Cadre 5:

This is the place to recount your superheroic deeds for all to gaze upon with astonishment and wonder.
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Location: Russell, KY

Re: Cadre 5:

Post by cobalt-blue » Tue Mar 13, 2012 3:54 pm


Issue Y2-14 Death Stalks the Gods

THUMPER aka Tamara Bond

Man if you'd asked me a year ago if I'd be in a space ship somewhere around the orbit of Jupiter fighting a pitched battle for the survival of Earth, I'd probably laughed in your face and asked you what drugs you were doing. Then, I'd have dumped your ass as a druggie loser. I've had enough of that crap in my life.

If you'd told me that I'd be almost six feet tall, all curvaceous and look like Bugs Bunny's idea of a perfect date, I'd have asked you how soon can I start. You see unlike a lot of ferals. I LIKE what has happened to me. Let's just say that before I became Buster Rabbit's wet dream, I was less than attractive. Butt-ugly would have been a better term. Bad skin, bad eyes, bad teeth, and a bit of scoliosis were just some of the minor problems I faced. It's not easy being born a crack-baby. My cold-burn was a blessing. So what if I now have rabbit ears and a tail? I'm beautiful and if you've got a problem with that, I'll kick your ass into next week sideways.

As for kicking ass, that was what we were doing now. I had no problems charging out of that elevator toward the jaguar guys with lasers. They at least didn't smell like a snake. God I can't abide by snakes. They give me the willie-wee-willikers. I think it's the rabbit in me. Also, I'll admit to needing just a little anger therapy. I just lost my grandmother. So I was spoiling for a fight.

We were charging into a line of jaguar men set up in a half circle facing the elevator. They all were armed with those nasty laser guns that singed the crap outta my fur. Behind them was some guy who looked like he stepped out of that bad Mel Gibson movie, Apoclyp-something-or-another. He was big, he was built like Kevin Sorbo on a good day, and he was only wearing some kind gold lame skirt. In each hand, he held a stone knife. Come on people, you've got star-frigging-ships. What's with the stone age weapons?

They'd set up what Commander Erikson called a kill zone- an area designed so they could kill anything in it. Well, me and my friends weren't ready die yet. I hit the deck a running, and leaped straight over their freaking heads. I caught the big guy by surprise when I plowed into him with a series of repeating snap kicks and screaming, “Flying bunny kick!”

I know I know. All my teammates keep telling me that I shouldn't yell out what I'm doing. It gives away the move, but call it my personal style. Earandil has his whole elf-lord thing going, and trust me, it's cute. Psi-Claw is our big brother type- damn we gotta get that boy laid. Webs is our brooding monster afraid he might be, and Protea is the best damn leader this side of John Frickin' Wayne. Me? It's either Buster and Babs Bunny's sexy older sister, or that Hefner guy, and he creeps me out. Talk about your dirty old men!

Well, like I said, the kick caught Apache Warrior Chief by surprise and sent him hurling back into the bulkhead. I saw the stone crack and crumble at the force. Like I said, I'm strong- not Shadow Claw or Fury strong, but I'm strong. Really strong. I landed, rolled to a stop, back flipped- because I felt like it- closer to the line of soldiers, crouched and screamed, “Rabbit sweep!”

I spun, stretched my leg out and took down the middle two jaguar men in a sweep. A quick hop and I was between them on the deck. Two quick rabbit punches and their jaws were broken and they were out like a light. I didn't yell that one.

There was movement at my side and I saw where Protea had fried the two on my right. Webs took out the two on my left with that paralyzing cocoon of his. Earendil and Psi-Claw each took out four on the opposite ends of the line. What they did with them was great team work. Mr. Meso-American warrior guy suddenly got slammed back into the wall by eight of his own men. Damn we're good.

“This way!” Protea screamed and pointed toward an area in the back of the bay. It was then I noticed that the room we were in was actually some kind of huge equipment slash weapons bay. There were small fighter craft, long racks with what looked like bombs and some kind of storage tanks, and God only knows what else all over the place. We all headed to where our fearless leader was pointing off to the right and all the way in the back. It looked like we had to go through a line of strange looking vehicles that could only be described as tanks without any treads or wheels, or any other way of propelling themselves.

We high-tailed it toward that bay as the oiled down warrior guy peeled his jaguar men off him. I landed on top of the first of the tanks and looked inside the open hatch at the top. Looked like some kind of cockpit in there. Looking back, I saw Webs pull his Han Solo impersonation and melt some kind of control panel on the wall with a laser rifle he'd picked up- damn, I should have thought of that. Much to my surprise a door slammed up from the floor between us and the rest of the bay. “Hey guys!” I yelled. “Check this out!”

“What?” Webs asked.

“Some kind of tank?” I asked.

“Let me see,” our resident nine-legged spider said as he scrambled up top with me.

“Don't touch anything!” Protea warned.

“Why not?” Webs asked. We're here to do damage. If I can do some damage with a grav tank, then why not?”

“How do you know it's a grav tank?” I asked.

“It's got a big gun, and no way of moving. I bet it's anti-gravity,” he said.

“You've been playing too many of Ghost's and Boomer's online games,” Psi-Claw said.

“It's something to do,” Webs said as he scrambled down into the cockpit.

“The device, is through there,” Protea said pointing to another door at the back of the bay. She looked at Earendil and Psi-Claw and asked, “Can you two hold this position while we deal with the planet cracker?”

“Got it, boss-lady,” Psi-Claw said.

“You bet,” Earendil nodded seriously. Damn he has the bluest eyes.

Protea nodded to me and said, “Thumper, come with me.”

I hopped down off the top of Webs' new toy and headed over to where there was another door in the back of the bay. “It's through here.”

“Want me to break it down for you?” I asked.

She shook her head. “No, I want you to be on the lookout for anyone inside that we can't see through the glass plate.” She indicated where there was some kind of window in the door. I peeked to either side, but could see nothing.

I nodded my head seriously and told her. “You deal with the planet cracker and I'll keep 'em off your back.”

She just grinned and then touched the door. The damn thing just melted away into nothing. Damn her control of the elements was getting better. I still couldn't figure out why anybody would build a spacecraft out of rock though. We headed into the room where there were racks and racks and racks of torpedo like things on the wall. One in particular was set off to itself. It looked like someone had built a barrel out of metal, and left the top and bottom off. There were all kinds of gadgets and gyros and crap like that all over it. There was even a display screen on the side.

“Oh shit!” we heard from the other bay. “Ugly is back!”

There was a loud sound of something big and heavy hitting stone. “That wall's not going to hold!” Psi-Claw yelled.

“Can you pick this thing up?” Webs asked.

“I think so,” Psi-Claw repleid.

“Great. Turn it around. I've got an idea,” Webs said.

Protea dropped to the device and rubbed her fingers along its side. “Keep them off of us while I figure this thing out!”

“BOOM!” something crashed back in the other bay. My ears literally curled inward to protect themselves from the sound. I felt the force wave all the way in here as it slammed me forward like a hard shove. Protea grabbed the device to keep it from falling over. It started beeping.

Suddenly there was a hurricane-like wind sucking us back toward the bay with the grav tanks. Protea held on to the device as we were slowly pulled back toward that room. I heard Psi-Claw yell, “Elf-lord! Seal that hole!” What the hell had just happened?

As we tumbled into the bay, I got a glimpse of the main door that had risen to seal off the bad guys from getting to us. It was gone. So was the wall. So was half the bay on the other side, and the far wall. We were looking out into open space. I could see another space ship beyond that. It looked like two giant pyramids stuck together at the points. Even more frightening was what I saw beyond that: the moon. Our moon. We were near Earth. This was not good.

