15

In orbit of a dark grey ringed planet flew a crocodile like alien with black scale just visible of a bulkier than normal space suit. Every few seconds he used his thruster to avoid the shots of a blue tinted Galactic Sheriff that was hot on his ion trail on a similarly colored skyboard. "How close is he to the jump point?", he urgently asked his watcher as he continued to give chase.

"Too close," he replied. "Perhaps stopping him now would be a good idea."

"That's what I've been trying to do!", he snapped at him. "I can't get clear lock on him!"

"Neither can the station's sensors. He must be using a jamming field of some kind."

"I need a better estimate in how close..." There was a quick flash of light and his target disappeared as soon as it was over. "Belay that," he slowed to a stop before hitting that point himself. He had an idea where he was going but Sheriff armor didn't have the technical computer needed to make the jump himself.

"The sensors where able to obtain a brief lock before he entered the jump," the watcher said. "It is possible what he was using to interfere with out sensors may have also interfered with the jump."

"Do you have any idea where he was heading Nizit?", the Sheriff asked.

"I was able to get into his computer system after you chased him out of that orbital base he was using. There were several files pertaining to the Earth system." After several quiet moments with the Sheriff staring at the jump point Nizit spoke up, "Xain, if you are planning on following him there are procedures to follow."

"I know the procedures Nizit," he said turning the board around and heading back toward the station. "Contact Orion for permission to enter his sector. I'm going to need his Gamma's help with this one."

***
Sam joked with Steve, Ryan and the rest of their friends as Alex hung back a bit. They had just left Manny's restaurant, although she wouldn't admit this to her twin it was the best pizza in town, and they messed around as they walked toward their cars. She would glance back every so often staring off into space all glazy eyed. Even though she knew it was an act it still unnerved her at times. But with Ryan still trying to prove Steve was the guy in the armor she understood why he did it better than when she first found out. But the one time he offered to give her some pointers after she got her armor, well she shot that idea down pretty quick.

"Sucks I got to got to work tomorrow," Ryan said. "I'll see you guys later."

"Later man," Steve said before turning toward them. "Alex, Sam."

"I'll see you Steve," she replied. Alex made some sort of good-bye wave with his hand. Once the others were gone Alex dropped the act. In fact with that look on his face and his arms crossed it looked like he was contemplating something. Which naturally made her curious, "What's on your mind?"

"I think I need a new set of friends." Out of all the things she expected to say that wasn't even on the radar.

"And what brought this about?"

"Those guys have thought I've been an addict for how long now?" Looking at her he said something else she never expected, "Where's my intervention?"

"Oh my God," and she walked away.

"I mean you're supposed to care enough to tell your friend he's fucking his life up to his face. I'd at least thought Steve would have made mention of it somewhere down the line."

"How are we related again?", Sam asked as she headed for her car.

"I just want to know one of them cares. Is that so bad?" The beeps from their respective keypads cut off any response she had. Alex had his in his hand even before she could reach for hers, "What do we have Dez?"

"I need both of you up here," she answered. "Another Sheriff is wanting to give us details on a criminal he was chasing that entered our sector."

"Give us a moment and will give you the signal to beam us up," Alex told her. Looking over at Sam he said, "She wants both of us up there, this sounds big."

"Hopefully not Galgamayde big," she said

"Don't even joke."

***
"And this guy is supposed to be transmitting when?", Alex asked as he paced around the control room. "We've been waiting for at least an hour now."

"I'm going to have to agree with Alex," Sam chimed in. "I know this is part of the job but I have a day job to worry about too."

Dez continued to work the controls as she answered, "I fully understand your frustrations because I don't understand the delay myself. I'm not detecting any kind of interference, natural or man made, and our equipment is in perfect working order."

"Maybe it's on their end," Sam offered.

"Possible," Dez agreed, "but the information sounded important. They would have found a way to contact us." A new beep neither of the twins had heard before caught their attention. Dez was the most confused out of the three of them, "We have an incoming ship."

"A supply run?", Alex asked cautiously.

"No," she answered. "But I am receiving a Galactic Federation ID transponder and they are impossible to fake. Now the pilot is requesting permission to board the station."

