science experiment gone wrong
OP – Mercy Drive – Burn in my Light
“As you can see Ted the damage from the giant battle is very severe.” The reporter continued to talk as the station switched to an aerial view of the area. Buildings were badly smashed open or crushed. They stayed on the ragged gap in the middle of the street for a long time. “Power and water services for this part of the city are still out with no estimation on when they will return. Local hospitals were taken off guard at the amount of casualties they received. Local authorities are asking people to stay away from the area for their own safety, but anyone willing to volunteer with the clean up can sign up at designated areas. A UNDF representative said earlier…”
Ken watched the work crews a couple blocks away, right were the authorities cordoned off the street. But even at this distance he could just make out the ripped up streets under the floodlights. While Daxium was in control when they traded places he was vaguely of what was going on when he was locked away in that safe area. Rubbing the back of his right hand absent mindedly he relieved the moment Dax unleashed the attack that caused all that damage to the street. Making his way out through the crowd he headed for his car. Getting in he sat there for a moment before looking in. Before long he was face to face with Daxium, “We have to be more careful.”
“My actions were my own Ken,” Daxium told him. “You have nothing to feel guilty for.”
“Yeah but I was the one who let you out.”
“My people are at war with these dark creatures. It is my duty to defeat them.”
“I know I know,” Ken ran his hands over his head as he walked away. “This is the first time we had to do this in the city itself. I wasn’t ready for the… I didn’t think we would…”
“War is seldom pleasant Ken. But if it disturbs you so much I have other weapons at my disposal…”
“No,” Ken said cutting him off, “I don’t want to you hold back because of me. There’s no point in putting yourself at a disadvantage. You know more about what you can do and when to do it more than I do Dax.”
Daxium put a hand on his shoulder, “Although I will make no promises I will try to lessen the amount of damage I cause. But if I come to a situation where I have to use the Giga Wave again I will.”
“I’m not asking you to Dax. God I’ve seen enough monster movies growing up I should have had an idea what would happen when one showed in the middle of the city. Don’t worry Dax I’ll get used to it.”
As he was leaving the area he heard Daxium say, “For your sake Ken I hope you do not.” Blinking as he came back to the here and now he looked back at the damaged area before driving off.
When the giant first appeared Richardson knew there were going to be questions. Questions from the board, questions from the teams and soldiers and especially questions from reporters. He was more than ready to answer all of them, when Joseph was the one who was supposed to be bonded with the giant idiot. As it was he was bidding time until Patricia and Williams could find a clue on who he did bond with. Then he had to find away to get the bastard in the organization. He thought he found a way, and some on the board were practically screaming for it as it was. It just depended on how much it was going to cost him.
But until then the questions just kept coming, particularly from reporters. Especially the one that was currently assaulting his ear over the phone. The moron practically called every day since the giant appeared, asking the same questions every time. “Come on Mr. Richards,” he said after they played some verbal jousting for the past several minutes, “surely you must have some comment on Alpha Team decision to aid the giant before.”
“I told you before any decision made in the field during a battle are those of the commanders alone,” he was starting to get annoyed being asked that over and over. “If you want a statement you’re going to have to ask him,” he said sharply.
“You have to give me something to work with here. Does the giant at least have a name?”
“If I knew his name I would have used it by now. Goodbye!” Slamming the phone down he waited a second before picking it back up. “I don’t want to hear from that jackass for at least a week. If I do you’re fired,” and slammed the phone down again.
Beside him Patricia didn’t look all that impressed with the display, “That was a bit much don’t you think?”
“I have people breathing down my neck from every angle imaginable,” he told her. “I have the board and reporters like that jackass asking questions about the giant. The rest of my family and Captain Hawk are still demanding to know what happened to Joseph. I can’t do anything about Hawk, the board or my family, but as for the reporters I can silence at least for a little while, just long enough to get a moment’s peace.”
“From my experience,” Patricia cautiously said, “a forced silence will make them think you’re hiding something even more.”
“Right now I don’t care,” he said plainly. “I need a moment or two to think straight. I wouldn’t be having this problem if that damn giant bastard came out of that portal faster.”
The quiet moment was interrupted by William trying to come through the door with a security guard trying to hold him back. “Mr. Richardson I have to talk to you!”
Richardson shot straight up demanding, “What is the meaning of this?!”
“Sorry sir,” the guard said while he struggled with the scientist, “he tried to shoot past me.”
“I’ve been trying o call you since last night,” Williams said still trying to get out of the guards grip. “I found him!”
“He keeps saying that too but he won’t say who ‘he’ is.”
Richardson and Patricia shared a brief glance as he sat back down. “It’s fine Craig, let him through,” she told him.
“Bat Rastard,” Williams muttered after the door was closed.
Ignoring his particular swearing habit Richardson calmed down a bit before asking, “What makes you think you have him Doctor?”
“I’m pretty sure I got him on video,” without any permission he quickly went to the computer on the desk. Before long a screen slid down from the ceiling and the lights darkened slightly. In the next moment an image of Williams in a Hawaiian shirt with a drink in hand sitting next to a smiling woman appeared. Richardson dropped his head while Patricia shook hers. Going red in the face he scratched the back of his head, “Heh… sorry that’s my honeymoon.” Going back to the computer he found the proper file this time around, “Here it is.”
Security camera footage started playing, a van was the only thing on screen for a bit. Richardson squinted his eyes a bit to try and figure out if there was a flash just then behind it or not. Then some long haired punk walked out holding is chest and looked around before putting something into his coat. “Run it again,” Patricia said after it was over.
“Did you see something?” Richardson asked.
“I’ll tell you once I’m sure… there,” she pointed at the screen.
“You say the shadow too?”, Williams asked with a grin. He played it one more time for Richardson. Then he saw it, right after that flash there was a man shaped shadow that wasn’t there before the flash as the punk walked into view. “I pulled up his face and ran it through the database and found this. It’s after Ultraman fought the giant version of the creature we usually send the Razor Wings after.” They watched as the footage from a different camera played. This one showed an alleyway, there wasn’t a flash this time around but it did show the same individual come out clutching his left forearm. “I also found this.” A drawing of some sort appeared, Williams pulled up a clean image of the person’s face for a comparison, “That is from the night when the first monster appeared. A couple of troops posted the description after they lost track of an individual in the same area Ultraman showed up in.”
Richardson leaned forward as he studied the individual. “He does seem to be favoring the same areas the giant took damage in,” Patricia commented.
“Do you know who he is?” Richardson asked anxiously.
“Not yet,” Williams answered, “we’re still running the image through the database.”
“Speed it up!”, he barked. “I want to know who that bastard is and I wanted it yesterday!” Williams nodded and hurried out of the room leaving the image up. “I want him in this organization, I don’t care what it takes.”
The ones the dark beings referred to as their Avatar sat on the floor, crossed legged and eyes closed. He tried to relax, build his strength. His “masters” were preparing to send another large entity through the dimensional phase, Bogun they called it. After Bemular he quickly discovered exactly how much it drained him to stabilize something that size. As it was he surprised he was able to build up enough energy to murder Joseph Richardson. Although the results were rather spectacular, in his own humble personal opinion of course. But he swore to be ready this time around, he had to build his reserves, push his limits slightly.
And his masters were aware that he was doing just that. But apparently they weren’t aware to what extent he was doing so. He smiled to himself at the memory, he almost levitated last time, he was sure of it. He felt the energy within him, he felt himself get a little lighter like he was about to rise off the floor. If that knock on his door didn’t happen he might have done just that. But patience was a virtue. Slow and steady as they say, just enough that he could still cover his tracks so they wouldn’t discover the full extent of what he was doing. If they did then there would be no place he could hide.
“Hey Ken!” Rose ran up to him as he pulled into the parking lot. When she came at him looking that excited it could only be one of two things. Was it wrong he was silently praying that she was having another kid? “What are you doing tomorrow night?” No such luck.
“Please tell me you’re not planning on setting me up with another one of your friends? You promised me you wouldn’t do that anymore.”
“Have you even known me to break my promises?”, she asked him. Before she could answer, with an all too familiar smirk she added, “But you never said anything about Davey’s co-workers.” Ken buried his face in his hands and groaned as he tried to walk past her. “Her name is Stacey, I’ve seen her when I visited Davey at work. She’s a lovely girl and you two have a lot in common.”
“What is with you and the blind dates you set me up on?”
“Don’t worry Ken and me are going to be there so it’s not like I letting you go through this alone.” And with that he buried his face in his hands again.
“A chaperoned blind date, that’s just great.”
“Oh don’t be such a baby,” Rose chided him. “You don’t have to go if you don’t want to.” Before he could utter those exact words she continued talking, “She seemed interested in you when I told her about you. Come on Ken I just want you to be happy.”
“I am happy,” he told her. “Have you ever seen me unhappy?”
“How much time do we have before work?”, she asked him. “Because I have a list.”
“You do not have a list.” Chances were she might, but he wasn’t going to give in that easy.
“Come on Ken, consider it a personal favor if you go on the date.”
“If I’d called in all the favor you owed me for going on these dates I’d own your ass for a couple of months at least.” That apparent line of attack didn’t work because it looked like she wasn’t going to give in either. “This better not be a fancy place because I refuse to wear a suit somebody I don’t know.”
“Great,” she hugged him around the neck. “I promise you won’t regret this.”
“You said that the last time,” he told her, “and the time before that and the time before that and…”
“Be quiet,” she told him. “You’re going to have a great time.” She went into the garage about the same time the bossed pulled up.
“Ken,” he said, “early as always I see. Did you send that application in yet?”
“Just waiting on the rejection letter,” he told him.
“That’s negative thinking Ken,” he told him. “Besides I know somebody in admissions. I told her that if she didn’t see your name in a month time to send me another. And you will fill it out in my office and I will send it out for you to make sure it doesn’t get lost again.”
“That’s not fair,” he protested, “Do you have any idea how many people apply to them a year? It took them two months to get back to me the first time.”
“We’ll find out in a month time won’t we,” and his boss walked into the building leaving him alone again. Ken looked around halfway expecting Jeff to pop up with a smart ass remark.
Instead he heard in the back of his mind, “Ken, are you alright?”
“Whoa,” making sure nobody in the garage could see him he turned around and spoke to him, “you can initiate these things?”
“Yes,” Daxium told him, “but since I am just a guest in your body I try not to disturb you normal life as much as possible. However you seemed more disturbed than usual at the moment. Is there anything wrong?”
“Unless they have blind dates where you come from it might take a while to explain the one of the reason I’m feeling ‘disturbed’.” Daxium didn’t have a ready response for that. “Look Dax, I appreciate the concern, it’s just some human crap I have to go through every so often. But could you give me a warning next time. It looks like I’m talking to myself right about now and that’s going to draw attention.”
“I will do my best to give you some sort of advanced warning in the future. But if an emergency arises I will not make any promises.”
“Fair enough.” Ken came back to his senses about the time Rose popped her head out of the garage.
“Everything set for tomorrow night,” she told him.
“Great,” he said through a false smile. Although he was pretty sure Dax couldn’t hear him he muttered anyway, “And if you can find a way to fake that feeling during this date I will be eternally grateful.”
“Captain Hawk!”, someone called out. He looked behind him to see Peter Brooks hurry up and catch him, folder in hand. He stopped to let him, somewhat curious about what this could be about. Rarely did a board member just want to talk. Something about the file in his hands said this wasn’t going to be one of those times. “Good day Captain,” he greeted once he was close enough, “I’m sorry to bother you like this.”
“No problem at all sir,” he said. “What can I do for you?”
“It’s not for me actually,” Brooks told him, “it’s for Richardson. Seeing how things are still a little frosty between the two of you I thought it would be prudent if I sought you out instead.”
“I’ll do the job no matter who assigns it. What do you have for me?”
“I’m not really sure,” he admitted. “I caught the tail end of it when I walked into his office. From what I understand it’s a person of interest in this whole monster mess.” Interest piqued he took the file and opened it. He realized the photo was cam footage almost immediately. Looking a little further he found the guy’s name, Ken Scott. It took him all of two seconds to realize why that name sounded familiar. “I peeked through the file while I was looking for you. I didn’t see anything particularly noticeable about him. More than likely Richardson is pushing his ‘instincts’ a bit here.”
Reading a bit further a line of information caught Hawk’s eye, “This guy is considered dangerous?”
“Dangerous enough to warrant sending Alpha team after him.”
“That’s a bit much for one guy. There has to be a regulation against it.”
“These are strange times Captain, people are a little jumpy and want answers. In fact a couple of board members found a by-law in the charter that most of us forgot about. It allows for a situation just like this.”
“That’s an awfully convenient find,” Hawk commented.
“Like I said Captain, strange times.” He started to leave but stopped, “One more thing before I go, please tell Mr. Bridge to be a little more careful in the future. I fully realize computers are his area of expertise, but apparently clandestine activities are not.”
“I’m not sure if I follow.”
“Let’s just say I’m more than a little glad that you decided to take my advice and study this Ultraman character.” Before Hawk could respond Brooks turned around and went the way he came. Hawk looked at the file in his hand and hoped this wasn’t the same guy Jess knew back in the day.
An hour later he and the rest of the team were standing around the conference table with the file footage of Ultraman’s last battle. Arms still in a cast Bridge pointed something out, “See right there, when he punched the rock creature. The monster stumbled back, it didn’t do that at the beginning of the fight.”
“So he had to go to this… Power mode,” Ryo said, “to defeat him.”
“Exactly,” Bridge told him, “I also think his most powerful weapons are in this form too.”
“Seeing what he did to the street the beat this one I hope he doesn’t have to go to this form too often,” Jess commented. A round of nods agreed with her. Bridge worked the controls with his uninjured hand to put all three forms side by side.
Bill pointed at each one as he spoke, “So we got Hyper, Power and…” trailing off he tried to think of a name, “Normal mode?”
“It’ll do,” Hawk told them. “I’m assuming this proves that theory we had that he’ll adapt to the situation?”
“I would say so,” Bridge agreed. “So far his strategy seems to be he’ll start in Normal form here and see what he’s dealing with. Then he’ll either stay in this form or mode shift into one of these others depending on what he’s facing.”
“Mode shift?”, Ryo asked with an arched eyebrow.
“A term I just coined,” Bridge told him before returning his attention to the holo images of Ultraman. “I wonder if he can mode shift at will or once per battle.”
“I guess we’ll find out one way or another,” Jess told him.
“We have one more order of business,” Hawk informed them. He placed the info disc that was in the file into the console slot. Pulling up the information he briefly glanced at Jess before saying, “According to Mr. Richardson this is a person of interest that we should be looking for.” With a few commands he projected the information over the table. It mirrored itself on both sides so they could all see it with no problem. He was concentrating of Jess’s reaction he almost missed what Ryo said right next to her.
“Ken Scott? I think I went to the academy with this guy. But I think his hair was shorter back then.” Hawk looked at him with mild surprised, he wasn’t expecting that one. That wasn’t even in the file Brooks gave him.
Beside him Jess studied the image in front of here, whispering an almost inaudible, “Ken?”
“We don’t know much,” Hawk told them. “All I know is he’s supposed to be brought in and is considered dangerous enough to have us go after him.” Jess pried her eyes away from the image to stare at him. In fact the others were looking at him strange too. “I know what you’re all thinking and I don’t like it either. Apparently there’s a regulation on the books that will allow the board to do just that. I already filled a complaint against it but until the board repeals it we have to do this. Are there any questions?”
Like he thought Jess was the first one to speak up, “Is this some kind of a joke?”
Before he could answer an alert went off. “Excuse me Captain,” Bridge said as he accessed his station from here. “We have another hit in the middle of the city. Looks like another big one.”
“Do we have visual yet?”, Ryo asked.
“No the reading is still underground, but it looks like it’s close to the surface. There’s no reports of power loss so I don’t think it’s the same as last time.” A new image appeared showing a map of the city that rose up a bit to show the current location of the reading they were getting.
“Alpha team, get ready to launch,” Hawk told them. “I want Razor Wings in the air and Scan Tracks on the ground beating us there. We’ll continue talking about the previous situation later.”
“You better believe we will,” Jess mumbled.
“Let’s show this thing why they call us Monster Squad. Move out!”
This night was going worse than Ken thought it was going to be. His “date” Stacey didn’t appear all that interested at all. In fact she seemed more interested in Davey, going so far to bring the conversation back to him when Rose tried to talk up Ken a bit. But she seemed more than content to pretend he wasn’t there. Normally he wouldn’t have minded but he was getting the feeling Rose set them up so she’d stop making to googley eyes at her husband. Of course he didn’t know how she acted at work, but chances were she did the same there too. Any other time Ken wouldn’t have minded trying to help Rose out, but this woman was so boring it was a struggle to fake being interested at this point. In fact he wasn’t even trying to hide he was looking at his watch every so often. Why not, his date started doing it over an hour ago. “I’m going to go powder my nose,” Stacey said suddenly.
“I’ll think I’ll join you,” Rose said. Both of them got up and walked away.
The moment they were out of sight Ken immediately turned toward Davey, “Rose secretly hates me doesn’t she?”
“Come on Ken the dates not going that bad.” His only response was to stare at him. “Alright maybe it’s going a little bad.”
“A little?”, Ken stated.
“I tried to talk her out of it,” Davey told her. “But you know how Rose is when she gets started on something. Look I feel like I owe you one. If you want to sneak out I’ll make up an excuse for you.”
“Are you kidding? The moment Rose finds out I left she’s going to hunt me down and kick… my… ass.” He felt Daxium react to something really close. It felt like it was right on top of him. Turning way from Davey and lowering his head he softly said, “I was kidding about faking that feeling.”
“This is very real Ken,” Dax told him. “Whatever this creature is we are very close to it. We need to get away and intercept it’s before it’s too late.”
“Easier said than done.”
