LNH: The Alt.Riders #41

Jamas Enright thad at eyrie.org
Sat Oct 15 20:37:11 PDT 2005

Blue Light Productions presents:

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| #41  |   |   |  | |  |   |   | |   |     |  \ | |  | |  | |    |___
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     [The picture on the postcard is of the world. The text reads
           "Bet you wish we weren't here, the Alt.Riders"]

                     "What I Did On My Holidays"
                           "The Alt.Riders"
                          "Keep It Together"

Peter closed his eyes as the switch was closed. Contacts clicked, and
electricity flowed.
      Peter could almost hear it, traveling along the wires, rushing
towards him, threatening to swamp him out, wash away everything-
      Peter's eyes slammed open. Nothing. No light. No power. No sound.
      And no death.
      _Yes, Peter,_ Marsha's thought resounded in his head.
      _It looks like I'm not going to die after all._
      _What? What are you talking about?_
      _I need to become you, but that will drop my powers. And you've got
to shrink immediately._
      _What? Peter, I don't understand..._
      Sight and sound returned, but Peter didn't notice it as he was
quickly replaced by Marsha who, although confused, concentrated and
*shrunk*. It wasn't a power she used often, mostly because it left her
feeling oddly bloated afterwards, but in extreme cases, she could shrink
herself down until she resembled the small confectionery after which she
took her name.
      Whereas previously she had used this ability to escape the police in
San Francisco, she had no idea what they were escaping this time, but if
Peter's death (what!?) was involved, it couldn't be good.
      One unfortunate side-effect of being like this was that she couldn't
tell what was happening out in the real world. Even the passage of time
became subjective, leaving Marsha with the small problem of determining
when it would be safe to normal-
      _Change back now!_
      _But I only-_
      To everyone else, it must surely appear as it Peter sprang from
nowhere, suddenly existing on the same chair he was supposed to die on.
And, worse, he was free of his bindings.
      Peter knew he didn't have much time in which to act, and
unfortunately (unfortunate at the moment) his powers were more defense
than offensive, but he had picked up a few tactics.
      The first step was to silence everything in the room. Nothing could
be more disorienting that suddenly finding you couldn't rely on one of
your senses. (He could have silenced the light, but he did need to see
      Then, as the first guard reached him, Peter lashed out, touched the
man's head, and silenced his brain.
      Only for a moment. Only enough to send the man unconscious. Peter had
no wish to kill anyone, but a new found need for life wasn't going to let
anyone stop him. He grabbed the baton the guard dropped, and spun, ready
for the next attack.
      There was another guard coming for him, there was the governor by the
switch (who wasn't looking at all interested in participating), and there
was one more guard by the door. While he could handle the oncoming guard,
and indeed was already in motion to take him out, the one by the door had
a gun, and was getting ready to use it.
      What he had to do to get out of this would take a lot of energy, and
was something he'd prefer to have time to prepare for, but that wasn't to
be. As the guard before him fell out of the way, Peter took a deep breath,
and *silenced*.
      If this was a movie, no doubt time would have slowed down, and the
camera would have zoomed in until you could see individual molecules, and
watch them slow down and eventually stop moving, then the camera would
zoom back out until you saw this almost funnel of silence overwhelm the
guard's gun.
      As it was, the air grew heavy and crystalised as heat energy was
quietened, then, effectively, the guard's gun froze. With a gasp of pain
at the iciness, the guard let the gun drop, where it shattered into
thousands of pieces, before staring at Peter in awe.
      "This...this won't be treated lightly, young man!" the governor
stammered. Peter was too drained at the moment to keep the silence up.
"I...We...won't put up with this sort of treatment!"
      Peter spun around, knowing he wouldn't get out easily that way, and
saw the only exit left. Before him was a floor to ceiling glass plate,
behind which sat a limited audience, all currently viewing him with
differing degrees of shock.
      Peter ran at the glass. Normally, the plate glass would resist such
attempts, but not when the heat energy was silenced enough to make it
extremely brittle. It shattered as his body mass crashed into, and then
through, it.
      Screams greeted him as Peter arrived, but his momentum carried him
forwards and past the shocked and outraged participants, and through the
door on the other side.
      This part of the prison wasn't as well guarded as the other sections.
Although there were guards, the doors weren't locked, and Peter sent
several people flying as he crashed through them.
      There were a few shots, but Peter ignored them, determined to get as
far as he could. He could see the main doors, and the car park beyond. He
wasn't quite sure if he could hot-wire a car while running towards it, but
at this point it was the best plan he had.
      Peter stumbled, suddenly aware of several pricks in his back.
Staggering on his feet, he reached behind him, and managed to snag
something as he slowly spun around.
      His vision blurring, he focussed on a dart, which had been stuck in
him, vaguely making the connection between that, what was happening to
him, and the large blobs that were coming towards him.
      "He's going to put up a fight. Put him with the other two."


