Wardens Fourth Edition
Geniuses and Genius? - Stories
A look at what happened during and/or after Session 54.
Story - When in Rome (The Return of Eon)
Game Date: 12/8/2007
From the moment he teleported, Eon knew something was not right. The sensation was normally like moving through liquid or air without effort or concern. This was like moving through quicksand and just like quicksand, the more he struggled the slower it got.
Finally he felt something give, almost as if something finally snapped loose of its hold on him.
Judah felt shadow finally give way to solid ground. The environment around him slowly took shape and the blurred images sharpened to create a fixed picture. He was at the runway where the impounded ship was but now there was no ship, in fact there was nothing for that matter. Not even the Marines that had been present earlier that day.
As he looked around and gained bearings, it dawned on him that it was no longer the afternoon but night, judging from the position of the moon it was somewhere close to midnight.
Judah tapped his communicator and hailed the other Wardens, "Eon to Wardens, anyone home?"
Judah waited for a few seconds for a reply, any reply, then called again, "Eon to Wardens, please respond."
Judah walked out onto the runways to get a better view of the area. Switching channels to an open frequency, he decided to hail the base, "Eon to Wardens base, if anyone is receiving this please respond." He waited a few minutes, but there was no reply. It was odd thing that the base's computers were not even responding. The frequency was an open, clear channel and his communicator diagnostics said it was functional but no one appeared to be listening.
Rubbing his temples in frustration Judah started running through scenarios in his head trying not to give into the creeping feeling that he was in serious trouble.
Looking out over the horizon, he performed the same move he had a hundred times before, teleporting up to establish a line of sight, then teleporting to Wardens base at Alcatraz. He would have noticed the skyline was nearly devoid of all light had his head not been ringing with 'voices' of a million beings.
Walking to the press cottage, Judah closed his eyes and rubbed his temples again, the Xenexis were very restless tonight. As Judah approached the guard desk, two heavily armored men jumped to attention.
"Umm, good evening gentlemen," said the crystal warrior. "No need for that. What's the occasion?"
"Gu, gu, gu, good evening Lord Neo SIR!" the guard on the left blurted abruptly.
It didn't register with Judah that he had been called the wrong name, the Xenexis were almost screaming in his head, the noises and 'voices' so many it was almost deafening.
"Yes, good evening carry on. Thanks for keeping us safe." Judah said as he continued to walk towards his studio.
Entering his studio, Judah finally took a moment to close his eyes to try to calm his companions.
Drawing inward, he thought, "Guys please, too much, calm down, quiet, one at a time."
The only response that Judah could make out clearly was "Imposter, Danger, Evil, RUN". He concentrated and tried to stem the flood of noise but it was like trying to calm an ocean. Finally resigned that it was a futile effort, he turned to something that brought him peace. Judah hung his coat and hat, and then turned to paint.
Lifting the canvas, he picked up his brushes and tried to pick up where he had left off. The differences in the painting hit him as he stared unbelievingly. The garish landscape was nothing like he had ever painted. The scene was somewhat similar but the characters all wrong. The Wardens wore costumes that looked almost militaristic.
Amethyst wore something that was a cross between a dominatrix and street fighter character, her fists both sporting large gauntlets with razor sharp blades. The normal purple of her costume was now closer to a dark blood purple, her expression one of anger and rage.
Stalwart wore something that looked like a general's uniform, epaulets of dark red and ebony blue with black stars and an armor he would not soon forget. Blood red with spikes in most places, weapons bristled about the outfit. It looked akin to battle armor that Judah had seen on a Grand Empire drawing board a few decades ago.
Indigo was different also, gothic even, her appearance was that of a mage still, but with an extremely sadistic twist. The most noticeable change, her staff, where once there was a large deep blue gemstone, now was a large deep blue skull. The pendant around her neck was a glowing blue heart and around her waist, hung a belt with eyes strung on it, like garland on a Christmas tree.
The one absent character was Contego. He was nowhere to be found.
This painting was some nightmarish version of the Wardens as seen through the lens of a sideshow mirror, distorted portrayals of his friends.
Judah looked around the landscape for the one person he had missed, himself. It was then the most horrific image became clear. It was he, but not he. In crystalline form but all wrong, he had the same crystal body but was larger, with spikes almost everywhere. He stifled a laugh as he thought to himself how ridiculous he looked as a crystal porcupine statue. The picture held something that set his double clearly apart, the severed head of a spider alien creature held in his hand, face to face with its executioner.
Judah slumped back in the desk chair, what the heck had happened? How did he get here? What had happened to the Wardens? Questions raced through his mind, and then what his companions had said struck him, imposter.
If the Xenexis were sensing that, then it meant this world's Eon, no..., Neo they called him, was on his world.
