ByChase Ricks, writer at Creators.co
Rper before gamer always. Fantasy writer before fictional. Moviepilot University Graduate and Alumni. Author interviewer.
Chase Ricks

So I have seen a few posts here by and about creators who claim they are villains or heroes.

Well this creator here is both a hero and a villain and in fact I actually have a team of heroes and a team of villains if any actually read my story articles fully through.

Tonight I will tell a so far untold story here about how a character, who I respect so much I went so far as to use him in my stories and take his name upon myself as my Facebook Page Admin name, underwent his own journey of redemption against my deadliest created archvillain to date. I only hope this story/article does not inflict the wrath of this community upon me which so far to date I have miraculously avoided.

It all began following the events to my "Path to Power" duology stories and Ice Ray Academy had been returned from the extradimensional prison that it and all but two of my main heroes had been banished to after the wormhole that had threatened to destroy Earth and Superhero City had been sealed off. (This is a forthcoming story of mine here too.)

One month later...

Episode 1: Apocalypse Now!

It was 3 am in the morning and everyone was sound asleep, when suddenly we were all awakened by the sounds of a battle raging outside the Den."What on earth?" We all rushed to the computer room to see if we could find out what was going on.

Data feed into the computer room comes from all over, including the satellite network surrounding the Earth. The main console is on the right. We all crowd around the main console to see what the data is on the battle that is raging outside.To our horror, the data confirms that SuperHero City, indeed the whole Earth is under attack on multiple fronts.

The Raid Bosses,

Astronikus, Space God
Astronikus, Space God
Ninja Lord Fuma Hanzo
Ninja Lord Fuma Hanzo
Space Cybernetic Amazons
Space Cybernetic Amazons
The Zigonian Queen
The Zigonian Queen

the 7 Sins,

The Seven Deadly Sins
The Seven Deadly Sins

and the Lords of Sin are all attacking simultaneously!

The Lords of Sin
The Lords of Sin

"OMG! What do we do now?" asked Wolf.

"Someone had to put them all up to this. We have to find out who." said Black Knight.

"But why, and what do they get out of this?" asked Wolf's Bane.

"Don't know, but we've got to do something now, or we are all doomed!" shouted Spike.

"I agree", said Awesome George.

Black Knight: "I'll put out the call to everyone; Hero, Villain, and otherwise to come and help us fight them off. We need everyone we can get to help us. And we need some time to figure out who is behind all of this."

"In the meantime, we fight!" said WARHEAD.

In the aftermath of a huge week of battles from within the Earth itself to the Solar System and these huge and minor threats had been defeated through the combined efforts of every hero and villain (minus Ice Ray Academy ones but that is a different story)

Zombie: Driven back to the pit where they came from!

Werewolf: Got rid of Ol' Silvermane again!

Vampire: Staked and turned to dust!

Drone: Pushed back into space where they came from!

Ninja: Driven back to where they came from!

Amazon: Defeated!

Zigonian: Some got through!

Zigonian Invasion Fleet

Zigonian Wave 2

The Zigonians are based off the Buggers from "Ender's Game." But in this alternate universe they have only one queen and they colonize planets to provide nourishment to the untold numbers of larva she birhs constantly on Zigon which is located in the universe on the polar opposite side away from our Solar System.

As things began to look grim shadows writhed and a figure walked from the darkness. Portals opened swallowing dozens of the seemingly endless horde. Drones, Ninjas, Amazons and Zigonians all fell into the dark portals and when they managed to leap clear tendrils of shadow grabbed them and pulled them into the void never to be seen again."I have your backs" Timeshadow yelled, as he went to work helping to drive back the relentless swarm though he too was soon hard pressed.

Dr Vermicious, as usual, was sitting high above SHC watching, listening and above all pondering. Winter was coming to SHC and he was listening to the music of the wind howling around the clifftop cave he calls home. His interest was suddenly piqued by an increase in the volume and timbre of the howling.

"That sounds like the Dark Wolves. I think I'll just STRETCH over there and have a look. Might be something I can do." STRETCH

He appeared suddenly right next to Black Knight.

"Good Evening young man."

"What the........ Vermicious! What do you want?" Black Knight lowered his large shaggy head and fixed Dr V with his glowing red eyes, suspicion and distrust obvious in his aggressive stance.

"Just to help. You taking a breather? OK. Here goes." Dr Vermicious raised his hands and focused his attention on the worms, channeling their energy into a salvo of huge globes of plasma that launched themselves into the thick of the latest drone wave. None missed and every drone touched simply vanished as their energy was released by Dr Vermicious latest discovery.

"There you go, BK. Have a good battle. I still owe you for the jape I pulled at the TurboCave. And Vermicious always pays his debts." And Dr Vermicious went as he came leaving a puzzled, bewildered but somewhat relieved Black Knight wondering what exactly had just happened.

(This event relates to the infamous party told in "Tales of the TurboCave" another forthcoming story.)

With the Zombies gone, and Ol' Silvermane's pack gone, and all those Vampires turned to ash, we can now concentrate on the Drones, Ninjas, Amazons, and Zigonians, the 7 Deadly Sins, and the Lords of Sin. Still haven't a clue as to who is behind all this yet.

