It's that time again people. Put on your voting caps and chose that title who deserves to be a winner. Voting will end at 12 Noon GMT on the 11th of October.
The whole world watched in horror as the alien beast drove its fist through Atomic Man's head! Blood, bone and brain sprayed everywhere as glass shattered for miles around. The TV picture continued but the clarity was gone; luckily because the grainy pixelated images showed a great grey glob, pounding the smaller yellow blob, into red paste.
"Well $# %$ sideways!" said Rendition as his lips hovered over his beer; eyes locked on the screen "Did you all see that?"
The other members of the villainous Direction-One; Endocrine, Indirect, Doctrine and Centroid were equally gobsmacked as they watched the fuzzy screen.
"Is he really dead?" asked Endocrine, cigarette wobbling on his lip as he continued to be mesmerised by the images.
"It's a joke right?" said Indirect as he rubbed his eyes in disbelief.
The camera refocused and a new piece lens was fitted as the picture showed the massive grey spiny beast pounding Atomic Man's corpse like an old dusty carpet. The sickening choks and whumps echoed across the airwaves.
"Turn it off!" whispered Doctrine. But still they all stood silently watching, mouths agape. "TURN IT OFF!"
"What's your problem man?" said Centroid as he glared at his team mate.
"I have a problem watching the dead get violated, okay!" Doctrine's temples pulsed.
"Try that psychic $#!+& on me Zayn and…" Centroid's mechanical hand powered up a ball of blue sonic energy.
Endocrine spat his cigarette onto the floor, stepped in between the two and parted them like they were children, mainly because Endocrine was a walking human growth hormone with the strength, reflexes and stamina of dozens. "Zayn! Niall! Enough!"
"He started it!" whinged Centroid.
"I'm going to make you walk into traffic!" cried Doctrine.
"Oh god, look!" stated Indirect pointing at the TV. The beast was marching its way through Harbor City levelling buildings like a nasty kid kicking over sandcastles. The camera soon wobbled and went to static.
"Gentlemen!" said Rendition as he tossed his beer across the room "Do you have any idea what this means?"
"No TV?" guessed Indirect.
"Not quite Harry," smiled Rendition "It means Harbor City is ripe for the picking. Suit up!"
Direction-One's cloaked heli-plane swept into Harbor City to see the once bustling metropolis of steel and glass looked more like Beirut on a bad day. It was quite the confronting sight.
"Okay!" said Rendition as he threw open the door "Atomic Man is down and out so we…" He looked down to see a battle going on below "What the hell? Centroid, take us in!"
The heli-plane coasted in to see the grey beast who'd killed Atomic Man now ripping apart the Society of Justice who'd obviously come to help. The beast grabbed a hold of Beetle Azuro by the neck and squeezed, his head popping like a teenagers zit!
"$%# !" cried Indirect "Did you see that?"
"What is that thing?" yelled Endocrine over the roar of the engine and the open door as he watched the beast take another Society member down as one would deal with an itch. "JESUS!"
The Society members kept fighting but the unstoppable thing crushed, killed and destroyed its way through their ranks. These were the pinnacle of heroism and power yet being torn apart like a paper house in a hurricane. Direction-One watched from the horrific spectacle from the air.
"Should we do something?" asked Doctrine.
"Are you joking?" said Centroid "The Society is getting the whooping they have long deserved. I'd like to give that guy a high five!"
Doctrine gritted his teeth and resisted the urge to push his team mate out the door "Rendition?"
"Let'em die! We're here for the cash and the gold that grey boy has made easier to get" said Rendition "Okay?"
Doctrine watched the TV. It'd been three weeks and this thing had cut a swath of destruction through everything. It was a one man apocalypse. Nobody survived long against it; Sergeant Marvel, The Jupiter Twins, even La Wolf the Zorian bounty hunter fell to it. And it showed no signs of tiredness or even injury. The government had dropped sarin gas, hydrochloric acid and millions of rounds of ammo to no avail either. It now simply ran a camera service tracking the path of the beast trying to advise civilians to get out of the path of it. There was talk of a nuclear strike.
"Harry! Niall! Liam! Louis!" screamed Doctrine at the top of his lungs.
