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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/campfires/item_id/1637643-Lightning-Bovine
by Twiga
Rated: 18+ · Campfire Creative · Fiction · Animal · #1637643
Bill meets his mother for the First tim e in his life, But she has a dark secret
[Introduction] Bill Brandy AKA Minotaur meets his Mother for the first time in his life

His mother Greta Brandy reveals to her son why she left him,

Long ago she was a Housewife in NAZI Germany her first son Hans was taken into the Hitler Youth

Trapped in a Loveless Marriage Greta felt resentful and unloved she fell in with a group of rebells determened to Smuggle Jews Roma and other people doomed to die out of Europe...

It didn't work out too well, Greta would have been exicuted had she not accidently discovered a means of Time Travel...
Bill Brandy, Jim Buckwheat and Bob Buttz were the World-Famous Superheroes, Minotaur, Squirrel-Man and Aqua

But unforunetly they were also teenage boys and therefore also have to go to school.

Today was Field Trip day, So the Three boys were with their class on a Trip to Albany Park.

Now don't think that they went to school in their Anthro Forms, that would have blown the whole secret identity thing.

All the Manimals had a nerve in their forehead that they used as on/off switches.

Bill was bored out of his mind! He knew what the forest was like from his own experiance in Bull-Form

The Class was overlooking a Quarry, the Teacher was droning on and on about the limestone rock-formations, Only the Geeky Bob took the teacher seriously...Jim and Bill knew that Bob would soon come to understand that knowing nature first hand as an animal was much more interesting.

Bill's nose twitched...Even when in human form he still had strong Bovine senses...He looked down below into the quarry.

He saw three men dressed in black they were carring shotguns...Bill knew what they were...Poachers.

Bill growled, ever since he accidently went 'zoomorphic' or got trapped in the form of a non-anthro Bull and nearly got butchered in the slaughterhouse he felt particualar hatred to those who kill animals for profit.

He tapped Jim's shoulder "I'm going to go take care of those 'vermin' down below."

Before Jim could say anything, Bob piped up "Bill you can't transform in Public!"

"Who said I was?" Bill smirked, he tiptoed to the edge of the cliff and jumped into the water below!

That Jump did not go unnoticed by the other kids

"OMG!" Someone screamed "Bill commit sucide!"

But Jim and Bob saw that he had transformed as soon as he hit the water. The two of them saw the shape of a humanoid Texas Longhorn swimming in the direction of the pochers.
"No, I think he's alright," Jim said, pointing at Bill's Manimal form. "That's the Minotaur, right?"

"I think that might be him," said another classmate.

"No, only Aqua deals with the water," said yet another.

"Well, whoever he is," Jim said. "He seemed to have grabbed onto Bill and put him under the overhanging, as I've heard there's a cave down at the bottom of this cliff."

"Well, what's he doing now?" the one classmate asked.

"I don't know," Jim said. "But I think that we should get away from the edge. I think that's why Bill fell, because this moss is damp and slippery."

"Do you think Bill's alright?" a girl asked.

"He might be," Jim said. "But, at the moment, I'm kind of getting virtigo, and I don't do well with rock climbing. I fall every time we try it on the rock wall in gym."
Bill was already onto the the two pochers

"Did you hear something?" One of them said

"You're always hearing things." The Other one said "Come on...We have to get these pelts..."

Just than something rose out of the water and charged at them!

The Two poachers aimed their guns at the creature but he merely leapt above them and landed right behind them!

"Now boys," Bill said clucking his tougue "You know Poaching is bad for the Ecosystem right?"

"It's one of those Talking Animal superheroes!" The First One said

"Wait, the Manimals are talking animals?" The Second One said "I thought they were just people in highly elaberate costumes!"

"Does that look like a costume to you?!" The First One growled

"You're both idiots." Bill said irritably and charged at them again.

Meanwhile Bob and Jim were with there class moving foreward...Jim was looking nervous

"Do you think we should go down and help Bill?" Jim asked

"And blow our secret identity? No Freaking Way! If Bill wants to risk his life that's his buissness."
Meanwhile, watching both the class on their feild trip, as well as Bill's fight with the poachers, was a strange looking man-like wolf creature.

"Young fool," he said, as he watched Bill charge reckessly into the fight with the poachers. "He's either very brave, or very stupid. His intentions are admirabal, but his actions are foolhardy. Reminds me of me at that age."

Then, from his spot from where he was overlooking the quarry, he saw the third poacher, the one that Bill wasn't watching, take aim at him. Thinking quickly, the creature grabbed a nice size piece of rock and chucked it at him, shattering both the stock of the shotgun, and breaking the man's wrist.

"That'll teach him to not use a gun in a good old fist-fight," the wolf-creature said, with a chuckle, as the man screamed with pain.

Then, just as Bill started to look in his direction, to see where the rock came from, he got out of sight, so that he could get to anouther spot, to help out if need be.

Bill tied up the three poachers with their own rope. "Wait here, please, while I notify the sheriff."

Then Bill ran up the road out of the quarry thinking hard about how to rejoin his class as though nothing had happened.

Luckily, Jim met him halfway. "I told them you fell in by accident and you were hiding in a cave under the cliff."

"That's a good story," Bill said. "I'll stick to it."
Unfortunatly they ran into the sherif long before they met the class. They led him him to the poachers and

Without rejoining the class the rest of the class had no idea what happened to Bill.

Bill went home that evening not giving a second thought about school. Later that night, Charles Brandy (Bill's Father) Was greeted by the PTA.

"Mr. Brandy." Said the Teacher "We just wanted to say we're sorry."

"For what?" Asked Charles

"Bill's passing..."

Mr Brandy said nothing

"...Away..." The Teacher pressed "...Into death..."

"What?" Bill ain't dead he's in his room!"

In the darkness across the street, the wolf creature was watching the conversation.

"Well, at least he's kept his Secret Identity secret," he said to himself.

Then, he walked over to the pair and said, "Excuss me. Are you two talking about the young man who fell over the cliff at the quarry?"

Turning around, the teacher gasped in shock at the sight of him.

"What are you?" the teacher asked. "I think that I've seen you somewhere before."

"Unlikely," the wolf creature said. "Not unless you were with the Black Ops within the last twenty or so years. They seem to take a particular delight in trying to capture me, that or you were someone whom I saved from a mugging attempt, or the mugger themselves. In anycase, I saw the Minotaur save the young man who fell from the cliff by the quarry. Of course, you get saved by someone like that, you are liable to forget a few things, like getting back to your class. Well, I best get going, and if some guys from the Army show up, you never saw me."

At this, he vanished into the night.

The teacher stared at the spot where the wolf creature had vanished. Out of the side of his mouth he asked, "Who in the world was THAT?"

Bill Brandy's father shook his head. "I ain't got no idea, but he sounds like one mean dude."

"Hmph. Well, if he's telling the truth then I guess Bill is alright?"

"Sure Bill is alright. I said he was in his room, didn't I?"
The Wolf Creature smirked from his Dark sanctuary...He knew full well about the Secret Manimal Project.

Charles Brandy was one of the few people who knew Bill was a superhero...He went to his Son's room on knocked loudly on the door

"Yeah Pops?" Bill asked

"Bill!" His Father said firmly "Have you been doing crazy superhero stuff when you're supposed to be in class again?"

"Dad we were on a field trip!"

"Yeah, yeah spare me the details." Charles said dismissivly "Tommorow You're going to school and no ducking out to do super stuff!"

The Next day as Bill was walking to school...He passed by the cemitary...
Where he bumped in to a strange-looking man, who was dressed in a relatively strange garb, which showed nothing about him, not his hands, not his face, or even his eyes like most masks would. In fact, the only way that Bill could tell that the person was a man, was because of the fact that he wasn't showing a set of brests, though that didn't mean much, concidering that there were women who didn't have much, and there were some men who had a condition that made their's grow. In his hands was a set of roses

"Um, sorry sir," he said, sheepishly, as he walked around the person.

"It's alright," the man said, in a deep voice. "I wasn't paying attention myself."

"Why are you dressed like that?" Bill asked, pointing at the man's face.

"It's a part of my coustoms," the man said. "When visting the dead, cover yourself, so that you don't contaminate sacred ground. This includes face, hair, and hands. I was delivering some flowers to my wife's grave, thinking about the good times that I had with her, when you bumped into me."

"Well, I best be going," Bill said, as he took off, running for the school.

****

As he watched the boy take off, the man took a glove off of his one hand, reveling it to be like a wolf's paw. The man, James, was indeed going to visit his wife's grave, but he'd waited untill that point before he tried to enter, so that Bill would bump into him. The kid had no idea how special he was, as he and his friends could turn into their human forms. James however, and the other older ones, could not.

James sighed as he remembered that day. He and about a hundred others had been selected because they were the best of the best in their sections of the military, be it in communications, espianoge, marksmenship for sniping, piloting different types of planes, demolitions, and more, they'd been selected. They'd been told that they'd be part of a special unit, a new breed of soldiers. New breed was right, they'd been turned into freaks and monsters. Then, they were ordered to do things that no soldier should do, like terrorize innocent civilians of nations that the country had a secret beef with. However, James had staged a masive breakout, and had freed the others, kiiling a few of the guards, who were part of a very shady, yet powerful, branch of the Black Ops. He then had them split up into small groups, and gave them two orders, survive, and avoid capture. However, he'd also ordered them to do what they could to protect others from what had happened to them. As a result, some became part-time superheros, and others became vigilantes, all to protect the rest of the population from their fate.

As James went to the grave of his wife, he saw another similar aged man, with a few who were at least twenty years younger. He watched as the older one put some flowers on the grave, and led the two younger ones away. When they passed him, James felt his heart stop, as the older of the two younger ones turned his head in his direction, almost looking him in the eyes. The young man was his son, his old features carved right there on his face. James had known that his wife had remarried, especially since he'd been listed as Killed During a Training Accident by the Army when they handed him and some of the others over to the Black Ops, but still, to see the young man look at him, it brought back memories, of when he was a father to the boy, and a husband to his wife.

As he watched the group leave, and get into their car, James went to the grave, kneeled down, and said, "I see that you and your husband raised our son to be a fine young man honey. I can see it in his eyes. You must have been proud as to how well you raised him. I just wish that I'd been there, to help you raise him."

Then, he looked at the flowers that the man had put down. On the card on them was the words, "From your beloved husband, Richard Gainer." James then looked at the card he had on his. It was signed, "From a friend." He hadn't wanted anyone to know that he was still alive, not even his wife and son, whom he treasured more than anything in the world. He did it to keep them safe.

