Autor Thema: Dr. Thomas A. Richards Reloaded  (Gelesen 8771 mal)

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Offline DAOGA

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Re: Dr. Thomas A. Richards Reloaded
« Antwort #15 am: 30. Dezember 2012, 19:22:39 Uhr »
They all went to the lab section of the FSA headquarter, catching some very puzzled looks from the agents they met on the corridor. The strange parade of twins including two who were actually colleagues of them was bound to create gossip. Both Foxes and both Wylies knew that the whole house was already brimming with rumors and they had fun trying to picture the results, knowing "their" colleagues well.
The tests on the agents got done first and were soon finished. Samples of blood, urine, skin and hair got taken, and the general had had their dentist called who was really amazed to see two perfectly identical versions of his handiwork. But since the man had known all along his patients were government agents he didn´t ask about how this was possible and to what means. Since the general himself was supervising all the time it was okay and taken care of. At the same time other specialists were over the things the dimension travelers had brought along, like the service weapons of the agents, their badges, the contents of their wallets and other stuff they incidentally had carried in their pockets, even dust samples from them, dirt from their shoes and small samples of fabric from their clothing. But again, nothing looked like it was out of the ordinary, save for the fact that the guns of both pairs of twin agents were perfectly identical, up to the very topic of the unique pattern of scratches they left on the fired bullets. Which was quite impossible, as the agency´s expert on weapons assured the general, and a good proof that they were indeed the identical versions of two different dimensions.
Next were the Forresters and their son.
For them the scientists had already prepared a lot of equipment, and Scott almost freaked oupt when he saw it. Richards had  to calm him down. "Don´t worry. Most of that stuff looks nastier than it really is, and they have state-of-the-art technology that won´t cause too much pain. They´ve already left the medieval age here. Look, they even got you a CAT-scan, short for computed axial tomography scan. You can feel honored, those things cost a bundle, you know. Even most hospitals still don´t have one of those." He pointed at the huge machine.
"Want to try it?" a winking Dr. Keller asked Tom. "We´ll do that with you anyway, and since you know so much about it you can as well start with it."
"Sorry, not right now. As long as I´m inside the machine I´d not be able to keep an eye on my aliens. If we all are lucky you´ll soon have an exact dublicate of me at your disposal, and then you can scan him all you like. If not, you´ll get me tomorrow after our big date with Firebird. Promise." He turned to Scott who just had a blood sample taken from him. "Why don´t you, to keep our hosts happy? That thing works like an X-ray and it´s absolutely painless, but it will take some time. Inside the machine it´s noisy and narrow and the parts will move around you while you have to lie really still for some time or you´d botch the data, but it´s perfectly harmless. You aren´t claustrophobic, or are you? Then there should be no problems. Just think about something nice and remember not to move." He urged the sullen boy to the machine, watched amusedly by Keller and his smirking staff. They made Scott lie down on the the couch that was part of the machine and fixed him with a few strips of tape, just to remind him he was not to move. Two Pauls watched worriedly as the couch with "their" son then disappeared slowly into the bulk of machinery which got supervised by one of the lab assistants. Dr. Keller pointed towards another construction. "Who´s the first for EEG and ECG?"
"This will be interesting," Tom grinned and pointed haphazardly at one of the Forresters. "Go on, Paul, and make us proud." Said Forrester looked puzzled but followed the order. While he stripped and got strapped to the apparatus and planted with a gazillion of electrodes on his head and his whole body and watched the doings of the lab staff with curious expression his twin stood guard, both to his other self and the machine with Scott inside.
The general looked content, seeing that everything went well and nobody refused the orders Richard gave to this crew and +here+ Forrester and his son alike. If this continued the agents waiting outside for any unwanted surprise coming from their "guests" wouldn´t be needed, but still, they would stay where they were for now.
'"I think you can do without me here. Mr. Fox, and Mr. Fox, both of you," he said. "Would you accompany me to my office for an interview?"
"Of course, Sir," the +other+ one obeyed immediately. The three of them left the lab. So they missed the surprised "Whoa!" Dr. Keller spouted when he got the first readings from "his" Paul. "Is he touching a live wire somewhere? These readings are madness!"
Tom laughed happily. "No, those readings are all right. You know, his human body is just a shell, a housing for the alien inside. When he created it he improved it in some ways. For instance, it´s generating much more bioelectricity than a common human body to provide the alien inside with the energy it needs for food. This body is something like an electric eel in human guise. He´s learned to do such things back home. The cloning of a body is an important part in the training of every Algeiban spaceman in case he has to make an emergency landing on a planet with hostile conditions, like Earth for instance."
"Hostile? Earth?" Heads turned to Richards, the lab staff gazing at him with puzzled expressions.
"His homeworld is much like our Venus, but with a huge system of silvery rings all around it and one heck of an electromagnetic field. We human beings and our machines couldn´t survive there for a single second, and vice versa our mother Earth ist not exactly what an Ageiban would see as a hospitable place. So he had to adapt if he wanted to stay. There should be other alterations, too. Especially in the brain since the normal number of synapses in a human brain wouldn´t suffice to take in all the data stored in the electrical body of an Algeiban. Alterations of the brain will also affect the absorption of glucose and certain hormones, since those additionally synapses have to be fueled and maintained. I guess he´s tampered a bit with the digestive system, too, making it more effective. Am I right there, Pauls?"
They both smiled at him. "We learned a lot by examining our very first human body, the clone of Scott Hayden senior, on our flight back to our homeworld. Since we´ve learned more since then we could do even better by now," one of them said.
"Benefits we´ll try to give on tomorrow to Firebird," Tom expressed his hopes aloud. "He´ll be happy never having to worry about Montezuma´s revenge ever again." He grinned mischievously, meeting smiling faces all around.
"You aren´t meeting at all what I imagined aliens to be like," Dr. Keller admitted.
"What, bloodthirsty creatures? Grrrrh, gimme brains! I need brains!" And Richards did his best zombie-imitation which just caused laughter.
"'Aw, nobody´s taking me seriously." he promptly complained. "I need brains! That reads, not you, Wylie."
Laughter again as both Wylies made a funny face to meet the comment properly.
"Is he always like that?" Dr. Keller asked the Wylies.
"You have no idea. He´s not the guy to leave a lonely joke standing by the roadside. Problem is, as soon as he´s caught the poor critter he will ride it till it drops dead." More giggling.
Tom looked around as if searching for something to throw, but since all things he found within reach were either pointy or breakable he let them be. So he just made a lazy throwing move with his empty hand instead and said: " Consider getting something thrown at you, Benjamin Wylie. Something really, really, icky."
"Gah! Mountain cheese! No fair!" +Other+ Wylie mimicked ducking for cover, causing a new round of laughter.
"Now, Mr. Richards, since you refused the CAT-scan, may I have your blood instead?" Dr. Keller asked friendly before the scene could wander off into total nonsense.
« Letzte Änderung: 30. Dezember 2012, 19:44:13 Uhr von DAOGA »

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Re: Dr. Thomas A. Richards Reloaded
« Antwort #16 am: 10. Januar 2013, 13:10:09 Uhr »
"Be my guest." Tom pulled up his sleeves and presented his bare arm. His face was deliberately blank now which told his crew that maybe Tom disliked to give blood himself, but more likely that another one of his pranks was already in work. The doctor prepared the taking of the sample, thrust the needle into Tom´s arm - but something went wrong. The needle wouldn´t pierce the skin, it got stopped by something as hard as steel. He tried again. Again the needle stabbed the arm of the delinquent, Keller could see the dent it made in the skin, but then it moved no further in. When he pushed harder the needle seemed to bend, and then it avoided the invincible obstacle by slipping away without even causing a scratch.
"Problems? Try the other arm," Tom offered friendly, face still motionless despite the rough handling.
Dr. Keller did, with the same result. The rest of the audience watched now, silent and breathless.
"Try at his feet," Mrs. Behmena, one of the lab assistants, suggested.
"Thanks, Mary," the doctor said and tried. But again, Tom´s skin was adamant. There seemed to be no way to get through it. Dr. Keller was a bit enervated now but far from beaten, he´d found his challenge. He knew well that the average human body had more than enough places to draw a blood sample from --
Tom giggled and squirmed when they started to dig deeper, Dr. Keller, his intern Dr. Solane, and Mrs. Behmena the lab assistant all together now without too much sympathy and definitely without any sense of shame. "Stop, that tickles! No, will you please leave my private parts alone! It won´t work there either, I tell you! Please, Miss, would you mind keeping your hands out of my pants?" he complained while he struggled back half-heartedly.
Laughter from the background. The childish scene the four of them made was just too funny. Two Wylies, two Pauls, another lab assistant and Scott, just released from the CAT-scan, were laughing tears while clinging to any support they could find.
One Federal agent stuck his head in at the door. Yes, of course they were supervising what was going on in the lab from the outside at their monitors which showed them anything the cameras in the lab got, just without sound. The strange events here, two doctors and their assistant acting like children around one of the detainees and the others laughing like mad had made the agents antsy.
"Get out, you! What´s happening here is X-rated, too hardcore for your delicate mind!" a laughing +here+ Wylie shooed him back out. He knew the colleague would retaliate later for this, but he just couldn´t help it now.
Dr. Keller finally gave up. He and his helpers retreated from their victim. "Now, Mr. Richards. Would you please explain to us why we can´t get through your skin?"
They all looked a bit heated now, both from the "fight" and from the sheer embarassment of the scene they had created as they suddenly realized from the noise coming from the background. Maybe from a bit of rage on the doctor´s behalf, too.
Tom wiped a few tears of laughter from his eyes. "Remember the famous impervious thick hide of the dragons from legends? Well, since I´m bonded to a dragon I´ve inherited that ability, it´s something every dragon bearer has. I can shit and spit like anybody else, but I can´t bleed on the outside, there´s no way you can get through my skin. You could try in more... delicate places, but that would be too unpleasant for me. The only one who´s able to draw blood from me in a halfways comfortably way is myself. Gimme that."
Dr. Keller handed him the syringe, and Tom put the needle in his mouth. He didn´t move nor did he thrust it into his tongue or elsewhere, but they saw that his matrix came alive, seemingly without doing anything. After a few minutes he handed the syringe back to Dr. Keller, and it was filled with the required blood sample.
"Wear it in good health," he grinned. The scientist accepted it like a prized treasure.
"I´ll have to do that again, tomorrow, if all is going well and Firebird has his new body. A cloned body doesn´t have much of an immune system, you know, so first thing he´ll need is a transfusion from me, and later a good dose of healthy intestinal flora. If we´re neglecting this the first harmless bug that comes along might kill him. I´m pretty much immune against most diseases and many poisons too, and I hope I can give that on to him. But on his part the transfusion will be easier. Since he´s got no dragon he´ll have no ´chain mail field´ around him."
"A dragon?" Dr. Keller asked, baffled. Nobody had told him about a dragon!
"Want to see it? No, not the dragon, it´s too big for this lab. But I can show you my connections to it that cause the chainmail-effect." Tom took his cane and activated the matrix again. And then he suddenly was enveloped by a finely spun veil made from pure white light which was all around him and connected to him in every part of his being. He looked almost like a living Christmas tree, covered all over by very fine tinsel in purest white, and that´s the way the others looked at him now, amazed and fascinated like little children.
"It´s attached to my aura and all other parts of my body, and it contains what we M-Tecs call relative fields. Small ones, none of them bigger than the point of a needle, but a damn lot of them. Together they´re working like chainmail armor from medieval times, they catch anything that´s coming at me and stop it, be it a needle, a knife, a bullet or a hard ray of some sort. They dont´t stop the force of an impact, though. So if you´re shooting at me the bullet itself won´t hurt me, but the impact still could break my bones, and the shock could kill me. Lucky for me, I´ve trained a lot with my aura. That´s part of the M-Tec training, you know. If I know beforehand something´s coming at me I can use my aura as a cushion, to a certain extent at least."
"What else can you do with it?" The Agency´s scientists proved quite curious, they loved a good challenge.
"That´s about all I can do. I just can tell you what I can´t. I can´t open it so somebody could operate on me for instance. Or take my blood." He grinned. "And I can´t turn it off nor can I give it on to somebody else. I can´t because I didn´t create it. It was forced on me when I was young and I´ve worn it ever since. I could cut the strings that connect it with my dragon with the power of my matrix, but that would be damn dangerous since I don´t know which of my vital parts are connected with it, I could quite involuntarily kill myself. This field and anything connected to it got created by a matrix which was much stronger than mine, and we M-Tecs have a simple rule that reads: ´Never mess with something that got created by a matrix stronger than your own´. My teacher in matrix technology checked it with all the experience he had, and even he didn´t dare to meddle with it."
He extinguished the power from his matrix, and his appearance returned back to normal.
« Letzte Änderung: 10. Januar 2013, 13:26:35 Uhr von DAOGA »

