"The Speed of Light"

Written by: Erin Weinstock
Novelization verison by: Reba Grayladyfalcon

I don't hold any of the copyrights in this story, and this story
was made without profit. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Inside of an alien ship's launch port for expelling items into space, the shut-sliding door gateway that is in the floor is a small metal transportation pod with multiple jet-rockets fixed to its rear and an open port. On its back is waiting a ball of brilliant shining light that three lighting bolt like ropes are moving down into the transportation pod. Once the ball of light is inside the transportation pod it slams shut and the lighting bolt ropes break off.

"Our distance to the event horizon is within a micro for the pod?" Dase asked.

"Within one micro," Perast replied.

"Metri, open under port eight and eject prisoner pod one," Dase said.

The doorway underneath the transportation pod opens and two of the jet-rockets on it fire and propel it out in to the space below it.

"Robot control has been initiated," Metri said.

"Prisoner pod in ten milli-micros of the event horizon," Perast said.

Watching out a small portal they watched as the transportation pod moved towards an area of space completely empty of stars, a swirling mass, a black hole. Soon a light starts to shine out of it a little. A moment later the light is pouring out of it. And in a snap the ball of light is free of the pod.

"Stom has escaped the prisoner pod!" Dase shouted.

The ball of light zips off in a streak of fine light, out in to space opposite in direction from the black hole.

"Where has Stom projected itself?" Metri asked.

"Towards a.. I don't believe this! Stom is heading straight for a terrestrial planet, towards S27A!" Perast hesitated. "If it's inhabited! The danger Stom represents -!" Perast shouted.

"It will be investigated before pursuit. The beings, if any, on that ball of rock and gases might be able to defend themselves against Stom. If not it is then our job once more to bring that criminal to justice," Dase replied.

It's nighttime and light rain is falling. The sound of gunfire and bombshells exploding from both enemy and ally. The palm trees are giving little cover for an American troop that's on the attack. The Vietnamese are heard shouting to one another but can not be seen. A soldier takes a blast to the lower chest. Another soldier notices his comrade getting hit.

"NO!!" Soldier Two shouted. He runs over to the fallen soldier being careful of the gunfire around him as he moves. "Robert! Robert! Are you okay?!" Soldier Two asked.

Robert, having a hard time breathing. "I .... I'm going to ... " Robert said, gripping his chest tightly.

"You're not going to die! I have some medical training! Stay still, I can help," Soldier Two shouts, looking in to his friend's eyes.

Soldier Two's facial expression is filled with fear for his friend. A moment later, a dim light show begins, his eyes turn towards it. Soldier Two glances up towards the palm tree nearby. Close to the top of it is Stom.

"F-ing sniper! Hold on Robert, I'm gonna get 'em!!" Soldier Two said. Soldier Two raised his weapon and starts firing repeatedly at Stom. The bullets just pass through him.

"What the .. ?" Soldier Two asked, with a confused look on his face.

Stom comes down out of the palm tree and walks over to Soldier two.

"Holy shi-!" Soldier Two says, while staring in to the eyes with Stom. "What are ..?" Soldier Two asked, in a low voice.

Soldier Two turned his attention to Robert then quickly turned back to Stom. "Stay, stay I need you here!" Soldier Two ordered, turning back to
Robert and started working on Robert's wound.

Chapter 1

In an alleyway, cracked cement with a few plants trying to sprout into full life, garbage littering various places. Three thick metal bracelets materialize on the pavement. Three creatures that look like Stom. Dase, Metri, and Perast walk down the alleyway.

In a montage of camera shots of them sending out beams of light into the interior of the bracelets, close up with the camera on the bracelets quickly forming into human images out from them, one male and two female.

Metri moves around looking at her companions. "It appears to me that our images have formed out properly to the specs given to us about Human bodies."

"Then it's time we started our pursuit of Stom on this planet," Perast said.

They emerge from the alleyway's entrance to a New Chicago sidewalk. Once out of the alleyway they nod to each other and go opposite directions on to the city street sidewalk, Perast and Metri go off in a pair.

