tagSci-Fi & FantasyCrystal Ch. 10

Crystal Ch. 10

byDarkMatter23©

*****Hi dear readers, this is DarkMatter23 again. For those of you who actually read my ramblings, I just have a few things to say. The first is that I really do appreciate you guys for reading my work and I hope I haven't disappointed any of you all. The second is that Crystal series will not be my only work. Right now, I have two stories that have a solid introduction and plot for each and two more stories that I'd like to get started on as well. You don't have to believe me right now, I'm still concentrating more on the Crystal series than writing them. Also, I'm going to start mentioning Max as Dark Matter soon since all the other heroes, heroines, villains, and villainesses basically have names that identify them. It will be a slow transition, but I'm doing this to remind everyone that the 'Dark Matter' the heroes saw in Chapter 7 was the conscious of Max's powers, as Commander Shinobay stated. So, I'm still adamant about what my readers are thinking, so post whatever questions, comments, and/or concerns and I'll answer them in the stories! DM23*****

*****

Heroes/Heroines
Commander Shinobay - Force fields, Eye vision
Osprey - Bird-like abilities
Ghost - Invisibility, Intangibility
Zipper - Enhanced Speed
Shell - Bulletproof, Enhanced strength
Jasper - Pyrokinetic, Flight
Max (Dark Matter) - Dark Matter Manipulation
Crystal - Cryokinetic
Hyper - Flight, Hyperbeams
Cherry - Teleporter, Martial artist
Dot - Cat-like abilities, Stealth
Dr. Walton - Multitasking

Villain/Villainess
Dictator Jones - Telepathy
EMP - Electricity, Magnetism, Soundwaves
Dr. Genie - Mad scientist specializing in splicing
Ruthless - Enhanced strength, Martial artist
Mistress - Telekinetic, Flight
Giggles - Invisibility
Pollen - Controls plant-like monsters


*****

Max was lost in thought as he entered the Meeting Room as Commander Shinobay had ordered. Instead of a sad and depressed face, he had more of a stoic face as he wondered where Pollen had taken Crystal. Taking his seat, he thought as hard as he could of all the places where Pollen would take her. As he thought, Shell, Zipper, Ghost, Osprey, and Jasper came in the room and took their respective seats as well. Finally, Commander Shinobay entered the room and took his seat at the head of the table.

"I don't think we need to discuss what happened last night," he started. "Seeing as how everyone knows or has an idea of what took place, I want to discuss what we don't know. First, we don't where Pollen is taking the girls, nor what she plans on doing with them. That being said, we are already behind in staging an ambush to retrieve each and every one of the girls. Second, we don't know if she has any other locations. Just one location would be very convenient for her if she needed to speak with a certain individual instead of meeting up at a random hideout. However, the possibility of that being the case is extremely small, if not nonexistent. The last and final thing I want to discuss is what gave you three fools the great idea to go out on dates without permission."

Three?! Max looked up in alarm as he looked Commander Shinobay. Even Jasper and Osprey was caught off guard as the words the commander said registered in their minds.

"Three?" Jasper repeated. "Commander, I know Ghost and Zipper were out on their dates with their girlfriends, but wasn't Shell sleeping? I mean, that was the reason why I ended up doing a double date with Max and Crystal."

"Why don't I let Shell tell you?" Commander Shinobay answered, gesturing to Shell. "Go on, Shell, tell everyone where Dot is?"

"Um . . . well . . . Dot and I went out without informing Commander Shinobay like Ghost and Zipper," Shell said.

"That's all you're going say?" the Commander said with an incredulous look on his face. "Fine, let me tell the whole story. Shell had changed the ringtone on his phone so that it would sound like it was ringing at first and then you'd hear him snoring. You then might talk to him and he'd wake up and speak with whoever was calling. In actuality, you were really supposed feel rude for catching him while he was sleeping and hang up. Now in your mind, he's in bed sleeping and getting a good night's rest. That's what I thought when I received the call from Ghost that Pollen was in the area. I sent out the alert for the heroes to come for the mission, yet only Osprey showed. Concerned, I went to Shell's room and knocked, then forcefully entered when I didn't receive an answer. Imagine my surprise when I find out that he wasn't in bed. The only thing that was there was his phone, which he left by accident. Now, Pollen has the entire team of heroines in her grasp."

