Thank you to all that liked and reviewed!

We focused on the LXG last time, let's take a glimpse at S.T.E.A.M. shall we. Also apologies for the opening scene, seeing how we're dealing with Jhonen Vasquez characters I felt like we needed something cynical.

Ben2Dartmouth - Why thank you very much, you yourself have done excellent work with Tales of the Beyond. Keep doing what you do man.


Earth-1895

A small rural town in America.

People were understandably nervous. To say the last year and few months were hectic would be an understatement. In the last year the entire world went through an invasion by creatures beyond their wildest nightmares then last week half of the population turns to dust and came back (and unlike the invasion the strike force known as S.T.E.A.M. had no idea what happened and were completely powerless) and now this ... this purple cloud swirl thing shows up on the outskirts of town.

"What do you think it is?" one of the towns folk asked.

"It's more of those alien bastards," a peculiarly hysterical citizen called out, "they come to restart their invasion!"

"Calm down," a more rational man tried to reassure his panicked friend, "they didn't come through portals last time, this might be different."

They didn't have to wait for long as with a whoosh and a thud out came another Irken. He was switching back and fourth between surveying the area and checking a small flip book. "Look!" the rationalist pointed out the Irken to his fellow men, that did nothing to ease their fear. "Kill it! KILL IT BEFORE IT KILLS US ALL!"

"Be quite! Now look here I'm going over there and make a good first impression, OK."

"No! Come back here!" But it was too late as his companion made his way to the little green man. Said little green man was busy flipping through 'Inferior Lifeforms and You by Almighty Tallest Spork' to notice the approaching human. "Now lets see here, got myself on soon to be property of the Empire, now to seek out some of the native life."

"Excuse me." The man startled the Irken, "sorry I didn't mean to get you away from your book." "No, no no no," the Irken replied, "you're just want I need". The Irken took a step back. "Now let my find the right page, aha!" The alien directly addressed the human, "I am Stv of the Irkern Empire. Are you an official representative of your planet?"

The human looked at the Irken dumbfound, surprised that he could speak English before regaining his senses. "Sorry for pausing, um, well ... yes, yes I am."

"Great!" Stv flipped throw a few more pages of his book, "lead me to a person or non corporeal being in power so that we may formalize a surrender, if you refuse then you'll be a pile of ash in a few moments."

"W-what?" The man was shaken, here he was about to offer the hand of friendship and this "Irken" was threatening him and his planet in the most polite why possible. Maybe he didn't want to go through with it, yes that's it, that's why he was being so polite. "Look whatever is forcing you to do this you can choose not to. I can show you and your people better-" Blah, Blah, Blah, Stv went back to his book, this specimen was obviously of a lesser intelligence. This lifeform was going on and on about peace and love or something stupid like that and Stv really wanted it to stop. Thankfully the book had a surefire solution to these types of situations.

"Why together this could be the st-" *PEW* While the human was talking Stv took out his pistol and blew a hole in the back of the human's head. This action sent the other towns people into a screaming frenzy. "RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!" Stv looked around him in panic. "Wha - did I do something wrong?!" He checked the book. "Nope everything's as it should be." Stv walked back to the portal, not noticing the towns men running towards him with their steam powered guns. By the time they stated shooting Stv was long gone. "Did we scare him off?" Everyone was hopeful. "Keep aim," even though this was the same hysterical man who tried to warn his (now late) friend, he had now calmed down enough to think properly. His advice was right, soon silhouette of more Irkens came into view. In one hour, despite the population's best efforts, the entire town became nothing more than burnt rubble.


Earth-1898

The empty coastline of Sodor

Charlie planted the second to last pole like device that when activated with the other poles would make people not pay attention to the portal they surrounded. He was now dressed in a elaborate purple suit with a top hat and a pin in the shape of a stylized B on his color. Nearby James was standing next to the Great Glass Elevator munching on a peach. He looked down at his peach which was already half way done. "Hmm," no matter how many peaches from all around the world he tried none of them were as good as THE Peach, the one that changed his life forever. "Just have to keep looking."

