Other Fan Fiction ❯ KISS Next Generation ❯ More Hope ( Chapter 14 )

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

Part 4
By Starbearer TM
Disclaimer: KISS belongs to themselves, as do the terms
of the Elder, and the likenesses of their makeup and persona. The concept of the Four who are One
belongs to Psycho Circus. Mona, Elliot, Tyler and Jeannie are my own creations, and are my attempt
to create a next generation of KISS. This means no harm to the organization or the band, and
represents a tribute to a rock and roll legend.
“Shandi..." Ace whispered, rubbing his eyes. He looked down at the woman in his arms. Paul held the baby Kiara in his own, trying to shush her. Gene gently held Kelsey in his arms, feeling her body grow cold.
"Man..." Peter gasped. Tiara buried her face in his shoulder, sobbing as he held her.
"Uhh," Kelsey groaned, blinking up and glancing into Gene's face with confusion. He was so startled he almost dropped her.
Shandi too moaned, from the bed where Ace had placed her. Gene anxiously placed Kelsey next to her, and they clustered around the two, anxiously. Paul felt the buzzing of two souls alien to him, but strangely familiar.
"Shandi..." Ace asked. The girl blinked and licked her lips, stretching as she turned her head over. Her eyes widened as she peered into Ace's face, and took in the appearance of the others. It was not a glance of recognition in the same sense.
She nudged Kelsey next to her, whispered, "Wake up... wake up... oh my god you have to wake up!"
"Are you all right?" Paul asked, holding Kiara close to him.
"Are we dead?" Kelsey muttered, blinking and opening her eyes. Shandi backed away, stunned and shocked still.
"Look... it's THEM..." Shandi whispered.
"Uh, excuse me?" Peter asked.
"Yeah it's us," Ace said. "You all right... Shandi?"
"Oh my fucking god he knows my name!" Shandi cried.
"We have to be dead..." Kelsey gasped. "Oh my god..."
"If we're dead, then we're in heaven," Shandi whispered. "Because it's KISS!"
"Well, that changes everything," Gene muttered, looking at Paul. Both of them instantly recognized the astonishment of two groupies, stunned at meeting the band.
"And they're gorgeous," Kelsey licked her lips. "Mmm, Gene..."
"Yes?" he asked, moving over.
"But aren't they..." Peter said.
"Shut up Peter," Gene snapped. "Kelsey?"
"Kelsey? Who's that?' she asked. "I'm Shannon... and if I'm dreaming, don't wake me up!"
Tiara cried into Peter's chest, and he held her close. "Excuse us for a minute," he said. Nodding sadly, Paul took Kiara with him. Purple chikara surged around him as he urged her to sleep.
"The kid..." Ace said.
"I'll take care of her. At least for now... till we get all this sorted out," Paul offered.
"No, don't worry. I'll take her, you've got enough shit on your plate for now," Peter said. "Go take care of Jeannie and your kid..."
"But she has powers... and I'm sensing them now..."
"All right then," Peter sighed. He took Tiara's hand and led her with him toward the guestroom they had shared.
Nathan and Susan woke, sleepily rubbing their eyes as they saw Paul standing there.
"What happened?"
"Kelsey and Shandi are gone," Paul said.
"Oh man how?"
"It's a long story but I'll fill you in. C'mon, let's go to Jeannie's room and let her know..."

Tiara let Peter walk her for a time toward the room they had shared last night. "If you don't mind, I wish to be alone," she told him.
"Of course little girl. I'm sorry about your sister. But I'm sure that Paul... might be able to..."
"I'll see you later," Tiara said as Peter led her into the room, and opened the door for her.
"Sure. You get some rest. And if you need anything, just let me know. Are you sure you don't want me to get Paul to..."
"I'll be fine," she said, kissing Peter on the cheek. "Now please let me be alone.."
"Sure," Peter nodded, whiffing a strange sent that he was sure was fear. Still to respect her privacy he left her alone in the guestroom. Carefully he closed the door behind her, still shrugging.
Once she was sure she was alone, Tiara exhaled the breath she had held. Why should she trust them, after they had Kelsey in their custody and let her go? Was this all just a rouse? Into the soil of her mind she felt the doubt take root. An overwhelming urge to leave filled her, and she knew that she could not stand being here a second longer.
She glimpsed the window, and crossed the room toward it. Quickly she glimpsed the perimeter. Strange chikara crackled in the air, screaming of an alien and far more powerful magic. She felt caged, confined by those that bore the Elder's markings, but left their true purpose unstated. After all the Golden Princess had found her and offered her shelter. The Cat Man had offered her his bed, but she was distrusted by the one called Demon.
"Kelsey, I know you were there. And you are back in your own world now. I am all alone... damn you how could you leave me?" she cried, hugging herself.
As long as Demon distrusted her, she sensed she would be watched. Had the cat man only kept her for one night's pleasure, to make sure she would not get out of their sight? Was her purpose a love slave? She could take that fate. Yet the others w ho had shown her kindness, especially the one who was Fox. What of them? She had to know if they were all right. Dare she leave this shelter for them?