Peter awoke to the sensation of metal on his body. Or rather, on parts on
his body, and cool air on other parts. His sense of awareness told him he
was lying down, but he couldn't do more than twitch his fingers and toes.
      Opening his eyes, he stared upwards at a white ceiling, and opened
his mouth to take in a deep breath. Then spent a few moments having his
body wracked by coughing.
      Various muscles spasmed as he did this, but the sensation was all the
more painful as the metal parts of whatever it was held him down, making
him fight against the bonds as well as shake him.
      After the coughing, and then a small dizzy spell, Peter finally got
enough of a grip on himself to raise his head and looked down enough to
see the problem.
      He was lying on a table, completely naked except for the metal straps
that covered various parts of his body. Tugging at his arm produced no
give, and Peter slowly realised that it wasn't just the metal holding him
down, but that his limbs were also inside some kind of kinetic retardant
field that resisted any force he produced. Ha! He was being silenced! It
would be ironic if it wasn't annoying.
      _Marsha, you're going to have to take over again._
      _What's happening this time?_
      _I'm naked and strapped onto a table._
      _Hah! Now you know how exposed I am._
      _The table's built to comics code standards, so I'm not that
      _So, you want me to take over and get us out of the restraints._
      _More or less. Although, from the looks of this table, it would stop
even you from squeezing out. There's an interesting silencing type field
in effect that would stop your arms from-_
      _So what do you expect me to do then?_
      _Well, when you last became me, you were in marshmallow form, and
that wasn't planned for in this table._
      _So I would already be small enough to not be in the restraints. I
like it._
      It was no sooner said (or rather, thought) than it was done. Instead
of Peter, on the table was a small marshmallow, sitting right in the
middle, which then stretched in wildly improbable ways to reveal Marsha,
with arms and legs crossed in a way to preserve her dignity.
      Although any sense of propriorty went out the window as Marsha leapt
off the table, and landed on the floor, worrying less about her lack of
clothes and more about getting the hell out of the room.
      The room was small, barely containing more than the table. There was
also a door, of course, but nothing else. Certainly nothing Marsha could
use to cover herself with.
      Attacking the table, Marsha managed to wrench one of the restraints
off, the force fields not intending to stop anyone from trying to damage
it from the outside, and thus armed, she went for the door.
      She turned the knob, which did surprisingly turn easily, and threw
the door open in one smooth motion. There was a guard on the other side,
but he clearly wasn't expecting anyone from inside to be making a break
for it. And, moreover, wasn't expecting that someone to be a naked shapely
black-skinned young woman, and his eyes roved downwards almost by
      "Pervert," Marsha muttered, but took full advantage of the situation
to knock the guard unconscious with her makeshift club. Glancing out to
make sure no-one else was about (there wasn't), Marsha hauled the guard
      A few minutes later, the guard exited the room. At least, a white
male exited the room in a guard uniform (which didn't fit exactly, but as
long as no-one looked too closely they wouldn't notice the rolled up
trouser cuffs tucked into the slightly loose shoes, nor the belt which was
done up rather more tightly than usual, nor the extremely rolled up
sleeves), and inside there was a white male also lying on the table, just
as one would expect (and again, not looking too closely would allow the
restraint that was just placed there, rather than being properly attached,
to be overlooked).
      Peter walked quickly through the corridors, and there were a lot of
corridors, putting into practice the concept of "if you look like you
belong, you won't be questioned". The few people he saw seemed to accept
his presence readily enough, so it looked like it was working perfectly.
      The main problem was that, of course, he didn't know where he was, or
where he was going. But he did know how buildings worked, and the general
sort of things most buildings had to have. Quickly locating a stairwell,
he ducked inside, and looked on the back of the door.
      Sure enough, there was a fire escape plan, telling him where he was
and how to get out. Currently he was on the third floor. Looking up the
inside of the stair well, he saw a few more floors above, and several
below. Basements, he presumed. Could be where all the interesting rooms
      Not sure on where best to try, Peter checked through the pockets he
had appropriated. First there was the wallet. Mike Wallace, huh? Then