"Alright James!" James jumped back in surprise, his boss was right next to him having no regard for personal space. "Everything's ready, lets go!" Charlie had a wide smile, although the situation might be dangerous he was excited to discover something new. "Ok, uh, listen Mr. Bucket?" James asked Charlie. "Yes James?"

"Suppose Matilda was wrong, that this really is something harmless."

Charlie stopped in his tracks. "James," he began, "in all of the years working with our head of R&D when have her dreams ever been wrong?" James looked down to the ground in contemplation. Usually when Matilda Honey dreamed about the future it was small, harmless, and often very vague, most of the time it usually meant what your next meal would be. This time it was large, could have dire consequences, and extremely specific. "Can I make a quick text?" Charlie nodded in understanding, "take all the time you need," then walked inside the Elevator.

James took out his phone. "Off on another adventure with Mr. Bucket. Something might be coming. Seek shelter." James remembered when he and his family suffered through the Tripod War together, it wasn't pleasant. He had to warn them ahead of time.

"Ready?" Charlie pressed a sequence of buttons that activated the devices. "Yes please, I want to leave this island as soon as possible." James joined his boss in the Elevator, strapping himself in the Elevator's safety harnesses and belts locking him in place.

"Don't worry my friend, me and the Fat Controller go way way back!." Expertly, Charlie started to push more buttons.

"That's not what I meant!" James was bothered by something but seriously, how would being friends with a railway controller help with the legal trouble? "Ah" Charlie remembered James' little problem. "Really James? You know those thoughts could hurt their feelings." The Elevator got off the ground. "Didn't you realize what you just said?" The Elevator floated towards the portal. "Am I the only one who finds it strange that the trains are-"

*woosh*

"are-are ... whoooa." Suddenly they weren't on Sodor any more. All around them was a large purple vortex, all thoughts of trains left James' head. The Elevator whizzed away from the portal and deeper into the vortex, eventually stopping at a group of advanced looking space craft in various states of disrepair. Charlie looked at his assistant. "Think this is Matilda's little green men?"

James got out a telescope to take a clear look in one of the space craft. "I can't see but I think it's a pretty safe bet to say yes." The spacecraft seemed to notice the Elevator and they all turned to face the humans. James gave Charlie the telescope so his boss can see for himself.

"What are they doing?" asked James. Charlie noticed guns being produced from various compartments of the vessels. "Unfortunately not friendly, THEY HAVE GUNS!" Charlie swiftly put the telescope away and went back to pushing buttons at a quick pace. The Elevator speed away further into the vortex, the spacecraft not far behind.

"They don't look like in top shape," observed James, "maybe the guns aren't working. How do we even know they are guns?" That idea was quickly shot down, literally. *PEW* A beam of light suddenly shot passed the Elevator, soon more beams were all around them.

"Don't worry," Charlie reassured, "Mr. Wonka made this thing shockproof, waterproof, bombproof, bulletproof, and Knidproof!" One of the lasers hit the Elevator, lunging it foreword. James was fine because of the safety precautions but Charlie slammed face first on the glass wall. Charlie got his barrings back and steadied the Elevator. "Oh no, look James!" James saw what his boss was pointing to and noticed (to his shock) a small but noticeable crack in the wall.

"It's fine," James observed as Charlie continued to drive. "It's small, it's not that much damage, as long as you keep dogging them it'll will be all fine." A large shadow suddenly covered the duo causing them to turn around and see a MASSIVE space ship, about the size of a small planet, looming over them.

"James." said Charlie, stopping the Elevator.

"Yes, Mr. Bucket."

"We really should have kept our mouths shut."

"I know sir."

The ship looked like it had seen better days, a crudely painted image of a smiling green alien, it was in better condition than most of the smaller ships but it still possessed a lot of damage and what repairs were made looked very makeshift, obvious that they had little material to work with.

