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Even The Sun Is Wrong

A CAPOW story

Written by: Emikos Agent, Anne Packrat, Weapon X, Ace Ban Dage, REM, Susano Orbitas, Michael Gibson, Jeff Jarlett
Compiled by Anne Packrat, HTML adaptation and cleanup by Chika.

AIIIIEEEEE!!!!!! Falling...falling...

With a giant crash, Emiko finally met ground with her face, her body
bruised when it impacted with the hard plastic and cardboard junk below
   Ayaa! she expressed willingly. Lying in the garbage for a few
moments, she let the pain and silence absorb her. Then she felt her
hair get wet. Ouch, she lifted her self up, before immediately
attending to a battered back. That was one of thee WORST landings Ive
ever felt! Last time I let Mika send me over. Her feet shuffled
through a mass of pipes which were covered by some sticky substance. 
   Eew, get it off, get it off! Messing her hair about, she splattered
off some residue clinging to her pink hair. A thought then occurred to
her, stopping her cleansing process short. Mai? she whispered. Emiko
was almost afraid to look up. When she mustered the courage, she looked
to see a glob of pants dropping on her face. She screamed, and bent
back, attempting to catch Mai in her arms. It was successful, but it
still hurt. Fortunately, Mai was very light. 
   Emiko-sensei! Mai hugged her wounded companion. There was a look of
panic in her eyes. I though Id never land!
   Now Mai, Emiko grinned, wheres your sidekick composure? The
thirteen year old girl regained her composure immediately, saluting. 
Hai, Emiko-sensei! 
   Good. Emiko winced. She was hurting, but curiosity was also
getting the best of her. Where ARE we? This was not the coordinates
entered before the launch! They both turned their heads to the right. 
They were in an alley, filled with discarded metal, and old abandoned
parts from some rusted mech. Though the alley was dark, the bright
light of a sun shawn its beauty at the passage opening
   That light looks very pretty! Mai became her cheery self, her hands
close her her chest. Emiko nodded in agreement. Lets go, Mai-chan. 
Grabbing the edge of the grey dumpster, she tossed herself over and
landed squarely on her feet. Then she remembered her injuries. 
   AYaa! Her dutiful sidekick was at her side in a second and removed
something round from a pouch around her waist. It was the first time
Emiko noticed that they were dressed rather differently from normal
attire. Mai had this tiny cloak over her charismatic young face, a
brown headband under her short brown hair. Feeling her head, Emiko also
found a brown headband around her head. She shook her ponytail once
more, ridding of the last traces of garbage smell. 
   Mai handed her the round fruit. Here sensei! Eat this. Yumi gave it
to me before we left. It will beat that bad pain until your body gets
happy by itself! It never ceased to amaze her how her sidekick
explained things. Taking a bite of the egg-shaped fruit made her mouth
tingle, and reluctantly, she swallowed it. Ack, what a horrible
taste! Here. The fruit returned to Mais pouch. Running her hands
over her breasts, stomach, legs and arms, Emiko smiled gleefully; the
pain was gone. 
   Sugoi! Im myself pretty self again! Looks like Yumis spell did the
trick for once! Now then, the exit...ikuzo!
   There was no other word for it. It was an overload of sights like
neither of them had seen. 
   Wow Mai mimicked her teacher, and comforted her uneasiness by
standing closer to her friend. 
   They had just left the alley, which turned out to be an underground
tunnel. It didnt explain why they fell, but returning to the tunnel to
answer that question was not high on her list. Outside there was a
perpendicular walkway, running a path that extended endlessly to both
sides. There was a railing along this path, obviously intended to keep
people from falling. 
   Falling into the emptiness of space below. It was space...not the
emptiness of air that one might find in a canyon, but the black dark
void of emptiness that surrounded all planets and contained the
universe. The railing that stood only 1 meter high was the only
structure keeping them from falling for eternity. 
   Youd think theyd put up a window or something. Emiko followed the
void with her blue eyes to the very limits...where it met up with the
sky! Clearly, above them rested soft pillows of clouds, trudging along
lazily in a blue sky. Peering near the sun, a few blobs could be seen. 
Air people? Mai questioned, her big eyes staring in similar manner to
   Out in space, a tall crystalline fortress stood. There were many access
ports to the station, and a small cylinder of crystal shot up above, cut
off rather harshly before it reached the horizon between sky and space. 
It seemed to have been broken off by some explosion. Around the
fortress lay a few clusters of fighter craft, drifting around as if in a
state of confusion. They were all motionless.
   Emiko! Emiko-sensei! Mai tugged on the Emikos tight pants, urging
her to turn around. 
   Oh wow! she gasped. 
   Beside the tunnel, lay a huge city. Neon lights shawn despite the
daylight, but the street lights were off. A great tear of the road ran
down into the horizon, separating two very different kinds of city. One
side seemed to be from the future..the other was late 20th century. 
Emiko rubbed her temples with her gloved hands. Dang..Im not cut out
for this...I wish Eric were here. 
   Really?! Mai grinned at her. mean...dang. Emiko struggled, embarrassed by her slip
of confidence. She laughed. I dont need his help! Ummm..I was just
checking to see if you were paying attention to what I said. 
   I can handle this myself thank you very much! She scanned everything
intently, making it look like she was busy. It looks like different
places, and times, have been smashed is this
possible...who did this? Looking up higher, she could see more
aircraft floating motionless amidst the clouds. Then there was the
sun. It was bright, but half of it was blocked out by this sphere that
rested in front of it. Look, commented Mai, even the sun is wrong. 
   Hmph. I dont know about the sun, but what I want to know is, where
they heck is everybody?! Cupping her hands, she took a deep breath. 
   HELLO!!! Her echo rang into the air. It was true. For this moment
and time, the people of of this demented world were either gone, in
hiding, or dead.
   Mai gripped Emikos hand. Maybe theyre sleeping! she said,
optimistic as ever. 
   You are not alone.
   The duo jumped at the new voice. Emiko, instinctively, reached for her
leg pouch, snatching her weapon and letting it emit a sharp blue arc of
energy before her. Show yourself! she yelled, almost in panics. All
the new discoveries had made her more edgy than she expected. Amid a
thick gust of smoke rising from a broken pipe in the distance, a lone
figure stood. There are still people alive, he continued, some are
dead, but most are sleeping or unconscious. I have seen them. Who are
   Emiko didnt waver with her blade and stuck out her tongue, pulling
down the the skin of her cheek with her free hand. Mai followed
likewise. Nice try mister, but Id like to see you first. You mind
stepping away from the smoke? I like to see who Im talking to. 
   The figure remained motionless for a moment, contemplating what to do
next. Then, as quickly as he came, he was gone. Perhaps it was better
to be on his own...or perhaps not. But he couldnt make that decision
face to face. He needed to think.

[Weapon X]
   Commander Prickett sat in his office and fumed silently to himself. 
For once, he was at a loss as to what was going on. For once, someone
else had control. And now he was without his forces to support him. 
Their disappearance coincided with the formation of this strange now
world. Well, they are not the ones who got you where you are, he said
to himself, smiling, almost as if accepting a challenge. He tapped his
skull, this did. He faced a table in front of him and began to
formulate a plan. Either find a way to get the world back how it was, or
find a way to capitalize on its current state.

   Remus Kai stared upward at the giant fortress hovering high up in the
sky. Being almost suicidally curious, there was only one thing on his

   Tsubame was not a happy man. He had searched frantically for his
girlfriend, and could not find her. He felt the anger and heat emanating
from his face. Someone will pay..

   Madoka was bored. Business was unusually slow today. She pulled out
the laptop to see what was going on in the world.

   Rekishi stepped back into the shadows, appearing to dissolve into it as
he mumbled a few words. He had found that he was making poor decisions
lately. In addition he was a little preoccupied with thoughts of the
conversation he just had with Susano Orbatos.. but perhaps that too was a
dream.. for the world that occurred in was vastly different from this one.
   He remembered a fable he had heard in his travels. A man had a dream
that he was a butterfly, and when he woke up, he couldnt tell which was
the dream, and which was real. He gingerly touched the bleeding wound on
his right leg that he did not remember getting. This was no dream. He
should have not approached the girl so soon. She was yet another unknown
in this now unknown world. But Rekishi sensed the power she held in her
small, attractive frame. The way she held her composure so strongly. He
found himself beginning to blush hidden within the shadows.. Suddenly, to
his surprise, he saw a flash of blue light, blinding his eyes, before
finding himself knocked to the ground, slightly winded. I want some
answers, pal. She had her knee on top of his chest. And I mean now.

   A banished god awakens, a slight ringing in his head.. What happened?
The last thing I remember was.. He hastens to his feet and rushes off..

   A crow caws quietly atop the shoulder of a man dressed in black.
He gazes upon the city.. uncomfortable at fitting in so well..

   Scan... Remus muttered.
   There was something odd going on here... He couldnt get any 
readings from Gauntlet II.
   This could be a problem...
   The hair pricked up at the back of his neck as something started 
breathing rather heavily behind him.
   I hope youre not here to kill me... It wont be very easy, the 
Detian said calmly.
   He turned around and found himself staring into the shadows.. filled 
with countless, beady red eyes.
   Limme guess.. Pan-Dimensional Hari Krishnas looking for a donation? 
he joked.

