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Offline DAOGA

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The Wizard of (Oz) D.C.
« am: 6. Mai 2014, 14:18:35 Uhr »
And yet another Fanfic crossover with charakters from the TV series "Starman" and my own silly fantasy series "2772". Looks like in many dimensions Tom Richards has a run-in with one certain Paul Forrester, his son and the Federal agents that are after them.
@all readers: don´t be shy to leave a comment. I won´t eat you for it, promise!



The Master was ´in the mood´ again.
Larry could tell, because he had to drive the big limousine his boss had chosen for this trip while the man just sat silently on the backseat, eyes closed for most of the time and listening to signals only he could perceive, the energy matrix in the hilt of his cane emitting a mild blue glow. Only now and then he spoke, gave a new order into which direction Larry was to go, slowly encircling what had found his interest in a narrowing spiral pattern. Larry didn´t like where they were heading because their surrounding grew worse by the minute. It was certainly not the best neighborhood out there, with not a single decent building in sight, only mere ruins waiting in vain for the wrecking crew, with shattered streetlights and the streets full of filth and litter, populated by street gangs and junkies and thugs, a place cops dared to enter in strong numbers only and where a car like theirs could only belong to a powerful druglord. Whatever Mr. Richards thought to find here of all places was beyond Larry Kiromoto. But his boss owned the undisputed ability to find the metaphorical pearls in a hog house, so he was actually quite curious what was on the menu today. “Stop, Larry!” Tom Richards ordered just now when they were in the middle a particularly ugly street, but one that had found somebody else´s attention already, because not far away from them stood another car that definitely didn´t belong here, an older dark sedan, just a bit smaller and less well kept than their own. The already low pace of their car, sufficiently to draw attention at them, came to a soft halt, the low hum of the motor becoming even more muffled.
The half-Japanese bodyguard didn´t like this, all of it. It was becoming dark already, a lot of narrow and dark alleys teed off between the old houses to both sides of the street where they stood, and there was no knowing what kinds of beings lurked there, watching them, maybe waiting for a chance to strike.
Richards opened the door and was outside already before Larry could move to open the door for him. So he left the car too without killing the engine but he locked the door, knowing that at least both his boss and the car were safe from attackers because both wore special matrix-powered protections against assailants or simple car thieves. Larry had been with the Yakuza before Richards took him in, so he considered himself able to defend himself if needed. But still, he didn´t like this place at all.
Richards was still listening to what the finer tuned senses of his matrix were telling him, and he made up his mind in which direction he´d find what he was searching for, in one of the dark alleys that didn´t look any different from all the others in the area. With the silent, agile moves of a predator stalking its unsuspecting prey he moved towards the opening between two old and boarded brickstone houses, cane raised ready for defense and/or attack. Larry had no choice but to follow, but he stayed back, knowing that his Master´s ´big gun´, his matrix, might need a clear field of fire around it in case something dangerous was waiting there for him. You never knew after all when somebody like Tom Richards felt a sudden urge to go hunting for big and dangerous game.
Coming closer, he heard voices from within the alley, and then he was around the corner too and saw four men.
Two of them, certainly the men with the sedan, were wearing dark suits and had guns in their hands, pointed at the other two others who stood with their backs to the litter-filled blind end of the alley formed by a high brickstone wall. 
While those two, a man of about mid-forty and a twen who looked like father and son both in looks, because both were ragged and dirty and with a hounded and desperate look in their eyes, and in the way they were standing close to each other as if to defend each other, immediately noticed the newcomers but didn´t react, the men in suits didn´t notice at first that somebody moved behind them. Which at least in Larry´s opinion ruled out one of the two possibilities of them being either gentleman gangster about to waste their targets or Federal agents - because no gangster with such an unfortunately lack of instinct when it came to a sudden threat from behind would have lasted long enough to grow as old as those two were.
Tom Richards had gotten some of the words one of the suit-wearers, an older, balding man spat against the two others, especially the keywords `alien threat´, and they made him grin like a Cheshire Cat until he forced himself to clothe his face in an earnest mien. He knew that the part about the alien was right, but not about the threat, and had already a plan in mind how to proceed, the thrill of anticipation really making it difficult for him to keep a straight face. It looked like they had arrived just in time to have some fun --

Federal Agent George Fox almost suffered another stroke when suddenly behind him a bright blue light flashed, and a booming voice, loud as thunder, demanded: “Turn and face me, ye feeble mortals! Gaze upon me and despair!”
Spinning around wildly, gun kept raised to point it at a new enemy, he saw something incredible. There was a man, hovering in mid-air just a few paces away from him and all surrounded by blue electrical fire, holding something that looked like the white-glowing lightning bolt of Jove himself in his right hand, poised to throw it at him or the others in the alley. The man was wearing a quite modern and expensive-looking business suit, but his long blond hair, bound to long a ponytail, flew up behind him like carried by an unfelt wind, the golden strands moving like snakes into all directions, seemingly alive all by their own, like in a modern and very male version of the tale of the Gorgons.
In the face of an enemy so incredibly and so close to him Fox didn´t stop to think, he fired immediately. To watch in amazement that the bullets never reached their target, because they stopped in mid-air just before and then clattered on the dirty pavement beneath. Wylie stepped in, he also emptied his magazine on the apparition, with no more success than his superior.
And the hovering stranger just laughed at their feeble efforts, with a booming voice that almost blew them backwards.
“Who - who are you? What are you?“ Fox hollered at the incredible phenomenon, ready to throw his empty gun at it or go for it with his bare hands. He felt humilated but far from being cowed or beaten, a little bit afraid maybe, but much stronger was the urge to dig his hands into something that could and would give him a proper fight, the fight that Forrester had denied him for so many years.
“I´m the evil wizard of this city,” the voice boomed again. „And I feel like torturing somebody tonight!” 
And with a flick of the flashing lightning thing something like long, blue glowing snakes or cables shot out of the white light and towards the agents, winding around them and tying them up before they could react. Short electrical shocks to their hands caused them to let go of their guns, and then they were standing there, all  tied up with blue-glowing bonds from head to toe and perfectly helpless, unable even to move their feet or to throw themselves to the ground as they soon found out, they were forced to stand there like Greek statues, for now and for who knew how long.
“What about you, Child of the Stars?” the voice asked then.
Because as soon as the agents were disarmed and bound, Paul Forrester had reached into his pocket and brought out his sphere, the silvery-metallic marble from a distant world that was his most potent tool and weapon.
Now he activated it, and its own blue glow crept against that of the hovering stranger´s radiance. He had felt right from the beginning of the lightshow that he was no match for the stranger, but still he said, with strong and steady voice: “I can´t allow you to hurt them!”
“Daaaad!” his son besides him hissed, in a definitely warning tone. Other than his alien father Scott Hayden had read some stories about Greek myths and watched fantasy movies, so he guessed that a being that could handle a genuine lightning wouldn´t let a challenge for battle go unanswered, and he was definitely afraid for his dad.
Blue lights and blue lights met, and intertwined and merged, not far away from where the bound agents stood and watched, and they saw that indeed some kind of battle was going on there, because both Forrester and the stranger stayed silent, fully focused on what their glowing weapons were doing.
The agents didn´t realize though, that only the very first contact of lights was a hostile one, then information began to travel from one glowing side to the other and back right under their eyes, and an intense telepathic communication started between one very amused Tom Richards and a curious Paul Forrester who could feel Richards´s amusement and soon learned what it was about, while all of it stayed perfectly imperceptible for the agents.
+I don´t really intend to hurt them, I just want to soften them up a bit to make them more reasonable when I talk to them later. And now back off and say something stupid like `your kung fu is stronger than mine´, and please don´t laugh while you say it or you´ll blow my little scam,+ Richards finished his wordless explanations. The pictures Forrester got with the information helped him to act as asked. He shut down his sphere while Richards retracted his own force, extinguishing its light, put it back into his pocket, then hid his right fist in the palm of his left hand in the Chinese gesture of greeting, and bowed before Richards, saying: “I acknowledge your superiority, master. Your kung fu is stronger than mine.”
