Part 5

Earth Takes a Stand

Chapter Five: Assault on the Physics Lab

by Anonymous

Aurora came back to Hawaii unsure of what to think of the self-proclaimed immigration officer. He obviously had Earth's best intentions in mind, but then again so did she, and they conflicted with each other. He was powerful, there was no contesting that fact, but he'd only been actually hit once so it was hard to gauge just how tough he was. He had a level of technology that no civilian should have access to, but he didn't seem to be working for any government.

Aurora was certain that if he had the chance, he'd be kicking Arion butt all over the place too, but as it stood the Arions generally used guile and under-the-surface conspiracy rather than outright battle, so they were much harder to find than she was. Still, he had been extremely effective against the Arion back at the studio... but that could have been because he underestimated the man in armor.

That was one more paradox about him. He obviously was a man in the armor, but he took pains not to show it. When he was out there, doing what it is he did, he was no longer a human being, rather a machine. A machine with only one purpose and she didn't much like it.

Maybe, Aurora thought, she should try to reason with him. Maybe he could be swayed to her side. "Heh, my side. Right now my side consists of me, Laura, Chris, and a military Black Ops division with a few weapons. And we're supposed to stop an Arion invation. We really could use all the help we can get."


Back at the house, Chris and Laura were worried sick. "We saw you on TV, in the studio! Did you stick around? Did you see what he could do? That Arion Prime didn't have a clue what was comming until it was too late!"

"I saw the whole thing, Chris," Farichild replied. "He's strong, yes, but confused. He doesn't know the whole story. I was just thinking. He's on our side, he just doesn't know it yet."


"Well, he's trying to eliminate what he sees as an alien menace to the planet. He's trying to save hundreds of lives. That's what we're doing, isn't it? He just doesn't see us as the 'good guys,' and I can actually see that from his point of view."


"Let me finish. If we can talk to him, get him to see things our way, tell him about the Arions like I was going to the first time I saw him..."

Chris and Laura exchanged a brief glance. Chris spoke first. "Hold it, pause, cease fire, stop... you mean you met him already?"

Fairchild realized that even though it was hours ago, she hadn't been in contact with Chris or Laura since she met the armored one. "Oh, right! I haven't spoken to you since then, have I? While we were out looking for him, I actually found him. Well, he found me. We faced off in the street for a few minutes, he told me I had 24 hours to leave the planet or else. And in no uncertain terms. He shot at me, I hit him back, and it was over. He was okay, but flew off as soon as he picked himself up. He's tough, I didn't expect him to be able to get up after I hit him.

"Anyway, I helped clean up the place after the fight, and then I was ready to come back here when I found out he'd be on a talk show. So I vamped some poor guy out of his seat and saw the whole thing after the crowd left. I can't belive he nearly started a riot!"

Chris looked even more confused. "You couldn't have seen him when we went out, I saw him. He hit Laura from behind when she was fighting another one of those walking cars, Laura, show her your burn."

Laura took off her shirt, exposing her perfectly formed breasts to the room. Her tiny waist looked so out of proportion to them, but somehow incredibly sexy as well. Chris couldn't help but admire her again. When she turned around, Fairchild gasped.

"Wow, that must hurt! What did that to you?"

Laura replied, "I don't know, like Chris said, I was hit from behind. I never even saw the guy. Look, I'm getting tired of calling him 'the guy in the armor.' Let's just call him Bob or something. Anyway, I was looking around the scrap metal yards like we agreed, and I came across another one of those walking cars."

"Wait, there are three?"

"No no no, this is the same one Chris mentioned. There are only two as far as we know. Anyway, it let out that roar, and started shooting at me. Damn that hurts! But then I got hit from behind with something and lost it for a second, then it stepped on me and I blacked out. Chris, that's when you came in."

Chris continued. "Right, I found 'Bob' doing something to Laura, and later we found a kind of rash on her breast. As soon as he saw me, he told the car to attack me too, and then took off in a big hurry. I don't know where he went, but apparently it was more important than helping the car kill me.

"Anyway, as soon as it started to roar, I ducked behind some scrap. I managed to get around behind it and destroyed it with a peice of I-beam." He smirked at Laura. "Never even touched me.

"The thing that gets me is, the car didn't even seem to pay attention to me until 'Bob' told it specifically to attack. He wasn't even there when it attacked you two, or you would have noticed him."

Fairchild thought about the whole situation for a minute. "Okay, so there might be two of him, or maybe he got some kind of signal from the car that said it was attacking Laura and he flew over. I don't think there are two of him. That armor probably costs a fortune.
"But man, did we go off on a tangent there. I was saying we might be able to get him to join us if we explain the whole thing to him, tell him about the Arions, how we need as much help as we can get. See if he'll listen to reason."