All her life she had been raised as a warrior of the fire flash. Left to carry on after her sister was arrested with the one called Domino. Leaving Tiara alone in her regiment. While they were taught to respect the elders, the warriors of the fire flash had their own gods, the Fox Lord among them. IN her vision quest, she had seen his face. Instantly she knew she had to seek him out in this strange world. It was an irresistible force that beckoned to her; a cry of the wild Tiara could not ignore.
"I will find you, milord," she promised. Gingerly her fingers probed the edges of the strange force. It was glass, something that many older buildings in her realm had, but the common huts and barracks did not use. She hefted it up and opened it, toward the courtyard below. Rushing back to the bed, she began to shred the long sheets and braid them into a rope. Anchoring one end around the bedpost, she tossed the other end out the window. Quickly she slithered out and climbed hand over hand down, glancing anxiously behind her to see if she was being watched. Overhead she saw the crackling probes of wizard fire rising into the night, that Ace called searchlights. So many machines, devices, and talismans of which she had no knowledge.
Seeing no one, Tiara dropped to the ground. She tugged the rope and yanked the slipknot down. Wrapping the rope up she slung it around herself. The body was strange and untrained to the exertions of a warrior, she lamented. Glimpsing herself in the mirror last night she saw the strange markings on the back and breast, of the strange runic letters, and the icons themselves spilling over the half belt. All four of their markings, and the letters that Kelsey bore in rhinestones. Not to mention the marks of the Fox above her breast. Yes it was an omen. This body must be devoted to the worship of him.
Stealthily she crept past the one called Nathan, walking the yard with his strange stick that threw witch bolts. He did not hear her as she crept past the den of the Black Lion, and his woman Celestial. Over the wall she tossed her rope, and scampered up and overtop. Once her strangely fitted boots touched, she broke into a run, leaving the rope behind carelessly. Only her instinct guided her as the night rose around her and the cold crept through the strange clothes she wore on this alien body.

"Someone tell us what's going on?" Shannon asked, glancing up at the painted faces. "I mean, hell, you're KISS and all... but the last thing I remember..."
"I'm sure you ladies have many questions," Gene said, sitting down on the bed next to her. "And we have all the answers you could want..."
"Yeah, don't' worry," Ace cackled, moving close to Shandi. "You can take ALL the time to answer them."
"Uh... like what's this thing about someone named Jeannie... and like... where are we?" Shandi asked.
"What was the last thing you remembered?" Gene asked, closing the gap between him and Shannon as he slipped an arm around her waist.
"I remember," Shannon lowered her eyebrows in effort to remember. "Shandi and I were on our way to see you guys in concert. Then there was a traffic jam. We pulled into the parking garage, getting here really early. But then there was something on the radio about an emergency..."
"And then all hell broke loose," Shandi said. "Alarms started blaring everywhere..."
"Go on," Ace urged, draping an arm around her shoulders.
"Then Shandi and I got out of the car. We were pushed along with some of the other fans, toward a bomb shelter. Someone had a boom box and said that something had hit the KISS jet... and then the sky was on fire..."
"WE felt a blast of heat... and the ground shook," Shandi gasped.
"There were people screaming and pushing everywhere, and a loud roaring sound... no order to it at all..." Shannon groaned.
"We rushed into the arena, and tried to get out of the people pushing and shoving." Shandi continued.
"I found a closet to hide in, a storage area, and we both shut the door and prayed..." Shannon sighed.
"Hey easy now," Gene urged, stroking her hip. "You're safe now..."
"What you gals were hiding from, it was a meteor hitting the Earth," Ace explained. "It whizzed pretty near our plane... and I teleported our butts outta there in the nick of time..."
"C'mere..." Gene said, taking Shannon's hand and leading her over to the window. "Take a look at that..."
"Man the sky's all gray... and everything's... OH MY GOD...." Shannon gasped. Shandi leapt off the bed and raced to the window. Both girls felt their blood run cold when their eyes surveyed the ruins that lay beyond Gene's high wall.
"They blew it up... my GOD they blew up the whole fucking world!" Shandi shivered.
"The asteroid did that," Gene said, stroking Shannon's shoulder as he came to join them.
"But KISS are trying to rebuild stuff, and save the world, and like that," Ace assured them, standing on Shandi's other side. "Why we even fought off these weird ass mutants from the future, and brought back all their far out technology to help us."
"No way," Shandi gasped.
"Way," Ace grinned. "You see that thing in the swimming pool? That's where we put the remains of the flyer from the future. And I used the robots to rebuild Gene's mansion... and put in a security system..."
"And our children, Jeannie, Elliot, Mona and Tyler, they were the ones who helped us hold down the fort, and fight off the mutants from the future," said Gene. "They were trying to stop KISS in the past... but they actually stopped them..."
"This is one HELL of a story," Shannon muttered. "My head is KILLING ME..."
"Well, perhaps I can help with that," Gene purred into her ear.
"Really?" she asked.
