Duke growled and ducked. Above him, Siege and Chameleon continued to fire their lasers gleefully into the melee of drones and ducks below. The desert landscape gave a fair amount of room to move, but no cover. The cliff side in front of him provided some protection from the two Saurians lasers, which was good, but the drones were a problem. They really hadn't held back in their supply this time.
Duke moved over toward Tanya, who was having a hard time. He blocked a shot aimed at her.
"Having fun, sweetheart?" He grinned.
Tanya snorted, blowing up a drone. "Oh yeah. Tons." She glanced around her. "Hey, is it just me, or are we thinning them out?"
Duke grunted. "Barely."
Up above, Chameleon fired another shot and turned to Siege.
"What are we here for, anyway?"
Siege looked at him like a giant would at an ant.
"Because, half-wit, Dragaunus needs us to distract the ducks." He nodded down below. "They need to be far away when Dragaunus gets his parts."
Chameleon frowned. " Parts? For what?"
Siege rolled his eyes. "Something for Wraith. You think I'd know?"
"Well you did," pointed out Chameleon.
Siege grumbled something about throwing him off the edge. Suddenly, a small hologram appeared, coming from the com/transporter on his wrist. In it was a picture of Dragaunus.
"Siege, Chameleon! We have the parts. Get out of there immediately!"
Siege nodded. "Yes, lord Dragaunus."
Chameleon morphed into Arnold Shwartzenegger and shouted down to the ducks. "Hasta la vista, duckies!" The two both touched buttons on their coms and promptly disappeared, along with the drones.
Nosedive lowered his pucklauncher, disgusted. "Man! I hate it when those Saurian creepaziods chicken out like that!"
Wildwing reached out a hand and grabbed his brother's shoulder. "Don't worry, little bro. We'll catch them someday."
Mallory snorted. "Yeah, when hell freezes over. Lizard lips and his gang are slipperier then a wet fish!"
Nosedive wrinkled his beak. "Nice analogy, Mallory."
Grin came up behind her. "Don't fret, my pessimistic friend. Their karma will catch up with them soon."
Mallory growled, and, turning, walked away, back toward the Areowing. "Whatever."
Tanya and Duke joined the group, and watched Mallory return to the ducks' vehicle. Nosedive jerked his thumb toward the retreating figure. "What's eating her?"
The rest of the group shrugged, and started walking back to the Areowing themselves.
Dragaunus had his henchmen carry the heavy cases into Wraith's lab. The old lizard leaned on his staff next to his leader. Dragaunus began to speak, still staring at Siege and Chameleon moving the crates.
"You had better be correct about this, Wraith."
The gnarled Saurian replied in a gritty, deep voice. "I am, lord Dragaunus. I have felt some of these humans, they call them "psychics", around here, and some are powerful. With this machine, I shall be able to track down these humans, and then we can... " He chuckled. "... convince them to turn toward our cause."
Dragaunus rubbed his chin in thought and looked at him. "And how does this machine work?"
"Well, my lord, I send out a call of a sort. Those in the area that would be of use to us would receive it and send a subconscious answer. This machine picks it up and tracks the source."
"Lord Dragaunus, we're finished."
Dragaunus jerked his head toward his idle henchmen. "Get out of my sight, then!" he roared.
Siege and Chameleon made record time getting to the door.
Dragaunus looked again at Wraith. "You were saying?"
Wraith looked uncomfortable. "That's all."
Dragaunus turned away and started stalking to the door, his tail swishing behind him in an agitated fashion. "Good. Have it finished by tomorrow. I'll send Siege in to help you in a while."
"Yes, my lord."
Avery Lyle woke in a sweat. She had been having nightmares again. Horrible ones.
She had always had these nightmares for as long as she could remember. Unfortunately, that wasn't that long. Avery had amnesia. She had been found at the side of an interstate highway two years ago, with no recollection of anything but her first name. She had to integrate herself into society, find a home, gain herself a social security number, as well as a last name. The police had been no help. They couldn't find anything that might have pointed to who she was.
The nightmares had always been there, though. They were of things she could not imagine, always from her point of view, though sometimes she had no idea what she was. She was usually in some odd form or another. The dreams were like memories, spilling out into the open, hurting like a fresh wound. Some of her friends had suggested to her that they were past-life experiences, and she should see a hypnotist. But Avery didn't believe in that stuff.