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Re: Dr. Thomas A. Richards Reloaded
« Antwort #17 am: 23. Januar 2013, 13:10:24 Uhr »
"But there´s one thing he can do," Wylie suddenly mixed in. "He can copy it and graft the copy onto somebody else."
Tom wasn´t peeved to see this secret lifted by the insolent agent. "That´s true. But such a copy alone would be very dangerous to anybody who´s wearing it, if the counterbalance is missing. An unbalanced copy with its many open connnections is an invitation for every extradimensional enemy that might lurk around. When I got Azure I made +my+ Paul and Scott and  +my+ agents stand guard for the time and it didn´t take  long. For a longer time than that and without able guards I wouldn´t vouch for the outcome, and I wouldn´t consciously do something like this to anybody if the counterbalance wasn´t ready for fitting. The only fitting counterbalance is a dragon ready for Bonding as far as we know, and those are damn hard to get by. You can tell General Wade and his bosses that´s no viable way to create invulnerable warriors, sorry. Not if he wants his men to stay alive and un-invaded by things much worse than an Algeiban."
"Your cane - that blue glowing thing -"
Tom nodded. And explained to his captive audience what a so-called energy matrix, dhyarra or starstone was, where it did come from and why it was so dangerous for any unauthorized user.
"That´s where they differ from the tools Algeibans like our Pauls here use," he finished his lecture. "Paul, please show them your sphere -  thank you. Those silvery spheres are made from a metallic substance that´s native to the Algeiban homeworld. I know that at least part of it consists of Gravium or Dhyarite as we call it, but don´t ask me about the rest of the contents, they are probably other n-dimensional equivalents of certain elements from our continuum. Even our M-Tec experts couldn´t find out, and they´ve got a lot more experience with such things than any lab or scientist on the Earth of this dimension and age could come up with. Only Algeibans can use it, and humans of Algeiban ancestry like Scott here. Anybody else could use such a sphere as pretty paperweight only because it won´t do anything for him. By the way, I can´t use them either despite all my experience. You may try, though, the Pauls certainly won´t object. And maybe, just maybe you´re in fact a lost Algeiban heir?"
With that remark he winked at the grinning Pauls and said: "Told you they´d forget all about you as soon as they´re over me, didn´t I?"
They and Scott smiled back at him. They´d have never believed indeed that an (almost) human being could be more interesting to the scientists of the FSA than genuine aliens.
"Back to the dragon..."
"Which is no natural creature still existing in some wilderness, living well hidden and being known only from fantasy tales like Yeti or Bigfoot. The dragons of which I got one got created by aliens of a long-extinct high-tech civilization, as self-propellend, self-reproducing weapons of war." He told them what he and his friends had found out or at least suspected, and why the dragons were so important. Well knowing that all he said and demonstrated in this lab got recorded and filmed and would be later the subject of many scientific evaluations. But he had good reason to spread his knowledge most generously. Since he now knew that the Unknown Enemy tried to hit this dimension as well as his own he had to prepare them with as much useful knowledge as possible. He wouldn´t leave them without increasing their chances at surviving the coming new war with the Unknown Enemy. This he told them, too, as a little reminder to +this+ General Wade to take his warnings about the Enemy seriously.
While he was talking, Scott switched to the EEG/ECG and one of the Pauls went into the scanning machine. Since they knew by now that these examinations were quite harmlesss and painless indeeed, they didn´t refuse.
Another lab assistant had taken their spheres and started doing tests with them, which wouldn´t do damage to them even if they got cut apart in the process as one of the Pauls had told the scientists and Scott alike. To their great dismay the scientists didn´t get Tom´s matrix though, because such a matrix or dhyarra as it was also called would cause dangerous harm to any human being stupid enough to meddle with it in its activated crystallic form, with the exception of Tom Richards who had earned himself in many long years the training and experience and hence the permission to use such a dangerous tool, and as harmless inactive metallic version they already had the stash of starstones that consisted of exactly the same material just in its other metallic aggregation state, which would have to suffice for the experiments.
"I still wonder why you´re willing to work with us so freely. It´s almost as if you want to spell the most interesting parts out for us," Dr. Keller wondered.
Tom smiled at him. "I´m just as curious as you are, Dr. Keller. I, too, want to know if there are differences between our dimensional versions, and you are the best way to find out. I´ve always hated lab work so I´ll gladly leave it all to you. And you´re quite right, I dare you to find out as much as you can. The things I won´t get because we´ll return back home soon might be useful for my other me here. I see this as a very profitable enterprise for all of us."
"But you behave like you´re not taking any of it seriously."
Tom leaned back comfortably, still smiling. "Well, I got it when you wanted to do your tests with us that you wouldn´t take a `No´ for an answer and that either you´d try to play the mad scientist-slash-evil agent and give our poor Scott here one heart attack after another out of sheer fright, or I gave you a forward pass in fun, and we did just the same anyway but in a more humorful way. Works just as fine and is much more fun, isn´t it?"
And the doctor had to agree.
« Letzte Änderung: 23. Januar 2013, 13:44:43 Uhr von DAOGA »

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Re: Dr. Thomas A. Richards Reloaded
« Antwort #18 am: 18. Februar 2013, 14:02:25 Uhr »
At the same time General Wade had his interview with Agent Fox, both versions, knowing that his other agents would notify him immediately if something happened in the lab which would need intervention from their side.
"Now, Mr. Fox. I know I´m not your General - but still, mind to answer a few questions?" he asked the +other+ Fox when they all were seated.
"I don´t mind at all, sir," Fox answered friendly. His stance was calm and relaxed. "Please, ask away."
"Do you know our guest rooms are under surveillance?"
"Yes, sir." The facial expression he showed at the acknowledgement made his other self ask warily: "Do you think it´s funny?"
"No, of course not. I just thought about what Richards would have said now. He´d have added: ´and that´s why we left our porn collection at home´." Both Foxes wouldn´t show openly their amusement at such a  silly remark, they just purposely stared at each other in a small mid duel. The General ignored it. He took a remote which had been lying on his desk, and a TV connected to a VCR which were normally hidden in one of the cabinets of the office flickered to life.
"Mr. Fox. This is a recording from yesterday evening. Could you please explain to us what´s going on there?"
The pictures, taken from a surveillance camera that had to be somewhere on the ceiling, probably in one of the lamp sockets, pictured Tom´s full crew from above. Tom, the two Pauls and Scott were sitting on their beds, they had refused to get divided onto different rooms, rather transported the beds into one room instead even if it became really tight. Their+ Fox and Wylie stood where they had found room, next to one of the walls and watched with interest as the activated Algeiban spheres and Tom´s matrix bathed the room in their bright blue light. Besides the emission of bright light nothing seemed to happen, they were just sitting there, concentrating on whatever they were doing for about ten minutes. The pictures had been taken the day before, as the +other+ Fox knew because he´d been there, the Fox he was seeing now on the screen had been himself, of course.
"They´re securing the rooms you allocated to us. Tom is the guardian of our aliens in our dimension, you know, and he´s taking his duty quite serious. He told you yesterday he´s trusting you in the same way he´s trusting our own General Wade, which means he´s trusting you about as far as he can throw you, and even that is a leap of faith for him who´s chronically suspicious and has good reason to be. Even if you had given him a word of honor about our safety which you didn´t," - Fox made clear about this - "he´d never be stupid enough to put his full trust into intelligence men. He knows, even if he could trust you and had your word of honor, your superiors could decide otherwise, and you´d have to obey. If you had ordered your men to storm the rooms, to gas us while sleeping or to do other things last night you´d have been in for some nasty surprises. In our dimension he´s secured his hospital, his own and Forrester´s home and their cars in the same way. So that´s nothing unusual with him."
"You say, he secured the rooms. But the Forresters and the boy were also into it."
"They´re his students. His apprentices, as he calls them. Richards knows a lot about how to do security measures with those alien tools they have, so he´s taking the lead, at the same time teaching the Forresters and Scott Jr.. If they´re doing something Paul knows more about, like cloning for instance, they will swap roles and Tom is the apprentice. It´s a constant exchange of information between them, they´re constantly learning from each other. And I think, none of them would want to miss it."
"You know pretty much about how they are doing things," +here+ Fox said.
"You´ll get a lot in dealing with them for two years, because Tom Richards isn´t too big into secretiveness. Making him talk is not difficult at all, it´s getting him to shut up that´s the really hard part, that man could drown the Death Valley in words. Actually, and +my+ General Wade agrees with me, we believe Tom is purposely training us, too, in the ways he sees fit, as additionally hands for emergencies. We don´t have the tools they have, and even if we took them from them we couldn´t use them without killing ourselves in the attempt, but we can provide other assistance. It´s my personal belief, though, that most of our assistance to Richards consists of purely morally support. I think he needs us to keep his god complex in check, and if you think about your Firebird you´ll find that thought not too odd. The real magic he´s working himself with his matrix, as he calls his tool, we agents just stand by and act as extra eyes and ears to him, as drivers or as personnel to keep bystanders at a distance." He turned to his other self. "You´ve watched it yourself yesterday. That´s the way it´s always going."
Then he spoke to the General again. "And if you´ll be working with your version of him in the future which I believe you´ll do, even if he might lose his super-human powers, you´ll learn eventually to go with his eccentricities. You don´t need to worry he´ll defect to somewhere else. He´s in fact a very clingy character and likes to turn to people he knows, so you´ll have certainly more than a time when you´d just wish to lose him to somebody else in the biz when he bothers you time and again. But his experience in terms of weird stuff is just too precious to turn him away. If he calls on you you better listen carefully because it´s usually something really important, like the imminent end of the world."
"You´ve been often in action with him?"
The agent nodeed. "A few times, but those would already count for a whole lifetime if I didn´t know he´ll bring on new and even weirder things all the time."
"Did something happen in -- New Mexico?" Both Foxes well noticed the slight hesitation. And one of them knew the reason because the whole thing was top secret, nothing less but a successfully averted attempt of extradimensional powers, Richards´s so-called Invisible Enemy, to invade American territority.
"This happened here, too?" the interrogated agent just said. "And your superhero called Firebird was the only one able to penetrate the shield? He went in, alone, and destroyed it, but after that he was different somehow, maybe appeared much more often in public than before? He was different, because something had happened to him inside the bubble, something the results of we´ve seen?"
Wade nodded curtly, not saying a single word because he didn´t want to break his pledge of secrecy. Fox understood, but since he was just passing on hearsay, and to an authorized superior to boot, he didn´t have to obey that restriction.
"Well, in our dimension it went slightly different. You´d have to ask our Mr. Wylie for details, he was there and even inside the bubble, you know. But I remember what Tom told me about it later. I already wondered what could have brought your version of him into the condition he is now, and now I understand. Well, our Richards had found out, too, that he could cross the shield. But instead of going in alone he sent for help, with some assistance from our General. Together they ralled thirteen dragons, including Richards´s own pet Azure, and a crew of twenty-four heavily armed Marines, two for each dragon. Tom reckoned the dragons to be not just able to penetrate the shield but to take passengers and equipment with them into the bubble, a guess which turned out to be right. The other two passengers were Agent Wylie, because he´s an avid dragonrider on our dimension and was able and eager to help with the Marine´s mounts and communication, and Richards´s own teacher in matrix technology, a really scary guy Mr. Wylie appropriately nicknamed ´Darth Vader´.  That´s a damn huge amount of firepower, sir, heavily armed Marines, a wing of fire-breathing battle-dragons and two trained Level Five matrix technicians, but it turned out they needed it all, and despite all their power they suffered heavy losses in men and dragons. The people connected to the dragons like Richards himself, the so-called dragon bearers who were no fighters themselves, all made it out alive, some of them just by a hair´s breath when their dragons died in the middle of action. Anything they found inside the bubble matched what Richards knew as typical for the deadly organic weapons of the so-called Unknown Enemy, his old nemesis. Black ones like the one we´ve fought yesterday were just one sort among many, they also encountered winged white wyrms which are small but extremely fast and able to drill themselves through hardest rock at rocket-speed, lava-spitting fireworms, acidic molds, deadly fungi, huge flying swarms of blood-thirsty piranha-like creatures and many other alien and absolutely deadly life forms. In the end they found the shaft which anchored the bubble to our dimension and blew it with a small nuke, after they had dispatched its powerful guardian. Mr. Wylie got hurt in the battles, but he didn´t chicken out. He´s still wearing the scars, he refused when Tom offered to remove them, talking about warrior´s scars to be proud of. I know he got awarded a medal together with the surviving Marines, and I think our general was really proud of him, though he never showed it."
"You´re saying, Richards knows more about the black monsters?"
« Letzte Änderung: 18. Februar 2013, 14:40:29 Uhr von DAOGA »

