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Ghost Town
By: Yamuri (yamuri@lycos.de)


Prologue

After the final battle. The outriders are back in vapor zone. Jesse Blue used a teleport beamer, which was built by Jean Claude some time ago, to teleport to planet Far and escape the explosion. Snake found his friend and stepbrother and hid him on planet Far. Nobody ever noticed about Jesse being there. But not only Jesse stayed in the human's dimension. Nemesis soul was set free because of the explosion and is still there.
The same time the Star Sheriffs celebrate their victory over the outriders. While peace comes back to new frontier an old enemy wakes up from his long deep sleep. And with IT an old threat comes back to New Frontier. Back to feed from the mortals and to cause terror and fear in the galaxy.

Chapter One: After the battle

For hours Jesse was back on planet Far. Laying on a wooden bed in Snakes home, out there in the dessert of planet Far. Snake had worried about him pretty much at the beginning. Jesse's body was burnt and he had a high temperature. It had not been good for him to teleport to planet Far and being in the dessert for hours. He wasn't used to the heat anymore and besides he was hurt very much cause of the battle. But Snake found him and carried him to his home. This would be the last place anybody would search for Jesse. Besides Snake knew what the news told about the battle and that all people thought that the outrider were beat and Jesse died in the fight. Only he knew that Jesse was still alive and that soon nobody would ever recognize him as who he was. Snake remembered the time the outrider kidnapped Jesse and how they fought against them together after Jesse managed to escape and come back home. The outriders won the fight and for a long time Jesse vanished. Jesse always wanted to be human and they gave him a human clone body, transferred his soul into the clone.
Years went by and Snake got to know the rebels and more about the history and legends of the outriders. They wanted to transfer Nemesis soul back into his body and they wanted to redo a process Jesse invented in his last live. On planet Lamari the rebels had a base but the Star Sheriffs destroyed their plans cause they didn't know about it. Snake knew that the Star Sheriffs weren't that bad cause they saved his life once, but he also knew that they made mistakes. They weren't gods also news sometimes let it look as if they were. But they wouldn't understand how he could save Jesse's life and how he could hide Jesse. What the Sheriffs didn't know was that he grew up with Jesse. There was a connection between them as if they were brothers.
Snake wondered if Jesse managed to redo the process and if the outriders were free now. The news told that the Sheriffs defeated them and sent them back to their own dimension. Thoughtfully Snake watched Jesse. Although the time during the battle must have been short Jesse somehow managed to transfer his soul back into his own body. He had lots of questions but right now Jesse had to sleep.
While Snake was taking care of him he realized that Jesse seemed to be in some sort of coma. It was difficult to explain what happened to Jesse. On the one hand he seemed to be awake and aware of what was happening around him and on the other hand he seemed to be far away with his thought. As if he would listen to something Snake couldn't hear. Voices were calling for Jesse. A long time ago when Jesse discovered the place where the phantom chamber with Nemesis' body was hidden he started to hear voices.
The voice, which was speaking to him, told him about his past. It seemed to know everything about him and Nemesis. Later on Jesse realized that the voice, which was talking to him, belonged to Nemesis himself. Jesse remembered the time when the outriders still lived on their home planet behind vapor zone. Nemesis had been his cousin and both of them had tried to stop the war their dads had started. With the help of some scientists they had invented the phantom chambers and the outrider planet. Then they had managed to separate their souls. The aim of this separation had been to separate the feeling parts of their souls from the mind part. All feelings had to be kept in the phantom chambers. Nemesis soul, of course only the mind part, had been transferred into the main computer of the outrider planet.
Their home planet had been destroyed by the war and they had search for a new home. Centuries passed by and the outriders found a new home in vapor zone. But one time Nemesis had become bored and the outriders had decided to leave vapor zone again. They had discovered the human dimension. About 30 years after the war had broken out Jesse was born again. His mom had been an outrider traitor and she had brought him to planet Far where he grew up until outriders found him and brought him back to the outrider planet. He had been seven when this happened. With 13 years he managed to escape but again they catched him and made him to one of them. Later on Jesse found out more about the legends and discovered Nemesis phantom chamber.
Somehow he set free the feeling part of Nemesis' soul. And from that time on it spoke to him. But this time it was something else. The Star Sheriffs had changed everything. His plan had been to set free all feelings and to give back Nemesis' body to Nemesis' soul. He had failed. Because of the explosion the Star Sheriffs caused Jesse's soul had been separated from his human clone body and went back to his original body, which was still standing in a phantom chamber.
There had been to less energy for the phantom chambers and Jesse's chamber had opened itself. Then Jesse had used Jean's teleport beamer. While Jesse had used the time to escape Nemesis soul had been set free completely. The feeling and the mind part met each other again and Nemesis became what he had been before, with one exception.
He had no body. And now, while lying on the bed at Snake's place Jesse heard voices again. Nemesis' voice. It was kind and friendly.
Obviously Nemesis wasn't mad with him anymore. Still confused but finally feeling complete again Jesse listened to Nemesis words.

Chapter Two: A new life

Far away somewhere on Yuma a dark haired girl woke up from a nightmare. Her blue pajamas were wet and sweat ran down her face. She buried her face in both hands, let them fall down again and looked out of the window. Rain beat against the panes and it was almost impossible to see a thing. For weeks heavy clouds had been hanging over the town and it seemed as if the rain would never stop. The people in this area were used to the rain. They knew that the rain would come each year, always around November. At first she didn't like the rain and even thought about moving away but then she decided to stay. Somehow she knew that always running wouldn't stop the pain and the nightmares she had since she left New Witchita. Maybe the rain would wash her memories away one day. At least she discovered that all people who lived in this area had something in common with her. She couldn't say what it was but she felt at home. From the first day on she was accepted and welcomed by her neighbors. They had even helped her to get a job. After studying psychology she decided to work at the towns hospital, in the mental department. While working she even forgot her past, forgot the time on New Witchita, the way her family always treat her, how Jesse treat her and how she was betrayed by those she loved and considered to be her friends.
Why, she asked herself. <I loved him but he said he never loved me. But I remember the way he looked at me after the accident. His eyes were that bright. They never glew like that again. For some seconds my soul met his. I've seen inside his heart and he knows that. He loved me. Although it was only a short time. Why had it to end like this? If the Star Sheriffs hadn't come, I wouldn't have met April and ....> Tears ran down her face while she thought about the past again. In her dream she always left the outrider base alone while knowing that Jesse had died, cause of her fault. Since the Star Sheriffs won the final battle against the outriders her dreams had become worse. But something was wrong. The news told about the victory and also about Jesse's death but she knew that she would have felt his death. She had only those nightmares in which Jesse died but when watching the stars at night she felt herself very close to him.
He was still out there. Probably alone, like her. Maybe it had been wrong to run away. They were meant for each other, she had seen it in his eyes. If she would have another chance she would try to make better.
Slowly she stood up and went to the bathroom. Sadly she looked into her own brown eyes while standing in front of the mirror and combing her hair back. Afterwards she undressed her pajamas and laid it on a chair. Then she put on her black underwear, black leather trousers, a tight dark red shirt, a black leather jacket and boots. Avoiding looking in the mirror this time she went out into the kitchen to have breakfast. A look on her watch told her that she was a bit a late.
She hurried to leave the house. Although she was late she managed to reach the hospital right in time. With her new motorcycle it was much easier to take abbreviations. She parked her motorcycle at the parking lot next to the building. Trista hurried to get indoors cause she had a meeting with her boss, Dr. Warren, around 8.00 am and it was 7.55 am already.
Dr. Warren met her at his office and they sat down at the desk.
"You're working here for one years now, Miss Derringer. And I'm very satisfied with your work."
"Thank you. I did my best."
"That's why I will give you a raise and a complicated case. You would have to work only at that case for the next months cause it's very difficult. I can't even say if you will have success. As I said before it's not easy."
He handed the file over to Trista who opened it to have a short look on what would await her. When Dr. Warren asked her for a meeting she had already thought about getting a raise, cause he often praised her work, but not about receiving one of the most difficult cases at the hospital. Some of her colleagues had told her about it already.
Trista was surprised and felt proud of her again, the first time for months. A short look on the file was enough for her decision.
"I'm honored for your trust and belief in my work. Of course I would like to overtake this case. I've heard about it already. Didn't Dr. Dean have the case?"
Dr. Warren nodded. "She's retired since Monday. But she still comes to the hospital cause of this boy. I talked with her about who will take care of the case already. She agreed with me that you could be able to continue her work. For the time you work at this hospital all patients you took care of became healthy. To both of us, Dr. Dean and me it seems that you deserve more than you got. You have not only the knowledge but also talent and the right feeling how to treat your patients."
"Thanks. I just don't know what to say. For years I wasn't treat like this. It's great that you believe in me and give me that case. I've talked to Dr. Dean about it a lot. The whole case reminds me somehow on the X-Files."
"Yes, it has it's own mystery. I'm glad you will take the case. You can keep this copy of the file and have a closer look on the whole case with Dr. Dean. She's in her office right now, which will be yours from now on. And if you have problems you can always come."
"Okay, thanks." They shook hands and Trieste left the office to meet Dr. Dean.
"Hello, Trista." Dr. Dean welcomed her when Trista entered the office with her few materials.
"Hi, Mary. I'm really happy that you want me to continue your work. How can I thank you?"
"Oh Trista, you have not to thank me. You've done a good job and somehow I have the feeling you could have success. In all the years I worked at the hospital I've never met someone like you. Whatever you began you finished it with success. I'm very proud of you and you see this case is very important for me and I know that you also use uncommon methods. Maybe you can help Victor."
"You really think so? But will he trust me? You are the only one who ever managed that he did some things on his own. Without you he would have never started to eat, to stand up, to wash himself and..."
"you will manage to make him speak." Mary finished the sentence. "I'm sure you will get his trust. You will see. Just believe in you. Beside I will be here to help you for the next weeks. But before we visit him I want to tell you all about the case. There is more than I ever told in my reports. Strange but interesting in formations." With those words Mary lead Trista to her desk, opened it and took out several newspapers, pictures, files and transcripts of reports.
The first articles were about the actions, which took place in Derry, Maine, about 30 years ago. Victor Criss, the boy she should take care of now, was one of the many victims who vanished during this summer.
But he had luck and was found somewhere near the sewerage. Lot's of children died this summer. Less was known about those who survived.
The police had also found someone to punish. A boy about 16 years, whose dad was insane, had been sent to jail for the murder of the children and his father. His name was Henry Bowers, the worst kid from Derry, as adults said, who knew him. Mary had found out that Henry Bowers was sent to a mental hospital later. Like Victor Criss he didn't grow up. It was strange. Most doctors seemed not to care about the proofs but said that Victor Criss was not the same boy who vanished 30 years ago in Derry Maine. The same was said about Henry.
The people didn't believe in such things. Those things couldn't be real. Everybody grew older. In the case of Victor and Henry must be a mistake and it was an accident that both looked similar to the boys about whom the news told, 30 years ago. But there was another mystery about Henry and Victor. Although they never met they shared everything. The rooms of both boys looked exactly the same, same pictures, same stuffed animals, same bed linen and so on. Mary believed that there was a connection between both boys and the actions in Derry Maine. Maybe Henry was the one the police convicted.
But Mary was sure that they had made a mistake and if her assumptions were right Henry could even knows who the real murderer had been.
Some time ago Mary started to visit Henry already and she hoped now that Trista would not only overtake her case but also continue her work in finding out the truth about Henry and Victor and the mysterious stranger who brought them the same presents each year. The stranger nobody had ever seen cause he sent his presents by airmail but without a return address.