Floating between us and that other ship was the guy I rabbit kicked. He was struggling trying to get a hold on something. What surprised me was he wasn't dead- especially considering how much junk was being sucked out of the bay and toward him.

“What the hell did you do?” Protea demanded.

“He fired the tank's cannon!” Earendil said as he concentrated. A hard light wall appeared over the breach in the outer hull of the spaceship and the wind suddenly stopped.

Webs stuck his head out of the top of the tank and grinned hugely- at least I think it was a grin. It sort of looked like a grin, but with the way his mouth was designed I couldn't tell. “Hey it worked!”

“You almost killed us!” Psi-Claw said rubbing his hears. “My ears are still ringing!” Then turning to Protea, he asked. “Is that it?”

Protea nodded and set the device back on the floor. “Yeah.”

“Any idea what to do with it?” Psi-Claw asked.

“I have an idea, if I can figure out how this works,” she replied.

“You can read this alien gobbly-gook?” I asked.

She shook her head and said, “A little of it sort of makes sense. But it's more like I've got a feel for the device.”

“What are you going to do?” I asked.

“You guys are going to teleport back to the school now. I'm going to set this thing to go off and point it away from the Earth and follow.”

“Like the hell we are,” Psi-Claw said. “We came together, we leave together.”

“That was an order,” Protea leveled her voice at him.

“This isn't the Marine Corps,” Psi-Claw argued. “Now set the damn thing and let's get out of here, before anyone else comes back.”

For long moments the two stood, eyes locked. Finally, Protea said, “This isn't over.”

“Fine. Bust our chops when we're all back safe and sound on Earth,” I told her. “Till then, get back to work. You're slacking.”

She made a gesture toward me. I replied, “Talk to Eric. Maybe we can work something out with all three of us.”

She blushed, and Earendil started coughing. The tensity was broken and she turned back to the device mumbling, “Girl, you ain't right.”

“Never claimed to be,” I replied.

“Fine,” she said making some adjustments to the device that I didn't understand. After about five minutes she looked at me and said. “Carefully turn it on it's side, while I set up a cradle for it.”

I shrugged and picked the device up and tilted it over gently. When I set it down, the floor molded itself up and around it. It rotated a few degrees to the left and then upward. Protea said, “Get ready!” We all reached for the devices on our belt. “Go!” she said, pressing something on the device and then her belt.

I waited until everyone had disappeared before I touched mine. First to go was Webs, then Psi-Claw, and then Earendil. Lastly it was just me and Protea. I smiled and said, “You first.”

She stuck her tongue out at me and pressed the device on her belt. I followed suit. Just before she disappeared, I saw a flash of light lance out from the device through the hole Earendil's disappearance had left in the far bay wall and slam into the ship on the other side of the gulf. I'm not sure, but I think I saw the guy we'd spaced get caught in the beam.

Again there was a feeling of speed and moving sideways. There was a sudden lurch and I felt the ground under me change. I looked down and saw grass. Looking around I realized we were back on the grounds of the school.

Movement above me caught my attention. I looked up a saw a huge ass explosion in the sky. There was a second explosion off to the side, and then something slammed into the moon that was visible in the day sky above them. “I love it when a plan comes together,” Psi-Claw quoted a famous movie.

LIGHTWING aka Tracy Bramhold

My whole team just went off the deep end. It wasn't berserk. They all knew exactly what they were doing. They were in complete control of their faculties. They had simply been pushed beyond the point of the niceties of combat. This was now kill or be killed,. Speedfire was as caught up in it as they were, as I was. Even what was left of Neo-Force 1 and Cadre 4 were affected. But there was something about this core team that seemed to synch together in a primal fury that was not going to give way. We all looked to Boomer who was stunned into immobility, tears flowing down his face as his mother fell to the Earth below.

I swooped in and caught her limp body. I looked into the face of the Earth's greatest hero and saw no light in those eyes. No life in that body. I began to feel the rage build into me as well. I fought it though. At least one of us needed to stay calm and focused. Earth depended on us to do what had to be done. Lady Lighting would be avenged. As I gently lowered her body to the ground behind the statue on which Shadow Claw was sitting, I could have sworn that I heard another set of wings besides mine and Talon's in the area. I looked around for another foe, but saw none. Only a presence similar to that of Nerthus at Winterfinding.

With an inarticulate scream of rage and lightning dancing around his body, Boomer launched himself at the bowman below. There was no acceleration, no building momentum, just instant speed fueled by his rage as he slammed into his mother's killer with everything he had. The sound barrier was shattered as he went instantly hypersonic. The blows rained down like hammers as he pounded the surprised bowman.

Simultaneously the three teams merged into one and surged forward. There was violence to be done, and they were the ones to do it. All obviously wanting their pound of flesh, Speedfire, Ice Storm and Glitch followed him into the fray. Shadow Claw leaped at large man, who was obviously the leader. Faerie, Trance, and Talon all dove into the fight with her. Lastly Ghost led the attack on the woman who was pulling herself out of the hole Lady Lightning had put her in. Ace and Goth leapt at her as well. Most surprisingly- or all things considered, perhaps not so surprisingly- was that Kenneth Draupnir dove in behind Goth.

I floated above, watched and tried to coordinate things. If any of the three gave me a clear shot I let them have it with a laser blast. What Boomer was doing to the bowman was horrendous. He was pounding the big alien's body and his face with a series of blows the sounds of which were echoing off the walls. Each one was punctuated by a mega-voltage arc of lightning.

Ice Storm slid up behind the stunned bowman and yanked his bow and flaming quiver of arrows out of his hands. Most people would think that she would be afraid of that fire, but I knew better. Brian once told me that she was thermophagic. She didn't really fire cold blasts, in reality she sucked the heat out of an area. Sure, you can hit her ice constructs with heat and melt them, but it doesn't hurt her. Hit her with heat or fire and you just feed her power.

Lady Lighting's killer spun to see who'd grabbed his weapons in time to catch a multiple mach-speed punch and the follow up sonic boom to the face from Speedfire. As the speedster raced off to circle around for another attack, Glitch surprised us all. She 'ported in behind him with large stone in her hand.

“Pop”, the stone disappeared, and mass of pulsing blood-red tissue appeared in its place.

The bowman screamed and grabbed his chest. That was all Boomer needed. He leapt on top of the man, grabbed his head in both hands, planted his feet on either side of his shoulders and pulled hard. I could see the strain in his muscles, in his arms, and on his face. Tears still flowed down his cheeks as he screamed into the sky. “Die, you bastard!”

Lightning poured into the field until our leader was one huge glowing white hot silhouette crouched atop the screaming man's shoulders. To be honest, considering their relative sizes, and Boomer's position squatting in front of his face, knees on either side of the bigger man's ears, the image was vaguely obscene. With a Herculean effort, Boomer stood, and there was another loud, “Pop.” The man toppled forward and Boomer hovered there in the air above him with a basketball sized object in his hand. It wasn't until he casually tossed it aside, did I realize it was the bowman's head.

Ghost may have led the attack on the Obsidian Butterfly woman, but it was Ace who was racking up the blows. People who know of our various neo-human classifications are surprised to find out that Ace was only a class eight when he came to us. I think he's beyond that now, just as all of us have grown. But his particular combinations of powers are highly effective. He has reflexes, speed, and strength far beyond those of normal humans. His vision and hearing are almost as acute as Shadow Claw's. He can easily military press a car, and he run at almost a hundred miles an hour, and literally leap a tall building- maybe not in a single bound. He can also handle close range small arms fire, but complains that it hurts. And it does leave a nasty bruise. In other words, he's hell on wheels in a fight.

