The apartment of Peter and Diane Maza...
The short-haired, tan-skinned young beauty knocked nervously on the door. She put her hands at her waist, nervously straightening
the hem of her bright blue blouse, and waited.
A grey-haired, but still strong-looking elderly man opened the door a crack, and smiled when he saw who it was. He opened
the door wide and hugged the woman tightly. The woman hugged back, smiling warmly.
"Hi Daddy," she said.
"Hello, Beth. Glad to see you're in town," Peter Maza said, motioning for his daughter to come in. Beth did, and walked
into her parents' home, sitting down on the couch.
Beth sighed, biting her lip for a moment, getting her thoughts together. Finally, she said,
"I came as soon as I heard. Is Elisa really missing?"
Peter nodded, briefly exiting the room to call his wife, Diane. "Yeah. After some idiot found out about Elisa's friendship
with the big guy, he told Elisa's entire precinct and she got fired!"
Beth gasped. "And then she dissappeared after that?"
Peter shook his head angrily. "No! We only found that part out when we went after her partner, that Bluestone fellow. He
just told us what happened and that she was 'getting help, she just couldn't be disturbed right now.' It's bullshit, if you
ask me. He's not telling us something, I just have to figure out what."
"Now dear," Diane Maza, a short, thickset elderly woman in a bright red-and-orange robe, said as she entered the room,
"I'm certain Elisa has a good reason for doing this. And Matt has assured us she's safe, still in Manhattan, and not gone
off on one of her 'World Tours' again."
Peter muttered, "Better not have..." He sighed, and added, "I'm just shocked that Yale hasn't confronted anyone about Elisa's
Diane chuckled, hugging Beth in greeting as she sat down next to her. She then turned back to her husband and said, "Let's
take our blessing where we can get them, dear. Elisa will tell us what's going on when she's ready."
Peter just grunted something incoherent. Beth and Diane traded amused looks and laughed.
"So, dear. Are you in town for a while?" Diane asked.
Beth nodded. "Yeah. I've decided to take some art courses at NYU, so I figured I could stay near here. I have an apartment
I need to check into, I just dropped by for a bit to check in, see how things were going."
Peter chuckled. "I'm glad ONE of our children is willing to do that."
Beth frowned. "Speaking of which... Has Derek been in contact? I know I've been out of town a lot..."
Diane nodded. "He calls us collect sometimes, using a payphone, and we talk for a while. Sometimes Maggie is with him,
and sometimes it's just Maggie alone. Poor girl. Everyone down in the Labyrinth seems fine."
Beth nodded, and hugged her mother again. "Well, I better get going."
Peter frowned. "You have to leave so soon?"
Diane nodded. "At least let me make you a snack or something."
Beth shook her head, smiling. "Guuuys, I'm just going to check into my apartment and make a few phonecalls. I can be back
later tonight if you guys want to have supper with me."
Diane smiled. "We'd like that a lot, sweetie."
Beth grinned. "It's settled then. I'll be back in an hour or so then, to help make dinner and spend time with my wonderful
They all laughed. Beth hugged Diane and Peter again, and left the apartment, heading back to the elevator she used to come
She pressed the button for the ground floor, shaking her head in exasperation.
"Oh Elisa, what have you gotten yourself into now?" she said, sighing.
The elevator dinged and opened. Beth frowned at the elevator's only occupant, a man in a heavy, wide trenchcoat and wide-brimmed
hat that hid his face completely.
"Come on in," he said in a deep, gruff voice.
Beth shook her head. "I think I'll wait for the next elevator."
The man chuckled. "I'm no rapist, lady."
Beth smirked. "Well, excuse me for being cautious."
The man chuckled again. "That's very good. Being cautious. A good quality to have." He raised his head and removed his
hat, revealing his grey-furred, fanged face. "You're still coming with me."
Beth recognized him immediately. "Omigod. Wolf!"
Wolf grinned wickedly, shushing her, and pulled out from a pocket in his trenchcoat the revolver with the silencer on it
that his client had provided.
