Thursday, December 12, 2013

Insert The Original Indestructible Captain Here (part 4 of 5)

"What's wrong?" The figure asked, stepping out of the shadows where his brown hair was visible to all who cared to look. Drake's reaction was understandable, and immediate.

"Storm Spear!" he cried, thrusting his weapon into the flesh of Dave's left arm. Dave cried out and staggered backwards in pain.

"What the...!"

"Oh not again!" Claire said, arriving at Michael's shoulder at this point, arm blades materialising.

Michael stopped her and told her to go and check Tash. Something was wrong here.

Dave's eyes were no longer blank, but alive, burning with anger, and struggling to focus on Drake in the absence of his glasses. He was fumbling for an axe that Tash had knocked away from him half an hour before, just as confused as they were.

"Look, sorry I lost it with you Drake, but that was a bit far wasn't it?"

The armoured agent looked at Michael out of the corner of his eye, keeping Dave covered with his raised spear all the time. He could tell something was up. Michael cast his eye over the group still struggling to extract themselves from the ground. Exactly who did they have if this situation turned ugly?

Claire, Miri, Drake, Akai, Karrisa, Captains Scarlet and Blue, Lily, Avak, Shirley and Ben, and Asuka of course.

"She's out cold, but alive." Claire piped up. "What did he do to her?"

"Probably saved her life..." Michael answered.

"You sound surprised at that fact Mr Chief Agent, Sir." Dave retorted. "Is this because I tried to save those Sues instead of leaving them to die? Where are they anyway?" he asked suspiciously.

"You don't remember?" Claire asked, incredulously.

"I try to do a good thing," Dave went on as if he hadn't heard her, "and the next thing I know I'm being set upon like you've been waiting for the excuse all week."

This statement, together with his tone, brought Asuka's accusations back to Michael's mind.

"Dave, look at your arm." said Miri gently.

"Why, wha..." Dave stopped, only now realising that the injury Drake had given him wasn't hurting any more. He moved his arm around experimentally, and the penny seemed to drop. He looked down at Asuka.

"How do I look to you?"

The Luxray shook her head, her eyes full of tears.

"She's already had to kill you once..." Claire said. Dave was silent for a few moments.

"That explains a lot..." he muttered, his face beginning to drain of colour.

"Captain Scarlet?" Blue said quietly. Scarlet cocked his head and looked at Dave curiously.

"Its strange..." he replied. "There's a Mysteron presence about him all right... but it's not overwhelming. I'm not sweating or anything... I can ignore it..."

"Has this happened before?" Ben asked.

Scarlet shrugged. "I've never met anyone that's been through the same set of circumstances as I have before, so I couldn't tell you for sure what that feels like."

"Seems a little bit convenient..." Drake said. Dave, who had now sat down on a nearby barrel to collect his thoughts, looked up at him incredulously.

"The same could be said of Adrian's return, but I don't hear you complaining about that!" he said.

"Hey come on now, he's disorientated." Michael put in, "He's just had... well, a traumatic experience, shall we say... Can we get through to the library and update them on this?"

Everyone checked their communicators, which still weren't working. Neither were the plothole generators, so with Tash out cold they were completely cut off.

"Wouldn't whoever's on monitor duty notice us standing around talking to someone who's supposed to be dead?" Lily asked.


"What happened?" Harriet asked, just back from the medical wing and the psychic paper into another problem.

"I don't know." Gareth replied, thumping the snow-screened monitor in frustration. "Audio and visual feed from the Captain Scarlet fandom just cut a few minutes ago. No explanation."

"I've still got most of the life-signs though." Stacey said, "For the moment at least. It's hard to keep locked on to them, I keep losing one or two people temporarily..."

"Is Adrian likely to be back any time soon?"

"I think he's winning." Gareth said, "Slowly though..."

"We'll get you in Harriet." Emily said, hugging her guardian briefly, before vanishing under the portal control panel again. Harriet smiled at her charge's feet, then spoke into the microphone.

"All agents not on monitor or basement duty in the next four hours are to report to the training room, equipped to deploy for a priority one mission at a moment's notice," she said, reasonably sure that the training room was directly across from the monitor room today. "I don't care if you're usually asleep at this hour. This is a matter of pride, dignity and most importantly, revenge. I'm leading this one, and I need all of you!"

