The Sol Empire part 2

Continued from here part 1

Kanto Shuttle dock, Io

Ben stood with his parents and sister as they waited on the shuttle to take them to the ship that would carry them to Earth. While he stood, a short stocky man in an ill fitting suit walked into Ben causing both to drop their carry on bags. The man gruffly shoved Ben out of his way as he gathered up his things.

Ben became indignant and looked to be readying for a fight when his father placed a hand on his shoulder, "Relax, picking a fight with that man won't end well for you."

Ben glared at his father, "Wei would've knocked him out already."

His father shrugged, "Wei's parents are soldiers of Ganymede and built for combat. You're a noble and made to think and see. In fact you've been a bit lax in your training and I think now is as good a time as any to test yourself."

Ben gave an annoyed sigh, "Fine."

He stepped back from the crowd and closed his eyes while he took a deep breath. As he opened his eyes everything seemed to slow down. He took in every detail surrounding him. He looked to the man who'd bumped him and noted small devices planted on his boots and then looked to the papers strewn on the floor and saw them to be unfavorable budget reports. The man was under a great deal of stress.

Ben's father looked down to him, "What did you learn?"

"The man is a cloud miner from Jupiter, and he's in a bad mood. I figure if he's capable of toting heavy mining equipment while dealing with the gravity of the big planet means he could break me in half."

His father gave a nod, "And how did you figure this out?"

"He's got gravity enhancers on his boots so he can walk normally here, the suit doesn't fit properly because he doesn't wear it often and hasn't been to a tailor since he bought it. He's in a bad mood because his platforms are under preforming and he's being called back to Earth to explain it according to the memos."

His father looked back to him while he spoke, "And how do we know he's from Jupiter and not Saturn or Uranus?"

"Because Jupiter is the only place that still uses paper for anything important."

His father patted him on the head, "That'll do."

Cara then looked back, "Did you notice the shuttle arrived?"

***

2 days later, Olympus Monds University, Mars

General Feng Shun stood next to the recruitment officer from the school as he spoke, "It is an honor that your son is considering our school, in fact we've had an eye on him for quite some time."

The General nodded, "My son is quite fond of your sky ball team, he hopes to join it."

The recruiter grinned a bit, "Most of our current team roster hails from Ganymede as well, your home as you know, has quite the reputation for producing some of the best athletes in the empire along with the best soldiers."

The general rolled his eyes at the attempt at flattery, "I was told there would be a game today."

The recruiter nodded, "Oh yes, right this way sir."

The General and Wei walked along the campus into the large stadium. As they took their seats the field took on a green glow as the players entered. The referee stepped to the middle as the teams lined up on either side. He then tossed the ball into the air followed by two players launching themselves off the ground after it. The player from Olympus Monds kicked it off toward his team as the other just missed his attempt.

Another player ran up the wall to catch it and then launched himself toward the goal. He gained impressive distance but was tackled out of the air. Wei was excited to see the game get underway but his father looked on stoically as he commented on the tackle, "He could have avoided that, when you're on the team remember to always pay attention to your flanks."

Wei gave a nod, "Yes, Sir."

***

Sims Green House, Venus

David walked around the grounds as he waited for his father. He felt good bathed in the natural sunlight of his home world. He loved his school on Io but its cold stone and reflected sun light was hard on his plant like physiology. As he walked he'd almost forgotten where he was when a familiar voice came from behind, "Do I know you, boy?"

He turned to see his Grandfather, "Quit playing senile old man, stopped working once you took root."

His Grandfather stood rooted to the ground with bark coming up his legs, "I worried I'd be a full tree before you returned."

David looked down the line of former house masters like his father and his grandfather before him to see a stark reminder of his destiny as part of this grove. His Grandfather knew the look well, "I felt the same as you when I used to walk by here, but its not so bad to become a tree. You could do far worse than a nice spot in the sun and warm soil between your toes."

David gave a sigh, "Always look on the bright side."

His Grandfather grinned, "Because that's where things grow best."

***

Imperial Flagship Sang, Near Pluto

Admiral Harjo walked along the halls of his ship as Ig Locke and the Imperial Envoy followed along his tour. He stopped and grabbed the Envoy's arm as he reached for a door, "That isn't part of the tour."

"Our guest was promised....."

Harjo cut him off, "He was promised a tour of the ship, I was not told he'd have any access to sensitive areas and unless I receive orders from the Empress herself, that area is off limits."

The Envoy looked nervously to Ig Locke who gave a polite nod, "It isn't a problem, I completely understand the need to keep some things away from prying eyes."

Harjo eyed the Ambassador suspiciously as he noticed what he took to be annoyance in his voice.

A few decks below Lieutenant Achen was showing some of the Mawg guards to the dinning hall. He looked them over as he waited for the elevator to stop, "So, you have a name big guy?"

The Mawg looked down, "Mawg have no spoken names."

"Suppose that saves time on introductions."

The Mawg who stood behind him gave a glare, "Mawg have no need of small talk."

Achen looked him over before dryly stating, "Well, there's a shock."

As the doors slid open the Mawg noticed a Ka Zal engineer who was on a tour of the ship and bowed low. Achen thought it odd that they did this but the engineer paid them no heed, "Why do you bow, is he someone important?"

The Mawg stood as one spoke, "A Mawg must always lower his head in the presence of the masters."

Achen sighed, a bit annoyed at himself that he'd just now realized they were a slave race.

***

Ice Palace of Europa

Empress Durnin readied her things to return to Earth. She looked to her servant, "Prepare the place for the tourist experience. When our visitors arrive I want them to believe they've seen everything. The lower levels are to remain sealed. Understood?"

The servant nodded.

Her Adviser had a curious expression, "Are you sure now is the time to return to the Capital? It may seem rude to our guest to put off your meeting."

She looked to him, "My Father taught me that when you're meeting a potential threat, its best to meet him where your power can't be questioned."

Her Adviser gritted his teeth as he gave a short bow, "Far be it from me to question the wisdom of the man who quelled the Martian rebellion."

The Empress clenched her fist at his mention of the rebellion which caused the adviser to change the subject, "Your ship is in the air and a shuttle is waiting to take you to it."

She inhaled deeply, "Very well, I'll make my way immediately."

***

Australian Coast, Earth.