"Maybe, maybe not." Laura looked concerned. Her back still hurt, and most of what was going on didn't make any sense yet. "We'd better be ready for him to reject our offer."

"By the way, Chris, how did you wind up at the scrap yard if you were going to check out the particle physics lab?" Fairchild thought she'd get one more thing cleared up.

"Well, I didn't find out anything useful there, except that there were some personal projects going on that the guy I talked to wasn't at liberty to tell me about. I think the whole thing could come together if we found out about what was going on there."


A day later...
From a private yacht a few miles Northeast of Los Angeles, a half-drunken host points out what seems to be a very small plane, very high in the clear blue sky. A few on board comment on how fast it seems to be moving, far too fast for small aircraft. At least the speed of sound. A few minutes and a sonic boom later, it is too far away to see. Moments later two explosions follow from the direction it was headed, but again, it is to far away to see. One more UFO sighting goes unacounted for.


The armored figure, recently christened "Bob" by Laura for lack of a better name, streaked across the midday sky far offshore from Los Angeles. At Mach 1.5, the engines cut, and were silent for a moment. Then the ramjets kicked in, quickly accelerating him to Mach 2, then 2.5, finally reaching a top speed of just under Mach 3.

Bob was pleased with his design. The armor's wings were a work of genius if he did say so himself, and he did. The armor didn't have room for large, clunky engines so they were built flat up against the wing. The same nuclear power that provided electricity for the suit was vented through the engines to provide thrust for a short period of time, and then the ramjets kicked in. The ramjets were actually inside of the wings, so they remained out of the way just like the main engines. Today's test was to see just how fast those ramjets could get him moving. He was pleased.

Inside of the helmet was a large screen which relayed all sorts of useful information to the pilot. Normal camera view, thermal view, ammunition remaining, nuclear battery charge, and a host of other gadgets and options were available at a glance. Currently, the screen read WARNING: RADAR LOCK ESTABLISHED.

Glancing behind him, Bob saw what looked like a heavily modified F-14 fighter following him. Most significant was that it only had one pilot. Still unaccustomed to things that come naturally to real super-powered beings such as the Velorians, he had forgotten that traveling faster than the speed of sound meant that he could not hear anything that might be following him. Judging by the fact that he now had a radar lock on him, he decided that the jet was hostile and had been following him for a good while.

Bob turned a sharp barrel roll and avoided a barrage of .20 caliber slugs fired from the F-14's chaingun. His radio was in perfect working order, which meant that the pilot had no intention of talking to him, threatening him, or otherwise offering some way to avoid conflict. This was no military plane, he decided. The only other group with enough money to attack him with jets would be the Arions.


Bacstin was an Arion Beta under the command of Garritan. Frankly, she was glad the fool was dead. Bacstin was doing quite well for herself, considering her Beta heritage. She was assigned to Earth, she was a pilot, and she wasn't dead yet. Life was pretty cheap if you were an Arion Beta. The Primes were mostly a bunch of arrogant shitheads, although she would never say so out loud, especially Garritan. She never liked Garritan, no one subordinate to him did. It wasn't that he was a bad leader, it was just that he didn't do anything. He just showed up at the right times in the right places, was buddy-buddy with his superiors, and got promoted faster than anyone ever should have been.

Bacstin would rather be thanking Bob than firing missiles at him, but that was what she was assigned to do. To refuse meant death. Briefly, she wondered if she should open her radio channels to thank him anyway, but decided she didn't want to risk being overheard.

Bacstin had a radar lock on Bob for a bit now, and saw that he was too maneuverable for the chaingun. "Nothing to do now but launch missiles." She held her breath as she pulled the trigger, sending a Sidewinder streaking toward the figure in front of her.

She let out that breath almost all at once as she saw a bright red laser stream out from his wrist, slicing through the missile's head. The delicate electronics inside were fused, melted, and/or sliced to the point of uselessness, and the missile continued forward unguided and destined never to explode. Splashdown occurred some time later when it ran out of fuel, and it sank to the bottom of the Pacific.


Meanwhile, Bob had been studying the craft following him. He knew practically nothing about military aircraft, but he knew mechanical design better than most other people on the planet. He could see that the jet was sturdy but sluggish from it's build. It was more or less a flying missile rack. Of course, its top speed couldn't possibly be determined so he didn't know if he could outrun it. His best bet would be to try to outmaneuver it, but destroying it was another problem.

While it was true that he had a number of powerful weapons, they were small. His laser was no more than a quarter inch in diameter, for example. It would take too long to cut a significant portion off of the jet with it. A physical assault might be more effective.


Bacstin let another barrage of chaingun fire fly just in time to see Bob pull into a sharp climb and a left turn. She attempted to follow, but her bulky jet simply couldn't turn that quickly. Then, she lost him in the sun. That was okay, she still had her radar, and according to said instrument, Bob was 15 feet directly above her.