Land of Hope and Glory abruptly began to play over the speakers, causing everyone in the monitor room to look at Phoenixia. The ex-hologram grinned sheepishly.

"Sorry, couldn't resist."


"Mayday, Mayday, Mayday." said the voice in Lieutenant Green's ears. "This is Charlie Oscar Six Five. Suffering fuel leak. Due to nature of cargo we must land immediately. Ditching is not, repeat, not an option."

The officer from Trinidad turned to his superior and advised him of the situation. Colonel White, former British Navy and U.S.S veteran, was extremely wary.

"I think we've been here before Lieutenant." He said. "It wouldn't be the first time the Mysterons have tried to crash an aircraft into Cloudbase. Run a full check on it's aircraft registry, and tell Captain Ochre to focus a long-range Mysteron detector on it."

He turned to the microphone on his desk. "Charlie Oscar Six Five, this is Spectrum Cloudbase. Please state your registry and cargo."

"Roger Spectrum. 356 Yankee, Papa, Echo." The woman paused momentarily before continuing. "Regret unable to disclose nature of classified cargo..."

"Colonel," Green reported, "356YPE identifies as a World Military transport aircraft, recently assigned to Project Depthprobe."

White frowned, and manipulated a few switches on his console. "Charlie Oscar Six Five, frequency is now secure. Your connection to Project Depthprobe is known to us. This suggests that your cargo is Pentatholium fuel. Please confirm."

"Confirmed Spectrum." The woman replied, sounding relieved. "I'm flying a bomb here."

Both Green and White abruptly had a vision of the beautiful pilot (She had to be with a voice like that) going up in a fireball large enough to destroy an area of land the size of Arizona...

"Ochre to Colonel White. Detector confirms the aircraft is not, repeat not composed of Mysteronised materials."

White let out his breath, unaware he had been holding it. Disregarding the possibility that the pilot could in fact be a Mysteron agent, he gave his clearance for the aircraft to land.


"Too easy." Mesha complained, yawning as the aircraft was caught in Cloudbase's Spectrafan for landing.

Captain Black turned to the black uniformed clones behind them in the fuselage. "You all know your appointed tasks. Cloudbase will be secured."

"Those Mysteron instructions will be carried out..." four-score throats replied.


"Still nothing?" Michael asked Karrisa, who was slowly working through all the tricks she could remember Charis teaching her about getting a signal in difficult circumstances. The answer was a negative.

"I've still got one idea..." Karrisa said, "Has anyone got a Slinky?"

The sheer ridiculousness of that question hung in the air for a full ten seconds. "Right. In that case, we're stuck."

"I'm still worried about Tash, Baby." said Claire. "If we can't get her back to the library, we should find a hospital that won't ask too many questions about her wings." They'd put the unconscious Society Leader in the recovery position, but she showed no signs of waking any time soon. This meant that she wouldn't be able to retract her wings and hide them.

"I'll try and get in touch with Doctor Fawn on Cloudbase." Scarlet said, folding his mouth-mic down from the peak of his cap. Blue did the same.

"Captain Blue to Captain Buff, can you arrange an MSV to rendezvous with us here and take us to the airfield please?"

"Better make that two."

All eyes turned to Dave.

"One leader in each. I mean, tough as MSV's are, it would only take one lucky shot to decapitate the society otherwise..." he stopped. Blue considered this, and amended the instruction accordingly.

"You say that like there's an attack coming." Shirley said suspiciously. "Do you know something we don't?"

"The Square root to the power of twenty nine of the trigonometric amplitude of Eighty seven, divided by the quantitative hydraxis of nine hundred and fifty six to the power of seventy seven is forty five thousand, nine hundred and sixty nine." Dave replied, irritably. "Bet you didn't know that!"

"Captain Scarlet to Cloudbase!" Scarlet repeated, for the third time. "Lieutenant Green please respond."

"I'm sure that's right..." Miri said, in a tone that said otherwise. "But given you were trying to kill us earlier, it just looks a bit weird for you to be giving us advice."