He was bouncing in and out of the fray, landing devastating blows against the woman's raw back where her wings had been burned away by Lady Lightning's last blast, against her head where Ghost had merged a piece of granite with her brain, and at least two nasty front kicks to the groin. He was not playing nice today. All of this served to keep her off balance and confused.

Kenneth Draupnir kept tapping her on the shoulder, the side, of the head, and at least once on her bare breast. Each time he did, she would scream and he would drop something to the ground. I found out later he was leeching the very iron from her blood and the calcium from her bones. I couldn't believe that a guy with no history of combat experience, was wading hip deep into the fray.

Ghost dashed in, grabbed her by both shoulders and shoved her backwards into the flagpole. She struggled against his grip, and for a second I though she was going to break it when she head-butted him across the bridge of his nose. Blood sprayed from his face as he shoved her backwards and let go. She screamed once as the pole merged with her spinal cord.

As she went limp, Goth stepped in, and grabbed her head with his good arm. Suddenly his third eye glowed brilliantly and she tensed, screaming, “Ahmo!” Then she simply crumbled into red dust as a cloudy mist began to spread out from the dust around us. I had a bad feeling about this.

Turning my attention to the big guy. The one who said he was going to kill us. The one who was naked and was slowly regenerating where Shadow Claw had ripped off his manhood with a foot rake, was once again circling with our resident hermaphroditic neko. Faerie, Talon, and Trance were all three taking turns dive bombing him. Talon's claws were biting deep into his shoulders, his back, and one time she drove one into the top of his skull. I think she was trying to decapitate him, but her own bone-like blades wouldn't penetrate his spinal cord. Faerie and Trance were double teaming him with psychic assaults that had him dazed and confused.

Every time one of the other ladies would distract him, Shadow Claw would step in with a devastating blow. I watched as he reached out and nearly caught Faerie's boot. Shadow Claw raced in, clamped down on the offending wrist, twisted around, down and back- hard. There was the audible sound of shoulder separating as he was literally thrown to the ground in a classic wrist throw.

Shadow Claw didn't let go. She planted her foot against his lats and yanked back hard. With a sickening sound, his arm came free from his shoulder. As he tried to rise, blood spouting from his ruined shoulder Shadow Claw spun on her heel and slammed the bloody end of his own arm into his face. The force of the blow literally picked him up and slammed him back into base of the statue of Rochambeau. She leapt at him and then began to rain down a series of bloody blows on him, literally beating him with his own arm, screaming like a wild cat.

It was Boomer, Ace, and Ghost who finally pulled her off the man as Faerie slipped in under her arm. She reached out and touched his bloody face and smiled grimly. His body suddenly tensed like the woman and he too screamed, “Ahmo!”

“Quemah,” Faerie growled to him and shoved him back against the stone. He groaned once again and then he too crumbled to dust.

Suddenly mist that had been rising slowly became a whirlwind of energy and lighting around us. It hit us from all sides, lashing out with its own arcs of power and lightning, filling our minds with terrible images of thousands of hearts ripped from the chests of helpless victims. Of jungles running red with the blood of the vanquished, and of planets far away peopled with humans, jaguar people, and winged snakes.

It wrapped around us like a whirlwind and the blasted into the sky and spread outwards. From horizon to horizon the sky went from clear bright to suddenly covered in dark pendulous black clouds where strokes of lighting gave them a menacing purplish cast. This was not of the good. I could feel something awakening in my bones, in the air itself. It was as if a veil between realities was ripped.

I dropped to the ground, and leaned against Speedfire as we looked around. Kenneth Draupnir looked up at me, and I could see that his eyes were now glowing embers of fire. “Something is changing in the world. I can feel it in my bones.”

“What have we done?” I asked as Pat steadied me where my leg threatened to buckle under me from the fiery pain that I had suppressed for most of the fight. To my surprise, Amelia got my other side. We must have made quite a sight, the angel being buoyed by two demons.

Brian looked at me, the pain still evident in his eyes. “What we always do. What we have to do. We protected our home, and our family. When we can't protect, we avenge.”

Suddenly Faerie's and her brother's antennae began to spark. Boomer and Ice Storm turned to face them. I could almost tell they were doing their best to convince him of something. Finally, Boomer looked at the rest of us and said, “Everybody head back to the school. Glitch, and Goth, see how many you can take with you. Faerie, Speedfire, and Warlock, stay with me.”

“Warlock?” I asked.

“Me,” Kenneth said meekly. “Kind of silly isn't it.”

“No more than Lightwing,” I said. Turning to Glitch and Goth I said, “I can get there on my own, almost as fast you can.”

They nodded and called everyone into two circles and then disappeared. I took off, transformed into light and headed West.

Dr. Lovecraft
Posts: 33
Joined: Sun Dec 24, 2006 3:04 pm

Re: Cadre 5:

Post by Dr. Lovecraft » Sun Mar 18, 2012 2:45 am

I just wanted to thank you again for sharing this tale. You have a real gift that keeps me on the edge of my seat!

Posts: 1965
Joined: Mon May 18, 2009 6:56 am
Location: Russell, KY

Re: Cadre 5:

Post by cobalt-blue » Mon Jul 30, 2012 8:02 am

A few author's notes: I REALLY appreciate feedback, good or bad. Also, Cadre 5 is going on hiatus until after November. I think those who have followed it so far can understand why. This is meant to be the epilog of Year 2. It sort of wraps things up and sets up for another year of story telling.

As for the last scene. If you want to find out why Table 17 is so important, I suggest you google: Xander and the Ladies of Table 17. It's actually a very cute tale. And if you read ALL of it, you may find a few points I inserted there as well.


Doctor Duncan Edward Blair formerly known as the hero, RETCON and now Headmaster of Wyndgate Academy

Controlled chaos is the only term for what has happened in the world since Cadre Aleph went into space and stopped the alien planet cracker while Cadre 5, Cadre 4, and Neoforce 1 took out the aliens who attacked DC. Well actually, from what I've been able to gather, they were the ancient beings that the world knew as the Aztec Gods, but that is news that has not and probably will not be released to the general public. That lightning storm that hit right after the fight was not confined to the DC area, or even the US. By the time it dissipated it had covered every corner of the globe in an event that made Burstout Day look like a minor hiccup.

America is no longer the only place where neo-humans have appeared- if you can call what people have become neo-human. It's more like the world has stepped back into the mythical age. When that storm cleared, millions of people around the world changed, and not all of it was for the better. In New York city several families went through a rather painful metamorphosis that turned them into centaurs and harpies. In California and Japan there are suddenly several packs of kitsune. India and China are having problems with weretigers and demons- although to be honest the Asian definition of demon is far from the Western definition. South America is being overrun by jaguar men, winged serpents, and a breed of vampire I've never heard about before. Elves, fairies, trolls, and ogres are overrunning parts of the US and most of Europe. And we won't talk about the vampires and werewolves cropping up.

The strange thing about it is that very few actual neo-humans; i.e.: people with super powers that don't have some kind of connection to myth and legend have appeared. According to Robert, it's because of two differences in this event and the one he claims to have engineered. He says that within a few weeks things should settle down, but the world is going to have to make some serious adjustments to these changes. They are not going away.

The first difference between the original Burst Out event and what happened a few weeks ago is the release of something called the Talent Prime. The deaths of those beings at Lafayette Park supposedly ripped down the barrier between Earth and some kind of mystical energy field. It means that not only has real honest to goodness magic returned to the world, but so have the mystical creatures that were powered by it. People have become what they would have been had magic never left our world. According Robert, soon some people are going to discover that magic works for them.