there were a few keys. And two pass cards. One was green, no clues to
where it was used, and the other was red, with "4.2" printed on it.
      Tapping the red card against his fingers, Peter considered its
significance. The mostly likely answer was that it was a room reference,
and given that there weren't forty-two floors, that meant somewhere
      Running up the stairs, he arrived at the fourth floor and grinned as
he saw the floor plan. There was room 4.2, plainly marked, and only a few
corridors away.
      Checking the way was clear, Peter set on his path, not sure what the
result would be. In truth, he probably should have gotten out of the
building, but if someone had gone to all this trouble to bring him here,
he wanted to see what else was worth troubling over.
      A few minutes brought him to the door in question, and indeed there
was a card reader right beside it. Unfortunately, there was also a keypad
attached to it. Still, that didn't necessarily mean you have to type in a
code as well as have a keycard.
      Seeing there were little other options, Peter put the card in the
reader, getting the right way around on the second try. A red light came
up, blinking, but nothing further happened. *That* meant you had to type
in something on the keypad.
      Completely without any clue, Peter hit a couple of the buttons, and
the machine made a beeping sound before spitting the card back out.
Wondering if it was three times a loser, Peter tried another random
sequence. Still nothing.
      He was about to go for a third, when the door opened, revealing an
extremely irate looking woman in a white coat. "I've told you before, you
enter the code *before* putting the card in...who the hell are you?"
      Recovering only slightly quicker than the woman, Peter's reaction
wasn't exactly a subtle manipulation of people and events as much as it
was a quick sucker punch to the woman's throat. She staggered back,
gasping for air, and Peter slipped inside after her.
      A quick check made sure there was no-one else in the room, then Peter
reached out and touched her head, despite the woman's feeble attempts at
fending him off, and silenced her into unconsciousness.
      _Looks like I've found you some clothing,_ he thought to Marsha.
      _About time! What's going on out there?_
      _We're in a laboratory of some kind. Tables with science stuff on
them, and..._
      _Science stuff? Could you be a little more vague?_
      _I think you should have a look at this._
      When Marsha could see, she was looking directly at what had caught
Peter's attention, and she stared grimly for a moment. However, she did
have a few other priorities at the moment, and turned to the woman and
began to strip her.
      _What are we going to do about him?_ she asked Peter.
      _Can we get him out?_
      _I'm not sure if he's even alive. Damn._
      _She's a size six. I can fit, but there's going to be some unusual
stretch marks in the morning._
      Slipping on the coat as the last piece of the outfit, Marsha left the
woman in her underwear, but secured her with some handy clamps she found
near some Bunsen burners. It wasn't perfect but it would do.
      Then, she finally let herself look at the other end of the room
again. It was basically a large tank, filled up with ice, but so
completely clear that the only way you knew the ice was there was because
of the mist rising from the top of it.
      And inside the ice, encased in it, was the body of Agent.
      And, er, yes, very average looking.
      Marsha walked up to the tank. On the side closest to her were a set
of controls, and Marsha examined them carefully. Most looked to be various
surgical controls that could extract tissue samples through the ice, but
another set of controls regulated the temperature.
      Slowly Marsha increased the temperature. At this point, it was
unlikely that Agent was still alive, but Marsha wasn't exactly discounting
any possibility when Agent was involved. The rest of the team pretty much
knew he wasn't exactly human, but having already known Missy by that
point, that wasn't exactly a huge revelation.
      Speaking of Missy... Marsha wondered if she was thinking of returning
back from her holiday. It would be nice to see the Chub again. Someone
actually stable on the team for a change.
      The ice didn't look to be melting particularly quickly, so following
Peter's cue, Marsha starting looking through the pockets of her coat. No
wallet, but a whole rainbow collection of pass cards. There was the green
one, the red one for "4.2", a set of blue ones marked "B.1" through to
"B.4" (for the basement), and a yellow one with simply "5" on it.
      But it was quite likely that they would all be useless without
accompanying number codes, and that meant they would need a source of
information. Marsha looked over at the woman. Time for some


