“C’mon, Bets! Mother wants us to get this thing back before sun-up y’know…” Sheldon cracked a smirk at his sister’s growl of frustration as they made their way through the catacomb. She was always the easiest mark he had; just mentioning their mother got her undivided attention. Of course, he didn’t care a shit for the wrinkled old prune, but he wouldn’t tell either of the Director females that. He was crazy, not stupid.
“Look, Sheldon, let’s just get this over with…” snarled Elizabeth. The fact they’d be paid a king’s ransom for this damned statue was the only thing keeping her from bitch-slapping him at the moment. They’d spent the better part of last year retrieving everything else in the trove it belonged to, and the finishing bonus from the collector would be more than enough for her to get away from her family. Besides, if she didn’t get some time away from Sheldon soon, the next snake pit they stumbled across? She’d be an only child.
Sheldon held the flashlight steady as they crossed a small bridge over a huge chasm. He actually enjoyed the things he learned on the jaunts they took collecting artifacts for their family’s agency, even if he was consistently paired with his younger sister. This trip had been no exception as they had learned much about the wonders to be found amongst the ruins. So much history had occurred there; he actually put some stock in the legends that told of powerful objects used to dominate the ancient world. After all, these were people who created a great civilization, which at the height of the most recent dynasty had covered a region larger than most European countries combined.
Betty did her best not to smirk as she watched Sheldon examining his notes. “Five minutes to find this chamber, brother, and then I’m taking the lead,” she snorted derisively. She told him he needed to pay closer attention when they started, but as predicted, he ignored her and now they were waiting for him to decipher the intersection they were at. It was fairly blatant and she hoped he failed in sorting through his chicken-scratch notes. It meant she got to humiliate her annoying ‘older’ brother once again. The bonus she got for rescuing missions they’d nearly blown because of him did almost make up the months of nerve-fraying aggravation, though.
Sheldon ignored her. Something had been nagging him about this last lost treasure; it was as if the damned thing was taunting him, daring him to bring it to light. Before he could get lost in the horrid state of his notes, something surreal caught his eye. A spectral image drifted into the shadows directly behind his sister. The look of its single red eye beckoned him. He closed his journal with snap and leapt past Betty in pursuit. Something seemed familiar about it, but he was certain he had never witnessed it before. He only knew he had to follow where it led.
Betty gaped as Sheldon flew by; he was never much of a runner, but he was rapidly leaving her behind. She quickly shook off the astonishment and gave chase. She hoped they could just get this over with the farther into the catacombs they traveled. The smell she was used to, but there was an undercurrent of tension that bore down on her, like a press atop her head. Each step deeper into the labyrinth only increased the pain in her skull. She was about ready to scream when she caught up with Sheldon, who was, unsurprisingly, ignoring her. She thought for a moment they were in some serious trouble because she was beginning to doubt her own eyes. She knew cave gasses were very dangerous, and they were prepared should they enter an area with a heavy animal population, but her nose told her the air was fine.
So, why was she seeing that iridescent glow around Sheldon? Why could she see a spider web of cracks lace through that glow? Shaking her head with her eyes closed, she hoped to clear her vision and drag them both out before they lost it completely. When she opened her eyes and looked at him again, she could see, well, she couldn’t describe what she saw, having no frame of reference. But, if she were to put a name to it that felt right with her gut, she would call it ‘weakness.’ For that instant, she could see a representation of the weakness she had always assumed Sheldon had. The weakness she knew she could exploit if she needed to put him in his place. She just wasn’t prepared to see a visual representation of it, nor did she have any clue as to what good the information could do her. It wasn’t like she wanted to break her brother.
Sheldon smiled wickedly as he followed the spectre across the threshold of a modest chamber near the deepest point of the catacombs. The silent wraith always kept a respectable distance from him, and he could tell even when his eyes weren’t on the cyclopean spirit that its demon eye was fixed upon him. The more he thought about the wraith, the more familiar it seemed, but he knew rationally that he had never encountered the creature before. Stepping close to the towering presence he approached with daring tempered by caution, a trait he rarely exercised. Reaching out and attempting to lay a hand on the spectre proved futile; it evaporated just as his fingers would have grazed the armour-like casing that defined its torso. His initial disappointment was all but forgotten as his gaze fell upon the object of their search: An ornately carved stone sword. What the item was forged from, he could scarcely speculate, because it emanated a soft blue glow that was unmatched by any natural or artificial material he knew of. Forgetting the protective chants and sacred ritual that his notes insisted the mystical artifact required before it could be handled, Sheldon reached out and gripped the hilt.
