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By Matthew "Badger" Rossi

Gazing up into the darkness I saw myself as a creature
driven and derided by vanity; and my eyes burned
with anguish and anger.
James Joyce, Araby

Sweet death, sweet son, our instrument
Of immortality,
Your cries and hungers document
Our bodily decay.
Donald Hall, My Son, My Executioner

Heather looked up from the workbench, soldering gun in hand, and smiled.

"I got the neural packet done."

Jacob felt himself climb out of that state of rest that is almost sleep but isn't, and the optic system of the Battery armor flickered at the sudden increase in power his awareness caused. He looked at the mesh net and rectangle of black metal she was ho lding in her hands.

"And that's supposed to do what this suit does, draw off my excess energy production? That little thing?"

"Don't get all incredulous. The wiring that draws the power out of you and into the suit is a small part of its size. Most of the rest of it is the alloy armor plating, the artifical musculature, and the active sensor packages. Hell, it's a good thing you have those magnetic powers, or we'd have had to put on-board weapons systems instead of relying on the DX-11. Now climb out of there." She proffered the webbing.

He reached up with the robot arms that moved to his thoughts and removed the helmet, which began the cycling that opened up the chestplate. Sweaty and exhausted, he stepped out of the armor, his legs stiff.

"How does it work?"

"You wear it like a T-Shirt...this hole is for your head, and these two for your arms. The webbing conducts your power surges, and the black rectangle here is the transmitter that will beam the energy to the armor no matter where you are. This way, the capacitors will do their job even if you aren't in the armor."

"But if I'm not in the armor, what keeps the capacitors from overloading?"

"Mainly the fact that I'm almost done with the second suit, the one I'm going to wear. When your suit is charged, the transmission will jump over and charge my capacitors. Since I don't have Omega powers, like for instance your Electrokinesis, I woul d have needed a bulky internal generator. Now, that's unneccesary."

"Wait a minute! I have to power both suits?" Even as he put on the web-mesh T-Shirt and clipped the rectangle to his waist, he looked incredulous. "And this thing looks like a beeper, which mom will never go for. At least I'm not in high-school anymore."

"Look, if you ever want that next Doctorate, you'll have to wear the mesh. And besides, your output is up so high that you'll barely feel the power cost from both suits. This'll work." She pressed a button on the rectangle, and a second of blue fire swept over the mesh before it settled down. "How's that feel?"

"A lot better. It was beginning to build up." Jacob flexed his fingers. "In fact, it even feels like I could generate an EMP surge, even outside of the suit."

"Don't push it. The mesh doesn't have the same support structure as the armor. You could burn it out, using it like that."

"Whatever. As long as I don't have to tell mom about it, I'm happy. When is sainted Irene coming home, anyway?"

"Well, she left Thursday night, so she won't be back until at least Tuesday. That gives us today and Monday to decide what to do...not that I have any ideas on that score." Heather and Jacob both walked over to the TX-70 Hybrid they'd assembled in the co rner. "I've got old Betsy here searching through the SIRECOM files you retrieved, trying to find something that will tell us where dad is, if he's anywhere." She looked like she was barely restraining herself from asking him a question, worrying at her black lipstick and avoiding eye contact.

"Spit it out." Jacob was feeling slightly irritable, and he thought it probably had something to do with the mesh-net. It wasn't as smooth a drain as the armor, which was cutting edge all the way, and feedback was giving him a headache.

"What do we do if we find him?"

"He was part of a round-up that killed thousands of people, Heather." Jacob looked straight at her, catching her eyes and holding them, his normally unassuming features tranfiguring her with the hard set of him, the sudden rough edges that looked almost alien on his fifteen year old face. "I say he dies."

SIRECOM agents Mirabell Dylaist and Billy Moulder found themselves sitting in a Ford Crown Victoria on loan from the Colorado State Police, drinking tepid coffee and staring at the Aegis International plant down the hill, behind the huge barbed-wire fence and the tall metal columns undoubtedly filled with high-tech anti-Omega weaponry. This place had security from hell. Of course, so had all the other targets of their current case, the thief who attacked SIRECOM Atlanta two days before.

"So why aren't we going in?"

"We are. I just wanted to case the plant first." Billy Moulder sniffed at the air, but he was unable to determine if David Chevalier's scent was anywhere to be smelled.

"You don't seem to trust these people."

"I don't. They used to be part of Dynamax. Anyone who used to be part of Dynamax might have been part of Tazakles' little secret, you never know. And knowing what we do about Chevalier's involvement..."