"Oh god" Judah whispered to himself.
If the Xenexis sensed the imposter, it meant that the twisted Neo was there with Rebecca. He had to get back, to save Rebecca, to save the Wardens, to save the world, heck... to save himself.
Judah quickly swung around to the computer console praying this world's Eon was able to access the data. Melinda's familiar voice came from the speakers. Judah requested all data on the Wardens.
"Information not found, please restate your request," stated Melinda.
"Show me all active members of the team," Judah replied, hoping it would work.
The display began providing biographical information on the gruesome duplicates from the painting.
The Amethyst double here went by the moniker "Violent Violet." Judah laughed at the pure lunacy of the name; there seemed to be one constant in the universe, the bad guys always picked corny names. The powers of this double were almost identical to Karalyn's but they were significantly enhanced and more visceral in application. There was no mistaking her demeanor showing that this being had no concern for life, human or otherwise.
He read the biography of the remaining roster. The stories were all very similar, powers same yet strangely stronger and definitely more lethal. They went by names appropriate to their more sinister natures. Stalker, Spirit Stealer, and Dr. Mind Ender rounded the list of current active Wardens, no not Wardens, Warlords, a group that was the leader of an organized network of criminal enterprises all over the globe.
At the end of the list, he found one discrepancy, Dr. Mind Ender, Contego as he knew him, was just recruited a month ago. According to his file, this world's Contego was being coerced into cooperating with The Warlords in order to fund his research. An icon on the file caught his attention; clicking it, he found a video. It showed Contego being restrained and forced to watch as an adult male was brutally tortured. Judah watched, as this world's Contego was broken, beaten, without a punch ever being landed.
The man, who the file identified as Connor Smith's father, James, was kept alive, as insurance. This might be the break that Judah needed, some leverage, to get help from Dr. Mind Ender. Pulling address records, Judah found the current location of Dr. Mind Ender according to communicators the Warlords used. The technology was similar to the Wardens but the frequencies used were way off. It was no wonder they had never picked him up, no one was listening to the other frequencies.
Judah adjusted his communicator to the new frequencies and set it on for mute as the default. The receiver came to life with status updates every five minutes between the guards and a central control that monitored everything.
Judah gathered his hat and coat then calling the energies inside him, teleported up into the night sky. Looking down Judah found the residence of one Dr. Mind Ender, a.k.a., Dr. Connor Smith. The place was easy to find, Judah teleported into a back alley and hid in the shadows. Seeing a lit lab in the basement, Judah decided he should survey the place first. The lab seemed much like everything was in this world, a dark reflection of his world. Connor worked diligently on something seemingly oblivious to the world around him.
Judah braced himself and drew on the acting experiences he had gathered from his lifetimes. Materializing in the room behind Connor, he coughed startling the young man into dropping his tools.
"Lord Neo! What an unexpected surprise," stammered the young man. "Wait, when did you get back? How... what... when... I mean you have been missing for twelve hours."
"Dr. Connor Smith, when and where I go are no concern of yours?" thundered Judah. "Did I miss the memo that I somehow need to start reporting to you?"
Judah attempted to channel his most menacing demeanor and all the malice he could muster, it appeared to have the desired effect. The man was obviously already quite terrified of his duplicate.
"Dr. Connor Smith, I require your expertise," stated Judah with authority. "I understand your specialty is pulse field theory but tell me what you know about dimensional gateways."
The young man stammered for a second before collecting himself, "Well I know a lot of the theory but I have never worked in the actual application. Why?"
Judah concentrated to stay in character, "The Warlords are branching out Dr. Connor Smith. I believe the next conquests will not be here but other dimensions, you are going to make that happen. Do you understand?"
Judah walked around the lab attempting to portray an air of superiority before turning around to find the barrel of an energy weapon in his face.
"I got you now you sick son of a…" was all that Connor got out before Judah's martial arts reflex deftly knocked the weapon from his assailant's hand.
A scramble ensued for the weapon with both parties fighting as if their lives depended on getting it. Judah came to recognize that the young man was not only desperate but also scared out of his mind. Deciding the situation was going to end with someone getting hurt, Judah concluded it was time to stop the madness. Drawing himself into crystal form Judah grabbed the shoulder of his surprised sparring partner then thought 'up.'
The night sky dangled like a starry curtain behind them, the young man gave a quick yelp of exclamation as the awareness of his situation came to him. Reflexively he latched onto the only anchor he could find, Eon.
Gravity took over, falling, the young man began to scream, "We're going to die, oh god please save us. I am sorry, please just stop this."
Judah gathered himself and found his bearings, eight seconds after it began, their trip was over and they were at rest in Connor's lab.