The Elevator was surrounded by the small ships, some of them were pushing it towards the Mothership. "No need, allow me." Charlie maneuvered the Elevator so it landed on the side of the Mothership. He and James checked the Elevator's scanner, "Interesting," Charlie saw that not only the ship's surface had it's own gravity (about the same as Earths) but the atmosphere in the vortex was fully breathable and clean of any pathogens. An alert popped up on the scanner, "A message?" James was confused.

"I'd be rude not to answer." Charlie allowed the message to come through.

"Lincoln *sssssssss* Lincoln, is tha- *sssssssss*" Charlie and James looked to each other in confusion at the barley audible message. "Why haven't you- *sssssss- click* At that the message ended and the duo became surrounded by their pursuers. The pilots of the ships got out, they turned out to be the same race as the painting on the Massive. They all took out their rifles and slowly approached the Elevator. If Charlie and James had a closer view of the Irkens they'd see them slightly shacking and twitching in fear.

"We have to leave now sir." James looked at his boss expectantly. Charlie looked away from James at the slowly approaching Irkens. "I suppose It'd be a good time for you to go and warn the right people." Suddenly James' safety belts and buckles automatically tighten. "Oh no," James knew exactly what his boss was intending to do. Charlie turned around to reveal a remote control in his hands and a sheepish smile on his face. "Someone has to stay to distract and find out things," Charlie looked down, "and besides its another good opportunity for finding out what flavors the suffices have."

"DANG IT!" James struggled with his bonds to no avail. "Don't do this again especially now!" Charlie ignored his pleads and got out a small metal rod and put it in James's own pocket. "Contact Sophie, have her get a hold on that League of the Government's." Charlie took off his hat and reached inside his jacket pocket, pulling out a WWIIesk gas mask.

James' struggled much harder now, he looked down at his pocket. "HOW DO YOU KNOW IT WILL WORK THIS TIME?!" Charlie put on the mask and hat. "How do you think I've kept in contact with Mr. Wonka all these years?" Charlie walked up to the transparent doors noticing that the Irkens haven't made much progress from their ships to the Elevator. "They're certainly taking their time."

With his remote Charlie opened the doors. "Mr. Bucket!" James tried to reach for him but it was too late Charlie had already stepped out on the Massive. "MR. BUCKET!" Charlie pushed a button on the remote. The Elevator's doors shut and the engines powered up. "CHARLIE!" James cried out as the Elevator took off and speed back to the portal.

"Well now," Charlie faced his pursuers, "you have me at your mercy." The Irkens stood up tall. (as much as they can) "He has no steam tank!" One of them pointed out. "No steam tank means he has no water. He has no gun either, the human's completely helpless." Now feeling more bold and confident the Irkens took aim.

"Oh," with a sly grin Charlie reached inside his pocket, "I wouldn't say that." He got out a blue smoke bomb and threw it to the ground. Instantly the area around him was covered in blue gas, enveloping him and the Irkens. "Hey," one of the aliens licked the air, "this stuff's delicious." His comrades soon joined in with the licking, letting put moans of excitement while Charlie sneaked away, giggling to himself. "Hope you like being blueberries."

Charlie ran across the Massive for a considerable distance. "Opening, opening, opening, how do I get inside?" Charlie couldn't see an opening hatch anywhere. He then heard a noise circling around him. Looking up he saw more Irkens with jet packs and guns heading towards him.

"Here we go!" Charlie prepared to throw another bomb but found nothing in his (rather deep) pockets. "W-What?" Charlie reached deeper inside the pocket but found everything but his smoke bombs. He frantically searched his other pockets to no avail. "Oh no," maybe James was right. The Irkens landed and took their shots. *PEW* *PEW* Charlie dodged them and ran as fast as he could. He couldn't run and dodge forever and he was quickly becoming exhausted.

He looked ahead and saw more Irkens heading towards him, soon he will be surrounded on all sides. "So this is how it ends." Charlie stopped in his tracks, taking off his mask and solemn in defeat. "Sorry James, you always tried to keep me on track." He was about to close his eyes in defeat but the he saw something in the corner of them. What he saw was - "A PORTAL!"

