Other Fan Fiction ❯ KISS Next Generation ❯ Time Traveler ( Chapter 2 )

[ 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.
"How the hell did you get on this bus without anyone knowing?" Gene shouted. "And do you know how much trouble you're in?"
"Well, someone tell me what the hell is going on here?" Gene repeated, to the four shocked youths.
"Well... we're waiting..." Peter said.
"And it had better be good," Paul huffed. Who the hell were these people, especially the two newcomers that had materialized out of God knows where on KISS' private bus?
Elliot glanced around nervously, clinging more tightly to Jeannie as if for a grip on reality. Mona felt Tyler draw her more closely to his muscled sturdy body.
"I know you're not going to believe what we're about to say," Elliot started, clearing his throat.
"Oh really?" Gene frowned. "I can't believe this already!"
"Try us," Peter folded arms across his chest.
"Wait, let's hear what they have to say," Paul muttered. "Since they know the girls..."
"how did you get on this bus?" Peter asked.
"We materialized," said Tyler, matter of fact. "So doesn't that tell you something? If we were stowaways, your security guards would have found us before they would have even let you guys on..."
"He's got you there, Gene," said Ace.
"Your lives and the lives of Sweet Revenge are in jeopardy," Elliot said ominously, moving away from
Jeannie. Still he kept his hand clasped around hers.
"Say what?" Peter asked, raising an eyebrow.
"Who... what the hell are you?" Gene snapped.
"We're alien beings from another planet!" Mona blurted out. Ace's eyes widened, while the others shook their heads in disbelief.
"Are you nuts?" came Elliot's mind chat.
"Shh, listen, and go along with it..." came her thoughts in return.
"How else could they appear out of nowhere?" Ace nodded.
"But if you're aliens, smart guy, why are you dressed like KISS... like us?" Gene tapped his foot.
"This was the appearance that we chose... that would be the least shocking..." said Elliot, picking up on Mona's lead.
"You expect us to believe that crap?" Paul asked, looking betrayed at Jeannie.
"This is bullshit," Gene growled in his throat. "If you don't come up with a better story then this..."
"Chill!" Jeannie snapped, moving between Gene and Elliot. Suddenly a purple flash hit Gene in the face, freezing him rigid. His pupils dilated, and he stared straight ahead unblinking.
"What the hell happened?" Peter asked.
"It's a relaxation ray," Elliot explained. "I hate violence..."
"What did you do to him?" Paul demanded.
"Simply caused his brain to stop in mid thought, and all his muscles to contract. He'll be all right in a few seconds..." Elliot continued.
"You can't just shut people up!" Peter yelled at him.
"Believe me if we wanted to do this the easy way we'd have kicked your asses by now and tied you up!" Jeannie snapped. "But we never do things the easy way..."
"That sounds familiar," Paul muttered.
"Look guys, I think we need to check out what they have to say," Ace cut in, moving between Paul and the others. "I mean they have these killer powers..."
"If we meant you harm we would have done far worse than stun Gene," Tyler nodded.
"What planet are you from?" Ace asked practically.
"Barnard's Star," Mona breathed. "Where we come from, our scientists study earth history... and we're students..."
"Whoa," Ace grinned.
"But that's all we can tell you for now..." she explained. "What's more important is what we saw in this time period..."
"Wait a minute let me get this straight?" Peter held up his hands. "You mean I slept with an alien?"
"Who are humanoid," Mona clarified. "We have been studying the twentieth century. But there are aliens... others who want to change your world's history so they can invade your planet... it has certain strategic importance..."
"Whoa..." Paul shook his head. "This is unbelievable."
"Yeah..." said Ace with a faraway look in his eyes.
"As In I don't buy a word of it!" Paul added, hands knotting into fists.
"What must we do to convince you?" Elliot asked, frustrated.
"Show them the goods," Jeannie whispered to Tyler.
"Are you sure?" Tyler hissed back, clutching the box up off the kitchen table now under one arm. With his other he held Mona about the waist protectively.
"What is your mission?" Ace asked.
"To help save your planet's history. And by doing that we have to help you help yourselves, and your girlfriends in Sweet Revenge..." Elliot continued.
"That's full on," Ace muttered.
"What does Sweet REVENGE have to do with..." Peter asked.
"Monica... like her teachers has the ability to see changes that the enemy has made in your time line. She observed a plot to assassinate you in KISS by holding Sweet Revenge for ransom... and then when you tried to save them, they were bait for a trap... and all of you died in a horrible tragedy..."
"This is nuts!" Paul shook his head.
"I've had enough of this..." Peter snapped.
"Peter, it has everything to do with you," Tyler said. "For Liz's sake, you gotta believe us. If there is a chance you have to pay her back that five thousand dollars... won't you take it?"
"What the hell do you know about that!" Peter exploded.
Suddenly Gene snapped out of his trance, blinking. Seeing Tyler stepping forwards, Peter rushed forwards himself, fist upraised to strike. Nimbly Tyler dodged the blow, leaping onto the side of the wall to appear behind KISS. Gene whirled, rushing towards Tyler with his arms outreached. Suddenly they were all wrapped in a purple light, frozen solid.
"Let them go!" Paul shouted, seeing Peter and Gene suddenly floating in midair, their arms flailing.
"Hey!" Ace cried.
"For my sake Paul, listen! It doesn't have to be like this!" Elliot cried. "If you love Karen, you must!"
"Okay, I'm convinced!" Gene gritted. "Put me down!"
"Okay... so you have powers... but that doesn't mean we can trust you..." Peter shouted when he was levitated to the floor gently.
"You have no alternative. The choice is yours," said Elliot quietly.
"Show them the talismans, Tyler..."
Tentatively Tyler leapt over their heads, landing nimbly on his hands and tiptoes. He grabbed the box, swinging it open. KISS shielded their eyes when the bright flash of power invaded their gaze, white hot fire drilling into their minds and souls.
"Check it out!" Ace gasped.
"Holy..." Peter got out, but snapped his mouth shut.
"What is it?" Paul held a hand over his eyes.
