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Super-powers flex their wings,
Hold the world on puppet strings.
Egos will feed, while citizens bleed,
it's always the way it goes.
When will the world listen to reason?
I have a feeling it'll be a long time.
Well will the truth come into season.
I have a feeling it'll be a long time.
Offspring—It'll Be a Long Time

Over the centuries, many wars have been fought, for as many reasons. Some were fought for religious reasons. Others started from territorial disputes. But none matched the war that was just now beginning to show itself on the face of the planet. Earlier in the history of mankind, they had been revered as gods. Now, many of them struggled to stay alive in a world that had grown increasingly hostile towards them. And while a few of those ancient beings known as the New Ones still roamed the planet, none had shown any interest in the increasing battle between Humanity and Omega. Until now.

The Dynamax facility in Phoenix was once again running smoothly. Although the damage caused by Covenant and his cohorts had taken longer than usual to repair, all the labs were finally back on line. Hammond Ausford turned back to the chief scientist. "Now, what is this about the new subject?"

"Well, sir, he seems to be a quite powerful Omega, at least the readings indicate so..." Dr. Sanders swallowed nervously. He may have been the chief scientist for the 'Black Labs' as they were called by all the employees who know of them, but Dr. Ausford was in charge of research for the whole facility. And the man seemed to know everything that went on in the building.

"Than what is the problem? If he cannot be used by Dynamax for one of the front-line projects, then he gets sent to the laboratory for vivisection." Ausford walked over to the file cabinet to find the folder on this Omega.

"But that's just it sir... we've tried vivisecting him. It doesn't work."

"What? Doesn't work? Impossible." Ausford found the report and began to read. "Subject is in a state of severe amnesia and mental confusion. It is considered very possible that his Omega may have manifested years ago, but due to his mental state, no reliable information can be retrieved from him. Ah yes... I remember. The San Diego police supplied him to us. According to them, he's been a 'fixture' on the docks for several years."

"Yes sir. And we sent him to the labs for study as per the standing orders. But they were unable to proceed. Apparently there weren't able to cut his skin."

"Hmmph. They didn't try hard enough. They may be the only team with the security clearance for this kind of work, but I am still in charge of the Omega research here. Follow me. I'll show them how to handle this."

Down in the Medical Research wing of the facility, several of the Omegas held were being experimented on to determine the full extent of their abilities and how they worked. Lying on on of the dissection tables was a middle aged man. Several scorch marks crossed his chest. As Ausford walked in, the man turned to look at him.

"Perhaps I was wrong. It seems that they've already tried the laser on him. Well, he is an intriguing one, isn't he?" Ausford examined the man closer. "Do we know the extent of his Omega ability?"

"Well, although his skin seems cannot be penetrated by any means, he can still suffer tissue damage. Our readings have shown that although the laser burns the upper layer of the epidermis, he seems to diffuse the energy before it cuts into him any further. Of course the tissue damage heals remarkably fast as well. Also, his invulnerability extends to more than his skin. His major organs, and facial features are either invulnerable to all our attempts, or they heal instantaneously. We're not sure yet. Uh... we have learned that he can suffer broken bones. It was an early attempt of his to escape the lab." As Ausford studied the Omega on the table, Dr. Sanders continued. "The San Diego police picked him up during a raid. Name unknown, age unknown, history unknown. If he wasn't totally amnesiac, he'd be of some use to us."

"But he still will be. Have the technicians raise the power of the laser. We'll soon find out his ultimate limit. And if the laser doesn't work, then there are other ways to continue...." Ausford walked out of the room. "Oh, and start the standard tests on the new subjects as well."

A white room. Lights. And pain. Ever since leaving the other place, that was all he had seen and felt. And there was a voice. He looked around for it whenever he heard it, but saw no one.

Time passed, and the pain started again. The burning light once again hit him. And although the smell of burnt flesh was strong in his nostrils, the light did no damage that would not be repaired.

Time passed again. The voice spoke once more. {help me} But he was unable to respond. Unable to find the source of the voice, he could do nothing for it.

More men in white came in, with another person. He heard the voice agian. {please someone help me} He stared at her. She was the voice he heard inside his head. The men in white strapped her into a chair and began to attach the biting metal to her. Others started to talk to the boxes in front of them. Some of the words he knew, but others he had no knowledge of.