A moment later random shouts of shock. Dase, Perast and Metri quickly go back in to the alleyway. "How could we have forgotten that these creatures prefer to socialize with each other in plant and other fibers?" Dase asked.

Metri glances down at her wrist and twists around her bracelet and clothes appear on her. An old style flapper dress, short heels, gloves and a lady's hat matching to fit the 1920's dress.

Dase gives her bracelet a good twist and once more suddenly becomes grabbed in an image of clothes. Only hers have a completely punk look to them and a split second later her hair becomes a messed mop of neon colors.

Then Perast twists his bracelet and suddenly like the others dons an image of clothes, his being a very ugly looking multicolored checked suit.

At the Shuttle Port Station, the transport-shuttles look like the Defense Directorate. But these are twice as large and don't have the ridged body. The tail end of the shuttle is the only area of the ship not smooth like the rest of it. What looks to be possibly up to twenty little fins that reach from one ending wing-tip of the shuttle to the next. All of the shuttles are brightly painted with various company logos that are meant to impress possible patrons. Aliens and Humans are walking towards shuttles and coming from shuttles that had just landed or are preparing to leave.

A shuttle that had just landed had a few people gather at the loading ramp ready to board on the next flight. A Phasoft-door opens up near its wing, and people begin to come out of it.

A man with a heavy looking suitcase comes out of it, his eyes fixed on the security scan checkpoint in front of him. After a moment, he moves in to the crowd of people, moving all over, and tries to slip though a space that doesn't have a security scan that must be walked through. He's caught by a security service guard.

"I'm sorry sir, you can't leave that way. You must go through one of the security checkpoints," the Service guard said.

The man stares at the service guard for a second, then looks around. He bolts past the service guard out towards the city that awaits him past the shuttle station.

The service guard starts running after him, and at that moment he removes a large scanning gun from his side and points it towards the man running with the suitcase. The service guard still running after the man with the suitcase, through the crowd. The service guard takes a look at the scanner gun he's holding and for a brief beat shock and terror fill his face. Then just as quickly as he glanced at his gun he continues his pursuit.

At the Defense Directorate, Dr. Huer is at his desk, the service guard by his side, Buck, Wilma, Fox and Burash standing a few feet before the desk in front of Huer.

"And none of you must alert the public to this fact," Huer said.

"It sounds like a pretty deadly substance and with the omega radiation it emits I'm amazed anyone would want to get near it." Buck hesitated for a moment. "Our health coverage is full, right?" Buck asked.

"Buck, as normal any loss to your health physical or otherwise that was due on part to your job to this Directorate, is covered by it," Huer replied.

Wilma looking towards the service guard. "And there were no photos taken of the man?" Wilma asked.

"New Chicago's station doesn't have any cameras due to the fact an incident like this has never happened before. The transportation Directorate doesn't see the station as a high risk area," the Service Guard replied.

"Does this Directorate have what we need to do the tracking?" Fox asked.

"Yes Fox. Before leaving the Defense Directorate to locate the man, who as far as we know is still in possession a suitcase filled with Zanisol, I want all of you to pay a visit to Mallory," Huer replied.

Inside a local bar, TVs are spread throughout it are hovering in mid air. The pool tables, covered with a fabric that keeps shifting in color with a movement like an ocean tide. Dase and Metri are standing at one of the pool tables that has a game in progress by other patrons. Perast is sitting on a bar stool next to a woman he's having a conversation with.

"So you've met a lot of aliens. When did this happen?" Perast asked.

"You have a problem with aliens?" the woman asked.

"No, no I don't have a problem with aliens. I was only asking if you've met a lot of aliens cause there's one species I'm wondering if you've come in contact with, the "Bercy". I didn't know until coming here anyone had for a fact met an alien," Perast replied.

The woman gives him an odd look as she cocks her head to one side. "What planet are you from?" she asked.

"Well that wasn't something I thought I'd have explain. I didn't know Humans had encountered .." Perast replied.

"You know, you don't make me feel well. I need to leave," the woman said, she gets up from the stool and leaves him.

At the pool table that Dase and Metri are at. A man is trying to make a shot, but was having a hard time of it.