I was surprised by a visit from Dr. Vermicious while taking a short break from fighting the Drones. He helped out for a bit and then vanished. Not sure what that was all about. Still need more help fighting the remaining foes attacking the Earth and SuperHero City though.

Being new to SHC Blindside was surprised by the sudden invasion. "Ye ouch" he yelped as he got singed by a blast from an Amazon's power weapon. Looking up at the striking bionic woman Blindside couldn't resist. " So after the invasion you up for a drink? I found this great ba...." Blindside just barely got out of the way of the Amazon's spear strike. " I'll take that as a maybe. Call me!" Blind knew that he was over his head and took the better part of valor leaving the field to more experienced heroes. "Peace out!!" With that Blindside teleported away.

The Drones were finally pushed back into space were they came from, thanks to PowerBottom and his assistance and with a lot of assistance from others, the Ninjas are being pushed back to where they came from. Going to need a more concentrated effort to fight the Amazons and the Zigonians now.

The Inkling had noticed that the defenders needed more help. Even though he was far from being a heavy hitter, he decided to join in against the Amazon onslaught. It was the least he could do to make up for the incident months ago at the Turbo Cave and he was well aware of the fact that many still saw him as a villain instead of a hero.

The Dark Wolves welcomes the Inkling's help in this matter. We care not that you are a "Hero" or a "Villain", or otherwise. We just care that you are Honorable and are Respectful of others. Thanks for your help.

"Computer models indicate that if we don't defeat the Amazons and the Zigonians within 48 hours, they will break through and overwhelm us", said Black Knight. "A lot is riding on the battle from those two fronts, and we still haven't been able to even get close to the Lords of Sin yet."

"We still need someone to break through and attack them, and I know that they are very strong", said Spike.

"Unfortunately, they're a bit too strong for me right now. My abilities just aren't strong enough to overcome them just yet". said Black Knight.

"And you're the strongest one among us", said Wolf's Bane a bit reluctantly.

"I know", said Black Knight. "Still hoping we can get some help from someone that is strong enough to defeat them. And we need more help with the Amazons and the Zigonians."

With the Amazons defeated, we can now focus all our attention on the Zigonians. Computer models show that can still break through and overwhelm in about 22 hours if we don't defeat them as well.

Suddenly, and without warning, we came under attack from some pretty ugly looking clowns. Never seen them before, and neither had the computer. It had almost nothing on them, except a name, the Grisley Family. Turns out they were killers related to the infamous Captain Spaulding and his merry crew so yeah we all had our weapons full. Seems every known type of clown villain has been stereotyped into this family but after long hours of fighting we managed to eliminate this branch.

The Grisleys
The Grisleys

With the surprise attack from the Grisleys thwarted, we now have about 12 and a half hours to defeat the Zigonians before they break through our defenses.

In the past eleven and a half hours mass casualties of good and evil fighters defending Earth have fallen victim to the Zigonian fleets orbiting Earth. Millions of our strongest allies have gone out fighting but so far none have died yet. But if Earth should fall to Zigon again, we will face an even greater massacre then when they originally colonized the ancient colony of Atlantis here before we drove them away long ago. With less than 50 minutes left to go before the Zigonians break through and overwhelm us, the situation looks grim. The Dark Wolves are all hoping for a miracle.

The Dark Wolves all gathered in a circle around Black Knight and began to chant their most powerful spell. All that energy was channeled through Black Knight and directed at the oncoming Zigonian onslaught. Most of those that remained, died instantly. But those that escaped, broke through our defenses. Our work is still cut out for us as we battle those that remain.

Episode 2: The Crystalline Space Ship

With the last of the Zigonians gone, we can now concentrate on who, or what, is behind all of this. So we all went to the Main Console in the Computer Room in our den. After a bit of searching, the image of a strange craft appeared on our screen. It was heading directly towards Earth:

Never seen the likes of it before. Sensors indicate that it both a space ship..., and alive. A probe had been launched, and is now nearing it's target.

Probe obliterated!

Our next option, is to teleport on board and see if we can stop what appears to be certain destruction for the Earth.

We teleport on board the strange craft in what was thought to be a cargo hold. Looking around the room we were in, we were surrounded by a large number of doors. Each are one of several different designs. Sensors indicate that there may be someone, or some thing, behind all but one of the doors. Each of the doors do seem to lead to what appears to be, a central control room, through a series of interconnecting hallways. Time to pick a door, but choose wisely!

Though worn by the earlier assault Timeshadow could not in good conscience allow the Wolves to continue on alone. The world was at stake. After opening a portal to the ship allowing everyone entrance he was confronted by the myriad choices of doors. After hearing tortured screams and seeing several others hastily retreat from several doors Timeshadow steeled himself for battle and chose a door. Behind the door was none other than Wrath who seemed distracted as he unmercifully beat another hero Timeshadow did not recognize. Timeshadow quickly opened a portal under the battered hero and transported him safely to the SHC hospital. Wraith snarled "How dare you seal away my prey. You will take his place and feel torments no mortal was meant to endure." With that Wrath lunged at Timeshadow.