"Dr. Connor Smith there is no need for the weapon. I am not your enemy. My name is Eon."
The young man staggered back attempting to process the situation.
"Is this a trick or another cruel deception?" he asked. "I know you Lord Neo, you won't fool me! You can't kill me; you NEED me for your power augmenters. Cut this game out or I swear I won't build one more thing for you."
"Look at me Connor," said Eon calmly. "I am not Lord Neo, my form is different, and you are alive. Lord Neo would have let you fall to the ground or better yet, teleported you into a brick wall."
Eon paused before continuing, "I am not your enemy. I just want to talk and maybe I can help you, and again, you can call me Eon."
With that, Judah walked over and picked up the energy weapon, examining it he noticed that it looked like one of the Wardens' security staff's sonic stunners on steroids. Aiming at his opposite hand, Eon pulled the trigger. The beam of hypersonic energy had the expected effect. Eon winced as his left hand cracked loudly and the tip of his pinky flew off.
Thank goodness for having a healing factor, Eon thought.
Connor stared as the crystal flesh began to reform itself into the missing digit. Eon took a step toward the stunned scientist and then handed him the weapon handle first.
"Okay so you have the gun," stated Eon. "Will you please listen to me? I need your help Connor. If you help me, I will get you and your dad away from here and to somewhere safe."
For the next hour, Connor and Eon talked and concluded that Eon had inadvertently teleported to an alternate dimension where the events and people were radically different from the reality that he knew.
The Warlords were a super-powered criminal network who maintained branches all over the globe. It was the brainchild of Judas der Eroberer, who had worked on it for the last few hundred years. He had stayed in the background, allowing others to lead in his stead but the power always came through him. It wasn't until ten years ago that one man attempted to take the actual power from Judas. Jon Assault had been an ambitious young man whose successes as leader of one of the Warlords' affiliates led him to challenge Judas.
Judas rewarded Assault in the best way possible way he could imagine, public execution with Judas delivering the deathblow. The entire spectacle had been broadcast across the globe with Judas using his newly acquired crystal energy matrix form to manifest tendrils of dark energy that slowly torn Assault limb from limb. The brutality of the execution was the final step to cementing the power of the Warlords causing no law enforcement agency ever again to challenge them.
Judah listened in horror as the story unfolded about this world. He knew he had to get out of here before his identity was discovered. When the other Warlords found out who he really was, it would mean his death, a death that would be very swift, extremely painful and most likely permanent.
The sun's rising reminded Judah that time was passing quickly and with it, his time for remaining unnoticed. His discussions with Connor had been going on for almost four hours and the two of them had exchanged stories of their respective worlds.
This world's Connor was not that different from the Connor he knew. He was brilliant, funny and childlike in his approach to his passions but the one elemental difference glared at Judah clearly.
The moral code in this world was vastly more severe than his own was, through either necessity for survival or a gradual shift in social acceptability, the reality of this world was very clear, survival of the fittest and every one for himself.
Judah saw the nuisances that Connor could not hide, he was very eager and sincere in his desire to help but his survival instincts had eroded all but the slightest of moral boundaries that his world enjoyed.
Judah was not sure to feel pity for the man or concern for his own wellbeing. Perhaps he should feel both, he thought, as the rising sun brought the need for expediency back to him.
Judah was reasonably sure he could trust Connor but there was an underlying energy there. He could not put his finger on it, but it left him wary. Judah walked to the table with Connor's equipment on it, identifying what he could and making mental pictures of the rest.
Connor had agreed to attempt to build a dimensional bridge device that would theoretically send Eon back to his home dimension. The trick was figuring out where that was and how to target the device to that destination.
Connor worked diligently for a couple of hours then abruptly launched a screwdriver into the wall opposite from him in frustration.
"I just don't see it," he screamed in protest.
Judah walked over looking Conner in the eyes.
"I know you Connor, no matter which dimension, you are the one person I know can do this," reassured Judah. "Do you have anyone who we can trust that could help you? We have scientists at our base that assist us. Do you have those here?"
Connor dropped into the chair placing his head down in submission.
"No, no, the Warlords don't keep many of the intellectually gifted alive," lamented the young man. "They believe it breeds an environment for rebellion. I wish S. Alon Sloan was here, he would know how to build this easily."
Judah smiled for the first time since arriving at this weird alterna-verse.
"So where is my friend S. Alon?" queried Judah. "I could go get him if he is friendly."
Connor looked stunned for a moment.
"Eon, S. Alon is dead. He was the scientist that I replaced," stated Connor. "As I said, the Warlords have little use for intellectual types."
"They currently have only one other scientist."
"Dr. Rebecca Miller."
