Blue Light Productions presents

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       [A man, flanked by two soldiers, has his back to us while looking 
        at the entrance to Queen Bee Towers. Under this image is the 
                impression of a figure with wings.]
                          "HOME INVASION."
The soldier watched carefully as the convoy of army jeeps and trucks 
approached him. He nodded to his partner, then stepped out into the 
middle of the road. As the convoy came closer, he raised a hand and 
brought them to a halt.
        He walked to the lead jeep, and saluted the captain who was 
driving it. "Sir," he said. "We can't allow you to continue. This city 
is strictly off limits."
        The captain held up a piece of paper. "I think we are allowed," 
he said mildly.
        The soldier examined the document. It looked like Presidential 
Orders allowing them access to, but he wasn't going to let 
them just drive on through.
        "I have to authenticate these orders, sir," the soldier said. 
The captain nodded. "Please stay here." The soldier took the orders and 
returned to the small temporary hut that had been erected. He handed the 
paper to his partner, while he remained outside keeping an eye on the 
convoy, and one hand on his rifle.
        A minute later, his partner said "Cleared."
        The soldier nodded. "Lower the barrier." The concrete partition 
that blocked the road slowly descended into the ground, freeing the road 
for use.
        The soldier waved the convoy on, and the captain smiled genially 
at him as the jeeps and trucks passed him. As the last truck passed, the 
barrier was raised again, and the soldier returned to his observation 
        Ten minutes later, the call about stolen army vehicles came in.
"What an amazing age we live in. All around us, people clamour for just 
one thing. Power. This is easily seen from the sheer number of 
superheroes this planet is inundated with. Power to fly, power to 
destroy, power to...resemble a limp asparagus, but none the less, power. 
It's a Freudian paradise, if you go in for that sort of thing.
        "But for many of us, power is not enough. It is merely a means 
to an end. And that end is control. And the best example of that is the 
Queen Bee. She holds all the power and has control over everything. And 
yet...even her power wasn't enough. The Y2K bug proved even too much for 
her systems. Although between you and me, I say she did it herself. That 
is not the popular view, of course, so it's not one that you would want 
to share too readily.
        "Nevertheless, one way or another, she is now without power, and 
thus without control. It is said that power corrupts, so maybe this is 
Acton Lord's work. Some petty revenge or another. Who knows? We haven't 
seen anything from him since that over-hyped Century Pact fiasco, so who 
knows what he has been doing.
        "As I said, I think she did this herself. Why? That, of course, 
is the tricky question. I personally think she became bored. Due 
to...private resources, I've learnt that she's been doing this for 
around 70 or 80 years now. Surprising? Not really. When we live in a 
world where there's an LNH that boasts a member called Easily Discovered 
Man Lite, we are truly in a world of wonders.
        "For whatever reason, and from whatever cause, the Queen Bee is 
no longer around, and Queen Bee Enterprises, and all those wonderful 
things it did, are there for the taking.
        "Which brings the topic of discussion to us. We shall take, and 
then we shall have power. And control. I am forced to admit that I am 
not that ambitious, but others are, and we must pander to their needs. 
But I am curious. And so, we are here."
        The captain merely nodded, only half listening. Frank Bennington 
had developed a tendency for talk, so he had developed a tendency not to 
listen too hard.
        The captain swung the jeep onto the main street of He could already see their destination, Queen Bee Towers, 
looming above them, though it was halfway down the street. As he drove 
along, he could hear gunfire far off. He frowned. Surely there couldn't 
still be monsters left after this long?
        Something crashed onto the street directly before them, and the 
captain slammed on the brakes, making all of them jerk forwards into 
their seat belts.
        "What the...?" he heard behind him.
        "Quiet, sergeant," he ordered.
        "It's dead," said Bennington dismissively. "Just drive around it."
        The captain wasn't entirely surprised by Bennington's cavalier 
attitude, but still had to restrain himself from glancing at the corpse 
as they went past, putting on a show that he wasn't bothered by this 
strange thing so close.
