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by Chad Imbroglio

RIG VEDA FINALE! Read PULSE #9 or you'll be REALLY confused...

"Beat, beat, drums!
Blow, bugles, blow!
Through windows, through doors,
Burst like a ruthless force
Into the solemn church,
And scatter the congregation,
Into the school where the scholar is studying;
Leave not the bridegroom quiet,
No happiness he must have with his bride,
Nor the peaceful farmer any peace,
Ploughing his field or gathering his grain,
So fierce you whirr and pound you drums-
So shrill you bugles blow!"
Walt Whitman, Beat! Beat! Drums!

"Oh, let me guess, another deal?" Allen asked the newly arrived god sarcastically. "What are you, the patron of Monty Hall now?"

The green skinned being in the corner continued to smile. "I have no need for deals now that you have freed me, Covenant," it said.

The assembly in the meditation room turned and looked at Allen incredulously. "You FREED this thing?" Danny asked him.

"Don't we have enough gods running around as it is?" Added Anne. At first, this whole thing was looking like a comic book to her. As the entities kept stacking up, she could feel reality slip away as things got increasingly cosmic.

"It was either that or watch Nergal eat Cincinatti," Allen replied.

"Whatever happened, he's here now," Danny said decisively. He turned towards Indra and stepped forward. "What exactly is it that you want with us, Indra?"

"As I said, mortal, we have a common enemy." Indra's unending smile dipped a little bit and his eyes narrowed. "Shiva and I have been at odds in the past. I offer my aid freely and at no cost." The smile grew again as he focused his gaze on Danny intently. "With the loss of your godling brother, you will be sorely in need of help."

Danny stepped back to the group and took conference. "Allen, can we trust this thing?"

"I've never met this thing before and I say 'no,'" inserted Agony.

"He gives me the creeps," added Miranda.

"Smiles too much," someone muttered.

"Listen, everyone," Billy Moulder began, "Indra is a god. He can't go back on his word. It simply isn't the way of magic."

"I'm not sure Indra has to follow any rules," Allen said. "His little buddy Nergal broke them all to pieces without a care, and I think it was at his direction. Billy, if you paid close attention to what I did in the ritual, you'd know that gods aren't at all what they seem. I think Anubis -"



"Whatever, figured this out. Considering he's been known throughout time as a trickster and probably isn't bound to tell the truth, I'd say 'no.' He can't be trusted."

"Besides," added Issac, "we've already got a god." He smiled with self-importance and made his pectorials ripple for added effect.

Danny nodded his head. "OK, I think we've gotten that straightened out." He turned back around and Indra was right in his face.

"Your decision is unwise, mortal child," the grinning god said, "so I shall do as I have always done." Indra stepped backwards and swung his white robe in front of him. The robe dropped and a giant raven appeared briefly. "Whatever I want to! I shall see you soon!"

With that, the raven flapped it's wings once and disappeared in a flash of fire. The smell of burnt goat hair filled the air.

"Just what we need," Anne moaned. "'Clash Of The Titans II.'"

"Why did you rig the shuttle for the kid and not for me?" Wes Hickman was irked by Jimmy's decision. "I'm experienced at interfacing with computer systems."

"Sorry, mon." Jimmy felt a little embarrased. He had overlooked Wes' capability completely and he knew it. "I know more 'bout Threll's make-up than yours. I jus' wasn't thinkin'..."

Actually, he was thinking. Jimmy wasn't about to trust his rigged up shuttle to a revenuer. This was Colony stuff now, not the government's.

Wes took his seat next to Threll in the front and exhaled in an exhasperated manner. "What's done is done. You feel up to this, kid?"

Threll, who was in the driver's seat, looked down at the cables running from him to the control console. He looked up again and said to Wes, "I guess. It's kind of weird, though. All this information running through my head."

Wes smiled. "It OK. An easy way to picture things is in the form of icons..."

While Was was giving Threll the pep talk, the rest of the crew selected to stop Shiva filed into the shuttle. Jimmy had cleared out most of the equipment that wouldn't me needed and had installed two rows of benches along the sides for people to sit in. It would be kind of cramped, but it was all they had.

