Other Fan Fiction ❯ KISS Next Generation ❯ After the Comet ( Chapter 1 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

Nothin' To Loose:
by Trynia Merin
Disclaimer: KISS is their own organization. This story is fan fiction, and is not intended to harm. It is the work of a dedicated fan as a tribute to the hottest band in the world. Other characters that appear within are my own creations.
Part 1: A World without Heroes
Across a charred and blackened landscape the two looked out, and wiped their eyes. A slow snarl escaped the blackened lips of the attractive woman, her black hair swirling around her shoulders as she turned from the scene present outside the window.
"I can't believe it. Dammit... they blew up the whole freaking world..."
"Easy Jeannie..." the figure to her left urged, grabbing her shoulders.
"Of all the stupid assed things to do! Why? Why couldn't we have stopped them?"
"Jeannie..." the other young figure encased in black spandex and glistening rhinestones protested, raising a hand to her.
"It's my fault," the other woman, a slender willowy girl whispered, tears welling up in her storm gray eyes. They normally were the gentle blue of summer skies, but flushed gray with her mood. Out of the silvery blue mask she regarded her friends, tears dripping down her white cheeks.
"Mona, don't go there," the second young man said, moving up to her and caressing her arm. The liquid silk cape swirled around her shoulders as she pulled out of his grasp.
"That's bullshit and you know it," the first man, who was older then the second answered, his dimpled face drawing into a scowl under the war paint. "Mona, honey, it's no more your fault then mine... or Jeannie's or Elliot's. So stop it already..."
"If only I had used my power in time..."
"We're all new to this stuff," Elliot said, caressing her arm. Jeannie pried herself from the window sullenly, and strode over to join her three friends, her tall silver boots glistening like the scales on a legendary dragon.
"Considering it was only two weeks ago we even knew what we were capable of..." she muttered.
"Would it have made any difference anyway?" Elliot asked, resting an arm around Mona's shaking shoulders.
"Tyler, I can send people and things through time!!! I could have moved ahead and seen this coming..."
"But if you can do so, maybe you can use that power to give us a second chance," Tyler said, standing to her left as he put a hand under her cheek. They were about the same age, her and him, as Elliot and Jeannie were the same age, born within a month of each other. Quite possibly they were the only people left alive on Earth.
"A comet hitting earth... that's a disaster. But making the rocket misfire that was supposed to divert its course.... that's nuts," Jeannie shook her head. "Sons of bitches..."
"That is not the root cause," said Elliot, rubbing his chin. Dark brown eyes stared at all of them from beneath a black patch mingled with white. How strange it all seemed, since yesterday. And now they stood in the large mansion, the ground heaving and shaking every few seconds like a breathing animal under their platform boots.
"We didn't have to take the objects of power," Tyler said, his green eyes like those of a cat, in the dark mask under his fall of honey blonde hair, streaked with black. It curled around his face, almost bouffant style. In contrast, Mona's was straight, auburn red and thick, curling just around the ends. It cascaded over her back and shoulders, the same length as Jeannie's rippling black mass, which was wiry in texture.
Elliot shook his own mane of dark hair, slightly wavy, the length equal to Jeannie's. His well muscled chest glistened with sweat, not a hair present on those gorgeous abs. Brown eyes twinkled with sympathy and sadness for the emptiness they all felt now. A streak of fire had bashed itself into the Earth, and the four of them had clung to Mona's hands as she whisked them away to God only knows where.
To materialize here, in this Beverly Hills mansion. Against the one cracked wall rested three instruments, their true power crackling in the strings. Tyler twirled one strange stick around his finger absently, before thrusting both into his wide belt. It seemed so odd. He himself was an accomplished musician, out of the four youths. Most people played electronic instruments, so to be saddled with these objects seemed antiquated.
"I can't even play," Mona groaned as she set down the guitar, a beautiful piece, antiquated with shades of orange fading into white at the center. Another one, decorated with a galaxy of rhinestones was set next to it as Elliot placed his weapon next to hers. To be joined by the last piece this was more of a weapon then the other two, its edge sharp and glistening in the scant light of the emergency generator.
"That's not the purpose," Jeannie said. "These are weapons, tools. Not just musical instruments."
"Vessels of Transference," Elliot whispered reverently, and then his eyes snapped to his friends again. "What the hell did I just say?"
"It's like something strange, my head is buzzing again," Mona groaned, fingering her temples.
"You Jeannie?"
"Actually I feel powerful, like I could take on anyone and anything," Jeannie smiled for a moment, feeling the power surging in her young shapely body. Graceful long legs tapered to large hips and a sizable bust, the opposite of Mona, who was willowy and thin, yet the same height. Tyler was stocky, strong and well built; while Elliot's graceful muscles filled out the confines of the tight costume he now wore, as bizarre as the others. The violet jacket covered his bare chest, belted at the waist with a star shaped buckle, the other ends drifting around his thighs. Outlandish, but strange.
"I know, and yet I don't know," Tyler growled low. "This is unreal..."
"Come on, you knew we had no alternative," Elliot argued. "To save the world the voices said..."
"You're the telepath. Are you sure you heard the right goddamned voices?" Jeannie argued.
"Guys, does it matter?" Tyler raised his hand. "The point is we're stuck with them now. So let's put them damned the hell to use!"
"What do you suggest, smart guy?" Jeannie asked. "Like we could look back in time and stop this from happening?"
"That's not a bad idea," Elliot nodded thoughtfully. "Feel up to it, Mona?"
"I wouldn't know where to start..."
"The fear... the fear is still warm on the ground around us. If I could trace the roots of that fear it would lead us somewhere..."
Taking her hands in his, they reached out their thoughts. Her own fearful mind expanded on the wings of his own. These powers he had always had, but it was only recently when his dreams had come more frequent then often that led them together.
Tyler and Mona had known each other through their mothers, who had always kept tentatively in touch. Jeannie and Elliot had known each other since childhood, but it was the dreams that had brought them together, to the same summer camp. There they had first met, comparing notes and wondering about the strange similarities of their dusty past. Two kids from Beverly Hills meeting two children from the east coast, New England seemed a culture clash. Yet in that pristine wilderness Mona's gift of song merged with the guitar strains of Elliot, and they had shared a shy moment in the woods before Tyler and Jeannie had crashed their interlude. Sure Elliot was five years younger, but she didn't care. Now that they were perhaps the last human beings alive after the catastrophe....
How convenient, Jeannie thought. Two men and two women. Enough to restart the Earth again. Another freaking Adam and Eve. But to which man should she choose as lover? Both perhaps? A kind of animal magnetism drew her to Tyler, but she couldn't keep Elliot's beautiful body out of her mind. Even so he drove her crazy, and sometimes she didn't know whether to hit him or kiss him.
Mona gravitated toward Elliot, who was the perfect gentleman. Yet Tyler's eyes often traced over Mona, and she would glance shyly away. She had said she knew him too well to be attracted to him. And yet... and yet...
"Not a bad selection of men," she growled low under her breath, feeling the twinge in her lower belly. Sometimes being eighteen was a major pain, and the itch was getting very hard not to scratch...
"Earlier Mona. Beyond. We must look beyond. It was fear that caused the terrorists to destroy the world. And we could change it... somehow..." Elliot whispered.
"How?" Mona wailed, extending long slim hands to him.
"I sense the causal chain. Your perceptions extend through space, mine through the human dreams and heart. I sense the collective fears of divided people. The loss of hope. And somehow it centers around us four..."
"How can it be?" she asked.
"Jeannie and myself... Jeannie's mother... my father. Strange."
"I get that all our fathers knew each other at one time. But something happened that broke them up," Tyler said.
"Yeah," Jeannie nodded. "Your parents and our parents split right down the middle. And then all hell broke loose..."
"Jeannie said her mother was a geologist... if people had listened to her seriously about that comet... they would have let no body sabotage the space probe sent to destroy it..."
"Could have, would have should have... if my father had used his influence to sway people... publicly..." Elliot muttered.
"Or if my father were still around..." Mona whispered with regret. "I never knew him well... he died of a drug overdose... long after he and my mother split up..."
"I'm sorry, but you know all this...no... The terrorists... they were enemies of all that the free world stood for. All that freedom stood for. If only we had known we could have acted..."
"The weapons were found too late..." she whispered. "If we had known about our fathers... our mothers..."
"None of this would have happened..." Elliot whispered. "And that means we must trace through the past... find the pivotal moment that could have prevented this world from dying..."
"Why did we live?"
"The power of the Avatar saved us," he whispered. "Now concentrate... the moment of truth... think of your mother... as I think of my father..."
"They all knew each other so many years ago. The music, the paint, the instruments... we were all together before..."