"Yes baby. I can be the aspirin..." Gene whispered, licking her earlobe gently. Shannon felt her knees grow weak, and leaned heavily against him. She was swept up in his strong arms, held carefully off her feet.
"Ace... this is... whacked," Shandi sighed, and Ace gripped her as she leaned into him.
"C'mon, let's get you to bed, gal," he winked, and walked her toward the bed. Gene carried Shannon out through the door and glanced back to Ace.
"I think we can answer any other questions you might have... in private, don't you?" Ace called to him.
"Let's go get some more answers then," Shannon smiled to Gene, and he carried her out of Ace's room into the hallway.
"Ace," Shandi whispered as he began to undress her, peeling off her clothing with a methodical precision. He kissed each part that was unwrapped, as if it were a special gift. His hands were clumsy yet sweet; his blue lips leaving a trail of passion that burned at the touch.
"Yeah baby?" he asked.
"Why do I have stretch marks?" she asked him.
"Uh well... you... had a baby..."
"WHAT?" Shandi gasped, pulling away.
"Uh well... you and Shannon... there were these aliens who like... possessed your bodies... and I didn't wanna tell you right away..."
"WHAT THE HELL?" Shandi gasped, feeling reality desert her. She sank onto the bed, her arms spread wide helplessly.
"Well, look, we were surprised as you were. A lot of weird shit's been happening lately." Ace lay on top of her, gently pinning her under his knees. "And hey it's okay. The baby... well..."
"Is it ours?" she asked.
"Kind of... well... yeah, I mean I help take care of it and all so," Ace said. "I hope you're not mad..."
"How long... were we possessed..."
"We don't know. But when we found you... something really weird happened with time... and then well... you had a baby..."
"Don't tell me anymore. If it's yours, that's all I need to know," Shandi whispered.
"But baby..."
"You don't have to explain it Ace. I'm glad if it's yours," she said.
"But the kid has special powers," Ace said. "And I'm not even sure what they are..."
"I know you'll figure out what they are, and help the baby. Can I see her?" Shandi asked.
"Yeah sure," Ace said. "If you want to..."
"I do. And then...." Shandi winked, as he handed her the T-shirt to put on again.

"What are you going to tell Jeannie?" Susan asked Paul.
"I'm not sure," Paul sighed.
"Nathan had to go on guard duty," Susan muttered. "Is the baby..."
"All right. Give me a moment..." Paul said slowly. "You go tell Jeannie what happened. I'll catch up okay?"
Paul held the baby in his arms, gently rocking her. Slowly the tendrils of a young mind unfurled, reaching out in query. He closed his eyes, reaching out with his own chikara to gently restrain the tendrils from reaching into places they should not.
"Ah ah, kiddo. It's not polite to read minds. You're going to have to learn from Uncle Paul the right way," he urged. "And the right time."
Soft amethyst chikara crackled around his head, and Paul opened his eyes again. Softly her own thoughts and probes reached back gently rebuffed as they brushed his. He felt the purity of young thoughts, aching for a mind to sooth them, and began to hum a lullaby.
Within his own thoughts he sensed the desire of Shandi, and carried the baby back toward Ace's quarters. Slowly Ace opened the door, noticing Paul standing right in front of it. Ace gave a wry grin and shook his head, "Man I should KNOW better than to outguess a starchild!"
"You told her?"
"She thinks it's mine," Ace smirked.
"Maybe that's better." Paul sighed.
"Hey, is that baby telepathic?" Ace asked.
"Well yes... I think so. However, I tried to give it a lesson, in restraint. Damn, it will be HARD training a kid when we don't know its powers..."
"Hmm, maybe if I got a DNA sample I could analyze it. Cause one of the alien gadgets had a sequencer... and maybe my computer could figure out just what this kid can do..."
"Kelsey and Shandi just had to leave, before we knew," Paul sighed.
"I want to see my baby, our baby," Shandi's voice came as she stood next to Ace. Paul handed her the child, who reached out to Shandi's arms.
"Just a moment," Paul said, resting a hand on Kiara's head. Purple chikara crackled from his body, rising from the surface of his skin to envelope the child. Probing, gently surrounding the pliable mind and urging it to rest. To shelve the budding abilities until they could better deal with them. Locking them behind a wall of protection.
"Be normal little one," he whispered. "Till such time that your secrets are unlocked. You are special and unique, but you are as we are. Forget the powers, till another time..."
An infant mind stirred and locked away the unknown potential. It did not resist the tendrils of Starchild force that delicately built the walls and blocks that would protect it from itself. Until they knew Kiara's abilities. Eternity passed, until Paul retreated and the glow of a few seconds faded. He smiled and retreated to leave Ace and Shandi admiring the beautiful baby in their arms.

Jeannie opened the door to her room, as Paul strode back toward her. She saw the wrinkled brow and the frown on his lovely face. Holding out a hand to him she asked, "Paul, what's up... Susan told me that Kelsey and Shandi..."
"Are no longer in the bodies of the two groupies..." Paul announced. Susan peered around Jeannie's arm, seeing Paul standing there in the hall.
"What do we do now?" she asked.