Danny was the last one in. He took his seat and looked over the crew he had assembled. On one side of him was Mirry. He really didn't want to risk her life in this, but there was a guarantee of casualties and her skills would be sorely needed. Besides, he'd need to be strong for this, and having Mirry there would be an extra boost.

On his other side was Harvey and Anne. Harvey turned to Dan with a worried face and asked, "Why are you bringing me along on this? This is way out of my league. I'm not the Overman in the comics."

Danny had understood Harvey's apprehensions coming in and was ready to answer them. "Actually, Harvey, you not here as much to be a powerful force, but to inspire everyone else. We all know you're the real Overman and it's comforting to know you're here. Even if you aren't the most powerful."

Harvey nodded his head gravely and turned back to his granddaughter. Danny looked farther down the bench and observed Issac, Jimmy, and the SEEKER called Sonic. Sonic was watching Jimmy try to drive a nail into the side of Issac's head. "Jeez, mon!" Jimmy exclaimed. "You're almost as hard as Eric was -er- is... Ah, man..."

Jimmy's use of past tense for his friend had quieted up that corner. It had disturbed Danny, also, so he turned his attention towards Allen in hopes of being cheered up some. Allen was currently engaged in conversation with with Don Riley and Billy Moulder.

"-I- was irresponsible?! You were more concerned with whatever trivial tidbit of occult knowledge came your way than what we were working on!" Don's face had turned beet red.

"Hey, at least I got results, Blockhead," Allen retorted. "I stuck with the project and finished the COED. You went and sold out to the government."

This seemed to bristle Billy's fur. Dan smiled at his private joke. "Hey, watch what you say about working for the government, Allen. Sure, we've got our bad eggs, but there are some good sides also. They knowingly let a werewolf into their ranks, didn't they? That's more than any university would do."

"OK, I admit defeat," Allen said. "But, still, Don left before finishing the project. That's hardly what I called dedicated."

"I left because I couldn't stand working with you, Allen." Don had cooled down some, but he was still taking offence from the personal attacks. "You're too G-D erratic! For Chrimeny's sake, you named the device the COED! How was a normally sane scientist supposed to work with a nut case like you?"

"Prozac?" Allen suggested.

Danny smiled a bit at turned his attention to the last two team members, Conflagation and the SEEKER called Flux. They were talking battle techniques, preparing for the upcoming fight. Constructive way to deal with nervousness.

As he finished looking everyone over, Mirry asked him, "Everyone seem OK?"

"They're fine," Danny replied. "I only hope that's how we all come out of this."

Shiva watched as the spherical object returned to the launching bay that he had sent it from. Initially, he hadn't seen this coming, but it was unimportant. In fact, it would be interesting, if not downright fun. He'd save Covenant for last, of course. It was payback time for that little...

Shiva shook its head and rattled the loose thoughts out. He turned to the army of his faithful Rakshasa. For thousands of years they had awaited for his return, his faithful tiger-men. Now was their chance to serve truly.

"Hide, my servants!" Shiva called out. "You may attack when the time is right."

The tiger-men's forms began to shrink. They hunched over and fell to all fours. Quickly, silently, the mass of tigers disappeared into the shadows.

The front door of the shuttle slowly opened. Shiva spread all four of his arms out and drew himself up to is full 15' in height in welcome for his guests.

No one came out.

Shiva listened closely and heard mutterings coming from inside of the shuttle.

"No, you are not..."

"Just try... OW! Okay..."

"...can't just go out there..."

"Here goes..."

"He's nuts..."

From out of the shuttle door came Allen Covenant, a silver longknife strapped to his side. He looked up at Shiva and said, "Hello, Edlin! Nice extra arms you've got there. Get them fitted for ski-boxing?"

Shiva fought back the strange urge to crush the little clown right there and smiled. "I am Shiva. And the mortal you have mistaken me for is called Eldin, not Edlin. He really hates it when you do that."