"I can keep this up all day, you know. It doesn't bother me," Marsha said,
as she watched the woman squirming on the chair, facing away from her.
"The hair is technically dead matter," she said conversationally, "which
is why you can cut it. And, as I'm sure you're realising right now, can
burn it."
      Marsha bent down to be right beside the woman's ear. "You can smell
it, can't you? That creepy crawling feeling going right up your nose, and
pressing down on your scalp. The flame is getting closer, you can feel it
on the back of your neck. All you need to do is promise to tell me what I
want to know, and then all this will be over."
      The woman struggled in her chair, trying to get away, but to no
avail. Marsha made sure the woman wasn't moving any closer to the flame
that was near, but otherwise let her make whatever movements she wanted
      "Just a simple nod," said Marsha, bringing more hair over the flame,
letting the sound and smell permeate the room. "And then we're done."
      A noise from the other end of the room drew her attention to the
tank. A gasp announced Agent's return from wherever he had been, and he
slowly and painfully crawled over the side of the tank to flop down on the
      Marsha crossed over to him, helped him get to his knees, then quickly
looked away as Agent vomited on the floor. "Eww. Gross."
      Agent remained on his hands and knees for the moment, just breathing
carefully. Slowly he brought one hand to the pink mess he had made, and
picked up a piece of metal, inspecting it casually.
      In one move, he threw the piece of metal away and leapt to his feet,
the moment only slightly spoiled as he nearly went too far and fell over
      "Right, what's going on?" he asked, his voice raspy. "And I warn you
to keep to words of only two syllables."
      Without waiting for an answer, he quickly went to a nearby sink, ran
the cold water, then stuck his head underneath the stream, alternatively
taking long gulps and let it wash over his face.
      With both hands, he scooped water over his head to wash the tank gunk
away and smooth down his hair. Turning the water off, he shook his head
clear, then turned to face Marsha. The drops still hanging on his face did
nothing to take away the danger in his eyes.
      "You were in that tank," Marsha said, speaking slowly and cautiously,
not exactly sure what Agent's reaction would be. "I have no idea why, or
how you got there."
      Agent merely nodded. "And you?"
      "I'm being hunted for bombing a building in San Francesco," Marsha
continued after a moment. "Peter sort of escaped the electric chair after
killing some woman and a detective."
      Agent considered this. "Right. And now we're going to find out why."
      "We didn't do those things," Marsha added, still not quite sure where
Agent was going.
      "I know," Agent replied, before heading for the tied up woman.
      Marsha took a moment to smile before following him. It was nice to
know that after all this time working together, her teammates were willing
to take her innocence as read. It gave her a warm, fuzzy feeling.
      Which didn't entirely last as she saw Agent examining how she was
torturing the woman. The woman was tied to a chair, true. There was a
Bunsen burner near the back of her head, true. Marsha was burning her
hair, true. But the hair had been cut from the woman's head whilst she was
unconscious, so there wasn't any real danger. But clearly Marsha was
betting on the woman not knowing that.
      But all that didn't matter now. Agent was standing in front of the
woman, who was staring at him as a frog stared into the light from a
torch. Agent bent down, and with one hand, removed the gag from the
woman's mouth.
      "You're...you're dead," the woman murmured. "You were shot."
      Marsha half-expected Agent to reply with something like "But I'm
feeling much better now", but Agent was clearly beyond playing any kind of
game. All he said was "Tell me."
      And she did. Numbers, floors and doors all came tumbling out of her,
faster than Marsha could follow.
      Agent stood up. "Right. Come on, we're ending this now."
      "Um, what?"
      "You've got a card for 5?"
      Marsha blinked, then looked through her pocket for the yellow card
and handed it over.
      "Take the blue ones, go to the basement, find Rick and Barry."
      "You think they're here?"
      "We are," Agent pointed out, before heading for the door.
      "You're going out like that?"
      Agent paused, and for the first time looked a little disconcerted at
his nude state. "I'll...pick something up on the way," he said.
      As he opened the door, Marsha had one last question. "What's the
combination for these then?" she asked, holding the blue cards up.


