Thursday, November 21, 2002

Transformers # 9 - S.O.S.


The Transformers: powerful warrior robots waging a never-ending battle across space and time. Autobots and Decepticons, fighting a war of long-forgotten ideologies, now trapped in a cycle of violence that threatens to consume them all. They have traveled across the ages from their homeworld of Cybertron to a blue-green orb we know as the Earth. But this is not the Earth we know; it is a world transformed, a place of mutants, superheroes, and villains. It is a world where nothing is as it seems. . .and these alien robots will soon find that those they thought were allies and enemies are not. They will find that there are greater threats than each other. . .

Issue #9: The Phalanx Ascension part 2 "S.O.S."

By: Wes A.


Autobase, underground Cybertron

The chamber of the Autobot Elders was abuzz with talk. It was not only the 12 Elders who were there, but also Fortress Maximus, Ultra Magnus, and Elita-1. Everyone in the room was talking with one another, with the head Elder Emirate Xaaron trying to bring order. Off in the corner of the room, Ultra Magnus merely sat in a chair, watching all of the Autobot leaders settle themselves down.

"Everyone, please be silent," said Xaaron, "We’ll review the message again."

Xaaron turned toward a large screen behind the large table where the 12 Elders were seated. With the push of a button, the screen came to life. A simulated picture of Blaster’s face came upon the screen. It was an encoded message from the Autobot that was received a few short hours ago.

"This is Autobot Comm officer Blaster. Code Red! Repeat: Code Red! We have reached our destination via the Space Bridge and are on a planet called Earth. The Decepticons have built a city on this planet, with the presumed dead Decepticon Shockwave in command. A techno-virus known as the Phalanx has assimilated the city and all the Decepticons inside it. If this virus reaches Cybertron, it can potentially take over the entire planet. We need back-up ASAP! Repeat, we need back-up ASAP!"

The image faded away. There was a grim silence in the room. Xaaron turned off the screen.

"He’s right," said Elita-1 grimly, "If a techno-virus gets to Cybertron, it could be disastrous. The Decepticons are in low-supply of Cybertronium, they’d be the perfect targets."

"We’re not going to let that happen," stated Xaaron.

"What exactly do you have in mind?" asked Fortress Maximus.

"We’re going to gain access to the Space Bridge and send a strike team to the Earth. The team will be armed with anti-tech virus weaponry and help retake the city."

"I take it we aren’t to be asking the ‘Cons for help on this?" piped up Ultra Magnus.

Xaaron shook his head. "There’s no time. Plus, I doubt the Decepticons even know that their outpost has been overrun. The minute they open the Space Bridge, the virus would have a chance to get through. We can’t risk it."

"Ah," said Ultra Magnus, "And who will be leading the team across the Space Bridge, if you don’t mind me asking."

"You will."

Ultra Magnus stared at Xaaron for a moment, neither saying a word. "Well, sounds good to me."


"You’ve got to be kidding me, we just did this routine!!"

Magnus closed his optics for a moment, letting his troops get their anger out of their systems. The Wreckers were Ultra Magnus’s personal troops, the best in the Autobot army. The team consisted of Ultra Magnus, his second in command Impactor, Springer, the Jumpstarters Topspin and Twin Twist, Rack and Ruin, and Whirl and Roadbuster. Just a few weeks ago, the Wreckers had attacked the Decepticon capital of Polyhex to allow Blaster’s group access to the Space Bridge* (* see A World Transformed #3 for details). Now they were being asked to do so again.

"I’m serious Magnus, it’s just suicide to try this again," said the Triple-Changer named Springer.

"He knows that Springer," said Impactor.

"Yeah Springer, just relax," said Rack while polishing a plasma rifle, "We kicked Decepticon skid plate before, we can do it again. What’re you so worried about?"

"I’m worried about getting blown to a dozen pieces by a squad of Vehicons, that’s what," said Springer.

Rack just gave Springer a dirty look and muttered, "Aw you’re never any fun."

Magnus raised his hand, indicating for the Wreckers to be silent. "Springer, I know how you feel, but you have to remember that we’re the most qualified unit for the job. The Aerialbots are still off-planet raiding the Decepticon’s energon facility on Talos 7, so the mission automatically falls into our hands. It’s as simple as that. You‘re free to decline the mission, if you wish."

Springer let out a frustrated sigh. "I’ll take the mission Magnus, you know that."

Magnus smiled at his fellow Wrecker, "I know, I just wanted to lay the guilt trip on you anyway. Now everybody get yourselves ready. We head out in half an hour."


Magnus walked down the halls of the hidden Autobase. The base was several miles beneath the surface of Cybertron, deep in the lost levels of the planet. Billions of years ago, the older Transformer races inhabited these levels. Over time though, other layers were built over it. It was almost as if the past had just disappeared.

Magnus looked at the faces of the other Autobot’s he passed in the hall. Their faces had different looks on them. They were looks of hope and determination. Ever since the Ark went missing, the moral of the army had slowly declined. But following the announcement of the Ark’s founding and the defeat of Straxus, the Autobot’s had renewed vigor for battle and determination to retake their home.

"It’s funny, no matter how many times I put my skidplate on the line for Xaaron and his pals, they keep asking me to do it. And you wanna know the funny part? I keep saying yes. Some people never learn I suppose."

Magnus came to a halt. He turned around to see the battle-scarred form of an older gray and blue Autobot standing before him. The older Transformer gave Magnus a smile.

"Hey Magnus, long time no see."


The two Autobot’s enthusiastically gave each other a slap on the shoulder and shook hands. Both had wide smiles on their faces.

"Hey old timer, how’ve you been?" asked Magnus.

"Who you callin’ ‘old timer’? I’ve told you before, I’m ‘well aged’."

"I thought you and your squadron was still on the other side of Cybertron raiding the ‘Cons space ports. When did your team get back to Cybertron?"

"Just yesterday. Been busy at the med center. I tell ya, those upgraded Vehicons put up a hell of a fight."

"Tell me about it. So the Elders have you on a job already?"

"Yeah. Actually, we’ve been assigned to go through the Space Bridge to Earth."

Magnus’s optics raised a bit. "Really? Well, at least they got the right team for the mission."

"Yer telling’ me. You on your way to the armory?" Magnus nodded. Kup tilted his head toward the direction down the hall where the Autobot armory was located. "Come on, I’m going there myself. I hear that they have some special weaponry lined up for this mission."


Earth, Australian Outback

"Are you sure these are the right coordinates, Starscream?"

"Don’t worry, just land when I give the order."

High in the sky, Starscream and Skywarp were in their jet modes flying over the desert stretch of the Australian Outback. The Casseticon Ravage sat in Skywarp’s cockpit. For several hours the jets had been flying. They had just left the Phalanx-assimilate Nemesis and Starscream and insisted that they travel to this location. Skywarp didn’t know what was so important about it, but as long as it meant staying away from the Phalanx, he was fine with it.