"The hell?", Alex muttered. They waited, with Alex fingering the edge of the keypad in his pocket, as the ship docked and the pilot made his way to their location. Before long they were face to face with a humanoid type of alien with feline like features. Although if he had cat like ears they were hidden underneath that mane of gray hair on top of his head. He was also wearing a jacket with a patch of a planet on the side of his arm. This was an actual Galactic Sheriff standing before them. Alex wasn't sure if he was supposed to start saluting now or not.

"Greetings," he said giving them each a quick nod. "I believe you know I have some information on a criminal that came to your sector recently."

"Yeah," Alex said, "but why are you here?"

The Sheriff looked confused, "Orion gave me permission to enter this sector to help in the apprehension."

Alex pretty much exploded at that point, "He's not even back in the armor yet and he's already pushing me aside!" With that he walked out of the room before anyone could stop him.

Sam tried to any way, "Alex..." To Dez she said, "It's the frustration over the situation I promise you. Let me talk him down," then she was gone.

Alone Dez told the Sheriff, "I apologize for his behavior. He usually doesn't act like this." She shot a glance down the door he just exited and muttered, "Much."

The Sheriff looked down the door too then back at her, "Orion did tell you I was coming?"

"He just said you had some info for us," she answered. "Not that you would be delivering it personally."

"Ugh," he grunted while pinching the bridge of his nose. "If he wasn't already in that chair I'd put him in one."

***
While Sam was talking to , more like chewing out, Alex in the transport room the Sheriff walked into the room. Both of them shut up. "Samantha right? Can we have a few moments alone?"

Sam looked at her brother before saying, "Sure."

Watching her until she was well down the corridor he said, "Let's talk."

"Sir yes sir," he replied without any enthusiasm.

"Don't," he told him. "Don't ever call me sir."

"I'm a Gamma, what am I supposed to say?", he demanded.

"Maybe if you were first starting out that would be true," he said. "But you have been doing this for a while now so as far as I'm, and a few others, are concerned you're part of the brotherhood." Alex lowered his head as the Sheriff pulled up a couple of crates for them to sit down. "Not all of us mind you. There are more than a few out there who would demand that you'd call them sir as soon as they entered the room. The name Xain by the way." He held out a hand, Alex looked at it for a second before taking it.

"Alex Brennen."

"I know, everybody who knew Orion has been keeping tabs on you."

"Everybody who thinks I'm part of the club?"

"Mostly," he answered. "I'm sure Orion and Dez have told you that being a Gamma is a tricky position. Most times they don't work out, some times they do. I don't blame you for that out burst back there. I never want to lose the armor either, and that's the same for any Sheriff out there. I'm partially to blame here though, I should have called Dez directly to see if it was alright with you. So I apologize for being professionally rude to you."

"I was pretty rude back there too, so let's all it even." Xain nodded in agreement. "So how many people actually think I'm part of the 'brotherhood' as you say?"

"Not many," Xain admitted. "Me, Orion and a handful of others were talking one night on the planet our headquarters is located. We more or less agreed that if a Gamma has been doing this for as long as you have that you deserved the same amount of respect as the rest of us. Which is why I'm only taking partial blame because Orion should have told you that I was coming."

"What about the rest of them?"

"You probably won't meet any of them, but I'd say you would just be under new recruit in their eyes."

"And I guess accidentally pushing them out of the airlock is out of the question?"

Xain smirked, "I see you have some of the Sheriff attitude already."

Alex smirked back, "Ask my sister and she'd say I had it before I even got the armor. So then... trouble maker who hopped into my area of space."

"Yes, the case was mine, I was hoping I could aid in his apprehension." He stood and bowed a bit, "With your permission of course."

Standing and returning it he said, "Hell lets catch us a crook. Maybe I can finally find out if I've been doing this right or not."

***
Back in the control room briefed them on the suspect he had been chasing. Although Dez was slightly surprised at how chummy Alex and Xain were being all of the sudden. Sam was amazed enough to think to herself that must have been some talk. At the moment Xain stood in front of one of the screens as a twirling image of an crocodile like humanoid, with a mug shot in the upper corner, "Scroc is wanted on several worlds, whole sale destruction mainly with more than a few recorded deaths. Which I'm sad to say he seems to enjoy," a dark look crossed his features while he continued. "He's as intelligent as he his strong and he's almost as strong as a Herculean."