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Re: Dr. Thomas A. Richards Reloaded
« Antwort #19 am: 27. Februar 2013, 12:51:11 Uhr »
"He and his pals learned about them the hard way. But maybe it´s best I start at the very beginning. How Mr. Wylie and I became acquainted with them and the rest of his mad entourage. It was about two years ago, right here in Washington. Mr. Wylie and I were after Forrester and his offspring once again. We had found them and lost them again when they separated. And then, when we were searching the streets, we suddenly saw Scott Hayden. He wasn´t alone, another boy was with him we first mistook for a girl for his long blond hair. There had been an accident, somebody got hit by a car, and the blond boy was taking care of the victim, with a bright blue light coming from him which we could see from the distance. So we knew he´d used an Algeiban sphere, and I felt my worst fears confirmed. Another alien, that meant the invasion I´d been afraid of all the time finally had begun. -- Scott dragged the other boy away when he saw us coming, but we followed and cornered them in a blind alley. Mr. Wylie restrained them and found Scott´s sphere, but none on the strange boy when he searched him. But in the next second it was us who were caught. The boy had indeed a tool of alien origin but not a metallic marble. Instead, he used a small blue crystal which he wore in a golden ring. It was of the same kind as Richards has in the hilt of his cane, but weaker, a Level Three as he told us later, because he´s still an apprentice of Level Three while Richards is one of Level Five, a much higher and much more powerful Level. Those crystals are unlike the Algeiban spheres open for human use but very dangerous. Trying to use them without the proper training and a special permit is a way to commit suicide in a very unpleasant way. Richards strictly forbade to even touch his cane, let alone trying to use the matrix in its hilt. Even our Paul Forrester isn´t allowed to use it and never would anyway, he said it would kill him instantly if he tried. And from what I´ve seen I know he didn´t underestimate. That thing owns the equivalent power of a small nuke, part of which goes right through its user every time it´s activated. Tom is weird enough to survive that, but I wouldn´t recommend a try to anybody else. Especially because that matrix is programmed to obey him only, everybody else meddling with it will get attacked by it, and Tom will feel that attack as a very unpleasant backlash."
Fox returned to his original line of thought and continued: "So, we were caught in invisible but indestructible force fields created by an energy matrix, but our captor wasn´t intent to hurt us, he had just secured us for a talk. When I accused the boy to be alien, he told us that only his so-called fivehundred-times-grandpa had been an alien, a visitor from about thirteen thousand years ago. He recognized my pathological fear of Scott and his progenitor and asked for the reason. Since I refused to answer and didn´t react to his taints about Algeibans being sissies, he plucked it out of my brains. The powers of his matrix also gave him telepathic abilities which he used on me. But since he´d always sucked in telepathy, to quote him, he wasn´t very subtile. I could watch all the memories as he dug them up, like reliving them once again. And I realized why I had been so obsessed with Forrester all the time. I remembered my first hunt for the Wisconsin-alien as well as my time as prisoner of the Viet Cong, and the original Forrester´s role in our country´s downfall there which he´d added to with his damn pictures, and I realized that all of that had become tangled somehow in my mind to create one big mess. Later, when the alien returned in the cloned body of Forrester, I couldn´t see the alien in him at all, sir, all I saw the whole time was the damn Charlie out to invade my country and get me and torture me again. Yes, sir, after the boy had messed with my brains for the first time I realized my mistake." His eyes were now more on his other self than on the General.
His twin looked grim, said tangled mess still firmly implanted in his mind, he sat like petrified in his chair. But in his eyes some realization seemed to grow, as he overthought what he´d just heard. General Wade also looked very thoughtful now, his gaze wandering constantly from one Fox to the other and back. The otherdimensional Fox continued.
"The boy wasn´t done with me yet. He said that his teacher had taught him to give something back when he had taken, and so he transferred some memories of his own on to me. He was in fact a visitor from the future, from the twenty-eight century, and had already had dealings with aliens of a handful different species. Algeibans like Paul were considered obnoxious little pests for their insatiable curiosity but mostly harmless and even very useful in some ways, and that´s why he had found my fear of him and Scott so funny. His own distant relatives, the alien descendants of his fivehundred-times-grandpa, were big bipedal cats looking like cat kin from Earth, like lions or tigers or lynxes. There were other aliens in his time, too, birdman-like shape-changers he´d had as teachers, lizard- and dinosaur-like reptiles, toadmen who were agents of the Unknown Enemy, some bizarre lifeform that was all gray and tentacled and stinking but friendly and even the big brothers of the Algeibans, beings with almost god-like powers and consisting of pure energy in the shape of huge firebirds. Yes, there´s a reason why your superhero uses that certain shape and not another. - I learned from those memories that you can´t judge a book by its cover and no alien by its looks, because the boy had become best buddy with some of the aliens and fought to the death with others of the same species. I remember I almost envied him the ease he dealt with it, when I received those memories. And I´m still asking myself what would have come out of it if somebody like him had been there instead of me when the Forrester/Hayden-alien first landed in Wisconsin. -- I also got some picture about dragons but didn´t understand them then, that came only later with his second visit in our time."
Fox then told his audience the story how the time traveler more or less drafted them and Scott and Paul to help him track and exterminate a dreadful carrier-agent from the future and its dangerous living freight of self-reproducing nanotech robots intent on overtaking mankind´s fledgling computer technology. Of course he didn´t leave out the part about his meeting with Paul Forrester.
"Even if I didn´t confuse the alien with Viet Cong any longer it still could be dangerous in its own alien way, and so I had to make sure. I guess Mr. Wylie was right when he said I looked like eating Forrester alive. I was sick of hunting him all the time, I wanted it to be over in any way possible, even if I had to resort to cannibalism. And then happened what Siwa Hendricks, the blond boy from the future, had pioneered in some way with his mind-tampering. I had realized then that the best way to find out the truth was to force Forrester into a telepathic rapport, because it´s very hard to lie in such a rapport. He could try to hide his intentions, but I thought I´d be strong enough to do the same thing as the boy had done to me, to search his brains mercilessly for the information I craved for, as soon as I had contact. When Forrester turned up after his son had called him I immediately jumped at him. I would have used brute strength and any means necessary, but he complied freely. And what I got then --" Again he looked at his other self, with a very earnest expression. "I think that´s the test for you Tom talked about. I could tell you a lot about it now, but you´d never completely understand, let alone believe it. That´s something you have to do for yourself, and with your own Paul Forrester. Without it you will never fully regain the peace of your soul, believe me."
He then told them the rest of the story and of the weeks after the Mallingard Bjuilding incident when Richards and +his+ General Wade fought about the rights concerning Paul Forrester, the only known genuine alien on Earth. A battle Richards won by points but paid with an obligation of his own since Wade considered him just as interesting as Forrester himself. Then they learned about the Science Fiction convention in Chicago that restored the Starman´s friendship with many people he´d befriended over the years when he and his son had been on the run, and confirmed them in their belief in aliens, and the telepathic show they all had gotten there about the main world of Algeiba, the Forrester-alien´s home world, described in vivid telepathic pictures better than any documentary movie could ever provide because no human-built vessel or camera would ever survive a trip down to the surface of that deadly Venus-like world. After that followed his report about the sect that worshipped literally indestructible black rubber balls which were in fact dangerous Enemy bombs, right in the middle of Washington, D.C., and how the time-traveling boy from the future had returned once again to help in the destruction of said bombs and the black ones that hatched from them, the very same threat they had fought the day before in this dimension but in a different manner. And the end of the story which resulted in Richards getting a dragon of his own thanks to his time-traveling original version. Then Fox spilled anything he´d learned about the supposed creadors of the blackones, the so-called ´Unknown´ or ´Invisible´ Enemy, and their repeated attacks on the alien race of Dhoanor, twenty-six and thirteen thousand years ago, which destroyed a highly developed civilization each time, the latter one also the first fledgling human civilizations on Earth as collateral damage, and how the new attacks in Fox´s own time and dimension and in the future of the twenty-eight century had alarmed Siwa Hendricks and his crew.
"Of course, I ´m not able to prove anything I just told you. You can ask +my+ Mr. Wylie, and will get the same since he was also there most of the time. You could also ask your version of a certain Colonel Haig about the object his head of science, one really obnoxious Professor Dr. Henry Snyder, is jealously guarding in his secret lab in the desert, in an outpost of Kirtland Air Force Base. I´ve seen it when we´ve been there in our dimension to take a look at it, Tom Richards and the General and I, or rather: I´ve NOT seen it. It´s invisible, you know. But your Tom Richards would certainly find it very interesting, our version was all of a tizzy about it." He smiled.
"I heard you helped yourself to the newspapers this morning. Did you notice any differences?"
"I´m afraid not, sir. Your politics sucks just as much as ours, with exactly the same suckers on the wheel if I´m not mistaken," the agent grinned at the General. "Our two dimensions are really almost identical. The only differences I could find are restricted to our little group, Forrester, his son, Tom Richards, Mr. Wylie and me. And you, sir, of course. I think what caused the difference was that this dimension never got a time-traveler from the future. Maybe he wasn´t needed here because that horrible bug-carrier-zombie never got access to the time-machine right from the start. Or maybe your time-stream will run different in the future. You´d have to ask your Firebird about this."
The recording device that recorded everything spoken in this office also stored this advice, one the General certainly would heed.
« Letzte Änderung: 27. Februar 2013, 13:45:07 Uhr von DAOGA »

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Re: Dr. Thomas A. Richards Reloaded
« Antwort #20 am: 19. März 2013, 13:36:12 Uhr »
"If I may say so, you´re looking good, Mr. Fox. Better than my own Mr. Fox here. Have you been on vacation lately?"
+Other+ Fox smiled. "No, sir, but Richards and +my+ Paul Forrester are eagerly taking care of me, especially my heart condition, if just for the chance of dragging me into another of their dangerous and potentially deadly adventures. After the Forrester-case got closed I got Agent John Smith as my new partner, while Mr. Wylie went into the bookkeeping department to help out with Mr. Burns. I can say life got a lot easier for me since then, sir."
There was a lot he was not saying right now but implied with his words, the General knew.
"I think it´s time to check on our scientists. With some luck they´ll have first results by now," Wade said, requesting both Foxes to come along. None of his men had disturbed them while they´d had their interview which meant that all was going well in the lab wing. 
When they entered the lab Tom Richards greeted them: "Fox, your´re just in time. We need you as our guinea pig. No, not you, George, your twin!"
Said Fox stopped immediately, his gaze wandering very distrustful between the people present. Because they all looked expectantly at him, the scientists smiling in the phoney way they always used on their unfortunate victims.
"What do you need him for?" the General asked before +his+ Fox could.
"We want to show Dr. Keller and his crew how we´re doing our miracle-healings in our dimension. For that we need a patient. Dr. Keller has promised us somebody with paraplegia, but until that one is here we´ll start with your Mr. Fox. I already told him his heart needs treatment if he doesn´t want to have another stroke coming. So, if you please would come over here and lie down, Mr. Fox," he pointed at a surgery couch surrounded by chairs they´d wrangled from the surrounding rooms and smiled invitingly. 
Fox looked helplessly at his superior. Who looked back, and nodded curtly. "Do it, Mr. Fox!"
"But, sir--"
"Man, grow some balls and come on!" his smirking twin bellowed at him. "It´s completely harmless, you won´t feel a thing!"
"You want to operate on my heart, just like that, even without a simple sedation?"
"I could sing you a lullaby if that would help," Richards grinned, "but I´m afraid then you´d try to jump out of the next window."
Smirking from his team. "His singing is horrible enough to make you commit harakiri," the +other+ Wylie explained, winking.
Silently, with grit teeth and a grim expression +here+ Fox followed the order.
"Didn´t you want to use this day for a rest?" the +other+ Fox asked Tom. The blond man smiled. "I see it more useful to satisfy the curiosity of our hosts asap. Done today, they won´t bug us tomorrow about it. With a group as strong as ours two healings are piece of cake. If we can take the afternoon off and have a quiet night, it will suffice.- General, do you want to take part in the circle?" he asked then. "If you stay outside you won´t be able to see a thing, you know."
Wade frowned, he´d thought to watch it from the outside. But, no, he wouldn´t chicken out. Not if his science team was also in it. Richards started to arrange the places in the circle, with a chair for every partaker.
"That´s my place. General, here, please. Dr. Keller, here´s your chance to protect your boss from our evil alien, because our Paul will be sitting next to you. George, do you want in? Fine, that´s your seat. Scott, as the weakest link in our chain you´ll get only one dampener to each side, Dr. Solane is to your other side. Now, Paul Number Two. Sorry, Ben, but you´ll get enough other chances on circle-work in our dimension, you´ll have to stay out for now. The last two seats are for your twin and Mrs. Behmena." +His+ Wylie looked disappointed but obeyed, knowing that Tom would remember to compensate for it another time. Willingly he left his seat to Dr. Keller´s lab assistant and retreated to the background. He had enough experience with matrix circles to imagine what was going on, and he still could have fun listening to Tom´s witty remarks which were bound to come.
They all seated themselves as told around the surgery couch. "If this looks now like we´re preparing a seance, well, that´s not far from the truth. By creating a full circle we align our body auras and exponentiate their powers, enabling them to do much more than every single one of us could do on his or her own. I want you now to take each other´s hands. Since our two Pauls will do the work they need to have one hand free to touch their patient and the other hand for their spheres, and Scott and me both need one hand for our tools, so our neighbors will have to touch us somewhere else. Skin contact is best, but preferrably not in some X-rated place."
Nervous grinning from all who had never done this before, open amusement from the others. All neighbors decided for +their+ matrix worker´s shoulders instead.
"Please remember always to keep the circle intact while we´re working. If one of you should lose contact you´ll break it up completely, and that could spell disaster in the middle of an operation. That´s why I will secure all of you with a little matrix-created bond. Do you feel it?"
They nodded, a little bit worried now, when something invisible but strong suddenly held their hands in place, just to be gone again in the next second. "That´s what it will feel like. If you need to scratch your noses really badly or do something else, please tell me and we´ll make a short break. It´s not my intention to keep you all prisoner like in the fairy tale of the golden goose."
No more grinning now, they all knew now that this was for real.
"Scott, now to you. Our Scott back home has already some training in matrix-work, but for you it´s probably something new. You need to learn this because circle-work is essential in the proper use of Algeiban spheres or our human matrices. You´ll find yourself quite often in situations that would overtax one lonely worker, so you need to work with a team, and today you will learn how it´s done. You can see that to your left and right is one non-user each while between me and our Pauls here are two to each side. If your circle doesn´t consist of users only or if the users are extremely dissimilar in strength, you need to watch out for symmetry. As the strongest here I´m head and leader and can take on two non-users to both of my sides. Or Pauls are weaker than me but equal in strength to each other, and you´re the tail-end of the show as the weakest and most untrained user. That´s why between the Pauls and you is only one non-user to each side. It´s a good symmetry. We could have a better one if you were better trained, because then you also could take on two non-users, but for the time being it will do. Got that?"
The boy nodded, looking pale and tense now. Tom smiled at him. "Don´t worry. You can always cry for help if something´s wrong or if there´s something you don´t understand. Both your Dads will gladly help you."
Scott showed a little smile, looking from his father to the other Forrester and back, and relaxed a bit as both smiled reassuringly at him.
"All you have to do today is to help in powering the circle. As soon as we´ll begin you will feel the power coming from me and the Pauls creeping over to you from both sides. Try to feel its strength and tell your sphere to align, to emit exactly the same amout of power and go with the flow. We´ll begin with a low level before we actually go to work, so you´ll have time to adjust. You can´t do wrong, because our Pauls will act as rectifier to you if needed. As soon as you´ve got it we´ll proceed." 
The boy swallowed, and nodded again.
"And now, it´s showtime!"  Richards shouted like the barker in a circus, grinning all over. "Please close the circle, you all!" They did, and when he activated the matrix in his cane again they all could feel the little invisible handcuffs that would keep their circle intact. The Pauls and Scott also activated their silvery Algeiban spheres, and --

a collective sigh of astonishment came from everybody not used to circle-work, and they all looked around with definitely surprised expressions. Because --

"This is the next lesson in circle-work, after the necessity of contact and symmetry. It´s called aura-sight, and that´s what you all are experiencing now. It´s essential to be able to see what you´re working on, and you can´t do that with plain human sight. Some people are gifted with aura-sight by nature, but we others need a matrix to provide us with that special kind of perception. There are different versions of aura-sight as my team could tell you, this here is the most simple, classical form, a bright glow in different colors around every living being and also around some un-living but powered things. We matrix-users look so bright because our auras are powered up by the contact with our tools. As you can watch now, this bright glow is slowly seeping over into your own, weaker auras. Don´t be afraid, it´s pure life-energy you´re getting, the so-called ´Chi´ of the Chinese. It will drive out any illness that bugs you, and it´s the stuff we´ll use on our patient. But before we´ll do that, look at each other as long as your auras are still weak. Mr. Wylie, you broke your arm as a kid, it healed nicely, but is still visible as a slight discoloration on your arm. Your intestines are also a bit on the weak side. Please cut the fastfood and coffee, or you´ll regret it one day. General Wade, I know from our other version that those discolorations are from old wounds from the war and from a few accidents. Not too many traces of age, though, you are in good keeping.  Our Fox is fit as a fiddle, hardly surprising since he has to keep up with us all the time." He grinned. "Dr. Keller, you´re also in good shape. A few discolorations around your forehead - do you suffer from migraine attacks sometimes? Better take care of your sinuses, treat them regularly with inhalations or salt water. This could become chronical without treatment, you know. - Dr. Solane, please, do yourself a favor and stop smoking. You should see, every smoker should see what they´re doing to their health! Your whole chest is black as a coal mine! And it has spread into all your arteries already. In a few years you will have your first stroke or bypass operation, if you don´t take this chance to cleanse yourself and, of course, to turn your back on tobacco forever. I swear, if there´s a devil, then tobacco is one of his worst inventions.  Mrs. Behmena, you´re less poisoned, but still, it´s no good for you, too. Your back is aching sometimes, and your doctor can´t find an explanation? Go see your dentist, one of your back teeth is the real culprit. Bad teeth can spread their evil influence throughout the whole body, you know.--"
All of the addressed persons were looking very seriously now, because in looking at each others they could see exactly where Richards took his wisdom from. It had been before their very eyes all the time and they had not been able to see it, until the aura-sight showed them the truth.
"Now, since you all have learned now aura-sight to be an exact science," he grinned again, "to our patient here. You all can see the condition he´s in. Despite he´s not smoked actively for many years, his body looks much older than it actually is. That´s probably an after-effect of the trauma he´s suffered in Vietnam, abuse and torture can mark a body for the rest of its existence even if it hasn´t left a single scar on the outside. Especially his heart´s got it, and not just in the physical sense. The mental after-effects can work just as deep on the body or even deeper as the actual wounds in flesh and bone. But of course, there will be other reasons too, a single event rarely scars a living being to that extent. It would take a trained telepath to sort it all out and get to the core, and we´re not doing that today. We can only treat what we can see right now. - Scott, how you´re doing?"
"I´m fine. I´m just trying to slowly increase my output," the youth answered. And they all could see it, his light that still by no means was as bright as that of Richards and the two Forresters, grew brighter by the minute, adding its own streams of light to the glowing power that came in his directions from both sides, reaching out for his neighbors and going on to the other sides. Not long now, and all of them, even the non-users, would be like one, shining beacons of pure, shadowless light.
"You´re doing well. Just keep it steady, and keep always one thought in your sphere, whatever you do. Don´t overstrain yourself, we three have enough juice to run the show. And now, Paul and Paul," he nodded at them, "please begin."
Fox twitched, startled, when both aliens touched him, with one hand from each side. They had placed themselves close to him so they just had to reach out for him. He gasped involuntarily when he suddenly, too, could see the bright and colorful lights the others had referred to that engulfed the whole group around him.
"And now, our Pauls will drive out the darkness from his heart. No need for me to comment it, just see for yourself."
« Letzte Änderung: 19. März 2013, 14:33:02 Uhr von DAOGA »