Bacstin glanced up to see the claws of the armor launch from the arms, trailing a cable each. Two loud clanks sounded as the steely claws bit into the fuselage of the plane, and Bob began to reel himself in. Panicking, Bacstin tried in vain to pull away by kicking in the afterburners, but the claws held fast. Bob was on top of the plane now, slowly clawing his way toward the canopy. Bacstin had no idea what to do, this was not covered in dogfight training! The afterburners didn't shake him off, she tried barrel rolls, steep dives, loops, nothing could loosen his grip.

Despite her best efforts, Bob had reached the cockpit. With one smooth motion, he tore the canopy off, sending metal and glass shrapnel flying into the nearly Mach speed winds. Bacstin's pressurized pilot suit inflated to protect her from the high altitude as the cockpit depressurized and the roar of the wind nearly deafened her. Without her mask she would never have been able to breathe. She turned toward him as well as she could while strapped into her chair, drew her pistol, and unloaded the clip into the armor in vain. Her options exhausted, she ejected several miles offshore, over the Pacific ocean.

After her parachute opened, she saw Bob climb down the side of the plane and slice one of the missiles off with his laser. Cradling it in one arm, he tore off a piece of the fuselage and threw it into the engine. The engine burst into flame as it was rendered useless, and the unbalanced power from the other engine sent the plane spiraling into the ocean below. Bob circled overhead to watch his handiwork, then flew off with his prize.

And then Bacstin was alone. She would stay afloat surely enough, but had no food or fresh water. Plus the danger of sharks. For two miles in every direction she saw nothing but calm ocean. She wondered what it would be like to get caught in a storm with her head not more than a foot over the water.


High above the Earth in an orbiting Arion controlled base, a darkly cloaked figure was not amused. This was two soldiers he had lost to this Terran. Such losses to a Velorian were acceptable, but to a mere Terran they were unthinkable. This would not look good to his superiors, the Arions. It was time he swallowed his pride, and stopped underestimating his opponents.


The following afternoon, Aurora was back in L.A. She couldn't let a little armor-clad extremist scare her off; after all, lots of people were trying to kill her. She was almost used to it by now.

She'd heard rumors of Arion activity somewhere near the outskirts of L.A. A few Kintzi warriors and an Arion Prime or two were apparently planning something big, and she had to see that it never went into effect. Unfortunately, she was delayed a bit in mid-flight by a small floating orb that went click.

"Not you again!" She recognized it immediately as one of the scrap-metal machines that Bob had working for him. Still floating a few hundred feet in the air, she found herself yelling at it. "Can't you see that I have work to do on your planet?" She still wasn't sure if the orbs relayed what she was saying to Bob or not, but it was a good way to vent frustration. "Look, I'm going to check out a report of some Kintzi warriors around here, and I can't get into a fight with you. I'm busy!"


"And stop that damn clicking! If I wasn't here the Arions would sweep over the planet and claim it as their own. Is that what you want?"


"That's it, get over here you little..." Aurora made a swing at the orb but it ducked out of the way. It zipped away at about a 90 degree angle from where she was headed. Ever a slave to her emotions, Aurora followed it.

The last time Aurora had tried to follow one of the orbs, she almost lost it because it used the city buildings as a maze, ducking and weaving. This time, however, there was nothing but open air and countryside between the two of them. She quickly caught up to it, and, still flying absentmindedly forward, crushed it into a small metal cube.

Just as Aurora was about to head back to try to find the Kintzi, she heard a very familiar booming loudspeaker. "Aurora, I know you were in the studio when I was fighting that alien. What were you doing? Hoping he would kill me I suppose. I thought you were mortal enemies with the Arions. Or is that one of your lies?"

Aurora turned and, just as expected, saw the armored figure of Bob flying toward her. Wings spread wide with twin blue jets streaking out from behind him, thick claws at the end of his three-fingered hands and glaring at her with deeply slanted eyes, he looked like some kind of demon from Hell sent to destroy her. "I just wanted to know what you can do. That's what this is all about, isn't it? What I can do, what you can do to stop me? That's the one big advantage you have, you know me but I don't know you."

Bob began to circle her as he flew, unable to hover as she could. "You know I have enough power to kill you. I was able to kill that Arion. If you don't back down now, I'll use every ounce of power in this suit to destroy you."

He was deadly serious. His tone, his body language, everything about him backed up what he said. And this time, on the outskirts of L.A., there was no crowd of people either of them had to worry about hurting. There would be no shattered convenience store wall to clean up afterward. It was between her and the armor. "I've killed Arions too you know. I've vaporized your little orbs with my heat vision. I destroyed one of your cute walking cars. I threw you through a convenience store with a single punch. Your machine gun didn't even bruise me. I don't think you realize what you're up against, buddy!" To illustrate her point, Aurora flexed her powerful muscles, bringing her slender arms to massive, incredibly cut and toned proportions.