"So he's basically a genius then," Sam commented.

"Not a combination I wanted to run across any time soon," Alex quipped.

"Although it does explain how he made the star jump in a exosuit," Dez said as she pulled up the report on the incident. "The forces involved should have torn him and the suit apart. There has been some theories about the possibilities but none of them had seemed practical or usable."

"Me and my partner found several modified exosuits when we searched his orbital base of operation. A couple of moments before we discovered he had set the auto-destruct."

"Wait, if you're here," Alex spoke up, "I'm guessing your partner's back home."

"That would be correct," he answered. "I can't leave my sector unprotected and he's more than capable." Alex cocked an eyebrow at the answer but said nothing for the moment.

Sam tried to get things back on the case, "Does his file say he needs to be captured?"

"Zero was authorized a long time ago," Xain answered. Sam winced a little remembering the only time, so far, she had to zero an living being. "But be assured that this person more than earned it. The only real question is did he actually land on your planet. I admittedly headed here based on information we found in his computer systems, it's more than likely he could have headed elsewhere. And if he did land here where would he go"

"I can easily checked to see if there's been any unexpected hits in the sensor net and on the space ports. We can narrow down the possibility on where if he did a bit," Dez said. "And if he did, most criminals we've come across generally try to hide where they can easily blend in. So that gives us a few choices."

"I don't know your planet all that well," Xain said, "but do you have any places like that here?"

Sam looked at Alex, "Alien Town?"

Alex nodded, "Alien Town."

Xain looked at both of them, more than a bit confused, "Alien Town?"

***
Things had been tense since Galgamayde had continued to evade capture. It didn't take long to discover the identity of the being who helped him escape after he wasn't seen for a few cycles after it happened But there was no luck in finding either of them since. And the general consensus of those in the Boss's hall was not to do anything to anger him more. Unfortunately some hadn't received that particular message as of yet, like the person currently trying to force a transmission in right now. Despite his men's best efforts an image of a head and shoulder hovered above them all. After a few noises the droid began to translate, "What do you want Scroc?"

"I am demanding that the tail you put on my person to be ended at once," he said.

"And I do not tolerate free agents in my territory," the Boss shot back.

"I am above such petty things like boundaries," Scroc informed him. "However I am will to make a deal that would b in both of our interest." The crowd hushed as half watched the Boss' reaction. "I am currently on Earth, as you are probably already aware of. I also know you have a Sheriff problem. In exchange for freedom from my tail I will deal with him for you."

There was no thinking it over on this side of things, "And I told you free agents will not be tolerated in my territory."

"Then the blood of this one is on your hands." Pulling a one of the Boss' Hunters, badly beaten from the state of him, into view the others waited. Scroc pulled his head back and ripped his throat out with his teeth right before the transmission ended.

The crowd was silenced by the image. Then groups of low murmurs started out in a few places. The droid rolled back to the Boss, "This is where that cretin Galgamayde would have proven to be useful."

***
This particular stretch of Alien town was it's usually busy self at this time of day. Dez had insisted that they hold off an any type of search until she checked the sensor grid that covered the planet. It was late in the morning until she found something that could be the size of an exosuit. Alex had arranged to meet Xain a few blocks inside Alien Town and started their search soon after. Each with a projection disc with a holo of Scroc's mug shot they showed off when they asked anyone they came across. Before long Xain asked, "So why do you think Scroc would be here?"

After a vender shook his head no he answered, "Both you and Dez said he would still need a space port to land despite the modifications he made to the exosuit. And since I'm still going with the hiding in plain sight theory I would think he'd be hiding here."

"And what makes you so sure of that?"

"Well for one they usually seem to head here for some reason," Alex explained. "Plus out of all the Alien Towns on the planet this is the only one within five miles of a space port. And Dez took a look into said space port's computer and found a report of an abandoned, yet heavily modified, exosuit on one of the more vacant pads after a unique sensor blip," he smirked. "Besides she's keeping an eye out on the surrounding area in case I'm wrong. So all of our bases are covered."

