“This is central dispatch, he’s not answering sir.” Said the voice on Chromium Man’s communication frequency.

“All right, keep trying him until you do. I want you to call in every hero that hasn’t reported yet, we need all the help we can get here.” Replied Chromium Man.

“Understood sir.” Then the channel closed, and Franklin Winter started assuming the leadership of the situation.

“Get those blasters in a firing position, I want two lines.” He said to Electrobolt, who was nursing a black and blue chest, and showing a burnt out hole in his suit where Ghost Starr's beam had hit him.

“Hammerhand, get your ground pounders healed and fed, you have twenty minutes, split your team to leave our center line opened, to draw them in, if we’re lucky the Ghost army will come straight for us, and we will clamp them in between.” The big tanker nodded and turned around, yelling orders to his troops and organizing them as the man had requested.

“Mase and Ctrl, I know your guys are tired and drained, but I need them up and running ASAP, until we get reinforcements, you are all we’ve got. Is there anything you need that could help you?” Mase and Ctrl exchanged a look, and nodded to each other, Mase spoke:

“We’ve been supporting the troops for hours CM, and honestly we think you should modify the orders. You have to let our troops go weapons free, to be as deadly as they are. Our casualty rate is too high because we’ve been acting as expected, fighting fair and nice, like the good guys that we are. If we are to survive this battle, we need to start acting like an army at war, no quarters given, none taken.” Mase Lokrin was an old man, and he had seen quite a lot in his lifetime, including the Viet-Nam war, which he survived, he knew what he was talking about, and CM wasn’t one to argue with the lead healer in Paragon city. If Mase said they had to go nuts and ballistics, who was he to disagree. And besides, he had been thinking the very same thing for the last hour, the Ghostbuster army was too gentle compared to its enemy, it was time to even up the playing field. He nodded to Ctrl and Mase in agreement, but inside his armour, he felt fear creep up in his heart. Fighting a foe at this level meant loosing some of your humanity in the process, to call on the primordial nature of man, the killer instinct.

“I’ll give the order in a few minutes, let’s give the troops a moment to gather their senses and feed themselves, they’ve been holding the line for five hours now, and most of them could use a rest. Let’s just hope Ghost Starr needs to rest his troops as well.” Replied the leading blaster of Apocalypse.

They both flew to a rock Voyager knew to be safe, and far enough from the base, so that Jaden’s transponder wouldn’t be picked up by the radars. They could see the it from where they were, far in the distance, and they both saw that the shield was down. At first, they thought it had been opened to let aircrafts and transports out of the military base, but after a few minutes of observing, it was obvious that something had gone wrong over there. Coming ever closer, the Rulaaru troops would reach the base in less than twenty minutes. Their plan was simple, let the host attack the base, until the battle is well engaged, then move in to fulcrum shift the whole thing. Voyager had been repeating to Wild-Star to stay very close to him, offering even that they held hands when he would shift. Insuring the young blaster that his transponder would deactivate soon after his attack, Voyager was now lost in thought, looking at another rock floating in the distance, reminiscing of a conversation that took place almost a year ago.

“All right Bane, you’ve done your part, now leave them and join us, we will annihilate the host.” Said Turbo Star to the old controller.

“But, you don’t understand Turbo, they are not seeking to invade earth at all, they only want us out of their territory.” Voyager wasn’t sure how to react to the order given by his boss. When they sent him out here as a prisoner, he had been contacted by Turbo a few weeks later, and given orders to gather information on the Rulaaru, using an old legend to gain their trust. That in itself, he had questioned many times since, had been an out of the ordinary order form Turbo Starr, whim he had learn to know as a straightforward guy, it was the first time that he knew of, that Turbo Starr had used a subterfuge against an enemy. But he followed these orders and gained the trust of the Shard people with the Traveller legend, and had spent enough time with them to know that they were different and alien in their way of thinking, but also that this dimension was their home, and the humans were invading it.

“It’s not my place, or yours, to argue with official decisions. They propose, we dispose, and right now, your orders are to cease and desist, and to come along with me. We need your help to beat them, we’re counting on you, old friend.” Went on Turbo, smiling his best cover page smile, and extending a hand of friendship forward, so that Voyager could shake it. The old controller took his hand, but in doing so, he also shifted the famous scrapper, to identify his energy signature. Since he had done so before, in a friendly sparring match with Turbo last year, he expected to receive from him the same signature. But it wasn’t…

“You are not Turbo Starr, and therefore your orders are no good to me.” He told him, while his eyes took on a fiery red glow, known by others to be anger.

“Well done Mr. Bane, but too late. You just sealed your fate and that of the shard.” The false Turbo Starr replied, as he super jumped away, and returned to join the human army.

Voyager stood there, not quite sure what to do, if he went and joined them, surely saying that their leader was an impostor would have him branded crazy, and most of his former allies thought that he was. On the other hand, if he simply stood by and let the battle happen, the humans would suffer a tremendous defeat, and the portal would be destroyed, barring the way back to earth, leaving the survivors to be hunted down like rabid dogs. The Rulaaru host had decided on an aggressive strategy, and they outnumbered the humans at least twenty to one. Thorn between loyalty and duty, he made the hardest choice possible, if plan A and plan B won’t work, come up with a plan C.

“None shall pass, go back now, or die this day.” He yelled those words, not to the humans, but to both armies. He would try and stop the fighting before it got out of hand, he would become the most hated figure that everyone thought he was, simply because he chose it. He flew up and back towards the massive Rulaaru army, to take a position in their rank. Unable to choose sides, he would betray both, and hoped to live through it.
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