Other Fan Fiction ❯ KISS Next Generation ❯ Back to the Future ( Chapter 8 )

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

by Trynia Merin
disclaimer: you know the drill by now... This part contains adult material, which put simply is
implied sex scenes!
"Shandi!" shouted Kelsey as the mist cleared. She was alone, in the darkness now. A strange red source of energy seemed to brush against her skin. Whirling about she heard a low growl in the darkness. Within a hearth burned a vast fire, and she peered at the weapons festooning the walls up to the open rafter ceiling. Ancient torture devices stood here and there in the cold stone chamber, dank and musty. Wherever she was, she was alone. But not for long.
"I'm gonna kill her," Kelsey grumbled to herself. Tentatively she wandered about the chamber, her sword at the ready position above her fall of red hair. Again she heard the low growl, and whirled about. Nothing.
"All right, come out and face me!" she shouted more bravely then she felt to the empty air. Eyes flickered back and forth in the sockets of her head, her hair rising on end when she sensed the presence of another. Another powerful and yet hidden from her hearing.
"Face me, coward! I am Lady Kelsey, of the Fire flash!" she shouted clearly.
"Are you?" came a low laugh crackling like fire. Kelsey backed away as a large shape loomed out of the fire, scattering coals on the stone hearth. Her eyes widened at the sight of a huge figure in a midnight cape shaking off the flames. Dark hair fell to his waist, spilling over the massive shoulders under large spiked epaulettes. Mighty dragon boots ground into the floor with the force of an earthquake. Her thoughts of Jeannie soared into her head at the sight of the black patches around the dark eyes, set high in a face as white as snow.
"Demon," she gasped her heart pounding. Sexual energy crackled across the gap that slowly closed when she saw how massive his body seemed, his muscular thighs gliding under tight black form fitting armor. Powerful hands enclosed in gloves of massive spikes spanned and relaxed, dark eyes fixing in amusement as they walked up and down her body.
"I understand you are a warrior," Demon said with a low growl to his voice. It sent shivers of desire all over the far reaches of Kelsey's body.
"Indeed," Kelsey breathed, her chest heaving up and down under her chainmail halter. Red locks curled around her smooth face, just beginning to lose its baby fat to middle age. The sword still rose between her and the Demon. Slowly he strode over toward her on massive boots that seemed to quake the floor with each step. Kelsey held the sword point toward him, matching his steps with her own backwards.
"Are you a lover as well as a fighter?" he asked, taking the point of the sword in his spiked gloved hand. His hand closed over the end, pushing the sword blade downward with incredible ease. Dark eyes fixed into hers, irresistible. This was not a fight to be won with swords, but by wits. Could she keep them around when his gaze alone made her melt inside? He dwarfed her, standing nearly nine feet tall, her head just coming to his mid chest. Massive armor sheathed his chest and upper shoulders, his long cape cascading to the floor. Within the dark patches on his face his eyes hungrily examined her body. All she wore was the chainmail halter-top and skirt that gave her greater ease of movement as a warrior woman. She had no shame or need to hide her body, her bare flesh smooth and dappled with the freckles, and the black paint of her warrior caste.
"What is your fancy?" she asked, with a slow smile.
"Name it, and perhaps we can eliminate the need for weapons between us," countered him.
"I should run you through right now, for what you're doing…" she hissed, trying to remain angry at him.
"And what am I responsible for, that is so reprehensible, that warrants a lovely warrior as you coming after me?"
"You know! You hold my friends in your dungeon! You captured the friends of the Dragon Womyn, and my companion Shandi!"
"I was not aware of that. Shandi is safe and well, in the chambers of Celestial. He very much wanted to meet her. And as for the Outworlders, they have not been harmed."
"But Jeannie, Elliott, and Tyler, not to mention Mona, have been banished to Blackwell's Island!" she shouted. "How can you do this?"
"I gave no such orders. They were to have been brought here."
"Well… what do you have to say for yourself?” she shouted.
"I will make sure they are found and brought hence!" he said, snapping his fingers. Still Kelsey kept her sword up, as the Steward approached in his long robe. A heated exchange ensued, and he rushed off with a look of extreme apology. "There. You have my word they will be taken from the Island and brought here. They will join you in the morning."
"The word of the Rose?" she demanded.
"Nothing but," Demon said, sincerity in his dark eyes.
"That is better," she said, steadying her angry gaze. "But you can answer me another question. How can you let such people suffer on a place like Blackwell's island?"
"It is a prison for those who have committed crimes. We have little to do with its creation. We are only judges, impartial. Other than that we are not permitted to interfere in human affairs."
"But innocent people are being sent there, even after you proclaim them innocent! I spent one year there, in that hell hole, trying to stop from becoming a whore to Blackwell himself!"
"I was not aware of this… your sentence was rescinded by my own hand!" Demon growled.
"How convenient for you! Your stupid Major Domo didn't think so! I was shipped off on the next prison boat! I managed to escape with the help of the Society of the enlightened, thanks to Shandi and Domino, and the Outworlders! But now Domino is going to be executed, with the Strangers, the Four who are One!"
"It will not go on," Demon growled deeply. "You have my word. Apparently there are those that veil themselves from our perceptions. Those whose grasp of the Black arts are immune to the probing of even master Morpheus. The Elder hold the ancient wisdom and knowledge, and maintain the ancient ways. But it is the Monarchs that rule the races of this Realm, and mete justice. We are but Judges… but there are those that will undermine us. Therefore it is time we stopped forgetting it existed."
"About damn time," Kelsey snapped.
"We cannot leave the Citadel, but we can act."
"Why can't you leave?"
"Our powers are not effective beyond this Citadel. We cease to be Elder, and would be
as ordinary Men. That is the price we pay for our powers. Only here at the source can we act. That is why we act through Champions, and Monarchs. But it appears there are those that have been ill chosen as of late,” explained the Demon in low growling tones.
"Horrible. That sucks," she muttered.