The man glanced up at Dase and Metri. "This is the wrong time to be asking me anything bunnies. This is a hard shot to make, even with a normal table," Will said

"Bunnies? We're Human females," Dase said with a confused look on her face.

"Bunnies, chicks, babes, listen if you shut up I'll tell you what you want to know after I make this shot," Will said, with a harsh voice.

Metri grabs his pool stick up from where he has it set on the table. "And I say that for once liquor just might have gotten the better of you in your judgment. This is real important what we want to know. And we ain't gonna leave you alone till you talk, Willie," Metri said, still holding the pool stick firmly.

William lets go of his pool stick and grabs Metri's wrist by her bracelet. "What kind of dumb chick are you!? You weird talking freak!" Will shouted.

Perast turns his head towards the direction of the yelling. Perast gets up from his seat and walks go over the pool table where Will, Dase and Metri are it.

Buck enters the bar holding a scanner like the type the Service Guard was holding earlier. Only this one looks a little different. Wilma is also with him, blaster held at her side. Buck lifts up his gun and moves it all around in front of him. The people in the bar give them a look, mainly because of Wilma.

Buck's looks down at the small screen on it and the lights are bleeking at a slow rate. Showing that the item they are searching for is not in the immediate area.

"You aren't planning on using that in here, are you?" A bar person asked, pointing towards Wilma's weapon.

"Only if necessary," Wilma replied.

Back at the pool table where Perast, Metri, Dase and William are.

"Please sir, you have no reason to act hostile towards this woman. She only wants you to answer one little question that I'm certain your brain power can withstand," Perast said.

"And what is that supposed to mean, dipstick! All Aliens look the same to me, Bercy sounds like some kind of fish! Have you checked Lake Michigan!?" Will said in a sarcastic voice.

Buck looks down at his scan gun and is walking slowly through the bar. He upholstering his blaster.

"A fish! A finned, scaled, gill breather! That's what you think a Bercy is!?" Dase asked.

"What is your issue?!" Will asked.

"Do you know how much harm a Bercy that's insane can do?!" Metri asked.

Will moves his mouth like he wants to say something but can't as a mix of concern and exhaustion comes on to his face.

"Well, Do you?!" Metri asked again.

"I don't feel right," Will said, as he releases Metri's bracelet and staggers back away from her.

Buck looking at the gun and holding his blaster. Will walked past Buck.

"Those freak women may be dangerous, but I'm not sure you'll need that gun on them," Will said.

Buck puts down his gun and looks straight out at the trio. "Plus that man that's with them. I need my blaster, they're holding Zanisol," Buck replies.

Will stares at Buck with the shocked look, then moves away quickly.

Buck and Wilma walk over to the trio and he holds his blaster straight out at them. "You're under arrest by the authority of Earth's Defense Directorate, if you come with me quietly you won't be harmed!" Buck said.

"We're under arrest?! For what?!" Dase asked.

"For the carrying of Zanisol, you're under arrest! Hands in the air!" Buck said.

"What is Zanisol?" Perast asked.

"A deadly substance that emits omega radiation; it's how we found you!" Buck replied.

The trio look at each other, then turn back to looking at Buck and Wilma.

Dase turns her bracelet, points it at Buck. A steam of sharp light replaces her hand for a moment and quickly strikes out and destroys the scan gun.
The trio then bolts towards the door.

Buck and Wilma start running after them.

Metri, Dase and Perast stopped at the door way for a brief moment then disappears in a blinding flash of light. Buck and Wilma stop running as they quickly realize the trio has left them in the dust. They stand looking out the door.

"I'll handle it next time," Wilma said.

Buck looks to Wilma.

Chapter 2

At a local food store, the parking lot is active with cars pulling in and out, people rushing around.

"Oh no, he's back," one of cashiers said.

The bagger glanced over at the cashier. "Who? The boss?"

"No, the man with the thing," the cashier replied, pointing towards the door.

The Bagger looks over towards the entrance way as Soldier Two entered the store in normal everyday clothes, holding a shopping cart with Stom hovering over one of his shoulders.

"Can't we force him, them out?" the bagger asked.

