“Steal it!” I didn’t like the sound of that. I was no crook. I wasn’t going to risk my life to be part of a heist. “I thought we were supposed to be saving lives, not lining our pockets! You told me we were saving the universe!”
“We are,” she said. I could feel Kink gripping tighter to me even through my suit, as if she was frightened I’d try to get away from her. I was nearly irritated to do it and that she knew that about me, made me even angrier. “If we take the Brane Cutter, then they won’t have it and they won’t be able to come into our universe. That sounds like saving the universe, doesn’t it? For all we know, taking the cutter will allow the universe to seal itself.”
“But on the downside, you’ll have it.”
“Have some faith, Frank.”
Kink’s face was already obscured by her helmet, but she turned away even more. “In all of us.”
“You mean like the Origin? The monster that when you snatched me from my time was about to kill me.”
“For him, that was a long time ago.”
“Well for me…”
Suddenly, Grow began to scream. He shrieked with pain. We all rushed to his side. “Are you all right?” I asked.
“Stand back, stand back,” Gra said, pushing everyone back, giving the fungus room. “Everything is fine.”
Kink shook her head. “He doesn’t look fine. He doesn’t sound fine. Can he even keep going?”
Gra gave the fungus a once over. I don’t know what he could tell. Grow was a fungus and as far as I could tell he looked like he always had. The only real difference was that he was on the back of an Invader, which only made it harder to tell since the Invader seemed to have parts that were sometimes and other time weren’t. But then again, maybe Gra was used to this sort of thing. Maybe he knew how to tell if a member of grow’s species was healthy or not. “It doesn’t matter,” Gra concluded. “We’ll carry him if we have to. We let nothing stop us!”
Gra began to lift up the Invader body and with the Origin’s help, he began to carry it. But we didn’t get very far before Grow shook his way lose. “What are you doing?” Gra demanded, but Grow didn’t answer. Instead, he threw himself at us. Kink pushed me out of the way and we both fell to the floor.
I was about to scream at him when I noticed the other Invader that appeared behind us. Grow had someone noticed it was there and was now busy grappling with it. It didn’t long for me to realize Grow was no match for it. He was already to weak to put up a fight. The Invader tossed him aside.
Gra stepped forward, slipping his hands into the floor. He began to shake the ground beneath the creature. Kink fired a laser from her gauntlet, but it didn’t seem to do much good. I searched my suit for my own weapons, but I couldn’t find any. Grow got back up and grabbed a hold of the Invader. Before the Invader could shake him off, the Origin stepped forward his hand free from the containment suit. Like a flash, his fist stretched forward smashing through the Invader’s skull. When he pulled his hand back, it was bubbling strangely. The Origin closed his containment suit, cutting the hand off. The hand fell to the floor, instantly liquifying. “Let’s move,” he said. “We’re running out of time.”
We continued down the hall until Kink’s wristlet beeped. “This is it,” she said. We stared at what appeared to be a very thin hole. “This would have been Pahf’s job. If he hadn’t been erased from time, that is. Origin, you think you can handle this?”
The creature raised his helmet. “What choice is there? It must be done. It will be done.” The Origin bent down as if to look through the hole. I watched as his face began to push forward from his head until it pressed up against the wall. It kept pushing and his face began to squeeze into the hole. Within minutes the Origin had smooshed himself inside. His containment suit smacked against the ground empty.
Suddenly, Grow let out a low growl. The three of us turned to look at him and I realized that it wasn’t Grow growling but the Invader. Grow, as I watched, disappeared from the Invaders back. The Invader, unpossessed, turned on us. Gra rushed forward to push the Invader back before the creature had a chance to pounce. “Do it!” he yelled. “Do it now!”
“Do what?” I asked.
“Sorry, Franky,” Kink said before pressing a button on her wristlet.
Suddenly, my helmet went dark. I couldn’t see anything! And my suit seized up! I couldn’t move! What was happening? What had she done? Then that old familiar pain came, the one I knew so well. I don’t know how she had done it, but Kink had turned my suit into a Quantum Unstable Chamber! She was changing me!
to be continued…