"Mother F..." Gene stammered.
"You see before you objects of great power," Mona said. "These Talismans will grant you the ability to do great things, as you have seen us do..."
"The choice is yours...." Elliot said. "To accept the power... or refuse it..."
"Unbelievable," Paul muttered.
"Cool," Ace gasped.
"I don't get it," Peter shook his head.
"What's in it for you? Or us?" Gene asked.
"Great power, the ability to change destiny..." Jeannie said. "So what will it be?"
"Why us?" asked Gene.
"What's the matter? Are you chicken?" Jeannie asked. "Afraid of what your true potential may be?"
"That does it..." Gene snapped.
"What's the catch? We deserve to know," Peter said.
"That you use the power responsibly..." Elliot said slowly.
"But if we take these powers... who is going to teach us how to use them?" asked Paul.
"We will," Tyler nodded.
"Wait a minute... this is too much..." Paul shook his head.
"I agree. Why don't we stop somewhere we can think?" asked Mona. "While you make up your minds..."
Tyler snapped the box shut, and set it on the table. Moving away he joined his friends. Elliot folded arms across his chest, and regarded them. "The choice is yours. I trust it will be satisfactory if we wait
here..."
"You can't go around dressed like us," Gene muttered. "I mean... its copyright infringement..."
"How about all the fans who paint up like you?" asked Tyler.
"I mean... well, he means you guys might wanna change for now," said Ace. "If that's Jake with you..."
"Sure," said Tyler. A flash of energy surrounded them, and suddenly the two dressed figures were wearing what appeared to be normal fashions for the seventies: Tyler was casual in bell bottoms and a green T shirt.
"Whoa," ace nodded again.
"If only our costume changes were that fast," Peter shook his head. "Man, what I wouldn't give not to have to keep painting that crap on my face night after night! How did you?"
"Illusion," Elliot smiled. "One of my powers is to create reality from dreams. I appear as you would most likely expect a guy of my age to dress in this time... just like Mona and Jeannie and Tyler..."
"Okay, first things first," Gene muttered. "Let's get to our next destination... and then we'll let you know... we've got a concert to do tonight!"
"Whatever you say," Jeannie nodded. They all walked past KISS, taking seats on the bus while they left the box on the table.
"Let us know..." Tyler nodded. His honey blond hair hung loose about his shoulders, green eyes and freckled skin handsome and rugged. Something seemed familiar about him, Peter thought. Especially the dimples in his cheeks, and the build of his body. Strange how the color of his hair was almost identical to Liz's, and his freckles rampant like hers.
Paul wondered about Elliot, the olive skinned youth with the long curly hair much like his own. The dark eyes were almost black, and held a depth that startled him. Yet he had little hair on his body, almost clean shaven. The set of his face was very familiar, especially when he was in full Star-child makeup it was like looking into a mirror. His voice was mid range and resonant, making Paul wonder if the boy was a singer.
They continued on in silence for the next few hours. All sorts of thoughts passed through their minds, the disbelief of what had just happened rampant in their thoughts. What powers could they claim, and what would be the price? Ace glanced to Paul, then to the kitchen where the box sat quietly on the table. Gene pretended to ignore the visitors who sat in the front of the bus silently. Peter felt confusion swarming his brain at the revelation that Mona was far more then she seemed. Especially since she laid such a smooch on the guy they called Tyler when they discovered the two newcomers. Would that explain the strange silver flash in his brain the previous night?
Ace felt excitement building in his brain. Real space aliens, here on Earth! He could not wait to see what these talismans might allow them to do. Yet he was nervous about what the others would decide.
Gene still felt as if he had fallen into a comic book, and a cheesy one at that. How could this be possible? Super powers? Aliens? His instincts told him that the children were sincere, and yet he could not help but think there was a catch to this all. That bright flash from the box made him wonder if the talismans had a radioactive effect. What weaknesses might they encounter with prolonged exposure? Would it be addictive?
Paul's thoughts wandered to Karen. What threat could possibly face her, one who was so sweet? In his mind he knew that the children were impossible, but his heart told him he would take any chance to protect the woman he had come to know and love. Even if it meant facing an unknown and frightening frontier, he would not hesitate. He had seen what Elliot could do, and it was intriguing. The quick glances the teens were exchanging made him wonder if somehow they were talking mentally, mind to mind.
Much later, the box still sat in the kitchen. The bus had ground to a halt, and Gene exchanged meaningful glances at Paul. Slowly they rose in unison, moving to the back. The four youths were fast asleep; Mona rested her head and shoulders in Tyler's lap while Jeannie rested her head on Elliot's shoulder and he braced his head against hers.
"You wouldn't believe that they were aliens," Paul muttered to Gene.
"I don't buy it..." Gene muttered. "They just seem so... familiar..."
"What other explanation do you have Curly?" Ace asked.
"Why pick us?" Peter asked. "I know we are KISS and all, the hottest band in the world, but why would they choose us for these 'powers' or whatever it is they have?"
"Our reputation goes ahead of us..." Gene laughed deeply, tension breaking.
"No really, Gene," Paul shook his head. "What if what they are saying is true... about us and Sweet Revenge being in danger? Isn't it worth the risk to not take chances... on our lives?"
"I don't think they are aliens," Gene said slowly.
"And what makes you so sure?" Ace challenged him.
"Gut feeling," Gene said.
"Whatever and whoever they are, they're powerful. And I don't think we should argue with them... for now..." Peter raised a finger, punctuating each word. "Till we figure out what this is all about..."
"Right, Cat Man," Paul nodded. "How about you Gene. Are you in?"
"I'm in all the way," Ace cackled. "Even if we do end up in deep shit..."
"You're so far in you've got your head up your butt," Gene muttered.
"Hey," Ace snapped.
"Guys, what will it be?" Paul asked. "Do we go look at that box?"
"Or sit here and wonder what we should have never gotten into," Peter asked.
"Well... anything's better than sitting here doing nothing on our asses..." Gene muttered.
