Buck Rogers in the 26th Century
"The Class of 2518"
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 .

In the Defense Directorate shuttle park all the trainees are standing and awaiting Col. Deering. It's night time. Buck is off to the side in this grouping of the trainees. He's relaxed on the hood of a space ship. Fox is standing on the edge of the group towards the back. Wilma is standing center on a platform along with Dr. Huer and Major Dantin. The platform has lights shining up at it. Most of the trainees aren't looking at the trio however. They're watching the sky, where Wilma's image is being shown of her at the platform. A spray of yellow fireworks runs on either side of this image.

"You are the class of 2518. One of the finest that has graduated from Earth's Defense Directorate in years. Not only in this class have we been privileged to have our first ever Saurian pilot, Taindair, but also a pilot who's taught us a few things left forgotten for years, Buck Rogers, who is also our class valedictorian. Buck Rogers, will you come up here and give a speech for the class?" Wilma asked.

Buck didn't move from where he was sitting.

"It's okay to be shy, I'm sure we all know what you'd say for this class," Wilma said smiling.

"Bite me," Buck replies quietly under his breath.

"We are the best in the defense of Earth, and all the others who share the big black with it!" Wilma says. The trainees begin to applaud.

Two small rockets can be seen going up in the sky. Once the rockets have gone high up to being close each other, they burst in color. Both rockets flair out in pale blue. The one on the left side moves about in the air forming a circle enclosed type of bird wing. The right side rocket moves about in the air forming an olive branch, once more in the same circle-enclosed type of look. Once the rockets have reached the bottom of this image, they spring up near center of it to both form out an eagle head. One rocket dives away light less, while the other rocket moves above the eagle head, then sparks up and goes lightless again, diving off away from the image. This is the symbol that represents the Defense Directorate. The trainees applauded even louder. Some of them hoot, holler, and whistle in the air of excitement.

Buck's staring into the night sky, but he's not watching the small rockets. He's staring at the moon, a moon which does not look like what he's used to seeing. It's bright with the show of having an atmosphere. There's a faint green that can be seen on it, in patches, along with blue. After a moment of looking up to the sky Buck turns to his side, then sits up on the space craft to look down at his peers. Down below the crowd can be seen moving about, talking about various things. Looking about more he spots Fox standing by himself watching the others. Buck makes his way down from the space ship, and heads for Fox. But Fox doesn't notice Buck just by his side.

"Please tell me what's going on?" Buck asked with a look on his face of uncurtainty.

Fox turns to Buck. "What do you mean, what's going on?" Fox asked.

"You've barely said three words to me in recent days. But before that you couldn't get enough of hanging around me. I'd like to know what happened," Buck replied.

"You don't want me around you," Fox replied turning away from Buck.

"Now what gave you that idea?" Buck asked walking in front of Fox.

"De-Pas told me you wanted to hit me when we first met," Fox said looking in to Buck's eyes.

Buck was speechless for a moment. "He was right," Buck replied.

Fox walks away from Buck and away from the crowd of people too. Buck watches him go off, then after a moment follows him.

"Only at first. Fox, I don't mind hanging around you," Buck said trying to catch up with Fox.

Fox stops walking, not facing Buck. "Why didn't you tell me this when we met?" Fox asked with his eyes looking down at the floor.

"I was having a real rough time with things. Everything was so new. Heck, most things still feel new. I just felt it wasn't the right thing to do back then," Buck replied.

"Leave me alone," Fox said as he started to walk off again.

"I came to talk to you because I saw you alone. You don't hang out with the other pilots. I'd like to know what gives? Talk to me, man," Buck said loud enough for Fox to hear.

Fox stopped again. "I don't fit in with them, with anyone," he said over his shoulder.

"That's why you used to hang around me then, huh? Because I don't fit in with the rest of the crowd. And those files you like to study, the history ones," Buck said.

"When I see others, I see the moment. They want the "now" and the "new", forget the rest. It's not important, everyone must act a certain way." Fox hesitated for a moment. "You're a step out of your time, you don't care whether or not you are following the rest of the crowd, who are behaving like a bunch of crazed lemmings," Fox said.