"The Four who are one... we are they," he whispered, eyes flaring light purple. To Tyler and Jeannie the couple glowed with inner light, their eyes fused into each other's. Blue and silver merged with gold and amethyst power into a force that rippled space and time for an instant.
"I know when..." they gasped, parting.
"Well?" Tyler asked.
"Do you know anything more?"
"Yes," Elliot sighed deeply, the weight of decades falling from his gaze onto theirs. For one who was eighteen, he seemed to have taken on the mantle of many advanced maturity, grown too soon.
"Say what?" Tyler asked.
"We realized there is a way to prevent this..." Mona sighed, pushing a lock of auburn hair from her silver and white face, her eyes meeting theirs.
"To go back to that moment in time when everything changed..."Elliot completed her thought.
"But there's a tiny problem, right?" Jeannie's eyebrow cocked up, twisting the reddish patches of black that surrounded her dragon green eyes.
"There is more than one pivotal moment," said Mona. "And there is another problem..."
"Being?" Tyler asked.
"If we do go back, we could risk endangering our own existence..."
"You've been watching too many old DVD's," Jeannie snorted. "Besides, what can we do? WE barely know how to use these freaking powers we've been saddled with now..."
"That is why two of us will go to one time, while the other two stay here and observe," said Elliot.
"Who takes the plunge?" asked Tyler, moving close to Mona, laying a hand on her silver crested shoulder.
"I'd say that Elliot should be one of the ones that go. And myself..."
"Why you?" Tyler asked.
"Come on, be serious. If we fail, there need to be two back here to take the plunge. And since Mona's the time hopper, she needs to stay here in the future. Elliot's the telepath, so he can relate to her if there are any hang-ups. And you Tyler can survive almost any environmental change. So if there are some mutated survivors of this catastrophe, you can protect Mona..."
"But I can fight," Mona protested.
"Sweetheart, let's not argue with the Dragon Lady," Elliot whispered, patting her cheek.
"But you two fight like cats and dogs! What makes you think you can do anything..."
"They are right. Perhaps it would be better if you two ladies went into the past..." Tyler suggested.
"Why?" Elliot asked.
"Because they would be safe. It doesn't matter what happens to us."
"You think we can't hack it in the future with you guys?" Jeannie snarled low under her breath.
"If we lose Mona..." Elliot whispered.
"It's okay, Elliot... you can direct me from the future. Besides you need to be here to make sure that things have changed or not. You will see the effect while we make the cause..." Mona whispered. "I'll jump out at the first sign of trouble. And then we can try again..."
"I'll make sure she's okay," Jeannie laughed.
"I'm older then you, and don't forget it!"
"Ladies," Tyler said. "There are two focal points?"
"The first one is the earlier one. IT's not as critical to shaping here and now, but we can learn a lot from it..."
"It's one of the few times our powers were used," said Elliot. "By our mothers and fathers. WE had to stop something from happening... or watch for some detail that could give us clues on stopping the second focal point..."
"The second?" Jeannie asked.
"It's more close to the time of our birth, Jeannie...."
"It seems that we have to learn more about the previous time that these powers were used," Elliot said. "If we can see them in use, then we can learn more how to use them... and learn more about our parents in the past..."
"Yes," said Mona. "And then when we come back, we'll send Elliot and Jeannie to fix the major pivot point..."
"Our birthday?" asked Elliot and Jeannie.
"Yes... if you succeed, you will be born in this time. But if you fail, you will cease to exist now, but I can use my powers to assure you be merged with that time. Then Tyler and I will join you.”
"In the past..." Tyler whispered. "So many unknowns..."
"Let's get going. Mona, are you ready?"
"Yes," she whispered, and looked to Jeannie.
"Let's take the plunge. What's the time period?"
"Nineteen seventy six," said Elliot, clearing his throat.
"Aw man the seventies?" Tyler laughed. "Freak out man!"
Everyone winced at his use of slang. Glaring at him, Jeannie joked, "I'm glad that you're not going back Ty, because if I had to put up with that sense of humor..."
"Baby, you wouldn't have it any other way," he laughed. Moving to him she embraced him one last time as Elliot embraced Mona. Her tentative pucker brushed against his ruby lips, dark electric blue caressing his. Hungrily Jeannie devoured Tyler's mouth in a steamy kiss. His hands kneaded down her spine to her shapely butt, pulling her into his growing excitement.
"Don't wait too long to come back," he winked at her. Seeing the exchange, Mona planted a last steamy kiss on Elliot's surprised lips. Kisses were exchanged, as the girls prepared to plunge platform boot first into the past. Shouldering their weapons of power across their backs, they took hands. In a silver moment Mona's power flared, and sizzled space time into a glimmering rip. Silver glitter exploded around them both, and they were gone.
"Good luck, baby," Elliot whispered.
"You were talking to Mona, or Jeannie?" Tyler asked.
"Why are you making a big deal?"
"C'mon I know you two have a thing... you and Jeannie. The way you cat fight..."
"She's like my sister," he groaned. "We practically grew up together! I should ask about you and Mona..."
"Very funny..."
**
For that instant reality exploded, and then reformed itself in a shower of glittering shards. When Jeannie removed a hand from over her eyes, she heard screams and shouts. For a moment she feared they had traveled to the time of the comet impact. Yet when Mona nudged her she realized the reality. They were being pushed and shoved in a long line of strangely dressed people. No one seemed to notice their own outlandish outfits in comparison, for similarly suited people moved past them.
"What is this?" Jeannie asked.
"Looks like a concert..." Mona gasped with excitement, silvery gray eyes fixed to the front of the line. They noticed they were pushed into what looked like an arena, and already people were shoving and jockeying for position.
"Hey babies, nice threads!" someone laughed, passing them the thumbs up as he stood behind them.
"Uh, excuse me?" Mona asked, shivering as his eyes traced over her form. The silvery blue triangular halter glistened with little mirrors, her liquid silk cape flowing around her shoulders like a breath of wind. Her long legs were bare as they thrust into silver topped platform boots.
"Hey handsome, mind telling us what time the show is?" Jeannie asked, giving him a winning smile. Their eyes flickered over the image on his shirt, of four painted faces that seemed damned familiar, superimposed into a red circle.
"Jeannie... that looks like..." Mona whispered.
"Yeah, I know. Keep your yap shut and let me do the talking..."
Another guy scoped Jeannie out, pulling his blue jean vest over his own dark t shirt. Four letters they had seen in the place of power shot them through with familiarity. Of course.
"Nineteen seventy six," Mona whispered. "Could it be?"
"Great costumes gals! But they're not Destroyer are they?"
"Excuse me?" asked Mona.
"Your own design?" the one guy said with a grin. Their long hair flowed over their shoulders. Clearly one was undressing Jeannie with their eyes. She must be doing much the same as her tongue ran lightly behind her teeth. Mona groaned.
"Dragon Lady and Celestial at your service," Jeannie laughed.
Suddenly the line broke into a crowd, already assembled in the large space. Lights dropped, and they heard a loud voice cut through the cheering crowds. Suddenly the stage before them exploded, and the two girls gasped with surprise. Next to them their new found friends laughed and gripped their hands.
"I've been waiting two years for this! O my fucking god!" the one guy shouted. Mona grabbed his hand, pulling him as she pulled him behind her for safety.
They worked their way through the crowd to get a better look. Sean and Darryl, the two fans moved after the two ladies with excitement. If they stuck close to these chicks they might get backstage even.
"Oh god..." Mona gasped, when her eyes fell on the lead guitarist. It was a rock band. Not just any rock band, but the rock band...
"Look familiar?" Jeannie nudged her.
"It's them... it's them... I never thought I'd see..." Mona began to cry.
"I know how you feel gorgeous," Sean laughed, hugging her close. She didn't take notice of the familiarity of this stranger.
"Ace is God!" Darryl shouted, shaking his fist. They were singing along, their fists beating out the tune. Mona began to sing the lyrics perfectly, as Jeannie joined in. Her eyes glanced up into those of the base guitarist, who was close to their side, while the eyes of Mona rose to the lead guitarist.
"I never thought I'd see you here," she whispered. "I love you..."
"Baby, they do it every time..." Darryl laughed when he heard her sob. They worked their way to the front, just before the microphone. Dark eyes met those of Jeannie's and she gasped at the flutter in her chest. How like Elliot he looked, except the eyes were a shade lighter, not deep brown but rich mahogany. But just as soulful. And how strong the Demon appeared, his own eyes fixed into hers with a grin and a wink.
Mona's gaze wandered up to the drummer, and she felt her heart skip a beat. How appealing he looked in that cat makeup. Not quite the Black Lion, but so close and so much like the face she had come to know well growing up...