Timeshadow sidestepped Wrath's initial lunge and drew a small can from his belt. Depressing the spray nozzle at the top he aimed it at Wrath. Wrath flinched as he was covered with.....silly string????? "What is this hero? Are you so terrified by the thought of battle with me you have lost your senses? This will only anger me." "Oh ya lets just see about that" With a gesture Timeshadow stopped the strings of foam that covered Wrath in time. Wrath struggled to no avail against the now totally rigid strings. "How? This is impossible? Nothing can hold Wrath!!" Wrath foamed at the mouth, raged and cursed but could not break the seemingly fragile strands. "Curse you Timeshadow!! I will return and you will feel my Wrath!!!!! Timeshadow opened a portal and scooped Wrath inside. Wrath was cast into deep space floating helplessly. "Have fun in space Wrath."

Now to the control room hopefully the others made it as well, Time thought.

One by one, each one arrives in the control room. Each one has a story to tell about the door or doors they chose to get here. Most have some battle scars, and some cuts and bruises. A few came limping into the control room. We know that there are others that haven't made it here yet, so we will wait for them. Meanwhile, we being looking around to see if there is anything that we can do from here.....

As we began looking around the room, we notice how barren the room seems to be. Except for what appears to be a main control console in the middle of the room, there is nothing else in there but us. So we all crowd around the control console. We were a bit dismayed at the alien language written on it, because our universal translator couldn't decipher any of the words.

Main Control Console
Main Control Console
Alien language??
Alien language??

"We need a language expert", said Wolf. "Hope one comes through those doors soon, because otherwise, we're stuck at this point in our mission."

"Well if there are no better ideas" Timeshadow takes out his micro computer from his belt then scans the alien characters. "I have several decryption programs I invented myself on here just let me get it started....." The mini comp responds " Character permutations being correlated. Computation time 134 years, 4 months, 3 weeks, 2 days, 4 hours, 57 minutes, and 34 seconds"

Wolf looks to Timeshadow "That doesn't seem very helpful"

Timeshadow replies "More than you think. My powers can speed the personal time of my mini comp. Good thing I was able to get Bass Tech Regenerating batteries from my friends in the Turbo Cave." With that Timeshadow concentrates and the minicomputer's screen blurs as it "ages" hours per second. "If my calculations are correct this will take about 15 minutes. If someone comes up with a better idea before that just chime in."

"Of course! It's encrypted! That's why the universal translator wasn't able to decipher the alien language!" exclaimed Dark Wolf.

Timeshadow's mini computer decodes the alien text in about 15 minutes. Then the universal translator produced the following on the screen in place of the original alien text:

English translation
English translation

Awesome George: "Now how does one interface with the computer? I don't see anything to plug into."

Wolf's Bane: "You're right. I don't see anything to plug into the console either."

Spike: "The initial scans did say that this ship was also.... alive!"

Warhead: "Maybe that 'Interface with Main Computer' link on the screen does it directly - with someone's mind...."

Black Knight: "Of course! That has to be it! Clicking that link interfaces you with the computer directly. Could be dangerous. I'll do it. I have a very strong mind. If something goes wrong, one of you should click the disconnect link.... if I can't."

BK slowly reaches over to the screen to touch the Interface link.....

Wait! Wouldn't linking your mind with the Main Computer also link your mind to the part of this ship that is... alive? Yes, I think it would, Awesome George. Especially if the "alive" part is housed in the Main Computer. I think you're right, Wolf's Bane. If this ship is also "alive", as our scanners indicate, then the "consciousness" part may be in the Main Computer as well. Yeah. I think that liking our minds together might be the safest option. What do you think, Spike? I think that you guys might all be right. I think that we should all group mind. That way, we should overcome any alien intelligence that might be housed in the Mainframe Computer.

I think you guys might be onto something. Yes, let's all join hands so we can all join minds. The "Group Mind" is much stronger than a single mind anytime!

So we all joined hands and touched BK, and became of one mind, the "Group Mind." And we, as one, made the touch on the screen for the "Link with Main Computer" link. And we were in.

As the others were talking about linking together in a group mind to interface with the alien computer/lifeform Timeshadow wondered if his defences would allow him to link with the others.

Even though his mind is heavily shielded Time is leery about anything messing with his head. As the link begins Timeshadow concentrates on reinforcing his mental barriers sheathing his inner thoughts with shadows and eternity. Though not a psychic, he also tries his best to shield his teammates as well but he is careful, not wanting to be seen as an intruder in the minds of his allies.

As everyone held hands or touched one another in some way to form a link between minds, the Group Mind, Bk noticed that not everyone was fully participating.

"It's ok Timeshadow, you don't have to hold back or worry about intruding in someone else's mind. With our minds linked together, we become as one, when the link is dissolved, no one remembers other people's secrets afterwards, just me. And I'm pretty good at keeping secrets and won't reveal anything unless it's vital that everyone knows. And don't worry about your mind being messed with, we are honorable, and find such a thing repulsive."

In spite of assurances from BK and the others, Timeshadow is still a bit apprehensive about the whole thing, but he eventually decides to trust them and reluctantly opens up his mind.....

The Group Mind is now complete, and BK reaches out to touch the link on the screen to link with the computer....

