[FFML] [Fanfic][SM/SMJ/NAU] Terrible Things to Waste Part 10

Bastion bastion at ix.netcom.com
Wed Jul 30 12:00:09 PDT 2008


Let's keep the author intro short and sweet.  Here is another chapter
for you FFML, I hope it is most agreeable with you.  If not, maybe I
only half-baked it.  Ugh.  Bad pun.

Nevermind, C&C is my anti-drug.  Which means I'm probably already
huffed on goofballs right now.  Whee!  Seriously, C&C would be great.

Previous chapters here:
http://www.mediaminer.org/fanfic/view_st.php/24/
Or here:
http://www.fanfiction.net/s/380353/1/Terrible_Things_to_Waste

Dedication – to Real Life for taking a huge bite out of my writing
time.  Thank you Real Life.  Thank you so very freakin' much.

--------------------------------
Terrible Things to Waste
Part 10: In Dreams
--------------------------------

"I mustn't give in."  Halebit coarsely mumbled to himself.  "I
mustn't lose control."

With each step, the proud General stumbled.  He could feel his
breathing becoming more labored.  The volume of black mucous increased
with each passing second.  He forced down the tar-like substance as he
glared at the gallery of familiar faces surrounding him, partially
hidden in the shadows of the twining branches.

They all were laughing.  The jeers of all of his antagonists came at
the old man from everywhere.  Above them all, Nihil's caustic laughter
assaulted his ears.

"I still don't see why you fight me, Halebit."  The demon voice echoed.

Running his pale, wry hand through his stiff grey hair, the old
General tried to regain his composure.  "I will keep fighting until I
win."

Struggling through the twisting path of decrepit crystal roots,
Halebit looked for the source of Nihil's voice.

"Heh, you'll die before you win, Hally, me boy."  From the warped
nightmare of trunks in this ungodly forest, Nihil emerged, dusting off
some white spores from his shoulder.

Halebit's eyes widened as a young man with light brown hair stood in
front of him.  Halebit stared in disbelief at the younger version of
himself.

The surprise worn on the old man's face gave rise to the smirk on
Nihil's face.  "I thought that you'd take me more seriously this time
around."  The young man flexed his arm.  "My, you filled out quite
nicely as a wild stallion too."  Nihil grinned dashingly at the
simmering old man.  "How many women did you ravage with this body,
Halebit?"

"ENOUGH!"  Several startled insects flew overhead, their shadows
dwarfing the two below.

The young man tilted his head, curiously eyeing his older self.  He
pondered for a moment and asked.  "Who are you, Halebit?"

The General snorted, jostling some of the black tar in his throat.
Once his fit of coughing stopped, the old man's face wrinkled
incredulously.  "What kind of question is that, Nihil?  You know who I
am."

Nihil tilted his head to the left.  "Do I, Halebit?  The longer I
talk to you, the more I realize I know nothing about you."

The slight smirk went almost undetected by Nihil.  "Heh, maybe I'd
like to keep it that way.  Perhaps you're not as perceptive as you
lead yourself to believe.  Perhaps if you could fathom the power of
control-"

Immediately, the young man flicked back his light mane with the
arrogance fitting of an adolescent man.  "Oh please.  Don't tell me
those psychoactive drugs you took during the Great War were to enhance
your 'power.'  That 'substance,' as you like to call it, only fueled
my ambitions to escape."

The smirk on the hardened visage of Halebit crept up further.  "You
speak like a caged animal, Nihil.  The substance allowed me the
ultimate control; I was able to conquer the inadequacies of my mind.
I could control the shape of the environment around me and the
problems that threatened me."  With his calloused fingers, the old man
tapped his temple.  "It allows me to keep my urges from interfering.
It helped me conquer you."

