Tuesday, March 14, 2023

The Uplift Protocol Twin Rulers of the Sky: Issue 13


Issue 13: Upon the Silver Spikes

    These guys were waiting for me. They found most of the Protectorate tracking devices. To find the last? They’d have to remove my brain. There’s an advantage to being able to control every aspect of one’s body. Besides the healing abilities.--Doctor Impossible

    I think I know why the Oversoul inserted those memories into my kids. Eliza’s not half bad with a rifle now. Plus she can drive. Their bodies got more time to acclimate to their powers.--Judgement

    My wife already knows I’m back. I’ve integrated fully with my memories. The ones Ill need anyway. Can’t access it all at once. So many lifetimes. It would drive a normal person to drink. Eliza’s not that far behind. But we have to keep ourselves on the side lines just a bit longer.--Dexter Murphy

    Guess I should start up a Journal once more. Helps me clear my jumbled head. Mary tells me Doc is mostly back. She still can’t recall her times as Lethe. There’s a reason for that. Chronos for one. “Thoth” for another. Lucifer never really cared. He just wants to carve out his own kingdom.--Sleeping In Starlight: Post Convergence Files (Conclave Access Required)


Litari Homeworld

Date Recorded: May 1st , 5488 A.C

    Lorain Lanis remained stone faced as the snake clothed duo examined the various trackers. She was grav locked to the chair. No way to release the restraints. None of her captors talked aloud. The signals their equipment gave off didn’t connect to I.Net or HeroNet. According to the internal clock it was approaching evening. The only thing she could pick up from her captors? Besides their initial use of powers in her capture was the outer costumes. The black clad woman leaned across from her. A mad cackle grew. To the point where the red clad demi sent a gust of flame in front of the madwoman’s face plate.

    Doc filed that away for later.

    One of them had a grudge against her. Or who she worked for.


    Hilary Brookes stared at Impossible. She couldn't believe her luck. No Union piece. No Murphy to save the poor demi from trouble. Snake Charmer motioned to Brookes. He pressed the Protectorate piece to the portable scanner.

    <<We’ve deactivated all the trackers we could find.>>

    Hilary mused, <<That can’t be all. Assume an SOS is on a timer.>>

    Pyra cut in sharply, <<You shouldn't have laughed at her. I can already see those eyes glaring daggers at us. She knows you have a stake in this now. We aren't just some mooks anymore.>>

    Hilary nodded. <<That’s for me to deal with.>>

    X’mil noted, <<No. That’s for you and Chronos to deal with.>>

    Brookes motioned to the Imp. << Go sit on our guest!>>

    Karvax drooled. Then climbed onto the table. It’s purple tongue shot out and tasted Impossible’s aura. <<Won’t get anything out of pretty. Nothing at all. What he wants isn’t here.>>

    Lorain bit back a scream as the demon’s mouth expanded.

    It was the size of a husky. Elongated arms. Hooked feet. Open sores on its chest and legs. Its head was misshapen. Two lumpy red orbs hung above its long pointed nose. An oily sensation dripped down the side of her cheek. Her suit and dynamo mask couldn't be removed but she couldn't shake the feeling that black clad woman knew her. That she was mocking every attempt that Lanis made to call for help.

    Lorain kept sending the signal through her brain. Hoping that the Spectral Saint would hone in on the emotional S.O.S. Her mind blanked as she pictured that hazy image. A tall woman in a black flight jacket. Pointing up at the stars. The demon gurgled. It sucked in a breath. The stocky man in a brown one piece suit scooped the thing up. He motioned to the others.

    <<Karvax got a whiff of emotion from her. The cavalry is here.>>

    The entire room shook as one wall caved in. A statuesque figure in full Terran blue and white combat armor dived in. Throwing sparklers in their wake. It kicked off the wall to make a beeline for Impossible. Hands closed about the Doctor as the room fell into pitch black darkness. Hilary never thought she’d appreciate the Imp as much as she did now.

    Her relief was short lived as one hand made of duracrete slammed into her stomach.