"She is a geneticist, xeno-biologist and the Warlords' personal medical attendant. She also happens to be Lord Neo's consort."
Judah stared blankly at Connor. If there was anyone who might be able to help him it was Rebecca, but whose side would she chose?
"Connor this Rebecca, tell me do you think she would help us?"
Connor considered the idea for a moment.
"Not if she knew you weren't Neo, he has her under his thumb."
"Besides, she has a nasty hobby of turning living things into dead things," the young man continued. "And even though you are not Neo, she might just kill you for a symbolic victory. She killed three Warlords before Neo put a stop to her experiments."
"All in the name of science is her motto."
The thought of this dark Rebecca sent a chill down Judah's spine.
Recovering from the momentary shiver, Judah asks, "Is there anything I can do to assist? Any equipment you need?"
Judah finally noticed the dark circles under Connor's eyes and realized they had been up quite some time.
"I almost forgot, do you need something to eat?"
Connor yawned and nodded his head, "I could use some coffee and some sausage biscuits would be great, why are you hungry?"
"No I am fine," replied Judah. "In fact, I don't need to eat but I do because I enjoy it."
"Coffee sounds like a good idea," comments Judah. "Do you have a place known as the AC?"
Connor confirmed that indeed the AC did exist and it was in the same location as in Judah's world.
Judah picked up his coat and hat, "Okay I will be back in a few, do you take cream and sugar?"
Connor nodded absently as he turned his attention back to work.
Thirty seconds later, Eon materialized in the alley behind the AC and quietly entered the rear door. His new form with all the spikes made it a little awkward, but he quickly made his way to the front counter and waited for the girl taking orders to acknowledge him.
"Welcome to the AC, what can I ge…" the girl stopped in mid-sentence.
Eon looked at her frozen in front of him, "Get me?"
"Umm, yes sir, Lord Neo, what can I get you sir?" the girl stammered as the realization of who was in front of her registered.
"Two coffees, five sausage biscuits and one old fashioned coffee cake," stated Eon, "Four creams and sugars in the bag please."
The counter girl seemed increasingly uneasy as she checked the screen to ensure she had everything correct before printing the order ticket and passing it on to be filled.
Eon stepped up to the cashier as other customers cleared out of his way.
"Miss, how much do I owe you?" he asked.
The cashier appeared confused at the inquiry, looking down then back up at Eon, she stammered, "Ah, ah, Owe? You don't owe anything Lord Neo. This is on the house as always," she said as the order processor handed him his order.
"Is there anything else I can get you?" the cashier asked.
It became clear to Eon that his duplicate in this world instilled complete terror and thus absolute domination of everyone. The fear being felt by this simple establishment's staff was palatable.
"No miss, this is all, I will be back tomorrow, be sure to have my coffee ready!"
Eon tried putting on his arrogant demeanor in the hopes of minimizing suspicions he was an imposter.
An imposter, that was ludicrous, thought Eon.
He was the real Judah, the real Eon, but then he wasn't from here and that made him an imposter.
A loud gasp shook him from his contemplation and he recognized he was standing in the street. Instinctive reflexes kicked in as Eon saw the woman falling toward the pavement from fainting. He caught her with ease and lowered her to the ground before harm could come to her.
The passing crowd stared and whispered, then finally the movement of the people stopped and louder voices began to prevail.
"Is that Lord Neo?"
"What is he doing here?"
"Did you see him save that woman?"
"I think he murdered her!"
"Lord Neo killed that woman."
The voices rose until the crowd was on the verge of becoming a mob, Eon considered simply teleporting away but that might raise questions.
Eon turned and faced the angry mob.
Smiling, he spoke "Seriously, do you peasants really believe you can harm me? Lord Neo? Now disperse before I become annoyed."
Eon did his best at sounding menacing but frankly he had little practice with it, being evil was not his natural state.
The crowd seemed contemplative for a moment their voices began to rise again then died down as they began to disperse.
Eon stood his ground watching the crowd dwindle before he thought up and in a blink was high in the sky. Locating his target, he was standing outside the basement of Connor Smith three seconds later with breakfast, the next his was standing in the basement.
Connor informed him that based on the initial calculations, it would take almost a week and a half to construct a dimensional portal through which Judah could teleport home.
Judah walked over to the computer console and linked to the central command desk.
"Command this is Lord Neo, I want any requests Dr. Mind Ender submits filled, immediately! Is that understood?"
The desk sergeant replied, "Yes sir, anything else Lord Neo?"
"Yes, my location and return are considered private and top secret," commanded Eon. "Do not alert the other Warlords to my presence. Is that understood?"
"Sir, yes sir," responded the guard acting as if ending the conversation was his main goal.