"Scarlet to Captain Ochre." Scarlet said into his com-link. "Ochre, Magenta. Can anyone on Cloudbase hear me?"

"Fair point," Dave conceded. "But I can't have been trying very hard. You're all still here!"

"Adam? I think my long range receiver is playing up. Can you get through to Cloudbase?"

Drake actually sniggered at this. "Dave you're hardly badass, no offence."

"I don't need to be." Dave replied. "I'm smart. Look at Mesha for example. She wouldn't last long against the society en masse, so she resorts to using clone soldiers. If I wanted to bring the society down-"

"Captain Blue to Symphony Angel?" Blue said, growing frustrated with the link himself. "Damn, nothing!" This exclamation caught everyone's attention.

"What's the problem?" Michael asked him, a grim foreboding beginning to form in the pit of his stomach.

"We can't raise Cloudbase. They're receiving, just not answering."

"I've just had a nasty thought..." Lily said quietly.

"Explain." Michael replied

"One: We were open targets, and yet Lina goes for Tash? She was trying to cut us off, not kill us. Two: If Harriet still thinks Dave is dead, she'll lead the society into the fandom to get revenge on Mesha. Three: We know that half the clones Dave and Scarlet saw in the tunnels are missing..." She trailed off.

"She'll walk right into a trap!" Michael said, starting to go pale.


On emerging from the Plothole, Harriet's team of society agents found themselves on a tennis court. The distinct vibration of engines under their feet however, betrayed the fact that they were several miles up in the air on board the Spectrum headquarters craft. Not that they had much time to notice this...

"We've been waiting for you, Society Ants!" said a voice. "Don't try to resist."

They were surrounded by classic Primeval cleaners. However, where the clones at the mine had been equipped with seemingly random weapons, these ones were completely standardised. Each one had a full set of Kevlar body armour, and was armed with a Star Trek Compression rifle. The exceptions to this were five Grey-scaled humanoids that were each wielding a different Space Marine heavy weapon from the Warhammer 40,000 Fandom. Ossa instantly recognised these as Jem'hadar.

"Tut tut." said Mesha, "You are so predictable Marlow. Any affront to your pride and you gather as many of your little crusaders as you can, and come to make me pay for it."

"You-" Harriet began. The whine of a Plasma Cannon charging up cut her off.

"Ah ah ah. I do the talking here." Said Mesha sweetly, gesturing for the Reptile-skinned humanoid to stand down. "I knew you would find the loophole in the interference sooner or later, and just so you know it's shut for good now. Now drop your weapons and surrender. No matter how good some of you are, any resistance and most of you will die."

Harriet looked over her team. She silently cursed herself for leaving Kyle behind. The Heaven and Earth Worldly Secret Art would be just the thing they needed right now. But of course at the time she'd been persuaded that they needed a more powerful agent like him back at the library to deal with any other high-level Sues that turned up, and since Mesha was only level 5 anyway, she hadn't thought it necessary.

Leaving Marcus in charge, and most of those who had seen combat already to recover, she had taken Ossa, Aimee, Jamie, Phoenixia, Ingrid, Wille, Rhia, Pete, Tom...Hold on a minute...

Harriet sighed with the appearance of resignation, and told them to put their weapons down, hoping that the two they were missing had at least ended up in the same fandom.


She did not panic.

As Dianne Simms, she was one of the best pilots in the world. As Rhapsody Angel, she was part of the most deadly air-combat fighting force of the Twenty-First century. Anyone who thought that the only five women in senior Spectrum positions were solely decorative would be in for a shock if they found themselves in an air battle with them.

Fortunate enough to be in the Angel Aircraft maintenance bay when the clone troopers moved to secure Cloudbase, she had swiftly disabled the man sent to apprehend her with a handy wrench, and taken stock of her options.

She had considered returning to the Amber Room to try and gain an aircraft to escape the base.

Considered, and rejected. It was predictable, and more to the point, impossible, as the order to launch Angels had to come from the now occupied bridge.

She was in the process of finding a pressure suit and parachute to carry out her back up plan, when something struck her in the back. Hard.

Too highly trained not to be aware of her assailant a split second before he struck, she rolled to her feet with the momentum of her fall, ready to drive a bullet from her pistol into him, only to find that there was no-one there.