"I don't know," Paul sighed. Jeannie slipped her arms around him, as Paul buried his head in her shoulder. Slowly they rocked, sharing the sense of loss for their friends. Susan rested a hand on his shoulder, sharing their sorrow.
"Where's Dad?" Jeannie asked Susan.
"Guess..." Paul laughed.
"I can," Jeannie rolled her eyes.
"He said he was explaining things to Shannon... that's the girl's name... like Ace was doing with Shandi..." Susan laughed, shaking her head.
"Damn I got to go turn the egg," Jeannie muttered. "Be right back okay?"
They followed Jeannie back into her room, where she reached into the box of pillows. Tenderly she shifted blankets over the smooth egg, and turned it over. Paul reached out to run his finger over the smooth surface, feeling the warmth from within. Susan did as well, caressing it as if it were the most precious thing in the world.
"That's my nephew or niece," she laughed. "Crazy."
"Nephew," Jeannie smiled. "Right, Paul?"
"Yep. Have you thought of a name?"
"Hmm. I like the name William," she muttered.
"Oh great, Bill the egg?" Susan joked.
"William... that was my dad's name..." Paul gasped.
"Yeah, for William Eisen," Jeannie smiled at him. "And after William Wallace, a hero in Scottish history..."
"Sounds cool to me," Susan agreed. "Wait till I tell Dad and Nathan..."
"I'm sure he doesn't want to be disturbed," Jeannie laughed, nudging Paul.
"Nope I think you're right on there, Jeannie baby," Paul said, then shut up in front of Susan.
"It's okay," Susan said, holding up her hand. "I know..."
"Know... know what?" Jeannie asked.
"You two. You're hot for each other..." Susan whispered. "I've always known."
"If you tell Dad..." Jeannie growled.
"What are you going to do, bite my throat?" Susan laughed. "I'm a Demon/dragon too. Just as capable of bearing the power as you are, or Nathan is."
"Girls please," Paul sighed.
"No Paul its okay. You'll tell him when you're ready," Susan nodded. "I don't have to cover for you. Besides, I'm sure Dad will figure it out sooner or later. Just please... be careful."
"How do you know... if you could bear the power?" Paul asked.
"Any of the children can. Its simple reasoning, isn't it?" Susan shrugged. "The only reason that Jeannie, Elliot, Mona and Tyler bear it now is because they got to the talisman first. It's in our blood, our genes isn't it?"
"Yes, it is," Paul nodded slowly. "Gene and I had talked about the power, who would take it when we were too old to handle it... that it should go to the oldest kid, or whichever one could hack it..."
"But now you're all in your twenties, and have a new start, are you ever going to pass it on?" Susan asked.
"I don't know. All this stuff that's been happening.... I just... need time to take it in..." Paul sighed.
"You will figure it out, love," Jeannie told him, pressing a kiss to his lips. "And we will succeed."
"No doubt. But what is our role in this?" Susan asked. "I mean not all of us bear the power..."
"But you have the potential," Paul mused. "And we all need help to rebuild... and reclaim Earth. Make it into a place worth living in..."
"How can we even be sure we can?" Susan asked again.
"We don't. But Ace said something about using the technology we brought back," Paul sighed.
"And I heard something in a dream... that the children..."
"There's a few hours of night left," Susan told them. "I'll baby-sit. You guys just rest..."
She moved over to the place where the egg lay, and scooped the bundle into her arms. Susan tenderly carried her nephew out of the room, and turned the light off. "Get some rest..." she urged them.
Paul sat down on the side of the bed, rubbing his head. Jeanie wrapped her arms around him from behind, tenderly kissing his ear. Gently she pulled him down onto the bed with her and urged him to lie against her.
"Come on, let's get some sleep," she urged. "You've done enough for one day, Star Child."

Quickly Tiara worked her way back through the ruins of the vast city. Another night was almost over, and she wanted to put as much distance between herself and the others. That invisible pull guided her over mountains of rubble and through the bare steel bones to where he would be. She could hear his chikara beckoning her, ever closer until...
Arms seized her, and she gasped as she struggled against fur. Her cry rang out into the red dawn, slowly spreading in a crimson band across the eastern sky, over the mountains. She struggled with an enemy far larger and stronger then her, until she heard a voice that pounded her heart ever faster.
"Easy there, Tiara.... do you forget me so easily?"
"Darryl?" she asked, as he released her from his grasp. He gripped her hands, standing out with a space of two feet between them, hair painted crimson like the weak willed dawn. It struggled against the dark massive dome of clouds overhead, creeping ever stronger to reveal the features of the man before her. White patches stood out as pink, dark eyes glistening in the V of blackness, twinkling with astonishment at her.
"You... came back?" he asked, muscular chest heaving up and down under the fur covered vest he wore. In the rising light his hair looked far darker then she remembered it, only highlighted with streaks of blond here and there.
"Darryl," she choked again, and threw herself into his arms. Her lips found his, pressing a hard kiss to his mouth. Slowly his arms rose and wrapped around her, pulling her back a bit to savor the kiss a bit. It had been so long since he and Jeannie had...