Connor smiled at the guard's apprehension and returned to his work, muttering engineering speak that Judah never hoped to understand.
Judah called up the Warlords roster again and then began browsing through the other access areas.
Everything was here, just like home including battle plans, illegal goods inventories and shipments, plus a private file that suggested certain weaknesses in the individual members of the Warlords. Judah inserted a storage device and keyed in the command to copy everything.
Three hours later the drive was full with every piece of Warlords data the drive could hold, including shipments for weapons, fronts, and finally their alternate headquarters.
Judah walked over to Connor and smiled.
"I have the data of where you father is being held. I can get in and out in a matter of moments but it won't be that easy. Your dad however, might be different now. The torture they put him through not only hurt him, it scarred him."
Connor shook his head, "No my dad will be fine."
Eon admired the man's continual faith in his father.
"Okay then, well I can't get him yet because it might raise an alarm to my presence. The day you have the transport ready, I will get your dad."
Connor was like most scientists and worked best in isolation so Judah decided it was time to investigate this world.
Since he was stuck here for a week or so there was some good he could do.
The first thing came to mind was his fellow immortals Khepa and Saldar. Khepa was in Japan last time he saw her in his world, perhaps she would be the same here.
Was she still bonded to the Xenexis?
Judah told Connor to keep working and that he would check in on him daily. Connor simply nodded absently and continued to focus on his work.
Judah resumed crystal form and focused on up. This time his target was the upper levels of the atmosphere, looking down at the Earth it was hard to imagine how different this world was from his. The planet rotated under him and two minutes later Eon saw his line of sight for Japan.
The scene was consistent with everything else in his world, similar but darker tones, it was easy to locate the castle where Khepa had been before. Blending into shadow Eon began to investigate the place until he found what he was looking for, a large chamber with the furnishings for a bedroom.
He quietly stepped out of the shadows into the room and noticed the sleeping form in the oversized king bed. Looking about he noticed no security, no guards or other protection. His steps were measured and quiet as he approached the bed, the form in the bed was female and obviously asleep. Leaning down he glanced at the uncovered skin.
Skin, he thought, she is not a host here.
In an instant the sound brought Eon to his knees, bright light and peripheral images of motion swirled around him. Next thing he knew he was face down on a Persian rug hog-tied and restrained like a rodeo calf.
Lights came on directly in Eon's face.
"You are very, very stupid Neo if you think you can simply invade my sanctuary and kill me," said a disembodied female voice. "Especially without the rest of your Warlords to back you up, you have either gotten careless, stupid, or my favorite extremely arrogant."
Eon tried to make out the voice through the distorted images caused by the bright lights.
"What Neo, no threats, no quips or smart retorts? I expected more from you!" chided the female voice. "Why are you here?"
Eon finally shook away the fuzz clouding his brain.
"I know I look like your enemy and this is going to seem impossible but I am NOT your Lord Neo," explained Eon. "My name is Eon and I am looking for Khepa."
The room went silent except for the buzz of murmurings in the background.
"Ha! That is obviously a lie, you got caught Neo and will say ANYTHING to save your skin," said the female voice. "Do you know how many sonic cannons I have targeting you right now? If you as much as twitch I am going to turn you into dust."
"Khepa, I know you are here so listen to me. I am not Lord Neo, I am Judah Ambrose," said Eon patiently.
"I have been alive over 5000 years and you are one of my best friends. We walked the beaches together in Egypt while the pyramids were built. You knew me by the name Tirigan and I know you Khepa."
"You love walks on the beach at sunrise, your favorite time of the year is spring because it gives you hope and your favorite color is jade green, which is why you spend so much time in Japan."
The room went completely quiet for almost a minute and then Eon could hear raised and excited whispers in the shadows behind the lights. Suddenly the lights were gone and only background lighting remained, a female form walked towards Eon as his vision began to clear. The woman leaned down and looked Eon in the face
"Fine, Neo if you are not who you are then show me your other form," said Khepa.
She showed no signs of being bonded to the Xenexis and Eon felt none of the compulsions that he had felt the last time he had saw her in his dimension. Eon stared at the face and then recognized the features, they were subtly different but the eyes were the same.
"Fine Khepa, does this look like Lord Neo?"
With that, Eon shifted from his crystalline form and an audible gasp was heard not only from Khepa but also from others that Judah could not make out yet.
The female figure gave a nod and Judah felt his hands, feet, neck and head all release simultaneously. He looked at the female who took a step back cautiously. Standing up he stretched the soreness out of his muscles and looked around.
"Thank you Khepa, now allow me to properly introduce myself. Judah Xavier Ambrose at your service."
With that, Judah and Khepa began to talk getting to know each other all over again.
