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by Matt Dempster
(Note: This story takes place before, during, and after Pulse 8.)






groan Wes picked his face out of his pillow, and stared at his headboard for a minute. The clock read 3:28 AM. He stared at it, trying to figure out whether this was day or night. Obviously it was day, because who would be cruel enough to wake him up at this time of night?

Nope. Nope, it was nighttime. Wes groaned again, flung off the covers, and rolled out of bed. He grabbed his robe from the chair next to the bed, belted it on, and went to the door. "Who is it?"

"It's me, Brenda. Can I come in?"

Wes thought about it for a minute, and then after heavy deliberation, decided to let her in. He opened the door, and there she stood. "We need to talk."

Wes came awake then. He hadn't heard the edge in Brenda's voice like this in some time. In fact, she sounded more pissed off than he had ever known her to be. "What's up, chief?"

"Carter and Owen."

"Great. Tell me a story."

Brenda sat in the chair next to Wes' console. Leaning back in the seat, she began. "I did that investigation you wanted into Owen still meddling in SIRECOM affairs. Turns out not only is Owen sticking in where he doesn't belong, he's been taking and using SIRECOM resources and personnel for his own agenda. His main stooge is Carter. We've let Carter run a lot of black ops before, given him a lot of latitude, because he's very good at what he does. Unfortunately, his blunder with Benson and Blume, those Omega fugitives from River Junction, can't be overlooked. I went and confronted him about it."

Wes nodded for her to continue.

"He threatened me. Both my job, and I think my life. I don't like being threatened. He's pushed over the line this time. I intend to see that he gets it right back in the ass."

"Sounds right to me, boss. What do you need from me?"

Brenda leaned forward. "Security?"

Wes smiled and leveled his right arm at the console next to Brenda. An invisible infrared beam shot to a receiver, and an audio tape loop started to play, the conversation culled from past taped of both their voices. The video units suddenly developed a case of the statics. "Clear. Writing our security programs does have it's privileges."

Brenda grinned. "Ok. Here's what i want you to do. Drop into cyberspace, and raid the SIRECOM database."

Wes looked at her quizzically. "But I can access those records from here. Why drop to cyberspace?"

"Because I want you to raid Carter and Owen's private accounts."

A slow smile spread across Wes' face. "I like it already. Think I'll start right away."

"Good. See you in a while."

"'Night, boss."


Wes' icon stood and stretched. He glanced about. He stood in a large plaza, paved with stone. All about him stood buildings, and people passed him left and right. Overhead, icons slid to and fro on com-lines. The SIRECOM mainframe was hopping tonight. He walked towards his account building.

The door opened before him, and he walked in. Before him laid a blocky humanoid form covered by a sheet. He ran a hand over the shape, and smiled. His new security program was coming along nicely. He supposed the sheet and the electrodes were a tad Frankensteinesque, but it was his VR, and damnit, why shouldn't he enjoy it?

His gear hung from his tool belt. Grenades, first aid kit, knives. He turned to his work bench and picked up his grapple, his shield, and his new stasis beam. He was ready for the raid. And it was about time. He'd been looking for a way to get that little prick Carter where it would sting.

Wes walked back out in the plaza. He headed for the western edge of the fortress, towards a building limned with a black aura. His cyberspace jaunts tended to reflect his emotions and attitudes, and to him Carter and Owen were as bad as they got.

Shortly, Wes arrived at the site of Owen's account. The squat stone building loomed before him, looking like a ancient crypt. Wes grimaced and walked towards the door. As he approached, however, the stone of the structure seemed to waver and fade. Wes reached out his hand to touch the surface of the doorway, and placed his hand upon nothing but air. The building was untouchable.

Wes stepped back and the building immediately snapped back into full reality. He frowned. This sort of thing wasn't supposed to happen. This wasn't a security protocol that he had ever heard of. Computer: Analyze: protocol sub-security user ID Owen

Analysis: Account not located at this terminus

What? Clarify please.

Report: Account slaved to alternate mainframe: back door status only.

Location query: mainframe/transfer port.

?? : unable to comply. mainframe is not part of active net.