Richards still managed not to grin all over but had trouble to do so, he was really proud now of his self-control. He kept his eyes on the agents, not on Forrester. Fox didn´t react much to Forrester´s words, just showed a mix of disappointment and deep-rooted disgust, but on the face of his sturdy assistant appeared an expression first of confusion, then of slight suspicion, which would be replaced sooner or later by sudden full understanding. It obviously dawned on the man that things were not quite what they looked like. As much as it dawned on Scott who looked just as surprised now, not knowing if he should keep his eyes on the stranger or rather on his father.
« Letzte Änderung: 7. August 2014, 16:28:36 Uhr von DAOGA »

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Re: The Wizard of (Oz) D.C.
« Antwort #1 am: 15. Mai 2014, 15:10:32 Uhr »
“You can´t take Forrester! He´s mine!” Fox fumed and desperately fought his restraints, seeing that their objective that suddenly had turned into their one and only champion had lost to It´s opponent.
“Finder´s keeper, and I found you all, so I´ll keep you all.“ Richards retorted. “But not in this filthy place. My home is a better place to deal with you all.” Another little shake of his lightning made the empty guns of the agents fly through the air, towards a man who stood behind Richards, a man with definitely Japanese features who wore the garb of a chauffeur. The man picked the flying guns out of the air, quite casually as if he was doing this all day, checked and secured them and put them under his belt.
“You want to kidnap us?” said the younger agent, the first thing he said at all since the show began. “You can´t do this, we´re Federal agents! You´ll get hounded to hell and back for that!” He obviously stole the older man´s line because that one shot him an angry look. But the younger man did no longer look as scared now as he had done just some minutes before.
“Only the squeaky wheel gets the grease,” Richards grinned at him. “But you won´t find somebody who´d squeak about it in this neighborhood. Heck, if they learned you´re Federals they´d make you disappear themselves. And probably forever while I might be inclinable to let you go. Later, and eventually. And now, you there, crouch down,” he said to Fox.
“Me? Why?” the agent asked, adamant to stubbornly refuse whatever that man wanted him to do. But small electrical shocks from the energetical bonds that held him already made his knees and his back fail him, he fell forwards, unvoluntarily curling into a ball - and then the blue glow suddenly was all around him, surrounded what was now a blue glowing, big and perfect ball.
“What are you doing to him?” Wylie hollered after the first silence of shock.
“Don´t worry. I put him into a stasis field, because he´d certainly try something while we´re on the way. He needed to cuddle together to fit in the trunk of my car. A stasis field is a timeless field, he won´t notice about the transport at all. You´ll go on the backseat together with the man from the stars and me, and the young man will ride pillion. But if you try something you´ll ride the rest of the way on the roof, and I´ll make sure you´ll get it in a very uncomfortable fashion while nobody else will be able to see or help you. Got that?”
Wylie nodded, hesitantly, not knowing if he should like it or not. But with Fox safely out of commission for now he´d get the chance to ask some questions of his own, he thought, and quite uninterrupted. He already suspected that the wizard wouldn´t open his bonds so he could walk on his own - and he was right, because another shaking of that impressive lightning tool made the blue ball that contained agent Fox hovering towards the street, and a still immobilized agent Wylie followed, hovering upright a few inches above ground without moving his feet at all. Then he saw the other limousine the wizard and his Japanese driver had come with. A group of young punks was standing there, hoping that both the car and its owners proved easy prey because they surely knew the cars of the crimelords that ruled this area and this one was not of them, nor were the men their scout had seen exiting from the car members of any gang they knew about. But when Richards raised his lightning at them without saying a single word, a lightning that twitched and writhed in his hand like a living being, seemingly eager to be released at its master´s enemies, they thought again and decided to scram. Keeping just as silent as the wizard they retreated into the shadows of the next alley.
Wylie almost smiled, he liked this better and better, despite the fact that he was bound and couldn´t move a single inch by himself. He floated towards the car, and the doors and the trunk of it opened all by themselves, and the blue ball that contained Fox disappeared into the trunk . Then Wylie followed on the backseat, shoved in the car by what felt like careful, invisible hands that protected him from banging his head and feet on the doorframe and then even strapped him in. Since he couldn´t do anything, he kept his eyes on the wizard who just looked at Scott Hayden who carried the dufflebags with his and his father´s meager possessions.
“Throw them in the trunk, he won´t notice,” Richards told the boy, pointing towards the opened  trunk where the blue light of the orb had almost dissolved and revealed the perfectly still body of agent Fox, his eyes wide open but as lifeless as a wax doll.
With pure horror in his eyes and stiff moves Scott went to the car, he couldn´t understand what this man had done to Fox, and if the agent would awaken to life any moment to jump up and grab him.
 “Do it.” assured his father. “It won´t hurt him, he´s perfectly safe while that forcefield is around him. I know that because I did similar fields back home, and once to protect your mom and me from a car crash and the explosion and the fire after.”
“You did?” the youth found his tongue again. Hesitantly he put the dufflebags besides the agent, careful not to put them on top of him, but fortunately the trunk of the big car was wide enough to fit in a lot of stuff. Then he watched as the trunk closed all by itself, again moved by the ´magical wand´ of the strange blond man, and slowly stepped forward, towards Richards and his father.
Now Wylie was really intrigued. What would the man do with his lightning which in its length surely was unhandy, maybe even dangerous to every other passenger in the confined space of a car backseat? And, yes, while the wizard waved Forrester and Hayden to get in as told, the white light of the lightning dosed down, to reveal over almost all its former length the shape of an - - oldfashioned walking cane, which looked like made of pure silver. The only part of it that wasn´t silver was a glassen knob in its hilt which seemed to contain some blue glowing crystal, a crystal that probably was some kind of relative of the silvery spheres of the aliens.
Forrester smiled at his kid reassuringly, and the young man obediently took his place on the front passenger seat, while Forrester sat besides Wylie. Richards came the last and made the doors close when his driver, the Japanese guy, had also assumed his seat.
“Is this a magical wand, like the staff of Gandalf the Grey?” Wylie asked, curiously looking at the silver cane which Richards had put to his other side, not to inadvertedly touch Forrester with it, while the driver started the engine and the car slowly pulled away..
“It is. But don´t even think about helping yourself to it, even the slightest contact with your bare skin could cause you serious damage to body and mind. It´s a Level Five, if you know a thing about matrix technology which I doubt, and you need strong psychic abilities and many years of training to master its power. If you don´t have both and the permit to use it it will kill you, just like that. But even in de-activated state it can be harmful to you, so please keep your hands off at all times, and the rest of your body too.”
“Please heed this advise, Mr. Wylie,” Forrester unexpectedly added, looking friendly at the agent as was his habit. “I can feel its power, it contains more power than my sphere, and it´s open for human use, which reads it can and will hurt a human being at a single touch, very unlike my own tool. And I don´t want you to get hurt.”
Wylie looked at Forrester, surprised once again. The wizard ordering him to keep off was one thing, but if Forrester said just the same the agent was inclined to believe them both. What surprised him even more, tough, was the willingness they both told him about the abilities of their tools. He had to take advantage of that willingness, as long as it lasted --
« Letzte Änderung: 15. Mai 2014, 15:14:09 Uhr von DAOGA »

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Re: The Wizard of (Oz) D.C.
« Antwort #2 am: 6. Juni 2014, 12:43:49 Uhr »
“Do they consist of the same material, that crystal and the sphere?” he asked, carefully chosing his words.