When he finished his business, and left the cemitary, he proccedded to partol the city, in his secret fashion, hoping to catch Bill in his bull form, so that the two of them could talk, as he'd come across something important, regaurding the boy's mother.
Bill was almost at the end of the large cemitary when he noticed something shocking!

"Holy Crap!" He exclaimed

There was a tombstone that read 'William Brandy'

"Holy F***!" Bill cried "Dad was telling the truth "The People really did think I died!"

He jumped the fence and ran into the graveyard...He had to investigate

He ran up to get a closer look but he fell into the freash dug grave.

Bill landed flat on his face he coughed and spat out dirt.

"You awful awful Brute!" Came a strong German voice "Get out of my Son's grave!" Bill turned and looked up

"I hate to dissapoint you lady but this is MY grave...."

He stopped right there when he saw the face of the Woman

"Mom?"

"William?" Said the woman

"I thought you were dead!" Bill said

"I thought you were Dead!" Exclaimed the woman

Bill climbed out of the grave and his Mother took a handkerchif and wiped the dirt of his face.

"Where have you been?" Bill asked

"Oh William." She sighed "let's not ask that now let us enjoy the moment.

"Mum."Bill said breaking away from her touch "Before we go any further I need to reveal my secret."

They walked under a willow tree

"Mom...I'm a bull..." Bill said touching his forehead



As her son changed, the woman gasped in shock.

"How did this happen?" she asked, running her hand over his horns, and touching the tip at the end of them.

"I don't really know," Bill said, as he sat down. "It was like I was human one moment, and a bull the next."

"Well, it doesn't matter," the woman said, as she gave him a mother's kiss and hug. "After all, a mother's love is unconditional."

"Mom," Bill said. "Where have you been all this time?"

"It's a long story," Greta said. "Should I begin at the very begionning when I was born? Or later when you were born?"

"Mom, I just want to know where you have been. Like where were you a month ago?"

"It's not that simple," Greta said. "What do you know about time travel?"

"Time travel? I know it doesn't exist. What's time travel got to do with- Oh, good grief! Are you claiming to be a time traveler, Mom?!"

"Son, I said it was a long story and maybe a little difficult to understand."
She took Bill's hand in hers she marveled at the coarse fur and hoof like nails...

"What did your Father say when you asked about me?" She inquired

"He said you were a Germen tourist who died in Childbirth with me."

"Yes, I suspect he told you that to spare your feelings..He could not bear to tell you that I was on the run from evil forces."

"Evil forces?" Bill raised an eyebrow not sure weather to believe this or not

"Bill." Greta said "Have they tuaght you anything about Germany during World War Two?"

Bill thought about that for a second "A little bit." He said "But I tend not to pay much attention in class..."

"Listen." His Mother said softly but firmly "I was once a housewife in Nazi Germany..."

While Bill was listening to his Mother's story...Jim and Bob were left to wonder where he was

"You think Bill is cutting classes again to do Superhero stuff?" Jim asked Bob

"You're really asking me?" Bob asked "If anything I should be asking you! You're his best friend!"

"You're his brother!" Jim retorted

"HALF-Brother." Bob said with some hostility

"Stop fighting!" Said Jim's girlfriend Jordan "You two should no better than to know better than to argue like this!"

Jim and Bob looked at each other and sighed.

"Now, I'll go into my squirrel form and see if I can find Bill." Jordan said

"Wait, wait ,wait." Bob said "How are you going to get out of class?"

Meanwhile back in the graveyard..Greta had finished telling Bill her story

"When I realized I left the Time Window open, I knew the evil that I had left behind could follow me...So I ran away from your Father, I gave birth two monthes later, I left you on your Father's doorstep leaving behind a note saying I could not stay or evil forces would get me."

"So this entire time you've just been time traveling from one time period to anouther?" Bill asked

"Sometimes I would periodicly check on you and your father." She said "Just to see how you two were doing."

"I find this a little hard too take in." Bill said quietly

"I know it is." Greta said

"Crud!" Bill exclaimed "I've got to get to school! Excuse me Mom but I'm twenty minute late!" With that he transformed into his human self and jumped over the fence to get to school.
"Oh that boy," Greta said. "He needs to learn some patients. I didn't tell him that the evil forces are after him."

"Don't they all?" a voice asked, as a hand was placed on her shoulder.

"Hello James," she said, with a knowing smile. "How have you been since last we met?"

"Well, I've been better," the wolf man said, sitting down next to her, still wearing his outfit which conceled his features. "But it could be worse. I could be dead, or I could still be a prisioner of those men. I can't thank you enough for that."

"How often have you been watching my son?" Greta asked, looking at him, as if she could see through the vail covering his face.

"Every chance that I get Miss," James said. "Me and the others concider it our duty to watch over the newer Manamals, and help them out if need be. The problem is the fact that We don't know how They pick Them to be the ones that are to be turned.If we knew that, we could protect more of the young ones. As it was, we got lucky when we freed your son and his friends from those guys. They'd been so doped up, they don't even remember being kidnapped or rescued."

"I wish that I could of been there," Greta said. "I could of protected him."

"Yah, but you left him with your husband for their safety," James said. "It's the same reason that me and the others don't make contact with our loved ones. After all, if They think that they know where We are, They'll go after them, and do horrible things to them. That's why we do what we do, living as beggers, doing jobs that no one wants, and so on, as well as our side jobs of part-time superheros and vigilantes and such. We do it to protect the ones we love."

"I know," Greta said. "But still, I wish that-"

"You can't change the past," James said. "You tried that once, and in that version of the future, They'd taken over the country, as well as the world. Sometimes, we must give up the things we want, for the greater good. It's not easy, but I'd sooner be be a freak, and my son is alive, as opposed to being human, and my son being dead. You told me what that world was like, when you tried to change what happened to me and the others, so we'd be humans. We may not like the way things are, but we'd rather live in this world, as opposed to that world, in which the average person is a slave, and me and the others, who resisted, had our families killed as a result. So, to keep our loved ones safe, we agreed to never mess with the past, no matter how much we wish it wasn't the way it is."

"Yah, you're right," Gerta said. "I'd sooner live in this world as opposed to that one."

"And that's why you aren't to go back to the point that he was kidnapped, and changed," James said. "He and his friends have saved several dozen lives since then. You also know the roles he'll play in the future, when They finaly take over, and how he'll lead the Resistance, and all of that stuff. You know how important he'll be."

"Yah," Gerta said. "I just wish that I could do something to stop it."

"All that we can do is delay it," James said. "Every month we buy, is a month that those young ones can train and hone their abilities. It is also a time that we can buy the weapons that the human members of the resistance will need to fight with, and more."
The School Day was almost out, Jim, Bob and Jordan were still trying to think of a way to get to Bill, Before they knew it the problom solved itself

Bill had walked room his head ducked in shame

"Bill we know that's you so no point trying to sneak into the class." The Teacher droned

Bill sat in his desk next to Jim

"Where were you?" Jim asked

"I ran into my mother for the first time." Bill said

"YOUR Mother!" Bob exclaimed "You mean not my Mom, your Mom?"

"Yes." Was all Bill could say

"What did she say?" Jordan asked

"I learned my mother is a time traveler..." Bill said he looked at the window...Everyone could tell he did not wish to talk any further

James walked the lonely woods where Manimal HQ was located He had to find the leader of the New York team Matoaka Redfeather

Unlike the others Matoaka was not an experiment she was a true born hybrid...Her Mother was Human her Father was a Unicorn...She didn't realize that until she lost her virginity for the first time...But before that she had been a Big Sister to the Manimals using her Native American Wisdom and knoladge of Animal Totems to help them harness the powers that lay inside them
As he walked through the woods, James heard the sounds of birds chirping, insects buzzing, and then he smelled something else, a deer in a nearby feild. Getting down on all fours, he crept towards it, and watched it. He could almost see himself running at it and attacking it, as well as ripping it apart and eating it raw, without cooking. It was something he could do with ease, and had done before, but given the fact that the headquarters had plenty of supplies, including meat, even raw meat, it would be a waste to do the deed then.

Carefully turning around, and walking back into the woods, he sat down at the base of a tree and sighed. For twenty years he'd had to deal with his wolf instincts, from eating raw meat, which was hard to get in the city, except for that of rat and pidgen, as well as a few other things on occasion, to getting a mate, which was even harder to get in the city. In fact, that was one thing that he had to fix with the entire group, which was run like the military, including the ranks of the various members, from Private to Commander-in-Chief, which was him, he had to get rid of the "No Fraternization" thing, and let the others, especially those who'd been turned in to half-animal, half-human creatures, to have sexual relationships with each other, especially when the urges overcame them. In a way, it had an unintended benifit, children, some of which had been born human. By using their knowlage of computers and such, he and the others had established identities for them, mostly getting them low level jobs, which they'd use to gain information to help out those who couldn't desguise themselves like those who were human-sized and shaped for the most part.

As James thought about this, including the four children he'd had with a few of the female members of the group, as he and the others were free in their prefferance of partners when the need be, no matter their ranks, as a Private could want a Sargent, or even him, he heard a twig snap. Quickly pulling a sevice pistol from a holster on his belt, he shouted, "There's no use in hiding! Come out into the open!"

"You really need to watch your suroundings Sir," said a familiar voice.

"Nice to see you to Matoaka," James said, as he put the weapon down. "How's that husband of yours, that bird... alien.. guy?"

"Me and him are doing just fine," Matoaka said, as the unicorn came out in the open. "Now come on, let's get you to headquarters. By the way you were stalking that deer, you are getting a little hungry."

As if on cue, James heard his stomach growl.

"Yah," he said. "Let's get going."

"It always amazes me when you find me like that," James said.

"I was born with the ability to sense when others needed me," Matoaka said. "It's part of what made me become a leader, I guess. Even when I was a small child, I knew what the other kids needed and helped them to get it, whether it was friendship, or love, or a purpose, or just feeling part of things."

"You've got a fine group," James said. "Bill, Jim, Jordan, Bob, they're all first-rate."

"I would say thank you, except that it's not because of me, it's just that's the kind of manimals they are."

"You deserve a lot of the credit."
"Though..." Matoaka said carefully "You did forget one Manimal only she's not a child anymore but a legal adult."

"You mean..." James began

"Minsk Flemmingcoff the Mink Manimal." Matoaka said with a giggle "But don't worry she has not been in New York for a while."

"Really?" James asked "Where is she?"

"In her Native Russia with her mate Edward Green."

"Oh." James said quitly "Is Edward a Manimal or is he...?"

"He's not a Vampire let me tell you that." Matoaka gave a horsey kind of laugh "He's a human an ordanary human...He's a writer of Romance novels for Harliquin Presents..."