Offline DAOGA

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Re: Dr. Thomas A. Richards Reloaded
« Antwort #21 am: 8. April 2013, 22:12:30 Uhr »
And they could see it, how that bright light crept like an almost liquid stream from the hands of the two Forresters over into the discolored body of the agent. Tearing, biting into the darkness in his chest, dissolving it and replacing it with its own immaculate brightness, spreading into other ´dark´parts of the body and working on them, changing them, until all of it was as bright as the bodies of the other teammembers.
"When this is over he´ll feel like the Frog Prince after the kiss," Tom grinned. "You all will. But don´t overdo it, the effects won´t last forever."
Finally the deed was done, and the blue glow of three Algeiban spheres and one matrix subsided.
"One patient cured. At least for now," Tom said."But, Mr. Fox, you still need to sort out your pychological traumas, or the blackness will return, sooner or later." He could see the man was deeply moved and thoughtful now but still refused to show it openly. He was a tough and stubborn old         all right.
"Yes, Mr. Delaney?" Dr. Keller asked.
The second lab assistant who had been tasked to keep away all disturbandces while the circle was active notified him that their second patient had arrived. "Fine, just in time. Bring him in!" Tom said.
The door opened, and a man in a wheelchair with an attached mobile respirator came in, wheeled in by a Federal Agent who had taken him over from his nurse at the main entrance and brought him up to the lab floor.
"This is Mr. Hank Monroe. He was a Marine captain and paralyzed from the neck down since an          a few years ago," Dr. Keller did the introduction. "Knowing I´m with the research of the Agency, he volunteered if there´s a chance on experimental cures for paraplegia, even if they´re still not tested on humans and the chance of success close to nil. Secrecy shouldn´t be a problem with him, as an ex-Marine."
"There is no ex-Marine!" the man immediately replied. "It´s jarhead till you die! Sir!"
His voice was just a whisper since he couldn´t consciously control his lungs, but the meaning was clear, his eyes those of a man still unbroken by fate.
"No need to make war on us. You´re here because you volunteered, and today we´re in need of a guinea pig," Richards grinned at him. "Our first little piggy survived our quackery," he pointed at Fox who was still sitting on the couch and now made a sour face, "and you will be next. If you´re lucky you will leave this room as a cured man. If not, it won´t get worse than it already is."
General Wade took over, talking to Monroe about a special pledge of silence concerning anything he´d see, hear and experience here today and the compliance required by the legal department of the Agency. The others quietly listened. Since Monroe agreed to anything - he´d have probably even agreed to sign his own death warrant, the others thought in secret - the General was satisfied soon. "We have your word for now, and the paperwork can wait for later. Our miracle workers are assembled already, so we can start right now. Mr. Richards?"
Tom nodded and shooed Fox from the couch. "George, would you trade your place with your twin? It´s his turn now to watch and learn." +Other+ Fox nodded and got up. Monroe looked at them, noticing only now that there were three pairs of twins present, a pretty unusual sight at a government agency. Especially if two of said three pairs seemed to be agents. Using twins must be a damn clever way to fool somebody the Agency has set its sight upon, Monroe thought. But what that had to do with a cure for paraplegia eluded him.
"I need him on the couch. No, don´t bother, I´ll do it." Instead of moving towards his new patient, blue light flashed from the hilt of his cane. The straps and brackets which bound Monroe and his breathing apparatus to his wheelchair opened up all by themselves, and suddenly he ascended out of his chair and hovered in mid-air.
"Whoa!" the disabled Marine exclaimed. "What´s this! It´s like magic?" But he didn´t how any signs of fear, just plain curiosity as he hung there weightlessly like in zero gravity. "Are you a wizard?" he asked then, pointing with his jaw at Tom´s silver cane.
"Something like that," Tom smiled at him. One short move with his cane, and the hovering man followed the move and landed softly on the couch.
"Now, quick. I don´t know how long that respirator will work properly in such a position. Please, sit down and close the circle." They all hurriedly followed his orders. "Scott, from you the same as before, please. This time I will partake in the work, since time is of the essence. Paul, you´ve done this often enough, so please give your twin all he needs to know, and then take care of the patient´s vital signs. He needs assistance in breathing." Said Forrester nodded, reached out for the outstretched hand of his other self over the couch and touched him. The short contact sufficed to transfer all the required information on to the +here+ Starman. Both their spheres were active now, as much as Scott´s from the foot end of the couch.
"Wizards and angels..." the disabled Marie murmured, grinning widely. He seemed to have fun at the unusual scenery.
"Anybody set? Then - secure circle." Again the invisible handcuffs appeared to protect the circle from being broken.
"With Mr. Fox it was easy. But this time we need to see more before we can go for it. If we re-connect the wrong nerve cords he´ll tie his shoelaces with his buttocks."
"Wouldn´t mind doing that, if I just could move my buttocks once again," the patient grinned. Seeing that the General had not underestimated when he´d talked about miracles seemed to give Monroe back his old humor. Again, to the eyes of his audience the patient was bright with light in different colors, but this time Tom did something new. Somehow he reached inside the lights, copied a part and pulled said copy out, until it hovered above the patient. Amazed they could watch how that copy, in fact a whole bundle of strings made of pulsating light, grew like in the lens of an invisible magnifier. And that´s just what it was.
"I´ve copied the part of his aura that´s including the damaged part. You can do that with a matrix of proper strength, as much as this magnifying effect. That´s very useful if you work on really tiny parts, like single cells or nerve cords. You take the information you´re getting, single out the important part and enlarge it. It´s simple as that."
Now they could see the nerve cords in the patient´s spine, like a really big bundle consisting of a multitude of thinner cords, with all of them consisting of even thinner electric cables. And as the image still grew in size they saw that here and there single cables or whole bundles were severed or damaged, their insulation destroyed, and all of it was mixed and clotted with growths.
"That´s scar tissue. The body tries to repair the damage as soon as it has happened, but it´s not very good at repairing nerve tissue as you can see. The scar tissue is growing faster than the re-growing nerve cells, and so the severed ends stay severed, they rarely manage to coalesce. Now, when you have this picture and can see what needs to be done you can get to work. The +here+ Paul, please."
The Forrester to his right side nodded. While his sphere glowed a bit brighter as he began working, Tom explained to the others.
"Our Forresters are well-trained in cloning. That´s an important part in the training of every Algeiban spaceman, you know, in case they have to do an emergency landing on a planet that hosts life-forms but is inhospitable for Algeiban visitors in their true form. What he´s doing now is transforming the scar tissue into new nerve cells, to use them to repair and re-connect the damaged nerve cords. As soon as he´s done with that he will continue with the important insulation around the actual nerve cords which consist of connective tissue. Our patient will feel now something here and there, but that´s just false information, caused by stimulation of the finished nerve cords. The mechanic needs to test the repaired wires before he can give his OK, you know."
Since Monroe got touched by the +other+ Forrester who controlled and assisted his breathing and other vital functions, he was also part of the circle and could see what Tom was talking about, the glowing image was hovering directly above him. Mouth gaping wide open, he stared at it, and watched the slow changes in the picture as the work proceeded.
"If you´re wondering what I´m doing, I´m assisting Paul Number Two. I´m still not trained sufficiently in cloning, that´s a damn difficult subject and so I prefer him to take the lead here, but I can act as his assistant and hand him the materials he needs and clean the working space by dissolving the scar tissue. General, I think now you understand why I see Algeibans as priceless treasures."
Wade just nodded, he´d thought just the same. They all watched as the growths slowly seemed to melt away, and more and more of the cords took on a healthy, undamaged look instead.
"But, you´re just working on a glowing picture. How can that affect your patient?" +here+ Fox asked, breathless.
"It´s not just a simple picture. Both things, the picture and the real spinal cord, are interlocked. If you change something in the picture, the real human body will follow this order. Matrix-energy makes it possible and powers both parts at once. It´s actually like working magic. Voodo dolls work that way, remember? Well, this here is our technical version of it."
"And that´s what you´re doing in your home dimension?" +here+ Wylie asked in an enthusiastic tone.
"Yes, such things are keeping us entertained all day. If I don´t have other things to do, like hunting evil space invaders, walking my dragon or jumping into other dimensions." Once again he showed his boyish grin. 
Monroe twitched with laughter that was louder than his voice until now. Yes, the treatment worked, the audience noticed, the limbs and lungs of the man were slowly going back to obey their master´s orders.
"Man, you´re priceless yourself!" the Marine said then. "Other dimensions? Aliens? General, how do you cope with this madhouse every day?"
"Fortunately for him, he doesn´t have to. My team and I will soon return home, and then he´s back to his half of this madhouse," Tom answered friendly. "That will still suffice to drive him nuts."
"Oh, I get it. The twins? Your other versions from another dimension? I did read science fiction as a boy, you know."
"Fine," the blond man beamed at him. "Then you´ll know why to keep quiet about this. Nobody would believe you anyway."
"I pledged," Monroe said, feeling offended, "as a Marine a well as a honest man. I do keep my word. But I just thought -- in the special-care home I´m living in, there are more like me. Good men, locked inside their own useless bodies. Unable to even wipe their own asses, cursed to a life of complete uselessness. If you go back home, to your dimension or wherever - will they ever be able to get treatment like I, here?"
Tom exchanged glances with the General. "This will be decided in the next days. In our dimension we´re doing that already, but for here it´s something new. It´s General Wade who´ll have to decide, maybe even his superior authority."
"I understand. But if the authorities will allow it here - what will it be like? Who of all the suffering people will get treatment, and who will be rejected? How does it work in your world?"
"It´s no problem there because in our world he´s the owner of a private hospital," the +other+ Wylie mixed in from the background, pointing at Tom. "The staff calls it the ´Twilight Zone´ for all the strange things happening there," he added sarcastically.
"So, you´re one of those who´ll take on patients with well-filled wallets only," Monroe said to Tom in a scornful way.
"Half of his hospital is filled with those," Wylie agreed. "But you know, Tom fancies himself as a modern Robin Hood. He fleeces his rich patients without shame so he can treat the poor other half of his patients for free."
"Aw. This arrow wounds me deeply, evil fiend!" Tom said, one hand on his chest as if he´d been hit by said arrow, and made a funny face, causing giggling in the circle. But immediately he returned to their work which quickly drew close to completion.
"You´re with him?" Monroe had taken Wylie for one of the Federal Agents because of his suit.
"No, we´re with our own dimension´s Agency. But guys like him and his aliens need a kindergartner to watch over them, and that´s where we of the Agency come in. Somebody´s got to do it, you know, you can´t let nutcases and aliens roam about all over the country. In our dimension it´s going quite well, everybody´s happy with the deals we made. Sometimes we´re using him, but most of the time he´s using us, and quite ruthlessly. If he sets his mind on something he shows less dignity than an old whore." With this he grinned at Tom who totally unpeeved sent back a happy grin of his own.
« Letzte Änderung: 8. April 2013, 23:25:54 Uhr von DAOGA »

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Re: Dr. Thomas A. Richards Reloaded
« Antwort #22 am: 9. Mai 2013, 21:41:13 Uhr »
Soon the work was finished, and Tom made sure their patient was cured by tickling and pinching him without mercy in the most intimate parts. Monroe felt what he was doing, felt his body again for the first time in five long years. He grimaced and giggled and twitched with all his limbs like a little child, unable to fend off Tom´s silly attacks.
"He can move, but still not much," a sceptical +here+ Fox remarked.
"Of course not. All of his muscles have atrophied. He´ll still need his respirator for some time, and a good and lengthy rehabilitation before he can leave his wheelchair for good. General, will you see to that?"
Wade nodded. "I will keep an eye on him," he promised. He didn´t show it, but he was deeply impressed.
Tom turned back to their patient. "Now it´s mostly up to you how fast you´ll recuperate. Don´t overdo it, it will still take time till you can dance again. And, please, don´t neglect your cancer check-up in the future. The techniques we used on you should be fool-proof, but if I´ve ever learned something about the human body it´s that the term fool-proof doesn´t exist when it comes to biology. If you or the doctor of your choice notice unusal symptoms, like new signs of paralysis, cancer growths, vague signs of illness or other changes of your body you are to call the General immediately. With some luck he´ll have his own team of miracle-healers ready by then to check on you."
Monroe nodded. "Thank you." he said, his eyes now filled with hope.
Silently and lost in their own thoughts, the others watched as the lab assistant brought him out, from where an agent would take him back to the lobby and his waiting nurse.
Richards sank back on his chair with a tired sigh, suddenly looking spent. He checked his watch. "It´s lunchtime. I´d say we eat and have a nice afternoon nap. After that, maybe at 1700 hours, we can decide what to do with the rest of the day. Maybe visit a cinema or theater, go swimming, take a drink in a nice bar... anything that will help us to relax. We need to preserve our strength for tomorrow."
"I agree. You´re looking tired, Mr. Richards."
"I never said it´s easy, General." He showed a crooked grin.
"Mr. Wylie-- no, not ´my´ Wylie. The other one. Would you mind an interview at 1500 hours?"
"I´ll be there, sir." Since Ben had done nothing but to watch from the outside he wasn´t tired at all, so he could do without a nap. He knew what the General wanted from him, an affirmation of the stories he´d gotten from the strange George Fox before.
And the General go it. His first questions were of private nature, since Wylie - +his+ Wylie at least - was in fact a nephew of Wade. If the +other+ was different from his version or an alien dupe he would find out easily, by asking him questions about their family only the "real thing" would be able to answer correctly. But even the General´s trick questions didn´t confuse this version of Wylie, everything he said was okay. Wade moved over to official topics.
Wylie had always had his own point of view of what to put into his reports, one that definitely differed from that of Agent Fox for instance, but the many little details Wade got in the following hour were identical to those he´d gotten earlier from the +other+ Fox. And there were some things only this Wylie could provide, like his story of what had actually happened inside the huge bubble in the New Mexican Desert. In this dimension it had been Firebird alone who had been able to penetrate that shield, and he had never talked to anybody about what had happened inside, and how he´d made it disappear. Now, finally, Wade got the whole story, even if it was another dimension´s version upgraded with dragons and Marines and matrix technicians. Wylie even stripped to show him the scars he had suffered there. "Tom offered to remove them, but I refused. I´m proud of them, like a Maori warrior of his tribal tattoos. If I continue to help out in matrix circles now and then they will disappear in time anyway, Tom said. So I enjoy them while they last, even if they hurt sometimes." He looked very content as he rearranged his clothing. Wade was satisfied, too. At least, an easy way to distinguish the two Wylies from each other.
"Your cooperations with Mr. Fox in your dimension--?"
"After the search for Paul Forester got cancelled, I got assigned to Mr. Burns instead. He really needed my help."
Agent Burns and his one assistant were in charge of the so-called bookkeeping department which included not only the keeping of files and balance sheet accounting for the Agency but also the maintenance of the exhibit storage room. Nobody yearned for a job there, especially not agents who were used to field work, they considered it slave labor of the worst kind.
"But if something turns up that includes Richards, his aliens, pets, friends or enemies, Mr. Fox and I get called most of the time. I think Richards is really fond of us. And of Agent John Smith, Mr. Fox´s new partner."
Wade asked him about the dragon. Wylie answered in detail, he loved it to talk freely about one of his favorite topics. "No, the first dragon I rode on was Big G, Azure´s brother who belongs to Richards´s relative Siwa, the time-traveling boy," he told Wade. "That one´s a really ugly brute, huge and massive and much bulkier than the slender Azure. His scales which have been green once, have mostly faded to gray and look splintered like worn concrete. With his short snout and massive lower jaw he´s got a mug like a gangster. Compared to him Azure looks like a shiny sport car besides a rusty monster truck. But he never gave us trouble since it´s Richards´s other self who´s bonded to him, and the boy is just as merry as Tom himself." He also described the other dragons from Siwa Hendricks´s time-traveling crew who´d been with them in New Mexico and what the´d learned about the so-called dragon factory.
"What do you think about Firebird?" was the General´s next question. Wylie the avid comic book reader beamed all over. "It´s like a dream come true for me. I love superhero comics, you know. Too bad we have to make him normal again - well, at least as normal as it can be with somebody like him. He´s your version of Tom Richards, so you will still have your hands quite full with him, sir. Too bad going twice, our version never aspired to play superhero. He could do it in an instant because he owns the same strong matrix that made your Firebird into what he´s now. Including the icky part - but I understand why Tom laughed when he saw your Firebird for the first time, he must have thought about a career as a superhero himself, at east now and then in a wet dream. But I think he´s too sane to actually do that. Your Firebird couldn´t help it, he was a victim of circumstance. I understand he didn´t work for you and your Agency?"
"Governments and agencies and companies and other institutions and private persons all over the world have tried to get him after his first spectacular exploits, and with all means they had at their disposal, but all of them failed. Now and then he listened to our requests, but that was all. He didn´t follow orders nor could we be certain he wouldn´t boomerang back at us if he had a different point of view on a certain situation, " the General revealed to Ben. "So it was considered too dangerous to work with him, he just wasn´t reliable. The members of our administration were practically disallowed to get in contact with him. Everybody knew he had to be of American origin for his accent, and that was enough bad news in the White House. I don´t know how often we got accused of illegal meddling with foreign countries because Firebird had been active there."
« Letzte Änderung: 9. Mai 2013, 22:04:35 Uhr von DAOGA »