It was a different experience for Judah. In this world, Khepa and Judas were fierce enemies. Judas had sought to destroy the other immortals in a bid to solidify his position of power. He had nearly succeeded, only a couple remained with Khepa being one.
Judah told his story, briefly and carefully divulging his situation since he was still unsure who to trust in this world.
After eight hours and three bottles of sake, Judah and Khepa were laughing as the sun rose again on the horizon.
Khepa explained the world environment with more clarity than Connor had and given that Judah had been fortunate so far, he decided he should not press his luck. Khepa graciously offered to provide Judah sanctuary for the next week until he was ready to go.
Judah graciously accepted and contacted Connor to let him know he was safe for the next week.
Connor informed him that the device would be ready in six days. He was to return on that day with Connor's father so that he could get them to safety before he returned home. Judah acknowledged the plan and reaffirmed the location of Connor's father. Judah picked up a strange hesitation in Connor's tone this time, he thought it might be that darker difference between the two personalities but it felt like more than that.
Judah and Khepa spent the next five days getting to know one another again.
The news reports mentioned rumors of Lord Neo's appearances but nothing solid. The one report that Judah did take note of was a civilian female that Judah recognized as the one he prevented from falling. She was providing her story and was actually being honest about the fact she had been saved by Lord Neo. The reporters twisted the news attributing Lord Neo's actions to some sinister ulterior motive and Judah couldn't blame them.
Neo had all but enslaved this world and they had good reason to hate him.
The benefit of being one of the Wardens was that Judah knew the base very well.
He teleported into the shadows and used the cover to navigate his way through to the lowest levels of the base. He had thought better than to alert the remaining Warlords of his presence or else too many questions would be asked that he would be unprepared to answer.
After almost an hour of searching the base, Eon found the room with an older male figure he recognized from the video. Porting through the door Eon approached the man from behind so as not to startle him.
The man was dazed but not unaware, Eon stepped in front of him slowly covering his mouth.
"Mr. Smith, my name is Eon, I am here to rescue you, please remain quiet."
The man looked at Eon with fear in his eyes.
"I know your tricks Lord Neo, I don't know what your game is but you can't kill me," responded the tortured but not beaten man. "Not if you want Connor to continue working for you."
Eon sighed with frustration, as he knew his time was short.
"Look, I know this is hard to believe but I am not Lord Neo, just be quiet and come with me," stated Eon. "I am getting you out of here and back to Connor. Okay?"
The man was still wary as Eon snapped the restraints with ease.
It appeared the Warlords never expected a paranormal to get this far into the base, or at least to dare try.
Smith stood gingerly as the atrophy in his muscles became obvious.
"Okay, so you want to let me go Lord Neo, what only to shoot me trying to escape?" said Smith defiantly. "Fine, at least let me see Connor before you kill me."
Eon shook his head, "Fine, fine, whatever, we have to leave, now."
Eon approached the door to the cell and prepared to teleport through with his passenger. The door, however, disappeared and to be replaced by a large female in dark purple, who looked like she wanted to rip his head off. Eon looked in disbelief for a second then drawing on his improvisation skills pulled on his Lord Neo mask.
"Violet what can I do for you?" he asked. "I am taking Mr. Smith here to see his son to provide some additional incentive for cooperation."
The female looked at Eon for a moment like a cat watching a mouse.
"I don't know who you are but I take it you are the imposter the dead guards mentioned," sneered the woman menacingly.
"I have been looking for you. Now I found you, I am Violent Violet and I am going to kill you, slowly, then watch you heal and kill you again, even slower."
Eon watched in horror, as her form grew larger, the veins in her muscles bulged and her eyes changed to a dark, evil purple. Eon took her monologue hesitation as an invitation to act. Summoning all the energy he could, Eon unleashed a dark energy bolt straight at her.
The purple mass flew backwards into the guards with a roar of rage.
Eon grabbed Mr. Smith by the arm and ported to the end of the hall.
"Okay, this is going to get bumpy Mr. Smith, hang on," Eon cautioned.
He then began a series of quick line of sight teleports with his passenger until his energy reserves began to wane.
"What's wrong?" asked Smith. "Are you okay?"
Eon pulled them into the only door he saw available hoping to get a minute to recharge. The room was dimly lit with candles providing the only source of light. Eon stood for a second looking around. Turning towards the side of the room, he became aware they were not alone.
A beam of Eldritch magic stuck Eon in the chest.
"Ah, I see you must be the impostor I have heard rumors of," purred Spirit Stealer. "Well Not Lord Neo, whoever you are, welcome to your funeral. I am so glad you could make it."
