LNH/ACRA: The Alt.Riders #39

Jamas Enright thad at eyrie.org
Fri Aug 19 13:46:04 PDT 2005

Blue Light Productions presents:

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| #39  |   |   |  | |  |   |   | |   |     |  \ | |  | |  | |    |___
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     [The top half is the postcard picture of Boston. The lower half
                reads "Wish I was never here, Peter"]
                     "What I Did On My Holidays"
                         "Silent Warrior"

Peter could remember the bar. He shouldn't, not after the amount of
drinking he had indulged in, but he could remember the bar.
      But he couldn't remember her. No matter how much he tried, he
couldn't recall meeting the blonde woman there. He must have, either at
the bar or right after it, but nothing would bring that memory forward.
      He did remember the next morning. Waking up in the bed, his mind
still hazy from the night before. Blearily rising, struck by the
unfamiliar layout of the motel room, staggering into the bathroom for
urgently needed relief.
      And then back out. Seeing the bed properly for the first time. Seeing
the blonde hair in disarray, her face barely visible. He could remember
her beauty, even after only that small glimpse of it. She was beautiful,
that was a given, but why couldn't he remember anything other than that
look in the morning?
      Then he saw the stain. Pulling back the sheet revealed the rest of
her body. Peter had spun around, the contents of his stomach already
spraying out before he could look away. Even now, his clothes still stank.
      The police broke in at that point. Held him at gun point while
cameras photographed indecently. A blanket was thrown over him as he was
moved to the car, some of his clothes gathered and tossed in with him so
he could gain some sense of decency, although that was just a joke now.
      At the station he had been booked with amazing speed. His fingers had
been scanned, quick injections gathered blood and DNA material, and then
his previous arrest history came up, along with his personal details.
Peter Gregory, also known as Inacoustic Kid, also known as Silence, also
known as Dva. Reservist in the LNH. Current member of the Alt.Riders.
Previously imprisoned for attempting to assassinate the President.
      That last had gone down well. Immediately jokes abounded comparing
Peter's peccadillos with the President's. Peter didn't bother rising to
them, making the jokesters angry. Getting him a few 'accidental' bruises.
      Then he was thrown in a cell. They said his lawyer would be along
soon, but Peter doubted that. Mainly because he never said who his lawyer
      Now he sat, having gone from one bar to many, left alone with no
companies but his memories. Or rather, his lack of memories. And those
lack of memories showed him to be a murderer.
      And for all he knew about what happened, that might well be true.


Peter found out that her name was Laverne Pauley. This piece of
information came from the detective assigned to his case, Detective Ashley
Croft, who had a tendency to sweep her dark hair back from her face even
when it wasn't in the way.
      Detective Croft was the first person to actually make sense to him
since this nightmare started, but that was mostly because she wanted
answers from him, so had to make sure Peter was capable of answering
      The first point Peter made, which confirmed his sanity as well as
irritating Croft, was asking for his lawyer, Mr. Hugo Marshall of Creel,
Paring, Marshall and Pank. To be honest, they weren't, technically
speaking, his lawyers, but they were the only ones he knew and knew that
there was a lot of money behind them, money which he had influence over.
That, at least, would get their attention.
      In the mean time, while arrangements for Mr. Marshall were
proceeding, Peter said that he would be happy to answer some questions.
Upon being asked if he knew the woman, Peter had to relate what he did
know, which didn't amount to much.
      Then he found out her name was Laverne, that she was 27, and worked
at a temping agency organising jobs for others. Witnesses, of which there
were plenty, said that they hooked up together at the bar, that she had
approached him (which sounded likely to Peter), and they had left together
around 1am.
      None of this sparked the slightest memory inside Peter, leaving Croft
with just his continual story of going to the bar, some drinking, then
waking up the next day next to Laverne.
      This negated the need for Croft to ask him if he committed the
murder, so she went on to the evidence.
      Semen fluid indicated that she had had sex recently, and typing
proved that it was Peter who she had had sex with. (Peter thought that
that was obvious, but would have been rather confused if it had turned out
      However, and this was the snag, there was no indication that Peter
had actually committed the murder. There was no blood on him, and no
evidence in the wounds of Peter having touched them at all. The wounds had
been caused by something like a large knife, or possibly an axe, but so
far the murder weapon hadn't been found.
      The police had been called after the manager had brought up
breakfast. Peter was surprised they had ordered any, but apparently they
had, and when the manager brought it up, there was no answer at the door.
Opening it, he had seen Peter and Laverne, and the large pool of blood
that had soaked into the sheet. At that point, he went to call the police
after closing and locking the door.
      That must have woken Peter, since that would explain why the police
arrived so timely, he realised. And from then to now everyone knew.
      Not a very successful interrogation from Detective Croft's point of
view, and Peter wondered if she believed his memory loss, or thought he
was just using that as a convenient excuse.
      Either way, the session was over, and it was back to the cell until
legal representation arrived.