"It is tedious, watching what the others have in the outside world. Knowing that they can die and live with no fear of the centuries of immortality. They feel and live. That is why we welcome visitors to tend us and help us in our duties. Those that are brave enough to make the Journey from their own lives and come to dwell with us are indeed worthy to serve in many ways. Not only Champions live under the Rose."
"Your caretakers…" Kelsey nodded at the elfin sylphs that strode through the room to collect the dinner things and clean the chamber.
"Have you ever considered such a duty? You are more than worthy of it, and we would welcome the presence of a human woman,” he inquired.
"You have them…" Kelsey indicated the servants.
"One tires of the women of the elf races. They are fine passionate lovers and loyal servants, but their fire and passion is beyond human ken. They love on their own terms, and their hearts are hard and wild, unable to be turned completely to us beyond serving our physical hungers. The Ogres are strong and brave, but they mate for life. As soon as a female and male are of age they are matched with their own kind, and few would consider consorting with other races. The Dwarves have no use for liaisons with Immortals. But a human woman's warmth is closer to our own ilk, our nature. And you are a human and very much a woman."
"That is so," she breathed, as he moved closer. He pushed the sword lightly down, tracing a finger along her sword arm to her shoulder. Goose pimples rose on her sensitive skin at his touch. It was difficult to resist his soul piercing gaze much longer. He leaned down, tracing his soft tongue along the outer rim of her ear, lifting her soft copper hair aside. Uselessly her sword clattered to the floor now as she froze with shock.
"You no longer wish to fight me now," he asked softly. Slowly his arm worked around her waist, holding her as her knees turned to water. His tongue stroked down her neck to her shoulder, followed by a soft gentle kiss from his ebony lips. It had been so long since a man had touched her so tenderly and without force, she could not resist. Her body ached for tenderness in a way that screamed for his touch. He moved in front of her now, his eyes fixing into hers from his imposing height as he pulled her close to his armored body. Bare flesh pressed to cold metal, his hot breath surging into her face. Under her chin his hand slipped, raising her face to his. Slowly she closed her eyes, sighing at the feel of his hands running up and down her bare back. Soft lips closed over hers, large and full in comparison to any man's that had laid a kiss there. It was surpassingly tender for a creature of such awesome strength and power as the Demon. Her moan echoed in his throat, her lips moving hungrily over his.
For a moment she pulled out of his kiss, remembering Shandi. "My friend… she's…"
"Safe and well. And I promise we will find the others, and release them from the Island. In the morning you and I will meet them,” he reassured her.
"Promise," he whispered, sealing her words off with a soft kiss. "And that is my pledge. It is late, and you must be tired. Would you consider enjoying my company this night?"
"Oh yes…" she nodded, her jaw dropping with disbelief.
"There are so many things I wish to show you, brave warrior. I sense the world of men has not been kind to you, and there are many lessons that they have inflicted upon you that I desire to unlearn."
"Teach me," she whispered, as he moved away. His hand held out to her, waiting for her decision.
"Join me…" he whispered. Eagerly she gripped it, letting his fingers engulf her hand in his strong grip.
Elsewhere, Shandi gasped as she saw the torches flare on by themselves. She was not alone in the chamber high in the Citadel's central tower. What had her power done this time? Where was Elliott? "Oh no I did it this time!" she cursed. "Damn!"
Kelsey would kill her if she caught up with her for this. That is if she ever would find Kelsey again, if the guards didn't' find them both first! Out of the darkness chimed a soft voice like the stars themselves, "You are young, Maiden. But powerful. “
She whirled to see the tall figure in midnight and stars, his eyes set brightly in the flash of silver that festooned his narrow face. Soft brown hair curved around to frame the features of Celestial himself. Voice quavering she spoke, "I want to know where Kelsey is!"
"You are called Shandi, are you not?" he asked.
"Where is Kelsey?"
"She is with the Demon now. Apparently they have much to discuss about Blackwell's island."
"How could you let innocent people be tortured like that?" she cried.
Celestial's words were kind and gentle, "We had no idea. And for that we are truly sorry. You do not have to fear me, for I do not come to Judge, but to understand."
"That's more like it… but…"
"Join me hence in my rooms, and I will explain and listen to your grieves," Celestial offered, extending a long slender hand. Still his fingers were twice as long as Shandi's, pale and white skinned as she. Unable to resist, she put her small hand into his, and let the power of his Transport take them both away.
"We will not be disturbed here," he explained. She gasped at the expanse of stars stretching overhead, through a slit of what seemed a domed rotunda. Silver and bronze instruments stood on tables and chairs, gleaming in the firelight from a place far distant. It was the Celestial's lab, the place he studied the heavens. She gasped when she realized how few mortals had been here. Vials of powders and potions lined wooden shelves on one wall, disappearing into a long corridor. Each potion was priceless and difficult for even the highest skilled Mage to prepare.
"This is my world," he indicated with a sweep of his robed arm. "You are most welcome to partake of the scrolls of my Library, or the potions of my Alchemy."
Shandi was still speechless, unable to move from the spot on the floor. All of this was the greatest any Wizard at the Academy could ever hope to see. It dwarfed any institutions Lab that she could recall. In the presence of such ancient wisdom she felt so inadequate. Holding out his hand he asked, "Why are you still afraid, little one.”
"Because you are an Elder, and I am barely past Apprenticeship."
"How little you know of your true potential, Shandi," he sighed, shaking his head. "You are a bright star, who is yet uncharted by the Astrologers. In time they will all come to know your light and your prominence in the heavens. All have yet to be discovered in their purpose."
"You flatter me, Milord," she giggled, blood flushing hot in her cheeks.
"You deserve flattery, my little one…" he smiled, coming over and wrapping an arm around her shoulders. She smelled starlight and moonbeams, gasping as her power flooded instinctively into a protective shield.
