Other Fan Fiction ❯ KISS Next Generation ❯ Blackwell's agent revealed ( Chapter 21 )
[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
Disclaimer: This story is a work of fiction. I don't own KISS, or its members or their mentioned family members herein, and this story means no harm. It's a work of a devoted fan for the enjoyment of other KISS Army soldiers. Some of the ideas in this book come from Christine Criss (email@example.com) whose character appears in this story.
By Trynia Merin, Christine, and Shea
Back in the laboratory complex, Tamara wandered from lab bench to laboratory bench, putting the flask over a Bunsen burner while
Christine impatiently watched. Pages were open in the lab notebook to her left, and Tamara brushed past her to set a vial into a machine called a spectrometer.
"How can you be playing with chemicals while they're gone and the power's not back on fully…"
"I have to do something while I'm waiting," Tamara said. "And anyway, I'm trying to figure out how to make a synthetic protein from raw materials."
"Why don't you just transmute something into food?" Christine asked.
"It's not that easy. I can't change complex molecules…" Tamara said. "Not without a huge investment in power…"
"This isn't lunch is it?" Christine asked as she turned up her nose at a flask of foul smelling tar burbling nearby. It looked as unappetizing as tar.
"No, that's a batch of raw crude," Tamara said. She used large asbestos gloves to pick up the flask by the top. Carefully she poured it into the bottom of a large round flask with a neck.
Christine helped her to lug it over to a giant still, and clamp it on. "This isn't moonshine… is it?"
"Crude oil, and a distillation column," Tamara said. She climbed up on a ladder, and poured white silicon sand down into the heart of the long tall column. The strange gel substance she let spill down inside and then turned another valve.
"Distillation… cracking you called it," said Christine.
"Nope, this is just a fractional collector…"
"Methane, light straight run, and other stuff," Christine nodded, looking at the fractionater side draws that were labeled in her own handwriting, clearer to understand than her friend's. "Our own gasoline."
"Not yet, that's just naphtha," Tamara said as Christine opened a valve midway along the column and a liquid gurgled down into another collection flask. Tamara climbed down and crossed over to clamp the flask off, and carry it with Christine's help to a large tank, perhaps the size of a 50-gallon aquarium. Large combs were set at intervals in a tank of sand and fine granular powder.
"So, let me get this straight, you're using sand to purify naphtha and gasoline?"
"I'll need your help here… I know you can generate heat. Gene's not here so…"
"I'll give it a shot… but how can you be making gasoline at a time like this? Unless you're making a getaway car. Or more fuel for the generator…"
"That… and a reserve supply…"
"Maybe some explosives would be more useful," Christine said as she concentrated, and placed her hands near the heat source, which ignited from the solar battery. The thermal cracker bed began to operate, and both women retired to a safe distance.
"This way," Tamara said as she led the way to the other part of her laboratory, considerably smaller, but no less safe. She carefully removed some cotton wool she'd soaked in a clear solution.
"TNT. That's more like it," said Christine, glancing in appreciation. "Gene will get a bang out of this, pardon the pun. But if there's gonna be earthquakes, I suggest you hide it from Ray… the bitch queen of the north…"
"Undoubtedly,' Tamara nodded. "God, I wish the radios were working…"
"Figures. Gene and Paul are out there, and they tell me to stick here. What am I supposed to do? At least you're doing something useful…"
"You are. You're my lab assistant," Tamara joked.
"Say that again and I'll see how well this works," Christine joked as she indicated the TNT.
"Carefully, anything will set it off…"
"You told me this stuff was invented by Nobel. Figures. Some guy starts out with something he THINKS is useful and he gets a bad rap for making one of the most explosive compounds," Christine rolled her eyes. "But it's good stuff to have. Like gasoline…"
"I hate to lose this…" Tamara muttered. "We have to put this stuff somewhere safe…"
"Earthquake or no earthquake…" Christine nodded. "You don't buy it do you?"
"No, I don't."
"Otherwise you'd be someplace else rather than playing mad scientist," said Christine. "So, how long do you think we have till our bitch queen makes a move? Trying to get us to leave?"
"Probably another 15 minutes…" said Tamara, glancing at her watch. Somewhere close by, Christine heard the noise. She felt the shifting in the earth, and turned to Tamara, who was writing the latest findings in her notebook. Both women exchanged glances, and Tamara froze.
"Too convenient," Christine muttered.
"I have to move the gasoline, and shut it down…" Tamara panicked.
"You let me do that… you get that TNT out of here, and someplace safer," Christine nodded. Tamara agreed, and both women bustled about trying to safety proof the chemicals. Any sudden jarring could set the place on fire. It took precious time, but they finally battened it down, and stopped the reactions so they could transfer all the compounds into the drums.
Christine wiped her forehead off, and Tamara did as well. "Why don't we take five. You're burning up. You need to get some water…"
"Not you, Paul's worse enough…"
"She's right, you need to take it easy," said Paul as he strode in, and saw Christine taking off her smock and tossing it over a chair. Tamara strode after her, as she carried a flask in her hand, and saw Paul's look of frustration.
"What are you doing… I thought you said you'd keep her out of trouble," Paul scolded, tapping his foot and trying to look serious. "Tammi, you put her to work again…"
"I'm neutral… save it for your foreplay star boy," Christine chuckled. She wandered within inches of Paul, whose nostrils flared and eyes widened. Suddenly it had grown very hot in the lab, and he felt his pants getting very tight.
"Now don't start with me," Paul said as he willed his body to resist the temptation. It was harmless, and Tamara chuckled despite herself as she set the flask down, and saw Paul flustered at her friend exiting the lab.
"Go find another lab rat," Tamara called as she tossed a piece of dry ice towards Christine, who avoided it with a laugh. Steaming CO2 misted as the ice skittered across the floor and vanished harmlessly under a lab chair.
"Tammi…" Paul said, steadying his pulse at the smell bathing his nostrils. He was a married man, a married man…
"Listen to your hubby. I'm gonna go do some workout… you sure you can handle it without me?" Christine winked.
"I can," Tamara laughed. Paul mumbled something under his breath as Christine wandered out with a grin on her face that Tamara returned.
"Whoops, 'scuse me Padre," came Christine's voice as they heard a thump in the hall.
"Hey, I didn't see you…" came the priest's answer.
"Your brother's in so much trouble," Paul bit his lip, trying not to laugh as he sensed Fr. Atomique's thoughts not far by.
"You didn't come here to tell me about my brother's torture at the hands of my friend, did you?" Tamara asked. She moved to grab another flask, but felt it tugged out of her hands by a beam of purple light wrapping around it.