Allen realized he had something to work with. If he could just get to Edlin there might be some hope for non-violent conflict. "Why should you mind what I call Edlin, mighty Shiva? Perhaps there is more of Edlin in there than you think."

"STOP CALLING ME EDLIN!!!" Shiva cried. "You short, ugly, twelve sandwich eatin', spaghetti makin', gyro cookin', little MUTHER PUSS BUCKET!!!" Shiva's eyes were now glowing red with rage. His body was twitching and a tick developed under his left eye. He began mumbling to himself, "Yagga, yagga, hoot, hoot..."

Allen stared at the mad god in disbelief for a moment. All he managed to say was, "Ah-ha..." in a weak, uncertain voice. He moved carefully back into the shuttle. More mutters and whispers began to eminate from it.

"Totally nuts..."

"What now..."

"...plan. Might work..."

"...lead the way..."

"...up to this, Danny?..."

Danny led the band he had assembled out of the shuttle. They assembled themselves in from of Shiva, who was now back in his welcoming pose. A giant, maniacal smile made a trench in his face.

"Welcome, mortals!" Shiva cried. "Welcome to the beginning!"

"Exactly what is this the beginning of?" Danny asked.

"Yeah," Billy added. "Aren't you supposed to be sitting on top of the Himalayas or something?"

"It's the beginning of my dance!" Shiva exclaimed. "The dance that will destroy all so that Brahma can rebuild anew. With this new beginning, we shall all be gods!"

"Sorry, but we can't stand for that," Danny said. "You can't just go and kill everybody."

"Why not? It's my job, after all," Shiva said.

Allen leaned forward and whispered in Danny's ear, "I'm afraid he's got a point there."

"So this is your choice," Shiva continued. "Join me as gods in a new world or die in the old one!"

"This is so cheesy!" Anne exclaimed.

Wes walked to the front and said, "Shiva, I believe I speak for everybody here when I say -"

"BITE ME!" Threll suddenly yelled and let a blast go from his cannon/arm. Shiva winced a bit, but was unimpressed on the whole.

A split second after Threll fired, a chorus or roars came from the shadows and dozens of large tigers leapt into view. They waited for a moment and then slowly began to change. Their front paws became arms and they stood up erect. The small band of Omegas found themselves surrounded by a circle of tiger-men.

"Rakshasa!" Billy cried. His body began to go through it's own changes.

"Rak-whatsa?" Jimmy cried back.

"Oh boy..." Allen moaned as he positioned himself behind Issac.

Billy made the first move. His body had changed in size considerably and his head was now that of a wolf. He leapt over his comrades and began to tear into the Rakshasa with a howl.

The cat-men's circle quickly. Just as they were about to pounce, they all stopped and fell to the ground, their hands over their cat-ears. Bill also dropped to the ground clutching his head.

Sonic was emitting a high frequency that was deafening the lycanthropes. "I've got it under control, Interface," came Sonic's voice over the SEEKER communicators. "A few more seconds and their brains'll be mush."

"Stop it!" Wes called back. "You're killing Agent Moulder!"

Sonic cut the aural attack off.

"Quick! Everyone listen to me!" Danny shouted. "Sonic, Threll, Peter, Blockade, and Flux. You join Billy with those cat-things. Jimmy and Wes, try get to the computer console and stop the virus bombs."

"Now wait a minute..." Wes began to say.

"DO IT! Anne, Harvey, Issac and I will take care of Shiva." Dan turned to Miranda. "Mirry, you stay back and help with any casualties."

"What about me?" Allen piped.

Everyone was already running to their assignments. "I don't know," Danny said as he ran towards Shiva. "Just do whatever it is you do!"

Allen found large piece of machinery to hide behind.

The first Rakshasa to regain it's feet was hit in the chest by a blast of energy, knocking it back down. It back flipped back up only to be knocked back down by Flux's fist. As it got up once again, she saw the colonist called Conflagation whizz by her and engulf the cat-man in a firey embrase. "Ugh!" she shouted. "Burnt cat hair!"