Ben watches from the beach as his mother attempts to teach Cara to surf. On the water Cara stared down at the water, "How exactly do you consider this fun? There aren't even any waves."

Her mother gave a wary look, "Perhaps your father should start testing you."

Cara shrugged, "Alright fine, I'll give it a look."

Her mother waited for a moment before her daughter nonchalantly explained, "We're going to get one tiny wave then the water will level out and be calm the rest of the day. The sharks that are coming with the wave won't be."

Her mother gave her a wide eyed look as she finished, "Maybe dad should quiz you."

***

Several hours later Ben's father walked in their beach house to see his wife reading, "No more surfing today?"

"It was a bust, but that daughter of ours is impressive."

He took a seat next to her, "Her teachers tell me her foresight is among the best they've seen. Ben is still struggling in that area."

"He's fine and comparing him to Cara is unfair. You said it yourself, she's exceptional. Ben has his own gifts."

(To be continued)

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The Sol Empire part 1

(This is not connected to any existing fictional universe, it is my own creation. Hope people like it, I'm trying to work my way out of writer's block.)

4,000 P.I.C. (Post Imperial Colonization)

Jupiter's Moon Io

A group of students sit in a crowded auditorium as the hollow voice of the school's computer system booms around them, "As we near a new year we start with a traditional retelling of the birth of the great Empire of Sol."

A student named Ben Sang rolls his eyes as the massive holographic image of one of his ancestors appears before them as the voice continues, "In the years prior to Colonization humanity was confined to Earth. The population had grown too large and the disparate governments of the world began fighting among themselves over the fleeting resources."

"During this time, First Emperor Douglas Sang amassed a great army and led a revolution against the corrupt ruling class of Earth and brought the nations together under his rule but his victory rang hollow because he knew the people still suffered. After much thought he decided to funnel as many resources as he could muster toward spreading human civilization toward the stars."

The students gave a bored look as the scenery changed to a sped up recreation of the colonization of Earth's moon, Luna. The voice went on, "After Luna had been settles Emperor Sang knew that humanity must continue expanding so Luna became a launching pad for the conquest of Mars. As terraforming and space flight technology improved the Second Emperor Sang set about the creation of the Green houses of Venus that to this day still provide most of the fruits, grains and vegetables for the Empire."

Ben sighed to himself, "Does this thing get longer every year?"

His friend, Wei Shun managed to prevent his impending nap to ask, "Aren't you proud to see your ancestors conquer a solar system for the eighteenth year in a row?"

Ben chuckled, "If they were that great then the Dynasty would have lasted more than five generations and I might be on my way to being Emperor."

Wei gave a grin, "Well thank the creator for small favors then."

Ben was swatted on the back of the head by his green skinned friend David Sims, "Is the history of my people boring you?"

David was a member of the race that had been genetically engineered to live on Venus and tend to the Green Houses. He looked back, "Why would I be bored by the minutia of making plant people?"

David grinned a bit, "Yea and learning about how you people hopped down from trees is so fascinating."

The two began to chuckle but were silenced by the glare from one of their instructors.

***

After the assembly let out Ben, Wei and David walked out with a look of relief. David reached his arms up toward the sun light amplifier that orbited Io and took in the light, "I was beginning to think I'd wilt in there."

Ben and Wei nodded as they walked off, "Where are you two heading?"

Wei shrugged, "Some of us require more than sunlight to feed us."

David followed and the three entered a large dinning hall. Ben grabbed a tray and got in line as he asked, "Any plans for the break?"

David gave a nod, "Heading back to home soil. My dad has me lined up with a job in one of the smaller houses, says it'll help me to understand my workers better when I take over for him if I started out as one of them."

Wei, "Well, I don't know how it will compete with pushing dirt in a hot house but my parents have me scheduled for university tours, I'm hoping to Get into Olympus Monds on Mars. They got a great Sky ball team."

Ben shrugged, "I already know what school I'm heading to, I'll be heading down to Earth. My mom wants to try surfing on natural waves."

Wei noticed people gathering around a large monitor as Ben's older sister, Cara came over to the table and spoke to Ben, "Mom said to remind you the shuttle leaves at five."

Wei looked over, "What's going on over there?"

She looked over, "I figured you twibs would have been all over that. Apparently some kind of lifeforms from outside the Empire made contact with an observatory on Pluto this morning."

The boys stared up at her in shock, partly by the news and partly by her nonchalant delivery. Ben shot up, "They found Aliens?!"

She shrugged, "Its not like its the first time they claimed it."

***

Ice Palace of Europa

Empress Mara Durnin sat as here adviser finished his report, "I was sure it was just going to be another dust cloud."

Her adviser gave a shrug, "Apparently, they were just as surprised to find us. We are working on a method of communication but they don't seem hostile at the moment."

She leaned back, "Let's hope they stay that way, but just in case put the fleet on a mid level alert. I don't want to start a fight but I don't want to be caught with my pants down either."

***

Imperial Fleet Flagship Sang, Near Pluto Orbit.

Admiral John Harjo stares out on the alien ship as a young lieutenant named Carl Achen came up beside him, "Problem, Sir?"

He nodded, "That's a war ship, I'd bet my pension on it."

Achen gave a wary look toward the ship, "To be fair, we're also on a war ship. Maybe they're just being cautious."

Harjo sighed, "Just got a bad feeling."

***

Durnin Observatory, Pluto.

Several Imperial Envoys along with communications experts wait nervously as the representatives of the alien race enter. Several creatures that appeared to be humanoid dogs entered holding large staffs. They stop and step aside as two smaller humanoid creatures stepped forward. One began to speak but noticed the humans didn't seem to understand them. He waved a hand as he pulled an orb from his robe and tossed it in the air releasing what seemed to be a gas into the air.

The envoys were on the verge of panic but stopped when the robed creature began to speak again, "I apologize for any discomfort we may have caused. It has been so long since I was forced to use the translation microbes. You are breathing them in as we speak but do not fear, they are no more harmful than the air you breathe."

The tension in the room eased a bit as he continued, "I am Ig Locke, I will act as an ambassador for my people and our guardians. I am of a race called Ka Zal."

He motioned toward the dog like soldiers, "Our guardians are known as the Mawg."

An Imperial Envoy named Boris Markin stepped forward and gave a polite bow, "My Empress bids you welcome to the Empire of Sol."

Ig Locke looked around, "This is an Empire?"