Jeannie the first woman who had shown him love. He had given himself to her, and she had shared the warmth of her bed with him on those first few lonely nights. Her words still echoed in his ears, you shouldn't be alone... Darryl.
"Tiara," he gasped, pulling away for breath. "Maybe we should get inside now..."
Arm around her hips he led her into the entrance, concealed by debris. She wandered down a long dark passage she had recalled from the night before, her body stumbling against his. However, his strong arm steadied her against his muscled form, and she felt safe. Far safer then even in the Cat Man's arms.
A twang of desire shot over her body, and she desired his hands over her body far more then this brief touch. It was an instinctive hunger, causing her to ache feverishly. Light flowed over them as they came into the small room they had shared before. On a palate lay the Golden Princess, with Sean standing over her protectively. He snapped his head up to see Tiara there with Darryl.
"She has returned?" Sean asked.
"Yes. I couldn't leave you. You need my help. If you are to survive."
"Why did you not stay with them?" Sean asked resentfully.
"The Demon did not trust me, and I was given to the Cat man for his whims," she said slowly. "I pleased him well, but I could not sleep there, knowing you were here, alone and with few allies..."
"You didn't have to come back," Darryl said softly. "You would have been safe..."
"I came back... to help, because I wanted to," she reiterated. "I know you have little reason to trust me... but my other wish was selfish..."
"What was that?" the Bandit asked, eyes twinkling warily at her.
"I desire the Fox," she said. "In my vision quest I saw his countenance, where he asked me to be his Bride, and mate. And I have taken few men since then, only for my own appetites. But I know this is where I belong... at his side..."
"That is enough reason for me," said Vanessa wearily, opening her eyes as she peered up into Sean's. He gripped her hand in his, stroking her hair from her face.
"Are you sure, you came back... for me?" Darryl asked her.
"Yes. I want to be with you if I'm to be trapped in this world. You will need women, to bear your children. I give myself to your clan, for this purpose. I only ask that I be the Fox's mate..."
"Granted. But you must swear loyalty to us," Vanessa said firmly. "And by your return you have proven yourself. Behold the mark is upon you..."
She gasped when she felt a burning on her arm, and yanked off the jacket. Pushing up the sleeve of the jerkin called a T-shirt she saw the symbol of Power etched there on her bare skin.
"I have branded you with my mark, for protection," said Vanessa. "You are OURS. In addition, we protect our own. May you be the first of many who serve us, and are in turned served by us."
Another surge of energy washed over Tiara, and she felt her nerve endings scream with fire. Not the burning fire of the hearth, but the fire of earth and creation surging in her veins. Gasping she separated herself from Darryl, and fell to her knees before Vanessa's cot. He gasped when she flared white hot, then red, flame spurting over her body from the core of her being.
"Indeed, she has another aspect," Vanessa muttered.
"What are you doing to her?" Darryl cried, but Sean held him back.
"She is being tested by the flame..." Vanessa told them. "Stand well back."
Flames died down, and the woman within rose to her feet, gasping. Over her entire body were the black and red streaks of flame markings. Over her face, in black and white were the distinctive markings in tongues of fire, in an upswept mask of scarlet and red.
"Behold, the Torch," Vanessa said solemnly. "The Fire bearer. Lady Tiara of the fire flash, the Torch who shall light the way of the future..."
She covered her bare breasts with her hands, shyly, until she felt metal covering her body. Chainmail draped over her body, covering loins and breast in gleaming gold metal. A long cloak draped over her shoulders, leaving her legs and arms bare to show the flame markings. It was as if she had her body of Astron Tellar here in this world. At her hip, she felt the weight of her sword, its curved blade keen and sharp to the touch.
"How is this possible?" she asked Vanessa. "I had been told your power was diminished."
"It comes back with rest. And we must find another place to hide," Vanessa said. "The others that held you will soon be after us..."
"Then let us prepare to move," Tiara nodded. They set about to gather up their meager supplies and leave, a fellowship of four once more.

Shandi blinked, gasping as she felt cold stone under her knees. Beside her she heard a coughing, and
slowly opened her eyes. Kelsey glanced up, hugging herself as she fixed her eyes on her friend.
Smoke wreathed them both, and they realized something was very different indeed.
"Shan... we..." Kelsey gasped.
"It... You look like you..." Shandi gasped. "Your body..."
"Where are my clothes!" Kelsey gasped, realizing that she wore not a stitch of clothing!
Shandi glanced down at herself, and squealed with shock, covering her bared breasts with her arms as
she backed away. Granted she wasn't shy about being naked in front of another woman, but it was very
"We're... back..." Shandi gasped, and whispered a spell. Soon a silvery blue robe draped over her
shoulders and she pulled it shut around her.
"Wow, a spell that worked?" Kelsey joked. "How about trying it this way?"
Again she gestured, and Kelsey felt metal under her fingers suddenly. Glancing down she saw the
flame markings of the Fire flash running strong in scarlet and black up and down her arms. The
well-muscled contours of her body were welcome sight, and she felt the warmth of her blood flowing
with the familiar chiming of the world's chikara, in just the right balance. Her own chainmail
halter and skirt wrapped her body once more, her sword belted at her hip.
