A dimension burn opens portals between dimensions
In their fortiﬁed conference chamber deep underground, the black fog-shrouded Cluster were getting impatient.
“Since the burns in and out of the swamp dimension of Quagmiro,” Number Three rasped robotically, “there has been no movement by the DimensioNoids.”
“They are not stupid,” Number Two said. “They know we are using the captured burn band to track them. With their communications blocked as well, any attempt to attack us will be suicide.”
“Still, they will come,” Chaos inserted.
“How can you be so sure?” Number Four asked.
“Because we have their leader.”
“Is it not possible,” Number One intoned, “that the DimensioNoids have written off the Kolomogoron? It is what we would do, if we had a new, more powerful leader, such as they now have in the Solarian.”
The other three members of The Cluster eyed each other, but Chaos threw back his head and laughed.
“If only you could see this pitiful little entity from Solaria. How frightened and feeble he is. It is his brain we must have. And we shall, for my brother, Fractal, is not just his comrade. He is the Solarian’s ‘friend.’ The rebels will come for Fractal, and we shall have them all!”
* * *
“The telemetry was the most difficult part. We are, after all, seventeen million light years away from Cadavra,” Starla explained, returning to the ready room with a security orb levitating a duplicate of the Skyhawk. It bulged at the middle where the explosives were housed. “I had to make the wings bigger to get the extra weight airborne. Billy Engle, you will have to sit in Fractal’s tactics bench and operate it using his view screen.”
“I, uh, never ﬂew one that way,” Billy gulped as another small orb entered anti-graving a duplicate of the control panel before it.
“You can do it, Engle!” Josh insisted. “I know it!”
“You’ll have to ﬂy inside the burn tube so that it’s already airborne when the burn hits terminus. They will be waiting, so immediately take the craft up as high as you can,” Starla said. “Then follow the heading I have input on your screen in overlay.” The overlay appeared as a red line to a point on the distant horizon. “I’ve equipped the craft with a video relay. Once you are over the fortress, I’ll highlight the tracking building for you and, well, dive right into it. It will detonate on impact.”
“Yo, let’s give it a shot!” Billy grinned.
All the others shouted “Yo!”
It made Billy feel good.
“Once their tracking system is down, we’ll burn in and surround Chaos’s quarters,” Josh said. “If Fractal is there, there’s probably going to be Minion troops all around. We’ll have to ﬁght our way in.”
“My favorite way to crash a party,” Denso smiled, checking the arsenal in his shoulder mount while Spindle sharpened his deadly spear, both acts accompanied by metallic clanks, clacks, clicks and scrapings.
Emily tugged at Josh’s elbow. “Is there going to be a ﬁght?” she worried.
“Yeah, us against that Chaos creep and an army of zombies.”
“Zombies?” Emily said quietly, then she let out a squeaky little moan and turned for comfort to her mother, who was really Tempo in the form of Mrs. Kinicki. She found her tapping a ﬁnger to her cheek in contemplation just the way her mother always did. The familiar mannerism made Emily smile for the ﬁrst time in hours.
“I think I know just what to wear to this party!” Tempo said, then she morphed herself from Emily’s mother into a ﬁfteen foot tall green scaled Yotobian Fire Dragon.
“Wish dad coulda seen that!” Emily gasped, wide-eyed.
* * *
Chaos was in The Cluster’s chamber when a message came to him over the communicator in his head. “There has been a burn out of the
!” Forbidden Land
“Where is the projected terminus?” Chaos asked.
“Our dimension. Quadrant forty-nine.”
Chaos scowled. “So far away? How could they hope for any surprise with a terminus so far away?”
“A diversion?” Number Three suggested. “Since the arrival of the Solarian their tactics have improved.”
“We shall see,” Chaos grumbled. “Whoever comes out of that burn shall ﬁnd me waiting!” With a crackle of electricity, Chaos vanished into a patch of gray.
Chaos materialized at the terminus of the incoming burn. Since he had far less distance to travel, he was waiting when the burn from the
began to materialize. First, the tremblings, then the portal of ﬁre opened. Chaos was prepared for anything, claw projectiles at the ready, forearm slashers extended, Kolomogoron powers in hand. Whether it be the elastic man, Spindle, the Ramanujan brute, Denso, or any form the Quaternion took, Chaos would cut them to shreds. He wasn’t prepared for the Skyhawk! He blanched, or would have if his skin could have possibly become paler. Chaos threw his arms across his face, recalling his last encounter with the model plane. Forbidden Land
“It’s the big gray dude!” Billy shouted from Fractal’s tactics bench, monitoring the goings on via the view screen.