Charlie looked around him, the Irkens were rapidly approaching, there guns charging up. Charlie remembered something. Once again he reached into his pocket and this time he got out a glass bottle he was saving for special occasions. "Frobscottle!" Charlie took a big gulp of the green liquid. He aimed himself at the portal before he felt his stomach gurgling.

"Here it comes!" Charlie held on to his hat as the aliens got closer. Just when they were about to shoot Charlie let out a giant whizzpop that sent him soaring away from the Massive. Unfortunately for the Irkens his absents meant they shoot each other. "OWWW!" "MY SQUEEDLYSPOOCH!"

Charlie was laughing all the way as he flew inside the portal.


Earth-1895

Charlie landed on his back on a hard concrete surface. Though he was in slight pain, he was still laughing heartily as the frobscottle put him in a good mood. That good feeling didn't last long as all around him he was bombarded with steams of water much to his confusion. "Hey," he spit out some water, "that wasn't very nice"

He stood up, soaking wet, and noticed his surroundings. "What is this place?" He seemed to be inside a sizable metal box with hoses in the corners, a portal in the center and enough room to walk around. "Hello?" Charlie paced around the box, calling out to whomever is listening. "Is anyone there?"

Outside the the box various men in uniform looked at the camera feeds showing inside the box with astonishment and confusion. "Wha-What should we do?" Never before had a human (or what seemed like one) had come out of one of the portals before. One of the men, who seemed to be in charge of this endeavor, gave the order. "Get him out of there, trait him with caution this could be a trick." His subordinates nodded. The leader looked back at the screens, Charlie was using a fan in his hat to dry himself. "Also see if we can get any members of S.T.E.A.M. including Captain Fleming. They know better about this stuff than we do."


Washington DC, six mouths after the Irkens arrival and one day after Charlie's landing

The Liberty had just docked at a station near the White House, the leader of the Strike Team Eliminating the Alien Menace, Captain Henry Fleming came down from the descending ramp, meeting up with Sargent John Henry his best friend. "John," he greeted, "Henry!" They shook hands.

"Wish this was a social visit." Henry fallowed John as he led him inside the building were the reason he came was being kept. Henry briefly stopped to look up at the sky, it just now stated to be populated by airships again. After how many Airships fell during the Going Henry couldn't blame the people for being reluctant to use air travel again.

"Henry?" John called out. "Sorry," Henry answered back, "just admiring the view." John turned his head to where Henry was looking, understanding what Henry was admiring. "Gotta admit I'm gonna miss that clear blue sky." The two friends stood in place for a little while before making their way back to the building, they had a job to do.

"So," Henry began, "have you seen our "guest"?"

"No, not yet," John replied, "but the others say he's been nothing but very cooperative and polite, if a bit you know," John did a swirl moment with his hand, "not all there."

"How so?" Henry asked. "Apparently he's been "licking" everything that is not alive and I mean everything, expect for the clouting we were."

"What?" Henry wanted more clarity.

"We'll probably see what they mean when we get there." John didn't get what "licking" meant either. "Who's here?" asked Henry."Randolph, Dorthy, Tom, Tiger Lilly, and Queenqueg. Califia's back in California and I'm pretty sure you know were the Fox, Katherine and Milton are." Henry nodded in conformation. Soon he and John finally entered the building were Charlie was being kept.

"What do you know about him?" Henry asked. "Only that he calls himself "Charlie Bucket", he seems to be British but there are no records of him to be found, not even his fingerprints, and he came from one of the portals." Henry rubbed his beard in contemplation. After the first alien invasion there wasn't really that much need for S.T.E.A.M. any more so after helping rebuild the world most of the members went their separate ways. The Ozonians went back to Oz, Tom Sawyer to his hometown of St. Petersburg, the Fox and Queen Califia returned to their respective nations, and Queenqueg went back to the seas, looking for a friend. The ones who stayed were himself, John, Tiger Lilly, (Henry got the impression she had nowhere else to go) and the crew of the Liberty. They decided it was best to monitor the situation and prepare in case the Aliens ever comeback, even the ones who left promised to return if there ever was another invasion.

