Last Time on XTREME
As Nick signed the magazine, Scott looked up and half smiled, "Oh..here comes Howie now...with some...ummm..interesting looking friends."
Kevin and AJ turned and looked as Howie and a group of men and women walked towards them. Kevin and AJ walked over to greet Howie and were immediately slammed against the wall of the hallway by an unseen force.
"What the hell!...", Kevin growled as he fought against the pressure that held him bound against the wall.
'LOOK OUT!', Bill and JC cried out telepathically to the group, 'Howie's not on our side anymore!'
Chapter 20 Begins Now....
Kevin's eyes squinted shut and a second later, he had changed to his biometallic form and with an amazing show of brute force, immediately broke free.
As Kevin broke free of the bonds that held him, one of the group stumbled and moaned slightly.
'JC!', Bill thought quickly, 'knock her out!'
JC reached out his mind and used the raw power of mental force to seize the functioning of her brain, temporarily shutting it off and immediately taking her down.
That simple act began a chain reaction of metamorphoses within both groups, with Joey taking to the air as Chris disappeared into thin air. Justin used his power to pull up the marble floor beneath the approaching group, smiling as they all tumbled backwards as the floor literally rolled up and over them. A second later, a huge fist slammed through the marble, pulverizing a huge section of it to dust. Bill looked over at JC and found that he was holding his temples in an incredible feat of concentration, obviously fighting someone in Howie's little group that must have been an incredibly strong telepath.
The huge fist that punched through the marble was connected to an equally huge body, which once free of the marble debris field, came charging at Justin. Justin confidently held his ground as the immense man closed the gap between them. Just as the two men were about to meet, a biometallic fist came between them, slamming into the side of the giant's face and sending him careening into the wall on the opposite side of hallway.
"Sorry Justin", Kevin said with an aggressive smirk, "go find someone your own size to play with, this brute is mine."
Brian smiled as he watched his cousin clean the clock of the giant, caught totally off guard by Kevin's blind side attack. Brian looked to his right in time to see a woman raise her hands in his direction, her fingers becoming snake-like energy tendrils that Brian just didn't like the look of as they shot towards him. Brian dodged the first ones, rolling forward while keeping his eyes on the woman in front of him. He then dodged left and let fly with two high powered beams from his eyes. The beams sliced through the woman's energy tendrils and slammed directly into her chest, sending her flying back over the heads of her comrades. Howie looked up as the woman flew over his head and into the Disney Store. Howie cursed that three of Marshall's elite squad had already been taken out of the game. When he turned back to view the action in front of him, he noticed Chris smirking as he stood right in front of him.
"Christ!", Howie said, startled by Chris's silent and instantaneous appearance.
"Nope....just a letter off, I'm Chris!", Chris responded with a giggle, then grabbed Howie by the chest, "I think it's time for Bill to take a look inside your head and get you fighting on the side of the white hats again!"
Instantaneously, Howie and Chris disappeared, appearing over 40 feet away on the other side of the hall.
Bill watched Howie and Chris appear before his eyes and he smiled and held up his hand, touching Howie's head, freezing the muscles of his body and putting his mind into a trance. Bill then easily slipped by the defenses that Howie and his new "friends" had placed in his mind, and found himself deep within Howie's psyche.
Lance watched Bill meld his mind with Howie's and nodded, knowing that if anyone could help Howie get back to the right side, it'd be Bill. Lance looked up and saw a pale woman floating towards him on huge gossamer wings that sprouted from her back. The woman's mouth opened and a blue liquid fire began to spew out. Lance jumped back just in time, feeling the incredible heat from the fire her mouth had begun to rain down in front of him.
"Shit!", Lance said, "How can I fight her....I can't touch her to use my powers!"
Lance's anger built up and his eyes began to glow a bright fiery green as he looked at the woman as she dove upon him for another pass. Lance stretched out his powers into the air, grabbing hold of the woman as if by catching her in an invisible net. The woman's head snapped back as Lance used his healing power in reverse, giving her an inner ear imbalance. The woman screamed as she felt her preception over her flight powers fade away. Seconds later, after frantically beating her wings to keep her afloat, the woman came crashing some forty feet down into the mall's water fountain beneath her.
Lance smiled at the increase in his abilities and held his defensive position, guarding Bill and Howie while they were merged.
JC moaned as he felt his opponent rake his fingernails down his psyche. JC's eyes glowed a deep aquamarine color as he threw up a set of defenses and backed up a few steps to try and locate his attacker. JC heard a familiar voice utter a light curse beside him and he turned and smiled.