        The captain finally pulled up in front of the towers, and saw 
Bennington look up. "Magnificent," Bennington said. "And all ours. Quite 
literally. I managed to acquire the property deed, so this is perfectly 
legal." The captain managed to keep his face straight. "Deploy the men," 
Bennington added.
        "Corporal Bell, establish a perimeter. Sergeant Benton, take the 
rest of the patrols inside. We'll set up the main base in the lobby and 
coordinate from there."
        Bennington gave him a smile. "Just marvelous how you do that. 
Come on, Captain Yates. Let's go shopping."
A man in army fatigues crashed the door open, and two other men rushed 
in behind him, sweeping the room with their guns. "Clear!" one shouted.
        Captain Yates and Frank Bennington entered the room, and 
Bennington rubbed his hands together appreciatively. "The main security 
control room." Bennington peered at a monitor. "Operating on back up 
power, it looks. Either that or someone's been in here already."
        "The Alt.Riders, sir?" Yates asked.
        "I hope not, but even if they have been, they can't have gotten 
everything. And we don't need to worry about them interrupting, they're 
busy at the moment." Bennington didn't elaborate, and Yates didn't ask.
        "Benton, secure this floor," Yates ordered.
Outside, Benton motioned for the men near him to spread out. He lead one 
group, a man splitting off every now and then to check rooms and side 
passages. He reached the end of one corridor without encountering any 
        "Right, fall back. Nothing to worry about here."
        As they moved back, they heard a rattle from one of the rooms.
        "I checked that one, sir," one of the men said. "It was clean."
        "Right. I'll check it out. Get back to the captain."
        Benton entered the room, sweeping the place with his eyes and 
his gun. It looked like a class room, with desks spread out, and a 
larger desk at the front and a board for writing on.
        The rattle sounded again, and Benton looked up to see a grate on 
the ceiling vibrating slightly. Cautiously, he walked over and peered up 
into it, making sure not to place himself directly under it.
        The grating rattled again, and Benton circled the area, picking 
his way through the desks. Another rattle.
        Suddenly, the grate popped open, swinging down on a hinge on the 
side now opposite him. Something came out.
        Benton squeezed the gun trigger.
The small squad of men burst into the room, guns covering every angle. 
All they saw was Sergeant Benton standing over a huddle on the ground.
        "Just a freak. It's dead now," Benton said.
        "Sir, I thought we were supposed to take anything we found alive."
        "Unless it tries to kill me, then I don't care." A few of the 
men grinned. They knew how it was. "Come on."
        Pushing through the men rather brusquely, Benton led the way out.
The push was on for floor 27. Bennington had found something, but he 
wasn't telling any one else. The captain led the charge, as it were, and 
the men swept up through the levels as quickly as they could.
        However, there was a problem just after floor 12.
        "Sir, there's no floor 13," Benton reported to Yates.
        "What do you mean? There has to be a floor there, even if it's 
labeled 14."
        "There's nothing, sir. Just...nothingness."
        "Let me see." Yates pushed Benton aside and opened the stairwell 
door for the 13th floor. A void gaped before him, threatening to suck 
him in with its emptiness. Yates grasped the side of the doorway as 
something like vertigo swept over his body.
        Benton pulled him back, and Yates stood there for a moment, just 
panting and getting his breath back. Yates looked around, but there 
wasn't any more stairs leading up.
        "There must be some way around this," Yates said. "Presumably 
people worked on the upper floors. They wouldn't have had to deal with 
        "Perhaps it's only just happened. Sir," Benton added belatedly. 
"Some kind of security measure the Queen instigated to stop anyone from 
getting higher."
        "In that case there should be something very interesting above 
us," Yates mused. "How about the lift shaft?"
        "All the lifts are non-functional."
        "I didn't say the lifts, I said the lift shaft. Come on." 
Leading the way back to the 12th floor, Yates entered the floor and 
looked around, quickly locating a pair of lift doors. "Open that."
        Benton in turn nodded to the men accompanying them, and two of 
them stepped forwards, and slowly pulled the doors apart.
        Yates leaned through the increasing gap and stared upwards. 
"It's clear to the top. We go up this way."
        "Yes, sir," replied Benton, giving Yates a cagey look, before 
motioning for the ropes to be brought up.
