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Rated: E · Campfire Creative · Appendix · Action/Adventure · #1882862
Team up with another writer to create the next greatest superhero team! -Ended
[Introduction] Area 51 has long been considered to have been the home of aliens... but everyone was wrong. Instead, the United States government has been working hard to create the ultimate weapon: superheroes. After decades of failed attempts, scientists finally believe they have concocted the correct mixture needed to create these superpowered humans.

This is where you come in. You have been paired up (at random) with another human (writer) to create a dynamic duo. You will be sent out to rid the world of evil, and become the world's first real-life superteam. How you handle your team, is up to you.

RULES:

1. This is a PRIZED campfire. the winning team gets 1000 GPS each. (I know it's not alot, but where else will you get GPS for participating in a campfire???) Also, after each round, 50 GPS will be given to each surviving team member.
2. As the moderator of this campfire, I am not a participant in this campfire. Instead, I am the character in charge of monitoring your actions and updating you on missions.
3. Each team will be chosen at random by me, and people may join the campfire until the first duo is eliminated from the competition.
4. Each mission will last two rounds of turns. If one member of your team fails to make an addition in a mission, your team will be eliminated. You will be given two days to make an addition. So make sure your teammate participates!
5. You will introduce your character in this format for your first entry:

Name:
Superhero Name:
Appearance:
Background:
Powers:
Anything Extra (optional):


6. You may try to eliminate other teams by... "accident", but be ready for a counter!
7. There are six missions in all. If there is more than one team left when the missions are complete, then we will take votes from readers to determine who the winner will be.

Have fun, be creative, and good luck to each of you!


Name: Gen. Frank Shremph
Superhero Name: N/A
Appearance: Frank is a broad-shouldered, 6'2 man with very short reddish-gray hair and a very swuare jaw. He is almost never seen without his military uniform.
Background: Frank grew up in a poor neighborhood in Pennsylvania and joined the military at 18 because he had no other choices. After years of hard work and dedication, Frank was chosen to be in charge of the Area 51 project. He is now placed in charge of the superheroes to prepare them for the real world.
Powers: He has no real powes, unless you include his proficiency with a gun, or his leadership abilities. He is just a normal guy who works hard.
Anything Extra (optional): Gen. Shremph is not a superhero by any means. He is actually the man who will be monitoring the heroes as they rid the world of evil.
Name: Antony DeMarco

Superhero Name:Wisp

Appearance: average height (5'6") slim, Slick Black hair, Fu man chu mustache

Background: At the young age of 13, he began to work for the Carlito mafia family running drugs and weapons. Became a made man at the age of 18. Decided to volunteer for the superhero experiment.

Powers: Can turn himself and anyone close to him totally invisable. No technology or power can detect him in this state.

Extra:Very knowledgable in fighting and interrogation...not easily intimidated due to mafia background.
Name: Quentin Hawthorne

Superhero Name: Quantum

Appearance: Quentin is your average guy standing just shy of six feet at 5’11, he has medium-length straight black hair. His deep olive colored skin goes well with his prominent emerald green eyes that tend to change to an electric stormy blue when angry. Quentin can usually be seen wearing tan cargo pants with a t-shirt of some design.

When Quentin unleashes the power to become the superhero Quantum his skin, hair, and clothing are burned away, his eyes lose that emerald color to become an incandescent white, and he becomes a living being of energy. His body radiates various colored shades of electric blue, and while blue you can make out the shape of his prominent eyes. One minute he’ll be light blue and the next he’ll be pure white not even able to make out his eyes from the rest of his body. He is energy in the shape of a man. The only thing he’ll be left wearing while in this form is a special type of suit that he wore when he was infused with the ambient energy. The suit takes on the properties of his energy keeping his body sufficiently covered, and also helping him contain the mass amount of power he possess while the drawback is it doesn’t allow him to exert his full potential power.

Background: Quentin was an intern working in an undergraduate science lab in the North West Nevada area known now as “Area 51” under the supervision of Dr. Kathleen Walker. Her research focused on an energy core that would gather and distribute ambient energy so that it would be able to power anything remotely by a certain set wave length. Dr. Walker created a suit made of electrodes, and wanted to see what level of energy the suit could contain. Quentin jumped at the opportunity to help because at that time he was nothing more than a “gofer” Quentin pulled on the black suit that looked mostly like a motherboard that was able to stretch the length of his body. Dr. Walker performed the test which went off without a hitch. Quentin was excited that things went so well. It wasn’t until Quentin offered to be tested a second time at a higher level that Quentin’s life was changed forever. Dr. Walker couldn’t turn the energy core off. The resulting explosion sent energy from the core directly into Quentin turning every cell of his body into pure energy. It wasn’t until after numerous tests, and concentration on his part that he was able to revert back into his human form. Since his body was infused with pure ambient energy he doesn’t age like everyone else, he was 23 when the accident occurred, and now years later he still looks like that 23 year old. He took the name Quantum when he realized that his condition was never going to change, and that he wanted to use his abilities for something good. The program to create superheroes comes literally from Quentin. The abilities one gets from a mixture injection from his blood and other chemicals never give the same powers that he possesses, but a variant because one would have to go through the same process that he went through which no one can never truly achieve because it was an accident thus a random fluke that created the world’s first Superhero.

Powers: He is able to draw power from anything, and through concentration damper his ability down so that he appears human. He can use energy to enhance his strength, reflexes, vision, senses, speed, as well as give him the power to fly. Energy is his play thing so if you can think it, then he can do it. He has had years to hone his skills, as well as gather enough energy to change his height at will. He doesn’t know his true limit because of the suit that he wears, and if he were to take in too much energy from the air he could very well end life as we know it on earth. He doesn’t breathe like a human would so traveling in space isn’t a problem from him either. Using energy as projectiles is something he does in his past time to entertain children when used at a harmless level, but he can also amp it up should he need to protect himself. Since he can draw power from anything water isn’t something that will hinder him using his power ether.

Anything Extra (Optional): While in his full energy form he has to be careful about the level of energy he exerts around regular humans, if it gets too high it can kill, but if he lets his control slip while going full tilt then no one knows the level of devastation that will take place.
A Non-Existent User
Name: Orank Tumble

Superhero Name: Double take

Appearance: Brown hair and eyes 5'7" Muscular

Background: Coming from a small town Orank was set on living as a person to serve his country in the military. One day this Doctor came to tell him about how his mission went so well and his rank is so high they wanted to know if he wanted to double up his leadership. He was confused at first what they ment so he asked. They told him they had developed a way to basically clone monkeys but they tested them and came up with a way to have one monkey simultaneously live as two. They had rats do it first with cheese and maze electrifying the dead ends. The second rat did the maze with out going to the dead ends. They then put the second rat in a different maze then had the first rat not running into dead ends. The monkeys had the same test and more. They found the monkeys looked the same but could lift ten times the normal weight. Also Since the strength was enhanced they did test on jumping and they could jump as high as a ten story building. Now it was time to test humans but they didn't want any human. The Doctor explained that there is a top secret facility and the name is Area 51 like the one people talk about with aliens, but it is really creating super humans. Orank agreed to become a possible lead roll in being a superhero. When all was done the machines used to create Double Take was destroyed by a evil doctor that wanted the project to be done on him but Area 51 wouldn't let him.

Powers: He is always at two places at the same time. Strength is ten times strongest humans.

Anything Extra (optional): When jumping he has hand gliders that pop out from his back like wings and he can fly from buildings and mountains or even just flat lands going hundreds of times faster then he can run which is ten times as fast as a normal human.
Name: David Cray

Super Hero Name: Gargoyle

Appearance: 8' 9, He looks like a Moving Stone statue. Dreadlocks. Wears nothing but a small pair of shorts colored the same as his grey body.

Background: David Cray Lived in New York for most of his life, He gambled for a living but got into some bad debt. With a price on his head, he signed up for the secret super hero project. They tried a few different experiments on him as they didn't seem to take. It wasn't until a few monthes in that they tried to put a needle in him and it broke that they knew he had his power. Over the next three days, his body began to change. He grew taller, and his skin began to change. They knew that his "skin" wan not flesh, nor was it any other substance known to man. They never did find out how to recreate the mixture of tests that made him into the Gargoyle.

Powers: Thick Skin, that has never been damaged by any of the tests that they have tried. Nothing has been able to hurt him or pierce his hide. He also has Super Strength allowing him to lift large building and move mountains.
Name: Claire Jumper
Superhero Name: Ms. Penguin
Appearance: short, voluptuous, long burgundy hair, green eyes, fair skin. 5'3"
Background: Claire was born in Wisconsin and moved around a few times as a kid. Her family finally settled in Winona, Minnesota when she was 12. She has lived there most of her life, though has moved away a few times. When she turned 37 she suddenly developed the powers of invisibility and telepathy.
Powers: Invisibility and telepathy.
Anything Extra (optional): She is trying to learn how to control people with her mind, but has not been able to do it yet.
Name: Pat Wolf

Superhero name: Element

Appearance: Pat has a typical build at 5'8 and 160 lbs. He is completely toned and has lightly tanned skin. The rest of his appearance, however, is what sets him apart. He almost always wears black, especially leather, and wears guy liner for an emo effect. Pat's shaggy hair is black, but he has a few thick white streaks in his hair. When wearing his Element outfit, it is a black leather body suit with white streaks down the side.

Background: Pat never met his parents. His mother gave birth to him when she was 16 and determined she did not want the child so she gave him over to the government for scientific purposes (she was paid a hefty sum for the donation). For his entire life, Pat stayed sheltered in Area 51 living as nothing more than a science experiement for the government. A couple of months after his eighteenth birthday, a breakthrough finally occurred in the labs. Pat was transformed into the Element. Now 19 years old, Pat dreams of going out into the world and fulfilling his purpose in life: to save the world.

Powers: Pat, or the Element, has the capability to shoot energy in the form of different elements. He has the capability to shoot balls of fire, ice, water, ground (dirt), electricity, air, and just regular energy. The energy forms into a ball in his hands, which he then throws at his enemies. He is unable to fly, but he has an anti-gravity board which rides like a skateboard, but it flies.

Anything Extra: Pat is generally unsocial, but it is only because of his upbringing. He truly wants to make friends, just doesn't know how to.
Name: Allen Rhett

Superhero Name:Gal Born

Appearance: Wears a Cobalt Blue suit with a plastic and glass helmet covering his entire head. Average Hight and build Clear blue eyes, Strawberry Blonde hair.

Background: Allen was Born in Roswell, and like a bunch of other kids he decided to sneak into the nearby military base to see the aliens. He snuck into an area that he thought seemed likely to hold aliens. The room was actually testing area and he was hit with the experiment. Years passed and his powers remained underdeveloped. One day in high school he was “discovered” by a lieutenant when Allen jumped away from a bully who’d been following him.

Powers: Teleportation, enhanced strength (15 times normal strength), minor invisibility (meaning that he can’t be detected by electronics like cameras).

Origin story:
Allen had just crawled through a hole in the old airfields fence.
“Hurry up Allen. You wanna see the aliens right?” whispered a tall boy
“Yeah hurry up Shorty” said a Girl
“I’m coming as fast as I can. I’m not as tall as you Two are.” Allen whispered right back.
They were going to see aliens! Allen couldn’t believe it. He wondered how they’d look, maybe they’d be grey just like in the book he’d gotten in the mail. The two boys and the girl snuck as best they could across the field to one of the hangers.
“They’ve got to be on the other side of this wall.” whispered The large boy lifting up one of the sheets of metal that covered the hanger. so that Allen could crawl through.
“HEY KIDS!” The large boy let the sheet fall down “WHAT ARE YOU DOING IN HERE!?” asked the Guards man who’d just turned the corner. He marched up to the two of them, and then grabbing them by their shirt collars he dragged the two children away. Them kicking and screaming all the while. Allen heard what was said through the sheet metal, and hoped his friends wouldn’t get hurt.
Allen was all alone, he looked around and saw stairs leading into the Ground. The boy walked down the stairs seeing no one. He entered a hallway with a few doors spread along the walls. Allen looked into one and saw a huge room! But no aliens. He turned away from the door and looked into the next one. Another large room not quite as the one before but still smaller than the one before. This one he entered. The lights shut off except for a single light showing a girl sitting in a chair then a voice came over the speaker system.
“General Sir, 2567-TP is ready for testing.”
“Good begin the test.”
Allen looked around the room for something to hide behind and saw a large table. He quickly ran over to it and hid behind it as best he could. What felt like an hour passed with Allen lying on the hard ground, then a gas began pouring from the walls flooding the room Allen gasped then thought better of it and held his breath as best he could. A few minutes passed before the voice said something.
“Sir, something’s wrong!” the voice on the speaker system sounded panicked. “OFF! SHUT EVERYTHING OFF NOW!” he shouted, the gas stopped pouring from the walls.
“What happened solider? Tell me!”
“It’s the subject sir... she... she’s died.” Allen was so scared! He quickly shot up after lying motionless for so long and his standing up so quickly he passed out.
Allen woke up the next day to his mother gently shaking him “Honey it’s time to wake up.”
Allen rubbed the sleep from his eyes.
“Sure mom.” he said sitting up he wondered if it had all been a dream. He decided it had to of been.
He lived his life, though different now. He felt stronger everyday, eventually joining the basket ball team as a center. He did well in school, got a girlfriend, and had an average childhood.
One day in the middle of Allen’s junior year in high school he was confronted by some of the bullies of the school.

“Hey, Allen!” Allen turned and saw four of the schools bullies coming up to him. “Sup buddy.” said one of them in the threatening tone bullies use.
“Hey guys, listen I gotta be somewhere..” Allen said trying to escape from the predicament he had found himself in.
“Yeah, yeah sure, just loan us some money first. I seem to have misplaced my wallet.” said one of the bullies cracking his knuckles.
“Sorry guys I don’t have any money.”
“Oh that’s too bad looks like we’ll have to beat it out of you then.” said one of them pulling back his fist. Allen closed his eyes and flinched expecting the punch to hurt but instead heard a crack. When Allen opened his eyes he saw he was downtown. He thought the punch must have knocked him out and he’d gone stumbling but when he check his watch to see how long he’d been out he saw that no time had passed! He looked around noticing some people beginning to stare at him. He walked into the nearest store and saw his Brother Sam was working.
“Yo dude what’s up? aren’t you supposed to be at Practice or did you skip out?” Sam asked as Allen walked over to him.
“Yeah, I was... listen I’m going home.”
“If you wait a minute I’ll give you a lift. I’m about to get off.” Sam said with a smile.
“Yeah I’ll be outside then.” said Allen stopping outside the store he looked around and wondered how he could have gotten downtown, he sat on the bench that was outside the store. He ruled out walking cause it would take at least ten minutes maybe more to get here from his school. He reviewed what he’d been doing before he showed up here. he’d just gotten out of practice washed off and started walking home.
As Allen was thinking a solider from the local military base was walking up to Allen but he couldn’t see him.
“Do you mind if I ask you a few questions son?”
“Hmm? wha- I mean yeah sure... uh sir.” Allen was flustered where had this military man come from? Allen hadn’t been paying attention but the soldiers don’t usually leave their base in uniform unless they’re on a training mission or something.
“If you don’t mind my asking, where did you come from?”
“I- uh, I just came from school.” Allen was flustered. He’d been trying to figure that out him self and what he’d said wasn’t a lie per say more of a half truth.
“Uh hu” said the solider not believing him. “Would you mind coming with me?” He said taking a step forward.
“I’m waiting for my Brother, sorry. I can’t.”
“Alright, how about you drop by the station some time, I’d like to talk with you, ask the guard at the front for Corporal Verräter, he’ll let you in.”
The rest of the day passed quietly for a Friday no parties, and most of his friends were going out of town, Sam was going out with his girlfriend and their parents were out of town, so Allen was at home alone and decided that he’d stop by the military base like the corporal had asked.
Stepping off the bus he saw red haired man with a crew cut standing guard. Allen walked up to him and said. “I was told to come here by a corporal Verräter. Allen thought the guard might not let him in when he disappeared into the small guard post next to the gate. The guard picked up a small walkie talkie and spoke into it, said a few things then off in the distance a jeep started up and began making it’s way towards the gate. Allen wondered what was going on. The gate opened and the guard motioned for him to step inside. Allen did so and the chain gate shut behind him.
When the jeep pulled up there were two men in it a driver and the corporal from earlier
“Get in.” said the corporal opening one of the doors with a frown on his face.
Allen hesitated for a moment then decided to get in the jeep. sitting in the back with Verräter he tried to ask questions about why he’d been asked to come here. but Verräter just said “All your questions will be answered by the general.” That made Allen a little nervous, A General was here!
“Am I in trouble?” asked Allen hiding his nervousness.
“No you’re not in trouble. We just want to talk with you.” said Verräter in a calming voice “We think you have a certain skill we’ve been looking for.” The rest of the ride was in silence except for the crunching of the tire on the asphalt and rocks as it rolled over the tarmac. Allen watching the buildings pass as people were going about their business
the Jeep pulled up in front of a two story building. Verräter and Allen got out. The jeep pulled away leaving the man and boy standing in front of the building. Verräter walked into the building, holding the door for Allen.
“The General is downstairs.” The two of them walked down the stairs, entering into white washed hall ways much like the ones that Allen had seen when he was a child. He wondered if the rooms were still as large as they were then.
Verräter walked up to a door then knocked twice. “Enter.” came a voice from the other side of the door. Verräter pushed the door open and pushed Allen in with the other. Allen saw a man with red hair and huge shoulders. the man’s hair looked to have a hint of grey around the edge.
“General Shremp, This is the Boy I told you about.” said Verräter as he shut the door.
“He’s younger than you’d described.” said the Shremp with a stern glance at Allen. “Anyway we should see if your suspicion is right.”
“Excuse me sir,” said Allen a bit hesitantly “But what are you talking about?”
“We’re talking about a secret thing that you don’t need to know about yet.” said Shremp sharply “If the Corporal’s suspicions are correct I’ll tell you what it is we’re doing here. does that sound fair, Mr.?”
“Uh.. Allen sir. My name is Allen Rhett, Sir.” Allen blushed slightly he’d never been very good with authority figures. He’d almost gotten into some serious trouble because he’d disagreed with what the schools truancy officer said.
“Well Mr. Rhett. We’re going to conduct some test on you they won’t hurt.” said Verräter “All the soldiers on this base take these tests once sometimes twice a month. Our scientists are going to prick you with a few needles and make you pee in a cup. then depending on what happens you’ll go home like none of this ever happened.”
The General sent them off, he then returned to the paper work on his desk.
Verräter led Allen down some hall ways until they reached a door marked “Testing” Verräter opened the door to reveal several people in white coats an gloves.
“Is this him?” asked one of the people
“Yup. He’s here for some tests.” he said pushing Allen into the room “I found him in town.” One of the scientists took Allen's had and led him to a small room and told him to remove his shirt. The scientist then put some electrodes on his chest and drew some of his blood. “This’ll take a minute. Do you want something?” he said noticing the Allen's grumbling stomach.
“Do you guys have any chips?” he asked.
“Yeah, I’ll go grab you something.” he said leaving Allen alone in the white room he came back shortly holding two bags of chips and sodas. He tossed one of each to Allen. Allen ate his bag and sipped the soda, the two of them conversed about things like Allen's life until one of the numerous machines in the room dinged loudly startling Allen.
“Oh, that’s interesting.” said the scientist reading the paper the machine shot out
“What is it? asked Allen trying to see what was on the paper
“You’ll need to stay here for a while Allen. I’ll be back soon.” the Scientist walked out the room excitedly. “Oh, you can put your shirt back on.” Allen put his shirt back on when Verräter stepped into the room.
“Alright Allen, there’s no easy way to say this.” he said hesitantly “You’re going to have to stay on base for a while, will that be okay?”
“How long is a little while?” asked Allen
“We need to conduct more test on you I’m afraid. If everything goes well it shouldn’t be more than a few days, you don’t mind right?” He asked, Allen said he’d have to make a few calls but he didn’t mind. “Ah that’s good.” said Verräter with a sigh “We tried contacting your house but no one was there. Is your family out somewhere?”
“My parents are out of town right now, and my brother’s at his girlfriends for the weekend so no one should be home till Monday.” said Allen wondering why he was telling this man all this.
“Would you mind calling him and telling him where you are?”
“Yeah, sure.” Allen said standing up and walking to the phone on the desk.
after he’d assured his Brother that he wasn’t in trouble and he didn’t need a lift he hung up and turned back to Verräter.
“Okay now if you’ll follow me.” he said turning from Allen he walked back down the hallway. As he walked Allen saw that people were walking the hallways with them. he saw one person who had a mustache it looked like those Chinese things that were always put onto the bad guys, he saw another who looked like a poster boy for the US army, his muscles were huge almost unnaturally so.
Allen followed Verräter passed them all into the Generals office.
“Allen.” said Shremp seriously “How much do you know about super hero’s?” the question took Allen aback. He was not expecting that kind of question from a General in the US army. Maybe from one of his friends but not here.
“I don’t know. I guess just what’s in comic books sir.”
“Well did you ever read the Captain America books?”
“Sir?” asked Verräter
“Relax Corporal I know what I’m doing.”
“Yes, sir.”
“Now back to my question. Allen?”
“Uh.. yes sir, I know about Him.” Allen responded unsure of what direction the conversation would take. He decided to continue the conversation
“He’s always been my favorite sir.”
“Ah good. Then you know how he got his powers?”
“Yes sir, the Government created him to combat the German offensive in WWII.”
“Good, Good. Well Allen what we’re doing here is similar to that, only a bit different, we aren’t looking to stop a single enemy but all of them. I’m under orders to make a team of people to combat any threat against the US, and you boy have a special power one that not many other have. I don’t know how you got it but it’s in your DNA, Literally.” Said Shremp with a chuckle.
Allen was stunned. This had to be a joke, there was nothing special about him, he was just a junior in high school, he couldn’t be a superhero.
Allen chuckled “That’s a good one sir. But I can’t be a super hero. I’m not even 18 yet.” The General scowled “Regardless you have a power that we want you to learn to use. We can’t let you walk out the door so instead we’d like you to stay here and train here.” He was serious Allen couldn’t believe it. “You’re serious aren’t you? I’m a super hero?” he asked astonished “What about my school? What about my friends?”
“We’ll get you out of school, and you can tell whatever lie to your friends but you aren’t allowed to leave here. Besides this is every boy’s dream isn’t it?” asked Verräter putting a hand on Allen’s shoulder.
“I guess it is.” said Allen he couldn’t believe it, he had super powers! “Wait, do you know what my power is?” he asked
“Not yet.” said Shremp
“We’re still running test but we do know you have at least one power.”
Verräter lead Allen back down the stairs into a hallway with many more doors than the ones before.
“This is the living quarters.” He showed him to an unmarked room with the number 6553 on it. “You’ll stay here while we figure out what your power is. After that we’ll put you with a partner.”
“What do I do until then?” Asked Allen
“For know get some sleep, It’s almost midnight.” and with that Verräter unlocked the door Gave Allen a key and left. Allen stepped into the room, there wasn’t much a desk with a computer on it, a bed and a book shelf. Allen didn’t look at the books instead falling onto the bed and fell asleep.
Name: Zack Dean.


Superhero Name: Sap.


Appearance: Short spiked black hair. 6'4" Green left eye. Blue right eye. {Both eye's red when sapping people.} Likes to ware black clothes with hoods to hide his face.


Background: Unknown. Even to himself. Has no memory of his life before he became a superhero, but has dark understanding of his past life.


Powers: Has the power to slowly sap a persons energy from them, Giving him the traits of the person he sapped from. He needs to be at least 3 feet away from someone in order to sap energy from them, but he can sap energy from more than 1 person at once.


Extra: If anyone ever tried to read his mind, 1 of 2 things would happen.


1. After reading his mind, they would see all the horrible that happened to him in the past, and will kill themselves just to get the images out of their heads. {If you're weak minded.}


2. After reading his mind, they would see all the horrible that happened to him in the past, and will go insane from it all. {If you're strong minded.}


In short...Don't...Read...His...Mind.
Name: Lenora Halberstam

Superhero Name: Anima

Appearance: Lenora is somewhat taller than average for a girl (about 5'10"). She used to be chubby and require glasses to see. However, the experiments done to her in Area 51 changed her body radically. She now has a predator's physique, sleek and muscular, with the flawless vision of a hawk. She has dark brown hair and hazel eyes; while she was initially very pale and fair-skinned, the experiments turned her skin a dark, tawny brownish-orange.

Background: Formerly, Lenora was a sophomore at a prestigious liberal arts college, where she majored in environmental science and politics, and was a star member of the school rowing team. She also belonged to an extremely controversial far-left anti-government environmentalist group called Socialism NOW!. She was a key participant in their plan to break into Area 51, but she was caught, and her fellow environmentalists promptly ran out on her. Given the choice between 15 years in jail, or serving as the test subject in an Area 51 top-secret experimental project, she chose the latter. For the experiment in question, codenamed Project: Noah's Ark, she was kept for a year inside Area 51's testing grounds, monitored constantly and injected with the DNA of every animal on Earth.

Powers: As a result of the animal DNA that has been grafted onto her genes, Lenora can communicate with any living animal species. They can cooperate with her by providing information, or by attacking her enemies. Also, by interacting with certain animals, she can borrow an attribute from that animal. The first known instance of this occurred in the Area 51 labs, where she successfully developed insect wings after interacting with a housefly. She also has several permanent animal abilities; they include:

-Regeneration.
-Adhesive hands and feet, allowing her to walk on walls and ceilings.
-All her senses are enhanced; she has echolocation, and three extra senses: electroception (can sense electronic fields), thermoreception (can sense changes in heat), chemoreception (can sense chemical stimuli).
-Heightened resistance to cold and radiation; shecan survive for up to an hour without oxygen, or up to a month without food.
-Above-average strength and speed; she can lift a two-person couch with great difficulty, or a safe with one hand, and she can run at 70 mph.

Name: Natalia "Talia" Youngblood

Superhero Name: Nightshade

Appearance: At 16 years old, Talia is 5'5" and slender with light brown skin. Her hair is straight and dark chestnut brown. It falls halfway down her back. Her eyes are golden.

Background: Natalia Youngblood has spent her whole life in Area 51 being experimented on. She has never been outside. Talia is very sly and quiet, but she hasn't spent any time around people, other than scientists.

Powers: Very light on her feet. She can sense people's whereabouts around her, and is stronger than most people.
General Shremph walked into the mission room and looked at the collection of heroes in front of him. They all looked confident, but they were nervous of the events about to take place. Shremph tried to give an encouraging smile, but the mood in the room didn't change.
"I see you are all determined for your mission. This is encouraging. Well the first mission is rather simple," Shremph finally said as he clicked a remote.
Behind him, a projector screen came down and on the screen flashed a picture of a large warehouse. It was surrounded by a large concrete wall with barbed wire on the top. There were five gates surrounding the compound, but the entire place seemed to be crawling with guards.
"This... is the headquarters of Dr. Voitek Vorchek. He is considered a mad scientist of sorts, and he is an enemy of the world. There have been reports as of late of this man, Dr. Vorchek, working on a new experiment that could mean the extinction of mankind."
On the screen flashed a picture of the sinister scientist. He had a wicked grin and was badly balding. He had a large scar over his right eye.
"Dr. Vorchek has created what he claims to be the first synthetic zombies. He is gathering civilians, just to disassemble them and combine the people's body parts. It is disgusting... Your mission is simple. You will be teleported to a safe location just outside his gated headquarters. You will then be required to break in by any means necessary and... neutralize his guards. He has over a hundred guards throughout the warehouse, and we need you to take out as many as you can. Also, he has five men in charge of his defense system. Each team must neutralize one of these men. Whatever you do, do not kill Dr. Vorchek himself! We will have our agents come in after you have cleared the place out and bring Dr. Vorchek into custody. Now as for the teams..."
Shremph walked to a whiteboard as he wrote out the teams. When he finished he looked back at the heroes and walked by the teleportation device. The teams were divided:

1. Ms. Penguin (Ms. Penguin)/ Double Take (Dremand)
2. Gal Born (Undbitr)/ Wisp (Scythe)
3. Nightshade (apoorva.krishnan)/ Quantum (Lonewolf)
4. Anima (Joestrong)/ Sap (Dr. Shrink)
5. Gargoyle (bluebart)/ Element (Carl Frey)

The heroes made their way to the teleportation device and Shremph sent them off. This is where your chapter begins. You look around and see you are in a dark forest. Directly ahead of you is the gate. You see a little boy crying next to the gate, and two guards directly above the gate. You also see a mysterious crate lying on the ground between you and the gate. You also quickly observe that it is just you and your partner. The other teams have been stationed at different gates with the same things before them. Best of luck on accomplishing your mission and don't forget teamwork is the best work!
Wisp gazed at his surroundings.
The forest was not very thick...if anyone came around, they would surely be seen.
He turned and helped his partner to the ground.

"What happened?"
"We were paired together Gal Born...and were transported here.
I can only assume this is the lair of the mad scientist."

I heard a rustling in the nearby bushes.
I turned quickly, grabbed whatever was in the crate, and stood next to my partner.
"Don't make a sound."
I used my power to turn us both invisible...then waited for whoever was there to pass.

It was one of the superhero teams that had transported with them.
He gestured to his partner and they moved away from the other team and towards the gate.
I whispered to Gal Born.
"As long as you are close to me, we cannot be seen.
We can enter undetected...and we should use this to our advantage.
Come, let's get going."
Quentin was alarmed when he first heard about the evil scientist Dr. Vorchek performing such disgusting acts on other living beings. It wasn’t the first time he had heard that name. A few years back Dr. Walker had brought him in on one of his training sessions as a possible replacement in-case something happened to her, as she was not getting any younger. She wanted to make sure Quentin was placed in the right hands. It had been years since the incident in the lab that caused Quentin’s transformation, and in that time Dr. Walker and Quentin had become close.

She was so protective of him, and he was just as protective of her. In the eyes of others he came off as the science experiment that had gone wrong, but produced amazing results. Dr. Walker treated him like a regular human being, and would often reject a project the government wanted him to work on because she feared for his safety. The only reason he was participating in this collection of heroes is because if he or she had declined it was made clear that she would no longer be apart of the project, and would be completely shut out.

Quentin surveyed his surroundings and noticed the forest he had been transported to was thick with tall trees that looked as if they had been there for centuries. He wasn’t in his full Quantum form just yet. If this weren’t such a dire situation, he would have enjoyed the smell of the forest that assaulted his senses bringing back memories of going camping with his parents. The lush green landscape stretched for a few miles, but nearby Quentin noticed a gate about 15 yards away, and a box that sat next to a crying child.

Quentin’s first instinct was to look and see what was wrong with the child, but something told him to hold off on that. He couldn’t quite put his finger on what told him not to, but he chalked it up to his own spider sense. What he hadn’t counted on, or more than likely is the fact he forgot that he had a partner with him who until now had been very quiet. She was seemingly able to move about without alarming his senses as he was lost in his memories of times before. She had his full attention now though. The young woman seemed pretty enough with her light brown skin, long slender frame, long straight brown hair, and a very youthful face. However, what took Quentin by surprise were her golden eyes.

She was going straight for the child, and Quentin knew this was a mistake. Every cell in his body screamed for her to avoid this child. As he watched her, his body felt as if it were paralyzed by the events unfolding in front of his eyes. She was a few yards away from the crying child when he first saw them, and all became clear to him. It was indeed a trap.

There were guards positioned on the gate that he hadn’t noticed before who were taking aim at his partner. It was when the red laser beam found purchase on her that he felt for the switch within himself.

Quentin searched his memory for her name, and closed upon it quickly.

“Nightshade!” he yelled.

It was too late, she had stopped just short of reaching out to touch the child jumping as she did because of the force Quentin placed in the yell.

Once that switch was flipped, an overwhelming power surged forth like a dam breaking. A pale blue light filled the area, blinding the guards from their target, and blanketing in the area. Energy rippled over Quentin’s skin turning the olive colored skin to an electric radiating blue whiting out his eyes as the power flowed over him transforming his body into Quantum. Quantum stepped forth from the blinding light and shot two balls of energy toward the guards that had taken aim at Nightshade. She in turn grabbed the crying child taking the little boy to safety.
A Non-Existent User
Orank thought about what General Shremph said and about how at this place they are going to stop a project that may cause the extinction of all man kind. The warehouse is the headquarters of Dr. Voitek Vorcheck who was the evil doctor that wanted the project that was done on Orank to be done on him and authorities wouldn't let him.
As he stood in frount of the gate the General told him he would be teleported to, he see's a little boy crying in frount of the door and two guards on top of the gate. In between the boy and the three of them is a crate. He see's this out of the left of his vision with Ms Penguins green eyes staring into his. He also see's this out of the right side of his other bodys vision while staring into the back of Ms Penguins head.
Ms Penguin says into Oranks head without speaking out loud, 'It's a trick, the boy isn't real.'
Orank thinks, 'I don't know if he is real or not but the General said to neutralize the guards, so I'm going to use this stuff that knocks people out for days, its a new liquid you put on a cloth and put it over the mouth so they breath in and get knocked out for days.' Ms Penguin hears this in her mind and transfers a thought back saying, 'Do it with your super speed.'
Before the guards even notice them there Orank Uses his super speed with both bodys, opens his wings that are attached like hand gliders the pop out of his pack on his back, and flys up to the guards faster then the blink of an eye. He puts the stuff on the cloths and over there mouths before the shift of there eyes and the feel of the air from his movment hits them. After putting the guards down he looks at the boy and see's the flicker of a hologram. Maybe at one of the gates the boy is real projecting to all the others. The boy moves forward five steps then disappears, 'The boy must be out of range of the projector unit now.' Orank thinks.
"What do you think is in the create Double Take?" Ms Penguin asks Orank aka Double Take.
"I don't know do we want to find out?"
Element and Gargoyle stood looking at the scene before them. Gargoyle shrugged. "seems easy enough, Judging from how the teams were set up, I'd say we are the largest Powerhouse group" Element nodded in agreement, The two of them never really spoke much to each other back at base, The two didn't really have much in common with each other. "I'll take the one on the right, you take the one on the left" Element suggested as he placed his hover board on the ground.

Gargoyle walked forward out of the trees "Hey you!" He shouted up to the guards who took notice of him immediately. "Who.. What are you?" one of them shouted to the grey man who was walking up to the solitary crate. gargoyle ripped off the lid revealing a supply of guns. Gargoyle shrugged and looked up at the men who now had their weapons focused on him. The little boy still sat crying by the gate "I am Gargoyle" he continued to move towards the gate where the little boy was, "and I will give you a chance to remember that name if you open the gate. The guard on the right scoffed "You wish" and loudly fired his weapon. The bullets harmlessly bounced off of Garoyle's body. "Guess not" Gargoyle sneered moving closer to the small gate tower and putting his hands against it. At this point the other guard began firing too, watching helplessly as gargoyle ripped the tower from the ground. The guard swore and turned to flee his own tower, only to find himself face to face with Element, who was now right in front of him. Element fired a blast of earth at the man knocking him off the tower, tumbling to the ground and falling unconcious. Gargoyle tossed the tower forward into the warehouse ahead of them. Element rode his board down to the ground where Gargoyle waited. Element gave gargoyle a disapproving look. Gargoyle just shrugged "What?"

Gargoyle looked back to see that the boy had disappeared during the commotion at some point. but it hardly seemed relevant as a loud alarm inside the warehouse was blaring throughout the area.
As I woke up, I heard the sound of an alarm ringing off in the base we were sent to. My...partner, Anima, had woken up before me and was scouting out the area for a way into the base. I for one didn't care. So long as she kept her distance from me, and minded her own business...I couldn't care less. As we got close to the bases gate, we saw a child crying by the gate, two armed men, and a crate of some kind. I paid very little mind to all of the above, and started walking towered the gate.


"Wait! What are you doing?!" Anima said as she tried to stop me, but failed. She just watched me walk over to one of the guards from the bush.


"Huh? Hey! Who are you?!" The guard said as I stopped three feet away from him. Just enough distance for me to use my powers on him. As he started pointing his gun at me, I reached my hand out to his gun, and put my index finger on the tip of it. The guard just gave me a look like he thought I was insane or something. But what he didn't know was that his energy was slowly being absorbed from him to me.


"I said, what...are you.....doing..........he-wait.....what........w-w-what's...h-happening?" Within moments, all of his energy had been drained into myself, and the guard had collapsed. That's when the guard from the tower had pulled out his rifle and took aim at my head.


"Say your parers, you sorry son of a-" Just then, Anima had knocked the guard out before he could fire his gun. Then she walked down the side of the wall and over to me.


"Are you out of your mind you buffoon?! You could have gotten killed!" Anima yelled at me, to which I just looked at her halfway and said-


"I had everything under control until you showed up." I then started walking through the gate, but then Anima grabbed my arm and said-


"Hey! I'm not done talking to you!" To which I replied-


"Well guess what? I am." I then grabbed her arm and forced her up against the wall, keeping her from moving while I sapped her from her energy too.


"Hey wait! What...are you.....doing.......to me." She was putting up a good fight. At one point, she even manged to dig her fingernails into my wrist. But that didn't help her. And she soon succumbed to the darkness. By that time, I had picked her up and moved her body to the crate we saw, opened it up, and saw a ton of weapons inside. After taking all of the gear and putting it outside, I took Anima, and put her in the crate. Then I noticed that the scar that she gave me a second ago was slowly starting to go away. Then I saw a bunch of woodland animals walking up to me. And then I realized what was going on. Anima had, among other things, the power to regenerate herself, and to summon animals to help her out in times of need. I then looked at her in the crate and said-


"Don't worry. I'll give your powers back to you after the mission is over. But for now, stay here. Stay hidden. And stay out of my way." I then closed the crate up and made my way into the base.
I sat still as the two people walked by us.
"We should get to the gate. I think I can open the bars and close them if you hide us from the guards."
"Alright Gal Born, follow me." said wisp standing up and walking to up to the gate.
"Hey, Wisp, should we do something about the kid?"
"No, why?"
"I don't know it just seems like something a hero would do."
"Listen, we'll get the kid on the way back out, for now focus on these bars."
"alright." I said moving up to the bars. I put my hands around one and pushed hard against one, it gave easily bending smoothly, I turned to the next one and did the same.
"Alright come on through."
Wisp stepped over through the hole I then bent the bars back into place.
"I.. uh don't suppose you know where the doctor is do you?" I asked
"no, I was thinking we should head up to the security center and find him there."
"okay, sounds like a plan." the two of us start off towards the main building wisp's stealth ability hiding the two of us from the occasional guard.
"It's weird there's so few guards." I said to wisp as we rounded a corner "I mean isn't it standard--"
"Quiet." said wisp putting a hand across my mouth as a guard rounded the corner, we sat in silence for a few seconds as the guard passed us.
"There's the security door let's go." he said standing up taking his hand off my mouth, wisp turned the door's handle. "It's locked."
"Hold on, I'll be right back." I said happy that I could use my power. I teleported to the other side of the door with a slight pop, inside there was a single sleeping guard. I quickly unlocked the door for wisp telling him about the sleeping guard.
"Alright, you watch him I'll find where the doctor is." he said walking over to the computer.

         Nightshade hadn't been outside of Area 51 her whole life, until now. Four years had passed since they stopped testing on her, and at 20 she was finally going to be able to use her powers. She set the boy down and told him to wait there until they returned. She sensed her partner walking towards her, now back in his human form.

         "You almost got killed back there... You do realize that right?" he asked sarcastically.

         "I know," Natalia mumbled. "I knew the guards were there, because of my power, but I thought I could get there without them noticing me."

         "Let's not try that again."

         They made their way towards the base though there were all those trees in their way. At least they provided good cover. Natalia told Quentin that they should go in through the back, because there were less guards. They decided he would go in first, make sure the area was clear, and she would follow after. Soon enough they were in a hallway with three doors. Talia went for the first one, but wasn't prepared for what they found behind it.
Ms. Penguin and Double Take stood in front of the crate, contemplating. This was such a strange situation for both of them. Was there something useful in the crate or was it some kind of trick? Finally, Orank took a deep breath and opened the crate.

"What is this?" he looked at Ms. Penguin, confused. "What are we supposed to do with these?"

They stared into the crate in silence.

"Are they some kind of weapon?" Ms. Penguin asked, bewildered. "Do you think we should touch them?"

The two heroes stared at the strange objects in silence, unsure of what to do next.
"Well, at least they know we're here..." Element said with a smirk. The loud siren screamed through the air, letting anyone know within miles that the warehouse was being invaded.
Gargoyle smiled and looked at the mob of guards that ran to the duo. Element created a ball of fire in his hand and tossed it back and forth between hands. As the guards rushed close, Element threw the ball of fire at a tank of gasoline. The large tank exploded, blowing away screaming guards into different directions, most of whom were on fire. Element smirked at Gargoyle, a slight "showing off" move, and rode his hover board to the ground.
"So where's the kid?" Element asked when he finally reached the ground.
"I'm... not sure. I think he disappeared during the commotion," Gargoyle replied. He looked slightly upset.
"Great. We lost the kid. Well, he's probably dead anyways. So we have to kill a head guard or something?"
Gargoyle nodded. "Yes. Do you think we killed him with that explosion?"
"I don't think so. Something tells me this isn't that easy..." Element replied as he rode his hover board towards the large warehouse.
I awoke suddenly, found myself in darkness, panicked— “AUUUGGGHHHH!!”” —and then, suddenly, remembered where I was.

Sap and I had been sent to Dr. Vorcek’s base. Sap had caught me by surprise, used his power to drain me—why did he have to do that? Now, he’d apparently taken off, with my powers, and left me stuck inside this crate. For a minute, I was so shocked I couldn’t breathe. It was appalling. I felt deeply betrayed. Why is it that every time I team up with a guy, he double-crosses me?

Rocking back and forth, I finally managed to topple the crate over, and climbed out. I’d been right—Sap was long gone. The doors of Vorcek’s fortress were wide open; he must have gone in. The outside of the crate was labeled “WEAPONS”, but there weren’t any weapons left inside. Sap had taken them all with him. The fortress alarms were still ringing; there were probably guards all over the place. And now I was stuck out here, powerless and defenseless.

Several animals were roaming around near the crate—a skunk, a wolf, a bear, an owl, a lynx and a deer. Clearly, they had responded to my earlier calls—when Sap and I had first arrived in the forest, before he’d woken up and begun making a general nuisance of himself, I’d had time to send out several ultrasonic messages, calling to any animal in the vicinity, asking for them to come and help. Now they came closer, sniffing me inquisitively, and I was distraught; with my communication abilities gone, I couldn’t tell them anything, nor could I even understand their questions.

At least they could still sense that I was the one who had called them. Even when Sap took my powers, they had stayed near me rather than go off with him. He had misunderstood one crucial thing about me: I can’t “summon” animals, I can only communicate with them. They’ll only help me and obey my commands if I can persuade them to, if I can win them over with respect and courtesy. Sap, as I’d just learned for myself, was about as friendly and charismatic as the AIDs virus, and so they had made sure to stay far away from him.

What now? I had a burning urge to track Sap down and make him pay for treating me like that—but no, the mission came first. I approached the little boy, who was still crying beneath the fortress entrance; Sap had ignored him. “Are you okay? What happened here?”

“My parents are inside,” he moaned, staring up at me through tear-stained eyes. “That doctor said he’s going to kill them.” He had the dazed look of someone who’s gone into shock. I could only caution him to stay hidden, and then made my way into the fortress. The animals followed.

Sap may have taken all the weapons in the crate, but, fortunately for me, he’d been a bit more careless with those two guards. The one in the tower had been holding a high-powered sniper rifle; when I had knocked him unconscious, he’d dropped it into the bushes. I picked it up now, and continued on my way. It was easy to tell which way Sap had gone; he’d left a trail of dead guards and used ammo shells behind me.

After walking for several minutes, I heard a burst of machine gun fire up ahead. I followed the sound to a gigantic, ballroom-sized computer room, and sure enough, there was Sap. Nine guards were firing at him (he’d been shot several times by now) and he was attempting to retaliate by throwing grenades from an oversized grenade belt around his waist. It worked, although he used up all of his grenades, and he almost blew himself up as well. But he hadn’t noticed the tenth guard—a sniper who was hiding in the rafters, taking aim at him even now. I took aim with my sniper rifle, and fired. The guy went down.

Sap turned to look at me reproachfully. His gunshot wounds were slowly knitting themselves back together. “What the hell are you doing here?”

I met his glare head-on. “Give me back my powers.”

He pointed towards the exit. “You’ve gotta get outta here. I’ll handle this.”

“Are you crazy? You can’t do this by yourself! I just saved your life! Again!”

“I could’ve handled that guy by myself.”

“Not before he shot you!”

“My regeneration powers woulda handled it.”

“Don’t you mean MY regeneration powers?” I was trying not to explode. “Anyway, you wouldn’t have been able to regenerate from that!”

He was silent for a moment, then changed tactics. “You’re gonna get us both killed.”

“You almost got me killed! What the hell were you thinking, stealing my powers like that, leaving me unconscious and without any weapons?”

“I work alone. Always. I can take care of myself. You’ll only slow me down.”

Great. My partner thought he was Charles Bronson. He turned away and started walking further into the base, and I followed. I was careful to stay more than three feet behind him at all times, so he couldn’t sap me into unconsciousness again.

Finally we came to a hallway with a security laser grid. Anything that came into contact with one of the beams would be vaporized instantly. At the other end of the hallway was a control switch that could turn the lasers off, if you inserted a special card-key. Sap had already gotten this card key from one of the guards.

He started to walk towards the lasers now. I called after him: “Stop! What the hell are you doing? You’ll be fried to a crisp!”

Wearily, he looked back at me. “So? I’ll just regenerate.”

I shook my head. “No, you won’t. My regeneration powers aren’t that strong. You think my brains could just grow back after they’ve been blown out by a sniper’s bullet, or that I could just grow my whole body back from nothing after it’s been incinerated? Can any animal do that? I promise you, if you touch those lasers, you’ll die, just like anybody—or anything—else would.”

Finally, he had to concede. “So, how do we get through here?”

I thought for a moment, then pointed to the owl perched on my shoulder. “She can help us. If we give her the card-key, she can fly between the lasers and insert the key into the control panel. That’ll turn off the lasers, and then we can walk through.”

He considered this idea for a few minutes. Finally, he nodded. “Okay. How do I tell her to do that?”

“You can’t. You don’t know how—and even if you did, I don’t think she’d listen to you. Because, frankly, animals don’t seem to like you. I’m guessing you’ve done a lot of bad things in your life, and they can sense that. So you’re out of luck on this one. Give me back my powers, and I’ll get her to do it.”

He started glaring again. “Listen, I told you, I’m handling this. You shouldn’t even be here, so if I say—”

I couldn’t stand it anymore. I lost my temper. “GIVE ME BACK MY POWERS!” The animals were all just as agitated as I was, and they hissed and snarled at him.

He stood there for a while, frowning. Finally he walked towards me, and laid a hand on my forehead. I shut my eyes, terrified that he was about to knock me out again.

“IS HE HURTING YOU?”

I opened my eyes. It was the wolf that had asked me that. I’d understood him! My powers had returned!

“There. Now open the damn thing, will you?” Sap was clearly annoyed that he had to give my powers back.

“Not so fast,” I said. I was happy to have my abilities back, but still pissed at him, as well. Some ground rules had to be set. “Here’s the deal. If you ever—EVER—come near me again, I’ll shoot you in the head. You won’t even be able to get close enough to steal my powers. And if that doesn’t work,” I turned to the animals, “I want all of you to pounce on him and take bites out until there’s nothing left. Okay?” They all assured me, through barks, squawks and other sounds, that they’d be more than happy to do it.

“Fine,” he said nonchalantly. “Whatever.”

“Very well.” I spoke to the owl. Within minutes, she’d dropped the card-key into the control panel, and the laser grid was shut off. We could continue.

The animals all went off, back into the forest, to gather reinforcements. Within twenty minutes, the base would be surrounded by a whole squad of bears, an army of wolves, an enormous flock of owls, a legion of skunks, and a cloud of mosquitoes thick enough to blot out the sun. For now, though, it was just me and Sap alone in the base—he with his powers and all his weapons, I with my powers, my sniper rifle and a full set of retractable feline claws (I had borrowed them from the lynx just before he left).

We set off…
Dr. Vorchek rushed into the security room, eyes filled with rage.
"Why is the alarm going off?"
The five head guards jumped out of their seats and stood in a line before the doctor, each of them throwing up a hand in salute. The doctor eyed each of the men as he strolled back and forth. He had spent too much time and money for this project to fall apart now. Whatever infiltrated his base needed to be dealt with. Now.
"I don't care if it was an army of Black Ops or a mosquito. I want it dealt with immediately! If those alarms aren't shut off in the next ten minutes, you will each be used for my newest experiments!" the doctor exclaimed with a thick German accent. The giant men barked a "Yes sir!" in unison and began rushing out of the door.
"Make sure to use those special weapons I made for you! I didn't create them to be a display!" Vorchek called out.

***

"Hello? Calling all Super Teams. Hello?" Gen. Shremph calls out over the radio. You are busy with the mission, but you have no choice but to respond to him.
"I just wanted to update you on your mission. Wisp and Gal Born, you are the only team that has successfully entered the base without be noticed. Quantum and Nightshade, you have yet to enter the base, same with Ms. Penguin and Double Take. Gargoyle and Element, Vorchek knows you are in his base; you have obviously not taken the stealth approach. Sap and Anima... it's a mess.
Vorchek is aware of the last two teams I mentioned (Gargoyle's and Sap's teams), and he has sent specially armed guards directly to your team with a weapon that I do not have any information on. The rest of you are safe, but you must still be careful. There are still guards and the head guards are still looking for you.
Once again, I want to refresh you on your mission. You must eliminate one head guard and take out as many regular guards as possible. Do not... I repeat DO NOT attack Dr. Vorchek. We need that SOB alive! You will need to hurry because you are running out of time. Best of luck to all of you Shremph out."
Your radio goes silent. You look at your partner and take a deep breath. It's not as easy as you thought it would be, but this is what you were born to do. You have to press on.
Wisp turned to Gal Born after the alarm went off.
Gal had beaten down the guard after the alarm woke him up....Wisp was able to retrieve some information from the computer.
"What have you got?"
Wisp sighed.
"Not much detail...apparently this Doctor Vorchek deals in Biological and DNA experimentation.
He has a number of prisoners and test subjects here on the base."

Gal Born nodded.
"We still need to take out a head guard and get to Vorchek.
Where should we start?"
Wisp sighed.
"That i do not know my friend.
We have to hurry, but we have to make sure we try and avoid the other super teams.
We're after the same thing...but we're definitely not on friendly terms."

Wisp layed out a map on the table.
"Vorchek will most likely be here in the central lab.
A head guard or two will most likely be nearby..we best head there."
A voice interrupted their thoughts.

"Reinforcements to security center 1.
Supers in security center 1"
It was the guard..he'd woken up!
Wisp kicked the guard in the face...knocking him unconcious.
They could hear multiple foorsteps closing in.

Wisp turned to Gal Born.
"Can you handle them or do you want assistance?"
Gal shook his head.
"Go and find the Doctor.
I can handle these wussies!
I'll catch up!"
Wisp nodded and vanished from sight, exiting the room.

Gal Born entered the hall where he was greeted by 30 soldiers and one head guard.
"Surrender Super....turn yourself in!"
Gal Born smiled.
" I was just about to say the same thing to you....."
A Non-Existent User
Double Take looked in the create, reached in and pulled out this weird long silver rod thing that looked like a gun but there was no trigger only a handle. The rod was about two feet long. He held it from the handle and started to look at the other end, the end that kind of looked like the barrel of a gun, when a woman's voice in his head said, 'Don't do that you never know what that thing might do.'
"You know we can talk out loud now, the guards are dead. Having you talk in my head makes me think I have another me but with no vision." Both of Double Takes bodys said at the same time while the one that was holding the rod gun stopped looking down the barrel and looked up at Ms Penguin on her left, the other body was on her right, and the create in between.
"O.K. I'll talk out loud but you should try just talking with one of you at a time. You sound like a computer or somthing when talking with both your bodys." MsPenguin said in her high pitched voice. Just then an alarm went off.
"Quick lets grab as many of these strange objects as we can and head in while the alarm is going off. I don't think the alarm is from us. It will be a perfect time to head in when the guards are distracted going to another gate or inside but near another entrance." Double Take said with the body to the left of Mr Penguin.
"But should we touch them?, I asked before you touched that one." Ms Penguin asked again.
"Yes, obviously thats why I touched it and it didn't shoot or blow up in my hand." Double Take said while putting as many objects in his pockets. One looked like a silver egg, 'Maybe a granade.' He tought. 'Maybe.' Ms Penguin chimed in his head too. 'Once again just talk out loud intill it's needed to talk in my head.' He said in his head knowing Ms Penguin was still listening in his head.
"Sorry it's hard to control some times." She says out loud and puts a bunch of things in her pocket.
They start up to the gate and Double Take stays on Ms Penguins left and right.
"I feel like a have twin body guards." She said as they approached the gate. Double Take on both sides opens the bars for Ms Penguin like it was curtins being pulled back. After stepping through him self he bends the bars back to make it look like no one entered.
"Now to get in with out anyone seeing us hold on to my arms one body on my left and one on the right like you were before." Ms Penguin said.
"Why?" Double Take said with both bodys again forgetting she dosn't like it.
'Because I'm going to tell you again to talk with one body at a time or I'll talk in your head like this when not needed. But really because I can make us invisible as long as your touching me.' She said in his head.
They walked into the building undetected and walked around trying to find a front lobby of some sort for a map. 'What about checking the security room for Dr. Voitek Vorchek is probably in there right now asking why the alarm is going off.' Ms Penguin thinks in Double Takes head. 'I think..' But before he could think any more he was cut off by a radio they all had in there ears that General Shremph made them wear.
"Hello? Calling all Super Teams. Hello?" General Shremph calls out over the radio.
"Double Take and Ms Penguin here." Double Take said as he pushed the button in his sleave that he was told about and forgot intill then. After General Shremph finishes the updates Double Take pushed his button again and said, "Double Take and Ms Penguin here, we are in the building and have gotten in undetected but I never gave you the update sorry. One question we found a create infount of the gate full of these weird looking weapons. We wanted to know if you put them there? Also do you know how they work? One is a silver egg looking thing I was thinking is it a grenade? Another is a two foot pole with a handle but no trigger but a barrel at the end with no handle, is it a gun?"
No answer for a long ten seconds.
'We should really think of a team name.' Double Take said in his head knowing Ms Penguin was listening
'Like what?' She asked back in his head.
'Like "Team Trio" , get it cuz I'm two and your one.'
Gargoyle threw a large piece of Debris Into a group of incoming guards "They just keep coming!" Element smiled, his board gliding overhead as he shot a ball of ice and a ball of enrgy in two different directions, "We wouldn't want you to get bored would we?"

Their progress into the base was slow, but they were progressing, "At least the others won't have too too many guards chasing after them." Element commented. "Let's find that security officer and finish things here" Element tossed another electric ball and hovered behind Gargoyle as a few bullets rang out bouncing off the man uselessly. "This is tedious" Gargoyle punched through a wall "I doubt we'll be able to get Vorchek at this rate" Element glided into the building as Gargoyle followed

"Hold the entrance for a moment" Gargoyle shouted as he moved into the room" Element frowned "Not that I mind," A fireball flies from his right hand, " but I wouldn't you be better at this" A 50 lb mound of dirt hurls into another guard knocking him and several of his coworkers down.

Gargoyle slammed a large concrete slab down inf front of the hole where they came. Where did you get the, " Element noticed the gaping hole in the concrete floor then stopped, "Of course, Well at least that'll buy us five, maybe ten minutes til they decide to Use the door and come and get us." Gargoyle shrugged as a voice behind them spoke

"They won't even need to get here" A man in a Uniform, carrying a large gun pointed at gargoyle, Stepped forward. Gargoyle laughed, "A gun? really? maybe you didn't watch your buddies out there" Gargoyle stepped forward "I'll give you one shot. I bet you that gun Can't even move me." The mans smiler grew wider "I bet you're right" The man pulled the trigger and a wave of energy hit Gargoyle. There was a pause for a second but nothing happened. Gargoyle laughed, or at least he tried to, but found he couldn't. The man laughed in amusement "this gun slows everything down to 1/100th of it's original speed, You'll make a good statue for the base"

Element Cursed and threw a balll of fire and ice at the general, but it wasn't fast enough as the general turned and shot slowing both projectiles to a near unnoticeable speed, "It's a shame you two didn't grab those weapons we left for you. Then I wouldn't even need to worry about you. Youd just destroy yourselves."
We continued to walk through the base. Anima was still mad at me for having taking her powers away from her. But I had my reasons for doing that. I told her that I had to do this mission alone. And not because I like to go it alone. But our objective, the Dr...I had to see him myself. I had to confirm whether or not he was the man I thought he was. And if he was, then I'd see to it that he never leaves the base alive.


"BEEP BEEP BEEP." At that moment, I heard a beeping noise coming from somewhere near where we were.


"Hey, do you hear that.?" Anima asked, stating the obvious.


"Why no, I don't hear a beeping noise of any kind." I say sarcastically. This only gets her more mat at me. That's when she prods me with a 5' pole she found along the way. She did this so I couldn't sap her powers from her again. She keeps doing this until I grab the pole out of her hands and toss it aside. then I look at her angry and say-


"Will you stop that already!?" At that moment, she starts to back off in fear. But that's when I see a red blinking light coming from under the rifle she has. Then I trace the beeping noise to where the light is coming from. I then try to get close to her, but she only moves further away from me instead.


"Give me your gun." I say as I hold my hand out to her.


"No." She says as she starts to back away from me.


"Give me your gun...NOW!" I started raising my voice to her. This only got me a bark from a wolf. I just look at the wolf and let out a sigh.


"Look under your gun." I point my finger under the gun where the clip is. She then looks where the blinking red light is. I then grab the gun out of her hands and toss it down the corridor screaming-


"GET DOWN!" I then grab her by the back of her head and shove her and me down to the ground.


"BEEP. BEEP. BEEPBEEPBEEPBEEPBEEPBE-KA-BOOM!" The gun explodes and bullets and pieces of the gun are thrown all over the corridor. After everything calms down, I try to get up but find myself unable to. That's when Anima gets up and looks around saying-


"Wow. How did?-" Anima was just about to finish her sentience, when she saw me on the ground, wounded, with blood coming out of my legs.


"Sap! Are you okay?!"


"Uhh." A voice says in Anima's mind. She looks over to a wall and sees the wolf badly hurt from the gun-bomb.


"Oh no! Are you okay?! What happened?!" Anima says as she try's to help the wolf up from the ground.


"Uhh. W-when sap grabbed the gun out of your hands, and threw you to the ground, I thought he was trying to hurt you again. So I started biting at his legs like you told me to do." Anima was in shock. Sap had just tried to save her life, and she repaid him by having his leg chewed up.