Suddenly, on both the screen and in our minds an image of a keypad appears.

With the image of a keypad and the words, "PASSWORD PLEASE", still stuck in our minds, we began to wonder what it could be.

Oddly enough, one word kept popping into our minds - crystalis.

So we entered it... and viola! We were in! Tons of information flooded into our minds. But the one question we all had remained unanswered.

Why would someone give us the password? Why wasn't our questions answered? Maybe it's a trap!!!

Suddenly, an extremely powerful mind began to try to take control over us. But since we were all linked together in a group mind, we all instantly began to fight back. The big information download we received was merely a distraction, for the real purpose was to overcome and control us. Maybe that is what happened to all the Raid Bosses.

We fought with all our combined strength. The battle raged for what seemed like an eternity.

Then, suddenly, as it began, it ended. And we were victorious!!! The Group mind worked!!! Now we were in control of the Entity housed in this ship!!! The Crystalis. The Entity in control of this ship was in a state of crystalis, waiting for it's metamorphosis. Now we controlled the Entity.

Suddenly, we knew everything. This was a test. And the Raid Bosses failed that test. But we succeeded where they failed, because of the Group Mind. Now it (the Entity) knows that there are Heroes, and Villains. And Heroes will succeed where Villains will fail. Why? Because we care, and Villains do not care. That was the Equation It was looking for!!!! So, It allowed us to access everything it knew!!!!!

Suddenly, BK knew that time had been altered. "Your Zombie Ex Girlfriend" had become normal again!!! We all cast a spell to reverse time itself to stop this event!!!!

Suddenly, as if time itself had shifted, everything was back to normal. The Z-Virus was gone from all of us. So we returned to the Dark Wolves Den to await another adventure. Which didn't take very long. For the Crystalis Ship had invited us to come back aboard for a little excursion to the Crab Nebula, circa 5012!

The Crab Nebula Adventure

Well, we decided to take up the Crystalis Ship's offer for a new adventure. The whole idea of visiting the Crab Nebula 3000 years from now sounded exotic. Of course, when you live in SHC, time travel is just one of many "exotic" things that has just become... well, normal. So, we teleported aboard, and the Crystalis Ship (or Chris, as she likes to be called) whisked us away on our newest adventure. The whole experience was a bit like watching an episode of Doctor Who, with the T.A.R.D.I.S. traveling through wormholes in time and space to it's new destination. And so we arrived at the Crab Nebula. It was a spectacular view:

Crab Nebula
Crab Nebula

And then we were under attack!!!!!

Immediately, the image of our attacker filled our minds, along with a lot of tactical data.

And "Chris" informs us that the alien ship is of unknown origin. So we attempt to communicate with the alien vessel, but get no response. So, we try telepathy. Since all of our minds are directly linked to "Chris" telepathically already, the group mind is at work (though we can still function individually). We did manage to contact an alien life form on board the vessel, but the alien language was too much for our universal translator to decipher. However, "Chris" has a much more sophisticated language translator and was able to translate the alien langue for us.

Alien Captain, "This ship destroyed our home-world! And now we will destroy this ship!"

BK, "Perhaps it was because you failed it's test. We did not fail it's test. This ship is an intelligent being in a state of chrysalis. It... she will emerge from her chrysalis state in a few thousand years. We have already taught her much. She is still learning. I am saddened by your report that she destroyed your home-world. I'm sure....."

Alien Captain, "Doesn't matter. We are the few that survived. We will destroy this ship at all costs!"

Spike, "But she is a living being. She d...."

Alien Captain, "I don't care. She/it destroyed my planet! She/it will be destroyed!"

Wolf, "But there are people on board! We are from Earth, in the Sol system. We cannot allow you to destroy us. Please, reconsider your actions."

BK, "If we have to, we will disable your weapons. We wish you no harm."

Alien Captain, "I am quite bitter about the destruction of my home planet, but I do not wish to destroy you weird-looking aliens as well. We will let you go. You seem honorable enough for me. And what test are you talking about? I don't understand."

We then recounted our own experience with the Chrysalis Ship.

Alien Captain, "Oh, I understand now. We had no idea that it/she was just testing us. We failed that test."

BK, "I think you just passed it. And I'm really sorry that your home-world didn't understand what you now do. I wish that it could be reversed."

Chris, "It can be."

Wolf's Bane, "Oh, travel back in time?"

Chris, "Not exactly."

Dark Wolf, "Can't meet yourself, can you?"

Chris, "No, that would create a paradox."

Alien Captain, "Then, how?"

Chris, "I can download what I've learned into the earlier me and prevent your world... and the others from being destroyed."

All in unison, "Others???!!!"

The New Time Line

"Yes, unfortunately, there were others."

WarHead: "But wouldn't that create a time paradox by downloading what you know into your earlier self?"

"Not exactly. It would just alter the course of events from that point in time and forward."

Wolf: "But that means that we wouldn't remember you."

"But I would remember you, it'll be in the download."

BK: "So we would meet again... for the first time!"

"Yes, that is accurate."

**********************************************

"Download complete, alternate time line ending."

