*MultiMage Chronicles, Part Epsilon*
&Current time frame: C. 2 months after the terrorist incident at Crossroads Jr. High
"My locket! What did I do with my locket?" Serena shouts from the confines of her room. Why hasn't Eric taught us a spell for finding items?
"Serena! You're going to be late again!"
"I know Mom! But I can't leave without My locket! It's special!"
"Where did you get it, anyway?"
"I picked it up at Molly's Mom's jewelry store."
"Hmm... I don't remember seeing such a beautiful locket there," And she hands the locket to Serena, who runs out waving it wildly.
"That child is always late." her dad says as Serena flys by him on his way out.
"TWO MINUTES! To do ten minutes of running. I know I'm gonna get reamed for this, but," She uses the *Teleportation* spell she has been rehearsing for about a week now. In her mind she focuses a picture of the far toilet stall that is never used in the girl's bathroom. She ends up in it, narrowly missing teleporting into the toilet. She steps out into the pre-bell madness and goes to her class. Cooking, which was her favorite class, was merely more bookwork. Serena was given Eric's homework to take to the agents that had a falling-out with the front office staff after they had stopped the "New World Revolution" from making a bloodbath out of Crossroads almost two months ago. Eric did his best to save the school, and he succeeded, but, according to the Principal, their maintenance of live firearms on school grounds, even if it was heavily regulated by their boss, was a continual threat to the school. Eric took the censorship in good spirit, citing the fact that it would "give him more time to prepare". He never stated what for. He rarely explains himself, but he is always right. Creepy.
In English, Miss Horuna handed Serena Eric's homework, and held her back to hand off the .45 Eric had given her earlier, along with the CIA guncard. She stows this in her locker, and is off to Gym. Slaughterhouse Dodgeball was never her forte`, and she ends up the first one out every time. During Gym, which didn't go well, she started daydreaming about some of the things she has seen at the Mansion. She could understand guns, tanks, and swords, but she didn't quite get Battlemechs. Eric had said that they were "6 to 8-story, 10-100 ton damage sponges that were designed to take on a platoon of conventional/hover armor (tanks) and destroy them". Literrally the only thing that can stand up to a battlemech is another. Sure, a IS-1 Infantryman could probably be destroyed by a Schreck (A tank with 1 ERPPC and 1 C/ERPPC), but that same Schrech would fare much worse against an Atlas. Those things, he said, would be easy prey for Queen Metalia, but they would play a greater role in her invasion. Again, he never said what or why. After embarassing herself on the field of war, she and Amy are off to Lunch. Once again, Al and his crew were waiting under the tree for them. They had become extremely annoying since Eric and corps were Expelled. Today was also one of the infrequent days that Tiffany showed up to school, but Those infrequencies were becoming more frequent. She was already in Hot Lunch line, and was more than willing to get Serena one. Tiffany stacks the four lunch trays (one for her, one for Amy, and two for Serena), and still has problems carrying them, but not of weight, but of akwardness.
"What? Is the baby having trouble carrying her food?" Is Al's comment as she walks by.
"Shove it, loser."
"What did you say?" is what Robert, one of the more loyal punks associated with Al says, and shoves her. She falls flat, still not one for getting hit, and the lunches scatter. Robert get kicked in the nose, audibly breaking it and sending him staggering and yelping. Al gets to his feet, only to get kicked forward about 5' in front of an enraged Serena.
"Eric! How'd you get back in?" is what Amy says as she notices who kicked over Al.
"You'd be suprised what the School Board will do when you wave a 'Cancellation of Government Funding' form in their faces. These clowns still haven't given up?" He says, pointing to Al.
"It's gotten worse since you were booted." Serena says, staring down Sheila, Al's girlfriend.
"All right! That's it! I've had 'nuff of you! One on One, mono-a-mono. Think you can do that, pretty boy?" Al taunts at Eric.
"I'll handle him, boss." Dan says, disarming his PPK.
"Neg. This Fatass is mine." Eric turns back to Al, "Hey, did none ever tell you that it is discourteous to strike a lady?"