"I'm up against an alien FREAK, a being so powerful it sees itself as some kind of god walking among the weak and frail! Human beings are no longer going to be cannon fodder in your personal little war, Aurora! Today I make my stand!!"

Aurora twisted out of the way just in time to avoid a hail of machine gun fire. The two were still high in the air, but Bob had finished his circling and was now in full-fledged attack! He grabbed her around the waist at an odd angle because of the twisting she had just done, and before she could get her bearings back he had bodyslammed her into the hard earth below them. At the speeds they were traveling, she dug a trench in the ground with her back 20 feet long and 3 feet at it's deepest point.

"Get off of me!" Aurora threw the Terran several feet in the air, and he landed sprawled a good distance away. She was caught by surprise how heavy the armor was, while three tons was practically nothing to a Velorian, eight feet of hollow metal shouldn't weigh that much.

They both stood up simultaneously, Bob folding his wings back to save himself some room to move more easily. The circled like two wrestlers, each looking for an opening. Finally, Aurora lunged forward and they locked hand-to-claw in a contest of sheer strength.

At first, Aurora seemed to have the upper hand as she heard gears and hydraulics whining under the strain. Her entire body exploded into enourmous steely muscles as she threw everything she had into her effort. Bob's feet dug furrows in the ground as he was forced backwards by her strength backed up by her flying power. His metallic arms were slowly being forced back by her massive Velorian arms, even though the armor was significantly taller than she was.

Aurora was awestruck. She should have been crushing the metallic arms under her grip, forcing the armor backward and onto the ground. She should have been easily winning this contest but instead she was only slowly gaining ground, even though she was applying her full might! "How the hell are you still standing?"

"Impressed? I thought you would be." His voice was calm, not strained in the least. After all, it was the armor doing the work. "You've probably never had to deal with Terran technology like this before. No one has. This is by far the strongest metal on the planet, it was designed for fusion reactions. I was hoping it could stand up to you. It's about time someone did.

The only thing that has ever held back the strength of a machine is the quality of the metal. The only reason no one has ever designed a peice of equipment this strong is because the steel would buckle and break under its own strain. Now that I have this carbo-metallic suit, that is no longer a concern. I'm almost as strong as you are, Aurora, but there's no way you can stand up to a machine with anything near your power!"

It was true that not even a Velorian Protector can continue to apply her full strength forever. After a moment, she felt the first pangs of fatigue begin to show themselves in her enormous biceps. The strain was incredible, she had never seen a Terran machine apply this kind of power before! And why wasn't the metal buckling and tearing like he said? She could even crush an Arion Prime's fist with her grip! What is carbo-metal, and how could it be so strong?

Of course, a machine didn't feel fatigue. A machine didn't get tired or lose it's resolve. As long as it had fuel, a machine could continue to work forever. And even though there was a man inside this machine, the machine was providing the power. Aurora felt her wrists begin to give, her arms were burning with the strain, her teeth were clenched and her eyes reduced to a narrow squint. She wondered how much longer the metal suit would hold out against her incredible might, and if her arms would give out first. Even though she was still forcing the amor back she was wearing herself out doing it!

"What? Slow down, I can't hear you Steve. What do they look like?" Aurora looked up, there was no one around. Obviously, Bob had a radio in his helmet, but it looked like he was simply talking to himself. "I'm battling the Velorian right now, couldn't they have waited? I'll be there as soon as I can, just back up the PCH's as well as you can, and don't get killed! I need you, Steve."

"Something's come up, Aurora. I have to go. Here, play with this for a while." Bob relaxed his grip, and the tension quickly drained out of Aurora's arms. In the distance, she saw what looked like a Sidewinder missile with extra-large wings heading straight for her. "I got this off an Arion fighter jet the other day. I hope you like the additions I put on it, remember this, Aurora, everything can be improved!" Aurora flew straight up to avoid the missile, but with the extra large wings it was able to make a quick half-loop and go after her again.

"Shit, it's homing in on me!" Aurora sped off, trying to outrun the missile, then realized that would be a bad idea. Where would it land when it ran out of fuel? She had to find some way to stop it safely. Staying a safe distance in front of it, she tried to outmaneuver it, taking quick dives toward the ground or trees and pulling away at the last second, but the missile didn't seem to want to get too close to anything that wasn't Velorian. "Scratch that idea. It's following me like it's actually got a brain."

Then she realized that it looked like a miniature jet, and like any jet, would stall if it tried to climb too steeply. She rocketed straight up into the sky, keeping a close eye on the missile. Eventually, it slowed it's ascent, and began to tumble backwards and fall. Aurora dove for the missile, catching it by the wing. A few quick spins and she sent it hurtling toward the ground with such force that it's engine couldn't possibly have been able to regain control. It exploded on impact with the ground, sending a shower of dirt and rocks in all directions, and all that remained was a crater and some scrap.