"Including Cherry?!" Osprey stood up.

"Yes, her and Dr. Genie were taken most likely when they were looking Max, who was still Dark Matter at the time," Commander Shinobay informed. "What we need to know now is what Pollen plans on doing with them."

"She's most likely going for the president," Max thought out loud.

"As if that's possible," Jasper scoffed.

Angry, Max decided to defend his idea. "Well then, what would you do with a bunch of walking trees and insects in your control?" Max glared. "With that much power, plus the fact no one knows where you're going to attack, you definitely have the advantage."

"Well, the Government has already put the bases on high alert to watch for any peculiar sightings," the Commander said. "We'll be updated real soon about where she's located and then plan our next move then."

The moment he finished, the door slammed open as Cole stepped in. There was an anguished look in his face as he handed Commander Shinobay a sheet of paper and waited for his next orders. As he waited, he locked eyes with Max and sent glares full of daggers his way.

"So, there's good news and bad news," Commander Shinobay announced. He set the paper down and turned the table on. Stressfully, he searched for the Maps app on the table and selected it. Once pulled up, he zoomed in onto the state of Louisiana. "The good news is that Pollen has been located in Louisiana, approximately halfway between the cities Lafayette and Baton Rouge, both of which are located in Louisiana. It seems she set up a base in the Atchafalaya National Wildlife Refuge. Now, while it is a good thing the refuge is surrounded by military bases, the bad news is that Pollen made the first move and proceeded to attack them. The casualties are not given, but we expect the number to be between two to five hundred."

"Still think she's going for the president?" Jasper asked.

"She has insects, walking trees, and a lot of girls," Max reminded him. "What makes you think she wouldn't?"

"Well, if she's going after the president, wouldn't she have done it by now?" Ghost asked. "Like you said Max, she can control insects and walking trees. Even though she's capturing a bunch of females, which we still don't know why, why hasn't she sent the trees and insects after the president?"

"Or one of the heroines," Osprey inputted. Everyone looked at him in surprise when they heard what he said. "Hey, it's possible. Why waste good people when you can get them to work for you?"

"Okay," Commander Shinobay said slowly. "Let's take what Osprey said into account. As a matter of fact, instead of just the heroines, let's add the villainesses as well."

"Well, then now we know why there are gigantic insects flying around," Ghost realized.

At the same time, all the heroes said, "Dr. Genie."

"And not just the heroines and villainesses," Max added. "With all the females she's been kidnapping, there's bound to a good number of girls that has skills that Pollen can put use, besides the heroines and villainesses, of course."

"In any case, the unfortunate thing is that until we know more, we won't be able to make a move. This meeting is adjourned," Commander Shinobay concluded. "Shell, Ghost, and Zipper please stay behind so that we can discuss proper punishment for your actions."

Their gloomy faces were evident as they realized the Commander wasn't going to let them off with a warning while everyone else left the room. Max went to the elevator and pushed the button that went to the first floor and stepped inside . . . with a glaring Cole entering behind him.

"Well, well, well, look at how the mighty have fallen," Cole taunted.

"What do you want?" Max asked.

"Nothing. I'm just enjoying the satisfaction of knowing your best wasn't good enough to save Crystal," Cole sneered. "And just think how Crystal will feel when she sees you again. I have no doubt she'll be devastated that her 'boyfriend' couldn't stop a bunch of bugs and twigs from taking her away."

"Oh, and I'm sure she'll run right into your arms then," Max scoffed. "So, since you're so sure that you can do a much better job than I could, why not bring Crystal back? Of course, this is just a bunch of bugs and twigs."

"The future is undetermined until it happens," Cole said.

"You're right," Max agreed. Crossing his arms, he said, "Until you change Crystal's mind about me, shut the hell up about our relationship. I don't care about your perception of me. I don't care about your little fantasies of Crystal. But if you try and separate us, I might just let Crystal do what she was going to do earlier. Of course, that is if I don't feel the need to do it myself."

"Are you threatening me?" Cole smirked. "Trust me buddy, I've come across many threats so yours doesn't really scare me."

Honestly, threats don't scare Cole anymore. However, none of those doing the threatening looked how Max was looking right now. His eyes were completely black, like a painter had accidently colored his eyes black; the pupils couldn't even be seen. Black wisps was crawling from Max's feet, reaching out to touch something, anything; the ceiling, the walls, the floor, and soon, Cole.