"I wish," the cashier replied.

Soldier Two pulls his grocery list out of his pocket. "Let's see, we need.. one dozen large eggs, 2 percent milk, angel hair pasta, salsa, brown sugar." Soldier Two turned to Stom. "You didn't write anything. Are you sure there's nothing you want?" he asked.

"A bath in 97 percent canola oil and 3 percent antifreeze," Stom replied.

"Ray, are you the reason I couldn't make onion rings the other day?" Soldier Two asked.

Stom hovers close by.

"The last time I went shopping I bought two bottles," Soldier Two said.

"I'm sorry, I forgot, you can use my bottle," Stom said.

Some of the store's shoppers and employees slowly walk by Soldier Two and Stom or have stopped all together.

On a busy New Chicago Street, Burash and Fox.

"There's more than one of them," Fox said.

"But the service guard," Burash replied.

"They must have come in not using the station," Fox said.

"This is not a very safe city," Burash replied looking around.

"The cops try but in the end the job turns to us, Burash," Fox replied.

Up the street from Fox and Burash. Dase and Metri stand looking down the street towards Fox and Burash.

"There's more of them," Dase said.

"What?" Metri asked.

"People with those scanners that detect the radiation from the image deflection bracelets." Dase points out Fox and Burash down the street. "Those people there," Dase said.

"Should we?" Metri asked.

Dase nodded.

"These others, did Buck and Wilma tell you how they looked, what species are they?" Burash asked.

"Like they came randomly straight out of history files on the 20th century," Fox replied.

"Isn't that when Buck comes from?" Burash asked.

"Buck wasn't around in the 1920's, Burash. He said one of them looked like a flapper," Fox replied.

Dase and Metri walked up behind Fox and Burash.

"What does a flapper ..?" Burash started saying before he was interrupted.

"What are you using those for?" Metri asked, pointing towards the detector.

"Business of the Defense Directorate, nothing you need to be concerned with," Burash replies.

"They look like radiation detectors. Tell me, is this radiation you're looking for deadly to Humans?" Dase asked.

"Burash.." Fox said, grabbing Burash's arm.

"Very deadly; it can kill after long exposure," Burash replied, pulling his arm away from Fox.

"Burash, one of them, no.. in fact..." Fox said, pointing towards Dase and Metri.

"It is assumed then you want to do away with its source then?" Metri asked.

"Yes, the ones we're after will be locked away in jail for the position of .." Burash hesitated. "Oh my, I don't want to worry you civilians with the thought. What is emitting the radiation will be put in a hasmat-vault for safekeeping," Burash said.

"Then we'll try to make our business on this planet short," Dase replied.

"Burash!" Fox whips out his blaster on Dase and Metri. Cont: "You two are under arrest for the possession of Zanisol!" Fox shouts.

"Not us," Dase replies, as she and Metri back away from Fox and Burash. In a blur of speed they were gone.

In Huer's office, Huer, Wilma, Buck, Fox, Burash and Dantin are standing and none have a look of ease.

"When they left the bar Wilma and I talked to a few of the people there. Dr. Huer, I don't believe these "things" have any kind of real connection with the man who was at the station," Buck said.

"And just why do you believe that to be so?" Huer asked.

"Yea Rogers, as you might say, "that sounds like a hard bit of pork to swallow." I mean they have to be in on this," Dantin said.

Buck gives Dantin an odd look. "What?"

"You worry me." Buck turns to Huer. "They can change what they are, move at lightning speed. They aren't Human, I think they're this "Bercy" at a guess. The man at the station, the service guard tried to chase him down. Why would they need us if we're so slow to them?" Buck asked.

"I've never heard of the Bercy." Huer turns towards the wall monitor. "Dr. Theopolis?"

"I'm searching my database right now," Theopolis replies.

"How can something be tracked that moves that fast, the speed of light?" Buck asked.

"Only in a micro-par stream, can a ship travel at the speed of light and past. Star-Ports have tracking equipment like that. They have to track the ships traveling in the stream and move the stream, shift it if need be to keep ships from colliding with each other," Huer replied.

