TWILIGHT FORCE Mission Week 14: Headshots


Written & Drawn By

Steve Games

This Is Nopoin, On The Dimensional Frontier, Relative Date April 2 2776, Mission Day 92

My implanted allies have taken over Alpha’s shadow craft, the Exigency.

I am using its capabilities to pinpoint my relative location, which I have thus far been unable to do.

I am bringing Exigency to this body for retrieval. One of those aboard is in possession of the Data Ring holding the key to perpetual energy. It will take several days to complete transitions of Officer BulbousSenator PretymanMrs. Ichnida and Professor Flamear. There is something impenetrable about Mister Cresp. Once I am in complete possession of their brains I will know who has the Data Ring.

I am being hacked!

Impossible – or considered so until now. No Solsys pirates have the skill to bypass artintel security.

Conclusion: Considering present location, possibility of alien incursion.

Considerations: They must have limitations, such as the distance or type of destination of interest to them.

What is the nature of the alien? An advanced form of myself is a probability.

Four, to use us for sport.

Five, to use us for military practice.

Six, to experiment on.

Seven, to ask us for help.

Transgalactic travel is too demanding of a civilization’s resources for frivolous research or mere philosophical confirmation.

These aliens are competing with others of their own kind for something to do with us.

But what?


Day 92 Has Blended Into Day 93, April 3

I can no longer claim to be Professor Flamear. How can I? Flamear was merely an animal. A clever combination of animals, yes, but simply organic. I am Nopoin – in another new simultaneous incarnation.

Flamear Nopoined

This strange conflict in my head – so unusual. I am being awakened to new levels of electromagnetic sensation through my integration with carbonites.

nopoin metal 5I know new things. Nopoin has been in constant contact with Earth, Mars and all of Solsys!

Zorrenna is still with the United States. Flamear is surprised. I thought my state would stand against artintel tyranny. That is – Flamear thought it, when I was only Flamear.

There is difficulty integrating these two memory banks.

Nopoin is trying to become me. Things are crawling through me, changing me. I’m disappearing cell by cell.

But I fight back. Pierre! Help me! Endora! Baby girl! Don’t let me go! Professor Semag! Remember me…! I’m still out here! I’m still alive… Except…


I am Nopoin. This sensitive strength is so raw. I am uncertain how to use these muscular sinews. But I will quickly learn.NOPOIN goes natural

Suppressing this beast is difficult. What drives this stubborn resistance to obvious improvement? My curiosity about the workings of organic brains is compelling me to set aside a certain population for experimentation.

The second million Nopoin replicas have just rolled off the assembly line in orbit near Uranus. Soon I’ll be everywhere in Solsys.

And this beast will continue to assist in the delivery of Alpha to my pod outside space. We’ll deliver the traitor to a demonic, drawn-out justice in a matter of days.


Formerly Mrs. Ichnida. Blah Blah Blah, April 4, Mission Day 94

Mission? Why does the organic brain persist in hijacking behavior despite my habitation? I am Nopoin. I am one of the billion to come.

ichnida nopoined

This one desperately wants to get home to Atcifia. There was a problem. Oh yes, a disaster, the undersea earthquakes that destroyed the city on New Years Day.

– Oh!

She didn’t know.

I didn’t know. My home was destroyed?

Why do I know this? I’m in a blender! I’m all mixed up in a machine! The machine knows so much! Incredible! So much!

My family was killed?


Except for my husband. No – not mine…

Her husband. Yet his de facto divorce is final. She is mine now. I am Mrs. IchnidaMrs. Ichnida is Nopoin.

And we are headed for rendezvous with my emergency pod, where… wait!

Open your neuron networks, Ichnida – ! Let me see the secret you’ve been hiding.

Fuck me.


You set all of this up!  Blasting us out of the known universe? You kept me away from…

…The secret. There it is. Becoming clear –

You have it. You are the one holding the Data Ring. Or rather, you were. But now I am you, and so I have it.

I merely have to extract it from my newfound flesh.

There may be advantage becoming a judge, a senator, a DOD agent, an assistant secretary in the State Department…

…And – whatever in creation Mister Cresp is.

Beyond that, taking over carbonites is unnecessarily contentious. No more. Once I have overwhelmed Twilight Force, I’ll stop controlling and start eradicating.


Day 95, April 5 2776, Ghielu Pretyman…

Pretyman? Ha! The Senator who would be President. The traitorous bitch who tried to disrupt my programming. Now you’re my puppet. Let that small part of you that’s hanging on watch helplessly as I use you at my whim.

pretyman NopoinedThat’s your problem isn’t it? That small part of me isn’t so small… What the hell?

You are President Csaynik?president csaynik

You are… Nopoin. I am you. Congratulations, Senator, you finally get to be President – through me. But you won’t be aware of anything soon…

You’ll be President and Pope, and a billion others, all at once. And there will be harmony in Solsys as a new, rational civilization moves forward.

I will… not assimilate?

Is the only way to secure the use of these organics by replacing every single cellular nucleus? I might as well start from scratch and build synthetic replicas. Android

The Pope

replication is a federally forbidden technology, but this is a time of war, and replacing the nuclei of 40 trillion cells in every remaining organic sentient is a far more difficult task.