Shades of gold and brown undulated with the shaking of the young
man's head.  "Conquer, conquer, conquer.  Why must you conquer
everything, Halebit?  It's no wonder you forced yourself upon so many
wom-"

Without warning, Halebit snapped at his younger self, his teeth
threatened to crack underneath the intense gnashing.  Halebit reached
the edge of his control.  "That..."  He could sense the abyss of
madness beckoning him.  "Is..."  It was becoming a temptation hard to
resist.  "Enough out of you."

Nihil stared calmly and quite amused at the infuriated General,
clamoring for control.  "I see.  You don't like to linger on such
things."

The old man grimaced.  "I do not like to linger upon the times when I
was weak.  The times when I let you get out of control."

The young man snorted.  "Why must I be your scapegoat when you give
into your insatiable urges?  Besides," Halebit heard a soft whimper
just to the left of the pair where a naked young girl laid limp, her
face hidden in the crux of her elbow.  Despite being curled up,
Halebit could see the luscious curves blanketed by strands of her
light hair.  Nervously, the old man licked his lips resisting the
temptation to reach out.  She was only an arms-length away.

So lost in the vision, he was startled when Nihil continued,
whispering into his ear.  "I think it's what drives you to conquer and
control."

The old man could feel the familiar exhilaration stirring in his
veins as well as other parts once more as he towered over the weak
feminine form.  Yes, this is what he wanted.  This was the ultimate
control, the ultimate power.  This was the ends to his means.  He
wanted the Counsule at his mercy.  He wanted the Community at his
mercy.  He wanted the dimensions.  He wanted that girl kneeling before
him.

Nihil promptly doused the General's fiery ambitions.  "I hope you
realize that I am truly the one in control of you.  It is your urges
that drive you to control.  Thus it is I that has the power.  I always
have."

Tar tainted sweat bore down the old man's face while the black mucus
dripped from his pursed lips.  They were all lies.  Delusions.  They
couldn't be facts, yet what evidence did he have on the contrary?  No,
that wasn't the point, he was in control.  He was all powerful.  No
one could defeat him.  Why?  Because he was in control.  What drove
him to gain greater control?

Because he had... he had...

The General's eyes flashed opened.

His urges demanded he do so.

"It can't be."  He croaked, the blood pulsing loudly in his head.

With crazed eyes, he found Nihil.  This being could not be allowed to
live any longer.  He must be destroyed and silenced!  Lunging with his
hands out stretched at his illusion, Halebit watched as Nihil stood
still, smiling.  "Hey old man, I've got something for you."

Halebit's hands grasped in vain at the ghostly image and continued
forward, plunging into the depths of the hellish forest below.

The demon voice resonated in Halebit's mind as his body bounced off
the twisted roots. "When will you learn?"

	---------------------------------------------------

"Oh my God!"  Michelle sighed at Amy's declaration.  It had been 
the third one in the last hour.

"Now what is it, Mercury?"  At first, she listened closely to Amy's
observations but each time it only confirmed what her intuition told
her.

The blue haired girl fidgeted with her visor and tapped a few keys on
her small pad, looking awfully excited.  At times like these it wasn't
hard for Michelle to remember that Amy was still in high school.  "The
lake isn't a lake at all!  It's sulfuric acid! Amazing!  It appears
the acid has leeched out the copper from the ground and the copper
sulfate gives it that deep blue color.  Fascinating!"

An ache was beginning to develop between Michelle's eyebrows.  She
wanted to rub her face but that would be too revealing.  "I know
Mercury.  I had told you that an hour ago when you pointed out the
large insects and the spores from the forest."

Amy blinked, taking her focus away from the scrolling numbers on her
visor.  "No, you said this wasn't Earth.  I am not convinced this
isn't Earth.  More than likely we're in an alternate version of it.
Or a time in the very, very far future, possibly post Crystal Tokyo."

Michelle stopped walking and faced her companion, her expression cool
and her tone terse.  "That's nice, Amy, but I fail to see how that
helps us recover Victoria.  How close are we now, Mercury?"