Then, six months ago, the Going happened. Henry shuttered, he can still remember watching his own fingers turned to dust and crumble away and then he lost feeling in his face. Next thing he knew he was back in his apartment, restored to normal. When he went out to explore he quickly discovered he was not alone. All around him several people where wide eyed and pinching themselves, relieved that they were alive. But it wasn't all good, a few buildings were on fire, he came across the wreaks of a few airships, and in a sight that would make the conman person gag or faint in sight, the bodies if quite a few people were littered in a few places, looking as if they fell from a great height. President Grant gave the immediate order and S.T.E.A.M. was reformed.

One of the first things Henry and John when they finally neared the room where Charlie Bucket was being kept, was several of their fellow S.T.E.A.M members. Dorthy Gale was sitting on a chair to the side looking at a large sheet of paper, she was drinking from a cup and had a depressed look on her face. Professor Randolf Carter was at an examination table looking over various items that Charlie had including his hat, jacket, B shaped pin, and various Wonka branded candy in their wrappers. Tom Sawyer was with the Professor, assisting him in his observations, his lips were covered with a brown substance. Queenqueg was standing at the door to the interrogation room, if one were to look closely they would see a smirk on his face as if he was thinking of a privet joke.

John went to go check on Dorthy to see if she's alright while Henry went to go see Carter's findings. "Dorthy." John greeted her.

"Hmm? Oh. hey John." Dorthy's voice lacked her usual perkiness, she took another sip of her drink.

"Is everything alright?" Dorthy let out a deep sigh and showed John the paper she was looking at. Oh, Ohhhhhhh. It was a poster showing all the main members of S.T.E.A.M. in heroic poses except the Lion, Scarecrow, and Tin Man's faces was crossed out with crude black calk and it was littered with oh so wonderful phrases like 'GO HOME!' and 'FREAKS'. (those two were the least offensive words on there) John let out a disappointed sigh, as much as America likes to pride itself as the perfect country it is important to remember the perfect country doesn't exist. Racism has always been a problem, not just for this country but for all countries, however after the first invasion a huge spike in white superiority and intolerance of anything not human showed its ugly head. He lost count of the number of times S.T.E.A.M. members had to physically throw out bigots during public events before they temporally disbanded. Things were just starting to calm down and then the Irkens came. John handed Dorthy the poster back. "It's not fair." Dorthy went back to her drink. "I know," John looked down to the floor, flashing back to some memories he would really like to forget, "believe me I know."

For a little while they sat there then John realized something. "Your friends, are they here or coming?" Dorthy shook her head. "No, something came up and Queen Ozma thought it was best if they go investigate. I haven't seen them in a while, thou I do still get their letters." Dorthy smiled feeling a little better. "What are you drinking?" With enthusiasm Dorthy let John see her drink. "Try some, its so good!" John help the cup and took a slightly hesitant sip. His eyes widen, it may have been the best thing he had ever tasted. The flavor, it was like one half melted chocolate the other half an ice cold strawberry drink with a bit of creamy milk thrown in there for good message. The two flavors complemented each other immensely and even the hot and cold somehow did not clash at all.

"Whoa!" John gave Dorthy back her drink. "What is this called?"

"Don't know." Dorthy shrugged.

"Where can I get some? Is it from Oz?"

"Oh, uh ..."

"Doctor?" Henry meanwhile was trying to get Randolph Carter's attention. "Hmm, oh that's nice I guess." Carter was too absorbed in his work. "He's in one of his moods." Tom Sawyer spoke up, getting Henry's attention. "I think I know what to do, by the way you have something right here." Henry pointed to his lips

"Huh?" Tom brought his hands to his lips, trying to feel if anything was there. "Here you go." Henry gave Tom a piece of cloth to wipe himself before refocusing on Carter. Tom cleaned lips and looked at the cloth to see it covered in chocolate, "What the?" Tom then heard a chuckle and turned around to see it was Queenqueg. "Oh, I'll get you back one day." Tom said with a mischievous smile. When no one was looking, Tom discreetly licked the cloth savoring the taste of the chocolate.