   Susano looked around the canyon path, disoriented and uncomfortable. He
wished Remus were here; the pair often went hiking along rustic trails
when they were younger. But, of course, such matters were beyond his
control; one was only human...
   He noticed the floating castle above him and smiled; THERE was
something you didnt see everyday... Yet he felt a certain attraction to
it, a nostalgia. Perhaps even Deja Vue....
   He thought of Emiko again, and shut his eyes. He had saved her life,
yet he still had so much to prove... It was like starting over again,
and in many ways, it was...
   Slowly, he made his way towards the anomaly, alone...

[Emikos Agent]
   The heat and strange power emanating from the blade mere inches from
Rekishis nose made him flinch. Emiko watched him through suspicious
blue eyes, and every time her gloved hands clenched together, the blade
seemed to emanate with more power.
   A weapon based on will? Rekishi thought to himself.
   Gomen nasai, Mr. Stranger! Mai beamed from behind her bigger friend,
happy to meet new people, but cautious nonetheless.
   My name is Rekishi, he began. What can I do to purchase your
   Gomen, Rekishi-san, but I think youll agree with me when I say that
this universe is a little too bizarre for any of us to go around
trusting people. Mai! In response, Mai pulled out a small square
object from her front pouch, and began making a sweeping motion.
   Rekishi began to feel some kind of tingle flow through his body.
   Friend or foe, he thought you himself, I need to be on better ground
than this!
   Well? Emiko looked at her sidekick who was looking very
inquisitive. Rekishi made his move. Emiko felt the body under her knee
shift, and the sudden shock in motion made her blade extend four
inches. Twisting his head, the energy blade sunk into the ground, and
with a sharp hit to Emikos hand, the weapon went flying towards the
railing. Nani?! she cried.
   I got it! Mai leaped up into the air, but as she caught it, she
realized that she was no longer standing on sturdy ground. The
blackness of space scattered below here.
   Mai-chan!! Emiko dashed to the railing, but in the process of
grabbing onto Mais foot, she too fell over with a short gasp.
   Great. Rekishi flipped up to his feet and followed Emikos lead, but
lay a firm hand on the railing, grabbing onto Emikos shoe then ankle.
   Looking over the side, Rekishi could not believe what he was seeing.
   About midway through Emikos body, gravity seems to have left, as her
hair seemed to dance slowly around her. Her loose jacket drifted around
her breasts. Pulling her one ankle to face level, he looked at her.
   Ecchi! she cried. A few attacks of her free foot shot up and
impacted with Rekishis face. He didnt realize that he had a clear
view between her legs. Even with pants on, this was a rather odd
   Hey, he cried as another foot imprinted a nice mark on his face. In
some ways he hoped that the attacks would hide his blushing expression.
   I dont think you are in a position to be doing that!
   A yelp for help came from the one holding the weapon at the bottom of
this human chain. Um, Mai started, Rekishi-san, could you pick us
up? PLEASE!!!
   Rekishi slowly drew Emiko out of the abyss of space, glancing away from
her beet red face. Mai was the next to come up, but when Rekishi put
her on the ground, Mai put her arms around him. Yea! she cheered,
   Rekishi saved my life! Rekishi a friend now.
   Emiko regained her composure, accepting her weapon and putting it into
her pouch. A-hem. Well, I dont know why you knocked away my
weapon....but I supposed saving my life has earned you a bit of my
trust.    sigh    I dont suppose you know where we are?
   I am at a loss for words. he watched as Emiko shook her full pink
volume of hair back into place, and then loosen the top buttons of her
shirt. She shivered slightly, a tad overwhelmed on how it felt being
half in gravity and half out. Rekishi stood mesmerized for a moment,
but composed himself. I do not know where we are, but the castle in
the sky has caught my eye. Perhaps...
   Hmmmm? Emiko elbowed him gently in the stomach, grinning, and HOW do
you propose in getting up there? Gonna use that long stiff staff of
yours? Rekishi stood shocked at this sudden change in attitude. Gone
was the determined girl with keen fighting sense and rigid body, and out
came the girl before him, who acted like she had known him for years,
poking his rib cage and making insinuating comments. What was this
friendly banter all of a sudden? Did we not just meet? In some ways,
it disturbed him to find this sudden sense of confidence in the girl,
like she had some secret agenda she had to cover up. Yet in other ways,
the abrupt friendliness was....nice, like he was not alone anymore.
   Perhaps this was her plan all along. No one like to be alone. He
decided to be cautious.
   Outer senses over came inner thought in a startling strike as Rekishi
and Emiko both felt a chill down their back.
   Volume five power! Emiko snapped her blade to attention. A strong
burst of light from her weapon sliced through the darkness of the
night. Rekishi stood silent, his staff ready by his side. Mai withdrew
what appeared to be a knife of some kind from her front pocket. What
is it? Emiko asked.
   It a million eyes are watching us. Rekishi looked
around. Between the canyon of space behind them and the motionless
streets in front, this was not a very comforting position to be in.
   Look! Mai cried, pointing at the wall of one of the buildings. Very
small red eyes seemed to be peering at them. There were about 20 of
them looking at the three figures, in a mocking silence within the
   I dont like this...
   A crow flew overhead, watching intently, its wings making the only
rustles of noise in the consuming silence.

[Weapon X]
   Well, they wont be bothering us for long, will they,
Rekishi-san? said the now once more determined Emiko. She took a step
forward and felt Rekishis hand grab hold of hers. She turned to face
him, giving him a questioning look. What is it? she said.
   Her gaze felt like fire to him. Rekishi released his grip on her
and tore his eyes from her face to once again view the shadows that bred
   Wow! Theyre growing! piped the optimistic Mai.
   Rekishi looked into the direction Mai was staring into. Several
more of the red eyes began to appear. Rekishi felt evil like he had
never felt in his life. His heart pounded rapidly now. His hands began
to sweat as he gripped his staff more firmly. They had to leave.
   Emiko noticed the gesture, and raised her weapon as well. All
trace of the innocent girl that was there but moments ago vanished. She
stepped in front of Mai, almost subconsciously, to protect her. Her eyes
swept the area grimly. More over there, she said, pointing.
   Rekishi didnt bother to look. He knew they were being surrounded.
Ordinarily Rekishi would not have a great aversion to fighting, but this
was different. He knew that it was impossible for just Emiko, Mai, and
him to take on every entity.We-
 Weve got to get into the city, Emiko said.
 Girl, you took the words right out of my mouth, Rekishi replied.
Overhead they heard the rustle of wings and a crow cawing once again. Mai
gripped Emiko tightly. Move quickly, Mai.
 The three hastened towards the tunnel where Emiko had made her
entrance. To the left of the tunnel they could see the eyes starting to
appear. Their brisk walk broke into a run.

[Emikos Agent]
   Madoka yawned again, stopping short when she discovered that there was
no longer an internet connection.
   Huh? She scratched her stomach and strolled over to the door. The
crickets had stopped chirping moments ago, and night seemed to be
overtaking the world like a blanket with on a vendetta against the
daytime. Peering through slit eyes, she eyeballs three figures in the
distance. They seemed to be watching something on the wall. Hmph. Oh
well, none of my business. Strolling over to the keyboard, she strikes
a few keys, humming the tune of an old song. Something seemed to dawn
on her. Walking back outside, she stared passed the three figures and
out beyond the railing. Hmm...didnt there used to be a building

[Weapon X]
   Her concentration was broken as she noticed the three figures beginning to
move rapidly toward the direction of her club(?). What the devil is
going on?
   Not the Devil, a deep voice said from behind her. Well, not
   Hey! Who are you and what the hell are you doing inside my
club? asked a confused and maddening Madoka.

   The three reached the end of the walkway, and turned right, away from the
creatures. Rekishi wondered what they were, and what they were capable
of. That would concern him later, he thought. First he must get Mai and
Emiko to safety. He glanced momentarily at the two every now and then, to
make sure they were okay. He was glad they were running, because
otherwise his red face might have been embarrassing. He wondered to
himself about this Emiko. She wielded her femininity like a weapon, he
thought. It seemed like she was unaware of the effect she had had on him,
but then again, women always were a mystery to him.

   The road they ran over was unnervingly clean. It lacked anything
that would even give the feel of population. No cars, no trash, no noise.
No people. It seemed to go on forever as well. It did not dip or curve,
thin or widen. It was uniform throughout.

   Emiko ran quickly, keeping pace with Rekishi. She smiled to
herself. Maybe those lessons of Eric did do good, she thought. She
turned to glance at the man running beside her briefly. Now here was a
mystery. He was unshaven, but not unkempt. His breathing smooth. Hes
in pretty good shape, she thought to herself. She wondered how old he
was.. by his appearance one might guess eighteen or nineteen. By his
eyes, one might produce a much higher number.

   Emiko-sensei..can we.. Mai panted.
   I dont know how much longer Mai will last, Rekishi-san.
   Thats fine, he said, slowing his pace as the neared a building
that read Madokaa on the front in large blinking letters.
   Why stop here? Emiko pondered, panting a little.
   Im...not old.. enough to go in there.
   Dont worry, Mai-chan. Rekishi said, forcing a smile. We will
find safety there. For now.
   Emiko was about to question the safety of this action, but in the
mouth of an alley down the street, she saw the eyes appear again. This
time, much closer than before. She could now see attached to the eyes
silhouettes, dark and foreboding. She ushered Mai into the club, with
Rekishi close behind.

   If they had looked up, they would have seen a crow perched atop
the building, like some menacing gargoyle to scare away the evil.

