Written & Drawn By
TWILIGHT FORCE Recovered Files, Mission Period 288 Memorandum, October 15:
Simultaneously Mallika Singh scattered across the cosmos. Several prospects emerged. The universe brimmed with distractions, but E-Cloud stayed mission-focused as she scoured realities for the ultimate emergency rescue help.
Mallika understood the difficulty of her undertaking. Someone powerful enough to cross any and all of space quickly enough to reach the moon where Twilight Force was trapped, then excavate their blockage, was required. That, plus they had to be willing to help.
E-Cloud approached a majestic realm of spires and towering monuments, peopled by long-lived super-humans with world-changing tools.
“Your territory does not fall within the jurisdiction of the nine realms,” the golden-haired, electro-charged, hammer-wielding monarch explained. “And there’s Ragnarok.”
E-Cloud found a woman on a distant world with powers and abilities far beyond those of ordinary mortals. The super female wanted to help but kept raising a “licensing problem” that Mallika couldn’t grasp. Something about “unfair copyright extensions…”
E-Cloud opened the door to a mystic stronghold where she encountered a powerful spellbinder. Though the wizard listened sympathetically, he was engaged in an inter-dimensional conflict, and couldn’t be spared.
E-Cloud discovered a hidden island swarming with amazing women warriors of cosmic capacity. Sadly, they were confined by their “Gods” to their tiny reality.
Then E-Cloud came upon a man too powerful to set foot upon planet. Possibly the most powerful single organic being ever to exist. His breath has blown away whole cities. His stomp has cracked a moon in two. Although a champion of the world he grew up in, his isolation is unavoidable. His power is too big for any world now, so he lives apart in his indestructible satellite, helping those in need from afar.
A giant trapped in a man’s body, that ordinary-looking hero’s name is Ahret.
TWILIGHT FORCE Recovered Files, Mission Period 289 Memorandum, October 16:
E-Cloud and Mister Cresp, their identities blending at a steady pace despite their positron-electron standoff, led the immeasurably powerful Ahret to the moon where Twilight Force was buried.
Mister E: “You really were able to follow me instantly! But how?”
Ahret: “On both subatomic and macroscopic scales, matter behaves differently than it does on a local scale. My power is macroscopic.”
Mister E: “My friends are buried under this rubble.”
With effort only on behalf of restraint, Ahret grasped a massive boulder, flung it into orbit around the local star, then grabbed another and did the same until the path was clear.
But nothing was inside except…
“…The imprint of a vehicle left on the cavern floor,” the Red Viking leader, a striking woman of little patience, told her captives.
“Well, that’s where we left it,” Judge Bulbous told her for the upteenth time. She, Senator Pretyman, the Gamesman, Doctor Nopoin and Mrs Ichnida had been grilled by Red Vikings for days.
“We’ve searched the entire labyrinth and found nothing,” that leader, Hironsa, revealed. “How did you get to the moon?”
“How does anyone get to a moon?” joked a fed-up Gamesman. “We clicked our heels…”
“…Fastest trip I’ve ever taken, including in TAREX drives!” Professor Flamear told his Hywon hosts as they suddenly hovered over the moon. “So, you think my former teammates ended up down there? Looks barren.”
“They are below the surface,” the uniped named Yorgle explained. “It is certain. All but for one.”
Flamear: “Which one is missing?”
Zimla: “He went that way.”
Yorgle: “There is a primitively-developed city within the lava domes. The other five are in it. Tell me why.”
Flamear: “Ha! Like I would know!”
TWILIGHT FORCE Recovered Files, Mission Period 290 Memorandum, October 17:
He hadn’t come across the universe to be trifled with.
“I have come to set free those you hold called Twilight Force,”Ahret reiterated. “Set them free and you’ll be spared. I have no other reason to harm you.”
The Red Viking leader Hironsa was fascinated. “You believe that you can harm The Red Vikings? We are the most advanced culture of this world. Our weaponry is trained upon you even now, and you survive only by my will. Explain your interest in these trespassers or die where you float.”
Ahret: “I have no time for your games.”