Taking a quick glance around, she realized that she hadn't been paying much attention to anything but the immediate threat. Bob was long gone. She knew where he went though, and hurried off in the direction of the high-energy particle physics lab.

It didn't take a genius to guess what was going on. Aurora had suspected that there was something related to this situation at the high-energy particle physics lab the whole time. The energy weapons Bob used were most likely designed there, one of the "personal projects" that the technician had mentioned to Chris. Now it seems the Arions had figured that out too, and were out to cut off Bob's supply at the source. Ironic, that was what she was here to stop from happening before Bob stopped her...


Steve, meanwhile, was in a state of absolute panic. He had managed to talk his way out of two situations with people prying into his involvement with Raymond, but this was an all-out attack. Three cat-like beings and two human-looking ones were making a direct assault on the physics lab. He had just managed to get the two Pheromone Chemical Hunters activated before it was too late. One of the cat-like beings was down, badly burned by a simultaneous assault by the two PCH's. The terrible scream that Raymond had digitized into what had been their stereo systems startled the cat-things for a moment, and the first one was caught completely off guard in a stream of ionic energy. The other four attackers had taken cover behind a few parked cars and concrete barriers and were firing back now. One PCH was almost destroyed but was still fighting like it was new. Raymond sure knew how to design these things.

However, that was small consolation to the fact that there were only two PCH's and four attackers powerful enough to destroy them before long. If Raymond didn't get here soon, it would all be over. Steve pulled himself together and got the laser rifle he had designed from his lab. He rushed outside to try to join the fight, and try to prolong the conflict until Raymond could get there.

Steve made it outside just in time to see one of the PCH's burst into flame and topple over. If the attackers figured out that they could just take out the legs this would be over before anyone knew it. A laser rifle has no kick, and is incredibly accurate. He fired a few shots at the parked cars they were hiding behind, and managed to ignite the fuel tank. It didn't look like it would actually explode, but the smoke and fire might give them some extra time.

Steve was starting to hate time. With a little more time his wife might still have her arm and her hearing. With a little more time Raymond could have had a few more Pheromone Chemical Hunters guarding the lab. With a little more time Raymond would be here to stop all of this and save him. Why there never enough time!?

Steve heard a low growl behind him. He froze for a second, and turned. Not 50 feet away was one of the cat-things! It had snuck around the fight and was crouched to attack him! He dropped the rifle and rushed back inside the lab and slammed the door. Gasping for breath, he searched desperately for a place to hide as he heard the door tear from it's hinges.

Steve ducked into the particle accelerator laboratory and turned on all the machines he could reach. Robotics, computers, monitors, and the accelerator ring itself sprang to life, causing a great deal of noise and motion. It would be a much easier environment to hide out in. He ducked behind some machinery and prayed.


For a Kintzi, the hunt is the most exhilarating part of life. It makes them feel alive. The only thing second to the hunt is the kill. Sex comes in a close third, followed by sleeping. Under their Arion leadership, they were never given enough opportunities to hunt and destroy their prey, they mainly attacked as in battle. When this Kintzi discovered his chance to hunt down Steve, she took it and was planning on milking it for all it was worth.

Unfortunately, humans are no challenge to hunt. They are weak, frail creatures. One bite could easily sever the head from the body, and they smelled strongly of cologne and and perfume. They made a great deal of noise when they walked, and they breathed hard when they ran. They can't even run for all that long before they drop from exhaustion. The pride is minimal when one is caught, but it is still there.

Steve was posing a bit more of a challenge then your typical human. He didn't wear cologne or aftershave, he knew that he was being hunted, and he managed to create a few distractions. Flashing lights, movement in peripheral vision, and a bit of noise distracted the Kintzi from her hunt, but it was just a matter of time before she found Steve. There weren't that many places to hide in here. How she wished she could dismantle the place! Smashing all this equipment would make it so much easier, but the Arions wanted the lab intact.

The Kintzi slowly turned a corner and saw Steve, across the room, sweating and cowering, crouched in a corner between some machinery and a wall. "Stay away! Stay away from me! Don't come any closer!" A grin came across the Kintzi's lips as she heard him plead for mercy. She felt a tingle all over her body as she realized that this human was completely helpless, no weapons, nowhere to run, nowhere to hide, and nothing around but her and her victim.

She was starting to get turned on by the prospect. She had never felt this way from a hunt before, probably because it was over before she could think about it too much. This time, however, her prey was within easy reach and she could take her time. The more she thought about it, the more it turned her on. A wide, sinister grin came over her as a new thought entered her mind: She would have this human before she would kill him.