What the hell was this? Owen had a back door into the SIRECOM database that was perfectly in order, but had no tie to the mainframe? Not possible. His own security programs should have picked that up. Not only that, but the link was untraceable. That was impossible. There had to be com-lines, data transfer nodes, SOMETHING, to lead him to the next frame.

File: Owen/REM: account terminus follow up. Locate secondary mainframe and access points. Check on all security reports.


Location query: Account/user ID Carter, D.

Locate: left 147 degrees, 106 meters

Wes turned about and headed towards the next block over. He soon found the dilapidated shack that his VR had created for Carter's account. Wes looked it over, and decided to run a quick scan for security. 'Area scan/threat eval: account user ID Carter, D.

Scan: Standard outer security protocol Delta-Q. Threat eval: 2 drones.

Excellent. Wes strode to the front door, and examined the lock for a moment. No tricks here. A quick connect with a cable from a recess in his arm, and the door swung wide. He set his shield to max protect, and armed his weapon for dispersion mode. The inside was a disaster. Boxes of data were scattered everywhere. Chaos looked to be the filing system in this hole. Wes sighed and moved to begin sifting through the data.

Carter sat up a little straighter in his seat as he brought his tray table down across his lap. He set his portable link to the SIRECOM mainframe upon the little table. He hadn't gotten this far in his line of work without being very careful. He wanted to go over the known Omegas in the Colony, and see what he was up against. He also needed to know what Omega fodder he had to work with. Use a mutant to catch a mutant...and let the real humans come in after they all wipe each other out.

He flipped up the small screen of the laptop link, and activated the system. It hummed to life, and the screen flashed a phosphorescent green. Hello, Mr. Carter. Command?

Activate remote cellular link: priority Alpha.


Link established. User number 2: account Carter.

Carter started. Number two? What did that mean? He thought for a moment. It could only mean that someone was in there, someone besides him. But who could...

Hickman. That damn mutant scum. He had to be the one. Washington must have ordered a raid on him. That bitch. There was gonna be trouble when he got back. Oh yes indeed, there was gonna be a coming to terms here, make no mistake. And as for Hickman, Carter had a nasty surprise just in case of something like this....

Run: Watchdog one.

Delete: *


Carter sat back with a grin. That should take care of the computer geek. His mind turned to more pleasant thought, like the upcoming annihilation of the Colony in Chicago.

The door opened behind Wes, and in stepped a blocky humanoid figure. The figure went and stood before one of the piles, the largest of them all. Icon ID?

Alert: Icon: user Carter, D.

Oh no. Carter had accessed his account. He had to know Wes was in here. Computer: Link: Icon to control level one. Enable.

Link established. Current commands: Run: watchdog one/Delete: *.*. Command one active, command Two suspended

Ok. Carter's icon was under Wes' control. There would be no more commands accepted to the account. The data was safe. However, Carter had managed to activate a security measure for his account. As Wes thought this over, a section of wall dissolved, and out stepped a blue manlike figure. It's arms raised, and bursts of blue energy crackled toward Wes' icon.

Wes smiled. His Eta series security program worked like a charm. It's reactions were perfect. Any normal cyberjock would be wiped clear off the net. Unfortunately for the construct, Wes had written it's code. It never had a chance. The beams splashed off his shield, and Wes triggered off a burst from his new stasis projector.

Report: Target 1: Neutralized

Wes turned back to Carter's icon. His system merged quickly with the construct and in no time, he had the data he was looking for. Copies of the information transferred into Wes' onboard system, and scanning and assimilation began. Wes released the icon from it's imposed control, and it promptly vanished.

He smiled tiredly, and walked out of the building. As he prepared to leave cyberspace, however, a huge roar shook the sky of the virtual world. He cast his eyes skyward, and there formed an image of a four armed metallic creature.

"Greetings. I am Shiva. I am Death's destroyer. I send you this message so that you might know of my coming and despair. In three days, a virus of my creation will begin to spread out on the surface of this planet, from special bombs I have invented. It will kill 86.5 % of the population of Earth. To prove that I am not lying, in three hours my bride, Kali, will attack and destroy the city of New York, in the Americas. Then she will head west, annihilating all in her path. That is the message of Shiva. Have a nice day."