"Oh, how sweet your energies are," Celestial laughed, his cackle as silver bells. Silver energy merged around hers, lightly pushing it aside. He embraced her in his long arms that wrapped protectively around her shaking body.
"Why were my friends captured," she yelped.
"A mistake. Those that are responsible will be punished. But now it is a late hour, and you must be tired."
"Milord!" she groaned, as Celestial stroked his fingers through her soft hair.
"Do you wish to pass the night at my side," he asked.
"I'm only a maiden," she got out.
"There are many who have learned from the Elder. It is not uncommon to teach young ones. It is far better for you to learn from one of great experience then the fumbling hands of a boy."
"Please…" she begged.
"Let me taste your sweet lips for the first time," he whispered. Like a small child she leaned up for a kiss, puckering her lips and squeezing her eyes shut. Celestial grasped her waist in his slender hands and lifted her up to his face. Dark lips brushed over hers with the softest of touches. slowly growing into a sweet firm kiss. Shandi moaned, relieved at how pleasurable it felt. Eagerly she moved closer, gasping for breath.
"Put your arms around me, little one, and release your inhibitions," he whispered against her lips. "I will let no harm come to you."
Slowly he carried her to the expansive bed to one side of the star field, laying her
down gently. He sat her on the edge, standing before her. It was high enough that her face was on an even level with his, her eyes fixing into his soft dark ones. He swept his hand in a smooth gesture, and Shandi felt the chill of the night creep over her skin. Looking down she saw herself sitting on the midnight bedclothes wearing nothing more then what she came into this world with. Except for the Medallion of her Wizard's academy that hung between her breasts. She shyly folded her hands over her breasts, embarrassed at the curves of her young body.
"Let me see you, Shandi. Don't hide from me. I see more than most, and you are a fair maiden indeed," he smiled, moving her hands away. He took her wrists in his hands, gently holding her
arms at her sides as he leaned forwards and pressed a soft kiss to her breasts.
"Let me share the secrets of the heavens," he whispered, pushing her back on the bed. He lifted under her knees and set her more in the center. Spreading aside the blue counterpane he revealed the satin sheets that reached up to receive them both. For a time he leaned over her, dragging his leg onto the bed and pressing soft kisses up and down her bared skin. Soft secrets of Eternity escaped his lips that moved over her ears and neck, his silver power surging truths into her skin with each touch. Within her mind opened a door and strange truths began to seep through.
"You aren't being fair," she whispered.
"How so?" he smiled.
"I want to see what you look like…"
"Fair enough," he nodded, and moved off of her, waving his hand. The robe dropped to reveal his slender body, cloaked in black studded with diamonds as bright as a galaxy.
"I claim you as my precious one," he whispered. "My disciple, who is worthy of great feats. Will you let me teach you more?"
"Oh yes…" she gasped, a bolt of desire sweeping over her body.
The first kiss burned as hot fire all over the regions of her body. She lay down on a vast bed in his private rooms. Only the firelight illuminated the vast space furnished in rich red carpet and high tapestries. Weapons hung over the fireplace, gleaming in the flickering flames, opposite the huge bookcases to the other side of the hearth. Demon was a scholar, a fighter, and an Elder, and a lover of legend. She was just about to find out for herself.
"Release all inhibitions," Demon growled. "You are mine to do with as I please…"
Kelsey wrapped her arms around his neck, sliding her hands past dark curly hair that fell around her face. He leaned over her on the bed, pressing her under his greater weight. It was as soft as silk, and tickled her cheeks. Under her body she relished the rich feel of satin against her battle weary muscles.
A long tongue danced in her mouth, wrapping around her own, and Kelsey captured it with
her lips. His own onyx lips continued to devour her own, his hands traveling up and down her body. For a moment he pulled her up into his chest, reaching to unfasten her halter top.
How delicious to have a new disciple to bequeath his knowledge and affection to, Celestial reflected. This one was younger than most, but just as worthy. He would enjoy this time immensely, and hoped she would come to stay with him for a long time to come. The distant roars of the Demon echoed in the Citadel, and brought a smile to Celestial's lips. Shandi surfaced from sleep to open her eyes to darkness. She forgot where she was, except for the breathing body wrapped around her securely, soft satin cocooning her. Over her shoulder she saw the gleam of silver on cheeks, dark lashed eyes closed shut with contented sleep.
"Is that Kelsey?" Shandi asked. She pursed her lips at the sound of the screams of ecstasy drifting to them in the distance.
Dark eyes opened to tenderly examine her features. Soft lips twice the size of hers kissed gently. "Yes, it appears she is learning at the tutelage of the Demon."
"Milord," she whispered, turning over in his arms to kiss his lips. "Come here…" he whispered.
"You don't have to ask," she sighed. Even though she ached from their lovemaking, she was hungry for more.
“I'm pleased indeed. You are so lovely… and there is so much to show you."
A pounding on the chamber door shattered their intimate moment. "Go away!" Celestial shouted. "I'm busy!"
"Forgive me milord, but we cannot find them…"
"What?" Celestial gasped, sitting bold upright under Shandi. Reluctantly he rose from the bed. He gestured his clothes to him once more, and strode over toward the door.
"Milord, we sent a boat to the island, but they are not there!"
"We must find them at once," Celestial nodded. "Are the other Elder awake?"
"Not yet milord…"
"Wake them. I will take full responsibility."
Tyler and Mona huddled together in the confines of the cell. Slowly Tyler clawed at Mona's costume, and she giggled. "Tyler… what are you doing?"
"You're driving me crazy with your scent," he purred. "Damn I wish I could overcome
this collar and change to human form."
"Are you sure? Does it really stop you from changing?"
"I keep trying to change back," Tyler growled. "I almost make it several times. But then I feel the shape slipping away from me. It's like I try to build up the chikara, but something sucks it away."
"Do these collars scramble our powers, or suck them up. Because if they soak up chikara, maybe there's a limit to how much they can take at one time," Mona muttered, petting his forehead.
