said. “Then we can begin our meeting.”
Very agreeable. Xlcior floated through the floor and disappeared again.
Starmaster waved Krystal Fae over from the communication device. “Prysmatic, how is your little sister?”
“You know I’m the youngest of the triplets,” Prysmatica (Yellow) said as she put her hands on her hips. “Why didn’t you just ask me in my head to verify it was me?”
“There is a lot of interference on the Mindscape right now. I don’t know if its on purpose or simply because we are around so much alien technology. It could be their way of keeping our conversations public, so they can listen in on us.”
“So, you don’t trust them?” Prysmatica(Yellow) asked.
“I don’t know enough yet to trust them or not, but after North Onnatangu, I’d rather we were all cautious. What was it you wanted Xlcior out of the room to say?” Starmaster asked.
Most all of the others gathered around except for one, the stranger to all but Krystal Fae.
“I’m with you. From outside, this vessel is enormous. It could dwarf the B.A.D.G.E. space station twice over.”
Krystal Fae let loose a whistle. “That would take vast amounts of energy. I wouldn’t want their power bill.”
“Did you see any weapons mounts? Ships?” The Sword of Gerraxia asked.
“There are what look to be antennas mounted all over the hull. The ship itself is a sort of multi-faceted geometric shape. I think a dodecahedron. Each plane is a pentagon, and the antennas are at the junctions of each point intersection facing the planet. I didn’t get far enough away to see the other side. No other ships that I could see.”
“That’s potentially unfortunate.” Arcane Ace said, raising his hands as if expecting something to happen. His face turned sour. “This ship is extremely well warded against magic. Anything I would try to do would have to be fueled by my personal power and not the ambient magical energies, cause there ain’t any.”
“I think we should ask for a tour of the ship, or at least some of us.” Prysmatica(Yellow) said. “I didn’t get to see much of it from the inside. Only one corridor and an elevator. And the chamber or airlock I was brought into from space. If we could find out more about the ship, maybe we will learn something useful.”
Prysmatica laid on a flat table. The surface glowed with a white light beneath her and needlelike rods pointed at her from above on the ceiling.
“Starting phase one.” The voice said in an alien language she wouldn’t have understood had she been awake.
The Mediterranean Sea air blew across Prysmatica’s face, the smell of home stirring her from her slumber.
She opened her eyes and found herself on a familiar beach. White sand fell off her cheek as she brought herself up from the ground. Turning around from the lovely water lapping near her bare feet, she looked up a short cliff to find her parent’s home in Italy. “How did I get here?”
Her shoes waited for her in their usual place, a large smooth boulder near to the stone path leading to her childhood home. She was no longer dressed as Prysmatica. Instead, she wore her favorite jeans and a festive sweater given to her by her Nana.
Above the cliff, she could hear her brother and sister shouting at one another. No, not shouting. Singing. Her siblings and parents were singing a Christmas carol on the outside deck. She grabbed her shoes and rushed up the staircase. She couldn’t wait to join them, despite not knowing how she came to be there. Nothing felt more normal than rushing home to her to be together with her family.
The staircase wove from right to left along the face of the cliff. Prysmatica ran up each flight, eager to reach the top. Just before she made it up the final flight, the rows of pear trees growing at the outside edge of the cliff shook. A bird shot out from the closest one and sped out over the water, its wings making a clamorous noise as they flapped with its departure.
She turned to watch it depart, trying to put a name to the strange bird, until she realized the singing above her had stopped. In fact, there was nothing but silence coming from her family’s home. Spinning on her heels, he climbed up to the top deck.
The Redd Capp sat in the middle of the outside table, set for Christmas dinner. Except there was far more red everywhere than should have been. Her family laid slumped in their chairs, some forwards onto the table, others backwards with their torn necks still spurting from where they had been cut.
And the Redd Capp smiled as it dipped its hat into the deluge.
Prysmatica screamed as she unleashed twin beams of light from her eyes at the Redd Capp. Ultra-violet, infra-red, and every wavelength of light in between smashed into the devilishly pleased creature as Prysmatica fired the most devastating attack she could generate.
The beams of light from Prysmatica’s eyes struck a large glass orb that had lowered from the ceiling. Small devices from the table wrapped around her head and kept her eyelids open.
“The readings are strange. Not as we expected. Are you certain we are not to run the Insight program?” A green cloud of light said to its companion hovering above equipment in the adjoining room.
“Xlcior said not to. He has made his judgement.” A floating pink ball of light said. “Absorb what Morphonic energy we can and feed it to the main battery.”
“And after we have purged this specimen?”
“Crystalize it for the collection. Same as every other time.”
Wyldfyre stepped out from the doorway to the Star Force Observatory to meet Astra and Fiona. "Thanks for getting here so fast, Futurina. Starmaster, Silver Paladin, and Prysmatica just vanished. I can't reach Highlander, either."
"Did they get called away on a mission or something?" Astra asked.