"Hi JC!", the platinum blond smiled evilly, "Got someone messin' around in your head?"
JC giggled and shook his head, "No....This has gotta be some kinda gag! I am going to have a mental throw down with Christina Aguilera? Where's Allen Fundt? Is this Candid Camera? C'mon! This is bad comedy!"
"FUCK YOU CHASEZ!", Christina shot back, her mind projecting a lance of energy at JC which slammed into and was absorbed by his greater mental barriers.
JC shook his head, "I can't believe this....you're the best they had to send against me? Un-freakin-believable...I'm going toe-to-toe with a blonde half wit."
Christina shook with fury at JC's taunting and walked up to him and moved to slam her foot into his crotch. "Half wit?!? I'll show you half wit you silly faggot!"
As she let her leg fly she realized she was suddenly nowhere near JC's body anymore, she was flying forward rapidly and rapidly approaching the wall.Christina let out a pathetic yell as she was slammed face first into the wall.
"Yo Bitch!", Justin said from beside her as she staggered away from her faceplant on the wall, "I can't be havin you messin' with mah boyfriend's family jewels. The only one who gets to play with those babies is ME!" Justin grinned and waved his hand, slamming Christina back into the wall, and directly into unconsciousness.
(In Howie's Mind)
"Howie!", Bill called out, gently urging him back to consciousness telepathically.
Howie moaned and pulled his head up a moment later.
"Bill?", Howie moaned.
"Yeah man...its me.", Bill replied.
"Dude...it's a trap. All of this. Dude...I am so sorry!"
"Howie", Bill said quietly, "None of this is your fault. These guys had set something up in your mind and it got released when I activated your power."
"Re-activated", Howie said, "I always had my power, I just was too afraid to use it."
Howie's eyes got huge and he screamed, "LOOK OUT!"
Bill turned and found himself face to face with a giant snake. As the snake peered into Bill's eyes, he peered back into the snake's. A few seconds of quiet later, Bill let out a snicker and then the snake began to metamorphosize into a human.
"Surrender", the man said calmly, his eyes glowing red as coals.
"Umm....how can I break this to you...um...NO!", Bill said with a flick of his wrist.
"Then die under my boot.", the man sneered.
"Die under your boot? Jeez...who wrote your dialogue, man? How corny can you get?"
"Who are you anyways?", Bill inquired as he opened his hand up wide and lit up the astral plane inside Howie's mind as bright as a soundstage.
The man staggered backwards, shielding his hands from the light.
"Howie", Bill said quietly, grabbing hold of his hand, "This...entity...in your mind is nothing more than a engram...um...kinda like a message on your voicemail. You can hear the message and it can contain some substance, but, once its played out, its easily erased."
The man stood straight up and snarled, reaching forward to grab Howie.
Howie raised his hand as the man reached him, freezing it in its tracks.
"Answer the question Bill asked you, who are you?", Howie asked calmly.
"My name is Marshall...and I will have you all, I will feast on your minds before I kill you...I will..."
"Yeah, yeah, yeah. Feasting on our minds, have us all, rule the world....uh huh, Marshall, ok, I think we get it. I think it's time you and your domination power trip went bye-bye.", Bill said as he looked over at Howie.
Howie nodded and raised his hand, increasing the light of the room to an incredible brilliance. As he did so, Marshall screamed and his body began to smoke. As the light reached an almost blinding brightness, the engram of Marshall's astral form dissolved in a flourish of smoke and loud screams.
"Drama queen.", Bill said as he shook his head.
Howie put his arms around Bill and hugged him tightly.
"Thank you. I couldn't control what I was doing...it was like being helpless in here...with him pushing me down and keeping me restrained."
Bill nodded and smiled, "I figured something was wrong, you started acting strange after I re-activated your power. They must have put that engram in here when they de-activated them and set it to remain dormant until I re-activated them."
Howie's eyes widened and he gasped, "But....then..I know who's behind all this then. It's the same person who de-activated my powers...It's..."
Bill's mind snapped back into his own body as he felt a sudden pressure on his arm. He looked over in time to see a man holding a used syringe, then looked down to see Lance laying unconscious only a few feet away. A second later, he joined Lance in unconsciousness as the powerful drug from the syringe took hold of his body.
Justin looked up from Christina's prone form in time to see a familiar looking muscular brunette walking towards him.
"Jeff? Jeff Timmons? Tell me you're not gonna be fighting me too?"
