Hey IB, I love this! Your tribute to M,Onel with Shvaugin handling herself in the interview and Trudy not pressing her for more information being very telling, and Ultra Boy's tribute with Sussa accepting her feelings, are my favourites but they have all been great, as has your choices of replacement Legionnaires! Splendid stuff
-------------------- "Tempus Fugitive" the final part of the Adventures of Dream Boy series, set in the Three-Boot Universe. Read it only in the Bits o' Legionnaire Business Forum.
From: here, more often than not | Registered: Sep 2003
| IP: Logged |
The blond young man stared silently out the window. He’d stepped into the doctor’s office just a minute too late, and someone had gotten in before he did. He laughed a short, bitter laugh. Lately, his timing had been laughable. He’d joined the Legion of Super-heroes and completed Legion basic just in time to fight Mordru and lose his powers; he’d joined the Science Police just in time to miss his former teammates’ return from the Second Galaxy; and he’d been posted just in time to arrest fellow Braalian Cosmic Boy (though he did help Cos escape).
And when he’d finally requested for a transfer, he was assigned to Legion World just in time for the Fatal 500 to attack. He’d been injured again, and was forced to sit out the rest of the battle while his former teammates had saved the day… and had vanished.
He hadn’t even managed to see XS again before she…
He hung his head in shame. She had made him very happy, those few months before the Blight came. He closed his eyes and tried to remember her scent, and the feel of her hair on his hands… SLAM! The crash jolted Dyrk Magz out of his reverie. He quickly pulled his blaster and barged into the doctor’s office. “Hands up!”
“Noooooo! I told you, I told you, they’re all out there! They are, they are!” The patient, a youngish orange-skinned humanoid with three arms, was pulling at his hair. Behind her desk, Dr. Ryk’rr was trying to calm him down. To her credit, she was calm and wasn’t even hiding.
“No, Pranid, no. This is my friend Dyrk. He’s a Science Police officer. He will not kill you.”
Dyrk took the hint and held his blaster up. “Yes, Pranid. I’m Dyrk Magz. Here, I’m holding my blaster up, okay? I’m not pointing it at you. Now, I will very slowly reach into my jacket and show you my badge, okay?”
Pranid began tearing at his hair again. “No! No! I don’t trust you! It’s probably a weapon, or a bomb, or something. Stop! Stop!”
Dyrk cursed to himself silently. What could… Ah. He didn’t use it often anymore, but lately he’d taken to wearing it again as a memento.
“Okay, Pranid, okay. Look at my finger, do you see this?” Dyrk held his hand up, and light glinted off the golden band. His flight ring. “This is my Legion flight ring. I was a Legionnaire. I used to be called Magno.”
Pranid stopped, his eyes hopeful. “Is that real? Is it?”
Dyrk smiled as he used the ring to lift himself into the air. “Yes, yes it is. The Legionnaires may be gone, but the Legion will be here forever.”
Pranid sobbed as he fell to his eyes. “Oh thank grife, thank grife! There is still hope!” Within moments he had curled himself into a little ball.
Dyrk quickly handcuffed him and called the guards, before turning to Dr. Ryk’rr. “Did he hurt you?”
The diminutive doctor smiled. “No. I thank you, Dyrk. It looks like you are still fighting the good fight.”
Dyrk couldn’t help but return the smile. “I guess I dealt with all my issues long ago, huh?”
Dr. Ryk’rr gently took his hand. “Dyrk, I received a message earlier today. They say they tried contacting you, but your Omnicom was off and the Science Police wouldn’t let them patch it through since it wasn’t an emergency. They have an offer for you, but I have to warn you – it’s not a sure thing.” Dyrk’s eyes widened. Could it be? “I… Is it more false hope.”
The doctor squeezed his hand gently. “I have to warn you that it might be. But then, I also know you are strong enough to not lose hope forever.”
Dyrk smiled. “You’re right. After all this time, I won’t get discouraged so easily.” He clicked on the Omnicom, and was surprised to see Legionnaires Kent Shakespeare and Lady Mysa, the White Witch, on the other end of the line.”