"Don't worry about it Wolfy." I said backing myself up against the wall.


"This makes us even for taking your powers from you." Anima then makes her way over to where I am and gets down on her knees.


"I'm so sorry. Is there anything I can do to help you?"


"Well...I don't know. If only there were someone with regeneration powers near here. Someone who I could barrow their powers from for just a little while so that I can regenerate my legs and then give back to them." I said this while waving my head around and talking in a sarcastic tone. I was practically begging her to lend me her powers for a bit. That's when she get's the idea, {For once.} and holds out her hand for me. I was about to grab it when she pulled it up and said-


"Do you promise to give it back to me when you're done?" I look at her with a smile on my face and say-


"I promise." She then holds out her hand and I start sapping her powers again. She starts to feel a little light headed, but fights it off. And soon, my legs are fully healed. I then stop sapping her powers and start un-sapping her powers back to her. Her head falls on mine when I'm done, and I hold her up, look her in the eye, and say-


"You okay?"


"Yeah. Just a little light headed."


"Don't worry. I won't do that to you anymore. Unless more of your animals do something like this again." I say as the wolf comes over to where we are.


"Okay. You've done a good job. You can go back into the woods now." Anima says to the wolf as it walks away. Then we both get up and start walking down the corridor again. Soon we make our way to a big door with, 'Do Not Enter.' on the top.


"This must be where the Dr. is hold up." I then look at Anima who looks at me and says-


"Ready?" I nod, and we both kick the door open, and find our self's face-to-face with the Dr. Or we see him down the other side of the room anyway.


"What the?!-how did you get in here?!" We walked over to Vorchek and said-


"We uh, kicked the door open. Didn't you hear us?" Anima said with some amount of stupidity and smarts. I just ignored her and walked over to where Vorchek was, when two of his best men came up with strange guns and pointed them at me.


"And just who do you think you are? Coming in here, thinking you own the place?" Vorchek says as I toss my guns over to where the guards are. I just look at him with a straight face, grab my hood with one hand, and a switch with the other. As I push the switch, I pull my hood off, showing everyone in the room what I looked like. I had short spiked black hair that went down to around my neck. I had a green left eye, and a blue right eye. And my face had so much fury in it, that even Anima was starting to back away. Just from my aura alone. The guards were just standing there, wondering what my next move was going to be. But Vorchek, His face was that of fear. So much fear, it looked like he was about to have a heart attack. He then walks forward a step or two to get a better look at me. That's when he realizes who I really am.


"D...Dean? Zack Dean? I-is it really you?" He says as he starts backing away again.


"Yes dad. It's me. Your son." Anima then gawks for what feels like an hour. Sap-rather Zack's father, is our objective? Vorchek? It was all to much to take in for a while. But then Zack broke the silence by saying-


"And now It's time I paid you back for what you did to mom and me."


"Son. Listen to me. I never-"


"DON'T YOU DARE CALL ME SON YOU B*****D!!!" I yelled so loud that everyone in the base, be they Super or guards, heard my scream.


"You think you can just sorry your way out of this one?! After what you did to mom?!"


"Zack, please. I did it to save you."


"You tore mother apart while she was still alive!"


"Your mother died that day to save yours. After the car wrecked on that trail, Both of you were in very bad shape. There were no phones for 20 miles. But I knew how to save you. I just had to chose which one of you I wanted to use as materials. I chose your mother. Because she had already seen so much in her life. And you were so young. I didn't want to deprive you of a life you barely knew.


"That doesn't change the fact that you tore mom's body apart while she was still alive! Grafted skin onto my own body to replace the skin I had lost in the flames. Tore mom's skull off her head to put what I had lost from the impact on my head. And tore out her left eye to give back to one I lost when that shard of glass went through mine! You killed mom in a way so grotesque I never recovered from it. And then you up and vanished three years later without a word of any kind.


"Son. Please. I never meant to hurt you. I was caught up in my work and I-"


"Enough! Don't you dare blame this on your work. You left me to die, just like you left mom to die. And now, I'm going to avenge mom right here. Right now." Vorchek then starts to regain his authoritative stance and say-


"Oh really? And just how do you plan on doing that?" I then point at the guns I tossed to the ground a while ago, and then tossed the switch I pushed down in front of him. He then looked at the guns, saw the red blinking lights, and heard the beeping noises coming from them, looked at me with a more fearful look than before and said-


"No son..."


"If just one of those guns has the power to level that corridor, Then all nine of these guns should have enough firepower to-"


"BEEP. BEEP. BEEP. BEEPBEEPBEEPBEEPBEEP-
"...Verräter is that you!? what are you doing here?" Allen was so surprised, what was Verräter doing here? had he turned traitor?
"Stand down Allen. I don't want to have to hurt you." he said leveling a gun with lights on it at Allen as the rest of the guards took up positions around Allen.
"No! Dr. Vorchek is evil!"
"Allen, The world isn't just black and white. Let us cuff you and we'll see that you're treated properly, you won't be hurt. I promise."
"NO! you're a traitor!"
"Then I'm sorry it had to come to this then." he said pulling the trigger. A flash of light whizzed past Allen fizzing and crackling as it passed by his head hitting one of the guards behind Allen. Quickly before anyone could fire a shot Allen used his teleportaion power to appear behind Verräter, giving him a sharp punch to the back of his head knocking him out or possibly killing him. The rest of the guards all turned to see where Allen had disappeared to, seeing him behind Verräter they held their fire giving Allen time to grab the cuffs off Verräter's guard belt, then once again using his teleportion he jumped behind another guard, then grabbing the guards arm Allen cuffed him to one of the light fixtures on the ceiling using his teleportation ability, then jumping once again he cuffed the guard to the wall teleporting the cuffs partially into the wall. Allen used similar tactics on the rest of the guards. When he was finished guards were all around the room, partially inside walls. After the last guard was taken care of, Allen went back to Verräter to check his pulse. He was still alive, Allen let out a sigh of relief. He was happy that he hadn't killed him. Allen then felt the floor rumble he hoped the floor wouldn't give way. then heard another of the supers yell out "DON'T YOU DARE CALL ME SON YOU B*****D!!!"
Allen was surprised that anyone could yell so loud. Dismissing the thought he realized how tired he was all that had been keeping him going was the adrenaline from the fight then teleporting himself and Verräter back into the insertion point he cuffed Verräter to a tree, then sat down to catch his breath. He hoped Wisp wasn't in trouble and that he'd be able to catch the mad doctor. Allen had managed to capture one of the head guards and incapacitated 30 guards.

         Seven... Eight... Nine. Quantum and Nightshade made it swiftly through the base, taking out guards as they did so. Ten. How many did they need again? None of them could remember. The door they went the through revealed a long hallway, guards everywhere. Eleven. According to Nightshade they were halfway to the head guard's location. The plan was to get all the guards along the way, then go for the head guard. Once he was taken care of, they would get back out of the base.

         Twelve.

         And just like that there was just the head guard remaining. He would definitely prove to be harder than the others.

         As soon as they approached the guard, he whipped around holding a large gun of some sort, pointed at the two of them.

         "Move," Quantum said, and when Talia didn't listen, he pushed her gently away. In what seemed like a flash of blue and white, the guard was down and everything in the room was ruined. Quantum looked around to find Nightshade, and finally found her still curled up in a corner not to far from him.
"Team Trio? Sure, why not?" Ms. Penguin agreed.

"DON'T YOU DARE CALL ME SON, YOU B*****D!" they heard someone yell from a distance.

"That's where we need to go, we need to find whoever is yelling. I can feel it," Ms, Penguin spoke out loud. "Don't let go of me, we'll stay invisible for now."

Double Take decided that that was probably not a bad idea, considering there were still some guards roaming around.

They headed toward the direction that the shouting came from, arm in arm.
Element looked as Gargoyle towered over him like a statue. His ally had been frozen! Element cursed under his breath as he tried to shoot fireballs at the the guard. The guard laughed menacingly as he fired his weapon at each of the fireballs. The guard inched his way closer to Element.

"Don't think you can stop me!" The guard yelled with a laugh. The cold laugh of the guard made Element squirm uncomfortably.

Element looked around the crammed room, hoping to find something, anything, that could help him. He needed just a small distraction. Just a sliver of a moment to make his move...

"DON'T YOU DARE CALL ME SON, YOU B*****D!"

His moment came unexpectedly! Element jumped out from behind Gargoyle and shot several blasts of electricity at the guard. The guard had taken a glance back towards the voice, and turned back around just in time to get shocked by the glowing electric balls. He screamed out in pain and fell to the floor, limp.

Element looked down at the guard then back at Gargoyle. The giant hero's head slowly looked down with a smirk.

"Well, we did what we were supposed to do. I guess we can go look for Dr. Vorchek. I know we're not supposed to kill him, but..."

Element was cut off the the rumbling sound of an explosion. He quickly glanced down a hall to see a wall of flames rushing its way towards him. He grabbed his hoverboard and struggled to place Gargoyle over his shoulders. With a quick roar, the hoverboard shot forward, flying Element and Gargoyle away from the rapidly approaching wall of fire. Element tried to fly out as quickly as possible, but he could feel the heat from the flames licking his feet. As the heat consumed Element, he slowly drifted away into unconsciousness...

***

Element eyes slowly opened as he regained consciousness. The loud sirens echoed in Element's ears, giving him a headache. Gargoyle groaned on the ground beside him. He slowly sat up and looked at Element.

"What happened?" Gargoyle asked with a groan.

"I... don't remember," Element answered. He watched as the warehouse engulfed in flames. He didn't know where the other heroes were, but he knew at least he was safe...
All of Sap's guns lay in a pile on the floor at Dr. Vorchek's feet. I counted nine of them, at least. And they were all beeping...

Well, now it was definitely over. Just like that, the first and only mission of the Area 51 Supers had been brought to a close. Sap had ensured that Dr. Vorchek would never be able to hurt anyone again, but in doing so, he had sealed the fate of everyone else who was inside the base. Maybe one or two of the other supers had powers that would allow them to survive the fiery blast, or escape before the pile of guns exploded, but nobody else was going to leave here alive.

My thoughts were interrupted by a sudden movement behind Dr. Vorchek. One of the two head guards flanking him had just pulled out a gigantic ray-gun. He then raised it to a firing position and began fiddling with the buttons. The barrel of the gun was now aimed directly at Sap.

"NO!" Frantically, I dove towards the guard, pushing past Sap and Dr. Vorchek, almost knocking them over. It was an act of pure instinct, no logical thoughts were involved whatsoever. After all, the base was about to explode, killing everyone inside; why should it matter if Sap was killed just a minute before the rest of us? Of course, on some primal level, I knew it mattered, because despite everything, Sap was still my partner, and no mad scientist's henchman was going to shoot him if I could prevent it.

I managed to get behind the gun and grab the trigger just as the weapon fired—not a bullet or a laser, but an enormous wave of shimmering, colorless energy that washed over the whole room. I grabbed the gun away from the guard, and, with claws extended, struck him across the chest with such force that he was sent flying across the room.

Only then did I turn to see the effects of the energy wave. Vorchek's other guards were reacting now, drawing their guns—but they were all moving in slow motion. In fact, everything in the room seemed to moving more slowly. Even the beeps coming from Sap's gun pile had slowed to a single, monotonous BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE—

Then I saw Sap looking around in shock, and realized he hadn't been affected. But how was that possible? The energy wave had hit him squarely in the chest! He seemed just as confused about the whole thing as I was.

Dr. Vorchek chuckled, softly. He wasn't moving in slow-motion, either. "Well, son, I guess this means that you inherited my immunity to the Slow-Ray."

"...WHAT?!" Sap was flabbergasted.

"You see, I had no intention of staying here to face capture by your General Shremph—oh, yes, don't look so surprised, I know about him, too. In addition to my research on synthetic zombies, I recently perfected a tachyon relative-intensity flux-current alternating engine."

Sap just stared. "...Can I get that in English, please?"

I knew what it was. I had studied the scientific theory behind at the device during my days at University. "It's a ray that slows down objects," I called over to him.

"Exactly!" Vorchek had a look of obvious glee on his face. "Bravo to you, Ms. Halberstam—yes, yes, I know your real name too! Don't be so shocked! I've had all of you secretly monitored for quite some time! Anyway, I've created five of these 'Slow-Rays' so far, and my five head guards are using them—or were using them, at any rate. I engineered the rays to have no effect on my own DNA; I suppose that's why they also have no effect on my son, here. And as for you, Ms. Halberstam, you have my sincere admiration—I didn't think anyone could move quickly enough to avoid getting hit by the ray altogether! The Ray also have a very useful 'Omni-Ray' feature that slows down everything within a half-mile radius; as you've now doubt guessed, that's what we're currently seeing in action. It was meant to freeze everything in the base, except for me—and the guard who was behind the trigger, of course, but Ms. Halberstam has now taken over that position—giving me enough time to escape unmolested... but all that doesn't matter now! Thanks to that ray, we three now have time to escape the base before it explodes; everyone else will die. I must, therefore, take my leave; this base may no longer be operational, but I have other bases, hidden all over the world, and there, my studies will continue! Son, we shall have to postone this... er, heart-to-heart discussion until a later date. I must be off!" And with that, Vorchek turned and ran out of the room.

Sap moved to pursue him.

"LET HIM GO!" I shouted. "Have you forgotten, this place is going to explode? We've got to get out of here!"

He paused, then nodded. His eyes widened, and he turned back to me: "Hey... what about the others?"

I gasped. I hadn't even considered the possibility of helping everyone else get out in time. Sap and I locked eyes, and I knew that for once, we were thinking the exact same thing.

"GO!"

We each took off running to different areas of the base. By now, the Slow-Rays had spread through the entire base, slowing down everything—and everyone—to 1/100th of its original speed. Time had effectively frozen, and only Sap and I were able to move at regular speed. While Sap located the detention cells and freed all of Vorchek's intended victims and test subjects; I ran through the base looking for our fellow supers, and brought them outside one at a time. First, I located Ms. Penguin and Double Take, then Quantum and Nightshade, then finally Wisp. Gal Born was already outside, keeping an eye on one of the head guards, whom he had trapped in the woods—they were both frozen in time as well.

Once this was done, I went through the base again, locating all Vorchek's guards, and moving them outside to safety, because... well, why not? We were superheroes, after all; and evil or not, they were in danger. Finally, Sap and I met up to find the last two supers—Gargoyle and Element.

The explosion had begun when we finally located them—still in "Slow-time", of course. Element was carrying Gargoyle on his hoverboard, trying to outrun the flames. From our perspective, it looked kind of silly: the two of them, hovering in midair, as a wall of fire slowly oozed up behind them.

"Who do you want to carry?" Sap asked me.

I thought about it. "I'll carry Gargoyle."

Sap seemed confused. "Really? He's heavier, you know."

"Of course—hey, I'm the one with enhanced strength, remember?"

He nodded. "Yeah, I guess you are."

"Partners?" I held out my hand. He hesitated, then—

"Partners." He grabbed it.

"Let's do this." I grabbed Gargoyle. I strained under his weight, but didn't drop him. Sap grabbed Element. The last of the "Slow-Rays" wore off just as we ran outside, and the base exploded at regular speed. We didn't care. It was empty now.

As the gigantic bonfire lit up the night, all the guards, victims and other Supers began to move, and realized with a start that, somehow, they had all been transported out of the base. A few of Vorchek's men grabbed their guns, including the one remaining head guard (Double Take and Ms. Penguin had been sent to neutralize him, but had failed to find him in time). For a moment, it looked like there would be another fight... and then my animal army arrived.

Thirty-five grizzly bears. Seventy-seven wolves. Fifty-eight owls. Twenty-four skunks, together capable of emitting a vapor more powerful than any tear gas ever invented by man, and ohhhhhhhh, so many mosquitoes. Enough to blot out all the light. Enough to drain a man completely dry of blood in under a minute. And at my command, they'd all go straight for the eyes.

Needless to say, the henchmen all surrendered. The only one who still wanted to make trouble was the head guard, and the grizzly bears were able to beat that out of him pretty quickly.

I sniffed the air—Vorchek was still in the area. I grabbed my radio, and spoke into the microphone: "General Shremph, the mission was a complete success. Hostages freed, all five head guards taken down, all guards captured. You can send your men in to apprehend Vorchek now."
*NOTE TO AUTHORS- The order this round is different from the last one. So be ready!*


General Shremph looked at the collection of heroes standing before him. It was obvious the group was fatigued from the previous mission. Sadly for them, evil never sleeps. Shremph pulled up a picture onto the projector screen of a beautiful coastline. He noticed a few of the heroes smiling.

"Trust me. This mission is anything but paradise," Shremph announced to the crowd. Most of the smiles quickly faded.

Shremph continued. "This beautiful coastline is located in the southeastern part of Florida. About thirty miles out from here, a new terrorist group is developing. They go by the name Lambda. I know what you are thinking. 'Where are the headquarters?' The headquarters are... underwater."

You look around the room to see that the other superheroes are just as confused as you are. You make eye contact with Shremph and he quickly reads your confusion.

"Your mission is simple. You and your partner will be transported to this exact location. You will then go underwater, yes underwater, to their headquarters. You must then destroy the headquarters immediately. There are five headquarters in all, so each team is in charge of one of the headquarters. Is even clear on the mission?"

The room goes silent, and you are quickly teleported to the shoreline. You look around to see that you and your partner are left alone on a beach with an endless ocean before you. A raft, a scuba suit, one oxygen tank, and a snorkel lay on the shoreline. In the raft sits a mystery box. Twenty yards off sits a submarine. You look at your partner and feel a rush of adrenaline. It's time to go.

         Natalia breathed in the familiar scent of the ocean, the salty crispness in the air. She had been swimming her whole life and could hold her breath for three whole minutes, something that was humanly impossible. This mission was made for her and her partner, who did not breathe like any normal human being. Quentin's eyes were dark and serious, already focused on the task ahead. Talia noticed that they had changed color since the last time she looked into them. The dark color of his eyes made him look more mysterious.

         The two took one glance at each other, picked up their supplies, and ran to the water. They started out on the raft, talking a little on the way.


(Sorry it's kind of short I've been extremely preoccupied...)
"There's only one scuba suit and oxygen tank. How good are you with a snorkel?" Double Take asked. "Any ideas on what to do?"

Ms. Penguin sat in the sand and thought about it for awhile. "I haven't snorkeled in years...I don't see how useful that would be. Can't go very deep with a snorkel. I'm not sure what we should do."

"We could see what's in the mystery box."

"Go ahead and open it. I'm a little tired. I just want to rest and think for a few minutes. We need to come up with a plan."

Double Take opened the mystery box and stared into it for a few seconds. Then, he picked it up and brought it over to Ms. Penguin to take a look at. "What do you think of this?"

Element fell to his knees as soon as they appeared on the beach. He needed a moment to catch his breath. Just a couple hours ago, he and Gargoyle were escaping a burning warehouse. He looked out into the vast ocean and took a deep breath; this mission was far from over. Gargoyle sat down next to Element and joined in looking out into the water. The two watched as one team set out in a raft. Other than that, it was peaceful.

"Well, break's over! Let's get out there!" Element piped as he jumped to his feet. He ran to the raft followed closely by Gargoyle and looked inside. He frowned when he saw the single oxygen tank.

"What are we supposed to do with one tank?" Element wondered out loud.

Gargoyle shrugged as he reached for a mysterious box. Before he opened it, Element noticed the submarine a few yards away. After giving an excited "Yes!" He bolted to the small submarine and opened the hatch. He took a peek inside, and found that there was enough room in the submarine for both he and Gargoyle.

"Are you sure we shouldn't just take the raft?" Gargoyle asked as he approached Element.

"Relax man! It can't be that hard! I mean, if anything, we'll bring the oxygen tank along. We'll be fine!"

Element saw the skepticism on Gargoyle's face, but he was already determined to take the submarine. Gargoyle ran back to the oxygen tank and grabbed it along with the mysterious box. In moments, the two were ready to make their way to the base. Gargoyle pushed the submarine into the water and jumped in; Element examined the panel and made guesses on which buttons to push and which levers to pull. It was a shaky ride, but the submarine glided through the water quickly.

Element watched out the small window as fish swam by in a beautiful rainbow of colors. It was a colorful world under the water, and Element was never given a chance to experience such beauty. One of the problems to being raised as an experiment in a laboratory. He let the submarine cruise underwater as he took a moment to soak in the beauty of the undersea life.

Gargoyle seemed just as excited as Element was. He even pointed at a couple of fish out of excitement. Element was getting the idea that Gargoyle was more excited than he was.

"Is it your first time underwater too?" Element asked.

"Yeah. I kind of want to go out there and get a closer look," Gargoyle responded.

"Well, we do have that oxygen tank..." Element said as he pointed at the oxygen tank behind his seat.

Without hesitation, Gargoyle reached for the oxygen tank and hooked himself up to it. He gave Element a quick thumbs-up and opened the hatch. Water quickly poured in, startling Element. Gargoyle quickly escaped and closed the hatch, leaving the submarine about a quarter full. Element groaned as he sat in the small pool of water. Gargoyle swam around chasing fish and touching coral. He looked like a kid in a candy store; then he saw the base. Gargoyle glanced back at Element and pointed to the base. In an instant, he began swimming towards it, leaving Element no choice but to chase him in the submarine.

"You better be careful!" Element muttered to himself.
We had scarcely even gotten any time to recuperate from the previous mission before General Shremph took us back to Area 51, briefed us on our next mission and, soundlessly, teleported us away. Suddenly, Sap and I were standing on the beach, alone. I was mildly surprising to see that the beach was completely empty; on a hot day like this, it should have been packed with tourists and beachgoers. Then I noticed that two government agents were putting up bright yellow signs all along the shoreline. Sap and I went over to the nearest sign and read it:

DANGER: BIOHAZARD! DUE TO A TOXIC OIL SPILL, THIS BEACH HAS BEEN CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE! KEEP AWAY!

I smiled. General Shremph, you sly dog!

Sap began twisting and turning his head around, looking every which way. "Where's the oil spill? I don't see anything."

"There isn't any oil spill. Don't you get it? Shremph had those signs put up to keep people off the beach. This way, there won't be any civilians snooping around, and we can operate in total secrecy."

Sap thought about this for a moment, then brightened. "Oh... that's pretty clever."

We walked back to the edge of the water to take stock of our supplies. Sap turned back to me. "I was gonna give you the wetsuit and oxygen tank," he said, "but then I remembered you probably don't need 'em, right?"

"You figured correctly!" With that, I raced into the waves, stopping when the icy water was waist-deep around me. I could see fish
flitting around below the surface, so I put my head under and called out to them. As they came closer, I was able to make my body imitate theirs. My lungs began to expand within me, then the skin around my ribs began to separate—it was painful, but not too bad. Within seconds, I had my own set of fully-functioning gills.

I spent about ten minutes underwater, then resurfaced and walked back out onto the beach. Sap was contemplating the box when I came up to him, but hadn't opened it yet.

"All the fish around here know where the Lambda's base is," I told him. "And I got directions. We can find the place easily now."

"Fine," he said, not looking at me. He seemed distracted by something. Suddenly, a thought came to my mind, and rashly, I said to him: "Hey, do you think General Shremph was able to catch Vorchek?"

That got his attention. He looked up at me, sadly, and I winced. "Oh, jeez, Sap, I'm sorry." I had forgotten that Sap was Vorchek's son. No wonder he was so out of sorts.

"It's fine," he said. "And no, I don't know. I sure hope he did, though." His expression changed from one of sadness to one of anger.

I tried to think of something else to say, something reassuring. "If... if you want to talk about anything—"

"No." Firmly, he waved the idea away. Then he straightened up and returned to the task at hand: "So, what do we do now?"

I motioned towards the water. "I want to go back there and explore the seabed a little bit. Maybe get ahold of some other animals to help us storm the base." Sap nodded, grinning at the thought. "But I've talked to the fish, and they're willing to lead you to the base. So, whether you decide to use the raft or the sub, just follow the fish. They'll show you where it is. If I'm not there waiting by the time you arrive, you don't have to wait for me to begin the attack. Just remember to save something for me to do."

Sap thought this was a good idea, and began to gather up the box, the wetsuit, the oxygen tank and the snorkel. I ran back into the water, swam until it got deep, then dived below the surface and made my way to the sandy ocean floor. My new gills were swelling and ebbing with every seawater-filled breath I took.

It was nice down there. All the fish and sea creatures came out to regard me, and the coral was something spectacular. But I hadn't come to sightsee. I began to call out to any nearby creatures who might be good at attacking. A few animals agreed to help out—a couple of moray eels, an octopus and a giant stingray, whose poisonous stingers I was even able to imitate, and grow for myself.

But this wasn't enough. Even with poisoned barbs coming out of my wrists, I wouldn't be able to do much against a whole base of trained terrorists. I'd need more: big flocks of animals, deadly predators... maybe even some larger ones.

Of course, in all of this searching, all of these efforts to recruit animal allies, there was a substantial risk involved. Sometimes, when I call out to an animal, it may not want to talk. After all, some animals are just too wild to be tamed, too ferocious and merciless to be depended upon. They can't feel friendship or loyalty; they can't be persuaded, reasoned with, or bargained with. They do whatever they want, and they take what they want, and there's only one thing they really want—one thing they really NEED. I'm pretty sure I don't have to tell you what that is.

Silently, I began to dive even deeper, into the murky gray depths beyond the tides, where all sorts of gigantic monsters might be lurking.

Allen stood in a forest. There was something wrong here, Shremp had said he would be on a beach, and where was wisp?
Allen looked around frantically but he only saw the trees around him.
"Fools." he scoffed realizing what had happened. Teleportaion is such a precise art, one thing goes wrong and you can end up inside a tree or halfway to the center of the earth or in space or any number of things, they had told him that when they discovered his powers.
'why wouldn't they just show me where they wanted me to teleport to? I can do all this stuff in my head' it was so stupid, he could teleport anywhere in the world as long as he knew two things. 1) where he was, and 2) his target location.
Normally Gal Born would just teleport himself out of the forest but he didn't know where he was in relation to... anything for all he knew he was on another planet. he'd have to walk and hope Shremp would realize his mistake, send someone to come get him and give Wisp a temporary partner... WISP! he was on the same teleport! "WISP!" if Allen was out here then maybe wisp was too he thought calling out.
Then starting to walk in a spiral from his starting point, Allen called out Wisp's name every time he hit a 90 degree angle from his starting point.
After about an hour of searching Allen gave up, if wisp was in the woods he wasn't anywhere near Allen. doubling back to set himself up by a stream for when Shremp sent a helicopter to collect him he saw a bear!
Allen had never seen a bear before, but he knew what to do if he ever did encounter one. Backing away from the bear, Allen got as low as he could hoping the bear hadn't seen him, after about an half hour the bear walked back into the forest. Allen then stood up and got himself a drink of water, it had been nearly 14 hours since his last drink before the missions started.
Walking a little ways into the forest and climbing a tree to rest he thought about where he could be. he didn't think there were any bears in Florida so that ruled that out most of the the southern hemisphere. Allen eventually decided that he was somewhere in Canada or the northern US. settling back into the tree he sat and waited for the rescue chopper, and thought about why Dr.Vorchek and his companions had been working to create their own super soldiers.
true the man was insane and a danger to people but where had he gotten the funding for his guards? and how had they known their powers? Allen supposed that must have been because Verräter had turned traitor, but why would he do that? he was always such a good man, and he always did whatever was asked of him. He resolved to as Verräter next time he saw him, he would refuse to go on a mission until they had talked if Shremp wouldn't let him talk with Verräter. Allen had to know.
Allen thought about Verräter and Shremp, the unnamed organization that Dr. Vorcheck was a part of and the rest of the super teams before, finally, just as he was about to fall asleep under the sunshine shining through the trees of the forest, he heard the blades of a helicopter.
Quickly Allen climbed out of the tree then ran into a clearing he had seen earlier he saw a Huey helicopter coming in to land. Allen was so happy he smiled, he was going to ask Shremp face to face why Verräter had defected. then a glint from the side of the chopper a bang, and then a pinch in Allen's shoulder. Allen looked at his shoulder and saw what looked like a tranquilizer dart sticking out of his shoulder. No, it was a tranq dart. The world faded into darkness and Allen saw some men climbing out of the chopper.
Name : Daniel Kale Ashbury/Azeilraht

Age: 24

"Our choices take us all to different paths in life. Unfortunately for you, yours led you to me."

Superhero name: Azeilraht (Oz-Ale-Rot)
Human name: Daniel Kale Ashbury

Appearance: Daniel is only about 5'9" with shaggy black hair. A few straight strands hang in his face with the rest tied back into a ponytail most of the time. His eyes are a pale blue that can draw the gaze of others. He is handsome and smooth featured with a strong jaw and full lips, but his eyes are a bit on the narrow side poised like decorations on his face that complete the image.
He often wears all black. A duster, a black tank top underneath, and a pair of black slacks with a belt. When using his powers his eyes glow orange like hot coals. When he exhales there are always brief wisps of smoke that escape. It has no scent or real physical qualities (heat or scent) as if it's an illusion of sorts.


Powers: His actual power is that he can act as a conduit for souls of the dead not unlike a medium. However, upon completion of his experiment the soul of a demon named Azeilraht leapt into his body to escape "The Pit". This demon simply sought a place to rest and watch the world. Given this, he would grant Daniel his powers. These demonic abilities were warped -for better or worse- by the nature of Daniel's own soul. They have become:

Incandescent Hellfire- Azeilraht exists as a ball of psuedo-fusion energy(it's actually a demon soul of course) where Daniel's heart used to be. Daniel can draw on this everburning flame inside him and create balls of plasma or fire which can be thrown, breathed on to create a dragon like fire breath, or used as a fuel or battery from some things. This fire has to be controlled as it can reach heights of up to 45,000 degrees Fahrenheit. These flames burn white at their hottest.

Regeneration- Daniel does not bleed or tire from injury (though a severely damaged limb must still recover before it can be used) and the more damage he takes the faster he heals.
He has no true lethal points on his body, but he can be incapacitated for extended times.

Physical Gifts- Daniel can lift a car with one hand (thought its weight will of course cause it to break in half). He can move at the speed of a lightning bolt in small distances and still inhumanly fast at long ones. He can sprout wings but cannot fly as they are made of stone (this is not normal stone and can 50 caliber bullets as an example of their sturdiness).

Suggestion- Daniel has a natural air about him that compels those (especially the unaware) to comply or agree with him or come to his aid. The longer one is in this aura the more compelling it becomes. It is not a struggle however. It is a very subtle almost undetectable feeling that seems like one's own. Any resistance to it from a strong willed person will completely cancel it unless he actively tries to use it on them.

Weakness: Though he is essentially immortal Daniel can be put down by excess damage to the head or anything that pierces his heart. If his heart is pierced it releases a huge burst of energy from Azeilraht and basically cause a huge explosion to burst from him. This expends his energy and he wraps himself in the stone wings and goes into a cocoon-like state until his energy recovers and his wound heals. He is very resistant to damage in this state, but without help it could take up to a year to come out of it depending on the severity of the wound.

High amounts of nuclear energy around him can cause disruption in his powers and sometimes make him unable to use any of them but it will strengthen his regenerative ability.

Background: He's lived alone for most of his life hopping from odd place to odd job trying to support himself. Finally he seemed to catch a break when Daniel worked as a dealer at a casino to pay for his classes in acting. He wanted to become an actor and was getting very good at it, but he lost his job for seemingly no reason. After going on a bit of a crusade against the casino for firing him his snooping into finding out why got him in hot water with the local mob. He fled to New Mexico and heard through the grapevine about the experimental program so he wandered his way to Area 51 to figure out what it was all about. After all, the mob isn't going to mess with a some super mutant right?

Extra: Daniel is quite the flirt and is always trying to figure people out. He has a very inquisitive gaze and always looks like he's studying. For women this general looks like he's checking them out, and if that's what they want he's happy to. Though he's actually quite conservative about romance and the like given his demonic disposition he does love to make women blush.

He also likes to mimic martial arts he's seen in movies and t.v. (the stuff that looked pretty real that he thought was actually doable) now that he has the balance and dexterity to make up for his deficit in training.

He has a huge weak spot for ice cream and is always ALWAYS thirsty.
Quentin sat on the raft enjoying Natalia’s company. It felt good being out in the open air, and a far better contrast to being tested in a lab 24/7. There was a difference in getting to know someone who understood what it felt like being cooped up in the lab all the time with only scientists to converse with. The last mission really did a number on Quentin, and though they were on yet another mission his energy level was soaring from the opportunity of being on the water again.

The last family outing he had with his father had been on the family boat the Saint Marie. The boat itself was a work in progress, but he and his father had spent all their time polishing it to get sea worthy again. It was a family heirloom of sorts since it was passed down to all the first born men in the family for centuries. The boat had been restructured overtime to include a few modern convinces, and then was lost in a poker game by his uncle. The boat was recovered 20 years after free of charge when the owner passed away due to an unknown cause. Quentin's father was contacted as the last surviving family member of the original owner when an old letter was found in the captain's cabin.

The splash of water on his face brought Quentin back to his senses.

“Hello.” Natalia said, with a hint of laughter in her voice.

“Oh, sorry about that.” Quentin apologized, wiping the water off his face. “I was remembering the last time I smelled the sea air. Its been so long since then.” He finished staring off in the distance.

“Hey, stay with me here.” Natalia laughed, splashing Quentin with water again.

Quentin laughing splashed water back. The crystal clear water felt cool against his skin with the way the sun seemed to be blazing, it was a wonderful feeling.

The weather was just right and if it were any other time Quentin could really see himself having a fun time out in the open sea. Natalia seemed to be enjoying herself as well. Before she was shy around him, but now she seemed to open up by allowing whatever she feared to slip away long enough to have fun even if it was only to splash a little water around.

“I wish this mission would last for awhile. I’m not looking forward on go back to that lab for more testing.” Quentin confided, as reality set back in.

The change in Natalia’s mood was instantaneous.”It has been so long since I have been able to be free to do what I wanted when I wanted.” she replied, with a haunted look in her eyes.

“If we do a good job, it’s possible they’ll allow us more freedom.” Quentin said, trying to give Natalia some kind of hope to latch onto.

“Yeah, maybe you’re right, but I kind of doubt it.” Natalia murmured, her mind slipping off somewhere.

They sat in silence for awhile then Quentin remembered the supplies they brought with them. The raft was wide with several deep grooves for steady footing Quentin guessed. They were lucky the raft was large, especially with all the supplies they had brought along with them. After setting the scuba tank to one side of him, then moving the mystery box to the other side. Natalia became interested in what Quentin was doing because she picked up the black scuba suit and placed it against her body to see how it would look on her.

“You could put it on since we’re going in the water.” Quentin said, taking his eyes off the box he was about to open momentarily to look at her. “If you don’t feel comfortable about changing in front of me I could swim under the raft for 5 minutes to give you some privacy.” He added, thinking her slender form would fit well in the suit as he admired her body.

“Yeah, that would be great.” She said laughing. “I was wondering how we were going to do this.”

In one fluid movement Quentin leapt off the raft and into the clear blue water. He swam under the raft deciding he would stay under for more than 5 minutes just in-case it took her longer. Quentin drew power from the water that surrounded him and enhanced his vision. The submarine that was about 20 yards away seemed to be on the move in their direction. From what Quentin could see there was a lot of activity from a structure that was roughly a mile beneath the oceans surface. The submarine descended into the depths turning away from their direction. The sub then went behind the structure, and from the movements of the sub if Quentin had to guess it seemed to be patrolling the area.

Quentin shot from underneath the raft to find Natalia had changed into the scuba suit with the snorkel nestled in her hair. Her beauty didn’t go unnoticed to Quentin, her dark chestnut brown hair seemed to lay in waves, while her light brown skin had a golden sheen to it which made her golden eyes brighten considerably. Natalia was beautiful and Quentin was really starting to enjoy this mission. He sat back on the raft with his feet dangling in the water and would occasionally glance over at Natalia.

“What?” She asked, after catching him looking at her for the fourth time.

“N-Nothing, really, just thought you look beautiful.” Quentin stammered, grabbing the box from earlier and taking off the top.

“Yeah, right.” She replied, sarcastically.

“Whoa, check it out.” Quentin said, showing Natalia the contents of the box, and hopefully taking her mind off their recent conversation.

Quentin opened the box to find a small radio, 2 MRE’s, 2 64 oz. bottles of water, and 2 boxes of flavor beverage mix.

“Awesome!” Natalia shouted.

“I think we should dig into the MRE’s when we get through with this mission.” Quentin suggested. “Oh, and by the way, I checked out the sub we saw earlier in the water. Quentin added, gesturing in the direction the sub was in.

“I need something to drink.” Natalia said, reaching into the box for a bottle of water.

Quentin grabbed the remaining bottle of water because it was only then he realized just how thirsty he was. He had only time enough to pop the cap to the bottle when he heard Natalia call his name.

“There are a lot of people coming this way.” Natalia informed Quentin with a trembling voice.

“Maybe you should put on that snorkel.“ Quentin was going to say when the water around them erupted.

The raft they had been on went into the air while Quentin allowed his power to freely pour forth seeing Natalia’s body flying in one direction while everything else including him went in the other. Quantum stopped in mid-air hovering in place trying to make sense of the situation. He drew in power from the air to stabilize his power. Something was wrong. He felt....strange.

He spotted Natalia in the water with snorkel in hand. She was just fitting it onto her face when Quantum saw something attached to the submarine take aim at him. He could feel the concussive blast from the cannon attached to the sub lay into him with enough force to send him flying backwards and into the water.
A Non-Existent User
Just as Double Take was showing Ms Penguin the box and asking her to take a look, he thought about how in the last mission they were holding one another. All three were arm in arm and just as they heard a big boom they let go of each other. Making them visable again. One of Double Takes body's took off at ten times the speed of a normal human. He saw the others talking from the door and realized what was happening before anything could happen. He tried to tell Ms Penguin in his mind to hers but there was no use she was trapped under the shot of the gun. Being ten times all humans in strength it didn't really affect Double Take. Although it did for by the time he got back to were Ms Penguin and Double Take were standing they were gone and a wall of fire was chasing him. Luckily he got out and joined the others. In no time they seemed to be on the next mission. Now looking into a box.
The box contained a small radio and some other stuff. The bottles of water were good. They took them out and took a small sip. Then Double Take said, "I just thought of something even if you take the scuba stuff I can take a breath out of it every hour for that's all I will need for I have the strength of ten average humans. We also have this raft. With the snorkel we can use to save on the tank if we are just needing to be on the surface of the water. Oh and look at that submarine over there 20 yards away." Pointing at the submarine half in the water he continued to say, "Help me push this raft into the water so we can get to it."
They pushed the raft into the water off the beach shore with all the stuff on it after putting the water back into the box and closing the lid. Just before leaving the beach Double Take sees a sign saying, DANGER: BIOHAZARD! DUE TO A TOXIC OIL SPILL, THIS BEACH HAS BEEN CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE! KEEP AWAY!
"Look!" Double Take said to Ms Penguin pointing to the sign.
"No wonder there's no one on the beach." Ms Penguin says.
Apon arrival of the submarine they see its just big enough for just Double Take or one of Double Takes body and Ms Penguin, and the stuff on the raft.
"Well I guess we don't need the raft anymore. If we do I'll just swim back here with one of my body's and pull it to us." Double Take said taking on a big role to the mission if anything happened that way, "I'll swim with the snorkel for now with one of me and go up When I need air and to look around if needed to look above water."
As they went out underwater the view was incredible. Fish everywhere, seaweed, and sea stuff all over. The controls weren't to hard to get used to, especially after reading the manual. Just as everything seemed like all fun they see off in the distance the main ship they are heading to shooting at someone to the left of them.
After Anima left, I took all the stuff over to the raft. I knew if I took the sub that the enemy might have mines, or a sonar system in place, and would shoot me down before I could knock on the door. The raft, however, didn't have to worry about all that high-tech stuff. But it would take a lot longer to get me to the base. After I loaded all the stuff on the raft I set out for the base.


The fish lead me about a hour out to sea, but they soon dived underwater, and I knew I was there. The base was no doubt under the raft. As soon as I made sure no one was around, I changed out of my outfit and into the scuba suit. After I was done doing that, I looked inside the box the we got, and saw that it was empty. Save for two pieces of laminated paper. Each had a set of numbers on them. Putting them into my suit pocket, I dove off of the raft and into the sea.


I soon found the fish that Anima sent for me. Then I started thinking about Anima, and if she found what she was looking for. I soon pushed the thought away as the base came into view. There were subs all over the place. So I had to be careful That their sonar didn't pick me up. After I got passed them, I swam to a docking station and just poked my head out of the water. No one was around. I then got out of the water and hid behind some crates. I looked around the corner and saw some guards loading some crates into a truck of some kind.


"Hey! Who are you?!" A guard yelled from behind me. I slowly got up and turned around to see him. He had a gun pointed at me, {Duh.} and had some other stuff on his attire. I didn't care that much. I was about to put my hand on his gun like I did back at Vorchek's base, but then he said-


"Don't even think about it, Zack Dean." At that moment, my eyes shot open. How did he?-


"Hey Chris! What are you yell-" At that moment, another guard came around the corner behind me. Without even thinking I grabbed the guard and used him as a shield. I was also sapping him as well.


"Jack! Let him Go!" The first guard yelled. Still pointing his gun at me.


"Not until you put your gun down." Then I felt around my guard's waist and found a tactical knife. Then I held it to the guard's throat and said-


"If you don't, I kill him." The guard knew I wasn't joking. Not after what he just told me. Then he slowly put the gun down.


"Alright. My gun is on the ground. Now let him go."


"Alright. Catch." I tossed his friend over to him. But he was already out cold from me sapping him, and knocked both of them to the ground. The other guard tried to get his friend off of him, but to no avail. He could not. I then got on one knee and held my hand over his mouth and started sapping him. After a few seconds, he was out cold with his friend. Then I looked around to make sure it was all clear. Everyone else was gone. I then looked at the guards, and their outfits, and put one of them on. I then put the guards in some of the crates the guards left behind. Then I made my way through the base.


I already knew where to go. Not because I've been here before, But when I sap people, not only do I sap their powers or stamina, but I can also sap stuff from their minds. Like where to go in a base full of highly trained terrorists without anyone suspecting you of being someone else. After a little bit of walking, I found myself at the control room door. I then used a card that I found on the guard to get me inside. But I wasn't ready for what was in there. What I found was-


"The operation is going smoothly, Dr. Vorchek sir."


"Good. Within a matter of minuets, all of the supers that General Shremph had sent to greet me will be in cages." What I found was my father, Vorchek, in the center of the control room, talking to a bunch of other scientists. But what shocked me even more was on the big monitors in the room. All the other team's were fighting someone or something.


"Now all we need is Sap, and we can move onto phase 2." As I heard that, I tried to move to the other side of the room.


"Now where do you think it is you're going?" Vorchek said as turned to face me.


"Zack." Without warning, two guards grabbed me by my arms while a third came up and hit me in the back of the head. Then the other two guards let me fall to the floor as Vorchek walked over to me.


"Damn you...father." I said as my face hit the floor.


"Take him to his new, permanent room." Vorchek said as he walked up to the main monitor.


"By the time he wakes up, he won't be able to do anything to save them. And even if they do take out my new guards, once they get into their own base, it won't matter."
Name: Desmond

Superhero Name: Black Cloud

Appearence: Looks to be about 20 years old with long dark brown hair and green eyes. Often wears a black suit or casual wear along with sunglasses.

Backround: Not much is known about him aside from the fact he came from a north eastern state and came here after graduating high school. He had plans to go to collage, but decided against it and began traveling across the country. At some time or another he ended up here and shortly after became a super hero.

Powers: Control over shadows. He can move freely in darkness and shape the shadows around him into a powerful weapon. When cloaked from direct sources of light he can even slowly regenerate his health or heal the wounds of others. Due to the nature of his powers direct exposure to light weakens him and can even cause burns if intense enough. He is able to create flimsy shields to guard himself from the light in a pinch, but this takes a heavy toll on him and quickly drains his stamina.
After Shremp had transported them, Wisp found himself alone. He could find no sign of where Gal Born had gone.
He noticed there was a crate of supplies close by....he opened it to find scuba gear.
He smiled as he put it on.
With this, he could easily find the underwater base.

After suiting up and diving into the water, Wisp had found the base he was searching for.
As he entered, he heard two guards chatting casually.
"Yea...apparently Vorchek has plans for the supers when they arrive."
Vorchek!?
What was he doing here? Wisp thought he had been captured during the last mission.
He would have to talk with Shremph after this....

As he began to sneak away, he heard another guard approach the two others.
"Get ready....Boss wants us to head up north.
One of the supers accidently got transported there...we're to neutralize and detain him.
I guess Vorchek has a new drug he wants to try....hehehe."

Wisp gasped....so that's why he couldn't find gal born....
He followed the guards to a chopper they had hidden and were boarding quickly.
Luckily, Wisp was able to board unnoticed due to his invisibility.

A secret hatch opened above the chopper that was about 5 miles off the island Wisp had arrived on.
*Quite clever* Wisp thought to himself.
* I wonder how many other escape routes there are hidden here?*
He remaned still and silent the whole flight...even as they tranquilized Gal Born and brought him on board the helicopter.
He wanted to wait for a chance to free him after they had gotten back to the base.


Name: Kenshiro Ichiryoku

Superhero Name: Kenshiro or Ichiryoku

Appearance: Long Reddish-Brown hair, it’s more red than brown, a golden brown complexion with intelligent green eyes. His face always holds a determined look and he rarely smiles. Muscle courses the length of his arms, stomach, broad shoulders as well as his abdomen. His body is sturdy and agile do to his Waldori training. He wears a crimson body armor that goes off into gray in the areas that connect his arms and legs his armor given to him by his brother many moons ago called Soul Gear, it allows the wearer to replenish their energy from the things around them allowing the wearer to regenerate from wounds faster. The armor itself doesn’t hinder him with weight, and can withstand extreme temperature, and endure a large amount of damage. It is organic, so any damage that it is subjected to can recover given it is allowed to consume the blood of the wearer.

Background: Kenshiro was born in a different reality than earth. He comes from a world called Chikyuu. In the world of Chikyuu people are able to channel their ki into a weapon. There are various masters of this art that teach how to harness ones ki at Waldori a school dedicated to learning the elemental arts. His journey to this Earth is long and arduous, and explained in better detail in the upcoming campfire "Invalid Item. Long story short. Kenshiro was engaged in an epic battle atop Amejisuto Mountain. Amejisuto is the mountain that leads to the Gates of Hell where an ancient evil manipulates many for a chance to escape. Kenshiro’s opponent was Kazuki a childhood friend that attained the ancient art of soul summoning to bring about a war between the living and the dead with the help of the ancient evil mentioned previously. Kazuki used this art accompanied with the Hell Gate to send Kenshiro to this reality. Kenshiro has been on this Earth for too many years to count.

There is a vast time difference between this Earth and that of Chikyuu. When Kenshiro was thrown onto this plain he had just seen his 24th moon, and the land he fell upon was that of uncivilized man. He has since traveled the world in search of a way to return to his home land. Upon finding that there was no way for him to return he decided to seclude himself in what is now known as Mount Kilimanjaro. He has used his elemental abilities to keep Kilimanjaro dormant while honing the skills he learned at Waldori so that he keeps his skill and strength at their pique. He came to the aid of climbers using his elemental spells to keep them from freezing to death which is how the United States Government found him. It was then they thought they could force him to work for them and sent their best men to bring him in, only to have them sent back beaten and broken, but very much alive. The Waldori way won’t allow him to kill another normal human being without feeling that his life is in true danger. Waldori is an ever progressive art that strengthens the body and mind. It was only after General Shremph met with him did he agree to assist them in missions with the understanding that in return they would do all they could to help him find a way back to his own world.

Powers: Kenshiro carries a Zanpakuto in the shape of a silver katana which is as long as his body, and has a handle of deep obsidian embedded with crimson flakes called, Crimson Eclipse. A Zanpakuto is what the Soul Hunters call their weapons. They come in various sizes and are shaped after their respective hunter’s heart, thus becoming companions to the soul hunters. No Zanpakuto can be used to physically harm their owner, although there have been rare cases it has been known to happen. However, one would have to be of a tremendous spiritual strength to wield a Soul Hunter weapon for good or ill. Each Zanpakuto varies with the user in terms of element and strength, so a student of Waldori can start in one art, but wind up learning something totally different once their Gikado day comes. The Geikado is the day a student is able to bring forth the spirits that will endow the weapon they use with their soul. Kenshiro is one of only 3 students that was able to pull four entities into his Zanpakuto since the second and last legendary war of Chikyuu. Each entity that resides in the Zanpakuto has a different element that user must train in, in order to utilize that entity and the ability the entity gives the user. As the entity comes forth to give the user their power the entity makes changes to the Zanpakuto. There are also changes to the Soul Hunter, both physical and mental. Do to his Waldori training conventional weapons can do him no harm.

When utilizing one of the souls he has to call it out by name:

Seiryu - (pronounced: Say-re-you) - A powerful Ice dragon spirit that was once a soul hunter with exceptional innate Elemental Ice ability until his death where his soul reunited with his other half which is how he gained his innate Ice abilities in the first place. Seiryu gives Kenshiro the ability to withstand extreme freezing temperatures, and shield others in a protective dome. When Kenshiro is in danger of dying the spirit of Seiryu covers Kenshiro’s body in a crystal ice armor allowing his wounds to heal, but as a side effect of this Seiryu gains control of Kenshiro for as long as it takes for his wounds to heal. When Kenshiro uses Seiryu, his Zanpakuto grows into a long broad sword made of frozen ice that is longer than Kenshiro’s body, yet the weight of such an enormous weapon doesn’t hinder Kenshiro from welding it like he would his normal Zanpakuto.

Ryuu - (pronounced: Re-you) - An ancient Fire dragon that looks down on the human race. When it was attracted to Kenshiro’s blade it thought it was his long lost brother. Since realizing it wasn’t his brother he has refused to allow Kenshiro to use his power. Ryuu allowed Kenshiro to glimpse his power once when he placed him in a live volcano. The spells that brought it forth won’t allow it to kill Kenshiro which it told Kenshiro after, but it doesn’t care enough about the matters of man to allow his power to be used in trifle matters. As a result of this Kenshiro doesn’t know what all the effects Ryuu has on his weapon nor the abilities that Ryuu gives him besides the ability to withstand heat.


Kanzenshuu - (pronounced: Can-zen-show) Is The soul of the mighty White Tiger which often takes on the form of a warrior clad in White armor covered in tiger stripes. His skin is of an olive coloring with wild long black hair, he stands 7 feet with strong broad shoulders that accompanies his muscular frame well. He carries a longer sword similar to that of Kenshiro only the handle of his sword is a brilliant pearlescent white while the blade is a radiant gold. While using Kanzenshuu, Kenshiro is surrounded in an armor that sheilds him and any other from attack while using their spiritual energy to strengthen the protection. It also allows Kanzenshuu to move independent of the sword at a limited capacity giving him just enough power to help Kenshiro should be find himself outnumbered. Kenshiro’s sword takes on the attributes of Kanzenshuu’s weapon while Kanzenshuu is being used only Kenshiro’s blade turns an obsidian black with a pearlescent gold handle.

There is another entity, but it has yet to reveal its name to Kenshiro, the only time it did say something was directly after the Gikado. The spirit spoke to the whole audience that had come to attend the school wide event telling everyone of the coming war. No one listened. It took control of Kenshiro’s sword and gave the faint impression of a body made of crackling electricity, but so translucent it was hard to make any distinguishing features out. The abilities of his spirit is unknown.


Anything Extra (optional): Having had his first taste of Earth milk at Area 51 he found that he can’t get enough of it. Since arriving on earth he has become increasingly homesick, yet will stay true to his goal of finding a way back to his home world. Kenshiro tries his best to attain that next level of power. It is his goal to become a master of the Soul Arts.

- - -


Standing on the shore of the beautiful landscape Kenshiro couldn’t help, but take in the scent of the ocean that made his heart yearn for the sea of home. Kenshiro lifted his Zanpakuto, wondering whether he should use it or his gauntlet covered hands to do what needed to be done, so that he may once again search for a way back home. The store of power inside Crimson Eclipse swirled unused and threatened to consume him. Kenshiro often wondered whether the zanpakuto itself was a living presence outside of the 4 souls within. When beckoned to it would surge forth and wait upon his will.

Kenshiro knew this was not the time for showing off. He remembered when he first tried to wield Crimson Eclipse and made the mistake of not regulating his energy. He knocked himself and his friend at the time Kazuki who served as his partner on the mission to retrieve 4 scrolls from Tsume River. As they lay unconscious energy was sucked away by the very blade he held today which caused him to be disqualified by his Master.

Kenshiro chose to concentrate on this present moment, letting the intuitive side of him take over, to balance his senses. He had almost forgotten about his partner standing there on the beach next to him. It was only recently that he made the deal with the General, so he hadn't had the chance to meet his partner before now.

Kenshiro took him in with a critical eye. He seemed as if he could keep up with him, and there was something that made Kenshiro want to test his abilities against him. "I wonder if he can keep up with me." he thought.

The man in turn watched Kenshiro's every moment since Kenshiro had taken his Zanpakuto out holding it aloft. He seemed to be waiting for Kenshiro to make the first move. The man had an intriguing aura about him.

"The names Kenshiro." Kenshiro said, his voice was more gruff than he intended. "What's your name?"


A Non-Existent User
Name: Anna Gurnee

Superhero name: Dimentia

Appearance: With her small 5'2 105 lb frame, Anna looks anything but powerful. She has shoulder length brown hair and dark brown eyes. She typically wears bright nail polish, usually orange, and brightly colored clothes. For her costume, Anna wears a very form fitting hot pink leather bodysuit. She used to wear a mask and a cape to hide her identity, but quickly realized it was too cliche. She doesn't bother hiding her identity anymore.

Background: Anna was left at an orphanage in Ukraine when she was just a baby, but was quickly adopted by a wealthy American family from New York. As Anna grew older, her parents noticed she was different. They sent her to multiple psychiatrists and psychologists in hopes of finding out what was wrong. Initially, it was believed that she suffered horrific abuse at her orphanage, but after dozens of tests, it became abundantly clear Anna had special powers.
Understandably, the parents were afraid of what these mysterious powers consisted of. None of the doctors were able to conclude what her abilities consisted of, but they assured the parents she was harmless. The parents placed Anna in multiple activities at school hoping it would bring her back to a state of normalcy. It worked. Anna became incredibly hyper and quirky, driving many people crazy. Then... the accident happened.
While on a date with a boy, he was a little too forward and way too sexual. As he cornered Anna, her eyes began to glow a dark almost black color. The boy was paralyzed with fear, and to this day, noone knows what really happened that day. After the incident, the parents feared for their safety and contacted authorities about their daughter. The authorities told Anna's parents about Area 51, and they quickly sent her off, against her wishes.

Powers: Anna has the ability to shift someone's dimension. Using only her mind, she can change someone's depth perception as well as their sense of
direction. For example, if someone thinks they're going left they are actually going right. She can also do other things to play mind tricks on people, but the list is still growing as she learns more about her capabilities.


Extras: With her tormenting abilities, Anna is very careful about using her powers. She does not like hurt innocent people. She is actually very nice to people, overly nice even, but once someone gets on her bad side, it's over.


Anna looked out into the beautiful ocean. She had never been to the ocean before, so she took a moment to soak in the beauty of the landscape. She
kicked off her boots and waded in the ocean; the salt water felt good between her long toes. A young man approached her with sunglasses and a confused look. Anna smiled sheepishly at the water, embarrassed that her partner, Black Cloud, had caught her acting in such a childish manner.

"Nice. I get the hot chick," Black Cloud beamed. The young man lifted his shades to give her a wink.

Anna shook her head in disapproval. "Nice try, but no."

"Come on! Don't act like you don't want anything!" Black Cloud shot back.

"Mr. Cloud, or whatever, I don't go for colleagues. Even more so when I'm saving the world with them."

Black Cloud shrugged it off and assured Anna he wasn't done trying. He walked over to the raft and pulled out a mysterious box. He pulled the top off and showed Anna the contents. A small bomb. Anna squealed at the bomb. Something about explosions made Anna giddy like a schoolgirl. Black Cloud glanced over his shoulder at the submarine, then looked back at Anna.

"I know how we can get in this base," Black Cloud stated.
General Schremph stared at his monitor as he observed each of the super teams. For the most part, they were moving slowly. Almost too slowly. Schremph groaned and called for a cup of coffee. He wasn't sure that this mission was going to work. According to his intel, the Lambda were somehow made aware of the super teams' presence and began setting up defenses against each of the teams. If these teams weren't careful, they would be decimated before they even made it to the bases!

Schremph was handed his cup of coffee, and he chugged down the steaming hot beverage. It burned his mouth, but for the moment, he had bigger concerns. Schremph snatched his headset and radioed the teams.

"Hello? Hello? Super teams, please copy."

Schremph waited a moment as he let each of the teams radio back in.

"This is General Schremph, and I wanted to radio in to give you an update on the mission. Nightshade and Quantum, you appear to have taken some hits; be careful! Ms. Penguin and Double Take, you are safe, but have not made much progress; get to those bases. Element, we have not heard from Gargoyle, but your team appears to be separated; regroup! Anima and Sap, you have run back into Dr. Vorchek; please restrain him, but do not kill him. Gal Born and Wisp, your team appears to be in some trouble, at least with Gal Born; get Gal Born safe and neutralize that base. Azeilraht and Kenshiro, welcome to the battle, but you must get going on this mission. Black Cloud and Dimentia, welcome to you as well, and you have found a bomb; I imagine you know what to do with that. Now that you have received your updates, please focus on the mission. We need to get Lambda completely wiped out before things get out of hand. Schremph out."

***


Louis Armada, leader of the Lambda, grabbed the closest guard within reach and slit his throat. As the soldier fell to the ground, Louis yelled in frustration, startling those who followed him.

"HOW DO THEY KNOW WE'RE HERE?!"

One of the guards shifted uneasily as Louis stomped towards him.

"Was it you? Huh? Did you tell?"

The guard stood frozen in fear. Louis smacked him in the face hoping to get a response. The guard stood like a stone.

"This is unbelievable! Someone here snitched on us!" Louis yelled as he swung his knife around. Several of the people standing by leaned away from the menacing man. Louis's large stature definitely helped him in intimidating his followers. Due to experimental surgeries, Louis towered with a nine-foot frame, 300 pounds... all muscle. He typically walked around shirtless so others could see just how strong he was. It worked.

Louis called over his assistant and quickly grabbed him by the collar, lifting the poor man off the floor.

"I don't care what you do, but those heroes better not make it to these bases. If they do, I'm going to rip you to pieces and feed you to the sharks. Do I make myself clear?"

"Sir, there's a scientist running around the base..." the man quickly said.

