Part One of the Loose Ends Trilogy,
by Darran Jordan [eclectica]
Chapter One: The Strangers Meet
She fell. The maelstrom of colours about her was like a swirling body of light, a tunnel of endlessly shifting configurations, impossible to look at, impossible to understand, it was, quite literally, the chaos between dimensions. It was almost comforting, this swirling mass; it was the closest thing she had to a home now, the chaos between worlds. She was falling again, falling between dimensions, and the thick blood which caked her brow dripped forward, glistening jewels of red tumbling into the vortex around her, little pieces of herself, lost forever to this endless realm. She tried to concentrate, but as she did pain gripped her, like two great hands squeezing her skull. She cried out, once, then blackness stole across her and she slid into unconsciousness once again. Her body continued falling as her mind fell into dream.
Who was she? Her sleeping mind formed images, memories shaping haphazardly as her falling body twitched spasmodically. She was a child again, standing by her father's grave, watching the coffin slip slowly, resolutely, into the darkness of the earth. She felt her mother grip her hand, heard consoling words spoken from those around them. There was her homeroom teacher, Mrs. Hanley, concern creasing her face as the funeral drew to a close. But she could draw no comfort from such concern, the only emotion she could feel was anger, anger at her father for leaving her. Anger at the world, for leaving her here, so hurt and so alone.
Memories shifted in her mind and dream became nightmare. She felt the bunched fist of Brady Oates strike her cheek and heard Rex laugh as she fell back onto the hard concrete of the school playground.
"You think you're so smart, don't you," Rex jeered, "think you're better than us. You're nothing, you little bitch. You're nothing."
Hot tears stung her cheeks, but all she felt was anger. Burning anger, growing larger and hotter all the time.
She remembered finding Bopper's body, her sweet dog who had got out and run away. He'd done it before, but they always found him in the end, always brought him back safe and sound. This time it was she who found him, but she found him too late. His broken body was lying by the side of the road, his eyes unseeing, and the hot tears that stung her cheeks cried out for retribution, cried out for revenge. Anger coursed through her young body, anger pure and dark. Anger looking for a way out.
Then she remembered the day she had found a release for her rage, remembered the sight and sound of it. She heard once more in her sleeping mind the sound the baseball bat had made as it connected with Brady Oates' leg. The crack had sounded like a gun shot, so loud it seemed to shake the world itself. It was the sound of her anger, the righteous sound of retribution. Brady had fallen to the ground, screaming. Even Rex, watching on, had looked shaken, staring at her with wide eyes as she raised the blood stained bat above her head.
"No one messes with me. No one!!"
And no one had. Not after that. But her anger hadn't dissipated, not at all. It just looked for another target, another excuse to let loose once more. Her hatred had seethed worse than ever on the day her mother had remarried.
"How could you?" she remembered screaming, and her sleeping body mouthed the words. Her mother's reply had done nothing but cause her more pain, cause her anger to grow darker still.
"You aren't Logan Mallory anymore," her mother had told her, "your name is Logan St. Claire, and you'd better get used to it."
And the dreaming body twitched in the maelstrom of the vortex, a brief spasm which shook her awake, eyes half opening through a confused veil of pain.
"Nobody messes with Logan St. Claire," she muttered thickly, but then blackness overtook her once more, and she passed out again, her body falling on through the vortex, falling through the chaos between worlds.
Professor Maximillian Arturo looked upon the statue and sighed.
"Not a very good likeness," he muttered, a slightly annoyed tone in his gruff voice, "not a very good likeness at all." Underneath the statue was a plaque reading: 'Professor Maximillian Arturo - Father of Interdimensional Travel'. Someone had spray painted over the plaque with the word 'Fraud' in large red letters. Arturo looked at the plaque for a few moments, his rage barely concealed, then he aimed a well placed kick at it, exploding in anger as he did so.
"Fraud am I!!? Fraud is it!! Fools, all of you, all fools!!!"
Angrily he stormed away through the garden towards his house, his mind ticking over as he did so, remembering the strange series of events that had brought him to where he stood now, either on the frontier of greatness, or the edge of yet another abyss of defeat.