They rose together, crying with joy. Both women hugged each other, and then glimpsed the hearth that
smoked with a dying fire.
"Oh man... the Elder..." Shandi gasped, when she saw the library around them. Footsteps pounded
outside, and they froze in fear. Kelsey tensed when the door bolt was drawn back, and the door
slammed open.
"Chaos, it is THEY!" a voice roared. Kelsey's heart pounded as the huge armored figure rushed across
the room, and swept her up in mighty arms.
"Celestial!" Shandi sobbed, throwing herself into his arms. He scooped her up, hugging her close as
she sobbed into his shoulder.
"My Demon!" Kelsey cried, ashamed that he saw her tears. He lifted her into his arms, holding her
close against the cold metal of his breastplate.
"My lady, and my love," Demon rumbled, stroking her fiery gold curls tenderly. "You have come back
to me... for real..."
"Our baby," Shandi sobbed into Celestial's shoulder. He shushed her, arm under her knees as he
picked her up like a small child.
"Let us go bring you food, and refreshment," Demon purred into Kelsey's ear as he carried her out of
the library. Celestial followed, his silver cloak and blue robes swirling around his legs as he bore
Seizing Demon's face, Kelsey buried her lips into his. He positioned her so she straddled him,
working her legs around his waist. Hands stroked up and down her bare back, his claws not scratching
or breaking the skin, but tickling irresistibly.
Celestial whispered a spell, vanishing with his precious cargo in silver fire. Demon pulled out of
the intense kiss, breathless as he softly looked upon his mate. A low rumbling in his throat like
the purr of a contented Dragon vibrated from his massive body to hers.
"Milord, could we skip refreshment. The only thing I wish to feast upon is you," she gasped
"I would be more then glad to grant your request," Demon rumbled, walking more quickly now with her
in his arms. "If I can hold my ardor long enough to retire to my chambers... our chambers..."
Morning came to Earth, and Paul shook off sleep. He strode downstairs to the kitchen area, to find
that Susan and Jennie were already operating the food synthesizer. The aroma of fresh coffee
filled his nostrils, accompanied by what he could swear was scrambled eggs.
"Hey ladies, you beat me to the punch," he laughed.
"I think we finally figured it out," Susan grinned.
"Where's Nathan?" Paul asked.
"Asleep. He walked the yard all night," Jennie reported. "I tell you he's taking this security
thing way too seriously... considering that Ace set up those security cameras and defense
Suddenly the door opened, and Mona walked in, with one kitten in her arms. Behind her walked
Tyler, the other kitten crawling over his shoulders with a weird and cute mewling noise. Paul
chuckled at the sight of both, and asked, "So you decided to join us here in chez Simmons?"
"Well we heard something went down last night..." Tyler said.
"Yeah, Kelsey and Shandi have split," Paul sighed, settling down. "But we didn't want to wake
"I felt the spatial rip," Mona said slowly. "We'll miss them..."
"But when Dad came back he said that someone else showed up... he gave us the lowdown," Tyler
"I have something I want to show you," Mona said to Paul. She held up a roll of paper, and passed
it to him.
"What's this?"
"An invention I thought of. So we can keep track of everyone... so you won't have to use your
telepathy so much..."
Another gurgling sound game as Ace strode downstairs with Shandi's baby in his arms. He was feeding
it a bottle, making funny faces as he strode into the filled kitchen. "Get a load of Space Daddy,'
Jennie joked.
"Hey campers, good morning," Ace said, glancing at everyone. "What..."
"We heard... about Kelsey and Shandi, Dad," Mona said.
"Yeah... major bummer. But I don't think there was anything we could've done to keep 'em
"I hate feeling helpless," Paul sighed. Ace sat down near Mona, holding the baby Kiara with one
arm as he reached for the paper.
"What's this, kid?" he asked.
"Ideas for an invention, Dad," she said, pushing it into his hand. Quickly Ace scanned the page,
before a large smile spread over his face.
"Nice work Mona," he smiled. "This will be perfect..."
"What will be perfect?" Paul asked.
"I'll get right on this..." Ace said. "Paul could you take the kid?"
"But what..." Paul asked, as the baby was thrust into his arms. Sighing, he held Kiara as Ace rushed
"Can you..." Mona looked to Jennie, holding out Kathryn.
"I'll be glad to," Jennie nodded, taking her niece. Mona dashed up after Ace excitedly.
Something grabbed a lock of Paul's hair, and he realized Kiara's fist clenched around a few of his
dark curls. He winced, repositioning her as he tipped her head back so she could continue to nurse
from the bottle.
"Ace you dope!" came Shandi's voice from upstairs. She rushed down, and into the kitchen toward
Paul. Suddenly she stopped, glancing anxiously at the people gathered there.
"Shandi, they know," Paul said quickly. Before anyone could speak, they heard Paul's mental warning
flash in their minds. Tyler spoke first to the astonished Shandi.
"I know this is a shock, but we're..."