The second difference is that the mutagen released by the Ahau torpedo was not targeted at specific individual genes. Instead it was much more broad-spectrum and was simply designed to cause havoc on the Earth to soften it up for conquest. However, my friend tells me that the events here have seriously upset the balance of various transgalactic powers. The deaths of the Ahau Primals have left them all shaken. It would seem that Earth is no longer just a place where Gods come to get themselves born; it's also a place where they come to get themselves killed. That has upset a lot of people out there, and from what he's told me, there may be a war brewing. But Earth has been placed off limits for the time being.

We had enough problems of our own though. Nobody is exactly sure how it got released, but pictures and video of inside the White House during the crisis made their way onto the internet, and they weren't very flattering. The President was shown as both indecisive and inflexible plus totally out of his depth. The only Federal defense of the city came from the military general staff that took matters into their own hands, and of course Neoforce 1. The government was doing everything in its power to suppress it, but no matter where they crack down, that video pops up somewhere else. I guess Kenna was right about the dangers of irritating a whole organization of telepaths. I have my own reasons to believe that it was being circulated by the Psi-Corps. They are not happy with his actions before the conflict.

There is a major media war going on as well. Those who had been lobbying to redefine humanity so as to not include neo-humans, had now stepped up their arguments. It was the same argument all over again. These “individuals” had powers and abilities that needed to be regulated lest they kill somebody. They had advantages that “normal” people didn't have and that was unfair. Now that the law required them all to register, they wanted them all licensed and trained not to use their powers. They were seizing on the sudden chaos of so many radical eruptions that have resulted in not just a property damage but a few deaths as well to justify the government stepping in. They were screaming for mandatory licensing.

At the same time there were those who were pointing out that it was the actions of these so called “gene-freaks” that had stopped the alien attack in Washington DC. They were also the ones arguing for a repeal of the registration law pointing to the government's forced sterilization of the students at many of the government schools. George Stonecraft had been testifying in Congress about the actions of the government doctors. Half the media were carrying the inquiry and the other half were fastidiously ignoring them. It was as big a mess as ever and the issue showed no signs of being resolved. Everyone was waiting for the Supreme Court to decide about the legality of the registration law first.

And of course Killpatrick was creating his own chaos among the various government agencies- some of it I wasn't happy about, but recognized its necessity- not the least of which was his seizing several of my students. To be fair, it was the only real solution to the problem, and part of it was Boomer's fault. It would seem that he, Kenna, and Kenneth decided that it would be a bad idea for the government to get their hands on the bodies of the dead heroes from that fight. So while everyone else came back to the school after the fight, he and a small group stayed behind, disabled the local video cameras and burned to ashes the bodies of his mother and the others.

The President's reaction was to quietly instruct the military to draft Cadres 4 and 5. He was going to have these kids under his control one way or another. Boomer then upped the ante and sent President a simple thought. “Come get us.” It was a very clear message. They had fought Fury, they had fought the aliens. In reality there was no way he could force them into military service- the law not withstanding- without looking like a bully. About the time it looked like the US Marshall Service was going to show up on our door steps, Robert stepped in with a compromise. He would roll all the various neo-human groups into one pseudo-government organization called the Inter-agency Neo-human Defense and Emergency Response Initiative. In one fell swoop he managed to wrap all the neo-humans, including the Psi-Corps into a single umbrella agency not too different from the Department of Homeland Security. By offering certain of my students positions on three teams he was forming, he was able to fend off investigations into their activities as well as keep them from being drafted.

In the end, it busted up Cadre 5 much more than I would have liked. There were still issues in that team that had yet to be resolved and I think that Lightwing's and Speedfire's request to be moved to the Kansas City team were in response to those issues. Cadre 5 would still be students of Wyndgate, but they would have an in-house teacher at their new headquarters in New York City- of course I chose Jim Waterford for that role. So would the Kansas City and San Francisco teams. At the same time they'd be filling the roles of the old NeoForce teams. I wasn't completely upset with the situation, but I still think that sixteen is a bit young to be on the front lines of super-battles.

In the end, the school was promising to be much quieter next year than this one. Why did I just get a cold feeling down my spine at that comment? Cadre 4 was devastated. Only Lauren and Trance survived that fight. Lauren is moving to New York to join Cadre 5. Trance is going out west to Kansas City, saying that she wants to continue to study under Andrea Thomas, which is strange considering she's a native to New York City. Talon and Goth are the only survivors of NeoForce 1 and she will be leading the KC team. Glitch too has decided to join that team. What really surprised me was that Kenneth Draupnir too wanted to go to Kansas. The team has a lot of raw power, but surprisingly enough, no real physical heavy hitter. Still they're going to call themselves The Impact Squad.

Cadre Aleph is going to San Francisco and is calling themselves The Harbingers. Conrad keeps making jokes about the official team name being “The Harbingers of insert mad-lib.” They are really the only team that hasn't lost any members. However, the medical scans show that Webs is possibly undergoing some kind of secondary cold-burn. We all are wondering if it's in response to him eating that one werewolf from the inside out. I shudder to think about the repercussions of that.

Doctor Grace Lee Chapel New York City Headquarters

Let me get one thing clear, I'm here first and foremost for my kids. I'm here secondly to keep an eye on Robert Killpatrick. I don't like the idea that our school was infiltrated, and that I had worked alongside one of these “Primals” for almost a year without realizing it. I should have realized it- especially after that incident with Michael McAllister, but I didn't. There are six new neo-humans graves- not the least of which is Rebecca Alexander's- to remind me of the cost of failing to notice things. I won't make that mistake again.

Okay, where the team is being stationed is nice. It's in Manhattan overlooking the Northeast corner of Central Park where 5th Avenue and 110th Street meet, right on Frawley Circle. It's the Haven Building or as Killpatrick calls it, “The Haven”. Nobody is looking too closely at its construction, or how it got converted to our needs so quickly, but I suspect that not all of its construction was entirely Earth-based. But it's a good design, and I'm not about to blow the whistle on the man who pulled this team's fat out of the fire with the government.

It's been a big transition for all of us, and I'm not surprised that of all the teams, this one decided not to change its name. They are still calling themselves Cadre 5. Right now they've closed ranks even closer. Rebecca's death has hit everybody hard and if it weren't for the support he's getting from the team, I'd be more worried about Brian than I am. But the others are keeping him on a pretty even keel, giving him space when he needs it. Oddly enough, it's Rowan who's stepped up to take leadership of the team when it's needed, Sawyer much preferring to the be the team's tactician.

There was a lot of concern about Rowan's cousin there for a while. We didn't know if she'd been in the mansion when the aliens destroyed it. Fortunately, she wasn't. She'd been in Richmond- the official story was shopping, but since Heath Mattison was with her, it's understood that shopping was not the only thing happening. For now she's staying in a place she bought on the Potomac. She and Rowan have at least been talking about the estrangement between them. At the same time the romance between Heather Blake and Heath Mattison is continuing apace. Rowan on the other hand has been shopping around New York for a place of his own. I get the feeling that things still aren't completely resolved between them. Rowan adamantly insists that he will have a place of his own.

The team dynamics were changing again, but under the circumstances it was a good thing. Brian needed time to grieve, and he needed his friends to keep him from going off the deep end too. Duncan's not happy about Patrick and Tracy going to Kansas City, but I think for this team it's a good thing. Michael and Sawyer seem to have resolved some of their issues, but there is some tension between them and it seems to be centered around Kenna. Lauren on the other hand seems to be happy to be taken out of the chain of command for the team, and is more than willing to slide in with the group dynamics. I think that has a lot to do with how much time she spent with them in her off hours.

Haven has a huge support staff to handle the day to day operations of a six person team that has essentially replaced NeoForce 1. There is a director of operations, a director of personnel, a public relations officer, a director of security, a chief of technical operations, a small squad of lawyers and of course I'm in charge of both team medical and psychology. However, I'm not exactly sure that Killpatrick hasn't packed the staff here with off-worlders. There are a lot of blonds and redheads on the staff, and certain speech patterns that I keep catching.