Instead of wasting bullets with speculative fire, Rhapsody swung the large wrench in her other hand. Feeling it glance off something, she aimed carefully, and was rewarded with a grunt of pain, and a grey shoulder, swiftly fading back into visibility, connecting with her abdomen.

Winded, the pilot collapsed to the floor, giving her a good view of her attacker. Ignoring his wound completely, the Jem'hadar Scout trooper lifted a pistol of an unfamiliar design from his belt, raising it as if to fire.

At this point, she was given a spectacular reprieve by two women who looked to be in their mid-twenties falling out of mid-air on top of him.

"Ali, get off me..." Louise mumbled through her companion's cloak.

"Yes mother." Alice looked up and saw Rhapsody, and grinned. "Hi, can I glomp you?"

"Who are you, and what are you doing here?" the Angel asked.

"Where's our team, and why am I lying on top of a Jem'hadar?" Louise added, looking around.

"Wa-hey." said Alice.

A pair of running feet forestalled any further conversation, as a cleaner clone rounded the corner and raised his weapon. Rhapsody cracked off a shot to his head from where she lay, which fouled his aim and made him stumble. Alice took advantage of the opportunity to stab him with her power sword. The replicant duly went down like a sack of spuds.

"Lets compare notes later..." Rhapsody said, pragmatically.


"Great." Marcus snapped, "Now we've lost all contact."

"I've got a light at the end of the tunnel for you." Emily said. "If these readings are right, most of the interference is being transmitted from outside the Captain Scarlet fandom. If we can deal with that bit, we should be able to punch through the rest."

"Where?" The acting Society Leader still had a headache from combat in the fandom earlier, and it was bothering him.

"Still looking..."

"Just let me at it." Stacy said, although the subtle change in facial expression and pitch of her voice suggested the words were Ezra's.

"This is beginning to look like a divide and conquer strategy." Kyle surmised.

Marcus had worked this out already, but bit back his response and settled for nodding instead.

"It's not as if we have a lot of choice..." he sighed at last.


"Bit cramped in here..." Ingrid commented. All the Spectrum commanders, together with the society team (minus Alice, Louise and Rhapsody of course) had been crammed into Cloudbase's brig. Harriet however had been taken somewhere else, for heaven knew what purpose. They had room to stand up, but only just.

"It wasn't designed for this." Colonel White confirmed.

"I don't know." said Phoenixia, smiling, "It could be worse." Given that she had Destiny Angel crammed in next to her on one side and Captain Grey on the other...

Before anyone could come up with a suitable response, the door to the brig opened, and Captain Black walked in. He stood between the closing outer door and the clear plastic cell wall, regarding them coolly.

"Who is in authority among your team of... agents?" he asked at last, through the intercom.

"I... guess that's me..." said Phoenixia, squeezing through to the wall. No one objected.

"Then it is you I would address."

"I hope I heard you right!" she replied, grinning. Black frowned slightly.

"Look, what is going on here?" White asked, his patience frayed thin. Black looked at him.

"You claim, Colonel White, that Spectrum destroyed the Martian city of the Mysterons because the scanning devices employed against the MEV bore a loose resemblance to the weapon emplacements of your own military bases. In the same way, Miss Yana claims to be persecuted by this society because she in turn bears a loose resemblance to an atypically mad member of her kind by the name of Willowe Foxblade.

"Furthermore, she charges Harriet Marlow with the creation of the aforementioned individual, with the intent of starting the conflict between these two factions, so that her society could then proceed with their purpose of annihilating all members of her kind, regardless of affiliation."

There was a moments silence. Then every member of the society present simultaneously expressed their belief that this was untrue in a variety of different manners, none of which are suitable for description here. Phoenixia eventually restored a semblance of order.

"Oh..." White said, "I see..."

"Her case then, is a half truth?" Black put to Phoenixia.

"It's complicated." She replied. "Harriet did create Willowe, but... well that's a long story... The point is that Mesha has the power to manipulate and control the world around her to the point it causes, to use a late colleague's words, severe nausea for everyone."

Black thought for a few moments.