How had it began for him? It was years ago now, when his student Quinn Mallory had asked him to visit his house. The Professor had thought it was to apologise for an altercation they'd had in one of his lectures; to his surprise it had instead been for his student to show him a startling discovery - a device that opened a pathway between parallel universes. A device which gave them the ability to slide between worlds. He had joined Quinn in this bold new experiment, bringing along Quinn's friend Wade Welles and, rather accidentally, involving the singer Rembrandt 'Crying Man' Brown, who happened to be passing by at the time. And that had been that. The four of them had become 'Sliders', lost in the byways and twisted paths that meshed the dimensions together, travelling to parallel worlds, forever searching for the way back home. They had become friends, family even, and then one day they found their dreams answered. They found themselves back home. Or at least, that is what they had thought. What eventuated was that they had ended up on a world which in almost all respects was identical to their own, only it wasn't their world, as the Professor had found after bumping into his own double and being promptly tied up in a basement. It was a world almost identical to their own. Almost everything that had happened on their world had also happened here, except that here Professor Maximillian Arturo hadn't joined Quinn, Wade and Rembrandt on that first slide, hadn't been lost with them on their wild ride between dimensions. He had been left behind, to ponder what Quinn's discovery meant, to think about what it would mean if he could claim the discovery for himself.
"And I blundered in like a fool," Arturo muttered to himself as he made his way away from the statue, back through the garden and up toward his house. He remembered how happy he had been to find himself home, only to be surprised by his double, who quickly tied him up in the basement of his house and went about telling the media that he had just returned from testing his invention, a device that allowed him to travel to other dimensions. There was media attention, Arturo's double had been accepted by the world as the father of interdimensional travel, Wade Welles had her diaries published and Rembrandt Brown started on a comeback tour based on the media interest generated by the news that they were all 'Sliders'. But Quinn had worked it out, and the others eventually realised the truth as well, found their Arturo and freed him from the basement, preparing to set off through the wormhole once more, to continue their search for home. But his double, desperate for the secret to interdimensional travel, had surprised them. There had been a scuffle, and only one of the Professors had made it through the wormhole with the others. The wrong one. The Professor of this world had left with the Sliders, leaving the Maximillian who had previously travelled with the others stranded here, on a world now looking to him as the father of interdimensional travel. Looking to him to duplicate the Sliding technology for the watching world. And he had failed.
He knew the formulae of course, he and Quinn had worked together often enough while trying to work out a way home for them all, but in replicating the technology he was having trouble, and his lack of immediate success, coupled with the sudden vanishing of Wade, Quinn and Rembrandt, had led to the world labelling him a fraud.
"A fraud am I," Arturo muttered defiantly as he reached the door to his house and marched angrily inside. "We'll see about that," he muttered, "we'll see about that." He ignored the pile of mail inside the front door, untouched for so long, ignored the newspapers piled on newspapers, many with headlines about him as numerous 'experts' debunked the theories of interdimensional travel. He ignored it all and marched straight into his workshop.
The workshop was not very large, and the scientific equipment which was piled everywhere made it seem even smaller. Arturo was not accustomed to clutter. His usual manner of experimentation was careful, measured, precise, but his initial failures had driven him to work harder, and his latest successes had caused him to redouble his efforts, ignoring all else, concentrating solely on his work. Concentrating solely on experiments in Sliding.
"I'll find you all," he whispered to himself. "Quinn, my boy, Miss Welles and Mr. Brown. I'll find you all again. I only hope my double hasn't hurt any of you, that wretched scoundrel."
This was it, then, the culmination of more experiments than he cared to remember. How many sleepless nights, how much work had it been to bring him to this. The moment. The final moment when he would test his machine, when he would open up a pathway between the worlds. Once more he looked over his work, checking cables, adjusting wires, making sure everything was perfect. If the machine worked as he had designed it it would open up a wormhole, but instead of entering the wormhole the Professor had programmed his machine to act as an entry point for others already travelling between dimensions, that way he hoped to bring his lost companions back here to him.
"I'll find you all again," he muttered to himself. "If you're out there, I'll bring you back again. Then we'll have words about this double of mine."
With a hand almost trembling with anticipation Professor Maximillian Arturo reached out and activated the device.
There was a sound, long familiar to the Professor, the sound of the vortex opening, and before him the familiar swirling shape of the wormhole spun into view, casting an eerie blue light across the workshop. The Professor's face creased with concern as he stared intently into the light.
