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TWO OF A KIND

The horizon burned with fire as no living creature singed in the night air. Bindletime smacked his spikes deep underneath the South Sea of Discord. He eyed Theodoric Gabriel Taft warily, and turned his huge, bulged, irises to Suralio Frith Iffley. No, Taft would have to go first, he thought, since he appeared to be the stronger of the two. After all, best to get rid of the best first. Iffley, watching the huge monster approach Taft, raised the Sceptre of Ozino. He was just about to transport him and his brother out of the Room when a huge explosion rocked the walls, sending the Key flying away, and left him unconscious. It was another one of the demons, bringing its wrath and destruction on the earth above. Bindletime landed like a rock on the hard floor, his huge holographic body once more taking a real-like thud. Taft slammed into the corner that he was approaching, and watched the Sceptre as it rolled past Bindletime. He knew its powers, and, sensing his chance, ran toward it and grabbed it. He tasted the power of the Key as he touched it, but felt insecure in its use. Knowing, however, that he would have to be quick, he pointed the Scepter at Iffley and said "to the City of Remembrance." A beautiful ghost-like image issued from the point of the Sceptre and landed on Iffley. He was quickly transformed into a small, twisted piece of red licorice. "Not transform, transport!" Taft said, disgusted.

He turned the Sceptre around, noticing Bindletime attempt to stand up, and tried again. This time the piece of licorice disappeared, and, satisfied, Taft pointed it at himself and transported to the City.

**T. G. Taft**

Taft reappeared next to the Waterfall-hologram of Remembrance, and was immediately horrified when he saw Bronson munching on a piece of red licorice. "No!" He screamed out, grabbing for Bronson.

"What's the matter, you want one?" Asked a famished Bronson, holding out a pack or similar licorices. Taft was relieved when he saw the Iffley-licorice hiding just on the other side or the waterfall, and he quickly changed Iffley back to his auburn-haired brother.

Beam, sensing that Taft and Iffley were here, approached the Waterfall and faintly smiled. He immediately blurted out, "the universes are unequal once again. Ralle, or shall we say Ralle's demons, have attacked and are now destroying Earth.

Bronson was immediately alerted. "Or course, my defenses will keep them out of Ranier."

"The Force is the parallel to the Power. Just as you noted in your film, Mr. Randolf, nothing you can build can stop the Power, or, which follows, the Force."

Taft walked up. "I'm not sure what you're talking about, but we--they--have all five Keys here. Surely we can release the Power to right this Force."

"The Power can fight the Force--alone. But the Force plus the Demons are a match unequal."

Iffley interrupted. "But this is the Power's home world. Surely that gives us an advantage."

"The Power is the Power; the Force is the Farce. The scene makes no difference."

"I thought I destroyed four or the Rallean Keys. How did their Power ever become released?"

"In much the same way that Aven's power went into the Amulet instead of the Note when he died, probably. If a Key is destroyed, its powers should move to the nearest Key."

"Then they all exist with," Iffley choked, "Aden...Adel. She had the only Key left."

Bronson began to whimper. He mumbled to himself, "my castle, my country, my planet... gone." A tear began to form in his right eye.

Madison, with a slightly embarrassed look on his face, whispered a Valiancy Spell in Bronson's ear. Bronson immediately became brave, and saluted his comrades. "What we need, fellows, is a leader. I will immediately volunteer." He reached into his rather large pocket (a gift from Madison) and pulled out the Tiara of Phumos. Ignoring Taft's cry of "Mine!" he twisted the crown in his hands and saw his world fade away...

**T. G. Taft**

He reappeared in a time long past; in a City of Remembrance that had just been discovered by Alarius. Bronson hunted around for one of his famous A-51's, but finding none, he decided to climb up out of the City through the Artesian of Remembrance. He watched to make sure no one noticed him, and, once out, he was amazed at the beautiful blue skyline: He had thought that he would never see it again. Trees waved in the distance; the sound of a raven filled his ear. The sky was completely clear: Except for a huge black cloud which was slowly crossing the horizon. "Ah hah!" Bronson said valiantly, waving his hands like a windmill.

Suddenly the cloud stopped and approached the area of the Artesian. Bronson smiled as he saw what appeared to be two beady little eyes appear over the edge and stare at him. He then turned quickly and saw next to him a point. Which turned into a line. The object soon turned planar and swallowed Bronson. Then it returned to its zero dimensional shape and disappeared.

Bronson reappeared in the high court of Enad the Great, ICSMMP Supreme. "I have formed the ICSMMP Domain," Enad said, "and you are trespassing. Say what you want, or get out."

Bronson was about to comment on how he was actually shanghaied aboard Enad's cloud, but decided against it. "The Future needs you, Enad." Said Bronson valiantly.

"The Future? What is that you have behind your back? All I'm doing is showing my Friends here," he pointed to two creatures standing to his left, "some of the old places on Earth. Do you have the Tiara or something?"