[Ace Ban Dage]
   A rocket skidded to a halt in front of a nondescript building. To
outside observers, this building had no meaning. To the privileged, they
know this as Emikos Agents Headquarters.
   Stepping through the front door, Ace cried, Mail for Emikos
Agent! An ominous silence greeted Ace as he walked the halls expecting
laughter or at least a few explosions. Arriving at Emikos computer, he
noticed a small note addressed to him. Opening it, he began reading the
first chapter for Even the Sun is Wrong when his vision blurred and
quickly faded to black.
   When he finally awoke, Ace found himself inside a large
high-tech factory. He felt naked without his rocket and started
exploring his immediate vicinity. He didnt understand much of the
technology he discovered, but slowly the realization of having his
own rocket in this distant place excited him. Time flowed without
meaning as he constructed his pride and joy until he almost finished
his task. Exhaustion overcame him as he struggled to figure out how
to fuel his rocket.
   Eternity slipped by as periods of light and darkness clouded
Aces mind. During his more lucid moment Ace thought he heard his radio
softly purr, This is Commander Thickett, if anyone is out there, please
respond, before blacking out.
   Sweet, home cooked smells greeted Aces nose as he struggled to
stay awake. Weakly reaching over, he took his first bite and almost
vomited. He forced himself to keep eating despite the rejection. When
the last bite was finished, found his world blacking out to a familiar
   When the world was light again, Ace felt weak, but he able to
finally stand again. He looked for the plate of food that saved his
life, he instead found plans for modifying his rocket to use one of the
many crystals located in the factory for fuel. Many of the steps
involved in modifying his rocket disturbed him, but he ignored those
feelings when he finally was in the air with the rocket beneath his
   This is Commander Thickett, if anyone is out there, please
respond, hummed Aces radio.
   Ace here.
   Finally! Ive been trying to reach someone for ages! If you
could reach the Crystal Castle and wait for me there, I could make it
worth your while.
   How in the world did you get here?
   Its a long story, but Ive seen others heading in that
direction so it might hold a great secret. Thickett out.
   Questions of how how he got here were troubling enough for Ace.
How Commander Thickett go here and who was his mysterious benefactor
were shoved to the back of his mind. Nudging the rocket beneath his feet
towards the crystal castle in the sky, he watched the landscape play
beneath him. His final trailing thought was that the landscape was weird
and even the sun is wrong.

   Alone.. Again.. Those were Susanos first thoughts as he dusted
himself off. He had created a force bubble around himself and squeezed
into one of the floating fortress windows. He found himself in posh
surroundings at the end of a dark corridor, dating that of medieval
Europe. His sword fell gently into his right hand as he slowly walked
down the hallway, looking much like a phantom, his cloak gently trailing
behind him. Keep on your toes.. he told himself... He swung his sword
to his left, slicing through a suit of armor: But I felt...
  You missed. called a female voice. Susano felt a split second of sheer Chi
power burning at his back, but he held firm.
   You think you could put some effort in it..? he responded. 
   He faced his opponent. A beauteous female stood before him, arms crossed,
a frown on her face. She wore a short sleeved, hi-cut dress, buttoned down 
the center in a rather military fashion. From a thick, loose belt, hung a 
pair of blades, one long-blade knife and one shortsword. Susano couldnt help
but stare at her...
   You need something? she asked in a calm, matter-fact tone. 
   Uh-uhm, n-no.. really! Susano stumbled, I was, uhm... looking
   Thats strange, she responded, staring innocently at the
ceiling in a gesture mock thought,   I    thought that trespassing was
against the law.. 
   Susano smiled uncomfortably:Uh... What law do you respond to..?
   A ball of Chi measuring of incalculable force struck Susano, but he barely
felt its effects. Surprised, the girl drew her blades and leapt Susano. 
His long blade parried her initial blows, but she switched directions
completely, managing to slip her knife between Susanos arms... The daggers
point chipped at at his breastplate. 
   H-his defense is excellent... only one through.. the girl thought. I
cant believe I let that through.. Susano thought. The girl lashed out
with her boot, which Susano sidestepped. She sprang backwards, avoiding
Susanos counter. 
   What happened to the Chi attacks... wondered Susano.
   Suddenly the girl was right in front of him... The blows came, at
first, as a shock... then surprise. OneTwoThreeFourFive... her hands
blurred, blades flashed... Susano couldnt even count the number of
strikes... ... If the scene flashed him by in slow-motion... Hed still
be blinded... The girl swung once, twice, thrice more and lept
backwards. ..Fuh-Fuck.. stammered Susano. He nursed a small cut on his
   W-WHO THE HELL ARE YOU?!? cried the girl, breathing heavily. 
   S-Susano Orbatos, he said, smiling brightly, Trust me... nothing gets
past my 18 Suns defense... Trust me... His sword was held aloft,

   Remus rushed down the hallway, running as fast as his legs could carry
   A strange clicking noise came from the shadows as more and more eery, red eyes
opened in the shadows around him. PHASE OUT! he howled, opening a small
Slipgate and jumping in with a loud BAAMF!

   Jerry got knocked off his feet by a 510 160lb Gweep from beyond
   What the!?!
   Remus picked himself off the ground and rubbed a sore spot on his arm.
   I still cant get those landings right... he muttered.
   Remus-sensei! Mai gushed.
   Huh? Where? the Gweep said, bewildered. He recovered. The names
Remus, you call me Remus-sensei and I wonder where the old guy is, he suddenly
grinned, I might be 532, but Im not all    that    old...
   Everyone facefaulted, except James.

   Alright, boyz, its time to ROCK THIS JOINT! Rachael boasted with a
fang-bared grin. She pulled a bowling ball out of hyperspace and spun it on
one finger like a basketball.
   The red eyes in the shadows blinked.
   The air around Racheal shimmered like the heat rising from a bonfire.
She chuckled softly in the back of her throat and went to town.

[Jeff Tsubame Jarlett] {despite continuity problems}

{was walking around trying to find some clues to this madness.
He had encountered occasional things that he thought might have been useful-
slips of paper, bodies, some human, some stings that looked like they
might have come out of a Lovecraft novel. Tsubame also noticed one more
thing, he was getting hungry. One of the few lessons he actually cared
about from his master was that power does not emanate from an empty 
stomach. The common image of a necromancer, a type of magic Tsubame
specialized in, was a thin evil man draped in black robes, served by the
rotting corpses of the night. This was only partially true. While many
necromancers and darkmages are served by rotting zombies, those who like
to smeel clean usually tend to do things themselves. Also the common
purpose of necromancy is not to serve evil or to do nasty things, but
comfort, particularly self-comfort. Tsubame noticed that food was not as
plentiful as it should have been- this told his mind to notice that
other things are here that need food, and those things may not be very 
friendly. Were they responsible? A cold rage entered into his mind.
Pleasant images of hurting things that would have shocked his soul a short
while ago entered into his mind with glee. He couldnt see anything or
anybody, and he was hoping for the body, non-human things tend to be
icky and hostile. He got out his orb and asked,

   Spirits of the darkness, tell me what you can see.

   A fool with a bowling ball. Someone who is about to join us.

   SHUT UP!!!! Tsubame muttered to himself, thats the problem with 
dead things these days, they are all attitude. He knew of an old
graveyard nearby, he figured at least there the spirits had a little
more courtesy. After about a fifteen minute teleport, he saw the church and
the graveyard. He shouted again.

   Spirits of the darkness, could you please tell me what you can see.

   A ghost arose from the ground and answered. Sir, I have been resting
275 years. Its been so lonely, do you want to chat?

   Sorry, I really need some information. Have you seen anyone around 

   The ghost replied, her ethereal transparent figure glowing a pale shade
of blue. Well, lets see. Not many people go by this part of the 
graveyard. I bet you already know what happened yesterday, after that I 
havent seen anyone except these two girls. One looked kind of like I used
to when I was younger. Tell the one in the overalls hi for me, OK?
By the way you look familiar.

   Tsubame wondered about that last remark. It was an unmarked grave, and
you cannot ask a ghost for their true name- most ghosts tend to disappear 
when you do that, unless summoned by name. He then asked which way they
went, and she told him to follow the direction he was facing.

   He continued along the path, teleporting his way through obstacles. If
you are wondering why the ghost did not give more specific instruction,
spirits tend only to see by clairvoyance and telepathy, not sight- sight
is a physical function. He did notice a few... presences along the path.
He ignored them for the time being, though he was wary. His main concern
was to find clues, and finding people would be a good start- they might know
something. If not, well they may be in trouble, and protecting people is
something that he should do more often. 

   After a short walk/port/whatever. He saw the two women referred to by
the spirit, and a shadowy man. He also noticed a gathering of the red eyes.
Something was going to happen, he could always smell when things were going
to happen. He walked up to the group and introduced himself.

   Hello everybody! Youre probably wondering who I am!

   Well, Im Emiko, the letch over here is Rekishi. She prodded him in
the chest. 

   And Im Mai-chan! He noticed a girl in baggy overalls shaking his
hand rapidly, which made him kind of nervous. Only HER touch could give him
comfort, and that was gone. Mai then asked, Is something wrong

   Tsubame replied. Well, yeah. Theres a bunch of creatures with red
eyes following us, usually thats a bad thing. If youre wondering what
to call me, Jerry Strauss will do for now. Oh, We better do something
about those eyes, I doubt theyre here to join any of our fan clubs.

   Mai then blurted, You have a fan club, Sugoi! I wish I had one
too like Emiko-sensei!

   To this the man now known as Jerry replied, Well, you do have at 
least one fan, but she died in the 17th century, more or less. Everyone
stared at him for this remark, and Rekishi replied,

   Is that supposed to mean something? and cast an angry look at Jerry.