Currently we were in the middle of a major staff meeting and it seemed to be quickly degenerating into the old guard- read as myself, Jim Waterford, and Tom Erikson- against the newbies. The only thing that was giving us any leverage was that for now Director Killpatrick was backing us up. “I wouldn't tinker too much with whatever arrangement the team has worked out for their sleeping patterns,” Tom was saying.

“Shadowclaw has already had problems with the press over his or her medical condition. If it gets out that she's sleeping with both Faerie and Ghost, it could become a public relations nightmare. Do their parents know?” Laurie Hampton, our PR guru was saying.

I sighed and leaned back saying, “Yes the parents- all three sets, or in Rowan's case the cousin- all know. I can't say that they are really as sanguine about the situation as they let on, but they also realize there's nothing they can really do about it- especially now.”

“We could always transfer them to separate teams,” Hampton said again, her dark eyes showing her incredulity.

“No,” Killpatrick said at the head of the table.

“But sir!” Hampton protested.

Killpatrick leveled an icy gaze at her, “No. The relationship between the three of them has developed over two years. I'm not about to break it up just because it makes your job more difficult. The three of them have been rather discrete, and I see no reason for them to change that now. We will not break up this team any more than it already is.”

“Yes, sir,” Hampton said with a tone indicated that she disagreed with what she saw would be the outcome. “I'm just saying that this is New York, not Bath, West Virginia. The press will eat them alive here.”

“It's your job to make sure that doesn't happen,” Killpatrick said. Leaning back he asked, “How's security looking Morgen?”

The short beefy red-headed man- one that I suspected was more than he appeared to be- smiled through his well trimmed beard and said, “It's adequate. The building's monitors are state of the art, and there are of course guards at every entrance. The bairns are na' goin' to be disturbed.” The Scots brogue didn't help to alleviate my suspicions.

“Are they going to avoid any more incursions into their actual quarters like happened back at their school?” Tom Erikson asked.

The red-head turned to face Tom and grinned, “Not on mah watch, Commander.” I noticed that many of the staff treated Tom with a bit of awe. He got far more respect than Jim or I did. “The fact that their quarters are fifty stories up helps a great deal with avoiding that.”

Tom nodded, but I could still see the concern in his eyes. Tom considered this move putting the children directly in the lions' den so to speak. New Yorkers were the more sophisticated urbanites that prided themselves on being more open minded- except when it came to people who disagreed with them. “Thank you, Mr. Cloud. I appreciate all you do to keep them safe. They've been through a lot lately.”

“Keep them safe?” Hampton asked. “These guys took down Fury. They killed the aliens who attacked DC. Somehow I don't see them being the ones needed to be kept safe,” Hampton said. Definitely not one of my suspects.

“They are still teenagers, Ms. Hampton,” Jim Waterford stepped in. “They are still growing and still learning where they fit into the world. Some of them have faced more loss than any teenager should have. Their privacy is very important to them, and should be to us as well.” Leave it to Jim to be the ultimate teacher, always looking out for his charges.

“Perhaps so, but they're in the big leagues now, Mr. Waterford,” Hampton said. “There are going to be press conferences, public appearances, and much more scrutiny than when they were in Podunk, USA. Privacy is going to be something they're not going get much of. Like it or not, Cadre 5 has become the face of the modern Neohuman. It's our job to mold that image into something the public will accept.”

I sighed, steepled my hands hands and leaned back in my chair. Killpatrick looked at me and asked, “Do you have some input on this discussion Doctor Chapel?”

“Trying to turn these guys into the Freedom League is going to be a mistake. They're good kids in their own right, but at the same time there are aspects of their personalities that are out of the mainstream. If you try to portray them as anything other than what they are, they're likely to shove it down your throat sideways,” I told them. “Jim's right. They are still teenagers, but they're also teenagers with some pretty strong personalities, and they're teenagers who've faced more, who've done more, and who've been conditioned to achieve more than anything Ms. Hampton is expecting. They won't embarrass themselves in public, but they aren't going to be your good little toys to parade around the city for public relations.”

“Please elaborate, Doctor Chapel,” Doctor Ford, the facility's Director of Technology asked. He was another that I suspected wasn't exactly what he said he was.

“I mean that these are the kids who will get the job done. They'll go above and beyond the call of duty to protect people around them and each other, but they're not going to be the big blue boy scout if you know what I mean. Each is a little different in their own way, and those differences will not always play to the concept of the All-American, apple pie, and baseball set.”

“Could you be more specific?” Ford asked again. I turned to look at Jim and Eric who both nodded to me.

With a sigh I said, “Okay first, there is the unconventional relationship between Kenna, Sawyer, and Rowan. It works for them, and they're very protective of each other and their privacy when it comes to it. They don't try to hide it, but they sure don't flaunt it. Second there is Kenna's religion- it has some undertones that if not understood correctly could be misconstrued as racist. Then there is the fact that Michael is Wiccan- although there is some indication that it may be simply him trying to shock his parents- I'm not sure. I know that he's closed ranks with the others since they rescued him in Huntington.”

“About that,” Hampton interrupted. “The DoJ is pushing for more information on what was going on there. The local police are stonewalling them.”

“And whatever they get will come through the local police. It was a local incident and there is no federal jurisdiction there,” Killpatrick told her.

“It doesn't help Cadre 5's image to not cooperate with the authorities,” Hampton protested.

“And they are cooperating with the local sheriff. You can ask him. It's his investigation, and he's refusing to turn it over to the Feds,” Killpatrick replied. Then looking at Hampton, he asked, “Is there anything that Doctor Chapel has told you that would create too many difficulties for you, Ms. Hampton?”

The dark haired woman shook her head and said, “No. Not really. I guess we won't be doing any Teeny-Bang interviews, but that's okay. We do need to talk about the new costumes though.”

“What about new costumes?” I asked.

“It would be a good idea to get them out of the Wyndgate uniform I think- let them have a little more freedom of expression in their costumes. Something to make them stand out, so people aren't trying to decide if that's Ghost, or Ace, or Boomer,” she said. “The tail and ears, and wings usually give Faerie and Shadow Claw away, and now Ice Storm stands out.”

“They'll be glad to be able to choose their own costumes,” Tom said. “Although I think Rowan really likes the Wyndgate costume.”

“Rowan only likes the Wyndgate costume because it doesn't get blown, or burnt off him so easily,” I said. “It's not the design, it's the material.”

“Well, the Technical Department has some new polymers our resident cat person can use in designing a new look,” Doctor Ford told us. “There should be no problems with self-expression.”

Tom turned to Hampton and asked, “How are the locals going to react to us being here?”

Hampton sighed and said, “There's already a group of the Occupy crowd camping out in the park across the street protesting Rowan as being part of the one percent. They're also calling for Boomer, Shadowclaw and Ghost to be charged with murder.”

“In other words, same shit, different day,” Tom replied. Then he turned to Hampton and said, “You know Ms. Hampton; a piece of advice from a sailor who's seen the world. You need to lose the attitude about people from outside New York. If you take it to these kids, you won't like the outcome. Just because they aren't from one of the five Burroughs doesn't mean they are neither bright nor sophisticated.” He stopped and smiled asking, “How many languages do you speak, Ms. Hampton?”

She gave him a sharp look and then asked, “Two, English and Spanish, but what has that got to do with anything?”

Tom smiled and said, “Every member of this team is fluent in English, and German, and have a more than survival command of Russian. Kenna speaks almost any language you can come up with, and Michael speaks Spanish and French on top of that.”