"Randolph!" Henry used his usual way of getting the professor's attention. "How many times do I have to tell you simpletons it's-OH!" Carter almost fell down upon seeing who it was. He stood back up and gave a solute. "Captain Fleming, sir!"

"At ease Professor!" Henry was silently amused at Carter's demeanor. "I assume you wish to see my findings about our prisoner." Henry nodded in confirmation. Carter reached for Charlie's coat and handed it to the captain. "Put your hand in one of the pockets." Henry did so and much to his surprise he couldn't feel the bottom even though the pocket didn't look that big. He continued to try to feel for the bottom but couldn't find any, eventually his entire arm was enveloped in the pocket looking like he had no arm. Henry raised an eyebrow and then finally he felt some wrapping s that kinda reminded him of plastic. He grabbed one and pulled out a small stick with a hard ball wrapped in flimsy plastic. He read the worlds on the plastic, "Wonka's firecracker Lollipop?" Henry looked at the table and saw the wrapped candy, each of the wrappers had the word Wonka on them. "He has pockets that are bigger on the inside and he uses them to carry candy?"

"That's not all!" Carter picked up the pin. "As far as I could tell this is just a regular piece of metal but this," Carter put down the pin and garbed the hat, "Look at this." Carter lightly tapped the top of the hat, almost immanently holographic lights flashed briefly around the top of the hat then they turned off and the words 'HAND PRINT NOT RECOGNIZED' appeared in red flashing letters. Carter gave the hat to Henry.

Henry did the same thing that Carter did earlier and got the same results. He looked around and inside the hat to find nothing. Nothing to indicate it was anything other than an ordinary hat. Strange, but definitely not Irken. Henry turned to Carter. "What are your impressions of Mr. Bucket?"

"I've had little interaction with the prisoner, but when I did finally see him all he did was look at me for the longest time. He asked me if I was related to "John Carter of Barsoom"."

"Barsoom?" Henry asked.

"Most likely a nonsense word thou admittedly I have a cousin of distant relation of that name but John isn't exactly an unconman name."

Henry heard enough, he turned to face the entrance to the interrogation room. "He's waiting for you in there." Carter informed him. "Let's not keep him waiting then." Henry got John to join him, inadvertently saving Dorthy from some awkward questions.

They made there way to the room where Queenqueg stood. The sailor gave a quick Salute to his captain and a small greeting to the Sargent before proceeding to unlock the door. "Go easy on him please," Queenqueg said, "he's a very nice man." Henry reassured Queenqueg. "If what I heard is true, there'll be absolutely no need for violence." Henry and John prepared to go meet Charlie. "Lets see what he has to do with the Irkens."

When S.T.E.A.M. reformed their job was to prepare in case this "Going" was the start of another alien invasion. Then one week later reports of an army of little green creatures was leaving a path of destruction stating with a small American town. S.T.E.A.M. and a small army was quickly dispatched to intercept and ambush the invaders. The attack was successful and they were able to drive most of them back to their portal of origin. They manage to destroy a few of them and capture a live one. An attempt at peace was made but it seemed that anything outside of conquest and entertainment was outside his comprehension but they did learn that the species were called the Irken. When asked why they were doing all of this he said "Its what the Tallest would have wanted, to walk in a strait path letting nothing stop us." Of course he didn't want to acknowledge the fact that they were driven back. Later more portals opened and more Irkens came, continuing the assaults, thing were evenly matched between the armies of the word and the aliens. The tide soon turned however when a remarkable discovery was made, on one of the many battlefields it started rain, turns out water is like acid to the Irkens and since everything was steam powered well things got much easier. Once that discovery was made well known in a short week the Irkens were scrambling back to the portals. Now a days S.T.E.A.M. has basically become glorified jail keepers, building heavily fortified steel boxes around the portals complete with telephonoscopes to let security teams view the inside. Irkens attempting to come out are few and far between and never before had a human popped out, until now.