Upon detection of intruders from outer space yesterday, Twilight Force had been placed in a secured room hidden inside an artificial underground waterfall. Without touching the ground, floating all the way, Ahret flew into the falls, pulled out the room and set it down before tapping it with his little finger to crack the fortified walls apart like an eggshell. Out came the Gamesman, Senator Pretyman, Judge Bulbous, Doctor Nopoin and Mrs Ichnida.
A barrage of particle beams struck Ahret from many angles.
The beams glimmered and sparked as they struck Ahret. He was unmoved.
Hironsa stared at the miraculous invader. “Where are you from?” she radioed.
Ahret: “Why do you care?”
Hironsa: “Our culture is all about gaining knowledge and putting it to practical use. You aren’t like anything on our home world that we’ve seen before.”
Ahret: “You think I’m from your home world? I’m from another galaxy.”
Hironsa: “Impossible! Human beings can only have evolved by chance once in this universe. We are unique.”
Ahret could only chuckle. “Human beings are a ubiquitous inevitability in this reality.”
The Gamesman: “Hey! How do we get out of here?”
Yorgle: “We have a ship.”
TWILIGHT FORCE Recovered Files, Mission Period 291 Memorandum, October 18:
Ahret set the five humanoids free, but there was no way to move them off the moon that Red Vikings still controlled.
The Red Vikings were baffled by the existence of the beings surrounding them for the past few days, obviously brought upon them by the presence of the five captives. For a day, the Vikings’ hunger for knowledge drove their leader Hironsa to try desperately to think of some way to diplomatically persuade the cooperation of both the humanoids claiming to be from another star system and the self-declared aliens who wanted to take them away.
That’s when Alpha arrived on the scene – to the surprise of the humanoids!
“Our captain!” screamed Judge Bulbous.
“And our transportation!” added the Gamesman.
“How did Alpha get out of the cavern?” Mrs Ichnida wondered.
“Our Moonchild!” Hironsa radioed from within Red Viking Command Center. “Our Moonchild is aboard that vessel!”
Sure enough, the youngster who had freed the over-sized Alpha from the cave-in by inserting him in a polymarble and walking him out in a pocket – was inside Alpha now.
Moonchild: “Mother! Can you hear me?”
Hironsa: “Where have you been? What have you done? I’ve been so worried…!”
Moonchild: “I’m sorry! But I found Alpha and…”
Everyone stopped when the Hywon contingent sent a tremor pulse through the area, rocking all internally. Like the Red Vikings, the Hywon were collectors of knowledge – only on a far grander scale.
Kraxzys: “This moon and the planet it orbits will be left alone, as Hywon precedent dictates. The free-ranging humanoids are ours. They leave with us.”
Senator Pretyman: “I do believe they’re fighting over us.”
As the Hywon and the Red Vikings distracted one another, Twilight Force sneaked aboard Alpha.
And Alpha light-sped away.
TWILIGHT FORCE Recovered Files, Mission Period 292 Memorandum, October 19:
Yesterday Twilight Force escaped the Red Vikings by fleeing the moon in Alpha. After recovering their hygiene and composure, they’ve reached the outer limits of the galaxy. Alpha has slowed until coming to an orbit about the star system.
Alpha: “I’m stopping here so that you may now consider your next alternatives. There is still the chance some of you may wish to go back and settle on the planet that moon orbits. The people inhabiting it are human, similar to your ancestors, and roughly 400 years behind the Red Vikings technologically. It may be the closest thing we ever find to our old home.”
Judge Bulbous: “That’s great, but I’m about to give birth to a metal monstrosity, remember?”
Doctor Nopoin: “Me too.”
Alpha: “What about you, Professor Flamear? You were also ‘impregnated’…”
Professor Flamear: “Whoa! So that’s why the Hywon worshiped me! They thought I was the first natural born cyborb! Or…something?”
Alpha: “The Hywon. That would be the alien fleet that’s presently searching for us?”
Flamear: “Could be. They wouldn’t like you taking me away from them.”
Moonchild: “Go back.”
Senator Pretyman: “I’ve been meaning to ask: who’s this kid?”
Alpha: “She freed me from the cavern after the rest of you abandoned me, and has gained my sympathy.”
Moonchild: “I’m running away from home.”