"No… I've come to rescue you from slaving over a hot Bunsen burner," Paul teased. Tamara shook her head as he directed the flask to set it down, and walked over to her. She looked cute in that labcoat, he thought, but the noxious smells didn't make him feel too good considering her situation.
"I know what you're thinking," she said as she lifted a finger to his lips. "And I'm well aware. I'm not working with any mutagens or teratogens."
"It's no worse than Ray walking on volcanoes," Tamara shrugged.
"That's not the same…" Paul sighed. Tamara turned and she felt him walk over and hug her from behind, slowly fiddling at the buttons of her lab coat.
"No, it isn't… is it," Tamara muttered, realizing Paul wasn't going to leave her alone anytime soon. Not with those pheromones at work. She'd have to thank Christine for this interesting intrusion.
Fr. Atomique muttered as he crossed himself, and walked into the kitchen, grabbing some bottled water. He saw Christine as she sat there, fiddling with the coffee machine. "You are so dead," he shook his head.
"Hey, I wasn't the one watching where I wasn't going," she shrugged. A purple light surged over her, and she felt the brush of strange images. Images of Gene, hot and sweaty. In a shower or hot tub, slowly lathering soap over his skin. Going lower and lower until… She turned quickly, and he shrugged, laughing as he walked away. "Flirt," she threw at him as he wandered off, and he shrugged.
"They're YOUR desires of the moment, not mine. Just showing you what you're thinking of, though you don't wanna admit it,” he said with a knowing look. “Call it a confessional… since you were thinking about it…”
"Go say some Hail Mary's… or better yet, your sister's got some company from your bro in law. Better make sure she's behaving herself," Christine called.
"They're already married, why should I care?" he laughed, and walked out, with his water bottle. As he passed by, he saw Gene wandering toward him. He grinned, hoping that she'd get the mental hint and do something already!
Christine watched as Gene walked into the kitchen. He'd just come from a sparring session with Paul. She chuckled at the sight of him in his alternate form with a workout towel around his neck. Hanging a towel around one's neck seemed like such a human thing to do, so normal, and yet the one in front of her definitely didn't fit into the human category at the moment. She smiled as he walked past her eying her carefully. Whether he was keeping an eye on her because he was still wary of her or if he was just sneaking a peek was the question. She figured that because he rarely saw her in her alternate form unless she was fighting him, he was just taking a moment to look her over. Christine finished stirring the sugar into her coffee and watched him as he grabbed a bottle of water. He drank down most of the water greedily before turning towards her.
"I've been meaning to talk to you." He said carefully.
"Really?" Christine answered taking a sip of coffee and then setting the mug down. "What about?" She made it sound as if she was disinterested. She knew where this conversation was leading. She hadn't missed the way Gene had been checking her out lately. And while she couldn't read his thoughts or emotions like Paul or Elliot, she could pick up hints of them by smell. She hadn't missed the subtle trace of arousal every now and then when she was around him.
He wanted her, that much she knew. The feeling was mutual but she wanted to see how far Gene would go to get her.
Gene set his towel and water bottle down on the table and paced to the middle of the kitchen, obviously trying to gather his thoughts before he spoke. Finally he stopped pacing and crossed his arms. He glanced towards her and then looked away, focusing on the kitchen tiles off to the side. Christine leaned against the counter; curious of just what he was going to say. Whatever it was it seemed like he'd been rehearsing it and was trying to recall just how to say it.
He finally cleared his throat. "There's a few things I need to speak to you about. I'm sorry for being blunt…" he began.
"Sometimes that's the best way. Go on." Christine answered pulling herself up to sit on the counter.
"I'm sure you've noticed lately that it's been rather frustrating for me. Everywhere I look it seems like someone's being lovey-dovey or getting laid. Except me, and before you say it the friggin' priest doesn't count."
Christine chuckled. "Well…what about the other women?"
Gene gave her a puzzled look. "Who? Shannon and Simone?" he asked.
"And Raina,” she added.
Gene scowled. "Shannon's gone and Simone ran off with Peter. I STILL don't understand that one…And Raina? She and I have a past, no doubt about that. But it seems like that's it. It's almost like I'm not good enough for her, like I never was. And I'm sure you've noticed her high and mighty attitude towards everyone. ESPECIALLY me." Gene sighed. "Then there's you. You seem to deliberately enjoy torturing me with that damn power of yours. SO my question to you is are you interested or not? I'm tired of the damn games. In case you haven't noticed you're the only available female around here and I'm MORE than interested. Are you?"
Gene turned to face Christine and saw the she was smiling. He inwardly groaned. She wasn't even taking him seriously.
"Well… I might just be interested in something…" Christine said teasingly, examining her nails instead of looking at him.
"But I wonder…what would that something be?" She released the aphrodisiac into the air knowing that it would drive Gene insane when he caught scent of it.
Gene growled low in his throat. "You're doing it again. How the hell do you do that anyway?" He asked as soon as he caught the tantalizing scent in the air. Christine shifted, leaning back on the counter a little, giving Gene a view of her legs and up to her thighs as her skirt slid up ever so slightly.
"Why don't you come a little closer and find out for yourself?" She asked, her voice low and seductive. She made eye contact with him, mesmerizing him.
Gene began to move towards her without any conscious effort on his part and realized it was another one of her powers. He broke eye contact, opting to check out what she had to offer instead. As he continued towards her he could feel his groin tightening almost painfully and wondered for a moment whether she, the aphrodisiac in the air or his overall lack of sex, was making him this aroused.
"All three." He concluded as he hurried towards her, figuring they would need all night for him to get this out of his system. And the faster he got there the more time they had.
As Gene broke eye contact and started moving closer, Christine felt her pulse quicken. She hadn't realized how much HIS presence affected her till now. The distance between them wasn't really all that much but to her it seemed to stretch for miles. The sexual tension in the air was so thick you could cut it with a knife. Gene finally stood in front of her and from her seat on the counter they were almost eye to eye. Christine could almost feel the way his eyes wandered down her body appreciatively. It was beginning to feel like a contest of who could keep their hands off each other the longest, one she was about to end. Christine reached up and drew his face down to hers and their lips crushed together desperately. Gene's tongue darted into her mouth, ravishing it and she felt her pulse seem to double when he pulled her against him, so close that her legs had nowhere to go but around his waist.
Gene ran his tongue down her neck and back up to her earlobe, flicking it over her earring and then nipping lightly.
"Feeling better?" Christine asked, breathing heavily and massaging the back of his neck.
"Much. Even more when these clothes are gone." He growled into her ear, sending shivers of need down her spine. She arched back as he trailed his tongue down into her corset where her cleavage was exposed.
Vaguely, through the haze of passion she heard footsteps and started to move back when Gene's arms wrapped around her tighter. She let out a moan as he ground himself against her pressing her against the counter.