Amy's jaw unhinged slightly, opening and closing a few times like a
gasping fish.  Michelle had to suppress a chuckle.  It wasn't often
one struck Amy speechless.

The shock lasted only a few seconds before it visibly wore off
revealing a cooler more collected Sailor Mercury.  "My apologies
Neptune, but we are in a foreign land that we know nothing about.  Any
little thing could be a danger to our person if we aren't careful.  I
only have been making you aware of these things in case you may not be
privy to it."

Her momentary light mood crushed, Michelle simmered.  "I appreciate
your concern however we can smell the flowers after we find Victoria.
Now how many kilometers to her position?"

Her patience was being sorely tested and only a select few could
accomplish that, like Eric.  A fleeting memory of her blonde lover's
dashing smile only made her heart squeeze.  Knowing she was never
going to see it again made her feel hollow inside.  But she pushed it
aside remembering her promise to Eric.  She had to continue the
mission!

Michelle tensed when she noticed Amy examining her face closely.  She
pursed her lips and crossed her arms communicating silently that she
wanted an answer.

"Listen," Amy said gently, "I understand you must miss Erica-"

"I fail to see what Eric has to do with anything."  She retorted
coldly and forcefully.  Why wouldn't she answer the damn question!?

Agitated, Michelle pushed aside a lock of her wavy green hair and
jerked her hand away.  Her actions were giving her away and she didn't
want to give Sailor Mercury the satisfaction of knowing she had hit a
raw nerve.

Steadying her expression, she put up a guarded and icy front.  Inside,
however, Michelle was seething and furious at Amy's implication.
Anyway, it was totally inappropriate and unnecessary to speak of it
publicly.  "I'm not some fragile thing that requires gentle care when
Eric isn't around.  I can handle myself.  I have been a Sailor Scout
on my own before and long before you became one yourself."

Still feeling the fury, Michelle lashed out further.  "And I cease to
see how you can sympathize with me considering you've been babbling on
about every little discovery you've made and you have yet to even
mention your boyfriend."

Her fury abated some when she saw the meek girl flinched at her words
and casting a downward gaze at her feet appearing petulant.  Once
again, Michelle was reminded that Amy was only just a high school
girl.

Slightly crestfallen, Michelle realized that she had crossed a line
with the girl. Amy's words from earlier struck her at that moment and
rang true.  They were in a harsh environment and they only had each
other to depend on until they found Victoria whom she hoped was safe
and sound.

As Amy lifted her head, Michelle was disturbed to find the face
beneath her blue ruffled curtain of bangs was an expression hard to
discern and what little she could discern didn't comfort her.  She had
definitely crossed a line with Amy.  The girl didn't appear meek or
petulant anymore, but now she radiated an energy that threatened to
explode from within her if she didn't take great care to keep a lid on
it.

Michelle hoped she hadn't crossed into the point of no return and
hastily spoke.  "I'm sorry Amy.  I didn't mean it like that."

"No, it's quite alright."  Amy's light tone didn't at all match with
the intense gaze.  "I'm used to it.  I will reframe from bothering you
further with my observations.  And I will not mention Sailor Uranus
unless it is absolutely necessary to do so."

On reflex, Michelle's guard went up and she masked her face in
aloofness, hiding herself away from Mercury's scrutinizing and
piercing eyes.  She strongly disliked being analyzed like this.  It
made her feel like she was being judged just like all those other
people who disapproved her relationship with Eric.  Resentment bloomed
once more in Michelle's heart as it squeezed again in remembrance of
her lover.

'Damn it!'  She cursed in her head.  'I promised Eric I would be
strong!  Why am I allowing myself to get distracted at such a crucial
time?'

"Thank you, Mercury," Michelle made her reply icy as she could; "now
that we've come to an understanding, would you please tell me
Victoria's position?"

"Of course.  She's three kilometers away."  Amy's voice held much
resolve, but to what end?

That question, judging from what Michelle's intuition screamed at her,
was a cause for concern.