Markin shook his head, "This planetoid is a small part of the Empire that encompasses this solar system. I'm sure that my Empress would allow a tour when time permits."

The othe Kal Zal remained silent as he gave a look to the Mawg Guards. They gave a slight nod as they walked back toward the ship.

(To be continued)

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Gifted youngsters part 3

Continued from here part 2

(To curb any continuity complaints I want to be clear that from here on out I'll be doing my version of the X-men which will differ greatly from the 616 origin.)

Xavier's School for gifted youngsters, 1986

Most of the team stood near the front door as they awaited the arrival of three new students. Xavier had taken Scott off to the side to discuss one of them privately. When Xavier and Scott joined them Jean noted an almost nervous look on Scott's face.

***

A few minutes passed before Xavier reentered with the new students. He first introduced the original group then looked back to the new ones, "Allow me to introduce, Calvin Rankin, Lorna Dane and Alex Summers."

Scott walked up to Alex and began an awkward conversation, "Long time, no see."

Alex looked him over, "Look, you don't have to worry about playing big brother. Been a long time and we don't even know each other."

Scott was disappointed but hid it well, "Well, how about a tour?"

Jean walked passed them to Lorna, "Its about time we got another girl here."

Warren spoke up, "What do you mean? Bobby's been here all along."

Bobby glared, "Very funny. Who'd you pay to write that one?"

Beast extended a hand for Calvin to shake but he handed him his suit case, "Show me to my room."

Hank narrowed his eyes as he dropped the case, "Stairs are that way."

Calvin gave a condescending look, "Sorry, you have that Igor type servant look about you."

Hank slid his over sized hands in his pockets as he walked away.

Bobby looked to Warren, "Wow, the Professor found a bigger douche than you."

Warren narrowed his eyes at Calvin as he spoke to Bobby, "I assume, we're on the same page here?"

Bobby nodded.

***

Xavier came into Hank's lab as the new students took the tour. He looked over the various chemicals Hank was working with, "Bobby told me about earlier. Calvin does seem to have a bit of an attitude problem, but I'm sure once you two get to know each other..."

Hank cut him off, "I'm used to it Professor, he wasn't the first to make fun of how I look. Igor was new, usually its some type of ape."

Xavier sighed as he picked up a vial, "You don't need a cure Hank, you just need to accept who and what you are."

He went quiet as Xavier left the room.

***

Near midnight, the Boys' floor

Alex wandered out in his pajamas looking heading toward the kitchen when he noticed Warren and Bobby leaned over by Calvin's door. He leaned down behind them, "So, you hassling the new kids?"

Bobby turned, "Punishing a jerk."

Alex gave a nod, "Need help?"

Bobby looked to Warren, "Are we sure he's related to Scott?"

Warren handed Alex a box of plastic wrap with a shrug, " We have to be really quiet."

Before they could enter the door swung open and Calvin looked down on them smugly, "You should probably do some research before pranking someone with super powers."

Bobby got a bit of a grin, "Do your abilities include ironic punishment?"

Calvin seemed confused but was then horrified by the sight of his suddenly abnormally large hands and feet. As he backed away he noticed the wings sprouting from his back, "What the hell did you freaks do to me?"

Warren then noticed his eyes glowing red, "Oh crap."

He then let out an optic blast. Warren and Bobby moved just in time but Alex caught the blast head on. The hall around him was destroyed but Alex stood unharmed as the rest ran to see what had caused the commotion.

***

The Next day Calvin, Alex, Bobby and Warren sat in Xavier's office as he spoke, "The four of you will be sharing a room until the section of hall way you destroyed is repaired."

Calvin looked indignant, "That's not fair, they caused....."

Xavier gave him a look that silenced him, "As for you, I told your father that your abilities would require special attention. You will wear the ruby quartz glasses Scott lent you until further notice and you will be restricted to solo activity in the Danger Room until you can maintain control of the power you absorb."

He then looked to Bobby and Warren, "Hazing will not be tolerated and as for you Alex, perhaps your brother would make a better role model than these two."

As they walked out Alex asked Bobby, "So Scott is a teacher's pet?"

"Yeah, he's not so bad though."

***

After they left Xavier pulled out files and began looking over them to find new instructors.

(To be continued)

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Horror Inc.: Hungry Vol. 2 part 5

Continued from here part 4

The Ranch

Chris, John and Betsy sit with their heads buried in books. Chris sat his book down, "So, what's the problem with this Corvin guy?"

John didn't look up, "Its complicated."

Chris sighed and looked back to his book as John looked over, "I destroyed the only written version of a spell he wanted to do."

Chris closed the book," That's it?"

"No, like I said its complicated."

Chris and Betsy were now staring at him intently as he sighed, "We aren't getting anything done until I talk are we?"

He waited a beat, "Fine, but to really understand, you need to know something about my power. See, magic or whatever you want to call it, is based on this energy that flows all through the universe binding it all together."

"Like the force, from Star Wars."

John shrugged, "Sure, whatever moves this along."

Chris and Betsy gave a nod as John continued, "Anyway, witches and warlocks have the ability to manipulate this energy but it comes at a cost. Every time we use a spell it takes time off our lives, it can range from a few seconds to instantly killing you depending on the power it takes. We've been finding ways around this for centuries, that's why we have things like enchanted items and magic potions and all that crap. One day my great grand father's grand father was trying to come up with a healing spell for a woman in his coven with a sick daughter.

The spell worked for the kid but the side effect was the mystical equivalent of a nuke going off, the girl had been rendered immortal but every bit of life for miles around was instantly gone including her mother. My ancestor was horrified and marked it away as a forbidden spell. It stayed hidden in our family spell book for a very long time until I caught the plauge and my father used it to cure me."

Chris' eyes went wide, "Like as in the Black Plague? So you're saying you've been around since the dark ages?"

"Yes, now are you gonna let me finish?"

He sipped his beer and started again, "The thing is, immortality is like a cheat code for witch power. If you can't die you can cast as many spells as you want without worry. Corvin had been obsessed with the spell since my grandfather drunkenly told him about it before I was born, Corvin had been sapping the life of others to keep himself going for years but the process was getting more difficult so he spent years trying to find the spell.