"Oh Jesus!" A voice said from behind them. "I always knew you two would kill each other or fuck but right here on the kitchen counter?!"
Christine and Gene both jumped in surprise and turned, seeing Paul standing there looking amused. Gene let out a frustrated growl and Paul chuckled.
"Looks like you could use a cold shower, Gene." Paul teased as Gene and Christine got up and tried to put themselves back together.
"What I NEED is to get some but people like YOU seem to have a talent of walking in at the wrong time." Gene muttered. Christine moved closer to Gene and leaned up, kissing his neck and trying to defuse the situation.
"You still can get some. Let's just go somewhere a little more private." She suggested nipping his ear, like he'd done to her minutes before. Gene nodded, meeting her lips and deepening the kiss.
"Ugh. Get a room." Paul groaned, grabbing a bottle of water and trying to hide his grin.
Gene broke the kiss and glared at Paul. "I'll remember that next time you and Atomic girl are gazing at each other adoringly." Paul laughed. "Get out of here before you two desecrate the kitchen anymore."
Christine grinned and looked up at Gene. "Yeah. Let's go desecrate that bed of yours instead." She said tossing a wink at Paul.
Christine woke up, crackling bone-crunching laughter echoing in her ears. She sat bold upright, shaking off arms that clenched her, and found herself drenched in a puddle of sweat. One moment she was on the island, and the next in this darkness.
“Babe, what's wrong?” Gene mumbled as he reached over and pulled her back down. She felt his energies surging around her, and the memories tumbled back of the last 24 hours. Around her the satin sheets were cold, and her body and the one pressed to hers were wet with perspiration and the juices of wild sex.
“Someone's laughing at me,” she muttered. “Who the hell's there?”
“Nobody's here, but you and me, babe,” Gene reassured her as he pulled her close. Christine shivered and shook her head free of the laughter.
“I dunno what the hell is going on… if Paul's playing games…”
“He wouldn't dare,” said Gene. “What was it you saw, and was it one of those dreams?”
“Memories maybe, nothing,” Christine muttered, hugging herself because her body had been dragged through freezing hell. Gene sensed her body had dropped five degrees in temperature, and she felt bone weary and intensely tired. Sex shouldn't have this effect, she shivered.
“Let me warm you up,” Gene said and drew her back into his arms, feeding warmth of his body into hers, knowing her vampire nature would allow her to metabolize it. “You can have it… you need it more than I do…”
“Bastard… it felt like he was trying to get to me…” Christine gritted, her eyes flaring red momentarily. It was then she realized she was in her human form, and it frightened her. Few things did, but this was the ticket.
“Shannon had dreams…” Gene trailed off. “Don't kick my ass for mentioning it, but when I'd have sex with my other women; the same sort of thing happened… they saw their selves in that other world. And if what I'm seeing is true… you're just like that… you WERE there, in that other world, weren't you?”
“What if I were?” Christine asked, suspicion rearing an ugly head. Yet she had felt Gene's energy surging through her during their sex, and sensed no taint of corrupted darkness. But how was her energy drained?
“You're seeing if I'm on the level, aren't you?” Gene asked, his mind filling in the blanks. “You and Paul, and your buddy Atomic Girl… it's all a test. Why else was Tamara jerking me around?”
“What would we be trying to prove?”
“That there's a mole among us,” Gene said as he sat up, and Christine saw him touch a finger to the lantern at the side of the bed, and the light flared on. “I don't blame you. I guess the joke's on me…”
“It could be me,” Christine said.
“It could be, but what would that serve? Considering how you've been jerking me around, it would make sense,” Gene said, looking not at all angry. “It's not Tamara, because her actions were just pure PMSing because I wasn't taking her seriously. She's like Paul; she's bitchy when she's ignored. And you, you were just yanking my chain seeing how long I'd take to get you in bed. But you and Paul, and that padre knew that something was rotten, and that's why they sent you…”
“Yes,” Christine said. She had to risk it. Everything she'd experienced till now with Gene only served to confirm that he wasn't the turncoat. And she was glad, very glad.
“Who is it, babe?” gene asked.
“I don't know,” she confessed. “I've got some nasty suspicions, but there's little way of proving it…”
“Let me know, everyone's depending on me,” Gene said. “My kids… who…”
“It could even have been someone who had been here and left…”
“Peter or Ace, or Simone or Shannon? Or Shandi?” Gene growled.
“Yes and no…”
“Dammit I can't help if I don't know…” Gene trailed off, frustrated.
“Maybe we'd better work together to find out for sure,” Christine said. It was on the tip of her tongue, wanting to confess her suspicions. Yet she knew that Gene might not believe it. So she concocted what was an elaborate lie, to protect him from the truth. He'd find out sooner or later, and then he'd need everything from preventing him from destroying someone he cared for greatly in the process of protecting everyone else.
“Are you not telling me because…”
“I don't know for sure Gene… and neither do Paul or anyone else…” she said angrily. “We've got to find a way to flush whoever it is out. And that's Paul's plan. So far, all we've seen is that you and I go great between the sheets, Tamara's pissed because you underestimate her, and you and Paul are at each other's throats like usual…”
“So, you're saying we just go on, and keep our eyes peeled, is that it?” Gene asked.
“That's the only thing we can do, till the mole acts,” said Christine. “I'm sorry, I think it sucks ass, but it's the best we can do…”
“Are you afraid it might be Paul or Tamara?” Gene asked.
“It could be. Jesus, Gene, you didn't think I figured it was possible? How much it freaks me to realize my best friends could be my worst enemies? Damn…”
“I'm sorry,” Gene said, as he saw her leapt out of bed, and grab a robe to throw around herself. “I guess that's the plan. Making us all jumpy, fighting one another instead of…”
A loud klaxon ground its harsh noise in their ears, and obliterated the rest of Gene's words. He cursed as he heard Paul's voice echoing in their heads, and the two of them looked at one another. “What the fuck is that now?” Christine muttered.
“That's new,” Gene commented as he summoned his armor and costume, the scarlet energy surging about him as he regained his alternate form. “Since when did we have an audible alarm? Paul always gives us a psi holler…”
“Not good… I don't think it's Paul who…”
“Gene… Christine… It wasn't me,” came Paul's thoughts. “It was Mona… from the Criss home…”
“Shit, we're coming… what is it?”
“A sign of Vanessa and company…” Paul's answer came, and Gene glanced to Christine, who had just gotten dressed. They rushed together out of his master bedroom, and almost flew down the stairs.
Paul moaned and held his head, feeling the siren pound through it. Tamara also gritted her teeth, loud sounds almost paralyzing her. Red lights blasted, and Paul realized that he couldn't hear anything but the siren wailing. Bold upright he sat in the bed, having surfaced from a sleep that was incredibly deep. Tamara curled up, holding her ears as she lay on her side, teeth clenched.