He would live to regret that.
Betty shook herself out of the trance that seemed to have fallen over her momentarily. Something wasn’t right with the situation. As she came to her senses and shook the disturbing vision from her mind’s eye, she heard a horrid wailing scream that accompanied a flash of fiery blue and red light. Jumping into action, she tore down the corridor following the slowly fading torrent of light. Rounding the corner near the entrance of the room she sought, her sense of smell was overwhelmed by a stench she hoped she’d never encounter again. Clearing the portal to the chamber, her fears were confirmed, Sheldon lay on the ground, gripping his arm to his stomach, writhing in agony. She looked to the small dais and pedestal that decorated the room and saw the object of their quest, hanging from its pristine blue hilt were the remains of Sheldon’s hand.
“Shit! Mom isn’t going to be happy when she sees this mess, brother,” Elizabeth sneered. Yeah, he’d already humiliated himself enough, but she felt he deserved at least one more jab. Moving quickly, she examined the stump of his arm. There was nothing she could do for his lost hand, so she shot him full of a tranquilizer and keyed their emergency transponder. While she waited for the medivac team to collect them, Betty went through the elaborate rituals: Prayers were said, special incense was burned, and a very rare sacred oil was poured over the pedestal, eventually rendering the mystic weapon safe for transport.
Sealed away as it was, the sword appeared nothing more than a thoroughly used and abused katana. She did wonder why this weapon was half a planet away from its likely creators in the foothills of Japan, but by the time she got the chance to check her notes the medivac team arrived and carted them out. As they finally returned to the muggy but fresh air of the tropical forest, she had put all of her curiosity aside and just hoped she would still get the usual bonus she received for completing her brothers’ failed missions. It wasn’t her fault the moron forgot the basic tenet of “Don’t touch anything until you know it won’t kill you.”
Annabelle Director scowled furiously as she watched the short Asian man waddle into the conference room followed by his entourage in black. Master Sensei of the Yamanouchi Consortium was not one to make personal appearances, but she had insisted on settling this matter face to face. She could give less than shit about the money the old codger was doling out for them to retrieve the artifact. Her son had been maimed by the damned thing and she wasn’t about to let that slide. “Welcome, Master Sensei, to WEE main offices. Before you begin, let me inform you that your down payment for this…incident has already been divvied up and signed over, so there will be no returning it. Also, I would like to know why you failed to mention the danger that came with this final artifact?” She wanted to know why not a single piece of information relevant to the sword’s true power had been included in the briefing he had given them, and then she wanted to know just how far he would sail when she planted her boot on his backside.
Sensei held up a hand to forestall any hasty actions by his cadre of bodyguards. They were all very tense, and he didn’t blame them. Worldwide Excavation and Extraction was not the world’s foremost dealer in antiquities without good reason; their agents had to be masters of diplomacy, archeology and general combat just to survive. “My dear Lady, please, do you not think I would have given you this information if I had known it posed such a threat? You wound me.”
He was, of course, lying through his teeth. His clan was at one point in history charged with stewardship of the Lotus Blade; however, those same ancestors packed it away for safety concerns, according to legend at least. It had been their most prized possession and would have remained as such had it not become fouled and its power corrupted. Or so the legend went. The Yamanouchi Consortium had taken an interest in recovering their lost heritage and heirlooms such as the Lotus Blade, so as Master of the clan and the official headman of the group, it was his task to determine the locale and condition of those precious treasures. He needed to verify the story surrounding the ancient weapon and from there decide what to do with it so he purposefully withheld the full story of the blades power in hopes that the truth would surface on its own. Apparently, there was some truth to the legend after all.