"Come on Quinn," he hissed, "come on. Come on!!" He knew that the chances of finding his old friends travelling through the vortex at this exact moment were pretty slim, knew that it would probably take numerous attempts before he could expect to have any success, but that didn't stop him hoping. His fists were clenched as he tried to will it to happen, tried to will his friends back through the wormhole before him. "Come on... come on..."
And it was at that moment that he saw her, still some distance away, falling through the vortex, falling toward him. It was a woman, he could not make out her features, her hair had fallen across her face, but he could see...
"Blood," he hissed, fear suddenly clenching his heart. "She's bleeding. She's been hurt." He ran to the edge of the wormhole, shouting into its depths. "Hold on Miss Welles, hold on, I have you..." Then the woman tumbled across the threshold and he caught her in his arms, tottering unsteadily as the wormhole before him closed up and faded away.
"Miss Welles," he whispered softly, "are you all right, I..." But then the woman's hair fell away and he saw that it was not his friend Wade, not anyone he knew at all. He was staring into the face of a stranger.
"Who the devil are you?!" he blustered in angry surprise, and the woman's eyes opened blearily.
"Max?" she muttered thickly. "Max, is that you? I thought you were dead..." She looked around the workshop, confusion written across her face. "I thought I killed you. Oh Max, you've got to help me. Something dreadful is coming, something terrible..." Then she leaned forward in his arms and kissed Professor Maximillian Arturo hard upon his lips. Then she passed out.
"What the devil..." Arturo muttered. He stood for a full minute, endless uncertainties passing through his mind. But then he realised his questions could wait. This woman, whoever she was, needed medical attention. And he turned with her in his arms and made his way out of the workshop.
"No no no, Kromaggs. As in an alternate evolution where homo sapiens died out millions of years ago and their race came to dominate the planet," she said. Logan was now lying in the Professor's bed, her wounds bandaged. She lay back upon the pillows, staring up at Arturo as he paced back and forth across the room.
"And they call themselves the Kromaggs?" he asked, frowning.
"I don't care what they call themselves!! It's what they're called, all right, can we move on here?"
"Now listen to me Miss St. Claire, if I'm to help you then I need to know what is going on. From the start, if you please."
"You really are just as pompous as my Max was," Logan muttered. The Professor found himself remembering what she'd said after falling through the wormhole.
"You mean the one you killed?" he asked bluntly.
Logan stared defiantly into the untrusting gaze of Professor Maximillian Arturo and remembered the man she had known, the man who had invented Sliding on her world. He had been brilliant. So certain. So composed. She remembered the moment when they had first kissed, the way his hand had brushed her cheek so lightly. Perhaps it was his insistence on breaking off their affair that had hurt her more than his moral concerns wanting to put a stop to the Sliding Project. Perhaps. She remembered her anger as she'd pushed him into the unstable wormhole, to be torn apart by the energies beyond their dimension.
"Yes, the one I killed. I have killed before Max, and I will do it again if necessary. I suggest that you accept that fact and move on."
Arturo shifted uncomfortably and began pacing again. "You said before that you may have encountered my friends."
"Four travellers. Another you. Wade Welles. Rembrandt Brown. And Quinn. Quinn Mallory. Oh yes. It's thanks to them that I wound up lost between dimensions."
"Another me you say? And he wasn't trying to hurt them in any way, steal their timer or anything?"
"He was a regular part of the family so far as I could tell."
"Interesting," the Professor mused, pacing furiously now. "Very interesting. I've thought about it before you know, if I'd been in his position would I have acted the same as he, if I'd been left behind on my own world would I have done what he did if I'd been presented with the same opportunity. It occurs to me that we really were almost identical, only it was my experiences Sliding with the others that changed me from being like him. Perhaps it changed him too, after sharing their adventures for a while, perhaps it made him a better man, gave him a chance to bond with the others in the way that I did in those early days..."
"If you've quite finished reminiscing Max..." Logan muttered quietly, causing Arturo to fall into silence once more. "Thank you. As I was saying, due to their meddling I ended up lost, travelling between dimensions. But unlike Quinn and the others I chose not to run madly from world to world anxiously counting down to the next slide window. I was lucky enough early on to slide onto an earth where an alternate of Quinn had accidentally transported the entire population of earth onto another parallel world. There were no people on the world as a result, an empty world with all the resources of the earth at my disposal. I set up base there. I took what I needed from anywhere I wanted, began my experiments in earnest, and with the knowledge I'd gained I perfected my sliding equipment and plotted a course back to my home world. I also did this."