The first thing Mr. Marshall accomplished was to give Peter a chance to
clean himself up, and get into fresh clothes. Peter did this under
supervision of at least three guards at any one time, clearly considered a
major threat to national security.
      Which, Peter thought after consideration, was possibly the case.
Being considered a major threat, that is, not actually being a major
threat. He was a superhero, after all, one with a history of attempted
assassination (okay, once, but once was enough) and one now accused of
murder. He wasn't the first superhero to go bad in the LNH, but he was the
most current, and he was here in their city.
      After that, he held a private session with Mr. Marshall, who wasn't
entirely pleased to be called as his personal lawyer. Peter brought up
their previous meeting, and his connections. Mr. Marshall agreed, this
would be a high prestige case after all, but warned Peter that the bill
would be large.
      Mr. Marshall also pointed out that his connection were wanted for
conspiracy and murder herself, so it might not be best to play up that
      The good news was that since the evidence did not directly point to
Peter as the murderer, there was a chance that Mr. Marshall could get
Peter off. Peter wasn't sure if he wanted to be cleared on a technicality,
and would rather be cleared entirely by the real murderer (presupposing
Peter didn't kill her himself) being found, or at least pointed to.
Finding the murder weapon without his fingerprints on it would do, for
      That could prove to be a problem, however, as the police were wanting
to move fast on this. As far as they were concerned, the case against
Peter was clear-cut, and there was no need to waste time and tax-payers
money with a long drawn out investigation.
      At that point, Peter wondered about the 'innocent until proven
guilty' concept, and Mr. Marshall informed him that under the Homeland
Security Act, 'reasonable doubt' had become somewhat looser, and could
easily be replaced with 'merest suspicion'. Apparently, "Land of Freedom"
applied only to non-blacks, non-Hispanics, non-poor Ame.rec.ians. Who
weren't Democrats.
      That said, the law, while being an ass, could be made to sit up and
beg, and Mr. Marshall had a few scraps up his sleeve. Peter wondered that
the metaphor wasn't slightly tortuous, but decided not to complain as the
alternative to annoying his lawyer sounded like the firing squad, or the
electric chair, whichever was closest.
      Ultimately, unless new evidence came to light in the next 24 hours,
Peter would be released but advised not to leave the city. Well, it wasn't
like he had anywhere else to be right now.