"We can do this one of two ways. One, you come along quietly, not screaming and not resisting, making it seem like we're
two buddies talking. Two, you scream, turn, and run, I shoot you in the legs and drag you back, most likely having to maul
someone who tries to stop me from taking you. Now, I have to admit I'd prefer the second way, but I'm on a bit of a clock
here," Wolf said, holding the elevator door open. "So what'll it be?"
Beth gulped nervously, mentally reviewing her options. Finally, after a long moment, she stepped into the elevator with
Wolf chuckled. "Good girl."
At the same time, across the city...
The apartment of Matthew
A limo pulled up into the building's parking lot, and two figures got out. One was a moderately chubby man with glasses
who wore a brown coat. The other was a powerfully built female creature better known as Varua The Titan.
Varua frowned underneath her hat. "I'm still not sure that bringing me along was wise. I mean, c'mon Hacker, I nearly beat
the man and his friends to death."
Hacker popped a piece of gum in his mouth and began to chew. "You're coming along because A.) You're my insurance policy
in case Matt gets rough, B.) I'm higher ranked than you so I can boss you around if I feel like it, C.) I can get away with
it because you're a GOOD little lackey, and D.) Gillian told you to, and NOBODY in their right mind crosses Gillian unless
they gotta LOT of life insurance. Now c'mon," he said, smirking and walking towards the front door.
Varua frowned. "But our wiretap agent just told us that Maria Chavez, the police captain, was called by Bluestone and told
to come to his apartment for some strange reason. I'm uneasy about revealing myself to anyone who isn't directly aware of
Hacker, without turning around, just laughed and waved for her to come on. "It'll be okay. Trust me!"
Varua shook her head and followed. She may not like Hacker, but she was first and foremost a servant of the Illuminati.
And she would do as she was told.
They entered the front door of the building, casually greeting the desk clerk as they did, and immediately went for the
elevator. They went up in silence, Hacker idly whistling along with the cheesy music that was playing. They reached Matt's
floor, and stepped out.
Hacker walked backwards for a moment, laughing at how tense his partner seemed. "Relax, Varua. Everything will turn out
They came up to Bluestone's door. Varua frowned, going on alert. Hacker raised his hand to knock on the door, when Varua
grabbed his hand, holding him back.
"What the hell..."
"Ssh," Varua hissed. She carefully put her ear up against the door, hearing the sound of two people rustling around inside,
like they were carrying something heavy. Something glass fell and shattered, and a voice that Varua didn't recognize right
off cursed angrily.
That was more than enough for her. She punched the door, reducing it to splinters and ran inside.
Hyena and Jackal were carrying the unconcious bodies of Bluestone and Chavez on their backs.
What made Varua uneasy is that they both seemed to be expecting her.
"CRAP! She's early!" Jackal said.
"Don't panic, baby bro. Just do what the Doc told us and we'll beat her," Hyena said, smirking.
Varua snarled. She did a quick check and saw that Hacker had snuck in, and had set himself up in a sniper position. She
turned back to the two cyborg siblings and said, "The only thing getting beat down is you. Drop them or get dropped."
Jackal just grinned, pressing the Pack symbol on his chest. Varua, not wanting to know what weapon the lunatic had just
activated, charged him, unable to achieve her top speed due to the layout of the room and the furniture in the way.
During the time it took for Varua to reach them, a panel on Jackal's chest opened. The gun within didn't even extend before
firing a blue energy beam which struck Varua square in the chest.
To her surprise, the beam actually hurt, and HURT BADLY!! Screaming in agony, she was launched back over
the room, slamming hard against the far wall. Hacker cursed and started firing, aiming for their legjoints, not wanting to
hurt either of their captives.
It was a futile effort and Hacker knew it. So did Jackal and Hyena. The two cyborgs laughed wildly, ignoring Hacker's gunfire
and jumping out of the kitchen window. Hacker sighed weakly, cursing himself for being so damn useless, and ran to the window.