The two jets finally landed near a large rock formation. Ravage hopped out of Skywarp before the two jets transformed into their gigantic robot forms.

"Who goes there?"

The trio turned around to see the Constructicon’s Mixmaster and Hook each standing with a plasma rifle pointed at them. When he saw his fellow Decepticons, Hook lowered his gun.

"Starscream, what are you doing here?" asked Hook.

"I’m afraid your mission has been cut a bit short, Hook. The Nemesis has been taken over by a techno-virus, along with Megatron and all the other Decepticons," informed Starscream.

"A techno-virus? On this little planet?! That’s hard to imagine," snorted Mixmaster, "These fleshlings are still dependent on fossil fuels, there’s no way they could create a techno-virus."

"[I doubt the virus was manufactured on Earth. This virus was highly advanced, like nothing I have ever seen,]" growled Ravage, whose speech was translated with the others built-in translators.

"Despite its origins," continued Starscream, "We believe we know of some...allies. But in order to combat the techno-virus, we need Cybertronium."

"That will be no problem," said Hook confidently, "follow us."

The two Contructicons led their Decepticon companions to the rock formation and down a tunnel. After traveling several meters, they came to a lit area. When they got there, Skywarp could see a cobbled together power generator providing light. Also in the area were the other Contructicons: Bonecrusher, Long Haul, Scrapper, and Scavenger. Bonecrusher, the Contructicon leader, nodded his head in a form of salute to Starscream. The Seeker commander did likewise.

"Starscream, what brings you here?"

After a moment, the rest of the Contructicons were filled in on the story of the Nemesis.

"Well, you don’t have to worry," said Bonecrusher walking over to a large bin in the corner of the room, "because we are in full supply of Cybertronium."

Bonecrusher opened the bin and Skywarp saw several dozen canisters of Cybertronium, each bearing a Decepticon insignia.

"Where did you get them all?" asked the obsidian colored Seeker.

"Megatron knew that some of the Cybertronium in the Nemesis had fallen out in the crash-landing on this planet. So before he left, he instructed us to travel this planet to collect as much as possible. As luck would have it, most of the Cybertronium landed near this continent the fleshlings call Australia," finished Bonecrusher.

Starscream picked up one of the canisters and a sly grin crossed his face. "Excellent. Prepare your troops Bonecrusher, we make our move soon."


Black Hills, North Dakota

Despite all his time with humans, he knew that there were still concepts that he did not understand. He knew love. He was positive that he did. For years, he had loved and been loved in return by Wanda. Love, kindness, compassion, he knew them. But now he began to know darker concepts. Hate, fury, and fear.

He sat on the tops of one of the edges, gazing out at the beautiful scenery before him. He had once heard Dane Whitman, the Black Knight, talk about this area once before. Dane said that it was beautiful land. Although he couldn’t enjoy it as much as Dane, the Vision could still admire it, in his own way.

It had been over a month since the change had taken him* (*See Neoknights #6). The experience was very odd, unlike anything he had ever experienced before. Some sort of...virus had infected him. He had changed, transformed into something else. Even now, he could only remember brief bits of what happened, but he knew that he did not like the transformation. Since that day, he has spent a great deal of time trying to find out what happened. He had Hank Pym, better known as Giant-Man and Ant-Man, run a sweep of all his systems, but there were no excess programs found. Recently he has taken a leave of absence from the Avengers to figure out what this new part of him was and why it had taken form within him.

"Excuse me, are you the Vision?"

The yellow and green synthezoid turned around to see a family of six standing several feet away from him, big smiles on their faces. What was so strange was that he hadn’t detected the family’s approach, his advanced audio systems should have at least picked up their footsteps. A small boy, no older than 10, held out a notepad.

"Can I have your autograph Mr. Vision, please?"

Vision conducted a scan of the family and quickly found that they were not human. Their outer appearances looked human, but they were actually technologically made. After a quick scan of his databanks, he concluded that the technology was unlike any he had ever seen.

"I think that you want more than an autograph," said the Vision, "And you no longer need to continue your illusion. I know that you aren’t human."

The family’s appearance dissolved into that of yellow and black Phalanx drones. Three of the drones charged. Vision’s body became immaterial, causing them to simply pass right through him. He re-materialized himself and opened fire with his eyebeam lasers at full power. Two of the drones were disintegrated.

"You cannot defeat us Vision. You will be added to our consciousness," said another drone as it charged him with an elongated claw hand.

Vision hit the drone with a punch, knocking its head off. As the severed Phalanx head merely rolled onto the ground, the other three drones charged. Vision hit another one with his eyebeams, disintegrating it. Another ran at him, its hand morphed into a spiked club. The club hit Vision, but merely caused a scratch.

"That was unwise," Vision instructed the drone.

Within a moment, the drone joined its brothers as disintegrated particles. Finally, there was one drone left. Vision approached it calmly.

"You will tell me who you are and why you’ve attacked me."

"Negative," came a voice behind Vision.

It was the drone whose head was knocked off. It had reconstructed itself and rammed its hand into Vision, beginning the infection.

‘Warning...foreign virus infecting systems,’ said Vision’s internal computer.

As Vision looked down to see the abdomen shift into that of a Phalanx drone’s, he felt the change come over him again. His entire body erupted in flame, melting away the Phalanx infection. The two drones saw as Vision’s entire body turned into a metallic black covering, his cape likewise turning to blackness, and a chain running across his chest. The yellow diamond remained on his chest, but his head was no longer as it was. It was now a human skull, surrounded in flame, even after the flames all over the rest of his body were gone. The drones were silent as this new entity looked towards them. This was no longer the Vision; this was the Ghost Rider.

"You seek to destroy my host body, and thus interject on my mission. For that, you will feel the pain of hellfire."

With his right hand, the Ghost Rider shot out a stream of fireballs, hitting the drone that infected the Vision. With an inhuman shriek of pain, the drone was disintegrated. Grabbing the chain around his chest, Ghost Rider lassoed the other drone. Some of its body was likewise disintegrated, but for the most part remained intact. Ghost Rider leaned in toward the drones face.

"Now tell me: what are you and why did you attack the Vision?"

"We are Phalanx," said the drone in its monotone like voice, "The Vision is one of this planet’s most advanced technological beings. We sought to add it to our collective."

"Are there more of your ilk here on Earth?"

The drone nodded, "Affirmative."

Ghost Rider mentally tightened the chain around the drone‘s body, "Tell me where they are."


Mt. St. Hilary, United States

Trailbreaker, Cliffjumper, and Huffer lay on a hill that provided a good view of Mt. St. Hilary, yet provided enough cover. They looked down and saw the tail end of the Ark sticking out of the mountain, it’s yellow surface shimmering as if it had a life of its own.