The toxicology report was a particularly damming piece of evidence, when
it was finally completed. But for Croft's case, not Peter's.
      Laverne's and Peter's bodies were swimming in residues of a list of
chemicals Peter couldn't even pronounce. Detective Croft expressed
surprise, and conjectured that Peter had only been able to get it up due
to the presence of Viagra in his system. Peter demurred from comment. It
would explain his memory loss, and why someone could kill the woman next
to him without his knowledge.
      Still, it also proved that Peter couldn't have had the ability to
kill Laverne, so for the moment he was released. As he suspected, he was
asked not to leave the city.
      In the end, Detective Croft offered him a lift back to the motel, to
help him collect his things. While there, they didn't have anything else
to talk about except the case, and who might do this.
      Peter knew he had a few enemies, it was inevitable in his line of
business, but someone who would go to these lengths to frame him? Surely,
if they wanted him out of the picture, it would be simpler to kill him,
which would be easy enough if they could drug him.
      No answers were readily forthcoming, and Peter didn't have a lot to
pack. This did raise the question of where he would stay while remaining
in town.
      Detective Croft solved this problem, and the problem of keeping an
eye on him, with the simple solution of Peter staying at her place. Some
might have seen it as a potential conflict of interest situation, but on
the other hand if someone was out for Peter, what better way to ensure his
      That, at least, was a half-decent rationalisation. As they drove to
her house, Peter realised that he was attracted to Detective Croft, to her
self-assuredness, her sense of not really needing him, but enjoying his
      Was this what he felt with Laverne? He would never know, but it would
be nice to know that that meeting was more than a set-up, influenced by
      On the drive to Ashley's house, Peter was amazed by how quickly she
was laughing. Just this morning he was under arrest for the murder of a
woman, and now he was going to spend the night with the detective of the
      That line of thought didn't quite run as he had intended. He hadn't
quite meant for the innuendo to be there, but now that he noticed it, he
couldn't deny those thoughts.
      Doing his best to put them aside, Peter concentrated on being a
gentleman, and quickly earned a commendation for being a good listener.
Not wasn't too surprising given his natural tendencies, but it did earn
easy points with women.
      Ashley's house, when they arrived, was sandwiched between two others,
the whole block looking like a mass produced housing complex. Inside,
Ashley's personality had come out, and Peter admired the posters of
several rock groups he had heard of (but hadn't listened to), and more
than one piece of memorabilia of The Doors.
      Ashley gave him a quick tour of the house, then left him to get
settled in while she returned to the office for a few hours, promising to
pick up something for dinner on her way back. Peter declined the offer,
just asking her to let him know when she was returning so he could be
fully prepared. That piqued Ashley's curiosity, so Peter was left with
dinner duty.
      However, on examination of the fridge and freezer it was obvious that
Detective Croft grabbed dinner on her way home often, and that a trip to
the shops was necessary.


Peter was no slouch when it came to housekeeping. He had lived by himself
since leaving home at thirteen, and was used to keeping a place tidy, as
well as cooking for himself, and sometimes others.
      But none of that prepared him for having to go shopping after having
had his face plastered everywhere as the leading suspect in the murder
      Reactions ranged from puzzled looks, to slow dawning recognition, to
deep suspicion, and in some case, extreme anger. It was only by applying
his powers in subtle ways that he managed to calm the situation down
enough to escape without harm.
      As it was, it was a graphic reminder of the fickle nature of people's
memories, as well as the power of the media. Last year, he could have
walked around here receiving nothing more harsh that a congratulatory slap
on the back. Now, he was a hardened criminal, a cancer in their society,
at best ignored, at worst to be dealt with by mob justice.
      It also meant that his dinner plans were in the pot. And not a stew
pot. Okay, bad joke, but Peter found the need to find humour wherever he
could at the moment.
      Arriving back at Ashley's home, he found the message on the
ansaphone, and debated briefly about listening to it. Rationalising that
it was most probably one for him, letting him know that Ashley was coming
home, and promising himself to stop if it was anything else, he pressed
      It was indeed Ashley, but the message was that she wouldn't be home
for a while, and he should go ahead and eat without her. Something had
come up in some other case she was dealing with, and had to sort that out.
      This left a small dilemma. There was nothing to eat here, he couldn't
go out. Hopefully, there was a decent pizza delivery place somewhere...