3. Sleepers

He was walking down the street alone. Again he was surrounded by darkness. Shadows of light passed by. The dark buildings next to him looked like giants, watchers and guardians. For centuries they were standing here. Deep inside those old houses something bad was waiting. The boy knew that the town hid a secret. In the daylight it looked like a peaceful small town. A nice town, although it had always been an empty town. Something dark always lay over the town.
From time to time the door to the underworld would open and the town would fall asleep. IT would rule the town then, would overtake its citizens and kill the children until the door would close again and IT would fall asleep. Humans would wake up from their sleep again and wonder what had happened. Soon people would realize the danger they lived in and one time they would move away. One by one until the town was empty. Then it would change into a ghost town and maybe the door would never open again. Now he was walking alone through the streets of the ghost town. All streets and buildings were empty. He looked through the broken windows and went through the wild gardens. Plants started to cover what was left of Derry. A lonely tear ran down the boys face. His black eyes starred into the darkness, his black jacket and trousers were still dirty and covered with blood, his blood. But he felt nothing, only sadness. Slowly he went further down the street, knowing what was waiting for him in the sewerage. Again he would dream. It was always the same dream. And it ended when he looked into the dead eyes of his friends. The one was burned totally.
Skin and clothes were black and he looked like a mummy. Where his eyes had been worms were crawling through the burned holes. A voice would whisper out of the bloody lips and a hand would grab for him.
He would run back through the tunnel to escape the horror. Instead of finding the light he would step into the next nightmare. You could barely see anything and he would stumble over something. When he tried to get away he would see into his best friends eyes. Starring at him with fear. The same time he would realize that his hands were buried deep into his friend's chest. He would feel blood and soft organs around his hands. A cry would escape his mouth and he would wake up.
But the dream had always been better than hearing the voices of the dead children. When he woke up the voices would talk to him and the moon would change into a clown's face. It would grin down at him and make his nightmares true. He couldn't escape. For his whole life IT would hunt him, send him voices and dreams to drive him insane. And only he knew how to defeat IT. Soon the time would come up when IT would wake up and then he would be ready to go home again. Within the time he became stronger. Outside the dark cell the guardian passed by. The boy looked towards the window again, up to the dark moon.
Tonight there would be no voices. A light passed by.
"Belch." He whispered. The same time the light moved towards the window and fog filled the room. A boy, about his age was standing in front of him. He still wears his dark blue jeans, the black shirt and leather jacket. His brown hair was combed back in the "Elvis Presley"
style. "Hi. Henry." He said and grinned.
They shook hands and sat down on the hard metal bed.
"How is Vic?" Henry asked worried.
"Soon he will wake up. I hope he will like the presents and he will be strong again soon. Time comes up you know."
Henry nodded and looked out into the sky. "Belch?" he asked after some time of silence. "Yeah." "This time IT will pay. I promise. Pennywise will die."
Belch grinned and nodded. "May I sleep here tonight?"
"Of course. I can't sleep anyway." He stood up, sat down next to the wall under the window and watched his sleeping friend. A white light covered Belch's body, like it always did since he came back. This night Henry felt at peace.
*
He stepped down the stairs, deeper into the sewerage. It was dark and wet. From far away he could see a red light. His heart started to beat louder, like it always did. Sweat ran down his face and fear took over his body. Soon it would come, soon it would happen. Why didn't he tell Henry about the black man? Henry would have listened.
Maybe he would have understood. Belch laughed at him, laughed cause he was afraid of going down into the sewerage. They did it before.
Yeah, he could remember the time the were hunting a dog through the tunnels. It was fun. But now it wasn't a game anymore. During the summer they changed. Their actions had become rude and violent.
Sometimes he was even afraid of Henry. And this time he felt it wasn't a game. They shouldn't have come here. He felt it was wrong.
Nevertheless he was doing as Henry told and going down the sewerage, looking for the "Loosers". Those seven kids they always played tricks on, those seven kids who united this summer to fight back. This summer it wasn't a game, it wasn't fun it was real life. Suddenly he was interrupted in his thoughts. A strange light on the floor took his attention. What was that? He couldn't see that fast. Soon it would reach him. Now it was under him, glowing and burning. The floor exploded under his feet. A scream escaped his mouth and he stepped back fastly. But he was to slow. The light was everywhere. A terrible pain shot through his body and he felt warm blood on his lips. The next moment he was covered by darkness. Someone was shouting and he felt arms around his chest. Strong arms holding him, which carried him away. From far away voices called for him and he looked back over the shoulders of his rescuer. What he saw almost drove him insane.
The light was harsh and bright. But it was not the light what terrified him but what he could see behind the light. He could see the natural form of IT - pure energy. And it was the energy, which showed him the endless universe and how it was like to be immortal.
In the same moment he woke up and starred at the two women who were sitting next to his bed. He knew one of them. She was kind, friendly and always taking care of him. Each night she sat at his bed until he finally fell asleep. Since he woke up for the first time she took care of him. He could trust her. But some days ago she told him she had to go. Somehow he had known it before. His friends had told him.
Belch, who often visited him and brought him presents for his birthday, came to him regularly. The woman didn't know about Belch.
But he wasn't able to talk yet. Even when he was awake he felt like being in trance. Some part of him was still far away. She was talking to him again but he didn't hear what she said. It wasn't necessary to hear, cause he could feel what she wanted to tell him. From now on the young woman with the brown hair and the deep brown eyes would take care of him. Her name was Trista. A nice name. Maybe they could become friends. Slowly her hand reached forward and stroke over his head. <Trista> he thought. Suddenly her eyes glew surprised.
"Victor." She said. He felt her calling his name and smiled.
<Friends call me Vic.> he thought while touching her hand like a kid would touch his mother's hand. Trista smiled down at him then she turned her head to the older woman. "I understand what you meant Mary. Now I understand. Maybe you're right. I will do my best." Mary smiled satisfied. Vic watched them shaking hands. Then Mary was talking to him. Telling him that she had to go, that it was time to say good-bye. As always he didn't move, just lay there in the bed and looked up at her. She touched his hand gentle and stroke over his head, like his mom had done when he had been ill. Somewhere in his heart he felt something waking up. For days he felt the change. Soon it would start again and they would have to unite to continue the work of the "Loosers". 30 years ago they tried to stop IT, but they failed. Maybe cause Henry, Belch and Vic interfered. After a long time they would go home again and do what they should have done a long time ago.