"What Zayn?" said Centroid as he entered the room.
Doctrine could barely keep the tears from leaking from his eyes as he pointed at the screen. The beast waded through a children's hospital. Even the cold Centroid flinched as the tiny bodies were tossed about. The other members of Direction-One stood in the doorway watching as the horrific scene continued. For twenty minutes the alien beast flattened hospital, live on television.
"We rob banks, fight super heroes, kidnap…we're bad guys!" stated Zayn as he walked over to his locker and got out his suit "But that, that is evil!"
Centroid went to speak when Zayn lashed out telekinetically and slapped his team mate into the wall. "I can read your mind you %$^# jerk! If we let this thing keep going there is going to be no point!" yelled Zayn as Endocrine once again stepped in to break them up.
"THAT'S ENOUGH!" roared Rendition, his body pulsing waves of thermatic energy "STOP ACTING LIKE A # $!^G BOY BAND!"
Zayn dropped him with a thud and wiped his eyes "How much longer?"
"How much longer what?" asked Rendition.
"Do we let this, this thing run rampant? It's killed Atomic Man, Cyber Fight, Sergeant Marvel, THE ENTIRE SOCIETY OF JUSTICE!" yelled Zayn "Look at it! It isn't stopping! It won't stop!"
"And you want to go against it?" said Indirect scratching his head "That's a bit…well dumb"
"We take a vote!" said Rendition "All in favour of Zayn's suicidal plan?" He looked around at only Doctrine with his hand up "Sorry dude"
"Water's out again!" yelled Louis emerging from the shower, hair full of soap "This is getting old!"
Zayn bumped him as he passed him in the corridor "That's what we get for acting like cowards!"
"Will you let it go?"
"NO!" yelled Zayn "That thing has been basically destroying everything! Sure we get a lot cash but where can we spend it huh? Everything is getting broken by that thing!"
"Zayn's at it again!" cried Louis as he headed back into the bathroom.
"Of course I am! And I've had enough!" he stormed off "It's been SIX MONTHS!"
Doctrine stood in front of Direction-One "I'm going after it. This is wrong…actually this is beyond wrong! I can't watch it do this anymore! We have to stop it otherwise there is going to be nothing left! All in favour?"
Indirect raised his hand, Endocrine folded his arms. Doctrine looked at the other two "How much longer do we get to be kings of the scrap heap?"
Rendition shook his head "Sorry Zayn"
Slowly, deliberately Centroid's hand went up "He's right though"
Doctrine smiled at his team mate and mouthed thank you.
"All right Direction-One!" barked Rendition "I don't like it but majority rules! Load up and get ready!"
Direction-One's heli-plane landed outside Jefferson City, Missouri. Radio reports and satellite imagery hand large movement from people trying to outrun the beast.
"What's the plan Doctrine?" asked Indirect "You're lead on this?"
Doctrine smiled "Similar thing we did to La Wolf back in 06"
Endocrine cracked his knuckles "Can we not! Seriously this thing has wiped the floor with well everyone!"
"What do you suggest?" said Doctrine.
"How about I punch the $# !& outta him and you four buy me a beer?"
"Your funeral!" joked Rendition "But I think if we tweak the plan a bit, we might just have it"
"Heads up!" Centroid pointed to the crowd of people running down the street screaming like they were being chased by the devil. 'What are we doing?"
"Indirect get its attention!" ordered Doctrine "I'll form a tk funnel to get it towards Centroid who lays down air support. Indirect joins in as does Rendition then Endocrine comes in with the punch which I'll augment with tk and we'll shoot this &^%$# into the sun!"
"And if that doesn't work?" asked Rendition.
"Let Endocrine punch the $# !& outta him!" replied Doctrine "Let's go!"
Indirect rocketed towards the grey beast at supersonic speed. He danced around the creature placing homing beacons linked to Centroid's mechanical hands.
"You've only fought heroes so far jerk face!" laughed Indirect easily dodging the creature's errant blows "We're bad guys! We're going to tear you a whole set of new ones!"
The creature lashed out again to no avail. Indirect laughed and took off but then suddenly skidded to a halt. A little girl was sitting on the ground bawling right in the monsters path.