"Have anybody ever told you humans that you have some very strange expression?", Xain asked him.

"And I'm sure I'll hear some interesting ones if I ever drop in on your planet," he told him.

Xain looked at him sideways, "I'm starting to think you've been a Sheriff for years and nobody knew. Because you are sounding a lot like a few I know."

Alex smirked again as he turned to another vender, this one he sort of knew, and flashed the holo, "Hey Srup, have you seen this guy around here?"

"Haven't seen 'im Sheriff," he said after looking at it for a moment, "but I'll keep an eye out for 'im."

Alex shot a shot a nervous glance back at an amused Xain, "Okay, thanks."

"So why isn't you sister with us?", he asked as they kept going.

"It's just a search for right now so I figured we could handle it. Besides I'm trying to make sure her life doesn't get as screwed up as mine is at the moment."

"Orion mentioned something about that. Have you seen this person?", he asked somebody else, again nothing. "If you don't mind me asking, what happened?"

Sighing Alex looked around before answering, "Short version before all of this happened I had a regular job and was considered to be a very dependable and reliable person. After I get this," he patted the keypad in his pocket, "I'm suddenly considered very undependable and unreliable and soon out of a regular job when I can't really explain why. Before long people I knew for years just started assuming I was hooked on something. I really don't want that happening to her."

"I'm sorry this life did this to you," Xain told him earnestly.

"I'll admit it was bad at first before I just started to go with it," he continued. "I've never seen an addict, well that i know of, but apparently I act out of it enough that people believe it. Unfortunately I ended up hurting Sam when she found out the truth." Xain put a hand on his shoulder and gave him a friendly pat, Alex definitely appreciated it. "Come on, this guy's not going to catch himself."

After asking a few more people and getting the same answer they came across Nyr's food stand. "Ah my friend!", he said as he saw Alex. Then he noticed the added company, "My friend has new friend. And co-worker I see. Any friend of my friend is my friend so hello new friend," and he shook Xain hand vigorously."

"Hello to you too," he said trying to keep his balance. Finally getting his hand free he took a few sniffs and looked into one of the pots, "Is that kavalful?"

Nyr perked up instantly, "You are familiar with?"

"There used to be a stand near the academy," he explained. "I fell in love with it."

"Must have some you must," Nyr told him as he stirred the pot's contents.

"Is it live?" he asked licking his lips. "It's always better when it's live."

"A being who know how kavalful should be, wonderful." Slopping some of it on a bun and gave it to him and Xain took a big bite. Alex made a face as one squirmed between Xain's lips right before he sucked it in.

"Ugh, it still had the legs and everything."

"There's a lot of flavor in those legs," Xain said between bites.

"Exactly!" Nyr exclaimed. he went to another pot and made a sandwich for Alex. "Always keep non live batch for my friend. Upsets your tummy it does this I know."

"Thanks Nyr." As Alex paid for the sandwiches he showed him the holo image, "You haven't seen this guy have you?"

"No, would remember some one that ugly I would," Nyr answered. "But keep eye out and tell you if I do."

"Thanks," Alex said as he guided the alien Sheriff to a couple of seats. "That's the fifth time today somebody told us they'd call if they see him. I'm going to have to ask Dez exactly when we got the hotline."

"You should have the live version," Xain told him. "You don't know what your missing."

"The live version doesn't agree with me so yes I do." After a moment he had to know something. "Can I ask you a question?"

"Go ahead."

"Dez and Orion are always telling me how important protecting a sector is to a Sheriff and that it has to take something drastic to make them go to another one to get somebody." Xain put the sandwich anticipating what he was about to say. "So what in the hell did this guy do that made you follow him?"

"Orion will be pleased to know you've been paying attention," Xain told him. Alex just looked at him until he answered. "He killed a child right in front of me."

"Oh shit."

"My armor deactivated and I thought he was going to kill me right then and there," he went on. "Instead he reached behind a pile of rubble and pulled out this small boy who had been hiding there. I begged for him to let him go, even offering my own life in exchange. Instead he ripped his throat out and laughed, even batting me aside as my anger got the better of me. Then he left me with what was left of him. I vowed if it was the last thing I ever did I would see him brought to justice." Alex wasn't sure what to say after listen to tale Xain just told him. How could you say anything? "Since I'm not here for the most professional of reason I'll understand if you'll want me to leave.