One of the men in white pulled a lever and the woman screamed, both aloud and in his mind. {PAINPAINPAINSTOPIT} As the woman screamed, something happened to him. Unable to control himself, he sat up, breaking the straps that had held him in place. The men in white turned as one towards him, and he waded into their midst, killing them as he had killed many others. His strength had returned to him, as had some of his old life. The Slayer walked the earth once again.

Tracy Montgomery had discovered her Omega abilities two weeks ago. A week later, she was a prisoner of Dynamax. And now she though she was about to die. She was herded out of her cage and forced into some kind of lab. The guards were careful to use the shock prods and not touch her directly. One of them had already learned the hard way what her Omega was. At least I took one of the bastards out with me, she thought.

The guards forced her into a lab of some kind. On one of the tables, a man with burnt skin was looking at her when she came in. Forced into a chair, the scientists began some tests.

"We're going to test how her power reacts to electricity today, Dr. Ausford. "Dissections will be done later in the week." Ausford just nodded. He was still intrigued by the mystery man on the table. Even though the output of the laser had been increased by over 250%, they had still not managed to cut through his skin. It healed behind the cut, although the scorch marks stayed longer.

As the tests on the woman began, Ausford began to feel uneasy about something. As he turned around, one of the scientists yelled. "He's free!" Ausford whirled, and saw that the mystery man had stood up, despite the restraining straps. Growling slightly, the Omega advanced on the guards who were trying to tranqulize him. Leaping forward, he smashed their skulls together, killing them instantly. Grabbing a shock prod from one of the dead guards, he used it as a club, beating one of the scientists over the head with it. Ausford fled the room before the man got to him.

Tracy stared in amazement as the man walked over to her and pulled the straps off of the chair. Avoiding the corpses and the blood all over the floor, she crossed the room and looked out the doors. Nobody in sight. He must have freaked them all out. Turning around, she saw he was still standing in the same spot, staring at her. She grabbed a lab coat off of the rack and put it on. Throwing one to the man, she looked at him. He just stood there, half-draped in the coat. "Uhh... thanks for helping me, but I'm out of here. You planning on staying?" The man just stood there. "Come on! We've got to get moving!" Nothing. "What are you, brain-dead?" Tracy grabbed his arm and started walking out of the room, looking for more guards. Halfway out of the door, he stopped suddenly.



"My name is Kierthos." He put on the coat. "You are right. We must leave before the men in white return. This place is not safe." He started walking down the hall. "How do I get myself into these things?" Tracy muttered as she followed him.

"Do you know where you're going?" she asked trying to keep up with him as he walked down the hall.


"Well, where are you going?"

"This way."

Tracy just stared at him. "Geez... they must have fried your brain."

Turning a corner, they were met by several guards, one of whom must have been an Omega, from the size of him. "Time to go back to your cages." the big one said. Kierthos didn't move. As the big one lumbered towards him, Kierthos stood absolutely still. Just as Tracy was about to run away on her own, he acted. Moving with blinding speed, he rushed forward and punched into the larger man's stomach. Literally into the stomach, Tracy realized. The Omega guard fell to the floor in a puddle of blood, while Kierthos straightened up, his hands covered with blood and guts. A smile slowly crossed his face. Tracy saw the smile, and ran down the hall, away from him. Looking back, she saw the fight contineu. Reaching up, he wrenched a pipe off of the ceiling. As steam began cascading into the hallway, he threw it at the dumbfounded guards, skewering one of them. As the others ran away, Kierthos walked up to Tracy, grabbed her wrist and continued down another hallway.

Suddenly grabbed from behind, Tracy turned to find herself face to face with the Omega guard. Spattered with blood, he growled at her. "I heal real fast." Before Kierthos or the guard could do anything, Tracy used her Omega powers for the first time in weeks, grabbing the guard's arm as he reached for her. He stopped moving as she froze him solid. Pushing him away the hit the floor again, and this time he shattered. "Heal from that."

Alarms were ringing all over the Phoenix facility, and all Dr.Ausford could do was sit back and wait for the escaped Omegas to be recaptured. He was deep in thought on how to explain this to his superiors when he heard the door behind him open. "Sir? They've escaped from the Medical Research Wing. We're expanding the search, but we don't have enough guards to conduct a proper one." Dr. Sanders sounded nervous as hell.