They were at level 20 when the next strange thing happened. One of the 
men was in a room when he called out. "Sirs! Come here quickly!"
        Benton and Yates entered to see the room dim. Which was strange 
as one wall was full of windows opening out onto the street. Something 
was falling past the window. A big something, taking a lot of time. No 
details could be made out, just a vague impression of hugeness, then the 
windows were clear again.
        Rushing to the window, they looked out and down...but there was 
nothing there.
        "Where is it?" asked Benton, mostly to himself.
        "It disappeared sir," the soldier exclaimed.
        "Enough talk. If it isn't here, it can't bother us. Come on," 
Yates ordered, and they continued on their way, casting glances back to 
the windows as they did so.
Once they had gained floor 27, they had to wait for Bennington to 
arrive, performed a quick recee of the floor while they did so. Apart 
from empty rooms and locked doors, which the other floors had consisted 
of, there was nothing here of interest.
        "So whatever he wants is locked away," Benton said quietly. "And 
probably for a good reason."
        "It's ours now," Yates said sharply. "And don't forget it."
        "Yes sir," replied Benton, after a pause.
        Bennington came through the door, wheezing slightly. Benton gave 
a small smile, but stopped under Yates glare. "Rather invigorating, 
isn't it?" Bennington panted. "Twenty seven floors with no lifts..."
        Bennington drew his breath. "Right then. The room we want is 
listed as TTT. Find it."
        One of the soldier's saluted. "Already have, sir. It's this way. 
It's locked."
        "I'm not surprised." As they walked Bennington indulged in his 
new predilection for verbosity. "Mankind feels a need to poke it's nose 
into everything. Every crack must be opened, every hidden fact must be 
brought to light, good and bad, to be inspected and considered. If it is 
judged useful, it is used, taken and possessed now as mankind's forever 
until eternity. Reminds me of the possession rules of babies in a way.
        "The important thing about this is that it doesn't matter if it 
is a good thing or a bad thing. It is only the use of it that matters. 
What then of the things that can't be used? If it is a fact, it is 
ignored. If it is something made, it is unmade. If it is something 
discovered...well, maybe it can be hidden again, but some things are not 
to be tucked out of sight so easily. Sometimes forces can get beyond our 
control. These are the times chaos come upon us, and nothing good comes 
from that.
        "I believe this to be one of those things. I don't know what, 
exactly, but nevertheless..." Bennington trailed off as they stopped in 
front of a door marked 'TTT'.
        Bennington gestured. "Open it."
        "How, sir?" the soldier asked.
        Bennington sighed exasperatedly. "Shoot it open," he ordered.
        Under a hail of bullets, the door promptly game way. Beyond the 
door was a short corridor, that opened out into a large circular room. 
Around the edge of the room were scattered consoles, now all dark, 
deactivated. In the middle of the room was a tall cylinder of blue 
light, reaching from the ground to the ceiling high above.
        Bennington stepped close to the shaft of light. "Interesting," 
he muttered, and peered intently into its depths.
        Something seemed to jump out at him, making him jump back in 
surprise. "What the...?" he yelled, but nothing came out of the shaft.
        "What is it, sir?" Yates asked.
        "There's...there's something in there." Bennington looked at the 
shaft uncertainly. "I think."
        The shaft itself was made of streaming pulses of blue light, 
like electric discharge. It hummed and flickered, a complete barrier to 
whatever was inside, but gave no sign of what that might be.
        "Are you sure, sir?" asked Benton. Yates gave him another look, 
and Benton moved over to one of the consoles to be out of the way.
        "Yes, yes...we must find out all we can. Captain, with me." 
Together, Bennington and Yates moved to one of the consoles, a different 
one to Benton's, and started trying to get some response from it. 
Nothing happened. Unlike the security room, there appeared to be no back 
up power for these computers.
        "And yet that barrier is still working. A completely independent 
system," Bennington mused. "Whatever is behind there must be something 
powerful indeed. And something we must therefore have." There was a 
definite gleam in Bennington's eye.