Alex returned the friendly pat on the shoulder Xain gave him earlier, "I say we find this sonuvabitch and zero him on the spot."

"Thank you Alex."

"Like I said this guy ain't going to catch himself, so break's over."

***
Sam didn't want to admit it but she was a bit jealous right now. Granted she wasn't the biggest fan of all of this space stuff once she found out Alex's role in it. But right now there was an actual Galactic Sheriff in town and Alex was the one with him, and she was here at work. She understood why, Alex didn't want people to start thinking she got hooked on whatever he was supposed to be on. It was perfectly logical and she appreciated his concern over his image.

Still didn't mean it was fair she was stuck here behind a desk and they were out there.

Alright she was being a bit immature here. She was just the partner, the sidekick... no let's stick with partner. For something she didn't even want her brother doing in the first place. Besides it was just one of Alex's work colleagues. Who just happened to be from outer space.

Damn it she didn't want to be at work right now.

A few people started to hover around the windows looking at something. When a few more started to look out and take pictures with their phones she had to go look. That's when she saw the small alien looking probes flying a round outside the building and several others, and a funking looking alien standing on the ground in the middle of it all. The people on the ground started screaming and running when the probes fired on them before targeting the buildings.

There was just enough chaos on her floor after it happened that Sam was able to get somewhere quiet and pull out her keypad. "Dez I just located Scroc."

"I've already intercepted the calls to the police," she told her. "Alex, Scroc had showed up by Samantha's location."

"Skyboard not going to carry both of us," Alex said trying to think quick. "Transport both of us to her. Tell her to find a open area that we won't be seen." To Xain he said, "I guess I was wrong."

"It happens to all of us," he said as they started to run away from the crowd to find an open area of their own.

***
"Keep the cattle running until the Gamma makes his appearance," Scroc instructed the probes, "kill one or two every so often though, just for them to remember who the one in control at the moment. That gelatinous blob may not have wanted to broker a deal but since he was here he might as well be constructive. This particular replacement had seemed it gain quite the reputation since taking over. And he was more than willing to stomp it out. Any idiot knew that any chance you had to remove a Galactic Sheriff from the playing field you took it.

Still it was amusing to watch the humans try to flew right before their death by the probes. It was almost art as his probes danced in the air, occasionally sparing a target while another finished it off. He could literally watch this for hours and not get tired of it.

"Scroc!" he turned at the calling of his name. Behind him were two humans, each wearing a different style of clothing than the other and each with a keypad on their arm. Obviously the replacement Sheriff and his partner. What surprised him was the third one standing between them.

"Xain," he chuckled as the probes situated themselves between him and them, a few circling around him personally, "I must have hurt you more than I orginally thought to follow me all the way to these outlands like this."

"Justice has come for you Scroc," Xain told him, bristling at the smug look the alien criminal was giving him.

"Just here alone," Alex spoke up, trying to keep a cooler head than his colleague at the moment, "death, destruction and I'm pretty sure that's some illegal hardware."

"Did he tell you about the youngling?", Scroc sneered. Sam looked at Alex who held up a hand. "I still see the expression on this one's face when I extinguished his life."

Starting to feel some of that anger Xain was Alex still tried to appear calm, "What part of "here alone" did we not understand? Because I pretty sure that covered what you did elsewhere."

"Oh you are defiantly a Sheriff alright," Xain muttered so he could hear, appreciating what he was trying to do, but never taking his eyes off of Scroc or those probes. "Take him down!" Holding his arm so it was close to his body and pointing to the sky he unzipped something on his sleeve that revealed his keypad and punched in his code -4-1-3-5-

Alex and Sam held their arm across their chest and punched in theirs

-5-7-1-6-

-5-5-4-3-

The twins punching their left arms forward while Xain raised is in the air all three of them shouted, "Online!" A flash covered all of them fading away revealing their armors.

"Thin out the herd!", Alex told Sam, who nodded. -DOUBLE GUN-RAPID FIRE-

-DOUBLE GUN-SINGLE FIRE-

Alex and Sam both ran toward the sides as the probes targeted them. Both fired back in an attempt to take a few of them out.