By the time he'd found me, he'd come to the point that only direct blood descendants would work for him. He didn't trust a twelve year old to do it so he personally trained me in magic, since he knew no semi competent magic user would ever even consider doing it and he couldn't do it himself. Problem was, while I was learning I figured out what the spell actually did. Once I learned that he'd been having children for the soul purpose of extending his life I figured he was absolutely the last person that needed it so I ripped the page out of the book and burned it.

Because of this he decided that I was to blame for the death of his children to come and swore a blood oath to kill me and anyone else in my blood line for revenge."

Chris and Betsy looked horrified, "He kills his own children to keep himself alive?"

John gave a nod, "Yup."

He then reopened his book and tried to go back to reading but Chris asked, "If you're immortal, how can he kill you?"

"I can't get sick or die of old age but I can still die."

He then noticed how dark it was getting, "Why aren't you turning?"

Chris looked out the window, "I don't know."

***

New Orleans

A vampire named Silas sits in bar as he watches the master of his clan finish a bottle of whiskey. Marley stares on as he speaks to Silas, "When do you suppose was the last time he was completely sober?"

Silas shrugged as the clan master, Maedoc dropped the bottle, "1495, I was sober for a whole week as I traveled by boat to the new World for the first time. Most miserable week of my life."

Marley sipped coffee, "Ever think of AA?"

Maedoc nods, "I keep ending up killing everyone at the meetings, it just became too much of a hassle to clean up. Where the hell is Corvin?"

The warlock seemed to just appear behind him as he asked. He looked down on the clan master and in a condescending tone, "What do I owe the honor of your visit?"

Maedoc rolled his eyes as he turned, "You don't need the guards, if I was going to kill you I would have already."

Corvin took a seat across from him and noted the stack of shot glasses, "Is there any liquor left in the place?"

Maedoc straightened in his chair, "You're going to back off the kid, I don't give a crap what you do with Mills or the pack of mutts his son has joined but the kid is mine. Am I understood?"

Corvin gritted his teeth, "He needs to pay...."

Maedoc cut him off, "Mills didn't kill those kids, you did so your revenge doesn't even make any goddamned sense but that's none of my concern and frankly if I had my way, you'd grow old, die and go to hell where you belong but its aside from the point. You touch the kid before I give you permission and I will personally see to it this whole damned society you've built comes crashing down."

Corvin stood causing his chair to fall behind him and looked as if he would lunge at Maedoc who seemed unfazed. He then eased up and sighed, "Fine, I've waited this long what's a little longer."

He then turned and left. Marley looked back to Maedoc, "You think that'll stop him?"

"Not at all, but it gives me an excuse to cut ties with Black Wind when he tries to go around me."

Silas nodded, "I take it, there's a plan?"

"Have I ever steered you wrong?"

Silas shrugged, "Well, there was the thing with Hitler."

"He was a crazy guy screaming in a beer hall, who knew they'd actually put him in charge of something?"

***

(To be continued)

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Horror Inc.: Hungry Vol. 2 part 4

Continued from here part 3

England 1349

A cobbler named Stephen Mills stood over his father's book of spells. Stephen was born to a long line of powerful witches and warlocks but had chosen to leave that life behind. Now he looked on his son, John as he was slowly dying from the Black Death and desperately tried to remember his father's lessons.

He finally came across a page with a spell that promised to cure all ailments but was marked as forbidden. Stephen was a man with more power than intellect so he used it without hesitation. There was a bright flash of light and all life within five miles was instantly snuffed out as John rose from his bed in perfect health.

He looked down on his father's body confused as he picked up the book beside him.

***

Days later John wandered through the woods, cold and hungry. As he stumbled in the dark he came upon a man sitting by a fire. The man turned, "You have a cloud of death hanging over you."

John gave a fearful look, "I have nothing, I'm just walking through."

The man appeared behind him and snatched the book from his pack, "A bit young for a tome such as this. Do you know what it is?"

John shook his head, "Its my father's, he said he could cure the Black Death that was killing me."

The man looked him over, "Seems it worked."

He opened the book and found the dog eared page. A grin came across his face, "The Mills family spell book, I've been looking for this for quite some time."

John looked up, "You know my father?"

"More your grandfather, pleased to meet you. My name is Henry Corvin, and you are?"

***

The Ranch Present day

John sat cross legged next to the demon he had summoned, "Have you ever done this with a wolf before?"

"Once, it wasn't pleasant at all. Imagine being thrown out of an airplane without a parachute in a hurricane, that's what's about to happen to our minds."

John sighed, "Well, that sounds fun. Anything I need to do?"

"Nope, just try not to piss yourself while you're sitting next to me."

John gave a worried look as the demon grabbed his shoulder. John's senses were assaulted as the demon telepathically forced their way in. They appeared to be standing on the ground while the world swirled around them. The demon looked over to John, "Try not to puke."

"Will that hurt Chris?"

"No, but you're standing really close in the real world and I don't want to be puked on."

John looked around, "Where are the roars coming from?"

"Everywhere, the wolf doesn't have a subconscious. Its all right there on the surface, we'll have to dig a bit to get to the human part of his mind."

***

Edgar and Robert stood outside the circle. Robert turned to Edgar, "You ever deal with a demon before?"

"A couple times, not this particular kind though. I'd have preferred not to, smell of brimstone will be stuck for a month."

"You trust it?"

" About as much as I trust a plumber to build a space ship, but we don't have a lot of options here."

***

After a bit of time dealing with the mental torrent from the wolf John and the demon finally came across Chris. He sat curled in a ball in front of a mass of images flashing before him. The demon looked them over, "Anger and guilt, its like candy."

John felt a little disgusted by the near delight this creature had at the sight, "Let's get this over with."

"I've done my part, the rest is on you and him."

John's eyes went a bit wide, "What the hell am I supposed to do?"

The demon sighed, "Find the thought that's causing the most pain and figure out a way to deal with it. And remember, those roots won't hold him down forever."

John sat down and put a hand on Chris' shoulder. The memory Chris had of him hitting his mother appeared as he glared up at John. The demon rolled his eyes, "Show him your memory of what happened, if that's the one you bring up for him we need to get past it quick."

John searched his mind. The image changed to his point of view. Chris watched as a demon crept over his mother then entered her body. He watched as memories of the days that followed passed before him. His mother continually degraded until John finally was forced to personally remove it. It was a violent clash and John was forced to fight her back into the bed.