When Peter woke up the next morning, it was to a very odd sensation. There
was something pressing up against his back, and something other than the
sheet was wrapped around him.
      Peter moved, startled, not recognising where he was or what was
happening. Then his memories returned, but by then Ashley Croft was
already waking up.
      It was obvious that nothing had happened last night, since Ashley was
still clothed, but Peter felt more than a little embarrassed, partly for
her, and partly for himself, as he usually slept in the nude.
      Ashley felt the need to talk, sitting on the edge of the bed while
Peter was wrapped in a sheet. She hadn't meant to do that, it was just
that it had been a while since she had anyone to hold, and when she looked
in on him after coming home last night (or rather, early this morning), he
had looked so innocent and comforting.
      Peter pretended that he understood, and didn't mind, but it was an
awkward moment all around, one that was only partially solved by Ashley
telling Peter that she had to get back to work, would only take a few
minutes to freshen up, then she would be gone.
      When she left an hour later, Peter found himself flipping through
stations on the TV, not being able to settle on anything. There were only
small pieces on the San Francisco bombing, and only a brief mention of
Agent's rather absurd speech, but they were quickly becoming old news. But
not so old that the manhunt for Marsha was called off yet. And, of course,
on local news his own events gave plenty of news mileage.
      Worse, on Fox.net, it looked like there was going to be an expose on
the Alt.Riders. Great, just what they needed.
      But now that his thoughts were on Marsha, Peter couldn't help
wondering what he was doing here. Not so much staying in what amounted to
a slightly unusual form of house arrest, but with Ashley as his arrester,
as it were.
      It seemed inevitable that something would happen between him and
Ashley. Not necessarily sex, but there were sparks between then, tension
building, and that would cause a release to happen sooner or later. It
might be that she ended up kicking his ass up and down the street, but
there would be a climax one way or another.
      And that was the problem, the 'but'. He felt a certain obligation
towards Marsha, towards the other person he shared his body with. Did he
have a...a duty to not be involved with anyone while there was this
complication? (Not that 'complication' was the best way to express just
how screwed up their situation really was.) Obviously that hadn't stopped
him with Laverne, but that was, basically, another mind control situation,
and all of them had long ago decided not to get too hung up on those.
      But him and Ashley. Was there something there? Was it nothing more
than some form of Helsinki syndrome where they bonded over a shared
emotional experience?
      In many ways, that also described the situation between him and
Marsha. She had helped him escape from Queen Enterprises, and they had
journeyed together back to Net.ropolis, and that kind of close intimacy
can lead to other intimacy. On one occasion, about as intimate as it was
possible to get, but that had been a highly unusual situation and neither
of them were clear on what exactly happened let alone if that meant
      But it did lead to Marsha having feelings for him. Feelings which he
didn't reciprocate. He considered her a close friend, that was all. He
couldn't say if there might have been something more, but then there was
      Not so much a detour in the road but a thick brick wall across the
highway. He had his feelings for Marsha, Marsha had her feelings for
Peter, opportunities were there to potentially develop things further, but
*blam*. Two people, same body. And although they could communicate
mentally, they would never be able to see each other again, never be able
to truly interact properly.
      Which meant that it was impossible for them to continue to develop
their feelings, to find out if they did have anything between them at all.
(Not to mention that if there was something, how would they do anything
about it?) That, and that Peter was an intensely shy person. The one time
when they were separated, back in the dreamlands, he had run away rather
than deal with Marsha.
      But with Ashley...well, to be honest, why did he feel better with
Ashley? Was it because he couldn't run away from her? Not only was he not
allowed to legally, but he couldn't even escape into being someone else as
Marsha was in worse trouble than he was. He had nowhere else to go, so he
had no choice but to stay here, and to open up to her.
      On the other hand, there was no real reason he couldn't find another
motel or hotel room to stay in, he was sure Ashley could arrange a police
guard if the public became too incensed. So that wasn't really an excuse.
      Did any of that mean it was right to stay here? Right to stay with
Ashley, see what happened, possibly create an infinite amount of problems
when certain truths came out.
      In the end, Peter admitted that he did want to stay with Ashley, find
out more about her. He was attracted to her on many levels, and there was
a chance that they could have something. He wanted to try. Beside, it
wasn't as if women were lining up to get to know him...
      Peter, sitting along in Ashley's house, sighed. Sometimes he envied
the simplistic family life Barry had.


