A prequel to "Supertroopers". How did Killbane get involved in the plan to steal Batch-22? (Killbane, Shimmerer)

Set about two months before the episode "Supertroopers". See my profile for the timeline I use.

This story is based on the song "Poison" by Alice Cooper.

Thanks to Robyn for beta-reading.

Rated strong T / light M / PG-15 (for sex, crime and drugs; no rape).

Do not read if you are uncomfortable with these subject matters.

//

Disclaimer: 'The Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers' is copyrighted by Hearst Entertainment, Inc.

This is a work of fanfiction, and I make no profit of it.


Awareness was dim at first. Grey light filtered through dust-covered blinds, and the Tortuna street noise of hover cars, spy droids and vendors for all sorts of legal and illegal goods could be heard even on the fifth floor where he slept.

His biodefenses had neutralized the poison he had drunk, yet he still didn't want to move. The warm body beside him didn't either, and he was in no hurry.

He single-handedly had trashed a smuggler's base the previous day; that should be enough to keep any sensible outlaw away from him for some time. Trafficking, robbery, exertion, man-handling, murder – this type of work was a necessity to keep the money he needed flowing, but these ordinary outlaw jobs didn't excite him. Not the way Tortuna's more lucrative opportunities did.

The Queen was in a category of her own, and she'd easily psycho-crystallize him if he lowered his guard, which he wouldn't do. He was a Supertrooper, after all.

Your cruel device

Your blood, like ice

One look could kill

My pain, your thrill

She had withdrawn the prize on his head after he had snuck aboard one of her Destroyers and set it on a collision course with the Graveyard Asteroid Belt where her base was, but she hadn't paid him for the raid on Kirwin.

Graveyard – that was a really fitting name for the home of the head of an army of walking corpses.

She'd suck the League dry of life if given the chance – which wasn't his problem. He worked for the highest bidder – if he liked the mission.

His pocket was full of crowns. He had time to explore Tortuna until he found a job that thrilled him.

The heat was getting stifling, and he threw off the sheets covering his body. The woman lying next to him groaned when she was buried under the linen. The prostitutes usually didn't stick around this long. He would have to throw her out.

He started picking up his clothes while the woman struggled to get free of the bed sheets and sit up.

"Get out!" he told her without looking up as he got dressed and assembled his weapons.

"You're not very hospitable," she complained. "We've just started our reunion."

He spun around. No woman talked to him like that.

And froze. Even if he hadn't paid attention to the voice, the red eye markings with the yellow trim were unmistakable.

"Shimmerer?!?"

"At least your memory is working today," she said as she casually slid into her short tunic.

He stopped. He remembered coming to the Dragon Bar for a couple of drinks. Given his biodefenses' resilience, he usually used a mixture of pure ethyl alcohol and mercury to relax. Late into the evening, a woman had sidled close to him and asked him whether he wanted to do 'business' with her. He wasn't too clear on what had followed; only that it was warm and pleasant. He'd even thought at the time that she reminded him of Shimmerer.

The only difference between the memory and the real Shimmerer was that his former comrade could kill. He eyed her as she made no move to further cover herself or leave the room. They'd fought against and with each other and shared some good times in the closets at Wolf Den, but things had changed a lot since then.

"So you want to do business?" He never assumed for a single second that what she wanted was harmless.

She smiled leisurely. "So I do."

"I don't take orders any more," he said.

"I never assumed you would."

She ran her fingers through her blue hair as a makeshift comb before she got up.

She was moving closer to him now. He waited to see what she would do.

"I need a partner to steal a valuable item – out of Longshot."

That got his attention. "What item?"

"A biochemical weapon."

"And you want me to walk in and grab it?"

She laughed at that, a laugh like death bells.

"As much as I admire the stunt you pulled with Mindnet, I don't think it would work a second time. No, I need your help to kidnap Wheiner."

"Wheiner? That wimp? What does he have to do with it?"

He was almost disappointed by her proposal. Wheiner wasn't worth his efforts.

"He has access privileges to Longshot."

She was standing so close to him now that it was difficult not to accidentally touch her.

He held his position but watched her carefully for any sign of an attack.

"And how would we 'convince' him to help us? Even if we kidnap one of his relatives, that sniveling coward would sell out his family or even Earth to save his own skin."

She smiled again and casually put a hand on his arm. He automatically reached for her upper arms to hold her still.

"I have my ways to convince people," she murmured enigmatically.

He was staring at her pink lips and her shining eyes. He could see a hint of her psi powers flashing in them, changing their color between blue and gray.

Shimmerer had always been able to plant thoughts in people's heads. If X-factor had increased her talent the same way it had boosted his biodefenses, she would indeed be able to persuade Wheiner to help them.

The thought both aroused and chilled him.

I want to love you, but I better not touch (Don't touch)

"Did you bewitch me?" he growled, ready to strike if she gave any hint of manipulating him psychically.

She smiled and tilted back her head, exposing her throat and the depth of her cleavage.

"Would I need to?" she asked and brushed a little bit closer against him.

His hands on her arms tightened. He was fighting with himself whether to push her away or draw her closer.

I want to hold you, but my senses tell me to stop

He probed the bounds of his mind shields but found no compulsion. She laughed and yanked her arms free. She sauntered over to the chair where she had placed her clothes and resumed dressing nonchalantly.

"Are you in?" she asked when she had finished tying her boots.