"I did think it odd that the non-commissioned personnel of Cloudbase accepted her presence without question..." he frowned. "Thinking upon it, the orders of the Mysterons have been... atypical since her arrival... Her intentions are incompatible with those of the Mysterons, this much is clear." It seemed that the copyright had finally overcome the Archangel necklace.

"Then you'll help us?"

Black fixed Rhia with a stern glare. "I cannot defy the Mysterons, who instructed me to serve her."

"But you can reinterpret her orders..." said White, shrewdly.

"I did not say that." Black's face briefly showed a slight smile. "I can tell you three things. Firstly; Harriet Marlow is in some discomfort, but alive. She will likely continue to be so at least until Cloudbase reaches its new position. Where this is, I do not know, but appears to be somewhere in Europe.

"Second; Rhapsody Angel is still at large, and unless she has encountered the device that was utilised at the mine to split me into two beings, the aftermath of her attacks suggest she has assistance."

"That'll be Alice and Louise." Ossa muttered.

"You won't tell her this?" Lieutenant Green queried.

"I have been instructed to disturb her only with news of Rhapsody's capture." Black replied. "Third; the word "Utopia" may be of some use to you..."

Phoenixia nodded slowly. Black turned to leave.

"Perhaps after this we can conduct negotiations between us and the Mysterons in good faith." Colonel White said. Black paused.

"Perhaps. But I would not count upon it..." He struggled with his next sentence. "Good Luck, Earthmen..."

He left the room.


"According to Stansted control," Captain Buff reported, "Cloudbase has gone into a long, slow decent. They predict it will reach 2,000 metres at some point over southern England. Repeated attempts at communication have been ignored."

"Did you tell them it's been captured?" Blue asked. Buff shook his head.

"Didn't want to panic them. I told them to divert traffic around it, and stand by for further instructions."

Scarlet frowned at the map showing the carrier's course. "If I knew no better, I'd say Mesha was planning to bomb my home town..."

Michael smiled without humour. "Given the number of society members with some connection to Winchester, that wouldn't surprise me... On the other hand, Stonehenge is also on this route, and for reasons I can't go into, that's just as tempting a target." He looked up at Scarlet. "Dave tells me you've recaptured it from the Mysterons before..."

"With a lot of trained personnel, yes. With Blue, Myself, Buff and the rest of you... Unlikely to say the least..."

"What would it take to disable it?" Claire asked. The three Spectrum Captains looked at her like she had gone mad.

"Do you have four nuclear bombs in your pocket?" Blue asked.

"We don't, but Ben does." Michael said, sticking up for her.

Blue laughed humourlessly, taking this for a joke. Scarlet, who had seen Ben in battle, just looked soberly at them.

"Cloudbase is built to take punishment. Once, a fuel tanker exploded on the deck. She crash-dived into the ocean to put out the fire, surfaced and took off again. All inside of an hour." he said, with a note of bitter pride that this had become such a stumbling block. "Everything that moves within 500 miles, be it children's kite or spacecraft is tracked, and any hostile craft will be shot down by the missile racks."

"Right..." Michael replied.

Claire looked over at where Dave was sitting. "Keep your thinking cap on baby, I'll just try something..."

She walked over to the depressed society agent. Asuka sat next to him, her head against his leg, trying to impart some comfort to him.

"Dave, I need to know something about this fandom." she said.

"What mortal draws me back by these weary ways?" Dave replied, in a grim attempt to be funny. "Long have I been dead..."


"You're right. Norse prophetess I'm not..."

"Nor are you dead!"

Dave looked up at Claire. "I hate to disappoint you, but do you see that pile of stones over there?" he asked, pointing. "My body is under that little lot, the thickness of a piece of paper, and no force of any universe can ever make it's bones support weight again. I'm just some puppet brought back to mess with people's emotions that happened to find a means of cutting my strings." He smiled slightly. "Now there's an ironic sentence, given where we are..."

"Another thing you're not is Marvin the paranoid android!" Claire put in. "So stop being so gloomy. We need a way to get onto Cloudbase. Is there a way to evade the detectors?"

"Probably not..." Dave was still depressed, but thinking about the problem at least.

"You know more about this fandom than any of us." Miri put in. "And more besides, what about that square root twenty nine thing?"