***********************************************

It was just another ordinary day in SuperHero City. We were all in the computer room looking for some villain activity, when we first detected it. It looked like a giant crystal of sorts, but out in space. And it was moving closer to the Earth. Preliminary scans indicted that it was some sort of spaceship, but no method of propulsion could be detected. We did get several spectacular views of it.

It was very beautiful to look at.

More information was coming in. Source of power: Unknown. Life signs: 1. Source of life sign: The ship itself.

We decided to try to communicate with it. So, we tried all frequencies, with our Universal Translator tied in, but there was no response. Then, a voice was heard, in our minds.

"Greetings. I call myself Chris. I already know all about you, from an alternate time line. We met before in that time line. Join together and form your group mind, and I will show you everything."

BK: "Wow! She's telepathic! I don't see any harm in doing as she asks."

So, we all joined hands and formed the group mind. And then there came a flood of information. It took some time to process it all, but we then understood what she meant. The other time line had to be changed so that the other worlds would live and not die. There was so much new information that she had learned from those other worlds in this time tine. But one this still puzzled her. Why some choose to do evil, while others choose to do good. It was obvious that doing good was far better than doing evil. Much more rewarding.

BK: "Unfortunately, those that are selfish and self-centered will only think of themselves and put self gratification above everything else. It is those kind of people that tend to choose to do wrong instead of what is right. Those that tend to think of others more than themselves, are more likely to choose to do what is right instead of what is wrong. None of us are perfect, and so we make mistakes, and sometimes choose to do the wrong thing instead of the right thing. I believe that you have experienced that yourself."

"Yes, you are correct. And I've learned from that mistake."

Wolf: "That's what we are supposed to do. That's how we grow. Well, not in the physical sense anyway, but mentally."

"I believe I understand."

New Adventures in Space and Time!

It's been a week now since we met "Chris", and already we've seen some pretty spectacular sights. The Crab Nebula, The Black Widow Pulsar, The Circinus Galaxy Black Hole, The Star-Killer Quasar, and a variety of other beautiful, but deadly space phenomena. And now we are on our way to view some awesome sights on a planet called Valeria. Among the sights we will visit are: The Valerian Diamond Waterfalls, the Chorisian Ruby Lake, and the Grand Valerian Canyon with it's Sapphire and Onyx walls and spires. The Atmosphere is toxic, but we will be traveling in a shuttle to the various sights.

We arrive at the Valerian Shuttle Station and get situated on board the next tour shuttle. The year is 4313. We met a variety of alien lifeforms also taking tours of the planet. The shuttle departs from the station and we begin our tour. For some reason, the tour route had been changed at the last minute, and so the Captain informs us of the change. Something to do with a storm on the usual route. This new route would take us around the storm and we would then continue on the normal route afterwards.

As we are now about 2 and a half hours out on the alternate route, something begins to pound on the walls of our shuttle. We are over an uncharted region of the planet. There is a canyon below, and dark skies above. And a strange looking river in running through this strange canyon. It's all dark, like Onyx, but somehow different. The canyon itself it very much different than anything we've seen so far. It's all dark and dreary, and there isn't a cloud in the sky! Even the Captain isn't sure what's going on. The pounding continues.

Suddenly, we are under attack!!! People begin to die, as a mysterious shadow begins to move about the cabin.

"Who are you, and what do you want?", asks Black Knight both audibly and telepathically.

"We want to be left alone", replies a voice telepathically. "Why are you here?"

"We were simply going around a storm on our normal route, that's all", replied BK.

"But why are you here?"

"To see some very spectacular sights. This is a tour shuttle", replied BK. "We mean no one any harm."

"But why are you HERE?"

"There was a storm on our normal route, so we were re-routed through here," replied BK. "We were simply going around the storm."

"But why are you HERE?"

"We didn't know you were here. As soon as we are around the other side of the storm, we will continue on our normal route."

"You have invaded our territory."

"It was purely unintentional. We did not know you were here."

"Unacceptable. You have invaded our territory and will be punished!"

"But why? We have not done anything wrong. We were just...."

"Unacceptable. You will be punished for your error!"

"I don't understand. What did we do wrong?"

"You invaded our territory. You will now all die!!!!!!!"

"But we did not know of your existence until now.This is an uncharted region of your world."

"Unacceptable. You will all perish now for your error!"

And with that, many in the shuttle began to gasp for air, as they chocked the life out of each individual.

BK and the others of Dark Wolves Alpha Squad joined hands, and the group mind was formed. We then gathered up all of our strength and formed a barrier shield around those that remained.

"We will not permit you to harm them. We did not know that we were invading your territory. We will be leaving your territory soon, and want safe passage. If you continue to kill us, we will have no choice but to defend ourselves. We mean you no harm!"

"Unacceptable. You invaded our territory. You will be exterminated."

"Then we will have no choice but to defend ourselves. We do not wish to kill any of you, but if you continue to kill us, there aren't many other options available for us."

"Exterminate the intruders!!!!"

"But why? We have not done any wrong here. We have not been hostile towards you in any way. We have...."

"Exterminate the intruders!!!!"