“They do, in the same way a piece of coal and a diamond both consist of carbon. The basic material in this case is called Dhyarite, or Gravium, it´s an n-dimensional element that has more live dimensions to it than any common fourdimensional matter like carbon, or gold, or hydrogen or any other normal chemical element you know of. But his sphere also contains other n-dimensional elements besides Dhyarite in its metallic form, don´t ask me what they´re called or what they do. It´s a blend of metallic elements that occurs naturally on his home planet, and his kind have learned to use its abilities,” Richards answered, and Forrester nodded. “Only crystalline Dhyarite can be used by human beings, the metallic form won´t obey our weak thought orders, only his kind can do that, and races that are like them.” And again, the Starman nodded. 
Wylie´s thoughts raced like wildfire, just a few minutes together with them and he already got more information than they had gotten from Forrester in all the years before. He had to be careful not to make them button up, but, damn, he just didn´t know what question to ask next --
“How do you know all this?” Scott Hayden beat him to it. The youth looked back at them from his seat, while the driver steered them into the city night.
“I learned all of this as a fledging matrix technician apprentice, and I met beings of his kind before,” the wizard answered, pointing at Forrester. “He´s your father, isn´t he?”
The youth nodded. “But, where did you meet them?” he asked. “Were they here on Earth?”
“No, it was in a galaxy far, far away...” the wizard quoted, and then grinned, noticing their looks. “Well, not exactly another galaxy, but it was about thirty-five thousand lightyears away from home. That´s why I wondered when I saw you in that filthy alley. But now I understand, you found yourself a human squeeze here, huh?” Looking at Forrester.
“A - squeeze?” That word was new for Paul Forrester.
“A woman. Luv. Wife. Sweet pea. Favorite. Honeybutt. Darling. Sweetheart. Better half. Dearie. Sugarbabe. You get it?”
The Starman nodded, puzzled. “So many expressions for human women?”
“Lots of women on this planet, pal,” Tom answered friendly. “And I haven´t even started with the less nice synonyms. Welcome to the hetero men´s part of this world, Mister Alien.”
Wylie had to bite his lip in order not to burst out, and it didn´t help that Scott didn´t restrict himself. So for the very first time since the agents had started chasing after Forrester and son, Wylie saw the boy who normally looked sad, reluctant or even plain terrified anytime he knew the agents close by, laughing out loud. And the agent found it more and more difficult to be afraid of the wizard, the man seemed to be one big rascal - and actually very friendly.
Richards looked outside and found they were already out of the slum area. The hilt of his cane spit out a little blue flame, and Wylie suddenly felt his eyes closing and he wasn´t able to open them again.
“Don´t struggle, I have to blindfold you so you won´t see where we´re going. My home is to be a surprise for you. Don´t worry, no harm will come to you - at least for the time being.”
“But, am I allowed to ask questions?” Wylie hoped that some noise from outside, like the noise of cars or trains, would give him at least a clue where they were going, even when he supposed that he would learn their destination sooner or later anyway.
“Yes, you are, ask away. I´ll decide if you´ll get an answer or not.”
“Now, then, for a start, who are you? You never told us your name.”
“Oh my, how rude of me, but of course. My name is Thomas Adalmar Richards the Third. At your service, sir.”
But only Scott and Paul could see the small courtious bow that accompanied the announcement.
“That sounds like you come from an old family.”
“That´s right. A full thousand years on my account, but I know about the life and name of one ancestor of mine who lived almost thirteen thousand years ago. He was an alien from space, you know, and his relatives on his homeworld still had old records of his voyages to Earth.”
“Do they - still visit Earth?” Damn, Fox would have killed somebody to hear this, Wylie thought. But he wasn´t here, so no killing for the moment, and Wylie was much more intent on listening than murdering somebody.
“No, they don´t, right now. Something happened, back then in the time of my ancestor, some kind of star wars. Their whole race got attacked by a seemingly invisible enemy that hailed not from space but from another dimension, as I learned when I was there. That still unknown enemy wiped out their whole space-faring civilization on their homeworld and on their colonized worlds too including their settlements on Earth, but it couldn´t wipe out the whole race. I think it´s because not all of their race are born intelligent like human beings, now and then there are deviants, atavisms that are not smarter than your average feline predator. Those atavisms are kept in special reservations somewhere in the wild, and I think the Invisible Enemy back then simply forgot to target them too since they´re no more than normal animals. Which was a mistake because those atavisms are able to produce intelligent offspring, and it was that offspring that, in the years and centuries after the war, left the woods and started building the next civilization out of the ashes of the old one. The race of Dhoanor, as they call themselves today, is not quite as crafty as mankind when it comes to technology, they need more time for new discoveries and inventions. Right now they have interplanetary spaceflight but not yet the technical know-how to visit their old colonies beyond the borders of their own sun system. We got to their world because my friends and I discovered an old stargate from the times of my ancestor. But that stargate is no longer available and won´t be for about the next seven centuries, so it´s no use to ask me about it.”
“What became of that enemy?”
“It, they, whatever, disappeared. Nobody knows why since they seem to have won that war, they could´ve settled the ruins of their adversary and built an empire for themselves, but they didn´t, it´s one of the biggest mystery in Dhoanor history. Maybe there was something in this dimension that repelled them somehow, some disease they caught, or an effect of some last weapon the defenders used on them before they were wiped out. Maybe it was the discrepancies in the flow of time, because everything I´ve learned about the Invisible Enemy tells me that time in our dimension runs much faster than in theirs, what have been almost thirteen thousand years to us is probably just a few centuries on the other side, just enough time for them to create a new army of clone warriors and a handful of new weapons for their next wave of attack. I´ve seen some of their weapons in action, mostly leftovers from old arsenals of that time back then. They´re formidable and absolutely deadly, stuff that gives even me the creeps. The Enemy specialized in the creation of biological weapons, you know, and that stuff is really dangerous, definitely nothing I´d like to see in the hands of human zealots or other madmen or any army of this world. So I try to destroy it wherever I find it, keeping this world safe from such crap as best I can. That´s but one but definitely the most important purpose of my life.”
“So, you´re some guardian of the Earth,” Wylie said, but not in an ironic tone.
“I try to be. I`ll leave it to posterity if I acted my part well enough. But the Enemy left sleeper agents behind on Earth before they disappeared and they´re quite busy already preparing the next war, keeping me busy in turn to put them out of commission."
"You said, you´ve been an apprentice once. That means you learned the things you showed us before in a real school somewhere, and from a real teacher?"
"My teacher´s name was Carolus Rye, and he was damn good. But we didn´t have a regular school, just met now and then with other apprentices and their teachers. Every master had his, her or its padawan and taught him, her or it as best as they could. Not all of us apprentices were human, you know, nor were our teachers. But we were students no less and exasperated them often enough."  And he told his audience some of the things that had happened back then, almost thousand years ago but still fresh in his memory, pranks and other occurences that even somebody who didn´t know shit about M-Tecs and what they did could understand, tales that made his audience smile and shortened the time until they reached their destination.
"But, here we are. That´s my humble abode over there.” he finally said.
Paul and Scott gazed out into the night, and saw in the distance behind a wrought-iron fence a huge old mansion with adjoining newer wings of buildings to both sides that weren´t too small either. More than one window was lit, telling them that not only the wizard and his driver who were with them right now was living there. But a powerful wizard´s home surely had guards, manservants and the like, and maybe some genuine monsters in the basement too.
“Whoa, it´s huge! Is that all yours?”
