The Fourth Generation


The Time Folders separate our heroes, depositing Hanna, Red, Selbarcs, and Schtick into a back alley together with no sign of AM, Dawn, or Kybalion. A metal ceiling encloses the city, dotted with portholes that reveal a starscape. At the end of the alley, the steady stream of pedestrians consists of aliens of all kinds. Red and Sel recognize this as White Star Station, a major center of commerce in the known universe.

Sel checks his Time Folder out and is able to detect a signal from the Sonata that leads them toward a food truck. Red goes up to the truck and asks the grasshopper-alien attendant for 'one sonata'. The attendant throws something into some dough and cooks it to blackness before handing it over, saying it costs one memory. This is not slang or metaphor. Red pays with the memory of buying the sonata. He returns to the group, somewhat confused that he has procured a blackened 'sandwich', but pleased to have a sandwich.

A hand lands on Sel's shoulder, and he finds himself faced with an old school friend, a fellow Hyelarx named Elgob. Elgob is eager for Sel and his friends to join in on a Hyelarxian invasion that's leaving that night. Red eats a piece of the sonatawich and promptly vanishes just Sel goes to introduce him. Somewhat distressed, Sel draws a rendition of Red, and Elgob recognizes him as a wanted outlaw. Elgob invites himself along to help find this criminal scum. The group starts walking and discuss how to find Red, having no way to contact him.

Red finds himself in some kind of party or club. He's kind of in a haze and can't remember how he got there. A chat with a squishy pink alien proves entirely unhelpful. Red starts to wander towards the exit to get his bearings. Suddenly the crowd parts before him, revealing a blue Oolu woman flanked by bodyguards. She tells Red that he's in her way and introduces herself as Alorra, Ominus's stepdaughter. Red calls Ominus a dick. She takes this poorly and orders him seized. Red tries to escape but a blaster shot takes out his booster. He's caught and cuffed. Allora advances to a throne at the head of the room where she sits, shoving Red to his knees beside her. She orders the dancing to commence.

Meanwhile, Hanna is parting the crowd when she overhears two small aliens saying they saw what they thought was a human. She stops to question them. They're intimidated and kinda back off. Sel recognizes their species and tells Schtick that they don't like being picked up, but do like belly rubs. Schtick mishears and does both with his magic. They freak out. He puts them back down, but some burly robots with TV heads show up to defend their little friends.

The robots demand payment in the form of a period of servitude. Hanna threatens them. One tries to shoot her, which Schtick stops. Sel tells Hanna to cause a scene, hoping it'll attract Red's heroic urges. She smashes two, takes one shot in return and is unfazed. Sel fires but hits a hydrant that starts shooting water. Schtick ties up another and the last robot escapes. With no sign of Red and no leads to interrogate, the group heads into the alleys again to lay low.

Meanwhile, back with Red, Allora questions him. She doesn't believe that his name is actually Red Stellar. She asks how he wants to die. "Old age." She calls for an aging ray. In the meantime, she decides she wants to bend him to her will. She has him changed into a metal bikini outfit and tries to humiliate him. In response he detaches his depowered robot arm, using the cuff to swing it at her like a morningstar. Caught off-guard, she orders someone else to deal with him and takes the sonatawich, leaving the dance floor for another room.

Red chases her, grabbing his grav belt on the way. He finds that the room is full of those little aliens getting belly rubs. He throws one at her. She catches it and disintegrates it when it starts freaking out. She levels the gun at Red. He tries to dodge, but the blast hits his boosters. The boosters go crazy and break the local gravity.

During a low-gravity moment, Allora's gun floats past Red. He catches it and blasts at her, but misses, and the recoil rockets him back into the rave area. He smacks his head pretty soundly on the way.

Meanwhile, the rest of the group are in an alley trying to figure out their next step. Suddenly Hanna's eyes roll back into her head and she falls to the ground. She has a vision of a dark room with pounding music, dancers, flashing lights, and a clear ceiling that opens on stars. When she comes to, Sel recognizes the description as Club Underground, at the top of one of the skyscrapers. With no better leads, they head for Club Underground.

Getting in is no problem. A screen in the elevator greets them, informing them that the cost of entry is their 'genetic memory'. Schtick disguises himself to come up as one of the belly rub aliens. After the scan, the virtual assistant informs them of areas in the Club that might interest them.

As they exit the elevator, a thin human-looking man in a suit exits the rave area with an attractive alien on each arm. Schtick recognizes him and immediately pretends to be sick in the corner to hide. The man, Satin, spots the group and focuses on Hanna. He says the sensors picked up powerful magic being done in the elevator and he wants to train it. Hanna says it was probably from her, so he gives her a card and invites her to dance. She accepts. Sel, Elgob, and Schtick follow at a bit of a distance.

Sel spots Red floating over the rave crowd, somewhat groggy, and the crowd keeps bouncing him back up whenever he starts to come down. Sel tells Schtick to ditch Elgob, and makes his way towards Red. Schtick tells Elgob that Satin is a war criminal with a large bounty, so Elgob interrupts Satin and Hanna's dancing to start fighting Satin.

Red comes to and tells Hanna, Sel, and Schtick about the Oolu woman who stole his gun, clothes, and sandwich. They head after her, carrying Red along like a balloon since he's still uncontrollably floating.

They find Allora and her guards in another room, Allora speaking to Ominus on a wrist communicator. Her arm is uncovered now and reveals an Oolu outlaw tattoo. Ominus spots them and warns her that they made trouble back on Earth and are trying to take the Sonata. Sel throws Red at her. The guards fire, but Schtick jumps in and teleports Sel out of danger, both of them appearing right next to Allora. Sel is not pleased to be surprise teleported. Allora does something that blasts the sonatawich apart, sending out a sonic shockwave that knocks flat everyone but Red. He's able to remain conscious long enough to take what's left of the sonatawich from her.

Hanna comes to first, finding everyone else unconscious. She disarms the guards. Allora comes to and activates electrical gauntlets, demanding the Sonata piece back. Unimpressed, Hanna sprouts a new arm at high speed to slam her into the wall, knocking her cold again.

Sel, Red, and Schtick come to. Hanna takes the sonatawich from Red so he won't try to eat it again. They check the Time Folders to see if they can just warp out from here, but find they need time to recharge, leaving the group stuck here for the rest of the day. Sneaking back out through the chaos of the club, the team finds a hotel to lay low in.

Red buys parts and fixes his antigrav boosters. Sel shows Hanna around the station a bit. Later the four hang out in the hotel room to shoot the shit and get to know each other.



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