“I can't… I can't…” Paul gasped. Thankfully the klaxon stopped, and the silence was a relief. Something rang in both their ears, and they glanced at one another. Paul's fear surged when he realized that his psi probes were scrambled. His brown eyes widened, and he glanced at Tamara with horror. “That's never happened before I always…”
“I can hardly hear you,” Tamara said as she lowered her hands from her ears. He realized he couldn't see anything except in the dim red light of the backup lights.
“Danger and I wasn't woken up… I would hear someone if they were having problems, we never had to set the alarm unless someone couldn't…” Paul trailed off.
“Have there been any signs of unusual energy?” Tamara quickly asked, her ears still ringing from the deafening siren.
“Yes… that's the problem. “
“Dad…” came Elliot's voice in his mind. “I couldn't sense you… or Mom, or…”
“Ell, you couldn't…” asked Paul as he sat up. “You couldn't hear me in your mind… I can sense your thoughts but…”
“Nobody else's… everyone's… blank… I can only sense the other Star children…” answered Elliot frenetically.
“I hear you, Ell,” Tamara telepathed, and looked at Paul's dark eyes, and then she saw that he was in his human form, his whiteface gone.
“You're human,” she said aloud, and then realized she couldn't hear herself because of the ringing in her ears. Paul nodded, and saw as she pointed to his image in the mirror. She however was still in her alternate form, and it made him consider some nasty possibilities.
“I can't feel Gene, or the others. I only feel you, Ell, and your brother… everyone else… there's just… nothing…” Paul shivered, shaking convulsively.
“Your powers are negated?” Tamara asked. She leapt up out of bed, and then dragged the sheet with her, forming it into clothes as she ran towards the purple box lined with black felt. She opened it up, and Paul felt the Star talisman surging its energies through him as he was bathed in its radiance.
“I… that's better,” Paul muttered as he took the Star from Tamara, and held it to his chest.
“Dad,” said Elliot as he rushed in, and then averted his gaze. “You too?”
“Paul, Elliot… you've got to come quickly,” Mona's voice crackled over the short range collar radio. "You have to see what Jendel's detected… a massive EM surge that whipped out all the electronics… except for our collar radios…”
“How can that be when radio waves…”
“It fried everything…” said
“I honestly couldn't sense her, and then Mona…” Elliot said with fear.
“Can you think to me now?” Paul asked, his mind struggling to transmit.
“Yes,” came Elliot's voice in his head. Both men were wide eyed, visibly trembling, as if from withdrawal symptoms, while Tamara felt the darkness seeming to close in on them. Paul tossed the star to her, and summoned his costume.
“Stay here, I'm going to get to the bottom of this… Ell, where's Jean?”
“Mona what the HELL is going on?” bellowed Jeannie from the hall. Father and Son exchanged looks, and they knew the answer as they heard the thump of her footsteps echoing. By now the ringing was dying down, and they could hear more clearly.
Elliot rushed out of the room, and Tamara saw Paul close behind. “Wait for me…”
“Stay here… there's something horribly wrong going down…” Paul's thoughts echoed. Tamara snorted, and then realized she was holding the surging star in her hands, its warmth shooting through her. Taking a moment to return it to its box, she summoned her clothes. In minutes she let herself drop through the molecules of the floor to land in the room below.
Christine and Gene were rushing out of the upstairs as they saw her there. Fr. Atomique was carrying the orange egg with purple stars on it as he rushed out, and he saw her. “Sis, I couldn't sense you, and then Ell's got me babysitting this…”
“You volunteered to help with duties, don't look at me,” Tamara said as he saw Susan and Nathan glancing around in confusion. Susan made to take the egg from him as he and the others moved out into the sitting room. Mona was there, pacing as Tyler held the two kittens, which were mewling and yowling as babies did. Elliot took the egg from Fr. Atomique and Jeannie slipped it into the front of her long red robe, where her own body heat would keep it incubated.
“So we're all here, what's going on?” asked Gene.
“Sorry about the wakeup, but I had to get you all awake… I couldn't get your minds to respond when I…” Mona said.
“Shit, you could have…” Paul muttered.
“I couldn't get you to wake up,” Mona said with fear. “Something was stopping my mind from reaching yours…”
“Something drained my powers,” said Paul, and Elliot nodded.
“You too, shit?” Christine shivered. “This is NOT good.”
“And neither is this,” said Ray as she walked out, wearing a bathrobe and yawning.
“Where were you?” Gene asked.
“Figuring out the source of the disturbance, what else?” Ray said. “I told you that we should've set up the geological equipment sooner.”
“What does THAT have to do with anything…?” Gene asked, but Ray's impatient look silenced the answer.
“You'd know if you'd listened…”
“Don't be like that, Mom, they don't know,” said Jeannie irritated.
“Does this have to do with the huge EM flux Jendell reported before it crashed?” Mona asked.
“Crashed?” Tyler asked.
“I just got it running on backup,” Mona said as she punched keys on a console. Slowly, lights around the house complex began to flicker back on. “But that's only because someone remembered to fill the tank with diesel…”
“Someone's got some good sense,” Gene snorted. “Filled it yesterday… seems like we needed it.”
“How long will it last?” asked Paul.
“Long enough for me to get things back online,” said Mona with a sigh. “God, this is nuts…”
“So… let me get this straight, some EM thing wiped out our power, and crashed Jendel… and somehow made us all lose our powers temporarily?” asked Tyler. “Shit…”
“How mental energy could be affected by EM power?” asked Elliot, scratching his head. “I mean… Jeannie, you and Aunt Ray said something about how cosmic rays, solar flares, all that can stop broadcasts.”
“And magnets can wipe out computers,” said Tyler. “And those MRI scanners, Jeannie you said they'd wipe out credit cards… and they're electromagnets…”
“But if the sun's light is blocked, where would the EM come from?” asked Tamara. “An artificial source?”
“Balls of charged plasma are generated by the earth, when two plates move,” Ray said. “Remember that theory about UFO's preceding earthquakes? Those are balls of charged plasma, generated by the earth's friction… of great stress building up…”
“But the mental powers going out?” asked Paul. “Our minds are not based on EM power…”
“They are,” Jeannie said. “I mean the human body generates a weak EM field, but that wouldn't drain our powers…”
“But… the temporal lobe in the brain can be screwed up with a strong enough magnetic field, can't it?” Tamara suggested. Everyone blinked.