-SINGLE GUN-SINGLE FIRE- Xain stood in place as he picked his shots at the ones that came toward him. A quick command from Scroc and a majority of them concentrated their fire on him. Forced to move now he found cover behind a car. Alex ran in holding down both triggers as he slid behind an adjacent vehicle. "I had a feeling you were the guns blazing type," Xain told him.

"Hey, these only go blazing," both of them fired at a probe that was coming up behind the other, "when I have a clear shot."

"Well if I had any doubt you had contact with Orion it would be gone now." Both of them ran back out to take on the probes.

-SHIELD- the disc formed on her right forearm as Sam got in front of a group of people who were still being targeted by the probes. Using the targeting computer in her helmet she took aim with her gun and destroyed them in a couple of shots. "Run!," she looked back at them. They didn't need to be told twice as she covered them for a few moments. "I hope none of them recognized me."

"I hope you realize those probes you are destroying are rather expensive," Scroc calmly commented as he watched from his position on the middle of the street.

"Remind me to care later," Alex said to nobody in particular as he took aim at the alien and fired. A probe jumped into the line of fire protecting it's creator.

"Take care of the probes and cover me," Xain told them as he replaced the gun. "I'll take of Scroc." -SWORD- As the liquid metal solidified into a slightly curved blade he charged at the criminal as Alex and Sam quickly took out any probes that looked like they were coming at him.

Scroc caught the blade with one hand stopping he intended blow. Ignoring the trickle of blood that started flowing down the blade he looked at the Sheriff, "Do you really think it will be any different this time around?" Xain ignored the taunt and pulled his blade free and took a defensive stance. Scroc didn't move. "I only let you live because I knew what killing that youngling would do to you. Although you following me all the way out here was a bit of a surprise."

"And I promised to avenge that child and all the others you killed by bringing you to justice," Xain told him. Going at Scroc again he wasn't surprised when he fought right back. Scroc keep his strikes precise and efficient as he calmly saw the openings in the Sheriff's attack and defense. This was almost too easy. Grabbing Xain by the neck he lifted him off his feet and threw him into the side of a building.

-SWORD-

-STAFF-

Alex and Sam both went at him trying to give Xain a second to recover. Despite the combined assault he was able to hold his ground. A fist got through and hit Alex in the chest. Right there he learned exactly how close he was to being as strong as a Herculean, and it felt pretty damn close, as he went flying back a few feet. Sam tried to fight him off but soon found herself in a bad position as he grabbed the staff and twisted her so he was standing behind her. Then she struggled as he pressed her own weapon against her neck and tried to use it to pop her head off.

"No!", Xain rushed in and slashed Scroc in the back. That was enough as he let her go and Sam kicked back making him stumble. Alex rushed in with a jumping shoulder tackle that knocked him to the ground. Before any of them could do anything else another round of fire from the remaining probed blasted all three of them to the ground.

"What kind of an AI do those thing have?", Sam grunted.

"A very basic one, but they are essentially mindless drones," Scroc said as he stood over them. "Well they do have a mind, mine. All of them are connected to me by a cyber implant. A one way connection of course. The feedback from the ones you needlessly destroyed would have been slightly debilitating. I do think ahead after all." He walked away from them as Xain got to his knees, "Like now for instance." A couple of different style probes, with arms instead of gun, flew into view and toward him. All three of them froze at the sight of the child, a small girl no older than five, between them.

"No," Xain muttered as he relived the same moment over again in his mind.

"I was going to use this opportunity to preform a little experiment," Scroc explained as he took control of the child, holding it in air with his hand. "I was curious if I could get this Gamma to beg as much as you did."

Sam," Alex whispered into his keypad, "move when I move." She nodded slightly in response. Praying to who ever would listen that this would work he slowly reached for his keypad and tried to get a target lock.

Scroc was oblivious to their conversation as he continued, "Now Xain I'm curious at how fast a part of your soul dies as you fail to save another innocent victim." He opened his mouth and bared his teeth as the little girl screamed.