“Is that so, Sensei?” The timbre of her voice fell several degrees, taking the general feel of the room along for the ride. Things went from mild and almost amicable in light of the situation to arctic cold on the turn of a word. This word was the missing “Master,” as she refused to acknowledge someone by such a title if they could not convincingly lie to her. “Would you care to explain this, then?” With a wave of her hand, a wall panel withdrew and from the shadows a solitary figure stepped forward. In his hands lay an official dossier from the Consortium. “This young man, Fukushima is it?” He nodded in reply. “Well, he has revealed to us a great number of things about your ‘clan,’ Sensei, including the fact that everyone knew the legend of this weapon and why it was locked away. Shall we start again, or should we just skip to the fun and turn our lawyers loose now?”
“Fine, Madame, if this is how you wish to play.” He gave his men a small, nearly imperceptible nod. Had he been in lesser company, this action might have gone unnoticed; however, he was in the room with a world-renowned predator. Before his elite guard could pounce, the doors to the room flew open and a small army of combat armed troops stormed in. Swords and small arms were no match. Neither Annabelle nor Sensei paid the fight mind. After the carnage ended, Sensei conceded defeat with a respectful nod, respect he did not feel, but would show nonetheless. He was alone amongst the wolves now.
Sheldon looked towards the monitor as he watched his mother work; she could be a real demon when something or someone pissed her off. Usually that took the collective efforts of him and his sister and they regretted each and every encounter with her in that state. As this incident was not directed at him, he could sit back and enjoy her work. Before the old fool left, Sheldon knew his mother would have legal ownership of the Yamanouchi Consortium, which was part of his plan. He needed their resources if he was to crack the growing riddle of the sword that claimed his hand.
Once he had been fitted with his prosthetic hand, he made it clear to Annabelle: they had to keep the sword for themselves. Doing so required drastic action. While she prepared for that, he set the R&D division of WEE to work on examining the mystic weapon to understand the nature of its power. Nothing in his notes or the notes his sister had collected hinted at the real power the weapon contained. Betty knew there was more to it than had been disclosed, but insisted it had to be something trivial; she had very little faith in magic. He, on the other hand, understood the paradox of science and magic, and was beginning to fathom the depths of the ancient world.
Of course, he also had proof of this power on many levels now, not the least of which was the vacant end of his arm.
Over the course of the month it took for his mother to get Sensei to visit and discuss the matter in person, he had taken a keen interest in the research being conducted on the sword. The first week went without incident, but the second showed they were a long way from understanding the power the weapon possessed. Two of the lab techs fell ill; one proclaimed visions of a wasteland where all those who live changed into monsters and the other developed a hardened skin that glistened like an unearthly metal. Examining her proved futile, as this new skin of hers was impervious to all manner of probe from the standard needle jab to the more advanced laser drill.
While he was watching that particular employee endure a pounding from the guns of their security force who were testing the limits of her new power, Sheldon saw the face again. From the time he woke after losing his hand to this very day, he was plagued with visions of that evil face and its glaring red eye, but as time passed, he began to understand the face was tied to him, and the sword. That feeling made him curious, and he ordered the sword to be investigated with more intensity - which required its relocation. His mother concurred, and they relocated the sword, along with the entire lab, to their Middleton research facility. Along the way, several more people began manifesting strange powers. A scrawny intern got into a boxing match with one of the cargo transports - and at over a hundred tonnes of difference in weight, the outcome was anything but expected: The truck cratered. The boy looked bored with the whole affair.
Then the day arrived of the first real casualty of the sword: an intern working in the chamber with the sword glowed brilliantly blue for a moment, then exploded. That bit of news alarmed Annabelle, but her decades of experience told her it was likely to be repeated in some fashion before they understood what they were dealing with, so she allowed Sheldon to proceed with the research. She had the foresight however to add Elizabeth to the roster. Left to his own devices, she was certain Sheldon would try to grab the fool thing again, so she stuck Betty with the job of babysitting her brother once more.
Sheldon turned from the monitor once the display returned to normal business discussions. He was only interested when there would be bloodshed, and that point had already passed.
As his gaze fell across the object of his current obsession, Sheldon found himself face to face with the silent wraith once more.
“So, my mysterious friend, will you speak up for once or shall we enjoy a moment of silence together as we ponder this toy?”
Of course the wraith would not answer; it never did. But unlike previous times, it chose to remain visible and floated to his side, as if allying itself with him.