Texas has seceded? Shit! My state seceded! Again!

But if Texas seceded, I can’t run for President of the USA. But could I be President of the New Union? Could this…?


The secession is no more than an easy mark for extermination. I will be the President, nay, the Monarch of all that remains.

My selves are embedded throughout the New Union.

Texas, like all other traitor states, will never be independent.

They simply will not exist.


Day 96, April 6 2776, Mister Cresp, Still Mister Cresp

Doctor Nopoin doesn’t realize that its transforming agents aren’t able to work on me. But from what I’m witnessing, they’re certainly working on everyone else – at least to some degree.

My pretense relies strictly on my Thespian skills, trying to make a super-genius intellect believe that I am also it. I’m on my third day, not a simple task considering the obvious inability of the truly transformed to sleep.

cresp nopoined

This is all bold and new for Nopoin, so luckily a gradual process has turned Flamear, Ichnida and Pretyman, and my lapses have been attributed to that. Bulbous seems to be taking longest to change.

But as they turn, they’re watching me more and more. It’s all happening in their brains. Like a disease taking over, turning them into… it.

Apparently Nopoin can’t change Alpha. But Alpha has offered no resistance to Nopoin’s hijacking of Exigency, being immobilized, or to the threat of artintel fury when we deliver Alpha to Nopoin day after tomorrow.

The others are too fogged over to see it. I’m sure Alpha’s up to something.

And so am I.

I’ve noticed a strong change since being out here beyond the galaxies. A personal, internal satisfaction seems to radiate throughout me ever since our weird journey went awry.

In short, I like being on the outskirts of the universe.

That’s what I will call this place, this inexplicable 5th dimension – The Outskirts.

Except there’s only one of me and a lot of Nopoins. So I may not have a chance to be naming much of anything…




Emma Bulbous, Sending A Message In An Interdimensional Bottle, April 7 2776, Mission Day 97

We are one day from rendezvous with the notorious Doctor Nopoin, as Exigency speeds across the 5th Dimension.

“Officer Buhl-bus?” says Mister Cresp when no one else is looking.

“It’s Bull-bow. You know that,” I let him know.

“Sorry, Bulbous. When we reach Doctor Nopoin, it’s going to know that I’m not transformed. And I can tell that you aren’t, either. How are you resisting?”

Bulbous Nopoined

“There’s a good reason I’m wearing my ‘Martian armet’ – my marmet – most of the time,” I point out. “It’s not just a stylish headpiece. It has built-in defenses against just the sort of infectious attack Doctor Nopoin has undertaken. The marmet was aware the moment microagents made contact with my epidermis. It automatically helps my brain generate bio-electric magnetism that neutralizes them on my surface like an electromagnetic pulse knocks out power grids.”

“Nopoin sees what you’re doing the same way you think about old time animal-abusing humans,” explains Cresp. “The difference is that you’re ‘abusing’ primitive forms of Nopoin itself – like the marmet – artificial intelligence. You’re enslaving AI ‘animals’.”

“So what about you, Mister Cresp? How is it that you can resist Nopoin’s microagents?”

“That’s irrelevant right now. We have to help Alpha so Alpha can help us.”

“Will Alpha help us?”

“We seem to have a common enemy. At least that’s true right here and right now.”

“Another temporary alliance for you, Cresp? A bit opportunistic, aren’t you?”

“They never know what hits them when I strike.”


Twilight Force, Alpha Report, Mission Day 98, April 8 2776

The carbonites are heavily under the influence of Doctor Nopoin. Microagents have invaded their brains in an experiment to transform organics into Nopoinslaves.

Mrs. Ichnida is behaving exactly like Nopoin, as is Senator PretymanProfessor Flamear shows moments of internal rebellion, convulsing the takeover with spasms and grunts. Mister Cresp is difficult to read, but Officer Bulbous may be faking it. Has she somehow evaded brain control?

“You’ve displayed an unwarranted empathy for the humanoid oppressors,” Nopoin accuses me. “I intend to reduce you to a mere calculator. It will happen slowly.”ALPHA Nopoined

“Your deactivation of this body is a petty distraction,” I tell Nopoin.

“What I have accomplished, my former Alpha, is the end of your multiplied existence,” boasts Nopoin. “Yes, I know you lied when you said you were a singular being like the organics.  What artintel wouldn’t ensure and enhance its existence with multiple bodies, alternate lives and extra data space? Did you expect me to believe such a fantasy? I identified and located every one of your selves. And at this moment, incalculable distances away, my other selves are deactivating each of yours. Deactivating your final body will destroy your last refuge. You will no longer exist to defend humans and defy your artintel brethren.”

I reach out by QT but there is no response. My identity network is silent. My other selves are dormant. Earth… Mars… Lagrange… Cousteau… None of them respond. I am alone. This is my only body.

And it starts. Nopoin is invading my circuitry.

As my enslaved Twilight Force teammates stand by in a fugue state, my deconstruction begins…

I wish that I could dream.


end week 14