"Star-Port one is the nearest one to Earth. Do you think they let us borrow any of their spare tracking equipment if they have it?" Wilma asked.

"The matter we're dealing with that we don't even know it's full story on. They won't let us have it." Huer turns to look back towards Theopolis. "Dr. Theopolis, have you finished searching your database?" Huer asked.

"The term Bercy does not appear in any Earth or non-terran records," Dr. Theopolis replied.

"Can you download the specs on the Star-Port tracking hardware?" Huer asked.

"Done," Theopolis said.

"What?" Huer asked.

"The files weren't very large, Dr. Huer. Only a millisecond to download," Theopolis replied.

"Give them to Thomas and Mallory, tell them I order them to build this tracking equipment," Huer ordered.

"But they aren't ships, these Bercy. How do you intend on tracking them with the equipment?" Fox asked.

"Burash." Huer turns towards Burash for a moment then turns back to Fox.

"How will I help in this?" Burash asked.

"She didn't draw a weapon on them unlike the rest of you," Huer replied.

"I wasn't there," Dantin said.

"I know that Major." Huer turns his glaze to fully be on her. "And you said they didn't seem aggressive in their actions," Huer said.

"One of them broke my scan gun," Buck said.

"They're strangers in this land, we have no records of them. Burash, I want you to find them. They seen to be favoring places in New Chicago that carry large congestions of people, popular places. I want you to take an ink-print scanner with you," Huer said.

"You think one of them might get close enough to me so I could scan one for the tracking equipment to use," Burash said.

"This may all be fine and dainty for finding them, but that still leaves how do we get one of them to stand still long enough to find out from them what's going on?" Buck asked.

"Burash, after you scan them I want you to try to talk to one of them long enough to find that out," Huer said.

In the mall, Burash is standing on one of the walkways that are to either side of an opening that leads down to lower levels of the mall. Perast, Dase and Metri are a distance off from her.

"Is she following us?" Perast asked.

"Well, she's not holding one of those detectors. But, she is carrying something else," Metri replied.

Inside one of the clothing stores close to Burash, Buck and Fox are watching "They're here," Buck said.

"She got them to stop," Fox said.

"It can destroy you," Burash said.

"She made a lie," Buck said.

"Tell me why your here!" Burash said.

"The Thorcomen Defense Administration doesn't act the same way the Defense Directorate does," Fox replied.

"Have you been teaching her how different the Directorate does things?" Buck asked.

"By the order of Earth's Defense Directorate, I order you to oblige me!" Burash said.

"I did, but apparently not well enough," Fox replied.

Chapter 3

Burash, Perast, Metri, Dase, Buck and Fox are standing in the middle of the mall.

"Wait, you guys came here why?" Buck asked.

"A convict from our star Torcorn escaped to this planet," Dase replied.

"I have a feeling we shouldn't be talking about this here," Buck said, looking around. Buck motioned for them to follow. As they walked, Buck told them it would be best to finish the conversation at the Defense Directate.

Back at Earth's Defense Directate, in the Computer Council Chamber. Dase, Perast and Metri stood before the Computer Council.

"We are no danger to you?" Metri asked.

"We are not organic, you cannot harm us," Computer Nine replied.

"Will you show yourselves as you truly are. There are no known records on you, the Bercy," Computer Eight said.

A moment later, their image deflection bracelets drop to the floor.

"Why are you here?" Theopolis asked.

"We've already told you why. To capture the convict Bercy named Stom, to return it to the edge of R0036 to serve its prison sentence," Metri replied.

"Why New Chicago?" Computer Two asked.

"What is R0036?" Computer Three asked.

"At first when we started studying your planet for this mission, we were going to perform it at Washington DC, the source of many mass arms on this planet. But as we approached this planet, its transmissions changed as to where its arms are held at a mass: New Chicago," Dase replied.

"A black hole: R0036," Perast said.

"What would Stom do with these arms?" Computer Six asked.

"Command them to do destruction for it," Dase replied.

"Washington DC has not been the source of mass arms for eons. How long ago did you start on this mission?" Theopolis asked.

"56 hours ago," Metri replied.