Oh Jesus. Wes sat down hard. This was not good. Not at all. His mind tried to cope with this new situation. It was difficult. He was trained to fight Omegas, not lunatics who threatened world destruction. He had no way to deal with this threat. Ok. Settle down. Think for a minute. What assets do you have? I have six Seekers operatives on active duty. I have some SIRECOM aid behind me. Ok. Priorities? The Colony raid. There are a whole lot of Omegas there, including Tempest. If we can stop Carter's raid, and enlist them in stopping this Shiva nut...

With a grim expression on his face, Wes' icon deresolved, and his mind stretched back into realspace.

Jay was not having a good time.

Oh, the evening had started out all right. He and Michelle had caught a commuter flight to New York, and had been met at the airport by a couple of Michelle's old friends. The three of them began immediately to rehash old times, and Jay, quiet to begin with, shut up entirely. The party didn't stop there though. As the evening wore on, and the time of the club opening drew closer, more and more of Michelle's buddies joined the group. Jay felt more and more like the proverbial fly on the wall, unnoticed.

Michelle on the other hand was having a great time. She hadn't seen these people in years, ever since she left New York to join SIRECOM. The incident which had triggered her Omega had left her with many a bad feeling to work out, and she had had to leave the city for a new and different locale. But she was back now, and she had forgotten how much she really loved NYC, and how much she missed her old life.

Finally they arrived at the new club. The Grove looked like it's opening night was going to be a smashing success, if the line of people awaiting the opening of the doors meant anything. Michelle's friend Josef greeted the manager, and the group walked inside.

The inside was lavishly decorated. Plants hung from ledges all around the room. An ornamental pond, complete with stream feeder and small waterfall, dominated the center of the room. The bar and tables were polished and shone softly in the dim light. The dance floor was brightly lit, and at the moment, some slow tune from the mid 50's was playing. Jay looked about, and envisioned the room packed with people. His heart sank to an all time low, and he asked himself again, How do I let myself get talked into these sorts of things?

The doors opened. People began pouring in. The music cranked up a notch, and shifted into a Beatles tune. At least the music isn't awful, thought Jay.

Michelle heard the music. Classic rock was her favorite type of music and she was ready to party all night long. She bounded up from the table, and headed for the dance floor. "C'mon Jay! Let's go!"

Jay grimaced, and shouted back, "You go on ahead. I think I'll sit this one out."

"Suit yerself!", and she spun back to dance with a tall Indian guy. Jay sat and watched for a while, growing more and more depressed, and drinking heavily. It was a real shame that his metabolism did away with the alcohol so fast. He'd love to get rip-roaring drunk right around now, but even that was denied him. He got up to refill his pitcher, and as he returned to the table, Michelle plopped down in the chair next to him with a breathless laugh. The Indian fellow she had been dancing with stood by with a smile. He extended his hand, and with a mild accent said, "Hello. You must be Jay. My name is Sanjay. I am pleased to meet you."

"Hi there. So what brings you into town?"

Michelle answered, "Sanjay is a student at NYU, mah old school. Ain't that a coincidence?"

"What are you studying?"

"My major is political science, specializing in East Asia relations."

"Interesting field. So what do you think of this place?"


As Sanjay opened his mouth to reply, the music suddenly died. Television screens all about the bar came to life with the image of Shiva. Jay listened to the ultimatum with a chill running up and down his spine. He glanced at Michelle. Kali was on her way here. Jay excused himself and went towards the bathroom. The club was emptying out rapidly. Michelle exchanged a few words with Sanjay, including telephone numbers, and headed off to meet Jay. As she moved toward the rear of the building, a tone went off in the tiny cellular link at her wrist. The boss was calling.

She found Jay as he was answering Interface's call. "What was that, jefe?"

:That was Shiva, a royal nutcase who apparently has it in for the planet. His friend Kali should be on her way to your position, ETA 2 hours 47 minutes.:

"So what do you want us to do?"