Ashley came home at a more sensible time, still apologising about the
morning. Peter replied that it was more a surprise than an unwelcome
presence, which raised, rather than relieved, the tension.
      No movement had been made on Peter's case. The murder weapon was
still missing, and no trace evidence had been found in the motel room to
point to anyone else. On the other hand, no more evidence had arisen to
point to Peter as the murderer, so the playing field was still level.
      Ashley suggested eating out, Peter responding with his previous
experience. Ashley knew of a discreet restaurant they could go to, and it
fortunately didn't require an excessively formal dress code, so Peter was
left with no excuses.
      The dinner was exquisite. Although the portions weren't large, they
were extremely well prepared, and filling enough in their way. The
candle-light and free-flowing wine helped the meal to pass pleasantly, and
they managed to talk without getting bogged down in work.
      Peter found out that Ashley liked to paint when she wasn't busy,
although he hadn't seen any examples of her art. That would be, she
explained, because she painted miniatures, and kept them in her cellar.
Peter agreed that that would explain it.
      Peter, in return, told Ashley of his appreciation of the works of
Michael King, Alan Duff and especially Witi Ihimaera, although they
weren't easy to find in Ame.rec.a. Ashley didn't believe him, thinking it
more the sort of line a guy says when he wants to sound intellectual, but
Peter quoted some of the books to prove himself.
      Ashley commented that lines like that were likely to get women into
bed with him, causing Peter to splutter into his wine. Ashley laughed over
that, and Peter knew he always wanted to hear that laugh.
      The only tense moment during the meal was at the end, when the bill
arrived. Peter insisted on paying it, but Ashley said she should,
otherwise some people might think he was trying to bribe the detective.
The comment was said lightly, jokingly, but it soured the atmosphere, and
the drive home was in silence.
      Returning home, Peter said he had enjoyed the night, but he wanted an
early night. He wanted to talk to his lawyer tomorrow, see how long he
would be needed here for.
      He lay in bed, his thoughts whirling, trying to get to sleep but
knowing he couldn't. He could hear Ashley moving around her house, just as
restless as him.
      After an hour, he heard his door open then shut. Ashley lay down on
the bed next to him, behind him, and draped her arm over him, like she had
the previous night.
      Peter took her hand in his, and brought it up to his lips, noticing
as he did so that she was still clothed. She pressed against him harder,
and together they drifted into sleep.


Mr. Marshall told him that he had to stay until at least the inquisition,
to hear what the court had to say. Since they were still investigating,
that wouldn't happen until next week.
      Off the record, Mr. Marshall told him that staying with Detective
Croft could bias the case, which might not be a bad idea if Peter could
pull it off. Peter managed to refrain from hitting Mr. Marshall, but only
      A beat cop, Officer Jack Frankson, was assigned to escort Peter
around, and Peter took the opportunity to do some shopping. Frankson told
Peter, in no uncertain terms, that he knew about Croft and him, and that
he better leave the detective alone if he knew what was good for him.
Peter took refuge in his typical silence, knowing that nothing he could
say would put Frankson on his side.
      That evening, Peter had dinner ready when Ashley arrived. Before
Ashley's eyes, Peter mixed up steak, onions, pickles and capers, and
arranged it perfectly before her, with an egg sitting in the middle.
      Ashley said that she preferred her steak at least introduced to the
heat if not actually cooked, but Peter tempted her to try steak tartar,
which she grudgingly admitted was edible.
      This time, there were no problems at the end of dinner, and while
doing the dishes, they managed to soak each other as the plates. Ashley
attempted to dry Peter off with the tea-towel, but they found it simpler
to simply remove their clothes. Ashley later protested that the counter
top was too cold.
      That night, Ashley didn't wear clothes and Peter did more than kiss.


Peter snapped back to awareness as the door slammed open. He spun around
to be hit in the eyes with a beam of light, raising a hand to block the
glare. Redness dripped from his hand, and as the main lights came on, he
stared at horror at the blood.
      A punch to his head snapped him around, making him drop the axe, and
before another punch knocked him senseless he saw the naked, butchered
body of Detective Ashley Croft.
      Oblivion was a mercy after that.