Jim piped in, “And next year, they've insisted on learning Welsh.”

“Welsh?” Cloud asked. “The only language where vowels are optional? Why in tarnation would they wanna' learn Welsh?”

“Can you speak Welsh?” Jim asked.

“Outside a bar?” Cloud asked him, “No.”

“And neither will most people they might face on a battlefield,” Tom told him.

Cloud looked at Tom, then Jim, and then me through his bushy red eyebrows and said with a dark smile. “You three are wicked. I like it.”

I couldn't help but smile back and say in my best Mary Poppins attitude, “I'm not wicked, I'm perfectly practical in every way.”

Ace aka Michael McAllister

Okay, our team leader has brass balls the size of cannon shot. I mean, man he told the President of the United States of America that if he wanted to draft us into the military that he should come and get us. Somebody upstairs must be looking out for him and us because he got away with it. By the time that guy Robert Killpatrick got finished there was a whole new organization for us neohumans.

Of course everything didn't exactly turn out hunky-dory. The funeral for Lady Lightning sucked big time, and not in the good way. Standing there at the service with Brian and the rest of my team was one of the hardest things I've ever done. The whole country was feeling the loss of the world's greatest super hero. Even the President was choosing his words carefully about the subject.

Mom and Dad were acting kind of funny. Neither of them were really that thrilled about us being part of a government organization now, but Mom was at least glad I was with Cadre 5. As she put it, “they went in and rescued you when everybody else was content to let you stay with those awful people. I may not agree with everything they say, but at least they care about you and I can respect that.”

Dad on the other hand simply said, “At least you're out of that back-woods school and where there's some culture.” I didn't feel like arguing with him and to be honest, I wasn't sure I wanted to and for some reason that idea bothered me.

I won't exactly say that Brian was out of it, but he wasn't on his game right now, and I can understand that completely. Oddly enough it was Rowan and not Sawyer who stepped up to handle the general operations for the team and she was good at it. I can't say she had Brian's force of personality, but she knew how to manage things and I could respect that- especially since she was obviously dealing with her own feelings of loss.

Sawyer on the other hand was doing what he always did: back up who ever was in charge and handle our tactics. It gave us all sense of continuity, even with the addition of Lauren and the loss of Tracy and Patrick. That one I still couldn't quite figure out. In a choice to move to either New York City or Kansas City they picked Kansas. The suite seemed a bit empty now.

The new base on the other hand was all kinds of awesomeness. It reminded me of something out of the comics. It's official name was The Haven Building but we all just called it Haven. The bottom half was like a giant four sided neo-modern cathedral with this huge tower of a building coming out of its top. There was no other building in all of the city quite like it, and it reminded me of something out of a dystopian future city.

Our digs were on the 50th and 51st floors. Each of us had a small suite of rooms off a main hall on the 51st floor. Each suite had an office, a sitting room, a bedroom and a full bath. At each end of the hall was a spiral staircase that led down to the main living area where there was a kitchen, a dining room, a media room, a main living area, a conference room, two bathrooms, and of course a classroom set up like the one we had back at Wyndgate. The floors below had a gym, and various training facilities that I wasn't sure weren't backed up with alien technology.

We sort of skated through the last part of the school year and spent the summer in the new facility getting our bearings in New York City. I sort of got the feeling that we weren't going be doing the regular school thing anymore. The way Mr. Waterford described the arrangement, it would be more like what they have with child actors. Classes and learning will be done between missions. On the other hand, there was now a healthy paycheck coming with our “service to the country.” It wasn't what a lot of those child actors got, but six figures in this economy was nothing to sneeze at. Of course since most of it went into an escrow account, that we couldn't touch until we were eighteen we only got to see a small piece of it. Still, it beat the heck out of the allowance I was getting from Mom and Dad.

Of course with the opening of the building that meant a closer relationship with the press. Doctor Blair had always kept the press at a safe distance- especially after what happened with Rowan. But that wasn't going to be the case with the team now. We were going to be doing good-will appearances, and that kind of thing. That meant the press was a lot closer, and that meant press conferences like this one.

We were in the main lobby of Haven and there was a small army of reporters and cameramen spread out at strategic points on a maroon carpeted island in the much larger marble floor. We were on a raised stage-like area and sitting behind a table that had the Cadre 5 logo on its front. This was our first attempt at this kind of thing, and Rowan was sitting in the center seat. We'd all decided that she'd be the best spokesperson at this time.

Mr. Waterford had given an address that explained that we would be a fast response team for the East Coast, that Talon's team, Impact Squad would handle the center of the country, and that Protea's team, the Harbingers would cover the West Coast. He then opened it up for questions and it went down hill from there.

The first reporter started off with a hard one, “Do you really think you can fill Lady Lightning's and the rest of Neo-Force 1's shoes?”

Rowan smiled and said, “Nobody can fill Lady Lightning's shoes. But we'll do our utmost to take care of the lives and property under our protection.”

“In all of her years as a hero, Lady Lightning never took a life. Three of your team killed people in the last battle you fought. Do you expect to inspire people with a reputation like that.?”

“Cadre 5 will always attempt to bring in the bad guys without loss of life. However, when the bad guys start killing our families, our teammates, or innocents, then the gloves come off. Those beings we fought in Washington killed five members of our team before we entered into killing combat. It was either them or us, and if we went down, then so would the city, and the President. We did what we had to do. If you have a problem with that, maybe you should re-examine your priorities,” Rowan said with a smile.

“So you don't think you should face murder charges for killing the aliens?” another reporter asked.

“If you can't delineate between murder and obvious self-defense and the defense of others, perhaps your judgment in other matters are also suspect,” Rowan said with a smile. Man, our cat-person was on a roll.

“Your membership has changed. There are rumors of dissent in your ranks that led to Speedfire and Lightwing going to Kansas City. Would you care to speculate on that?” another reporter asked.

Sawyer stepped in and said, “Speedfire and Lightwing informed Doctor Blair and Director Killpatrick that they'd prefer to be on the Kansas City team because it was closer to their homes in New Mexico. Beyond that, you will have to ask the gentlemen in question. We don't speculate on other people's thoughts.” Obviously the runt was protecting Rowan from an blow-back with her disagreement with Speedfire.

“Why the new costumes?” a reporter from Vixen asked.

“It was decided that we should be allowed a bit more self expression in our costumes- within the boundaries of good taste,” Rowan answered.

“Your costume doesn't seem to be that dramatic,” the reporter countered referring to the fact that Rowan's idea of a costume was a set of black leather capri-cut pants, a long-sleeved shirt, a black leather jacket and the team utility belt.

“It does its job. With these ears and tail, I don't really need a costume for people to know it's me,” she said. What she wasn't telling them was that all the materials were laced with some new high-tech polymer that would resist being burnt or blown off her. “My teammates chose to go with something more dramatic.” And boy was that the truth. Ghost was wearing white pants and boots, with a gray shirt and a light gray and white jacket. Boomer had gone for an all black body suit with black boots. Kenna was wearing this hot little blue and silver number that looked like it belonged on some fantasy babe, and Lauren was in a classic blue and white bodysuit. Me, it'd gone with a crimson and gray outfit that was open at the shoulders and the mid drift.

“The other cadres changed their name, why didn't you?” a reporter from Sawyer's least favorite network asked.

Before he could step in and answer with a smart-ass remark, I leaned in and said, “Hey, we've been known as Cadre 5 since you guys first started hounding us. Why mess with a good thing? Without it, some of you guys wouldn't know who to hate on.” That elicited low chuckle throughout the room. It really wasn't a bad experience, even though Lauren threw up after it. Our lives had changed as much as the world around us.

