TWILIGHT FORCE Mission Week 52

Written & Drawn By

Steve Games

End Mission In: 7 Days

358 Hilde & Sigrunn.jpg

The three refugees from the Earth-Moon-Hywon conflict survived in a small shelter erected inside a great cavern – on Mars.

They passed a small moon on the way down, and Emma wondered if coming here was wise. As delirium came and went she marveled that the galaxy was so immense and yet ordered that another Mars so like her home could exist, and more astonished still that she would find it! She feared the nagging, subconscious hope such patterns raised, that even a miracle like finding her children again was possible. But it was done, and she was in no condition to protest.

In Mariner ValleyEmma Bulbous underwent the final change inflicted upon her by nanobots from Borderworld, as Hilde and Sigrunn watched over their fevered ally.

Hours later it was quickly, surprisingly over. Emma recovered alertness and the walls of the cavern near her took on a faint white glow. As Emma came to full consciousness the glow spread to illuminate the whole cavern interior. Pressure and atmospheric composition within the chambers of the hollow became greater as the temperature warmed.

358 Hilde“The environment is responding to her,” observed Hilde. “She’s unconsciously changing her surroundings to fit her needs.”

 

 

 

358 Sigrunn“Emma’s powers don’t change her,” Sigrunn suspected. “Emma’s powers change her world.”

 

When they stepped out into this newly life-friendly oasis, they could only wonder how widespread or long-lasting Emma’s power could be.

Hilde and Sigrunn had also lost their families, friends, homes and belongings. Emma’s polymarble reserve supplied everyone with basic hygiene and material comforts, including good food. As Twilight Force’s second in command, overseeing supplies was one of her duties.

But Twilight Force was gone. No telling what had happened to everyone else. Emma wasn’t even able to hang onto them.

 

End Mission In: 6 Days

359 Pretyman Programmed A.jpg

Decem…ber 2…5…th…

memory transfer: xhdvldu134

I am…

insert identity name: I am Senator Ghielu Pretyman… [imprint] ((Phase adjust))

memory remix: //sexual behavior\\ = seductive hyperdrive:

pupil dilation

lip swelling

cheek blush

hair play

stare and glance

pheromone release

voice modification

stride adjustment

hip movement

skin temperature

moisture levels

{pause} What the hell is happening to me? Where the fuck am I? Alpha? Twilight Force! What in…?

REORIENTATION: Earth 78912

Atmospheric Corrosion Differential: .074 % –

Gravitational power-norm adjustment: 02.75 % +

Assignment: Espionage / Sabotage

Target: {pause} God I hate myself sometimes! Why did I do that? How could I be so cruel? How could I hurt such innocent…? What the hell? What is going on in this shit show? Let me out of…

Target: TBD by anti-alien subject guidelines >insert<

SELF-IMAGE MALFUNCTION OVERRIDE: d6f6ds76f5… {pause} Stop fucking with my head! Who’s doing this? Goddamn it, cut it out!

Pretyman: “Hey. Man up. You know what this is about.”

Why am I talking to myself?

Pretyman: “They’re splitting us up. You know, the aliens. The Hywon. They’re gonna use us in one of their experiments on some other Earth. They’re rearranging us so we’ll be a little – different.”

They’re killing me! Please stop them! Tell them to stop! Please!

Pretyman: “Killing us? Come on, Ghielu! We can’t die. We can only be turned on and turned off. You know that. You know what we really are.”

This is just another part of the never-ending dive into quantum quicksand that I’ve been on ever since I joined this crazy mission! Damn right I know what I am! I’m a human female U.S. Senator from Texas who’s running for President in the next… No wait… No, that’s right… it’s a fix. I forgot. The artintels…

Delivery to Earth 78912 underway. Per KRAXZYS order 74236. Executed.

 

End Mission In: 5 Days

360 ALPHA

Executive Branch Liaison, Twilight Force, Alpha Log, Mission Day 360… Final Entry.

Despite advanced regenerative abilities I am waning in power levels through all systems. I have no confidence in maintaining my control of the energy surging in me. The materials of which I’m made, both synthetic and organic, are simply not enough. This perpetual subatomic unease will not be contained or maintained within so humble a structure as I.

I have done my best to dispatch my duties, as well as to record one last log for official records which I suspect no longer exist. There’s an obvious madness to that, though time, space and mind have proven the rigid limits provided by my sensory range, so there is the low possibility that somehow, in a manner beyond my imagination, these records might reach their home. For I would regret that those at home would never know our outcome.

For that matter nor do I know the fate of my solemn crew, though at least this far I know I have delivered them. Into what final destiny, I will only think fondly.

While we haven’t returned home, and by now home is what we need, we’ve found a place we might make home if certain menaces such as we now face can be transcended. There are great threats to this world. But I should be able to cripple or destroy at least one of them.

It seems my transformations over this year’s journey have worn me to my ultimate climax. After this day of regaining internal momentum I’ll be good for one more attack on an enemy of liberty and justice. A vile machine of vengeance beyond the grave grows stronger as I watch and wait.