"I want to fit in with the others too. But to do it I'm not going to sacrifice who I am. You heard Wilma, "taught us a few things left forgotten for years" They're learning new things, well uh, so to speak. People acting like crazed lemmings, that's been going on for ages," Buck replied.

"I want to fit in with them too," Fox said glancing up at Buck.

"I've heard something about the others going off to Galileo City to celebrate our graduation. What do you say? Wanna go to the moon and quote the Apollo astronauts with me? Get drunk with the others and try the now?" Buck asked smiling.

"What the devil, I'll go," Fox said throwing his arms up in the air.

"I've heard the ship leaves tonight at 2200 hours. Better get packing," Buck said smiling.


Chapter 1

In the Directorate's interior from the shuttle park, Buck has a duffel bag over his shoulder, as does Fox. Twiki is standing in front of the pair.

"I'm going too," Twiki said.

"I don't think this will be the best of places for you, Twiki," Buck replied patting the ambuquad on his back.

"I've been assigned to you, and I intend to stay with you. You never let me go anywhere with you. I want to go!" Twiki said raising his voice a little.

"What about that time we went camping?" Buck asked.

"You didn't want me to come. It took a plea with Dr. Huer for me to get him to talk to you about letting me come. Why can't I just do my job?" Twiki asked.

"It isn't your job, remember? You're free to do what you want," Buck replied.

"And "I" want to go to Galileo City," Twiki said.

"Fine then, come along," Buck said.

Twiki leads the trio as they head into the shuttle park.

"I hear it's a really nice place to visit. It's like what New York City, Los Angeles, or Denver was in your time," Fox said with a smile.

"Denver was never popular," Buck replied.

"Oh, well I'll get the records changed," Fox said.

Buck is looking straight ahead, trying not to laugh, "Oh my god," Buck said.

On the passenger carrier type of space ship, someone had TP'ed from bow to stern and in addition spray painted the ship "Class of 2518."

"Well I give sincere doubt that Dr. Huer or Colonel Deering gave any sort of approval to this," Fox said shaking his head.

"Some things never change," Buck replied as they continue towards the ship. Buck is smiling, while Fox has a look of concern on his face.

The class was exiting the ship after it arrived at Galileo City. The toilet paper that was on the ship earlier, is now gone. They're still in party mode, while the trio slowly walks out of the ship. Buck looks around outside the ship as he steps out. The sky is a deep blue and stars can be seen off in it faintly. The shuttle park is seated on the edge of a welcoming center for Galileo City. Buck shouts out into the crowd. "Where are you all going?" Buck asked.

"The Lunely Lune, it's a club. Are you coming, valedictorian?" one of the class mates replied.

"I'm going to check out the tourist information," Fox said.

"I'm coming with you," Buck said talking to Fox.

Buck, Fox and Twiki arrive at the Welcoming Center. Buck and Fox are holding papers littered with tourist information. Twiki stands by them.

"I want to go to the city's museum," Twiki said.

"We're not here to get engrossed in Galileo's history, Twiki. We're here to do things in the now, and fit in some with the rest of those yahoos," Buck replied.

"Then why aren't we at The Lunely Lune?" Twiki asked.

"Because I'm not in the mood for bottles and maybe drugs," Buck said.

"Ah phooey," Twiki replies. Buck looks at Twiki and shakes his head.

Off a distance two men watch othe trio. One is nicely dressed, the other is covered head to toe in dark fabric. The only thing that can be seen of his body outside of his clothing are gold colored finger tips.

The nicely dressed one. "Look at that piece of machinery. What do you think it will fetch?" Phil asked his partner pointing over at Twiki.

"Once it's no longer in steel, silver, maybe five thousand dollars. Gold, maybe ten thousand dollars," Nagoris replied eyeing the little ambuquad.

"Then I say it's gold. Follow me," Phil replied as he started to walk towards Buck, Fox and Twiki.

Fox holds a brochure up in front of Buck. "What about this?" Fox asked.

