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Crisis In Infinite Plexes - Second Wave


Wraith reined in her horse.

“Why are we stopping?” Mags asked.

Some townsfolk had begun gathering at windows and doorways.

“And what's your plan?” Wraith asked her with a sneer. Marshal Wednesday Wraith was far from your typical lawbringer but she still didn't care much for bounty hunters. It was a matter of discipline, of dedication. But if Sugarcube had been friends with this one, well that counted for something.

Mags returned the look. “We ride straight on to Logollos ranch and settle up.”

Callan was studying the onlookers, trying to get a read... Were they nervous or relieved at the appearance of the ragtag posse? “I'm all for taking risks, but...” he said.

“But there's something more going on here,” Darius finished. The accounts of the duel that had lured Sugarcube's former companions to Omega Canyon, passed on by postal riders, cowboys and travelling salesmen, had all hinted at darker goings-on than a simple showdown.

“It'll take learning the truth to make this justice and not just vengeance,” Dexter said.

Mags shrugged, as if the latter was good enough for her. But she followed the group as they made for The Hanged Man Saloon.


The Dragon suddenly lurched, the lights on the bridge flickered. The Captain steadied herself and looked to her First Officer.

“Recommend attack posture,” Comm. Washington said, his tone grim.

“Lokk?” she asked, one last time, looking for an excuse. The Lieutenant was furiously studying the transmissions from the unknown vessel, trying to interpret them, to decode them, to find any hint that they were an attempt to communicate and not a sign of aggression. With every pulse, though, their ship was taking damage.

“Chief Angellus, configure power distribution for combat mode. Commander, begin backing us off, slow and steady, with evasive manoeuvres in queue.”

Lt. Cube's voice broke in over the speakers. “Captain, the Legacy ship just one-eightied. Full-speed in the opposite direction. I'd like to take credit but we were only teasing them with target-locks.”

Magenta frowned. “Give me a full-radius Metawave scan.” It would mean diverting computing power from analyzing the mysterious pulses but Lokk obeyed the order without hesitation. His eyes widened as his screen registered the sensor sweep – the target vessel, Cube's Hangman, Wraith's Reaper, the retreating Judgement-class ship... and an approaching fleet of Ether-type Exo battlecruisers.

Before he could relay the result his peripheral screens flickered with new data. Another incoming transmission from the vessel, three-times the intensity of the last one.


The Eye had eventually crashed but they had survived. The plan had worked. They crawled from the Gutter, out past Frontline, deep in the Wasteland, and saw the Demon portal.

The sky bright with falling stars. Toxic fumes swirling like dervishes. The earth itself heaving and crashing like the sea against cliffs. Orbs of green and yellow flame flickering then erupting.

At the centre of the frothing tumult, a hole of pure white, like a circular section of a painting had been scraped clean to reveal the canvas beneath.

Darius shouted over the howling, screaming winds. "Max, I'm having more of those visions! For a second we were all together again but we were superheroes! Could we be shifting again?"

Max stared at the chaos before them. There weren't any Demons, they had all marched to Haven. "I don't think so... Maybe it's a time distortion? Maybe the proximity to the portal is letting you see glimpses of our future?" He looked back to his friend, smiling. "Aw hell Darius, you know I don't really know what's going on most of the time! I just guess and try to sound clever!"

Darius smiled back. Wraith stepped between them; she was holding a jury-rigged device that they had salvaged from the Grid when they first hijacked the Eye. Wraith had been convinced that she could use it to send a signal to Haven, to let them know that the Dragons fought on, but so far she had been unsuccessful.

"Did you get it working?" Darius asked.

"I... I don't know," Wraith said. "It suddenly started receiving a transmission."


Now Aqua's headphones began making a strange scratching sound. Akimoto's voice getting lost in static, then a high-pitched whine. She took them off. Looked back and forth in the empty subway car.

Sometimes their car was attached to others, sometimes you could see other people in the attached cars, sometimes the windows were blurry. And sometimes, like now, there was only darkness outside the windows. Until they reached a station. Aqua hoped they reached one soon, she had to pee.

Maybe Max or Akimoto or Suki, or one of the others would be at the next station. It worked like that sometimes. She was wishing right now that she paid more attention to how things worked, but it was all pretty confusing, and she was young, and mostly she just liked the action and adventure of it all.

The door to the conductor's booth opened and Bishop's body slumped out onto the floor.