“Hello, Dyrk,” Kent said. “I’ve been going over your medical records after we treated you. It seems the Emerald Empresses’ attack may have been a good thing, after all.”
Dyrk listened as Kent went on, and his smile grew larger and larger. He tried to tell himself not to hope too much… but the news was just that good.
A teenaged Cece Beck piloted her ship through the vastness of space. It was good of her parents to finally let her bring the cruiser out; after all, she’d gained her license weeks ago.
Her heart beat with trepidation as she approached the monolith known as the Rock of Eternity. It had taken some digging, but she’d finally found it. Somehow, it had been transported back from Rimbor to its normal location in space. She supposed it could have been here for a long time; the last time she could say for sure it had been on Rimbor was back in the 31st century.
She gently let the ship land on the Rock, in the same area she had carved long ago, just in case she had to return here without her powers. She was very glad the wisdom of Solomon had given her such foresight.
She did miss having her powers here in the future, but she didn’t miss being away from her family.
She entered the chambers tentatively, blaster drawn. Best to be careful…
A bright light and a loud boom greeted her. She was stunned to see that neither her eyes nor ears were damaged; she registered the thunder and lightning without being harmed by it. Her breath caught in her throat. “Wizard?”
“It is good you have returned, Cece. You have grown much in my absence.”
“Oh, Wizard!” Cece hugged the figure she had been worrying about ever since the Rock exploded.
“It is good to see you too, Cece,” the Wizard replied. “No doubt you have many questions, which I’ll answer… like so.” He touched a finger to Cece’s head, and she stiffened. She could feel knowledge rushing into her. She could see Captains Marvel throughout the ages slowly restoring the Rock to where it began. And she could see her old friends in the Legion of Super-heroes, and knew they were in dire straits.
“Oh, Wizard! I have to help them!”
“I know. Say the word, and I shall transport you to your time.”
“But… my family…”
The Wizard smiled. “Your normal form will not age while you are transformed. And you will be time-traveling, remember? I can allow you to return to this very spot, one second after you leave.”
Cece smiled. “Then what are we waiting for? CAPTAIN MARVEL!”
Cece was in pure bliss as the power returned. And then she felt sick, as the Wizard waved his hand and used the magic of the Rock of Eternity to transport her through the timestream.
But more than that, she felt overpowering excitement at seeing her friends again… and determination that she would not let them down one more time.
“And you’re too reckless. Remember that time you smashed into Mr. Arzz’s cruiser?”
“Fine, fine, already,” Hegga said as she headed out the door.
As they passed the street corner outside their house, Hegga was startled to notice that the crossing guard, Mr. Hanz, was alone. She rolled down the window to wave to him. “Mr. Hanz! How are you? Where’s Mr. Hanz?”
“Hegga, Megga! How are you? Why, he’s on vacation today!”
“That’s a first,” Megga chuckled as they drove away. “The only time I’ve seen one of them alone was when the other was sick.”
Hegga nodded. “Being a solo isn’t all that bad now, is it?”
“After what Ayla and Garth accomplished individually? Garth saved RJ Brande a second time, so the story says. And Ayla helped bring down Ra’s al Ghul – and released all those Winathians being held prisoner? Then leading the UP back here to provide aid? I think enough of us were impressed.”
“Then there’s the fact that one of our presidents had his brother murdered to cover up his embezzlement.”
“And that’s a large part of why we were able to pursue our different interests and end up with different jobs.”
“Thank grife for that,” Hegga smiled. That used to be unheard of as well. All her teachers in school had had a twin who was also a teacher – or at least had a similar job, like a guidance counselor or a librarian – and they all worked in the same school. Unlike her, Megga was a weather satellite technician. They didn’t even work in the same compound. As far as Hegga knew, she was the first Winathian Sci-Cop whose twin wasn’t enlisted as well.
The most telling part was that only the oldest cops gave her a hard time about it. Winath really was changing.
“Hey, stop your daydreaming. We’re here!”
Hegga jerked her head up to see that Megga had parked, and their childhood friends Lando and Garla were waving at them. The four friends hugged each other. Hegga looked around. Since it was a weekday, the Threshold center was relatively empty.