Buck takes the brochure and starts reading it aloud. "The sea of Serenity" just 15 miles west of here. Has the best boardwalk in the solar system. Fresh talented entertainment does performances all along it. The great stores, with gifts to buy from the farthest reaches of the galaxy."

"New in town, I'm guessing," Phil said as he and Nagoris approached Buck, Fox and Twiki.

Buck stopped reading the brochure and glances up at the two men. "And trying to find something nice to do with our time. You know of something?" Buck asked.

"Great you asked me! Are you a gambler?" Phil asked.

"Goodbye," Buck replied as they started to walk away. The trio leave Phil and Nagoris, who soon starts to follow after the three.

"Don't want to try the latest and greatest, most fun game in the universe? Don't want to try the rave of the town?" Phil asked loudly walking behind Buck.

The trio stops walking. "I'm game, how does one play at this latest rave in gambling?" Buck asked.

The trio approach a crowded place, alive with activity. The trio are standing at a kiosk along with Phil and Nagoris, who are standing on either side of it. At the kiosk hovers a stone in the air. "Six dollars to play, all to me if lost. Standing on the value of what was gambled on," Phil says quickly.

"The value of what was gambled on?" Fox asked.

"The atomic weight of what's hovering here," Phil says as he waves a hand to the hovering rock.

"The higher or lesser the atomic weight the more that can be lost or gained in the game?" Buck asked.

"Precisely, want to play?" Phil asked with a grin.

"I'm game. How about you Fox?" Buck asked turning to Fox.

"Same," Fox replied.

"Don't do it guys!" Twiki warned.

"Why not?" Buck asked.

"Then the game is on.. Nagoris," Phil said glancing over at his pardner.

Phil's overclothed partner reaches out to the rock and touches it. The rock changes color in rainbow waves moving over it, then quickly turns pitch black. Wind starts blowing around. Nagoris removes his hand from the rock. The trio watch as the wind pulling anything lose towards the rock. It's very intense and everybody around it is having a hard time with it, especially Buck and Fox.

"What's the atomic weight of the rock now, gentlemen?" Phil asked.

"Of what!? What is that!?" Buck asked watching the swirling mass of wind around the the kiosk.

"It's, it's Seterinor! It the rarest element in the universe!" Phil replied.

"What's its atomic weight? Gentlemen, answer now," Phil asked again.

"Forty thousand?!" Buck answered quickly.

Nagoris touches the stone again, the color waves around it again. And the rock turns to being a dull gray.

"Wrong answer, pay up," Phil replies holding out his hand for payment.

Buck angrily shells some money out of one of his pockets and hands it to Philip.

"You owe more than that, you lost remember?" Phil said.

Buck looks to Fox, who takes out his wallet, shells the money out of it, and hands it to Phil.

"Oh no gentlemen, you owe me more than that. Seterinor is the rarest element in the universe. Its atomic weight is hundred thousand," Phil says as he starts to eye Twiki.

"We don't have any more money, I'm sorry," Buck said.

"Then I guess I'll have to take your ambuquad to finish the payment," Phil replied.

"No wait, you can't take Twiki!" Buck says loudly.

"It has a name. Not used to coming across ambuquads with names, that's an Earth thing isn't it?" Phil asked as he ran his hand over Twiki's head.

"There has to be some other way we can pay you," Fox said looking at Phil and Nagoris.

"What else do you have then?" Phil asked glancing quickly over at Buck and Fox but keeping his hand on Twiki.

Nagoris takes hold of Twiki. "Get your hands off me, you golden man!" Twiki said.

"We could work for you," Buck says. Buck looks at Twiki. "Golden man?" Buck asked softly.

"They can change the physical and chemical property of inanimate object through atomic fusion," Twiki informs Phil and Nagoris.

"Sorry, this job is only a two man operation," Phil replies with a laugh.

"You can't take Twiki!" Buck said loudly.

"Oh yes I can, you can even take it up with the police if you like. This bot is mine fair and square," Phil replied.

Buck pounces on to Phil, who gets knocked down by this. A fight ensues after this knock down blow. Which has Fox joined into, trying to get Twiki away from Nagoris. In the fight Nagoris presses one of his hands on to Fox's chest.