The accent was unmistakable and the magic force siphoning off Eon's life force only confirmed his worst fear. An angry Amethyst he could handle Eon thought, but an evil Indigo was the stuff of nightmares. Eon remembered why he hated magic.
The room began to dim with each passing second, Eon calmed himself and drew into his meditative state, seeking the dark he thought shadow and then he was gone. The one benefit of this room was it was plenty dark and in the dark Eon thrived. He watched as the mage tried to cover her fear with arrogance.
"You can't run, you can't hide forever, surrender and I promise your death will be quick and painless," said the woman darkly. "Well maybe not painless but at least one of us will benefit from your death."
Eon gathered the remaining energy he had left and watched as she walked towards Mr. Smith probably thinking that a hostage might draw him out. On her approach, she forgot the key element of flanking which Eon knew all about being in countless wars. Materializing directly behind Marsa, Eon summoned all the dark energy he could and hurled it directly at his opponent.
Spirit Stealer flew into a bookshelf causing it to collapse upon her sprawled form.
Mr. Smith held his eyes shut, "Are we dead yet?"
"Not quite yet, but that was too close," said Eon breathlessly. "Wow she is a nasty piece of work."
Eon rested for a moment then walked over to the limp form of the Spirit Stealer, leaning down he picked up the staff and removed her amulet from her neck.
Eon stepped into the hallway and noticed it was still empty. His random jumps were proving difficult for the base security to track. Eon took his companion by the arm and quickly made his way to the end of the hall. Out of the mystic wing and back in the main base, he stepped into a large storage room and spoke to the computer.
"Susan lights on, simulate sunlight."
The room lights brightened to the intensity of a bright sunny day.
The effect was instantly noticeable to Eon. His energy reserves replenished quickly but the problem was the base was on full alert by now. Eon turned to his companion, "Okay let's get you out of here Mr. Smith."
Stepping outside and looking around the corner, Eon saw it was blocked by at least half a dozen guards in armor that resembled Stalker's design, each wielded a sonic pulse rifle. Knowing this was pure suicide, even for an immortal, Eon glanced over and realized where he was.
Gathering his energy, Eon thought up and was in the night sky with Mr. Smith in tow.
Finding the residence of Connor Smith was easy now having been there so many times before. Eon ported into the basement and appeared behind Connor tapping away at his computer.
"I have a package for one Connor Smith, please sign here."
Connor jumped and then turned around. Seeing his father, Connor embraced him like there was nothing else that mattered.
Eon walked to the computer to allow the two a minute of privacy. Typing on the keyboard, he quickly put in motion the final step of his plan for a goodbye gift for this crazed dimension.
Turning around from the console, he addressed Connor.
"Okay Connor, time for me to go. I have to get home to my wife and she hates it when I am late."
Connor released his father and turned to Eon.
"Thank you Judah," said the young man, "and I agree, it is time for you to go."
With that, Connor loosed a wave of hypersonic energy from the gauntlet on his right hand.
Eon felt the blackness of unconsciousness beginning to take hold, the amplitude of the weapon stronger that anything he had ever felt. Dropping to a knee, he placed up a hand in surrender.
"Okay Connor, what is this about?" queried Eon. "I thought we trusted each other."
Connor was obviously feeling very comfortable, his father standing by making no motion to assist Eon. He was obviously loyal to his family first, no surprise.
Eon slowly stood up holding his hands in a gesture of surrender.
"Connor did I volunteer to be your test dummy without knowing it?" quipped Eon.
"I can't think of one reason you would do this," he continued. "If you are going to kill me, please explain why I have to die. It is the least you can do."
"Well Eon, you see I started to the think about my situation and realized that if and when Lord Neo returned there would be no place I could hide," stated Connor. "I would be looking over my shoulder the rest of my life."
Connor strolled around the room perceiving no threat from Eon.
"So I put my own plan into action," said the overly confident scientist.
"You gave me complete access to the Warlords funds and resources. I used that to leverage my position in the ranks. See, the Warlords had found out that you were an imposter and I convinced them Lord Neo was gone forever."
"They were very amiable to my proposed elevation to the position of leadership and in exchange, they get a greater percentage of the profits and continued access to their enhanced levels of power."
Connor tapped his belt and Eon noticed the remote latched on the side.
"See when I gave the Warlords their power augmenters," gloated Connor. "I also included a failsafe that only Neo and I knew about. It allows me to deactivate their powers completely."
The buzz in Eon's head had almost cleared completely.
"So I figured the only thing standing in my way was the possibility of Lord Neo returning," commented the young man. "So if I kill you, then he never comes home."
Connor paused and then continued.
"See if you are allowed to return there is a high probability that he would here, that is what my calculations revealed," stated Connor confidently. "So Eon, I am sorry but you have to die."