“I’ve been reading all about Legion World. Pretty much everything you could hope to find on a planet is there. I can’t believe this is the third time we’re going off-planet!” Lando was practically shaking with excitement.
“And the first without Ayla and Garth,” Garla added sadly.
“I do miss them,” Megga added. “They were good friends, never forgetting us even when they were in the Legion.”
"Being friends with them certainly was inspiring. I never thought I'd get to work with the UP Aid Program, but there I am," Garla smiled.
“Then we should return the favor, and not forget them either,” Hegga said as she clasped her twin’s hand.
The four friends smiled at each other as they stepped towards the Threshold. But how could they forget, when their friends had inadvertently helped change Winath so much? Hegga smiled as she saw the officer at the Threshold counter was also alone. You don’t have to be attached to your twin the whole time, just to feel complete,, she thought.
Chlorophyll Kid jumped out of bed at the cry. He hurriedly shook his roommate’s shoulder. “Staq! Staq! Did you hear that? My gosh, we’re being attacked!”
“What? Wha?” Fire Lad woke up with a start, his hair already on fire. “Grife! Don’t do that! Taine’ll kill me if I burn another set of sheets!”
Chlorophyll Kid was already rushing towards the door. “Omygosh omygosh omygosh we have to go. Grife I can’t get it open! Oh wait…”
As the door slid open, he bumped into his former teammates and current classmates Stone Boy and Color Kid. “Where’s the alarm? Where?”
The two of them just looked at him with blank stares. They obviously weren’t happy.
“Mmph. Sorry, Ral. I couldn’t help it, you just looked so panicked.” He turned open-mouthed to stare at their former leader and teammate, Polar Boy. Ral couldn’t help but notice the shiny Legion utility belt and flight ring that he know wore. “Oh grife, don’t tell me we failed another test?”
Polar Boy wagged his finger. “It’s not your final exam yet, don’t worry. I’m just here to take you on a training exercise. But you guys really should work on your response time, okay? Speed and efficiency are an important part of the final exams at the Academy.”
“So, uh, do you have any tips for us? How did you do it?” Stone Boy asked eagerly.
“Most important is to not panic,” Polar Boy said firmly. “Now come on, Lydda and Dori will meet us at the Hall of Heroes.”
“Huh? What are we going to do there? Shouldn’t we go to our traning?” Color Kid asked.
“You’ll see,” Polar Boy said.
“So, Brek, what’s it like to be a Legionnaire now?” Fire Lad asked as they trotted along the halls of Legion World.
“It’s a lot different from when we were in the Substitute Heroes,” Polar Boy replied. “Believe me, the formal training really makes a difference. So does the knowledge that you’re responsible to your teammates and to the UP as a whole.”
“Yeah, but how is it with the new team? I mean, you’re all entirely new…”
“Yes, but the Legion never lowered its standards, even now that we’re short-handed.” Brek’s reply was kind of terse.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean…”
“I know you didn’t,” Brek said gently. “It just brings me back to the point I’m going to make later.”
As they entered the Hall of Heroes, Night Girl and Rainbow Girl jumped up to greet them. “What took you so long?” Dori – Rainbow Girl – demanded.
“Easy, Dori,” Lydda – Night Girl – said. “We weren’t waiting that long.”
“Sorry, girls.” Polar Boy said. “Look, I’m taking you out on a training exercise today, but before we began I wanted to highlight one thing. Look at that statue,” he pointed towards one.
“Wait… isn’t that the first Kid Quantum? You know, the loser who died on his first mission?” Stone Boy said carelessly.
“Yes, it is. And I won’t get into a debate as to whether he was a loser – to my mind, he was still a hero because he died in the line of duty. But I agree, he was unprepared. Undisciplined. He didn’t think of his teammates, and he relied too much on his powers.”
Polar Boy drew closer now, and Chlorophyll Kid felt a chill unlike what Brek’s cold powers could do. He had never seen his friend like this before. “I’ve been studying his case file over and over, wondering how a Legionnaire could die like that. It wasn’t like the other Legion deaths. His was very much avoidable.”