For most Kintzi, this was unthinkable. Terrans and other humanoids were hairless, ugly creatures. Fun to hunt but that was where their fascination ended. This Kintzi was different somehow. She thought that humanoids had a sort of grace to them, their bodies very visible without fur covering them. Or maybe it was the social taboo that excited her, forbidden fruit always tasted sweeter to her. Regardless, she was about to do something few Kintzi would even think about, and none would admit.

She approached Steve slowly, and heard him whimper with every step closer. By the time she got to him, he was all but paralyzed with fear. She opened her mouth, baring her fangs, but instead of biting down on his neck, killing him instantly, she licked the side of his face, savoring the flavor that she knew would be hers once the pleasure that would be hers was over. She lowered a razor-sharp claw over his chest, slicing his shirt down the front. Every movement she made created another helpless whimper in Steve's throat.

Slowly, the Kintzi lowered herself across Steve's body. Gently, she didn't want to hurt him yet, she took his right leg between hers, and pressed her sex against him. The slight friction mixed with the feeling of absolute power was incredible. This human would be hers in every way. She emitted a low growl, similar to the one she used when she was about to give chase, as she pleasured herself against him, rocking back and forth across Steve's thigh.

In spite of himself, Steve now had an erection. This Kintzi was using him to please herself and that meant that he got to stay alive a little longer. He was scared out of his wits, any second and without warning the Kintzi could kill him, and eventually would. And there was nothing he could do about it.

The Kintzi felt the heat from Steve's groin, and knew that it was time. She sliced his pants to ribbons with her claws, accidentally cutting a bit into one of his legs. She lowered her head to his thigh and licked up the blood. The taste was driving her wild with desire, both to have him and to kill him. She could stand it no longer, she had to have him inside of her!

Steve felt her cat-like sandpaper tongue brush roughly across his thigh and it only made things worse for him. A mixture of pleasure, pain, and fear gripped him like it had no other time in his life. His body was in pain, he mind was paralyzed by fear, and his cock was fully erect and waiting for the pleasure to continue in the only way it knew how. Above all, Steve knew that he would not be able to survive intimacy with this Kintzi. He knew that once these aliens lost themselves in sensual abandon, they did not recover, and should their partner be weaker then they were, well, everyone knew the consequences by now.

Steve's eyes were shut at this point, he felt each of her six nipples press sharply against his chest and stomach. There was no doubt in his mind that this would be the end of him, a toy of this creature that was so much more powerful than he was, only to be discarded. He suddenly, truly, understood what his wife must have felt like when she was part of the horror of the battle in Colorado.

A sound like a gun going off shattered the silence. The Kintzi made a cat-like "rowr" in surprise as she was quickly and violently pulled away from her prey. Steve opened his eyes in time to see Raymond standing across the room, in full armored glory, reeling in the Kintzi with his claw-cables. Three steely fingers were wrapped around this Kintzi's throat from behind, squeezing and crushing as she struggled. "Raymond! Thank God you're here! What took you so long?"

"I was battling Aurora when I got your message. It's a long story. The short version is that she's here now. Throw on a lab coat and get out of here, this is going to get ugly." His attention turned to the Kintzi. "And as for you, we're taking this outside."


Meanwhile, a ferocious battle was taking place outside. Aurora had the remaining Kintzi in an unbreakable bear-hug, but it took all her strength to hold the squirming creature still. The female Arion was rushing toward the pair at top speed and the male Arion was trying desperately not to get hit by an endless barrage of ion cannon fire from the badly beaten but still standing PCH.

Raymond's quick mind sized up the situation almost instantly. His free arm held the auto-aim laser, and he fired at the female Arion's legs. The sharp, unexpected pain tripped her up and she fell tumbling out of control past Aurora and the Kintzi.

The Kintzi in Aurora's arms went limp seconds later, and she turned to face the Arion female. The Arion unleashed her heat vision on Aurora's chest, but Aurora learned from Kara's mistake so long ago. Instead of trying to absorb the energy, she used her own heat vision back at the Arion. The weaker Arion was forced to back down after a moment, realized the trick would no longer work, and decided to try hand-to-hand combat, an area in which she happened to excel.

Raymond was still busy with the Kintzi in his grip. He roughly slammed the creature down onto the hard earth and held her there. Her wildly flailing limbs and claws would have saved her from this sort of attack from a being of flesh, but a machine feels no pain. Her claws dug over a quarter inch into Raymond's armored form to no avail. He raised his free arm and, with several blows strong enough to make the ground shake and nearly bury the Kintzi in the ground, he shattered her skull.

At the same time, the male Arion had managed to get around behind the slow turning PCH. With a powerful leap, he slammed his body into the undercarriage of the machine and sent it flying forward for a short distance before it smashed into a crumpled heap on the ground. Before he had a chance to even catch his breath, though, he became aware of the armored figure of Raymond barreling down on him like a freight train.