   Emiko then said, Um, guys, we can either sit here and try to be
each others therapist, or we can try and do something. First off, what do
we do about our, ahem, fan club, here?

   Everyone had different suggestions. Mai wanted to give them all
personalized autographs of herself, she had hundreds. Rekishi wanted
to get them out of the way quickly, and probably violently, by the way he
was brandishing his staff. In the end, Emiko and Jerrys opinion was
followed, act normally but stay on guard. Who knows, they might not 
be the cleched monsters that you normally get with red eyes. Mai then
asked if they could be Narns (an alien race from Babylon 5, for those who
havent seen it.) Emiko playfully whacked Mai on the head for that one.

   Itai! (ouch!) was blurted out by Mai as they all continued toward the
castle, figuring there should be a clue or two there. Jerry was thinking
to himself, I wonder if these guys are responsible. I especially dont 
trust that Rekishi fellow, but Im not going to find out anything by
mindless violence, even though it would be a little cathartic by now.}

[Emikos Agent]
   With her fingers in the proper holes, the ball flared up
with energy. The light from the ball alone seemed to attack the shadows
with rage. Strikes, and no spares. She prepared to toss, when
Emiko landed a hand on her throwing arm. Hey, what the 
   Sorry, me first! Emiko had her blade extended to a meters length, its black
handle gripped firmly by her left hand. Pushing Rachael aside, Emiko
flung herself into the air, her trim body soaring high into the sky. 
Volume five, strike! two lashes of her blade created wide triangles of
blue energy which launched into the large mass of black matter gathered
near the entryway. Immediately the formless creatures scattered away from
the pulses, making the arcs hit nothing but dead ground, send debris in
all directions. No fair! she cried in the air, watching as the holes
in the ground were covered again the black beings. Alright, lets
go, you sick creatures! Volume six, blade! Without a place to land,
she tightened her grip on the blade as it extended a few more inches and
burned brighter than before. Without another word, she dropped into the
center of the abomination.

   The others were not to stay idle, seeing the effect of the initial
attack. Emiko-chan! Rekishi looked to where she landed. The
swings of her blade lit up the night sky. Massaging his temples, he
stood confused. Rachael lunged a ball into the mass of black, and it
ripped through the air and shadow like a ginsu knife through a tomato. 
   Whatsa matter? she glanced at the man with the staff, most of her
attention centered at grabbing another ball from hyperspace. It formed
in her hand quietly.
   I feel nothing... he thought. There was no
sense of power coming from the was almost as if there was
nothing there. Yet this is not technology.. he muttered. He heard a
yelp of panic in the distance, and looked in Emikos direction. 
Something had latched onto her free hand, and she tried to wave it off by
swiping her blade near it. But as soon as the shadows retreated from her
arm they suctioned onto her legs and began to absorb her.

      sigh    Jerry casually walked towards the mass of darkness with
his orb making circular motions around him. At once the shadows struck,
but in an instance, he was gone. Eww, get it off, get it off!! 
Emiko swiped the red beady eyes around her feet, and with every strike,
they retreated and then reapplied themselves. She looked around to find
herself slowly consumed by red eyes. Her hand resisted the urge to
increase the volume level of her blade, fearing what consequences such a
power would do to this area. As long as others were in the immediate
vicinity, higher volumes were out of the question. Suddenly, a white
lifesized ball appeared before her, and a man grabbed her hand. 
Jerry-san! With another spark of light, she found herself back inside
the bar. She let out a big sigh, her chest heaving heavily. 
   Arigato. Jerry nodded. 
   Arigato? Madoka screamed from behind the bar. You idiot! What did
you do!? 
   All three glanced down to the floor, to see that some of the red beady
eyes and some of the dark formless mass, had been teleported with Jerry
and Emiko.

   Rachael threw another ball, and it detonated the framework of a nearby
building, bits of glass and metal crashing to the pavement. About 20 
red eyes fell off the building, but then joined unharmed with the rest of
the hundreds gathering around Madokas. Whipping together a swarm of
energy in her hands, she scattered a fray of lightning in all directions,
attempting to attack as many regions as possible. Yet the shadows merely
avoided the shocking power and clustered into the little groups.
   Shit, she cried,  this aint workin!
   Mai was looking around for Emiko, thinking that she was still in the 
darkness. Emiko-sensei?! Within her tiny hand she held a very odd weapon.
As short as a standard knife, and it emitted a small glow. Surprisingly 
none of the night monsters seemed to attack her, as if in fear of that 
small glow of white sheding from her small cylinder weapon. 
   Emiko-sensei!! she continued, walking around the mess. 
   What do you think youre doing? Rachael twirled with her purple lock 
of hair playfully while continuing to barrage the area with her other hand.
   Looking for my sensei! Mai responded.

   Rekishi stood rigid, staff by his side hand, illuminating a small
area around him. He was about to attack, but saw that Jerry saved Emiko
in time. That was good, as there was something about this menace that
distracted his focus. There was nothing power, no presence,
nothing. Heat. Maybe we need some more heat.
   Heh, no problem. Remus, who remained pretty silent through this ordeal,
finally spoke. After tapping into his gauntlet, it began to hum through some
computation. He smirked at Rekishi. Ive always wanted to say this...
He made a quick dash towards the outside. POOOWWWWEEEERRR....!
   Oh shit! Rachael lunged for Mai and ran inside. GEIIIISAAAAA!!!!! 
Letting out that somewhat close to Terry Bogard yell, the gauntlet
smashed into the ground. The street exploded.

   Emiko teleported away from the black substance around her feet,
sending her a meter away. During the anxiety of fighting the horde of
red eyes, she had forgotten she was capable of teleporting very short
distances. Volume three blade! A thin beam of light shed from her
hands, and quickly, she cut the black thing into little pieces. It
quickly formed back into one piece.
   Heh, she chuckled, anyone seen Terminator 2? 
   Madoka and Jerry stared disapprovingly at her for a
moment, before the shadow took their attention. It launched itself
towards Madokas terminal. Crap! Moving away, she watched as it
absorbed her laptop. Hey, thats mine, you...! Without any fear, she
tried to smudge out the red eyes with a counter cloth. Eat tobacco
stains, you little shit! Casually, it enveloped the cloth, and then her

   The street and nearby buildings collapsed in one gigantic explosion, as
the power geiser made quick work of sending everything up in a fatal fury
of flames. With everything engrossed in fire, the creatures seemed to
vanish from sight. In the distance, a few hundred shadow monsters awaited
   Hmph. Remus rubbed his hands in satisfaction, that did the
   Yeah!! Mai ran outside and stood by Remus. Good job,
Remus-sama! She looked around in all directions, beaming a smile. Then,
she pulled on Remus black denim jacket with two gentle tugs. Anno, missed the ones on the roof.
   Huh? He looked up. The night sky, and Madokas building, was covered
with red little eyes. Aw hell. he put both his arms down, as a horde of
them launched themselves on top of Remus. He was consumed instantly.

   Emiko swiped her thin blade around Madokas hand, but it was no
use as it just made things worse. It like trying to remove bubble gum
from her hair! she sighed, exasperated. Suddenly, the lights to the
room were shut off, and with that, the shadow launched itself onto
Emikos breasts. ECCHI!!! she cried in disgust. Get it off, get it
   Madoka pressed ctrl-alt-delete on her computer, but watched with a 
blank face as nothing happened. M-m-my c-c-computer! she was sad and
venting anger at the same time. She grabbed Jerry by the collar, pointing
to her terminal. My COMPUTER!! she yelled at his face. This is all
your fault, teleporting that thing in here! Baka!
   Jerry grimaced by maintained his stance. Rachael came up to Rekishi, who
had not as yet done anything.
   Well?! she tapped him on the face. Is anyone in there, or you just
gonna leave the fighting to us?
   Rekishi stood up, outstretching his staff parallel to his body. Cover your
eyes, he muttered. Light! he commanded, Shine FORTH!! 
   Particles of light came together from the far reaches of space into the
orb which was latched onto his staff. In a heartbeat, the entire room
was flooded with blinding yellow light. Jerry draped his cloak around
Madoka and hid from the light, but Emiko was in full view of it. When
the light retracted back into the orb, she touched herself, to find that
the shadow had disappeared. Immediately, she realized what happened. 
   How cliche. said Emiko and Rachael in unison.
   Rekishi smiled briefly. It was good knowing that such limited power
could be useful for something other than brightening a room. At first he
though it was heat that kept the shadows at bay, and Remus power geiser
attack almost supported the theory. But alas, it was just light. Remus
staggered into the room, a generally dusty look to him with his brown hair
a very good example of what a bad hair day was.
   I guess I must have figured it out the same time as you, Rekishi,
Remus said, rubbing his eyes.
   Rachael walked outside and began to start some kind of energy
   Emiko-sensei! Mai hugged Emiko who sat on the floor crosslegged.
   Rekishi glanced in Mais direction. What I cant understand. he paused,
was why Mai wasnt even attacked?
   Lucky me! she beamed in response.
      sigh    Emiko put Mai beside her. Its Mais purity. Demons seem to
either fear or hate that quality. Fortunately, this time, they feared it.
Of course, it could also be because of that weapon of hers.
   What is it? Err... Emiko looked away, I cant say. Its um...a secret.
   Jerry eyed her and Rekishi suspiciously...there was something both of them were
hiding...but he took towards Emiko more because Mai trusted Emiko, and he
trusted Mai. Emiko stood up, dusting herself off, as Rachael
walked in. Ive put up a kinetic sphere of light around the building for
the moment. That slime seem to be everywhere!
   I suggest all the light producers take turns erecting shields. Rekishi said.
   Well, then Emiko smiled cheerfully, I dont know about the rest of you, but that
fortress has my attention!
   You and me both said Remus. Now that the action was gone, his mind craved
towards the fortress once more.
   My computer... Madoka whimpered. My business...   sigh   
well, I guess Im going too. Not much business you can get here when the
entry way is smouldered with fire and the streets caved in. Mind you,
SOMEONE is going to be paying for the damages! she folded up the laptop
and put it into a nearby bag, and started to rummage through a box of
equipment. Emiko joined her, her keen interest in technology lighting up
in her mind. She didnt know where they were going, and her access to
her home was still severed. Until she established a connection, there
was nowhere to go except to the fortress.

