Fantastic Four 2099UGR #6, Volume 2



Issue Six, Volume Two

"Asylum"

Written by David Ellis

Edited by Jason McDonald and Mike Shirley

Assistant Editor: Jason McDonald

Editor in Chief: David Ellis

 


Reed Richards
Mister Fantastic

Sue Storm
Invisible Woman

Johnny Storm
Human Torch

Ben Grimm
The Thing

Shandra Willis

Quentin Card

Dr. Cameron Daye


 


From Reed Richards' private journal, 20th century

My mother died when I was seven.

I remember certain things about her: the way she looked, the way she smelled, the way her voice sounded when she laughed ... but beyond that I recall very little about her. Perhaps if she'd lived longer, that could have changed.

From then on, my father raised me, and it was he who shaped the person I became. While it's no secret that he inspired my fascination with science and mysteries, I think he contributed just as heavily to the way I dealt with my emotions. I kept them buried inside and ignored the strong ones because I'd watched him do it. I don't know whether I ever properly mourned my mother's death, and I sometimes wonder if he ever did either.

Sue Storm and her brother Johnny were two of the first people to teach me how to get in touch with my emotions. Ben Grimm helped as well, but Johnny taught me the value of spontaneity, and Sue taught me how to love. Ben taught me how to relax, though I'm sure he questions how well he succeeded.

While few could likely tell, I've actually grown more in touch my my feelings in the years since I'd formed the Fantastic Four. I haven't opened up all the way, naturally, but I'd like to think I've developed beyond what I'd been in my youth, with only my father as a role model.

I'm not getting any younger. The gray hairs on my hair are starting to outnumber the still-brown ones, but it seems me my family in the Fantastic Four keeps me feeling young. They also keep me feeling sane, which is invaluable considering the lives we lead.

I suppose I could actually tell them what's on my mind, but it seems some things never change.


Maximum Security Prison 'Octagon', The Negative Zone, Late January, The Year 2100

"Well, I must admit this call comes as a surprise," Dr. Cameron Daye commented over private commlink as he sat in his office. "Is there something on your mind, Mister Storm?"

There was a pause on the other end as the caller seemed to consider his next words. "Yeah, you could say that," the clone of Johnny Storm answered. "I think I'm going crazy, Doc."

Daye's eyebrow raised. Interesting. "So you've finally decided to confide in me? I recall you were fairly quiet during out last interview...."

"Well, I didn't feel like sharing my innermost thoughts and feelings with a complete stranger. I still don't know if this is a good idea, but...."

"You feel the need to communicate your thoughts to someone," Daye replied, speaking into the microphone on his desk as he admired the psychology diplomas and certificates on his wall. "And you believe that no one around you -- not even your teammates -- would understand."


Station Four, The Negative Zone, Early January

"You wouldn't understand, Johnny," the clone of Sue Storm asserted as she and her brother Johnny walked down a hallway.

"What's that supposed to mean?" he shot back. "All I wanna know is what made you and Ben get so hot and heavy all of a sudden."

"It's none of your business."

"Never stopped me before. Besides, clones or not, you're still my biological sister. Yet we never really spend any time together, do we?"

Sue rolled her eyes. "Of course we do, we're--"

"On the same team, yeah. But I mean, outside of that. The only time you really act like my sister is when you're bossing me around."

"Because you need somebody to keep you in line, little brother."

John stopped in his tracks, grabbing Sue's arm to stop her as well. "See that? You're still calling me 'little brother'. News flash: we're the same age, Sue! We were quick-grown to be the same body-age, and we were released from that containment thing at the same time. All four of us were." He let go of her. "So if anything, we're fraternal twins."

"You're still immature, Johnny."

Orange flame burst from Johnny's body, surrounding him in a fiery aura and lifting him up a foot above the floor. "Why you patronizing--!"

"Got a problem with 'er, Junior," Ben Grimm's unmistakable gravelly voice sounded behind him, "you take it up with me."

Johnny turned around, witnessing Ben's five-hundred pounds of rocklike armor and irritation stomping toward him. The corridor's reinforced walls shook from his footsteps. Ben was codenamed The Thing, and he was certainly an angry Thing when it came to protecting Sue, his new girlfriend.

"'Junior', huh?" Johnny replied, jets of hot plasma flaring up with each breath. "See? This is exactly what I'm talking about. You're saying you treat me like a kid because I act like one, but how the hell are you going to even recognize when I'm acting like an adult when you keep--!" He shook his head. "Forget it! Just forget it; I don't know why I waste my time."