"I don't think you were in close proximity of your aggressors though," Max said, slowly turning to Cole and getting in his face. "Let's get one thing clear: I don't like you. I tried to be friends and you refused it. I tried to help you out, but you've made yourself unlikable. My tolerance with you is at its limit. I will only say this once: Don't aggravate me."

The elevator opened and Max calmed down quickly before leaving for the cafeteria. 'Still no burgers,' he thought, sighing as he chose a spicy burrito from a Mexican kitchen.

"Hey Max!" Max heard Jasper call. "Come over and sit with us."

Surprisingly, against his better judgment, Max calmly went and sat opposite of Jasper, surrounded by all of his friends. Even Jasper had expected a resistance and for a moment, he was bit taken aback that Max chose to sit with him today.

"What is it?" Max asked.

"Just wanted to make sure you're okay," Jasper smiled warmly. "You know, not sulking or whatever."

"I'm not sulking, I'm thinking," Max said, more concentrating on his food than the people around him. For some reason, Jasper was confused at Max's calm behavior. Beforehand, he was all jittery. But now, Jasper could tell something was different about him.

"I'm just giving my condolences," Jasper assured him. "Especially since Crystal was taken before your very eyes."

Max wasn't fooled as Jasper tried to appease him. He knew Jasper's plan was to get him all riled up, make things physical between them, and most likely get him kicked off the upcoming rescue mission or make Crystal and/or Commander Shinobay think of him as an immature person. It didn't take a telepath to tell him that.

"I know Jasper," Max agreed. "I appreciate your concern regarding my well being."

"If there's anything I can do for you, just let me know," Jasper offered.

"Thanks, but no thanks," Max gently denied.

"Come on, Max," Jasper grinned. "What are friends for?"

"I don't know what gave you the idea of us being friends, or even acquaintances, but let me say it clearly," Max frowned. "We are not friends. Besides, why are you trying to be so caring anyway?"

"Because you're in the exact same predicament that Crystal was in when you were taken," Jasper informed. "She was sulking, locking herself in her room, and being rude to an agent or two."

"I'm pretty sure that agent was being an annoyance to her anyways," Max shrugged. "Regarding her sulking, she just saw the apparent death of a loved one. It'd be kind of hard not to sulk. And as for her locking herself in her room, she doesn't even know most of the people she's looking at, so there aren't a lot of people she could confide in like Hyper or even Commander Shinobay."

"Yeah but she didn't even speak to them," Jasper told him.

"I don't share my deepest feelings with the Commander either," Max replied.

"Well, I'm here for you if you need to talk," Jasper said.

"Then you better move because you're not hearing anything from me," Max chuckled.

"Can't you take his offer and beat it?" one of Jasper's friends said as he placed a firm grip on Max's shoulder. "Everyone here is sick of your disrespect."

Jasper grimaced. Throughout the whole conversation, he had been looking for a way to get under Max's skin and do some real damage, but Max calmness was offsetting him. It was when Peter put his hand on Max's shoulder that Jasper realized what Max's calmness actually was: suppressed anger. When Peter put his hand on Max's shoulder, Jasper cringed inwardly, like everyone else who knew why Max was calm, knowing that Peter made a bad move.

"Do you work out?" Max asked as he slowly turned to Peter.

"What's it to you?" Peter asked.

"I would surely hate to see something happen to an arm of fine quality such as yours," Max smirked.

"Touch me and you'll be out of here before the day is over," Peter growled.

"Is that supposed to scare me?" Max asked.

Peter felt something like a bunch of spider webs cover his arm, forcing his hand to release Max's shoulder and slowly rise against his will. As much as he fought, Peter couldn't stop his arm from straightening itself out and showing it off to Jasper's friends. Everyone could see that his arm was coated in a ghostly, dark black substance that reached all the way to his own shoulder. A few seconds later, his arm was forcefully twisted behind his back, causing him to lean forward in his food to lessen the pain. However, his arm was twisted even further, making Peter yell out in pain. Now having the entire cafeteria's attention, Peter automatically felt the pain subside as the black substance dissipated.