He arrived just in time to see Jackal load their two captives into a small black car and drive away, leaving only the crater
of impact where the two had landed, apparently unharmed.
Hacker cursed again, and then went over to Varua.
The powerhouse was out cold, and there was a smoldering burn on the front part of her trenchcoat. Hacker shook his head,
and realized for the first time that he was scared. He stood up and activated his wrist-communicator, patching through an
emergency transmission directly to his leader.
"This had better be important, Hacker," Gillian snarled, sounding like he had been woken up from a nap.
"It is, sir. Varua and I arrived at Bluestone's, but Jackal and Hyena were already there. They used some sort of weapon
to kayo Varua in one shot, and then ran off with Bluestone, who had been knocked out prior to our arrival."
Hacker winced, that nervous feeling growing stronger. He could tell from Gillian's tone of voice that this was unexpected.
And Gillian being caught off guard was a very rare occurance.
"Yes sir. When we arrived, Captain Maria Chavez, of Maza's old force, had apparently been lured there by Jackal and Hyena.
We caught them just as they were leaving with their captives. They seemed to be expecting us, and used a weapon which apparently
given to them by some sort of 'Doc.'"
There was a long pause. Hacker put his wrist-comm up to his ear, catching the sound of frustrated pacing in the background
as his master tried to figure out what to do.
After a moment, Gillian's voice came back. "Dammit. All right. I have an idea of who this 'Doc' is. But if I'm right
then that means our plans are partially screwed."
Hacker's eyes widened. "A-Are you sure, sir? I mean, even after all the time you invested in Demona and the Canmores?"
"Unfortunetly yes. Now listen carefully. To counteract this, we're going to have to do something rather drastic, something
that I'd hope to avoid..."
Hacker listened as Gillian laid out his plan. After twenty minutes of talking, Hacker sighed and nodded. "As you wish,
master. Thy will be done."
The communicator clicked off, and Hacker turned to check on Varua again. The brutal powerhouse groaned, in pain from the
blast but more irritated than injured.
"Dammit... What'd that tin can hit me with..."
Hacker shook his head. "I don't know. But we've got new orders. And I got bad news for you: Efreet's been activated."
Varua looked up, and snarled, slamming her first against the ground. "I do NOT need that flaming show-off's help! This
"This was just a direct order from Gillian, Varua. I don't like him either, but neither of can do anything about it. He'll
be here tomorrow."
Varua angrily slammed her fist against the ground again, and cursed loudly. "FUCK!!"
Hacker chuckled lightly, "I know how you feel, but after I tell you who the boss think's we're up against, you'll welcome
Varua stood up slowly, using the wall to brace herself. "I doubt it, but go ahead. Who're we most likely fighting?"
Varua's eyes went wide. "You're kidding."
Gillian nodded. "According to what little we've got on him, he's the one who upgraded the Pack to begin with, before he
was fired by Xanatos after refusing to undo the transformation on the Maza woman's brother and the other mutates. He's ALSO
the one that created that super-plague for Demona that our agents in XanaCorp are currently trying to destroy. And he's the
only 'Doc' I think loonies like Jackal and Hyena would willingly work for."
Varua frowned, biting her lip nervously. "Sevarius? You're sure? Our database has found out so little about him and his
family, except for some rather disturbing stuff that not even Gillian can figure out."
"The boss is ninety percent sure, and that's good enough for me. Now c'mon, we need to get out of here, and fast. I told
the cops we across the street when this happened."
As all this
It didn't take long for Jackal, Hyena, and Wolf to arrive at their destination. The two vehicles pulled into an garage
of sorts, a detail-less room with only a door at each end, one for the cars and one for people to go through.
Jackal and Hyena got out of their car, roughly carting their two captives on their shoulders. Somewhere along the line,
Matt and Maria had woken up and found themselves gagged and bound hand and foot. And the only thing that prevented them from
struggling to get away was the fact that the two kept their arm cannon's trained on their heads the whole trip. Beth Maza
got out of Wolf's car, Wolf right behind him, the gun still at her back, the concealing coat discarded in favor of his original
Beth shivered nervously when she saw Matt and Captain Chavez. She cursed her lack of physical ability, wishing she had
taken Elisa's advice and joined that karate class when they were younger. But she was so focused on her damn studying...