"But you can't," Fox starts to say but is soon having troubles breathing.

"No, I can't, but still on just a small level I can do flesh," Nagoris replies.

Buck notices that Fox is having troubles and stops his rage on Phil.

"Fox!" Buck calls out.

Fox collapses to the ground as Phil and Nagoris walk away with Twiki in a tight hold.

Buck bends down to Fox. "Fox, are you all right?" Buck asked with concern.

"Hurts.. to.. breathe," Fox replies holding his chest.

"Get up sir, you need to come with me," an officer says standing behind Buck and Fox. He is soon joined by another officer.

"He's hurt," Buck said glancing up at the officers.

"And he'll be taken care of, I need you to come with me," the officer replied.

"Why?" Buck asked as he started to stand up.

"You and your friend were the cause of a public disturbance a moment ago. The both of you are now under arrest," the officer replied.

Chapter 2

In the city jail, Buck sitting inside a jail cell with Fox lying down on the floor across from him. The jail cell in its front has the same kind of force field as on as the brig on the Searcher.

"How are you feeling?" Buck asked.

"The doctors were able to change my lungs back to normal. But it will be some time before I fully heal from what happened," Fox replied trying to sit up.

"That sucks. There has to be some way to fix this," Buck said.

"We don't have any more money to give them here. Maybe Dr. Huer could do something about this. He's the one who gave you Twiki in the first place," Fox replied.

"Theo gave me Twiki. But yeah, in the best sense, it could be said that it was Dr. Huer," Buck replied standing up.

"What do you think they're going to do with Twiki?" Fox asked.

"I have no idea, but I doubt anything good. Remember one of them is a golden man, Twiki might not even be Twiki the next time we see him," Buck replied.

"We have to get him back," Fox said trying even harder to sit up.

As the two talked, a class mate and a cop have come up to the jail cell.

"Get who back?" the class mate asked.

"Twiki, a couple of swindlers took him," Buck replied.

The cop takes the force field off the doorway. "Thanks, you bailing us out?" Buck asked.

"You and Fox aren't the only ones here. Came here to bail out a few of my close buds. They had a little too much fun with the bottle, at The Lunely Lune. Thought I might as well bail you guys out as well. We all are the class of 2518, got to stick together, right?" class mate two asked with a smile.

Fox finally gets up off the floor but quickly leans against the wall. "Thanks for this. Say, I hate to ask, but would you happen to have any money on you?" Fox asked.

"No, spent it all at the club and bailing certain people out of jail. Why do you ask?" class mate two asked.

"Those swindlers I told you about. They want money Fox and I owe them. That's why they took Twiki," Buck replied.

"That's wrong, have you contacted anyone at the Directorate about this?" class mate two asked.

"Never got the chance to, but now that we're not jail bound," Fox replied holding himself up a little better.

"Are you okay? You act like you sick, or something," class mate two asked with concern.

Fox wants to answer but can't.

Buck looks over at Fox. "Will you take care of him? One of those people I told you about did quite a number on him," Buck said.

"I'll help you, Heromnamous. Would a beer help?" class mate two asked as he puts one of Fox's arms around his shoulder.

"It's Hieronymous, and no thanks on the beer," Fox replied.

They walked out of the cell with Buck close behind.

Buck finds a phone booth, it's cramped with a dark gray coloring. Light comes up from the ground of it. An image of Huer is on the wall, below it a grouping of phone buttons. Buck is standing before this image. "You've never heard of them before?" Buck asked.

"The Defense Directorate records of criminal activities are mainly focused on the ones that are widely known and are highly wanted by the authorities. I'll inform Dr. Theopolis of these men, Buck. But I can't make any promises that this will help you in the recovery of Twiki. Keep these men in Galileo City." Huer hesitates for a moment. "If they leave, we at the Directorate might never be able to get a hold of them, with how vast the universe is,"Huer said.

"I'll do that doctor, but I have a feeling they might not be leaving the city anytime soon. Too many people here for them to ignore as potential customers to swindle more goods out of," Buck replies.

"You're right, but none the less," Huer says.

"I know," Buck said hanging his head.

