Kylee and Lisa huddle together in the burnt out wreckage of a great ship that fell from the heavens. Outside the night rages on as a tropical storm rips through the area. Lisa hugs Kylee a little closer.
"Do you hear anything? I can't bear the thought of them catching us like this," Lisa whispers.
Kylee peaks around the edge of the damaged hull which is half buried in the soft earth beneath them. She scans the area but doesn't detect anything out of the ordinary. She turns back to her friend and gives her a reassuring smile. "No, I think we've lost them for now. Don't worry, we're safe."
As if in rude contrast however, a flair ignites high in the sky and illuminates the entire area.
"OK, make that not safe. Not safe at all!" Kylee shouts and pulls Lisa by the hand. The women dart out of their shelter and begin sprinting for the forest several hundred yards away.
A plasma bolt explodes the earth directly in front of them and Lisa screams. "They're here! We're done! We're dead women!"
Kylee turns to see a handful of cyborg assassins power leaping over the hull of the rusted space vehicle. Her irises glow bright blue and she grits her teeth. "Not today. Not like this."
She screams and Lisa crouches behind her. Bright blue energy beams explode out of Kylee's eyes and vaporize everything they contact.
A moment later, a half-dozen cyborgs lie in bloody pieces on the ground in front of her. The moment after that, her strength fails her and she sags in Lisa's arms.
Lisa holds her close and kisses her on the cheek. "Thank you. I'll make sure your sacrifice isn't forgotten."
Claudine stands at the head of a large floating craft as it quickly skims across the wasteland. The torrential downpour and lightning filled sky makes her feel alive as the elements whip against her skin.
"Commander…" starts a soft voice from behind her, "We are nearing the engagement zone. Our sensors indicate that the sentries were destroyed."
Claudine smirks a little and turns to face the slightly bowed, cloaked figure standing behind her. "Is that a hint of a smile I sense, Samantha?"
Samantha looks up at her superior officer – her eyes glowing an otherworldly green, her lips parting into a wry grin. She says nothing but stands a little taller.
Claudine turns back to the storm in front of her. "You enjoy these little hunts a little too much, my dear. Do you want a squad to accompany you this time? The ones we're hunting are dangerous – even for one such as yourself."
The other woman remains silent.
Claudine continues. "Fine. Take your two protégées with you then. But don't blame me if they fail you and don't return. I warned you your prey was dangerous."
The sound of clothing whipping away in the wind is heard for a moment; Claudine turns to find herself alone on the forward deck of the skimmer.
Lisa hurries through the dark underbrush of the deadwood forest. Most of the trees had been burnt to a crisp, but the landscape had refused to stay dead for long. Thick underbrush has carpeted the land and made moving through it very difficult.
She pauses only briefly to hold her hand up to have it illuminated by the crackling sky. A map of sorts glows briefly in her palm. "I'm close. So close. Too close to fail now!" She darts back into the underbrush as the rain continues to pummel her.
Three hover bikes disembark from their mother craft. Samantha leads as Colleen and Brook follow quickly in her wake. The lead woman taps a holographic display on her speeder and a topographical map is displayed. She motions to the other women and all three speed toward a point a few miles away.
A few minutes later, they disembark their mighty machines and converge on their target.
Kylee lies in the mud and scowls at the approaching woman.
"Empire swine!" she sputters and spits on the ground beside her.
"Tsk tsk tsk," Colleen taunts as she approaches while waving her finger from side to side. "Didn't anyone ever tell you that proper little mutants are seen, but not heard?"
Brook gives a crazy laugh and approaches from the other side. "I heard they squeal like stuck pigs when you tear them open to see what's going on inside."
The two heavily armored women laugh some more and give each other an armored high-five.
Kylee begins to breathe faster and the veins on the sides of her head begin to throb.
Suddenly, Samantha's face fills her field of vision. The dark woman does not taunt as her subordinates did, rather, she looks somewhat saddened. "Sleep now, my pretty" she whispers.
She touches a single finger to Kylee's forehead and once again the mutant's world goes dark.