The rest of the concert faded into a blur, but two security guards came up to the girls, and whispered something to them. "Want to meet the guys?"
"Excuse me?" Mona jumped. The one guard held up two laminated passes, attached to chains. Darryl and Sean gasped as if they had seen the Holy Grail.
"They want to know if you gals wanna come backstage!" Sean laughed.
"Take us with you," Darryl begged.
"This is our chance," Jeannie whispered to Mona. "Elliot's just sent me a brain wave. Whatever happened... it's centered around this concert... this time!"
"You mean...”
"Yes. WE have to meet them face to face..."
"Oh my god," Mona whispered. It was an answer to a silent prayer. To meet Ace, face to face after so many years...
"We won't go unless they do," Jeannie nodded, fixing her gaze into those of the security guards, who looked to each other and shrugged. Arm around Daryl's waist, she pulled him with her, her hand warm against the black cotton of his t shirt. Sean nodded to Mona, draping an arm around her shoulder while he pulled her along with him. Both guys high fived each other behind the girl's backs. Either way this would be a night to remember.
Other hopefuls had gathered backstage, but the two young couples were pushed past them quickly as soon as eyes noticed their VIP passes hanging around the girls' necks.
"Right this way ladies..." the security guard conducted them.
Through a small door they were guided, and Mona's heart stopped in her throat. Sitting casually backstage were the legends. The faces they had not seen for so long they seemed a distant memory. Dark mahogany eyes fixed into Jeannie's, and she gasped when he winked a star covered eye at her. A low growl sounded in her throat, much to her surprise and embarrassment.
"Hello there ladies," the Starchild grinned, standing up to dwarf Darryl and Sean.
"WE are so not worthy," Sean gasped. "Oh you are God ace!" he said, almost stumbling over to the lead guitarist, who gave an amused cackle.
"What have we got here?" he grinned.
"You can stop that now," Peter groaned, seeing both guys almost fainting as they clung to the girl's waists for support. Shaking herself free of Sean, Mona almost stumbled over to Ace and Peter.
"Is that really you?" she asked, moving up to Ace, whose eyes met hers.
"Hey, a Space Maiden!" he laughed. "Come over her beautiful and let's explore our intergalactic relations..."
"I've waited so long to meet you," she whispered, taking his hand.
"Nice costume baby," Gene growled at Jeannie, who gave a slight flush. "It's really unique."
"As unique as the lovely lady wearing it," Paul smiled, rising as he took Jeannie's hand and kissed it.
"Your dates?" Gene laughed when he noticed Darryl and Sean staring slack jawed.
"C'mon guys and let's rap... and share the company of your lovely dates," Paul smiled, patting the sofa between him and Gene. Taking Jeannie's hand he sat her between him and the Demon. Sean took a place beside Gene, while Darryl sat to Peter's left, and Ace pulled Mona to sit on his knee, since there were an odd number of places to sit.
"Want something to drink?" Paul asked Jeannie.
"Fresca?" she asked, and Gene grinned at her as he passed her a can.
"Girl has good taste," he commented, voice low and sexy. He clinked cans with her and both took a grateful chug. Inwardly Jeannie couldn't help but laugh. He was just as she remembered from the videos so long ago. Bursting with life and libido...
"If he wasn't related to me," she thought naughtily.
"Oh boy what a choice," Sean laughed. "A Jack D for me and my bud..."
"You guys eighteen?" Paul asked. They nodded, and immediately two drinks were poured for the two young male KISS army fans. Mona recognized the chevron shaped patch on their vests now. Peter's thigh brushed Mona's, and she blushed. He appeared to wink out of the side of his cat mask at her while talking to Darryl about drumming. Ace's arm curled around Mona's waist.
"So, great costume," Ace said to her. "Where'd you get the design?"
She noticed the difference in his dark one, silver and black dotted with rhinestone comets and planets. He sipped at a can of beer, and offered her a sip. She took a quick swig to be polite, and gasped at the bitter taste.
"Easy babe," he said, patting her back as she coughed. He took the beer from her and set it down beside his hip.
"You okay, little girl?" Peter asked, leaning over to see her gasping there on Ace's lap.
"Yes..." she gasped, feeling the warmth of his hand on her knee. She took the strong hand, giving it a little squeeze. Peter grinned, as she gave him a nervous wink.
"So you're name's Jeannie, eh?" Gene laughed as she introduced
herself.
"Yep, what a coincidence, huh?" she laughed nervously. A nice deep laugh, Paul thought. Why did he have this strange feeling her voice sounded familiar?
"What's your name, sweetheart?" Peter asked Mona.
"Monica..." she stammered out, afraid to reveal her true name, lest she create more of a paradox. Her mind screamed back with fear to Elliot in the future.
"What do we do now?"
"Stay with them. Observe. Look, we gotta sign off for now. The temporal interference is too much and we need to sleep. We'll catch up with you tomorrow. But remember who you're dealing with..."
"Oh god," she gasped, when she felt Ace's hand on her thigh. She shrieked, and jumped, landing in Peter's lap instead.
"What's the matter babe?" Ace asked a little hurt. Peter was grinning as she struggled to sit up and wasn't quite succeeding.
"Uh... sorry I didn't mean..."
"Cat's got her tongue," Peter grinned, positioning the timid girl more comfortably on his lap. At least it wasn't Ace's, she thought. But how much he looked like Tyler...
An hour passed as KISS signed autographs for Darryl and Sean, and they all talked about rock and roll in general. Paul's flirtatious glances were not lost on Jeannie, who was really enjoying herself. She let her chest brush against Paul's as she leaned close and whispered in his ear, trying to avoid Gene's lusty gaze. Then two security guards came into the room, and gestured. "Time to go guys," Gene said, and pulled Jeannie to her feet.
"Aw man..."
"Stay cool, and keep on rocking," Peter laughed, pulling Mona out of his lap and slipping an arm around her waist. She clung to him as if to put him between her and Ace. Peter couldn't help but wonder what had made her so afraid of Ace all of a sudden.
***
"They've made contact," Elliot whispered to Tyler, as they sat inches from each other in the ruined house. Tyler shook his head at the strange energies crackling Elliot's mane of straight black hair into a purple halo of strange curls. His shapely lips curled into a puzzled frown momentarily.
"Lucky girls," he muttered. "So close and yet so far from the truth..."
"Are they? If they sleep with any of them..." Tyler growled low, like a panther under his breath. "You know the legendary exploits...."
"You and I wouldn't be here, at least you wouldn't if not for them," said Elliot.
"You knew your dad. I didn't, man. And Mona... her father split..."
"He died. I know you're pissed because your own father died when you were young..."
"That wasn't it. He wasn't around when mom needed him the most... he left us... dead... by some damned disease that could have been cured ten years later!" Tyler snapped. "And Mona's dad was a womanizing son of a bitch! A drug addict..."
"He's still her father. And you can't blame her for wanting to know him better..."
"Still," Tyler sighed. "I just hope she doesn't get hurt by seeing the truth..."
"Truth is never easy," Elliot sighed. Both men looked to each other, before laying down for a few hours rest. All their hopes rested on these two young women they loved so dearly. They had nothing to lose by trying....
***
"C'mon and sit here, little girl," Ace laughed, patting the seat next
to him for Mona. She gasped, looking helplessly at Jeannie.
"Why don't you sit over here, big boy?" Jeannie grinned, and yanked
Ace to sit next to her. Mona sighed with relief, and shivered as Gene Simmons sat on one side of her,
Peter Criss on her other. Gene gave both ladies a flirtatious wink, and closed the limo door.
Nervously Mona drew in a deep breath. To see the Four, larger than life was more than she ever could have hoped. In the prime of their life they were her age!! It scarcely seemed possible. She was thankful Jeannie was keeping Ace busy. When she saw the look of sheer lust on Gene's face she moved over to him, and gently laid a hand on his thigh to distract him.
"I always admired your music," she said shyly, then groaned inwardly
at her stupid comment.
"Nothing wrong with that sweetheart," Gene grinned, as she snuggled close, and eclipsed his view of Jeannie flirting with Paul and Ace. As he tried to stare around her, she leaned over him, her hands on his thigh. Suddenly the limo hit a bump, and send her sprawling over him. His arms caught around her, lips
inches from hers.
"Whoops," he grinned, and she gave him a small tentative kiss, shivering with the strange feelings shooting through her. Perhaps if she could keep him distracted from Jeannie...
Strange fire flooded down her body, and Mona gasped as his hands kneaded down her spine and butt.
She moaned lightly through the kiss. Ace craned his head with intense jealousy, only to find a firm pair of lips close over his, choking the gasp from his throat.