	---------------------------------------------------
	
The small child blew some of the steam off her cup of hot tea.  At
least, it reminded her of tea.  She had forgotten what the old woman
called it, but it suited her just fine.  Victoria occupied herself
with drinking her "tea" as she tried to grow accustomed to hearing the
old woman's thoughts.

'The valley has favorable winds that keep the misma from spreading
into it.'  Victoria scrunched her face, confused, as the old woman,
Nausicaa, continued.  'The misma are spores that come from the Sea of
Corruption, the forest lining the valley.'

Nausicaa pointed out the window towards the decrepit trees seated on
the rock faces.  'Everything in the valley has thrived because of the
winds coming from the acid lakes.  For the misma is poisonous and very
few can survive in the Sea of Corruption for very long.  And every
year, the forest creeps ever closer.'

Trying very hard to concentrate, Victoria asked.  'Is that why the
valley is abandoned?'

'Yes and no.  The people who used to live here have found better
places.  Cleaner places.  You see, long ago we used to be an advanced
people, but due to wars and pollution, the land became poisoned.  The
Sea of Corruption is cleansing our world of ancestor's past sins.'

A silence followed.  Looking up at the old woman, Victoria found she
was being studied intently from across the aged wooden table.  The
girl couldn't help but feel a little self-conscious of her rather
revealing outfit.  The delicate material of her black skirt, the clean
white bodice, and frilly black bows on her chest seemed antithetical,
(it was a big word Sailor Pluto liked to use), to the sturdy cloth of
her elder's homely and conservative blue sweater and trousers.

The young girl scrunched her face in concentration.  'What is it?'

The old woman smiled at her efforts.  'I'm sorry.  It must be
difficult for you to communicate like this.'

Victoria returned the smile. 'It's okay.'

Slowly, the old woman's expression turned solemn.  'You think you can
tell me how you got here?'

The young girl hesitated. 'I'm not sure if I can.'

'If you permit me, I could watch your memories as you relive your
experience in your mind. 'The old woman paused.  'If that's okay.'

Victoria pondered over the woman's suggestion.  It was strange,
letting someone into your mind and watch your memories.  She didn't
have reason to distrust this woman, did she?  What would the woman do
if she refused?  She had never dealt with a telepath before.
'Alright.'

The old woman spoke very carefully and gently soothing some of
Victoria's apprehension somewhat.  'Very well.  Try to imagine the
last few moments before you came here and only those moments.'

At this, Victoria closed her eyes and recalled the events from the night before

Then Victoria's eyelids slid open.  She was surprised to be
surrounded by darkness.  That didn't last long as a point of light
winked into existence.  As soon as the point formed it exploded and
all Victoria could see from the glare of the bright light was a man's
silhouette.

'Who is that?'  The suddenness of the old woman's voice nearly broke
Victoria's concentration.

Reminding herself that this was all just her memories, Victoria
replied.  'A bad person named Halebit, well at least Aunt Susan thinks
he's a bad man.'

'Aunt Susan?'

Quickly Victoria imagined the tanned, somber face of one of her
guardians.  'I also call her Sailor Pluto.  She's the Guardian of the
Time Gate.'

'Time Gate!?'

Victoria hesitated.  Maybe she was revealing too much.  'Um, yeah, we
have one of those back where I come from.  Anyway, the man, Halebit,
wanted the Silver Crystal so he kidnapped Reenie.'

The vision returned, shifting to her pink haired friend being held by
Serena. 'That's Reenie with her mother Serena.'

'Ah.'  She heard the old woman respond.  'What about those other
girls?  The ones dressed like you?  Are they your friends as well?'

Victoria focused and the image of the other girls huddled around
Serena came into her vision.  'They're Sailor Scouts like me.  It's
our job to protect Serena.'

'Why's that?'