"Don't think of me as an enemy," Max told him. "Consider me more of a mentor, reminding whoever forgot about the importance of personal space. Today, you were reminded to keep your hands to yourself and the consequences for not doing so."

Finished with his meal, Max dumped his trash and left the cafeteria full of whispers. Embarrassed, Peter fixed himself and went back to eating, not looking anyone, especially Jasper, in the eye.

*****

Max stood in front of the bathroom mirror, staring at himself and looking for something, anything, out of the ordinary. Even though he didn't anything, he knew something strange was taking place. Twice, in one day as a matter of fact, he used his abilities to his advantage, harming fellow agents that were straining his patience. As much as they needed it, it's creates a negative reflection on heroes in generally, and Max was not going to start, or help, make one.

"All heroes, report to the Meeting Room in uniform," Max heard from the box containing his body suit. He rushed over and opened it up, bringing the microphone piece to his ear. "All heroes, report to the Meeting Room in uniform."

Max had no doubt that Commander Shinobay found some good news regarding Crystal and the other heroines'. He immediately dressed in his uniform, knowing that the girls were most likely in a tough situation and needed to be rescued. He took that thought with him all to the Meeting Room, expecting the Commander to give them the good news with a pleasant attitude. But instead of a pleasant attitude, Max saw the Commander face palm himself and groaning in misery as he watched something on his laptop.

"Commander, what happened?" Osprey asked as he and the rest of the heroes filed in behind Max.

"Take a good look for yourself," Commander Shinobay grumbled.

He pushed a button on his laptop and the video he was watching came up on the table as the heroes gathered around. The video was dark at first, but then brightened instantly as a light shown from both sides of the video. The camera was situated on a tall structure with an alarm near it that was going off as multiple yelling could be heard throughout the area. As the heroes watched, they saw Pollen's large insects crawling or flying towards the camera. Plenty of the bugs were killed from thick bullets that were shot out of the camera's perception and the heroes suddenly realized what they were looking at: Pollen's attack on a military base.

When it became apparent that the bugs weren't going to make it through, Pollen sent the man-trees in next to fight. While the tree bark was tougher to break, the man-trees still went down, coming just short of the military base. The heroes, except for Commander Shinobay, automatically cheered and hi-fived each other over the military's second victory. Even the military personnel were cheering as they beat another of Pollen's wave.

However, that wasn't the end. Without warning, man-trees and insects came storming at the base much faster than before. Also, to their surprise, Pollen's kidnapped females were riding the backs of the man-trees and insects. The military immediately began firing to prevent the advancing army and brought some of the man-trees and insects down. Also, some of the man-trees that weren't brought down walked right into the minefield. However, they were for single use and no longer beneficial after they were all detonated.

Losing ground, the military defiantly stood against the extensive attack. Unable to look away, the heroes watched the first man-tree to cross into the military base followed by five more before the first one could be brought down. Tanks and jets immediately came into play but the insects forced the aircrafts to crash and ripped the tanks to shreds. But the military still had more where those came from and were soon blasting the bugs and man-trees to pieces. Fortunately, the girls had already been set down before the military opened fire on the 'real' enemy.

And that's when the heroes saw it. A jet flying after a bug was suddenly hit with a white projectile, causing it to explode and crash into a tank below. A moment later, explosives were seen on the military's side where there weren't any man-trees or bugs around. Right after that, the earth cracked and water was seen blasting from where the explosions happened, immediately freezing any nearby soldiers.

And even while the sudden attacks took place, the camera went dark for a moment as something, or someone, moved over it. Glass was suddenly broken as growling was heard; a soldier cursed and then the screaming started. During the commotion, the camera was hit and went out, ending the video.

"What you just watched was a video from the Army National Guard, located in Louisiana," Commander Shinobay announced. "It was the last military base to be taken by Pollen and her army. We already know most of the female soldiers were taken captive and that most male soldiers were killed. Weapons were taken no doubt, as well as any information about the other military bases across the southern United States."

"Um, Commander," Zipper said.

"And yes, before anyone says anything, we did just see Hyper, Cherry, Crystal, and Dot in action, fighting on Pollen's side," the Commander finished, ignoring Zipper. "The Government wants action taken against Pollen's forces and they want it resolved immediately. That being said, we are being sent out with the military like before and taking Pollen's current known headquarters: the Atchafalaya National Wildlife Refuge."

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