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"We'll come through for you!"

Chaos jumps into the dimension of Huen






   When Tempo arrived in Huen, there was no need for her to morph into a Yotobian Fire Dragon, armored warrior, or any other deadly form. The battle was over. Even a thousand Minions couldn’t withstand the firepower leveled on them by Fractal, Denso and Spindle. The first wave was cut to pieces by Fractal’s lightning and lava blasts, Denso’s death beam and missiles, Spindle’s crossbow and broad-bladed spear. Those Minions remaining escaped into the jungle.

Tempo had come to enjoy the form of Emily Kinicki. The physique of a Solarian girl, coupled with Tempo’s inherent strengths and powers, made for an agile, albeit barefoot, entity with—those feelings. She looked over a battlefield littered with smoldering little piles of rotting debris. Spindle and Denso approached. “Where is Fractal?” Tempo said with the lips of Emily Kinicki, but with her own voice.

Spindle answered. “He went to squawk with the ruler of this—dimension that time forgot.”

“He missed the best part of the fight,” Denso grinned.

“I missed the whole fight!” Tempo said.

Suddenly Starla jumped in over the communicators. “Fractal’s burn band isn’t registering on my scans!”

“Not good!” Denso growled, suddenly concerned.

“Fractal, respond!” all three shouted simultaneously into their burn band communicators.

“Nicely coordinated,” Starla sniped, “but if his burn band isn’t on my scans, it’s been deactivated. I’ve input the co-ordinates of the Huen Village. Find him!”

Tempo morphed into the armored warrior with twin swords she favored as Denso shouted, “Let’s burn!”

The D-Noids hit their activator buttons and their amazing burn bands jumped them the three miles to the village at light speed. Traveling between dimensions often took several minutes. The real distances were measured in light years. But a short jump, within a single dimension, allowed departure and almost instant arrival.

The three DimensioNoids materialized in the village center, finding themselves standing back-to-back and battle ready, thanks to Starla’s strategic planning in setting the burns. The primitive villagers surrounding them all had spears and arrows poised. The DimensioNoids could have annihilated the whole tribe in an instant, but they held their fire. It was obvious that the locals knew immediately they were well outgunned. They slowly lowered their weapons. The king stepped forward, cowed and repentant. He told of Chaos’s treachery, and of the capture of Fractal.

“They have Fractal!” Denso bellowed.

“The gray one picked your friend up and they vanished with the same magic you use to come and go,” the king said.

“Scanning for burn traces,” Starla broke in. “Yes. The only burn out of Huen terminused in—Cadavra!”

Still dazed by Chaos’s mesmer eyes, the Huen king was nevertheless mortified. He begged forgiveness from the DimensioNoids whom he’d always held in highest regard.

“Few can withstand Chaos’s evil eyes,” Tempo comforted.

“How can we repay you for our betrayal?” said the king.

“Kill those that escaped us,” Denso snarled clenching a big angry fist.

The king bowed, then he and his spear carrying horde screamed a hunting cry and set off into the darkening jungles after the Minion stragglers.

Tempo thought of Josh’s loathing of slaughter, but she made no move to stop them. The abandoned Minions would all die, again, and forever, here in the desolate, primitive dimension of Huen. Like all the dead walkers dispatched by the DimensioNoids and their allies, these tortured soldiers of The Cluster’s zombie army would, in fact, at long last, find peace.

Starla had other concerns. “Return to the Forbidden Land! You’ll burn directly to the command center. We haven’t time for you to climb the mountain. I fear The Cluster has gained a great advantage from this encounter.”


*     *     *


Fractal came to in a large metal chair, his hands held down and firmly in place by huge metal clamps. Similar clamps pinned his ankles to the legs of the chair, while larger ones secured his shoulders and waist. With his hands immovably pinned, he was unable to assume the stance or raise his palms, the only way a Kolomogoron could unleash his powers. When Fractal opened his eyes, a blurred image coalesced into the face of Chaos. “Your little rebellion is finished, brother,” Chaos said, grinning triumphantly.

“You are not my brother,” Fractal sneered groggily through the clearing haze. “Evil is your only kin!”