Wylie could only guess Richards´s nod and grin when he said: “Yes. Being an evil wizard has its perks.” He heard the car stop and the doors open, then felt cool night air around him when they all got out, again without any own effort on his part because he floated agein, carried by the forcefield that was still around him, and then he felt the typical smell that came from out of an open entrance, a nice mix of old, dry, carved wood, cold stone floors and clean fabric, a whiff of must from a cellar and the slightest note of food from a kitchen somewhere, but no smelly plastics, cheap plywood or the dust smell of crumbling bricks. It was the smell of a really old but inhabited and well-kept house. And then the noise around him changed a bit and he felt warmer air and that he was standing on his feet again, and he knew that he was inside. And then his blindfold got removed, and when he blinked he saw he was standing in the wide main corridor of a really large and old house because he could see wooden doors to both sides, some open and some closed, that led into adjoining rooms or smaller corridors. The floor and the walls to both sides up to hip height consisted of polished stone in a strange black-and-white pattern which seemed to make him dizzy when he looked too long at it, as if the floor and the walls to both sides were not quite even but bent in some strange way. The stone tiles were old and worn but clean and recently polished. The walls between the doors but some meters away from the heavy-wooden front door featured small niches, between each two of them hung a row of framed pictures that looked like genuine oil paintings, and the stairwell on the end of the corridor was carved out of dark wood, maybe teak, in a fashion that almost nobody could and would afford today, it looked like the carver had used one incredibly big tree trunk for the center axis of the whole stairwell.
Wylie looked into the other direction, and there was the lifeless crouched statue that was Agent Fox next to him, but right now that statue got lifted up on its feet and in the next moment Fox awoke to life, because Richards had deleted the stasisfield around the agent.
“No, I won´t --“ Fox swayed a bit in his crouched position, found his balance again, blinked and rose, while looking uncomprehendingly at his surrounding.
“Wylie, where are we? How did we get here?” he asked then hoarsely, anxious and almost too amazed to speak, because for him not a single second had passed since they´d been in that alley.
« Letzte Änderung: 7. August 2014, 16:43:25 Uhr von DAOGA »

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Re: The Wizard of (Oz) D.C.
« Antwort #3 am: 16. Juni 2014, 12:13:23 Uhr »
“No, sir, he didn´t conjure us up here, we came by car. I´m afraid he took you out for the trip because he considered you the more dangerous one of us two. Are you OK, sir?”
Fox looked surprised at his assistant, before he stared at his surrounding again, finding Forrester and Hayden and the wizard and his driver and a strange little boy who intensely stared back at him, the bunch from before with one new addition. But, it sounded like the easiest possible explanation. Finally, somebody who acknowledged him as the boss man, the dangerous guy around.
“Did something happen while I was out?”
“No, sir, nothing at all, it was a quite uneventful ride.”
Forrester arched a brow at that and Hayden looked surprised at Wylie, only the wizard didn´t seem to notice the lie at all. But Wylie knew, anything he could tell his superior of what he´d learned on the way here Fox would promptly disregard as nonsense and a possible side-effect of an alien brainwashing, so he didn´t even try. The only way agent Fox would learn and maybe accept was to experience things by himself. 
“The rooms for your guests are prepared as ordered, o omnipotent tyrant.” the little boy, their reception committee, said to the wizard, face quite earnest. “In the east wing, sire, because, I´m afraid, the cells in the dungeon are presently inoperative.”
And Wylie remembered, that, on the way here while they´d listened to Richards´s tales, he´d heard the driver speak in a low tone into the car phone, he´d announced the arrival of guests to the staff of the house and how to receive them.
“Inoperative? My dungeon? That´s not acceptable!” Richards now snarled at the young servant.
“Mercy, o peeved overlord! The cells will be ready by tomorrow morning. Please don´t turn me into a toad again!”  And the little one bowed down to the very ground.
Wylie almost choked from suppressed laughter, turning beet-red from the strain. While Forrester and Fox both looked puzzled again for different reasons Scott Hayden also turned away and desperately wiped his face not to give the two actors away with an undue fit of laughter. Forrester turned to Richards to give him a piece of his mind about his treatment of the boy but then saw the peculier stance of his son, and when he touched him instead having a word with the wizard he understood immediately because his son radiated his amusement all over his body, sharing it with him all over when they linked arms. So, those two were actually clowning around, with Fox being the only one who still didn´t get it. Human humor was sometimes very difficult to figure out, the Starman thought, if not even all humans got it.
“Whatever they do or say, play along, Dad,” Scott whispered in his ear, still grinning widely and struggling to go back to an earnest mien. “You can ask later.” 
Paul patted his back as a sign that he understood.
Fox looked at the still speechless Wylie, frowning, then at Paul, his expression turning from puzzlement to loathing, but he didn´t say anything when he turned his attention back on the wizard and his manservant.
The boy led them through some corridors and up some stairs to one certain door in a long row of doors. Noises like from TV or other manifestations of human life from behind several of the doors proved that the house was not the huge and empty tomb one would expect as accommodation of an evil wizard but a place where many people lived. The door opened to reveal a small appartment that was no dungeon but as well equipped as any room in a better hotel, adjoining bathroom included, with two beds and a table well laid with what looked like a five-star-menu, including fine silverware, the best china and still unlit candles, but sufficient in amount of food to feed a starving army.
“Looks like my chef scraped together some remains of this evening´s food fight,” Richards commented in dry understatement. “That saves you the way down to the dining hall, I guess you must be tired. You´ll eat better tomorrow, I promise. If you want single-bed rooms instead of this one, that´ ll be also negotiable tomorrow morning.”
“No, thank you, Mr. Richards, it´s fine,” Paul answered promptly. “Please don´t trouble yourself on our account, we´ve done far worse in the past.”
“Yes, thank you, sir. But - are we allowed to leave the room?” Scott asked.
“Yes, of course you are.” The wizard nodded. “But if you want to go exploring or see a certain room like the library or the dining hall, you better make Billy or another attendant take you there or you´ll get lost. It´s said that the housemaids now and then discover the skeletons of careless visitors when they clean the place.”
Again, Scott and Wylie and also Billy had to hide a grin, but Fox only frowned, slowly it seemed to dawn even on him that the man was continuously trying to pull his leg.
Richards left his first group of guests to their own device and went on to the next door. “And that´s your room, gentlemen.” he said and led the agents in. The room was a perfect copy of the other one, in every meaning. Which made Richards frown when he saw what stood on the table.
“Hmph. I thought I gave an explicit order for dry bread and water only.  - Oh swell. Just remind me tomorrow to turn somebody into something small and slimy.” He shook his head and then turned towards the agents. Wylie quickly faked an earnest expression.
“Since the cells in the basement aren´t available right now, so you´ll spend the night here. Don´t get up too early because I´ll fetch you myself tomorrow. But I advise you not to try something stupid till then because I´ll seal these rooms hermetically, not only doors and windows but walls and floors and ceiling as well. If you put the furniture to the torch you´ll suffocate and burn in here, and if you flood the place instead, well, then I hope you are good swimmers. And now I bid you good night and nice dreams, gentlemen.”
He bowed to them in a courteous move and then was gone.
As soon as the door had closed behind their kidnapper and the blue flash all over it told them that the energetical seal on the door was activated, Wylie couldn´t help himself, he grinned all over, but he lost his grin as soon as he turned towards his boss and saw the expression on Fox´s face, a deep frown, almost desperate and definitely not as exhilarated as Wylie felt right now. Fox seemed to see the whole thing quite differently.
He tried first the room phone and then both their cell phones, but to no avail, he never got a connection. They were cut off, all right. The door and the windows proved adamant and resisted every attempt to open or damage them as promised, but they had to try at least. Then Fox sat down on a chair and pondered for a while, mien still more dreary than a cold and rainy November day, when he suddenly said: “Wylie, what do you think about this whole situation?“
Wylie was surprised, Fox rarely asked him about his opinion, only when he was perfectly at a loss which didn´t happen very often.
“Well, sir,” he started slowly, “I find it damn interesting.”
“Interesting?“ Fox stared at him, looking surprised. „Aren´t you afraid?“
Because that´s what Fox feared the most at the moment, that his dumb assistant would freak out just at the wrong moment and do something that would be even more stupid than the crap he usually brought on.
But to his surprise Wylie showed a smile, he was not afraid at all. “I never got kidnapped by a real Wizard of Oz before, so I consider it as a quite interesting experience. If I was in charge, I´d say we ride it out and see how far it goes. But I aren´t in charge, sir.” he reminded Fox of his duties.