I want to kiss you, but I want it too much (Too much)

Many things could be said about Shimmerer, but she wasn't dull or replaceable like the numerous girls he'd seen since he left Wolf Den. He could almost taste the danger on his tongue.

"What does your customer want the weapon for?"

"As a bargaining chip."

That sounded interesting. Weapons were his specialty, and it never hurt if he stole them from his enemies.

"What's the toxic capacity of this weapon?"

"Millions of deaths per milligram."

That caught his attention even more than the prospect of harming Longshot, the Board of World Leaders and everyone associated with it.

Endless possibilities opened up before him.

"With that we could have our own bargaining chip."

She didn't move from her chair, still waiting for his response, a cruel smile playing around her lips. She hadn't changed much since he last saw her, except that her attitude was harder now.

I want to taste you, but your lips are venomous poison

Her lips were slightly swollen from the previous evening. The risk suddenly seemed very enticing.

You're poison running through my veins

You're poison, I don't want to break these chains

He pushed her back on the bed. She struggled but didn't even try to hit him.

**

Your mouth, so hot

Your web, I'm caught

Your skin, so wet

Black lace on sweat

**

He kept an arm across her chest when they had finished sex. Their sweaty limbs were still intertwined. He didn't want to move. The hotel manager would know better than to disturb them if he valued his property and life.

I hear you calling, and it's needles and pins (And pins)

Her face was buried against his neck.

"It's good to have you with me. There're too few of us left," she whispered.

I want to hurt you just to hear you screaming my name

His brain wasn't yet ready to resume working. He silenced her by crushing her lips in a heavy kiss. Her tongue played with his fangs, and he tasted blood. She didn't protest when he moved his mouth lower.

"We never had that much time before," she moaned as her hands traveled deeper as well.

Don't want to touch you, but you're under my skin (Deep in)

He almost shoved her away, and only the pleasant feelings she was creating in his body kept him from doing so. Wolf Den was the last thing he wanted to think of.

"We won," he growled. "We're free."

I want to kiss you, but your lips are venomous poison

"Not all of us," she replied huskily. Then, thankfully, she was silent.

You're poison running through my veins

**

You're poison, I don't wanna break these chains

When they were lying still again, he wondered how he could have forgotten about her for so long. She was as hard to understand as any woman, but at least she wasn't boring.

Suddenly he could see clearly what they needed to do.

"It's a bargaining chip for those in the cryocrypt."

Poison

He surprised her. Not by suggesting it – but by suggesting it that early. But then, Killbane wasn't stupid; it just helped if he thought a proposition was his to begin with.

He was their best weapon in the bid to free the other Supertroopers, and he knew it. A weapon with a will of his own, but she could prod him in the right direction. He needed a little bit of help in finding his goal, but once he had fixed his eyes on something, he was formidable in getting it.

One look could kill

My pain, your thrill

He was strong, and she liked that. She would gladly leave all the weaker men and the entire human population to Darkstar, Amina, or whoever wanted them.

She had been working as an information broker. She was good at it, and industrial espionage paid extremely well, but it was unfulfilling. She had to stay in the background, assume stupid disguises and put up with people who talked about money way too much. One advantage of the job, however, was that she got a good overview of rare and dangerous goods that anyone was seeking to obtain – like Batch-22.

Supertroopers had been meant to rule, and she would see to it that it came to pass.

I want to love you, but I better not touch (Don't touch)

I want to hold you, but my senses tell me to stop

Killbane was getting up now, enchanted with his own idea.

"The League thinks they're strong, but they're weak. They can't even deal with a handful of Supertroopers, let alone 200. We will show them what we're made of!"

I want to kiss you, but I want it too much (Too much)

I want to taste you, but your lips are venomous poison

There was one more idea she needed to break to him.

"We need to do some planning. Wheiner rarely leaves Earth. If he does so, he takes an escort of Galaxy Rangers. We also need a ship and a base."

"What do you suggest?"

"I think," she said and stretched languidly, "we ask Brainchild."

"Brainchild? He's here?"

"He's a successful war and peace consultant and very much in demand by the Felitides, Ralids and whoever else thinks getting along with their neighbors just isn't their destiny."

"Fine. As long as he doesn't get in the way of the action."

She smiled inwardly. If he was ready to accept Brainchild's help, pardon, services, he was also ready to 'accidentally' run into Gravestone this afternoon. She suspected it wouldn't take much nudging to convince Gravestone that a fight against the League was more interesting than the gladiatorial bouts he had in various illegal arenas from Tortuna to Brontes. Unfortunately, Gravestone was too dumb to accept orders from her, but she had no doubt Killbane had what it took to make the giant Supertrooper fall in line and would gladly apply his talents that way.

She also hoped to track down Jackhammer within the next couple of days, and it was possible he knew where Stingray was. Things were looking bright indeed.

You're poison running through my veins

You're poison, I don't wanna break these chains

"Where and when do we meet again?"

He was getting ready to leave, probably to run his own errands. She suspected he'd also start looking into weapons and fortified hideouts.

Poison

"In three days at the Isis Parlor, at 2300. Ask for Larry's party. Kevin Londubh will be on the guest list."

Poison, oh no

Runnin' deep inside my veins,

Burnin' deep inside my veins

Shimmerer got up and dressed as well. She wouldn't mind meeting at a cleaner place next time, like one that had a shower, but for now she was satisfied.

The galaxy had shunned them, but they would show them. You didn't trifle with Supertroopers.

Poison