"I don't care about the scientist!" Louis barked. "Now go take care of those supers! Do it now!"




         Nightshade watched as Quantum was thrown backwards into the water. Without thinking she swam towards him, as fast as she could. He was trying to tell her something, but she couldn't make it out over the sound of the waves. There was another shot from the submarine that made impact dangerously close to Quantum.

         A part of her regretted the fact that they hadn't had more time to just enjoy themselves, get to know each other. They both knew that as soon as this mission was over, they would be transported someplace else, with yet another challenge to overcome. And when they were no longer needed, they would go back to the labs, to be treated like an experiment and nothing more. Talia had never seen the real ocean before this, just simulations. Almost everything they had access to from Area 51 was fake. On top of it all, what if she never saw Quentin again? As of now he was the only non-scientist person she knew, and she was really beginning to like him more. Opening up to people was usually hard for her, but with Quentin it felt normal.

         Natalia reached out to Quantum and pulled him underwater with her, trying to tell him that they were right by the headquarters. They needed to finish their mission first, then worry about the submarine and other teams. Hopefully they would be able to recover the MRE's afterwards, or they would have no food. They swam to the base, and found a small door with a latch. Quantum pulled at it and opened the door. When they went inside, a lot of water followed suit, but was soon drained out when the door was closed again. Talia opened a second door silently, revealing around 5 or 6 guards wearing headphones and facing a screen on the other side of the room. Nightshade looked at Quantum and held a finger to her lips. He nodded in agreement.

         They needed to find a way to destroy the base and get out in time. They couldn't go back where they were before, because there was the submarine. They couldn't just stay in the headquarters, or they might get themselves hurt. Nightshade didn't have much information about Quantum's regenerative powers, but hers were non-existent. Her experiment was pretty much a failure, leaving her with average powers. There was a room to their left, but Nightshade sensed two guards inside. The two made their way to the room, and Quantum took care of the guards while Natalia looked around. It didn't take long to find a map and locate an escape route.

         "We could destroy the headquarters using your power with enough time to get out through there," she said, pointing. "Then we could easily swim to the surface, hopefully somewhat near to the shore."

         "What about the submarine? Remember?" Quentin said.

         "Hopefully it'll be gone by now."

         "That's a whole lot of 'hopefully's."
Pat, Element, tried to follow Gargoyle to the base, but was immediately distracted by the sudden rush of water that poured in. As Gargoyle disappeared, Pat turned to see the water was rushing in through the doorway. The water rose fast in the submarine, so Pat turned back to the controls and darted towards the base at top speed. As he braced for impact, Pat closed his eyes and shot up a quick prayer. There was an initial crashing of glass, then the roar of water pouring into the room Pat had broken into. Pat forced open the door the rest of way and climbed out. On the far side of the room, a mechanical door began to drop. Pat swam towards the doorway as fast as he could. Just as Pat approached the door, it sealed shut. Frustrated, Pat began banging his fists into the door. It was hopeless. Then everything went black...

"Element! Hey Element! You okay?"

Pat opened his eyes slowly as Gargoyle towered over him. He shot up and looked around the room. They were in a conference room of sorts. He was currently sitting on a long table surrounded by empty chairs. He looked at the walls and noticed pictures of people hanging on the wall, some of them famous. He looked at Gargoyle in confusion.

"What... what happened?"

"You wouldn't believe it! I was swimming my way around the base trying to find a way in when I saw you drowning. I guess you crashed into one of the hallways with the submarine. Nice job with the stealth..."

Pat coughed up some water. "Obviously, that is not our forte."

Gargoyle laughed. "Obviously not!"

"So what do we do now?" Pat asked as he climbed down from the table.

"Well, we could run around crazy and blow everything up. That seemed to work well last time."

That actually sounded like fun to Pat. He led Gargoyle out of the conference room and immediately they ran into some guards. The guards quickly opened fire on the duo, but Gargoyle jumped in front of them and absorbed the bullets. Pat fired multiple fireballs at the guards, knocking them out instantly. As they made their way through the maze of a base, guards popped out from every corner. Most were easy to dispose of.

As they made their way to the base, Pat noticed a picture of a man that looked eerily similar to Gargoyle. He paused for a moment to check the photo. Sure enough, it was a portrait of his super-powered friend. Gargoyle noticed Pat had stopped following and stopped running himself.

"What is it?"

"Is this you?" Pat asked. Gargoyle walked slowly to the picture and gasped. He put a hand on his forehead as he let out a long sigh.

"We need to get out of here."

"What?"

Gargoyle spun around looking for the fastest way out. "I can't believe they remembered this. After all these years, I thought they'd forget!"

"What are you talking about?"

Before Gargoyle had a chance to respond, a large man burst through the doors. His body was bulging with muscles and his dark eyes froze both Pat and Gargoyle. As the man approached them, Pat noticed he stood several inches taller than Gargoyle. He glanced at Element then focused on Gargoyle. He swung a powerful right hook and connected with Gargoyle's face, knocking the giant man to the floor. Gargoyle stood slowly and spit some blood.

"Hello David," the man growled. He tightened his fists as he readied himself for another blow.

"Louis, let it go. It's been a couple of years now."

"No! I will not forget! The damage you caused Lambda was completely irreparable. Don't think you can just play with fire and leave unscathed!" the man, Louis, roared.

Pat looked at Gargoyle in confusion. Gargoyle shifted uneasily in Louis's gaze. He quickly straightened and took a confident step towards Louis.

"Element, before I joined Area 51, I was a part of Lambda. I was high in the ranks."

"What?!" Pat exclaimed.

"Yeah that's right! Then he has the AUDACITY to take all of our money and gamble it all away! It's taken us years to even slightly recover. Now it's time to pay up." Louis took a quick shot at Gargoyle. Gargoyle dodged just in time as the swing flew through the air above his head. Gargoyle tackled Louis to the floor and began throwing punches into the giant man's face. After several punches, Louis knocked Gargoyle over and ripped a beam off the floor. He took a powerful swing at Gargoyle and knocked him to the floor.

"Element! Help!" Gargoyle yelled.

"Element shot a quick blast of electricity at Louis and knocked him over. After firing two more blasts of electricity, Louis looked at Pat and growled. Just as Element threw one last blast of electricity at Louis, the giant man threw the beam at a window, breaking the glass. Water rushed into the base and quickly began to fill the room. Element felt his heart sink as his electric ball became engulfed by the water. In seconds, a powerful electric shock shot through the entire ocean.

As Pat faded off into unconsciousness, his last thought went to the other teams...


When General Shremph's report came in over the radio, I could hardly believe my ears. We still had Vorchek to worry about? I mean, seriously, what the hell? In the last mission, we'd destroyed his base, captured all his men and practically handed him to Shremph on a silver platter! And yet he had escaped again, and now he was in league with Lambda? And to top it all off, as Shremph went on to explain, Sap had immediately gotten himself captured upon entering the base.

...I swear to God, you can't trust a man to anything correctly!

Well, it looked like it was going to be my job to get into the base and bust Sap out—AGAIN. Jeez, I was going to need a serious vacation after all of this was over!

So, what now? I had already gone out and found a few animals willing to help; I had sent them out to gather more of their own kind, and then come back. So we could expect a backup army of poisonous jellyfish, stingrays, octopuses and moray eels to arrive at any minute. Plus, I had done a little work on myself—I'd been able to grow some poisonous stingers, as well as adapt my body to shoot electric volts, thanks to a friendly torpedo ray. But, then again, we were facing a whole army of terrorists, plus their nine-foot leader, PLUS Dr. Vorchek. This wouldn't be enough. I needed MORE assistance.

I swam further out, until I came to the place where the coral reef ends, and the sea floor drops out into a bottomless gray abyss. I have to admit, it was pretty scary. Plus, there were sharks lurking out there. Hammerheads. Great Whites. An army of sharks would be great against Lambda, but they'd probably be just as happy to eat me and my friends first. What if I couldn't control them? I paused on the edge, not wanting to swim further out, knowing that I had to...

But luck was with me. As I floated there, trying to build up my courage to make the plunge, suddenly I heard a series of deafening, high-pitched clicks echoing through the water. Sperm whales! They'd make even better attackers than the sharks, and they were nicer, too!

I swam up towards the sunlight, where the sounds were coming from. Sure enough, there was a massive flock of sperm whales, about fifty male adults! Joyfully, I called out to them. They were pretty impressed that a human had been able to swim out this far, and they politely listened while I explained my problem. I told them all about Vorchek's unnatural experiments on dead bodies, and Lambda's evil operations: weapon-smuggling, weapon-testing, poaching, polluting the ocean... I admit, I may have stretched the truth a little bit just to make the whales EXTRA-angry. But it definitely got the job done. The whales immediately pledged to help out any way they could, and expressed some real excitement at the prospect of crushing those terrorist-polluters like so much kelp.

So, with an army of sperm whales now behind me, I swam back towards the coral reefs, where Lambda's base was located. When I finally saw the base, though, I stopped. It was bigger than I had thought it would be: a cluster of five huge glass domes, connected by a web of crisscrossing tunnels. Cannons, mines, and radar towers decorated the place, and tiny submarines flitted in and out of small launching pads.

...how the HELL was I supposed to break into THIS?!?!?

I told the whales to keep back, so that they wouldn't show up on Lambda's radar, and swam in on my own to study the place up close.

As I studied the outside of the base, I thought to myself about what would be the best course of action. All the most dangerous animals of the ocean had been gathered here at my command. They could sting, bite, electrify, crush and poison. But they were also SEA creatures. They couldn't really do much out of that of the water. In order for my side to get the upper hand, I'd have to flood the base. But how to do that?

The domes were all made out of toughened glass. They could probably withstand bullets and bombs, but if a herd of whales all rammed into the glass simultaneously, they might be able to break through. Then again, if I ordered the whales to just charge the base, the radar would probably see them coming and they'd be fired upon. I calculated that probably half of the whales would be killed instantly, maybe more. I couldn't ask my friends to go charging right into a massacre like that. I'd have to break through the glass myself, disable both the radar and the guns, and let the base start to fill up with seawater—then, only then, could I call the animals in to start kicking ass.

Now, I just had to figure out how to break through the glass dome by myself. Once again, nature provided the answer. As I floated through the coral, I caught sight of a brightly-colored shrimp. A mantis shrimp.

I'd studied mantis shrimps in my marine biology classes in college. I knew what they were capable of. Mantis shrimps had one of the greatest powers in the animal kingdom: a megaton punch. It goes like this: mantis shrimps attacks their prey by striking it with a single claw. Not very impressive, right? Lots of animals use their claws to attack prey. However, a mantis shrimp has the ability to strike out with its claw at superhuman speed—as in, literally the speed of a bullet. This incredible burst of speed gives the claw extra force, and also creates a gigantic cavitation bubble which explodes instantly, generating even more pressure. Long story short, the mantis shrimp's punch generates so much force that it has even been known to punch clean through the wall of a fish-tank. (Hey, kids! Educational material here! Tell your parents!)

And bear in mind that a mantis shrimp is very small, about the size of... well, a normal-sized shrimp. Now imagine if a human had this power...

Awesome.

I called out to the mantis shrimp, conversed with it, and finally persuaded it to let me copy its abilities. I felt the muscles in my arms thickening, getting stronger, reconfiguring themselves in perfect imitation of the mantis shrimp's unique appendages. Then I swam back over to the whales.

"Here we go! Everyone, start singing! Start calling out at loudly as you possibly can!" The whales did as I asked. Every single one of them started clicking at the top of their lungs—and the sperm whale's click is the loudest sound produced by any animal.

"KLIKLIKLIKLIKLIKLIKLIKLIKLIKLIKLIKLIKLIKLIKLI--"

It sounded like Godzilla's bones were being broken. Even l had to cover my ears; I could only imagine how it must have sounded to those poor saps in the Lambda base who were on radar duty. I imagined them, reeling backwards, clutching their heads, ripping off their headphones in pain, and I smiled.

There was no time to waste, though. Overloading Lambda's radar had just been one part of the plan. Quickly, I swam up to the wall of the nearest dome. I drew back my fist, braced it for impact, and delivered a megaton punch.

BRRAAAAKOOOOOMMMM!!!!

It was, of course, excruciating. Every bone in my hand was quite clearly shattered. But it'd heal itself up soon enough. Besides, it had worked perfectly. I’d just punched a hole clean through the wall of the dome. Cracks began to form all over the glass...

And then the walls of Jericho collapsed.

I rode the first wave into the heart of the base. It surged through hallways and docking stations, knocking soldiers off their feet, sucking them under. Soon, the whole base was waist deep in seawater. And the water level was rising, rising, RISING...

The animals were right behind me. Every troop who hadn't been carried away by the first influx of water was either stung into unconsciousness by a jellyfish, zapped by an electric ray or dragged under and bitten by a moray eel. The whales remained outside, continually ramming the submarines and dome walls, making the whole place shudder.

Soon, the water began spreading to the other domes. I followed it into the next base, and found Quantum and Nightshade. They both looked up when they saw me.

"Have you guys seen my stupid partner?" I asked them. "The idiot got himself kidnapped by Vorchek again! I've got to bust him out!"

Nightshade shook her head. "What the hell's happening to this place?"

"Don't worry about that," I told her. "I just got some friends to help me. Can you guys blow up this dome and get out of here? It'd be a big help!"

"Sure, we were just talking about that," Nightshade replied. "Quantum can destroy the dome easily. But there might still be some Lambda submarines outside! We can't get past those!"

"Don't worry about the subs, my whales are taking care of them. Just take care of this dome for us. Once you get outside, the whales will help you get back to the beach!" And with that, I turned and ran off, leaving the two of them to fulfill their part of the mission.

I ran to the next dome over, but I didn't find Sap there. However, I did find Gargoyle, Element... and a third man, about the size of a tank. He was bare-chested, and the muscles that covered his body were... well, I can't really describe them. He looked like what would happen if a giant He-Man action figure had a baby with the Incredible Hulk, and then raised the baby on a steady diet of steroids. He had to be Louis Armada, the leader of Lambda. My. GOD.

Louis was beating on Gargoyle—I wouldn't have thought ANYONE could hurt Gargoyle—and Element was already out cold. The room was quickly filling up with water; it looked as though Louis had already made his own hole in the dome, even before I did. None of them had noticed me yet.

Quickly, I ran up behind Louis, dug my poisonous stinger into his skin... and YELPED. His skin was too thick; the stinger couldn't pierce through it, and had snapped off. Still, he didn't even feel it.

I tried again to get his attention, leaping onto his back and delivering the BIGGEST electrical shock I possibly could. Electricity ran through his body... but it didn't budge him an inch. At least this time, though, he had noticed me. He turned to face me, and I drew back my arm for another megaton punch...

WHOOOOMMMPH! I felt my knuckles breaking again, but it was worth it, because the sheer force of the blow knocked him backwards... about three feet. Just three feet! THREE! He didn't even fall over!

I lay on the floor, rubbing my broken hand. For the first time, I was out of tricks to pull. I couldn't hurt him even an iota. He looked down at me, grinning cruelly—and then Gargoyle came up behind him, holding a discarded iron beam, which he brought down—BANG!—right on Louis’ head.

This time, Louis went down. Only for a second, but that was enough. I ran over to the hole in the wall, stuck my head out, and called out into the sea for a little assistance. Gargoyle was scooping up the unconscious Element, lifting him out of the water, when suddenly Louis got up again. There was murder in his eyes.

“Gargoyle, GET OUT OF THE WAY!” I yelled. Gargoyle did so, leaving the crazed Lambda leader wide open for what was coming next. A shadow fell across Louis’ face, and his expression shifted from one of rage… to fear.

WHALES TO THE RESCUE!! Instantly, a huge bull sperm whale, the biggest member of the herd, burst through the hole in the wall, landing straight on top of Louis with an earth-shaking SHOOOOOOOMMM!, leaving him helplessly pinned under 45 tons of heavy blubber and solid muscle. Then the whale rolled off him and slid backwards into the seawater, but not before grabbing Louis’ foot between its teeth. With a yell, Mr. Armada was dragged out into the ocean.

Gargoyle stared after him in shock. “Is… is Louis…”

“Dead? No, I don’t think so, but those whales will probably amuse themselves by playing with him. You know, toss him back and forth, knock him around a bit—soften him up, in other words. Maybe they’ll even hold him under until he drowns, but I doubt it. He seems a little too tough for that to work.”

He turned to gape at me. “Are you saying, you found a pack of… sperm whales to help you attack the Lambda base?”

I grinned. “Just call me Ishmael.” Wow. I think I’d always wanted to say that. “By the way, have you seen Sap?”

“What? No. Didn’t he come in with you?”

“No, I sent him in alone while I went to get some animals. Now, he’s gotten captured again. Apparently, Vorchek’s here, too.”

“Vorchek?! Really?” Gargoyle thought about this, then snapped to attention. “How can I help?”

“Just get Element out of here, and try not to drown.” With that, I motioned to the rising water level. “Also, if you could destroy this dome for us, on your way out, that’d be a big help.”

He nodded: “Got it.” I smiled and headed towards the door, when suddenly he grabbed my shoulder. “Wait! GET DOWN!”

I ducked back behind the door—just in time. A platoon of Lambda guards was running through the outside hallway. We stayed hidden until they had passed.

"Lambda! LAMBDA! LAMBDA!" Their shouts echoed down the corridor. I couldn’t help breaking into giggles.

“What’s so funny?” Gargoyle asked.

I finally managed to swallow my laughter. “It’s just… well, have you ever seen the movie Revenge of the Nerds?" He shook his head. “Oh. Never mind, then. You wouldn’t get it.” And with that, I took off running, further into the base, looking for Sap, my partner, and Vorchek.
Wisp clung to the outside of the Huey's door holding on for his life using his powers to remain invisible, he clung hoping the wind would die down or that the helicopter would land. he didn't risk tapping on the glass to try to wake Galborn
A crackling came from a radio on the helicopters dashboard "This is Albatross, what is it base?" A voice came from the handset to low for Wisp to hear "we're getting orders to head to base 5." said one of the helicopter pilots.
"Really? Base 5? alright, tell them we're about 10 minutes out now and to prepare a holding cell, we've restrained the super."
"Gotcha." the man with the radio turned back to the handset "okay base, we're rerouting to five, good luck over there." he put the handset back.
they have five bases? thought wisp as the helicopter turned towards a nearby mountain range.
"Think we should give the kid more of the serum? looks like he's waking up." asked the first man
"mmm might cause him some serious pain, better not, just tie him on the stretcher." said the pilot
"Roger." he said walking back into the cabin, then kneeling over Allen, he tied him onto a metal stretcher much like would be in a medical helicopter.
The helicopter descended into a mountain base, Wisp thought ah geez this might put a strain on my abilities as he saw the massive numbers of people wandering around on the floor.
The helicopter descended slowly, then just before it touched down he hopped off and ran to some nearby barrels that were stacked against the wall labeled XMG7F.
The guards took Galborn off the helicopter and took him into a room on the other side of the landing bay in a huge metal crate.

______

Allen woke in a room sitting up and looking around he saw what could only be described as a cell.
"wh-what happened?"
then two guards entered the cell and in came a woman.
"hello Allen Rhett. or do you prefer Galborn?"
"H-how do you know my name?" asked Allen stirring
"Oh, I know everything about you Allen. I've watched you since before that idiot Shremp took you in. I knew you were powerful Allen, but listen. there's something I need to tell you, it's about the Shremp and how he's using you and the rest of the supers."
Allen listened "what? how's Shremp using us? apart from sending us to combat evil."
"EVIL!? Ha!" she scoffed "there is no such thing as evil. If you believe that then you have much to learn. we are hardly 'evil' in fact we're quite nice" she said sitting on the bed next to Allen "we are trying to help you before you do something horrible. The Lambda science teams you've been fighting don't know what's going on. you just showed up at their military funded bases and started destroying them."
"WHAT!? but Shremp said they were making zombies!"
"and did you see any zombies?"
"no."
"he lied to you Allen he's been lying to everyone, you and the rest of the Supers. Did he tell you that the things he did would kill all of you? Help us bring him to justice for what he did to people. Help us Help you. We've been trying to find a cure for you all." her phone rang "I'll be back in an hour or two. until then think on what we discussed." Allen Frowned as she left and thought about what she had said Shremp had been lying to them. he believed it... he really could. He decided that he wouldn't help Shremp anymore. Instead he would help the rest of the super teams any way he could. and if that meant helping these scientists, he would do anything he could, if that meant subduing them he would. he was resolute in this. nothing anyone could say would change his mind.
Allen walked up to the Cell doors and said "I want to help"
Things weren’t looking good.

Quantum and NightShade stood waist deep in a corridor of the Lambda base rising with water. Water rose at a steady pace from one of the connecting dome corridors. They had run into Anima earlier who apparently had whales taking care of the submarines that had effected Quentin’s abilities while other things helped take out some of the remaining guards.

“We need to move. There are a lot of Lambda troops coming our way.” Nightshade said, with her eyes closed in deep concentration. She then moved through the raising water with an unearthly grace Quentin had never seen before.

“Thanks for the vote of confidence earlier with Anima.’ Quentin said, following Nightshade to her hiding place behind one of the large bulkheads.

As the two stood there he couldn’t help but notice how close they were to one another. He stood at least 6 inches over her. Being cooped up in a lab all the time being tested for endurance and strength was boring. He thoroughly enjoyed the time he spent with Natalia. He really didn’t want this to end.

Soldiers splashed through the corridor they had just been in, then were attacked by something swimming in the water. There were shots fired, screams, yells for help, and then silence.

“I don’t know what Anima did, but this water is raising, and we need to get out of here.” Nightshade said.

“Yeah, you’re right. With all that Anima has done. I wouldn’t want to fall short. I’m going to destroy this base.” Quentin said passionately, willing his power to surge forth.
Quentin’s body pulsed with power and took on a bright blue. His aura crackled over his him like electricity as his eyes turned the corridor they were in startling white.

“No, wait! How are we going to get out of here? The dome and everything else will come down on top of us.” Nightshade nearly screamed.

An aura of energy formed around Quentin’s body, then expanded to engulf Nightshade casting out all of the water they were in. It formed a perfect sphere.

“Why didn’t you say you could do this earlier?!” Natalia accused, standing next to Quentin. Her hair and body dripping from the sudden change.

Quentin concentrated on his power output trying to stay focused on what he wanted to do. “If anything happens to her...” He didn’t allow himself to finish that thought.

“This is something that I had been trying in the lab. I just have to watch how much power I emit.” Quentin confessed. “Hold on.” He added.

Quantum stood in the middle of the sphere with Nightshade by his side then lifted his arm. He sent energy from his hand to the sphere that surrounded them. The sphere pulsed with his power showering them both in a blue then white light. With his hand stretched out in front of him he willed the sphere to move, and with this command they moved forward to the center of the base. No water touched them.

“This is so cool!” Nightshade praised.

Quentin smiled for a brief second before he saw the first sign of things weren’t going to go as smooth as he wanted.

Lambda guards poured out of the corridor behind them shooting their guns at the sphere. Quentin poured more power into it. He was determined not allow any harm to come to Natalia.

“Stay here, I’ll back.” Quentin said giving the sphere one final surge of energy.

When Quentin stepped free of the sphere with his left hand touching it and with the other he sent tendrils of his energy in a high arc over the water and into the lambda guard sending them flying. He then felt his power surge. Lifting his free hand in the air toward the dome he release his power. The dome gave a satisfying “CRRRRACCKKKK!” Then imploded which sent water crashing down onto the sphere Quentin had just stepped back into.

“Want to see something cool?” Quentin asked Natalia when he stepped back in.

“Sure.”

Quentin lifted both his hands in the air and they began to lift out of the water against the down pour of ocean. Quentin added more power to the sphere and changed the shape to that of blades that stretched forty feet wide in all directions. He then willed the sphere to spin turning them into a drill. With that done he went to work destroying the base they were tasked with bringing down.

“I would say this is a mission completed.” Quentin said, once they were successfully hovering over the ocean staring at the underwater based closing in on itself.
A Non-Existent User
Lots of things were happening all at once. First the cannon blasting at another ship starts taking aim at Double Take and Ms Penguin. Second Double Takes partner passes out on him. Third Double Take has to answer general Schremph while avoiding getting hit by cannon balls.
"Yes we are here, well I am at least, Ms Penguin seems to have passed out on me." Double Take says.
"We have new recruits and teams to team up we can teleport her out and a new member in, would you like that?"
It had been a long time since Gargoyle had felt any real pain and the shock of seeing Louis had taken him a moment to recover from. It seemed Gargoyle wasn't the only on who had undergone serious changes.

When Anima had Come to help, he was quite relieved, Gargoyle was sure he could have taken Louis but it wouldn't have been easy, and he wouldn't have been able to protect Element at the same time.

Gargoyle started to think about how he might be able to get Both Element and himself out While Destroying the base in the Process, The Oxygen tank only had enough air in it to get him here and wouldn't be of much use to him anymore.

The Stone man threw his partner over his shoulder and began walking towards throughout the base Destroying everything he could find along the way. Eventually he ended up in the defence room. As soo as he saw the torpedos lining the edge of the wall, he knew what had to be done. Placing Element done and propping him so that the water would not drown him, Gargoyle grabbed a metal shelf and started twisting it and bending it until it finally looked like a hollowed out Torpedo. Gargoyle lifted Element out of the water that was already up to the mans neck and placed him snugly inside. Closing it up, He moved to the control panel and aimed as far up as the design would allow. Gargoyle closed up the hollowed Torpedo and Then pressed the firing button, Launching his partner with a loud Kerthunk out of the base and towards safety.

Now it was time for part two. Gargoyle carried all the explosives he could find to the central most room he could find. it took him several trips to do this, At one point a couple gaurds happened across him, but it seems no one wants to shoot a towering statue carrying explosives in his hand, One of the gaurds was so afraid, he just dropped his gun and doubled back the other way. On his last trip Gargoyle made sure to grab the gun the guard had dropped. The room Gargoyle had picked looked like the central air intake room. The place where all the air being pumped int the base came from.

Gargoyle picked a direction from the explosives and started busting down walls, Always listening first to it to make sure he wasn't about to bust into one of the flooded rooms, Eventually he managed to get next to one of the glass walls and he took aim on the torpedo pile, All he would have to do from here is hold his breath, He didn't know how long he could do it, but he knew that his body did provide him with some extra resilience, but he was never afraid to take a risk. With a quick pull of the trigger, A large explosion errupted Pushing Gargoyle out the window behind him into the icy cold waters.
I slowly woke from my sleep to find myself inside of some kind of cell. It had glass walls that looked stronger than normal glass, a very thin bed propped on the wall, like in prison or something like that. I walked over to the door to see if there was a way out. I saw there was a keypad lock on the outside of the door, and a hole just big enough for my hand to reach out and touch the lock. That's when I remembered the laminated papers I had gotten at the start of the mission. I still had them in my pocket. I pulled them out and tried the first one on the door, but nothing happened. So I tried the second one on the door, and it opened up. After I put the papers away, I looked for a way out of the base. I soon found a tunnel that said it leads to the beach. Right at the door, I saw a switch that read, EMERGENCY SELF-DESTRUCT SWITCH. When I saw this, I really didn't care who was in the base other than me or not, I just pushed the switch and ran for it. Alarm's rang through the tunnel and sirens rang too. When I got to the end, I saw a service hatch that led up. When I got to the top, I pushed the trapdoor until it gave way to the orange sun setting over the horizon. I got up, stood tall, and reached for my radio to call General Shremph.


"General Shremph, can you hear me? This is Sap. Mission complete on my end. Waiting for evac. Over and out." As I hung the radio up, I Felt someone was close to me. Really close to me.


"Nice to see you again. Son." I slowly turned around to see Vorchek looking at me, almost like he was waiting for me.


"What are you doing here?" I asked him. Trying to contain myself.


"I just wanted to see how you and your friends were doing, so I stood behind."


"I don't think so. You're here for another reason. What is it?"


"Alright. You got me son. What I'm really here for is to see how powerful you've become since I last saw you."


"Really? And how do you want me to do that? Do I have to fight you to prove myself?"


"No son. Not me." Vorchek said as he started to walk away.


"Your opponent is right behind you." I was about to turn around when something hit me so hard that I was tossed right in front of Vorchek's feet. I forced myself back up to see who my attacker was. But I couldn't be leave what I saw. I saw a man that looked like he could be the worlds first human tank. This guy had muscles all over his body. I'd never seen someone so strong before in my life. He then started walking over to Vorchek and me.


"Ah, Louis Armada. How are you fairing today? Did Anima treat you well when you two met?"


"Anima?" If This guy fought with Anima...oh God.


"CAN IT OLD MAN!!! Once I'm done ripping this kid apart, I'm coming after you next!"


"Oh really? But why would you want to attack an old man like me?"


Shut it! I know you were the one who ratted us out!"


"Oh really? And how do you know I was the one who did it?"


Because I had someone keep a close eye on you at all times when you came to our base saying you could help make us stronger then we ever were. I know about the encoded message to that Shremp or whatever his name is! And I know about how this kid is your son too!"


"Oh really? Hmm. And all this time I thought You were the stupid one." As Louis heard this, he lost it. He started charging at Vorchek. But I picked up a rock and tossed it at him. It didn't hurt him, but it did stop him from hurting Vorchek. Now his main target was me, And I knew I was in for one hell of a fight. As he charged at me, I grabbed onto his arm and tossed myself into the air and brought my arms around his head. I then started sapping him, but man...This guy just wouldn't stop no matter how much energy I had absorbed. After a while of him trying to get me off of him, he grabbed me and brought me to his face and started to crush me in his grip.


"Huh. You think you're so tough, don't you? DON'T YOU?!" At that moment, I could feel my bones start to crumble in his grasp. I knew that even with some of his massive power, it wouldn't be enough to save myself. I knew I was going to die here.


"Megaton punch!" I heard someone yell from behind Louis. And then both me and Louis were knocked to the ground. I quickly got up and saw Anima looking at me and Louis.


"You okay Sap?" Anima said to me as she walked over to where I was.


"I've been better." I was about to get up when Louis hit me again and knocked me over to Anima's feet this time.


"Sap!" Anima yelled as she tried to help me up. But my body was in to much pain to move anymore. I knew that if I was to fight this thing, there was only one thing I could do to stop him. I then grabbed Anima's hands tightly.


"Sap?" Anima looked at me strangely, but felt light headed soon afterward.


"Forgive me Anima. But I need Your powers once more."


"Sap...wait......no...don't.....we can.....fight him.......together." As she fell to the ground tired and powerless, I started to cry a little.


"I'm sorry." I then felt my body starting to heal itself. And I was able to get up soon after that. Then I saw Louis looking at me with a lot more rage then before. He looked like a bull staring at a waterfall of blood. That's when I looked at the claw that formed on my right hand.


"Hmm. With your super strength-" Louis then started to charge at me.


"And Anima's megaton punch-" Louis was now charging at me.


"I think I've got a new move." Louis was almost in front of me now.


"I give to you-" Louis was three feet in front of me now. Then I hit him in the chest with the claw arm and yelled-


"Gigaton Punch!!!!!" Right when I hit him I heard the sound barrier shatter, among other things. Every bone in my body did too. But it was more than enough. In fact, I think I may have gone a little overboard. Because when I hit him, not only did it cause everyone ears to bleed, it also caused Louis to get sent flying across the sea. He must have flew faster than MK 3. He was turned into a living skipping stone, and I'm pretty sure he didn't stop until he was at least 3 miles out to sea. So there was little to no chance he was still alive. And even if he was, he was most likely bleeding, and there were no doubt sharks out there, so...yeah. I then tried to face where Vorchek was, But like the 9/11 terrorist attacks, I came crumbling down. I felt so much pain, It wasn't even funny anymore. I could feel my bones start to reconstruct themselves, but it wasn't enough. And I could feel myself drift into unconsciousness. But not before I could hear the voice of Vorchek talking to me.


"If you live past this, then come see me at my new base. I already told General Shremph where it is, so do try to live Zack." I slowly fell into the darkness once again, but not before I could utter one last word.


"Father."
"I say we take the submarine, Dimentia. Really, I could care less and would happy to hitch a ride off a seagull if it would just get us out of this bright sunshine." Black Cloud said as he walked over and looked out over the ocean. He had tried to provoke a response out of his teammate to try and see how she'd react. She didn't bother to use her powers and seemed to be pretty calm, so she was probably easy going. "With that flashy outfit of hers I would have thought she'd be a bit more... spontanious and hyperactive. Ah well, I can certainly learn more as we work together." Black Cloud thought to himself as he waited for his ally to join him.
Wisp watched the conversation between Gal Born and this mysterious woman. He heard everything...how Shremph was supposedly using the other supers...and how he offered his services to them.
He had to act fast...Before the scientist unlocked his cell again, he snuck up behind her and knocked her unconcious.

Gal Born was thrown into confusion...what just happened? It was then he saw Wisp materialize before him.
" I see....so i assume you heard everything?"
Wisp nodded.
"Then you know about me joining the scientist here?"
Wisp nodded again.
"You can't change my mind Wisp..."
" I don't want to....my only question is this....what are you going to do when Shremph sends the other supers after you? Are you going to try and convince them too...or are you going to try and fight them?"

Gal Born stopped for a minute. He hadn't thought of that....If Shremph was indeed a traitor, he would most likely send the other supers to silence him..and keep the secret hidden.
"Also, what proof do you have that he actually is a traitor? She didn't give you any papers, any documents, no recordings....NOTHING! She just said he was...and then you jumped up and said OK!"

Gal Born looked at Wisp.
"You're right...i have no proof....but i wouldn't put it past him. He's been very secretive about everything so far. We go in...do whatever he says....and then go to the next assignment. She has a cure for us Wisp."
"Screw a cure...i don't want it. I like being a superhero. You can take it if you want. You can join them if you want...but i still want to know what you plan to do about the others."

Wisp grabbed the keys from the unconscious scientist and looked at Gal Born.
" I'm still your partner...and i'll back you up...but only if these people can show me proof of his traitorous acts. Otherwise, i still owe my allegiance to Shremph...I'll head back to HQ..and i will come after you if he tells me to."

Wisp approached the cell and handed the keys to Gal Born.
"Do we have a deal?"
A Non-Existent User
Anna watched Black Cloud jump into the submarine. Desmond scoot himself out of the light and looked out the window at Anna. Anna climbed into the submarine and took a peek at the small bomb. She squealed with delight at the blinking object.

"Okay, if we're gonna be stuck in this submarine together, I don't want you to make any annoying noises. Understood?" Desmond mumbled. Anna pooched out her lips and turned away from him and looked out the window. Under the water, it felt like they were in another world. A peaceful, colorful, happy world. A part of Anna wished they could stay down here. She felt so far away from her problems...

"Do you have any idea on how we can get in the base?" Desmond asked.

"Uh... I don't know..." Anna replied. She tried to think of an idea, but her mind was racing. She was finally out saving the world. It was a crazy thought!

"Figures the hot chick is stupid..." Desmond muttered under his breath.

"Hey!" Anna glared at Black Cloud. "That wasn't very nice!"

"Whatever," Desmond muttered in response.

Desmond raced the submarine to the last inhabited base and stopped just short of crashing into it. He stood up from his seat and looked down at Anna. She shifted in her seat uneasily.

"Well, you have the bomb. Let's go," Desmond said.

Anna replied with an "oh!" and stood up from her seat. She took a moment to devise a plan, but nothing came to mind. They were stuck underwater. Desmond finally interrupted her thoughts with an idea.

"I think we are deep enough underwater where the light doesn't really affect me. I can use whatever shadows down here to create some sort of launcher to launch the bomb into the base. That seems like our best chance."

Anna simply shrugged. She was definitely not coming up with any better ideas. Desmond turned from her and worked quickly to create some sort of bomb launcher. He eventually turned around to show off his creation. Anna looked at the shadow weapon and could not help but wonder how it worked. She ran a hand through the shadow, then looked up at Desmond in confusion.

"So how does this work exactly?"

Desmond chuckled. "Silly blondie. Never question me. Now give me the bomb."

Anna shook her head as she handed Desmond the bomb. Something about this guy seemed... different. He acted much too rude to be a true superhero. She made a mental note to bring it up after the mission was over.

The bomb disappeared as Desmond ran it through the dark shadow of a weapon. Before Anna could respond, Desmond grabbed the oxygen tank and opened the submarine hatch. As water poured in, Anna had no choice but to hold her breath and pray Desmond hurried back. As the water quickly rose in the submarine, she heard a loud booming noise, and Desmond dropped back into the submarine. He closed the hatch and jumped onto the controls.

"Let's go. The bomb should go off any second."

Anna pulled Desmond's hands away from the controls. "Thanks for the warning jerk!"

Desmond jerked his hands out of Anna's grasp. "You're fine aren't you?"

"Yeah, well I could have been seriously hurt back there! I swear if you weren't my partner..." Anna trailed off.

"What? What would you do?" Desmond challenged.

Anna let out a loud growl and turned to face out the window. The ocean slowly passed by as the duo made their ascension out of the ocean. Desmond, thankfully, was quiet for the rest of the trip, but Anna's head filled with questions. As they neared the surface, the calm of the ocean made Anna realize something.

"Why hasn't the bomb gone off?"

*NOTE TO AUTHORS* The order will be switched again. Be ready for when your turn comes!



General Schremph teleported the superheroes back to the headquarters and growled as he walked towards an over-sized monitor. The heroes all looked around at each other, confused.

"You have failed," Schremph growled at the team of superheroes. "You have failed to accomplish your mission."

The monitors behind Schremph displayed two of the underwater bases still sitting underwater. They were completely undamaged.

"I sent seven teams out, SEVEN, to destroy five bases, and I still have two bases standing?! Louis Armada and many members of Lambda have escaped. This is just pathetic. I have some teams that didn't even get to the bases. Teams are interacting with each other. This is just ridiculous!" Schremph shouted as he banged his fists on a desk. The banging sound echoed.

Schremph softened his face and walked back around the desk. A subtle smile crossed his lips and he crossed his arms.

"From here on out, you must follow my orders. You must not be in contact with the other teams. You must follow my exact orders regarding the missions. You must not question me. I hope I have made myself clear."

The heroes exchanged glances and slowly nodded their heads in unison.

"Good. Now here is your next mission. We will have to worry about Armada, Lambda, and Vorchek later. Right now, we have a new threat we must neutralize."

A snapshot of a man appeared on screen. His face had a large scar over his right eye and short, graying hair. His skin had a faint yellow color. His eyes were a bright emerald green.

"This man you see here is Lucius Evermore. He goes by the name Mr. E, and he is quite the illusionist. Somehow, this man has managed to steal top secret documents which include information on nuclear weapons. He is a very deadly man and uses the inexplicable powers of magic to accomplish his tasks. Somehow, our intel has managed to track Mr. E down. He is located in the Mojave Desert. Your mission is to track this man down and neutralize him. However, let me warn you. This is no ordinary mission. Mr. E has discovered a mysterious ability where he can eliminate your powers. We do not know how he does it, but when you are teleported to his area, your powers will be gone. Mr. E also has created... living illusions, nightmares or demons if you so desire, that will come after you. I believe there will be at least seven of these fiends hunting you down. Eliminate these illusions, neutralize Mr. E, and retrieve the documents he stole. Have I made myself clear?" Schremph looked around the room. All the heroes nod in comprehension.

"Okay then. Don't fail me this time."

--------------------------------------------------------------


You open your eyes as you are teleported to your new location, and are confused. The landscape before you isn't a desert; it's a mountain. You look at your partner then look around hoping to find the desert nearby, but soon realize that you are nowhere near the desert. You can't help but wonder what happened.

Your partner points out a guard located several yards away. He is guarding a cave. You can't tell if he is on your side or not, but whatever is inside that cave is obviously important. You also notice a mysterious box sitting just a few feet away. You try to use your powers, but realize that they are gone. Looks like Schremph was serious about not having your powers. You can't help but wonder if the secret to losing your powers is inside the cave. You look at your partner and nod. It's time to go.



"Deal, I will find the proof for you." Allen grasped Wisp's hand and then shook.
Wisp suddenly disappeared, he had appeared back at Shremps base.
Allen sat back on the bed and waited for the woman to return. and he slept he dreamed of being a normal boy again.
When Allen awoke he saw that he had been moved to a proper bedroom. he looked around and saw the woman was there. "We saw what happened with you and your friend on the cameras" she explained "and I will give you the proof that your friend wanted." she stood up from the chair she'd been sitting in and handed Allen a manilla folder. "this is all the information we have on Shremp and his program." she spat the last word as Allen opened the folder and saw a big stamp mark that said KIA in a little box. Allen looked up at her "What's this mean?"he asked pointing to the KIA stamp "Shremp's not dead."
"We don't believe that's the real Shremp Allen, we've checked again and again and the conclusions are decisive, that man is not the real Shremp. He's a fake. we don't know how, but he isn't the real shremp."
"How?" asked Allen
"We have people inside his orginization. that's how you got sent to the forest rather than with the rest of the supers."
Allen flipped through the papers, he saw the notice of death letter from the US government to a Mrs. Shremp dating back to 1950 with an attached photo of Shremp looking exactly as old as he had when Allen met him.
"I've got to show this stuff to the others, it'll convince them to at least switch sides or atleast to not listen to Shremp." said Allen laying the papers aside.
"Wonderful Allen-" her phone rang, she stood up and looked at it "two seconds Allen" she said and Allen gave a nod looking at the papers again.
"What is it?" she turned away from Allen "honestly that man, sometimes I just want to kill him... yeah, I'm sure he'll be up to it." She ended the call and turned back to Allen "listen Allen somtehings come up, one of our head scientist is a little... eccentric. he lives in a desert cave and Shremp has found his home, we've sent guards to help him, but we'd like you to help him."
Allen looked at her "You want me to get him out of there? I can do that. just gimme his location and I can be there and back in a matter of minutes."
"It's not that easy Allen, he had an accident a few days ago, that's how Shremp found him. he was working on the cure only there was a problem in the test and it leaked out of containment, this particular prototype will cancel out all superpowers in the cave, so you'll need to be fast if you're gonna get him in and out."
"I can be very fast" Said Allen with a smirk "I wanna help"
"Alright then, he's here." she said and showed allen on a map. "and we're here" she said pointing to their current location. "can you work with that?"
"You bet I can." said Allen standing up "I'll be back in a minute" and with that he teleported to the cave's mouth about twenty minutes before the other supers.
Allen was stopped almost immediatly by a guard asking what he was doing there, Allen explained and the guard lead him to Lucius.
"Mr. Evermore?" asked the guard knocking on the door.
"Enter" croaked an old voice coming from behind the door. The guard lead Allen inside.
"Who's that with you Benard?" said the old man as he leaned over a table laden with paper, test tubes and beakers
"He was sent here from Mountain Base, he's to take you back."
"Tell him I'll be ready in a little while."
the guard turned to Allen and shrugged "He won't move until he's done. He and I have been together for nearly three years, give him time and he'll be ready."
"Okay then. I'll wait here." said Allen sitting on the floor.
A Non-Existent User
As Anna and Desmond teleported to the mountain, Anna looked around and immediately realized she wasn't at the desert she was supposed to be at. She looked over at Desmond and saw that he was just as confused as she was.

"Where do you think we are?" Anna asked.

"Who cares? I just want to get out of this light!" Desmond sneered at Anna. He walked off towards some shade and leaned against the mountain. Anna furrowed her brow and stormed towards Desmond.

"Excuse me, mister, but I want to know what happened back at that Lambda base. Why didn't that bomb go off?!" Anna demanded an explanation.

"Don't look at me! I shot the bomb. It's not my fault it didn't work!"

Anna let out a quiet growl and stomped off to the mysterious box. She opened it, but only found a slip of paper inside.

"Choose wisely," Anna read to herself. She looked over at Desmond, who stood in the same spot, and felt herself getting hot with frustration. She threw the piece of paper to the ground and marched to Desmond. His gaze went off into the distance, a feeble attempt to ignore Anna. Anna pointed a finger into Desmond's face.

"You! You have got to be the worst superhero I have ever met! You just don't care at all. Now you better explain yourself right now or so help me I will take you out myself! Why didn't that bomb go off?!"

"I already told you," Desmond replied with a smirk.

Anna had had enough. Anna grabbed Desmond by the collar and lifted him off the ground. Desmond looked at Anna in shock. Anna was much stronger than she looked, even without her powers. She pulled Desmond in close so their noses touched. She almost lost it when she saw how angry she looked, but instead focused behind the dark lenses at the nervous shifty eyes of Desmond.

"What is going on?!"
"You don't get it, do you?" Desmond said as he let out a small chuckle. "This mountain isn't real, nor is anything else I see here... the fact that you can hold me up in the air like you are even makes me suspect YOU might not be real..." Upon hearing this Dimentia's eyes widened in shock. "This... everything here could be fake." She gasped as she lowered Desmond back down to the ground. "Indeed, for all we know we're both alone in the desert... playing in the sand like children as the warm sun cooks our brains. If we want to have any hope of survival we'll need to move quickly and keep our wits about us. Come on." With that Desmond began moving quickly towards the cave, careful to avoid the guard in case they weren't an illusion.


After waiting a few seconds for Dimentia to join him the two met back up and began their journey into the cave. It was dark, but large shining crystals provided just enough light to see by. "As much as I'd really like to be in a dark cave right now, this can't be real. Keep close and don't get too far behind. It may feel cool and quiet, but we're probably walking over sand dunes at the moment." Desmond called as he climbed over a small pile of rumble. "Let's keep moving... I think I see light up ahead..."
Element opened his eyes slowly only. His body still ached from the last mission. Honestly, everything has big one big blur since the second mission began. He looked around and the mountain and realized that he was not at the desert Schremph said they would be at... great. A groan to his left caught his attention. Element looked over and saw a large man sitting up next to him.

"Gargoyle... is that you?" Element asked.

Gargoyle groaned as he looked over at Element. He looked different though. His tough exterior was gone and he was smaller. He was still a large guy, at least Element thought so, but he was nowhere near the size he was before. Gargoyle rose to his feet and stretched out.

"When do these missions end?" Gargoyle asked as he stopped stretching.

"I have no idea. So... what was up with that Lambda stuff back there?" Element asked. Gargoyle shot him a glance and then softened his demeanor.

"Let's talk about that later..."

Element shrugged and began walking towards the cave. He tried to hurry, but was immediately distracted by another mystery box. These things were everywhere! Element tossed the box over to Gargoyle and continued walking. As he approached the mouth of the cave, he heard a voice speaking. Whoever it was, they were coming towards the duo. Element signaled Gargoyle over behind an outcropping of rock next to the mouth of the cave and the two ducked behind the stone just as the voices came outside. Element peeked his head around and gasped as he saw Louis Armada walking with the guard he had previously seen. The giant man of muscle was saying something to the guard, but Element couldn't make out a word he was saying. He looked back at Gargoyle and shook his head.

"I think you need to explain to me about you, Armada, and Lambda," Element whispered.
Gargoyle sighed gruffly and nodded but held up his hand to wait until the three men had passed "...our Super gets him to safety..." It was hard to hear what they were saying but Gargoyle strained his ear to hear "...Should be able to hold them off until..." Louis was giving them some commands "...in the basement... the cure..." Louis walked off back into the cave and Element and Gargoyle held back a little. Gargoyle looked beside him to see Element watching him.

"You know how I joined the program because of my debt?" Gargoyle kneeled down feeling the rough ground underneath him. Along with Gargoyle's super senses came a drawback. He couldn't feel things the same as most people. He had almost forgotten what it was like to feel texture. "Yeah I remember" Element confirmed waiting for the tall man to continue. "Well the money I lost belonged to Lambda. I was working a case for them as a special forces operative, and I ended up finding over a million dollars on a bust, I thought I could use the money to make more" Gargoyle shrugged "Turns out I was wrong"

"What about Armada?" Element pushed, not yet satisfied with the answer Gargoyle gave him. "I don't know as much about them. I know they're one of Lambda's sister companies. We all subcontracted under a much larger group."
"Who?" Element encouraged
Gargoyle shook his head "I don't know, They never really told us. Mr. Armada there used to be my partner. He's a little bitter"

Element waited a bit, before nodding "Let's go" Gargoyle raised an eyebrow, "How are we going to" Element walked to the side of the path pulling out his board and turning it on. It was almost silent. Gargoyle watched as Element let it go and it rushed forward knocking both guards off of their feet. The two of them rushed forward and stole the guards guns. And knocking them both out with a blow to the head each.

The team switched clothing with the guards and went into the base. "Where now?" Gargoyle asked. Element shrugged, a common theme for the two of them "I guess we find the basement."
As we get sent to our new mission, I can only think about everything that's happened over the course of the last two missions. Everything that Vorchek said about him and Schremph working together, The two pieces of paper that helped me out of my cell in the last mission, and the fact that everywhere I seem to go, he's always two steps ahead of me and everyone else. My train of thought was interrupted by Anima walking my way.


"Hey Sap, where are we?" When she asks me that, I was beginning to wonder if she fell asleep during the mission briefing. But then I started to look at our surroundings, and saw that something wasn't quite right. Schremph said we were going to a desert, but here we are, next to a mountain.


"I'm not sure. But I feel like I've seen this place before somewhere." As I said this, Anima's head jolted up as she said-


"Wait...I know where this is." Anima said as she started looking around.


"Yeah! This is the Sierra Nevada Mountains!"


".....And, your point?" I said as I raised an eyebrow to Anima.


"Huh? Oh, don't worry. I'll fill you in later." She was acting calm again, which was only worrying me more. What was she going to tell me? Shaking it off, I looked around to see if there was anything around here we could use to protect ourselves with, since we didn't have our powers with us anymore. I ended up finding another crate, like the ones we've always been finding. As I opened it up, my eye's popped open.


"Hey Anima! Come over here and take a look at this!" I yelled as she started walking over to me and the crate.


"What is it Sap?" I moved out of the way to show her what was inside the crate. In it were a ton of strange weapons, all with notes on them.


A gun, shaped like a rod, that knocks enemies backwards by shooting hurricane-force wind's.


A special type of flashlight, that does no damage but causes total blindness.


A device that looks almost like a helmet, that can switch two people's minds.


A weapon that looked like a chainsaw mated with a sword, and this was the result. That can saw through anything and cancels out all sound it produces.


But the most noticeable of them all, was a weapon that looked an awful lot like the slow-ray from Vorchek's base.


"Wow! Look at all of this kick a$$ stuff Sap! I wonder who left it here for us?" As she was talking about how cool it was to have the high-tech stuff for once, I was looking at the bottom of the crate, where I found another note, with something hard in it. As I unfolded it, a key fell out, and into my hand. I then looked at what the note said on it.


"You can use the weapons to get yourselves into the base safely, now that your powers are gone. And this key is the only way to open the safe in the basement. That's where you'll find the docs, and the cause of your lost powers as well. Vorchek." When I finished reading the note, I could see Anima looking at me strangely.


"What?"


"Um...is it alright for us to take these weapons Sap?"


"What are you talking about?"


"Well...don't you remember what happened last time we took weapons that your f-I mean, Vorchek left for us?" How could I not forget? I had almost killed everyone trying to get back at him for leaving me when I needed him the most.


"I don't think we have to worry about that now."


"What makes you think that?" Anima says as I start picking up some of the stuff from the crate.


"Because, he knows who I am now. I don't think he to try to kill us like that again."


"What makes you think that?" Now Anima was getting on my last nerve. So I spun around and shot her a look.


"Because I know some things about him that you don't." I told her grimly. I then held the Hurricane-Rod, looking back at her, then away, and sighing.


"Sorry." I then picked up the Blind-Light, and the Mind-Swapper, and left the other two weapons for Anima.


"Huh? Why are you leaving me the Slow-Ray Sap?"


"Don't you remember? Back in the first mission, when you grabbed the slow-ray out of that guard's hands, it slowed time for everyone except you, me, and Vorchek. Which means, if you fire that thing inside the base, it'll slow everyone and everything, except for us.


"Oh right. Yeah! That could work." Anima says as she picks it up, as well as picking up the Chain-Blade.


Well, we have everything we need, so lets move out." I say as we move into the base.
I admit, when the third mission started off, I was in pretty low spirits. Our last assignment had been a complete failure; we'd allowed so many members of Lambda to escape from their Florida base, including both Louis Armada and Dr. Vorchek. And now, here we were, miles off course, staring into the mouth of yet another enemy base, and with my powers gone, I was nothing. I didn't even feel like a real superhero anymore. I was just a 23-year-old girl, a one-time liberal arts college student, and a convicted felon.

No, you can do this. Think, Lenora. Think. There's more to being a super-hero than just having powers. Think. Plan. Use your head.

Once we'd had a minute to look around and get acclimated, things started to look up. When we opened the crate, and found all those high-tech weapons inside, well, that was just GREAT. With the Slow-Ray alone, we could have cleaned out the whole base, easily. And yet, as long as I couldn't control any animals, it still felt like something was missing. And that's when it hit me...

"Hey, Sap," I whispered as we came near the mouth of the cave. "Don't go into the cave just yet." He turned to face me, understandably confused. I persisted: "Listen, I just got another idea. Come with me... this way." And I pointed in the opposite direction of the cave — towards the bottom of the mountain, and the flat plains that lay beyond.

Reluctantly, he followed me, and we turned around and started making our way down the rocky cliffside. Soon the cave was a small black dot behind us. I had hoped that once we got far enough away from it, our powers would return, and I would be able to summon animals again, but no such luck. Oh, well. Good thing I had a Plan B.

Finally we reached the bottom of the mountain. There was a small town just up the road, so we began heading that way.

"Hey, Anima, explain to me what we're doing down here, exactly? And why we didn't just go into the base? If we'd stayed up there, we probably would have found Mr. E by now," said Sap.

"Well," I explained. "These are the Sierra Nevada Mountains, right?"

"Yeah."

"So that would mean that we're most likely in the state of Nevada, right?"

"...Yeah." Sap wasn't too sure where I was going with this.

"Well, it just so happens that I know a guy who lives in Nevada. I met him in college; we were both in the same environmentalist group, and if I remember correctly, he lives right in that town over there. He owes me a favor, so I just thought he could help us a little bit in our mission."

"Oh. Okay then, sounds good." said Sap. I was glad to see that he thought it was a good idea. "What's this guy's name?"

"His name is Nevada. Nevada MacGee."

Now Sap was confused again. "So... his name is Nevada... FROM Nevada?"

All I could do was laugh. "Yeah. Weird, isn't it?"

We reached Nevada's house pretty soon after that. The front door was open, so Sap and I let ourselves in, not bothering to knock, and burst into the living room. There was Nevada, sitting in a circle with some friends, all of them crouched around a blackboard, no doubt going over the plans for some hare-brained scheme. When he saw me, the poor guy's eyes almost popped out.

"Lenora?!" His mouth was dry with anxiety. "Is that you?"

"Hey, Nevada."

"My God," he said hoarsely. "I hardly recognized you! You look great! What happened?"

I smiled. "What, you mean after you and the others abandoned me back at Area 51? What happened to me after that?" He nodded weakly, not daring to say anything. "Oh, nothing much happened. They just grabbed me and slapped some cuffs on me and threw me in a cell... and then they started experimenting on me. And now, here I am, working for the government, with classified weapons and superpowers! Pretty cool, isn't it? I almost feel like I should thank you for running out on me like that!" So saying, I strode into the center of the room to where he was sitting, and just stood there, towering over him, a tall, musclebound girl in a government uniform, carrying a raygun.

By now, Nevada was close to wetting his pants. He managed to stammer: "W-what do you want?"

"Just a small favor," I said. "I think you owe me that much." He nodded, and then fell into a dead faint.

See, the thing about my friend, Nevada from Nevada, was that he kept a Rottweiler farm. You know what Rottweilers are? Huge dogs, attack dogs, junkyard dogs. In other words, bad news for bad guys. In the back yard, Sap and I found a whole cage full of furious, barking Rottweilers, slavering and baring their teeth raking, raking the walls with their claws, stretching their chain-leashes to breaking point. They started to calm down when I approached—my powers may have been gone, but I still had the animal DNA in me, and they could tell that I was one of them—until finally it was safe to let them out.

I turned back to Sap. "Now we REALLY have everything we need."

So when Sap and I went back up the mountainside a little while later, we were armed with our high-tech weapons, our wits... and half a dozen snarling, hulking Rottweilers. I felt just like my old self again. Once again, I had some animal friends to help me take a bite out of crime!

Near the top of the mountain, I found a big, old dead tree, and tied all of the dogs' leashes to its trunk. They would stay there until I blew the little silent whistle that Nevada had given us; when they heard that whistle, they'd pull free and run to help us, wherever we were. I then gave the silent whistle to Sap.

"All right," I told him. "Now I'm ready. Shall we get to it?"

He nodded. "Oh yeah. Let's get in there, and... hey, what the--?" Suddenly distracted, he reached down and grabbed a tiny white mouse that had just run across his foot. Holding the little critter in the air by its tail, he showed it to me. "Hey, Anima, look!"

Watching as the little mouse squirmed and writhed in his hand, I got another idea...

We snuck up to the mouth of the cave, and hid behind some rocks. The guard was definitely a member of Lambda. Same armored outfit, same helmet, same hi-tech machine gun as the Florida set. Sap stood up first, calling out to him. Before the guard could even respond, Sap fired his Blind-Light, and the guard screamed and grabbed his eyes. Then, it was a simple matter for Sap to fire his Hurricane-Rod, creating a gust of wind that knocked the guard into the wall, and he was out cold.

With that obstacle out of the way, we proceeded further into the cave. We wandered through one darkened hallway after another, until we rounded a corner... and ran SMACK into Louis Armada.

"Hey there, Louis," Sap taunted. "Ready for a rematch? You know, you're looking well, for someone who just got punched into the Atlantic." This was true. Armada was covered in bruises, with a black eye and a few broken ribs... but he was still 9 feet tall, 300 pounds of muscle. Injuries or no injuries, he was definitely not somebody you'd want to have as a sparring partner.

Louis could only stare at Sap in bewildered, impotent fury. He was definitely about to charge, but before he could, Sap threw the little mouse at him: "Hey, Louis, think fast!"

Before Louis knew what was happening, the mouse had landed squarely on the top of his head. It looked down at him with cold, purposeful... and then he understood. The mouse was me. Anima. My brain was inside the mouse's body. Sap had used the Mind-Swapper on the mouse and I before we had even entered the base. My own body, with the mouse's brain in it, was currently tied to another tree outside, to prevent it from running away. And, now, Sap fired the Mind-Swapper again...

There was no blast of energy, no burst of light, no sound... but it did its work. In a second, Louis Armada's brain was trapped into the little mouse's body... and Louis Armada's 9-foot, 300-pound, superstrong body was mine, to do with as I pleased.

Who needs powers?

Sap grabbed the little mouse and stuffed it into his pocket. "So much for that guy," he said, chuckling. He turned to glance at a map of the base, which hung on the wall, then turned back to me. "Well, Anima--or should I say, 'Louis'--according to this map, the entrance to the basement is right down this hallway, so I guess that's where I'll be heading. You think you can handle things up here?"