"Get used to it." The cyborg colonist Threll had stepped up beside her. "There's going to be a lot of that around here." Threll then proceeded to fire five blasts in a row at another Rakshasa. It dodged each blast easily.

"You're too slow, kid!" This time Blockade joined the scene. He leapt towards Threll's evasive target and delivered a series of punches that made the cat-man look slow.

"This is weird," he said. "I'm able to drain these things just like a normal Omega. I thought they were supposed to be magical or something."

He didn't get any response though. All of the Rakshasa had regained their composure now and were all over his teammates. Flux was able to keep up with the Raskshsa's rapid movements, as was Conflagation, but Threll was being hard pressed. There were several cat-men on him, dodging his sluggish blows easily. It took a concentrated high freq attack from Sonic to get them off.

"This is going to be fun," thought Don as he began to drain the next cat-man.

Shiva was standing in front of a wall covered with monitors. There was a different city located on each one. This was presumably the targeting station for the virus bombs.

Danny leaned over to Anne and whispered, "We have to get him away from there so Jimmy and Wes can get to work."

"Let me try," she said. "You got enough on you mind."

Anne reached out cautiously towards Shiva's thoughts. She made contact for a brief moment. "Oohhhh..." she moaned as she dropped to one knee. "The power..."

Harvey helped his granddaughter up. "Are you OK?"

"Yeah," she replied. She began talking with Danny telepathically. I think I know how to do it. Have Issac challenge him to a one on one duel over there. While his mind is too powerful to control, he's psycologially instable enough that I can nudge him.

Got it, Danny replied. "Shiva!" he announced. "You claim to be a mighty god, but as you see we've one of our own. He therefore challenges you to a duel."

"I do?" Issac looked at Danny the same way he usually looked at Allen. "You didn't mention..."

"Why should I waste my time with one of the whispy gods?" Shiva replied. "He isn't worth my time!" Anne gave a little push. "...but it may be interesting to humiliate you before destroying you. Come over here where we'll do less damage."

It worked! Danny thought to Anne. Let's just hope we can pull something else brilliant before Issac get's himself thrashed.

Allen watched the fight with the Rakshasa. It was going badly for his friends. The Rakshasa were just too fast, too many. Billy was able to take them one by one, but he was only slightly their better. His leaping and thrashing about was only having limited success.

The SEEKERs were doing okay for themselves. Don was doing about as well as Billy, draining an opponent and beating it at it's own speed. Sonic was able to help people out in tight spots, but he couldn't hold a sonic attack on one long enough to do serious damage. Flux was too quick to be hurt, but just couldn't cause enough damage to hurt any of the the lycanthropes.

Conflagation had been doing exceptionally well until he got unexpectedly blind sided. Miranda had pulled him away and was currently tending to his wounds. He's be alright, hopefully.

Then there was poor Threll. He was too tough for the Rakshasa to even scratch, but too slow hit anything. If only he could make some of those energy blasts hit...

Allen got struck with an idea. He came out from his hiding place and called for Flux. It took a minute or so for her to notice him above frey. She was standing in front of Allen in a flash.

"Make it quick," she said to Allen. "I'm kinda busy."

"Threll needs some speed and you need some power," Allen said. "You can convert yourself to an energy matrix, right?"

"Yes..." Flux replied.

"Get into Threll's weaponry system and let him fire you with his normal cannon blast. Guide it towards a target then jump out before impact. Can you do it?"

Flux's face brightened up from learning a new use for her power. "I'll get right to it!" She was gone in a flash.

Allen watched as Threll's guided blast began taking down the Rakshasa one by one. That fight would be over soon, so he turned his attention towards Shiva, who was currently facing down Issac...

"This is Arangatang Pontoon here at Madison Square Garden. Today we've got a doozie of match for you..."

Issac felt like he was going to wretch from Shiva's terrible impersonation of a pro-wrestling commentator. It was bad enough Shiva couldn't do it right, but it had to be Arangatang Pontoon, the Fountain of Misinformation. It could have at least been Mean Jean Mustard. Mean Jean was much less confrontational in interviews and Issac had liked that.