“True,” Jeannie said. “But it would take a POWERFUL em field to do it…”
“Couldn't that charged plasma Ray is mentioning do it though?” Tamara said. “Chemicals when they are excited by UV light, or IR light, give spectrums. That's how I measure chemicals, with spectroscopy. There's also something called NMR that is like your MRI that excites molecules. So do microwaves. The human body's full of transition metals in our proteins. And they can be affected in such a way by any EM radiation…”
“Exactly,” Ray said grimly. “And that's why you should have listened to me, Gene, when I said it was important to build seismography equipment…”
“Who cares, what do we do now?” asked Gene angrily. “Are you saying we're going to have a major earthquake?”
“Yes possibly,” Ray said. “We have to leave this place. It's geologically unstable… close to the san Andres fault…”
“Someone should alert Bruce and Eric then,” said Tamara.
“They aren't as close to the fault line… they're further inland… but yes, someone should inform them,” said Ray.
“I could call them… but Simone and Peter…” Tamara said.
“I'll contact `em,” Tyler said. “And Ace…”
“I'll call him, to see if there's anything he can…” Mona trailed off, and then blinked when something snapped into her head.
“We should leave,” said Ray.
“How long do we have?” Gene asked. “How do we know for sure?”
“If we don't leave in the next forty eight hours, the quake will consume this area, liquefy the dirt, and your home will be worth nothing…”
“Where can we go?” Paul asked.
“To the hills,” said Ray. “Towards the mountains. If we get started, we can reach there by tomorrow…”
“Wait, excuse me, but aren't there mutants out there? WE could die if they attack us…” said Tyler quickly.
“We'd better get my dad and Simone back here they can…”
“Fine, you do that. Get them back here…” Gene said quickly. “And Mona, get in touch with Ace… unless Paul…”
“I can try to get him with my mental powers, but I can't give any guarantees… with my power being the way it is…” Paul trailed off.
“What about your radios?” asked Christine.
“These are only good with each other. They lose range over fifty miles or more. And the waves are somehow getting distorted when I've tried to call,” Paul muttered.
“This is all too convenient,” Tamara muttered to Elliot.
“What?” he asked.
“Radio waves should be able to travel without problems,” said Tamara. “I mean TV signals do…”
“That's further evidence of EM bursts, and solar flares,” said Ray quickly.
“She's right,” said Gene gruffly.
“If solar rays can penetrate then how can,” Tamara began to ask, and shook her head at the inconsistencies. “I could talk to Bruce…”
“Then what are we waiting for?” Tyler asked.
“Good point. You all contact `em and meet back here with your results,” Gene said. “I need to talk to Ray and Paul. The rest of you, just keep calm, and then we'll think of what to do…”
Tamara glanced at Paul, who nodded. Her brother walked alongside her, while Christine followed. Tyler and Mona took the kittens, walking back to the small home they had, exchanging glances of confusion. Elliot glanced at his father, and Jeannie, and Gene's two other children in anticipation. “What should I do…?”
“Christine, Ell, Padre, take the others, and get something to eat,” said Gene. “Make some coffee, and some food. We're all gonna need it. Report in the kitchen in an hour… and let us know what Bruce, Eric, Ace and Peter say…”
As they walked in separate directions, Tamara sensed Paul's voice reassuring in her mind, and Elliot's trepidation. Tamara felt Elliot walk beside her, while Jeannie fell in behind Christine, and the Padre. Ray and Gene stood together with Paul, in a small circle. It wasn't till everyone exited that Ray again spoke.
“Tyler, what's wrong, kid?” Peter Criss asked, as he sat down on the rock by the burbling stream. Here the upright bones of trees were partly obscuring sky. It was a piece of forest that was still struggling to survive, and the water itself was cold and somewhat pure. Beside him, Simone perked her ears up, and shifted to human form like mercury.
“Dad, it's pretty bad. Things are going whacko and Genes…”
“Gene's full of crap,” Peter muttered. “What did he do now?”
“I'm worried, Dad. Mona doesn't want to leave, but I think… and then Tamara…”
“How is Tamara?” asked Simone as she moved up. “Why aren't our radios working why aren't…”
“Easy love,” Peter said as he reassured her. “I've kept trying to call you guys. But I only get static… I thought that…”
“I wondered why also. I thought you were pissed. I kept trying to call you…and you wanted me to keep from telling Gene that we were in touch… but this is serious…”
“I only last heard from you a week ago. Simone and I've been making our way back south… we've been seeing the mutant hunt rise, and we've found some good places with good eats and fresh water, and plenty of room…. But…”
“Tamara… is she… I can't get through…” said Simone in frustration.
“She's fine, for now,” Tyler said quickly. “She misses you. And the long range radio…”
“Damn, we're gone a week and…” Simone trailed off.
“How far away are you?” asked Tyler quickly. He seemed wary, nervous from the sound in his voice. The small portable long range radio communicator was a flat object that had the ability to burn through signals and relieves distortions. Peter had to carefully take care of it. He'd only bothered to call once every few days, and Tyler had promised to keep their communications to a minimum, till he was no longer sore at Gene or Ace. Ace for blaming Shandi, and Gene for suggesting this `leave'.
“We're only fifteen miles away from the hills from the north… coming down the coast…” said Peter. “If we run we can make it in two days…”
“Dad, hurry up… are you sure you don't want me to call Ace…”
“He'd have to fuckin apologize first,” Peter muttered. “And stop treating Shandi like…”
“Dad, this is serious. Mona's scared, and everything's nuts. We got all these emails from these screwy silver suited…”
“We know,” Peter growled. “We just ran into `em, and made `em regret they found us. They've been picking' up survivors that we've smelled… and when we get close, the settlements are deserted…”
“So there ARE other people?”
“Yes,” said Simone. “But the same smell everywhere…”
“Shit, this is great…” muttered Tyler. “Look, Ray MacLaren's thinking an earthquake's gonna hit and…”
“An earthquake, are you serious?” Peter laughed. “I felt a few tremors, but there's no quake happening…”
“What?” Tyler asked. “But Ray said…”
“Don'tcha know how to tap into the Earth's field?” Peter asked. “The earth has its scents and stuff. Powerful science stuff to some, but instinct t' you and me. If there WAS gonna be a quake you'dve felt it by now… and Id've also… even where we've been. Nah, if there's ANY quake gonna happen it's not from nature… the soonest one's only a month or so away…”
“Ray says we only have forty eight hours and we should go to the hills…”
“She's crazy,” said Simone. “That's where the silver suits have been taking people. The scents lead to the Nevada Mountains…”
“Crap…” Tyler trailed off.
“Tyler… quick… something's happening…” came Mona's voice. “I think…”
“Hold on Dad, I'll call back…”
“Tyler…” Peter called. “Tyler? Shit, this friggin thing…”
“Peter, I don't like this at all!” Simone growled as the radio crackled. “I smell… something rotten…”
“So do I… we'd better get a move, sweets,” he said as he morphed into his panther form. Simone's bones and sinews crackled as she became a red wolf, with golden eyes. Together they bounded off towards the south, and Los Angeles.