Annabelle Director was growing more than a little impatient with her son. She had been apprised of the spate of fatalities and odd deformations of the staff working at their lab beneath the sprawling tri-city area. Since her son was refusing to take her calls, she opted for the direct approach. She knew he hated personal visits from either of the females in his family; she also knew that he was furious with her for assigning Elizabeth to the security detail attached to the lab. And she knew that he was showing signs of a far deeper imbalance than she originally guessed, but she was still the boss and she intended to make that point crystal clear. As long as she footed the bill, her children would respect her commands and smile while doing so.
Waiting was never a strong suit for her, so when Sheldon finally entered the room she was bordering on ‘beat-you-to-shit’ pissed. She might end up taking that route in the end, but for the moment, she chose to simply scowl and await his explanation. However lame it might be. Regardless of the merits of his excuse to continue, the research was being cancelled. Period. There had been too many freakish happenings, too many deaths.
To her surprise, he did not enter alone, she noted. An ethereal form drifted casually alongside him. It moved with the same purposeful presence he often took, but she could sense a similar weakness as well; they seemed torn from the same cloth, odd as that sounded to her ear. How could a ‘ghost’ be the same as her flesh and blood offspring? Oh well, it was of no concern. It was time to get to business; she had places to be and money to make. “I suppose you know why I am here, Sheldon?”
Sheldon took a seat at the far end of the conference table from his mother. He wanted so much to reach out and crack her head off the table; he could practically hear the impact. “Of course, mother. You’re pissed that I haven’t responded. We’ve made notable progress in the research, but as you have no doubt learned, there have been a few losses incurred. Are the bean counters already getting antsy?” He knew that with her, it would always come down to money. Well, it was time he changed that. He was too close to the answers he sought to let her or a bunch of idiots three states over dictate the terms of his work.
“A few losses? A FEW losses?” Annabelle exploded worse than any nuclear warhead. “A FEW? Sheldon, when I’m being told by the insurance company that they’re on the verge of canceling our policy because there’s been too many losses incurred for them to provide adequate compensation without making themselves bankrupt, thatisMUCHmorethanjustaFEW losses!This is a company known for sending people into places where death can come from a million gruesome sources. This is company that makes $12 billion in profits per year! When we’re about to make our insurance company file for Chapter 11 because they can’t handle the costs of our company’s losses, that’s a huge red flag, Sheldon!” she paused for a very brief moment to draw a new breath and then continued to unleash her pure, unabashed fury on her son. “We’ve had Congressman on both sides of the party line just itching to open an official inquiry into our business practices for nearly 20 years. If the insurance company folds up, they’ll have all the evidence they need. Do you want that to happen: Let everybody know what we’ve been doing? Just exactly how many people have died on the job here? Let the entire world know you and your sister have broken more than just a few international laws on your little jaunts? Have WEE shut down permanently and you, I, and Elizabeth all locked up in a Federal Penitentiary for the rest of our lives? If this news breaks, it could upend this city entirely, not to mention the whole world! The entire Middleton City Council, the Mayor of Middleton, all the Justices in this state INCLUDING the State Supreme Court Justices, and our entire State Legislature! And that’s not even touching the tip of the iceberg of what your LITTLE FUCKUP could cost!ThePresident and his entire cabinet! The pentagon! The CIA! NSA! FBI! The Supreme Court of The United States! Fuck, Sheldon, this could bring down the UN! The Hague! The WTO! OPEC! EVERY LOCAL, NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL POLITICAL FIGURE ON THIS PLANET WHO SERVED IN THE PAST 20 YEARS WILL GO DOWN IN A PILE OF SHIT-LACED FLAMES IF THIS GETS OUT!”
She paused to collect her breath again and stood back up, adjusting her business suit. “Would you like knowing that was all your fault? That simply because you disobeyed a few safety restrictions I directly ordered you to abide by, the entire world could be thrown into complete chaos?”
Had he not known she was on the brink of shooting him in the head right then and there, Sheldon would not have swallowed his anger. He mentally smirked at the point she’d made in the lecture. He’d find out the secret of the sword, even if it meant raising the devil if he had to.
But, he bit his tongue and only asked her one thing. “Have you informed the directors yet?”