"Keep me informed, Buck. Huer out," Huer said, then the image blinks out of existence.

The phone booth packs itself up and slides into a ring in the ground. Leaving Buck standing on a light fixed inside the ring.

Phil and Nagoris are standing by their kiosk. A group of five people stands close to them. Joelin is the chubby one. The one that is closest to Phil speaks.

"But I don't want gold. I want Therbidian Crystal," Kellogg said looking at Twiki.

"It's an ambuquad, with its own power source. That can't be done," Nagoris informs Kellogg.

"Oh yes, it can be done if the ambuquad is quickly put into stasis," Kellogg replies.

"No deal, Kellogg," Phil replied shaking his head.

"But I thought you were looking to sell it for a good price? And I don't think you know of anyone who will offer you more than what I'm offering," Kellogg says still looking Twiki over.

"True, we've made some good deals in the past, but I can't sell you this ambuquad in what you want it to be in," Phil replies.

"I'm not the sort of man you want to cross badly Philip. Now, do we have a deal?" Kellogg asked.

Phil stood and thought for a few moments. "I'm sorry, I can't sell it to you that way," Phil replied.

"You'll regret this," Kellogg replies as he and his four companions walked away.

"What should we do?" Nagoris asked.

"I wish I knew. We can't leave here," Phil replies.

"But we can't stay either," Nagoris said.

At the outlet's entrance, the gateway had a security guard standing at it. The five are leaving the outlet, as Buck is walking towards it.

"Halt!" the Security guard yells out. Buck stops. "Don't I know you from somewhere?" the guard asked.

"My bail was paid," Buck replied.

"What? I wasn't talking to you," the security guard replies. The security guard stood in front of the five, but more specifically a woman in this group who stands just before Kellogg in the lead.

"You don't. Why do you ask?" Charisse replied..

"I've seen you somewhere before," the guard replies.

"We came in through here. That's where you saw her," Kellogg replied.

"Maybe," the security guard rplies looking over Charisse.

Charisse turns her attention to Buck. "What did you do to get in jail?" she asked.

"I started a fight with a couple of swindlers who took my ambuquad," Buck replied.

"So it's your ambuquad those two inside are trying to sell," she said.

"They're trying to sell Twiki?!" Buck asked in an disturbed voice.

"And they're refusing to make a good deal on "Twiki"." Charisse replied.

"Tell me, your name?" Kellogg asked.

"Buck Rogers," Buck replied turning his gaze to Kellogg.

"Well Buck Rogers, are you a man with any type of power backing himself?" Kellogg asked.

"Lots, why do you ask?" Buck replied.

"Follow us. I think we might be able to help you in getting back Twiki," Kellogg said. Kellogg, Charrisse and their three other companions followed by Buck started moving more away from the entrance to the outlet.

On the sky scraper roof top, Buck and the five stand in a close group. Buck is standing nearest to the roofs edge.

"Interesting place to pick for a meeting," Buck said glancing down.

"We use places like this only when we're dealing with people we don't know," Kellogg replied.

"Why's that?" Buck asked as he backed away from the edge a little.

"Because up here, if that person double crossed us, their fall to those below would look like suicide," Kellogg said.

"I see. So what's the plan? I want Twiki back," Buck replied.

"That little ambuquad means a lot to you, doesn't it?" Charisse asked.

"Not hard to tell, huh?" Buck replied.

"You're badly wanting to get it back. And what I feel from your mind is that you have feelings for it," Charisse said.

"What you feel from my mind?" Buck asked with a puzzled expression on his face.

"She's a telepath, Rogers. You've never dealt with one before?" Joelin asked.

"No. A mind reader?" Buck asked.

"And you're unsure if you should be with us," Charisse said still gazing at Buck.

Chapter 3

"Yeah, you guys really think you can handle those two? The golden one hurt my friend. Turned his chest part-wise into lead," Buck informed them.

"We can handle them. Do you know what a Medusa disrupter is?" Kellogg asked.

"No, what is it?" Buck asked.

Another man walked on to the roof top. "Grand," Kellogg says noticing the new person in their presence. "Why are you up here? This is a private meeting," Kellogg said with anger in his voice.