:Returning to base is not an option. I want you to police the area. If there is any sign of Kali, exercise your judgement. Your first concern is the safety of civilians. If possible, move any battle situations to another locale. Understood?:

"Yes sir."

:Interface out.:

Michelle sighed. "Great. Ah finally meet a guy who ah could really lahk, and so of course the world goes to hell."

"Don't feel bad. Could be worse. They could be sending the Shriners."

"Good point. C'mon, let's roll."

Brenda's face appeared on the video monitor. "Yes, Wes? What's up?"

Wes said,"I have the information that you wanted. It's being transferred to you now. However, that isn't what I called about."

"What is it?"

Wes placed his hands before him. "I want permission to stop Carter's raid on the fugitive Omega group in Chicago. I think that they can help us with Shiva. The conventional military isn't going to be much good, and we'll need all the Omega power we can get."

Brenda considered for a minute. "Permission granted. Take whatever operatives you deem necessary. Moulder in Chicago will assist you if need be. Keep in mind though, at least two of those Omegas are known fugitives. If it comes down to it, bring them in. Understood?"

"Yes ma'am."

Wes clicked off the monitor and sat back. With Armor and Trax in New York, his team was understrength. He called up his files on the active Seekers operatives on station, and sorted through them.

Walker, William. Psychokinetic. Transforms kinetic energy to vibrational energy. Enhanced reflexes, strength. Codename: Sonic

McCall, Andrea. Energy Manipulation. Conversion of body and held objects to energy matrix state. Enhanced reflexes. Codename: Flux

???. Psychokinetic. Manipulation of spacetime, rotating body into dimensional pocket, yielding intangibility and invisibility. Enhanced agility, reflexes, strength. Codename: Phase

Wes scratched his head. He knew Bill, and in fact had worked with him before in some of the hand to hand training sessions for operatives. The other two were relative strangers to him, though. He had confidence in them, of course, but they had never worked with the team before.

He thought about it for a moment, and realized when it came down to it, he had no choices. None at all. He needed all the help he could get, especially if he wanted to stop Carter's raid. Computer: Transmit: Alert status, Seekers squad, all members on station. Alert Red.

Transmitting. Received.

Wes picked up the phone. He dialed a number which connected him to one of the many SIRECOM support elements. "We need a bird to Chicago, and we need it 90 minutes ago."

"Yes sir, it'll be waiting at the field, priority clearance"

He sat back and rubbed his eyes. Showtime.

Wes stood at the front of the plane and looked over his team. The new folks looked a little nervous, but then that for a first mission. The other team members seemed to have no problem integrating them though, so Wes' main concern vanished. He cleared his throat to gain their attention.

"All right ladies and gentlemen. You all know about Shiva's ultimatum. You know that Kali is on her way to New York right now. And we also know that there is no way we can stop these fruitcakes on our own.

"So what we are doing is heading for Chicago. Right now there is an unauthorized, unsanctioned raid being planned on a group of rogue Omegas known as the Colony. The only member we know on sight from this group is this man."

A color frame of Eric Anderson aka Tempest displyed on a small monitor near the front of the cabin. "All we know about this guy is that he is one high powered son of a bitch. We're hoping to enlist his aid, along with the other members of the group, in stopping Shiva.

"Also, the two fugitive Omegas, Anne Benson and Otto Blume, are with the Colony. Both are high level Omegas, and are to be treated with caution. But we do have our orders. If the opportunity presents itself, when this crisis is over, we are to take Blume and Benson into custody. Questions or comments?"

Andrea raised her hand. "What do we do about the other Colonists? Some of them have been linked with terrorist acts, particularly against Dynamax."

"Good question," replied Wes. "I.."

:Trax to Interface, respond please.:

Wes keyed his radio. "Yes, Trax. Go ahead."

:Kali and Tempest just finished a massive slugfest in the middle of Times Square. I've never seen anything like it, sir...Tempest ripped her to pieces.:

"Where is Tempest now?"