"Your collar smells different," Tyler sniffed at her neck, tickling it. "Different then mine. Maybe the collars only work for a specific chikara. I wonder…"
"Wonder what?" She felt a paw on her shoulder, and soft licks on her cheeks, his breath soft and sweet. He shifted onto his side, nuzzling her nose with his large muzzle. "Stop it that tickles!" she laughed.
"Moni, take your clothes off," he purred into her ear, meowing softly for his large bulk.
"Here?" she asked.
"Yes, here," he whispered. "I want you now!"
"How could that possibly help us?” Mona whimpered. Insistently his muzzle nudged at her costume, his tongue and teeth nipping at the straps that held her halter on. He tugged off her cape and it floated to the floor, his hot pants heaving his side under her. A purring shot through her as he continued to lick her neck around where the collar was.
"Tyler…" she warned.
"Love me," he whispered. "Love me now. I want you!"
"Tyler," she choked. "We're in a cell!"
Despite her protests she felt a shiver come over her, and let him bite and tug at her costume. Soft kisses she pressed to his chin and neck, her fingers stroking and kneading his powerful muscles. Could this work, she wondered, his body so different from hers in such an awkward position. Would he hurt her?
"Never," she whispered. She trusted him, as awkward as this seemed for him she could not resist stroking and scratching his ears. Both of his paws rose up into the air, kneading as if he were a small kitten in intense pleasure.
"Mona, grab my collar," he growled. "Feel the power building in you! Can you feel it?"
"What… is happening?" Mona gasped as she felt the silver energies building at the base of her spine. Emerald chikara erupted from deep inside Tyler, building ever steadily as his passions awakened. Green energy slammed into her body, only to abate again. Tyler built up his strength once more, thrusting upward powerfully into her, his roar shattering her ears with its force.
"Now! Shock me!" he shouted. "Do it!"
Green chikara merged with her silver, flooding her body in a wave of energy that forced past the pain. Mona realized in a flash what he was doing, lending her his power in this most intimate of acts, the sharing of souls. Both her hands clamped on his collar, channeling the force of their chikara together. Silver sparks exploded past her pain and scream of sweet pain. His collar fell free as a melted bit of scrap. Mona collapsed on top of him, whimpering. Tyler leaned up, clamping down on her collar with his jaws and biting quickly. Sparks fizzled along with a second jolt of pain that seared her brain for an instant. Then it was gone.
"Tyler," she gasped, sobbing against him.
"You did it baby, you did it," he purred, licking her gently. Bones ground into other shapes as he merged and blurred into a more familiar form under her. She sat in his lap now, as he rocked her softly and fondled her hair.
"How did you know? You knew how to stop the collars?"
Calmly he purred, "The scent of your collar was different, kitten. I knew that it had to be tuned to stop just your power. So there wasn't anything to stop you from using your power to short out mine. I just gave you my chikara so you could overcome your collar."
"The energy seemed so vast!"
"When we made love, I felt the power move inside us both. It caused me to transform that time. I realized that when I change, there is a chikara buildup. Together our chikara blends, into one. As one we overcame."
"I'm so weak I don't think I can teleport us out," she sobbed.
"Rest baby," he urged, and helped to slip her clothes back on again.
She sat in the straw as he stood up, and glanced at the bars. "How can you possibly help us get out of here?"
"Let me handle this," he soothed, stroking her hair. Arms spanned as he reached inside again for that mental switch. Green mist wreathed his body as he shrunk and dwindled to a much smaller shape, which looked up at her with a soft meow. A gold and black calico housecat rubbed up against her body, purring softly. Easily he poked his head through the bars, and wriggled his body through to the other side. Seconds later the housecat stretched, merged and crackled into a huge lion. Raising his paw of obsidian sharp claws, he slashed at the lock, breaking it cleanly. The muzzle nudged the door open inward. Shifting in another crackle of green, he moved back into the cell and scooped her up into his arms protectively.
"Relax baby. There's more than one shape this cat can take…" "I thought you only had the one shape."
"Dad taught me some new tricks," he purred into her ear as he carried her along effortlessly. "Hold on… I need to change again."
Under her he crackled into Lion form, resting her across his broad back. She clung to
his mane as the Lion moved out into the labyrinth of the dungeon. His nose curled, tracking the
elusive scent of their guards outward. "You're still shaken baby. Rest and let old Tyler take care of you…" he purred under her. Silent paws padded along with movement as fluid as mercury. She knew he could find his way out of this hell hole into the light. It amazed her how his talents seemed so natural here. Her own seemed to have failed her yet again, she thought bitterly.
Blackness consumed her, filing her every pore. Jeannie writhed and struggled against the cloud that had dragged her underwater, and into this other place. Chikara leeched from her body into the dark light, her flames so low now. Summoning the last of her strength she managed a thin nimbus of flame around her trapped body. Slowly the cloud began to retreat in its ebony swirls. She was in an open space, whistling with wind. No light except her own flames lit the enclosed place, lit in a faint red flicker from her illumination. She could see a thickness of black just before her, and behind her, where the radiance melted into nothingness.
"How deliciously you struggle, Demoness," came a voice of dry bones rasping against rock. Coldness shivered all around her, chilling her to her own bones.
"I will fight you with everything I have," Jeannie shouted more confidently then she suddenly felt. She hated the dark now, where before the dark did not bother her. This wasn't the dark of a friendly summer night, or the dark of her room at home. This was a Dark Light, never-ending that sucked away all courage, all strength if she did not fight it ever minute. Perversion and hate squirmed in her stomach, twisting her guts into a knot that was difficult to untie.
Jeanie felt thoughts entering her head that were not her own. She forced up anything she could think of to block them, thoughts of her friends, of anything. The best thing she could focus on were the strange antics of that KISS concert so long ago. Darryl and Sean. Foolish children that selflessly helped without question. Anything to fill the void that seemed to form and invade her thoughts. It would be easy to become one with the Dark and put out her flame, but she knew if it died, she might as well go with it.