"Oh baby," he moaned when he felt a supple tongue curl around his, ticking his mouth with its hot breath.
Paul shook his head and let out a laugh, tugging lightly on Jeannie. "What about me?" he teased lightly.
"Hmm what about you?" she asked, leaving a breathless Ace to gasp in wonder, his lips searing with the
force of her hot intense kiss.
"Care to share the wealth, space Ace?" Paul asked, and pulled Jeannie to him, his own luscious tongue
licking his lips. He was a very attractive man, his marvelous hairy chest soft under her investigating
fingers. That twinge in her lower belly screamed, and she slipped arms around his neck, as Paul pulled her onto his lap. Lightly his tongue traced over her ear, and she brushed her tongue over his neck.
"Nice," Paul whispered, and turned her chin to face his, red lips parted, eyes dark with desire. His own
tongue slid down her neck, his lips kissing it lightly. She gasped; a low growl in her throat as she grabbed a handful of his curly hair, bleached with a cute blonde streak, and teased his lips with her tongue. The
cold chain mail of her costume was chilly against his bare chest, and he chuckled lightly, folding her close
there as he met her tongue with his. Jeannie gasped, feeling the gentle softness of his lips on hers, and
swooned with the force of intensity. He seemed to know exactly where on her body to touch, hands
investigating the spandex of her silver and dark red costume. Ace watched a little perturbed as their kiss
heated up, and then they both parted for breath.
"Damn, what a kiss," she panted, leaning on Ace who caught her as she reeled into his arms.
"Rest a bit baby," he grinned, cackling at the look of sheer pleasure on her face. "Save some for me Paul!"
"Mm," Jeannie grinned, licking her lips.
"Get a load of the tongue on here!" Ace cackled! "She's almost got nothing on you Gene!"
"Do you mind keeping it down?" Gene muttered, pulling out of a heated kiss with Mona. She was gasping, trembling with fear and anticipation. Peter gently stroked her back, seeing the fear and terror mingled with thrill. She panted, moaning as she leaned over Gene's arm.
"You okay, little girl?" he asked her.
"Oh God...” she moaned, feeling Gene stroking his long tongue down her neck into the neck of her costume.
"This..."
"Go easy on her Gene... man!" Peter scolded him. "She's getting freaked out..."
"You afraid of me, baby?" Gene asked her.
"Yes... a little..." she panted, leaning against Peter for support.
"No need to be scared of a little dark desire, baby," he lowered his voice to a sexy growl.
Just then the limo ground to a stop, and the door was opened. Gene and Peter helped a dizzy Mona to her feet, followed by the Dragon Lady, who curled an arm around both Paul and Ace's waist. Both appeared to be quite content to share their prize. Gene's attention wandered to the new lineup of girls, and he moved over to put his Demon charm to full effect.
"Sorry baby, hope you don't mind if I admire the selection," he apologized.
"No... feel free..." she whispered.
"I'll take it from here," Peter said, curling an arm around Mona's waist.
"Later baby," Gene winked, and she stumbled off with Peter, her breath finally coming under control.
Ace suddenly did a double take when he saw a jet haired girl standing there, and they began to talk softly. He took her hand, looking to Paul and Jeannie apologetically.
"Have a nice rocket ride, baby," Jeannie kissed the tip of his nose. Paul grinned with self satisfaction, sizing up his challenge, which seemed more than happy to be "stuck" with him.
"I guess it's just you and me, lady," he said, hand clasped around hers.
"Oh yes," she licked her lips. "Why don't we get to know each other a little better?"
A few of the disappointed groupies fell in with the road crew and road security who were bustling into the hotel. Gene had two girls on his arm, and seemed to have forgotten all about Mona, much to her slight disappointment and relief. The stories of Gene's sexual exploits seemed a little too intense for her liking.
"Thank You," she whispered to Peter, when they had reached the lounge, ringed with security.
"Hey, you were pretty freaked. Are you okay now? I know Gene can come on a little strong..."
"Yes... he's just..."
"Not your type..." Peter chimed in. "Stick with me... and you'll have nothing to worry about. I'm surprised you were freaked around Ace too... since you're wearing his makeup..."
"I... well... it's just that he reminds me too much of a relative I have," she blurted out. "Kissing him would be like kissing a brother. I like him, but I don't... like him like him..."
"Oh," Peter nodded, a twinkle in his eyes. "So I guess I stand a chance, eh?"
"Yes..." she stammered, letting him lead her to the elevator. There seemed no way out except straight through. Not that she minded, even though he was so much like Tyler... George...
"Meet you in the ladies room, Peter!" Ace's cackle came over the laughter as he had the dark haired woman on one arm, a bottle of Jack D in his other hand.
"C'mon..." Peter said with a toss of his head, guiding Mona after him.

Roadies clustered around the girls, gently talking and horsing around. Ace pulled the girl into his arms, setting her on his knee. Mona looked anxiously for any place in the crowded hotel banquet room to sit, but found nothing. Peter grabbed a chair from one of the tables, and guided Mona with his other to a quiet corner near Ace. Putting down the chair he sat on it, and patted his lap.
She tentatively sat down, blushing five shades of red as she felt his muscular thighs under hers. While she cast a jealous glance over at Jeannie on Paul's lap, she couldn't ignore how deliciously firm Peter's thighs actually were. One had to be remarkably coordinated and in shape to bang the drums with such expertise. He stroked her back gently, and caught the beer that Ace tossed him from the cooler.
"Want anything?" he asked her, hand rubbing her tight shoulders.
"Er... a beer I guess," she said, shifting on his lap. Peter drew up one leg to rest on the other, sitting her major weight on one leg while he rested her knees across the other. Her own bare legs goose pimpled when she felt his gloved hand steadying her in one place on the slippery spandex of his costume.
"Relax... I'm not gonna bite..." he laughed. She gave a nervous cackle that seemed damned familiar.
"You keep that up, little girl, and I'm gonna be convinced you and Ace are related!" Peter teased her.
"So how old do you think I am, anyway?" she asked.
"It's not polite to ask a woman her age," Peter shook a finger at her. "Don't even try and trap this cat with that one..."
"You are sweet," she breathed, liking how his hands soothed over her back and tight shoulders. While her heart ached when she examined the lines of Paul filling out that costume, she couldn't help but flush
realizing how nice Peter felt under her.
"So you said kissing Ace was like kissing a relative, huh?" Peter said, turning her face toward his.
Distractedly she stared at Jeannie who was involved in a heated kiss with Paul, straddling him as her hands walked down his chest to his belly. Jealousy burned her, for a moment, because he looked so much like Elliot...
"That bitch," she muttered under her breath. "Lucky, lucky bitch..."
"Hey, You okay?" Peter asked, and she looked down at him, apologizing. "If you wanna go somewhere more quiet..."
"Please, I need some air..." she said, grasping his hand as she moved off his lap. Peter smiled, and gestured with his hand towards the elevator.
"C'mon, let's blow this place. I know the perfect spot..."
She let him lead her to a hotel room, down a long hall of white painted doors, with shiny brass doorknobs. How funny it seemed to have him pull out such an old fashioned shaped bit of metal and work it into t he doorknob instead of a swipe card.
"My pad, for the night," he offered, opening the door for her. Lights turned onto the small but luxurious suite, and she tried not to trip on the platform boots that brought her height only a few inches under his. He moved over to a portable record player, and selected an album, putting it on.
"Hope You like a little something different. All that rock gives me a goddamned headache," Peter
explained. A little bit of Glen Miller jarred through the air, a welcome change.
He rummaged through a mini fridge, extracting two beers and sitting down on the sofa. Patting next to him, he indicated she should join him there. She sat down, accepting the cold beer he had cracked open. Gratefully she sipped it, relaxing as he draped an arm around her.
"So, what brings you here? You a local?"
"Well, my friend and I decided to come here... at the last minute," she fumbled, cackling nervously.
"I'm glad you did. YOU and your gal pal certainly made tonight interesting..." Peter smiled, through the mask of makeup. She half knew what he looked like under it, those dimples cutely curving the patches of whiskers that were mere paint. She fingered the streaks of silver in his dyed hair. On his arms, strong and muscular she saw the telltale tattoos, fingering his biceps with delicate feather touches before she stopped herself.
"Thank You," she whispered. "It must be crazy dealing with all that night after night...”
"Sometimes I need to get away from it all," he said, sipping his beer. "Which leads me to the next question? With or without makeup?"
"what?"
"Should I take this crap off my face for you, or would you like the Cat Man to entertain you tonight?"
"I don't know," she sighed, sadly, peering off into some unknown dimension.