-DISC-

Scroc looked in Alex's direction as he threw the disc with all he had. He maneuvered the child so it was in it's path. Then it dipped low at the last second and the glowing edge sliced into his leg. He was so focused on Alex and the disc he didn't see Sam run in and whack the arm holding the child with the staff. He let go and she stayed in his reach just long enough to catch the child as she fell before she got out of there. Unfrozen Xain ran in with a flying kick to give her the time to get her out of there.

Putting her down she said, "Run away from here now sweetie," before turning around and facing Scroc.

"We got to do this now!", Xain ordered as he pressed a key on his pad. Sam did the same as ALex reversed the grip on his sword before following suit.

-PROTOCOL-

-PROTOCOL-

-PROTOCOL-

-ZERO-

The ends of Sam's staff started to glow as energy flowed from her armor into them. Alex and Xain's blade did the same as they took position. The twins went in first, Sam swing both ends through Scroc as Alex ran in swing his weapon. Xain jumped up and brought his sword down with all he had. Scroc stood there for a few seconds and the combined energies finally disintegrated him.

Alex put a hand on Sam's shoulder as he checked on her while Xain said, "Justice is finally served."

"Alex," Dez said, "the local police have gotten control of the fleeing crowds and are staring to close in on your location."

"What about the security cameras around here?", he asked looking around.

"Any footage of the three of you before activating the armors have already been taken care of," she answered.

"You're my favorite alien Dez and don't let anybody tell you otherwise." He summoned the Sky Board and Galactic Cycle in the next instant. "Ride with Sam," he told Xain as he jumped on the board. "I'll explain what's going on once we're clear."

"Orion already told me the situation," Xain said as he compled by getting behind her. "You have my sympathies."

"Thanks," he said.

"We might want to run now," Sam told them. Alex buzzed the first couple police cars that showed up to give them an opening to get out of there as well.

***
"You owe Alex a huge apology," Xain told Orion, who decided to use his canes to stand for this one, over the communication link. "He is protecting your sector after all and you do him like this."

"I know," he said. "I had a temporary neural malfunction on the matter.

From the back of the room Alex spoke up, "Is that a fancy way of saying you had a brain fart?"

Dez rolled her eyes at her station as Xain looked bck at him briefly, "And you could have warned me about these strange saying these humans have."

Orion shrugged, "I guess I'm used to them by now."

"Pray I never visit either of your planets," Alex said stepping forward.

"How is Samantha coping this time around?", Orion asked, just to change the subject.

"About as well as last time," he answered. "But the fact this one killed a kid is helping her cope with this one a little better."

"How many zeroes has she done?", Xain asked. When Alex held up two fingers he nodded in understanding, "Those first few are rather hard. I've been trying to protect my partner the same way and we're not even related. Speaking of which I better start my journey back. Alex it has been a pleasure meeting you," he held out a hand that Alex readily took.

"Likewise. I'll tell Sam you said goodbye."

He nodded and turned toward, "Prepare for a lot of flack over this once the others find out."

"If they haven't already," Dez said innocently as she continued working.

Orion scowled at her, "Traitor."

"It's going to start sooner than I thought." Leaving he put an arm around Alex's shoulders and pointed at his comrade, "You got lucky with this one Orion, you better take care of him. Or you will hear from me."

Orion gave him a wry smile, "I'll consider myself warned."

***
At that same moment in the outer region Galgamayde was less than pleased at his current location, and his forced traveling companion. He wore a cloak to hide his mechanical parts, although a few looked around to locate the slight whirring sound they heard as he moved. "I will not hesitate to end you miserable existence right here and now unless you tell me why you brought me to this zoo." And it was by every definition a zoo, with various types of animals behind cages of various types.

"The reason is right over here," the Andorian told him as he lead him to an observation platform surrounding one of the open habitats. Galgamayde gripped the protective railing, In the open area was packs of extremely fat beings just lounging around making way too familiar sounds. "Looks just like the boss, don't they?" He was silent. "I've asked around, this is the only species in their known universe that looks like that. And they're nowhere in the one we know. So it begs the question, if the boss is one of these mindless creature than who's controlling him?"

Galgamayde slowly began to smile as the pieces finally started falling into place, "Yes it does."