:That's just it sir. After he dismatled Kali, Shiva appeared. he said that Kali was set to self destruct, and that it would wipe out a huge part of the city. Tempest grabbed Kali's remains and took off faster than I could see. He went into space, to get rid of the body. He hasn't come back sir.:

"All right. I want you and Armor to assist with crowd control and assist the police and fire departments. We are en route to Chicago now. If you have any news of Tempest or anything else, call me immediately."

:Understood sir. Trax out.:

Wes stood quietly for a moment considering this new piece of information. Tempest was lost. That meant a major piece of the puzzle was missing. They really could have used someone with his power levels, but now they were just going to have to do it the old fashioned way.

Wes asked the pilot, "How long to Chicago?"

"ETA: 34 minutes sir."

"All right folks, weapons check and finla mission prep. These are our own agents we're going up against, and they are damned good. Let's not have any mistakes shall we?"

Carter clicked home the last fastener on his battle armor. The light flexible alloy was proof against bullets, fire, and even some energy weapons. It might even afford some protection against your average Omega. Every SIRECOM agent was wearing their armor for the raid. He picked up his Colt Python, checked it's magazine, and slipped it into his side holster. He slung his machine gun over his shoulder, his combat shotgun at his hip, and checked his supplies. It was time.

He keyed his helmet radio. Time to move out, men.

The convoy of trucks disgorged their human cargo near the site of the Chicago Colony base. This was going to be a major blow against the Omegas, as well as a huge feather in Carter's cap if he pulled it off. There damn well weren't going to be any mistakes made. Plus he had his aces in the hole.

He signaled his ECM officer. The man signaled back that there were video cameras sighted in on the raiders. Carter signaled the squad leaders to move forward.

Let 'em come. We're ready.

Jimmy DeLeon watched the approaching agents on the scanners of his armor. The suit was old and rusty. Jimmy hadn't had to fight seriously since his days as a vigilante, and he wasn't looking forward to this brawl. Dese guys, dey loaded for bear!! he thought. He checked his scanners and saw the other Colonists arrayed in a rough line in front of the SIRECOM people. They were as ready as they were going to be. Jimmy wished again that Eric was here. This battle wouldn't even take place. He'd just wipe these guys away. There'd be...

Suddenly to his left there was the distinctive sound of a plasma discharge, coming from one of the weapons Jimmy had made for the Colony's defense. The burst streaked into a pair of SIRECOM agents and the battle was on.

Bolts of energy and streams of bullets flew across the field. Some low level Colonist with TK began grabbing weapons out of the soldiers hands, and flinging them back towards Colony lines. Jimmy raised up from behind his cover, and fired off a couple of laser bursts. An alarm from his armor system suddenly screamed in his ear, and he instinctively slammed up the force field generator he had added just yesterday. A pulse of laser light splashed off his back, and he turned around to face a helmeted armored SIRECOM agent. The agent was fiddling with something on the gun. Jimmy reached out with his power to understand machinery, and saw it was a sonic projector that was being aimed at him. He quickly dodged backwards, his armor being no defense against such a weapon.

Elsewhere, Warren Davis was pulling grenades out of the Colony armory as fast as he could, and hurling them into the SIRECOM lines. Shots ricocheted off of his cover, but nothing actually hit him. He reached once more into the armory, and found nothing left in his grenade box. He swore and unlimbered his shotgun.

The SIRECOM agents advanced on his position as soon as the grenades stopped falling. The first agent stepped around, and was met by a burst of shot in the chest. Warren rolled out, and triggered off another burst. The pellets hit nothing but sky. The soldiers' aim was a bit better. A shot caught Warren in the shoulder, and spun him about. Warren lay there gasping, as the agents advanced. As he watched his impending demise, a wall of fire rose from nowhere. It quickly encircled the SIRECOM soldiers, and set them ablaze. Warren felt gentle invisble hands lift him up and carry him back down into the Colony tunnels. He closed his eyes, and passed out, his last thoughts those of revenge.

Having finished off Warren's attackers, Thomas-Peter Musafa, aka Conflagration began to lead his rough squad of Omegas into the enemy lines. Waves of heat seared kevlar armor. Cold beat against weapon systems, making them brittle and useless. Soldiers bodies were crushed within invisible fists. The SIRECOM force began to retreat, pulling away from the enraged Colonists.