Victoria paused, should she tell Nausicaa about Serenity?  She hadn't
sensed any malice from her the entire time she had been in this
strange world.  Plus whatever it was she was drinking tasted really
good and reminded her of home.

'We protect Serena because she's our queen.'
	
'Why is she your queen?'

'She's the one who welds the Silver Crystal.'  The glare of bright
light filled her mind's eye once more.  Even within the vision,
Victoria could still feel the energy radiating from the powerful
artifact.

'Wow.'  Nausicaa conveyed mentally, awe and surprise evident in her
voice.  'I can why this Serena is the ruler of your world.'

Victoria chewed on her lip.  How to explain this?  'Not exactly.  She
doesn't rule the world yet, she will in the future.'

'How do you know that?  Was it some kind of prophecy?'

'Actually, it's because that's what Reenie and Sailor Pluto told us.'

'Huh?  Why would Reenie and this Sailor Pluto know about the future?
Are they oracles?'

'Oh, uh, Reenie comes from the future and Sailor Pluto, well, she
just knows everything.'

'Reenie is from the future?'  The old woman sounded like she was lost.

'Time Gate, remember?'  Victoria answered sheepishly.

'I see.  Victoria?'

'Yes?'

'This is giving me a headache.'

'Me too.'

'Perhaps we should focus on how you got here.  Then maybe later you
can tell me more about your world.  It sounds amazing.'

'Okay.'

Focusing once again, the vision panned across her friends and then
settled on a blond woman covered in blood.

'Oh my, who is that?'

'That's Cindy.'  Victoria response was guarded.  She hadn't given
much thought to the woman, but now that she had time to reflect she
wasn't sure if she could forgive the woman for kidnapping her dearest
friend.  'She's a Traveller.  Like Halebit.'

'A Traveller?  What do they do?'

'They cross into different worlds and cause problems from what I've
seen.  Sailor Pluto doesn't like them much.'

'I'd imagine so if this woman was friends with this Halebit character.'

'Not quite.'  Though she decidedly didn't like Cindy, she felt she
had to be fair.  'It's complicated.  She helped him… and she didn't.'

The anguished expression of a blond woman came to Victoria's mind
which was evidence enough that the woman wasn't truly a willing
participant.  At least it was enough that Victoria had to grudgingly
accept it as genuine anguish.

'I think I understand, child.'  Nausicaa sounded somber like she was
remembering something unpleasant.  'I too have seen how disturbingly
easy it is for good people to be manipulate by those with nefarious
intentions.  It saddens me to see that hasn't changed over the years.'
 She paused as the vision crept back over to the glaring light.  'So
what happened next?'

Without warning the angry visage of the Timelord appeared.  A black
veil of his greasy locks shrouded his eyes allowing his gritted teeth
to glow in the darkness.  He was charging at the group wielding a
strange looking sword she had never noticed before.  Blood covered a
majority of his chest, with a few splatters on the lower half of his
face.

'_He_ happened.'  Victoria answered dryly.  'His name is Tracer and
he's a Traveller like the others.  He's the worse of the lot.  He
killed Cindy's family and he insulted and harmed my friends!  He's
just a horrible, horrible person!'

'I hope that I never meet this man then.'  Nausicaa admitted.

'Me either.'

'What did he have to do with you arriving here?'  Nausicaa asked as
the vision unfroze and all the characters came to life.

Now the vision was a frenzy of movement.  The Sailor Scouts were
rushing to stop the charging Timelord just as he launched himself over
the group.  For the first time, Victoria became aware of the strange
translucent skeleton-like 'wings' on his back.  Looking more closely,
she wasn't sure how exactly Tracer was able to take flight since the
'wings' lacked any means of carrying him.

'Is that normal?  For them I mean.'  Nausicaa asked sounding somewhat perturbed.

'I'm not sure.  Cindy never mentioned that they had wings or anything
like that.'

'And what a peculiar weapon he has.'  Nausicaa noted.