“How long?” she panted, in their own language.
“Two days solid running… with rests in between,” Peter panted, in a low growl. “Shit, I was friggin afraid of this… we shouldn't have left `em all…”
“You said that you needed to get away, to find a place we could all live because you sensed a big quake coming in a month… and he's saying it's in two days… that's not right and you and I know it. Why doesn't he?”
“He's still learning t' use his earth sensing' powers and stuff,” Peter muttered. “Shit, I should have gotten him to bring Mona, and the kids…”
“She didn't wanna leave, and you know it…” said Simone. “And besides, I asked Tamara to come with us, but she said she had to stay with Paul, and stuff. And she and Paul left to join Bruce n' Eric…”
“We'll get the answers, sweetheart,” Peter promised as they bounded towards the thickening choking smog, and felt the air grow thick with its pollutants. Both prayed they'd make it in time. Still Simone wondered why Peter wouldn't swallow his pride, and contact Ace. Mainly because whatever was screwing up the radio transmissions was making it impossible. Their collar radios didn't have the range, and their long range radio was faulty at best. Yet it seemed as if it was deliberately keeping them cut off from the others.
“Daddy, I'm scared,” Mona said with tremulous voice as she spoke into the comm. One of the kittens teleported in and out, and materialized near where Tyler was sitting, across the room. Both were huddled over their screens, telling their separate accounts. Knowing that Ace and Peter were not on speaking terms was painful enough, but being cut off was even worse.
“Mona, you know I wanna teleport down there, dammit…” Ace said quickly.
“It was your plan, you were right,” said Mona. “Someone IS screwing with us…”
“Shit,” Ace muttered. “And time n' space is Swiss cheese… dammit, you port yourself and the kittens and Tyler up here now…”
“But Daddy, you said that porting the kittens…”
“They're more important than our pride. Get `em up here… and we'll figure out the mess later…”
“But Jeannie and Elliot…”
“They'll be welcome up here too if they wanna… that ol' bastard fucking up the leading…” Ace asked.
“No. But Ray said that there was gonna be an earthquake and we'd all have to leave in two days…”
“Bullshit,” Ace said. “I've got satellite pictures monitoring everything. And other than that big EM pulse there's no evidence… speaking of which… I guess you saw it… any ideas?'
“You mean you don't know what caused it?”
“I thought it was you figuring something out… or maybe those silver goons doing something…” Ace said.
“No daddy, I don't know… but I'm scared… and now they want us to leave and…”
“Leave, and come up here… I'll send you a signal, and then you can all teleport…”
“Daddy, the others…”
“I'm sure Gene'll be ok. I mean he's got that new woman with him, the black widow chick. And Paul's got that Atomic Girl. She's able t' make anything they need, if she learns her powers right. But you've gotta be safe…”
“Daddy is Shandi and Kiara…”
“They're okay. Safe from that Vanessa chick. But if they get ahold of your kids too…”
“I'll get Tyler and we can go up there, soon,” said Mona quickly. “But what should I tell the others?”
“Tell Paul. I'm sure he'll get it. But don't go blabbin' to too many other people. They'll know when they have to know. And twist Ell's arm to get him and his kids up here too I think…”
“I don't think Gene would let his daughter leave…” said Mona.
“Stubborn asshole,” Ace muttered. “Figures. We only have enough space for five or six up here right now, but we can send down stuff…”
“When can we come?” Mona asked.
“Why in the next few hours,” said Ace. “I'll scan for a break, and then flash you. Then you port your butt up here with the kittens and…”
“Mona…” came Tyler's voice. “What's he saying?”
“He says we should go up to the station…”
“I lost touch with my dad,” said Tyler. “Ace, please, what's going on, have you…”
“You and your lady should get your asses up here, I'm fixing t' port you,” Ace said. “In two hours… get ready…”
“But I can't just…” Tyler trailed off.
“Shit, you have to protect your kids. I've been scanning and those chikara sigs are worse. And Mona says the EM's not you, and I'm seeing another source in the mountains…”
“No buts. Get ready to leave,” Ace called. “I'll call you in two hours…”
“Why can't I get Peter…?” Tyler called as Ace's link crackled off, and Mona glanced at him in distress.
“We have to go. Ace will keep us safe. But the others…”
“I guess they'll have to be okay. My dad and Simone are on their way here…” Tyler muttered as he held one of their kittens and Mona held the other.
“We need to tell Elliot, and Jeannie… and Paul… and Tammi…”
“Yeah. I heard your dad say to not tell Gene. What's up with that? Is he…”
“I don't know,” Mona sniffled, shaking her head. “It's all so damn confusing I…”
They heard a crackling sound, and a bit of masonry fell on their noses. Tyler leapt up, and Mona threw up a vibratory shell as they heard the rumbling and felt the earth heaving under them. Something acrid filled Tyler's nostrils and he drew close to Mona and his kittens.
“Ell, are you there?” Tyler shouted.
“Yes… what's going on…? I felt a quake…”
“Mona and I, we're fixing to get outta here… Ace said he could rescue us till we figure out what's going on…” said Tyler. “But we didn't wanna just go…”
“You should go,” Elliot said quietly. “I think you'd be safer. Your dads would want it that way. Ray says we should go, but she didn't say where… and Jeannie and I are pretty torn. I'm thinking we should go to Bruce and Eric if they'll have us…”
“I don't like this, I don't want us all to split up,” Mona whispered to Tyler.
“We've got no choice,” Jeannie's voice echoed. “You guys can go. It's not a problem. Besides, we've been through worse. And you and your kids will be safe in space… while Ell and I take care of things here…”
“I hope you understand… we aren't abandoning you, not like…” Mona stammered.
“Wait, hold that… I'm sensing… something…” Elliot called out, and then they heard his cry of pain.
“Ell, what's…?” Tyler trailed off.
“Something's wrong… something's very wrong… I…” came Jeannie's voice and then a loud roar followed by silence. Tyler growled, and Mona glanced at him in fear.
“Someone's here… all around us… we gotta go NOW!” Tyler growled as he shifted into his were form. Mona gasped as he shoved her aside when the wall shattered like cheap glass.
"Did you hear that?" Christine asked as she tensed up, and Tamara felt the ground swaying under her. There came a rumbling boom, and they landed on their feet. Flasks dropped off the tables and shattered, while test tubes rattled in their racks.
"Hear it… I feel it…" Tamara gasped, pulling her friend under a lab counter. The mica-topped table would provide shelter should the roof collapse.