“What’s easier?”, Rose asked as they returned to the table. A second later the building started shaking. “What the hell?”, Rose asked as she and several others started to look around.
Based on the feeling Daxium was getting he had a sickening idea what it was, “We got to get out of here now.” Pulling Davey to his feet he tried to push them to the door.
“Wait we still have to pay,” Davey said.
“We’ll drop off a check at the door.”
“Now wait a minute,” Stacey started to protest. “I don’t know what kind of woman you think I am…”
Ken had enough of this and didn’t have time to deal with people who haven’t been in this situation before, “Newsflash princess, not everything is about you.” That felt better than it probably should have. “I’ve been in more of these situations than I care to think about.” Their waitress tried to stop them, especially since a few more tried to copy what he was doing. Instead of a check Ken threw a wad of cash at her, “That should cover it and then some,” he told her. “Now come on!” The moment they hit the door Ken looked down the street as some sort of tendril looking thing broke through the asphalt. This was bad, that was practically right on top of them.
The people he was trying to save stopped in horror as a green head broke through and roared at the fleeing crowd. “What the hell is that?”, Davey asked in terror.
None seemed to notice that he was way too calm when he answered, “Something not good.” More of the creature broke free, making it look like some sort of giant slug as more of it was exposed. But even Ken started getting worried when a second head appeared at the other end, this one with a giant snout like nose on it’s face, and at ground level. He had to get out of there fast and let Daxium get after that thing, but he couldn’t just leave the others behind. That didn’t stop Stacey from fleeing in terror as soon as the second head emerged. “She has the right idea,” Ken grunted as he pulled Rose and Davey along. Hearing jets he looked to see them in the sky and UNDF ground vehicles.
“All Razor Wings and Scan Track, distract the creature until the civilians are clear,” Hawk ordered.
“Rodger,” Ryo, Jess, Bill and the other replied over the link. The lead air units fired a round of missiles while the ground units fired their cannons. The monster roared in pain and lashed out with that tendril on his head. Unable to hit the Razor Wings it smashed into the side of a building. Seeing chunks of buildings come down Ken dragged Rose and Davey with his as he dove for the sidewalk. The people behind them weren’t so lucky. Then some kind of smoke started blowing out of the monster body from these vent like orifices. A rancid order filled the air immediately. People closer to the creature dropped to the ground overcome by the gas.
“Come on!”, Ken pulled his friends back up and ran down the street. Looking back he reached into his jacket, he’ll worry about explaining this to them later.
“Over here!” A uniform man was waving people over to a line of transports. Ken immediately pushed Rose and Davey in that direction. The trooper ushered them into one of the trucks, “come on we don’t have much time.” It was then that Rose noticed somebody was missing.
“Where’s Ken? Ken!”, she started to get out of the truck to look for him.
“He’s probably in one of the other trucks,” Davey said trying to keep her seated.
“But he was right behind us!”
“Don’t worry, we’ll find him later.”
Everybody in the truck and the others quieted down with some fear as a huge column of light appeared behind one of the buildings. The Razor Wings pulled away as it faded away revealing the Giant, “Shiah!”
Bogun stopped spraying the gas the moment the top head noticed Daxium. Both roared as he got between it and the fleeing crowd. Bogun moved toward him but Daxium kicked him back. The tendril on top of it’s head lashed out and caught him on the top of the head. Forced back from the blow he started to put his hands to his side but the creature started spewing. Daxium started choking before firing the bolt, felt himself grow weaker. Bogun rushed forward butting him with it’s head. Realizing there were still transports behind him he fought to stay on his feet.
Raring one more time Bogun reared his head back for another strike. Daxium regained his balance just long enough jump up and flip over the creature. Before Bogun could turn around he struck him in the side of the head several times before grabbing it around the neck. With some effort he was able to pull it away from the fleeing transport despite Bogun’s duel protest. The tendril acted like it had a mind of it’s own as it whipped him as the body struggled to get free. Squirming loose it quickly turned around and smashed the tendril across Daxium’s face. Going for it again Bogun missed as the giant back flipped out of range. Daxium quickly fired off a bolt as soon as his feet touched the ground, burning one of the vents on it’s main body. The two heads cried out in pain. Taking the moment the creature was distracted Daxium ran in punching and kicking away at Bogun. The tendril tried to come into play again but the giant easily blocked it and continued his assault.
The forgotten lower head was able to get it’s mouth around one of his feet and clamped down hard. That distracted Daxium enough that it wrapped the tendril around his neck. Now Daxium struggled to get free as the pressure increased. The lower seeing he was about to fire off another bolt Bogun slammed him into the nearby buildings. Pulling him close he started spewing that gas right into his face. Before long the crystal started flashing red as he fell to a knee. Hawk didn’t need any prompting this time, “All units fire on the creature.”
“We should target Ultraman too,” Jamira said over the comm. “Eliminate both of them at once.”
“Richardson’s order is still in effect. Target the creature, fire!” he ordered again not giving Jamira a chance to argue. Alpha team and most of the other units unleashed their missiles almost immediately. Bogun cried in pain again s explosions rocked it’s body, stopping with the gas and letting Daxium go. He came back to his senses after a few moments, eyes on the tendril as Bogun went after the Scan Tracks on the ground. Crossing his arms in front of him the line appeared and changed his body to the blue of Hyper mode. Running in he jumped over Bogun again, landed and jumped back up with a spin lick to the creature upper head. Back flipping away several times he avoided the tendril reach. Holding out a hand he extended two fingers and drew a circular shape in the air. A line of energy followed the path of his fingers made. Connecting the two ends the outside edge became jagged like a saw and he threw it at Bogun’s top head. It sliced through the tendril with ease and it dropped to the ground. Bogun started thrashing around widely after it happened.
Knowing he had to end this now Daxium set up for the run but the creature started spewing the gas again. Not sure he could travel through that and still make it he changed strategies and extended the light whip from his right hand. Waving it over his head Daxium lashed it around the creature’s body. Rearing back his left hand he drew in energy before slamming his left fist on top of his right hand. A surge of energy traveled through the whip and into Bogun’s body. A few seconds later the creature exploded and the gas quickly dissipated. The threat ended Daxium flew off into the night sky, “Shiah!”
A couple of hours later people were still being treated for the gas. A lot of people didn’t survive it or the creature’s assault. That renewed Hawk’s determination to get to the bottom of this mess. Jess still wasn’t happy about this but she would follow orders. In those two hours they were able to track down their target. Fortunately it was on a pretty dissertated section of street, well since the monster attack anyway, so hopefully they can do this with as little extra attention as possible. “Wait for my order,” he said as he noticed he was talking on a cell phone.
“No I couldn’t find her,” Ken told Rose, trying to explain his disappearance. Somehow searching for his date sounded like a good excuse. It also got him away from the UNDF units still patrolling the streets, since Dax put him almost of the middle of it. “So Davey was able to get a hold of her then? That’s good to hear.” That wasn’t a lie, she might have been a total bore but he didn’t want to see her get hurt. “I’m going to head home then. I’ll see you at the garage.” Putting his phone into his pocket he started to head for his car.
“Now!”, they quickly came out of their hiding spots and surrounded him. They were able to take him by surprise, but bit did look like he started to reach inside his jacket. “Hold it Scott, you’re coming with us.”
“What the hell is going on?!”, Ken demanded. Their weapons weren’t pointed at him but they were still in his hands.
“You’re wanted for questioning, “Hawk told him. “I need you to come with us.”
“I don’t think so,” Ken shot back. “I don’t know what’s going on but I am not… You back the hell away from me,” he said pointing at Bill.
“Ken please just calm down.”
“I don’t know you so don’t use…!” he turned to the speaker than stopped. He knew the face under that helmet. The uniform nametag that said Wade only confirmed it as his heart skipped a beat, “Jessica?” Ryo and Bill looked at each other confused.
“I don’t know why they want you,” she told him truthfully getting a little closer to him, “but we need you to come with us.”
“Don’t you need a reason to arrest somebody?”
“You’re not under arrest,” Hawk informed him.
“It sure looks like it to me,” Ken snapped. “Last I heard this wasn’t a police state. You need a reason…”
“Look the sooner we get this worked out…,” Ryo reached for him.
Ken pulled away from him, “Don’t touch me!” Taking a step toward Jess he recoiled a bit like he had just been shot as little blue arc of electricity traveled over his torso. He started to fall but Ryo quickly caught him. All eye turned toward Bill who holstered his weapon.
“It look like he was about to get violent,” he explained. “It’s allowed in that regulation, I looked it up. Beside he just stunned he’ll be fine.”
Before Hawk could reprimand him Jess stormed up to Bill and punched him square in the face. “Wade!” Hawk cried out pulling her away.
“He wasn’t getting violent you asshole!” she yelled at bill as he held his chin.
“We’ll sort this out later,” Hawk told while trying to stay between Jess and Bill. Waters, take Scan Track one back to base now, Ryo, Wade and myself will guard Scott in Track two. Now,” he added with a little more authority in his voice. Jess was already heading toward their Scan Track without a word to Bill. While rubbing his jaw a bit he headed for the other direction. Hawk got under one of Scott’s arms while Ryo did the same on the other side. “This kid better be worth the headache.”
ED – Shinedown – Fly on the Inside
Is Ken sure he didn't want Stacey crushed by falling debris? Hopefully in the future, Rose doesn't set him up on a blind date with a monster in desguise. XD lol
Hyper Mode does the trick yet again against Bogun. Makes me wonder though, if it knew where Ken and Dax were...
Geez, the UNDF probably invented that damn loop hole. Hopefully when Ken wakes up though it won't be inside a detention cell or interrogation room. But it will be interesting to see how things turn out from here.
G A L L I F R E Y S T A N D S
science experiment gone wrong
OP – Mercy Drive – Burn in my Light
Now this was a interesting situation the Avatar found himself in. He was standing by the lake Bemular appeared from. Bogun was still preparing to attack the city at the moment, he was a couple of hours away from being ready and his attention should have been there. Especially when this Ultraman would eventually show up. But his masters directed him back here. He didn’t know why until, he sensed it but just barely. There was another creature down there, from their universe just like they said. It must have sneaked through when Bemular crossed over.
Kneeling down and putting a hand into the water he sent out small waves of dark energy until he found it. Whatever was down there was roughly three time the size he was and felt roughly man shaped. What did they call it, Ragnaron? He felt it be drawn by his energy. It must have been close to Bemular when he stabilized him. The “masters” said it was a similar to a pest or a rodent in there universe. His orders were to destroy it, but he wondered what would happen if he gave just a little bit more energy.
Focusing his power he sent it toward the creature. It thrashed around as the beam struck it, but the Avatar could feel it drinking it in as well. He wasn’t sure how but he was positive he gave it the correct amount of a punch to accelerate it’s growth. In a few hours he’ll see what this one would be able to do. And if he was lucky his masters won’t know he did that on purpose. But right now he had to get out of here and back to Castle. He still had a job there to do.
For a while he all he knew was darkness and nothing else. “KEN!”, Daxium’s scream echoed in the back of his head when he was awoken with a start.
“Dial it down Dax,” he grumbled as he tried to focus on where he was. Wherever it was he was sitting and not in his own bed or chairs. “Ugh what hit me?”, he went to put a hand to his head. He was stopped part way and wouldn’t go any further no matter how hard he tried. Then he looked, he was handcuffed to a chair. Right then he remembered, one of those bastards shot him in the back. Looking around the room all he was able to see was the table in front of him and another chair. Then he saw a window looking into an adjoining room and saw them. And her.
“And this was the only strange thing on him?”, asked the guy who was older than the rest of them. Ken gave him his full attention when he saw the Spark Magnifier in his hand.
“The only thing we found,” said an Asian who looked slightly familiar to him. Then he turned toward her, “You recognized it Jess?”
“I’ve never seen it before,” she told him. Ken’s eyes never left the Magnifier in the guy’s hands.
“Oh no,” he muttered when he saw the crystal prongs pop out slightly as he squeezed the handle, “no no no no no.” The prongs clicked together and Ken closed his eyes and flinched. He was never going to see the light of day again. They were going to lock him and not stop until they figured out how he and Dax worked. Then he realized that things didn’t feel like they usually did when he used it. Cautiously he opened an eye and looked at his hand, it still looked normal as he wiggled his fingers. Letting out the breath he was holding he knew couldn’t relax fully just yet.
Inside the room Jess was the only one who noticed Ken’s reaction but she didn’t say anything. “It has to be what the old man was looking for,” Bill said. “Why else was he getting violent?”
“You’re the only one who thought he was getting violent man,” Ryo told him.
“Captain,” he pleaded, “help me out here. You saw it too right?”
“Not now Bill,” Hawk told him. “If he doesn’t tell us what it is we’ll have one of the labs check it out.” While they were talking Jess made up her mind and walked into the other room with Ken.
“Jess wait a minute,” Bill tried to stop her but Hawk held him back.
“She knows what she’s doing.”
Closing the door behind her they just stared at each other for a few moments. Neither knew the other’s heart was pounding just as bad. “I know I’m the reason why we broke up,” Ken began after a bit, “but please tell me you’re here to be the good cop.”
She smiled slightly, “No good or bad cop. I just thought you could use a friendly face right about now.” He smiled in return. Pulling out the other chair she sat across from him. “How have you been Ken?”
“Would it sound like too much of a line if I said I’ve been kicking myself since high school?”
“It kind of would actually.”
“Then I won’t say it,” they shared a small chuckle. “I’ve been alright. How about you?”
“I’ve been fine, a little busier than I thought I would be since I’ve joined up. What’s this I was hearing about you trying out for this too?”
“I gave it a shot a couple of years ago.”
“So what happened?” His only answer was to hold his stomach a bit as he remembered. Smiling a bit again she said, “I remember how green you used to get when you took me on the Farris Wheel back in the day. Are you seeing anybody?”
“Nothing serious or anything that lasted that long.” Had a great girl in high school but I screwed that up like nobody’s business. “How about you, have you found Mr. Right yet?”
“More or less the same, I haven’t had time to date since I’ve joined up.” Was kinda hoping this guy in knew in high school would be the one but look how that turned out. “How’s your family doing?”
“Mom’s good, she’s doing better than what she was. Jeff’s… married and has a kid.”
Jess’s jaw dropped, “Jeff has a kid? I don’t believe it.”
“I’d show you a picture but I don’t think my wallet’s on me,” he looked into the other room through the window.
She glanced back at the other before returning her attention to him, “Since I better look like I’m doing something official here what is going on? Why are they so interested in you? Why were you out there?”
“I have no idea,” Ken told her. He had an idea but he wasn’t going to say anything about it. “A person I work with set me up on a blind date and I went looking for her after that thing came up from the street. Next thing I know you and the goon squad showed up. Not that I’m calling you a goon or anything,” he quickly added once he realized how that sounded.
“I can buy that,” Jess said. Behind her he saw the guy who he was pretty sure was the one who shot him roll his eyes. “Can you tell me what that thing we found on you is?”
Thinking as fast as he has ever thought he said, “My good luck charm.”
“Your good luck charm,” Jess repeated slowly. He recognized that look she was giving him. She wasn’t sure if she believed it or not yet.
“I was in the park when that first giant monster showed up,” he told her. “I found it on the ground, I picked it up for some reason and came out of it alive. It was working great until tonight. Do you have any idea why I’m here?”
All they told us was that you were a person of interest and needed to be brought in for questioning,” she answered. “We don’t know any more than that.”
“That’s a pretty flimsy reason as far as I’m concerned,” Ken told her.
Jess shrugged her shoulders a bit, “It’s orders from up top, way up top. We have to follow those orders no matter what.”
“It’s probably a good thing I did crash out,” he said. “I don’t think I would have lasted that long around here.”
In his office watched what passed as an interrogation these days with some mild disgust. Partially because this woman was handling Scott with kid gloves, and partially because this was the person the giant bonded with. In front of him was the information on this Scott person as was his academy file. Inside that was the reason why he was originally rejected. As well as an addition that he had recently reapplied. At his request Patricia had the rejection letter stopped for the moment. He didn’t need that to mess up his plans. In the corner of the room Williams was using a lap top to view the footage on his own. “That device has to be the key,” he said after a bit. “He reacted when Hawk started messing with it.”
Behind Richardson Patricia said, “That’s what he’s using to turn into Ultraman? I was expecting something a little more… elaborate.”
“I wasn’t expecting a device at all,” Williams said. “I’m not sure what I was expecting but it wasn’t anything as simple as that. Oh if I could only get that alone for five minutes to figure out how it works.”
“It doesn’t matter how it works,” Richardson said curtly. “We have to find a way to get him working for us.”
“Maybe we can use Wade,” Williams offered, “they seem close. Or maybe Watanabe. Their files indicated they started at the same academy at the same time.”
“Not good enough,” Richardson spat. “That kind of familiarity rarely works. And there’s no guarantee Scott knew Watanabe at the academy.”
“Not to mention the slight confusion that might happen after you had them bring in Scott as a person of interest in the monster threat,” Patricia commented.
“And Hawk has made it absolutely clear they weren’t happy with particular direct order,” Richardson said. “I’m still on Hawk’s radar after the whole mess with Joseph. I don’t need them adding to that particular list. He studied Scott a bit as Wade left the room. Again he tested the metal cuff around his wrist. “There has to be something we can use. Is there anything in his file we can exploit?”
“Nothing is standing out so far,” Patricia informed him. “However we might try a bit of kindness to make him more comfortable.” Richardson looked at her. “He might be a little more agreeable if we treated him less like a prisoner.”
Looking at the screen he watched him play with the handcuffs again. “Get a hold of Hawk and tell him to remove the cuffs and try and make him a little more comfortable. Tell him it’s a different track to get him to talk if he asks.” Patricia nodded and got on the line. While she relayed the order Richardson studied the bastard on the screen. What was it going to take?”