"Let's do it!" Paul said firmly, bracing hands against his knees. Decisively he rose, striding down the aisle of the bus towards the kitchen.
"C'mon let's get this over with," Peter sighed to Ace, throwing up his hands.
"Why not? What have we got to lose? This'll be awesome, just you wait! Power from outer space!"
"Better then hearing you go on about it, Space Ace," Gene muttered. Slowly they slid open the door, tiptoeing into the small chamber. Ace reached the box first, before they could hold him back.
"It's a pretty box," he grinned, reaching for it.
"Hey, don't just walk over there and..."
"Relax, I've got this covered!" Ace cackled, his hand contacting the velvet surface. Gene and Paul winced, squeezing their eyes shut. When nothing happened, they joined him in a circle around the small table.
"That's not all you got covered," Paul muttered.
"Open the damn box already if you're gonna do it..." Peter sighed.
"Give it here; I'm sick of this waiting around!" Gene grumbled, reaching for it himself.
"Wait..." Paul said. "Are we all sure about it that this is what we want?"
"It's only a goddamned box, Paul," Peter groaned. "Get on with it man!"
"He's right..." Gene said. "If we open this... there's no telling what might happen."
"That guy Tyler opened the box, and all we got was a flash in the face," Peter said. "Nothing changed..."
"Yet..." Gene muttered.
"Why don't we all open it at the same time?" Ace suggested.
"Why should that matter?" Peter rolled his eyes.
"IT's the way it's done in the comics," Gene snorted. "Damn this is so stupid..."
"On the count of three..." Paul said.
"Three!" Gene shouted, grabbing the bottom with Peter, while Ace and Paul swung the lid up. Nothing happened. No bright lights or strange surges of energy this time. Four shiny objects lay on a bed of red felt, shimmering in the light of the day.
"Oh... kay..." Paul muttered.
"Why didn't we see the light?" Ace asked.
"You're asking me that?" Gene shook his head.
"They're just... things..." Peter muttered. "No big deal..."
Slowly they picked up a talisman each, their hands moving for the respective one. When Ace's hand closed over the lightning bolt shape, he felt a buzz of power in his brain. Gene's hand closed over the dragon, feeling odd warmth in the cold metal. Paul felt a strange violet soothing energy move up his arm, while Peter suddenly smelled a very odd odor.
"What the hell is that stench? It stinks!" he sniffed, wincing.
"Whoa..." Paul muttered, suddenly hearing an odd whispering behind his ears. "Keep it down will you?"
"I didn't say anything..." Ace muttered. "Where's that static coming from I hear?"
Gene blinked with the strange warmth that surged over his body in a cascade of golden fire. He had only sensed this before on-stage, before thousands of fans, this sensation of invincibility. As if nothing or no one could hurt him. On the contrary, he could cause great harm to any threat, or so he felt at that moment.
"It's true," Peter whispered.
"It is," Paul added, standing up straighter with an erect posture that he could only duplicate on stage before the screaming fans. A depth came into his voice, a light of inner vision passing in the mahogany eyes that made them shiver. "The things... I can see..."
"Yeah... now this is a feeling I could live with... not too bad," Gene grinned, stretching his arms up into the air while he felt the next wave of well being flash through his nerves like fire.
"Guys... what now?" Peter asked.
"Why don't we ask them?" Ace said, pointing to the four figures standing at the door. In their full costumes they glistened, white faces echoing their own. Looking down at themselves the members of KISS were themselves transformed into black and silver, their Destroyer costumes.
"Whoa..." Peter muttered.
"Unreal..." Paul agreed.
"Oh yeah," Gene drew in his breath.
"Wow," Ace got out.
"So... you made up your minds?" Jeannie asked, her face suddenly flushed white and black with the power of the Demon. Striding up to her, Gene met her gaze with his. "Now that that's over with, what next? Some sappy speech about using our powers for the good of mankind?"
"That comes later," Mona grinned.
"All right, now what?" Paul shrugged, looking to Jeannie.
"Good question..." Elliot nodded.
***

The last few weeks had proved the most difficult and challenging, Gene reflected. In a matter of hours their whole lives had changed forever, and he was living a life he would only find previously between the pages of his favorite comic books.
"Strange," Gene muttered with a light laugh. Beside him landed the Dragon Lady, a perplexed look on her face.
"What?" she asked, laying a hand on his arm. The whole concert stage was already set up, the huge sign and framework set into position. All roadies had been cleared from the stadium, told that KISS was "perfecting new special effects."
"How they bought it," Gene turned to her. His height was slightly more than hers, brown eyes fixing into dragon green ones. Even though her platform boots were seven inch as his were, she was still a tall woman without them, he judged. When he and Paul had compared notes on their encores the next day he'd recalled what Paul had to say about the Dragon Lady...
"God Gene there was something familiar about her... it was damned spooky..."
"Other than the makeup?" Gene teased him.
"She seemed a hell of a lot like you... when she took it off. It spooked the hell out of me... she had legs up to heaven, and the curves on her body..."
"Uh huh..." Gene said, leaning over to hear Paul continue.
"If I was a sports car I'd hug them for damned sure," Paul whispered back. Peter continued to sip his coffee next to Ace, listening with half interest.
"Well did you have an interesting rocket ride with the Star Maiden?" Ace muttered sullenly, as if he had been denied playing with a favorite toy.
"I'll just leave it your imagination, Ace," Peter teased him. Ace grumbled and slurped down the milk from his frosted flakes loudly. "Besides, you had a nice gal, so what the hell are you bitching about?"
"I get her next," Ace said, wagging his spoon at Peter menacingly.
"Oh yeah, you try that. When she has the makeup off don't you think she looks a little too familiar?" Peter cautioned him. "I'd swear she had the same goddamned laugh you do!"
"That girls a little spitfire, eh Paul?" Gene said to him. "Too bad their boyfriends showed up..."
"Are you gonna say that when we meet up with the gals?" Paul asked him. "Sure Jeannie was a nice diversion. But she's not the main attraction. Hell of a substitute for the one I really want..."