"Mother F… that can't be the earthquake," muttered Christine. As soon as it had started, it stopped, and both women looked at one another, crouched under the lab table.
"Mona, can you hear me… its Tamara."
"Tamara… thank God… You've got to…" came Mona's voice before it was cut off. Christine let loose a low growl, and Tamara felt her heart starting to pound. Something didn't sound right.
"That's no static…" Christine muttered as she climbed out from under the lab table. "Something's wrong… I can smell it…"
"Wait for me," said Tamara.
"Paul and Gene should've been back by now. How friggin long does it take to get to Bruce and Eric's anyway?"
"I know, that distress call after all the crazy breaks in communication," Tamara muttered. They heard hissing static from Tamara's collar radio, and Mona's voice coming back on.
"It's okay… Kittens were scared. Don't' worry…" came her voice again.
"Are you…what the hell happened?" Christine asked, pushing on her own link. Static crackled and hissed, and both the chemist and the warrior exchanged questioning glances.
Fr. Atomique rushed in, and saw Tamara partly under the lab counter. "Sis, you okay? I felt that tremor… I was headed over to find Ell and Jean… but they're missing…"
"Missing, how?" Christine asked.
"That's what I'd like to know… there's something screwy… I sensed Elliot's mind one minute and nothing the next…"
He moved over and helped Tamara to stand. "What do you mean?" Tamara asked.
"It's the same thing as what happened before…"
Lights flickered, and they heard the rumbling again as static wheezed over their radios. Sparks exploded, and the lab computer blew up. Tamara yelped, while Christine pushed the flask that burst into flames out of the way. Gasping, Tamara stood up and started at the fire, which was starting to spread from flask to flask of flammable liquids. The air around seemed to mist and solidify, till it coated the chemicals in foam. Flames snuffed out easily.
"Shit," Christine muttered. "Terrific…"
"That was no accident…" Fr. Atomique muttered.
"I don't like this either… it's just too convenient…" Tamara nodded.
"I'm gonna go find them. Make sure they're upstairs…"
"I'll check on Mona… that sounded fishy…"
"I'll come with you…"
"No, stay here… just in case Gene, Paul, or someone else calls…"
"Dammit not you too!" Tamara cursed as both her friends nodded.
"You need to stay here. I'm sure it's something I can handle, more or less," said Christine. "I'm not trying to be a bitch, but we don't wanna have something worse happen… I can probably make sure it's crying for mercy..."
"Sis, we'll be okay… after all, Gene and Paul will be back, and I'm sure that Jeannie and Tyler will kick their butts… when I scare the hell out of them…" Fr. Atomique nodded. Both of them quickly walked out of the lab, and Tamara opened her mouth to protest. However her brother's mental reprimand made her want to scream.
"Tyler, Mona? Can you hear me?" Tamara asked, but there was static on her radio.
Fr. Atomique rushed upstairs, suddenly able to sense Elliot's thoughts. They were upstairs with the egg of course. Nathan and Susan were somewhere nearby, but emotions ran tense. A loud growl sounded, and he could swear it sounded like Jeannie when she was pissed.
"Get OUT of here," she snarled. He heard the tinkling of glass, and something tearing. Quickly he rushed forwards toward the room.
"Fr. Atomique, get help!" blared Elliot's voice in his mind. Suddenly he felt something slam into his mind with a spike of intense pain. Gasping he held his chest as he stumbled down the hall, and pushed the door open.
Elliot groaned, holding his head as he knelt by a wall. Jeannie was nowhere to be seen, and Fr. Atomique leaned down to help him. "What's wrong…"
"I can't… Jeannie… she's gone… the egg…" Ell moaned, as Fr. Atomique tapped into his body. Slowly he pushed with his own vitality, siphoning them into Ell to push him back into consciousness. As he saw where Ell pointed he saw the crib nest, knocked over and emptied of its contents.
Helping ell to Stand, he pushed the other man up and hobbled with him down the hall. "Where?" he mentally asked.
Fr. Atomique, with Elliot's arm around his shoulders, stumbled along down the stairs. They emerged into the courtyard, where they saw cracks snaking across the masonry. Underfoot the earth seemed to heave and groan, unsteadying them. A sulfurous stench filled the air, and they wheezed as it tinged their nostrils. What in the hell was causing it?
"Jeannie!" Elliot cried, as he slowly came out of his stupor, and pointed towards the sky. Overhead the deflection barrier rippled and swirled with its energies, and Fr. Atomique wondered what he was referring to, when he pointed to the shape crossing over their view.
"She's there…" Fr. Atomique pointed. "She's okay…"
"Jeannie… get away!" Elliot shouted.
Was it his imagination, or did he see swirling curtains of light curling overhead? A sharp smell like ozone filled their nostrils, and they stood transfixed as Jeannie's shape whirled overhead, and then slid out of sight. Moments later they heard a thump, and then saw the barrier hiss with sparks.
"Jean!" Elliot cried, shaking loose of Fr. Atomique as he rushed out towards the courtyard door that would lead them to the other wall.
"Wait…" Fr. Atomique shouted.
Something flooded across them both at that moment, blinding them, as the world grew dark. The last thing they saw was the barrier give way, and a blinding red flash that rendered everything senseless. The next thing that Fr. Atomique felt was his face against pavement, and the earth heaving up and down.
Voices and silver suited figures swam before his eyes, and he moaned as one leaned over him. "He went pretty hard…"
"His blood's a good type. Rare. Keep him alive…" came the feminine voice, eerily human.
"Are this way… take them and put them with the others. There are only a few left… and we'll have them all…"
"Jeannie!" Christine cried when she saw the shape sailing overhead. She rushed out of where she had been searching, and saw nothing. The courtyard was empty. The ground under her black boots rumbled, and she leapt from here to there to steady herself.
A loud roar sounded, and she turned in the direction of the cottage. Snarling and spitting, with the sounds of thumping and breaking objects. "Tyler!" she muttered, running toward the source. As she approached, she sensed life energies, clustering close. Just before her landed a scaly face with two burning eyes, and fangs.
Her fingers seized its throat, and her eyes flared red. Life force leeched from the mutt to her body, and she drank its energies. It crumpled, lifeless to the pavement. Seconds later she spun around, and slashed a second with her claws. Rocks flew outward as the cottage wall exploded, and another lizard body went flying.
Tyler stood framed in the jagged brick opening, his eyes flaring like twin green lights. Quicksilver melted as bones and muscles reformed into a shaggy gold and black lion. One powerful leap sent him flying out of the cottage, and another sent him pouncing on the figure he had just thrown through the wall.
"You stay AWAY from my wife, you son of a bitch!" he roared. Christine saw him tearing into something, but it hardly looked scaly.