"If that were the case, I wouldn't have bothered contacting you." Wyldfyre waved the two ladies in. "Catalyst has a tracking device in all our comm units, so when I say they vanished, that means they are nowhere to be found. Their devices or them. Starmaster was working on one of his projects in the common room with me. I looked up and he was just gone. There was this really hot..." Wyldfrye looked at Futurina and looked guilty" blond I wanted him to check out. Sorry, but I still have eyes."
"We can talk about it later, but I appreciate your not trying to hide it from me," Futurina said. The group moved down a corridor, going deeper into the facility.
"I've been around you mind-types long enough to not even bother lying," Wyldfyre said as he opened the door to the communications room. "Their signals all disappeared at the exact same time."
Catalyst waved as they entered the room. "No reach Krystal Fae or Crossroads either. More may be gone. I'm trying to reach the Sword of Gerraxia and others for help."
"You have our help." Astra said as she touched her temple with a finger. "I can't sense them at all. Can you?"
"No." Futurina said. "It seems like they have vanished from the planet. We should try to find out who all may be missing. Why don't you contact B.A.D.G.E. while I check some of my sources."
Each person continued to work at reaching other heroes to see who was missing and who was able to offer assistance in the search.
Gerri walked over to Highlander, "Hi, I'm the Sword of Gerraxia, you must be Highlander. I've heard a lot about you. It's a pleasure to meet you." She held out her hand. Highlander took her and and kissed it.
She blushed, "Nice to meet you, Sword of Gerraxia. I have eyes for only Fiona, but I am glad to make your acquaintance," Highlander replied. "Have you met Arcane Ace? He is a friend of mine."
"No, I don't believe I have," she stated as she looked at Ace. "Nice to meet you." He just smiled at her.
She knew of Starmaster and Crossroads, she was friends with Krystal Fae and Prysmatica, Gar is a legend, others she was meeting for the first time. This was impressive. She even smiled at Chaz Hamilton.
"Swords are for fighting."
Krystal waited until everyone was busy preparing for the conference, then she caught Corrine's attention, and signaled to a spot away from the others.
"Hello, Corrine... were you sent by Aphrael?"
"Not by her, no... but she agreed that I should come if only to warn you... her recent divinations are pointing to trouble...", Corrine replied. Only one such as Krystal, knowing her background, would have detected her nearly absent Aussie accent, and her slight use of archaic language structure.
"Oh... nothing specific to me, I hope?", said Krystal.
"She is aware of your 'condition', and hasn't mentioned problems of that nature... at least to me... by-the-bye, James and Bobbie send their 'congratulations'.", said Corrine.
"Come then... I should introduce you to the others on the 'guest list', I suppose...", she said.
"Gar... Cain... Gerri... Everyone, this is Corrine Daniels... she is skilled in Chrono-manipulation... as well as few other talents..."
"Chrono-manipulation...", said Ace, "... so she's a time-witch... isn't that a dangerous facet of magic?"
"It can be, if not properly controlled...", agreed Corrine, "... most of my training has been to recognize when changing an event would do harm that outweighs the benefits of the change... and the discipline needed to maintain that balance.", Corrine answered in a totally matter-of-fact tone.
"Her abilities pre-date the Morphon-release, but like so many of us, they have thus been supplemented.", said Krystal.
Astra arrived at B.A.D.G.E. HQ. She went and talked with her friend Author. "I need your help, Author. A bunch of heroes have gone missing and we need a list of those who have disappeared. Can you help us out?"
"Sure, but who is we?" he questioned. He started to type at his terminal.
"We were contacted by Wyldfyre, my adoptive mom and myself. Probably Fiona as well as we haven't been able to contact Highlander," Astra replied.
"Do you have a list of those who are missing and those suspected of missing?" He continued.
"So far, we know that Starmaster, Prysmatica, Silver Paladin, are missing. Suspect are Krystal Fae, The Sword of Gerraxia, Highlander, and Arcane Ace," she concluded her list.
"I'll get started asking for heroes to respond to a general roll call, and we'll compile from there," He began.
Futurina could feel some strange energy in the room. At first she dismissed it as Prysmatica's photonic signature but when they looked at where she was taken the energy was definitely different. "That's interesting," Futurina stated. "I thought I was sensing Prysmatica's energy signature all this time but it's different than hers."
Catalyst did a spectral analysis and came to the same conclusion. "Affirmative," he agreed.
She walked over to where Prysmatica was and placed her hand on the spot. Her eyes began to glow as she used psychometry to read the past. She saw a sphere of light talking to Prysmatica and heard it's conversation with her before it took her away in a flash of light.
"What did you see?" Wyldfyre asked.
"I saw her taken by another photonic being," Futurina explained. "I'll need to return to where the others were and check their past, but the feeling I get was they were taken after accepting an invitation under false pretense."
Suddenly Astra called in over the B.A.D.G.E. communicator, "Okay we a list of those who are missing, they are Starmaster, Krystal Fae, Crossroads, The Sword of Gerraxia, Highlander, Prysmatica, Silver Paladin, Chaz Hamilton, Gar, Agent Leslie from B.A.D.G.E., and Arcane Ace. and someone by the name of Corrine Daniels who is a time manipulator."