    Blood splattered against her visor plate.

    <<NOW X’mil!>>

    Sul continued to track the enemy through the soul layer. Taleer mirrored her moments in the physical realm. Eliza smashed through the shadow barrier. Sul shouted, <<Use the boosters in your suit!>>

    Eliza complied. Wouldn't do any good to let the kidnappers know that Eliza was a demi already. Not many of them had flight as a power. She motioned toward the eastern corner of the room. <<Watch out! Hollow Marks!>>

    I pushed the thought away.

    Keep your head in the fight. Decompress later. I activated the mini guns in the shoulder rigs of the suit. My vision shifted to that 4th aspect. The Hollows lit up on my retinas like orange blobs. They exploded. The shockwave took the badguys off their feet. They were communicating but outside the range of our networks. I pressed one gloved hand to Doc’s restraints. A sharp klink resounded.

    The darkness evaporated.

    The kidnappers had fled while we dispatched the Hollows. Those demonic energy constructs with no soul. Doctor Impossible knelt. Took off one of her green and white gloves. She ordered, “No one move.”

    After a few heartbeats she rose. “Let’s go.”

    I offered her a hand, “Need a lift?”

    She peered up into my combat visor. After careful consideration she gave a tiny nod.

    X’mil collapsed as the portal dissipated. That was much harder to pull off without the Dark Mirror network in place. He scarfed down another set of Scrawl boosters. Black pills the size of his thumb. Energy blazed through his bones. Hilary tore off her helm. She spat blood in the corner. “How many?”

    Medusa counted them off, “Besides the demi inside the Terran battle suit? It tore off Impossible’s cuffs single handedly! 7 showed up. Not just in the physical layer. One was coordinating things in that soul aspect layer.”

    Hilary cursed, “Great. Wait...why hide one in a suit?”

    Snake Charmer held up the HeroNet transponder. The real one, “Why indeed.”

    Pyra stalked towards the bridge of their vessel, “Mission success then!”

    A simple information gathering hunt. Yeah right.

Jupiter Rising (Oloss)

Docking Bay 220-1

Date Recorded: May 2nd , 5488 A.C

    Lorain cornered her mother in the main medical ward.

    As far as Terran Auxiliary ships? It was quite the wonder. Not standard at all. Lorain indicated the room, “So which project did you hijack this time?” It was an old game between her and her mother. Mary Herbert-Lanis had her hands in so many government pies that Lorain often joked the number didn’t do her mother justice. Even on the cosmic scale.

    Mary smiled, “This one is part of a joint operation called Final Home.”

    Captain Shoreline clapped her hands as she entered. Lorain whirled. Her green eyes blazing. “Knock you big oaf! I don’t care if your…..” Her mouth curled into a puzzled frown as the captain of the ship just stared.

    My mouth hung open. It was the green eyed woman. In all of her 5ft 10 fury. Those full lips. That frown. I had seen it before. Countless times. Across time and space. When she was happy. Distraught. Everything in between. How had I forgotten her.

    Jupiter interjected gaily, “Integration at 47%!”

    Lorain glared up at the intercom. “If that’s a bomb joke so help me….”

    My feet carried me off the deck. I just floated before her.

    I commanded my idiot brain to function.

    Doc pressed a hand to my head. A thrill shot through my body. It wasn’t quite like her old healing abilities but I caught sight of Mary retreating to one of the side med bays. She scrambled to grab Cooper and Augustus. This time the shoe was on the other foot. I spied a certain sphere shaped unit floating out of the periphery of my vision.

    Horus observed, <<I suggest going for another pass! Might help her remember!>>

    I leaned in.

    The intercom crackled.

    Eddie stood. Along with everyone else in the Jupiter’s mess hall.


    Sul cut the feed. She figured that part would be enough.

    Eddie pounded the table, “YES! PAY UP MOONLIGHTER!”

    Doc kept circling.

    “How on earth….” She was still agitated. Kiss or not I had a lot to make up for.

    Excited barking interrupted us as our next favorite duo pranced about.