ICE STORM aka Lauren Rathbourne

This was way more than I was expecting. I thought I'd do another year of school, and then maybe, if our shadowing Neoforce- 1 had worked out, get assigned to that team. But this was not only not what I was expecting, but not what I wanted. Rebecca Alexander was the greatest hero we'd ever seen. Watching her die like that hit me hard. Watching my boyfriend- her only son- going berserk and ripping the head off her killer hit me even harder. I don't see how we can fill her, Gray's, or any of the other members of Neoforce- 1's shoes.

I'm beginning to get the feeling that we're going to have to though. There's still a storm coming and I'm not sure what it's about. Kenna keeps talking about those guys Cadre Aleph fought in the mall, the one everybody thought were angels. She seems to have a whole lot more insight into the aliens than any of the rest of us.

That was sort of the reason I was so quick to jump at this shopping trip. It was a chance for a girls' day out, and a chance to pick her brain a bit. Brian, Michael, and Sawyer were having their own version of it- heading over to Coney Island for the day. I think that it was their attempt to get Brian out of his funk, or at least to give him some sense of camaraderie. Rowan was in a meeting with the staff at Haven. Damn, for a sixteen year old, our resident cat-person knew how to organize things.

As we settled into our seats at Table 17 for lunch in the out door cafe on 53rd Street at the Modern Museum of Art after a morning of shopping and sightseeing, I noticed that she was getting a few stares. Then I realized that Kenna's antennae were floating above her head instead of being as she usually wore them, brushed back into her hair. The outline of her wings were barely visible along her upper arms. I raised an eyebrow at that and she said, “I think we've earned the right not to have to hide who we are.”

I smiled back as the waiter came and took our orders, “I'm not disagreeing. The question is whether or not the locals would agree.”

“I don't care what the locals agree to,” she said quietly.

I could tell that the waiter was a bit nervous by our presence. He smiled and introduced himself: Alexander and asked us for our ID. Kenna pulled hers from the smart purse she carried that matched her light blue sun dress- with butterflies no less. I handed mine over and he nodded.

“You ladies are aware that I am not permitted to serve you alcohol?” he asked.

I hadn't considered that. “Of course,” Kenna said. “I think we're just having lunch. I've heard that the food here is excellent.” Then the little pip-squeak went and ordered in French!

When the waiter left, I leaned over the table and whispered, “Show off.”

She just smiled again and said, “Are you just now figuring that out? If you have it, don't hide it. It's not a good idea to appear as less than you are?”

“And just what would that be?” another accented female voice asked from our side.

I turned to see two women standing there. Both were painfully beautiful and had raven black hair. The one who spoke had hers up in a bun with small tight ebony ringlets around her brow. She was wearing a white dress with a small owl pin at her shoulder. The other had long straight hair, and she wore a necklace that looked like a circle with two horns around its edges. It was this second who spoke again, “May we join you ladies? We have much to discuss.”

I saw Kenna's eyes grow large as she looked quickly around the cafe. Nobody else seemed to be noticing anything unusual. Her eyes darted down to the number on the table and she suddenly smiled. “Of course ladies. It would be our honor.” She gestured toward the two empty seats at the small table.

I could feel a sense of personal power from the two women wash over me. For some reason, I was less impressed with it than I felt I should be. The first one who spoke, the one with her hair in a bun said, “I think your friend doesn't recognize us.”

Kenna smiled and said, “Lauren these two women are evidently from our friends that sent us onto the battlefield.” She looked at each closely and said, “I believe I'll let you give your own names.”

The woman with straight black hair and the necklace said, “I am currently going by the name of Andrea, out of deference to a rather interesting fiction about me.”

“And you can call me Thena,” the other said. “Like Kenna said, we are not from around here.”

Alexander came up and got our new friends' orders and left. He seemed somewhat overwhelmed by our guests, but managed to get what he needed before he left. When he was gone, Kenna asked, “Would you like to tell us what this about?”

Thena sighed and leaned back in her chair. “Several things really. One is that we'd like the opportunity to meet you. Between you and your Cadre Aleph, you've done something that has shaken the Five Galaxies- not the least of which is to unite several empires into a unified front against the Host of Shadai.”

“We don't know anything about that,” Kenna said. “We simply defended our homes, and our country.”

“You've done far more than that,” Andrea said. I still couldn't figure out why I kept picturing her as my former Cadre 4 teacher. “You managed to kill several primals. No primal has met the final death in thousands of your years. The shock of that alone has caused the Ahau Empire to begin to crumble. Their death tore down the barriers between this world and the mystical one. You have returned the Talent Prime- what you call magic- to your world. That is something that the Host definitely did not want.”

“Is that the reason that we have a flock of harpies living Harlem?” I asked. That had caused a lot of consternation when we first moved into the Haven. It was considered bad form for a bunch of Caucasian kids to go into Harlem and beat up a bunch of black women- even if they did have wings and talons and were eating the locals.

Andrea chuckled, “It is the reason that all of the old races have returned. They are what they were made to be by our peoples. Their mystical potential has been unlocked.”

Thena said, “I think that the name that you have stuck them with is rather appropriate: bolters. My father is amused by it.”

“He would be,” Kenna said sarcastically. At the look Thena shot her in surprise, Kenna added, “We didn't name them. Some chick from Vixen News did.”

“Be that as it may,” Andrea cut in. “We have some concern about what to do about you.”

“Leave us alone,” Kenna said darkly.

“Most of us would be willing to do that,” Thena said. “Although, personally, I'm very interested in meeting this Sawyer of yours.”

“Why?” Kenna asked quickly as her antennae arced forward. Tiny lightning bolts arced between them.

“It's not everyday that I am outsmarted in tactics. I'm not sure if I want to have him as one of my own, or if I want to eliminate the competition,” she said with a smile.

“You get neither. He's mine,” Kenna replied. “I share him with only one other person.” Then with a smile she added, “Besides, aren't you supposed to be a virgin?”

The other woman blushed and Andrea broke in. “You are going to need to be taught how to handle what you are becoming. Several high nobles want to take you away for a few hundred years of instruction. It's a great honor.”

“Earth needs us,” I countered.

“Exactly,” Thena replied. “If we took you, then there would be nobody to stand between humanity and the wars that the Hosts are likely to start just to try and wipe out not only the neo-humans but the bolters as well. Shaddai does not like the Talent Prime. He went to a lot of trouble to build that wall separating it from Earth and you went and shattered it.”

“Then leave us alone,” Kenna said again.

“If we do, then the Hosts may eventually kill you. That's why we have given the Ljol you call Killpatrick such a free reign in these matters. He is going to have his hands full teaching you for the next several decades, I believe,” Andrea said.

“Killpatrick is busy hiding in his office,” I countered.

“Hiding? From whom?” Thena asked.

“Protea's grandmother. Evidently the two of them have some history,” Kenna replied.

“Interesting,” Thena said as Alexander arrived with our drinks. Coffee for me, sweet tea for Kenna, ouzo for Thena, and beer for Andrea.

“You said there were several reasons for the visit,” Kenna said. “Besides trying to
make off with one of my boyfriends, and to possibly take us away, what are the others?”

“Curiosity,” Andrea said. “My people have not been as involved as the Thena's and of course none as much as the Fyroar.”

“I'm assuming that those are the other so-called great powers out in the galaxy?” I asked.

“The Five Galaxies actually,” Andrea said. “But like I said, my people are just now coming to be involved.”

“Why?” Kenna asked.

“Why what?” Thena countered.

“Why are Andrea's people just now getting involved?”

Andrea sighed and said, “Because your actions have forced all of our peoples to stand up to an intergalactic bully. But to be honest, you were as manipulated as the rest of us. At the very core of this is a woman scorned.”