“I’d be very curious to see more of the vessel,” Krystal Fae said,” but I don’t know if we should be splitting up into different groups. There is strength in numbers.”
“Then why don’t we all go together.” Crossroads shrugged. “I wouldn’t mind stretching my legs out.”
“I’m with her,” Agent Leslie said. “Too bad Catalyst isn’t here. I bet he would love to see this ship.”
“Xlcior should be back in a few minutes. We can ask about a tour first before we continue with the meeting.” Starmaster said.
Prysmatica(Yellow) faded to the back of the group as they discussed their desire to explore the vessel. Her eyes flared yellow for an instant, full of irritation, before returning to normal. She released a thought out to the group consciousness of the Continuum. They do not wish to be separated as a group. I will find a different way to herd them. Clear the passageways on the seven decks below us and have Verdant join us a few minutes after Xlcior returns. Verdant can then lead several of them on an excursion while Xlcior speaks with the remaining subjects. The league leader, the animated stone gargoyle, the immortal one, and the reporter should suffice.
Prysmatica continued to burn away at the monster that murdered her family. Even with power beyond the intensity of the sun, the Redd Capp remained on the table, smirking at her efforts while soaking its hat in her brother’s blood.
She poured more energy into her fury, determined to make the evil creature pay with its own life for what it had done.
She is nearing her maximum output. Proceeding to engage transmutation.
Prysmatica’s body on the table tensed up as her entire body flared with white light. Once it disappated, all that remained on the table’s surface was a three-inch-tall, perfectly rendered crystalline figurine of Prysmatica.
Transmutation complete. Morphonic energy harvested. Proceeding to storage.
A small robot entered the room and with a metal-three-clawed appendage, grasped the figurine gently and carried it out of the room.
Xlcior returned to the room using the elevator again, this time accompanied by a box-like robot carrying a tray of small gemstones. These are several reports on world visited by the Legion that we have encountered. None of the other worlds that we have heard of had had the same reaction to the Morphon particles that your world seems to have encountered.
“Thank you,” Gar stepped up and looked at the double-handful of gemstones. “Each of these is a report on one of those worlds? This could be very valuable information. If we could contact them, perhaps we could unify against the threat of the Legion.”
Doubtful. All planets that have encountered the Legion have been left warlike, violent races.
“Certainly not all,” Krystal Fae said. “This planet fought of the Legion’s influence. Others must have as well.”
But Legion’s arrival has had an adverse effect on the normal development on your world. Over the last year alone, messages we have intercepted from your planet speak of several violent encounters against threats that wouldn’t be present if not for the encroachment of alien influences.
“You mean the fights against the Jinn, the Spirit of Halloween, and Skelanimal?” The Sword of Gerraxia asked. “We survived those encounters because of our combined efforts as heroes. None of those had any influence from the Legion. At least, I don’t think they did.”
One of the topics for us to discuss, I am sure. Would you all care to be seated so we may begin?
Prysmatica(Yellow) stepped out from the back of the group. “Some of us were wondering if we could have a tour of your ship first. I only got to see a small portion of it, but I would love to see more. Wouldn’t you, Krystal?”
If that is your desire, I can see to having one of our aspects guiding you to see our home. Shall I summon one?
“I don’t think we should—” Starmaster protested.
“I know, I know, but not all of us are negotiators like you are. All of us trying to talk at the same time would overwhelm poor Xlcior here.” Prysmatica(Yellow) gestured at their host. “You can tell him about us while the some of us go and get to know them.”
“Prysmatica does have a point. While I’m honored to have been asked to join you all, I’m better at speaking with my fists than my mouth. Fiona calls me a tactile diplomat. I’d be glad to see the ship and let more skilled people talk things over.” Highlander said.
“See, Highlander gets it. Gerraxia, I know you’d rather take a tour of the ship that be stuck talking for what I can guess would be hours. Who else thinks they would do more good learning about our new friends by seeing how they live rather than sitting around a conference table?” Prysmatica raised her right hand.
Crossroads, The Sword of Gerraxia, Highlander, Silver Paladin, and Agent Leslie raised their hands.
“Krystal. Think of the new technology you’ll see on this ship. I know you want too…” Prysmatica cooed. “Catalyst told me you have a thing for new starships, a dream of yours.”
“I should stay here as a representative for B.A.D.G.E.,” Krystal shook her head.
Gar tilted his head to one side.
“I’ll go with you all,” Agent Leslie said. “I’d be just dead weight here with Gar and Krystal at the table.”
Corrine Daniels said. “Krystal and I will join you as well.”
Krystal raised an eyebrow at her friend but knew enough not to ask questions of her. When Corrine suggested a course of action, it was best to trust her instincts. “OK. Gar, will you be comfortable handling this with Starmaster and …” the identity of the final remaining individual brought Krystal to pause, “Chaz???”
Chaz brought both hands up into the air in surrender. “Hey, I’m just here as a reporter. I’ll take notes and listen in, but I’m not in any position to represent anyone at a table.”