"The more you struggle, the more you may lose," came the rasp, now a fully formed voice permeating the darkness in a booming echo. "Wouldn't it be easy to surrender? Your chikara burns ever lower."
"Why should I?" Jeannie shouted again, filling the Void with her voice.
"Why indeed?" came a laugh. "You have something I need. There's something about you."
"I'm listening," she said. Calming her thoughts she focused her anger into one single point. She raised her palm, summoning a wisp of flame. Green eyes centered in the heart of its licking tongue of fire, centering her thoughts as well. Now she could see the flicker of cavernous folds of walls around her immediate pool of light. Indeed she must be underground in some cavern. Perhaps on Blackwell's island.
"You were raised by the Demon," came the voice again. "You bear his mark, lady. But your essence is otherworldly."
"Pretty smart, aren't you, telling me something I already know," Jeannie smirked.
"Trained to reign already. Good. I like the authority you exude."
"Are you Blackwell?" she asked. "The son of a bitch who's behind all this?"
Blackwell answered, "As you have said, my lady."
"So, are you going to make me your prostitute or slave, like you did with Kelsey and Domino?" she asked.
"Oh no. You are far more valuable than that, Demoness," he laughed. "But what you become depends on you, and what your desires are. What do you desire?"
"You tell me, Mr. Blackwell," Jeannie demanded.
"I see the blackness in your soul. It is lovely as a diamond, needing polish. Which brings me to ask, why have you come here?"
Jeannie sneered, "You brought me, so you should know, genius!"
"I brought you hence. But why are you in this World that is not your own?"
"I don't know why the hell I'm here!" she snarled. "You're so goddamned powerful you figure it out, asshole!"
Anger she hoped would fire her courage, but it made her even more uneasy. Those black fingers drilled into her brain, fingering her memories with sensuous dexterity. Should she fight, or should she acquiesce, Jeannie wondered. She glared into the heart of the Dark Light, the shape of shadow that suddenly took on a humanoid figure of glistening ebony. Black dust glittered in the light of her flame, and Jeanie realized it had the luster of gemstone, of diamonds. Black Diamonds.
"Damn," she shook her head. Everything here was some reference to a song, a wisp of KISStory that seemed all too damned familiar it was uncomfortable. Had her father visited this realm in dreams? Had all of them sought inspiration in this dream reality? Closer the darkness moved, till it was only fifty feet away. She felt the absolute silence fall that replaced the rushing of wind with gaunt quiet. Thin and silent, so silent she could hear the pounding of her own heart, and the hissing of nerves in her brain.
"Why are you here, Demon spawn?" he asked again.
"I tell you, I don't know damn it!" she growled.
"You don't know, do you? Interesting. This has nothing to do with you, and yet you are her, milady,” Blackwell smoothly enquired.
"Duh. Maybe it was the elder, smart guy!" Jeannie laughed.
"That would be a distinct possibility my lady," came Blackwell's laugh. "They are weak, so weak they make me ill with their altruism. You are not like any of the women of this world. You embody desire and power. Why do you fetter your power under such tight control?"
"So many damn questions. I get it that you don't like these Elder. Any reason why?"
"They think they keep me here. But in this cave I reign supreme. In my prison I have ultimate power. They do not know what they face. I am Blackwell Lady. The Dark side of passion that makes all heroic acts possible. I sense you have no love for them either, lady."
"I don't want to be here," Jeannie responded.
"You have the choice to leave this world. Any time you please. Something holds you here, doesn't it?" Blackwell taunted.
"What are you talking about?"
"Such anger Demoness. I know it is your mate that you have lost in your world. As long as you remain here in this world, he is here too. You can be together. In your world he takes the body of another man. As long as you stay, the Star Child is yours."
"What is the catch if I do stay?"
"If you were to assist me in my cause, with your great powers, I could make it possible that you would not have to worry about that other world."
"Why do you keep those women as your slaves?" demanded she.
"They denied the power I could give them. They had potential, but they had not the stomach to seize what could be theirs. They are so focused on the Light they are weak. Only the darkness in their souls gives them the courage they need."
"Damn, this is too corny,” Jeannie shook her head, refusing to believe that which sounded so sensible now.
"What is power without ambition, and what is sex without passion?" he laughed. "You need your anger, fear and hatred, Demoness. You are the dark side, the appetite. Without destruction there can be no creation. No balance. I am the counterweight, the motivator. They seek to lock me here, when they the Elder need me."
"Why are you here on this island?"
"I defied the almighty Morpheus, dared question his arrogance to enslave us. We were his lap dogs to do his bidding. We grew ever more powerful."
"You were one of the Elder."
"I am the Fifth Element, that of Space. That which with the four cannot overcome. The elder must remain in his tower, to keep me at bay. They are weak. Did they not make you a prisoner here when you first visited this world? You do not trust them, do you? They hold your friends Celestial and Black Lion prisoner in their dungeons even now."
"If I do help you, what will you do about Elliott?" Jeannie asked, folding arms across her chest.
"I will give you the means of power. To bring him to you. To release your friends from the clutches of the elder, and send them to their rightful world."
"My child… and my body though?" she protested.
"Will no longer be necessary. Your child itself will be brought here to live its life in your care. What can that world offer you and your mate and child? It is ruined with the ravages of war."
Jeannie continued to listen to the voice echoing louder and louder. All her protests seemed to fade as her flame grew lower and lower. On and on it droned of promises and the ancient answers to her queries, satisfying all her doubts. It was so easy to stop fighting, stop worrying about those fears that held her at bay.
"Jeannie," someone whispered in her ear as he leaned over her sleeping figure. A soft kiss graced her lips then moved to her cheek.
"Still asleep. Wait right there, baby, I'll be right back," he cooed, slipping out of the cocoon of pink satin sheets. She lay so still and peaceful, her breathing barely discernable.