"Sorry, I didn't mean to be so blunt," Peter apologized, taking her hand between his own gloved ones.
"Don't be spaced on me, gal. We can take it slow if you want. If You don't wanna do anything but sit here and mellow out, that's okay by me too... it's been one hell of a long day..."
"I am tired," she sighed, and leaned her head on his shoulder as she took another small sip of the cold beer.
Peter leaned his head against hers, stroking fingers through her long auburn hair as he pillowed her head on his chest. Under her ear she felt the beating of his heart, and snuggled up to him all the more.
"Rest a little then. We have all night..." Peter purred into her ear, giving a small kiss there. She stroked his cheek, humming gently to herself...
***


Fire and intense heat burned one second, the cold grayness of a nuclear winter without radiation the next. Four youths huddled around Mona as she tripped a trigger in her mind one second, snatching them out of the third dimension into another one, undiscovered. For eternity they hung in limbo, till forced to pop into the next.
The voices had driven them there. Elliot had heard them night after night, living within his father's
Mediterranean villa when his father was away in New York on a production of Phantom of the Opera. He had replaced Michael Crawford on his long run of nearly ten years.
For some reason more and more he called his friends to visit them. Two minutes away from him lived Jeannie, in a large Beverly Hills mansion. She had only recently come to live there on her sixteenth birthday, when her mother's work schedule drove her to travel to the remote volcanoes of Hawaii. Not able to tear Jeannie out of school, a hasty arrangement was made with Jeannie's biological father. He was more than happy to take the sixteen
year old girl in, showing her a life of luxury she had only dreamed about. That was when she and Elliot had met, at Beverly Hills high. They seemed almost as familiar as brother and sister. By their senior year they were inseparable best friends. It turned out their fathers had known each other for years....
Images of summer camp flickered past Mona's inner eyes. It was at a wilderness camp at Yellowstone, where she was a college age counselor on a summer job, that she had first met Jeannie and Elliot. There she had come with her friend George, who was also known as Tyler. He was an aspiring Shakespearean actor, who also excelled in high school marching band drumming. Mona herself had majored in computers and music, and was quite the computer whiz.
A fast friendship developed amongst the four, and they felt an odd familiarity. Granted they argued, and the five year age difference between the two pairs, Mona and Tyler (George) were both five years older than Elliot and Jeannie. Two twenty two year olds soon learned to hang with the seventeen year olds, sharing much about their enigmatic life.
Earlier she traced back, remembering her own strange childhood. Her own mother was an aspiring SF writer, often selling scripts to Burbank and New York for new SF shows. She had even sold many to Star Trek, Deep Space Nine and Voyager. But what had her mother done years ago, when she was Mona's age. Who was her father? It wasn't till her own sixteenth birthday that she had learned the truth. After the summer camp they had kept in touch by email. The four friends decided to meet on Elliot's eighteenth birthday, and throw a surprise party. That was when the dreams started, pulling Elliot out of a deep sleep. Catastrophic dreams, interwoven with the strange images of the painted faces. When they
finally met at Elliot's home, the truth emerged. A tenuous connection common to them all became painfully clear.
Their fathers had known each other years ago in a rock band. Not just any rock band, but one of the smash hits of the seventies. However, at the turn of the eighties, a huge rift had torn the group apart, splitting two factions. One had remained, to fade into obscurity, while the other half continued their successful heavy metal career. Any hopes of a reunion were dashed when Mona's father died of a drug overdose in his hotel room. She had never met him face to face, regret she had always had. Tyler's father, the band's original drummer, flat out refused to any sort of reunion. Pain ran deep, and it seemed the children were doing their damnedest to try and patch up the rift of years.
Mona had felt an instant crush on the lovely Elliot, but still had the odd feelings of deep connection to Tyler. It was indeed a star crossed relationship. She and Jeannie argued like sisters, but one would willingly die for the other if put to the test. Instinctively they all knew it...
The blood screamed hot from the stones, or so Elliot said in his dreams. That one day when Jeannie's father had left on a business trip, they had all showed up at her home, wondering what had propelled them there. An instinct, like a homing beacon. They wandered down into the basement of the mansion, blowing dust off strange rooms that had not seen the light of day for years.
Jeannie's father was a rabid pack rat, and they unearthed the strange cobwebs of a past of glory and rocket rise to fandom. For hours they watched the strange videos that chronicled the meteoric rise to fame. Only to collapse on the sofas with exhaustion as the videos continued to play. Elliot had screamed out in the middle of the night, awakening them all. His dream, hauntingly real and urgent, spoke of a streak of fire bashing into the earth, sending a black cloud of smoke that would eclipse the sun. Just when he didn't know. At that moment a strange quake had hit. They rushed upstairs to see a huge blaring wave of heat smash every window, the air itself on fire as the earth screamed and shook.
Mona screamed, her friends gathering around her. Eternity exploded in a silver explosion.
"Noo!" she screamed, cries piercing the night.
"Whoa, what's wrong there baby?" asked a voice. Gasping she felt her cheek pulled down to rest on a solid breathing surface. It seemed of leather and spandex. The voice was gravely and accented strongly New York style, making her shiver. She was alive, alive in a dimly lit room, illuminated only by the glow of a TV set which flickered on a late night ad for Blitzhacker from K-tel. She hated late night ads, but she could swear she had never seen that product before!
"What... oh my god," she groaned, trembling.
"God girl, you're shaking! What the hell is wrong? Are you okay?" the voice continued, stroking her back.
"I... I don't know..." she sobbed, burying her head in his chest. He flipped the light on, and she gasped in the sudden blaring light. In her chest her heart pounded, and every detail settled into painful reality. Still a haze pounded her brain, and if she peered at the clock over her shoulder she saw the hands past the three and the six.
"Easy, Easy there," he soothed, stroking her as he sat up, trying to calm her as the tears flowed down her cheeks.
"I had a bad dream," she looked up at him, and shivered when she realized who it was. It had not been a dream, this reality, while the events of the past were but a future possibility to this man.
Peter Criss was a little freaked when she had screamed, and awoken him out of a deep sleep. He had a few drinks inside him, and had let her fall asleep against him while he caught a late night movie. Somehow he couldn't sleep the night after such a long performance. The drugs in his system kept him up way past the middle of the night. However the scream had driving the buzz out of his system, like a flood of cold water.
Mona panted, unsure of what was real anymore. Was this one of Elliot's dreams induced by the countless videos she had seen from Jeannie's dad's basement? Reality fragmented and reformed into a mirror that was painful.
"I'm sorry to scare you," she apologized, stroking his cheek, feeling the grease of the face paint there. "I don't know what came over me..."
"Wanna go somewhere more comfortable, little girl?" he asked her. "I dunno about you, but this damned makeup is killing me. Hope You don't mind if I take it off... unless You want the illusion..."
"No, I don't mind at all....I promise I won't tell people what You really look like, if that's what you're afraid of..."
"Thanks," Peter nodded. "You get it..."
"I do, believe me I do," she said.
"You taking yours off too?" he asked her, taking her hand as he drew her to her feet.
"I hope you won't be disappointed what I really look like," she protested when he led her to the dresser, where Oil of Olay and cotton balls awaited them. He pulled up a chair, and guided her into it, while he began to swab at the mask of makeup concealing his features. She had seen pictures of him, but to be here with him now...
That first time when their powers had exploded, had been back after the catastrophic blast. She remembered that they had survived, appearing in a ruined mansion of broken windows and crumbling masonry, to see fires alight all over the place. But to see her friends, she let out a cry of fright.
"Mona..." Tyler had said, taking her hands from her face. A painted mask looked at her, and she
screamed again.
"What the hell happened," were the first words out of Jeannie's mouth. They had looked at each other in shock and awe, a strange transformation having taken place. Their own skin still showed, but they wore extraordinary costumes, their faces blanched white with the strange markings. The strange markings that had resembled those in the videos!
That moment on, their lives were forever changed.
"Holy Mary Mother of God!" Peter gasped. A look of shock came over his face when he saw her without the makeup. She had somehow been able to get the power to make it seem like it really Was makeup, and not a change in the skin color as it really was. For when her power was activated, it was her real skin.
"Is something wrong?" she asked, voice trembling.
"No wonder you were freaked to be with Ace!" Peter laughed. "You look like his freaking sister!"
"Really?" she trembled.
"Yeah, no shit! You sure you're not related?"
"It's just... a coincidence," she lied, knowing full well the truth that must be hidden. Slowly the dimpled face emerged from his cat makeup, and she saw he had a nice smile. He peered over her shoulder to rest his chin on hers, and she saw the oriental set of her eyes, her high cheekbones, and full
lips. The light gray blue against her auburn hair was lovely, and she felt a moment of discomfort at the resemblance between her and Ace. However she had not seen him now without his Spaceman makeup. "I do look like him," she said. "I hope that doesn't change your opinion of me..."