"Oh god!" he gasped as he poured on the speed, realising the beast had spotted her too "Oh no you don't!"
"LEAVE HER!" yelled Centroid as he hovered in the air charging his hands. Indirect shot his friend a look and poured on speed when Centroid fired a blast at Indirect's feet causing him to stop. Centroid barrel-rolled towards the creature firing on all cylinders, sweeping in and grabbed the girl by the collar and flung her behind him as the hand came down with a sickening crunch.
"BASTARD!" roared Indirect as he raced in; hitting the almost invulnerable creature hundreds of times per second until his hands were more paste than hands "DIE! DIE! DIE!" Rendition stepped in pouring out waves of thermatic energy and the pair hammered it with fire & fist as if a hellish rock concert had exploded. Doctrine formed his tk funnel with Endocrine standing at the end.
"You ready?" asked Doctrine.
Endocrine sniffed the air and cracked his neck as he injected two syringes worth of adrenaline into his thigh "This guy is going to END UP ON PLUTO!" His body pulsed as it gained mass "BRING IT ON!"
The creature slammed a foot down snapping Indirect's leg. The creature laughed as it watched him writhe in pain, lifting its foot up again to squash him into paste. Rendition stepped in and grabbed the creature's foot, holding it up with Indirect getting enough time to crawl to safety.
"You…okay!" wheezed Rendition as he slowly, surely lost the battle.
"We need him down the far end!" cried Indirect.
Rendition nodded "Better get back!" His body began to quiver with thermatic energy. He let the foot go and ducked between its legs and jumped on its back "I learnt this from watching those terrorist YourTube videos" Rendition went white hot and exploded, shotgunning the creature towards Endocrine.
Endocrine stood at the end of the invisible tunnel, pumped. The beast from beyond the stars sailed towards him. He wound up and let rip with a mighty punch that sounded like thunder. Endocrine's forearm snapped in three places, pushing the elbow out the back of his arm but the punch sent the creature skywards. Doctrine caught a hold of it in a tk sling and spun it around like an out of control carnival ride.
"You come here! To my planet! Kill all my heroes! Get your own!" yelled Doctrine as the creature was a blur, almost a solid line of grey. With a crack he released the monster at it shot up into the sky towards the sun.
"Endocrine!" Doctrine looked at his teammate, convulsing from the shock of the break in his arm.
"ImokayImokayImokay" he rambled as he rocked back and forth.
Doctrine entered his mind and shut off his pain receptors "It's okay, you did it!"
"Can you see a giant monster?"
Endocrine trembled and shook his head "Where's the others?"
Doctrine turned around to see Indirect limping towards him, a massive trial of blood behind him "You okay?"
Indirect was nearly white from blood loss "Think so"
"That's…kinda nice." wheezed Endocrine as his eyes fluttered, as a strange sound erupted all around them. At first Doctrine thought it was gun fire but slowly his ears and brain worked out it was applause. The people who'd been fleeing the monster were now applauding one of the most villainous bad guy teams in modern history.
*Based off 'The Death of Superman'
*Direction-One is a parody of boy band One Direction, including their first names. Also the codenames are from a word jumble solver where I put in One Direction and chose words generated by the solver.
I was helping Marianne Keller look for her purse in a field the day Eric Clapton came back from the dead. We'd gone to a party the night before about 12 miles from the reservation in the field behind Robbie Gentry's dad's farmhouse. It was a huge space, though, and there were over a hundred people there. She'd woken up in the flatbed of my sister's truck cradling an empty beer bottle to her chest and no clue where her purse was. I woke up in the back seat of my Oldsmobile on top of the flattened skins of used condiments, back issues of Guitar World, and a Beatles t-shirt I didn't wear around my head banger buddies to Marianne's persistent knocking on the window. I groggily agreed to help.
At the party, every time she threw her head back to laugh, her hair arched through the air like the spray of foam from a beer can. Across the field, I'd only half-listened to Kelly Morehouse's terrible mutant jokes when I'd catch sight of Marianne occasionally and smile to myself. Kelly thought that I was grinning because of him and kept going; I probably should have decked him, but violence wasn't what my family was infamous for. Besides, watching Marianne created a knot in the pit of my stomach that had nothing to do with anger. It's too bad I wasn't paying enough attention to see what happened to her purse.