“The Wizard of Oz? Wasn´t he a fraud?” murmured the senior agent.
“Yes he was, sir.” When Wylie noticed the questioning look, he added: “Did you never watch the movie, or one of the stage plays?”
Fox shook his head, so his assistant explained: “ The Wizard of Oz was the dreaded overlord of the Emerald city, ruling with supreme magical powers and keeping everybody in awe since he´d disposed of a really evil and powerful witch. But in the end all of his phantastical magical abilities turned out to be nothing more than cheap technical tricks, and the Wizard himself was nothing but a friendly old man who had vanquished that witch by sheer luck.”
“But we both saw that this man owns the same powers as Forrester, and even more since he defeated It. The spineless creature bowed to him. Not that I´d expected something else.” Fox snorted with disgust.
“And still, I believe he´s actually a fraud, another Wizard of Oz.”
Again, Fox looked at him as if he couldn´t believe what he´d just heard. And Wylie explained: “Sir, remember what Forrester said when they fought?”
“It said It wouldn´t let him hurt us. Probably didn´t want to lose Its chosen victims to another predator, I guess.”
“Not that. Later.“
„It bowed to him and called him Its master, the spineless snail. I think they´re actually from the same planet, those two.” Again, a disdainful snort.
But again, Wylie said: “Close enough, but not that. What came after that.“
“Something about a stronger kung fu? I didn´t get it - does It want to defect to the Chinese? Well, then good riddance.”
“No, sir, I think you don´t understand. He said `Your kung fu is stronger than mine´. No sane human says such a sentence in normal life, and no sane alien either I guess, since we know that he parrots most of the time. The only place on Earth where you´ll actually get to hear such a line is at comic conventions and similar events, when the costumed geeks swing their home-made styrofoam fantasy weapons on stage and pepper each other with phrases from typical geek movies.”
Fox thought this over again and then got it. “You say, they used a code? They didn´t fight at all?”
“No sir. I think they really fought - for a few seconds maybe. And then they recognized each other as kindred, and from then on it was all a play. On part of the wizard, I think it was a play from the very beginning, he was just too impressive to be real. But I think, sir, there was even more to it.” Since Fox seemed inclined to listen to him, another rare moment since most of the time he simply ignored  the suggestions of his assistant and did as he pleased, Wylie bravely went on: “I think the wizard made Forrester say that sentence, somehow. Because when Forrester said it, the wizard´s eyes were not on Forrester, they were on us. It was a test of some kind. And at least one of us passed that test.”
“You say, he kidnapped us - because you are a geek?” Fox got it, but couldn´t believe this. But at the same time, he did, and Wylie promptly confirmed it. “Geeks all over the world think alike. We know the code, as you called it, and it really is a code of some sort. The wizard knows now he can talk to me, and I´ll understand what he´s saying. If you try to do the same it will be like an foreign language. But if we want to pry Forrester from him and anything else that´s alien here, we´ll need to be able to talk to him. We can´t use plain force here, he´s certainly powerful enough to cause a lot of collateral damage if we´re going the usual way, technical tricks or not.”
Fox mulled over this. He didn´t like it at all, this much was clear, to have to depend on his incompetent assistant. But they were prisoners here, so they had to play along for the moment, and if Wylie was able to geek-talk their kidnapper, why not. But he looked surprised again when he saw his assistant ogling what stood on the table. “Don´t touch it, it´s probably poisoned!” he warned, when Wylie tried the first bites.
« Letzte Änderung: 16. Juni 2014, 12:31:41 Uhr von DAOGA »

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Re: The Wizard of (Oz) D.C.
« Antwort #4 am: 7. Juli 2014, 18:20:58 Uhr »
“No, it´s not, sir.” he answered and munched on. “Hey, that´s damn good! You should try it too!” Because all he´d had this day was a cup of coffee in the morning and a single small sandwitch for lunch, so he was quite hungry now, a sturdy body like his needed a lot of energy to go on.
“How would you know?”  Not that Fox would mind if he lost his hopelessly incompetent appendix to his own insatiable appetite, but he might still need him respectively his muscle power, his eyes and ears when they tried to break out.
“Because that man wants to play with us, we´re his shiny new toys. And only a dumb kid breaks his new toys on the very first day. I already suggested we play along for the time being. If we play it right, I´m certain we´ll get everything out of him pretty soon, like how he´s able to use that alien tool if he´s human, or where he comes from if not, and what he´s up to. Geeks love to talk about their favorite hobbies, you know, and he must feel quite secure, having the upper hand right now. He certainly won´t button his lips like Forrester did every time we´ve had him.”
“And Forrester is a prisoner here like us, just a door away.” All important things in one place, with none either able or willing to get out at the time being - that was one part of the deal that appealed to the senior agent.
“All flies together in the honey jar. Which reads we can take our time, because nobody´s going anywhere,” Wylie agreed and took another bite.
Still, Fox refused to eat. He only took a drinking glass, cleaned it thoroughly with water from the faucet in the rest room until he was sure it could no longer contain some kind of hidden poison, and then drank of said water, because he could almost be sure this water wasn´t poisoned.
“Man, I´m stuffed!” Wylie sighed when he finally gave in. „That was damn good, sir, they must have a five-star chef here. If they treat their prisoners so well all the time, I don´t mind staying here for some time.”
“In the lair of an omnipotent tyrant?” Fox asked him sharply, quoting their underaged guide.
“Didn´t you see the kid ´s eyes, sir, when he said that? The little guy was never afraid of his boss at all, he was playing his part of the act, and quite good,” Wylie patiently explained to his superior. “They certainly played that evil wizard act on unsuspecting guests before. I wonder what they´ll bring up tomorrow. They can´t keep us here forever, and I doubt it´s the sincerely intention of the man to keep us prisoner, he just wants us here to show us something or because he needs us in some way, I´m pretty sure of that. With Forrester it´s different. He knew immediately that he´s an alien, maybe they´re indeed from the same planet, so there´s no telling what he´ll do with him and the boy. But he never restrained them for our way here and they never tried something, like escaping, so he knows how to manage them, to keep them on his leash without visible restraints.”
“You think he´s some kind of boss alien?” Fox rummaged through the provided items for the night which lay on his bed, suspiciously checking first the pajama and then the bed itself for hidden means of administering drugs or poisons, and his fertile intelligence-trained mind provided a lot of ideas how to do that with seemingly harmless things, like a pillow or a piece of fabric for instance, or the tubes of tooth paste with brushes and other neccessities he found in the small bathroom.
“Alien I´m not certain but boss all right, a house like this must be worth a fortune.” Wylie didn´t care about poisons, he trusted in a fellow geek, and with his full belly and after a long and straining day he ached for a soft bed. So they changed and brushed their teeth and went to bed, Fox very hesitantly, wondering if he made a mistake by not sleeping in his own threads and on the floor instead, and to pass on dental hygiene for once.
When they both had bedded down, Fox suddenly asked, sounding too casually to fool Wylie: “Did really nothing happen on the way here?” Because he had well noticed the looks the others had given his assistant and knew that something had happened while he´d been out, he just didn´t know what.
“Yes sir, nothing at all. I was bound for all the way and blindfolded for part of it, so I couldn´t do anything, and Forrester and kid never tried something either. All we did was some smalltalk. Richards told us a story of an alien and an extradimensional force that made war on each other and wiped each other out, almost thirteen thousand years ago. That story seemed to be really important to him because he claimed that an alien ancestor of his lived in that era, defining the strange things he´s into as some kind of family tradition. Forrester and son bought it without a second thought, of course. But we both know that a man´s beliefs don´t necessarily match with what´s real, so I´ll file that story as unverified until he´ll show me solid proof.”