"She's a wuss. A prime target-"
"What if I told you that YOU were a prime target for your size?" Eric Removes his gun holster and reholsters his .44 before setting it against a tree. Eric mumbles a few things to his crew, who were all rested, armed, and in mean spirits, and then removes his sport-jacket. "Easy prey." Eric taunts back at him.
"You are so dumb, You would just stand around while I ram my foot up your ass!"
"You are so fat I could drop a 50 pound bomb down your throat and have problems finding it again! That is, untill you shit it out your over-fudgepacked ass!"
Al rushes in at that comment, and his smaller foe sidesteps him easily. Al gets up, turns, and is met by Eric's fist in his jaw, staggering him and breaking it. Eric gets clouted in the head for thinking this would have stopped him, and Eric turns the blow into an escape, rolling right and away from Al. He springs up, ready to attack, but is met by a charge once again, and this time Eric jump-sldes fore, kicking out at the exposed knee, missing, and sliding past him. Al gets a handoff from one of his associates, and lunges in, scoring a hit across midriff.
Eric staggers back, dizzy from the pain, but not senseless. He draws his Combat knife from his belt, and transferrs it to his left hand. Just as Eric predicted, Al had rushed foreward, hand up to slash downward, and Eric, many thousands of years of swordfighting practice and real hand-to-hand killing experience, slashed his knife upward at Al's wrist, scoring a hit, which stops him midstride. Eric senses his foe's weakness, and punches in with all his might, at his query's unprotected chest, and Al collapses, gripping his chest as if he had been shot there. Eric looks down at his foe, a huddled and writhing mass, at his feet, and snorts. He then looks up at his compatriots, who are slightly stunned.
"Which one of you wants to go for Double Jepoardy?" Eric draws his other knife, brandishing it, and readying to be charged. To his amazement, they all turn tail and run. Once again, Eric fights to keep upright from the nauseating pain, but gives no sign of being seriously injured. His first worry is Tiffany, still sprawled on the ground from the shove. Either blow or fall could have been fatal for her, as well as this and many more dimensions. He walks over to her, drops beside her, and checks her to see if she is still breathing. "Alive. She'll make it." Eric gets up, grabs his Holster and Sportscoat, and goes into the bathroom. He scares Al's associates by ratcheting the hammer on his .44 back, and they run madly out into the courtyard. Eric gets some Gauze from his pack, applies it to the wound, which was shallow but long, and tightens his belt an extra notch around it. He hides the unsightly cut in his shirt by putting his sportscoat on and leaving it on. He steps out, and is greeted by all of his unit, the faculty, the resident cop, and several of the Scouts. "Don't tell me you are kicking me out again."
"Nope. We would like to thank you for setting him straight." Miss Horuna says.
"Excellent! I hate doing Schoolwork in abstentia."
"Sir, do you think you could find a reason for me to bust them?" The Sargeant asks from the back row.
"I can think of three already. You have my permission to bust him. Just, I'd like to read him his rights."
"Sure, sir." They walk over to Al, who was picking himself up. Eric knocks him back down and slaps on a pair of reinforced cuffs.
"You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say, I'll beat you shitless for. You have the right to talk to an attorney, and have one present while you are questioned. If you cannot afford one, I'll personnally find the worst-of-the-worst airhead barrasters and import him to misrepresent you. You have the right to excersize these rights and say nothing. You also have the right to waive these rights and say something, at your own expense. Do you understand these rights?" Al nods his head in the grass, and is yanked up unceremoniously by Eric and the resident Sarge, who haul him off to a waiting cruiser. Eric shouts "Don't eat all the doughnuts while at Hotel Hell, Alberta!"
Eric returns to his lunch, a MRE he coldpacked and ran off with after they had let him back in. The rest of the day was a blur to him, as he was fighting to remain conscious. He was ordered down to the nurse around seventh period, who redressed his wound for him. He turned out to be a retired Army doctor, who was willing to serve the Local CIA divisions. Eric gave him a card with directions to the mansion and told him to meet him there. Eric returned to class to finish out the day, and get home. Cure1 would fix this, he thought as he drove home in his minivan. He didn't see anything of Al's crew en route between classes, and thought this odd. He arrives back at base, and begins preparations for the day's training, an excercise with live-fire Assault Rifles. All but Serena and Tiffany show up promptly.