Gamesman: “What? You told us to go! And Alpha? You can’t just kidnap a kid!”
Moonchild: “They won’t let us leave the moon! Ever! It’s against the law. But I have to see the planet! I have to go to the real world where people started! I just have to! But it’s forbidden. We’re supposed to stay secret from the planet people. They won’t take a chance. It’s so beautiful there. Please…?”
TWILIGHT FORCE Recovered Files, Mission Period 293 Memorandum, October 20:
Moonchild convinced Alpha to take her to the planet she had seen from afar all her life. Evading detection by the Hywon and the Red Vikings, Alpha entered low orbit over the bustling world.
Professor Flamear: “Aren’t we chancing detection flying this low?”
Alpha: “There are no satellites orbiting this world. They probably have telescopes, but no way to understand seeing us if they might.”
Senator Pretyman: “Criminey! Look at all the human activity down there that’s showing up on these monitors! There have to be a billion humans down there!”
Moonchild: “I knew it. I knew this place would be miraculous.”
Judge Bulbous: “Nuh-uh. You’re just as surprised as we are. How come?”
Moonchild: “Children of the Red Vikings are taught to ignore the Fatherworld until we’re adults. Then we are allowed to know the details. There were rumors about all the people but I couldn’t be sure. It’s wrong of them to hide this from us. This is where we come from.”
Mrs Ichnida: “There’s something familiar about that shoreline…”
Moonchild: “You’re all so different from one another. I’m wondering what it is that bonds you together? What do you have in common?”
Doctor Nopoin: “We were supposed to be Americans.”
Moonchild: “From the same planet?”
Doctor Nopoin: “Originally, a place called Earth.”
Moonchild: “Earth? Earth is the name of this world!”
Mrs Ichnida: “No…”
Flamear: “The architecture in those cities is ancient! Their roads require wheels and combustion engines! They’re barely out of the caves!”
Moonchild: “They’re just 400 years behind the Red Vikings.”
Alpha: “We originated in the 28th Century of our calendar. What century is this to you?”
Moonchild: “To us this is the 20th Century.”
Gamesman: “When the hell did we go backwards in Time?”
TWILIGHT FORCE Recovered Files, Mission Period 294 Memorandum, October 21:
Mrs Ichnida: “So we’re in 1947? Over the United States? Over Atcifia?”
Professor Flamear: “I thought time travel was impossible.”
Judge Bulbous: “This must be a parallel Earth. Wow, what if my kids are still alive on a parallel Mars?”
Alpha: “Neither have we breached time nor inter-dimensional space. This is simply a planet on the opposite side of the Milky Way from the Earth we are familiar with.”
Senator Pretyman: “Simply? It looks like the same evolutionary history, only ancient! How can that be?”
Doctor Nopoin: “Excuse me! Look outside! Has anyone noticed what’s happening with Mister Cresp and his girlfriend?”
Gamesman: “Her name’s… Mallika?”
Alpha: “They’re multiplying, dividing and merging…!”
Pretyman: “Merging? But she’s matter and he’s antimatter! If they merge they’ll destroy each other!”
Gamesman: “Yeah – except they aren’t destroying each other…but they are merging.”
Pretyman: “Holy shit! They became one person! How is that possible? Is that happening?”
Gamesman: “It happened! What the fuck? And look out – here it comes!”
Alpha: “She’s coming through my hull! But – without damage!”
Nopoin: “Mister Cresp? Is that you?”
Them: “It was! Now I’m…me.”
Mrs Ichnida: “He’s not right.”
Them: “I’m not a ‘he’.
Alpha: “I told you it was her.”
Them: “I’m not a ‘she’ either. I’m me.”
Gamesman: “So – what do we call you?
Them: “I’m a Z. My name is Them.”
Nopoin: “But why now, so suddenly? And how?”
Them: “My molecules have merged without touching. Mutual annihilation is avoided while cellular unity is possible. I’m a being of positrons and electrons. I’m amazed at myself! Can you believe me? I’m absolutely fascinating!”
Flamear: “Take it down a notch, Cresp! I know you! I see you in there! Don’t be so amazed at yourself!”
End WEEK 42