Commander Thickett viewed the landscape from high above. Below him was a
world covered by millions and millions of beady red eyes, waiting
restlessly to claim the entire area. A small ball of light glowed around
one building. Fools.. he muttered, taking a deep breath. They only
slow themselves down.

A man in black stood atop a building near the kinetic energy shield
Rachael erected. A crow flew around his head, keeping distance from the
black plague that latched onto most of his body. Hmph he thought,
They actually survived. He walked away from the edge of the building,
shaking off some of the creatures from his right hand. Pesky bugs.

[Michael Gibson]
   Outside the fortress, Ay-Eye stood at the end of a long walkway. 
Between him and the building was a vast amount of empty space. There was no 
more walkway, no ground below, and no drawbridge in front of him. The only 
things out there were some small groups of fighter craft, that, upon 
inspection, seemed to slowly orbit the crystalline structure.
   He couldnt find any way to get across this unorthodox moat. There 
was nothing near him that seemed to be a switch, lever, or control panel for 
extending a bridge, and none of the fighters were close enough to use. 
Frustrated with the dead-end, he kicked a piece of junk out toward the 
fortress. To his surprise, it didnt fall. Instead, it flew in a straight 
line until it was hit by one of the drifting fighters. Ay-Eye scolded himself 
for not noticing that the fighters couldnt orbit if gravity also pulled them 
   With a deep breath, he walked off the edge of the walkway. Pointing 
his feet away from the fortress, he gave off a short burst from his jump 
jets, and propelled himself to the fortress. With a scream of triumph and some 
minor course corrections, he flew to the nearest port.
   Unfortunately, the door was locked, and the electronic controls seemed 
to be out of order. He smiled to himself, knowing that this would be an easy 
task. He concentrated, and tried to view the door in a wireframe mode. From 
there it would be easy to change its locked status to false. Nothing 
happened. He became slightly worried, and tried again, but still failed to 
shift his vision. Cursing under his breath, he realized that since his line 
of communication was cut, he no longer had access to the computers at the 
Control Center. Without those computers to interpret and modify things, he 
was left only with the suit. With no other option, he kicked the door in.
   The hallway revealed was well lit and very utilitarian. Ay-Eye walked 
through it until he found a door. As soon as he turned to face it, the door 
slid upon, showing a room full of computer equipment, all of it disabled. He 
continued down the hall, and entered other rooms where the equipment was in 
the same condition. Eventually, the hallway ended in a door. Unlike the 
previous sliding doors, this one appeared to swing open. Even more unusual, 
it was wooden. He reached out, turned the doorknob, and entered into a 
different era.
   No longer were the halls a stark gray, but they were covered with 
paintings. Sculptures and suits of ancient armor seemed to be placed at 
random locations along the hall, and the floor was covered with a thick rug. 
The sounds of battle drifted down the hall.
   You will not be allowed to interfere. came a voice from behind him. 
Ay-Eye spun to see the source of the voice. She was stunning. She wore a 
drab gray two piece uniform which seemed to be designed to hide beauty, but it 
had the opposite effect on her. Her long black hair seemed to frame her face 
perfectly, and even her frown looked attractive. In her hand was something 
that looked like an oversized television remote control.
   What do you plan on doing with that? Pause me? Ay-Eye sneered. 
Suddenly, a lance of azure light shot out of the remote. Ay-Eye only had 
enough time to dive to a side. The lance hit his left arm, and melted away 
the armor.
   You do know that trespassing is illegal, dont you? she questioned 
as she fired off another shot. Luckily, Ay-Eye had ducked behind one of the 
ancient suits of armor, and that got vaporized instead. He knew that he 
couldnt keep dodging in the tight hallway, so he stepped out, activated his 
jump jets, and leapt toward the aggressor.

   Remus shuddered slightly and couched up some black-hued blood. Ugh.. he
muttered, Anybody who got mobbed by those critters had best be careful.. my
healing factor just killed    something    in my system...
   Rachael tapped her brother on the shoulder. You gonna be alright, Bro?
   Ive had worse... You should see what the Detian factor does to those
aliens from the Alien movies...
   Rachael turned a little green and slumped against the wall.
   Mai skipped over and started bouncing around Remus, eyeing him closely from
various angles.
   Yes? the Gweep asked, propping himself against a wall to puzzle out what to
   You dont look 532... she commented.
   Thanx... he replied, grinning.
   Mai scampered off.
   Red-eyed critters outside the door.
   Hed been able to use the Gauntlet to boost his Chi for a moment into a
super-powerful version of the Power Geyser, but he doubted hed be able to do
it again... It was just Gauntlet IIs kinetic emitters and his own martial
arts skills from here on in.
   Would the Big Three be able to see him through this one?
   Remus sighed. Something was trying to tell him something... Maybe it was
time to retire...
   Grid Scan... he muttered.
   His newly installed CLUless interface worked perfectly...
   The world became a grid layout, like a CG wireframe, to his eyes.
   He saw something unpleasant out of the corner of his eye and shut down
   Gauntlet II, quickly.
   Im not going to even try that again...

[Weapon X]
   Rekishi arched an eyebrow. What had the Detian seen that could
possibly worry him so? He had not known the man for very long, but
already Remus impressed him. It was Remuss power geyser that had given
Rekishi the inspiration for his, attack.. if you could even call it
that. As long as they could produce light they could keep the entities at
bay, but not actually be rid of them. And they were creatures that
Rekishi himself couldnt even figure out. He sensed nothing from them,
save a great feeling of evil. Remus had said that anyone touched should
be careful.. and the one who had felt the most contact was Emiko. Rekishi
looked over at her. She was speaking very softly to Mai, perhaps giving
her advice, or words of caution. He would have to keep a very close eye
on her for any changes in her personality. He began walking towards the
Detian and smiled. Not like I needed an excuse..
   What was that, Rekishi?
   Nothing at all, friend. Are you well?
   Oh, Im fine. It takes more than a couple of those things to do
me damage.
   Thats not what I meant, Remus, Rekishi said, stepping a few
inches closer to the Gweep. You saw something.
   Remus looked a bit surprised. He quickly regained his
composure however. Jerry, come here for a sec, Remus said to the
   Do you think you can handle the light orb by yourself for a few
   Sure.. he said warily. Why-
   When I get back, well move up to the fortress, ok? If anyone
asks for us.. um.. make something up, alright? Be right back! Remus took
hold of Rekishi and vanished into a newly opened slipgate with him.
   What the hell? Tsubame was not pleased with this sudden turn of
events. That Rekishi is up to no good. I ought-

   Remus and Rekishi appeared several buildings away, outside of the 
light orb. Remus pointed at something for a split second, before once
again disappearing with Rekishi into another slipgate.

   Jerry was cut short as the two suddenly returned.
   Damn! I hope noone saw that, Remus whispered.
   Dont worry, I cast a small illusion spell before we left. Noone
would have noticed unless they were paying very close attention to us.
   Listen, you two, Jerry interrupted.  I don-
   His words were cut short as Remus grabbed hold of him, and
disappeared through a slipgate. The two reappeared moments later, Jerrys
face now as solemn as Remus and Rekishis. We have no time to waste,
he said. We must go to the fortress now.
   Is it right to not tell the others? Rekishi asked, looking over
at the ladies on the other side of the room. Each one so strong in their
own different ways.
   Theyll know soon enough, whether or not we ever tell them,
Remus said. Ill take Madoka, my sister, and Rekishi. Jerry, you handle
the rest.
   Agreed. The three moved across the room, to where the others
were, and began to explain that they were going up. 
   What was that all about, Emiko thought to herself. She had seen
their disappearing act. That would concern her later, though. 
   In a flash, the club was now empty.

   Outside, the alien city was withering away. Moving perpendicular to the
line separating the the two halves of the city, was a black, sulfurous
cloud. Like some hungry giant, it swallowed both halves evenly, hiding
them from view. Lightning broke out here and there, only to terrify any
that were watching. If anyone was. One might have guessed this cloud to
be some chaotic, unnatural creation. Except for two things. Clouds dont
hang that low. More poignantly, though, behind the cloud, was nothing.
Literally. As the monstrosity rolled slowly along the divided city, it
left behind the same black nothingness that surrounded the rest of the
world around them. It was only a matter of time before the city ceased to
   If one had looked closely into the maelstrom that wound its
waycloser, one might have seen thousands of specks of red, dotting its

   And on with the show...

