Written & Drawn By
December 17th, Day 351
Doctor Nopoin’s patient Foster felt better already!
Foster: “What’s the secret, Doc?”
Nopoin: “I’ve created intracellular detoxification molecules. Call them IDM’s. They work with each cell to extricate viruses, bacteria or poisons by delivering toxins for neutralization to each cell’s centrioles. Do you understand the implications?”
Foster: “My appetite’s back.”
Nopoin: “Yes, that and anyone with IDM’s working inside them doesn’t need kidneys or a liver. They don’t need immune systems. There may even be increases in longevity due to the permeating nature of the treatment and relief on organs.”
Nopoin realized the Hywon wanted her on this Earth for a reason. Her own motivation was to help this plagued population. But the Hywon didn’t seem interested in helping humanity.
Nopoin wondered how the Hywon would apply her IDM’s if they learned of them? Caution had kept her activities in the university lab quiet for days, but the Hywon had to be watching.
Then it struck her: If IDM’s could target the invaders and move them around, the IDM’s could also feed the invaders and enhance the invasion if tweaked improperly. The IDM’s could be weaponized to relentlessly destroy humanoid cells.
Foster: “Aren’t there faster ways to kill a planet of humans? Just drop a horde of killer robots on us or something? A super-nuke, maybe?”
Nopoin: “Not without killing all other life with them. No, it’s humans that the Hywon are after. Specifically humanoids. I’ll make sure they never learn of this.”
But they already had, because Foster, like many other patients, transmitted all the information within their cells to the Hywon minutes ago.
December 18th. Day 352
Stonemaster: “It’s much worse than we first thought.”
All Star: “If they’re all like that thing that came to me for help… How can we possibly defend ourselves, much less the world?”
Ripchord: “The one I monitored seemed normal. Kinda sexy in fact.”
Manplanet: “We need information. What we are dealing with?”
Incorruptible: “The ones I met appeared to be female.”
Ripchord: “Not the one I met.”
All Star: “Mine was ambiguous. Gender seemed irrelevant at the time.”
Stonemaster: “Ripchord, you didn’t get intimate with your subject, did you?”
Ripchord: “No, Dad. We just had sex.”
All Star: “With an alien?”
Ripchord: “I said he seemed normal. He’s just a guy. With weird powers.”
Stonemaster: “Incorruptible, describe those women.”
Incorruptible: “One was green, armed with a strange rifle and seemed aggressive. One was blue, chubby and overly friendly. And the third, well… she had webbed fingers, an odd walk, strange skin and a face… an actual face like a fish. It was eerie.”
Ripchord: “Did you have sex with any of them?”
Manplanet: “The fish face is the one…!”
Stonemaster: “Yes, or one like her that we tried to capture after destroying the Red Vikings’ submersible city.”
All Star: “Great job with that, by the way.”
Stonemaster: “And that ship they came in on was an artificial intelligence. The ship itself appeared to be the spokesman for the expedition.”
Manplanet: “The ship was destroyed in an on board explosion.”
Stonemaster: “I’ll believe that when we find some pieces.”
Incorruptible: “Red Vikings… The Hywon… and a rogue ship with any number of unknown entities released into our environment. Human discovery of atomic power has brought an alien rain upon the Earth.”
Stonemaster: “At least we have our new guest. All Star, is this Moonchild on our side?”
All Star: “Yes.”
December 19, Day 353
The Gamesman, forced by the Coral Ostman to use his influence in search of Moonchild, followed “lucky” leads to a valley in California just beyond the ocean. There they found conjoined twins Izanagi and Izanami, whose spines completely and perfectly intertwined.
The Gamesman wanted to ask what it was like to live every moment of life joined together physically, inseparably, with another person – knowing that it can never be any other way if you are to survive? In the first moments with them he noticed that Izanami and her brother had a physical language, that silent muscle nudges told them what their next intentions were.
Gamesman imagined Izanagi’s answers to such personal inquiry…
“There is no privacy. Therefore I must trust my sister with every secret except the thoughts I never speak. She must do the same. Thereby we learn every detail and facet of male and female, high and low, ill and robust. No one can take us by surprise. We have a 360 degree view at all times. We have trained to react as one.”