4. Vacation

The same time on Alamo. Fireball and April were enjoying the vacation.
Finally the war was over and they had time for each other. Commander Eagle had asked when they would get married already. April couldn't say. On the one hand she loved Fireball very much and would like to spend her whole life with him but on the other hand she had always the strange feeling that one time she couldn't stand his love for racing anymore. She could share his joy and liked to visit the Grand Prix with him, as long as they were only spectators. But it almost broke her heart when seeing Fireball driving the car. She didn't want to loose him. Years had passed by since they met each other for the first time and somehow she had always hoped he would give up racing once. Now she had to realize that racing had always been his life. He would never give up the feeling of liberty while racing, even for her. If he would ask her to marry him once she knew that she would ask him to decide between racing and her. Fireball would choose her but he would never be happy with this decision. April couldn't force him. That was why she hoped he was never going to ask her. Maybe it was better they were just friends. Then it wouldn't hurt her that much if he should die in a race one time. You can't play with your luck all your life.
While April was far away with her thoughts Fireball watched the race.
He didn't only watch it but he felt it. Cars passed by, people were cheering and Fireballs eyes followed the cars. Each car woke up memories in him. Memories of the races he did. His eyes starred at the cars and his body felt the speed and freedom. It felt like being in trance.
Suddenly they were interrupted in their thoughts by an earthquake.
Cars were thrown out of their railroads and crashed into each other.
The accidents caused explosions and several cars started burning.
Some spectators were even thrown out of their seats. People were screaming and fell over each other. Soon first sirens could be heard and April and Fireball woke up from their shock.
"Oh my goodie. What happen?" April asked. Fireball didn't say anything but starred at the cars in shock. "I…don't know. An explosion. An attack." His face turned from white to red and he stood up angrily. "Outriders!" he shouted. "I'm sure they are behind this. Come! We will find out what happened." He grabbed for April's arm and pulled her with him. At first it was difficult to find a way downstairs. Finally they found a path through the frightened crowd and went to the main entrance of the stadium. Lot's of people were standing there. Nobody knew what happened when the loudspeaker was switched on and a voice started talking. "Attention! Attention! Please Calm down and take your seats. To avoid further accidents please stay at your seats and listen to the instructions of the security staff. Stay calm and take your seats. We will explain everything to you afterwards." Police officers were leading the spectators to their seats while doctors arrived to take care of the victims. Fireball and April reached the main goal when a police officer told them to go back to their seats. When April explained to him that they were Star Sheriffs he lead them to the manager of the stadium who should explain the problem to them.
"I'm glad to meet you." The young man said after they shook hands. "I got a call from the academy a few moment ago. There was an explosion at the academy, which caused the earthquake. We won't need your help at the stadium but I'm sure they will need help at the academy."
April and Fireball looked at each other worried and nodded in agreement.
"Of course we're going to take care of the problem. You can be sure of that." Fireball said.
"We will inform you when we have news. Please excuse us now." April stood up, they said bye and left the stadium immediately. Both of them were still nervous and worried. <It's starting again.> Fireball thought. <The outriders come back.>
In a few minutes they reached the academy where they were welcomed by Commander Eagle and Saber Rider. Saber had been at home for vacation and it had been easy to find him. As they got to know Colt wasn't available. Nobody knew where he and Robin were staying and it would probably take days to find them. "We know what it looks like."
Commander Eagle said earnest. "But we can't say if outriders are behind it. As far as I know no outrider activities were registered yet. It could have been an accident, an outrider attack or terrorists."
"Don't worry. We will find out who's behind it. But what happened? We felt the earthquake and I can see that almost half of the buildings are destroyed."
April asked.
"The only things we know is that the buildings were blown up by lot's of energy. We can't even say which kind of bomb caused the explosion."
"And which part of the building is destroyed?" Fireball wondered.
"The part where we keep the equipment for the soldiers and where…"
"The most important parts." Saber interrupted Commander Eagle. "Only less people died but everything is completely destroyed except the part with the bedrooms, kitchens and lounges. The main parts are destroyed. It's obviously that whoever is behind this…"
"Is probably an outrider. They destroy our weapons and then they attack." Fireball shouted angrily.
"Calm down and don't interrupt me." Saber shouted back. Fireball looked at him surprised. He had never seen Saber that angry. "It looks like outriders but I believe that those who did it want us to believe that. I'm sure this time no outriders are behind it."
Suddenly he stopped talking and turned to the destroyed buildings.
Like lonely rocks, signs of a dead culture they stood on the ground.
April went forward and stroke her hand gentle over his shoulder. He grabbed for it and took her in his arms. All of them could see tears running down his face. "It's okay Saber. It's not your fault. What's the matter? We've never seen you like this."
"I'm sorry, April. I'm sorry to be that weak. But ….General Whitehawk."
"He died during the attack. Some people say that he got threats by an unknown person some days ago. We suppose that the offender wanted him dead. Probably the only aim of the bomb attack was to kill Whitehawk.
"Oh my god. I'm so sorry. I know what he meant to you. He was like a father."
Saber nodded sadly. "Believe me Saber. We will do our best and help you as much as we can. You can be sure in a few days we have the offender and he will be sent to jail. I know it doesn't bring him back. But I want you to know that we are here for you. You have your parents and you have your friends."
"I will never forget that." Saber smiled and turned back to the buildings.
"Let's get started with the investigations." Fireball, April and Commander Eagle joined him. They knew what he was feeling, at least they thought they knew. Saber's heart was felt pain and the presence of darkness. Somewhere in his mind was a place, which lay in the shadows of darkness. He couldn't see to the place behind this darkness but he knew he wouldn't feel that much pain if he could watch through the darkness. It filled his head with emptiness and suck at his life energy. Vague he remembered having a strange dream and hearing voices. For some moments he could see a light passing by and felt how the darkness disappeared. <What have I done during the last hours? And how comes that I have a lack of memory?> he thought by himself while watching his friends. <Will they always stand by me? > he wondered. <What's happening with me? I feel the change but I don't know…It's strange. Like a dream. An illusion.> Slowly he left the academy and went outside into the dessert, not knowing where to go. His friends would take care of the case. There was no need for him anymore. Maybe he should feel guilty, but he only felt empty and alone. <Is it cause of Whitehawk's death? …No, it started before. But what? Where I'm and what I'm doing. April….April please help me.>
There was dessert everywhere and he turned back and to the place he came from. <It's about time to wake up … to wake up.>

5. The accident

The town didn't look like the ghost towns he had seen already in the western area of Yuma and some planets in New Frontier. But for an unknown reason Colt wasn't surprised very much. He was sure it would be interesting in any case. Robin had never seen a ghost town before and Colt was interested in seeing her reaction. The last time he visited a ghost town himself was when he was a young boy. His parents and him were on vacation and visited old western towns on planet Yuma. It had been great. Most of these ghost towns were now used as film towns, where western movies were made. All the old houses, made of wood, hold their own fascination. When passing the street you were set back in time and could imagine the time when the first settlers settled down in the Wild West. Most came to search for gold, others to start a new life, to have an adventure, to build an own business or whatever. Colt had always been interested in ghost towns. Not only cause his parents used to live a similar life than those people from the past but he also liked the cowboy's way of life. And of course those old towns were mysterious and, when you came for a visit at night, spooky. A trip to a ghost town was like watching a scary movie or doing something forbidden. At first Robin didn't like the idea to visit a ghost town during their vacation but at last he convinced her to go to Maine with him.
And now both of them were walking through the little town, called Derry. In most of the ghost towns Colt had visited yet he had felt excited but this time he felt only emptiness with a mix of sadness.
The town felt really dead. Most of the buildings were covered with moss and surrounded by high grass. Cobwebs filled the broken windows.
You could hardly recognize the streets. Trunks lay on the streets and roots damaged the asphalt. Bushes and moss grew over broken fences and destroyed the barrier between garden and street. At some points you had to push away branches and plants to go on. Nature started to overtake the town again. For a long time nobody had come to the town.
As if people forgot about it. <I wonder that anybody reminds that this town existed.> Robin thought by herself while she followed Colt through the wilderness. <Somehow this town reminds me to those old Mexican pyramids and holy places of the Native Americans I've heard about at school.>
"I've never seen a town like this before." Colt said amazed when they reached a clearing. "It's that much different from the ghost towns I've visited."
"This town is really fascinating Colt. Maybe you didn't have such feelings cause all the towns you visited are real tourist attractions and you always visit them with a group. It's different to visit a ghost town alone, I can imagine." Robin meant. At first she felt a bit frightened but although the town was dead nature mediated peace between the town and them. She was amazed by nature's power and shot many pictures of the buildings and landscape. "Oh Colt. I'm really glad that you convinced me to go with you."
A short smiled appeared on Colt's face. But he wasn't happy. For him the silence of nature was the silence of death and the silence before the storm. This town was different and he wished he had never come here with Robin. Something dark and strange lay over the town. Like a huge animal which was asleep. Robin seemed not to realize his fear.
She saw only nature's beauty.
And while he was thinking whether he should tell her about his feelings or not a loud crack disturbed his thoughts. He turned around immediately and grabbed for his gun but it had only Robin who walked over some branches, which lay, on the ground. "Why are you that nervous Colt?" she asked worried.
"Oh, uh it's nothing." Colt answered. He turned back to the path.
<Damn me. I'm unable to tell her that something is wrong. I feel it.
But maybe I'm wrong.>
"Come on Colt." She touched his shoulder gentle and laughed. "You won't tell me that this town frightens you?"
"Hey! I'm never afraid of anything." He said laughing back.
"Oh look Colt. This rock there is amazing. Have you ever seen such a rock? It glows in different colors." Robin shouted, handed over her camera to Colt and ran towards the rock, which was standing in the middle of the clearing.
Colt grinned and prepared to shoot a good picture. When Robin sat down on the rock waiting for Colt to shoot the picture Colt suddenly meant to see a shadow behind her. His girlfriend looked at him surprised when he starred at her as if she was a ghost. "Robin." He managed to scream. But it was to late. Her eyes became wide and she looked down at her stomach. One part of a dagger seemed to grow out of her chest. She gasped for air and tears ran down her eyes while she whispered his name. A dark figure was standing behind her. The man, who was totally clothed in black and a helmet, pushed her on the ground. In his right hand he hold another dagger. Before he could reach forward to attack Colt, the cowboy took out his guns and fired.
But the stranger disappeared in the wilderness as fast as he appeared. For some seconds Colt just starred at his girlfriend. He was shocked very much and unable to move or speak.
"Colt." Robin whispered and lifted her arm in his direction. Life came back to Colt again. In a few seconds he sat beside her and pulled the dagger out of her stomach. Warm blood ran down her body and builds a small pool around her. Carefully Colt took her in his arms and cried loud. His hot tears fell down on her pale and cold face. "I'm so cold." She whispered.
"Don't die." He sobbed. "Please don't die. We will find a doctor. You aren't allowed to die. You can't let me alone."
"Take this and stop the blood." A young voice said suddenly. Colt looked up surprised. His eyes were still full of tears. In front of him a boy was standing. A white light covered the boy who seemed to be about 15 years old. In one hand he hold a white bandage. "Hurry up." He said. "I know a hospital. You will find help there."
"Who are you and how...?" Colt asked.
"I'm a friend. Just call me Belch and now hurry up. You won't let her die?"
Colt nodded. Like being in trance he took the bandage and bind it around Robin's chest. A silent moan escaped her lips. Afterwards the strange boy showed Colt the fastest way through the wilderness. While Colt carried Robin Belch took the backpack and the camera. In a few minutes they reached the car. Carefully Colt lay her down on the back seat. Belch sat down next to Colt and told him where he should drive too. During the trip they didn't talk anything.
Belch helped him to carry Robin in the hospital and while the doctors took care of her Belch and Colt sat down in a waiting room. The next hour went by slowly. Colt wasn't able to speak and just starred at Belch. <Who is this boy? Where did he come from? And why did he help me? And what's that light around him? > He wondered. Then his thoughts went back to Robin and he started to cry. He knew that something was wrong. Why didn't he tell? It was all his fault and now Robin would probably die. Belch sat down next to him and stroke over his shoulder. The expression on the boys face wasn't readable. A mixture of sadness and trust. "Why?" Colt asked.
"Cause Derry woke up." Belch answered. "You were on the wrong place at the wrong time."
"What do you mean?"
"The town is alive. It always was. It hid a secret, secret only kids could see. But adults never cared about what their kids saw. The town needs to be fed from time to time. Usually it takes only children. People moved away cause of different reasons. You think the town died, and is a ghost town now? You're wrong. It never died. It's alive. For a long time it slept, and now it's awake. It's not your fault, my friend. It's not your fault."