Samantha stands and pears off into the distance. The lightning illuminates the darkened grove in front of her.
"The other one must be up ahead, boss," says Brook with a scowl.
Colleen pipes up. "Yeah! Let us handle her! We're ready! We can do this!"
Samantha doesn't turn back around to face them. She simply crosses her arms in front of her and gives a little nod.
"Yeah!" the other two women shout and give each other another armored hive five before remounting their hover cycles. A moment later, both eager women speed past their master into the darkness.
Lisa feels as though her heart is going to burst through her chest. The heavy rain is both refreshing and draining as it continues to thunder down on her.
"Come on. Come on, it's got to be around here somewhere! I've got to be right on top of it now! Where is it!?"
She grunts and groans as she climbs the steep incline jutting up from the ruined forest below. The sound of the storm whipping around her has completely unnerved the small woman and she trembles with every exertion.
"I can't…" she whimpers. "I can't…"
"You already have," comes a voice from above her.
Using the last of her energy to look up, she sees a slender but athletic woman standing on the ridge above her with her hands on her hips. Jennifer smiles down at the other woman with warm, inviting eyes.
Lisa is glad for the rain now as it hides the tears streaming from her eyes. "Jennifer? Is it really you? Am I really at the refuge?"
The other woman continues to smile as she nods and reaches down to pull the other woman up.
Lisa throws her arms around her and sobs uncontrollably. "Kylee was with me. She helped me the whole way. She sacrificed herself to save me. I'm so sorry she couldn't make it."
Jennifer holds the smaller woman close and gently strokes her hair. A look of concern crosses her face.
Kylee's eyes flutter back open. She tries to sit up, but finds herself restrained on a large metal table.
"Awake at last? I was beginning to become concerned for you, Kylee dear."
The sound of the all too familiar voice sends a frozen shiver down Kylee's spine. Claudine steps into the light and gives the other woman a vicious smile.
"You and your little friend thought you were so brave, so bold. You thought you could run… from ME!?"
Kylee averts her eyes from the other woman and stares at the wall of the large hovercraft.
Claudine violently grabs Kylee by the face and forces her gaze back to her own.
"You have accomplished NOTHING. Do you hear me? NOTHING!"
Kylee wrenches her face free from the other woman's grasp and returns to looking at the wall.
"Samantha will not let this opportunity pass by. You know she will never stop until she has claimed her prize." The commander leans in close and whispers in her prisoner's ear. "You know this to be true. He will be mine."
With that, Claudine disappears back into the shadows of the darkened craft.
A single tear rolls down Kylee's cheek.
Colleen and Brook quickly make their way up the side of the slippery mountain.
"The runaway mutant didn't even try to cover her tracks. It's like she's begging us to recapture her," Colleen shouts with a wide smile on her face.
"I know! The boss is going to reward us big time!" Brook shouts back.
The strength augmenting armor the women wear easily allows them to dig into the stony surface and power their way upward. A proximity sensor alert emanates from their helmets and the women exchange excited looks.
"Heeeeeey mutants. We're heeeeeeeeere!" Brook shouts as she leaps upward.
"Do us a favor. Resist arrest!" Colleen calls out and also leaps.
The two armored women land on the ledge above them and roar with blood lust.
Jennifer stands in front of them with a cold look on her face. "Welcome to the refuge, girls. I don't recall inviting either of you, however."
Brook and Colleen look as though they've seen a ghost and freeze in their tracks.
"No. No, it can't be," stammers Brook.
"You don't exist! YOU'RE DEAD!" Colleen cries out. "YOU'RE SUPPOSE TO BE DEAD!"
The armored women quickly reach for their weapons. Jennifer makes a motion with her hand. Courtney, Linda and Erica leap from the shadows and attack.
Claudine's large hover craft comes to a stop at the base of the forested area. Samantha stands with her and both women gaze up to the mountain in front of them. Flashes of light indicate that there is a battle taking place high above.
Claudine looks at the perfectly calm, hooded woman beside her. A feeling of rage bubbles up and she clenches her fists. "I WANT THAT PRIZE. LEAVE NO ONE ALIVE!" she barks.