Chris saw his younger self watching in horror from behind a door.

The demon shook his head, "Possession, messy business. Did he claim be the devil, that kind love to pretend they're so important. They're actually more like fleas that get shook out of hell and cling to the first thing they can feed off."

***

John sat for what felt like hours but he couldn't be sure how time moved here. Finally they came to the memory of Chris attacking his mother. John was unprepared for this. He'd seen the aftermath of wolf attacks before but he'd never seen it as it happened. Chris grabbed his head and screamed at the sight and for a moment John couldn't help but feel a tinge of anger. He looked to see his son's agony and softened a bit, "You know she forgave you."

The demon gave a sarcastic nod, "Yes, because the word of the man who ditched him as a child carries so much weight."

John glared, "You could be helpful."

"I'm a demon, easing the minds of people is out of my wheel house."

John sighed, "Maybe I could block out the memory."

"Two things, one he's a wolf and magic won't work and even if it did it'd be like patching the hoover dam with duct tape."

John turned back to Chris, "Okay, I know I can't fix this today. I don't know if I can at all but you need to calm down. You couldn't do anything to stop this but you can stop yourself now. If you get lost in here you won't die, you'll just be trapped while the wolf destroys everything."

There was a low growl behind him as the demon looked back, "He's mounting a defense."

The wolf leaped toward John who rolled out of the way and looked to the demon, "What now?"

"Don't know, I've never actually been here to help before."

John hopped to his feet, "So, we're in trouble."

"He's not glaring at me."

The wolf lunged but stopped mid way as Chris grabbed him by the tail. Suddenly John and the demon found themselves standing in the summoning circle as Chris laid under the roots that John had tied him down with. Edgar yelled to the house, "The kid needs some pants."

***

John stepped out of the circle and spoke to the demon, "Thanks, hope I never see you again."

The demon turned to Robert and Edgar, "Tell your boss, I'll be collecting that favor soon."

John then released the spell sending the creature back to hell.

Chris was sitting at the kitchen table as Betsy explained what happened. John dropped down across from him, "We aren't out of the woods yet kid. We don't know what's going on with you and we have no idea if its gonna happen again."

Chris gave a nod, "So what happens now?"

John shrugged as he opened a beer, "I called some people, as soon as they figure something out they'll let me know. In the mean time I got a stack of books in my trunk, one of them is bound to have something about a werewolf/warlock hybrid."

"You ever hear of Google?"

John gave him a blank stare, "Go get the books."

(To be continued)

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Marvel Iron Age: Cage, The Fist part 8

Continued from here part 7

Southern Wastes

A young mutant girl flees in terror as a group of goblins chase her down. She fell to her knees in the middle of a swampy area and leaned on a tree as her pursuers moved in to capture her. As one was about to grab her a shadow came over him as something rose from the muck.

the goblins immediately began shooting the swamp creature who barely seemed to notice. He placed a sloppy wet hand on the nearest who started to scream as his flesh burned under its touch. The creature then proceeded to slaughter the rest of the crew. It then turned and the girl covered her head with her hands and began to beg for her life but the creature ignored her completely as it walked west, leaving her in relative safety.

***

Near Lake Tahoe, Nevada

The group followed behind Slapstick and his cart in a truck they'd taken from the goblins. The rear of the truck was filled with a dozen children that the goblins had intended to sell before they were beaten. They were stopped by two men dressed in clothing made from Krang hide with heavy guns. The larger of the two stepped up with a flashlight and looked them over before shouting to the other, "Its just Slapstick."

Fiddler Back stepped out into the snow and found it a bit odd for this time of year, "I heard stories about a frozen wasteland in the middle of Nevada, wasn't sure it was true."

The man nodded, "Some Omega level mutant with Ice powers died here during the take over, ruined the place for everyone but us."

The spider looked him over, "And you are?"

"Alex Russel, over there is my brother Mac. I see you brought us some more mouths to feed."

Slapstick hopped up, "That's what your father built the place for."

Curtis popped his head out, "What place?"

Alex looked over, "The Orphanage."

***

They drove for another half mile before entering a village built around the broken down ski lodges that once housed the rich who used to vacation here. Tiffany noticed that the place seemed almost entirely populated with children and teenagers all similarly dressed to Alex and Mac. As they hopped out an old man with a grey beard walked up and put out a hand to shake. As Curtis took it he introduced himself, "Ed Russel, I'd ask what brings you but I can smell that bastard goblin they call Ogre on the truck."

Curtis looked up, "You've heard of him?"

"He's the reason several of my kids are here."

Tiffany was a bit confused, "You smelled him?"

"Enhanced senses are one of the bits that come along with the Russel family curse." He then looked back to Curtis, "I take it you're this Iron Fist, we been hearing about?"

He then looked to Alex, "Get some blankets and have some supper made up, these kids look hungry and tired."

He then gave the Krang pulling Slapstick's cart a pat on the head, "How you doing Bongo?"

Fiddler Back looked to Slapstick, "You named Death incarnate, Bongo?"

Slapstick nodded, "I thought it fit. And he's not death incarnate, he's as tame as a Krang can get. I bet he'd just barely maim you if you got in biting range."

He looked Ed over, "Why ain't he biting the old man?"

"Krangs don't eat werewolf, the meat is toxic to them."

Fiddler Back started to nod as Slapstick walked away, "Wait... What the stark did you just say?"

He then ran to catch up with the group as they continued on.

***

Northern California wilderness

Balain and the Grey halted as Ogre sat propped up against a tree. Balain pointed her repulser at his face, "You wouldn't happen to have seen a couple people riding on a cart pulled by a Krang?"

He spat at her, "I ain't got a starking thing to say to an Iron b**ch."

She shrugged and looked to the Grey who forcibly entered his mind, "The one we seek soundly defeated him and took the spider children he intended to sell."

Balain gritted her teeth at that and knelt beside the man, "Last time I checked, slave trading was illegal in this part of the world."

He gave her a hateful grin as he chuckled a bit, "A morality lecture from an Iron goon? Look woman, the only difference between your kind and mine is that tin plate scrap on you."

She punched down on his broken knee, "If I had the time I'd drop you in the ocean, but you lucked out."

She then stood and gave the goblin a hard kick to the ribs, "I think the Krangs heading this way will deal with you just fine."

He fell to the ground and spat some blood as he glared at the general, "I'll do just fine."