I walked up to the farmhouse to see if the purse had been left in the restroom. Robbie and several others were gathered around the TV in the living room. MTV News was on. My sister noticed me and made her way over to me.
"They think Eric Clapton and some others were killed in a helicopter accident," she whispered.
Eric Clapton wasn't metal, but Cream and some of his older solo stuff was hard enough to creep into my cassette collection. My friends and I all looked up to him as a guitar legend, and this was a tragedy on par with the deaths of Randy Rhodes and Cliff Burton. I listened as the veejay explained how the helicopter had been leaving a concert in Wisconsin that Clapton had played with Stevie Ray Vaughan and Robert Cray. They hadn't confirmed who was dead, but there had been no survivors.
I shook my head at the senselessness and went on into the restroom. No purse. I stretched for the first time since Marianne had woken me, scenting the air with my tongue. Back home, my dad and his friends wouldn't mourn the death of a rich flatscan. Dad would have smacked any mutant teenager upside the head for such sentimentality. The sound of applause drew me back to the living room.
"Jimmy, It's okay! Eric Clapton isn't dead. Stevie Ray Vaughan switched seats with him," my sister told me as I rejoined her. Everyone seemed so relieved and happy, but I couldn't speak.
This was just as bad.
I need you.
The words entered my head unbidden, not really in his low baritone. There was no mistaking who had summoned me, though, or why. My sister was worrying her lip, and had shifted her weight to her left foot; Dad was calling us both home. Something was up. If either of us resisted, we'd have a headache to last us through the week that no amount of ibuprofen could alleviate.
"Robbie, thanks for having us. Lisa n' I gotta run."
Robbie nodded and waved us out with one hand, the other taking the bowl some kid I didn't recognize offered him. Me and Lisa and Dad had gone out west on a Saturday night after Dad had come home with his lip split, one of his cheeks an ugly yellow and purple. His helmet was dented, the lenses shattered. I didn't want to think about what that meant Lisa had to do for the Tinkerer to get it fixed. He collapsed into his recliner.
"That damned Captain America…" Dad had managed. "I tried to break him, but his will… too strong…"
I pushed myself up from my seat and grabbed Dad a beer out of the fridge. I tried to remember the titles of all the John Cougar songs I could instead of thinking about what a loser my father was. He took the beer and smiled, "Thanks, kiddo. Alright, you two get packed. We gotta jet before the Avengers come down on us."
And so we ran. The contingency—which occurred almost like clockwork every six months—was that my sister would open a portal that the three of us and a shopping cart full of necessities would escape through. We'd squat for a few weeks until the heat died down and then we'd return to New York, usually discretely robbing a few savings & loans and convenience stores en route. But this time, Dad had surprised us.
"We're going back to the reservation."
God must have hated us, having made us Apache and mutants besides. We'd left the reservation six years earlier and hadn't looked back after my own mutant abilities surfaced and froze a kid to death from the inside out. His lungs full of ice, his face was a mask of horror. Dad was thrilled that I'd finally come into my own. No one could prove anything, but we hightailed it out all the same. Surprisingly, things had been good since we returned.
At least until Dad's summons.
Dad was in his costume as he pulled up. He looked ridiculous. His belly had rounded into a paunch from inactivity, and it strained against the seams of his uniform. Behind him, the shopping cart was packed.
"I have a job offer back in New York," he announced, smiling proudly. "The Bar with No Name wants to hire me as a regular bouncer, do mind scans on incoming patrons. That thing in Ohio has 'em freaked out."
The flattened skins of used condiments, back issues of Guitar World, and the Beatles t-shirt I didn't wear around my head banger buddies were about to become artifacts of my past. I glanced at Lisa, and her cheeks were wet.
"I don't want to go back."
"Too bad, baby girl," Dad smirked. "We're family, and family sticks together."
This had been the logic he had used on her to convince her to stay with the Tinkerer to pay for services rendered. This was what he screamed at me as he beat the shit out of me for thinking about freezing the blood in his veins solid after Lisa arrived home the next day.