Polar Boy took a step closer, and all of them were mesmerized. “Look, I know you’re all impatient that the Cadet program takes so long. We repeat the drills over and over, we pump your heads full of knowledge, and it takes forever to earn reserve status and get that flight ring. But this has to be done, because if we let any unprepared Legionnaires onto the field we can be sure we’ll have another Kid Quantum I on our hands.”
Polar Boy paused as he looked at the long row of gleaming statues behind him. “You never know when you can die, but proper preparation at least reduces that risk. Yes, Kid Quantum I was reckless, but I don’t really blame him because he was underprepared. And the current Legion won’t make that same mistake, okay?”
One by one, the others in the room nodded. Chlorophyll Kid felt more determined than ever. They really had to take their training seriously… So they would be prepared when the time came.
Great stuff here IB! I really enjoy how you are taking threads from the various parts of the reboot universe and slowly - and realistically - weaving them all together. Nice to see Magno back, he was the unluckiest of members, which you covered by talking about his poor timing. Thunder is definitely welcome too, if only the writers back in the day had given her a personality I'm sure she would have been more popular. Showing the changes to Winathian culture are a great way to highlight the effect Garth and Alya had there and Polar Boy's recognition of James Cullens carelessness was well written too. Good to see the other Subs as well. Ral's determination was nicely introduced.
More, more, more
-------------------- "Tempus Fugitive" the final part of the Adventures of Dream Boy series, set in the Three-Boot Universe. Read it only in the Bits o' Legionnaire Business Forum.
From: here, more often than not | Registered: Sep 2003
| IP: Logged |
:blush: Wow Harbi, thank you so much for reading carefully through all of them! I'm really glad you like them. I'm making a lot of this up as I go along, but the long-term plan is to tie them all into a continuing narrative Thanks again for all the comments!
“Very much so, Lume. Keep it up.” Particon was glad her costume contained a visor. Some of her teammates ribbed her on her clunky armor, but it did come in handy at times.
She looked over the Xanthian landscape. It looked much better than it did after the Legion had terraformed the planet. Hopefully, soon it would be back to its former glory.
“Particon, Radion and Atmos, please get ready,” Babbage said. “I am nearly done configuring the equipment.
Particon nodded and flew up. Atmos had already taken his place, his hands crackling with energy. Radion was silent; synthetic skin still covered parts of his face, though a much smaller area than when Particon had seen him last. She took her spot beside him and smiled.
He smiled back, though it wasn’t much of a smile. “Radion, have you thought about my offer?”
Radion shook his head. “I didn’t need to think about it, Particon. I don’t plan to join the Legion anymore. I’m just about to get my face back. I don’t want to risk losing it – or my life – again.”
Particon fell silent. She knew better than to press the issue. At Babbage’s signal, they all opened fire.
After a few minutes, Babbage signaled them to stop. “This is wonderfully sufficient,” Babbage said. “Thank you. I now have enough energy to sustain this region while we repair the energy dispersion system in the area.”
Particon turned to speak with Radion, only to find that he’d already joined Atmos and the bald kid whose name she kept forgetting. The three were zipping around, sparring in mid-air. Turning her head, she found Babbage and Lume discussing the properties of light. She sighed. Why couldn’t she have been sent here with Infectious Lass, or even Spider-Girl?
“Boys will be boys, huh?”
Particon turned around to find her former teammates, Insect Queen and Konk, smiling at her. Smiling back, she gave them both hugs.
“Listen, we’re going to pay our respects to the fallen… Care to join us?”
“How could I say no?”
******************************************************************** Particon stared at the statues that towered above them. Atom’x, XS, Monstress, Kid Quantum II, Star Boy, Dreamer. Heroes who had served Xanthu long past.
Beside them were statues of the still-living heroes, but they were much smaller, of course.
Insect Queen laid a bouquet of flowers in front of them. “I miss them all. They were all dear friends.”
Konk paused as she looked up. “Yeah, and I don’t even mind so much now that three of them left to join the Legion.”
Particon hesitated. “I left to join the Legion too, you know.”