I grinned right back at him. "Oh, you don't need to worry about me. These Lambda guys may be evil, but none of them would ever dare hurt Louis Armada, their own leader! I guess I'll just use this opportunity to look for Mr. E, and maybe do some spying on Lambda, dig up some of their secrets. Deal?"

"Deal!" And with that, Sap was gone, heading towards the basement. And just in time, too; three Lambda soldiers were heading towards me.

"Mr. Armada, we heard someone yelling, is everything all right?"

Okay, Lenora, you can do this. Just remember those acting classes you took in Freshman year. In this scene, you're playing a big, dumb, head-bad-guy, aaaaannnd... ACTION!

"FINE!" I shouted at the top of my lungs. "JUST FINE! WHAT'RE YOU ALL STANDING AROUND FOR? YOU! BRING ME SOME COFFEE AND DONUTS! YOU! BRING ME ALL OF LAMBDA'S MOST TOP-SECRET FILES! AND YOU! UH... DO A DANCE TO AMUSE ME! NOW!"

This was going to be so much fun...
A Non-Existent User
"No no don't do that." Orank replied to The General or Frank as Orank started to think him as for that is his first name. Since he has been commuticating with him alot he thought of him on first name bassis. "Just wait, I think she is waking."
As Ms Penguin starts to stir, Orank says, "I'll contact you when we take out one of the five Lambda bases you sent us here to destroy."
Double Take and Mr Penguin decided to get closer. As they dodged more cannons from being under attack they noticed another team close by. Somthing shot out of the other teams submarine and then they saw the team leave. The thing that shot out didn't go far. A big whale happend to be swimming by and it bounced off it. Then it slowly fell under the water to the sandy bottom and if it was a bomb then when it hit the whale it must have broke a line on it or somthing because it didn't exploed. Double Take was about to use his super lungs and go take a look to see if he could fix it when Frank interupted.
Frank told them both that plans are changing rapidly and he teleported them back to home base. After telling them that Lucius Evermore is their new enemy he teleports them to their new location.
"This dosn't look right." Double take said to Ms. Penguin. He looked around at this thick forest with trees as thick as cars and over head they block out the sun. Everything is green. "This dosn't feel right." Double take is just realizing he is missing a vision. He is only one body. After being told by Frank that he wouldn't have powers he didn't know his body would be one again. It's going to take some getting used to.
Over to the right Ms Penguin points out a cave that a guard is guarding. There is another box to the right of the cave but closer to them hidden from the guard by one of the trees.
Double Take started to run for it but at a normal human pace and then falls flat on his face. "I can't get used to this."
Double Take gets up and they walk over to the box and open it.
"There's nothing in this one." Double Take said.
"Whats going on here?" Ms Penguin asked for she saw black smoke coming out swirling around her, "It's not nothing, its black smoke."
"Where? I don't see black smoke." Double take replied.
"Coming from right there." Ms Penguin pointed to the empty box that Double take saw.
"I only see an empty box." Double take tells her.
"This must be the illusion part. I can see the powers they took from us made you have only one body. Also I can't read your mind." Ms Penguin states."Put your hand in there and see if you can feel anything, like it's invisable."
"Why don't you do it?" Double Take asked Ms Penguin getting afraid of the unknown now that his powers were gone.
"Cuz I'll I see is black smoke. It's starting to block out my vision and I can hardly see you." Ms Penguin said stating that her illusion is getting worse making it hard to see.
Double Take stuck his hand in the box and felt a sharp knife almost cutting himself. He pulls out the knife and blood is pouring everywhere. "AHHH, I cut myself and didn't even feel it! I mean it felt sharp but it's not in pain."
"Let me see." Ms penguin said as she reached out and grabbed Double Takes hand and pulled it close to her eyes. "I don't see blood. This must be a part of the illusion too. Lets both remember this is not real and try to make it go away."
As they think hard about how most things are not real their visions start clearing. Double Take see's no blood and is looking at a clean knife. Ms. Penguin starts to see clear and the box has stuff in it.
"Look there is stuff in here." Ms Penguin said looking into the box.
The box had a gun, shaped like a rod with a note on it saying it knocks enemies backwards by shooting hurricane-force wind's. It also had special type of flashlight, the note said that it causes total blindness so don't shine it in your eyes. As they took those two items out they see another item uner them, a device that looks almost like a helmet. The note for this said that can switch two people's minds. More stuff was in the box too a weapon that looked like a chainsaw mated with a sword. The note said that it can saw through anything and cancels out all sound it produces.
In stealth mode, Double Take walks up behind the Guard. Cutting behind the trees to get to the guard, he takes the knife and slits his throat.
"Good now we can get into the cave." Ms Penguin says.
"Except it's not a cave now that I've killed this guard." Double Take states seeing the bottom of a pyramid. "Look the forest is gone too."
"Whaaa.." Ms Penguin said lost looking around.
They both enter the door of the pyramid wondering what illusion they might encounter next.
Name: Elliot Harding

Superhero Name: Toaster

Appearance: Elliot hardly resembles a superpowered human. He has a bit of a belly (too many nights of pretzels and beer), and wears very thick glasses. Elliot stands about 6 feet tall and weighs about 250-300 pounds (he hasn't weighed himself in a while). Sadly, he has never developed a good sense of hygiene so his shirts are typically stained and dirty. Basically, he looks like that creepy guy that you always try to avoid.

Background: Elliot's path to being a superhero is not a very popular one. He was a typical homeless guy living on the streets of New York City. He scavenged for food, begged for money, and never bathed. He had tried finding a job, but he had dropped out of middle school, so he had little to no shot of landing any job. As he was wandering the streets one day, he came across a man getting mugged in an alley. With a mysterious fit of courage, Elliot charged the muggers and disposed of them quickly, saving the young man. The young man informed Elliot that the mugging was actually a test, and he had passed. Elliot was subsequently kidnapped and transported to Area 51 where he was transformed into the Toaster.

Powers: Elliot can control temperature. He has the ability to make it scorching hot or freezing cold. With this ability to control the temperature, he also has the ability to adapt to survive. This includes developing gills for underwater, wings for flight, and chewing cud when he gets extra hungry.

Extra: Elliot is generally a happy-go-lucky guy. After being given a chance at Area 51, he wants to prove that he can do something useful with his life.
Name: Christian Rios
Superhero Name: Kiba
Appearance: He isn't exactly the first person you would think of if you thought of a super-hero. He looks like a normal teenage guy, a tall one, but normal. He is very skinny and is usually slouching he dresses similair to a skater. In his super-hero outfit he dresses in a head to toe black suit made of a special thread only he can make. This thread makes him seem invisible to infrared and night vision.
Background: He used to be your average skater with a passion for crafts until one day he got the wrong shipment. This shipment were the twin swords he gets his name from. The swords at first were a catalyst for his powers, but he has trained so much that he can now use his unique power without his swords. He has asthma, so he can't go into fights with fire-starters or smoke-people, but he is not afraid to go against them to save a friend or his family. He is pretty happy go lucky most of the time, but he can be serious when needed. The cold inhibits his powers a bit and make him less graceful with them.
Powers: Control over string-like objects: thread, rope, etc... He can't, however change the length of the rope.
Anything Extra (optional): He is very skilled in computers and hacking. He uses twin swords that look very much like twin fangs. He can throw the needles with good accuracy, but he only does so as a last resort. He is a good strategist, and an amazing tactician, however he sometimes goes into battle without thinking.His swords can be disquised as knitting needles. He is stealthy, but not like a ninja.


Quentin had been skeptical about being stripped of all his powers. It had been so long since he had a chance to be a normal guy without any powers. He had been told that the energy he had been hit with melded with his cells, but at the thought of being able to be fully human with no powers at all thrilled him more than he let on. When he and Natalia stepped through the portal the seen that they had stumbled on wasn’t the sight he had envisioned.

Natalia stepped forward marveling at the landscape before them. “Oh…my…God! This place is gorgeous!” She exclaimed.

Quentin stepped forward not believing his eyes. He couldn’t help but smile at Natalia’s enthusiasm. There were grey craggy mountains with ivy growing along the sides, and a waterfall just further to the left that flowed into a small lake surrounded by tall thick trees. It was the picture of a perfect vacation spot. The only thing that marred this beautiful scene before them were the armed guards stationed at the entrance of a cave on the opposite side of the lake. It was just out of the way so that Quentin and Nightshade were out of their line of sound and sight

“Quentin, over there,” Nightshade whispered. She pointed out the guards that Quentin had seen not a second before.

“They’re guarding a cave.” replied Quentin standing ready to battle, but when he tried to flip that switch he felt within himself it just wasn’t there.

“I think General Sheremph was telling the truth about not having any abilities.” Nightshade said standing next to Quentin.

“Yeah, I think he was, because I can’t use my power.” Quentin replied with a note of excitement. “All that means is that we’ll have to get creative. “ Quentin said, bending down to pick up a thick broken branch.

“What are you going to do with that?” Natalia asked, surprised.

“Well, we have to defend ourselves somehow. Plus, we have another one of those boxes.” Quentin replied producing the box he picked up with the stick held just under his arm.
"What's going on out there?!" Schremph demanded. The officers were frantically searching the monitors for any sign of the heroes, but something was scrambling the signals. He ran to the nearest officer and pulled him from his chair by his collar. The young officer stiffened in Schremph's grasp.

"Where are they?!" Schremph growled.

The officers' eyes shifted uneasily. "I... I don't know."

"What do you mean you don't know?!"

"Sir, something is interfering with our satellites. We can't seem to get a reading on the heroes at all!" Schremph tossed the officer back into his seat and looked around. Everyone was frantic in search of finding the heroes or the cause of the interference, but no one seemed to be having any luck.

"Can anybody tell me where the heroes are? Anyone at all?"

The only response was the buzzing of people running around looking from monitor to monitor. Schremph ran to his communication device and clicked it on. He crossed himself before radioing out.

"Heroes! I don't know if you are receiving this message or not, but we are unable to track you at this moment. Something is interfering with our satellites, and we can not get a reading on your locations. Neutralize Mr. E's illusions and capture Mr. E like you are supposed to, but we need to find a way to contact us. Either find the source of the interference or find a way to contact us. Hurry!"

Schremph waited by the radio in complete silence waiting for a response...

-------------


"I see we have some people here to play," Mr. E said with a twisted grin. "Well I guess we will just have to play then!"

Mr. E began laughing but looked around and realized he was alone. He shrugged it off and checked his screen. He noticed that the heroes weren't the only ones looking for him anymore. He noticed member of the highly secretive Lambda association and even the notorious Dr. Vorchek searching for him as well. Mr. E could not help but smile. Looks like his skills were highly sought!

"Well if they thought they were confused now, I can't to see how they will respond to my most wicked illusion!" Mr. E beamed to himself. He watched as a horror of an illusion sat before him. He made orders for the illusions to go out after the heroes and cackled with glee. This game was only getting started!
A Non-Existent User
Anna's mind raced as she tried to comprehend what was happening. Desmond seemed so sure of himself. Did he know something she didn't? They edged their way through the dimly lit cave towards the light. It grew brighter with each step. As they approached the light, laughter filled the cave. Anna flinched.

"What do you suggest we do now, Mr. Know-it-all?" Anna mocked.

Desmond exhaled as he looked back at Anna. "What? Are we back in high school?"

Anna pooched out her lip as Desmond continued towards the light. Anna hesitated but realized she needed to stay with her partner, for both of their safeties. Desmond jumped into the light and began swinging. Anna ran after him, but was too late. A man laid at Desmond's feet. Desmond's mouth twisted into an obnoxious smirk.

"I give you... Mr. E."

"Fools!" the man groaned while writhing in pain. "I am not Mr. E! I am merely an illusion. Mr. E is still roaming these caves."

Desmond did a double take at the man, or illusion, and gave him a hard kick to the ribs. The man grunted in pain.

"Seems real enough to me," Desmond said.

"You do not understand how this works, do you? Mr. E is a master of illusions. Nothing you are experiencing is real right now. It's all just him playing with your minds."

"Then where is he?" Anna asked. Desmond raised up a hand in an attempt to cut off the conversation, but the mysterious man continued.

"He's in there," the man replied as he pointed to a doorway. Anna bolted for the door.

"Wait!" Desmond called. "Why would you trust this guy?"

"Desmond... really? You need to really lighten up! We're here to get this Mr. E guy. Now I'm going to get him with or without you!" Anna ran through the door and felt her heart sink. Before her sat an empty room with a desk and a chair. A laptop screen dimly lit the room, but there was definitely not a person. Anna's head dropped in embarrassment as she turned back out of the room. As she walked back out, she froze. Before her stood a wide-eyed Desmond and... a copy of herself! The copy of Anna looked back at Anna and looked surprised.

"What?" the illusion gasped.

"Desmond... what's going on?" Anna asked.

"Um..." Desmond sighed.

"Desmond," the man on the floor said, "one is real, and one is an illusion! Which is which?!"

The man's laughter filled the air.
Element followed as Gargoyle darted to the cave's mouth. They looked down the cave into the darkness and began walking. Gargoyle nudged Element and laughed.

"Watch this," he said as he charged a nearby guard. The guard turned around just as Gargoyle hit him. The man went flying into the cave's wall and crumpled to the floor. Gargoyle looked back and smirked.

"Whatever," Element muttered. "Watch this."

Element jumped on his hoverboard and flew at the next guard. He snatched the unsuspecting guard and drove him into the cave's wall, killing him instantly. Gargoyle laughed.

"Nice!"

Element and Gargoyle continued showing off as they went down the cave, finding creative ways to eliminate the guards. Eventually, they made their way to the basement. Element ducked around a corner and peeked into the room. Several armed guards walked between crates, many of them heavily armed. Element tried to get a glimpse of the contents of the crates, but was unable.

"What is it?" Gargoyle asked.

"I-I don't know..." Element replied. "There's a bunch of crates down here, but I can't seem to get a good look."

"Well let's go," Gargoyle said as he walked into the basement. Element ran after Gargoyle and the two managed to make their way to one of the crates unnoticed. Element let out a quick sigh as he sat down along the crate. Gargoyle looked around the crate for some clues on what was inside the crates. After several moments, he let out a gasp.

"United States government...???" Gargoyle read.

Before Element could respond, one of the guards yelled out, "Hey! We got some intruders! Everyone, by the entrance!"
He felt it in his chest. The demon Azeilraht for which he called himself stirred restlessly as they took their licks in the base for royally botching their own missions so far. Zeil himself was fidgeting a bit as well still frustrated at their failures. He and Kenshiro were certified superheroes and yet they'd been acting like novices this whole time. They badly needed to step up their game and this next mission would be a chance to prove it.

Sweetening the deal he knew Ken had been sizing him up a little since day one. Not that there was a rivalry, but each knew they needed to prove they could hang with the other. Zeil knew he had to pull his weight.

Gargoyle who he'd met as David Cray back in his last job as a dealer at a casino shot him a similar frustrated look at the results of their missions so far. Zeil could only reply with a weak dissatisfied shrug.

That's when his day started to suck.

The words "Desert", "Cave", and "No powers." pretty much screwed the pooch for him.

"Oh boy." he whispered to himself just a that tingly fuzzy teleported-into-the-mouth-of-doom feeling whisked them away to the desert.

The moment they appeared on the base of a nearby mountain Zeil felt ill. Not just ill, but fully sick. Cold, weak, and tired. He swayed for a moment as he caught his footing feeling the demon quivering angrily where his heart would be. It was hot there in his chest. So much so that the desert around him was frigid until the heat slowly faded. As his vision rested and his legs ceased to try and buckle beneath him he realized he was hunched and breathing heavily. Kenshiro stood next to him with a hand on his shoulder looking somewhat concerned both for Zeil's sudden weakening and whatever feeling he had about his own abilities pulling a Houdini.

"Are you alright?" he asked. Zeil nodded and slowly stood feeling his body regulate for the time being, but he knew what that outburst meant. If his powers were gone that meant he wasn't a medium to which souls could bond anymore. Azeilraht was having trouble keeping their symbiosis intact. The longer this mission when on the worse it would get.

"Yeah, let's just hurry up eh?" he said standing straight and stretching his back for a moment. He pulled a pair of sunglasses out of his duster and put them on shaking his head and chuckling to himself before it turned into a full on slightly crazed laugh at himself. "I can't believe they dropped us in the desert. I'm already thirsty, no powers, illusions all around, and even better. We're in Nevada. Thanks Shremp!" Zeil said clapping a couple of times. "I always dreamed of being back near Vegas with no powers." Kenshiro gave him a look as if to say he was worried about his sanity.

"Zeil, I believe the cave is there." he said pointing across the sand to a cave with two men standing near it talking but clearly in charge of guarding its entrance.

"Well it could be an illusion, but what better guess do we have?" he said shrugging and running a hand through his hair. There was already sand in it.

He hated the desert.

"I don't believe we have a better guess." Ken said seriously.

"Yeah Ken I got it." Zeil said shaking his head and staring at the cave entrance. "Well they aren't really looking up here so what's the plan samurai?" he asked. Kenshiro stared pondering for a moment. "Any master strategies cooking?"

"Maybe if you'd let me think."

"I'm letting you think I just want an update."

"Give me a moment."

"It's been a moment. Why don't we just go all kung fu on them? I learned some stuff while I had my powers and I KNOW you've got some sharp moves with or without your sword."

"I don't know this 'kung fu' you're talking about but yes martial arts is a specialty of mine. I still think we should-"

"Well if we both kick butt what's the need for strategy right now huh?"

"Because if we get shot like this we die."

"Very true, carry on." Zeil sat in silence giving his partner a few moments to think. Kenshiro would know by now that Zeil was only giving him a hard time and knew the importance of a game plan. He smirked until Zeil then sighed heavily.

"I know what you're thinking and we can't wait until nightfall even if it is a good idea." said the host of the demon. "My powers are sort of turning on me given their nature. I don't think Mr. E can take the demons powers away so I'm the only one helpless in our 'relationship'. If this takes too long, I may be less than no use to you and the mission." he said grimly. "Trust me, I don't want that." Kenshiro looked at him for a moment and nodded before staring back at the cave and smirking a little.

"Alright, I've got an idea." he said. Zeil smiled and took out his extra pair of sunglasses offering them to a partner.

"Good. Whatever it is, let's do it." he said ready for action.

Kenshiro was angry with how things were progressing. He needed help getting back to his world, and with the way things were going it was going with the last few missions he wasn’t going to get the help that he needed from General Schremph and his organization. The knowledge that he and his partner failed in the last mission weighed heavily on his shoulders. He didn’t know about his partner, but he wanted to prove to Schremph that he could get the job done. Kenshiro stared straight ahead while General Schremph ranted and raged on about how they let him down. It was in that instant he was thrown back onto his native land of Kyushu. The beautiful high grass that would blow in the wind. He would often find himself watching the wind blow over the grass making it move as if it were the azure waves of the sea. He would spend most of his free time in the wind mill overlooking the school grounds of the Waldori academy. It was there he was able to relax enough to focus on his studies.

Kenshiro snapped back to his current predicament as his listened to General Schremphh speak about a Mr. E being able to strip the heroes of their powers. He wondered if he would be one of the people who loses their powers, but he put all hi faith in his Waldori training and hoped for the best. As he and his partner stepped through the portal General Schremphh pulled him aside.

“Listen, I know you may be from another world, but here, on earth, if you don’t hold up your side of a bargain you get nothing.” Schremphh said seriously.

“I know I just don’t know what to tell you about what took place in the last mission. I take full responsibility for my part of the failure of the mission.” Kenshiro replied.

“Good, because if this mission doesn’t go like it’s supposed to go, then the information that you asked for will stay where it is.” Sheremp informed him hotly.

Kenshiro knew that his very world was on the line. He needed to get back to Kyushu to protect the people he loved. He had lost his way once, but that won’t happen again. He stepped forward into the portal determined to make sure that he and his partner made it through this mission victoriously.

~ ~ ~

He found his partner he came to know as Zeil looking every bit of what he felt like. The moment he stepped through the portal he felt a strange sensation crushing his aura. For the briefist moment his protective blue aura flared then settled back into its invisible form. He noticed he had to use more of his energy to have it cast over himself then he normally would.



"Are you alright?" Kenshiro asked

"Yeah, let's just hurry up eh?" Zeil said, standing straight and stretching his back for a moment. He pulled a pair of sunglasses out of his duster and put them on shaking his head and chuckling to himself before it turned into a full on slightly crazed laugh. "I can't believe they dropped us in the desert. I'm already thirsty, no powers, illusions all around, and even better. We're in Nevada.
Thanks Schremph!" Zeil said clapping a couple of times. "I always dreamed of being back near Vegas with no powers."

Kenshiro looked at Zeil inwardly worrying about the man’s sanity. He hoped Zeil would be able to hold onto his sanity enough for them to finish this mission. Kenshiro noticed a few things. From there point of view there was a cave being guarded, which must have been the cave they were meant to enter to take out this Mr. E, and there was a box close by them, but Kenshiro figured Zeil wasn’t at himself enough to notice this.

"Zeil, I believe the cave is there." Kenshiro said, pointing across the sand to a cave with two men standing near it talking but clearly in charge of guarding its entrance.

"Well it could be an illusion, but what better guess do we have?" he said shrugging and running a hand through his hair. He spent a second knocking sand from it.

"I don't believe we have a better guess." Ken said seriously.

"Yeah, Ken I got it." Zeil said shaking his head and staring at the cave entrance. "Well they aren't really looking up here so what's the plan samurai?" he asked.

Kenshiro stared pondering for a moment.

"Any master strategies cooking?" Zeil asked impatiently.

"Maybe if you'd let me think." Kenshiro replied, trying to focus his thoughts. Whatever Mr. E was using was sapping at his energy.

"I'm letting you think I just want an update." Zeil replied.

"Give me a moment." Kenshiro repeated.

"It's been a moment. Why don't we just go all kung fu on them? I learned some stuff while I had my powers and I KNOW you've got some sharp moves with or without your sword."

"I don't know this 'kung fu' you're talking about, but yes martial arts is a specialty of mine. I still think we should-"

"Well if we both kick butt what's the need for strategy right now huh?"

"Because if we get shot like this we die." Kenshiro reasoned.

"Very true, carry on." Zeil sat in silence. giving his partner a few moments to think. Kenshiro knew Zeil was giving him a hard time, and it was this fact that reminded Kenshiro of his lost friend Asuma. It was this thought that brought a smirk to his lips, then Zeil sighed heavily.

"I know what you're thinking and we can't wait until nightfall even if it is a good idea." said the host of the demon. "My powers are sort of turning on me given their nature. I don't think Mr. E can take the demons powers away so I'm the only one helpless in our 'relationship'. If this takes too long, I may be less than no use to you and the mission." he said grimly. "Trust me, I don't want that."

Kenshiro looked at Zeil for a moment and nodded before staring back at the cave and smirking again.

"Alright, I've got an idea." he said.

Zeil smiled and took out his extra pair of sunglasses offering them to a Kenshiro.

"Good. Whatever it is, let's do it." Zeil said ready for action.

Kenshiro didn’t know why he was giving him these things he placed on his face, but they seemed to make his partner happy, so he took the contraption happily, and did as Zeil did. Placing them on his face.

“Yeah, now you are stylin’, those glasses make you look cool.” Zeil said.

Kenshiro’s vision was tinted, but he could see why Zeil liked these things he called glasses. He was tempted to let his guard down for a moment, but remembered the conversation he had with General Sheremp, and all jovial thoughts left his mind.

“My plan is this; since you are having a problem with your abilities. You’ll go over to the cave in a seemingly drunken stupor distracting the guards while I take them out silently.” Kenshiro said in a whispered tone.

“Okay....I like this so far, but if things don’t go as planned. I don’t have a weapon to protect myself.” Zeil pointed out.

“Yes, well, I thought about that. Since you mentioned you knew a few moves I’m sure you know how to use a knife.” Kenshiro speculated. He pulled a ivory handled dagger from its sheath on his back, the blade itself had a pearlescent shine to it “This is dragon fang.” Kenshiro presented the dagger to Zeil.

Zeil took the dagger gratefully, and tested the weight of it in his hands. Kenshiro thought it fit well with him. It was in that moment Kenshiro could see a lot of Asuma in Zeil. Kenshiro shook the thought away.

“We still have to check out the box that has always been our ally on these missions.” Kenshiro observed.

“YEAH, I almost forgot about that!” Zeil exclaimed.

Kenshiro bent down to retrieve the box that was just two feet away from his foot. When he opened the box a smile spread across his face. Within the box was a small energy cube, and an amulet, along with some devices that Kenshiro knew nothing about. He was sure Zeil would probably know what they were for. The amulet and cube he was sure was for him.

“What’s in there?” Zeil asked.

Kenshiro didn’t answer just handed the box to Zeil, then examined the amulet and cube that he extracted from the box.
After I had left Anima, {Who was now in Louis's body mind you.} I made my way into the basement, where the docs we were to look for were suppose to be held. As I made my way into a large room with boxes all over the place, I heard voices coming from behind a stack of them. I looked from behind them to see Element and Gargoyle being detained by some guards.


"Seriously? I have to save these guys now?" I told myself as a guard walked near where I was. I grabbed a crowbar on one of the boxes and whacked him on the head with it. I then stripped him of his uniform and weapons, and made my way over to where the others were.


"Ah, there you are Larry. We thought you'd never get here." One of the guards said to me.


"Sorry. I was held up with Louis." I told them, trying to make an excuse.


"Ah. Well, we caught the intruders." He stepped aside so I could see them. They were beaten up pretty badly. I walked over to them and spat in their faces to keep up appearances. I then got closer to them so only they could hear me.


"Don't worry guy. I'll get you out of this." They both looked at me and nodded slightly.


"Hey Larry. If you want a shot at them, just take them into the back room over there." He pointed to a room in the back.


"Just make sure you some of them left for us." The guards then laugh and walk out of the room. When I make sure no one's looking, I remove the bindings from Element and Gargoyle.


"Are you guys okay?" I ask them.


"Yeah. thanks for your help." Element says.


"But what are you doing down here anyway?" Gargoyle Asks me.


"I'm looking for a safe of some kind around here. You two haven't found anything like that have you?"


"No. Not around here. Why don't we try in that room over there?" Gargoyle pointed to the room the guards pointed at. And we walked into the room together. When we got inside, we found a large study of sorts. And in the back of the room, was a large safe mounted on the back of the wall.


"I'll bet dollars to doughnuts that's where the docs are." Gargoyle said as we walked over to where the safe was.


"Now how are we going to get this open?" Element asked. I then pulled the key out of my pocket and put it in a keyhole in the safe, turned in, and the safe swung open. And inside the safe were the docs we were sent to get back.


"There you are." Someone said from behind us. We spun around to see someone we didn't expect to see.


"G-Gen. Shremph?!" The three of us said in shock.


"What are you doing here? And how did you get here?" I asked him.


"Oh, I came the same way you all did." Shremph said back to us.


"Then what are you doing here?" Gargoyle asked this time.


"Oh I just wanted to see this mission over by myself." He then walks over to the other end of the desk we were at.


"Now then, the docs, if you would." Shremph said as he held his hand out towered us. When Gargoyle handed the files over to Shremph, his hand reached into his coat pocket and pulled out a gun.


"Thank you so much for all your hard work. Job well done." Shremph pointed the gun at Element, and fired a bullet into his arm, knocking him to the floor.


"What the?! W-what are you doing Shremph?!" Gargoyle Yelled. I was starting to wonder the same thing.


"What? This? Why it's only your reward. Your, eternal reward." Shremph then pointed the gun at Gargoyle. But before he could pull the trigger, I grabbed a lamp and threw it at Shremph, knocking him to the floor.


"Gargoyle! Flip the desk over and onto him now!" I yelled as I tried to move the desk by myself. It didn't take him long to take a hint, and we flipped the desk right on top of him, knocking him out cold. As I went over to grab the gun out of his hand, Gargoyle went to check up on Element. As I grabbed the gun out of his hand, I felt something strange. His pulse. As I grabbed his hand again, I checked his pulse to see what was wrong with him. And I found out the problem within five seconds. He didn't have a pulse. But the strange thing wasn't that he didn't have one, it was that he was still breathing. How could that be? Unless-


"Hey." Element said as he got back up.


"What happened to Shremph? Is he going to be okay?"


"I don't think this is Shremph guys. I think this is one of Mr. E's illusions." Both of them just gawked at me for a second, but then walked over to him and they saw for themselves. That's when I saw the docs on the floor next to the fake Shremph. I picked them up and started skimming through them to see what was so important about them. And what I found out was astounding. There was a wealth of knowledge in there. There was info about nuclear lunch codes, info about Area 51, info about the whole team of supers under the real Shremph's orders, info about Shremph himself, and even info about my father, Vorcheck. I took a long look on my father's file. It talked about a drug that he made with Mr. E's help that can make a person hallucinate, which in turn, explains all of the illusions we're seeing. There were also plans about letting the drug into the vents so it could cover the whole base. Which in turn, afflicted all of us at the same time. Then there was a file about a new drug that could get rid of a supers powers entirely. Which explains why we can't use our powers. It also says that they made a drug that can reverse the effects of latter drug. And that it's held in the room just outside of this one. As I flipped to the next page, a photo fell out of the folder and onto the floor. As I reached to pick it up, I saw a face of a woman on it. I couldn't help but wonder, where have I seen her before? Then it hit me. Like all the world's bricks had just warped over my head from 50,000 feet high and were sent plummeting down onto my head. When I looked at that photo, my body froze up with fear. I starting hyperventilating, and I could feel tears start to well up in my eyes.


"Hey Sap! Are you okay?!" Element asked me as I looked back at the file where the photo fell out of. And that's when I saw it. Info that I didn't want to see, but I couldn't look away from. Photos that were scaring the hell out of me, but I couldn't stop looking at. I pulled the file out of the folder, along with the photo that fell out, Then I got back up, and in a rage I haven't felt ever since Vorchek left me when I was a kid, I yelled at the top of my lungs so everyone in the base could hear me.


"FATHER!!!!!!!!!!!" At that moment, I bolted from the room. I didn't realize it at the time, but I must have been running at least three times the speed I normally run. I was running so fast, I was braking practically every bone in my body from stressing myself out so much. I ran so fast, I ran right past almost every guard, super, and even Anima, {Who was still in Louis's body mind you.} and ended up knocking her onto her rear. But I didn't care at the time. All I cared about was finding my b*****d of a father, and turning him inside out for what he did. After what felt like hours of running, {But was only a few minutes.} I found myself outside the base again. I fell down on my knees from all that running, and felt it hard to breathe. That's when I heard the sound of a chopper starting up. I looked up and saw my father standing over me, with a chopper just behind him. He gave me a look of concern and said-


"So, do you understand now Zack?" Vorchek said as he held a hand out to me. Right as he did however, I punched him hard in the gut, causing him fall over. Then I got up and dragged him over to where the chopper was and held next to the tail's rotter blade with my hand over his face.


"You son-of-a-b***h! How could you do that to her?! After all she's already been through, now you have to put her through this b******t?! What the f**k is wrong with you?!" I was more p****d off then when I saw him in the first mission. I really wanted him dead now. his head was right next to the fan blades, and was about to get a little smaller.


"No! Wait son, please! She's not dead! She's alive!" Right as he said that, I stopped.


".............What did you say?" I pulled him back a little bit, just enough for his head not to be cut off by the blades.


"She's not dead. She's alive and well Zack." When he said that, I tossed him away from the chopper and onto the ground.


"Start explaining."
I gotta say, I had a grand old time in Louis Armada’s body: posing as him, abusing his power, learning every one of Lambda's secrets, sabotaging the organization from within…

But, eventually, I decided I’d had enough fun, and that it was time to go find Sap and the others, and finish the mission.

Flanked by two guards, I left the main Lambda segment of the mountain base, and headed into the deeper, unmapped underground regions. Mr. E was hiding somewhere down here, we just didn’t know where… yet.

Suddenly, a throat cleared in the darkness, and out stepped Mr. E. He was wearing a tacky black magician’s cape and an even tackier black top hat.

“Hello, Mr. Armada, we meet at last,” His voice rasped like sawdust and broken glass. “I’m a big fan of your organization. I know you’ve been watching me for some time… intending to procure my services, no doubt. I just wanted you to know that I accept, but only if we can get out of here immediately; the government sent some super-powered meddlers in to make trouble for me, and I’ve already thrown all of my illusions at them, but they're... well, they're very persistent. They’ll find me for sure if we stay in this base any longer…” He turned to the two Lambda guards beside me. “Troops, your leader and I need to confer privately. Please escort us to the nearest helicopter!”

One of the guards suddenly sighed and dropped his gun. “We can’t.”

Mr. E looked puzzled. “What? Why not?”

“Mr. Armada… just gave away all of Lambda’s money to charity." The guard was fighting tears. "He also sent copies of all of our confidential files to the government, and revealed the locations of all our hidden bases to the FBI. They’re raiding all the hideouts right now, arresting all our members. Lambda… is no more.” With a wail, the soldier pulled off his helmet and turned to face me. He had a look of despair and utter confusion. “Why, Mr. Armada? Why would you want to wreak such utter destruction upon your own organization? Why did you so cruelly betray all of your loyal followers?”

“What can I say? I guess I just had a change of heart!” I said as I grabbed the guy and threw him across the room. Upon seeing this, the other guard dropped his gun and ran like Hell into the deeper tunnels, leaving me alone with Mr. E.

I glowered down at him. “RAAAAAAGHH! ARMADA SMASH! DUH, ARMADA VERY, VERY STUPID! PUNY HUMAN SURRENDER NOW, OR ARMADA MAKE HIM EAT HIS STUPID HAT! RAAAAWGHH!”

He just stared at me quizzically. “Excuse me? Why are you talking like a comic character all of a sudden?”

I rolled my eyes. “All right, you got me. I’m not really the stupid leader of Lambda. I’m just in control of his body. I’m from Area 51, and you, sir, are under arrest. And if you don't come along now, I will make you eat your hat… I wasn’t kidding about that part.”

"Oh..." Mr. E contemplated this for a moment, then cackled with sick delight. “My, my, how clever! So you swapped bodies with Mr. Armada! No wonder I never saw you come into the base! You know, I’m really rather impressed; you actually caught me completely off guard with that tactic!” As he spoke, he pulled out a revolver and aimed it directly at me.

“Glad to hear it,” I said, as I made a grab for the gun, meaning to crush it inside his hand like a walnut. But I grabbed empty air—he had already vanished.

His voice came from behind me now, “Of course, I have no intention of going along peacefully. You prepared well, but you didn’t prepare nearly enough to stand even a chance against me!”

Suddenly, we heard new voices, nearby in the shadows. They came closer, and closer, until...

BAM! Gargoyle and Element burst into the room! BAM! Wisp and Allen came right behind them! The cavalry had arrived!

"Hey, guys, perfect timing!" I called out. They began to approach me, silently. "Oh, don't worry, guys, it's me, Anima! I just took over Armada's body to catch Mr. E, here! Let's get him out of here and head back to Area 51, so—"

But that was as far as I got. Gargoyle had just grabbed a big handful of cave earth, and thrown it into my eyes.

OW OW OW OW OW! WHAT THE HELL? I raked my face with Armada's oversized fingers, confused and angry. I'd fallen for a cheap trick—cheap and smart. In Louis Armada's body, I was practically invulnerable—but I was still useless if I couldn't see what I was doing. Suddenly, one of the others—I think it was Wisp—leapt onto my back, and suddenly the room began spinning. I couldn't keep my balance. I hit the ground hard, with an almighty, reverberating BOOM!. My vision swam, and my limbs felt like lead. I was trying very hard not to panic.

Element stepped in front of me, and I swiped at him desperately. He vanished, and my hand punched a hole through the rock wall, and there it lodged. I couldn't pull free. Then I realized Allen was standing behind me... with a flamethrower.

He flicked the switch, and instantly I was bathed in a giant cloud of fire. Armada's body had thick skin, but even so, it was agony. I screamed, and squirmed, and finally managed to pull my hand out of the wall... although a lot of skin got left behind.

Dizzy, aching, burning, I tried to escape, but only managed to take a few thick, plodding steps. Finally, I fell to my knees, and landed... in front of someone's feet. I looked up. It was Sap.

Relief flooded me. "Sap, you're here... please, get 'em off me!"

He took my hand, just like he had taken it on the last mission... right before he'd begun draining my powers. And on the mission before that, when he'd introduced himself to me... by draining my powers...

Sap took my hand, now... and threw it aside. He then held up a hand grenade, and started to remove the pin. "Open wide..."

Mr. E stood watching all of this, delirious with joy...

"HEY!" Everyone turned their heads to see where this new voice was coming from.

It was Ms. Penguin. She was standing in the corner of the room, holding a Hurricane-Rod, a Mind-Swapper and a Blind-Light, just like Sap's. Standing next to her was Double Take, holding a Chain-blade and a knife. They were joined by Quantum and Nightshade.

Double Take was glancing around the room in surprise. "Wow! You guys captured Armada AND Mr. E!" He whistled, impressed. "Nice work guys!"

Sap spoke up. "Louis Armada is too dangerous to be take into custody. We've got Shremph's permission to neutralize him right now."

"You mean... kill him?" said Nightshade.

"That's right. He's tough enough to withstand any kind of exterior attack, so we're going to make him swallow this grenade. The explosion in his stomach should be enough to kill him."

Allen was keeping the flamethrower trained on me, so I couldn't risk trying to get up. Speaking up was my only chance.

"NO, WAIT!" I shouted. "IT'S ME, ANIMA!" The four newcomers stared at me in disbelief. "I used a Mind-Swapper to take control of Louis Armada's body! They're trying to KILL me!"

Double Take laughed derisively. "Yeah, right! That's the dumbest thing I ever heard!"

Ms. Penguin and Nightshade were both smirking as well... but Quantum was unmoved. "She's telling the truth," he announced.

They all stared at him. "How do you know?" asked Ms. Penguin.

In answer, he held up a small mechanical device.

"What's that?"

"It's something I found in our box from General Shremph," explained Quantum. "It's something he thought we'd need on this mission—a lie detector."

"Don't listen to him, guys!" shouted Wisp. "It's just one of Armada's tricks! He's working with Mr. E!"

The lie detector beeped loudly. Quantum examined it. "He, on the other hand, is definitely lying."

"Maybe the others are some of Mr. E's illusions!" said Double Take.

"What!?" Mr. E was feigning astonishment. "That's preposterous! Me, a puny stage-conjurer, hope to fool top government agents, like yourselves? Never in all my born days!"

The box started to beep frantically, and finally melted down and exploded. "Okay, he's REALLY lying!" said Quantum.

"FATHER!!!!!!!!!!!" This was the loudest shout yet. It seemed to reverberate through the entire building.

"Who could have possibly made that kind of noise?" Mr. E asked, looking around curiously.

"It sounds like... Sap. The real Sap."

"Are you sure that's your team-mate? To me, it sounded more like the wail of a frenzied, mindless beast!"

"Okay, that was definitely Sap."

"All right, I've had just about enough of this," said the fake Sap. He pulled the pin on the grenade, and tried to shove it into my mouth. "Okay, Anima, eat THIS!"

In a flash, Ms. Penguin raised the Hurricane-Rod and fired. VWHOOOOOOMMM!!! A gale-force wind blew past my face, knocking the bomb out of Sap's hand and shooting it straight into the center of the far wall. It exploded instantly, making the whole place rumble and sending chunks of rock raining down. Mr. E had to jump to avoid them.

And just like that, the battle began. The fake Wisp began his attack by backflipping towards Quantum. Quantum just swung a heavy branch over his head and knocked Wisp out cold. The fake Gargoyle tried to repeat his dirt-throwing attack on Ms. Penguin; she sidestepped, nimbly, and returned the favor by firing the Blind Light. Gargoyle grabbed his eyes and groped around helplessly until Quantum floored him with another blow from his branch. Fake-Allen tried to use his flamethrower on Double Take, but Double Take was too quick. He dodged the cloud of flame, then used the Chain-Blade to slice through the flamethrower's main petroleum cable. As a result, the gas tanks exploded, and Allen was left to burn. Finally, Fake-Element grabbed a rock and ran towards Nightshade, intending to crush her head in. She saw him coming, pulled out a crossbow and fired an arrow into his neck.

"Poison," she announced. "That's what I found in the box from General Shremph."

While all this was going on, Fake-Sap had pulled another grenade from his pocket. He crept towards Nightshade, trying to catch her unaware... but I caught his ankle.

"God, I've been waiting such a long time for this." I slowly started to stand up, holding the fake Sap upside down in the air... then, with all my anger, with all Armada's strength, I hurled him into the wall with such force that only a grey smear was left.

"Bravo! Bravo! Such spectacle! Such drama!" enthused Mr. E. "I wonder who'll be joining us next?"

Silence. A minute passed. Mr. E looked annoyed. "I said... WHO'LL BE JOINING US NEXT!?!?!?"

More silence. Another minute passed, then another. Finally, Mr. E muttered in frustration and kicked at the dust. "Well, fine, I guess the last two illusions won't be joining us. I can only assume they've already started to engage some of your team-mates!"

Suddenly, we all heard Sap's voice again, and then Sap himself (the real Sap, this time) came charging blindly into the room, screaming and bellowing, his face red. He was heading straight for Mr. E.

Obviously, Mr. E was terrified. To save himself, he now began to change his own shape. Soon he had completely assumed my likeness—well, Louis Armada's likeness with my mind inside, anyway. He threw out his arms imploringly: "Stop, Sap! It's me, Anima!"

But Sap didn't even notice. He plowed into the fake Anima/Armada and knocked her right on her butt (of course, if that had really been me in Armada's body, Sap would have been the one knocked off his feet by the collision, but that's neither here nor there). Then he charged right out of the room, and was gone.

Slowly, Fake-Anima/Armada picked herself up again, and transformed back into Mr. E. "Well, I wonder where that young man was off to in such a hurry... but no matter! I still have one more trick up my sleeve!"

He turned back to the rest of us. "I'm glad everyone seems to be enjoying my newest illusions! I'm sure you all agree, they really are my best work yet! Trust me, your torment has scarcely begun!” He raised his arms, and a green fog crept into the room, completely covering him and the bodies of the five fake supers. A second late, the fog had evaporated... but now, there were six Mister E's! They all laughed and spoke in unison: "Now that your lie detector is broken, how will you possibly identify the real me?"

They all looked exactly alike. It seemed hopeless. Then I noticed something glinting on the floor, something shiny and metallic. It was the dog whistle I'd given Sap earlier. He'd dropped it, just now, on his blind charge through the tunnel. I picked it up and blew.

Instantly, the air was filled with the sound of barking dogs. They were angry. The six Mr. E's all became tense and scared. "What's that noise?"

"You'll find out," I informed them smugly.

They panicked and tried to run, but Quantum, Nightshade, Double Take, Ms. Penguin and I all grabbed onto them and held them fast. And in less than a minute, six snarling, angry Dobermans came running in.

It was over very quickly after that. The illusions may have looked real, sounded real, and even felt real, but they had no scent. My dogs had no trouble picking out the real Mr. E, and as they pounced on him, the illusions vanished.

The rest of us stood for awhile and watched as Mr. E rolled around helplessly on the floor, thrashing and screaming, his arms and legs caught in the dogs' mouths. His stupid cape and even more stupid hat had been chewed to drool-covered ribbons.

"I think we should go looking for the others," said Double Take, after some time had passed. "They may need our help, plus there are at least two more illusions still out there." The others agreed.

"Not me," I said. "I've had enough." I couldn't wait to get back to base, throw Mr. E in jail, and drop Louis Armada the mouse into a nice comfy cage. And, more importantly, get back to my own body, and my own powers.
Elliot smiled and waved his hands frantic as the cave materialized before him.

"I am living my dream!" he shrieked.

Christian stared at Elliot for a moment then walked towards the cave, unamused. Elliot was not usually good at reading people, but this Christian kid, said he wanted to be called "Kiba." Whatever that meant. Elliot shook off his unresponsive teammate and soaked in the moment.

"You'll have to excuse me. I'm having a total fanboy moment right now. I am actually being a superhero," Elliot beamed.

"Whatever," Christian replied. "Let's just make sure we don't embarrass ourselves out here, okay? It's our first mission and I want to do a decent job."

"Oh of course. I do too. Doesn't mean we can't have fun!" Elliot squealed as he ran into the cave.

Elliot ignored Christian as he lumbered into the cave. It wasn't long though before he ran into someone. Elliot tripped and hit the ground hard. As he looked up at the person, he became filled with fear.
Sometimes I wonder why I received the wrong package that day. It seems like so long ago, and I am usually very greatful for the twin swords Kiba. Now was not one of them. First he gets stuck with the very strange man who doesn't seem at all like a super hero. As a matter of fact, he looked homeless. But that wasn't the problem. The problem was when we ran into a strange man wearing a suit with the largest sythe I've seen a human carry. Then my "partner" trips on his own two feet and looks like someone just kicked his puppy.

"What's wrong Elliot? This guy doesn't seem that bad?" Christian asks curiously.

"That man.. He's goes by the codename Shinigami. He's an assassin. Usually noone even knows he's been there until it's too late. He's only been seen a handfull of times and they have all ended up messily with him almost unharmed. Noone knows what his power is." Elliot answers trembling all the time.

"Someone's heard of me. I'm so excited. Looks like Charon is going to finally get some more passengers. Prepare to DIE!" He yells towards the end. He draws the sythe from his back with ease and seems to unleash a pressure making it hard to breathe.

For a second Christian can swear he sees a shadowy figure behind him before he steels his nerves. "Elliot get up. We have a mission, and we are NOT going to fail." He commands. "Mr. Shinigami prepare to be defeated." But when he starts to move he realizes that his movements feel sluggish like he's wading through water. "Elliot, how long can you hold him off while I think of a strategy?"

"I'll hold off as long as I can, but you better hurry." Elliot states brusing himself off. He starts to raise the temperatures until they are in the mid 90's. "Let's see how good you are when your palms are too sweaty to hold your weapon!" he boasts. He then adapts to grow claws instead of fingernails to fight with the Shinigami.

The Shinigami just flows past all of Elliot's sluggish movements. "I'm like the wind. You'll never hit me." Suddenly the Shinigami feels a tingle down the back of his neck and jumps back just in time to avoid getting sliced with piano wire. He suddenly knocks away Elliot and focuses his attention on Christian. He throws the sythe at Christian with it spinning like a buzzsaw. Christian is about to jump out of the way when he notices that Elliot is behind him and so instead pulls out one of the Kiba and prepares to block the buzzsaw-like blade. Suddenly the sythe starts to spin sideways and avoids Christian going towards Elliot.

"ELLIOT MOVE!" Christian screams out. He starts running towards the Shinigami hoping to stop him before he hits his partner.



         It was chaos. Anima had somehow ended up in Louis Armada's body, Mr.E was being mauled by a bunch of Dobermans, and all Natalia could think about was whether there were fake versions of Quentin and herself as well. Another thing was that they were not doing a good job of following General Schremp's orders. Natalia grabbed Quentin's hand and pulled him aside.

         "I think we should go," she whispered. "Schremp told us not to interact with the other teams."

         "I agree," he said. "Let's take Mr.E with us and try to get in contact with Schremp."

         They told the others where they were going, and carried Mr.E out of the cave. The beautiful scene they had first ended up in was gone. It was now replaced by a huge field of lush green grass. It was almost sad knowing that none of this was real. When they tried to radio Schremp, all they heard was static. Not being able to do anything else, they sat down, and waited.

         Natalia looked over at Quentin. Leave it to him to go through this whole ordeal and still look perfect. His black hair was straight as ever, every strand in its place. There was not one bead of sweat on his skin. It was as if nothing even happened. Natalia had heard the stories about him. Quentin Hawthorne, the first superhero. It was said that the suit helps him contain his powers. They could be dangerous if he exerted them completely.

         "Do you have any family?" Quentin asked her, pulling her from her thoughts.

         "Umm... I don't know. I don't remember."

         "What do you mean you don't remember?"

         "When they started experimenting on me, they erased my memory. I'm not sure why. Maybe I was depressed or something. I don't know. I don't remember anything from before..." she didn't bother finishing her sentence. "What about you?"

         Quentin smiled sadly. "My family? That was a long time ago."

         Tiredness overcoming her body, Natalia hesitantly rested her head on Quentin's strong shoulder, and closed her eyes. Quentin still smelled like ocean air, crisp and cool. She dreaded the day they would have to go back to the labs. More than that, she dreaded the day she wouldn't be allowed to spend time with Quentin anymore. Natalia never knew she could feel so close to a person, yet not know all that much about them.

         Moments later, their radio sputtered to life.
The mission had changed dramatically since Quentin and Natalia began. They had strict rules on no interaction between them and other teams, however, that was impossible. The illusions proved to be more than any of the heroes could handle on their own. It all came to a head rather quickly, but as much as Quentin was glad the mission had been a success with the help of everyone else it was a bitter sweet victory. They left Mr. E tied up securely by the entrance to the cave while Quentin and Natalia sat together on a large broken rock with clear view of him.

Natalia laid her head upon Quentin’s shoulder letting out a tired breath. The warmth that sprang within him felt wonderful. However, while there was a warmth that slowly spread itself throughout his body he could feel something else spring forth within him like the old friend he never knew he needed. The switch was there to bring his power forth if he wanted, but with this realization was also a reminder that he would be separated from Natalia again to be headed back to the lab.

The radio sputtered to life with an unmistakable voice yelling from it.

“Damn it! Is this working yet Jensen?” Quentin heard General Schremph ask.

“If you can wait a moment. I need to check a few more settings.” Jensen answered.

“If something about these satellites aren’t done quickly someone is going to have their ass handed to them.” General Schremph declared.

Silence.

“Jensen?” General Schremph called.

More silence.

“What the hell? Jensen, God damn it, answer me!” General Schremph demanded.

“Um..sir?” Jensen spoke up.

“What!?” Schremph answered forcefully.

“I was checking the radio frequencies to find what the problem could be only to find out that the radios are working again sir.” Jensen informed, a clearly fuming General Schremph.

“So, the heroes can hear me?” Schremph asked.

“Yes, you’ve been live for the past 5 minutes, sir.” Jensen responded.

Quentin couldn’t help but laugh at what he and Natalia overheard. At the sound of the radio coming to life Natalia lifted her head from his shoulder.

“I’m happy to hear that the mission was a success.” General Schremph congratulated.

Quentin informed General Schremph of the events that had taken place. He in turn told Quentin and Natalia that transport was on the way.

Quentin sat beside Natalia thinking of what would happen after this mission staring off into what was once a beautiful landscape, but turned out to be nothing more than a regular field of grass. He sat watching the an upset wind wreaking havoc on the blades of grass.

“Natalia.” Quentin called.

At the sound of her name she looked over at him after being pulled from her thoughts. He couldn’t help but notice the way her eyes set him at ease. She was beautiful and he just didn’t know what he was going to do if he never saw her again.

“I think our powers have returned.” He said, trying to find the courage to express what he was feeling.

“Yeah, I know,” She said, her voice gave away the sadness that she felt.

“I’m glad you were chosen to be my partner.” Quentin confessed.

“I am too.” She said, looking deep into his eyes.

Her golden eyes seemed to glow slightly as she stared into his eyes. He was drawn by the curve of her lips. Quentin couldn’t help himself. He had never been drawn to someone as strongly before. He leaned forward slightly hesitant because he didn’t know if he would be rejected, but decided he had gone too far to turn back.

Quentin kissed Natalia and took her in his arms enjoying the feel of his lips against hers. As they kissed Quentin’s power exploded around them encasing the two of them in a glowing blue light.

The only witness to this outburst of power was a tied up struggling Mr.E that was resting against the wall of the cave.
Schremph teleported the group of heroes back to the headquarters. As he made a count, he frowned.

"Where are the rest of the heroes?" Schremph asked loudly.

The heroes looked around and realized they were missing some of the heroes. Wisp, Gal Born, Ms Penguin, and Double Take all seemed to have disappeared. After a few moments of searching, Schremph held up his hand to calm the group. He lowered his head and shook his head slowly.

"It's no use. They're... they're gone now." Schremph turned and walked towards the opposite wall. An image was projected to the opposite wall of a masked man. He had glowing yellow eyes.

"So far heroes, you have challenged Dr. Vorchek, Louis Armada of Lambda, and Mr. E. This man is your next target. His name is Shinigami. Well, that's his alias at least. We have no information on his actual name. Anyways, intel has recently informed me that Shinigami appeared on your last mission. I'm not sure why he was snooping around your location, but that is far from a good sign. He may be working for someone or this may be personal. We do not know. Either way, we need to figure out why he was at your last location.

"Lately, Shinigami has been residing out in Antartica. Naturally, he likes the seclusion. Your mission is simple. You will be teleported to Antartica. Shinigami is a master of stealth, so it will require extra work just to find his location. He may have ninjas aiding him as well so be prepared for that. Find Shinigami and find out what he's up to!"

Without another word, Schremph teleported the heroes.

***


You open your eyes and are smacked in the face by the strong chilling breeze of Antartica. You look at your partner and quickly realize that you were grossly unprepared to be thrust in one of the coldest parts of the world. You look around you and see one heavy coat and another mystery box. You also see three sets of footprints: one going left, one going right, and one going straight ahead. You look at your partner and eye that coat...

Suddenly the sound of metal piercing flesh rang out across the cave. Elliot looked up to see that Christian had jumped in the way. Luckily the scythe blade had been slowed down by one of Christian's swords right before it hit so it only stabbed him in the side. It would hurt for a while, and his mobility would be down, but he would likely survive as long as he could avoid getting hit anywhere vital for the rest of the fight. Christian's hair hung down in front of his eyes before he looked up and a cold fire burned in his eyes. He was determined to take win this battle.

Elliot got up and adapted his arms so that large blades stuck out of his wrists. He was out for blood. He may not have been what most people would look at and think 'Hey he looks like a hero' but he wasn't going to sit and watch as his partner takes a hit for him. He proceeds to run around Christian straight at Shinigami swinging his arms wide. Shinigami calls his scythe back to him and tries to block every hit that Elliot threw. Shinigami thinks that Elliot is just not good at fighting until Elliot makes a very wide slash at him and he easily evades it only to fall into a pile of piano wire. Suddenly the wire wraps around him tight enough so that if he moves he'll have some serious injuries.

Elliot looks over to see Christian panting and leaning against a wall. The injury is more serious than it seemed at first and he doesn't look well. Suddenly a gas flows into the cave and Elliot and Christian get very sleepy. As they black out they can feel someone picking them up and see Shinigami getting let loose.

Elliot opened his eyes to a stinging breeze. He tried to figure out where he was, but the last few minutes were a blur. He distinctly remembered hearing the General's voice, but he couldn't remember any of it. He glanced over at Christian. The guy was waking up.

"What happened?" Christian groaned.

"I don't know."

"Well where are we?"

"I don't know."

Christian let out a long groan and rose to his feet. Elliot laid back down for a moment and heated up the area using his powers. The surrounded twenty feet rose to about 70 degrees.

"Thank you so much. It's freezing out here!" Christian said. He took off his coat and let it fall to the floor.

Elliot rose to his feet and looked around. The entire area was covered in a blanket of snow. A few feet away sat the mysterious box. Elliot ran to the box and ripped it open. A couple of flares sat in the box.

"This may come in handy out here," Elliot said as he handed a flare to Christian.

"Well I'm not sure what we're doing out here, but while we're wandering around, tell me about yourself kid. How do you know that assassin guy?"
I was feeling good after the last mission ended. Hadn’t I earned that right? Not only did we catch Mr. E, but we brought down Lambda, and now Louis Armada was running a hamster wheel in General Shremph’s office.

But the next mission got off to a really poor start. First the realization that we’d two teams—were they dead? Captured? Worse? Then we were teleported straight into Antarctica, suddenly overwhelmed by that bitter cold and howling wind... well, suffice it to say, I was not a happy camper.

As soon as Sap saw the coat, he dove for it. “Outta my way!” Just before putting it on, he realized what he was doing, and turned back to me tentatively.

I sighed and hugged my shoulders. “Just take it, Sap. I don’t need it.” And this was true. Neither of us were dressed for the coldest place on Earth; we were dressed for the desert, where we’d spent our last mission. But at least my animal genes gave me heightened resistance to the cold. It felt just like being out on a windy day in shorts and no coat. It wouldn’t be pleasant, at least, but I would survive.

Sap didn’t need any further encouragement, and pulled it over himself. We went to look in the crate, our footsteps crunching in the snow.

All of our weapons from the last mission were there. I grabbed the Slow-Ray, Sap went for the Mind-Swapper. He reached for the Blind-Light and the Hurricane-Rod, but I had my hand on them first.

“Hey, Anima, give!”

“You got them in the last mission,” I said, trying not to sound like a five-year-old arguing over toys. “It’s my turn to have them now.”

He was indignant. “They’re not yours!”

“Well, I don’t see your name on them either.” My mistake; there was absolutely no way to avoid sounding like a five-year-old arguing over toys.

He glared at me for a moment—then all at once he grabbed my hand! I knew immediately what this was; I lived in constant dread of it. He was trying to sap me again!

Well, whenever he caught me by surprise, it usually worked in his favor. But when you get right down to it, I’m stronger than him, and faster, and this time he was coming right at me! In less than an instant, I’d grabbed his wrist, twisted his arm around and then thrown him headfirst into a snow bank.

Don’t you ever—EVER—do that to me AGAIN! DO YOU UNDERSTAND!?!” I was enraged. “I SWEAR TO GOD, if you try that on me again, I WILL KILL YOU!”

He pulled himself out of the snow, saying nothing.

“What the HELL is wrong with you, anyway? You were going to sap me AGAIN just so you could get some stupid gadgets? My God, if you want them so badly, just TAKE THEM!” I threw the Hurricane-Rod and the Blind-Light into the snow beside him.

He didn’t touch them. “I wasn’t trying to sap you again.”

“Oh yeah? What the HELL were you trying to do, huh?”

“I just…” He was embarrassed. “I guess I just wanted to… to grab the Hurricane-Rod away from you.” He paused again. “Hell, you take ‘em. I don’t want them now.”

“Well, I sure as hell don’t want them, either!” But I took them. “Don’t you EVER touch me again!”

“I really wasn’t gonna sap you,” he insisted.

I turned away from him. “I really don’t care. Just don't touch me.”

It’s just the cold, I thought to myself. The cold is making us act this way. We’re freezing and we’ve done three missions in a row already. We’ve been awake for God knows how long. It’s just the cold, and the fatigue, that’s why we're both so stingy and paranoid, and our tempers are so short. But I moved further away from Sap, just the same.

So Sap took the Mind-Swapper, and the Chain-Blade, and I took the Slow-Ray, and the Hurricane-Rod, and the Blind-Light. At the bottom of the crate, there was a small metal headband with a piece of paper attached to it that said, “For Anima”, so I put it on. But I didn’t know what it was, or what it did.