As the longest-lived individual of your world, I would like it if Highlander remained. His perspective of how the world has changed over the last few millennium would be beneficial for my understanding of your world.
“If you think so, but my memory isn’t as good as you might think. Legion did a job on me not too long ago.”
How Legion manipulated you would be of interest to us as well. There are no survivors that we know of who have managed to escape Legion’s control.
A dark green light-form entered the chamber from the elevator. I am to serve as a guide for some of you?
Krystal exchanged a glance with Starmaster and shrugged. “I suppose so. Let’s split the party. That never turns out badly.”
After all this time, Highlander still hadn’t a firm grasp on the phenomena called Morphon Powers. He was aware that whatever it was, it was a fairly recent item. All those years aboard the Legion vessel, had gained him only a slight familiarity with it. As far as his powers of strength, invulnererability and alleged immortality, they had been with him since he was a young man. It had been suggested that the Morphons may have enhanced those qualities, but to the best of his knowledge, there was no way to ascertain the veracity of that statement.
He did know that since arriving on this ship – if that’s what it was – he had been feeling … different. He couldn’t describe the feeling, but an individual experienced in psycho-ananlysis would have probably labeled him as paranoid. He was becoming increasingly leery of everything and everyone around him. The feeling had gone away when the Sword of Gerraxia had approached him. However, it had come back when she turned away. He decided it would be a good idea to keep everyone in sight.
Who could possibly know what they were up to doing? He wasn’t even certain he could trust his league mates. And Ace? Well, he remembered their first meeting, now more vividly than ever. He had seemed somewhat hostile then.
And now, he was being tasked with representing mankind at a conference.
What could he contribute?
And why? Why him?
Starmaster was a leader, a Type-A personality – made sense.
Gar – unusual choice, but he was apparently an animated inanimate rock. That made no sense.
But an immortal with no diplomatic skills?
And a reporter? Well, someone needed to take notes, apparently.
Things didn’t add up. He needed to watch everyone.
Astra returned to the Star Force HQ. She saw a worried Fiona and decided to be there for her friend. "Fiona, how are you holding up?"
"To know that Cain has been abducted by aliens again, well, it's frightening. To find out he went willingly? That terrifies me," Fiona returned.
"They went willingly?" Astra was confused.
"Under false pretense," Futurina stated as she greeted her adoptive daughter. "I used my psychometry to find that information out."
"So they walked into a trap?" Astra questioned. "What are the true intentions?"
"We don't know," Wyldfyre answered, "but if it's something bad (and most likely it is) we'll make them pay." He ignited his fists.
"Calm down, now is the time for investigation not battle," Futurina smiled at him and caressed his face trying to sooth him. "I've asked Catalyst to reconstruct the scene from Prysmatica's abduction so we can see the photonic signatures. I don't know if he's done yet."
This post was updated on .
There were definitely a lot of questions, and maybe 75% of them were being posed – either directly or indirectly – to Highlander. The big man was doing his best to not become agitated or bothered in any way by some of the questions that he viewed as rather personal.
There were a few he outright refused to answer … and those refusals seemed to irritate Xlscior. Or at least the change in demeanor and even his color seemed to illustrate an irritation.
The questions about changes in morals down through the centuries he could understand, but when the probing involved his own attitude and behaviors, the big Scotsman drew the line.
“I can understand questions about society as a whole, but what possible impact could one individual’s attitudes on these subjects have on your studies? I’m sorry if it’s inconvenient for your database, but I’m not answering anything regarding my personal feelings,” said Highlander, becoming more and more paranoid relative to this whole endeavor. “You’ll have to look elsewhere for answers."
It’s unfortunate that you feel yourself to be above helping us understand. We would not pose these questions if they did not provide us with needed information. Perhaps we overestimated your ability to assist us?
“Perhaps you did,” said Highlander as he leaned back in his seat and defiantly folded his arms across his chest.
In reply to this post by Astra
If you would join me, please. The deep green light-form hovered to one side of the open elevator door.
Starmaster, Gar, Highlander, and Chaz remained in the room as the rest warily stepped into the smaller room. The fact you could see the walls to the elevator car, instead of empty space as what was shown when the door was closed, gave an odd, surreal impression. The door closed after the green ball of light followed the last citizen of Earth into the capsule, showing what could only be a view of the exterior of the ship.
“Is the view we are seeing here a projection?” Starmaster asked.
It is the exterior of the ship. We have made the materials between this room and the void outside transparent. We had noted that your planet’s orbital station made viewing space possible through its upper dome and thought you might prefer the same display.
“So, you can make the walls look normal if you wanted?” Chaz asked as he took a seat.
Easily. Would you prefer a different view?
“Yes, please.” Chaz looked at the others in the room. “I’d be much more comfortable.”
The room shrank in size as space disappeared and was replaced by gleaming white walls that sparkled with flecks of color. The material resembled gigantic sheets of polished opal.