"She's late again." Mike says, holding a stack of three Assault rifles.
"So Is Tiff." Megan says, looking down the road for her. Serena is running the path here, but no one else is seen by the "Gatekeeper", the camouflaged Timberwolf Eric has on the path leading to the Mansion.
"Yo! Boss! You have a phone call! Guy says it's important."
"ID?" Eric shouts in response.
"None. Not one through ISS, even."
Eric picks up the outside reciever in the box on the wall. "Agent Eric, CO 404th. How may I help ye?"
"Cut the crap. We know she means something to you, so we want a trade. Release Al and you get her back. You have three hours to comply. If you don't, well, Tiffany here, won't be here. Hehhehheh." The line disconnects.
"We can't let them get away with this shit, sir." Emily says.
"I'm not about to let them. Em, ready a striketeam, and include them in it. I also want the Mauler in this, with our newest "greenie". Ladies, we are running a Op to rescue her, which means the danger is real. If you don't want to-"
"You don't have to ask, Eric." Amy says, not looking happy.
"How do we find her?" Serena says.
"'An old Jedi mind trick', literrally. If she's conscious, I can find her." Eric says, his voice audibly shaky.
"Is she?" Raye asks.
"No." Eric pauses for a few seconds, then he looks up, "Now she is. MOVE!" Eric disappears, and activates his homing beacon, which appears on the base scanners. They had chose an isolated sector of the warehouse district, utterly devoid of law enforcement attention. Eric had appeared next to the door, and he turned himself cold and invisible in three spells, making it impossible for anything to find him. The mauler, a 90-ton behemoth Battlemech, was the first on the scene, with Trisha and Lyta hanging onto the legs. Eric appears directly in front of the Mauler, and the Surburbans flood in behind it.
"What's the plan?" Em says.
"I do the inital penetration. You follow up and bust anyone in. We'll sort them out at HQ." Eric draws both blades he was wearing, Crystal Longblade Kitanas, and readies to enter. He turns to the Mauler, which was standing fairly back, but still didn't attract the attention of the felons inside. He raises his arms in a cross, points to the door, and drops flat.
"So, you think he'll come?" One of the warriors says, the one with the vine for a left arm.
"Yes, ma'am. My sources say he has become very fond of her recently." Robert says.
"I don't quite get what the old man sees in her. Weak, pathetic, powerless, hopeless. That's what she is. Pathetic."
"Worse than those traitors, Jaedite and Nephlyte." The green one says.
"Do you think we'll get a decent shot at him?" The red one says.
"Soon-Hold on, I think right now. He's outside." The vined-one says.
"How can you tell, Ma'am?" Robert says in an unnatural voice.
"All people that use magicks in one form radiate a powerful aura. The more personal power, the more powerful aura."
The entire building shakes, simeotaneous with an explosion and screams in the other room.
Eric steps into the gaping hole that the AC/2s made in the wall, and surveys the ranks of his foes. Al's entire crew, plus some of the local Four-corner losers, and what appears to be some intergalactic mercenaries, probably Eridani Lights.
"Who's first to die?" Eric says above muffled curses and jeers. One of Al's associates rushes fore, wielding a beer-bottle, and is cut down in his tracks. An Eridani brandishes a blaster, and the shot is deflected off the crystal blades, into a wall. On the other side, a muffled scream is heard. The MultiMages enter then, brandishing assault rifles and blades aplenty. A hole is blasted in an adjacent wall, allowing more to enter and apprehend them.
"The Eridanites are free to leave, without reprimand from the MRBC. The rest of you, are under Arrest, charged with Kidnap, Extortion, and violating over 100 inter-dimensional security protocols, assaulting an officer of the MultiMages, and local drug laws. I think you know your rights, which are JACK under MultiMage code." The roundup begins, with everyone being treated quite roughly.