She held her hair back and showed the Professor her neck. Embedded into it a sliver of silver could be glimpsed, but no more. The Professor looked confused and she smiled at him sweetly.
"My timer," she stated simply. "Perfected and internalised. Unlike your friends I have no problems with losing my timer, the only way it could be taken from me would be through an involved surgical procedure. And I have no need to run for slide windows, the small computer linked to my timer is also keyed directly into my brain. I can activate a slide window at will."
"Ah, now I see," Arturo beamed knowingly. "That was your problem in the vortex. You opened a window, but your concussion meant you could not concentrate enough to open a reentry window into another dimension."
"Yes. It's possible you saved my life."
"Well, it was nothing really..." the Professor smiled sheepishly, but Logan cut him short.
"It was an accident on your part and a lucky break on mine, don't read anything into it Max."
"But if you did all this, I mean if you have such sophisticated Sliding equipment, if you found your way home, well, why are you travelling now? Why were you lost in the vortex? Why are you here now?" As Arturo asked these questions he saw Logan visibly flinch, as though in pain. When next she spoke he understood why.
"When I got back to my world it had been invaded, overrun."
"By the creatures you mentioned before?" the Professor asked softly.
"The Kromaggs - yes. They travel between dimensions, they're like a plague, moving from dimension to dimension. Killing. Enslaving. They've brought pain and death to thousands of worlds, mine just one of them. I returned and joined a resistance force, fought back against them. My team was ambushed, we were all taken prisoner. I was shot in the ambush, it was just a flesh wound, but the pain was intense. I couldn't concentrate enough to open a slide window to escape. We were all locked up. My companions... they tortured us, all of us. Didn't ask any questions, just tortured... Then they started eating their eyes. One by one, they'd pick one out of the group, randomly each day. Pick one, take them out of the cell. When they came back they had no eyes. The Kromaggs tore them out and ate them. Ate them. On the ninth day they took me out of the cell." Logan was shaking, her hair falling over her face, her eyes wide with the pain of the memory. Max moved forward, and held her awkwardly. Neither of them spoke for a while. Eventually it was Logan who broke the silence.
"When it was my turn I used the ace up my sleeve." She held up her hand and showed the Professor her bracelet, at first glance it appeared a cheap decorative object, but on closer inspection Arturo made out the circuitry it concealed. "My own invention. It shoots energy bursts. Only good for one shot. It was enough though. I killed the Kromagg who was transporting me out of my cell, played cat and mouse with them for a while, trying to gather my strength so I could concentrate enough to open a window. While I was there I found a terminal, tapped into their information net. I downloaded some stuff into the computer linked to my timer," she said, tapping her head meaningfully. "I got the co-ordinates for the next dimension they'd targeted for invasion, as well as some other information. Then they found me. I managed to open a slide window and dived for it, but one of their shots glanced across my head. Then I was falling through the wormhole. I couldn't open an exit point, and I kept blacking out. The next thing I remember clearly, I was here."
"You're lucky you weren't hurt worse. A bit of rest and you'll soon heal," the Professor smiled reassuringly. He wasn't prepared for the anger of Logan's response.
"Haven't you been listening to me?!! There's no time to rest. We have to stop them. They're planning to invade..."
"They're coming here?" Maximillian's mind was ticking over already. Who would believe him if he suddenly started raving about interdimensional invasion? He had been derided enough already after he failed to deliver up sliding technology quick enough to the hungry public after his double's extravagant claims. But if an invasion was coming...
"No, not here." Logan's words cut his thoughts off quickly, his body visibly relaxing once more.
"Well, then where...?"
"I have the coordinates," she said, tapping the side of her head as she did so, "up here. I can take us there. It's a world designated by the Kromaggs as Earth Prime. Apparently they called it that after they encountered Quinn Mallory and his group, the same group who ruined my plans. The same group you claim to have travelled with. Which would mean that the Earth Prime they're planning to invade is..."
"Is my home Earth." Maximillian Arturo felt a sudden cold steal across him. His home world. At last. He'd found it - this girl could take him home. Only his home was about to be overrun by an invasion from another dimension!!
"We have to go there," he exploded with sudden vehemence, "we have to stop them."
