Matthew Durn rushed into the Final Horizon Control Room of the Quantum Security Alliance's headquarters. He had been called by the director of the QSA, Professor Nicholas Tartiss, because of a unexpected dire emergency. Instead of the professor, though, was another QSA agent, Teion O'Niel, a good friend of Matt's.
"Tartiss had to leave Matt," Teion said, before Matt could ask where the other was. "We need you to send a team into the timestream. The Scraths have broken into it."
"Crap," Matt groaned in dismay. "You ready to go?"
"I'm not going," Teion replied bluntly.
"I'm in command with you and the prof gone. We've got a team for you though," he added reassuringly. "All meta deal." He tapped a series of keys on a nearby keyboard. Two bios came up on the computer holo-screen. "Number one: Jonothon Starsmore, a.k.a. Chamber. Member of Generation X, 1999. Powers are explosive bio-rays and telepathy. Number two: Superboy. Member of Young Justice, 1999. Powers are tactile telekinesis and latent telepathy. These two you need to contact immediately. Your Hydra is being primed if you want to..."
"No," Matt interrupted, shapeshifting into his other identity, Bril.
(Two lousy kids on my team? They'd better be good,) he complained mentally.
"I'll jump. Quantum coordinates?"
"QR-S5336 for Chamber," Teion answered, "and QR-S5436 for Superboy."
Bril reached out, feeling for the two quantum frequencies in order to locate the two universes.
"Good luck, Matt," Teion said quietly.
"Thanks," Bril responded as he jumped.
Snow Valley, 1999
Bril found Chamber alone outside Xavier's Academy for Gifted Youngsters. The British youth was fine-tuning his powers to cut fire-wood. Impressive. Bril considered taking his mask off to confront the young man, and did.
"Excuse me, Chamber?" Matt questioned by way of greeting.
Chamber turned to him, wondering who had arrived and not set off the alarm. <Who're you?> Jono asked telepathically, the existing half of his face showing mild surprise. But then, it didn't matter much; he was used to this sort of thing.
"Bri.... uh.... Matt. Matt Durn," Matt answered.
"Yea, thanks. Look, I need your help."
<In what way?> Chamber turned back to the pile of firewood he had cut.
"Several events in history have been altered," Matt stated. "I need you to help me correct the alteration."
<Why me?> Chamber set a log on the cutting block.
"You are simply one of the most powerful superhumans in history. You'd be extremely useful." Matt winced at his choice of words. (Oh, nice going, Bril,) he thought sarcastically.
<What if I don't want to help?> A bio-blast split a log perfectly in half.
"To be blunt, you would cease to exist."
Chamber turned back to him, his expressive green eyes wide in shock. There was a stiff silence as Jono weighed this out. <Oh,> he said finally. <All right. I'm in.>
There was a blurry flash of white light and the two males vanished.
Superboy was at the Cadmus Project, as Bril had predicted. the timejumper had a hard time trying to convince the Kid to come until Chamber entered the small argument.
<If you want to stop existing, I can think of a few people who wouldn't even miss you,> Jono growled.
"Oh," Superboy said in a subdued tone. "Ah.... If Chamber's in, I'm in,Mister...."
<All right: Let's save the past. Hope you two studied the history text,> Jonothon quipped.
"Wait," Matt interjected suddenly as a small computer bleeped.
"We have two more metas to contact."
<Hey! You said Superboy was the only other person on the list of heroes,> Jonothon objected.
"Sorry," Matt apologized, slipping his mask back on. "I just got a change from my headquarters. I've been ordered to get Sarah Rainmaker of Gen 13 and someone neither of you know: A meta called NRG."
<Gen13. I've met those guys,> Jono mused.
"Well," Superboy said enthusiastically, "let's go!"
With a nod, Bril spirited them away.
La Jolla, California, 1999.
Sarah Rainmaker soared on the wind currents of her making, trying to go higher than she ever had, trying to escape what lay below on the earth: Trouble, anger and turmoil. She hated it all, especially the anger. Most of it was aimed at her, for no good reason.
On the sandy, sweltering beach, Bril shaded his eyes against the scorching sun and scanned the skies. "I think I see her," he announced suddenly, pointing out a speck in the sky.