She quietly stood up, taking one of her sheets with her, and stood in front of her window. Her condo was on top of a cliff, and the city of Anaheim glittered like a thousand precious gems beneath her. The night was clouded over. She sighed, and returned to bed.
The next morning came quickly, or it seemed so for Wraith. He, Chameleon and Siege were up all night working on his new toy. Chameleon called it the "get-Wraith-a-date-omizer". Needless to say, Wraith didn't appreciate the remark.
They finished it though, and right on time. Dragaunus came in just as they finished tightening the last bolts.
The three looked up to see their leader looming over them. They quickly scrambled to stand up and greet him.
"Well, Wraith, shall we turn it on and see if it works?"
Wraith sighed with relief. Dragaunus was in a good mood. "Yes, lord Dragaunus, but I must have silence to send the initial call."
Dragaunus waved his hand, looking bored. "Go! Go! Don't mind us."
Wraith flipped the on switch. He then stood back and relaxed, his hands gripping the staff. The Duck skull impaled on top glowed slightly, and the Saurians felt something flicker in their minds, an ancient reaction to the mental message.
On the screen, two red dots appeared without warning.
Dragaunus frowned as Wraith straightened up. "Well," he remarked. "It works. But two humans don't seem worth all that trouble."
Wraith gestured to the screen. "This isn't all, my lord, only the amount in a 1/2 a mile radius from here. This area is not densely populated, and I can make the scan area larger, as well."
Dragaunus nodded. "Do that, then." He jerked his head toward Chameleon. "Once Wraith has properly checked this city, you will go and kidnap the results."
Chameleon grinned evilly. "I love my job."
Avery awoke at 10:00. She was a late sleeper. She had no work today, so she had planned to go the museum, and stop by 'Lectro Land to get her discman fixed.
In the kitchen, she opened her pantry, making as face at the lack of selection for
breakfast. She settled on something to Tang. Mixing her drink, she carried it into the living room.
Then, something flashed through her head. It was a feeling, like she could hear someone saying something to her.
Avery screamed on the inside. Then she did something she would have deemed impossible. She pushed her emotions back at the sender. Shoved them back at him/her/it. She dropped the glass, and it fell to the floor and shattered, broken glass and orange liquid spilling every where. Snapping out of her trance, she stared at the mess on the floor.
Wraith smiled, his face melting into a grotesque form. This was working perfectly. He widened the circle of area that they could scan and sent out another message.
Chameleon sat nearby, waiting for Wraith to finish. He was horribly bored, and was half-asleep.
Suddenly, Wraith jerked back, his eyes clenched shut. He howled. Chameleon fell of his seat in surprise, then hurried to help Wraith, who had fallen on the floor.
"Wraith, old buddy, speak to me!"
Wraith shook his head. His eyes widened in surprise. Shoving Chameleon out of the way, he crawled over to the machine's screen. On it a blue dot flickered.
Chameleon stood and rubbed his butt, which he had landed on after being dispatched by Wraith's forceful shove.
"Hey, what's the big idea?"
"Quiet, fool!" Wraith hissed. He pointed toward the door. "Go get Dragaunus."
Chameleon scrambled to get to the door. Wraith stared at the blue dot. He had programmed part of the machine to detect the level of power the subject had. That was reflected in the color of the dot. Lowest was red, which was what he was generally picking up. Occasionally he would find a green, which was a level higher. He himself was a violet. But a blue... Blue was the highest level. It would basically signify a demigod. And they had one living within 5 miles of here.
He had been hit with a reply to his message. The reply was a whole lot of fear downloaded into his head. The subject's fear.
There was another thing. Wraith only knew of one kind of creature that could create such a powerful source. And if this was what he thought it was, then this could either mean complete success for the Saurians, or complete destruction.
"Oh, great. We're out of cheese. How can I make cheesy eggs without cheese?"
"Dive, you know you don't have to have cheesy eggs. You could toast some of those frozen waffles."
Nosedive crossed his arms in front of his chest defiantly. "I want Cheesy eggs!"
"My god, Nosedive, you sound like a two year old!" snapped Mallory from across the room. Nosedive stuck his tongue out at her.
"And I act like one too! So Nyeah!"
"Mallory, lay off. And Nosedive, you're free to go to the grocery store and get some cheese if you want eggs that bad." Wildwing shot Mallory a look. "What's with you, Mal, anyway?"
"Nothing's 'with' me," said Mallory icily. She stood up and walked out of the room, adding one last comment over her shoulder. "I would just like to eat my breakfast in peace for once."