"Enad, you have the power of the dimensions. With it you can save Earth from certain destruction. Please."

"The Future. You do have the Tiara. And it's in danger, huh? Aaahh... But it's much as I had thought. The evils of Taft, Pierce, and Adena could not be stopped. And you say the world's going to be destroyed? Of course I'll help. It'll give me a chance to show off my new found power." With that Bronson stepped onto Enad's throne and, almost reluctantly seized his arm. The two Faded away into nothingness.

**T. G. Taft**

They reappeared flying over the earth in present time. They fell quickly, but Enad snapped his fingers and made them reappear in the City of Remembrance. "If you will remember, Bronson," Enad started, "I have complete knowledge of what you are thinking and where you want to go. I..."

Enad stopped as he saw the group at the waterfall. He gaped at the beautiful girl standing next to Madison, the one that he was betrothed to. Bronson quickly rushed in front of him, not waiting to explain. "Enad, you take care of the demons while the Power takes care of the Force."

Enad stood for a moment, and then spoke. "I can destroy no living thing. It is against the code."

Bronson commented. "But the Demons are evil. They may not even be living. You must."

Enad shook his head. Taft glazed at him, knowing about Enad's historic reluctance. "Not even if it meant promoting peace on Earth? After all, the demons are from another universe."

Enad looked at the floor. "What you say is true. Accordingly, the demons are from another universe and can be destroyed because they are causing a horrible disbalance that will drain this universe, and, eventually, the dimensions. I can use the power of the dimensions if it is promoting its own best interests."

Immediately Bronson reached For the Tiara and signalled everyone to get their Key out. Taft felt left out as Iffley showed the Ring and Sceptre, and Eve touched her Amulet and Belt. Suddenly a brilliance appeared, much as it had twice before, and surged upward out of the City. Enad, less bewildered but glowing with more and more pride, shook himself of his stare and followed the light. Iffley and the others went out to watch. They awed in wonder as they saw the Power meet with the Force, head on, as they both pushed in on each other. Neither could win, but, then, neither could lose either. Enad smiled triumphantly as he used the power of the sixth dimension to fry a couple of demons. Iffley snickered to himself as he saw one of the demons expand and pop. Suddenly the group shuddered as a voice behind them spoke. "Aaah, my friends." Said Narcuss nonchalantly. Adelaide stood obediently next to him.

Iffley, seeing Adena's image in Adelaide, could not think clearly. He pointed the Sceptre at the water vapor in front of Narcuss. But nothing happened. "The Power is not in the Keys, my friend." Narcuss threw a large fortenmik at Iffley, narrowly missing his head. It shattered on the hard ground. "Adena," Narcuss said, "recall the Force back to the Periapt. We can attack before the Power returns to all five of their Keys." Adena could do nothing but touch the Periapt. A surge from out of nowhere came into the Periapt. "Now attack!" Narcuss screamed.

Adena shook her head. She could sense something wrong in destroying the Restorer. Something, deep inside of her, something she didn't even know she had, would not let her do it. "No!" She screamed at last.

"What?" Narcuss asked puzzled. Immediately he grabbed for her Periapt and pulled it off her neck.

Iffley did not waste time; the Power, having returned, he seized the chance to transform the demon into a june bug just as a bolt of lightning hit Adelaide. Taft ran to the june bug, picked up the Periapt, and squished it. Iffley rushed to Adelaide's side and nursed the wound on her upper shoulder. Bronson stood back to admire the scene of Adelaide's head on Iffley's shoulder when he felt a tap on his back. "Can we go home now? I'm tired, and I need a rest. Perhaps I'll take in a little of Susantown..." Bronson nodded, and, with a twist of the Tiara, disappeared. He returned a little while later, after Taft had returned the Periapt to Adel.

**T. G. Taft**

The group sat back down in the Restaraunt of Remembrance, but this time Iffley did not scream when the waiter served him some blue salad. Instead he offered it to Adel, who took it gratefully. He admired many of the qualities of Adel, most notably her stubborness and self-reliance. No--Maybe she wasn't Adena, but, then, neither had she a Blue. He rested his arm on her shoulder. Where, oh where, was the rainbow?

Taft smiled to himself as he sipped his Dr. Pepper 3 BP. He remembered the old klitik strategy of Ortefift Bes--that is, the counter strategy to Retu P'moc. When an opposing Necromancer, who's Emperor has been taken, changes ones' own piece to its color, ones Emperor can recreate that piece by allowing the opposing Emperor to reenter the board. "Ortefift Bes Adena," Taft mumbled. Taft shivered as he thought he heard one of Blue's faint giggles. He shook his head. "It couldn't be." He said, as he took another sip.


 © 1985, 

K. Blaire, L. Charles, D. Conrad, Enad the Great, A. Mann, J. Pierce, B. C. Randolf, and T. G. Taft

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