“I see.” Definitely too complicated for a Wylie to make up such a story, so it had to be true. Fox was relieved.
“He said we can sleep in,” Wylie said. “Good night, Mr. Fox.“
„Good night, Wylie.“ They didn´t kill the light, in case the wizard himself or some in-house spook felt the need to haunt their room this night, but nothing at all happened, and even Fox who´d  sworn himself to stay awake finally dozed away, listening to Wylie´s happy snoring.
They woke up after eight a.m., really late for people used to get up early, and Fox pondered if there had been drugs somewhere after all while they cleaned and changed and prepared for whatever the new day would bring. But then they had to wait for another hour until somebody rapped on the door. It was the wizard.
“Good morning, gentlemen,” he greeted them, looking relaxed and shiny as a new dime, like he´d had a good rest too. “If you´d follow me now --“
“Where are we going?” Fox asked without moving.
„To the dining hall. I just got up and need some chow first before I can deal with you. But please, don´t try something on the way. Your option on dry bread and stale water in a dusty dungeon cell is still up.”
“Then we rather move, sir,” Wylie pleaded. To sample more of the local five-star chef´s culinary skills, no doubt, before their capturer could have a change of heart. But Fox still nodded. Obediently they went alongside the wizard through the maze of corridors, halls and stairways of the huge building. They were not the only ones present, there were actually a lot of people on their way who nodded greetings at the wizard and curiously eyed his companions when they passed them, but not one of them showed a trace of fear in the presence of the wizard or that something was amiss. It seemed the people were actually living here, this house was not the almost-empty tomb one would´ve thought appropriate for an evil wizard. Fox once stopped a man who came along, and Richards didn´t hinder him. “Excuse me, sir,” he started, “I´m Agent George Fox, Federal Security Agency, this is my assistant, Mr. Wylie, and this man here kidnapped us last night. What´s your statement to this?”
The man who looked like an accounting clerk in his gray suit with old-fashioned sleeve guards eyeballed him and Wylie from head to toe, then looked towards Tom Richards who slightly nodded and smiled.
“Well, sometimes he´s doing things like that.” was the dry answer then. “About the how and why you´ve got to ask him yourself, sir, he´s right here. If you don´t have another question for me now you´d please excuse me, gentlemen, duty calls --“ And off he went.
Wylie had to hide his grin behind his hand and the wizard seemed equally amused, while Fox looked baffled after the man.
“You´ll find a wider and more receptible audience in the dining hall, Mr. Fox,” Richards promised. But when they entered the hall a few minutes later, Fox stopped in a sudden. “What´s this?” he exclaimed.
Because he saw that Forrester was already there, and Its offspring too, and around them was a crowd, sitting on chairs and even some of the tables close to them or standing, men and women and even some children, who all were listening intensely to what the alien just told them.
“They´ve never seen a real living alien before, so I can´t blame them for being curious,” Richards said, making Fox´s head turn towards him in sheer disbelief.
“They know?” Fox was too baffled to be angry even.
„Of course they know. News spread in this house like wildfire, especially if Billy´s around.” And the wizard pointed towards the little blabbermouth who sat directly besides Forrester, almost as if he owned the alien and presented it to the others like the trophy showpiece in a freak circus. Heads had turned when the wizard and his companions went in, but Richards just waved at the group to carry on with whatever they were just doing and went to the buffet, to help himself to a substantial breakfast.
“Come on, take what  you fancy, it´s a free-for-all buffet, and I don´t want you to faint later because of an empty stomach,” he urged the agents. He´d stuffed his cane behind his belt like a japanese katana, and the way he wore it told Fox that the man was used to carry a sword or similar weapon this way.
“Aren´t you afraid Forrester will brainwash your minions, making them his slaves instead of yours?” Fox asked boldly without moving an inch.
“An Algieban?” Richards laughed at that. „Where did you get that nonsense? Algiebans are the god-damn no-good pacifists of space, all about ´make love, not war´ and stuff. I´ve never seen an Algieban that had a single aggressive bone in his body, if they had something like material bodies at all.”
“So you´ve seen beings like him before.” Wylie quipped in.
“Yes I have. There are some dangerous alien races out there, but the Algiebans are not among them.”
“How many alien races do you know about?“ Wylie took a plate and started to fill it with yummy looking morsels, knowing that he could counter Fox´s reprimands that were bound to come later by saying that he wanted to have something in his hands which he could throw at their kidnapper.
“About half a dozen I´ve met with personally, but I learned about a good deal more.” Richards sat down at a free table and nodded at them to seat themselves there too. 
“Met them where?“ Fox snapped. He´d followed them to the table but certainly wasn´t willing to take up that offer on food.
“On alien worlds I´ve traveled when I was young. We had found a stargate, my friends back then and I, and used it in our juvenile naivete.” Now he smiled and shook his head when he felt Wylie´s gaze. “Sorry, that stargate isn´t available any longer, and won´t be for the next centuries. Or I´d use it in an instant to meet my alien pals once again. We made some really good friends over there, you know. But we also learned about dangerous enemies. Enemies that will attack Earth too, if they get the chance. They already did in the past, and they will try in the future.- Mr. Fox, I see you´re not eating. I can assure you our food is better than what you´d find in most restaurants around. And as long as I´m keeping you here I won´t have you refuse my food, or I might give you the chance to chat with our chef instead. She´s quite fast with those knifes of hers and happy to use them on picky eaters, you know.”
Once again Wylie had trouble to keep a straight face. The Wizard of Oz was at it, again... and once again, Fox fell for it. First he thought of refusing the order, looking grouchily, but then he went to the buffet and filled a plate without even looking down on the food. When he was back at the table, he demonstratively took a single bite. “So, there. Satisfied?“
His grumbling stomach defied him, and Richards grinned. “Sounds like he´s got other ideas,” he said, pointing at Fox´s mid-body. 
“By the way, what´s wrong with your tablewater?” Wylie asked quickly, pointing at the content of the unmarked brown bottle Richards had poured into his glass, before Fox could go ballistic on their kidnapper. He knew that desperate expression in the older agent´s eyes, Fox was close to the boiling point.  The only way to prevent the impending explosion was to divert him with more information. And that liquid in the glass didn´t look like good water should look like, it was almost opaque, so murky with suspended solids that it looked almost like something taken out of a puddle or worse. Even Wylie had refused the ugly-looking stuff yesterday evening. But when the agents looked around they could watch the other people in the dining hall guzzling it like finest wine, children and grown-ups alike, even Forrester and son had helped themselves to it. Was the water the reason why all those people were living with the crazy wizard, did it contain some drug that compelled them into submission? But, the man drank it himself --
“There´s nothing wrong with it, quite the opposite,” Tom smiled at them. “That´s one of the finest table waters in the world. You´d have to spend a fortune on a single bottle if you could buy it anywhere, but the only one having access to it beside the rightful owners of the well is me. It´s so-called glacier milk, fresh from the Himalayan mountains, and that murk is actually a mix of essential mineral substances, it contains even microscopic gold particles. People who drink that water regularly are said to live to an age of hundred years or more in good health. The normal water supply in this area is good enough to wash your car with, but definitely not good enough to drink it.”
“I see.” So, the wizard was also a connoisseur when it came to plain water. And Wylie ogled the brown bottles in their rack close to the buffet with new interest. Water that could prolong your life and even contained pure gold...
“What would you have done today if you didn´t meet us yesterday evening?” Fox didn´t want to let the chance on Richards´s willingless to chat go by unused.
“I do have many professions. A house like this doesn´t pay itself, you know. For instance, I´m --“
Just now they heard a strange noise, a signal that came over loudspeakers in the room, a strange wailing, not quite unlike whale songs, that made Richards petrify and break off in mid-sentence. And not just him, suddenly it was deadly silent in the hall, everybody was listening intently.

Offline DAOGA

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Re: The Wizard of (Oz) D.C.