"Em! I need some help here!" a soldier shouts from a corner, fighting with a Four-corner gangster.
"Hold on!" She shouts, and reaches behind her belt. She slings a ball out on the floor, and it busts open. A large bird, yellow with an erratic spiked-feather pattern, appars from the ball. "Zapdos, stop that loser."
To the amazement of all in the room, the bird goes over to the punk, who is cuffed but fighting madly, and pecks him on the nose. "YO! Loser! Stop it before I get rowdy on your ass!"
"Whoa! The birds are talking to me! This shit's good!" Several people on both sides of the conflict start laughing.
"He's fried boss. What do I do?" The bird asks.
"Fry him some more." she says back. Zapdos skitters over to the table, hops up on top, and starts grunging among the bags.
"Stop being a smartass, Zapdos." Eric says, observing the fray from a corner.
"Sorry, sir!" Zapdos turns back to the maggot, and unleashes a large electric bolt upon him, which knocks him unconscious, sets the table on fire, and explodes the bags of drugs on the table. He hops down off the table, walks over to the punk, and pecks him again, getting no reaction. "I think he's outta here!"
"Zapdos, Return!" Em shouts, and he disappears into the ball.
"I found a door!" Lita shouts.
"I got it, Jupiter." Eric says, walking over to the door, kitanas raised to a guard position. He applies his starboard combat boot to the door, flinging it wildly open. Eric steps through, and turns a corner 10' ahead, to see Tiffany strapped to a chair, chained and gagged, being guarded by Robert, Al's "second", and three nega-monsters. They grunt at him as he walks in.
"'Twill not be as forgiving as Prince Nephlyte was, for I have no messages for you to relay." Robert fires at him with a .44 magnum, and misses wide. Eric rushes in, both swords ready to cleave foe, and hits one of the negawarriors, and she falls, clenching her gut where his left blade pierced. He discards this blade to maintain speed, and swipes at Robert, who had not moved since firing, nor had he tried firing a second shot, and he was felled by a small slash across the nose.
The red Negawarrior had wound up, and slung some form of explosive balls at Eric, but found no target there, and got run through by Eric's second sword. Once again, he discards blade to maintain his rush, and was upon his third foe in three steps. She extends her vine arm at him, hoping to strike him down as she had Nephlyte, but Eric spins left, and fires a power beam into his target with enough force to put her through the wall behind her, constructed of 1-gauge steel sheeting. He follows up this with a *force Beam Epsilon* into her, and it destroys her and about 10' of flooring around her.
"Another miserable day. Sorry it took so long to find ya, Tiffany." Eric reclaims his blades, and swipes off her restraints in a sinle stroke.
"I'd say thanks, but it seems inadequate, sir." She responds.
"Injured?" Eric asks.
"I got hit in the arm by a blaster, but I'll live."
"Well, let's get outta here before anything else goes wrong."
"Hmm...a little theater. Let's go watch it for a while, guys. We aren't needed back at base for awhile."
"Why not, Gerard? I think this is that little Sailor Moon puppet show." Mike says, looking in the direction of the stage. The three, Dan included, join the crowd for this hour's viewing of "A Sailor Moon Romance". The show engrosses them all for about 15 minutes, untill Dan noticed a strange quiver in the psychic plane, simeotaneous with a negawarrior *gating* in.
"Too bad this isn't the real Sailor Moon. Now your energy is all mine." Came the voice of Zoisite, perched on top of the theater roof.
The three Mages didn't even think. Dan Disappeared, Gerard drew his dueller's pike and extended it, and Mike teleported behind her, weilding a new aluminum baseball bat he picked up not 30 minutes ago, and all of them had used a *polymorph* spell to change into fighting uniform. Zoisite let out a shriek as she was nailed across the lower back with a horrific swing of the bat, and fell 15' forward and 30' down to the cement. "Wrong, Traitor. You found someone WORSE than Ms. Moon. Three Pissed Multimages." Is what Mike barked at her from her former perch. He swings at the floating crystal she was holding, and drives it a long distance (no one knows where it landed, but it was not in city limits).