"You two can't make it on your own without me. SHIELD probably knows all about what Jimmy did to that Proudstar kid… probably wanna lobotomize him or stick him in the Vault with all the other freaks. And you, Lisa… what would you do without your old man looking out for—"
He didn't complete the sentence. Couldn't. I loved my father very much. No one else would shed a tear for "Psyclone, Master of the Mind Storm." I always hated the name. Sounded like an idiot white man's stupid alias. I touched him and he froze. Lisa and I were finally free.
Maybe that was just as bad. Maybe not.
The Team of Goodwill and Helpfulness!
"I now banish the team of destruction and doom, to from now on, go forth to spread goodwill, that one day they may be considered redeemed of their sins!"
"Ah crap!" Shadowskull exclaimed.
"Oh well done, shadow skull, very well done!" Hellfire sarcastically shouted at Shadowskull.
"What? Everyone was responsible!" Shadowskull debated.
"You're the leader! You're meant to…lead us away from bad things!" Hellfire declared.
"To be honest, it was mainly Unkillable Jim that caused this…" Sinister Spirit cut in.
"Hey! Don't pick on me just cuz am da stoopit guy!" Unkillable Jim shouted.
"Never said you were stupid, darling, just merely slow…" Sinister Spirit calmly told him.
The leader of the Council of Judgement face palmed and sighed. He then kicked the five villains through a portal into the mortal world and simply shouted: "Be gone!".
After coming to, Shadowskull woke to see that they were in a modern human street. She surveyed the area and saw the local humans staring at them and walking carefully around them. She then noticed Hellfire randomly convulsing.
Confused, she asked: "Hellfire? What the heck are you doing?"
"My hellfire powers won't work! I'm trying to burn all these people but…but… I can't!" Hellfire declared, distressed.
Shadowskull sighed, "Did you listen to anything the council said?".
"Yeah but I thought that was just a warning or something! Didn't think they'd actually take our powers!"
"Okay, you learned, now for darkness' sake stop doing that!" she roared at Hellfire, who nervously stopped.
"Okay now, how are the rest of us doing?" she shouted loudly.
"Nothing broken!" Sinister Spirit joked, her body being intangible.
"Mekay!" Unkillable Jim roared.
"In good condition, master…" Daku Ken answered.
"Wah! Who she?!" Jim questioned.
"Jim…she's a member of our team, remember? The demon samurai? Who was cursed for being a woman pretending to be a man? The silent but lethal member of the team?" Shadowskull explained.
"Ah ya! Like Disney film! Mulan!" Jim exclaimed.
Hellfire shook his head while he scanned the area. "So what do we do now, Boss? Without doing evil? Do we save a cat or something?"
The tree quickly began to fall as Daku Ken's demon blade sliced through it. Spirit quickly flew through the tree and caught the cat just before the tree hit the ground. The owner was about to awkwardly thank the team before Hellfire burned the tree to a cinder.
Why did you burn the goddamn tree!" Skull roared.
"…to stop more cats from getting stuck in it?" Hellfire answered.
"You can't just burn random stuff! People's taxes paid for that tree, it keeps the city looking nice and birds live in it and all that." Skull explained.
"Someone's joining the girl scouts…" Spirit remarked.
"No I'm not turning goodie two-shoes! I'm being realistic here, if we want to go back to being bad asses again, we need to play by the council's rules until we get out of this." Skull argued.
"More Cats?" Hellfire curiously asked, brow raised, or at least the area where a normal person's brow would be.
"No…we need something bigger…something…"
She was cut off by the sound of a large boom.
She smiled as she readied her teleportation spell.
The entire square in front of the city hall was covered with troops, armoured people carriers and machine guns were positioned on the rooftop overlooking the grounds. The local law enforcement had given up on attacking and were now waiting for the army to arrive. Unfortunately by then the terrorists would have planted the explosives and would be able to ask for an ultimatum.