« Antwort #5 am: 24. Juli 2014, 16:43:10 Uhr »
“Attention, intruder in the inner courtyard!” they all heard the announcement then. Richards shot up, right hand grabbing his cane as if drawing a sword - a bright blue flash, and then something like an overgrown ball of blue lightning shot out of the hall, almost too fast to watch but nimbly avoiding any obstacles on its way.
The agents also got up. A chance to escape, already  --
and then, suddenly, Billy was besides them. They noticed with surprise that he was holding a butter knife. Did he want to threaten them with that, to keep them in check while his master was busy elsewhere? But then he said: “That was the alarm, gentlemen. I guess you know how to use a weapon, don´t you? Then grab something and come on.“ And he already moved towards the open door, but looking back at them if they´d follow him.
“What does it mean, the alarm?” Fox played dumb. But he saw that everybody else in the dining room suddenly was in a rush to get outside, and many of them had grabbed the first pointy or sharp thing they could find, like butter knifes and forks because a dining hall didn´t exactly fit the description of an armory.
“”You don´t understand. This place is heavily fortified. If an enemy can make it through all the defenses right into our inner courtyard we´re screwed. We´ll probably need every able fighter, so come on.” And since the little one didn´t seem intent on waiting for them, they decided to follow, just to learn what the heck was going on. 
The house hat changed into a chaotic maelstrom. People moved in two directions, grown-ups mostly in one, a few children, a pregnant woman and a handful of very old people in the other. “All fighters to the courtyard, non-combattants to the panic rooms, we have more than one of them here,” Billy explained while they were running besides him. And the agents saw that after the poor butter knifes and forks from the dining hall, now more and more real weapons appeared, not only guns in all sizes, first small handguns but then increasingly heavy calibers, but also swords, spears, bows and crossbows and other medieval stuff, and they wondered why people would still use such things in a fight if they had nice modern firearms around. There had to be a real armory somewhere in the house, and it was well-equipped for every occasion.
They reached another wide corridor that led outside, probably to the backdoor that led to the courtyard, because into the niches and behind heavy-wooden doorframes to both sides ducked armed men and women, and now Wylie understood why the main corridor from the main entrance and this one looked so strangely distorted, the long deceased architect had designed them with small irregular bends in the walls with the needs of armed defenders in mind. Nothing short of a modern hand grenade or sheer recklessness on the side of the defenders themselves would make them lose ground to an attacking enemy too fast.
They saw their group coming, but nobody tried to stop Billy from reaching the door, they obviously knew that the squirt wouldn´t take a ´no´ for an answer and just find himself another place to take a peek instead, a place that might be less secure than between armed folks. “Take a look, but prepare for a fast retreat. It might be getting darn hot out there!” one of the men told him instead. So Billy cautiously stuck his head out --
“Now, this I don´t believe!” the agents who´d followed him heard him mutter to himself. The boy´s body language told of surprise, but not exactly of fear, and it didn´t look like he was intent to take flight in the next second. So the agents followed, careful to not expose themselves too much to whatever waited outside -
and then they didn´t believe it too.
Because a good part of the wide inner courtyard was filled with a huge mass in a color scheme of light-blue with markings in bright yellow, orange and black, scaly and clawed and winged - it was a dragon. Lying on the ground like an overgrown dog, head lowered down to the floor, it looked like an overgrown plastic prop from a fantasy movie, if not for a certain wizard who stood before it and touched the huge head of the reptile with one hand while his other held the cane that emitted a weak blue glow from its hilt. The dragon head was so huge that their eyes were at the same level despite the fact that the chin of the dragon rested on the ground. But what Billy and the agents amazed just as much were three men who looked like they´d come together with the dragon because they kept close to it and didn´t try to move towards the backdoor of the house. They were amazed, because those three men were --
one Paul Forrester, one Benjamin Wylie and one George Fox --
“Oh boy. Do you guys all have twin brothers?”  Billy asked +his+ versions, looking quite surprised.
“Not that we´d know,” Wylie answered, absentely, staring at the unbelievable sight.
Now, seeing that two of their matches had arrived, the strangers started to move towards them, all hands raised in a gesture of goodwill, but since they saw that a lot of weapons were pointed at them, the inhabitants of the house not willing to lower their arms until their boss said so, they still kept some distance when their +here+ versions came closer for a few paces.
“Peace, brother!” the strange Wylie greeted his twin, making the Vulcan salute with both hands.
“We are you, we´re visitors from a parallel dimension of yours!” he said then. And the strange Fox and Forrester nodded to that.
“You came with that?” +here+ Wylie asked immediately, pointing at the dragon and the saddle on its neck, and the other group nodded in unison.
“What is he doing with your transport?”
“They´re having a telepathic rapport. You must be new to the job if you´ve never seen your version doing it before.”
“What job?” +Here+ Fox snapped. He was not intent to leave the initiative to his assistant alone.
“Of taking care of Tom Richards and all his ilk, including the Forrester family. Our General Wade considered Richards far too dangerous to leave him about without supervision, so he assigned us to it.” the strange Fox replied.  “Most of the time it´s piece of cake, easy enough for Wylie or some newbie to deal with it, but now and then it´s getting really weird, like this here. We never jumped into other dimensions before you know, and suddenly we´re doing it all the time, jumping from one dimension into the next and searching for our way home.”
“How do we know you´re not enemies from other dimensions or more alien clones?”
“You don´t. That´s for your Richards and your Forrester to find out.” 
The +here+ agents looked around, surprised again, and found that +their+ Forrester had also found his way here, his son Scott staying behind at the door with Billy. The defenders had let them pass, seeing that one of the uninvited guests was a perfect doubleganger of the guest from last night.
“You said, our Richards will find out - by touching that animal over there?” Fox asked, quite unbelieving.
“Azure is much more than just an animal, as you´ll learn very soon.” his twin replied, looking amused. “But, yes, he will.”   
Now the two Forresters moved towards each other to meet with a handshake - or something else, something alien? - until the strange one got stopped by +his+ Wylie. “Pauls, please wait,” he said, making a strange sign with both digit fingers, one finger for each of them and then looked invitingly at his own twin. The +other+ Forrester seemed to know what the sign meant because he stopped and waited for +his+ Wylie to have his say first, so the +here+ version also stopped before they could touch, curiously looking at them both.
« Letzte Änderung: 24. Juli 2014, 16:46:22 Uhr von DAOGA »

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Re: The Wizard of (Oz) D.C.
« Antwort #6 am: 7. August 2014, 16:21:54 Uhr »
“They´ll also do a telepathic rapport, brother,” +other+ Wylie addressed his twin. “If you want to know what it´s like and what they have to tell each other you can take part, I can promise you it´s a quite unique experience. If you don´t want in it´s my turn, but I did it with other dimensional versions of Paul before, so I don´t want to take that chance away from you.”
+Here+ Wylie looked quizzically at his Fox, that was for his superior to decide. Fox thought hard. The risk of losing his assistant to some alien brainwashing was damn high - but having an ear listening to the exchange between two aliens, two aliens who seemingly met each other for the very first time and without doubt had to tell each other a lot, maybe equaled the account. Pain or gain, whatever it would be, it would rest on the shoulders of his useless assistant alone, and the outcome would give him a clue on how to proceed.
“Think you´re up to it?” Fox asked back, and +his+ Wylie nodded. “I´m good, sir. Because I am darn curious.”
Curiosity killed the cat and soon maybe a Wylie too, thought Fox but nodded approvingly.
With slow and careful moves both Forresters reached into their pockets and produced a silvery marble each which they showed towards the defenders of the house as a sign what they were about to do. And then, both marbles lighted and began to emit a blue glow, very much alike the light coming from the wizard´s cane. The other hand of the +other+ Forrester reached for Wylie, and +here+ Forrester mimicked the move, and as soon as the agent took both hands he was part of the telepathic rapport, enveloped in the blue glow of two active alien spheres.