This time there was nothing Mr. Marshall could do. Peter was found with
the axe in his hand, standing over the body, her blood on him, and their
two prints the only ones in the room.
      Frankly, Peter was lucky to get any formal booking at all, as often
these sorts of cases ended with a bullet from an outraged friend.
Cop-killers were treated harshly, and the only thing stopping his
immediate execution was that Peter was with the LNH.
      But that could only go so far. Fearless Leader, on behalf of the LNH,
had already denounced him, claiming no responsibility, but asking that
justice was followed with due process.
      The hearing was a matter of formality, and no-one doubted the
outcome. Sentence would be carried out in two days time.
      Peter stared at the world numbly. How was this possible? He hadn't...
what of Laverne? This time the toxicology report was clear, there could be
no answers that way.
      Peter even asked Marsha, but she knew nothing of it. It had been
Peter all the way since San Francisco.
      The two days passed too slowly, time seemingly stretched so Peter
could contemplate what he had done all the more. He refused to eat during
that time, refused the priest when he came, merely sat on his bench like a
puppet with broken strings.
      When he was taken along the corridor, the final steps he would ever
walk, Peter still couldn't believe this was happening to him. The finality
of it wouldn't sink in. He kept expecting Ashley to appear, to say
something had been wrong but it was all sorted out.
      He just wanted to hear her laugh one last time.
      As he was strapped into the chair, the metal contacts attached
securely in place, he was asked about final words. Peter shook his head.
What could he possibly say?
      In the end, as the switch came down, Peter could only close his eyes.

Coming soon to Fox.net:
      They're here for your protection, but who protects you from them?
      "I was trying to get out of the way, then everything around me
exploded into flame!"
      They can save you one moment...
      "If it wasn't for her, I would have crashed into the ground!"
      ...then leave you the next.
      "That guy in the coat...he just walked away!"
      They are the front line guardians, but who are they?
      The Alt.Riders Exposed. Only on Fox.net.
                     %What I Did On My Holidays%
                          %Kula Bocca Says So%