She sighed weakly, and continued walking were Wolf told her to.
Wolf, for his part, would be glad when this whole mess was over. For one, it meant he could ditch this loser weapon Sevarius
forced him to take, and for second, it meant he could go back to his usual, savage style of fighting. Sneaking around and
kidnapping people was boring.
Third of all, Sevarius creeped the hell out of him. The less time he spent around him, the better.
They all went through the door, and into a smaller, but higher-ceilinged room. The only thing that it contained were several
pipelines, all of which led to a large, clear box with heavy ventilation openings near the top, far out of jumping or climbing
. Inside was a smaller box, which presumably contained private bathroom facilities, and two people.
One of them was Brendon Yale. The short-haired man sat curled up in a corner, shivering nervously. He was still wearing
the clothes he had been kidnapped in, and they were dirty and smudged in several places.
The other one was Margot Yale. She was pacing angrily, and her greenish power-suit looked more worn than dirty. Her normally
straight, curly hair was unkempt, and in desperate need of a brush. When she saw the Pack arriving with more captives, she
pounded against the glass, yelling wordlessly through the soundproof material.
Hyena just smirked, extending the bladed talons on one hand. Margot's yelling stopped, and she backed away from the entrance,
but she kept glaring at the Pack members.
Jackal laughed and pressed a point on the glass that was visible only to his cybernetic eye. A panel on the glass vanished,
and he immediately popped his arm-cannon, aiming it at Margot and Brendon. The two didn't react with anything except what
they were already doing. Jackal chuckled, tossing Matt inside. Hyena did the same with Maria.
Wolf poked Beth in the back with the gun, motioning for her to go in. She glared at him, but complied.
Jackal leaned in, smirking. "You can undo your friends' bindings. They're easy to remove, just not by the person that their
Beth and Margot glared at him, but went over to free the two police officers.
Jackal chuckled, and pressed the spot on the glass again, and the box sealed shut.
Wolf sighed, and crushed his gun in his hand. "Finally. I felt like a sissy using that thing."
Hyena just chuckled. "What? The thug doesn't like using a thug weapon?"
Wolf snarled. "I don't like weapons PERIOD, lady."
Hyena laughed. "I can understand why. Of course, after being possessed by a dumb-ass viking ancestor in a puny little battle-axe,
I'd be turned off to weapons too. Granted, I'm not WEAK-WILLED enough to be taken over by some piddly-ass ghost..."
Wolf sneered, "At least I'm not weak-willed enough to be controlled by my brother, Artemis."
Jackal sighed, and muttered "Oh crap..."
Hyena twitched, and she lunged at Wolf, screaming savagely, extending the blades on her hands to full length. Wolf, expecting
this, grabbed her wrists just as she landed on him, knocking them both down. Hyena was strong, and when angry she was even
stronger. But Wolf was stronger still, both from his mutation and the continuous training and working-out he still did. So
he managed to keep the deadly talons from digging into his face. Hyena howled with rage, her face a deathmask, trying to force
her claws into Wolf's face and rip his tongue out.
Jackal reacted quickly. He extended his waist and grabbed Hyena by the arms, using his greater strength to pull her off
of his teammate and into his arms. He hugged her tightly, as a lover would, and gently caressed her hair as Hyena shivered,
trying desperately to stay angry, but wanting nothing more than to melt in her brother's grasp, to let him take care of her
as he always had done.
He held her until he was certain she had calmed down. Then he turned to Wolf, who was laying casually on the floor, his
head braced up on one arm.
"We've discussed this before, Wolf. NEVER use our real names," Jackal snarled.
"Don't leave yourself open for them," Wolf countered, chuckling lightly. "And don't PUSH me, either. Because I push back
A dry, slightly European voice suddenly came out over a hidden speaker.