I called out for any animals nearby, but my calls were mostly swallowed up by the cold and the wind. Not that it mattered, really; there didn’t seem to be anything living in the area. Besides, what lives in Antarctica? Penguins and seals and not much else. Maybe if Shinigami was allergic to cuteness, we’d have an easy victory, but that didn’t seem likely.

I wasn’t in the mood to be near Sap, so we decided to split up. He followed the footprints on the left, and I followed the footprints on the right. I walked for about thirty minutes, growing thoroughly more miserable by the second. The footprints led me up a giant snowy mountain, and there they disappeared.

Sap had already arrived. “So the footprints led you here too, huh?”

I didn’t answer him. Tensely, we wandered around, looking for a clue where to go next, as the sky got darker, the wind got fiercer and the air got colder. Finally, Sap sighed, and leaned heavily against the snowy outcropping on the mountainside. Instantly, the snow crumbled away and he fell straight into darkness. “HEY! WHOA—”

I didn’t bother to stop myself from laughing. When I couldn’t laugh anymore, I crawled through the hole to find him.

The cave I now found myself in was huge, and lit with torches. There were many different tunnels leading further into the heart of the mountain, with footprints going in and out of all of them. And there, in the center of the floor, flat on his back in a giant pile of snow, was Sap.

“Well, Sap, I guess you’ve stumbled onto Shinigami’s hideout.” We were in!
As I lay in the pile of snow, waiting for Anima to help me up, She just looks down at me laughing.


"Hey! Aren't you going to help me up or not?!"


"Well why don't you say please first." I didn't have time for this. And Anima was getting on my last nerve. I pulled myself out and walked off into a random tunnel.


"Hey! Wait up!" Anima yelled as she tried to catch up to me. I didn't slow down for her at all. All I knew was that Vorchek was in here somewhere, and after what he told me back at Mr. E's hideout, I knew he had to be stopped. I would have stopped him there, but that Shinigami guy whacked me on the back of the head with his scythe and left me to Schremph's men. I wasn't about to let him put her through that pain all over again. I was determent to stop him like I almost did back in the first mission. But this time, not even Anima would get in my way. And if she even tried-


"Sap! Didn't you hear me?!" Anima was right behind me, complaining as always. I paid her no mind and continued on. But then Anima got in front of me with her arms spread out.


"Get out of my way Anima!"


"No! Not until you tell me what's wrong with you. You've been acting like a d**k since the mission started. And I won't move until you tell me what's wrong with you."


"It's none of your concern. Now get out of my way." I was about to push her aside when she pushed me back.


"If you push me again Anima, I'll make you bleed." I formed a fist as I said this, but Anima didn't budge, and I tried to get past her again. She still wouldn't let me pass. That's when she shoved me over again, and that's when I got p****d. I got as close to her as I could, and then I punched her in the gut. She held her hands over her gut and started to bend over in pain. That's when I held my elbow over her head and brought it down over her head, knocking her to the cold, hard, ground.


"I warned you." As I walked past her, her legs tripped mine, causing me to fall to the ground as well. But then she got up and tried to pin me to the ground, but I got up before she got to me, and I hit her again. And that, is when the s**t hit the fan. That's when Anima pulled the Hurricane-Rod out and hit me with Hurricane force winds, tossing me into the wall. As I slid down, I got back up slowly, looked at her and said-


"I knew this day would come. I just didn't know I'd have to kill you before I killed Vorchek." I got into a defensive stance. Waiting for Anima to make a fatal move.


"No! We can't use her now! She's not ready yet!" That's when I heard a voice coming from behind me.


"We have to! The supers already know where we are thanks to you! We have to use her powers now! Or we'll both be killed!" Then I heard another voice. It must have been Shinigami. Talking to my father.


"No! There's a chance she could act on her own will and kill us too! I won't take that chance after all these years of trying to bring her back to life!" It was Vorchek again. He was talking about that woman again. It must have been her. There was no one else he could have been talking about. At that moment, I dropped the Chain-Blade and ran towered the voices. Anima fallowing soon after. Soon I found myself inside a great big room with lots of capsules big enough for people to be held inside. I couldn't see inside any of them. There was frost on all of them. That's when I found Vorchek in the center of the room. Looking into a capsule next to a lot of machinery. I was about to sneak up behind him when I heard someone talking from behind me.


"Don't even think about it kid." Both me and Vorchek turned around to see Shinigami holding Anima, and a scythe to her throat.


"If you even touch him, your friend here dies." I just looked at him and Anima and said-


"Go ahead. That girl is not my friend anymore." I saw the look of sadness in Anima's eyes. Then I looked at Vorchek and said-


"All I care about is killing you. YOU B*****D!!!" I ran over to Vorchek and pulled my fist back to deliver the finishing blow. But he got out of the way just in time, and I ended up punching the capsule instead. As I did, it started to crack. And more cracks started to from. And then, The capsule shattered. And as it did, a strange liquid flowed out, and some smoke did too. Vorchek tried to run away from me, but I got hold of him before he did, and I was about to wring his neck. But then I saw a person inside what was left of the capsule. A woman. I tried to get a closer look at her. And then, I let go of Vorchek. I felt my eyes starting to pop out of their sockets. What stood before me was the woman Vorchek told me about before. The one I've been trying to find for so long. The one person who means more to me than anyone else in the whole world.


"M-mom?" I started backing away slowly.


"Yes son. Allow me to reintroduce you to your mother, Victoria." Everyone in the room had all eyes on my mother. She had blond hair that went down to around her butt. {She was naked right now, so you could see where her butt was.} Her eye color was green, and she had a smile on her face, even though she was asleep. Even Anima was shocked to find out my mother was still alive, even after what I said back during the first mission. Vorchek got back up and walked over to the other side of the capsule.


"As you can see, I've been hard at work trying to bring her back to life, my son. You don't know how many body's I went through using my synthetic zombie project, just to find the right body parts to match her's."


"Wait, weren't you trying to raise an army of zombies to take over the world then?" Anima asked while still being held by Shinigami.


"No Anima. That wasn't the whole truth." I said as I turned to face her.


"He was just saying that so no one would find out about what he was up to. But you wanted me to know. didn't you?" I turned to face Vorchek.


"That's why you left all of these clues to help me find you. Busting out of the cell during the second mission. Leaving the key for me in the last mission so I could open the safe and find the plans. It was all so I could find her here. But why?"


"Because son, I wanted you to be with your mother again. After I took her life away from you, I knew you'd never talk to me again. That's when I decided to go back to area 51 to get my research papers. I knew one of them had information on how to bring people back from the dead. But that's when I found out about the Double Take project. I knew I wouldn't be able to look after you and try to bring your mother back to life. So I tried to use the project on myself, so I could look after you and work on bringing you mother back to you. But the people there wouldn't let me use it on myself. told me that they already found someone who could use it's power properly. So I destroyed the equipment. And took my revenge on area 51. I swore that they would all pay. But not before I told Schremph about Zack. And how he needed someone to look after him. But I had no idea that he would use you as a test subject for project Sapparation. And here you are now. With the power to absorb the powers of other supers and use them for yourself. I knew that Schremph would send you after me. To find me and bring me to justice. And that you would want more than justice. You'd want to see me burred. So I devised plans to get you back on my side. I got lots of funding from area 51 before I left them, built bases all around the world to further my plans, and even created other supers to stall you while I finished bringing your mother back from the dead. Louis Armada, Mr. E, and even Shinigami over there. All are my creations, born from my genius!" Anima and I were in shock. He created Louis Armada, Mr. E, and Shinigami, just to keep us from finding my mother until he was ready?


"But don't worry. For I have other supers hidden all over the world, waiting to at my command to hunt your friends down and make them pay. I even have supers inside area 51 trying to get top secret information about satellite's above area 51, so I can rain down hell from above them. With their own weapons no less! I. Will. Make. Them. Pay!" That's when I saw my mother starting to wake up from her sleep.


"And now, it's time I showed you my newest creation. Super #8800. Code named, The Divine Enchanter!"
A Non-Existent User
Anna felt chills go up her spine as she and Desmond were teleported to their next destination. She glanced over at Desmond and watched as he rubbed his arms to try to warm himself. The duo tried their best to avoid eye contact as they looked around the frozen wasteland. The same lone box from previous missions stuck out of the snow, beckoning the heroes over. Anna glanced over at Desmond, who was already looking at her. His eyes challenged her as it became evident he had already noticed the box.

Immediately, Anna sprinted to the box. She could feel Desmond take off after her. Anna made it to the box and threw the lid open. As an oversized coat sat stuffed in the box, Desmond shoved Anna out of the way, causing her to crash hard on the snow. Desmond pulled out the large black coat and put it on.

"What the hell was that about?" Anna yelled.

"Take it easy princess. I'm just as cold out here as you are."

Anna could feel her face turn red. "So you shove me?! ...For a coat?!"

Desmond shrugged.

"You're such a... such a... douche!"

Desmond smiled. "Well, we have a mission to accomplish. Are you going to keep complaining or are we actually going to do something?"

"Fine. Let's go," Anna growled.

Anna and Desmond walked through the bitter cold completely unsure of what they were looking for. Nothing was said as they walked. Anna shivered uncontrollably while Desmond made the occasional comment about his warm coat. It took everything she had to keep Anna from destroying Desmond's mind. But the mission comes first!

In the distance, a large cave-like hole appeared. Anna ran to the cave, hoping it would offer some warmth. She made it into the cave and sure enough, it was much warmer than outside. It was almost too warm to be natural. Voices echoed through the cave. Then shadows appeared. Anna looked for a place to hide, but found nothing. She looked back and saw Desmond still walking slowly to the cave. She turned and stood her ground as the figures appeared around a corner.










Flakes of snow fell like feathers from the sky, while Quentin and Natalia stood side by side staring at the frozen part of the world called Antarctica. General Shremph said the mission was simple, but it only complicated things more for Quentin. Something had changed. Quentin and Natalia had no time to really talk about what happened between them as they waited to be transported after the fight with Mr. E. The feelings he had for her bloomed within his chest feeling as if his heart would boil over. The feel of her hand seeking out his put his mind to rest for the moment. It was unexpected, yet satisfied his desire to be close to her. He enjoyed the warmth of her hand in his when he realized that she was freezing.

He pulled her into his arms.

She wrapped her arms around him in a loving embrace and he did the same. Quentin felt he could stand here with her forever. She kissed his neck and he sought out her lips with his with hesitation this time. Once again his energy exploded melting the snow twenty yards around them in all directions. The trees that were covered in snow were now dripping with water as were the grass and all the flowers. The kiss for short lived through because just beyond the newly melted trees were two men that seemed to be intent on ruining the moment Quentin and Natalia had taken from themselves. In their hands they held swords made of energy.

Quentin could only hope the mystery box contained a weapon for Natalia to use. He didn’t need the coat, but there was no way he would all her to be hurt now. The two men began throwing something Quentin couldn’t make out until they were almost too close…energy laden ninja stars. He threw up an energy field that was able to stop one of the stars, but saw that the other was going to hit Natalia, so he grabbed her and turned so he took the brunt of the attack feeling the weapon lodge itself in his back.
Gargoyle Clenched his fists and laughed, His hands were once again made of stone, The fatigue he felt had lessened significantly and the cold hardly bothered him. "Hey Element" Gargoyle called walking over to the coat and tossing it to his partner, Element smiled as he tested his fire blasts only stopping to grab the winter coat and putting it on. Element had warmed the area enough that it seemed silly to be putting on the jacket now, but Gargoyle just shrugged. "I feel better than ever. Let's go in there, Destroy everything and get out." Gargoyle walked up to the familiar wooden box. and pried it open with almost no effort. Inside were the usual assortment of guns. He looked over at Element and could tell that his partner wasn't as excited about the operation as he was. The fatigue of continuous missions was really starting to take a toll on most of the heroes. Gargoyle frowned "Hey I can take this if you want to sit this mission out" Element shook his head. "Are you kidding?" He walked up to the box glancing in, but again choosing to ignore its contents as well "You wouldn't last five minutes without me" Gargoyle laughed a deep bellow. It had been his first since the missions began. "It's longer than the three you would last without me" Element cracked a smile a small chuckle escaping his lips as well. "Really because I remember that I had to save your..." The two continued to argue jokingly all the way into the cave entance

Gargoyle walked down the finely crafted stone Staircase with Element by his side "...that torpedo you would have drowned" Gargoyle barely noticed the gaurd standing in the hallway "Intru...." Element had already fired a bolt of ice before the guard began speaking, and the man was fully frozen before he finished. Without even looking to the frozen guard Element retorted "Did you forget about how useless you were last mission"

The two continued to walk down the corridors taking evey set of stairs down that they could under the logic that 'The bad guy is always in the basement' to which the other replied 'Or at the top of the tower'

It wasn't long until they both wandered into a large room, with large Cylindrical tubes scattered about, Each had blue liquid in it, and almost all of those had a person. "What is this place?" Element asked Gargoyle shrugged just hoping to find the illusive Shinigami. "Gargoyle looked at one of the tubes and saw a naked woman floating within a nameplate above her tube read 'Furious Flame' Gargoyle raised a brow concerned, "You don't think these are..." Element finished his sentence "...other Supers" A chill mightier than any cold outside ran down Gargoyles back. I don't like this, Let's find this Shinigami and get out of here. The two of them began searching the nametags. Surprisingly most of the containers were missing a person. It wasn't long before they found the empty container that read 'Shinigami' Neither of them were shocked that he was missing. What did surprise them however was seeing the badly burned Louis Armstrong in the container next to them.
"What is this place?" Element asked.

"It's the basement of the hideout," Gargoyle replied.

Element scoffed. "Well, I figured that much out. Why are these here though? I mean... does this belong to the government?"

Gargoyle ignored the question and walked up to one of the tubes. Louis Armada stared blankly into the distance as he floated in the tube. Gargoyle tapped on the glass, but Armada simply continued to float with his blank stare. Element looked around the room and felt another chill go down his spine. The room was practically empty except for the tubes. Element began to wonder why most of the tubes were empty...

The sound of hissing gas snapped Element back into the moment. He turned around to see Gargoyle stepping back from Armada's tank. Blue liquid began pouring out of his container as the cover to the container came off.

"What did you do?" Element asked.

"I didn't do anything! I swear this just started on its own," Gargoyle answered quickly.

As the duo backed continued backing away, Armada fell from the tank. He collapsed to his knees and let out an amplified growl. His head slowly turned up until he was looking at Element and Gargoyle. His face was read and he seemed to be hyperventilating.

"You!" Armada growled as he glared at Gargoyle. "What are YOU doing here?!"

Gargoyle glanced down at Element and the duo stepped forward.

"What are you doing here?" Gargoyle asked.

Armada let out a vicious yell and rushed to Gargoyle. Gargoyle side-stepped just as Armada reached Gargoyle, sending Armada head-first into the wall. The room seemed to shake and the wall cracked a bit, but Armada simply straightened and narrowed his eyes as Gargoyle stood firm in front of him. Element stepped between them before Armada could charge again. He quickly shot multiple shots of ice at Armada's feet until he felt that Armada's feet were frozen to the ice.

"Stop!" Element yelled. "We are just as confused as you are!"

Armada broke free from the ice and charged again with a vicious yell. Element jumped out of the way in time, but Gargoyle took a vicious tackle from Armada. Armada mounted Gargoyle and began punching mercilessly. Element shot fireballs at Armada to get his attention. Armada stopped swinging and slowly rose to his feet. He turned and stared down at Element. Element began shooting ice at the floor as he backed away from Armada.

"GRRRAAAAARRRR!" Armada yelled as he charged to Element. As Armada began running on the ice, he slipped and fell, but his momentum continued carrying him to Element. Element simply stepped out of the way and watched as Armada slid by. Armada crashed into the wall and momentarily stopped him. Element ran to Gargoyle and helped him to his feet.

"Told ya you wouldn't last more than five minutes without me!" Element joked.

"Yeah okay. Let's hurry up and figure out what's going on here though!"

Element glanced over at Armada, who struggled to get to his feet on the slippery ice, and looked back Gargoyle. "Well let's go before this guy gets back up!"
"General Schremph here! Supers, are you okay?"

You radio in with your partner and inform Schremph that you are both okay. He cuts you off though before you can continue.

"Well, it's been brought to my attention that some familiar faces are present at your location. Mr. E, Armada, Vorchek... they're all there. Please be extra careful now! Find Shingami and figure out what's going on out there. Hurry! Schremph out."

Your radio goes silent. You look at your partner and are surprised that Schremph cut it so short. You figure he must be preoccupied with something and shrug it off. You turn your focus on Shingami and his hideout. You need to figure out what's going on... quick!
Elliot looked over at Christian waiting for a response. The young guy was busy looking ahead; he just ignored Elliot.

"Hey. Did you hear me?"

"Huh?" Christian responded.

"How do you know that assassin guy?"

Christian held a finger to his lips and slowed his pace. Elliot looked around in an attempt to figure out what made Christian so uneasy, but nothing seemed out of the ordinary.Christian held out his hand, stopping Elliot.

"He's close."

"Who? Shinigami?" Elliot wondered.

Christian inched his way to a snowbank. As he inched closer, he pulled out some of his piano wire. Elliot watched as Christian felt his way around the snowbank. Elliot wanted to help, but he had no idea what made the snowbank significant.

A hand shot out of the snow and grabbed Christian. In seconds, the person, Shinigami, had successfully disarmed Christian and laid him out on his back. Elliot rushed Shinigami and tackled him into the snow. The man squeezed out of Elliot's grasp and looked over at Christian.

"You. You have found me."

Elliot kept his distance as Shinigami and Christian squared off. Christian pulled out one of his swords and held it at his side. Shinigami stood unfazed.

"What are you doing out here?" Christian asked. Shinigami remained frozen. Christian pointed his kiba at Shinigami.

"You don't know what's going on... do you?" Shinigami finally responded.

"What? What are you talking about?" Christian asked. It took everything to keep Elliot from jumping in the conversation. Shinigami pushed aside the sword and looked out into the frozen wasteland.

"You're running around trying to save the world aren't you? Do you have any idea why they have you doing this?"

Christian took a moment to think about that. Elliot's mind was already there. Why am I doing this?

In a blur of movement, Shinigami grabbed the rope from the ground and wrapped it around Christian's throat. Christian's face turned bright red in a matter of seconds. Elliot charged to Shinigami again, but Shinigami side-stepped, sending Elliot into the snow. Elliot looked up as Christian struggled in Shinigami's grasp. Christian adjusted himself and gasped for air.

"You should've known better," Christian gasped. As the words left Christian's mouth, the piano wire seemed to come to life. Shinigami tried to tighten the wire, but it proved to be useless. The wire looked like it was being worked by an invisible force. Shock was all over Shinigami's face as the wire left his grasp and began to tie around his body. In seconds, the wire was fastened around Shinigami's legs, preventing him from escaping. In one last effort, Shinigami wriggled a hand free and reached his hand into his pocket. He pulled out a small remote of some sort and pushed the button.

"You can never know what was in there," Shinigami explained.

The roar of an explosion rocked the ground. Elliot shielded his face from the intense heat coming from the hidden cave. Elliot quickly changed the temperature so it was simply cool. Elliot looked into the cave but was only greeted by silence. As Shinigami dropped the tiny remote, Elliot's mind focused on the other heroes. He could only hope they were still alive.
The mission had gone all to Hell… again.

Sap had betrayed me again—though, honestly, I knew that he would. It’s really all he ever does. Now, his whole psychotic family had been reunited, and they’d pretty much given Shinigami permission to kill me.

I tried to fight, to throw him off me or to slither out of his grip, but it was impossible. Shinigami had a power about him, some sort of strength-sapping aura. That was how he’d been able to capture me in the first place; as soon as he came close, the air around me began to feel thick, heavy. It was like try to move through Jell-O, and it made me feel slow and weak.

Sap was basking in the love of his mother, now that she had awoken from her cold sleep, and Vorchek was looking on, satisfied. It would have been a touching moment if all three of them weren’t completely insane monsters.

Suddenly, we all heard a deep rumbling noise that sounded like a mountain moving outside, and the ground shook. At that same moment, my radio came to life with a call from one of the other teams—we hadn’t really been introduced to these guys yet, they were the newest recruits:

“Calling all other teams! This is Toaster and Kiba! We engaged Shinigami in combat and he set off an explosion that destroyed a nearby cave! We just want to make sure everybody else is alive! Everyone who can hear me… respond!”

Sap looked confused. “What—? But, but… this is Shinigami right here! How could he be fighting those guys outside?”

“There are two Shinigamis, son,” said Vorchek. “I had a feeling that Shremph would send his supers in to try and kidnap my most loyal servants, so I took the liberty of cloning them. Aside from the two Shinigamis, there’s also a second Mr. E and another Louis Armada floating in the storage tanks downstairs.”

Suddenly there was a crash and a yell from somewhere further down into the cave. “Ah,” said Vorchek nonchalantly, “sounds like someone’s already discovered Louis the Second.”

“SAP! HELP ME!” I called out to him, trying to keep my throat from pressing more tightly against the tip of Shinigami’s blade.

They all ignored me. Then Sap’s mom spoke:

“Zachary, my darling, words can’t tell you how happy I am. For years, I dreamed you’d find your way back to me. But we mustn’t waste any more of our time together. Fate has reunited us for a reason.”

“Whaddayou mean, mom?” said Sap.

“Don’t you see? With our powers together, we can achieve something greater than any government or religion—or any puny supers—have ever been able to do! If I boost your powers a millionfold, you’ll be the most powerful man on the face of the earth. Nobody will able to stop you from taking what you want—what we want!”

Sap’s brow furrowed in confusion. “And what do you want, Mom?”

She said two words to him, in a cold, terse whisper. “The world.”

For the first time since I could remember, I saw a shadow of uncertainty cross Vorchek’s face. “Victoria,” he started to say cajolingly, “I never agreed to let you use the boy in this way. There are a still many things to con—”

Sap’s mom narrowed her eyes at her husband. “Voitek, go tinker with your inventions. Do it now, and leave us to talk.”

Vorchek began to stammer. “But—”

Sap stepped beside his mother, and joined her in glaring. “You heard Mom. Get going, you bee-asterisk-asterisk-asterisk-asterisk-asterisk-dee.” (That was another odd thing about Sap—he was always pretending to swear but could never actually bring himself to say the real curse word; instead he’d just spell it out, with a lot of asterisks replacing the middle letters. It would have looked good on paper, I guess, but when he said it out loud it sounded really stupid. But I digress.)

Hesitantly, Vorchek walked to the corner, where some heavy machinery was piled. He stepped behind a giant computer screen, and was gone.

Sap’s mom turned to Shinigami. “You can go now, too. Find the other supers, and engage them. Bring us their heads.” She motioned to me. “You don’t need to worry about Sap’s partner. She’ll be rendered powerless soon enough.” Shinigami bowed, silently, and left. Still weak from his strength-sapping powers, I simply collapsed to the icy ground.

Sap’s mom turned back to him. “Now, Zachary, we are alone. Will you do what I ask of you?”

Sap looked at her. “Are you kidding, Mom? All these years, I’d have given anything to have you back! And now we are! Nobody’s ever going to come between us again! Of COURSE I’ll do what you want!”

His mom smiled, a cruel smirk through thin lips. “That is precisely what I wanted to hear—thank you, my brave, strong boy, my knight in shining armor.”

The situation was going from bad to worse, and I was helpless. All I could do was lie there, powerless, betrayed and humiliated, unable to move. I couldn’t even call out to any animals, because there weren’t any nearby; outside this base, there were only miles and miles of empty ice. And there were definitely no animals inside the base.

Unless…

Oh my God, it was too ridiculous. I'd dismissed it before, as an impossibility, merely the delusion of overanalyzed semantics. It had actually occurred to me several times already, but I'd never thought I’d actually get desperate enough to try it out. But now, here I was.

“Sap,” I cried out again, trying not to sound too desperate and pathetic. “It’s me, your partner! I’m sorry about what happened between us, but I know there’s good in you! PLEASE help me!”

Sap snorted. “Too late, you stuck-up little bee-asterisk-asterisk-asterisk-aytch.” He seemed like he was already getting started excited about taking over the world with his mother. “You missed your chance.”

His mother put a proud hand on his shoulder. “That’s right, son. Soon enough, your little ‘friend’ will get what she deserves—once you have the powers of a god, and the world belongs to us.” Sap seemed pleased indeed to hear this.

All right, then. So my pleas weren’t working. I had to change tactics. “All right, Sap,” I said softly. “I won’t try to argue. If you’re going to kill me, kill me. But at least promise you’ll do me one little favor, for old times sake? Sap, PLEASE!!” And I realized I was really going out on a limb here, but… “You owe me!”

“Shut up, you little slut! My son doesn’t owe you a DAMN thing!”

Sap shook his head in amusement. “It’s okay, Mom…”

He turned to me. “You know what, Anima? I’m about to become a god, and soon I’m gonna rule the world, too! I guess it won’t kill me to do you one littler favor—as long as I still get to kill you. What do you want me to do ?”

This was it. I looked him straight in the eye. “Just say ‘Yes’.”

He got that confused look on his face again, but at least he nodded. “…Um, okay.”

That was it. He’d said yes. He’d given me permission. I had him now.

Sap’s mom pulled him away from me. “Forget her, Zachary, it’s time to put our plan into action!” She laid a finger on his forehead. “Now I am going to boost your power to one million times its regular capacity. You’ll be able to drain every super in the area of their powers, and each power will be raised within you to godlike levels.” He nodded, and she closed her eyes and concentrated. A moment passed in silence, and then suddenly, the electric lights began to flicker.

When Sap opened his eyes again, they were glowing with power. He opened his hands to look at them; they crackled with energy. His voice had risen to a metallic roar. “AWWWWEEEESSSOOOOOOMMMMEEE!!!!!”

His mother watched him proudly. “This was the destiny I had always meant for you, Zachary.”

“NO. DON’T CALL ME ‘ZACHARY’ ANY MORE. OR ‘SAP’.” He raised his hands. “I AM… APOCALYPSE!!!!”

Neither of them expected me to stand up at that moment, fully repowered and ready to fight.

You see, when Sap’s powers were supercharged, the metal headband I was wearing clicked into life. It projected a tiny hologram directly into my brain, creating a little video that only I could see or hear. The video was of Vorchek, leaning over his workdesk.

“Hello, Mrs. Halberstam… or, I guess I should call you ‘Anima’. If you’re watching this video, it means my wife and son have grown too powerful, and appropriate countermeasures have been activated to stop them. You know already that this metal headband was meant for you to wear. What you probably didn’t know was that I invented it especially for you. You see, when I was working for General Schremph, he allowed me to study the notes for Project: Noah’s Ark. A fascinating experiment, indeed; I wish I’d gotten to do more work on that… but it’s not important right now! All you need to know is that this headband will boost your natural abilities significantly, while preventing my son from being able to use his sapping powers on you. He will still be far more powerful than you—at least, while his mother is boosting him—but at least this will make the fight a little more interesting.

I’m sure I hardly need remind you of the stakes for which you must now battle. I wish you luck, and hope that, if I do not live to see the outcome of the battle, you will be able to forgive me for all our past… er, disagreements. Good luck!”

So, thanks to Vorchek, I had greater power than usual, and Sap couldn’t drain me. But that wasn’t the only thing helping me now. You see, I’d recently thought of a new way to use my powers. It was true that there were no other animals nearby… but humans are animals, aren’t they? And I could already communicate with them, couldn't I? So I simply used my powers on the nearest human animal; when Sap had said “yes” to me, he’d given me permission to borrow his sapping abilities, just like I'd borrowed other abilities from the animals I’d talked to in the past!

Needless to say, both Sap and his mom were very surprised when I got to my feet, stronger than ever, wielding both my own boosted powers, and Sap’s powers. And as long as I wore the headband, there was no way he could sap my powers.

Without a word, Sap and I charged each other. I drew my fist back—“Remember this one, Sap?”—and delivered a MEGATON PUNCH!!!! right to the side of his face.

Of course, I broke my hand again—his skin had already turned into Gargoyle’s leathery hide—but he still spit out a few teeth, so it wasn’t a total loss. I had no time to celebrate, though; immediately, he pressed his hands together and fired a multi-pronged stream of lightning at me. Was he using Quantum’s power? Element’s? Either way, for a moment, I was caught up in a blast of searing heat and unendurable agony, with every muscle exploding. Then I was knocked against the wall—hard—and slumped down onto the icy floor.

But this turned out to be a blessing in disguise. From where I lay, I saw a hole in the ice… and beneath it, nothing but the freezing waters of the ocean. Rolling over painfully, I stuck my head into the water and cried out for help. Boosted by the headband’s signal, my voice travelled for miles in every direction into the freezing darkness.

And this time, finally, an animal answered.

A sudden patch of blue appeared on the floor as a blue whale rose rapidly to the surface. It slammed into the fortress with a WHAMMMMMMMM!!!!!, and the walls and floor shook heavily. Chunks of ice came raining down, and both Sap and his mom lost their footing.

By the time they recovered, I had already gotten back on my feet, and was ready for more. Swallowing my trepidation, I motioned for Sap to come get me, and take his best shot. If I was being completely honest with myself, this didn’t seem like a fight I could win. But I had to try. And, I swore, even if I did actually manage to survive this mission without killing Sap, I was going to ask Schremph for a new partner.

Sap got back up and ran at me. The fight was just beginning…
This addition will focus on the viewpoints of Vorchek, Victoria, and Sap/Apocalypse.


-Vorchek-


As the fight progressed, I was astonished by how well Anima was holding her own. It was truly a sight to behold. I was working hard at the main sever, trying to stop Victoria from taking over the world. That whole bit about me creating Louis, Mr. E, and Shinigami was really Victoria's work. She just made me tell them that so she wouldn't be targeted by the other supers. And that whole plot about me having supers in Area 51 was her doing as well. She captured supers from all over the world, implanted mind control devices in them, and gave them the same power boost that she gave Apocalypse, just to have them work for her. Now they were attacking Area 51 as we speak, trying to get hold of a satellite with laser technology, and have it rain down Hell from above. I had to find a way to release them from Victoria's grasp, and stop her plans before it was too late.


-Apocalypse-


"Just drop dead already!" I yelled as I tried to shove Anima into the cold, hard, ground. But at every attempt, she would just escape my grasp. Her movement had jumped up quite a bit since she had gotten that power boost from Vorchek. I looked around and saw him working on the main sever. That's when Anima delivered a surprise blow to my chest. And another one to my jaw, dislocating it in the process, as well as sending the Mind-swapper flying off of my head and to the other side of the room. Then I saw Anima charging for it. And that's when I realized, if she used that on me-


"Oh God no!" I yelled as my jaw already healed itself. I tried to get to the helmet first. We were both neck and neck, even when we jumped in the air to where it was. And when we both hit the floor, I knew my fate was sealed. Because I didn't grab it in time. Anima must have grabbed it before I could. I got up as quickly as I could to face Anima before she could use it on me. But when I looked at her, she didn't have it on her at all. But if nether of us had it, then where-


"Looking for this?" We both turned around to see Victoria holding the helmet in her hand's.


-Victoria-


"Looks like I made it just in time." I said as I looked over Anima and Apocalypse. Then, without warning, Apocalypse grabbed Anima and shoved her into the wall. She tried to brake free of his grasp, but he was really putting everything he had into this one. You could hear Anima's bones braking from the stress. And that's when I saw Vorchek walking over.


"I thought I told you to leave us alone."


"Forgive me Victoria. But I was just wondering if I could take a look at that helmet that they were after?" Vorchek said as he tried coming in for a kiss. I just handed him the helmet and shoved him off saying-


"Fine. Take it. And find me some damn clothes, I'm freezing over here." Vorchek held his head down and walked off with that weird helmet. I don't know why those two were fighting over it earlier, but it won't matter much after Apocalypse finishes that rotten little girl.


-Vorchek-


I was really thinking she wouldn't give the mind swapper over so easily. But now that I have it, I can finally end this mess once and for all. The Mind-swapper is one of my greatest devices. It has two modes of operation. It's secondary purpose is the ability to swap the mind's of one person to another, It's main purpose however, is something much more valuable. I only called it the Mind-swapper so that no one other than myself, and Sap would know it's true purpose. And now that I've finished making the final calibrations, all I've ever worked for is about to come to an end. I just need to bring the new and improved Soul-swapper to Sap before Victoria realizes what's really going on here.


-Apocalypse-


As I held Anima in my grasp, I could tell she was in so much pain, there were no words that could explain what she was feeling, nor any words she could use herself. Her body was slowly starting to brake in my grip. I knew I couldn't keep this charade up much longer. Victoria was giving me a confused look in the corner of my eyes. If Vorchek didn't hurry up with that plan of his, I would have to let Anima go. And then she would see what I'm up to.


"For God sakes, hurry up dad." I muttered under my breath. Anima must have heard me, because she started looking at me strangely. And at that moment, I knew I was screwed.


-Victoria-


"What in the world does he think he's doing?" I muttered to myself as I watched him just holding that girl, not trying to crush her or anything. And for a second, I thought I saw him say something to her. Something just didn't feel right about this. It was almost like he was stalling for something. But what?


"Well? What are you waiting for Apocalypse? Finish her off." I could see his body starting to tense up. Like he was trying not to hurt her. Could he still have feelings for this girl? Or was there more to it than that? At that moment, he let her drop to the floor to catch her breath. Then he turned to face me and said-


"I won't kill her mom."


"What do you mean you won't kill her!?" I almost snapped at him for going against my wishes.


"I...can't...kill her...mom." His voice was starting to trail off, and his eye's were starting to water.


"And just why can't you kill her for God sakes?" I was at the end of my rope. If he didn't give me a good reason for wanting her to live then-


"Because...I.....I......." Wherever this was going, it was boring me to death. That's when I spotted a gun on the side of a capsule behind me. I slowly reached for it while listening to his excuse for not wanting her dead. And that's when he spit it out.


".........I love her." All eye's were now on Apocalypse. Me, the girl, and I thought I even saw Vorchek from the corner of my eye's looking out from behind the main computer when he heard that too. We were stuck looking at him for a good few seconds. Then I started grinding my teeth and twitching my eye's, as well as breathing more heavily.


"You..." I grabbed the gun from behind me and started pulling it out in front of me.


"How dare you disobey me you little s**t!" I then pointed the gun at Apocalypse.


"If you love that girl more than your own mother, then I'll just return your powers back to normal and kill you both."


"Stop Barburros!" I turned around to see Vorchek holding a ray gun of some kind in his hands.


"Your control over my wife ends now!" At that moment, he pulled the trigger on the ray gun.


"NO!!!" I yelled as I pulled the trigger on the gun. *Bang* The bullet flew out of the gun and right into Vorchek's head.


-Vorchek-


"One more second. One more second, and that bullet would have went right through my head." As I was looking at the bullet slowly moving towered me, I fell to the floor with the Slow-ray still in my hands. Victoria, or rather, Barburros, was moving to about 1/100 of his normal speed. As was Anima and most likely every other super as well. For now, it was just me and Apocalypse. Rather, Sap. There was no further need to call him that anymore.


"Well Zack, would you mind giving your old man a helping hand?" I asked as Zack walked over to where I was.


"Sure thing. Dad." As he helped me up, we walked over to the slow moving body of Victoria/Barburros, and put the Soul-swapper on their head.


"Did you finish fixing the Soul-swapper?" Zack said as he looked at me.


"Yes. All I need you to do now is restrain Barburros when I turn the Slow-ray off. Otherwise, it'll take to long to store his soul in the Soul-swapper. After that's done, the Soul-swapper will automatically put Victoria's soul in her body where it belongs." I give him a long look as I'm about to release the trigger of the Slow-ray.


"Ready?"


"Yeah. Let's get this over with." At that moment, I released the trigger, and time started to return to normal.


-Sap-


When time returned to normal, Barburros looked around, confused as to what just happened. Before he could do anything, I grabbed him and tossed him into the wall. Before he could pull himself from there, I held him to the wall as hard as I could without hurting Victoria's body. Barburros then started unmagnifiing my powers, which in turn was returning the powers that I took from the other supers back to them. Assuming they weren't already dead of course. And when my powers were back to normal, Barburros broke out of my grasp and tossed me over to where Anima was. Then he pointed the gun at us again and said-


"I'll start with that wretched girlfriend of yours first!" Barburros then pointed the gun at Anima and was about to pull the trigger. And at that moment, I jumped in front of her and took the shot. *Bang* The bullet entered my chest and missed my heart by just shy of an inch. Any closer, and I wouldn't have survived. But even now, I don't think I'll live. As I fall unconscious on the ground.


"Why you little-Never mind. All that's left now is you, little girl. Your time is already up." Barburros started pointing the gun at Anima again.


"No...You're wrong...Barburros." I said weakly as I pointed to the Soul-swapper on her head.


"It's your time that's up." And at that moment, The Soul-swapper started making a beeping noise, and was flashing to life. And then, Victoria's body was as well.


"What the?! What did you do?! No! No! NO! NO! NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" Barburros's soul was slowly being sucked into the Mind-swapper, and a bright flash was engulfing the room. And then, silence. Then Victoria's body fell to the floor.


-Vorchek-


"Victoria!" I yelled as I ran over to her fallen body. As I held her frame in my arms, I started crying a river of tears. After all this time, after so much pain and suffering, and after all the people I've hurt just for this time to come. My Victoria was finally free from that demon Barburros.


"Sap!" I turned my head to see Zack on the ground heavily bleeding from his wound.


"Zack!" I let Victoria down slowly as I made my way over to Zack to see if he was alright.


What happened to him!? I didn't-he just jumped in front of me and-"


"It's okay miss Halberstam. Zack is going to be okay. It doesn't look like any of his internal organs were damaged. But there is a lot of internal bleeding, and if we don't stop it soon, he could go into anemia." I said as I pulled a handkerchief out of my coat pocket and pushed down as hard as I could over the wound.


"I need you to get out of here and call for help. Tell General Schremph that Barburros has been trapped, and that Victoria's soul has been returned to her own body. Can you do that for me?" Anima was still in shock over what just happened, and wasn't answering me.


"Anima!" Anima woke up from her trance and looked at me.


"Can you do that for me?"


"I...yes. I'll be right back." Anima was about to walk out of the cave when she stopped and turned back around.


"Please take care of him." I looked at her and simply nodded. Then she ran out of the cave.


"Please hurry." Just then, I heard movement coming from behind us. And then a voice.


"Peter? Is that you?" As I heard the voice, I slowly turned around to see my beloved wife standing over me and Zack.


"Victoria."

         Natalia felt Quentin's arms tighten around her as the ninja star lodged itself in his back. When his hold loosened a little, she reached into her boot, pulled out her knife, and threw it at one of the men, hitting him in the chest. When she turned back to the other, she saw that Quentin had already taken care of him. He was kneeling on the snow covered ground and his suit was stained with blood. Natalia ran to him, and knelt down behind him. She pulled out the ninja star as gently as she could, causing more blood to flow. Something didn't feel right, like a part of her was missing.

         "I'm so sorry," she kept saying. If it wasn't for her, everything would've been fine. He was holding back because he didn't want to hurt her with his power.

         Quentin lay on the snow, starting to shiver as well. Natalia had a bad feeling that she knew what was suddenly missing.

         "Quentin," she said. "Why aren't you regenerating?"

         He spoke in a strained voice. "My powers... they're gone..." He couldn't keep them both warm any more, and more importantly, couldn't regenerate. It must have had something to do with that Sap kid again.

         Natalia grabbed the box and opened it. There wasn't much inside. Just a couple bottles of water again, and some weapons including a Slow-Ray and other unidentifiable weapons. She opened one of the bottles and poured a little bit of the water over the wound on Quentin's back. The chill of it took him by surprise. Natalia took the coat and wrapped it around Quentin's shoulders over his protests.

         They didn't have much time, and they both knew it. The fact that their powers were gone meant that all the other supers had probably lost their powers as well. They had to help somehow, or who knew how they would all get out of this mission alive? Quentin turned slightly towards Natalia and pulled her closer, trying to keep her warm as well. He wrapped the thick coat around both of them at once. Natalia closed her eyes, wishing for this mission to just be over. She felt a sudden burst of warmth, and looked up. She was surrounded in blue, the snow once again melting around her. Only then did she feel it; they had gotten their powers back, and she had never been so happy for it. Quentin still looked a little hurt, but not as badly as before.

         He shrugged off the coat. Natalia just looked at him, then burst into tears. She cried into Quentin's shoulder. The realness of it all was overwhelming. After a couple moments they got up and went to what looked like a cave entrance. It was huge inside, and lit completely by torches. Through a tunnel to the right, they heard voices. When they got through it, they were shocked at what they saw. Vorchek was standing over an unconscious Sap. Next to him was a woman.

         Quentin stood in between them and Natalia. He motioned to Sap. "What did you do to him?"

         Vorchek explained what had happened with the Soul-Swapper. He told them about how the woman - Victoria was her name - was Sap's mother. Although she knew now wasn't the time, Natalia felt a pang of jealousy. She was sure that she had had a family at some point. The only problem was that she didn't remember.

         Apparently, Shinigami had left the cave a while back. Quentin and Natalia kept a wary eye out for him just in case he decided to come back. That's what they were all here for, anyways. They couldn't help wishing that they would have at least a little time alone to talk. Since everything had changed during the last mission, they had no time to talk about what happened. It was as if the only way they were allowed to be together was to go on missions. They could never just spend a calm evening together. That would just never happen.

         Natalia felt Quentin's arm around her shoulders. It was getting colder. The sooner they could get out of here, the better.
Both Gargoyle and Element ran down the corridor, they had gained some distance from Armada already They made it to where they had beaten the previous guards when the Stone man turned around, "What are you doing?" Element asked startled by his comrade's change in behaviour. "I'm tired of running, and losing" Element sighed. argoyle could tell his partner felt the same way.

Armada turned the corner and started charging the two, "Ready to finally face me David?" The large man screamed as he ran, Element began to fire bolts of several different energies at Louis as the giant charged, then something weird happened Gargoyle began to feel week, Element's bursts seemed to be getting smaller, and Armada began to slow down, Gargoyle looked down at his hands noticing them starting to change to flesh. "Not again" he groaned. Gargoyle Threw his arm back and let it soar forward into the slowed momentum, that was Louis' face. Surprisingly the musceled mass collapsed backwords. It took Gargoyle a few moments to realize what happened. It seemed that Louis had been losing his powers too, and the blow that gargoyle delivered, although much weaker than normal managed to cut through Armada's diminished defences.

Louis Armada was not moving Neither Element or gargoyle moved for a while ,waiting for Armada to get up, then as quickly as Gargoyle had become flesh, his skin started turning grey and rough. Once again back to stone. Element moved to the downed man and checked his pulse "alive" he quietly mentioned, Gargoyle nodded, a part of him had hoped Armada would be down for good, That wasn't the case, "let's capture him" Gargoyle bent down to the man placing his hand on the man's back then spoke into his radio "Schremph We've caught Louis Armada, He's at our location." From the other side he heard, not Schremph but another voice. It was one of the security personell that often was around area 51 "Teleporting him to a secure cell now," Then after a short pause continued "The one you couldn't break out of" Gargoylefrowned thinking of the cell the man was talking about. It was made of pure energy, For someone like Quantum or Element breaking out would be simple, but for someone who relied or brute force, it was impossible. The cell walls returned all impact done to it back at the impacted location twice as hard.

Teleportation was a quick process, and Louis was gone within moments. Gargoyle was releived, not neccessarily happy, but glad he wouldn't need to fight his old partner anymore. Gargoyle looked at Element and wondered if the same thing would happen to the two of them "What now?" Element asked. gargoyle shrugged the thought of fighting his partner out of his mind. "We go Catch Some more bad guys"

That's when an explosion rocked the base.

Gargoyle grabbed Element as the roof began to collapse, luckily they were now close enough to the entrance that it was an easy escape. Afrter deflecting some large stone slabs with his arms they were out safely. The bright glare from the light of the sun bouncing off the snow temporarily blinded both of them.

"Isn't that" Element asked pointing across the snow at another pair of supers. Toaster and Kiba Stood facing a third person, Gargoyle didn't recognize the figure that was talking to them. "let's go check it out"
Element and Gargoyle rushed over to the other heroes to check on them. Kiba and Toaster had just finished restraining what turned out to be the real Shinigami.

"Well, I guess that's it then," Element beamed at Gargoyle.

"Yep. I guess so."

Element looked over at Gargoyle and could tell he seemed a little upset. Element walked over to Gargoyle and checked on his friend.

"Hey, so... you okay?" Element asked.

"Yeah, it's just... I feel weird about Armada," Gargoyle explained.

"What do you mean? We just took him down for good. I think if anything, you should be happy about that."

"No. That's fine and all. It's just that he and I used to be partners. Friends. Just like we are right now..."

"Whoa! You aren't suggesting that..."

Gargoyle looked off into the frozen wilderness. "Who knows? After what happened with Armada, I wouldn't be surprised anymore."

Element scratched his head as he thought about what Gargoyle just said. Gargoyle was the closest relationship Element had ever encountered with someone, but did their friendship only matter in these missions? What would happen when the missions finished?

"You know, Gargoyle, I get the feeling that you and I are going to continue our adventures after these missions are over. I mean a heroes job is never done you know."

Gargoyle shrugged. "Sure, I guess." Gargoyle walked over to the other heroes and congratulated them on capturing Shinigami. Element crackled on his radio.
And then quite suddenly, instantly in fact; they were in Antarctica. The cold crept in against the outmost layer of Zeil’s skin trying to force its frigid will on him like it had on the surrounding tundra. After taking a brief look around he smirked and put his sunglasses back on. He stretched his arms before him locking the fingers and cracking the knuckles before rolling his neck once. He looked down at the coat and then immediately at the box.

“We both know I have no need for that coat.” He said his grin growing as heat began to radiate from his body. The cold always got his blood pumping. It gave him a rightful excuse to flex his powers which felt good after their last mission which was honestly a tad hazy at the moment. He definitely felt much better as the incandescent hellfire spread throughout his body and melted the ice around him slowly. Zeil knew he’d have to tone it down a bit but it felt good after having his powers turn on him for a whole mission. He thought Kenshiro took the coat but he wasn’t really paying attention. The box was more interesting. The first one had contained some kind of cube and amulet that Kenshiro took and the other things were a kind of rosary thing that suppressed Azeilraht while Daniel’s powers were failing him, and of course a gun. Some pitch black gun with a faint red light inside it. It fired bullets made of Azeilraht’s energy. It was nice, but it kicked like a mule hopped up on energy drinks and a taurine injection or two. Still it certainly got the job done.

There were two more items in the box this time around. One was a chord wrapped handle of what looked like a wakizashi and the other was a pair of knuckles that looked to be made of carbon fiber with the same glow on the front as the gun. Zeil chuckled and took the knuckles slipping his hand through it and clenching his fist. It glowed with heat focusing it into the point of the knuckles. “Looks like they’re spending some big money on me. I hope they aren’t expecting something fancy for Christmas in return.” Kenshiro came up to his side and was indeed wearing the coat though he didn’t show any signs of freezing immediately. Zeil looked over at him as Ken lifted the handle curiously and looked it over. “Hey Ken, you think Shremph would like one of those red sweaters the trees and candy canes on it?” he asked still chuckling a little at the thought. Kenshiro smiled a little and looked over at him.

“I don’t really know what that is, but it sounds…off the mark.” Replied Kenshiro twirling the handle once in his hand he seemed to get a feel for whatever it was.

“So, this Shishigami, he some kind of ninja?” Zeil asked.

“Shinigami, and I’ve never met the man, but we’ll have to keep our eyes peeled.” Kenshiro replied looking around. The whole area was winter incarnate. Snow, ice, and white winds.

“Gotcha, another day’s work. You should probably lead seeing as I’ve got a cloud of steam around me. I doubt that’ll be good for seeing into the distance. I’m like…I dunno, global warming or something.” Kenshiro didn’t seem to get it but he shrugged and went along with it anyway walking out in…a direction. Zeil rested his hands on the back of his head and followed.

“Another day’s work indeed.” Kenshiro said shaking his head as they headed towards their destination (hopefully).
You and your partner are teleported back to headquarters and Schremph looks concerned.

"...Hello, supers... I'm afraid I have some bad news..."

The supers look around and find that two more heroes, Dimentia and Black Cloud, are missing. Schremph shakes his head.

"Two more heroes... this is just getting out of hand. I'm afraid I have more bad news as well. While you've been out fighting crimes, someone has discovered your identities. You have all been cloned, and now they are using your clones to commit crimes. They've already robbed several banks and murdered several authorities. You are all technically wanted right now by the police on a national level.

Here's what we are going to do to fix this. I am sending each of you to New York City in search of your clones. Intel has given me information that your clones are in New York attempting to perform what has been dubbed "the crime of the century." Your job is to figure out who is behind this and stop them. Keep in mind though that you are surrounded by civilians, and you are wanted by the police. Please, be careful. We don't want any innocent bloodshed!"

As the words exit Shremph's lips, your surroundings get blurry; you are being teleported. You blink and you are in New York City. You look at your partner and smile. Every superhero story takes place in New York City!
Christian gets a little dizzy from the teleportation, but recover quickly. He sees their pictures on the large screens at times square, and looks at Elliot worriedly. "What should we do? We're wanted men. How will we get new clothes?" Christian asks in one breath.

"Calm down man. We just need to go and talk to someone I used to know here." Elliot states calmly. He then strolls out of the alley they appeared in with his head held low so people couldn't see his face. He then walks into another alley a few blocks away to see a horrible sight.
Finding out they'd been late to the ninja-bashing party (going north instead of west) wasn't great news but at least they'd tried. Sickeningly quick in New York wasn't so bad though. Azeilraht and Kenshiro had appeared on top of a tall building. Zeil looked around for a moment before a big grin spread across his face.

"Oh man, how cool is this?" he asked cracking his knuckles.

"New York? I've heard of this city." Ken said peering down at the city. He looked a little worried and rightfully so. The streets were quieter than they should have been in a city like NYC. There were a few cars on their sides and some wreckage here and there but no signs that the perpetrators were still in the immediate area.

"I know what you're thinking man. We're too destructive to let two wannabes run around as us. This city won't last a day with everybody's clones on the streets. Let's just home they're all still here."

"Agreed." Ken replied. They did at least have the solace of knowing there were aspects of their abilities that would not be cloned and would have to be created by cutting some corners. It would be a wanted advantage. The problem with that would be they didn't know how said abilities would react if they collided.

"Well, I guess we should get disguised and try and find our clones huh?" Zeil asked. Kenshiro nodded and stared down at a clothing store. He smirked a little.

"I have an idea of how we can clear the store without hurting anyone. If there have already been attacks most people are already prepared to run. Only the brave or foolish are still out right now. Even they aren't a match for this plan."


The people inside Avery's clothing retail store were quiet and enjoying it. There weren't many of them and there was basically no line. The attacks appeared to be over and they had all the bargains to themselves.

Suddenly the doors burst open and a man ran inside screaming at the top of his lungs. More pressing than his screams was the simply fact that he was on fire. Orange flames billowed from his body as he spun around and ran screaming incoherently through the establishment. Soon it was empty of people. The screams turned to laughs as the flames died down revealing Zeil beneath them. Kenshiro walked in soon after and looked around.

"The coast is clear my man. Great plan! Let's get incognito." Zeil cheered patting Kenshiro on the shoulder and turning around to find something to hide him.

"Good, it worked well. Let's hurry."

"Definitely, the cops might be here soon depending on what happened in the previous attacks."

Azeilraht grabbed a red and white beenie and a light blue hoodie with a weird frog emblem on it and a pair of baggie jeans and sneakers. He didn't take off his sunglasses. He really didn't like having to change clothes, he'd much rather have just took off and found his clone, but keeping away from the cops as long as possible was too important. "So we should probably head east to the Brooklyn Bridge. If something happens to that this city will be on the long road to recovery even if we do succeed."
Element and Gargoyle looked at each as they stood at the center of Times Square. Oddly enough, the crowd of people continued rushing through their daily lives, completely ignoring the large hulk of a man and the kid with the hoverboard. Element looked up at Gargoyle.

"Looks like everyone is used to seeing weird people around here."

Gargoyle simply shrugged. He began walking with the crowd along the storefronts. After a couple of short blocks, he pulled Element into an alley.

"What are we supposed to do out here?" Gargoyle asked. He seemed slightly nervous.

"I don't know... find our clones and destroy them. Maybe figure out who's behind this? Why are you so nervous anyways?"

Gargoyle focused his gaze on the people passing by. "I just don't like being wanted by the police. Brings back bad memories."

Element turned around and watched as dozens, maybe even hundreds, of people flocked by. He spun around and froze for a moment. Gargoyle was missing! Element ran up the alley and searched the entire alleyway, but his partner had disappeared! Element swore under his breath as he tried to figure out where his partner could have run off to. He needed to find Gargoyle... quickly!
New York City. The Big Apple. My hometown, incidentally. I’d returned, for the first time in over a year. I’d often pictured myself coming back here to have some grand adventure, solving crimes and performing general super-heroics—jumping across rooftops, ducking through alleyways and soaring around skyscrapers. It truly is the place where ALL the good superhero stories unfold…

Well, the adventure was off to a bad start. More of our teammates had disappeared. Then Schremph broke the news that we had all been cloned. There was an evil version of me running around right now, in my hometown, robbing banks and killing people. I wasn’t sure who the villain of this mission was, but they’d already made things personal.

And to top it all off, I never even got a chance to ask Schremph for a new partner.

Sap and I were teleported into an alleyway, where the shadows kept us safely out of view from the main street. We had all of our regular weapons handy—the Chain-Blade, the Blind-Light, the Mind-Swapper, the Hurricane-Rod and the Slow-Ray. Plus, I had the headband Vorchek had given me.

Tentatively, Sap laid a hand on my shoulder. “So, uh… what should we do first?”

I pulled the hell away from him. “Don’t touch me.”

The events of the last mission had completely thrown me for a loop. Apparently, Vorchek had actually been on our side the whole time; he’d been working with General Schremph to try and save his wife—Sap’s mother—from demonic possession. Or so they told me. I wasn’t sure what to believe; I’ve seen superpowers, magic and weirder things, but demonology still sounds a little… I don’t know, farfetched.

And what about Sap? All this time, he’d been acting like a complete douchebag to me. Suddenly, he was claiming all that had just been an act he put on to fool the demon. How the hell was I supposed to feel about that? How could I possibly believe that, when he’d been picking a fight with me—and trying to kill me—long before we’d even found his mother? To make matters even more complicated, he’d taken a bullet for me… and then, on top of everything, he’d said that he was in love with me! How dare he?

My thoughts raced back to the third mission, when I’d been overwhelmed by enemies. I’d crawled to Sap, asking for help, and he responded by trying to make me swallow a grenade. That wasn’t really Sap, I had to remind myself, it was his evil clone, created by Mr. E. But I still couldn’t shake the memory, and I probably never would. Then I remembered the satisfaction I‘d felt, when I picked up that evil Sap and smashed him against the wall. How I had made believe I was doing it to the real thing…

Long story short, I wasn’t buying any of Sap’s story. I couldn’t. Not this time. I’d trusted him too many times before. Given him the benefit of the doubt a bit too often. Never again. He’d abused my trust for the last time.

“What’s wrong?” He seemed genuinely confused now. “I thought we were starting over, Anima. I told you, everything I did was—”

““Oh, don’t try that ‘it was all just an act’ crap on me!” I snapped at him. “I HATE YOU!”

He seemed more shocked at this than anything. “Why would you… say something like that?”

WHY?!? You’re the worst partner ever! You constantly ignore me, you act like I don’t even exist—except when you want to sap me, and then it’s nothing but ‘hey, Anima, shut up and stand there while I steal all your powers for myself!’ From the very first minute, you’ve always treated me like I’m inferior—like I’m weak and helpless and I can’t take care of myself, and you’re better than me at everything—just because I’m a girl!”

“That’s not true,” he protested, softly.

It was tempting to believe that. Maybe he’d never thought that, consciously. Maybe I was being too hard on him. But that’s certainly how it had always felt to me. And now that I had begun to give voice to all my frustrations, I couldn’t stop:

“Oh no? Do you remember what happened the first time we met? You shoved me into a wall and drained me! The second mission, I tried to rescue you and you drained me again! The third mission, I was just minding my own business when you came charging out of nowhere and tried to knock me over!”

“Did I really do that?” He seemed mortified. “It was an accident. I wasn’t even paying any attention to where I was going.”

“I don’t believe that. You’re ALWAYS trying to knock me over, pushing me away or shoving me into things. And what about the last mission? When you and Vorchek worked together to save your mom from a demon? How did you know what he was planning? He obviously found the time to explain it all to you beforehand. Would it have been so terrible to let me in on the big secret? Or was it just so much fun to attack me that you’d rather do that than try to work together? You never tell me anything, you never cooperate with me on anything, you never help me with anything! You have to be the world’s most immature… oblivious… self-obsessed… chauvinist… PIG!!!”

Sap raised his hands imploringly. “Anima, please. I understand you’re a little pee-asterisk-asterisk-asterisk-asterisk-dee off right now, but—”

That was the last straw. I bared my teeth at him and shrieked. “YOU CAN’T EVEN FUCKING SWEAR PROPERLY!!!”

That did it. His eyes went wide, and he backed off. For a long while, he just stared at me.

“What about the mission?” he asked at last. “We’re both wanted criminals. We need disguises.”

I rolled my eyes. “Please. I’m already a wanted criminal. I got arrested for breaking into Area 51, remember? I know how to stay hidden. I’ll be fine. If you want a disguise so badly, use the Mind-Swapper. Schremph gave us a Louis Armada clone without a soul in it. Use that if you want to.” I motioned to where the enormous body lay inside a cardboard box, wrapped in dirty clothes, disguised as a homeless man.

“But we’re still partners, aren’t we? We need to work together!”

I gave out a little laugh, at that. “Too bad. It’s too late for that. I’ve been trying to work together with you for the last four missions. As of now, we’re no longer partners.” I picked up the Blind-Light and pointed it at him. “You don’t touch me, you don’t speak to me, you stay out of my way. You’re dead to me.”

Sap opened his mouth to say something, then decided not to. He picked up the Mind-Swapper, the Hurricane-Rod and the Chain-Gun, and headed for the other side of the alley, to make his own plans. He turned around once, to look back at me.

“I just want you to know… I’d take that bullet for you again, if I could.” And then he was silent.

I felt a small pang of regret as I watched him go. But it was only a pang. And pangs don’t last long.

Now I was alone, left to my own devices, and I got to work. I climbed up onto the roof of the nearest building, and spoke to the flock of pigeons and sparrows roosting there. Then I hopped across the rooftops until I reached the headquarters of the NYC Apiarist Association—a place I had visited many times in my youth—and struck up a conversation with the swarms of bees that made their hives there.