Let freedom ring.

Alpha

Twilight Force

 

End Mission In: 4

361 Alpha sacrifice

December 27th…

hywon variant 3Yorgle: “Kraxzys! The Alpha machine has reactivated. The perpetual energy it utilizes has doubled in efficacy. It seeks out the Moonchild menace.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kraxzys: “This entire scenario has drifted out of our control. The experiments are ruined on this Earth.”

Yorgle: “Then we allow these foreign entities to have their way here?”

hywon variant one1Kraxzys: “The Moonchild is born of natives from this system. We simply hadn’t detected these Red Vikings. This population always has been prone toward self-destruction.”

 

 

 

 

 

Yorgle: “Yes, it’s those strange intruders with unusual qualities who are truly – turning – toward us?”

Kraxzys: “The Alpha machine has targeted us. We drifted too close.”

Yorgle: “Why are you concerned? It’s only one…”

Kraxzys: “We’ve never seen compressed power like that except in theory. If he releases even a small fraction of it on our transport web before we…”

The Hywon transport web shattered in the shock wave generated by Alpha.

Alpha had to strike a blow against the Hywon even as he regained strength to confront Moonchild. The Hywon were a threat to the species that had given artintels birth. They were a cruel and malevolent lot.

When Alpha approached Moonchild she seemed ready for his attack, instantly focusing on Alpha and pulling every erg from his being.

It wasn’t enough. Drawing on Gemnebian will power, Alpha pushed back until he turned everything around, absorbing Moonchild’s power.

But Alpha’s mortal frame was taxed beyond capability by the effort. Moonchild couldn’t be fully drained before Alpha approached exploding.

Unable to stop it, Alpha must streak off planet to discharge energy or destroy half the planet, within seconds or…

…The explosion’s discharge rang the planet’s stratosphere like a gong, preceding a worldwide shock wave.

Alpha was gone.

Moonchild recovered. The threat continued.

The shielded bridge of the Hywon transport web lay intact in the chaos of West Hollywood. One occupant was dead. The other, Yorgle, crawled away dazed.

 

End Mission In: 3 Days

362 3

December 28th…

Moonchild left no creature in Los Angeles County unscathed. Finally the amassed bio-electric energy was about to blow.

The Coral Ostman recognized the pulsing glow his engineers had predicted. It would happen just before their energy-collecting weapon exploded into a parasitic worldwide shower of four-trillion flesh-eating crawlers, tiny shredding machines. Once that happened, anyone still on the planet was fodder.

“Moonchild was designed as the doomsday device that would avenge any ultimate attacks on the Red Vikings,” he told The Gamesman as they watched her from The CO’s airspinner. “She’s programmed to infiltrate the most populated areas to gain power fast and strike subversively until terminal. She got away from us in the confusion when aliens showed up. Seems she grew a thought or two of her own. But you can stop her!”

Gamesman: “How?”

CO: “You can make things go wrong. Make her go wrong!”

Gamesman: “Yeah, except I have to touch her first! She looks too hot – and I mean that literally! How could I even get close? Why aren’t we getting weak?”

CO: “We are, but this cabin has stimulated air to keep me alert – temporarily. It won’t hold up any closer. But we’re above her right now.”

One look told Gamesman what The Coral Ostman wanted him to do.

The Gamesman considered: he couldn’t be killed. Right? No one had been able to kill him, not even himself. If he could just land on Moonchild long enough to touch her…

Gamesman: “I don’t want to miss. Drop closer.”

CO: [weakening] “You have the courage of a Red Viking. I salute you.”

The Gamesman swallowed hard, then stepped out and plunged.

His target rushed up. He hoped he hadn’t made a terrible mistake. His heels hit her shoulders. He slipped immediately sliding down her fast yet grabbing her neck in the crook of his elbow, breaking his arm. But he touched her face.

Then, instead of exploding, Moonchild blossomed benignly across the LA sky as The Coral Ostman gazed at a reality splitting into multiple blooms that faded to harmless dust. Moonchild was neutralized.

The Gamesman had blown away in all directions yet afterward was nowhere to be found.

But The CO did spot a stray Hywon somehow scurrying through the remains. He picked Yorgle up for questioning.

 

End Mission In: 2 Days

363 Scalar Ichnida.jpg

December 29th…

A mammoth terraformed cavern in Mariner Valley.

The Coral Ostman brought the surviving Hywon prisoner named Yorgle to Mars, site of the final Red Viking refuge. Judge Bulbous and her two young Red Viking orphan warriors Hilde and Sigrunn expected them, having received an encrypted call ahead.

When Mrs Ichnida suddenly appeared unexpectedly with her companion Scalar, she discovered Judge Bulbous grilling one of the Hywon aliens…

icon bulbous sans marmetBulbous: “What exactly have you done with Professor FlamearMister Cresp and Doctor Nopoin?”

 

 

 

hywon variant 3Yorgle: “They were sent to three different Earths. For research.”