Aurora was not faring well against the Arion female. She was obviously a better fighter than Aurora was. Every punch was met with a block, every attempt to grab her got her thrown, and every time she lost her balance she got hit again. "I was sent on this mission for a reason, Aurora. I happen to be the best hand-to-hand combat instructor assigned to Earth. I know every move you're going to make before you make it. You're the most predictable fighter I've ever met!" With that, she pulled Aurora around and twisted her into a wrestling hold.

Aurora found herself facing Raymond, fighting like a man possessed. He embodied the painless, tireless machine as well as the raging obsession only a man could generate. This was a combination that seemed unstoppable to the Arion he was fighting. Nothing the Arion could do could faze him. There were no sensitive spots on a piece of armor to focus on, and there was no algorithm in a man to get used to. He was losing, and losing badly.

The only comfort the Arion had was that although Raymond was a very effective fighter, he had no idea how to fight a super-powerful being! Throwing him to the ground did very little good, since compared to his invulnerable flesh the ground was almost comfortably soft. Smashing him into a tree was likewise ineffective. This gave the Arion some time, but it was running out nonetheless.

"See Aurora? Even your powerful friend is sadly ineffective against us. He is still a Terran after all, he holds Terran ideas too close to himself. He really believes that throwing Kayne into a tree will hurt!"

"He's not my friend, sister, he's trying to kill me too." Aurora responded. She found that struggling made her shoulders hurt, so she gave in somewhat. "I don't know where he came from, but he seems to hate Arions. So he's got some good points."

"Well now, that throws a whole new twist on things, doesn't it? We thought he was working for you when he started attacking us. Well, as long as we're not going anywhere for a while, let's watch the show." A malicious grin came over the Arion's face as her grip started to move up from Aurora's waist to her chest. She meant to humiliate Aurora, not just defeat her!

"What do you mean attacking you? What's he been up to?"

"You mean you don't know? He single-handedly destroyed a small communications relay station in San Fransisco. He must've torn into it like a fucking madman, we found claw marks in the walls and the ceiling was caved in in places. Fortunatly for the Betas who were manning it, the base itself seemed to be his target. Only a couple were killed and about half of them were seriously injured."

Soon, Raymond saw that he was doing something wrong. The Arion was no where near as damaged as he should be. His face was a bit bruised from being used as a punching bag, but that was all. "I don't know how you can keep fighting after the pounding I've given you, but that's going to change right now." Raymond gripped the Arion by his throat and threw him into a concrete parking barrier. Before he could get up, a powerful stream of neutron particles erupted from the middle of the armor's left hand. The particle beam struck the Kayne in the midsection, beginning a chain reaction that ate away at most of his shirt and part of the flesh around the targeted area. "Die, damn you, die!

Arion invulnerability struggled against a building chain reaction in his skin and muscle, with each passing instant the reaction grew stronger but also had a larger area to affect. In a few seconds, the reaction died down and halted, but not before nearly eating it's way through his abdominal muscles! The pain was excruciating, and nearly immobilizing. "Stay here, I'll deal with you later." Raymond's command was obviously redundant, and sarcastic. Above all it was clear that he had his composure back.

"And as for you two..." His sentence did not need to be finished. Raymond walked toward the pair of aliens, locked in a wrestling grip, knowing he had all the time in the world to get to them. If the Arion let go, she risked getting hit by either of them; and it didn't seem as through Aurora could move.

This is where both the Arion and Raymond had misjudged Aurora's power. While the Arion had been adjusting her grip, she didn't notice that her leverage was being compromised. Aurora played into it. With a quick jerk forward, she freed her right arm and brought it full-force back into the Arion's midsection. She then used her surprise attack to free herself and allow her to twist the Arion's arm behind her back. "Who's a predictable fighter, bitch?!"

Then Aurora turned to Raymond. "Use your machine gun! I'll hold her down!"

"You'd like that, wouldn't you? I haven't forgotten that we're not on the same side. You want me to use my ammunition up on this cannon fodder before you attack me. Or maybe you want to gauge my power the way I did with you. It won't happen." He instead turned his auto-aim laser at Aurora's face!

Aurora released her captive and held her face, caught off-guard by Raymond's attack. The Arion responded not by attacking, but by running toward Kayne! She scooped up the Arion male in her arms and lept skyward with her powerful legs.

Aurora came to her senses quickly. "Look what you've done! They're getting away!" She bounded into the air and began to fly after them, but a sudden addition of three tons of weight surprised her enough to stop her ascent. "What are you doing, you crazy son of a bitch!!?" Raymond had grappled her to him with his claw-cables.

"I'm letting them go. First of all, they will tell their superiors that I am a force to be reckoned with. This will stop the petty attacks like the jet fighter I had to face the other day, and force them to waste manpower on trying to stop me instead of implementing their plans. Secondly, I still have my battle with you to finish."