   Where does he want me to land this thing? Ace cried in
thrustration as he circled the crystal castle in his rocket.
   There was no land around the crystal castle and nothing was
supporting this floating structure that defied the laws of the natural
as Ace knew them. Sounds of metal striking metal could be heard from the
interior of the castle as Ace pondered what to do.
   I might as well go through the front door thought Ace. Aiming
for the open portal, he skimmed the area between the daylight area and
the pitch black void and realized that crossing that line was not a good
thing. Meeting no resistance, the rocket surged forward at a terrific
rate past the entrance and into the battle Ay-Eye was having with an
unknown female.
   Look out! cried Ace as he skidded across the floor in a
shower of sparks. No brakes, No brakes! The unknown female had the
misfortune of being in Aces path of terror as he collided with her
and towards a nearby wall.
   Seeing this situation far too often when competing, Ace hooked
the unknown female and bailed from his rocket before his rocket collided
with the wall and exploded. Momentum still smacked Ace hard against the
wall as he wrapped himself around the mystery woman and bounced off the
wall onto the flaming floor.
   Ay-Eyes vantage point of what transpired was obscured by smoke,
but he could almost swear that Ace was even shorter than he usually is.
   Eventually, Ace carried the woman he was fighting out of the blazing
inferno and laid her unconscious form safely on the ground.
   How did you live through that? an incredulous Ay-Eye asked.
   Hey, no guts, no glory, said a soot covered Ace as he cracked
his back. Its going to be murder to fix my rocket though.

   Upstairs in one of the rooms, Commander Thickett heard Aces
rocket explode. He must be here Thickett thought as he walked down
the stairs.

   Susano and another mystery woman were a blur of motion as
each tried to get the upper hand in their duel. An armored figure
descended the stairs next to the combatants. Susano leaped clear of
his opponent to size up this new participant. Surprise and realization
of who he was dawned on Susano as he asked, What are you doing here,
Commander Thickett?
   The mystery woman leaped to take advantage of the opening Susano
gave her, when Thickett said, Hold it! You wouldnt want to kill our
guests without giving them some hospitality first, would you? Thickett
then gazed at Susano and with a smile on his face, said, To answer
your question, I was invited here by these lovely ladies.

   Invited? Susano asked curiously. He never could trust Thickett. 
   Yes.. Thickett grinned with confidence, Their master and I have
reached a shall we agreement. It is good
that I stopped her in time, friend Susano..
   I do not know you enough to be called your friend. What is going on
here, and whats happened?
   In due time, friend, Thickett apparently had dismissed Susanos
objection to the use of the word. Now then, let us go, shall we?

   Remus, Rachael, Madoka and Rekishi found themselves standing on top of
a tower, which was positioned a few meters away from the huge column
that extended into the sky. Before them lay the cities, and high above,
drifting air ships. A gusty wind had begun to blow, and dark clouds
could be seen in the horizon of the night sky. 
   Good LORD! Madoka yelled, pointing at her once beloved city. Whats
   There was no longer a city, just a huge black mass of black insects,
each with beady red eyes. They all seemed to be staring at the
fortress...directly at them. None of them seemed to be making any
attempt to cross the abyss. 
   The black plague... Rekishi mused in his mind. How the wind blows
on this dark day, howling for the dead of the land... Rachael smacked
him on the back of the head.
   Quit it, will ya? She turned to her brother. Hey, like where are
the rest of em? 
   Beats me...we didnt actually specify a common point of entry. At any
rate, wed best find a way in this fortress. Secretly, he grimaced. 
Whatever that black substance was, it was not doing any wonders to his
   Got it! Madoka cheered, hugging her laptop affectionately. It seemed
to be back on line. Now then, she said, clearly into her work, I
will interface with the main computer!
   How do you even know one exists? Rekishi asked.
   Of course there is. Cmon, space ships, fortress...looks like its
made of some metal compound...theres always a computer.
   A few tense minutes passes as Madokas fingers tapped the computer,
occasionally using the trackball, muttering, Damn GUI...
   Rachael looked over the edge of the column on which they perched, to
see a very elaborate setup of pipes, hallways, and oval structures. At
various places similar columns made their assent to the sky, but never
as high as the one in the center. Each column had the diameter of a
good sized building. Clearly, this fortress was bigger than is looked.
   Got it! Madoka clasped her hands together. Column 27 access port
   In response the floor below them dematerialized.
   Great, Mads. was Rachaels last cynical remark before they all fell
to the pitch blackness below.

Jerry, Emiko, and Mai appeared in a ball of energy right before Ace. 
   How did we end of here? Jerry questioned.
   Gomen, Emiko replied, I knew we might end up outside the fortress,
so I used my somewhat limited teleportation abilities to zip us inside
through a giant hole in the door.
   Koban-wa, Ace-san! Mai waved almost frantically at the short pilot. 
   Koban-wa. A sudden uplifting surge of emotion swept through his
body, rejuvenating his morale, heightening his reaction time, and making
him feel warm all over. Love? It must be...but somewhere in this mind
a large beast held him back from running up and hugging the little
girl. This infatuation with a girl to was hard to bear. 
   True to Mais friendly personality, she rushed up and gave Ace a big
   Hey, Mai stepped back, you made me all dirty!
   G-gomen, Mai-chan.. he replied.
   Hai! No problem! If getting dirty is part of meeting a friend, then
cover with mud, ne? With that, she gave one of the most jovial laughs
Ace ever heard. He began to laugh himself. 
   Well, they seem to be getting along..though I hope Ace knows what hes
doing. Emiko stepped away from Jerry and looked around. Ay-Eye
approached her. Ay-Eye? Well, Ive not seen you in a long time! 
Where have you been?
   Searching, the armoured man spoke, I cant seem to talk to Central.
   I can relate to that. she mused. There was still no contact from
home base...despite all the walls erected in her mind, in some ways she
wished Eric-kun were here. Not that shed ever admit that.
   The foyer in which they appeared was huge, and there seemed to be 13
accessways surrounding the oval room. The ceiling was plastered with
wiring and dead circuitry which could provide easy cover for anyone or
thing who wanted to attack them. 
   Jerry looked down at the unconscious woman. Now what to do with
   Be careful, Ay-Eye warned, dangerous.
   Though pretty sexy! Jerry grinned. I wonder how shed look in a- 
   Her eyes opened...just long enough to see Jerrys orb smack her on the
head. Once again she fell unconscious. Cracking his bare knuckles, he
cast a spell, and watched as interlocked chains appeared tightly around
her body. There!
   Mai kneeled at the side of the woman and snapped off a piece of chain,
and began to munch. Mmm...chocolate! 
   What?! Jerry cried. Several attempts later, strong adamantium chain
surrounded the unconscious woman. Mai seemed rather full from all the
chocolate, bread, icing, cookies, pasta, and pineapple.
   During this ordeal, Emiko reached a conclusion about the 13 doors. 
Hey everyone! I say take the last door! She pointed eagerly at the
big 13 posted above the entry frame. Everyone looked at her with raised
eyebrows. Oh come on! she grinned, Dont you see the strategy here? 
You see, the bad guys THINK the good guys will NEVER pick the door with
the unlucky they put the safe passage there! Get it? 
Emiko seemed rather happy with her deductive reasoning.
   Jerry shrugged. Whatever.
   Ace kneeled down to where Mai was patting her stomach. You think Emiko
has a good idea, Mai-chan?
   Hai! she smiled, My sensei is VERY smart!
   Alright then, lets go.
   Door thirteen opened wide at the touch of a button. As the left, the
unconscious woman opened her eyes again, not even attempting to break the
chains. Hmph...just try and escape the security system...fools.

   It was a short trip, before they found themselves in front of a room
full of mirrors.
   SUGOI!!! Mai yelled, marching up to one mirror and making funny
faces. Emiko stood in front of a tall mirror and stared at her
reflection. Her hair was messed up, and her clothes seem to have taken
quite a beating lately. I need a bath, she said. Her stomach
growled. Ouch. I need some food too! Her delicate fingers reached
for the mirror surface, and as she touched it...the image gripped her
hand. NANI!? she gasped. Backing away, her mirror image stepped out
of the window and drew out a glowing blade. Bitch. it
whispered...lets see if Eric-kun will save you now. With that, it
slashed at Emikos arm.
   Jerry stood amazed at what was happening. Uh oh....I guess my
position wasnt such a good idea. 
   In front of him, stood a dozen mirrors...all reflecting his
figure...all grinning evilly, preparing to strike.

[Anne Packrat]
   Anne locked the door to her bookstore and flipped over the Open sign.
She sighed. Another day, another paycheck. I swear, she muttered to
herself, If Pickett comes in here demanding that Danielle Steele novel
again Im going to scream!
   Suddenly Anne noticed a glow from the back of the store. This in
itself was not an unusual thing (after all Washu-chan did own the
store), but Anne noticed the air around her glowing with thaumatogical
energy (magic). Thats strange, she thought to herself, Washu-chans
stuff is from science; it never radiates magic... Anne reached the
back room and noticed that the package Ace had delivered earlier was
glowing. Quickly she tore into the package and discovered a mirror that
was glowing with an extreme brightness. The aura of magic in the air
near the mirror made Anne dizzy. She steeled herself and looked into
the mirror. 
   Instead of her reflection, she saw a scene involving her friends Emiko,
Mai, Ace and Aye-Eye, and her teacher Jerry. As Anne watched another
darker and subtly different Emiko seemed to step from the wall. The
darker Emiko attacked the first Emiko. Anne gasped at this. The scene
changed angles to reveal her teacher being confronted by twelve copies
of himself. Anne screamed and struck the mirror to stop the scene, but
instead of breaking the glass, Annes hand went through.    piku    
Wha-? Anne managed to say. Then she refocused on the mirror scene. 
Her teacher and the others were being confronted by one (or in her
teachers case) clones. Anne hesitated a moment more and then plunged
through the mirror.