Samantha pauses, then gives a little nod and leaps forward into the dense underbrush.
Colleen has a blaster in each hand and engages the two women leaping toward her. Courtney manages to dodges the first volley of blasts but is clipped in the shoulder as she lands and cries out in pain. Linda fairs a little better and manages to tackle the armored woman to the ground. Linda gives a savage roar and her teeth become long and razor-sharp.
Colleen's eyes are large as saucers as she sends an armored fist into the feral woman's jaw.
Brook uses a large two-handed energy cannon to fire at Erica as the other woman charges her. Erica's form doubles in size as she grows a stone-like outer shell. "You heard, Jennifer. You're not welcome here!" Erica shouts as she easily withstands the energy projectiles and lands a stinging punch to the armored woman. Brook recovers quickly and lands a powered punch of her own. The ladies roar at one another as they trade blows amidst the rain and thunder.
Jennifer stands idle as the female warriors battle back and forth in front of her. A black spec launching itself up from the base of the mountain suddenly commands all her attention.
Samantha lands softly on the platform in front of Jennifer.
The other five women sense something is about to happen and turn their attention to the two women now facing off.
"Get her, boss!" Brook shouts.
"Lady Jennifer, do you need our aid?" Courtney cries out.
Jennifer holds up a hand to signal her warriors to stand down.
Samantha motions for her women to do likewise.
Jennifer and Samantha lock eyes and begin to slowly circle one another.
"You are a fool to come here, Sam," Jennifer says softly.
"I have learned much since I was the student, Jenn," Samantha hisses – now showing a hint of emotion for the first time.
"You have come for him, then?" Jennifer asks.
"I have," Samantha answers.
"You know I can't allow that. He is the answer to all our problems."
"You know I can't accept that. He needs to be studied and replicated."
"You'll study NO ONE!" Jennifer screams and her eyes glow bright white.
"Have at you then!" Samantha screams back, her own eyes glowing bright green.
The women scream as one and stretch their hands toward one another. Bright bolts of energy leap from their limbs and collide in the center of the platform.
The onlookers cheer for their champions as they test each others power. The energy duel continues on for several long minutes. Gradually, a look of strain begins to appear on the dueling women's faces as the exertion begins to take its toll. Both ladies increase their mystical output in an effort to overwhelm the other. The entire mountain top begins to radiate with power and the rest of the women begin to be fearful that no one will walk away from this.
A dark figure steps out from the shadows of the mountain. Both Jennifer and Samantha immediately cease their duel and look to the new visitor. Cody steps into the opening, a look of sorrow on his face.
"Stop this. Please, stop this. It is meaningless. No matter which one of you wins, it will mean the death of the other. That's not what I want. That's not what anyone wants."
Jennifer and Samantha trade hateful expressions. "I have come to win you back, Cody!" Samantha screams, her voice now full of emotion.
"He's mine! He chose me and that's the way it's going to be!" Jennifer screams back.
Cody holds up his hands to signal for silence. Brook, Colleen, Courtney, Linda and Erica step in closer and gaze upon the beautiful man. "Ladies, please. You know it upsets me when the two of you fight like this."
Samantha tries her best to reign in her emotions a little. "You're the last man on the planet, and I will have you. I will have you and so will my master, Claudine. It has been written in the stars. The empire must repopulate and continue."
"The empire is oppression. Don't you see that? They hate and destroy everything in their path," Jennifer counters. "No, the last man must stay here at the refuge. With his help, we will repopulate this world with mutants and humans a like. We will build a society of tolerance and love."
Cody steps between the two mystics and places a hand on each of their shoulders. "I am my own man, and I will decide my own fate. These contests do not inspire me to either cause. I am a lone man, and until I chose to change that, I will stay a lone man. Now please, be at peace."
Cody walks to the edge of the mountain. "I choose to not align myself with anyone at this time. May the universe bless and watch over you all."
Erica snarls and steps to the man. "Why you stupid, useless, good for nothing… REJECT THIS!" Erica shoves Cody and he falls over the edge of the cliff…