And with that, they began to fire some sort of energy weapons at us. So we began to use our powers and our magic to stop them. We had no choice. They saw our invasion of their territory as an act of war. We tried not to kill any of them, but it was unavoidable in the end. We were saddened by the losses on both sides. We hated what we had to do, but it was "necessary". When they saw how strong we were, they eventually began to retreat.

"We did not want it to go this far. We did not want to kill. But you thought that our intruding into your territory was an act of war. It was not! It was an accident. We did not want to kill!"

"We were defending ourselves."

"As were we."

"But you killed some of us."

"So did you. And we are saddened by the losses on both sides."

"Both?"

"Yes, both. If we promise to never come through here again, will you let us go?"

"Yes, it is agreed."

"What are your people called, if I may ask", asked Black Knight.

"We ARE the Valerians. This is our home world."

"Then the tours of your home world will have to cease. But there are many wonderful things to see here. That was why there were tours. To see the marvelous sights on your world."

"Why do you think that our world is so 'wonderful' and 'marvelous'?"

"Because there isn't anything like your world in all the universe. Diamond waterfalls, Ruby lakes, Sapphire and Onyx canyons..... There is nothing quite like your world, and it's beautiful."

"But it's also deadly to all of your species. We know that our atmosphere is deadly to all of you."

"It was a risk we chose to take, in order to see all of the beauty here on your world. But we didn't know that there were any Valerians on Valeria. Your life signs didn't show up on any of our scanners."

"So you didn't know that we were here?"

"Yes. I believe that we tried to tell you of this earlier."

"We thought that you had declared war on us, because you invaded our territory."

"Yes, I understand that. Which is why we tried to explain our presence here. But you did not understand."

"So, this whole unfortunate battle was a misunderstanding?"

"Yes."

"Then we are also saddened by the losses on both sides."

"I'm glad that you now understand. We meant no harm."

"We will allow you to continue your "tours" of our world. But, you must not venture off your "tour" routes again in the future. This will prevent other misunderstandings."

"Yes. This is agreed. I will inform the Station as soon as we can."

********************************************

Hours later, we arrived back at the Station and informed those in charge of all that took place. They promised that if a tour route was inaccessible for any reason, they would postpone that tour until the problem was cleared up, and not re-route the tour again. They now know that this planet is inhabited by a native species that doesn't show up on any scanners. They also know that if a shuttle were to venture off course, it might be seen as an act of war by those that don't know that there is anyone else here besides themselves.

(Another crossover story begins but this one will not be fully posted here for a few months until I am absolutely certain the original writers will not sue me for libel. Apologies XD)

The lights of the conference room are dim as Cap waits. Pink would eventually get over her anger...or...she wouldn't. No amount of talking would fix the problem. Cap was lost in his thoughts when the door opened and Bucky walked in.

"Cap, I got your message," he says. "I'm ready. Whatever the mission, let's do this."

Cap gestures for Bucky..for Louie, to grab a chair. "Take a seat, partner. I have to tell you something."

Just as he was sitting, the door opens again. Private Avenger walks into the room.

Bucky springs to his feet, wincing just a bit from his freshly-repaired gunshot wound. "What in the heck is he doing here?" Fists clenched, Bucky is ready to launch himself toward PA and resume their fight.

"Easy," Cap says. "Everyone relax. Bucky...please...sit. PA, join us. We have a lot to talk about."

The two men look at each other warily, but join Cap at the table.

"Gentlemen," Cap says, taking a deep breath. "Here's what I know. Or at least I think I know. Bucky...Louie...Private Avenger is Michael...my original partner."

Louie's eyes widen. "Holy sidekick," he murmurs under his breath.

"Yeah, that's what I said," PA jokes.

Cap nods. "I know. I know. It's a lot to process. Deal with it. We have bigger fish to fry. I believe the root of our recent troubles is someone we all know. Louie's visions. PA's inside information. The death and destruction that has infected Hell's Corner. Only one person stands to benefit from such chaos."

"Lucifer."

PA smirks. "Wow. What a surprise. The master of lies concocts a scheme to inflict pain and suffering. Who could have guessed that?" He stares directly at Cap.

"I've already gotten an earful from Pink," Cap barks. "You can feel any way you like. The more important question is...what are we going to do about it?"

PA and Louie look suspiciously across the table at one another. PA breaks the silence "Cap, how can you be so sure it's Lucifer...and not...someone else."

Cap punches up an image on the room's video monitor. It's the CCTV footage of Lord Quasar and Baron Axon's escape from B.A.D.G.E. It also shows an armored Private Avenger wreaking havoc and aiding the escape.

"Notice anything odd about this?" Cap asks.

"Yeah, it's odd that the guy in the video helping two war criminals is sitting here at the table instead of face down on the floor bleeding," Louie says.

Cap ignores the remark.

"Check the armor. The design. It's a modified version of what PA was wearing when he first joined Turbulence. George helped in this part of the investigation. He pointed out several small things...weapons belt...wrist communicator...ventilation system...that are fairly modern Zig updates. PA's armor had none of that. When you add in the fact he was actually out of his armor by this time, and wearing his current uniform, you come to the inescapable conclusion that this is not him."

PA leans across toward Louie. "If you need us to slow down just say the word."

Louie shoots back a look, "That's about enough, Zig lover."