"Uh huh," Gene laughed. "We're not that different Paul. You just romance the hell out of a good night's lay... admit it... that's the only separation from you and me..."
"I resent that," Paul joked back. "Anyway, what's wrong with a little teasing and pleasing? For me its quality, not quantity..."
"Whatever floats your boat, dude," Gene laughed.
The Demon's mind came soaring back to the present as he admired the contours beneath that body suit. Yet he had to admit there was something dastardly familiar about her that compelled him to keep her at arm's length, instead of his usual flirting the more time he spent in her presence. What was the old saying about familiarity breeding contempt? No hatred here, only a distance that prevented him from taking her into his bed. As if he'd be committing incest by doing so. Such a thought made Gene laugh. It was ridiculous of course. How could she possibly be related to him?
"Well, it's amazing what you can pass off, when you know the right cover story," she laughed, a deep alto laugh.
"I still don't freaking believe it myself," Gene snorted. "Super powers..."
"You should have seen us... when we first started out..." Jeannie snorted back. "You think this was easy for us to figure out?"
"Hell no," Gene nodded curtly. "But right now, why don't we take five. There's two cans of Fresca with our names on them... if you get my meaning doll..."
"You're on," she said, as he wrapped an arm around her shoulder and conducted her towards the green room. Already Ace sat there opposite Mona, his Gibson on his lap. In soft tones he relayed instructions to her, and she struggled to duplicate the complex fingerings.
"It's easy when you know how..." he said to her.
"Easy for you to say," she grumbled.
"Hey guys, we're back!" Trish grinned as she swung open the door to the green room. Ace flinched momentarily, glancing up from the guitar lessons to Mona.
"Uh... hi... Trish," he cackled. "Didn't expect you so soon..."
"Miss me?" she asked, and Ace held out an arm to her. Mona was temporarily forgotten when Ace pulled Trish onto his lap, moving his guitar to his back momentarily. Curling his arm around her waist he moaned softly when her kiss touched his lips. The look of tenderness on his face when they withdrew startled and frightened Mona.
"He really loved her..." she whispered.
"Hey Monica... this is Trish... Trish... meet my new Guitar tech... I was just giving her lessons..."
"Hi..." Trish grinned, no look of jealousy present. Feeling very uncomfortable Mona mumbled a greeting and excused herself quickly from the room.
She brushed past Tyler, who was just helping to carry a set of drums out to the main stage area. He grabbed at her when he saw the tears glistening in her eyes.
"Hey what's up?" he asked her. "Why the tears..."
"He really loved her... and she had no idea of his true nature," she sniffed, wiping the hot tears out of her eyes.
"Hey... look, you can't change nature baby..."
"My dad was a rock and roll star, and he has any woman he wants. What makes my mom any different? Why does she fawn over someone like that..."
"Like what?" Tyler asked, taking her arms in his hands. With his thumbs he caressed her lightly.
"Tell me."
"He doesn't even let on to her that he slept with someone else when they were gone..."
"Well, they knew what they were getting into..."
Pulling away from him, she ran off towards the sound stage, weeping bitterly. Jeannie strode up near him, still in her costume and makeup.
"What's with her?" she asked.
"Oh, reality," Tyler sighed. "And me saying the wrong damned thing again..."
"Let me talk to her," Jeannie suggested, stopping him from going after her. When she finally found Mona the girl was huddled on a stack of crates, her face in her bent knees.
"Hey, I thought you were a little old for hide and seek," Jeannie said.
"Go way Jeannie I don't wanna talk..."
"Tough," Jeannie said, perching next to her. "Cause I feel like listening. And even if you're not gonna say anything, I'm gonna sit here and make sure you don't do anything you might regret..."
"Leave me alone..."
"I could do that... but that wouldn't make me a very good friend now, would it..."
"Kiss off," Mona muttered.
"You're learning all sorts of interesting colorful metaphors from the boys... any others you care to try?" Jeannie asked.
"Why are you...?” Mona began to shout.
"Who are you pissed at? Me or someone else?"
"I don't know... I really don't know..." Mona sighed, lifting her head from her lap and looking at Jeannie.
"Then what's the tears for? There's gotta be something eating you... and I'm damned if you don't tell me what it is..."
"Why do you..."
"I'm your friend, that's why dummy," Jeannie said, nudged her knee. "And since Tyler just put his foot in his mouth, and Elliot's still giving power lessons... looks like I'm the designated ear to listen..."
"Aren't you a little bit disappointed when you see what Gene's really like?"
"Girlfriend I knew what he was like. You didn't even meet your dad. That's probably why this is like a slap in the face huh?"
"It's like looking into a large and uncomfortable mirror..." Mona grumbled, wiping away tears with a tissue Jeannie handed her. "And I wonder what could possibly be good about..."
"Hey, don't go there. Unless you look at the fact that you're a fusion of two people. And even if there is a lot of Ace in you, it's the good part of the deal. Plus, you and he have one big thing in common..."
"What is that?"
"The ability to make choices," Jeannie reminded her, resting an arm on Mona's shoulders. "You may share half of his genes, but that doesn't mean it's good or bad. It's only part of who you are. And if it was genetics alone that determined who you are... why have free will?"
"But we're witnessing history..."
"And we're changing it... even in the future. Ace always had a choice. Can you get angry for him now when he has his whole life ahead of him? Now is the time to make a difference. You have a choice... either mope here and bitch, or do something now..."
"Genetics has no bearing on who you are?" Mona asked. "You're so much like him... the Demon... it's scary..."
"I'll take that as a compliment... because right now I'm not exactly looking forward to seeing Mom when she shows up..." Jeannie sighed, drawing up her dragon boots to fold them as she leaned on the crate by her friend.
"Why not?"
"Who do you think got it into their head that Dad would be a bad influence on poor little innocent me?" Jeannie asked. "I never told you this... but I actually remembered when Mom and Dad were living together. One Hollywood party where my mom had to go somewhere, and Dad threw a huge promo party. I saw the women hanging on him, and I was so damned confused. But you know what, they were so nice to me... sure my mom bitched and whined that they were air heads that dad used as sperm receptacles, but I remember one of my Dad's other women who used to take me out after my parents split up... and Dad would have me on weekends... her name was Shannon... and she was one of the nicest women I met. She was the one who bought me my first bra... and got me my first makeover..."