Victoria again analyzed the vision, the broad sword gripped in both
his hands catching her attention.  'Strange.  I don't remember it
glowing like that.'

'Is it a powerful artifact?'

Victoria swallowed hard.  As a being that held the power of
annihilation at her beckon and call, she knew the heavy burden such
power carried and the great care needed to weld it.  If this horrible
man had something that powerful in his possession, there would be no
telling what kind of destruction he'd leave in his path.  Would the
destruction he left behind be as complete as hers, she wondered?

'Let's hope not.'

At that Nausicaa remained quiet as the man in question continued
his descent towards the bright light.  Once his figure was lost in the
glare an explosion of light filled the vision and everything went
black.

The room reappeared where her tea was still steaming where she last
left it.  The old woman sitting across from her was blinking.  Needing
to clear her mind, Victoria removed herself from the table.  Shaking
off the effects of the vision, she went over to the tapestry guarded
by a rusted suit of armor.  She ran her meek hand over the thick
strands woven into the cloth.  Despite its age, the cloth still
stubbornly held onto much of its rich color.

In the top left corner, just over the shoulder of the armor, the
young child spied the image woven in the cloth.  A man dressed in blue
stood regally with his eyes set forward, staring ahead determined to
some far off goal.  Was this a depiction of a hero?  She wasn't
entirely sure; the writing above the figure was unreadable.

'What does that say?  Above that man.'  The girl pointed out the
figure on the tapestry to the woman.

The old woman smiled warmly.  'It's an old myth about one who is
cloaked in blue would descend into the golden fields of the Valley and
leads the people into the green and peaceful kingdom.  It was an old
tale told to me when I was a girl.'

The girl's eyes widened, fascinated.  She loved fairy tales and
legends.  'Did it ever come true?'

The warm smile turned wry.  'I suppose it did.'

Suddenly a deep chill ran down Victoria's spine.  Standing rigidly at
attention, she heard soft, desperate murmuring.  Something was calling
out to her.  Without further delay, the child walked towards her
glaive, her face now was filled with grave resolve.

'What is it, my child?'  The woman asked, but the child ignored her
until she had wrapped her small hands around her glaive.

Swinging around, the girl faced her elder with her weapon ready.  The
old woman eyed her blade and appeared apprehensive to approach
Victoria.

'W-what's wrong?'

The murmuring continued and it grew more urgent, distracting her from
their conversation.  After a moment, Victoria felt like she had lost
control of her body as she automatically responded.  'There is a soul
crying out for the Silence.'


		*		*		*

"Ew!  Gross," screeched the young girl as she ran from him.  "Get
away from me!"

The boy smiled as he held out his latest weapon he'd found in the
garden, a worm.  That it was covered in gooey black dirt was an added
bonus.  "And what are ya gonna do about it scaredy-cat!?"

Tracer frowned as the words left his mouth.  When had he become a
child again?  Who was the blond girl he was running after?  He looked
around at the lush garden.  Everything felt natural but disorientating
at the same time.  He stopped in his tracks when he saw the statue of
Serenity, her smooth stony hands reaching out.

"Ms. Zen!"  Tracer jumped and spun toward the shrill voice.  The
blond girl was pointing at him looking just over his shoulder.  The
glint of anger in her eyes was unmistakable.  "Tracer's being mean to
me again!"

"Tracer!"  Now Tracer didn't dare move.  He knew quite well when
Mother took that tone, he was in deep trouble.

Reluctantly, Tracer turned towards his mother, ready for the sharp
words he knew he had coming.  However as he came around, he found he'd
grown suddenly, the worm magically gone replaced by a wooden practice
sword he used to play with.  He peered at it for a moment, wondering
why he was holding his favorite toy from his childhood, before he
remembered his mother was waiting for him to acknowledge her.

Tracer's skin crawled when he saw his mother's limp body, her neck in
the grip of Serenity's stony fingers.  Aghast and horrified, he ran
but immediately impacted with soft, feminine flesh.  He nearly fell
back on his rear when a hand darted out and grabbed his wrist.