They then moved on as Ogre pulled himself back up.

***

Outside Little Rock, Arkansas

An Iron soldier walks the perimeter of an outpost as a creature made of swamp muck marched past paying no attention. He moved in front of the thing with a shaky voice, "I-Dent."

The creature placed a hand on the soldier's chest and burned straight through the armor and into his flesh killing the man. He then pushed him aside and walked onward.

(To be continued)

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Gifted youngsters part 2

Continued from here part 1

Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters, Christmas 1985

Jean looked around the room as Hank's parents made small talk with her's and Xavier. Bobby sat alone playing Donkey Kong while Scott read a book on the couch. Warren opened a card from his parents. He pulled a check out and tossed the card in the fire place.

Hank's father left for a moment and came back with a large bag of gifts. He'd made sure to get something for all the kids while Jean's parents had only gotten a gift for her. Scott noticed her concerned look, "Don't worry about it, Nobody was expecting to get anything."

She sat down beside him, "Is Bobby an orphan too?"

"No, his parents just don't visit. Warren's folks send money every couple months but only occasionally acknowledge he exists outside of that. Hank's folks come around any chance they get, its like they don't even care their kid isn't normal."

She felt a little sad for the boys but they seemed to have formed their own little family, Warren and Scott feuded with each other but it seemed more like sibling rivalry than actual hate.

***

A few days later just after New Years Bobby sat flipping through channels and yelled out through the house, "Hey, guys, you need to see this. Scott and Warren walked in expecting something silly but were shocked to see a man on TV dressed in a red and purple outfit. He was attacking an air force base alone.

Xavier entered and dropped the book he held, "Erick, what are you doing?"

Scott turned, "You know this guy?"

"He was once a friend of mine. Now he's known as Magneto."

Warren chuckled, "Magneto? Isn't he like an urban legend?"

Scott pointed at the TV, "Obviously not."

Xavier turned and headed for the elevator, "I have to go."

Scott and Warren ran after him, "You can't go after that guy alone. He just trounced the US Air Force, we should call the Avengers or something."

He ignored them as he entered the elevator. Scott and Warren gave each other a look of agreement and ran for the stairs. Hank saw Bobby taking off after them, "What's going on?"

"We need to get down to the jet before the Professor."

Jean tossed her magazine and followed along with Hank.

***

Xavier arrived at his jet where the kids stood waiting. He looked to Scott, "I don't have time for this."

"Well then there's no time to talk us out of coming with you."

Bobby tossed down a bag, "We'll call it field training."

Scott pulled his yellow and black training suit from the bag, "Its basically a super hero outfit already."

***

Cape Citadel, Florida

Pietro Maximoff watched from a safe distance as Magneto attacked the base. He didn't like what he saw but he'd promised his sister he would follow this man he considered crazy. He gave a curious look as a jet landed. He watched as a winged man flew out followed by a snowman and three masked teens.

***

Magneto hurled several missiles at the base but was shocked as a blaze of red energy destroyed them in the air. He then noticed a large chunk of ice flying toward him. He dodged then saw Bobby making large Ice chunks to be hurled by Hank. Warren attempted to attack from behind but Magneto turned and caught him by the throat. He looked him over and noticed the logo of Xavier's school. He chuckled before shouting, "So you're letting children fight your battle, Charles?"

Xavier came out onto the field, "They insisted. Why are you doing this? It will only make things worse."

He landed, "I have no time for your fantasies, these people need to learn we can't be controlled or ignored. We are the next stage of evolution and should be treated as such."

Xavier glared as he attempted to penetrate Magneto's mind, "I've learned to counter you."

He tapped his helmet.

He then raised his hand to open the nuclear silo he'd come for but something held it half closed. He noticed Jean holding a hand out trying to resist his power. He stepped forward,"I'm doing this for your own good girl."

She grunted a bit trying to hold back the missile he was trying to pull free, "Heard that before, its usually a lie."

Magneto looked annoyed as he lifted a car to hurl her way but Scott fired a blast that he was barely able to avoid. His foot slipped on a bit of ice on the ground as Beast was dropped from the air. He slammed a fist into Magneto's helmet knocking it off his head. Xavier then attacked his mind sending him to his knees.

As the team looked on the helmet seemed to disappear. Then a man stopped beside Magneto wearing it. Pietro looked down, "Need a little help old man?" Magneto glared as Pietro tossed him over his shoulders, "Nice outfits fellas."

He then took off. Warren tried to catch up but couldn't gather enough speed while flying low enough to follow. Xavier looked to the team, "Its time to leave."

***

A bar in Calgary, Alberta Canada

The TV over the bar shows the attack on Cape Citadel as a drunk slurs out, "Damn muties are getting outta hand. Somebody ought to wipe 'em out."

A man turns to him, "You know what they say, bub. If ya ain't got nothin nice to say..."

The drunk turned, "What? You some kind of mutie lover little man?"

The man tightened his fist but the bar tender yelled out, "Got a call for a Logan, anyone here by that name?"

Logan shrugged as he looked on the drunk, "Saved by the bell."

He then walked over to answer.

(To be continued)

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Gifted youngsters (An X-Men Story)

Upstate New York, 1985

A young girl tells a cab driver, "1407, Graymalkin Lane, Salem Center."

The driver looks back, "Ritzy place."

***

The cab pulled up about twenty minutes later as the driver commented, "Jeez this place is huge, you said its a school right."

She nodded, "That's what the brochure says, Xavier's school for Gifted Youngsters."

As she got out she was met by Professor Charles Xavier and a solemn looking boy in a pair of red sun glasses that took her bags for her. They strolled up the wheel chair ramp after Xavier paid the driver. Once inside he looked to her, "Welcome to my school Ms. Grey, our student body is quite small at the moment but it will grow. At the moment it's just you, Mr. Summers here and three others."

The other three students stepped up as Xavier introduced them, "Robert Drake, Henry McCoy, Warren Worthington and Scott Summers. Allow me to introduce Jean Grey."

Bobby looked her over, "Does she need a roommate?"

Hank poked him in the side with an elbow, "Show some respect."

Warren stepped in front of them, "Sorry, my friends have a lack of class. If you need anything, I'll be glad to help out."

He then gave a bit of a sneer toward Scott, "Don't worry, no need to tip the bell boy."