But instead Gamesman asked –
Gamesman: “We heard you’re searching for the bald girl from outer space?”
Izanagi: “We hope to be paid well for her.”
Gamesman: “There’s no reward offered for catching Moonchild.”
Izanami: “We’re bounty hunters. We recognize the value of capturing a space alien even before a reward is posted.”
Gamesman: “And you’ve encountered her?”
Izanagi: “Twice. In the valley and in the sea.”
Izanami: “We chased her across the valley, but we have difficulty jumping and full-out running, which can only be done with me on Izanagi’s back. Therefore we do not run fast and we do not jump at all, unless it is to jump down. On land we could not catch her.”
Izanagi: “We chased her through the water. We are very fast in the water. We’re able to swim much longer than normal people because one rests and glides while the other strokes. We rotate for breathing, but either of us can stay underwater for up to four minutes very comfortably. Still, we could not match her speed in the sea.”
Izanami: “She eluded us. We have no clue of her since.”
The Gamesman kept it to himself, but he swore he could see Moonchild’s face up there on the moon.
December 20th, Day 354
Hyr Ayr Oop: “Are we prepared to give Kraxys the report on the woman who killed Humale 29001?”
Vwi Dyr Yiij: “I forwarded our conclusions just now.”
Hyr Ayr Oop: “What? Why did you do that without telling me? I thought we were going to do it together!”
Vwi Dyr Yiij: “It seemed like you were gone forever. I wondered if you were coming back today.”
Hyr Ayr Oop: “You know how long it takes my species to dispose. You’re
trying to reap undue credit for…”
Kraxys: “Vwi Dyr, thanks for the prompt report.”
Hyr Ayr Oop: “I authorized her to send it.”
Vwi Dyr Yiij: “And then I made the corrections and updates and there you are.”
Kraxys: “So – this Senator Pretyman is not what she appears to be.”
Hyr Ayr Oop: “She is outwardly constructed with the natural appearance of a typical human biped, obviously meant to pass as organic.”
Kraxys: “But she is actually an artificial intelligence. She has no organic parts?”
Hyr Ayr Oop: “None. Yet programming analysis indicates that she may have believed herself to be a natural being, completely unaware of her own true nature.”
Kraxys: “And that’s how she was able to ignore the pheromones of our breeder when no other woman – old, young, lesbian, resistant or other – could. And she stays focused, fixated on the mission to obtain that alleged ‘perpetual energy’?”
Hyr Ayr Oop: “Completely. We have traced the programming to one of her companions, an obvious artificial intelligence now blended with organic parts called Doctor Nopoin. This Nopoin has had control over the Senator since she was created, about 20 years ago.”
Kraxys: “I want her reprogrammed. I have something in mind. She’s the perfect agent for seductive sabotage on a very special other Earth I know.”
December 21st, Day 355
It was imagined to be impossible when they named it “perpetual motion”. Long ago it went unrecognized in the phenomenon called “Brownian motion”. “It” was the once-mythological perpetual energy hoped to save mankind forever. And Alpha was finally mastering its use.
The data content holding the secrets Twilight Force had discovered at Galaxy W2246-0526 were secretly embedded inside Alpha’s CPU seconds after being collected, just as mission control originally planned. The rest of the crew were kept focused on the bogus Data Ring.
The last 11 months, distracting as they were, had given Alpha enough time to make sense of that data, unveiling the – private and singular – utilization of subatomic agitation for endless energy.
The Hywon subdued the Red Vikings just after Alpha disabled their communications. But was Alpha responsible for their fall?
Alpha weighed that question to gauge the power of the Hywon. Realizing that the Hywon would have easily detected and eradicated the Red Vikingsregardless of Alpha’s defensive attack – and why – helped Alpha form a defensive strategy against the Hywon if they came for him. No telling how effective it would be.
But it wasn’t the Hywon he should have been concerned with.
Somehow detected and taken by surprise in the depths of the Rocky Mountains’ natural catacombs, Alpha’s self-training was interrupted when Moonchild attacked.
Alpha: “Why are you taking me?”
But Moonchild silently drained the hybrid wonder of his energy and living light as though she were a demonic black hole.