6. Broken hearts

Colt wanted to answer but a young woman who entered the room interrupted him. <I've seen her somewhere already.> he thought while standing up and greeting her.
"I'm Dr. Derringer. You're one of the Star Sheriffs right?"
"Yeah, that's right." He smiled at her. "Have we met before? The name is Trista Derringer, isn't it?"
She nodded surprised. "We haven't met but I know a friend of yours. Her name is April."
"Ahh, I know who you're. The girl who fell in love with Jesse Blue."
She looked at him sad. "Oh, sorry. I didn't want to hurt you. My name's Colt. Nice to meet you." He took her hand and kissed it gentle. "You're a doctor now?"
Trista sat down next to him. "I'm, yes. I work in the mental department. I heard that one of the Star Sheriffs is at the hospital by accident. It's a long time and I'm not mad with April anymore. She did her job and who knows what would have happened if she didn't interfere. I would have never come to this place where I'm needed."
"Well, I was really sorry that we didn't get to know each other. When Robin is healthy again, would you mind going out with us?" Trista looked sad.
"Colt! It's difficult to tell. I met Dr. Warren outside the room and decided to overtake the task to tell you ..."
"She's dead. That's what you try to tell me, right?" Colt looked at her horrified.
"She will always be with you." Trista said. "I know how you feel."
He wanted to be string but his feelings overpowered him and he started to cry.
Belch sat down next to him and touched his shoulder. The cowboy turned his head and looked into Belch's brown eyes. They were deep and mysterious.
"It's not your fault and it doesn't bring her back when you get sad or angry.
But you will get your revenge, don't worry. We all will get it."
Trista looked at Belch surprised. "Who..." she started to say.
"Call me Belch. You know a friend of mine." He smiled. "Thanks for helping him. Now we're five."
"You mean you're a friend of Victor?" she asked amazed.
"And Henry. I have a request for you. If you want Vinnie to wake up you have to help Henry. You know he's in a mental hospital but it was a fault. Maybe you can arrange that he can leave the hospital. He isn't dangerous and he's the one who saved Vinnie."
"You're the one who sends the presents?" Belch nodded.
"Well." Colt interrupted their conversation. "I don't know about what you're talking but I will leave you and hunt Robin's murderer. He won't escape." He stood up and went to the door but Belch held him back.
"You won't be able to stop Derry. Alone you're to weak. Believe me. We need Henry. He can tell you more about what happened and what's happening now."
"Okay, then we will fetch him."
"That's not easy Colt. Be patient. I will speak to Dr. Warren and try to arrange something. I can't promise anything." Trista said.
She left the room while Belch stayed to comfort and calm down Colt.
Hours went by and Colt became nervous. But finally Trista came back.
A boy about 16 years followed her. His eyes were as black as his hair and clothes. Belch hugged Henry and Trista lead all of them to Victor's room. Henry didn't say a word until they entered the room.
Belch and Colt had to stay outside. Trista didn't want too much people around Victor. Henry sat down next to Victor's bed.
Victor smiled. "Henry."
"Glad to see you alive." Henry answered and hugged his friend. "Ready to talk and leave the hospital?"
"Sure. As long as my doctor allows it. But I suppose so. Right, Trista?" Victor said and laughed happily.
"I would have to make a final examination. Well, I didn't believe that only a visit from Henry would help that much. I know we made a progress but that's a real surprise."
"You could do that cause you're half outrider." Henry said. It was a statement.
"I'm no..."
"You're. But don't worry your secret is save with us."
"And you. You two didn't grow up. The accident you had been about 30 years ago." Henry nodded and went to open the door. "Come in." He said to Belch and Colt. Like Henry and Victor before Belch also hugged Victor. Then all of them sat down around the bed. While watching the three friends Trista had the strange feeling that they talked to each other without the need to say anything.
"You are able to use telepathy?" she asked.
<Like you.> she heared Victor's voice in her head. <It's me who talk to them and who can read what they think. Each of us got a gift as I told you before. Soon you will be ready to understand. I hope Colt will be ready to join us soon, too.> Trista nodded thoughtfully.
Colt himself felt like being in a dream. It started like a nightmare and turned out as some fantasy dream by now. He didn't know what would happen if he woke up. The pain was still strong and he refused thinking about Robin. For some time he watched Trista. <She's pretty.
I realized that when I saw her for the first time already. But somehow it's as if I would see her for the first time today. I should think about Robin and feel much more pain or at least I should be angry. But instead I start only thinking about Trista. It's strange.
Did she cast a spell over me? I can understand that Jesse fall in love with her. How could he give up her? She's special and only her presence can cure my pain and help me to forget.> Colt thought while listening to Henry's horror story.
A story about death and hate, a monster which lived in the town, and woke up from time to time, to eat the children and sometimes even adults. The monster could take over humans and as long as the monster was awake the town seemed to sleep. Adults didn't realize what happened. It was the children who saw and started fighting against the evil. But the monster used Henry that time and the seven kids, called "the Loosers" weren't able to defeat IT completely. IT had won the battle and the people moved away while Henry and his friends, who had barely survived the fight in the sewerage, fell asleep. With Trista's help the friends were united again. Now they were five. Two people were left. Only a group of seven people, six males and one female, could defeat IT. All of them would have to use their own gifts, which were given to them by birth or by IT itself. Trista was the one who could heal the soul's wounds, Belch was a ghost and could fight on a spiritual level, Henry could teleport and new everything about IT, Victor would use telepathy to unite them and Colt was good in weapon skills. Two people were left. One who knew about animals and one who could heal the body? The five friends would prepare for the fight against IT until the other two guys would join them. Henry felt that the time was coming. For the past few weeks the moon started talking again. IT would wake up soon. Maybe IT was awake already but they weren't ready to fight.