"I've just lost everything. Everything, it's gone. My life, I have nothing," the new comer replied.

"Then it's a good thing you interrupted my meeting," Kellogg replied.

"Why's that?" The man asked as he started to walk towards Kellogg.

Kellogg turned to face Buck. "Buck, this is what a Medusa disrupter can do."

Kellogg turns back towards the newcomer and fires the ray-gun at the man, who then quickly turns into stone.

"It's a wondrous weapon, isn't it Rogers?" Joelin asked seeing the look on Buck's face.

"You find what he did disturbing, don't you?" Charisse asked.

After a moment. "No, no I, it's just my friends. I don't think they'll help me get back Twiki. Not if I'm dealing with you guys," Buck replied.

"Do you not want to have dealings with us, Buck? Ones that will be in your favor?" Kellogg asked looking in to Buck's eyes.

"Oh, I still want to have dealings with you, most definitely. I just think others I know wouldn't come in help you." Buck hesitated for a moment."What did those two do to you?" Buck asked.

"They wouldn't sell the ambuquad to us the way we wanted it," Kellogg replied.

"What do you mean by that?" Buck asked.

"They wanted to sell us it in gold. That's not what we what," Kellogg replied watching Buck's expression.

"Not want gold? Was it platinum you wanted?" Buck asked.

"No," Kellogg replied.

"Well that's the only thing I can think of that has a higher value than gold, someone could want," Buck said.

"Platinum?" Charisse said laughing.

"You think we're the sort that would be interested in precious metals?" Joelin asked.

"Well platinum, what could be worth more?" Buck asked.

"It's not the resell value, the something I look for. It's the value of what the item can do. We wanted your ambuquad friend Twiki to be sold to us in Therbidian Crystal," Kellogg replied.

After a couple of minutes. "The Medusa disrupter. Why don't you just use that to get what you want?" Buck asked.

"It can only turn things into stone, Buck. Solid granite, it can't make something turn into anything else. Those two swindlers as you call them, or Nagoris and Phil as we call them. Solid granite, they'll be a real sight for any others to see, that don't do as we tell them," Kellogg replied with a smile.

"You're saying that the Medusa disrupter is an impressive weapon, that's an understatement," Buck said looking over at Joelin.

"These friends of yours, with power. Who are they?" Charisse asked.

"Not the sort that would hang around the likes of you, as I said." Buck turns to face Kellogg again. "Your Medusa disrupter, do you have others like it?" Buck asked.

"There's an Alarr I've had many dealings with on Ceyu. He's a man I know I can well trust." Kellogg motions the tallest of the five, who walks over to him. "Can I trust you, Buck?" Kellogg asked.

"To walk on hot coals for you, you have it," Buck replied.

Thairact slowly takes the Medusa disrupter out of its holster and hands it to Kellogg. Kellogg takes from him and starts to hand it to Buck. "Here, if I find out down the road that this trust isn't really there, becoming a stone figurine in the city's park is one of the least painful ways I can think of to use as discipline," Kellogg said handing the weapon to Buck.

Buck slowly reached out and took the deadly weapon from Kellogg.

In the city park, Buck was standing in another phone booth.

"These people I've heard of. They're called "The League of Assassins", and they are a quite deadly group. Buck, how in the world did you ever get involved with these people?" Huer asked with concern.

"By mistake. Doctor, this time you really can help me since they do show up in the records?" Buck replied.

"The moment you told me who you were dealing with them, I notified Dr. Theopolis to send police immediately to Galileo City. What I asked of you with the swindlers, the same needs to be done with these people," Huer said.

"Well, they may not be the same kind of bad guys as Nagoris and Phil, but with them I definitely know what their next move is going to be," Buck replied.

"Who is Nagoris and Phil?" Huer asked.

"They're the swindlers, doctor," Buck replied.

"Until the authorities arrive, do you have a plan to deal with the League?" Huer asked.

Buck smiled. "Yes, and with plenty of back up," Buck replies. The conversation ended, again the phone booth monitor went dark and the booth folded down. Buck made his way back to the hotel where they were staying.