Jeff nodded and raised his hand, sending a bolt of bioelectric energy surging towards Justin. Justin threw up his hands, using his powers to throw up an invisible shield, but his shielding was useless against Jeff's bioelectric energy. The bolt of energy punched a hole through Justin's shield then enveloped the youth in a field of blue/green energy. Justin screamed as the jolt of energy raced through him, shutting down his body and then his mind. A second after his scream left his mouth, Justin dropped to the floor with a thud.
JC felt Justin's pain through the telepathic bond they shared and he turned to see his lover fall to the ground just as a new opponent stepped in between them to face him. JC's face turned into a snarl as he recognized it to be yet another member of 98 Degrees.
"Out of my way Nick!", JC growled, sending his power out like a tidal wave, slamming against Nick Lachey's psyche. Nick shook his head and growled, slamming his fist into JC's chest, throwing him back about dozen feet.
"Don't try that shit on me Chasez!", Nick smirked, "I have my mind guarded like Fort Knox. It's time for you to join your boyfriend."
JC watched as Nick moved towards him, hands outstretched.
"One more step and I'll blow your fuckin head off man. Superstar or not!", Scott said as he emerged from behind JC. Scott had run into the closest store when the fighting started and grabbed the gun from an unconscious mall cop that had obviously had no success even drawing the weapon on his foe before getting knocked unconscious.
Nick looked up at the thin young man and grinned, "You probably don't even know how to shoot that damn thing you pencildick. Now turn around and walk away and you'll continue to breathe for another day."
Scott squeezed the trigger and was thrown back by the kickback of the gun. Scott looked up and saw Nick laying on the ground, holding his knee and howling in pain.
"JC?", Scott asked quietly, "Are you OK?"
JC got up and grabbed hold of Scott. "Thanks Scott...We're in some serious trouble here...and they've got Justin...and Lance...and Bill....SHIT!"
JC looked behind Scott and saw Justin Jeffre fast approaching. JC grabbed
hold of Scott's wrist and looked deep into his eyes.
"I need a favor. I need to borrow your body. Just open your mind for a second and we can switch bodies...then just act like me until I can come rescue you."
Scott nodded and a second later, found himself staring at his own face. In an instant, he had switched bodies with JC.
"Scott...get out of here!", JC ( Scott in JC's body) hissed a second later, shoving him towards one of the stores, "I can take care of these guys."
"Oh can you?", Nick said from behind him.
JC turned to face Nick just as Nick let go a punch to JC's head, catching him in the jaw and spinning him around as it threw him back. As he fell to the floor, JC (Scott) felt a pair of arms grab him and he looked up into the face of Justin Jeffre.
"Wouldn't want you to fall down too hard. My way of putting you out is so much more effective.", Justin said as he placed his hand on JC's neck. JC (Scott) felt an icy touch on his neck, which then spread like lightning to all the parts of his body, immobilizing it completely in a matter of milliseconds.
"You see...my power is like a spider's venom...you're still awake, just paralyzed. It'll wear off in a while...but any stronger a dose would have killed you."
Nick smiled as he saw JC's body go limp from Justin's powers, then grimaced as he remembered the huge hole in his knee.
"Christ!", Nick growled and hobbled over to where Lance lay, taking his hand and laying it on his knee, and smiling as he felt Lance's healing power surge forth into his body, healing his knee completely in less then ten seconds.
Marshall watched from the end of the hall as the last of the two boy bands fell victim to his team. Their casualties had been numerous, but they had won the battle, and indeed, were quickly going to win the war.
Marshall massaged his temple and thought loudly, "I have them....all of them!"
The sinister voice of Lou Pearlman echoed through Marshall's mind, 'Excellent Work! Hold them until I arrive. I want to probe them myself before you kill them.'
Scott (JC in his Scott's body) watched as the rest of the two teams were taken out and shook his head, as he picked up the transmission between Marshall and Lou.
"Asshole!", Scott murmured angrily as he walked slowly and cautiously towards the door, "We're not goin out that easily."
"Hey YOU!", Nick Lachey's voice came from behind him, "Yeah you...the motherfucker that shot me. Hold it right there. I have to decide whether to bring your sad, powerless ass with us or just kill you outright."
"NICK!", Marshall snapped, "Get him over here....we'll take him back with us and see what he knows then you can twist his spine like a soft pretzel."
Nick smiled and grabbed Scott's (*JC's) shirt, pulling him along into the garage and the vans that were waiting to take them back to their headquarters.
Things look bleak for our boys (all 11 of them!)!!! They've all been captured....or so it seems. What now?
Find out in the next chapter of XTREME NSYNC!
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