"You've got every reason to be suspicious. I know. But what good are we doing, sitting out here?"

"None." He smiled. "So let's get on with this."

"Aye aye, sir." She started the engine and threw the car into drive.

Neither of them noticed a little metal ball hovering over them, spinning a tiny metal rotor and fluttering around the Aegis compound. Inside it was a tiny optical chip camera, and it lazily spun over the structures, filming everything inside and out with in reach of windows.

All of the data was recorded on the chip.

After ten more minutes of flyby recording, the ball swerved and fluttered away, flying a quarter mile away and descending to land on the passenger side window of a large bakery truck. A huge middle-aged man with a deep iron gray beard and hands like shovels picked it up and plugged an input jack into it, downloading the optical chip into a portable computer he had on the dashboard. After a few seconds, he had a schematic up and displayed.

"It's like we thought. SIRECOM's sent a couple of agents here."

"Really? They must think like we do, then. This is definitely going to be a target of the same thief who raided Tristan...and that means we'll have a distraction."

"You really think Owen's involved in this?"

"Somehow. It's his style: set up dummy corporations, purchase the Stormkiller weapons and anti-measures from them via another dummy corporation. Control everything, but do it from a distance. Yeah, I think he's involved, so we should be ready to move."

"What about the thief?"

"Depends on why he's here, doesn't it?" The man in the back seat plugged a Dynamax Hyper-Sound Cannon into a backpack power system. "If our interests coincide, great. If not..." He primed the cannon.

"I'm sorry I can't help you, Agent Mousler..."

"Moulder. Special Agent William Moulder."

"But I really don't know anything about a 'David Chevalier' or Dynamax , either." The elegant dark-haired woman had a slight spanish accent, but Moulder could detect the disdain beneath it. "I only became the director of Aegis upon it's purchase from the Dynamax Consortium last year."

"Miss Montoure, Agent Moulder and I aren't implying that you do know anything. We're just asking for your co-operation in foiling this recent spate of thefts. Whether or not you know anything about Chevalier, the thieves in question have managed to establish a connection between him and Aegis."

"And that should concern me?" Montoure's incredulity made Moulder's spine itch, and it took a force of will to keep him from shifting in his suit. "No one could get in here. Our security is top of the line..."

"So was Tristan's." Moulder leaned over her desk. "So was Oberon's. And OVERTECH is beyond top of the line, but the thieves got into all of them." Moulder didn't mention the attack on SIRECOM Atlanta. That was a bit more information than he felt like giving. "For once, we've got a lead on where they're going before they get there. If you decide not to help us, then don't come crying to us when you get raided!"

Mirabell winced at Bill's harsh directness when she felt that diplomacy was called for, but Montoure smiled and leaned back in her chair.

"Point taken. What, exactly, can I do for the both of..."

The lights picked that moment to go dead.

They checked the clock: sixteen hours until Irene got home.

Heather was wearing the now fully completed red armor that she'd designed, based on Jacob's own suit, with the microwave power relays and the capacitor power storage. Now, she had at least three hours of life at 100% power consumption rates, even away from Jacob, and his accelerated energy conversion would re-charge both of their suits within a half-hour. She had dismantled the DX-11 and installed the parts in her forearm gauntlets, because unlike Jacob she had no natural electrokinetic powers and needed an attack system. Inside the armor, it was impossible to tell who or what she was, or even that she was a she. The anonymity felt almost seductive. I can do anything I want now.

Jacob, also in his armor, completed the interface with the Wrexxakt power baton he'd brought back from Atlanta. It was based on electromagnetic/gravimetric distortion field technology, similar to the Cadre Omega Rift's ability to teleport or the Transmat device they'd seen in DeLeon's database. Until now, they hadn't had the proper components to build one. Now, it was unneccesary.

"Are you sure it will work?"

"Yep. My armor's computer is linked to the components of the power baton, which I've installed in my chest-plate. I should have no difficulty in opening a Transmat feed and beaming us directly to Aegis." Jacob's featureless helmet looked up as he finished and sealed up his chestplate. "Are you ready to go?"

"Yup. I'm ready, and I've got the particle cannon and laser to full charge. Open when ready."

Jacob smiled, and somehow Heather thought she could see it through the faceplate. Then space twisted, and they were directly in the Aegis International compound, in the basement.