Back at the lake two men who were just passing through had set up camp for the night having gotten there an hour before. One using a small propane stove to cook some hot dogs whistled to himself as they roasted. The whistling stopped when he noticed the middle of the lake started to bubble slightly. “Hey Frank,” he called out to his friend. “What do you think that is?”
He poked his head out of the tent and looked, “It’s probably an underwater geyser or something.”
Looking a little worried the first one went, “Isn’t this where they say that first monster showed up?”
“How should I know,” Frank told him. “The locals say a lot of things and I don’t listen to them.”
“It was on the news I think.”
“And that’s another bunch of lie spewing bastards right there,” Frank said going back into the tent. “Besides if this was the spot those UNDF freaks would have checked to see if there was more. They got to do something with the tax payer money they’re wasting.”
“Have you seen the things they go against on the news?”
“Smoke and mirrors,” Frank said shrugging it off, “a new type of plane who the hell knows what they really are. Monster now, I swear there’s something in the air.”
The bubbling in the water increased. Then it quickly started to come toward them. Before he could warn his friend something that looked like a fin emerged, followed by a gigantic head. “Fra… Fra… Fran…,” he stammered toward the tent. Frank poked his head out to yell at him. Then he saw the thing right in front of them. Both of them screamed as a giant hand came down right on top of them.
Rubbing his wrist Ken wondered what else could happen tonight. And forget the blind date Rose set him up on. First he was treated like a prisoner, now they were acting like he was guest or something. So much so Jess even volunteered to escort him to the cafeteria to get something to eat. Every so often he’d looked around to see if anybody else was escorting them but so far nothing. But he was amazed at how fast he and Jess fell back into old habits as they walked down the corridor. Well almost fell, if they were back in high school they might have been holding hands at this point. “So you’re working at Peterson’s Garage?”, Jess asked. “Did Jeff get you in? Wait that’s a stupid question, forget I ever asked that.”
Ken answered any way, “Jeff started after me actually. They had a job opening and he needed some steady work. Luckily he’s a halfway decent mechanic or that could have been a big mess.”
“I hoped he thanked you at least.”
He stopped just long enough to say, “Have you met my brother?”
“You’re right, what was I thinking?”, Jess said before they shared another laugh. “I still can’t believe he’s married.”
“Yeah Janet’s a saint. If I ever get my wallet back I can show you that picture of Nicole.” Now how to say this next part without looking too suspicious. “Any idea when I can get that and my good luck charm back?”
“I have no idea,” she told him. “Captain Hawk marked it as something suspicious. Since you’re a person of interest here it might be awhile. Is that going to be a problem?”
“No, not at all.” At least not until the next monster attack, then Dax might have some issues.
“How long was Jeff out of work before you got him the job?”
Rubbing the back of his neck he answered, “About a year.”
“Did this Janet make enough to support all three of them?”
Reluctantly he answered, “Not exactly.”
Now she stopped and looked at him. Oh he was way too familiar with that look she was giving him right now. “So you were basically helping support his family for that year?”
“Basically,” he said not looking at her.
Looking real disappointed she sighed, “Same old Ken,” and continued walking.
“Could you not make it sound like a bad thing,” he said before following.
“I know you were doing a good thing, but you were always shouldering everybody else’s problems and never taking anytime for what you wanted. How much can you actually carry on those shoulders?”
“You have no idea,” he mumbled.
“What was that?”, she asked.
“Nothing,” he quickly said.
“Do you at least have somebody to help you with all of this?”
“Kinda,” it wasn’t a total lie.
“I guess that’s a step in the right direction.” She sighed a bit again, “I don’t know, I guess I was hoping you’d become a little more selfish over the years. Even after we broke up I was worried you were going to get swallowed up trying to do everything. Even the family rock needs somebody to lean on from time to time. Or at least somebody to rant at when it gets to him.”
“Who would have bothered listening to me?”
“I would have,” she told him. Both of them just looked at each other for a few silent moments. “I’ve told you that more than once. You never listened.”
“I didn’t want to drive you away with my problems,” he said softly. Before she could respond he quickly changed the subject, “So how is this outfit treating you?”
“Pretty good,” she said going along with it. Besides there was no point in arguing about what he did or didn’t do back then. “I haven’t regretted joining yet, although I’ve questioned an order here and there. But Captain Hawk a good man, and so are the others.”
“You’re going to have to do more than that to convince me the one who shot me I the back is a good man,” he told her. The past a group of people coming around a nearby corner, several people in suits, a couple of guys in lab coats and one guy in a uniform like hers all trying to talk over each other. Ken stop and stood as Dax reacted to something. It wasn’t a monster, but it was something dark. The feeling was gone in an instant but he felt enough of it to know that it was behind him. Ken looked back at the group. It came from there he was sure of it.
Jess went a few more steps before she noticed he stopped, “Is something wrong Ken?”
“No,” he said snapping out of it. “Just out of curiosity am I allowed to know who those guys are? Or am I going to be held longer for seeing them?”
“Who they are is pretty much on the public record,” she answered. “They guy in the uniform is Commander Jamira of Beta Team, that one scientist is Dr. Williams, he helped make our weapons. And the leader of that particular pack is Peter Brooks, the number two man on the board. The rest are various assistants and secretaries who’s name are escaping me at the moment.”
“Brooks is kinda young isn’t he? He looks are age,” Ken commented.
“A lot of people have said that.” Jessica told him. “But he has his father’s mind according to Richardson and the rest of the board. So the complaints stopped soon enough.”
“So where’s his old man then?”
“He retired a few years ago, Peter just rose through the ranks like a rocket.” She looked back at the group, “Although between you and me I’m glad I’m not in Jamira’s unit.”
“He that bad of a commander?”, Ken asked.
“He’s… a little too gung ho about the job,” she told hm. “And a bit abrasive too. His whole unit is like that. Let me put it this way, they probably would have hunted you down with no problem what so ever, and with a smile on their faces.”
“Sounds like a fun guy. Let’s go for the hat trick while we’re at it,” Ken said casually, “how about that Williams guy?”
“He’s the lead scientist around here. Like I said he created or modified our weapons and equipment. Although I have heard he’s got an idea for a super jet he’s trying to get off the ground. I don’t know a lot of the details about it. Now, do you want to keep playing twenty questions or do you want to get something to eat?”
“Lead the way,” he said gesturing down the hall. She smiled and bowed a bit before they continued. Still Ken looked back one more time as that group started to break up. What was it that Dax sensed exactly?
Breaking away from the group the Avatar tried to figure out what that feeling was. Unlike that civilian with Wade he fought hard to suppress any type of reaction. It felt like his energy in some way, but not quite. In fact it felt a lot like it was… opposite? Yes that was it. It had to belong to the giant, there was no other answer. Which meant that civilian was Ultraman. This could be a problem, he had to be extra careful now. “Now I know I should have shot the sphere instead of Richardson.”
In the cafeteria Ken and Jess continued to catch up on things, while trying avoid talking about Jeff. Even when they were dating he was the cause of the occasional argument. Although both of them did everything to avoid talking about the breakup. If anything they could at least try and be friends now. While they talked this time Ken noticed her teammates seemed to be hovering around in the corners. At least she admitted it, “I’m really sorry about this. I think they’re trying to make sure you don’t try anything.”
“Just make sure they bastard who shot me stays in my line of sight. I don’t trust him as far as could through him.” Or as far as Dax could for that matter.
While he turned his head to look around she caught another look of that ponytail of his. “I have to ask, when did you decide to grow that thing?”
It took him a second to realize what she was talking about. “After I got rejected from the academy. At that point I had it either shoulder length or cut. I just decided one day to let it grow out for a while.”
“I don’t think I like it,” she commented.
“Then it’s a good thing we’re not dating anymore because I’m kinda used to it.”
From the door Hawk watched the two of them. Richardson said to not treat him like a prisoner, but he was still a person of interest according to Stanson. Despite the mixed signals that guy was still considered dangerous for some reason. Jess could take care of herself, but if this guy had anything to with those monster then he wasn’t chancing anything. Sensing somebody stand next to him he gave him a curt nod, “Mr. Richardson.”
“Captain,” he returned the greeting. “I noticed Brooks is still in the building.”
“He said he read that file while he was looking for me. He’s probably as curious about this guy as you are.”
“My hunch, as I’m sure he called it, might be wrong.” Hawk looked at him with some confusion. “Bridge is getting a signal.”
“Where and why didn’t he tell me?”
“The same sector the first monster showed up in. And Patricia was in the control room when his system detected the signal. I was on my way here to get a better look at Mr. Scott over there when she told me.”
“So if a monster showed up and he’s here with us watching him what does that mean exactly?”
“We might have to let him go.”
“Now wait a minute…,” Hawk started to protest.
“We don’t have much to hold him on as it is. I having Patricia bring his belonging as we speak. I’ll take care of it Captain. You have a job to do.” His tone indicted he wasn’t going to hear anything more on the subject.
Hawk was tempted to call him on it. But if that report was true than they didn’t have any time to waste. Tapping the communicator on his chest he said, “Jess, Ryo, Bill get ready to scramble.”
“Understood,” Jess acknowledged. “Sorry Ken, duty calls.”
“Don’t let me stop you.” After she left he wondered what kind of guard was going to be on him now. After a few minutes this old man and slightly younger woman carrying a clear plastic bag came toward him surprising him a little.
“Mr. Scott,” the older man said, “I’m Harold Richardson and this is my assistant Patricia.”
“Hi,” he said looking them over.
“We brought your things for you.” Taking the bag could see the Spark Magnifier wasn’t in it. While Ken tried to find a way to bring that up the old man continued, “I’m afraid I’m the reason why you’re here and I apparently made a mistake in doing so. Please let me reconcile that error by escorting you home in my limo.”
He was about to turn him down when Daxium spoke up in his head, “Ken go with him.”
Caught off guard for a moment Ken said, “My car still by the restaurant the monster attacked. Just take me there.”
“Certainly my boy, certainly. Come Patricia.” Ken watched them go for a moment before getting up.
In the hanger Razor Wing one and two were getting prepped for launch. “Remember people,” Hawk said as he checked the targeting system, “this is just a scouting mission at this point. Bridge said there was something about the water that was making it hard to get a clear signal. But it popped up just long enough for the long range sensors to get a hit.”
“And this is the same lake the first one showed up in?”, Jess asked.
“That’s what he said. So be ready for anything. Quickly going through the check list both jets were ready soon green.
“Razor Wing one to control,” Bill said, “we are ready to launch.”
Ryo soon followed, “Razor Wing two to control, we are ready to launch.”
“Acknowledged Razor Wings you are a go for launch,” Bridge told them.
“Launching,” both of them said as they hit the thrusters and flew out of the hanger.
Before they left a limousine had already pulled out of Castle’s garage and silently went on its way. Inside Patricia listened to a small receiver in her hear ear ad looked at Richardson sitting across from her. Ken looked out the window on the other side of the seat. “They’re underway,” she said.
Richardson just nodded and they rode in silence for about a minute or so. Then he said, “So you’re the one who joined with our giant friend.”
“Excuse me?”, Ken had heard him perfectly, he just wasn’t sure what to think right at that moment.
“Oh it’s all right, I know all about him.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“Then you won’t be needing this then.” Richardson reached into his coat and pulled out the Spark Magnifier. Ken eyed it as he held it out for him. “Captain Hawk wanted it analyzed. I had Dr. Williams bring it to me. Go ahead, take it.”
Reluctantly Ken did so, “Thanks.”
“I’m pretty sure you’re going to need it sooner or later. So what’s our giant friend’s name?”
Again Dax spoke up, “It’s alright Ken, he’s the one who arranged for my original host.”
Still not sure what to think about this he answered, “Daxium.”
“Daxium,” Richardson repeated, “A little better than the name we came up for him, wouldn’t you say so Patricia?” She answered with a simple nod as she put on a pair of glassed as she started to go through some file.
“That’s why you wanted me brought in,” Ken said as it dawned on him.
“It’s the only way I could do it,” Richardson said not sounding all that apologetic about it. “My son was supposed to be the one to host our giant friend. Unfortunately something killed him before they could begin the process.”
“I’m sorry,” Ken told him, not sure of what else he could say.
“He was supposed to be our best weapon against these giant monsters. The he died and you happened. Daxium can still be our best line of defense.” Richardson looked at him, “You can join us. You can be there every time a creature shows up and take care of it.”
“You’re trying to get me to join after you had me arrested?”, Ken asked in disbelief.
“It’s just a minor inconvenience on your part,” Richardson told him. Ken couldn’t believe he just heard that. “I’m giving you the chance to be something better than what you are. I’ve seen that you reapplied for the UNDF, I can make that happen.”
“Ken…,” Dax said.
“Daxium seems to trust you,” Ken started, “but I don’t.” That’s seemed to catch Richardson off guard. And right now Ken didn’t, not for the whole arrest thing either. There was something about Richardson that was setting off his BS alarm. “Me and Dax are doing just fine on our own. We don’t need to be part of your outfit.”
Richardson turned a couple of shades of red just then. Patricia watched him to make sure he wasn’t going to make sure to make a move toward Ken. Finally he stiffly said, “The choice is yours, but the offer is still stands if you change your mind.” They rode the rest of the way in silence after that. But while Ken looked out the window Richardson sent a text to his driver while he wasn’t looking. Ken started eyeing him when he realized they drove past the exit that would take them into the idle of the city.
“Anything?” Hawk asked as Razor Wings one and two circled the lake.
“I’m not sure,” Jess answered as she went over her sensor readings. “Something flashing in and out on my sensors.”
“Same here,” Hawk commented. “Bridge can you give us a clearer picture of what’s going on?”
“I’m trying Captain,” was the reply. “Something about that lake is messing with the sensor reading. I thought I corrected that after the first time.”
“Try correcting it now,” Hawk told him. Bridge didn’t get the chance to. Both Wings suddenly got a reading and it was get stronger. A huge geyser exploded out of the lake, “Evade!” Bill and Ryo both barely avoided it. When the water fell back into the lake in it’s place was another giant creature, with black scaly skin and claw like fingers. Gray bone like protrusions appeared at it’s elbows, knees and shoulder the most prominent being a bone like fin that crowned it’s head. It roared revealing several rows of sharp pointed teeth.
“That’s coming in clear as a bell now,” Bridge said from his station back at Castle.
“Launch the other units,” Hawk ordered. “We’ll hold on for as long as we can. Razor Wing one and two engage the creature.”
“Rodger,” was the reply. Missile fire from both jets struck the creature. Roaring in protest and electrical charge ran up and down it’s fin. It opened it’s mouth and an electrical beam shot out. Again both Bill and Ryo had to act fast to avoid the attack.
“I almost miss that rock creature,” Bill commented. “It didn’t shot or spew anything.”
“Cut the chatter and concentrate,” Hawk told him. IT seemed like forever before another wave of Razor Wings showed up. Shortly after Scan Tracks appeared and took position and fired at the creature giving Wings one and two a much needed breather. It roared in protest at the new threats. Unfortunately that also meant he had more targets to unleash it’s rage on. Clipping the wing of a passing Razor Wing the fin started the fin like bone started to spark again. “All units watch out!” The warning was a little too late as the electrical beam obliterated two of the Wings before being turned to the Scan tracks. “Concentrate on the bone on it’s head!”, Hawk ordered. “We take that out we might be able to stop that ray.”
“You heard the Captain,” Jamira sneered from his Scan Track. “Beta Team show Alpha Team how the real pros do it.”
“God I hate that guy,” Ryo said out loud. Luckily the comm. wasn’t on. Every unit tried to target the fin but the creature seemed to sense this and avoid the assault. While this was going one a limo pulled up in the distance. Richardson and his assistant got out and watched the situation from their position.
“Come on out Mr. Scott,” Richardson said after a bit. Ken reluctantly got out of the vehicle but stayed on the other side of the vehicle. “It looks like they’re doing well,” he said to Ken’s continued silence. “They might not even need our giant friend for this one. Patricia, why don’t you see if you can tune into their comm. system.”
“At once Mr. Richardson,” opening his briefcase as she put it on the trunk of the limo she quickly tuned in.
“… sucker is tough…,” somebody said.
“… still so I can target…”
“…low on missiles…,” he recognized Jess’s voice in the chaos.
“Use them sparingly,” Hawk told her.
“Almost got…” Richardson studied Ken the entire time. He saw him want to reach for the Spark Magnifier, looking conflicted the entire time.
“What’s stopping you Mr. Scott?”, he asked innocently.
“They’re holding their own,” he said, voice strained. He knew he should be letting Daxium loose. Even Dax was screaming at him to do so in his head. But he didn’t want to do it in front of Richardson for some reason, to prove he wasn’t a weapon at his beck and call if nothing else. That and despite Dax’s insistences he was ready Ken wasn’t sure if he was ready to go so soon after his last battle a few hours ago. Suddenly one of the Razor Wings took a hit from the electrical beam.
“Jess! Ryo!”, Bill shouted over the line. Ken’s heart nearly stopped beating upon hearing that.
“Eject!”, Hawk shouted. “Eject!” It took a second but they were able to grab the handle under their seats and shot out of the Razor Wing and deployed their chutes. The creature saw them float slowly to the ground. That was all Ken could take, running around the limo and into the field.
“Mr. Scott!”, Richardson called out. He looked back at him. “Good luck, to both of you.” Ken turned back around and pulled out the Spark Magnifier out of his jacket. Holding it over his head he disappeared in a ball of light that engulfed him and that quickly turned into a gigantic column of light. Richardson just smiled to himself.
“Shiah!”, Daxium grunted as he took a fighting stance. Ragnaron roared n challenge as it came toward him. Seeing that clawed hand come at him Daxium grabbed it and flipped the monster over his shoulder. Going in he fell back when that electrical stream shot out of his mouth. Ragnaron quickly got up and swiped those claws against the giant’s chest. Then it wrapped those clawed fingers around his neck. He pounded the monster’s arms until it let go. With a grunt he kicked him back.