"We have to destroy them," said Logan softly, and there was a cold malice that surprised the Professor, a quiet anger that was palpable. "We have to destroy them utterly. My world was taken from me by these creatures, I've seen people destroyed in the most hideous ways... I'm no angel, and I'm no hero, but no-one messes with Logan St. Claire and gets away with it. Not even the Kromaggs."
"Do you know how to stop them?" the Professor asked quietly.
"No," Logan replied, "not really. I have a plan though... I found some other information in their database, amongst it the possible location of someone who could help us." She closed her eyes, a look of fierce concentration crossing her face, and suddenly a wormhole was opening before her, the familiar blue light cascading into the room. Their hair tossed in the cold breeze that spilled from the doorway to another world.
"After you, Max," Logan smiled, and, like returning home after a long journey, the Professor felt a wonderful sense of familiarity creep over him.
"Sliding. It's like riding a bike," he smiled, "one never forgets. And at least I won't have Mr. Brown landing on me at the other end this time."
Then he stepped into the vortex, and was gone. With a faint smile Logan rose from the bed, checking her bandages briefly before diving after him, falling once more through the gateway to another world.
Quinn Mallory sat, unmoving, his long straight hair falling down his back, contrasting with the white tribal ceremonial paint that covered his face. He was watching the mist spiral on the lower levels of the mountain. From this vantage point he could see down over the whole mountainside, could see the few scattered dwellings below the line of mist, could see the tribe who hunted the areas higher up the mountain. The tribe who lived in a huddle nearby his cave. The tribe who protected him, kept others away, and made sure that he was left alone. It was all he wanted now, to be left alone. The tribe would leave food for him at the cave mouth, and when, on the few occasions that he left the cave's shelter for a walk, they would carefully keep out of his way. When he had first come to them, appearing from out of the vortex, they had worshipped him. Since the encounter with his double and the other Sliders that travelled with him, Rembrandt Brown, Wade Welles and Maggie Beckett, not to mention the evil man they had been chasing, since they had escaped him he felt that the tribe did not revere him in quite the same way. Still, they fed him, and they left him alone and made sure that he stayed so. No-one else could come up here, the mist of the mountains was unbreathable to most. So he was left alone now. It was all he wanted now, all he could rightfully hope for.
He looked down over the mountain below and emptied his mind of thoughts. It was an old meditation trick he had learnt a long time ago on his travels. It seemed like another life, when he had travelled from world to world, returning at the end of every day to his wife, and the happy domestic bliss of his own world. If only he hadn't invented the Sliding device, if only he'd been content with his happy home, if only he hadn't slid onto that world...
For a moment he saw himself once again, chained against a metal wall as lights flashed across his retina and electrodes dug into his temples. He remembered pain, seering pain beyond anything he had thought was possible, and the slow calm voice of the Kromagg hissing: "Tell us how to build such a device. Tell us how to slide between worlds..."
He tried to empty his mind once more, but the memories, as always, came in a flood, impossible to block out. He had given them the secrets, desperate to stop the pain, he had told them everything they needed to duplicate Sliding Technology. He had unleashed the Kromagg terror upon the unsuspecting alternate worlds. The first to feel their wrath had been his own.
They had taken him with them on their first invasion, their 'reward' for the opportunity he had handed them. A month's worth of torture had left him emaciated and weak, he doubted he could have done anything even had he been loose. Still, they shackled him and held him back as they marched his wife into the chamber, their cruel faces smiling as they shot her in front of him. Their cruel faces smiling as they laid waste to his planet. Quinn Mallory found himself shaking uncontrollably as he remembered, seeing again his wife's lifeless body fall to the ground. It was his fault. All his fault. He was responsible for the Kromaggs. He was responsible for the deaths of millions. Once more he controlled his breathing, tried to empty his mind. He had escaped them, in the end, stealing a timer when he was supposed to be helping the Kromagg scientists repair one of their massive wormhole generators. He had escaped, leaping madly from world to world in order to lose them. But in truth he doubted that they had ever bothered to follow him. He was an insect to them now, as they built their vast interdimensional empire, he was insignificant. He posed no threat. And they would get him eventually. Perhaps he even wanted them to, wanted to get what he deserved, wanted them to put an end to him.
"And they will," he thought, "they'll get us all eventually. And it's my fault. All my fault. I'm responsible for the Kromaggs."
"No," a voice behind him whispered, "you're not."