"Let's put it this way, girl. I'd sure as hell wouldn't want to sleep with Ace, but seeing the female version, meow! You're a pretty gal, you know that?"
"Thank You, I think," she laughed with a cackle worthy of Ace himself. She had always been aware her
laugh Was annoying and unusual, but to hear Ace's laugh and voice last night made her feel less awkward. To know there Was someone like her...
His hand stroked down her auburn hair, and she reached up to finger his face, saying, "You're not so bad
looking yourself, mister..."
Taking her hand, he led her over into the back bedroom. Peter sat on the edge of the king sized bed, tugging at his platform boots. She helped him yank them off, landing awkwardly on the floor on her backside. He grabbed at her boots, yanking them off as he pulled her to sit next to him on the bed. Both shared a brief but sweet kiss. "You more comfortable now?" he asked her, stroking a finger along her cheek.
"Getting there," she admitted, with a nice smile. Leaning forwards she brushed her lips to his, marveling at how much he looked like Tyler. She fingered the white streaks in his hair, dyed black to fit in with the band, pushing the strands out of his face. Her hands moved down to finger his chest through the silvery fronted bodysuit of his costume.
***

Mona almost forgot where she was again when she next awoke, but heard a pounding against something solid. Slowly she shifted, and shivered when she felt a sleeping person in the bed next to her.
"Peter! Wake up! We gotta get on the road in an hour!" came the voice of someone unfamiliar.
"Hold on man, gimme a freaking break!" came the voice next to her as he stretched and moaned. She was thankful that pounding wasn't in her head!
"Man, I hate getting up," Peter grumbled. Gently Mona stroked his cheek, moving away.
"I do too," she nodded. "But I suppose... I should be going..."
"Not a problem... we'll just call you a cab or something," Peter said. "Don't worry about it... say, do you need a change of clothes?"
He hauled himself out of the bed, and then stopped momentarily to brush his lips to hers in a last sweet kiss. "Thanks baby, you were incredible. That was one hell of an encore..."
"Thank you," she blushed, and then his words a few seconds ago registered. "Peter... wait... I don't live around here!!!"
"What?" Peter asked. "Well why didn't you say so? Did you come with those two guys, right..."
"Peter... please listen to me!" she cried as he worked his way into a pair of blue jeans and a button up shirt. He thrust his feet into boots.
"Here, this will probably fit you..." he said, tossing a t shirt to her, followed by a pair of jeans. She hastily slipped them on, stumbling as he caught her.
"Who there, little girl! Easy... what's got you so worked up?"
"Peter, I have no place to go to!" she despaired.
"Say what?" he asked.
"I mean... my friend and I came from a long way to see your concert... and and..." she babbled.
"Hey, let's go get some coffee first, and then talk about this..." Peter said. "We'll work it out okay? I can't think till I get some Joe slammed down all right?"
Kissing her forehead he began to gather up some of his clothes and toss them into a suitcase. He disappeared into the bathroom while she finished dressing. Slowly she gathered up her costume, wondering what the hell to do next. A sudden flare of silver shot in her hands when the costume vanished, revealing the clothing she had been wearing in the future. Hastily she tossed it into a hotel laundry bag she found to one side. And there was something else. She felt something slung across her back, and realized it was a guitar. That cherry and orange Gibson she had left behind in the future. How had it gotten here?
"What the hell am I gonna do with this?" she asked. Suddenly a small case appeared, and she set her guitar into it. It was very odd! She didn't' stop to question her luck, and packed the instrument away with her duffel bag.
Peter emerged from the bathroom, his face clean shaven of stubble. "Oh good, they brought your luggage..." he said.
"My luggage..." she muttered. "Oh yeah... I had left it behind at the concert... but Peter... we have to talk!"
"C'mon and let's get some chow..." he said, holding out his hand. "And we'll get this straightened out!"
"I hope you're listening guys. I really blew it this time...." she thought mentally when she let Peter take her hand and lead her downstairs.


A light breakfast was being served in the hotel lobby, and everyone sat around the round tables, chewing in grim silence. Jeannie was groggy, as groggy as the other guys. It was almost twelve, and already Gene had flopped into a chair to grab the best of the donuts set out on the breakfast buffet.
Peter pulled out a chair, and she sat down at the table with Ace. Already he stirred at his own coffee, dumping almost three teaspoons of sugar into it while he devoured half a stack of pancakes. At the next table, Paul had chosen a light breakfast of fruit. A shot of juice dribbled up, squirting him in the face when he stabbed into a piece of grapefruit.
"And I thought you had good aim," Gene nudged him.
"Screw you," Paul laughed, making another attempt.
Peter helped himself to scrambled eggs and bacon, devouring half a plate of food in the next few minutes. Mona ordered a jelly donut and some orange juice. When it arrived, she hardly touched it, feeling queasy.
"Here, have some Joe," he said, pouring her coffee. "It'll help..."
Over the next few minutes, she found Jeannie had already explained her situation to Paul and Gene, who were less then amused. Paul was polite, but Gene almost regarded them as some sort of baggage to be dealt with. A rude reality to both girls the morning after.
"You mean you don't have any way of getting home?" Paul Stanley asked them.
"We don't have any money... and we aren't local," Mona said, wiping a bit of jelly from her hand that squirted out of her donut. "I told Peter that earlier..."
"Why not?" Paul asked. "Why don't you have any money?"
"We decided to come to this concert at the last minute," said Jeannie.
"Say what?" Peter asked.
"It was hard to get tickets, okay?" Jeannie blurted out. "So sue us!!"
"How did you get them anyway?" Paul guessed. "You didn't get them from a scalper did you?"
"Of course not!" Jeannie snapped back, green eyes glaring into Paul's mahogany ones. "We got them from friends who couldn't make this concert!!! We used most of the money to get here..."
"Those two guys you were with... didn't you guys arrange to go back with them or at least stay..." Paul demanded, running a hand through his hair so it stood on end. He became more and more agitated.
"We didn't think..." Mona began to cry. Peter sighed, and looked at Paul and Gene.
"This is a great situation. Sons of bitches, what kind of guys leave their dates..." Paul muttered.
"We're screwed," Mona continued to cry. Ace moved over to her, laying a hand on her shoulder.
"Don't cry baby..." he whispered, patting her back.
"Look, if you're so hopped up about us being an inconvenience, we'll take our shit and go!"
Jeannie snapped, glaring daggers at Gene. She pushed away from the table, and grabbed Mona's hand. Enough was enough, and she hated being treated like someone else's problem.
"C'mon Mona... we won't stay where we're not wanted... by a bunch of egotistical jerk wads who just think of us like a cheap screw!" Her words fell like a sluice of cold water on the guys. Ace cackled, and Peter stepped on his foot.
"Guess she told you, Gene," he laughed.
"Shut up Ace," Peter thumped him on the arm.
"It's not that!" Paul snapped. "It's just... well... a lot of women would love to have us take them along... but we just can't do that..."
"Because you can find women wherever you want, right?" Mona asked her silvery blue eyes on fire with anger. "That's it, right?"
"Yeah, basically," Ace admitted, looking a little sheepish. "But you gals knew what you were getting into didn't you?"
"Thanks for nothing," Mona snorted back. "What will happen to you when you don't have a ready supply of willing flesh, Mr. Frehley?
How many rocket rides can you look forward to after the music stops?" "Good question," Paul muttered, rubbing his aching head.
"That's what we do," Gene said, standing up from the table. "You didn't have to come to the encore, doll."
"So you'd just let us off on the side of the road?" Mona asked, glaring back. "What a rip!"
"No... We wouldn't do that..." said Peter, taking her hand. "That's not what we were willing to do... we said we'd find you a way home..."
"But that's not so easy," Mona said.
"I can't have freeloaders on the tour," Gene emphasized.
"Screw you," Jeannie shouted back, yanking Mona by the hand. "We don't need this shit. We'll just figure out some way on our own!"
"Wait a minute you aren't just gonna leave them..." Peter shouted to Gene.
"Yeah!" Ace put in.
"Gene... be reasonable, they've got no place to go, no money..." Paul
said.
"Maybe we can buy them a bus ticket..." Ace suggested. "It's the least we can do..."
"Gene..." Paul sighed. "Why can't we just take them with us... for just this once..."
Gene shot him an impatient stare, rubbing his own chin in anger. Jeannie fixed him in a firm stare that made him back away a few steps.