Ragnaron roared again and started to swing those claws at him. Daxium avoided each swing backing up the entire time. Finally the creature got frustrated and went in hard. The giant ducked down and was able to flip the creature over. Jumping on top of it Daxium started pounding at the fin on it’s head getting the same idea as Hawk. Ragnaron was still able to shoot the beam out of his mouth that Daxium quickly avoided. Being forced off the creature grabbed him and threw him near the Scan tracks. UNDF troops scrambled to get out of the way as Ragnaron prepared another blast. Daxium saw the humans as he got to a knee. Before the creature fired Daxium spread his arms, hands open. An energy shield appeared in front of him that blocked the beam and protected the human behind him.
They watched for a few moments dumbstruck at what they were witnessing. The beam stopped and Daxium dropped the shield and prepared to fire off a bolt. Ragnaron reacted in pain as his scaly hide was burned by the energy blast. He ran and dove into the lake. Daxium cautiously approached the lake trying to detect where he was. Suddenly Ragnaron jumped out of the water slashing him his claws. Daxium fell to his back. Trying to get up the crystal started to flash red. Ragnaron shot him point blank with the electrical beam.
“Firing missiles!”, Hawk said as Bill swooped the razor Wing in. Unleashing what was left of his payload at Ragnaron’s fin, cracking it a bit. He stopped blasting Daxium to turn toward his attacker. Daxium forced off another bolt and blasted the fin on the other side. The resulting explosion was enough to break the fin as it fell to the ground. Ragnaron thrashed around in mind numbing pain clutching at his head giving Daxium a chance to get to his feet. Facing the creature he put his hands to his chest and spread them wide drawing in energy from his surroundings. Raising his right arm and lowering his left he brought them together at the wrist the multicolored stream coming from the edge of his right hand. Ragnaron reacted for a moment before falling back into the water and exploded.
Standing there for a moment he found the Razor Wing Hawk and Bill were in. Acknowledging the help with a nod he looked into the sky and flew off, “Shiah!”
“Watanabe to Hawk,” Ryo said into his communicator. “Me and Jess are alright, just a little shaken up.”
“That’s great to hear,” Hawk told them. “We’ll send somebody to pick you up so stay where you are. We’ll discuss what you did wrong when we get back to Castle. Hawk out.”
“It could be worse,” Jess offered taking off her helmet. “He could be sending Jamira after us.”
“Don’t jinx it,” Ryo told her.
Ken reappeared after it was over and looked around. Confused he said out loud, “Dax, I know you’re a little upset with me right now, but we are close to where I set you loose right?”
“This is the exact spot,” was the reply, although he seemed confused that Ken would ask that.
“Then where’s Richardson?” Running back to the road he looked in both directions and saw nothing. “That son of a bitch ditched me!” Kicking a rock in frustration and heading back toward town on foot he pulled out his cell phone, it was past midnight so who the hell would be up right now. Going through his call list he found somebody who might still be awake, “Johnny? It’s Ken, I got a huge favor to ask you.”
A few miles away Richardson and Patricia rode in silence. Messing with her glasses she studied the lens for a bit before saying, “I got it.”
“Show me,” Richardson ordered. Opening her briefcase she flipped up a panel revealing a screen. Taking off one of the frame’s earpiece she plugged it into the case. Typing in a few commands the screen came to life and there was Scott right in the middle of it. Like he hoped she got a clear shot of his face when he turned around. Then he transformed into the giant. “I’ll show that bastard who needs who.”
ED – Shinedown –Fly From the Inside
That was a good ep, nice character developement and all. The Avatar making use of a useless monster was neat, though I wonder if there is any significance to that lake besides being the first monster sighting. Maybe there's more to there then meets the eye.
Jess and Ken's talk and interaction flowed well and I hope that it leads to giving Ken an edge later on down the road, when Richardson does what he does. I'm seriously hoping that bastard dies with Jeff now. :3
G A L L I F R E Y S T A N D S
science experiment gone wrong
OP – Mercy Drive – Burn in my Light
It had been two days since Ken was deserted by Richardson. Even though Johnny never really asked too many questions about why he was in the middle of nowhere he still ribbed him on it in a good natured way. Of course Rose and the others quickly caught on to what was going on. Making sure Jeff wasn’t in earshot he made up a quick story for them. “I ran into a guy I knew and he convinced me to head to the park top relax for a bit after what happened. Another monster showed up and he booked it before I could get in the car.”
“I don’t believe it,” Rose stated.
“What’s not to believe?”, Ken asked her.
“That you have friends outside of work. I’ve never seen you hang out with anybody else.”
“I do have a life outside of here you know.”
“You’re going to have to have a hard time proving it to me,” she told him with a grin.
The rest of the day went by pretty smoothly. Then Rose went to the door and looked back into the garage, “Hey Ken!” He looked over to her, “You have a visitor of the female persuasion.”
“What?”, he had no idea who this could be. He had an idea on who he hoped it would be, but that was a long shot. Going over he was surprised to see Richardson’s assistant standing there, what was her name, Patricia?
“Mr. Scott,” she began, “if I may have a few moments of your time?” She looked around the garage before adding, “In private?”
“Yeah sure,” he saw his boss in his office look as confused as the rest of them. “I’ll be back in a few.”
Rose started grinning, “You should have told me you liked them older.”
Pointing a finger in her face he told her, “Don’t start getting ideas.”
“Too late,” she chimed as he followed the assistant.
“They walked a few yards away from the garage to her car so they wouldn’t be overheard. Without a word she retrieved her briefcase and put it on the hood of the car. Opening it she flipped open a panel that revealed a monitor. A moment later it came on to reveal Richardson’s face. “Good day Mr. Scott, how are you today?”
Crossing his arms Ken tried not to look that disgusted, “What do you want Richardson?”
“Alright then,” Richardson said not looking impressed, “we’ll get straight to the point. “I’m asking you one more time to join the UNDF.”
Ken nearly laughed out loud, “You had me arrested, you ditched me in middle of BFE and you expect me to jump right in? You have got to work on your recruitment pitch.”
He started to leave when Richardson spoke up, “Then you leave me no choice. I’m telling you you’re joining the UNDF.”
“I don’t think it works that way,” Ken told him. “Free choice and all that.”
“You haven’t seen this as of yet.” Ken watched as the image on the monitor changed. He paid a little more attention when he realized that was him on the screen. That son of a bitch recorded him the other night. “Mr. Scott!”, Richardson called out in the video. Like a patsy he looked back right at him. “Good luck, to both of you.” The he disappeared in a flash of light and Daxium was there in his place. “Let me tell you how this is going to work,” Richardson said coming back on the screen, “you don’t agree to join the UNDF this footage get’s released to every media outlet within the half hour. Everybody will know who you are and what your giant little secret is.”
Ken stood there seething for a bit. Finally he said, “You’re assuming I won’t blow my secret myself.”
“But what about your family and friends?”, Richardson asked him. “What’s going to happen to them if this gets out? Forget the media scrutiny, what if somebody, say from my organization, starts saying you may be a biohazard to those around you?”
“Do we have a deal Mr. Scott?”, Richardson said cutting him off sharply.
Ken looked back at the garage, he could see Rose and Jeff hovering around the door. Damn it he didn’t have a choice. “Alright I’m in.”
“I knew you would see it my way,” he said looking a little smug. “To prove I’m not totally heartless I am well aware that you help support your family.” Patricia handed him a piece of paper. “By my estimation that should be double what you currently make a month. I’ll let you decide what to do with it, I’ll give you a few moments to decide.”
Despite how angry he was at the moment he was able to think clearly enough on what to do with it, “I want half of it into a saving account for me.”
“And the other half?”, Richardson asked.
“I want half of that to go to my mother and the other half to go into a trust fund for my niece.”
“Fair enough, a pleasure doing business with you Mr. Scott. We’ll see you soon after you put your current affairs in order.”
After the monitor was turned off he focused on Patricia, “Your boss is a real piece of shit.”
“I know,” she said calmly, closing the case, “but he gets the job done.” She pulled away leaving Ken standing there. He waited a few minutes to calm down before heading back to the garage.
Rose was there almost as soon as he entered the door looking concerned, “Ken, are you alright? What was that about?”
“Not right now,” he told her. He headed straight for the boss’s office and closed the door behind him.
“Ken what’s going on?”, he asked.
Not sure how to put it the only thing he could say was, “I’m… putting in my two weeks.”
“Why?” what was that about?”
Still unhappy about the situation it came out a little more bitter than he intended, “Your dream for me just came true.”
“A civilian operative?” In order to get that bastard the giant bonded with into the organization there were miles of red tape he had to get around. Richardson had Patricia look for any holes they could exploit while they were trying to discover the other half of Ultraman’s identity. It was going to be hard enough to bypass the academy, where they were going to put him was another headache just waiting in the wings. So much so he almost couldn’t believe it when the board practically dropped the solution right in his lap. And seeing where he was planning on placing Scott Hawk’s reaction was pretty much what he expected. “What kind of bullshit is this?”
“It’s something a couple members of the board cooked up without my knowledge,” Richardson explained as he sat behind his desk. “It’s supposed to make the UNDF look more relatable somehow. They explained it but it went over my head, you know how people think these days. It was already popular with roughly eighty percent of the board by the time I heard about it, otherwise I would have shut it down.” Yes it was a bold face lie, but he tried to appease the Captain a bit.
“You could still shoot it down,” Hawk insisted a bit.
“True but I thought it would make an interesting experiment.”
“So any yahoo off the street…?”
“Please Captain give me some credit,” he cut him off seeing he was trying to build up a head of steam. “Even the idiots who came up with this weren’t that stupid. In fact they pitched as a second chance program. In case some qualified person fell through the cracks somehow. As it stands,” Richardson slid a folder across the desk to Hawk, “I already have a candidate in mind.”
As he read over the file he correctly guessed the Captain’s reaction yet again. “What the hell is this? You had us bring this Scott character in now he’s signing up? Wait, he’s blackmailing you isn’t he? He doesn’t want money he wants this?”
“And we have a team of lawyers ready to ground him into dust if that was the case,” Richardson told him. “Actually he had to be convinced to take the offer. He’s almost as stubborn as you in that aspect.”
Hawk wisely didn’t take the bait, “So why him?”
“Honestly he reapplied to the academy, which tells me he wants in. Since it took some convincing he wants to do it the right way and not take a short cut.”
“So what did it take to get him to take it?”
“That’s between me and him Captain.”
“Then why did you have us bring him in?”
“I wanted to size him up personally, see how he would react to different stressful situations.” As an afterthought he added, “I know I should have told you this sooner but I wanted you and your men’s action to be authentic.”
Hawk just stared at him dumbstruck, “You wasted our time and resources…? I don’t buy it. There has to be more than to this ‘civilian operative’ business than that. What’s really going on?”
“There’s no big conspiracy Captain,” Richardson said, mainly to get some time to think. “It’s just politics mainly. They backed away when I wanted to leave Ultraman alone for the time being. So I agreed to something of theirs. Just to keep them happy more or less.” Something flashed across Hawk’s face that grabbed his attention, “Do you have a problem with what I just said Captain?”
“No,” he said slowly, “but Joe said something similar when he finally agreed to accompany you as a bodyguard. Good day sir,” with that he started to leave.
“Do you blame me for Joseph’s death,” he asked out loud.
“I’m not assigning blame to anybody,” Hawk told him without turning around. “I just want to know what the hell happened to him. He faced him, “It doesn’t matter if you think I deserve to know or not, but his teammates deserve to know.”
“I guess you’re right,” Richardson turned around in his chair. “I guess you can blame me after all. I wanted to see our soldiers in action, overriding Joseph objections in the process. Once we got there I foolishly got out of the car dragging Joseph along the way. He convinced me to stay in a spot he considered safe.” He was quiet for a moment as he relived the death of his only child. “Then a stray blast from that creature… He died because of a foolish old man Captain. You can tell Alpha Team that if you want.” There was a long uncomfortable silence after that.
“He died from a stray blast,” Hawk said after a bit. “That’s all they need to know.”
“Thank you Captain,” Richardson said. As he was leaving he spoke up again, “From the files Mr. Bridge have been downloading it seems you have been studying this Ultraman. Keep it up in case my hunch about him is wrong.” Hawk nodded before he left the office. Richardson leaned back into his chair, sometimes politics included spinning enough of the truth into a story for people to stop looking into it.
There were several messages on his machine as he got ready to leave. There were two that he stopped and listened to while he was packing his bags. The first was from Rose, “Hi Ken, just wanted to say goodbye one more time and good luck. I know you’re going to do great, just don’t forget about the rest of us. Otherwise I’ll have to hunt you down and hurt you. Bye.”
The other was from Jeff, “I can’t believe you’re abandoning us. You heard the boss, you’re the only reason why that dump is still open. What about the rest of us huh? What are we supposed to do? What about your niece you selfish son of a…” There was a brief argument with Janet over what he was saying before the call ended. One more time he had to ask, how was he related to him again?
While he had some sort of quarters waiting for him at UNDF headquarter, Castle he thought they called it he had the option to have a living space off base, which allowed him to keep his apartment. Which was kind of a kind of a good thing because now he wouldn’t have to explain why he kept the picture taped to his mirror if Jess accidently saw it. Slinging the bag over shoulder he locked the door behind him and went down to his car and drove away.
Pulling up to the main gate he showed the temp ID they gave him to the guard so he could get in. Looking at the main building in the day light made him relive some of the excitement from a few years ago when he first got accepted. That quickly went away when he remembered why he was here now. Finding a spot he was directed to a person who gave him a packet with the rules and regulations and such. Inside he also found two slips of papers, one was his quarters which he quickly located and threw his bag in. Because the second had where he was supposed to meet his new chief and crew. Heading toward the lower levels where all the vehicles were he tried to find the room numbers on the paper. Having no luck what so ever he walked to a guy going over something on a clipboard. “Can you give me a hand for a sec, I can’t find this room number.”
He looked at it and him strangely, “I would say so, you got to go up ten floors or so.”
“Ten floors?” Ken looked at the paper again, “That’s really far from the garage. Is management up there or something?”
“Or something,” the guy said looking really amused about something before walking away.
Finding the elevator he looked over a directory until he found the floor he was supposed to go and hit the button. Once there he was still lost as he had no idea where to go and didn’t see a “you are here” map anywhere. So he asked for some directions again. Once or twice he find somebody helpful, “You go down that corridor, take a right at the third hallway you pass…”, that sort of thing.
But mainly he got some annoyed looks and a, “Oh, it’s you,” before they walked off.
It didn’t take him long to figure out why either. “Dax from now on I decided who in the hell we trust.” Finally he found the room after about ten minutes of searching. Heading in he saw a conference room of some sort. He also saw who was waiting inside. Taking a step back into the hallway the door closed in front of him. Ken looked at the slip of paper again to make sure he read it right. Even going so far as to turn it over in case he was holding it upside down. No he had the right room all right. Stepping into the room again he saw he didn’t see things the first time. He stood there looking at Jess and her teammates as they looked right back at him. “Oh hell no.”
“Hey civilian nobody we didn’t want who’s being forced on to us,” Bill said looking really unhappy right then.
Ken returned the look, “Hey bastard who shot me in the back.”
As he walked to the back of the room a guy he hadn’t seen before with the tag Bridge on his jacket stared at him, “How long is your hair?”
“Longer than it was yesterday, shorter than what it’ll be tomorrow,” he snapped off as he leaned against the back wall. Of course Jess wouldn’t look at him, but from what he could see she didn’t look all that happy about this either.
Hawk came into the room saying, “I see our newest member finally decided to arrive. “I’ll make this quick. That man over there is Nathan Bridge, our computer expert. Bill Waters and Ryo Watanabe, our best pilots. You already know Jessica Wade, who by the way is our top marksmen. And I’m Gabriel Hawk, leader of Alpha Team. Or as they call us around here Monster Squad. Alpha Team, this is our new… civilian operative, Ken Scott.” Nobody made the attempt to even pretend to exchange pleasantries. “Well then,” Hawk coughed, “let’s get this meeting started then.”
“Wait,” Bill curt in, “not everybody is seated yet.” All eyes went to Ken who was still standing against the wall.
“There’s no other chair,” he said.
“Well get you a chair for next time,” Hawk said.
“Captain,” Ryo spoke up, “you said the meeting never starts until everybody is seated.”
“Yeah,” Bill agreed, “if the civilian wants to be part of this he better find a seat or get out of the room.” Jess shot Bill a look but said nothing.
Ken looked around the room not wanting to give them the satisfaction. Locating a waste paper basket, he picked it up, dumped the contents on top of Bill’s head then went to the end of the table and sat on top of it. “Happy?”, Ken asked.
Hawk looked real tired all of the sudden, “If you’re done hazing the new guy…”
“We haven’t begun hazing the new guy,” Bill said looking right at him as he got the trash off of him.
Ken mouthed the words, “Bring it.” Hawk still looked tired.
After the meeting Hawk told Ken to meet him in another room. This one turned out to be a more high tech conference room without any chairs. Hawk stood on one side of the table in the middle of the room and gestured that he should stand on the other side. Both of them stood there and sized the other man up. Hawk began with, “Obviously we started off on the wrong foot.” Ken wisely kept his mouth shut. “But we are a team. And a team has to be able to be able trust each other, that means no secrets. So I’m only going to ask you this once, what did Richardson offer to get you to agree to this?”
Ken looked at him for a long time. He apparently didn’t know the real reason why Richardson forced him to do this. Maybe if he told the Captain why he was her he might find a way to help him get out of this mess. But that wouldn’t stop Richardson from releasing the tape. Instead he said, “He’s helping me set up my paycheck to help out my mom and my niece.”