Matoaka looked around to see if no one was listining
"I think that we might have company," she said. "I hear a few people walking behind us."

"I noticed them a while back," James said. "A couple of hunters, looking for deer."

"I think that they might be getting close to headquarters," Matoaka said.

"Yah, but given the fact that they are civilians, I don't feel like killing them," James said. "Of course, we could use a bit of that halucination dust you have on yah, and it will cause them to see things. Then, we knock them out and take them to the road, call the police, and tell them that there are a few drunk men out here. By the time they sober up, no one will believe them if they say that they saw a wolfman and a unicorn."

"Sounds good to me," Matoaka said, as she got out a couple of packets. "Be nice to have a little bit of fun."

After disposing of the hunters, Matoaka and James stealthily entered the headquarters. The entrance was concealed so well that only the keen senses of an animal could detect it. But inside it was warm and roomy with all the comforts.

Matoaka headed for the kitchen. "Can I interest you in some potato stew?"

James made a face. He was hardly a vegetarian. "Only if you drop a few mice into it."

Matoaka laughed. "I keep forgetting you don't graze."
James cleared his throat "Matoaka." He said "I came to talk to you about Bill's Mother."

"Oh."
"I ran into both of them today," James said. "The boy was unable to recognize me, as I was wearing that outfit that I tend to wear when I am in the city. They were both at the cemitary, the one where my wife is burried. The woman had thought that the boy had died, but I guess that that was because of the whole Mother's instincts thing. Gerta tried to tell him what was going on, but you know how young ones are, and well, he had to get to school. Needless to say, she was saddened to hear that she was not allowed to go back in time and prevent the event from happenning."

"And we all know why," Matoaka said. "He'll lead the Resistance when They come to power, like this High Elder, or Evolutionary, or whoever, that's coming. It's not like we can just kill him either you know. After all, he has an important part, and will end up creating some of our most important allies, like the dragon-girl I've seen in my visions."

"Yah," James said. "This planet will go through a period of Hell, before Heaven and Eden are restored, as it were, not that I'm into the whole Revalations thing. Reminds me of a movie you know, that Terminator series, except we haven't had any visitors from the future show up. Personally, I hope none do, as I know more than what I want to know. I already know how I'll die, and that Bill will take my place after that."

"'There's no fate but what we make.' That's what that one guy in that movie said," Matoaka said. "You may not necassaraly die that way you know."

"If it is not from a battle with that man, it will be from something else," James said. "You may be a healer and all, but you know full well that I have that cancer. Doc says that it is inoperable, and despite the fact that we caught it early, it's in a place that is inoperable anyways, my bones and my brain. In any case, I'll be dead within ten years, more than enough time to train Bill to take over for me."

"You could live longer you know," Matoaka said. "We'll find a way."

"No," James said. "I will not take that option, as it is not an option. You'd die if you tried to kill the cancer that is in me, as you'd absorb it in your body. You are too important for you to sacrifice your life that way. You know it, and I know it. I'll die on my own terms, in battle, against Them, protecting Bill from their grasp. Now, why don't we talk about something more plesant, like your husband and the children you are taking care of while me and the others are out there fighting."
(Twiga's Edit Steve THat's just stupid! You know She has Zander)

Matoaka looked at James "Zander is just fine." She said

James looked at her
and said, "That's good to hear."

"Yah, though having a child of our own might be a little diffiult, concidering that he is an Ave, which lay eggs and I am, well, a live-bearing mammal," Matoaka said, as she thought about the children that the two of them helped care for.

"Well, there's always adoption you know," James said, as he drank some warm tea, which was mixed with deer blood. "After all, there's always those who, for some reason, are unable to become human, meaning that, most likely, their parents wouldn't be able to accept the fact that they are their children, and all of that. Personally, I wouldn't like to rely upon it , but you know how humans can be at times, mistrusting and all. After all, most of us arn't humans anymore, and those of us who are have strange powers, powers that can't be easily explained. Hell, Parent-Teacher confrences for some of my sons are interesting, as me and their mothers have to wear those disguises, and say that it is part of our religion that couples have top wear them, and then we have to deal with some crazy "patriot" who thinks that we are terrorists or something and tries to kill us, especially after 9/11 you know. Of course, as a former Green Barate, they tend to get an arm and a leg broke. Of course, it gets very interesting when the men try to beat me up in front of their sons, and those guys get their buts handed to them in a sling. You can just imagine that conversation, 'Dad, I thought that you said that you were the strongest man in the world.' 'He cheated, that's all. He used some crazy kung fu trick instead of punching and kicking like a "real" American would.' and so forth."

"So, how often do you have to do that?" Matoaka asked, with a chuckle as she imagined the scene between him and some overzelous "patiot" where James kicked the guy's but in front of the guy's son, after the man tried to attack him.

"Oh, about once a month," James said, with a smile. "Of course, if you want to throw in fights with gangs, then make it a couple of times a week."

"Well, it seems that Bill is always fighting with someone," Matoaka said. "Are you sure that he'll be the one that sets the world free?"

"Are your visions cloudy again?" James asked, as Matoaka could see the future at times, but it wasn't always clear.

"Somewhat," she said. "I've seen visions in which his actions lead to our freedom, though sometime he lives to see the end, but sometimes he dies before it, but our victory is assured. I've also seen visions in which he dies before then, or he turns traitor, or he takes over the whole world, and other darker futures. I've even seen futures in which there is a peace of sorts, but a secret war is fought. I've seen at least a dozen possible futures."

"In that case," James said. "Let's hope that a future in which our freedom is assured, whether he lives to see the end or not, though I hope he does, happens."

"I'll drink to that," Matoaka said, as she lifted up her cup of tea and the two of them gave a toast to a hopeful future.
Matoaka drank up her tea...She knew she could not tell James the truth...She was pregnant with Zander's child but she could not tell James because if he knew someone could probe him from the truth

Zander and Matoaka were the only ones who could know about it, Matoaka also knew, she would bear a daughter.

It was not the High Elder or any of the other enimies she had to worry about it was Zander's own people who would threten her children.

When Zander let it be known to his people that he planned to marry an earthling, the Aves called him a traitor and stripped him of his royal birthright...Zander gave his birthright to his best friend Revel (Who was a servant) And with that Revel was able to marry Zander's sister.

Zander knew that if his people knew Matoaka was pregnant they would declare it a crime against nature and try to distrory the child, The Aves laws of racil purty were that strict.

Meanwhile Bill was confused, but in his heart was a glimmer of hope.

"My Mom is alive." He said to himself it began to rain Bill did not mind, He felt more alive than ever.

He came to the apartment that he and his Father shared.

"Ah Billy Boy." His Father said "Did you get in any trouble today."

"I found out my Mom is alive." Bill said

The glass bottle of beer that Charles Brandy was holding dropped and shattered on the floor

"What?"
"That can't be," the man said. "The police said that a sister of her's identifed the body of a woman, one who'd been raped and murdered by one of the local gangs, matching her discription, as her. Hell, her body was burried at the cemitary, and I saw it, as it was an open casket funeral. It was your mother that was burried."

"I don't know dad," Bill said. "But this woman matched the photograph you gave me of my mother."

"What is this world coming to?" Charles asked. "First you and your brother start turning into strange creatures, and now this woman shows up claiming to be your mother. And there was that wolfman last night, one who told your teacher that you were alive and said that "Minataur" had "saved" you, and you'd "forgot" to rejoin the class, and that stuff."

"Wait, what's that about a wolfman?" Bill asked.

"What? I thought that you knew about him and all of those other man-animal creatures," Charles said.

"He wouldn't know about them," said a very familiar woman's voice, one that caused Charles to turn around and gasp. It was Gerta.
[I forgot about Zander!!! *Blush*] .. [Greta, not Gerta, right?]

Charles jaw dropped. "Greta! How can this be?"

It took a while, but after Greta told Charles the story that she had told Bill in the graveyard, he understood that his wife had become a time traveler.

Charles rubbed his head. "The world just keeps getting stranger and stranger, I don't know how much more change I can take."

Greta sighed. "I know, Charles, but I am afraid there are even more and greater changes to come. You must be strong to face the future."

Bill looked at his Mother than at His Father.

He sighed "I don't know what to do anymore, someone tell me what's going on."

Greta sat down on the sofa "Sit down, both of you I have something very important to say."

Both of them sat down Greta began her story of how she discovered Time Travel.

"I'm afraid I left the Instructions for Time Travel back in the 1940s and I'm afraid the NAZIs will learn the secret of time travel and warp themselves into the modern era."

Bill's jaw dropped so did his Father's jaw

"I'm so sorry."
"But didn't the Allies beat the Nazies?" Charles asked. "I know it's been more than twenty years since I last looked at a history textbook, but I'm sure that the US beat Germany in that war."

"Time is always in flux," Greta said. "Also, there are dozens of paralle worlds, some similar to our own, except for a small difference, and some are very different, like Columbus not discovering America, or Nepolean winning the battle of Waterloo, or Bill here being a Willma instead of a William."

"So why don't you go back in time and prevent me from being changed?" Bill asked. "You could do that right?"

"I could, but I can't," Greta said. "Time travel is very tricky. If I changed even a single thing in the past, it could bring about unintended consequences, consequences that could mean that you are dead, or worse."

"What do you mean?" Charles asked. "What could be so bad about it?"

"Let's say that you went back in time to when Bill was learning to ride his bike, just before he fell and broke one of his fingers," Greta said. "Well, let's say that you prevented that from happening, so that that injury never occured. However, because of that, he never learned how to ride bike, meaning that he he never got into that one bike club where he met his one friend, who later introduces him to this girl who developes a crush on him, who later becomes, well, you get the idea. Basically, you change one thing in the past, and you can change the future in a way that you wouldn't want. I should know. I once tried to prevent my friends from being turned into half-human-half-animal creatures, and that world was worse than this one. As it was, I had to settle for just helping them to become free of those holding them. Needless to say, it's a bit of a paradox, as I'd freed them, been asked to change them back, went back, changed them back, found the world to be a worse Hell than it was, went back, and told myself to never change the past, and to settle for freeing my friends, went back to my own time, and found it to be the way it should be. Needless to say, it can be very confusing."

"Reminds me of that Terminator movie I saw," Charles said. "The leader of the Resistance sends a warrior back in time to protect his mother. The warrior gets the woman pregnant, and the baby is the guy who grows up to be the leader of the Resistance, and the cycle repeats itself."

"Actually, it's a bit more complicated than that, but it is close to it," Greta said. "Although, I wouldn't be too surprised if that world still exists in some form or another, as much as I wish it didn't."

"So why are you here mom?" Bill asked.