The new team got into action straight away. Daku Ken instantly dashed from soldier to soldier slicing and dicing. She quickly summoned floating demon blades, which went around with a will of their own, cutting through troops. Hellfire easily burned through the APCs and then concentrated on the troops. Ghastly tendrils came from Sinister Spirit's "body" and proceeded to "enter" each soldier's body. This turned their eyes milky white and they instantly died. Unkillable Jim attached a powerful explosive to himself. He then did a mighty leap and landed on the roof with the MGs. A minute later, an explosion destroyed the front of the building and Jim calmly walked out from the rubble. During this, Shadowskull was readying a spell, while also being protected from bullets from a portal in front of her. The spell ready, she stretched her arms and a dark hole appeared a small distance above the square. A dark hole is like a black hole but with more magic and less science. This implosion only affected the terrorist troops, the remainder who was easily sucked and ripped apart by it. An APC was easily shredded upon its arrival into the vortex.
Taking a minute relief, the team quietly looked at each other. "So do we go in or what?" Hellfire asked.
"I've got a better idea…" Shadowskull declared smiling.
The troops eagerly waited in position. They all stared forward, awaiting the team to arrive. Mgs, RPGS and dozens of rifles aimed down the only corridor to the room where the mayor was held.
Little did they know that the team had teleported from behind. They were soon zapped, petrified, burned, sliced and crushed by a rock thrown by Unkillable Jim.
The team easily proceeded into the large room where the remainder of the troops were. To their surprise, only three were left but there was hostages crowded around the area. The leader held the mayor in one hand and a detonator in the other. While his two goons each shoved their pistols against the Police Chief's and Chief Judge's heads.
The leader spoke, "Unless you comply with F.A.T's demands, we will…"
"F.A.T?" Hellfire interrupted.
"Fear and Terrorise. We're working on a better abbreviation, don't worry. Anyway if you don't comply, if you haven't guessed it, I blow the hell out of these hostages and my good friend, Mayor Jones. If you attempt to kill me, my associates will spill the Chiefs of law and orders' brains all over the floor." he arrogantly demanded.
Hellfire noticed one of the goons wink at him and Hellfire slyly looked around. He noticed Spirit had disappeared and he smiled.
"By the way, if my finger comes off this detonator, it goes kaboom anyway." he bragged.
"Are you really that uncreative these days, that you've to copy from Hancock?" Hellfire asked.
The leader was about to answer before he heard a gunshot behind him. He barely turned to see his goon fire upon the other, when Hellfire burned his head off. Slowly, his headless body collapsed to the floor.
Sinister Spirit left the body of the goon who instantly collapsed lifelessly onto the ground. "So we done?"
"Yeah, we're done, good job team! We managed to do that trouble-free!" Shadowskull happily said as the team left the rubble of the building and carefully began to step over the many bodies of the F.A.T terrorists.
The Last Defenders
For Rachel - You'll never be forgotten. (06/01/89 - 11/04/12)
The streets of Canterbury were silent, not a thing moved despite it being a warm Thursday afternoon. The silence was unnatural and the stillness even more as the young woman dressed in a golden gypsy top and matching hip scarf walked down the road, her bare feet adorned with ancient Carthaginian runes that spiralled up into honeysuckle vines tattooed on her legs, the inky tendrils terminating at the small of her back where a pair of swallowtail butterfly wings had sprouted from her pale skin. Around her neck was a golden collar complete with a chain that spiralled round her left arm.
"Rachel can you hear me you have to wake up." A voice echoed around the street as the woman stopped and looked around to determine where the words had come from. Shaking her head she missed the black winged figure slam into her with taloned feet, deep slash marks cutting into her exposed flesh.
"Sycorax." The woman in gold grunted as she pushed her attacker off her, the cuts on her body ageing until they were no longer bleeding. "I though you were locked away in the other world." She added as Sycorax elongated the claws on her hands and glared at her with eyes as dark as the ebony corset and feathery skirt she wore.
"Perhaps Oriana but I wasn't ready to let you get away with it." Sycorax screeched as she dashed forward towards Oriana only for the golden woman to spin gracefully away before lashing out with the chain around her neck, the metal wrapping around Sycorax's legs and sending her sprawling into a postbox.