“Is that it?”, Hawk asked not looking convinced. “Because from what I’ve seen you’re not being paid what the rest of us are. In fact it’s lower than the a grunt.”
Why was he not surprised? “If he didn’t offer that I would have never agreed to this. I was waiting for my rejection letter when you guys cornered me.”
“If you were so sure you’d get rejected why reapply?”
“My boss wouldn’t get off my back about it. I figured after I got the letter he’d let it go. Obviously that didn’t work out the way I thought it would.”
Hawk nodded a bit before changing the subject, “Is there any particular reason why you headed for one of the hangers first?”
“If you were a mechanic where would you think they’d put you?”
“Good point.” Hawk put a file with his name on it on the table and slid it to him, “So how good of a mechanic are you?”
“Well I’m pretty modest, but everybody else I’ve worked with says they haven’t seen an engine I couldn’t figure out in no time.”
Hawk nodded again, slowly this time, “Makes sense, because according to your academy file there you are highly adept at all thing mechanical. I believe the term they used was ‘genius’.”
“What?”, Ken opened the file and quickly looked through it. “You have to be kidding. I’m just a just a grease jockey.”
“Scott I don’t kid about things like that,” Hawk told him. “I’ll be up front with you, that is the only reason why I’m not protesting this all that much. Hell son if it wasn’t for that thing that originally disqualified you you’d probably be running a department by now.”
Ken read the file as he listened, only to stop listening when he found the part Hawk was talking about, “A genius?”
“Scott!”, Hawk barked. Ken gave him his full attention. “I will give you a chance to prove Richardson’s hunch about you right, more than what I was going too originally. So I suggest you don’t do anything to prove either of us wrong.”
Still stunned Ken could only say, “I’ll try not to.”
“I know it’s a lot to take in,” Hawk said with a little more understanding, “and you’ve been thrown into the deep end so to speak. This is Alpha Team’s war room for the lack of a better term. This is where we plan our attack strategies, in case we get sufficient warning. But mainly we use it to go over our mission, see what we did wrong or what we can improve on. What I want you to do right now is to go over the basic equipment data. The table will give you a holographic image to refresh your memory.”
“I guess this is where I say yes sir?”
“Since this your first day I’ll put that down to inexperience,” Hawk smirked as he took the file. “I’ll have somebody give you a better tour of the place and set you up with your gear. But study the things I’ve highlighted first as a refresher, but you can look at anything that doesn’t seem familiar.” Leaving the room he added, “I should tell you now there might be situations where things will rest squarely on your shoulders.”
The door closed as Ken muttered, “What else is new.” He scrolled down the list, so far a few of the names were ringing a bell or two, so he mentally put them on the back burner for the time being. Looking at the things he wasn’t familiar with something near the end of the list caught his attention, “Ultraman?” Surprisingly he had access to that file and pulled it up. Watching as the image formed over the table he was soon greeted by a familiar sight, “Oh boy.”
Now this was an unexpected development. Apparently his masters tried to push a monster threw decades ago. When they first discovered this world they rushed into breaking the phase and sent it in immediately. Of course they didn’t have a clue about what would happen once it crossed over. It took some doing but he finally located the remains of the creature. In fact it became sort of a local legend in the nearby town he found it in. Antlar they called it, his master had a name for it but they forgotten it. But not totally since they provided the means to revive it.
“You come to see Antlar.” An old raggedy looking man came out of the woods. The Avatar couldn’t help but to noticed that he said more of a statement than an actual question.
“What gave me away?”, he asked playing along, well aware of that rifle in his hands.
“Nobody comes up here unless they want to see it,” he spat. “And they never listen because they don’t know how lucky they are.”
“And why is that?”
“I saw that thing come out of a hole in the sky!”, he snapped. The Avatar kept quiet, could it be possible this old fool saw him emerge from a portal. “But nobody believed old Zeke. I saw the creature come out of a hole in the sky. It used some sort of beam to suck in a plane.”
“Then what happened?”
“The creature started thrashing around like God himself was trying to strike it down. It tried to dig itself back to hell. Then there was a flash then that was it. The authorities said it was a natural phe… pheo… thing. But Zeke saw, I told them. But nobody believed old Zeke, said I was sick in the head.”
“I believe you,” the Avatar told him. “In fact I’m here to bring him back to life so he can finish the job he was sent her for.”
“An animal that big will destroy the town,” Zeke exclaimed.
“That one and several others, that is the idea after all.”
The old man pointed that rifle at him. Getting a good look at it now the Avatar doubted it would even fire, not that it could harm him in any case. “Old Zeke won’t let you. I’ve seen that thing and I won’t let you.” The Avatar raised a hand that was crackling with dark energy. Zeke back away, the end of the rifle starting to shake, “What are you.”
“A superior being,” the Avatar simply said. “If it makes you feel any better I was going to kill you any way. I can’t have anybody knowing what I look like.” Old Zeke barely had time to flinch as the energy beam struck him, he didn’t have time to scream. In moments all that was left was the remains of the rifle and a charred skeleton. “Trust me Zeke I probably put you out of everybody else’s misery.”
Going up the trail he found what he was looking for, a segment of the mountain that looked a bit different from the rest. It was a very slight difference but he could see it even after all these years. He could even feel the remains of dark energy that still remained in the area. Holding his hands close together dark energy swirled between until ball of energy formed. Looking like a dark diamond it flew forward and hovered over the ground. A beam came from it as it started burrowing into the ground. Before long he felt the dark traces grew stronger and he smiled.
The person Hawk sent to give him the tour and gear him up turned out to be Ryo. A quick conversation revealed that it was the same guy he went to the academy with. And they were pretty friendly back then, well before the flight simulator, so Ken felt comfortable enough to say, “So you drew the short straw?”
“Bill was a little too eager to volunteer,” he said “So Jess suggested I might be a good compromise. Come on the Captain said to hook you up with the basic equipment.”
“Does it involve getting what you’re wearing?”
“Sorry civilian, but you’re going to have to earn one of these, just like everybody else.”
“Civilian? Dude that hurts.”
“The truth usually does,” Ryo told him. “Come on, the equipment and weapon bay is this way.” After that little remark small talk was kept to a bare minimum. Going down a couple of floors, and a couple of dirty looks in his direction, they hit that bay. More people saw him and turned away. Jess was in there too, she glanced at him before returning her attention to the firing range. “What you need is over here.” Walking up to a table he saw a wrist scanner.
“I recognize this from the academy,” Ken said picking one up and looking it over.
“Not a whole lot has changed since then,” Ryo explained as he strapped it around his wrist. “It still does thermal, infrared and various other scans. But they improved the radar since then, even added a link to the Scan Tracks’ sensor package.”
“Interesting,” Ken said trying to sound interested, but once he heard Scan Track he started thinking about what’s under the hood. And how fast he could get elbow deep in one. Ryo pointed to another table. Ken followed him and raised an eyebrow when he saw what was on it. “I get a gun?”
“Civilian operative or not Captain Hawk wants you to be able to defend yourself. None of us are going to babysit you out in the field.”
“I can’t get a uniform but I get a gun?”, he was having a hard time wrapping his head around that one.
Ignoring the statement Ryo continued, “Your weapon has variable power setting, stun to kill. We mainly keep it on stun since it’s not supposed to hurt.”
“You wanna bet?”, Ken asked.
Coughing a bit he went on, “They added one feature though.” Taking the gun back he tossed him a helmet, “Put it on and lower the visor. Doing so he watched Ryo press something by the trigger. A targeting reticule popped up in his vision after a moment. Ryo moved the barrel around and the reticule followed it’s movements.
“That’s cool,” Ken said as he took the helmet off.
“There’s a targeting sensor in the barrel of the gun,” Ryo explained. “There’s a bit of a lag, especially after the guns been fired, but not enough to cause any real trouble.” About then Jess took aim and fired off round of shoots at the target in front of her. They watched as all her shots hit the heart of the man shaped target. Ken let out a low whistle, praying that wasn’t him in her mind. “Of course some of us don’t need the sensor at all,” Ryo remarked. Leaning in he said, “Just a word of warning, don’t mess with that woman.”
“I used to date her,” Ken shot back, “I’m well aware of that fact.”
“Captain Hawk to Alpha team,” Ken heard over Ryo’s communicator. “Get to the war room.”
Jess and Ryo both acknowledged the call and ran out of the room. Ken followed saying, “Am I getting one of those at least?”
“We’re working on it,” Ryo called back.
Hawk watched them enter the room, somewhat impressed Scott decided to join them, at least he was being serious about this. But the others were still giving him a wide berth. One step at a time he reminded himself. “We had an interesting call from a town a few miles from here.” A map showed over the table highlighting the area. “For some reason airplanes have been sucked down from the sky according to witnesses.”
“How long has this been going on?”, Jess asked.
“It started a couple of hours ago,” he answered. “And the pull has been getting stronger since they first noticed it. Usually we’d send in a scout team but I volunteered us since it seemed like the perfect situation to break in Scott here. Jess you go with Bill in Razor Wing one for this one. Ryo you’re flying with Ken in Wing two.” Hawk watched as Scott blanched a bit. Jess looked at him and winced and Ryo dropped his head.
Slowly raising his hand Scott asked, “I don’t suppose I can take one of those Scan Tracks or something?”
“I already sent the Tracks out,” Hawk informed him, “they should be there by the time you arrive. And we travel as a unit Mr. Scott, no exceptions. Is that understood?”
“Yes sir,” he said holding his stomach.
“Keep your eyes close,” Jess told him on the way out. “Like you used to do on the Ferris Wheel.”
“This better not be the simulator all over again,” Ryo muttered. Scott said nothing as the door closed. Given his condition Hawk would have complied with his request normally. But he needed to know how much of a handicap his condition actually was.
In the hanger both jets were prepared. Ken hit his check list quickly trying to keep his mind off the situation. In front of him Ryo was trying not to think of the simulator as well. “It’s just a short flight Ken,” he said, “so keep it in until then. I don’t want to be wearing your barf again.”
“Short flight… right.” Ken put on his helmet, unfortunately that put his mind back on what was happening. “Ah Ryo…?”
“I had them put a couple under your seat.”
Reaching under it he found two white sealable bags, “Thanks. Ryo…?” Without a word he handed back a third one, “Thanks.”
“Razor Wing one to control, we are ready to launch,” Ken heard over the speaker.
“Oh God,” he said before squeezing his eyes shut.
In front of him Ryo tried not to sound worried as he said, “Razor Wing two to control, we are ready to launch.”
“Acknowledge Razor Wings you are go for launch.” The jets shot forward and Ken forcibly swallowed the contents of his stomach back down.
The short flight seemed to take an eternity for Ken. Finally heard Ryo speak to him, “We’re approaching the target area. Scan Tracks haven’t picked anything up yet. So we have to look for anything suspicious so I need you to open your eyes. I’ll keep the Wing as steady as I can but I need you to do your job.”
“Right,” he answered. Opening his eyes he kept them focuses on the controls in front of him. Taking several deep breaths he slowly looked out and saw the ground below. Then he promptly threw up in one of the bags.
“Two seconds longer than I thought it would take,” Ryo said attempting a joke. Ken smiled weakly as he wiped off his mouth.
“Concentrate on the task at hand,” Hawk ordered from Castle’s control center. “Bridge says you’re close.”
“You should almost be right on top of it Wing one,” Bridge said as he monitored the situation. Almost a split second later Razor Wing one was caught in a vortex that came out of nowhere.
“Holy shit!”, Bill tried to regain control as the jet just spun in the air.
“I can’t see where it’s coming from!”, Jess called out.
Ken did, “By the…,” he swallowed hard to keep down another round from escaping his stomach. “Mountains,” he lowered his head and pointed. “By the mountains!”
“I see it,” Ryo said as he brought the Wing around. “Ken I can’t I can’t keep her steady and target it at the same time. I need you to focus on the screen and block out everything else, got it?”
“Yeah,” he said trying to do just that., eyes looking at nothing else but the screen in front of him. Putting the crosshairs at the base of the vortex he fired a couple of missiles. The explosion was enough to disrupt the vortex and Bill quickly regained control and get out of there.
“Great shooting man,” Ryo told him.
“Is civilian even authorized to fire those things,” Bill asked.
Jess reached over and smacked him in the back of the head, “He just saved our asses.”
“He is now,” Hawk told him.
“We got movement,” Jess called out. Three of them watched as the ground started to break revealing a giant, dark brown head with a huge set of pinchers. The creature screamed and the vortex formed again from it’s mouth capturing both jets. And Ken lost his lunch again.
“It’s stronger now!” Bill exclaimed. “The controls are doing nothing!”
“Same here!”, Ryo said. “We’re being pulled backwards! I can’t get us loose!”
“Eject!”, Hawk ordered.
“Ken!”, Ryo called out.
“I’m looking right at it!”, he said. All of them pulled the levers and shot out of there shot out of their jets. It was enough to get them out of the vortex as the Razor Wings smashed together. The vortex stopped and the creature ignored them as it freed itself from the ground reveal an armored bipedal feature. The Scan Tracks started firing as soon as they got it in their sights.
Alpha Team and Ken hit the ground as his stomach threatened to give away again. “I just had to tell Richardson yes,” he muttered as he got it under control.
“Waters to Castle,” Bill said into his communicator. “We’re all fine, but civilian looking a little green.”
“Head to town and help with the evacuations,” Hawk told them. “Back up’s on the way.”
“Rodger,” Bill said. Then he and the others looked at Ken.
“I’m on solid ground, I’m good,” he said reading the silent question in their faces. None of them looked like they believed him. But they didn’t have time to argue and ran for the town with Ken right behind them.
And this was the amount of chaos Ken was expecting with that creature nearby being distracted by the Scan Tracks. Dax was yelling at him again but with Ryo right there he couldn’t get away. Of course he was having a hard enough time getting the towns people to listen to him. “Evacuation is that way!”, he told a group. They kept on doing what they’re doing. “Yo I’m talking to you!”, again they ignored him as they tried to back everything they owned in that small truck of theirs. “Hey!”
“You!”, Ryo called out pointing right at them. To him they listened. “You heard this man, take what you got and get to the evacuation area now!” They did as he said with no questions asked. Ryo looked at him before looking elsewhere.
“This would go a little easier if I had a uniform,” he told him.
“And I told you that you had to earn it first,” Ryo shot back.
“Hawk to Alpha Team and other units, Calvary is coming in about five seconds.” Ken and Ryo looked up at the sound of engines of the incoming Razor Wings. A few moments later more Scan Tracks could be seen coming into view.
“So now what?”, Ken asked.
“We keep looking for civilians,” Ryo answered. “Other than yourself.”
“Oh ha-ha,” Ken told him.
“Ryo,” Hawk spoke up. “I’m sending a Scan Track to your location. Scott can keep looking for civilians I need you to help coordinate the attack from the ground in case it uses that vortex again.”
“Understood,” Ryo replied. Taking his communicator off his jacket he handed it to Ken. “Keep in touch with this and keep looking for stragglers.”
“Right,” Ken said. A Scan Track pulled up and Ken ran off. Keeping an eye on the scanner on his arm he’d look up every so often to see how the attack was going. Like Hawk thought it tried using the vortex again against the Wings. Those not stuck in the field fired at it to try and free those that were as well as the Tracks. From where Ken was it didn’t look it was doing a lot of damage. “Look for others,” he reminded himself. Going a few blocks he wasn’t picking up any other life signs in the area that he could see. “Scott to Ryo,” he said not really sure what to do. “My area’s clear so far.”
“Scott this is Hawk,” he got in reply. “Jess and Bill reported the same thing. They jumped into a Track and went to help out with the battle. I want you to head to the evacuation area.”
“Captain…”, Ken started to protest. Maybe he didn’t want to be part of this but now that he was he wanted to do his part.
“That’s an order Scott. You’re not trained for this situation. You’ll be better off there.”
“Yes sir,” he said. Turning off the communicator he looked at the creature. He could believably be a few minutes late getting to the evacuation area. Without a second thought he reached in his jacket for the Spark Magnifier and held it over his head.
“Shiah!” Daxium took a fighting stance as Antlar looked in the other direction. Running in he jumped up and hit a flying kick to his back. Antlar stumbled forward a bit before looking back at his attacker Daxium ducked under those pinchers as it came at him and punched him in the stomach. He swung his head suddenly catching Daxium in the side with one of those pinchers that knocked him to the ground, The giant quickly kicked the monster back as it tried to get on top of him. They circled each other after getting on their feet. Daxium went low, grabbing the monster’s leg and knocking it to the ground. He pounded Antlar’s body but it’s hide was tougher than it looked, He was so intent on pounding the creature into submission he failed to notice those pinchers open up and the head raise up. Clamping down on his neck Daxium struggled to free himself before Antlar tossed him off.
Getting to a knee he fired off a bolt as Antlar stood. It stumbled back from the impact giving him enough time to get to his feet and jump up for another flying kick. Grabbing those pinchers he kicked away at the monster gut trying to weaken something on it. Antlar started swinging his head again. Daxium tried to hand on but he was eventually flung off. Landing with a ground shaking thud he watched as Antlar dove for the ground and burrowed in faster than he thought possible. “Where did he go?”, Jess asked from her Scan Track.
“I’m not seeing it on sensors,” Bridge said.
Daxium looked around as he cautiously moved forward. Looking down as the ground under his feet started to vibrate. Antlar’s head came up right under and knocked him to the ground. As he got back up he looked for the creature but it went underground again. Concentrating on trying to feel where the creature might be he failed to notice it emerge from the ground behind him. “Look out!” Jess shouted. Daxium looked at her but it was too late. Antlar created the vortex and caught him. He struggled as he was pulled backwards. The pinchers clamped down on him, digging into his left shoulder causing the giant to grunt in pain.
