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The Morning of January 15, 2013 The Wonderbus roared through the skies of the Northern Hemisphere almost impossibly fast, the extra-dimensional construction of the craft shunting away the excess heat energy from its hypersonic flight enough to keep it undetectable in the air. They were flying thousands of miles, but the fantastic speed of their craft would get them there in less than an hour. Trying to keep his mind off the crisis of Erde-Tronik, the bioweapons, and the advanced plasma weapon that had nearly killed them all, Sharl had pulled up situation monitors from the computer inside the Bus, trying to keep track of what they'd left behind. "The good news is, the chaos seems to be limited to Freedom City, so it must be something there...I don't know, that bomb was extra-terrestrial, but I didn't recognize the maker. Maybe it's something with the Grue again." At least what they hoped to do with the Sanctum was easy enough. "I'll connect Erde-Tronik to the power supply there and keep it safe until Miss A and I can get it protected. As for the bioweapons, we can just drop them in one of the stasis fields there. It's not a long-term solution, but it'll last long enough for us to keep things safe. We-" A distant beeping interrupted Sharl. "That's the proximity alarm. Maybe there's somebody from the League there already." He tapped a few buttons on the bank of monitors they were all sitting around, the black and white screens looking as much like something from a 60s sci-fi TV show as the high-tech pieces of super-science they were. "I don't understand, there's something on top of..." The great grey vessel squatted over the Sanctum like an anteater scooping out ants, tentacles rising from its lower half scooping away huge chunks of ice even as they watched. The three eyes and slight horn at the rear echoed the face of the Gorgon, but Sharl knew that face well enough from his studies and his nightmares. He saw the details in an instant; the great digitizing towers driven into the icy Arctic landscape like tent spikes the size of buildings, the glowing red 'eyes' that bespoke an active subspace connection across the galaxy, and worst of all, much, much worse, were the smaller tentacles already buried in the exposed roof of the Centurion's Sanctum. His eyes wide with horror, Citizen managed to form the words: "It's the Curator."
When the battle was done and the commandos defeated, Citizen floated out of the warehouse with his precious cargo tucked beneath one arm. "I've got it, guys!" He had both the truncated Erde-Tronik drive and the gold boxy storage medium from Earth-Prime in the same big black case. It would be up to he and Gina over the next few months, (probably as what would incidentally count as his graduation project) to integrate the Troniks together successfully but for now the backup was complete and the City of the Future (as he still sometimes thought of it, the very old motto that Tronik had kept even after the Exodus) was safe from the National Socialists. Assuming they got out there in time! "Wow!" He wasn't so focused as to not be impressed when he saw the battle with his own eyes; the smoking helicopters, the fleeing commando, the crack Nazi strike team that Young Freedom had taken apart with all of the skill and power of a master artist painting a portrait. "Nice, you guys," he said with a grin before disappearing into the Wonder Bus. "Now let me get the systems in here rebooted..." As the lights inside the Bus came back on, the other machines came out, Rogue in the lead in a humanoid body that looked like a human woman cast in the featureless nude, like something from a German Expressionist movie. With no explanation for the new shape, she cast her gaze from the scene of the battle to the heroes, back and forth, and for the first time seemed almost uncertain. "You did this. All of this, when you could have taken your Sharl and that city and..." She opened and closed mechanical hands before saying, decisively, "All right. All right, maybe you're right. Maybe there is another way to prosecute our war against the National Socialists." The group of robots behind her, which did not include her Sharl (who was in that system his counterpart was carrying) startled at that, but Rogue pressed on. "If you can fight the Nazis like this, teach them _fear_ without destroying them all, maybe we can try it ourselves. At least once, anyway. But you'd better take the Ragnorak with you. If we're not going to prune the humans back, it'll just look bad if we have it in our possession."
January 2013 Outside Heesterstadt (formerly Branson), Missouri It was raining when the Wonderbus arrived, a thick, icy-cold storm of freezing rain that would have surely been a blizzard had the weather been any warmer. Warm and insulated through the dimensional craft was, it wasn't hard to feel the chill outside. The bus had folded its way through space and time to come rumbling out onto a deserted stretch of concrete road by a grim, grey lake that might possibly have been more attractive in the spring. As it was, the whole world was grey and brown: the city across the lake, what was Branson on another world, was almost lost beneath the heavy fog which swaddled the area. Shifting his clothing over to the bland, servile pattern his counterpart had worn, Sharl peered through the front windows, just able to make out tall concrete towers and a massive, hovering flag projected against the clouds from the city below like a massive old-style holographic billboard. It was grim. "Everybody get changed," he said, calling back to the passenger compartment as he reached down to turn on the conventional gasoline engine. "The Tronik base is about five miles up this road! We're turning around..." He muttered a bad word in Lor, trying to remember how to work these stupid controls. With all the worries about fighting Nazis and transdimensional technology, maybe he hadn't paid enough attention to how to drive a stupid four-wheeled, rubber-tired bus! Why can't they just use antigravs like civilized people?
July 2012 Freedom City was an especially alien place in the summertime, given that Citizen had come here from one of his too-few visits back home. The heat poured off the naked alien sky overhead in a hot, moist blanket of humidity, the bizarre scents of humanity en masse rising from above the streets as he wafted his way through the sky towards Claremont Academy. Citizen had been in contact with Miss Americana since his departure, of course, as well as sending emails to his friends, but this was the first time he'd been back on Claremont's campus since his departure at the end of the formal school year. It was also the first time he'd brought his friend. "Hey, come here, Lora!" called Sharl, snapping his fingers towards the sky and bringing forth his dog! Lora was a black and brown canine from the German Shepard breed, an alien creature who'd had to board with a programmed sitter at Miss A's placewhile he visited a city where such creatures would have been an alien menace. But here on the streets of Freedom City, Lora was just another dog. It had taken some work to bond with the creature, but she was a nice doggie. Gina had made her well. Lora jumped up and licked her young master's face for a moment, making him sputter and reset his glasses, before he affectionately scratched behind her ears and went to look for his friends, cyber-dog in tow. Lora's holographic paws skittered lightly as he headed up the steps into the dorm building that he and Koshiro had shared.