7. Shadows of the Past

While Trista, Victor, Henry, Belch and Colt found each other and the rest of the Star Sheriffs investigated the explosion at the academy a strange space ship appeared in the orbit of planet Far. It looked like Ramrod but if you watched it carefully you could recognize it as a Renegade. Somewhere in the dessert of planet Far Snake went out of his home and watched the Sky. Some days ago Jesse woke up. He was still weak. Nevertheless Snake did what his stepbrother asked him for. Jesse started to hear Nemesis voice. In the final battle between the Outriders and the Star Sheriffs Nemesis soul was set free.
Somehow Jesse united his own soul with Nemesis soul. According to what Jesse told Snake, Jesse would keep Nemesis soul in his body as long as it would take them to find Nemesis body. Snake had been suspicious at first but after some days he realized that Nemesis wasn't their enemy anymore. With Jesse's help Snake built a special two-way radio, which would send out signals. Hopefully those signals would reach the secret base on planet Lamari. They had and Snake contacted Yamuri, who lead the operations of the rebels there. Jesse explained their situation to Yamuri and the young man sent a group of soldiers into vapor zone to visit their home planet.
The Renegade landed in front of the cave. A young man in a red overall climbed out. He looked human but Snake knew that he was half outrider, like Jesse. Snake hugged and greeted him. "Glad to see you, Yamuri. I hope Cavalry Command didn't realize anything." Snake said.
"Good to see you, too. I'm sure Cavalry Command didn't realize the Renegade.
Probably they thought its Ramrod. The only problem we have is that someone could have realized that your signals were sent not only to Lamari but also into vapor zone."
"We shouldn't risk anything." Jesse said. He was now standing at the entrance of the cave. A weak smile passed his lips. "You found the body?"
Yamuri nodded. "And you won't believe it. Nature found a way to regenerate the planet. It's possible to live there again."
"That's great. The main space ship is on his way home?"
"Yeah. Jean leads the flights. Only few rebels are at the secret base on Lamari, now." He looked at Jesse suspicious. "I'm still unsure if we can trust Nemesis."
The expression on Jesse's face changed. Suddenly he looked older and a bit cold. Nemesis overtook his body. "You can trust me, Yamuri. I'm very proud of you and the rebels. Back in time we made a big mistake. Our mission had a good aim but we didn't know what would happen if we separate feelings from mind. People without feelings are perfect machines. All of us have seen what happens when people play god. We played god and we had to pay the consequences. It's time to forget the past now and to build something new."
Then he turned to Snake. "Thanks for trusting and helping me. It's time to say good-bye now. Jesse will come back soon. But I have to go home to my people."
"When will Jesse come back?"
"The transfer will take place on planet Lamari. Jesse will be back in a few days. Yamuri and me will arrange meetings with Commander Eagle and some high ranked officers of Cavalry Command."
Yamuri helped Jesse to climb in the Renegade and they left the planet. For a while Snake just stood there and watched the sky.
Suddenly he was interrupted in his thoughts by the sound of a car. He looked into the dessert. It was Red Fury turbo, Fireball's car. When Fireball arrived and jumped out of his car Snake watched him suspicious. "What brings you to planet Far Fireball?" he said after greeting him.
"We have to talk Snake. And I want the truth. It's very important and if you're in trouble we will help you. You're sending messages into vapor zone again, right?"
"You want the truth? The truth is a long and sad story and I told you once you doesn't understand anything."
"Snake, I'm not here for jokes. People are dying and Cavalry Command lost most of its weapons."
"What are you talking about? I don't know about your problems."
Fireball looked confused. "You weren't behind the attack? But you send messages into vapor zone. We thought outriders are back."
"Come in and sit down. You're right, it's time to tell the truth. Maybe you understand. You showed me that you're different. Some of my friends wouldn't trust you but you and your friends, you saved my life once."
He led Fireball in his home, gave him something to drink and started to tell his story. Fireball listened patiently to the amazing story.
A really long story. Snake told him about how he and Jesse grew up on planet Far, how Jesse was kidnapped by the outriders and he decided to join Cavalry Command because he wanted to save his stepbrother.
Then he turned to Jesse's story. Jesse Blue who had been the son of a human man and an outrider woman, who had grown up with Snake and was kidnapped by rebels of the outriders to become one of them. They believed Jesse was the rebirth of Nemesis cousin, the one who had helped Nemesis to separate feelings and mind. With the help of Fireball's father Jesse had been able to go to the academy on Alamo later. But some problems at the academy caused that Jesse had decided to join Nemesis side. Later on Jesse had found out about the secret abilities of the outriders, about the dark past and who he had been in his former life. That time prophecies had started to full fill themselves.
Fireball was amazed to hear that his father was still alive and that he was behind the group of rebels. His father had always wanted to bring peace to both peoples. That was why he decided to transfer his own soul into an outrider cyborg body and to let his human body die.
He gave up his own life to help Jesse's parents, to save Jesse and to help outriders to fight against their crazy leader Nemesis. But Fireball also heard about how Nemesis had become what he was and that he changed since the final battle. For the first time since a long time Fireball felt at peace. There was no need for him anymore to run. His past was no longer a nightmare but he could think about it without feeling bad. And finally he understood Snake's, Jesse's and Nemesis' actions.
Afterwards Fireball told Snake about the explosion at the academy and some other attacks, which took place, like the one about witch Colt told him. Fireball was sure that not Robin had been the aim but Colt.
While Saber and April continued their investigations at the academy Colt would go after Robin's murderer and he visited Snake. Before the visit he had never imagined what he would get to know. It was amazing and at first he didn't know what to do. But Snake showed that he really cared and wanted to help him. They would find out who was behind the attacks. Fireball wanted Snake to come with him but Snake told him to go back alone. If he found some news he would send those to him but right now he had some other tasks to do.
Before Yamuri and Jesse left planet Far Yamuri had asked him for a favor. He would see what he could do.

8. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

During the flight to Alamo Fireball thought carefully about what Snake had told him. Wasn't it a weird story? But Snake had been earnest and somehow Fireball felt he could believe him. Probably April and Saber would tell him not to be stupid. He wasn't. Snake told the truth, he was sure about that. And he believed Robin was murdered. Saber said he thought it was an accident. How could he? When will he start to tell us that all the attacks were just accidents, Fireball wondered by himself. <We, probably he acts strange cause it's all to much for him. He needs a break. If Commander Whitehawk would have been my mentor, oh god, what would I do. I can understand him. He knows that he needs a break but he can't let us do the work alone cause the case is something personal.> he thought. When he reached the academy Saber waited for him already.
"Where's Snake?" he asked angry.
"Calm down Saber. He isn't a traitor. He will stay in touch with us and help with the investigations."
"What?! It's obviously that he has something to do with it. Are you..."
"Saber, please. You're just tired. I can understand you. Sit down and let me explain."
"No, you don't understand Fireball. Last night my parents were killed and you help a traitor. How can you, Fireball."
Fireball starred at him in shock. "I...I'm sorry. I didn't know. How?"
"Outriders were behind it. Outriders, I'm sure."
Saber sank on the floor and Fireball sat don next to him. "We will help you, you aren't alone." Tears ran down Saber's face.
"We must stop it. But how? I even don't know what I did last night.
Fireball, what's happening to me? You don't know but I start to forget and suddenly I know about facts I can't know. And now...Well, I should stop that stuttering."
"You aren't crazy Saber. You're just tired. I will fetch April okay and we will take care of you." He stood and wanted to leave but Saber hold his arm.
"I'm sorry Fireball. I didn't want to hurt you. I don't know why I became that angry. But..."
"You work to much, Saber." Saber nodded while Fireball left. From far away a voice talked to him again.
Fireball was still in shock cause of Saber's strange reaction but he didn't believe saber could have something to do with it. Maybe he should talk to a psychologist. Saber had been very down. Suddenly, while walking through the empty academy building, Fireball meant to hear footsteps behind him. He turned around but he was alone. A heavy wind was blowing and he froze. <Well, I should hurry up.> Fireball thought and ran forward. When he passed a corner a cold hand grabbed for him and pushed him to the ground. The man who was standing over him was clothed totally in black. In one hand he had a dagger.
Fireball's eyes widened. "What the hell. Who are you? What do you want?"
"You stupid kid. Dealing with the enemy, right. I knew one time I would get you. Help...help...No, one will help you. Nobody will hear you. Do you feel death? I came for you, Fireball. I was behind you for a long time, but you always escaped. You're going to shag my girlfriend, right. April belongs to me, only to me. Understand."
"We can talk about it. Calm down, please. Who are you?"
"Death." the stranger said, sat down on Fireball's stomach and pushed the dagger into Fireball's chest. He was to fast. Fireball couldn't do anything but breathe. Blood ran out of the wound. The man pulled out the dagger again to push it much deeper into Fireball's lungs.
The boy started to moan and cough. But he wasn't able to defend himself. Blood were everywhere. With horrified eyes he watched the man pulling out the dagger again. Then, instead of pushing it into his heart, the man threw the dagger away and stood up. A terrible cry resounds through the destroyed buildings. Before Fireball lost his consciousness he could see that the man threw away his helmet. Blue eyes looked down at him. "You?" Fireball whispered in surprise.
Everything went black afterwards.
*
Some hours later at Commander Eagle's office. Saber and April had been called for a conference after Commander Eagle gets to know about Fireball's accident. April was still under shock cause her boyfriend was attacked. He had luck that Saber found him and brought him to the hospital. Nevertheless it wasn't sure if he would survive. The wounds had been deep and he lost much blood. Right now he lay in coma and the doctors couldn't say if he would wake up again.
"You told me at the phone that you believe it has something to do with Snake?" Commander Eagle asked Saber. April just starred at her father, not able to say anything. Her thoughts were far away.
"Yes. We believe that. Some hours ago we got a call from planet Far.
Snake is sending messages into vapor zone again. That's why I sent Fireball to planet Far. He knows Snake better than April and me. I hoped he could talk to Snake and find out what happened."
Commander Eagle nodded thoughtfully. "Go on with the report."
"When he came back he was very angry, cause Snake didn't tell him anything. We separated then cause I had to do some investigations and he wanted to meet April. I hoped he would feel better then. As you know I've informed some officers at our base on planet Far already. They will fetch Snake and bring him to Alamo. I wouldn't be amazed if he is here, already."
"You mean he is behind the attack?"
"I suppose so. I'm sure it was a human and probably he didn't finish his work cause I came at the wrong moment."
"Okay. Good work Saber. I think it's the best now if the two of you have a little break. The last experiences did strained all of us."
Saber nodded and lead April out of the room. He laid one arm around her shoulder and they went down the hall. "You should rest April." He said. She was too weak to answer and followed him to Ramrod. Tired she lay down in her bed while Saber went to the kitchen to fetch her something to drink. Then he sat down at her bed and stroke over her head.
"Feeling better?"
"A bit. It still hurts. Why Fireball? Why him?"
"I don't know. But we will find the offender. Don't worry. And I'm sure he will survive."
"You're?"
"I'm. Don't worry." Saber bent down and kissed her gently.
April looked at him surprised. His blue eyes met her blue eyes and suddenly she felt very connected to him. She grabbed for his arms and pulled him down. Her lips searched for his mouth. Their kiss was long and intense while he pressed her against him. After a while April broke the kiss. Both of them starred at each other in shock.
"Sorry. I shouldn't..." Saber said while standing up.
"It's okay. You have not to feel guilty. I...It's my fault. But I needed..."
"Sorry." He said and wanted to leave the room but she ran after him.
"Saber. Thank you. It's just, I'm feeling much better now."
Saber nodded. "It won't happen again." He said and left. <Don't feel bad.> April thought while sitting down on her bed. <I wanted it, too. You don't know that I loved you for a long time. Oh my god, all of us would have a motive.>
In the same moment the phone was ringing.