"We have to get the neck brace on now, if we move her she could suffer neural damage." A male voice stated over the sound of a screaming siren. "Somebody get the stretcher ready." Oriana shook her head again, trying to shake the voices out of her head as Sycorax got to her feet, her hands encircled by pentagrams as she chanted in a dark ancient tongue.
"Your curses and spells are not welcome here." Oriana announced as she lashed out with her chain again, the metal links slapping Sycorax across the face, the blow causing the pentagrams to dissipate. "You will not stop me from reaching the Barrow of First Sleep and ending this spell on the kingdom. Alone you are no match for me."
"Good thing I'm not alone." Sycorax purred as she re-summoned the pentagrams. "I believe you remember Coldblood?" She asked as a VW Beetle came rolling down the street before smashing into the store behind Oriana. With a horse roar an eight foot tall figure came charging down the road, a massive double headed axe held in his hands, his body covered in black armour and thick grey scales from his feet up to his hideous face complete with blood red eyes. Taking to the air just as the new foe slammed his axe down Oriana looked down at her two enemies.
"So you and Coldblood are working together?" Oriana asked Sycorax, it won't be enough to stop me.
"Her leg is trapped in the car." An unknown voice stated. "We will need to cut her free before we can get her out."
"What was..." Oriana started to ask before seeing the pentagrams around Sycorax's hands merge and shift into a long chain with a hook on it. Levitating the weapon over to Coldblood, Sycorax glared up at Oriana before the reptilian foot soldier nodded and flung the weapon up, the barbed hook digging into her right leg and ripping the flesh and muscle off as he dragged her down to the ground.
"We worked too hard for you to ruin our plans." Coldblood croaked as he retracted the chain hook and drew his axe again before looming over Oriana's prone body as the muscle reformed on her ripped leg.
"Idiot." Sycorax hissed as she grabbed Coldblood's axe and flipped him over her shoulder. "We need her alive for our plan to succeed."
"And your interference has allowed her to escape." Coldblood spat as he got to his feet and pointed to where Oriana was sprinting off down one of the side alleys towards the cathedral.
"Oh she won't get far." Sycorax stated as she stroked his chin, "you forget we are working as part of a quintet." She added as she flared her wings and took to the air. "And it would only take one wrong move for her to fall."
Oriana ran through the narrow alleys as she saw Sycorax's shadow pass over her. Taking a quick left she ducked into an empty department store and leapt down the first flight of stairs only to feel something heavy wrap round her legs and send her tumbling down the second flight as a man in brown buck skin trousers and a bronze breastplate walked towards her' a four foot spear in his right hand and a second bolas twirling in his left.
"Blood Alcohol level is twice the legal limit Mrs Addison, your daughter was driving under the infulence." An authoritative woman stated as the bruises across Oriana's chest healed.
"You will not make it to the barrow chere." The man holding the spear stated as Oriana ripped the bolas off her feet. "But this is your last hunt."
"Maybe Rand but your wrong I will reach my destiny." Oriana replied as she ducked into the underground restaurant and slashed out with her chain, the blow smashing the lightbulb into two and plunging the room into darkness as Rand entered the room.
"You forget that I am the child of history's greatest hunters." Rand grunted his eyes glowing green as he walked into the darkened chamber. "Even in the dark I can see the breath flow from your lungs."
"There is a reason they call me Oriana." The woman Rand was hunting whispered as her wings and body glowed a brilliant amber before releasing a brilliant flash of light, the flash blinding Rand as Oriana barrelled past into the glowing corona. As she did she heard someone crying before a voice barley audible sighed. "But she is my baby girl, I can't look at her like this." Ignoring the cry Oriana burst into the sunlight and sprinted over to the cathedral before soaring over the arch into the precinct before seeing a pink flash slice through her right wing and dig into her shoulder, rose veins spidering out from the wound across her back before the infected area erupted into flame.
"You go no further." A woman dressed in a leotard and helmet formed of pink crystal purred. "Your selfishness is not going to be the death of us."
"Rose Quartz." Oriana grunted as she felt her skin on her back heal before seeing the three other villains scale the locked gates and surround her. "You all need to stand down and let me finish this."