"Washington was not the bearer of mass arms 56 hours ago," Computer Five said.

"We traveled to get here by the speed of light, studying for the mission all the while in our travel. Stom left for this planet 12 hours before we started," Dase replied.

"For these transmissions to be as old as I believe them to be, dating back hundreds of years and with you traveling at the speed of light to reach here..." Theopolis said.

"We know that now. That for us the time passed at a different speed. That for us what we see as a few hours is eons to other planets," Metri replied.

"Stom came to this planet, but long ago," Perast said.

"Then Stom is dead," Computer Ten said.

"To kill one of us is a hard feat, we have no true bodies," Dase replied.

"We have no records of any missile attacks of unknown origin," Theopolis said.

"Then Stom might never have come to this world, and we have been wrong in our action by coming here," Dase said.

"We should take our leave of you now, of this planet and investigate other worlds or stars Stom might have gone off to instead," Perast said.

"Not yet," Computer Four said.

"The habitat you're from. Your claim is that it's in a star," Computer Nine said.

"Correct," Metri replied.

"Some stars emit omega radiation," Computer Two said.

"Does your home star emit omega radiation?" Computer Six asked.

"Correct," Dase replied.

"Can you sense omega radiation?" Theopolis asked.

"Correct," Dase replied.

"You want us to find the one holding the Zanisol?" Metri asked.

"That action would be greatly appreciated," Computer Ten replied.

"Would this action rectify our actions that caused disorder on this planet?" Perast asked.

"It would lighten our file on you seeing as how this is Earth's first contact with your kind," Theopolis replied.

"S27A: Earth as we have found out, is more friendly in nature towards species from other worlds than we first concluded. And it seems to hold the idea of justice in the same regards as we do," Metri said.

"We will help," Perast said, glancing over at Dase and Metri.

Inside a storage room in the hospital, a hissing noise can be heard coming from behind one of the doors. After a moment of the hissing, the door has veins of white rippling in and out of existence, then shortly after this the veins start to stay on the door and fatten. The hissing bursts into a streak as the fat white veins on the door burst outwards, taking the door out of existence.

The man with the suitcase, walks through the doorway. Still carrying the suitcase. But now he doesn't look to be in the best of health. With sweat coming down his face. The other hand not holding the suitcase, is rapidly clenching and unclenching.

Back at the Computer Council Chamber.

"I'm not so sure it was a wise idea to send them," Buck said.

Back at the Hospital. The man had placed the suitcase on the floor while he opens all the medical supply drawers one by one, searching quickly around their insides for something.

Back at the Computer Council Chamber

"But they will be able to find the man holding the Zanisol in what we have concluded should be far less time than far more known species in mass recordings," Theopolis replied.

"They put their prisoners in black holes. That's not something we do, at worst we send them to psychiatric re-imaging centers," Huer said.

"He'll be killed!" Buck shouted.

At the Hospital, the man finds a bottle of some kind of liquid, he smiles and quickly grabs at it to open it. He whines in pain and looks at the hand he used on the bottle. With his palm side up, he looks at it. It looks like it was burned and could still be burning but from the inside out. He puts the bottle between his legs and twists the top off with his good hand, some of the liquid inside splashes to the ground. Then once more with the good hand he grabs the bottle out from between his legs and clutches it to his chest with the arm that goes to the bad hand. He pours out some of the liquid carefully into his good hand and splashes it on to the bad one. He sighs in relief then drops the bottle.

In the Computer Council Chambers.

"So you are saying their methods may be too extreme to be used on Humans?" Computer Five asked.

"At a guess, we know nothing about them! The Thorcomen Defense Administration we've known for some time, they may not use all of the same methods as us but at least we know we can trust them in their actions!" Buck replies.

"They should be arriving at our suspect now," Computer Eight said.

"Let us be there at the scene first hand to see how they handle this," Huer said.

"I see no point in that, Dr. Huer," Theopolis replied.

Back at the Hospital. The man wraps a large material bandage around his bad hand, Perast, Metri, and Dase enter through the open door way.

The man turns around and see them.

The Bercy let lose with a flash of blinding light for a moment, the man quickly covers his eyes.