"There must be something you girls could do..." Peter said, folding arms across his chest. "Like for instance I need someone to help me set up my drum kit..."
"You already have a tech for that," Gene sighed.
"Are you pissed because I didn't choose to sleep with you, Mr. Simmons?" Jeannie asked, directly. Her audacity made Paul's eyebrows raise, and Ace and Peter exchanged looks of amusement.
"All right, all right!" Gene relented, when the green eyes glared into his. "They can stay... if and only if you guys find something for them to do... to earn their keep. I don't care what. They can go along with us till New York for all I damn care... just remember that we're on tour... and there might be some competition..."
"Thank you," Jeannie said, with a wink and a smile.
"All right then, let's figure out what to do with you," Paul nodded. "We need someone to help us pack some of our equipment... if you ladies aren't busy..."
"Sure, what the hell..." said Jeannie. "Show me where the stuff goes, Sexy pants..."
"C'mon you can help me get packed too," Ace said, taking Mona's hand and leading her off.
"Hey wait a minute!" Peter shouted.
"You can have her help after I'm done," Ace cackled. Mona glanced at Jeannie with a look of desperation, but she lifted an eyebrow as she followed Paul Stanley. Shaking his head, Gene stormed
off.
"Quick, hurry up!" she gasped, trying to shove a million sets of socks and underwear into a suitcase as she tripped over his guitar.
"I got that covered... I wondered where it was..." he laughed, picking up the guitar as he stashed it into its case. It was already two in the afternoon, and they were already fifteen minutes late! They stumbled down the stairs as quickly as they could.
After their interesting escapade helping him pack, Mona and Ace grabbed handfuls of luggage and dragged them onto several of large busses that were dieseling up to drive away. "Hurry up!" the road
manager shouted. "We're almost ready to go!"
"We're not damned sheep!" Ace muttered angrily, rushing as Mona carried his guitar cases along.
"Didn't think you'd make it, Ace!" Peter laughed, leaning out of the main bus when Ace and Mona finally passed their cases to a helpful roadie. Peter leapt out to help Mona climb on the bus.
"You mean I'm riding with you guys?" she asked.
"One of your other jobs," Peter said. "Keeping us company on the road. IT gets to be a major drag without someone along for fun..."
"What kind of fun?" Mona asked.
"We'll figure that out on the way!" Ace laughed, climbing up behind her and almost knocking Mona over as he stumbled. She felt that strange awkward flush over her. He did that deliberately, she thought.
Jeannie sat already near the back of the bus, laying her head back as she stared out the window. Mona grabbed a seat near her friend, sitting down with a weary thump. Under her backside the seat was
plush and comfortable.
"This seat taken?" Ace asked, with a laugh that made her jump.
"Uh...no..." she said quietly, glancing up at him. Already the bus lurched, making him grab the back of their seat for stability.
"Hey, Eke, a word in the back?" said a feminine voice. Glancing up, Ace peered over her shoulder.
"Hey there, admiring the view?" Ace grinned.
"Easy there big boy," Jeannie pushed him down into his seat with one hand. "I need some quality girl time with my bud. So could we find some place private..."
"Comparing notes, eh?" Ace grinned. "Well there is a bedroom in the back..."
"No doubt you'd prefer putting it to use later," Jeannie winked at him. She peered up at the front of the bus where Paul lay on one of the long couches, strumming lightly on a Fender guitar to work out a
progression of chords. Gene was nowhere to be found.
"Scratch that idea, I bet your friend's already sacking out," Mona looked to Jeannie. "And I don't think I want to join him just yet..."
"Come on... there is a quiet space in the bus kitchenette," said Jeannie, taking her hand and pulling her into the separate compartment where a minibar and refrigerator were set up with a small table. She closed the door, and sat opposite her friend.
"What?" Mona asked.
"Don't you think it's weird the guys haven't tried contacting us yet?" Jeannie asked.
"I wonder if the powers have..."
"That's what I wondered also," Jeannie muttered. Slowly she concentrated, and felt a strange flush of fire spread lightly over her skin. Her face flushed in the odd painted look of the Demoness, which made Mona gasp before it faded to her normal skin tone.
"Weird," Mona muttered.
"Yeah..." Suddenly a buzzing came in the backs of their skulls, and they put hands to their heads to drown out the influx of thoughts.
"Dammit Elliot, step it down!" Mona shouted into the air. Jeannie clapped a hand over her mouth.
"Shh..." she hissed.
"Sorry..." Mona muttered, voice muffled against Jeannie hand.
"Elliot... what the hell took you so damned long?" Jeannie asked, forming her thoughts into words as she closed her eyes.
"Join hands... it's hard to hear across the gulf of eternity... Mona's power of time should make the signal stronger," came Elliot's voice, muffled and garbled like sound that is transmitted through the deep ocean. It echoed in each girl's brain, fading into silence. Both women grasped hands across the table, closing their eyes. They emptied their minds, instinctively reaching out across time and space. Mona felt the buzzing of her mind drop away, and a door was thrown wide open.
"Can you hear me now?" she asked, words drifting down a dark corridor in shimmering packets of light.
"Yes..." Elliot pathed back.
"Why did you wait?" asked Jeannie, her thoughts like crackling sparks flying down the darkness.
"I had to rest...t his takes a lot of energy..." Elliot muttered.
"Where are you now?"
"Still at the house," Elliot's voice came, tired. There was an uncomfortable silence, and both girls knew what he was thinking at that moment.
"I know what you did..." Elliot's voice echoed in both their minds. "What the hell were you two thinking?"
"Oh come on," Jeannie countered. "Don't pull that double standard crap with me! If you had a chance to meet and sleep with Cindy Crawford wouldn't one of you guys take it?"
"Touché," said Tyler. "She has a point..."
"Dammit, that's not the point! What if you erased a part of our past?"
"Sleeping with Paul... now that's funny," Tyler said. "I don't know if I should be flattered or insulted, Jeannie..."
"We used protection, for what that was worth," Mona muttered.
"Look, what's done is done. And knowing them, they probably will just consider you gals one night stands anyway, right?" Tyler said. "So just don't go for any more encores!"
"Okay..." Jeannie nodded. "So what have you found out? Anything that can help us?"
"Actually yes," Elliot said. "I've been looking at the records.
You're very close to one of the focal points, within a few days... they will meet with a band called Sweet Revenge... a band of four women."
"Oh my god, you mean..." Mona whispered.
"Yes, that's why I was not thrilled to hear about your little stunt last night. It's vital that they reunite with the members of the band..."
"Or else..." Tyler added.
"So that's why they were reluctant to take us?" Mona hoped. "Maybe they were thinking that these girls... would be jealous?"
"There's hope yet..." said Jeannie with a slight laugh. "Imagine Gene Simmons having eyes for one woman over all the others..."
"Some things are possible," Tyler's telepathic laugh came, with a shower of soothing green flashes in their thoughts.
"But what do we do?" asked Mona.
"Play cupid," said Tyler. "Make sure they have memories made... good memories..."
"Whether it's to regret or not..." said Elliot.
"But they didn't get together with them this soon," said Mona.
"No... But that's not important. You see, already changes are being made..." Elliot's voice came.
"Wait..." Mona muttered, hearing that strange buzzing again. A jumble of images spilled over into her mind, and she realized it was packets of time. She saw a flood that she struggled to sort through all at once.
A mother holding a baby, its jet dark hair and gray eyes popping open as it cried. Over the bedside a man stood the image of Mona. Her heart leapt as he reached to caress the face of the little girl, newly born. Images shifted to a concert stage, lights flashing as explosions started off. The faces were familiar, but the movements were much stiffer, as if the players were older.
Then she saw a host, holding up a white envelope. Suddenly he glanced around as four silver and black suited figures filed out and stood around him. His look of surprise, and the resounding cheer drowned out his muffled surprise. Just then the words MTV music video awards flashed overtop. The date made her gasp. It was the nineties!
"But they broke up... never to perform again..." she muttered.
Another series of images collided, showing a dimly lit stage. Four figures perched on high stools, strumming acoustic guitars. All were casually dressed, their hair long and full over their shoulders.
Behind the drum set sat a glorious blonde man she recognized from the videos and pictures, and even the parties her father held. Eric Singer and Bruce Kulick, she remembered their names well. She always had a crush on Bruce, who was quite the charmer, even if he was soft spoken. How he'd guide her hands over the strings when she sat as a little girl among their rehearsals. But then what was this? Two others coming up on stage, one in a Marilyn Monroe shirt, the other in paisley and Jon Lennon sunglasses.
"We have a couple members of the family here tonight..." came Paul's voice, followed by a rousing cheer.