Scott rolled his eyes and walked past without a word.

Jean looked to Xavier, "Are they, like me?"

Bobby nodded, "Yup, all freaks."

He gave a wide grin as he took on a snowman like form, "You can call me Iceman, my over sized buddy here is Beast, big feet, big hands, big...."

Warren and Hank glared, "What, I was gonna say brain. Haven't peeked downstairs, and no Hank I don't want to."

Hank swatted him on the back sending him staggering, "Don't mind Bobby, he thinks he's funny."

She looked to Warren who dropped his overcoat to reveal large wings, "And of course, I'm the Angel. Its fine if your impressed, the wings are cool."

Bobby and Hank gave a condescending nod as Hank spoke, "Powerful too, they can even lift that ego."

"What about Scott?"

Bobby replied,"Eye lasers."

Hank shook his head, "They aren't lasers, they are a concentrated force blast of energy. Though I'm not sure what type, if he'd let me examine them I could give a more accurate...."

He noticed the blank expressions of the others, "Never mind. So, Jean, how about a tour?"

***

In the sub basement

The three boys opened a large door as Bobby spoke, "This is what we call the Danger Room."

She looked at a giant robot sitting in the center of the room, "What is that?"

Hank grinned, "That is Colosso, the Professor uses it to help train us with our powers. Top of the line in robotic engineering."

"Is it dangerous?"

Bobby chuckled, "Wouldn't be much of a Danger Room if it wasn't."

***

After the tour she met with Xavier in the library, "This place is great and all but are you sure I belong here?"

He nodded, "Jean, this place is a home for any mutant who wishes to learn. The hope is that one day we won't need a place like this, when we can simply coexist with normal humans but for now I honestly believe this is the best place for you."

Bobby looked to Hank, "Is he gonna give the 'I have a dream' speech again?"

Xavier chuckled, "Don't worry Bobby, I promise I won't bore you. Jean, we start classes at Eight A.M. sharp Monday morning. Take the rest of the weekend to get settled in, and Bobby, have you finished your biology homework?"

"Having a Telepathic teacher sucks."

He then wandered off to his room as Warren stepped up next to Jean, "Want to check out the pool?"

She shook her head, "Not right now."

"Awe, come on. We got a hot tub."

Hank patted him on the shoulder, "Better luck next time, Tweety."

***

As Jean walked to her room she noticed Scott sitting in his room alone studying as he listened to a walk-man. She walked in and pulled up a chair beside him. He lowered his head phones, "Need something?"

She smiled, "No, you were just the only one not falling over yourself trying to get to know me. Figured this room had less pressure."

He gave a slight grin, "Hank and Bobby are annoying but generally good guys."

"And what about Warren?"

He raised an eyebrow, "I like Hank and Bobby."

The two then had a chuckle, "So, Bobby told me about your eye thing."

"I can't really control it, but the Professor figured out how to block it so I can see without blowing things up. So, what brings you to the school."

She lifted her hand over several of Scott's pens and pencils and made them stand up, "I can move things with my mind, and sometimes if I concentrate really hard, I can hear peoples thoughts."

"So you're like the professor?"

"Oh, I doubt I'll ever be that powerful."

He shrugged, "You never know, once you get a little training you might be stronger."

"Not sure I even want to be, but mom and dad said Xavier is better equipped than they are to deal with my, condition."

***

An old man sits waiting for a machine to activate. He looks to a man sitting crouched in the corner, "If this works, I'll be back in my physical prime."

The man, called Mortimer Toynbee nods, "It might be simpler to just pass on leadership, definitely wouldn't make this place a target."

"Pietro isn't ready, and Wanda isn't stable enough."

He gritted his teeth, "Guess that's a no, well by all means, become Magneto again."

Magneto gave an annoyed look, "If I didn't know better, I'd say that tone was sarcastic."

He then stepped into the machine. There was a bright flash of light and a great deal of noise. After a few minutes Magneto stepped out looking around thirty years younger, "Now, time to let our Brotherhood be known to the world."

(To be Continued)

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Marvel Iron Age: Slingers part 2 of 4

Continued from here part 1

Outside Dodge City Kansas, 2195

The old man was over seeing the group as they had a sparing session. Tarantula and Orbweaver faced off in a circle that had been carved in the dirt. David easily swatted away her attempt at a kick, "Too slow web slinger."

She gritted her teeth as some psionic energy began to form in her hands, "I told you, I can do more than make webs."

She then swung a psionic blade at David that he barely dodged. She then looked down, "Should have paid better attention."

David looked down to see he'd stepped out of the circle, "Awe, damn it."

The old man eyed Orbweaver with concern and beckoned her over, "The rest of you, go find something to do."

Fiddler Back chuckled at David, "Hard to take the Tarantula seriously when he gets beat by my sister."

Black Widow poked him in the chest, "Are you saying getting beat by a girl is worse than getting beat by a guy?"

Fiddler Back nodded, "Kinda, yea."

She then punched him in the gut and dropped him to the ground. David then looked down on him as he stepped over, "Least she left me standing."

Redback and Funnelweb watched this with amusement.

As they left the old man turned to Orbweaver, "I know that look in your eyes, there was a time when I had it often. The killer instinct is strong in you. It can be quite useful but don't let it consume you. Trust me when I say its a path that leads to nothing but misery."

She glared at him, "I wasn't trying to kill him."

"Are you sure about that?"

She lowered her head and went silent as the old man rose. He patted her on the back, "I know you Spiders love that Mantra about power and responsibility so I won't give a speech you've heard a thousand times. Go on now, I've dealt with enough teenage problems today."

Redback and Funnelweb walked into the town that had been turned into a make shift Spider camp. They stepped into the old Saloon where Madam Web had set up shop. She was playing cards with several of the elders of the camp. Redback gave a nod to Molly Creed who sat beside Web. She had brought him to the Spiders after rescuing him as a child from the Iron soldiers who massacred his family along with the rest of the mutant camp they lived in.

She returned the nod and waved them over, "How's the old man treating you?"

Redback got a grin, "Like a dirty rug."

Madam Web chuckled, "Good, builds character."

Funnelweb wanted to chime in but was nervous around her. She looked up, "You shouldn't be frightened of an old woman, boy."

Molly grinned, "Well, you do have a bit of the Wicked Witch look going on."