Allen walked up to a nervous looking Danny and said, "The Rakshasa won't last much longer. Why aren't you engaged in physical violence with Shiva yet?"

"Issac's about to take him on, mono y mono," Danny replied. "Got any bright ideas on how to save his neck without getting all of ours broken?"

"Well, just as long as Issac can hold Shiva long enough for the others to get here, it'll be fine," Allen said. "Once they're here, we can buffalo run this nut."

"DING!" Shiva shouted and began to advance on Issac. Issac had fought a lot of guys who were bigger, quicker, and stronger than him, but never one that had four arms. This would take every bit of wrestling know-how he had.

Shiva came out swinging as a flurry of swinging fists. Issac waited until Shiva was almost on top of him before shooting down underneath and sending Shiva to the floor with a single leg take down.

Shiva rolled over to push himself back up with his middle arms while flailing with his outer ones. Issac wrapped Shiva's arms up with his legs, causing him to slam back onto the ground. He then grabbed under Shiva's chin and began pulling upwards. This had worked for the Sheik countless times. He just hoped that Shiva couldn't do a Bulk Logan impersonation also.

While this was happening, the crew who had been fighting the Rakshasa showed up and gathered around to watch the fight. Threll exclaimed, "Cool! He's trying to make Shiva submit! Where's the ref?"

Jimmy and Wes were frantically fiddling with the computer console. Wes was hooked in, but the alien computer system was too different. Full entry could completely fry his brain.

"Got anything new fo' me, Wes?" Jimmy asked. "So far th' only thing we've learned is everyone's gonna die in ten minutes."

"I think I found the code that acts as the on/off switches for the bombs," Wes replied, "but I can't find the individual launch programs for the bombs themselves."

Jimmy looked at the various parts of the world depicted on the screens. "I always wanted ta see the world," he said. "I jus' hope it's not the last time it looks this way..."


Shiva threw Issac off of his back with a telekinetic blast and stood back up. He was stronger than Nergal, but Nergal had the wrestling knowlegde of Stingray to draw from. But what actually did Stingray have? Shiva examined his mind while Issac got back to his feet.

"This game bores me," Shiva announced. "Issac Warner, you are still a mortal. You simply ciphon power from the whispy god for your own use. What happens when I drain your source, eh?"

Shiva began sending a series of telepathic blasts at the essence of Nergal which he had detected nearby. Issac's face contorted with fear as he began to shrink in size.

"Allen, what's happening?" Danny asked.

"He's destroying Issac's power source!" Allen exclaimed. "We have to stop him!"

"That's my cue!" Threll shouted and let loose a salvo of laser cannon fire at Shiva. Everyone else quickly followed in their attack.

Shiva shrugged off the blows as if they were nothing. With one arm he grabbed Billy by the head in mid leap and smashed him into a wall. With another arm he backhanded Threll across the room. With the remaining two arms, he sent a series of energy blasts that scattered his opponents before him.

Everyone found themselves running for cover as Shiva devoted all four arms to bursts of fire, lightning, and pure energy. Flux tried to dodge through everything as a beam of light, but Shiva grabbed her essence, absorbed it, and then spit it back out against a wall. Flux changed back to matter and slumped to the ground.

Danny, Anne, Mirry, Harvey, and Allen were all behind a console that was being blown to pieces bit by bit. "What do we do now?" Anne shouted over the explosions.

The four stared in disbelief as Indra was once again floating in front of them. His green face was still plastered with a smile.

Harvey leaned over to Danny and whispered in his ear, "The answer is 'No!'"

Danny's face was still somewhat blank and confused. "No."

"You mean we have to seperate Edlin from Shiva?" Allen said.

Having little choice, they all did as directed. Danny, Mirry, and Anne joined their minds as one and all focused on seperating Shiva from Eldin. They then felt the overpowering presence of Indra join them and they made their attack.

Shiva stopped his rampage and a look of surprise took his face. "NO! It can't BE!" In a second, Shiva disappeared and only the small, naked form of Eldin Vincent remained. Allen and Harvey got up from where they were and ran towards him.