"Whoa." Heather's scan system told her where the main power core was hidden, behind a false wall. She pointed her left arm and a searing red laser cut through the metal, and she had to remember to stop before she hit the reactor. Jacob used his own magne tic control to wrench the damaged door out of their way, and Heather checked to make sure she hadn't damaged it. "Sorry. No damage...I cut the laser in time."

"I know. If you'd penetrated the core, I would have sensed the radiation." Jacob walked up and interfaced with the reactor, allowing his armor's probe to transmit the shutdown sequence and then using a virus to lock it down.


"I'd just feel it. Why do you think I went into physics?" Standing up, he walked away from the console. "Aegis' reactor is off line. I wonder what the Fed's will say when they find out about it?"

"Let's worry about that later." Heather called up the schematic from SIRECOM's database. "The testing grounds and archival storage are two floors above us. How do you want to do this?"

"They've already seen me, so I'll engage their security while you go stealth and get the files."

"Okay then." A crackling energy field suddenly appeared around Heather, rendering her invisible and silent as well. Jacob could sense the field itself, but not Heather inside it. Smiling, he launched himself up and blasted through the cement and steel re inforced floor, coming out inside the lobby.

Five SecuCorps troops, the former Dynamax security dept. which now served as a freelance hi-security contractor, were waiting for him. The wore azure armored suits that were nothing more than re-painted Dynamax Black Op's armor, and carried DX-10 Omni-Capacity Rifles, the most advanced weapons system Dynamax had actually built before their fall. One of them, apparently the leader of the squad, pointed at him.


"Ooh, you're certainly very observant, oh college educated one." Jacob watched impassively as all five of the troopers fired electron-bursts at him. Not only were they failing to use their weapons efficently by all selecting a different attack, they were all using the worst attack they could have chosen. The crackling electron bursts hit the surface of his armor harmlessly and were absorbed by Jacob's electrokinesis. Admittedly, there was no way they could know that...

"It didn't work, sir!" One of the security troopers was feverishly fiddling with his weapon, so Jacob ripped it out of his hands with a magnetic surge. The rest of them were just regaining their wits as he flung his armored body through them, sweeping them aside with ease, glorying in the enhanced strength and speed that the armor provided him. It took the cracking he noticed on all of their own armor to make him cease, and by then they were all beaten unconscious. A second of dismay kept him hovering there, and then three bullets pinged off of his helmet and back.

He flew up and spun about at the same time, and saw the spectacle of two obvious SIRECOMmies, in their black jackets, she in an equally dark skirt and both of them wearing the white shirts. The man, however, was wearing a horribly garish tie. The woman snapped off three more shots, all of which were horribly ineffective.

"SIRECOM! Halt right where you are!"

"Aren't you supposed to yell that before you shoot at me?" Jacob's laughing voice seemed to infuriate the man, but unlike the woman he didn't have his gun drawn. However, Jacob noticed a spike in his infra-red heat output. "Anyway, I'd love to stay and chat...well, actually no I wouldn't...but I have things to do."

Inside the armor, his eyes flashed, and a wave of static electricity erupted from his armor, magnified by the output from the SecuCorps troopers. Before either Agent could move, they found themselves pinned against the wall, unable to so much as twitch. Moulder growled, but the disorientation of the stabbing pinpricks in his head kept him from changing shape, and Mirabell couldn't hear him very well.

"I love using static cling as a weapon." Jacob's voice conveyed the smirk no one could see on his hidden face, and he began to fly towards the ceiling when a glowing yellow-red spear of light slammed into him, exploding off of his chest. Stunned even through his armor, he fell to the ground, barely halting himself with a magnetic cushion. A woman with short brown hair and a variation on the old Dynamax Havoc jumpsuit stepped out from behind a pillar.

"Evelyn Absalom, at your service. You can call me Bladesmith. My employers are really dissatisfied with your behavior, bunky." The woman approached Jacob, who hadn't moved after he fell, a glowing knife appearing in her right hand. "So they asked me to teach you a lesson."

Jacob didn't speak.

He sent a pulse of pure positive ions through his armor instead.

The pulse blasted into a glowing shield the woman somehow managed to conjure up in time, but even with that protection she was bowled over and away from him. Standing up, Jacob tore a cement pillar out of the floor, ignoring the creaking of the ceiling a s he removed it.

"You must have mistaken me for someone who cares, lady." He flung the pillar at her, only to watch her create a glowing claymore and leap directly at it, cutting it in half before it could strike her. However, as she was showing off he was analyzing her. The energy in her hands was some sort of telekinetic/photokinetic manifestation, because he couldn't disrupt it with his own electrokinesis. As she landed, he emitted a high-frequency microwave pulse, turning the floor beneath her feet into soup.