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Re: Dr. Thomas A. Richards Reloaded
« Antwort #23 am: 11. Juli 2013, 21:01:31 Uhr »
Wylie nodded. "Cutting his wings will be an acceptable option to you then. Our version is also headstrong and doesn´t care too much for regulations or secrecy, so he´s considered a free-lance counselor to our Agency only. But his knowledge and experience are just priceless, as are his abilities in purchasing information and combat missions and the quite unusual means he can muster for necessary operations that don´t make it always on the official roll, if you understand, sir. I think my General Wade would consider it a heavy loss if he had to give him up. A few agencies in my world have already tried to get him, especially the CIA, but Tom refused. He´s sticking to us like poo to a blanket. I think he simply likes us." He smiled at the general. "And if you´re thinking now ´That´s typical for Ben to say´ I´d answer that Richards is in fact a very open character. He rarely bothers to lie or to hide his true feelings about something. He says he´s too stupid, but I think he´s simply too lazy to keep track of lies, and too experienced to keep up an appearance. He doesn´t need it because he´s already more than anybody could imagine. I guess I wouldn´t bother with lies or appearances too if I was as old and loaded as Richards. His open character also defines his relationship with our general. I remember I heard him say to the general that he could better rely to intelligence work than the general could imagine because he´d been involved into such matters often enough in his long life. And so his conditions for his collaboration with our Agency were quite simple, no lies, no half-truths and no ´forgetting´ of important information. I know," he grinned now, "that those are about the hardest conditions for an agency like ours. But he could give us so much and didn´t shy away from not quite legal but necessary operations either, so I think a little honesty on our part was acceptable for a change.  -- By the way, he´ll take lies from nobody. If somebody tries to deceive him he will react really annoyed without distinction of person or the powers behind. And you definitely wouldn ´t like to see him annoyed, sir, he can and will retaliate in most unconventional ways, and just at a time when you´d least expect it."
Wade nodded, he´d keep Wylie´s warning in mind. 
"I´m having an appointment over at the White House at 1800," he told Wylie. "They already had me there yesterday after they´d learned all the details of the incident from other sources, especially about the involvement of Firebird and his visit here, but I stalled them. I found it more important to collect more information first."
"And now you´ve got more than you ever wanted, and you don´t know how to feed it to the President and the other bigwigs, because it´s just too damn weird," Wylie smiled sympathetically. "Well, you could take Richards with you, if you can pry him loose from his trophy aliens. After he´s redecorated the Oval Office with his matrix and made his pet dragon snack on a few overripe members of the staff they´ll be more likely to believe you."
"Indeed, a stupid idea." Wade presented Ben with one of his rare smiles. "But anything else I can think of is even more stupid. You dimension-travelers know how to give a General a hard time."
"Tom would answer now: ´Don´t try to tell me you don´t enjoy it.´"
The general could read the amusement in Wylie´s eyes. "You mean, he´s doing things like these to my twin over there, too?"
"Constantly, sir." Ben was grinning again.
"The poor man."
Wades face stayed as motionless and cold as ever, but Wylie knew better. "Poor yourself, you´d rather say. Now that you´ve got your own version in the form of the superhero, you won´t get rid of him so easily. Like poo to a blanket, sir, remember."
A detail the +other+ Fox had pointed out already.
"Back to your primary objective, the arrest of Paul Forrester and his son, Scott Hayden. I believe that was your primary objective in your dimension, too?"
Ben nodded. "Yes sir. I know I botched the job a few times because of my ineptness, thus prolonging the search unneccessarily, and I´m deeply sorry about that. But +my+ general told me that the end justified the delay, because the prolonged search resulted in not only capturing the objectives but also in meeting with Tom Richards and his alter ego from the future. Those two have rescued our bacon more than once since then, but always in coopration with our agency. In your dimension it was just Firebird alone who did the job, and you´ve seen into what condition working alone has brought him. The price for Richards´s cooperation was to humor him in all of his seemingly mad antics, and that deal about Forrester and son. He´s really protective about his pet aliens, you know, he fights for them like a tigress for her cubs. With the powers he has at his command, the superhuman ones you know from Firebird and others from his many and often very unusual contacts and interests, he can give them more protection and at the same time more controlled freedom than our Agency ever could. And he doesn´t even charge us for that service." A short grin.
"A freedom the alien doesn´t abuse?" the general asked. "I heard it has reprodued again in your dimension."
More happy grinning from Wylie. "Judging from the speed with which Forrester knocked Mrs. Hayden up for a second time and in her age, we´ll have a full litter of little alien hybrids in no time at all. And everybody is waiting eagerly for the new offspring. Dr. Keller and his staff want to test it, Richards wants to train it, Mr. Fox is secretly hoping for a chance to atone for his past sins against Scott and Mrs. Hayden by playing grandpa and spoiling it silly, and my general is already wondering which powers it will develop when it reaches adulthood. Tom told us of the things his kind, the so-called matrix technicians or M-Tecs for short, are doing in his time, the twenty-eight century, for a living. He is convinced that all of Forrester´s offspring will develop unique powers and help him laying the foundation for the future M-Tec community. He will try to do that with or without our help, as he told our general - I told you he never lies, sir - so it´s up to us if we want to be part of that deal or not. Of course, the general agreed. That´s a damn amount of future potential we got offered there, and we would be stupid not to use it, or to have a handhold in controlling it."
"You know, this sounds more like the future of warfare to me." Wade couldn´t quite relate to Wylie´s enthusiasm.
"That´s what my general also said. As an answer Richards reminded him that pureblooded Algeibans are purely pacifistic, they can´t hurt a fly and are completely useless in a fight, they are of no use in a war. Part-Algeibans like Scott Hayden may have more of the human killing-instincts in them but he still wouldn´t associate them with big guns or, say, with a dragon. Dragons are predators, and Algeibans or even half-Algeibans aren´t able to cope with the predatory instincts of the creatures. So when his pet Azure starts reproducing, Tom will look among pureblooded human beings for prospects as the new dragon bearer. A small relief for us, sir."
"And you volunteered."
"Certainly, sir. I would love to become a dragon bearer and to train with Tom and his other apprentices, and I think my general would love to have at least one of Tom´s top guns for himself. But Tom said, it´s the dragon that makes the choice. So I can but hope and wait."
"Our Firebird seems not to have a dragon."
"And yesterday he missed it badly. Dragonfire is the only known weapon that will work effectively against the black ones, sir, and your version of Richards still remembers what it feels like to be Bonded to a dragon, back from the times when he was still one with his original version from the future who also has got a firespitter. I´m not sure what kind of bees our Tom may have put in the bonnet of your version, though. Maybe he´ll try to call on a time-traveler to get a dragon of his own, or do even more stupid things like calling his friends from outer space, the Benu, for help. I never met one of them, our Tom keeps them away from Earth as much as he can, but he said repeatedly that meeting Benu is a terrifying experience. They are something like living gods, nigh-omnipotent and devastating for a human mind even if they´re in a good mood, and God-help-us-all if they aren´t. Which reads that he´ll call them only if he´s having a very good reason, like asking for an adequate weapon to fight black ones and other extradimensional vermin. Despite all his mad antics, he´s always very careful and doesn´t like to take risks. Not for himself, and definitely not for our world, even if it might not look that way sometimes."
"Is there something else I should ask our version about?"
"A lot of things, actually, but I think you´ll get them from himself. You just need to ask, he loves to hear himself talking, you know. One of the most important things he gave us, I think, was - besides his other services now and then - what we called the ´Holy Bible´. It was one of the things he coaxed out of Forrester, and that wasn´t easy. This so-called bible is actually an index on all sentient alien lifeforms Paul had met before he came to Earth, had learned about in their version of Starfleet Academy or at least heard of in whispers and legends. It contains descriptions of their homeworlds and ambit, their starfaring qualities, their idiosyncrasies, strengths and weaknesses and also what they and their spacecrafts look like, including an assessment of how big the chance is that one of them actually comes to Earth. With most of the races listed in that index that chance is close to nil, because either they aren`t sophisticated enough in spacetravel themselves or because they avoid Earth which is listed in a heap of extraterrestrial indexes as a sadly underdeveloped planet with a definitely paranoid and dangerous population. Can´t fault them there." Grinning again. "At first, Paul wasn´t willing at all to give all that information to Tom and our general, but after Tom made him watch the movie ´The day the Earth stood still´ Paul understood that for such an ínexperienced, paranoid and easily frightened species as mankind a little help in the form of said index would be advisable. Most of the knowledge collected in the index is purely theoretical, of course, since we´ll probaby never see a first contact with most of those races in our lifetime, but since Tom also worked on it to make it better understandable for common humans and added his own opinion to every infomation it´s really fun to read. If you manage to make your version of Tom to get it out of your Paul, too, then give the man a cigar, sir, because he´s earned it."
"You know, I wondered how boldly you all are talking to me. I´m not your general, you know."
"But at the same time, you are. You already missed a lot of stuff our own general learned about in the last years, so I feel obliged to bring you up to date. If Tom didn´t want me to tell you something he would have told me so. But I have the feeling he´ll fill you up with even more strange stuff I don´t know about. I think one of the things we learned from him is that telling the truth is often the easiest way to go, especially if you´re dealing with really weird things. Tell people the truth, and they will believe anything but that, enabling you later to wash your hands of it and say ´But I already told you so´. Tom is convinced that a great amount of intelligence secrecy is just the polite version of a pissing contest, and he refuses to waste time with such silly games. He often comes to blows with Mr. Fox or our general about that, but in the end his indiscretions often turn out to be justified and even useful. To the permanent astonishment of us others."
"I heard that Tom Richard loves to relate to movies and other trivia."
"Yes he does. He often says Hollywood makes his life so much easier. If something unusual happens just relate to a movie everybody has seen, like ´Ghostbusters´, ´Terminator´, ´E.T.´ or ´Indiana Jones´, and people will get it and obey your orders without asking too many stupid questions."
"Now, about that so-called world quake and our parallel dimensions. The reason why you all came here, as you claimed. Your Mr. Fox already tried to explain it, that bridge between our dimensions and its connections to a so-called Unknown Enemy. But I´m afraid I still don´t understand it."
Wylie smiled. He knew perfectly that Wade was an old fox and damn clever, without a doubt he had understood the concept as presented by Mr. Fox. "Tom explained it to me telepathically when he was in his draconic form and we were heading back to the others from that other dimensional breach, after the leech had regurgitated us. I know I don´t fit the description of Einstein and won´t ever, but Tom has a way of breaking difficult scientific stuff down to such small morsels that even I get it. It´s in fact very simple."
« Letzte Änderung: 11. Juli 2013, 21:49:19 Uhr von DAOGA »