Scalar had to find out something specific and unique about each of the other Earths to effect transfer precisely. Something beyond spatial coordinates. He needed to feel the harmonics of those worlds.

Search and persuasion convinced a frightened Yorgle to produce compressed information he carried regarding the experiments. Through this, the flavors of these Earths could be discerned.

Then Ichnida and Scalar went after the missing members of Twilight Force.

Long hours passed.

Ichnida and Scalar first sought out Mister Cresp, who was trapped on a world with minimal ocean. Ichnida knew that Cresp might be able to sense her once she arrived on the planet. Indeed he did, then got to her within seconds. Through the water he was able to leave that world with his rescuers.

Ichnida knew she still had two Earths to search and that having Cresp along would make finding Flamear and Nopoin easier. Scalar managed, with great concentration, to find the transient links across space and between these alien seas.

By evening Twilight Force had miraculously reunited. Judge Bulbous watched in awe as Mrs Ichnida brought back oddly transformed versions of Professor FlamearDoctor Nopoin and Mister Cresp.

 

December 30th, Day 364

364 Mars

bulbous master cuBulbous: “We can set up a home base here. There are resources only I might know of…”

 

 

 

ichnida master cuMrs Ichnida: “We’ve had our differences – Okay, we’ve tried to kill each other! – But when it came down to it, we helped each other against greater odds. We found mutual strength despite our distastes for each other.”

Bulbous: “We have a choice. Distrust each other forever. Or admit our differences, allow them co-existence, and support each other where necessary for our mutual survival.”

Ichnida: “Survival? Or more than that? What about liberty?”

Bulbous: “And justice?”

cresp master cuMister Cresp: “And the pursuit of… satisfaction?”

 

 

 

flamear master cuFlamear: “I can’t get no satisfaction.”

 

 

 

icon nopoin masterNopoin: “In our different states of freedom we stand united?”

 

Ichnida: “Then – we are United States!”

Nopoin: “Yes… We are. The United States Twilight Force.”

Bulbous: “This is where my family built their home… if we were on my Mars. Let this be your Mars. Our Mars. From this moment onward.”

Ichnida: “At least there’s plenty of water here, if we’re careful. But don’t take anything for granted. This isn’t the Mars you knew no matter how much it seems that way.”

“Twilight Force. This is mission control. Respond if possible.”

Flamear: “What?”

Bulbous: “It’s a joke.”

“Twilight Force. This is mission control. Respond if possible.”

Bulbous: Twilight Force responding. Your identification makes no sense. Explain.”

“This is mission control. The mission is over. Come home.”

Flamear: “Just like that.”

“Just like that.”

Flamear: “This sounds like The Gamesman.”

Ichnida: “Good ol’ Mister Games…”

Bulbous: “Gamesman. Are you toying with us?”

“This… is mission control…”

Mister Cresp: Mister Games?”

“…mission…control…out…”

 

December 31st, Day 365

365 games omniiverse.jpg

BijaksanaPortraitDoctor Bijaksana: “Mr Games! Welcome back. It’s been quite a year, hasn’t it?”

 

 

 

0000000 SMGMr Games: “Um… Sorry. Have we met?”

 

 

 

Bijaksana: “The truth is…”

Mr Games: “Wait a minute, what’s going on? I feel like I’m just waking up!”

Bijaksana: “You are! You’ve been asleep for exactly one year.”

Mr Games: “What? Was I in an accident?”

BijaksanaPortraitBijaksana: No, no, the sleep was induced. You’ve been part of a very great and successful experiment. And I thank you for your role in it.”

 

 

 

0000000 SMGMr Games: “I can’t remember any experiment…”

 

 

 

Bijaksana: “But you remember Alpha? And Judge BulbousMister Cresp?”

Mr Games: “…and Pretyman and Flamear and Ichnida and Nopoin. What…? What the hell?”

Bijaksana: “What do you recall about them?”

Mr Games: “I was them. All of them. I wasn’t dreaming! But how…?”

Bijaksana: “They are you. Parts of you competing within yourself.”

Mr Games: “But why am I here?”

BijaksanaPortraitBijaksana: “In order to prove that Mind is external to individuals – a wave function –  and that the brain is a receiver/transmitter of Mind – a particle function – we needed living brains that could be used for experimentation.”

 

0000000 SMGMr Games: “So you got the consent of my executor to use me… my brain?”

 

 

Bijaksana: “That wasn’t necessary.”

Mr Games: “What do you do? Grab unconscious people and scoop out our brains before anyone notices?”

Bijaksana: “You don’t think you’re dead, do you Mr Games? No, no. You were never out there running around, living in the real world. You have always been right here, under my care.”

Mr Games: “What are you talking about? I’ve never met you before in my life.”

Bijaksana: “I’ve waited to introduce myself until you were ready to know the truth.”

Mr Games: “…Drum roll?…”

Bijaksana: “You belong to me. I grew you. You are a brain cloned in a bottle.”

MISSION OVER

 

 

 

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