"I take it your mom didn't care for either..."
"She was into the natural look. God forbid I should wear any makeup or anything more feminine then Daisy dukes..." Jeannie laughed. "Shaving legs was considered not important. Shannon also taught me how to shave mine... that one summer when Dad insisted on having me. I was only 12... and since my mom was called away to Mt. St. Helens to study the second eruption... that's where I went..."
"What did you think of your dad? I mean since you grew up around him..."
"That summer was the last time I saw him for about four years... cause my mom and he had a huge argument, and she filed some complaint, and the legal system screwed with visitation. I was pissed at him for not fighting to see me. Then I remember that time that my mom went to study volcanoes in the Antarctic. She made some quick calls, and insisted that it was okay if Dad took me in. She couldn't take me along, and I was pulled out of my high school and dumped into West Beverly. I remember I wouldn't speak to her when she called to see if I was okay."
"I knew that part..." Mona said. "And the last thing you said to her was..."
"I hate you... for keeping me away from Dad.” Jeannie laughed sadly. "And then the next phone call wasn't her. It was her supervisor. Turned out that she had perished in a blizzard trying to signal help for her fellow scientists. They found them, but didn't find her..."
"I'm sorry..."
"Yeah... well life sucks. But I remember my Dad coming into my room, and he found me curled up on the floor, not wanting to talk to anyone. Do you know what he did?"
"What?"
"He laid down next to me, and just curled up around me. We must have spent the next twelve hours, from dawn till dusk on that floor. I couldn't speak or move. He just held me when I cried, hugging me from behind. But he wouldn't leave my side... for anything. Then when I finally woke up the next day he laughed lightly and said that he loved her too..."
"That's the problem. You knew your father... I didn't,' Mona sighed.
"My point is, that a lot of people saw him as an egotistical asshole and skirt chaser," said Jeannie. "But I saw him as a loving and caring father. You know he wouldn't let me go out with a guy till he'd sat down with him and asked him every detail of his life? What a dad! I think he scared most of them off!"
"Oh god," Mona laughed, at the mental image of the big bad Demon flashing his tongue at a line of young men who sought a night out with Jeannie. The pain inside her stomach lessened a little bit, and she let the other girl hug her close as she let her own tears drip down her chain mail costume.
"Made you laugh, didn't it?" Jeannie grinned.
"You're something else..."
"And you didn't want to talk..."
"Because you wouldn't shut up!" Mona blurted out with a laugh.
"Let's go find the guys now," Jeannie suggested. Taking her hand she pulled her friend off the crate and led the way to the green room. The sounds of soft talking came from within, and already Elliot stood by the door, his ear to it.
"There's a punishment for eavesdropping," Jeannie whispered, making him jump.
"Shit, you could have let me know you where..."
"Shh..." Mona urged, putting a hand over Elliot's mouth.
"Paul's talking to her... now..." Elliot said slowly. Suddenly Jeannie grabbed both her friends hands
when she heard approaching footsteps.
"Use your illusion and make us disappear!" she hissed in his ear. They faded from view when Peter
walked by with a tall honey blonde woman. Her long peasant skirt swished around her legs as she
walked, her eyes fixed concertedly into his. After them Elliot shivered at the sight of the jet haired woman with light blue eyes which were fixed into Ace's soft brown ones.
"What are they talking about?" Mona asked.
"Let me think... I think I can form a mental link... and see from within..." Elliot said softly, eyes flaring lavender. Taking Jeannie and Mona's hands, they both saw through his inner third eye, into the room beyond. Already Paul Stanley sat by the shapely woman with the dark curly hair and the hazel eyes.
Gene patted the sofa next to a stocky strong woman, her shoulder length black hair streaked with encroaching auburn. Green eyes, a shade darker then Jeannie's fixed questioningly into his. The hippie sat by Peter, while Ace sat the jet haired slender beauty on his lap.
"Gals, it's great to see you and all, but there's something we have to tell you..." Paul said, taking Karen's hand and softly stroking it.
"If it's about you having other women on the road, we already guessed that," Trish laughed. "We're not innocent of sampling the merchandise either... well... most of us..." Karen glared at her. "Well, maybe a few of us. Anyway, we know what your life on the road's like."
"It's something different than that," Gene coughed. "We're not the same..."
"We've... changed," Peter got out.
"You're not secretly gay are you?" Karen frowned at Paul.
"No," he laughed. "Wish it were something that simple... no... We're as straight as straight can be..."
"This has nothing to do with sex or sexual orientation," Gene coughed.
"Strangely enough," Trish cracked, before Karen thumped her on the shoulder.
"What's wrong...?” Karen asked Paul, stroking her hand over his.
"Is our record deal fallen through or something?" Marcy asked.
"No... I wish it were that mundane," Gene sighed. "It's like this..."
"We've changed..." Peter repeated. "We're no longer just four guys who play rock n' roll..."
"Something incredible has happened," Ace announced. "Something way cool and totally alien..."
"Excuse me?" Trish said, raising an eyebrow.
"Ladies... we... we're more than human," Paul announced.
"Much more..." Gene added.
"So if you're totally freaked by what we're about to tell you, we'll be cool with whatever you
decide, okay?" Peter said, patting Liz' thigh.
"Gene, what is it?" Marcy asked. "Spit it out before we go crazy..."
"Well... we met some alien beings from another planet..." Ace blurted out.
"Oh man Ace!" they all groaned.
"You're joking right?" Trish laughed.
"No... We aren't. God knows I wish we were," Paul sighed.
"You didn't get abducted did you?" Trish asked.
"No... But we were given special objects... of power..." Gene gritted out, hardly able to believe he
was saying such ludicrous words.
"What?" the girls all asked in unison.