It was three days after the Casema rally, and Missy could barely move
through the streets without coming across a demonstration against the
Chubs, insisting that Ramsey be freed.
      Missy had only met Ramsey once, during the Elmwurst rally, when his
band, the Big Bubble, had first sung their song %Cry for the fire%. The
song which had illegal Mohelmot lyrics, which got Ramsey arrested at the
Casema rally, leading to the current protests.
      Which wasn't the worst part, Missy knew. The worst part was that
Ramsey's arrest was arranged by Kula Bocca, leader of the Zinkenite
movement to establish a Mole nation without a Chub ruling power. The
arrest provided Kula with a focus point for his people, and that was what
he wanted all along.
      Missy collapsed outside a cafe, breathing deeply. She didn't want to
go back to her laboratory, but knew she had to. That was were she had set
up an area where she could give birth. That was also where Kula Bocca was
currently living.
      But before that she had to make it through the demonstrations and the
riots. She could hear %Cry for the fire% playing on the radio, complete
with Mohelmot. The public was speaking, and she could only hope that the
Chubs would listen before worse happened.
      %Listen to me, listen to me,% a voice broke through on the radio.
Missy could hear this on other radios, as well as sounding throughout the
city. Slowly, the noise quietened down, and all could hear what was being
      %Listen to me. We have questioned Ramsey, and have learnt that this
incident was not meant as an illegal act. As such, we are releasing him so
that he may return to society and will not-%
      The rest of the speech was drowned out as the people around her
cheered. Missy sighed with relief. She had no doubts that it was the
rioting and outcry that forced the Chubs to let Ramsey go, but they had to
save face. %Not meant as an illegal act% indeed. How else was deliberately
including Mohelmot lyrics in a public song meant to be interpreted?
      But hopefully the city would calm down now. As the people slowly
cleared the streets, Missy was able to make her way back to the
laboratory, but she had to go carefully. Her time was near, and it was
taking an increasing toll on her body.
      Finally she reached the laboratory, and gratefully ducked inside. It
was cooler in here, and she could breath easier. Making her way to the
main living area, she slowly became aware of two voices up ahead.
      %...soon do you want to begin?% This voice she recognised as Kula
      %It'll take me some time to get everything set up,% a voice she
didn't recognise said. %Give me about a week, and we can get started.%
      %Very well, I'll-% Kula broke off as he caught sight of Missy. %Ah,
Missy, come on in.% This was a very gracious invitation, Missy thought,
especially considering it was really her home.
      %This is Frankie DuVall, of Black Shroud Records.% Frankie DuVall
nodded to Missy, who bowed in reply. Frankie was a Chub, which surprised
Missy. %He's a big supporter of the Zinkenites.% Ah, that explained it.
      %How do you do?% Frankie asked politely.
      Ignoring the pleasantries, Kula continued, %I've just arranged for
him to release an album of the Big Bubble. We'll be able to make sure
everyone can hear their music, and make sure that some of the other songs
have Mohelmot on them.%
      Missy gaped at Kula. %Have you heard that Ramsey's been released?%
      Kula nodded. %Indeed. That's why I got Frankie over here to finalise
the deal.%
      %So you've had this set up for how long?%
      %A few days ago. Why, is there a problem?%
      %You have no idea, do you? Everything is for your movement.%
      Kula looked puzzled over this. %Of course.%
      %Have you been outside?% Missy asked. %Do you know what it's like out
      Kula grinned. %It's fantastic.%
      %Are you trying to kill everyone?% Missy accused.
      Kula looked at Frankie. %Perhaps you should go,% he suggested. %I'll
catch up with you later.%
      After Frankie was out of the way, Kula turned on Missy. %I will do as
I see fit to ensure that my people have their say. No longer will we live
under Chub oppression!%
      %This isn't the way!% Missy replied. %When I tried to help before, I
created peaceful ways. I created a machine to help the Mole people,
something to make their work easier. I didn't try to stir them up, or
create a war.%
      %There is a war coming,% Kula said darkly. %The Chubs will not listen
to us, so we must make our point by whatever methods work!%
      %Does that include death?%
      %If we can avoid that,% Kula said slowly, %of course we will. But to
not think of the possibility would be naive in the extreme.%
      %To only plan for that contingency would be to make sure it happens,%
Missy insisted. %You must try for peaceful means.%
      %They don't want peaceful means!%
      %No, you don't want peaceful means,% Missy snapped back. %You just
want what's best for you, and damn all the others.%
      %If that is what you believe,% Kula said quietly. %Then so be it.%
      %I think it would be best if you leave now,% Missy said, turning away
from him.
      %But, you need help...% Kula started.
      %Not from you,% Missy snapped. Before collapsing to her knees and
      %Missy.% Kula was at her side, despite whatever words had just been
spoken. %What do you need?%
      %It's time,% Missy cried out, clutching her stomach. %Get me
to...to...% Missy screamed again. %It's going wrong. No!%
      %What...what can I do?% Kula asked, helpless.
      %It's all happening...% Missy whispered, before fainting away.
      Kula laid Missy down, but didn't know what else to do.
      And was completely unprepared for the blue glow that consumed

NEXT ISSUE: They say travel broadens the mind, but how far do you have to
go before your mind expands indefinitely?

CREDITS: All mine.

NOTES: Unfortunately, that's as far as The Big Bubble goes in terms of
story, so it's going to be very interesting to see what I come up with in
Part Five.
      By the way, I realise the names seem a bit odd, Kula Bocca, Ramsey
and now Frankie DuVall, but that's what was on the album, so that's what
I'm using. Certainly makes 'Missy' fit in well.

Jamas Enright
"Answers answered and questions questioned."
Homepage: http://www.eyrie.org/~thad/
Blue Light Productions homepage: http://www.eyrie.org/~thad/blip/

"If a great state has decided by law that twice two is five, it would be
foolish to allow mathematicians to testify." - Comment during the Scopes
Monkey Trial.

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