Carter yelled as he received the report. |SHIT!| he cried as he fired off another load of napalm shot at a Colonist. |What are you doing?! Get back in there! Reinforcements? You are the best there are! What do you need help for? Destroy these mutant dirtballs!!| He turned quickly and fired the taser attachment at an Omega behind him. The Colonist stared in disbelief as the electricity coursed through his body.

|All right. Pull back, and ready your squad for a new assault. I'm playing the trump.

|Red team, Blue team. Go.|

Onto the field came some new players. Carter had called out two teams of Dynamax Omegas. The members of HAVOC were on call, in case things went drastically wrong, but it was preferred that they stay out of it. After all, they were supposed to maintain a clean image, and wholesale slaughter of people, rogue Omegas or no, doesn't lend itself towards that end.

Red team consisted of pyrokinetics and cyromorphs. The team had worked together before and they were exceptionally effective. They arrowed for Musafa's band, and began to rip it apart. Inside of thirty seconds, Thomas-Peter was the only one left standing. His powers were straining to the limits, forcing the heat from the pyros towards the cryos. The shimmering wall of superheated air moved closer and closer, and as it was about to reach him, a burst of laser light holed one of the Dynamax agents. Jimmy landed beside Thomas-Peter and the two bounded away to a safer spot. Musafa sat for a minute, shaking with fatigue. "Why don you stay here for a minute, mon? I'll go see what else I can do."

"Thank you, my friend."

"Don' mention it."

The Blue team was equally successful. The telepaths of the team were turning the Colonists own weapons to their advantage. Neighbor shot neighbor, and suddenly no one could be trusted. A trio of telekinetics worked to form an impenetrable shield about their telepathic teammates, and they moved towards the Colony entrance.

Carter smiled and watched as the Dynamax agents tore through the Colonists. Here and there, powerful Colony Omegas were stopping the raiders cold, but overall, the push was on. The battle would be over soon. Carter's grin grew wider, as he fired off a few more rounds into the Colonists around him.

"We're too late."

Wes stared at the battle raging in the junkyard. SIRECOM agents were holding back the police, and the police were holding back the press and the spectators. The van that Wes' team was riding in squealed to a halt at the outer ring. The Seekers piled out. A tall man strode over to them. "Mr. Hickman. Glad you're here. Billy Moulder, SIRECOM Chicago branch."

"Wish the circumstances were different. What do we have in there?"

Moulder said, "Carter, his agents, and two squads of Dynamax Omegas are in there, fighting against who knows how many rogue Omegas. So far, from what radio transmissions we're getting, Carter's team seems to be winning. We don't know much of the Omegas in there is jamming our radios."

"Terrific." Wes grimaced. "Ok. We're going in. Carter is in deep this time. Ms. Washington wants his head on a spit. This raid is unsanctioned, and we are here to stop it. Any questions?"

"No, sir. Do you need any help?"

"No, agent Moulder. No, I think we'll take it from here."

With that, Wes shouldered his .50 cal, and led his team onto the battlefield. He turned to the team and said, "Ok, listen up. Phase, Blockade, Sonic, you head for the main entrance. My scanners show a team of agents plowing through the Colony defense. Take 'em down."

"Yes, sir" said Blockade. The three of them set off, fighting their way towards the Dynamax Blue team.

"The rest of you are with me. We need to provide some support for the defense here. Ricochet, you take point. Flux, you're rear. Let's move people."

Wes's team moved towards the heaviest knot of battle. Ricochet leaped high to avoid a bolt of heat energy fired at him by a Dynamax agent, and landed amidst a group of Colonists. They turned and set upon him, firing their weapons at him. Fortunately, these were projectile weapons, and the bullets dropped harmlessly off of Ric's KE field. :Interface to Ricochet, do you require assistance?:

"Nah. These guys are charging me up. Most of them are strength TK. Not a problem for me."