“They haven’t been officially told as yet, son. I was giving you the chance to stand on your own for once and waiting for you to tell me the project was getting too dangerous. However, you seem obsessed with this foolishness, and when I return to Go City, this division will be shut down and filled in. Half a million yards of concrete should do nicely.” Annabelle never did things by halves. The liability of leaving the facility empty was more expensive than backfilling it and forgetting it existed. If she had her way, which she usually did, that goddamned sword would be encased in 40 layers of lead before the fucking thing ended up the first thing cemented over. Sheldon was going to never see it again. “Now, get the fuck out of here and go tell your sister I want to talk to her. She’s got a few things she’s going to be answering for, as well.”
Sheldon nodded, stomping out in search of his sister. He could have told his mother Betty was in the gym beating the pants off the best fighters she could find out of the security detail, but that was never as much fun. He would never understand why those guys, and the few girls that challenged her, would return time after time just to be dominated by her. Betty seemed to have acquired a loyal if somewhat masochistic following. Before his mind could wander too far, the red eye appeared in front of him. Now, it wasn’t threatening. It was waiting. Waiting to willfully serve him. “Yes, my silent companion. It is almost time. Go to the plane and make yourself comfortable. Mother will be along shortly.”
The guard watching the security monitor for the corridor scratched her head; she heard Sheldon talking, but there was no one else in the hall. She shrugged and chose to ignore it; the man was positively loony, but his family signed her paycheck, so she wasn’t going to jeopardize that.
At twenty-thousand feet and three hundred miles per hour, Annabelle enjoyed the privacy she found in her transport jet. No matter where she was, when she was on the ground there were always people trying to get to her for one reason or another, usually for hostile intent. In her jet, she could relax; let her guard down for a brief moment in time. She was on her 3rd martini when she saw something that ran her blood to ice.
There, floating before her, was the ghost she’d seen Sheldon with earlier in the day. Its single, baleful red eye, searing itself into her mind…
A moment later, the plane tore itself apart, scattering wreckage over hundreds of miles of open land. Only the pilot was ever identified.
Betty was outraged to the point she would gladly throttle Sheldon just as soon as she could catch him. That would have to wait until after she dealt with the original source of her outrage, his stupid fucking Chihuahua, Pepe. It had been a month since their mother had died, and things were just settling down when she’d walked into her room to find the flea-ridden mongrel taking a shit on her bed. It was no secret the dog hated her; hell, the damned thing didn’t like anybody she hung around. But this was crossing the line. She never pissed or shit on the dog’s quilted bed. Why the hell did the mutt think it was ok to do that to hers?
Sheldon was casually walking around the small tower upon which rested the sword that so occupied his thoughts these days. Betty had scarcely been surprised that he ignored the funeral held for their mother, but he continued to ignore her ranting. There were more pressing matters to attend. They were close, so close to cracking the riddle of the energy harnessed within the Lotus Blade. It had only cost him a few…thousand employees and what little was left of his sanity, but they were close. Once again his ‘shadow’ appeared, heralding, as it often did, great change.
Then Pepe raced into the chamber, followed closely by his enraged sister.
“Pepe! What has my mean little sister been doing to you this time? Is she picking on you again?”
Pepe just hiked his leg to piss on Betty’s new boots. With a single arched brow, she looked down at the dog and drew back to give it the swift kick it deserved. He intervened before she could connect and though she hadn’t been able to kick the dog like she’d wanted, it was rewarding enough hearing her brother’s yelp of pain. He grabbed her by the shoulders to balance himself while he rubbed his aching shin and she squirmed away. “Get the hell off me, you one-handed freak! And tell your little fucking wiener dog to never take a shit on my bed again!”
“One-handed freak? I have two hands, dear sister!”
“No, you have one hand and a stump with a sheet metal sculpture attached to it, dipshit!”
“’Sheet metal sculpture?’” gasped Sheldon. “How dare you insult the creators who fashioned possibly the finest example of prosthetics work in the world! That’s just mean! Isn’t that right, Pep…Pepe?”
Neither of them had noticed Pepe had taken an interest in the sword; well, not until they heard the dog’s pained yelp as Pepe, sniffing the blade, apparently drew too close and got his face zapped by the weapon, scorching the tip of his nose.