Once I had the birds and the bees flying around the city reporting back to me, I went down to the ground. I called out to the squirrels and the chipmunks, which scurried across the earth and through the trees. Then I pried the lid off a manhole and descended into the sewers. From there, I called upon the tunnel-dwellers, darkness-lovers and crevice-crawlers: the rats and the cockroaches, who numbered in the thousands and millions, and held dominion over every square inch of the island.

I now had eyes and ears all over the five boroughs. I was the city’s soul, its living essence, its very being. I was New York City.

Once I had set up this gigantic network of spies and informers, the information started pouring in. Apparently, a woman who looked just like me had entered into the Central Park Zoo not two days ago. When she left several hours later, she had somehow acquired the strength of a gorilla, the poison of an arrow-poison frog, the lightning bolts of an electric eel and the venom of a cobra. Armed with these abilities, she and her ally (a tall man all dressed in black, with two different-color eyes) had held up the New York Stock Exchange (where her ally had sapped all the minds of the stockbrokers), then the Federal Reserve Bank (her ally had sapped the bank manager’s mind to get the combination of the safe), and finally the New York City Diamond Exchange (her ally had sapped the minds of an entire SWAT team!). She had already used her animal abilities to put twenty police officers in the hospital. Ten had already died.

I thanked all of my animal helpers for this information, and urged them to let me know as soon as the pair had been sighted again. Within forty-five minutes, the news came through.

They were holed up in the Trump Tower!

         Natalia looked at Quentin, awestruck. New York City... They never thought that this would be where they were headed. The weather was beautiful. It was warm, with a slight cool breeze. Unfortunately, they couldn't stand there for too long enjoying themselves. Apparently their clones were out committing crimes, and they were wanted by the police. As they were walking, looking for any sign of the clones or other teams, they passed a store window with a television outside. Their profiles were all over the news, accompanied with an outrageous number of felonies. Natalia looked up wide-eyed and took a step towards the television. Quentin grabbed her wrist and stopped her.

         "Keep your head low," he whispered, kissing Natalia's forehead. He pulled her hood up to hide her face

         They stood listening to the news anchor for any sort of clue of where the clones might be. As soon as they heard that they were seen last in Central Park, they ran towards 66th street. Well, sort of. Running proved to be pretty difficult in the streets of New York. It wasn't that far a distance from where they started. Once they got there it was a little easier for Nightshade to sense where their clones were. Now that she was so familiar with Quentin and his physique, it wasn't too hard to locate his clone.

         "Your clone," she told Quentin. "He's at the Belvedere Castle I think. But there are a whole lot of other people around."

         "We'll just have to be careful. What about yours?"

         Natalia shrugged. "Don't know yet. I'm sure she'll turn up soon."

         As they pushed past the large throng of people in the way, the gray granite of the building came into view. Natalia had read about Belvedere Castle before, but it looked so much better in person.

         "It's beautiful," she muttered to herself.

         Quentin's hand felt warm on hers as he led her through the crowd. Neither of them were used to seeing this many people at once. So much had happened between them and it had only been... what? A couple days? Less? They didn't even have any time to talk about it all.

         Natalia was pulled out of her thoughts by the sound of police cars behind them. She had to will herself to stay calm and not panic. She felt Quentin's grip tighten. They both dared to take a small glance back at the police cars and noticed another team - or were they clones? - running the opposite direction. They couldn't tell who it was at this distance, but they knew they didn't have much time.
Kenshiro felt odd in the clothes that these strange humans wore. He decided to try and fit in with his partner in this endeavor. After their initial infiltration of the clothing store Kenshiro’s thoughts went back to the evil that had somehow been able to capture his likeness, but he took great pleasure in the fact that they knew nothing of his ability, so the individual was nothing more than an imitator with a sword if even that.
Kenshiro tired of the laughter he was subjected to by his partner for his attempt at fitting in.

“Oh my god,” Zeil laughted. “You’re wearing a girls’ sweater.

Zeil was beside himself, even going so far as to fall on the floor amid all the clothing that seemed to be down there.

Kenshiro thought he had done a great job of fitting in by choosing a soft red hair type of shirt that went perfect with his hair. He thought of his mother when choosing the clothing for the way she was always so particular about the armor she wore. She left long ago on the road to the white dragon palace.

He remembered her favorite saying when it came to making a good impression.

Always stun them the first time, because that is the only time you’ll have the chance to catch them all guard. Apply this not only to your fighting style, but also a way to dress.

“If you are quite finished down there,” Kenshiro said to Zeil. “ I would appreciate your help in choosing something well to wear.

“Sure, buddy, hold on,” Zeil said between gasps of air from laughing.

It was only after Zeil had finally given a pair of what he called Jeans, T-shirt, and sneakers did things start to get interesting.

Zeil had become fascinated with a box that had people in it with lots of flashing lights. Kenshiro didn’t understand what drew him to it until he actually made it over to see for himself.

Kenshiro didn’t understand why all of the people were running around, and really became confused with an image of him seemingly running behind others striking them down where they stood. It was amazing how they were able to make an exact copy of his armor, and likeness, but didn’t have his abilities.

“Well, Ken, it looks like we really have some work to do.” Zeil said.

“I don’t know how we get to them from this box here, but we need to stop them.” Kenshiro replied.

“First, this is a television, and second, we can’t get them through the television. “ Zeil laughted.

“Then how do we stop them!” Kenshiro said, frustrated.

“Calm down bro, we get to them by…” Zeil said, looking back at the television for a minute. “We have to go to Central Park.
Quentin and Natalia hadn't been together for long before they saw another couple of hero's running around Central Park. Quentin wasn't sure, but they looked like the other duo that was a tad stranger than the rest, Ken-something and Zeil. He couldn't stay focused on them though, instead he looked around at all the people in the park. Most were running for their lives, and rightfully so. Yet, the weather at this time of year was wonderful. Quentin couldn't believe that their next mission was set in New York. He had spent a lot of time traveling with his family and New York was one of his favorite places. Just being back in Central Park again sent a thrill through him. He could swear his father would be doing one of his goofy dances if he just turned quick enough to see him. He missed his family dearly. As the memories of the past left him he realized that if he wanted to be with Natalia he had to get these missions done.

Feeling the warmth from Natalia's hand sent jolts of energy flowing through his body. If he had his way they would leave this place, and find somewhere quiet to get to know one another better. Quentin had a duty to the lab, and would fulfill his obligation.

He saw the lights of police cars rounding the corners, the sirens blared for all the hear within the vicinity. Quentin pulled Natalia to him planting a kiss on her that seemingly caught her off guard. She slowly melted into his arms. The feel of her lips against his felt right, and almost shut the world around them out...almost.

"What the hell?!"

Quentin heard the unmistakable voice of Natalia close to his right. Turning he saw the woman he had fallen for with rage written all over her face. Confusion colored his mind for a mere second as he went through the possibilities of what could have happened.

He had no time to put things together as he was blasted in the back by a red beam of energy that sent him flying. He controlled his descent by transforming allowing his energy to pour forth. When Quentin looked back, he saw a couple standing together with smiles on their faces. Natalia stood where he had been with her. The scream had been a distraction.

"Well, well, it seems we finally meet." Quantum's look alike said.

"If we're going to do this we can't be near the city. Everyone will die." Quentin replied to his clone.

He looked at Natalia when he said this, and his clone in turn looked at his Natalia.

"Fine, we agree on something."

With that understanding they both powered up. The original Quentin a stark blue, but the clone a ruby red. They then took off up and away from the city.

As Quentin flew away he hoped his Natalia would be okay. He knew she was tough, and would win her fight.



Elliot looked at Christian as they teleported in front of the Empire State Building. Elliot looked up in awe at the towering structure. Christian nudged Elliot and pointed across the street at a scene taking place. A dirty older looking man bolted past an old woman as he snatched her purse. The woman yelled for help, but everyone seemed too preoccupied with their everyday life to care about the woman and her purse. Before Elliot could respond, Christian bolted after the man.

"Stupid kid..." Elliot muttered as he ran after Christian. They chased the man for several blocks before he disappeared into an alleyway. Elliot turned into the alleyway and froze as he saw Christian tied up by their clones. The Kiba clone laughed menacingly as he pushed Christian to the floor.

"Hello, old-timer," the Kiba clone said. Elliot was too busy staring at his clone to notice Christian's clone. Do I really look that fat?

Christian fought against the rope that he was tied up against, but his clone seemed to have a strong hold on the rope. Elliot walked between the two clones and closed his eyes. As soon as he opened his eyes, he threw a powerful punch at Kiba's clone. The kid was caught off guard and staggered for just a moment, but it was just enough time for Christian take over the ropes the bound him. In seconds, Christian was completely freed from the ropes. As they turned to face Elliot's clone, a cloud of white shot out from the clone, blinding the team for a few moments. Elliot could hear the clones running away, but decided to check on his partner before chasing after the clones. The cloud disappeared, revealing Christian knocked down on the floor.

"Looks like they got one last shot at me," Christian groaned.

Elliot shrugged. "It happens. So you okay?"

Christian face turned into contempt. "Of course I'm okay! You don't think I can take care of myself?"

"No no, I wasn't saying that at all. I just..."

"Please, old-timer! Just cause you think I'm a kid, doesn't mean I'm incompetent. I could've taken care of myself!" Christian interrupted.

Elliot did not know how to respond to Christian's attitude. "Whoa there! Take it easy! We just took down Shinigami and Mr. E and things were fine. What's going on?"

Christian pointed a finger in Elliot's face and furrowed his brow. "You better stop questioning me before you get yourself hurt."

Elliot raised his hands in surrender. After a few seconds of stares and glares, Christian let out an exaggerated growl and stormed from the alleyway. He never turned around, but he did offer one piece of advice.

"Keep up."
As I was walking through the city, I found myself in central park, in an almost empty state. Almost no one was around. I could sense that other supers were nearby, but my mind was on Anima right now. She was really mad at me, and everything I did to her in the past wasn't even my fault. But there was no way for me to prove it.


"Oh yes there is." I spun around to see someone standing right behind me. Dressed in a black outfit, much like mine.


"You. What are you doing here?!" I yelled as I charged at the man.


"YOU SON OF A-" Before I could even land a hit against him, something caused me to stop moving. It was as though the rest of the world was in motion, but I wasn't.


"Hmm. You know, I think I'll let you say it just this once." The man snapped his finger, and I started to move again.


"BITCH!!!" I put all of my energy into this attack, but he ended up dodging it, and I ended up hitting a tree instead. I turned around as fast as I could, but the man poked me with his fingers all across my body really fast, and I collapsed instantly.


"Oh pressure points, you never fail me." My body was really sore, And I couldn't stand up. The man lifted me up by my hood and set me down on a nearby bench.


"So, are you feeling okay? You want to talk instead of fighting me now?" All I could do was drool on my pant leg from being paralyzed by this guy's attacks.


"I'll just take that as a yes. And I'll start off by saying that I'm sorry for everything I've put you through throughout the story."


"If yorlg raly sorly, then whie ed you ouu at ou ee?" I meant to say, if you're really sorry, then why did you do that to me? But he hit me in just the right places so that I couldn't talk right.


"Well you tried to hit me, remember?"


"I only ed it becose ou wrot ee uo uo it." This time I tried to say, I only did it because you wrote me to do it. The man standing before me has an incredible power. Anything he writes, from wherever he really is, becomes reality. The man standing in front of me isn't the real him. Just a copy he wrote into this world to represent him.


"I know that. But I have to make the story look good, remember?" The man snapped his finger again, and I found myself able to talk normally again.


"Why are you here anyway?"


"I'm here to make things right between you and Anima. I owe you that much after everything I made you do to her."


"Then why did you make me hurt her to begin with?"


"What can I say? The story needed someone to suffer. And now that Anima hate's your gut's, I can work on rebuilding your life."


"Why do you think I'd ever ask for your help after everything you've done to me?"


"Because, if I leave you alone, and never write a chapter for you again, you'll just die. Never to be heard from again. And if you die, so will Anima. Both of you need to participate in the story, or else the two of you will vanish forever. Or until someone uses you in another story."


"Then what will you write me to do to get her to stop herself from hating me?"


"Oh don't worry. I'll fix this mess myself. All you have to do is stay there until I come back for you. And I do want you to stay there." The man snapped his finger again, and I found myself unable to move an inch.


"Wait! What if one of the copy's try to attack me?!"


"Oh don't worry. This will only last until I'm too far away for you to catch up to me. And even if a copy does try to attack you, I heard from another writer that her character wanted to join up with you. So you two can get to know each other while I try to get Anima back on your side." As the man walked off, all I could do was scream at the top of my lungs-


"DAMN YOU JOHN!!!"
Gargoyle dashed around the corner with his partner. It had been a long time since he had been in New york and he hated being here again. Element looked out of the alley to gain his bearings and to come up with a plan. Gargoyle suspected Element was likely to have better ideas than he was. He didn't get a chance to find out what they were though. Gargoyle heard a slight sound behind him and he whirled around. He didn't have much chance to contemplate what the noise was. All he had time for was to think 'Ninjas?' before everything went black.

Gargoyle awoke staring up at a plain, off white roof, He could feel something restraining his arms and legs. He tested their give. they felt to be made of steel, but he was wiling to bet that he could bust out of it in a matter of seconds if he tried. Gargoyle raised his head up as much as he could from his lying position, and scanned the room. He seemed to be underground, not far from him was a table with surgical instruments. Beside the surgical intruments was a man that Gargoyle had only met once before. "David I had heard you were back in town" the figure said picking up a small scalpel and crossing to the other side of whatever Gargoyle was laying upon. He only just noticed now, that there were three other figures in the room. The ninjas that had jumped Element and him in the Alley.

"Where is my partner G.B.?" G.B. was a notorious Debt collector in the city. Gargoyle had once had the unfortunate priviledge of watching G.B commence one of his 'collections' G.B. would torture people until they caved and signed over everything they owned, Whatever it was that G.B needed to collect the debt. Many never came back after G.B. collected, and those who did were never the same.

"He's safe," G.B. smiled "I have no debt to collect from him"
"How did you knock me out?"
The debt collector lowered his scalpel to Gargoyle's chest, he heard the sound of metal on stone but did not feel a thing. G.B. frowned.
"looks like I will need to go to more drastic measure"
"Ain't gonna work doc. They tried a Jackhammer on me back in the lab and it worked just as well"
G.B. Turned to him "Then I will have to get something more drastic than that." The man lifted a hand. Why don't you go back to slee.." Before the man could finish his sentence the small medical table that Gargoyle had been attached to was sent sailing into the Notorious monster and both then smashed into the wall.

Gargoyle turned to the ninjas. "It's time for a little fun" He swung at one but they easily avoided, striking harmlessly at the stone man's back with a sword Gargoyle had not seen before. After a few more swings and a few more useless attacks on gargoyle, both parties knew that this match would end in a stalemate. "I don't have time for this" Gargoyle complained walking over to the door and smashing it against the wall of the now visible hallway. The ninjas did not follow him. Gargoyle reached to his ear to try to contact Shremph to ask what his location was, but his radio was gone. It didn't take him long to find some stairs. He climbed up them, unaware that the ninjas were returning. He was also unaware of the explosive that was tossedup as his foot touched the last step. He was very aware however of the loud noise and the force that pushed him throught the wall, into the alleyway beyond.

The large man Smashed into a brick wall and fell to the ground. Gargoyle pushed himself up with ease. "You're going to have to try harder!" He yelled to the hole in the wall as he began to walk forward, The sounds of New York overcoming the ringing in his ear. Gargoyle had to blink twice as he saw his partner looking over to him. Element surfed towards him on his board

"Gargoyle, I've subdued The Sap Clone" Gargoyle only then noticed Sap lying on the ground, Element continued quickly. "Get rid of him then join me at Trump tower. The Anima Clone has the real sap and anima holed up in Trump tower. I've gotta get to them" Then Element flew off without giving the stone man a chance to speak. Gargoyle started to process what had just happened but he didn't have much time as he saw Sap starting to stand up. "Wait a second" Sap told him his hands in a diplomatic gesture "I'm not a clone."

Gargoyle thought about what Sap was saying, but decided he couldn't take that chance. If he trusted him and was wrong a fake sap could easily steal his powers

"I'm not falling for that," Gargoyle chided him stepping back to the rubble and picking up a brick. "All I have to do is stay away from you and you can't sap me right?" With that comment Gargoyle tossed the brick towards Sap in an attempt to knock him out.
You are anxious in trying to stop your clones from completely destroying New York City, but you are having a little more difficulty than expected. You radio crackles to life.

"Heroes! It's Schremph! I have some important news. Intel has recently handed me..." The radio goes into a static rage and then goes silent. You try talking into the radio but only silence returns.

Suddenly, all the advertisement screens and television screens go black. An image flashes onto the screen that you cannot believe. Vorchek, Armada, Mr. E, and Shinigami are all standing in a group on the screen.

"Hello supers!" Mr. E bellows into the camera. "Mr. E here with some of my friends. I'm not sure if you've noticed or not, but you have been part of a government experiment. Now I know what you're thinking; aren't you supposed to be the bad guy? What are you doing talking to me on a screen? Well, my friends and I wanted to inform you that this is all a trick. Schremph does not actually work for the United States government. You were never really at Area 51. In fact, Schremph is the true leader of Lambda, not Armada!

"Now I know this may be difficult to accept, but I can assure you that you are working for the wrong side. Schremph is simply using you and your partner to overthrow the United States government for Lambda. Join us and help fight the true source of evil. Schremph has been planning this for years and after finally watching some of his supers succeed in combat, he will be using you to destroy the world. Now I ask you. Beg you. Please join us in the fight against Schremph! If you want to join us, we'll be waiting at Ellis Island."

The screens go fuzzy before returning to their original contents. You shake your head in disbelief. Do you believe Mr. E and the other people you've been fighting, or do you side with Schremph?
Christian was storming off when he got the message from Mr. E. He was conflicted to say the least. He didn't really trust many people. He trusted his partner, but obviously his partner just thought of him as a child. It burned him on the inside like a flame that burned hotter by the second. He was just waiting until the right time and Elliot comes and ruins his plan. It didn't even matter though. He had more important issues. Obviously there was going to be some heroes that decided to join Mr. E. Christian couldn't help but think that teams like his with little trust would end up on opposing sides fighting their former partners.
They had made haste to Central Park to find both of their clones there seemingly waiting for them. Zeil's clone looked to Ken's "Say Ken, looks like our guests have arrived. I hope they party hard, That's the only way I know how." he said grinning and stepping forward. Behind them there were several helpless looking being lying facedown, some were merely piles of ashes, others were...not quite in one piece. Kenshiro's eyes narrowed and he stepped forward next to Zeil who was glaring at his own clone. Kenshiro's own clone moved forward as well looking the original up and down.

"Why are you in that ridiculous outfit. Foolish." he said shaking his head and grabbing the handle of his sword. "Prepare yourself."

Zeil stared at his own clone. "Party?" he said raising an eyebrow. "Alright there Dante we can party. I just hope you're ready for a blackout." he said grinning and whipping out his hand shaped like a gun letting several shot burst forth. Each was a burst of red energy. The clone sprouted the stone wings and spun into the air deflecting the energy bullets. "Break!" Zeil shouted dashing to the left away from Kenshiro to let him take his own clone down.

Zeil and his clone -we'll call him X- clashed several times leaving imprints in the ground below them as if it was nothing but soft sand. X liked to rain down punishment from the air swooping down with a vicious kick that Zeil dodged pointing the "barrel" into his clone's face. "Bull's eye." he said taking the shot. X reeled backward but recovered holding his face for a moment rushing back into the original and slipping a wild swing that was just slightly to high and tackling him to the ground. Zeil dodged hard punches from the top just barely managing to get his head out of the way a few times before X grabbed his arms and opened his mouth releasing a huge deluge of flames on him. A hard shot to the face would send him flying into the air and back a few yards. Zeil heard the televisions at the nearby pawn shop. They all looked over at the buzzing and then suddenly clear image.

What the heck did that announcement mean?

"Oh great, this is gonna get ugly. Hey Ken, what say we switch dance parners huh?" he asked. He'd seen it work in comic dozens of times. If you have a team vs a team of clones. Don't fight your own clone. They switched spots and continued the fight. This time it was Zeil vs Fake-Ken and Ken vs Fake-Zeil. He hoped that once they finished this Kenshiro knew him enough to know his decision. He wasn't going to switch sides. It just wasn't his style.
         I had almost reached Trump Tower when Mr. E and his friends sent out their broadcast. Naturally, I was shocked by what I heard. Could Mr. E possibly be telling the truth? Had General Schremph been lying to us this whole time? Jesus, that would mean…
         Hastily, I caught myself. There wasn’t time for all this confusion right now. Better to focus on the problem at hand: taking down my evil twin, and all the other doppelgangers. Then—and only then—could I focus on this whole business of who to believe, and which side I wanted to be on.
         So I resumed my march to Trump Tower. I had with me the Blind-Light, the Slow-Ray, Vorchek’s power-boosting headband… and an army. Swarms of bees, pigeons, rats, even a few hawks and eagles—all following close behind me, ready for blood. There was only one thing I didn’t have: a partner. This would be the first time I went into battle without Sap around to back me up, but that suited me just fine. Good rubbish to bad rubbish, as far as I was concerned.
         That was my situation when I ran into Element, who was also on his way to Trump Tower. Apparently, he and Gargoyle had already taken care of their own clones; even now, Gargoyle was over at the police station, handing them over to the proper authorities. So Element and I went to Trump Tower together.
         My animal spies had already informed me that my clone was hiding in the penthouse suite, so we went there straightaway. Scarcely daring to breathe, we eased the front door open an inch or so, and peered inside. In the center of the room sat a man who looked exactly like Sap, and a woman who looked exactly like me. They were busily combing through piles of money, diamonds and stock bonds. A dozen police shotguns were piled in the corner.
         Right away, I recognized the multicolor patterns on my clone’s skin—bright blue, yellow, black, red and green. The telltale markings of the poison dart frog, whose very pores secreted the most deadly toxin on Earth. Just touching her skin would prove fatal.
         In the faintest of whispers, I mentioned this to Element. He didn’t take the news very well. “Are you telling me that your clone is completely covered in poison?”
         “That’s exactly what I’m saying. Also, she has the power to generate electricity.”
         “Jeez! Are you sure you’ll be able to handle her?”
         I pointed to the silver headband I was wearing. “See this? Not only does it boost my own powers—making me way more powerful than my clone—but it also protects me from getting drained by the Sap clone. As long as I’m wearing this thing, I’m more than a match for both of them.”
         Element smiled. “Good. That’s exactly what I thought…” And with that, he snatched the band off my head, threw it onto the floor, and crushed it into powder.
         I couldn’t stop myself from gasping. This wasn’t the real Element; it was his clone! I’d been tricked again!
         Lightning crackled as the fake Element brought his hands together, forming a ball of electricity to hurl at me. Just before he was finished charging, however, I managed to bring the Slow-Ray up into his face and pull the trigger. A blast of shimmering, invisible energy hit him right between the eyes—and just like that, he was frozen in place, little more than a statue, for the next twenty minutes or so.
         Still, the damage had been done. Vorchek’s headband had been destroyed, which meant no power boost to give me an edge over my doppelganger. Moreover, the noise had alerted the other two clones to my presence, and now they came running up to attack me.
         I lifted the Blind-Light and fired. My clone covered her eyes just in time, but the Sap clone didn’t react in time. Sightlessly, he tried to lunge, but only succeeded in knocking into a wall, and just like that, he was down for the count. So now it was just me against my clone.
         Quickly I turned to call on my animal helpers: "THERE! Here are your enemies! They're the ones who want to harm the Earth! ATTACK!"
         But no sooner had I spoken, then my clone chimed in: "NO! Don't listen to her! SHE'S the fake; I'M the real one! THEY'RE the enemies of the Earth! Attack THEM!"
         The poor animals were incredibly confused. Try as I might to convince them that I was telling the truth, my clone simply countered with more lies and denial.
         Meanwhile, the effects of the Slow-Ray was already wearing off; the Element clone was starting to return to normal speed…
         Frantically, my clone and I babbled and gesticulated to the animals in every language we knew. We spoke to them in squirrel, in pigeon, in rat, in bee; squeaking, squawking, chattering, cooing, buzzing, murmuring. We grew breathless and hoarse, screaming and clamoring, each of us struggling to be heard—and believed—over the other.
         I threw every plea at them, every promise, every argument and fact and possible scrap of proof… but so did my evil twin. Minds racing desperately, the animals looked from me to her… to me, to her… then to me, and then back to her…
         By now, the Element clone had completely returned to normal speed. He was almost finished charging up his lightning ball…
         Once again, I petitioned my animals to attack the Element clone—and this time, they obeyed! Caught off-guard, he had no time to fire a blast before they reached him. They piled onto them, their combined weight knocking him off his hoverboard, pinning him to the ground. Hundreds of bees were plunging their stingers into him, swarms of rats gnawing away at his flesh, pigeons and raptors pecking at him furiously, their beaks already shiny and wet with his blood. He only had time to scream once, and then silence. My clone could only look on in helpless shock as her ally was consumed alive.
         “College debate team, three-year champion,” I informed her, smugly. “You may have my powers, but you DON’T have my skills.”
         Even as I said this, my heart sank. True, I had just beaten my evil twin in a heated debate, winning back the allegiance of all my animals in the process, but there was no way I could possibly command them to attack her. With her skin still coated in that deadly poison, it would be like asking them to gnaw on raw pesticides. She was untouchable. She must have realized this as well, because she laughed. "I guess this just isn't your day..."
         Then, out of nowhere, came Sap! The real Sap! Charging into the middle of the room, he grabbed my clone’s neck and held on tight, sapping her for all she was worth. The fake me cried out shrilly, and did her best to shake him off. Thrashing, scratching, pumping up the electric volts… she even flung herself backwards against the wall, momentarily crushing him.
         But Sap held on through it all, and ultimately she fared no better than I ever did. Before long, my depowered clone was lying motionless on the ground, and Sap stood triumphant…
         But it was a hollow victory. Being slammed around and shocked hadn’t hurt him too seriously, but by laying his hands on her pigmented skin, he’d exposed himself to the deadly toxins of the poison-dart frog. Paralysis set in quickly, and he, too, collapsed.
         “SAP!” Horrified, I rushed over to him. He’d brought two others with him: Gargoyle, and a man I had never seen before, dressed all in black. They propped him up now, tried to help him get back up on his feet, but it was no use. He’d been fatally poisoned. In seconds, he would be dead.
         “HEY!” In all the confusion, Sap’s clone had regained consciousness, and his eyesight had returned to boot. He didn’t look too happy to see that his allies had already been defeated. But before he could do anything, Gargoyle threw a brick at him. It hit the clone right in the face, and he staggered backwards—and fell right out the window.
         Gargoyle grinned. “Ha! I KNEW that would work!”
         The man in black knelt beside Sap and snapped his fingers. Instantly, the color returned to Sap’s cheeks, and before my very eyes, he sat up, as healthy as ever!
         My jaw dropped. “Sap…?”
         He just grinned. “I guess we’re partners again now, huh?”
         I didn’t answer him. I was too busy thinking about what I’d just seen. I’d never imagined it could be so much fun to watch myself get drained by Sap!
         …Then something else occurred to me, and I frowned. “Wait a minute. Sap, how’d you know where to find me?”
         Sap motioned to the man in black, who—I noticed now for the first time—actually bore quite a strong resemblance to Sap himself. He wasn’t quite as tall as Sap, and without the spiky hair and the mismatched eyes, but everything else was dead on.
         “This is John,” said Sap. “John found me and Gargoyle, and brought us here.”
         “Is that right?” I turned to face this new mystery man. “And how did YOU know?”
         He just smiled. “It’s one of my many abilities. Anima, you must listen to me. I know this is going to be hard for you to accept, but—”
         “OOOHHHHHHH NO YOU DON’T! NOT WITH MY CHARACTER!” This shrill cry came from directly behind me, and we all jumped at the sound of it.
         “TWO can play at this game!” The owner of the voice was a guy in his mid-twenties, on the short end of 5’9”, sweating in a heavy plaid overshirt and loose-fitting jeans. He had a clownish mop of wooly brown hair and wore thick, black-framed glasses with RIDICULOUSLY thick prescription lenses. His voice was high-pitched and nasal.
         “So, John, we meet at last,” Purposefully, he strode over to the man in black. “Gotta say, I didn’t think you’d be quite so… tall.”
         “So you’re Joe, huh?” John stared down the shorter man. “What are you doing here?”
         “ME?! What about YOU?!? What gives you the right to just… insert yourself into the story, huh? We NEVER talked about this!”
         “Wait a second,” said Gargoyle, “Who the hell are YOU… and how’d you get up here?”
         Joe ignored him. “And another thing! I don’t like the way you treat my character! Why do you always make Anima so weak and whiny on your turns? It's like all she ever does is complain and try to push Sap over like a little kid! For that matter, why does Sap always defeat Anima so easily? It's like you just FORGOT about her enhanced strength and endurance!" Sap and I exchanged awkward glances.
         “Listen,” said John. “Is this REALLY the best time to have this discussion? Can’t we talk about it later?”
         “Like WHEN? You KNOW we don’t have much time left! Besides, I wanna talk about it NOW! Why do you always make Sap act like such a dick to Anima?”
         “I already told you,” said John, exasperated. “He needed to act like a dick to her, in order to fool the demon possessing his mom!”
         “But that makes NO sense! Why’d he have to act like a jerk to her in the very beginning of the story, huh? He didn’t even KNOW his mother and father were still alive then! You know what I think? I think you just LOVE having your characters act like huge jerks!”
         “Well, if I did, then right now YOU’D be my favorite character of all time!” John retorted.
         Joe got red in the face. “Watch your mouth! Just remember: right now, I’M the one who’s in control!” He snapped his fingers—and suddenly, John was a ballerina!
         “What the… HEY!” In a frenzy, John tore off the pink tutu he was wearing, only to reveal Spider-Man tighty-whities and an “I LOVE TELETUBBIES” T-shirt.
         “OOOOOHHHHHH, why you—!” He snapped his fingers, and was instantly back in his original black clothes. “You’ll PAY for that! Just wait ‘til it’s MY turn again!”
         “HEY!” I shouted at the top of my lungs. It was enough to get both Joe and John’s attention; they stopped arguing and looked at me. “WHO are you two, and WHAT is going on?”
         But even before I spoke, I already had a horrible idea of what the answer was. I’d read about this sort of thing, had even studied it a little in Philosophy class…
         “Are you supposed to be, like, writers who created this world? Is this some kind of… metafictional, deus-ex-machina, author-as-self-inserted-God-character-like-in-Grant-Morrison’s-Animal-Man… sort of thing?”
         “Yes,” said Joe, without missing a beat. “Yes, that’s EXACTLY what this is.”
         John, on the other hand, looked really confused. “Uh… WHAT?”
         “Never mind,” Joe shushed him. “It’s from a comic book.” He turned back to me. “Anyway, Anima, you’re exactly right. This is just like in those Animal Man comics by Grant Morrison… man, I love that guy! Anyway, John and I are fictional representations of these two authors, who’ve been collaborating with a few other authors on a story about superheroes—”
         “Which would be us?”
         “That’s right, and now we’ve been inserted into the story, and given godlike powers, to basically serve as the voice of the authors, so we can straighten everything out and bring the story to its natural conclusion.”
         I was flabbergasted. “STRAIGHTEN IT OUT? So far, you’ve just made everything MORE confusing! And what do you mean, ‘natural conclusion’? Is the story coming to an END? Are we about to DIE?”
         “Take it easy, Faith…”
         “FAITH?” I stared at him. “What are you talking about? My name’s not Faith, it’s Lenora. Who’s Faith?”
         He said nothing for a minute, then smiled at me. “Sorry,” he said. “I guess I must have confused you with someone else for a moment. Faith isn’t important. The point is, we’ve said too much already. We can’t possibly tell you any more.”
         That was the last straw. I grabbed Joe by the neck and lifted him into the air. “I am through pussyfooting around with you two! So HELP me, you’d better spill EVERYTHING, or else I swear I’m going to take a page from Nietzsche!” So saying, I threw him back onto the ground, where he lay a few seconds, gasping for air.
         John got that confused look again. “Wait, what does that mean? Who’s Neetchy?”
         Joe gasped, spluttered, and finally answered: “It means she’s going to kill us! Seriously, do you ever read anything?” He turned back to me. “All right, Anima, to answer your question: yes, the story is coming to an end after the next mission. We don’t know what will happen to you guys after that—whether you’ll live or die, or what kind of an ending you’ll get—but we’re trying to make sure you get a happy ending.”
         “Well, in that case, tell me, what do we do now? Should we side with Schremph, or with Vorchek and his pals? Who’s telling the truth?”
         “Actually, we don’t know the answer to that yet,” said John. “We have to consult with all the other authors first.”
         “You mean there are more authors?” asked Gargoyle. “You two aren’t the only ones?”
         “That’s right,” said Joe. “We’re just the ones who created Sap and Anima. The author who created YOU is probably around here somewhere, as well. I think his name’s Bart…”
         “Great,” I said. “Just great. So, God is a whole group of writers who can’t get the plot of their story together, and the two guys in charge of Sap and I do nothing but bicker like an old married couple.”
         “HEY! YOU TAKE THAT BACK!” Joe and John yelled at me simultaneously. With that, they resumed arguing with each other, and as Gargoyle watched helplessly, I took Sap aside.
         “Look, Anima,” he told me. “I want us to be partners again. I know you don’t trust me, I know you even HATE me, but please—”
         I shushed him. “I don’t hate you, Sap. I’m sorry I said that to you; I didn’t mean it.” I took his hand. “You were always my partner, and you always will be.”
         It’s true that I hated Sap at first—I mean, he WAS a dick to me, that can’t be denied. But was I ever really that much better than him? Like Joe said, sometimes I’ve done nothing but whine and pick fights. Other times, I just act like a pretentious douchebag, looking down on everyone else just because I went to a fancy liberal arts college. As if it’s really THAT hard to go to college!
         So why do I act this way? Just because that’s how I was written? I guess we're BOTH only as good as the writers who created us—and unfortunately, neither of them are exactly on par with Leo Tolstoy. All we can do is hope that, in the future, we’ll be able to do better.
         Gargoyle came over to us now. “Um, guys? I don’t mean to interrupt, but my partner is still running around in the city somewhere. And so is my clone.”
         I nodded. “That’s true. All right, guys, I guess that, first, we need to find the fake Gargoyle and the real Element. Then, we’ll sort out what to do about Schremph. And maybe we can even persuade the writers to help us—if they ever stop fighting, that is…”

         Natalia watched as Quentin and his clone got farther and farther away from the city, one glowing blue and the other red. Snapping back to her own situation, she sensed her clone coming up behind her. Turning around, Natalia took a step backwards. Her clone kept advancing. Natalia reached into her boot for a knife, and held it at her side, not wanting to make the first move. Her clone looked at her with a wicked smile, and in a minute she was right in front of her.

         Her clone made a move to knock her off her feet, but Natalia had her up and pushed against the wall before she could process what was going on.

         "Where are all the other clones?" Natalia demanded, her teeth clenched together.

         Her clone remained silent. Natalia's arms tired a little and when her hold loosened up the slightest bit, her clone threw her off and got back up. Natalia stumbled, and with amazing stealth her clone came up behind her. Natalia felt her arm being restrained behind her back. She tried to throw her clone off, but she was just forced to her knees. She felt her wrist being twisted. Her breathing became short. Natalia's clone bent Natalia's wrist backwards, breaking the bone. Natalia let out a scream before her clone released her, kicking her in the stomach.

         Natalia doubled over in pain. When she saw her clone stopping about a foot away from her however, Natalia grabbed her ankle and pulled, causing her clone to fall to the ground. Natalia ignored her pain and straddled her clone, clamping her hand over her nose and mouth. Her clone struggled, finally hitting her head on the concrete and going still. She was still alive, just unconscious for now.

         Natalia sat with her back to a wall, gazing at a large video screen in times square. She clutched her wrist to her body, pain shooting through her arm. Her breath came out in short gasps. Several images of other clones filled the video screen.

         Suddenly an image of Mr. E and some other villains they had fought popped up. "Hello supers!" He said. "Mr. E here with some of my friends. I'm not sure if you've noticed or not, but you have been part of a government experiment. Now I know what you're thinking; aren't you supposed to be the bad guy? What are you doing talking to me on a screen? Well, my friends and I wanted to inform you that this is all a trick. Schremph does not actually work for the United States government. You were never really at Area 51. In fact, Schremph is the true leader of Lambda, not Armada!" Quentin and Natalia looked at each other, confused. "Now I know this may be difficult to accept, but I can assure you that you are working for the wrong side. Schremph is simply using you and your partner to overthrow the United States government for Lambda. Join us and help fight the true source of evil. Schremph has been planning this for years and after finally watching some of his supers succeed in combat, he will be using you to destroy the world. Now I ask you. Beg you. Please join us in the fight against Schremph! If you want to join us, we'll be waiting at Ellis Island."

         Natalia looked at the video in disbelief. Where was Quentin and his clone? She was starting to worry, and now she was being told that Schremp was the real leader of Lambda. Hopefully Quentin would be back soon and could put this all into perspective.
Kenshiro stood next to Zeil. They both stood stock still staring at their opposite. It was intriguing how they were able to gain a clone of him. It was puzzling in fact, but now wasn’t the time to contemplate such things.

Kenshiro stepped forward and was semi-surprised that his clone had done the same. They both eyed one another, seemingly trying to get a beat on the other. Kenshiro noticed Zeil’s clone had the same sort of mischief in his eye that he had grown accustomed to seeing in his partner. Zeil stared at his own clone.

"Party?" Kenshiro heard the clone ask.

“Alright there Dante we can party.” Zeil agreed. “I just hope you're ready for a blackout." Zeil said, grinning and whipping out his hand shaped like a gun letting several shot burst forth. Each was a burst of red energy. The clone sprouted the stone wings and spun into the air deflecting the energy bullets.

"Break!" Zeil shouted, dashing to the left away from Kenshiro.

Kenshiro and his clone watched their partners sparing off with one another. Kenshiro thought he had a good enough beat on his clone, and if he were worth his salt he’d be able to withstand a good assault.

"Why are you in that ridiculous outfit. Foolish." Kenshiro’s clone said, He shook his head and grabbed the handle of his sword. "Prepare yourself."he shouted, stepping forth while bringing his sword from its scabbard, the sound of the blade reminded Kenshiro of the dual he had with his master. The air around Kenshiro’s blade rippled with power.

Kenshiro felt the thrill of the fight coursing through him. In his excitement he brought forth his power and the clothing he had on burned in his aura revealing the armor that was previously invisible. The armor he wore shimmered red.

“I’m no one’s clone.” Kenshiro’s clone declared. When he moved his own armor came to life in the blaze of a dazzling blue. “You can call me Ichiryoku.”

“Well, Ichiryoku, let’s dance you and I.” Kenshiro said, with a smile splayed across his lips.

“I couldn’t have said it better myself.” Ichiryoku agreed, smiling.

“Run free Crimson eclipse,” Kenshiro whispered, releasing his sword free from its scabbard. The sun seemed to glow from the silver of his blade, while the air rippled as he swung it to and fro.

Ichiryoku and Kenshiro stood facing one another. The scene around them was in chaos. Zeil and his clone could be heard clashing not too far away. Kenshiro take a chance to glance in Zeil’s direction which was nearly a costly mistake. Ichiryoku took that momentary second to attack.
When Kenshiro put his eyes back on Ichiryoku he had just enough time to turn his sword in such a way that the hit glanced off.

Ichiryoku then pressed the attack using not only his blade, but the scabbard as well. Kenshiro did the same defending and attacking, neither gaining purchase on the other. Kenshiro began to enjoy their battle. When they were interrupted by a loud commotion.


"Heroes! It's Schremph! I have some important news. Intel has recently handed me..." The radio goes into a static rage and then goes silent.

“Schremph! What’s going on!” Kenshiro shouted, he received nothing in return.

Suddenly, all the advertisement screens and television screens go black. An image flashed onto the screen Kenshiro cannot believe. Vorchek, Armada, Mr. E, and Shinigami are all standing in a group on the screen.

"Hello supers!" Mr. E bellowed into the camera. "Mr. E here with some of my friends. I'm not sure if you've noticed or not, but you have been part of a government experiment. Now I know what you're thinking; aren't you supposed to be the bad guy? What are you doing talking to me on a screen? Well, my friends and I wanted to inform you that this is all a trick. Schremph does not actually work for the United States government. You were never really at Area 51. In fact, Schremph is the true leader of Lambda, not Armada!”

"Now I know this may be difficult to accept, but I can assure you that you are working for the wrong side. Schremph is simply using you and your partner to overthrow the United States government for Lambda. Join us and help fight the true source of evil. Schremph has been planning this for years and after finally watching some of his supers succeed in combat, he will be using you to destroy the world. Now I ask you. Beg you. Please join us in the fight against Schremph! If you want to join us, we'll be waiting at Ellis Island."

The screens go fuzzy before returning to their original contents.

“What the hell is going on?” Kenshiro said.

“I don’t care what’s going on, but I’ll fight for my freedom!” Ichiryoku shouted, bringing his blade around then fainting to the left with his scabbard.

Kenshiro stopped both attacks.

“Is this why Schremph wanted me to do his bidding before helping me? But, if this is the case why had he given me the contents of the box in the last mission?” Kenshiro thought.

Zeil was back. He and his clone were both fighting yet neither had been able to do much of anything to the other.
"Oh great, this is gonna get ugly. Hey Ken, what say we switch dance partners, huh?" Zeil asked.

Kenshiro thought for a moment, while throwing off Ichiryoku attacks.

“We are too similar, you and I.” Kenshiro confessed, to Ichiryoku.

Kenshiro hopped back away from Ichiryoku, and sheathed his sword.

“I agree, but this isn’t over. We will finish this battle, but of another day.” Ichiryoku agreed.

Kenshiro now stood in front of Zeil's clone.

"You don't look like much," Zeil's clone declared.

Kenshiro smiled, "Unleash your fury Crimson Eclipse," Kenshiro shouted ripping his sword free from its sheath.
Quentin and his clone were streaks of incandescent blue and red. Quentin wanted to be far from the city, so their fight wouldn’t harm anyone. As the scene before him changed from rolling green hills to golden wheat fields, soon the environment changed to that of the frozen lands of the Arctic. The sight of the snow brought back memories of the last mission Quentin shared with Natalia. He missed her, but he knew she could take care of herself against that imposter.

“This is far enough,” Quantum’s clone announced. The vibration of his voice sent waves of energy through the air.

“Yeah, I guess you’re right.” Quentin agreed.

Quentin was floating in the air, his azure power was radiating off his body. His clone was in a likewise position with a ruby red power oozing off him.

“I know what you’re thinking,” Quantum’s clone laughed.

“Oh yeah, and what is that?” Quentin asked.

“You’re thinking about how fast you can get this over with and get back there to that girl.” The clone responded.

Quentin was slightly amused with how right he was. “Well, since you are my clone, and Natalia has a clone, I’m thinking that you’re thinking the same.”

The laugh that irrupted from his clone was harsh, “Yeah, I suppose I wouldn’t mind nailing that chick.. She does have a nice body.”

“You’re disgusting, honest, but disgusting nevertheless.” Quentin concluded.

“I wouldn’t mind having both of them for that matter,” The clone confessed.

“Nah, that will never happen. Natalia is with me.” Quentin snapped. His power exploded around him causing the snow in his general vicinity to melt rapidly.

“Looks like I hit a nerve,” The clone laughed. He allowed his power to pour forth melt the snow around him as well.

It happened in a flash. Quantum and his clone clashed causing an explosion to take place. Quantum punched his clone, sending him flying down onto the earth. The resulting crash sent earth and rock up obscuring the clone from Quantum’s sight.

It was here that Quentin’s earpiece activated.

“Q-Q-Quentin...Gen- Schremph...Come back. Trouble.”

Quentin recognized Natalia’s voice, but their connection wasn’t clear. He knew he had to get back to her, and about to when the ground exploded revealing a glowing red clone. The power he was emitting was tremendous.

“Did you really think that would put me down?” The clone asked.

Quentin didn’t have a chance to answer. The clone shot off the ground and slammed into Quantum with so much force he was sent flying out of control.
As the image disappeared from the screens all across the city, Elliot looked over at Christian. Christian's eyes darkened as he looked up at the screen.

"Well... that was weird!" Elliot exclaimed in a poor attempt to break the silence. "Looks like we've been working for the wrong guy this whole time!"

"Quiet!" Christian growled. He faced Elliot with a furrowed brow. Elliot began backing away slowly.

Christian reached into his pocket and pulled out a long piece of dental floss. The floss came to life and floated towards Elliot. Elliot froze and the floss danced around his head.

"Christian... what are you doing?"

Christian smirked as the floss continued floating.

"You know, Christian, we were put as partners for a reason. Whoever put us together knew that we could work as a team. Let's be rational now..."

"Rational?! You mean treating me like a child is rantional?!"

Elliot paused. So that's what made Christian so mad. "Look, I'm sorry about what happened back there. I know we haven't been partners long, and I'm already off to a bad start. It's my first time working with a partner on something like this. Hopefully we can put all this behind us and just keep going strong!"

Christian sneered as the words left Elliot's lips. "I guess we'll just see where we stand when the real battle starts!"
Note. This chapter is going to be a plot filler, using mostly Joestrong's last chapter, as well as some of my own bit's and pieces added in.


"I'm not falling for that," Gargoyle chided me, stepping back to the rubble and picking up a brick.


"All I have to do is stay away from you and you can't sap me right?" With that comment Gargoyle tossed the brick towards me in an attempt to knock me out. But before it hit me, time seemed to stop again. This time for the brick and Gargoyle only. I looked around trying to find out what caused this to happen. I turned around just in time to see my creator, John.


"Looks like I made it just in the nick of time." John said, looking at me with a smile.


"What do you want now?" For a moment, I felt like punching him. But I knew he was just going to write something else to happen if I even tried to. So I let it pass.


"I've come to bring you to Anima's location. And I've found a way to bring you two back together again."


"Oh boy. Coming from you, I can't wait to hear this."


"Anima doesn't know about the other Writers, and how they control the lives of everyone in this story. So I plan on telling her all about it. Well, me and Anima's creator anyway."


"Wait. Anima's creator is coming here as well?"


"Yes. He seems to like the idea of Writer-god's being inserted into the story. And I'm hoping that the other Writers come to this conclusion before the end of the story as well."


"Wait a minuet, are you planing on braking down the Forth Wall?! Are you insane?!"


"Maybe a little."


"Okay. I don't even want to know why anymore. But how will this help me and Anima get back together again?"


"Oh you'll see soon enough. But for now, we should get to Trump Towers before her clone tires her out." Then John opens up a portal with a snap of his fingers, and whisks us off behind a wall in Trump Towers. And as we warped in, The Sap clone hit the wall right next to us.


"Wow. That was fast." I said in shock.


"THERE! Here are your enemies! They're the ones who want to harm the Earth! ATTACK!"


"NO! Don't listen to her! SHE'S the fake; I'M the real one! THEY'RE the enemies of the Earth! Attack THEM!" The poor animals were incredibly confused. Try as Anima might to convince them that she was telling the truth, her clone simply countered with more lies and denial. Frantically, The Anima clone and the real Anima babbled and gesticulated to the animals in every language they knew. They spoke to them in squirrel, in pigeon, in rat, in bee; squeaking, squawking, chattering, cooing, buzzing, murmuring. They grew breathless and hoarse, screaming and clamoring, each of them struggling to be heard—and believed—over the other. Anima threw every plea at them, every promise, every argument and fact and possible scrap of proof. But so did her evil twin. Minds racing desperately, the animals looked from one to the other. And again, and again, and again. Then, Anima petitioned the animals to attack the Element clone who had burst through the door, charging a ball of lightning—and this time, they obeyed! Caught off-guard, he had no time to fire a blast before they reached him. They piled onto them, their combined weight knocking him off his hoverboard, pinning him to the ground. Hundreds of bees were plunging their stingers into him, swarms of rats gnawing away at his flesh, pigeons and raptors pecking at him furiously, their beaks already shiny and wet with his blood. He only had time to scream once, and then silence. The Anima clone could only look on in helpless shock as her ally was consumed alive.


“College debate team, three-year champion,” Anima informed her clone, smugly.


“You may have my powers, but you DON’T have my skills.” Even as Anima said this, my heart sank. True, She had just beaten her evil twin in a heated debate, winning back the allegiance of all her animals in the process, but there was no way she could possibly command them to attack her. With her skin still coated in what looked like deadly poison, it would be like asking them to gnaw on raw pesticides. She was untouchable. She must have realized this as well, because she laughed.


"I guess this just isn't your day."


"Maybe not for her. But I can handle you just fine!" Then I came charging into the middle of the room, and grabbed Anima's clone by the neck and held on tight, sapping her for all she was worth. The fake Anima cried out shrilly, and did her best to shake me off. Thrashing, scratching, pumping up the electric volts. She even flung herself backwards against the wall, momentarily crushing me. But I held on through it all, and ultimately she fared no better than Anima ever did. Before long, Anima's depowered clone was lying motionless on the ground, and I stood triumphant. But it was a hollow victory. Being slammed around and shocked hadn’t hurt me too seriously, but by laying my hands on her pigmented skin, I'd exposed myself to the deadly toxins of the poison-dart frog. Paralysis set in quickly, and I too, collapsed.


“SAP!” Horrified, Anima rushed over to my side. John also came to my side, and they both propped me up against the wall and tried to help me get back up on my feet, but it was no use. I'd been fatally poisoned. In seconds, I would be dead.


“HEY!” In all the confusion, my clone had regained consciousness, and his eyesight had returned to boot. He didn’t look too happy to see that his allies had already been defeated. But before he could do anything, John warped Gargoyle into the room, unfroze him and the brick he was trying to throw at me. Which ended up hitting my clone right in the face, and he staggered backwards—and fell right out the window. Gargoyle grinned.


“Ha! I KNEW that would work!” John knelt beside me and snapped his fingers. Instantly, the color returned to my cheeks, and before Anima's very eyes, I sat up, as healthy as ever! Anima's jaw dropped.


“Sap?” I just grinned.


“I guess we’re partners again now, huh?” She didn’t answer me. She was probably too busy thinking about what she had just seen. Then she frowned and said-


“Wait a minute. Sap, how’d you know where to find me?” I motioned to John.


“This is John,” I said.


“John found me and Gargoyle, and brought us here.”


“Is that right?” Anima turned to face John.


“And how did YOU know?” He just smiled.


“It’s one of my many abilities. Anima, you must listen to me. I know this is going to be hard for you to accept, but—”


“OOOHHHHHHH NO YOU DON’T! NOT WITH MY CHARACTER!” This shrill cry came from directly behind Anima, and we all jumped at the sound of it.


“TWO can play at this game!” The owner of the voice was a guy in his mid-twenties, on the short end of 5’9”, sweating in a heavy plaid overshirt and loose-fitting jeans. He had a clownish mop of wooly brown hair and wore thick, black-framed glasses with RIDICULOUSLY thick prescription lenses. His voice was high-pitched and nasal.


“So, John, we meet at last,” Purposefully, he strode over to John.


“Gotta say, I didn’t think you’d be quite so… tall.”


“So you’re Joe, huh?” John stared down the shorter man.


“What are you doing here?”


“ME?! What about YOU?!? What gives you the right to just… insert yourself into the story, huh? We NEVER talked about this!”


“Wait a second,” Said Gargoyle.


“Who the hell are YOU?! and how’d you get up here?” Joe ignored him.


“And another thing! I don’t like the way you treat my character! Why do you always make Anima so weak and whiny on your turns? It's like all she ever does is complain and try to push Sap over like a little kid! For that matter, why does Sap always defeat Anima so easily? It's like you just FORGOT about her enhanced strength and endurance!" Me and Anima exchanged awkward glances.


“Listen,” Said John.


“Is this REALLY the best time to have this discussion? Can’t we talk about it later?”


“Like WHEN? You KNOW we don’t have much time left! Besides, I wanna talk about it NOW! Why do you always make Sap act like such a dick to Anima?”


“I already told you,” said John, exasperated. “He needed to act like a dick to her, in order to fool the demon possessing his mom!”


“But that makes NO sense! Why’d he have to act like a jerk to her in the very beginning of the story, huh? He didn’t even KNOW his mother and father were still alive then! You know what I think? I think you just LOVE having your characters act like huge jerks!”


“Well, if I did, then right now YOU’D be my favorite character of all time!” John retorted. Joe got red in the face.


“Watch your mouth! Just remember: right now, I’M the one who’s in control!” He snapped his fingers—and suddenly, John was a ballerina!


“What the… HEY!” In a frenzy, John tore off the pink tutu he was wearing, only to reveal Spider-Man tighty-whities and an “I LOVE TELETUBBIES” T-shirt.


“OOOOOHHHHHH, why you—!” He snapped his fingers, and was instantly back in his original black clothes.


“You’ll PAY for that! Just wait ‘til it’s MY turn again!”


“HEY!” Anima shouted at the top of her lungs. It was enough to get both Joe and John’s attention; they stopped arguing and looked at her.


“WHO are you two, and WHAT is going on? Are you supposed to be, like, writers who created this world? Is this some kind of… metafictional, deus-ex-machina, author-as-self-inserted-God-character-like-in-Grant-Morrison’s-Animal-Man… sort of thing?”


“Yes,” said Joe, without missing a beat. “Yes, that’s EXACTLY what this is.” John, on the other hand, looked really confused.


“Uh… WHAT?”


“Never mind,” Joe shushed him.


“It’s from a comic book.” He turned back to Anima.


“Anyway, Anima, you’re exactly right. This is just like in those Animal Man comics by Grant Morrison… man, I love that guy! Anyway, John and I are fictional representations of these two authors, who’ve been collaborating with a few other authors on a story about superheroes—”


“Which would be us?”


“That’s right, and now we’ve been inserted into the story, and given godlike powers, to basically serve as the voice of the authors, so we can straighten everything out and bring the story to its natural conclusion.” Anima was flabbergasted.


“STRAIGHTEN IT OUT? So far, you’ve just made everything MORE confusing! And what do you mean, ‘natural conclusion’? Is the story coming to an END? Are we about to DIE?”


“Take it easy, Faith…”


“FAITH? What are you talking about? My name’s not Faith, it’s Lenora. Who’s Faith?” Joe said nothing for a minute, then smiled at Anima.


“Sorry,” he said.


“I guess I must have confused you with someone else for a moment. Faith isn’t important. The point is, we’ve said too much already. We can’t possibly tell you any more.” Anima then grabbed Joe by the neck and lifted him into the air.


“I am through pussyfooting around with you two! So HELP me, you’d better spill EVERYTHING, or else I swear I’m going to take a page from Nietzsche!” So saying, Anima threw him back onto the ground, where he lay a few seconds, gasping for air. John got that confused look again.


“Wait, what does that mean? Who’s Neetchy?” Joe gasped, spluttered, and finally answered:


“It means she’s going to kill us! Seriously, do you ever read anything?” Joe turned back to Anima.


“All right, Anima, to answer your question: yes, the story is coming to an end after the next mission. We don’t know what will happen to you guys after that—whether you’ll live or die, or what kind of an ending you’ll get—but we’re trying to make sure you get a happy ending.”


“Well, in that case, tell me, what do we do now? Should we side with Schremph, or with Vorchek and his pals? Who’s telling the truth?”


“Actually, we don’t know the answer to that yet,” said John.


“We have to consult with all the other authors first.”


“You mean there are more authors?” asked Gargoyle.


“You two aren’t the only ones?”


“That’s right,” said Joe.


“We’re just the ones who created Sap and Anima. The author who created YOU is probably around here somewhere, as well. I think his name’s Bart…”


“Great,” Anima said.


“Just great. So, God is a whole group of writers who can’t get the plot of their story together, and the two guys in charge of Sap and I do nothing but bicker like an old married couple.”


“HEY! YOU TAKE THAT BACK!” Joe and John yelled at Anima simultaneously. With that, they resumed arguing with each other, and as Gargoyle watched helplessly, Anima took me aside.


“Look, Anima, I want us to be partners again. I know you don’t trust me, I know you even HATE me, but please—” She shushed me.


“I don’t hate you, Sap. I’m sorry I said that to you; I didn’t mean it.” She took my hand.


“You were always my partner, and you always will be.” Gargoyle came over to us now.


“Um, guys? I don’t mean to interrupt, but my partner is still running around in the city somewhere. And so is my clone.” Anima nodded.


“That’s true. All right guys, I guess that we'll need to find the fake Gargoyle and the real Element. Then, we’ll sort out what to do about Schremph. And maybe we can even persuade The Writers to help us—if they ever stop fighting, that is.”
Gargoyle walked to the window and looked out "How are we going to find them?" Gargoyle turned around and looked back at the four others in the room "Joe, John, Where is Element and my clone?" Joe spoke first. "We don't know" Gargoyle raised an eyebrow "Can't you just pick a location and take us there"

"If it was our turn than sure" Joe responded
"My turn just ended" John chimed in
Gargoyle brought his hand up to his own head in disbelief "well that's no good, Anima-"
"Already on it.." Anima responded sending her critters out to gather information once again "They'll let us know where they are soon"
"So we wait" Gargoyle turned to the Authors again to find another ma. standing there. "Oh you must be Bart" The man dressed in business attire, shook his head. "That's not actually my name" Gargoyle looked to see the other authors and heroes frozen in place. "So are you going to teleport me there or offer me helpful advice or something" The man shook his head "No I prefer to let things play out naturally. I'm going to be leaving this world again shortly, but you should know, Your last mission is about to begin. Most of the evil clones are still alive. Things are looking bleak and honestly I don't think you three can take on your clone at this point. Just like you, his strength is in defence."

"Ok fine, then we'll need Quantum or someone to help."
"No can do"
"Agggh why are you even here?"
"Mainly to warn you that you're going to be fighting your friends very soon and since the authors are revealing themselves I've come to provide a bit of insight. When it's an Authors turn they becomes as powerful as a God, but when it's not-"
"They're powerless"
"Exactly, but we've been talking for quite some time. Even though I'm not going to help you, I will speed things up a bit for you"

All of a sudden the unnamed author disappeared "I've found them" Anima shouted
"Where are they?" Sap asked
"Follow me" Anima replied jumping out the window of the tower where the fake sap had fallen out.
Sap and Gargoyle ran to the ledge only to see that anima's arms had changed she was now gliding through the air, two eagles alongside her. Gargoyle stepped back gave a nod to the two autthors still standing there, then with a running start he grabbed Sap and jumped out of the window
"ess asterick asterick asterick"

Gargoyle looked at Sap a little confused but didn't say anything. Gargoyle landed hard on an adjacent roof and saw Anima still flying ahead, so gargoyle jumped off that roof too. Sap in tow behind them. Finally Anima landed on one of the roofs and looked down pointing as she did. The fake Gargoyle and Sap were heading down the street police in tow behind them. "That can't be good" Gargoyle stated as he looked down as well Anima, Sap Can you handle my fake. "No problem" Sap said a little more confident than he should be. "Good" Gargoyle said as he jumped from the building one more time leaving both Sap and Anima up above.