At this, Greta said, "Because, I have to tell you something, something important, about the future."

Everyone sat up. To hear something about their future - it was irresistible. But Charles had an objection. "Will it still be our future if you tell us about it? Do you see what I mean?"

Greta smiled. "Of course I see. You mean, for example, if I said you were going to stand up one minute from now, then when the minute came you could just stay seated and prove me wrong."

Charles grinned. "Yes, that's what I meant. If you know your future, then you can simply act differently and change it."

"And that dear, dense husband is why I am telling you about the future I saw, so that hopefully it will not happen the way I saw it happen."

Charles raised a hand. "But what about your previous point? How when you attempted to change the future before you actually made it worse?"

Greta's face fell. "I know, I know. It is a great risk I am taking. But the future I saw for Bill was so horrible that I cannot imagine it being any worse. Surely it can be better if he acts now."

Bill was fidgeting. "So come on then! Tell us about the future!"
"The Future is this." Greta said "The Nazis will rise to power again and what's more they will discover the secret of time travel."

Bill and his Father's jaws both dropped...Completly and utterly stumped

"I know it seems difficult to comprhend." Greta said "But Bill it is your destiny to distroy the Nazis once and for all."

"You said something about a time warp." Charles said "Does that mean...."

"Yes. The Nazis from the 1940s will discover the Time Window I left open and make their way to the modern world."
"Is there a way to stop it?" Bill asked.

"Yes," Greta said. "We must close the portal after I step through the first time."

"But how do we do that?" Bill asked.

"We get some help from my friends," Greta said. "At the moment, a small grooup of them, including our leader, are getting ready to go back in time, with specific orders, try not to kill anyone, try not to be seen by anyone, not even my past self, but, above all, do nothing that would jeperdise the future."

"How long would it take?" Charles asked. "Bill's got school tomarrow."

"Five minutes or five weeks, depending on how you look at it," Greta said. "What could be five weeks in the past could be five minutes in the presant. Time travel is funny that way."

"I understand," Charles said. "If we leave now we might stay there a year and then be back here five minutes from now."

"Are you kidding?" Bill said. "All my friends will know I'm a year older!"

Greta waved her hands. "Calm down. We aren't planning to be there a year. When we set up a journey in time we stay in the past a fixed amount of time and then we are automatically brought back to this current time. Otherwise we could be stuck in the past forever. My friends estimate it will take at least 2 days so we are setting it for 3 days to allow for any problems."

Bill shrugged. "OK, I guess nobody will notice that I'm just 3 days older. When do we go?"
Greta bit her lip...Despite everything about what she said about not messing with the past...She had a secret agenda...

She longed for her first son The Boy called Hans who was taken into the Hitler Youth and grew to be a merciless solider.

When She first arrived in the 1980s she tried to find what became of her first child...She found out he was just one of many storm troopers who were killed by American Soliders.

Greta knew the dangers of messing with the past, but she had discovered a loophole...

If a living being was moved in time, through the time window...Than effectivly moving them in time and space rather than changing the events of the past...Time may stay relitivly the same rather than change

Hans would be 18
Five seconds later, Greta and Bill showed up at the base, as Greta had used a time portal to take the pair there.

"What is this place?" the young man asked.

"This is our home," came a familiar man's voice. "Greta, you know very well that civilians arn't allowed here."

"They are if they are important," Greta said. "We'll need him."

"He's not been properly trained," the person said, stepping into the light, revealing themself to be a wolf creature. "I know he's your son, but I'm not in the mood to play babysitter for a brat like him on a mission this dangerous."

"Hey! I can take care of myself!" Bill said, as he stood in front of the creature.

"A few fights with a couple of gangs doesn't mean that you are fighter material, especially for something as important as this," the creature said, looking Billl in the eyes. "Go back home to your father and the rest of your family. A young pup like you is worse than a bull in a China Shop."

"Oh really!" Bill shouted, slapping his forehead and turning into his bull form. "Let's see if an old dog like you can beat a young man like me!"

"Fine, if you win, you can go, but if I win, I decide," the creature said, with a growl.

"Oh I'm going," Bill said, with a bellow. "Because I'm going to win!"

With that, he charged the wolf creature, who moved out of the way with ease.

"Too slow," he said, as he backhanded the boy, causing him to rush headlong into a wall, getting his horns stuck.

"Was that really necassary James?" Greta asked, looking at the wolf creature. "He is my son you know."

"If he's to fight alongside of us, he must be millitary trained," James said. "Besides, I know full well that this mission isn't just about making sure that the Nazies don't find the secrets of time travel."

"I have no idea what you are talking about," Greta said, as Bill pulled himself from the wall.

"Yah I do," James said. "He answers to the name Hans, and is in the Hitler Youth, or was before American forces killed him."

At this, he rushed the young bull, who was coming right at him.

But Bill was no stranger to fighting wolves. He had been attacked by wolves on several occasions when he was out grazing in strange pastures and he had defeated not just one wolf but several wolves in one battle.

Bill lowered his head right to the ground and came up under James with his horns and tossed him high in the air, then twisted around to catch him with his horns and toss him again. After the third toss, James yelled, "Stop! You win!"

When James got his breath back he said, "You've fought wolves before, haven't you?"

Bill grinned. "Several times."

James patted Bill's back. "OK, you're in. I admit I judged you too quickly."

Greta shrugged. "If you two are finished with your male bonding rituals, then let's get down to business..."
The Time Window was a vortex of green light...Bill gulped when he saw

Suddenly a high voice called out "Wait!"

Matoaka, Jim and Bob were coming.

"He needs us!" Matoaka said "Manimals work best in groups and he needs all the help he can get!"

"How....Did you know about this place?" James asked

"I'm a Unicorn." Matoaka said pointing to her horn "Magic."
"Alright, you can come," James said. "Though personally, I was expecting some of the more experianced members, people who actually listen to orders, unlike these pups."

"Hey, I kicked your ass!" Bill said, giving a low bellow.

"No, I let you win," James said. "If I'd tried to actually kill you, I wouldn't of slapped the back of your head. No, I'd of hit the back of your neck and broke it, paralizing you, after which I could of killed you at my own pace."

"What? Mom, is that true?" Bill asked, as he looked at his mother.

"He could of," Greta said. "James here is a former Green Baret, one of the best. What's more, he's the leader of the entire group, and that includes you, my son."

"But I thought that Matoaka was the leader," Bill said, looking at the unicorn.

"Of the New York sector, sure," Matoaka said. "But there are at least a thousand Manamals/mutated-humans in the United States, and many more in other countries. Some tend to keep hidden, some tend to cause trouble at times, some try their hands at being superheros, some failing, and becoming vigilantes, and others like you and your friends succed."

"Then there are those to really watch out for," James said, as he went over to a door. "Sometimes the power that one has goes to their heads, and makes them think that they are gods who can do whatever they want. Also, some of the people turn out to be criminals who use their abilities for criminal endevers. Then, there are the Enslaved Ones. They are what we once were, people who were selected to be turned by Them, and then a controling device of some sort is put on them. The life that they have is one of real horror."

"What do you mean?" Bill asked.

"Imagine your body doing things on someone's orders. Imagine that all you can do is watch as your body does things. Do you have any idea what that is like?" James asked.

At this, Bill looked at his friends, who were just as puzzled as he was.

"I don't remember anything like that," he said. "I don't even remember why I started turning in the first place."

"Well I do," James said, as he scratched the wall, leaving a deep set of claw marks. "And I wasn't treated as if I was some watch dog either. No, I was an attack dog. What's more, we were forced to attack innocent villagers, and kill every one of them, men, women, and, saddly, for many of us, children. That's what the Enslaved Ones do, because they are under the control of Them. Even now I can still see those I killed when I was under Their control, especially the children. There are times that I want to kill myself because of it, but then I think that that wouldn't do those people justice. That's why me and the older ones fight, we fight for the memory of those we were forced to kill."

"Whoh, that's deep," Bill said.

"Deep nothing," James said. "Just imagine not being able to raise your child, or hold your wife's hand as she passes away, and giving her one last kiss. Imagine that someone else, one of you friends, ended up doing all of that instead of you. That is a pain that few people can bare."

With that, James looked at Greta and said, "I want you to go and get some of the others. If I'm going to take these brats with me, I want at least ten others, so that when five are fighting, the other five can stay behind to change these young ones' dipers when they mess their britches."

At this, Greta just rolled her eyes, and stepped though another portal, still managing to keep the first one open.

"What did you say?" Bill asked, clutching his fist, as he'd caught the man's words just before his mother left.

"You heard me," James said, looking the young man in the eyes. "Someone's going to have to change your dipers when you shit your pants when you get scared."

"I don't get scared," Bill said.

"Then you are a liar," James said. "Because everyone gets scared, including you and me. I can deal with a scared man, but I don't like liars. After all, it was a liar that got me and the others turned into what we are now. Since then, me and the rest have been hunting him and the rest down, fighting a war that will end long after my own death. Also, it is a war that you will fight as well, especially once you are properly trained."

With that, the wolf man sighed and said, "You are young, streong, and smart, but you've got a lot to learn, especially about fighting." Then, he opened up the door he'd been standing by, revealling a room filled with rows upon rows of weapons of all sorts, from simple knives on up to portable serface to air missle launchers.

"How did you get all of these?" Matoaka asked. "I knew that you were getting weapons for the group's fighters, but how did you get so many?"

"You'd be surprised at the number of contacts that I have in various police forces, as well as the military, as well as weapon manufacturing coumpanies, including those which make working replicas of vintage weapons, of all sorts, from all wars, from the battle of Jerico, four or so thousand years ago, to the wars on terror today," James said. "After all, if They find out how to travel through time, I want to be able to fight them with weapons that corespond to that time, as I don't want some soldier in Pharoh Ramses's army to descover a rocket launcher and change the course of history."

With that, he pressed a couple of buttons, which caused all but a few rows to vanish. Then, James walked towards them, and looked the weapons over.

He then looked at Bill and said, just as Greta reapeared with a dozen others, "Do you still want to come along? You'll be seeing History being made first hand. You'll see men killing others, and being killed. If you, any of you, want to back out, now is the time to do so."

Bob gulped and raised his hand. "I... I'm not sure I want to come along."

"Then you won't," James said. "You'll stay here. I don't want anyone on this mission who isn't 100% confident."

Bill poked his half-brother. "Bob! Why don't you want to come with us? We need you!"

"Y-you heard what James said. This is going to be really intense. What if my clumsiness gets one of us killed? I couldn't live with that."

Jim touched Bill's shoulder. "It's alright. Let Bob stay behind. I think he's making a wise decision."