In the Computer Council Chambers.

"Who will be to blame if something goes wrong?" Huer asked.

At the Hospital. The suitcase that he had set on the floor earlier was beginning to melt.

"Union Hospital has just declared itself to be in a state of emergency quarantine," Computer Two announced.

"What's happened?" Huer asked, turning to Computer Two.

"A massive burst of omega radiation," Computer Three replied.

"Council, Dr. Huer, I have some business I need to tend to," Buck said as he heads for the door, like he wants to leave.

Huer puts a hand on his shoulder. "Buck, there's nothing you can do," Huer said.

"But those Bercy?" Buck asked.

"There's nothing reasonable under this sun we can do to stop them," Huer replied.

"Then what would be the unreasonable?" Buck asked.

Chapter 4

At the home of Soldier Two. It's now the year 2006. On the television is a black and white serial of Katie Comet. Katie Comet by what we can tell is a blond wearing a costume that looks like an odd cross between Captain America's one mixed with Bucky's and the modern age Blue Beetle with a cape. With a golden or silver age looking ray gun she's fighting off a group of people dressed as robots. The robot costumes are made of a variety of metallic painted cardboard boxes. As Katie shoots at one of the cardboard robot men coming towards her.

"I can't believe Mastermind Moon would send you after me! You are being too easy for me to defeat!" Katie says.

"You will surrender to Mastermind Moon! His dominance over this planet is imminent!" the robot replied.

"Oh hell's bells, you mechanical men must not be Moon's real threat! He might already be on his way to Startown to complete his conquest of Pluto!" Katie shouts.

The TV goes off.

Soldier Two is sitting in a nicely padded chair with Stom hovering near by him. "Brown out, god darn it!" Soldier Two said.

He picks up his remote and clicks over and over forward outwards from himself.

"April Fools dad, we're not having a brown out," Greg said, laughing.

"Then what happened to the TV?" Soldier Two asked.

"I flipped the circuit breaker," Greg replied, chuckling.

Soldier Two gets up from the chair.

Soldier Two begins to stand and faces Greg. Stom still by Soldier Two's side. "Well what made you go and do that for?" Soldier Two asked.

Greg looks to be half of Soldier Two's age.

"The rally dad, remember?" Greg replied.

"You're a good son, Greg," Soldier Two said, smiling.

Greg leaves the room as Soldier Two starts moving to do the same.

"What happened?" Stom asked.

"What do you mean, "what happened"?" Soldier Two asked.

"Did Katie Comet win?" Stom asked.

"She won," Soldier Two replied.

"How do you know that? You've never seen that serial before," Stom said.

"She's a hero, I'm sorry heroine. The hero always wins in the end," Soldier Two replied.

"On mathematical odds I do not believe such a thing could always be true," Stom said.

Soldier Two gives Stom a look that says, "I wish."

Outside of Soldier Two's Home. The house is a small cookie cutter by look of the type home, with a small front yard to match. Greg is standing by a car looking like he's awaiting Soldier Two and Stom. Soldier Two and Stom come out the front door and are heading to the car. Soldier Two is wearing a windbreaker and headband.

"On TV, in the movies they always win," Soldier Two said.

"In real life the heroes always fail?" Stom replied.

"No, not all the time, just sometimes." Soldier Two turns to Stom to get a good look at it, squinting at the sight. "You were there, we tried our best," Soldier Two said.

"But we still failed," Stom replied.

"Ray, if you haven't noticed this yet I'll tell you. We Humans are a stubborn lot, who don't quit on a task very easily. Even though we failed to do one task years ago doesn't mean we didn't learn a lesson in the whole thing. People that were there and witnessed the error of what happened yesterday, know today what must be done to keep the past from returning," Soldier Two said, looking at Stom.

"Are you two going to get in the car?" Greg asked.

Soldier Two turns to Greg. "Are the signs in there?" Soldier Two asked.

"I loaded them while you were watching TV," Greg replied.

Soldier Two turns to Stom for a moment. "Ready to get our troops home?" Soldier Two asked.

"Ready to get our troops home," Stom replied.

The End

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