"Both of you stop bickering like children and shut the hell up," Cap says, his voice rising. "Now...to the allegation that Louie set up the murders with the McCoys. That one is even easier. After talking with both of you, establishing the timeline, I can prove Louie was either with Jarvis when the contract was arranged. There's no way it was Louie. None. Zero."

Louie looks at PA. "Got it, Mikey?"

Private Avenger looks as though he is ready to say something. Instead, he catches himself...and looks down at the table. Grudgingly, he says, "Got it."

"So," Cap continues. "If PA isn't breaking Zigs out of the big house and Louie isn't arranging the murder of innocent children, what does that leave us? Coincidence? Misunderstanding? No. Who has motive and means? Who stands to profit from sowing seeds of dissension and distrust between us? Who would employ such a strategy? And who would do it just for fun? It doesn't take the world's greatest detective to unravel this mystery."

Cap stands. "I believe it's Lucifer. It has been from the beginning. And Louie," Cap says, glancing at his partner. "Google 'Angel of Light' in the Bible and see who pops up. He's been your angel. Those visions and premonitions you've been having, pointing to Michael as the cause of the problem. They're just a part of Lucifer's plan to fan the flames."

Despite their suspicions and distrust, it's impossible for Louie and Michael to ignore Cap's logic. Lucifer is the source of their troubles.

After a long silence...

"Here's an idea," PA offers. "Why don't we end him, once and for all?"

"As much as I dislike agreeing with him," Louie adds. "It may be the first time he's been right in a while. We need to take Lucifer out."

Cap shakes his head. "That just opens up a new can of worms," Cap says. "One...I don't know if we CAN destroy Lucifer. Maybe. Maybe not. We're talking about a primal force of the universe here. Two...if we take a shot and miss, how does he retaliate? Do other innocents suffer because of our failure?"

"Well, we can sit here with our thumbs up our asses, or we can take care of the situation."

The voice comes from the doorway. Cap looks up to see Pink standing there.

"Pink, this is about us. I appreciate where you're coming from but this is something we have to do," Cap says.

Pink walks in and sits down, putting her feet up on the table. "I'm sorry, I couldn't hear you through all of your guilt and self-recrimination. Don't give me 'this is about us'...I was hating that bastard well before any of you."

PA looks at his friend and then back at Cap. "I can tell you from experience, she's not going to take no for an answer. Short of killing her, I don't know how we can keep her out of this."

Cap mulls his options. "Well, I suppose we could kill her...but that would take too much time, considering she just comes back to life."

He stares hard at Pink. "Okay, you're in. But follow orders and stick to the plan, or else you'll have both Lucifer and me to deal with."

"Understood?"

Pink frowns. "Yeah, yeah, understood. It's Cap's way or the highway. Why should today be any different than any other day?"

Cap ignores her and produces a blueprint of an old office complex in the city's warehouse district. It's where Cin-E-Corp has set up shop while the corporation's tower complex is being repaired.

"Okay, here's the plan..."

The Vengershield slices through the night air, the rain having no effect on its path.

It smashes through the building's front door.

As it caroms back and smacks into Cap's hand as he sprints toward the door. Simultaneously, Cin-E-Corp security forces come charging out of the building.

Cap relays instructions into his comm. "PA, Pink, get to work with covering fire. But nothing lethal. No humans die, is that clear!"

There is nothing but static on the comm.

"Is that CLEAR!," Cap barks.

"Crystal," PA acknowledges.

From their angled positions, the two open fire, stopping the guard's advance and forcing them to take cover. That gives Cap and Louie the moment they need. Both spring into action, engaging the guards in hand-to-hand combat. In seconds, the squad is down.

"Let's move," Cap says. "It only gets harder from here."

**********************************************

Working late on a conference call with company representatives in Benghazi, Lucifer notices a small blinking red light.

"I'll have to cut this short, Mr. Basrudi. We'll talk again soon." Lucifer ends the call and punches an intercom button.

"Assemble the mages at level one, we have some unexpected guests."

************************************************** ****

Louie works his way through the lobby, handling the special forces-trained guards with ease. They pose little threat to him, but he was worried about what Lucifer had up his sleeve.

A bolt of energy sizzles across the room and strikes him in the back, sending Louie crashing into the far wall. "Well, that answers that question."

The mage weaves his hands in a pattern, reciting an incantation.

"Clann is Dia da 'n gabhail,

Troimh 'n Mhuir Ruaidh fhuair iad rathad,

Is ann a fhuair iad casg am pathaidh,

An creag nach d' fhaodadh le saor a shnaidheadh."

Energy forms once again between his hands, a ball of churning fire to be launched at Louie. The man's eyes widen with glee...

CRACK!

The Vengershield cuts the sphere in half, slamming into the mage's chest. He is knocked back several feet and falls to the floor unconscious.

"Magic. Great." Cap mutters.

PA runs to Louie, who is shaking off the effects of the blast. Without pausing, he reaches down. "Need a hand...Bucky?"

Louie looks at the offered assistance. He grasps PA's hand firmly and gets to his feet. Nothing more need be said. Both men nod and turn to continue the battle.