Trailbreaker shook his head, "I don’t believe it."

"I told Prowl not to split everyone up, but NO, he had to do it. Now the Ark has been taken over and we‘re probably the only ones left," griped Cliffjumper.

"What’re we going to do?" asked Huffer with a concerned look.

"I have no idea," said Trailbreaker.

"We’re taking back the Ark, that’s what."

The three Autbot’s turned around to see the form of Mirage shimmer out of thin air. The Autobot spy had several canisters of Cybertronium in his arms.

"Mirage!" exclaimed Huffer, "What’s happened to the Ark?"

"It’s been taken over by a techno-organic life form calling itself the Phalanx. Every Autobot on the base has been assimilated. I barely made it out before they locked the base down. Just an hour ago, they finally got the human‘s military base too. I‘ve been waiting around to see if there were any late Autobot units showing up. Should have known it‘d be you three," finished Mirage with a grin.

"So I take it from your tone of voice you have a plan?" asked Cliffjumper.

"I’m working on it. But first, we’re going to need to call in some back-up."

Trailbreaker’s optics narrowed in confusion, "Who do you have in mind?"

"A group of the ‘superheroes’ I met. They’re called the Heroes for Hire."

To be continued...

Mirage and the remaining Autobots go seek the help of the Heroes for Hire in Heroes for Hire #10, the Phalanx Ascension continues in various MU:TF titles, and the Transformers battle with the Phalanx.

Sunday, October 27, 2002

Doctor Strange #7 - The Matrix Grimore

"Liebr raz et um," her voice chanted, a pool of internal energy rising further and further up her spine and through each and every strand of fiber making up her metaphysical being. "Liebr raz et um."

A connection was sought, like an errant amp of electricity rushing through a circuit board, hoping to seal some gap in the network of electronics as it was created to do. She searched, yearned, quested for a deeper tie, a closer bonding with that which made her special. That which made her powerful, and masterful.

That which made her different then her father.

Again she nearly lost her focus as her mind wandered to the recent problems she faced. Problems the ritual she performed were meant to help.

Ananym Strange continued to chant, words bouncing off the Mayan temple walls long since over run by the invasion of vine and insect life that had surrounded its borders. Yet still her thoughts were centered on her patronage. Not who or why, like most offspring, but what said parents had done. The actions of one parent in particular in fact.

How had dear old daddy been involved in Stephen's fall?

A Bloodstone, a fragment of her father's soul, rested back in her domicile in New York. Locked under the most powerful of mystical barriers, it still swayed Ananym's musings.

"Liebr raz et um."

More echoes of past magicks funneled into the once religious temple. The sacrificed souls of an entire race of humanity knocked on the temples metaphysical walls as the chanting continued.

Fuck you, Dad.

Somewhere, a Lord of one version of Hell felt a prick of pain near his very heart, or the black ichor that made up the congealed ball that passed for the organ.

In Greenwich Village, a blood red stone shattered into a thousand pieces.

In South Africa, the Sorcerer Supreme just became that much more powerful.

Written By: Alex Cook

"It would take powerful magicks to do this, Bludgeon." An ominous voice tinted with cold responded. The news that was delivered could have dire consequences, a fact none of the gathered Cult missed.

The Path has none the less altered... again, sir." The samurai garbed construct stood evenly under his master's glare.

"Since we altered it in the first place?"

The eastern styled warrior could only nod in agreement to his Masters words.


"I believe Miss Strange is making a power play."

Blue painted steel, wrapped in metallic leopard furs hobbled out onto the floor. "Let me deal with this Master. I've already bested her pupil." Bantor's chest puffed with pride.

"No. You must recover the next stone." The affixed to his back, white and diamond sharp moved as their lord turned to his side. "You will follow the mage." He said, a curled ball of black cat fur suddenly dropping to the ground and scurrying out of their cavern.

"Tell me more Bludgeon."


She needed nothing more from the golden hunk of circuitry before her.

After Ananym's brief jaunt to the South Americas, she'd returned home, to Bleaker Street, and began her research once again. All she was really doing was verifying her hypothesis, the proverbial light-bulb that now shined atop her head a means of inspiration.

There were aliens legends encoded on that Golden 'Disk'. Myths birthed by a technological race of transformers, whispers of their own religion almost. Ananym had read the few fragments of files contained on the salvaged artifact, but originally had dismissed them. Now, finally, the pieces of the puzzle where clicking all together.

The disc spoke of legends, a myth about a force bringing about unification of their species. Not many believed the rhymes words, the aliens on a whole scoffing at the idea that a metaphysical concept could unite their races warring factions. The legend continued, telling of other worldly gems, alien spirits, and a sequence of events to call forth this little thought of spirit. A cycle of circumstances Ananym had suddenly found herself embroiled within.

The first sacrifice was a teenage girl, a month ago. Ananym had been there, at the tail end, unable to help the dying child. She'd destroyed the Xenotech, and had thought that was the end of the matter. Then the Golden Disk had shown up, sharing its secrets with Ananym's. More disturbances in the magical essence that surrounded humanity occurred, Ananym distracted by the Thinker and his foolish gambit. All the time Ananym felt there was something she was missing.

The former Witchfire hadn't thought the reason for her even being the Sorcerer Supreme in the first place would become entwined with her current troubles. None the less, it had. Stephan fell due to his zeloat like pursuit of the construct named The Beast. He;d been cast aside by the Ancient One, his mantle given to Ananym not long after. She kicked herself for not asking more questions in the first place, her training berating her from inside her mind.

What WAS The Beast?

And finally, that was where Ananym's 'father' entered the picture. The Lord of Hell that was BELIEVED to be her father, but his patronage had never been proven. It was a might hard to do, when one thought about it. Regardless, he played a part in Ananym's first and most vital question. Close behind it was the final question she had, which the book she now closed had answered.

What was a Bloodstone? It seemed Belasco had severed a part of himself as a way to obfuscate some plan he launched against Magick, of the at that time New Mutants. forcing this essence into a gem, the stone fractured and split apart into the Bloodstones, cages for pieces of her dear Fathers soul. Standing, Ananym looked off into the night.

Fuck you Belasco, Ananym thought as she walked out of her study. With a snap of her fingers the Golden disk was gone, teleported away in the blink of an eye. She had no need for it anymore after all. Ananym was armed now with her favorite weapon, facts.

There was someone, or someone's, trying to resurrect The Beast. Ananym herself had intercepted a few of these Bloodstones, however it seemed she had not done enough. The Sorcerer Supreme floated on nothing as the night's air embraced her, her study window closing of its own accord as she left her home.

It was time Ananym learned exactly who was messing with a part of Daddy's soul.