Light started pouring down his shoulder as Antlar pierced his skin while it tried to crush him. Hawk ordered for all units to assist Ultraman but it was having no effect. The jewel started to flash as he was able to free his arms enough to slam his forearms together and hold them out going into Power mode. Grabbing the pinchers he slowly started pulling them apart. Then with a deep grunt he threw Antlar over his head and away from the town. The creature felt it this time as he slammed a foot into his gut. Grabbing one of the pinchers he broke it by pounding hi other hand on it. Pounding him repeatedly on the head Daxium grabbed him, picked him up over his head and threw him. Seeing him crash he put his fist by the jewel and started drawing in energy. Scan Tracks in the area started backing up as fast as they could as he pulled the fist back and slammed it into the ground. The energy wave ripped up the ground as it slammed into Antlar. Moments later the monster exploded. Daxium took a moment to heal his wound before flying off, “Shiah!”
“There he is,” Bill pointed out as they got to the evacuation area. Ken sat on the hood of a truck as he waved at them. Ryo pulled up a moment later as they got out. “Hey civilian, what did you think of that warm up?”
“About the same as the first one I got caught in,” he said hopping off. “It sucked balls.”
“Ken,” Jess spoke up, “thanks for the save.”
“It was just a lucky shot,” he said trying to shrug it off. “So how are we getting back to Castle?”
“We’re taking the Tracks,” Ryo told him. “Clean up will come for what’s left of Wings one and two. Good thing you’re a mechanic, you’re going to be busy for quite a while,” he joked as he slapped Ken’s left shoulder. He fought hard to keep the pain off his face.
“I think we got room…,” Bill started to say as he pointed toward his and Jess’s Scan Track.
“Ryo got more room in his Track than we do,” Jess quickly said. “Ken can ride with him.”
“Sure,” Ken said trying to figure that reaction out. Bill and Ryo shrugged as they headed for their respected Scan Tracks. Ken took that free moment to grab his shoulder and grimace a bit from the pain. He didn’t notice Jess caught him. She was confused but didn’t say anything to the others.
ED - Shinedown – Fly From the Inside
Damn that bastard, Richardson. One day I hope Ken theartens that he doesn't give a shit anymore and will stomp the place till Richardson cowers on his knees. :3
Jess is definitely acting funny, though at least she isn't acting like a dick like some of the others of Castle to Ken's status as civie operative. Hopefully though, Ken and Jess can get a minute or two to talk things out alone to see what's up again.
Ryo and Ken seem like they could become good friends, hopefully Ryo will be more on his side when or if he finds out Ken is Ultraman. More allies the better.
Antlar seemed like a pain in the ass for a recently revived monster. Makes me wonder if the Avatar's bosses thought of sending stronger monsters through first to begin with. Did Zeke have to die though? Couldn't he have lived to tell the tell of the revived monster, this time fought by a giant silver, red and blue man?
Bring on the next one.
G A L L I F R E Y S T A N D S
science experiment gone wrong
OP – Mercy Drive – Burn in my Light
For a high tech place Ken was silently complaining at how cold this particular room was. Shirtless and sitting on some sort of exam table he endured the “doctor’s” examination of the red welts on his shoulder. Of course this examination consisted more of poking at those welts more than anything else which sent a brand new wave of pain through his arm with each one. Something he should have seen coming when Jess told him who he was during his first “visit” here. Finally there was one poke too many and he snapped, “Don’t you have something to build?”
Williams took a step back and said, “Mr. Richardson wanted you examined after each battle.”
“Can’t he get a ‘doctor’ doctor to do this?”
“Outside of Richardson and his assistant I’m the only other person who knows about you and Ultraman, or Daxium as you call him. So please bear with me, I don’t like this any more than you do.”
“Just remember I’m not a lab rat.” He poked his shoulder again, “Is that all you can do?” Williams went to poke it more time and Ken slapped the finger away, “Quit it.”
“How does the damage he takes affect you?” he asked rubbing his finger. “I’ve seen footage of you after a couple of battles, you seem to be in pain.”
“It depends on the damage Dax takes,” he answered grabbing his shirt on put it on trying to protect his shoulder. “If he’s just hit I’m feeling it for an hour or so later. If it’s anything like the last time something pierced his skin I’m going to be feeling it for a couple of days.”
“Interesting,” Williams muttered. “And you say he’s somewhere inside you? We did a full scan on you when you were brought in, they didn’t show anything.”
“He’s really good at hiding,” he said annoyed that they did that while he was out cold. “Is that all I got things to do.” He wasn’t sure what exactly, but he knew it involved something far away from here as possible.
“Just one more thing,” Williams said, “more out of curiosity than anything else. Does this Daxium have any names for his weapons?”
“Oh come on I want to get out of here,” Ken whined.
“Just humor me please, then you can go.”
“Oh all right,” Ken sighed in disgust. Williams went to a computer, and after first pulling up a picture with a lamp shade on top of his head, from New Years apparently, he showed a video of Daxium finishing off a monster with his arms crossed at the wrist. Ken looked like he was elsewhere for a moment before saying, “Dimensional Strom Ray.” Getting a strange look on his face he turned his head and whispered, “Really?”
“How should I know?”, Williams said before he realized what he just witnessed. Getting really excited as it dawned on him he exclaimed, “You’re talking to him? That’s nucking futs!”
Too stunned to do anything but blink he eventually went, “Nucking futs, you… really just said that?”
“Never mind that let’s keep going,” he said going back to the computer.
He showed footage of Daxium doing the move that drained a lot of his energy, “The whip was the light flash mixed in with the Hyper speed run.” Next was when he wrapped the whip around the creature and created that surge, “Light Stream.” Then he showed him in his red form pulling back his fist, “He already told me that one, it’s called the Giga Wave.” After was an image of him pulling his hands to his side, “Flash bolt,” and one of that jagged ring he formed, “Hyper Saw.”
“Excellent, now if…”
Ken cut him off, “What did I say about being a lab rat?”
“How does your giant friend feel about going on?”
Ken got that far away look again before saying, “He says if you don’t let us out of here right now he will find a way to step on you.”
“No he didn’t,” Williams protested. Ken’s only response was to raise an eyebrow slightly. Suddenly feeling unsure of himself Williams backed up and conceded, “All right you can go.”
“Thanks doc, don’t say it hasn’t been fun, because it hasn’t.” Making sure the Spark Magnifier was still in his possession he left the room as fast as he could.
“I did not say that,” Daxium said in his head.
“He don’t know that.” Ken looked back as Williams left the room and headed in the other direction. “Anything?”
Daxium’s answer was a simple, “No.”
Frowning a bit he muttered, “Wasn’t him then.”
Dinner was more of the same as Ken silently watched from his table as everybody gave him more space then was necessary. Some people doubled up at some tables to avoid sitting with the “civilian”. Ryo was the only person who seemed to greet him, yet he still sat elsewhere. Looking at what was left on his tray and realizing he wasn’t that hungry any more he dumped it in the trash. Leaving the cafeteria he ignored the looks some of them were giving him. Man, this was more and more like high school before he started dating Jessica. Speaking of there she was coming around the corner. She saw him and quickly went in the other direction. What the hell? “Jessica wait up.”
When he caught up to her she stiffly said, “Can I help you civilian?”
“Don’t start with the civilian bullshit,” he said getting in front of her. “What is going on?”
She walked past him saying, “What makes you think something is going on?”
“How you’re acting for one,” he said following her. “I brought here against my will and you act like it’s the old days. But now that I’m here voluntarily,” more or less, mainly less, “you’re acting like I ran over your cat.”
“Just tell me one thing,” said facing him. “Just tell how much talking did you have to do to get Richardson to place you on Alpha Team?”
“Is that what this is about?”, he asked. “Look I don’t know what kind of pull you think I had in this situation but I’m a mechanic. I thought they were going to put me in the garage or the hanger or the motor pool or whatever the hell you call them around here. Never in my wildest dreams did I think they would put me in a field unit, much less this one.” Snorting he added, “And my dreams could get pretty wild.”
“I remember,” she said almost, almost, smiling but managed to keep a straight face. “So you didn’t weasel your way onto Alpha Team because I’m on it?” He stopped and stared at her “What?”
“Is you being this self centered a relatively new thing or did I just not notice when we were dating?”
“I haven’t seen you in years, suddenly we’re bringing you in then you’re a team member. What am I supposed to think?” Ken had a response but kept it to himself remember some arguments they had in the past, so he just shrugged his shoulders. They continued walking as she said, “Captain Hawk asked me about the reason you gave him for agreeing to join, you trying to help your mom and niece.”
“What did you tell him?”
She hesitated a bit before saying, “I said that sounded like you to a tee. He seemed a little surprised I backed up your story, but then again I know you.”
“At least somebody around here is on my side, somewhat. Oh speaking of my niece,” he pulled out and opened his wallet, “I said I’d show you a picture of her.”
“She’s a cutie,” Jess said taking the picture from him.
“Yeah, fortunately she looks more like Janet then Jeff,” he joked.
“Maybe she’ll be a genius like her uncle,” she said with a sly smile.
“You heard about that huh?”, Ken said taking back the picture.
“The Captain mentioned it off hand.”
“You should have seen the file.” He quoted what he read, “Genius level aptitude at anything mechanical. There had to be a mistake made somewhere,” he said. “That had to be for somebody else and it got into my file by accident.”
“Wait,” Jess stopped him, “you actually don’t think you’re that smart?”
His only answer was “It’s me, plain ol’ Ken Scott. There nothing special about me” Outside of the alien giant from another dimension.
“And that’s Jeff talking,” she told him. “Everybody else knew how smart you are. Why did you think my dad offered to help you pay for college?”
“I thought he was trying to get me as far away from you as possible.”
“Well probably that too,” she did smile that time. Looking around a bit she said, “I guess I should officially welcome you to the team.”
“That would be nice, you’re pretty much stuck with me until the higher ups in charge change their minds. Or until I kick Water’s ass. Whichever comes first.”
“I’ll make sure to look the other way. Friends?”, she extended a hand.
He took it, “Friends. But no privileges, I have a reputation to maintain.”
“You are not all that,” she told him.
“That’s not what you were saying back in high school.”
“I was taking pity on you.”
“Morning Harold,” Brooks said as he passed him in the garage. Richardson told Patricia to head on without him as he stopped. Still as his bodyguard she hovered near an entrance and watched them. “Lovely day isn’t it?”
“Yes it is,” he agreed. “Is that why you’re apparently calling it an early day Peter? It’s not even eight o’clock yet.”
“My Father’s secretary just called a few minutes ago,” the younger Brooks answered. “Apparently somebody is trying to force a merger behind his back. Since he’s still out of town I intend to stop it before it goes too far.”
“Yes, Stanley said something about it over the phone while I was on my way here. Well if you’re as much like your father like I think you are the poor bastards won’t know what hit them.”
“Thanks Harold,” he laughed, “hopefully I’ll live up to his reputation. While I have a few minutes how is your little experiment going? I heard he had quite the interesting first day on the job.”
“Apparently, Hawk said to me last night he was going to start training him properly today with the engineer final they came up with a few years ago.”
“Yes Hawk mentioned to me as well,” Peter said. “I believe he said Scott eyes lit up a bit when he heard about it last night. He wasn’t sure why though.”
“Who can tell with people now a days. Well give them hell Peter, I won’t feel sorry for them.” Shaking hands they headed in opposites directions.
One more time Ryo showed Ken where he had to go. Any other day he might have complained about the beds around here. Seriously, an HQ this advanced they could only get mattresses that felt like concrete? But not today, he was more than ready for what was coming. He almost knocked over Ryo when he pointed out the room he was going to. Inside he saw an man who looked less than pleased to be there. Wearing the same uniform as the others he had a tool belt around his waist. Next to him was some king of control panel with an access plate that was open. Ken started salivating a little as Ryo made sure he didn’t run toward it, “Give him a chance to start it man.”
“So this is the civilian,” he said looking Ken over, not hiding the fact he was unimpressed. “I’m Chief Marcus Albright, head of the engineering divisions. If you are going to work on the vehicles around here you’re going to have to go through me. Now Captain Hawk, for some reason, said he wants you to take the engineering final. Now here how it works, you’re going to get a set of tools…”
“And I got to try and fix it before it blows,” he said tucking his ponytail into this shirt. Grabbing the set of tools he got in position he said, “Start the thing already.” Albright activated the test and Ken slid deeper into the console.
“How much about this test did you tell him?” Albright asked Ken.
Ryo just looked at him, “You know he betaed this back in the academy right?”
“Betaed?”, Albright asked confused.
Before he could answer there was an electronic sizzle and a “Damn it,” coming from the opening.
Ryo looked at the hole before continuing, “Beta tested. They tried out the prototype back when we were in the academy. Ken was one of the people they picked for the trials. He must have took it at least thirty times in those two weeks. He swore he was close to beating it each time. I think he was still working it out in his head since then.”
“If he worked it that much then he should know by now that this test is designed to be unbeatable. It starts at about critical and we don’t give them all the proper tools to fix it. It’s like that Maru something or another on that old show, nobody beats it they’re just delaying it. It doesn’t take a genius to know that.” As he was talking Ryo noticed several of the red lights slowly start to go back to green. Before too long Albright noticed as well. “What the hell?”
Ryo couldn’t help but grin at the situation, “You never watched a lot of TV did you?”
Ken popped out of the hole not looking as satisfied as Ryo thought he would. “I kinda jury rigged something here and I don’t know how long it’s going to last.” Both of them knelt down to see an extendable wrench loosely connecting to cables together. “If I can get something that will actually fix this thing that would be great.” Red lights started flashing on the console again and an alarm went off. “Damn it,” he muttered. Looking around he noticed another wrench sticking out of Albright’s belt. “Are you using that?”, he asked before taking it and sliding back in.
Hawk had read Albright’s initial report that he had sent in after Scott completed the test. Scott was able to delay the “explosion” for longer than anticipated, in fact his time and score was comparable to some of the scientists they had under employ, even his methods were a tad unorthodox, Albrights words. He wasn’t sure what his recommendation was going to be according to this report. Still he wanted to see’s Scott’s reaction to the test. He found him in one of the break rooms with Scott saying, “I was close this time, let me take another shot at it.”
“You were only scheduled for one test.” Ryo reminded him.
“But I almost have it figured out,” he argued, “I just need another crack at it.”
“I never figured that your white whale would be a test,” Hawk said making his presence known. Ryo snapped to attention. Scott just looked at him. They were going to have to work on that. “Ryo, our new Wings need to be inspected. Bill’s already going over one, check out two since you have the spare time.”
“Yes sir,” he said leaving.
“Scott, walk with me.” Surprisingly he did so without a fuss. “Tell me the purpose of that test I had you take.”
“To delay a critical explosion for as long as possible so as many people as possible can get away safely,” he said without any enthusiasm. That changed with the next sentence, “But I can save a ton of people if I can fix the problem and keep it from happening.”
“Look Scott I appreciate your dedication to this particular problem,” he told him, “but it’s that type of tunnel vision gets people killed in real life. And you won’t have the luxury of a redo. I want you focused but not to a point that you’re a danger to yourself and others, is that understood?”
“Yes sir,” he sighed.
“But if you keep your nose clean for the next few weeks I’ll try to arrange another go for you, but only if you keep your nose clean.”
“I can do that,” Ken said a little too eagerly.
“In the meantime though you’re going to study.”
“I been hitting those regulations they gave me since last night.”
“Good, but that’s not what I’m talking about.” Ken looked confused so he enlightened him. “As your commanding officer I’m going to help you live up to that new genius label of yours. I’ve already contacted the academy administrations to find out where you left off. We’ll go from there.”
Ken looked more confused now than he did before, “Why are you going that far for somebody who’s been forced on you?”
“For one very simple reason son,” he said, “I believe everybody under me should live up to their full potential, including you. And seeing how you didn’t discover how high your potential went we have a lot of catching up to do.”
“I’m just a grease jockey.”
“For now, if I have my way you’ll be a lot more by the time I’m done with you. Now head down to the hanger, I want you familiar with the Razor Wings operating parameters before our next assignment, is that understood?”
“Yes sir,” he said and headed on his way. Although Hawk overheard him mutter, “Why does everybody think there’s more to me than what there is?” Yeah this was going to be a challenge if he stayed in that mindset.
“This is taking too long!”, one of his masters cried decreed through the portal. Sometimes, like now, they would show their anger by having a strong bolt of dark energy emerge from the portal. The Avatar learned not to be impressed by the display as it hit various objects in the cavern. Still it was an impressive light show though. “Why is it taking so long to establish a beachhead in this dimension?”
“Humanity would not just lie down my masters,” he said trying not to sound board. “I told you this when you first recruited me. Of course we have the added problem of the light giant.”
“Yes,” his master said slowly, “he has been a bigger threat than anticipated. Have you discovered which human is hiding him yet?”
“No,” he lied, “he always disappears before I can get a pinpoint on the human’s location. Of course the monsters you are sending me are more than a tad noticeable so he is probably forewarned ahead of time.”
“Your observations would be correct,” his master said. Another shape came into view. As he watched it looked like it was saying something to the first one. “Yes that should be sufficient.” The other shape disappeared and his master moved what he assumed was a hand. Dark energy formed in front of him in the shape of a map. “Avatar, we will be sending a creature called Neronga here. It has a special ability that should keep the light giant in the dark. Get there at once.”
“Yes my masters,” he said with a slight bow. The portal closed and he started sneering. One of these days he would show them that they were nothing in this world without him. But that was for later. As it was he was slightly curious they meant about that special ability. And he was curious to see how Ken Scott and Ultraman were going to react to it.
Anything?”, Hawk asked as he walked into the war room. Ryo, Bill and Bridge were going over every report and call they had been getting for the past couple of week. Weeks of multiple monster sightings and hits from their detection system. And weeks of nothing when they or another unit got there. There were small signs of something large going through the area but no monster in sight. Right now he had Jess and Ken out in the field to investigate the last couple of sightings to see if they could find anything the first time.