Konk turned to look at her. “Oh, I didn’t mean it that way. You’re not Xanthian, after all.”
Insect Queen stood up. “When Kid Quantum II left, we didn’t mind that much either. Nor when Monstress did. It was really Star Boy who got our goats, since he was the first.”
“Yes, I heard,” Particon said. “He told us about the Durlan space-shanties over and over.”
“And he blamed that for his lousy piloting, right?” Konk sniggered. “I guess he was unlucky because he was the first… The Legion hadn’t had quite as many successes at that point. Unlike later on, when they’d exposed Chu and taken out Mordru.”
Insect Queen gazed at the statue again. “Lately, I’ve been thinking that Star Boy was right. Not really about joining the Legion, but… about aspiring to be something greater than we were.” She turned towards the others. “When Robotica struck, he and XS were the only ones not overwhelmed. They were far more tactically adept than the rest of us were.”
Konk turned to look too. “What I appreciated most was his eternal optimism. Grife, even when things were at their worst, he was telling these awful, awful jokes. But… they certainly made pounding all those robotic nassbags much more bearable.”
Particon smiled. “He was the same way when we were fighting Mordru… He was so confident, even among the other Legionnaires. You think… you think he knew he’d make it, when he jumped off the refugee ship to rearguard during the Great Xanthian Exodus?”
Insect Queen laughed. “Knowing him, he didn’t even think about the odds. He just went and prayed he’d be fine.”
“It did rub off on the rest of us. Except for Atmos,” Konk added.
“That’s what made Star Boy so great,” Particon said. “His ability to trust in himself and in others.” She gazed upwards at his statue again, and couldn’t help but feel that she’d come to know him a little bit better. "I guess he'd be happy to know that now, Xanthu is really trying hard to better itself, instead of just attaching itself to more powerful allies."
Hopefully, here own Legion would be able to leave as deep a legacy as their predecessors had.
Dennis could scarcely believe it. After weeks of patiently waiting, the day was here! He was on Legion World!
He dashed along the Hall of Statues. There was one statue for each past and present Legionnaire, and he gazed at each one. He could name them all – Kinetix, Cosmic Boy, Gates, Monstress, Apparition, Nightwind, Star Boy (his third favorite), Karate Kid, Andromeda, Triad, Particon, Element Lad (his second favorite) and…
Ferro! His favorite Legionnaire was there!
Dennis ran excitedly to the statue. He knew the real Ferro had long since disappeared, but the statue was good enough. “Mom! Dad! Take a picture for me, please!”
Dennis frowned. His parents sure were slow. Oh well…
He turned around to read the biography. He wanted to drink in every detail.
“I can’t believe you like this loser so much, Dennis!”
Dennis turned to see his school’s bully, Jonathan. The larger kid was chewing Protean gum and sneering at him. Dennis idly thought that the Furball Dennis was blowing with the gum looked very much like him.
“Stop it, Jonathan. Ferro’s a hero just like the others. He saved me from a cave-in.” Dennis proudly pulled up his sleeve to show the scar he’d gotten that day. “See?”
“So what? I heard he had Star Boy and Element Lad with him. He had backup.”
“Yeah, but he did more than that. He stayed with me in the hospital while I was getting better…”
“Hah! All he’s good for is playing nurse!” Jonathan took a step closer, and Dennis stepped back. The bigger boy loomed over him and cocked his fist. “Say your hero’s a loser, Dennis. Say it, or I’ll knock you on your butt.”
Dennis’ mind raced. Jonathan had left him alone before, but he knew how violent the kid could get. He was scared.
But he remembered what Ferro had told him – you just have to stand your ground. It’s one thing to be nice, but it’s another to let people walk all over you.
“No,” said Dennis, hoping that his arms weren’t shaking.
Jonathan’s eyes opened wide. “Are you really saying no to me?”
“No… I mean, Yes, I’m telling you I won’t do it.”
“Then I hope you won’t miss your teeth, because…. HEY!”
Dennis’ eyes widened as Jonathan levitated off the floor. A Legionnaire in a pink costume walked in. “No bullying allowed, kid.”
“You’re Magnetic Kid!”