“Pepe! Get back here!” Sheldon commanded.
But the dog didn’t listen. It took a swipe at the sword with his paw and it zapped him again, causing Betty to laugh out loud.
“PEPE! GET. OVER. HERE!” commanded Sheldon in a louder voice, punctuating by stomping his foot as hard as he could.
The dog again refused to obey. Betty kept up with her laughing, at least, until Pepe turned and fiercely mule-kicked the blade out of its pedestal. She and Sheldon silently watched the weapon sail through the air and impact the wall, neatly bridging two high power conduits.
There was a bright azure flash—
—and the world was cleaved in twain.
“C’mon, Kimmie-cub!” James Possible couldn’t help but smile as his daughter, little 9-year old Kimberly Ann Possible, swung the mallet. There was a snort of disbelief from the carnie followed by a sharp THWACK! which was followed by a loud DING! The crowd cheered.
The carnie’s jaw dropped. He shook his head in disbelief, and reluctantly handed over the double prize coupons he’d promised the girl if she could hit the bell using the biggest hammer most adult guys could barely lift. “Just…how in the world did you do that, little girl?” he inquired.
Little Kimmie beamed. “Anything’s possible for a Possible!”
The crowd cheered again and began to line up. The carnie wasn’t about to take any more bets, but he wasn’t about to turn away customers, either. Especially when they didn’t know how the game worked, unlike the little redhead’s father, who seemed to know every intricate detail.
Michelle Possible burped behind her hand and Kim giggled as she put the Sunday bowl in the trash bin and trotted along after her husband and children. The Tweebs, the nickname Kim had given her ‘twin dweeb’ brothers, wanted to get in line for the show being put on by the super heroes being honored for the week. Team Go had earned the limelight once more. As the Possibles filtered into the stadium and found their seats, the Go Jet suddenly soared over everybody’s heads and landed, causing many ooohs and ahhs. “That is impressive technology!” James remarked. “I wonder what they’ve done to it that allows them to fly it so close to us without the jet exhaust burning everybody. Maybe they—”
Michelle threw her hand over his mouth. “Dear, I’m sorry, but I think the boys are more interested with who’s inside the plane at this point.”
“Oh! Ron!” Over here!” Kim waved as she spotted her best friend, motioning him to and his family at the empty seats beside her. She and Ron had been fast friends since they met in school a few years back, so at events like this, both families pitched in for all the major shows. It beat having to deal with either of them wailing about not being able to sit next to each other while they were being scared thrilled or otherwise entertained. Just as the show started, Kim felt a distant rumble, something that vibrated the very stadium. She was used to such things from the times her father brought her to his work at the Middleton Space Center to watch a rocket launch, but this was a different type of vibration.
She turned to her father, scared. “Daddy! I think we should get out of here! Right now!”
“What? Why, Kimmie—” James stopped as he felt the vibrations. He stood up. “Boys? We’re leaving.”
“What? But Daaaad! They’ve barely start—”
“NOW!” roared their father to which the boys hastily obeyed, since it was extremely hard to get him pissed off like that.
“Hey, what’s goin’ on? Why you guys leaving, Kim?” asked Ron.
Kim turned and beckoned frantically at his family to follow them. “Whoah—Did you see her eyes, dad?”
“Yes, and I think it’d be wise to catch up with them,” said Mr. Stoppable. In seconds, they’d caught up to the Possibles.
Shego watched her Team Go brothers, disdain filling her as Hego started juggling a few dozen sports cars with one hand. There were better things to do with her time. Then she felt a faint rumbling through the soles of her shoes. “Weird…” The stage was supposed to be vibration-dampened in order to prevent anything from accidentally being catapulted into orbit by Hego jumping his fat ass all around the damn thing.
A deep, resonating bass note suddenly rang out over the city. The stadium lights died as the whole Tri-City power grid went along with it. Then a blindingly brilliant flash of blue light erupted from beyond the rim of the stadium – and all manners of hell descended upon Middleton.