Mona screamed, from within. There came the sounds of human voices, and Tyler looked up from what he was doing. Christine threw the lizard aside, and their eyes met in mutual confusion. Bright sparks of electricity flared, and a silver suited figure went flying out of the window on the other corner.
Two leaps carried him inside, where Mona was standing over a figure in silver, which was writhing and groaning in the charge of her electricity.
"Good god," Tyler muttered as the figure collapsed, and Mona stood, anger in her eyes as she stood between the fallen figure and the crib where the two kittens yowled.
"Uninvited guests," Christine commented, suddenly grabbing the shoulder of another silver suited figure that ducked out from behind a chair. Tyler seized the other that passed by the jagged opening, hauling him into the room and lifting him off his feet.
"Who ARE YOU!" Tyler snarled, holding the figure up. Christine held the other before her, and felt silver foil, which was padded. Dragging it into sight she saw a hooded visor, red screened, and smelled the fear of the creature inside.
"They tried to take our children!" Mona screamed hysterically. "I won't LET them!"
"You miserable pieces of shit, you'll me WHO you are, and WHERE the fuck you came from, or I'll tear your fuckin throat out!" Tyler roared, holding the trembling silver suited figure over his head and swinging it around.
"I've got an easier way," Christine said as she held tightly to the other, who was about the height and seize of a human male. There was no answer, but she grabbed the visor mask, and ripped it off. The human face inside blinked at her, uncomprehending but full of fear.
"Son of a bitch, they're people!" Tyler roared, ripping the helmet off the other. Another man, with close shaved hair, and eyes that were uncommonly bright yellow. The skin was smooth, and the mouth opened and closed as the man made whimpering noises.
"Who are you," Christine asked. "You'd better not be who I thought you were… because you've got a hell of a lot of explaining to do…"
"They aren't the only ones," someone's voice sounded.
"Do you know something about this?" Tyler asked. "If so you'd better tell now or your fiend gets his eyes eaten out!"
"Let them go. They mean no harm… you don't have to hurt them… this could all be avoided…"
"You mother fucker, you're gonna have a lot to answer for…" Tyler hissed. As he threw down his captive and hurled himself at the newcomer, he felt something bat him aside with contemptuous ease.
Mona hurled electricity towards her, but gasped as the silver suited figure staggered and pressed something into her neck. A sharp prick sent her reeling into sleep in seconds. She collapsed next to Tyler. Christine didn't miss a beat as she threw the silver suited figure towards the third that had appeared.
"You foolish child, you have no idea what you're dealing with," laughed the third silver suited figure. Christine leapt up; webbing spewing from her lips as it coated the figure. In two steps she had pressed it to the ground. However the figure pushed up and levered her off, sending her flying into the side of the wall. Bricks gave way, and Christine's invulnerably stopped her back from snapping in two. Light reflected off the figure's red visor, as it advanced on her. Dizzily Christine rolled over, and leapt to her feet. She launched herself quickly, knocking into the figure and pressing it flat again.
Energies surged as she sought to drain off the extra life force. "You stop all this or I'll drain you dry…" she threatened.
"You stupid little girl," laughed the figure. Christine tore off the helmet, and snarled as she saw the face beneath.
"I'll kill you, if you…" Christine got out, but the figure head-butted her, and kneed Christine in the pit of her stomach. Snarling, Christine fell, and felt a kick knock her over. She swept out with her claws; snarling and tearing as the figure fought back with all the ferocity that she didn't know it possessed.
Claws seized her, and picked her up. Christine kicked and fought as the reptilian creature, half woman, and half saurian held her over its head. With a heave it swung her around by her ankle, and hurled her upward. Tiles smashed as Christine crashed throughout the roof, and arced up and away from the complex. Her last thought was how much THIS was gonna hurt, and where the hell was Gene when she needed him.
Paul was sure that Bruce and Eric had sent a message, but something seemed to be etching at the edge of his psi probes. He could sense nobody at times, and more traces at others. Somehow something seemed to be throwing his psi probes off and scrambling them far more than usual.
"Gene something's not right...My psi is somehow scrambled."
"What?" Gene asked. Both were flying out over the city, going towards Bruce and Eric's place
"Are you sure you just aren't getting enough sleep?"
"Nothing seems to make sense....sort of like a static radio," Paul glared at Gene. “Sleep has nothing to do with it...something is WRONG"
"Good god..." Gene mumbled. He depressed his choker button.
"Gene to Bruce... Eric... you guys at home?"
Crackling came, and Bruce's voice echoed. "What the hell are you asking for?"
"What do you want already?"
"That's odd,” Paul said his face creased with worry." The transmission should be clearer than that, for how close we are."
"Paul, what's going on...?” Bruce's voice asked.
Then suddenly the link went dead.
"DAMMIT!!! Something is definitely wrong!!!" Paul yelled, bobbling slightly on his flight path, causing Gene to grab his arm to steady him.
Gene cursed, "Paul, what the hell... If this is one of your..."
"It's not Gene, I can't sense anyone from the hotel, and we're too close for me NOT to!" Paul yelled, shaking Genes grip as he straightened his path "We need to go back, something's wrong at the compound!"
"Good god," Gene mumbled. "Christine..."
"No, it's not Christine Gene; I think... I think its RAY."
He heard a garbled transmission coming over his radio, "Gene... Paul... something's attacking... I think... Gene, Paul, you've got to help! Something's wrong... the mutants are... they..."
"Christine!" yelled Gene as the link went dead and they heard loud rumbling.
"Gene try Bruce and Eric again!! We need to turn back!!! The kids, TRYN!!"
"Bruce, Eric, you reading me?" Gene shouted. there came no answer.
Something exploded nearby, and Gene gasped. "Shit, look at that... it's coming from the compound... Jesus... we've been had..."
"Oh God Tammi......"Paul sobbed "Please be all right."
"Shit," Gene mumbled. Suddenly something slammed into him full force, and he gritted as it passed over. A huge wave of force that rammed into him, almost knocking him from the sky. It was like a ripple in a pond, and he realized that it felt as if he'd been stung with a microwave. Paul's scanning in that second sensed its nature. Flickers of silver suited people in his mind's eye suggested it must be some sort of an energy stun weapon the scientists were using against Gene from a distance. Paul grabbed Gene, steadying him as Gene shook his head, trying to clear it. Electricity crackled over Gene, and then faded.
"Holy fucking crap," Gene mumbled, his brain feeling like it was tingling.
"Are you ok?" Paul asked in concern.
"Yes... but it felt like... it felt like... something scrambled my brain, and I was bombarded with illusions... and my powers... I couldn't focus to fly..."
"Look!" he pointed towards the distance, and they saw explosions rising from where Gene's home would be.