She swatted her on the shoulder, "Some of us don't have a healing factor to keep us young. You're every bit the old hag as me, just a bit smoother in the face."

The old men around the table laughed as a man named Ed Parker spoke up, "We're all agreed, you're both old crones."

Redback noted the healthy stack of empty beers on the tray next to the table, "We'll let you get back to your important work."

They gave a drunken cackle at that as the boys left. Widow sat eating off to the side of the old alley where David and Dennis had joined in a street soccer game. Orbweaver sat next to her, "I take it they're on different teams?"

Widow looked over to her, "Of course, they'll prove one's better than the other if it kills both of them."

Orbweaver chuckled, "How the hell did they survive this long?"

Widow shrugged before changing the subject, "You're getting better with the psionic constructs."

"Have to if anyone's ever gonna trust me to do anything but set traps."

Widow gave a wary look, "Its about more than power you know."

"That's what everyone without any says."

Widow now glared at her, "You make it hard to be friends some times."

They then turned their attention to the game where David kicked the ball out from under Dennis' foot and sent him crashing to the ground. The ball then struck one of David's team mates in the head as it veered way off its mark. Dennis chuckled, "Doesn't matter if you have the ball if you can't hit a goal."

David sighed.

The girls laughed as the kid David hit started arguing with him.

***

The Old man wandered into the saloon and took a seat across from Madam Web as one of the Spider elders left. She noted his hand, "I see you found another ring."

He nodded, "The children were helpful in that."

She nodded, "You are training them well. Perhaps its a better path than questing for your own death."

He gave her a wary look, "Is there anyone who deserves death more than me?"

She shrugged, "Not many, but I could think of a few."

The two chuckled as the waitress sat a beer in front of the old man, "Well, deal me in old woman. I could use a bit of extra cash."

(To be continued)

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Marvel Iron Age: Cage, The Fist part 7

Continued from here part 6

The Northern California Wilderness

Fiddler Back sat next to Slapstick with a glare, "Problem Spider?"

He nodded, "If you survived since the old times, why are you just now trying to help."

"The jar."

He stared blankly as Slapstick continued, "The soldiers couldn't kill me so they stuffed me in this little jar made of something I couldn't break and left me at the vault. Eventually they just forgot me so I ended up in a supply closet for a really long time. After the human part of me died I got a little loopy and lost track of how long I'd been in there."

He stopped for a moment looking a bit sad then shook himself and jumped up, "Long story short someone made the supply closet go Kaboom and now I'm here so, on to the bad guys."

***

They found a small hill to look down on the camp. Fiddler Back looked down through a pair of binoculars, "Oh, crap."

Tiffany slid over to him, "What?"

He handed her the binoculars and pointed, "That walking mountain over there in the goblin mask is Tom 'the Ogre' Polasky. He was damn near super human before he got on the Green."

"What's the Green?"

"Goblin Serum, sort of like what made Captain America only it makes you stronger and faster. Also it makes you crazy."

She sighed as Fiddler Back continued, "We need a pl..., where are your brother and the cartoon guy."

She handed him the binoculars.

***

Slapstick wandered into a group of several Goblins, "Hey fellas, how you doing?"

They gave the odd looking man a wary look. One raised his gun and shot. Slapstick dodged it, "Hang on a sec, so impatient."

He then reached into his pocket and pulled out a huge bag and began rummaging through it. The goblins stepped forward but then fell back as he hurled an anvil out landing on one's foot. He screamed as the bones crunched. Another raised his gun again but Slapstick hurled a cartoonish badger out that landed on his face. As the man screamed Slapstick produced a large mallet from the bag and used it to swat away those who remained.

He then dropped it and reached back in the bag, "There it is."

***

Curtis walked through the camp right up to Ogre, "Are you the leader here?"

He looked down on Curtis, "Yea, what of it?"

"I will give you two options. Option one, you let those kids loose and apologize and I allow you to walk away."

He chuckled, "And two?"

"I break your legs and make you crawl away."

The rest of the camp burst into laughter but Ogre was a bit unnerved by Curtis' calm expression but decided to save face, "I'll take option three."

He swung his fist to hit Curtis but he dodged. Curtis then kicked him in the face and sent him crashing to the ground. Several of the Goblins rushed to Curtis but one slammed into the ground. The goblins all looked to the sky and saw Slapstick on a pogo stick. He crashed down on another and shot high up into the sky. Ogre charged Curtis but he side stepped and tripped the massive man.

He growled as he pushed himself back up, "I'm gonna rip your damned head off."

Ogre moved fast for a man his size and caught Curtis a bit off guard as he slammed a fist into his gut and sent him flying. He then snatched Slapstick's pogo stick and and tried to slam him into the ground but he hopped on his head and began slapping it like a bongo. He tried to grab him but he tied a rope to his hand and dropped down and slipped under his legs dragging him down.

He then hopped up as several of the others charged them. He leaped into the air and produced a large mallet from his pocket and crashed it down on them. Ogre made it to his feet just in time for Curtis to drive a kick into his gut.

Ogre fell back a bit then charged and grabbed Curtis by the midsection and hurled him. Curtis crashed into the ground but quickly made it back to his feet. As the big man charged Curtis lit his hands up with energy. As Ogre swung Curtis ducked then delivered a hard shot to his jaw causing a few teeth to go flying.

Ogre struck back bloodying Curtis' nose. Curtis then slammed a fist into his ribs cracking them. Ogre growled at him as he snatched him up by the throat. As he held him in the air Curtis raised his knee into his jaw. He was dropped and as he landed he charged up his legs and kicked a knee sending it crashing into the other and breaking both of Ogre's legs. He roared in pain as he fell.

Curtis then rose and slammed a foot down on his chest, "How's option two sound now?"

Ogre looked around to see Slapstick standing over a pile of his comrades with the mallet over his shoulder then back up to Curtis, "I'm gonna find you, and I'm gonna kill you."

Curtis shrugged and walked away as Ogre began to crawl out of the camp.

***

The Wilds just outside Sacramento

Balain stood beside the Grey Hellfitta had loaned her. She raised her hand, "They met a silly man here and traveled east with him."

Balain was a bit unnerved by the monotone of the Grey, "Okay, guess we have a trail."

She then leaned down to the cart tracks and calibrated her scanners to follow the trail the krang who pulled it left behind.

(To be continued)

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