Aurora landed, and Raymond released his cables and reeled them in. Aurora decided to try a different approach to the problem. "Come on, sugar, I'm not the enemy." She put on her most seductive smile and strode confidently toward him, swinging her hips as she walked and exagerating the lift and sway of her chest. "I'll show you who's side I'm on, if you'll let me."

Aurora came closer to the armored form, it was motionless. It stood like a deactivated robot as she wrapped one arm around the helmet and one around the waist. Every motion was meant to be smooth and seductive. She pressed her ample breasts into the lower chest of the machine, and again saw just how big it was. It stood over seven feet, almost eight, with broad shoulders, powerfully thick limbs, and legs that were just slightly too long to fit the proportions.

"Mmmm, you remind me of someone, you know..." She whispered. It was true, Raymond did remind her a bit of The Guardian. It made her want to get to the man inside the armor as she did with him. "...someone very special to me."

The armor finally moved. She prepared herself for a wash of comfortable physical sensations, imagining the steel hands caressing her skin, but was instead caught in the same kind of powerful death-grip that she held a Kintzi warrior in not more than five minutes ago! "You are a fool, Aurora. This machine is completely sealed. Your pheromones can't get to me as long as I am inside. And you can't seduce me any more than you could if you were on TV." Aurora cried out in pain, she felt her breasts nearly flatten against her chest and her back bend awkwardly. "I can't feel your touch through the suit and right now I see you as nothing more than a blob of warm and cold areas on my monitor."

Aurora struggled, but her arms were misplaced for trying to break free. One was over his shoulder and the other was caught in his grip. She tried to pound on the armor but couldn't get a good swing to do any sort of damage. After a moment, she felt her ribs begin to buckle under the strain. "How does it feel, Aurora? How do you like being caught in a grip so tight that you can't get out? How does it feel knowing that there's nothing you can do to prevent being crushed under someone else's strength? This is what countless numbers of your victims have experienced under your embrace. It's only fitting that it should be the way you die as well."

Aurora began to panic. It was extremely rare for her to feel so confined, and even more rare for her to feel like her life was actually about to come to an end. Her own mortality washed over her in a wave of fear the likes of which she had never before experienced! She only knew she had to move, and there was only one method of motion still available to her.

She flew. She flew straight up, complete with three tons of steel and weapons, into the Los Angeles sky. She couldn't accelerate very quickly in her weakened state, but at least she could move. And she continued in her panic to fly, faster and faster, feeling the air begin to apply serious amounts of friction to her skin. But nothing could break the grip of the machine holding her. An idea came to her. She would continue upwards, past the atmosphere into the vacuum of orbit, and see what effect that would have on this invincible armor!

As they flew, she realized that no one, not since Sh'Lyra, had been able to do this to her. This armor was so far beyond anything else on Earth, she strained to think of how he could build this suit of armor so powerful it rivaled a Velorian for strength! She was also surprised that she was not feeling as turned on as she thought she should. It was every Velorian's deepest fantasy, bred genetically into them, to be dominated in this way. The problem was that this was so non-sexual. Unlike any other she had ever faced, Raymond had no intention of raping her or dominating her, this was an embrace of death, and only death!

Higher and higher they went, past the highest cloud tops and into the cold, thinning, dark blue air that signaled the beginning of their exit from Earth's thin coating of oxygen and nitrogen. It seemed to take an eternity, and Aurora didn't know how much longer she could withstand the crushing grip. They continued until Aurora found that she could no longer take a lung full of air, or was that because of Raymond's grip? She forced her eyes open, despite the pain. Communication was now impossible between the two, as there was no air to transmit sound. She looked at the armor for any sign of weakness, but saw only the cold, passionless stare of the helmet.

Aurora knew that she had complete control over where they were going, but it didn't seem to do her a lot of good. She needed somewhere to go. Her mind was burning with pain and she found it difficult to think. Her mind reeled for an idea, and she found one, one-sixth the size of the Earth and right in front of her. She headed for the moon with every ounce of her failing strength left in her, crossing the unbelievable distance at even more unbelievable speeds.

Raymond, still clinging to Aurora, was the first Terran ever to travel at this velocity, but he felt somehow less than honored. This was taking too long, she should have been dead a long, long time ago. He knew that Aurora was much stronger than the Arions, but until now he really didn't understand just how much more invulnerable she was. The Arion he had brought back from the talk show studio had proved extremely valuable in discovering the limits of Arion invulnerability, but Velorian invulnerability was obviously another matter entirely!

Aurora felt the last shattered remains of her consciousness leave her just as they entered the moon's gravitational pull. In a short while, the pair collided with the cratered, rocky surface at a low angle, digging trenches between high bounces and finally, tumbling to a halt almost a mile from their original impact site! Raymond's grip had failed somewhere along the way, and the two lay motionless about fifty yards apart.