:Good. Get over here as soon as you can. We've engaged the Dynamax squad.:

"On my way, boss"

Flux and Counterpart were firing into the band of Dynamax agents like there was no tomorrow. Antimatter pellets and bolts of energy slammed into the government Omegas, forcing them back further and further. Wes triggered off burst after burst from his machine gun, hoping to break through the various protective fields of the Dynamax agents. His onboard scanners registered a body directly behind him. He whirled and leveled the gun at the armored figure of Jimmy Deleon.

Jimmy's voice issued from the armor speakers, harsh and scratchy. "Who de hell are you?"

"Seekers. SIRECOM Omega team. We're here to stop this raid."

"SIRECOM are de ones behind dis!"

"Nope. A wacko named Dan Carter is behind this little abortion. We're here to clean up his mess and send him to his room with a good spanking."

"You lyin' ta me?"

"No sir. I'm on the level here. My name is Wes Hickman, and it!"

Wes dove left, firing as he went. His bullets found a home in the SIRECOM agent who was preparing to fire some form of laser at DeLeon's back.

Jimmy stared at the corpse for a minute, and then turned to face Wes. "All right. Good to know you, Wes. The name is Jimmy. Jimmy DeLeon. Now, let's finish off dese Dynamax screws, eh?"

"Fine by me, Jimmy."

The two new allies turned back in time to watch Flux and Counterpart decimate the last of the government Omegas. Ricochet's kinetic field shone a bright red as he bounced here and there, stomping on the human SIRECOM agents. The battle swung once more to the favor of the Colony.

Wes keyed his radio. "Blockade, status?"

:We got a team of telepaths sir. Plus we got some sort of cyborg, and an old man on the scene. I think the old guy is Otto Blume. I have no clue on the cyborg.:

"See what you can do there. We're mopping up over here, and will be en route to you in a few minutes."

:Understood sir. Blockade out.:

Don switched back to squad net, relinking to Sonic and Phase. He could see the telekinetic force dome about the Dynamax squad. The thing was shaped like a bubble, and it was going to be damn near impenetrable. There were three telekinetics, and the rest were telepaths. His own Omega could absorb the TK's, or most of the telepaths. But he couldn't do both. He thought about the new manifestation of his powers, but discarded the idea. He didn't know how to trigger that effect yet.


:Yeah, go ahead.:

"I want a tremor underneath those guys. Can you handle it?"

:Piece of cake. Let me lose these guys around me here, and I'll get on it.:

"Ok. Phase?"

:Yes. Phase here.:

"When Sonic hits the tremor, I'm gonna absorb the shield. Fade, go in there, and start taking out the telepaths."


Blockade started firing around him to clear the combatants from his area. As he fired, a metallic humanoid form landed in front of him. It raised it's arm and fired a bolt of energy at Don. The bolt dissipated as it touched him, leaving no mark. The thing stopped, and looked confused. "What in the hell?"

Don quickly tried to absorb any Omega power the thing had, but although he could feel the power there, he couldn't connect with it. He tried a different tack. "Wait a second, there! My name is Don Riley, and I'm with SIRECOM, Seekers squad. We're here.."

The cyborg fired again, this time with his arm and with his forehead. The beams dissappeared again. Don lowered his weapon. "Stop firing! Look, I'm on your side! We came to stop this raid. Just relax! We're all on the same team over here!"

The cyborg looked at him with what passed for a suspicious expression. "You're with SIRECOM, but you're fighting your own agents?"

"You got it."

"And after the raid?"

"We want to talk to your leader. We've got a major crisis brewing, and we want your help."

The cyborg nodded. "Shiva."


"All right. I beileve you. My name's Threll."

"Ok Threll. Let's go and finish this."

Bill Walker was having the time of his life. He hadn't gotten to cut lose like this in a long time. SIRECOM agents were shooting at him left and right. His kinetic field was glowing an intense blue, and he was almost visibly vibrating. It was about time to start the tremor.

He quickly sheathed his batons and got to one knee. He felt the ground, searching for the resonance frequency. He tuned himself and drawing his paired fist back, he struck hard in a downward arc.

A blue wave of force shimmered along in an almost straight line, knocking over combatants as it passed by. It ran under the TK shield of the Dynamax agents, and exploded the eatrh under the Blue teams feet. The shield dropped as Blockade absorbed the juice, and the telepaths who had hidden behind the safety of the shield began to fall victim to Phase, as he blinked in and out.