Highlander sat beside Starmaster, who sat opposite Chaz. Xlcior settled above the table itself, not giving any impression of a preferred facing. Our scans of your planet have discovered many different alien races present. Is this due to the Legion’s arrival or were they present before you encountered them?
“A bit of both,” Highlander answered. “Some were here before, but more came after Legion made their way here. Some of that might be because of me.”
Highlander began to explain, telling the story of his time with the Legion.
The top floors were designed as domestic units, but the Continuum has surpassed the need for such physical comforts, they are disused.
“What is it like, being made of light? Do you remember having a physical body?” Crossroads asked.
It would be far too difficult to put it into a context you would understand.
The rooms they were shown would not have been comfortable for a humanoid. There were no beds, but instead a somewhat larger than king-sized rectangle of water. There were some pieces of art on the walls, but they seemed to be fractal images, not landscapes or still-life captures. The most recognizable item was a table against a wall with a basin upon it.
Going down a few more levels, they came into a hydroponics room, filled with plants of varieties that astounded the gathered heroes. Flowers with eyes. Trees with crystals hanging like bunches of fruit from the limbs.
These are some examples of native flora from our galaxy. In terms of the evolutionary sciences of your world, these would be our forebearers.
“You’re telling us you were sentient plants before becoming energy?” Arcane Ace said. “That’s unbelievable.”
If you say so. Memories of being a physical form are very, very faint for us, but I do remember enjoying the light of our sun very much.
Arcane Ace engaged his Arcane Sight, allowing him to see patterns and connections not visible to the naked eye. An energy permeated the room, like tendrils of roots connecting each plant to one another, as well as to the green light-form. The strange glow melded through the walls, and while he couldn’t see through the material, there was no disruption to the flow, as if the walls didn’t interfere with the connection.
He stepped up to Krystal Fae and tapped her on the shoulder as the green light-form highlighted some of the types of plants and their unique abilities. “I’m not familiar with what you call the ability, but can you see what I’m seeing?”
Krystal maintained her appearance of listening to the tour guide. “Magically or by other means…” She seemed distracted for a moment and then placed her hand onto Ace’s arm. “Interesting.”
Ace felt Krystal sharing his thoughts, having experienced telepathic communication with Astra and Fiona. “Why are you in my head?”
“I’ve been unable to telepathically communicate with anyone since we arrived. There is a sizable distortion that, for lack of a better term, deafened the ability.” Krystal said in his head. “When you touched me, I was able to hear your thought as well as see as you did. I believe we are dealing with an multi-mind here.”
“These light-forms have a psychic connection, or maybe what is better described as a hive mind, that exists all around us. There have been theories of plant life on many worlds having the potentials of such a bond. If they were a plant-based lifeform at one time, it only makes sense that they might continue to exist in such a manner as energy.”
“And this all means what?”
“The reason we cannot use telepathy is a byproduct of their psychic mentality. The noise I cannot bypass is because of the massive consciousness they share. When you and I are in physical contact, I can hear you. It could come in useful in the future.”
“Can’t they hear you?”
“I don’t know,” Krystal raised an eyebrow at the green-lightform. “I’m not getting anything. They’re on a different bandwidth that I haven’t tuned in on yet. And they don’t seem to be aware of our either. Let me fill in the others here.”
Krystal stepped away and touched The Sword of Gerraxia on her shoulder.
Ace smirked. Her discovery was interesting, but it didn’t answer the question he had about if she could see what he did. Mixed into the unseen spectrum he could observe, bubbles of multi-hued shifting energy hung like ornaments on a tree. They closely resembled compressed auras. Auras like you would find surrounding a person.
If he had to hazard a guess, these were bound souls being held suspended in the aether of the ship. He took a step closer to Krystal to complete his thoughts with her when a plant wrapped around his ankle while large leaves enveloped him.
If you would follow me please, we will continue to the next level where we have a collection of different animal life from our galaxy.
The group moved on ahead of Ace as he struggled with the plants grappling his body and pulling him deeper into the shrubbery of the room.
Arcane Ace: ID 23078
Starmaster, Gar, Highlander and Chaz weren’t aware of the multi-tasking taking place around them. If they could have tuned into it, things would change in a hurry.
The life form that had entered the ring was very faint and stayed under the table where seeing it was very difficult. It was communicating with Xlcior.
Xlcior – what is it? I’m trying to gather additional information from them.
Second life form – At least two earthlings register virtually no morphonic signatures.
Xlcior – I’m aware that the one called Chaz registers very little morphonic signatures, but it is still there. It’s just latent. We can cultivate it. Then it will be ours. Who is the other?
Second life form – The one called Highlander.
Xlcior – He registers significant signatures.
Second life form – They are false signatures. Someone in the group is manufacturing the signatures to make us believe he has morphonic powers.
Xlcior – Why? What reason would someone have to do that?
Second life form – Someone does not trust us.
Xlcior – Obviously, Highlander doesn’t. That’s apparent.
Second life form – Someone else is doing it. A mind very powerful is doing it. How do we identify it?