Billy pulled back on the remote stick and did a slight bank, turning the Skyhawk barely inches from Chaos’s face. He took the plane into a steep climb up toward the black clouds of Cadavra. Chaos ventured a peek. This insigniﬁcant little ﬂying contraption had instilled in him one of the few fears he’d ever felt. Now it was becoming a speck before the surly black clouds. Chaos ﬁred all ten of his claw projectiles up at it, but it was nearly out of range and disappeared. Still, one projectile pierced the Skyhawk’s wing!
“It’s been hit!” Billy shouted.
“Do you still have control?” Josh asked.
“Yeah. Not much damage. Feels like a wing.”
“You should be over the fortress in six minutes,” Starla noted, then to the others, “Prepare to burn.”
Like a crack team of soldiers, the DimensioNoids hurried down the corridor, out the secret entrance and into the snow. Emily followed them out, hesitant as a fawn. Tempo had to morph into Mrs. Kinicki, for the Yotobian Fire Dragon she’d become was too large to ﬁt down the corridor, or inside the twisting tube of a dimension burn. Starla had preset all their burn bands, including Josh’s, for Josh insisted on taking part in Fractal’s rescue.
“Do you have to go?” Emily asked of Josh.
“Yes. I’m with them, now.”
“Gaaaw, you are so brave! I can’t believe it!”
“Like, you didn’t even go out for sports!”
“No, I didn’t. And you never became a cheerleader. I always wondered why.”
“Aw, I dunno. That rah-rah stuff is kinda lame,” she smiled. “But this! What you’re doing! Wow!”
“Well, you’d better get back inside.”
“Yeah,” Emily shivered. “It’s freezing out here, and I’m getting snow all over my new shoes.”
Emily scurried back into the command center and Starla, who somehow controlled the behemoth cliff face door, closed it behind her. Starla could still track anything in interdimensional space, but it could not communicate with the DimensioNoids over their communicators until The Cluster’s tracking building was destroyed. Starla just ﬂoated in the falling snow with them, waiting to detect the explosion seventeen million light years away.
“One minute to target,” Starla said.
The air was frozen. So still, the snowfall thudded like soft thunder across the mountain. They stood together, warriors from different dimensions, comrades against a common foe, the rescue of a friend their steadfast mission.
Inside the command center, it was warm as toast.
“How’s it going?” Emily asked as she hurried into the ready room to ﬁnd Billy struggling with the controls.
“Don’t distract me, Kinicki!” Billy said from Fractal’s tactics bench as he tried to keep the model plane aloft in Cadavra, seventeen million light years away. “I’m in a little turbulence!” All that could be seen on the view screen were angry black clouds, but worse, the little plane’s engine started to sputter! “Can’t be outta gas!” Billy shouted. “Must be a frozen fuel line! Gotta get below this stuff!” Billy put the sputtering little plane into a shallow dive. Suddenly, the motor quit! “Shit!”
“Billy Engle, you watch your language!” Emily scolded, caught up in the drama, but not so much as to forget her roots.
The view screen went to a steep downward attitude. The black clouds zoomed by in a blur, rushing air became a high pitched whine! Finally the surly clouds began to thin. When the Skyhawk broke through, there was the fortress!
“There it is!” Billy screamed. “If I can just—” Billy strained against the heavy air to turn the steep dive toward the center of the colossal fortress. The tracking building suddenly began to ﬂash in red on Billy’s screen. He fought the controls to get over the building, gaining speed. Alerted by Chaos’s in-skull transmitter, the big disruptor guns on the walls of the fortress began blasting away at the little plane. The gunners were much more adept with bigger targets, like attack skimmers and battle cruisers. The tiny plane was far too small to target. Though the blasts rocked and jolted the Skyhawk, it ﬂew on. “It’s just like the ﬂak in ‘Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffe!’” Billy shouted. Just then, a burst really rattled his plane. “Damn it!”
“Billy Engle, your mom’s gonna wash your mouth out with soap!” Emily wailed biting her manicured nails.
The roof of The Cluster’s tracking building got bigger, and bigger, and ﬁnally ﬁlled the screen. There was a ﬂash of static and the screen went blank.
“What happened?” Emily screamed.
“We did it!” Billy answered in a whisper.
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