Suddenly, Bill felt a crushing blow to his back. He collapsed into the dirt, and rolled over to see the form of an exceptionally large old man standing over him. The man reached down, and picked Bill up by his uniform. Two quick punches, and then Bill was sailing through the air, courtesy of the old man's pitching arm. He landed and rolled to his feet. His KE field was charged, and he had the old guy's freq. He pulled his batons, and stood ready. A couple of quick strikes, and this was gonna be all over.

The old man came charging in, abnormally fast. He swung a roundhouse at Bill's face. Bill ducked and clocked the guy's knee with one of his batons. The old man snorted and kicked at Bill. He dodged, but barely. How was it possible? His vibes should have blown the guy's knee apart! He closed, and tried two rib strikes. The old man shrugged them off, and swung again. Bill blocked, and stepped back. This guy was unstoppable! The man closed again with Bill. He grabbed Bill's arms with superhuman speed, and began to pull outwards, pulling his arms out of the sockets.

Bill screamed in pain and fury. He increased his vibes to maximum, and tried to wiggle out before his arms came off entirely. The pull steadily increased, and then..

Bill's limp form slumped to the ground. The old man looked around confusedly for a few moments, and scratched his head. Harvey didn't know where he was. One minute he had been battling SIRECOM agents, and the next...the next he was tearing some young man in half. To his left he heard a yell. "Oh no...BILL!!!"

A short black man came running up and knelt beside the prone form at Harvey's feet. With him came Threll. "Threll, what happened? Who is this?"

"The Dynamax team put you under their control for a while. These two are members of the Seekers, a SIRECOM team. They're here to stop the raid."

As they spoke, a form materialized out of thin air next to them. He said, "How's Bill, Don?"

The black fellow looked up, and said, "He'll be ok. He has the same accelerated metabolism that Ricochet has. His arms are already back in the sockets, and the tenderness should go away in a couple of hours. He'll come around in a minute or two."

:Blockade, status?:

"Sonic is injured, but he'll be fine. We've made contact with a Colony mamber, a cyborg named Threll. The Dynamax team is down, and the Colonists are mopping up the rest of the SIRECOM troops."

:Excellent. As soon as Sonic is travel ready, rendezvous with us at my position. We're going in.:

"Roger. Blockade out."

Harvey looked anxiously at Don. "He's gonna be all right, right? I'm so sorry about all this, I.."

"Don't worry about it sir. It happens in this business. No damage done, ok?"

Sonic stirred, and sat up. "Oh shit, Don! What, where..oh JEEZ, it's that guy!" Sonic grabbed his batons, and tried to swing. His arm had other ideas. Don drained him to minimal levels, and Phase grabbed him.

"Bill, relax. It's all right. He was under telepathic control. He had no choice. He isn't going to try and fight you."

Harvey walked up and extended his hand. "I'm sorry about all this....I didn't mean to do it..please, I hope you will forgive me?"

Bill looked him up and down, and then grudgingly stuck out his hand. Harvey took it, and gravely shook. Don looked at the two of them, and said, "Ok now that the pleasantries are over, let's get moving."

The squad moved back to the rendezvous point, and met up with the remaining team. Introductions were made all around. Jimmy got right to the point. "If it's help with Shiva that you want, you come to de right place, mon."

Wes looked at Jimmy. "Does that mean you'll help us fight him?"

Jimmy laughed. "We be already fightin' mon!"

Wes looked at him blankly and Jimmy laughed again. "Don worry. You'll see soon enough. Welcome to the Colony."

And with that, a doorway opened out of the ground. Jimmy led them inside, and as the last of the Seekers squad filed in, the door slowly shut behind them.

Next Issue:
Rig Veda continues!
And if you wanna know what happens, read all the Omega books, because I certainly can't tell you!

Colony and Colonists created by Matt Rossi III Harvey Hauptmann, SIRECOM and a lot of other stuff, created by Marc Singer Threll created by Chad Imbrogno. Headaches created by massive crossovers!

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