In reply to this post by Highlander
Collaborative Fiction: The Twelve Little Superheroes of Christmas
Crossroads PID: 11004
As the group continued their tour of the ship, Crossroads walked along the corridors of the massive ship beside Leslie. As they caught up with each other on what was happening in their lives, Crossroads reminded Leslie that she still owed her the finest dinner in New Orleans and they needed to plan a night out. Leslie apologized for being so busy with Agent training and her normal lab duties, but promised to make time have some fun.
They passed and examined several compartments filled with an astonishing array of what the green light form said were animal life. While some were definitely living creatures, others were so different from what she imagined animal life to be. If she hadn’t been told they were animals, she would have thought the compartments contained sculptures of glass and crystal designs. Yet other compartments were devoid of any objects at all. There were also some rooms that were obviously labs, by the look of the monitors and equipment. Agent Leslie was asking their glowing green guide about what experiments they conducted in the labs, Crossroads glanced into a compartment as they passed and stopped suddenly to look closer at what was in the room.
It appeared to be a holographic representation of the energy wall that separates the each dimension from the others. Crossroads was fascinated. She could see the dimensional wall whenever she used her dimension power to travel or sift the dimensional energies to create energy blasts or shields, but to see a visual representation and not a mental one awed her. Stepping closer, she entered the room. Mesmerized by the sight before her she never noticed that the group moved on without her and that the doorway turned opaque and blended into the wall.
As she watched, the display grew brighter and brighter. It grew so bright that Crossroads finally had to shut her eyes and turn away, reflexively shielding her face with her arm. Crossroads sensed a lessening of the light and she opened her eyes. All she could see for a moment were bright spots dancing before her, but then her vision began to clear and she could dimly make out a vague figure. The vague figure coalesced into a coldly beautiful brunette woman. Crossroads gasped in alarm as she recognized the Fae sorceress Morganna Le Fey.
“Well, well, well...if it isn’t my little pet,“ Morganna said maliciously.
“Morganna!” growled Crossroads. “What are you doing here? You should still be asleep and imprisoned!”
Moving languidly, Morganna paced around the room and said haughtily, “What’s the matter, kitty? You don’t look happy to see your mistress! I know! I have a Midwinter Solstice present for you that will make it all better!”
Morganna raised her hand and in it she held a golden chain made of five, perfectly formed, interlocking rings. The power that emanated from that golden chain frightened Crossroads to her core. It was an artifact of power meant to enslave. She had been transformed and collared by Morganna before, and she would die before it would happen again.
“Not again, you crazy elf!” shouted Crossroads. She opened a link to the dimensional wall and started pulling all the energy she could and channeled it all at Morganna’s sneering face and that damned collar. A rainbow of wild dimensional energies poured out of Crossroads hands and even her eyes and hit Morganna dead center, throwing her backwards into the wall of the chamber.
The green ball of light observed the energy readings as Crossroads poured dimensional energies into the glass orb. Much of the energy was useless for their purposes and was redirected harmlessly into their power grid to charge their engines and secondary systems.
"She is only using Morphonic energy to access and channel the interdimensional energy, so we are getting very little out of this," complained the glowing green cloud of light. “We must get her to use more of her Morphon-based powers."
Morganna got to her feet, still holding the brightly gleaming collar, and said, “Oh my, that was unexpected! But you have to do better than that my little pet!” Morganna laughed coldly.
“Damn, she wasn’t even hurt by that!” Crossroads thought wildly. Subsequent blasts of dimensional energy didn’t even seem to hit Morganna. She was obviously shielded. So she decided to change it up a bit.
“Take this bitch!” Crossroads let loose with two of her morphon powers simultaneously. As she screamed, she used Alpha Shout to spit a torrent of bright energy right at Morganna. This beam of energy hit Morganna dead on and started to push her back. The second power she released was her Pyrotechnic Force. Colorful streamers of energy flew from her fingertips and arced towards the Fae sorceress. As they impacted on Morganna, bright flashes of every color of the rainbow exdploded against her and Crossroads exulted at hearing Morganna scream in pain.
So she kept pouring the energy at Morganna until the sorceeress was nothing but a smoking, blackened husk.
Swaying with exhaustion, Crossroads smiled grimly and said “Take that, you psychotic bitch....” and then fell into darkness.
“That’s better! We collected a very satisfactory amount of Morphonic energy from this one,” stated the pink light cloud to the green one as it collected the crystal that was Crossroads and added it to the collection.
"Just think what I could accomplish if I didn't have all these 80's song lyrics in my head!"
Gar listened for a very long time to Xlcior questioning the four of them. Being fairly new at being alive on the world, there were few questions he could answer better than the others. The litany of topics did strengthen one question that had plagued him since being summoned to the ship.
“Why haven’t any of the other alien races that have come to Earth have mentioned your Continuum?” Gar asked. “If you have been around for such a long period of time and were in this area long enough ago to have identified Cain, or Highlander, as having been alive, why haven’t we heard of you?”
Starmaster swiveled in his chair and Chaz leaned in, both eagerly awaiting an answer. Highlander even took note from his belligerent pose, disgruntled as he was by the questions about Earth’s wars over the years.