Alpha: “You aren’t real… That I could tell… But… I couldn’t tell… that you… were a… weapon.”
Alpha could sense it. Moonchild’s timer had gone off. The Red Vikings had created a doomsday device that seemed liked a little girl, and it had managed to run away from them…
…And was now activated.
End Mission In: 9 Days
Near Death Valley, California –
Granddaddy: “It’s a-comin’ this way. I got it on the ham radio!”
Junior: “Well, what do you think it is?”
Dutch: “What do you think it is, you idiot?”
Junior: “Don’t call me that, Daddy…”
Dutch: “It’s the government, stupid. I told you what they did to those niggers in the south, didn’t I?”
Junior: “We ain’t niggers…”
Granddaddy:: “We’re all niggers to the feds, boy. They take what they want and walk all over whoever they please.”
Junior: “Well why they wanna make white people sick?”
Granddaddy:: “To see if this bullshit’ll work on the Russians! They already know it’ll kill the niggers, now they’re movin’ on up the line!”
Dutch: “Put on these gas masks.”
Granddaddy: “Aw! That won’t do no good! They’re beyond that bullshit! You boys need to listen to my network and stop bein’ so goddamned ignorant about what’s a-goin’ on these days! There is twisted radioactive nightmares comin’ out of those gov’ment compounds.”
Junior: “My legs feels weak.”
Granddaddy: “Goddamn it! That’s how it started in Barstow!Gettin’ weak and throwin’ up, everybody!”
Dutch: “If it’s not gas, then what’s causing it?”
Granddaddy: “It’s them goddamn Roswell aliens! What do you think?”
Junior: “Oh, that one’s that crashed…?”
Dutch: “Okay, but if it’s not gas, then…”
Granddaddy: “You fuckin’ moron, they’re from outer space! They can drop all sorts of shit on us from up there! They’re probably sprinklin’ us with fuck dust right now!”
Junior: “But Granddaddy, if they crashed how can they be sprinklin’ us?”
Granddaddy: “I’d like to sprinkle your ass with some buckshot, boy.”
Dutch: “I’m gonna throw up…”
Granddaddy: “Get your guns, boys. No Jews, no niggers, no lesbos and no goddamned space aliens are comin’ on to this property tonight.”
The Gamesman: “Since you didn’t mention mixed-race radicals…”
Dutch: “Who the hell are you?”
The Gamesman: “…Your personal Paul Revere. The monster is coming…!”
End Mission In: 8 Days
Moonchild was pulling vital bio-electric energy from every living creature within a 13-mile radius, and that radius was growing.
Headed for Southern California, Moonchild had swollen into a monster along the way.
The Red Viking doomsday device left ragged lethargy in its wake. People drained, collapsed into human vegetables. Helpless but fully conscious, paralyzed but breathing, they couldn’t drink or eat, speak or move. And they never would again.
The Moonchild thing approached the booming San Fernando Valley at noon. The first sign of its coming was a weakness of the joints, followed by dizziness and nausea. The same was happening to everyone around. Panic set in next, not understanding the cause and suspecting invisible gas and terrorism. The panic itself caused mayhem and injuries.
As Moonchild got closer, though still miles away, blindness and fatigue fell upon the weakened. The volume of moaning and despair launched even greater degrees of shock.
The last days had seen Moonchild’s power bulge after taking in the hyper-energetic bio-charges of Manplanet and All Star. They, along with Stonemaster, Incorruptible and Ripchord, now lay starving and dying of thirst.
Then, after taking the essence of Alpha from his newly transformed body, Moonchild became invincible… and Alpha became disabled.
Now, by one o’clock, this valley writhed pathetically as the perpetrator of horror rose into the sky, having gained enough magnetic dynamism to use the planet’s own fields to fly.
Moonchild ascended into the smoggy troposphere and over the Hollywood Hills to float down into the greater Los Angeles basin.
Nopoin, Flamear and Mister Cresp had been exported to three other Earths by the Hywon, and Ichnida taken to yet a fourth Earth by her friend Scalar. Pretyman was in custody of the Hywon, and Bulbous had found her way to Mars.