[Weapon X]
   Rekishi could not see the others as he fell, such was the level of
darkness. He sensed their presence, however, which was a bit more
reassuring. What wasnt reassuring, though, was the ground that was
rapidly racing up to meet them. He heard Remus cursing, and saw a tiny
glint of light, for less than a second. Gauntlet II? These thoughts raced
from his mind though, as he felt his outstretched arms come in contact
with.. something. Desperately, he grabbed on for all he was worth. As his
left hand successfully clutched the well placed bar, his body came to a
sudden, and violent stop. Rekishi grimaced at the pain he felt in his left
shoulder. It felt as if his arm was being torn off. Placing his staff
momentarily between his legs, he reached up with his right hand to grasp
the bar. He then pulled himself up so that his stomach was rested on the
bar, and the reached behind him with his left hand to again hold the staff
in his hands. He moved his leg over the pole, straddling it, and then
paused to compose himself. A brief burst of light escaped the mouth of the
dragon carved on the staff. Rekishis heart fluttered when he saw that
the dark, metal floor was but a mere three metres below him. As the light
dissipated, Rekishi silently lowered himself to the floor. His heart
fluttered again when he felt the presence of Remus, Rachael, and Madoka
re-enter the surroundings. Idiot! he scolded himself. He had been too
preoccupied to notice that they had left. He couldnt afford such lapses
in concentration.

   Remus felt the ground beneath him dissapear. Not good, he mused, as his
body penetrated the darkness below. He quickly reached for his sister and
Madoka, who were standing close to him before they fell. Dammit,
Rekishi.. he thought. I cant see him. Were it another place than
this, Remus might have attempted to use the Gauntlet II to rearrange the
structural code of this place, but this fortress they were on was made
of some unknown metal alloy, and he had not been able to crack into it as
yet. He couldnt wait, but his blood boiled at the thought of leaving a
friend like this. FUCK! he said out loud, before grasping onto the two
ladies beside him, and exiting via slipgate. 
   Madoka opened her eyes to a desert landscape, barren of life.
What the hell..
   Nifty trick, isnt it Mads? Rachael asked. Okay, bro, whats
the gameplan now?
   Now, we go back, Remus said. He had to know that Rekishi made
it down safely.. somehow. He knew the odds were against it, but he needed
to find out. His mind drifted back a few centuries.. when someone else,
had suffered because Remus did not use his powers efficiently. He had
made a vow to never let that happen again.
   Rachael knew what her brother was thinking, and felt great
sympathy in her heart. Ok, lets go.

   Is he here? Rachael whispered.
   I am, good lady! Rekishi held his staff forward and the room
was flooded with light.
   Are YOU well, friend? Remus asked, mirroring Rekishis question
of some time ago.
   I could be worse.. but then again, I could be better! Rekishi
said, smiling momentarily.
   Wow, would you look at that, Madoka said, her eyes gazing to the
top of this tower from which they had fallen. Even with all this light,
you still cant see the entire thing. 
   Nor would any amount of light allow it, Rekishi replied. The
walls themselves have magical qualities imbued within their very surface.
Indeed, perhaps even this entire monstrosity upon which we stand has this
cursed magic. That is why we must keep moving. Even if I keep producing
the same level of light, it will adapt, and once more, darkness will
   In addition, we must find the others.
   Susano.. Remus thought to himself. I hope that idiots okay..
   The four walked warily towards a small opening to the left of
where they were standing. Madoka noticed Rekishi grimace as he lifted his
staff, but held her tongue. 
   Susano. Rekishi said suddenly, stopping his walk. Quickly, he
said, once again moving, this time with greater haste.
   Remus didnt know where this sixth sense of Rekishis came from,
but thus far, it had never been wrong. He saw his sister walking side by
side with Rekishi.
   Hey Rekishi, can you do anything else sides make light? Rachael
   Rachael frowned. Whats wrong with that guy? she thought to
   There is an opening ahead, Rekishi said loudly. Susano is
nearby. The others.. I can sense their presence here as well.
   Well, at least we know they got here safely..
   As the group cleared the opening, they were greeted with the sight
of Susano conversing with an older, but no less imposing figure.
   Who is that man.. Rekishi asked. He is evil.
   Thanks, Rekishi, Rachael said, But I dont need your sixth
sense to tell me that Commander Thickett is an evil man.
   Ahh! Look! Some of your friends have arrived, Susano. Thickett
radiated confidence. Come, join us for a drink.
   And how do you plan on making us do that, Thickett? Remus asked
with malice in his voice. Those ladies may have been a help before, but
the way I see it, now youre outnumbered.
   Really, was all Thickett said. He waved his hand in front of
his body.
   And evil breeds evil, Rekishi said. His gaze bore straight into
Commander Thicketts eyes. Lesser men would have been petrified. But
Thickett was not a lesser man.
   My God.. Susano whispered.
   Remus caught his eye, and turned to face the direction Susano was.
Good heavens..
   Behind them, what was not there before, now was.
   Now. How about that drink. I would suggest you accept, for as
you see, it may be your last. Your other friends may join us later as
well.. but I wouldnt get my hopes up, if you know what I mean. HAHAHAHA!
   The five of them faced solemnly away from the direction Thickett
had walked towards, gazing upon the horror that stood before them.
   May whatever Gods we believe in..

[Okay, the entire Mirror battle is dealt with here, but I dont have that
part :\ - Anne. Sorry, I dont have it either! - Chika]
A long table sat in the center of the room. Strangers in an unknown
place nervously chatted with each other around the table as they waited
for their meal to be served. Eventually, invisible hands carried heaping
dishes to each of the guests. Each of the visitors stared at their meal
with distrust as they glanced over at the empty seats at the head of the
   Arriving fashionably late, Thickett and the woman who was fighting
Susano walked hand and hand down the staircase at the end of the hall
before sitting at the head of the table.
   Hello intruders, intoned the mystery lady at the head of the
table. My name is Deadra, but you may refer to me as queen of this 
magnificent castle. You may well know my escort, Commander Thickett.
   Im sure that you have many questions to ask and Ill try to answer
them all to the best of my ability, Thickett said. The first of such 
questions is probably, is this meal safe to eat? I assure you that it is
quite safe. Thickett then reached down with a fork and ate a bite of the
steaming meal before him.
   If youre going to answer our questions, tell us this Thickett, 
where are we? asked Emiko.
   Im sure that Remus could tell you that.
   Everyone focused their attention on Remus as he spoke up. Emiko,
Mai, I some very bad news to tell you, he said with eyes downcast. You
might not believe this, but when I scanned this world, I found out that 
this world is Genesis.
   How could this have happened while Eric-san here? Emiko asked in
outrage. She tried to rise from her seat, but found that she couldnt.
For Mais sake, she desperately tried to force down her anger to not
alarm her.
   Mai looked as if she was about to burst into tears as she asked, 
Where is Eric-sensei? You didnt hurt him you bad old man. 
   I think I know who you are referring to, but no such individual 
was here when I arrived. commented Thickett. Im sure that the biggest 
question on all of your minds is what are these things. One of the 
black globs with beady eyes climbed Thicketts sleeve and nuzzled him
as he brought it close to his face. I dont have a name for them yet,
but these little critters are a new weapon I developed for conquering 
worlds. Theres no real way to kill or destroy these little magical little 
pets of mine since they are a part of my dark side.
   So, if we cant destroy them, how do we stop this world from being
consumed? asked Rekishi.
   Im glad you asked that, Rekishi, Thickett said. You see, most 
of the inhabitants of this world arent dead, I have them imprisoned in an
orb located somewhere in the castle. If you can break that orb, all the
inhabitants will be freed, unharmed. However, to make this interesting,
I created a gauntlet to the orb that you can challenge in the morning.
Until then, I and your host, Deadra, bid you good night.
   Ill be awaiting our rematch, Susano, Deadra said as she left the
room. Another figure entered the room as the couple left. She was dressed
in a practical pair of slacks and a frilly blouse with glasses perched
upon her nose. Ace and Ay-Eye took notice of her since it was one of the 
first figures they met when they arrived here.
   This way to your rooms, guests, she said as she gave everyone
an icy stare. She then escorted them to the top of the stairs, and paused
long enough to note which room Ace went to.

   Emiko-sensei, Im afraid, Mai said.
   Dont be, Mai, Emiko said assuringly. You have to remember to
be strong when you dont know what to do.
   Hai, answered Mai.

   How can one man make a world disappear? Remus asked Rekishi.
   I dont know, but if one man can do it, Thicketts evil can, 
said Rekishi.

   Hello sensei! shouted Anne greeted Jerry. You had me so worried
earlier when you were in that mirror room.
   It takes much more than that to stop your teacher, Anne, Jerry 

   Do you think you can break that ice, Madoka? asked Aye-Eye as he
and Madoka slaved over system protection.
   What do you think you tin can? Madoka asked playfully as she 
made a few more clicks with the mouse. I still hate this GUI.

   Die, Goomba, Die! Rachael yelled into the Game Boy as she tried 
to distract herself from the situation on hand. Damn! I wish life was this 

   Susano was staring out the window thinking of Emiko when he noticed
a glow behind him. Hello fallen god, the image of Deadra called to him.
Thickett has told so much about you. It was an honor to do battle with you,
perhaps we can do it again tomorrow. Susano was about to reply when the
image of Deadra rippled and faded from view. I promise tomorrow, were the
last words ringing in Susanos ears as he stared and the empty spot.