9. Dark Truth

Commander Eagle sat in his office and thought about the last experiences. Somehow he had the feeling that this time not outriders but humans were behind the attacks. Thoughtfully he checked the newspapers and in formations they had collected during the last few weeks, when the phone started to ring.
"Commander Eagle."
"I have an important message for you." The voice sounded young and Commander Eagle couldn't say who was calling him.
"Who is there?" he asked.
"A friend. You may get a call from the hospital soon. We tried to help Fireball, but it was to late."
"Are you calling from the hospital."
"Yes, but I will leave soon. The offender is one of the Star Sheriffs. Something strange is happening and I'm going to find out what it is. I will stay in touch with you Commander. Ask yourself, who found Fireball and who knows to use daggers. If it had been me I would have used a snake. That's much easier. Think about it and take care of your daughter." Before Commander Eagle could say anything the other hung up. <It must have been Snake. That means he could escape and he wants to proof that he wasn't behind the attack. One of the Star Sheriffs. Colt? Saber? April? I will talk to each of them and try to find out how they would react. At first I will talk to Saber.
He found Fireball.> Commander Eagle thought by himself.
Not much time later Saber entered the office.
"You wanted to talk to me."
"Yes, I want. I wonder where you have been when Fireball was attacked?"
Saber starred at him surprised. "What? You think I did it?"
"I don't. But I have to check out all possibilities."
"Yes, I know." But Commander Eagle realized that Saber became angry.
Could it be? But Saber? It was impossible.
"I was at the academy. I talked to him when he came back. He was angry and left. I heard a scream and that's it."
"Please, I know you are down with your nerves but I need to have an exact report."
"Exact? I know what you want." Saber shouted and stood up. "You want me to tell you that it was me who killed Fireball. Do you really think I would do ...Oh, go. Sorry, sorry. I'm..I shouldn't talk to you like that." He sat down again and put his head between his hands. "I don't know what's happening. Believe me Commander it wasn't me but I really don't know where I have been. During the last weeks something happened to me. My god, sometimes I even start to hear voices. I suppose I need a break."
Commander Eagle nodded and took the phone.
"What are you doing?" Saber asked suspicious. His eyes glittered strange.
"I'm going to call a doctor. You are right, you need a break and probably help."
"You think I'm crazy, right? That's what you think." Saber stood up, ran to the desk and threw the phone away. "That's what Fireball thought, too. You know he wanted to help a traitor."
"Saber Rider." Commander Eagle said with an earnest voice. "I really don't know what's the matter with you but you behave as if you were insane. Please sit down."
"I won't. You won't punish me for anything. I will take care of April, Commander. I promise." Saber took out a knife and pushed Commander Eagle forward.
"You don't know what you're doing Saber Rider." Commander Eagle shouted and tried to overwhelm the Star Sheriff. But Saber was faster and pressed him against the wall. The knife was near the Commanders chest.
"You were right, commander. It was me. But I had to do so. You will understand. April belongs to me. And Fireball was a traitor. Like you." Saber laughed and rolled his eyes. He looked totally crazy.
"Do you see the deathlights ..." But he was interrupted by the sound of a gun. A blue light passed the room. Saber turned and looked amazed at the soldiers who were standing at the door. He couldn't move anymore. Commander Eagle talked something with the soldiers but Saber Rider didn't hear him. There was only one voice in his head. It was calling for him again and again. <You have to kill them all Saber Rider. They are your enemies. They laugh at you, don't believe in you, and think you're crazy. But you aren't. Kill them. Kill them.>
Like being in trance he went with the soldiers who brought him away.
Some time later April sat in her father's office and listened to his report. She was still sad because of what happened to Fireball. But she was also angry. Her dad sent Saber to a mental hospital. He thought that Saber had killed Fireball and that he was insane. How could he? April was sure it had not been Saber and beside Saber would never do such a thing. Maybe he just got angry cause he was down with his nerves. If Commander Eagle would have sent for her instead for those security man she was sure she would have been able to help him.
Still in anger April left the office and prepared to visit Saber at the hospital. She would help him to get out and together they would search for Snake who had behind the attack. When she reached the hospital they didn't want to let her in at first but she said she was Saber's fiancée and she was allowed to visit him. He was still down with his nerves but didn't react aggressive but like someone whose souls was broken. April felt pity for him. His eyes were somehow speaking to her and she knew that she had to help him out.
At first the doctors didn't want to believe her, but when she showed her passport and told them that Commander Eagle, her dad, wanted to see Saber again she was allowed to leave the hospital together with Saber.
In the car they kissed again and April felt her love growing much more.
"We have to find Snake." She said.
Saber nodded. "Thank you for your trust in me, April. I'm sorry for my actions. I didn't want to hurt your dad."
"It's okay. I believe you and it doesn't hurt that much anymore."
"I know where we will find Snake." She smiled at him while they drove to Ramrod. <Come home, for the final fight. But before coming home I have a special task for you. It will be a great explosion. Destroy the headquarters of Cavalry Command where Commander Eagle is meeting Outriders again.> the voice was saying and Saber planed to obey. Soon they would reach Yuma and come home to Derry, Maine.
The place where it had begun and where it would end.
They had luck that nobody noticed them and that they weren't hunt already. Commander Eagle had other problems at the moment and didn't care too much about what his daughter was doing. He got a call that the outriders were back and Commander Eagle had to think about how they could defend New Frontier without their main weapons. But to his surprise Nemesis sent a ambassador again. After what had happened he still wanted to continue peace movements. This was the proof that the outriders didn't know about the attacks and probably had nothing to do with it. A young human looking man and and two Outrider Commanders visited Commander Eagle. To Eagles surprise the Outrider Commander told he was Fireball's father and the leader of the rebels.
The human man was called Yamuri, and the young red haired man, with blue skin and the glowing eyes was Nemesis. He was young to be the leader of the Outriders and it was a surprise that Nemesis didn't use a cyborg body. In a few hours Commander Eagle and the leader of Cavalry Command got to know everything about the history and legends of the outriders. All of them were surprised but this time the Outriders wanted to start real peace movements. It wasn't a trick and Cavalry Command would not have to destroy all their weapons. There was no need to do so.