He spun, surprised to see a woman with long red hair staring into his eyes. She seemed familiar somehow, but he couldn't place her, couldn't put a name to the face. The man behind her, however, he recognised immediately. On his own world one version of this man had been his teacher, a pompous man who he had never got along with, named Professor Maximillian Arturo.
"Sliders," he muttered through clenched teeth. They must have slid onto this world very close by here for the tribe not to have picked them up yet. He wondered if he should call to the tribe, have these people put to death. Deaths meant nothing to him anymore, not when he was so steeped in them. All he wanted now was to be left alone. But curiosity fired within him as he considered the woman's words. He must have been talking out loud, talking about his guilt regarding the Kromaggs. She must have heard him. But she had said 'no', said he wasn't guilty, wasn't responsible. For the first time in a long time a sensation akin to hope flamed within him. But its warmth was quenched in a moment by his own returning guilt.
"What do you know," he muttered, turning away from the pair in disgust, "what do you know of my crimes?"
"I know that the Kromaggs you encountered aren't the only Kromaggs in the multiverse. There are races of Kromagg that have been enslaving worlds for centuries. There are races that once shared a world with humans, whose conquest has only ever been a quest to reclaim their lost homeworld. There are even worlds where the Kromaggs and humans live in peace together, or where Kromaggs were merely a minority group persecuted by racist humans. Eventually one of the conquering Kromagg groups would have encountered the planet you ended up on. They would have given them Sliding Technology anyway, and added them to their own forces. It was inevitable. You didn't unleash the Kromaggs, merely one group of them, many others were sliding between worlds before you were even born."
"How..." Quinn was startled by the words she spoke. "How could you possibly..."
"I was their prisoner for a time. During my escape I tapped into their computer, got some information from it, including your sorry story and this planet as your possible location. They are hunting you Quinn, and unless you leave with us you could find yourself their prisoner once again very soon."
"What does it matter," Quinn replied darkly. "I deserve no less a fate. Even if they were due to be given Sliding Technology eventually - even if there were other Kromaggs already conquering other worlds... I still gave them my world. My world is theirs now. My wife, my friends, all are dead. I should be dead too."
"Now you listen here my boy," Arturo stepped forward brusquely, his face creased with silent anger, "haven't you ever considered that you might have survived for a reason? Haven't you ever considered that you might have lived and found freedom so that you could put a stop to these creatures? You may not be the Quinn that I knew, but if there's anything in you that's the same as him then there should be a part of you that wants to make amends, to put things right and stop these monsters."
"It is too late," Quinn whispered, but their words, to his surprise, were having an effect upon him. He suddenly felt that maybe he could make a difference. He owed it to his wife, to his world, to try.
"It may be too late for your world," the woman answered, "and it may be too late for mine, but this man's world," she motioned to the Professor, "is about to be invaded. I have a plan to stop it from happening, to fight the Kromaggs, but I need your help."
Quinn did not reply, merely sat, looking at the mist on the mountain below. Surely it was better to stay here, the tribe would care for him, would keep people away. Surely it was better to stay here, to empty his mind and feel nothing... But he knew, in his heart, that the memories would always come, the nightmare was always with him. The only way to end it would be to put an end to the Kromaggs. He looked up into the eyes of the woman, the woman who seemed so familiar.
"Who are you?" he asked quietly.
"My name is Logan St. Claire," she answered. "But I was born Logan Mallory. I'm your double."
Below them the mist was rising, the day was drawing on. Quinn Mallory looked down upon it for a moment, thinking of the quiet here, the peace that he had sampled for so long. In the end it had done him no good. In the end, it was still time for him to go. He stood and turned to face the others, his expressionless features emphasised by the white tribal paint which covered his face.
"Very well," he stated quietly. "I will come with you."
The woman, Logan, gave a faint smile. The Professor slapped him on the back, beaming.
"Then let us be on our way," Logan said, concentrating as she spoke, activating the timer within her and opening a wormhole before them, the gateway to another world. "To Earth Prime," she said, leaping into the heart of the swirling tunnel.
"Home," the Professor whispered, "at last." Then he too was gone.
Quinn Mallory stood for a moment, staring at the portal before him. He had so much blood on his hands. So much blood. He took a deep breath, emptied his mind, and leapt into the maelstrom. As he fell into the vortex for a moment he almost felt like his old self, it almost felt like he was going home. Then he remembered what had happened to his home, and he began to wonder what awaited them on Earth Prime.
NEXT: "The Still Before the Storm"