She rolled and somehow came up standing, but she was avoiding approaching him now. Jacob expected the next attack even as it came, and he was right. The blade in her hand suddenly was flying at him, looking vaguely like a balista bolt, and he counterattacked with a shield of alpha particles, disrupting the frequecy of the spear and blunting its impact. The armor took it much more easily now, not even rocking back.

"Shit." Bladesmith realized she'd underestimated her target. She'd never seen anyone take one of her spears so easily, not even the Project: Threlkain cyborgs they'd given her access to for practice-run reasons. While she didn't think this guy was tougher than those 'borgs, he was more flexible. His responses were creative. She made a glowing boomerang and began walking, trying to flank him.

"Well, you can call me Battery. Catch." He waved a hand, and the unconscious bodies of the SecuCorps troopers floated up into the air. She had no way of knowing that Jacob was lifting them magnetically, and it wouldn't have mattered as he flung them one after the other at her, forcing her to dodge them all. She did so, but this allowed him to arc a massive electrical charge right at her, a lightning burst that she parried with the boomerang. It worked, but the discharge still burned her arm, and she flipped up and behind the security desk so as to avoid another attack.

While Jacob was so occupied, Moulder finally managed to get past the pain in his head. His arms began to lengthen, and fur erupted from his skin and was immediately plastered back by the static. Writhing, the lupine form of what had been Agent Moulder tore free from the static field and leapt at the blue and gold man in armor, landing on his back with a ringing clang and a feral howl

Outside the main perimeter, the two men in the van saw the power-grid go off-line on a scanner that the big bearded man had suspended in the air above the Aegis plant.

"About goddamn time they moved." The man in the backseat growled. "I was getting tired of waiting. Wolf...create a diversion."

"Get out of the van, and I will."

The back door slid open, and Daniel Carter, former SIRECOM special agent, current fugitive dead man, hopped out. On his back and in his hands was a Dynamax Hyper-Sound Cannon. Strapped to his leg was a SK-200 Plasma Carbine. His left boot contained a skene-du, or Highlander Fighting Knife, except that this knife was made of molecularly extruded titanium and contained a vibratory generator that allowed it to cut through most metal like it was Velveeta. In short, he was armed like Dan Carter. His Hyper-Sound Cannon had the words "OWEN KILLER" carved along the barrel.

While he stood there, the Bakery Truck began to twist and groan. Then it did something Carter hadn't expected: It grew wings. They tore free from the back of the truck,spreading out like Dragonskin. Carter was mildly impressed. When he and DuFresne had both been part of Defcon 1, he'd never seen the big man do this kind of animation. What the truck twisted itself into was a reasonable facsimile of a Dragon. The tires were jutting out of its back, and the gril and windshield had become teeth and eyes.

DuFresne walked up next to Carter, sweat beading on his forehead.

"How long can you keep it like that?"

"At least half an hour."

"That should be enough. Send that fucker in." Carter smiled and broke out in a trot towards the fence as the metal monster flapped its 'wings' (one of them still had the recognizable face of the Sunbeam girl on it) and flung itself into the air. Yeah, old Wolf had definitely learned new tricks fighting the Harrakin.

Dan sliced a hole in the fence with his skene-du and wiggled through, heading for the plant. He could hear SecuCorps troopers already opening fire on the Bakery Dragon, and knew that only a few would be left to get in his way, between the thief and ol' Wolf.

He felt really bad for their familiies. Closed casket funerals could tear at grieving loved ones like nothing else in Carter's experience.

And he had a lot of experience.

Heather smiled as the entire computer system of Aegis became a data crystal in ten seconds. The Dynamax compression system was really coming in handy for these jobs. If Aegis knew anything about her father, now she knew it too.

She was about to leave when she noticed something odd about the terminal. Not something many people would have noticed...there was a slight microwave source coming from it. Her armor's sensors could barely detect it...Jacob probably would have 'sensed' it, but she didn't have his electrokinesis, or want it. The kid couldn't even control it without the armor...of course, in the armor he was kicking ass, but she prefered being human. The casual way she severed her brother from the human race didn't even occur to her as bigotry.

The microwave source was a tiny link. Someone engaging the keyboard in the right sequence at the right speeds would activate it...and what would happen then? Heather decided to find out. She deep-scanned the keyboard, using active MRI imaging to determin e which keys would activate the link. She found that the control and alt keys had to be depressed first, which brought up the Symbol Font. Then the keys Alpha, Nu, Tau, Iota, Gamma, Omicron, Nu and Epsilon had to be pressed, and by the fluctuation rate of the keyboard she guessed that they had to be pressed more rapidly than a human could.

