The red mesmer eyes of Chaos scanned the shore for the whereabouts of Josh and his two friends. Then, the pink lightning crackled for a full ﬁfteen seconds and they could clearly see Chaos standing there in the swamp. As the three watched from the bushes, the wounds in Chaos’s face caused by the model plane’s impact healed right before their eyes! After the lightning stopped, his red eyes again lanced the darkness like evil beacons. Josh tried to get the others to move further into the woods, but they made some noise, and Chaos focused on where they were hiding.
“You cannot get away,” the master of evil called out in the darkness, the red beams of his mesmer eyes again the only visible light.
Then the lightning ﬂashed again, and what the kids from
saw both shocked and relieved them. A colossal reptile-like creature resembling a crocodile, but standing on two legs, had risen up out of the swamp behind Chaos. It towered even over the seven foot Chaos by at ﬁve times his height. The beast opened its great maw and plunged it down over Chaos, swallowing him whole! Kansas
Before the ﬂash of lightning stopped, Josh and the others were running through the swamp as fast as they could go, as terriﬁed of the beast as they had been of Chaos. The brush clawed at their clothes and scratched their exposed faces and arms. Emily lost both of her shoes. It began to rain. There was no shelter, no convenient cave, nor outcropping of rock, no great protective tree under which to stand. The best they could do was to ﬁnd solid ground. They crouched in the muck fearful of what might appear out of the darkness or be approaching at the next lightning ﬂash.
“Where are we?” Billy asked above the deluge.
“Some swamp dimension, I guess,” Josh answered.
“Well, duh!” Billy sarcastically oﬀered, soaked.
“I am really hating this, Joshua Miles!” Emily contributed, now mud covered and drenched to the bone.
“How’d we get here?” Billy wondered.
“This,” Josh said, pushing up his sleeve in the dark to reveal the glowing burn band. “It lets me travel to other dimensions. There’s, like, a thousand of ‘em, yo.”
The others gathered around the only pitiful light in the dark. The glow of the burn band cast spooky shadows up onto their faces like one of those old time horror movies.
“The DimensioNoids gave it to me,” Josh said.
“Yeah, well give it back, yo?” Billy proposed.
“Hey, it saved us from Chaos. The big gray dude.”
“That T-rex crocodile saved us from him,” Billy said, “That thing just got us into more trouble!”
“Can that doohickey take us back home?” Emily said, shivering. “I haven’t done my homework.”
“We’re stuck in the middle of a swamp in some other dimension, and you’re worried about homework?” Billy groaned, then he turned to Josh. “Can it take us home?”
“Yeah, but I haven’t learned how to set it, yet. I need to contact Starla. It’s one of the DimensioNoids.”
“Uh, was that an ‘it’ I heard in there?” Billy winced.
Josh hit the communicator button on his burn band. “Come in DimensioNoids. Come in. Anybody, come in!”
There was nothing but static.
“Works great,” Billy muttered.
Just then, a dimension portal appeared before them in the darkness. Josh was instantly relieved to see that it was the ﬁre-like burn of a DimensioNoid, and not the crackling magnetically charged arrival used by Chaos. Denso landed on his feet before them with a great thud.
“Not another one!” Emily screamed.
“It’s all right. He’s a friend,” Josh took great relief in saying, as Denso’s built-in searchlight came on and he played it over them.
“The Cluster has captured Fractal,” Denso said.
“I heard,” Josh answered.
“How?” Denso blinked, confused. “Our communications have been compromised.”
“Chaos told me.”
“Chaos? He’s here?” Denso gasped, quickly panning his searchlight 360 degrees, death beam ready.
“Oh, he’s not a problem anymore. A big swamp creature ate him,” Billy said.
“Chaos does not die so easily,” Denso replied, stepping forward to dial in Josh’s burn band. “The Cluster are using Fractal’s burn band against us. Starla can’t set our bands remotely, and they jammed our communications.”
“How did you ﬁnd us then?”
“Starla’s ability to track is based on refracted light, not on burn band physics. Different systems,” Denso pointed out. “The Cluster can also track our burn bands. That’s how Chaos found you. We must burn into the
before The Cluster sends its Minions against us here. I’ll take the boy! You take the girl.” Forbidden Land
“Uh, Forbidden Land?” Billy whined, wondering if it just might be worse than the swamp surrounding them.
Denso grabbed Billy’s wrist, Josh grabbed Emily’s, and both hit their burn buttons. Two ﬂaming portals opened, and they were gone. Had they remained, they would have heard the roar of pain from the creature that had swallowed Chaos. The roar that became a death rattle, as the great beast’s guts poured out into the shallow water and it collapsed in the darkness. The lightning ﬂashed, revealing the dead beast and the gaping wound that had been opened in its belly from within. Out of the great wound crawled Chaos, covered in the creature’s golden blood. Glistening gold blood dripped from his slashers. Chaos stood in the driving rain and scanned the swamp with the red beams of his mesmer eyes. A message reached him through the communicator that The Cluster had implanted in his skull.
“They’ve escaped into the
,” the robotic voice said. Forbidden Land
Chaos scowled mightily. He turned to the dead beast that had swallowed him and glared at it with his red eyes. During the next lightning ﬂash, Chaos gashed the dead beast several more times with his slashers, purely out of rage.
CLICK HERE FOR CHAPTER TWENTY: GUESTS