Danny, Mirry, and Anne looked back at Indra. he said. And Indra was gone.

Allen and Harvey reached Eldin. Allen knelt down beside him and asked, "Edlin, are you all right? It's me, Professor Covenant."

Eldin slowly opened his eyes and looked at Allen. Suddenly his face contorted with rage. "DON'T CALL ME EDLIN YOU BASTARD!"

Eldin swung his arm out and smashed Allen in the face, knocking him over. Before Harvey could restrain him, Eldin grabbed the knife strapped to Allen's side. He jumped to his feet and held it menacingly at Harvey.

"Put the knife down, Eldin," Harvey said in a reassuring voice. "We know you've had a rough time. Blunting that knife on me won't do you any good..."

"SHAKATHRA DEU DEU MEKIL MORINSTROTHA!" Eldin shouted and lunged at Harvey with the knife. Harvey moved out of the way slightly, the knife wouldn't do much to him anyway. He then watched as it hit his shoulder and cut through his flesh like butter. He screamed in pain.

"Grandpa!" Anne shouted as she ran towards him. By now, everyone had formed a circle around the four.

Allen had regained his feet by now and jumped Eldin from behind. They began wrestling around, doing a dance with Allen's knife. Eldin began to shout, "I shall call Shiva back! You don't know what you've done, do you? I'll call Shiva and you'll all be destroyed! You'll never call me Edlin again, ha-ha-ha! Daoloth Shadde M'Ell Zohar etas Shiva..."

There was little time left. No one else dared to try and stop Eldin as Allen was in the way. Allen made one desperate, final move with the knife in an attempt to get it free. He was behind Eldin and pulling it over his head when the knife suddenly moved downward and came down on Eldin's throat. Allen could feel the wet, warm fluid running over his hand as Eldin slumped in his arms.

"Oh, Jesus, no..." Allen let go and Eldin fell to the ground, dead. A terrible gash ran across his throat. Allen fell to his knees. He felt sick.

Danny said in a solemn voice, "It's over."

Harvey, who was currently being looked at by Mirry and Anne, looked up at Danny and asked, "What about the bombs?"

Everyone's eyes widened with fear. They had all been so preoccupied with Shiva that they had forgotten about the bombs. They all turned and ran towards the control console where Jimmy and Wes had been working.

"We've got two minutes, Jimmy," Wes announced. "I'm going in."

"You can't do that, mon!" Jimmy protested. "Your brain'll be turned to mush-meat!"

"It's either me or the world," Wes muttered as his eyes dulled with concentration.

At first there was nothing. Then, abruptly, there was a flood of information. The usual trick of viewing things as icons didn't apply here. It was all squiggles and aesometric forms.

Wes rushed forward through the alien computerscape. He knew what he was looking for. He just didn't know where to find it.

He rushed ahead further until he saw something familiar in his periphrial vision. An odd amebic shape with a triangle in the middle. Something was set for launch. He rushed to the launch command and willed it to become the rectangular command for off. In the distance, he could see similar commands all lined in rows. He had found the launch command program.

Wes raced from command to command, switching them all to off. As he went on, he could also feel his mind beginning to go. The pressure of the alien environment was pushing his brain to its utmost limits. He saw the last command ahead. He pushed and pushed...

Then everything went black.

Wes groggily opened his eyes and looked around him. Everyone was gathered around, watching him intently. The countdown clock was at zero and a faint sound resembling that of a jet airplane could be heard.

"I missed one, didn't I?" he asked sadly.

"Yes," replied Danny. "It's going towards Siberia though, so it won't do much damage. It's better than all of them launching."

"I guess so," Wes said. "Right now...I just want to go and take a nice long nap..."

"Amen to that," Danny said. "Jimmy, let's see about getting us home, OK?"

"I hear ya, mon. C'mon everyone. To the shuttle..."

Shiva was passing through the ethereal plane on his way back to his fellow New Ones. Something stopped him, though.

Not so fast, Destroyer.