"But they have no SOUL'S man! How can they even CAST!?!"

He had to sigh again, keeping his anger in check. He was the first of their cabal, answering his Thirds inane questions. Yet again.

"The Transformers can't ALL cast magicks dumbass. There's only a few of them. The most powerful of those? Those would be our bosses."

The second of the group, and the only female, stepped forward slightly, looking at the fourth and aforementioned third. "This changes nothing."

"Fuck you it changes everything! These things can't be trusted!" With a deep breath he snarled at his former leader. "You should have told us about this."


"This is what you shouldn't have done. You shouldn't have posed as a cat. I have a thing about cats." Her red hair flashed as she whipped her upper boy to the side, sending a black ball toward the wall. With feline grace the cat pivoted in the air and bounced with all fours off against the wall and landed evenly on the floor.

With a shimmer, Ananym saw the 'cat's glamour drop to the floor. "Fine then." The female mechanoids voice said, standing upright as it shifted into her hybrid state. Sharp claws and a whipping metal coil of a tail crowned off the Maximals cross transformation, cast head to toe in mate black armor the likes of which Strange had to slightly awe at.


Eldritch bolts of crimson rocketed through the air. Sensors within the cat woman's breast shouted alerts and warnings too late for the Transformer to do anything. The tendrils of power crisscrossed around her and tightened, constricting beyond the limit of her constructs limit. With a crack fragments of her body shattered off and fell to the floor.

"Your...," she strained, her voice circuits almost destroyed by the pink oscillating band wrapped around her throat. "Power levels... they... are much greater... then before."

"So nice of you too notice." Ananym said with nothing but honey dripping from her words. "What's your name dear."


"So young. I can tell you're new to this." She suddenly glared at her prisoner. "What the fuck are you doing?"

"I won't...," she started, then stopped as suddenly. With a small gasp, she felt Ananym's power grow again, the pressure around her magnifying.

"Don't try to be cute. What are you things doing?" Ananym flexed her fist as a small explosion of red blanketed her eyes. She fought back her own pain as another patch of cybernetics forced its way out from beneath her epidermis. The Technological Virus she was aligned with continued to feed on her growing expenditure of raw power.

Ananym had a very personal reason for wanting answers from the bitch in front of her now.

"I suggest you tell me everything, child. As you can see," she commented, flexing her fist further as the eldritch constraints tightened yet again, "I have proven I'm more then willing to destroy you."

With a ear splitting howl the cat named Lynx began telling the Sorcerer Supreme everything she knew.


Dust fell around him as the stone was moved carefully.

It was odd, denoting sex to a creature such as he. For a machine, a specimen not even able attain the robotic shape his species was known for, 'he' was an oddity. ON top of the identity crisis already laid at the construct feet, his ability to access Magick had brought about boons as well as further hardships and damnation.

It would stop very soon, if things continued on the Path.

Statues and markings on the walls named the Gods memorial the Transformer continued to raid. Atum was its name, a God of transformation itself. Elder Gods of all names came to be by first taking his form, fitting the creature thought to its mechanical self. Fingers of metallic makings, with fur of sorts covering the top, moved about figurines weighing in the tons as if they were nothing. X-Ray sensors scanned the ancient tomb, the gleaming construction of his body an interesting contrast to its surroundings.


Located, the jewel he sought ebbed with a glow the computer manufactured for his assistance. A fist clenched as he rose his arm back, taking aim.

"I wouldn't if I were you."

Turning, the Transformer looked at the red haired obviously magickal-educated women standing in the hole he had created to gain his original entry. the energy collecting around her equaling balled fists, colors oscillating in chaotic fractal formation, gave away her power.

"Sorcerer." The computer generated voice said as it turned t scans her.

Eyes flared as Ananym glared at him, saying, "Enough of this defamation of a dead Gods tomb."

Atum's grave shook as the baboon feet with a tigers fur strips covering them pushed forward, knuckles of alien carbon based materials scrapping the ground as well. "You should have been dealt with long ago."

Ananym let the threat get the better of her resolve. "The first cat you sent wasn't good enough. Care to try your luck?"

"Bantor shall." The tiger leaped, gears' spinning as the sleek cat was formed in mid air as Ananym took a battle stance. Mystical energies blocked Bantor as his clawed paws landed inches from Ananym's feet. Rearing backwards, the cat transformed again as quickly, a baboon shape now, fists pounding against the shield with a force to be reckoned with. His eyes flashed as well, digital symbols of binary and arcane encircled his fingers, tiny explosions raining down on Ananym's defenses as he continued to advance forward.

"The Bloodstone will be mine." Bantor challenged, his simian form rolling backward. Gears were heard as the ball unfurled in full hybrid form, baboon and tiger fused into one.

Ananym saw the techno organic viruses spores scattered around his frame instantly. "You're infected." she gasped slightly, caught off-guard by the sight.

Bantor almost smiled, if his new forms facial motors had been capable of it. "I am a Fuzor. It is what makes me", glancing at his combined mecha state, "Me."

Fingers pointed as hands rotated in patterns older then wither of them, power drawn toward each combatant like a lightning to a steel rod.

Within the caverns of the Valley of the Kings, the technological and the magickal waged War.


NEXT ISSUE: It's all drawn to a close with only one issue before our grand finale, number nine.

~+~+~+~BINARY BRIMSTONE~+~+~+~

I'm shortening this series by an issue now. I've dropped an extra plot-line which removed the need for a whole issue. Now, the.matrix.grimore will end with a much better punch I think.


Tuesday, April 09, 2002

Transformers #8 - Assimilation


The Transformers: powerful warrior robots waging a never-ending battle across space and time. Autobots and Decepticons, fighting a war of long-forgotten ideologies, now trapped in a cycle of violence that threatens to consume them all. They have traveled across the ages from their homeworld of Cybertron to a blue-green orb we know as the Earth. But this is not the Earth we know; it is a world transformed, a place of mutants, superheroes, and villains. It is a world where nothing is as it seems. . .and these alien robots will soon find that those they thought were allies and enemies are not. They will find that there are greater threats than each other. . .

Issue #8: The Phalanx Ascension part 1 "Assimilation"

By: Wes A.


"Keep firing Sunstreaker, don’t stop no mater what!" shouted Sideswipe.

"You don’t have to tell me twice!"

The two identical Autobot "brothers" continued to pump round after round from their blasters into their enemies. Hot bolts of energy kept pumping out and hitting their targets. The enemy moved at them like a wave. Though they were no larger than one of the Autobot’s foot, there were dozens of them to make up for the size difference.

"Do not make this any more difficult on yourselves than it already is," said one of them.

"Slag off!" yelled Sideswipe as he delivered another blast.