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Re: Dr. Thomas A. Richards Reloaded
« Antwort #24 am: 25. Juli 2013, 20:41:45 Uhr »
He requested a sheet of paper and a pencil, and drew a circle. It wasn´t a perfect circle, Wylie had never been an artist, not even as a kid, but that didn´t matter now. "Imagine this is our dimension, happy as a dimension can be and doing whatever dimensions do. Then, boom!! - along comes a time-traveler. And that incident creates such a stress on the fabric of the space-time-continuum of our dimension that it actually rips apart, creating two new dimensions. Twin dimensions that are identical in about just anything. Maybe they are smaller or weaker than the original, but we haven´t learned about such things yet. Not even Tom Richards himself who has ears and eyes to about all the world and his wife, including the scientific world."
A quick pencil slash divided the circle into two halves, and the agent drew two arrows pointing away from the halves at a narrow angle. At the point of each arrow he made a new circle. "So, these are our new-born dimensional twin boys. Tom speculated that might actually be one of the ways dimensions are reproducing, in the common way in a Big Bang, or as already grown-up versions by partition like a bacterium, with the small help of time-travelers or other heavy distortions that act as mid-wives. But as I said, it´s just a speculation, one of many he did.  You can see, the two dimensions are drifting apart, but since the separation was just recently they are still very close to each other. And here comes in the power called the Unknown Enemy, a power Tom has fought for all his life and even in his own era. I was into some of the fights too as I told you, sir, in the Mallingard incident and in New Mexico, and Mr. Fox and Mr. Smith were with him at East Potomac Park, so we all know that this threat is not the hallucination of a madman but very real indeed. Now, somehow, this power reached out into the so-called quasispace that´s between and around dimensions and caught one of the critters that dwell there, huge beasts that feed of whole dimensions by attaching to them and sucking their contained energy, like ticks on a bull. And they forced this leech to attach itself to both fledgling twin dimensions at once. Something the leech would never do voluntarily, as our Paul Forrester told us after he got a link to the creature´s thoughts, because the increasing stress of getting stretched between two dimensions that are trying to get away from each other would soon rip the leech apart."
His pencil met the paper again, creating a thick bridge of lines between the two circles, and in the middle of said bridge a long and dark and tentacled spot that was to be the body of the extradimensional leech.
"But it can´t let go of one of the dimensions because the Unknown Enemy had chained its extremities to the breaches with a powerful seal. At least on your side. On our side the Unknown Enemy couldn´t do that, probably because on our side Tom had already destroyed the hell-eggs from Gandreva´s mansion which the Unknown Enemy wanted to use as an energy source to create the seal. But still, this single seal on your side was powerful enough already to keep the leech in its place, until Tom and your Firebird destroyed it yesterday. The leech is still here, waiting directly at the other side of all dimensional breaches that still exist, or at least I hope so because it´s our only way home, but it´s no longer captive now, it no longer has to take the pain of getting stretched between two huge unstoppable masses. Now it can take its time to wait for us for a few days. Maybe it won´t realize the few days at all, because Tom said that this place outside dimensions also doesn´t know time as we do. A few days of our time might count as a micro-second out there or as all of eternity, both at the same time. As much as the size of the leech differs from our way of understanding. Outside our dimension it´s about half as long as our whole dimension. But if it came to us inside our dimension, it would be about as long as my arm and as heavy as a super-heavy sun. It´s a really big leech, you know, sir." He grinned again.
"But, how could you use that leech to cross over here?"
"That´s because the extremities of the leech the Unknown Enemy fixed to our dimension were actually the proboscises of the critter, they are hollow inside. And it´s got a damn lot of them, a whole net of hollow trunks that attached to a lot of different places in our dimension at the same time. We could slip right through from one end of one of those trunks to the end of another, avoiding the mouth that is somewhere between. I think we were much too small and unsatisfactorily for the critter to swallow us. Or maybe it realized we were sentient beings when Paul established his link and decided against what would have been a rather poor snack anyway."
"And that world quake we felt was when the leech got attached to our dimension."
"To both our dimensions, sir. And it would have repeated itself and gotten worse with the strain on the leech increasing because the poor bug surely would have tried to free itself. I don´t know if the quakes would have sufficed to actually damage or destroy both dimensions, but they surely would have sufficed to destroy both our planets Earth, maybe the whole sun systems."
"You´re saying that the Unknown Enemy is not intending to invade Earth, it wants to destroy it."
"It wants to destroy it because it can´t use it. It already tried two times to get a handhold in our dimension, twenty-six thousand and thirteen thousand years ago, and both times it simply vanished after it already had won the wars. Nobody knows why, maybe there is something in our dimension that repels it somehow. It doesn´t make sense to me to simply disappear after a complete victory, and it didn´t make sense to Tom and his alien pals in the future who were researching the topic. The only thing we know is that the Enemy is back for a third attempt. The things that happened in the past years and will happen in Tom´s era are sound proof. And after what happened yesterday I´d say, the new war has already begun, we all can consider ourselves as drafted, and our Tom Richards and your Firebird are our most experienced generals, for the time being."
After that disturbing interview the general inquired about the state of his guests and learned that they were already up from their honestly earned afternoon nap. Instead of sending his orderly or calling them to his office, he went himself to pay them a visit. They were just having their afternoon tea, but the food going with the tea would have satisfied a starving army. And just a few hours after lunch when they had decimated an even greater amount of food --
"Sorry, General. Matrix work costs a lot of energy. You won´t get proper matrix work if the workers are starving," Richards said, still munching, noticing the accusing look of the general. "Is something wrong?"
"Besides my mental condition right now - no, nothing at all." Wade proved to own some humor also despite his petrified mien. "I wanted to know if you´d agree to an interview, too."
"Now?" Tom exchanged glances with the Pauls and then the rest of the crew that also included +here+ Fox and Wylie again who refused to take their eyes from their guests. He decided that they all would be safe enough for the time the interview would take, and since he had done a few additional safety measures which neither the general nor the agents, both +here+ and +other+ versions, knew about, which would inform him immediately if something went wrong here --
"Please keep your eyes open." he told his own crew aloud. "But, yes, of course, General."
Smiling and looking quit4 content he accompanied Wade and his security man to his office, not telling him that he knew the way well from a lot of visits in his own dimensionl
The first topic they talked about was, of course, what had happened the day before, from the minute of the world-quake in both dimensions to the destruction of the seal which had kept the extradimensional leech prisoner. Again a new point of view for the general, but now he learned where the +other+ agents had had their knowledge from, they were definitely the students of this teacher. Then he came to the interesting question why Tom had decided to turn to the FSA of all things. With the powers he and Firebird had at their command, they could have chosen every place and every company in this world as their helper - so why turn to the Federal Security Agency?
"That´s simple. Your men were already in it anyway since our meeting just mere minutes after our arrival here, and I know from my own agents that they´re pretty useful as soon as they´re properly housebroken." Grinning. "So instead of wasting time by searching elsewhere we took what presented itself, I really do believe in serendipity. And that´s all there is to that."
Then he got earnest. "I decided to do this, General, because, when we´re done tomorrow and returned to our dimension it´s you who´ll have to take care of your Paul Forrester and his family and also of my twin. You know, after separating my other me from the matrix that´s keeping him alive right now and getting him a new body of his own he might be unable to use a matrix for the rest of his life. He certainly won´t have the protecting matrix ´chainmail field´ around him any longer, and I don´t know if he will inherit my longevity from my body cell. It might well be that his days as a superhero are done forever. This also reads that he won´t be able to protect your Forrester and family and work with them in the way I can."
"Is that possible? No more superpowers for him, forever?"
"It would be very hard for him and I don´t desire it for him. I know I wouldn´t desire it for myself. But thinks like that can happen. And the condition he is in right now has to be coorected, and we are his best chance to survive the process. If he´s just a plain human being after that, well, he could still be a priceless addition to your staff for his vast knowledge and experience. If you can deal with his eccentric behavior, that is." Grinning again.
"And you´re positive that he´ll second your deciding his fate for him here and now."
"We think alike, since we still are one and the same, and he got from me all the reasons why I decided to work with +my+ Agency and didn´t disagree. We always considered cloak-and-dagger stuff a nice diversion, you know. So, yes, I think I can speak for him, but of course, you´ll have an interview of your own with him in the future about that, after the operation tomorrow, and much more than just one if I guess right."
"You told +my+ Mr. Fox you´d take our Forrester and his son away with you. What about that?"
"If you´d lock them into a cage and used them for freakish experiments until they died like you tried to do at Peagrum - this I won´t allow. I would take them away from here without a second thought. But I have a feeling that they´ll be of importance to the development of your dimension, as much as our versions are to ours. I consider them just as important as myself. You´ve seen by now that they aren´t exactly man-eating monsters. If you dare a telepathic rapport with Paul you´ll get the full truth about the supposed spearhead of an alien invasion Fox believed him to be, because it´s very hard to lie in a telepathic rapport and Algeibans like him totally suck in lying anyway. Here´s hoping that you all, including my other self, will be able to establish a good relationship just like the one we´re having in our own dimension. Then I could be certain I´m leaving Paul and Scott in good hands. I know the General Wade of our dimension is no evil man and I think you´re just like him. But I also know that you too have to follow orders, and we had in our dimension a few times where your other version had to jump when he didn´t want to. On orders of somebody who isn´t exactly your boss but still powerful enough to make you jump, if you get the meaning."
"You can´t be more specific there?"
Tom sighed. "Just think ´religion´. You my ask my other version here and your men what I told them about it - that I think religions to be the breeding grounds of agents of the Unknown Enemy bound on thwarting mankind´s progress. Agents I´ve fought in my dimension more than once, and no thanks to your other self there. Not everybody coming to you who´s believing himself on the side of the angels is actually there. Since the last war thirteen thousand years ago the Enemy had enough time to establish its version of ´Newspeak´, turning good-willed people into its unwittingly henchmen."
"How about giving me a few details, like what to look for?"
Tom shrugged. "I could give them to you, but you wouldn´t believe me, not even after what happened today. I guess you and my other me will have to cross that bridge when you´ve arrived there. But you can consider yourself as warned now."
Wade nodded. He´d keep Richards´s earnest words in mind.
« Letzte Änderung: 27. Juli 2013, 20:07:18 Uhr von DAOGA »

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Re: Dr. Thomas A. Richards Reloaded
« Antwort #25 am: 27. Juli 2013, 21:24:33 Uhr »
"Back to Forrester. How does it go in your world? What are you doing with it - him - each day?"
"You know already that he´s working in my hospital, doing so-called miracle healings with me and the rest of our team. Since this is a very demanding job I also insist on him having a nice hobby to relax after work, and he chose photography. He´s very good at it, much like the original Forrester as you certainly know by now from his work. I think at least part of that keen eye he actually inherited from the donor of his human body. So if he isn´t at the hospital or with his growing family, he´s mostly doing assignments Mrs. Liz Barnes is still giving to him, but we have restricted them to Washington and its closer surrounding, if he isn´t accompanying me on one of my voyages. There´s enough interesting stuff here to keep a photographer entertained all day, with the White House and everything." He smirked. "But even that wouldn´t be enough for an Algeiban. They are total suckers for information, you know, and need a lot of fresh input each day. So we decided to give it to him, my General Wade and I, to keep our alien happy. But of course it´s a two-sided deal. Paul has been a navigator and mapmaker to his people, somebody who traveled and charted the unknown shores of space, neither the best expert in his own field nor somebody who´s really important or in power, but he still caught a lot from other scientific and other fields too, that were not vital of his line of work.  In his unique, innocent way he still hasn´t realized that he knows a damn lot and how interesting all of that is to us humans. So, to pique that eidetic alien memory of his and make it spit out something useful, my general is always busy making appointments with scientists and Nobelprize winners and such, and if we´re getting one of them it´s always a red-carpet event with the most interesting insights into human and alien minds afterward. I´ve been there every time, and the only thing I regretted was my inability to understand most of what they were talking about. I swear, compared to their techno-babble anything you can get from me is kindergarten level. But the experts allowed to talk and work with him wouldn´t have missed it for the world, they all said later."
Knowing how impressed and enthusiastic his own head of research, Dr. Keller, had reacted to his test subjects, the general could relate to Tom´s statement.
"The strange stones you collected after the destruction of the so-called seal --"
"Your eggheads are already doing experiments with them, but I don´t think they will find out more about them than I already know - and I know a damn lot about that stuff since I´m working with it all the time, it´s the same material my matrix consists of, just in metallic instead of crystalline form. But you better give them back to my other me later, he´ll know where they´ll do the most good. I´m talking about his half now, by the way. The other half belongs to me, we´ve already decided to share the loot. Think of it as our payment for our help here. You may ask my twin about the things the starstones can be used for, and he will tell you some more true but quite unbelievable stories." Grinning again.
"You seem convinced that we both will be working together in the future."
"You would be stupid not to. Or to leave him to sombody else. If - if after tomorrow is still enough left of him that you could consider my equal."
So, he was nervous about tomorrow too, even if he was quite good in hiding it.
"Mr. Wylie told me that you´re much older than you look," Wade changed the topic. Tom smiled.
"A full millennium by now, since my creation. I started my life as an organic avatar, the clone body of a timetraveler from the future, created by an misinterpreted time machine of alien design, you know. Siwa, my original, didn´t read the manual before he used that thing, a mistake he´ll never repeat as he honestly promised to me. And before you ask - your twin in our dimension knows about this, too. I have no big reason to hide the fact. My unusually origin, is, probably, one of the factors of my longevity. But not the sole factor, there are a few others too, but the only things I could teach others would be certain healing meditations or medicinical tricks like certain herb potions that prolong life for a few years. That´s also stuff you can pester my other me about if you like. But meditations and herbs alone don´t suffice for a full millennium, they might give you a few more decades at best. What will be also intereesting for you is our knowledge about the future. We share all the memories of our original from the future to the very minute when he got separated and his soul, spirit, whatever returned from this avatar body that stayed in the past back into the future, into his own original body. And our original had always a healthy interest in history, as the descendant of a long line of historians, adventurers and tomb raiders. A line we two, my twin here and I, have added to now and then. Funny thought, that, to be one of the ancestors of yourself... but that´s what time is, one very weird thing. But now I have to warn you, General. I knew about things like Titanic, Hitler, Hiroshima, the Great Fire of London, the quake of San Francisco in 1906 and all the other human and natural disasters of the past thousand years before they actually happened, and you will ask me now, why didn´t I try to prevent them? Well, the answer is simple. Because mankind learns only from mistakes, as I very soon found out, and sometimes bad things, even really bad things like mass murder and genocide, have to happen that mankind will learn. It´s hard, I know, and probably better than everybody else. And secretly I often have tried to save at least a few, a few that were worth the effort and listened to my warnings. My second reason not to prevent all of that was, I confess, that I didn´t want to create a new timeline, one in which my own era in the future will nevver exist in the way I remember it. It´s probably not the best of all possible worlds but not the worst either, and I really would like to see it again, eventually, centuries from now, so I simply can´t mess with time as I please, even if it would save a lot of lifes and prevent a lot of suffering. But if I had considered my own time unworthy to exist - well, then I would have taken over a long time ago. Maybe beginning with the Cathars or somewhen else in the medieval age, or at the latest with Hitler. I could have killed that bastard right in his beginning and taken over - and you have no frigging idea how powerful Germany could have become if not for the many mistakes Hitler and his rabble have made. I could have made it all better with all my knowledge, and then Germany would be the ruling heart of this planet today, with me as its nigh-immortal emperor and living deity --
but-- I never did it."
Tom paused, to give the general a minute to think it over. Then he continued. "But as much as I know about history I also know about what is still to come. And again there´s a high possibility to change the future. Yes, the future as I know it, the era between now and my own time, the world of my original, is also filled with disasters and accidents and wars and terroristic activities. I know that you´re now very tempted to get it all out of me, or out of my twin who I think will be quite defenseless after tomorrow. But that´s something you better desist from. Yes, you might get it all if you keep on my other version long enough, but what you did with all that knowledge would probably change the future in such unpredictable ways, that after a beginning filled with accomplishments for you there would be no knowing, not even for my twin, in which different direction you´d go then. It certainly wouldn´t be the future We know about. Maybe it would turn out for the better in the long run, but there´s a very high chance that it turned out far worse, because there´s a damn lot that could go wrong which just happened to go well in our original timeline, and not even We know about every single crossroads in time that changed the fate of mankind to better or worse. Knowing this, I´ve made with +my+ General Wade in our dimension a deal. If I give him a forewarning about something he will believe me without asking and do what´s needed. But he will never try to get something out of me by force, and he will leave it to my judgement about where to warn and where to stay quiet, or in which degree to intervene. It´s as I´ve just told you, some things are just meant to happen, good things as well as bad or even very bad things, and if you prevent them today they will return tomorrow to bite you when you least expect it. Time is built this way, you know, and lightning will always hit twice or thrice in the same place. It will try to hit even more often if you prevent it the first time, you can´t change this fact. I´ve tried, believe me, I´m talking from experience here. The only thing you can do is to build a lightning rod while there´s still time before the thunderstorm."
He leaned back comfortably and grinned downright evil now.
"Don´t worry. The things you´ll be getting from my twin voluntarily will already be more than enough to blow your rep to kingdom come if even a single one of them goes wrong."
General Wade understood now what +other+ Agents Fox and Wylie had intended with their repeated warnings. This man, as well as his +here+ alter ego, was far more dangerous than a whole invasion of Forrester-aliens could ever be. But, damn, he never even tried to hide it. He wanted the general to know all about it, to prepare him --
"I´ve an interview at the White House, at 1800, about the incidents yesterday and your stay here today and what you´re about to do tomorrow," he said.
"Good luck with that," Tom grinned back at him. "If they question your sanity just call me, and I´ll rough them up a bit for you."
"Mr. Wylie told me you´d say that."
"Ben knows me well by now." Richards seemed indeed to be very fond of his nephew and Fox´s hapless assistant, Wade realized. "Have you decided already how to spend the evening?"
« Letzte Änderung: 27. Juli 2013, 21:29:32 Uhr von DAOGA »