In the armor, she could match that speed, and did.

The screen went so dark that it almost seemed to absorb the light around her. And then another page came up, one that displayed a burning Psi, golden colored, surrounded by a black starfield Omega on a blood red background. The writing on the screen wasn 't just in was Greek. More to the point, it was Greek from the Mykenaean Period. Not many teenaged girls could have read it.

However, Heather Chevalier wasn't like many teenaged girls. She could read it, although the phrasology wasn't what she was used to.

"The Longest Living One, Antigone of the house of Ephesus, daughter of Oedipus, desires your report. What is the status of the experiment?"

Heather didn't know what she should do now. Then she heard an ear-splitting shriek, and the door simply shook apart. Her armor engaged a sound-baffle system, but she was still caught off guard as the man stepped in through the door, pointing a sophisticated device that looked vaguely like a Car Stereo Speaker on the end of a DX-10. He smiled as he looked at her.

"Let me'd be the thief. Lucky for you I'm not with SIRECOM anymore."

Jacob almost shit himself when the Werewolf landed on his shoulders. Of the things he'd been prepared for when he'd planned this little melee diversion, among things he'd forgot to include were Omega assasins who could make weapons out of psi energy, and definitely SIRECOM agents who turned into Werewolves.

Its claws failed to penetrate the armored surface-shell, and Jacob whispered a prayer of thanks to the inventive genius of James DeLeon and the resilence of metal made with hyperdimensional equations. Before shaggy could slash at him again and possibly f ind a weak spot, Jacob summoned a hyperstatic charge and literally electrified the surface of the suit. Whatever the thing was, it wasn't immune to 35,000 volts at 6000 amps. It screamed, and he grabbed it by a loose patch of fur on its back and threw it at the desk.

It landed on its feet and turned to stare at him with hate in its eyes, and Jacob felt real fear freeze up his balls.

It's not dead! The motherfucker isn't dead!

Panic made Jacob inventive. He saw Bladesmith trying for position on his right side with the radar, and the Werewolf was to his left. The fight was quickly getting well outside of any comfort he'd reached with it, and Jacob Chevalier had long ago accepted that cowardice was nature's way of keeping you alive in bad situations, so he did the only thing he could think of.

Using the computer link, he activated the Power Core. And made the cadmium rods retract. The lights came back on, causing Bladesmith and Moulder to stop for a second, just as Jacob had hoped.

"I don't know if you two care...I suspect that shaggy there might not...but it might interest you to know that I just set a nuclear power plant to critical. I believe there's enough plutonium in there to give Aegis the distinction of being the first non- test 10 Megaton explosion this country has ever seen."

The Werewolf who was Moulder checked himself from leaping at that. Bladesmith dropped her jaw.

"That'll reach Denver! Those people..."

"Then I suggest you get to work on interposing the control rods." Jacob leapt upward, riding a magnetic wave in an arc that carried him back into the hole he'd made in the floor. "Unless you want to ruin the ski season."

**Heather, we have to get out of here now!**

^^Sure.^^ Her voice seemed small over the radio. ^^I've just met someone who can help us. He and an ally of his, really.^^


^^The computer core. Why?^^

**I just set the reactor core to overload.**

^^WHAT!? His friend is outside.^^

**Does he know where?**

^^Yeah, but...^^ Jacob flew down the hallways and access tunnels, inserting a program in his command link with the reactor and then severing all other linkages with it. If they wanted to try and shut it down, they'd have to get to the core, all the way in the sub-basement. Being an electrokinetic made composing on the fly a lot easier, as all he had to do was move the electrons around in his head. He flew in the door of the computer core, regarding his sister and the new guy in a microsecond.

"You set the reactor core to meltdown!? Are you nuts!?" Heather's voice contained several notes of panic all melded together into a symphony of fear.

"They were siccing a Werewolf on me!"

"A Werewolf?" The beefy guy in the sound cannon harness looked up at Jacob. "That'd be Moulder. Look, she says you can teleport. Can you get us out here so we can pick up my partner, and then get us away again before it blows up?"

"Sure...but it ain't really going to blow up." Jacob smiled. "Although they'll sure think it's going to..."