"I want to strangle their parents." Marsha muttered. "Very funny, I don't
think," she continued as she reached the end of the stairwell and stared
at the door marked "B3". "I'll strangle *his* parents."
      Marsha punched in the code she had been repeating, then pushed the
card in. The card reader beeped green, and Marsha heard the click of the
lock opening.
      Yanking the door open, Marsha stomped inside, and nearly tripped and
fell in shock. She was standing on a metal gangway that stretched out
before her and to the sides. Far down below was the floor, far, far down.
It was sectioned off, with cubicals erected, but all with glass roofs to
allow observers to see what was being done inside.
      And there were a range of activities. Blue sparks flew around one
room, another room held a huge centrifuge, yet another room looked to
contain test tubes of almost any chemical Marsha could name.
      And in every room, sometimes just by itself, was a little jar on pink
fluid. It was pink fluid Marsha recognised, having seen it before whenever
Rick was shot or stabbed. It *was* Rick, and he was now spread out over
this entire floor, and being experimented on in every conceivable way.
      More to the point, was currently being experimented on, which meant a
lot of people. Fortunately, none of them noticed her up above them, but
this did present her with the problem of rescuing Rick while not getting
      Well, maybe not *her* exactly...
      Peter gingerly stepped down from the gangway to stand on the top of
one of the empty rooms. This wasn't from a fear of making any noise, which
wasn't possible at this point, but from the simple fear of crashing
straight through the glass and down to the room below.
      This didn't happen. In fact, as Peter strode around with more and
more force, he started to wonder just how he could break through. Maybe
dampen the energy again and smash the glass?
      Which was when the first crack appeared, although, of course,
silently. This was why Peter didn't realise he was standing in a middle of
a spider work of cracks until he peered closely. Which was, by then, too
      "    ," Peter swore.
      The glass should have fallen slowly, given the eerie lack of noise,
but it fell in normal time, as did Peter, who landed heavily on the floor
two meters below. Fortunately, he didn't break anything, but he didn't
feel inclined to move any time soon, and not just because of the glass
shards around him.
      But move he had to, and so, being careful to avoid the shards as he
did so, Peter rose up and claimed the first jar of Rick. One down, who
knows how many to go?
      After collecting several jars it started to get easier, as Rick began
being able to help. He wasn't capable of forming complex shapes, and
certainly not, for example, capable of talking, but he could still fight.
      As Peter entered another room, he got a guard's attention, and threw
a pink ball at him. The guard, by reflex, caught it, and was suddenly
surprised to find the ball exploding in extremely sharp and long spikes.
The silent scream was quickly ended, and Peter had yet another jar.
      Peter had cleared about half the rooms, as far as he could tell, when
it happened.
      "Pe. Ter."
      Peter looked down at the large mass he was collecting. By this time,
there was enough mass to shape itself into a small trolley with wheels so
that Peter could easily push it around, but now it had a small mouth.
      "Can. Still. Think. Still. Feel."
      Peter blinked at this, then his eyes widened in shock. Rick had been
able to feel everything they had done to him? Was that possible? Clearly
so, but still... Peter's face grew dim. All the more reason to finish this
      The last few rooms where almost too easy. It was only Peter's
presence that stopped Rick, now looking almost his old self, from killing
the occupants.
      "They're not worth it," he said, but Rick was taking it all
personally at this point, and Peter couldn't blame him.
      Rick held the final doctor at arm's length as he reclaimed the last
of himself, and by "arm's length", this was, for Rick, holding the doctor
against the ceiling.
      "How about I cut you into small little pieces?" Rick growled. The
doctor merely quivered, terrified.
      "Rick, let him down," Peter said quietly. "We'll catch up with Agent
and end this."
      For a moment Peter thought Rick would simply let the doctor drop, but
finally Rick let the doctor down gently, before turning his back on the
doctor and walking out contemptuously.
      "This ends now."