“And you, Dennis, are a brave young boy,” Magnetic Kid smiled. “And you, Jonathan, are going to get a timeout.” With that, Jonathan was levitated over to the far end of the Hall. “So Dennis, what say you walk with me and I’ll give you a tour of the Hall of Heroes? We’ll let Jonathan down when we’re done.”
“Yes, please! So, Mr. Magnetic Kid, did you ever get to meet Ferro?”
Magnetic Kid chuckled. “Sadly, no. But from what I’ve seen today, he must have been a very cool guy.”
Officer Neep trotted quickly along the halls of Science Police Headquarters. He had to, or he’d be late. He didn’t want to be late on his first day assigned to the Earth command.
He ran and dodged nimbly between the sentients in his way. He didn’t understand why these Earthers were so strict about time; his own people hurried when needed, but otherwise they did things at their own pace.
Ah, the briefing hall. He peeked inside; the Commander had not begun yet. He rushed in, arranging himself to be sure he was neat. Some of his fellow officers raised eyebrows at his fussing, but many did not. They were, after all, used to sentients from many worlds. He quickly spotted a seat near the edge of the front row, and sat down. A short-haired blonde with a no-nonsense attitude nodded at him, tight-lipped, then returned to staring intently at her Omnicom. Officer Neep spared her a smile, then also looked attentively to the front.
Commander Hagbard strode purposely into the front of the room and raised a gloved hand. The assembled officers instantly fell silent and listened with rapt attention. Officer Neep was impressed; his own society used to choose their leaders based on bloodline. To be in an organization where merit was most important was something he had adapted to only after quite a bit of effort. He thought about his own journey here.
He was jolted out of his reverie when Commander Hagbard pointed to him with a smile. He quickly looked to see several other officers standing, including the blonde beside him, while the seated officers applauded. He took his cue and stood up as well; the Commander must be introducing the new Officers. Most of his new comrades were applauding politely, though certainly not as warmly as his own people had when he’d been chosen to leave for Earth…
Commander Hagbard stopped as an aide whispered in his ear. The room fell silent as he turned. “There’s been an explosion in the Metropolis Central District.”
Officer Neep held his breath as he weaved his way through the smoke. He had to be careful; he couldn’t think of any way to keep himself from burning up. He could, however, augment his senses so he could get in and out faster.
He thought he heard a wheezing for breath over in the corner. He deftly picked his way through the smoke, searching for any sign of the sentient who had made that cry.
He turned his ears around. Nothing; the crackling was too loud. He shifted to using his eyes. Maybe… There! A child’s arm, lying faintly on the ground.
He bounded across the gap between them, ignoring the heat and the cinders on his skin. This was more important. He lunged forward, scooping the child up in his arms. Still alive, but faint.
He gently made sure the child’s clothing wasn’t on fire, then held her tightly as he ran out the building with all the speed he could muster.
The warm, heavy smoke gave way to cool fresh air as he burst out of the flames. He gently helped the child stir as paramedics came over to assist. He watched as the child coughed, and her eyes fluttered open. She gasped, then screamed. “Ahhhh! Are you a monster? Please don’t eat me!”
“Oops,” Officer Neep said. “Don’t cry child. I’m no monster. Just a Durlan.” And he shifted into his more familiar form. “I’m sorry for scaring you. I had to turn into a Tharrian Silexis to get us out of the fire safely.” The child took in his form with shock, at first. She stammered gently. “Durla? Are you Kameel-yon?”
Officer Neep smiled. “No, but I’m from his planet. We might even be distant cousins.”
The child slowly smiled, then gave Officer Neep a hug. A surprised Officer Neep hugged back. This felt good – while a lot of the sentients he’d met were fairly accepting, none had ever HUGGED him.
He was interrupted by a shriek. “My baby!”
Officer Neep tensed. Would the mother be hysterical?
“Oh, thank you thank you thank you! Thank you so much for saving my daughter!” The women came running up to him, the gratitude in her voice more than evident.
Officer Neep smiled. His first day on Earth was going wonderfully. He wished he’d listened to Reep Daggle’s stories of the United Planets earlier.