"What!? We had over 50 guards on duty today! That should be more than enough. What's going on?" Ausford walked over to the security monitors and began to scan them. He realized Sanders had reason to be nervous. All of the monitors showed dead or dying guards littering the complex. Fortunately, the two escapees hadn't tried to free the other test subjects.

"Well, sir... 4 guards were killed when the Omegas broke free, and several other guards have been found.. rather their bodies have been found."

"Yes, I can see that here!" Ausford snapped. He stopped listening to Sanders while he activated the security systems both inside the complex and on the grounds. Turning back to the cameras, he still saw no sign of the escapeed Omegas themselves. Without turning around, he spoke to Sanders. "Double the guard on the others Omegas. I don't want to take any chances with these two. They shouldn't have escaped at all, let alone gotten this far."

"It's already been done, sir. And some of the heavier armaments have been relocated to that section of the building. Also, we've been... *urk*"

Ausford turned around to see the two escaped Omegas standing in front of him. Dr. Sanders was slumped to the floor, his neck broken. The man walked towards Ausford, hate in his eyes. Before he could do anything, the girl stopped him.

"Wait, we can use him to get out of here." She walked up to him. "I don't know who you are and I don't care. You only have two choices. You can either help us or die."

"Choice three," Ausford sneered, slapping her. As soon as his hand hit her face, a numbing pain ran up it. Grabbing his hand in shock, he found it was frozen solid.

"Wrong answer." She stood up. Nodding to the man, she stepped back. The man moved forward and slammed Ausford against the wall, choking him. As he was struggling, the girl grabbed his Dynamax badge. "We can use this to get out of here." She reached his coat pocket. Pulling out a set of keys and a wallet. "And these can help us get away faster." Looking at Ausford, she shook her head. "Leave him. He's not worth killing."

The man let Ausford go, and he slumped to the floor, cradling his still-frozen hand. As the two left the room, Ausford slowly got to his feet and followed them. "Guards, they're over here!" he yelled as he left the room. As the few patrolling guards approached, the man grabbed one of the lobby desks and threw it at them, knocking them down. Leaving the girl, he walked over to Ausford, a snarl crossing his face. As Ausford cringed, the Omega grabbed his frozen hand and twisted. Ausford heard a wet snapping noise, and a sharp bolt of pain ran up his arm. Ausford looked down at his severed hand lying on the floor.

"Next time you won't be so lucky." the man growled. Turning back to the girl, they left the complex.

Hours later, Tracy and Kierthos had gotten some clothing and sold the car they had stolen to get traveling cash. "I heard of a group of Omegas in Chicago. Maybe we can join them there." Seeing no response from Kierthos, she continued. "Or maybe I could leave you here and get away on my own." He turned and stared at her for a minute and then returned to staring straight ahead. As they waited for the bus to arrive, Tracy tried to get him to talk. At least them, he didn't seem so creepy. "Are you alright?"

"I am fine. My memory seems to be returning slowly. I know now why I rescued you. You reminded me of my daughter." Kierthos turned to look at Tracy. "You have the same eyes."

"You have a daughter? Where is she?" Tracy owed a lot to this guy, but she wasn't sure if he was really safe to hang around with.

"She died two hundred years ago."

Definitely not safe to hang around with.

Ausford woke up in a hospital bed. From the equipment in the room, he realized he was in one of the recuperation rooms in the Phoenix complex. Looking down at where his left hand used to be, he saw a mass of bandages, but it was too small to be his hand. A TV in the room flickered on. On it was the face of Jarvin Tazakles, the owner of Dynamax.

"I am disappointed in you, Ausford. The day the Phoenix complex is back up to 100%, you allow two Omegas too escape. And the reports I've studied show that one of them is quite powerful. Not the best way to start the week. You may have noticed that your left hand has not been reattached. While we have the abilities to accomplish this, I feel that you will be put to better use for one of my other projects. Since you 'lost' this test subject, it will be up to you to retrieve or neutralize him. Therefore, you yourself will become the subject of a project that I've been toying with lately. The procedure will begin in earnest tomorrow." The TV went dark.

Ausford stared at the screen for a moment, and then began to unwrap the bandages around his wrist. Where the wrist ended and the hand should have started was a flat cybernetic interface. Ausford stared at this for a few minutes, and then began to smile.

Next Issue: Dum da dum placeholder text.

Jarvin Tazakles, the guest star villian, was created by Badger. Everything else is mine, mine, mine! (Not that I'm greedy or anything...)


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