We are very careful about who we interact with. The knowledge of our visits with other worlds should not be a topic of significant discussion. Our interest in your world speaks highly of the value we place in you.
“There are no others that we can align ourselves with beyond those aboard this ship?” Starmaster asked.
None that we may speak of at this time.
“That’s rather one sided, wouldn’t you say, XL?” Highlander held back on calling the bullshit he smelled. “You’ve asked a bunch of questions on us and our world. Why not cough up some intel on yourselves for us?”
Who are you to speak to me in such a manner?
“I’m not answering another of your questions until we get some of our own, buddy. So, unless you want to do your part in the show an tell, I’d say send me back home. I’m done here. I can handle a knock-down fight just fine, but this teeth-pulling is getting on my nerves.”
Just as all the others. Your kind seeks nothing but war and destruction. You are no better than the Legion.
“That not true, Xlcior,” Starmaster put his hand up to Highlander, signaling for him not to speak. “We do our best to avoid war and destruction, but sometimes we are left with no choice but to defend ourselves.”
Does that explain this? A projection appeared over the table of Starmaster, out of costume, being held prisoner in North Onnutangu. A group of children show up and begin fighting with the military guards in the building, and eventually one child is slain by the Supreme Leader of the country. Even the young of your world are not protected from the conflicts your people create.
Starmaster winced at seeing the footage once again, not that it didn’t play in his memory every day. “That was an extreme situation. They chose to act. Foolishly. Unwisely. But they fought to protect, not to hurt.”
That distinction carries little weight with our kind. Physical beings such as yourself are dangerous to one another. You are possessive and seek dominion over others. Even objects and locations that will last long after your peoples have passed. Life matters less to you than the prospect of your next meal or visceral pleasure. We have left that existence behind us. As should you and your kind.
“It’s not like we can shed our skins and dance around like lava lamps willy-nilly,” Highlander said with a snarl.
You may not be able to. That doesn’t mean others cannot do it for you.
Highlander rose from his seat, his sux foot, nine inch frames carrying his head to a height equal to Xlcior’s floatinf form.
As I said, if you’re not willing to share information equal to what you’re requesting from us, then SEND ME HOME,” the big man bellowed. “I’VE HAD E-”
a blinding flash of light filled the room and looking around the room after his eyes adjusted to the fading illumination, Starmaster saw that Highlander was no longer in the room. His senses sought the big man’s presence and that told him that the volatile Scotsman was still on the ship, or at least nearby.
‘I’m sorry I upset your comrade, gentlemen, but as he requested, I sent him home. I feel we need to take a short recess. We can resume our discussion shortly,” Xlcior projected to Starmaster, Gar and Chaz. “I will return soon.’
As the light form of Xlcior exited the room, the three remaining looked at each other.
“Well, the big guy can tell everyone where we are,” Chaz said. “At least, BADGE will know.”
“He wasn’t sent home,” Starmaster said. “He’s still with us; maybe not in this room, but he’s still on the ship. Xlcior’s lying to us. Highlander may have no psychic powers, or maybe not even Morphonic powers, but he has incredible will power. I can still sense his presence, even if I can’t see him.”
In reply to this post by Starmaster
Gerri walked next to Krystal, "Are you feeling okay?" Gerri asked with concern for her mentor. Her long blonde hair cascading across her shoulders and back in contrast to her dark green cape. Her green and gold costume was based off renderings of her ancestors armor. She wished she was able to get that returned from Santa but she failed.
"I'm fine," Krystal said, "no need to worry."
"I think people are disappearing as we walk," Gerri mentioned. "Crossroads sometimes walks into an alternate dimension, but I haven't seen Arcane Ace in a while either."
"Noted," Krystal stated as they walked. "Don't make to much of a deal out of it. We don't know their capabilities as of yet." She turned and with concern looked into Gerri's emerald green eyes. "We have to be careful of what's going on."
Gerri slowly nodded. "I just find it odd. They were awfully decisive on who should stay behind." Gerri hadn't met many of the other heroes. The 1st Battalion Space Marines were pretty much her old league mates from the 101st Space Rangers. They weren't a big league, but they were friends. Now she wondered what they were doing.
"Did Starmaster say anything about these aliens? I don't think they've been mentioned in the Tome of Elvish Lore, but they say they have been here before," Gerri thoughtfully stated to Krystal.
"Swords are for fighting."
Arcane Ace struggled against the plant growth as it embraced him. His arcane skills depended on his being able to move his hands, which was impossible to do with the leaves pressing his arms to his chest.
“Mmrmmrmrmm…” He growled from deep in his throat, trying to make enough noise to be heard by the rest of his companions.
He could tell he was being moved somewhere. Dragged on the floor, more than likely, but he couldn’t tell if it was along with the others or in a different direction.
Sucking in the muscles of his chest, he fought to give one hand enough room to move its fingers. With effort, he managed to free his left hand enough to manipulate a simple spell, summoning fire into his hand.