“What woman?” Kenna asked.

“The injustice done to her has been so great that even her name has become almost lost in the mists of time. Few have heard of Ashera,” Andrea said. Her face, her voice, and her body language all spoke of a great sympathy for this woman.

I noticed Kenna raise an eyebrow. “I thought Killpatrick's people were behind the Burst Out event.”

“He was,” Thena said. “But Ashera was the one who planted the idea into his head, who manipulated resources and events so that he would do it.”

“So all that we are is a result of some woman who was jilted,” Kenna asked.

“You know of whom I'm speaking?” Andrea asked.

“I know the story,” Kenna replied.

“No,” Thena said. “You are the result of your own actions. Killpatrick simply gave you the potential. What you did with it was up to you. Destroying the being you call Fury set your feet upon the path to what you are and what you are becoming.”

“What are we becoming?” I asked.

“Primals,” Kenna replied. “We are becoming like them.”

“And who was Ashera?” I asked again.

Kenna smiled at me and said, “Mrs. God.”

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Re: Cadre 5:

Post by Spectrum » Thu Sep 06, 2012 5:19 pm

Cobalt- blue,

I just finished up reading the uncensored version of the story.

That was good, that was damn good. There were a few places where my editor's eye (I need to give that back sometime) twitched, sometimes for a long time.. but I really enjoyed the storyline.

One thing I didn't get though and I am hoping that someone could clear it up for me- I pretty much completely missed understanding the metaplot that was going on. Sadly, I was mostly left with a consistent- 'huh?' and raced back to read the main neo storyline.

Thank you again,

PS: Is there another place for me to dive into story wise? Again, I really enjoy your writing style.

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Location: Russell, KY

Re: Cadre 5:

Post by cobalt-blue » Thu Sep 06, 2012 5:21 pm

My website got wiped out. however you can find all of my original fiction at:

I'm not sure what you mean about missing the metaplot though.

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Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2012 1:26 pm

Re: Cadre 5:

Post by Spectrum » Thu Sep 06, 2012 6:32 pm

I'm assuming that anyone that is to this point in the thread has read everything so far so SPOILERS.

I might have been lost in the foreign words per sentence issue..

Please let me know if I'm anywhere near correct.

Back at the beginning of time, 5 intersteller races seeded the Earth with human life in order to play their sand box games with genetics and magic. Back in the time of magic, we saw them as different pantheons of gods. Norse, Aztec, children of Abraham and ? There's also a race of aliens that nobody likes. The wife of the Abrahamic (sp?) god's wife visited Fitzpatrick and he allowed a wave of virus that released the first neos. For the Bush I, Clinton and Bush II presidencies didn't really react very much to them. Bush II did however put together the government run schools across the nation to house young neos. However, the Obama (later President Charisma) administration has really been overcompensating and laying down the law against neos, making life in general harder for them. Was he being influenced by any of the alien races?

Two big areas that I had some issues following the logic on:

1. Cadre 5 is big against being turned into weapons by the government (for good reason) and yet are okay with joining ROTC- so that they can be trained to be used as weapons by the government?

2. During the raid on the school by team Aleph (?, the 'freak' team) they were going to a psychic school, were warned be careful.. and yet took someone's word based on a password question? When the question could have been pulled from one of their minds?

Or am I just overthinking? I'm good at that.


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Re: Cadre 5:

Post by cobalt-blue » Thu Sep 06, 2012 6:49 pm

Actually, they were going to a NEO school, not a psychic school. Not likely that the password could be picked out of their minds- especially something that arcane.

As for the ROTC thing is that they weren't upset about being turned into weapons. They were upset about not being given a choice. Like Brian said, they were pushing him where he wanted to go and he had to stop and keep himself from being angry about that. Also, they decided on the ROTC thing because it was a chance to work from inside the system and to give an option of where they wanted to go. Sawyer and Kenna may not like the government, but they have a different view of the military- as do the rest of the team. That's mainly because of Commander Erikson.

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Re: Cadre 5:

Post by Spectrum » Fri Sep 07, 2012 3:03 am

Thanks for the quick reply.

Is my world history more or less accurate? I've been trying to line up history with some of the knowns, like the kids being 16 and being second generation which puts it back 3-4 election cycles.
cobalt-blue wrote:Actually, they were going to a NEO school, not a psychic school. Not likely that the password could be picked out of their minds- especially something that arcane.

Am I right in thinking that Kenna got her 8 year degree (in 4 years) there? I guess that is why I was thinking that it was a more specialized education.

That also brings up the question of what the limits of psionic abilities are. I was under the impression that ask about the email was similar to telling someone to not think about pink elephants.. chances are that the image will flash strongly for a moment before they try to suppress it.
cobalt-blue wrote:As for the ROTC thing is that they weren't upset about being turned into weapons. They were upset about not being given a choice. Like Brian said, they were pushing him where he wanted to go and he had to stop and keep himself from being angry about that. Also, they decided on the ROTC thing because it was a chance to work from inside the system and to give an option of where they wanted to go. Sawyer and Kenna may not like the government, but they have a different view of the military- as do the rest of the team. That's mainly because of Commander Erikson.
That makes that point of distinction that much more clear. It's more about being given a choice of how to use ability rather than being trained to use it. Thank you.

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Re: Cadre 5:

Post by cobalt-blue » Fri Sep 07, 2012 3:24 am

Actually, it begins in the first year of the Clinton Administration. The Danville school is NOT the Psi Corps School. That school is in Colorado. Danville is in upstate New York. It was an homage to the town that Lucy lived in in the Lucy Show. When Kenna graduated the Psi Corps academy she was sent to Danville which one of the government-ran neo schools for a few weeks- mainly because the government didn't want to send her home until she was eighteen. While at psi-corps she raised such a ruckus and caused so much disruption that they let her take the scholarship to Wyndgate.

While in Danville, she met the team they fought in the woods in KY.

As for the psionic threat, there was really no reason to suspect any psis at Danville.

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Re: Cadre 5:

Post by Spectrum » Mon May 27, 2013 1:10 pm

I just finished the first book of Cobalt's new Kindred novel series. Good stuff but *whiiiine* not long enough!

So when is the second book coming out? *begins to hold breath*

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Re: Cadre 5:

Post by cobalt-blue » Fri May 31, 2013 3:40 pm

For those who are interested, you can now get your very own copy of Year 1 for your Kindle. There are SOME changes, but most the major changes will show up in Year 2. It includes all 19 issue covers plus on internal illustration in a volume that is over 300 pages long. Check it out at: ... 893&sr=1-1

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Re: Cadre 5:

Post by Arkrite » Fri May 31, 2013 4:35 pm

And it's even for sale in the Canadian site. Nice!

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Re: Cadre 5:

Post by Spectrum » Sun Jun 02, 2013 8:18 am

Are you going with the ATT/ clean version or the unedited version?

It'd be great to have the entire collection for my kindle- including the stories that didn't get to here.

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Re: Cadre 5:

Post by cobalt-blue » Sun Jun 02, 2013 8:52 am

I'm going with a modified ATT clean version. I'm not sure how would feel about explicit sex scenes, so I implied that they were there and moved on. It trimmed 35 pages out of Chapter 8 but it was such a long chapter it didn't really matter.

I'm still struggling with what I'm going to do with Year 3. Part of me is wanting to set off a Civil War in the US, where the President declares martial law, relieves the military of it's commanders and uses the Civilian Security Forces, his own rogue psis, and some advanced tech to implement a Soviet Style regime. Another part wants to move to a more classic superhero story.

Anybody have any thoughts?

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Re: Cadre 5:

Post by gerbilattack » Sun Aug 11, 2013 6:26 pm

why not both?
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