Fox was sitting on the ground by a closed Phasoft-door. He looks groggy. To his side sit a plastic bottle of something and a pill bottle. Buck had just entered the hallway through a normal sliding-door elevator.

"Fox?" Buck asked.

Not looking to Buck, Fox only moans in response.

"Why are you sitting out in the hallway like this?" Buck asked as he walked up and stood in front of him.

After a moment in lazy movement to turn to looking Buck in the face. "Flash won't let me in. I told him I wouldn't bother him while he was with her," Fox replied as his grogginess started to bother him more. "He kicked me out. Gave me these pills and said that they would help me," Fox slurred.

"What sort of pills did he give you? You don't seem okay to me," Buck said as he started to reach for the bottle of pills.

"I'm not sure. They're making me feel a little better.. I hate alchemy... I, I'm okay. I just want to sleep. That medication the hospital gave me." Fox lifts up the plastic bottle and swivels it around in the air. "And this stuff," Fox said dropping his hand with the bottle of pills in it.

Buck takes the bottle Fox is holding. "What are you drinking?" Buck asked as he took off the cap.

"Chamomile, another present from Flash," Fox replied.

"Good," Buck replied.

"What's chamomile?" Fox asked trying to look up at Buck.

"It's a type of tea. It makes you sleepy." Buck turns to the door and knocks on it. "Flash open up, we need to talk," Buck said.

In a dimly lit room. Flash and the woman are under the covers of a bed.

"I thought you told them all to leave us alone?" the woman asked.

"I did. But I never told Buck, he's been off somewhere for hours," Flash replied.

"Tell him to go away," she said in a low voice.

Buck is standing outside the door and Fox was still on the ground. Flash pokes his head out the doorway. "What!" Flash said with anger.

"I need you to get the rest of the class together. I need their help with something," Buck said.

"And that would be? I'm already taking care of something right now," Flash replied glancing over his shoulder with a grin on his face.

"Talking to Fox, I already have a good idea of what you're doing in there. But this is more important, it's Directorate business," Buck replied.

Flash's face snaps out of anger and into concern. "Directorate business? Why do you need my help with it, in getting the class together? You're the valedictorian," Flash said.

"Maybe, but you've always been the popular one in the class. You could rally them together faster than I could," Buck replied.

"Yeah, I'm the bomb. I'll help if it's Directorate business," Flash replied.

"Great, but before you start, could you let Fox in there? He's had a bad day," Buck said glancing down at Fox who is slumped over on the floor.

Chapter 4

In the outlet the five are moving through it at a fast pace. The outlet was busy with people moving about.

"I say he high-tailed it," Thairact said.

"He had a fear of us the moment Kellogg turned that man to stone with the Medusa disrupter. I say he shows up out of fear of double crossing us and us going after him. Or, he did high-tailed it," Charisse replied.

"He's a wuss. Kellogg, we have no use for this man. I say we waste him even if he shows up and helps," Joelin said.

"He may not seem like the sort of person we can well use, but I think his fear of us can be used. Remember his friends have power, or that's at least what he wants us to believe. If what he says is true though, we could get him into working for us, using them for resources to our gain," Kellogg replied.

"If that is even of use to us. For all we know, his idea of power could be owning the recipe to the galaxy's most powerful hot sauce. But then if that were true, Joelin are you sure you'd still want to kill him then?" Charisse said glancing over at Joelin.

"Charisse, could you pose like a Doquemo Dancer for one moment while I take aim? It's how I want to remember you looking forever," Joelin replies as he draws out his Medusa disrupter from its holster.

Kellogg stops walking and turns around to face the others. "You two stop it! We're here only to teach Nagoris and Phil a lesson, and possibly Buck, if he does betray us!" Kellogg said.

Joelin pauses for a moment, then continues lifting the gun.

Charisse grins at him.

With the weapon held straight out at her. "Bang," Joelin said with a smile.

"Knock it off!" Kellogg yelled.

Joelin holsters his gun and they continued walking, making their way through the crowded walkway.