When entering the room and seeing Charlie Bucket Henry and John finally saw what licking meant. He was loudly munching on his own handcuff chains making humming noises and commenting on the flavor. "Hmm, could be a smash! That silvery taste is completely different he-," he looked up from his chains and saw Henry and John, "ah you must be Captain Henry Fleming. My apologies I didn't hear you come in."

Henry and John took their seats opposite to the odd man. "Mind telling us what that was about?" Henry started.

"About what?" Charlie asked.

"Your licking." John continued.

"Oh, that!" Charlie got what they were talking about now. "Well, I figured new world means new flavors for candy! One mustn't let grand opportunities go to wast, anything could be a new flavor."

Henry and John looked Charlie dumbfoundly. "Right, I'll just get strait to the point: What do you have to do with the Irkens?"

"Irkens?"

"Little green people, trigger happy, red or purple eyes?" John elaborated.

"Is that what they're called?" Charlie replied. "Not a very nice bunch are they."

"That's putting it mildly." Henry stated with a small smile.

"To answer you earlier question, ehhhh ..." Charlie looked away in embarrassment. "Hindsight can be cruel mistress, but you have my complete assurances I'm a 100% human being."

"We know," John stated, "your DNA checks out, but we have absolutely no records of a Charlie Bucket matching your descriptions or fingerprints."

"Figured that was the case." Charlie found more evidence of his theory.

"Why? Did you somehow erase all information about yourself?" John asked.

"It's a bit more complicated than that." Charlie sat back and begin to explain. "Have you ever herd of the Multiverse theory?"

"Multiverse?" asked John.

Henry thought for a bit, "I've never been the scientific type, you've might want to ask Professor Randolph Carter."

Charlie twiddled his thumbs, thinking of a different strategy. "OK, do you know about pocket or bubble dimensions? How about other realms?" Henry and John continued to stare at him blankly.

"Far off distant lands! They can't be found on any map! You can only go there through unconventional means like jumping in a book or crawling in strange hole ... " "Or flying through a tornado?" John inquired

"Yes!"

"The world looks nothing like Earth, its maps completely different, and are often filled with the fantastical?" Henry continued.

"YES! YES! YE - *CLACK* *BANG* "AAAAAAAA!" Unfortunately Charlie got so excited he tried jumping up for joy but he forgot he was chained to the floor thus he tripped and banged his chin on the table.

"Are you ok?" Henry asked. Even through Charlie was under interrogation, the interactions and air he gave off made himself and John feel that he was ultimately harmless if a bit odd. Besides the bang looked super painful with him cluching his mouth and rocking back and fourth in his chair.

"I'm phine, I'm phine, justh bit my thongue." John winced while Charlie rolled his tongue back in his mouth and smacked his lips.

"That was painful, anyway do you know what I'm referring to?"

Henry was taken slightly aback by Charlie acting like nothing happened, never the less he answered his question. "It sounds like your talking about Oz."

"Oz? Haven't been there I'm afraid. What about Narnia or Middle-earth?" Henry and John shock their heads, "Sorry."

'Disappointing' Charlie realized that this Earth probably didn't have access to those two realms and finding this Universe's gateway (if they even had one) to them would take too long.

"Are you saying you come from one of these "realms"?" Henry asked, interested where this was going.

"Kind of you see-" *kizzz* "Hold that thought." Henry had to interrupt Charlie as he was receiving a comunica in his wireless earpiece. "This is Henry."

"Captain Fleming! You better come back here," it was Carter and Henry could here a loud beeping noise in the background, "One of the devises is acting up!" *kizzz*

"Is everything alright?" Asked John. Henry got up from his chair and motioned John to fallow. "Something came up, we have to leave him for now." The two soldiers walked to the exit. "Don't let me hold you!" As they opened the door Charlie briefly herd the loud beeping which made him smile. 'He made it and he's angry.' He then proceeded to pick the locks on his cuffs.