The blaster’s shot destroyed the smaller foe. Yet for each one destroyed, there were four more to take it’s place. The brother were so busy firing that they didn’t hear the figure approaching them from behind. Unlike the others, this one was large, as tall as the Autobots. It reached out and touched Sideswipe’s shoulder. The Autobot saw who attacked him and yelled with fury. He plunged his gun into the figure’s chest and fired. There was a gaping hole, though it slowly began to heal. Sunstreaker was caught off-guard and fell to the advancing horde.

Both Autobot’s knew that the fight was over. They had seen it happen to many of their allies over the past hour, and now they shared the same fate. Within minutes, their outer appearance began to change. Their armor shifted like it was alive, it turned into shades of yellow and black. With his last few thoughts, Sideswipe turned to the large figure before him, who was now fully healed.

"W-what have you done?"

The figure smiled. "We’ve made you one of us. One of the Phalanx."

When Sunstreaker and Sideswipe were fully assimilated, they joined their fellow Phalanx brothers, including the figure that used to be known as Prowl.

"Come, we have much work to do."


On the Decepticon city of Trypticon, Shockwave was surrounded by Phalanx assimilated Transformers as well. These used to be his troops, the Decepticon detachment sent from Cybertron. Granted, most were merely non-sentient drones, but they had still been loyal to him. Now, these were his troops no longer.

Judging from the look of his troops. Shockwave’s worst fears were true: a techno-virus had made its way to him. The only resistance a Transformer had to a techno-virus was a substance called Cybertronium. Sadly, Cybertronium was not abundant in the Decepticon empire and it had been a while since the last shipment came from Cybertron. He had hoped that he would have gotten more Cybertronium before something like this happened. But as the humans say: That’s life.

"You are not of this planet," stated Shockwave.

"That is correct," said a Phalanx infected Seeker drone.

"Why are you here?"

"That is none of your concern."

The Phalanx began to descend on Shockwave. Shockwave knew that his chances of survival were slim. Nevertheless, his survival directive was the first to kick in. Shockwave transformed into a large Cybertronian cannon. He got off a few shots, destroying several of the infected Decepticons before being drowned in the horde of Phalanx. Though he could not be assimilated* (*Shockwave juiced up on Cybertronium last issue-Wes), he was knocked out.

"Shockwave has been neutralized," said the Phalanxed Seeker.

"Kikt...Excellent. Restrain him with the other three. Soon they will all be joining us."

While two drones dragged the battered form of Shockwave away, the rest of the Phalanxed Decpeticons turned towards a figure that was about the height of one of the smaller Transformers. He stood up to Shockwave’s shoulders. Although it was a Phalanx, this figure was different than most. It’s humanoid shaped body was a jet black color, it had several glowing neon red strips on its upper torso, and six glowing blue eyes.

"Kikt...Now that the Cybertronian city is under our control, our foothold on this planet is nearly complete."

"Have the other units reported in, first peer?" asked one of the Decepticon drones, this one a ground soldier.

"Kikt...Affirmative. The Nemesis, has been secured and its crew assimilated. The Ark is near 100% assimilation as well. It will not be long now."


"Oh Primus, this is not good. Not at all."

Perceptor unfocused his telescope lens. He transformed from his alternate form, a multi-purpose Cybertronian analysis machine that looked like a giant microscope, into his robot form. A short distance away were his fellow Autobots: Blaster, Powerglide, Beachcomber, Warpath, Seaspray, Cosmos, and the Lost Cybertronian. They were located a few dozen kilometers from Trypticon, just outside of any sensor range.

For the last half hour, Perceptor had been busy removing the thermite explosives from his fellow Autobots. As it turned out, the Last Cybertronian was a great deal of help. His knowledge as a medic, though not as great as Perceptor’s, was quite formidable. Actually, the Lost Cybertronian insisted on helping. During the operation’s, the Autobot’s filled the Lost Cybertronian in on what had been happening during his time frozen on Earth. The more he heard, the more the Lost Cybertronian regretted siding with Shockwave. Even though the group was out of immediate danger, they agreed to stay for a short while and collect reconnaissance data. It was wise of them to do so.

"What did you find Perceptor?" asked Blaster.

"Techno-organic beings have taken over Trypticon."

"What?!" gargled Seaspray. The others expressed similar disbelief.

"It’s true. I saw them infect Shockwave myself."

"These beings can’t be native to Earth," said Cosmos, "They can’t even make warp capable spacecraft, let alone a Techno-organic virus."

Perceptor nodded. "I agree with you, Cosmos. This planet’s natural inhabitants, the humans, do not have that sort of technology. And it’s doubtful these beings originated on an organic world such as this. I believe that these beings came from off-world, just like us."

The Lost Cybertronian shook his head. "It does not matter where they come from. They clearly wish to harm others. We must stop them."

"I’m afraid that will be rather difficult," said Perceptor to the Lost Cybertronian, "You see, those Transformers that are supplied with Cybertronium will be immune to infection from these beings. First, your supply of Cybertronium has expired due to your...tenure on this world. Second, with this planet’s atmosphere, our supplies will only last a few weeks at best. When that time expires, we’ll be defenseless against infection."

"We need to get Cybertronium to this planet." stated Blaster.

"But BANG where do we get it from?" asked Warpath.


The Autobots gave Blaster doubtful looks.

"Uh, Blaster," said Beachcomber in his calm voice, "The quickest way to get to Cybertron is through the Space Bridge, which is in Trypticon, a city that is crawling with possessed Decepticons. The eight of us would have to fight off an army."

Blaster’s faceplate had a grin on it. He turned towards the small pile of thermite explosives that used to occupy their systems. "Exactly."


Over the Pacific Ocean, two jets with the Decepticon symbol soared. One was black while the other was a combination of white and red. They are members of the Decepticon Seeker detachment that arrived on Earth with the Nemesis. The black one, Skywarp, and the white and red colored one, Starscream. Both have been on missions as of late. They recently met up with each other and now are heading back to Decepticon headquarters, the Nemesis.

"A Decepticon city here? On Earth? With Shockwave?!" exclaimed Starscream

"Yeah," said Skywarp, "and those Autobots sure ticked him off*(*see issue #5 for details-Wes). Megatron will just love to hear this."

"Yes, he will."

Inside, Starscream’s mind was quickly going over possible scenario’s. An army of Decepticons, even drones, could be the perfect base for an attack against Megatron, maybe even towards taking over this planet. The only obstacle was Shockwave. Perhaps an alliance could be made. But could he really trust the tactician?

The two Seekers dived into the Ocean towards the sunken Nemesis. After emitting a special code, the landing bay doors of the Nemesis opened. The two Seekers transformed to their robotic forms. A doorway on the other side of the hangar opened. The small feline Cassetticon Ravage leaped out.

"[Transform! Get us out of here now!]" growled Ravage.