"I don't know if that's right or not." Dave replied, "I just got it from an episode of..." he stopped in mid-sentence, his eyes widening and a smile slowly spreading over his face.

"Is that an idea brewing?" Claire asked. Dave didn't answer. He leapt to his feet, and set off towards Martha with the girls and Asuka in hot pursuit. Drake spotted them and came running over to see what was going on.

Dave reached through Martha's shattered window and opened the glove compartment, pulling out a green snakeskin effect object.

"What's that? Drake asked.

"My glasses case..." Dave replied absently, putting his spectacles on and reaching for something else. This time he produced a device that looked very like a Poke Nav, save for the fact it was a luminous green. "Why didn't I think of this sooner?"

"I think I saw Emily working on that a few days ago." Miri observed. "She didn't say what it was though..."

"She called it a Guest Appearance." Dave explained, as the screen told him to "please wait". "Basically a less powerful version of the Crossover. It doesn't need to be as powerful, as it only brings out one character, but otherwise it works the same way."

"So it would let... a Power Ranger appear in... the Mummy for example?" Drake suggested. Dave nodded.

"So she said. But it's really useful in multi-fandom universes, like Star Trek or Doctor Who/Torchwood. There you wouldn't be limited to a single character."

"There's another fandom here we can use?" Claire asked.

"Yes. Captain Black used a Zero-X spacecraft to get to Mars in the first episode." Dave explained, "And it in turn made its first appearance in a film call-"

The Guest Appearance let out a shrill beeping noise to tell Dave it was ready, and he set to work selecting several options at once.

"Okay, we've got them for... four hours apparently. Shouldn't need that long..."

"Who's they?" Claire asked, slightly apprehensively. Dave just pressed a large button in the centre. An eye achingly bright pink beam shot into the sky.
All four humans and the Pokemon yelped and tried to blink their eyes clear of the flashy lights on their retinas.


"Luxray ray!"

"Sorry, sorry." Dave said. "Didn't know it was going to do that..."

"What happened?" Michael called, running over with Scarlet in tow. Before Claire or anyone else could explain, Scarlet's lapels started to flash on and off. Scarlet listened to the voice in his ears in blank astonishment for a moment before unfurling the mouth mic and replying.

"Who is this? And how did you get this frequency?" There was a pause as he listened to the response. "I see. Sorry I was sharp with you. The situation on the ground seems to have passed, but there is a further matter you could assist us with..."

Further conversation was drowned out by the approaching noise of several very loud jet engines. Two large aircraft came into view through the clouds.

"Luxray Lux Lux RAY!" Asuka shouted jubilantly, as both craft triggered their vertical jets and came in to land nearby.


"All seems to be proceeding as we planned." The man in the shadows said to Mesha, via the Cloudbase communications equipment, now upgraded with Multiversal roaming.

"It's going very well." Mesha confirmed. "So well, I don't think I need you any more."

"Oh?" The man seemed to be amused, rather than annoyed. "And what makes you think that?"

"Don't patronise me! You kept the Chameleon Arch we used to suppress my memories. I was dependant on you, and you made sure I knew it!"

Now her patron frowned. "Well, if that's what you choose to believe..."

"Choose nothing, it's the truth!" Mesha replied. "I have an army waiting to obey my command, and the means to make as many of these Jem'hadar hybrid things as I like. With the retro-metabolic powers of the Mysterons, I can make them completely indestructible, and I can block the pitiful remains of the society ants from getting into a fandom to disturb me while I do unto Marlow what she would do to my kind."

The purple-haired Sue grinned. "Thanks where it's due Boss. I owe you enough to let you fade into obscurity again, but don't get in my way!" She signed off.

The man in the shadows sighed. "Great, the one time she calls me boss..."

"So we're finally rid of her?" Romani said, as if it was all too good to be true. "Yesssssssssss!" She punched the air.

The man shook his head. "Not quite. She has slipped her leash, and must be punished for that."

"She has no idea of how dependant that interference generator we gave her is on the external one outside the fandom, does she?"

"Well, at least that's well defended..." the man said, quietly. Romani snorted, then finally burst out laughing, as her boss allowed himself a wintry smile under the shadows that covered his face...