Henry and John came back to the room to see all of their colleagues holding their hands on their ears to drown about the loud beeping. "WHAT IS THAT?!" Shouted John. Carter held up a small metal rod with red light on the end flickering on and off with each beep. Henry took it and realized the light was actually a button. He pressed it and the noise finally stopped, much to everyone relief, soon the button split open to reveal a tiny projector. The light shone and projected holographic screen, Henry held the rod back as he had no idea what the rod was doing. The people under his commanded got curious and gathered around him. The screen turned on to reveal a furious looking red haired man who was battered and bruised and wearing a nice suit that had seen better days.

"CHARLIE! YOU, YOU, Y ... You're not Charlie. Who are you people? Where's Mr. Bucket?" S.T.E.A.M quickly realized that despite its advancements, the hologram (not that they knew it was called that) was no different than a small communication telephonoscope, that didn't stop Tom and Carter from marveling at it. 'Fascinating' thought Carter. 'I'd love to see how that thing ticks' thought Tom.

"Oooo, is that a video game?" a voice with an Irish accent asked off screen. The hologram went blurry for a moment, "Can I play, can I play?" Henry and the others didn't know what to think as screen became clear again, this time showing a slightly older woman who looked like she was often in charge. "You stay there Hyde, now what -" The woman's voice died in her throat as she and Henry looked at each other, she was very familiar. Henry's eyes widen in remembrance, when he dusted he didn't just disappear and reappear in his apartment, he went somewhere. He didn't know where he was but the place almost looked like paradise except there was a lot of panicked and confused people were wandering around. One of those people was this woman. The memories were coming back they had an interesting conversation and her name, her name, what was her name?

"I'm sorry," the woman finally spoke, "d-do I know you?"

"Zoe?" Henry remembered her name, "Dr. Zoe Van Helsing?"

Henry's friends all stared at him. "You know her?" asked John.

Zoe was at first confused, but soon she too remembered. "Captain Henry Fleming?"

"Henry Fleming?" A voice that was very familiar to S.T.E.A.M. asked Zoe, "That voice, did you say that was Henry Fleming?" Zoe got out of her stupor and disappeared from the screen. Then a man with a strong chinstrap beard, everyone in the room was astonished.

"M Mr. President?!" said a shocked Henry, Lincoln just chuckled. "My most sincere apologies I really didn't intend faking my death to be my hobby."


Randolph and John Carter (Edgar Rice Burrows' Barsoom books) haven't seen each other sense the beginning of the Civil War. The two weren't exactly close.

- The second mission started with a slightly traumatized man named Edward Pendrink. While most people would dismiss his claims certain government operatives noticed a similarity between some of Largo's genetic creatures and Pendrink's mad story plus there have been sightings of "animal men" all around the world for years. The League was assembled again and were sent to the island of Pendrink's stories. They quickly found out Alphonse Moreau was still very much alive and continuing his experiments. He advanced more in his methods and planed to unleash his more wild Hybrids to various parts of the world as he wanted to see how well humanity would fight back. The league manged to stop the Doctor's plan but Moreau managed escape his island, swearing revenge against the League. Ever since the island incident more more animal men (dubbed Hybrids by the public) have made themselves known to the world. Some are or descended from Monreau's creations while others had nothing to do with Monreau at all and evolved naturally or were created by someone else. Generally Hybrids are treated as second class citizens to Humans and will often live in their own communities and neighborhoods that are not always in the best of shapes. Fortunately for the Hybrids they're people, such as Dr. John Dolittle, who work to improve the Hybrid's standing and rights.

You probably have no idea where S.T.E.A.M. is from the video game Codename: S.T.E.A.M. for the 3DS. It actually has somethings similar with LXG vol.2, a team of people made up of characters from literature in the public domain fighting an alien invasion. The differences are that the aliens are loosely based on the creatures from H.P Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos and it has a lighter ending. (Also I'm fairly certain that the literary Randolph Carter would rather shoot himself then work with POC)

Literary references:

Already mentioned Barsoom.

Matilda Honey is from Matilda by Roald Dahl.

Frobscottle is a drink from the BFG.

The friend Queenqueg was looking for is Ishmael. If you read the LXG comics, you already know where he is.

Narnia is from the Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis

Middle-Earth is from Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkin

Please like and review. Constructive criticism is welcome, I hope this chapter wasn't to expository.