Out of the bed Sean rose, and pulled the pink silk robe around him for want of something else to wear as he crossed the room to the bathroom. He stretched, and reached for the sky, admiring the flush of well being that moved over his lean muscled body. Lately he was sleeping quiet well, he realized. Suddenly he shook off the haze of sleep and realized something was missing. Behind his ears he heard silence. Not just the silence of Jeannie's bedroom, but the silence of his own thoughts. Elliott's thoughts had moved in and out of his own for the last few weeks. Now they were gone, just as a dream melts away in the mists of sunrise. Panic seized Sean, and he whirled about on Jeannie still in the bed. Something was wrong, horribly wrong.
"Jeannie… baby," he cooed, moving onto the bed and pressing his lips to hers. He laid himself on her body, and shuddered. She was so cold!
"Jeannie?" he repeated, shaking her gently as he slipped under the sheets. Desperately he pressed his lips to hers, embracing her up and down. No response came, and it hurt deeply. It was like hugging a corpse. Still he felt the thud of her heart, so slow, and the rasp of a ghost of breath. Shuddering, he drew away and rushed to the door. He shouted, "Mr. Simmons! Mr. Stanley!! Anybody! Help! Jeannie won't wake up!!!"
Minutes later a bleary eyed Demon stumbled to the door, adjusting the red silk bathrobe about his form as he poked his head in the door of his daughter's room. He saw Sean occupying his daughter's frilly pink bathrobe, and smirked.
"You woke me to show me that?" he growled. "Damn it you'd better have a better reason, boy!"
"Jeannie won't wake up, Mr. Simmons!" Sean shouted back. "She's cold!"
"Shit, why didn't you say so, kid?" Gene snapped, pushing past him into the room beyond. Instantly he was at his daughter's bedside, stroking her hair and feeling her cheek with the back of his hand. A low growl erupted from his throat when he confirmed Sean's fears.
"No…" Gene gasped. Sean panicked, reaching out in his thoughts for someone else. Soon Paul opened the door, peering inside at the strange scene. He sensed the panic, and something else that twisted his red lips into a frown.
"What the hell?" he asked, grabbing Sean's hand. "Where is it?"
"That's what I wanna know! Jeannie wont' wake up!" shouted Sean back.
"Paul, get your star spangled butt in here now, man!" Gene bellowed.
"Jeez, calm down Gene," Paul snapped back, rushing over to the bed. He sat down on the side, pressing two fingers to Jeannie's temples. Amethyst energy lit his eyes from within, spreading down his arm toward Jeanie, and back.
"I was afraid of this," he sighed, turning his head to face Gene and Sean. "Her astral self is gone, along with all her chikara."
"Say what?" Sean asked. Flinching he guessed they knew exactly what he felt now: the absence of part of his soul he hardly had come to know. Whatever Elliot had left him was now gone, aching like a bottomless pit in his soul.
"Elliott's astral mind, and soul are gone from you too, Sean."
"Wait a minute, you mean Jeannie's mind is… but her body…" Gene shook his head. "Then… that means that only the Talisman, my talisman is keeping her body alive now… if her soul is gone."
"Exactly," Paul nodded grimly.
"What do we do?" Sean demanded. "Where could they have gone?"
Gene and Paul exchanged a worried glance. They seemed to know, familiarity sparkling in
their eyes along with anger. They nodded, and Paul opened his mouth to say something. Gene however beat him to the punch when he growled, "It's happened again. Just like last time."
"You mean like when we told you about Jeannie falling asleep before?"
"Just like that, kid," said Paul gravely. "But that's not all."
"If she's where I think she is," Gene said. "Then the others are probably there too."
"Ty and Moni?"
"Yes," Paul affirmed.
"Where? That freaky dream world Jeannie told us about? Something about Elder?"
"The elder… they weren't just an album thing that we pulled out of our asses," Gene admitted.
Sean gasped, “You were there, yourselves?"
"A long time ago, kid," Gene nodded. "Damn them… they don't know when to keep their hands outta our business."
"What do we do now?" Sean asked.
"Good question," Paul sighed.
"Better get into there and figure out where in that damned world she is," Gene ordered. "I don't want my little girl mixed up in their shit."
"Wait a minute it was just some damn dream," Sean blabbed, trying to wrap his brain around the concept.
"No way. It's a real world," Paul explained. "It's like… a flip side of our reality. A freaky place where our dreams are their reality… and the other way around."
Sean finally grasped what they were saying, "Another planet or dimension?"
"Exactly kid. And Starchild here is the best for crossing over."
"Wait, their minds or souls are there. So what about their bodies," Sean asked.
"You explain it, Gene. I'm going in," Paul flickered his mane of hair impatiently. He leaned over Jeannie, placing his fingers on her temples again. Purple chikara wreathed his hair, crackling in its power, and Sean smelled rose petals.
"They don't need bodies there. Their astral forms become their bodies, or so Ace would say. Some crap like that…" Gene grumbled. "Now make yourself useful and go rustle up the others. Let them know what the hell's going on. I want Space Ace's butt in here if we need him. And check on Ty and Moni."
"Okay boss, whatever you say," Sean mock saluted as he rushed off.
"And lose the bathrobe," Gene shouted after him.
"Jeannie, can you hear me, baby?" Paul urged softly, channeling his thoughts. "Let me know where you are. Place your thoughts into this corridor, and lead me to where you are now!"
Slowly the bridge reached out, in the darkness of space and time. It was hard, very hard, but Paul knew where she was, he could guess it. It was one realm he could enter without the need for Ace's help. The bed, the sheets, the room around Paul became immaterial except for Jeannie's body lifeless under his fingers. Gene waited urgently beside Paul, in case he needed help. Even Gene's presence shifted away from Paul's awareness now. It was easy, like a butterfly shedding its cocoon, Paul reflected when he slipped out of his body and spread the wings of his astral self.
For a moment he rested, taking in the shapes below before glancing around. Still the spirit tether reached from his navel to his body. He would follow it home, for this was a two way trip. Ace arrived, close to Sean. He gasped when he sensed the other presence and Paul's voice in his mind.