The translating computers in Starscream and Skywarp instantly translated the message. Soundwave had made modifications to all translation programs in the Nemesis’ crew long ago so that the crew could understand his "children".

"What? Why?" asked Skywarp.

They didn’t need Ravage to answer them. The hangar bay door was torn open and the Phalanx infected bodies of Soundwave, Dirge, Thrust, and Rumble came pouring in.

"There it is," said Rumble, "and it’s led us straight to the remaining Seekers."

Starscream and Skywarp were shocked at what the saw. Skywarp especially.

"What the slagging-"

"[SHOOT THEM!!]" screamed Ravage.

The two Seekers hit the Phalanx with a barrage of weapons fire. Tiny pieces of Phalanx splattered on the hangar bay floor. Eventually, Starscream and Skywarp ceased fire. Seconds after they did so, the tiny pieces began to crawl towards the remains of their designated bodies.

"[Transform! We need to get out of here now!]" exclaimed Ravage.

The two Seekers transformed into their jet fighter modes. Starscream opened his cockpit and Ravage immediately hopped in. Skywarp sent the automated code, but the doors wouldn’t open. The Seeker fired two of his missiles and the doors were blown off. With a burst of fire, the two jets streaked out of the sunken fortress and into the Ocean, then the sky.

"What the slag happened?" asked Skywarp.

"[A techno-virus. It got aboard the Nemesis.]"


"[A few hours ago, Frenzy finally showed up from his...sabbatical,* and Laserbeak escaped his imprisonment from the fleshlings**(*see War Machine #4. **Laserbeak was taken prisoner by Stark Enterprises, see Iron Man #1 for more on that-Wes). Frenzy was carrying the virus, I don’t think he even knew it. Soundwave was infected immediatly, then Dirge and Thrust, then everyone else.]"

"What about Megatron?" asked Starscream.

"[He was infected as well. I just retrieved him from his mission*(*see MUTF Cable #5-Wes), and we returned shortly after Dirge and Thrust were overtaken.]"

Inwardly, Starscream smiled to himself. This was his chance, his opportunity, to get rid of Megatron without leading a full-on insurrection. If he defeated this techno-virus, the Decepticons would surely follow him. The only problem was, how would he combat a techno-virus.

"Ravage, did the Contructicons return from their assignment before Nemesis was contaminated?"


"Good, then we still have a chance. Skywarp, send me those coordinates where you spotted that city."


"We’re going to make a deal."


Down on the military base surrounding Mt. St. Hilary, there was a thickness in the air. General Preston was in the command bunker, studying monitors that showed every side of the volcano.

"Sir, one of them is coming up the road. It looks like it‘s infected," crackled a trooper’s voice over the bunker’s radio.

"Which one is it?" asked the General.

"I think it’s the one called Jazz, sir*."(*to find out where Jazz has been, check out the MUTF Bishop series-Wes)

The General turned to one of the soldiers that manned the monitors. "Give me a camera shot of that one."

One of the monitor’s showed a sporty car roaring up the road. It’s outside had the same blend of yellow and black that the other Autobots had. The General got on the radio again.

"Let it through. But don’t’ touch it, under any circumstances. That’s an order."

The barricades surrounding the volcano were opened up just enough to let the car through. It sped right on by, and into the opened "drawbridge" of the Ark.

"Anything new to report, General?" asked Ambassador Cullen, just walking into the bunker.

Preston shook his head. "No. Washington has ordered a quarantine on the Ark. Nobody gets in or out."

"No offense General, but if one of the Autobots wants out, they’re going to get out."

"That’s why we have over a dozen heavy guns and missiles trained on the Ark, just in case."

"I hope it doesn’t come to that," sighed Cullen.

"Me too."


Shockwave was held up by energy restraints in one of Trypticon’s cells. It was ironic, just twenty four hours ago, the Autobots were in here. Now, it shared the same situation. The Phalanx hadn’t tried to infect Shockwave yet, it would take several days for the Cybertronium in his circuits to begin to deteriorate. That was not the case with the other three sharing Shockwave’s cell. The three Triple Changers that came from Cybertron were there. Astrotrain, Blitzwing, and Octane were held with energy restraints as well. Each had begun to show signs of infection. It was only a few steaks of the yellow and black infection, but it was growing a little bit with each passing hour. Shockwave calculated that within two weeks, they‘d all be servants of the Phalanx.

A large explosion suddenly shook the cell. The Triple Changers all looked around frantically, Shockwave remained immobile.

"What was that?" asked Astrotrain.

"Our chance for survival." muttered Shockwave.


The Phalanx drones were rushing all over Trypticon. An explosion had just went off by one of Trypticon’s fuel tanks and took several drones with it. As Phalanx began to converge on the area, several vehicles emerged from almost nowhere. A red jet fighter, Powerglide, streaked overhead, firing down on the Phalanx. In the streets, Warpath, in tank mode, fired his cannon at the drones.

"About time I KRANG got to blow something B-BOOM up!" whooped Warpath.

Beachcomber and Seaspray backed Warpath up, firing away with their blasters. The Phalanx tried to outnumber them, but the Autobots maintained a solid front. They didn’t need to win, just buy time.

Blaster, Perceptor, Cosmos, and the Lost Cybertronian made their way to the Space Bridge’s location. It was in the main square of the city. The three made their way through the shadows while trying not to bee seen.

"Just another few meters," muttered Blaster.

The thermite explosives that were removed from them were used to blow up the fuel tanks. The plan was for half the team to create a distraction while the other used the Space Bridge to get to Cybertron to get help. A simple plan, which anyone could have thought of.

When the foursome reached their destination, they found the Space Bridge, just the same as they left it. Perceptor and the Lost Cybertronian rushed over to the controls. Blaster and Cosmos stood guard for any Phalanx drones while their companions tried to bring the Space Bridge on-line.

"Blast it!" hissed Perceptor.

"What’s wrong?" asked Blaster.

"A special code is needed to access the Space Bridge."

"I don’t suppose they wrote it down did they?" asked Cosmos.

Blaster gave him a dirty look. The Space Bridge was no longer an option. They needed something else. Blaster’s mind was going miles a minute.

"Wait! Perceptor, can you access Trypticon’s communication signal to Cybertron?"

Perceptor scrolled through the computer. "Yes, I can."

"Good. Punch in the Autobot Resistance’s code, Gold frequency."

As Perceptor did so, Blaster transformed into his alternate form, a boom box. He plugged into the communication’s console and sent out a tight beam message. He encoded it so only the Autobot’s on Cybertron would be able to decrypt it.

"I hope you guys get this," thought Blaster.

After a few minutes, Blaster transformed back. "There, it’s done."

"Uh, Blaster?"

Blaster turned around to see several dozen Phalanx drones surrounding them. The black colored Phalanx leader stood before the Autobots. He wagged his finger at them, as if scolding a young child or pet.