The ground roared to life, shaking so violently the needle shattered on the Richter scale machine at the Middleton Science Museum. Incredible ribbons of energy tore through the city in erratic patterns, slicing buildings in two, punching holes in other ones, and utterly demolishing the rest. People screamed in terror as cracks ripped through the ground, tearing out giant holes across the city, including one on the south side of the stadium, sending scores of people into chasms of doom. Nobody could keep their balance as they tried to get out of the stadium alive. A few unlucky ones made it out, only for massive chunks of debris to flatten them where they stood. One poor soul caught a toilet to the face.
“EMERGENCY! LET’S GO, TEAM GO!” yelled Hego – and the superhero group sprung into action.
Or rather, they would have, had a gargantuan column of rock not shot out of the ground beneath them, catapulting them into the air along with the Go Jet. It also really didn’t help things much when a few of the ribbons of energy caught Hego and the Wego twins in midair. Shego gasped in nauseous horror and Mego screamed as they watched the ribbons slice their brothers up in exactly the same way as a McHenry Laser Grid would.
Michelle clung to her daughter and Ron as they tried to follow behind James, The Stoppables, and the Tweebs. They watched in horror as a mountain seemed to shoot out of the ground in the center of the stadium, flinging people everywhere like they were all slingshot ammunition. “KEEP RUNNING, KIDS! DON’T LOOK AT ANYTHING! JUST KEEP RUNNING!” she screamed and did again in terror as there was another brilliantly blinding flash of blue light, and everything in front of the three of them collapsed in a single, jarring instant. “JAMES!”
“DADDYYYY!” cried Kim, watching in horror with Ron as her father and brothers didn’t even have time to throw their hands up to catch themselves before they plunged into the inky void alongside the Stoppables. The young children turned and grabbed Mrs. Possible, crying. Then Kim looked up –and saw the Go Jet hurtling down towards them. “LOOK OUT!” she cried, instinctively jumping in front of them.
Before Michelle could verify that those were, indeed, eight dark pink spheres glowing in a large square formation just in front of her daughter – the Go Jet plummeted on top of them and exploded; the shockwave so close that it slammed her into the ground, and out of consciousness.
Elizabeth Director spit out the mouthful of blood threatening to choke her as she came to. The lab was utterly black, yet she was able to see…sort of. Her right eye burned, but it was also the one allowing her to sit up and take stock of where she was. She looked around the room and gawked at the devastation. How the hell had she just she survived that event?
Event…That was the only word that came to mind, and even it failed to cover the scope of what had happened. Some of the hardest metals and alloys known to science lay partially melted, or fractured like glass. The solid granite wall that had been ‘ground zero’ now was the consistency of tapioca. A rustling noise caught her attention, and the sound of a massive load shifting drew her gaze to her brother.
She could clearly make out his form amongst the rubble and debris; it was one of the few light sources she could make out, in fact. That thought struck her as exceptionally odd, so she blinked her eyes a few times and shook her head trying to clear her obviously impaired vision. But the shimmering iridescence remained and not only that, it expanded. A ribbon of light flowed upwards from the prone form of Sheldon and connected to a very solid version of the wraith she had occasionally witnessed hovering around him. She originally wrote off the disturbing visions of this ghost as stress induced hallucinations, but a figment of one’s imagination couldn’t hold up a massive support column like that. Betty focused again on her brother and began trying to make her way towards him, but as she got to her knees something startling happened, more so than the event had been in point of fact. She once again saw the ‘weakness’ in her brother, but this time she saw something else:
Twin flames, one of green and one of fire red— the perfect weapons against his … madness? She did not have time to ponder that thought, for soon it solidified in her mind that these two forces were required to beat Sheldon. The flames evaporated - yet, she felt she had not seen the last of them. She tried to move to her brother’s side once more, all whilst the baleful glare of a solitary red eye kept her in focus.
The mute sentinel watched as she collapsed a few feet from his master. It knew the master would still require its help, so it continued holding up the roof that threatened to extinguish his life. It had waited for an eternity to serve. It would wait a while longer, if that was what was required. But now that it was free, and had a master to direct it. Never again would it be constrained. Its single wicked eye watched as the source of power continued to shed its might into the new world growing around them. Things were being created that would challenge it, and test its will right alongside its master’s. New powers were being birthed, and they would reshape the face of life itself via force, or pleasure.
It preferred force.