"Other than the wild Pokemon in the trap floor in the first sub-basement," Major Detail reported. "the only sign of life in this base is a very bored looking Murkrow in the second sub-basement."

Marcus frowned. Granted, the Team Rocket HQ from the second generation Pokemon games was the ideal place to site a device that interfered with technology, there was no sign that there had been any sort of activity here since Team Rocket had abandoned the place. Emily was certain this was where the interference was being generated from however, so...

"Is the transmitter room active?" he asked.

"While the Murkrow permitted us to examine the door unmolested, we were unable to gain entry to ascertain this." Detail reported. "However, the noise from within implied so."

"Okay," Marcus said, "Tyler, bring your Pokemon and follow me. We'll get into this room and find out what's going on. Jared, you and the LPGB stay here on guard." he took out the Tiger Talisman again.


Harriet was pulled out of the cubby hole where she had been confined for the last hour or so. If the rest of the team had thought the Cloudbase Brig was cramped, they had no idea of the conditions the society leader had endured.

She was dragged roughly out, through an open airlock onto the runway deck of Cloudbase itself. At normal cruising height they should have needed oxygen to breathe, but Mesha had reduced the height so this was no longer necessary. It was still cold and windy though, not that it seemed to bother her or Captain Black.

"Do you know where we are?" Mesha asked, playfully.

"What happened to "We meet at last"?" Harriet asked. The clone behind her happened to be a Jem'hadar with a Heavy Bolter, and this remark earned her a blow to the back with the barrel of this weapon and knocked her down.

"We are now 2000 feet above Stonehenge." Mesha continued as if nothing had happened. "You see what I'm doing? I'm giving you exactly the same treatment you gave the rest of my kind. Stuffed in a Pandorica for a while, then executed at Stonehenge."

"Wha..." Harriet began, but the blow had winded her, and speaking was difficult.

"Pandorica." Mesha said, as if quoting a dictionary. "A prison or confinement cell constructed on a premise of legality that is in fact just blind hatred."

Harriet just looked blankly at her. Mesha rolled her eyes.

"A Dalek once said, "Only the Doctor can fly the Tardis", and yet those same Daleks knew of River Song, so they must have at least suspected she could do that. Thus, they knew that the Doctor was very likely not responsible for the cracks in time, yet they went along with the plan out of hatred for their greatest enemy. And in the face of that little incentive, were any of the Doctor's other enemies going to query that?"

"You're... from season three..." Harriet managed to say, breathlessly. "How...?"

"My father may be from Season Three, but I'm a Sue." Mesha replied. "I could spoiler Season Seven for you if I could be bothered."

"So... I'm avenging Dave, and Steven Moffat." Harriet said, "Thanks for the motivation..."

Mesha glared at the Society Leader. "You don't care, do you?"

"I care about the fandoms you and the rest of the Sues have ruined in your quest for perfection." Harriet spat, standing up again.

"You care about whether it makes good entertainment for you?" Mesha exclaimed. "And you call us Self-centred!"

"As opposed to the perfect altruism you're practising right now?" Harriet pointed out mildly.

"And you'd know all about that, wouldn't you? Saint Foxblade, the perfect Mary-Sue. So nauseating, she made the rest of us sick. The perfect excuse to start this war of yours!"

"I did not-"

"Oh don't even try to deny it! If you wanted anything other than a war, you'd be trying to reform as many Sues as possible. How many have you reformed? Bella, who was an oddball to begin with, and Palm Tree, who you created in the first place. A token effort! The way the library was arranged the day Bella arrived, I was in the next room when Adrian made his little speech about reforming Sues not just punishing them. If the demeanour of the agents I met on subsequent days was anything to go by, they were silently accusing him of blasphemy! Soon afterwards, he's conveniently killed in action. Am I honestly supposed to believe that is a coincidence?"

Harriet was speechless as Mesha came closer still and spoke directly to her face.

"What about your quest for perfection?" she whispered, "You didn't try very hard to save Dave, did you? Was he starting to sympathise with us? That isn't perfect by your standards, so you take the opportunity to get rid of him."