"If you three are done comparing the size of your genetalia, I will be joining you shortly. Do you have everyone?"
Jackal nodded. "Assistant District Attorney Margot Yale, Brendon Yale, Bethany Maza, Matthew Bluestone, and Captain Maria
"Good. Very good. I'll be right down, I just have to get some settings finalized and find a few things."
Meanwhile, inside the box, Matt stood up after he was untied, rubbing his sore wrists. Maria sat on the floor with Beth,
who had untied her, and said, "What do you suppose that was all about?"
Matt shook his head. "Who knows with those loonies?"
Margot had stood up again, and was glaring at Matt. "You know something, Bluestone. You're hiding something from us."
Matt glared at her. "You cost my partner, Beth's sister, her job, Yale. One of the best cops on the force and a DAMN good
friend of mine. I'm not telling you a damn thing until I'm sure of what's going on and sure that it concerns you directly."
"I'm in this goddamn box WITH all of you!" Margot snarled, although she spared a nervous glance at Beth, who was now giving
her an angry stare now that she realized who Margot was. "How much more 'directly involved' do you want me to be?!"
Matt ignored her. Margot sighed, and went over to sit by her husband, who was still sitting up against the wall, muttering
nervously about a rescue he only hoped would come.
Maria just frowned at Matt, and then turned to Beth. "Thanks for getting me undone, kid. You're... Beth Maza, right? Elisa's
Beth nodded meekly.
Maria nodded back. "Captain Maria Chavez, a pleasure to meet you."
"Likewise," Beth said, still unsure of what to say to her sister's former employer.
Maria continued, not noticing Beth's uncertainty, "Heh. Don't worry about all this, though. Everything will work out in
the end. I got my own concerns, but they can be worried about later. First things first, did you see what Jackal did to open
the door? I was in a bit of a bad position to watch."
Beth shook her head. "I'm not sure. He touched some sort of invisible panel on the glass. But I didn't see anything there."
"Damn, then that means it probably can't be hacked... And we don't have anything heavy enough to try and break down the
doors with... Other than Miss Yale's ego, that is," she said, smirking at her. Beth giggled and even Matt chuckled a little.
Margot just snarled incoherently.
Maria sighed, and stood up. "Well, one of us will figure something out eventually."
Matt shook his head, and said, "I certainly hope so."
Maria frowned at the detective, and went over to stand next to him. Beth followed, not wanting to be near Margot at all.
"Okay, spill it, Bluestone. I could tell Elisa left out a lot of details when she told Margot her story, and most of them
most likely involved you."
Matt shook his head. "I'm still waiting for a theory of mine to be confirmed. After I get confirmation one way or another,
I'll tell you everything."
Maria sighed, and shook her head, turning to Beth. "Okay, how about you? You're Elisa's sister, surely to God you know
Beth shook her head. "I'm out of state a good deal of the time. I'm trying to earn a medical degree. I just got back here
in town today, after I enrolled in NYU. Matt knows a lot more about what's going on that I do."
Maria grumbled, but nodded. "Okay then, I guess that I can accept that. But there's no way I'm letting either of you out
of my sight until I learn EVERYTHING from you. I've had enough of my best cops and their families keeping secrets from me,"
"Yes, sir, Cap'n Chavez!" Beth said half-teasingly, saluting her. Matt grinned at Beth, then repeated the gesture, standing
stock straight and throwing out his chest.
Maria chuckled, shaking her head and leaning up against another side of the wall. Matt and Beth relaxed, and went back
to watching the Pack. They weren't doing much other than occasionly snarking at each other, though.
Beth yawned after a moment, wishing they'd do something more than just stand around and trade insults. Matt frowned, looking
at the three of them a bit more closely.
"Hey Beth?" he said after a few minutes.
"Take a good look at the Pack. How do they seem to you?"
Beth just gave them a casual glance, looking them over for a second. "They seem bored. And they seem like they want chairs
to sit in as much as we do."