"Three? But I only see two of you." she says, looking around her.
Her jaw audibly and visibly breaks by an unknown force, felling her to the floor. "Hehehe, the wonders of invisibility." they hear from near her, but see none.
She starts to get up, and suddenly freezes when she sees who the third person is. "So, traitor. I offer Batchall. At stake is your life. If I lose, you walk away alive. If you lose, you won't be around to regret it. Do you accept, or do we beat you to death without engagement terms?" She didn't respond, but instead, created a razor-sharp crystal, and psychically flings it at Gerard, who is apparently hit by it. "Man, I do so love back-holsters." Gerard draws the crystal out of the trigger guard of his sidearm, and flings it aside. He draws another telescoping pike, and drops it in fron of her.
"You really think I'd bargain with my life?"
"Yyyooouuu haaavve NNO Cchoiice" Dan chants in an eerie voice, spooking a lot of people out. "WWe ccaannn ffolloww yyou too tthee eenddss offf tthee eearrttth iff nneedded, ttrrraaitoorrr.
"Kill the spectre routine, Dan." Mike shouts again from the bandshell.
"Killjoy. So, Zoe. Do you accept?" Dan says, still unknown where.
"Never!" she shouts, and jumps backward, bringing her elbow down on Dan, who blocked the shot, but dispelled his invisibility. She creates another crystal, and flings it at Gerard. The crystal is intercepted again, this time by a swing from Mike, who teleported in front of it. Gerard wasted no time after that, and lunged past Mike, using a one-handed swing of his pike to flatten Zoisite. She falls to the ground, unconscious but alive.
Dan *gates* her away, in what appears as a deathspell, for he creates a black globe in one hand and throws it at her, which makes her disappear. The crowd starts cheering, and they finish what remains of the show, which seems a big letdown from that fight.
'Twas not a pretty sight in the middle of the city either. The streets were hastily cleared as the Mauler came through, escorting behind it 4 APCs with the captives from the warehouse. During the transfer, the units came across a roadblock put up by the Provisional Armies of Pacifica.
"Surrender that robot to us or face destruction!" was shouted on a loudspeaker.
"Hard choice. Boss?" The pilot says on the loudspeaker.
"Wipe 'em." the Mauler aims it's arms at the tanks, and waits a second, giving anyone who wants to a chance to run. When no-one budges, she fires both Heavy Lasers into the tanks parked there, sending the tops flying off like bottle rockets. A bazooka is fired into the leg of the Mauler, and it recoils backward, stomping a newstand flat. The pilot transmits a "sorry" message on the speaker, and fires her ACs downward, obliterating the barricades. The convoy moves fore, and takes one last turn, leading down the street past Serena's house and down the road.
It was getting late, and the prisoners inside the APCs weren't very happy to find out where they were. Rumor that was never looked into was that people who go to the "abandoned mansion" never come back, but here they were, in the one place they would never go otherwise. They stepped out to a rough welcome, with soldiers brandishing M-16s and Battlemechs behind, all aimed at them.
"Welcome to hotel Hell, ladies. I'm your host for the year, Multimage Emperor Eric Atrebas. You should not have employed yourselves with my sister. Enjoy the accomodations, you'll be seeing them for some time, 'till we get you in circuit court. MOVE IT UP!!!"
"Sir," Gerard says from behind him.
"I've got a present for ya. How about a POW traitor?"
"Great. Which one?"
"Former Princess Zoisite."
"All right, then. See to it she recieves medical attention and a seat in brig A-4 for now. I'm going to find Mr. Daniels."
"I thought alcohol and wizardry doesn't mix."
"Usually it doesn't, but right now, I couldn't give a rat's a-" he was cut off midsentence by two explosions, punching out a MadCat which was on perimiter guard, and then the Battlemechs begin firing on someting in the sky which none could see. About a mile away, a large fireball is discernible in the sky, as a small fighter jet is hit by a ERPPC. "Send a salvage rig to collect that's remains. I want to know who that belonged to. I'll retaliate in the morning."