Several floors later, Rick didn't bother waiting for Peter to enter the
combination into the card reader, and simply punched the lock out with an
iron fist. As Peter had the card just an inch away in his hand he found
this slightly disconcerting.
      Inside the fifth floor, they didn't find it too hard to follow
Agent's route, simply following the unconscious bodies. After a while,
they heard a disturbance ahead, and sped up. Rounding a corner, they saw
Agent slam two guards together, then heave them to one side.
      Agent glanced around, saw them, then nodded and waved them to his
side, his new outfit of some guard's shirt, pants and (somehow, from
somewhere) a long black coat that flowed easily around him..
      "I've had a look around this floor," he said when they joined him.
"And this door is the only one leading to the main interior." The door he
indicated was the only one in the wall on that side of the corridor.
Looking back and forth, Rick and Peter saw that the wall continued round
corners far away, blocking out the side of a large square.
      "Allow me," Rick said, walking over to the door, and giving it a fast
and furious smashing with all the force he could muster. The only result
he got was to bounce off the door, and would have broken his hand if it
had been a normal human one.
      Agent put a hand on Rick's shoulder, giving it a friendly squeeze,
then shook his head. "Force is not the answer here, but don't worry,
you'll get your chance."
      In many ways Peter would prefer not to apply force at all, but he
knew the other two would be unlikely to try a more peaceful philosophy at
the moment. Trying the obvious, Peter reached out, and tried to turn the
door handle, but it didn't budge either.
      "No card reader," he said.
      "Not here, no," replied Agent. "But there is one on the other side of
the floor. I saw it before, just placed on the wall by itself, no door
nearby, and wondered about it. And this explains it." Producing the yellow
card, he held it out to Peter. "If you would?"
      "What's the sequence?"
      "One flew over the cuckoo's nest," Agent replied.
      Peter just sighed, but set out for the card reader. It was, he had to
admit, an interesting way of setting up the entrance. To get in, someone
had to help you. Presumably, normally they've have a guard or someone
stationed by it, but when there was an invading force, especially if there
was just one person attacking the building, they'd find themselves in
trouble very quickly.
      Finally getting around the last corner, Peter spied the card reader,
and hurried towards it, then hesitated. It wasn't that he didn't trust his
companions, it was just that they were a little heated at the moment, and
that wasn't the best time to make rational decisions about calmly dealing
with the enemy.
      And then he thought about Ashley, and what they did just to set him
up, and he reached for the keypad with no further moral dilemmas on his
      Punching in 344374, he put the card in, pulled it out, and turned to
go. A buzz alerted him to a problem, and he turned back to see the red
light lit. Typing the number more slowly, he put the card in again, and
      Again the red light lit. What? What was wrong? He was punching in the
code Agent... Peter rolled his eyes. The apostrophe, of course.
      Typing 344384 this time, he entered the card and this time it lit
green. Pulling the card out, he ran through the corridors, hoping to get
there in time for a piece of revenge of his own.
      When he reached the door, he didn't have any trouble getting inside,
as the door had been ripped off its heavily reinforced, but now exposed,
hinges. Inside, he found a few guards lying on the floor, people shouting
and screaming, Rick taking on five guards at once, and Agent typing at a