"Ace told me. That you're the next generation," Shandi nodded. "And you have the same powers... but
are those kittens?"
"Uh huh," Tyler nodded, holding Leo in his arms as the kitten chewed on his ear playfully.
"Did Ace leave her with you? That dumb butt," Shandi scolded, reaching out to take the baby from
Paul. He sighed with relief as she cradled Kiara and took the bottle from him. She helped him free
the child's fist from the Starchild's mane of curls.
"Ow, that kid has a grip!" Paul joked.
"You've already got a kid to take care of, Ace said," Shandi winked.
"Yeah, an egg to sit on," Tyler needled.
"Ha ha," Paul winced, reaching for the coffee. "But Jeannie's taking that turn right now..."
"Uh... eggs?" Shandi asked.
"Dragon eggs," Paul said matter of fact. "Jeannie's the Dragon woman, and she laid an egg instead of
having a baby..."
"Major weird," Shandi shook her head.
"By the way Shandi, this is Tyler, that girl who ran upstairs was Mona, Susan's here to my
left, Jennie is over there by the food synth.... And the kittens are Leo and Kathryn..." he said,
introducing her.
"I'm Shandi. Shandi Finn, and I'm a HUGE fan," she babbled.
"We figured," Tyler smiled at her. "It's cool. But maybe you could tell us what the last thing was
you remembered..."
"Well I told Ace last night, so what the hell," Shandi sighed. Jennie placed a cup of coffee in
front of her. Paul listened thoughtfully as she recounted the tale of the strange earthquake, and
the sky blazing with fire. Hot head and screaming into blackness. Everyone shivered, keeping their
silence as they continued to chew or sip hot coffee. When she was done Tyler shook his head,
"Damn... that's what we experienced..."
"Exactly," Nathan nodded. "A split second before Leader's goons captured us."
They heard a chuckling from the living room, and the thump of running feet. Shannon burst into the
kitchen, wearing little else but a long Farewell Tour shirt that came to her knees. She stopped
short when she saw the group grimly assembled there, and moved over beside Shandi.
"Uh... sorry... but do I know all of you?" she asked.
"You're Shannon," Paul smiled. "Shannon Moore, KISS groupie and Demon fan."
"And you guys are the kids," she nodded, feeling a little awkward now. Gene pushed open the door,
nonchalantly striding in with his red silk bathrobe, and long silky hair.
"Well isn't this cozy,' he joked. "We're all here... except for a few Space Aces and a certain Cat
"Hi dad," Susan said. "Nate went up to bed..."
"He's got to stop the night watch," Gene shook his head. "Just so all you guys know, this is
Shannon... and that's her friend..."
"We know the drill," Paul rolled his eyes. "But we were wondering now what..."
"You had to ask that," Tyler laughed.
"Got anything for a hungry Demon? I'm starved," Gene asked.
"Sit down and be served Dad," Susan nodded.
"Wait, you ACTUALLY figured out how Ace's toy worked? Way to go, girl," Gene grinned at his
daughter, with pride when she put a plate of scrambled eggs in front of him with a mug of steaming
coffee. Reaching over he grabbed Shannon's wrist and pulled her to sit on his lap.
Still she was a little bit nervous at all the strange faces, that she knew from website photos of
all Gene's and Paul's relatives.
"Uh... where is Elliot Stanley?" she asked. "And Peter Criss?"
"I'm here," Peter said, bursting in. "But where the hell is Tiara?"
"Uh... who's Tiara?" Shannon asked.
"Wait, hold on a minute," Gene said, glancing up from feeding Shannon a bite of scrambled egg.
"Fill me in."
"I went to her room, and she's GONE!" Peter snapped. "Did you have something to do with it,
"Who me?" Gene asked. Shannon glanced at Peter, totally confused.
"There's groupies Peter, remember?" Paul rolled his eyes. "They don't know anything about what
happened in the last few months!"
"Dad, just calm down, and tell us what you found," Tyler told his father, grabbing his arm. Peter
exhaled, his hair puffing out of his face as he plunked into a chair. He glanced over at Shandi, who
moved over to him with concern.
"Shandi, why don't you sit down?" Susan said, about to offer her a chair.
"Sit here little girl," Peter sighed, patting his lap. Shandi sat down, still holding her baby in
her arms, on Peter's lap.
"So... Tiara's gone then?" Gene reiterated.
"Yeah. I tried tracking her trail... and guess what..."
"What?" Paul asked.
"She's gone back... to the enemy camp," Peter sighed.
"Son of a BITCH," Gene growled. "I KNEW it."
"What's everyone griping about?" Jeannie asked, standing at the door with her wrapped bundle in
"Tiara flew the coop," Peter shook his head. "After I trusted her..."
"Peter, just because you banged her doesn't mean..." Gene got out before Paul shot him a warning
"I'm sorry," Shandi said, stroking Peter's cheek as he put his face in his hand. She pressed a kiss
to his cheek, and Peter slipped his hand around hers.
"Thanks little girl, but it was my damn hormones..."
"Tiara..." Jeannie said. "That was Kelsey's sister..."