“Still the same Captain,” Ryo answered.
“But we’re trying to map the sightings at the moment,” Bridge said. “Try to see if there’s some sort of pattern we can predict or a path to follow. I’m starting with the sightings here and connecting those with the hits we detected.”
“I still think somebody’s playing a joke on us,” Bill said. “Somebody had to have gotten into our system and set off the alarms.”
“And not with the system I’ve set up,” Bridge said and very getting annoyed with repeating. “There are layers on top of layers of security programming and protocols to get through to even get to the alarm system.”
“Maybe our resident genius had something to do with it,” Bill smirked.
“He’s not that type of genius Bill,” Hawk reminded him.
“And he’s not an actual team member either but he’s still here,” Bill shot back.
Ignoring that last comment Hawk turned toward Bridge, “How are we doing with that pattern?”
“We have a general idea of one.” Manipulating the image he made red dots appear marking the sightings so far. “The sightings seem to be focused in this area here,” he said pointing to the highlighted area.
“Is there anything in this area that sticks out?”
“Nothing that any of us are seeing,” Ryo said. “There’s that mountain range over here but it’s not close to any of the areas of activities.”
“That range has been checked over more than once,” Hawk informed him. “From the ground and air.”
“That might leave the underground,” Bridge said thinking it over. Fingers flying over the keyboard the map changed to show known underground caverns in the mountain range.
“Don’t tell me it’s another electricity eating rock monster,” Bill complained.
“There hasn’t been any reports of power loss,” Ryo reminded him.
Getting an incoming call Hawk hit his communicator, “Hawk here.”
“Captain,” Jess replied, “we might have found something. Ken took a scan of it and he’s uploading it to you now.” After a minute or so of nothing she said, “Ah Ken, start with the transmitting.”
Over the line they heard him say, “I just remembered how to take an image with this thing give me a moment.”
“Give it here,” she said. There was a brief argument between them before they started getting the scan upload on their end.
“I almost had it,” Ken complained.
“Oh yeah, they dated” Ryo smirked. Bill got a chuckle out of it as well.
“We’re getting the image now Jess,” Hawk said. “What did you get?”
“I think pretty good proof people are seeing something.” Bridge brought the image up for all of them to see. Hawk leaned in as they all saw the gigantic footprint on the ground.
“So I’m guessing we didn’t get hacked then,” Bill said.
“If we did we’re dealing with somebody dedicated to the joke,” Ryo commented.
“Have you found any more?”, Hawk asked them.
“Just the one so far,” she answered. “Ken eyeballing the footprint at being just slightly larger than a Scan Track.”
“Scott, for future reference I usually don’t take guesstimates in an official report,” Hawk said.
“I’ll remember to bring my tape measure next time,” he said. Hawk just raised an eyebrow at the statement. “I just stepped in it deep didn’t I?”
Jess quickly said, “We’ll look for more of the prints and question some of the locals on if they saw anything, Wade out. Before the connection cut completely they heard, “Would you think…”
“Definitely dated,” Ryo smirked again.
Bill joined in, “Any bets on how long civilian is going to last?”
A couple of days after they discovered the footprints, and they found several, they were able to get a small idea on what they were dealing with. Based on how some of the prints were spaced and what few eyewitness accounts they could get they were dealing with something that walks on all fours. Bridge was able to get a rough length from how they were spaced as well, but that was about it. Each of the eyewitnesses seemed to describe a different four legged beast. Still they were able to narrow the search parameters now. Although right now Ken was hanging onto a railing trying to get his stomach to settle down after Ryo landed their Razor Wing at an air field near one of the sightings. “Hang out here for a minute,” Ryo told him. “The local police chief wanted to talk about our search.”
“And we couldn’t have taken a Scan Track for this why?”, Ken asked.
“Because we’re in the next round of air searches,” Ryo said. “I shouldn’t be long.” Not to mention Bill was part of the ground search on this one and the Captain thought two of them in one vehicle was a bad idea at this point.
“Take your time,” Ken said holding his stomach. Ryo winced a bit, trying not to think of the two of them up in the air.
The meeting with the police chief didn’t start out much better, “I really wish you people would leave. You’re stirring up people more than necessary and making my job harder as a result.”
“We’re trying o help ease the situation,” Ryo tried to assure him. “We have proof, that we showed you, that something is out there. Unfortunately this is the area the creature has been spotted the most.”
“A creature nobody has apparently seen,” the Chief shot back. “A couple of pranksters take advantage of some mass hysteria is enough to mobilize the army apparently. Why don’t you take on a real problem like that giant guy, he causes as much damage as those monsters.”
“We’re looking into the situation,” he said not wanting to have this discussion with somebody else since there was no easy way to explain Richardson’s order. The Chief started to say something else before a monstrous roar made both of them duck. Running outside he saw Ken looking in a particular direction, “Did you see anything?”
“I saw through something,” he said mysteriously while looking confused himself.
“You’re talking nonsense,” the Chief told him.
“There was something there,” he insisted, “but it was see through. Then it disappeared entirely.” Daxium was able to tell where it was going since they were this close to it. Unfortunately Ken had to make something up on how he knew, “It looked like it was heading in that direction.”
Ryo tapped his communicator, “Watanabe to Hawk, Ken might have spotted the creature. If he’s right it might be able to turn invisible.”
“fF all the nonsense…” the Chief started to say.
“Get in the air now,” Hawk ordered, and see if you can track it. I’ll have Bridge get a lock on your Razor Wing and we’ll try to figure out a way to cut it off.”
“That damn fool believed that story?”, the Chief spat.
Not even bothering hiding his annoyance Ryo looked him right in the eyes, “That damn fool as you called him has seen more strange creatures up close than you can possibly imagine. Come on Ken, let’s see if we can follow the trail.” He just held on to his stomach.
Once they were in the air Ryo was able to spot the trial it was making easy enough. Feeding what they were seeing to the ground teams and Castle. Bridge was able to determine it was heading toward a nearby city. “We’re going to try to head it off on the outskirts as best we can,” Hawk said. “It’s traveling too fast for us to set up anything further away.”
Not taking his eyes off the control panel Ken offered, “Maybe we can distract it with a couple of missiles.”
“It’s a good idea Captain,” Ryo said, “we might be able to slow it down to give you more time if nothing else.”
“We don’t know what type of damage it can take,” Hawk told them. “And if you make it mad enough it could come after you and you wouldn’t know it. Keep tracking it while we set up things on our side, Hawk out.”
“Don’t say I never tried,” Ken said. They followed it for a few miles as the city came into view as well as the force that was waiting for a target.
“Looks like the party is almost ready to start,” Ryo commented.
“I’ll take your word for it,” he replied clutching the white bag.
Back at Castle Bridge announced, “I think I narrowed down it’s location based on Razor Wing 2’s sensor.”
“Send it,” Hawk ordered. “Scan Tracks twenty to twenty-four and Razor Wings ten through twelve fire off a round at those coordinates. Let’s see if we can make it show itself.” Several missiles fired off as cannons fired from the ground and zeroed in on the programmed coordinates. Some hit the ground, some exploded in midair as they hit something. A roar of pain was followed y the creature showing itself. With a brown hide and ridges on it’s back, a giant horn on it’s nose seemed to have a slight glow to it. “There it is, all units fire!” Ryo got their Razor Wing out of the way as the other units unleashed their firepower. The monster’s horn started to glow as it’s ears moved toward it and a wild arc of electricity shot out. “Shit that thing shoots electricity too,” Hawk curded
“Ken hold it down!” Ryo shouted as he tried to make sure they weren’t hit by the arcs. It wasn’t good enough as his controls sparked and exploded around him, “Argh!”
“Ryo, Ken get out of there!,” Hawk shouted seeing the damage from his vantage point. Ken went for his ejector seat when he noticed Ryo wasn’t moving.
“Ryo?”, Ken reached over and shook him as best as he could. “Ryo! I think Ryo’s out!” he said over the line. Survival instincts kicked in as he vaguely recalled how to switch flight control over to him as Hawk ordered him to get out. Getting control of the stick he tried to steady their decent and head toward the city. Forgetting exactly where he was he pulled up on the stick and got the nose up for a few yards before they hit the ground. Then they crashed.
Leaving Jamira in command for a moment Hawk, Bill and Jess took their Scan Track to the crash site. They found the mangled jet and Ken with a bleeding cut on his forehead under Ryo’s arm as he helped him away from the wreckage. “Watanabe, Scott are you alright?”, Hawk asked as Bill went to help Ken with Ryo.
“Still here Captain,” Ryo said trying to stand on his own. “Thanks to Ken.”
“Ken good job,” Hawk told him. “You didn’t bail out on your partner in a dangerous situation. I’m proud of you.” Ken, who started to look a little green, gave him a weak thumbs up as he started rocking back and forth. Pointing to his right he said, “There’s a trash can over there.” Ken’s hand went to his mouth as his cheeks puffed out as he ran for it. “Ryo you can sit the rest of this one out.”
“I’m good to go Captain,” he insisted. “Just point me at that thing while we can still see it.
“Alright then,” he nodded. “Ryo get in the Scan Track with Jess, Bill and myself…”
“Blegh!” cut him off as Ken threw up in the trash can. They all winced a little from the sound. Jess started to go to him but Hawk stopped her.
“He’ll be fine. Scott stay here, we’ll meet up with you later. The rest of you get in the Scan Track. We got to stop that thing before it breaks the line.”
“Yes sir,” they shouted. Ken got his stomach under control after they left and pulled out the Spark Magnifier.
Appearing from a column of light Daxium took a fighting stance, “Shiah!” Neronga roared in challenge at the new threat as the giant ran toward him, stopping so he was right between the creature and the city. “What is the giant doing?”, Jamira asked over the line.
“I think Ultraman is trying to help us defend the line,” Hawk said. The four legged monster tried to get around him but Daxium kept getting in his way. Seeing the horn glow again Daxium spread his arms and formed the energy shield in front of him to deflect the electrical attack. Dropping the field the giant ran in, Neronga reared up on his hind legs to meet him. Grappling for a bit Daxium forced the creature down to the ground. Getting on top of the creature he started pounding on it with his fist. Picking it up he pushed it further away from the line. Neronga tried to use it’s tail to knock him down as he got up. Daxium easily jumped over it but was caught off balance as Neronga jumped up as he landed.
Grunting as he crashed to the ground he couldn’t react in time as Neronga jumped right on top of him. Swiping his clawed feet at his head a couple of times he walked over the fallen giant and continued on toward the city. “Damn it,” Hawk cursed as he hit the side of the Scan Track. “All units open fire!” Neronga roared again and fired the electric beam that took out several Scan Tracks and Razor Wings. Daxium slowly got up to his feet, crossed his arms and flung them down as he went into Hyper Mode. Holding out his right hand he extended the Light Flash from his fingertips. Swinging it above his head a couple of times he wrapped it around the creature’s neck and pulled. The monster choked out a protest as it struggled to go forward.
Daxium started to draw in energy for the Light Stream to finish this quickly when Neronga suddenly jumped backwards crashing into him. In Hyper Mode the creature as able to easily batter him around. He was able to get enough room to flip backwards himself and kick the monster under the chin in the process. Two extended fingers quickly drew a circle in the air forming the Hyper Saw as the jewel started flashing red.
The Saw sliced through the creature’s tail cutting half of it off. As it thrashed on the ground in pain Daxium switched over to Power Mode and went at Neronga. Grabbing him by the neck he picked him up and slammed him down head first on the ground. Picking him up again he held him over his head and threw him away from the city. Hawk saw him put a fist by that jewel. “Of shit he’s using it again. Any unit in the target zone get the hell out of there now!” As the giant reared the fist back Neronga tried to surprise him again by jumping at him. Daxium threw the punch and caught Neronga mid jump in the chest. The unfocused energy of the Giga Wave obliterated him on contact. Watching for a moment as the particles that was left of Neronga floated away and burned out he flew off into the sky, “Shiah!”
With a fresh bandage and wrap on his forehead Ken laid on the bed in is room. He was feeling weaker than usual after Dax returned him. Daxium said he was feeling it and put it down to the fact their bodies weren’t used to multiple form changes in a battle yet. Of course that crash landing didn’t do him any favors either. A chime at his door that he probably spent too much time deciding to ignore or not got him up. When the door opened he was shocked to see Hawk standing on the other side. “Oh crap I missed a meeting or something didn’t I? I’m sorry I had to lie down for…”
“Easy Ken,” He said. “I postponed it for later. Ryo need to rest up some too. So how are you doing son?”
“I’ve been better,” Ken answered honestly.
“I figured as much,” Hawk chuckled. “Ken, you acted like a real member of the team out there today. So let me to officially welcome you to Monster Squad.” He reached for something in the hallway and showed him a UNDF uniform jacket. It took a Ken a moment to realize the tag held the name Scott. “You officially can’t wear a full uniform but I pulled a few strings and got you this. We all agreed that you deserved at least this much.”
Ken took it not sure what to say or do, “I… thank you…” He tried it on and looked himself over in the mirror. After he was disqualified from the academy he positive he was never going to wear one of these. Despite at how he was forced to join now he started to smile.
“Looks like a perfect fit,” Hawk commented. “Do us proud son.”
“Yes sir,” Ken saluted him. Hawk returned it and left the room. He was a step closer but he was going to make Ken a full part of this team yet if it killed him.
ED – Shinedown – Fly from the Inside
The Avatar seems to have plans of his own... villain in-fighting is always good.
Ken's "Kobayashi Maru test" scenario was a nice touch indeed too, and I wonder if he will have to face "death" some day in that regard. Just hopefully he can come out of it without the loss of a friend, unlike someone else who was lucky enough to get that friend back.
I didn't expect Jess to be so cold to him either, but I guess in someways it is understandable, though if they knew each other so well it does make one question it.
And this invisible monster was a neat, as well as having Dax perform multi form changes. I expected it would have some side effect for a first attempt and it's good to see the Giga Wave didn't do the damage to the city like the last few times.
Just had a thought too, if the Avatar will somehow use Dax to his benefit to defeat his so called "Masters" to rise above them. That would be an interesting turn of events down the road. Good luck on the next one Jim.
G A L L I F R E Y S T A N D S
science experiment gone wrong
OP – Mercy Drive – Burn in My Light
The streets of the city were quiet as a war was engaged in the skies above it. Razor Wings shot through the skies as they tried to shoot down the creatures that appeared out of nowhere. With triangle shaped bodies and a head that seemed to be built into their shoulders they zipped around the buildings making them harder to hit. Few of the pilots were brave enough, or foolish enough to try and follow the creatures. Razor Wing one had one of those pilots as it followed one creature before being forced to pull before he hit a building. “I swear these damn things are getting faster,” Bill said.
“Just concentrate on where you’re flying,” Hawk said behind him.
In Razor Wing two Ryo flew over the skyline until he spotted one n the open. “Jess four o’clock.”
“I see it,” she answered as she got a target lock on her sensors. “Firing missile.” A lone missile trailed after it and caught it as it exploded. As it fell to the ground Ryo and Jess noticed something about the creatures. “They’re getting lower to the ground.”
“I see them,” Hawk said over the line. “Ground team, are they in firing range yet?”
Standing by a Scan track in his newly acquired UNDF jacket, but left unzip, Ken hit the communicator built into it, “Just about Captain.”
“Fire as soon as you see the points of their teeth,” he ordered.
“You heard the man,” Ken told the others. When they looked at him it took him a moment to figure out why, “I mean roger.”
“Well work on it later,” Hawk said. Was that a chuckle? Please let that be a chuckle.
After a few more minutes the Razor Wings were able to force the creatures low enough for the Scan Tracks to get a lock. “Targets in range!”, somebody shouted.
“Let ‘em have it!”, Ken said. He put his fingers in his ears as the cannons mounted on the back of the Scan Tracks fired. He had to remember to wear that helmet one of these days. Several creatures took a hit. Those that avoided the initial wave tried to fly up but were met by the Razor Wings waiting for them. Another half hour saw the final creature taken out. “I would have ran out of bags a while ago,” Ken commented as he watched the Razor Wings in the sky.
“Hawk to ground units, the sky is clear. Help with the clean up duty while we make sure no more show up.”
“Scan Track…,” Ken took a moment to check the side of the vehicle , “fourteen acknowledge.” He hopped into the passenger seat saying, “Who wants to see a dead monster up close and poke it with a stick?” They found one near a school yard and pulled up a few yards from it. Getting out Ken had a vague flashback of Daxium fighting a larger version of this thing and started rubbing his left forearm a bit. Dax wasn’t getting any type of reaction from it, still Ken and the other pulled their weapons as they got closer. “Area’s clear,” Ken announced taking a look at his wrist scanner.
“Fuller,” one of the others said to the man still in the Scan Track, “pull her up.” Fuller acknowledged and turned the track around and backed it up. “Keep it coming,” he waved him on, “keep it coming. Stop.”
“This is going to suck,” Ken commented as a back compartment opened up. Trying to keep his hands away from the mouth he and the trooper picked up the creature and placed it in the compartment. “Don’t they supply gloves for this part?”, he asked shaking his hands.
“Take that jacket off!” Ken looked around as Commander Jamira came out of another Scan Track and made a beeline toward him. “I said take that jacket off now! You don’t deserve to wear it civilian. That’s an order!”
Ken held his ground, “Well here’s the thing, Captain Hawk told me to wear this whenever I’m on duty. Now in order to obey you I have to disobey him. And that’s a can of worms I don’t want to open.” He had a line about the Captain outranking him, but seeing how it looked like the Commander was close to strangling to him as it was he didn’t say anything.
“Watch your back civilian,” he sneered before storming off.