Matt shook his head. "Take a closer look."
Beth sighed, and squinted at the three of them. She watched them, watched their movements, watched their faces.
Then she noticed the repeated glances towards a far part of the room. The slight jerkiness in the way they walked. And
the fact that Wolf seemed to be pacing a great deal.
"They're scared of something..." she said, mildly shocked.
Matt grinned warmly at her. "Good eye. Looks like Elisa and Peter aren't the only detectives in the Maza clan."
Beth blushed. "I'm training to be a doctor, Bluestone. Noticing little details is a part of the job."
Matt nodded, still smiling. "Still, very good eye. And very pretty eyes to go with them."
Beth blushed even redder, grinning incredulously. "You're flirting with me? At a time like this?"
"It helps relieve the tension. And besides, I meant it," Matt said, putting an arm around her shoulder.
Beth smiled warmly, and rested her head against his shoulder as he turned serious again, staring at the Pack.
Unseen by the occupants of the cage, a door opened on the far side of the room. All three members jerked in the direction
of the sound.
This is it... Matt thought.
Slowly, a human-like figure emerged from the shadows. A relatively tall, well-built man clad in bright blue pants and a
white lab-shirt. Holstered on his belt was a small injection gun on one side, and vial small vials on the other. Over his
shoulder he carried a large, bulging sack that looked like it was filled with laundry. His face seemed to be chisled out of
granite, formed in a perpetual smirk. He also had bright orange hair cut into a flattop, with white streaks on either side
of his head.
Matt moaned softly, slowly backing away from the door. Beth frowned, staring from the newcomer to Matt and back again.
"Matt, what's wrong?"
Matt chuckled weakly. "Remember what happened to Derek?"
Beth frowned. "That's a stupid question. How the hell could I forget?"
Matt pointed at the man who was now steadily approaching the glass cage, dropping the sack he was carrying by the Pack
and bypassing them completely. "That's the guy that did it."
Beth whirled, glaring with sudden, flaring anger at the man she now knew to be Anton Sevarius. But after a moment, something
else clicked in her mind, and she backed away from him as well, shivering with sudden fear...
Maria and Margot both got up from their positions, starting towards Matt, who was by now in the center of the cage.
"Bluestone, what's going on?" Maria said.
"Dammit, who is this guy? What did he do to Beth's brother?" Margot demanded.
Matt opened his mouth to speak, but before he could get one word out, Sevarius withdraw a small, remote control-like device
from his pocket and pressed one of the three buttons on it. A thick, yellow smoke pumped into the cage from vents which appeared
on the floor. The cloud filled the box quickly, the vents on the top of the cage sealing shut.
Within seconds, everyone in the cage had started coughing, staggering against the walls of the small room. And within a
few more seconds, they were all out cold.
Sevarius smirked and pressed a second button on the device. The air-vents opened on the top of the cage again, and fans
in the ceiling opened up as well, quickly pulling all of the gas out of the room. Once he was certain that the gas was cleared,
he pressed the third button, and the cage dissappeared completely.
He turned to the Pack, pocketing the remote again and loading the injection gun. "First off, thank you all for getting
the targets here on schedule and with minimal damage. Secondly, the gas won't last long. Strip them COMPLETELY, including
their undergarments, and put the bodysuits in the sack on them. Each one has a nametag which shows which suit I want on who.
I'll handle the rest, and Wolf, I swear by all that is holy, if you try to have your way with any of the women, I will DOUBLE
what I'm paying Jackal and Hyena and have them neuter you. With a popsicle stick."
Wolf grimaced. Hyena laughed wildly, and Jackal almost choked fighting back his own laughter. But they did as they were
told, going over to their unconcious quarry and starting to undress them. Wolf thought of something and turned back to Sevarius.
"What do we do with their clothes once we've got them off?"
Sevarius smirked. "Take them out back and burn them. Whether or not this experiment is a success, they won't be needing
human clothes anymore."
To Be Continued...