"Kikt...That was an unwise decision."

Blaster motioned for the others to put their guns down, then raise their hands in a surrendering gesture. Blaster‘s face was calm, showing no sign of resistance. "I‘m cool."

To be continued...

Thursday, January 10, 2002

Doctor Strange #5 - The Matrix Grimore

"Beta radiation is off the chart." A whispered male voice said to no one in particular, him being the only living person within the enclave of technology. Gears and pistons, gyros and circuitry; artifacts of the sciences surrounded him as he toiled away the hours.

"Richards' Negative Zone chart has nothing on these spectrums."

Numbers flowed like water across the digital displays. Flat panel screens in a myriad of different shapes and sizes fed the information directly to their user, an IV drip of facts and theorems. Wild eyes, tainted by madness and brilliance, gazed at the decoded binary strings like stars in an empty night sky.

"These numbers are impossible."

"Magick makes anything possible," a female voice, appearing suddenly from nowhere, replied casually as if her comment was asked for. As the man in green whirled around, scanning the area and verifying that no security alarms had been flipped, it was revealed that her voice was anything but expected.

"Or is that too Strange for you to comprehend?" Ananym asked from within the shadows.


Written By: Alex Cook


"Comprehend exactly that which I am informing you of."

Digitized notes that were modulated into something akin to a voice spoke to the assembled with an authority-ridden air that few could master.

"What we are doing is against the very files of origin we hold in each of our cores. To do these things we wholly admit there are other entities beyond our own creators that dictate the fate of Reality. We defame that which spawned us, with full knowledge and consciousness of our actions. By touching the very stones themselves we caress the skin of something beyond the Decepticon dark lords."

Statues of indifference stared back at the winged mechinoid. Steely fingers gripped the jewel of green, fractals of immense complexity rotating within its core. Holding it high, the light caught it just the right way as circles of black like heat haze seemed to rise from its surface.

"Soon the Beast itself will erase such lines of alignment. Soon, all facets will be unified." A steel feather dropped to the floor as fists and shouts were raised in the air. "All parts will be made whole."


"Parts of this still doesn't make any sense, Thinker." Ananym asked, slowly walking into the mad scientist's lair as if she were about to enjoy a spot of tea.

"When did you decide to jump the fence and play in my backyard?"

Thinking, the madman paused, looking at the red-haired dervish standing before him. Her eyes glanced behind him as he continued to elongate the moment into a pregnant pause.

"When did you start experimenting with Magick on your droids?"

"The second I found out the Xenotech had started making pixies and fireworks with the snap of their fingers, dearest Stranger." The Mad Thinker answered, a hint of a smile on his lips. "The very minute it was verified that the border between the digital and mystical had blurred. The night your predecessor was forced to leave his job. How is Beaker street by the way? Wong still about?"

Ananym eyes widened a little at the sudden outpouring of comments from her opponent.

"Know thy enemy, Ananym. And I knew you would be mine one day."

"What are you doing here, Thinker?" Ananym pressed, pointing to the faceless, ashen-skinned android on top the observation table behind him. "Or should I say 'Keith Dreams'?".

The Thinker looked back, noting the readings on the diodes affixed to the output of the android's skull. "Running an experiment," he answered simply.

Ananym saw the golden fragment of metal that seemed to be the focal point of the experiment. Leads of all sizes ran from it  casing, machinery and computerports the culmination of the cords. "Nothing that I have read on you said you believed in fairytales, Thinker."

Ananym challenged, recognizing the Golden Disk Fractyl had spoken of.

"Ah, yes, the Golden Disk." Thinker mused, almost as if the thought was spoken, rather than kept as a direct comment internally. Drifting toward the nearest monitor, the scientist made his fingers dance across the interface. Nodding, Ananym realized she had suddenly lost the mad man's interest.

"You really are Mad." Ananym offered. The Thinker simply raised his head and looked at her with rage.

"Oh, enough already. ATTACK!" he suddenly shouted, the white form of metal on the operating table opposite Ananym jerking to life equally fast.

Ananym floated a few inches from the ground, watching the lurching, sinewy movement of the Thinker's android as it neared her. 'It's fast,' she noted as it leapt over the obstacles found within a laboratory such as this. The fist was next to her cheek before she finished thinking, 'Too fast.'

"Ow!' she bellowed as the attack of the android finally connected, her cheek bruising and throbbing in response. "Screw this." Ananym's vernacular had hardened as well as her personality over the past few years. Timid at one point, the red haired woman that rose back to her feet was anything but these days.

Words meant everything to magick. True Names meant even more. It was a testament to the status of Sorcerer Supreme that Ananym said nothing as her spell was cast. The ground beneath her sagged, the concrete immediately starting to crack once the spell was complete. Then, the mage was on the move.

A right hook connected with the droid's faceless head, shattering lamely the gears that made up its jaw.

"Oh, dear." The Thinker said as he watched from the sidelines. "That's going to be a right bitch to fix."

Left unmonitored again, the screens around the Thinker spasmed as the CPU of the mechinoid relayed the feedback of the damage that Ananym's foot did to its rib cage area.

Retaliating quickly, two hits from the creation's left foot connected with the Sorcerer. First to her shin, forcing Ananym down slightly, then to her downwards turned chin, forcing her head back with a snap of her neck. A line of blood dribbled down her chin.

Ananym's smile equaled the Mad Thinker's, determining the level of their sanity.

Jumping quickly, Ananym dodged the leg sweep that was sent her way, dropping fully to the ground with her leg extended. She felt more than heard the shoulder unit give under her spell-magnified weight. Sparks flew as she rolled back and kipped up to her feet just as quickly as she had landed.

"The little toy is not faring so well, Thinker."

"No, it's not." The Thinker noted, running his fingers over a nearby keyboard.

The android stood to its full height, arms suddenly curling as its voice box began chanting. Latin, Ananym noted. A spell, she suddenly registered. Her defenses were lax as the hex caught her off guard. Spinning, Ananym fell to the floor again as the Thinker clapped his hands in glee.

"Rules changed, have they?," Strange said, floating above the ground as her hands formed an odd pattern of finger contortions. Eldritch energy formed as blue and green sparks around her arms, dissipating in strength as the effect extended towards her shoulders. There was a flash of movement as she clapped her hands together and a wall of force erupted forward. Equipment of all varieties shattered in its wake, including a large portion of the Thinker's android.

"Wow, under two minutes." The Thinker noted, glancing at the readouts. "The magickal output was meager at best. Something is not interfacing correctly."

Again, the fact that Ananym was there seemed to have slipped the Thinker's mind.

"Try this one."