A diagonal-downward blast of flame propelled him through the corridor away from Sue and Ben at a high speed. Angling toward Reed Richards' laboratory, section, he decided, "at least Reed doesn't treat me like a kid."


4Freedom Spacecraft, Half an Hour Later

"Reed, will you stop treating me like a kid? I can handle this."

"The 4Freedom is not a toy, Johnny! It's a sophisticated -- LOOK OUT!" In desperation, Reed Richards stretched out an arm to grab the joystick in Johnny's hand.

Johnny pulled back on it to keep it out of his teammates' reach, angling it a bit so that the space jet called the 4Freedom could avoid the car-sized asteroid in its path. "Chill, all right? I got this under control!"

Reed kept himself braced in the co-pilot seat as Johnny continued to weave the ship in and out of the Negative Zone's Debris Field. "I knew it was a mistake to put you in the pilot's seat."

Just for that, Johnny executed a barrel roll. "It wasn't a mistake," he pointed out defensively. "You said you wanted to work the bugs out of the ship's piloting system. That's exactly what I'm doing!"

"You're playing chicken with the entire Debris Field!"

"Gives me an incentive to see how this bad boy handles."

"Of what use is this test flight if you smash the ship beyond repair and kill us both?"

Johnny let out a long-suffering sigh. "Reed, I'm not gonna hit--" He was cut off by a really loud clang of an asteroid chunk glancing off the ship's exterior.

Reed glowered at the pilot.

"What?! That wasn't my fault -- that thing hit me!"

"Johnny--"

"Okay, fine! You want out of the Field, let's go someplace else!" He steered the ship into a back-flip, then guided it for open sky. The 4Freedom soared out of the Debris Field and through the vast expanse of the Negative Zone. They passed the Zone's eighteen mining installations and eight maintenance facilities at top speed. Johnny steered the ship straight toward Station Four's asteroid, increasing velocity until it looked like he was going to collide with the building.

All the while, Reed was shouting at the top of his lungs. "Johnny! Johnny, have you completely lost your mind? You're going to get us--"

"No, I'm not," Johnny retorted, suddenly angry. He pulled down on the joystick and sent the 4Freedom curving upward, avoiding collision with the station. "And I'm not crazy, either."

He piloted the ship toward one particular sector of the Zone, a sector heavily patrolled by Stark-Fujikawa warships and guarded by Watchdogs in SItuation Emergency GEar. The sector was protected to such an extent because at its center was a mile-long maximum-security prison and insane asylum known as The Octagon.

Johnny slowed down considerably as they approached the Octagon Sector, applying the forward thrusters to bring the ship to a full stop. At least twenty fearsome-looking warships loomed in the distance.

"Now we're being hailed by them," Reed pointed out, casting a pointed glare at Johnny. "Let me do the talking." He pressed the comm button. "This is Reed Richards of the 4Freedom. How may I help you?"

A stern-sounding voice issued from the link, accompanied by an equally stern-looking image of the warship's commander on the viewscreen. "You can start by explaining your erratic flight path around the Negative Zone."

"We were breaking in this ship's flight controls. It is responding very well to stress." Reed even favored the commander with a friendly smile to diffuse the tension.

"One should hope so," the commander replied. "It looked to us as if the pilot should have taken a sobriety test before takeoff."

Johnny opened his mouth to respond, but Reed silenced him with a look. "I can assure you," Reed replied, "that no one aboard this vessel is inebriated. This was a test-flight, nothing more."

"In the future," the commander told him, "you would do well to keep all test flights and joyrides to a minimum. Do I make myself clear?"

"Crystal. Richards out."

Johnny chuckled as Reed terminated the link. "We got off with a warning! That's awesome! We escaped getting a ticket, and you didn't even have to flash your boobs at him!"

Reed turned and glared at him. His entire face seemed to stretch and reshape itself in order to deepen the frown.

"What?!"

"We're going home. And I'm taking control."

"Fine, fine. It was going to be my next stop anyway." Johnny pressed a series of buttons to relinquish piloting control to Reed. They spent the rest of the flight in silence.


Station Four, Reed's Lab, The Next Day

Reed Richards and Ben Grimm didn't have a lot to say to each other.