"Ace I need your help. I want you to focus on where I am going, and get ready to reel me back if I need it," echoed Paul's thoughts.
"Got you," Ace nodded. He had seen Mona fast asleep, unable to wake in the bed she shared with Tyler. Peter was elsewhere on patrol, showing Darryl the finer points of point shooting. All the supplies they had taken from Leader in the future would serve them all well. Including the small bits of technology KISS had brought back.
Now Ace felt Starchild put a portion of his mind into his own, for the journey. Around Paul rose the universe of bubbles, and Ace raised his awareness of space time, blending it into Star Child's astral body. He needed Ace's sense of realities curling and spilling, waiting for the Gate to open and let him pass. He would not need to enter as fully as Jeannie would, for the best he could manage now was an astral shape to find her soul. He didn't want anyone else in that world to sense him.
Paul plunged in, Ace holding onto his soul tether in the room of realities between realities…
"Jeannie!" Paul reached out into the darkness. It was so black. Black as he remembered it and Paul shuddered. It seemed so long ago, and only yesterday when he had last trod here. Her flame burned so low, surrounded by dark. He knew the traces of her mind as well as his own, for so long ago she had shared her chikara with him, that fateful night. Yes, he had remembered that encore, when the woman in the Gene costume had given him an encore to remember. How weird it had felt to have that red chikara flooding his body with stunning orgasmic force.
Before his eyes were opened, and he became the Starchild in fact as well as name. When he was a rock star donning face paint to create an illusion of reality. If he had only known the foreshadowing that preceded the outcome. And how Jeannie had given him his object of power… on that bus so long ago. If he had known who she really was, would he have shared that night with her?
"Jeannie… baby, please hear me. Where are you?" he whispered. A malevolent force pervaded the dark, and the Starchild veiled his chikara as he plunged into Jeannie's mind. It was pinned under Blackwell's fingers, pinioned and fixed rigid in his grip of darkness.
Gene whispered into his daughter's ear, "Please little girl, you gotta wake up. Listen to Paul. Please…"
Sean drew in his breath when he saw Jeannie's eyes flickering, her head tossing back and forth. A low sound erupted from her throat in a garbled string of syllables. Hovering on Jeannie's other side he wondered, "What's she saying?"
"Shh…" Gene hissed, holding up a hand.
"Blackwell," Jeannie moaned. "Answers. I… Dark Light… so strong!" Jeannie croked. Her demeanor resembled that of a person crushed by a great weight, hardly able to breathe. Yet they saw nothing but empty air around her. Perhaps something was crushing her soul, Sean realized. His new powers seemed ill equipped to handle any such threat, and he felt impotent.
"Jeannie, you have to deny him," came Paul's voice, loud and clear. It startled Sean to hear Paul actually talking aloud. Ace stood behind Paul, holding onto some invisible object.
"Jeannie, listen to Paul… you're not where you should be," Gene repeated, low and calm.
"I don't want to be here… but it's the only way… to save Elliott," Jeannie whispered, not opening her eyes. "I'm so tired. I can't fight anymore… don't' want to fight!"
"You have to," Gene whispered, gripping his daughter's hand in his. It felt so cold, devoid of life.
"Jeannie, I want to help. Let me help you, please," Paul urged, silently, eyes blazing violet as his aura enveloped both.
"No... Blackwell, he said… he promised…"
"Blackwell's using you. He doesn't want you, he wants your power," Gene growled. "Deny him… cast him out!"
"He's too… strong… I… no! I MUST do this to save everyone!" Jeannie gasped, her head tossing back and forth as she began to shake. Gene held her down on the bed as she started to thrash. Paul remained where he was, leaning over her and rigid. What battle were they facing?
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"You were raised by the demon…" Blackwell's voice crackled bones shattering with its force. Under my tutelage you will be a Warlord, a War Machine! How can you deny this chance? Those who hold you now, seek to pull you from me! They forced their power upon you! Now is the time to break free!"
"I want to do this my way," Jeannie growled, her flame flickering against the dark.
"Yes, that is the way," Blackwell urged. Wreaths of dark light spewed and curled around her body, licking over her armored form. So sensual and soft were their dark fingers of night, caressing with pleasure in their touch.
"No… Jeannie!" came the insistent voice. She blinked, realizing there was another set of thoughts that were not hers. Not only did the blackness lick around her body, it seeped into her mind as never before. What happened to her outside mirrored the inside, she realized from some detached corner of her mind. A purple sphere seemed to spark in her thoughts, pushing back the black fingers that riled her memories.
"Who are you!" she shouted.
"It's Paul! Please Jeanie, don't let him get you!"
"Paul?" Jeannie asked, confused. How could he be here?
"Yes, it's Paul! You're trapped in Blackwell's grasp. Do you want to be his slave?"
"I want to save Elliott!" she shouted. "This is the only way to get him back!!!"
"No it isn't!" Paul shouted, his thoughts slamming into Blackwell's. From out of her mind spewed a purple mist that rose into a figure of shimmering lavender and amethyst chikara. It placed itself between Jeannie and the darkness of Blackwell.
"Interloper!" Blackwell thundered. "How dare you come into my realm Star Child?"
"It's been a long time," Paul gritted his form translucent. Through it Jeannie saw the darkness ripple and spread like a pool of tar as its fingers of mist retreated.
"What are you doing here?" Jeannie shouted at him.
"You have to get out of here now! Come with me!" Paul urged, extending his hand to Jeannie. "You have to wake up!"
"Ty and Moni! I can't leave them!"
"You can't help them staying here!" Paul insisted. "Please Jeanie, for the sake of your friends you have to come with me now!"
"Do you want to march to their tune forever?" Blackwell sneered from the mists of dark. "Do whatever Daddy and Daddy's best friend say? My way is your way!"