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Re: Dr. Thomas A. Richards Reloaded
« Antwort #26 am: 1. September 2013, 21:33:57 Uhr »
"Short Circuit 2" is on in cinemas, and having a little fun never hurts. We thought of allowing us and the agents you´ll send with us a nice visit at the movies and maybe dinner at a good restaurant afterwards. Look, I can even pay for the expenses," he grinned then and showed what he carried in his pocket, small, glass-like things - the synthetical diamonds Wade´s own Agent Fox had told him about.
"It´s OK," Wade answered. "The Agency wil cover it. I think we can afford that much."
Tom knew that now the general was joking in his own way. He was nervous about that interview with his bosses but of course, he didn´t show it. "Especially since you know by now that you´ll gain much more in the deal." he went on mercilessly.
"I will give on all you told me to my superiors at the White House. When you´re back from your evening entertainment I might call on you for another interview."
"Please do, General."
He got dismissed and returned to the lab floor, accompanied by two of Wade´s agents. He was relieved when he found his group including both Pauls safe and sound. Of course, the protections he´d put on all of them would have alarmed him at once if even a single one of his team had produced strange signs of life which smelled of trouble. Dr. Keller and his staff had used the time to do another round of tests and probably asked a gazillion of questions, but the Forresters and Scott looked quite content, more curious than afraid of the things the scientists did to them.
"Are you done for now, Dr. Keller? Then let´s go, folks, catch some fresh air and then head for the movies. We have a hard day ahead of us, so let´s grab as much R & R as possible."
"I want to come along, too," Dr. Keller said. "Watching genuine aliens in the wild, you know." Hurriedly he doffed his white lab coat and donned his street suit.
"I think I will take my camera along. Just in case something worth a shot will turn up," +here+ Forrester said. The comment gave his twin an idea. "One of the agreements we made with our FSA was the return of all my cameras Mr. Fox and Mr. Wylie have confiscated over the two years," he hinted. "Here they had even more time to collect your cameras, I suppose."
Heads turned towards +here+ Fox. The man sighed but knew he couldn´t escape this.
"OK," he surrendered. "I will give you one of them back."
"Including an new and unused film, please," grinned Tom who took a guess at the agents´s thoughts, "don´t play the nitpicker now."
+Here+ Forrester told Fox which of the cameras he wanted. It had been his favorite until the agents got it together with the other contents of the duffle bag it had been in. Fox went to get the piece from the Headquarter´s vault.
"Isn´t it dangerous to simply go out for dinner and the movies together with an alien being?" Dr. Keller asked.
When he noticed Tom´s quizzical look he added: "I mean, as inexperienced Forrester still is with living on Earth. Won´t he attract attention?"
Tom just smiled. "You´re not giving him enough credit. He´s managed living on Earth and blending in for the past four years. Algeibans are fast learners with that eidetic memory of theirs."
"But all the people around him learned about his origin sooner or later. Somehow they all realized he´s not from around here."
""But all of them had already learned by then that he´s in fact a gentle being in need of their protection instead of their fear and prejudice. If I wrote down all the names of the people who decided to help him and Scott escaping our agents it would be quite a list, and if your version has been as busy in making friends in the last two years that list will be even longer."
"He may be able to blend in, at least if he doesn´t extend his stay in one place and stays mum, but what about you, Mr. Richards? You´re sure to draw attention wherever you go, and you aren´t even trying to button your lip, as I´ve learned by now. Sorry to be so blunt, sir."
Tom grinned at him, in that devilish way that always announced a simple but ugly truth. "You seem to forget that I´m not Algeiban, and my alien ancestor wasn´t Algeiban either. He was big and strong and hairy and equipped with sharp teeth and claws. If an agent like Fox had hounded him he´d have ripped him apart, snacked on his eyeballs and wore his entrails as garment. And I believe I got a little bit of that. I actually love having a good barroom brawl now and then, generously delivering bloody noses and broken bones, to keep my blood pressure at a healthy level. And that´s one of the reasons why I don´t keep quiet. I´m actually daring evildoers to try and get at me, both in words and my eccentric behavior, because I know I can take them on. Anybody coming at me won´t be able to get at Paul later, I´m always making sure of that."
"But, you said you´re a doctor of medicine! How can you attune hurting people with healing?"
"That´s simple. Every time and as long as I´m fighting the Doc is out of town." And when Dr. Keller seemed not satisfied with this answer Tom added: "You forget how old I am. I´ve seen many centuries when being a doctor wouldn´t have helped you in a fight at all besides, maybe, to be one of the first to die. I´ve seen times when a red cross on your clothing would have marked you not as a helper but as an enemy warrior and rightful target. I´ve learned how to survive through the centuries. I´ve learned how to play bait to draw predators out of the woodwork and I know when to be a healer and when to hurt or kill. So you better remember when I or my counterpart of here are fighting, never to get between Us and Our enemy. Or you´d probably get hurt, too."
Dr. Keller still looked very earnest and full of doubt. Only now he seemed actually to realize that Tom Richards was not his average patient, despite his weirdness and the discrepancies he and his staff had already found before. Another thing he´d add to his own report to the general, he thought.
A few minutes later Fox returned with the camera. "I had to fill out a lot of paperwork to get it, so the shots you´ll do with it better be worth it." he said grouchily.
"Don´t tell an expert how to do his job,"Tom promptly scolded him. Fox stared at him icily, to flinch and feel a little shaken when the others suddenly started laughing at his expense. With a quite surprised expression he stared at them, not comprehending what had been going on in his absence, before he turned grouchy again.
"You´ll teach him yet, Tom," +other+ Fox grinned widely.
+Here+ Forrester reached out for the camera +this+ Fox still held in his hand. The agent gave it to him.
"Thank you," the Starman said, without the slightest trace of irony. The alien probably wouldn´t know what irony was if it bit him, Fox remembered as he stared at It, trying to find out if It was making fun of him too. Forrester checked if the camera contained a film and nodded, then he gave it on to his twin.
"We´ll do some nice souvenir photos," the other Paul promised. "That´s our first and probably last visit in a parallel dimension of ours, so we better make it count."
+Here+ Fox felt aggravated and a bit jumpy. He had not slept last night, spending endless hours before the monitors that showed both +his+ alien and Its offspring and the otherdimensional visitors in their room, and all of them sleeping peacefully like babies. He had been so confident they´d try something after having accompanied the agents voluntarily into the Agency´s headquarter, right into the lion´s den and the heart of their enemy, but nothing at all had happened. His hyperexcitability right now was the result of sleep deprivation, and maybe the so-called ´healing´they had done to him earlier today added to the effect, but he knew that this condition wouldn´t last and that he would sleep like a log tonight if he didn´t get Dr. Keller to shoot him up with some really powerful stay-awake juice. Which the doctor who took his Hippocratic oath quite seriously probably would refuse. For the time being he had to accompany the bunch into the city, even if they didn´t have to go far for the next cinema and restaurant. But they all looked like they wanted to stretch their legs a bit.  The +other+ agents and the men General Wade had chosen as their escort had changed into casual clothing not to draw too much attention, which the three pairs of twins were already sufficient to attract. Well, so they had to take up a little act as soon as they were on the street, something like a reunited school class from the year dot including a private twin convention. Fox briefed this agents accordingly, and the +others+ seemed to have fun at the idea and didn´t decline. So they went, and to Fox´s great relief the rest of the afternoon and the evening went by without the slightest incident. The aliens could indeed blend in and behave, he realized, maybe even better than the Wylies who, he sadly had to admit, were pure-blooded humans after all. When they all returned to the Headquarter at 10 p. m. Fox felt like dead on his feet but relieved. After a full day around not only one but two aliens without a single alien-caused incident he would risk taking a short nap, yes, on the hard cot in one of the interrogation rooms which wasn´t that uncommon if an agent didn´t want to go home for the night. The agents assigned to night shift and monitor duty promised to wake him up immediately if there was something going on with their ´guests´. But when he woke up all by himself, feeling stiff and still tired, it was seven in the morning already, and to his surprise the building around him was still standing. Their ´guests´were just preparing for breakfast, with a lot of giggling going on because +here+ Wylie and Dr. Keller with his assistants were already with them, the latter ones intent on finding out every dirty little secret about how genuine aliens and dimension travelers did their morning toilet. And once again the Agency scientists didn´t prove much sense of modesty or shame. Fox felt like watching a kindergarten while he downed his first cup of coffee standing before the monitors in the control room.
Once again their guests helped themselves to a huge meal at the expense of the Agency, and Fox slowly came to the conclusion that being an alien or a dimension traveler seemed to use up an unusual amount of energy. Or maybe they just used the chance to gorge themselves which soon would result in Forrester being unable to flee again because he wouldn´t fit through a door any longer, he thought amusedly. Or, another thought not by far so amusing, they all carried the alien version of a tape worm within them, forcing them to feed it constantly. But hat was something Fox trusted Dr. Keller to find out, because his staff had taken samples of about every human excretion imaginable from them by now, including things Fox didn´t want to think about before he had had something more substantial for breakfast than just a cup of coffee.
« Letzte Änderung: 1. September 2013, 22:04:51 Uhr von DAOGA »

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Re: Dr. Thomas A. Richards Reloaded
« Antwort #27 am: 19. Dezember 2013, 21:54:55 Uhr »
"Good morning, Mr. Fox!" he got greeted enthustiastically by Tom Richards when he finally joined the group. The man looked bright as a new day, and Fox immediately hated him for that. Richards promptly added to that hate by gladly rubbing salt in the wound. "Man, your´re looking awful! Did you ever sleep that night?"
"Yes I did." Fox answered curtly. He didn´t want to talk about his personal condition, but Tom refused to let the topic go. "I understand. It´s the responsibility of having us here and having to watch over us that weighs you down. Lucky for you, if anything goes well today, you´ll soon be rid of us and back to your own part of this madhosue. And Paul and Scott won´t give you trouble if you don´t give it to them. Given that I´ll decide to leave them to you." He smiled." And now come over here and give me your hands." He put away the small knife he´d just used to butter his slice of bread and raised his own hands towards Fox, but didn´t get up.
Now what was this about? Insecurely Fox looked at the others, especially the +other+ agents, but they were being useless again. They both grinned at him, invitingly as it seemed to him, expectantly and even a bit - envying? But that was probably just an illusion --
"Man, go for it!" +other+ Fox urged. Wylie looked like he had wanted to say just the same, so he added instead: "He wants to give you a priceless gift. You can feel honored, sir."
"I know a lot of people who would kill to get what he´s offering you, so get moving!" +Other+ Fox again.
Since by now all eyes in the room rested on him, he had to follow the order. Damn, what could that man do to him just by touching his hands - but, on the other hand, what could he not do? With this man anything was possible, the agent had gotten as much by now --
First, he felt nothing at all. Richards surely was strong, but he didn´t squeeze Fox´s hands. But then, suddenly --
he felt like touching a live wire. Without the muscle convulsions that normally came with that, thank you very much, but still he felt it, that raw, overwhelming power that in a single split-second went to this heart and into his whole body until he was literally tingling all over with energy, expecting to start spreading sparks out of every body orifice any second. It was the same feeling he´d had yesterday in the healing but much stronger now, and he didn´t think he could bear it. So he wanted to separate from Richards, but now the man used his strength to hold Fox´s hands tight. "Don´t worry," he even had the audacity to say while he electrocuted the agent, or at least it felt like that to Fox. "You´ve seen yesterday that I own a body aura close to that of a lower deity, and now you´re getting a small part of it. The ability to align a strong aura with a weaker one in order to transfer healing powers was called ´the laying on of the hands´ in medieval times. A few kings of old boasted to own this ability, and they used it to cure rash and other diseases among their subjects. I´m not royalty, thanks for asking, but we M-Tecs all have strong auras which enable us to do that, it´s one of the side-effects of working our matrices that power us up constantly."
And only now, finally, he let go of the agent´s hands.
Fox was surprised to find himself still alive. He was still tingling all over, but, damn, at least his fatigue was gone now. Such a shock was more than sufficient to wake him up completely.
"And now you eat. I could feel your stomach is on empty, and all the aura energy in the world won´t be of use to you if you don´t take care of material nourishment too."
Before he knew it, Fox was sitting besides Tom and found a huge sandwich in his hand. He stared at it as if he was seeing a living rattlesnake. "Eat up, Mr. Fox," +his+ Wylie once again proved no help, "I think this will be a tough day for all of us."
"Uhm, Mr. Richards, would you please--" Dr. Keller came closer, pure greed in his eyes.
"Now see what you´ve done!" +other+ Fox taunted his twin, knowing exactly what the scientist wanted. "Now that they´ve seen what he can do they all want a part out of him, and it´s all your fault. If they could do now as they pleased they would suck him dry like leeches."
+Here+ Fox wanted to argue, but then he realized that his twin was just pulling his leg again. ´God-damn kindergarten´, he thought grouchily, and decided to play along. Biting into his sandwich saved him an answer.