   Ace sat in a chair in his room and was juggling hooks and various
small objects he found. He wanted badly to go visit Mai, but she was sharing
a private moment with Emiko and he didnt want to interfere. From somewhere
in the room, he heard a clapping which ruined his concentration and caused 
the items he was juggling to fall upon his head.
   Bravo, bravo, giggled the woman who Ace crashed into earlier that 
day. Could you answer me one question? Why did you save me from the crash?
   Ace was taken back the directness and openness she displayed to
a complete stranger. I guess it was automatic. Looking more closely at
her, she was cute. Not the drop dead gorgeous that Deadra was, but an open
and honest cuteness. Her straight brown hair was cut to her shoulders and
here large, knowing eyes were framed nicely by the glasses she wore.
   Well, I thank you for saving me, she said as she slowly entered 
the hall. My name is Jessica Halbrant, are the last words Ace heard her 
say before the door closed.

   The next morning, everyone awoke to find themselves in the middle 
of a great hall. A large mass of the blob with red eyes was out to greet 
them. Remus used a high intensity light spell, but that didnt even scare 
the blobs. Eventually, the walls of the castle absorbed the light and the 
room was growing darker as the beady red eyes advanced.
   I dont know how we are going to get out of this, said Madoka.
   Well, Emiko-sensei said to be strong and I will, Mai said as she
walked forward with the cylinder she had at the bar in hand. Im not
afraid of these things.
   Strangely enough, as Mai approached, the mass of blobs parted
20 feet around her and the others crowded close to her to avoid the getting
caught. Forward they hurried together until the group came to a fork in the
corridor. A few yards back, the blobs stopped surrounding the party for
some unknown reason and everyone gave a sigh of relief.
   Aye-Eye and I have hacked the central computer last night and 
found out a few things about the castle, Madoka said. Unfortunately, we 
have to split up in order to get to the orb. Ace, Susano, you both need to 
go down that corridor. Deadra and Jessica are waiting down there and we need 
the chip around Deadras neck to operate the computer locking away the orb.
   Why us? asked Ace.
   Apparently, the castle defenses will only allow you two down that
corridor, answered Madoka. Gesturing down another corridor, Aye-Eye will 
be assisting me in spoofing the computer long enough for the rest of you
to enter the orb chamber.

   Down the corridor Susano and Ace walked. Hello, boys, greeted
Deadra as she pulled her swords out of her sheafs. Time to finish what
we started. She rushed forward meeting Susanos parry and sparks flashed
all around them. Again she went for the hundred fist technique in an attempt
to blind Susano, but he was ready and mounted his own offense.
   A complicated waltz was danced between the two as each battled for 
the upper hand until Deadra finally managed to kick Susano in the groin. 
The fallen god was brought to his knees as she lifted her sword above her 
head. Ace was about to interfere in the fight when a shot whizzed by his 
nose. Following the path of the shot, Ace looked into the eyes of Jessica 
and saw the sadness in her eyes. We cant have you interfering in their 
fight, hero, Jessica said.
   Susano looked up and saw the sword coming for his head. In a blur 
of motion, he dodged the oncoming blade and plunged a dagger deep into the 
abdomen of Deadra. Thank you Susano for,
said Deadra before she collapsed and died. 
   My obligation is fulfilled, said Jessica. I know you will hear
much more from me in the future, hero. Remember the prophecies. With 
that last comment, Jessica walked backwards through a solid wall as if 
it wasnt there.
   Wait! cried Ace. What do you mean by prophecies? Ace reached 
out to follow Jessica, but found the wall was solid where Jessica stepped
through. Glancing back at Susano, he saw that he retrieved the chip around
Deadras neck and was wearing a puzzled expression on his face as he and 
Ace rushed back to Madoka and Aye-Eye.

   Ill make this simple enough for even you to understand Ace, 
said Madoka to Ace, Susano and Aye-Eye. All three of you need to turn 
your keys at the same time at the count of three. After that, I may need 
each of you to keep your keys turned and push buttons at your location on
occasion. Now, ready, one, two....

   The section of wall before Emiko, Mai, Rekishi, Remus, Rachael, 
Jerry and Anne opened before them. Quickly, they hurried down the corridor,
but the wall section that opened slammed shut again and revealed long, sharp
spikes on their side. Relentlessly, it chased down the group. 
   Rachael nodded to Remus and the headed towards the wall. She 
directed a force barrier that stopped the wall temporarily while Remus 
desperately tried to hack its code to stop the moving wall. This may take 
a while everyone, Remus said as he cursed at his gauntlet for not making 
his job easier. Everyone else better go ahead without us.

   A few paces down the corridor, a pit trap swallowed Jerry and
Anne into the inky blackness below. The distorted mirror images of Jerry 
approached and one of them said, Your little trick didnt work.
   It didnt? asked Jerry as he rose off the floor and proceeded
to one of the many corridors leading out of the area. The doppleganger
of Jerry moved to intercept him and started to power up. Unconcerned, 
Jerry walked towards and then through the doppleganger and left the room.
   Confused, Anne ran to the side of her sensei and looked back to
see an empty room. How did you know? she asked.

   Emiko, Mai and Rekishi continued down the corridor nervous as to
what might happen to the group next. Emiko sensei, what will happen to 
Jerry and Anne? Mai asked on the verge of tears. 
   Stopping for a moment, Emiko pulled Mai to one side and comforted 
her. Soothing words and reassurances that Jerry and Anne can take care of
themselves. Off to the side, Rekishi shuffled nervously as he listened to
the exchange between Emiko and Mai. Regret filled his heart as he again
tried to recall his past and failed. When he saw that the other two were
ready, he put aside his emotions and continued down the endless hall.
   Eventually they reached a door that reeked of magic. Rekishi 
prepared a spell to open the door, but his vision blurred and then he was 
staring at the door floating against a field of stars. An eerie glow 
emanated from the door as it swirled around him. The door increased its 
glow before a beam emanated from the door and struck him full force in 
the back. Rekishi reeled from the blow as he flipped head over heels in 
the empty void. 
   Eventually, the door caught up and the glow around the edges 
intensified as it readied another blast. Anticipating the attack, he created
mirror images of himself as he readied a spell. Confused, the door directed
a beam at all the images one at a time as Rekishi finished his spell and 
opened a portal in the path of the beam. Energy continued to stream out of
the door as the portal drained the door of its magic. Without the stream
of energy to feed it, the portal closed leaving Rekishi with an ordinary 
door. After a long period of rest, Rekishi cast a portal spell on the door 
and stepped through.

   Shock found its way to Emiko and Mais faces as they watched the
door and Rekishi disappear. Waves of pure evil washed over the two, 
rendering them helpless as they watched Thickett approach them. 
   You cant win! exclaimed Thickett. Dragging the bodies of Emiko
and Mai closer Thickett continued to gloat, The object of your search is
inside that heart of darkness and here you are, so close and yet helpless 
to do anything about it. 
   They may not be able to do anything about it, but I certainly 
can, intoned a disembodied voice. To the amazement to Emiko and Mai and 
to the growing alarm rising in Thickett, they looked around for the source 
of the voice that sounded just like the Commander. Do you remember the 
first part of the prophecy, Thickett? Let me repeat for you.

   In the darkest hour shall a man meet himself
   Like a flower that blooms but once
   An opportunity shall come to those who wait
   And ensuring tempest shall wash all slates clean

   From another doorway stood a second Thickett and Eric Draven. In 
shock, the Thickett near Emiko and Mai pulled a large rifle off the wall 
and fired a few rounds into the both. Large chunks of flesh were blown off 
and electricity crackled around the edges of the holes the shots made in
Thickett, but only knocked Eric back into the hall. Dropping the book, the
boomer ran and grabbed onto Thickett in an attempt to pull him to a portal.
Both figures slowly struggled into the portal until only clasped cybernetic 
hand was clear of the portal. A huge shattering sound echoed around the
as the gem used to power Aces rocket was crushed in that hand and in a 
flash of light, the portal was gone was gone.
   Eric walked back into the room and glanced out the window in the 
room. He noticed that the gathering storm and the dark mass with the beady 
red eyes were gone. The boomer Thickett had kept his promise to destroy 
that weapon of evil and only one task remained. Eric reached into the 
Heart of Darkness and pulled a small translucent orb from its center. 
Raising it above his head, he threw the orb to the ground and reality 
   All the people and places who were imprisoned in the orb were 
returned to the place they were captured. Everyone who came to this world
were returned to where they belonged. Rising to here feet, Emiko picked
up the book and turned to the bookmarked page that the boomer was reading
from. Looking at the next entry in the book, she read out loud,
   The coming storm shall encompass all of Gods creation
   Where good and evil meet shall stand one who walks both
   Neither good or evil, he shall give a signal
   For he and the messenger shall bring forth a revolution

   Flipping to the next page, Emiko found that it was blank. Flipping 
through the pages in the rest of the book, she found that they were also
blank. Depressed that she was helpless at the very end, Emiko took Mai back
to headquarters to report to their superiors. 
   Emiko-sensei, where did the undead guy go? Mai asked. And what
does the book mean?
   Mai, some questions are better left unasked, replied the tired 

Thus ends the chapter of Even the Sun is Wrong and begins the Ascension Wars.

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