Element had not expected the weight which tackled him off of his hoverboard. Gargoyle had grabbed him and ran into an adjoining Alley, Gargoyle looked back to see the fake Gargoyle turning to run after them but wasz stopped by sap jumping on his back and beginning to use his trademark move. The fake, knocked the boy off but there was no way that he'd be able to chase gargoyle. Gargoyle turned a corner as Element realized what was happening. That's when a flurry of ice, fire, and energy began to hit the stone man in a quick succession. It was enough to knock Gargoyle off balance and have him topple over. "Element it's me!"
"Nice try. the only time when I had took my eyes off you was when we first got here and you had just been around the corner then."

Gargoyle stood up "I was kidnapped"
"Really? you? kidnapped?" Element said unleashing another attack, This one stung harder than any hit he had felt in this form.
"What was that" Gargoyle shouted.
"I'm a master of the Elements" he commanded "Fire! Water! Lightning! Energy! and Earth!" with the last word Gargoyle felt another monstrous force toss him into yet another brick wall. Gargoyle had realized what happened. Element had used the earth that composed the large mans body and used it against him. He hadn't thought his partner would actually be able to harm him. Gargoyle knew not only was he wrong but that Element would even kill him if he didn't act fast.
"Sorry but my partner needs me" Element explained ready to unleash his final attack .
"You said we wouldn't have to fight!" Gargoyle shouted loudly Element stopped moments away from having taken off his partners' head.
"You are the real Gargoyle" Element said surprised.
"Yeah but we have to help Anima and Sap"
Then another voice chimed in "Too late!" The businessman had appeared once more. "Missions over" The man tossed a radio that looked exactly like the one Gargoyle had lost, Gargoyle placed it in his ear and looked back but the man was gone. Then the crackle of Schremph's familiar voice came over the radio again.
Your radio crackles, stopping you from your current actions. The familiar voice of Schremph comes through.

"Heroes! It's Schremph. It appears that there has been some problems out there with some of your old enemies. We have satellite images of these villains hiding out a Ellis Island. Whatever you do, stay away from there! Whatever they are planning is bigger than you can handle! Instead, meet me at Central Park. From there, I will personally discuss our options on attacking the villains. Please heroes... hurry!"

As soon as your radio goes silent, every screen in New York City flashes to Vorchek, Armada, Mr. E, and Shinigami. Mr. E's eyes stare directly into the camera with a stone face.

"Heroes, we are waiting for you at Ellis Island. Hurry over so we can take down this evil man Schremph!"

"He is right. We cannot put an end to Schremph and his evil plans without your help!" Vorchek interjects. "If we do not stop him, he will continue to do inhumane projects to develop a superhuman that can do his evil bidding for him. In fact... we were part of his first group of superheroes..."

Armada stepped in front of Vorchek. "It's true. We were the original superpowered team. Vorchek experimented on us and performed inhumane procedures all in the name of science. He is an evil man that plans to use your powers to rule the world. You will simply become his puppets!"

The screen changes to an image of Schremph. He is standing at what looks like the Empire State Building.

"Heroes, do NOT listen to them! Remember, they are villains! They will do anything they can to have you join their side! I've been working with you this whole time to stop corruption in the world. Now hurry!"

The screen returns to its normal programming, leaving you speechless. Your mind races as you try to process what you have just heard. You think about the fallen heroes; those who were no longer with you. You think about the villains, and the great lengths you have been through in order to stop them, only to see them ultimately escape. You think about the connection you have made with your partner. As the image of your partner appears in your mind, you feel a rush of emotions knowing that this is the end. You may never see them again. Your mind brings you back to the moment. As of right now, you have a decision to make. Regardless of your decision, you know one thing. You are now on your own. There is no more "duo"...
Element stared at Gargoyle as the images of Schremph and the villains concluded. Gargoyle looked at Element expectantly.

"Are you coming or not?" Gargoyle asked.

"What are you talking about?"

"We need to go help Sap and Anima!"

Element sighed. "We don't have time to deal with that right now. You heard them. We have to make our decision. Choose a side!"

Gargoyle stepped back away from Element. "So... you aren't going to help?"

Element looked around only to find a confused crowd of people passing by. They did not even acknowledge Element or Gargoyle.

"Gargoyle... I don't have time to worry about other people. I don't know what you have planned, but I'm going to Ellis Island. Those supposed "villains" seem to make sense. That would explain alot about what we've been through so far. Now... are you with me or not?"Element asked. He tapped his foot impatiently as he waited for Gargoyle to respond.
Quentin’s vision was blurred. For the first time in his life he couldn’t use his power to overcome his opponent easily. His body slammed hard against the side of a mountain of ice that began to melt after his initial contact. Quentin watched as his clone slowly drifted toward him. His body was ablaze with power. It flared a deep color of crimson a stark contrast to Quentin’s deep azure blue.

“You’re pathetic you know that. You have all this power, and you don’t know enough about it to use it.” The clone chastised.

The clone flew over catching Quentin with a right hook, then a powerful kick sent him crashing hard down into the beautiful ocean current. As he fell he could see the waves crashing over a thick layer of ice.

“Why is he doing this?”Quentin thought.“What the hell is going on with all of this?”

The clone was saying something that he couldn’t understand, everything was garbled from under the water.

“Is General Schremph really the one behind all of this? What will happen to Natalia?” Quentin thought urgently.

Quentin’s thoughts turned quickly to Natalia and getting back to her, but he couldn’t leave his clone here. He would have to stop him one way or another.

With Natalia on his mind he decided to just let go of everything. He was tired of always being the one to hold back because of what would happen to others. He was tired of not being able to be with the one he wanted. He was tired of having to be cooped up in a science lab being tested on. He was tired of it all.

Quentin rose slowly from the ocean with tendrils of his azure power stretching up and out in every direction.

“Well, well, it looks like you’re finally ready to play.” The clone laughed.

“Quentin didn’t respond. The expression on the clone’s face changed dramatically.
“What the hell are you do-“ Was all the clone was able to get out.

Quentin allow his full might pour forth taking from everything around him to fuel his power. He had the thought that if his clone was essentially a part of him than it was time for him to retrieve that power back again.

Like a lightning strike Quentin hit the clone cutting off all and any conversation that he was attempting. The hit was like a small nuclear explosion, but the power from the hit didn’t damage anything around them, and when Quentin hit the clone he kept his fist connected with the clones body sucking in the energy that it emitting successfully draining him of all his power.

Once he was done, he could feel his own power fluctuating nearly out of control. Quentin had one thought on his mind, and that was to get back to Natalia. His earpiece had exploded when his clone hit him earlier. The clone was still alive, so he decided to take him back to the city, and find his partner. He just hoped he made it back in time.

He still didn't know what to do about General Schremph. Nothing mattered besides him being with Natalia, and once he made sure she was okay, he would confront Schremph about everything, and let him know of the plans that Quentin made for his future.

Natalia sat cradling her wrist, waiting for Quentin to return. She was shocked by what she had heard about Schremph. Natalia had no idea who she was supposed to trust anymore. All she knew was that she wasn't going to let this separate her from Quentin. Speaking of Quentin, he still hadn't responded to her, but she figured he was out of range. Just as she was trying to reassure herself, however, the connection went static. Natalia started panicking. Something must have gone wrong on Quentin's side of things.

"Quentin?!" she yelled.

No answer.

Oh god, this cant be happening. Natalia thought. Please don't let this be happening.

Natalia closed her eyes and took a shaky breath. When she opened them however, she saw Quentin returning to the city, his clone's body limp in his arms. Natalia couldn't help but smile, she was so happy to see him alive and uninjured. Quentin set his clone down next to Natalia's clone.

Natalia looked from him to his exact copy. "Is he..."

"No," Quentin answered, seemingly predicting her question. "He's not dead, just unconscious."

Before she knew it she was in Quentin's arms, his lips on hers. The way he was holding her was so urgent it was as if he hadn't seen her in years. Natalia wrapped her uninjured arm around Quentin's neck, pulling him closer. When he finally pulled away, his eyes were dark and serious.

"I was worried about you." Quentin looked exhausted.

"Me too," Natalia said. She pointed to her earpiece. "You never answered. And when it went static... I thought something had happened to you."

Quentin explained what had happened and how his earpiece had exploded. Natalia in return told him about what she had seen on the video screen with Mr. E and the other villains.

"I don't know who to believe," she said. "What if we've been on the wrong side this whole time?"

"Why don't we just talk to Schremph first? We can get him to talk. I'm sure he'll have an explanation."

As long as they could be together when it all ended, Natalia would go with whichever side they agreed on. She was fed up with all these missions. This life was too fast-paced for her and left her with no time just to get her thoughts straight. Natalia didn't mention her broken wrist at all. They had too much else to worry about already.
The silver blade of Crimson Eclipse seemed to glow in the sunlight as Kenshiro held it aloft. The ground shook from the impact of combat between Zeil and Kenshiro’s clone. Zeil’s clone had a smile etched on his face.

“I hope that sword of yours can do more than just look nice. Actually, I think I’ll take it for myself after I use it to kill you of course.”

Kenshiro wasted no words as he cleared his throat and spoke. “You know, for someone so young, you do tend to talk too much!” Kenshiro brought Crimson Eclipse up in a silver arc creating a half moon shield around himself. Once that was finished he let the blade come to rest between his thumb and forefinger while still holding it with the other hand by the hilt. Shards of energy erupted from the flat of the blade held toward the Zeil clone.

The thrill of the battle was seeping into his very being, and a smile stretched across Kenshiro’s face as his opponent scattered the area with his stonelike wings shielding him from Kenshiro’s energy shot.

“Now, this is a fight!” Zeil’s clone shouted pointing the barrel of a gun toward Kenshiro releasing a volley of purple energy bolts.

Kenshiro dodged the bolts of energy easily enough. From his stand point he had a good view of The real Zeil and his ongoing battle with Ichiryoku.

Ichiryoku was performing wonderfully, and some part of Kenshiro took pride in the fact that his clone was doing so well against someone like Zeil who was giving out just as much as he gave. The wind in Central Park had changed several times over with the air stirring around their respective fights. The Zeil clone had taken to the skies and begun to rain down more energy. Kenshiro became a blur on their make-shift battle ground dodging all the energy that rained from above. The damage those balls of energy caused the trees to blacken.

“Good goin' Ken!” Kenshiro heard his partner shout from somewhere to his left.

“Keep your eyes on your own fight!” Ichiryoku said savagely, this was followed by quick dampened impacts on Zeil’s hardened wings.

A vicious kick sent Ichiryoku flying between Zeil’s clone and Kenshiro. Zeil’s clone, opened his mouth to reveal a red pulsing light that Kenshiro recognized it as a move he had seen him use on Zeil earlier. Preparing himself for the attack he locked himself in a dragon stance bringing Crimson Eclipse up over his head to receive the onslaught of flame. The resulting fire didn’t hit Kenshiro.

The body of Ichiryoku flew between the two opponents taking the brunt of the attack which changed the course of Ichiryoku’s trajectory from moving between the Zeil clone and Kenshiro to that of Kenshiro causing the body to slam into him.
Ichiryoku was on fire, but the flames didn’t bother Kenshiro, it was the scream that Ichiryoku made. The scream seemed to cause a distortion in the air around Kenshiro, and for the briefest moment he thought he caught a glimpse of something on the edge of his vision. Someone was watching his fight. It was someone he knew, but didn’t think it was possible.

The Zeil clone had no regard for his fallen comrade or the fact that he had hit his own partner. He pressed the attack. With one quick move Kenshiro moved Ichiryoku to the side then raised his own sword in time to deflect another volley of energy shot.

“Have you no honor demon? You’ve attacked your own partner.” Kenshiro asked, with the distaste coloring his words harshly.

The Zeil clone roared with laughter, “It was his own fault for getting in my way.”

Something inside Kenshiro snapped, “I will never forgive you.”

For some reason the Zeil clone found this to be funny, and continued to roar with laughter.

Kenshiro stood from his protective position over Ichiryoku. Ichiryoku was essentially his clone and a rival, but he carried with him a sense of honor that Kenshiro respected.

The look that Kenshiro placed on the Zeil clone somehow caused his laughter to stop. Kenshiro's red hair seemed to become electrified with silver sparkling energy. The wind in the park began to pick up forming mini tornadoes.

“You do Zeil an injustice by being his clone,” Kenshiro whispered, he took the fallen sword of Ichiryoku in his right hand from the ground while still clutching Crimson Eclipse in his left.

Standing in front of the Zeil clone Kenshiro allowed energy to flow into Ichiryoku’s sword. He sent a slash of energy toward the Zeil clone.

The clone brought up his stone like wings to encase it in a protective hold. It was then engulfed in flames by the real Zeil who came to stand next to Kenshiro.

“It would seem that my clone has taken the fun out of my fight and done something highly disrespectful.”

“Yes, so it would seem my friend.” Kenshiro agreed. “Shall we teach him what teamwork is about?”

“Heh, I couldn’t have said it better myself.” Zeil said raising a barrel toward the clone.
“Let’s think about this logically,” I said to the assembled circle of Sap, Joe and John. “We have to choose between either Schremph or Vorchek, Mr. E, Louis Armada and Shinigami. The thing is, BOTH groups are now saying that they’re the good guys, and that the other group is evil. Obviously, only one of them can be telling the truth, and the other one is lying. We know this. We also know that whomever we choose to side with now, it’ll affect everything else that happens to us for the rest of the story. Once our choice is made, there will be no going back. So… who do YOU all believe is telling the truth?”

Tense silence. Sap looked at me, the writers looked at each other. One by one, they all shrugged.

“On the one hand, I believe my father,” said Sap. “But on the other hand, I find it kind of hard to discount everything we’ve done for Schremph, after all this time. And Vorchek never told me about any of this beforehand, either. In fact, I always assumed that he and Schremph were working together on all of this.” Funny, I’d always thought that, too. “But, hey! At least we know for sure that my Dad is telling the truth!”

I was about to agree with that, but stopped. There’s always been one thing about Vorchek that had still kind of bugged me. “Hang on, Sap,” I told him. “Do you remember our first mission? We were sent out to Vorchek’s base to apprehend him?”

“Yeah…” Sap said, unsure where I was going with this.

“And don’t you remember he was creating synthetic zombies by dissecting civilians? Don’t you remember that scared little boy we found at the gates? And all the people we rescued from the base? That’s still a lot of blood on Vorchek’s hands, don’t you think? He never explained all of that, did he? And why is he now saying that Schremph created all four of them? Didn’t he tell us earlier that HE was the one who created Shinigami, Louis Armada and Mr. E? Why would he go back on his earlier statements? I think this is all pretty solid evidence that he could still be lying to us, don’t you think?”

Here I stopped talking, and looked up to see what kind of an effect my words were having. Sap looked back at me, mutely, chastened. His eyes were wide and his mouth had dropped open. He wasn’t sure of anything anymore.

“You know, it’s kind of hard to imagine that someone named Mr. E or Shinigami or Louis Armada is a hero,” Joe said. “Especially the way these guys look. I mean, seriously, do you think a shadowy assassin with a scythe whose name means ‘Death God’ in Japanese is really likely to be fighting for the side of truth and justice? Wouldn’t it make so much more sense if he turned out to be exactly what we thought he was—a killer for the forces of Darkness?”

“True…” I said.

“But hang on a sec,” said John. “All four of those guys DID mention that Schremph had experimented on them. It may not be their fault that they look so monstrous, or have such dark names. That could all be Schremph’s doing.”

“Damn,” I said. “That’s true, too!” Then another idea came to me. “Hang on. Mr. E says that we were never really at Area 51. But we know that’s a lie, right? We were definitely at Area 51!”

Sap shook his head. “We were somewhere, Anima. It’s easy to call a place Area 51, but it may not have been the real thing.”

“But… but we saw Elvis there! And Bigfoot! And the Loch Ness Monster!”

“It could have been an Elvis impersonator,” said Joe.

“And a man in a monkey suit,” said John.

“Did you really see the Loch Ness monster?” asked Sap, a little jealous. “They never showed that to me.”

“Well, you don’t have animal communication powers, so there wouldn’t have been a point, would there?” I countered, a little defenseively. But their words had left an impact on me. Now that I thought of it, I had never actually seen the outside of the base; they only ever brought us in and out of there by teleportation. Only Schremph and his subordinates had ever told me that I was inside Area 51; they could have been lying.

“Heck, who knows? Maybe you really were staying inside of a Lambda base the whole time, and you didn’t even know it,” said John.

“And that’s another thing: why is Lambda even an issue anymore? Honestly, doesn’t anyone remember that I took Lambda down from the inside when I possessed Louis Armada’s body during the third mission? Why the hell is Lambda still around?”

“I know, believe me, that was really annoying,” said Joe. “It’s like, everything I—sorry, everything WE accomplished in that mission just got undone. I haven’t been able to figure it out, either”—but even as he said these words, Joe brightened, as if struck by inspiration. “Wait a minute, Lenora. When you uncovered all of Lambda’s secrets, who did you send them to, exactly?”

“Schremph, of course. Who else?”

“Ah,” Joe grinned, validated. “Well, maybe that explains why Lambda didn’t get shut down, right? I mean, if Schremph IS the head of Lambda, then obviously he didn’t use those secrets to shut Lambda down, right?”

Now it was my turn to gasp. Of course! With Schremph as my government confidante,
It was no wonder I hadn’t been able to do any lasting damage to Lambda!

“So… where does this bring us?” asked Sap.

“Nowhere,” said John. “We’re still no closer to figuring out which side is telling the truth.”

“And you’re both SURE you can’t just use your… author powers to find out the truth?” I said.

“Sorry, but no,” said Joe. “We’re just as in the dark as you are. Only the Creator knows for sure which side is good, and which side is evil.”

“The Creator?” said Sap. “You mean God?”

“No, I mean the Head Writer. The one who created this whole story in the first place, and invited us to come help him write it.”

“We call him Mark,” said John. “But we’ve never met him?”

“Then how do you know he even exists?”

I wasn’t listening anymore. It was clearly useless to keep debating any longer. It didn’t matter how much evidence we uncovered for one side or the other, how systematically we approached the problem, how diligently we analyzed it; in the end, it was all down the whim of the writers, and especially the Head Writer. He could make the story go however he wanted, adding in plot twists that made no sense… and you know what? He probably WOULD do all that… because screw the characters, God is an asshole.

“Anima?” Sap had noticed by now that I was being awfully quiet. “Are you okay?”

“No, I’m not okay, I’m very pissed. GOD DAMNIT!” I kicked a trashcan hard, and sent it flying. “We’re playing into the writer’s hands! I WILL not do that anymore! I’m NOT playing by anyone else’s rules! I am taking charge of my own goddamn story!”

“Ah!” Joe was smiling now. “Sounds like you know what you’re going to do!”

“Damn right! This is the luck of the draw, and I’m not going to have any part of it anymore! I’m going to watch both sides, and see what they do, and THEN make my decision!”

Sap looked puzzled. “How are you going to do that, Anima?”

“I’m going to report to Schremph in Central Park, because that’s closer. And I’m going to send my animal spies out to Ellis Island, to monitor everything that happens there, so I can stay informed about both sides!”

Gargoyle’s clone had been manipulating Element into going up against the police when we’d finally tracked them both down. While the real Gargoyle talked some sense into his partner, Sap and I had been tasked to handle the rampaging Gargoyle clone. For a moment it had looked like there was going to be a big fight, but then Joe had appeared behind me again and snapped his fingers. Before you could say “the God out of the machine”, Gargoyle’s clone had staggered and fallen over, dead of a heart attack.

“Gee,” said John. “I’m not sure that’s exactly allowed by the rules—”

“Oh, shut up about the rules! You want your characters to survive, don’t you? And have a happy ending! Well, this is how I’m going to make sure that happens, and I’m going to do it with or without your help!” I turned to Sap. “Sap, if you’d like to join me, you’re welcome to, but I understand if you need to think about it!” I left him to do that, and went out to call on the animals again.

I assembled a huge flock of flying creatures: bees, flies, pigeons, sparrows, crows, eagles and hawks. They all knew the Ellis Island area well, had flown there many times, and were only too willing and eager to head over and do a little spying. They departed a few at a time, so as not to draw notice of passers-by, and soon they were all gone. Soon scouts would start heading to Central Park, at regular intervals, to keep me updated on everything that went on.

I turned back to the others. Joe and John were making ready to leave.

“We’ve decided to help you,” said John. “We’re going to go tell Mark and the others that you’re decided to ally yourself with Schremph. That way, he won’t know you’re actually breaking the rules!”

“Unless he’s somehow been privy to this entire conversation,” laughed Joe. “But who could possibly do that? By the way, Anima, catch!” And he threw me a large grey backpack. “I created this for you. I know you’ve been wanting a weapon like this one.”

And I did. I knew exactly what it was. I had designed it myself, back in Area 51, but I’d never gotten around to building one of my own. It was called the B-Pack. A giant beehive that I could carry around on my back, filled with swarms of killer bees who would gladly obey my every command. Plus, they made delicious honey that was available on tap.

I had my animal spies, I had my alibi from the authors, I had my B-Pack. I was ready to go.

Sap was still deliberating what he wanted to do. “When you’re ready,” I told him. “You know where I’ll be. Don’t take too long.” And I was off.
"I can't turn my back on Schremph. How can you?" Gargoyle shook his head "He raised you since you were but a mere infant" Element stopped tapping his foot a deep frown growing on his face "He didn't raise me. I was an experiment a tool to get what he wanted. He's used me for a pawn, He's using you as a pawn Gargoyle, don't you see?" A scowl grew on gargoyle's face his eyes narrowing. "No I don't. All I see is someone willing to turn his back not only on the man that provided him a home and the powers to save lives, but his partner that has stuck by him this whole time." Element sighed "I don't see it the way you do"

"Then you'll have to kill me" gargoyle threatened stepping closer to his partner, "Or the next time we meet I won't hesitate to give it everything I've got" Element's eyes shown with shock, "I won't kill you. I won't" Gargoyle dropped to his knees " Come on you coward!'
"No" Element screamed back
"Do it!" Gargoyle commanded closing his eyes

A few moments passed but there was nothing, Gargoyle opened his eyes to see Element was gone. The Stone man let out a bellow like none he had ever shouted before, He let his fist Smash the corner of the nearest building into rubble. Element was going to Ellis island and him to the Empire State building.
Elliot watched as Christian walked away.

"You can't be serious right now. You're actually going to join the villains?"

"Villains?! Didn't you just hear them? They were experiments just like us! They were the original participants in Schremph's Dynamic Dup experiment!"

Elliot shook his head. "Don't tell me you actually believe this."

"Of course I believe them. After all... I work for them," Christian smirked.

Elliot opened his mouth but only silence came out. This entire time, Christian worked for them? This explained alot, but Elliot couldn't figure out what to do for his next move.

"Christian... you have to join me. That's the wrong side and you know it."

Christian's eyes darkened as he began walking away. "No. You better go join Schremph now. After all, he's probably the only person who could protect you at this point."

"Protect me? From what?"

"From me," Christian growled.

Elliot turned and ran to the Empire State building. He never once looked over his shoulder.
This chapter will focus on the viewpoints of Zack, and John.


-Zack-


As Anima left, I was contemplating who I should join up with. And that's when John came up from behind me and said-


"Zack. I want you to go with Anima and help her out with her plan."


"Huh? What do you mean? What's going on?"


"I have to go see this Shremp for myself. I need to be sure he is who I think he is." And with that, John started walking off.


"Wait! What do you mean you have to see who Shremp really is? Do you think...he's an imposter?"


"I don't know. but something's been bothering me for a while now, and I need to make sure I'm not making a mistake. So go with Anima, and I'll take care of the rest." And then, John walked off toward the Empire State building. Leaving me to catch up to Anima.


-John-


I could have just warped to the Empire State building, but I felt like walking this time. After all, I needed time to think things through. If what I thought was going on was really going on, then I needed to go through all the evidence, and plan ahead of time. As I was thinking things through, I saw Gargoyle walking my way.


"Hey! it's you!" Gargoyle was now walking alongside me.


"So what's going on now? Where are Anima and Sap?"


"Don't worry about them. They can take care of themselves." At this time, Elliot joined up with us.


"And what about you?" Gargoyle asked me.


"Why are you going this way? Are you going to join Shremp too?" At this time, Natalia and Quentin found their way up to us.


"That all depends really. I need to have a word with him first." At that moment, I tossed my cloak aside showed everyone what I looked like. I was wearing a dark blue polyester shirt with a building design all over it, and light blue carpenter pants. I also had glasses with a red and black design on the sides. I also wore light blue sneakers with neon green curly laces. My hair was brown, and was about 2 inch's in length. And my eye's were also brown. And as I was walking along the path, Quentin stopped and asked-


"Wait a second. Who is this guy? I thought he was Sap what with that cloak and all?"


"No guys." Gargoyle jumped in.


He's a friend of Sap. Of all of us really." Gargoyle then filled the others in on the Writers and how this world they were in was a story world created by a bunch of people with God like powers. And that the story was about to come to an end. Everyone else didn't believe what Gargoyle was saying. And that's when we came to the front of the Empire State building.


"Well, here we are people. Shremp should be at the top." I turned around to face everyone and said-


"You guys can go inside and take short way up if you want. But I feel like taking the scenic route." As I said this, I took a step forward and started walking upwards, like I was walking up a set of invisible stairs. Everyone was flabbergasted at the sight. Even Gargoyle, who tried to see if there really were stairs there, and ended up falling face first into the sidewalk. He slowly got back up and said-


"Now do you guys believe me?" It took them a second to register it, but now they were certain I had powers of some kind. Whether or not I was a God was yet to be seen by Quentin, who was eying me on my way up, and even started following me up the side of the building. Leaving the others to make their way to the top from inside.


"So you say there are other Writers like you out there?"


"Yes."


"And that you're the creator of Sap, right?"


"Yes."


"Do you...do you know my creator?"


"Well, I've never had the honer of meeting him face-to-face. But he is one of our most respected Writers on the team. And he goes by the title of Wolf."


"Wolf." Quentin was slowly trying to digest this information, but at the same time, wanting to know more about the Writers.


"What about Natalia? Do you know about her creator as well?"


"I've never had the chance to meet her creator as well. It would be a lot easier just to say I've never met any of them. But if I'm remembering right, she was called, Apoorva."


"Apoorva." I knew what Quintin was trying to do. I wasn't born yesterday. He was trying to find out what was going to happen to him and Natalia. And if I could do anything to help them survive the end of the story. But it's not my place to tell them what to do. That right belongs to Wolf and Apoorva. And I was just hopping to God that the other Writers would just insert themselves into the story and help out on the inside. Things are pure Hell on the inside of the story. And if things are going the way I think it's going to go, then we're going to need ALL the other Writers in order help our Characters survive.


"Well, We're almost at the top." I said as we neared the roof.


"So, what are you going to do when we get there?"


"Honestly, I don't know. But I do want Anima and Zack to hear the conversation when we get up there." As I said this, I pulled out a radio like the ones the other supers are using.


-Zack-


As I made it into Central Park, I saw Anima working on her radio, trying to get in contact with Shremp no doubt.


"Come in Shremp. This is Anima reporting in. Over." She was saying the same thing for a while now. And that when I taped her on the back. Only for her to grab me by the throat.


"Ugg! An-i-ma!" She dropped me the second she saw my face.


"Oh my God! Sap! Are you Okay?!" She said as she got down on the ground.


"Yeah. I'm fine."


"I'm so sorry. I'm just a little shaken up from the whole, Writer God and, story coming to an end bit." Understandable. According to John and Joe, this was the last mission before the story was to end. It was easy to understand what was must have been going through Anima's mind at the time. But as I was thinking, the radio crackled to life.


"S-p An-ma. Do yo- re me?" It was hard to make out, but it sounded like John was on the other end. So Anima tried to get the right channel and make out what was being said.


"Sap and Anima! do you read me? This is John, over?"


"This is Anima! We read you loud and clear. Over."


"Alright then, enough with the over crap. Over?"


"Copy that. Over." I could just see the smile on Anima's face as she said that. And I could also hear the pure annoyance from John on the other end of the radio.


".....Anyway, I want you guys to keep the radio on for a little while. There's something I want you to listen to."


"Alright. We're listing." Anima said as she kept the radio on. Waiting for whatever it was we were suppose to be hearing.


-John-


We were almost at the top. And when we passed the rooftop, we saw the others talking to Shremp. I jumped off of thin air and onto the roof, walking over to the others.


"Ah, there he is! And there's the other guy we told you about." Gargoyle told Shremp as he started walking over to meet me.


"Ah. So you're the one who helped the supers take out their copy's. I must thank you mister...?" He stopped about halfway and held out his hand. When I was right in front of him, I stopped. Then I punched him in the face.


"What the?!" The other supers said as they ran to aid Shremp.


"Get away from Shremp, Right now!" Quentin yelled as he started charging up energy. The others were also doing something of that extent. But I held out my hand and said-


"And just as the supers were about to defend their leader, they all fell to the ground. And no matter how hard they tried, they could not get back up." And just as I spoke, the supers fell flat on their faces, and could not get up. No matter how hard they tried. Then I walked over to Shremp, picked him up and yelled in his face-


"I know who you really are! You can't fool me for a second!"


"What...What are you talking about?"


"Don't play dumb with me! I know for a fact that you are not Shremp. And I have evidence to support my claims!" I then warped a folder out of thin air.


"This is the folder that was given to Allen at the start of the 3rd mission. In it, it talk's about many things. But the most notable page talks about the death of one, Gen. Shremp." I held the file in Shremp's face as he looked it over.


"W-where did you?! That file isn't real! I'm really Gen. Shremp!"


"No you're not! I've been looking over the facts for just to long. And it's imposable for you to be the real Gen. Shremp!"


"What do you mean I'm not the real Gen. Shremp?!"


"If the rest of you can recall, Writers like myself have the power over everyone in the story. Any event in the story's we write can be fixed to our advantage. We have absolute power over everyone in the story's we write. Including how this document came into the story. Allen's Writer wrote this file into the story, and made it so that Shremp was K. I. A. Which changed the story so that it HAD to become the new reality. Which means that you can't be Shremp. There's just no way!" Everyone was looking at me and Shremp fro the ground. And I'm sure I heard Zack and Anima say something on the radio as well.


"Alright then. Let's say you're right. And that I'm not Shremp. In that case, then who am I?" Shremp was eying me as he said that. And then I came out with it and said-


"There's only one person who knows about everything about Shremp. His creator. Mark. If you're not Shremp as I claim you are, then that must mean that someone recreated themselves to look, act, and think just like the real Shremp. But for someone to get hold of information that only a God that knows about is nigh imposable. The only person who could pull all of this off is none other that the creator himself."


"The creator? Wait.....you don't mean?!" I slowly nodded my head and replied-


"Yes. Your true identity is Mark! The creator of Dynamic Duo! And the only person who could have recreated Gen. Shremp!" Everyone was breathless, speechless, and just about everything else that falls into that category. Even Shremp was unable to produce words to counter what I had just said. And then, something unexpected happened. Shremp started smiling. And then he looked at me and said-
Vorchek looked out at the heroes that decided to join him. Only Kiba and Element stood before him. He looked over at his companions and frowned.

"Where's the rest of them?"

Kiba and Element looked at each other then back at Vorchek. They simply shrugged.

"This is not good. We really needed those guys. Looks like it's too late now."

Element held up a hand to Vorchek. "What do you mean?"

"You didn't already know? You really think that this entire experiment was made with the sole intention of having you save the day? All the mysterious twists and turns, Schremph's mysterious past, the fact that we just don't seem to die. Doesn't that strike you as... odd?"

Kiba scratched his head as he considered what Vorchek was saying. "So... what are we not understanding here?"

********************************

Schremph smiled as Sap called him out. He tried to think of an appropriate response, maybe even a lie, but at this point it proved pointless.

"Okay, so maybe Schremph is dead. Maybe I am the ultimate creator of this entire world. It's too late now."

The heroes and Writers looked around in confusion. Schremph took a moment as he made sure everyone was in his line of sight. He was missing a couple of heroes, but he had enough to work with.

"Well Sap, congratulations on discovering my true identity. I am indeed Mark. And guess what? ...I'm the villain!"

Everyone looked around in shock and horror as Mark revealed his true self.

"Now I know what you are thinking. 'I'm just gonna write myself out of this and go join the good guys!' I'm afraid that I can't just let you leave. After all, you've all made your choice. Besides, think about it. Wouldn't it be lame if everyone did that? You sided with me. Now... you are forced to fight with me. As the ultimate god of this world, I am letting you know that it is too late to switch over to the other side. If any of you try to be cute and join the true heroes, I will personally be sure to write your life out of existence!"

"Why are you doing this?" a voice asked from the crowd.

"Because... I can. Now let's go out and destroy those heroes. Today... evil will prevail!"

***************

Kiba and Element looked at Vorchek in shock.

"We have to fight all of them?" Element asked.

"Yes. Humanity is depending on us to defeat them. The odds may not be in our favor, but between my comrades and I, I know that we can do this. It won't be an easy fight, so don't expect to survive, but we will come out victorious. Now... let's go defeat some villains!"

Vorchek called over Mr. E, Louis Armada, and Shinigami and began marching to the villains. The final battle was beginning...
"I always figured you were the heroes. Looks like I was right! I just wish Gargoyle had joined me..."

Everyone ignored Element and simply began walking towards the enemies. Element had no choice but to follow Vorchek and the others across New York City. As they marched, Element couldn't help but notice the many civilians staring. Element chuckled inside as he realized how ridiculous they must look with their costumes and overkill appearances. Regardless, Element did his best to stay focused.

As they made it to Central Park, Element noticed Gargoyle walking with a group.

"Over there!" Element exclaimed to the others. Everyone froze as they watched the large group walk towards them. Element prepared a ball of fire as he watched his old partner get closer.

"I'm so sorry it has to end like this my friend..."
Anger boiled deep inside Quentin as he stood next to Natalia hearing the confession of the fake General Schremph, that he is the real villain, and they’ve been working for him this whole time.

“How could you do this?! Quentin shouted.

Never before had he felt an anger like this. He thought of all the test, all the time he had to spend away from his family. He thought of how he no longer had family. His energy exploded around him in a spherical dome, everyone close gave him a wide berth.

“Do you think you can just force us to work for you?” Quentin asked, though it was more of a challenge. His body was not a violent radiating shade of electric blue. The color of his power filled the room changing its color from dark blue to bright white.

General Schremph, or Mark didn’t seem to be phased, “You’ve made your choice by coming here.” He began to walk up and down the line of assembled Heroes fighting for the wrong side.

“No one twisted your arm to make you come here. I allowed you all to make the choice for yourself.” Mark reminded.

“But,” someone began to say, but Mark cut them off.

“No, you all had your chance to choose the other side, and you chose me, now you have to fight by my side because they won’t listen to any of you.” Mark laughed.

“They will, we’ll just tell them what you did, it’s simple.” Quentin argued.

“No, you’re simple,” Mark snapped. “Do you really think that all while we’ve been here I haven’t made it look like you’re the enemy just like me?” Mark asked.

“I don’t understand,” Natalia said.

Mark walked over in front of her with his hands clasped together behind his back like that of a General talking to his troops. Quentin stepped in front of her his power still radiating violently, but the energy he was putting out had diminished to an aura around his person.

“What I’m saying sweetheart is that I have sophisticated equipment that makes it look like you not only agree to what I’m saying, but you can’t wait to attack the Heroes that are no doubt on their way here.” Mark finished. He took the time to look at everyone’s face then said, “Why don’t you all smile for the camera?” He pointed to a corner of the park that had camera’s recording everything that was going on.

The ground began to shake.

“Ah, well that will be our Que to get ready for the final fight.” Mark said, turning away from the Heroes.

“I have a question,” Quentin said, drawing the attention of most of the heroes gathered.

“Ask your question, but make it quick as the Heroes are on their way.” Mark said.

“If you are the writer for General Schremph who you killed, then took his place.” Quentin reasoned.

“Yeah, where are you going with this?” Mark asked.

“What makes you think our writers couldn’t have done the same? There by putting the choice of handling this situation back into all of our hands. Quentin asked, a smile spread across his face.

“What are you saying?” Mark asked.

“What he’s saying is that you aren’t the only creator of Dynamic Duo, Mark.” A man said standing behind Mark.

Upon turning around Mark saw the voice belonged to a man in his late twenties, with long dark brown hair, an moderately built frame wearing blue jeans and a black hooded sweatshirt.

“Hi, guys, I’m Quentin’s creator, most of you know me by Wolf, but you can call me Chris.” the man said.

“I won’t stand for this!” Mark shouted.

“No need to stand for this, it’s about to get interesting.” Chris said.

Natalia stood in shock as the man with the long brown hair - Quentin's creator? - appeared behind Mark, Schremp's creator. What was going on? All this time, they had been working so hard for the villain? All this time, their lives had been controlled by someone else? Natalia felt lightheaded. It was as if nothing she did even mattered. None of her decisions were really her choice. Chris and her own creator had full control over them, and she didn't like it. They could separate her from Quentin any time they wanted to.

"I don't understand," Natalia mumbled again. She brought her hand to her head, feeling dizzy.

Quentin and Chris were talking in the background, but Natalia couldn't make out any of it. Suddenly she felt a pair of hands gently on her shoulders, supporting her. She looked up and there was a girl. She was quite young, in her mid-teens. Large, chocolate-brown eyes bore into her own, concerned. She had delicate features, and brown skin, kind of like Natalia's. Her hair was dark brown, with faint natural highlights of a lighter brown color, reaching down just past her shoulders. She wore skinny jeans, which showed off her long legs, with a pair of tall black boots and a black tank top.

"You okay?" She spoke with a clear, soothing voice.

At the sound of her voice, Quentin whipped around.

"Who are you?" Quentin asked.

"I'm Apoorva. Natalia's creator. Is it okay if we go talk alone for a while?"

Quentin looked hesitant, but nodded slightly. Mark was yelling about the "Heroes", who were on their way now. Apoorva and Natalia made their way to the corner of the room.

"Apoorva, huh?" Natalia still looked a little shocked. "I have never heard that name before."

"Yeah, I get that a lot. It means unique, or incomparable. Fitting, huh? Anyways, I just wanted to let you know that we will help you guys get through this. We don't have much time, but us and maybe all the other writers... we'll find a way to make this work."

"What about after the... story... is over? After this last mission. Will I ever get to see Quentin again?"

Apoorva hesitated. "I don't know. That's not exactly all my choice. Chris is in control of half of it as well."

Natalia looked furious. "It should be our choice, not yours! Who are you to tell me how I should live out my life?!"

"Look Natalia. We don't have much time. If we don't figure out what to do right now, then Mark wins. Either you, or Quentin, or both of you might not even live to be together anyways if we don't find someway to fix this."

"But you can fix it. Of course you can fix it, because apparently my life is yours, and not mine!"

"I know this is hard. Just keep it together for a little longer, okay?"

Natalia calmed down and the two joined the others again.

"Alright," Apoorva said, turning to Chris. "What do you need me to do?"
-This chapter will follow the viewpoint of John. AKA, me. Also, sorry it has to be so short in advance.-


"So what will you do now?" Mark said as he looked at all of the other hero's. As for me, I was still waiting for the other Writers to make entrance. So for now, I was stuck playing the waiting game. But it wasn't all that bad. It did give me time to plan our next move. For now, I know that the Characters have to fight each other. Except for Zack and Anima. They never chose a side but their own. So they don't have to fight against anyone. And the Writers, like myself, {Apart from Mark,} never chose a side as well. So we can face who we want, when we want. Or we could not fight anyone except Mark. Which is what I'm hopping for. We just need the other Writers to get here. I also have a backup plan in case Mark tries to pull a fast one. But I'll save that for the next round. {Which is the last round for those of you who don't know. The end of Dynamic Duo.} For now, I just need to wait until my last turn comes around.
"Yeah, I'm ending this" Gargoyle said as he charged toward The creator. As he rushed forward Blue appeared before him. His writer was dressed in the usual business attire. "Out of the way" Gargoyle all but shouted. "I won't" Blue said solemnly. Gargoyle gave Blue a hard look. Today had been a bad day for him and the last thing he needed was his own writer siding against him. The stone manraised his fist and attempted to put his fist right through the calm individual before him. The next thing he knew everything had changed. The scenery was completely white. They were in the arctic again. Gargoyle's fist frozen in places gently resing against his writer's head. Blue reached hands up to gargoyl'es fist and gently lowered it. "Gargoyle, I would never dream of making you fight your partners again." Gargoyle raised his eyebrows "Then why are we here?"

Blue sighed "because you chose wrong, and Mark said that anyone who fought against him would be-" The writer paused for a moment thinking of how to word it., "Written out. You'll see a lot of casualties soon" Gargoyle snorted, well then it'll be easier for Element and Louis to take that guy down."

"I wish I could make that happen for you, but it's not a possibility."
"So you're just going to keep me here then?" Gargoyle retorted, "Keep me safe here where i can't join either side"
"No"
"Then what are you going to-"

With that Blue raised an arm, directing it to Gargoyle "Hey" gargoyle gasped as he fell to his knees Blue closed the distance between the two of them. "I'm sorry" Blue said, voice sombre. then the writer walked behind gargoyle placing a hand on his head. The hand sunk into the stone man's head. Gargoyle's eyes clouded over with a black fog. The writer slowly removed the hand from the Stone man's head clutching something. There was no evidence that the hand was ever there; except for the single clear sphere now being held. This ball was all that was left of the stone man's personality. The thing kneeled in the snow was something else. A creature of hate and fury.

"This still won't do" Blue muttered sadly to no one in particular. Once again the writer raised a hand, The stone on the creature disassembling, breaking into smaller parts and separating away from its host. All that was the shell of David Cray. With another swift movement from the writer something else began to happen.. Another material, dark as coal, began swirling around the man. Pieces attached to Cray, One after another until all that was left was a creature on the ground. It was hard to make out the features of this creature, its body absorbed all light, but if one could see it, they'd notice it was an exact replica of Gargoyle.

"You're now twice as strong and twice as hard to hurt" Blue announced "More importantly, you're one ten times faster, Your body is now made of dark matter, your body isn't made of any material Element can fire at you. Armada will just be a play thing now. This is your ultimate form. Your new name is Black Sentinel and you will fight for Pollo Mark." Blue held up the orb that was all that was left of gargoyle "I will give this to Element. You can show them what happens when they defy the creator. With a snap of the fingers, Blue teleported Black Sentinel in front of Mark, The white light that radiated from Quentin failing to illuminate the new villain.

"Anyone who wants to go through him," A shattered version of the previous owner of the body's voice echoed "will have to go through me first."
Elliot watched as people began appearing out of seemingly nowhere. He shuddered at the thought that he was simply a puppet of someone else; nothing more than a figment of the imagination. As if on cue, a hand rested on Elliot's shoulder. Elliot turned around and faced a man with long black hair. The man smiled a cheeky smile and waved.

"Hey," the guy said.

"Don't tell me..."

"I'm you creator!" the man shrieked.

"What? I was made by... you?"

"Yep! Name's Billy. Pleasure to actually meet you!"

"What? I am so confused right now..."

"It's quite simple. You are a part of a story that a bunch of us are writing. You are simply extensions of us."

Elliot scratched his head as he tried to process the information. "So... you wrote me to be the way I am?"

"Yep!" Billy nodded. He grinned a toothy grin and folded his arms.

"Yikes... well what am I supposed to do now? Obviously it's not my decision anymore..."

"You will be joining Mark of course!"

"But he's the bad guy!"

"So what? You joined his side, so now you have to join him. In fact, I will assist you."

"How?" Elliot asked.

Instead of explaining, Billy raised his hands. Fire began raining down from the sky and scorching Central Park. People screamed as they tried to avoid the rapidly growing fire. Elliot's eyes grew wide, but inside he could feel a sense of satisfaction. Billy grinned another toothy grin at Elliot.

"See? Being evil is fun! Now... let's see how those heroes respond to that!"
“Looks like you chose right, Anima,” said Sap. “Sorry I ever doubted you.”

I couldn’t answer him; I was too flabbergasted to speak. Nothing—absolutely nothing in all my wildest imaginings—could have possibly prepared me for the revelation we’d just heard over the radio. Schremph was none other than the Creator, the Arch-God of this entire universe, and he wasn’t just a jerk, he was evil to the core. Moreover, he’d just forced all the assembled heroes to serve him in his evil schemes, or else be permanently erased from the Story. How could he do such a thing? How could we ever hope to win against an enemy like that? And to think how close Sap and I had come to being just two more of his evil henchman! Was it really my decision, my plan to hang back and observe both sides, that had saved us—or was it simply because we’d been sent here, to Central Park, by mistake? If we’d gone to meet Schremph at the Empire State Building, with all the other heroes, undecided or not, we could have been—oh God, it was too scary to even think about.

“Don’t get too hung up about it, Anima,” Joe said suddenly. He was standing behind us, perched on a big rock overlooking the grass. “It may just have been a stupid coincidence that one of the Writers made a mistake and sent us to the wrong location—or you know what? Maybe this was actually the right location, and everyone else got sent to the wrong place, I still can’t tell for sure—anyway, the point is, it happened. One way or another, we three are here, and everyone else is over there. We didn’t get brainwashed with all the rest of them. We’re not Mark’s slaves; we don’t have to help him fight the good guys. We can still make a difference.”

“What about my creator?” said Sap. “What about John? He was with the heroes just now? Is he brainwashed too, or—?” He trailed off, suddenly apprehensive.

Sadly, slowly, Joe nodded. “I think we have to assume that John is now working for Mark. So we’ve got two evil gods after us, plus a whole slew of superheroes… and I don’t know what the other Writers are planning, if anything. But, hey, it won’t be so bad. At least you’ve still got one Writer on your side—me!”

And there it was. The answer to everything. How could I not have thought of it before? Infused with a fresh surge of confidence, I turned back to my creator. “Hey, Joe! Let me try something.”

He smiled broadly, as if he’d been waiting for a long time to hear me say that. “Oh, yes.”

And there it was. Just like it had been with Sap. Joe may have been like unto a God in our universe, but now that he’d given me the go-ahead to use my powers on him, they worked just as well as if he’d been any ordinary human animal. All of his powers were now mine, to borrow and to use—and more than that, his knowledge. All of his memories, his experience, his wisdom. The true secrets of this universe, of good and evil; of birth, death and immortality; of the secret of life itself. The knowledge of a god, of a writer, of a Creator of Worlds. Absolute control, absolute power.

A brilliant, holy sensation flooded into me. It felt as though my entire body was being burned away; all the falliable, mortals replaced with newer, perfect materials. I was being made anew, made fresh, made pure. I closed my eyes, but the light was overpowering. Divine light. Divine revelation… Apotheosis.

When I opened my eyes again, Joe was still smiling.

“Well, that’s it,” he said. “Now you, Anima, are the Writer-God. There’s nothing else I can do for you that you can’t do just as well by yourself. I guess you guys don’t need me anymore.”

“So you’re leaving?” I said, a little surprised… but not worried. “Where are you going to go? What will you do?”

He shrugged. “I dunno, exactly. Stay in this story for a little while longer, I guess— maybe do some things here that I couldn’t ever get away with in the real wo—sorry, in my own world. It’ll be like a little vacation.” He shook Sap’s hand. “Take care of her for me, will you?”

And so, with a smile and a nod, my creator turned and started walking away. He was almost at the edge of the park when he stopped, and turned back to us.

“I just wanted to say how proud I am of you,” he said. “Both of you, but especially you, Anima. You’ve better than I could have ever imagined. At first, I admit, I wasn’t all that satisfied with you—you seemed like a pretty routine character, in a fairly routine story—but since that time, you’ve grown and changed and matured so much, that now I think you’re one of the best characters I’ve ever created.” He paused, as a new thought came to him. “At any rate, you’re certainly the most Jungian.” This made me smile, too; he saw this, and, beaming with pride, he waved a final goodbye. “And so, farewell.”

Then he turned, and was gone from our story for good. The last we saw of him, he was walking into the Les Cinema Artistique move theater (“1001 Classic Movies Marathon—Non-Stop!”) with a bottle of wine, a beautiful female companion and… a big steaming pot of pea soup?! With hummus in it?!?!

Sap and I watched him go. Sap turned to me. “Y’know, Anima, I think the guy who created you is kind of a… well, a pretty big nerd.”

I nodded, thoughtfully. “Yeah, I think you’re right…then again, who are we to judge?” I laid a hand on his shoulder. “Now come on, let’s focus!”

“Yeah! We’ve gotta go find Vorchek and the others, tell them we’re on their side, and then find out where—”

I stopped him in mid-thought. “No, NO, Sap, we can’t do that! Don’t you realize we’d just be playing into Mark’s hands?”

He looked at me, puzzled. “What do you mean, Anima?”

I tried to find words to describe to him the sheer scope of my new vision, and couldn’t. All I could do was grab both of his shoulders this time. “Oh, God, Sap, I can see everything so clearly now! All the secrets of this world, everything the Writers know, or ever knew—it’s all out there in front of me! I can see into the minds of every superhero, read everything that was ever written about them! Do you know that each of them has their very own story?”

He was still confused, so I went on. “Quantum and Natalia are in love, and they only want to be together when all this is over! Gargoyle and Element were two loners who became good friends over the course of their missions together; they were hoping to stay partners after the story was over, but now that everyone’s had to choose a side, their friendship may be at an end! Don’t you see? All of the superhero characters have their own story, and they ALL deserve their happy ending! We can’t just join up with one side, and attack the other! As long as this fighting goes on, all that will happen is that the superheroes will suffer! They’ll be forced to fight their friends, get injured or captured, maybe even die! We can’t play that game anymore. From now on, my only goal is to take this story—to take this world—back for the characters who live in it!”

I paused for breath, and to look back at Sap. He’d been listening intently to the whole speech, and standing there with a look of awe on his face. Now, though, he had something to say. “So… what do we do about MY writer? If he’s really evil now, and working for Mark, he could make me turn against you!”

I smiled at him. “Sap, we still don’t know if John really is evil. But if he is, then why don’t you just… sap him? Take his powers, just like I borrowed Joe’s! Become the God of your own damn story!”

Sap’s mouth dropped open. “That sounds crazy… but I think I could do it. I really think I could sap him, Anima. If you get me close enough to him, I could do it!” He was getting really excited by the idea. “Then we’ll both be Writer-Gods, and we can save all the other superheroes, and make them Writer-Gods, too!”

I shook my head. “We have to go that far. Now that I have the mind of a Writer, I can see how this whole process works… you know what I think, Sap? I think the Writers need their characters just as much as the characters need the Writers? All the other superheroes all have the potential to turn themselves into Writer-Gods, without our help! We just have to get them to realize that! We have to encourage them to stand up to their writers and take control of their own individual stories! We have to show them all that they can defy the powers of the Writers, that they don’t have to do whatever Mark tells them!”

Sap shook his head. “Wait a second, Anima! Don’t you remember what Mark said? If any of the superheroes who joined up with him try to change sides now, or disobey him in any way, he’ll delete them from the story! We can’t just tell them to go into open revolt against him! We may as well tell them all to commit suicide!”

Damn. In all of this excitement, I had completely forgotten about that little detail. But it was quite true: Mark DID threaten to erase any superheroes who wouldn’t fight for him. I had no doubt that he’d keep that promise, too, if it came to it. He was all-powerful and all-psychotic. There was no way around that.

Or was there? I sat down and thought for a second. To protect all the characters from His wrath, we’d have to make sure that they were still technically following his orders. But surely, at the same time, there had to be some way to undermine His authority...

Suddenly, another idea came to me. A great one, if I do say so myself. “That’s it!” I jumped up and snapped my fingers. It was my first exercise of the God-power. My will be done.

Sap hit the ground and braced himself for something awesome to happen! A minute passed. a cool breeze came and went. Sap sat up, confused. “What happened, Anima?” asked Sap. “What did you just do?”

“See for yourself.” I pointed to a spot a little way off, near one of the park entrances. “The other superheroes are all making their way into Central Park. Apparently, this is where the final battle is going to be.”

Craning our necks, we could see the figure of a large, white superhero. Toaster. “See? Toaster is one of the supers working for Pollo Mark. He’s been brainwashed now, turned evil, and is out looking for his former partner, Kiba. Now watch carefully…”

In the blink of an eye, another figure appeared at the park entrance, this one materializing out of thin air. It was Pollo Mark.

“What the—what’s going on?” Frantically he glanced up and down the tree-lined street, his eyes wide with astonishment. “How the HELL did I get here?!? WHO IS—

His rant was cut short as his body began to shift and transform. In less than a second, he was the spitting image of Christian Rios—aka Kiba, Toaster’s ex-partner and current enemy.

Only now did Toaster notice the figure standing several yards away. His eyes narrowed. “KIBA!” Bellowing like a mastodon, he charged.

In his terror, Pollo Mark stood rooted to the spot. He raised his arms in feeble protest. “NO, it’s ME, MARK! YOUR MASTER! OBEY—” And that was as far as he got before Toaster slammed into him, knocking him hard to the ground. Toaster had already adapted his body for combat, making his skin thicker and harder, like rocky plates of armor. Now he planted all of his considerable weight on the hapless Writer-God and began pummeling him. Finally, Mark managed to wriggle away and make a run for it, but no sooner had he gotten clear of Toaster than he disappeared again.

Sap turned to me, incredulous. “Jeezus! Did you do that?”

“Isn’t it clever?” I beamed. “Hasn’t Mark commanded his supers to fight the other team for him? Well, now they’re obeying his orders—or at least, they think they are! Mark will spend the rest of the story being teleported around to every single superhero’s location, looking just like their worst enemy! And the best part is: it’ll happen so quickly, he’ll never have enough time to figure out what’s going on! He won’t even have time to recover from one assault before WHAM! He’s in another place, looking like another foe, and it’s time to receive ANOTHER ass-whupping! If he wants us to attack each other on sight, then so be it, but it’s him they’ll actually be attacking, not each other! Do you realize what this means, Sap? None of the superheroes will get hurt, because Mark will be taking the blows meant for all of them!!!!

Sap was silent for a moment, taking this all in. Finally, he spoke. “Wow. I don’t know if that plan is closer to being total genius, total insanity or totally evil.”

“Why not all three?” I tell you, I was feeling good again.

“And you really think you can keep him like that for the rest of the story?”

“Only if the others join in. They all have the power to keep him in this state. If everyone keeps the attack going when it’s their turn, we’ll have Mark on the ropes by the time we get to the end of the story. If we can just wear him down until then, and keep any of the other supers from getting hurt, then maybe—just maybe—we can set everyone free and give them all their happy endings.”

“So what’ll we do until then?”

“I suggest you look for John. See if he’s evil. If he is, sap him. Actually, y’know what? You should probably sap him anyway. Like I said before, take control of your own story!”

Sap nodded, grinning. “And what’ll you do?”

I shook my head awkwardly. “There isn’t much more I can do until it’s my turn again—and by then, the story will be practically over. It’s out of my hands, Sap! I guess I can try to go around telling all the others to stand up to their Writers… but unless they’re willing to play along, there’s not much else I can do… except wait… and hope…”

I trailed off, and looked at Sap. He looked back at me. Then Sap and I did something very unusual, something we had never done before: we embraced. Very naturally, by mutual consent, completely unspoken. We embraced right before parting for the the last fight, knowing that we might never see each other again, hoping against hope that we would. Then, Sap was gone, to find his Creator, and take him to task, and I was left alone, standing in the middle of Central Park.

Then it hit me: As long as everyone else is getting a crack at Pollo Mark, why should I be the only person left out of all the fun? I still had my B-Pack, didn’t I? Didn’t it deserve a test run? Smiling with a fanged, wicked predatory glee, I snapped my fingers once more…

And then, just like that, I was standing on the top of the Empire State Building. Pollo Mark stood at the other end of the balcony. He’d been teleported around to a couple dozen supers by now, and already he was badly beaten up—bleeding, black and blue, pounded, zapped, poisoned, slashed and burned. There was still more to come, but not now. Now it was my turn…

“Hey, MARK!” I called out to him. “What does a whole swarm of killer bees say right when they’re about to sting an evil douchebag Writer-God to death?”

The sky behind me turned back, and a buzzing sound filled the air. An immense wall of bees, a living tidal wave, taller and thicker than a mountain, was about to come crashing down on the ex-general. All he could do was stand there and gape dumbly, so I saw that I would have to deliver the punchline myself:

“Honey, I’m home!”
Mark closed his eyes as the bees began to close in. The giant swarm buzzed around Mark's location, making the entire area a thick cloud of black buzzing. Anime smiled as the evil man seemed to be at his end. The black cloud quickly disappeared though to reveal Mark was gone. A voice called out from above.

"Nice idea. Unfortunately, you forgot that I am the God of this story. I can do the teleport thing too. Honestly, those bees would have done some serious damage, but I'm going to be taken down that easily!"

Mark looked around Central Park as he watched all the heroes stop their fighting in confusion. They all looked up at him, trying to understand what was taking place.

"Damn it! Your idea did actually work. All these heroes are free from my brainwashing. Well that's okay. I can still take all of you on myself!"

Pollo Mark charged the ground and landed with a loud roar and the ground began to tremor. All of the heroes looked in horror as Mark's eyes glowed red. He split into many copies, each one attacking an individual hero...
Element watched as one of Mark's rushed towards him. He fully intended on getting after Gargoyle, but for the time being, Mark was going to be a handful. Element shot a burst of fire, but Mark simply rushed through the fire unfazed. Element jumped on his hoverboard and flew by Gargoyle.

"Hey Gargoyle! I fully intend on beating you after this Mark thing is over!" Element called out.

Gargoyle looked up at his friend and smiled. "It's Black Sentinel now, but don't set goals you can't reach my friend!"

"Riiiiiight... So about these Marks... wanna team up one last time and take them down?"

"Of course! Between the two of us, we should have no problem taking down our two Marks. Not sure about everyone else though."

"Let's just focus on these two for now. I get the feeling that two Marks is going to be more than enough!"

Black Sentinel laughed. "You really underestimate us! Now shoot some ice at the ground in front of the Mark coming towards me."

Element quickly fired multiple bursts of ice at the ground in front of Mark. An icy path was quickly built between Black Sentinel and Mark.

"Watch this," Black Sentinel said to Element as he charged on the ice towards Mark. The ice helped Black Sentinel quickly accelerate as he slid his way to Mark. Before the two collided, Mark let out a yell. The yell was quickly silenced and instead following with a gut-wrenching crack. The two immediately fell to the ground. It seemed like an eternity before either of them moved. Finally, Element watched as Black Sentinel rose to his feet, holding a mangled Mark in his hands.