Or perhaps it had not. Another white being of steel lurched forwarded, faster than the first. Its arms twirled quickly as it mimicked Ananym's earlier movements. As Ananym felt the force surging forward she leapt, hovering in the air but caught in the wash of power none the less. Tipsy, she hurtled to the ground like a stone once gravity took hold, flight halted by her lost of concentration.

"Oh, what is this? The Reflection model?" Ananym yelled, dodging another ball of force as it sailed through the air.

The smile of the Thinker only grew wider.


Wider, the circle expanded as each of the members walked further away from the growing...

It could only be explained as a rip. A physical tear in the very air in front of them. Within its veil, nothing but black was shown, small white dots that appeared to be stars speckling its surface.

The chant continued as the four teens steeled themselves against the dark wonder, birthing itself onto their plane of reality.


Reality swam around her as dots of ebony and crimson danced in front of Ananym's eye. 'Damn, that thing can punch,' she thought as she rubbed her temple.

"Oh, is the Gamma Flight member hurt?" Thinker asked in a sing-song voice.

Ananym only glared at the madman. "How'd you know that, Thinker?"

"Oh, I've learned lots and lots about that esoteric side of the world you inhabit, my dear." The thinker began pontification as his android launched another volley of assaults Ananym's way. "Everything technological is my backyard, child. Now, due to circumstances I still do not understand, the lines between your world and mine have crossed."

Ananym returned the attack with a spell of her own, flames engulfing the construct in the hopes of melting it where it stood.

"I've had to learn of all sorts of new things. Things like the Golden Disk over there. Or the entity named Vishianti. Let's not forget when I learned about those stones you've been collecting."

Ananyms eye widened as the Mad Thinkers words diverted her attention. The android took advantage of it and threw the mage across the room, her spine screaming in protest as she connected mercilessly with the wall.

"How about that girl you found a few weeks back? Or the circular design? Oh yes, I've learned lots and lots and lots and lots since the Transformers started blasting around energy beams not based on normal mathematics."

Ananym gasped for breath as she attempted to destroy the android yet again, this time forming a hand from the very concrete itself and forcing its fingers around the mechanical thing, ensnaring it within a crushing grip.

"One of my favorites is how you got infected with the TechnoOrganicVirus in the first place,"

Ananym reeled as the sudden bomb was dropped on her. The Mad Thinker only smiled wider as he noted her reaction. He was far from done, however. The sudden revelation that her illness was not at all well-concealed had hurt her more than any physical blow yet.

"However, the absolute best thing was how your Dad is involved in so much more then you realize!"

Ananym lost all composure at the mention of her father and spun around, facing the Thinker with daggers in her eyes. Howling, she seemed to snap from one point on the floor to another in the blink of an eye as her hands gripped the insane gentleman's throat in the same manner the stone hand flexed around his android.

"Don't you DARE utter that bastard's name!" Ananym shouted, turning and slamming the Mad Thinker to the ground.

"Hit a raw nerve, have I?" He said with nothing but pure glee.

The fist of concrete spasmed as it crushed the android in its grasp fiercely. A small portion of the Thinker's smile faded.


Their voices, unified in all aspects, faded collectively. The volume diminished as the stars winked out one by one, the tear seeming to close with the oddest snapping sound in the gathering had ever heard.

If not everyone had not been so intent on the closing remarks required by the casted spell, the pop of reality correcting itself would not have been the only irregular sound they heard. Like the snap a firecracker emits in a hollow alley, the noise was unnoticed as someone had hoped.

A hand, clad in a blue sleek cuff near the wrist, dropped to the odd black material on the ground, smearing the circular edge in a wave.

With the final small fissure in reality secured, the hand seemed to fold in on itself with a puff of smoke.

Almost as one each that remained sighed in relief. One dropped to his knees, sweat pouring from underneath his cloak. Two others hobbled over to a nearby car's hood, leaning against it as they sucked in air in gasps. Only one stayed standing, although she did show extreme wear after such strenuous work.

"DigitalConstructs, anyone?" One near the car asked, hopefully.

The remaining three groaned.


"Groan all you want, your damn bot did more than that to me a few minutes ago." Ananym said, looking down at the caged villain near her feet.

Tendrils of crimson, small curled spikes running up and down each side hooking into the fat skin of the Mad Thinker.

"Oh, this is an event I do wish never repeating." The man sighed, groaning as the binds tightened their hold on him.

Ananym looked down again, calculating her options. The question of what to do with the maniac weighed heavily on her mind, as her options were minimal.

Ananym almost laughed out loud when the solution dawned on her. "Oh, dear boy, this is going to be a hoot." Flicking her wrist to the left, the Mad Thinker was suddenly standing upright, leaning next to the wall grimacing in pain. The thorns were downright uncomfortable.

"First, a question. Where did you learn about the Golden Disk?"

The Thinker sighed, looking over at his captor as non-chalantly as possible. Failing, he just groaned in pain again. "Oh, put two and two together dear. How did I know about the dead little girl?"

"You've obviously consorted with Transformers." Ananym said flatly.

"Ah, not only Transformers. A certain sect of Xenotech. A very odd variety of the species in fact."

Ananym only glared, waiting for the tortured man to continue.

"Where have you seen the circle before?" The Thinker tried to prompt again. Ananym sighed as she realized he was not going to answer anything directly.

"You really are nuts."

"Yes, there is that undeniable fact."

Ananym only rubbed her temples, thinking. Where had she seen that damn symbol before, she contemplated.

Finally, the Mad Thinker could handle no more. "Why do you think I kept dragging out our damn fight, woman? Don't you think I had everything planned out within 12% of error?! Ananym, think for once!" The man was almost pleading with her.

Wait, pleading, Ananym thought. Why hasn't he answered a single question directly? "Have you been binded from saying certain things, Thinker?" Ananym ventured.

The insane riddled man only shook his head in agreement.

"Begone." Ananym commented, The Mad Thinker convulsed as he seemed to fold in on himself in the most horrendous looking of ways. A puff of smoke was all that signified the completion of his transportation, the small hole created by the spell closing rapidly. A woman was heard through it however, Ananym smiling at her screams.

"Mr. Blackrock!"

Ananym only sighed as her glee at the madman's absence faded. All she could do was think about his words, the Mad Thinker's ramblings having opened one too many wounds. Exhaustion gripped her suddenly as the adrenaline drained away as well.

A small tendril of wire sprouted from behind her ear and secured itself into her collarbone, almost instantly. Ananym could only grimace at the sudden intrusion.

Why had the Mad Thinker kept on launching drone after drone after her? Was there some reason he was forced to keep her here?

Who could manipulate that madman though? And with magick at that?

Ananym thoughts were heavy as she too vanished from the Mad Thinkers secret and now-destroyed locale.




For some reason this one was hard to write. I'm not sure how well this came off, actually. Hrm. I'll try something different next time.

-ALEX 01.10.02