    Mary followed. She inquired, “So how’s the baseline working out?” Doc pressed her thumbs to each side of my jaw. “If you can believe this? She’s more powerful than before. Its like the lines through her entire body are properly fused and firing at 1000%.”

    She continued, “Don’t think that gets you out of trouble!”

    Doc hollered, “Alexander Dexter Murphy!”

    My brother walked in. “Yes?”

    She indicated the medical scanner with a jerk of her thumb. “In you go.”

    I watched as the readings played out almost 1 for 1 of mine. His energy came out of his hands. Doc tapped in a few notes. Pressed her palms to his forehead, stomach and arms. After another 30 minutes of prodding she sat down heavily within the form contouring chair. Jupiter floated a nice shot of whiskey on a silver server. Everyone else vacated the room after her 5th shot.

    She muttered, “There are days where I wish I could get chemically drunk.”

    She stood. Ran her hands over my face. “Its like having double vision. What this universe sees and what I know is under it.”

    “Makes sense.” She pressed a finger to my lips.

    “Hush you.”

    Oversoul wanted everyone to have a fresh slate from our escapees.

    I scooped Doc up. She put up a half hearted fight. “...what was the point of it all...”

    I replied, “To cleanse and break up the Tears….”

    The tempo of her heart and breathing smoothed out as sleep took her.

    It meant the Shoreline Identity would be at the forefront for a while. I had to admit it was fun to be anonymous once more. Aether appeared next to us. He glanced away. I examined his holographic form. Just like I remembered him. The uniform was a simple white outer coat with black body mesh underneath. I sent a mental knock on his H.U.D.

    <<Taking your Warden role like a Duck Brother to water!>>

    His expansive black and dark gray eyes widened.

    <<Up to speed then?>>

    Doc muttered, “...don’t...”

    I cross examined bits from my time as Silver Fox. The last memory stood out. As I was stepping through the portal to the Dreamweaver’s realm.

    <<Mostly. There’s still a few vital gaps but Jupiter says we have to hit the ground running. I imagine all the escapees want to tap into the inner layers of the Ninth Circle.>> Aether nodded.

    << It's why I set us on lockdown. Shockingly J’anu and Ta’rammon warned us. So I allowed her father to join them in the outer layer.>>

    A vision of the Highest formed. Wielding his golden sword. His white armor pristine against the twilight of the Ninth. Abbadon snarled at his feet. His demonic wings flared wide as he struggled to get up. Charon linked in from his new post within the Rock of Infinity. <<Redemption will be a long time coming for them but they will not betray us. They have seen what lies beyond the confines of the Oversoul. The Nothing will eat us all. Good and Evil. Man, woman and child. It cares not. For it is vast. It hungers beyond the pale of flesh, shadow and earth.>>

    I shuddered.

    I had glimpsed the true aspect of the Nothing while….

    My mind skittered around the memory.

    <<I believe you. I could smell the black scrawl remnants. Did you plant a few caches? I imagine our escapees will want to pillage them at some point.>>

    Aether indicated the 4 icons above his head.

    All of them resided within the Sol System.

    Charon pointed at my chest, <<The Banner will fly again. Once the All Knowing Eye attempts the impossible.>>

    Right. The Nothing wanted to eat all of us since Time began. It was why it fed the Dreamweaver from its own corrupted vein. Each cycle had been a stop gap created to delay the Nothing. Now there were no more speed bumps. No slowing its advance. This final Cycle was it. The Oversoul had given us the means to drive it off. I sighed. Glad to finally have the main piece of the puzzle in place.

    “Time to gather all the Tear Bearers and end this.”

    The perfect shield against the final dark.

    It stirred within the depths.

    Searching for that flicker of light that had escaped.

    One vast eye opened. A mere slit. It plucked through the cosmic matter clinging to its sides. Ancient wards. Planets from a bygone era. Bodies within the background radiation. It quivered in delight. So many to eat. To savor. It wanted more. It would find that little light and crush it.

Issue 12: Here

Issue 14: Here

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