As they stepped through the Portal, Bob felt a furry paw grab his hand, Jim's beaming furry face looked at him fondly

"You'll be OK." He said "I'll look out for you."

Before Bob could protest he was being dragged into the time window with the rest of them
When the twelve experianced ex-soldiers, Greta, Matoaka, Bill, his friends, and James stepped out of the portal, they found themselves in a dark snow filled forest.

James looked at the most experianced soldiers and whispered, "No fires and no sound, and stay together. I'm going to see where we are. Be sure to watch the pups."

"I can take care of myself," Bill thought, as the wolf slipped away into the night. However, just before the dozen more experianced fighters took their positions, the young man slipped away and turned into his bull form. Then he started to follow James's scent, determined to prove himself to the veteran fighter.

Suddenly, a pair of hands grabbed him, and a familiar voice whispered, "If I'd been a German soldier, I'd of killed you for the noise you were making is more than enough for even a human to hear a mile away. However, given the fact that you are here, I might as well let you come with me pup."

"And I told you that I could take care of myself," Bill said, turning around to look into the wolf's eyes. "I mean, What's so bad about me following you?"

"Twenty-two years ago, back when I was human, another young man asked me that very question," James said, with a sigh. "A few hours later I was collecting his dog tags, after a sniper put a hole in his head. Makes you apreciate your life when you see someone else die, especially when he was talking one moment and dead the next, and he was walking alongside of you as well. However, there's another reason that I don't want you to risk your life needlessly."

"And what would that be?" Bill asked, crossing his arms.

"Now is not the time for me to tell you," James said. "However, it is vital for the future that you survive."

"What do you mean?" Bill asked.

"Because you will determine the outcome of the war, as to wheather or not we win or lose," James said, walking away, not wanting to tell Bill that he'd take over the entire group after his death, within the next ten years.

James and Bill worked there way through the snow-filled woods until they came to the train line. They lay there in the snow for a while looking down at the tracks which ran through a cut in the hill.

"Looks good," James said. "We'll wait until the others get here."

The agreement was that James would return immediately if there was any problem, so when he didn't, Matoaka and the others followed his path through the snow. James met them before they reached the train tracks.

"I've scouted where to put the explosives," James said and huddled with his soldiers.

Jim asked Matoaka, "What are we supposed to do?"

"Nothing right now," Matoaka said. "First they have to stop the train. If it contains who and what James thinks it does, then there will be plenty to do after that."
James sniffed the air to make sure no humans (Other than Greta)Were around.

Bob was anxious, He had already shapeshifted to his catfish form (In case you're wondering he can breathe both water and air when he is in his hybrid form.)

Jim his furry paw on his shoulder "Why so anxious?"
"Why arn't you?" Bob asked. "We're in a war zone. We could be killed."

"I don't think that they'll let us get killed," Jim said. "I heard Matoaka say that we are too valuable."

"Then why'd you drag me through the portal?"

"Because I didn't want you to miss out on the fun."

"Quiet you two," James said. "The train and some bombers are coming. I have to time this right so that history says that it was a bomb that destroyed it."

"What are you talking about?" Bill asked. "Where are we?"

"December 1944, Ardens Forest, Battle of the Bulge, the last big Counter-Offensive that Nazi Germany makes," James said. "That train is carrying several thousand Nazi soldiers, and the only thing that's standing between them and their target is Charley Company of the Big Red One."

"Say, wasn't that your grandfather's unit?" one of the more experianced soldiers asked. "I remember you talking about him once."

"That it is Sargent," James said. "As it is, a good deal of them will survive, but this mericale is what buys Charley Company two days, as opposed to two hours, to set up the town's defences."

"How do you know about this?" Bill asked.

"Grandfather was something of a story teller," James said. "He even told me about how this gypsie man saved his life, because he told him some vital information, and took a bullet that would of killed him."

"And what did this gypsie look like?" Greta asked.

"He didn't say, except for the fact that he seemed to be very familiar, like family almost," James said, looking at the train tracks, and holding onto the detonator.

In the distance they could hear the chug-chug-chug of a steam locomotive.

"Where are those bombers?" James muttered.

Then they heard the whine of dive bombers coming in for the kill. James watched two bombs fall toward the train and hit the detonator. The history books would never record that the bombs missed, because explosions rocked the train as the munitions it was carrying exploded.

James motioned his soldiers down into the confusion. They were wearing Nazi uniforms.

"Look in every car. That train is carrying over ten million dollars in gold," James said.

Matoaka drew back. "Gold? What has gold got to do with our mission?"

James grinned. "Nothing. But there's no harm in turning a little profit when you can. Someone has to end up with the gold. Why not us?"

Bob frowned. "Isn't there a danger in influencing history if we take all that gold back with us?"

James laughed. "Influencing history? What do you think we are doing? History will just consider the gold lost in the explosion. No problem. Anyway, history is not some accountant sitting somewhere adding things up. History is just the flow of events. If they don't flow one way then they will flow another way. The important thing is not to kill your parents, which I don't think it is possible to do anyway."

"Have you ever tried it?" Bob said with sarcasm.

"No, but I think there are natural forces that prevent you from doing anything that would result in you never being born. Otherwise, there is too much paradox."

Bill shrugged. "It's too complicated for me. But I'm ready to see some action. What's next?"

Meanwhile following his NAZI Fellows to the scene of the explostion was Greta's first son, a 17 year old Hans Gruber

Greta knew her son would be at this very place, All she had to do now was to get him alone
(Um, given how James and his men are not human, I don't think that the group would just mix with the German soldiers, even if they were wearing the correct uniforms. Also, the group is full of professionally trained soldiers, not that there arn't any who don't loot.)

"Alright," James said, looking at the rest as they stood at the edge of the treeline. "Corpral, Luetenant. You two stay here and keep an eye on the young ones, who are to stay here, and not make a move to the train, and that includes you Bill. Stay here with the rest, as I'll need you to protect the others should this not go well. As for the rest of you, carry only what you can fit in your pockets and such. Act as if you are looking for and helping survivors. Also, don't speak a word of English, as even the tiniest slip-up could get you killed. Of course, don't let them get a good look at you, and if need be, knock them out. Above all else, be careful, and don't be greedy. It will be hard enough for our contacts to explain a hundred pounds of gold, much less something like ten thousand pounds."

"Yes sir," the men said with a strong, yet quiet, voice. With that, the men, including James, made their move, walking down to the train wreck, helping the survivors and pocketing some of the gold in the process.

"I just can't believe this," Bill said. "Why won't he give me a chance?"

"Because even dazed and injured, those men down there would quickly realize that you are no soldier," one of the men said. "And it's not your age, because you might pass for 17 or even 18, but it's the way you are. You don't have the true look of a soldier like me and the others do. You could wear the uniform, but it's not the uniform that makes you a soldier. It's the eyes, the walk, the stance, the fighting, everything. Also, you would make a very simple mistake that could spell desaster for the mission."

"And what would that be?" Bill asked.

"You'd speak English," the man said. "Just a simple 'Thanks' in English could get you a bulliet in your head. Me and the rest are fluent in over half a dozen languages because of our training, including German, Russian, and French. Now, you just stay put, and you'll get you chance."

Meanwhile, while the older soldier was talking to Bill, Greta slipped off, hoping to meet up with her elder son.

Hans Gruber dusted himself off. He wasn't injured in the explosion, just badly shaken up. He headed up toward the front of the train where the injured were.

Out of the corner of his eye he saw a woman coming out of the woods. "Hans?" she called to him.

He whirled toward her in surprise. "Mom?! How can you be here?" He wondered if he was dreaming. Maybe he had been injured in the explosion and this was just a hallucination.

She motioned for him to come with her into the woods. "I'll explain everything but we must get away from the wreck quickly."
Hans did not know what to do, Either he was dreaming or this was some miricle he could not explain...But either he got away from the explosion and went into the snowy woods with his mother.

"My Son." Greta said in German (Translated into English for the sake of convence) "I need to tell you about where I've been."

"My Father told me that you had died!" Hans said

"I'm afraid you're Father lied." Greta said "I'm afraid he was too ashamed to tell you the truth."
Meanwhile, James was giving his men the signal to return to the forest. While they'd been helping the men, and doing a bit of looting, the mission was really to gather intelegence. It was amazing how much one would say in ordanary conversation, providing that the right questions were asked.

When they'd gotten back to the forest, James noticed that Greta wasn't with the others.

"Foolish woman," he thought. "She's going to get us all killed."

After telling the men he had to check on something, James started walking, sticking to the trees, following Greta's scent. He had to get to her before she did something desaturous, like get in contact with her first-born son. He knew the truth about the young man, as his grandfather had shot him, and taken a trophy, a Luger pistol, one that had his name engraved in the handle. Of course, there were many Hans Grubers out there, but still, he couldn't let Greta change the past.

Quickly, Greta told Hans her tale of time travel. He was hardly able to believe it, and yet, obviously there she was standing before him.

"Mom!" he said. "Take me with you to the future! I've been having premonitions that I am going to die in this bloody war!"

Greta's face was sad. "Oh, son, I would like to do that so much, but I can't. Twenty people were sent here on a mission and will be recalled automatically. There is nothing I can do about that."

"But Mom! What if one of the twenty were dead? Couldn't I take his place?"

"Don't even think about it. You would alter history drastically. And the rest of the mission group would never let that happen."

James stepped into the clearing. "Greta? May I have a word with you."

Greta patted Hans' arm. "Excuse me for a moment, son."

James pulled Greta aside. "What the hell do you think you are doing, Greta?"

"I'm sorry, but I just had to see Hans and reassure him that I did not abandon him."
Time unfortunetly was in Flux-damage. Greta looping back to her own time from so many years away was causing damage to the space-time continueum.

A Giant Panda Manimal named Marcel first noticed it...Their were strange green lights appearing all over the place.

Bill, Jim and Bob saw the green lights too and were beginning to ger nervous.

"Commander!" Marcel said to James "We need to hurry and get back to our own time or we may be trapped in the 1940s!"

"Open the time window!" James said to Greta

Greta took out what looked like a pocket knife but it had a blade of pure silver, She moved the knife in a circle in the air and created a Time Window, also known as a vortex.

Bill, Jim and Bob were hurring to the site...Hans just stared in amazement, he had never seen such creatures before.

Jim was ushing faster than the others, he clumsily bumped into Hans and sent him plumeting into the vortex!

"You stupid squirrel!" James growled "I thought that Bull was trouble but you're a thousand times more careless!"
"Well, we better go after him, and send him back," James said. "Come on."

With that, he and the others went headlong into the portal. However, a German officer had seen James and his men leave and had followed them, and saw them open the portal, as well as go through it.