They stood in Reed's lab, an awkward tension hanging between them. Ben had asked Reed to make a new uniform him, one that would cover his chest as well as his legs. Reed had approved the idea, and after a few minutes of collaborating on the new design, Reed fed the data into a processing machine designed to manufacture uniforms made from unstable molecular fabric.

But it took twenty minutes for the machine to complete the uniform, which meant Reed and Ben had a lot of time to kill.

"I could come back when it's ready," Ben muttered.

"No, no, have a seat," Reed replied, stretching an arm out to a nearby chair and pulling it toward Ben. "All the chairs in this lab are reinforced, and capable of withstanding well over a ton of pressure."

"Uh, thanks," Ben murmured, carefully settling himself into the offered chair. He stared at his lap, clasping his four-digited hands together and twiddling his thumbs.

Neither said a word for five minutes. Only the hum of the uniform machine and the beeps of various lab computers filled the silence.

"So, Ben..." Reed began finally.

"Hmm?"

"I admit I'm curious: to what do I owe the sudden interest in a uniform with more coverage?"

Ben glanced up at him. "Nothin'. None of your business."

"Fair enough." Another pause. "Because I notice you're wearing standard station workers' coveralls. Is this about the scars on your chest...?"

"What'd I just say?"

Reed held up his hands. "Fair enough. I was just curious."

Several more minutes passed. By this time, Reed had found some glitches in the newly-finished FRANKLIN super-computer to keep himself occupied. Sort of. "Thought you should know: Johnny's confined to his quarters until further notice."

"Huh? Why's that? Some prank he pulled?"

"No. I let him pilot the 4Freedom. I was in the co-pilot's seat, but it was still an experience I'd rather not repeat." He gave Ben the condensed version of the nerve-wracking flight. But because this was Reed Richards, the condensed version was almost as long as the flight itself.

"Sorry I missed that," Ben responded when he was finished. "Though I gotta ask: why didn't you let me test it out instead of Johnny?"

Without looking away from the computer, Reed shrugged. "You were busy with Sue."

Another bout of awkward silence passed, ended by a chime from the uniform machine that signaled the completion of Ben's new uniform. Reed snaked his arm halfway across the room to pull the suit from the machine. "Careful," he cautioned as he handed it to Ben, "it's rather warm. 'Hot off the presses', as the saying goes."

Ben held out the suit, pulling at it to test its elasticity. "Eh, I can't tell anyway."

"I also programmed a higher degree of durability into the fabric, so it should be able to withstand most impacts, energy blasts, and piercings."

"Hunh. Thanks. What made you decide to do that?"

Reed turned to look at him. "I was inspired by the aforementioned scars on your chest. Due to your physiology, they've been slow to heal, so additional protection will prevent more damage from occurring." His expression softened. "Ben ... did you want this because Sue had a problem with those scars?"

Ben glared at his teammate. "What did I say?"

"Right. None of my business. Fair enough...."


Station Four, Ben's Quarters, The Previous Night

According to an old saying, all was fair in love and war.

And according to another old old saying -- a twentieth-century song lyric -- love was a battlefield.

Ben Grimm's chest certainly looked like one. Besides its usual craggy armored covering, it was riddled with wounds like craters on the moon's surface. Energy blasts and sharp claws had marred the skin with burn barks and deep gashes that had left permanent scars.

Sue's nimble fingers took advantage of this, tracing along the weathered gaps between his rock-like plates. "Feel that?"

Ben sucked in a hissing breath between his clenched teeth. "Ghh ... yeah...." He was lying on his bad on his reinforced bed, wearing only large blue Stark-Fujikawa boxer shorts.

Sue, wearing thin white pyjamas, lay on her stomach next to him, propping up her head with one hand and running the other hand along his body. "Am I hurting you?"

He grumbled, making an inarticulate noise before answering, "yeah ... naw ... I mean, I dunno. It's ... it's sensitive there."

She'd stopped exploring as soon as he started talking, and she watched his face with curious blue eyes. "But you can't tell if it's pain or...?"

"It's somethin'. I normally don't feel anything unless it's pain ... but this is different."

"I just don't want to hurt you. I know you have a hard time feeling sensations...."

"Naw, this is nice," he reassured her. "It's somethin' I didn't think of. Didn't think all the chunks that've been taken outta me could make me feel stuff in a good way."

She smiled, walking her fingers across his weathered chest. "Well ... that's what I wanted to try. You've been hurt so badly in the few months we've been alive, Ben. I wanted something good to come of that."

He smiled back, his gaze following the path of her fingers. "It's definitely workin'."