Puzzled, Wildwing watched her leave.
"Ahh . . . nothing like a fresh bout of PMS in the morning."
"C'mon Dive, you can't seriously believe that's what bothering her! She's so much worse then!"
Nosedive shook his head sadly. "Ah, Wing. Trashing your crush behind her back?" He waved his finger at him. "You should know better than that!"
Wildwing looked shocked. "Crush! Nosedive, you... "
Drake 1's alarm blared in their ears. Nosedive and Wildwing stood up quickly and ran into the ready room. The others had already arrived.
"What is it?!" Shouted Wildwing to Tanya. She was busily tapping on the keys of Drake 1's console. She looked up at the team.
"I don't know! It's not like anything I've ever seen!"
Suddenly, the blaring stopped.
"What happened?" asked Nosedive.
Tanya fiddled with the controls. "Whatever it was, it's over now."
"This just reeks of Saurian." Said Wildwing. "Tanya, can you tell us where it came from?"
The fair-haired duck nodded. "Yeah, some condo's on the east side. They overlook the city."
Wildwing turned to the team. "Well, lets find out what that was!"
Wraith was still staring at the screen when Dragaunus and the rest of the henchmen entered.
"This had better be good, Wraith."
Wraith stood up "It is lord Dragaunus. Very good." He pointed to the blue dot on the screen. Dragaunus growled.
"Lord Dragaunus, this dot signifies a power so great that it could destroy the Ducks with a thought. Or..." Wraith swallowed. "It could destroy us with a thought."
Dragaunus looked properly shocked. "Tell me more. What is this thing? How can it do this?"
Wraith took a deep breath. "There is a legend that all power-wielders know. It tells of a race of beings so powerful that they seemed to be gods. The race had powers that we can only dream of. They protected dimensional limbo, the Stargates, and many planets.
"The race also was completely invincible, or so everyone thought. There was one thing that could kill them, and that was a self-destruct sequence encoded into their DNA." The sequence were made (no one knows who created it, though) to protect the universe in case anyone from this race got, ah, delusions of grandeur.
"Unfortunatly, the race’s enemies got a hold of the code to activate it, and tracked down most of the people. The results were devastating. Nine tenths of the population were destroyed. Considering that there was only about 200 to begin with, this left a very, very small amount. The few that remained were spread over many dimensions and galaxies.
"This race was called the Kelphs." Wraith sighed. He seemed out of breath from the long speech.
Dragaunus nodded. "And you're telling me that one of these so-called Kelphs is here, living on this back-water planet?"
Wraith nodded in relief. "Exactly." He paused. "But..."
"But, this Kelph might not be willing to help us. In fact, It might just want to destroy us." He sighed. "There's another problem, too. The race in general is very reserved in using their powers. They'll pick one or two and make them their prominent magicks. This might be one who likes to practice electricity magick, and nothing else. On the other hand, we could get one who uses Telekinesis, telepathy, teleportation, and weather control. We just don't know."
"We'd be placing an awful lot on a legend by going after this. What if it's not a 'Kelph'?"
"Believe me, it is."
Dragaunus turned to the two other henchmen. Siege seemed lost. Intelligent conversation obviously wasn't his strong point. Surprisingly, Chameleon actually looked like he somewhat understood what had been going on. "Chameleon! Go to this spot and bring us this 'Kelph'."
Chameleon nodded and pressed a button on his com, and disappeared in a green flash.
Dragaunus turned away, chuckling to himself. "Good, good. This could be the end of the ducks, forever!"
Chameleon appeared in a large living room. Curious, he checked out his surroundings. A TV, stereo, and some bookcases graced one wall, while next to it was a windowsill seat. The whole place was filled with pictures, sculptures, and paintings. By the computer in the corner, piles of papers lay in an ordered chaos. The person who lived here was very artistic and creative.
Chameleon wandered into the kitchen, alert for his prey. No sign of him or her yet, though. The condo seemed bare of life. He wondered if s/he were at home. Opening one door, he was greeted by shelves and shelves of books. 'Man' He thought. 'This guy reads a lot , and even that's an understatement!'
The when he opened the next door, he stood back in surprise. Prisms filled the room from wall to wall, and they cast a wonderful rainbow glow over anything on the room.
Chameleon carefully opened the next door. The bedroom. He quietly stepped inside.
'Well', He thought, 'this room looks cl--
Behind him, the closet door swung opened, and something hard popped him on the head. He collapsed in a pile on the floor.
To be continued...