"This information might be useful for the Fatherland," he thought.

*****

When Hans came out of the portal, he was shocked to find himself in a dark room.

"Where am I?" he said, still speaking in German.

"You'd be at my place," a familiar voice said, speaking in fluent German.

Turning around, Hans saw the wolfman who'd been talking to his mother, as well as the other strange creatures, including a bull whose eyes seemed to be very similar to his own, as well as those of his mother.

Bill said, "Was ist passiert? Wo sind wir?"
[Bill said, "What happened? Where are we?"]

Jim's eyes were wide. "Why are we speaking German?"

"Dammit!" James said. "We've screwed up big time! Somehow we influenced history so that Germany won World War II!"

"How can you be sure of that?" Great said.

"Why else would we be speaking German now that we are back in our own time? Obviously Germany won the war and German became the international language. We should go back to before we blew up the train and undo everything. I can't believe this."

"I'm sorry," Greta said. "Maybe we were never meant to tinker around with time in the first place."

"It's fine if it's done right," James said with sarcasm. "My mistake was not keeping a close eye on you."

Jim had been thinking. "Um... Maybe I'm wrong, but doesn't having Hans with us complicate things a bit? If we go back to before the train blew up, then there will be two Hans there. Could that cause problems?"

James slapped his forehead. "Dammit! Dammit! DAMMIT! The shit just gets deeper and deeper."

Greta grabbed his arm. "OK, just calm down. We can think this though. Why don't I just go back with Hans to just after he left and put him back in his proper place in history?"

"No!" Hans said. "If I go back, then I will die there! No!" Hans ran to the door, threw it open, and left at a run.

"Stop him!" James yelled.

Bill and Jim ran after Hans.



Bill and Jim ran as fast as they could to catch up with the NAZI.

When they finally did catch up with him and pin him yo the ground, Hans squirmed and squiggled with rage

"Get off me! You Beastial filth!" Hans sneered

"We're Manimals." Bill said "Beastials is what you call High Elder's posse."

"Hey Bill." Jim said "How come we're still Manimals?"

"What are you blatering about?" Bill asked reaching for the handcuffs in his pocket

"I mean if the Nazis won the war in this world, who turned us into hybrids?"

"The same people who turned us into Manimals..." Now Bill was confused...Than he got angry

"Oh...How come you're never this smart when we need you to be smart?' The Bull snorted at the Squirrel.

They rushed back into James'building
"So what do you figure happened?" Matoaka asked, looking at James, who was looking at a map he'd found, as well as a diary, and a history book, all in German.

"Well, if I'm reading this right," James said. "A Nazi officer discovered the secret to time travel. He and others then when into the future and got instructions as how to build things like B-52 stealth bombers, F-16's, Abrams tanks, and other such things that any civilian could look up once they became obsolete for service and the scymatics were declasified. They took those back in time and started building them. However, that wasn't the only thing that happend. They made an alliance with Them, the same bastards that did this to us."

At this, James slammed his fists on a table, causing it to collapse.

"Is there anything else?" Greta asked.

"Yah," James said, panting. "This Diary was writen by my hand, and the last entry is dated three months ago. It talks about how the Resistance factions were being wiped out one by one. It talks about what happened to those who resisted, and what happened to their families. However, it does say that every one will fight when I return from hiding, laying low to the point that the Nazies and the H.E. think that the Resistance is over. At that point, I'll come back, and destroy them."

"Yah, but by the bones we found when we found the books and map, you were killed before you could go into hiding," Marcel said. "Same with every one else, including Matoaka."

"Greta, try to make a time vortex," James said, looking at the woman who'd caused the whole mess.

"I'll try," the woman said.

However, try as she could, Greta was unable to open one.

"Something's wrong," she said. "I can't feel the energy for some reason."

"This is not good," James said.

"I guess that in order to save our world we may have to save this one," said one of the men.

"I guess so," James said. "But first, we'll have to do some scouting, and recruiting. We'll need to build up a force of men and women. We'll have a serious fight on our hands, long before we can go home."

"And here I thought that fighting for our world was Hell enough," said another of the men.

"Yah," James said. "Let's get started."
...Just than, one of James' Fellow soiders...A Female Zebra named Katherine felt a strage feeling come over her eyes glazed over and turned green.

"Wait." Katherine said in a much deeper voice than usaul.

"You say something Kate?" James asked

"Kate is not the one speaking to you." The Zebra said "I am speaking through her."

James was not surpriesed, very little surprised him anymore, if time/space continum was messed up this badly, than it did make sense if the Great Spirit or God, or whoever is in charge of the Cosmos would intervine for the sake of everything.

"You may think I'm God." The Person inhabiting Katherine said "But I'm not I'm merely an Messanger for the Divine."

"Is that all?" James asked

"We work in mysterious ways." The Spirit said "But that is not important, what is imporntant is what I have to tell you."

She gestured to Bill, Jim and Bob..."These three young men can go back to the 1940s but not anyone else."

"Why THEM?!" Marcel asked

"They have magic residue cling to them." The Spirit said "When time started to get damaged, the green lights you saw clung to them."

"What should the rest of us do?" Matoaka asked

"Has anyone read the book The Devil's Arithmatic?" The Spirit asked

Only Bob raised his hand, reluctantly

Kate the Zebra walked to a door in the room "This door will be your Vortex." She said "Walk through it the three of you, Matoaka will guard the door to make sure no one from the 1940s walks through."

"Why can't I go through?" James asked

"It is not your destiny. Not your story..Now you three go through the dorr!"
"One moment Bill," James said, as he put his hand on the young man's shoulder. "Before you go, I need to give you something."

"And what would that be?" Bill asked.

"A picture of this man," James said, handing Bill a black and white photograph of a soldier. "Locate him and he'll protect you untill you get home."

"Who is he?" Bill asked.

At this, James just smiled and said, "James Carson Jefferson the first. He told me about how he protected three young American who'd been stranded overseas and helped them get home. But that's not the only thing. He saw them vanish in a green light. As for what happens, I can't tell you."

"But what about you and the others?" Bill asked.

"We'll take care of things on this end," James said. "After all, it's best to have a back up plan."

Bill, Jim, and Bob walked through the vortex and found themselves standing in a forest.

"Did it work?" Bob said.

There was a whistle over their heads and after a few seconds an artillery shell exploded in the distance.

"We're definitely in a war zone," Jim said.

"Yeah," Bob said, "but which war? Maybe this is WW One or the Korean War."

"I don't think they would have been THAT far off with the vortex. It's got to be WW Two."

There was another whistle over their heads and then a distant explosion.

"We seem to be between the lines," Bill said. "The problem is who is shooting at who? Should we travel toward the explosions or toward the guns."

"Does it matter?" Bob said. "I vote we travel toward the guns. Less chance we'll get blown up by a shell that way."

"Right!" Bill said. "Let's go."
Bill Jim and Bob made their way through the forest, it seemed the deeper they goy, yhr less sounds of war they heard untill they had gone into nature's very womp in the forest.

"Where are we?" Jim asked

Bob looked at his surrounding, taking note of the local plant life.

"I do believe we're in Poland." Bob said...Bob's face suddenly turned very pale

"What's the matter?" Jim asked

"It's just that...Bob hestated..."It's just that...Anti-Semtetic laws were particuly strict in Poland, much more strict that they were in the Rest of Europe...In this place handing a thirsty Jew a cup of water could have a whole family sentenced to Death!"


"I thought you didn't consider yourself Jewish." Bill said

"It does not matter what I consider myself." Bob said with some hostility "The fact of the matter is that my Mother is Jewish AND that I'm circumcised!"

"Well than stay in your Catfish form." Bill said giving Bob a hearty slap on the back "They won't suspect you of being Jewish if they think you're anouther species entirley!"

Bob picked up his glasses "The NAZIS did consider Jews anotouther species."
"Well, I got a feeling that we'll be alright anyways guys," Bill said. "All that we have to do is find James's grandfather and the rest will be taken care of."

"Well we best be careful anyways," Jim said. "After all, the American Army could end up shooting us by-"

"Hold it, don't move," said a voice, one that seemed eirily familiar.

"Is that who I think it is?" Bob asked.

"Impossible," Bill said. "Unless-"

With that, Bill turned around and saw the man whose picture he had, as well as several others, all pointing riffles at them.

"You wouldn't happen to be James Jefferson by any chance would you?" he asked, looking the man in the eyes, which were the same ones that James had.

"How do you know my name?" the man asked, not lowering his rifle.

"Let's just say that we have a mutual aquantance and leave it at that," Bill said.

"Well I don't know who you are or what you are," the man said, as the boys were still in their animal forms. "But you're coming with us. Tie them up, and if they move, shoot them."

"You're deffinatly related to the old wolf," Bill muttered, as one of the GIs tied his hands behind his back.

****

Meanwhile, in another part of the woods, a light flashes, and a figure falls from the sky. When the figure stands up, the moonlight reveals him to be an old wolf man, with scars a plenty, including a prostetic arm and a patch over his left eye.

As he stumbles to a tree, he mutters, "Those young pups. Can't even set the coordanance correctly. They had the elevation off by at least twenty feet. I'm not that young any more. God Damnit I'm almost sixty three-" Suddenly, he starts caughing. "Damn cancer. Probaly going to kill me before I complete my mission and warn them about Them, and how They are back here helping the damn Nazies. Well, this old wolf has plenty of strength left, enough to stop Them. But first, I need to find a medic and get this damn bulliet out of my side."

With that, the old wolf, James the Third, looks up at the stars, getting his barings, and starts heading in the direction of the American camp, stumbling every so often. He knew that he was going to die back here, but he still had a few missions left, to warn his grandfather, protect him, and protect Bill.
As the American Men took the three teenagers to their camp, Bill, Jim and Bob went quietly but grudgeingly.

"What do we do now?" Jim asked the others

"We try to go along with it!" Bob said in a harsh whisper "We must convince them we mean no harm!"

They went inside a tent and the Soldiers tied the three teens up.

Bob was deep in thought, he was trying to remember a story his mother told him about her aunt.

"There was something my Mother said..." Bob said under his breath "About her aunt taking shelter in Poland."

"There was a name..." Bob said "Jan Zabinski..."

"What are you muttering about?" Bill asked

"My Mother told me a Story of what happened to her Aunt during World War 2." Bob said quietly "She was sheltered by two Polish Zookeepers in Warshaw."

"So you mean to say you have family here too?" Jim asked

(This is based on a true story, Jan Zabinski and his wife, ran a zoo in Warsaw Poland, they sheltered Jews in the empty cages of their zoo after it was bombed and they lost their animals)
"I think that, on some level, we all have family here," Bob said. "Bill's got that half brother, and then there's James's grandfather. Whose to say that you don't have a relation around here as well, someone on your mother's side."