Eon remained focused on Connor's cocky monologue.
"So I appreciate all the help Eon," said Connor gratefully. "I am sure you understand now why you must die."
Connor raised his gauntlet to Eon's head.
"Any final thoughts or words Eon, something for your tombstone?"
Eon looked Connor dead in the eye.
"Why yes, I do Connor," stated Eon. "Captain did you get all that?"
With that, all the windows in the basement crashed inward simultaneously followed a split second later by the stunning force of several flash-bang grenades.
As he finished his statement, Eon had dropped to the ground, closed his eyes and placed his hands over his ears.
Men in tactical body armor stormed the room firing their pulse blasters at the young man. He slumped quickly in submission under the energy assault.
Eon stood up helped by a human figure covered in battle armor.
"Thanks Captain, I appreciate the intervention," said Eon gratefully. "I am sure with the data I provided you will be able to apprehend all of the Warlords shortly."
The man removed his helmet to reveal an older man with salt and pepper hair.
"Well Eon, for all the data you provided, it was the least we could do."
Eon turned to Connor and faced him apathetically. Taking the remote from Connor's belt, Eon placed it in his pocket.
"Connor it is sad but you are a victim of your own predictability," lectured Eon. "I figured you would eventually fall into the pattern of every other person in this universe. That meant that betrayal, fear and disloyalty seemed to be genetically encoded to your cores. I hoped I was wrong but well…"
Eon reached down and removed the gauntlet from Connor's right hand.
"Connor, I discussed your situation with the Captain and if you are willing to assist me in getting home," stated Eon. "He is willing to send you into exile instead of incarcerate you."
"I have a contact in Japan that will monitor you and keep you safe from Neo," continued Eon. "Any access to technology would be supervised and all your work would go to assisting the authorities."
Connor considered the offer for a few moments while looking at his father.
"Connor your father is free to go," stated Eon. "But you will not be together unless you accept this offer."
Connor simply stared at Eon.
"But how?" asked the befuddled young man. "What did you do?"
"Well when I returned to town, I decided it was time to level the playing field," explains Eon. "So, I visited Captain Hopkins here. He was considerate enough to listen to my story without trying to lock me up and in exchange for his trust I provided him a copy of all the data on this drive."
"I was able to negotiate a deal for you in the event you tried this," said Eon sadly. "I never wanted this for you Connor, I hoped, I believed you to be a better man."
Connor stared at Eon then the captain for a moment.
"Fine, I will take the deal."
"The gateway is already to go," said Connor while taking a couple of tentative steps towards the computer console before stopping. "One problem, I have no way to isolate your dimensional home frequency."
"You can open the gateway but I have no idea on how you can find your destination."
"If there is nothing else Eon," stated Captain Hopkins. "We will take it from here."
Eon nodded and the guards quickly cleared the room.
When everyone was gone, Eon walked to the panel. Flipping the switch, he watched as a baseball-sized vortex appeared in the air in front of him. Eon looked at the swirling energies and pondered his next move. He had to find something to focus on, to use to as a guide, it was then he felt the 'voices.' "Home" was the message that rang out clearly in his mind. Reaching inward, he meditated and focused on the Xenexis, and then he was able to perceive it. The pendant that Rebecca wore, it housed the same Xenexis as he did.
His companions could lead him home.
Reaching further inward and finding his companions, he focused on Rebecca and the pendant and then thought "home" as he stepped in the vortex.
It had been a rather calm day in the infirmary that is until a crackle of electricity arcs across the room only inches from an unsuspecting Dr. Rebecca Miller-Ambrose. More arcs began to pop all over the metal objects in the lab then a loud boom darkens everything. The emergency lights kick on to reveal a smoldering figure on the floor.
Rebecca runs over instinctively knowing who it is before she sees who it is.
"Judah!" she screams as she reaches over and gently turns the unconscious form of Judah on his back and then kisses him.
The rest of the medical team rushes to help as Rebecca does a quick scan of Judah before Dr. Sloan S Alon arrives on scene. The readings are inconclusive but it appears that he is in shock, which is unusual since his physiology is typically very resilient. Judah singed clothing is quickly removed and is replaced with a sterile examination gown.
As his clothing is examined by one of the nurses, a small electronic remote control fails out of one of his trench coat's pockets. The nurse also finds a finely crafted and obviously high-tech gauntlet in another of the trench coat's pockets.
Twelve hours pass and Judah remains unresponsive, a concerned Rebecca quietly leans over her husband, giving him a gentle kiss. When the crystal pendant dangling from the chain around her neck touches Judah, he reverts to his crystal form instantly and springs upright screaming, "HOME!"
Record Last Changed Date: 10/16/2011
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