A mischievous grin crossed her face, and she lightly ran a fingernail along the sensitive flesh. "So if I did thiiiiiis...?"

Ben yelped and swore under his breath. "Uh, I mean ... I'd let ya. Just warn a guy next time, okay?"

"Okay." She scooted up and kissed him sweetly on the corner of his mouth, having learned that he was most likely to feel it there. "So ... the original Ben had a few girlfriends after he was transformed. How did they make this work? The physical part, I mean."

He thought about it, then frowned. "No idea. That stuff ain't in my memory banks. Guess whoever filled my head with info about the first Ben didn't think that was important." He glanced at her. "Why? You have any info about how Reed an' Suzie used t'go at it back in the day?"

She frowned, then sat up on the bed, turning away from him.

"Suzie? Aw, c'mon, what'd I say?"

"You know how I don't like being reminded of that."

"About the twencen Reed an' Sue? Yeah, but I still don't know why. What was so bad about it that you're avoidin' that at all costs with our Reed?"

"I told you ... I don't want the first Sue to make my decisions for me. If I get involved with someone, it shouldn't be because it's scripted in my head."

"I guess ... but if you're doin' the exact opposite, it seems t'me like you're still livin' your life by the script."

She turned to him, sharp blue gaze drilling into his. "What're you saying? That you're complaining about us?"

"What? Course not. I'm just sayin' ... if you're gonna make choices like this, it's gotta be for the right reasons."

She looked away, her curtain of golden hair hiding her face from his gaze. "So once again I'm rejected...."

Ben looked at her, slowly raising himself to sit up. "What? What're you...?"

She shook her head and stood up. "Never mind. Just ... just forget it. I'll see you in the morning." She walked to the door, which hissed open and admitted her into the hall. Ben watched her go, but he wasn't sure whether to follow her or give her space.

"What the hell was that about?"


Station Four, Johnny's Quarters, Late January

"It's about control, isn't it?" Cameron Daye inquired, conversationally over the private commlink.

Johnny was confused. "What is?"

"Back when you piloted the 4Freedom."

"Are we on that again? I thought we'd moved on." Johnny and Daye had been communicating for a week in clandestine conversations. He was beginning to open up, but he still didn't know how far to trust the guy. "And anyway, the jaunt in the ship was all about..." he paused, thinking about it, "...the challenge. It's about taming something wild, while still letting it be wild, if that makes any sense. Reed would have that ship his entire life and never test the limits of what it could do. Maybe Ben would; he's the test pilot. But Reed picked me for that job, so he had to know what he was in for." Though it did make him wonder why Reed hadn't enlisted Ben's services.

Realizing Daye was rather quiet, he asked, "still with me?"

"I'm listening. So what you're saying is, it is in fact about control. Your thrill-seeking adventures enable you to have some measure of control -- and power -- over a situation."

"Uh, I dunno, did I say that? I'm pretty sure I didn't. You have this habit of putting words in my mouth, y'know."

"That's not my intention."

"Hope not."

There was a long pause on Daye's end. "Still, I admit I have a fascination with the 4Freedom incident, as it involves The Octagon to some extent."

"Well yeah, you work there."

"Over and above that fact. From what you were telling me, it seemed like The Octagon had some amount of significance to your flight around the Zone. It seemed like a specific destination."

"It was. And I kind of wished the ship carried weapons."

There was silence as Daye processed that. "Would you care to elaborate?"

Johnny shrugged, even though Daye couldn't see it. "What's to elaborate? Stark-Fuji wouldn't let us have weapons, 'cause that'd make the 4Freedom a warship. So the ship doesn't have weapons." He thought the guy on the other end with the PhD could be remarkably dense sometimes. Kind of like Reed.

"No, I mean, why did you wish for weapons at that particular instance?"

Johnny frowned. He was going to have to come out and say it. "The Octagon struck me as a really tempting target, that's why."

"The entire prison and everyone in it?"

"The confidentiality thing is still in effect, right?"

"Of course."

"Not the whole thing. Just a tiny little section of it. The part that houses Paranoid Keith."

"Ah yes, Keith McLaughlin. The manipulative psion who could bring out the most negative aspects of others' psyches, correct?"

"How many Paranoid Keiths do you have in that joint?"

"I'm simply making sure we're on the same page."

"Well forget it. I don't want to talk about this anymore. So what's your favorite sports team?"