        Yates thumped the computer, but despite many years experience, 
the computer still failed to come online. He looked around in 
frustration, and spotted Benton reading something. Walking over to him, 
Yates waited until he was almost at Benton's side before asking "What's 
that, Benton?"
        Benton visibly jumped. He turned, half-heartedly trying to hide 
the document behind him. "Just some technical papers. Sir. Nothing 
        "Let me see," Yates ordered, putting out his hand, and Benton 
reluctantly handed over the papers.
        Yates flicked through the pages. "I think this is very 
important. Next time, tell us immediately." Benton merely nodded, and 
Yates turned away dismissively, and towards Bennington.
        "What is it?" Bennington asked.
        "Printouts of readouts," Yates replied. "Energy readouts. 
Whatever's in there requires a lot of energy. Although I haven't seen 
energy patterns like this before."
        Bennington took the readouts, and examined them. "Neither have 
I." He looked up at the energy shaft. "Oh, I just have to get in there."
        "If we can find the power source..."
        "Spread out," Bennington called out. "Find the power source. 
Might need to check the floors above and below this one. I want 
whatever's in there, and we're not stopping until I'm in."
Sergeant Benton lead a team through floor 26, looking for the power 
source. Another team was checking 28, but he had a feeling it was down 
here. Something about the way the energy moved told him it was coming 
from below.
        "Sir, it's behind that wall," one of the men reported, his eyes 
on a small tracker unit.
        The wall looked study. Not something they could break through. 
"Circle around. Find an entrance."
        It took time, but finally they found a way in. The power source 
was some kind of moving generator, a tall column that rumbled in low, 
almost sub-sonic tones, making the floor vibrate gently. Benton had no 
idea how it worked, or why it was still working when everything else 
wasn't, but it was definitely more preferable than allowing whatever was 
inside to get out.
        "I think this is the main control, sir," one of the men called 
out. "I'm not sure that it can be easily switched off, but we can 
probably deactivate it just by shooting it."
        "Good idea," replied Benton. He brought up his stun gun, and 
shot the man in the chest, and the soldier collapsed onto the ground.
        "Sir! What are-" another man asked, in shock, but didn't get any 
further as Benton shot him too. He managed to fire a burst at another 
soldier, there were still two others left, but one of them had their gun 
up by now and was firing at him. Benton dived out of the way.
        "We can't let them deactivate that thing!" Benton cried out. 
"Whatever's inside should stay there!"
        "We have orders. You aren't one of us," a soldier called back, 
and fired another burst at Benton's position.
        Raising his hand slowly, Benton looked out over his temporary 
protection of a fallen cabinet, and sighted the two remaining soldiers. 
One was moving for the door, the other was near the machine. Damn.
        Rolling out from behind the cabinet, Benton fired a shot, 
nailing the man going for the door, but was hit in turn by the gunfire 
from the other soldier.
        Cursing, Benton rose and fired the stun gun at full charge. The 
soldier was knocked back forcefully, colliding into the machine. There 
was a shower of sparks, and something went *clunk*.
        The central column stopped spinning.
        Benton looked in horror. Despite his best attempts he had turned 
off the barrier anyway. Turning, he ran for the room, hoping nothing too 
disasterious was happening in the room above him.
Benton ran into the main room to find the last of the blue lights fading 
from view to reveal...a skeleton? In the air was a large skeleton, over 
two meters tall, arms hanging down, and two large skeletal wings 
stretched out to either side. The head was hanging down, as if asleep. 
Although there was no sign of any support, the body hung in the air, and 
remained connected.
        "Beautiful," Bennington breath. He glanced over. "Thank you, 
        "You stupid, stupid moron," Benton snarled.
        Bennington watched in shock as Benton's face began to melt, then 
his entire body dissolved into a fluid mass that reformed into something 
instantly recognisable. "Morph! Kill him!"
        Morph's hands lashed out on long arms to grab the guns from 
Captain Yates and the other soldier present. "Don't bother. You can't."
        "We'll see about that-" Bennington started.
        "Shut up," Morph growled. "I don't care about you, only what 
you've just unleashed."