Superboy adjusted his shades and peered into the vast blue. "I don't," hecommented.
Jono ignored him and turned to Bril. <Want I should call her?> he suggested.
"By all means," Bril answered quickly.
Jonothon honed his thoughts and threw them across the distance. <Sarah!Rainmaker! It's Chamber, from Generation X!> he sent forcefully, projecting all the urgency and need for assistance he could conjure up. He included a painstakingly built picture of his position on the beach. <I'm here.>
Sarah almost fell from the sky when the words struck her mind. She was completely startled, to say the least. What on Earth could that Gen Xer want from her, and why wasn't he with the others in Snow Valley?
Curiosity won out. She had to know. With a graceful flip, Rainmaker headed back to the beach.
Bril patted Jono on the shoulder. "Good job," he praised. "I see her coming."
Within minutes Sarah had easily landed on the sand. "Chamber.... What are you doing here, and who are they?" she asked, waving her hand at Bril and the Kid.
<Matt Durn and Superboy,> Jono answered. <We need your help, Sarah.>
Quickly he explained the mission to change history.
Sarah was thoughtful. "I'm coming," she declared after a short pause.
"When shall we leave?"
<Don't you need to tell the rest of Gen13 you're leaving?> Jono questioned.
"They won't even miss me," Sarah snorted in disgust.
"And I can have you all back the second you left," Bril reported as he prepared the last jump. "One of the perks of being chrono-varient, you see. Next stop, Malibu!"
Malibu, California, 1999.
Ayala Lobenza had the unshakable feeling she was being tailed. Her dogs had been looking over their shoulders and growling occasionally. Each time they did that she'd order them to "Calliete", and feel her apprehension grow. Oh, sure, she could defend herself easily enough, what with having black-belts in Aikido and Judo, and being a reigning gymnastics champion, not to mention she had those new abilities ... But still: Being persistantly followed was unnerving.
"Vamanos, you three," Ayala muttered to her pets. With that, she broke into a run, the dogs scampering at her side. Swiftly she wove and ducked her way through the boardwalk crowd, making the most of her speed and endurance.
Unfortunately, Ayala's getaway was ruined by her turning a corner and blamming full-force into a skinnny teenager. She went down hard, but remembered her judo training and instinctively slapped the ground as hard as she could, absorbing the impact before she hit the ground. There was a brief, bizzare rush as her body absorbed the energy from the impact and stored it away for later. As her head cleared, Ayala realized she was tangled in her wildly yapping dogs' leashes. "Calleite, you miserable mutts!" she shouted, jerking on their leashes. They shut up, at last. Ayala threw an irritated look up at the boy standing in front of her. "You could at least help me up," she grumbled. The boy grinned. "Of course," he said, offering his hand. Ayala gripped it and got up, detangling herself.
"Nice going, Kid," a new voice said. Ayala whirled and saw two more guys and a girl standing behind her. "We thought we'd never catch up to you," one guy added.
Comprihension dawned. "You're the sinverguenzas who were following me!"
Ayala cried in outrage. Reflexively she fell into a defensive stance. "What do you want? Money? I'm flat broke, guys and gringa."
"We don't want money," the speaker objected. "We just need your time." His eyes met her black, slanted ones. Ayala suddenly wished he didn't wear a mask.
The man kept talking: "And time is the one thing we won't have if you don't help us, NRG."
Ayala was floored. "How did you know I call myself that?" she wondered.
The man smiled. "I have my ways," he said smugly.
The boy in black leather and bandages rolled his eyes. <Just tell her about the mission already, Matt,> he complained.
Ayala jerked and stared at him. "I heard you.... in my head," she blurted. "Y-You're a telepath!"
The man called Matt interrupted them and explained how the evil, alien Scraths had invaded time itself and had changed the past, and what could happen if she didn't help.
Ayala chewed her lip when the story was finished. "Ay, por Dios," she whispered. "I.... don't see how much use I'd be, but I will do my best. Just let me drop off the dogs at mi casa and get my suit, okay?"
"All right," Matt said, pleased. Now all he had to do was conduct a briefing and they'd be off!
To be continued ...