"Actually, I don't believe you've adequately explored your feelings toward Mr. McLaughlin. Not if you're wishing death on him."

"He made me think I'd burned everybody to death! What the shock am I supposed to feel, huh?"

"Have you discussed this in any depth with anyone? Your teammates, for instance?"

"They've got their own crap to deal with. I mean, Ben really did kill a guy; I just thought I did."

"Johnny, Ben's experience does not make yours any less valid."

"I know, but I'm not supposed to be this affected. I'm supposed to be the guy who makes a lot of smartass remarks and races any vehicle he can get his hands on like an idiot. I'm supposed to be the comic relief. I shouldn't have my own problems."

"You are human, Johnny."

Johnny's jaw dropped. "Nobody's ever called me that before. I don't think anyone's ever used that word around me. I'm used to people thinking of me as just some clone."

"A clone of a human is still a human."

"Isn't that against corporate policy?"

"We are being confidential, aren't we?"

"I guess." He went silent, trying to put his thoughts into words. "Y'know what? I think maybe it is about control. I'm everybody's little brother, and most people I know don't even think I'm human. So nobody takes me seriously even when I want them to."

"Makes sense."

"And my power -- I make fire. I control it. I don't think anybody appreciates what that's like. I mean, it's like ... everything around me can be sorted into two categories: burnable and non-burnable. Guess which category people are in?"

"I see."

"No, you don't! It's so hard to rein in that power that I can't even let myself relax around women." He stared at a poster on one wall of his quarters -- a depiction of several swimsuit models posing for the camera in the skimpiest bikinis imaginable. "I can't control my hormones around them, and I flare up. It actually pisses me off that the Iceberg Sisters keep flirting with me, because I could kill them if I'm not careful."

"The 'Iceberg Sisters'?"

"Clarice and Janice Berg. Everybody calls them that. Really hot blondes. They keep trying to get me in a threesome, or at least they keep teasing me about it. Which sounds ridiculous, right? That's like every guy's fantasy and I'm running from it!"

"It sounds as if you have good reason."

"I guess...."

"I'm curious, Mr. Storm: if you had a chance to be in the same room as Keith McLaughlin, what would you do? Assuming his psi-powers didn't work on you."

Johnny pondered that. "I'd probably get locked up for what I'd do to him."

"And if there were no such consequences?"

"I'd toast the bastard."

"Yet given what you'd just told me about your powers...."

"I know. But it'd be worth it."

"What if I could arrange that?"

Johnny stared at the communicator for several seconds. "What did you say?"


Station Four, Communication Area, Ten Minutes Later

"I said," Shandra Willis replied, stepping forward to get in her co-worker's face, "you set me up."

Quentin Card held her gaze, though confusion reigned on his face. "What're we talking about, here...?"

"Don't play games with me!" she shouted, shoving him against a metallic wall. Quentin raised his hands to either defend himself or surrender, but Shandra simply grabbed one arm and twisted it behind his back. She pressed him face-first against the wall. "I've had a lot of time time to think this through. Last month, when the FF were dealing with the Negs. You remember that?"

Shandra watched his uncertain features as he recalled the Fantastic Four's encounter with Negative Zone natives who had taken over Stark-Fujikawa's Zone headquarters. "What about it...?"

"You tried to hack into the shockin' security system!" She put painful pressure on his arm.

Quentin yelped. "Shock! No I didn't, you crazy b--aah! You did!"

"Only because I stepped in so a newbie like you wouldn't get us caught. But you tricked me, didn't you? You goaded me into it. Reverse psyche, right?"

"Don't know what you're talk-- aah! What is wrong with you?"

"What's wrong with me?" she hissed in his ear, harsh and wrathful. "What's wrong with me? I've lost all the friends I had! In Transverse, in the M04 ... every friend I had is either dead or insane! I don't have anything left to lose."

"The Four..."

"Yes, what about the Fantastic Four?" another voice inquired"Aren't we your friends?"

Shandra turned around, recognizing the livid voice as Sue's, but she was nowhere to be seen. Invisible. "Stay out of this."

"No, I won't. You're threatening a co-worker and I won't let it happen. Let him go, Shandra. Please."

Shandra didn't budge. "This ain't your business."

"I'm making it my business," Sue informed her, fading into view. "I know you and I have had our disagreements--"

"You don't know anything about me," Shandra countered, letting go of Quentin and heading toward the exit. She stopped as she walked into an unyielding patch of air that was apparently Sue's forcefield.