Once he and his Scan Track was on his way Ken hit his communicator, “Scott to Hawk, just to warn you Commander Jamira might be coming to you with some issues he has with me wearing this jacket.”
“It’ll be the fifth time he’s brought this issue up since I gave it to you a couple of days ago. Respect isn’t going to come overnight, it’s going to come a day at a time.”
“Understood, Scott out.” Ken looked at the retreating Scan track and whispered, “Not him either.”
“Creature is secured,” Fuller announced.
“Hey,” he asked the trooper by him, “what do they do with these things any way?”
“Some of them are dissected to study,” he answered. “Some of them are destroyed. Some of us think it what they make the chip beef out of for the SOS in the cafeteria.”
Ken made a face and held his stomach, “Don’t tell me shit like that, I had that for breakfast his morning.”
“The people are demanding answers.” Richardson sat there looking a little tired as the board members started trying to talk over one another. But that was the general consensus the best as he could gather. Fortunately Peter wasn’t one of the as he silently sat in his chair as he watched the others.
“I would hardly refer to reporters as people,” Richardson said during a lull in this particular storm. Naturally that comment started it all over again.
“Well they’re asking what the people want to know,” one of them said. “What are we going to do about Ultraman? Some polls say he’s as bad as those monsters. Especially after one of those weapons of his tore up that street. They’re still repairing the damage.”
“What he is doing is no different than when we fire a missile,” Richardson argued. “He’s just on a more massive scale then what we are.”
“And Ultraman does seem to be helping us with the monsters,” Peter piped in.
“So far,” another one said.
“And the moment he turns against us,” Richardson told her, “I will be the first to give the order to open fire. I know Captain Hawk and Alpha Team have been studying the giant for any sign of a potential weakness. And more than likely some of the other units are as well.”
“I know one of the bigger complaints is that our weapons don’t seem to be effective against giant threats,” Peter told them. “I know Dr. Williams has a team working on improving our weapons potency. But maybe it’s time to consider his other idea.”
“That super jet of his,” the first board member said.
“It could help ease the public anxiety,” Peter offered. “Especially if it works like he says it will.”
“Perhaps it’s time to look more into it,” Richardson said. Several board members nodded in agreement. Enough to get the motion passed.
A fourth member raised their hands, “Commander Jamira came to me about an issue he had.”
“Do you want to narrow that one down?”, Peter asked. “He does seem to have several. He didn’t get control of Alpha Team. He doesn’t like the fact we’re getting called like we’re the police.”
“It’s about the civilian wearing a uniform jacket.”
“Oh that one,” Richardson snorted.
“It was Captain Hawk’s idea after all,” Peter said taking the lead. “If he felt he deserves it this soon then I feel we should back him. This was the board’s idea after all,” he quickly reminded them when a couple of them looked like they wanted to argue the point. “We trusted his judgment so far. And we all know he wouldn’t do anything that would affect his team in a negative way. Beside this is a relative minor issue and not worth this board’s time and energy.”
“I agree,” Richardson said. “If anything this is an issue between Hawk and Jamira. The moment it affects our ability to protect the public then we’ll take the matter into our hands. Is there anything else?” He waited a moment for somebody to speak up. “Then I guess this meeting is over.” Everyone else packed what they had and left. Peter lingered for a few moments so he said, “Have I ever told you that I’m glad you are on my side.”
“Honestly Henry the only side I’m on is mine,” he said with a bit of a smile.
Richardson snorted,” You father told me the same things on a few occasions.
“Like father, like son as they say,” he said closing up his briefcase. “I’m still not a fan of this civilian operative nonsense.”
“I know Peter.”
He started leaving the room saying, “But even I’ll admit it revealed something I never expected.”
“I know,” Richardson said, surprising Peter a bit. “Who would have believed that nobody was a genius? I mean look at him.”
“I know, just a fascinating discovery isn’t it?” In the hallway he started smiling to himself, “But that wasn’t what I was talking about.”
In his quarters Ken sat at the desk in the room and opened his cell phone. Knowing Rose she’d keep that promise to hunt him down if he didn’t keep in touch. After a few rings she picked up, “Hello?”
Ken started smiling, “Hey Rose.”
“Hey yourself,” he could hear the smile in her voice. “So they actually let you have phone privileges?”
“I’m not a prisoner you know.”
“You were acting like one in the days before you left,” she shot back. “How has everything been going? You been showing those other mechanics how it’s done yet?”
“Not exactly, they put me on a field team.”
She was quiet for a few moments, “Are they crazy?!”
“I know. But at least if any of the vehicles on an assignment I’m right there to fix it.”
“That’s probably what they were thinking,” she laughed. “So you learn anything new about yourself yet?”
Outside of apparently being a genius this entire time? “Nothing yet, it’s only been a few weeks.”
“You can figure out something about yourself in a few weeks. Wait… the UNDF has some advanced comm. gear. Why didn’t you use that to call me?”
“They say I can,” he said poking at the computer at his desk. “I haven’t figured out how to get an outside line yet.”
“Well ask somebody then. Wait I’m talking to Ken ‘I can figure it out on my own’ Scott here.”
“Why does everybody make that sound like a bad thing,” he said getting a little annoyed.
“Because you can only get so far on your own. You’re part of a team now, you’re going to have to learn to work like you’re part of one sooner or later.”
“So they keep telling me.” He changed the subject, “How are things at the garage going?”
“We’re still pretty busy,” she answered. “Johnny’s been picking up the slack on the new model cars after you left. Jeff’s acting like he’s king of the garage.”
“When didn’t he?”, Ken asked half joking.
Rose laughed anyway, “Good thing I’m still around to keep him in check then. So,” based on tone of her voice he had a feeling he knew what was coming, “meet anybody interesting of the female persuasion yet?” And there it was.
The alarm went off just about then, saved by the creature alert. “Sorry Rose, duty calls gotta go.”
Running to the war room Ken got to the door the same time as Bill. They looked at each other for a moment before Bill said, “Actual team members in first civilian,” and he hurried his way inside.
“Bite me jackass,” Ken told him going in himself. That’s when he noticed Hawk was there staring at the two of them.
“Gentlemen,” he spoke, “and I use that term very loosely at the moment.”
“Sorry Captain,” Ken said. Hawk glanced at Jess and Ryo who quickly stood between them. This was going to be one of the larger struggles with this situation.
“What are we looking at Bridge?”, Hawk said looking at the ceiling. The table top in front of them started to glow and a holo image of the a mountain range appeared over it. A rather large dot appeared under it’s surface.
“We’re not exactly sure yet,” he said from his station. “The reading just popped up a few minutes ago.
“How does something that large just appear out of nowhere?”, Ryo asked out loud.
“If we could figure that out maybe we could intercept these things before they become active,” Hawk said. “Ken I don’t need a quip right now.”
“Wasn’t going to say a word,” Ken told him.
“The look on your face said otherwise,” Jess smirked.
“Is the object doing anything?”, Hawk asked before ken could respond.
“Not at the moment,” he said studying the readings. “It appears to just be sitting there.”
“Looks like we got lucky on this one,” Hawk commented. Taking a light pen out of the console he started drawing on the image. “I want a perimeter set up on the ground here. Bill, Ryo I want you to coordinate a plan for a sky net above it with the other pilots. If we catch it right we might be able to damage it as it appears out of the mountain.”
“I don’t suppose you guys have some mines or something?”, Ken asked. “We could place them around the creature and set them off as soon as it pops up.”
“There’s one problem with that plan,” Jess told him, “we don’t know where the creature is going to break through at.”
“And I don’t want to take the chance that we’d accidently leave some active mines behind for somebody to come across if they get buried once it emerges,” Hawk added. “It’s a good plan Ken, you just have to think a little further ahead.”
“So is the civilian flying on this one?”, Bill said shooting him a look.
Hawk looked at him, “He can fly with you since you’re volunteering.” Bill paled a little as Ken gave him a wicked grin.
“He’s pretty good on the ground,” Bill quickly got out, “he can do this on the ground.”
“I got no problem being in the Wing’s backseat for this one,” Ken said.
“Which is why you’re taking one of the Tracks,” Hawk told him. “I’ll fly with Bill in Razor Wing one. Ken you help coordinate things on the ground. And try to keep away from Commander Jamira, he’s still not happy with you wearing that.”
“You don’t have to tell me twice,” Ken said, then added, “sir.”
“You’re getting better at remembering that,” Hawk smirked. “All right people let’s catch this thing before it get it’s pants up.”
“Roger,” they all said, even Ken. Now if he could convince him to zip that jacket up and look a little more professional.
Within the hour Razor Wings and Scan Tracks launched from their respective bays from Castle. Inside the Avatar watched their progress on a monitor, highlighting the position of the vehicle Scott was in. His masters assured him this creature, Melba, would bring something different to attack Ultraman with. Of course they said that about the last monster they sent through. But they might be right with this one. Ultraman could fly but he had never seen him fight in the air. The only real question was how much of a nuisance were the troops going to be?
The perimeter went up around the mountain according to plan that Hawk had come up with. According to Bridge the creature didn’t change position the entire time. Which left them with a while bunch of waiting to do. As it was Ken was leaning against the hood of the Scan Track looking at the mountain. He could feel the creature inside from here. “I do not like this,” Dax had said in his head. “I should be trying to dig it out and destroy it.”
Glancing at the other guys in the Track he spoke low enough that they wouldn’t hear him, “We’ve gone over this Dax.”
“I know, it is just frustrating knowing that it is this close. We never had this problem before.”
“You’re the one who told me to trust Richardson.”
“Wade to Scott,” from his communicator brought him back to the here and now.
“What is it Jess?”, he said hitting it.
“We got a little pool going on,” she answered. “We wanted to know if you wanted in.”
“What’s the bet?”
“We’re trying to guess what Ultraman is going to mode shift into to beat this one if he shows up.”
“That’s what we call it when Ultraman changes form,” Ryo answered. “What do you say man, you want in?”
“Maybe next time,” Ken said. “I still have to study the reports on those fights. Or do you guys call them encounters. And not to sound like the new guy but isn’t that against the rules?”
Bridge cut into the comm. system saying, “We got movement!”
“All units prepare to fire,” Hawk ordered.
Ken checked his wrist scanner for any stray life sign that wasn’t supposed to be there. He wasn’t getting anything outside of them with the range he got. He looked at the guys inside the Track, “You getting any stray blips on that thing?”
“If anybody is watching they’re staying out of range,” was the reply. Ken nodded, but he could have used it as an excuse to get out of thee and let Dax loose on whatever that thing was. “I got movement on the mountain,” the guy watching the scanner said suddenly. Ken’s hand started for the Spark magnifier thinking that people were on the mountain. Then he saw what they were seeing, the face of the mountain started breaking up. There was a monstrous cry as a head appeared, followed by a long neck with some sort of blade like fin.
“All units open fire!” Hawk shouted. They all locked on the head. It screams were cut off by the explosions. More of the mountainside broke away as the creature freed itself. It’s reptilian like body had claws instead of hands and these long protrusions like spikes coming from it’s shoulders. And these bright round glowing eyes that seemed to zero in right at Ken.
“That can’t be good,” he muttered. Those eyes seem to glow right before energy like shot fired out of them. Ken and the guys in the Scan Track ducked for cover as the ground seemed to explode around them.
“Lasers!”, Bill shouted as it started firing those shots at the other Scan Tracks. “It got lasers!”
“Ken,” Jess muttered as Ryo looked worried as well.
“Razor Wings take the heat off the Scant Tracks,” Hawk said. As ordered the Wings unleashed another barrage of missiles at the creature. It looked at the sky and fired at the Razor Wings who scattered to avoid it. The creature cried out one more time. Then leather like wings appeared from the protrusions and it took to the air. “It’s giving chase, scatter.”
“Damn thing faster than it looks,” Ryo grunted.
“We need some rear weapons on these jets,” Jess said as she looked back.
“Worry about it later,” Hawk told her.
“All Scan Tracks try to knock it out of the sky,” Jamira ordered. Those not caught in the original barrage did so. Those that were did what they could if the men and women inside were able.
Ken shook the dirt off of him, slowly getting to his feet. Holding his head he hit the communicator then looked at it when it didn’t make it’s usual beep, broken. “Hope I don’t have to pay for that.” Looking at the others in the Scan Track he called out, “You guys alright?” He didn’t get an answer. “Hey,” he said going to the window and saw that all of them looked lifeless. “Shit,” he cursed as he checked for a pulse on each man. He felt a huge weight lift from his shoulders as he got a pulse on all of them. “Don’t do that me,” he told them knowing he wasn’t going to get an answer. Looking up at the sky he saw the creature smash it’s claws into any Razor Wing within reach. “Stay right here,” he told the unconscious men as he took out the Spark Magnifier and held it over his head.
Appearing from a column of light Daxium looked up and Melba and took off after it, “Shiah!” The creature saw him and changed course to meet him. Daxium moved out of the way to avoid impact. He quickly turned around to fire off a Flash Bolt that hit it right between the shoulder blades. Melba cried out in pain as it started to fall to the ground. It was able to pull up before crashing and went at the giant again firing off those eye bolts of his. Forming the energy to block those initial shots he flew out of the way to avoid Melba’s head on crash.
Giving chase to the still flying Melba Daxium reached out to grab a wing when the monster turned around and smack one of those claws into his head. A grunt of pain escaped as he lost his balance for a split second. It was long enough for Melba to start flying around him trying to bash him out of the sky. The giant covered him up to protect himself. Dropping slightly to avoid one of those claws Daxium saw the opening to kick him in the gut. Melba’s body bent from the blow as the light giant started punching him in the head. He kept up the assault as the monster started falling to the ground. Then it stopped in midair and fired off those energy bursts. Daxium recoiled from the first couple of shots but then he got out of the way and started flying around the creature trying to avoid those energy shots. Seeing no other way out of this he took a few shots he fired off another Flash Bolt. The impact made Melba stop just long enough for Daxium to fly right into him.
Grabbing him around the waist Daxium pointed them toward some open ground and they crashed in a mushroom like cloud of smoke and dirt. Daxium slowly stood up waiting for the smoke to clear away enough that he could see the condition of his opponent. He was knocked back by those eyes blasts a second before Melba emerged from the smoke. The jewel started flashing red as he started back up but Melba knocked him back down and started clubbing him. Razor Wing one and two but fired some missiles that distracted the monster enough for Daxium to fly out of there. Going high enough that he could see Melba coming at him he put his hands to the jewel in his chest. Drawing in energy ashe spread them wide he raised his right arm and lowered his left. Bringing them together at the wrist he fired the Dimensional Storm Ray. The multi colored stream of energy hit Melba head on. Moments later he exploded. Daxium hovered there for a moment before flying off, “Shiah!”
A sphere of light formed that shrank down to a shape of a man and quickly broke apart as Ken stumbled forward by his Scan Track. “We have got to work on that landing Dax,” he said out loud. A groan from the Scan track caught his attention as he ran toward it. “Hang on guys,” he said as he hit his communicator. “Right busted.” He looked around to see some headlights coming in his direction. Waving his arms he shouted, “Hey! Over here! We got wounded!”
Another one down the Avatar thought darkly. The troopers had a chance to take their shots and do some damage as soon as Melba emerged. That cavern was a little too deep in the mountain for this one. He should have taken that into account. “What is it going to take Scott?”
Hours later Ken caught up with Jess and the others in one of the rec rooms. They looked happy to see him but something seemed off for some reason. Jess came up to him saying, “Ken, how are you feeling?”
“My head’s ringing little but they say I’m alright up here.”
“You’re a lucky son of a bitch do you know that?”, Bill told him. “I saw the area around blow up, I thought all four of you were dead.”
“I jumped behind the Scan Track,” Ken said. “I don’t know how they got hurt worse than me.”
“I guess your GLC is still working,” Jess joked. Instead of laughing they all just looked at her. “Good luck charm,” she explained.
“I guess so,” Ken shrugged. “That’s the one thing I don’t like about this set up. Before I joined, a monster showed up and I ran like hell out of there as fast as I could.”
“Welcome to the big leagues Ken” Ryo laughed.
“Oh before I forget,” he said after a moment, “who won the pool?”
Judging how they were all standing it wasn’t any of them. Which would explain the look he picked up earlier. “That would be me,” Hawk said coming up behind them. “Everybody was saying Hyper or Power mode so I decided to go for the apparent long shot. Luck was with me tonight.”
“You participated in a pool that’s probably against the rules?”, Ken said looking at him.
“It helped relieve a little of the tension that was building up,” he explained. “As long as it doesn’t go too far I’m willing to turn a blind eye to it.”
“We were about to get a late dinner in the mess,” Jess spoke up. “Are you coming?”
“Actually I told the guys with me in the Track that since we all survived I buy them a glass of whatever passes for beer around here.”
“Sounds like a plan to me,” Hawk said clapping him on the shoulder. “There’ll be a briefing for the mission in the morning so I expect you to be there.”
“I’ll be there,” he said going past them. He saw the other three come around the corner. “Hey what took you guys long?”
“My fault,” Fuller said. “I had them examine my head a little more carefully. I swore that when I came too for a bit you were glowing for a second.”
“Really?”, Ken said thinking fast. “Must have been how the light was hitting me or something.” Ken didn’t see that Hawk was still standing here and overheard them. He nodded to himself before heading to the mess with the others.
ED – Shinedown – Fly From the Inside
I figured he would have went into Hyper since this beast could fly, but I did hope that he'd finish it off with the Dimensional Story Ray. Woot!
Seems the Avatar is getting a little restless too with all these failures, I wonder if he'll create his own monster at some point of fight Dax himself?
And now Hawk is getting closer to Ken's secret and I'm curious if that'll make him more suspicious of Ken or will it strengthen trust. Though I could see him bringing this up with Richardson at least, that's gonna be a fun pick-nic. lol
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