The foliage surrounding his hand separated as the heat licked at it. With more of his body freed, he amplified the damage field, surrounding his entire body, from toes to nose, with a fiery aura.
The plant life granted him total freedom, pulling away as if chased.
“I guess these plants don’t like fires any better than those on Earth.” Arcane Ace said.
I am detecting Morphon-enhanced extra-dimensional activity from one of our subjects. A bright red glowing light-form said as it surveyed Arcane Ace over a holographic display. Trapped in a small compartment, Ace wrapped magical energies around him and drove the primitive plant-life away from him.
They call such manipulation ‘magic’ on this world. A bright orange light said, pulsing with an infrequent yellow glow. It bends natural law in order to achieve desired outcomes by control of chaos. The improbable becomes probable. The impossible possible.
How very strange. The red light compressed itself into a smaller cloud. Their young must be very amused by this activity at yearly milestone celebrations.
How should I proceed? Do I allow him to continue?
No. There is not benefit from continued expenditure of energies we are not harvesting. Send in the Devouror.
Ace kept the fires burning around him, keeping the plants at bay. The room he occupied had glistening, opalescent walls and no sign of a doorway.
“You would think that they would have noticed I was missing?” He prepared a spell that would allow him to teleport to Krystal Fae. Her strong aura would be easy to find.
A doorway slid open from a blank wall and a ball of clear liquid rolled in.
“That's different.” Ace ran for the open portal. He shifted his spell to one he felt suited the situation. He was going to part the water into two halves like Moses.
Just as his spell grabbed at the water and pulled, it swelled and became a tentacled orb, waving its multiple limbs outward as if caught in a violent wind.
Ace dodged and rolled to a side before the first of the tentacled touched his body. “Is everything on this ship alive and going to try to eat me?”
Arcane Ace: ID 23078
Silver Paladin noticed that Krystal Fae and The Sword of Gerraxia whispered between themselves. The B.A.D.G.E. agent, Leslie, furtively glanced about, as if searching for something, or someone. The newcomer, Corrine Daniels, kept to herself. She carried herself with an independent attitude, a person with little interest in others.
Crossroads had not been seen for several minutes, same as Arcane Ace. Ever since they departed the room with all the plants.
Strangest of all was the fact that Prysmatica, a fellow member of the Star Force, who traveled at the rear of the group, didn’t mention anything of the departures. She had practically hand picked the group that departed the main conference chamber.
He didn’t plan or desire to be their keeper, but tactically, dwindling numbers was never a good sign when in an enemy’s territory. The Continuum of Galooine hadn’t been declared friend or foe yet, but from Silver Paladin’s point of view, trust needed to be earned.
The green cloud of light hovered ahead of them, speaking as it moved away. The physical forms of many native creatures from our galaxy are quite interesting. The aarosicatopowl—”
“Pardon my interruption, but we have been separated from two of our companions. Shouldn’t we wait for them to catch up with us before continuing.” Silver Paladin stopped walking and crossed his arms.
Have they not followed us? When did they cease?
“I last saw Ace in the garden room.” Krystal said.
“I wouldn’t worry. I saw him examining one of the plants and he said he would join us in a moment. Crossroads stayed with him. They will catch up with us.”
We should return there to rejoin your companions. It would be very unfortunate if they were unable to view the other species we have aboard. I find them fascinating, myself.
“Your tone leads me to believe you find them more than fascinating.” Krystal said before turning to Prysmatica. “But your tone is more concerning, Prys. I may still call you Prys, can’t I?”
“It’s easier to say than my hero name. I told you and Gerri that when we chased after the escapee from Purgatory Penitentiary months ago when we teamed up.”
“Of course. That’s right. That’s when I gave you one of my crystals, isn’t it?’
Prysmatica held up her wrist and displayed the crystal bracelet she had been given. “I’ve got it right here.”
“You have a crystal, yes,” Krsytal Fae raised her eyebrow. “But not one of MY enchanted crystals. I should have noticed it earlier, of course, but big things are going on around us, aren’t they?”
“Well, yes. We’re meeting a powerful alien race for the first time. Our focus needs to be on them and not on a bauble of jewelry.”
“But my gifts aren’t mere bits of jewelry. They allow me to stay in contact with people I care for, keep my eye on them, so to say.” Krystal made a gesture and a glittering cage of magical energy surrounded Prysmatica. “I’ll ask this once. Where is my friend?”
Prysmatica studied the barrier surrounding her and stepped through it. She is no longer your concern. Nor should you be concerned for your other companions. They have been rewarded with a great gift.
Krystal bit at her lip, displeased with how effortlessly her prisoner escaped. The mystical cage should have contained any target she chose. Unless… “You are one of the light-forms, aren’t you.”
Prysmatica shifted to a yellow hue and spread out her arms, becoming a cloud of yellow light. There is no longer a need for diversions. From the information we have gathered from your friends, we are prepared to progress at a much-improved pace.
“Prepared for what?” The Sword of Gerraxia asked.
Your transformations. Yours, the others aboard this vessel, and all the people of the world below us. You shall all join us.
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