“How soon they forget,” Chaos mused as he feigned nonchalance. “Here’s a little reminder of the good old days!” Chaos suddenly hit Fractal with a backhanded blow, splitting Fractal’s lip and causing one eye to instantly swell. If Chaos’s slashers had been extended, Fractal would have been dead. The blow, however, served to turn Fractal’s head to the left, where he beheld the true horror of his situation: his burn band had been removed! “That’s right. We did it all, the invasion, the slaughter, just to acquire your burn band.” Chaos paused to pleasantly reflect. “Though I must say I truly enjoyed the slaughter part.”

Again, Chaos struck, this time with a punch to the face, breaking Fractal’s nose and causing red Kolomogoron blood to gush. Chaos stepped back to admire his handiwork  as Fractal shook off the effects of the blow and smiled. “Look. My blood is red, not black, like a dead walker’s blood.”

“I’m still Kolomogoron,”  Chaos said with growing rage. “I still have the powers!”

He snapped into the Kolomogoron battle stance, palms up, arms extended. Outside the torture chamber, angry clouds formed. Lightning immediately crackled down onto the roof and into the ground around the chamber. The chamber glowed with energy. Inside, the electric charges flowed down the walls and across the floor and up Chaos’s legs. It crackled down from the ceiling, and into his shoulders, spiraling down his forearms. When the lightning shot out of his palms it enveloped Fractal. He convulsed in the metal chair, but refused to utter a sound. Finally, Chaos stopped the agony. “And The Cluster?” Chaos added, short of breath from the strain. “They have given me additional—options!”

Chaos held his arms out from his sides then suddenly flexed like a bodybuilder. This caused his slasher blades to spring out under both forearms with the singing sound of razor sharp metal-on-metal. He paused to allow his captive brother to take it all in, then Chaos spun 360 degrees in a whirlwind and raked one set of blades down across Fractal’s chest. The slashers opened deep, but not fatal, wounds. A blade even clipped the metal chest restraint sending up a shower of sparks. Fractal gritted his teeth and held back the scream that the pain proposed.

“If all you’re getting out of this is killing me, then get on with it!” Fractal dared through those gritted teeth.

“Oh, dear Fractal. I don’t want to kill you. I want to cripple you beyond recovery. Destroy your spirit.”

“That’s more like it!” Fractal mocked with a bloody grin.

Chaos held up one of his huge hands before Fractal’s face. His metal claws popped out. “I am going to carve your powers out of you. Make your scarred and broken body an empty shell. That should put an end to your arrogance!”

“Arrogance is your domain,” Fractal said, fading fast.

Chaos thought it over a moment. “Perhaps you are right. I have reason to be arrogant,” Chaos posed, marching back and forth, on display. “Hundreds of dimensions under my control, while you—you live in a hole under a mountain.”

“You control many dimensions, true,” Fractal conceded, getting weaker, “but think of what controls you.”

“No one controls me!”

Chaos raised his slashers high, about to strike, when the huge metal door hummed open and Number Two floated in, causing Chaos to pause.

“You were saying?” Fractal smirked.

“We lost both legions,” Number Two robotically hissed. “Two thousand Minions, neutralized. But it was worth it. We have incorporated the burn band into our tracking system in the manner conceived by our Zebulon scientists. We are now able to track all of these—rebels the instant they leave the Forbidden Land.”

“And their communications?”

“Completely suppressed, just as the Zebulons promised.”

“Excellent,” Chaos sneered. “We will now exterminate them one by one!” Chaos then turned to Fractal, and grinned his most satisfied grin, yet. With the same chilling sound, Chaos’s slasher blades retracted. “We will postpone our—discussion, for now, brother,” Chaos said. "You are, after all, the bait in my trap. You'll be much more valuable as live bait."

Blood now spattering the floor in rivulets, Fractal raised his head, opened his swollen eyes and tried to move his bloody mouth to speak. Instead, he passed out.

Chaos threw back his head of deadly coils and laughed. His evil cackle echoed off the walls of the torture room and even out the open door into the desolate world beyond.

Number Two watched Chaos laugh, perplexed. The universe looked different from behind the black shroud of medicinal fog that kept Number Two alive in the plague ravaged dimension of Cadavra. Here all but four were dead. Laughter, here, had become—unknown.