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Re: Dr. Thomas A. Richards Reloaded
« Antwort #28 am: 16. Januar 2014, 21:39:37 Uhr »
"Dr. Keller." Richards turned to the scientist. "I know what you want. But that was for Mr. Fox only. I don´t go around laying my hands on everybody I´m meeting, not even in our own dimension, or I would indeed end as a dried-out husk soon. You may remember from yesterday that the Forresters hace a strong aura too, but I have to warn you. Paul´s aura is not by far as strong as mine, nor is it as well-trained. If you press him to lay on his hands and heal people he would comply because he´s not able to say ´no´ to somebody in need, but if he loses too much energy by doing that he´ll grow sick and die, and I don´t think you do want that happening. The only one sufficiently trained in such things to determine how much you can expect from your Paul is my other me. I don´t know what his own aura will look like after today, maybe it will be nothing more than that of a normal human being, so I can´t make promises there. And I for my part won´t stay here in this dimension. Did I make myself clear?"
Dr. keller had stopped dead in his tracks hearing Richards using such a stern tone on him. Now he nodded, slowly. "For the sake of science..." he began.
"For the sake of science you will keep your versions of me and Paul and Scott as happy as can be. If you treat them well they won´t have reason to run again. And with some luck you will have them for many years to come. So try to show some patience, will you?"
The scientist looked at him. "You know, you´re displaying an interesting behavior. First you present us with a tasty carrot, and in the next moment you tell us it´s actually poisoned and even the kind of poison. And you did it not just once but repeatedly as our agents told us, practically from the very first minute since you arrived in our world."
"Because that´s the fastest way for you to learn. Realize the possibilities, but also recognize the dangers. I´ve had two years already to teach my own agents, but you need to catch up on the most important parts in the short time we can and will stay here. So I have to hustle things on."
"You seem to have fun teaching my men." Totally undetected General Wade had entered the room and listened to the exchange, and Tom realized that this man had a few tricks up his sleeves, too. To sneak in like that, unnoticed even by his own men, was a trick he´d probably learned in a jungle war somewhere, Vietnam maybe. Tom had never seen his own general doing it but now knew he could do it too, since they were identical.
"Not that I´d mind." Wade added then. "Now and then they need a little reminder that even we of the Agency don´t know it all. Especially when it comes to such exotic topics where we are bound to make mistakes."
"Grave mistakes that could cost you the chance of establishing a well-working first contact to an alien race, for instance," Tom agreed, nodding towards the Forresters. "I take it your interview yesterday went well?" Because even if his concrete face didn´t betray the feelings of the general, he looked relaxed.
"I think they didn´t believe a single word I said. But at least they agreed to wait for the results of today´s endeavor. But to make sure I didn´t grow raving mad in a sudden and was telling them galloping nonsense they sent us a few additionally guests to watch. Two of them are VIPs and outranking me, so there´s no way to turn them down."
Tom just shrugged. "As long as they don´t get in the way... I don´t mind, and the more the merrier. Let´s hope they´ll learn something from it too."
"At least we could convince the President not to come here," Wade said. "But the others are already assembled. I thought you´d like to make their acquaintance before you begin with your, uhm, operation."
"Fine." Tom smiled. He looked at his group and found they all had finished breakfast. "Then we won´t keep our guests waiting any longer."
The general just nodded, and the agents watching them at their monitors in the control room reacted. A few minutes later the door opened, and their visitors poured in, led by another agent. VIPs all right, because Tom recognized them. There was the Secretary of Defense Mr. Vandersteen, the Secretary of State, Mr. Wolfe, then a potential rival of General Wade when it came to aliens, Mrs. Arlene Baker from the Directorate of Science and Technology which is actually a branch of the CIA, and the last man who came in was General Frazer from the Marine Corps who equaled General Wade in rank. He´d probably brought an assortment of his own men with him to keep the visitors safe from ´crazy´ Wade and his aliens, Tom thought amusedly. But those had been ordered to wait outside together with Wade´s own men since the room was already crowded and they all got supervised via monitor anyway.
The general himself did the introduction, in a way that told Tom that their visitors already knew all about +his+ group´s otherdimensional and the +here+ Forrester´s alien origin.
"Mr. Secretary," Tom friendly greeted Vandersteen, "you don´t know me, but I do know your version of my dimension. You´ve been out in the desert in the bubble incident, together with General Frazer."
Vandersteen looked puzzled. "Yes, but--"
He looked at Wade. Who just nodded invitingly at Tom to continue, because the full story of the bubble incident as he´d gotten it himself from the +other+ agent Wylie had been one of the many details Wade had told the President and his staff yesterday. It couldn´t hurt the general´s credibility to have it confirmed by Tom Richards who also had been inside the bubble-shaped forcefield.
"As I´ve learned by now the bubble incident went quite different in our two dimensions. While in yours it was your superhero Firebird alone who went in and destroyed it, in our dimension, where I had met General Wade and his agents before, we both called for help and then pooled what we got. Our General Frazer was so kind to provide a group of his Marines while I called on some friends who owned dragons. With a full wing of thirteen battle dragons we went inside the bubble, which was possible because dragons could penetrate the bubble field as I had found out before. The Marine´s commander, one Major Alvarez, brought also a nice little gift for the extradimensional invaders in the form of a small nuke. It was small enough to fit into two big suitcases but proved powerful enough to destroy the whole bubble and anything inside after we placed it at the right spot, the dimensional axis which fed the forcefield and kept the bubble in place. But until we reached that axis we suffered heavy casualties, both in men and dragons. We didn´t come out uncathed that day, but we won the battle."
"IF you know all of that, could you please explain--" Frazer asked, excited.
"The huge lightning you saw coming out of the bubble? That was no less than an extraterrestrial being, a so-called Benu, which had been kept prisoner and abused as a watchdog by the powers behind the creation of the bubble. Before we could try to destroy the bubble we had to dispatch this sentinel which, fortunately for us, was an easy thing to do. The Unknown Enemy who had placed the Benu at the multidimensional axis didn´t reckon that one of us had had contact with Benu before, like your Firebird and I for instance." He showed his well-known evil version of a grin, targeted back at the Unknown Enemy who had taken quite a beating back then.
"When the Benu checked our tiny minds for useful information before it wasted us on order of its bosses it found a lot of interesting stuff in mine, interesting enough to quit working for the Unknown Enemy immediately and give us the chance to do what we had come to do, while it left Earth to meet with its real kin somewhere in space. I do hope they´ll remember kindly that we have freed one of them from evil influence, but I can´t be sure. Nobody understands how Benu think, you know, they´re totally alien."
"Uhm, they´re not Benu, or are they?" Vandersteen asked, pointing towards the aliens in their midst who were looking back at their visitors with open and innocently interest.
"No, they definitely aren´t," Tom laughed at him. "There are a lot of different races out there, and our Forresters here are just Algeibans. Yes, sir, you´re allowed to touch them," because he had noticed that the Secretary had intended to shake hands with one of the Pauls but then hesitated. "It´s completely harmless. They aren´t contagious in any way, and they won´t lay eggs into your body, invade your brain or do other nasty sci-fi things to you. Algeibans can´t do things like that, they are perfectly pacifistic and really squeamish. And their material bodies are fully human safe for a few improvements which we already discussed yesterday with Dr. Keller." He pointed towards the scientist who nodded affirmatively. "The real aliens live inside that shell of human meat and bone, they look like small blue balls of lightning in their true shape. But in that form they couldn´t survive on this planet, so they had to create themselves the bodies you can see here. By the way, the real Mr. Forrester was already dead when they used one of his cells for the cloning process, he died in that helicopter crash at Mount Hawthorne. Algeibans are totally unable to deliberately hurt or kill a living being, you know, violence is just not in their genes."
Now, after they´d gotten permission, the visitors were all over the Pauls, and over Scott, their half-human son too. The boy was more than a bit scared seeing so many important people, high-ranking members of the government, fussing over his dad and himself. "They got hounded by Wade´s agents for the last four years in this dimension and Scott from the very moment of his conception, so he´s bound to be a bit shy," Tom grinned at their guests when the young man instinctively tried to hide behind the Pauls. Tom himself had made himself comfortable on his chair again since it certainly would take some time until their guests had satisfied their immediate curiosity.
"And I do understand that you didn´t allow the President to come here. He´ll still have enough time to meet Paul when everybody else has convinced himself that this alien is perfectly harmless." he added.
"That was quite a fight, to talk him out of it. You are your alien´s guardian as I understood, sir?" Secretary Wolfe asked.
"Yes, Mr. Secretary. And I take this duty quite seriously, even if I sometimes have to oppose government services like the FSA by doing it. I´ve watched ´E.T.´, the movie, you know, so you´ll please excuse me for not exactly trusting in the government if it comes to the wellbeing of alien visitors. Paul got shot down by the airforce when he came to Earth for the first time, and that´s no way to treat a guest even if he comes unexpectedly and without proper announcement. Especially if you had actually sent out invitation cards before, like that recording disc on the Voyager probes. If you invite somebody you´ve got to take them in if they come and treat them well as long as they behave, that´s a simple question of hospitality and good manners."
"A part we clearly botched, didn´t we? By the way, how much does caring for aliens cost the gonvernment in your dimension?" Wolfe wanted to know. He really wondered now how much of the funds the Agency used up every year went into operations he´d never learn about, like hunting and caretaking for aliens.

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Re: Dr. Thomas A. Richards Reloaded
« Antwort #29 am: 4. Februar 2014, 13:03:28 Uhr »
"Actually, nothing at all, sir," +other+ Wylie quipped in. "Since Mr. Richards sees Forrester and his family as his private property he also takes care of their daily needs including security. Which he can afford because he´s a bit on the well-off side. We agents only serve as supervisors on part of the government, he could do just as well without us. Only for his other services, like the use of his dragon now and then he´ll charge us, and then he´s proving a really tough bargainer, charging us an arm and a leg every time." He sounded amused. "But our agreements are working so far. He keeps Forrester ready in case we´re in need of hm which is mostly for scientific reasons, and he rarely refuses to cooperate. It´s mostly minor details he won´t even negotiate about, like drilling holes in Forrester´s head. Which our Dr. Keller was really bent on in the first time, for some reason completely incomprehensible for me." He was smirking now, even more when he saw +this+ scientist´s facial expression.
"That dragon that fought the monster yesterday is a pet of yours?" Vandersteen took over.
"Yes, sir. It´s Bonded to me, in body and spirit. And you might even see it if you stay here long enough, because as soon as we´ve finished what we´re here to do it will take us to a place from where we can return into our dimension."
Mrs. Baker wanted to feel important too. "You know, Mr. Richards, we got some footage of what you and your group did yesterday, and we of the Directorate didn´t agree at all to the need to close that dimensional doorway immediately by destroying it forever. We could have taken our time to investigate this phenomenon, to learn something useful from it, maybe send a research group through --".
Tom shook his head. "I´ve come across such phenomena more often than I liked, and the most important thing I learned about them is to destroy them as soon as they turn up because the things that try to spill over to our world are deadly. Do you want to know what I know about them, all of it in a nutshell?" And as she nodded, eager to learn some of his otherdimensional knowledge, he warned her: "I do hope you´re not one easy to faint, because it won´t be pretty."
She stared at him piercingly. "Bring it on, Mister!" she dared him.
"Please keep a sickbag ready, Mr. Secretary, just in case," he only half-jokingly told the man who stood next to him. Then he reached out with his hand. "Don´t complain to my here twin or General Wade later if you´re suffering from nightmares," he warned her a second time. She just nodded, and he touched her face with his fingers. For a single minute they both didn´t move at all, eyes closed, until she suddenly shrank back with a low cry. Her eyes were open now, and they were wide with fear, her face a mask of sheer terror. Then she looked around wildly, as if she was expecting monsters to come at her from all sides.
He just casually nodded at her. "Now you know what we´re fighting, and why I won´t allow such things in our dimension, and in yours too."
First she was completely speechless. She didn´t retch, maybe her stomach had not realized yet what her brains had just got. By touching her Tom had given her telepathically a few of his own memories of when he´d fought the extradimensional Enemy including some of its worst inventions like the black ones, and those memories were more than enough to make almost everybody else feel sick. But she was a scientist, and she had expressed her need to know. Tom Richards would never refuse such a wish coming from the head of a research facility, even if it was a rather careless wish in retrospective. Because those memories she would carry with her for the rest of her life.
"I´m sorry. I think I really need to go to the restroom now." she said when she had recovered a bit and found her voice again after making sure that no tentacled black monsters were around. And she disappeared rather quickly on legs that seemed to be very weak. 
"Bit off more than she could chew, didn´t she?" Vandersteen asked, smirking. "I won´t ask you to give the same to me. We´ve already heard you´re an expert on such things, and that your advice should be taken seriously. By the way, why does anybody around you call you a madman? General Wade told us about it yesterday. But you seem to be the most sane person I can see here right now."
Tom grinned back. "Well, I´m talking to aliens every day, I´m fighting extradimensional and other monsters and I´m changing into something big and scaly and potentially man-eating at least once a month, and I don´t even keep quiet about all of this because I like people to wonder. I think you would call anybody telling you about such things slightly mad at least."
"Does God talk to you too?" That question was only partly meant as a joke, this was god-blessed America after all.
"God not exactly, but I´ve got the phone number of a few nigh-almighty demigods from space. If they will do, sir."
"Don´t taunt him, sir. You can´t win at his favorite topics." +other+ Fox warned the Secretary. Defense nodded and changed the subject as advised. "What about Firebird. You´re certain you can help him?" Because Wade had not forgotten about that part either.
"We all do hope. And after that it´s farewell forever, because as soon as we´re back home the leech will vamoose and no longer serve as bridge between our dimensions. Well, there might be other sorts of bridges that exist naturally and will continue to exist, but I don´t know about those. And nobody either I think, in case you are wondering now if you´ll have to expect an invading force from our dimension knocking on your door anytime soon. Since our two dimensions are almost identical their forces would be evenly matched, and I won´t condone an interdimensional war anyway, such a nonsense would make both our worlds vulnerable again for machinations of the Invisible Enemy. I would use any means at my disposal to prevent or stops such a thing, and I´ve got a darn lot of nasty stuff at my disposal. No, if there´s an enemy coming it will be from another side, one like we had the day before yesterday. But, they won´t be able to pull the same trick with the World Quake on us a second time. When we had contact with the leech it told us that its kind is actually a peaceful one, simple leeches without any means to attack somebody other than the dimensions they´re leeching from, like lice on plants. Their only defense against predators is some kind of extradimensional skunk smell which they also use on places they find too dangerous to stay, a smell that will warn others of their kind too and keeps them away. I made the leech promise that, after it has brought us back home, it will gas our whole cluster of parallel dimensions with that stink so that no other of its kind will ever come near our dimensions again, thus robbing the Unknown Enemy of the chance to take another one of its kind prisoner."
Defense nodded, again. He didn´t say it, but he was quite impressed. "Mr. Richards, what do you think our future relationship to your twin will be like? Would he be willing to work together with our FSA as you did with yours, even if he lost his powers?"
Richards showed his amusement again. "If you can stop Dr. Keller from putting him in a golden cage and throwing away the key - well, since he´s as much a showoff as I am you can bet he´ll show you some tricks when he´s ready. But," a warning wiggling of his finger, "only when he´s ready, and not before. Which reads it´s useless to pester him about it too soon. An old-school illusionist like Us takes pride in presenting a perfect show, you know. By the way, I already sent out the call. He should be here soon if he´s not occupied with some really urgent superhero stuff - oh, there he comes."
« Letzte Änderung: 4. Februar 2014, 14:24:45 Uhr von DAOGA »