10. Destiny

In the secret base on planet Lamari Jesse woke up again. After the transfer of Nemesis' soul into the body Jesse fell into coma again.
It had been too much for him. He had been very weak. But now he was strong again. <I had strange dreams. Dreams about something evil, something old. I can hardly remember it. But there is danger.
Something woke up, something was set free. A voice is calling for me.
It's not over. I have to go...> Jesse thought confused. Slowly he stood up and left the room. Nobody took much notice of him. Only few outriders were at the base and those few outriders prepared to leave the base, too. They were going home. Maybe some outriders would stay.
It was a strange feeling to be free again. For almost his whole life he had been influenced by Nemesis but now he was himself again. Sadly he thought about the things he had done. Probably humans would really hate him now. Nevertheless he couldn't hate them. One part of him was human too, at least in this life, and he still felt a connection. He remembered the time when he was a kid and he smiled. Suddenly, while walking through the base he felt a terrible ache in his heart. His head seemed to explode and he sat down in a corner. For some moments time stopped and everything went black. Far away a voice was calling for him. <Jesse!> The voice wasn't male or female, not old and not young, just a voice, which called his name. Jesse forced himself to stand up again and hurried to reach his space ship. In a few minutes he left Lamari and was on his way to Yuma. But the pain became worse when he reached Yuma. It was almost impossible for him to land, but he managed it nevertheless. When he flew down he even lost his consciousness for some seconds. He almost lost control over Badlander when he woke up again but he forced himself to be strong and to reach the headquarters of Cavalry Command.
<Jesse!> the voice called for him again. <You have to stop them, you have to stop them.>
At first he didn't believe what he saw. Once the building had looked like a huge palace but now only ruins were left. <What happened here? > Jesse wondered. <I thought we wanted peace. I thought Nemesis...>
Everywhere he could see death and destruction. Some parts of the building were burning and loud sirens filled the air. The police, paramedics and firefighters didn't notice Jesse's arrival. Slowly he made his way through the destroyed building. People were screaming and crying and Jesse felt himself going back in time. Instead of humans he saw outriders. Blood was everywhere. The air burned in the lungs. Children sat next to their dead parents while soldiers continued to fight against each other. They even killed children.
Separated them from their parents and tortured them to death.
Suddenly a voice interrupted Jesse in his thoughts. "Jesse..." He turned around and somewhere between broken furniture and stones he could see black hair, which were mixed with blood. "Yamuri?" he asked and sat down next to his friends.
"Help." Yamuri moaned. "Everything will be okay. Don't worry." Jesse said and laid his hands on Yamuri's head. A blue light covered Jesse's hands, left them and covered Yamuri's body. After a few seconds Yamuri's wounds were healed and it was no problem for Yamuri to push the stones and furniture away.
"We have to find the others." Yamuri said. "Perhaps we can save some of them." Jesse nodded and they went on. Not far away from where Jesse found Yamuri they found Commander Eagle. He was injured badly.
Blood ran down his face and a piece of wood pierced his chest. Jesse and Yamuri sat down and pulled the piece of wood out of Commander Eagle's chest carefully. Then each of them sat down next to the man.
They lay their hands on the commander's chest and concentrated. A blue light covered both hands, left the hands and united to a ball of light before it went down to surround the commander. Commander Eagle was still unconsciousness when the light vanished and Yamuri decided to take care of him while Jesse would search for Nemesis.
Finally, after searching some time, Jesse discovered Nemesis unconsciousness body, between broken stones. Blue blood covered the body. One part of his face was burned and stones pressed him to the ground. When Jesse sat down next to him and tried to move the stones by using telekinesis Nemesis opened his eyes and took Jesse's hands. "Jesse...I.."
"Don't talk. I will save you. Everything is okay."
"No...You can't ...It's to late...Saber...you must stop...peace is ....danger..."
"Nemesis you won't die. You can't die. I will not let you die. Concentrate..."
"No...I see what I've done now. It's late...I'm tired...cold."
"No!" Jesse shouted in anger and suddenly Nemesis was free. Jesse starred down at the body. Almost all bones were broken. He looked like terrible.
"Jesse...You will be the new leader. It has always been your task. You know. With your friends help you will bring peace back to outriders and humans. You've always been special. You were born to be a leader."
Jesse took him in his arms and tried to concentrate but Nemesis build some sort of barrier. He wasn't able to heal Nemesis wounds. "When you die we will never have peace."
"We will ...you have to find ...Star Sheriffs ...then ...find ...true enemy."
"Nemesis what are you talking about. The Star Sheriffs aren't responsible for this, are they?"
"Saber...did...it. Go...Derry...
"Saber, but?"
"Cold...."
"No!!!" Jesse cried when he realized that Nemesis wasn't breathing anymore. He concentrated again and tried to heal Nemesis. If he gave all his power, maybe he could save him.
"It's to late. He's dead." Jesse heard a voice behind him. Yamuri and Commander Eagle were standing there. To Jesse's surprise Commander Eagle looked sad. "I'm sorry for what happened. The offender will be found and punished."
"You don't recognize me?" Jesse asked.
"I do. But I know your story and I can almost understand your actions. I suppose you will be the new leader and I can only hope you won't continue the war."
Jesse looked at Yamuri then back to Commander Eagle. "I will also search for the offender Commander. And when I find him first he will die." he stood up and went away.
"He's also for peace, believe me Commander." Yamuri said.
"Both of you saved my life. I trust you. What will he do now?"
"He searches for the offender. You can be sure he finds him. Don't worry he won't kill innocent people."
Commander Eagle nodded. "I've always known he had a heart and feelings. He acts like a teenager. Impulsive and wild. Somehow reminds me to Fireball."
Yamuri smiled and thought by himself: <Some people believe that Fireball's father was Jesse's father. But who knows. Other stories say that Jean and his sister Sunny were Jesse's parents. Nobody knew the truth. The only fact was that Jesse had been the rebirth of Nemesis' cousin and that he was the one the outriders waited for. He gave them their feelings back. Maybe he would also bring peace back to them.>

11. Reunion

Some days ago Snake had arrived at the hospital where Trista was working.
Trista had been very surprised to see him, but Henry told her that he was number six. Only one person was missing. Trista and Snake had a long discussion and Colt was shocked that nobody had informed him about the events on Alamo and the fact that the outriders were back.
After a long talk Trista and Snake were finally able to convince Colt that the outriders had nothing to do with the latest events. This time the peace movements wouldn't be a trick. When Colt was still suspicious and Snake talked with Trista about private subjects from their past, Henry explained to Colt that IT was behind the disasters.
IT had always been the offender. Henry knew tat for a long time. But who would have believed him, except his friends. People said he was insane, but he had seen IT in his original form and he had been used by IT once. He was the only one who survived this without becoming crazy. Nevertheless he couldn't defeat IT alone. All of them would have to go into the sewerage of Derry. Down there IT was waiting for them. IT knew that if enough disasters would have happened Henry would come back to finish what the "Loosers" started about 30 years ago. Again they were a team of six males and one female who would be the connection between them. Colt wondered who would be the seventh person.
"It will be someone who has also been used by IT for some time. He had good friends and he was far away. IT lost the tracks and wasn't able to control him anymore. Now he's coming back and with him three enemies will come back as well. We have to be careful and from now on we should not separate." Henry said. Not much time later they could see Ramrod in the sky. Colt was surprised pretty much but Henry told them to stay in the hospital. Snake wondered how Henry managed to unite the group, to hold them together and to hinder Colt to separate. Like him Colt had been a loner and wasn't the type of guy who liked to take orders from others, especially from younger boys.
But maybe he also felt the danger or he was too much worried about Trista.
Shortly after the arrival of Ramrod another much faster space ship arrived. Trista, Colt and Snake watched it in surprise. It was Badlander.
"Jesse." Trista whispered. Henry stood behind her and laid one hand around her shoulder. "To connect us you have to love all of us." He said. "You're the connection between us. Not me. I may be the leader of the group but you're the one who will lead us out of the sewerage afterwards."
"I..I can't see him again Henry. You don't understand."
"I understand better than you think. You were in love with him, but he didn't love you back."
"He was mean to me."
"he was controlled by IT."
"You mean he could..."
"No, you aren't meant for each other. You're meant for Colt. But you and him, you can still just be friends."
"He's meant for April?"
"No. Where he is it's dark. I can't say. You should talk to him. Now."
Trista was unsure if she should follow Henry's advice but she decided to talk to Jesse. He had to be the sevenths person, she realized.
That would mean the other Star Seriffs were the enemies. Somehow she felt sorry for them. She would try to help them to survive.
All of them went to Badlander. While the boys hid themselves Trista went to the entrance. Jesse was surprised to see her.
"You?!" he said.
"Me!" she answered.
"How did you find me?"
"You found me. I work at the hospital not far away."
"You became a doctor?"
"A psychologist."
"I thought you were dead and I was responsible."
"And if I were dead. What would be then?"
"You were a good friend. I would be sad. Not only me. This world needs more people like you." He smiled for the first time.
"You really mean that?" she said happily.
"I always mean what I say. This time I was just angry. I'm sorry.
Angry cause of my stupid feelings for a girl who would never love me back. I'm over her now."
"Does that mean I'm your girl again?" she asked suspicious.
"Forget my speech about better people. You're my girl."
Trista felt everything turn when Jesse took her in his arms. This time Colt left his hideout. Henry wasn't fast enough to stop him. He was very angry. Jesse betrayed Trista once and now he behaved as if nothing had happened.
"Let her go traitor!" he shouted and pulled Trista away from Jesse.
"You want tell me what I have to do, cowboy." Jesse laughed. "I don't love her like a lover, cowboy. Got it? I love her like a brother. That's meant by she's my girl." He grinned at Colt who didn't know what to say now. Colts face was still red. "You hurt her!"
"I did. But I'm sorry."
"Don't argue." Trista interrupted them. "Jesse was controlled by IT that time. He didn't know what he said. He wasn't himself."
"Oh." Colt said.
"What?!" Jesse asked.
"It's a long and crazy story, mate." Colt answered.
"Are we friends already?"
"You seem to be the sevenths one."
"Can anybody explain what's happening?"
Trista and Colt grinned to each other before they started to tell Jesse the whole story about IT and the last events on Yuma. Snake, Belch, Henry and Victor showed up now, too. It was a big surprise for Colt to hear Jesse's and Snake's story. They had to cut it a bit cause Henry told they were running out of time, but nevertheless it had been an amazing story.