        All heads turned reflexively to look at the skeleton, which 
chose that moment to raise its head and scream. The sound was beyond 
hearing, it was a force that rippled through the building around them, 
and smashed through their minds. They immediately all collapsed to the 
floor, holding their heads.
        'Not good,' Morph thought, as much as he could through the 
screaming pain.
        The skeleton raised its arms up, and the ceiling above it bulged 
downwards dangerously. Morph stared upwards while his mind calmed down, 
then widen his eyes in shock. Reaching out long arms, three of them, he 
snagged Yates, Bennington and the soldier, and leapt from the room, 
dragging them behind him.
        Behind them, the ceiling came crashing down in a mixture of 
mortar, cement, steel, electronic equipment from the floor above, and 
bodies of the men who were above trying to find the power source.
        Morph collapsed in the corridor outside, letting Bennington and 
the others fall to the ground while he got his breath back.
        "What did you do to it?" Bennington gasped out.
        In a flash, Morph had Bennington held up by his suit lapels and 
slapped against a wall. "It's what you did, you smug bastard," Morph 
hissed. "You released whatever that thing was, and now we're all going 
to die."
        "Put him down." Morph felt something press into his head, and 
didn't need to look to know Yates had a gun, gotten from somewhere, 
against his head. Morph let Bennington drop. He wasn't worth it.
        "Kill him," Bennington gasped from his position on the floor.
        Without giving Yates a chance, Morph's head expanded, and 
clamped around Yates' arm like a snake striking. The gun was pulled from 
Yates' hand, and his hand was ejected. The gun arrived down in Morph's 
hand. "I said don't try," Morph said, before turning back to see what 
was happening in the room.
        All he could see was debris and dust floating down the short 
passageway between them and the room proper. But sounds were coming out, 
tortuous sounds, like rending metal and scraping stone.
        "What did you do with Benton?" Yates asked.
        "He's having a little nap," Morph replied distractedly.
        A shaft of light burst through the rubble. "Get down," Morph 
yelled, diving out of the way.
        The light exploded in intensity, eating up all around them. A 
high pitched noise cut through them, making them all curl up in agony. 
It continued for an eternity before finally dying away.
        When Morph looked up, jerked back reflexively as he saw a large 
hole before him. After blinking his eyes, he realised that what he was 
looking at was a large spherical cut made into Queen Bee Towers. It was 
as if a big ball had expanded from the figure in the middle, eradicating 
everything it touched. If it had increased any further, that would have 
included him.
        As for the figure in the middle.... It was the skeleton, now 
coated in the debris it had pulled down on itself. Or rather, herself, 
for the figure was decidedly feminine. But the actual body.... The head 
was encase in metal, giving it an evil gleam, with two organic eyes 
looking out eerily. The torso was concrete, molded into a feminine 
form, arms made of plastic and electronic circuit boards. The hips were 
in metal, and her legs were organic, but not made from legs. Morph saw 
arms and hands, feet and internal organs, all joined together in a mash 
that made him sick. The figure was now also over three meters tall.
        The wings were largely plastic, with metal and concrete 
reinforcing, and now spread out two meters on either side of the body. 
They beat lazily in the air, but whatever was holding this creature up, 
it certain wasn't wings like that.
        "What? Who?" Morph tried to think, as much as he could at the 
moment. "What are you talking about?"
        "Whoever captured you...they're long gone...we freed you!" Morph 
said, in an attempt to be on the creature's side.
        The figure started flickering, and Morph had a sudden intuition 
as to what the creature meant. No, it couldn't be!
        Launching himself off, Morph hardened the outer shell of his 
body, rocket powered himself a boost, and crashed into the creature. As 
he did so, he tried to expand, to surround. The momentum carried them 
on, crashing into the far wall, and crashing through the far wall.
        Morph felt an eerie sensation as he wrapped himself around the 
thing, like his hair was standing up, someone was walking over his 
grave, and he could hear screeching of fingernails on a chalkboard, all 
at once.
        He could barely see the Towers as they passed it by. He got the 
strange idea that if he could see in, he would be able to see himself as 
Benton as he watched something fall past the building some time ago.