"Your daughter is suffering from paraplegia and will likely suffer from locked in syndrome for the rest of her life were she ever to wake up." A voice announced as Oriana looked from one foe to another before focusing on the concrete studded with discarded gum.
"Would you do the same if we asked?" Sycorax announced as Oriana locked eyes with her before shaking her head before the gum exploded into a swarm of brimstone butterflies that whirled around the villains as Oriana made a break for it, sprinting towards the cathedral as the building crumbled into a golden pile of light before being replaced by a mound of stone covered in verdant grass.
"Stop her." Sycorax shrieked as she sent a blast of lightning into the butterflies, the energy sparking through the insects and creating a ring of flame that spiralled around the barrow mound, blocking Oriana's way into the tomb. Turning she saw her enemies charge towards her, their faces full of desperation.
"Is there anything you can do for her?" A now familiar voice asked as Oriana lashed out with her chain, the golden weapon smashing Coldblood in the face.
"Well medical science advances every day. It may be possible in the near future to cure the conditions that your daughter has." Another voice answered as Oriana intercepted a thrown bolas before redirecting it into Rose Quartz, the weapon sending her flailing into the floor as Sycorax stabbed her claws into the heroine's face.
"What do you think?" A woman's voice asked, "I know it seems cruel but the doctor said that there may be hope in the future." She added as Oriana pushed Sycorax away, her left cheek ripping open as she freed herself before leaping out the way as Coldblood slammed his axe down where she had been standing.
"Its not cruel. I love my baby but seeing her like this feels painful." A man's voice answered. "To know that she may never speak again, never walk again that her life will never be the same." He finished as Oriana rose to meet Rand as he came charging in, her hands grabbing the spear and flipping him over her shoulder before turning to Rose Quartz as the villainess cut the bolas off her legs.
"This is a human life we're talking about." The woman stated as Oriana spun the spear around in front of her, reflecting the waves of crystal needles into the grass around her before flipping the weapon round and stabbing Coldblood in the chest, thick green blood leaking from the wound as he fell to his knees.
"It is the kindest thing to do." The unseen man announced as Oriana threw the spear up at Sycorax, the point embedding in her wing as her foe wrapped her chain around her leg and pulled down with all her might, the force sending the raven winged sorceress crashing into Rose Quartz.
"Your right." The woman sobbed as the force field around the barrow collapsed and Oriana walked inside to see a golden coffin flanked by two oil lights.
"At last it's over." Oriana sighed before walking slowly towards the coffin only to hear a frantic beeping as a mechanical figure materialised before her, it's body covered in gun metal grey plates, twin LED lights glowing in an eerily insect like head. "Drone Killer." Oriana spat. "Get out of the way."
"I will after you answer my question. You go knowingly to your death fully aware of what will happen after. Why?" Drone Killer asked.
"Because I can't keep living in this fantasy world." Oriana answered. "My body lies burnt and broken in a hospital bed. I can here the pain I've caused my family over the last two years and I can't stand it any longer."
"But your death will destroy this world." Drone Killer stated' "It exists only on the wavelengths of the dream dimension."
"Which is why I have to do this." Oriana answered as the beeping sound became more regular as it synchronised with her heart beat, her clothes changing into a hospital gown. "But it meant a lot that you guys tried to save me." She added as the other four villains appeared next to Drone Killer, all now wearing street clothes. "Mum, Dad I just want to let you know I love you." She stated as she gave Sycorax and a now human Coldblood a hug.
"Goodbye Rachel." Sycorax sobbed, her voice now identical to the one Rachel had been hearing in her head.
"You'll always be my Golden Girl." Coldblood stated his voice breaking with emotion.
"Joanne." Rachel said as she turned and embraced Rose Quartz. "Make sure people know okay, tell them not to do what I did."
"I know a place where I can tell them." Joanne answered as Rand, dressed in a lab coat took Rachel's hand and helped her into the coffin as the life support machine showed her heart rate flat line. The stone floor and walls of the barrow morphing into the clean walls of a hospital room. "Good bye Rachel." Joanne whispered as she saw Rachel's father embrace his crying wife, as if trying to shield her from their dead daughter. "You'll never be forgotten."