"Wouldn't know," the squirrel said. "Of course, we could easily break free of these ropes and-"

"And what?" Bill asked. "We need these guys's help to get home. That's what James told me before we went through the portal."

"I never knew that you'd take that old wolf's side," Jim said. "I thought that you hated him."

"I did," Bill said. "I thought that he was holding me back because he didn't like me or something, but he told me it was because I reminded him of another young man, one who got killed. Also, he told me that it was important for the future that I stay alive."

At this, the other two fell silent. While they hadn't known the wolf long, a couple of soldiers that had been with them earlier told them about him, how he set them free, how he was a fair leader, and more.

Meanwhile, back in the woods, James was leaning against a tree, groaning in pain. The injuries he'd suffered while trying to free the world of the future Nazies were taking its toll, especially given the fact that it was winter and the cold weather wasn't any good on his old bones. Also, having just been shot before getting through the Vortex wasn't much help.

"I just hope that my men can hold Them off long enough for me to complete my mission," he muttered, as he heard some voices.

With that, he fell silent, as he had to be carefull. If the wrong people found him, the results could be desastorus.

As he waited, he pulled out his old service pistol, which was modeled after the 1911 Service Pistol, which was used by American officers during the world wars. After making sure that it was loaded, he said, first in French, then in Polish, "Friend of the Americans. I'm a friend of the Americans." It would do one of two things, cause the soldiers to fire at him if they were German, or cause them to check him out if they were American. Their actions would determine if he'd speak to them in rough English, as if he was a Resistance member who was allied with the United States, or open fire, though he hoped that they were Americans.

"Drop the gun!" an American voice said and James III tossed the pistol on the ground. Somehow they had snuck up behind him.

Two American soldiers held their weapons on him. "OK, buddy, what are you up to?"

James III just said, "I'm looking for James Jefferson and three teenagers named Bill, Bob, and Jim."

The two soldiers looked at each other. They knew about the teens.

"You are, eh? Why? What's the connection with you?"

"You might say it's a matter of life or death," James III said. "I see in your eyes that you know where they are. Why don't we just go there and get this straightened out?"

James III had the gift of being persuasive and the two soldiers readily escorted him to the camp believing it was their own idea.



However, due to his injuries, the soldiers stopped and set James against a tree.

"Where are you injured?" the one asked.

"All over," James said, with a chuckle. "Thirty plus years worth of fighting will do that."

"Did you fight in the First war?" the man asked.

"Young man, you wouldn't believe the war that me and my men fought, first for twenty years, then for the last eight years," James said. "I'm from the future. In the world that I grew up in the Allies won the war. When I was twenty, I joined the Army, and became a member of an eliet group. However, when I was about thirty, something happened, and me and a hundred others were exposed to some things, things that changed us, and the way we were. Within five years, with the help of a friend, me and many of the others escaped, and we fought a war against those who changed us and others, unseen by most, for twenty years. Then, when I was fifty-five, me, and some of the men, including the boys I mentioned, came back here to try to prevent the Nazies from learning the secret to time travel but the misasion was a failure, as we accidently brought an extra person to the future, and a Nazi officer figured out how time travel worked. The world we'd returned to was not our world, as it was one that hat been taken over by the Nazies, as well as Them. However, thanks to some help from high above, we were able to open a portal and send the boys back, and for eight years, me and my men fought the Nazi forces, suffering from ups and victories, as well as downs and defeates. Just recently, we were able to aquire a time travel device, and I was sent back, to protect the boys, and make sure that they acomplish their mission."

"What's the mission?" the other man asked.

"Their's is to prevent the future from changing," James said. "Mine's to protect them and a few others."

Suddenly, he started caughing.

"Hey, you alright?" the first man asked.

"Cancer," James said. "Doctors say that I only have a few months to live, not that it will make any differance."

"Why?" the second man asked.

"I'm going to die here, that's why."

Bill and Bob and Jim were surprised when old James was brought in to see them. With James was an American general, General Block, who had listened to James story and actually believed him.

"What happened to you?" Bill said. "You look 50 years older!"

"I AM older," James said. "Your mission failed and I've been fighting in the future until we could obtain another time machine and get back here to make things right."

"Untie these boys," General Block said. "I have a feeling things are going to get weird around here."

Hot coffee was brought in and the group settled down to business.

"I can't believe we failed," Bill said.

"Why not?" James said. "You think every plan succeeds? Thank God we found another time machine. Now we have another chance to do this thing right and save the future from being run by Nazis."

"Is it bad?" Jim asked.

"It's terrible," said James. "The entire world is enslaved. Forced breeding. Disgusting medical experiments. The extermination of entire populations. It's a nightmare world. We've got to stop it here so it will not become our future."

James coughed and spit on the floor.

"Are you alright?" Bill asked.

"No. I'm dying. Listen closely while I tell you what we need to do. I might not get a chance to repeat it."



Meanwhile, Only a few minutes in the future after the three had left, Greta was having a 'heart-to-heart' talk with her son Hans.

"My Son." Greta said "Look around you, this world, this Nightmare of a world is what Hitler wanted all along, Can't you see no good can come from such madness?"

Hans looked reluctantly out the window and sighed

"Do want to stay in this family?" Greta asked "Do you want to know how you can live?"

"How?" Hans asked

Greta took a ring off her finger and placed it in her son's palm

"A young girl gave me this ring when I saved her life back in 1942. Find the Americans and tell them you want to give this ring back to Rivka."

"Rivka...That's a Jewish name isn't it!" Hans said

"Do you want to live or not?" Greta said "And when you meet the Americans, surrender your gun to them as well to show you mean no harm."
Back in 1944, James had been taken to a medical tent after he told the young ones what had happened.

"Jesus Christ," the medic said, as he and some of the others exaimined him. "How in Hell did you survive all of these injuries. Most men would of died after one of them."

"Strong desire, and reasons, to live," James said, as he got into a position that the medic could use to get the bullet out of him. "That and the fact that I'm not like most people tends to help."

"And what sort of medical facilities do you have where you are from?" the medic asked, as he carefully extracted the bullet out.

"Used to be damn good ones," James said, gritting his teeth, as he felt a stream of pain go up his side. "But, with the future being altered, the group had to reliy on Matoaka a lot, but after a while, we had to quit going to her, to protect her from discovery. After that, we learned to reliy on stolen medical supplies and herbs for such things."

"And here I thought that I had it rough when I run out of morephine," the medic said.

"If only it was morephine that we ran out of at times," James said. "If only, as sometimes we didn't even have bandages."

"Sounds like you went through Hell," the medic said, as he stiched James up.

"Let's just say that Hell would of been plesant in comparison at times."

James felt better after the medical treatment and a cocktail of painkillers. He called the boys together. "Listen, guys. I know this is going to sound like a difficult assignment, but you have to assassinate Hitler."

"Wh-what?" Bob said. "But wouldn't he be well-guarded?"

"Oh yes," James said. "He's extremely well-guarded. I didn't say it was an easy assignment."

"I'm willing to give it a try," Bill said. "But I don't have a clue as to how to go about it."

James coughed. "Do I have to do all the thinking for you guys? What are you going to do when I'm dead? OK, listen. Obviously, you don't want to try to kill him when he's in his headquarters all bunkered down and surrounded by guards, but he doesn't stay there all the time."

"He doesn't?" Bob said.

"He goes out to inspect the troops, to meet with generals, or to visit conquered territory and gloat. We hit him when he's on the move."

"Makes sense to me," Jim said. "So we attack him on the road then?"

James waved his hand. "Either on the road or if he's spending the night in a location that's not very secure. But we definitely don't try to hit him in Berlin."
Just as James was talking, The Time Window opened up briefly and Hans tumbled through.

"Auche De Libre!" Hans exclaimed "This time travel thing certenly takes some getting used to

He ran through the snowy forest only to find himself facing several guns!

"Stop!" Hans exclaimed "I surrender!"

He tossed his gun away and kneeled on the ground putting his hands behind his head.

The American soldiers looked at each other surprised
"This is something of an unexpected surprise," James said, as he looked at the young man some time later, speaking in German. "Your mother told me that you had died within a few days after we'd been sent to the future. She said that an accident had occured when me and the others went out scouting and you'd been killed, your body destroyed. I guess she had just enough energy to send your God-forsaken ass back here. I thought that your mother was a lot of things, but a fool was never one of them. What in Hell was she thinking when she sent you back here?"

"She was trying to find a way for me to live," Hans said. "Not that you'd understand something like that."

"Like Hell I do," James said, as he punched the young man in the nose, causing it to bleed. "I've been a dead man for ten years, fighting an incurable cancer, fighting for every breath that I took. However, in spite of this, I fought for the liberty of the free world. I fight so that my eldest son can be a free man and have his own children. I fight so that what happened to me doesn't happen to others. I fight for your brother, who will lead the resistance after me, or some variation of me at any rate. You, you're just some time-lost Nazi who has no idea as to what's the truth, even when it is staring you in the face."

"What are you talking about?" Hans asked.

"How about the murder of over ten million people, half of them Jews?" James said, with a growl. "Hitler's Final Solution. Ringing any bells? Because of people like you, Europe is forever changed. For the next fifty or so years, parts of Europe are striken with poverty, Authoritarian rule, corruption, and more, all because of people like you."

"You're trying my patients here," Hans said, angerly.

"Yah, and it seems to be working," James said. "You're worse than your brother, that's for damn sure. At least he's trying to protect people, unlike you. You have no idea about the true meaning of courage, where as he's got some inkling of it, in that he risks his life to protect others."

At this, angered at the insinuation that someone that he didn't even know, who shared his blood, was better than him, Hans punched the old wolf man, causing him to crash into a cauple of chairs in the tent that they'd been in.

At the sound of the crash, Bill and the other young ones rushed into the tent.

"What happened?" Bill asked, looking at the old wolf, who was looking at Hans.

"I see you wasted no time proving my point," James said, as he spat a bloody tooth out, still speaking in German, which the other three didn't know, thanks to some effect of being sent back in time. "For all your brother knows my cancer is what caused me to collapse. Imagine what he, or your mother, would think if they found out the truth. Of course, seeing as how Bill has the same sort of temper, I'm guessing that you two got it from your mother or something, that stubborn pride too."

Still angry, Hans left the tent, only to find an officer that was about the same age as him, looking over his Luger, which had his name engraved on the handle.

"Nice pistol," he said, in passable German.