"Corrupt or good power?" Liz suddenly asked.
"Power to do good," Paul said. "Amazing super powers... to prevent a disaster..."
"You're kidding, right?" asked Karen.
"No..." Gene sighed. "It sounds totally crazy. But it's true. We have incredible powers... that set us apart from other men..."
"You and your damned comic books," Marcy groaned.
"It's true! Look!" Ace cried and suddenly vanished out from under Trish in a flash of silver glitter.
"Oh my god!" Karen cried.
"Holy shit..." Marcy got out as Ace appeared halfway across the room.
"It's happened," Liz whispered.
"Don't be scared... please..." Ace held out his hand to Trish, who sat there stunned.
"It's true... all of it..." Paul insisted. "Show them Gene..."
A shot of fire breathed from Gene's throat, and suddenly beside Marcy sat the Demon in full costume and makeup. Each of them blazed in purple, blue, and green energies suited to their talismans, becoming their on stage personas.
"Oh man..." Liz gasped. "It's happened... just like my dream..."
"Say what?" asked Trish, shivering in fear.
"We are the Four... who are One..." Paul said, voice tinged with an astral chime, like crystal on crystal. "Do not be afraid..."
"Are you still... Paul?" Karen asked, shivering with fear and excitement.
"Yes... and much more..." he said, extending a hand to her.
"Good grief," Marcy gasped, taking in the look of the Demon. He stood even taller than ever, his dark eyes fixing into hers with a red undertone. Something simultaneously frightening and sexual flashed over her with animalistic force. Green eyes fixed into his, filled with fear and excitement.
"Peter... you are as the King of Beasts," Liz whispered, running a hand over silky fur.
"You knew about this?" he asked her. "I'm gonna show you something that might scare you... but keep an open mind..."
"Peter..." she whispered. "Why are you so serious?"
"Keep back..." he whispered, and stepped away. Suddenly there was a flash of green energy, blinding as it washed over his form. Before her he stood in Catman makeup and his Destroyer costume, the silver body suit with the silver flash down his chest.
"How did you do that?" she asked. "That's... that's..."
"I've changed... we've all changed, baby... but that's not al..."
Black silky fur spread over his hands, covering them as sharp claws protruded from his fingers. His eyes glowed green as grass, when he arched onto all fours and climbed up the nearest tree. Astonished, Liz watched him. "Peter... that's amazing... it... it's..."
He jumped down before her, costume and makeup fading as he returned to human form. "Don't be scared... I wouldn't blame you if you were freaked..."
"It... I don't believe it. It's my dream..." Liz gasped, taking his hands.
"Say what?" Peter shouted in surprise. "You are the King of Beasts..."
"Say what?" he asked her, surprised as she moved over to peer into his eyes.
"It was my dream! In it you were the King of Beasts, lord of the Earth and creatures. And you had the power to change at will... into the Black Lion... and I was your mate, the Tigress..."
"You dreamed that I would turn into a cat?" Peter asked, not believing his ears.
"Yes... I've always had this mystical power to dream the future... and I didn't tell you because I didn't think you'd believe in it..."
"Did you see this that night you freaked out?"
"Yes... but I saw you... fighting a serpent! And you died!!!"
"Whoa, this is too weird," Trish sighed, and Ace caught her, appearing out of nowhere at her side.
She gasped with fear and terror for a moment to feel Ace's hands on her. "Baby... it's still me..."
"In Ace's case it's not a big change," Peter cracked, changing back into his more conventional Catman made-up personal.
"So you see..." Gene said, standing before Marcy. "That's why we weren't too cool about you suddenly showing up..."
"Gene, I'm glad you told us now..." Marcy said, walking up and laying a hand on his metal breastplate.
"Paul... you may have changed, but have your feelings towards me changed as well?" Karen asked him.
"No... But I'd understand if yours did..." he turned his back.
"Paul, you could give me a chance to get used to this..." Karen said, laying a hand on his arm as she strode on platform sandals to stand at his side. She slipped her hand into his.
"You mean that?" he asked.
"Of course..." she said.
"Gene, what did happen?" Marcy asked.
"Come with us..." He said, taking her hand in his clawed one. The talons closed around her small hand without so much as scratching hers.
They all walked out of the green room toward the dressing trailer. Four couples facing an uncertain future. Right past their invisible observers they strode, disappearing into the door covered with a
single gold star.
"Heavy," Mona muttered.
"Well, they know now," Elliot muttered.
"We'd better keep a low profile now," Jeannie nodded. Still they continued to follow, seeing the visions through Elliot's mind link.
Four faces within the room lit up with wonder when Peter opened the velvet box, revealing the four talismans within. Liz gasped and stared straight into the energies seething within, while Trish hid her face, and Marcy and Karen looked to their lovers.
"Mystical," Liz whispered.
"Incredible," Marcy breathed.
"Unreal," Karen added.
"Awesome," Trish shook her head. "So these are the source of your powers?"
"Yes," Paul explained, snapping the lid shut. "Without them... no powers... we're just ordinary people..."
"Which reminds me guys, don't we have an ordinary thing to do tonight?" Peter asked.
"What?" Ace asked.
"That banquet," Peter said.
"Shit I forgot!" Paul put a hand to his head. "How can we go like this..."
"We must go," Gene said. "We can't keep Bob Ezrin and Bill Aucoin waiting. KISS is the guest of honor... even if it is an ass kissing party..."
"But after what happened..." Karen said.
"WE still have a rock and roll band to run," Gene said pragmatically. "You ladies up to being our dates?"
"We'd love to have you... if you wouldn't mind," Paul said.
"Maybe you could show us a little more of your superpowers," Trish grinned, nudging Ace.
"Oh boy," Peter rolled his eyes. "Here it comes..."

Outside the room, Jeannie glanced from Mona to Elliot, whispering, "Something tells me we should go along..."
"Definitely," Elliot nodded. "Something tells me something big is coming up."
"I feel the buzzing in my mind... that first focal point is close," Mona nodded. "We should stay close to them..."
"Where's Tyler?" asked Jeannie.