"I'm not letting you walk away," Sue asserted. "Not until you tell me what's going on, here!"

Before Shandra could form a reply, a nearby console beeped and an automated voice informed them, "Incoming distress call from S-F headquarters, Earthside."

Sue and Quentin turned their attention to the screen. "Earthside?" Quentin asked. "How's this for lousy timing?"

Quentin pressed a few buttons. "It's a legit call, from the head man himself." He brought up the transmission, bearing the regal countenance of Hikaru Takeshi, Stark-Fujikawa's CEO.

"Attention, Fantastic Four clones," Hikaru announced in an authoritative voice. "An urgent and unexpected development has arisen. Our headquarters on Earth is under attack. The Four's presence is requested in dealing with this threat."

Shandra felt for the forcefield that had been in front of her, finding that it had dissipated. Now that Sue and Quentin were otherwise occupied, she decided to make her escape.


Less Than a Minute Later

It didn't take long for Sue to round up the other three members of the Fantastic Four. One intercom message was enough to send them running, and Sue replayed the message once they were assembled.

"Anybody else get a sense of deja-vu?" Ben asked rhetorically. "How many times're they gonna send us to bail 'em out?"

Sue kept her eyes on the image. "I think you'll want to pay attention to this one, Ben."

The holo-image changed to multiple surveillance views inside the Stark-Fujikawa building that was once Four Freedoms Plaza. The focus was on the Research & Development section ... or what was left of it. Each shot revealed devastation and carnage.

"As you can see," Hikaru's voiceover continued, "our inner sanctum is being violated ... by a perpetrator you've encountered before."

Blood and bullet holes covered the walls, and every piece of equipment was smashed beyond recognition. It looked like a hurricane had blown though the place.

The bodies of employees were littered everywhere, most of them in several pieces. Those pieces bore gashes deep enough to have been inflicted by swords.

The few victims left alive screamed their lungs raw as they convulsed, clawing at their own skulls.

"If I may make a hypothesis," Reed snarled, "Their ultimate goal is the Negative Zone portal, correct?"

"Correct," Hikaru answered. "They are making their way there as we speak. It would be most appreciated if the four of you could stop them before they make use of it."

Abruptly, a single face filled the screen, grinning right at the surveillance camera. It was Ian Hyde, the lead scientist of the renegade (and believed-dead) M04 division. "If you clones are watching this, listen up: We're the TRUE Fantastic Four, and we're coming for you!"

The video feed suddenly cut out.


TO BE CONTINUED

Next Issue: "Four More, Part One: Empowered"


The stuff's about to hit the fan.

If you thought I was taking some risks with the characters in this issue, just wait. The coming issues will feature the multi-part "Four More" arc and delve into the Frightful Four of 2099. It's going to be a rough one for the Fantastic Four, and given what I've put them through so far, that's saying something.

Anyway, just thought I'd mention that. Now for the lettercol, and FF2099's loyal follower, Rena!

I haven't really been able to read anything in a few weeks, but the latest issue of FF 2099 cured me of that as soon as I started into it! It was just a very nice, easy enjoyable read, and with cute segways. I think I've seen that technique used before somewhere, and I really like it.

Thanks! I've actually been using such segues in Fantastic Four 2099UGR since the second issue of the mini-series. I've found it's an interesting way to keep the momentum going not only for the story writing on my end, but for the reading on the audience end. Also check out Spider-Man 2099UGR -- as I've used the technique there -- and Jason McDonald is even starting to do it in his Moon Knight 2099UGR series!

The untold FF/Moon Knight team up story, will you be writing that with Jason? When might that show up? In the regular Moon Knight title or an Unlimited issue? How about a summer annual?

Yeah, plans are for Jason and I to co-write an issue of 2099UGR Unlimited that delves into the FF/MK teamup. Now here's hoping we can get to that while we're young. ;)

Now that the gang is back home in the Neg Zone, will that mean we will be completely now caught up to the events of the New Year's Eve special?

--Rena, via e-mail

Yep. FF 2099 is now in 2100 as of this issue (which jumps around the month of January, which I hope wasn't too confusing). Funny thing, though: Next issue takes us back to 2099, following Ian Hyde's M04 group from the end of #4v2 (early December 2099) to the present day (late January 2100) as their new powers develop and they become a force to be reckoned with.

Then after that, this title will stay in 2100.

Maybe.

Unless something happens.

--David Ellis, 07.28.06_


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