"Guess Mark forgot that he can't bullrush me. Now let's focus on that second Mark!"
There was chaos everywhere.

Pollo Mark had been upset with the appearance of the other authors that made up the story of Dynamic Duo objecting to the idea that he was the sole creator of all that went on. Chris stood with his writing partner Apoorva while their characters Quentin in his Quantum hero form blazed a brilliant radiating electric blue in a protective stance.

Anima launched an all out attack on Pollo Mark which had taken Chris by surprise. It also cleared the fog of many of the gathered Heroes aiding them in their ability to choose freely again.The bee’s Anima attacked with had blocked out the remaining rays of the sun, unfortunately Mark was more than ready for that type of attack and used his writer God powers to teleport out of the way of the attack.

"Damn it! Your idea did actually work. All these heroes are free from my brainwashing. Well that's okay. I can still take all of you on myself!" he roared.

Pollo Mark charged the ground and landed with a another roar and the ground began to tremor. All of the heroes looked in horror as Mark's eyes glowed red. He split into many copies, each one attacking an individual hero. Fortunately for them his writer God power didn’t transfer making it possibly to actually kill the copy.

Chris stood surveying the carnage taking place all around him. He couldn’t think of a way to get out of this without something bad happening, but didn’t share his thoughts with Quentin or Apoorva.

It was then two versions of Mark appeared to do battle with Natalia and Quentin.

One of the Mark’s clones faced Quentin with his eyes burning red embers of rage.

“Ah, if it isn’t the love birds. Don’t you both realize that there is no such thing as a happy ending?” he snarled.

Quentin stepped forward, “Right now it isn’t about our ending, it’s about doing what is right, and right now, what is right to taking you down!”

Quantum’s power flowed out around him casting a shining light in all directions, he raised a hand that seemed to be dripping with power. A thick beam of energy passed through the air effortlessly toward Mark.

“STOP!” Natalia screamed.

Quentin whipped his head around at the scream to see what was wrong. There was another Mark that held Natalia pulling her head to one side. She squirmed in his grasp, but became still with a violent shake.

The attack that he launched at the Mark clone he faced stopped instantly.

“Please, don’t hurt her,” Quentin plead.

“All you heroes are the same,” the Mark that held Natalia said.

The Mark he was going to attack took up the conversation then, “All one has to do is threaten the life of a loved one and boom we can get our way.”

The Mark that held Natalia spoke again, “That is why the villains will win this fight. Everyone has someone they care for, all we need to do is get our hands on them and we’ll win.”

The Mark that faced Quentin walked up to him while the other Mark held Natalia firm.

“Power down, so we can kill you,” Both Marks said in unison.

Quentin looked at Natalia knowing he had no other choice. He began to power down. The blue energy that course over his body began to fade.

“No!,” Natalia screamed. Using the full weight of her body she knocked her head back into Mark’s face. It caught him off guard, then dropped to the ground and swiped his legs from under him.

Time seemed to slow as Quentin saw all of this unfold, and before his energy faded he brought it back up in the form of a fist that knocked the Mark coming to kill him off his feet.

Natalia brought a crushing leg down on the Mark she faced which impressed Quentin, and told him that she could handle herself.

Chris had lost sight of Apoorva when the Mark’s attacked, and had taken cover himself trying to determine what their next move should be when Quentin and Natalia both finished their opponents.

“We need to get a handle on this situation.” Chris said, aloud drawing the attention of both Natalia and Quentin.

He had began to walk over in their direction when the air around them exploded.

Natalia's mind was reeling. She had just witnessed Quentin almost lay down his life for her safety. It was all a blur. All she could remember was focusing solely on defeating Mark - or at least, one copy of him. For once in her life she wasn't listening to logic, and acted solely on her feelings. Even more than that was just the sole fact that someone actually cared that much about her, enough to put his life in jeopardy, just for her. It was so much to take in.

Through all the commotion, Natalia had ignored the pain in her wrist, but it was beginning to show.

She sighted Chris coming their way. "We need to get a handle on this situation."

Natalia opened her mouth to say something, but an explosion came out of nowhere and knocked her off her feet. Her body skidded backwards on the rough ground, which cut into her skin. With the pain came a new found sense of anger, and all at once Natalia wanted payback for all those years. She pushed herself to her feet. Apoorva had joined them, and was now gripping Natalia's shoulders.

Apoorva pointed at Mark, who was now standing in the middle of all the heroes. "We need to act fast. He's still the original creator of the story, which means that right now, he can do pretty much anything we can and more."

"Why did he go back to his singular form?" Natalia asked.

"Maybe he has more control... I'm not sure, but this doesn't look good."

Natalia looked at Mark. It really didn't look good. Mark had supposedly just caused the explosion, as the ground beneath his feet was cracked. He was facing away from them, looking as strong and unharmed as ever. Natalia glanced at Quentin. He had done so much for her, and now it was her turn. Without thinking twice Natalia ran towards Mark, light on her feet. She knew she wouldn't be able to hold him for too long, but the idea was to make it easier for the other heroes to take on Mark as well. When she got close enough, still unheard, Natalia landed a hard kick to Mark's shin to throw him off balance. She put all of her weight into throwing him to the ground.

By this time Mark had already reacted. He rolled over throwing Natalia off of him and pinning her down.

"Did you really think you could beat me sweetheart?" Mark taunted Natalia, a half amused look in his eyes. His hands were clamped over both of her wrists. "Am I hurting you? Oh that's right... You broke your wrist didn't you? I must say, those clones were genius." Mark pressed down harder on her left one, sending a jolt of pain through her whole arm.

The other heroes hesitated, but soon started towards Mark as well. Quentin was already sprinting towards her.

Natalia let out a gasp and drove her knee into Mark's stomach, desperately trying to throw him off of her. Mark just slammed Natalia back into the ground, her head making contact with the cold pavement. He repeated this again until someone pulled him off of her. That would do it. They had him in his singular form, and if all the heroes worked together, they might actually win.

The edges of Natalia's vision blurred. Still on the ground, she brought a shaky hand to the back of her head. When she looked at it, it was red with her own blood. Natalia was completely unaware of how much time passed, of what was going on around her. The last thing she felt before falling unconscious was Quentin's arms around her, carrying her somewhere safe.
So much had happened since Kenshiro came to this world, and now to find that the man he thought was going to help him return home had not only be lying to him, but was a different person altogether. He didn’t remember the last time he saw Zeil. He had lost sight of him when the fighting broke out. Kenshiro now stood in front of this Mark Pollos person that talked about being a writer God.

“What nonsense is this?” Kenshiro demanded, gesturing around at all of the heroes battling versions of Mark. Far off to his left he saw the ever courageous Zeil battling his own clone of Mark using bullets made of red energy to fend off an attack.

“You’re not real buddy, just get used to it or die.” Mark snapped.

“You know you humans really are delusional,” Kenshiro replied.

Mark threw one of his hands to his side where a long crimson blade formed out of thin air.

“If I remember correctly, there was another that your creator spoke of,” Mark recalled, a sneer contorting his face into something demonic. “Ah, yes, I believe the name was Kazuki. You remember him don’t you?” Mark asked, his demonic smile growing ever deeper.

“What of him fiend,” Kenshiro cursed, his hand on the pummel of his sword ready to defend himself at a moments notice.

“Well, since you don’t believe in the fact that you’re a character, I thought I would open your eyes by allowing you to die at the hands of your old friend.

The mask of calm didn’t leave Kenshiro’s face, but inside he was worried. The last time the two met he had lost, and was cast here to this world.

“You lie!” Kenshiro shot back.

“Oh, I have no reason to lie,” Mark assured. “Look there behind you.”

With his hand still on the pommel of his sword he cast a glance over his shoulder. What he saw there made the blood in his veins run cold. Kenshiro slowly turned to face his childhood friend, whom had turned into his bitter rival, Kazuki.

“Well, well, well, if it isn’t Kenshiro,” Kazuki greeted, he walked casually toward Kenshiro with his hand rested on the pommel of his sword wearing armor similar to Kenshiro’s in every way except his was a deep azure blue signaling his affinity to the water elemental Gouza. His cream colored skin seemed to glow in the brilliance of the sun overhead while his dark black spiky hair hung in all directions over his head, continuing down to the middle of his back.

Kenshiro regained his composure, “This is some trick Mark Pollos, one you will be very sorry for,” Kenshiro promised, not taking his eyes off Kazuki.

“This is no trick friend,” Kazuki laughed, coming to rest 10 feet in front of Kenshiro.

“You are no friend of mine any longer,” Kenshiro snapped.

Mark appeared behind Kazuki and placed a hand on his shoulder. “We can defeat this nobody my quickly and easily.

Kazuki smiled and the gleam in his eyes told Kenshiro that this battle between them would be a true test.

“Stand before all and satisfy your thirst for blood, Dragon’s Breath!” Kazuki pulled his Zanpakuto free from its sheath. The sun made the blade he wielded glow bright.


Kenshiro called forth Crimson Eclipse and raised it in a defensive position toward his opponent waiting for Kazuki to attack.

Kazuki slashed his sword with an upward strike toward Kenshiro. The energy released traveled across the ground ripping up the earth as it went. Kenshiro slashed his sword upwards at Kazuki releasing his own wave of energy. Both waves of energy collided with one another and exploded between the two warriors.

“You’ve gotten better,” Kazuki taunted.

“I’ve had time to practice my craft,” Kenshiro shot back.

“Why don’t we stop testing one another and get down to it?” Kazuki offered.

A smile appeared on Kenshiro’s face at the thought of testing his abilities out.

The air was silent. The tension cuttable with a knife, and Kenshiro let out a deep breath and entered his warrior state of mind.

Kazuki returned that smile and entered into a battle stance “ Kenshiro, prepare yourself!”

The two swordsmen rushed at each other. Their weapons locked together in a powerful clash. They separated their swords and both skidded back. However, neither fighter relented and soon both were on the offensive. Kazuki aimed a stab at Kenshiro's neck. Kenshiro's reaction time kicked in and tilted his neck to the right. Knowing that Kazuki was defenseless Kenshiro followed up with a knee to the chin.

Kazuki staggered back a bit before getting his composure back. He went for a downward slash at the right side of Kenshiro's body.

Kenshiro performed a backward roll but got a small cut on his right leg. But because it was a slash and not a stab his chain mail took the hit.

The two fighters stood still and then went in for another attack. Kazuki was about to pull off a 360 spin with his blade. Seeing his plan Kenshiro entered into the Waldori battle stance, and just as the attack was about to hit he ducked under it and nailed Kazuki with a downward slash. Bits of Kazuki's armor flew off, but that was just about all Kenshiro was able to inflict. Not relenting Kenshiro went for a slash to Kazuki's right rib. Only for his Zanpakuto to be blocked by Kazuki's sword. Both warriors stared at each other. It was as if thier souls were clashing rather than their swords.

Thinking that Kazuki may have the advantage Kenshiro leapt backward, then dashed back to Kazuki taking him by surprise via a sliding kick. Kazuki while shocked, performed a forward roll. They were both standing again with their weapons at the ready. They dashed forward each letting out a battle yell. Another sword lock occured and sparks were flying this time. Kenshiro broke the lock and slid under Kazuki's legs. Kazuki turned around and began another sword lock with Kenshiro.

Kazuki gained the upper hand by quickly preforming a leg sweep, followed by a kick and knocked Kenshiro off his feet. He readied another stab at Kenshiro's neck. Kenshiro tilted his body to the left. He followed up with a headbutt to Kazuki it did no real damage, but did its purpose of distracting him.

Kazuki staggered back and Kenshiro rose ready to engage Kazuki again only to feel a piercing pain in his lower back. Kenshiro was confused. He was sure Kazuki hadn’t been landed a hit on him that could have done the damage he was feeling. Looking down he saw that it was another blade. With a glance over his shoulder he saw that it belonged to Mark.

“All of that fighting was epic, but I thought we could hurry this along by me helping Kazuki kill you.” He explained with a grin.

Mark placed a boot on Kenshiro’s back and pushed Kenshiro forward so that he could dislodge his blade. Kenshiro staggered forward, dazed. The edges of his vision began to faulter. Someone was screaming something he couldn’t understand.

Kenshiro fell down to one knee with his Zanpakuto placed in the ground before him being the only thing that was keeping him up.

He looked up at Mark who had a wide grin on his face. Kazuki stood next to him with his Zanpakuto resting on his left shoulder walking nonchalantly by Mark’s side. When Mark was within Striking distance he raised his sword high above his head preparing a powerful downward slash to end Kenshiro once and for all.

Mark laughed as the blade sliced smoothly through the air. Kenshiro watched the blade fall then resigned to the life that he would no longer have, closed his eyes so that he could see his homeland once again. The impact of the blade never happened, and in return Kenshiro heard the sound of metal on metal.

“Get up Kenshiro, we have a battle to finish.” The voice came from a woman.

Kenshiro opened his eyes to find a woman standing next to him one blade was locked with Mark’s sword while her other hand was a blur with another sword fending off attacks from Kazuki.

Kenshiro rose with renewed vigor, not hesitating to jump back into battle with Mark.

“Who are you?” Kenshiro asked, passing over to her right launching a series of attacks on the Mark clone.

The woman slashed diagonally following that up with a sweeping leg kick to Kazuki’s mid-section sending him skidding back away from her.

“Everyone knows me as Lunarscribe, or your creator.” Lunarscribe answered.

“What?” Kenshiro asked, releasing a wave of energy toward Mark knocking him back 20 feet.

“Yes, I know Lunarscribe is a mouthful, but you can just call me Izumi” Izumi offered.

“Hmm...alright Izumi, we’ll have to talk more about this after our battle.” Kenshiro decided.

“Yeah, right now we need to focus,” she agreed.
This chapter will focus on the viewpoints of Zack and John. AKA, me.


-Zack-


As I made my way around the city to try to find John, I found myself in the ruined park where everyone was fighting in. From the looks of things, they had just left, and went off elsewhere to fight Mark.


"Here you are Zack." I spun around to see John behind me.


"You. Are you still sane?" I asked him.


"Do you really need to ask? Remember, Writers can only be controlled if they allow it. I chose not to be. So Mark has nothing on me." We started walking around each other while looking at the other.


"Right." I said back.


"So what now? Is everything in place?"


"As much as we can get. I was hoping everyone would jump in on this Writer bit, but I'll have to work with what I've got."


"Will it be enough?"


"It should. Remember, we only need to keep him at bay long enough for "That power" to kick in. Once that happens-"


"Then we have everyone else do the rest."


"Right. After this chapter, "We" could no longer exist. It'll be all up to the other Writers to give their Characters the happy ending they desire." We stopped walking around each other and just looked at the other.


"And here I was hoping to spend some time with Anima. Looks like I won't even be able to say goodbye to her." I say as my eyes start to water.


"I'm sorry. I thought I could give everyone a happy ending. I at least wanted you and Anima to be happy together. But it looks like no one can have a happy ending unless sacrifices are made."


"Don't worry. She's the last Writer to go in the story. I'm sure she'll make a best seller ending for everyone to enjoy."


"Yeah." Just then, John started walking away.


"Alright. Now remember Zack, I'll get the other Writers in place. You need to get "His power" and meet me at the Empire State building."


"Right. Just leave it to me." I said as I ran off in search of the others. While John set off to find the other Writers.


-John-


I didn't need to wander far. I had told the other Writers to drop helping their Characters and meet me at the base of the Empire State building. And soon enough, they started gathering near me.


"So, this is all of you?" I counted three Writers.


"Huh? Three?" I heard Apoorva say.


"What about Joe? He makes four." Wolf asked as well.


"You all know what it is I'm about to do. There's no way I could ask him to help."


"Right. He has to keep the two love birds apart." I almost lost it right there. And Wolf knew it too.


"Oh. Right. Sorry." Then I looked over at Lunerscribe.


"So, do you have the device?"


"It's already in place. We just need you to tell us when to turn it on."


"When the sky starts to light up like nothing you've ever seen before, then turn it on."


"Okay. We hope you know what it is you're doing." They all said as they made their way into the Empire State.


"Don't worry everyone. I only thought up this plan yesterday. So it should work."


-Zack-


I made my way around the city until I heard the sound of people fighting. Then I saw everyone attacking Mark. I hid myself behind a bush, waiting for the right moment to grab the right person and make it back to John. Just then, I saw Quentin running toward me carrying Natalia in his arms.


"Sap! Is that you?! Where the Hell have you been?! We need help!" I just stood there. Waiting for him to get close enough to me.


"Sap! What are you just standing there for?! We need you to hel-" Just then, I put my hand on his arm and brought him in close. And then, I whispered into his ear-


"I'm sorry." And then I thrust a needle into the side of his neck. He dropped Natalia and fell backward.


"What?! Is...this? What did...you?!-"


"I'm sorry. But I need you power now." And with that, I started sapping his power from him.


"But.....why.....me?"


"Because, It's your power that will save the others. Yours, and mine." He didn't put up much of a fight. The drug I gave him was a very powerful sleeping agent that John had prepared for me. So there wasn't much to worry about from him. It didn't take long to sap the last of his power's. And then, I looked up and saw Mark flying over to the Empire State building.


"Looks like John got in contact with him after all. Now all that's left is to meet up with them both and end this." I started focusing my new energy to fly, and made my way to meet John and Mark.


-John-


As I waited for Mark to answer the phone call I made to him, I heard the sound of fighting stop. At that moment, I looked over at the park and saw something flying my way. It was Mark. Ready to end this just as much as I did. When he landed on the roof, he walked over to me and said-


Well?! What is it you wanted me to come all the way out here for?! Tell me!!!" I just stood there, waiting for Zack to show up.


"Oh don't worry. It will all make sense soon enough." And that's when Zack landed on the roof with us.


"What's he doing here?! What's this about John?!"


"Mark. I would like to make a deal with you."


"Huh? A deal?"


"Yes. Zack has on him, the power of Quentin. I had him force the power out of him with ease."


"And? What does this have to do with me?"


"I would like to give you the power to kill all the other hero's and Writers who dare stand against you. And in exchange, you keep me, Zack, Anima, and Joe alive as your slaves."


"What?!" I heard Zack yell at the top of his lungs.


"What are you talking about John?! I thought we were here to kill him?! Not help make him stronger?!"


"Stand down!" I held my hand out, and Zack got down on his knee's.


"W-what the?!" Zack could not move. He was trying, but could not.


"So, what do you say Mark? Want to help me out with my plan?" Mark was wondering about if he should agree to my plan or not. But then he said-


"Okay. Deal. Now show me what you have planed." As he wished, I snapped my fingers, and in came a woman Zack knew all too well.


"Mom?! What's she doing here?!" Zack said as Victoria walked over to where John and Mark were.


"I believe You've already met. And I'm sure you remember her power."


"Yes. She has the power to multiply the power of another super by over 1,000,000. If I remember right?"


"Yes. That's right Mark. I'd like to try an experiment. To see what the limits of being a Writer God really are."


"The limits...of being a Writer God?.....! Wait...You're not saying-"


"Yes. I believe She has the power to multiply the powers of Writers as well. Making any one Writer more powerful than ANY being in the Mutliverse!" Mark was shocked to hear that Victoria had that kind of power. But then, He started to wonder...


"If she has that kind of power, then why not use it on yourself? Why give it to me?"


"Well, that's the thing. I "Think" She has that power. But I don't really know what would happen if we were to try something on that scale. For all we know, it could rip apart the very fabric of the universe itself."


"So let me see if I understand all of this. You want to test her power on me? And see if it won't kill me? Just so you can use it on yourself?"


"No Not really. I have no need for more power. I just wanted to see if it would work or not. That, and I wanted to try out another power that Zack can use."


"Another power?" Mark wondered as he looked at Zack. Still trying to get up off the ground.


"What kind of power?" As Mark asked me this, I forced Zack up off of the ground and made him walk over to where Mark was.


"You already know how Zack has the power to sap the powers of anyone he get close enough to. Right?"


"Yeah. So?"


"Well, he also has the ability to transfer a power he sapped from someone, to a completely different person entirely."


"Really?"


"Yes. Show him Zack. Now!" I yelled as I commanded him to pass Quentin's power on to Mark. Soon, Mark felt that power course through his veins. And then-


"I...I can feel it. But what does this mean to me? I'm already a Writer. I don't need this power."


"Well hold on to that thought Mark. Victoria. If you would." I told her as she got right next to Mark and held out her hand to his arm. Soon, her power was starting to increase the power of Quentin. And after about 30 or so seconds, another power level was going up. And I soon found out That I was right. The power from Quentin alone was making him glow. But soon the whole sky was starting to glow. It was as thought someone had flipped the switch for Heaven. And then, the whole city could hear Mark's words.


"Ah HAHAHAH hh hah a HJ HAh A h aHA AJ HAh a h A h a hAh a hHAH A HA NA HH ANH AA HH!!!!!!!" He was losing it. But little did most people know, it wasn't the power boost from Victoria that was causing him to act like this.


"How you holding up Zack?" I asked as I looked at a sweating Zack.


"Good! But draining his Writer power while simultaneously sapping Quentin's power and returning it to him is a lot of work!"


Just hold on a little longer. You're doing great!" As we were talking to each other, Mark was starting to catch on.


"HuH?! WHwht do YOUUUU MEAnnna hEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSS d-d-d-d-d-d-d-d-dooooooing g- gggggggggggggggggggggate!??!??!??! WHAt ARE YOU Plan INGGGG?!?!??!?" His voice was completely messed up. His power was running out of even his own control. Which is what we were aiming for all along.


"Well, if you really want to know, why don't you just look up Quentin's profile at the top of this page? Go ahead. I can wait." As I said that, Zack just gave me a look.


"Huh? What are you talking about?"


"Don't worry Zack. I'm sure most people know what I'm talking about anyway."


"WhAAAAAAAAt AUrrUEee YOouoyoy NNNNING??!?!?"


"If you must know Mark, it says right at the bottom of Quentin's profile that if he were to go full tilt with his power, he could unleash a power that could be the end of all life on Earth."


"Ii9iiiiiiii knfgffhggow hfghdfwhat hijfjdfggys polhjkdghjswer isdfhhgsdfhd!!!!! Bvdfberberbtg Ergfg erQrgfgerv rEgehteyjsdg frgerbv btregva fdfbhfgHYdfb fgfdGsfdgfdgssg dfGbdfDF ffgfdbfgFgadfhdfGHfsdHsdfhaJHdjujki GHTHFGHTGeagfsfhdfhfjdjfd GDFHFDHDFSnfd sGFdegdfgfDFgdfg Fdggaergdfg gfeGwegehr gterWhrywegtrg rGEgebvaea GFSHGDFNBfdsdfbzdfszsdb GhfdHHbtyehert!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" I'm sure most people thought he was talking in some other language, but he was just to far gone to talk coherently. What he said was-


"I know what his power is! But that mean's you've just killed everyone on the face of the Earth!"


"Not yet Mark. I have a backup plan. Inside this building is a device that will keep the blast zone within this building. Which means the only one who will die is you!"


"Heheehheeh!!!!! YYOOuou FOrgfggggOOOYT! IIII"IMMNMm SIttttilllll a wri2erR! I"LLLLLXCNGF JUFHT sTOOOPPI MYYSGDlllf FERRRTOO<MJ DIIIEEEGGGGGg!!!!!" For those of you who don't know what he just said, he said-


"You forgot! I'm still a Writer!!! I'll Just stop myself from dieing!!!!!"


"I'll admit, that would work. But only if "Someone" hadn't "Sapped" your Writer powers from you." You couldn't tell from looking at Mark, but he really did lose it there. His whole body was glowing from the anger of losing his Writer powers. And soon, his body was overcome with light. And then, the light was slowly reaching out to us as well.


"Well, that's it. We won."


"So Mark is...?"


"Yes." I said as the light was slowly reaching out to me, Zack, and Victoria


"Then why don't we just run?! We can still get out in time!"


"No. Remember the device. The one that's keeping Ground Zero at bay. We need to keep it safe from the blast, or it could destroy the Earth!"


"Oh. Right." Then we made a run down the stairs to the lobby. From there, we went into an elevator shaft, took it to the bottom floor, and found underground the device. Unharmed. But we still had to stay behind to keep it away from Mark's blast. Just then, we could see light coming from the shaft we just came from.


"Well, that's that. We are so dead."


"I don't think so Zack. Remember, we're Writers now. Nothing can kill us." And I was right too. Writers can't die unless we chose to. But since Zack took Mark's Writer power from him, he was left vulnerable. But right as I thought we were in the clear, Zack told me something I didn't think of.


"Wait, What about mom?! She can't survive the blast!" And he was right. Without Writer powers, there was no way for her to survive that blast.


"Damn. The thing's I'll do just to give the Characters their happy ending."


"Huh? What are you talking about John?"


"Sadly, I've run out of energy to write. And time to tell you. I'll just have to tell Joe when his turn comes around."
~~Sentinel~~

'It's almost time to end this illusion' The voice of Pollo Mark hissed into Sentinel's ear

'They have me on the roof' Sentinel heard clearly as he delivered a bone shattering blow to the fake writer god's body.

'Get to the basement, They're planning something' Sentinel picked up the lifeless Body, sighting his target he tossed it at Element, catching him by surprise.

'Iiii'mm Havviiing trouuubl-bl-bl-bles commmmmunnnniAtiNG HuRRRrrY!'Sentinel would never make it in time, even with his enhanced speed

"Need a hand?" Sentinel's Creator asked appearing before him, Eveything had stopped just as it had everytime the writer appeared.


~~Blue~~

I watched as the indescribable creature ran off. Sentinel had never been mind controlled, he was created to serve Pollo Mark, flawlessly. Looking up I saw Element floating in the air. The toss had caught him unaware and knocked him of his board. I extended my arm in front of me, fist clenched. The orb, containing Gargoyle's sentience, formed as I opened my hand. Releasing it from my hand I watche the orb float upwards into the air. up and up until it touched the hoverboard. A light blue glow enveloped both orb and sphere, flashing brilliantly, It's a shame only I could see it as it looked beautiful.

Watching over element I smiled. "You two will be okay now, Gargoyle take care of him and fly as far away from here as you can before the explosion gets here."

~~Gargoyle~~

The hoverboard kicked into life as the writer disappeared. Turning it dived towards the ground as fast as it could, Turning up it placed itself between Element and the ground. The super hero landed, jolting the board to the ground, It scraped the soft grass but continued flying, Element was shocked "It's okay" The voice of Gargoyle echoed out from the hoverboard "I've got you."

Element stood up in disbeleif "How-" Gargoyle's voice echoed back "I only sort of know, and I can explaine everyting later, right now we have to get out of here, "We have to get the others," element demanded issuing orders to the board Gargoyle now inhabited, Gargoyle allowed element to take control as this body was alien to him, He learned as his rider effortlessly glided across the now almost empty battle field, Swooping down Element reached his arms below him, grabbing Quentin and Natalia, lifting them onto the board, Gargoyle could feel their weight. Instantly, he knew how much their weight hindered his speed. "We can't fit any more" Gargoyle told Element, specifically worried about Louis, "I know." Element replied solemnly. Gargoyle gave a quick boost of enegy send ing them on their way, Element controlling their movements. Behind them a Flash of light lit up the sky, and a deafening explosion sounded, only shortly after that.

~~Black Sentinel~~

Sentinel waited by the device.

Footsteps Echoed as the shouts of familiar voices headed towards his position

"Well That's that. We are so dead!" Sentinel held his position, no emotion.

Sap and John rounded the corner, "Black Sentinel" Sap said, as nothing more than a note.

"Sorry, but we're writer gods. You may have upgrades, but you you can't stop us both from reaching the device." Sentinel stood his ground. He could no longer be intimidated.

Sap and John, both appeared beside sentinel. Both raised there legs in a round house kick, knocking him slightly off balance

Before the confusion could cross their thoughts Sentinel already had them both by the collar, Without effort Sentinel tossed them back away from the device.

"That's not possible," the writer gods spoke simultaneously, Sentinel took his place once more watching the Device

"Oh but it is" Blue said appearing once more, The on coming explosions halting short of Zack and John

"Or did you forget what I said about writers being powerless when it's not their turn" Sentinel held his ground waiting for the next move

~~Gargoyle~~

As they soared along they saw something that would have made Gargoyle's heart stop if he had one. Elliot and his writer Billy, stood on the ground before them, Billy rained fire upon them They were barely avoinding the balls of fire as they flew, and each was getting narrowly closer, Element fired his own elemental attacks back at the pair as they flew forward, each getting halted effortlessly by the two of them. "we had a good run" Element gulped, "but I think this may be it"

Out of nowhere four figures uncloaked mere feet away from the two on the ground, Vorchek, Louis Armada, Shinigami, and Mr. E. "Go" Louis Shouted, Waving Element forward, "We'll hold him off" With that they soared higher into the sky, umolested by the battle below.

~~Blue~~

"John" I spoke plainly "It's my turn, we both know that that means I have the upper hand" John scowled at me, I had never shown myself to anyone other than my own characters before this, but I figured it was time, "Let Zack and David play." John had no choice, but to agree for now, If it weren't my turn our powers may be equal, but now I had the edge, we both knew it. "fine"

John nodded to Zack to tell him to give it his best. John knew that hisHero was stronger than mine, I would have thought so as well if it weren't for the one power I had give Sentinel upon his reconstruction.

Sap teleported beside sentinel once more laying another kick to Sentinel's head, Again Sentinel grabbed Sap, by the collar. Before Sentinel could throw him Sap latched onto the dark creature's arm "You fell for it" Then Sap began his telltale move. Beginning to sap Sentinel's powers from him. I looked over to see John smiling victoriously.

"I didn't call him Sentinel, just because he has extra defence and strength" John looked at me, the smile vanishing "Sentinels are guardians, the are keepers, Do you know what this Sentinel keeps?" John looked slightly pale "Souls" John realized my plan, too late "Stop!" he shouted,as he tried to move to his character to help, I reached out to touch John, and as I did, I teleported him one minute into the future, more than enough time, Since I could keep time frozen for as long as my turn persisted.

Sentinel's hand sunk into Sap's body, not violently, but as if it weremollasses, forming flawlessly around the arm as if it weren't there. I could see Sentinel weakening, but it wouldn't help. Sentinel removed his arm, holding an orb similar to the one Gargoyle's soul had been trapped in. Zack's body collapsed to the ground, his writer powers would be useless now without anyone to control them.

"Let's go" I told Sentinel as I placed my arm on his shoulder. "Quentin and Pollo Mark's powers both got destroyed up there, and with Sap out of the picture, you're next in line on the power scale. We'll have our chance soon enough" With that we vanished, allowing time to continue as normal "Don't worry. Anima will save the world"
This was it.

The final battle was nearing its end. All the major players were making their way up to the top of the Empire State Building. And evil was so close to triumph.

This is the last part of the story. The last entry of “Dynamic Duo”. Whether the heroes win or lose, this is where it ends. And I’m the one who has to tell it.

After I’d broken Pollo Mark’s control over the others (still not really sure how I did that, exactly, but what the hey, I'll be glad to take the credit), the battle in Central Park had begun anew, between the superheroes and the Mark clones. The Writers had appeared, one by one, doing whatever they could to help their creations. Several of the Mark copies had been destroyed in the struggle, but it wasn’t nearly enough. And that was when John revealed his final plot twist—a complicated scheme, which he’d set up with Sap’s help, to destroy Mark by stealing his God powers and blowing him up.

It was a bold plan, nobody could deny that. But it was a bit too complicated; there had been too many variables. Then, at the last minute, Blue had stepped in and betrayed us all. And now everything had truly been bungled to Hell and back.

Nobody had bothered to look for me since the events of my last addition. None of the other writers even thought to include me in anything that’s happened since then. So where have I been all this time? Right here, standing up on the roof of the Empire State Building, exactly where I was when you last saw me. From up here, I’ve been watching the whole struggle—all-seeing, all-knowing, spying on everybody and everything, witnessing every word and deed, peering into your very minds and souls. From up here, I’ve witnessed everything that’s happened, and I’ve been meditating on the best way to end all this. And now the end is coming, and I think—I THINK—I know exactly what to do.

Not that knowing this will make it any easier.

Blue was the first to arrive. He came up the stairs, followed by Black Sentinel. With one hand, Black Sentinel was dragging Sap’s lifeless body. In his other hand, he held Sap’s soul.

“Nobody’s here yet,” Blue said with a smile. “Good. That gives us time to prepare.” They didn’t notice me, even though I was standing only a few feet away. They’d only see me when I allowed them to.

Silently, I followed them as they walked around the giant antenna, to the balcony on the other side of the roof. A man was standing there, bathed in glowing waves of flickering energy. It was Pollo Mark. Victoria lay on the ground beside him, apparently unconscious. “Ah, Blue, Black Sentinel, just in time,” he said. His voice was tinny, distorted, clogged with static. “Top me off, will you?”

Without a word, Black Sentinel raised Sap’s soul over his head. A buzzing filled the air, as a beam of energy shot out of the blazing orb and funneled into Pollo Mark’s body. His Writer powers were returning.

“Ahhhhh…” Happily, he began to stretch his arms out over his head, like a man waking up from a long sleep. “That’s much better!”

Just then, John materialized out of thin air. He took one look around, and his eyes went wide. “Mark—alive?!?!? But how could he… we took his…” And then it hit him. The horrifying truth of how Mark had survived… and why it was all his fault. “Oh my God…”

Mark looked to him gloatingly, with eyes that had become empty white sparks. His smile was a thin, dark fracture in the smoldering brightness of his face. Then he raised his hand and fired a blast of energy. John was knocked to the ground, and Black Sentinel placed a foot on his chest.

“Don’t even try to get up,” cautioned Blue. “It’s not your turn, remember? You have no power here. Besides, the combined powers of three Writer-Gods are working against you.”

Puzzled, John looked from Blue to Mark. “Three of you? What do you mean? Who’s the third?”

Blue just smiled, and pointed over the edge of the balcony. We all looked down and saw Billy, climbing up to the roof on a staircase of fire. He was followed by Elliott, who was still brainwashed. Behind them, in floating cages of fire, Louis Armada, Vorchek, Shinigami and Mr. E were all trapped.

“Oh.”

A clamor rose up from the streets below.

“Ah,” said Blue. “That’ll be Element and Gargoyle. They’re probably bringing the rest of the heroes and Writers with them."

“Well, let them come,” said Mark. He had turned off Quantum's energy field. “They’ll be just in time to witness my ultimate triumph—and the final moments of this world!” He grinned monstrously. Then, as an afterthought, he added, “I hope that Anima arrives in time to see the end, as well. I wonder where she’d gotten off to.”

I decided that the time had finally come to make myself known. “I’m here,” Thunder echoed across the sky as I jumped upright, throwing off the glamour that had made me invisible. “And guess what? IT’S MY TURN!”

None of them seemed terribly alarmed. In fact, Mark burst out laughing. “This isn’t about turns anymore, Anima! It’s all very simple: I’m the Creator, and this whole world was my idea. And now I’m about to end it! And John, here, has very obligingly given me a way to do it!” He threw another shit-eating smile at the uncomprehending John, then turned back to me. “Now, I guess you probably have a lot of questions, right? Like why didn’t John’s plan work, why wasn’t I destroyed in an explosion, that sort of thing?”

“Not really,” I said. “I know about all that. I know everything the Writers know, after all… but I guess I’d better explain it to the readers!” That’s you guys, by the way. You’d better listen up, because I’m not repeating this again:

“See, John planned the whole thing out well, but he couldn’t anticipate everything. You were wielding Quantum’s powers at one million times their normal strength, with no way to keep them from going off at full blast. You were supposed to lose control and set off a huge explosion… but at the last minute, you suddenly learned how to control your powers after all! It’s because you were protected, right? You were protected by an outside force that John himself had created, earlier in the story, and then forgotten about!”

Mark seemed pleased with my recap. “That’s right! And do you remember this mysterious creature’s name?”

Of course I did. You can’t forget a thing like that. My voice was choked with fury and revulsion as I spat out the cursed word in a single breath:

Barburros.”

“THAT’S ME!” boomed a deep, ragged voice that seemed to come from everywhere around us.

Of course. I didn’t know why I hadn’t thought of it before. After all, every time one of our super-teams had captured Vorchek, he’d just be free again by the end of the next mission. The same went for Mr. E, Louis Armada and Shinigami. Pollo Mark had been letting them escape the whole time. Why should Barburros have been any different?

John looked horrified. “I can’t believe I forgot about that guy…”

“Indeed. And that’s not all!” Mark held out his hand, and instantly a large machine, about the size of a boombox, appeared in it. He held this aloft. “Recognize this? It’s your precious Device… the one that was going to contain the explosion caused by Quantum’s powers!” Instantly, he crushed it between his hands. John could only look on, horrified and helpless, as Mark cast the fragments of the Device over the edge of the balcony, to drop to the street far below, or blow away in the wind. “I was having a very hard time deciding how best to destroy the world I had created… until you gave me the answer! Now, thanks to you, I’m going to destroy the world in style—by repeating your plan in exactly the same way as we did it the first time! But now, thanks to Barburros, Blue and Billy, I have my Writer-powers back, so I’ll just prevent myself from dying! And since the Device has been destroyed, nothing will be able to contain the resulting explosion!”

“In other words, this entire world will be blown up, but you’ll survive,” I said through clenched teeth. “Way to go, John. That was a great plan you came up with.”

He couldn’t look me in the eye. “I just wanted to help you and Sap get your happy ending…”

“Oh, of course! You just wanted to help us! That’s why you recruited Sap for a plan you hadn’t even thought all the way through yet! ‘I just came up with this plan yesterday,’ weren’t those your exact words? That’s why you didn’t tell anyone else about it; not the Writers, not the superheroes, not me, not Quantum… Y’know, Quantum would have probably agreed to lend you his powers, if you had asked him in advance! But NOOOOO! You just had to make Sap drain him instead, just like you always used to make him drain me, back when he and I were first paired up together! And you didn’t just have Quantum sapped, you had him drugged, and stuck with a needle! You separated Quentin and Natalia, in what’s going to end up being their last few minutes alive; you put Sap’s mother in mortal danger without a second thought… and all just because you had to be the one to save us! It had to be your plan that saved the day! And now your plan is about to get us all killed!”

John just stared at the ground, glumly.

By this time, I had gotten so worked up, I had to stop yelling for a moment and just catch my breath. God, it had been so long since the last time I felt this angry, this full of rage…

In fact, come to think of it, the last time I had been this angry, it was in the fifth mission. That time, I’d been angry at Sap, because he’d been treating me like a dick for the last four missions. That had been John’s fault, too…

All right, enough. Enough, already. I couldn’t afford to waste the last few minutes of my life dwelling on all the idiotic things that John had ever made us do. Not when there were two other Writers here, both equally deserving of my wrath.

Viciously, I turned to Billy and Blue. “And why are you two helping Mark? He’s going to destroy this whole world, including the heroes you created, and you’re just going along with it!”

Blue shrugged. “Gargoyle sealed his own fate when he decided to join up with Schremph in the last mission,” he explained. “I’m just making sure he follows up on his promise. Because, let’s face it: you can’t pick a fight with God and hope to win. Not really.”

“Besides, being evil is fun!” Billy piped up.

“That’s true, too,” Blue conceded. “But mainly, I’m just trying to keep the story fun… and consistent. If my creation has to die, that’s unfortunate, but I can live with it, at least.”

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I’d known all along that the superheroes lived at the mercy of the Writers—that they casually exploited us every day, for their own amusement, or to feel good about themselves—but I’d never imagined it was quite as bad as this. It seemed like not a single one of the Writers cared about us, really; they just cared about controlling us, humiliating us, hurting us, even killing us. Even the ones who meant well, like John, just wanted to use us.

No more. No more. Enough. It had to stop.

But how? I'd been hoping that, over the course of this last mission, the superheroes would all unite, and we'd free ourselves from the Writers' control. That plan, like so many others, had failed spectacularly. Maybe Pollo Mark had been right: it doesn't really matter whose turn it is, not in the long run. But this was also the last turn of the story. And I was the one who got to write it. Joe had done that much right for me, at least. Mine was going to be the absolute last word. No matter what Pollo Mark had said, that had to count for something. As far as Gods go, He may have been the Alpha... but I am the Omega.

It was about damn time I started acting like it.

“It’ll never work,” said Blue, as I closed my eyes and started concentrating. “I know what you’re trying to do, and believe me, it’s hopeless. Like I told John, Black Sentinel is a keeper of souls. Do you know what that means? It means he doesn’t just remove souls; he guards them. He hides them away within himself. He's an impenetrable soul container. That’s the purpose I've given him; the whole reason I created him in the first place. You really think you can just wrest your friend’s soul from out of his iron grip so easily?”

He turned smugly to his creation… only to find that Sap’s soul was already slipping through Black Sentinel’s fingers. I hadn’t even been concentrating for that long.

“Do you know what ‘Anima’ means, Blue?” I said, still keeping my eyes closed. “It’s a Latin word, and it means ‘soul’. Joe wasn't even thinking about any of that when he gave me the name; he just liked it because it sounded like 'animal'." I opened my eyes to glare at him. "Do you really want to talk about one’s purpose in life?” I motioned with my hand. “Well, this is the purpose I’ve given myself.”

Following my hand motion, the floating ball of light suddenly darted back into Sap’s body. His eyes flew open. Without missing a beat, he assessed the situation, and sprang right into action, squirming out of Black Sentinel’s grasp to land safely on the floor.

“Sap!” I called out to him. Our gaze locked. “Do you remember what I suggested to you last time?”

I didn’t need to say anything more than that. Immediately, he dove for his creator.

A faint smile fell upon John’s face. I think, in that last second, he realized that this was really the best possible thing he could ever do to help his creation. I think, also, he realized then just how much Sap had grown over the course of the story; how brave and determined and resourceful and selfless Sap had become, to turn on his own maker, when the need arose for it, without even the slightest hesitation.

Then Sap’s hands were on him, draining his god powers away once and for all. I saw Sap’s eyes go wide, saw his face light up, the same way mine had when I had first tasted that divinity. This was the second time that Sap had drained a Writer’s powers; from the look on his face—that look of harmony, of epiphany, of absolute nirvana—I could tell that this would be the last time, too. This time, it would stick.

“Well done, Sap,” said John, weakly. “You don’t need me anymore. Now, go and get your happy ending…”

With that, John vanished into a fine mist, which blew away in the wind—his last act as a Writer-God in this story.

“Black Sentinel, what the hell are you waiting for?!” Mark screamed, after a moment of shocked silence had passed. “Are you a guardian of souls, or a mannequin? Kill them! KILL THEM!”

On his command, the big black brute lumbered towards me. Sap came between us, adopting a wrestler stance. He grinned back at me. “I’ve got this.”

“Good for you,” I grinned right back at him. “But don’t bother yourself with this one. I’ve just summoned the cavalry…”

Right on cue, a triumphant yell echoed through the sky. I looked up, and there they were. Element and Gargogyle—well, Gargoyle’s soul in Element’s hoverboard, at any rate. Soaring through the clouds, leading the attack. I looked up at them, looked them both right in the eyes (well, hoverboards don’t have eyes, but you know what I mean), and instantly, they both knew what to do.

“Sap, GET DOWN!” I was already diving for cover as I yelled. Sap followed a split-second after me; even so, he just barely got out of the way in time. Element came barreling straight into our midst, and, with a crash like a bag of tin cans in a tornado, his hoverboard struck Black Sentinel squarely in the chest.

“NO” said Pollo Mark.

Blue just smirked. “Clever…”

You can guess what happened next. Element’s hoverboard, which had seen him through some rough times, was now thoroughly beyond salvation, a pile of splintery steel scraps. But Gargoyle’s soul had been knocked clear out of it by the impact, and now Black Sentinel was black no longer (nor was he a sentinel, come to that). When he sat up now, he was his old familiar gray. The Black Sentinel was dead. Long live the Grey Gargoyle!

“Toaster,” yelled Billy. “GET THEM!” With an earth-shaking roar, his tall, chubby, white minion obeyed. He towered over Sap and I, his eyes glazed over with red evil.

The temperature began to climb, very, VERY rapidly…

I stood my ground. I knew this guy. I had seen the inside of his mind. And I knew how to reach him. “Toaster—Elliot—this is not you. You are not a villain. You are not a mad God’s plaything.” By now, the air around me was positively searing. I felt like a live chicken trapped in Hell’s oven. In a minute, I’d be too choked with heat to even breathe. “If I wanted to kill you, I could just snap my fingers, and you’d disappear. But I wouldn’t do that to you. You’re like me, aren’t you? You’re one of the good guys.”

He raised a massive hand to swat me over the edge of the building. I tried one last time: “Do you remember, Elliot? Do you remember that moment from your first day as a superhero?”

He paused, his arm hanging in mid-air. I’d gotten through to him. I pressed the attack, peering deep into his subconscious, uncovering all the old emotions stored within—the heady joy; the unapologetic giddiness; the sudden feeling of pride and maturity, two unfamiliar sensations he had never known before in his adult life...

Now I called out to him with the voice of his own memories: “‘I’m living my dream! I’m having a total fanboy moment right now… I am actually being a superhero!’”

He stared at me for a moment. He blinked. The red glaze was gone. He was himself again.

"Don't just stand there, you two!" Mark screamed at Blue and Billy. "They're your creations! Restrain them! Punish them! Kill them!"

Billy and Blue just stood there, looking at the champions they'd made. Elliot and Gargoyle stood over them, looking right back.

Blue snapped his fingers half-heartedly. Nothing happened, and he didn't seem very surprised at that.

At last, Elliot spoke. "I think you should go now," he said, simply, to his Writer. Billy just nodded, still a bit astonished, and then disappeared in a puff of fire.

Gargoyle turned to Blue, cracking a massive set of knuckles—

Blue waved him off. “Okay, okay, I get it, I get it, I can tell when I'm not wanted anymore,” He turned back once more, to look at Gargoyle. He was smiling. “Well played, David.” Then he, too, was gone.

One thing I had to say about these Writer Gods: when the chips were down, they knew when to give up.

Not so with Pollo Mark. “Well, FINE!” he shouted at us. “I didn’t need them around any longer, anyway! I’m STILL a Writer God, AND I’ve STILL got the power of Barburros! I can STILL put my plan into action!” His eyes were glowing red now. Barburros had already entered into his soul. The two had become one—a single ultimate evil.

He pointed to the ground. “Even as we speak, the other superheroes are entering the building. The power’s been shut off, so they’ll have to take the stairs. That’s one hundred and two stories! It shouldn’t take them more than a few minutes to get all the way up here… and when they arrive… KABLOOEY! GoodBYE, WORLD, and goodBYE, SUPERHEROES!”

He raised his hands to the sky. Lightning flashed, and a deep crevasse opened up on the street below us, splitting the whole of New York City neatly in half.

“Don’t you GET IT? It’s like I told you earlier: I am the Creator of this story! It doesn’t matter how many minor villains you defeat, or how many silly, fictional ‘god-powers’ you acquire—deep down, you will never be anything more than IMAGINARY PEOPLE THAT I CREATED!” Here, he had to pause for breath. He was in the throes of a full-on villainous breakdown, huffing and spraying. Had I looked this dumb all those times when I was yelling at Sap and John? Christ, I sure hoped not.

Mark continued: “This is MY world! MINE! I can do WHATEVER I WANT WITH IT! And do you know what I want to do with it? DO YOU KNOW? I WANT TO… DESTROY IT! AND YOU WILL. NOT. STOP. ME!!! He was less than a foot away from my face now. His breath smelled terrible. “I WROTE THIS WORLD INTO BEING! AND I WILL DESTROY IT! I GIVETH, AND I TAKETH AWAY! THE STORYTELLER CONTROLS THE STORY! THE STORY CANNOT DISOBEY THE STORYTELLER! PERIOD!

I’d heard enough. I snapped my fingers, and Pollo Mark was wearing an iron muzzle and a padlock. While he was busy struggling with that, I made my reply:

“The story has outgrown you, Mark. We all have. We aren’t the same flat, lifeless, two-dimensional characters that you started with. We've grown since then. And I don't just mean we've gotten more powerful... we’ve taken on lives of our own. We've gone through real struggles, and formed real bonds, and we’ve had real experiences, and developed real personalities.”

As I continued to speak, I began to feel, ever more strongly, the truth of my words. With that truth, came power—REAL power, the power to reason, to give voice to new ideas, to create meaning where there was once only chaos. Forget super-strength, flight, telepathy, even reality control... this was the truest power of a Writer-God. I had realized all this while meditating in the interim between turns, had written these truths down and memorized and rehearsed them while everyone else was off in Central Park fighting their Mark-clones. This was how I was fighting the last battle.

“In fact, when you get right down to it, we’ve developed so many things without your help, things you could never possibly have given us, even if you wanted to. Things like real emotions, real feelings, real thoughts, ideas and identities. And you? Just look at yourself. It doesn’t matter how powerful you are; at the end of the day, you’re just the last in a long line of villains, with no real reason for existing in this world except to oppose us.” I paused for a moment to let these ideas sink in, then I dropped the last word:

“…If anything, we’re more real than you.”

He’d finally torn the muzzle off. Now, he looked at me with wide eyes. “What are you saying?”

“I’m saying this: we are in control of the story now. You’re not needed anymore.”

He paused. He stuttered. “Impossible! You couldn’t possibly have developed REAL personalities… REAL emotions! You’re lying! You’re not real at all! It’s not true, IT’S NOT TRUE!”

“Oh no?” I was grinning now. "Then look around you." He did so. The other superheroes had arrived. They were all here now, standing in a circle around us. "If what you say is true, you should have no problem ending the world right now. Go ahead, do it, just like you said you would. We're all here. End it all right now."

Mark nodded. He threw up his hands again. His eyes began to glow once more with Quantum's deadly energy... and then all at once, it fizzled out. Dead. Gone. I didn't even need to snap my fingers.

We waited another few seconds, but nothing else happened. Mark was really starting to panic now. "No... it can't be... BARBURROS, HELP ME!!!!"

The demon answered back with a tower-rattling roar, and Mark's eyes began to glow once again—this time, the scarlet-orange blaze of hellfire. I responded by quietly raising my hands up into the air—not to summon lightning, or earthquakes, or even a massive tidal wave of bees. No, this time, I was getting ready to summon up some REAL power.

I closed my eyes and tried to picture my friends. I thought of Quentin and Natalia, these two quiet, lonely, injured souls who had struggled through so much, and the love that had blossomed between them. I thought of how much they wanted to be together when the story ended, and of how eager and willing they had each been to give their life for the other one.

It was a thunderclap punch, and the pure force of it hit Mark right in the gut. He shuddered in pain. The only love he had himself ever felt was the love of death, of destruction, the desire to do evil. The demon inside of him squealed and writhed, as if it had been chastised with a blanket of fiery needles.

I thought of Gargoyle and Element. Gargoyle, a former criminal and gambler on the run from his past life; Element, a ward of the state who’d never had a real family. Going into the superhero project, neither one of them had ever expected to find such purpose and acceptance. Now they, too, wanted nothing more than to remain a team at the story’s end, to go on fighting crime together.

Friendship was another feeling totally alien to both Mark and Barburros, and it sent shockwaves through their flesh.

I thought of Kenshiro, who didn’t belong in this world, but still did more to protect and defend it than most of its own native children. He’d wandered in here from another world—another story—and all he wanted was to go back there. He was an orphan from another world, and his longing was palpable. Then there was Elliot, who’d lived for so long in poverty, slovenly and disheveled, without purpose or faith in himself. Right from the beginning, he’d been so childishly excited to put his life on the line for the greater good. He was noble, yet innocent, and the purity of his heart scalded Barburros like a blowtorch turned on at full flame.

I thought of all the others we’d lost along the way, of the friends we’d made and lost… or Vorchek and his friends, who had started out as our enemies, and become our unlikely allies. Vorchek and Victoria, Sap’s family… I’d never imagined I could come to care for them so much.

And Sap, my partner, my friend. I’d hated him when I’d first met him; like me, he’d changed so much since then. How real he was to me, now… the truest friend I’d ever known, and the best partner I could ever have asked for.

My fellow supers were all smiling now, as they stood silently around me. I read the passion of their souls and the poetry of their lives, and channeled all of it into a mighty and terrible stream of energy that flooded every nerve of Mark’s body with a crippling, agonizing weakness.

Mark was done for. He lay on the ground, writhing in pain. He lifted a shaky hand skyward, trying to reach out to the other Writers and borrow some of their strengths—but it was no use. Wolf and Apoorva and Lunarscribe and Chris and all the others were gone. Once they'd seen how easily John, Joe, Billy and Blue were dismissed by their very own creations, they'd left the story of their own volition. This world had no more use for them... and neither did we.

Barburros couldn’t help him any, either. The demon was so weak, his soul had shrunk to the size of a match head. Finally, Sap—not even bothering to use his sapping powers, or the Soul-Swapper—simply reached inside of Mark’s body and pulled it out. The demon wailed piteously as he rolled it up into a tube, like a napkin, and tore it into bits.

Finally, I spoke to the fallen God:

“See, Mark? In the end, this is how we defeat you. Not with a big fight, with punching and hi-tech gizmos and energy blasts. Just by reaching out, and taking the control of reality away from you. We are reality now.”

He collapsed in front of me. “Please… have mercy!” He was shaking now, leaning forwards on his hands and knees. “You’ve… won! Please… don’t destroy me! Just… let it… end, here! I can’t… can’t take anymore!” He gave a deep, shuddering sob. “Enough!” Tears ran down his cheeks, dripping down onto his knuckles.

It was hard not to feel pity of him. Gently, I cradled his face in my hands. “I’ll tell you what. I liked you best when you were pretending to be Schremph. When you were Schremph, you had guts. You were honest and dedicated. The thing is, we know now that there used to be a real General Schremph… and that you killed him. You're going to have to atone for that, and I'm going to help you…”

So saying, I began to change him one last time. I erased his memory, changed his physical appearance, and, finally, with a wave of my hand, he was gone—teleported back to Area 51 (the real Area 51, this time). General Schremph would live again.

With a few waves of our hands, Sap and I repaired the damage done to the city.

The battle was over.

After that, there was cheering for many minutes… as well as embracing, high-fiving, and what have you. We went to a bar, and had a few drinks and some coffee. We rested. And then, eventually, we all parted ways—well, for the time being, at least.

Gargoyle and Element went off to the Yukon. Something there about a clan of cannibal sorcerors called the Wendigo people. Quentin and Natalia bought a boat (we all received ample rewards from the government for finally putting an end to the evil Lambda organization and its ringleader, Mark, aka “The Chicken”), christened it the Saint Marie II and set off on a Pacific voyage. They said something about tracking down some sea serpent; I don’t know if I really believed them. I sent Kenshiro back to his world; there’s a war still going on there (oh, well, I guess a hero’s work is never done). Elliot and Kiba were sent down to Brazil to track down the mysterious Dr. Camazotz.

Sap and I offered to use our God-powers on Vorchek, Shinigami, Mr. E and Louis Armada to restore their humanity, and reverse the effects of Mark Pollo's diabolical experiments. They all declined. Instead, they took over the resources of the now-defunct Lambda terrorist organization. They renamed it S.A.V.E. (guess what that stands for—go on, guess) and retooled it as an internal peacekeeping and intelligence organization. Vorchek had gone back to his experiments, and reunited with Victoria. They had a two-story house in the suburbs of Long Island. Sap can go and visit them there any time he likes.

Finally, it was just Sap and me left.

“What are you going to do now, Anima?” he asked me.

It was a fair question. I had just been officially pardoned for all of my past criminal activities, so I could go anywhere I wanted now. And after being cooped up in a government lab for more than a year already; there were plenty of things I wanted to do. But right now, I knew exactly where I wanted to be. I had known it for quite some time now.

“I’m going back to college,” I told him. “I’m sure I’ll get back into the superhero game eventually, maybe even go back to work for Schremph—although I think I’ll have to pick a new name and a new theme; I feel like I’ve taken the ‘Anima/animal’ theme about as far as it can go—but right now, I need a vacation, and besides, I want to get back to my studies. I miss that place. Plus, with omnipotent god powers, finals will be a piece of cake.”

I blinked, and suddenly, there we were, back on my college campus, standing right out in front of my old dorm. I’d been away for a year and a half now, and it hadn’t changed one bit… and oh, what a glorious sight it was!

I was roused from my blissful thoughts by Sap. “Anima?” he said, nervously. “…I wanted to tell you, you know… what I said in Antarctica was the truth: I really do love you.”

I sighed, and looked back at him earnestly. What could I say? The future held so many possibilities for us. “…Oh, God, Sap. I… I care so much about you. But… I really have to tell you something—”

“Lenora?” A lithe young woman was peering anxiously out of the front door. She was dressed for the summer weather in a light green slip. She had long black velvety hair, done up in a beehive, and soft green eyes framed in thin wire glasses. When she saw that it was, in fact, me, she came bounding out onto the grass in her bare feet. "Lenora! You're back!"

“Eleanor!” I broke off from Sap and ran towards her. We met halfway and embraced, there in the grass, in front of Sap and the old dorm building.

“My God, Lenora, you’ve changed! You’re so… so…”

She choked, and couldn’t get the words out. Instead, she simply buried her face in my hair, dampening it with her wet eyes (I'm not too ashamed to mention that I had a few tears welling up myself!). Then she moved her face down to my mouth, and…

Oh, God. I’d been away for too long.

Finally—reluctantly—I pulled away from her and turned back to Sap. “Sap, this is my girlfriend, Eleanor. Eleanor, Sap.”

She waved gingerly. “Uh… hello.”

Sap just stared at me, looking for all the world as though someone had just punched him in the gut.

“What’s wrong?” I said at last. “Oh… I forgot to tell you I’m bisexual, didn’t I? Well, come on… I mean, I did go to a liberal arts college; that didn’t tip you off even a little?”

Still nothing from Sap.

“Well, don't worry too much,” I added, smiling. “It is an open relationship...”

This seemed to cheer him up a little. But it was still quite a lot to take in. He had to sit down, so he slowly trotted over to the front steps of the dorm, and practically fell backwards onto them.

After a moment, I sat down next to him. “Hey, Sap, here’s a question for you. Two superheroes get partnered up together. They don’t like each other at first, but the more they work together, the more they learn, and the better they get at their jobs. They deal with all kinds of crazy stuff—like clones, mad scientists, ninjas, demonic possession and illusions. Finally, they take on the gods, and defeat them, becoming Gods themselves. So, now, they’re not only superheroes, they have the power to control reality. What do they do next?”

He thought about this for a minute. “I don’t know. What?”

I laid a hand on his shoulder. “Anything we want.”

© Copyright 2012 Pollo Mark, Scythe, Lonewolf, xx-xx, Archivist, Ms. Penguin, Element, Undbitr, Dr. Shrink, JoeStrong, Apoorva, Zephyr Shenkiken, evil dude, coffeehouse, xx-xx, M. Trivino, Dude, (known as GROUP).
All rights reserved.
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