"What should we sing?" asked the man, perching on a stool by Eric's drum set.
"This didn't happen," Mona whispered. "Did it?" In her mind she felt the confusion. It seemed as if it should.
"You are opening your temporal perceptions... that's good," Elliot's mindchat came over top of the images. "What do you see?"
"I thought you were the telepath..."
"It's like we did before. But I only see the psychic side, and you see the actual turn of events... the might-have-been becoming the reality..."
"I see a breakup, as before... but then... I see... them performing again? And a baby... a baby..."
"Things are changing..." Elliot's voice echoed. "It can. There's a high probability! Don't you sense it?"
"Yes..." she answered.
Suddenly the acoustic harmony was shattered. Strange creatures swarmed over their vision, and Mona screamed as a huge hand clamped down and pulled her fifty feet into the air. Far below she saw the Four struggling to protect their girlfriends from strangely suited figures.
"And there is another thing... I had another vision..." Elliot whispered. "You see it now, don't you Mona?"
"Tell us..." Jeannie's voice broke in. So far she and Tyler had seen the dialogue, their own minds joined to those of Elliot and Mona as they mind chatted.
"There is a threat that KISS faced. A very unusual one. That caused gaps in their memories. And when I tried to probe deeper, I realized that they must have used the same powers to combat it as we have now..."
"The powers we have?" Jeannie muttered.
"Tell them about the box..." Tyler urged.
"What box?" Mona stammered.
"Remember there was that box we knocked over in the earthquake, and it dropped open... just before the flash of the explosion hit?" said Tyler. "Well... last night we looked all over the mansion, and we came across it... and you wouldn't believe what we found..."
"What?"
"Four strange objects," Elliot said.
"You're shitting me, right?" Jeannie asked.
"They really do exist?" Mona whispered.
"Yes. I'm looking right at them now... larger than life..."
"Is that why then... we changed?"
"At first that is what I thought," Elliot said. "But our powers... I held the Star... and it suddenly opened up doors in my powers I had no clue existed. I saw so many things at once..."
"Stop the riddle crap and spill!" Tyler scolded.
"Anyway, I was able to use the star Talisman to probe the sectors of time... and memory... and I realized that they had been used several dozen times in the last part of the twentieth century."
"So if we don't have them here, why can we still use our powers?"
Jeannie asked. "If the Talismans exist, and they are the source..."
"They aren't the only source. Remember the instruments we found?"
"The guitars..."
"Yes... somehow the instruments act as transmitters for the Talismans's energy... it reaches across space and time..."
"And you figured all that out by a vision?" asked Jeannie.
"Yes... and no..." Elliot's voice came. "I'm still trying to make sense of it... there was another more disturbing part of the vision. A few days from now... there is going to be some sort of danger... a threat facing our world's future..."
"Not another comet?" asked Mona.
"No... but someone will threaten the lives of the girls of Sweet Revenge... a great evil... and only those that have the Power can stop it..."
"Say what?" asked Jeannie.
"Well, it's like... well..." Tyler muttered. "Would you believe... other time travelers?"
"Now I'm going nuts," said Mona.
"There are those that are trying to change the past... for their own benefit. To make certain that the catastrophe happens. That we never will exist to change it... and they are going to try and kill our mothers and fathers..."
"Can't we stop them?"
"We can... or KISS can..." said Tyler.
"You don't mean..."
"Then you mean we are the ones... that give them their Talismans... and that's where their powers derived from," Mona gasped.
"No way..." Jeannie muttered. "This is unreal!"
"No more unreal then time travel," said Elliot from the future. "We are the ones that must convey the power..."
"But it's hard enough for us to use what we've got! Who's gonna show KISS how to use their powers?" asked Jeannie.
"It's up to you..." Tyler said.
"Get real, what can we do? We can't teach them what we hardly know..." Mona snorted.
"There is no alternative," said Elliot ominously. An uncomfortable silence ensued.
"Who are these time bandits?" asked Jeannie, changing to more practical manners.
"Survivors of the comet's blast. I don't know much more... but they were responsible for blowing up the rocket that would have diverted its course. Tyler and I fended some of these time bandits off... and sent them away. But they laughed... saying he and I didn't have much time before California itself would sink under the sea due to the geological upheaval..."
"He means we don't have much more time..." Tyler clarified.
"Then you have to come back here, into the past!" said Mona, placing hands against the table and pushing herself up to a standing position. "Bring the Talismans with you!"
"Wait, have them come back to 1976 too?" asked Jeannie, grabbing her arm and forcing her to sit down again. "Are you nuts?"
"It's the only way! How can you not think of wanting them to be safe?" Mona cried.
"She's right... we must come back too, if we are to exist... and stop the course of events from leading to destruction..." said Elliot.
"I'm not there to send you back..." said Mona.
"It's okay... can you home in on where my mind is if I give you a mental picture?" Elliot asked. He directed an image of him and Tyler, the ground cracking and heaving under them. In their hands they held a velvet box which seemed very familiar. Just before the earthquake the ground had slipped like jelly, knocking the box off a shelf. It had spilled its contents, bright flashes of light blinding them momentarily. For just a minute they had felt the influx of vast energies searing their minds, which then were gone.
Automatically they had reached for the instruments, hung high in racks on the wall. It was instinctive, almost preprogrammed. A reflex that urged them to hold the instruments in their hands and pick up the box, snapping it shut. Sirens blared in their ears, bringing them to their senses, the distant screams and crackling of fires. A huge roar and whoosh of air knocked them off their feet when every window exploded inwards in a shower of glass.
They huddled together on the floor, Mona reaching out to embrace them all. That was when she felt the explosion of light in her brain, while a gland oozed a chemical and set off a chain reaction that snatched them away. Seconds later they appeared, to see the ruined building around them, a jagged destroyed landscape just outside their window.
A time hop, a quantum leap had been made. Information jumbled in their brains, and they found they were holding the instruments in their hands. Somehow they instinctively knew their purpose, but their reason refused to accept it.
"We knew what we had to do, but because we didn't believe it, it made it harder," said Tyler's voice.
"The powers came easily, like instinct..."
"It was easier when I didn't have to think about it..." Jeannie realized.
"But will it be easy for them?" asked Mona. Now she saw in her mind's eye Tyler and Elliot, dodging falling bits of masonry. Again the ground heaved, knocking them to their feet. Intense heat seemed to pervade the air, hot blasts of sulfurous air leaking from cracks that snaked along the floor.
"Get out of there... now!" Mona screamed. It was happening, the San Andreas Fault splitting California down the seams, a final event set off by the collision of comet with continent, freeing years and centuries of pent up stress. To be released in the real big one....
"Don't forget your instruments!" Jeannie cried.
"When..." Mona asked.
"Now..." Elliot whispered. "The way must be opened now..."
"Elliot! Tyler!" she screamed, reaching out across space and time to embrace them. Silver glitter exploded in the next instance, and they were gone, seconds before the ground caved into a sinkhole. Dust rose everywhere in choking clouds.
"Holy shit!" Jeannie gasped. Crouching in the crowded kitchen were two figures, their painted faces blackened with dirt and grime. Still they wore their glittering costumes, brushing the dust off of their shoulders.
"That was a close call," Tyler said to Elliot, who was holding the rhinestone studded guitar slung across his back. Under Tyler's arm he clenched a velvet box, about the size of a man's jewelry case.
"Guys!" Mona cried, holding her arms out to them. Tyler set the box on the kitchen table automatically, turning to her voice.
“Where the hell are we?" asked Tyler, finally looking up into the surprised faces of Jeannie and Mona.
"Shut up and come here, you!" Jeannie cried, latching her arms around Elliot's neck. She sealed her lips to his red painted ones. His eyes widened with surprise and astonishment, mirrored in Mona's shocked
face.
"Thank God you're alive!" Mona cried as she threw herself at Tyler, hugging him close. His arms tightened around her waist, drawing her in. How like Peter he felt, muscular and strong. Before
she could stop herself, she covered his mouth with hers, sharing a deep kiss.
"Are we interrupting something?" came a familiar voice that made the two couples jump apart. A cackle of astonishment echoed in the small kitchen. Four confused faces regarded the girls and the newcomers
with astonishment.
"Stowaways!" Ace laughed.
"Where the hell did you come from?" Gene bellowed.
"Oh... kay... this is interesting," Paul shook his head.
"Man, someone tell me what the hell this is all about?" Peter added.
"Uh..." Jeannie and Mona muttered, looking at each other. Still they had their arms around Tyler and Elliot's waists. Both costumed guys were now thoroughly confused.
"Well?" Paul asked, resting his hands on his hips. "Are these the two guys who dumped you?"

Chapter 2
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