He was now much older, about the age he (barely) graduated from the
Timelord program and face to face with a dark haired woman.  She was
also obviously naked.  She grinned and her eyes glowed with fiery
passion and lust.

"Hello Tracer."  The woman purred as she took the wooden sword from
his slacken grasp.  "I don't think you'll need that anymore."

"Junko."  He whispered.  What was she doing here?  It had a long time
since he'd seen her.  Suddenly he felt a desire to reacquaint himself
with her.

The woman winked and sauntered away.  Tracer, fixated on the sway of
her hips, attempted to follow, but found his feet frozen to the
ground.  Curious, he tried to move again, thinking maybe his feet feel
asleep but they wouldn't budge.  They were making that weird cold,
stabbing pain he'd expect when they feel asleep.  Damn it they needed
to wake up pronto!

Frustrated, he investigated and discovered his feet encased in ice
and it was quickly creeping up his lower body.  Panicked, Tracer
pounded on the ice but it wouldn't break.  He hit it harder but in
doing so captured his hands in the expanding coldness.

"Silly Tracer."  He shivered at the calm, cruel voice.

Snapping his head up, he saw a white-haired woman dressed in a black
bodice.  She hid a majority of her body underneath a white cloak.  The
small sliver of a smile on her pale nearly metallic looking skin
filled him with terror.

The terror, though, only filled him with impotent rage.  "Damn you
Hermes!  I will fucking tear you apart when I get out of this!"

With calculating steps, the woman chuckled softly.  "Despite what you
might think," she pulled out a large icy blade from her cloak, "I'm
only into this to-"

The shearing pain in his chest was unbearable and came to the
horrible realization his bones weren't made of metal or that most of
his vital organs were still intact.  Without the bio-enhancements he
wasn't going to survive!

His vision was beginning to fade and he stared at the silvery looking
translucent blade.  Wait, didn't she stab him with an ice blade?
Lifting his gaze, he saw Cindy's blood splattered face, grinning
widely.  The glint of anger in her eyes was unmistakable.

"Enjoy."  She whispered huskily.

Tracer woke up with a start and leaped out of his bed.  He nearly
smacked his head against one of the white walls of his small cell. He
licked his lips, realizing his mouth was dry and took in his new
surroundings; a white bed, a white ceiling, and three white walls
framing it all.  There was an opening out into a large darkened
hallway.  He could see the flicker of a force field at the only
entrance and exit into his room.

It didn't take a genius to figure out where he was.  He'd seen plenty
of Society criminals get thrown into one of these.  He was in a
Counsule holding cell.  How the hell he ended up back in the Community
was beyond him, but he doubted this was a dream.  His chest still
throbbed from the wound the blond bitch had inflicted on him.  Poking
at the white shirt covering the gnarled silvery scar on his chest he
briefly recalled his dream still fresh in his mind.  He snorted.  It
was just a damn dream.

He surveyed the room again and shook with outrage.  'Fucking Callide.
 It's all his fucking fault for getting me into this fucking mess.  If
he hadn't convinced me to go find Aste and Faust's Sword I wouldn't 
be here like some kind of criminal.'

The rage he felt at the slight being done to him boiled.  He wanted
to flay his fists in the air at anyone nearby.  But there wasn't and
that just enraged him further.

Then Tracer calmed for a minute.  Perhaps Grandfather would talk some
sense into them.  A flicker of hope sparked in his chest.  Yes, he'd
tell them this was all a big misunderstanding and then everything
would be worked out.

'No!  I don't need anyone's help to get out of here.'  Tracer
concluded, his anger returned with a vengeance.  'I'm not some baby
who calls on his grandfather to bail him out of trouble.  I fight for
myself.  In fact I prefer it that way.  Yeah.  They're going to feel
the pain I'm about to inflict upon them.  Oh yes.'



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