"Who is Kelsey?" Shannon asked. "And who the hell is Tiara? Was she that groupie that Peter..."
"Yep," Gene nodded.
"There were two ghosts that took us over, Shannon," Shandi explained. "From some other world. Ace
told me last night... and they lived inside us for months... and while we were there we had a
baby... Ace and me..."
"Ace and you..." Shannon scratched her head. Paul's warning look stopped any correction from the
others. Things were complicated enough as it was.
"So, Tiara probably wasn't cool then," Jeannie shook her head, moving over to stand near Paul. She
kept a discrete distance, for the sake of Gene nearby.
"Dad, do we have to worry about her?" Jennie asked her father, standing near him.
"I don't know anymore, damn it," Peter sighed. "This is just... who the hell CAN we trust?"
"Shandi and I would NEVER betray you," Shannon said firmly. "We love you guys..."
"I know that," Gene nodded. "But you gotta understand that things are not normal anymore... the
whole freaking world is..."
"Changed," Paul sighed.
"Hey guys, I got the perfect way to keep track of everyone!" Ace announced, at the kitchen door.
"What is this, town meeting?" Peter asked. "Shit..."
"C'mon in Ace. Let's see this brilliant invention of yours," Gene waved, wiping a bit of coffee from
his black lips with a napkin before handing his cup to Shannon.
"Actually I believe Mona thought of it," Tyler corrected.
"Enough with the pissing contest, what the hell is it?" Peter asked impatiently.
Ace carried a box and plopped it down onto the table before them. "Introducing the official Frehley
radio tracking system... with build in communicators..."
"Aww crap get rid of the SF jazz," Gene waved his hand. Mona opened the box for everyone to see,
and Paul and Gene peered inside.
"You have got to be SHITTING me," Peter shook his head.
"Very... stylish," Paul said, reaching inside to extract what appeared to be a rhinestone studded
"In varying sizing and fashion statements," Mona said. "It's a way of keeping track of everyone.
If everyone puts one on..."
"I think this is one that Gene would like," Paul joked, tossing a spiked collar to gene, who looked
over it.
"All of us?" Peter asked, taking out one that looked like a cat collar.
"Everyone. Groupies, relatives, especially," said Ace with a nod. He pointed to one around his neck
already, except it appeared to be a lightning bolt shaped pendant on a chain.
"It's a sort of badge or something. Not just for communication but for telling us from anyone
else..." said Mona. All collars and pendants were black and silver, with rhinestones or metallic
studding on them, in typical style of the band. Choker collars for the ladies, and pendants or
medallions for the guys.
"This should ease up on the telepathy," Ace told Paul. "Each contains a broadband two way radio
transponder, voice activated. And a radio tracking GPS system..."
"How does it work without satellites?" Gene asked.
"Well strangely most of the satellites are still working. I've been making scans of the impact
effect on earth... and the clouds are pretty much over the whole planet," Ace supplied.
"Damn," Shannon gasped, shaking her head. "The whole world?"
"Yes," Gene nodded, stroking her hip. "I'm sorry girls..."
Shannon wiped a tear from her eyes and started to cry. Gene put down his fork and wiped away a tear.
She buried her head in his shoulder, thinking of her family and friends, wondering if they were even
"My mom... my dad?" Shandi asked Ace.
"We've tried to look for survivors," Ace said, moving over to her. "Really... but it doesn't' look
"Oh no... no..." Shannon sobbed, reality hitting her. "My friends..."
"We haven't lost hope," Gene told her, hugging Shannon close. "Starchild's mind scanning... and he
thinks there are some people still alive..."
"There have to be!" Shannon blurted out, lifting her head from Gene's shoulder. "They were opening
up a bomb shelter under the arena... but me and Shandi didn't make it because of the crowd. But if
we survived there MUST be others!"
"There are,' Paul nodded. "We have to rescue them."
He quickly told everyone his strange dream, and they listened in silence. A shred of hope sparkled
amongst his words, and Gene wiped Shannon's tears away tenderly. Shandi had stopped shaking by now,
and Ace held her baby once more.
"All right then, this is what we do," Gene said, glancing at everyone. "If Peter and Ace and Paul
agree that is..."
"What is your plan, man?" Peter asked.
"Mona and Tyler, stay here. Mona can monitor us over the computer. Susan, Nate, and Jennie
will hold the fort, with the girls... and the rest of us go scout and investigate. That's you and me
Paul, with Jeannie and Peter. Ace can monitor us. Does that work for you?"
"Works for me," Peter nodded. "As long as my family is protected."
"Why does Jeannie go?" asked Paul.
"Paul don't be a fool," Jeannie sighed. "I'll be FINE. Anyway, I'm the only one of the kids who can
fly, right?"
"That's right," Gene nodded. "I don't know why it didn't pass onto Mona and Tyler..."
"Hey I'm cool here," Tyler nodded. "But the egg..."
"Will be fine," Susan nodded. "There's an aunt and an uncle to protect it, remember?"
"Good. Then let's get to work," Gene nodded. "We WILL find them."