As Battery disappeared down the hole, the static field around Dylaist went weak enough that she fell free of it, staggered, kneeling on the floor. Bill Moulder helped her to her feet. The first thing she noticed was that he was only wearing his underwear.


"I'll explain later. The thief just claimed he's set a nuclear reactor to meltdown. We have to try and stop it."

"WHAT!?!??" Mirabell jerked her hand away from him. "I'm a psychiatrist! Shouldn't we be running away as fast as we can!?"

"Lady, if this thing goes up the way he claimed, half of Denver is going with us." Bladesmith walked up next to the both of them. "Evelyn Absalom, Chief of Security. The quickest way to the reactor is through the hole he made in the floor. I can make a r ope for us, if you're game."

"Do we have a choice?" Moulder walked over to it. "When this is over, though, you know that SIRECOM and the NRC are both going to tear Aegis apart for this?"

"Hey, if I have an ass left, they're welcome to kick it. Let's go." Bladesmith concentrated, and a gleaming yellow rope appeared in her hands. She wrapped one end around a pillar and the kicked the other down the hole. "It's two floors down. He would have flown right past it as he left...however he got in. By the way, that's some trick you have. I've seen lots of things, but that takes the whole fucking biscuit and most of the gravy, too."

"Bill, what is she talking about?" Mirabell grabbed hold of the rope. "This is crazy. I don't even like heights, and now I'm spelunking down Aegis' floor to shut off a nuclear reactor. I'm definitely demanding Hazard pay when we get back." If we get back.

"I'm a Werewolf."

"Oh." Sorry I asked.

Bill was right after her, climbing down the gleaming twine in an odd hand over hand motion that revealed an exceptional amount of upper body strength. The truth was, looking at him in his skivvies, Bill Moulder was a well-built man. He wasn't handsome, though. His face carried too much of a hint of cruelty. It actually wasn't that far of a stretch to believe that Bill could be a Werewolf.

I knew joining SIRECOM would be a mistake. Fighting battlesuited theives, partners with Lon Chaney Jr, overloaded nuclear reactors to shut off...they didn't cover this in med school.

Finally Bladesmith followed them down, dropping even faster than Bill had. When she reached the bottom, she let the glowing rope vanish and walked across the cavernous room to a large console set in a huge bell-shaped metal container. Examining the console, she typed at it for a few seconds, then swore softly to herself.

"Good God Damn Mother Fucker."

"What?" Moulder went to stand next to her. Dylaist didn't bother. If the news was as bad as it seemed, she didn't have a lot of time left to prepare for it.

"He's locked all of the systems. It's going to go critical in thirty seven...six seconds."

The air shimmered for a second, and then two armored figures and a man in black appeared over the heads of the last three remaining SecuCorps troopers, just as Wolf DuFresne lost his hold on the Dragon/Van. It fell in a lump of twisted metal. The three H ardsuit Troopers didn't even have time to catch their breath as Heather fired the DX-11's weapon pod from her wrist, specifically the Corrosive Teargas Grenades. As Dan hung from her armored neck, he watched the three of them begin to convulse and fall to the ground choking.

"Wolf's over there, behind the fence!" Carter pointed, and the two in armor flew over and landed. Wolf didn't come out from wherever he was hiding until Heather let Dan go and he made a hand gesture of some kind. Then he stepped from behind a tree.

"I was afraid they'd caught you."

"Nope. Marriage of convienience. Hey, shouldn't we be getting out of here, Bluey?"

Jacob didn't respond. Instead, he looked down at his forearm.


"Just watch."

Instead of the earth-shaking nuclear explosion one might expect, all the lights went out again. Aegis became as dark as a tomb.

"It worked!" Jake laughed. "I bet they had some fudge in their shorts for a few seconds!"

"What did you do, anyway?" Wolf was more than a little confused. "And who are you, anyway?"

"What I did was program the monitoring computer to tell them that the rods were still retracted and that meltdown was imminent. Meanwhile, I re-inserted the rods and programmed the reactor to go dead again in two minutes. And who we are isn't important. What we all want is. You two want Owen. We want somebody else. You help us, we'll help you."

"Well, we can talk about it, anyway." Carter wasn't any more trusting than Jacob. "But we shouldn't do it here."

Heather nodded.

"Transmat us out, Battery."

**You heard that, huh?** Jacob toggeled the radio.

^^Yeah. And I even kind of liked it. So get us out of here. Take us to the warehouse. We can deal with them there.^^

Jacob nodded.

And then they were all gone.

Moulder gets angry, Carter gets sneaky, and Irene gets to actually appear in this series.

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