"You wouldn't listen to me!" Jeannie shouted at Paul. "Get the hell out of here and let me handle this! I'm not a child!"
"You're not a slave either! Which is what you'll be if you join him!" Paul yelled at her.
"He only wants you for himself. To dominate as they all do," Blackwell countered. "Do you want to live in the shadow of them forever? You are one of the Four who are One! Your power is far greater, your legacy far outstripping their paltry reign on their orb! Your world is in its death throes, why waste time there? Here you can be a Queen, a Woman among women! All will salute you as Warlord supreme!"
"Have I ever lied to you, Jeannie?" Paul asked her, his arms extended. "Think, in all the time you've known me!"
"I don't know you anymore. Your time is not mine… I changed it all," she shouted back.
"You're my best friend's daughter, and the lover of my son," Paul stated again. "And the mother of my grandchild. Will you endanger him as well?"
"I want to save all," Jeannie cried, her flame flaring higher. "Can't you see I'm trying to fix this?"
"This isn't the way, sweetheart," Paul sighed, extending a finger to stroke her cheek.
"Please, don't throw yourself away… think of Shandi, Domino, Kelsey and Christine. Yes, I know about them. I know about all of this. You have to help them by coming with me now!"
"Because he invaded your mind," Blackwell's cackle echoed, rattling as sheaves of dry branches.
"As you did," Jeannie said slowly.
"This is not the first time," Paul said slowly. "Jeannie, we were here. Where you are now. And I'll be damned if I'll let you be taken in by this asshole. He won't let you go."
"I have no choice!"
"If you are staying, then I'm staying too," Paul folded his astral arms across his chest. "You will not face him alone."
"Then you will perish together!" Blackwell's voice thundered in the cavern. There was a pause of eternity as Jeannie glanced into the amethyst form, his face so much like the lover she ached for. He would stay here, to face whatever would come next. He would not leave her to the darkness.
"The hell we will," Jeannie growled, eyes flaring red. Paul's astral arms reached out and Jeannie slowly reached out her hand and placed it in his.
"Then face my Dark Light, and be forever transformed as my minions!" he thundered.
"Ace, get us out of here!" Paul shouted, wrapping his form around Jeannie tightly. Light blazed, her fire growing stronger as Blackwell howled with fury. Tongues of Dark Light wreathed around them both.
Ace pulled hard at something invisible, strain on his face. Sean gasped in disbelief when Gene reached up, and grabbed hold of whatever it was from behind Paul. Harder and harder Ace tugged on Paul's soul tether, yanking it out of the Darkness.
"Pull Gene!" he shouted.
"I'm pulling damn it!" Gene gritted.
One final tug and both men were thrown backwards with the force. There came an explosion of darkness, and a blaze of purple light that blinded everyone for a full minute. Slowly Ace squirmed, under the weight of the Demon. They untangled themselves as they heard Jeannie's moan from the bed. Paul blinked, his eyes fixing into Jeannie's. Slowly she blinked, and shook off the sleep that sought to pull her down. Tears glistened in the green eyes that flickered from Sean, then to Paul.
"Jeannie, you're okay!" Sean cried.
"No!" she choked. "I… I…"
"Relax. The Dark Light almost had you," Paul urged, stroking her cheek.
Jeannie still couldn't help but ask haltingly, "You… wouldn't leave me… would you?"
"No way."
"That was a close call," Ace muttered, brushing his face off with the back of his hand. "But are you gonna do the same to get Mona and Tyler out?"
"I couldn't," Paul shook his head. "They're safe for now. At least that is what I sense. But Jeannie…"
"How do you know anything," Sean demanded.
"Experience, kid," Gene answered for him, striding over as he got to his feet. He sat next to Jeannie on the bed, on her other side.
"Welcome back, sweetheart," he told her, taking her hand in his. "That was a pretty stupid stunt you pulled… what were you thinking?"
"Gene, ease up on her," Paul looked at him.
"I'm sorry, okay?" she looked up at them both. "How the hell was I supposed to know that bastard would try and take me over? Damn it! Damn him!!!"
"Hey, you're fine. You're awake and you're here," Sean said. "Does it matter how you got awake?"
"Yes it does. I let that bastard manipulate me… like some weakling!” Jeannie despaired.
"Stop it," Gene scolded her. "Blackwell is a major evil force. You can't take him on single handedly and expect to come out without feeling like crap."
"At the last minute when it counted, you broke free," Paul told her. "You should be proud."
"I'm pissed you got into that situation, but I'm glad that you had the good sense to get out of it," Gene said to her, taking her hand. "I don't want to lose you again."
"But Ty and Moni?" she asked. "What the hell can I do awake? I've got to go back."
"Yes," Paul nodded.
"Why? If we wake the others…"
"Because Elliott is still in there," Paul reminded Gene sternly, turning his head to look at him. "And I think that if Domino and Christine don't make it off the island, then things are gonna get really uncomfortable in that world."
"Don't remind me," Gene muttered. "It was hell last time."
"You were there before, and you didn't tell us? Why the hell not?" Jeannie demanded, eyes flashing red for a moment.
"Because we didn't' think they'd have the balls to take you kids in there too, that's why," Gene explained. "But like it or not those damn Elder had to get you involved. And now you've got to finish what they started."
"But this time you won't be doing it alone. I'm going to keep a telepathic eye on you while you go in. And at the first sign of trouble, you are all coming out."
"It took a lot to rescue me," Jeanie told him. "You can't do that again for all of us can you?"
"Mona can get you out," said Ace from the back of the room. "If she knows how…"
"So that means I got to go back and get to Mona and Tyler then. Which means I need to get the hell back there."
"And stay away from Blackwell," Gene shook his finger at her. She lay down, and looked up at Demon and Starchild on either side of her. Both in turn pressed a kiss to her cheek.
"Sleep well," Paul urged. Jeannie closed her eyes and plunged into the realms of sleep once more. She hoped this time it wouldn't be so damned crazy.
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