Just now Richards let go of the dragon head and raised his stick that continued to glow, and another strange noise came from the loudspeakers in the house and from the buildings around, a low and slowly growing noise like the twittering of birds. The dragon proved now it was no huge piece of lifeless plastic but a living being by raising its head, but it showed no sign of aggressivity towards the man who still stood before it or towards somebody else around.
Since he could do nothing else right now, +here+ Fox turned to Billy. “What´s that?”
“Your Tom Richards just terminated the alarm,” +other+ Fox beat the boy to it. “I know because our version is doing practice alarms now and then, to train his staff for a real emergency.”
Billy nodded to that and as Fox looked up he could see that the armed men and women relaxed, secured their guns, unbent their bows or crossbows and sheated their swords. Nobody had fired a shot since the alarm went off, nobody had panicked, the residents of this house certainly were well trained, the agent thought.
“If you know all of that, care to tell me about those medieval weapons?” he asked his twin and pointed towards the unusual weaponry.
+Other+ Fox nodded. “I´ve been with our Tom Richards a few times when he fought otherdimensional creatures. Not all of them will die from a simple bullet, sometimes an enchanted sword or arrow is the better choice of arms. Your Richards has certainly equipped all the weapons with certain extras to make sure they´ll kill whatever they´re meant to kill, and he´s trained the people who are to use them. Our Agency made a deal with him to train some of our agents in skills like swordfighting too, because you never know when a bullet-resistant tentacled horror from another world will come along.”
“And your Forrester?” He looked towards the small group of two aliens and one agent that still stood there, motionless, silently, shrouded by a blue glow.
“He´s on our side since Richards took him in. I´ve never found the need to chase after him since then, a call is all it takes if I want to talk to him. Dr. Keller and other scientists visit him regularly to talk to him and do their tests, the rest of his time he spends with his family or at another assignment as photographer if he´s not with Richards who keeps him quite busy. “
“So, they are from the same planet?”
+Other+ Fox laughed at that. “Tom Richards is too weird for the standards of most aliens, I guess, Paul´s kin included, he´s a kind of his own. But only one distant ancestor of his was a real alien, almost thirteen thousand years ago. Your own version will happily tell you all about it if he hasn´t done it already, you just have to ask him. But prepare for a really long session, he dislikes telling the short version if he´s found another hapless victim for his old man tales.”
Said version stood there, carelessly turned his back to the dragon that loomed dangerously behind him, definitely too big and too alive for comfort in the eyes of the defenders, and looked at the small group of two Forresters and one agent Wylie, leaning on his cane while patiently waiting for them to be done.
“Why is he just standing there?” Billy asked the strange men.
“He knows better than to interfere with a telepathic rapport. That could prove dangerous to all partakers, you know,” +other+ Wylie explained patiently.
They all didn´t have to wait for long. The glow of two Algieban spheres diminished, and the group of three was clearly visible again, Wylie wearing a very puzzled expression on his face. But - “Thank you”, he said towards the Forresters, and they smiled at him. “You´re welcome,” they said in unison.
Wylie came over to +his+ Fox who stepped back a pace, not sure if this still was +his+ Wylie at all or some brainwashed or, worse yet, invaded human hull with something quite else inside.
“Wylie, what was it like? What did you learn?” he asked in an urgent voice and quite suspicious. 
“Sir, it was - whoa, sir, give me some time to sort it out, they went easy on me but I still got a whole shipload of information, and they made sure I won´t forget a single detail. I feel like a walking encyclopedia, I´m afraid stuff might spark out of my ears if I shake my head!” The assistant squeezed his eyes together and rubbed his temples with both hands.
+Here+ Tom Richards saw that they were done with their rapport.
“And now it´s time for a little magical trick!” he announced with loud voice, like the barker in a circus.
He raised his stick in an exaggerated move, the glowing hilt pointing at the dragon that suddenly got up on its feet and opened its mouth filled with long and sharp predator´s teeth, ready for attack --
“Abracadabra!” Richards shouted.
And the incredible, dangerous creature suddenly closed its eyes and slumped down like in a sudden fit of narcolepsy, but it didn´t fall to the ground, it hovered there, limp and lifeless -
and then it started to vanish just where it was, became immaterial like a colorful cloud that dissipated --
but where it just disappeared, another shape materialized, a shape that was much smaller and of other form, the shape of a human being --
a human in a casual suit, something long (a sword?) in his belt, just as lifeless and limp as the dragon had been before, hovering in the air --
but when his feet touched the ground he awoke to life, opened his eyes and grinned at their baffled audience.
It was another Tom Richards, wearing a different suit, but with the same long horsetail and  carrying the same silver cane in his belt --
and now he came closer, stepped besides the +here+ Richards, and both bowed before their audience like Siegfried and Roy after a successfull show, grinning widely  --
“You get a lot of strange things each day if you´re living here, but I confess, this is a ten of ten on my personal list of weird stuff,” commented Billy who stood besides +here+ Fox.
“So, he´s really a wizard of some kind,” +here+ Wylie said, which made +other+ Wylie looking at him with surprise. “He did the wizard act on you?”
“Yes he did, and quite good.”
“And you fell for it?” +Other+ Wylie grinned all over.
“I confess it took me some time to get it. But he was just too impressive to be real.” Two geeks grinned at each other in perfect mutual understanding.
“And your Mr. Fox?”
+Here+ Wylie was too clever to answer that, but +other+ Fox got the meaning and was not willing to let it go. “Let me guess, he still believes it?” he laughed, even more amused when he saw the infuriation in his twin´s eyes.
“Richards threw out the bait, and he gobbled it up, hook, line and sinker, it figures!” +other+ Fox mercilessly went on, still laughing.  “Hard to believe that I was just as stubborn until two years ago.”
“Two years ago? What happened then?” +here+ Wylie asked hastily, to prevent the choleric explosion of his superior that was due now.
“Tom Richards happened, of course. In one of his many professions he´s a shrink, and a darn good one. His treatments aren´t for sissies, he´s used the kill-or-cure remedy on me but it worked. He sorted out why I was so obsessed with the Hayden-alien for all those years and why it became even worse when the alien returned in its new Forrester-body. In the end I was even able to do a telepathic rapport with Paul without trying to strangle him, and there I learned the truth about the alien invasion I´d always believed in. But it´s no use to tell you about it because you have to find out on your own, and with your own Paul Forrester.  I can´t and won´t help you there, sorry.” He spoke to his twin as much as to +here+ Wylie.
“When did you meet your Tom Richards?” +other+ Wylie asked. He already had a suspicion, because those two didn´t act like they had been around their version too long.
“Yesterday evening.” his twin answered truthfully, to watch in amazement that his doubleganger made a face. 
“Aw, come on. We´ve arrived a single day too late!” he exclaimed, stamping his foot in a feigned tantrum like a little kid. “A single day! I would´ve bought tickets to watch! Where´s a time machine when you need one?”
But then he suddenly grinned again at his twin. “If you liked his wizard act, then just wait till he´s doing his superhero! Complete with cape and flying and everything, you´ll just love it!”
“Flying? He can do that too?”
“You bet!” +other+ Wylie promised. „It´s much easier to ask him what he can´t do instead of what he can, that list will be much shorter.”
Pot, meet kettle. Nerds among themselves --  +Here+ Fox almost sighed. Well, his own twin seemed to be used to this kind of madhouse, having traveled other dimensions and met other version of themselves before, so he could take them both under his wing while they stayed here, to keep them out of +here+ Fox´s hair. The General would certainly love to learn about this mess, probably order the whole place to be nuked to prevent the madness from spreading, he thought cynically. --

And so, suddenly there were two Wizards of Oz D.C. where just one had been before. And what they did after their first encounter might be told in another story, but certainly not today. --

The End
« Letzte Änderung: 7. August 2014, 17:07:06 Uhr von DAOGA »