While the boys are busy greeting the bulk of Lucifer's forces, Pink makes her way to a stairwell and is working her way down to the building's sub-level. At the basement she cracks the doorway and sees the security area, properly fortified and manned with armed personnel.

Pink smiles. She loves a challenge.

Kicking open the door, Pink rolls three stun grenades into the hallway. A second later they explode, taking out a half-dozen guards and shattering the bullet-resistant glass of the security office.

Pink rolls into the hall, guns blazing. She deliberately fires high to avoid hitting any of the guards manning the system. As they duck for cover Pink comes out of her crouch and sprints toward the room. She leaps through the broken windows, tackling a man just as he is bringing his weapon to bear.

Because of the close quarters, the three guards can't bring their weapons to bear. That plays to Pink's advantage. She takes out her first target with blow to the temple. Shifting to the right she kicks and brings the second to the floor. Rolling across, Pink brings down an elbow strike, breaking the man's nose and knocking him out. The third and final guard stomps down hard, his boot slamming into Pink's shoulder. She feels it separate instantly. Ignoring the blinding pain, Pink grabs the man's leg with her other hand and twists, ripping his ACL. He screams and falls, clutching the injured limb. Pink grabs him around the throat and applies pressure. He claws at her arm but she maintains the hold. After a frenzied few seconds of struggling, the man relaxes, unconscious.

She rolls him off, and stands, shoulder throbbing. Pink resists the urge to give him an extra shot. But...turning toward the control panel she accidentally kicks the guard in his ribs.

Twice.

Within seconds, she takes command of the building's security feed. Looking into the monitors she sees where her teammates have made their way up to the second floor. Pink keys in a sequence, and the cameras go blank. Lucifer's forces were now blind.

Grabbing her sidearm, Pink fires several rounds into the console, disabling it. All of the monitors go blank.

"Chew on that you bastard," she mutters. She moves to the door and slams into the wall, popping her shoulder back into place. The pain radiates through her body.

"One more I owe you," as she makes her way up the stairs.

"Chris" just returned us to the present from our excursion to the planet Valeria, and informed us of Lucifer's old tricks with Captain Avenger, and friends. We knew that Captain Avenger, and the 2 Bucky's, and Pinken Stein, might need a little bit of help. So we joined hands and created a force field around each of them, preventing magic and superpowers from harming them, but allowing them to do what they need to do. It was about the best we could do. No one knows the existent of Lucifer's powers, not even "Chris", our crystalline spaceship, which has been around for number of millenia. We'll hang around for a while and see if there is anything else we can help with.

Lucifer was watching the proceedings from his office when the monitors went blank.

"Hmm, I detect the work of the lovely Ms. Stein," he murmurs. Pressing the intercom button he summons two mages and a tech team.

"Get this video feed up and running, or else you will all be having a very bad day," Lucifer says through a threatening smile. As the technicians worked to restore the security feed through a backup server, the mages approached.

"Mr. Smith, Sir...we are detecting...some type of magic in the building from an outside source," the one named Tremaine stammered. "It seems as though someone is attempting to erect a protective spell around the intruders."

"You don't say?" Lucifer answers. He calms his mind and reaches out, searching for the source of the spell. Stretching...reaching...THERE.

Lucifer chuckles. "Oh my, what a pleasant surprise. The Christian dogs and their glassy spaceship are sticking their noses into my business."

Lucifer opens a desk drawer and reaches inside, he pulls out a note pad labeled "to do" list.

1) Corrupt Cap

2) Foment Unrest in the Balkans...again

3) Desert Storm III hahah

4) Torment Bucky, Bucky and Ms. Stein

5) Figure out DVR on satellite dish

6) Israel + Hamas = Fun Times!

7) Deal With Christian Werewolves

There!! At the bottom...

"Well, I suppose I can move them up the list," Lucifer thinks. He absorbs magic power from the two mages, instantly killing them. Augmented with their puny skills, Lucifer creates a blocking spell to pierce the protective bubble before it can encircle the interlopers.

"That should take care of the problem," Lucifer says.

Almost as an afterthought, Lucifer sends a wave of dark energy directly at the crystalline ship. "That should give the hounds something to occupy their time...and perhaps that delicate little ship will develop a crack or two. Wouldn't that be terrible?"

Lucifer's final move is to create a shield around the warehouse, ensuring there will be no more outside interference. He scribbles a note on the list...something about finding a "permanent" solution for the werewolves and their ship.

But that must wait for another day...at that moment the monitors flash to life. The technicians have restored the security feed, lucky for them.

Lucifer folds his hands behind his back. He sends his thoughts to the magic-users preparing to face the invaders. "Here is a special summoning spell you can use specifically for my buddy Private Avenger," as he implants the arcane knowledge into the mind of one of his more talented pupils. "I'm sure he'll enjoy the surprise."

Lucifer smiles. This should be good...

Dark energy forms in the circle of Christian Wolfs on board Chris. As it solidifies their chants are disrupted.

With Lucifer's direct intervention, we were unable to continue to help Cap and his friends. Suddenly, we got an urgent message from someone in the Andromeda Galaxy, from a planet called Trikonia, circa 7263.

"We are in grave danger! Request assistance immediately. The Gramleks are atta...."

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