12. The final battle

When Ramrod landed next to Derry, April woke up from her sleep. Saber sat next to her bed and smiled down at her.
"What happened? We're in Derry already?" she asked.
"We shagged, you fell asleep and I brought us here. Yes, we're in Derry." His eyes glew strange.
"Oh Saber. Fireball died and what are we doing?"
"We're going to find and kill the offender." He smiled and pulled her out of the bed. "I'm sure Snake is behind this and we will find him in Derry."
April nodded, put on her clothes, took her gun and followed Saber. He was clothed in black, with a black helmet and took his dagger with him. Both of them made their way through the wilderness and soon they reached the entrance to the sewerage where they could find the enemy.
Seven people were standing there. Three boys, Colt, Trista, Jesse and Snake. "Colt!" April whispered in surprise. "Traitor!" Saber hissed.
April froze. She couldn't believe what she saw. Trista kissed all of them and then they entered the sewerage.
"We have to talk to them!" April said but Saber shook his head.
"We will wait and follow them. Then we must separate them."
"What do you plan?"
"You will see."
April suddenly felt unsure and frightened. Nevertheless she followed Saber down the dark, wet sewerage. She could almost feel death and destruction down there. The tunnel was narrow and only two people could go next to each other. Snake and Henry walked in the front line, then Colt, then Belch and Victor, then Trista and the last one was Jesse.
"That's bad." Saber said when they followed the seven. "Jesse has to be the first. Well, seems as if there is no other way."
Saber made a noise behind Jesse, when they passed some sort of hall, and hid behind a corner of the tunnel they came from. Jesse stopped while the others went on. As fast as he could Saber reached forward and tried to push the dagger into Jesse's chest. But Jesse's reaction was faster. He jumped back and Saber didn't reach him. April appeared behind Saber. Angry she looked at Jesse.
"You are behind this?" she said. "You killed Fireball."
Jesse looked at her surprised. "Why should I. I'm over you now. You should know that by now and you shouldn't interfere. You don't know what kind of trouble awaits you."
"But you know?"
"Better than you."
"He lies." Saber said. He ran forward and pushed Jesse down on the floor. The dagger was near Jesse's heart. April starred towards them in fear when the tunnel above them started to glow red. "Saber look."
She whispered. Jesse took the time and pushed Saber off him. All of them starred at the tunnel and what was coming out of it. It glew white and filled the room with fog. They couldn't see anything. April screamed in fear. She didn't know what was happening but she didn't like it. Jesse's body was suspended in the air and covered by a strange light. He seemed to unconsciousness. Saber starred at him in horror while April was still screaming. Suddenly she felt hands grabbing for her and realized that it was Colt. Trista had realized that Jesse vanished and they came back. Henry used his ability to teleport and appeared next to the tunnel above them. He grabbed for Jesse and both of them fell to the floor. Both of them felt a terrible pain in their backs. The same moment they heard Victor's voice in their heads.
<You have to take your hands. Take your hands. We have to build a circle. Immediately.> Fog surrounded them again and they heard a harsh scream of something they couldn't identify. Trista grabbed for Colts and Jesse's arms and they formed the circle. April lay in the inner part of it, still confused and crying. Saber who had been unable to move for a while listened to IT's voice again. <Separate them. Kill them.> Slowly he stood up. Suddenly the fog vanished and out of one tunnel a boy was coming. "Fireball!" April shouted and tried to break out of the circle. She started hit Colt badly but he wouldn't let her break the connection and hold Trista's and Belch's hand. But April wasn't the only one who saw something strange. For some time Colt meant to see Robin but luckily Trista and Belch realized that he lost concentration and hold his hands firmly. "No." She's leaving...Robin...." he cried. "She's dead. You now that. You have seen her die. This is an illusion." Belch shouted. For Trista it was much easier cause she only saw Jesse and she new he was standing next to her, holding her hand. Snake remembered the time when he was almost killed by outriders who came to their home to kidnap Jesse. Jesse remembered Nemesis, but he managed to refuse the illusion himself. Henry heard it's voice again, but this time it was easy not to listen. He had to concentrate on Victor who saw IT in his original form again. Victor's eyes were glassy and Henry realized that IT tried to push Vinnie's soul towards the death lights. He wouldn't allow IT to kill his best friend. The same time Saber attacked Trista with his dagger and the circle was broken. Trista fell to the ground. The dagger cut a deep wound in her back. Jesse pushed Saber away immediately and sat down next to her. Snake grabbed for April who tried to attack Jesse and help Saber. Belch suddenly appeared behind Saber and tried to get the dagger. Saber turned around to attack Belch, but when he pushed the dagger towards the boy a strange light surrounded Belch. Amazed and shocked Saber starred at his hand, which sticks in the boy's body. He had never seen a ghost before but in this moment he realized that Belch had to be one. The same moment IT lost control over Saber Rider and the former leader of the Star Sheriffs broke down on the floor.
His eyes filled with sorrow and guilt. Tears ran down his face and he watched the bloody dagger in fear. It fell to the ground without making a sound. He put the helmet off his head and threw it against the wall. The pain in his soul almost killed him. Colt had used the time to pull out his gun and to fire against the huge spider, which entered the hall. IT screamed in pain and energy was set free. An earthquake moved the sewerage. Henry's soul left his body now, too and flew to the death lights, the place where IT's original form stayed. The place where IT tried to bring Vinnie's soul and to kill him. <You're back, little boy.> IT talked to Henry.
<I'm back to kill you, Pennywise.> IT laughed and IT's demonic soul reached for Henry to grab him, too. Henry used the chance to pull Vinnie's soul closer to himself and to both of them grabbed IT's demonic soul. <Imagine a silver knife.> Vinnie said. While Vinnie hold IT Henry imagined the knife and pulled it deep into IT. IT screamed in terror and suddenly the energy and light were set free and vanished in the darkness. Again an earthquake moved the sewerage.
The souls went back to their bodies and both boys woke up again.
Together they destroyed IT. Finally the nightmare was over.
Belch sat down next to his friends and smiled. "Thank you." He said.
"It's okay Belch."
"Take care." For the first time since he woke up Vinnie spoke loud again.
"You too." Belch said and vanished. The ghost found it's peace and Belch could finally die.
A heavy earthquake interrupted them again. "We have to go out. Fast."
Snake shouted. Some time later the were passed the broken sign, which said, "Welcome to Derry, Maine." The ghost town was really dead now.

Epilogue

Finally the war ended and peace came back to New Frontier and the Outriders. While Saber was sent to a mental hospital April had to deal with the fact that her friend was insane and responsible for the attacks. She wasn't sent to jail but not allowed to work for Cavalry Command again, at least for the next few years. Her dad forgave her but she still wasn't able to accept that Saber had been the offender.
Deep inside her heart she felt that in some way Saber was innocent.
IT had used him. But what could she do? Only facts were accepted as proofs. And April wondered why she wasn't mad with Saber cause he killed Fireball. The connection IT built between them was still there and would ever be. The only Star Sheriff left was Colt. Henry and Victor were asked to undergo the training at the newfound academy and to join Cavalry Command. Both of them should become Star Sheriffs and be in one group with Colt and Trista, who was asked to become Star Sheriff, too. At first she had been unsure. But Colt with whom she had fallen in love during the last weeks convinced her to come with him. April was angry cause Colt and his Star Sheriff team would use Ramrod from now on. Colt was a hero and she was nothing. It was unfair. Maybe time would heal the wounds and Trista talked to her already. She wanted to do her best to help April to get over the pain and to help Saber. For the next few weeks Trista would have vacation anyway and she decided to use the time to help April and Saber. Colt who was still mad with April, who helped Saber (the one who killed his Robin), didn't understand how she could help April. How could she forgive that easily? But on the other hand he was proud of Trista for what she did. The same time Henry and Victor started their training and their abilities improved soon. They were not only trained to become Star Sheriffs but Yamuri also stayed at the academy to help them by practicing their special abilities. Henry was very good in teleporting already but Yamuri believed he could help him to wake up more abilities. Maybe Henry could also learn to heal and to use telepathy, like Victor.
But not only in New Frontier lot's things had to be done. After Nemesis death it had been Jesse's task to become the new leader. Most outriders accepted him more than Nemesis cause he gave them their feelings back. Nevertheless it wasn't easy for him. He remembered the time when he wished to get this position. Now he had it but he wasn't that happy with it anymore. You had only less time for yourself and had to take care of everything. Jesse was glad that Jean and the leaders of the rebels helped him to rebuild the state system and that Snake overtook the task to lead the peace movements. The only condition for an alliance was that Saber and April had to be punished for what they did. Cavalry had want that Jesse should be punished too but they had to accept the outrider's legends and Jesse showed with his actions that he really wanted peace and wouldn't trick them again. Of course it would take some time until real friendship and trust could grow between outriders and humans but first steps were done already.


The End

© 2003 Yamuri. And don't forget to write her what do you think about this!