"You really believe we'd..." Harriet would have laughed, if it hadn't been apparent that Mesha did believe it.

"Oh, you would." Mesha said. "I know you've turned on your own people before. Adrian, Benjamin..." She grinned nastily. "Why else would so many people leave your society for no apparent reason?"

Harriet had had all she could take of this, and brought around her leg in a kick-boxing movement, aiming for Mesha's head. Being a Sue however, she was already a metre or so away, and grinning like a mad woman. All Harriet had done was make her injured ribs hurt.

"Oh." Mesha goaded. "You want to fight? Very well."

The society leader was presented with her own confiscated cricket bat by a clone, and looked at it for a while.

"Alright... Bring It!"


Alice poked her head around the corner, her goggles set to to X-ray setting in the absence of a Mysteron detector. A skeleton turned to face her and she ducked back as the shot it fired struck the corridor wall.

"Two non-coms, Three Mysterons." She said, distinguishing Louise from Rhapsody by the Angel's slender skeleton.

Louise, now armed with a hand phaser taken from a clone in addition to her own pistol, stepped forward, and after about ten seconds of cautious fire was able to stun both of the non-commissioned Spectrum Agents. This left the Mysteronised clones, which Rhapsody was able to deal with in pretty short order.

After several battles in the corridors of Cloudbase, the girls had found a modulation of their "borrowed" phaser rifle that could induce enough of a system shock to be equivalent to a major electric attack. This did however, have the side-effect of draining the weapon's power pack pretty quickly, and the Angel was thankful when the last replicant guarding the brig got too close to Alice and was brought down by a blade to the stomach.

Rhapsody set to work deciphering the changed code of the brig door, while Alice set her goggles back to something that would allow her to actually see the world instead of through it. She settled on a dark filter that would stop her epilepsy triggering if another firefight brewed up unexpectedly.

It wasn't quite dark enough for her not to notice the curious look on Louise's face.

"Problem?" she asked, apprehensively. Louise shrugged.

"These things," She said, gesturing to the Jem'hadar trooper they had brought down in the attack. "I don't think they're entirely Jem'hadar. They don't have any White feeder tubes in their necks, they're way more muscular, and I'm certain their blood is the wrong colour."

"But we can take them down easy enough, right?"

"These ones are vulnerable to electricity, so we should be okay." Louise replied. "I'm just worried that there might be some unreplicated ones around somewhere... They'd be much harder to deal with."

"So that's not what the Mysterons really look like?" Rhapsody asked over her shoulder. The door lock beeped it's displeasure. She could almost picture it thumbing it's nose at her, and lost patience.

"Oh, stuff this!" She said, in a distinctly London accent, and shot the panel. The door jerked spasmodically, opened and shut like a guillotine several times, then fell still in a half-open position.

"What kept you?" came Phoenixia's distorted voice as they effected an entry. "The code's one, one, zero, three by the way."

Rhapsody blinked, shrugged, and tried the code. The lock to the inner cell was duly released.

"How did you know that?" Ochre asked, as everyone filed out. Phoenixia shrugged.

"Black's clue. Eleventh episode of the third season of Doctor Who, "Utopia". Mesha's Dad's address, effectively. Now lets get our weapons back!"

"Right..." Ochre said. "Now I'm even more lost..."


"Murkrow?" The Murkrow asked, confused, as at this point in the game's continuity, Tyler's Grovyle and Emotion Marcus's Kirlia hadn't been discovered yet. Of course, Thought Marcus couldn't speak Pokemonese.

"Never m-m-mind that n-n-now." he said, bending down to the Murkrow's level. "D-d-o you know h-h-how to get in th-th-there?"

Murkrow cocked it's head and pecked at the society badge on his coat. Thought Marcus brought it out into the light, so it could see it better. Deciding the ID was in order, the Murkrow turned to the door and cleared its throat.


Three thoughts crossed Thought Marcus's mind as the voice recognition module opened the door. The first was, What does that mean? The second; Why was that voice Tash's? The third (Which rapidly overtook the other two, for good reason); That Electrode is larger than average...

The aforementioned Electrode grinned, waggled it's eyebrows at them, then began to glow white.

"Oh Muffins..." said Tyler.

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