"Yah," Hans said, as he sat down next to the man. "I got it after my one promotion. However, I have to tell you, the old wehrwulf just irritates me. He says that I'm blind or something. He says that I have no idea of what courage is. He's nothing more than a coward if you ask me."

"I wouldn't know about that," the young officer said, stilpl exaimining the pistol. "He gave us some useful information about a train of soldiers that had been derailed."

"Yah, because he caused it," Hans said.

"Really?" the officer said, lifting his head, revealing that his eyes were the same as the wolf man's. "Sounds like he knows a thing or two about fighting then, in spite of his age."

"I still think that he's a coward," Hans said, not seeing the man's eyes. "He skulks and strikes from the shadows. A real man attacks out in the open."

"Well, I hope to see him," the officer said. "Almost all of the higher ranking officers, and those kids, have seen him, but I haven't."

"Well, here's some advice," Hans said. "He knows how to anger people."

"So I've heard," the officer said. "So I've heard."

Meanwhile, back in the tent, the young ones were helping James to his feet.

"What happened?" Bill asked. "It looks like someone punched you in the face."

"It's just old age kid," James said. "Stuff like this will happen as you get older, especially when you have cancer."

"Something tells me that it was more than that," Bill said, as he looked towards where Hans went. "What did you say to him?"

"Only the truth," James said. "The painful ugly truth. Now, young ones, I have a favor to ask of you."

"What would that be?" Bill asked, looking back at the old wolf.

"Don't tell my grandfather who I am," James said. "If my father, who is about ten years old now, finds out about me, I won't be born in 1955. In fact, I may not be born at all. Of course, that would be bad for the future, so don't tell him too much about me."

"Alright," Bill said. "We won't tell him."

"That's good," James said. "Now, let's get to work on the plans."

Their big break came several days later when they found out that Hitler would be visiting a little village on the Rhine River. It was a public ceremony to honor a Nazi general's home town.

"Look at this," James said, pointing at the map spread out before Bob, Jim, and Bill. "There is an old tower on one side of the village. It would be a perfect location for a sniper."

"The Nazis will think of that and post a guard there, won't they?" Bill said.

"They will, but we will replace him with Hans, who will be very convincing since he speaks German and already is a Nazi. Now which one of you is an expert with a sniper rifle?"

They all looked blank. "I've never shot a gun in my life," Bill said.

"Me neither," added Jim. Bob shrugged.

James shook his head sadly. "That's disappointing. But you are manimals. I guess it's to be expected you haven't handled guns. Then the sniper will have to be me. I can shoot straight."

"But your bad health," Jim said. "Can you even climb up to the top of the tower? Will your hands shake so bad your aim is off?"

"I don't know," James said. "But I know this is an opportunity we can't afford to pass up. Jim and Bob will help me climb the tower. Hans and Bill will subdue the Nazi guard and Hans will take his place. Our timing must be good, but it doesn't have to be perfect. When Hitler comes into view... then I will shoot him."

"Maybe General Block will give us some soldiers to help?" Bob said.

"No," James said. "I mean, he would, of course, but let's keep this operation small and secret. The four of us can slip in there unnoticed. We don't need American jeeps grinding their gears through the woods and alerting the Germans to our presence."



Suddenly Hans ran up to them, he was holding something in his hand

"William! William!" He said

"You talking to me?" Bill asked

"Yah! Yah!" Hans "Something fell out of the sky and it was adressed to you."

In his hands was a Silver Ring, with an emerald in the center

"It looks Avian." Bill said "It looks like something from Zander's people."

"What?" Hans said

"It's a long story." Jim said

"There is a note attached." Bob said "Put this on the the Dictator's finger and time will right itself, to be what it was before all this mix-up."

"So you mean to say." James said "That if you put this ring on Hitler's finger than time will return to what it was before all this time travel nonsense."

"What will happen to me?" Hans asked

"What happens to you is what was meant to happen to you," James said. "You will die, that is inevitable. But the question is this, do you die fighting the Allies, or do you desert, change your name, marry some nice young woman, and have children with her, and die many years after that? Your mother heard that you died while serving in the Nazi forces, but that may not be the case, as you could of faked your death, with the help of a certain American officer, James Carson Jefferson the first. After that, you could of changed your name, and you died years later, no one the wiser, not even your mother."

"But the dreams that I've been having tell me that I'll be shot," Hans said.

"I dream of being shot myself," James said. "And I've been shot many times. But that doesn't mean that I'll die from being shot, as this cancer could still do me in after I get shot for the last time. There is no fate but what you make."

"And what does that mean?" Hans asked.

"Pop culture referance," James said, with a chuckle. "A woman destianed to give birth to the leader of this resistance group is protected by a soldier from the future, who gives his life to protect her from this machine that was sent back in time to kill her. He falls for her, and as it turns out, he's the father of the man who will lead the resistance. Interesting prespective if you think about it, as the man must of known that the fighter was his father and that he would die in the past."

"So, what do we do?" Hans asked.

"Someone has to put the ring on Hitler's finger," James said. "As much as I'd like to kill him, he still has a role to play. But don't you worry, he'll pay for his crimes. They all do in the end."

"So, who'll put the ring on his finger?" Hans asked.

"Can't risk your brother and the others," James said, looking at the young ones. "They might try to kill him, to prevent him from killing others. I couldn't get close enough without arousing too much suspicion. You however could, and tell him that it is a gift from your sister or something."

"But, what will happen to you and the others?" Hans asked, as James put the ring in the young man's hand.

"I don't know," James said. "They young ones might go back to their own time. As for me, I don't know."

The motorcade rolled into the little village of Kleinendorf. Hitler waved from the big convertible. The townspeople cheered.

Among the group of citizens that stood with the mayor was a young man in a sparkling clean Nazi uniform. His name was Hans and he made a presentation of a ring to Hitler.

"Danke," Hitler said.

The young soldier begged that Hitler put on the ring so that the photographers could take the picture and the young man's father, who was bedridden with an incurable disease, could see it in the newspaper.

Hitler was in a good mood that day. German bombers had wreaked havoc on London the night before. So, with a smile, Hitler raised his hand and slipped the ring on his finger...
As soon as the ring was on his finger, time seemed to stand still.

Time seen swirl around, Hans thought he was going to be sick.

But Bill, Bob, Jim and even James were returned to their origanl time, James was returned to his origanal age.

"Whoa." Jim said "That was weird."

"You said it." Bob said "I feel like I need to take a shower."
"Did you know that this would happen?" Bill asked, as he looked at James.

"I had an inkling that something like this would happen," James said. "Your mother told me that something like this happened when she fixed things after she went back in time to make sure that me and the others were indeed turned into half-animal half-human creatures. After all, no matter how dark your life seems to be, it could be worse. As I've said before, I'd rather be half wolf, and know that my son is alive, as opposed to being human and my son being dead. The lesser of two evils"

"So, what do you think happened to my brother?" Bill asked.

"He lived," James said. "Grandpa told me about a Nazi officer who wanted to get out of the army, and get away from the war. So, grandpa helped arrange his apparent death, and after that, the young man changed his name and went to what was later known as West Germany, where he met up with a young woman named Rivka and married her."

"How do you know this?" Bill asked.

"The young man sent my grandfather a letter every year until nineteen seventy, when his wife wrote my grandfather and told him that he'd died in a car crash," James said. "Grandpa kept the letters though and gave them to me just before he died. Then, before I was changed, I gave them to my son, telling him that he needed to keep ahold of them."

"Do you think that he still has them?" Bill asked.

"He might," James said. "Of course, I wouldn't mind seeing my son. It's been years since I actually talked to him."

"But how are you going to walk around outside?" Bill asked.

"By wearing the same outfit that you first saw me in, by the graveyard, when you bumped into me," James said, with a smile. "Of course, I've been watching you for far longer than that. I was the one who lead the mission to save you and a few others from Them a few months back. Also, know this kid, when my time does come, hopefully in ten years when I'm sixty-five or so, you will be the one in charge of the whole group."

"Are you serious?" Bill asked.

"I'm very serious young one," James said. "Over the next ten years I'll be training you, so that you'll know what to do when my time comes. The road ahead is paved with obstecals, which will have to be overcome."

"Is that why you were hard on me?" Bill asked.

"Yah, I don't want the group to be led by some pup who has no idea what he is doing," James said. "You have the qualities needed, they just need some tuning up as you kids would say. Now come on, let's go see my son. After all, you should check out the letters that your brother wrote to my grandfather. They are quite touching, especially the ones about his mother, and younger brother, as well as an elderly man, one who had not only save his life, but that of my grandfather's."

"What do you mean?" Bill asked. "He wrote about me?"

"Yah, as well as me, though I didn't know it at the time," James said, with a smile, as he got his outfit on, making himself look like an old gypsie. Then, in a thick accent, he said, "Now, let's go. I'll just tell my son that I was a friend of his late father, and that you are my grandson. I'mm more or less tell him that I'm looking for some letters that I'd wrote to him after he returned to the States. After all, I made a lot of friends over seas, and many of them wrote to me, up until well, I was changed. Of course, even then, I've kept in contact with them, especially those who tend to be a bit more into things like spirit beast, fighting corrupt governments, especially those funded by Them, and more. Also, as I've said before, I got contacts in the militaryand police forces, who owe me for one reason or another, and help out by sending me weapons that are schedualed to be destroyed and such, not to mention those who craft other types of weapons, like high quality blades and such. After all, there are situations in which a knife is better than a gun, like when you are dispatching a sentry."

"So, will I have to kill people?" Bill asked.

"Yah, you will," James said. "In war, especially the war against Them, that will be a given. I've killed plenty, and I've seen plenty of my friends get killed. The question is what you do after that. Do you just roll over and give up, or do you keep fighting, to make their deaths mean something? That was a question that I had to answer to myself when one of my friends was killed during our escape from Them when I was thirty-five. Needless to say, everyone agreed to fight, in one way or another. To this day, we have rescued several thousand people captured, and sometimes changed, by Them, in one form or another. You wouldn't believe the horrors I've seen, especially to kids. These monsters make murderers look like saints in comparison at times. Hell, even a murderer might feel compasion and try to help them out, if only by killing them to end their suffering, as some of these children are in a bad way, and even a unicorn has its limits, and sometimes you have to, well, grant them mercy, and kill them, to end their pain. That is the hardest thing that you may have to do, kill a kid who could be your younger sibbling, your child, or grandchild, especially if they wouldn't survive otherwise. I have nightmares of what I've seen, and what I've done, and likewise, so will you."

"Sounds scary," Bill said.

"Yah, it is," James said. "Now, let's go visit my son, so that you can find out about your brother."
And so ended anouther big adventure...

The End!

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