"Dunno..." Mona muttered.
"Wait he's here..." Elliot whispered. "Not too far away... I think he was listening at the other door..."
"Well, what do you know?" Jeannie grinned. "There's something to be said about tried and true methods after all... without all the head trip stuff..."
"C'mon... let's get him and decide what our next move it..." Elliot nodded.
***
That night Bob Ezrin held a large party in the top floor penthouse in Central Park west. Celebrities and hangers on swarmed around the rooftop garden and in the large vaulted ceiling of the living room. Metallic stairs led from one level to another of the large penthouse, large spaces of living drifting one into the other. Large red and orange curtains hung over the twenty foot windows that overlooked Manhattan in all its nighttime glory.
KISS cut an interesting figure as they strode in the large cocktail party in full silver and black glory. Paul slipped Karen's hand into his arm, her long purple evening gown sweeping the floor. Marcy followed close behind with the Demon, her own ruby red dress hanging loose about her shapely hips. Gene towered head and shoulders over her, even though she wore six inch platform shoes. Bringing up the rear were Ace and Trish, the latter in a silvery sequined gown which clung to her slender hips, complete with a neckline that plunged nearly to her mid stomach. By far the most unusual gown graced Liz' form, an emerald green velvet dress that billowed around her ankles, obscuring any hint of shoes. Her hair was swept up into an elaborate basket weave, unlike the hair of the other three who wore their locks loose about their shoulders. Marcy noted with a laugh that Gene's hair was longer then hers.
"Want some punch?" Paul asked Karen, who let him lead her past the bevy of photographers. Warm hazel eyes fixed into his, and she answered him with a smile.
"This place is driving me nuts," Peter muttered to Liz. Stiffly he walked in his form fitting body suit, lights dancing off the large silver cross on his chest.
"Why don't we go outside?" she suggested. "I know we're far from the ground, but those green trees are calling..."
"Sounds good to this cat," Peter nodded. Four couples dispersed into the room, each taking their date to a different location in the large sea of guests.
"Let's find somewhere more private," Marcy suggested to Gene, pulling him by his gloved hand towards the stairs. He had seen Ace and Trish wander off towards the kitchen, where drinks were being mixed up, and strange clouds of smoke wafted up from the interior. To one side Paul and Karen nestled together on a sectional sofa and answered the multitude of questions showered on them by the nest of reporters. Paul always did love the spotlight, Gene laughed to himself.
"I'm with you, doll," Gene rumbled to Marcy. Dragon boots stomped up the metal stairs, followed by the tap of her own platform shoes after him. Fewer people sat and chatted on the second floor, sipping vodka and gin quietly amidst light conversation.
"Want to take a flight?" Marcy asked Gene. He raised an eyebrow to her, odd expression crossing his face.
"Here and now?" he asked jokingly, a seductive tone in his voice.
"Yes, here and now... Gene..." she grinned. "Show me what this Jeannie has taught you..."
"You asked for it," Gene laughed back, mood lightening for the first time that night. He hated the Hollywood butt kissing parties of late, and longed for some getaway, any getaway from the insanity his life had become. Could these powers be a refuge instead of a prison?
He was about to find out.
"Let's go to the roof," Gene suggested, taking her hand and leading her up a flight of stairs. They were in the penthouse of one of the movie stars, which included a huge vaulted ceiling with a wrought iron staircase leading up to top floors. They wended their way upwards, leaving the frenzied chatter behind them into relative silence. Into a small bedroom they crept, and Marcy tugged him toward the bed.
"I thought you wanted to fly," he grinned.
"Not without wings. With wings this time," she whispered, tugging him away from the bed, and towards the small window. She wrestled with it to get it open, and Gene finally helped her unstick it and push it up. They were so high up that there were no bars on this window, and she pulled the screen out, pulling it into the window.
"Wait... what are you doing?" Gene asked. "If you wanna go out... there's a balcony down the hall..."
"Oops... sorry," she laughed, when he lead her to the bedroom next door. Sliding glass doors led to a balcony along the far wall. Both of them sneaked over, sliding the door open onto the balcony beyond. Nighttime air wafted their hair in its gentle caress, and Gene watched her chest rise and fall as she took in a huge breath.
"Was getting stuffy in there," she laughed. "Don't you feel better already?"
"Definitely," Gene nodded, moving over toward her. Already the son had long set; the moon slowly rose in the star filled sky. Clearing his mind of all distractions he focused deep inside where a spark of energy formed. With a mere thought it expanded to flood his whole being with raging fire. Before her the seven foot figure unfurled midnight wings to reveal his massive silvery armor replete with spikes and chains.
"Amazing!" she breathed, leaning back against the railing.
"Wanna come over here and give this Demon a proper welcome," he joked, extending a claw to her. "Mm I don't know..." she laughed, sitting on the edge of the railing.
"Marcy... careful now..." he urged. Suddenly she leaned back too far, and grabbed quickly to the railing. Backwards she toppled, with a gasp. Gene moved between heartbeats, grabbing her by the front of her dress quickly.
"You should know better than to pull a stunt like that! What if I wasn't here to catch you?"
"Well you were here, weren't you... and it got your adrenaline going... more so then that stupid party..."
"You're a naughty girl, scaring me like that..." he shook a talon at her. Her hand closed over his gauntleted wrist, stroking her fingers against the rough armored skin. Raising a dragon boot he set it on the railing, while he slipped one arm under her knees. Effortlessly he lifted her and pushed himself over the railing into the empty air below. She gripped his neck tightly, gasping with excitement as he dropped nearly twenty feet, both wings spanning to eclipse the moon and stars. They leveled out with nothing but the midnight wind keeping them aloft.
"Got your adrenaline going, didn't it?" Gene laughed, clutching her close to his armored chest.
"Hmm... yes... but I think I know something that will get you going..." she laughed back. Warm soft lips closed over his the next minute, and Gene growled lightly in response into her throat. It was difficult to peer around her dark short hair that tickled his face to see where he was going.