computer, punching out anyone who came to close.
      Peter's entrance drew a few people towards him, they hesitated when
Peter viciously headbutted the first who came too close.
      "Stop them!" someone yelled. "They'll ruin everything!"
      Ruin everything? Peter thought. After ruining Ashley? That was...
      Peter let loose a roar, from deep within him, letting out all the
frustration and anger he was feeling. Unfortunately, in the already loud
din, no-one heard it, but those nearby all too soon felt more physical
representations in the forms of fists and kicks.
      The rest of the fight was a blur to Peter, and it was only when Rick
held him down that he came back to his senses. Staggering away from Rick's
grip, he saw nearly everyone on the floor, unconscious, with only three
people, all scientist-types, huddling against a spare computer terminal.
      Turning around, he saw Agent, calmly reading computer print-outs.
"Tell me you've got them."
      "It's the government," Agent said, his matter-of-fact speaking tone
halting Peter.
      "You know, the government," Agent repeated. "Those in charge. Leaders
of this fair nation of yours."
      "But...President Luthor..."
      "Doesn't know anything about this. In fact, this is the same part of
the government that tried to get us to kill him. I expect this is their
way of trying to get rid of us."
      "So, all this...what happened to Marsha and me, setting us up,
capturing you and Rick..."
      "All designed to get rid of us."
      "Why not...just kill us? When we were in prison, or something?"
      "In prison, we were under surveillance by Luthor's side of the
government, making sure we submitted to the mental reinforcement program."
      "Hey, about that program," Rick started.
      "Which is the same reason they couldn't get us to kill ourselves,
either, but had to go to elaborate lengths to get others to kill us. Oh,
they had to use more powerful means for Rick and myself, but not you."
      "So, Ashley...she died for nothing?"
      Agent said quietly, "We know about this now. Have proof. Luthor will
make sure they are properly taken care of. Ashley will see her killers
brought to justice. In fact, both you and Marsha can be cleared completely
with this evidence."
      Peter stared around the room. "You're not surprised by this, are
      "I was told someone was after us, moreover someone in the government.
It just became a matter of letting them come to light."
      "By shooting you?"
      Agent shrugged. "A means to an end." He looked over to the remaining
scientists. "Your end, as it happens." Agent smiled at them unpleasantly,
then turned back to Rick and Peter, then frowned.
      "Where's Barry?"


Back in Sin.ci.net.ty, the trio climbed the final stairs in the building
they used as their headquarters. The scientists had claimed they never
managed to secure Barry, and certainly hours of fruitless searching had
failed to turn him up.
      They were therefore more than a little surprised when they entered
the cafeteria to see Barry sitting there, and beside him a small blue
girl, looking to be around the age of six and wearing a plain robe.
      He was talking softly to her, but stopped as he heard the others
enter. Looking over to them, he didn't give them time to have any reaction
other than surprise before saying, "Guys, we've got trouble."

NEXT ISSUE: Never mind the next issue! Hurry over to check out _War
Without Worlds #1_ in two weeks, then be back here for the exciting

CREDITS: All mine.

NOTES: So, how many times have you been on holiday and uncovered a major
government conspiracy against you? Not that everything has been completely
exposed yet, but I am thinking of tying up plot strands...

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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