Phil and Nagoris are counting their most recent winnings while a woman with a small boy stood near them. The woman with her hands placed firmly over the child's ears. "You thieving rats! He's only in the third grade!" she said loudly.

"Then he has poor teachers," Phil replied smiling.

"He goes to the best school this city has to offer! You should be ashamed of yourselves! Using a rare element like that, and taking my child's chore money as a prize!" the woman yelled even louder.

"You were warned. All to me if lost. Standing on the value of what was gambled on," Phil replied still counting his winnings.

"Wretched snake-tongued worm!" the woman screamed.

Phil looks up from his money again, mouth open ready to reply. When his smile turns to a concerned look. "Ooh no," Phil says looking down the walkway.

Nagoris turns to look away from his prize money and the woman turns her head to see what Phil is looking at, which is the five coming in their direction.

The woman turns back to face Phil. "A band of undercover police, come to take you in. This outlet has everything one could want," she said with a smile as she takes her hands off of her son's ears and turns to leave. The five walked past her as she leaves with the child.

As the five come up on Phil and Nagoris. "Is there anything I can do for you?" he asked with the innocent smile on his face.

"You've had your chance to do something for us Phil, and you blew it," Kellogg replied.

"Maybe not. Here, have this," Phil said handing all his winnings to Kellogg, who doesn't respond. Then Phil tries to hand the money to the others in the group, but they refuse it also.

"You can't buy your way out of this Philip. You need to be taught a lesson," Kellogg said.

"No, no.. I don't, you coming to grace me with your presence is just enough to teach me what I needed to know," Phil replied.

Buck comes walking up behind Phil and Nagoris. "Phil, have you ever heard money is the source of all misery?" Buck asked.

Phil and Nagoris spin around to see Buck. "Oh, it's you. Could could you help us out?" Phil asked in a scared tone.

"He's not going to help you out, he's with us," Kellogg replied with a evil grin on his face.

Buck pulls out the Medusa disrupter. "I'm not here to help you either Kellogg," Buck said.

"Then you're here to betray us, you slime," Charisse said with anger.

"Lets just blast them all now," Joelin replied as he reached for his weapon.

"I wouldn't advise doing that. I have you outnumbered," Buck replied watching Joelin's hand going for his weapon.

"Such BS, we've got you right where we want you. Nothing can save you," Kellogg replied drawing his weapon and taking aim at Buck. A moment later Kellogg felt the cold metal of a weapon on his head. Kellogg turns his eyes and then his head to see who's pointing the gun at him.

"Hello, I've heard so much about you," Flash said with a light laugh.

"You're with Earth's Defense Directorate!" Thairact said looking at Flash.

"He's not the only one," Buck said glancing over Kellogg's shoulder past him.

Behind and to the side of the five was the whole class, weapons drawn and waiting for orders.

Buck smiled. "I've got the whole graduated class of 2518 here for backup, Kellogg. Now do you want to be arrested quietly, or will I have to call on some force?" Buck asked.

"Why don't you just use your Medusa disrupter on him, good buddy?" Phil asked talking to Buck.

"I'd only use this horrible weapon as a last resort, which I'm hoping all of this won't come to," Buck replied.

As Kellogg and the others are getting detained by other members in the class.

"You'll regret this, Buck Rogers," Kellogg said in a threatening voice.

"I'd like to see you try behind a jail cell force field," Buck replied.

"Thank you, thank you so much! If there's anything we could ever do for you!" Phil said.

Buck turns to Phil and Nagoris and smiles at the two.

"Oh no," Phil says looking at the expression on Buck's face.

Back at the Defense Directorate in the workshop. Mallory is taking Twiki off one of the work tables while Buck helps.

"He's fixed, good as new now," Mallory said placing Twiki on the floor.

"That gold did nothing for me but weigh me down," Twiki said.

"So what does the Directorate plan to do with it?" Buck asked looking at Mallory.

"Pay off debts owed to some of our suppliers," Mallory replied.

"Twiki, tell me, after being gold plated, how does it feel to go back to being just plain old steel?" Buck asked.

"I feel like a million bucks again," Twiki replied.

Return to Earth