Lightly she removed her lips and nibbled a path down his white jaw to where his neck was exposed just before the collar of his chest plate. Moving his own lips he captured her mouth with his own demanding one, fangs parting to bruise her lips slightly. Her tongue danced delicately between the razor sharp fangs to touch his. It took great self control not to sink those teeth into her tongue, so he curled his own around hers, stroking it lightly between the closed space of their warm mouths.

A muffled roar sounded in his throat, followed by an accidental nip which drew blood on her lip. "I donut think this is a good idea," he growled low. "What if I hurt you, cause some serious damage?"
"I trust you..." she whispered. "I've faced much worse..."
"How long can you hang on," he grinned wickedly.
"Try me?" she met his challenge. The Demon worked her legs around his torso while she wound her arms around his massive neck. He positioned her above the belt, well clear of the armored codpiece and
spikes circling his waist. Together they dipped and circled in low arcs under the moon. Slowly the
dance became more and more intricate. Against his massive arms he felt her breath quickening, warm
soft lips raining kisses and soft nips on his cheeks and neck.
"What the?" Peter wondered when something fluttered down from on high. A scrap of red cloth wafted
down, hitting him on the head. Liz jumped back, whisking the material off of him.
"What is this some joke?" she asked.
"No wait..." Peter said, and looked more carefully at the cloth. A grin spread across his face when he took a closer look at it, nostrils flaring as he took in the strange musky scent wafting into his nose.
"Wait a minute... that looks like..." Liz whispered
"Looks like someone's getting it on," Peter laughed.
"You don't mean..."
"Uh huh," he grinned. "Do I ever mean!"
"How is that possible?" she asked.
"The same way this is..." he whispered. From the shadows Tyler nudged Mona, both in their costumed forms. It was in the nature of Tyler's power to cloak his form in shadow, and extend the effect to Mona crouched next to him.
"This is really weird," she whispered to him. "Like that old Back to the Future flick..."
"I should have watched those old films with you," Tyler laughed.
"So isn't it weird, knowing those two are your..."
"Yeah... but it's kinda cool. He's so gentle with her... and she's so way out it makes sense..."
"Can they handle it?" Mona asked. "What they are about to face?"
"I dunno... you and Elliot are the ones who saw what was going to happen..."
"We saw what might happen," Mona clarified. "And the focus has changed. For what happens now is even more critical then the second in the future..."
"You didn't tell me the focus shifted," Tyler began, before she put a hand over his lips.
"I didn't want you to worry. I was afraid that Elliot would suggest we leave them... to face the danger alone if he knew how great it was going to be. But I kept part of the vision hidden. You see Tyler, we were here... and we have to be here. Because only with our help can KISS survive, and save our mothers..."
"Why keep it from him?"
"He would worry... because what might happen... is that one of us might have to die..." Mona whispered. "So that the others might be born... in the future..."
"What?"
"Yes... changing Time and Fate doesn't come without a price. I saw in my dreams last night... that a death will be demanded... and you won't like to hear the rest of it..."
"I'm hating it already... what does this omen crap have to do with..."
"Everything. We've already made changes. Perhaps for the betterment of the future. By us being here we have made KISS realize they are not alone in bearing their powers. That has given them the courage to tell our mothers. In our own reality they never did tell them about the powers till they first saw them in action... with what is about to happen..."
"How does that make much of a difference..."
"They know they can trust KISS..." said Mona. "The seeds of future love are sewn. I saw the patterns change. That even though KISS still breaks up, there will be a time when they will sing together..."
"What?"
"Yes... in twenty years time. Even though at the height of their popularity the cracks will pull them asunder. But twenty years later they will return."
"That never happened..."
"It will to them..."
"But does that mean... we'll never be born?"
"No... We will merely move into an alternate reality. But there will be a price... for with great triumph will come great tragedy..."
"Meaning one of us dying for interfering with Time... I don't believe it!"
"Fate will not be cheated. The worst part of being a time traveler... is seeing your own death... and those of your friends..."
"Mona... stop it you're scaring me... are you saying..."
"Shh..." she said, reaching out to stifle his protest with a soft kiss.
***
Breathlessly she panted in his arms, as he held her close. Gently he landed on shaky legs on the rooftop once more. "Incredible," she got out, tears in her eyes. He wrapped his wings protectively around them both, warming her shivering body against his.
"You took your time," came a laugh. Marcy flushed as the Demon whirled about, wings concealing her nude form clutched there in his arms.
"Dammit Paul, your timing stinks!" Gene growled.
"You know how many confused people I had to cloud the minds of with that stunt?" Paul scolded, yet the twinkle in his eyes betrayed his amusement.
"How?" Marcy asked, shivering there in Gene's arms.
"A little star power doesn't hurt," Paul whispered. It was then that they noticed the glow of his white star face and makeup, his costume silver against black.
"It never does," came Karen's soft voice, as she came out of the shadows. "It was incredible... what Paul just did..."
"And what was that? Care to enlighten us?" Gene asked.
"Nothing but a really big illusion!" she laughed. "Just like KISS did long before you had the powers!"
Paul laughed lightly, caressing her as he wrapped an arm around her waist. "So Gene, want me to use my stellar powers to ensure the modesty of your woman?"
"Get lost," Gene laughed.
"I'll go get you a bathrobe," Karen grinned, rushing off with Paul in tow. "Stay there you two..."
"Why the hell would I want to go anywhere else," Gene grinned, glancing at Marcy, still folded in the shelter of his wings. By now they had become a simple long black cape that he had worn over his costume, for dramatic flair. The demonic features toned down to mere face paint now, his height reducing somewhat as he shifted out of the main phase of his transformation.
"So far so good," Jeannie muttered to herself, from behind a bush. Next to her stood Elliot, using his power of illusion to shroud them both from onlookers.
"Yes... but when will the focal point be reached? And will they be ready to face it?" Elliot asked.
Jeannie shook her head, and watched the two people who would become her parents hold each other close in the starlight. "I hope so... for their sakes... and ours..."
 

Chapter 1
Chapter 3
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