Correct. I just wanted to let you know that I was the reason you were defeated in your madness.

I should have guessed. Do you intend to destroy me now, while I'm weak?

No, I shall leave your punishment to Brahma and Vishnu. Instead, know that the boy Tempest shall be mine and I shall achieve in a much saner fashion what you failed.

Rubbing my nose in it, then. Is that all?

Yes. Say hello to all my pals up there. Ha-ha-ha.

Indra was content. A new age was beginning, an age where the gods once again walked in the human spheres. Even now that beastly Ravener was preparing to go to work. Yes, a whole new age...

Jarvin Tazakles looked at the holographic image of his chess board. The pieces were strewn all about, his game disrupted. It was all very annoying.

The master chessplayer concentrated on breathing in and out slowly in order to keep his rage down. Perhaps he could start another game, but would it too be interrupted? Could he even play chess now that gods walked the Earth?

Tazakles clenched his fists and quietly seethed.

Allen walked quietly through the battered Colony. The entire place was in shambles from the recent events. In addition, the SEEKERs knew where the Colony was now, so relocation would be a must. Fortunately, Hickman had promised to convienently omit the Colony's location from his report until it had been moved.

The leaving of the SEEKERs was an entire fiasco in itself, actually. They went looking all around the Colony for Anne and Harvey in order to bring them in, but they couldn't be found anywhere. Allen knew where they were, he had surrounded them in wards himself. It was mainly to spite Don Riley, but the Anne and Harvey seemed to have some important business with that Carter guy that prison would interrupt too much.

Billy Moulder got back to find he had a new assignment in New England somewhere. Billy was a good man, someone Allen could talk and get along with easily. He'd have to visit him more often.

As for everyone else, they had their hands full either rebuilding or recuperating. Issac, Threll, and Conflagation had all had the snot pretty much beaten out of them. Allen found himself alone and needing someone to talk to.

He snuck out of the Colony and caught a taxi out to Dan Cheng's old house. It took a while to get there due to all the rioting in the streets. (Chicagoans had a strange way of celebrating things.)

When he walked into Dan's old back yards behind the condemned house, Free Spirit was already there waiting for him. "I knew you would come, Binder."

"I had to, Free Spirit. Much has happened and I feel I am ready to advance to another level."

"You are, Binder. What have you learned of magic?"

"The priciples of magic and the principals of Omega power are connected in many ways. Magic is more closely related to science than anyone knows."

"Excellent, Binder. Now you must go forth and make the most of this knowledge. Understand it to it's fullest extent."

Allen was silent for a moment. "I don't want to."

"You must. No mortal has ever come to this high of a realization before."

"I can't," Allen said. "The cost it too high. First Dan Cheng, then the deaths caused by my student Eldin, including poor Eric. Now one of my own students died by my hands. How much more death shall I cause in this quest for knowledge?"

"We have already spoken about Cheng. You were justified. Also, you cannot be held responsible for the actions of your student. He would have caused death now matter what was taught to him. In the end, his judgement was passed by chance, not your desire for his death."

Allen was silent.

"And worry not for the godling. He is with his own now."

"One with the gods," Allen thought to himself. "Can you send him a message, where he is?" Allen asked.

Free Spirit smiled. "Yes."

"Tell Eric that we all miss him. His brother especially. He was loved by many and we wish he could be back with us, godly or not."

"It shall be done. And before I go I shall tell you this: Keep up your high spirits. It is what has kept you above the rest. Brood not on the deaths of those behind you, but the lives of those before you. Do this, and you shall always be successful."

Allen mumbled, "Yes, Free Spirit. Good bye," and walked away. The events of the past week had taken it's toll on everyone and Allen needed a stiff drink. He caught a cab and headed for the jubilation downtown.

Next Issue:
The Garth Ennis Tribute Issue!

Danny, Eric, and Miranda Anderson, Bill Moulder, and the Colony are all property of Matt Rossi. The SEEKERs are property of Matt Dempster. Anne Benson and Harvey Hauptman are property of Marc Singer. All used with their permission.

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