        The creature under him writhed, and suddenly he was flying 
upwards. Pain ripped through his being, and his body spasmed, making him 
let go, barely able to keep himself together.
        Something knocked into him, and he groaned. Raising himself 
slightly, he saw he was on the roof of Queen Bee Towers. The creature 
hovered above him, looking down at him like one would examine an insect.
        *THAT WAS UNWISE!*
        "What are you?"
        The creature drew itself up. *I AM DIANA, THE TEMPORAPHILE. I 
        "But they've gone! The person in charge has left! There's no one 
to take vengeance against! There's no need for vengeance at all!"
        "If you can go back...then why don't you free yourself? Or stop 
yourself from being trapped?"
        "And if you went back, you would destroy the others, though?"
        *I WILL.*
        "But you don't! There was no record that you did that. There's 
no evidence. Go back," Morph said. "Go back but watch! See if you come 
back and destroy them. If you don't, then you can't!"
Flying through the ether, seeing the net in its entirety below. Laid out 
in all its glory, evolving as I move along the time index, growing 
larger, joining more places, more people. Becoming ever more an entity 
in its own right.
        But to me, it's a banquet. I dip into it, sucking up part of the 
time index as the net experiences it, causing lag to begin with, then 
entire portions of the net disappear as I feast on its temporal 
existence. Connections are broken, sites are down, but none of them know 
it is me.
        And there. A beacon, calling out to me, drawing me in. Feast 
upon me, it calls, feast and be sated. Not that I can be sated, but I 
took up its offer.
        Now I see from outside, see myself intersect the reality, start 
to feed. And then trapped! Sucked in bodily, my multi-dimensional nature 
curbed. I long to go to my aid, but I can not, for then I would not be 
me, that I am now.
        I touch lightly, seeing what follows. I am trapped and tested by 
their machines, although they have not the knowledge or the ability to 
fathom even a small fraction of myself.
        Once more I long to go to my aid, rip apart those who trapped 
me, take their existence, their entirely, and use them to awaken my 
hunger more so I may feed more fully.
        However, I do not. For I do not. I see myself trapped, tested, 
left alone, and then freed. Not once do I appear there again. So if I 
did, I would deny that which I am now. There is a personal time disjoint 
from the time index of the net that I can not violate.
        So I do not seek my revenge. Not then.
Morph gasped as he came back to himself. He wasn't sure what just 
happened, somehow he experienced what Diana saw. He saw her captured and 
        Just another day at Queen Bee Enterprises, wasn't it? What else 
have you done, mom?
        Morph didn't know what she meant, but knew it couldn't be good.
        Diana flew higher, then hovered in the air. As she flapped her 
wings gently, she began to glow. It took a while to happen, but then 
Morph noticed that the roof was beginning to glow too.
        Taking a cue from Diana, Morph evolved wings, and flew into the 
air. From this new perspective, he could see that the entire Tower was 
glowing. And somewhere far below, a jeep was pulling away, and driving 
off. Morph let them go.
        The glow around the building increased until no more of it could 
be seen inside. This is what the force shield must have looked like.
        But then it started shrinking. The top of the glow dropped, but 
none of the building emerged. Slowly, at the rate of a floor every ten 
seconds, the building was being eaten up. Nine minutes later, there was 
nothing left but a large hole in the ground.
        Morph looked over to Diana, and gasped. Gone was the metal, 
concrete and plastic body. Now she was whole, as she had been in his 
vision. Her body was whole, normal, looking like a very well built woman 
in metal armour. On her head was a helmet that hid everything but her 
lower face. And her eyes. And her wings were now long white feathers.
        She was looking directly at him. *I KNOW YOU. YOU DID NOT MEAN 
        And then she was gone. Just disappeared. Slipped away in the 
moment between now and now.
        Morph hovered in the air, uncertain as to what her words meant. 
He looked down onto the vacant remains of Queen Bee Towers, and shuddered.
NEXT ISSUE: The next arc, maybe?
CREDITS: All mine.
Notes: There are three distinct (albeit related) references to _Doctor 
Who_ in this story. Most people should get the obvious one. A little 
work should get the second one. The third I doubt many people will get 
at all.
Back to the Index.